Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ooops, she did it again.

I just want to say that I called it over a year ago. Even before the "smacking a car window with an umbrella while sporting a shaved head" incident, I sensed that Britney Spears was bipolar. While I won't be crying on youtube to leave Britney alone, I probably have more sympathy for her than the regular Joe.

As much as people have delighted in seeing Britney self-destruct, (our society loves to bring down that which they brought up) I have been cringing and have had repressed memories of my young adulthood come to light. For those not in the know, many mental disorders have their onset and often hit their debilitating peak during young adulthood. Bipolarism is no exception; 20-24 was hell for me and I'm amazed I'm still here and I was never hospitalized.

If you take someone who is bipolar, who is an early 20-something and then throw in some sort of significant stressful situation- well, you'll have what we're witnessing in the tabloids. Fortunately for me, I wasn't followed by hordes of paparazzi to document the whole experience because I had similar factors at that period of my life. My parents went through a separation at the time, I was struggling in college and my behavior and mannerisms weren't pretty to say the least. (although, admittedly there was some fun amidst the madness)

There is a certain freedom to going off the edge. You have no sense of consequence and immediate gratification (however jumbled it appears to the outside world) is your only desire. I'm sure Britney's recent hospitalization won't be the last. However, the silver lining is that it's likely she'll learn to cope, find the right mix of meds and come to terms with her disorder like I have. Most of us manic-depressives do in today's modern medical world. So, I will look forward to seeing Britney tramping it up on the stage again in the future. Heck, with this life experience, she may even be profoundly slutty and poignantly whorish.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Where has all the nostalgia gone?

As mentioned briefly a few weeks ago, I had an interesting conversation with my long time friend Mike about how nostalgia doesn't exist anymore. Thanks to recent technologies and mainly the ability of niche marketers to be successful on the internet he felt that we can get anything that we missed or remembered without too much problem or expense.

The impetus of this conclusion was the fact that he was able to purchase an exact copy of the Air Jordan sneakers that he had as a teen. I'm willing to bet that even if there weren't a company making replicas he could've easily (though paid much more) found a pair on Ebay or some other online specialty site like Craigs List. Unlike our parents who had to hunt for nostalgic items at yard sales and pay through the nose at auction houses, mine and future generations will have no problems finding much if not all of their precious childhood memorabilia.

You even see it in "collectible" hobbies. Comic books can be read online and downloaded for free if you're savvy enough with the computer. (and most comic book nerds are...) Even before that the major comic book publishers would reprint the difficult to find issues in paperback or reprint issues. I've even seen food items and candies that aren't as popular anymore being sold on the web at specialty stores.

While replicas and reprints and downloads aren't the same thing as the genuine item, it will decrease the demand and nostalgic feelings that we as a culture share for certain things. There will always be a demand by some people for the "real" article, but most of us will satisfy our long lost yearnings with replicas and reprints. This ability to have what we want, when we want it, and how we want it is a mostly a good thing, but I'm reminded of when you spoil a child and then don't deliver. I wonder if there will be some sort of cultural meltdown or temper tantrum if that day were to come.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Lazy Sunday

After a wonderful evening of seeing old friends on Saturday night, I couldn't for the life of me remove my ass from the couch the next day. Even better was the fact that my wife felt the same way, so there was no nagging to get anything done from her. Aside from going to the bathroom and attending to my and the children's nutritional intake I was a lump all day, drifting in and out of sleep. It was truly the most religious experience I've had since my vasectomy and had a frozen bag of peas on my dingly-danglies and was loaded on Valium and Percocets.

I guess if you think about it, the Buddha might have just been a on a run of lazy "Sundays" for 40 days. You have to admire a culture that will revere pure unadultured procrastination and idleness. Even the greatest leaders of the 20th century took pride in sitting on their asses to get things done. MLK Jr and Ghandi may have been using civil disobedience not because they were peaceful, but they themselves were having a lazy Sunday and simply didn't want to lift a finger, let alone arms, to advance their cause.

I'm being somewhat facetious, of course, but that lazy Sunday was something I needed. I recommend turning into a vegetable every now and then- just be sure to wake up after a while or people will notice you haven't bathed.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Son of 6 degrees of Napster

Just because I'm bored on a Friday night-

Let's start with an old favorite of mine Cat Stevens (yeah, yeah, he's a terrorist now, blah, blah, go read snopes ya ignorant hick) He created many beautiful songs with a message mainly of comprised of peace and love.

