Thursday, July 26, 2007

Four Things I Learned in Dallas

  1. It's very flat. And brown-ish. And it sprawls out over miles.


  2. It's one of the few cities in which it can be over 95 degrees with 90% humidity, and yet people walk around saying how lucky we are that its not really all that hot. Perhaps they just mean in comparison to the surface of the sun.


  3. They really do things bigger in Texas. NYC might have pipe explosions that send hot vapor and asbestos-laden debris hundreds of feet into the air, but Dallas has exploding gas canisters that send debris raining down on nearby highways and buildings.


  4. I've seen some pretty scary things in New York over the years, but nothing compares to the hoards of Mary Kay representatives that had overrun the city for their annual meeting. To call them aggressive would be an understatement. In fact, I quickly got in the habit of checking to make sure that all of my limbs were intact whenever I passed through a pack of them.

Anyway, lots of work to catch up on, but I can't help but in thinking about the things I've written about Stamford, SoBrown, Denver, and Dallas, I can't help but to feel that I might not be getting the most out of the cities I visit.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Seven Things

What do prisoners use to call each other? Cell phones!

It's raining cats and dogs here today. In fact, I stepped in a poodle on my way to work today.

Okay, sorry. Had to get those out of my system.

Apparently, I've been tagged by SSC to - in her words - "reveal 7 random things about yourself that we may not know. Hope they are juicy secrets like you were a cheerleader for the San Francisco 49ers...you know, like that!"

Now I'm not sure how she found that cheerleader's outfit in my closet, but I'm sure I can come up with a reasonable explanation. While I work on that, why don't you go ahead and either read my seven or skip to a more interesting blog via the links on the right.


  1. As much as I'd like to be a professional baseball player, that ship seems to have sailed. However, I do want to teach at the college level at some point.


  2. I briefly studied to become a priest. It's true. Stop laughing. Not doing so is one of the best decisions I've ever made.


  3. I use humor to keep people at a distance. Shocking, I know. Which reminds me, two rabbits and a giraffe walk into a bar... See? I wasn't lying.


  4. I often check out mentally when I'm giving people HR advice. When they ask me to repeat something I've just said, I can almost never remember what it was.


  5. When I was in first grade, I won an art contest. I was even in the local paper (my parents still have the picture and the article). I can't recall having done anything creative since that time.


  6. I read. A lot. Way too much, in fact. Upwards of two books a week. I like to think that makes me intelligent, but I sense that it's more of a form of escapism.


  7. I graduated college with a GPA of 3.97. The only blemish was an A- that I received in a creative thinking class (see item 5). That just goes to show you a few things. (1) It's remarkably easy to get an 'A' these days and (2) A high GPA isn't necessarily an indicator of intelligence.
And there you have it.

Okay, I'm off to Dallas to attend meetings for the next two days. Try to behave while I'm gone. I don't want to come back to find my blog destroyed.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Steamed

What a day yesterday.

It began with a torrential downpour that, if news reports are to be believed, dumped 5 inches of rain on the area in just a few hours and which was highlighted by a tornado that whipped through a (very) small part of Long Island.1

Then late yesterday afternoon a steam pipe exploded that spewed mud and pebbles through the air and sent a steam cloud that, according to some observers, reached as high as the nearby Chrysler Building2

At that time I was in a meeting uptown. When I left the meeting and checked my voice mail, I had a number of messages from people calling to make sure that I was okay - which was touching until I realized that all of they were all from my creditors and life insurance beneficiaries.

I awoke this morning hoping to put the events of yesterday behind me, but I was stunned when, in my groggy state, I peeked out the window couldn't understand how the steam from the burst pipe had completely enveloped Long Island to the extent that I couldn't even see my pool from my second story bedroom window. About a second later, I woke up enough to realize that it was actually just fog.

When I arrived at work this morning, I was called into a meeting to help determine a way to figure out why - in spite of our frequent communications and drills - our employees chose to react to yesterday's events by spreading rumors that the building was collapsing and sprinting for the stairs. 3

And to cap it all off, as I walked to the subway to head downtown for a meeting this morning a short, portly gentleman standing next to me decided to educate me by screaming in my face that checking my Blackberry while waiting to cross the street somehow makes me a "faggot". I pushed him away, but he proceeded to follow me for a block or so while speculating loudly about my sexual preferences and various and sundry other topics until I finally stopped and turned to face him, at which point he hustled across the street to continue shouting at me from other side.

