Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Today I vowed to get rid of my old PT Cruiser for good. It's been almost a month now since it died, and every time I pull my new car into the driveway, it's a nagging reminder that I need to do something about this.

I made a call to a junkyard. It went surprisingly well.

"Yes! We'll be over in 20 minutes," they said.

Things never go that easily. As some of you may know, I live on a wicked hill. The driveway slopes, too, and while it doesn't look that bad from street view it's deceptively steep. This is a problem when your old car's transmission is shot.

So we pushed. And pushed. Shifting the car in neutral helped, but there's an incline right where my driveway meets the road, and we couldn't get it over that hump. We needed one more person, and so one of my roommates came out to give us the extra push we needed.

Done. The car is gone. Two thoughts go through my mind.

1) I'm happy this is over.

2) I can't believe I couldn't push this car out of the driveway. I really need to hit the gym.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Someone Else's New Car

Yesterday I was at the Hannaford parking lot and I start hitting my remote unlock button on my key. And nothing happens.

Seriously? I've only had it for three weeks. Did the batteries die already?

I look down and I'm standing in from of a Hyundai Elantra -- not my car. Only the color is the same.

I'm enjoying my new car. That said, there was something distinctive about my old PT Cruiser. I could always pick it out in any parking lot.

Friday, April 26, 2013

I Am Not Spam

Occasionally I try to access my blog from Facebook. The other day I did so and Facebook redirected me to a warning page, informing me it suspected "the page you are trying to access may be spam."

OK, fine. Maybe I'm not the world's best writer. My blogs are quirky. Some of them impart life advice. Some of them are fictional. Some of them are simply slice of life.

But what the hell, man? Spam? Have I ever blogged about my Nigerian royal roots, urging the masses to forward me their bank account numbers so I can wire them the funds? Have I ever blogged about the wonders of a new body part enlargement pill? This is total bullshit.

Today I tried to access it again and my annoyance seems to have subliminally worked. I was able to access my blog through my Wall without any spam warnings.

Let that be a lesson to you, Facebook. I may be a lot of awful things, but I am not spam.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


As you may know, I've been wearing glasses for the past week-and-a-half. And I've hated it. When I ordered my new contact lenses, my eye doctor said I'd get them in a week. It's felt like months. I find glasses incredibly uncomfortable. Also, my glasses are a slightly different (i.e., older) prescription than my contacts, so my vision isn't quite as good with glasses as it is with contacts.

I did, however, have to sort out the two boxes -- they didn't ID which box was for my left eye and which was for my right (I also have different vision in both eyes). And I needed a microscope to be able to see the prescription, which kind of defeats the purpose of corrective lenses.

Still, it's nice. I feel like I can read anything now. I just have to remember not to sleep in them.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ready For Love

For three weeks I've been trying to articulate what I dislike about NBC's Ready For Love, the newest foray into reality dating shows. Tonight is my last chance. On the strength (weakness?) of three episodes, the show has apparently been canceled.

Here goes:

1) There's a mindless fun to The Bachelor. It's clearly not reality, but the fakeness is entertaining. Conversely, Ready For Love tries to be everything, and fails. It tries to be a REAL reality dating show, yet it's inevitable that you end up with the same cattiness. Like it or not some people play mind games when they're dating, others are shallow, and still others are melodramatic. Yet they want you to believe that these are real people. They're not. One of the band members a band member from the Plain White T's, the others are various movers and shakers, or people from the bachelors' past. Thus it becomes even more fake.

2) RFL tried to be different by having the female contestants coached by professional matchmakers -- the credentials of the matchmakers apparently being that they're semi-famous and (in one case) that they have a British accent. But all they really do is state the obvious ("Maybe you shouldn't have been so catty and manipulative") and balance that out with vague proclamations about dating ("Romance is really a dance").

3) Instead of one bachelor, there are three. It makes for such rapid-fire scenes and dates and confessional, you feel disconnected from everyone. They blow through an elimination scene in 30 seconds, when it's obvious that the conversation went much longer than that. So we feel like we're missing everything.

4) The hosts -- Giuliana and Bill Rancic -- occasionally pepper the show will silly comments about their own dating life. And it's awkward. And, despite its awkwardness, nobody cares.

