Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

The Rooster

Posted: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 in Life, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

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My office now doubles as a sniper-perch because we have an issue with squirrels getting up into our soffit (the area between the roof and walls that leads to the attic.)  There are few sounds worse than that of some creature scurrying about inside your walls as you lie in bed trying to fall asleep, especially in a new home.  I need to make sure that these glorified rats are out of our house before getting the entry points (they are pushing their way through the siding where the soffit meets in corners) sealed up, or else we could have them tearing about up there as they are trapped and dying a cruel death; and then there is the putrid aftermath.  Bottom-line: they gotta go!

Of course trapping the squirrels is an option, and one that I spent time and money pursuing.  I purchased a Have-a-Heart (r) humane trap, and fully intended to snatch em up and take them on a nice little trip across the river to New Jersey (apparently, squirrels will find their way “home,”covering distances of at least 10 miles.)  After doing some research, this option became less and less appealing, as I learned that trapping and releasing isn’t very humane at all.  Squirrels maintain their own territory, and one displaced to a new area would most likely be doomed to attack or death of starvation.  Also, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of transporting frightened, wild animals in my truck (illegally, most likely.)  And on top of that, the creature could injure itself as it bombed around inside the trap.  But all these issues became moot, because these clever fucks would not get into that trap.  I watched them gobble up the chunky peanut-butter left out in the woods in front of my office window, but once it was placed inside the trap, the squirrels approached but wisely declined to enter.

The trapping “solution” became a huge waste of time, with the setting, checking, and returning each night (squirrels only come out during the day, and I wasn’t interested in catching anything else.)  The squirrels continued to taunt me with their frolicking and foraging outside my window by day, and their scratching in the walls at night.  Clearly it was time to explore other options.  And I wasn’t about to pay a few hundred bucks for someone to take care of this problem for us.  I’m a half-assed do-it-youselfer, after all.

I decided to purchase a high powered, spring-action, break-barrel, Daisy (r) 1000 Powerline air rifle, that fires both pointed, snub, and hollow-point pellets at 1000 feet-per-second.  (Ralphie would have blown his fucking head off with this bad-boy at the end of A Christmas Story.) If I’m gonna shoot these little bastards, I’m not looking to just injure them and cause undue suffering; this Daisy (r) Powerline – named “Robin” – will most definitely produce a quick kill with a well placed shot to the center-mass.  And after successfully sighting my first ever scope, I fully intend on delivering a well placed shot to the center-mass.

(Not for nothing, but the “Sniper Solution” to our squirrel problem is by far the most fun, that’s for sure.  I’ve been having an absolute blast sighting my scope and taking target practice, and I’m getting pretty good as I get more comfortable shooting and breaking in “Robin the Rifle.”  When I’m working and writing at my desk, I take occasional target breaks and fire some pellets right from my office window, pictured above, at a series of cans and targets I positioned in the woods.  I really need to get a picture of “Robin’s” rifle barrel sticking out of my window from a distance, just to see how bad I am freaking out the neighborhood.)

Now look, I don’t particularly enjoy the act of killing (well, animals, anyway).  Hunting and fishing don’t really do it for me, because, again, I take no pleasure in killing animals.  But I sure as shit don’t particularly enjoy animal breeding within the confines of our home, and I take even less pleasure in paying hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to repair the extensive damage that squirrels are capable of causing.

And with all that being said, know that I have absolutely zero problem with people who hunt and/or fish.  As a general rule,  I try to keep my hypocrisy at as low and manageable a level as possible: I’m no fucking vegan or anything, and unless you are, you have no right to bitch about hunting.  Because, as far as I’m concerned, hunting an animal, and quickly taking it out in its own environment, is far more of a humane scenario than that same animal being raised from birth in a horrible, disgusting, food-factory (and I love food-factory products.)  And of course there is the whole over-population issues for some game animals that leads to a brutal, starving existence.  But I digress…

In the wintertime, squirrels limit their outdoor activity to the mornings only, and then spend the rest of the day and night in the confines of their nests, which in this case, happens to be the warmth and comfort of our fucking house!  And in the case of really bad or cold weather, squirrels can just chill out in their dens for days!

If these little rodents had just settled for a tree nest like most of their brethren already do, we would have no problem co-existing on this tiny plot of earth; but noooo, the squirrels around here have been living large for over a year, after movin’ on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky.

