Thursday, January 27, 2011

Goings On

Two weeks ago Mother Nature shit two feet of snow on Boston.

A few days later she pissed another five inches down our necks.

This morning, she's rubbing our noses in another foot while (probably) cackling like the wicked witch she is.

When I finished shoveling this morning, I looked at Wifey and said 'I'm thinking of two words.  Can you guess what they are?'

She answered 'Rum and Coke?' which was an EXCELLENT guess, but it was only 10 am and I was still shaking and sweating from my workout.

'No.  Fuck winter!  Those were the two words I was thinking.'

'You think that a million times a day,' she replied, which just proves she knows me better than anyone. 

Let's get caught up, shall we?

-  If all goes as it's currently going (see below for how that might change), I'll be taking my talents on the road.  Unfortunately, I have no discernible talent other than being impervious to hangovers and South Beach is not factoring into any travel plans. 

In two weeks I'll be visiting my second favorite city:  Chicago!  I believe Trib is around that area, so maybe I'll run into him at some posh, rich guy hangout that I could never get into or - more likely - at some random dive joint where a new thrash metal band is trying to catch a break.  That actually sounds fun. 

In March I'll be in Minnesota for nearly a fucking week.  Who lives in Minnesota?  Bigs?  10?  If I have time off from that stupid project, we should meet for beers. 

Don't ask me how I get roped into this stuff.  Chicago in February, Minnesota in March, one time I was sent to Phoenix in August.  I'm being punished, I'm sure, I just don't know for what. 

-  Speaking of Chicago, one of the aspects of this Jay Cutler controversy is something not one person has mentioned:  If Cutler came back into the game, wouldn't he have HURT the Bears' chances of winning?  Seemed to me that Heine (sp?) more than outplayed Cutler.  I'll bet everyone in Chicago had no issue with Cutler sitting out the second half. 

-  A thought repeated over and over in my head while watching the Jets play the Steelers.  It was 'where the fuck was this team last week?'  It sure seemed like the Jets main goal was to knock the Patriots out of the playoffs.  After that they were on cruise control. 

-  Finally got around to watching 'Inception' which is the first movie to have three action sequences going on at the exact same time.  I need to watch it again, because I'm convinced I missed something.  Let's give it up to Christopher Nolan, while we're on the subject.  He's created the most brain draining movie of our generation ('Memento'), one of the greatest comic book movies of all time ('The Dark Knight'), one of the most elaborate action movies ever ('Inception') and one of the more under appreciated films of the past 10 years ('Insomnia').  Already his body of work is rivaling the greats.  Chalk another one up for DiCaprio, too!

-  Keep an eye on Edgar Wright, as well.  'Shaun of the Dead', 'Hot Fuzz', and now 'Scott Pilgrim vs the World'.  The man knows how to entertain me while creating some of the most original (and demented) worlds in film.  Can't wait to see what he does next. 

-  Last night I get home from work to find my neighbor hanging out, glass of wine in hand.  Greetings are exchanged and she says 'We're here because there is a bird in our house'.  I still have boots and coat on, stop, look from neighbor to Wifey as they look hopefully back at me. 

'Do you want me to go over?'

'Would you mind?   Thank you so much!' 

Over I go with her and it takes us 10 minutes just to find the stupid thing.  It was under the couch which I lifted up for her to look under, but it was gone.  Apparently it couldn't fly because I found it under their shoe rack, just sitting quietly, hoping nobody would see it.  When we tried to scoop it up, it would run and half flap it's wings but never get off the ground. 

It tucked itself in a corner behind one of the cabinets and just when we thought it had bested us, I suggested squirting it with something.  What followed was an epic battle with a half winged, tiny sparrow that nearly destroyed her house.  Even hurt birds are super quick and can get in the tiniest of cracks. Not helping matters was their stupid cat (who brought the thing into the house in the first place).  At one point, the bird got into the fireplace behind the wood burning stove.  After several attempts to reach it, I suggested 'You know, maybe we should just let the cat finish the thing off'.

