Sunday, April 29, 2012

Brain Exploders Part 2

I thought of three more things that make my brain expolde:

1. Girls Who Dance At Concerts. You know them. They stand right in front of you, throw their hair back, point to the band and are the most annoying people in the crowd. As if they can't get enough attention that way ... sometimes they try to get on stage to do the same thing.

They always date the same guy ... Mr. Air Guitar. He is equally annoying because he tries to sing most of the songs.

2. Car Parkers Who Invade Your Space. This one really bugs me. At our apartment, some guy with a white hatchback and a Sarasota license plate always parks next to me, usually at an angle and once ... so close that I couldn't get into the driver's side. I HATE this guy.

I wrote a few obscenities on the windshield through the layers of dirt.  Hew is so unaware that the words are still there ... so is the dirt.

3. People Who Eat With Their Mouths Open. (Sam's favorite past time.) Since he eats about 21 hours a day, this is really my dad's full time job. Sam has another talent, talking with his mouth full of food. He rarely starts a sentence until an entire waffle is in his mouth.

When we sit down to dinner, my family looks like they are playing musical chairs ... all try to grab the ones that do not face Sammy.   

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Ever have those things during the day that make your brain explode? Here is a brief list of my pet peeves (SEND ME YOURS):

1. Receipts from Dunkin Donuts. Every morning, I stop at DD to get my usual egg white veggie flatbread and coffee coolatta with skim milk. I know it's going to cost $6.20 (although the DD on Fowler sells it for $5.90 ... go and figure). There are a handful of servers who always take my money and pretty well know who I am at this point ... after 300 flatbreads ... they politely give me change and a receipt.

I, in turn, politely hand the receipt back and say, "I really don't need it, thank you." They throw it away so I don't have to. Every morning the same thing happens. Sometimes I just throw it away myself and don't bother handing it back. I'd love it if just one time they would ask, "Would you like the receipt?"

I don't get it. Who keeps these things? (Except for my wife who gets receipts for everything just in case she needs to return that pack of gum or cup of coffee).

2. Sign Language Interperters at the Rays Games During the Star Spangled Banner. Okay, before you call me an insensitive bastard (already did, huh?) let me explain. I have no beef with "the signers". They are hired to do this for the hearing impaired and those who cannot hear at all. I am 100% in favor of having a mechanism that includes all fans in attendance.

What bugs me is that THEY DO have a mechanism already. The words are flashed around the stadium as the music plays. I told this to a person who will go unnamed (Debbie) ... who replied, "Well ... what if they are blind too?"

I told her to ask her sister, Keli (who still thinks that rabbits lay eggs at Easter).

3. People Who Give Advice To People They Don't Know. Talk Radio is the mecca for these folks. Frustrated sports junkies, legal "experts", fanatic star chasers ... they REALLY make my brain explode.

Then there's Reality TV ... but that will take a few hundred blog pages.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cowboys, Cheap Tricks, Baseball and Bush

It's been a while since I updated my blog. Here's what's been happening ... 
1. Friday night, we were cowboys.
Note: i've mentioned this in prior blogs. Jews really don't make great cowboys, except for Kinky Friedman who is the original Jewish Texas singing cowboy who did such classics as "They Ain't Makin Jews Like Jesus Anymore" and "Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and your Buns In the Bed" 
I was as close as I could be to looking like Kinky while Debbie was a better dressed "cowperson". It was the Cattle Baron's Ball. Held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the Ball was for the American Cancer Society to raise money for cancer research and treatment. 

The highlight (and lowlight) of the evening was the auction package we bid on. It was a weekend at the Grammy's ... complete with a post party, hotel, air and other cool stuff. 

I won.

Only problem was ... I thought it was for four people (it was for two). I overpaid. Debbie and I will take only one trip next year.  

2. Saturday night was The Magnolia Ball for Moffit Cancer Center. 

Not sure why it's been called the Magnolia Ball. There were no magnolias, the place it's held is Ala Carte Pavilion and John Gruden was the host (not a flowery guy).

