Thursday, November 29, 2007

Remember Me?

Oh hello, remember me? I'm Eric I write this blog. It's been a while. Sorry about that. Has my absence been conspicuous? As you may have surmised I returned to the home front for Thanksgiving. It was fine. Nothing to write home about. Or should I say nothing to write from home about to the entire world via the internet. Overall life is just kind of eh so I haven't been writing. But I know you guys all miss me, plus it's the holidays, so in that spirit I would like to pass along my favorite holiday tale. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Big Game Hunting

This is an ad for Dick's on a website I was reading this morning. What are the trying to suggest here?

Jeremy Grey: Have you ever shot one of these things before?
John Beckwith: The whole 17 years we've known each other I've been sneaking off to go on little hunting trips around the world. No, I don't even know what the fuck a quail is!
Jeremy Grey: I look totally ridiculous. Like why do I have to be in camouflage? So the big bad quail doesn't see me?
John Beckwith: I know. Why can't we hunt something cool like a hawk or an eagle, something with some talons?
Jeremy Grey: That'd be awesome. We could get something like big game. Even like a gorilla or a rhinoceros or a fucking human being! That'll get you jacked up.
John Beckwith: That's a little heavy.
Jeremy Grey: I mean like, hunt a human being right now, "Most Dangerous Game". Like a worthy adversary. Not a human being that's armed, but a clever, a clever, human being who knows the jungle. Or the woods.

Friday, November 16, 2007

TWSS Friday

What a glorious day. The sun is shining, the leaves are falling and the temperature is brisk. A perfect fall day. Nice try whoever controls the weather. You think I don't remember what a miserable week it's been? Oh I do. But who cares, it's the end of the week, it's beautiful outside, and it's That's What She Said Friday!

This weeks entry is from Wendy. Take it away Wendy:

So, Tony and I were sitting at lunch, and enters Brian, a graduatestudent that has a fellowship with teaching requirements. Brian hasto teach his lectures today (in Nov). and the following conversationensues

Tony: So you've been going to lecture all this time?

Brian: I come when I can.

Wendy: That's what he said.

I like that Wendy put the joke above herself. Being that she is a girl she could have easily gone with, "That's what I say," but she stuck to her roots. That's professionalism at it's finest.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Someone Up There Hates Me

I don’t have a car. I haven’t had one in several years. In many ways I find the situation preferable, really it’s just one less thing to worry about, and it saves me a lot of money. I’ve also, for the most part, never really had a problem getting where I need to go. A car isn’t really necessary in a city. In DC I always lived next to a metro stop. When I moved to Baltimore for work I moved to an apartment in Federal Hill less than a mile from work. I was within walking distance from anything I could possibly need. Recently I moved to Canton, meaning walking to work is no longer an option. Not a problem though, now I just ride my bike, it’s under a fifteen minute ride. Other than the dramatically increased chances of dying in tragic accident things aren’t much different than they were before. In fact I’m even getting a good workout on my way to and from work everyday and I look like I’m environmentally conscious even though that’s only by coincidence, so things are great. Until today of course.

There’s one factor I failed to account for in this whole riding a bike thing: rain. You see, I’m an umbrella person. When it’s raining and I have to walk to work I just stand under an umbrella (ella, ella, ella) and I’m reasonably dry the whole time. Riding a bike down a busy city street carrying an umbrella seems like a horrible idea to me (remember the whole tragic accident possibility) so I nixed that idea. But being an umbrella I am not in possession of a raincoat. Using both just seemed like overkill. Well this creates a dilemma for someone who has to get to work, in the rain, without a car.

I should mention at this point that I had my yearly performance evaluation on Monday. There was only really one thing negative my boss had to say. He doesn’t like my inconsistent schedule. You see I rarely come in at the same time everyday. Well that’s not entirely true, basically if I sleep at my house I’m in to work at 7, if I sleep at the gf’s house I’m in around 8:30. The boss doesn’t like this, he wants me to pick a time and stick to it. So despite having to ride my bike through a driving rain it would not really be a great idea to try and wait out the rain and be an hour or so and be late for work three days after I got the business for that very same thing.

