Monday, March 30, 2009

The Co-Op

Well, I'm going to go ahead and get started with my new series. There's one small change, though. Since "The Office" is a pretty famous show, and this blog is not, I'm going to title my series, "The Co-Op". I don't think my characters are anywhere as famous, but they are somewhat comical, and I'm going to try and share some of the idiocy with you.

I think the most appropriate way to begin a series like this is to do a cast introduction, don't you? So let's get that out of the way.

First up, one of our Stars. We'll call him "Family Guy" because, well, that's who he most physically resembles. It's kind of nice working with a cartoon character some days. I was going to call him "The Irritant" because he's like pepper spray, I'm telling you. I've seen Priests walk away swearing from this guy. He has a great habit of asking you how to do something, and then telling you how he thinks it should be done. He's the type of guy, you ask him what time it is, he tells you how to build a clock. They took away my guns, so Family Guy lives on. You'll see what I mean.

Slick. Be careful saying hello to Slick. He'll sell you something. He's an intelligent guy, well-versed in business, but has just gotten a little too carried away with Sales. Sees anyone and everyone as a prospect. Will try to sell you life insurance even after you've died. Talks about little else. I'm not sure he's alive after business hours. But man, he sells words to Mirriam Webster.

Then there's "Talk Show". Talk is a great guy, but he just talks way too much. And not ordinary talk-too-much, this can can actually make your ears bleed. There isn't a single subject on earth for which he hasn't formed a very long, drawn out Monologue. I dream about the horrors of a conversation with Talk Show. It's like that feeling you get in that brief moment between tripping and actually hitting the pavement. You know what I mean.

Say hello to "H". I call him that for a number of reasons, one of which is his extreme case of Halitosis. When breath is visible, it's not good. He's actually a nice guy who just doesn't know enough to turn off the "Happy". (another reason he's called "H" by the way) You're standing in a burning building with a T-Rex closing in on you, and this guy's talking about what a great day it is. No it's not. But the good thing about a burning building is, the smoke covers his breath a little.

Then we have our Supporting Cast. These guys don't figure into the daily routine as much, but they do add some spice to the show.

The Artful Dodger. This guy produces very little in the way of actual revenue. But man, no one, and I mean NO one sidesteps and double-talks like this guy. He is a human Book of Excuses, and I do believe could talk himself out of the way of a speeding bullet. He drops stories like some people drop litter. It flies, baby. I just love how fast he can cook up an excuse to do nothing. If this guy redirected his energy into actually being productive, he'd conquer the financial world in 4 hours flat.

Gramps is actually a nice old codger who has been in business since 1537. He was around when money was invented. Harmless enough except he runs a close second to Talk Show in the Loquacious Department. Any question you ask is met with a complete family history. He talks for a very long time about things; he goes on so long, sometimes, that he forgets what the actual conversation started out about. He knew Christopher Columbus personally, by the way.

Carly. As in Carly Fiorina. Carly is actually a smart Lady, just gets a little carried away, is all. She's always offering the better way to do things, tends to take everything over, and has even tried teaching me how to make my screw-ups into total disasters. Thinks everyone on earth should be a client, including opposums. Ever try to design a portfolio for a possum? Not fun. She did once, however, get a rock to open an IRA account.

Ricky Ricardo is a charming man. We like him a lot, we just haven't figured out what it is that he does. He speaks English occasionally, and sometimes even speaks to us. But he is a good guy. Part of the show will be to figure out his function.

And then there are the Spectres. No, not Phil. These are people who occasionally appear in the office. I think they work there, but I can't be sure. They'll get names as I see them long enough to figure them out.

I hope this is enough to get your interest. I really want to share some fun with you from the Co-Op. So stay tuned. You never know when they'll cancel us.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Night Views

It's was a long week, but some good stuff did happen. I think.

I had a really nice experience this week at the Staples store in Brick, NJ. I needed a couple of customized ink stamps and went to the Print Center in the store. It was about $50 worth of merchandise, but the whole thing was handled with such care I couldn't help but be pleased.

It was kinda funny at the end when I hit the register. I'd picked up a few other items that came with warranties and when the lady there rang my order up she went to attach the receipts to the warranty cards. She was out of staples. Just thought I'd throw that in. I really do like that store though.

I sat in the living room doing some work. I had the TV on and I noticed something. Sunday night must be "Amazing" night. I heard people say it no less than 50 times. There's a lot of "Amazing" things out there.

To me, it's the same as people who use "like" too much, you know the ones, "And he was like, 'hello', and I was like 'what?'." That's how much "amazing" is overused, in my book. Amazing.

When you meet people who stand by their word, it's incredible.

I wonder how it feels to go through life moving from one drama moment to the next. It's so strange to me how much effort some people put into finding things to be annoyed about. You miss out on so much in life. And I think it makes you lonely because people get tired of it. It makes them mad when you don't let them affect you any more, too.

When the world stops being "all about you", it becomes so much more interesting, don't ya think?

I got a nice long ride in a Toyota Prius. That's a hybrid. I was very impressed. Roomy too.

Not sure why they call them "sleepovers". No one sleeps. My son passed out this afternoon after his buddies went home.

The Sunday evening Mass by me features a group of teenagers providing the music. There's nothing more uplifting than seeing kids singing their hearts out.

Ok, that's enough from me. Enjoy the week, ok?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Question About Questions...

Hey, if you have a minute, go check out the Male Advocate today. Click here

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Nothing is the New No?

