Reporting, Recording and Relaying - But Always Telling It As I See It

Sunday, November 29, 2009

From The Random Thought Generator And One Important Tip

• If you were playing a drinking game whereby you had to drink every time you heard the name Tim Tebow in yesterday’s Florida game, you would have been stone cold drunk in two minutes. I did hear that Tebow will forgo the NFL draft in order to solve the financial crisis, kill Osama Bin Laden and make the world carbon neutral.

• Geoff Tabin has done more than you. He isn’t happy being an ophthalmologist. Oh no. He is on a mission to cure preventable blindness…in the entire world. Read his incredible story here.

• If you wake up in the middle of the night in a crypt like hotel room and grab your Blackberry to find out what time it is…do not, I repeat, DO NOT have it pointed at your face when you turn it on. It has the brightness of 80 suns.

• Also in that same hotel room, if you have to get up at night to go to the bathroom, just smash your toes immediately into the bed leg…at least you will know it is coming, then wait several agonizing seconds for the pain to seep into you and wish you only suffered the fate of having an anvil dropped on your foot.

• You haven’t seen a master craftsman until you watch an ER doctor install two internal and nine external sutures into your son’s forehead in such a tidy manner that it leaves you feeling really inadequate that you have a hard time with a fishing knot.

• Let’s face it, there are only two things that caused Tiger’s crash…he was drunk or fighting with Mrs. Tiger. In the words of Chris Rock, “If you haven’t thought of murder, you’ve never been in love.”

• Would you want the power to know every time someone had a dream that you were in? What if it meant your spouse would also find out? I was thinking of that after i wrenched my toe in that hotel room on my way to the bathroom. I woke from one of those weird “in a school bus that was also a fancy restaurant that was both parked and driving to Kabul while out the back door I was on a beach chair surrounded on one side by the ocean and the other a junk yard all while sharing coffee and deer steaks with people I haven’t thought of in twenty years” dreams.

• The people you care about aren’t going to be around forever…don’t miss a chance to tell them how you feel. Really, don’t miss a chance.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Woman Of The Year And Advice On How Not To Getting Arrested.


Carrie Prejean is brilliant and is living proof that salacious sex tapes are sometimes the most advantageous way of self-promotion. Not since Vanessa Williams was crowned Miss America in 1983 (and subsequently dethroned thanks to her lusty photos) has anyone been able to turn a worthless title into serious bank. Really, can you name even one Miss USA or Miss America? The title carries with it little more than being crowned Miss Artisanal Cheese…maybe a better sash. However, speak out against same-sex marriage, get a sex tape leaked, file a lawsuit or two and try to walk off Larry King (I say try because she literally couldn’t seem to get away from the chair…she stood up and got, well, stuck) and KA-CHING! Granted, this cash cow may be short lived, but kudos to my woman of the year, 2009, for proving conclusively that the only way to parlay a Miss USA crown into real cash is to invest early in life in a camcorder. Lesson learned.


Bonnie and I were watching the Fox hit COPS, last night, which has been on since 1989. (Inner Circle performs the theme song, Bad Boys, wonder what the residuals are for that?) Anyway, I was always aware that drinking seemed to increase your odds of getting arrested and that seems to hold true. Almost every scene involves alcohol…almost, but not all. What seems to really increase your odds of getting arrested is the decision to not wear a standard article of clothing, and by standard I mean shirt, pants and shoes. Fully 2/3 of the people arrested in last night’s two episodes were without at least one of these items. Now, not wearing pants is a crime in and of itself, so that is sort of a no brainer. And going topless in conjunction with drinking seems to really increase the odds of getting a call from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. However, two of the six people arrested last night were shoeless…who would’ve thought? One guy stole (or stole back if you believe him) a car, and when he ditched it and ran he didn’t have shoes on. A girl got arrested for being drunk (but parked) in a church parking lot. Now, although she was barely wearing a shirt (or a “top” as my wife would say…and who would also say “who the hell would go out dressed like that?!”) she definitely was not wearing shoes.

Where does all this leave us? Well…how about “Nudity…it’s all in the timing.”

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In Defense Of Quitting

I didn’t even flinch when I threw away the $20 worth of white powder. I tried it out a few minutes before, didn’t like it, and thought, “I will never be happy with this.” I grabbed my old standby, chalked it up to a mistake, and took a long drink. It was perfect.

See, as I have gotten older, I am beginning to have less tolerance for the things that don’t make me happy. No more soldiering through my life in some wild, me against the world ego trip. I have downsized. It’s the same reason I don’t read bad books…there are too many good ones out there and the clock is ticking. During my ill-fated golf excursion described in a previous post, I picked up my ball at least a dozen times. I didn’t pick it up out of disgust; I picked it up precisely because I didn’t want to be disgusted. There was nothing on the line, nothing to be gained by hitting another shot from the rough. Was it the easy way out? Maybe it was. But a really nice cigar, a Heineken and good company seemed to carry the day just fine. I will gladly take an eight with a smile on my face any day.

