Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The big "trade" of the day

So as some of you know (and some don't) today was MLB's trading deadline and activity across the league was fast and furious. The Yankees shedded beloved everyday pitcher Scott Proctor for utilityman Wilson Betemit from the Dodgers. The Red Sox were winners in the Eric Gagne sweepstakes shedding away two minor leaguers for an former All-Star and save machine. The Braves and Rangers traded mexican for italian, as Mark "Tex-Mex" Teixeira was traded to the Braves for a few players including Jarrod "Saltimbocca" Saltalamacchia. I'm sure the folks in Texas will just LOVE pronouncing his last name for years to come.

But the real winners today my friends weren't any professional sports teams (including the Celtics who traded about 30 players and half of Southie for Kevin Garnett). No...the real trade win came today in New Jersey, where needle users got the right to exchange dirty needles for clean ones!

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/07/31/ap3971886.html

No longer should intravenous drug users have to suffer with dirty needles they pick off the streets! Now they can get that shiny ass, clean as a whistle, pointy ended new needle in which to inject drug after drug into their already drug ridden bodies!

Apparently New Jersey was the last state without a "legal way for drug users to get clean syringes". Never knew that. Although I'm sure they've had tons of other problems to deal with. Like asshole drivers who nearly kill their Governer or drive into toll booth barriers. Or fits of rage over a TV show who brought back the infamous "cut to black". Yes, the "armpit of NYC" had much deeper problems to worry about rather than spending tax dollars on supplying drug addicts with clean needles.

But I guess in medical terms, this "clean needle exchange" program was the trade of the day. Now I just need to find that pile of syringes I collected from the beach last week so I can trade them in for some new ones!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Tag...you're it!

So several weeks ago (or what seems like several weeks ago even though it was only technically 11 days) I was "tagged" by Tom at the Tao of Masonry (try saying that 10 times fast...starting now!) with a Meme. Meme's seem to be the "it" thing these days among bloggers, mainly as a way to challenge their fellow blogger friends to reveal more information about themselves. It's almost like getting picked on to speak in front of the class...but the class is full of really cool people who are listening to your every word. So when you're tagged by your peers it is a pretty special feeling...knowing that someone out there really likes what you do (cue violin and tears).

This particular meme calls for the tagged blogger (in this case myself) to pick five posts that I feel identifies, or gets to the core of my blogging. Now I know I had viewers vote on what their favorite posts were last year and among those you'll find my "best" stuff. However to single out five posts after a year plus of blog postings is pretty tough. Do you single out the most disgusting? The most humorous? Or the one that required the most thought?

Anyway, my apologies to Tom for being tardy on my tag response, but without further adieu, here is my "Death By Blog Meme":

The posts I feel best identifies or gets to the core of this blog are (in no particular order):

1) The Rules of Pedestrian Engagement
This particular post took me a few days to write and while the idea could have been more expanded upon, was an idea I had (albeit a bit nonsensical) that incorporated original thought as well as plenty of sarcasm and humor. Plus the bonus came when Time Out New York ran a similar idea a few months later in their magazine, and nearly (and apparently coincidentally) incorporated many of the same ideas that were published within this particular post. So kudos to me for beating them to the punch!

2) If the food's so bad for you, then why are there no fat chinese people?
I loved writing this post because it grew out of another nonsensical thing that popped into my head. Plus it allowed me to incorporate my favorite comedian of all time, John Pinette, and played upon my strength of sarcasm (especially with the absorbing calories through your skin part). I think the best line from this post was Egg Roll meet Duck Sauce, Duck Sauce meet Egg Roll. I crack up whenever I have an egg roll now, and always chuckle to myself when I'm dipping the egg roll into the duck sauce for the first time. I hope you enjoyed that post too.

3) The Ultimate Shower Songs...Part one and deux
I loved writing the ultimate shower songs because it was the first real thing i published on my blog (besides my first post on american idol). It was an idea I had for years, spurred on by watching hours of those Time-Life infomercials with the best songs of the 80s, 90s, barbershop classics, etc. So I finally had a venue to express my take on the whole singing in the shower thing that everyone seems to do but no one readily admits too. I'm still hoping that Fox or one of the networks will pick this up as a competition. Really. Would you rather watch someone singing in the shower or someone trying to remember a line while singing karoake.

Although you know what? Fuck it. I'm producing my own Shower Songs segment soon and publishing it right here on this blog. That's right. You heard it here first. Video and all! (no worries, the camera won't be in the shower with me, it'll be behind the curtain). So if you have any suggestions on songs you'd like me to sing besides the ones published already on this blog please reply to this post or email me with your suggestions. Thanks!

4) Good Humor Friday
Ice cream. Politics. Religion. Bad business practices. What else could you ask for in a blog posting? Any catholic who is looking for an alternative to giving up meat for lent should push for Good Humor Friday!

5) Staring Problem
Why? Well because it shows my typical thought process and the random trains of thought that race in and out of my head. Plus it showcases my ability to draw in completely random references (in this case, Seinfeld, Austin Powers, Soul Train and Broadway Bill Lee) that somehow all tie together nicely. I think that's the essence of this blog...random bullshit that is funny and somehow makes sense (sometimes).

Anyway, that's my "death by blog meme" response.

I guess I now have to "tag" 5 other people to keep this meme going lest I want to end up with Influenzia or Scurvy or some other untreatable disease that the "chain gang" would punish me with.

Soooo...i'd like to "tag" (sorry guys!):

Tortious: CDP - I know...you're thinking fuck...another tag! But if you needed something to write about on a rainy day ;)

Laurie Kendrick: Laurie has some doozy posts to share from the past few months...so I'm sure she can think of 5 good ones!

Ration Reality: Sorry Jesse/BOE/Ape...but you guys have some great shit to gloat about so this should be easy for you.