1-apparently people who enjoy Cat Stevens also seem to enjoy Carole King

Well this makes sense- both are considered among the greatest singer/songwriters of the 70's.

2-apparently people who enjoy Carole King also seem to enjoy Elton John

hmmmmm...we've quickly went from meaningful to schmaltzy- Not that it's a bad thing, Elton does schmaltzy very well.

3-apparently people who enjoy Elton John also seem to enjoy Michael Jackson

At first glance this seems to be a weird connection, but remember both artists hit their peak in the 80's. But we seem to be getting further away from the message.

4-apparently people who enjoy Michael Jackson also seem to enjoy Britney Spears

Say what? Although, it's really no surprise- both are huge pop stars from their eras, both are famous for their over the top videos, both are in the tabloids 24/7 and both are whackos. But at least Michael sang of love sometimes, Britney seems to ooze sex and sluttiness.

5-apparently people who enjoy Britney Spears also seem to enjoy Jessica Simpson

Just when you thought you couldn't get any more vapid....

6-apparently people who enjoy Jessica Simpson also seem to enjoy The Spice Girls

There you have it- Cat Stevens is just 6 degrees away from The Spice Girls

Katmandu is 6 degrees away from Wannabe

I wish that Cat's songwriting ability were further away from the manufactured pop of the 90's.

Reconnecting the dots

This June I'll have been out of high school for 20 years.

(I hate the sound of that- I feel so old)

Despite the fact that I will not attend my 20 year reunion this fall, I have been slowly recontacting many old high school friends. Some even found me. I figure most of my friends or people I'd be interested in seeing again wouldn't attend the reunion either or they were in a different class. Many of my friends in my senior year were juniors and some, including my girlfriend, were sophomores. I guess I was too immature for my own peers.

Over the past year, I've slowly amassed a decent chunk of my old friends back again. Most of us have jobs, kids, spouses (some even married each other), and are productive members of society. Heck, some even are award winning members of society. (I'm like a proud father) It's been great hearing what everyone's been up to and what their kids are like. I even have fun bragging that I'm vice-president of a multi-million dollar corporation (don't get too excited- it's the family biz).

So, as anti-reunion attending as I've become, I am hosting a dinner for 6 ex-high school classmates of mine tomorrow night. Hopefully it'll be like old times, except for the fact that we'll have alcohol and no worries about getting busted by our parents. Although, I suppose it would be awkward for my wife if I start making out with my old girlfriend, so I guess I shouldn't plan on making it much too much like old times. (note to Lynn- I'm Kidding!!)

I plan to get an even bigger get together some time in the summer as I know I can get even more old friends to come. Strange how comforted I've felt reconnecting with old friends, I wonder why I've even lost touch in the first place.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pop Quiz!!

You're a masseuse and you let yourself into your high profile client's apartment for an appointment. You notice he's sleeping so you set up your table. You then try to wake him but he's cold to the touch and unresponsive. Your next move should be....?

A) Call 911

B) Check to see if he's breathing

C) Take his wallet and run

D) Call Mary-Kate Olsen twice

E) Have your way with him, they don't call 'em "stiffs" for no reason.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Goodbye Heath

RIP Heath Ledger

It's always disappointing when someone whose talent you admire and enjoy suddenly dies. As of right now, there are no official reports as to the cause of his death but I'm reminded of when River Phoenix died of an overdose. Both Heath and River were young talented actors who died in their 20's. Both actors could have easily cashed in on their good looks and made bonzo bucks making mediocre action films but instead chose to act in films with a little more bite to them.

If you have Netflix, I recommend renting Running on Empty and Monster's Ball, both are good examples of excellent acting by young men with a great future in front of them.

So fare thee well Heath, I look forward to seeing your interpretation of the Joker in the The Dark Knight this summer.

Monday, January 21, 2008

6 degrees of Napster

Napster has a feature that lets you know the 20 most popular artists that are liked by other people who also like the artist that you're currently looking at.

So in the spirit of Kevin Bacon I decided to pick one of my favorite bands and see how far I could go astray by looking at "also enjoyed by people who like..." 6 times.

