13 Thoughts Headed into the Week

1. “I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.” -J.D. Salinger

2. A funny exchange between Lindsey and me:

Lindsey: Check out the fridge, I bought groceries including the pork loin in the meat drawer.

Me: Cool, thanks. Whaddya want for dinner?

Lindsey: Dunno, but I definitely wanna pork something.

Me: Couldn’t agree with you more.

3. I’m embarrassed to I think about the cassettes I used to play in the car back when Mom and/or Dad (usually “or”) were driving me all over town. I guess back then I was too caught up in the beats and melody to really hear all the lyrics, some of which were particularly unsavory. For example:

“Poison” by Bell Biv DeVoe: “me and the crew used to do her,” “keepin’ one eye open, still clocking the ho’s,” and my favorite, “never trust a big butt and a smile

“Scenario” by A Tribe Called Quest: “Bust a nut inside your eye to show you where I come from,” “Yo, bustin’ out before the Busta busts a nut,” “yeah, my man motherfucker

“Gett Off” by Prince: “22 positions in a one-night stand,” “move your big ass round this way so I can work on that zipper, baby,” and of course, “get off” (about a hundred times)

If I’d known just what the lyrics were (and in many cases, what they meant) from these and other songs I’d have been mortified to play them in front of my parents. Come to think of it, what were Mom and Dad doing letting me listen to that stuff anyway?

4. Recently I’ve seen these guys high-stepping around my yard shortly after sunrise.

Sure, I’ve fallen asleep to Wild Turkey dozens of times but waking up to it is totally different.

5. I took Lindsey to a nice dinner last week as part of my Christmas present to her. They walked us to the very back of the restaurant to one of those half-booth/half-table things, where the booth seat looks out at the entire restaurant and the chair seat looks at the wall. Before I could say anything Lindsey took the booth and we sat down to eat.

Well, the truth is that I desperately wanted the booth so I could keep an eye on all the exits (saw it in a spy movie years ago) but I kept my mouth shut in fear of ruining her Christmas. The things we do for love, right? Luckily by my second glass of Tempranillo I’d stopped worrying about some double agent sneaking up on me from behind.

6. Some days I feel like I’m the best boss ever, but most days I wonder why anyone would ever put me in charge of anything or anyone.

7. I’d enjoy shopping at Guitar Center a lot more if nobody worked there. Seriously, those guys are the worst.

8. We got a new coffee maker so I’ve making been drinking a lot of coffee at home. Sometimes after adding my cream and sugar I pull a clean spoon out of the drawer, stir my cup with it, wipe it off using my shirt/pants, and return it to the drawer. Is this wrong?

9. Do y’all remember those Big Johnson T-shirts that were so popular many years ago? I never owned one (my folks wouldn’t let me) but it seems like everyone I knew had at least one and wore them proudly. The concept was always the same but there must have been a hundred different designs, like this one for example:

Brilliant, I know. Can you believe folks like you and I work our asses off to make ends meet while some jerk makes millions and probably retires early producing these? What a stupid world.

10. I think I’d like to be a frequent caller to some radio talk show. You know, I’d call in regularly to offer interesting thoughts on whatever the day’s topic might be, which would grant me a good rapport with the DJs… they’d be all, “Nate from Nashville, good to hear from you, bud! How’re ya doin’?” and I’d say, “Not too bad, guys, not too bad,” then they’d say “Whaddya got for us today, Nate?” then I’d offer some hilarious comment or anecdote for all to enjoy. Yeah, that’s something I could really feel good about.

11. After Spring soccer was over my sophomore year of high school I was awarded “Most Improved Player” by Coach Sohrabi. Is there any more of a back-handed compliment than winning “Most Improved” anything?

“Son, here’s a plaque to commemorate how much you didn’t suck this year.” Thanks, Coach.

12. After rereading this post and those from the last couple of weeks I’ve just realized something: I’m not any better than the guy who designed all those Big Johnson shirts, just a lot less rich.

13. I HATE even numbers.

‘Til next week,

-Nate

Fifteen Thoughts Headed Into the Week

1. “Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake.” W.C. Fields.

2. I’m thrilled to announce that NB.com readership has expanded to 29! Special thanks to Mark Blumberg, Alex Carey, and Nonie Ravenberg. Attention Matt Green: I’m counting on you to be my 30th.

If you are a regular visitor to this blog and I haven’t mentioned you, please let me know! Maybe I’m closer to the half-century mark than I think.

3. I’m also happy to tell you that I’ll be playing a show next month (June 15) as part of Poverty is Real‘s Decatur concert series. This marks my first show of any kind in over a year and my first Atlanta-area show in nearly two. Am I nervous? Of course, don’t be an idiot.

4. I just saw a preview for Fast and Furious 6. Finally, one more for my collection.

5. I have this thing with armpits. You see, any time someone — male or female, sleeveless or fully clothed — raises their arm, I absolutely MUST look at their armpit. I simply can’t help it and usually I’ve already sneaked (snuck?) a peek before even realizing what I’m doing. I have a problem and strangely enough I blame former Celtics power forward and Hall of Famer Kevin McHale.