We let the cat out of the bathroom, it goes over to the bird and just stares at it.  Doesn't do a thing.  Stupid animal.  We put the cat back in the bathroom, get a broom, lay flat on the floor and sweep the thing out from the fireplace.  Panicked the bird runs to the worst possible place: The kid's toy room.  It was a nightmare.  So many places for a tiny bird to hide.  We finally found it inside a toy and just carried it outside where it probably froze to death and is now buried under a foot of snow.  Hey, survival of the fittest, right?

-  The bird was just icing on the proverbial cake for these neighbors.  Her husband told me he came home the night before and noticed all the snow and ice were gone from his stairs.  Normally one would think 'great!'.  He thought 'Oh shit' as he had seen this happen before when his pipes froze.  This time the dishwasher connection snapped off and water was gushing into the house the entire time he and his wife were at work.  The basement had a foot of water in it and the over flow washed out the kitchen door and down their front stairs.  To make matters worse, they had just finished renovating their kitchen and now have to replace the floor.  Again. 

When he got things shut off, he calls a plumber and his insurance company.  While he's on the phone he goes back to the kitchen and finds his two boys playing like they're in a water park.  I do believe a new word that begins with 'F' was learned at that moment. 

-  I'm putting a full court press on getting a new job.  I have an interview scheduled for Monday and another phone interview for Wednesday.  The great part of looking while employed is knowing you can  hold out for a perfect job.  I want it in the same general area (love Boston) with the same general flexibility I enjoy now.  It won't be easy, but it's time.  That's why the Minnesota trip may not be happening.  If I am offered something great, I'll have to take it. 

-  The reason I'm hoping to leave is my manager was just let go.  If that's not a warning shot across my bow, I'm not sure what is.  The guy that took his place knows little to nothing of what I do.  He equates me to the bozos he works with in his office while I do much more than that.  With the possibility of outsourcing on it's way, I'm not waiting for the axe to fall.  Get out while the getting's good, right?

So, if you know of anyone who wants to hire a functional alcholic who uses work time to keep internet strangers semi entertained, keep me in mind. 

Needless to say, it's going to be super busy for me the next few weeks.

I'll keep in touch when I can. 

Today's distraction:  How I would love to go out from my current job.  'I'm Rick James, bitch!'

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fine, Thanks

A quick run down of what I've been up to since last we...what exactly is our relationship, anyway?  Since I know you've all missed me terribly, here is a summary of my past week. 

Wednesday, January 12th:  Mother Nature dumped two feet of snow on Boston in less than 24 hours.  Needless to say I was fucking miserable.  Thankfully, the entire state of Massachusetts shut down to limit the casualties of idiots trying to drive anywhere.  Unthankfully (got to be a word), I needed the entire day to shovel out.  Started at 9:30 in the morning for the sole purpose of giving my stupid dog someplace other than our back hall to relieve himself. 

SideNote #1:  Do you think it's possible to train an animal to pee on a toilet?  He had to go so bad he didn't even go through his normal 'sniff, sniff, no this place won't do....yeah, here we go', ten minute morning dance.  He just lifted and went immediately.  This got me thinking if I plopped him on the toilet and told him 'Go Potty' (he actually understands that phrase) it might work.  At the very least, maybe the shower stall would do the trick.  As you can see, my mind gets creative when I'm trying to avoid manual labor. 

Anyway, I started shoveling the back stairs and walkway, got around to the front stairs (approximately 15 feet), managed to get the front walk up to the cars done when I realized I was exhausted.  My hands were shaking and I wasn't even a quarter of the way done. 

Took a coffee break (it's in my contract), ate something, went back out at 11:30.  At 2:30pm I had a conference call and I still hadn't made it to the street.  I was soaked, beat, on the verge of tears while recalling our trip to Grand Cayman seven months ago and now had to deal with stupid work people.  On the bright side there was still a full fledged blizzard going on outside my window. 