So starting tomorrow morning, the motherfuckin’ rent is due!

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Eat Your Heart Out, Ralphie.

Posted: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 in Life

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Happy Holidays, party people; hope it all rocks.

And to all you squirrels up in my soffit, with my new Daisy air rifle, I will shoot your fucking eyes out.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

The following 15-minute video is pretty much all you need to know regarding what is happening on the front-lines of the BP Oil Disaster.  Kindra Arnes, a Venice, LA, native, delivers a mind-blowing account of her dealings with BP, and the effects the oil-giant’s spill has had on her community.  I know it’s a bit long, but I urge you to watch this video; you won’t find a more compelling human voice of this tragedy.

A great big thanks goes out to the Cajun Boy, for posting this.  My heart goes out to you, your people, and the rest of the Gulf Coast.

Ain’t no party like a Solstice party, ’cause a Solstice party don’t stop!

Other than the freaks here at Stonehenge, no one really makes much of a fuss about the Summer Solstice.  Considering the importance the ancients placed on this annual solar event, History’s original summer blockbusters if you will, you would think that something would carry over.  When you consider how Christmas co-opted much of the traditions of the Winter Solstice, the lack of Summer Solstice play seems  even more perplexing.  I suppose with the Solstice falling between two of the Summer’s biggest holidays, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, things are just too crowded.  Or maybe it is because there are too many people like myself, who are just too damned tired from the getting up with the Sun at 5 AM (I’m very photo-sensitive.)  Still, if fuckin’ Cinco de Mayo can gain the legitimate, drink-your-face-off, party status it has accrued over the past decade or so, I see no reason why we can’t go buck-wild in honor of the longest day of the year, when the Great Ball of Fire makes his longest appearance at our daily Northern People Party (The Sun is just pissah at a party, what with his funny anecdotes and all; he just lights up the room – heyoooooh!)

OK! Off to go mix up a big pitcher of 100 proof vodka and Sunny Delight ®.

So Happy Summer Solstice, Party People!

…and I’ve got my sights trained on that big fucking TV at “Jerry World” in Dallas!  Something had to get me out of my semi-retirement, and that “Helly of a Telly” is just the thing to get the punting juices flowing (see: British slang term for “punter” to make the last three words funnier.)  Also, I just had to get those lame-ass “poems” off the front page of my blog.  So I’ve been doing tons of plyometric training on my right leg, my kicking leg (on a side note: although I’m left-handed, I seem to do everything righty from the waist down; and yes, including that.)  The gigantic, humongous, HD television in the new Dallas Cowboys stadium, which is hittable by a strong, well-placed punt,  has become something of a metaphor for me and my writing: consistently posting on my blog is what I am aiming for.  So if all goes according to plan, Jerry Jones will be shelling out the millions to raise that motherfucker.

What have I been doing for the past year and a half? you may be wondering….  Never you mind…perverts.  Hahahahahahahahaha (By the way, I never write “LOL”, because I want to invoke Ray Liota, as Henry Hill, laughing in Goodfellas.  Love that laugh.)

But seriously, I’d have to say that one of the main reason that my blog took a haiatus was the fact that I discovered an amazing blog that put mine to shame so badly that I retreated to my fortress of solitude and started going through all the crystals my Pops left me, in order to get my shit together. The writer of said blog calls himself The Cajun Boy, and is a self-described reformed conservative from Louisiana who now works and resides in New York City.  Cajun has parlayed his popular blog into a myriad of writing gigs – Gawker, AnimalNY, to name a few – and is now writing for Yahoo! News.  This dude is such a phenomenal writer, with such a razor sharp wit, I believe that this is just the beginning for him.  Due to his increasing success with, you know, actual paid writing, Cajun doesn’t post with the same frequency as he once did, or with as much original prose, but still manages at least one post a week, usually directing his readers to an interesting video or article.  So you might as well just stop reading my shit right now and head on over to visit Cajun Boy in the City.

