Saturday, December 31, 2005

Friday, December 30, 2005

i was thinking....

how all of your legs were broken
when you lay in the cardboard box

how the hell did you go from the street
to my doorstep?

i guess you crawled on hope & faith

you knew that if you made it home
everything would be ok

turns out that wasnt true

I stole this idea from Iris

this is a quick summary of the past year, with the first sentence written on my blog from each month.

January: The stories coming out of Asia are just unbelievable.

February: I dont think my compulsions are as interesting as Birdy's, but maybe somebody will get a laugh.

March: I count bottlecaps.

April: I dont think theres enough coffee in this fucking machine to sustain me.

May: 1,2,3,4

June: So anyway, 17 years ago (almost to the day) my prom date offered me her virginity at the SkyView Hotel in Seaside Heights,New Jersey, and I turned her down by pretending to pass out on the bed.

July: I'm going through a mild depression lately.

August: I always consider the week after vacation, the begining of my year.

September: well if this stupid war couldnt make you any more sick, the disaster in New Orleans has shown you where the Presidents priorities are.

October: I tried to writ e this once but apparently I'm alittle here's what important from tonight:

November: got interviewed yesterday when I was getting ready to commute home on my bike.

December: the gods have made their decision.

office pizza party

i walk in the room and they are all staring.
'ooops, better keep Steakbellie out, he might eat it all' someone jokes.
i take a slice of sausage, and i'm trying not to get grease on my tie. I eat it standing up.

someone else says 'i dont think you're fat enough to win'
i smile

they are all thrown with this latest revelation about me.

the new secretary asks me....
'do you eat alot?'
'not really' i confess
'how did you get in?'
'i tried out'

'how many people will be there?'
'18 Thousand' I say with a mouthful of pizza (puposely trying to eat slow)
'Wow, thats alot of people eating wings'
'No, only 25 eating wings...18 thousand bought tickets to watch'
'oh....thats pretty weird'
'tell me about it'

Thursday, December 29, 2005

with a donkey's jawbone in hand

i always hear
what cant be done
but the only ones who ever stopped me
are within

legends of new years eve

i once madeout with three different girls named Veronica, the same night, the same party. of course it only occurs to me now that they might have been lying....

things i say

"you'll shit yourself backwards!" (daily)
"holy chitlins!"
"if your mom sees this, she's gonna put the smack down!" (daily)
"kiss me and tell me you love me" (all the time)

rain day

wet and smiling
i look to our tallest building
and wonder
who could appreciate
that i kept my form
and had my eyes open
all the way down

the man with acetylene for blood (haiku)

tasting oiled steel
i'm ready to fuck or fight
burning inside out

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

social life: two dvd's and a twelve pack (haiku)

i want something more
and not like i deserve it
but i'm still asking

plates of twenty (haiku)

it's stopwatch eating
pounds of food force fed; i'm sick
before the sun's up

Friday, December 23, 2005

hardened shoulders (haiku)

i was torn apart
grappling with the demons
feel my strength return

black people dont walk on escalators

Mr & Mrs Smith

I rented this a week ago, and had very low expectations. During the screening I was completely mesmerized by Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt. Neither is a great actor, but I just couldnt get past that they are the two best looking people on the planet, and if they make a baby, it will be the goddamn ugliest little toad ever.

So make us this hideous baby, so we can all point our fingers and laugh.....

deja vu all over again

larry is out
i'm scooping grinds in the dark
and there is still no milk or creamer in the fridge


the dairy fairies did not buy milk again
i need to invest in a cow

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Creatures of Habit

The weekdays all play out the same.
The alarm goes off before sun-up, and we both give audible groans. Larry starts chuffing in my ear. He has to be let out, and the alarm is his que to stick his wet nose in my face and wag his tail. My wife summons the bravery to get out of bed first and turns on the channel 6 news. She trips over my shoes (that are now very shiny) on her way to bathroom and curses me.

Karen Rogers is giving the local traffic report. She is someone with whom my wife was aquainted with a million years ago, and is a genuinely wonderful person.

I ponder outloud in a gravely voice "Do you think she takes it in the Pooper?"
There's laughter from the bathroom and then the shower starts.

Larry is going crazy, and I need coffee. I need coffee now. I was stupid again last night and up past twelve.

I stumble out of my room in the dark with just my underwear and a morning hardon. My boys are all still asleep and I will wake them soon, in the same order that I always do, saying the same things, scratching their backs, getting them dressed, fed and ready for school. We will fight over getting socks and shoes on, no doubt.

Larry sprints into the backyard, and i return bleary eyed to count measured scoops of grinds and cups of filtered water. It's all part of the ritual.

My cruel mind keeps spotting my cat in the corner of my eye. For six years this is was our daily moment together. The coffee would begin to drip and Pepper would sit on the counter and wait for me to scratch under his chin with both of my hands. Then he would jump to the floor and bump my leg til I fed him. That is how it was and I still dont want to give him up.

I'm mad at him for getting hit. I'm mad at him for being dead. I'm lonely.

I look in the fridge and we are out of milk and creamer. I softly pound my head against the freezer door. Today is going to suck.

Larry barks to be let in.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

might be alittle too gay

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
potentially one of the photos for the first press release....too gay? i think maybe i need something more fun or crazy. there's some of me in the kilt too, but they need some work before i can post....

Gabba Gabba Hey!!!

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
There's alot of name generators out there and most of them are frankly pretty gay. I did find this AWESOME one called 'The Ramones Name Generator' that would give you your Ramones name!!!! Check it out!

I Deal in Tens

I roam this rusty city with a smile on my face. I'm still carrying several thousand dollars in Ten dollar demoninations. They are wrapped up in $500 stacks, and I transfer the stacks from pocket to pocket giggling to myself. It's a stupid stupid thing but I cant get myself to deposit it and end the joke.

At lunch I walk into an ancient shoe repair shop. An old black man with half his teeth shines my shoes. We talk about Joe Namouth and about cigarettes.

He gets ten bucks for a three dollar shine. I get to smile at my shiny shoes.
I Deal in Tens

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Blog of Lewd Enlightenment

The Blog of Lewd Enlightenment
Check this blog out. He's written a bunch of '8-word poems' that i feel good about.

Something is afoot at the Hudson United Bank

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
I just had a bizarre banking experience.

I had to cash a check drawn on an account at Hudson United Bank. Their website pointed me to the branch at 16th and Market. For those of you unfamiliar with Philly, it would be like an address in Times Square in NYC. Not that fun, but that Central to this city.

It's 10am and I try the door. It's locked, I notice a doorbell. A lone woman comes to the door and lets me in. She's the only person in employees, no customers. Everything else appears normal. Glass walls, loan desks, marble columns.
Just strangley empty for a center city bank.

The woman is friendly and moves through the secure door and behind the greenish bullet proof glass.
"Can I Help You?" she's very nice
"I just need to cash this check"

She looks at my check with some concern
"Are Tens and Fives OK?" she asks

"Uhhh.....I hundreds? no twenties?" The check I gave her is for a few thousand. This is kinda weird, what bank doesnt have anything bigger than a $10?

The nice lady disappears into the vault for a few minutes and comes back with a huge stack of money. HUGE. None of it is bound with those little paper things that make you think it's been counted and certified in some way.

She starts making piles of money, counting and recounting. Each stack is about an inch high and finally gets one of those paper thingy to hold it together. I'm so amused I dont mind the inconvenience I'm going to have with this money. I feel like a bank robber when I'm shoving stack after stack in various pockets in my pants and the inside of my jacket. This rocks.

The whole process takes 15 minutes and not a single customer comes do these guys stay in business?

Monday, December 19, 2005

I'm Not Superstitious.....but.....

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
I've been a Colts fan for about 15 years now. I actually chose to be a Colts fan, because they were so god-aweful. Right now they are one of the most exciting teams in football to watch. They run a 'no-huddle' offense, which means that the players dont know what the play is going to be until the Quarterback calls it out as the ball is snapped. Peyton Manning is also one of the only Quarterbacks that is allowed to call his own plays, everyone else has the coach do it.

