Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 01: Issue 03

Greetings True Be-Loggers! Welcome to the third edition of my weekly column "Sunday Leftovers". This week we will looks at the act of giving thanks, gym etiquette, and a slew of random shit I found this week to talk about...Lets begin:

[Thanksgiving]

America got to experience Thanksgiving this week, turkey was enjoyed by all except for my family. This year my mother and father opted to forgo the traditional holiday fare and go for some old school Italian cooking. Instead of roasted bird, I feasted on ChickenParm and a light pasta salad. I am not complaining - frankly, the whole holiday meal thing has been overdone and I was doing that whole scene later in the night with the in-laws. I will say my only disappointment at my parent's house was the stuffing: she made it, but she shouldn't have if you get what I am saying (Shout out to mother-in-law Ann D for making the save on the stuffing - Good Work Ann). Overall it was a toned town affair and has been part of a trend at my household, I am thinking there might need to be a merging or a takeover attempt soon. More to come...

At the Delmonte household, the toned down theme continued, but not with the meal: The Del's made a straight up holiday bonanza and it was damn fine cooking (way too much after my mother just got through with me). Unlike last year, the meal was immediate family and which was pleasant, but I must admit I enjoy the chaos of having a large group of slightly drunk people prancing around (people in my family don't prace, dance, or do anything that ends with "ance"). The quiet didn't last long as extended family came to visit and the house got warm very quickly. So warm that I took a break outside to discuss universal remote controls with my friend Nate. Ah the holidays.

Here are some leftover meal ideas: Meal Ideas


[Black Friday]


I have long felt that the "Black Friday" holiday has long overshadowed Thanksgiving. In years past I have been caught up in the hype. Not this year. Thanks to the internet and my obsessive need to research I have been tracking deals for months and when the black friday websites started to publish the ads, needless to say I was not impressed. Allison and I did not step foot in one store and I couldn't feel better about it, especially after reading some poor Walmart employee got trampled to death.

Seriously, even if the guy was the biggest piece of scum on the earth (I am not saying anything close to that) what the hell is wrong with people? Can't they wait to get into a Walmart a few minutes more. A WALMART . We have heard about mothers and babies being trampled during X-mas sales in the past, but nobody died that I was aware of. I got to say the obvious - maybe if these assholes spent less time in Walmart running people down and more time with their financial planners, the economy wouldn't be the dumps. I never ever trust crowds and this proves my point. I hope that man's blood washed off your new Nike sneakers easily. Sleep well assholes.



[Gym Etiquette]

I joined a new gym a few weeks ago, and while better than my last one (Bally's in Deptford is SO dirty) it still isn't perfect, so here are Joey's top 5 gym gripes:

1. CELL PHONES: If you are working out, your cell phone shouldn't be anywhere near you. No talking on the damn thing - Nobody cares how many numbers you scored last night
2. TRAINERS: Trainers think they are the second coming (of what... I don't know). They are loud, pushy, and kind of stalkerish. They hoard machines and equipment and never put anything back the right way.
3. GROUPS: I love it when all the house wives go into the gym together, take up a block of treadmills (walking not running or jogging), chatting the whole time instead of actually exercising (Example: "My husband leave such stains on the toliet" - "I know! So does mine!" - (GROUP): "Hahahahahahahaha")
4. TELEVISIONS: TVs should always be on mute at the gym (or have those headphone jacks to the TVs on the wall - actually that is kind of awesome). I don't want to watch the View and I sure as shit don't want to hear it.
5. BATHROOMS: Why are gym bathrooms always so disgusting? My gym is a few weeks old and the bathroom already looks like a truck stop. Who goes to the bathroom at the gym and why don't you flush? WHY!?!?!


Seriously... gym time is scared to some (me), be respectful next time you are there.


[Randoms]

(Ryan Adams)
As some of you know I have an unhealthy love of all things Ryan Adams. I added his personal blog to my RSS feed a few weeks ago and it was inactive, since thanksgiving he has made over 200 posts. Here is a live recording/mac rendered video of "Cobwebs"


"COBWEBS" new version- Home Jam RA from Wilson Wolf on Vimeo.

Link to Ryan's Blog: Ryan Adams Blog

(George Carlin on the creative process)

I wanted to share this with everyone, this is great:



(Entertainment Blurbs)

Nothing new on the TV and readings front. Last week saw the season finales of "True Blood" and "Entourage". True Blood ended the storyline of the season on a weak note, but kept interest by ending on a cliffhanger. I haven't started a new book yet. I re-read "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" by Dr. Thompson. Excellent read as always. My sister-in-law just gave me a book about Mondavi Vineyards, so perhaps a review next week...