We also fixed up and sold our old house, last winter, and moved to our new house this summer.  Blah, blah, blah…Actually, that story is not so blah, blah.  So the day we officially listed our old place on the market,  I put on the Philly morning news and much to my surprise, a reporter was doing a news story from what appeared to be my neighborhood.   I walked out onto the front porch, and looking past the freshly placed “For Sale” sign that now adorned our lawn, sure enough, there were the bright lights of a CBS camera crew.  It turns out that the sweet, off-the-boat, oldish guy who owned the pizzeria a few blocks down the road from us was bludgeoned to death in his restaurant sometime early President’s Day, 2009.  Reportedly, nothing was taken from the register, or anywhere else. Anyway, at the time, this whole tragic happening seemed to me to be quite the bad omen.  But at least the news said that this was the first murder in the Telford/Souderton area in something like 50 years. And we did end up selling our place in about six weeks, so…  And yes, after selfishly ruminating on the possible affect a local homicide may have on our home’s resale value, I was indeed saddened by the fact that a man’s life was brutally taken from him and his family; he was a grandfather, and seemed like a real nice guy.  It’s been a year now, and there hasn’t been a single word on the case, from what I understand.  I’ve heard things; but I’m gonna leave it at that, due to a certain organization that may or may not exist.

Here are few other reaso’s for the long hiatus from my blog:

  • Facebook –  I think I heard someone (possibly Keith Olbermann) say that, “Facebook is for people too lazy for blogging,” or something to that effect.  This is quite a true statement as far as I’m concerned.  When I come across something that gets me all jazzed up, it is so simple to just post it to Facebook, when I otherwise might have worked it into a good blog post.  I still love Facebook, of course, because it allows me to create very detailed psychological profiles of all my over-sharing friends like I am in fucking Quantico.
  • Football Season – I am commissioner of our Fantasy Football League, and take the responsibility quite seriously.  I am also the Media of our league, and therefore do write-ups and power-rankings that consist of thousands of words.  It’s probably a huge waste of time, but it is fun, and the other owners seems to really dig it; and it’s also one of the reasons why I am one of the best FF commissioners ever, if I do say so myself, and why I can get my friends to refer to me as The Commish, which is cool.  Also, with my Chicago Bears playing so shitty since appearing in the Superbowl a few years back, there is usually a 50/50 chance that I’ll be in a deep depression through most weeks from September to January.  It is hard to blog when you are curled up in the fetal position, sobbing.
  • The 2008 Presidential Campaign – I dunno, something about the campaign, and its coverage as it reached crescendo in the Fall of 2008 just turned me off to writing about politics, which happens to be one of my favorite subjects (that and religion are my two favorite topics to discuss at dinner parties, which is probably why I don’t get invited to many).  I can’t put my finger on it, but maybe it was just that there was nothing left to be said, or maybe there was just too much to say.  Which brings me to my next reason for not blogging…
  • Constipation – Other writers can probably attest to this.  Sometimes there is just so much you want to say/write, that you get all backed up, and nothing comes out.

So consider this post to be my big, relieving shit – the verb, not to be confused with considering my blog to be shit, the noun.  The Monday Morning Punter is back, baby; so stay tuned, Party People. And look out, Jerry.

While brevity is not one of my strong suits, I shall try to keep my commentary on the last half of the summer short and sweet – so short and sweet, in fact, that my observations and opinions on some noteworthy events from the last half of the summer shall be presented in the form of little poems. Enjoy the shortness and the sweetness, but take some wet-naps: they’re sticky.

July 18th: The Dark Knight opens world-wide.

Heath Ledger’s creepily awesome performance

In The Dark Knight was great;

Makes me hope that the Dead can see what’s going on down here…

…Except for when I masturbate.

July 24th: Barack Obama speaks in Berlin, in front of 200,000.

Obama is admired around the world;

And somehow this is bad to think?

Perhaps they’re putting stupid,

In water half the people drink.

July 29th: A 5.4 earthquake hits the Los Angeles area.

The Earth shook below

The Hollywood Hills.

How long will it be

Till the Big One that kills?

July 29th: SIRIUS and XM satellite radios merge after over 17 months of government review. It took less than one year to approve the Exxon/Mobil merger.

SIRIUS and XM

Could finally unite,

In spite of the Radio’s

Political fight.

August 7th: Brett Favre is traded from the Green Bay Packers to the New York Jets.

I woke in the morning,

And Favre was a Jet.

If only I’d placed,

That 100 to 1 bet.

August 8th: John Edwards admits to having an affair with his videographer.

