jueves, diciembre 30, 2004

Interesting glimpse into the mind of a woman ...

Out of the blue, I asked Ms N what her dress size was the other day. She was obviously not expecting the question and certainly not wanting to answer. I let her squirm a bit before relieving her of any obligation to provide the requested information. In that time, however, she noted that “you never ask a woman her dress size or her weight.”

Personally, I would like to think that if I happened upon a dress or a coat or something that I liked – not that I happen upon these items that often, they are not normally sold where I shop – I could buy it for her as a surprise gift sometime.

-- Guys out there take note --
Guessing wrong with garments is hazardous. Guess too large and she suddenly thinks she looks grotesque, guess to small and she suddenly feels it. Taking her shopping ruins the surprise aspect of it and giving a gift certificate means that who knows what she’ll come back with. Granted, even if you have the right size the outfit could be cut in such a way that it does not produce the desired flattering look, so there is a chance it will be returned. But at least you get that one moment where she is a) happy that you thought of her and b) tries it on for you. She can always return it (gift receipts are a must!) and pick out something that better fits or suits her (hopefully remembering the spirit of the look you chose) if she so chooses, but you’ve at least had that moment.
-- OK, back to the issue at hand --

I wanted a tidbit of information to keep in my little personal mental file so that later on, when she is not thinking of it, I could surprise her with a nice gift. That plan is now on hold for the foreseeable future, unless I do something sneaky like check out her closet next time I’m in Baltimore.

(Just FYI, Ms N, I am 6 foot 2, 267 pounds last time I checked, 42x32 pant (relaxed fit – I have some junk in the trunk), generally at least an XXL shirt or, if it’s a nice shirt, 18.5 inch neck and 36 inch arms.)

My question went unanswered and, despite its non-judgmental nature, provided an uncomfortable moment where she felt she was being judged. (Obviously if the relationship continues we will become knowledgeable of each other’s most intimate details – many of which might find there ways onto these blogs should the relationship ever discontinue at some later time – but for now that data remains her little secret.)

Incidentally, she had no problem sharing her ring size.

miércoles, diciembre 29, 2004

J! E! T! S! Just End The Season!

Having been a fan of both football and New York since grade school, I obviously pay attention to the fortunes – or misfortunes, as is more often the case – of the two teams that represent Gotham in the NFL. The Giants are my team. I own 3 jerseys, a coat, a Shockey bobble-head doll (fitting, as every time he makes a catch he likes he gets up and bobbles his head) (put into verb form, that sounds like a euphemism for something completely different), a musical Giants football, a towel, a mug, a shot glass, a sports bottle, a hat, a tie, 2 drinking glasses, and a T-shirt, plus I subscribe to the team magazine and I am on the season ticket wait-list at Giants Stadium. Ms N, observant girl that she is, noticed my affinity for the team and got me a very nice Giants fleece pullover and Shockey action figure (thank you again, cariña!). I have also been to 5 Giants games (all against the Eagles and four were victories for Big Blue). I think I’ve made my point.

However, in seasons such as this when the wins are few and the losses many, it’s nice to know that the emergency backup New York football team is playing competitively. The Jest, er, um, Jets have as many wins as the Giants have losses. They are even making a run at the playoffs. Three games this week affect the Jets’ playoff hopes and if any one of those games turns in the Jets’ favor, Gang Green is in. The other contenders for the playoffs, Denver and Buffalo, are playing against two of the top three teams in the AFC, teams that are a combined 26-4. Assuming no ties, mathematically speaking the Jets have a 7-to-1 chance of getting in. It’s almost a lock.

I have been a sports fan too long to believe in locks.

The Jets play the Rams. The Rams had a disappointing start, but they are playing in a disappointing division. They have a shot at the playoffs – perhaps even the division – with a win, they are out if they lose. The Rams effectively started their playoffs last week against the Eagles. The Rams have more to gain in this game, and that spells trouble for the Jets. The Jets are the better team and they are in with a win, or maybe with a loss. The Rams are out with a loss, but have been playing feisty. Edge Rams.

The Broncos play the Colts. Last year this game and the playoff rematch were great. This year Indy is locked into the 3 spot and has nothing to gain from winning this game. A loss costs Indy nothing. A critical Indy injury, however, could cost them the Super Bowl. On the flip side, the Broncos are in with a win, or maybe a loss. Edge Broncos.

