Thursday, January 28, 2010

I got a Woman

It's the ipod game!

1. Put your iPod on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.

My friends see me as: Do you want to know a secret, The Beatles
My day will be like: Chic, Raphael Saadiq
I.ll have a good day if I can just hear: Spider Webs, No Doubt
Next time I.m in front of a crowd, I.ll say: You Know, I Know, John Lee Hooker
My message to the world has always been: Same Girl, Randy Newman
Somewhere in my wedding vows, I will include: Polly, The Kinks
My best friend is like: Heart of Glass, Blondie
My alter-ego is: Let's take a Walk, Raphael Saadiq
Right now, I feel: Luv You Better, LL Cool J
My innermost desire is: Harem in Tuscany (Taranta), Gogo Bordello
What makes me happy is: On the turning Away, Pink Floyd
My birth was like: They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y), Pete Rock & CL Smok...
My theme song: The Entertainer, Trafalger Square
My deepest secret is: I want to be your driver, Chuck Berry
If I reached the top of Mount Everest, what I would scream: Eyes On the Prize, Bruce Springsteen and the Sessions Band
My favorite thing to do is: 21st Century, Red Hot Chili Peppers
The story of my life is: Shake Shake Mama, Bob Dylan
My make-out song is: Hot Thing, Prince
At my funeral they.ll play: Pretty Bird, Jenny Lewis
When I.m drunk I say: Run of the Mill, George Harrison
Behind my back, my friends think I.m: With a Girl Like you, Troggs
If I got lost on a desert island, I would yell: I could have lied, The Red Hot Chilipeppers
When I.m in the shower, I sing: Doxy (live), Sonny Rollins
My love of life was inspired by the song: I Wish, Steve Wonder
Highschool was like: Funk #49, The James Gang
My family is described by the song: L.A. Woman, The Doors
How will you die? Never Can say goodbye, The Jackson 5
To cheer myself up I: (I'm not your) Stepping Stone, The Monkees
What will you post this as? I got a Woman, The Beatles

Sunday, January 24, 2010

We meet the best people in Maggiano's

Today is the Chancellors birthday and last night Mr and Mrs C took us out to Maggiano's in Cherry Hill.

The Chancellor made reservations for Maggiano's on her new iPhone earlier in the week and it was one of those things I just knew was going to end badly. I just knew that making a reservation from you phone is bad idea when you can just pick up the phone and call the restaurant instead. Why add another layer of ambiguity?

I should have just picked up the phone and called the place.

When we were getting ready to leave for our alleged 6 PM reservation we decided to actually check the email from the iPhone program. It said the reservation was for 8 PM. Hmm. It's beginning to sound like the last time we eat there.

There is a two hour wait in our future.

We head in and start to stake out a place in the bar area. We slowly gather up real estate until we have 3 seats just off the bar. Neither of the girls have eaten and my wife was looking forward to a lemon drop martini which they can only seem to get right here at Maggiano's.

This is a recipe for either a lot of fun or disaster.

Then we met Clarence and Desiree. We just started talking with the people around the marble topped table and the next thing I know, I think we are going on vacation with our new friends. It just accelerated that fast. I'm not really sure what happened but Clarence thought the Chancellor was a riot. We all thought Clarence was a riot. We all just clicked.

It went from Hi I'm so and so to let's all take pictures together in less than the first 20 minutes of our two hour wait. Then the Chancellors vortex swept in the couple next to Clarence and Desiree and suddenly we had eight very loud people laughing and drawing the attention of the rest of the bar.

It was the friendship equivalent of drag racing or a shooting star. Zero to 60 in 2.4 Seconds.

While we were waiting and laughing, I told the story of the last time we were there and suddenly the table adjacent to us opened up and I jumped over there leaving Mr C in mid-sentence. I thought I had scored us a nice table, but found out that Maggiano's had changed to the rules. Now these tables were part of the wait list and not a free for all. I'm sure it had something to do with that witch that jumped into our table last time or a similar event. There had to be fist fights around those tables.

