Sunday, April 29, 2007

Back in NYC. Wish I had some huge, exciting reunion story... like something out of an 80s movie. Alas, I don't. All I can say is that it was fun, much more so than I expected. Big turnout, got to reconnect with a bunch of people I'd lost touch with over the years, drank a lot, reminisced (even though Tony Soprano says it's the lowest form of conversation, I usually enjoy it), and got to yell at the girl who showed the tape of me in Little Shop of Horrors to Alicia Keys. Out of around 50 who showed up, about a dozen were married, and a handful either have kids or are expecting. Some people are doing what I thought they'd be doing, while some people that I thought were burnouts are now lawyers or studying to become doctors. Most unusual job: air traffic controller. I mean, it's not like he's an astronaut, but still...
I have to say that the women have aged better than the men. I mean, most people look basically the same as they did in '97 (I didn't think "Holy crap, what the hell happened?!?" about anyone), but the majority of the women have gotten a little bit more attractive, while the reverse happened for the guys. I still have crushes on the girls I did back then, while others I thought were plain have upgraded to attractive. Maybe these reunions should happen more than every 10 years... at least as long as I'm still single.
Oh, and I started a feud with the Class of '67. Sort of. Several reunions were happening simultaneously at the same hotel; ours was out by the pool, the rest were indoors. For some reason our DJ and open bar ended at 10pm, but we could see a group of older people inside still dancing and drinking. At one point I went inside to go to the bathroom, and I heard the DJ for this group announce, "Class of '67, give yourselves a hand. Look outside, you're partying much harder than the Class of '97!" I headed outside to tell my class what happened, and we all stormed inside to confront them. I was expecting a rumble, but everyone just started dancing and drinking together instead (sort of like the "Beat It" video). Oh well.

Some other random notes from the weekend:
- Had lunch with my grandma, which is always entertaining. Afterwards she made me walk through her retirement community to introduce me to her friends. We walked by this ballroom that had about 20 people inside. My grandma peeked in, then said excitedly "Ooh, you know what's going on in there? Trivia!" The only question I heard is, "What do you give to a sick bird? Tweetment." (no laughter) God, please don't let me get old.
- Funnier than that joke, my mom (the queen of misidentifying movie titles) referred to "that Woody Harrelson movie" as Men Can't Jump Straight. She's one of a kind, my mom.
- Seriously, I don't understand how people can live in South Florida. It was sooooooo friggin' hot and sooooooo friggin' humid, and it's not even May yet.
- I hate that Baskin Robbins in NYC don't have the full 31 flavors because of lack of space or because they're combined with Dunkin Donuts. I guess because it's too similar to plain Chocolate, they never have Chocolate Fudge. I got a Chocolate Fudge milkshake while in Florida (I used to get at least 2 a week when I was in high school), and I can't think of a single thing that's more refreshing.
- People who schedule mass transit are morons. My flight coming back today had to sit on the runway (after everyone had boarded, naturally) because, as the pilot said, "there are too many planes in the air, and not enough sky." How does that happen? These things are scheduled in advance. It's not as if they are spawning while in-flight. And taking NJ Transit back from the airport this evening, why do they schedule 3 trains within 19 minutes of each other, and then not have another one come for 41 minutes? Shouldn't they space them out equally, so they come every 20 minutes? So frustrating.

Friday, April 27, 2007

I'm down in South Florida for my reunion weekend. It's brutally hot and humid, and the state is in the midst of one of its worst droughts ever. Good times.
This evening there's an event at my high school for all alumni, although I don't believe many of my classmates will go to this. I haven't been to the campus in 8 years, and I hear there have been some significant renovations. Allegedly some of my teachers will be in attendance. Will they remember me? My ego might be crushed if certain ones don't. After that there's a non-school-sponsored night of drinking at a local bar. The alcohol should help any initial awkwardness. Tomorrow night is the actual formal reunion.
Will I think that the girls I had crushes on are still cute? Will the Big Men on Campus just be big now? How many of them will be married, and have children? Will people remember embarrassing things about me, like I used to blush uncontrollably, or that I sold 80s mixtapes for $5 each? The answers are coming soon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Keep It Up, Stonecutters!