The Bills play the Steelers. The Steelers beat every team they’ve played this year except Baltimore in week 2. As a result, they have earned themselves the top seed. Again, nothing to gain, nothing to lose. The Bills, on the other hand, are in with a win if either the Jets or Broncos slip up. Besides, the Bills have been hot lately. Edge, Bills.

So the question is this … do the Jets rise to the occasion and carry the day, or at least does someone else foul up worse then they do? They have 7 chances to succeed, one to fail.

I have this sinking feeling that they will somehow defy the odds on Sunday.

lunes, diciembre 27, 2004

Emergency Clarification

I did not compare the woo-ee's traditional dish to haggis on a level of taste or appeal, I said it looked unusual. My comparison was purely aesthetic. I told her then and will repeat now that I will have some more any time it's offered. The food - which I really should learn the name of - has an interesting taste to it and, while I am not quite ready for a full serving, I will happily sample. I can see why people like it. The taste is irrelevant to my comment. Visually, it is the Puerto Rican equivalent of that particular Scottish delight. It does not look like something you would want to put in your mouth (unless, of course, you knew what was in it) (which separates it from haggis because you are less inclined to eat that once you know what's in it).

domingo, diciembre 26, 2004

Christmas can be summed up in one word …


I had a very compartmentalized Christmas this year. Friday, the kids went to the office with me and got to experience first-hand what the working world is like … well, at least what it’s like on the day before a holiday when half the staff is on vacation and the rest are busy exchanging gifts and homemade goodies up until 1:00 when the entire remaining staff is allowed to leave early.

Their highlight of the day was the tour – I took them all around the train station including down to the track level. Alex had never seen an Acela before from any vantage point; we were on the platform as the Boston-bound high-speed train left the station. He was quite impressed. Emily proved to be a wonderful filing assistant. I hope she thinks back fondly to these days when she is a top executive … perhaps she’ll grant her admins the occasional afternoon off.

After the strenuous half-day of “work,” we did lunch, then did some last-minute card shopping. Emily picked out one for the X that I had to buy. It was so much funnier for me because I know so much more. Humor is all relative (and relatives are all humorous).

The kids and I then went to a lovely candlelight church service. In one of those Hallmarky-type touching moments I passed on the importance the song Silent Night has in our family to Emily. After service we called my folks. Emily specifically brought up Silent Night and made my mom cry a happy tear. Go me.

After church, we visited the neighbors. Alex and Genevieve, the neighbor’s daughter, tried to “have some privacy” as they went into her room and closed the door. Go Alex. Just wait until you’re older. Perhaps 12.

We then put out the reindeer food, left the cookies and Gatorade (milk goes bad by the time these guys get to sleep, plus all those trips up and down the chimneys builds up a deep-down body thirst) out for Santa, and went to bed. The kids were overly excited, but went to sleep quickly which was good, because Santa had some wrapping to do still. And he wanted to munch on those cookies.

The X showed up bright and early and we had the traditional dysfunctional family Christmas. The kids had fun – and that is what’s important. And I got a happy reminder of how much better off we all are now that the X is an ex. And then at noon I got to send the kids off for their other Christmas.

Then came my second Christmas. The woo-ee was up in Brooklyn to visit her family (gee … who would think that a Puerto Rican girl would have family in New York?). She stopped by Exit 4 on her way back. Merry Christmas to me!

She brought with her some traditional Puerto Rican dishes including one that seems to me to be the PR version of haggis. “It’s an acquired taste,” she says. The taste wasn’t that bad, really. I’m just surprised that the first people ate enough of it to acquire the taste. Aesthetics are not a selling point, here. But who am I to criticize? My ancestors ate fish soaked in lye. When the Vikings terrorized northern Europe and England I don’t think they were after riches or power, I think they were more in search of culinary relief. They didn’t “sack Rome” as the historians claim; they just went out for some Italian.

Her visiting made this a wonderful Christmas. We drove around looking at all the lights put up on houses that I would have no possible (legal) way to afford within the next year or so, at least, then we went back to my apartment and she at least acted impressed. It was a joyous evening. She’d better watch herself. She’s running the risk of making me a happy guy, and I know she doesn’t want that on her conscience.

