Sunday, November 27, 2011

Where In the World Are Debbie and Joel?

It's Big ... it's Easy ... and the food can be Greasy.

That's right ... we headed to the Crescent City right after Thanksgiving dinner with the Gallaghers. And my hometown was loaded with activity ... there were three home games: Saints vs Giants, LSU and Arkansas (well ... Baton Rouge via New Orleans) and the Bayou Classic (Grambling vs Southern).

Despite the massive crowds, we made our way through the city... AND through equally massive plates of food and piles of plastic casino chips.

Speaking of food ... Debbie tried her hand at barbeque shrimp. Not a fan of crawly things with antenna and legs, Debbie bravely peeled the greasy shrimp that were about the size of small Volkswagons.

The weather outside was frightful. 
But the "music" was delightful.

The music from the street bands that gather on every other street corner is not the typical off key/hold your ears stuff you hear in other cities.

Much of it is actually very good.

We spent time on Royal Street looking through galleries for something cool for our walls. Those of you unfamiliar with the art galleries in New Orleans might not know that there are lots of them.

After 23 galleries, I told Debbie that I was exhausted ... no more art for me. I needed an infusion of slot machine noises.

I did stick around to make a few purchases.

Like this painting from an Italian guy, Antonio Tamburro ... I like this one, but who knows ... this guy might be a teenager who lives at home and paints in his garage instead of what the art dealer said: Educated at the School of Art in Naples.

This painting was called "Shades".    

And we bought this table done by sculptor Paul Wegner.

He's the guy that sculpts jazz musician's heads and hands holding horns, guitars and other musical instruments ... seemingly floating in mid air.

This is a rare table made the same way ... the story is (get this) Wegner shot himself accidentally in the arm and now no one knows if he'll ever sculpt again ... sooo ... this table will be worth a fortune one day. (right)

Actually it isn't important to me because we love this table regardless. Cool huh?

Check out this Fats Domino Jazz and Heritage Festival poster from 2006.

It was painted by James Michalopolous. He's a New Orleans boy and has done many of the Jazz posters. I love this guy. His style just makes you smile. I can hear Fats banging on the keys when I look at it.

We've got about 12 of these posters with Jerry Lee Lewis, The Nevilles, Jimmy Buffett, Allen Toussaint and more.

Of course the story on this one is that there are no more for sale and it too is worth a Biiiillllllion dollars (well maybe a couple of hundred).

So ... just as I was heading out of the galleries I met these three guys named Tamburro, Michalopolous and Wegner.

Their stuff was hanging on the fence and selling for $5.67 apiece.

(Just Kidding)

I Love New Orleans!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Giving Thanks

This week is Thanksgiving. I did an early list of all the things I'm thankful for (in addition to my wonderful children, my weird father and my beautiful wife). Note: If I didn't start with that I'd be in deep doo doo.

1. My iphone. Yes you may think me shallow to start my list with this, but if you are really honest, it would be at the top of yours. My entire life is in my iphone and when it is not there or not functioning I go into deep depression. If your name is Noreen, you are NOT thankful for your iphone because you don't have one. In fact, your phone doesn't even have the letter "p" and you have to use your husband's phone to text. You can't even write a ransom note .. it would come out like this ... " lease ut $1,000,000 in a aper bag and don't call the olice!" 

2. The $10 slot machine in the High Limit room of Hard Rock closest to the cage. I should say, I'm thankful for that machine this past week because I hit a $7200 jackpot on Tuesday. The month before I lost $3,456,781 in the same machine.

3. My Man Cave. I watch TV in there, eat in there and sleep in there. Debbie can visit but is not allowed to talk in there. Actually, Debbie does talk in there because she doesn't follow directions well and if you believe this and you have been married for more than 10 years, you know that I just made the last part up. Debbie allows me to HAVE a man cave.

