It's All Goodnow……

Chicken Sandwiches and Battery Acid

Between my Twitter feed and NBC’s Nightly News (I don’t care what anyone says, I miss Brian “I was there” Williams) the world really appears to have gone off the rails.  A few notes about the world and some personal observations.
1. A guy threw battery acid at another man in Wisconsin. I don’t even know where to start with this.  So not only are you a racist scumbag, but you also carry battery acid around with you?  What in the hell would you use to store battery acid? (Yeah, I could Google it, but I will never have any use to carry around battery acid because, well, I’d rather drink a glass of wine at home and read the New Yorker than stand on the sidewalk arguing with some guy over how he parked and then throw battery acid in his face).  I guess the silver lining is that the victim didn’t lose an eye (that was my first thought) and that the battery acid wielding maniac didn’t have a gun.  Because, ya know, EVERYONE should have the right to carry a gun.  It is just common sense. 
2. The Russian spy who gave the interview on 60 Minutes was seriously disappointing.  I thought for sure she was going to have a little more dirt, but I loved that she dated a higher-up at the NRA.  Nothing fishy there. 
3. What in the hell is happening at Popeye’s Chicken locations around the country?  It is madness.  Half of my Twitter feed is “Fight breaks out over Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich”.  Are they that good or do people just suck?  Also, can you please be nicer to the poor Popeye’s employees?  I don’t think all of this is worth the 30% employee discount. (I made up 30%, but it sounded about right)
4. Have you read or seen anything about Trump’s new “Spiritual Advisor” Paul White-Cain?  This woman is batshit crazy and frankly a con-woman.  Which, ya know, sort of makes sense for Trump.  Do people genuinely think this guy is a Christian?  I would bet every dime in my bank account that he cannot recite the Lord’s prayer.  
Here is a bit from the NYTimes:
But Ms. White cannot be easily categorized as either a political asset or a liability. She has a large following among Christians who believe in the “prosperity gospel,” which teaches that God blesses people he deems to be of strong faith with wealth, good health and other gifts.But many other Christians consider these beliefs to be heresy. And Ms. White’s presence in the top tier of Mr. Trump’s coterie of informal religious advisers has long been a source of contention with many evangelical Christians.I went to Catholic school for four years – I missed the bit where Jesus was talking about his followers getting paid.  That must be in the new, updated King Trump version of the Bible that he published via Twitter. 

5.  I realized that I haven’t taken a class or dug into learning anything in a while.  So yesterday I went to the bookstore and purchased a book about wine.  I’m not saying I’m going to be a master sommelier over here, but I would like to know a touch more about what I’m drinking and why it is good or bad.  If anything it can help me drink better wines for less money.  
6. What on earth was Bill DeBlasio thinking running for president?  We have massive problems in NYC and it is gross that this guy thinks he should be solving the nation’s problems when this city is turning into a sewer. I mean that literally as I saw an individual using a subway platform as the place for their morning “movement” a few days ago.  And I was like, “Happy Friday!!!!”
7. I’m just not as into sports as I once was.  I still enjoy it, but not the same way.  I think one of the reasons I have continued to enjoy the Patriots so much (other than the massive amount of winning) is that there is continuity.  For the last 20 years, I have been watching the same coach and QB.  I like that. 
8. I’m watching the Ken Burns documentary “The War”.  What an amazing storyteller.  Also, the more I learn about that war the more I get why that was “The Greatest Generation”.  That generation put down their iPhones and got to work when they needed to.  Imagine if we had rationing today?  People would lose their fucking minds.  Not having butter and sugar for birthday cakes.  Not being able to fill the car with gas.  People today would meltdown without access to the internet for three hours, nevermind not being able to drink their daily double cap, whipped, three pump, mocha, light, latte.  
9. Some of my favorite writers have taken to podcasts.  Which….is…I get it.  That’s where media has transitioned due to the fact that nobody reads anything longer than 140 characters (I will absolutely say that is something I recently recognized in myself and have been working to correct) But it sucks.  Bill Simmons, write something.  Thanks. 
10. I’m happy to be writing.  I don’t do it nearly enough.  Part of that is work because I’m usually exhausted when I get home, but part of it is that it isn’t part of any routine that I have.  And that goes back to recognizing that I’m absorbing information via Twitter rather than exercising the creative muscles.  
11.  Speaking of work, I genuinely like my job.  Sure, there are some tough days, but overall I like being in the hospitality/events business.  It has been a while since I liked what I did and it is a great feeling.  Also, working on the water is fantastic (I say until January when it is 14 degrees). 
12. Succession is a brilliant show and I’m so very glad that it is in my life.  The way I have changed feelings about every single character throughout the show is a testament to some incredible writing and acting.  Except for Marsha (who is brilliantly portrayed), I have always hated Marsha.  She rubs me the wrong way and I’m 94% sure she is a spy. Also, the intro music is maybe the best for any show, ever. 
13. I went into a puppy store the other day.  I did not purchase one which is because I have an icy heart that not even that adorable puppy could not melt. 
If you are reading this, I hope you have a fantastic day.  Cheers! 