Sunday morning it was back to the X’s to get the kids. Their uncle gave them a Habitrail hamster cage and accessories for Christmas as part of a room-cleaning arrangement he made with Emily a few months back. Today we set everything up and went to Pet Smart to get the newest additions to our family, Spongebob and Snowball.

Spongebob made an amazing debut into the family. As I was putting him into the top of the cage, he got spooked and did a Matrix-style flying leap out of my hands. It was really cool, what with the mid-air leg kick and all, but the landing was not quite what he bargained for. One impromptu rearranging of the furniture later, the little dude was quite scared, but safe in his cage nonetheless. He’s been a bit more on the nappy side than Snowflake. I hear concussions will do that.

jueves, diciembre 23, 2004

Happy Holidaze

It is so hard to believe it is Christmas week already. The big JC’s birthday falls on a Saturday so we got a floating work holiday. Unfortunately, I used that early to see my parents at Thanksgiving. Because I am new and the choo-choo place doesn’t allow vacation accrual, that was my only day off until after the new year starts. Now ‘tis the season and I can’t take a single day off.

On the plus side, I get a floating holiday to use sometime next year which certainly helps if I am able to take the Puerto Rican vacation I’ve been eyeballing. I love when you don’t have to blow a vacation day on vacation. I similarly believe that if you’re sick you should just go into work. If you are going to be miserable anyways, it might as well be there. And that way you save your sick days for times when you really need it … like when you need some beach therapy or a couple of doses of Jose Cuervo.

But back to Christmas. The woo-ee is stopping by my work for lunch on her way up to Brooklyn, so I am quite excited. She is also making a side trip to Exit 4 on her way back from her Yule-time family visit. That has me even more excited. Of course, lots of things involving her have me excited. My thoughts – as thoughts often do – drift her way quite frequently, (leading more than once to some difficult repositioning while sitting in meetings with my boss) which has made my workday that much more enjoyable (and provided me with at least one reason to be glad I’m not wearing jeans to work). It’s nice to have a Christmas where I have someone I want to be with again.

In the mean time, time is just whizzing by at an unbelievable pace. I guess now that it’s almost Christmas I should probably get rid of those Thanksgiving leftovers.

sábado, diciembre 18, 2004

Bob Had Bitch-Tits

So I find myself awake at 1:33 in the morning, two hours after waking up with the realization that I had fallen asleep while on the phone with the woo-ee. Not that she minded … she seems to like when I do that and hey, I’m all for falling asleep. When you’ve got a girl who likes it when you sleep you keep her.

But shortly afterwards I woke up and have been up ever since. So I’ve turned to DVDs.

Thanks to the Netflix policy of not charging late fees, I have not effectively bought the pile of DVDs that I have had sitting next to my TV for the past four weeks. One, Futurama, Disc 3, I watched right when I got it. The two Muppets episodes have had a lot of play while they’ve been here. But the Band of Brothers DVD has been sitting unwatched since I got it. Odd, because that is what I have been meaning to watch. Great series.

So now it’s watched. And the DVDs are packaged up and ready to go back to Netflix, whereupon I’ll get more! Wo-hoo! I have no idea what is due next, but I have almost 200 movies in my queue.

Some alert readers will note that the title of this post is not from any of the aforementioned movies. If you can’t get to sleep you might as well watch a good insomnia movie, so I am watching Fight Club. I love this movie. Every time I watch it, I pick up something new. And now that I have the DVD, I get to pick up some of the more subtle stuff that I never would have picked up.

In the mean time, I love some of the lines:

Jack: “He was full of pep. Must have had his grande latte enema.”

Tyler Durden: “You are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”

Tyler Durden: “It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you are free to do anything.”

Jack: “I felt like putting a bullet through the eyes of every panda that wouldn’t screw to save its species.”

Tyler Durden: “You just had a near-life experience.”

Marla Singer: “You take tuberculosis. My smoking doesn’t go over at all.”

Jack: “If I did have a tumor, I’d name it Marla.”

Jack: “You met me at a very strange time in my life.”

Jack: “Except for their humping, Tyler and Marla were never in the same room. My parents pulled this exact same act for years.”

Marla Singer: “A condom is the glass slipper of our generation. You slip one on when you meet a stranger. You ‘dance’ all night, then you throw it away. The condom, I mean, not the stranger.”