Stiletto: Sorry Stiletto...another "tag" for you...but consider this one a "love tap" so to speak...plus it'll give you an easy blog post if you don't feel like writing something someday.

And last but not least I want to tag the "Panel of Experts". Why? Because I think their shit is funny. And even if they don't participate in this "meme" so be it...but I just wanted to call attention to how humorous they are!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hill Country: Worth the hype?

Barbeque has been all the rage in the NYC recently due to the success of places like Blue Smoke, Rub, Dinosaur, Daisy May's among many others. Even celebrities are jumping into the pit (so to speak) as Justin Timberlake recently opened a BBQ Joint on the UES penned Southern Hospitality. Another recent arrival came to the Chelsea area via Austin, TX titled Hill Country.

Hill Country is an homage to the old Texas BBQ markets, where patrons belly up to the counter and get their food cut and priced to order. The space itself is very warm and inviting (and spaceous!). Upon walking through the doors you feel like throwing on your Cowboy Boots, 10 gallon hat and favorite flannel shirt (don't forget about spraying on some Stetson cologne).



Warning....side rant coming! Listen people. I know this is Chelsea and the prepsters and hipsters who live here (not all but some) may have some problems identifying what "dressing down" means. Let me put it to you this way. It's BBQ...down and dirty...stuff will spill and splatter...Dress appropriately. Please leave the Prada and the Chanel at home ok? It's a fuckin BBQ joint. Thank you.

Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about the main reason why you would go to Hill Country besides the cool, laid back atmosphere: the food.

I went for the first time about a month ago with a large group of peeps. I was beyond anxious to try it out being a BBQ afficionado and upon hearing heaps and heaps of glorious review. Being that I normally overorder anyway, I found myself racking up the dollars pretty quickly as Bridget & I seemingly decided to try just about everything on the menu.

At the meat station we got a rack of ribs, a 1/2 Grilled Market chicken, a Beer Can Game Hen (which I was most excited to try), and a few slices of lean brisket. The food gets weighed by the pound and slapped onto some good ole brown butcher's paper and wrapped up in a ball. I admire the no-frills, pay by the pound bit and the fact that I don't have to worry about breaking a dish is even better for me! We next hit the sides stations and got a "Feed yer Family" side of Mac & Cheese and some Green Beean Casserole. Of course the meal wasn't complete until we added the slices of thick white bread to go along with the meats and sides.

We sat downstairs since we had a group of 10 and got a long table to share. Waitresses take drink orders and how could you have Texas BBQ without the Lonestar! With Lonestar in hand and a palette of food on paper in front of me I was happier than a pig in shit (no offense to the pig I was about to eat of course).


The chicken, ribs, brisket and toast

I decided to try everything "as-is" to experience the true flavoring of their meats without drenching it in any of the BBQ sauces on the table. Since I had a lot of food to sample in front of me, I'll base my review by item of food.

I first tried the ribs. Now granted please take this with a grain of salt, but I'm not a dry-rub kinda guy. I like sweet, tangy, spicy or any other type of "wet rib", the kind that falls off the bone and has you licking your lips and fingers all day and night to try to get all of the sauce you can. So with that said I wasn't a huge fan of the spicing on the ribs. I guess if you're a dry rub person that's how you like em. But spice aside, the ribs were a little tough to chew and slightly dry. Again...I know it's supposed to be dry...but the meat should still be a little sweet and tender. This rib was just a notch below tender.

Next up was the lean brisket. The brisket was soft and easy to cut through. The meat was tasty and flavorful. Obviously the moist brisket would have had more fat and thus more "softness" to it, but all in all the brisket was decent. It needed some help from the array of BBQ sauces at the table to bring it up to "good" status. But definitely a notch above the ribs for me.

Then I decided to go for what I came here for in the first place. The beer can game hen. Being that I love to make cornish hen's in my oven and have somewhat perfected the art of making them, I was expecting BIG things from the hen. Especially being that it was beer can flavored, how can you not be stoked. Well I was immediately discouraged when the skin wasn't crispy but soft and not really chewable. I love crispy skin. Not saying it had to be fried, but there's something about a crispy skin that adds to the flavor to the meat. This was like peeling back tissue paper. I cut into the meat. It was definitely cooked well but it was bland in flavor. The bites weren't memorable and there certainly wasn't any hints of beer flavoring in the meat (nor on the skin). I think the soft skin pretty much let the flavor evaporate out of the bird (a seared skin locks the flavors and moisture of a meat in) and left it a dry, bland mess. In fact I'd even argue that they didn't use a beer can to cook the hen in the first place (which I'm sure I'm completely on point about being that the hen came out of a giant bin of hens). I was completely disappointed. And quite frankly pissed off being that this was the one thing I looked most forward too.


The "beer can" game hen, side of mac & cheese and green bean casserole

Eager to get my excitement and my appetite back I ripped into the sides. The mac & cheese was flavorful and the macaroni was soft and chewy. Cheese was abundant throughout, but very rich, to the point where you feel the arteries tightening a bit with each bite. But not enough to stop you from shoving forkful after forkful into your mouth. The green bean casserole was exceptionally good, and the fried onions helped give the green beans a nice added crunch and saltiness. I was definitely a fan of the green beans (even if it's the "low food on the totem pole" at a BBQ joint.

Last up to sample was the market chicken. The chicken was moist and tender and very flavorful (MUCH more so than the hen). Each bite of the breast was tender both with and without the skin. However once you get down closer to the bone the meat was almost too tender and a little pink. Not to the point of being undercooked, but to the point of too tender to really eat. So that was kind of a drag being that their was so much flavor in the chicken I would have gleefully lifted up the carcass and ripped away at the tender meat that is normally around the bone.