4. Peanut butter. I have always loved peanut butter on everything ... crackers, celery, chicken, potatoes, the sofa. I started Weight Watchers and noticed that peanut butter was only 13 points. I was on Cloud 9 until somebody told me that it was a teaspoon full of peanut butter ... my typical portion was 456 points ... enough for 10 meals.

5. Dewars and water. Now THAT's the way to celebrate Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sammy in Black and White

These pictures were taken by photographer Beth Reynolds who wrote this about Sammy:

"This is my friend Sam. He lived across the hall from my mom. He used to bring her chocolates and check on her to make sure she got down to play bingo. She valued his friendship every day! I always stop to see him when I'm in town. He makes me smile."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Boys' Night

It was boys' night the hockey game a few nights ago.

I know what you're thinking. Boys' night means trouble, right? Any time the boys get together without their women there must be drinking, fighting, carousing, dirty jokes ... Well, let me clarify something. These boys are in their 50s and 60s.

So you're half right ... drinking and dirty jokes were still alive and well. Fighting and carousing were a fleeting memory.

Irreverence was carefully inserted into every conversation.

One of the boys told the story about a fishing trip with a friend who brought two women from Kansas who were not used to being on the open water in relatively rough seas. What followed were the graphic details about sea sickness and uncontrolled bowel movements.

We spend alot of time talking about bathroom stuff. That's probably because at our age, that's where we spend the majority of our time ... and it's also pretty damned funny stuff.

Illness is another great topic ...

"Hey ... how's your heart?"
"Pretty good. Still works today."
"Well ... you look like hell."
"Yeah ... you don't look so great either. You doing okay?"
"Had a cancerous thing removed from my head."
"Sucks to get old huh? The doctor forgot to remove that ugly thing the cancer was attached to."
"Thought about a head transplant but he said he was afraid to make another mistake like he did with yours."

There were members of the second generation there as well. Great way to bond with our sons. The young guys probably get frustrated with the old guys from time to time ...

Young guy ... "Hey ... check out that chick in the black skirt."
Old guy 1 ... "Where?"
Young guy ... "Right there ... about 5 rows in front of us."
Old guy 2 ...  "The blonde?"
Old guy 3 ... "There's no blonde in a black skirt."
Old guy 4 ... "The one with the jersey? She's a little chunky ..."
Young guy ... "That's a guy ... she's next to him."
Old guy 5 ... "Eating a hot dog?"
Young guy ... "No ... that looks like it could be her daughter and it's a pretzel"
Old guy 6 ... "What are you guys talking about ... somebody going to get pretzels?"

Good times.

After the game, the young guys talked about going out to a couple of bars.

The old guys did too ... on their cell phones as they pulled into their respective driveways.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Say What???

Had enough news this week?

Penn State and the horrific child abuse claims, Herman Cain and the horrific claims of sexual abuse, Rick Perry and the horrific ... um ... ummmm ... I can't remember this third thing.

Well ... just when you have seen it "all" ... here are more news clips from around the world:

Did the Chattanooga Choo Choo Have this Problem?  Apparently, officials at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport felt the need for professional guidance on rebranding their facility to (as one put it) "carry it into the modern era," and so hired the creative talents of Big Communications of Birmingham, Ala., to help. Big's suggested name for the airport, announced to great fanfare in September: "Chattanooga Airport." [Times Free Press (Chattanooga), 9-27-2011]

Picky Sticky  Elsie Pawlow, a senior citizen of Edmonton, Alberta, filed a $100,000 lawsuit in September against Kraft Canada Inc., parent company of the makers of Stride Gum, which brags that it is "ridiculously long-lasting." Pawlow complained that she had to scrub down her dentures after using Stride, to "dig out" specks of gum -- a condition that caused her to experience "depression for approximately 10 minutes." 

Plain Stupid In August, a state court in Frankfurt, Germany, awarded 3,000 euros (about $4,200) to Magnus Gaefgen, 36, on his claim that during a 2002 police interrogation, officers "threat(ened) ... violence" against him if he did not disclose what he knew about a missing 11-year-old boy who was later found dead. In 2003, Gaefgen was convicted of the boy's murder and is serving a life sentence, but the court nevertheless thought he should be compensated for his "pain and suffering." 