So it was back to the wait, but we really didn't care. We were really having a good time. For the life of me, I can't pin what happened down to anything I could write down here either. It wasn't like any particular item stood out as being really funny, it was just everything was.

The Chancellor and Mrs C cam out of the ladies room and ran into Desiree and all three thought it
was the funniest thing evvvv-ah. OK, It happens.

Clarence doesn't Google he makes others Google for him. Ok. But for some reason it was hysterical.

It was little things like that added up.

Eventually Clarence grabbed the Maitre d' and pointed out that we had been waiting for a long time for a table. The Maitre d' got us the very table I had been eyeing up earlier and we ate and laughed alongside our new friends.

It was difficult to explain, but we had a good time last night.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Chancelor.

This morning while eating breakfast and reading the newspaper, my wife saw the word "Chancellor" in the paper and declared that she would like to be Chancellor.

So I made her Chancellor. Of the Family.

I'm not sure what the roles and responsibilities of the Chancellor are yet but I'm leaning towards foreign relations. She can deal with her brothers family while I deal with the more pressing issues of health care and the economy. Actually, health care and the economy already fall under the Chancellor as well. I'll just preside over the whole affair.

And what would a Chancellorship be without a Chancellery? Our bedroom is now the Chancellery.

I'm also thinking that just plain Chancellor is not enough. The title needs further clarification like Chancellor of the Exchequer. I'm thinking "Chancellor of the Cul-de-sac" has a continental sound to it.

And a hat. A Chancellor definitely needs a large ostentatious hat of some kind to differentiate her from the commoners. After all you would expect that strangers should be able to pick out the Chancellor easily if say we were all together at the mall or something.

Clearly, the one in the large pointy hat is the Chancellor.

A crest or plaque may have go with the position. I'll have to integrate a Cul-de-sac into the crest.

Please congratulate her if you see her.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


We are not exactly what you might call "early adapters". We usually are behind the curve on picking up new technologies and so it was for bluetooth, the "personal network of devices".

We've had bluetooth capable phones for a few years now but still we weren't walking around looking like Lt Uhura nor were we talking to ourselves while walking down the street like crazy people.

Until the Saturday after Christmas when we went a little bluetooth crazy.

(on a side note: I've always wanted to have a show called "Crazy or Bluetooth" where I film people in Center City and you decide if they are Crazy People or regular people using a Bluetooth headset. It's harder than you think)

I had a received a bluetooth car speaker as a Christmas gift from my wife.Since having a bluetooth speaker in the Aluminum Falcon makes as much sense as power windows on a Pinto, I thought I'd return my speaker and get a nice headset.

I got a considerable amount of push back. Apparently my speaker would operate very nicely in her car and we should just go get bluetooth headsets if that is what we wanted.

Off to the Bestbuy.

We picked out a pair of noise canceling Jabras and were on our way.

On the way back we fiddled with the bluetooth speaker and my Wife showed me how she could listen to Pandora radio on our perfectly good FM radio in the car. I thought for a minute about what was taking place and drew the following diagram (because this is what I do):

  Listening to Pandora in the car

Here we have more technology than men took to the moon so my wife can listen to "Build Me Up Buttercup" for the 3,000,000th time. The absurdity of this never dawned on my Wife since "she can listen to sixties music" this way.

Next we made gratuitous phone calls to people using the new speaker phone, just because we could do so with our hands free as NJ law demands.

"Hi how does this sound"
"Uh, OK, there's a little background noise but it's OK"
"We are using the speaker phone"
"Umm... OK"

When we came home I had to think through an architecture that we could use at home since we suddenly now had seven bluetooth capable things with the new iPhones, my Blackberry from work, the Bluetooth cordless home phones, the new headsets and speakers which could all connect to one another in various ways. I had things bumping other things off bluetooth, things not connected to anything, and of course something stuck in my ear until it hurt.

At one point the the thing in my ear beeped like I was getting a call but the home phones did not. I did not know where the call was coming from but I answered it anyway.

"Is Oldest Son there?"