I mean I know its hard to cook up thousands of pounds of meat a day. I really do. And it's next to impossible to keep your eye on everything you cook. But if you're cooking something in a "slow and low heat" based environment you have to realize that stuff will take longer to cook, especially with vast amounts of food in the steamers at the same time. But with poulty you need to be even more careful about what you're serving up to your guests. So while I'm not saying the food was raw...they should probably fine tune their methods just a bit to ensure that the entire chicken is cooked through and not just the breast. Or just chop the bird and serve just the breast this way you won't have to have someone staring at a pinkish piece of meat deciding whether or not to eat it or not.

Anyway after plowing through my plentiful bounty I sat back and evaluated the damage. There wasn't much left on my paper, just some uneaten hen and the not eatable carcass of the chicken. I chewed down my white toast with another Lonestar to "cleanse the palette" for dessert. That and I really was hoping something would save my experience at Hill Country because it was a tad disappointing at this point.


The PB&J cupcake (back), the pecan pie and the Blue Hill icecream

Lo and behold dessert came through in the clutch! The PB&J cupcake was probably the best cupcake I've had in years (or have ever had period). The jelly was sweet and balanced out the peanut butter frosting perfectly. Add the reese's pieces on top and it was like having your first peanut butter & jelly sandwich all over again! The pecan pie was definitely good (served room temperature) and the pecans were nice and crunchy compared to the tartness of the pie. When you threw a little vanilla Blue Bell ice cream up on that bitch it definitely brought it on home! Blue Bell, served in a little dixie cup, is a creamy and sweet version of homemade ice cream from Texas. Blue Bell is actually celebrating their 100th anniversary this year with a tour across the south sampling their flavors and celebrating their heritage. It's a damn shame they won't be coming up north of the mason-dixon line because I'd love to spend a few hours in that truck!

All in all Bridget and I spent upwards of $100 between the two of us and left Hill Country disgustingly full. For me I left with a twinge of disappointment in my mouth, albeit I was grinning ear to ear thanks to dessert. The reviews on my table were mixed, with some saying they loved it and others somewhat underwhelmed like I was. I did see some people from Texas I knew there so I know the place is pretty legit on trying to recreate the Texas BBQ market experience. From an atmosphere and serving standpoint that is point on (I could see the live music they have on occassion definitely helping to add to that experience).

Overall, the sides and dessert were definitely good (the dessert more so than the sides). The meats, which is what BBQ is all about, were hit or miss. I've definitely had better BBQ in NYC (Daisy May's, Dinosaur among others) and I've definitely had worse, but I would say my first visit was about average. I left full and slightly unsatisfied and overall I'd have to say based on my first visit, all the hype may have been just a bit overrated. I'm sure thousands will disagree with my review and call me every name in the book. But since the place is continuing to drum up the hype, I did have the opportunity to make a second visit just last week for some lunch with co-workers. Did my feelings change any or would I continue to be underwhelmed? Well unfortunately I made myself really hungry talking about BBQ so you'll have to log on tomorrow to find that out!

Y'all come back now - ya hear?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Excuse me sir...

I think your pants are falling off your ass.



What? They're meant to be that way? Well I'll be damned. Kids these days and their wacky fashions.

Speaking of wacky fashion...what's the deal with gladiator sandals? Seriously.



I mean the pair above costs $1,200! All for what? Unless you're starring in the next sequel of Gladiator or vacationing in Rome during the time of the Roman Empire, I see no reason why this should be in style. Let alone paying over a grand for them. What's the difference between that shoe and sticking your foot in a slinky?



Sticking your foot in a slinky would be a lot more affordable and just as stylish. Maybe it's just me...but paying over $1,000 for some cheap metal wrapped around your leg isn't that appealing. I mean Lindsay Lohan had some pretty mean metal wrapped around her ankle and look where it got her: a one way ticket to federal "pound me in the ass" prison. Maybe the female visitors to this blog could enlighten me a bit on this current fashion trend?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"Taste-O-Vision"

So last night went to an advanced screening of Crazy Legs Conti's new DVD release: Crazy Legs Conti: Zen and the Art of Competitive Eating.



This wasn't like any ordinary screening however, as the film was being presented in Taste O'Vision.

Taste O'Vision is exactly what it sounds like. You taste something based on what's on the screen.

Conti only screened portions of the DVD last night, but had four jelly beans flavored based on what he was eating on the screen:

Butter

Hot Dogs

Oysters

Donuts



A prompt came across the screen telling you when it was time to indulge in your tasty treats to experience the same taste sensations that Crazy Legs was partaking in on screen.

The concept is quite funny actually, and definitely works considering how eccentric the food he was eating was.

I mean, you're not gonna get a Jelly Bean to taste exactly like an oyster or a hotdog, but I guess the flavoring gods were able to work their magic with that (actually I'm hoping to have some expert commentary in regards to the science behind the flavoring for you shortly).

Anyway, despite a few yucks and eww, grosses from the crowd I didn't mind the taste of the jellybeans. Despite them not tasting like your ordinary cherry or orange jellybean I didn't think they were half bad. The butter one tasted like buttery popcorn. The hotdog one tasted like smoked sausage. The donut one tasted like cotton candy. And the oyster one...well really didn't have any taste. All in all I'd rather eat these flavored jellybeans than a licorice one. Or any of those other bitter flavors.

All in all the screening was a success. The DVD includes many other features, including outtakes, scenes from competitions and other segments including girls dunking their "buns" - literally...hot dogs and hamburgers were affixated to their bums. Pretty funny actually.

This premiere was also celebrity studded with some of the all-time greats from the eating community. In attendance were: Ed "Cookie" Jarvis, Eric "Badlands" Booker, Kevin Lipshitz, Don “Moses” Lerman among others.


