Friday, November 28, 2008

Kids Say The Darndest Things



The following was an actual conversation i had last night with Mini-Slyde.....

MS: Daddy, if you throw money into a Wishing Well and make a wish, how come it doesn't come true?

Slyde: Well, they come true sometimes.

MS: No they don't!

Slyde: Yes they do. It doesn't happen all the time, but sometimes what you wish for DOES come true.

MS: No it doesn't!

Slyde: Sweetheart, yes it does. Sometimes you just have to try wishing for it again.

MS: THEN WHY DON'T I HAVE THREE EYEBALLS YET??????????

And with that, he stormed out of the room, pissed off.

Hope everyone had a fun Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Bits

See what i did there with the title?

This is gonna be a bullet post, and what are "bullet posts" anyway, but little "bits" of information. Plus, since it's Thanksgiving tomorrow here in the States, I masterfully put it all together and came up with title "Turkey Bits".

Damn, that is SO clever! Sometimes, while I'm staring longingly in the mirror at myself, i wonder why God blessed me with not only the perfect face and the body of an Adonis, but also with the razer sharp intellect of a veritable genius. It's almost too much awesomeness for one person to contain.

God made me humble, too. Don't forget humble.

What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, bullets....

- Once again I have to apologize for not reading ANY of your blogs this week. I just checked Google reader and i am behind on about 52 Gazillion blogs. I just don't understand why you people have to be so selfish to continue to post when I am off from work and don't wish to waste my cherished personal time (as opposed to my near-worthless "work" time) to go through all your stuff. Anyway, there is NO way I'll get to them all. Please don't hate me for it, and please don't hate me because I'm beautiful. I promise to resume my regular schedule of leaving 4th-Grade-level comments on all of your blogs next week.

-I have tried to put my recent distrust of all things electronic to rest, and have bought myself a new GPS and am having the Wii fixed. To pay for these new additions to the family, I cashed in my change jar, and with grandpa's contribution, managed to cash in almost $600! Can you believe that shit? That change that you find under your couch cushions after you host a Friday night Swinger's Orgy really DOES add up.

P.S. I'm just using a Swingers Orgy as an example. I'm pretty sure that hosting ANY kind of party at your place will result in finding loose change. I haven't tested that theory yet, but i promise to do so as soon as Swinging and Orgies start to get old for me.

-Today i continued to make a run for my Perfect Dad award and took my son to see Bolt in 3-D. It was pretty fun for the little tyke, but i cant help but feel glum that in the course of a little more than a decade, John Travolta has gone from a bad-ass hit man in Pulp Fiction to a 3-D cartoon dog that misses his owner. Then again, before that he starred in THREE "Look Who's Talking" movies so maybe he's just finally come full circle.

-After being hounded by friends week after week over the fact that no one can believe that I am not on Facebook, I finally took the plunge and registered.

My God! Within 2 hours i was getting friends requests by people i haven't seen in Eons! Old school buddies, girlfriends.... it's been a veritable walk down memory lane. And kinda fun, too. If any of you are registered (which is probably most of you), do please look me up. I want to add more friends. I'm kinda vain like that (hard to believe, right?).

-As i said, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Not one of my favorite holidays, but it's a day off work so I'll fucking take it. I actually have an old tradition that i used to do as a kid, and i seem to have passed it on to my son.

Tomorrow morning while we watch the Macy's day parade, we will sit with paper and crayons in hand and draw a picture of a pilgrim, which we then put on the refrigerator while we enjoy our Thanksgiving dinner. I'm not sure how i started that back when i was wee little Slyde, but i actually am kinda tickled that my son has picked it up.

Maybe Thanksgiving isn't too bad after all.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Electronics Are Not My Friend


I owe you guys an update, right?

Let's see, where to start?

Manhattan was as cold as a fucking icebox. After some hilarity actually attempting to get into the building (i say it was "hilarity", but if i told you it would not be the least BIT funny. It's one of those "you had to be there" things, so I'll skip it. Let's move on, shall we?), i finally got to meet my new jefe.

Overall, he seemed like a decent enough bloke. He asked me where i saw myself within the organization, and what I wanted out of the job that i wasn't currently getting. I was completely honest with him, so maybe in the end something positive will come from the experience.

At the end of the meeting, in an almost offhand way, he mentioned if, should it ever come up, how i would feel about working full time in New York City. He assured me up and down that it was not on the table, and neither he nor the company are pushing for such a move, but he just wanted to know how i felt about it. I explained to him, in the nicest possible terms, that i thought that working in the city full time sucked balls. I didn't actually use those words, but that was the gist. He seemed to understand my dislike for ball sucking, and let it drop with that.