Now I don’t know if Mr. McHale (seen here, raising the roof) and his armpits made the same impression on other kids back in 1986 but I distinctly remember watching him shoot free throws and being totally mesmerized by those shadowy caverns under his arms, the sweatiest and hairiest my ten-year-old eyes had ever seen. I can’t explain it, but ever since then any exposed pit has attracted my gaze.

Is something wrong with me?

6. I can’t seem to put on weight no matter how much I eat.

7. I used to go to church camp every summer. We’d spend all week talking about how much God loves us and how much we love each other then on the last night we’d have a giant shaving cream fight. That all sounds terrible to me now, mostly because I hate shaving.

8. Somewhere some girl just read #6 and said, “Oh my God I hate that little Nathan Beaver SO. MUCH.”

9. As we speak I can see Lindsey on our back deck putting up strands of lights for the housewarming party we’re having soon (details forthcoming). In about three minutes something will go slightly wrong and she’ll curse under her breath. Then I’ll go out there and say “Lindz, do you need my help?” to which she’ll reply, “No, idiot, I don’t need your fucking help, I got it.” This is gonna be great.

10. Speaking of Lindsey… I understand (I guess) how one could get Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder confused, but I’m dumbfounded as to how she could have ever thought the movie Ray was about Stevie Ray Vaughn.

You’ll have to ask her to explain because I sure as hell can’t.

11. First, my doctor says I should drink less. Then, he tells me breakfast is the most important meal of the day. YOU’RE GIVING ME MIXED SIGNALS, DOC.

12. I don’t mean to piss on John Sebastian’s grave or anything (in fact I don’t even know if the former Lovin’ Spoonful frontman is dead yet), but that song “Summer in the City” is terrible.

13. I received this email last week:

Sorry, sweetheart. I will not be “answering you letter” but it’s nice to know I’m still desirable, thanks.

14. Did you ever have those guys at your high school that never seemed to carry a book bag, a book, or even a pencil? How did these people even graduate? Maybe they didn’t. Who cares?

15. When the elastic in your boxers starts to wear out go ahead and throw them away ’cause those things are done, man.

Have a great week,

-Nate

Eleven Thoughts Headed Into the Week

1. “I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.”  -Lily Tomlin

2. I’m trying to get back on a consistent track with this “Thoughts Headed Into the Week” thing (instead of “Weekend”). Please bear with me as I figure out what works best. Also, I apologize in advance for any “Humpday Thoughts” post or other one-offs you may see in the meantime — like Hank, I’m sure life makes more sense for y’all when it follows a routine.

3. Yes, I made it to Atlanta last week for Opening Day at Turner Field. Yes, it was spectacular. Yes, we won, like I hope to God we continue to do.

Unlike the Braves, however, Marta did not make any off-season moves to bolster its chances for success in 2013. In fact, I had probably the worst public transportation experience of my life on the way to the game, rivaled only by the subsequent trip home and maybe the time I found a human turd under my seat during the 1996 Olympics.

Speaking of public transit, this is one of my favorite The Onion articles ever. I’m thinking 98 percent may be a bit conservative, what about you?

4. A funny exchange between Lindsey and me during the top of the 3rd inning:

Lindsey: What’ll you give me if I eat this hot dog all in one bite?

Me: The Heimlich maneuver, probably.

Laughter ensues. End scene.

5. We stayed with Dad and Janice in their brand new Marietta condo the night before the game. During our tour of the place I noticed this on the master bedroom’s headboard:

Evidently a traditional, doorknob-free headboard does not provide dear old Dad with the leverage he needs when sexing. Now, I did not ask him what balance and/or strength issues the knob helps to counteract but here’s to hoping this apparent need for such bedroom resourcefulness skips a generation.

6. My niece and nephew are ages five and six. When is it too soon to give them the “stay in school or you’ll end up like your uncle” speech?

7. I’ll never understand why my mom used to get onto me about “ruining my appetite.” If I was ruining my appetite, didn’t that mean I was getting the sustenance my body was telling me I needed? If so, isn’t that a good thing?  She might as well have threatened to ground me for quenching my thirst or regulating my body temperature.

8. I’ll also never understand why I never get invited to play in celebrity golf tournaments: 1) I play golf, and 2) I’ve won two spelling bees, shared the stage with Cyndi Lauper on Fox 5′s Good Morning Atlanta, and appeared on pg. 22 of the April 1996 issue of Teen Magazine. What else do they want?

9. Speaking of golf, when I retire I’d like to open a bar on a big ass piece of land where you can drink beer and hit golf balls into an open pasture all day long. I’ll call it “Nate’s Drink & Drive.” Cash only. Free balls for the DD. Thoughts?

10. I recently caught the end of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. I swear every time I watch it I tear up when Aragorn says “My friends, you bow to no one” and then he and the whole fucking kingdom kneel down before Rudy and those other hobbits.