"Badlands" Booker


"Cookie" Jarvis


Cookie's coat listing all of his championships

Lindsay Lohan was supposed to also be in attendance but unfortunately she got arrested again. They wanted to see her try to eat more than two bagels without physically exploding, but she conveniently got arrested before she could attempt that feat! I smell chicken!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Life's a "breeze"

So on Saturday, Avi, Lauren and I ventured off to do some fishing. Instead of hitting one of the party boats in Sheepshead Bay I suggested we take a trip to Breezy Point (Queens) and fish off one of the jetty's on the beach (which would also double as a beach day)!

So we headed to Brooklyn to pick up my mom's car and some equipment and headed out to Breezy Point, which I haven't been to in years. For those who don't know Breezy Point, it's basically a very small neighborhood at the western tip of the Rockaways adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. If it wasn't for the Rockaways and Breezy Point, most of Brooklyn would be like the lost city of Atlantis because the water would surge completely inland.



Anyway, we drove to the end of the penisula and parked next to the Breezy Point Surf Club. I figured it would be a short walk from there so we unloaded the car and carried our gear towards the beach.

Well, small problem was that we had a cooler full of beer, ice and bait, bags of beach towels, rods and other equipment to fish with. So we weren't exactly carrying light. The other small problem? I failed to remember that we had to walk over 1/2 mile in the sand dunes to get to the beach.



Everytime we thought we were close, we had another twist and turn in the path. Buzzards were circling over us waiting for the moment we dropped in exhaustion. It really felt like another world, with 10' tall grass and thick as molasses sand dunes. Sweat poured down our brows as the gear became heavier and heavier. It was crazy...I never remember the walk being as long or as tedious.

Finally we got to the beach and dropped our cooler and bags straight down. We took a few deep breaths and tried to catch our bearings. People were laid out on the sand, sunning themselves and playing in the surf.



I looked to the right and figured the jetty would be right near us. Nope. Not even close. The jetty was farrrrrrr in the distance. Like another 1/2 mile or so!


The jetty was barely seeable from here!

You have to be kidding right? How big can Breezy possibly be? We should have been in Jersey by now with the amount of walking we did!

That was a big discouragement to say the least. We were dying of heat and fortunately Lauren and I came prepared by wearing bathing suits (Avi wasn’t as thoughtful) and headed into the water to cool off. I normally like to dive right in, but it was still fuckin cold! Felt good initially, until my nipples started to freeze over and then I headed back to the sandstorm (true to the name, there’s always a brisk ‘breeze’ in Breezy). Seriously, it felt like we were in the middle of a sandblizzard. Sitting down, the sand whipped into your back. Laying down the sand pounded your face. The only salvation came when we opened the cooler and busted out the 6 pack of refreshing Light Mike’s Hard Tea!



Awesome stuff! It's a little less sweeter than the previous versions of Mike's Hard Tea and goes down supersmooth. I think I drank two bottles in 2 minutes top. Probably could've drank another 20 or so. Definitely worth trying, especially on a hot summer's day.

After about an hour or so of laying around we decided the trek to the jetty would be too far, so we decided to surf cast. We only had 7 foot rods, where normally surf casting requires a 15-20 foot rod. So needless to say we were in trouble. I ventured into the ocean and attempted to cast past the waves, which failed miserably. Avi had better luck casting, until the reel popped off the rod and the line snapped off, taking the weight and hook with it. Not only happened once, but twice. Hmm. Note to self, you can't overhand cast a fluke rig. I guess there's a reason you only fish for fluke off boats, you're supposed to drop the line deep down and let the fish bite. We learned this the hard way. Twice.

Anyway I had another 5 pounds of squid that I didn't know what to do with. And since everyone else I asked wasn't fishing for fluke (I guess they were fishing for syringes?) I ventured out into the water and let the squid go. The seagulls ate the squid in about 2 seconds so so much for feeding the fish!

Anyway...no catches of note for us. Besides catching plenty of sand in our eyes, nose and ass. Ok, maybe not ass...but I wouldn't be surprised if some ended up there! Heading back from the beach we cut through the Breezy Surf club where we were able to walk on concrete and not sand. No wonder why they charge their members $50 per visit!

However, since I never published the pictures from our trout fishing trip a few months back, to make me feel better about fishing, here's Avi with his trophy wild trout caught at the Morsston house back yard stream in Livingston Manor, NY





And here's my big catch from that weekend's fishing trip!



Pretty sweet huh? Needless to say that branch was able to feed us for weeks!

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Cubicle Cookbook

Had a busy weekend doing some fun things...including taking Avi and Lauren on an adventure to Breezy Point to do some fishing (or attempt to). But more on that later when I upload the pics from my digital camera.

But, one of the things I've been wanting to mention for a while but haven't got around to it yet, was a result of me cooking in my cube recently.

As you've seen from past posts, I've resorted to grilling sandwiches on my portable Hamilton Beach grill at my desk.

Today was no different as I turned my rather ordinary brought-in turkey and cheese sandwich on wheat bread into a nice grilled turkey and cheese sandwich that melted in my mouth.





The funniest part of cooking in my cube is the smell of grilled goodness permeating throughout my office. Everyone is like, damn that smells good!

One of my co-workers Beth was joking around one day and said I should start a cubicle cookbook! That's a fantastic idea. Another co-worker Lori said I should have a daily menu and start charging people for "cube-cooked" lunch. Another fantastic idea! Hey, maybe I won't need to depend on "cart lunch" anymore if I'm just going to be cooking in! And if I can make some money on the side as well that's even better. Although I think I'll need to purge some files and set up a kitchen countertop. That and I'll need a bigger griddle. Cause if I'm gonna make a profit, pumping out one sandwich at a time isn't gonna cut it!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Excuse me miss, you dropped your tampons

Actually, that’s the second time in my life I’ve seen someone drop their tampons.

