Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 New Year's Resolution Review - Don't Look Back in Anger

Our annual American ritual - the New Year's resolution list - is barreling down upon us as I sit here at the computer in my underwear. Not only is it time to decide what you'll resolve to do in 2009, but also, to take a look back at 2008. How successful were you? Did you achieve all of your goals? Most of your goals? Any of your goals?

I admit that I forgot many of this past year's resolutions before January was out. And others were just ridiculous to even consider in the first place (#47 - become king of any African nation).

But if you actually wrote down any of your resolutions, or preserved them for posterity on a website, it's fun to see what the hell you were thinking a year ago. Luckily, I did indeed write down some of my resolutions back in early January - see here. And after reviewing the list, I think it's safe to say that 2008 was only a partial failure.

For example, 2008 resolution #1 was "spend more quality time with my fantasy sports teams." Done and done. This resolution was a rousing success - culminating in this past week's fantasy football championship victory in my "people from work league." I added a football team and a baseball team to my stable - winning said baseball championship in my "people I don't know personally, but definitely know more about baseball than them league."

So I'm giving myself a little pat on the back for resolution #1. Unfortunately, it's pretty much downhill from there.

Did I #9 - "eat more fruit," and #10 - "kick more ass?"

Well yeah. Of course I did. That's the Mill's modus operandi right there. Same thing for 2009 and beyond.

But what about #8 - "more street luge," or #16 - "learn to speak Chinese?"

Those didn't seem to pan out. At all. I didn't even crack a book on the fundamentals of street luge, or listen to a single podcast on how to speak Chinese.

Sure, I guess you could say I was #5 - "courteous to animals," and #6 - "kind to the elderly." Or vice-versa.

I never did get around to #3 - "fix that damn squeaky door hinge."

As you can see, 2008 was truly a mixed bag. But I'm not sure how one can avoid that type of result. My philosophy has always been to resolve to do as many things as you can possibly think of - your chance of at least some modest success is much higher that way, compared with only resolving to solve world hunger.

For example, my #23 - "replace watch battery," was a rather easy one. It took me nearly 10 months, but I was able to check that one off the list before 2008 was history.

Particularly satisfying to check this one off the list in mid-October.

Now it's time to look ahead. I'm compiling an extensive list of resolutions, ranging from the simple (wash hands daily), to the difficult (write a young-adult novel), to the supernatural (speak to the dead). Of course, I'll be posting this in the near future, once I've come up with about 50 more resolutions.

Let me know how your 2008 resolutions ended up. Hopefully, you can make me feel better about myself through tales of your personal failures in 2008.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Perfect Pushup Update – Week 3: Not Yet Ripped

If you’ve happened to frequent this blog over the past month or so, you may recall that I’m following the Perfect Pushup regimen – in order to get ripped like a zipper, and cut like a razor. And buff like a new car. Or something like that.

Anyway, I’ve been religiously following the handy dandy instructional poster for the first 3 week training period. It features a handsome and muscular man doing variations of the Perfect Pushup.

I'm not sure what advanced move the Perfect Pushup Guy's doing here. It doesn't take much imagination to believe he's flying.

He is my hero. I can only imagine how many Perfect Pushups he’s capable of performing.

Even so, the results thus far have been only modestly encouraging. Actually better than I expected, but I’m not yet in the best shape of my life. I think that occurred when I was 12 years old, and playing tag football in the street every evening.

That being said, I’m definitely stronger than I was 3 weeks ago. At least when it comes to doing pushups. I maxed out at 17 Perfect Pushups when I first opened the box, and took them for the initial test drive. And after my first full course of study, I’m now able to do 23 Perfect Pushups. That’s an increase of about 35%.

That means I’m 35% stronger than before. If I keep this up, I calculate that in 15 weeks, I’ll be able to toss a Volkswagen 50 yards, and lift a tugboat (with full fuel tanks) straight over my head for 15 seconds. These are all rough estimates, of course. At the very least, I should be able to tear a loaf of Wonder Bread in half with my bare hands.