The highlight: Cheap Trick played. Robin Zander sang ... shades of Paul and the Beatles ... and Rick Nielsen played incredible guitar licks after telling the  cocktail coiffed .. tuxedoed crowd : "WELCOME THE BEST F***ING BAND EVER!"

And ... They are. 

3. Sunday we watched the Rays beat up on the Minnesota Twins.

Actually, Debbie gave her ticket to son, Josh, who is a diehard fan. He and I ate peanuts, traded insults, laughed at Raymund, ate more peanuts ... and had a great time.

By the way Josh, if you are reading this ... I AM a good driver and I like the route I take to get to the game. Your route sucks. My way leads directly into the parking lot ... when I remember where to turn ...  and you owe me change from the Dipping Dots or whatever the hell that new ice cream stuff is.

Love ya man.

4. Today I was in Auburn.

It was a Women In Philanthropy Board event. Auburn has a companion organization to our USF Women In Leadership and Philanthropy group. We visit each other every year or so. 

This year Jenna Bush spoke about her life with W and her life with the Today Show and about her life with her cat and about her life with her husband. 

He followed the cat. 

Enough about me ... how was your week so far?

Monday, April 16, 2012


Friday night, we went to a 60th birthday surprise party for my friend Ray.

When you are 60 ... you are easily surprised. (Mainly because you can't remember how old you actually are). There were about 50 people there ... all waiting to jump out and yell: SURPRISE as Ray walks through the door.

It worked.

He was very surpirsed. I told him later I was very surprised that he had 50 friends.

Of course my Brother in law Tom and our friend Doug put together some very embarrassing slides of Ray for a presentation after dinner. You can tell how old someone is when they say "slides" instead of powerpoint ... so I have busted myself. Apparently, Tom and Doug thought they had slides too based on how many times the system crashed during the show. There were pictures of Ray in diapers, on a stripper's pole, with some very friendly male companions ... all had superimposed Ray head shots ... and all were certainly done by some 13 year old that Tome hired to do AV work. 

My one job was to push the button of the CD player (vintage 1982) which was supposed to be cued to YMCA. I screwed it up. The song was some ballad that had nothing to do with the picture of Ray with the other Village people ... eventually it played on it's own ...  three "slides" later.

After the show, a couple of other friends reminisced about past good times (although they had trouble remembering times, dates and people).

The party ended at 9.

Ray ... we love ya man.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Special Night

I love my job.

Especially after a night like Thursday night. It was a dinner, not unlike the hundreds of others that I attend on behalf of USF. But it was different. Thursday night we honored students who were the recipients of scholarships ... sitting across from the the donors and philanthropists that have made their dreams come true. 

And what made it extra special for me was that at my table, there was a beautiful young lady who was a month away from receiving her undergraduate degree. Next to her was her proud father and across the table sat the couple who helped her with her scholarship.

Her father reached across the table to shake hands with the benevolent man who funded the scholarship and said, "Thank you so much for what you have done ... by the way ... I don't know if you remember me ... I was your mailman for 15 years."

Tears welled up between them. They exchanged pleasantries and "reconnected" during the meal.

After dinner, his daughter stood up to address the crowd as her name was called. She thanked the donors, she thanked the university and she gave a very special thank you to her dad. He raised her by himself, He worked hard to give her what he didn't have ... a college degree. She was the first in her family to do so and for that she was eternally grateful. He was so proud.

After the dinner he and she posed for pictures and shook lots of hands.

What the crowd didn't know was that when she graduates next month ... he will too. He has quietly and unselfishly worked for his own degree while working to support her efforts.

Yes, it was quite a night.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Some Great Comebacks

From Brother in Law Tom .........

1. Winston Churchill vs Lady Astor

2. NY Mayor Ed koch vs Andrew Kirtzman after pressing a point about an inconsistent statement Koch had made.

3. Groucho Marx vs a contestant on You Bet Your Life who revealed he was the father of 10.

4. Lincoln vs Douglas when Douglas calle him "two-faced"

5. Coolidge vs Opera singer

6. Clinton vs Dan Quale when Quale revealed that he planned to be a "pit bull" in the 1992 campaign.

7. Henry Clay vs Daniel webster after seeing a pack of mules pass by.

8. Wolfgang Mozart vs an admirer

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Arf, Arf, Arf

It's day three ... just finished the 5th of my 6 business meetings

After a while everybody starts to sound like these guys on the left  and I start to feel like them too.
Actually ... that IS me. I'm the third fat seal on the left.