Anyway, so I basically just have to go for it. I suck it up, throw on a jacket and head out. I was soaked within a block. The good news is though; once your clothes/body are completely saturated you hardly even notice anymore that it’s raining.

Another thing I should mention at this point. I normally carry a bag to work. It comes in pretty handy. Turns out Kenneth Cole doesn’t make good riding shoes so I have to wear an alternative until I get to work. Also I can throw in anything else I deem necessary for the day. Last night I left work without that bag. I have no idea why, I just left without even thinking about.

So I here I am, pedaling away with my thighs soaked and my hair dripping. It really wouldn’t have been a big deal if I was just wearing some sweat pants or something similar, carrying my work clothes in a bag so I could just change into dry clothes when I arrived. It turns out Banana Republic pants don’t really wick the water away like you would assume.

One more thing to point out. Sometimes I bring my lunch to work. It goes in spurts really; I’ll bring a lunch everyday for a week or two and then won’t bring it for another week or two. I haven’t brought a lunch in a couple weeks. Last night I went to the grocery for the express purpose of bringing my lunch this morning. I also don’t have a lunchbox. It’s kind of bobo, I just throw some crap in a plastic grocery bag. Which I then throw in my other bag. The bag I left at work last night.

So here I am, riding in the rain. Pants soaked, hair wet, trying to avoid cars spraying me with water, with a grocery bag draped on my wrist. As I’m riding I make a left turn. The grocery bag skims the bike tire. I think to myself, I better pull up some slack in this bag before it rips open. Too late, there goes lunch, in a puddle on Eliot St. Awesome.

I think God hates me. I really do. It’s not so much the rain. That happens, you get wet, you dry off, not a big deal. It’s the confluence of events that really sets it off. It’s like the rain is the kick in the nuts and the evaluation and the bag and the lunch are stomping on them when I’m down. It’s like the before storm of suck. And it’s a shitstorm.

Moral of the story: I’m buying a new car ASAP.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Going Commercial

From now on I’m basing all product decisions on television commercials. I probably won’t often be positively affected by a commercial. I rarely find myself watching TV and think, “You know what, it’s hilarious when those guys put shaving cream on Sasquatch’s hand and tickle his nose. I want some beef Jerky now and I want it be Jack Link’s Beef Jerky.” I am however always negatively affected by bad commercials. I see these horrendous ads and am left wondering how these people have jobs. I mean, did Chevy hire the monkeys from those commercials to run the advertising department? That’s the only explanation for some of the decisions they’ve made. Hear are a few examples of products I will never use as a result of a bad commercial:

Charles Schwab – At some point in my life I’m going to have finances that need managing and you will be my absolute last choice to manage them. Why? Because cartoons are supposed to be funny dammit. I’m so sick of seeing this, expecting some hilarious punch line and just getting a cartoon bald guy bitching about his broker forgetting his name.

I hope no one was expecting a Garmin navigation system or a Dell because if you roll out Christmas commercials before Halloween I hate you and I’m not buying your stupid product.

Chevy – Good Lord, what are you thinking? This one has been beaten to death but I still had to mention it. If you have watched a single football game in the last two years you’re ready to assassinate John Cougar Mellencamp (but doesn’t assassinate imply that you’re killing some sort head of state? Yes it does, he’s the king of crappy songs about America, hence assassination). If you’re going to hammer a song into my head in order to sell trucks can you at least pick one that doesn’t suck? Oh and don’t by ad space to air your shitty commercial 16 times in 3 hours.

Viagra – A bunch of old guys jamming, junkyard band style, in a rundown barn about erectile dysfunction. Honestly who green lit that? Who possibly thought that was a good idea? Fortunately this isn’t a problem I’ve experienced, but if I do I’m going with Cialis. I’m willing to risk sudden loss of eyesight, at least I wouldn’t have to see that Viagra commercial anymore.