One good thing about my year working at Troma: they sent me on a trip to a video convention in Las Vegas. 5 days and 4 nights at the Rio, where a co-worker and I had to meet with video and DVD distributors to plead our case as to why they should stock Chopper Chicks in Zombietown (it featured a young Billy Bob Thornton) or Buttcrack (um... no real reason I can think of). While there, I got to meet Steve Guttenberg, who was promoting his directorial debut, P.S. Your Cat Is Dead. Nice guy, and he signed this headshot for me. I've hung it on every office wall at every job since then, and it never fails to get compliments. Or at least comments.
Why post about this now? Because the one and only Steve Guttenberg will be the celebrity guest at next month's Inside Joke at the UCB Theater. You know I'll be there. Although hopefully the focus will be less on P.S. Your Cat is Dead and more on Diner or Amazon Women on the Moon or Police Academy... or even Don't Tell Her It's Me.
Two more things:
1) My friend S__ is taping a special for VH1 with the Montgomery Flea Market guy, so I asked to him have the guy call me and leave me a voicemail. Sure enough, yesterday I get a message with the guy singing to me. I will NEVER delete that message. Thanks S__!
2) In the latest online battle: Al Gore (owner of CurrentTV) 1, Perez Hilton 0.

Monday, April 23, 2007

An Unfortunate Lapse of Reason
Well, it happened again. The other night I was out drinking and got into a music argument in which I was feebly defending the minority opinion. This time, not one, but two of my friends claimed that "Pink Floyd sucks," followed by my claim that they are better than Led Zeppelin. Believe me, that did not sit well.
One friend did most of the debating, and the crux of his argument was that Zeppelin had the best frontman, best guitar player, and best drummer in rock history. First of all, I'm not ready to concede that point. Can anyone definitively say that Plant, Page, and Bonham are better than The Who's Waters, Townsend, and Moon? One could even make an argument for Queen's Mercury, May, and Taylor (although I probably wouldn't). But a band is more than the sum of it's parts. The Beatles are the perfect example of this. Nobody would say that any of the Fab Four were the most talented pop musicians of all time, and yet they're consistently labeled the best pop band of all time. It boils down to that special something extra. And the sonic landscapes that Floyd created far exceed the ones that Zeppelin created.
Additionally, Floyd was more influential. While Zeppelin may have perfected a certain type of rock & roll, their blues infusion had already been done by the Rolling Stones and Cream, and Cream, along with Iron Butterfly, hit upon the "heavy metal" aspect first. Pink Floyd practically invented progressive rock before perfecting it.
I have nothing but respect for Led Zeppelin, but they take a backseat to Pink Floyd, at least in my mind. The unfortunate thing is that I wasn't able to make a proper argument the other night (they were too trashed to listen, and I was probably too trashed to make the proper points), and neither friend reads this site. So this is probably a wasted post. But I've got little else to do with my time.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Overheard in My Apartment
Roommate: Hi, I'd like to place an order for delivery. My address is *** W. **th St., Apt. **E. (pause) Yeah, "e" as in "edamame."
- On the phone ordering Japanese food

Friday, April 20, 2007

Have a question for either of the Coreys? Ask away. Here are some queries I'd like answered:
- Feldman, what was up with your hair in Blown Away?
- Haim, did you really sell your baby teeth on Ebay?
- How many women have had sex with both of you (and of those, how many had you both at the same time)?
- If you each could've had one role that the other Corey played, what would it be? (I figured there should be at least one real question)
- If Corey Hart (of "Sunglasses at Night" fame) wanted to join your posse, would you let him, or is three a crowd?
- I understand Haimster, but why Feldog?
- Feldman, what are your thoughts on the word Pumpkinninny?

Well I did it... after weeks, even months, of hemming and hawing, I booked my flight to go home next weekend for my 10-year high school reunion. I'm passing up a ticket to Coachella to attend this... so instead of seeing RATM and J&MC reunite, I'm settling for the Class of '97. In polling other people to see if they went to their reunions and if they had a good time, I get complete mixed results. Some people had a blast, some said it was awkward and uncomfortable, and some had no desire to go at all. I think I'll have fun, and at the very least I'll get a few days out of NYC being pampered by my parents.
Seriously, it blows my mind that it's been 10 years already. That's more than 1/3 of my life. High school seems so fresh in my mind. And yet I'm sure I'll be freaked out when I see certain people and how much they've changed. The current RSVP list is at about 20% of our graduating class, and includes some names I'll be excited to see but also lacks a lot that I'd like to reconnect with. I've been assured the list will grow before next weekend, which hopefully isn't a lie. Guess there's not much else to do but wait and see.