[Conclusion]


Well I think I have tapped myself out this week. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and is setting themselves up for X-mas. I'll be back next week, same bat-time, same bat-place.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Leftovers: Volume One: Issue 02

Last week I wrote a random blog summarizing a few things that I came across the last few weeks. I enjoyed the free flowing format so my plan is to do one every week to make me write at least something. Yes I gave it a new title, but I am counting last weeks as number one. Enjoy...

[Entertaining Losses]

Pushing Daisies

In comparison to the rest of America, I think I would be classified as someone who does not watch a lot of television. There are a few shows that I follow and that's about it. One newer show that I really enjoy is called "Pushing Daisies". Pushing Daisies was created by Brian Fuller. The man behind shows like "Wonderfalls" and "Dead Like Me". I bet you haven't hear of them (especially Wonderfalls). Go out and get those shows if you want to see excellent storytelling and interesting, three dimensional characters. Fuller took what he learned on those shows and made a masterpiece. "Daisies" is about a lonely pie maker that can bring people back from the dead for one minute, any longer and someone else will die in their place. The pie maker's childhood sweet heart gets murdered and he brings her back to life but he can never touch her. The show is bright and strange and a complete treat to watch; oh and its cancelled. ABC cancelled the show due to poor ratings. Yet another intelligent show down the drain.



You can see the last few episodes on Wednesdays @ 8 PM (ABC).

Three Sheets/ MOJO HD

I just found out that the MOJO HD network is going to be shut down on December 1st. When the network goes down it will take the great show Three Sheets down with it. Three Sheets is a drinking show hosted by Zane Lamprey. Zane goes to foreign countries hangs with the locals, drinks the local brews, and partakes in the local hangover cure. Its a creative show that surpasses the frat boy foundation it is built on. It is education, cultural, and funny.

There are rumors going around that Spike TV or the Travel Channel might pick it up and I certainly hope someone does.

I am the kiss of death to TV shows! Every time I get behind one it gets canned. At least they haven't canceled Dexter and True Blood yet.



[Rant of the Week]
I have noticed a trend as of late that is troubling me. People taking their dogs places they shouldn't. I love dogs. I don't have one, but I have been close and will probably get one at some point in my life, I just want to be selfish now (which is why I am not trying to have kids now either) and enjoy the fact that I can go where-ever I want without have to worry about someone needing me at home.

With that being said, I am noticing more and more that people are taking their dogs to inappropriate places and it is getting out of hand. I know there is a classic American visual of the dog in the back of the pick up truck, but some dogs and some people shouldn't be in a car together. A girl with three dogs in the front seat, all sitting on her lap or around the driver, almost hit me today when I was driving home from the gym. She comes barreling off the exit, not paying attention and would have hit me had I not seen her, slammed on my breaks, and blared on the horn. She hits the breaks, the dogs go flying everywhere and all I can think is, "That can't be good for the dogs". Doesn't this girl think about the safety of their animals?

On Tuesday, I went to my homeowners association meeting and a woman running for the board walked into the meeting with her dog. The president of the board went over to pet it and the dog freaks out. Why the hell did this woman bring a dog to a place it didn't know, didn't let it down, and generally made it and everyone around it (thanks to the freak out) feel uncomfortable? I don't know, I don't care.

So why is it that people like me, who want a dog but know they have lives that wouldn't be good for a dog at the moment deny themselves the want/experience, yet other people who obviously can't handle the responsibility of owning a dog not only burden the dog by being shitty owners, but other people who are forced to interact with the dog.

Seriously people, you dogs are not accessories. It isn't cute or fun to take them everywhere, making them and the people you are bring them to miserable. I know you think they are awesome, and I am sure they are, but I am sure they are much happier spending time with you at HOME.

[The Economy]

Several banking companies such as Citibank are cutting up to 50,000 jobs, several newspapers and magazines are laying off several thousand staffers and writers, even solid companies are taking hits in the stock market which will eventually mean cost reduction and layoffs.

I have read several articles that are predicting the American dollar will begin to suffer from hyper-inflation. This means keeping money in cash form or in banks will be the kiss of death for your personal finances. Several finance blogs that I read suggest:
1. Invest your money in precious metals like silver and gold
2. Invest in stocks from solid, stable foreign companies, the plan isn't to get rich, its just to keep the value of your money and maybe let it grow a little
3. Go live in the woods for a decade or so (I just made that one up).

