Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last post of 2009...

Another year in the books in just a few more hours. Hard to believe it's almost 2010! I remember, as a kid, thinking we would have flying cars and all our meals would be in liquid form by now. I thought we would all have our own personal transportation device that would bring us from point A to point B in a split second. I pictured a much more futuristic, science fiction like world. Boy was I wrong! Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining at all, I like driving my Jetta through the snow and having to spend 30 plus minutes preparing a meal, oh, and that 35 minute commute each way too! Oh well...

With the new year brings those lovely resolutions. You know what I'm talking about, that thing you say you are going to do, and you never end up doing it, then the next year you swear you will do it this time, and you don't again. Yeah, new years resolutions are fun! Well, this year, I'm sticking to mine, come hell or high water! There are a handful of things I want to see happen in my life, and I'm going to see to it that they do, in fact, happen.

1. Get my lazy, lethargic, damn near whale like ass to the gym. I am going to frequent the Pineland YMCA so much they are going to give me my own locker and gym towel with my name embroidered on it. Having not played much soccer lately, oh, and having eaten my weight in Christmas treats over the past couple of weeks, I am in desperate need of some physical activity. I can't wait to get rid of this damn beer belly and see if I can actually possess those elusive six pack abs.

2. Get some projects done around the house. There are a handful of things that I want/need to get done around the homestead. We have enjoyed ourselves a good amount over the past couple of summers, and projects have been pushed aside. Well, I'm officially ready to get to work. There is talk of a mini Marcole in the not too distant future, so I would like to get a few things done in anticipation of that.

3. Move forward on a few business ventures we have been discussing internally at the ranch. We have a few ideas we have been toying with, and I would like to see us further pursue them, and maybe even see them come to fruition over the coming year. One of which is making more beer!

4. Get more involved in our local politics and town happenings. I love our little town of New Gloucester, and I would like nothing more than to become a bigger part of the community, whether it be as a town representative or something simple like being a part of the sports and recreation committee through the town.

I feel that all of my resolutions will make me a better man, father, husband and will move me closer to accomplishing some of my personal goals. 2010 is no longer the future, it's the here and now, and I will do what I can to make the most of it, even if we don't have flying cars! What about all of you? Any major changes you are contemplating taking on? Whatever you are planning, I wish you nothing but luck! Here's wishing you all a safe and Happy New Year! Thanks again for reading, reacting and responding, I freaking love doing this! I'm just saying...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What to do... What to do...

With New Years Eve coming at us tomorrow night, Nichole and I have been trying to determine what it is we are going to do this year. There are so many options out there, with many places doing something different in the surrounding areas. The following is a list of some of our thoughts, but what will we decide upon?

The Awesome at The Asylum - Our favorite 80's cover band will surely be rocking, one might even say "kicking it old school", at The Asylum tomorrow night, and there isn't any better way to usher in 2010 then with songs over 20 years old, right?!

NYE in NYC - What better way to usher in the new year than with about a million of our closest friends in the freezing cold to see a ball drop! I love going to Times Square, don't get me wrong, but I can rig a ball to drop in my living room at midnight where I could host 15 of my actual friends and we wouldn't have to poop in a freezing port-a-potty while freezing our tits off! Just a thought...

Clash of the Titans at Empire Dine and Dance - It's the 80's vs the 90's in a battle royale on music supremacy. George Michael, Michael Jackson, Michael Bolton and Stone Temple Pilots. Don't need nothing but a good time, and it don't get better than that, well, except for the whole Michael Bolton part I guess...

PT's Showplace (formerly Platinum Plus) - Couples night at the local titty bar. Is there a better way to enjoy the last night of 2009 then with your lady friend and some dancing strippers? I think not. Head on in, drop a couple benjamins, hit up the champagne room and get a few lap dances. Now your 2009 is complete!

Dave Rowe, and others, playing at Bull Feeney's - We always enjoy Dave Rowe and his humorous sets when we check him out at Bull Feeney's. Now add that to a bar crammed full of 21 year olds home from college, drinking to the point of alcohol poisoning with noise makers and elevated levels of both testosterone and randiness, and you have a recipe fit to make Mark cut himself! Been there as both a patron and an employee, and let me tell you something (picture that said in full on Fire Marshall Bill voice), it ain't worth it. Love ya Dave, have fun, see you a different night!

Dinner at Gritty's in Auburn then home for sweatpants and couch time - Lame, yet rather exciting at the same time. Doesn't cost much cash, you don't wake up hungover, and you can wear elastic waistband pants all night! Plus, there is that whole waking up in your own bed next to your lover lover, as opposed to waking up on a friends floor, most likely under the dining room table, in the fetal position, right next to a random, just like last year. Do you really want to start the new year out next to another random you just slept with, trying to chew off your right arm so you can climb out from under the table and do the walk of shame back to your car?!

So, as you can see, we have a variety of options in front of us, all of which offer a good time, or at least a good story the next day. What is everyone else doing? I know what we are really doing, and despite Nichole's best efforts, it isn't a trip to the strip club... I'm just saying...

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's that time of year again, overeating time!

We always welcome lots of things this time of year. Family coming to visit, fluffy white snow and cold temperatures are a common thing around the holidays. The other thing we always find ourselves getting way into is indulging in sweets, treats and lots of good eats. We are out shopping, grabbing a quick bite on the go, or hitting up the holiday parties and checking out the snack spread. I thought I might share today a few of my favorite holiday treats, or some random snacks I'm digging recently, all of which you should definitely give a try...

Peanut Butter Balls - I have made these little balls of goodness for about 15 years now. Growing up, my mother would make them annually around the holidays, and I would pretty much hide the container in my room and eat them all. Once I got into high school she handed that torch down to me, and I started making them going forward at that point. They are awesome. Dude, chocolate and peanut butter, is there a better combination?

Chocolate Covered Bacon - OK, so maybe there is a better combination. I know what you may be thinking here, that sounds gross. Let me tell you something, you are mighty wrong! Tried my first strip of awesome, I mean bacon covered in chocolate, last week at Black Tie Bistro, a local eatery I frequent in Portland. The woman behind the counter could see a bit of the excitement in my face when I realized what it was I was looking at. I had one bite and now I am hooked! I'll be making some this evening if anyone wants to try some!

Lil' Smokies - These tiny hot dog like things are one of my absolute favorites, and my grandmother has prepared them for Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember. For some reason, I never think of making them any other time of the year, but I might have to start. Simple and tasty, what more can you ask for.

My mother's homemade cinnamon rolls - Holy crapstick these are good! She makes them a couple of times a year usually, but always around the holidays. These aren't the gooey, icing covered ones. These are the old school kind that are covered in cinnamon and sugar, and are so damn good it isn't even right. Can't wait to have some later this week!

Eggnog - In my opinion, nasty. Nichole would beg to differ though. This is a favorite of hers. I'm not sure why I have never liked it. Could be the heavy feeling when it sits in my stomach. Could be that I once drank some spoiled eggnog and threw up for two straight days. It could even be that I once drank it with a bunch of whiskey in it, didn't know that, and threw up for two straight days. I'm just not sure.

Tequila shots - What you ask?! Stevens family tradition is to celebrate holidays, birthday and togetherness with tequila shots. Not sure how this started, but we haven't missed a gathering in years. Sometimes it's only one shot, other times, depending on the crowd, it's more, possibly many more. For those in the family that refuse the tequila, I will have some of my homemade Kahlua on hand. Nothing screams family tradition like licking salt of your hand and the clanging of shot glasses!

What do you think of for treats around this time of year? Do you have traditional family foods you look forward to? Oh, and if anyone wants to hit the gym with me after all this imbibing, I'll be at the YMCA in New Gloucester starting January 1 until my body gets rid of the dickydo! I'm just saying...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Top newsworthy stories of 2009...

Another year filled with interesting news stories is coming to an end. We saw some history unfold before our eyes, and there was also a buttload of bad news along the way. Here is my rundown on some of the top newsworthy stories of the past year, both local and national, and in no particular order...

10. New York Yankees win World Series - Not good news to me, but it was certainly the best team money could buy. Congrats NY on buying, I mean winning, your latest championship. Now if you could just sell those ridiculously high priced seats behind home plate. Then again, you need to pay for that team somehow, so I guess selling individual game tickets for $2000 or more makes perfect sense...

9. Bonny Eagle senior is denied his diploma during graduation - The principal at Bonny Eagle High School took her power a little too far when senior Justin Denney bowed and blew a kiss to his mother and flat out denied him his diploma, citing an agreement the senior class signed before graduation. She claims he was making a scene, I claim she was off her rocker. I would love to see her tarred and feathered in Monument Square during a busy Farmer's Market, sounds like justice to me!

8. Cash for Clunkers - The government decided to offer cash to people with "clunkers", or older, gas guzzling cars in an effort to ramp up new vehicle sales and help get companies like Ford and Chevy back on their feet. Well, it definitely helped Toyota sell the Prius, and it got a lot shitty cars off the road. Unfortunately for us, another program that didn't help us in any way, thus is life.

7. Airplane lands in the Hudson River - At takeoff the plane hit at least one bird, if not more, causing the plane to drop out of the sky and forced pilot Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger to save the full roster of 155 people on board. Sully instantly became a here, and rightfully so. He did a miraculous job landing an airplane in a river and ushered out the entire crew and all the passengers. I don't care who you are, that's pretty damned impressive!

6. Michael Jackson passes away - At first we were all wondering if it was some sort of odd publicity stunt. I mean, it is Wacko Jacko we are talking about here. He was famous for doing things nobody could understand. Then, when it was confirmed, I remember actually being sad. I have always been a huge fan of his music. The guy was an absolute talent behind the microphone, but a freaking whack job away from music. RIP Michael. We will keep the Thriller dance going in your absence!

5. Mainers vote against allowing same sex marriage - In a close vote, Mainers voted against a referendum that would have allowed same sex marriages in the state. Don't really want to go down this path again, as anyone that follows my blog knows how I feel about this. Still dumbfounded that this got overturned. Come on people...