Of course, life tends to balance itself out in the end. I know this because on the way back from the meeting, I was handed a free breakfast bar and coupon for a free 1/2 hour massage.

I just hope the masseuse doesn't turn out to be the guy that was yelling at me.
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1 Don't worry, SSC. That kind of stuff never happens out here. Then again, there's no reason for you to believe me since we've had several freak storms and a steam pipe explosion since I started telling you that these things really don't happen out here.

2 According to Wikipedia, the Chrysler Building stands 1,047 feet (319 meters) high

3 Which, admittedly, would have been a good strategy had they been correct.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Restaurant Review: Breakfast At BK

On my way to work this morning, I stopped at the Internet Burger King near Penn Station which, despite what the picture may lead you to believe, is not located in the back of a delivery truck.

Anyway, I ordered a virtual Enormous Omelet Breakfast Sandwich (which would have been 740 cal/46 g fat/3 g fiber/45 g carbs in real life) with a .jpg of coffee. The sandwich looked delicious, but the coffee picture was grainy and seemed a little dated and they didn't even bother finding one with a Burger King logo on the side.

I had intended to sit down and read some news sites as I enjoyed my piping-hot breakfast images, but unfortunately someone next to me logged on to MySpace and it was difficult to concentrate while they and their on-line friends chatted away.

All in all, it wasn't the pleasurable dining experience I'd hoped for and, quite frankly, if I'd been up to the effort I could have had the exact same breakfast at home.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Blogservations: Of Bargains and Beverages

More Random Stuff:

The other day I was at the store when I saw something advertised as $5 - Two for $10. I didn't need two, but I picked them up anyway because, let's be honest, who can resist a bargain? I was on line to pay before I said "Hey...wait a minute..."

While walking to work this morning, I saw a woman drain the dregs of her venti iced coffee, toss the cup into a garbage can, and follow me into Starbucks to order another one. That certainly explains the sprinter-like speed with which she shot down the street.

While continuing my journey, I also noticed a local deli advertising "Steak In Chilladas" as a lunch special. As a matter of conditioning, my first thought was "Wow, that's someplace that pinknest would probably never eat."

The remainder of my walk was spent wondering what a Steak-In-Cillada" is. I finally settled on it being a meaty, iced, blended beverage. Clearly they're trying to take away some market share from the aforementioned Starbucks.

While in the restroom today, I heard a gentleman in one of the stalls whisper "Someone just came in, so can I call you back a little bit later? Okay, I love you."

Now my question is this: Was someone coming into the restroom really the reason why he should have ended the call?

Okay, I'm off to California so that I can achieve my usual SSC-inspired ataraxia.

God, I love word-of-the day.

See you upon my return.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Blog, Blog, Blog

Thinking up material for my blog can be a frustrating process. At times there seems to be a veritable cornucopia of ideas brewing in my head, but at other times my brain is as barren as...well, I was going to say as barren as Carthage after Scipio Africanus took his revenge on Hannibal's homeland, but even I don't quite understand that reference...so let's just say as barren as a Star Trek fan's social calendar.

Anyway, I got to thinking about this yesterday and I decided that there is a fortune to be made writing blog posts for people who are too devoid of ideas...erm....or are busy at work doing the job they're being paid to do.

I'll charge something like $20 per post to write generic, yet authentic sounding post. For example:

Geez, it's hot today. Its so hot, that when I was having breakfast with my self/roomate/husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend I looked out the window and saw two trees fighting over a dog! Seriously, though, I feel like I need to visit Hell just to cool off.

Anyway, I'm off to work today. I only hope that my boss/co-worker/secretary doesn't spend the entire day again organizing a Clay Aiken (born Clayton Holmes Grissom on November 30, 1978 - thank you Wikipedia!) defense fund on the off chance that he faces charges for the
altercation he had with a woman during a recent flight.

Wish me luck!

See? It's drivel like that that keeps the blog world afloat.

