Friday, December 31, 2004

2004 - The Ugly

You've seen the Good and Bad, now it's time for the Ugly.

2004 - The Ugly

Red Dress
Back in August citizens of midtown Atlanta looked in horror as a bunch of complete idiots strolled their streets wearing red dresses. Fear not, it was not an "experimental thing", but merely the Atlanta hashers' Red Dress Run. All in good fun. I'd post a picture for all to see, but gosh darn it I don't have one and I have still not figure out that whole picture hosting thing. To given you an indication of what type of woman I'd be -- my dress size if 14, with legs to die for.

Christmas Carolling
Citizens in Tucker shuttered as a band of hashers attempted to sing Christmas Carols throughout their peaceful neighborhood. I am sure that there is at least one child who will require medical attention thanks to our inability to carry a tune. Christmas was ruined for many, be thankful it wasn't you. Fa Ra Ra Ra Ra, Ra Ra Ra Ra.

I Really Thought John Kerry Would Win
Nuff said there.

Tomorrow: 2005

Happy New Year's everyone!
Paulie [eatl/ga]

Thursday, December 30, 2004

2004 - The Bad

Yesterday I summarized the Good. Today you get the bad (and it's a doozy)

2004 - The Bad

Getting Carjacked Sucked!
The Story (for anyone who hasn't heard it yet)
On a brilliantly sunny day in early August (August 8th for you detail-oriented types) I darted out to Home Depot to get some propane for the old grill (which was needed so that some summertime grilling could occur). Since I was also out of gas for the lawn mower I tossed the gas can into the trunk so that I could stop for gas on my way home. Missions completed I drove into my driveway and jumped out of the car. Because I have an alarm system in the house I decided that I should deactive it before trying to lug the combustibles into the house. That's when it happened... As I was about to put the key into the door lock a young man started walking up my driveway. I barked to him "Can I help you?". My neighborhood has it's fair share of people who would like to mow your yard for cash, or perhaps scam you for spare change using some "charitable donation" request. That's what I thought was going to happen -- I was as wrong as wrong could be. Walking up the driveay the guy asked me "Where's it at?" and when I looked perplexed, he pulled out a gun and told me to give him my keys. It was that point I realized that I was getting robbed (I'm smart like that). Next, one of his buddies came strolling up the driveway and demanded my wallet, and cell phone. I have listened to stories like this in the past, and not wanting to be one of the ones that ends up dead because fucks like this don't give two shits about human life, I followed their demands. These guys were rookies. With keys in hand they could not figure out how to put my car into reverse (it's an automatic). The second guy accused me of doing something to the car, at which point I explained to them how to get the car into gear. Come to find out, this robbery was quite the elaborate operation as at that time an old pickup truck pulled into my driveway. My theory is that these guys were taking longer than they should have and the truck (which I assume dropped them off) was coming in as backup in case there were problems. The two vehicles sped off down my street. Scared shitless I ran to my neighbor's house (knowing full well that he is an Atlanta policeman).

I am not a vengeful man. But if there was one day that I was hoping that these guy would get their just desserts, it was that day. Remember, my trunk was full of propane and a gallon of gas. I was sooooo hoping to hear a news story about a car exploding on the interstate.

The car was recovered six days later, filled with tobbacco and Blunt Buster spray (I've looked for a web link to no avail). Two years of keeping it factory fresh, destroyed in six days. An auto-theft crime ring using tactics similar to those used on me was broken up by the Atlanta Police Department back in August/September.

Hurricane Season
In comparison to the tsunami that has turned life upside down for many, my bitching about hurricane inconvenience seems trite. This year I lost electricity for at least five solid days due to hurricanes Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. Living like the Amesh can be fun, but only when you want to live like the Amesh. I actually sat through Jeanne at my mother's house in Florida when it was a Category 1 hurricane. Airport closures and lack of electricity forced me to drive a rental car home from Florida rather than fly as originally planned.

Missed Opportunities
Nothing specific here, but suffice to say I know that I fucked up more than one opportunity this year. Sorry. Bad Times, Bad Times.

Tomorrow: The Ugly

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

2004 - The Good

I am just not content with that last post, so let me start a trilogy today. Over the next three days I want to reflect on 2004's Good, Bad, and Ugly.

2004 - The Good

Goals - 2004's theme was "Return To Personal Goals" and here they were
  • Run a half marathon: CHECK -- I actually completed two half marathons, Tybee Island in February and Atlanta in November.
  • Ride a bicycle century: CHECK -- Back in June I rode the entire Cartersville Century. On top of that I rode in a metric century (a mere 66 miles) in April.
  • Compete in an adventure race, or duathlon: oops -- I dropped the ball on this one. Adventure races and I haven't gotten along very well in past years and the only duathlon I was prepared for was held on Halloween (hello! what were you thinking scheduling it then?)
  • Complete an ultra marathon: oops -- even though the half-marathons were completed I really didn't train for them. This lack of training would have killed me if I tried to run 31 trail miles in September.
Making the list was the best part of this. Even though I only managed 50% I think it still falls into the Good category.

