Is That How They Do It On Humpback Ridge?

I had a get together at my place last night and one of the things that ended up being discussed was whether it was okay for the best man at your wedding to cry while giving the toast.

My buddy, Horatio, had his best man give an incredibly teary send off at his wedding in the Spring and while it was well recieved, I still cringe when I think about it. My friend, Meersky, of course thought that the toast gave him images of a man sorry that he was about to lose his "Brokeback Mountain (aka Humpback Ridge)" partner.

While I think that it is fine that men cry, I don't agree that a wedding toast is the proper opportunity. Had I been the groom, I think that I would have put my head in my hands in embarrassment.

Of course, the toast was wonderfully received by all of the women and most of the men. I've stood as best man three times now and have never been induced to tears. I always thought that the toast should be sort of a funny review or roast of the groom's past and an acknowledgement of the bride's qualities for putting up with him. Make a few comments regarding how happy your friend is with his new bride and then clink glasses, roll the music and let the reception begin!

Of course, my reaction probably fuels looks of disdain from women who think that the speech was a rare tender moment between men. I say "bah"! No man should ever do that to a man in a public forum. I think it's okay for two men to cry together in private but save the public display of "Humpback Ridge" for the silver screen.


The Question

I had a date yesterday and of course since we've both been married before, eventually you have to share war stories of past relationships.

In the midst of the date, I recalled one of my more amusing anecdotes that I love to tell about my married days. And it goes like this:

One day, after coming home late from my second job and getting my children (2,1 at the time) to sleep, I was sitting on the bed, putting on a pair of sweatpants and waiting for my wife of 7 years (at the time) to come out of the bathroom. I heard the door open and my wife walks in with a very distraught face.

She says, "Bluey, I want to ask you something and I want you to be honest with me."

I'm like, holy fuck, what did I do this time? Her tone seemed to me to be the most grave I ever heard from her.

I said, "Sure honey. What's wrong?"

"I don't know how to ask you this question"

"Just ask me, honey"

And after some hemming and hawing...

"Is your Father in the mafia?" she blurts out sheepishly.

I start to laugh.

"Don't laugh at me!"

As my laughter subsides, I say, "Let me try to understand this...We've been together for ten years. We've had 2 children and have been married for seven years. And NOW, you finally decide to ask if my father is in the mafia?"

Her eyebrows raise, her mouth opens and I continue, "No, my dad is not in the mafia. He works two full time jobs, one hauling garbage for the NYC sanitation department and the other hauling cases of beer for the local distributor. I hardly think he does those jobs as an elaborate cover for any position in the mafia."

She is relieved.

I wonder if I will ever be asked a funnier question in my life.


Okay, I Guess I'm A Bad Parent, A Blowhard And A Hypocrite

But not necessarily in that order.

After my November 17 post railing the notion of buying children expensive Ipod's, what do you think I did? You got it! I went out and got my eldest daughter, Loni, a $100 Ipod shuffle. While I can sit here and try to justify that buying a $100 shuffle is not the same thing as buying her a $300 nano, it is. I'm sure someone who would hurt her for the Nano would probably do the same for her Shuffle.

Hey, I never said that I wasn't a blowhard and I don't always claim to make sense. I guess I just don't love my daughter enough to deprive her of the only Christmas gift she really wanted.

Now excuse me while I get my shovel and start digging a hole for her in the backyard.


Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer AKA "The Land Of Sadistic Assbags"

I have been watching this Christmas special ever since I was a small boy. It is my 2nd favorite Christmas special just rated slightly underneath "The Year Without a Santa Claus" (I just can't get enough of the Miser brothers!).
The one thing that I notice with each passing year is how utterly horrible many of the characters are portrayed. Many of the characters have little redeeming quality and the show is filled with some vile and nasty sons of bitches, especially Santa, who is a real douche bag who seems to look down upon everyone working for him, elves and reindeer alike.
Like it's such a chore to sit on his ass, eat like a pig and listen to the elves sing for 364 days!
Donner is a real ass munch too in his drill sargeant role to the young reindeer bucks and is over the top nasty to Rudolph.
But it doesn't stop there. Rudolph's Dad is a real jerkoff too as he continually berates him for his nose. Nothing says, "I love you", like having a father that is embarassed to have you as a son!
Of course Rudolph isn't the only one who has to deal with the bullshit. Hermy's got the Head Elf busting his balls and even the Lion King of Misfit Toy island treats them all like a bunch of lepers. All of these characters make the Abominable Snowman seem like a walk in the park.
Why Rudolph wants to please his Dad, impress Donner, carry toys for Santa and help out the Lion King give away his reject toys is frigging beyond me. If it was me, I'd end the show having Rudy, Hermy and Yukon Cornelius going postal on Christmas town, with Hermy giving Abominable Snowman razor sharp teeth and letting him run loose on the lot of em'.
Especially, the sadisticly stupid elf who throws the misfit bird "who can't fly, he swims!" out of the Santa's flying sled without an umbrella.
I don't know who wrote Rudolph the red-nosed Reindeer. But it was obviously someone with an axe to grind with Santa. I have no idea what the message is supposed to be but what it says to me is that you can only be redeemed by cow towing to a bunch of insufferable assbags.


Gold At $530 An Ounce?