Now for something less boring, I discovered this website that has posts old bootlegged classic rock concerts. So far the collection is pretty small, but it's growing, and what it does have is great (especially the Elvis Costello one and the Radiohead one).

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Well, it appears that this will be the first week since I parted ways with TRL three months ago that I will not have any work. It's a strange feeling. On the one hand, there's certainly nothing wrong with having days to lounge around... it's a great way to clear out the ol' DVR, and I've been driving members of my fantasy baseball league crazy with trade offers. On the other hand, getting a paycheck would certainly be nice (I filed for unemployment for the first time this week, but that doesn't really cut it). And it's a little disconcerting... what happens if it takes a month before I get another gig? Two months? I know that's the life of a freelancer, but I hadn't really felt it until now. My dad keeps telling me to make sure I keep writing, but it's hard to get motivated when you're not getting paid. Is this post just a poorly-veiled plan to get my readers to throw work my way? Perhaps. Or maybe this is just to satisfy my dad. Or maybe this is what happens when I get bored enough.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Why do articles like this keep popping up, giving me false hope? And how much would I pay to see reunited GnR and STP share a bill? The mind boggles just thinking about it...

While we're talking music, I recently saw on (yes, I still check it periodically) that for their summer tour, they'll be joined Foreigner and/or Styx. Of course neither of those bands still has their original lead singer or has released an album of original material in years, but that didn't stop me from seeing Def Leppard with Journey last summer.

Finally, saw Chris Cornell at Irving Plaza (er, the Fillmore) last night. Incredible show. He sounded great (how does he hit those notes?!?), with the crowd singing along to almost every word. Here's the setlist:
Original Fire
No Such Thing
Say Hello To Heaven
Like A Stone
Arms Around Your Love
Seasons Call Me A Dog (acoustic)
Can't Change Me (acoustic)
Doesn't Remind Me (1/2 acoustic)
What You Are
Rusty Cage
Zero Chance
Billie Jean
Loud Love
Hunger Strike
You Know My Name*
Black Hole Sun
Wide Awake (acoustic)
Jesus Christ Pose

* Note: Why did he have to break the long-standing tradition and not name his Bond theme song after the movie (Casino Royale)?