Lore is, if Steakbellie is wearing your Jersey, you are about to be traded, sold, fired, or killed. My wife gave me a Marshall Faulk Jersey years ago, only to have him traded from the Colts 3 months later. I have a Duece Staley Jersey that I was given moments before his announced exit from the Eagles. I own 4 Terrel Owens Jerseys in my house which brought monstrous pain upon this city. My dark green #81 Jerseys caused him to take the entire Eagles Team down with him.

Saturday was my birthday and I unwrapped a wonderful NFL Official Peyton Manning Jersey. (The Dark Blue One) and as much as I love it, I can only wonder what damage I am bringing to my beloved Colts. Perhaps an asteroid or airplane will land on the RCA dome? I'm going to wear it nonstop anyway as I look good in blue. It's almost the new black.

Sunday the Colts lost their first game this season after going 12-0......

One Year and 383 Posts Later

Yesterday was one year from when I first started this blog. Much thanks goes to Birdy for introducing me to it and for sharing his own blog. It's been such an excellent creative outlet for me, and I feel as if I'm creating something that my boys will be able to read years from now when I am gone....some way to know me better.

It was weird for me to realize that someone would actually take the time to read this stuff, and a totally mind-fuck that they would come back a second time. Today, I can say I'm grateful for that.

Most of the people in my current life: Co-workers, neighbors and family do not know about this blog. My wife knows about it but doesnt read it. She said that I need some privacy so I can bitch about her. Funny though I dont do that, she's a public figure and doesnt need our personal trash posted out there.

I have shared it with 'old friends', on the thought that it's a good way to keep a connection with them, and they figured me out years ago and still stuck around.

Whats funny is that the bulk of people that read this are strangers, and some of them have made themselves known to me and share their own blogs. I'm honored.

It's also pretty amazing to realize that these pages have been loaded over 18,000 times in the last year. Thats actually kinda scary.

Here's a link to my first post


Sunday, December 18, 2005


Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
I just finished burying my cat in the backyard.

Although I am a dog person, and dont naturally gravitate to cats, I'm pretty upset. We've had him for six years and he was known all through the neighborhood. He was the only animal that I allowed to have food from the table....he'd sit next to me, and I'd give him chicken or spagetti from my own plate. The dogs were scared of him and would look with jealousy.

There's actually a wonderful story how he earned the right to be feed from the table, but i really dont want to tell it right now. Maybe this week will be a good time to talk about it.

Kel and the boys are a wreck and I feel horrible for them. Today was supposed to be a good family day, and the neighbor called just as we pulled into the Art Museum parking lot. They all helped me dig the hole. We all took turns weeping and digging, i think it's important that they boys be physically involved.

We burried him with a little container of spagetti. He used to put one end in his mouth and suck it in, like a little kid. I've really never seen a cat like this, we have another one that's just a normal cat.

There's a beautiful little girl, Aly, that is my neighbor that was in love with him. She dressed up as Pepper for Halloween. I feel so bad......She's four. Her dad brought her over to say a prayer at the stone I laid over his grave.

There are four or five families that used to let him in their house. He was a phenominal mouser. He brought back birds, moles, mice, and I even once saw him catch a squirrel (squirrel got away thank goodness). Of course the legendary story is the one about the night he caught the bat...........


i miss him already.....

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Afterglow....

I keep catching small wiffs of Haggis all week. Like a split-second and then it's gone......

Friday, December 16, 2005

Waste of a day

Oi vey
I'm done for today

I've been running meetings all day, and now i want to do nothing but go home. We have our X-Mas party tonight for work so I'm dressed up in a suit. After work I'm gonna go sit in a random bar for 2 hours waiting for the party to start. It doesnt make sense to go all the way home.

The party's gonna suck as it's a couples event this year and my wife cant make it. The funny thing is that noone here has ever met my wife, so I should have just brought someone else and just said it was my wife. That would have been pretty funny....a guy friend would have been even funnier, because they think I'm sooooo conservative here. I love fucking with peoples perception of me.

so now i'm gonna be the 3rd wheel at a table in some We recently hired alot of people, so now I know even less of them....

Thursday, December 15, 2005

five miles of clarity

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
I run through the suits for a few blocks until I hit the bridge at 30th and Market There's a staircase there that go down to a beautiful jogging path that noone seems to know about. Today it is desolate. You can actually forget you are in the middle of a major city.

The path goes along the Schuylkill River, past the Art Museum, and along the famous boathouse row. As soon as I hit the path I can feel the 17 degree windchill, and I wonder what the hell I'm doing out here. I could be sitting in my office surfing the internet.

Snow is begining to fall from a grey sky. It's blowing sideways.

A thin skin of ice is forming on the river.

The wind is stinging my face. Pulling it taught and biting my ears.

"you're here because you're afraid to lose"
i stop running for a moment and put my hands on my knees resisting the urge to puke on the snow
"yeah, but I'm terrified of winning"
"you better keep running til you forget everything then"

i rumble on

the bath (haiku)

the bath
Originally uploaded by steakbellie
clean wrinkly fingers
play until it's too cold
dad wraps the warm towel

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Return of Social Distortion

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
I've been listening to "Sex, Lies and Rock 'n Roll nonstop autorepeat for about two months now.

If you ever liked Social D you need to aquire this's probably the best thing they've ever put together.

High, Gloss (Haiku)

malevolent me
accross the middle and through
i can take the pain

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

and begin....

there's alot to do
my mind is racing and it totally hasnt hit me yet
I'm giving myself tonight off
i'm going to have some beers
and then tomorrow starts a long road
i'm probably giving up booze til february 3
yeah, i'm that serious

i'm going to create a separate website just for this topic
so i dont have to post everything here
and make everybody sick

but tonight i rest and enjoy the family
because tomorrow i make them crazy

The video is posted

you can see me qualify at:

you may have to register to see it and i think it requires RealPlayer. ironically my firewall is blocking me from seeing it till i get home. they have the time wrong, they gave me 5.5 minutes and i did it in less than 4.

let me know if the film is good.

Made it.....

Made it.....
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'"

- J ac k K e r o u a c

Monday, December 12, 2005

do not attempt this at home

The Next Mrs. Steakbellie
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
i just got off the phone with the local sports radio station
they run a competition every year that draws 30,000 screaming fans and sells out the wachovia center.
it's a food eating competition
the food is chicken wings

If you're in the Philly area tomorrow sometime between 7-7:30am i'll be on the radio trying to win a spot at this fabled event on 610WIP (AM Station).

to get in you must do a 'food stunt'
mine will be eating 2lbs of haggis (look it up) in some yet to be determined time. lots of things factor into qualifying....most of it arbitrary. I intend to put on a great show if nothing else.(might be amusing for some of you if i choke to death on live radio!) I've got my father's kilt and my favorite t-shirt as a costume.

the thing is, 2lbs doesnt sound like that much. it really doesnt....but you should see how f'ing big it is when it's piled up in front of you. it's ALOT.

Most of the extreme eaters in the world are big and fat...but the very two best are Skinny and Asian. That will explain why I've been training to loose weight. I'm still working on a way to make myself Asian. Here's a photo of me and Sonia Thomas,the #2 eater in the World. She's only 99lbs!!! This was taken at last years event, where i was to support a friend of mine. dont you just wanna hug her?

so anyway, this is my life, and this is one of my major goals....god i want this really bad......

Saturday, December 10, 2005

sleep (haiku)

slept like a baby
it has been so very long
today I'm happy

Friday, December 09, 2005

Incident of the Black Shoes

"He's just like you!!!" she yells at me with frustration as I walk in the door.
I know exactly which of the three she's talking about. It's funny how whenever that is said about Ch@rlie and me, it's never meant in a good way. I put my work bag down and head up the stairs to his room.

Me, Myself & the Ghost of Henry Rollins (Haiku)

inferno within
incinerate this darkness
bring me home again

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Finding Purpose

three amigos
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
I'd like to expand more this article from Birdy that I pointed out in the previous post.
You Are A Cog.: This Is Your Life

In the comments PlayfulinDC said:
"What else is there? You're the one with the kids, right? Don't they say you understand the meaning of life once you have one?"

I want to repeat and further my comments.