Sometimes, I wonder who gets the most interesting views ... the people watching the seals lying on the barges ...

... or the seals watching the people watching them.

There's a little guy somewhere in the middle of the pack giving a play by play and holding seal pelts for everyone to feel. I, of course, had to check in out. Seals have coarse fur that feels kinda like horsehair.

I expected slimy and smooth.

I didn't want to ask too many questions about how they got the samples of seal skins ... especially when the fur handler talked about conservation and social responsibility.

Speaking of seals (lol) the food here is superb.

Ate at Alioto's for lunch. Clam chowder to die for. It probably WILL kill me ... along with the 50 ponds of crab, shrimp, french fries, bread, scallops and lobster I've eaten ... and that was before noon.

And desserts, ...

Stopped in Ghirardelli Square for a few (hundred) chocolate bars.

Spotted this fella who apparently had a bad sugar reaction. He had chocolate candy wrappers strewn around him . I asked him if he was okay. He said he was fine ... just on spring break.

See what candy can do to you?

I noticed some kids playing in the fountain. The police don't fool around here. Dance in the fountain and you are forced to stand there stiff, blue and cold for years.

Of course you know that the streets of San Francisco are crazy. They wind around, go up and down like a roller coaster and depending on your cab driver ... make you beg for the motion sickness bag.

I thought at first that this was a sculpture. I think it's really a directional sign to Lombard Street.

Well ... One more dinner meeting tonight at Fog City Diner with the owner of this cool restaurant.

I'm looking forward to it ... then I'll pass out again with my fellow seal brothers back at the barge ... before I fly out tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I Left My (Like What Did I Leave, Man? Wow ... The Colors) In San Francisco

Day 2 in San Francisco was spent with a potential donor who worked on Haight Street. Nicole Johnson, my fellow "beggar of money", and I walked down the street before the meeting to experience Haight/Ashbury live and in living color (yah man).

Nicole's daughter, Ava, took this picture. She's 6 and takes much better pictures than I do.

Ava had to use the bathroom right after this picture was taken so we rushed her into the restaurant next door. You knew you weren't in Kansas anymore when you saw a sign that read:

 "Eating here or paying one dollar doesn't entitle you to write on our walls, shoot up or take naps in our restroom".

Saw Medusa and decided not to look her in the eyes. You know what they say ... she can turn you into stone. Or is that make you STONED. (maybe I should rethink the covered eyes thing)

Speaking of stoned ...

Must be ZZ Top's house ... She's got Legs! (big uns)

This is the Hardware Store?

More tomorrow!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Got Crabs?

Woke up in San Francisco this morning.

Got here yesterday in record time ... 12 hours. That's record time for me. Flying on April 1st should have been a clue to me that I was in for more foolishness.

The flight to Dallas was uneventful ... even with my "standard" seat assignment next to a huge fat man whose butt cheeks creeped onto my seat.

I had a 2 hour layover until my next flight. Had a very comfortable seat this time ... and just settled in when the pilot said ... "Sorry, we will need all passengers to deplane with their luggage. There is a system malfunction that will take some time to repair."

Three hours later ... we were in the air.

Oh well ... I'm here and I'm safe and I just had breakfast at the Fisherman's Wharf. Life does not suck.

The fresh seafood was just coming out for display and the shuckers were just getting ready to shuck.

It's a little colder than I thought it would be here. I might have to buy a sweatshirt with a picture of a seal or a bridge or a crab ... special on hoodies but I think I'll pass.

Check out these places.

I tried to get a room there but the Madam told me there was only an hourly charge.

Geez ... expensive here ... Apparently San Francisco has not been hit by the real estate crisis.

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...