The first time was at a duane reade about 12 years ago. A lady dropped a box of tampons on the ground as she was juggling her other feminine products in her hands. I noticed her struggling and kindly picked up her tampons for her and handed them to her. She was a bit embarrassed, but i was young and didn’t really care. She was actually really pretty, which is one of the reasons why I picked them up for her (I know, I know…typical man!) But hey I was 18 years old and just being curteous. My momma didn’t raise no fool!

The second time was decidedly a more embarrassing situation. I was waiting for an uptown 2/3 train at 34th street last night and there was this girl who was
a bit disheveled.

She bent over and out of her overnight bag fell out a single tampon. At first she didn’t see said tampon fall to the ground. Another lady pointed to the ground behind her and she noticed. The girl who dropped the tampon looked at it and was immediately embarrassed. She waived her hand at it and said she didn’t need it.

Then a few seconds later after she was beat red, she paced around staring at it and started crying. Then she walked away quickly in embarrassment. I didn’t know whether to laugh or feel sorry for the chic. I looked at the woman who originally pointed out the tampon to the girl and she just shrugged her shoulders with a slight smirk.

I mean at some point the girl should have just picked up the tampon. No one around her really cared. I didn’t even pay her much attention. Although I could see where it would be embarrassing. I dropped my dildo once on a crowded subway platform. Everyone saw. And laughed. And pointed at me and called me names like Dildo boy. So what if I pissed my pants on the spot. I picked up my dildo, placed it back in my bag and continued on with my day. But this girl…she panicked…and cried…and ran. Poor thing. Maybe she was French!

Anyway, right as the train was coming I took a picture of said tampon and then hopped on the train. Although I’m sure some asshole probably reported a “suspicious package” on the subway platform.


Is that a suspicious package, or just a tampon?

Could you imagine. The SWAT team comes out. The white gloved bomb squad comes in.

“What is it sir”?

“I’m not sure, it’s some foreign torpedo like device. (looking through x-ray scope). Oh my god…run away…it has wings!”

Yeah, I’m sure it’ll go down exactly like that. Either that or someone will have just gone about their commute home and found themselves a tampon. Call it their lucky day! Some people find pennies. Some find tampons. You know, you can get a pretty penny on the street for a tampon…especially the unused ones!

What I've Learned

So I've learned a lot over the past 199 posts. I've learned that I enjoy blogging...and each day that I can't post an update I'm extremely saddened (thus this would qualify as being one of the saddest weeks of my blogging life as far as that is concerned). But hey, since I'm not being paid to blog (at least not yet anyway), I have to "pay the bills" with my full time job, so no shit about the lack of updates this week, ok? Good.

But over the past 199 posts I've learned that I have the uncanny ability to sometimes make people laugh and spit food out of their nose. Also I've learned that I have the ability to disgust people thoroughly with my sometimes "adult content" and "bathroom humor". I've also undoubtedly led some to permanently boycott my blog thanks to some crude and outlandish behavior. But hey, I'm a Brooklyn born and raised'er...who said I wasn't supposed to be crude and outlandish.

I've also learned that there are a lot of funny and talented people in the world. I know I haven't even scratched the surface of all the talented bloggers out there, but special thanks to the friends I've made over the past year in this little community of ours. You guys are truly an inspiration to keep writing and provide content that hopefully exlicits a few chuckles or a hearty guffaw.

But enough of the sentimental bullshit. You read me to laugh. I'm a humor blog. Much like the much ballyhooed Angry German kid of YouTube lore, you throw temper tantrums if I'm not funny.



So without further adieu, here is the "200th What Pushes My Buttons post"! (cheers, yells, whistles!)

A few things came to mind when I heard that a steampipe had exploded by Grand Central. Knowing the magnitude of the event was pretty serious and people were injured and businesses were disrupted, I couldn't help but to make a few "puns" while downing beer after beer in the airport bar last night waiting out a 5 hour plane delay (drum roll please):

I didn't know they turned Lexington Avenue into "Steampipe Alley"!

Looks like today is a real "steam bath".

New York City has just changed their official marketing song from "I Love New York" to "We've got 'Steam Heat'"

Ok...that's enough. Thank you. Thank you. I'll be here all night. Try the veal.

But seriously it was a scary situation for all those involved. Undoubtedly the tickle in my throat today is due to some airborne asbestos floating around.


I think I'm getting the "black lung"

A few of you have asked me if I'm giving away any "presents" for my 200th blog celebration. Well frankly that's not in the budget yet...BUT what I do want to give you is...



My dick in a box! Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

On the road again...

Although I really can't wait to get BACK from the road again. I've been down in Orlando for our annual sales meeting since Sun am. Yes, Orlando. In July. Needless to say I'm burnt crisp from 2 days spent on the golf course (i know, oh pity me!) But hence why I haven't been able to share some fun with y'all. Actually I was just able to get internet access right now, but alas I have to head out for a client dinner in a little bit.

I'll be back to tell some fun stories in a bit...but for now, enjoy this puppet rendition of Hasselhoff drunk on the floor. Haven't laughed this hard in a long time. It's a parody of Hasselhoff drunk on the floor that has been the "clip" around the net for the past few months.



Enjoy and hope to have a good update for you soon...especially being that my next post will be my 200th!!! Major milestone I guess...since ever other blogger seems to celebrate their 200th post.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Was there a year one?

So Bridget and I are taking the Metro North back to NYC tonight and these two teenage boys are sitting in the seats in front of us across from each other (like typical teenagers they were taking up a group of seats by laying across them). One of the boys says to the other: "man it's crazy...we're gonna be graduating college in like 2013. That's crazy.".