I'm struck by what she has said, probably because I'm one of the people who have said/believed that.

Kids ratchet up your level of responsibility so high that you are no longer afforded the luxuries of self as easily. you are forced to put your own priorities on hold and to center on someone elses. it's not that you get any answers, but that you are given purpose. kids give you purpose.

and not always high-brow purpose, but simple goals...keep them warm, keep them fed, teach them how to speak, how to love, buy them Playstation. i guess they do make me want to be a better person though, i certainly want to be a better Dad to them. i fail that alot, but i do try.

for me, it's been the only clear thing i have to do in my life. everything else is a mess. i still dont know what i want to do, and i'm not even certain what i like....i know what they like. isnt that crazy?

i guess that's what's satisying about parenthood then, you're given a monstorous goal, something to do, some way to be useful with this little bit of time that we have. they consume and exhaust you, yet you're just happy to be there.

the other interesting thing about having kids is that it changes the way you think about your own parents. you realize first-hand the things that they gave up for you: money, sex, sleep, sanity and you're alot more forgiving (or at least understanding) of their failures.

so what happens when they grow up and go away? i dont have a freaking clue....i guess i find a new purpose....

and I'm certainly not saying that people without kids dont have or cant find purpose. we had kids so young, we never had a chance to look for a purpose!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Headup - Deftones

i count down the beats
and when the guitars come in
its so loud
my eyes roll back

You Are A Cog.: This Is Your Life

You Are A Cog.: This Is Your Life
Read this quick article from Birdy. It's so excellent.

fuck yeah

i got dressed in the dark this morning

later i realized that the pants i'm wearing
are 34's, and havent been worn in a long long time

i'm gonna be 'on' today.....


Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
I turn out all the lights and we open the front door. We're all looking out into the blackness of the street with anticpation. The first snow has begun to fall, and I'm a kid again with my boys. I bend down slightly and smell one of their hair.

All of the christmas lights are lit outside, and it's so peaceful to watch the flakes appear in their glow. They come from darkness and are suddenly illuminated red or green or white.

I love snow, I love walking in the snow, I love getting snowed in, I love driving in snow, I even like shoveling snow. We're all hoping for enough to stay home tomorrow and I'm warm with memories of a million snowstorms.

I look behind me to see the three-legged dog inch his rear-end alittle closer to the fire. Yeah, things are ok.

Monday, December 05, 2005

What I'm not doing

mental paralysis

there is so much to do, and I'm bored of all of it. i've even hit walls on my OWN work that NEEDS to get done. On top of it all I have a backlog of Blog articles in my head that I want to write but cant because i feel guilty that i'm not doing the important stuff. Here's a sampling of whats on the grill. I'm not kidding about the names.

"My Life as a Cock Magnet"
"Incident on the People Mover"
"One Year of Blogging"
"The Bad Side of Crazy"
"Legend of the Blonde Haired Cutie"
"It Feels Like the First Time"

Did you ever feel like you've bored of the Internet? I think I've read it all. Whats next.....

Sunday, December 04, 2005

the last to know

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.

i shut off the radio and keep my unfocused eyes on the horizon. i can feel the stares of the concerned motorists glaring at me as i pass them.

its so clear now that there were problems with the engine, building for a long time now. i heard the valves tapping months ago and could feel the engine shudder through the steering wheel. i once prided myself on my persistant maintenance, now my lack of diligence has lead to a real failure.

the white smoke coming out of the tailpipe is unmistakable, and i can see in my head what the exact problem is. there is a crack in the engine block and water and coolant are pouring into one or more of the engine cylanders. this car is having a heart attack, right now. half of the engine is burning, while the other half is drowning.

moments to minutes from now, the metal of the engine block will actually melt and in an instant, all of these rotating pieces will become a singular dirty chunk of steel and aluminum. the spinning wheels will attempt to force the now solidified crankshaft to turn. there will a thunderous sound as the transmission explodes into a thousand flying metal disks and literaly falls off the bottom of the car into the highway. i know too much, but idle knowledge hasnt helped me here.

i havent stopped the car yet, in fact i havent even slowed down to the speed limit. i know that once this car has stopped, it will have to be fixed. i will have to ask for help to get home. there will have to be a new plan, a new engine, or a new car

there is a sick curiosity that i must fight. i'm curious how far it will go.

the mile markers tick by

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Friday, December 02, 2005

under the gun

The job prospect opportunity with my former client is speeding along like lightning right now. I talked with someone there again, today again, and we agreed that I should put together a presentation that is a portfolio/resume combined that is written like a series of case studies.

My weak point will be showcasing copywriting. I've been building ads and brochures forever and have had to do tons of writing when clients didnt provide enough. The problem is nobody ever asked me to document it. It's not like I can show them my blog....'hey look I wrote all about drinking & getting fucked over by my boss!'

The other thing is that this needs to be such a compelling piece that they will be willing to shell out almost DOUBLE what they probably intended for the job.

Problems? It's due Monday morning. Tomorrow is completely lost already, so I may have some of tonight, and some of Sunday. I've always been better under pressure than without, but I'm worried I wont feel the pressure til late Sunday night. Doesnt give me any time for revision and I'm pretty exhausted. I have the graphics locked up already....

Gonna have to do this bird by bird I guess......

bringing it down to bare metal (haiku)

take off all the paint
inspect what's underneath it
the hidden damage

game day

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
the gods have made their decision. they have accepted my stunt proposal and my opportunity is sometime next week. i have to call in on Monday for the exact day, but i will post it here as soon as i know.

i hate being crytic, but it's necessary for now so it doesnt appear in google. it will make more sense when i can talk about it

this is my opportunity to reach beyond the realm of the normal man, and be kissed by greatness, to be part of something much much bigger than myself...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

china sucks

china sucks
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

the nature of tattoos

like you
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
long long day
boy was sick last night so I was up all night
worked all day
ran 5 miles
dealt with boss
dealt with guy who thinks he boss
commute (ughhh)
took oldest to wrestling practice
found out practice was cancelled
went to store for food shopping
worked with middle son on trumpet lesson
worked with youngest on drawing batman and robin
watched some 'professional wrestling' on tv with the boys
talked with vp of possible new job

now it's 10:30pm and everybody's asleep
i still have my own freelance work to do tonight

and all i can think about is how freaking bad
I want to scratch the new tattoo
it's driving me crazy
all I'm allowed to do is rub it with lotion
If I scratch it, It's fucked for life

The first set of scabs have come off
but she used soooooo much ink to make it super black
that the letters are still raised off the skin like it's a sticker
you can actually FEEL the raised letters like it was braille
the skin is still shiny too, like it's a burn
which would make sense

when they put the tattoo on you
it feels like someone is burning you with a cigarette
for two hours

whats funny is that brand new tattoos
will bleed black for a few days
there is an exact mirror image of this tattoo
on TWO of my couches
in india ink
that my wife hasnt seen yet

The Little Things

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
I'm looking back on what was a tumultuous part of my life. These last few months have held alot of good and bad. All of it living. Hopefully these experiences will help me make better decisions in the future. It's certainly embarrassing when you realize that you've made a fool of yourself, and that you cant go back to make amends. You gotta go forwards.

I realize that it's the little things that steer your life one way or another. Small opportunities that you take advantage of, or not.

We can read our kids a book or put on the tv, say something kind to a friend or be silent, go for a walk at lunch or surf the web. Wear the Black Shoes or the Brown, Paper or Plastic. All of these thing compound like interest over time.

It's these tiny choices that you make that can decide if you are skinny or fat, smart or stupid, rich or poor, happy or sad. Isnt that crazy? In the end, you really do control your own destiny, but not because of a single decision. It was a long line of tiny ones that brought you here!

And if you wake up one morning to realize, that you've ended up somewhere that you never intended? Start paying attention to those details, have some vigilence on a daily'll get somewhere new...I'm certainly counting on it....

so...I have to ask....would you like bacon? Seriously!

