Sunday, March 29, 2009

Greazy Tony: On the Verge of Immortality!

I had another very busy week that kept me off the solitaire battlefield, but I made up for it over the weekend. I was laid up this weekend after taking a trip to see my friendly neighborhood tattooist on Friday night. Not only am I psyched that my 3/4 sleeve is finally done, but my recovery time also gave me all the time I needed in front of the computer to set a new high score.

And score high I did. I was listening to "Lost in a Low Cloud" by the Flying Foxes just as I started the game and 100 seconds later the game ended just before the song did. I now stand 1 second away from breaking into the double digits and a mear 10 seconds away from my overall goal of a 90 second game. The final score was 7660 points in 100 seconds which bettered my previous best by 7 full seconds and 485 points.

All of my high scores are now in the 7,000's and less than 110 seconds. Each time I post a new personal best I wonder if I can find a way to better it, and so far, I've been able. So stay tuned to TGWOOfY to see if I make it happen.

#1: 7660/100
#2: 7175/107
#3: 7080/109

_

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Don’t Do it Harry! It’s a Trap!

There are some very strong people in this world, you know, the kinds who can have temptation flaunted in their face and restrain themselves. But most people are not this strong, and have to steel themselves against their weaknesses, vices and obsessions. Many people who are struggling with addiction will go out of their way to avoid their substance of choice. You’ll see alcoholics who won’t go to a bar and drug addicts who won’t ever hang out with Keith Richards. You know, the usual.

On the other hand, you have people who just can’t draw themselves away from their nemesis and as such the keep falling down the same well over and over again. And so it is with Michael Jackson, who earlier this week gave Harry Potter all access passes for his upcoming come back show. You’d have to think that those early Potter movies are like porn to Jacko, even though Daniel Radcliffe is all grown up these days. I’m sure Radcliffe is smart enough to know what Jackson means by “all access” and as such I’m sure he won’t be letting the king of pop handle his….wand, but this is still distasteful, even by Jackson standards.

His whole Peter Pan wet dream was gross 15 years ago, but now that his life has turned into a full fledged Greek tragedy it seems like this should all be avoidable. Why does this guy still get to be famous? And who are these psychos forking over big bucks to see him play after all these years of madness? The only thing worse than an addict is an enabler; and anyone who fills Michael’s pockets is enabling him. It’s only when he’s reached rock bottom that he’ll have the courage to stand up and say ‘my name is Michael and I’m addicted to little boys.’

_

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Song Spotlight: "What is a Life" by Youth Group



The Aussie band Youth Group put out a record in Oz that was heralded as one of the best of '08. Sadly, we have to wait till next week to get The Night is Ours here, but it will be well worth the wait. In addition to the fantastic singles "All this Will Pass" and "Two Sides" the record features the excellent little slice of life song that I present to you today. As with any good song, you can place yourself into the story line, and allow the words to take on their own meaning as they pertain to your life. I hope you enjoy:

I've lived in this town for 13 years,
I've been around.
You see that window in that tower?
That was mine.

Under that fluorescent light
I made cold calls through the night
to houses deep in suburbs I will never go.

And then in Chinatown
I'd get something and hang around.
How does that busker know each day from the rest?

See that man who just brushed past me?
Well I know him,
but don't ask me ‘bout him.
I wonder, is he still with his wife?

What is a life?

The ferries pull up in the evening warmth.
I used to give out papers here
as they rushed on their way home.

The streets are full of plaques.
Just where that park is
used to be a den of whalers,
Jesus Christ!

What is a life?

Of all the jobs I've had,
well I can't say they've turned out bad,
Its just funny
to think that guy was you.

A waiter on his break,
he smokes a cigarette
and takes a long look at a repaired paring knife.


_

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Funny... and Tasty



Inky and I were watching PTI last night when this ad for Quiznoz came on. First and foremost, I love the reference to H.A.L. from 2001 a Space Oddesy. This can be a hugely overused device, but somehow it really works when it isn't a computer, but a sandwich oven. But that wasn't all the good folks at Quiznos had in store for us in this ad. No, they also took it to another level by throwing in completely unnecessary sexual innuendo. The kid says "I'm not doing that again. It burns" which could easily be passed off as any number of things. Then, the oven begs "put it in me" and I just about fell off the couch.

That's comedy gold!