Is it just me or have manners gone completely the way of the wind...all gone. Is there no decorum anymore at all? I'm not talking about occasional bouts of rudeness, I'm talking about an entire segment of our population going without any kind of social mores at all anymore.

If my Grandmother asked me if I wanted any steak & kidney pie when I was a kid, I simply said, "No, thank you." I didn't go and hide and hope she would go away. If someone called to ask me a question, I answered the phone and answered the question. I assume it was the same way for most of you, too.

We've scheduled a number of interviews lately. We made the appointments on the phone, and confirmed the times and *poof*, they simply don't show up. No call, no contact. Any attempt to follow up is met with complete silence. Is it cowardice, maybe? Are we becoming a culture of spineless jellyfish? For all the bravado about how "we" don't take crap from anyone, "we" are not afraid of anything, I see a lot of gutless behavior these days.

A friend was having a charity dinner. She sent out invitations to a pretty large group of people, with the usual RSVP request. 80% of the people she invited simply said nothing. No response at all. What happened to simply saying, "Sorry, I can't make it,"?

I don't do anything important via email or text because people conveniently "don't get" those messages. I call or see the people face to face. But that also led me to learn that people lie. Why? No one is threatening them, coercing them.

But what happened to people to make them adopt this "I'll just hope everything goes away" posture? Where did integrity go?

Believe me, if someone asks me to do something I don't want to, or cannot do, I say so. I don't string people along, and I certainly don't just ignore their requests.

Have any of you seen this behavior?

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Search?

A few years ago, I wrote a running series about the self-important louts that I used to ride with on the commuter ferry. A couple of years ago, that series came to an end.

No, not because I sank the ferry or anything like that. It was just a change in jobs that ended my Ferry Nice Fun.

I do miss those clowns. I mean, how could you not get somehow attached to Yawn Talker, the Gargler, Slick, Burpee and the like? They would find new and innovative ways to make me wish I had psychotic powers that I could inflict on them (yes, psychotic, not psychic-we wanted to give them boo-boos, or worse)

I long for the days when one of the cellphoniacs would dial on and make all kinds of vomit with their friend. I liked thinking of the reactions of my friends when I would write about DeckWalker, the Politician and "Man, I Am So Hot" Guy.

I've been on the hunt. Believe me. I would go around with a little pad, writing about the many dum people I meet in my new venture. In some towns, you could just take a copy of the local phonebook to keep track of Dums. (Dum's aren't smart enough to be "dumb"; they don't qualify for the extra "b" on the end.)

I've got a pretty good list going now, and, since this is mostly related to the job I do, I'm going to call this series "The Office".

Very original. Shaddap.

The Male Advocate Is Alive...Still

I'd love to get some participation over on my other blog, The Male Advocate. Would you mind taking a look and answering a question? Click here for today's entry.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

When It Is True

For a lot of people, the most vivid memories are those that are associated with fear, times we were afraid, and often, times when those fears were unfounded. Part of what keeps us secure in life is knowing that there are means in place to protect us.

I remember, numerous times, finding sites or Blogs that asked what my greatest fears are. If I were asked at this moment, the answers would be the same; but those would be different than the ones I'd have given when I was 5 or 10 or 15 years old. At those ages, maybe it was monsters or bogeymen, evil things in the closet.

As intense as those fears were, maturity and experience teach us that those are completely unfounded. And if they aren't, they are at least things we can control or fight back against.

I have found that the worst fears I can imagine are those I have no control over, but that can, and do, have enormous effects on my life and of those I love. Fear of flying? Get on a plane. Fear of intimacy? Get into a satisfying relationship. But when I think about that plane crash in Buffalo, NY a few weeks back, I realize that fears aren't always about things we can control or battle against.

What does one do when one looks at that list of fears, and realizes that they have all begun to come true? And that quite a few are things that one can not actually do anything about, no matter how determined one is?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Everyone has at least one weak spot, that one person, song, thing that absolutely melts your heart. One of those is my 9 year old, who turns 10 Girl, my Baby.

Her name is Theresa, but since the moment she was born, she's always been "Baby". And even at 10 years old, she still indulges me calling her that. In fact, the first words I ever spoke to her were, "hello Baby."

This child touches my heart every single time I'm by her. She's either very genuine, or has mastered the "Daddy's Girl" script down to the letter. She has made me unashamedly cry tears of joy, and no one, not anyone else on Earth, gives a hug like this child; warms you to the heart.

I have three children who each touch me in their own special way, but today is her birthday, and she gets to steal the spotlight today.

She came along at a very, very difficult time in my life. Yet because of those troubles, I was able to be home with her the entire first month of her life. Imagine experiencing a love so strong that it makes the pain of the most horrible illness simply go away. That love, that bond is still as strong today as the day it first formed.

I love her so much, and being alive today to share that love with her is a gift I know I have to thank God for.

So thank you God. And thank you "Baby". Happy 10th birthday.

Monday, March 09, 2009

I NEED Spring

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Did You Know?


A number of my Blog friends are photographers who love to share their work online. You're probably familiar with them, but there's someone else whose art I'd like to share here today. Her name is Brittany and her site is pretty terrific.

Take a look here at her Blogger site: Silent Stories
And her DeviantArt site here: LuckyB30

I think you'll like it as much as I do.

Oh The Winter's Almost OVER!

Boot season is almost (almost) behind us for another year. I'll gladly surrender just to get rid of Winter!

Friday, March 06, 2009

H E L P ! lol

A few weeks ago, I had written about having a new outlook on life, self-improvement and the like. Well, here's the thing...

A lotta people out here have been giving me a lotta crap! Help me! Who wants to kick some mean people's butts for me?