50lbs of Blonde Fury

the disinfectant is drying on resolite mats
as he laces his tiger split sole shoes

the room is near 100 degrees
and soon everyone will be sweating into their eyes

in this room his brothers learned pride
tempered by humility, respect


the drills are the same they were
all those years ago for me too

jumping jacks, running, sprouls,
sit-thoughs, stand-ups

but their moves are 'the whammer', 'double-leg', 'the stack'
I knew 'the pancake', 'the tilt' 'the spladel'

it's funny how moves come into fashion
like clothes do

we're down on the mat together, warming up
me and my boys

it's gonna be a good year....

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

a kick in the ass (haiku)

can be a good thing
it opens your eyes again
look to the future

What breed dog are you?

Thanx to GroovyGrrrl for this one. German Shepards are my favorite type of dog, and this website said I'm just like one. I think I'm more of a mutt that just shit in the house though....

discover your dog breed @ quiz meme

sometimes i gotta wonder
what planet am i from

i look like a man
but am i really

i bleed, laugh and cry
i get cold

i can love with all my heart
i can be blind with jealousy

i can be compassionate
i can bring the temple down around me

i can sleep like a baby
or lay awake all night alone

yet something's wrong
or different or weird

would you know it if you were crazy
like really crazy?

Monday, November 28, 2005

turn the page

did you ever have one of those weeks
where at the end you realize
you're not a good father or friend or even a person
where you're the last person you want to be near
and you just cant get away from yourself?

i want to start all over
do over....

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

digging my own private subway

the center-city girls have on their leather boots
and it's an artificial heat for me

I'm soaked in the rain again
with an old leather jacket
and sunglasses to protect me
from the passing umbrella spikes

my face is wet and hard from the wind
and the cold
i have gloves
but i dont wear them

I reach my building but I dont go in
I'm waiting for the song to finish

dressed in black
on a grey day

Monday, November 21, 2005

a view into my dining room last night

I'm working on some self improvement and identifying things I need to get done before I die. I've have a list of short term (year or two) things that would be fun to check off. The new tattoo was one of them.

One of the biggest things on my list I cant talk about here because I dont want anybody finding it through a search yet. I've been training for two months for this secret event. I've lost 20lbs through running, biking and weighhtlifting. and I intend to loose 27lbs more before gametime. The below story is a peak into some of the other training that is necessary.

A Haggis is a traditional Scottish food. It's a sheeps stomach, that has been stuffed with the sheeps heart, kidneys, and other guts. It's tied off with a string and cooked or steamed.

Some oatmeal is mixed in to keep you regular.

The Haggis comes out of the steamer and is placed on a big black plate in front of me. The lights are slightly dimmed and I'm sitting at the head of the table. Around me are my three sons, my friend, and his two children...everyone is staring at the large steaming organ in front of me.

I have a knife and two forks

I cut open the sheep stomach and a dark thick spreadable material oozes out of the bag. Everyone makes a noise.

I scrape all of the goo out of the baginto a huge pile. This is enough 'food' for a 3 person meal. 3 Americans even.

I close my eyes and exhale.
My buddy counts down from five.
At one he clicks the timer and I'm in the zone.

Five children are screaming, and i am using TWO forks to shove the haggis into my mouth
'WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?!?!' someone is yelling in my ear
but their is no time to talk

I try not to shove too fast but I am driven
I want this

The nicest thing I can say about this meal is that it is warm.

I work my way accross the plate and drop my forks on the last mouthful

one pound of haggis
2 minutes and forty seconds
a good time

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Originally uploaded by steakbellie.

Alcoholique Internationale (triple haiku action!)

pour me another!
a stein! a mug! a bottle!
two of each for me!

pour me another!
lets laugh! lets sing! lets forget!
i'm here! lets party!

pour me another!
please let me buy some for you!
my wallet is full!

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Dance

I just picked up my 11 year old, C@leb from his first dance in 6th Grade.
"How was the dance?"
"Dance with any girls?"
(he gives me a mortified dirty stare....dont go there Dad)

My first dance was in 7th grade in the school gym. There was girl Nicole in my homeroom that I wanted to ask, but was scared to even look at her. She was almost as tall as me and had short brown hair. She had the longest neck ever measured, which got even longer because she wore these V-Neck sweaters. She looked like an osterich (but in a good way) ha!

I never asked her and I dont think she went with someone else. I just remember a month of homerooms trying to get the guts to talk to her and the bell ringing to go to first period.

Some of my friends drank peach schnapps in the parking lot, threw up and got caught by the principal. Another friend of mine wore an earing and got kicked out.

I left my painted Iron Maiden jacket at home and wore:
Grey Parachute Pants
A Grey and White striped button up shirt
A skinny black leather tie
Black Capeseo's

My hair was all wacked out because I was growing out a mohawk that I had gotten that summer, and I had one of those 'rat-tails' in the back. (it was dyed blonde)

Amazingly all of the things I was wearing were actually 'in' at the time, but didnt seem to do much good for me.

I danced with a bunch of girls,( in that I danced in acrowd of like 12 girls), but never asked this chick to dance I was frozen whenever she was near...i must have been the only boy on the dance floor as the girls danced in the fog machine and the boys punched each other in their shoulders on the bleachers.....

The Wrestler who cried Wolf

The Hulkster
Originally uploaded by steakbellie
"M@x, Eddie Guerrero died."
I'm watching him carefully. M@x is only 6 and Eddie Guerrero was one of his heros.

Eddie's a professional wrestler and M@x knows all his moves, his entrance song, and never misses his performance on Friday Night SmackDown.

He's standing in front of me with his mouth open. I almost laugh at his intial response.
"Batista's not going to have a tag-team partner!"
he follows it up a million questions

"How do you know he's dead?", "Did somebody kill him?", "Was it the Undertaker?"

He's seen Eddie get thrown out of a ring, get clocked in the head with a chair, and punched in the face. He's seen him come back from beating after beating to win a crucial matchup.

"They found him dead in his Hotel Room" I say

"Somebody must have choked him" he says

"We talked about this before. These wrestlers dont really live like that. They are all best friends once the show is over. They arent violent people. He probably had a heart attack or something"

he doesnt believe me, and why should he believe that an inshape muscular man of my age should just kick over of a measly heart attack?

"How do they know he's dead? Maybe he's just sick? Maybe he's pretending"

"No baby, I'm sorry...Eddie's dead....The paper said that Chavo found him" I say holding his face

"I think somebody snuck in his room....."

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Enjoy the Ride

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
Here's a photo I took on a Rollercoaster last week. It shows 2 people having very different reactions to the exact same experience. I guess life is alot like this photo.

I got a call from an old client of mine right before I left for vacation. They want to interview me for a fulltime job there. I know and like all the people I'd be working with and the work itself is enough to fill my head. I'd get to travel abit and just enjoy making things happen.

There's alot that needs to be worked out in order for it to be reality, but I have to tell feels good to know that somebody out there wants you...enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Orlando Saved!

Orlando Saved!
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
I'm back from an incredible vacation. M@x, Captain America, and I cleaned up the rough streets of Orlando Florida, putting all sorts of holligans behind bars. In the coming days I will recount every dreadful detail.....

Somehow I took 835 photographs on this trip and this is one of the 2 of me. I look damn good. I need a skinsuit just like Captain America. He may have bigger muscles, but I'm hung like a bear.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005


vacation, babe, vacation....

Monday, November 07, 2005


Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
photo i took of a friend that night somebody let me drink all that whiskey and I developed a Scottish Accent in an Irish Bar.

Look at it large, it has alot of nice subtle things happening in it.

faithless (haiku)

i will run til dawn
give me something to believe
i will do the rest

take a break

broken arm
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
I planned I writing about my theory of raising boys this weekend. One of the things I planned on talking about was the role of 'rough-housing'. Ironically, that's how my middle son broke his arm this weekend.

I feel terrible for him, he was in a pretty good amount of pain and will now miss all of wrestling season which begins tonite. He also wont be able to write as he is right-handed.

fortunatly we leave for vacation in two days anyway.....

Friday, November 04, 2005

move on

some very good discussions here the last few days. I'm going to try some of Jenne's ideas. I also plan to make some tweaks in my direction career-wise and personally. Nobody's gonna change it for me. There's acouple things I gotta do before I die, and I'm gonna do them. I started outlining the list yesterday. Alot of them I can have doen by this time next year.

thankyou friends and virtual friends for your very kind words and for compassion.