Not only did my group of friends continue to get better, it also got bigger. Another successful Super Bowl party, birthday party, and season of watching Survivor with the dinner group. Good Times, Good Times.

Even factoring in the cold I have been bitching about for the last week, I have been in relatively good health.

Pixies And R.E.M.
Two great concerts, two great venues! The Pixies show was not only held in the Fox Theater, but featured The Thrills as the opening band. REM was held at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

The Beard
Unsolicited praise, especially for my appearance is rare. I am not unattractive, but for some bizarre reason this beard has opened up an opportunity for many people to tell me I look good. I like that!

Tomorrow: The Bad

Paulie [eatl/ga]

I Want To ROCK!

Today's message is short and simple -- I want to Rock!

Perhaps because it is only 8:30am and I am drinking the strongest coffee I can find, I am charged up and revved up to go! Has the evil cold finally exited my body -- it's been a week since it started. (And if I get sick because I had to sit outside in the "heated" patio at Brewhouse last night while they waited to start their Texas Hold 'Em tournament I will be pissed! But I digress...)

Today I'm in the mood for listening to the music of my youth, but not Musical Youth because listening to that would just be sad. I want to hear Husker Du, Pixies, Black Flag! Right now I'll even settle for some Iron Maiden, Guns N Roses, Soundgarden or Alice In Chains. Just bring it, and bring it hard!

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

You Are From Where?

The label on the cake box said it all, or at least enough to get my mind churning.

The company that produced the cake is in Between, Georgia. Think I'm making this up? Lookie here at this Mapquest link.

(read in the style of Abbott and Costello's "Who's On First?")

Costello: Abbott, where are you from?
Abbott: Between.
Costello: Between? Between what?
Abbott: Between, Georgia.
Costello: Abbott, Georgia is the name of a state between South Carolina and Alabama, you are from between them?
Abbott: Yep.
Costello: So are from either Atlanta, or Athens?
Abbott: Nope, Between.
Costello: Between what?! Between Atlanta and Athens?
Abbott: Yep half way between Atlanta and Athens?
Costello: Great, now what's the name of the city?
Abbott: Between.
Costello: Oh Hell!
Abbott: Hell? No, that's a city in Michigan. I'm from Between.

Now Between, Georgia may be a lovely city, bless their collective hearts. But since I've never been there (I have been to Hell, Michigan) I really don't know. Question -- Is using a preposition for your town name the greatest idea? Am I missing something? Was there a General Between in the Civil War? Was there a prominent family living there at one time, "Hi, I'm Paul Between of the Georgia Betweens"?

Of course, if I was on the panel deciding Between's name before Between was "Between", I would have suggested "Intercourse" (stolen from Pennsylvania, of course) to give Georgia the ultimate travel trifecta -- Intercourse to Climax to Cumming. Ah, cheap and easy humor...

This is 'Throwback' Tuesday
Today I am wearing a shirt that all but screams "Dot Com." It's a circa 1996 long-sleeved Ralph Lauren rugby shirt with wide blue and green stripes and a white collar. The only thing its missing is the obligatory now-defunct company logo emblazoned on the chest. :) Is the shirt out of style? Yes. Is the shirt warm? Hell yes! (it's at this point you should consider yourself lucky that I have not gotten around to setting up photo hosting). I think I'll donate it to Goodwill and periodically check to see if anyone buys it. :)

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Monday, December 27, 2004

'Twas The Week Between Christmas And New Year's

And all through the office things are slow. Nice and slow, see. (Shout out to anyone who connects that last sentence to The Flintstones (tv show, not movie)).

Speaking of the cinemas...
My only outing this weekend was to see The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. I give it a B, thumbs up, four stars, or whatever your scale is for a "good movie, but not excellent." If you hate Wes Anderson films (The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore) I'd advise you to skip this one, or at least wait until it's a rental. However, if Anderson's other works made you happy, this one should as well.

Late Christmas/Channukah gift for you
Here is a website that I visited this past weekend that I think should get some ITP Street Cred...

Michael Paulus' Cartoon Skeletal Art - I think this art is brilliant! Paulus has taken cartoon figures and drawn the skeleton that would be resonsible for supporting the figure. Follow the link, I guarantee it is worth it.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Saturday, December 25, 2004

I'll Have A Blue Christmas

No, it's ok. Blue is a good color for me, I am a Democrat.

Today I am trying to give myself the gift closest to Godliness -- Cleanliness. By day's end I hope to have all back in order here in the house and start anew tomorrow. So far I've opened and read the Christmas cards sent to me, have one load of laundry done with another in the dryer and am currently on a break -- making sure that I do not overdo it as the mighty cold still lingers. Currently I am snacking on what may be a new Christmas tradition Inside The Perimeter, Chipotle Tabasco cheese toast and a Hebrew Beer (Messiah Bold)! HA HA HA, or perhaps, HO HO HO!!!

To all who have read my blogs in the past, and to those of you who are reading this for the first time, Thank You.

Now, about that stack of paper on my desk...