Does That Mean You Get Extra Points?  The British recreation firm UK Paintball announced in August that a female customer had been injured after a paintball shot hit her in the chest, causing her silicone breast implant to "explode." The company recommended that paintball facilities supply better chest protection for women with implants. 

These Come in Pairs The Moscow, Russia, newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets reported in October that a local woman's life had been saved by her "state-of-the-art" silicone breast implant. Her husband had stabbed her repeatedly in the chest during a domestic argument, but the implant's gel supposedly deflected the blade. 

Ultimate Catfighting In Charlotte, N.C., in October, a female motorist was arrested for ramming another woman's car after that woman said "Good morning" to the motorist's boyfriend as the women dropped kids off at school.

See? Smoking Will Kill You  A 44-year-old woman was hospitalized with a head injury and a broken clavicle in September after she inadvertently walked into a still-moving train at the Needham Center station near Boston. Her attention had been diverted because she was trying to light her cigarette as she walked. 

Or ... Save Your Life  A 51-year-old woman told police she fought off an attempted street robbery in Pennsville Township, N.J., in October by burning the age-20-something assailant with her lit cigarette. She said the man yelled "Ouch" and ran away. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

How Can That Little Disc Make That Much Noise?

Think of a sound that drives you crazy.

Now, multiply it by 100,000 and it repeats every 10 seconds ... Know what you have?

Answer: A smoke detector with a faulty battery.

Coincidentally, that's what we had ... on Halloween night. Actually, we had at least two. It sounded like Angry Birds were unleashed in the bedroom ceiling.

It happened at about 11PM.

Debbie and I were just heading to bed. Trick or Treaters had finally stopped ringing the doorbell (The little guys go home at 7 ... the teenagers at 9 ... the druggies still hang out till 11). We dragged ourselves to the bedroom when ...


"Oh crap", I said.

"I'll get the batteries," Debbie calmly replied as I dragged the ladder out of the garage and slammed my knee in the process. I muttered more obscenities.

"You know, Joel ... you always curse when you have to fix something in the house."

"Excuse me? I do not." Hobbling, I put the ladder under the first beeping smoke detector, climbed the steps and tried to unscrew the ridiculous plastic disc that wants to pull away from the ceiling instead of coming apart.

"Yes ... you do. You never just fix things without cursing."

"Sorry, I should have said  ... 'Oh honey, I think I'll just fly up this ladder and replace this little battery to quiet our precious smoke detector'... right?" Just as I finally got the disc opened, the battery flew out and hit Debbie right on top of the head.

"SON OF A ... (she couldn't bring herself to say bitch) !!!"

"Sorry honey (suppressing laughter). It just flew out ... can you ... um ... hand me another battery?" Maybe I was living dangerously at that point. Fortunately, Debbie has terrible aim and I was comforted by the fact that she was as annoyed by that sound as I was. She handed me the battery.

I slipped the new one in and closed it up. I moved to the next beeping one and did the same thing.

"Okay ... that's that. Let's go to bed."


We looked at each other silently. I took the ladder out and started all over again. "Are these new batteries?" I asked.

"Of course they are."

"How many do you have?"

"A few. Why?"

"I might have to replace all of these."

"No you don't."

"I did last time until they all shut up."

"You only did one last time."

"I did not."


"Did you put it in right."

I didn't answer. I just repeated the process.



I did it again. I put newer batteries in. I talked to it, coddled it ... all but kissed it. It was quiet. We waited.

I said, "Okay ... I think that's got it."

"Good, let's go to sleep ... and don't curse any more."

We turned out the lights.


Debbie sat up in the bed then covered her ears with the pillow as she screamed: "SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!!"


Ballad of the Big Prostate

Here’s a little country tune I wrote just yesterday to commemorate a dark day in my history. I don’t have a tune but realized you can use an...