Wednesday, July 27, 2005 

Photo Update II

I am just now getting back onto my computer for the first time in five days.

Man, my internet went down on Saturday, five minutes after I get home from my trip to NYC. After countless hours on the phone with people in a foreign land who couldn't understand my problem, they sent a technician over this afternoon to tell my wife that the problem wasn't my computer or my house, but that a squirrel had gotten in the DSL box on the main road right around the corner from our house.

The little fucker had decided to make a nest in the router and shut down our entire neighborhood. Bastard... Five days without internet access or e-mail has left me restless. I'd say that's grounds for a photo update...

(Preface: I did not get any pictures from my first trip back to New York, but let me tell you that I haven't been that wasted since leaving New York. Quick recap-- I met up with the wonderful people that I used to work with, and it was utterly fantastic to see them. We were joined by my brother, and shortly thereafter, Rob and I went off to have a family dinner with my sister, Beth, on the Upper West Side at "Ouest". I had rabbit for the first time... and I will have to say it was mighty tasty. My wife's brother, "Jorge", met up with the three of us at my favorite East Village dive bar, helped us out with a couple of pitchers of beer, and then proceded to buy us shots. Of tequila. I can't drink tequila. [I had one of those "tequila nights" and since then, I have not been able to stomach the shit.] Upon drinking said tequila, I puked on the curb outside my old bar, came back in and finished my beer. Went home to my brother's place at 3:30 am, woke up at 9:00 and headed back to the big ATL with a hangover that could have, if harnessed for good, prevented the World Wars.)

Now, for the photo update...

Last night, I took my dad, who you all know as "Papa Bear" to a Braves game for his Father's Day present. Papa Bear and I have spent countless nights listening and watching the Braves on TV and radio, but I think this was the first that we had been to together, just us. I specifically chose this game for two reasons:

1) because the Braves were playing the Washington Nationals, who have been leading the NL East for the last couple o' months; and

2) Dad had mentioned to me how he had seen the Washington Senators when he was younger and I thought it would be great for him to have the opportunity to see both Washington teams in person. And hopefully, the Braves would be whoopin' that ass.

Let me just say that it was hotter than BALLZ. We arrived at the stadium, and the temp was clocked in at 96 degrees (just two shy of a shitty boy band--wokka wokka wokka!!!).

I found out the day before that the Braves' marquee pitcher, John Smoltz (left), was going to be pitching against the Nationals' best pitcher, Livan Hernandez. Neither Papa Bear nor I had never seen Smoltz pitch live, and we were excited at the prospect. While things didn't heat up until the 7th, we got a free inning of baseball, and the home team pulled it out in the 10th with a bases-loaded walk.

The best part about the evening was talking with Papa Bear and us predicting move-by-move what Manager Bobby Cox was going to do. When you've been watching the Braves for as long as Dad and I have, you get to know what he's going to do.

The second best thing about the evening was seeing this big ass motherfucking plasma screen in the middle of center field. Holy crap, that thing is almost as tall as the stadium itself. I asked the super-friendly attendant at the top of our row how much that thing cost, and he quoted the figure of $6 million. While a staggering figure to pay for a TV (to say the least), it makes my dream of a wall-mounted 42" plasma for $4,000 sound much more reasonable. I've just got to take my wife to a Braves game and make the sales pitch there.

The morning after a ball game is always tough-- the amount of sweat you lost, the number of $7 beers you drank, etcetera, etcetera... So I was a bit off this morning at work and was looking forward to a quiet evening at home when I remembered my friend, Andy, was taking his final section of the Bar exam today and was planning (for the last month) to go out this evening with the old crew and get shitfaced. I, of course, was morally obligated to attend.

A good sized crowd was in attendance for the festivaties at the Little Five Points hamburger joint/dive bar. Andy isn't much of a drinker, so I was not only there to congratulate him, but was also in attendance as a specator. At 9:45 sharp, Andy proclaimed his shitiness and pronounced he was ready for bed. I did, however, manage to get my wife to take a picture with my buddy Rusty (left), myself (center), and future esquire, Andy before exodus. I'm extremely proud of and happy for him, and am convinced he's going to make one hell of an attorney.

Peace out, mofos. Bed time for Bonzo.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 

It may be closed on Sunday's, but it's the best restaurant any day of the week...

Okay, today I found out something so freaking EARTH SHATTERING in my world that I have to share it with you folks. And those of you who know me will truly realize the severity of this issue.