Miller Lite – I’m putting you on notice Miller Lite. I love Bob Slydell/Dr. Cox as much as the next guy but those “More Taste League” commercial aren’t good. You haven’t lost me yet but those Coors Light commercials with the football coaches are hilarious and they’re stealing my allegiance.

There are some products that probably could never lose me from a bad commercial. As much as I don’t care about a ballerina blogging from backstage or a pilot checking before take off I’m still using my iPod, it’s too awesome. And I’m going to go against the norm here, but I think Peyton Manning is funny, so Sony and DirectTV you’re still cool with me. Oh and I think I’m switching my deodorant to Old Spice, you grow chest hair just from putting it on!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I think I'm creating my own NaBloPoMo. No posting on the weekends. It's to much work. Actually the real problem is that I'm not at work. I've realized that I like do other things better than blogging. On the weekends I can do those things. I like blogging more than I like working, so I'm all for during the week, but not on the weekend. Plus all blogging on a Saturday does is give people more to catch up on on Monday, I like provide a distraction when you need a break at work but I don't want to get anyone fired because they have so many extra posts to read, because I know they are riveting and you wouldn't be able to pull yourself away no matter how much work you have on your desk.

Friday, November 09, 2007

That's What She Said Friday!

It's time for another installment of That's What She Said Friday! Are you guys pumped? I know I am. This week it's an all Aaron edition of TWSSF. Who's Aaron? It doesn't matter, it's just a coincidence that he had two good TWSSs this week.
First, Aaron was trying to turn on his laptop. Apparently the process has been slowed significantly as a result of some weather program he downloaded recently and it's been a cause of frustration for him.
Aaron: Dammit, I need more RAM.
Me: That's what she said.
Not my best effort but whatever, it's been a slow week.
Last night we were eating dinner after winning our first round playoff game and advancing to the City Finals next week in kickball (Ed. Note: Our kickball team is sick). Aaron pulled out his wallet to pay for dinner.
Jess: [referring to his wallet] It's so little.
Aaron: [dejectedly] That's what she said.
Have a good weekend suckers.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Welcome To My Life...

Here is a fun, short story that also serves a great look into my life and what it's like to be me:

Riding my bike to work this morning I pull up to the corner Pratt and Light St. waiting for traffic to subside so I could cross. As soon as I come to a stop, prop myself up on the curb, and wait patiently a truck comes flying in the right lane dousing me directly in the face with water. Only me. Not a single other person get wet. I know what you're thinking. Doesn't that only really happen to people in the movies? Apparently not. I know what else you're thinking. When was the last time it rained, isn't it really dry outside? You're right, it is very dry outside. It is just my luck that on a six lane highway the only vehicle in the right lane found the only puddle in all of Baltimore to splatter me in the face with seconds after stopping. And here's the best part, this wasn't a pool of rainwater collecting in a pothole or anything like that. It was a backed up inlet to a sewer line. Welcome to my life.

On a separate happier note someone was lead via google to my blog by perhaps the greatest keyword search ever. I just wanted to print it here again in hopes on becoming the #1 google search for:

john madden runs it up the a hole


When I started this blog about a year and a half ago I really didn't know anything about blogging. I didn't really have a good reason to start it either, it just wanted something to do when I was bored. In order to not feel like a dork I talked a few of my friends into starting their own blogs at the same time, hence my modest blogroll, "People Who Are Cool", to the right of the screen. Their all friends of mine. Well I couldn't help but notice recently that only one of those people, Baseblogger, actually posts regularly anymore. Well this poses a problem for me, I get very bored at work and have a lot of time to kill. Since my actual friends don't blog anymore I read the blogs of people I don't know. Turns out some people are pretty interesting, so I've now updated my blogroll to include "Other Cool People." I don't know any of them, these blogs cover a wide range of topics but they all have one thing in common, they're all much better at this than I am.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Dilemma For Baseball That I Invented In My Head

Major League Baseball could be in big trouble. A series of events are falling into place that could result in a massive loss of its casual fan base. I’m not talking about the impending results of the Mitchell Investigation, although that could have catastrophic effects. After the strike in 1994 interest in baseball took a sharp decline. Stadiums were half empty. Fans left in droves, frustrated with both players and owners. Two events brought the fans back, and baseball back from it’s near death (maybe not death, but perhaps becoming less popular than soccer, I’m not sure which is worse).