4. H1N1 flu scares the poop out of everyone - Maybe not literally, but this has been, and continues to be a big scare. Its reach has been pretty spread out, including all over the state of Maine. At one point, my daughter's school had about 12% of the entire student population out sick. The spread seems to have slowed some recently.

3. Tiger Woods and his wandering penis - This story has more twists and turns then a roller coaster at Six Flags. The latest news is that Elin is filing for divorce and moving to Sweden. There is also word that there may be videos and pictures to go along with the text messages and voice mails. Oh Tiger, what the hell were you thinking?! You are the most high profile athlete in the entire world, did you not realize that dipping your manhood in every tramp across the globe would catch up with you?! And lets be honest, Elin beat him with a golf club. We all know it, and you know what, I can't say as though I blame her.

2. Recession, job losses and home foreclosures - It's been a pretty sucktastic year financially for the great US and A. Stock market plunged, housing industry fell into the crapper, jobs were lost at an alarming rate, vehicle sales dropped like a lead balloon and we all know somebody, possible even ourselves, that were affected by it. The unemployment rate is slowly decreasing, jobs are starting to open up, and the stock market has seen recent, albeit small, gains. Let's hope we are working our way out as they say we are.

1. Obama sworn in as first African American president of United States - Like him or not, heck, agree with him or not, this is still the top story of the year. Sadly, I wasn't sure our country was ready to accept an African American president. There is still a lot of racial tension in this country, for whatever reason, and I thought it would hurt Obama's chances. I was wrong, and I am proud to have been a part of such a historical moment in our great country's history. Now, don't jump ship now, he is just one year into trying to help one of the world's super powers get back in order, and that can't happen overnight. Black, white, old, young, Democrat or Republican, let us all work together to make our country a better place.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Your mom is so fat...

OK, another list. Not like the past couple, but a very important year end list. The past couple I put together were meant to be funny, showing a bit of my humorous side. Now, to get a little more serious...

10. Your mom is so fat, when she goes to the zoo, the elephants throw her peanuts

9. Your mom is so fat, when she ran away a few years back, they had to use all four sides of the milk carton

8. Your mom is so fat, her belly button doesn't have lint, it has full sweaters

7. Your mom is so fat, when the doctor diagnosed her with a flesh eating disease, she was told she had 13 years left to live

6. Your mom is so fat, she could sell shade in the summer

5. Your mom is so fat, she was born with a silver shovel in her hand

4. Your mom is so fat, when she walks in high heels she strikes oil

3. Your mom is so fat, when I climbed on top of her my ears popped

2. Your mom is so fat, when she fell over, she rocked herself to sleep trying to get back up

1. Your mom is so fat, she eats Wheat Thicks

Man I love these jokes, they never get old! What will tomorrow bring us for a list? Stay tuned... I'm just saying...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Another day, another top 10 list... Top 10 Scandals of the last 10 years...

Ah, scandals. Everyone loves them. Think about it, we are glued to the television, radio or Internet whenever something negative happens to somebody, especially celebrities. It's like some sort of validation that they are human, just like us. It's that whole "car accident effect", where you want to look away, but you just can't get enough of it. Anyone care to take a trip down celebrity scandal lane with me?

10. Martha Stewart goes to jail - Everyones favorite home maker got herself all caught up in some insider trading, as she dumped some stocks just before they crashed. Coincidence? I think so, and here is why. Martha Stewart could kick my ass, so if she were to ever read this, I don't want to give her a reason to dislike me!

9. Michael Phelps Pot Smoking Video - The United States swimmer extraordinaire got himself all stoned at a party, ripping bong hits with some randoms, only to have someone snap some pics of him in the act. Maybe next time he should be a little more careful, like, just smoke a joint, less obvious?!

8. AIG's post bailout spa retreat - Just plain dumb. What more can be said. We are a sinking financial institution, oh, thanks for the money, now let's get some company paid retreat time in, we have earned it! Good call morons.

7. Spygate - The Patriots were accused of video taping their opponents practice, which was said to give them an unfair advantage over the opposition. First of all, everyone is/was doing it. Second of all, it's not like they didn't know everything from watching film from previous games anyways. This was a huge deal because former Patriots coach Mangina (who was coaching the Jets at the time) was trying to get back at his former boss, and his team was horrible, so this was all he had.

6. Michael Richards, "The Racist" - Turns out our beloved Kramer is a touch racist. Not exactly his best stand up attempt, and he pretty much killed what little possibility he ever had of getting back into show business that night. At least Seinfeld was a good run for him.

5. Don Imus - "Nappy Headed Hos" - Speaking of racists, here comes dunderhead Don Imus. On his radio show, which, let's be honest, nobody listens to, he was talking about the Rutgers women's basketball team and referred to them as "nappy headed hos". The old man was never funny, and apparently not very smart either. In a world of hyper sensitivity towards everything race related, why would he do something so stupid. Apparently his cowboy hat is a bit too tight.

4. Michael Jackson's death - I'll never forget where I was when I heard about this. I was sipping a Red Stripe on the deck at the Port Hole. Still can't believe he passed away. His death isn't so much a scandal, but the manner in which he died may just be. His personal doctor is in the middle of everything, and there is a laundry list of prescription drugs involved. He may have been a mess, but I still love his music.

3. Michael Vick has no love for his dogs - Mr. Vick got himself all caught up in a dog fighting circle, contributing cash and dogs to the outfit. The fallout was pretty bad for him, spending time in jail, getting cut from the Atlanta Falcons, even trying to file for bankruptcy. As a dog owner, and someone with a brain in my head, I realize how bad an idea this sort of thing is. Guess this is what happens when you take a thug, with a rough bunch of buddies, and give him millions.

2. Wardrobe Malfunction - Nipplegate. TV Tit shot. Another Jackson, another big story. Did Justin Timberlake rip Janet Jackson's shirt on purpose, or did her booby just pop out of her top? Either way, millions saw Jackson's titty on national television, during halftime of the Super Bowl. Oops, tit, mistake...

1. Tiger Woods and the 12 mistresses - Who knew Tiger Woods was a dirty little freak. He has lady friends all over the place apparently. He will get down to business anywhere too, like the back of a car in a church parking lot. He has pretty low standards too, with a couple of ladies being strippers (sorry to all my stripper friends out there). Oh, and by the way, his wife is drop dead gorgeous! I'm sorry Tiger, but you done screwed up, big time!

There are lots of others I could have included on the list, but these are my favorites. Agree? Disagree? Let me know. Oh, and I want to thank all of the above people for making me look like an angel in comparison! I'm just saying...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Everyone else is doing it, why can't I?!

The end of a year typically finds us reading lots of top 10 lists. Music, sports, news stories, influential people. They are all over the place this time of year. Add to that the end of the "double 0's", my name for the last decade, and you can't visit a website without some sort of list. Well, here is the first of several I will put together. I'll try to touch on a variety of subjects over the next week or so, try to tickle everyone's fancy, so to speak, covering both the past year, as well as the last 10 years.

Top 10 Most Annoying People of 2009

10. Richard Heene - That balloon making douchebag that did his best to trick us all into believing his son was inside it, when he was really hiding in the garage. Publicity stunt making dumbass. Jail time and fines in his future...

9. Brett Favre - New quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. Having a damn good season, but for Christ's sake Favre, make a decision and stick with it, this flip flopping every year is played out already.

8. Tim McCarver and Joe Buck (tie) - This duo would climb into bed with pretty much every New York Yankee if given the chance. Don't even get me started on how annoying their collective man crush on Derek Jeter is. I'd rather listen to "I Believe" by Cher on repeat than listen to another Yankee game broadcast by these two fools on Fox.

7. Republican Congressman Joe Wilson - This dimwit shouts out "LIAR" during a presidential address to Congress. Democrat, Republican, man or woman, that shit ain't right. I don't care if you whole heartedly disagree with what the president is saying to you, have some god damned respect for the commander in chief. I would have bitch slapped that jackass pretty darn quick!

6. The Geico cavemen - We get it, you don't like be likened to a caveman. Well, here's a thought, shave your damn face Captain Caveman! Get rid of the unibrow and chop through that beard. Besides, we aren't mocking you, everyone loves primitive dudes that spear their dinner with sharp sticks and cooks on an open flame. It's cool, trust me...

5. Sarah Palin / Levi Johnston - Levi is trying to make a buck off Palin's VP run. Palin is trying to make money off her VP run. Nobody wants to see Levi naked. Not sure why Playgirl thought that was a good idea. Nobody wants to read Palin's book. I'm not even sure she can read her book. And she is charging to get your picture taken with her during her book tour. What a train wreck that whole thing is.

4. Miley Cyrus - My daughter loves you. She told me the other day that if she could cook dinner for one famous person in the world it would be you. You are cute, talented and making cash hand over fist (unlike your daddy). My problem is this, I don't want "Party in the USA" in my freaking head anymore!

3. Jon and Kate Gosselin - The world was a much better place before TLC put you two idiots on television. You ruined your marriage. You may have screwed your kids up for life. And for what, and why?! You aren't funny. You aren't pretty. You aren't even cool. Thank you TLC for finally pulling this crap off the air!

2. Glenn Beck - GO AWAY! The Fox News wingnut needs to be put on timeout. You want to sell books. Cool. Now go hide somewhere. We will come find you when we care about you again...

1. Kanye West - Two words... Whack Job. Even before he took center stage away from Taylor Swift he would have been number one. That just cemented his place as King Douchebag for years to come. I wish we could send you, Glenn Beck and the Gosselins to the Island of Misfit Toys and rename it to the Island of Unwanted Numb Nuts. Santa, can you hook me up? I'm just saying...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Recent random happenings...

Anyone hear about this Tiger Woods guy? Rumor has it he is regretful for a few "transgressions" that have surfaced recently. The thing is, more and more stories are coming out every day, everyone from porn stars to Waffle House waitresses. I think we are looking at more than a few transgressions at this point! Turns out he isn't the quiet, stay at home guy we all thought he was. It also turns out that I'm one of the few people he hasn't slept with at this point.