You may think I'm being sarcastic (and I was sort of), but one positive thing did come from the storm.  Halfway through my call the storm knocked out my internet and phone.  That's a shame.  I tried calling in again from my cell phone, but I was locked out.  Whatever.  It was boring anyway. 

At three I head back out to shovel after sending a text to the leader that I was incommunicado.  At this point the storm was winding down but had dumped 4 more inches where I had already shoveled.  Got that done again, finished up the rest realizing that I needed to finish soon or everything was going to freeze up and be impossible to move. 

Finish time was 5:30 that night.  I would estimate six full hours of shoveling to get things completely clear.  To put it another way, FUCK ME!

SideNote #2:  Interestingly enough, as soon as my phone/internet was knocked out a young man approaches me, calls me by name and says 'I'm here to offer you Verizon FIOS'.  When I asked if he had just intentionally interrupted my service to make his offer seem better, he laughed and denied doing so.  Still, that timing was odd.  When I next asked why he was walking door to door in a fucking blizzard, he told me he had seventy grand in student loans to pay off and figured today most people would be home from work.  Kid's got a future.  Needless to say, I signed up for FIOS internet and phone for less than I'm paying now and got a free wireless router.  Score!

SideNote #3:  There is some controversy in our city over the lack of FIOS as an option.  They're just bringing it into my neighborhood (hence the good price on the offer) but have been fighting to do so for years.  When I asked the Verizon dude what's taken them so long he told me our mayor is friends with one of the higher ups in Comcast.  'At least that's what the guy up the street told me'.  Our mayor sucks.  I've been joking that I'll put my name in to run against him, but it's becoming less of a joke the more I hear about him.  How funny would that be?  Me as mayor?

Thursday, January 13th:  Besides doubling as a recovery day for every muscle in my body, I managed to get to work despite a hellacious commute.  My normal 10 minute drive took me 35 and the trains were all running late.  Still, it was better than shoveling. 

Friday, January 14th:  Only half day of work due to the long weekend.  Got my drink on at exactly 3:30 in the afternoon.  I picked the boys up from school first, man.  Don't judge me. 

Saturday, January 15th:  Last minute call from friends resulted in a dinner out (sans kids), some serious Stella consumption and many laughs. 

SideNote #...uh...what number am I on?  4!!  SideNote #4:  Is there a more potentially disastrous situation than being with your significant other and realizing there is an entire bar full of hotties surrounding you?  I say no.  To make matters worse, the hostess of the place was a 12 out of a possible 10 and our waitress was a solid 8.  Somehow (honestly, I don't know how these things happen) I wound up talking to two good looking women in the seats behind us and deflecting comments from my wife's friend regarding my trend of chatting up other women.  She even brought up an age old story about a girl hitting on me with Wifey sitting right next to me.  I think she totally made this up as I don't remember it at all, but Wifey backed her up.  Still, they're women and I don't trust a thing they say.

Sunday, January 16th:  Prepped house for the certain Patriots victory that night.  Cleaned, bought booze, stacked beers in the snow to keep cold.....wait....

SideNote #5:  The sole (literally the one and only) good thing about winter is being able to store beers outside.  Since snow was two feet high on the back deck I stuck an entire case of beers into it one by one.  Just reach out, grab one and pull.  Didn't even have to bend over.  It was glorious!

....where was I?  Oh, right.  Friends came over and we watched the Pats worst case scenario unfold with mounting horror.  People talk about the muffed, fake punt or Brady's interception but I knew this game was lost when Crumpler dropped that sure touchdown pass in the first quarter.  Everyone in my house thought it was a touchdown.  We were celebrating and whooping it up until I looked back at the television and saw the Pats were running another offensive play. 

'What?  What happened?  A penalty?'