The other teenager just nods and says something like yeah, I can't believe it.

The first teenage now says one of the stupidest things I've EVER heard come out of anyone's mouths (and I've heard some stupid things heard over the years). The teen says: "Yeah, I don't know why they just don't reset years. Like start at 100 or 1000 or something. (long pause) Was there a year one?"

He honestly said that in all sincerity. Was there a year one.

The other teen didn't answer right away and I noticed he shot his friend a "what the fuck" kinda look. Like are you serious dude.

Well the teen who asked said question waited for a response. No chuckle. No "I'm just fuckin with you". He was dead serious.

So the obviously smarter teen said something like "umm, yeah dude...when Christ died they started the calendar after his death. But before that they counted years too."

To which the dumber teen said...oh cool.

Oh cool. Nice. Dude...lay off the fuckin drugs. Seriously. Unless you're planning on enrolling in P.C.U. then you should really make sure you're living on this planet.

Anyway I found it kinda funny. I whispered to Bridget "did you hear what that kid just said". Which she didn't. And I don't blame her. She was wrapped up in reading People magazine. Although after telling her we shared a laugh...and then went back to reading about things that matter most in this world...like celebrities.

I can't believe Prince Charles was caught wearing all of Lady Di's clothes. And Liberace was gay? Who would have saw that coming???

Friday, July 13, 2007

Paranoia Paranoia…

“Every one is coming to get me…”

Everyone knows that catchy song by Harvey Danger. Well I’ve been going through my own fits of paranoia recently, misplacing items like my wallet, or my keys...only to find them 5 minutes later in the last place I put them. So I can definitely empathize with the guy on the bus this morning (I took the bus down to work today since I have my golf clubs with me – and actually the bus was pretty painless for a change...only 40 mins door to door!). Anyway this guy sitting across from me kept looking over at me with this sly smirk on his face. It was an “I hate you, you bastard, going to play golf while I’m stuck in the office” kinda look. Only the joke is really on him since a)I dress casually going into work now (shorts and flops) b)I’m only going to the driving range – tomorrow.

Anyway after staring at me in a fit of jealous rage for the better part of 20 minutes or so he gets off the bus. Thankful to have his glare off me I was able to enjoy listening to my IPod, which I haven’t listened to in a good few months. No more than 5 minutes later the same guy comes running on the bus frantically. He runs to his seat and starts searching around. I didn’t see him drop anything. He looks at me like I took something. I just shrug my shoulders as he checks hi and lo like a maniac. Everyone on the bus is staring at him and he starts cursing: “Motherfucking sonofabitch. Fuck!”

On one hand I was amused since who doesn’t laugh at a person in a frantic state. But I did feel bad for the guy. He was in complete and utter disarray. Feeling helpless and unsure. I’ve been there 100 times…so I could empathize. Although the only thing that popped in my head was the “Paranoia Paranoia” song. If only I had that on my IPod.

Wait…lo and behold…I got it! Sweet!

Anyway, now that the “self-imposed embargo” is over, wanted to share some video and more pics of the Pizza Hut P’Zone Eating Challenge that took place on July 10th.

Here is video of the first minute or so of action.



The contest was basically over after the first bite, but the funny part is Tim Janus trying to coach her on some eating style after Chestnut basically finished his P’Zone in 60 seconds and she was still nibbling away on the first half. That and the unintentional comedic genius of George Shea who was narrating the contest.


The contest ready to start


Marivic trying desparately to keep up with Joey


Ladies and Gentlemen, your P'Zone eating champion!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

In the "P-Zone"

Before I get into the "zone", it was like I hit the lottery this morning. There was no line at Starbucks (although by the time I left the line was out the door) and I even got a free Women's Health wristband for a promotion they're doing this weekend!



Seriously, what else could a guy ask for?? It's like I stepped in shit today (actually true story - I almost did...wasn't looking down and thankfully last second I nimbly avoided the pile of poo). Actually maybe I fooled the "stepped in shit gods" into thinking I actually stepped in shit when I in fact avoided it! Hmm...I'll see how my luck the rest of the day goes before confirming this theory.

Anyway on this past Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending the first Pizza Hut P’Zone Eating Challenge which took place right here in the NYC.



The contest, put on by Pizza Hut as a promotion for their P’Zone, invited anyone in the nation a chance to compete against Kobayashi in a pizza eating challenge.

The drawing, which was done at random, was soliciting amateur eaters a chance to go up against one of the all-time eating legends.

The lucky winner? Marivic Stewart from Spokane, WA, a married mother of two, who was partaking in her first competitive eating battle.

The challenger however wasn’t Kobayashi, who was still suffering the effects of a recent jaw injury and could not compete (Pizza Hut is claiming the thickness of their P’Zone would be too much for Kobayashi’s jaw to handle). Marivic’s challenger was none other than the man himself, Joey Chestnut.


Kobayashi explaining that he won't be competing

The challenge was to eat as many P'Zone's as you could in 6 minutes. While I’m not at privilege to disclosure the results of the competition (the information, as well as video from the event will be released on Friday the 13th), you can make your own assumptions about who the victor was.

Regardless of not being able to report on the “official results” just yet it was a fun event, and I was among the small crowd who watched the proceedings carefully. The event wasn’t open to the public, but through some friendly contact from the PR Director of Pizza Hut, I was able to learn about the location.

I also got a chance to meet the new American hero, Joey Chestnut, live and in the flesh. Also in attendance in the room were none other than Kobayashi himself and fellow IFOCE competitive eaters Eric “Crazy Legs” Conti and Tim “Eater X” Janus.



Three of the best eaters in the world in one room: Crazy Legs, Joey Chestnut and me!