I recognized the voice as Oldest Sons friend, the one he told me he was with.

"I thought he was with you"

The friend had lost his own phone, used his mother's cell which had my cell as "our number", which he called. My Lt Uhura thing had connected to the cell without my knowledge from the other side of the house. It was all very strange. It was like answering other peoples calls which, ironically, this one was.

Yesterday my Wife wore her LT Uhura thing, which she calls the "Jabber Walker", (which ends up being a strange Star Wars/Star Trek mixed metaphor) around the house while listening to Pandora. I'm still not sure of the value of this over say, a pair of head phones. Which by the way, come with the iPhone and are in stereo.

It's handy, I guess. I'm just not walking around with one 24/7 just yet. My ear hurts.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

New Years Eve Eve

We are on the downslope of the Holiday break and are back home trying to catch up from all the travel and eating and more eating.

New Year's Eve was spent at my parents house along with 60 close friends. My sister got married. It's a hectic time at my Parents for reasons I won't go into here and then the fact that we were having a Wedding made things just nutty.

On the day before NYE (New Year's eve's eve?) the entire family reported for duty to clean and arrange the house for the wedding. My brother the hospitality specialist had been working with Mom all week to come with a detailed checklist of exactly what tasks needed to be done and we all pitched in and chose something and got it done.

I was assigned the back basement to shop-vac and arrange for storage. It's not a sinister as it sounds, the back basement. It sounds like somewhere you would keep bound teenaged love slaves if you were so inclined but really it's a more of a workshop or tool room. It does have it's own entrance so that would make it perfect for kidnapping, again if you were so inclined.

Even though I am slowly turning into him, my Father and I are very different people. He is meticulous to the point of being monk-like and I am... well, a lot of time I could care less where things are. Of course my philosophy has it's down side like yesterday when I spent the better part of 2 hours looking for the digital camera software from last year to put on the new PC, but for some reason here I was in charge of picking up the heart of the monk-dom, the tool room.

The tool room is strictly my Father's domain. He has things sorted and stored in there in a very specific manner and so I was assigned to store as much delicate stuff from upstairs as possible in there.

I know why I was assigned this. I was assigned the tool room so that later when we play "where did you kids put my monkey wrench?", I could take the fall and I'm OK that. They could all shrug their shoulders and point to me. It's my fault anyway. I probably lost the Monkey wrench in the woods when I was 14 anyway. Don't ask what a monkey wrench was doing in the woods.

It was the vacuuming of the rafters that I was borderline on. For some reason my Father had in his head that the exposed joists of the ceiling of the tool room needed to be vacuumed. Ohh and the smoke detector need to be dusted. These were the kinds of things I was assigned.

But I was a good soldier and I did them. It was like I was 12 again. The whole time you are thinking "Do we really need to vacuum out the smoke detector?" and "Do other people vacuum the smoke detector?" but you do it.

Others tried to position themselves for good jobs. Wasn't I proud when Youngest son tried to choose "Grind coffee beans" from the list. It's not that he had any special expertise in coffee bean grinding, I'm sure he thought that it was an easy job since he has seen me do it at home. I'm sure he was thinking "How hard can this be? You put the beans in and then you press the little button" but he had never seen Mr Monk do it.

My Father times how long the beans grind. Here is the prescribed method: set microwave timer to 25 seconds; start timer; when at 20 seconds, hold the grinder down with the left hand until the 20 seconds counts down to zero.  At exactly the end of that cycle, the grind is precise. 

Not so cushhy is it now, huh? And stare deeply into your future.

I'm not sure who ended up the choice bean grinding assignment but everything got done in time for the wedding.

It's my sisters second wedding and for years I've been calling her fiance by her first husbands name. Sorry. It happens. It kind of shows the thinking there. When I think of him, I think of my sister and then think oh its the person with my sister who used to be S and so I start to say that name, then my mind catches up and I remember it not S it's J.

It's happened so often now that I have officially just named him St-....John.

He laughs. That's good. It's a tough family but it looks like he can get in there with the best of them.