Birdy, stock up on the electrolytes....I need some new tattoos....

For Today

I stood in line for 3 hours at the viewing. The line snaked out into the parking lot for hundreds of yards. It was a testiment to who he was and the many many lives he touched. They burried him in his football coaches jersey, and the wrestling hat my wife handed him this summer.

Everyone was smoking

I also understood that I wont have a third of that number at my own funeral. I dont make deep connections easily. I can care about many people, but I prevent most of them from making a deep connection with me. Everyone at arms length where they cant do much damage......Thats ok with me for now.

I cried my last and drank myself to sleep. With little rest and probably some beer still pumping through me,I made it to work in my fastest time ever. All my stress goes into that big 52T Chain ring

I'm solid today

I even feel like fighting

the road ahead

happiness is at the bottom of the next bottle
salvation can be chased with running shoes
redemption bought with sweat and strain

Thursday, November 03, 2005

i want to run away

i know why this death is bothering me so much. It was somebody I saw often and made small talk with, but not a best friend or anything. It's because on paper, we're almost the guy. We've both been married a Brazillion years, have the same age kids in the same schools.

We both spend all of our free time supporting our kids interests...not just dropping them at practice, but actually changing our clothes and getting dirty with them.

He's dead because he wasnt wearing a seat-belt. I always wear one, but how many other stupid things are there that I do that could get me killed?

So am I ready to die? Have I forgotten to do something? Will my family survive it? Is it ok to waste my time at a job I hate? Everybody knows I love them, right? (i say that often)

People always talk about 'living life to the fullest, but honestly that doesnt fully jibe with being a good father and husband. I understand the mentality in a temporary sense, but I dont know how to adapt it to long term responsible living. I enjoy my life, but should i be enjoying it more? If I have more fun, someone else MUST be having less fun. (Isnt that part of the law of Thermodynamics?)

honestly I dont want to face these things, i want to run away.....(or maybe bike)

Grande Odalisque

Grande Odalisque
My Dog Lucky. Click for bigger....


i couldnt sleep last night
i'm going to jimmy's viewing tonight
and it's going to suck

wrestling season starts on tuesday
and he wont be there
it's just weird
he's always been there

he wont be there for baseball this spring

or football next fall

on sunday the football team had his intials on their helmets
and they painted them in the endzone
and chanted his name

one of jimmy's sons came to the game
and stood alone on the sideline
completely bewildered

I picked up the local paper early this morning
and he's on the cover
i sat on the toilet weeping again
this is stupid

the ride home

The ride home is alot harder for several reasons.

For one it's more uphill on the way home. My pack weighs 17 lbs (with clothes and locks) and anyone who's ever biked up a mountain, weight matters.

I'm tired and hungry and my brain isnt as sharp.

All of the drivers are tired and frustrated with the extra traffic. They will take extra risks to get home faster, I need to anticipate that.

It's dark. This is my least favorite thing about biking in the winter. I cant see puddles, potholes, sand, dirt or glass. My tires are only 23 Centimeters wide, they are fast but will slide out on the tiniest bit of debris.

The same asshole in a Lexus SUV almost hit me twice last night. His side view mirror just missed my shoulder. I cursed at him but his radio was too loud to even hear me.

I barely aweat on the ride in....on the ride home I'm soaked...My family watches the clock and worries, so I grind it out to make it home faster and faster.

My Mom called last night to see if I made it home ok. I make her feel ok, I dont want her to worry. "It's 8.5 Miles you have any idea how much further I've ridden? These drivers are afraid of me!" I promise her that I wont get hit by a bus but she doesnt get the joke. All of the bus drivers are striking.

This morning I get pressed to the curb by a charter bus that doesnt see me. Damn...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

the best part

the best part about commuting is that in 5 minutes I will close my office door take off every piece of clothing and put on my stretchy bike clothes. I will do all of this giggling.

Why will I be giggling? I have four enourmous windows that I wont close the blinds on, and three complete floors of employees of PA Blue Cross accross the alley will get an eyefull of my fabulousness.

I'm a modest person, but I find this to be hilarious.......

a good day

i feel pretty good today. i feel alive.

just within the last hour, the exhileration from riding my bike during the SEPTA strike began to fade. It's so much better than a standard long bike ride. Rather than going at a consistant pace, I'm trying to sprint each block, to make it to the momentary gaps between moving and parked cars.

There's no opportunity to let off for most of the trip, going fast gives them less time to hit me, and less force from their intial impact. My eyes are wide and my ears tuned and my mind is forced to be silent, I'm so happy when I arrive. I've been swamped in a l-mild-luke depression, and this have given me hours of reprieve. like being drunk, I sit and smile at everybody.

I leave at sunset tonight to go home, I hate riding in the dark, and I will have to go even faster to get home before I am completely invisible.

kick out the jams, mother fuckers

Black Heart, Pink Toes

Originally uploaded by steakbellie

is it more than you
bargained for

years and years pass
and I'm still doing laps

thats what I have to do
i cant stop myself

and again
one more time


why arent you sick of me
like i am

Seventh Paragraph

got interviewed yesterday when I was getting ready to commute home on my bike.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Chain Reaction

Plan B
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
Septa struck this morning and the workers of Philadelphia are screwed.

The fastest I've ever gotten to work on the Trolley/Train Combo I take is 45 minutes...never more than 60.

I rode my bike to work today in 39!

The roads are completely clogged with people forced to drive. It would probably be 1.5 hours to make it in by car.

Very few mishaps on the way, the biggest danger being 2 broken spokes on my back rim. I also dont like having to wear a backpack with my dress clothes in it. If this strike keeps up, I'll get a frame pack so my body can be free.

It really put me in a good mood though, I'm cleaned up and singing to myself here. (Fire Woman, The Cult)

My tie has little bicycles on it!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

top of the cake

i thought had a tough week
then somebody i knew died today

and everything changes

he was my age
my height (well four inches shorter)
but made it up in people that loved/respected him
goatee and earing
and a smile to love

our kids went to school together
he coached C@lebs baseball team this year

He Coached football with my sons
and we endured five LONG years of wrestling together
I have photos of him on the website

i evenwrote an article about him once here

We're talking about a father of two boys
who loved them desperatley
who was never without his wife

and always pretended to be happy to see me
a decent man
better than me
dead on the road

i have a photo of the car wreck and it shows the blood on the highway.....

People came to football practice tonight to cry together
and hear hear that they just unplugged his machine
have you seen 350lbs coaches cry?
seriously, tattooed shaven earinged coaches crying

how about a team of 100lbs kids that loved him and his sons
dressed in their pads and weeping
upon each other
have you seen that?
close your eyes and feel it
its a fucking mess

if you got something to do you better fucking do it
times running out

Friday, October 28, 2005

Admit One

Originally uploaded by steakbellie

Alone on the trolley,
on the train,
in the elevator,
in the office
and back again

In my head
I replay the worst scenes
the ones that make me physically sick
over and over

i'm forced to watch from every angle
hear every sound
hurt myself over and over
actually wincing

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Lion's Press Conference

The Press Conference has been quickly arrainged on the Savanah. There's a monkey swining on the microphone stand, hooting into the microphone to test it. A pack of Antelope are looking nervously from side to side. They have press passes.

The lights come on and the Lion comes out from behind a curtain. He centers himself infront of the microphone (monkey starts to swing upside-down now) and a backdrop that has the words "New Beginingz" stamped repeatedly on it.

Lion: (clears throat to see that the mic is on, the Antelope shuffle slightly) "Hey guys, I dont want to take alot of your time, so I'll get right to it. I've been thinking alot lately and I've decided to announce to you and the world, that I am no longer a Lion."

The crowd is stunned and the Lion is confused by the lack of reaction. One of the Antelope blinks.