Besides the eaters, there were only some members of the media (who taped the festivities for Pizza Hut and the MLE - Major League Eating) and some of Kobayashi’s interpreters and PR agents. Being that I was the MOST influential “media” in the room (after all I do have the “best blog” in NYC right? Ok maybe it’s more like the best blog among blind lepers, but that counts for something right?) I had the ability to be among the privileged few to witness the best eaters in the world up close and personal (until they started letting the general public in by giving away free P’Zones…but even then people had no idea what was transpiring, took their free P'Zones and left. Idiots)

After the competition ended and the competitor who shall remain nameless took home the title, I headed back to my office with P'Zone in hand.




I had the Pepperoni stuffed P'Zone. After watching the competition and being in the same room with boxes and boxes of pizza smelling goodness, and no doubt inspired by the eating prowess I shared a room with, I made quick work of the P'Zone in front of me. Joey himself would have been proud.



All in all it was a great day. Got to say hello to the greatest eaters on the planet and got to watch Joey himself chow down in an intimate setting. It certainly wasn't like the 20,000 plus people who crammed into Coney Island to watch him shatter the world Hot Dog eating record, but standing no more than 30 feet away from the man himself with 20 other people in the room at most was completely fine by me.

Breaking news out of the Caribbean

For those fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies I have some said news for you.

Popular character Davy Jones, who made his first appearance in the Pirates of the Caribbean 2, was found dead on the beach this morning filming a scene for Pirates of the Caribbean 4.



Shooting for the movie, which was supposed to be a secret following up on the smashing popularity of the Pirates trilogy, has been temporarily postponed.

"The stench on the beach is overwhelming" said one of the production members. "Davy must have been rotting away on the beach all night" he added with a white surgical mask covering his face.

No word on cause of death, although speculations are that a golf ball got lodged in Jones' throat during an action scene in the water.

According to a director, Jones was being beaten back into the sea during one of the scenes. When he disappeared under the surface we figured it was all part of the scene. Jones has been known to stay underwater for hours at a time, trying to fully encompass his role of an "underwater monster".

Jones' character is based on the fictional Davy Jones, who is known in folklore to have placed a curse upon pirates. Jones' mystique is largely due to his infamous "locker" which swallows all of the "bad" pirates and their ships, leading them to be cursed for the rest of their lives.

"We wrapped up shooting and told Davy we'd see him at the bar later" says the director who chooses to remain anonymous. "He never showed up but we figured he just was rehearsing his lines underwater" added the tearful director. No word yet on whether funeral arrangements have been made, although the beach was flooded with lawyers earlier today.

"We believe the Jones' family is in for a huge, HUGE payday" said one lawyer with Jacoby & Meyers, who was among one of the first on the scene.

In an unrelated story, that may be tied to Jones' death, Michael Richards was seen hitting golf balls from a driving range on an island not too far from where the shooting was. Unfortunately Mr. Richards, best known for his role as "Kramer" on the television series Seinfeld, was unavailable for comment.

More on the story as news develops.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My new invention!

So yesterday I was motivated enough to bring my own lunch. I had made a sandwich consisting of turkey breast and cheese w/ mustard.


My sandwich "pre-grilling"

However I really wasn't in the mood for a "cold sandwich"...so remembering that I had a Hamilton Beach (Foreman like) grill at my desk (because doesn't everyone have a portable grill at their desk), I decided to play mad scientist and "grill my sandwich".


My sandwich "post-grilling"

And boy was that just the smartest move ever! The bread was nice and toasty. The cheese slightly melted, the turkey warmed through. What an ingenious idea! I mean, just think how much I singlehandedly just revolutionized the sandwich eating industry! I can develop a chain of "sandwich" shops who's catch is that all of the sandwiches are grilled! That would be awesome wouldn't it?

Wait...what do you mean those already exist? Fuck! Are you kidding?!?! Goddammit...everytime I think of a good invention someone else beats me to it.

Anyway...got a lot on my plate today so this one is short and sweet for now...I may be back for more later...if Lumberg lets me.


Hello Chris, what's happening. Yeah, I'm gonna have to ask you to stop blogging for now. The TPS reports are due asap. Thanks!

Monday, July 09, 2007

So hot in...so hot in herre

Yes...I misspelled here...Nelly misspelled it too and he sold 10 trillion records. So maybe by misspelling it I'll get like 10 trillion page views. Not likely, but worth a shot.

Anyway I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying this whole dress casual to work and then change at work thing. It's been a lifesaver. I'm sweating half as much as I used to. The subway was packed this am, but I kept cool by wearing a polo shirt, cargo shorts and flip flops. Sure, my toes were nearly crushed to pieces 100 times. And yes, I did still sweat a little while trying to keep my duffel bag between my legs and avoid tipping over thanks to the people crashing into me. But you know what, my legs didn't sweat. None of those nasty sweats under your pants you can't get rid of the rest of the day.

Sure, people may look at you like you're not important. Or they may say, oh, he must be a camp counselor or look at that guy, he probably is a mail room clerk or something derogatory like that. And maybe the guys with the suits get more looks from the ladies than the guy dressing like he's going to the beach. But you know what...ask the guy in the suit who's more comfortable? He may look better, but ask him how the sweat feels that's running down his back? Let's see how he feels when the pit stains under his arms start showing up in 30 seconds.

I can't stress enough how dressing casually has done wonders for my mood in the morning. I went into my barber shop this am...my barber asked me if I was going to the beach. I said with a chuckle, nope...going to work. I walked down the street and people looked at me with a mixture of curiousity and no doubt jealousy. I was "that guy" dressed like a California surfer amidst the throngs of "think I'm important" business people. Although the worst part is when I get to work and have to change. Off come the shorts, on go those restrictive pants. My mood deflats a bit. But at least I'm a little less sweatier to start my day. And I can take solice that for even a brief time this morning, it felt like a day at the beach. Minus the sand, surf and pina colada's of course.