I guess this kind of innuendo is too much for broadcast TV however, because later in the evening, during How I Met Your Mother, we saw a different version of the ad. The joke this time is about Scott cleaning the oven with a shammy and the oven saying "we both enjoyed that" which is still kind of funny, but not 'put it in me' funny.

Either way, hats off to Quiznos for putting an ad out there that isn't the same old. And more than that, I thank them for not having that awful smell that permeats every Subway on the face of the earth. You know what I'm talking about, that smell that sticks to you like dollar store perfume the second you walk in there. Quiznos doesn't get down like that, and I appreciate it.

_

Friday, March 20, 2009

"I don't know how to put this... I'm kind of a big deal..."

I spent all of yesterday in a skybox at the Wachovia Centre watching NCAA basketball. I'm not saying that to brag, or make you feel crappy that you spent your whole day behind a desk or whatever, but if that's what happens, I understand. I mearly mention it as a way of explaining why I waited till today to talk about my 15 nanobits of fame. I've been reading Pop Candy, a pop culture blog, for a few years now since Inky hepped me to it, and yesterday I was on it. I answered blogger Whitney Matheson's Q & A and it was posted early Thursday along with a photo of the Greazy One.

Those of you who know me, or have read TGWOOfY long enough, will know most of what I had to say, but how often is it that a person like me gets that big a stage? So I just wanted to point it out and provide you with a link (link provided: here) so you can check out the post, and the many very nice comments I got from the Candy's legion of loyal readers.

For now, I'm off to a very busy day at work, which thankfully is the last one in a very busy week. Even with my travels to Upstate NY and Philadelphia, I have played nary a hand of solitaire this week, which is shocking! That means that my previous fastest game of 107 seconds will stay in the top spot for at least one more week. This weekend will be the very epitome of laziness for me, and quite frankly, I can't wait.

_

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's The Little Things

I don’t know a lot, but I know that life is all about little things. When the big things in your life are great, otherwise trivial things can pull you down. For example: when you are happily in love with the one true person you are meant to be with, it can be maddening when the two of you have a differing viewpoint on something as minuscule as the infield fly rule. Once your larger happiness is taken for granted, it is easy to focus on tiny details in life that can annoy you as if they were huge.

Likewise, when the larger things in your life are annoying, it is the normally inconsequential things that can keep you afloat for one more day. To play on the opposite of the previous example: when you are a person with no prospects for love who is alone in the world, finishing in first place in your office NCAA pool can feel like winning an Oscar, the Superbowl and an AVN award all rolled into one. While your larger happiness is left wanting, it becomes easier to focus on the smaller details that help bring a spring back to your step.

There are all sorts of maxims that try to convince you to dwell on the good when things are bad, and fend off the bad when things are good, like “stop and smell the roses” or “always look on the bright side of life.” It’s as if life is like a car’s engine which you must keep from getting too hot in the summer or two cold in the winter lest you overheat or stall. Without this attempt to regulate yourself you could end up in a shack in the wilds of Canada raving to your pet seal about how the world’s gone crazy.

It is with this delicate balancing act in mind that I tell you about a small bright spot in my world that can, at times, feel pretty dark. A few weeks back I picked up a baseball video game that I play most nights while Inky and I watch TV. Since I’ve been an Orioles fan my whole life I play as the O’s and since I’ve been playing this brand of game for many years, I play on the highest skill level. So, even though my team is hovering around .500, and my pitchers all seem to be long ball prone, it is about as close as I can get to a genuine simulation.

My aforementioned bright spot came in the form of a hitting streak for the ages. From mid April till early June Nick Markakis put together a 44 game hit streak, often keeping it alive with late game hits. Each time I pressed the button at the right time to get another hit, the computer rewarded me by showing Markakis on base being congratulated by the first base coach with a font that would say: “Has a 33 game hit streak…” under his name. With each game, it made me smile a bit more, which may be the most pathetic thing I have ever said.

I don’t know if this makes me utterly sad, kind of depressing or just normal, but it’s what I’ve got in the good little things department these days. Because, although I have the best “big thing” in the world in my love for Inky; I still have quite a few other big things that have been letting me down. That’s where a video game feat, a high score on solitaire or a correct answer while watching Jeopardy can come in handy.

_

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Just 8 Seconds To Go.