11. If I ever get arrested It will be for punching a valet.

Have a great weekend,

-Nate

To Mom, From Hank: A Very Special Yule Log

I started to bake something for Lindsey today but realized I was out of butter, so I put Hank in the car with me for what I thought would be a quick trip to the store.

Unfortunately, the Melrose Kroger was closed, Tigermarket, BP, and 7-11 don’t even carry butter, and Walgreen’s was sold out of it. So, knowing that Mom was in Atlanta for the holidays I drove across town to raid her fridge.

Maybe Hank was overcome with Christmas spirit. Or maybe he was just tired of driving around. Either way, he took a holiday shit on Mom’s carpet then pissed on an unwrapped present waiting for her under the tree.

Oh, and Mom didn’t have any butter, either.

Happy Holidays,

-Nate

 

Thirteen Thoughts Headed Into the Weekend

1. “Are you ever gonna blog again, Mr. Nate?” -Ten year-old cancer victim Reggie, to me, upon my visit to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital

2. That’s right, it’s been over a month since my last post. Since then, the Braves season came to a controversial end, Georgia got embarrassed by South Carolina (capping the worst sports weekend of my life), I got my first red card and ejection playing church league soccer (more to come on that), I broke 200 twice at the bowling alley, secured enough sponsors to potentially make PIR Nashville a great success, got some new pants, President Obama was reelected, people subsequently freaked out about the end of the world, and I turned 34.

Sure that’s a busy month, but I’m back now. If for no one else, for little Reggie. If for no other reason, to not to be outdone by those shit heads in Rascal Flatts.

3a. Speaking of bowling, I spent a few hours at the Strike and Spare off Charlotte Pike a few days ago. I happened to notice this sign hanging a few lanes down from me:

I threw three turkeys that day. Nobody offered my a bite of nothin’.

3b. Also, I think installing a speed bag directly above the ball returns would be a great idea. Currently, after every bad throw, I return to my table where I sit seething and stewing, suppressing my anger until it’s my turn again. Wouldn’t it feel great — after the disappointment of missing an easy spare pick up, for instance — to turn around and really lay into a speed bag with one big punch on the way back to your seat? I think the punch itself coupled with the “PHLUB-a-lub-a-lub-a-lub” of the bag would really help release some tension. For me, at least.

3c: Last week Lindsey and I were at Play-Mor on Thompson Lane. We got our lanes, laced up our shoes, then went to the counter to buy beer as we always do. The guy told me he couldn’t sell us beer — at a bowling alley, remember — because “the private school teams” were about to come in. Great, just great. Sixteen years out of high school and Father Ryan kids are still ruining my life.

4. A funny exchange I had at work with a gentleman whose sleeveless Superman t-shirt revealed his huge Superman bicep tattoo:

Me: Here’s your Budweiser, sir. You guys doing okay otherwise?

Gentlemen: Super.

No joke.

5. The nation’s leading non-profit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration technicians, and I wasn’t invited? Doesn’t seem right.

Of course I’d probably have a lot more to offer this organization:

6. I wonder how it makes military veterans feel to hear NFL players talk about “going to war” and being “in the trenches” during post-game interviews. My guess is that the vets don’t care for it, especially if the guy talking is Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski.

Because they play for the Patriots, you see.

7. I love games. Pool, ping-pong, corn hole, bowling, etc. I LOVE ‘em. I’m 34 years old now and I still have just as much fun playing games as I did when I was ten.

When I was fifteen or sixteen, one of my stepdad’s friends visited. He was probably 40-something and I remember thinking how weird it was that he was so “old” and still obsessed with ping-pong (he carried a briefcase just for his paddles). Of course he also washed his toupee in our kitchen sink and if I recall, didn’t have a job.

Am I just a few short years away from being THAT guy, despite being gainfully employed and having a full head of hair? Shoot straight with me, really.

8. I recently learned that I can draw a pretty good circle. Not as good as this guy, mind you, but good enough make people think I’m even more of a freak. This is my latest work:

Impressed? You shouldn’t be.

9. If I ever have a family of Native Americans over for dinner, I hope I’m wise enough not to ask if they like scalloped potatoes.

10. Yeah, so my church soccer league team Cats United got ousted in the first round of the playoffs (a la the Atlanta Braves), so I’m not gonna get that Championship tshirt. I really let my team down, too. Not only did I get that red card in a pivotal game, but I also had to miss our first (and only) playoff game because of work.

I’m sorry, Coach Sohrabi. I know you were counting on me to carry us to the title, but I’m not the non-confrontational, tight-lipped player I was in my youth (though you and I both know that was a “horse shit” call) nor do have the endurance I once did (not on the soccer field, at least). I’m looking forward to next season, if you’ll have me.

11. Until yesterday I never knew “cuidado” was Spanish for “watch out for break dancers.”

Se aprende algo nuevo cada dia, I suppose.