Jack: “Marla … the little scratch on the roof of your mouth that would only heal if you could stop tonguing it, but you can’t.”

Tyler Durden: “Self-improvement is masturbation. Now self-destruction …”

Marla Singer: “You’re Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Jackass!”

And the all time best line of the entire movie:

Marla Singer: “I haven’t been fucked like that since grade school!”

miércoles, diciembre 15, 2004

Something had to give ...

The main components of my life - work, kids, money, romance, and home - seem to always balance each other out. If one area of my life is going great than another will suck and a third will be so-so. If one is going sorta bad, another will be sorta good. Or one may really, really suck while a couple others are more or less OK.

For example, two jobs ago it was pretty much work bad, money bad, home good, kids OK, romance good. Then I found a better employment opportunity which elevated work and money. This would be a positive for normal people and I (silly person that I am) thought things might get better. Shortly after that, though, (work good, money good, home OK and kids OK) my then wife left me for El Cucaracha, a guy who I thought was my best friend (romance very, very bad) The balance tipped to the negative with this, but then the kids and I got closer and brought it back to equilibrium.

Fast forward a bit. Due to restructuring at my place of employment and in my own life I soon found myself in a bad work, home, and romance state but money was good and the kids were good. I got let go at work and went on unemployment (money worse, work better). That’s the thing about unemployment – the hours are great but the pay sucks. I had sworn off the notion of getting romantically involved, which at the time brought romance from bad to neutral.

I am in another new job (work great, money good) and preparing to spend three months working a second (money soon to be better), I have repainted and reorganized my apartment (home good), the kids had some problems but are doing well. And then I met my woo-ee, the hot Puerto Rican chica in Baltimore. Now romance is going great!

So here is my dilemma. Things are going great. Something’s got to give, but what is it? I am frantically trying to figure out what will go wrong to balance things out again.

And then it happened … I got eliminated from the playoffs in my fantasy football league.

lunes, diciembre 13, 2004


I had a wonderful weekend, woo-wise. The woo-ee was a most gracious hostess who made sure that I was not left in want of anything - except perhaps more days down in Baltimore.

Now Baltimore is not normally on my vacation destination list. Granted, it has its niceties like the Inner Harbor, Little Italy, and a club close to downtown where you can spend an evening watching young scantily-clad ladies get toasted and then go dancing for a mere $10. But it never quite cracked my gotta-go list until now.

I did manage to hop onto the wrong train out of Baltimore. It wasn't until I made it back into the city on the next train that I noticed the <-Washington / New York -> signs. Fortunately my wrong train got into DC early and I was able to catch the Acela back up. It was a nice ride, save for the phone call from the X where my gaffe was taken with far less humor than I thought it deserved.

But the X didn't have the lasting effect she was hoping for, for I had some amazing memories to return to as soon as her call was over. I was able to tune out the world and tune in the recollections. Ah, sometimes it is good to be alive.

jueves, diciembre 09, 2004

Sloppy Seconds

The first posting was so much fun I just had to do it again!

Tax season is quickly approaching and I am making my initial plans for how the next few months are going to go. The best I can think is they will go too quickly, but take forever in doing so. I am probably going to wind up working at the Camden, NJ, branch of my company which is good in that it is a high-volume and quick processing-time location (both work in my favor come commision time), but there is that whole most-dangerous-city-in-the-US thing that Camden has working against it.

Of course, the downside to the whole tax season scheduling is that it means far fewer opportunities to spend time with a) my kids and b) the woman I am trying to woo. As for option B, nothing says "You want me in your life" like being busy 15 consecutive weekends. Fortunately one of our mutual friends is also romantically attached to a tax guy. They have been together for a while, so she (the friend) has gotten used to the whole tax-widow thing. My hope is that she (the friend) can keep her (the woo-ee) from deciding that I am a total schlep who is never around. It's quite the opposite ... I am a total schlep who is always around.

viernes, diciembre 03, 2004

My Blog Deflowering

This is my first posting on a blog. I'm a little nervous. What to do? What to say? What to wear? Oh, the agony. Will you, the reader, respect me in the morning?

So now I've gone all the way. I've posted. I have been deflowered. Now that I got that out of the way, what's for lunch?

I have finally caught up with the 21st century. Wo-hoo.