Got our first "major" snowstorm yesterday. Mother Nature dropped a pretty, white turd on us. At home we got about 6 inches, while closer to the coast they got mostly rain. It was a fun commute home, and even more fun shoveling heavy, wet snow last night in the dark. I would like to thank the plow guy that cleaned out our driveway while I was sleeping. You saved me a decent amount of outside time this evening!

Tom Brady and his supermodel wifey Gisele Bundchen had a baby boy recently. Turns out they don't have a name for the little dude yet. I'm not sure how you don't have names already picked out, even if you are unsure of the babies sex, but what do I know. Nichole's name for him was Togi. I'm thinking something more like Maximilliano. It's distinct and sounds really important, plus it's kinda strange, which is kind of right on par with other celebrity baby names (think Apple, Pilot Inspektor or Kyd, look them up, I'm serious).

Blue Christmas lights really freak me out. I know I recently mentioned that, but I had a couple of nightmares last night about them. Can someone explain the blue to me?

It's Hot Stove time for baseball, with the Winter Meetings in full swing. The Yankees have already made some good moves, trading for Curtis Granderson and resigning Andy Pettitte. The Red Sox, on the other hand, have been kind of quiet. Sounds like they are looking to trade Mike Lowell to Texas for a prospect. That is sad, based on the fact that Mike Lowell has been great, but the business side of baseball tells me that he has been slowed down by injuries, so getting something for him at this point is a good move. Sox also just signed Boof Bonser to add some pitching depth. Not a significant move, but it will be fun saying Boof all season. Now lets see the Red Sox make some serious moves to make this team better. Spend money or trade prospects, please Theo!!

The Patriots are in trouble. I may be in full panic mode regarding their play lately. They are going in the wrong direction, now only one game up on the Dolphins and Jets. Am I alone here? Is something wrong in Hoodieville? Has Belichick lost a little of his luster? Time for Tom, Randy and company to get things in order and carry this team!

Nichole and I are putting together applications and a video for the CBS show "The Amazing Race". For those of you who haven't seen it, it is reality show that sets up about a dozen duos to race around the world, with the last duo reaching each pit stop being eliminated. What better way to see the world then on someone else's dime! Fingers crossed we make the cut!

So much going on lately, including auditors at the office. Busy week, and weekends are pretty much booked already through the new year. Gearing up for our 5 or so holiday parties over the next couple of weeks. Working hard to keep the yard cleaned up after all this damn snow. No such thing as down time for us, but if we did have some, we wouldn't know what to do with it! I'm just saying...

Friday, December 4, 2009

A little more of this, a whole lot less of that...

We are balls deep in the middle of the holiday season. With Thanksgiving in our rear view mirror, we are full speed ahead for Christmas and Hanukkah. With the holidays also comes decorating. There are so many different decorations out there, some stores solely dedicated to decorating for the holiday season. It's almost overwhelming actually. Speaking of overwhelming, there are some things that people do to decorate that are a little over the top. In my opinion, some people need to tone it down a bit. The following is a list of decorations that you will never see at our house. Please note, I don't care what you do for decorations, you do whatever you want, just don't expect to see these things littering our home or front lawn...

Inflatable anything. I realize they are the new craze. I also understand that my daughter thinks they are cool. But there is absolutely not a snowballs chance in hell I will ever have some inflatable snowman or that one where Santa is going up and down in the chimney. Not gonna happen. Our electricity bill goes up enough from adding some lights, I don't need to take out a second mortgage so that Frosty can hang out on my front lawn waving to the three cars that pass by.

Four different nativity scenes. I'm pretty sure one would do, two is unnecessary, and four, that's just down right uncalled for. We get it. I'm not opposed to displaying the actual meaning behind Christmas, but I don't need an army of tiny people and camels hanging out front, staring at the road.

Blue icicle lights. I'm fine with icicle lights. I mean, I don't think they look like icicles, but I'm fine with them. But the blue ones don't really remind me of Christmas, and to be honest, they kind of creep me out a little bit. Give me white, or even a variety of colors strung together. Just don't give me straight up dark blue. Shiver...

A yard FULL of stuff, no matter what it is. We get it, you like Christmas. We can also see that you are all for supporting Wal-Mart. We also realize you are using as much electricity as a small town to light all that crap. Answer me this, why do you spend an entire Saturday in November putting all that crap out there and then leave it until the snow melts? I just don't understand.

White Christmas trees. Yikes! Just wrong. Do your fake tree, that's cool, but at least make it look like a tree. If you can find me an albino pine tree in the woods, then maybe you can change my thoughts. Until then, trees are green.

Again, I love the holiday season. I enjoy the lights and the decorations. Somethings just aren't really my taste, therefore they will never see the light of day at 9 Miecaskyl Drive. There are other things I could poke fun at, like the way the town of Mars Hill, up in The County, leaves up strings of colored lights over their Main Street year round. Individuals doing that is one thing, but a town doing that seems odd to me. Whatever your taste is, however you decide to decorate this holiday season, do it and do it well. Just don't expect to see the above items at our house. I'm just saying...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Is that a thousand barefoot children outside, dancing on my lawn?

Phish. Not to be confused with fish, like the slimy little creatures you catch in lakes, rivers and the ocean. No, Phish is a jam band from Vermont that have been attracting a large following for the better part of 20 years. I have been a big fans of them since the mid nineties, shortly before they made a few trips to Northern Maine for the Great Went and Lemonwheel in Limestone. I love the no-nonsense approach to some of the lyrics, the melodic jams and the extreme devotion by "the glide" (one of many terms for a follower of the band).

I remember being really excited to have them come to The County back in 1997 for the Great Went. My buddies Matt and Dustin and I packed up Matt's little Honda Civic and we partied and danced for 3 straight days. It was an experience unlike anything I have ever been a part of. I remember the sheer joy of hearing the news that they were coming back in 1998 to play Lemonwheel. Again, I was one of the 60,000 or so fans in attendance. 2003 saw Phish come to Limestone one last time for the "It" festival. No longer living in The County, and having a little one at home, I packed the VW up and drove up alone for one last weekend of late night disco, grilled cheese sandwiches and patchouli.

Outdoor festivals are an amazing experience, and one I could never begin to explain to someone who has never been. The party never stops. I remember dancing at all night disco tents with a backpack full of beer. I remember the sea of tents lining the outside of the runway on the former Air Force Base. I remember overflowing port-a-potties and the massive amounts of stuff people left behind when leaving town. Pictures and words can't describe the craziness that surrounds one of these festivals.

Sunday night marked the second time I saw Phish at an indoor venue, having seen them ten years ago, also at the Cumberland County Civic Center. I remember it being chaotic at and around the Civic Center, but it all came rushing back to me as we got closer to the venue Sunday night. There are people all over, selling grilled cheese sandwiches, burritos, bottled water, beer, stickers, shirts and any drug you would ever need or want. The police presence is all around, but these people have been doing this for a while, and most know how to be discreet. That being said, there were also 43 arrests this time around, some of which took place on the highway in and out of town. As usual, we had ourselves a good time without the assistance of the mind altering stuff that was being peddled that night, but if you want it, no matter what it is, you could find it.

We had seats right behind the open stage, and were able to be within 10 feet of the band as they entered and exited the stage, which was a really cool experience. We obviously couldn't see all the facial expressions and movements made by the band, but everyone was up and dancing around us, and we had an absolute blast. The band appears to be back from a brief hiatus, and they are on top of their game. If you know one song or a hundred, I absolutely recommend getting to a show. It is something you HAVE to experience to understand, and I promise you, it is so worth it. Whether you are a music fan or just a people watcher, you will go home happy, especially if you eat the brownies. I'm just saying...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wow... Yup, that's all I've got for ya...

Last week was an interesting week. Interesting, I think that word works. Let's see, we left Thursday morning for Thanksgiving in the woods of central Maine with family. We had a great time. Food was great, company was excellent, and we even got a little entertainment from the lady with the wandering eye and her little dog "Underbite". Friday found us doing a little shopping (why again did I want to do that?!) and Thanksgiving dinner number two with friends in Old Town. Had a great evening, but probably could have done without the Jager shots. Woke up feeling good on Saturday and spent some time with the Mitchell crew for brother in law Mike's birthday before heading down to Waterville to hit the town with the McCullough crew. Late night Rock Band and Tequila shots (just to help me sleep, I swear) followed by a "good nights rest" in a recliner capped the night off. Sunday afternoon found us back on the highway heading to the homestead to ready the house for company before the Phish concert that evening and to check if we took on any water while we were gone (WE DIDN'T, WOOHOO!)

This is where things start to go from happy and fun to a whole new place. See, we put the cats in the basement while we were gone. We have had a little issue with a cat pissing in random places in the house and thought this would help alleviate the problem. Well, we open the cellar door and Tamazi climbs over the baby gate we had set up at the bottom of the stairs and comes rushing up past us, heads for the bathroom and urinates blood in the shower. What?! I head downstairs to survey the damage and there is bloody piss all over. Now, that was not me using an English accent, it was really piss, filled with blood, and it was all over. Under the piano, behind the bar, on my bookshelf with pint glasses on it. All over. What the crap?! We load him up in the cat carrier and rush him over to the Emergency Vet in Lewiston and introduce him to the doctor.

Now, for those of you that know Tamazi, he has never been the friendliest of cats. He had tried, on many occasions, to tear you apart (especially Adam M and Chris L, but I'm pretty sure they LOVED to get him going). Well, he has never liked the vet either, and he showed the vet what he thought of him. After several attempts to check his vitals, all of which were unsuccessful, the vet decides to employ a tactic called "The Burrito". This is where they drop a towel over the cat and attempt to wrap them up quickly so as to do what you need to do without losing a limb. This may work on most cats, but Tamazi don't play that. He flipped around, tore into the doctor's hand, pissed blood all over the table and ripped a poster off the wall, all in one quick motion! It was a little horrifying, but Nichole and I couldn't help but laugh a little for some reason. The doctor, with about two dozen puncture wounds didn't find it nearly as funny as we did, but took it in stride.