I could go on with other reasons, but I'm tired, the show is almost over, and so I won't. The bottom line is, since this apparently is the final episode, I won't get to see who ends up winning. And I can't really say that I care.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston Strong

I'm not even sure I have the words right now. But I feel a tremendous sense of relief.

I really thought it would take months, if not longer, to find the cowards behind The Boston Marathon Bombings. Sure, it was the Marathon and it's one of the most photographed events of the year. But that also means there's volumes of footage, so you're looking for a needle in a haystack. Like all other professions, there are good cops and bad cops and it's great to see the good in the Boston, Watertown, Massachusetts State police and the FBI, ATF and everyone else who had a role in this, people much braver than me, who work 24, 30 hours or more at a time. Great police work all the way around.

I never like to talk about miracles when fatalities are involved. But, given the carnage at the Finish Line and what ensued, it's amazing that only four people have died. It's a tribute to Boston, which has some of the best health care in the world.

I'm glad my local friends and family are all safe. I thank everyone from elsewhere in the country who checked on my well-being. It was deeply touching and meant a lot.

I especially tip my cap to my New York brothers and sisters, who were among the most forthcoming in checking up on my own emotional state. They are lifelong sports enemies of mine, but they went through this on a much larger scale on Sept. 11, 2001, and while 9/11 affected all of us, I now have a better sense of the deeper pain New Yorkers went through. We will continue to battle on the field and in social media, but this week Boston and New York were one badass team.

Speaking of sports, this feels like winning a championship. I'm half-expecting a Duck Boat Parade.

I haven't lost a loved one, or a limb, or really much of anything. But my sense of humanity was shaken and I am glad to have regained that. Bostonians can be douchebags. But for one week, I'm glad we acquitted ourselves well, and I have even more pride in the city I grew up around than before. Boston Strong!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Express Lane

A couple of weeks ago, I was at the supermarket to grab a few quick items. I saw an express lane with its light on so I began to put my groceries on the belt.

At that exact second, the cashier shut her light off and said, "Sorry, I'm closed."

There were no other express lanes open.

I was pissed. It was 6pm on the dot. I imagine she's supposed to leave at 6, but that's horrible customer service (and it's not like I had 300 items). If I still worked at The Chopper, that cashier would've received an earful. This happened periodically when I was front-end supervisor at The Chopper, and there's an easy solution -- you shut off the lane light, put a CLOSED sign on the belt and stand in the lane or chain it off, so customers will know in no uncertain terms that the lane isn't open. I really wanted to complain to the Customer Service Manager, but I was also in a hurry to get somewhere so I chalked it up as, "You know what? She sucks," and moved on with life.

Last night I was at the same supermarket to grab a few more quick items. I looked for an express lane, and to my horror found that same girl was working the lane I had just pulled into. I tried backing out and looking for another lane, but it was too late -- someone else had pulled in behind me.

It was a completely different experience. She smiled at me. She did all the over-and-above things cashiers are supposed to do (asking if I found everything, paper or plastic, making real conversation with me instead of sounding like a robot as she pushed everything across the belt). She did a really good job.

I don't know. Maybe we've all been motivated by The Boston Marathon Bombings to be a little kinder. Maybe she was a lousy cashier to someone else in the intervening weeks, someone else who did complain, and she's on notice to get her shit in gear. Maybe she recognized me from the first time and either felt bad or thought maybe she was lucky she got away with one and didn't want to tempt fate.

Everybody can have a bad day. I'm glad both of us had a better day this time around.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombings

I've never actually run or been to the Boston Marathon, instead opting to watch it on TV. But I've been along the Marathon Route countless times in my life. I've been to several Red Sox games, which are held nearby. I think about how fortunate I am that I wasn't in the wrong place in the wrong time.

I don't understand what kind of coward would do this. What are you trying to prove? There are many people in the world that I don't like. But what does detonating explosives and killing innocent people do to solve that?

It's always tragic when there are casualties, so part of me feels awful saying that I feel like it's a miracle that only three people this far have died (particularly when one of the victims is 8 years old, so awful). This certainly doesn't compare to Sept. 11, when thousands of people died and American history was forever changed. But because it happened in Massachusetts, this hits me hard.