Affairs in remission,

Are not all that bad,

According to Edwards,

The Cad of All Cads.

August 8th: The Opening Ceremonies commence the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.

The Opening Ceremony,

Was remarkably done.

China showed what can happen

When working as one.

August 13th: Michael Phelps wins a record eighth gold medal in a single Olympics.

Phelps upon winning, 

Eight medals of gold,

Is a Hero of Heroes,

His feats to behold.

August 15th: Mike and the Mad Dog (Chris Russo) officially end their historic, 19 year run as one of America’s preeminent sports-talk teams.

An end of the era that was

Mike and the Dog on ‘The FAN’.

Now Chris leaves for SIRIUS,

To be the one Man.

August 24th: The Summer Olympics conclude with the Closing Ceremony. The United States finish second in the gold count with 36, to China’s 51.

Hats off to China,

And all their medals of shining gold.

And not too bad for Team USA,

All of whom play without being told.

August 27th: Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

For people who say,

“Well what will he change?”

Please pay attention,

It’s not all that strange.

September 4th: John McCain accepts the Republican nomination for President of the United States.

This convention is nonsense;

Its delegates creepy.

Social fluff and no issues,

Put me to sleepy.

September 4th:The 2008 NFL season officially kicks off with the Superbowl Champion NY Giants hosting the Washington Redskins.

Football has started,

Our Nation’s true past-time.

Now 31 teams hope for

Better than last time.

Three years ago today I married my wife, Jen, at the Packer Chapel on the beautiful campus of Lehigh University, our Alma Mater. We took our vows literally a few hundred yards from where we met almost twelve years ago. We were blessed with a spectacular summer day in 2005, not unlike the beautiful weather we in the Northeast are experiencing today in 2008. During the rehearsal the day before, we were all sweating like a cub-scout at the Neverland Ranch. But fortunately a cold front came through bringing with it a late night thunderstorm, and lovely cool dry weather for our big day.

But the greatest blessing of all was how many of our nearest and dearest friends and family were able to make the 2-4 hour trek out to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and celebrate the joyous occasion with us. It could have been 110 degrees or it could have been raining Rosie O’Donnells and Donald Trumps; either way, with all the VIPs of our lives in attendance, rocking out to a kick-ass band, it would still have been the greatest of days. Thank you to everyone who was there, and who were responsible for making about as perfect a wedding as you could possibly have. It still means the world to us.

Let me take this opportunity to say a little something about Jen, as we enter our fourth year together as husband & wife. After three years, the best way I can describe her to you is this: Jennifer Culhane is the Tiger Woods of wives! She’s the best. She’s got it all. And she does it all with the ease and grace of Michael Jordan. She is smart, caring, beautiful, witty, funny, tough, fair, successful, grounded, innocent, inquisitive, open-minded, and thoughtful. She likes football and video games and shots of Jack Daniels with a beer chaser. She treats my family like gold; and in turn is adored by them. She gets my brother and our jokes. Her family is full of great, warm people, who, since I’ve known Jen, have shown me nothing but kindness.

She is my greatest source of inspiration. Never in my life have I been more focused, or creative, confident or determined, than I have in these last three years. She is my Muse.

And I am soooo thankful that she fell in love with a jerkoff like me. Happy Anniversary, Boo-boo. I love you Jen.

Jen and I are coming up on our 3rd anniversary in a few weeks; so I suppose that means we can no longer be considered newlyweds. And seeing as though we had been together for eight years prior to getting married, cohabitating half the time, we were never really newlyweds, in the traditional sense, anyways. But believe you me; something truly special happened on that beautiful July day at the Packer Chapel on the campus of Lehigh University. As one who is generally wary of any so-called tradition, ritual, or institution, I must admit that I had completely underestimated the power of marriage, and how it would affect me. At the risk of sounding clichéd: It really feels that we are now one, and greater than the sum of our respective parts. When two people sincerely commit themselves to one another in front of their God, family, and friends, a strong foundation is created, upon which a life of mutual love, respect, and support may be built. From that jumping-off point, the two can feel like together there is nothing they cannot accomplish, and no storm they cannot weather. Like I said, I wasn’t expecting it, but something special did happen, and continues to happen every day since.

