Thursday, August 30, 2007

Further argument against leaving the apartment

This Blog entry is brought to you by Walkers pure butter shortbread.



Walkers: Deliciously pure. Purely delicious.


Hello and welcome to my sphere of blogging influence. Tonight I decided to get out of the house to, as my mother would phrase it, "blow the stink off." I searched for something to do that would be entertaining and cheap, but also would give me no lasting diseases. This last qualifier shortened the list considerably.

However, I stuck to it and using the interweb I came across an event scheduled in Central Park. Hooray! I like Central Park. The event in question was the NYC Celtic Gathering. Hooray! I like Celtic Gatherings. The program said it was to feature The Kilted Juggler. Hooray! I... wait, what?

But hey, it's a big Irish thing in the bandshell near Bethesda Fountain, and since Bones isn't on Thursday nights, I decided to check it out.


Ashamed of yourself for watching? You're in good company.

Anyway, I drag Oach along, though most of the time he is supremely disinterested and sits on a bench reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Whatever. I see the bandshell set up for the raucous evening to come:


hmmm... Spidey sense tingling a bit.

So I grab a program from one of the tables to see what parade of Irish musicians are going to be rocking the park. This is the front of it:


tingling a little stronger now...

Ok, maybe they chose that image completely on purpose. Maybe they're saying that we're going to all turn into badass highland berserker warriors ready to tear Longshanks a new one by the end of all the awesomeness. Oh hey, it says there's going to be a procession to the bandshell from Bethesda Fountain. That's why I haven't seen too many people about. To the fountain!


That's it all right... now to find the giant parade full of rebellion and craic. Zoom out.




still not seeing anyth- wait a minute.

Oh.

So yeah, not the huge blowout I expected, but they're still gonna get this place jammin, right?

No. Not right.

Basically, this event was a large section of time put aside to feature "The NYC Piper" Jerry Dixon. He apparently put this thing together, according to the program. He piped from the fountain to the stage and then about 15 minutes more besides. Droning, I would describe it. Not like droning as in how the bagpipes are supposed to sound, but droning as in he should have stopped 5 minutes ago and I want to throw a child at him. This is him:



After him, a fiddler approached the mike. She was decent, but not outstanding. Also, like Dixon, she exhibited a complete lack of stage presence/showmanship.


This picture is darker because the sun ran away over the horizon to escape the bagpipe solo.

After the fiddling, the piper came back to squawk through a several-key rendition of "Danny Boy." He then attempted to lead a sing-along to "The Wild Rover." However, he forgot to have anyone sing. He erratically played the tune on his pipes and hoped that the audience would be inspired enough to know the words and be able to sing along with his racing and unpredictable tempo.



Not even these dudes were having it.


The highlights of the evening were two. First, the table full of delicious free Walkers pure butter shortbread cookies. Also, did you know that you can now get FREE Ground Shipping on All Online Orders over $20? It's true. Just enter the code "Scots" at checkout!
www.walkersUS.com

The second were the step dancers. True, they were young, and beginners, but they were still much more entertaining that mediocre music from people standing still. Also, guess who accompanied the dancers? That's right! More bagpiping from Jerry! As an added bonus, however, two of the dancers were some sort of unholy Hellspawn. Don't believe me?



Apology accepted.

Catch you later,

Rev

Monday, August 27, 2007

Exciting, if not actually productive.

So Friday was quite the day. Both Oach and I had job interviews. Hopefully one of them will take, before we get down to eating sawdust and shoe leather.


(insert seamen joke here)

Anyway, they both went pretty well and we're eagerly expecting the results. Anyhow, I had resigned myself to the fact that the interview would be the most exciting part of the day. I was fully prepared to settle in and make dinner, watch TV, and apply for more jobs until I fell asleep.

That was not to be, however.

I got home, and was at my computer when Oach asked "Do you smell Gas?"

Natural Gas, that is. And yes, yes I did. Fantastic. That's exactly the way I wanted to end my day. By exploding.


Well... what's on tap for tomorrow?