The way the City of Pittsburgh/Allegheny County uses it's road salt, you'd think that road salt futures were selling for $530 an ounce!

Last night, we got our first snow storm of the season and a simple 4-6 inch storm turned into a fiasco because the absence of snow plows/salt trucks. The Parkway West was a graveyard of cars and 18 wheelers due to 3 inches of snow laying on the upgrade to Greentree Road that was unsalted and untouched by a plow.

Returning with my youngest daughter, Kitty, from the Penguin game, we watched cars and trucks helpless to climb the grade and slide off the road. Kitty was in tears from the experience. Needless to say, I returned her home to her mom and spent the night in a hotel because I was hesitant to approach Pittsburgh a second time in one night.

The Washington County roads were fine. The left lane of I79 got a nice scrape and the right lane was salted and was melted down to blacktop in the wheel ruts. Funny how they managed to keep the roads passable.

Which leads me to think that there is some hapless Allegheny County bean counter who sits and tries to conserve every penny at the expense of us taxpayers. How I would have loved to just backhand that guy in the mouth last night. I grew up in NYC and if this ever happened there, someone in public office would have been whacked while he slept.

Salt and plow the goddamn roads already, Allegheny County and City of Pittsburgh. Why do we have to wait until 4 hours into a storm before anyone is sent out? The main arteries should have been pre-salted before the storm and the plows should have already been dispatched, waiting for the snowfall.

You cheap fucking bastards.


One Of Ameica's Great Newspapers? Bah!

I don't remember exactly when it was when the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette started declaring itself one of America's great newspapers. Five...Ten years ago??? Maybe it was when they redesigned their front page years and years ago. All I can be sure of is that from 1992, when I first moved to this wonderful city, to now, the newspaper has done a steady decline in quality. There used to be two newspapers in this city. Back then, I thought the Pittsburgh newspapers rivaled those printed in New York City for story quality. Ever since the evening paper and the Sunday Pittsburgh Press went away, the quality of the Post-Gazette has been waning away. Journalism got lazy without the competition. I actually find the paper to be virtually unreadable now save for a few columnists. The Sports section is a travesty and if the game you're looking for didn't end by 11pm, you can forget about seeing a boxscore. Thank heaven for the internet. It pretty much has made all newspapers an archaic form of getting daily news. But, here in Pittsburgh, this has been the case for at least 5 years due to the drop in quality of the local rag.

I don't really have an interest in bashing the local paper for it's decline but I do take issue with its' self proclamation of being one of America's Great newspapers on it's front page. What exactly does a paper have to do to get such notoriety? Is there some sort of governing body that certifies such a distinction? Is there some sort of jury of peers that bestows that designation? All I know is that the paper is absolutely horrible, is filled with dated AP stories and is filled with the same tired nonsense that hardly evokes any thought provoking discussion. If this is one of America's Great newspapers, then I'm afraid that print news is dead.

It's a real shame that the only paper worth buying in this city is one that is published out of town. And don't get me started on the Tribune Review.


Favorite Quotes: Part 2

"I'd like to stick my dick in her issues!"
My buddy, Irish and I were at PNC Park when some hot young punky chick walks by with her boyfriend. She's got purple and black hair, studs and rings in her ears, eyebrows and nose and a few tattoos. You could tell she has a real pretty face and has a smokin' body. I turned to Irish and said, "Check her out", Irish turns to me and says, "Dude, that chick has got issues!" to which I retorted with my infamous reply.

"Why is it, the only way I can have an orgasm these days, is if I'm choking a dog while someone punches me in the kidney?"
At lunch one day, my buddy Poppinfresh, who is the straightest straight man you'd ever meet and usually not prone to silliness, uttered this sentence imitating the voice of his no nonsense pater familis as a joke. Needless to say, I started crying with laughter and the rest of the luncheon patrons must have been looking at us like we were a bunch of idiots. It took me almost three minutes to stop laughing/crying. I was set off again when Poppinfresh says, "I don't know where that came from".

"This chocolate tastes like dick!"
Uttered by one of my buddies at a long past pilgrimage up north to Lake Erie. This saying never gets old and many foods can be substituted for the chocolate. It never fails to make me laugh.


The Matrix: In Lieu Of The Nursing Home

I was talking to my buddy, Poppinfresh, today and we were discussing a relative who was very old and in poor health. I lamented that it must be hard mentally when you know that your body is failing and you don't have much time left. It's not like you could run around and make the best of your final days. Poppinfresh insisted that he would find something to keep him occupied in old age to which I replied that he'd be the world's oldest gamer cursing his hands for being so darned slow. Then I speculated that he would probably have replacement robotic hands. Then, my mind raced to another idea. Mind/computer interface that would diminish the need for any body parts. And then finally to the idea that when he gets to the point that his body can no longer function adequately, he can just plug himself into the Matrix (assuming his wife isn't around to veto the idea), generate electricity with his worn out body, and let his mind live as a perpetual 18 year old in the Matrix as he finishes out his last years.
With energy prices going through the roof, maybe this is the alternative to ugly wind farms and covering the desert with solar panels.
Think about it. The Matrix is only bad if it's stealing away your productive years. When my body becomes broken, I tell Morpheus to shove the red pill up his ass, take the blue pill, do my civic duty keeping a few street lamps lit while in my mind going back to playing ice hockey and hitting on 21 year old chicks!

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