12. I get why rock beats scissors and why scissors beats paper, but why does paper beat rock? Oh, because it “covers it”? No fucking way, man.

13. The other day I succumbed to the temptation of maybe the only real guilty pleasure I have: McDonald’s breakfast burritos. Anyway, after I got my food at the second window, I asked the lady for a “big ass handful” of hot sauce. I guess I caught her off-guard or whatever ’cause man she starting laughing like crazy. She then put about 12 packs of sauce in my bag and told me I’d made her day, which made MY day.

Have a great weekend,

-Nate

Hang in there, Reggie!

11 Thoughts Headed OUT of the Weekend

1. “This beer reminds me of my next one.” -Mike Killeen

2. As much fun as Kobe Bryant must be having over there in London, I bet he secretly wishes he were representing his country in the Rape Olympics.

3. Among the few brand names for which I will accept no substitute: Q-tips, Band-Aid, and Capri-Sun.

4. A funny exchange I had with a coworker:

Me: Would you rather have sex with an alien that looks exactly like your mom or get a blow job from an alien that looks exactly like your dad?

Mark: My dad, because I don’t respect him.

Me: So it’s a power thing?

Mark: Exactly.

5. Do you think Vin Diesel gets more and more frustrated each time he’s passed over for an Oscar nomination?

6. Everything I thought I used to be I’m realizing now I never was.

7. Ever since I’ve known Hank he’s always had what I consider to be a unique way of going number two: rather than simply squatting in one place like most dogs, he lowers his ass and “poop walks” ever-so-slowly around the yard, sometimes yielding a meandering turd trail of nearly 20 feet. I like to think he’s using his ass in lieu of opposable thumbs to try writing something to me in cursive, but I’m still yet to make anything out.

I’ll spare you the video, but here’s a Hank pic for swirly shits and giggles:

8. Awhile back, Mike got his Poverty is Real (PIR) non-profit off the ground. So far he and his volunteers have put on successful concerts for charities fighting poverty in Decatur and Athens, Ga, and later this year PIR events will be held in Asheville, NC, as well as here in Nashville (for which I’ll be the event field captain — more to come very soon). Anyway, a glowing online article written about Mike and his PIR efforts was recently ruined by some comments from a couple of shit heads whose motives still remain unclear. Their take on what Mike has set out to accomplish is so outlandish, so outrageous, and so ridiculous that Mike and I can’t help but find it… hilarious. So hilarious, in fact, that I thought I’d share it with you HERE (read, then scroll down for the comments).

Mike, you may be a “pandering idiot,” but certainly not for your efforts to fight poverty through music. Keep fighting the good fight, my friend. I look forward to helping.

9. A funny exchange I had last night with Lindsey:

Me: You know, Lindz, there’s no reason we both can’t commit to living more cheaply. For one thing, whenever we have the urge to eat out at some expensive place, instead we can eat PB and J. And when we want to drink, we can drink–

Lindsey: PB and R?

Laughter ensues. 

End scene.

10. I write down all my stupid little thoughts on scraps of paper throughout the week, and the best of these end up as fodder for this blog. However, I just came across this one:

Apparently, this reads “I play with my wife a lot… that’s what she has to do.”

I have no clue why I would ever write this or what I could have possibly meant by it. Now THAT’s poetry!

11. I’m convinced there’s nothing funnier on earth than the crazy shit humans say and do.

Have a great week,

-nb

13 Thoughts Headed Into the Weekend

1. “When you lay your dreams to rest, you can get what’s second best but it’s hard to get enough.” -David Wilcox

2. Lebron James is better at basketball than you are.

3. Last night, on the way home from dinner, I stopped by the convenience store at the corner of Wedgewood and 8th Avenue (not the BP, the other one — next to Burger King). After doing a quick lap inside and not finding what I was looking for, I asked the lady at the counter, “Excuse me ma’am, do you happen to carry either soda water or tonic water?”

She exhaled audibly, rolled her eyes, and said, “What we have is what you see.”

Thanks so much for your help, ma’am! In honor of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, I’ll be launching a Patriot missile into that place. God bless America.

4. I once told a group of drunk redneck tow-truck drivers who’d just swindled me out of $150 that “Dale Earnhardt was a bitch.” I almost died that night in an impound lot 20 minutes outside of Athens, Georgia, never to be heard from again… but that’s a story for another time. Town Club James, I’m so sorry for nearly getting you killed…

5. On a sad note, It was recently brought to my attention that Marisa Miller (my #1 all-time) is pregnant

And if that weren’t enough to render me inconsolable, I just learned that THIS is the guy who did the impregnating:

Love is blind, I guess. And infuriating.

Question: What does this guy have that I don’t, other than at least one pink shirt, a shitty mohawk, and facial hair that’s referred to in certain circles as a “cum catcher”?

Answer: Marisa Miller.

Shit.

6. Whatever happened to that guy who played the mad Irishman in Braveheart? You know, this guy? I thought for sure he’d make a name for himself, somewhere. Maybe he has, but I no longer care enough to research it myself.