Now, Tamazi has had a Urinary Tract Infection in the recent past, and clearly wasn't doing any better. We have changed his diet, given him meds, and have even put him on kitty prozac to try to help with some of his issues. At this point, there isn't much they can do but try the whole process over and hope that it works. We are torn, we don't know what to do. Clearly he isn't doing well. Do we open the door and tell him to run and wish him luck? Do we attempt to do a little procedure and change his diet again and administer meds in hopes that it helps better this time? The last option, and the one we didn't want to do, but felt it was the best choice considering the situation, was to put him down and remember all the loving moments we had with him (I'll share a few to close out). This wasn't an easy decision, and we are still struggling with it, but he was clearly suffering, and with the costs associated with procedures, meds, replacing carpets and cleaning products, we just didn't know how much longer we could carry on that way. We gave him a good life, better than most I think, considering his hatred to most people.

Some of my fondest memories of the "Black Devil" are having him chase me from across the room every time I climbed into the shower as he tried to slash my Achilles tendon. I would toss a shirt or my underwear over him to distract him and he would shake out and come at me. Not sure what this was all about, but he kept me on my toes, that's for sure. Another memory I have is the time I tried to scare him by quickly poking him just above the tail with my hand and he turned, bit and scratched my hand so quickly I couldn't even move away before he ripped my hand apart and left it all bloody! Thought twice before I ever did that again. These sorts of stories are what most people will remember him by, but despite his craziness and hatred of company at the house, he was a great cat when he wanted to be, and we will miss the little devil. I'm just saying...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I want to give thanks for all the giving and thanks that I have been given and thanks for giving me the chance to give thanks back...

Thanksgiving is a great holiday. I mean, three football games on the television, more food than you would need for an entire week is sitting in front of you, spending time with family and friends, drinking beer and wine starting at noon time and a long weekend. How can you beat that? That's right, you can't. With all that in mind, I want to take time to pay homage to everything that I am thankful for.

1. I'm thankful for being employed. 2009 started out rather crappily on the job front, but it has turned out to be a great year for me in the working world. I'm doing what I love, and loving what I do. I'm also working on a couple of ideas to make 2010 even better!

2. I'm thankful for my wonderful wife and daughter. These two ladies are the reason I wake up with a smile on my face every day. I won the lottery with them, and can't tell you how lucky I am to be husband and father to them.

3. I'm thankful for my incredible parents, as well as my awesome in-laws. They are a great support system for me, always willing to give me a helping hand, whether it's over the phone or in person. They mean more to me than they will ever know.

4. I'm thankful for my wonderful sister and new brother in law down in Atlanta. I miss the hell out of them every day, and am super excited to see them very soon! I'm also thankful for my other brother in law and his new bride. We don't see you guys nearly often enough, but it's always great to get together.

5. I'm thankful for my grandparents up in The County. I know I don't get up to see you often (ever, I suck), but I cherish our visits when you come down. It's great to catch up on County gossip and look forward to seeing you again very soon.

6. I'm thankful for our wild and crazy dog. He may have way more energy than I wish sometimes, and I may be slightly allergic to him, but his excitement every time he sees us is priceless.

7. I'm thankful to have such amazing friends. Nichole and I are so lucky to have such a wonderful group of friends. Whether you are high school friends, college buddies, sports friends or friends through past and present jobs, we are so lucky to call you all friends. I've lost a couple of good friends over the years, but you will never be forgotten.

8. I'm thankful to be healthy. I love playing sports, doesn't matter what sport it is, I just want to be out there competing. I'm so lucky to be able to get out there and run around every week.

9. I'm thankful for 80's music. You have been the soundtrack to my life thus far, and you continue to make me smile. You may be ridiculous, you may even be kinda bad, but I still love ya!

10. I'm thankful for cheese sauce at the Great Lost Bear. You may be clogging my arteries with every french fry I eat, but damn you taste good! I also want to give bacon a shout out, you go so good with everything. You little rascal!

11. I'm thankful for beer. It's good. I mean really good. I might go get some shortly, and personally thank it for being so good.

12. I'm thankful for my iPhone. Seriously, you are amazing. You entertain me, you wake me up in the morning, you inform me when my fantasy teams score points. You even play my favorite songs for me. I hope we are together forever.

13. I'm thankful for Facebook. I'm able to stay up to date on all my friends and family, and they are able to see ridiculous pictures of me and hear about the mayhem and silly things we do.

14. I'm thankful for coffee and sugar free Red Bull. You have single handedly helped me through some long days after late nights in the home office. Sometimes burning the candle from both ends can be tiring, but you are always there to help me through. Keep up the good work so I can do the same!

15. I'm thankful for everyone that reads this. I love putting thoughts down, and you have given me an audience. I often ramble or rant, or talk about something you don't care about, but you keep reading, and I freaking love it. I am hoping to someday write for some sort of publication, but until then, thanks for all your support and comments. As long as I know you are reading I'll keep writing!

So, as you can see, I have much to be thankful for this holiday season. As I get ready to begin my long weekend, I ask that you all put you differences aside, be them family, friends, politics or sports, and be thankful for all the good in your life. Unless you like the Yankees, screw them! I'm just saying...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I can see clearly now, the pain is gone...

I'm blind, like really blind. I couldn't read what I am writing right now if I didn't have my contact lenses in. That being said, if I wear my contacts for too long, things start to break down and they become more of a pain than anything else. During my last visit to the eye doctor, about 2 years ago, I was ridiculed by my doctor for wearing my contacts too long. He prescribed me a new type of contact and asked that I start using a new type of solution, which should combine to help keep my eyes from drying out so quickly. See, not only am I blind, but I am also allergic to my own damn dog! Not just my dog, but long hair dogs in general. So not only does our poor dog give me a touch of what I have coined the "Yawkey Eye", but so do my sister's dog Charlie and my in-laws dog Brody. It's not that big of a deal, I just get a really dry, scratchy eyes. Anyways, when the doctor gave me the new contacts to use, he reminded me several times that they are intended to be used for two weeks only, anything after that is pushing it.

Fast forward to today, almost two years to the day since I visited my old eye doctor down on Middle Street in Portland. I strolled into my new optometrists office in South Portland and informed them that my eyes have been really tired lately and that my contacts are "kinda old". How old they ask. Well, let's just say I bought a two months supply nearly two years ago, and leave it at that. Well, any potential sympathy for me went flying out the proverbial window (the office is in the middle of the Maine Mall), and I was instantly being ridiculed by a new doctor.

I went through the usual array of tests, including this thing they do where they shoot air into your eye as part of some glaucoma test. Talk about nearly jumping out of your seat, this scared the holy hell out of me! After about 10 minutes of looking in all directions and trying to read the fine print on a wall across the tiny office, the doctor popped a new pair of contacts into my eyes and like a miracle (think Moses parting the Red Sea or the 1980 US Olympic hockey team) I could see again, and it didn't hurt! It's so exciting to have a fresh pair of contacts in again!

After this was all done, Nichole and I went next door to pick out a pair of glasses. Now, those of you who know me pretty well know that I have a bit of a crooked head. It's not so much that my head is crooked, but more like my ears aren't level or something. Glasses don't look quite right on me. I have never liked the way glasses feel on me, or look on me. I don't even wear sunglasses. I have a big, hairy melon (hairy face, big melon), and I just can't seem to find a pair of spectacles that look good on me, in my opinion. Thus the reason my beautiful wife came along. I figure I should have a pair of glasses to wear around the house, give my contacts a break at night and on the weekends. Don't really intend to wear them out of the house, but they should at least be something Nichole isn't going to completely make fun of me for, therefore she helps by picking them out for me! Well, let's just say that we left LensCrafters empty handed, but did have one pair in mind that we may go back for after the holidays. Here's hoping Santa brings me a pair of level ears this year. I'm just saying...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Song lyrics. Art or just ridiculous phrases? Talk amongst yourselves...

I love music. I listen to it all day long at work, it's always playing in the car, and we typically have it playing at home. I like most anything too, with a few exceptions. That being said, I don't really listen to what the artists are saying most of the time, I will usually like a song for the sound of it, or how it makes me feel. For example, I need a little pick me up today, as I am not feeling too hot. I've got some rap bouncing in the background right now, mainly because I need something to keep me going, and some of my usual suspects might cause me to dive head first into my keyboard with a sudden case of narcolepsy. I'm noticing though, that Lil' Jon is just a tad crazy. I mean, have you ever really listened to some of the straight up poop he spits out of his mouth? I guess the worst part is that I, at some point, deemed it necessary to own, my bad.

Listening to "Get Low" by Lil' Jon and the Eastside Boyz this morning, and I realized that this guy wrote a song about "sweat dripping down his balls" while watching girls at a strip club. And we bought it. If you are bored, read the lyrics, what an illiterate piece of work that guy is. Wow. Clearly Atlanta didn't have a no child left behind policy in the late 80's, cuz dis foo waz left b-hind, fo sho!

Then there is my favorite line from a song (sarcasm for those of you not picking that up), from the song "Smack That" by Akon. "Maybe go to my place and just kick it like Tae Bo, and possibly bend you over, look back and watch me smack that". Really? I mean, first of all, using Tae Bo to get a rhyme in there is priceless, but to follow it up with "possibly bend you over", classy! You find me a girl that wouldn't have her pants charmed right off of her after a line like that. I know, you can't.

My favorite lyrics from a song right now are from the song "Toes" by the Zac Brown Band. This country ditty is kind of awesome (go ahead, make fun of me, but listen to it, and tell me that you wouldn't want to be the one singing the song)! The chorus includes the lines "I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand, not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand. Life is good today". Heck yeah, that is a sweet visual, and with winter coming here in Maine, sign me up!