Monday, April 16, 2007

An Open Letter to Dana Carvey
Dear Mr. Carvey,
I am writing in regards to your appearance on Friday's Real Time With Bill Maher. I have to say, I cannot remember a time when I had a greater desire to reach into my TV set and strangle somebody that I was watching. You were nothing but a nuisance, a pest, constantly interrupting an otherwise engaging conversation and debate.
Now I understand that you filled the roll of the "entertainer" on the panel. I also understand that you are a comedian. But your purpose on that show is not to tell jokes. It was to participate in a discussion on current events, injecting humor when possible and appropriate. D.L. Hughley appeared on the previous show... he didn't solely crack jokes the whole time. John Legend appeared on the episode before that... he certainly didn't sing the whole time. They arrived prepared and knowledgeable, ready to interact with the rest of the guests. All you did was stifle the flow of conversation and subvert attention to yourself, if not with awful jokes than with flailing body language and even repeated (and completely unwarranted) bows.
As for your material, what have you been doing for the past 15 years? Certainly not updating your act. Whipping out your tired impressions of Johnny Carson, George Bush Sr., and Woody Allen was just depressing. They also rarely tied in to what was actually being discussed. People who come to talk shows spouting prepared anecdotes usually bother me, but at least some of their stories are relevant. Can't say that for you. I'd also estimate that your "jokes" landed with a resounding thud about 75% of the time... even Maher, who I know is a big fan of yours, looked ready to stick a gag ball in your mouth.
Look Dana, I know that your time in the spotlight has virtually vanished, and maybe you felt that an appearance on a major cable show could revive your failing career. You just picked the wrong venue. I may have been a fan of your work on SNL, but those days are long gone. Maybe it's time you realized that.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Boo! My Nerdiest Post Ever
I've been in a list mood lately. So, in honor of today being Friday the 13th, here's my list of my 13 favorite horror movies. Note that these are not necessarily the scariest... just the ones I like best.
1) The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: The original, of course. This movie is just unrelenting and brutal. It hits you over the head (much like Leatherface does with a hammer to one of his victims).
2) American Psycho: Equal parts funny and chilling (although nowhere near as disgusting as the book). Plus it's filled with references to 80s music, so that's an added bonus. Oddly enough, I have a friend who went to UPenn with me. I made him watch this movie during our senior year. He became obsessed with it; rarely can we have a conversation without him quoting it. He's now an investment banker, well on his way to mirroring Patrick Bateman's lifestyle. Hopefully without the bloodshed and prostitutes.
3) Evil Dead: I think Evil Dead 2 might be more entertaining, but this one actually tried to be a true horror movie, not a comedy. Possibly the best student film ever made. And it introduced the world to Bruce Campbell, one of the most underrated actors of all time.
4) Dead-Alive (a.k.a. Braindead): Before Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson was the king of splatter movies. Although I have no scientific data, I'm positive this movie has more blood (gallons and gallons of it) than any other ever made. It's also got cool Kiwi accents, and one of the best lines ever put on film: "I kick arse for the Lord!"
5) A Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy was always my favorite movie monster... I guess because he had the most personality. This movie is dated, but if I ever come across it on TV, I will watch it to the end. And in case any of you are wondering (I'm sure you're not), I rank the Elm Street movies in this order: 1, 4, 7, 6*, 3, 2, 5. Don't even get me started on Freddy vs. Jason... I pretend that movie doesn't exist.
6) An American Werewolf in London: Is it a horror movie, or a parody of a horror movie? Whatever it is, I love it.
7) Hellraiser: This movie took gore to a whole new level. Few things are more disgusting than giant hooks sinking into human flesh and then retracting.
8) The Re-Animator: Any movie that features a disembodied head giving head to a naked woman tied to a table must be on this list.
9) Frankenstein: A classic. 'Nuff said.
10) Night of the Living Dead: So good, the Library of Congress put it in the National Film Registry. No real explanation as to why the zombies exist. And almost everyone, good and bad, ends up dead. Great gore effects for the late 1960s. Revolutionary.
11) Children of the Corn: I remember seeing the first few minutes of this movie on TV when I was about 5... the part where the kids murder all of the adults in the diner. It freaked me out for a long time. I haven't seen this movie in years, so I don't know if it has held up over time. But that scene sticks with me to this day.
12) The Descent: Most modern horror movies are either unnecessary remakes or just plain awful. Here's an exception. We can thank the Brits.
13) The Thing: For once, a remake that's better than the original. I hear they're about to remake it again, and I'm sure they'll muck it up.

13 Honorable Mentions: Alien, The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby, The Birds, Dawn of the Dead, Halloween, Freaks, The Blob, Dead Ringers, Misery, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Audition (a.k.a. ƌdishon), The Hills Have Eyes (the original, of course).

* Note: When Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (a.k.a. Part 6) was released in theaters, the last 10 minutes was in 3D. My (underage) friends and I all went to the theater the opening Saturday, only to realize that if we snuck in, we wouldn't have the necessary 3D glasses. So we called our friend's mom, the only one cool enough to buy us tickets to an R-rated movie. By the time she arrived, other neighborhood kids had gotten wind of our plan, and she ended up buying over 30 tickets. Thanks again, Mrs. G!

Seems I'm not the only fan of South Park... the makers of 24 are on board too. So what do I have to do to get a Snuke?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A few TV links:
- According to this Entourage quiz, I'm most like Drama. At least I'm not Turtle. (By the way, very mediocre first episode of the season, although it's always good to see Carla Gugino getting work... I have a huge crush on her for some reason).
- Hopefully this is more good news for Friday Night Lights. Tonight is the season finale... hopefully not the series finale.
- This video of a man transforming into a human version of Homer Simpson is damn creepy. It looks like he has rabies and jaundice.