I'm not concerned, but something to keep in the back of my mind, surely.

So, feeling pretty good about myself, i headed on back to the Long Island railroad to get my frozen ass home.

Once back on the island, i walked back to my car to head home. As i'm closing my car door, i noticed a second too late that my bag that i had brought with me to NYC was slightly hanging out of my car door.

The bag that contained, among other things, my $300 GPS.

I heard a sickening "crunch" as the door slammed onto it. I had my eyes closed with dread as i reached my hand into the bag, only to have my fears realized.

My GPS is toast. And it's 100% due to my own stupidity.

So I went home in a pretty foul mood.

My mood got a second coating of crappiness the second i walked in the house, as my son was crying that our WII was broken. Sure enough, it no longer reads any CD you put into it.

So, in the space of about 15 minutes, i suddenly found myself about $600 in the hole.

Saturday, i tried to forget about my electronic troubles and took my son HERE.

Seeing the look on his little face as Moosletoe pranced around stage took my mind off of my recent run of bad luck.....

....at least for an afternoon.

p.s. As i mentioned last week, i took this entire week off of work. Strangely enough, i do about 99.9999% of my blogging during company hours, so if i don't hit up all of your great blogs too much this week, please don't hold it against me (on the other hand, if you have a hot body, then by all means hold THAT against me, anytime. I'm easy.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Big City Blues

My new boss called me this week to tell me that he wants to see me tomorrow.

This sucks on many levels.

Firstly, I had planned to take tomorrow off. I still have a BOATLOAD of time that I need to take off before the end of the year, and I never seem to be able to take the days I want. As of now, I am taking ALL of next week off (thanksgiving week for us here in the ol’ U.S.), and the 2 weeks before Christmas, but I still have like 6 days I need to schedule or I’ll lose them. I considered asking him to reschedule, but I thought better than asking my new boss who I haven’t even met yet that I can manage to see him 2 weeks from now. I’m intuitive like that.

Secondly, he works in our Manhattan office, which means it’s a 1 ½ - 2 hour commute (each way) for me tomorrow, instead of my normal 6 mile drive. To make matters worse, they just changed our security badges here, so I know my current one will not even get me access into the building. I have emailed my illustrious new boss 2 times already asking him how I can actually meet up with him, but he has not as of yet troubled himself to respond. Maybe I’ll just bring a big boom box tomorrow and hold it over my head outside the window to his skyscraper.

Thirdly, MY NEW BOSS WANTS TO MEET ME! Hello? That just sucks no matter WHERE you work. I can handle a typical meet-and-greet no problem, but I am dreading a possible conversation where he tells me why I need to be in NYC more often. That type of conversation would turn ugly. I did the Wall Street thing for a year back in the 90’s. It’s not for me. I am, and always will be, a child of the suburbs.

Lastly, he just called and told me he now has a scheduling conflict and can’t meet me till 4pm. 4PM!!! By the time I fight the rush-hour blood-thirsty hoard coming home tomorrow, it’s going to be at LEAST 7pm. That really cuts into my play time with the wee one (my son, not my penis, although I’m betting that getting home so late will adversely affect both).

So that’s it, I guess. If I can make it through tomorrow with good news (or at least not bad news), then I can console myself with a full week off to relax and paint my toenails (did I just say that out loud?)

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Other Side

Last grandfather post, I promise.

There was one thing that happened that weekend that I hadn’t talked about until now, and it honestly is freaking me out a little bit.

As some of you know, I’ve been having some trouble sleeping the past few months. I keep getting this damn persistent back pain, and it often wakes me up in the middle of the night. It probably has to do with me being so perfectly chiseled and muscular. Honestly, I should start being a model for anatomy classes... my physique is THAT perfect.

What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, sleeping.

To help me sleep sometimes when the back pain has been exceptionally bad, my doctor gave me some Vicadin. Have you guys tried this stuff? It’s fucking awesome! They should just sell it out of candy dispensers at the supermarket!

Anyway, once in a while, when my back really hurts, I take one at night.

And when I DO take one, I am OUT for the night. I mean OUT. You CANNOT wake me up when I’m under the spell of one of these puppies.

My back was hurting pretty badly, so I took one the night before my grandfather died.