Let's start with Phish

1-apparently people who enjoy Phish also seem to enjoy Jack Johnson

not exactly my cup of tea but he's not bad and I like Curious George as much as the next guy.

2-apparently people who enjoy Jack Johnson also seem to enjoy The Wallflowers

I like that one hit they had a few summers ago, One Headlight, so far we're not too far off course.

3-apparently people who enjoy The Wallflowers also seem to enjoy R.E.M.

now we're talking- R.E.M. has always been a favorite of mine- can't say that they resemble Phish all that much however...

4-apparently people who enjoy R.E.M. also seem to enjoy Green Day

hmmm...quite punkish

5-apparently people who enjoy Green Day also seem to enjoy The Ramones

I wanna be sedated. I actually saw these guys in concert before half the band kicked the bucket.

6-apparently people who enjoy The Ramones also seem to enjoy The Misfits

There you have it-

Phish is 6 degrees away from The Misfits

Wading in a Velvet Sea is 6 degrees away from Dig Up her Bones

A fun journey with a few good stops on the way.

Don't quote me on this

I enjoy getting some "feedback" on my blog. For starters it's nice to know that people take the time to actually read the "crud" that I "regurgitate" onto my" blog". So, even though I also get some "criticisms", it's nice to know about some "things" I could do to improve it. And, no, I won't take "offense" when someone tells me that I use to many "quotations" in my writings when I want to "emphasize" something.

I will say that I differ in opinion and say that quotations are often a softer way of highlighting a word or phrase. Bolding words gives me eye strain and italics are hard to read. I COULD USE ALL CAPS BUT PEOPLE WILL JUST THINK I'M SCREAMING! SO I HOPE YOU DON'T MIND IF I USE QUOTATIONS A LITTLE MORE THAN YOU'RE USED TO SEEING.

But "thanks" for the feedback Marie

Friday, January 18, 2008

Senuous Census

Have I had enough intimate partners?

I haven't had more than 1 in the last 14 years and so far I've been content with that.

I suppose I've had "enough" in the past to know what I want and how I want it. No real regrets in who I've slept with or that I could've possibly slept with more if I gave it more effort. Ultimately, the fact that I've found a great partner in my wife makes me a big winner, despite any tallies. Some people don't even get to achieve that and doomed themselves into sexless marriages.

Yet, why do I feel inadequate when someone tells me that they've had X more partners than me? It's not like I'm going to go out and fuck anybody I can just so I hit some quota. It's too much work to get what you want and how you want it (and you put aside the fact that I love my wife and would never cheat on her.).

I guess it's my competitive nature and in some innate way I place value on the ability to score. Kinda sad, but we're animals deep down.

So, I've decided I'm going to lie from now on and say that I've had sex with 10,000 people. That way only Wilt Chamberlain could claim more than me. Who cares if people think I'm a liar? I'll be balla to those who choose to believe me.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

4 more years!!

No....not another 4 years of Bush ...(altho he'd probably win the republican nomination right now despite being so unpopular)

Bud Selig was signed to an extension to be the commissioner until 2012.

someone freeze me and wake me up then

Aside from looking at his grumpy and wrinkly face he has been the worst commissioner baseball has had. He's a complete toady for the ownership (and was an owner himself).

I don't know why I expected anything different.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Put on a happy face

I must admit that I thought I was really good at hiding my emotions. Being bi-polar my rational mind is constantly fighting with my emotionally crazy mind and over the years I've done a good job of putting on a front when I need to. My inner voice is either screaming or feeling agitated or saddened and I'll don't often express what I'm feeling to anyone. Lately, however, I seem to be either slipping or realizing that I've never been as adept as I thought I was.

Rereading some emails to friends I can see myself making either "snippy" comments or inappropriate statements. It's a sure sign of up and down swings. I wonder if my actual behavior is just as obvious. Perhaps, it's not as obvious to those around me as it is to me?