Anyway, I saw this morning that Clay Aiken got "beat up by a girl" on a flight recently. According to reports: "the dispute was over the male passenger's foot resting on the woman's armrest. He said there was an allegation the woman gave the male passenger a "minor shove" during the argument."

I'm sure Clay was like "Bitch, I'm resting my foot on your armrest. Don't you know who I am. I'm Clay Fuckin Aiken. Now get on your knees and bow down in front of me".


And on the 8th day God created Clay

And then the girl stood up and Clay stood up. And the girl was much bigger and badder than Clay. And bopped him one right in the kisser.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Staring Problem

So this morning I'm sitting on the subway reading AM New York and this lady across from me is staring at me. Thinking she may wanna read the paper too I open it up wider and lift it for her so she has a good view. I read an article, glance up and she's still staring at me. Another 60 seconds go by, I dart my eyes up...same thing. Full out stare. And not one of those I'm staring into space stares. This was I'm staring at you intentionally kinda stare.

Then I start thinking. Do I know her from somewhere?

Nope...never seen her before.

Do I have something on my face? Did my goiter grow overnight? Am I showing too much cleavage?

No...no...and perhaps...


Goiter? What Goiter?

But she's still continuing to stare dead ahead at me. And I started to get uncomfortable. She wasn't the most attractive nor skinniest of people. Actually I was getting quite worried that she was eyeing me up as her breakfast. Honestly. She had that cannibalistic look in her eye...the "get in my belly" kinda stare that Fat Bastard had in Austin Powers



Needless to say I buried my head deep into the paper. I noticed no one was sitting next to me anymore but the woman was still there, practically salivating. I could've sworn I saw her place a bib around her neck...then again I didn't have my glasses on so it could've been an ascot...or a necklace...but regardless there was something eerie about this woman.

Thankfully the drama ended when she got off at 42nd street. I breathed a sigh of relief. Cause I didn't feel like being no one's breakfast this morning.

I was so giddy and relieved that I wasn't eaten, I jumped on the set of Soul Train and started dancing.



(That was me with the white pants doing the leg twirl in case you didn't recognize me)

Anyway, it's supposed to be a HOT HOT HOT one this weekend...so make sure you turn up your HOT 103.5 and listen to some Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam.

Umm...

Wait...my bad. I thought I was in 1987 for a moment.

Well as Broadway Bill Lee says... "stay calm, kiss your mom, ban the bomb, do the best you can, remember God loves you man"

Thursday, July 05, 2007

"Coming out" Party

So as you all undoubtedly saw, my man Joey Chestnut took home the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Championship yesterday, bringing the coveted Mustard Belt back home to the USA for the first time since 1996.

It was crazy. Some of the most riveting, suspenseful, jaw-dropping live television I've seen in a long time. Fuck the Sopranos...if you wanted drama, you should have watched the end of the hot dog eating contest. You had everything you could ask for in a showdown of epic proportions.


It began with the Don King style "pre-eat" weigh-in.


You had the classic USA vs Japan matchup. A storyline that the WWE would just about kill for these days (no pun intended...since they tried that whole "death" angle recently and it failed. Miserably.)

You had the 6 time Nathan's defending champion Kobayashi vs the new world record holder Chestnut.

When the contest started I turned to Bridget, Avi and Lauren (we were watching the festivities at Bar Coastal) and said Chestnut's good for 60 today.

60 dogs? Chestnut's previous best was 59 1/2. Kobayashi? 54 1/2. Kobayashi would need to best his personal best by 6 dogs just to stay close with Chestnut. No way he could do that with a sore jaw right?


Translation of look on Kobayashi's face: Me have to eat 60 dogs??? Holy shit!

But there they were. Standing toe to toe. Going dog for dog. 60? You bet. Both competitors hit 60 with 2 minutes to go.


Both competitors battle it out with time running out

Kobayashi even took a slight lead 63-62. No way. Chestnut was on the ropes. Panic set in. Kobayashi was giving the performance of a lifetime. The TV announcers were comparing it to Curt Schilling's bloody sock effort in game 6 of the ALCS.

Then it all came out. Well not all. But some.




Yep...Kobayashi had reached capacity. Trying desperately to keep up with Joey, Kobayashi was pushing himself beyond the limits. It was a gutsy performance, but in the end his stomach and mouth couldn't handle it. But he kept going. And kept eating. And ESPN (of course as they always do) cut to commercial before the official decision was announced. When they left on break it was 63-62 Chestnut. But what about the puke? That's a DQ in competitive eating terms. Or as they like to call it "a reversal". So no matter how many hot dogs Kobayashi shoved in his mouth post puke, he would only be credit with those eaten up to that point. But in the end it looked like Chestnut had him. By at least a dog or two. But it was the grittiest, most mano y mano performance you will ever find in any sport. Two warriors battling it out till the last second.

Echoing shades of the epic battles between Ali vs Frazier and Sosa vs McGwire, Kobayashi v Chestnut II went to Chestnut (Kobayashi narrowly defeated Chestnut by a hot dog and a half last year).




But more remarkable was the amount of hotdogs eaten. Both shattered their personal and world records. 54 1/2 was Kobayashi's previous best. He ate 63. Chestnut downed 59 1/2 earlier this year. How about a 66 spot. In 12 minutes. That's one hotdog and bun roughly every 10.9 seconds! That's fuckin ridiculous.


Chestnut posing with 66 hot dogs after his victory

If you didn't think competitive eating is a real sport, think again. These guys pushed their bodies past the limits in a competition for world supremacy. Let that be a lesson to all of the other "athletes" out there who collect their fat paychecks and give 50% of their effort. Long live the IFOCE and all hail King Joey!