So the search was on to find the source of the odour.

Using the time-tested and scientific method of "walking around sniffing" we determined that we had no idea. However, we did conclude that it was not coming from our own stove/oven, which was a relief. Exploding is one thing, but being betrayed by an appliance and exploding? Terrible.

So we thought maybe we should open the window to try and diffuse the smell. That didn't work, as it became much worse. Ok, so it's definitely coming from outside. Oach went to investigate. I promptly lost interest and began playing video games.

After a little bit, Oach comes back in and starts asking what I assumed to be rhetorical questions about our duties as citizens and whether or not we should call someone, etc.

"Sure, probably Con Ed, or someone." Oach grabs his phone and dials.

Approximately three minutes later, I hear distant sirens and honking.

"Oh, here they come" Said Oach.

"What?" responded I, "Who did you call?"

"911, I told them I smelled gas so they transferred me to the fire department."

Inwardly, I groaned and outwardly, I put on some shoes.

Within a wholly acceptable response time, we had no fewer than 5 fire trucks outside our house. The first man off the truck asked me if I had called. I passed the blame to Oach, but still reported the gas smell. The firemen immediately smelled it too, and got to work with their gas sniffer box sensor thingamabobs.


The first trucks to arrive.



More trucks, conferencing.


Oach surveys his handiwork.

They sniffed around with their machines, and tried to find the source. Ultimately, they didn't find anything dangerous about the situation. At least, nothing dangerous enough to tell us about. Later on, after everything died down, we went to the Beer Garden to feel better about the possible overreaction demonstrated. I promptly fell flat on my face in front of a large group of onlookers. My shoelace caught on a picnic table bolt and down I went. Embarrassing.

All in all, it was a less than stellar day for both of us. However, then this happened, and we're back to feeling like geniuses.




Later folks,

Rev

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mr. & Mrs. Met... a marriage of convenience?

So I went to a Mets game yesterday. They won, it was cool. I wasn't that emotionally invested in the game, being primarily a Yankees fan, but I won't turn down tickets. Also, Oach is pretty dyed-in-the-wool, and we had to investigate the possibility that he may have been jinxed. The last two games he had attended, the Mets lost 8-4. Truth be told, I was rooting for that outcome again, because the anguish would have entertained me for days.

But after the first inning, when the sing-along came to "Meet the Mets" I got to thinking... people with baseball heads have extremely limited career options.


44 years young.

Now I think Mr. Met is one of the lucky ones. He's managed to make something of himself, getting all the way to the top of the strict ladder that society imposes upon Baseball-Americans. He even has a wife, Mrs. Met, and three adorable spherical children.

But is their marriage a happy one? Mr. Met has a busy schedule, traveling with the team in addition to all of the home games. It makes one wonder just how much time he has to spend with the wife and kids. Sure, he looks pretty happy, dancing and shooting t-shirts out of that crazy air cannon of his, but who knows what kind of sadness lurks in the heart of number 00?

Mr. Met, you're an ok guy in my book, I just want to make sure you've got your priorities in order. Don't be such a workaholic. The last thing you want is to drive Mrs. Met into the arms of another man.


Single and lookin'

That's all for now,

Rev

Sunday, August 19, 2007

It's amazing how much you can get done when you wake up at noon.

Hello and welcome back (if applicable). So yesterday I did my daily impression of a completely useless person and slept until approximately noon-fifteen. In my defense, I was up reading Paradise Lost and Siddhartha until about 4 AM, so the actual amount of sleep is reasonable, if not the window involved. Also, I had a crazy Vampire dream, which is unusual because vampires generally are not the undead involved in such things. However, the dream didn't stray too far from usual with the violence and all.

Anyway. It being Saturday, and gorgeous outside, I resolved to do something worthwhile. You know, like go outside. I had received an email, being on the email list of Improv Everywhere, that said the aforementioned group was staging their fourth annual mp3 experiment that afternoon.

The instructions were simple.