This week California became just the second state to legally recognize same-sex marriages, joining Massachusetts. The Golden State’s Supreme Court overturned the ban on same-sex marriage (Proposition 22) last month by a narrow 4-3 margin; and the ruling went into effect this week. You’ve probably seen television coverage of George Takei, perhaps better known as Mr. Sulu, and his partner of 21-years, Brad Altman, among the first couples to receive their marriage license. They plan to marry one another this September.

Here is a summary of the ruling:

Relevant Constitutional Text:

Section 7 of the California State Constitution, which reads in part:

(a) A person may not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law or denied equal protection of the laws …

(b) A citizen or class of citizens may not be granted privileges or immunities not granted on the same terms to all citizens.

The Verdict:

In a 4-3 ruling, the California Supreme Court held that the terminology of marriage contains within itself many intangible benefits. To intentionally deny one class of citizens these benefits without meeting a strict scrutiny standards violates Section 7’s equal protection guarantees.

My reaction to all of this: It’s about fucking time! And quite frankly, it’s an abomination that in these United States of America there are only two states with high courts that have the courage enough to uphold the ideals of Freedom and Liberty that this country was supposedly founded upon. This ruling explains that it is not enough to simply allow for civil-unions, but that “the terminology of marriage contains within itself many intangible benefits.” And therein lays the crux of the issue: No matter how similar marriages are to civil-unions in the eyes of the law, the very act of separation creates an unfair distinction. The concept of marriage is as ubiquitous to the human experience as, oh, say, drinking from a water fountain when you are thirsty. Creating this type of distinct between what type of marriage two people can enter into, and disallowing one group of people, a minority group, from entering into the well established version, is absolutely akin to the “separate but equal” Jim Crow laws that were abolished in 1965.

I’m sorry to inform the people who feel that this latest ruling has somehow encroached upon their rights, but this country is not beholden to the Bible; it is beholden to the Constitution. This country was founded on the separation of church and state. People are actually talking about amending their state’s, and even our nation’s, Constitution to ban certain people from doing something that the majority of the world has been allowed to do for thousands of years. This is an anathema to everything the United States, or any free society, stands for.

And unless you adhere to a rigid, archaic interpretation of the Bible, cherry-picking certain passages, a ban on same-sex marriage is patently un-Christian and contradicts the teachings of Jesus Christ that the greatest of all virtues is to love and be just towards one’s fellow man.

You will hear opponents to same-sex marriage saying that this decision somehow invalidates their marriage; or that it is contributing to the erosion of the moral fabric of our society. You will hear them say that marriage between a man and woman is the only way because that is how we perpetuate our species.

I will say that, after seeing people travel across the country to get married, and after seeing the joy on George and Brad’s faces, after seeing lesbian couple Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, both in their 80s and together for 55 years, tie the knot, the value of and the appreciation for my marriage has only increased. I will say that hypocritical leaders and politicians who self-righteously preach family-values in order to win elections, and then find themselves standing before a press conference having to admit that they cheated on their wives, do far more to tear away at our moral fabric. I will say that the fact that two members of the same sex can love one another, the fact that love is not simply a biological process meant for procreation, does more to prove the existence of a beneficent God than all the scriptures combined.

Whatever personal views you may have on this subject are of course well within your rights. But what no one has the right to do in this country, or any country for that matter, is to let those personal views infringe on the way another person chooses to live his or her life.

Upon receiving his marriage license, George Takei, in his charmingly corny way, split his fingers into the Vulcan hand salute and said, “I see before me people who personify love and commitment. We are first and foremost delighted. It’s a landmark day. It’s going to be the only day like this in our lives and it is the only day like this in the history of America. I think it’s a glorious California morning to make history. Congratulations to all of us. May equality live long and prosper.” Well said, Mr. Sulu. Mr. Spock would be proud.

Arbitrary Commentary

  • Upon leaving the moving public memorial services for Tim Russert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., minutes after Somewhere Over the Rainbow played on a eukalaly, this is what greeted the roughly one thousand people in attendance:

A rare double rainbow. Wow. I’m not saying, I’m just saying…

  • In case you haven’t been following the latest political news of the day, our government , in passing the FISA bill that President Bush has been pushing for, continues to wipe its ass with our Constitution, as they shred the 4th Amendment. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/18/opinion/18wed1.html