GOT’s Finale Thoughts

That’s all folks….

Game of Thrones is done. Well, sort of.

I’m not going to recap the episode because if you are reading this you have either read all the reviews by now or simply do not care. I do, as always, have some thoughts on just what we experienced over the past 8 years or so.

  1. Sci-fi/fantasy came to the mainstream. The idea that people, in masses, would watch a show that had magic, dragons, witches, giants, and I’m sure I’m forgetting several other non-real world elements to the show, is something I never thought I would see become as popular as it did. But frankly, I think it is a bit healthy to imagine other realities, to dream, to but yourself in a place you could only dream of.
  2. A lot of people didn’t like the ending. Tough. It was a complicated show with 14,844 subplots and to wrap it all up in a neat bow was impossible. We got 8 seasons of never before seen, groundbreaking, feature film quality television. Sorry if it wasn’t the ending you wanted, it was the ending you got. Live with it.
  3. I have heard so much about a white male winning the throne. I disagree, I think Sansa was the real winner. She got exactly what she wanted. The North is its own kingdom and she is its ruler. Boom. Done. Arya never wanted any of it and is now the going to sail off the end of the earth….because the earth was flat back then. Dany, well, ya know, Dany came up tails with that coin flip and by tails I mean she decided to start burning a couple a few thousand people too many to death (that was a fantastic run on sentence that only made sense in my mind). Bran, meh…whatever, he’ll be cool enough as a king. Though the whole, “He can’t father children” thing…do we know that for sure? I mean, just because he can’t use his legs. Did he actually tell anyone his dick doesn’t work? Perhaps we jumped the gun on that one. Anyhow, maybe we don’t need to have a gender debate about everything. Real winners – Arya and Sansa. P.S. There is no more throne.
  4. Where the fuck did that dragon go? That’s got to be the scariest part of the whole ending. You now have a full grown dragon roaming the earth. And he’s in mourning.
  5. I’ll watch Where in the World Is Arya Sant…..sorry, terrible joke.
  6. Is Jon Snow now a Wildling? Is he the Kind of the “Real” North now?
  7. Fuck, we could use one more season to clear this up.
  8. Does this mean Tyrion can go back to drinking and making love to the ladies of the night now that his “crush” got stabbed in the heart and her body taken away by a dragon?
  9. Grey Worm turned out to be a real dick. I get it, he was angry, but he took his anger to a 1941 Germany place. Terrible pun with the dick reference.
  10. How many times was Tyrion chained up and grew a rats nest of a beard?
  11. Rather enjoyed Arya threatening Yara. She left no room for misinterpretation.
  12. My guess was the Arya was pregnant. Guess I was wrong. Figured she and Gendry would end up together. How very wrong I was.
  13. I’m not sure how many Emmy’s/Golden Globes this wins, but it should be a lot.
  14. I’m looking forward to the spin offs, there will be several.
  15. Not sure which TV show I will enjoy next, but I feel like GOT’s ending, the best of the serialized shows are over.
  16. What a great show and what an amazing mind on that George RR Martin.

A Quick Move

All week I had amazing ideas for stories and blog posts and how to make millions of dollars, yet when I sit down here at my keyboard it is like I got hit in the head by a linebacker coming over the middle. All the good ideas. Gone. In the flash of Chromebook booting up.