Merry Christmas,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

Friday, December 24, 2004

The Ghost Of Christmas Past

Last night I tried a different remedy for eradicting this cold -- drink like there is no tomorrow. For the first time in many years I closed down Gravity Pub at 2am. The occasion? A good friend of mine is in town visiting family so we did some drinking and dart throwing on a Thursday night at Gravity Pub like we used to. I love Gravity, it's like that well-worn great pair of jeans that fit perfectly -- so comfortable.

The whole evening was like a living Christmas letter. We caught up on how our lives had changed since we last saw one another. Most noticably he told me that for the entire year that he drank nothing but water. You that right, nothing but water. That changed last night, as he returned to The Drinking. For this I take no credit or blame, it was his decision. I talked about my carjack incident, and the breakup of my last long-term relationship late last year -- to wit when asked if I ever talk to her I exclaimed "Nope, once I am told that I am not 'it' I have no desire continue contact." Petty? Perhaps, but I don't need to convert girlfriends to friends, I have a lot friends. [FORESHADOW ALERT]

At 1pm today (still sick -- remedy failed) I was awaken by a knock on my door. Oh ye wise reader you have figured out who was at the door, haven't you? Yep, it was her. To her credit she was returning Christmas ornaments that have been in my family for some time and erroneously made into her pile upon breaking up. I was appreciative of the gesture. If my life was a made-for-tv movie we would have hugged, realized that we were made for one another, reconciled our differences and gotten back together. Instead I said "thanks", she said "ok", complimented my on the beard (no joke), turned and walked away.

I honestly never would have known that the ornaments were missing. In years where I am single, I choose not to decorate. Christmas decorations inside my house when I am alone depress me. And besides, what am I suppose to put under the tree, presents labelled "To: Paul, From: Paul", "To: Me, From: Me", or maybe "To: Paul, From: Santa"? For me tomorrow will be just another Saturday.

Merry Christmas, or should I say Merry Saturday!
Paulie [eatl/ga]

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Turn My Head And Cough

I'm sick. Ugh... Not surprising since I interacted with well over a hundred people and stood out in the freezing cold more than once over the last five days.

Now is it "feed a cold, starve the flu" or "feed the flu, starve a cold"? Ah, it doesn't matter because I don't know which one I have. I do know that I am supposed to drink plenty of fluids. Does that include beer? Beer is definitely a fluid.

I tried to conjure up one of those old wives' tale remedies -- chicken soup (I hear it's good for the soul). The best I could do was to find a can of condensed cream of chicken and mushroom soup in the cupboard. I was a little taken aback when the "soup" flopped out of the can like cranberry jelly on Thanksgiving Day, but I figured what ever doesn't kill me, right? To make the gelatanous mixture seem more appealing, which goes a long way toward the healing process, I added water (as directed by the can), the remainder of my leftover chicken from the other day and some seasoned crutons (hey, don't laugh you put fried noodles into Chinese soups, right?). Not bad, if I do say so myself. Still sick, didn't work.

One of the things I hate most about being sick is the oddball sleeping patterns it puts me in -- asleep at 8pm, awake at 11pm, asleep at 12am, awake at 3am, asleep at 4am, awake at 5:30am, yada, yada, yada. Back in the "Old Days" I could at least catch a few interesting/amusing infomercials when this occurred, but I have already seen the "Girls Gone Wild" and "Sharper Image Ionic Breeze Air Purifier" infomercials a million times. Hey Ron Popeil, have you run out of ideas?

Sometimes you have to let The Man win - Part One
I cracked yesterday and purchased Keane tickets through Ticketmaster's web site. Yes, I paid their enormous fees, but I'll at least get to see what I believe will be an awesome show.

Can someone let me borrow an eight-year-old?
I am stuck at the first Boss Battle in the PS2 game Viewtiful Joe. I have been attempting to beat the first Boss for two days! This game is kicking my ass! Seriously, I'll gladly return the child once s/he gets me through this battle. Santa, you listening? How about a cheat code. C'mon...

It's 6:10am and I am wide awake. I wonder how long this will last.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Yesterday Day Was A Good Day

Yes, Journey said it best. As a quick aside, one of my biggest fears in high school was dating a girl who liked Journey now it's dying alone... Fuck it, I've got time!

I woke up yesterday knowing that I was taking a day off from work. Can you say 'playing hooky'? I knew you could.

My first task yesterday was to buy myself a new suit so that I could look nice for Kevin's wedding on New Year's Day. I drove the Jackmobile to my favorite Urban Wear (and I'm not even African-American, DAMN!) / Cheap Clothing establishment K&G Superstore. I got myself a "tight" suit -- that's good right? (I heard another customer refer to his new suit as being "tight" and both he and the salesman looked pleased.) The suit is three-button black with thin pinstripes, currently being altered to fit my physique. Can you say 'Playa'? I knew you could. In addition to the suit I bought some Bitch Slappin' black leather gloves and (yet another) pair of pants. For a straight man I own a lot of pants and shoes, but luckily most of them say "Plays for the Ladies Team." The only thing I didn't score was a hat. My K&G sells those "Sunday Go To Church" hats that the African- American men wear, but I figured it will be cold in Boston so this type of hat wouldn't do much good and I don't need hat hair at a wedding either.