I've been a big fan of Jack Johnson for a while. The smooth sounds are a great way to just chill out and relax. On one of the surfer flick soundtracks he contributes to, he does a cover of the Jimmy Buffett song "A Pirate Looks At 40". The line "Well, I've been drunk now for over two weeks, I've passed out and I've rallied and I've sprung a few leaks" is a favorite of mine. I think it the entire song is something we can all relate to in one way or another.

The new single from Theory of a Deadman, "Hate My Life", listen to it. You will smile, it's funny. Trust me. That is all.

Anyone else have any memorable lyrics they really like? I could go on all day about some of the lyrics out there, but I need to remind myself it is just entertainment. Because some of the crap out there doesn't entertain me, doesn't mean someone else doesn't totally get into it. Seriously though, Lil Jon, nobody cares if sweat is running down your balls, I'm just saying...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What does your car say about you? Apparently I'm a hot college chick!

What a person drives for a car can say a lot about them. A person's car is sort of a status symbol, a way to tell people who you are and what you believe in. Bumper stickers are a way of adding to the overall picture.

Political stickers tell you a decent amount right off the bat. A New York sports team sticker tells us you are a douche. "Baby on Board" or "My kid is on the honor roll at ______ School" let's us know you have kids, and let's be honest, nobody gives a rat's ass what your kids grades are. Your car climbed Mt Washington? Don't care, in fact, nobody does. Some people are into the stickers where some cartoonish character is urinating on a Ford logo, or a Chevy logo, or even a sports teams logo. Really? You want a pissing kid on your back window? I've even seen rubber testicles hanging from bumpers before. Wish I was kidding, that wasn't even right.

Anyways, back to the actual car. What kind of car do you drive? In my driveway we have a Honda CRV. Not really sure what that says about us. We also have a VW Jetta. I was told this morning that this car is what hot college chicks drive. Cool! I always thought hippies drove VW's, but apparently this particular VW is meant to be driven by barely legal hotties. Could be worse, I guess.

What do other cars say about a person?

Hummer - Dude with something to compensate for. Chances are he is short and / or lacking in the groin region. There is nothing wrong with that, it's just obvious that he is trying to make up for something by driving such a monstrous machine. Why else would anyone drive a car that only gets about 15 miles per gallon? You probably have a "McCain/Palin" sticker on your bumper.

Mini Van - Soccer/Hockey mom. Chances are you have multiple children, at least one of which you are driving all over the place for practices and games, carrying a fair amount of equipment for said sport. You probably have one of those damn "honor roll" stickers on the back, ugh.

Prius - Earth conscious hippy. Regardless of how long your commute is, you don't want to spend much on gas, and you would rather shop at Whole Foods than Wal-Mart. This will probably be our next car for those reasons and more. These people typically have "Obama/Biden" or "Buy Local" stickers on them.

Giant, American made pickup truck - These are usually driven by guys that own carpentry and other trade businesses. You see lots of them on the highway each morning, heading to the job site. Usually there are 2-3 big, burly dudes inside, ripping butts and drinking Mt Dew. Often times you will find stickers referring to testicles, farts or your mother on their bumpers.

What others am I missing? When you bought your car, you did so for a reason, let me know why. Also, if I'm wrong, well, let's be honest, I'm pretty spot on. Remember, we have a 35 minute commute each way, we see it all every day. I'm just saying...

Monday, November 16, 2009

You know that VH1 show "Best Week Ever"? This is kind of like the opposite of that...

As of about 4:00 on Friday afternoon, I had the best weekend in front of me. Nichole and I were going down to the TD Bank Garden to watch my beloved Celtics take on the Atlanta Hawks. Saturday was going to be a day of working from the home office and watching college football in my underwear, with a late, home cooked dinner for Nichole and I with some wine and a movie that evening. Sunday was going to be a day of home cooking. We had all the ingredients to make a few different kinds of homemade donuts, as well as the fixings for a BBQ chicken pizza, with our favorite football crew, the Patriots, taking on their arch rival, the Indianapolis Colts, that evening. What could be better, right?! Nothing! However...

Drove to Boston right after work on Friday, showing up at the Garden just in time for them to announce the Celtics. Now, if you haven't been to a game before, or even in a few years, you HAVE to get there for the beginning of the game. The call of the starting lineups is one of my favorite sports moments. Seeing the highlights on the jumbotron, and hearing Garnett and Pierce scream is unmatched. I get goosebumps every single time. The Celtics started out the game slow, but worked their way back into the lead at halftime. The second half was brutal. The Celtics couldn't toss the ball into the Atlantic Ocean, Atlanta was making everything, and the ticky tack fouls started to add up. Celtics end up losing by 9, getting our awesome weekend off to a downer of a start. Not to worry, still so much fun ahead of us!

Saturday morning saw me getting up fairly early to get some chores done before Nichole headed down to Scarborough for her Mary Kay open house. I got all the ingredients needed for my home cooking, picked up some necessities and made my way back home to pack up Nichole. Now, I had intended to do some work for a couple of my clients next, but they never got me the items I needed, so I was unable to get any of that done. Now I decided to attack the carpet on our stairs that smells like cat piss. Thought I would be able to quickly pull of the rug and get rid of the smell. Any of you ever tear out a rug? On stairs? What a bitch that was, with all the staples and tiny nails poking into my hands. Plus, the carpet wasn't one big long piece, it was a small section for each step. Oh, and the pissy section was at the very top. This took me about four hours to complete, and I'm certain that when I determine which cat it is, they are hitting the road.

In the meantime, the rain starts. I recently capped the chimney in an effort to reduce the amount of water our basement takes on. Every time it rains a decent amount our basement gets wet. I was hoping the chimney cap would be the solution. I was wrong. I went downstairs at around 6 PM to check on things and had to hop in the kayak at the bottom of the stairs just to make it around the corner. We had enough water, already, to fill a small pool. To make matters worse, it rained that hard for much longer, and our basement got more wet than it ever has before. I would spend the next two hours moving things, laying down towels to block the water and vacuuming water by the gallon. So far, I have removed about 100 gallons of water, and I, easily, have over 100 left. Needless to say, I am feeling a little defeated. Oh, and the Celtics lost again.

Sunday morning I woke up at 11:00 AM. Holy crap, haven't slept that late in years. Feeling rested, I head back to the basement to vacuum some more. After doing this for longing than I ever care to again, I head upstairs to start making some donuts. Nichole and I spend the better part of the afternoon trying some different recipes and have a great time deep frying dough and adding fillings and layers of sugar. We made some donut holes, an apple jelly filled one, and a peanut butter frosting and grape jelly filled one. They came out really good! We may start making them more often, so hopefully you guys like donuts!

Later in the day, I cook up some chicken and bacon, and lay out the wheat crust on the pizza pan. I put down a thin layer of cheese, cover the crust in a spicy barbecue sauce, add another layer of cheese and top with the cooked chicken, bacon and some chopped onions. I add red pepper flakes and bake it to absolute perfection! Just writing about it makes me wish I had some right now. It came out so good! We hit the couch for pizza, beer and the Patriots. Two out of the three weren't bad, and I'll let you guess which one didn't turn out good (I'm not ready to talk about the game yet).

Weekend wasn't at all what I had hoped for, but we survived it, so I guess I can't complain too much. Next weekend will be filled with digging and sealing before the ground freezes, I don't want to ever have to vacuum our basement again. If anyone wants to donate to the "Fix Chateau Marcole" fund, feel free to make the checks out to either Nichole or I, or if you want to help dig a big hole with me this weekend, I'll have homemade donuts and coffee ready for 11:00 AM on Saturday. I'm just saying...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

So many questions, so little time...

A Minneapolis man has been charged with child abuse after allegedly beating his son with an extension cord, burning him with an iron and turning on an oven that the little boy was trying to hide in. The father, 23, according to the criminal complaint, was all huffy at his son, 10, for being in his mother's bedroom.

The boy said he hid under his bed, but his father threatened to kill him if he didn't come out. The boy told police his dad burned him on the leg and arm with a hot iron. When he tried to escape the apartment, the boy's mother allegedly pulled him back inside, where his father whipped him with an extension cord.

The boy said he tried to hide in the family's oven, but climbed out after his father turned the oven on and it warmed up.

The father was arrested by Minneapolis police after admitting he "whooped" the boy and said he had another beating coming and threatened to beat him in front of the officers.

OK, hold on a tic, really?! The father, at 23 years of age, has a 10 year old son! I wonder how old the baby mama is?! If I were the father, I would be teaching my boy not to knock up the nearest neighbor or cousin, since he is almost the right age to procreate apparently. And all this over the little boy hiding in his mother's room. What's going on in there that is so secret? More baby making going on? Mom and dad firing up the crack pipe? I'm a father, I get being frustrated, but turning on the oven? Burning him with a hot iron? What happened to the good old days when dad smacked your ass with a belt or gave you a good spanking? When did branding your kid become the cool form of punishment?

Ah, another fine example of a great role model for kids today. I'm just saying...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Need a cure for the soon to be winter time blues?

Woke up this morning to snow. Threw up. Cleaned up, regrouped and carried on with my day. Winter is, by far, my least favorite season. Why do I still live in Maine you ask? I'm starting to question that myself. Let's just say, thank god I have family and friends here, otherwise we would be setting up shop in either the west or the south.

Anyways, winter is clearly on its way, whether we like it or not. With that comes a change in activities. Backyard BBQ's turn into ski trips and hanging out at the beach becomes nights at the movies. For a winter enthusiast, Maine offers tons of snowmobile trails, skiing and ice skating. For those of us who don't participate in these activities, it's a bit of a slower season. Fortunately, I have found a great couples activity that you can share regardless of your love for the fluffy white snow. Couples night at PT's Showplace (formerly Platinum Plus and Mark's Showplace) is coming to Saturday nights! Now me and the wifey can get on stage and dance together, get a couple's lap dance and toss dollar bills at Lil' Bitsy and Tiny Tina together! I can't think of anything better to do as a couple. I mean, where else can you find that kind of good, wholesome entertainment on a Saturday night? Anybody know when the new Boondock Saints movie comes out? I'm just saying...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Did I go to sleep in 2009 and wake up in 1960?!