Also, last night I worked on The Brick Awards, which airs tomorrow night on the CW network. Strange collection of celebrities there... everyone from Leann Rimes to Andrew Shue to Rocco Dispirito to Damien Fahey to Russell Simmons to Jamie-Lynn Sigler. But I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the show. The awards honor teenagers and young adults (as well as a couple celebrities) who do significant charitable work and make efforts towards social change. Seriously, most of these kids were incredible, and made me feel like I've done nothing worthwhile in my life. If you're not watching Survivor or NBC's Must-See TV, tune in.
Strange coincidence of the night: the show had live performances from Mandy Moore and Dashboard Confessional, and both Mandy and Dashboard singer Chris Carrabba celebrated their birthdays yesterday.
Oh, and both Susan Sarandon and Petra Nemcova are breathtakingly beautiful in person.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

I live right down the street from the Beacon Theater, so this time of year always sucks for me, because the Allman Brothers set up shop for like 3 weeks of concerts, bringing overweight, smelly, scruffy, brain-dead, middle-aged losers out in throngs. And why? To hear songs like "Whipping Post" that ramble on foooooooreeeeeeeeeeveeeeeeeeeeeeer. To hear them live could be tolerable. On the radio, not so much. And I hear them on the radio all the time on Q1043. With 92.3 now a talk station (except on weekends), The Q is basically the only radio station I ever listen to. But for a station that plays 40-odd years of music, their playlist has become very repetitive. And there are certain artists that they show way too much love for. Therefore I have put together (in alphabetical order) the following list:

5 Artists That Should Be Banned from Classic Rock Radio
1) Jimmy Buffett: "Margaritaville." Wow, talk about a guy sustaining a career out of one song. But worse than someone like Norman Greenbaum (of "Spirit in the Sky" fame), Buffett still tours, opens Margaritaville restaurants and stores, and gets way too much airplay. Why do all frat guys love this guy? Is it really that funny to sing "Why Don't We Get Drunk (and Screw)" at the top of your lungs after doing a keg stand? And what the hell does "Cheeseburger in Paradise" mean? And why does he give his tours such lame names, such as Last Mango in Paris, Off to See the Lizard, and Fruitcakes (sigh)? Come on people, let's put your hideous Hawaiian shirts away, forget about the lost shaker of salt, and drop Buffett once and for all.
2) Peter Frampton: He's famous because of the talk box. That's all. Why else do people like him? I mean, seriously, have you seen the video on VH1 Classic for "Do You Feel Like Like We Do"? It's like the 70s version of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Nobody who attracts crowds like that should be famous. Also he starred in the terrible movie version of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and recorded a terrible cover of "Black Hole Sun." His only redeeming quality was his hilarious turn in the "Homerpalooza" episode of The Simpsons. But that's not enough to save him from this list.
3) Lynyrd Skynyrd: If I never hear "Sweet Home Alabama" or "Free Bird" again in my life, I'll die a happy man. They are without a doubt the most overplayed songs in classic rock history. Why did they pick a fight with Neil Young, a vastly superior musician, in the first place? Makes no sense. And why is it that somebody has to yell out "Free Bird" at every single arena or stadium-size concert, even if the artist performing has never ever played that song? Skynyrd has turned this country into a collection of Rubes. Oh, and the Civil War is over, so please put the Confederate flag to rest.
4) Rush: Does any singer have a more annoying voice than Geddy Lee? Dave Matthews, Chris Martin, and David Gray all come close. But nobody can touch this whining, castrato-lite screecher. Which is unfortunate, because he was backed by decent musicians. Oh, and they're Canadian. Extra negative points for that.
5) Billy Squier: All your songs sound alike. Your biggest hit ("The Stroke") was a borderline novelty song. Your video for "Rock Me Tonite," with your ripped clothes and spastic dancing, verges on copyright infringement from Flashdance. You recorded a terrible holiday song ("Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You"). For all of these reasons and more, please fade away.
Honorable Mentions: Jethro Tull, Emerson Lake & Palmer, George Thorogood, and anything recorded after 1997 (while I have no problem hearing Velvet Revolver on the radio, I think it takes at least a decade for something to be considered a "classic").