Anyway, I've even thought of a cool name for my new company. It's perfect in that it's both patriotic and descriptive.

I'm going to call it 'The United States Postal Service'!

I'm a marketing genius.

Wait....what do you mean that name is already taken?

Monday, July 09, 2007

An Open Letter to the Media

Dear Media,

As you've been breathlessly reporting all morning, according to her attorney, Miss New Jersey, Amy Polumbo, has received a second threatening package from someone trying to blackmail her into relinquishing her crown.

While I can understand why a sensationalistic story such as this might take precedence over the White House denial of reports of internal debate amongst it's officials regarding a gradual pullback of troops in Iraq; or the dozen wildfires blazing throughout the western United States; or even the upcoming release of the Harry Potter book and movie, I also want to caution you not to lose sight of the real tragedy here.

That some poor woman out there actually has to represent the state of New Jersey.

Your Friend,

Joe

Friday, July 06, 2007

Who Do You Admire?

I was reading a blog post yesterday that asked the question "Who do you admire most?"

I thought about that question for quite a while, but try as I might, I couldn't come up with an answer. For some reason, I could only think of public figures, which is a sure way to set oneself up for a letdown. I mean, how can you know someone based on snippets you see on the news or read in the papers? Sure, you can appreciate the things that they do, but how can you truly admire a person that you don't even know?

As I was speaking on the phone early this morning it dawned on me that the answer had been in front of me all along. The person that I admire most in life is the person to whom I was speaking - and the person I'm lucky enough to share my life with.

The person I admire the most is SSC.

The longer I've known her, the more I've come to realize what a truly extraordinary person she is. She's intelligent and charming, sweet and caring, beautiful and humble, strong and sensitive, independent and vulnerable. She's experienced more challenges in the past decade than most face in a lifetime and she's emerged proud, confident, and ready to take on the world.

Anyone who can't see that simply isn't paying attention. You need only catch a glimpse of her breathtaking beauty to feel your knees go weak and to know that she has no equal. You need only observe her with her boys to see what an amazing mother she is. You need only work with her for a moment to know that she far and away the most talented person on her team. You need only hear her laughter or see her smile once to know how she lights up every room she enters.

I suppose one could argue that I'm blinded by my feelings for her, but that's simply not true for I've felt this way about her from the moment we met. It was only later that I that I was somehow granted the incredible gift of capturing her heart.

And believe me, I've not taken that gift for granted. Nor will I ever.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Life Lessons: Soggy Handshakes

Wet-Ones singles are remarkably handy to have around the office for the inevitable times when you have to greet a sweaty-handed job applicant.

Of course, the etiquette problem lies with subtly wiping your newly germ-infested, soggy hand without letting the person know why you're doing it.

That's why you should always keep a plate of chicken bones handy. This way you can pull out a wipe and say "Pardon me, I just had lunch and I didn't have the chance to wash my hands before our interview."

Then you'll feel free to conduct the interview comfortable, germ free, and confident in the knowledge that I've turned the tables -leaving the sweaty-palmed candidate wondering how long it will be before they can wash their hands.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Why I'm a Better Writer Than J.K. Rowling

In her comment about yesterday's Harry Potter post, the recently-emerged-from-hiding Alice wrote:

"i have actually devoted time to contemplating how i will to feel once i am done with book 7. i suspect it will be "empty." perhaps even "lacking the will to go on."

And there you have it.

It takes J.K. Rowling seven books to make people feel the way that I make them feel with just one blog post.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Harry Back

Only 19 more days until the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" - the final installment of series - arrives!

At last all of the nagging questions will be answered! What will happen in the final showdown with the evil Lord Voldemort. What's the deal with Harry's scar? Is it some sort of psychic connection? Is it a portal? Is it a rune? Is it a horcrux?1

And, most importantly, how much longer can I drag on a post about something that I care nothing about, using only the knowledge that I gained from a newspaper article that I read on the train this morning.

The answer? About two paragraphs longer that I probably should have.
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1 A horcrux is apparently a vessel in which a dark wizard hides a piece of his soul in a bid for immortality. The downside of this, of course, is that Harry would need to be destroyed before Voldemort could be. The other downside, of course, is that I've wasted some precious brain cells to store this piece of useless information.