Sunday, August 21, 2011

Come on, Irene

Latest update from the "I Don't Need This Shit" department ...

A tropical storm is waiting in the seas of the Caribbean and South Florida is in her crosshairs.

Just last week a few friends and I were talking and it came up that I have yet to experience a hurricane or tropical storm in my nearly five years in Florida. It is quite a run. I hope I don't have to change that to "it was quite a run."

A hurricane is bad enough. No one wants to live through one of those, but that sort of weather disturbance is a fact if life down here. My main problem is the forecast time of arrival.

This Thursday and Friday.

That poses a problem. I am scheduled to move Thursday and fly up to New Jersey on Friday. The timing is delicate and the last thing I need is for an interruption in the form of 100 mph winds and torrential rain.

For the last eight months I've been looking forward to this move date. Words can't express how badly I've wanted to find my own apartment. And I NEED to do it before Friday.

The day after this move, I am scheduled to fly north for my first vacation in eight months. I desperately need this vacation and I don't want anything to go wrong. And I certainly don't want to waste days (potentially) of my precious time off.

Do I worry too much? It's early Monday. This storm could be over London by late next week. A friend of mine has already told me I worry too much. My mom agrees. I just have a bad feeling about this one.

I do have one thing going for me ... I actually purchased travel insurance with my plane ticket. I saw this coming months ago. Right when I found out that the wedding I'm planning this trip around was on Sept. 3, my brain started churning.

You see, late August and early September is the absolute heart of hurricane season. My constant worry-wartism served me well this time.

I'm so on guard about this I've checked the weather three times today. My usual system of checking the weather is looking out the window. The thought of having to drive up north has even crossed my mind. If my flight is delayed 24 hours, then the Mets tickets I bought would most likely go to waste. And my chances of trying terrible drinks at Zach's bachelor party would be severely threatened.

Take a deep breath ...

I won't go totally crazy unless this thing is still on track by Tuesday. Before then I promise only to fret and worry, giving me a few more gray hairs - as if I needed more.

If, however, the weathermen say Tuesday night Irene is coming to town, then I go into arms-flailing mode.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Reverend

"I can motivate just as easy as I can bring someone down."
The Boston Globe had Speck, with his array of strange quotes I'll always remember. "Where's the wellington, hi-ho?" being the No. 1 most memorable, and oft-repeated, line.

My current job has someone even more quotable. So quotable, in fact, that one of my co-workers keeps a wall of his cubicle covered in post-it notes chronicling the best lines this man mutters.

For the purposes of this blog, we'll call him The Reverend. That's his nickname. And this man knows how to give out nicknames. I am "Willy Lee," an ironic redneck name for someone who is far from a man of the South. Other nicknames include "Shandoor," "Yo-gee," "The Professor," "The Director," "Jitter Bob," "Remo," "Mr. Pink," "Spaniard," and my all-time favorite, "Fritzy," for a guy with Sideshow Bob style hair.

As The Reverend would say: "I don't give nicknames to individuals I don't like."

This man came to America in 1984 from Communist Romania. He's a New York sports fan who happens to be very good at ping pong. He's a no-nonsense individual with a manner of speaking and plethora of phrases I will use in my every day life. Here's a few.

Used to describe anyone who is disheveled, unseemly, messy, and usually, obese.

Sounds like fu...wayyy. Used anytime someone burps, farts or says something disgusting. It's used often.

Used to describe a clown deserving of no respect.

Criminal element
Used when talking about shady characters like Michael Vick, Plaxico Burress, etc.

Those are just a few of his original phrases. But I'm here today to give you some of his best quotes. Enjoy.

On a man who likes to eat.

"He'll always be a pork. Food is too important to that individual."

On my frequent trips to Boston Market.

"Willy, that is a terrible establishment."

On an injured player.

"Is he broken? He's broken. Cadaver on the field. Career over."

On something that doesn't concern him or matter to him.

"That don't bother me no none."

On a particular co-worker making personal calls to you for a favor

"Any time he calls you, he has filthy reasons."

Here are a couple on his ping pong exploits. He does not lack for confidence.

"Whenever I am down, I rise to the occasion to show I am the superior athlete."

"Wanna lose with your ball or my ball? Your choice."

"When I serve it, I serve it nasty."

"Put any punk in front of me, and I'll beat him like a mutt."

"I made him bleed."

"His name is Alex. I'll take the English out of him. Call him Alejandro."

On someone having a cushy day or afternoon schedule.

"Those are banker's hours."