Just like the dude on the Perfect Pushup instructional poster, I will soon be a superhero.

My road to super strength continues on Tuesday, with three 2-minute drills of Perfect Pushups, comprised of 30 pushups each. And if you listen closely, ignoring the creak of my elbows, and the slap-slap-slap of my love handles against the floor, you might just hear the sound of perfection - as a perfect body is forged from a pair of $30 rotating plastic handles.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Wedding Registry - What to Choose?

Perhaps the most important aspect of planning a wedding is choosing the right registry – also known as “what gifts besides cash are you going to receive.”

Now, if it were up to me, I’d register at Chase, Wachovia, The U.S. Treasury, Best Buy, and Outback Steakhouse. Cash, cash, cash, big-screen TV’s, and steak. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a lifetime of commitment to the woman you love.

But, I don’t really have the final say in any of this. And also, apparently we need flatware. Lots and lots of flatware. So we’re registered at Crate and Barrel, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Bloomingdale’s, and probably a couple of other places that sell flatware.

It seems likely that we’ll have 40 place settings once the wedding is over.

So what else – besides plenty of forks, knives, and spoons – is important to include on one’s wedding registry? I’m probably not the right person to ask, really. I’ve already made my opinion known in regards to cash-money, beef, and big-screens.

I also like puppies, cars, and fine Italian men’s suits.

Would any of that please my wife? The one who’s allergic to dogs? And hasn’t driven since she was 17? And is a woman, so never wears men’s suits?

No. I’m being selfish. This day is supposed to be about US. Not about ME. So we need to choose things that we can use together. Such as flatware. Or tandem bicycles.

Linens and towels are good. Kitchen appliances could benefit both of us. Cleaning supplies and a Roomba would be nice. Now I’m thinking as a husband, and not as a self-absorbed bachelor. Boy, am I proud of myself.

But still, all of these things can be purchased with CASH. I can’t help but come back to that again and again. Everything can be bought with cash, whether it’s something selfish or something that both of us can enjoy equally. CASH is the answer.

And consider the fact that most ladies no longer come with a dowry - a few head of cattle, several goats, maybe a few acres of decent farm land – cash can buy all of those things.

So the next time you go to a wedding, think about the happy couple – and what would make them happiest. I’ll give you a hint – it’s greenish, papery, smells a little like old gym clothes, and has pictures of dead white guys on it.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dear Santa - I Want a Free Photography Session

(Ever since our recent engagement, Jaimi's been scouring wedding websites and blogs for free stuff. She came across a contest on Always a Blogsmaid, the prize being a $750 gift certificate for a local photographer - Joseph Pessar. I guess he'd be taking pictures of us looking cute together, or something like that.

Anyway, the challenge involved writing something heartwarming or funny - or both - while offering reasons why you should be awarded the free photo session. Also, it had to be in the form of a letter to Santa.

Suffice it to say, I whipped up a quick poem and won the contest. Here is the winning entry in its entirety. I wanted to use many more curse words, but didn't know if that would help or hurt our cause. So I played it pretty safe. Sorry for that.

Dear Santa,

Greetings to you. We’re Jaimi and Scott.
We just got engaged! Damn, that ring looks hot.
We met through a friend, it was love from the start.
We admit it, we’re Jews, but you must have a heart.

And besides, we’re all humans on this great blue orb.
Your vast loving-kindness will surely absorb.
Jewish or Muslim, Christian or Buddhist.
We’re glad Mario Batali was never a nudist.

What’s that have to do with this letter, you ask?
Not sure – but rhyming’s a difficult task.
We do want something small in return.
To brighten your day, and ease your heartburn.

We have a special request to make.
And we don’t want this to sound very fake.
We’d love some photos of ourselves.
Say “hi!” to all your adorable elves.

As you travel on your sleigh ‘round the world,
Lavishing toys and goodwill on boys and girls.
Barbies for Barbaras, G.I. Joes for the Victors.
Please don’t forget that we want those damn pictures.