That night, for the first time ever when I took a vicodin, I bolted up in bed in the middle of the night. I felt like I just HAD to wake up. I looked at the clock, and it was 3:00 AM exactly. I stayed up for a few minutes, trying to understand why the vicodin didn’t put me under its usual spell, before I finally drifted back off to sleep.

The next morning was when we found my grandfather in the kitchen. He’d apparently gotten up in the middle of the night. The coroner never did an autopsy, so we were never sure of the exact time of death.

Now let me just say for the record that I am NOT a believer in the supernatural. Things have happened in my life which I cannot understand. Maybe I will talk of them one day. But, as much as I’d like to believe that my grandfather somehow reached out to me in the middle of the night as he died, I just chalked this up to an eerie happenstance.

Until last night.

My step-sister-in-law called me from Alabama to see how I was doing. We are not very close, but she’s a pretty nice chick, and we get on well enough. She is a very spiritual person. She’s into the whole supernatural thing, has been involved with her share of séances, palm readers, that sort of thing. She also cared a great deal for my grandfather.

She called to ask me if I knew what time he died exactly. When I asked her why, she told me that the night he died, she bolted out of bed at exactly what would have been 3am our time, and couldn’t fall back asleep. She said she had had a vision of my grandfather.

How’s that to put a chill down your spine?

I am still not going to say I believe in this ‘other side’ stuff, but I am smart enough to know that there are things in this world that we are not smart enough to as yet understand.

For now, I’m content to leave it at that.

Addendum:
I finally finished counting the coins in my grandfather’s change bucket. For everyone who had asked me how much money was in there, the total came to $150.00. $150.00 EXACTLY! To the penny. How weird is that?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Who Watches The Watchmen?

The new trailer for The Watchmen is said to be premiering this weekend before the new Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, and if I didn't want to see Solace before, I'd almost go anyway JUST to see this trailer on the big screen.

I know that most of you know me as a drop-dead, heart-stopping stud, but the little known fact remains that I am also a comic book nerd. You can thank Earl for the the second part of that sentence. You can thank mother nature for the first part.

Anyway, the comic book "The Watchmen" is pretty much considered the holy grail of comics. Most collectors consider it the best comic book story of all time (not me, however. While i LOVE this story, I'd have to tip my hat to Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight" as the best ever..... Watchmen would follow a close 2nd.)

The book is 20 years old now, and the attempts that various directors have had to get it made into a movie over the past 2 decades are now almost legendary. From creative differences, to exorbitant budget overruns, film attempt after film attempt have been scrapped and the project has gotten abandoned more times than i can count (admittedly, i cant count past 3).

Anyway, in steps Zack Snyder, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors ever. Everything he touches is just grand-slammed right out of the park for me.

The first trailer, released a few months ago, had me very excited.

THIS new one makes me have an accident in my pants (which, ALSO admittedly, isn't that hard either).

March 9th CANNOT come fast enough.....


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A.O.Hell.


My mother and stepfather almost drove me to murder them yesterday when they asked me to help them set up an email account on their new computer.

Let me re-enact the scene for your amusement:

Mom: I Need you to set up email on our new computer.
Me: Ok.
Dad: Ok, now this is important. On my old computer my email was something@aol.com, but now that we switched to a cable modem we don’t have AOL anymore.
Me: That’s no problem. The cable company sets you up with an email address.
Dad: Good. Just make sure that when you set mine up, it is STILL something@aol.com.
Me: I cant do that.
Dad: Why the Hell not? That’s what I want.
Me: Because your email address was only had the @aol part because you were an AOL member. You aren’t using AOL anymore.
Dad: Why the Hell should I use AOL if we’re paying for cable?
Me: You shouldn’t.
Dad: Ok then, just make my email address something@aol.com.
Me: You don’t understand me. The @aol is ONLY for AOL subscribers. Now you are a CABLE subscriber. You’re new email address is going to have an @optonline.net at the end.
Dad: That won’t work for me.
Me: Excuse me?
Dad: I’ll never remember that. Isn’t there anything you can do?
Me: Not unless you want to pay for AOL I can’t.
Dad: Well, shit. Ok then.
Mom: Well, now that you DIDN’T fix his problem, do you think you can take a stab at mine?
Me: Sure, what do you need?
Mom: When I turn on the computer now, it doesn’t tell me that I have mail.
Me: Huh?
Mom: When I turned on my old computer and went to check my email, it used to say “You’ve Got Mail!” in a nice cheery voice. Then I could click the email button and check my mail.
Me: You’re kidding me, right?
Mom: No, why would I kid about that? It used to talk to me.
Me: Mom, the EMAIL wasn’t talking to you. You used to click on AOL, and the America Online SOFTWARE told you that you had mail.
Mom: Right. So make it do that again, so I’ll know when I have mail.
Me: YOU DON’T HAVE AOL ANYMORE! DOESN’T ANYONE HERE UNDERSTAND THAT?