"Really...I'm not a Lion....I've...."
There is a mad shuffle of hooves and dust.
The assembled animals are gone except for the monkey who gnawing on the microphone cord and patting himself on his pink ass.
The Lion exhales and audibly thumps his head down on the live mic.

someone else's turn

Originally uploaded by steakbellie
i've put away the badges i wear
shelved the golden rule
i no longer need to be the hero
the rock

I'm going to stop building bridges
stop extending my hand
stop understanding
I'm on holiday

it's time for me

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The rain's coming down on the inside too

this is one of those times
that you'll never forgive us for
even if your head understands it

i see nothing but heartbeak and dirty socks for miles

i've been through this before
but on your side
and it still hurts

we're all gonna be alone together
thinking about it
wishing for that time machine

if a hunger-strike could fix it
i would be not-eating for two

Monday, October 24, 2005

Rabbit Stew for Steakbellie

Thurman Munson's Brother
Here's a great article by blogging newcommer Artie Lange. He scooped me talking about Extreme Makeover:Home Edition. It's a show I love/hate. I'm fascinated watching the people who are getting new homes and of their stories. I'm also fascinated by design and construction and the stuff they build is always functional, beautiful and apporpriate.

I hate the show because It makes me want to cry. I get all worked up hearing about the dog with only three legs and the drunk with a bad Scottish Accent. Seriously as the show progresses I feel tension building in a stretch of lanscape accross my throat and chest. It would be ok, if I could just cry and let it out like a big sissy, and nobody would know and I'd feel alot better. I'm in a dry period these days and dont allow myself to cry, so the tension just builds, and nothing happens.

The best part of Artie's article however is the story of the rabbit. Please go read it because I could only ruin it. Whenever he tells this story I always have a flashback to Monty Python's "Holy Grail"

'It IS the rabbit!!!'

Artie, Who's this hot blonde?

Clan Steakbellie

Steakbellie Tartan
Originally uploaded by steakbellie
I was writing a painfully embarrasing article about my weekend, and I've decided to apply Ochams Razor and simplify it so I dont beat myself up too badly.
* I went to an OctoberFest Party at my neighbors!
* Somehow I wound up drinking Whiskey! (I dont drink hard liquor)
* I convinced my wife to drop me off at a local Irish bar to see my friends band play!
* I brought no money, but entered a contest to pour Gunniess!
* I got in line many times pretending to be a different person! (free gunniess)
* I spoke to everyone in a Scottish Accent the whole night! (including people I know)
* I'm not very good at that!
* I remember very little of this, but it was reconstructed for me by others!
* The next day, upon confessing to my wife that I puked in the backyard, she informed me of all the other places I puked too!

See it's a hell of alot less embarrassing when I list it in fun, bulleted copy. I havent drunk this much since college. In fact this is the first time I've blacked out in 13 years. I've been cringing with every new revelation that has been coming my way. Apparently I talked to a whole bunch of people...ughhhh.

I do remember the Scottish Accent part. I thought it would be ironic to do that in an Irish bar....

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Game in the Rain

Rain Game

Friday, October 21, 2005

Cutting the legs out from under yourself

Originally uploaded by steakbellie
You Are A Cog.: Obviously
Read this article by Birdy. It's a great view into Corporate America and the measures upper management takes to save themselves despite the damage to be caused to the Company they have been hired to nurture.

In the late Ninties, I had the best job I will ever have. All of you have seen how Advertising Companies are portrayed on TV. Beautiful, talented people working in a cut-throat atmosphere in ultra-posh settings. Seems like every tv show or movie glamourizes the Ad Executive, but really who's ever seen those people? Me. That was my job.

Our office was located in the most expensive floorspace in Manahattan and the world. I would ride the elevator with the famous who needed to do interviews on different floors. Reba McEntyre, The Beach Boys, Faith Hill.

I would call home
"Honey I was three feet from Ricky Martin!"
"The baby has diarrea"
"Britney Spears!!"
"He just puked on me too"
"Tom Seleck!!!"
"Can you pick up some Pedialite on the way home?"

Our offices were made out of glass walls. Our weekly staff meetings were Catered. In fact we had our OWN In-House Caterer with a special kitchen. Despite the special kitchen, all she did was order trays of sandwiches from expensive restaurants like 'Cosi'. (She was Latino. I know this because she was constantly telling everyone that she was Latino. I would interject "Oh, I didnt know you were Spanish" after one of her tired Latino Experience stories. She had a strong Spanish Accent, yet we were both born in the same town in New Jersey)

Our company parties were at Manhattan nightclubs frequented by J.Lo and P.Diddy. All of our work was for Fortune 500 Companies. We thought up their commercials, their ads, their logos and we built their Brands.

Our CEO once rented a private ship to sail us around Manahattan on a booze cruise to celebrate yet another big name contract. Not a "Circle Line" but an actual Sailing ship, with waiters and music and many many bottles of Champange.

Bleary Eyed Account Executives would recount wild after work sex parties, there were whisperings of Cocaine use in the bathrooms and which of the gay Art Directors was secretly Straight.

The company was stocked with the Titans of Advertising. Anyone who had ever made a name for themselves was plucked from their seats and hired by my company. The company was structured with layers of Creative Directors, and Senior staff. Idealy it should be a pyramid format. Mostly workers supporting some middle management, supporting the top executives.

I found that the higher up you went, the less you knew how to do. Not that these people were incompetant, many were brilliant. Just that they were busied with Concepts and Strategies, and unfamiliar with the tools that would turn those Visions into reality.

Here's an example: One of the Vice-Presidents described for me in a phone conversation what he wanted done for a book jacket we were designing for a famous author. I researched and designed the cover. The Vice-President was given the cover credit without mention of me, his computer skillset ends at checking email. It was a New York Times Bestseller.

I left that job at the turn of the Century (doesnt that sound cool? the turn of the Century?) The company was thriving on the dotcom boom, but the four hour commute was killing me and my family. I moved out of the area for a sweet job writting software, maintaining close email contact with my friends in NYC.

steakbellie of old
Originally uploaded by steakbellie
The Bubble Breaks
Soon after I left, the dot-com bubble began to break. Money started to dry up and the company begin to cut back on the parties. They instituted a Hiring Freeze. They limited raises. They sent out positive emails about how things were getting tighter but were about to turn around, have confidence in your Ship-Captain.

Than came the first round of cuts. Because they truly believed that the downturn was temporary, Management only laid off workers at the bottom level. It had worked very hard acuiring it's all-star management staff and wasnt about to let them go for a single bad quarter.

The next quarter the same thing happemed. The recovery, couldnt be far off, so they cut the workers again. This happened for four rounds of lay-offs til 9-11. Soon the company still had a massive payroll, and almost no-one to do the little work they had. Furthermore, Pride & Policy did not allow them to hire back those workers that they had just laid off. Unwilling to trim the company evenly throughout the recession, management had thrown away the company.

Steakbellie Loses/Wins
My software company went down with the towers. Being unemployed is a great lesson in humility that everyone should experience once, kind of like a good ass-kicking. In the depths of my sorrow the Red Phone rang.

"Steakbellie, We need you in New York!"
"I'm on my way!"

The next six months were a complete blur. I rode a Greyhound from Philly to NYC every day, and did the Production work of an entire company. Most of the glass offices were dark and those few staff that remained were glum with gallows humor. No more catered champagne birthday parties.

I would show up with a box of doughnuts and a grin. I was already out of a job, so I didnt have to worry about losing one. This was only a temporary patch for me and I was charging my former employer exhorbitant fees just to show up.

I'm still alittle bitter about what happened. The excutives who ran the business were so concered about preserving themselves that they choked all of the life out of the company. Despite the tales of excess, they produced some of the finest work I've ever seen. Everyone I cared about at that company was laid off and they went adrift to be bought by a bigger company, that bought it for their catalog of work for a song and a cup of coffee.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

enough already.....

power ball
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
I wish somebody would win this stupid thing so I can forget about it again. My mind keeps spinning hypothetical situations of what to do if I win, and I'm sick of thinkning about it.

It's not that it's bad to have a fantasy (almost everything I believe in is a fantasy!) It's that all of the scenereos turn out bad in my head. I win 300 Brazillion Dollars and it destroys my family....everytime.

I try to help my friends, and they hate me. All of my beer is warm. My dog bites me.