Oh my goodness, we’re so sorry to curse.
Wedding plans make us crazy, we’ve never been worse.
Please forgive us dear Santa, we love you the most.
And we’re sure Mrs. Claus makes an excellent host.

On this fine wintry day, may you grant us our wish.
A bowl of thin gruel and a bucket of fish.
No wait, that’s not right! We love Joseph Pessar!
If we can’t have his photos, could we have a new car?

Merry Christmas Santa!


Jaimi and Scott

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jewish Male Seeks Non-Christian for Meal in Chinatown on Christmas Eve

(The following personal ad will be going up on Craigslist in a couple of days. Jaimi will be out of town next week (celebrating our recent engagement without me) and ever since we started dating, I've ignored all of my friends - so now I have no one to have dinner with on Christmas Eve. See below - problem solved.)

Location: Chinatown. Restaurant of my choice, but I will take suggestions.
Time: Christmas Eve. Maybe seven-ish?

First off, I just got engaged last week. My fiancée will be away for the holiday.

I’m not looking for a date.

There will be no sex before, during or after the meal.

The only physical contact will be a hearty handshake when we meet, and perhaps a few high-fives during the evening if one of us makes a particularly sweet joke, or finds a twenty-dollar bill on the ground. You may also receive a pat on the back if we end up playing darts and you score a bullseye. Otherwise the only contact will be eye contact. And even that will be intermittent and non-obligatory.

About me: early 30’s, clean-cut, professional. I love my beer and I love my lady. I like the NFL, NBA, and MLB. I also enjoy long walks on the beach, and puppies. Chinese food is my favorite. Obviously, I’m also Jewish.

I’m a fan of the finer things in life – such as Moo-Shu chicken and Shrimp with Lobster Sauce. For me, General Tso’s Chicken is to be considered a delicacy for special occasions – and the night before Christmas falls neatly into that category. I’ll have plenty of money to pay for my dinner, but please don’t ask me where I got my “Bad Motherfucker” wallet from. I had it way before “Pulp Fiction” came out.

I’ve been told that I’m rather easy to get along with. I have a quick rapport with the working class. I’m witty, in a rancorously sarcastic kind of way. It may be unpleasant at first, but you’ll eventually get used it – again, so I’ve been told.

I know a little bit of karate, in case we make a wrong turn down a dark alley. I have no known food allergies. I will try anything once, as long as the restaurant has an up-to-date health inspection. Pig cheeks, fish rectum, squirrel eggs. If it’s deep fried, I’ll eat it.


Basically, I’m the perfect non-Christian Christmas Eve dinner buddy.

About you: I don’t really care. Sure, I’ll probably learn more about you during the meal unless you are a mute - but I’m very open-minded when it comes to having dinner with someone on a night when 95% of the country is celebrating the holiday with their loved ones.

You can be male, female, neither, or both. Black, White, Asian, Latino, or French. Hindu, Buddhist, Baha’i, or Muslim.

I guess you could also be Jewish. Like me.

My goal: have a pleasant meal with a stranger on a night when absolutely none of my friends or family are around. I plan to order the soup dumplings, and I don’t want to share those. But otherwise, we could get several dishes and eat family-style. I wouldn’t be against that.

I don’t really need any new friends, and please understand that you are joining me only because I have absolutely no one else to have dinner with. That being said, I promise to be completely courteous and respectful towards you – unless you turn out to be a complete douche bag.

If you’re interested, please let me know. I’ll be accepting applications up until noon on December 24th.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

C.C. and A.J. - One Hell of a Payday

C.C. Sabathia doesn't take his glove off to eat. He uses it as a food shovel. I wouldn't give a shit about table manners either if I made $23 million a year.

So the New York Yankees recently went out and spent a quarter of a billion dollars on two pitchers.

C.C. Sabathia – 7 years, $161 million.
A.J. Burnett – 5 years, $82.5 million.

Think about that for a minute…….

You’re probably thinking that A.J. is pretty goddamn jealous of C.C. right about now. And you’d probably be right. “Is that guy really twice as valuable as I am? I mean, as a human being?”