'No,' my ten year old answered, 'He dropped the pass.  You guys were too busy celebrating to see the replay.'

Everyone solemnly sat down and it was all downhill from there. 

SideNote #6:  Allow me three thoughts about this game:

1:  For the first time I can ever remember, Tom Brady played scared.  Maybe scared is too strong a term, but he was hesitant and antsy and looked all out of sorts.  Perhaps 'intimidated' is a better word. 

2:  The Patriot's have officially become the Indianapolis Colts.  Great regular season, great QB stats, great offense, questionable defense, looking like a power house for the entire season, only to fold when it really matters.  That was the most painful sentence I've ever written, but it's true. 

3:  Maybe Belichick should have let the Patriots talk trash back to the Jets.  The Jets certainly looked like the more confident team from the opening kick off and, let's be honest, it couldn't have ended any worse for the New England team.  Next time, let them talk back. 

Monday - Wednesday:  Work, work, sleep, sleep, gym. 

So we're basically caught up.  Pats suck, I'm stuck rooting for the lesser of two evils to get to the Super Bowl (still working that one out), and I have to go to New Hampshire for work tomorrow. 

Oh, and the weather mediums are predicting another foot of snow for Friday.  See you on the other side. 

Today's distraction:  Enjoy my latest addiction:  Gravitat.  Games make me happy. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sporting Thoughts

As part of their Christmas gift, Wifey and I took the boys to the Celtics game on Friday night.  I wish I could give thoughts on how the team played, but I spent more time doing one of the following than actually watching the game. 

1:  Bringing the youngest to the bathroom.  This happened three times and one of those times was because he had to 'poop' but then refused to sit on the nasty toilet until it was up to his standards of cleanliness.  I missed twenty minutes of the game at this point.  Oh, and he never did drop one. 

2:  Standing in line getting food for the boys. 

3:  Standing in another line to get beer for Wifey and myself. 

4:  Wandering around the pavilion trying to find where they sold green, floppy, foamy hats that my youngest wanted as part of my bribe to get him to sit on the toilet to take the shit that never came.  I never found them. 

5:  Staggering around like a mugging victim when I saw Peroni was a beer option in the Garden followed by me realizing I was just roped into paying eight bucks a pop for them.  Fuckin' A, Garden people.

6:  Trying to console my five year old when he didn't catch one of the parachute gifts that were dropped from the rafters after the third quarter.  He thought everyone in attendance was getting one.  I had to explain that 20 gifts dropped into 18,000 people were never good odds, but he didn't want to hear it.  Life can be so cruel. 

In hindsight, five year old was just too young to go.  He was tired and cranky, bored and restless and wanted to be anywhere other than the game.  The only part he enjoyed was the big screen showing dancing fans and the chant of 'D-Fense' which he still chants to himself before going to bed.  He also picked up a Bruin Mr Potato Head at the gift shop that eased the pain of not getting a floppy hat. 

Lesson:  don't bring your kid to a professional sporting event until they're at least 7 years old.  Maybe even 10. 

-  My eldest loved the game, of course.  He's been obsessed with basketball since last summer and - thanks to one of Wifey's VIP friends - we managed to get him up close to the Celtics bench at halftime.  He got pics of Shaq and Pierce and has fully realized how huge everyone is.  He thought Rondo was short because he's constantly surrounded by Garnett, Shaq, and Pierce all the time.  Imagine his shock when he saw Rondo is the same height as his father. 

-  As for the game itself, the Celtics won big because - other than that Italian dude - I had not heard of one player from the Toronto Raptor's starting lineup.  And I follow basketball.  When they were introducing them, I Googled 'Toronto Raptor Injuries' on my phone to see if someone was hurt.  Here is a link to the Raptors roster.  Good lord. 

-  Met an old buddy of mine for some good old fashioned football watching at a local pub yesterday and watched Todd Haley completely submarine his team's chances of winning.  Granted, the players were to blame for a lot of what happened, but how do you run the ball for nearly 100 yards in the first half and abandon that strategy for the entire fourth quarter and most of the second half?