Lately, my downswing is an "agitated" downswing. It's hard to describe, but if mania is a speeded up and racing thought process, an agitated downswing is almost the same but gone south, so to speak. Most manic episodes feel good. You enter into a state of euphoria- your ego is inflated, you're feeling sharp and witty, and it may sound fun but you start getting jumbled and disconnected or start saying the wrong things, buying things you can't afford, taking risks, and losing sleep. My agitated state is the same racy roller coast ride but I want to get off and I can't so it becomes terrifying. I start to get angry or frustrated easily and I'm almost jittery. It's not a good form of depression. I don't necessarily feel "down" but I'm definitely upset and wired up in a bad way. I usually end up secluding myself until I slow down and the normal type of depression usually follows soon after.

Agitated states are the hardest to hide and maybe that's why I'm noticing my mask slipping off. But, it's most likely I don't have as much control as I'd like to think I have.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

down and out

wow, I realized I have nothing to say today. For those who know me that may seem unusual. I guess when I have a small downswing in my mood, I don't feel like talking or writing. I've even re-written this 5 times because I don't like what I'm writing.

Oh well, time to self-medicate!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Unlucky at cards, lucky at love

Busted out early in this weekend's tourney. My wife also played, so if you count her buy-in and mine then poker this week was a wash. Losing early wasn't a big disappointment as my Dad had the kiddies for the night so my wife, Lynn and I went out to the Drafting Room. That's a great little bar in Spring House PA that has a HUGE selection of draft beers and bottles from all over. I had a pink beer of all things (raspberry infusion), it was not the best beer, but Im willing to try most things. It was truly nice to get out and have a conversation and good time with the wife. I am looking forward to when we take our 10th anniversary trip to San Fran in May.

Pink beer and pink elephants, not a bad way to spend an evening if you can't catch the cards.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Last night I played at a home poker cash game. I played $0.50/$1 no-limit Texas Hold 'Em, although a limit game was available at another table. The host does a nice job of setting the game up, he's a moderator at the 2+2 poker forums and knows what he's doing. He sends you a 50 page rules document via email, a tad OCD, but I'd rather have over-organization in poker for a fair game instead of bad feelings when rules aren't enforced properly. He has a nice selection of food and drink and always has a decent turnout. I wish I could go more often to his games, but since he has them on Thursday nights, my schedule doesn't always permit it.

Shortly after the game started a new player came up to the table, sat to my right and was what can best be described in poker lingo as a "maniac". He played close to 85% of the hands and would call large pre-flop raises with hands like 8 10 suited. I started licking my chops as he was getting super-lucky early and his Q 7 would hit 2 pair and his J 6 would make a flush. Nothing better than a loose calling station with lots of chips. Unfortunately for me I played poorly and had some bad luck to start off. Maniacs tend to get the pots big and if you get impatient you can lose some big money if you don't wait for stronger hands. There's no "outplaying" a maniac as most times they call you with middle pair or top pair no kicker. You can let them bluff into you a lot, but you're better off getting your money in the pot when you have a strong hand as most times they'll come along for the ride.

Stupid me, I got impatient and tried to isolate myself in hands with the maniac by re-raising preflop and getting heads up. It's not a bad plan but I was doing it with marginal hands like A 9 and that can be dangerous, especially since other solid players woke up with better hands and squeezed me out. It didn't help that I made a huge mistake and called a big maniac bet with just middle pair. (I thought he was drawing with 2 diamonds on the board, he had 2 pair) My poor play created a downward spiral of losing close to 200 bucks. I was down to my last 58 dollars and was steaming on full tilt.

Then the best thing that could have happened, happened. I went on a long, bad run of starting hands. It was a shit storm of endless 9 2's and 8 3's. But, it was what the doctor ordered since I was folding everything pre-flop and the resulting downtime allowed me to calm down and think about what I did wrong. Soon enough I got big slick (AK), and hit my king on the flop in a pot with the maniac. I got my stack up to 80 bucks and completed a small blind in a limped pot (no one raised pre-flop) with 7 4. The turn card was lucky as I hit my straight. My buddy Chris bet out big on the turn, the maniac re-raised and I went all in. Chris begrudgingly folded and I won a big pot as I more than doubled up after the maniac called. (At this point the maniac lost all of his early winnings to other players and was rebuying.)

After a few decent hands and small pots won I found myself a much smaller loser than just a few minutes before. But it was midnight and I was getting tired, so since it was the hand before I was big blind I announced that it was last hand I was playing and at that point I was losing a "paltry" 30 bucks for the night. Considering the circumstances I was more than content with that outcome.