I am in the process of moving and let me tell ya, moving sucks. I have done it enough that I’m fairly minimalist at this point, but I always feel like I have too much that I don’t use. For example – the two pair of swim goggles I have still in the box. I don’t swim. I haven’t done laps since college. Yet, I still keep these swim goggles because some day in the very near future, I will have the need to wear swim goggles. Or at least that’s what I tell myself as I dust them off and pack them for the 4th time. Also, when am I going to donate this Hawaiian shirt? Even when I’m in Hawaii I don’t have a need for a Hawaiian shirt. Ever. The only thing I can imagine is some sort of Office Space like theme day where I can wear a Hawaiian shirt or some sort of tiki party. Then again, I’m 37 and really don’t have any need in any capacity to be attending themed parties.

Forget about the fact that I STILL have old college text books that I have been lugging around for the last 15 years. I didn’t read them then, I’m not going to read them now. Not to say I can’t stand to learn a thing or two, but twenty year old books about cultural geography can probably go in the donate pile.

As can all of the belts, alarm clocks, chargers….

Don’t Name Your Lobster

Here is the problem with buying live lobsters – I name them. And once you name something you really sort of have a lot of responsibility for it. For the rest of that lobsters very short life I felt like I was supposed to make him (maybe her…I mean, we live in a world where even violence toward a female lobster could be frowned up so I’m just going to stick with calling this bottom-feeder Larry). And I’m gonna be honest. Larry was a fighter. That guy really did not like being restrained or in a bag or in the fridge…which, ya know, I’m not sure any of us would be thrilled with. So anyhow, Larry was a fighter and damn delicious. Also, I need to not name things I’m going to eat because I have this overarching sense of guilt as I was enjoying succulent, buttery lobster.

Even worse is that there were two lobsters. I named one Larry and the other one I just rotated through names. Frank, Jerry, Lamarcus….he had lots of names. Anyhow, he’s also no longer with us, but I’m sure he didn’t really want his last hours to be spent dry and cold. Poor bastard.

Which leads me to the next point. What the fuck would I do if I had to actually hunt my own food. I would constantly feel terrible about killing Bambie’s mom or a cow named Bessie.

I have a feeling I’ll be eating less meat this week.

I had a Cliff Bar for breakfast and drank Oat Milk with my coffee.

Oat Milk is shockingly delicious.

I drank champagne out of a bottle with a cap on it two nights in a row. Not gonna lie, it was amazing.

Cinco de Mayo is a funny holiday. I had a margarita for it…you know, to be social. It is sort of funny how we turn most holidays into a reason to drink.

I had a great idea for a bar and guess what…nobody has done it yet. I’m looking for investors if anyone reading has a spare $388k to throw around.

Grew up loving baseball so much. It just doesn’t resonate with me the way it used to. Which is a bit sad to me. It is different.

I’m tired of politics. Used to love it. The exchange of thoughts is fantastic. The constant exchange of barbs is exhausting and hackneyed and so terribly predictable.

You know when you build something up to be special and it doesn’t live up to it? Maybe that’s Game of Thrones. Maybe it isn’t. But it is probably Game of Thrones. (Writing this in the hopes that I have to eat these words in 13 days)

I was asked today, “If you were a piece of furniture, what would you be?” My response, “Love seat.” I wanted to give myself a hi-five when I said it.

Boston Sports Radio led to the 2019 Patriots Super Bowl

Have you ever listened to Boston sports talk radio? It is loud and it is angry. I can’t say all the time, but certainly in the mornings. When I lived in the Boston area I would have to change the station after about 16 minutes of the shouting and overall vitriol that would pour out of my speakers.

We have plenty of negative news to deal with on a daily basis, all I really wanted to do was avoid listening to NPR talk about the latest disaster in XYZ place in the world that is being destroyed by mankind and hear what is going on with the Red Sox. It truly is not much to ask. Instead, these guys would yell at callers, talk about how awful every sports team is, and how inept the players/coaches can be.

I bring this up not because I have some issue with Boston sports radio. I mean, I do, but I just don’t listen to them any longer. Instead, I listen to the intelligent and moderately level-headed NYC sports radio, but I digress.