Yeah, I know, you're down, but the game wasn't that out of hand despite the turnovers and Haley panicked by having Cassel throw nearly every time.  Go with what got you there, coaches!! The Chiefs were moving the ball well on the ground and were wearing out the Ravens' defense.  It sure looked like Haley got scared of running when the Ravens stuffed Charles on that fourth down try.  No, it didn't work out that time, but don't use one play as a barometer of what is your team does best. 

-  Look at the four teams remaining in the AFC: Patriots, Jets, Steeler, Ravens.  And all four divisional opponents face each other for the third time this year.  Uh...Booorring!  What sucks is whoever is left between those four will also have played each other in the regular season.  Kind of why I was rooting for KC to win yesterday.  We need some fresh faces in these playoffs.  Even if the Colts had won these playoffs would still have that 'same old, same old' vibe to it. 

-  At least the Seahawks provided some surprise.  I still thought the Saints were going to pull it off near the end, but that New Orleans defense should be ashamed of themselves.  Instead of simply covering a subpar group of receivers, they were gambling for interceptions and getting burned deep nearly every time.  And not being able to tackle Lynch on that last run was a disgrace.  Lynch is getting all the props for an amazing run, but if the Saints could make a simple tackle that would never have been more than a six yard rush. 

Kudos to the Seattle offense game plan.  They must have noticed the Saints' secondary habit of gambling by jumping routes and played to that perfectly.  That second John Carlson touchdown was the single prettiest play of the post season so far.  Carlson dove at the defender's feet pretending to do a half ass job of blocking.  The defender stepped over Carlson, essentially dismissing him and Carlson gets up, runs into the end zone and stands all by himself for a touchdown catch.  Loved that play!

-  Buddy I was drinking with has a bit of a gambling problem and called his bookie to put money on the Eagles.  This was immediately following him asking me who I thought would win.  I told him I thought Green Bay would pull off a close one because they had the better defense.  He groaned then proceeded to bet against me and Green Bay.  Serves him right. 

-  Can we please ease off the 'Mark Sanchez has finally arrived' talk?  He looked terrible for much of the Colts game and making two good (not even very good) passes near the end does not mean he's suddenly matured into a top notch quarterback.  Talk to me if he can come into Foxboro in 20 degree weather and beat the Patriots.  And it will have to be him, not his defense, that does the winning.  If you've watched Belichick at all over the past decade you know he's going to force Sanchez to make critical throws if the Jets have any chance. 

-  So where are we left?

Jets at Patriots:  The last beatdown by the Pats is still fresh in the minds of the Jets and they'll be looking for payback.  However, this Patriot's team is nowhere near as depleted as the Colts team the Jets were lucky to beat.  Way too many weapons and way too much Tom Brady who knows the Jets like the back of his hand at this point.  Rex Ryan may have a few tricks up his sleeve, but Brady/Belichick will make the adjustments and pull this one out. 

Besides, it's possible the Pats got into the collective heads of this Jets team.  Even Ryan admitted it took a few weeks to get over the sting from that last game. 

Ravens at Steelers:  Two teams that are also very familiar with each other and evenly matched.  When in doubt, go with the home team.  Steelers win on a last second field goal. 

Seahawks at Bears:  So Chicago lucks out again, hosting the lamest team to ever make the playoffs and a team that's still riding high from last weekend.  Bears defense will not fall for those same pump fake tactics and Seattle is just happy to be here.  And they're not at home.  Bears in a rout. 

Packers at Falcons:  Maybe I'm crazy, but I thought Philly was a tougher matchup for this Green Bay team.  The Packers can take this game.  If you're a Falcons fan, this is the worst possible team you could have hoped to see.  Packers by ten. 