7. I continue to be amazed at just how stylish Nashville men are. These guys must set their alarms at least an hour earlier than the national average to allow time for all the primping, straightening, plucking, coordinating, and accessorizing, etc. I don’t want to criticize what I can’t understand, but that’s just it… I don’t “get it,” especially as it seems so often that the “style” comes at the cost of comfort. For instance, yesterday I saw some guy walking around wearing a black leather jacket (to match his hat, belt, and shoes, I guess), which wouldn’t be so bad except that it was 94 FUCKING DEGREES outside.

I can’t comprehend being so preoccupied with “style,” but I’m realizing now that’s probably just something unstylish people say.

8. I thought this was funny:

Lindsey (noticing my laptop resting beside me): Were you just watching porn?

Me: Nope. I was watching Twin Peaks.

Lindsey: Sure sounds like a porn to me.

Yeah, so I’ve been watching Twin Peaks on Netflix. I never watched it way back when (I was probably too busy playing Sega or selling store-bought candy out of a tackle box to neighborhood kids at a HUGE mark-up), but I remember it being a big deal. I think that guy even hosted SNL once. Anyway, I’m trying to get into the show now, but it’s just so… terrible. I might have to throw in the towel after only three episodes. Has anyone watched this show and enjoyed it?

9. Earlier this week, after smoothing over a potentially volatile situation with an unhappy customer, another customer who’d overheard the exchange brought me over to ask if I’d ever thought of starting my own business.

“What kind of business, and why do you ask?”, I said.

“A dumping business,” he replied.

Before I had the chance to tell him how gross that sounded, he went on to explain his thinking: that people who are unhappy in their relationships should hire ME to do their breaking-up for them. Apparently after hearing me diffuse the situation at the next table over he had determined that my tone was disarming enough and my approach delicate enough for such a line of work.

I told him — calmly and disarmingly, of course — that he must be out of his fucking mind, adding that he might as well suggest I repossess cars or serve subpoenas for a living.

10. I see that we’re still awaiting the verdict in the Jerry Sandusky trail.

It will be interesting to see, in my opinion, whether or not the defense’s “boys will be boys” argument resonated at all with the jury.

11. Another challenger goes down! Go HERE to see the video — sure, I may have gotten a bit of a head start, but as you can see it’s still a convincing victory. When will they learn?

12. I’ve been told twice this week that I tend to be a bit wordy. In an effort to counter this,  I’m trying to utilize Twitter more as I could probably stand to learn a lot from its 140-character limit. Please don’t be afraid to check/follow my Twitter feed and let me know how I’m doing.

Anticipating that at least a few of y’all may heed my Twitter call, I’ve just changed my profile picture. I never know what to do with my face in pictures (as evidenced here, here, and here). My apologies in advance.

13. Say it ain’t so, Marisa…

Geez, lady.

Have a great weekend,

-Nate

13 Thoughts Headed into the Weekend

1. “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds, and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.” -George Best

2. I learned this week that my house mate (the guy in the other half of the duplex) plays the saxophone. I also learned that he loves playing long, free-form solos. Finally, I learned what it would be like to live next to four out of every five adult contemporary songs released in the 80′s (or every Huey Lewis and The News song ever released ever).

3. Something else to add to the list of phrases that should be abolished forever (see link, #3): “Party foul.” I cannot adequately express how much I hate hearing this. And usually, when I DO hear it, I’m not even at a party. Can we just do away with this, please? Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

Reading over that post from November of last year (see above link), I see that last Friday’s blog included a second reference to my distaste for public breastfeeding. I’ll go ahead and put that subject to bed for now, at least until the next time some mother and her newborn ruin my meal/jog through the park/lap dance.

4. At a Memorial Day party (thanks again, Taylor!), my friend Ann convinced me to share with the group a story that I’d recently told her. Against my better judgement (for reasons not worth going into), I obliged, beginning with “Well, among my many sexual exploits…” Without missing a beat, Ian chimed in quickly with “That’s Nate’s ‘once upon a time.’” He couldn’t have been more wrong, but still, I found it very, very funny.

5. Reflecting on that party now, I realize that I am better at the following (in order) than I am at pretty much anything else in my life:

1. Corn hole
2. Ping pong
3. Parellel parking

What does this say about me, other than that I’m probably in the wrong business?

6. I only recently learned that one suffers NOT from hunger “pains,” but rather, hunger  ”pangs.” Well, don’t I feel like an idiot. I could argue, though, that the two could more or less be used interchangeably — like “intensive purposes” and its similar sounding, correct counterpart “intents and purposes”– but I never would.

7. Hank, in his new house, with his new haircut:

Hey, have you ever noticed how the bottoms of dogs’ paws smell like Fritos? Find the closest dog, pick up its foot, and smell the underside of its paw. Seriously, do it right now. Yep, what you’re smelling is corn chips. Tell me I’m wrong.