God, please lift this burden and let some other poor soul win this money.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Approximation of a Man

I'm a six like the rest of them
most are three plus three
acouple make do with four plus two
I'm a seven minus one
and the only one like it

six in one half dozen in the other?
not if you look how it got there

Drunk with Editorial Power!!!

I spent yesterday (and most likely today) doing mundane graphical work. It's a series of paper forms that need to get condensed and rebuilt. It's a rush job for another manager here. The forms have to get done under a tight deadline so I am doing what he cannot, I have 15 years as a graphic designer.

My problem is not with the form but with the guy. He has Art Director Disease. It's pretty serious.

He calls me throughout the day, making changes to the multiple forms, moving lines about, changing the size of boxes, trying to get things to line up. Alot of the boxes are a certain size because they need room for the person filling them...say "Address" needs more room than "First Name"

He can not see the functionality and cant get past his desire for extreme symtry and order. He makes changes to already completed (and approved) forms...just to make changes.

I've worked for plenty of real Art Director that are just as bad. Because they arent doing the work, they feel they need to at least have it arbitraily altered, so that they can feel involved. They use words that mean nothing, to describe their vision (which is never really a vision, but a hopeful plea for success to shine on their backside)

Thats part of the game and I can deal with that. This guy walks in and stands over my shoulder watching me rearrange text. Thats so not cool. I r4eally despise that....

Friday, October 14, 2005


Last night there were skinheads on my lawn
Take the skinheads bowling
Take them bowling

Thursday, October 13, 2005

What if it worked?

Lincoln Memorial
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
I'm an optimist
It's something that I inhertited from my Dad. Even as Cynical & Sarcastic as I get with time and experience, I always find it creeping into my head 'what if there's a way to make it work?'

Alone in my head, I find myself trying on the shoes of my enemies. Thinking what they are going through, empathizing with their situations. Fantasizing ways to bridge the gaps and reach out. I dont always do it, but I do play around with the options. Alot of times I silently forgive enough so that it doesnt haunt me. I forget.

It's the kind of mentality that didnt always serve me well growing up. Girls dumped me and people took advantage of me, because I didnt realize that they had different intentions. I got hurt easily, but caloused with age. In fact I can be pretty hard now at times.

I had a conversation with my wife today that sparked something in me. I've been upset with my job and have a crappy attitude. There's no future here and no matter what happens I'll still leave next year...but what to do with the time over the next several months. I could sit here are rot or get something done...there's things I want to learn, projects I'd rather not leave unfinnished...Someone inside me groaned when I realized I might make myself work for nothing other than integrity....But thats something thats still important to me I guess.....we'll see if it sticks or if I slog back down after the next inane conversation with my boss....

The Local Dump

"Do you ever get scared?"
The baby is laying in my bed with the comforter pulled up to his chin, he's watching me get my work clothes ready for tomorrow. It's cold outside.
"How come you're not afraid to go downstairs by yourself?"

He's be a nut lately about going to a floor of the house, when nobody else is there. It's a problem because in our old house they only put bathrooms on the second floor. One of the brothers has to go up with him when he wants to go.

"Some stuff you just get tired of being scared of...I continue...."like tonight you had to take a dump, but nobody wanted to leave the dinner table to go with you." (He's smiling sheepishly out of a mix of embarrassment and giddyness over the word 'dump') Someday you're going to be faced with the decision of being afraid and crapping in your pants, or being afraid and using the toilet. You'll still be afraid, but you'll be alot more comfortable if you make it to the toilet. Pretty soon you'll just get tired of being scared about it and just do it."

He doesnt say anything else and watches me spray startch on my shirt

I'm a dog people

I love dogs. I have two big ones.
When I worked for myself for 3 years, they were the only people I had to talk to during the day, so we became very good at communicating with each other.

When I am mad at them I show my teeth, or do a low growl and they are groveling on the floor. Without thinking, I've growled at my children and once even at some nasty lady on the train.

Mostly I am happy with them and they like to lay nexto, on or around me.

We have a neighbor with two dogs as well. They are nice people but we never really hit it off, and I think maybe some of it was their feelings about how we keep our dogs.

Five years ago these neighbors had no children. They would come home from work, to their perfectly kept house, and take their dogs for long walks with special leashes that grab around the torso so not to choke them. They dearly loved these dogs and bought them expensive scientifically formulated dog foods. One of the dogs got cancer, and I was really heartbroken about it. They spent thousands and thousands of dollars, getting radiation treatments and chemotherapy...its all out of pocket. The dog survived and is still around today.

My dogs dont get enough excercise, I dont walk them enough, but they do go and run and wrestle each other in the back yard. I feel bad that they dont get walked enough, and I'd always feel worse with a thinly disguised comment from these people on the occassion I did walk them. The reality is that I have too much going on in my life and my dogs get shafted on the walks.

Over the next two years I watched them walk these dogs twice a day...every day...every weather. Then they had a baby. I've NEVER seen them walk them again in the last three years!!!! Not Once! HA!!!!

hand me the graviton

I sit in a high gravity area.
It sounds funny but it's true. The multiplied force ensures that I dont leave to do something interesting, and they dont have to post guards. They know I'm not going anywhere.

I can get up to get water, but I am drawn back down into my low chair soon after. I try to calculate what my escape velocity is, but the math is too difficult, and I'm too tired from sitting here all day.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

didnt win.....

should probably go to work tomorrow....guess i gotta go to bed....

Understanding Women

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.

Understanding Men

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
Lets understand the male. Look at this photo. One of these creatures is named Larry, and the other is named Dave. Can you tell which one is named Larry? Doesnt matter, you could rub either one of these guys on the belly and his leg would shake.

Dave is the one in the yellow hat. He shows up at my house whenever there's an Eagles game on tv. Dave is drinking my beer, laying on my couch, being loved by my dog. Do you see that smile on his face. Dave is happy.

Thats it. Thats how deep we go.

Well we actually do go deeper but only when you introduce a woman to the experiment....then we add the thought "BOOOOBIES"

fall in the city (haiku)

leaves in the gutter
wind biting faces and ears
girls in leather boots

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Steakbellie hits it big

power ball
Originally uploaded by steakbellie
Concerning the post about winning the lottery, I like Birdy's assessment that most fights ARE about imaginary things. In fact I realized that I dont have this lottery conversation with my own wife because WE'D probably fight about it too.

My wife is an extrememly fun person, who knows how to enjoy life. $10 Million would inspire her to throw a party that lasted about two months and spanned every continent. There would be lots of fun, laughing and drinking and in the end, all of the money would be spent and I'd have a house full of animals and candles.

Despite not buying tickets, I too have a detailed plan of how I'd spend (read: not spend) the money...and by great contrast, I'd die anonymously laying on a huge pile of stock certificates with dirty socks on, sometime in the next century. I actually get alittle stressed when I dive into this fantasy so, it probably a good thing that I dont win.

Seriously, I'd love to remain annonymous, and not even tell my friends. I'd pay off my house and tell the neighbors that I quit my job to become an actor. Whenever I showed up with a new car, I'd say I landed a spot on a Soap Opera. You know, the one on the Spanish station.

I'd buy a beach house with the sole purpose of offering it to my friends for when they want to vacation with their families. So many of us can never get away anywhere and I think a free vacation is a kick nice thing to do for someone. I'd hook up my parents and inlaws with permanant money. My sibs not so. I'd pay off their debts (houses, cars), but not give them any cash. I mean we still need SOME people in this family working!

So at lunch today, I went out and bought 2 Powerball tickets....Aidious!!!

Monday, October 10, 2005

The 5:35 El

I wasnt afraid of you
or of kicking in your teeth
I was afraid of everything after

How many fingers am I holding up?

I have a friend drives to Delaware to buy Lottery Tickets whenever the Powerball gets to be more than a few Brazillion Dollars. He drives to Delaware to buy them because Delaware allows you to remain anonymous if you win. No Press Conferences with you holding the big cardboard check, publishing your hometown for the world to see. I think thats a pretty good option. (as a funny sidenote, I used to create those checks for the Casinos in New Jersey)

He's not a gambler or wasteful and only buys the tickets when the payout is a rediculous sum. Mostly I think he buys the tickets because he's hopeful and enjoys fanatsizing about winning the money.