Pleased by the completion of my main chore of the day, it was off to play. I was scheduled to do lunch (sooooo 80's) at Einstein's and then head over to the High Museum to take in the current exhibit "Van Gogh to Mondrian". Issue One -- call the exhibit what it really is, not what people want to hear. The subtitle "Modern Art from the Kroeller-Mueller Museum" is a far more accurate description of the exhibit. Issue Two -- people, it's called common courtesy! Don't hover on my back, and don't step in front of me while I am looking at the art. I don't know you, give me some space! I enjoyed the exhibit, but admittedly I don't "get" abstract art. Tell me it represents a tree, or a stanchion at the water's edge and all I can say is "You're kidding, right?" Go see it, it's art....

I was planning meeting up with my Trees Atlanta friends at Mary's, East Atlanta's gay bar (yes, Virginia straight men can go to gay bars) for Maryoke (after Monday's carolling I was feeling pretty good about my singing talents), last night but promptly fell asleep when I got home from the museum. The phone rang at 8:45pm (which when I awoke I thought it was 8:45am) -- only to be a solicitor. When I realized my internal clock was twelve hours off my first reaction was like that of Ebenezer Scrooge's when he realized that he had not missed Christmas Day. However, I quickly decided that I was tired, not feeling well, and didn't need to drink (a must in order for me to sing in public), so I went back to sleep.

Two out of three ain't bad. (now who the hell sang that? Meatloaf?)

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Oh Holy Night

Citizens of Tucker, Georgia I am sooo sorry.

Last night was the annual Moonlight Hash House Harriers and Harriettes Tacky Light Tour during which we unleased our untrained vocal cords on Tucker. Each year this hash picks a neighborhood and strolls through drinking schnapps and cider. Upon finding a house with tacky Christmas lights we stop, knock on the front door, and then serenade the residents with a Christmas carole or two. Sound nice? You've never heard us sing..... This group couldn't hold a tune if it had a handle attached. The timing was so off you'd swear that the FCC's Michael Powell had installed a six-second delay between the front and back of the pack. To further screw with our heads, at some houses we sang songs that weren't even on our song sheets! Last night one house told us to "scram" -- jeez everyone's a critic.

Tuesday's Toy Of The Day
I should wait to unleash this toy until my official Mid Life Crisis hits next year, but I want Santa to bring this real badly. It's the 2005 Ford Mustang!!!! Yippeeee!!!!! Pleeeeeeaaaaassssseeee!!! I have been as good a boy as I could be given the shitty year that I have had... I promise not to attempt to pick up twenty-year-old women with it (ok, maybe that's not completely true). The 2005 Mustang looks badass, and reminds me a little of my first car a 1968 Mustang. Hmmm, maybe this will help me attain SplendaDaddy status.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Monday, December 20, 2004

A Soft Spot For Hardening My Arteries

I hate fast food establishments. However, for some reason I like Taco Bell. Maybe because it's so cheap, maybe because I go so infrequently the "New Item" is different every time, or maybe I just like bad Mexican food. It's probably all three. On Saturday whilst Christmas shopping for myself, I walked from Best Buy over to Taco Bell. My friends, Atlanta is far from pedestrian-friendly, but I figured that if I was going to clog the system I needed the walk. Tip of the day, eat the Fajita Grilled Stuft Burrito (um, TB I think that should be Stuffed) with steak; washed down with a Mountain Dew, it's a meal to make me happy.

While noshing on my burrito I witnessed a family going through a ritual which I assume is as old as dirt -- "calling it." Yes, while leaving the 'restaurant' the kids were each "calling" what position in the car they wanted. (note - I don't think you are allowed to call "Shotgun" until you are of legal driving age) I was amused and wondered when the last time I "called" something, who first "called it", and how this ritual has spread over time. Remember we were doing this in the Dark Ages (read "back before the internet existed").

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Friday, December 17, 2004

Turning Laptops Into Writing Boards

While not nearly as impressive as beating swords into plowshares, this morning I temporarily turned my laptop into a writing board. It's Christmastime, which must mean that I am tardy sending out my Christmas cards to relatives and friends. So, in addition to my laptop I dragged my Christmas cards to the coffee shop this morning an proceeded to catch up. I guess I was also hoping that some attractive lady would think "Wow, that ruggedly handsome man is writing Christmas cards? What a perfect combination of looks and kindness *swoon*." Hey, a man can dream, right? A man can also fantasize, but only in the privacy of his own home (see also George Michael and Pee Wee Herman). Try The Veal!!!! I'm Here All The Week!!!

Christmas cards harken me back to my youth in New York. Growing up in a Ozzie and Harriet household, my mother decorated the house around Christmas like a fiend. Sometimes I think she was born to decorate for Christmas. We had a trimmed tree, obligatory nativity scene and slogans like "Merry Xmas" (cut us some slack, it was the 70's and we used to say things like "Xmas" and "Keep On Trucking" back then) sprayed onto the front window with fake snow. It seemed like mom spent days writing out Christmas cards and would then walk them down to the mailbox on the corner to send them on their merry way. She had so many cards I thought that she was either the most popular woman in Whitestone, or that we had the largest family ever (I am the product of non-birthcontrol using Catholics). Today I realize that I am wrong on both accounts, but don't care because it will never ruin the memory.