Also, I really do feel like he knows when I’m talking about him:

8. I just heard on the radio that today is the first day of “hurricane season.” I like to imagine that  somewhere, some redneck left his house first thing this morning with his rifle over his shoulder, ready to get out there and “kill him some ‘canes.”

9. Another frontrunner for NB.com Blog Comment of the Year 2012 (giving this one and this one a run for their money)

From “Sabrina,” in response to last week’s “Thoughts…”:

“I’m thinking that maybe…just maybe… you might very possibly… be the voice of your generation. Think about it. It’s a huge burden to bear but…well…I don’t know…I just want you to think about it…meditate really hard…that your wit and insight be discovered in some strategically random and seemingly implausible way.”

Sabrina, one major pitfall of the modern-day written word, especially as it pertains to texts, emails, blog commenting, etc., is that tone is oftentimes difficult to convey. In this case, however, I’ll assume that you’re NOT being sarcastic and that you truly see mine as “the voice of a generation.”

Also, I considered listing this as number two in today’s post, but at risk of you thinking it too self-aggrandizing I decided not to give it such high billing.

10: Some kid left this in the restaurant this week:

PLEASE tell me someone out there remembers these! Man, I swear I must have read every possible plot line of every book.

Wouldn’t it be great if the real world were like this, where the smallest, seemingly insignificant decision would directly influence the next chapter of your life? I guess some might argue that life is already like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book… I’d say it’s more like a coloring book or a Playboy with all the pictures ripped out.

10: Thanks to Lindsay and Spencer, who decided to get married on June 9, I will be unable to attend “Sid’s Slide” Bobblehead Night at Turner Field. Thanks a lot, guys.

Also, are y’all still wanting me to play some wedding music? That’s next weekend, right?

11. Don’t let any asshole coworkers and their friends borrow your truck to help them move. You might end up with garbage like this as a “thank you.”

Thanks, Dan, Mark, and Ryan! I hope you enjoyed your white wine and grapefruit vodka cocktails last night, you candy asses.

12.  I went to see “The Avengers” last night at 100 Oaks. I bought a medium Sprite, then realized just before the movie started that it didn’t have enough ice for my liking. So, I sprinted back to the concession counter and asked Al — the same “Al,” mind you, that had just served me 45 seconds earlier — if I might have a cup of ice to dump in my Sprite. He said “no problem,” then handed me a cup of ice that I swear to God was no bigger than a damn Dixie cup. I thought he was joking. I said “good one, Al, but might I have some more ice, please?” His reply? “Sorry man, that’s the biggest cup of ice I’m allowed to give you.”

What? Are you kidding me?

I’m not mad at “Al,” but rather the bullshit tightass rule that forbids him to give out more than five cubes to anyone making a special request for extra ice. Do you realize just how little five cubes aids the cooling down of a “medium” movie-theater soda, which like all movie-theatre soda sizes, are laughably and ridiculously huge?

See, these are the same people that give you that tiny plastic cup for water at any restaurant where you pour your own drink at the fountain. Why do they think that just because it’s free, that I want less of it? If anything, they should give you a BIGGER cup for water, ’cause that’s right, people love free shit (especially when it makes up 80 percent of their bodies).

13. Finally, I’ll leave you with this (you’d think after today’s post that I just got a new camera or something, sorry):

Can someone please explain to me what this means? I don’t get it. Maybe it’s obvious and I’ll feel like a jerk when you tell me (see #6), but I really would like to know. Also, it appears to be an Ohio plate, so it can’t mean much.

Have a great weekend,

-nb

11 Thoughts Headed into the Weekend

1. “The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” -Mark Twain

2. After not blogging for awhile (despite several promises to post daily), this is what my “things to blog about” pile has become.

I’m working on it, and I don’t need you to tell me it’s pitiful.

3. I’m in my new place now. It’s the front unit of a duplex up the street from The Basement/Grimey’s and just across the street from Reservoir Park, which is actually pretty nice.

And yes, the look on Hank’s face (see right window) is one of confusion, as he’s now in his seventh house in six years. Turns out I’m a worse father than I am an uncle (see #10).

Also, please don’t steal my grill. Thanks.

Very special thanks to Tommy and Laura for letting Hank and me crash in their guest room for the better part of the last two months. So gracious, so helpful, and SO hospitable. I’ll never forget your kindness.

4. It’s still early in our relationship, but I’m not sure how much I have in common with my neighbors other than this:

The beer-drinking, NOT the littering (you all know how I feel about litterers).

5. You ever had an exchange with some jerk that’s gone something like this?

You: I was just about to tell/ask you something, but I just forgot what it was.

Some Jerk: Couldn’t have been that important, then.

What I always want to say in response to this is “Oh, is that right? You’re telling me you’ve never forgotten anything ‘important,’ like your keys? Your wallet? Your fucking manners? I’ll tell you what, pal, when I remember what I was going to say I’ll just keep it to myself, ’cause you can go to hell, jerk.” But of course, I never do.