But first, a bit of backstory...
I grew up in Atlanta. It's a wonderful town, but after college I thought I'd go up north to NYC to investigate the Manhattan scene. I spent just under five years, and it took me getting away from Atlanta to realize what exactly the city, and the Southeast for that matter, had to offer.

I missed trees. I missed grass. I missed backyards. I know that all of these things are available in the suburbs of New York, but I didn't feel like moving out of Manhattan to have hints of those things. I mean, I came to New York and paid the huge premium to have the big city experience. Not poo-pooing on New Jersey or Long Island (or the ever enigmatic "Upstate") but commuting an hour-plus everyday (and even longer when you want to spend an evening in the city) and still having that high premium didn't make sense to me.

There were other things about the south that I missed. For instance, every time I came back to Atlanta, I would try to make what I called "The HatTrick"-- hitting the three restaurants in Atlanta that I didn't have access to in New York:

1) The Varsity
2) Waffle House
3) Chick-Fil-A

(A brief aside-- my love for fast food knows NO BOUNDS. It's kind of sick-- I actually was inspired by "Super Size Me". It struck a chord so deep in my soul that I thought I could have starred in the documentary. )

Until my last year of living in New York City, there were none of these restaurants in New York. It was only last year that I found out that Chick-Fil-A had opened up ONE location. It was located in the New York University food court.

Regardless, immediately upon finding out about the Chick-Fil-A in New York, I jumped on the subway with Carlton (one of my co-workers who shares the same passion for Chick-Fil-A sandwiches) and rode the 6-train fifty blocks down to locate it. I spent several lunch hours making that commute to get that sandwich.

I mentioned earlier in this weblog about how I stopped for breakfast at Chick-Fil-A on the way to work. After a five year drought, I went on somewhat of a "binge", but I had to curb that practice quickly, realizing I was close to regaining my all-time "heavyweight" status.

Anyway, this brings us to today... I work in a mammoth building just off the runways of Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta. Now, the place I would stop for breakfast is a five minute drive from the office and I would go there maybe once a week to enjoy the fine culinary experience. And from the abundance of Chick-Fil-A cups in the office, I thought everyone shared my sentiments.

I was talking with one of my co-workers, Wilson (name changed to protect the innocent), about places to eat around the office. Here's the conversation:

Pete: So, what's there to eat around here?
Wilson: Ah, there are a couple of restaurants in downtown Hapeville... Wendy's, Mickey D's, there's a good chinese buffet...
P: (intrigued) Really??? Man, all you can eat buffets aren't so much of a DEAL as they are a PERSONAL CHALLENGE.
W: Oh yeah. I've been known to do some damage there. But I don't get a chance to get out much. I usually just stick with the cafeteria here.
P: We have a cafeteria?!
W: Oh yeah... they've got a grill and salads and stuff. They've got good Philly Cheesesteaks.
P: Dude, I loves me some cheesesteaks.
W: They're good. But if there's nothing that really spikes your interest, you've always got Chick-Fil-A to fall back on.
P: Yeah, that restaurant in Hapeville is pretty good.
W: No, no... in the cafeteria.
P: What do you mean?
W: Uh, they've got Chick-Fil-A in the cafeteria...
P: You mean HERE? ON SIGHT?
W: Uhhhh, yeah.
P: In THIS building? In the cafeteria that's no more than 200 yards from my DESK?
W: Yeah, why?
P: [Giggles in ecstacy] Oh man... There goes my Christmas bonus-- my productivity just hit an all-time low.

So there you have it. There's a muhfuckin' Chick-Fil-A within skipping distance of my desk.

And I can't tell you how much I love this job. The perks kick serious ass.


Photo Update

So, I've been M.I.A. for the last couple of weeks... here's a photo recap of what's been up...

K and I bought a car... A PT Cruiser... It's really K's car, but I love the muhfugga. We drove it to the second wedding in Tennessee...

Right when we got back from Tennessee, K's parents came to town with a ton of alcohol and the crazy desire to buy us appliances.

They bought us a stainless steel stove to match our stainless steel fridge. The old stove didn't look that nice, honestly. That and the fact that it decided to cook everything at 550 degrees (which we found out when K and I had both HER parents and MY parents over, and were trying to cook a pork loin roast for dinner)... Anyway, it's so new I haven't even used it yet...