But then I was dealt pocket Jacks.


What a predicament, you're mentally prepared to leave and then you get a hand that could turn ugly fast but it's too good to pass on it.

I thought about folding for about 2 seconds and then raised it up bigger than usual as to let people know, "Hey! I have pocket Jacks or Queens so get out of my way." I know it's dumb to be so obvious, but maybe the maniac will play with me while everyone else folds. Sure enough, that was the outcome. The maniac called and the flop came A 10 J. Bingo! I hit my set and an ace was on the board, so if he has a strong ace I'm getting his money. The maniac bet out over the pot and I noticed he had another 100 or so behind him. Knowing the maniac won't fold an ace, I went all in. If he had KQ, I still had outs and I would just consider myself unlucky. But fortunately he had A 10 and was drawing to an ace which missed. A ten did hit the river and in my tired state I misread the board and thought I lost at first, but my jacks full was a better hand.

So I went home a 120 dollar winner. Not too bad for playing so poorly and impatiently. Maniacs can sure change up your game if you're not careful. Hopefully I will learn from the experience.

Joke Day!

So this new bar opens and the owner can't think of a name. So he decides to name the bar after the 3rd person who walks in. It takes dosen't take long and soon the 3rd customer walks in.

The owner jumps up and walks over to the girl. “You're the 3rd person to enter my bar and I'm going to name it after you.”

“Okay,” she says, “my name is Jill.”

The owner looks her over and says, “I like your legs so I'm going to name the bar 'Jill's Legs'”

The next day a bum is sitting outside the bar and a cop askes him what he's doing. He answers, “Waiting for Jill's Legs to open so I can get a drink!”

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Santana to the Mets would suck

According to the Star Tribune the Mets are close to a deal with the Twins to get Johan Santana. Basically, they would trade their 2 best prospects and a few B grade prospects and then sign Santana to a 6 year 120 million dollar deal. If I were the Mets I'd do the deal in a heart beat. Unfortunately, I don't think the Phils could match the deal, let alone pay Santana that kind of scratch. It would really, really suck if this deal were to come to fruition. It really makes the Mets a much better team on paper than it is currently and probably makes them better than the Phillies. Currently the Mets pitching is better than the Phils, but the Phils' better offense compensates for it, Santana would be too much of a pitching upgrade to overcome.

Cross your fingers Phillies phaithful!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

How did I ever live without that?!

It's been a busy week at work so far. Lots of packages shipping out, stuff coming in that needs organization. In other words Brian has to get off his fat ass and do some tedious manual labor.

The good news is that my new MP3 player has made this almost a pleasant experience to go out and do some work while I'm groovin' to some tunes. There are some really cool features that I enjoy. The best of which is the shuffle button. I'm able to have my player randomly choose from 665 songs that I like and have uploaded to the player. What's cool about that is that I'm listening to songs I haven't even thought about listening to in a long time or would consider seeking out.

The summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school I spent alot of time listening to Paul Simon's Graceland album over and over again. I haven't listened to that album in years, but since I uploaded it to my MP3 player I can now enjoy "I Know What I Know" all over again. It's true That I could've done this without a MP3 player but the ease of use is what created the new desire.

It's yet another technological advance in my life that makes me wonder how I ever got along without it before. The internet is a huge example of this. Just the other day, Comedy Central was playing the movie "Drop Dead Gorgeous" and one of the other actresses playing a nerdy beauty contestant looked familiar to me and for the life of me I couldn't remember what the heck her name was or what else she starred in. BUT because of the internet I hopped onto and found out it was Brittany Murphy. (When in the hell did she suddenly become so hot? Turns out that she was in a bunch of movies as a nerd or plain friend like "Clueless".) Before the days of the world wide webs, I might've lost alot of sleep wondering who the fuck that actress was. If it really bothered me, I'd have to go look it up in a book IF I had it or go to the library- in either case that's too much work and the inconvenience inhibits me to do it.

So Thank You Al Gore and your wonderful information highway. I don't know what I'd do without you.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

It's Springtime in January!

As the icecaps melt and global warming seems to be heating up, we're experiencing some pretty damn nice weather in January! Now, I know it's not worth letting Manhattan turn into Venice but hey, if corporate America, overpopulation and the industrial revolution give you lemons, you make lemonade.