6. What’s up with these enormous Polo logos? I think they’re absolutely ridiculous.

She doesn’t, apparently (geez, lady). Photographic proof that I’m wrong.

Speaking of which, would a joke about having a “pornographic” memory be funny? I think so, but I’m probably wrong there, too.

7. I really don’t know how I feel about public breastfeeding. I get it, that a mother feeding her suckling child is beautiful and natural and all… I really do understand that. However, fucking and giving birth are beautiful and natural, too, but I sure as hell don’t want either happening at the next table over while I’m trying to finish my damn chicken salad sandwich, know what I mean?

8. I feel really good about my placement of swear words in #7.

9. It’s always bothered me when people wrap up a phone call with “Okay, I gotta let you go.” Listen pal, you’re not “allowing” me to go anywhere, and if anything, you’re the one going somewhere, not me, right? Right.

10. A funny conversation I heard yesterday between two female bar customers:

Female Bar Customer #1: It’s just not fair that he gets to, and I don’t. It’s such a double-edged sword and I don’t know if I can–

Female Bar Customer #2: Wait, don’t you mean “double standard”?

Female Bar Customer #1: Yes, that’s what I meant. Can I finish my story now, bitch?

11. If the Braves don’t win tonight after LOSING FOUR IN A ROW IN CINCINNATI (it’s not even the capital!), I’m gonna freak out. If we lose by way of a home run, I’m gonna really freak out.

Have a good weekend,

-nb

Five… Five Dollar… Five Dollar Hearing Aid

My Subway encounters have been well documented (see here, here, and here), but this particular exchange may be the best ever. And by “best” I mean worst. And by “worst” I mean unfathomable, bewildering, and excruciating.

EDITOR’S NOTE: After the second line, “Sweet but Seemingly Half-Deaf Sandwich Artist” will be abbreviated as “SBSHDSA” so as not to clutter the script.

Me: Good morning, ma’am. How are you?

Sweet but Seemingly Half-Deaf Sandwich Artist: (finishing up some prep work) Fine, and you?

Me: Doing great, thanks. Take your time, I’m ready when you are.

(a few seconds pass)

SBSHDSA: Are you ready, sir?

Me: Um, yes… may I please have a footlong turkey breast on 9-grain wheat, please?

SBSHDSA: Turkey breast, got it. (seconds pass) What kind of bread?

Me: (pointing) The 9-grain wheat, please, right here. Footlong, please.

SBSHDSA: Six-inch or footlong?

Me: Uh, footlong, please.

SBSHDSA: Footlong, got it. (seconds pass) Would you like cheese, sir?

Me: Yes ma’am, American cheese, please.

SBSHDSA: Provolone, got it.

Me: (chuckling to myself) Hey, you know what? I’ve changed my mind. American cheese instead, please.

SBSHDSA: American, got it. Would you like it toasted?

Me: No thank you.

(Sandwich goes into toaster anyway. I put my head down to conceal laughter, telling myself I absolutely MUST remember the details of this conversation. Seconds pass. Toaster dings.)

SBSHDSA: What would you like on it?

Me: Um, let’s start with lettuce and tomato.

SBSHDSA: Lettuce and tomato?

Me: Yes ma’am.

(seconds pass)

SBSHDSA: Will that be all?

Me: No ma’am, I’d like pickles and onions too, please.

SBSHDSA: Pickles and onions?

Me: Yes ma’am, that’s right.

(seconds pass)

SBSHDSA: Will that be all?

Me: No ma’am, some spicy mustard please.

SBSHDSA: Spicy mustard?

Me: Yes ma’am. And then salt, pepper, and parmesan, and that’ll do it.

(seconds pass)

SBSHDSA: Will that be all?

Me: Uh, no ma’am… salt, pepper, and parmesan please.

SBSHDSA: Salt and pepper?

Me: Yes ma’am… and parmesan too, please.

SBSHDSA: Parmesan?

Me: Yes, please, and that’ll do it.

(seconds pass)

SBSHDSA: Anything else on it?

Me: No ma’am, that’ll do it. Thanks, it looks great.

SBSHDSA: Would you like the chips-and-drink combo?

Me: (handing her my card) No ma’am. Just the sandwich, please, no combo.

SBSHDSA: Here’s your cup, and the chips and soda machine are to your right.

Me: (taking my receipt, happy at this point just to pay the extra two bucks and get the hell out of there) Thanks so much, ma’am. Have a great day.

SBSHDSA: You too, sir.

End scene, thank God.

-nb

Seven Thoughts I Thought During Tonight’s Vanderbilt Romperstomping of Tennessee

1. I don’t know what the official rule says, but referees are WAY too quick to call jumpball, in my opinion.

2. You can’t have ten people in the “kiss cam” frame and expect it to work.

3. The kid next to me smelled like stale piss, and I don’t think his dad was man enough to tell him.

4. It KILLS me when fans beg for a foul call bail-out when any idiot can see that the shooter was out of control, off-balance, and had no business taking that terrible shot in the first place.