Now think about the sheer magnitude of these Steinbrenner-esque salaries.

Why should C.C. and A.J. get all that dough? You want that kind of payday too – especially in this economy. With that kind of money, you could scoop up some seriously sweet real estate deals, and probably get some bankrupt small businesses on the cheap. But you also say that you’re too old, or fat, or uncoordinated to throw a baseball 95 mph.

This is all very true. Although I wouldn’t exactly call you fat. You’re more “pleasantly plump.” Don’t be so hard on yourself.

In any case, there is something you can do.

And I’ll tell you exactly what you’re gonna do. You’re gonna start teaching your kid how to throw a baseball. Or start having kids so that you can teach them how to throw a baseball. Or, if you’re one of my youngest readers, start bugging your parents to teach you how to throw a baseball.

The riches that these players reap nowadays compare favorably to winning Mega Millions or Powerball.

Fact: The odds of winning Mega Millions is approximately 1 in 175 million. The odds of making it to the Major Leagues, if you’re a healthy American male who doesn’t totally suck at all sports, is probably around 1 in a million at the worst – and likely quite a bit better than that. That’s at least 175 times better odds than the lottery – and for essentially the same return on your investment.

So don’t waste your energy with dreams of winning the lottery. Have a kid. And if it’s a girl, have another one until you have a boy. And if you already have a boy under the age of 10 or so, then teach him how to throw a baseball. Preferably teach him how to throw left-handed, even if it stunts the growth of his dominant right hand.

On second thought, maybe you should just keep having kids until you have a left-handed boy. All the hard work is likely to pay off, especially if you have a couple hundred thousand male children.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Auto Bailout a No-Go - Everyone Must Buy a Buick Immediately!!

Folks, it's the only way. A Buick for every man, woman, and child in the USA. That was GM's original goal anyway. Let's make it a reality.

You see, if the government won't bailout GM, Chrysler, or Ford, then we'll have to do it ourselves. Although Ford still claims that they only require access to billions of taxpayer dollars, GM and Chrysler actually need the money like the French need wine - really, really badly.

Yeah, sure Ford, whatever you say. If it smells like bullshit, and it tastes like bullshit, and it looks like bullshit, well then it was probably delivered to your place in a Ford F-150. In other words, Ford is most likely in terrible shape as well.

So take your pick - Buick, Chevy, Dodge, Ford. Buy as many vehicles as you can. And with gas down to $1.50/gallon (at least in New Jersey) we can once again afford to drive SUV's. The Cadillac Escalade is a good choice if you'd really like to help GM. It's massive, massively expensive, and massively profitable for the manufacturer.

GM's most aggressive incentive programs include factory-to-dealer rebates, low financing, and a 25 year-old blonde woman with every Escalade. (Certain restrictions apply. Blonde offer only available in TX, FL, AL, SC, GA, MS, NC, and TN. Not available to creepy, old, rich guys who just want the girl, and don't really want the truck.)

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Rod Blagojevich: Unbelievable Asshole - A Poem

I swear to be a douchebag, and nothing but a douchebag. So help me Zeus.

Whaddya mean? Senate seat's not for sale?
What's all the hubbub? Am I going to jail?
My phone line was tapped? Why, you FBI shit.
Would you mind loosening these handcuffs a bit?

And so, my dear Rod, may I call you Blago?
Your IQ is the same as Rocky IV's Ivan Drago.
Nothing rhymes with Blagojevich, so I will not try.
During ethics class in Governor's school, you were out back getting high.

We won't soon forget the last Illinois Gov.
Fraud and corruption, no legislation of love.
He's in jail now, and you may hear him cryin'.
A douchebag like you, his name is George Ryan.

But you've taken the cake, Rod, with skill and aplomb.
Your gall is astounding. Your words leave me numb.
You allegedly asked for 500 grand.
A powerful seat for a powerful man.

Or maybe some schmuck with plenty of money.
Whose offer's so sweet, it's dripping with honey.
For you and your friends, the holidays would be merry.
If you offered the seat to Refrigerator Perry.