I’m a Patriots fan. Love the team. It has been a rather fruitful past 19 years. However, I found something odd about this year. Despite the fact that they had been to the Super Bowl 3 of the last 4 years, they viewed themselves as underdogs. That the world felt they were washed-up. Their quarterback was 41 and didn’t have it any longer. Their star tight end was past his prime and could no longer make the big play. Their defense was too slow. The team began to play with a chip on their shoulder. But the only voices that were saying the Pats were washed up (other than the straggler of a talking head on ESPN) were the Boston radio guys. Inside of the Boston bubble, it was constant doom and gloom. And guess what, the Patriots players listen to that stuff.

Outside of the bubble – The Pats are doing it again.

Inside the bubble – The Pats suck and are done. We need to draft a new QB and start over.

Inside the Boston Bubble the hate, the anger, and the negativity (One Boston radio station has a sound byte from former Celtics coach Rick Pitino that says, “The negativity in this town sucks!” like they want to own the fact that they are the voice to negativity in Boston sports) simmered and bled into the Patriots locker room. The team united around the Boston negativity. They rallied. They banded together. They won the Super Bowl. My argument is this – the terribleness of Boston sports radio was one of the reasons for the 2019 Patriots Super Bowl win.

I guess I’m OK with that. Besides, I can always put on NPR.

Food Safety

I got Chinese food last night.  While waiting for my order a cook went to the rice cooker, stuck his paw in there and scooped up a snowball worth of rice and stuffed it in his mouth.  I just vomited in my mouth a little.  (That said, I won’t mention which one it was because it is walking distance from my house and it has never once made me ill.  I’ll continue rolling the dice with that place.  I mean, hell, I used to work at….meh, we won’t go there)

I’m just throwing out ideas, but I wonder what would happen if we had a one-day halt to all social media.  Better yet, no smartphones for a day.  I mean, up until ten years ago we were on flip phones and no all consumed with the 15 square inches in front of our faces.  TEN YEARS is all it took for all of civilized humanity to become addicted to a phone.  If that isn’t scary…

I saw this all over Twitter, but the whole Romaine lettuce is not safe so we throw it all away, but let’s keep our guns argument is both a false equivalency and a decent point.

The one thing that I won’t miss about the Trump presidency (whenever it ends) is that amount of noise.  It is just noisy.  Both sides.  Noise and hate.  It is nothing short of constant.  One crazy statement after another.  I get it, some people like him.  That’s great, but he probably isn’t fit to be running the free world.  It is crazy to listen to him blame everyone else and anyone else for anything that goes wrong.  There is something called accountability and he takes none of it.  It is an unhealthy thing to be teaching people.

I need to eat more vegetables.  Thanksgiving really – whew – my goodness.  Sure was a delicious meal with great people around me, but soooo much turkey and stuffing.

 

 

Emotional Support

How about the lady bringing an emotional support squirrel on a plane.  That takes balls right there.  Also, curious how a fucking squirrel is providing emotional support?  Do you like watching it eat nuts?  Or running all over the plane terrorizing people?  Maybe you just like chaos and are a complete asshole.  Emotional support squirrel.  If 1975 looked at 2018 right now, they would crack open a can of Schlitz and laugh at us.

Kanye West was at the White House today.  Because crazy needs crazy to make him feel not quite so crazy.   I’m sure I offended someone there.

Pretty good chance that I’m not moving to Florida – ever.  Seeing how they seem to get hit with hurricane’s all – the – fucking – time these days.  That hurricane was crazy, the same way global warming is crazy and how crazy people don’t think it is real.  That Al Gore is a real dummy and even he doesn’t live in Florida.

When people smash their weights down at the gym (especially on machines) it doesn’t make anyone in the place think you are cool or strong, it makes us think that you can’t control the weight and you are a weak and inconsiderate human.

I promise not to complain about the warm weather – but wow.  WOW.  76 today.  October 11th.  We won’t have an autumn here in NYC (which is the best season), it will simply go from 76 to 22 and everyone will be miserable until we skip spring and it is 88 on May 14th.

How about that Bill Cosby guy?  How long does he last in prison?  Couldn’t the guy get laid without drugging women?  Real creep move Dr. Huckstable.

I had a head cold this week.  I drank enough OJ to drown a small elephant and fell like, well…not great, but better than I should, given I had to work a couple of events.