K's parents also bought us a washing machine and dryer (not pictured because it's in a seperate room in the house)... I spent most of the day Saturday trying to level the muhfucka because the room that it's in has a slanted floor... It was shaking so bad during our inaugural load (because it wasn't leveled) that I could feel it on the other side of the house. It was a pain in the buttocks, but I ended up getting the thing straightened out.

...and the in-laws' spending spree didn't stop there. No sir. They took pity on my soul and bought me a hellafied grill. I have become worringly good at cooking burgers and steaks on this bad boy.

I had a good Saturday evening with my buddy Thad. I tried to grill out that night, but I don't think Hurricane Dennis likes my hamburgers.

Anyway, he and I are going to start working on our own music project, so expect to hear some tunes soon. He also asked me to audition for the band he's currently in, The Shut-Ups. Tough to classify their music (I guess you'd call them new wave), but they've got one of the best live shows I've ever seen. Their songs are well written. I think there are tunes on the website-- I'd recommend "What's a Booty?" and "Too Late for Disco".

So, we worked on that and I got about five of their songs down pretty well.

Well, unfortunately, I woke up the next morning with a horrible ear infection and sore throat. I don't know if it was all the drinking. Or the smoking. Or the fact that I had just cut the grass a couple of days ago. But regardless, I spent all Sunday slugging down Theraflu and sleeping on the couch. I went to the doctor and he said it was a sinus infection that was causing all of the problems. He prescribed me some Biaxin (which made me feel like I had Fallujah in my stomach).

Anyway, my audition was last night and I think I played pretty well. I kind of wish I had learned more songs for the audition, but I worked on stuff tonight and they're coming fast and furious.

Work's been hard (working 12 hour days this week) but that's just because we're still wrapping up financial statements. I'm loving it still, and feeling a great sense of enjoyment calculating variances again.

Yes, I'm so fucked in the head that I get a kick calculating variances.

Friday, July 08, 2005 

Delay of Game

Sorry everyone. I wholly expected to write about this weekend's wedding shenanigans and the week with the inlaws, but it was a hard week with the inlaws. I'll try to write this evening with the week in review.

(Oh, and in case you were worried, that shit REALLY DOES work.)

Friday, July 01, 2005 

Hi, my name is Pete and I'm a coffeeholic.

While I love working at my new office, there are some things about my old job that I truly miss.

For instance, at my old job, the office provided coffee in the form of these little packets that you would place in this contraption which would spit out some hot, brown, coffee-flavored liquid that, while maybe not technically coffee per se, it performed the function of keeping you awake. And it was free.

At my new job, however, we have no such perk. And surprisingly enough, the coffee was AWESOME at my old job compared to my new one. Coffee comes in two forms:

1) The Maxwell House instant coffee vending machine in the breakroom. For $0.25 (or if you're willing to splurge, $0.35 for the "venti" cup), you can get a steaming cup of something that for the life of me reminds me (in both taste and color) of hot sewage. Honestly, the worst coffee I have ever tasted. And at $0.35 a cup, and the amount of coffee I drink, I could pull the entire airline industry out of it's slump with the revenue generated by this crap.

2) There is a huge, industrial coffee maker in the copy room that is actually Maxwell House brewed coffee, but supposedly costs $0.15 a cup. There are big signs saying "THIS COFFEE IS NOT FREE. IT IS $0.15 A CUP. THIS APPLIES TO EVERYONE." The only problem is that I have no idea where to put the $0.15. There is no change slot on the machine. There isn't a change jar or a fabricated can to deposit the money. So I've just been leaving a dime and a nickel by the sugar and creamer. I have no idea if the money is going to the people facilitating the machine or to the cleaning people. But hey, my conscience is clean.

Now, while the second situation may sound ideal, this machine is circa 1983 and doesn't look like it has ever really been cleaned. So there's this black layer of coffee resin hanging on the machine. And while the coffee is only $0.15 a cup, it's still not all that good. I had to find a solution.

You know you have a serious coffee addiction when you actually have a coffee maker sitting on your desk at the office. I just bought a coffee maker for that purpose.

Hopefully people won't freak out too much when I bring this mofo in... I don't want to be "the guy who has the coffee maker on his desk".

(Honestly, if I had to be defined as such, I'd much rather be one of the following:
*"the guy who deserves to be promoted immediately"
*"the guy who has great taste in music"
*"the guy with the beautiful sports car"
*"the guy who is the Greatest American"
*"the guy with really great abs")

I'm off to Tennessee for another wedding, but look for "Does that shit really work?" part one to hit the weblog on Monday or Tuesday. I'm gonna do some field research that you guys can count on.