He probably would govern much better than you.
With a 68 waist, and size 22 shoe.
He'd rumble and roll on both sides of the aisle.
He'd do it with grace, and he'd do it with style.

The Fridge, as he's known by all of his fans,
Would sponsor a bill as thick as his hands.
This bill would require that all kids learn to play ball.
And outside Senate chambers, vending machines line the hall.

But now that Senate seat's up in the air.
The Fridge will not get it. The Fridge will not care.
But the rest of the country is glued to the news.
A scandal this big's as addictive as booze.

May your trial be quick, and the judgment decisive.
And may Obama's replacement be not so divisive.
If it weren't for you, the blogs would be quiet.
We'd have nothing to do but pillage and riot.

The next junior senator from Illinois? Maybe if Blago had his way.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Perfect Pushup - Let the Experiment Commence

With all the incredible online deals out there during this time of year, it’s hard to not buy a few things for yourself while you shop for others. Go ahead, you deserve it. Also, the economy needs your help.

So the other day, as I purchased various wearable, edible, and/or electronical gifts for my friends and family, I decided to treat myself to the gift that keeps on giving.

You’ve probably already guessed it: I bought myself the Perfect Pushup kit, by BodyRev.

Maybe you’ve seen the infomercial. In fact, it’s almost impossibly unlikely that you’ve missed it. By perfecting the cumbersome push-up (one of the simplest and most tedious exercises known to man), the Perfect Pushup practically guarantees that within a few weeks you’ll be ripped like a rhino, and cut like a razor blade.

Results depend upon whether you do man pushups or lady pushups, as illustrated above. Lady pushups may result in body hair loss and an irrational attraction to diamonds. Man pushups may result in making you awesome.

I mean, look at the guy in the commercial. He’s got eight-pack abs, perfectly muscled pectorals, and incredible hair. That could be me in 21 days – if I follow the straightforward instructional video.

But wait, the DVD that was included in the package can’t be read by my DVD player. And my computer can’t seem to make heads or tails of it either. Not a problem, because the Perfect Pushups kit also includes an instructional poster. It’s laminated, in order to withstand splatters of sweat and smatters of protein shakes.

Because I’ve only used my Perfect Pushup once so far, I can’t really attest to its claims of radical alteration of one’s flabby physique. I don’t appear to be one bit altered so far. All I can say, however, is after doing about 15 Perfect Pushups, I can’t lift my arms above my head.

That’s something I used to be able to do with ease, I’m pretty sure. Also, if the numbness in my arms and shoulders doesn’t go away by the time I need to hammer out another set of Perfect Pushups (you alternate one day on, one day off) I’ll likely be asking for a refund.

In any case, if my body can handle it, I’ll be sticking with the routine. And before you know it, this doughy, pale, easily-bruised torso will be transformed into a taut, pale, jacked, ripped, granite-like work of human art.

There will be no before and after photos. I believe the most important changes happen to us on the inside. You know, like stronger tendons and improved circulation. You’d have to cut me open to see that kind if stuff – and that ain’t happening. Unless the results are REALLY amazing.

Stay tuned.

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Hillary Clinton - Secretary of Fun

(From time to time, I like to dabble in poetry. Most of it's ridiculous, but all of it rhymes - which is pretty much the only thing that matters when it comes to poetry, in this poet's opinion. This week, Hillary Clinton is my muse. Last time, it was Sarah Palin. And next time? Probably something to do with fantasy football.)

Photo: AOL News

Hillary, Dillary, Dickery, Dock.
Your husband Bill can't control his....

Wait a minute. Too crude. Let me start that one over.

Here we go:

Hillary Clinton, Obama's new friend.
You'll stick by his side till the bitter end.
But you dream of two-thousand twelve while in bed.
Visions of Presidency still dance in your head.

Barry just named you Secretary of State,
While Bubba Bill was out on a date.
His penis has a mind of its own.
Foreign policy skills, you now must hone.