The first was Cal Ripken breaking Lou Gehrig’s 2130 consecutive games played streak in 1995. Now that’s something Americans can get behind, a record based on going to work everyday. Trust me I know, I have several perfect attendance awards from elementary school, and people loved me for it. The second event of course was the home run chase in 1998. Fans were riveted by nightly updates of Sammy Sosa’s and Mark McGuire’s assault on Roger Maris’ single season home run record. They both ended up breaking the mark and baseball was back to being America’s pastime.

Those two things brought the casual fan back into the game, but Ripken’s streak ended in 1998 and he retired in 2001. The home run record has not only already been broken, but it’s all been tainted by the cloud of steroids. So what has kept the casual fan interested? Why is the popularity of baseball still high? Many reasons of course, but I think there is one unifying element among the majority of average fans that keeps them watching every night: hating the New York Yankees. Obviously there are millions of diehards who love the game as it is and root for they’re favorite team no matter what. But these are the people who never left, the strike might have left a stain on the game but they were still fans. On the other hand there are an equal number of people who would tell you they like baseball but don’t know much about the game other than what they see on ESPN occasionally. These are the people who needed to be told who Matt Holliday was during the World Series this year. They couldn’t tell you the third starter on their favorite team is, but the do know one thing. Namely they hate the Yankees because they “buy” championships.

Herein lies the problem for MLB. The Yankees are falling apart at the seams. Alex Rodriguez is gone. Joe Torre is gone. Any Pettitte opted out of his contract today and may choose to retire. Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada are free agents. It’s not a great offseason to be a Yankee fan, but this could be bad for baseball as well. Hypothetically let’s say the team does lose all of those players to free agency; that is close to $70 million in payroll subtracted from last season. Add to it Roger Clemens and his $16 million retiring and the Yankees could potentially have only the fifth or sixth highest payroll coming into the season. What will people have to latch onto as a reason to hate them? Because that’s the thing, somewhere along the line it became more fun for the average fan to root against other teams than it did to root for their own. What happens when the evil empire is no longer evil? By June your standard Orioles fan, for example, has given up on the season, they’re no longer interested in watching the fate of their own team. All they have left is hoping the Yankees and their enormous payroll underachieve in the playoffs again. They revel in it, as do many other fans of many other teams. Well there is a chance the Yankees will start the season with a payroll similar to the O’s and expectations not much higher. If that’s the case then by June when they don’t care about their team anymore they have nothing else to care about. They’ll just quit on baseball altogether and this can’t be a scenario that makes MLB happy.

Here’s the kicker, the thing that will make people heads explode: the Yankees, instead of underachieving with a huge payroll like they have the last few years, could just as easily overachieve with a reasonable payroll next year. Then people really wouldn’t know what to do. Who hates the underdog? All of those players leaving in free agency leave gaping holes in the lineup and rotation but it doesn’t exactly leave the cupboard bare. There is still plenty of talent. Instead of being the odds on favorite to win it all they would be a team with a ton of question marks who could surprise some people come September and October. What if Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, and Jason Giambi stay healthy all year? Add in Jeter, Cano, Abreu, and Cabrera and that’s still a formidable lineup. They might be starting the season with three rookie or second year guysin the starting rotation. But between Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Ian Kennedy if two of those three guys live up to even 80% of there potential then combined with Wang that would be a fairly solid rotation. These are all big ifs, but there not that unlikely. Do I think the Yankees have a shot at the World Series? Probably not. Can they surprise a lot people? Absolutely, and that is the last thing a lot of people want to see. They’ll hate that they can’t hate it. Ever Yankee basher has a standard set of arguments that they rarely deviate from but they wouldn’t be able to use any of them anymore.