 

 

 

Lots of Musing

Time to start listing stuff –

  1. As a Red Sox fan I must say that it was exciting to play the Yankees.  It was satisfying to watch them win 3 of 4 games.  But I will say this – when it was the bottom of the 9th inning last night and the Yankees have the bases loaded, Craig Kimbrell hits a batter to walk a run in – I was teleported back to October 16th, 2003.  It is the 8th inning and Pedro Martinez (the best pitcher of his era) is on fumes.  Grady Little visits the mound and instead of putting in one of our dominant relief pitchers he leaves him in the game.  The next thing I know the game is tied and yet once again my Red Sox fandom is rocked to its core.  At the hands of Aaron fucking Boone they lose in the 11th inning on a knuckleball that just didn’t knuckle.  So it was not lost on me that my 2018 Red Sox were on the verge of collapsing in the same stadium, to an Aaron Boone coached team.  My insides felt like two cats in a bag, scratching and trying to escape.  (The irony of this is that I do not get upset over sports losses any longer.  I have trained myself to realize that it is only a game and that other than being able to let my Yankee fan friends know that they are no longer superior baseball fans in any way, shape, or form and that if they consider themselves such then they are living in the past because in the 18 years of THIS CENTURY it is Sox 3 – Yankees 2. But I digress)  So as we all know, the game ends with a wild throw to first that takes nothing less than a spectacular play that ends up in review and eventually confirmed.  What I am saying is that for the first time in my Red Sox fan life I don’t feel like the Yankees are the big brother to the Red Sox being the fiesty little brother that once in a while gets in a good shot.  It is rather satisfying.
  2. I started playing Words with Friends again.  Because it is 2009 and I like spelling.
  3. I am working a freelance gig at the moment.  It is managing events and I rather enjoy it.  Today I worked an event at a large company that gave me a gift bag as a thank you for helping organize.  All I am saying is that I won’t need to purchase toothpaste for the next year and I have enough dog treats for the foreseeable future.
  4. Pretty sure I have become desensitized to the news.  Hurricane’s.  Anything the president does.  Shootings.  It is fucking crazy, but nothing shocks me.  I’m not sure if that speaks more about me or more about the world in which we live, but it is mostly upsetting and sort of expected as we digest our news in 280 characters and it comes at us like a Chris Sale fastball.
  5. I’m writing a book about an angry polar bear.  His ice float melted.
  6. The League is on Hulu and I cannot begin to describe how happy that makes me between the hours of 12 and 12:22 each night.
  7. Ratings for The Walking Dead season premiere were down over 40% on Sunday vs last season’s premiere.  So you are telling me that people are sick of zombies trying to eat anything alive, a group of survivors who lose two of their pack per season, and the general decline of the human condition.  Maybe people see enough horrible shit in the news/their twitter feed/walking down the street each day (the homeless problem here in NYC is reaching epic levels) that maybe The Walking Dead is no longer something people think of as being so fictional.
  8. Who else is ready for Game of Thrones to come back?
  9. I have thoughts on the Supreme Court, just not right now.  They are plentiful. That’s for another post.
  10. I’m not sure what happened to me, but in the last month I have become near addicted to seltzer water.  I had 16 bottles on Saturday and am down to 3 as of this evening.  Nothing wrong with a little hydration, but I think I’m taking it to a new level.
  11. NYC Marathon is in a few weeks.  Could not be happier not to be participating in an event.  My plantar fascia wants revenge on mile 22 of that race, as does my IT band.
  12. I have been doing a lot of thinking about my dream job – and I have always known what it is.  But only now coming to grips with it.  To be Andy Rooney.  Just comment on daily topics of little consequence, but that have entertaining qualities to them.
  13. I’m going to write daily from now on.

Joe Buck is Brutal

 

The US Open golf tournament was played over the weekend.  The course was difficult and players grew frustrated.  One player, Phil Mickelson, grew so frustrated that when he hit a putt that missed the hole he decided to hit the ball again while it was still moving and take a two stroke penalty than allow it to continue to roll off the green.  He was angry, he made a mistake, it happens.  He was way out of the tournament when it occurred, life goes on.

You would have thought that Phil Mickelson took his driver and started hacking spectators in the crowd the way Joe Buck was talking about it.  I’m not joking, you would have thought Phil was kicking elderly patrons and laughing at them or smoking meth between holes.  In the next 24 hours people said Phil should  have been disqualified from the tournament, that his reputation was damaged forever, and that he should apologize.