You'll move to Washington with belongings in tow.
Seeds of worldwide diplomacy you will soon sow.
And as Sean Penn plays the famous Harvey Milk.
You too must portray one of a respectable ilk.

I'm not saying to be the first gay Secretary of State.
But rather to emulate and copy some of the greats.
Like Tommy Jefferson or the first one, John Jay.
And William Henry Steward, or John Milton Hay.

There's Hamilton Fish, who had a funny name.
Or Philander Chase Knox - that first name is a shame.
And many, many others who I may or may not list.
Hill, do you remember the first boy you kissed?

It probably wasn't Bill cause he wasn't no prince.
In high school I could see you with a Chuck or a Vince.
Go back to that time, when you were young and so free.
And enter this new job with the same sense of glee.

Don't forget to emulate Daniel Webster or John Calhoun.
And also find out if we really put a man on the moon.
Conspiracy theorists are making me wonder.
If Armstrong's first steps were false, it will tear my world asunder.

I guess that's my problem, and really not yours.
Maybe I'll see you while on one of those White House tours.
Where's your new office? West Wing or South?
And if you see Dick Cheney, please punch him in the mouth.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

More Florida Fun - Swampland, Gators, and Gambling

For many people, the idea of a Florida vacation involves relaxing on the beach, soaking in some rays, and cooling off in the surf - before retreating to a seaside condo for 10 Miller Lites and a fifth of Jack Daniels. Maybe you're sharing with your friends, and maybe you're not. That depends on whether you're an alcoholic.

But for those of the fair-skinned type (like myself and Jaimi) UV rays - and the terrible damage they can cause - scares the holy shit out of us, especially when exposing the extra-tender, extra-white parts of the body. Of course I'm referring to the back, stomach, and feet.

So when in Florida, we generally avoid the beach. And besides, with a sweet Mercury Grand Marquis at our beck and call (see my last post for more info) how could we not cruise all up and down Florida's Turnpike looking for some fun?

Our first stop worth noting was the Everglades. I've always wanted to ride on an airboat, and because it's very difficult to get a permit for one of those in New York City, it only made sense that we took this opportunity to go for a ride.

It was fun, if not overly adventurous. When I think "airboat" (which happens more often than I care to admit) I envision 2 or 3 people sitting on an aluminum platform with a huge-ass fan raging behind them - flying across wetlands, crushing birds' nests, flattening grasses, and filleting alligators with the rudder. Instead, we rode in a set of high school stadium bleachers:

Floating football bleachers. I think I saw Tim Tebow lurking in the tall grass.

Again, it was fun. But not exactly Indiana Jones fun. I think the 80 year old gentleman to my left was asleep for most of the ride

The captain of the vessel didn't destroy any wildlife, and we didn't come anywhere near capsizing. We did see about 20 alligators though, which is really the whole point of going on one of these rides.

This crappy picture shows an alligator doing what it does best - not moving at all for hours and hours on end. 80% chance it's made out of plastic.

All in all, the airboat ride was a success. And the $40 ticket included a wildlife DVD which I will cherish forever and ever.

Another great, non-beach related activity is a trip to the local Indian reservation. They will invariably have a casino somewhere on the premises. Find it, and start gambling and drinking.

Lucky for me, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino was kind enough to let the Seminoles use their name and logo. They've built one of the most fantastical casino resorts I've ever seen - on their reservation in Hollywood, FL. Jaimi's brother David showed me the way. This time, instead of riding in my silky-smooth Mercury, we traveled in his super-sweet Lexus. It smelled like style and drove like a true pimp mobile. Or something.

Anyway, the moral of this short story is that I'm not very good at blackjack, and we can just leave it at that. Otherwise, the Seminole Hard Rock Casino is a great place to go for an evening of fun and entertainment.

So you can see that this was a very relaxing, yet very action-packed vacation. A special thanks to Et and Sandy Gaffe for being such marvelous hosts. I'm sorry if I left the refrigerator door open, the toilet seat up, and the front door unlocked.

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