The beard keeps winning praise (from women I might add). This eventhough it has moved from George Michael to Grizzly Adams. One of today's tasks it to find a beard trimming device in order to tame this beast. The New Electric Razor Hostage count is now at 20 days.

Sunday marks the **th birthday of one of my favorite people in the Whole Wide World, *****. You know who you are and if for some reason happen to drop by and read this, Happy Birthday Yo! "You're The Tops!"

I thought I had many more ideas to pump out today, but have seemed to run out of creativity....

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Sign, Sign, Everywhere A Sign

The sign on Supreme Fish Delight read "Now Serving Breakfast." Ewwwww. If not for a strong will and and iron-clad stomach I may have lost it all this morning. Maybe the sign affected me greatly because I was driving to work a little hung over from last night's drinking (on a fairly empty stomach), or perhaps it was because Supreme Fish Delight looks barely passable as a "deeply fried fish" joint and has no business offering breakfast (my favorite meal).

You may be one in a million, but that means in China there are a thousand people just like you
Ever have one of those moments when you meet someone who has the same bizarre theory as yourself? Last night at George's the discussion of Atlanta, snow, street closings, and the shopping habits of people fearing being "shut in" arose. I have always been amused that when snow is prediced people buy the three most perishable items found in the grocery store -- milk, bread, eggs. My retort has always been "I don't understand why when a little snow falls people have a craving for french toast." No sooner did my joke (humorous observation?) leave my mouth when someone else at the bar made the same comment. Strange. So much for being very unique (I know, I know, this too is a joke.)

I'm off to do some research on the Pillsbury Dough Boy...

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

A Waist Is A Terrible Thing To Mind

Argh!!!! My efforts to lose weight before buying a suit for Kevin's wedding have failed. In fact, they have backfired and I have gained weight. Booooo!!! Hisssss!!! My weight gain is not a mystery -- my Hand-To-Mouth disease continues (read "drinking too much beer and eating everthing in sight") and my exercise routine hasn't exactly been stellar. Whose fault is this? Mine, all mine. Now it is up to me to buy a suit that fits now (and will on Jan 1) and then go about changing my habits.

I've done the weight-loss thing before. In the early nineties I was fat (not phat, which would have been very different)! Weighing in at 245lbs while standing at a modest 5'9" I sported a waistline of 42" (which in those days was a high as you could be without having to move to the "Big and Tall" section.) Thanks to the constant prodding of my friend Doug (dude, I need an excuse to travel to Australia -- get married already!) I started an exercise routine which would eventually remove 70lbs from my body over a two year period. For years I kept the weight off, but thanks to a knee injury suffered in my one-and-only marathon in 2000 and my love of the food and beer, part of that weight has crept back on, bringing me to my current weight of ~200lbs (still standing at 5'9").

In an humorous side note I have heard that President Bush put on a few pounds eating too many doughnuts during his re-election campaign and is planning on shedding some weight next year. FINALLY, I have something in common with this man. Yes, Paulie is a Democrat.

So my dear friends, if you happen to see me out and about this holiday season cramming food into my face or drinking my umteenth beer (please wait until the umteenth since it's my only remaining vice) feel free to mock me, by making pig noises and such. Go ahead, I seriously need the reminder.

What Were You Thinking Wednesday
My company is strange. We are as cheap as cheap can be, and ask for no apologies for being this way. As a nice gesture our VP decided that he wanted to buy our office a Christmas, er Holiday, gift. His stipulations were that the gift should be usable by all, and not exceed a certain amount (hell, this was coming out of his pocket so I can't fault him). The choice? An electric massage chair. What the fuck? Sure it's nice, but do I want to sit in a chair that everyone else has been using? And it is not an industrial strength model, so how long do you think it will take 100+ people using it every day to break it? I give the poor thing until February. Like every other gift I guess that it is the thought that counts...

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


I rarely go to see medium-to-big concerts these days. My live music has been limited to bars. It's not because I don't like the bands coming here, it's because I hate getting gouged by Ticketmaster. Let's face it, Pearl Jam was right! Ticketmaster is a monopoly and screws it to the public when it comes to their fees. Give an example you say? Alright here we go....

Keane and The Zutons are coming to the Coca-Cola Roxy late in January. These are not "big" acts, so I was glad to see that ticket prices were set at $20 (a bargain in my mind). Now let the screwing begin.

Ticket Price = $20
Ticketmaster's "convenience charge" = $5.65 (that's a 28% fee PER TICKET if you are scoring at home)
Ticketmaster's "transaction fee" = $4.10
Snail Mail postage = Free (or I can print it myself for the low, low price of $2.50)

GRAND TOTAL for a $20 ticket is $29.75, what a fucking bargain!