Every story needs a villain. MLB needs that to be the Yankees. People are celebrating their demise now, but they’ll get bored. And eventually they’ll get bored with baseball altogether if they don’t have the Yankees to root against.

Of course there is always the new Yankees: the Boston Red Sox.

I'm a failure

Long time readers of this blog may recall Operation: F U Matt and Jake, my quest to win a bet and prove my awesomeness by beating the odds and running a marathon in 3 hours and 30 minutes by the end of the year. Well apparently I’m not at all awesome. Strike that, I’m very awesome, I’m just lacking a little bit of awesomeness in this case. As if I needed any salt in the wounds of my failure I read this today. Katie Holmes ran a marathon I didn’t. Now that’s a kick in the junk. Although I guess a celebrity has a little more free time and resources to train but still, it’s Katie Holmes. Maybe athletic prowess is some Scientological virtue so Tom made her do it; I’m probably being too hard on myself.

It got me thinking though. I was a runner in high school, not a bad one at that. I’ve run long distances before, I’ve trained hard, and I’m used to the pain. So why is it that other seemingly nonathletic people can manage this feat of athleticism and I can’t? Clearly it’s a problem of motivation, which Matt correctly assumed in making the bet. It’s not that I can’t do it; it’s that I really can’t find a good enough reason to motivate myself to do it. People have all sorts of reasons to try and run a marathon. Some people use it as a way to get themselves in shape or lose weight. That one doesn’t work for me. I actually lose weight when I don’t work out. If I don’t work out regularly I look like the Olsen twins long lost brother. It’s not cool. So I gain weight from running. Others run just to prove something to themselves. Also not appealing to me. I’m pretty confident in my ability to jog 26 miles, not to cheapen the feat, it’s very difficult and something everyone should be proud of. I just think I can do it. What it comes down to is I’m highly competitive, and some sort of challenge is probably the only thing that would provide proper motivation. I thought a bet would work. I guess not. I think what it’s going to take is to actually have a person to race. Who wants in? Anyone? Crap, I’m never doing this.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


So much for NaBloPoMo. I mean, I was pretty skeptical about my chances of pulling this off, but I was kind of expecting to last more than two days. I have a good excuse though, weekends are just really busy for me sometimes. Here was my day yesterday:

  • 10:00 - Flag football game.
  • 11:30 - Lunch with the gf before she heads out of town for the rest of the weekend
  • 1:00 - Hang out Aaron's house with the wedding party before Dave's wedding
  • 5:00 to midnight - Dave and Lindsay's wedding

That's a completely full day, when was I supposed to write a post? I'm taking a mulligan on this one. Besides, know one reads blogs on the weekend, that shouldn't even count.

Friday, November 02, 2007

That's What She Said Friday!

NaBloPoMo is going to be totally easy. There are 5 Friday's in November. Almost 17% of the month's posts will be That's What She Said Fridays. This will be a cake walk. Although I don't think I've ever posted anything on a weekend, so that might cause a problem. Anyway, on with it:

Everytime Leslie puts on any type of perfume she thinks it's funny to spray me with it also. She did it again this morning leading to this exchange:

Me: You always squirt me with that stuff.
Leslie: That's what she said.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Isn't that acronym awfully close to NAMBLA

November, along with being National Beard Month (not a real holiday), is National Blog Posting Month or NaBloPoMo for short (not particularly short, also not a real holiday). I had no idea this existed until reading blogs of other bloggers who are participating. A participant is supposed to write a blog post everyday for the month of November. I don’t know what the point is. Is it a celebration of blogging? I guess technically it’s a challenge. I’m thinking about participating mostly because I like a good challenge. I want to see how long I can last. Here’s my dilemma though: I haven’t had a quality post in months. I think I’m out of ideas. Would it really benefit anyone for me to try and force something everyday? Inevitably it would be about 90% crap. Really how many Youtube clips and that’s what she said jokes can anyone stand? Screw I’ll give it a shot. Get ready for a barrage of 200 word posts and stories about what I ate for dinner last night. It’s going to be awesome.