Monthly Archives: February 2007

Zappa Jag Zappa

It has been a while since I went on a Frank Zappa music jag.  The Zappa jag came over me the other night.  Actually morning would be more appropriate since it was about 2am with a headful of Jameson’s and other synaptic provocateurs motivating my search.  As I poked through my cd collection I stumbled on Zappa’s Joe’s Garage.  One of his more commercially successful ventures.  I just had to share the following lyrics….cuz they are fucking awesome…Where is Tipper Gore when you need her!  Yee ha…. 

SCENE SEVEN
WHY DOES IT HURT WHEN I PEE?

Shortly after his liaison with the taco stand lady,
JOE makes a horrible discovery. . .

JOE:
Why does it hurt when I pee?
Why does it hurt when I pee?
I don’t want no doctor
To stick no needle in me
Why does it hurt when I pee?
I got it from the toilet seat
I got it from the toilet seat
It jumped right up
‘N’ grabbed my meat
Got it from the toilet seat
My balls feel like a pair of maracas
My balls feel like a pair of maracas
Oh God I probably got the Gon-o-ka-ka-khackus!
My balls feel like a pair of maracas
Ai-ee-ai-ee-ahhhh!
Why does it
Why does it
Why does it
Why does it hurt…
when…
I Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee?

God Bless Frank Zappa, WHERE EVER HE MAY BE!!!!

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Lists

I decided today that I have too much to do.  I was exhausted by simply making a list of what needs to get done.  I am paralyzed into non-activity by all the activity I need to do.  I just can’t do it.  Well that’s not true.  I can do all of it if I really choose to do it.  Right now, however, I am not inclined to do any of it.  A friend of mine once said of procrastination, “why do today what you may not have to do tomorrow.”  I love that thought.  Unfortunately I have found my friends guidance a wee bit misguiding.  You see, when something ends up on the “to do” list it never, ever ends up on the “you don’t need to do it” list.  

Speaking of getting shit done.  Last week I had to fire my third shift.  They didn’t do shit.  Every morning I woke up and nothing on my “to do” list was done.  No progress.  Fucking bastards.  If I am not around to motivate them they spend all night lounging about drinking beer, doing bong hits and chasing lime green lemurs while giving Paris Hilton a piggyback ride.  Ughh!  

So, now I have to put together an on-line ad for a new team of third shift resources.

Wanted – multi-talented figments of my imagination to work on my personal “to do” list while I sleep comfortably in bed.  Compensation commensurate with experience.  Apply within…..

How cool would that be – your own personal third shift.  You know a team of folks that will pick up the slack and work on your personal list of things to do while you sleep and dream about your “don’t need to do it list.”   

Is there such thing as a “you don’t need to do it” list?  Hmmm, I like the concept.  You compile the list during the day of things you don’t need to do and then at the end of the day you can check them all of as not being done.

What a satisfying way to end the day.  Everything on the list would not be done.  The ultimate sense of achievement.  I just started my list for today:

Pats – Wednesday -You Don’t Need To Do it

Paint the dog
Mow the carpet
Shave the cat
Figure out where jesus’s bones are
Eliminate nuclear waste
Run the Kentucky Derby
Carve a pumpkin
Burn a pile of tires
Find my lost skull and bones tree house key

 Wow – I am feeling better already!  I haven’t done shit and already have gotten a lot accomplished.

Cheers

PS.  Remember full lunar eclispe on March 3!
 
 

  

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Cattle Call

I am sitting here at Bradley airport in Connecticut waiting for a delayed flight to leave to Philly.  I love delayed flights, it gives me more bar time.  Yee Ha!

So here I sit, at the bar, watching Family Feud for the first time in about 25 years.  The show still sucks really bad.  Sitting at the bar also allows me to partake in one of my favorite airport activities, people watching.  Right now I am watching a bevy of wary travelers bitch and moan about yet another delayed flight screwing up connections to somewhere else in the world.  All the while I sit basking in a growing alcohol induced calm not giving a crap when we leave as long as the damn plane goes up and comes down in one piece.

People are pacing
People are complaining
People are yacking on their cell phones
Some guy with a USScareways shirt is barking into the loudspeaker something about our plane is in the air.  I guess that’s a good thing….last time I checked planes are supposed to be in the air….