Now before you go jumping my ass for being a cheap bastard, think about how many tickets are purchased through Ticketmaster each day. Somehow these fees and charges seem a bit steep to me.

Maybe I'll just take my chances and see if there are any tickets available the day of the show.

Tuesday's Toy
I would have liked to declare my new fake tooth (crown) the Toy Of The Day, however I am quite displeased at the moment. Since being installed this morning it has never felt right. I have this sensation that I have something lodged between it and the tooth in front of it. I have flossed the fuck out the gap, but to no avail. I have a feeling that if things don't correct themselves by tomorrow I'll be visiting my dentist again long before I had intended. :(

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Monday, December 13, 2004

It Was The Worst Of Flights, It Was The Best Of Flights

Talk about differences...

ITP went OTP this weekend, to Raleigh NC to be specific. Normally I hop into the Jackmobile (as in carjack) and take the six-hour drive. I love driving. Seriously, I do. I get to set my own schedule, eat at Waffle House (need I link to them again?), and look for bizarre sodas such as Cheerwine when gassing up the car. The slogan "See The U-S-A in a Hon-d-a." (sorry Chevrolet, you just don't capture the imagination of this driver) However, time and money won the battle this time and I decided to fly.

Friday's flight was horrible. The flight was overbooked (thankfully I got the airport early enought to claim a seat) -- which meant no room at all in the cabin, we were late leaving the ground by at least twenty minutes, and hit turbulance (I thought I might get airsick for the first time.) All this flight was missing was a surly flight attendant and a screaming child. It was "air bus" travel at its worst. I was ready to start wasting people using either the nail clippers that airport security failed to confiscate, or the plastic knife issued along with the metal fork at the airport Chili's. A cooler head prevailed when I decided not to be admitted to a Federal Penitentiary (I am sure that any offense occurring at an airport is a Federal offense) and relaxed.

I was ready for another fiasco on the return flight home. Did you know that the Raleigh airport checks your boarding pass no fewer than four times? Three of those checks happen within twenty feet of one another -- prior to going through the metal detector, at the metal detector, and at the end of the cramped area where one returns valuables to pockets, laptops to cases and shoes to feet! With the exception of the asshole who ignored the request to turn off his laptop until the last possible second (buddy, whatever movie you were watching couldn't have been that good) this flight was nearly 180 degrees from Friday's. There were about thirty people on the flight with no one else in my row; the flight left early and arrived early (only to be delayed because our intended gate was occupied).

While I enjoyed the extra time spent with friends, I think my future trips might take a cue from Willie Nelson and be "On The Road Again."

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Friday, December 10, 2004

It's Me! Posted by Hello

The Proof Is In The Details

I have long believed that girls are evil. Hey, it's not *my* fault they don't find me attractive!!! Anyway, yesterday someone sent The Proof which validates my belief.

The Proof:

1) It has long been said that Girls require Time and Money
Girls = Time * Money

2) It is known that Time is Money
Time = Money

3) Therefore
Girls = Money * Money = Money ^2

4) Also known to us is that Money is the root of all Evil
Money = Evil ^1/2

5) Giving us
Girls = (Evil ^1/2) ^2

6) Resulting in our Conclusion
Girls = Evil

It now plain for all to see, well plain enough for a Friday morning spent in a coffee shop prior to heading to the dreaded land known as "Outside The Perimeter."

Have a fantastic weekend!

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Time, Temperature, And Traffic

Ask ten Atlantans what they hate most about our city, and at least eight will respond "the traffic." So, I find it strange that in fewer than twenty-four hours I have experienced a truly crappy ride leaving work, and an wonderful one to work.

Most of the time when Atlanta's traffic blows one of two things can be blamed
- time
- weather

Enter the magic Rush Hour(s), or toss a little water on the roadways and all things go to hell. Bring a little of each to the party and you might as well pull over and have a drink or eat a meal. It's just not worth the frustration.

From The Twisted Minds Of PlayJam
On Dish Network there is a collection of OpenTV interactive games. Most of them suck, in fact, they all pretty much suck. However, recently there have been some which make me laugh.

- "Wee Wee Kitty" is a game in which you try to clear a board by selecting a flower and a cat comes out and pees (complete with sound effects) on the flower, clearing all similar blocks connected to the one peed upon. The object seems to be to clear the entire board before your cat runs out of urine.
- "Beat The Meat" is a game in which you pick a meat-related character, such as Awaken The Bacon, and you have three sprint-style races to prove that nobody beats their meat with great vigour than you; their words, not mine.

Are these reasons enough to subscribe to Dish? No, but when I am feeling down and need something to pick me up, there is nothing better than beating my meat....

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Baby It's Warm Outside

I am trying to get into the Christmas spirit! I am spinning "Christmas With The Rat Pack", and Vince Guaraldi Trio's "A Charlie Brown Christmas" CD's in the car (though not at the same time because that would just be lunacy) in an attempt to get me in the spirit. But it has not been working too well since the weather forecast is for high temperatures nearing 70 degrees! You'd think after living in Florida for thirteen years I would have detached Christmas from cold, but being a New Yorker at heart I think it should be cold now, even here in Atlanta.