I recall the last time we had a warm January day like this was almost exactly 10 years ago when my then fiance Lynn and I took a skiing trip to the Poconos with another couple. Of course, since it was so warm the slopes were closed. Even tho it was warm enough and no snow was on the ground, the summer attractions were closed as well. So that left us with not much to do except stay in the cabin playing cards and drinking (alot) and well... let's just say that Jonathan was a direct result of our boredom and drinking. Rememeber kids, withdraw is NOT an effective method of birth control!

Monday, January 7, 2008

New features

Added 2 new features for your enjoyment-

The first is song recommendations for the week, usually I'll post 3 songs that I'm currently "into" and think some of you might enjoy. Eventually I'll start posting live songs and show dates.

Next is my bi-polar mood meter to let you know you all know how I'm feeling at that particular moment. I haven't been really "bad" as far as severe mood swings in a few years now, so don't get too worried if you see an top or bottom mood as it's probably just a quick phase. If I'm feeling off the charts, don't worry about having to take action because I doubt that I would post anything during those periods anyways...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Rating the Kids shows part III- Pokemon

Friends of Michael Vick want to claim that dog fighting is part of the hip-hop culture. Little did they know that animal fighting is actually a stalwart in the culture of white suburban youth.

The immense popularity of Pokemon among boys aged 6 to 13 is impossible to ignore. It's so big that I would doom my sons to become social pariahs if I don't let them watch it on occasion. So despite my loathing for the show and it's insipid themes, empty characters, poor animation and overall crappiness I allow my sons to watch the show. collect a few cards and play the Nintendo DS games. If they can't talk the playground jargon and share in a cultural commonality then they'll certainly lose out in the ruthless pecking order that kids establish for themselves.

My friend Mike thinks that since there is so much choice in TV, movies and games these days that the current generation of kids won't have much to share in their common pop-culture like we did when all we had was Saturday morning TV and Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island reruns on UHF channels after school. I agree with him for the most part, but Pokemon for whatever reason trancends that barrier. (he also had a great point about how there is no more nostaglia, but I'll save that for a later blog)

Basically the show is about a boy named Ash and his friends and they travel around a Japanese fantasy world looking to capture and then train mystical and mythical creatures to fight each other. Ash's prize Pokemon is an annoying, saccharine yellow blob of a rodent with lightning powers named Pikachu. All it ever says (and the same with all other Pokemon) is it's own name over and over in a helium induced voice. My sons know the names and powers of quite alot of these Pokemon. Apparently they also "evolve" and become bigger and better with age, kinda like mutant atomic caterpillars.

Here's some constructive criticism for y'all- The show sucks. It sucks, it sucks, it sucks. It brainwashes my sons to want to behave like Ash and collect all the Pokemon they can. Quite the marketing genius, the Japanese will own this country one day in the future- crafty little buggers, those Japanese businessmen. Maybe someone should drop an atom bomb on us to wake our lazy asses up.

I give Pokemon a rating of 2 out of 10.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Joke Day!! (NSFW)

A married couple was lying in bed at night. The wife was trying to go to sleep while her husband was up reading a book. As he read, he had stopped for a second to finger his wife's pussy before going on back to his book. Aroused by his touch the wife gets up and takes her clothes off and the husband asks, "What are you doing?"
She responds, "I thought we just had foreplay..."
He says, "No...I needed my fingers wet so I can turn the page."

I must secretly desire yellow teeth

Today marks exactly one half of a year since I smoked my last cigarette. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I quit with the aid of Chantix and now I have no real desire to resume smoking again. Last night confirmed it for me. I met my buddy Mike at a bar last night to play for some cheap T-shirts in a trivia game. (did you know that Thomas Jefferson invented the swivel chair?) As I walked into the bar from the bitter and wicked cold weather the first thing I noticed was the thick cloud of smoke. It was nasty and smelled awful. The air was stale and rank. It wasn't pleasant and what I used to like smelling now repulsed me.

Don't get me wrong and think I'm going to become a anti-2nd hand smoke crusader and call for the ban of all public smoking, because I won't. It goes against my natural inclination of what freedom should be. If a private business wants to allow their patrons to smoke then that's their business. It's our choice as consumers to decide whether to patronize a place that's smoky. Thus the free market dictates to a business what the current morals are by profit incentive instead of making absurd laws that inhibit our rights.