One quick side note, because I'm not sure I'll ever have a more relevant post into which I can put this thought... has anyone else ever noticed that Axl Rose sounds an awful lot like Janis Joplin? Seriously, listen to the ends of Joplin's "Me & Bobby McGee" and GnR's "My Michelle." Eerily similar.

Update: 2 quick notes:
1) I thought of someone with a more annoying voice than Geddy Lee: Macy Gray. Glaring oversight... can't believe I forgot about her.
2) Seems I already made the Axl / Janis comparison. But it was way back in the infancy of LSTT. I'm allowed to repeat myself every 3 1/2 years, right? 24 has resorted to repetition... why not me?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Wow, when it rains, it pours. There is a huge early-90s revival going on right now. Rage Against the Machine has reunited (at least for a few shows). Smashing Pumpkins is touring this summer (at least with a couple original members). Sad Kermit is singing covers of Radiohead's "Creep" and shooting up in a video for NIN's "Hurt." A couple weeks ago I posted that ESPN Classic is starting to air episodes of American Gladiators. And now a new cable network, Ion (channel 31 if you use Time Warner Cable in NYC), is airing two episodes of The Wonder Years every Mon-Thurs night! In my recollection, The Wonder Years was one of the greatest shows of all time. It was funny, poignant, and featured incredible music. Plus I had a huge crush on Olivia d'Abo at the time. This was must-see communal family viewing in the Greene household (I don't think I've ever heard my mom laugh harder than during the climax of the Glee Club episode). I just hope it stands the test of time and lives up to my memories of it.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Strange Weekend Story #2 (a.k.a.Reason #22 Why I Hate Karaoke Bars) There was a surprise 30th birthday party for one of my friends last Friday night. The night started at Waikiki Wally's (which I like), then headed to Second on Second for karaoke (which I most certainly don't like). I was at the bar with my male friend D__ and my female friend S__, and most of the rest of the gang had taken off. Out of nowhere, a very drunk, very large man approached us and said to D__ "Hey, you're wearing my jacket." He was referring to a tweed jacket that D__ hadn't taken off since he first arrived at Waikiki.
Now D__ is smaller than I am, and the jacket is technically too small for him, but it's a close-enough fit that he can get away with it. That means that this guy, who is bigger than I am, would not fit into this jacket in any way, shape, or form.
At first D__ seemed confused, as we all did, thinking this was a joke. "No, this is my jacket... I got it at a thrift store," he said.
"No you didn't, I got it at a thrift store. I was wearing it tonight, put it down on a couch, and now it's gone, and you're wearing it," the very large, very drunk man said.
"Dude, I've been wearing this all night. It's my jacket."
"No, it's not."
This went on for about a minute, with S__ and myself both chiming in to D__'s defense. And that's when this large man's even larger buddy joined him.
"Yo man, why you wearing my friend's jacket?"
D__ couldn't help but laugh. "I'm telling you, this is my jacket." He then covered up his sleeves and asked, "Does your jacket have buttons on the sleeves?"
The guy confidently said "Yeah, two on each sleeve. I also know the brand." Which he did, and proved it by pointing out the label on the inner lining. And that's when his buddy put his hand in my friend's coat pocket and just left it there.
"What the hell are you doing?" D__ asked. Instead of answering, the buddy then tried to yank the jacket off. D__ squirmed away and starting yelling "Leave my fucking jacket alone!"
The guy then said, "If that's really your jacket, it has to be a one in a million coincidence. But if that's how you're gonna be, that's fine. I just think it's bullshit that you're trying to steal my jacket." And he and his buddy started to walk away, causing me to exhale in relief... which turned out to be premature.
Suddenly emboldened for some reason, S__ called after them, "So what's your deal? You two boyfriends?"
The guy turned around and stormed back. "What did you just say?"
S__ held her ground. "What, you're gonna punch me in the face?"
I guess this caused D__ to step up to the plate too, because he suddenly pointed at the guy and joked, "Dude, you're wearing my underwear!"
The guy and his buddy were enraged and started cursing up a storm. I stepped between them and my friends, trying to defuse the situation, as did one of the bar's bouncers. I'd like to think it was my intimidation factor that caused them to back off, but I doubt it. Eventually the bouncer shepherded them away, with them cursing us all the way out the door. And we stayed for one more drink, then called it a night.