1) Download the required mp3 file from their website

2) Synchronize your watch to the clock on their website

3) Murder a prostitute

4) Wear a t-shirt of red, blue, green or yellow color

5) Show up at the designated place with a camera and, at 4:00:00 PM, play the mp3 on your headphones.

Completely simple, right? Yeah, you'd think so. However, going over my inventory I realized a few things. Yes, I have a watch that I can synchronize, a digital camera, a blue t-shirt and yes, I downloaded the file, and as for the dead hookers... well, let's just say "check."



However, I don't own an mp3 player. Nor do I have any desire to own an mp3 player. I could burn the file to a CD and play it that way, but I did not have any CD-Rs. Also, last Monday I went running around Astoria Park and managed to drop my CD player so that it smashed into several pieces. I collected most of them, but I kid you not, one of the springs from the case landed on/in a Dead Pigeon.


Artist's Rendition.

So. I had one non-operating and battery-less CD player, a homeless mp3 file and the day had grown to approximately 1:40 PM. "Curses," thought I, "There's no way I can go get a CD and be back here to burn it in time to get over to the World Financial Center by 4:00.

Suddenly, a thought hit me. Isn't this sort of the reason I bought a portable computer?

It's pretty and I like it.

So, Hell-bent on salvaging the day, I raced for the shower, took it, and got dressed in my blue shirt. I borrowed* Oach's Leatherman to perform emergency surgery on the parts of my CD player. At the end, it worked, but will not be winning any beauty prizes. I stashed my laptop in my backpack and hit the road. Thanks to good transportation karma, I got the bus to the nearest stop, and got on a train just as it was pulling out. Exiting the train at 8th street, I stopped by Staples and quickly purchased some CDs and a few AA batteries. Then back to the train. I arrived at the destination, pulled up a stone bench, whipped out my laptop, and burned the CD.

During all this panicked running around and checking of my watch, I thought to myself "How boring would this be had I planned it out in advance, like I clearly should have?"

Anyway, my crazy half-baked plan worked, forcing me to learn nothing from the experience. And, at 4:00, I pushed play along with some hundred or so others for a 36 minute adventure.

At one point, we were instructed to take a self-portrait:

I'm blue, da ba dee da ba di da ba dee da ba di da ba dee da ba di

Other Participants:



A flying man wearing red:



So basically a good time was had by all, including the innocent bystanders who had no idea why the several hundred people started doing silly things in unison. To see more details, check back with ImprovEverywhere.com, as they should be posting stuff soon.

Later

Rev





* Here the author uses the word 'borrowed' to mean 'stole'

Friday, August 17, 2007

Consumer Alert

Hello, this is a public service announcement. For the love of God, do not spend your time, money, or precious bodily fluids at the following location:


CranberryII Gourmet. Bastards.

I was there last night, and I burned my hand with coffee. It was clearly completely their fault, seeing as how I poured the coffee, added cream and sugar (to taste) and secured the plastic lid myself. Obviously, those bastards are liable for the lid popping off and spilling roast brew like boiling hot demon rage all over my hands. My beautiful hands.

Here is a picture of my left hand before the aforementioned accident:



and here is a picture of my left hand afterwards:




Even typing this blog update is like torture.

Anyway, you may be asking: why was Rev at CranberryII Gourmet in the first place? Isn't he basically an impoverished shut-in?

Well... yes. But Oach's Mother was in town and wanted to go see a Broadway Show. And so Oach and I got up extra early and headed into the city in the wee morning hours of 10:00 AM. After being sold out of Les Miz, we managed to snag some student rush tickets to A Chorus Line.

Chattiest/Scariest Ticket Guy Ever.

Upon presenting our Student ID's, he was all trying to be funny and whatever, and was all "Oh, is this even a real school?"

"Yes, it is." Just because we're not currently students there doesn't make the school illegitimate, thankyouverymuch.

Still laughing and tripping over the pronunciation of 'Geneseo' he was all "Where is this, anyway?"

"Ummm... south of Rochester"

"What do you guys study there?"