The guy is golfing, get’s frustrated, does something that requires a two stroke penalty, gets a ten on the scorecard, and he moves to the next hole.  That should have been the end of it.  For some reason people go haywire.  Maybe we are so desperate for breaking news and something to post on Twitter (I certainly did- I thought the entire incident was funny) that we make a big deal of certain things that don’t matter. Don’t people have anything better to do than just be angry and upset over things that don’t effect their lives?

By most accounts Phil is a good guy.  Great to fans, never been caught with a string of  call girls, and his wife has yet to smash up his Escalade with a seven iron.  He made an error on the golf course.  That’s it.  The idea that he somehow ruined golf or damaged the game is so outrageous that I truly wonder if in order for your ideas to be found relevant you need to say things that are inflammatory.

The worst part is that a narrative was started by Joe Buck who is announcing the Open (and I sincerely hope never announces another golf event again) and he has zero perspective on what happened.  He declared Phil Mickelson to have “lost his mind” without the benefit of knowing what Phil was thinking.  He took a simple misstep and turned it into golf’s Watergate.

I was turned off by the whole thing.  It made watching the tournament less enjoyable for me and was a bullshit story line that took away from what I wanted to watch – golf.

Show me someone who has never had a lapse in judgement professionally and I’ll show you my collection of hole-in-one balls (of which there are currently zero).   The person who had the worst weekend was Joe Buck – I’m not sure if there is bad blood between he and Phil, but if I’m Phil Mickelson and I see how Joe Buck spoke of me, I’m not going to be giving him or Fox a whole lot of my time in the future.

The Bugs in Our Homes

We have been on a slippery slope for quite some time as it relates to our reliance on technology.  The past ten years have brought us exponential reliance on our devices.  This isn’t breaking news.  Tech has made our lives easier in terms of not having to think for ourselves or search all that terribly hard for data or who won the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest in 1995 or why is the sky blue or what to do when it looks like your toe is about to fall off or how to run a marathon.  Boom.  You type in the question and there is an answer.  Not always the correct answer, but an answer.  These days it is incumbent upon all of us to vet information we find (most certainly before sharing it).  That’s a whole different post – for now, back to ease of information…

For such a long time it was typing in these questions.  We have now graduated to asking our devices what the capital city of Nigeria is or how many Oscars Tom Cruise has won.  And we are also asking for things –  Can you have a pizza delivered?  Can you schedule my car’s oil change?  Can you show me the way to San Jose?

Which is all so very convenient.  And I will admit that I avoided getting an iPhone until one was given to me.  I avoided GPS until it was in a rental car I drove.  I never activated my Siri on my iPhone (still haven’t).  Which means maybe I am a little behind on the technology, but it also means that I am letting other people go through the bugs of it all.  The first time I heard of Alexa – the listening device that one can have installed in their home – my first thought was “This is trouble.  Why would anyone want a device in their home that can actively monitor what you are doing?”  Maybe I have seen Ocean’s 11 too many times, but I’m sure there are people out there who can hack into an Alexa account with relative ease and listen to anything they want.  Mind you, I doubt there is anything overly interested going on in the vast majority of households, but what happens when a few words are strung together that Alexa interprets to mean something unintended by the user?

Here is a link to a CNN story about this very situation:

http://money.cnn.com/2018/05/24/technology/alexa-secret-recording/index.html

The conversation that Alexa recorded AND SENT TO THIS PERSON’S CO-WORKER was about hardwood floors, but here is my question to pose –

What if their conversation that was recorded without their knowledge or willing consent was about conceiving a child?  Infertility?  An argument about money?  About one of them being transgender? About a dark family situation?  About having broken the law?  About bowel movements?  About disliking a job or a co-worker?

What are the consequences associated with any one of those conversations becoming public.  Imagine if the co-worker was social media happy (and a bad person) and decided to post the recorded conversation on their FB account?

Are we willing to risk this potential invasion of privacy for the sake of asking what the weather is going to be?  Is it worth it?  Do you want to have to unplug a device before or during any potentially serious conversation you want to have in the (supposed) privacy of your own home?

At what point do we have enough?

Do we call it quits when chips start being implanted?  Or is bugging our homes far enough?

Full disclosure – I have been in a couple of homes that have an Alexa. The owners say nothing but good things about the device and have been happy with them.   (I chose not to have any private conversations inside of those homes.  Just in case.)