Baby steps. That's the approach I'm taking on my quest to play a 90 second solitaire game. 90 seconds seems like an impossibility, but breaking into the double digits is well with in my grasp. Coming into this week my best game of all time was 7080 points in 109 seconds. This week I went two seconds better to set another PB with a score of 7175 in 107 seconds. I know, it's only a drop of 2 seconds, but it's also only 8 seconds away from a 99.

I am on the road in Upstate New York for business and pleasure, and as fate would have it, I forgot my mouse. So I doubt I'll be playing much till I get back home. So for now, the 100 second barrier is safe, but I know it is restless. For, it knows that it will be breached soon enough. My top scores now stand thusly:

#1: 7175/107
#2: 7080/109
#3: 6893/112

_

Friday, March 13, 2009

Oh What a Night!

While I grew up just a stones throw from New York City, I am basically a small town kind of guy. The borough I grew up in had a population of less than 10,000 and I now live in a smallish city of less than 50k. I'm not saying its rural or anything, just small by city standards. And as is always the case, with small comes few options for stuff to do. I guess what I'm saying is, I sometimes wish I lived in a big vibrant city with multiple entertainment options.

While I am writing this it is very early on Friday morning in Pennsylvania, but it is already late in the evening in Melbourne Australia. And What a night it has been! If I lived in Melbourne or it's surrounding area, I would have had a hell of a choice to make tonight. I could have joined with the 45,000 people who are watching the Geelong Cats play the Collingwood Magpies in the Grand Final of the NAB Cup at Docklands Stadium. Or, I could have watched the Melbourne Storm open their NRL season against St. George Illawara at Olympic Park. Even though the Storm played in last year's grand final, rugby is small potatoes in this town, so only about 15,000 people turned up to that game.

If I didn't feel like watching an outdoor game, I could of always headed over to Flinders Park to see the deciding game of the NBL's finals series at Hisense Arena. The Melbourne Tigers and the South Dragons tipped it off in front of another 10,000 sports fans just a few hours ago. I'd love to say I'd be torn between all these great sporting events if I lived in Melbourne, but that's just not so. I'd be right there at the Dome watching the Cats and Pies play, even thought that didn't turn out too well for me the last time.

While all this footy, rugby and hoops action is great, one can not live on sport alone. So, you could walk across the parking lot from the basketball game to Rod Laver Arena and see the rock band Kings of Leon with 15,000 more people. Or, you could just wait 12 hours and show up to the MCG at noon on Saturday for the Sound Relief Concert to benefit the victims of the Victoria brushfires. Kings of Leon will be back on the stage (even though they're Yanks, the Aussies love them) along with Midnight Oil, Jet, Paul Kelly, Wolfmother, Split Enz, Jack Johnson and many more.

All that before Sunday! In contrast, there's not a whole hell of a lot going on around here this weekend. So in the words of Missy Higgins: I'm Going North. Although, I somehow doubt I'll find a huge sporting event or a big rock show in Up State New York. Oh well, at least there will be spiedies.

_

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tales from the John

Its been a few months since I brought you a funny tale from the work bathroom, and I know you've been dying for more. So, here we go again. In the past I've told you about events that embarrassed me in the privy, but not so this time. Today someone else's face is red, or should be. The funny thing is; I don't think he was embarrassed. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

As I walked down the hall toward the bathroom I acquired a trailer. I could hear footsteps and whistling behind me and I soon realized I would not be alone in the bathroom. I walked to the urinal and the footsteps continued on to the stalls. Once there, the mysterious whistler proceeded to pee, so there was no need to wait me out to drop a deuce. When I was done, I walked to the sink and started to wash my hands.

This is when I saw the visage behind the whistle and found that it was one of my co-workers. As I washed my hands he struck up a conversation about cars which I held with him wile looking in the mirror. I shut the water off, turned to the towel dispenser and dried my hands, all the while continuing the conversation.

After about a minute or so, it dawned on me that this person hadn't washed his hands yet. I wondered if, perhaps, he was waiting for me to move so he could use the sink that I was blocking. Like, maybe it is his favorite sink or something. Hey, stranger things have happened, especially with this guy. So I made my way toward the door, and he ded something I hadn't planned on: He followed me out the door and continued talking to me about cars, deals and rentals. I couldn't believe he didn't wash his hands!