Dad: I’m pretty sure the cable guy told me that my email would still be @aol.
Mom: And I think he told me that the computer would still talk to me.

This is the kind of shit they do to me on a weekly basis. It’s like some kind of geriatric Abbot and Costello routine, and I’m the poor sap caught in the middle.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Cleaning Out My Closet

This past Saturday I finally got up the nerve to go and clean out my grandfather’s apartment.

I can’t even say that it was too hard for me. A little sad, to be sure, but not hard.

I have always felt very comforted in that apartment, and that remarkably has not changed. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was there to get a job done, I actually would have liked to do what I had done there almost every Saturday for the past 10 years: sit on the bed and watch some TV. Of course, it’s not the same. It never will be again. But if I sit on the bed, and stare at the television, I can almost bring myself to believe that he is sitting there in his recliner next to me, just out of my view, watching along with me like he always did.

The only time it was hard was when I was cleaning out the kitchen. That was where I found him that day. My eyes kept getting drawn to that spot on the floor. I don’t know why… it’s not like there’s anything left of that spot to signify anything ever happened there.

But as I said, I wasn’t there to reminisce. I was there to finally take care of his affairs.

Which meant a whole hell of a lot of throwing shit out.

I took apart his bed, which no sane person could want in the condition it was in, and dragged it out to the curb. Same for his dressers, and a good deal of his old clothing. Any clothes that looked salvageable I packaged up for Goodwill. Lastly, the recliner went to the curb. That one hurt a little bit.

And my God, the things he saved in just about every drawer or cabinet that I opened.

I found address books, old drivers licenses, a ton of clothes received as Christmas presents that he had never even taken out of the box. Packages of old light bulbs that belong to no light fixture he owned, opera binoculars, bank statements from decades ago.

Then of course, there were the photographs.

There were literally THOUSANDS of pictures packed away in boxes, bags, or even in their original packaging that he got back from the photo stores who developed them. Pictures of old friends and relatives, some I knew, but most I didn’t. Pictures of family that went all the way back to 1890 from Sicily and Palermo. Whole generations of people, all gone, whose lives and choices ended up with me being here today.

There were a lot of pictures of me. Most of them I didn’t know he even had. Baby pictures, grade school shots….. even pictures from my wedding. I had no idea.

In the end, the only things I will be keeping for myself are some photos….

…and his change bucket.

My grandfather was a fanatic about finding old change. Anywhere he saw a loose dime or penny, he’d take it and throw it in his change bucket. One day a few years ago, he called me and asked me if I could help him bring his change to the supermarket, so he could cash it out. I couldn’t BELIEVE how much change he had amassed. That day we walked out of the supermarket with almost $900. Every few years, we had routinely gone back to the supermarket to hand in more change, and although he never hit so big a total again, we always walked away a few hundred dollars richer. No matter how much money he made, he ALWAYS reached over and stuffed half of it in my shirt pocket.

So I went home last night with his change bucket, and then, almost unconsciously, began to count it. I’m not sure why I don’t just dump it into my OWN change bucket and mix it with my own change, but for some reason it’s incredibly important to me to know how much change of my combined total was his. I’ll probably be counting it for most of the week.

Anyway, his affairs are now officially in order, and I can kinda close this chapter.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes We Can

This post was originally a lot longer, but I decided to scrap the bulk of it. It’s not my intention with this post to get overly political.

I just couldn’t let one of the most defining moments of our generation pass without at least acknowledging it.

Whatever your political affiliation or belief, no one can deny that this presidential election was a historical event, and I for one was happy and proud to be a part of it.

I remember when I was a wee little Slyde, about 3 or 4, and I walked into our den to find my parents huddled around the television. When I asked them what they were watching, my father tried to explain to me, in the simplest of terms of course, about Watergate. The conversation didn’t go much beyond, “Our president did a bad thing, and now he might get fired”, but even at that young age I understood from the look on my parent’s faces that this was BIG. It was IMPORTANT.

I remember being thankful and privileged that I KNEW what was going on. I remember going to school the next day and trying to talk about it with my classmates, who didn’t know what the Hell I was talking about. I ALSO remember getting in trouble with my teacher because I started yelling “Nixon is gonna be a jailbird!” (something I heard my father say, but I had no idea what it meant.)