But I digress....

Smoking disgusts me now and that's a good thing in my eyes. My 6 month abstinence calls for a celebration. Hopefully Lynn will think the same thing and reward me later tonight (wink, wink).

Of course, as I gave up one addiction I picked up another. When I smoked I lost my tolerence for caffeine. I could barely drink a 12 oz Diet Coke without having my heart rapidly aflutter. I actively avoided coffee, colas, Barq's root beer, Mountain Dew, Excedrin and binging on 5 pounds or more of chocolate. It's my understanding that nicotine is a stimulant, so I guess the extra jolt of caffeine would be a bit too much for me. (funny how a stimulant "calms you down" when you smoke, it's calming because you're in withdrawl) So when I quit I started drinking coffee to wake me up a bit as I was dragging somewhat from the lack of stimulants I got from smoking.

Yesterday, I decided to go without a cup of coffee.

I got a headache and felt tired. I drank a Diet Pepsi at lunch and felt better, guess I have a new monkey on my back.

Just my luck, coffee, like cigarettes, make your teeth yellow....

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Slowly regaining friends and freedom

I love my kids.

I wouldn't trade the experience of raising kids away for all the money in the world.

That said, you lose a bit of yourself when you have children. You can't go out very often anymore. No concerts, no adult-themed movies, no whimsical excursions to Vegas, no fancy schmancy restaurants, no bar hopping, no getting stoned until you feel your face melting away, and no drop everything and go where you want. Sure, there's babysitting, and Lynn and I are very lucky that we both have parents that are more than willing to watch the kids on occasion so we can go out. Nonetheless, the whole time you're out when your kids are young you can't fully enjoy the fancy schmancy restaurant because you're worried if the kids are okay and you miss them if you're gone more than 3 hours.

Not only that, but the kids become your life and almost all that you know. Conversations with friends are dominated with the wonderful things your children do. When they're babies you even talk about their bowel movements to friends who also have infants. As they get older, their achievements are bally-hooed to whomever will listen to you.

Naturally, you begin to lose touch with friends. You're too busy taking your kids to Karate, swimming lessons, school, camp, or whatever it is that they're busy with and so are your friends as they also have children. My wife and I used to go places all the time with another couple and now that we both have kids, it's next to impossible to even see them twice a year, even if we get the kids together.

Thankfully the internet is here! Over the past few years I've reconnected with some old friends and thru email I'm able to keep in touch. I rarely see any of them on any regular basis. But at least I have some form of adult contact outside of my wife, work and poker group.

Unlike my parents, when my kids are old enough to go off to college or move out I don't think I will have to deal with the "empty nest" syndrome. My parents certainly had the worst of it and even separated for a year shortly after my brother and I moved out. I don't think they knew how to deal with each other when they didn't have the common thread of raising us. Their social skills with adults were diminished to a huge degree and they suddenly had different interests.

As I regain contact with old friends and gain some freedom as my kids get older I feel myself becoming whole again (but different). However, it was good giving up part of myself to create a family, and some parts will never be back. I say good riddance to that.

More Ham and Cabbage

Okay, the house still reeks. I don't recommend slow cooking ham and cabbage without proper ventilation. At least the flatulence that resulted in consuming the ham and cabbage was masked and I didn't even have to blame the dog.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

at least you can turn a 7 into an 8

Made my first date screw up of the new year and dated something 07' today. Luckily, you can keep making the 8 after you catch the error, it just looks a bit angular and kinda like the symbol for the artist formerly known as prince. But, it's much better than last year when you had the erase or cross out the 6 since you can't salvage it into a 7.

Ham and Cabbage

mmmm...that's what my house smells like right now! Jealous?

Thought so...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

It's Jammuary!!

On my Comcast on-demand options there has been a concert channel in the music section. They occasionally play some jam-band music, which is great because I hardly get to attend concerts like I used to before I had kids. I'm overjoyed when I found out that they are having a "Jammuary" theme this month and will be showing all sorts of concert snippets from all of my favorite bands from Phish to Widespread Panic to Umphrey's McGee to moe. and a whole bunch of smaller bands that get the groove going. So, if you have Comcast digital cable and like improvisational music I recommend you check it out!