At my old job I once washed my hands twice just so one of my co-workers didn't think I was a pig. After doing my bid'ness and washing up I patted my pocket and realized my phone wasn't in it. I was 99% sure I had left it on my desk, but to be sure I walked back to the stall to check that it hadn't fallen out of my pocket in there. Upon seeing nothing I turned to leave, but at that moment another guy walked in. So I did what any week minded, self conscious person would do. I washed my hands again and then walked out while he was peeing. Because, it wasn't enough for me to know I had washed my hands, I needed for him to know. And somehow this seemed like the less crazy option when compared with saying: "Hey, I just want you to know that I already washed my hands and went back to look in the stall, so don't think that I'm not skipping it or anything."

I'd like to think that I am in a normal range of cleanliness: somewhere between filthy slob and constant hand sanitizer user. So I would think that my reactions would be what you would call normal or average. I don't think I'm some kind of bathroom prude, but maybe I'm wrong. Isn't it strange when one of your co-workers totally eschews normal public bathroom etiquette right in front of you? Or, am I some kind of crazy neat freak in hiding?

_

Monday, March 09, 2009

A New Bronze

I had a very busy week, and an even busier weekend, which was cool. I'm not complaining, I'm just mentioning it because it meant I didn't get to play a whole lot of solitaire this week. I bet I only played about two dozen hands all told, and I only won about 9 or 10. But in the high pressure/fast paced world of speed solitaire you only need a good deal and a fast hand to post a high score.

Well I got a good deal, and we all know I have a fast hand, so I was able to post another top 3 score this past week. My game of 6848 points in 113 seconds now sits behind my 6893/112 and the all time great game: 7080/109. I'm still determined to break 90 seconds one day, but for now, I'm focused on the ever elusive 100 second barrier.

Roger Banister had the four minute mile, I have the 90 second solitaire game. I don't think it is hyperbole to say that I will need every bit as much strength, skill and determination as he had in order to achieve my goal.

_

Saturday, March 07, 2009

A New List in the New Year

I last updated my Top 5 list in August, so I think the time has come to make a few changes. Mila Kunis surged on to the list on the strength of her hotness in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." Likewise, Billie Piper joined this most exclusive of sisterhoods based solely on her performance in "Secret Diary of a Call Girl." Sadly, they must now both move to the side to make way for new members.

First up we have Sasha Grey, who comes in at #5. Sasha is getting ready to star in the film "The Girlfriend Experience" by Stephen Soderbergh. Prior to that, she has stared in over 150 other videos that skipped the silver screen and went right to DVD. (if I ever lowered myself to use emoticons, here is where I'd use the winking/smiling face one) In addition to being a smoldering sexpot, she is also quite smart, and outspoken on issues facing women today.

Also making the cut this time around is Zooey Deschanel, who should have been on the list long ago. Ever since first spotting her in "Almost Famous" I've thought she was amazingly cute. Then she knocked a bunch of great indie roles to go along with her higher profile turns in bigger movies like "Elf" or "Failure to Launch." Then, she really blew me away with last year's "Volume 1", a record she released under the name She & Him with M. Ward. In short, Zooey, like Mr. G., is a triple threat. She also has a knack for playing characters with K names. In a two year span she was Kit (Failure to Launch), Kat (Weeds), Ms. Pussy Katz (Flakes), Katie (Raving) and Kate (The Go Getter).

Here is the updated list, with corresponding pictorial proof of hotness:

#5) Sasha Grey, 20: Porn Star, Actress, Model, Activist.

#4) Nicky Whelan, 26 Actress, Model, Grand daughter of Brownlow Medalist.

#3) Evaangeline Lilly, 29: Actress.
#2) Zooey Deschanel, 29: Actress, Singer/Songwriter.
#1) Anne Hathaway, 26: Actress.

Friday, March 06, 2009

I'd Be a Hypocrite if I Said This Was Wrong

Two months ago I blogged about the dream job being offered by Tourism Queensland. I said that I would love the opportunity that they were offering but that I was sure the job would go to some hard bodied 24 year old. At first I said that even knowing this wouldn't stop me from applying, but then I started to see the videos being posted and my tune changed.

Video after video of rock hard young women in bikinis and musseled up bro's in board shorts spelled my doom. Because let's be honest here, if you were hiring someone to be the face of your product to the rest of the world would you pick someone that looked like me? Probably not. You would most likely try and find someone who looked like either Laura and Jen here, or one of Inky's Man Candy Monday guys. And in the end, it's hard to argue with that sensibility, even if it does leave some of us behind. Because if all things are equal on the delivery front, the hottest person will come out on top. Especially if they look good in a bikini top or sans top.