There are things in this world you can absolutely never quit on; family and friends, and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for either of them. Think of who is going to be at your funeral? Do you really think the guy you had the great networking lunch with is going to give a shit when you are gone? Are you going to care about him? Really, are you? Maybe my cynicism is getting the best of me…but hey, it’s my world.

The thing is, there are a million things you can get wrapped up in, but how many of them really count? My wife and I sat with our two sons and actually had a nice family dinner tonight. We talked about their upcoming basketball season; their teammates, the coaches, the practices. Yeah, that counted. I have to sit through an audit tomorrow. Do I care, absolutely…is it important…for tomorrow it is. But it’s minor league.

This isn’t the promotion of forsaking things; in fact just the opposite. We should know what we want and work every minute for it. Our legacy will be built on many pillars, but should not be built at the price of being awake at three in the morning feeling like you want to crawl out of your skin. Many things will wait on your happiness, but your happiness will wait on very few.

Now a few words about that opening paragraph. If any of you thought I was talking about cocaine…HA! Fooled you…and what the hell do you think I am? Nope…not nearly that nefarious. For the last few years after working out I have been downing a protein shake. Anyone who has been unfortunate enough to see me without a shirt will undoubtedly think two things; 1) Protein shakes obviously don’t work, and 2) Dave works out? Well, I decided this last week to buy a powder and make my own in my “the man is not going to get the best of me over-charging me for the pre-mixed kind” spirit. Well, it sucked. I realized I was never going to be content with a lumpy, syrupy concoction. I dumped it in the sink and threw the bag away. Like I said, I have no time to be pissed anymore.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I'd Rather Eat Goat

Chipotle. What the hell is that and how has it made its way into the American lexicon with the ravenous guile of flies feasting on horse manure in 1900 Manhattan? So I get this part…it’s a pepper. A roasted jalapeƱo from what I gather. The question is when did it become fashionable to include this culinary bullshit term into every other dish in every other chain restaurant in every asphalt drag shopping strip in this great country? The only thing that would piss me off more is seeing chipotle lattes at Starbucks. But knowing what I know, this wouldn’t surprise me.

Maybe the bigger question is; why are we so susceptible to wanting our chipotle mocha chicken? (Nonsensical but tasty sounding isn’t it?) Naming food dishes almost takes on the strategy of picking a good porn name. Betty Green probably won’t be bringing in the dollars from the credit card you keep hidden from your wife as much as Jenna Jamison nor cause you to go through as many Kleenex. Chipotle…Jenna…fun names to say.

And if there are two things we like it is a) fun and b) being part of the crowd. Of course it is very possible that the problem rests with me, and I am never really sure whether or not I am cynical or just miserable (please post your thoughts on this in the comment area below). So I say to myself, “Go out and get a big plate of chipotle salmon ceviche or chipotle beef tartar.” The problem is, most of the places that lather you with a barrage of chipotle menu options are the same places that require you to walk around with one of those coaster/beeper/pagers that light up like a hooker at an AFL-CIO convention when it is your time to get seated. Ever see a group of people when one of those goes off? How happy they are to get trotted off to get their hands on the french fried onion dome appetizer before mainlining the chipotle. These are also the people that grab the fancy drink menu to order the Blue Marga-Jito.

Maybe I am missing out, and far be it from me to be the voice of disdain for pop-culture. And really, chipotle is pop-culture. Think about it, does anything in these restaurants really taste any different than it did 20 years ago? Twenty years ago you used to get peppered chicken, then “blackened” chicken and now CHIPOTLE chicken. One of my most memorable meals was also one of worst I had. I ordered goat. I received a black hunk of sinewy gristle. It wasn’t that great but I remembered it, far longer than I would ever remember the chipotle-tofu-enchilada-chicken-mex.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This Is Myrtle Beach, Not Minnesota

The story of our Myrtle Beach trip is both long and storied. It is full of bad jokes, alcohol and egregious behavior. In lieu of a rambling 1,500 word screed, I thought I’d try out the idea of bullet pointing some of the highlights. I would say these are in sequential order, but honestly, we were drunk and sleep deprived most of the time, so they are inserted in random order. All except this first one, because it happened before we left.

• I get a message from Z on Wednesday before we leave. He tells me John has vertigo. Big fucking deal, I think, I have it too but in that restrictive MP4 format that iTunes is so fond of but that renders it impossible to use with many other software applications. But he actually has the head-on-a –baseball-bat-spinning-in-circles kind. Z tells me not to worry; Mud says he is coming if he has to get to the airport in a wheelchair.

• Three double screwdrivers with Mark at the Charlotte airport after my plane made a rapid decent due to a medical emergency on the plane. Amazing how many medical personnel are on a flight. Never found out what happened, I just know we got to Charlotte in 40 minutes instead of an hour and ten.

• First round of golf sans John while he goes back to the condo to do whatever the hell you do to get rid of vertigo. Three six-packs and three cigars and I amazingly shoot 101, my lowest round of the trip.

• We finally unpack at the condo and try to get drunk before we leave for dinner, we mostly do. As we get out of the Excursion (cause we be big pimpin’) I state very clearly that we should pour ourselves out of the Ford. Somehow, Mark thinks I meant the beer, so he gets out and dumps out the beer…much to my dismay.