On long drives he and his wife would talk about what they would do with the money if they won $100,000 $1 Million, $10 Million, or $100 Million. He delevelops complex schemes of how he we take care of those he loves and how he would use the money for the good of the community. He agonizes over how to help someone without making them resent you.

They no longer talk about this, because they always get in a big fight over how they should spent the hypothetical money. That makes me laugh because it's so human.

I would also like to remind him that he said he was going to hook me up. I dont need a Million just pay off my mortgage so I can fall down drunk on my front lawn any day I dont feel like working....

three for monday

Most of the food I've eaten,
I didnt grow
or kill
I dont know where it came from

Trying to become strong,
I hurt my body
trying to stop the pain,
I poison it

The peach pills bring a dull paranoia
that I must be conscience of
and temper my choices
until they wear off

Saturday, October 08, 2005

i think i'm happy or something like it

the rains coming down and I'm plugging away in the home office
itunes is on random and it's brown-eyed-girl
which is a song that i never particularly liked but
i associate so many good times to it

late nights that we hoped to end unsnapping a bra
but settled for too much beer and a high-five

my back not too bad today
and i can smile abit

Friday, October 07, 2005

Pink Tie

Pink Tie
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
Now hear me out here. Now when the Presidents best friend and Advisor Karl Rove thinks it a good idea to invade Iraq when what WE want is revenge for 9/11 from Osama what do you do? Now when you see that Karl Rove chose a PINK TIE with a GREEN you see the insanity now!!!!! This is the Presidents puppet master and he f'ing CRAZY!!!

I Love You, Kurt Vonnegut

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
I just found out Kurt Vonnegut has a new book out. I feared Timequake was the last. He's 83 Brazillion years old now and I was afraid he had Alzeimers or something.

I actually dread the news of his death which is something that runs counter to my anti-cult-of-personality philosophy.

So it goes.

His books have meant so much to me over the years. They are chocked full of incompetant failure, but always a glimmer of hope. They make me feel like I'm not alone.

His latest advice?
"please notice when you are happy"

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Tylenol PM and Miller Lite

I could do the floor routine for the US Gymnast Olympic Routine right now I'm so loose...I think I'll sleep pretty good....

The Man In Black - Johnny Cash

Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything's OK,
But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black.

Going Home

had enough....

Misery Index: High

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
I'm so uncomforatable and tired. I cant sleep because of my back, and when I'm awake there is no comfortable position. Despite all the ibuprophen, I have a headache...I forgot my cellphone, plus I'm broke til monday...ugh...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Question For Iris

nothing's going to change my world
Some of you may already read this blog. If you havent and you have the time, start at the begining, and work your way forward. I'm conflicted about talking about it, because it makes me feel like a dirty old man for even being interested...but the reality is that it's written extremely well, and is easily my favorite blog.

I have a question for Iris and it's not about her life or anything like that, God knows she doesnt need advice from a trainwreck like me. Because there's no way to contact her I have to pose the question right here for General Delivery and hope you eventually find this....

In the photo at the top of the page...what the hell is in your hand?
Anyone else can leave a guess as to what you think it is.....winner gets to leave a guest blog article on my site....

At least I know who's looking out for me....

F'd my back up yesterday. If you've ever done that, it's a real eye opener. You cant stand strait, it hurts like hell, and you loose all strength from your extremities. I'm marginally better today, and I'm pretty sure this one isnt as bad as a few of the other times I've thrown it out.

I hobbled over to WAWA yesterday and the homeless guy who is always sitting on the sidewalk there looked right at me and said:
'Hey Buddy, Are You OK?'

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Eulogy for a Friend


Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
Lou and Bob Koch were great friends to me as I struggled to complete my graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania. I came from a family that survived thanks to my mother's babysitting jobs and the much-needed social security checks we received after my father's death. The Penn campus might as well have been a formal dinner and I was the guy eating my peas with a knife. Koch’s Deli was…well it was a deli in a world of formal dinners.

Graduate school was a heavy dose of culture shock. The brilliance of my fellow students was intimidating, but not nearly as much as their ambition and competitiveness. It may be a dog-eat-dog world and Penn may bring out the best from the brightest, but for me, I wanted a me-eat-sandwich world, followed by a slice of cherry cheesecake for dessert.

Going to Koch's, a place too small to be called a hole in the wall, more like a nick, grounded me in the belief that everyone has something special to offer, and that kindness and laughter were desirable traits, probably more so than understanding econometrics and public finance

It was a privilege to stand in those hour-long lines and listen to the same corny jokes as the week before; I felt a connection the people standing beside me as we shared sweet muenster cheese stacked on wax paper. The signs about the deli yellowed with age, but the incandescence from such a friendly place burned brighter than an acetylene torch. Oh, it was also a gastronomical nirvana to eat a Drexel or Corned Beef Special with a cold root beer to wash it down.

But most of all, it was Bob and Lou. They were like Frank, and Sammy at the Sands: headliners for sure, but people who harkened back to a different, what some may consider a kitschier time--five story casinos in Vegas and, of course, the neighborhood deli.

The first time I went to Koch's I called in my order. I know, I know, that's sort of like going to Disney and skipping the rides, but I was new.

They asked my name and I said I was "Big Lew." At 6'3" and with a long last name that begins with Lew, I felt I earned that nickname and used it often. After being told they already had a Big Lou, I conceded. "Fine, then I'll be 'Little Lew'" I said.

Picking up my order, the call went out to the guys in the back (which in a place so small was practically the front, too). "Order for Little Lew!"

For some reason, all eyes converged on me as if I accidentally stumbled in on the planning session for D-Day wearing a party hat and throwing streamers. Feeling the electricity generated by the shoulder-to-shoulder touch of a line full of hungry patrons, a feeling that can only be experienced in the atmosphere of old places like Koch's and the Palestra, I realized that the folks in that room were expecting something of me. They were waiting to hear from the new guy, Little Lew.

Using the skills I learned in Old Bridge, New Jersey, a place where quoting the Little Rascals was far more valued than quoting Plato, I summonsed up a response that acted as a sort of resume, an all-encompassing remark that says, "this is who I am, all wrapped up in a single response or rejoinder.” Little Lew was ready.

“I swear,” I said with a voice full of confidence and swagger, a far cry from my shaky knees, which better revealed my true emotions, “none of these guys have seen me naked!”

Big Lou giggled at my very public (and lame) attempt to generate laughs, and I think Bob may have given me bonus points for alluding to a dangerous topic without using offensive language. But then something strange happed: life went on. People resumed their conversations, Lou kept slicing off pastrami, and I shelled out $7.95 for a Rueben.

I spent several evenings a week for the next two years at Koch’s. I became so common that I was allowed to eat my food in the deli, laying out my lunch on a window ledge that was usually reserved for the dozens of cops who ate there.

It has been years since I have been there. I made a special trip back in 1995 upon learning of the death of Lou. Bob and I picked up where we left off. One thing was evident; he was clearly lost without his brother Lou.

Now, I have come to learn of Bob’s passing. He, like his brother, was young, too young to die. I curse myself for not going more often, primarily because friends should see each other, and I consider both Lou and Bob friends. But more often than not, I pine for the rest of us. What will we do without Koch’s? It was a counterweight to all life’s pressures. Its warm and friendly atmosphere raised my own bar for kindness, charity, and a sense of humor. It also raised my cholesterol a few dozen points, but that’s another story.

Then, I think about my first experience at Koch’s: the eerie attention being paid to me and my goofy attempt at humor which, after it left my trembling mouth, seemed to relax the congregation of meat-eaters and hence welcomed me into a not too exclusive club.

Maybe that’s how Bob and Lou wanted it. It wasn’t their deli. It was our deli. Like good maestros, Bob and Lou knew how to get the most out of their orchestra and the sweet music of friendship and food, the symphonic splendor of their chopped liver and hackneyed jokes will fill the air only as long as we keep playing, as long as we keep eating, and as long as we keep being good to each other. While the baton will be passed to other people, the instruments remain in our hands. I say play on! And pass the corned beef, please.