Well, I was a Psychology major and an English Literature minor, so I let Oach speak for both of us when he said "Theater."

"Theater, eh? You want to perform something?"

"Um, What?"

"Yeah, come on, let's see something"

"Well... right now I'm emoting confusion... Is that good enough?"

"But wasn't that a movie, where some kid made up a college?" (laughs to himself, again)

Yes. It was called 'Accepted' it starred Justin Long and it sucked a multitude of ass.




"Um... I don't know... sounds like it"

Finally, money exchanged hands. As the tickets were printing or whatever, another ticket person comes into the box. Evidently looking to impress this woman with his dazzling wit and charm, he asks her "Hey, you ever hear of Geneseo?"

"Sure, it's in Long Island somewhere right?"

"Close, Rochester" said Oach.

"What's the ZIP code there?" Asked the wily and increasingly maddening ticket agent.

"Ummm..." vocalized pause as expected from someone to dredge up a string of numbers from a place they haven't lived in years. Or months, as would be the case were we actually students there. Lightning McGee there pounced upon this.

"Aha!" said he in victory.

"14454" replied Oach.

Thank the sweet enemy of Satan, he handed over the tickets and we were able to escape. The show was good, if a little low key. Thursday night crowd/performance. Very impressive, but slightly low energy. I still had a wonderful time.

Afterwards, Oach's mother wanted to go somewhere for coffee and desserts. We wandered until we found the hive of bastards known as CranberryII Gourmet. I ordered a slice of the "Chocolate Outrage" cake.

Little did I know that included extra outrage at no additional cost.



That's all for now, have a splendid weekend.

Rev

Monday, August 13, 2007

Looks like you'll have to wait.

And just when I was getting to the good parts. So I went to Utica again this weekend. This time it was to attend the wedding ceremony and reception of one of my good friends. We go all the way back to the 7th grade, up through college and various misadventures along the way. I know I promised you folks the 4-1-1 on that bachelor party, but I found out on Friday that I was misinformed. I thought I had several good shots of a particularly enjoyable evening of celebration. Not true. As I found out, such photos/videos do not exist, nor will they ever exist for at least six months.

That's odd... then wherever did I get this video of Honus riding a mechanical bull?



So anyway, we'll let the passage of time erode the ire of the new bride, and instead I'll go right to the Wedding pictures.

Here is a picture of me and the happy couple:


It was their day, but I was looking pretty fine.

Anyway, the bride and groom both had large, loving, supportive families, which is great. But it also means that friends and rapscallions such as myself were given the short end of the seating stick. I was at table 16 with other unsavory characters. Like these two:


He recovered from his bull encounter, but his ties may never be the same.

Anyway, you may have noticed the groom's suspenders. He is a Mets Fan. In fact, the entire group of groomsmen wore the Mets suspenders under their vests. Behold.


Fools.

Anyway, the Bride was a Yankees fan. Not to be outdone, she and her bridesmaids applied temporary tattoos to themselves to espouse their own loyalties. I was told by one of the groomsmen that they were on the ladies' thighs. They decided later to show them off:


If by "thighs" they meant "knees" then yes, spot on.

I suppose they were going for decorum what with all the family around. I can still be disappointed. As far as the sporting rivalry goes, it was all in good fun. When you get right down to it, whether you're a Mets, Yankees or even BoSox fan, we can all agree that Barry Bonds is a Dick.





Anyway, the party went on, there was much drinking and dancing to be had. Take this gentleman, for instance:


Eddie McG: He likes the ladies.

In summary, the wedding was a good time, and by the end of it I was forced to call my parents to come get me and my car so as to avoid tickets/loss of life/harshing my buzz. Oh yeah, one more thing. I requested Journey's Don't Stop Believing and it was not played. I was heartbroken. I've not yet fully recovered from it, despite a day of rest at a friend's camp, basking my horrible pasty torso in the sunlight.



Sorry to make you see that, but I just wanted you to feel a taste of Journey-less anguish.

Well, hopefully the next update will be more interesting...