• We entertain our waitress at dinner, other waitresses and the couple sitting behind us while we discuss, loudly, acts that are largely forbidden by scripture. This is the first time John brings up his disdain for Fergie’s face.

• We spend the rest of the night at a “club” with no windows, a cover charge, and a DJ who keeps saying things like “Alana to the main stage.” We get home at 3:30AM

• Five minutes later, John barges into our room to announce we have to get up for golf. I tell him to fuck himself and to leave without me. OK, it was more like two and a half hours later but it felt like five minutes. I wake up a few hours later to Mark snoring through this mouth guard thing he wears to prevent such a thing and realize we threw in the towel on the morning outing.

• Round two had me score a personal highlight reel shot by driving a fairway iron shot out of the rough (where else would I be) on one hop into the moving cart of Mark and John.

• We spend the rest of the night at a couple of bars, notably an Irish place drinking Irish Car Bombs because John says “there is an element of Jamison’s” in them. We sing ourselves hoarse. We get back at 3:15 and Erik decides it is in our best interest to go back out to Magoo’s, the bar near the condo. John stays behind and we order three beers, I fall asleep sitting in a barstool, Mark disappears, comes back and we leave. I don’t think we touched our drinks. Somewhere I accuse Mark of being un-Italian for hanging out at the Irish place.

• Golf Part III ends in controversy as the dickhead starter bitches at us for not returning the carts the right way. He tells us that he wants them in groups of five and that now we have fucked everything up for him. We are further insulted because the clubhouse is locked (we were the second to the last group to come in) and we can’t piss. We consider taking a leak on the Jack Nicholas statue out front.

• We go for the trifecta of later-than-three-AM nights by going back to the Irish place. We declare the place full of douche bags and switch to Jager bombs and Heinekin in protest . Well, I do. John goes heavy with the Crown Royal and ginger ale. We stick around to hear a really great band cover both Stone Temple Pilots and a countrified version of Snoop Dog’s Gin and Juice.

• The boys head out on Sunday for the last round while I head to the airport. Bonnie has promised stuffed peppers…I don’t miss out on those. I board the plane and wake up to the stewardess talking. I think we are getting ready to take off. We are getting ready to land in Charlotte.

So that’s the summary. We redefined fun. But there is one more tidbit. When I was at the airport I went outside before going through security. A van pulled up with four old guys in it. The sliding side door opened and one of them moaned and groaned getting out.

His friend said, “Don’t hurt your back getting out of the van you old fuck.” Ball-busting never ages…I hope that’s John, Mark, Erik and me in thirty years.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Myrtle Beach - The Preamble

Going away with four friends, golf clubs and disposable income can go a lot of ways. As much as I think of the really good times we have had away together, my mind keeps racing back to images of; police in Virginia Beach (amazing how much noise you can make with a baggage valet in a top floor suite at two in the morning), a possible broken foot in New Orleans (followed almost immediately by me showing up at the airport and realizing I had neither my credit card or my license but still managing to get on a plane post 9/11), almost not making it out of the Circus Circus in Vegas (the comped drinks are very real in Vegas, and you can lose a shitload of money when drunk), and desperate men running naked from the shower (and that was before we even left Pittsburgh.) Of course, there was also the really scary stuff.

In the past, we were usually celebrating somebody’s something; bachelor party, everyone being in town, etc. Sometimes, it was just an excuse to bail for a few days. But this time, we are rallying around us, all of us. All of us turned 40. FORTY! Our combined years for knowing each other, just the four of us, is about 312 years. If you lined those years up, end to end, like a science experiment, and went backward, you would be at the year 1697. Turns out, 1697 was a bad time to live in Haverhill in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Seems some Indians from Quebec raided the village and killed a bunch of folk and took many more hostage. One hostage, Mrs. Dustin later escaped by killing ten of her captors and returned to Haverhill where she turned in their scalps for a bounty. Shortly thereafter, the phrase “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” was born. For more on the year 1697, and where the above anecdote was pilfered from, please go here:

We will of course be assuming our aliases for this trip, Mr. Baby, Z, Mud and Hotfire. You can’t possibly go head long into this inferno bearing your real names. After all, protocol is protocol. Neither will this be a trip for the thinned skin. Every misstep taken will be pounced on like a wounded gazelle in the Serengeti. Spill a beer and hear about it for every second for the duration of the trip. This isn’t tough love, its brutal love. Its beat your friends down to within an emotional inch of their lives love. But it’s also “outsiders, mind your fucking business love” or the beating you get will not be emotional and require a very careful analogy of the extradition laws between South Carolina and Pennsylvania.

So I go into this expecting to be ridiculed and drunk. I will not shoot under a 100 and fully expect to buy my share of rounds at the bar. Someone, quite possibly me, will puke. This I know. I will laugh my ass off and count my blessings. Stories from this trip will come, the most important of which has already been told. I’m one lucky SOB to be in such good company.

(AFTERWARD: An intersting note on the internet.  When I Googled "What happened in 1697" it came back with an astounding 54,500,000 hits.  I thought it would be, I don't know, maybe 3.)