Some people are a bit more outraged in the face of this truism than I am. A number of the "not hot enough to make the top 50" masses sent angry letters to Tourism Queensland, but I won't be joining in. I'm too much of a realist to be part of the average Joe's cacophony of outrage. Because if I was picking someone to represent me on the Internet, I'd probably pick someone young and hot too. Until the consumer base stops paying attention to dumbass kids who look good in swimwear the advertising industry will keep parading them out there. Who am I to question that?

_

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Another One to Add to My List



Since summer is big time movie time, and movie producers know you need to plan a head, this is big time trailer time. "500 Days of Summer" stars Zooey Deschanel, who I am kind of obsessed with, and it features some pretty kick ass music. The original trailer (seen here) used the song "Sweet Disposition" by Melbourne's The Temper Trap, which is currently my favorite song of 2009. It all adds up to me going to the theater to see this movie in July, just like I'll be going to see "Adventureland" in a few weeks.

_

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Take Me in to The Ballgame!

I'm just a few months shy of my 33rd birthday but I don't feel that old. Inky and I went to a party this weekend where it became painfully obvious to me what we are supposed to be like as "adults." We aren't, to say the least. We're trapped between the Moon and New York City, so to speak, and I sometimes wonder if I'll ever grow up. One thing is for sure, if I am going to grow up, this next sentance won't help much.

I'm excited that the new "MLB 09: The Show" hits shelves today. I've been in kind of a rotten mood the last week or two, mired in the winter doldrums, and yesterday's snow didn't help much. Upon seeing that the game dropped today, I instantly noticed a spring in my step and a smile on my face. Yup, I'm a guy in my early 30's who is fuckin' stoked that a video game came out today. And you know what? I'm not ashamed of that fact one bit.

I can't wait to play my first game with Matt Weiters as my staring catcher and Chris Tillman on the mound!

_

Sunday, March 01, 2009

A Trip Through Time, With A Jedi Master

A long, long time ago (September of 1995) on a college campus not so far far away three college roommates excuitted a kidnaping. Those sophomores were Big Wayne (oddly named, since he was the smallest of the three), XL and Me, Greazy Tony. We were barely into our second year of college and we were still hardly knew each other. Big Wayne and I had lived in the same dorm room for a half a semester freshman year, before I moved into an apartment with a bunch of juniors at the start of second semester.

XL then moved in with Big Wayne, and they both spent a lot of time at said apartment, thanks in large part to the fact that we had the Playboy Channel. So they were like honorary roommates. But for sophomore year, we wanted to be actual roommates, so we moved into a three-man apartment together, which was J4. In fact, we had only officially lived together for 24 days when we pulled the following caper, which took place at the old playboy-equipt apartment known as 207.

After classes were done on Friday the 29th of September, 1995, XL and I pulled in front of 207 in my little Gray Honda. That is when Big Wayne emerged with our victim under his arm and pilled it the car. We had done it. We kidnaped one of our friend's Yoda cardboard cut out, and we hit the road. We called with ransom demands and took photos as evidence that we were serious.

Little did we know that this one act of quite literal sophomoric behavior would spurn many more trips with Yoda. The first was to Richmond and Williamsburg Virginia, but after that there was Myrtle Beach South Carolina, Tampa Florida, Cooperstown New York, Cleveland Ohio, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Canton Ohio not to mention other events that Yoda would join us on over our last three years of college. Here now is Yoda: A Photo Journey

We were benevolent captures, and on our first trip we even fed Yoda.
This is him calling in our demands from a motel in Williamsburg VA
After we returned from VA, Yoda decided to come live with us at J4. Can you blame him? We had a full bar complete with a traffic light and a hand written PA State Liquor licence.
Our second trip was to Myrtle Beach, and we showed Yoda a hell of a time
Here, XL and I take him Outlet shopping
Hell, we even got him into a 3-way with some Coastal Carolina sorority girls
Maxing and/or relaxing on the beach
We started taking him to O's games, back when that was a tough ticket to get
Senior year when XL, Big Wayne, Inky and I drove to Florida, Yoda came with us to Tropicana Field
We even dressed him up for graduation day in May of '98.
It wouldn't have been worth it to get our diploma without Yoda there too.
In 2002 we took to the road with Yoda again, this time to Ohio where Big Wayne found the Weinner Mobile.