Nerd Alert! Nerd Alert!
Last night my trivia team and I "stormed a new castle" -- Johnny's Pizza in Inman Park. It was actually kinda fun. The format of The Trivia Factory's game is different from that of Team Trivia's (our normal provider trivia provider), but the change in format along with cheaper beer and the opportunity to eat pizza made the night fun. It even seemed to dull the pain of finishing second by a mere point.

Tuesday's Toy
Today I am salivating over Delphi's MyFi portable satellite radio. This sweet little number would give me XM's satellite radio reception wherever the fuck I go! Although, being in the satellite television business I know that is not necessarily true. :) However, the downside of today's toy is the price -- $349 clams! That doesn't even include any service, for which I'd have to pony up another $10/month. Yikes! Maybe I'll wait until the rumored "iPod Satellite" which will combine the iPod world with the Sirius satellite radio world. Yeah, I know, it's far too good to be true...

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I'm A Winner, Not A Loser!!!

It's official, I am now a Certified Winner!!!

Last night I was hanging out with my oldest friend, Bill. Sorry, perhaps I should phrase that, the friend who I have known the longest. Anyway, since he has been coming back to Atlanta for business we've getting together and lifting a few pints like we did in the old days. Last night's bar was my personal favorite -- my local bar, Gravity Pub. I've been frequenting Gravity since I moved to East Atlanta five plus years ago (back in the day when they had La Trappe [warning: that link currently has no english translation, although it used to] on draft). Gravity is the type of bar with which I can identify -- local, independently-owned, pretty to look at? well not-so-much.

On Tuesday night Chaz Lounge recreates that American Legion Hall atmosphere by spinning the balls of a bingo cage. Used to be that you would get a bingo card with every drink purchased. Perhaps, the stigma of having a table full of cards forced them to change this policy as we all seemed to play a single card all night long. In the first game I kicked ass! Screaming BINGO for the first time ever, I walked up to claim my prize when I realized that another guy was also walking up to claim victory. Crap! You see in Chaz's world he wants women to win at the same time, because the tie-breaker is a Hula Hoop contest. Not having hips made for this toy I conceded victory to my opponent much to the distain and ridicule of Chaz. What we also noticed at this time was that my co-winner and I shared the same number layout on our cards, so much for quality control... Being the gentleman I am, I traded mine in for a new one. Dumb move? Nope, as it turns out this was the card that would gain me the Grand Prize of the night, 3-D Jesus Clock along with the Moon Pie given to all of the night's winners.

I love beer, which has not exactly been a blessing to my waistline. It's not that I have a drinking problem (says me), but rather I have too many opportunities to drink!
- Sunday football watching
- Monday night team trivia
- Wednesday night running at George's
- Thursday Survivor dinner party
- Friday happy hour
- Saturday hashing

I am missing an opportunity for Tuesday nights. Ladies, this is your chance to jump in and see if I'd be interested in a date night. I am not an alcoholic. I promise..... (personal references supplied upon request)

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Monday, December 06, 2004

Mixed Signals

I have written about the "vacation beard" a few times now (and if I had my shit together there would be a picture of me with it here). What's confusing me is the mixed signals I am getting. I have been asking any woman I know who is willing to give her opinion whether or not I should keep it, and here is what I have heard most.

"It looks really good, however if you are kissing someone it will irritate her."

Great, now what?!? Shave it off and not be able to attract women, or leave it; attract them; and not be able to kiss them? Both seem like shitty options, especially since I am not exactly sporting a GQ-quality face underneath the beard.

Btw - I am asking for input because I don't have anyone to kiss, godammit!!! I know that you know this, and that you are most likely not interested in filling the open position -- so maybe I'll just stop asking....

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Aw Nuts!

Man, did I ever pick the wrong time of year to get my latest crown. My dentist warned me that I should not eat anything hard on the temporary-crown side of my mouth, until the "permanent" is installed in a few weeks. Normally, this wouldn't be too difficult, but this being the Christmas season, nuts seem to be everywhere. It's Christmastime, I want to eat nuts! Crazy? Sure! But for some reason Christmas equal Nut Eating Time for me. Maybe I should contact Harlan Pepper and ask him what sort of nuts I could eat without fear of breaking the temporary crown. I'm sure he would know...

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Friday, December 03, 2004

What A Difference Two Years Makes

Welcome to Fantastic Friday, as is every Friday for me in December. Six years ago I started working for a company that required me to take all of my vacation in the year in which it was acquired. So, having some time to kill, I decided to take every Friday off from Thanksgiving through New Year's. The tradition has stuck....

In order to bask in the glory of my days off, I decided I should hit it Friends' style and hang out in my local coffee shop. Six years ago it was called Sacred Grounds, a cool, yet not hip coffee shop in East Atlanta in which I was nearly the only person in attendance. Today, as I type this, it is called Joe's (I'd provide a link but there seems to be none, so try this on for size) and it is jammed packed with people -- three others also toting laptops. Presumably, these are the people who have moved here in recent years. It is such a shock to me that I have since forgotten the original intended theme of today's blog. Yikes!