Today's distraction:  In one of the stupidest traditions to ever be thought up, today is 'No Pants Day'.  Wouldn't this have made more sense in any other month than January?  Not only do I have to see dipshits in their boxers, but they're experiencing record breaking shrinkage. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Walk This Way

My boys give me grief every time I make them walk to school.  If the weather is nice enough and we're on time, we hoof it about a mile or so to school. 

Those ingrates should be thanking me!  Once again, I have scientific proof that I should be Father of the Year if it weren't for the drunk and disorderly charges and that whole 'chaining my kids in the basement' misunderstanding. 

The University of Pittsburgh recently released findings that not only does walking help with your physical well being but relates directly to your mental well being, as well.  According to the college in Steeler-land, 'walking at least six miles a week may protect brain size and, in turn, preserve memory'. 

If I make the boys walk to school five days a week (not usually, but 3 - 4 when that bitch Winter isn't around) that would equal out to 6 or so miles a week.  That doesn't include all the walking they do as part of their day:  recess, gym class, etc.  Therefore, I am making my kids smarter by making them walk.  Or at the very least, helping them remember all the nonsense I've put in their heads. 

Sadly, all this does is make them remain on par with every other kid in the world.  I figure having me as their father loses them 10 - 15 IQ points due to the genetic mess I handed down and having been in such close proximity to my demented brain their entire lives.  Growing up with me shaping sociological and behavioral patterns can't be good for any living thing. 

Still, I am helping them down the line.  As the study claims, walking is also good for 'staving off cognitive impairment' in the elderly.  Hey, I'm elderly!!  Yay for me!

But wait, there's more!

This same school just connected walking gait and speed of elderly people to how long they may live.  I would link to it, but you have to pay for it for some strange reason.  Anything for a buck, I guess. 

According to the article 'the researchers found that gait speed was associated with differences in the probability of survival at all ages in both sexes, but was especially informative after age 75 years'.  Now, granted, it could be that if you're 75 and walk well you're in better health than those 75 year olds that need a go-kart to get around.  But I won't let simplistics like that get in the way of my twisted rationale. 

Our researchers again:  'Predicted years of remaining life for each sex and age increased as gait speed increased, with a gait speed of about 0.8 meters [2.6 feet]/second at the median [midpoint] life expectancy at most ages for both sexes. Gait speeds of 1.0 meter [3.3 feet]/second or higher consistently demonstrated survival that was longer than expected by age and sex alone. In this older adult population the relationship of gait speed with remaining years of life was consistent across age groups, but the absolute number of expected remaining years of life was larger at younger ages'.

While I've never measured my walking pace, I can safely say I'm well above the 1 meter per second referenced here.  I'm a very fast walker and am constantly annoyed by the slower people in my way.  I believe I've mentioned this before about one hundred thousand times in this space. 

Let's do some math.  I walk to and from the train station every day.  It's about two and a half miles round trip.  2.5 times 5 equals 12.5 miles.  Add to that walking I do during the work day (it's surprisingly high as I don't sit at my desk much during most days) and I would estimate 15 - 18 miles a week I walk. 

And walk quickly. 

More math:  Quicker walkers live longer.  Walkers retain their mental faculties better than non walkers. 

Conclusion:  I am an invicible, all knowing being who would be in greater power of authority if beer didn't kill all the brain cells my walking helped create.  I supposed I could rule the world if I quit drinking, but we all know that's not happening any time soon. 

Did I say soon?  I meant EVER!!!  Stupid brain. 

Today's distraction:  Check out some of the 1700 words Shakespeare invented.  That's insane!!  Wait, did he invent that word, too?  I'll bet he walked everywhere. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gift Wrapped

Another holiday season has come and gone; leaving me to pass along one piece of news.

I made it until midnight for the second year in a row!  As did the boys (aged 10 and 5) who thought they were in heaven.  I forgot how fun it was as a kid to stay up to usher in the New Year.  It isn't until late 20s when you realize that it could be the most over rated holiday of all time.  Well, second behind Valentine's Day.  At least NYE is a legitimate excuse to drink. 