On someone calling me "Lord Willy" in honor of the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup.

"There ain't no Lord. There's only me, the baddest motherfucker on the planet."

That's all I can recall off the top of my head. There are more.

This guy is endlessly entertaining.

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's about time

The last time I opened the dusty drawers of this blog, there was a functioning American economy.

With hard-working citizens forced to barter human skulls for rat meat, I figure it's time to write something here. Usually I have nothing going on. Spouting off with inane comments on pop culture loses its luster after a while. So it's funny that over the past two months "stuff" has been going on and yet I wrote nothing.

I have failed you all.

Work has been nuts. I'm now somewhat of a supervisor. My dreams of middle-management have been achieved! While my compatriots wander off on their summer vacations, I've held down the fort at the Eye's sports website. Countless columns on the NFL lockouts ceded to countless columns on the craziest Free Agency news orgy I have ever experienced in journalism. I was so drained that I bought beer at 7/11 at 2:30 on a Friday morning and guzzled it out of a brown paper bag. My eyeballs pulsated with a dull pain and my senses were fried and beer provided the only remedy.

You can guess why I've been too lazy/almost suicidal to blog.

Throw on top the always enjoyable process of moving. I haven't packed a single thing yet and I'm almost exhausted. Hiring movers, buying all new furniture, purchasing mandatory renter's insurance, setting up bills ... this new place better be worth it. I move in the day before my first vacation of the year starts, so I will not be able to enjoy my new South Beach penthouse until early September.

I plan on making this an actual 'home.' Not in the sense of a huddled family around the fireplace, but an apartment that isn't just a collection of furniture in front of a television set. With this in mind, I purchased matching sofas and sleek glass-top tables. I might even get a plant or some artwork.

Also, during the last month or so I reconnected with this girl I mentioned in a previous entry. To her dismay, I had not struck big as an Internet entrepreneur nor had I turned into an Alcide-type hunk. The reconnection was mercilessly strangled in its infancy. The one lasting effect from this tired story was a lack of eating.

There were days when a persistent anxiousness dominated my waking hours to such an extent I lost much of my appetite for a period of about four weeks. Yes, I know I have major issues.

Warning: This part will most likely piss you off ...

Backtracking, I weighed roughly 170 pounds in college. I feasted on an almost daily buffet of coffee coolattas, muffins, pizza and pop tarts. I was still a stick figure, but I did not quite resemble a famine victim. Perhaps a malnourished peasant, but not famine. My weight remained consistent through the Florida years until I contracted food poisoning. The morning after that terrible day, the scale was below 150.

I figured I'd gain it back eventually. While some of it returned, a hefty amount of stranded pounds disappeared. The stress of the past few months curtailed my eating further. At this moment, I'm at 153. When I traveled up north for a short period of time in May, many Sears denizens commented on my noticeable thinness. My mom commanded me to eat more.

You know me: I do what mommy says. While I watch what I eat a little bit more than I used to, I no longer care if I drink too many frappuchinos in one week. I enjoy dessert with abandon. I still don't eat lunch, but I consume large dinners. And while I do my fair share of exercising, the intense heat of the Florida summer, combined with constant rain and work-related exhaustion have curtailed physical activity to some extent.

Yet my weight stays the same. I might reach 154 or 155, but that's about the limit. Could I eat nothing but KFC double-downs and watch every episode of the People's Court for a good month and not gain a pound? I'm starting to wonder.

Last week I went to the doctor's office with an ear issue. (The Schaibles might remember my 2006 stay in San Diego which involved a doomed job interview and nothing but Family Guy DVDs for several days ... that malaise occurred in large part to the same ear problem for which I visited the doctor most recently.)

One of the nurses could not even read my blood pressure because my arm was too thin for the flap. She had to get a smaller one. And after the doctor fixed the ears, she asked me how everything else is going. I told her that I cannot gain weight.

She only laughed. "Most people would cut a limb off to lose weight. As you get older, your metabolism will slow down."

She's right of course. But people told me my metabolism would start to slow in the late 20's, yet it is stronger than ever. While God/nature gave me graying hair, the social skills of a wooden chair, gorilla legs and a pipsqueak of a stomach, they also bestowed upon me a world-class metabolism (and a wicked split-finger pitch.)

Odds are my skeletal frame could gradually shrink until I'm nothing but a poor imitation of Benjamin Button. Before that happens, I must fatten myself up. Stay away from stress and hunching over my laptop and blogging more frequently would be a decent start.