Rev

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Oh, Fun Times...

So in my tradition of being behind as far as time goes, let me just say that two weeks ago, I had a blast. One of my friends and former roommates from college is getting married. That makes two this year. Former roommates, I mean. Not just friends of mine because Lord knows there's far too many of those getting married this year. It's like living in sin has suddenly gone out of style.

But anyway. The reason I bring this up is because two weeks ago, I headed back to the magical land of Central New York to partake in the best part of a marriage ceremony. The bachelor party.


Tom Hanks won for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump, but was snubbed for this? I have no faith in the Academy.


Now, now, I'm sure the reception is going to be a pretty good time, too. That's why I'm going back this weekend to watch the couple actually go through with it. But the party was fantastic. I'll get to that in a bit.

Never one to let an opportunity slip by, I noticed that the same weekend of said bachelor party there took place an annual event called The Great American Irish Festival.

"Awesome" thought I, "I can go to this on Friday night, and the bachelor party Saturday! Sleeping is what homeless people do!"

"Word." thought Once and Current Housemate, because in the short time of living together, our brains have once again synched.

"Should we call Honus?" I wondered.

"Whateva."

And so it was agreed. Myself, Honus and OACH (referred to now as Oach) attended the Irish Fest. Here's a picture of the two of them:


"seriously, put the camera away."

Us three had several plans for the night. One was to listen to Irish bands rock the Herkimer Fairgrounds.


Check.

Another was to ogle the fiddle players of such bands, who cast an alluring spell over the audience with their fast paced bowing and fiery hair.



Check.

Thirdly, Oach wanted to steal the curly fries of a small child. They looked really good and it would be far more fun and cost-effective than actually buying them himself.


Target Acquired.

Seriously, though. That kid was done. His stomach must have been positively crammed with fried potato and salt and vinegar, or ketchup, or however he decided to top off that golden deliciousness. We stood, and silently rooted for the family to give up and walk away.

Alas. 'Twas not to be. While we were quite correct in the assumption that this child was finished with his food, we vastly underestimated the eating capacity of those seated around him. Horrified, with our spirits sinking, we watched as the adults swept in and devoured the rest, robbing Oach of his conquest.

Finally, our little plastic baggies were emptied of the small green coins that you could exchange for Guinness at the beer tents. That, combined with the potato misadventure left us feeling pretty low. Observe.


We were three different types of sad, evidently.

So, after a few rounds of "How many seven-year-olds do you think you could beat up?" and a couple "Mom, please don't shout at pedestrians as we're driving out of the parking lot" we were headed for home and a few hours of shuteye before traveling to the main event.

Actually, I think I'm going to leave you in suspense for that part. I'll wait until the couple actually speaks its vows before showing off the adventures of the following evening. Nothing too terrible, but why take any chances?

Peace out for now,

Rev

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Void.

So, like several millions of people around the world, I read the last Harry Potter Book. Don't worry, I won't spoil anything for those who haven't read it, except to say that at the end, Harry clicks his ruby slippers together three times and drops Aslan into the depths of Mount Doom, and manages to help save Princess Buttercup's baby brother from the Goblin King played by David Bowie.


Don't mock the Bowie.

That didn't really happen, but man, how badass would that have been? As if JK Rowling couldn't afford the lawsuits. That broad is swimming in dollars and pounds.


"I fear none but Oprah"

Anyway, if you haven't read it yet, it looks like this:


striking terror in the hearts of trees

If you'd like to go read it now before I continue, I'll wait...

Ok. I heartily recommend everyone on earth read this entire series. I know, I know. I was a detractor at first. When the first three books came out, I figured "How could anything this popular be any good at all?" Well, I quickly became hooked after reading the first two over Thanksgiving break my freshman year of college, and the third in one sitting after I returned to school. Coincidentally, I borrowed that book from my friend Mr. Morchison, the same person from whom I obtained this last one. Funny how things work out that way.