As a postscript to this story, the next day I called my friend whose birthday it had been to tell him the story. And as soon as I got to "Hey, you're wearing my jacket," he interrupted me and said, "Yeah, my brother found some guy's jacket. We asked around to see whose it was, but nobody claimed it, so we took it home with us." Turns out those guys had been a part of our group that night, and he had been wearing an almost identical jacket to D__. Now D__ wants the guy to call him and apologize for being a jackass. Somehow that doesn't seem very likely to me.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Today is my last day at Cash Cab. After 28 days, I totalled 914 questions. That's an average of almost 33 a day. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. If you've never seen the show, new episodes start airing weekdays the week of April 30th on the Discovery Channel. Although these shows won't have my questions in them... for those, you'll have to wait (with baited breath, I'm sure) until sometime over the summer.

Now it's back to being unemployed. Cheers for days off; jeers for lack of income.

Update: Make that 915... I added a question about the Jolly Green Giant just before I left. Get it? Clever, no?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Why are all of the New York newspapers making such a big deal about A-Rod's home run yesterday? He made the main sports headline in the Post, Daily News, AM New York, etc. Sure, it was exciting, but certainly not more important than Giambi's 1st-inning 2-run single to give the Yanks the initial lead, or Jeter's 2-run 6th-inning single to tie the game, or Giambi's RBI single to give them the lead back in the 7th. A-Rod's shot simply extended their lead. Credit should go where it's most deserved, not where it can make the easiest headline pun.

On a lighter note, obviously I got a perfect score in this game. Can you?

And yes, I know my last post was titled Strange Weekend Story #1. #2 is coming shortly.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Strange Weekend Story #1 (a.k.a. Beer, Nuts)
Saturday night I went to a friend's apartment in the West Village to watch the men's Final Four games. My friend and I went to the Duane Reade on the corner to buy beer; it's the first time I'd ever bought beer from a Duane Reade, as to me that seems to negate the healthfulness of the stores' medicines and cleaning products. But anyway we bought a 12-pack of Bud Light bottles (yes, cheap and gross, I know), sealed in a cardboard container, and brought them up to the 3rd-story walk-up apartment.
When we got inside we opened up the box and noticed that one of the bottles was completely empty, with its bottle cap lying on the bottom of the box. Confused, we put it back in the box, climbed back down to the street, and returned to the Duane Reade.
Our cashier called the manager over, and when we told him the story, he eyed us suspiciously, as if we had quickly drunk the bottle of beer ourselves. He then told my friend to grab a bottle from a 6-pack in the fridge to replace our faulty bottle. As I waited for him to return, the manager said to me, "I bet I know what happened. The cap probably got knocked off and the beer evaporated."
Um, yeah, that seems likely.
Before leaving, the manager suggested that we check the rest of the bottles to make sure it was a fluke. Good idea. We ripped the top off the box, and sure enough found the rest of the bottles with sealed caps. We thanked the manager and trudged back up to the 3rd-story apartment.
As we then began to unload the bottles a second time, we discovered that one of the bottles, with cap intact, was only half full. Or half empty. Either way, my friend and I now wanted nothing to do with the rest of the bottles in that case. So again we packed it up, climbed back down to the street, and went back to Duane Reade.
When our cashier saw us enter again, she burst out laughing, asking what now. We called the manager over and showed him the half-full (half-empty?) beer bottle. "That's weird," he said. Indeed. We told him that we wanted to just get a whole new case of beer, and this time we went for cans, which I felt would be safer than bottles.
As the cashier rang up our exchange, the manager regaled us with more brilliant insight. "You know what probably happened? The bottom of the bottle got hit, and it fizzed up, and the fizz leaked out through the cap."
Sure, maybe.
We took our cans (without having checked them at the store, which in retrospect was foolish) and returned to our 3rd-floor apartment. Fortunately this batch of beer turned out to be just fine. But I doubt I'll be buying beer from Duane Reade in the future. Or drinking Bud Light at all.