People are really funny.  Funny in that kind of chainsaw dismemberment kinda way….

You ever get the feeling that the airlines really don’t give a crap about you?  Much like the banking industry doesn’t give a crap about you.

People are standing now….I guess our plane has landed and folks are now standing, waiting to get on the plane….

Damn – talk about disconnected thoughts….I began writing the above a week ago.  Needless to say the plane went up and down got to Philly and back and I am alive to write about it….big deal.

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What a Clown

Boy, there are a lot of folks that meet the criteria established by my title.  I could venture forth a diatribe on politics, religion, sports and even the weird world of people we’ve come to label as “celebrities.”  Maybe we should talk about how all the evils that befall men and women can be attributed (blamed) on anything from:  too much sugar cereal, drugs, alcohol, childhood abuse, money, poverty and even society.  Yes, that’s it we’ll blame society.  Society will be going on trial in the spring.

What I find interesting is that today, by simply sequestering ones self away in some form of rehabilitation or taking yet another magic pill you can cure everything from homosexuality and drug abuse to the worst forms of prejudice and violence.  Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of good work being done by certified rehab programs across the country.   

That said, no one must be more excited than the New Life Church with the news that after intensive rehabilitation former founder/leader and meth buyer Ted Haggard has been cured of his homosexuality and has been given a clean bill of heterosexual health.  Amazing that after 3 weeks of intensive counseling Haggard has pronounced himself “completely heterosexual.” Unfucking believable.

Can I get a hallelujah from everyone.  Amen!

Check out this a quote from these wonderful christian folks regarding Haggard, ““In the message, Haggard revealed that he and his wife, Gayle, intend to leave Colorado Springs and pursue master’s degrees through online courses. Haggard mentioned Missouri and Iowa as possible destinations. Another oversight board member, the Rev. Mike Ware of Westminster, said the group recommended the move out of town, and the Haggards agreed. “This is a good place for Ted,” Ware said. “It’s hard to heal in Colorado Springs right now. It’s like an open wound. He needs to get somewhere he can get the wound healed.”

Haggard and his band of “merry christians” all deserve one another.  Wow, did I digress….. how the hell did I get on that tangent. 

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a lemon and a lime

Hey people….chill the fuck out!!! 

“I’ll be right there with an extra side of blue cheese dressing you fat shit,” I thought to myself as I went back to retrieve the third side of blue cheese dressing for this person (I use the term lightly).  This person who is more likely to be seen on the evening news washed up on a cape cod beach.  Ughh.  Deep breath, calm down…..

Then it occurred to me that I’ve been that same person….yes both washed up on a cape cod beach and the impatient, unforgiving restaurant patron. 

 It was a number of years ago….I was staying at a hotel in Waltham, Massachusetts for 3 or 4 nights.  Each night, after working about 15 hours I’d come back to the restaurant and grab a table by myself for dinner.  The first night the waitperson comes over and asks me if I want something to drink and I say, “yes, please bring me a bottle of sparkling water with a lemon, thanks.”  He promptly returns to the table with my bottle of water and a lime.  “Not a big deal,” I think and ask for a lemon.  A few minutes later he returns with a lemon and takes my order.  The rest of the meal is fine (uneventful).

Day two, finish working another 15 hour day and come back to the hotel, grab a table by myself for dinner.  Ah, my friend from last night is waiting on me again.  “Awesome,” I think.  He comes over to the table and asks me if I want something to drink and I say, “yes, please bring me a bottle of sparkling water with a lemon, thanks.”  He promptly returns to the table with my bottle of water and a lime.  “Not again,” I think to myself now wondering if the guy is even listening to me, so again, I ask for a lemon.  A few minutes later he returns with a lemon and takes my order.   The rest of the meal goes fine…

Day three, finish working another 15 hour day and come back to the hotel, grab a table by myself for dinner.  Ah, my friend from last night is waiting on me again.  “Oh boy,” I think to myself very sarcastically.  He comes over to the table and asks me if I want something to drink and I say, “yes, please bring me a bottle of sparkling water with a lemon, thanks.”  He promptly returns to the table with my bottle of water and a lime.  “Unbelievable,” I think to myself, it doesn’t matter what I fucking say.  Once again I ask for a lemon and like magic he appears a few minutes later with a lemon and takes my order.   The rest of the meal goes fine…