Anyway, as I woke up this morning to watch my TIVO’d recording of Obama’s acceptance speech, I felt compelled to wake up my son, and have him watch it with me.

I tried to explain to him what he was watching, and I tried to explain to him that it was IMPORTANT. For what it’s worth, he actually watched the whole thing with me.

He may not really understand it, but maybe, years from now, he will remember watching it with me, and understand that we shared the experience of watching an important event in history, together.

Monday, November 03, 2008

You Might Not Know This But…

Over a week ago, the awesome MikeB tagged me for a meme. As a rule, I try to stay away from the whole ‘meme’ business. It’s not that I ‘dislike’ them, per se. It’s just that I usually find them kinda lame, and too many people tend to use them solely to fill a new page in their blog when they have nothing really to write about.

But, since this blog is all about my favorite topic (Me), and this particular meme caters to that particular demographic, I figured I’d give it a whirl.

Go gentle with me…. It’s been a while.

5 Odd or Semi-Interesting Things You Might Not Know About Me

1- I am obsessed with the TV Show Survivor. Except for the very first episode when my Tivo inexplicably didn’t record it, I have never missed a show. I used to run a Survivor pool that grew and grew each season that I ran it, to the point where I had so many people playing for about $800 in prize money, that it just became too much work and I ended it.

Before I die, I MUST get on the show. I have sent in 2 audition tapes now, and I’ll likely do a third soon. I made it a decent way into the audition process for Survivor 3: Africa before they cut me, but I am not daunted. One day you WILL see me on that show!

2- As a child, I had a pretty severe case of OCD. In my case, I was obsessed with things being ‘even’. If I touched a pen with my LEFT hand, I had to then touch it with my RIGHT hand. If, while touching it with my RIGHT hand, I ended up touching it slightly differently than I had originally with my LEFT, then I’d have to touch it again with my RIGHT to simulate the original touch with my LEFT, then I’d have to touch it again with my LEFT to simulate the second touch from my RIGHT. Sometimes, something as simple as getting out of a chair would take 15 minutes.

I never told my parents about it. One day, when I was about 12, I decided that this whole process was ridiculous, and getting worse, so I made a conscious decision to do things ‘unevenly’ in an attempt to ‘overload’ my problem. It was hard at first, but over time I was able to suppress it enough to make it manageable.

But still, to this day, if I’m not thinking about it, I’ll find myself doing something with one hand or leg that I just did with the other.

3- I almost always sleep naked. I have this weirdness about me and clothes while I sleep. For some reason which I can’t seem understand, even if I go to sleep wearing clothes, by the time I wake up I always have my shirt off, and usually my sweatpants as well.

My hatred of shirts I can at least understand. Anything that is touching my neck while I’m sleeping bothers me. I have tried to circumvent this by sleeping with a tank top, but inevitably I still wake up in the middle of the night thinking something is touching my neck, so I end up taking it off.

The loss of my pants, I cannot explain. Unless I’m getting molested in the night. Which I’m ok with, really. I’d just like to know who it is, is all.

4- Friz’s mother’s maiden name is the same as mine. And that’s pretty odd considering my last name is a big honkin’ Italian name that isn’t too common. When we first started dating, we made damn sure that we had no immediate family in common. I still have these fears that one day I’ll open up one of my grandmothers old photo albums and see a picture of a 5 year old Friz and my grandma will say, “Oh, we haven’t seen that side of the family in AGES!”

I’m sure that if you go back to the old country, I bet our families had come from the same town 100-150 years back, but since my son wasn’t born with 25 toes, I think it must be a pretty distant relation.

5- Guys are known to focus in on one attribute of the female species as their favorite. Some guys can fall in love with a woman’s eyes, or her lips. Others are into butts, some are breast men. Some even have the audacity to take the woman’s personality into account.

Not me. Sure, all of the above are just fine and dandy, but I am, and always will be, a leg man. If a woman walks by me sporting a long pair of stems, I will be sure to be looking her way. I don’t know exactly when this obsession started, but I am hopelessly captured within its thrall.

My wife accepts this weakness of mine. Of course, the fact that she’s got a killer pair of legs herself slightly stacks the deck in her favor, anyway.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Whew, that was actually fun. Kinda therapeutic, in a way.

I actually thought of another half dozen or so things I could add, but this post is long enough already. Maybe I’ll do a part 2 at some point.

Besides, some of them are a little………. dirty. I’m not sure you guys could handle it.