The coffee is starting to kick in, so put on your "Stream of Conscience" hats, children....

The attractive young lady, who is also laptop-enabled, has gone into "teacher mode" pulling out stacks of papers out of every orifice. But wait, she has now just thrown them all out, so perhaps I am wrong (or her students are in for a rude awakening.)

One of the things I like about this city is a wide and somewhat varied music scene. Last night I went to a place called the Red Light Cafe for Bluegrass Thursdays where I saw an excellent band called the Steep Canyon Rangers. I applauded them not only for their fine musicianship, but also their decision not to play what I consider to be the "Freebird" of bluegrass, "Rocky Top." People who know me well understand my distain for this song derives from my University of Florida education, not my dislike of Hillbillies. I admit bluegrass is a new venture for me (heightened by my trip to Nashville), but I am not immune to the want of new musical avenues. For those needing a polka fix, check out Brave Combo the next time they come to town.

My "vacation beard" continues. Oddly, I had all intentions of shaving this week in anticipation of my new electric razor arriving from Amazon, but people have been complimenting on its appearance. A lesser-confident me, read "pre-rant earlier in the week" would have joked that they thought it was a good thing for me to hide my face; now I respond with a confident "Thank You."

Now spinning in the laptop cd is "Christmas With The Rat Pack". It's past Thankgiving, so Bugger Off!

I wish it was raining today so that I could go see The Incredibles. I hate wasting such a nice day by going into a movie theater. I still feel like I am the last person in America to see it.

The Final Jeopardy answer is "$884." Perhaps Ken Jennings would know that the question is "How much did my dentist trip cost me yesterday?" Seems like I would have had more joy purchasing the iPod, new suit for Kevin's wedding, and webcam that I could have gotten for the same price.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Open Wide, Both Mouth And Wallet

Today is one of those days I dread. I have finally succumbed to my dentist's constant request for getting another crown, and today is the day. Crown number three. Now who do I have to blow in order to become a part of royalty? And me with no dental insurance (don't ask). Ouch in the mouth; Ouch in the wallet! I better get a pretty nice Christmas card from the Ole Doc this year...

One of the few things I will fault my parents for is being too lenient in the oral hygiene department. Maybe it was because they had poor (no?) dental work in their youth (being children of The Great Depression), maybe it was because my childhood was still in some of the Dark Days of dentistry (much pain, ugly metal fillings), or maybe it was because we couldn't afford it. I am not sure. However, this leniency combined with my bad-teeth genetics, I have had many disappointing trips to the dentist. Today's trip is to repair some other work done nearing twenty years ago.

In preparation for today's misery I decided to treat myself to a huge breakfast at the Waffle House. I have mentioned before my love of the diner breakfast; coffee, hashbrowns, and a greasy egg sandwich. Yummy, fucking, yummy. And because my dental work will be completed just before noon and I assume I will be unable to eat for a few hours afterwords, I ate a shitload! While I wouldn't endure dental work everyday in order to gorge the way I did this morning, it sure made me happy.

I've said it before, and I shall again -- from here on out I am all about make ME happy.

Oooh, and this just in.... Check out today's Feature Article about Richard Feynman on Wikipedia. You may not know of Feynman, but if you are old enough to remember the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, you know of his work. He was on the panel who discovered that it was the O-rings which caused the explosion.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Keep Your Eye Off My Fly

Welcome to What In The World Was I Thinking Wednesday. I have decided that each Wednesday I should discuss something that made me say What In The World Was I Thinking. Today's topic: Calvin Klein Button Fly Underwear. btw - that link takes you to Macy's where the picture is not of me (sorry ladies).

I know how I started wearing them. Back in the Go-Go Nineties (back in the day when Atlanta was giddy because The Olympics were so close we could taste it) I was dating a young lady who deemed my tighty-whities so out of fashion that a great Valentine's Day gift would be underwear. In her defense, she was right. However, she also started me out with the button fly boxer briefs. Not to be rude, and to ensure that I was to get lucky, I declared my adoration for the new skivvies. To my credit, I was right.

Over the years I have declared boxer brief underwear to be the Greatest Thing since sliced bread. My "boys" need a house -- CHECK. Flatters what God gave me in the front and rear -- CHECK. Has a modicum of style when stripping off the jeans for that "first time" -- CHECK. But button flies? -- UNCHECK. Can I tell you how many times I fumbled with those stupid buttons while drinking in a bar? Urinal time is "eyes front and center" time, but when you see a guy standing there fumbling "down there" one conjures strange thoughts. I'm just saying. Before you tell me to stop buttoning them, let me tell you that an "open door" underwear policy will only get you in trouble. At that point you might as well be going commando.

Which brings me to the What In The World Was I Thinking part. It's been many moons since the original purchaser and I have parted ways. Yet, I have since, and occasionally ponder the idea of purchasing button fly underwear. WHY? Can someone please explain this to me? Is there some part of me that thinks if I run into her on the street I will be able to drop my pants and say "See, still wearing the button fly boxer briefs. Want to get back together?"

Paulie [eatl/ga]