Tuesday, January 31, 2006


As one of the buttons on my denim jacket in high school said, stress is "The confusion created when one's mind overrides the body's desire to beat or choke the living shit out of some asshole who desperately deserves it."

Seems like I know a lot of people who want to choke somebody what with the Alito confirmation, the spying, the continued violence in Iraq, bickering going on in the office while the cats are away...

Little less than 7 weeks till Hawaii! Hooray!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

R.I.P. Chris Penn

I wasn't going to comment on the recent death of Chris Penn, one of my favorite actors, because I don't like projecting feelings I would feel for a friend onto a complete stranger.

But my iPod played Sinatra's It Was a Very Good Year and then Stealers Wheel's Stuck in the Middle with You and even though Penn wasn't in that scene in Reservoir Dogs it nevertheless made me think of him and how I'm sorry I won't see him in much of anything else again.

And when I read that one of his last movies is the upcoming The Darwin Awards, I kinda winced.

The black cloud of crime spreads far and wide

O! how I wish a story like this popped up in the Montclair State campus police blotter when I was on that beat.

In today's Asbury Park Press police briefs lies an item just teeming with story ideas for one Guy Ritchie (or maybe it's a sequel to Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle).

Two guys, one from Piscataway, the other from Woodbridge, work at one of those shady car audio shacks you see across the state, this one in Edgewater Park. (Edgewater Park??!! That's about an hour from where these guys live so I hope the pay is worth it).

They go to Eatontown (Eatontown??!!) thinking they're going to sell some audio equipment to a bunch of guys in 80 Acre Park at 11:30 on a Saturday night.

So it's no surprise to you that once these guys get to the park, they "were threatened [by five guys, one of whom works for the Bradley Beach Department of Public Works] with a knife and a gun and robbed of jewelry, cash, cellular telephones and their 1997 Chevrolet van, which contained equipment from their business."

I see quick cuts slickly edited to the funky beats of James Brown as the Dept. of Public Works employee and his gang plan the heist and tool up route 35...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ritmo Latino: the correct link

A while ago I posted about one of my favorite podcasts, Ritmo Latino. I gave you links that were all wrong. This one is the right one.

Listen to it! It's great work-out music...

Monday, January 16, 2006

Prejudiced Google

This article points out a "Prejudice Map," which points out stereotypes of the world according to Google's search results. It's cute; not all countries are represented.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

la la la la La Llorona

I was listening to the latest Hometown Tales podcast this morning and they were talking about the legend of La Llarona, the wailing woman, which is featured in one of my favorite movies, Mullholland Dr.

On my short walk from my car to the office, it hit me. I should write a song about La Llarona set to the tune of My Sharona.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Substitute teachers and houses

Last night I realized that a house is like a room full of middle- or high-schoolers. You must earn its respect or else it'll start throwing spit balls and paper airplanes at you while you nervously fiddle with the VCR so you can show the assigned after-school special to the class.

When we moved into our new (used) house, we had a nice month where nothing big needed to be fixed. Kent added a trap to the master bathroom sink, we painted the family room, all went fairly well.

Turns out that the house was merely sitting back and sizing us up. After that honeymoon month, it said, "Ok tough guys, let's see what you got. Let's see if you can keep up with me."

So when Kent replaced the wax seal on the downstairs toilet to stop the sewer smells from leaking into the house, another leak in the toilet developed. After a few attempts to fix the leak, a small crack in the tank grew worse from the jostling that requires us to replace the toilet.

Like a teenager with a vendetta, the house is creative and persistent.

As the weather got colder, the Pergo in the living room started to buckle and come up at the edges.

One of the garage door openers broke and Kent spent a day replacing it.

The roof leaked a bit during the eight days and nights of rain we had a couple of months ago.

The performance of the washer and dryer is starting to deteriorate; the timer on dryer no longer works.

The faucets for the washer sprang a slight leak and though Kent can fix it by tightening the faucet, we really should get them replaced.

I feel like Kent and I are Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier of Blackboard Jungle and To Sir with Love, respectfully. If we could just show the house that we only want to help it, to nurture it, to make it stronger, maybe it will grow to respect and even love us.

And then maybe Lulu will show up and sing to us...