Here are some nuggets from the past two weeks. 

-  We had Christmas Eve dinner at my sister in law's house where my the grandparents allowed the boys to open their gifts.  My youngest has been obsessed with trains lately so his grandmother picked up a cheap, battery operated train set.  I would estimate she spent between 15 and 20 dollars on the thing.  Well, you would have thought it was the greatest thing he had ever seen.  He unwraps the box, excitedly tells me what he got and declares 'This is the greatest Christmas EVER!' while marching the box around the house. 

-  He and my oldest also got a combined 6 Lego sets.  Oldest enjoys the new Halo War sets while youngest received 4 - count 'em FOUR - Iron Man 2 sets.  You know who puts these friggin' things together, right?  Yours truly.  I spent countless hours snapping Legos together during a week I was supposed to be enjoying my vacation.  I fairly sure those were invented to torture parents, not to entertain kids. 

-  Got Wifey the new ColorNOOK (spelled just like that, for some odd reason) and she has been playing with it for hours and hours.  It hooks into Facebook and has games and stuff so reading is the one thing she hasn't used it for.  Figures. 

-  Wifey got me the new Wii Active 2 - which is a virtual trainer that doubles as the biggest hint in Christmas history.  I've been kicking my own ass at the gym since mid December, so I figured I'll test it out and set it for an intense workout.  It starts off stretching you out, showing you how to do certain exercises and I'm thinking 'Meh, this might be too light weight for me'.  No sooner had the thought entered my head when the trainer says 'Ok, ready?' and kicks my ass for 20 solid minutes.  It won't replace the gym, but I was sore the next day and is going to be a great addition to my current workout.  It even has fun games sprinkled in (like mountain biking and sparring) that break up the routine.  Highly recommended if you're looking for something to get your ass off the couch during these cold winter months. 

-  Wifey and I also broke down and gave eldest a cell phone.  He's in love with the stupid thing even though we got it for free (shhhhhhhhh).  We also went to great lengths to act like Santa brought it only to find out he's had conversations with his buddies that Santa is code for 'parents'.  One down, one to go.  For the record he hasn't broached the subject with me and has been talking to his youngest like Santa is real, but he gives off the overly earnest vibe that makes me not believe him for one second. 

He also got his first lesson in giving out his cell phone number to anyone who asks when his cousin started texting him the day after Christmas and, when he didn't respond, kept after him.  Now, two things here.  First, he doesn't have a texting package on his phone so it's costing us every text he sends and receives.  Second, this cousin has said three words to him since they've been alive.  If that.  Even he was confused and told me 'Dad, she never talks to me.  Why is she texting me?'.  Welcome to cell phone ownership, my son. 

-  We also scored Celtic tickets for the entire family (for this Friday yeah) which will mark my youngest son's first foray into the New Gahhhhden.  His first question:  'Are we taking the train in?'  We are and he's more excited about that than the actual game. 

-  One of my coworkers introduced me to 'Pocket Coffee'.  If you are unfamiliar, it's a small piece of dark chocolate (which is good for your heart!) filled with a shot of espresso.  They're made in Italy and hard to find around here.  So imagine my surprise when I find a bag full of them by my office door.  It's the little things in life.

-  Some quick football thoughts:

1:  The Saints are fighting all sorts of history this weekend.  They've never won a road playoff game.  The only other two playoff teams with a .500 record or lower has won it's opening playoff game.  It's been nearly five years since a defending Super Bowl champ has won a playoff game.  And still the Saints should destroy this Seattle team. 

Prediction:  Brees is sitting the fourth quarter with the Saints up by 30. 

2:  Two teams I hate/fear the most (Jets and Colts) face each other.  My best case scenario is the Colts beating the Jets but Peyton Manning suffers a broken leg while completing the game winning touchdown with no time remaining. 