[Conclusions]


On a personal note, I did a few cool things this week... I got elected to my homeowners association, I redesigned my website (check out the new JoeyLombardi.com), and me and my buddies beat Gears of War (the original) last night (I NEVER finish video games - ever). Well I think that is all I have for this week. Thanks for reading and I hope you come back next week

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Random Blog, Random Thoughts

Final Thoughts on the Wedding

Hi there true be-loggers! I haven't posted a blog in a while because I have been waiting for the elusive mistress known as inspiration. My original plan write a bookend piece to the wedding blogs, but then I edited hours upon hours of video footage that the good looks crew took and I think I kind of exhausted any interested I had of the wedding for the time being and honestly who really cares about my damn wedding.

I will say this: In short - It was a lovely day that was drama free for the most part. I had a great time with the Lombardi and Delmonte sides and I honestly think everyone had a good time (or at least that is the feedback I got). So if you came, thanks for being there, you made it something special for us. If you were not in attendance, head on over to youtube, you can see the whole thing there.

Here is a link to make it easier
Wedding Video Playlist

I am now officially done with wedding talk barring a little shout out in my year end coming in December (unless I find out some crazy shit happened that nobody told me about).

New President

I am going to admit to a disservice I committing against my little blog, I am holding out on a few topics because I am saving them for the year end post. I am trying to be a little more coherent with a theme and since I know I have a whopping two loyal readers, I really don't want to repeat my content for their benefit. For now, my thoughts on the election are: regardless of your political leanings, this country needed a change of leadership and that is what we got. So lets hope President Obama can be the leader everyone needs him to be. For first time voters (either due to age or getting off your lazy ass), congratulations. People should take part of their government, the government works for you, not the other way around - make your voice heard.

On a related topic, I would like to share this with you:
News Article: SC Priest on Obama

In summary, a catholic priest in South Carolina told parishioners they should refrain from taking the communion sacrament if they voted for Obama until they go to confession and repent their sin. To Rev. Jay Scott Newman I say this: Thanks for serving the cause of driving people away from organized religion; your well crafted letter did more than any rational argument ever could. Amen.


Entertainment

In my endless conflict between the materialistic and the natural, the material side had a landslide victory the last 10 days. I have been itching to get a blue ray player for a while, and I didn't want to spend the money on one, but Dell has been teasing a good deal the last week were I could get 15% off the PS3. I finally got an active coupon and bam - game over. Of course, now I needed a better sound system to compliment the PS3 in my living room. Not wanting to repeat the nightmare of wiring the basement (and I don't think I can with cathedral ceilings), I got a sound bar solution. I now have a garage full of boxes I need to cut down and a defeated feeling for not holding out. But then I pop in a blue ray dvd and see how damn good my TV looks and I say money well spent. I am such a whore.

I also snagged a few albums recently and here are some quick recommendations:

The Cardinals - Cardinology: You won't hear a "standout single" on this album, every song is strong. This is a solid album from Ryan Adams and his full-time backing band. Absolutely worth listening from front to back (or the whole damn thing for those who don't buy CDs anymore).

Little Joy - Little Joy: A sunny 60's cali-pop album from Strokes drummer Fab Moretti. Its good mindless pop.

Raphael Saadiq - The Way I See It: A throwback to the great Motown sounds with a modern twist. If you miss Marvin Gaye, give this kid a try.

Lucinda Williams - Little Honey: A departure from her last few efforts, Lucinda Williams actually sounds happy. No talk of parents dying or broken relationships, just a bright (for her) album about life and love.

The Pretenders - Break Up The Concrete: Chrissie Hynde sounds great on this new CD. I don't care if she is old enough to be a grandmom, she kicks ass.




Link for those reading on Facebook Note: Boots of Chinese Plastic

Books

On the plane to San Francisco I read "Twilight". I didn't know anything except it was a vampire story and it was being made into a movie. I don't get it. Terrible writing and weak character. Within 30 pages I realized that the target was girls (not women, girls) - so if you aren't 14 and don't have a vagina, don't read it and I am guessing the movie will be the same. But I read it all the way through because I was stuck on a plane with nothing to do and I am no better off for the experience.

I got a few books in San Francisco and thankfully (and as always) Hunter Thompson redeemed my hopes for humanity. I picked up a book of collected short articles. I read "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved" on the ride home and was laughing the entire time. Here is a nice chunk: The Kentucky Derby...

For those comic book readers out there, I found out that Blue Beetle is canceled as of issue 33. This is a great comic from younger and older readers that introduced minority characters into a very white comic landscape and didn't sugarcoat issues, didn't come off as preachy, and was accessible and well written. If you want a great way to introduce your kids to reading, science, different cultures look up the Blue Beetle trade paperbacks, you won't regret it.

Conclusion

I think I have shared enough for today. Here is hoping somebody annoys me on the train or I have a melt down at the gym so I have something interesting to write about. Thanks for reading.