So yes, I'm a fan. Yes, I know an embarrassing amount about the books and movies. Yes, I know to which house in Hogwarts I would belong.

but that's not important right now.

Basically, yes I'm a dork, but we all knew this, and I'm way more invested in other areas of dorkdom.

I say all of this because I'm forced to admit that I was not prepared for the myriad of emotions I went through upon reading this book. Granted, I did finish at approximately 3 AM, so I was capable of becoming emotional over a fraying shoelace. But still, I was shellshocked.

I walked around the apartment. My pulse was elevated, I couldn't seem to form words or even coherent thoughts. Images from the last 6 years of my life flashed through my head in a giant electrical storm, sort of like a seizure that wasn't.

I calmed down enough to have fitful sleep for two hours that night. Plus side: no zombies!

The next morning, I realized the truth. There was no longer anything to look forward to. I knew this time was fast approaching, but I guess I just wasn't prepared for the finality. I found myself going through the stages of grief:

1) Denial

2) Anger

3) Bargaining

4) Depression

5) Nestle's Toll House Morsels

6) Acceptance

Thankfully, I managed to get through the first 3 in a rather long shower that probably convinced my neighbors I was either a) possessed or b) going to go blind.

As for the depression, I treated it the way millions of Americans do. I sat around all day watching the Tyra Banks show and Amanda Bynes' old sitcom, What I Like About You.


Of course, that just sank me deeper into the depression.

Don't worry about me, though. The Irish Festival I went to snapped me out of it. Things are good, and there are still two more films coming out.

Plus I have JK Rowling in my basement now. The stories shall continue!


Later,

Rev

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Holy God, it's been too long

Hello everybody,
So yeah... what's a month between friends? Right? Am I right? Eh, whatever.

Just so's you know I now have internet access at my apartment so I can get back to a regular bloggy schedule. Much has happened since last I typed, and I'm not sure I can even begin to recount all of it. I've largely forgotten how it feels to blog.

Well, one thing I did was go to my first Major League Baseball game. It was at Yankee Stadium, and was back when the Yanks crushed the Angels 12-0. This is what the game looked like from my perspective:



the nosebleed and sunburn section.

I still had a great time, even including a rather confusing conversation I had with a vendor. It went something like this:

Vendor: (walking) Beer here! Get your beer!

Me: (raising hand) Beer!

Vendor: Who wants a beer?

Me: (maintaining raised status of hand) Beer!

Vendor: Can't serve you, man

Me: (hand droops slightly) Beer?

Vendor: Sorry! Beer here!

Me: Umm... I'm 24

Vendor: Yeah, but you're in a non-alcoholic seating section.

Me: Wha?

Vendor: Of course, if you were in an alcoholic section and then moved, what could I do about it?

Me: hmm... (moves three steps to the left) what about now?

Vendor: Hello, sir, would you like a beer?

Me: Why yes, thank you my good man.

Vendor: (pours beer) That'll be 7 billion dollars.

And SCENE

I praise both Yankee Stadium's salute to responsible behavior, and the giant loopholes written into it.


Approximately two weeks after that I went to my second Major League Baseball game. This one at Shea Stadium. The tickets were a bit better. The game was not. Mets lost, 8-4. The view from my seat looked like this:




The only thing nosebleed about these seats was the danger that a foul ball would hop over the netting and scatter your teeth like the ghost of Henry Hudson would scatter a set of ninepins.

Anyone? Anyone?


(sigh)

Moving right along. Oh yes, good news for those of you still holding out hope for human evolution! My brother's wife is pregnant! Hooray! I'm going to be somebody's weird uncle Rev!
I'll probably wrap this up soon, but other things that happened to me that you can probably expect a blog about include:

- Herkimer, NY's Great American Irish Festival!

- A friend's Bachelor Party!

- The release and reading of the final Harry Potter book ( or: small-child-nightmare-generator)!

- Two fresh new zombie dreams!

- And, more horrifying than the two zombie dreams put together, the Transformers movie!

There's a lot to cover... the suspense is terrible; I hope it lasts.


Rev