I wasn't alive for the Civil Rights Movement back in the late 1950's and early 60's, but Question 1 was our version here in Maine. Yesterday, Maine voted to repeal a law that would have made the state one of a handful that allow same-sex couples to marry. This isn't to say that this is the same thing as forcing African Americans to the back of the bus, but it as close to the same thing that my generation will ever see. Much like the fight to allow minorities the same rights as white people, question 1 was offering same sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. We aren't talking special rights, or preferential treatment here folks, the issue here is equal rights.

Now I have heard both sides of the story, and understand that marriage is defined as : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law. I have heard people argue that it is a religious issue and that marriage equals one man and one woman as defined by the bible. I have also heard people state that children will be hurt by this, particularly as the public schools begin the process of indoctrinating them on the subject of homosexual marriage.

REALLY?! Come on people. This is all such a load of garbage. I would like to point out that Merriam Webster actually defines the word marriage as the following as well : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage . Huh, how about that. As for the religious argument, what about people, much like myself, that have had children out of wedlock, or have lived with someone they are not married to? Does that eliminate me from the train to heaven and put me on the highway to hell? What about the Britney Spears of the world that marry for 15 minutes in a drunken haze in Las Vegas only to wake up and immediately get an annulment? Is that "supporting and enhancing marriage"? And what about the divorce rates? Currently half of all marriages end in divorce. How exactly does that "strengthen society, encourage monogamous and loving marriages and provide an environment to nurture the well being of children"?

Then there is the whole issue with teaching children about same sex marriage in schools. I have a 7 year old, and she is in second grade. A Yes on 1 commercial came on the radio the other day and she asked me what it was all about. I was honest with her and asked her if they ever talk about marriage in school. She said, and I quote, "we aren't allowed to talk about religious things in school". So, despite what the Stand For Marriage Maine crew was telling you, this is directly from the mouth of a second grader. Even if they don't talk about it in school, it is going to come up at some point either way. She will come home some day and ask why Susie has two moms. I'm alright with her having a grasp of the concept, even if she doesn't fully understand it yet.

Now, I'm extremely happily married to a beautiful woman, and have no vested interest in this debate. That being said, I still feel as though something was taken away from me today. I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I have been so proud to say that I am from Maine. That is, up until today. I feel that 53% of my state can't see past scare tactics, religion or an old school way of thinking to realize that this issue is about one thing, equality. We all have a friend, a family member or a co-worker that is affected by this. Do they not deserve the same basic rights as you or I? The answer is simple. They deserve exactly the same rights. Though, I guess we shouldn't be surprised by this, in Maine, you can marry your cousin! I'm just saying...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Like the great Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony once said, see you at tha crossroads...

So there comes a time in every man's life where he needs to decide if it is time to get rid of his wife's cat that pisses all over the house or not. I mean, this is a completely common situation, right? All of my friends have cats that piss all over, don't they? What's that, no, we are the only people that have a cat that can't control his damn bladder?! Oh, that's right, our cat, you know, the one that nobody likes, has decided that a litter box is something he has no time for. I mean, just this morning he pissed all over the hallway floor, right in front of our bedroom door.

Now, I know what most of you are thinking, open the door and let him go. I wish it were that easy, believe me! The black devil cat is one of our pets, despite his desire to make the house smell horrible, he is a part of our home. Well then, you say, why don't you bring him to a shelter for somebody to adopt. Ok then, you tell me how that would work out. For any of you that have been to our house before, you know how that little bastard acts! He would just scream and swing at people, never get adopted, and most likely get put down, assuming anyone could get close enough to him. Truth be told, they would probably have to stick him with a blow dart from across the room to knock him out. I don't know how I feel about that, despite the fact that I want to punt him out the front door right now.

We have an appointment with the vet tonight, to give them a sample of his urine (which he conveniently splashed all over the floor for us this morning) and discuss what we can do with Tamazi. Nichole and I are really at a loss as to what we should do. Our frustration level is through the roof, and we are unsure what to do next. Any thoughts? I feel bad saying this, but I am pretty sure he wouldn't be missed too bad by anybody really. I'm just saying...

Friday, October 30, 2009

I'm gonna vote, are you?

Next Tuesday is the day we vote in Maine on a handful of questions. I have taken the time to read through everything and have formed my own opinions on everything. I will provide you with the questions and would be curious to hear your thoughts, if you are willing to share. Here we go...

Question 1: People's Veto

An Act To End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom
"Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?"

If you have read previous blogs you know where I stand on this question. Despite what my banner ads reflect, I think this is a no brainer. I'm not really even sure why this is up for debate. Two consenting adults should have the right to get married, regardless of race, religion, bank account size or sexual preference. This isn't special rights we are talking about, it is equal rights. I'm voting No on 1.

Question 2: Citizen Initiative

An Act to Decrease the Automobile Excise Tax and Promote Energy
“Do you want to cut the rate of the municipal excise tax by an average of 55% on motor vehicles less than six years old and exempt hybrid and other alternative-energy and highly fuel-efficient motor vehicles from sales tax and three years of excise tax?”

I am all for hybrid vehicles. In fact, we are researching them now with the idea being that we plan on buying one here in the not too distant future. That being said, I think that the money collected from municipal excise tax is too important to the individual towns, and will only see us paying more in property taxes. Also, it is a bit of a slap in the face to those who can't afford a new car. Somebody that can afford to buy a new car won't pay excise tax, but someone who can't afford that new car has to pay excise tax? How does that make sense?

Question 3: Citizen Initiative

An Act to Repeal the School District Consolidation Laws
“Do you want to repeal the 2007 law on school district consolidation and restore the laws previously in effect?”

I feel as though consolidating schools, especially those in very rural areas offers students more opportunities by pooling the funds from two schools into one. It would cut administrative costs state-wide, meaning more money for classroom instruction, which is the best thing for our kids, in my opinion.

Question 4: Citizen Initiative

An Act to Provide Tax Relief
“Do you want to change the existing formulas that limit state and local government spending and require voter approval by referendum for spending over those limits and for increases in state taxes?”

This bill imposes expenditure limitations on state and local government and requires voter approval of certain state tax increases. Maine voter's rejected TABOR back in 2006, and that was during good economic times. With the economy just now peaking it's head out of the crapper, and many local towns struggling to balance their books, I don't think TABOR makes any sense at all. In Colorado, TABOR lead to slower job growth, delayed economic recovery during periods of recession and cost citizens more money. Colorado lawmakers and voters have since suspended the law for five years in order to restore funding for schools and other basic public services. Does that sound like a good idea for Maine? I didn't think so either.

Question 5: Citizen Initiative

An Act to Establish the Maine Medical Marijuana Act
“Do you want to change the medical marijuana laws to allow treatment of more medical conditions and to create a regulated system of distribution?”

This one is tricky. It has been determined that medicinal marijuana serves a good purpose for those that need it. I think it makes sense to provide those that are in need with a valid and proven method of treatment. I also feel that regulating a system of distribution would not only support this treatment, but would bring in revenue to the state. California is considering legalizing marijuana, and have estimated that the tax benefits are somewhere in the ballpark of $1.5 billion per year! Now, we would be talking much smaller numbers in Maine, but wouldn't that help gap some budget shortfalls right there?

Question 6: Bond Issue

“Do you favor a $71,250,000 bond issue for improvements to highways and bridges, airports, public transit facilities, ferry and port facilities, including port and harbor structures, as well as funds for the LifeFlight Foundation that will make the State eligible for over $148,000,000 in federal and other matching funds?”

Now, spending money right now makes little sense, as Maine is heading further into the red, but hear me out. Spending money on much needed improvements to the states infrastructure is not only good for each and every one of us that commutes every day, visits family in Aroostook County, heads over to the Fryeburg Fair, or vacations in Bar Harbor, but it will help provide much needed work for many people across the state. Heck, failure to keep pace with our infrastructure needs will threaten our state’s economy, both now and in the future.

As you can see, there are a lot of important question on the ballot, and a lot of important things to consider come next Tuesday. I urge you all to go out and vote, regardless of what side you find yourself on. We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to decide what happens, and you throw away your opinion if you don't vote. Be heard, I know I will be. I'm just saying...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Application Intervention

I'm constantly trying to think of the next best idea for a business. We all want to work for ourselves, right? I mean, I love my job, but the idea of setting my own hours and doing something I'm truly passionate about is a hard concept for me to let go of. When I was a kid I wanted to start a landscaping company, which is sort of ironic now, considering I actually paid someone to mow my lawn once this summer! In the years since then I have had many more ideas, but none of which I have dared pull the trigger on. Starting your own business can be a big risk. All that being said, I have figured out what my million dollar idea is going to be!

I'm going to start a television show called Application Intervention. Think about it, between the iPhone and Facebook, there are literally thousands of applications, many of which are highly addictive. Do you find yourself staying up all night feeding your fish on Happy Aquarium? Do you dream about energy packs from the game Mobsters? Do you hang out with friends discussing which animals got away from you on Farm Town? Do you spend every spare minute launching sheep or pigs? Ignoring your family at dinner time so you can try to beat your score on BeJewelled? Don't worry, you are not alone. Millions of people every day find themselves addicted to useless Facebook and iPhone applications. Heck, I too was once overly obsessed with a handful of them all at the same time. What did I do to get my life back you ask? I had an application intervention.

On Application Intervention, we will discuss your latest obsession, and have guest hosts like Dr. Phil and Samuel L. Jackson do their part to help rid you of your addictions. Have you tried shock therapy? Hypnosis? Do you find yourself sitting at work or school thinking about what you might be missing on your favorite game? If this sounds like you, you are the perfect candidate to either appear on the show or at the very least call in for some much needed help.