5. If you show up with only eight minutes left in the game, you should have to forfeit the right to your seats.

6. The Vandy towel boys really need to step it up (check ‘em out HERE — yes, that’s me booing them at the end of the clip). I mean, come on, guys, there are hundreds of other young fans out there that would do ANYthing to have your job, and you’re out there half-assing it? Seriously, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

7. Frustrated Tennessee fans are terrible and hilarious.

-nb

 

An Early Frontrunner (and Probably Shoe-in) for Meal of the Year 2012

Last night Jess and I had the privilege of dining at Kayne Prime, MStreet Entertainment Group’s (Virago, Tavern, Whiskey Kitchen) self-proclaimed “crown jewel.”

I must say I cannot fathom having a better meal this year, or EVER, for that matter (unless I can ever find time to get back to Five & Ten in Athens, Ga.)

In one sitting, I consumed in it’s entirety:

  • 1 10 oz. Wagyu filet mignon
  • 1 6 oz. wood-fire lobster tail

…and tasted some, if not the entire plate of, the following appetizers:

  • house-made bacon (black peppercorn, maple cotton candy)
  • rock shrimp (tempura, Korean-chile mayonette, brown butter ponzu)
  • duck tostada (duck confit, whipped avocado, grape tomato salsa)
  • tuna (tartar, grilled rice, Japanese flavors)

…AND some, if not the entire plate of (again), the following sides:

  • cream corn brulee (roasted jalapeno)
  • creamed spinach (fried organic egg)
  • baby brussels sprouts (toasted garlic, lemon, really good olive oil)
  • pepperoni and mushrooms (griddled baby buttons, soppressata, butter, garlic, herbs)
  • potato gratin (mustard greens, gruyère)
  • risotto tater tots (vialone nano, brown butter bread crumbs)
  • macaroni gratinee (white cheddar, parmesan)

Over the course of this first-class meal, I imbibed on the following:

  • 1 maple wheat old fashioned (Bernheim Wheat Whiskey, maple syrup, cherries, orange, bitters)
  • 1 Four Roses small batch bourbon
  • 1 Courvoisier Napoleon Fine Champagne Cognac (which I just learned that after pouring, one should “allow the cognac to sit for one minute. This is known as La Minute Mystique and allows the air to slowly develop the subtle yet distinct notes of the cognac.” Outstanding.)

This meal was perfect, from top to bottom, entrees to sides, appetizers to cocktails. It was so good, in fact, that I’ll feel forever guilty knowing that millions of people more deserving than I will never get to enjoy a meal so fine.

Thank you, Mike and Taylor Monen, for treating Jess and me like royalty.

Sincerely,

-nb

Yes, the above descriptions are lifted straight from Kayne’s menu.

…not to be confused with

of course…

 

11 Thoughts Heading Into the Weekend (Saturday Version)

1. It should NOT be okay for people to blow their nose while at the dinner table.

2. There’s a Janet Jackson Nutrisystem commercial on right now, and I gotta say I just went from midnight to six. Janet made a man out of me back in the early 90′s (see “If,” “Any Time, Any Place,” or that Rolling Stone magazine that stayed under my bed for six glorious months), so seeing her now — like this, I mean — is just kinda sad.

Now I know how dad felt after seeing Linda Ronstadt in that video with Aaron Neville.

3. A funny conversation Jessica had with herself:

Jess: (looking out window) It sounds cold.

Me: (silent)

Jess: Unless that’s just the sound of the heat coming on…

Me: (silent)

Jess: It sounds warm.

4. I really get off on transferring leftovers to their appropriately sized tupperware counterparts. Not too big, not too small. Perfect.

5. Just because you didn’t get it doesn’t mean it wasn’t funny.

6. Can we please get rid of the following rhymes?

  • “maybe”/ “baby”
  • “fire”/ “desire”
  • “knees”/ “please” (usually preceded by “down on my” and “beggin’ you,” respectfully)

I mean, I’ve been guilty of some easy rhymes before, but these truly are the lyrical low-hanging fruit.

7. Sometimes I talk to myself in the mirror, and when I do, it tends to be derogatory. While washing my hands in the “executive bathroom” at work one day this week, I peered in close and said to myself “you’re a lazy mother fucker.” It was then that I realized I wasn’t alone, that someone was in the stall, definitely within earshot. It was THEN that I realized I should leave as quickly as possible.

8. I think Tim Tebow should endorse Tai Bo and/or TiVo. The potential for catchy jingles is just too great to be ignored.

9. Speaking of Tim Tebow, I’m around dozens of evangelical Christians every day… so why is no one trying to save me? Am I a lost cause?

10. Speaking of my old Overton high school soccer teammates, I was approached this week at work to donate some gift certificates as silent auction items for an upcoming Father Ryan High School fundraiser. I agreed, but it went against everything I thought I stood for.

11. Regardless of how you feel about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or the concept of family for that matter, you’d have to agree that “Family… it’s about time” is a pretty damn good tag line, right?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend,

-nb