Day four, finish working another 15 hour day and come back to the hotel, grab a table by myself for dinner.  Ah, my friend from the previous three nights is waiting on me again.  “Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket,” I think to myself about the luck I have a getting the same waiter.  He comes over to the table and asks me if I want something to drink and I say, “yes, please bring me a bottle of sparkling water with a bluefish, thanks.”  He stands at the table with a quizical look on his face.  “What is this bluefish you are wanting with your water,” he asks.   “Bluefish or lemon it doesn’t really matter what I say because you’re going to bring me a fucking lime, right?”  I say with a tone that I didn’t know I had in me nor ever want hear again.  He looks as if I have just killed his dog, cat, goldfish, hamster, guinea pig, turtle, ferret, bird and pet squirrel.  He sulks off and brings me back the water with a lemon.

Rather than being jubilant about my victory I feel like shit.  This poor guy is doing the best job he can and here am I mr. pompous ass….Needless to say I apologized profusely and left him a tip so large he could go out and buy new pets to replace the ones I knocked off…

I make a promise to myself right then that I will never treat someone like that again.  Seven years later I still haven’t broken my promise.

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GHD Conspiracy

I can barely contain my excitement as my favorite holiday of the year is this week, yes, I am talking about February 2nd, Groundhogs Day (GHD).  Oh, so it may also happen to my brothers birthday….how lucky to be born on such a great holiday.   It also happens to be a title of a wonderful movie starring the great Bill Murray and the beautiful Andie MacDowell.  A little known fact is that the movie is directed by Harold Ramis who starred with Murray in both Ghostbusters and Stripes…..but I digress…

If the groundhog dude see’s his shadow it’s another 6 weeks of Winter or is it that we’ll have an early Spring…. Depending on who you ask GHD is based on either an old Scottish couplet, “If Candlemas day is bright and clear, there’ll be two Winters in the year,” or on some German legend.  WHATEVAH – The bottom line is that on Feb 2 every year folks head up to Gobblers Knob, a wooded hill just outside of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to hear Phil’s prediction.Rumor has it that Phil started making his predictions in secret in 1887 and it wasn’t until 1966 that the event was made accessible to the public….maybe Dan Brown can write a new novel about the secret shadow society of Phil and his ability to control weather.I also read that Phil emerges from a heated burrow….why would a mensa groundhog want to stroll on out into a harsh February Pennsylvania day from a heated burrow?  Makes no sense.  Do you think he also has cable?  FYI – 90% of the time Phil see’s his shadow which means that there will be another 6 weeks of winter.  That’s interesting because it is almost 6 weeks exactly from GHD to the first day of spring….hmmmm.For more GHD info check out this website:  www.groundhog.org  POST GHD UPDATE – PHIL DIDN’T SEE HIS SHADOW!!!  SPRING IS JUST ABOUT HERE!  Yea, right….. Cheers

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Ramblings from the other side of the counter

As I quickly approach the second anniversary of restaurant ownership I continue to struggle to figure out what people really want.  Maybe it’s more me trying to figure out what I want.  Regardless, it gave me a moment to reflect on the past two years.  I got into this business by accident.  One of those great ideas on paper.  Partner with a friend who knows the business….me with a little cash to buy the business….and a restaurant owner selling his business.  A restaurant owner who should be thanking PT Barnum every night, if you know what I mean. A few months go by, the partner bolts and now I am responsible for running a restaurant.   Hmmm, where are the damn keys….and where is my damn marinara recipe? Today it seems that everybody wants to be a chef.  Or is it everybody wants to have their own cooking show? Ah, the celebrity of the BAM. Heck, I’d love to be a chef.  Being in the kitchen and watching people enjoy the food you prepare for them is the single most rewarding aspect of this business.  It’s also the part of the business, that as owner, I don’t get to do nearly enough.  So after the personnel management, financial and marketing aspects of the business I cherish my time in the kitchen.  I am very fortunate in that I have great people working with me in the restaurant.  People who care about everything they do.  For those who would love to see the “other” side of the biz I’d welcome you to drop me an email and I’ll schedule sometime for you to spend a day in the biz.

 The great news is that this experience continues to provide material for the book I will eventually write.  I already have the title for the book: The Reluctant Restaurateur: What they don’t teach you on FoodTV about running a restaurant 

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