I'm pretty sure this is going to be huge! I'm accepting donations to help get this show up and running. Feel free to send cash, money orders, or personal checks (made payable to Mark Stevens). I hope to work out a deal with one of the major networks in the next couple of months. I can't make this happen without you guys though. I know you have your addictions. You may keep it a secret from your friends, but Facebook tells us what you are up to, we know. Don't be afraid to call me, I will help you, I promise. I'm just saying...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Be honest, you fell for it, didn't you?

Yesterday afternoon found us all captivated by the balloon boy story. For those of you that didn't hear about this, good for you, but I will fill you in. This family of whack jobs in Colorado, who had previously appeared on the ABC show "Wife Swap", created this balloon thing that they were planning to use to track storms and perform experiments with. At some point yesterday afternoon it was said that the families 6 year old son had climbed into a compartment in the balloon and it then became untethered, taking off, setting off a search that included military helicopters and a plan to either lower a person to the craft or place weights on the balloon to bring it down. Officials rerouted planes around the balloon's flight path and briefly shut down Denver International Airport. When the balloon finally came back to earth it had traveled about 50 miles over the course of 2 hours. The "scary" part of the story is that when the balloon landed, the little boy was nowhere to be found. Speculation that he fell at some point along the journey started to creep in. It turns out that the little boy was hiding in the attic of the garage, too scared to come down because he thought he got yelled at.

Now, I thought this story was straight from the National Enquirer, one page after the story of George Bush shaking hands with an alien. I didn't believe a word of it, sounded too far fetched to be real. Well, turns out I was right. Now, the big question is, was this a publicity stunt or a giant misunderstanding? The 6 year old claims "You had said that we did this for a show." On the other hand, the father says accusations that the ordeal was a publicity stunt are "extremely pathetic." I think this wreaks of somebody trying to get some attention. Think about it, if they are able to utilize their balloon thingy to get some valuable storm tracking info, they are going to sell the shit out of this balloon. They stand to potentially gain financially from this. Plus, it's not like they are camera shy, with the kids featured in a rap music video on YouTube and the whole family appearing on the ABC show "Wife Swap." If you ask me this is absolutely a publicity stunt. I think the family should be charged with the cost of the search and rescue effort, and if I were a resident of Colorado, or had a flight in or out of Denver International Airport yesterday, I would be PISSED at these knuckleheads, I'm just saying...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I got drunk, the Red Sox lost and my dog died, and no, this is not the chorus of a country song...

Our weekend started off with us driving thru the rain and darkness up to Bar Harbor for the annual Oktoberfest in Southwest Harbor. We got there around 9:30 and set up our tent in the rain, which is always fun. We got everything situated and ran into some people we had previously met at Oktoberfest a couple of years ago. Turns out they brought three kegs of homebrew with them, and what do you know, we finished them all off that night with them! At around 1 AM they kicked us out so they could rest up for the beer fest the next afternoon, and we all dropped like flies. The next morning consisted of a nice big breakfast, some games and 80's tunes around the campsite and some pregaming. Beer fest was a blast, and we ran into a handful of people we have met at various points, so it was also a good chance to catch up a little. Many sample sized beers were consumed and a great time was had by all, as was evident by Nichole being found sound asleep in the drivers seat of the car by 7 PM. This worked out well though, since we had packed up the tent and gear in preparation of our early morning departure for Boston.

Nichole woke up at 4 AM complaining of bed soars, which I'm sure was just pains from sleeping in the car. We brushed teeth and headed out of town, stopping in Portland for a quick breakfast and another nap before finishing our trip to Boston for the Red Sox playoff game. Once in Boston, we took up residence in the right field standing room area and enjoyed watching the Sox getting out to an early lead, before everything came crashing down around them in the 8th and 9th innings. Fenway Park went from rocking to silent in a matter of seconds, and everyone went home disappointed. We met up with a couple of friends after the game for a snack and some beers and got an extremely scary phone call.

At around 5 PM on Sunday, our dog Yawkey, who was staying with my parents, got himself all choked up, literally. As he usually does, he was destroying a rubber bone my parents had gotten for him. He was tearing it apart and swallowing a piece of it here and there. One of the pieces ended up lodged in his throat and blocked his airways. My father noticed him sort of limply fall to his side and panic set it. His eyes rolled back in his head and he officially stopped breathing. My father pried his mouth open and my mother started jamming her hand down his throat to try to remove the blockage. After a couple of attempts my mother called me in pure terror asking what to do. While on the phone I gave her the contact info for our emergency vet and suddenly Yawkey started breathing again! He was shaking really bad and completely disoriented, but started coming back to normal. He spent anywhere from 3 to 6 minutes without breathing. Within 20 minutes of this whole ordeal he was moving around and his tongue was hanging as it usually does. He seemed to be back to normal. What a scare this was! By the time we got to my parents house yesterday afternoon he was awfully excited to see us!

So, as you can see, it was a pretty eventful weekend. I'm disappointed beyond words that the Red Sox lost on Sunday, as we had tickets to a potential game last night, as well as tickets for a potential game 5 of the ALCS. I'm feeling alright about everything though, as we got ourselves much more sleep than I had anticipated and it feels good to have gotten home early than expected. The next couple of weekends shall be low key, spent close to home with Kerrigan and Yawkey, and I couldn't be happier, I'm just saying...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Flabby arms? Loose skin? Have I got a product for you!

Obviously, there have been some pretty incredible inventions over the years, from the wheel to the iPod, and everything in between. However, when speaking of amazing inventions, this one is far and away at the top of the heap! Many women find themselves with less time to get to the gym regularly, and they need a quick and easy way to tone their arms. Well, the product you need is here...

Wow, is this for real? I mean, I have seen a lot of funny ads before, but this is one of the most amazing commercials I have ever seen! I mean, did nobody notice the dirty connotation this product has connected to it? It instantly reminds me of the scene from Old School when Frank "The Tank" Ricard goes home to find his wife in the middle of a dirty class taught by Andy Dick.

Anyways, for those of you who are looking to tone your arms, check out their website. Order now, while supplies last, I'm just saying...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tiger town lost a great friend 10 years ago today

So much has changed in the last 10 years. I mean, think about it. Many of us have graduated high school and/or college, gotten married, gotten divorced, had children, started careers, fought in wars, run for office and even been on game shows. While so much has changed for all of us, one thing has remained the same, we never stop thinking about this day, 10 years ago, when our great friend Nate Burns passed away.

Now, it's easy, especially coming from a small town like Fort Fairfield, to call someone a friend, even if you didn't know them that well. Nate was different. He truly was friends with everyone. I was fortunate enough to have played sports with Nate. We ran track together, competing in most of the same events, as well as being half of the 4x100 meter relay team. We also played basketball and shared a love for our favorite team, the Boston Celtics. He and I would talk forever about the Celtics and what we thought they needed to do to get themselves better each year. We were pretty sure we could coach them back to a championship.

Nate's last day is something I will never forget, and I remember it often. It was a Tuesday and I was working at Hillside IGA bagging groceries when I heard what had happened. I called around to a few people to try to verify that the news was true, hoping that the rumors were wrong. When I confirmed it, I convinced my boss to let me out early and I raced home to meet up with some friends to reflect on what just happened. We were going to UMPI at the time, and it rocked the small campus there as well. I even had one professor who lived in Fort Fairfield that excused my buddy Matt and I from class in order to grieve and attend any services. I remember having lunch with Nate a week before at the campus center and we had arranged a big flag football game that upcoming weekend. I remember being confused, upset and in a state of shock over everything. I still find myself tearing up randomly when I hear an Ozzy song or see an old school Celtics video.

Nate was a great friend and a great young man. He won't just be remembered on October 5th, he is remembered each and everyday for all the joy he brought to his friends and family over the years. I think of you often Nate, and miss you everyday. Go Celtics! I'm just saying...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Back to the future, nah, more like ahead to the past...

There is nothing better than the 1980's. Big hair. Cheesey music. Beverly Hills Cop. Garbage Pail Kids. I mean, seriously, find me something better and I will probably just say "PASHAW". I'm completely obsessed with everything 80's right now, but more specifically the music. I've built up a good collection of tunes, somewhere around 200 different songs spanning the decade of decadence. I've read tons of "top" lists from all sorts of people, and it's interesting to get peoples takes on what was good and what was bad back then. I find it especially entertaining when people talk about how "poorly written" a song was, or "how especially cheesey" it is. Hi, that pretty much sums up music from the 1980's. Wasn't that kind of the point. Anyways, reading all these sites made me want to put my own list together, with a quick reason for why I selected these songs. My top 10 song list of the 80's look something like this...

10. Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up

Now, I know what you are thinking, but hear me out. Just try playing this song without grinning. It's so bad you can't help but like it. Plus, this mashup is one of the most amazing things ever!

9. Skid Row - I Remember You

Ah yes, Skid Row. Power Ballads at their best. I love singing this, as loud as I can too.

8. David Lee Roth - Just Like Paradise

I was never huge on Van Halen, not that I didn't like them, I just didn't get way into them like some of my friends did. I did, though, enjoy some David Lee Roth. This was far and away one of my favorite songs.

7. Wang Chung - Everybody Have Fun Tonight

This song brings me back to my late grandmother's house, hanging out in my Uncle Joby's room, dancing around to this song. I vividly remember thinking this song was the coolest, back when I was my daughter's age.

6. Huey Lewis & The News - Hip to be Square

This bar band turned mainstream was a surprising favorite of mine. Not until I started putting my new playlist together did I realize how many Huey Lewis songs I liked. This just happened to be my favorite, by a smidge.

5. INXS - Devil Inside

Long before JD Fortune came around I was really into the old school INXS. They had a handful of really good tunes, but this one sticks out to me.

4. Living Colour - Cult of Personality

These guys rocked. I was obsessed with this song for a number of years, and still crank it every time I hear it.

3. Guns-n-Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine

Every list has to have at least one song by these guys. They were light years ahead of their time, and if not for Axl Rose being a complete whack job, would have ruled the charts for a much longer time. Name me a bad GNR song (pre Chinese Democracy, of course)... Can't do it, they ruled!