This hasn't been my greatest blog, if for no other reason than I'm still in a state of shock and am more compiling random thoughts than trying to write something cohesive. And when my friend Rebecca called me and asked if I wanted to head out to Buffalo Wild Wings tonight to grab some wings and watch sports, I needed to take her up on it. I needed an escape. I needed to stop watching the news reports, which I'd been doing for five hours straight. President Obama said, "Boston is a tough and resilient town, so are it's people." And I had to throw on my Boston Bruins jersey, even though the Bruins game was canceled tonight, to wear to Buffalo Wild Wings as a tribute to a wounded city.

Boston, you're my home.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


I wore glasses today. I need to order new contact lenses, so for a little while I'll be bespectacled.

This happens periodically, and it always leads to a variety of comments.

"I didn't know you wear glasses...."

"Hey! You got a haircut."

"Is that a new shirt?"

The one that crops up the most is, "You look nice with glasses. You should wear glasses all the time." It's the most frustrating one. Because it's a very flattering comment. And yet, I hate wearing glasses. I had to start wearing glasses in the fourth grade. Nobody liked me in fourth grade, and so I was subjected to taunts of "Four-Eyes" and "Geek" throughout the year. And glasses press on your nose and they become very uncomfortable after awhile.

So maybe my own personal vanity has gotten the best of me and I'm being a shallow jerk. But I hope I can get a new supply of contact lenses soon.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Proposal: The 2012-13 Winter Storm Names

We had a dusting of snow Friday, very possibly the last snow of the winter. After an average start, we had a pretty wild winter snow-wise, highlighted in the mist of things by Winter Storm Nemo. There was a lot of flak about the naming of Nemo. People felt it was corny to name winter storms.

Being the contrarian that I am, I disagree. It's no more corny than naming hurricanes. But there's a reason we name hurricanes -- it's easier to identify them for historical purposes. And it's just as legitimate to do so for blizzards and nor'easters. It's a pain in the ass to look up Northeastern Blizzard of 2009 on Wikipedia and find yourself redirected to a storm that primarily affected the mid-Atlantic states.

My issue with the naming of Nemo was in the name. Nemo? Really? What a wuss. When I think of Nemo I think of a cartoon clownfish. If you're going to name winter storms, give them badass names.

Therefore, I've gone through the trouble of coming up with an alphabet of winter storm names, so that we don't have to be subjected to horrible naming decisions next winter. So here we go

Winter storm:

Freddy Krueger
Jersey Devil
Vlad the Impaler

You're welcome. See you next winter.

Friday, April 12, 2013


I did it. I jinxed myself.

Last month I made the final car payment on my PT Cruiser, and posted my happiness about that on Facebook, with a sarcastic expectation that "it'll probably die on me now."

A week later, the title arrived in the mail.

Two weeks after that, I was coming home from staff meeting and about 10 minutes from home I heard a "THUNK" from the engine of my car, followed by some sputtering. I was able to drive it home (bypassing a gas station, even though the low fuel light had just come on, because I had a bad vibe). But when I tried to start it up again a couple of hours later, it wouldn't shift into gear.

My fears were confirmed a couple of days later -- it needed a new transmission.

To me, it just wasn't worth it to sink that kind of money on a transmission, for the miles my car had on it. Nobody wants to shell out a lot of money and then have somethng else go wrong in thier car. So as much as it pained me, I went out car-shopping again.

I really wanted to go awhile (like maybe a year or two) without making car payments. But here we are again. I have a new car. Hopefully, it'll be a hassle-free experience.

I'll try not to jinx myself again.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


In recent weeks, people have gotten in my face.

(So to speak.)

First, it was Z (not her real name), who took the direct approach:

10:34 AM z: ummmm, you havent blogged in a while....

11 minutes
10:46 AM me: i know

Truth is, I've been pretty slammed lately with one thing after another. It's not like I haven't had ideas for blogs. But every time I felt like I had some free time, something else would come up (more on this in the near future).

A couple of weeks have gone by since my conversation with Z. This morning, though, I was targeted by Q (not her real name, either).
10:01 AM [topic of a forthcoming blog] HORSE
So I figure. It's time.

Anyway, I don't wanna jinx myself (more on that soon). But things are finally slowing down for me, if only a little bit. So I will try to blog. And this is the start. I have had some good ideas I've been sitting on of late, and I will try to expose them to the world.

Now I will get shit from everyone who hates my blog. "SCREW YOU PHIL. WE WERE SICK OF YOUR BLOG, WHY DO YOU HAVE TO SUBJECT US TO THIS SHIT AGAIN?!?!"

Oh well. You can't please everybody.