Prediction:  Jets win barely. 

3:  Baltimore's defense has been over rated for months now.  And if any team is going to expose them it will be Kansas City.  However, there is the Todd Haley factor to consider in that he has the best running game in the league, yet insists on passing in first and goal from the three yard line situations.  Maybe he's been saving himself for the playoffs?  You know...throwing everyone off the scent??  Maybe???

Prediction:  The Ravens pull off a last minute win by intercepting a Cassel pass and running 99 yards for a touchdown. 

4:  Packers versus Eagles is the game I'm super excited for.  Although I can't, for the life of me, figure out why everyone is still so high on the Packers.  They've done nothing to impress since mid season.  That Chicago win was U-G-L-Y - YOU UGLY!  They should put up some numbers, though.

Prediction:  Packers win a close one confusing everyone in Philly who thought Donovan McNabb was the problem. 

-  Movie review with spoilers.  If you haven't seen 'Splice' and don't want it ruined, skip this part. 

What - I thought - was supposed to be a horror flick is simply the most sexually bizarre movie I can ever remember.  Sarah Polley and Adrian Brody are a married, super smart couple who decide it's time to splice human DNA with something else (I think bird, but that's never made clear).  They create a little girl/freak hybrid that becomes the love of their life.  Brody's character is more resistant to this creation but has little problem boning his wife knowing full well a five year old girl/creature is watching from a nearby room.  He also has little problem boning that same girl later in the movie (she grows up fast) even though she has hooves for feet, can't talk, sprouts wings, and has the very real potential to rip his head off (for all they know about this thing) after mating is complete. 

But all that pales in comparison to when this girl creature abruptly turns into a male and rapes the Sarah Polley character near the end of the movie.  Since it's discovered Polley used her own DNA as part of the procedure, we have the first movie where a woman inadvertendly rapes herself.  How did 'Back To The Future' or 'TimeCop' miss that paradox?

To sum up, the married couple nail each other and each nail the creature they create.  Oh, and this movie sucked so bad thinking about how fucked up it is was the most entertaining part. 

-  I've got ten tickets for the 330 million dollar Mega Millions tonight.  If I show up at work tomorrow with a new Ferrari....oh who am I kidding?  I ain't coming to work if I win.  I'll be on the first flight to LA to see old friends and buy that 4 million diamond ring off Kobe's wife. 

-  Don't look now, but those 'firming' (aka ri-fucking-diculous looking sneakers) are in the middle of a lawsuit by women with still flabby asses.  They claim the sneakers do not tone.  No word if the women have been wearing them while sitting on the couch, eating nachos and watching 'The Biggest Loser' marathons.  They do know they have to 'walk' for them to work, right?

-  I'm super excited that we are seeing the end of the constant Brett Favre adulation/obsession only to hear there is yet another lawsuit regarding his time with the Jets.  How friggin' hard up is Favre, anyway?  Can't he just fly his wife in for a hummer?  Did he have a side bet going with Tiger?  The more we learn about BF the bigger a dick he appears to be. 

-  It's now January 4th and we still haven't had the national championship game.  Weren't these things decided on New Year's Day?  How is this farce still going on?

-  Lastly, Bill Buckner is returning to the Boston area to manage the Brockton Rox baseball team.  This is the local minor league team that constantly uses old school promotional gimmicks to get attention.  I still have their 'Grady Little' bobble arm in my office.  It's got the date and time stamped on it when Grady should have called for a left handed reliever rather than leaving Pedro in to face Matsui.  It's fantastic.  They even got around paying MLB licensing fees by having the jersey read Red Socks. 

Until next time.

Today's distraction:  Even dogs like shooting games.  Of all the aspects of this video that the parent keeps filming instead of trying to help his son is the most disturbing to me.  'ahahahahahah, look my kid's getting sexually assaulted by an animal.  Keep rolling!!'