2. Michael Jackson - Billie Jean

Speaking of having multiple songs by at artist on every list. The King of Pop was in a category all by himself. Take away all the controversy and whackiness, and MJ was the most influential artist of the 80's. He put out hit after hit and will forever be the King of Pop.

1. Journey - Don't Stop Believin'

Not only the greatest song of the 1980's, it's the best song ever! Come on, play it and don't get excited, I dare ya. You cannot do it. You know the words, and you always crank it when it comes on. Best song ever, hands down.

Now, I had a handful of songs that were close, and could jump onto this list from time to time, depending on how I'm feeling. These 5 are right there too...

Survivor - Eye of the Tiger
Madonna - Open Your Heart
George Michael - Faith
Bon Jovi - Bad Medicine
Poison - Nuthin' But a Good Time

I want to hear your favorite songs of the 1980's. There are so many great (well, bad, let's be honest) songs I didn't mention. What does your list look like? Also, feel free to agree or disagree with my list. I'm just saying...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

With October coming, I was planning on festing twice, however...

Nichole and I have previously made Oktoberfest in Southwest Harbor one of our annual beer festival excursions, and this year is no different. It's held at a campground on Mount Desert Island in early October each year, bringing together about 15 different breweries from around the state, a dozen food vendors, some music and artists and craftsmen. We've made ourselves a couple of friends up there, and consistently have a great time every year.

Another new tradition is the Octoberfest in Greenbush, held at the Mitchell residence. This also is a blast, complete with an obstacle course and some after dark volleyball. Last year, something like 200 jello shots were consumed, and there was a dj spinning tunes all day and night. This year it sounds like the obstacle course has been tweaked, which hopefully means it will be completed in the daylight hours. This too promises to be a great time.

Now, with all this being said, we have been tossed a curveball this year. We made our tent site reservations, invited friends and made t-shirts up for Oktoberfest in SW Harbor starting several months ago. In the meantime, it turns out that the Fest D'October in Greenbush has been scheduled for that very same weekend. Now, for some background info for you all, I won the obstacle course last year, beating my father in law by 3 seconds. He has been claiming that if he were younger or didn't smoke he would have beat me. These sound like typical excuses from someone who got beat, but that's fine, a little smack talk only makes me perform better. I would also like to point out that I went last, completing the course, not only in the fastest time, but in complete darkness. This year, however, I'm certain this was planned on a weekend we couldn't go so that he would be able to claim my trophy without me being able to defend it. Though, I guess it makes sense, being that it is the only way anyone else has a chance to win. I'm just saying...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

No witty title can justify this incredible story...

For any of you from Fort Fairfield, way up there in The County, you may have heard the story of Amanda Bolstridge. For those of you who haven't heard, I'll give you a little background knowledge. Amanda is the younger sister of my classmate Kathy, who, about 2 years ago started complaining of horrible migraines. These headaches were so intense they would cause her crazy mood swings, to the point where the Bolstridge family had a feeling something more was going on. She was taken to the hospital, and later, after bouncing all over, was transferred down to Mass General Hospital in Boston. It was determined that she had encephalitis, which is a swelling of the brain. Doctors also found a small cyst on her left ovary that they believe may have contributed to the complications. After spending two months in a coma and a surgery to remove the cyst, Amanda almost immediately came out of the coma, and was ready to get back home.

I've known Amanda and her family most of my life. What they had to go through blows my mind. Being bounced around from hospital to hospital in search of answers must have been one of the most frustrating things in the world. Amanda's case turned out to be a medical mystery, solved by the gut feeling of an intern. I've learned so much from this story, and am in awe of not only Amanda, but her entire family. What started out as migraines, something fairly normal to some of us, turned into a very scary journey. We hear stories all the time and think it can never happen to us, or anyone we know, but the truth is, this can happen to any of us at any time. Each day is precious and we shouldn't take anything, or anyone for granted. My outlook on life has changed incredibly since my daughter was born 7 years ago, and it changed a little more after seeing this video of Amanda on television this morning. I'm honestly in awe of how strong Amanda was to fight through this, and also of her family for continuing to fight for answers and being so strong through the entire process. I would also love to give a shout out to the all the great doctors out there, not only Dr. Clark and Dr. Kolp from Mass General, but all the doctors out there that work so hard for all of us. I'm just saying...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Here's a hot topic, and I don't mean that creepy store in the mall...

Same sex marriage. Those three words, for some reason, have become an extremely touchy subject in Maine since the passing of a bill, on May 6th of this year, allowing same sex marriages in this state. The law was supposed to be in effect starting September 11th, but will now be subject to a people's veto in the upcoming November elections. Despite becoming the fifth state, the first of which was not the result of a judges decision, to allow same sex marriages, at least 55,000 people didn't like the idea, forcing it to go on the ballot and be voted on. Recently there have been commercials claiming that Mainers will face real consequences and that homosexual marriage will be taught in school whether parents like it or not.

Now with all that being said, I pose this question. Why is this a big deal? Why does anyone feel it is there place to fight this law? What makes a marriage between a man and a woman any better than that of a two women or two men? How does a marriage between Bill and Brian affect me? I recently read an article that spoke of the unintended consequences of same sex marriages, and I have to be honest with you, if allowing gay people the same rights as straight people is a consequence, then I think we are all going to be just fine. Now, keep in mind, I was brought up Catholic, which is strictly against homosexual acts, calling it a tendency toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder. I apologize to anyone out there that believes this to be true, but I just can't go along with that. While being brought up Catholic, I was also brought up being taught that you need to love all people and have an open mind. Seems to me that not allowing two people that are in love to get married is just wrong.

Now what about, gasp, the idea that "homosexual marriage will be taught in school whether the parent likes it or not"? Oh, the horror! What next, are we going to teach our children that the world is round? Wait, it is? Same sex relationships are a part of the culture today, and hiding from it isn't going to make it go away. I want my daughter to understand the ways of the world before going out and conquering it. I want her to understand that not everybody looks and acts the same as her, and that people have different cultures and ways of life. Why should that bother me, or anyone else?

As you can see, it's clear which side of the debate I fall on. What isn't clear to me is why there are really two sides to this. I realize everyone has an opinion, and that I'm not always right, I get that. But what I don't understand is why this bothers people that will never be affected by it. I love my wife, and am fortunate enough to be married to her. Why should it be any different for Bill and Brian? I'm just saying...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sportsmanship? Nah, I would rather spit on you!

Sportsmanship is defined as "conduct (as fairness, respect for one's opponent, and graciousness in winning or losing) becoming to one participating in a sport". Apparently in the Monday night Saco co-ed soccer league, it is defined very differently. As I recall, you all just LOVED how my wife behaved last week during our game. Now, by definition, this wasn't necessarily bad sportsmanship. Last night, however, bad sportsmanship was in full effect, and wifey was not involved.

It was playoff time in our Monday night league. We were once the doormat of the league, losing every game, and usually by quite a bit. We have since put together a pretty darn good team, finishing at the top of the standings the past 3 sessions. With success comes a target. Everyone grows to dislike you for beating them, and brings their best game when they face you. We don't mind, we accept the challenge each and every game. We were awarded a first round bye this week because we had the best record. Our second round opponent was completely over matched, and we dominated them 5-0, including a goal by yours truly. This set up a rematch against our biggest rival in this league, If You Seek Amy, consisting mainly of the establishments employees and owner.

Each and every game we have played against IYSA has been close and full of intensity. Last night was no different. It should also be noted that we had the same official last night as we did last week, and the little gremlin was in no better of a mood. It also appeared to me that the other team may have tossed him a few extra bucks to call it their way. All this being said, we got out to a fairly quick 2-1 lead, just before everything came crashing down around us. By this point, our European ringers were in full on no pass mode, and getting called for pushing about every 10 seconds. I'm not so sure I am in agreement with the opposition or the official on some of the pushing calls. It seemed to me that a few of the plays were all out flops. I'm not a huge guy, but it takes a solid push to knock me down, and one of their guys was on the ground complaining every other play, and he is no small guy. The sad part is, the stupid ref was making the call every time. This is when things completely unraveled for our team, and IYSA pulled away for a 6-3 win.

I knew what was coming next, it wasn't my first time playing these jackasses. I left the field in a near sprint. The finger pointing, name calling and general poop mouth talking began between the two teams. Now, as the winner, you should walk away without saying a word, you just won. This team has a few that are incapable of doing this. This one chick, whose ass is about the size of the short bus she took to school back in the day is the worst of them all. She runs her mouth more than anyone, and doesn't have an ounce of talent to back it up. It would be like me walking into an open heart surgery telling the doctor he is stupid and doesn't know how to do something. I have no right being there, I haven't got a clue how to do what he is doing. This dumb chick comes after a couple of our players after the game, getting in their faces and spewing her usual idiotic crap, at one point actually telling one of my teammates to "f--- off!". Now, I've been watching from afar as this all plays out, and to be honest, I'm not quite sure what happened after this because I took off, wanting nothing to do with that nonsense. Like I previously mentioned, this talentless biotch is one of my least favorite people on the planet, ranking just behind Eli Manning (don't even get me started), and her team just won. Why did I walk away you ask? Well, I feared that I would have spent the night in jail after beating this mouthy turd within an inch of her life. I really can't stand her. Now, of course I would never hit a woman, but I'm not sure she qualifies as a woman, as I have never heard a woman use some of the words she does.

So, back to sportsmanship. Our team definitely took the loss in a rather negative way, and we should have just taken our beating and gone home. However, it was only compounded by the horrible sportsmanship displayed by the winning team, who had absolutely no reason to say a word, they just freaking won! I always thought teams that lost were more likely to conduct themselves in a less than gracious way, but I see more and more where winning teams don't know when to shut up and just enjoy the win. A new session starts next Monday, but I'm wondering if we have played our last game there. At what point is it not worth it anymore? I would love to go out on top, but I think I just want to go away. I'm just saying...