Friday, July 29, 2005


I leave for a weeks vacation tomorrow morning
I just hope I can make it through work today without completely losing my mind...
It's amazing how you can spend a whole year waiting for 7 days

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The River

"Now all them things that seemed so important
Well mister they vanished right into the air
Now I just act like I don't remember
Mary acts like she don't care"
-Bruce Springsteen

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

(singing)These are the people in your neighborhood.....

Birdy will appreciate this. In college he and I made up names for people that would descibe them or the situation we knew them from. ex: "The Girl that tried to kill us" was some chick that tried to brain us with a broomstick handle for some reason. We'd actually use the name like that.
Steakbellie: "Who was at the party?"
Birdy: "The girl who tried to kill us, Lion-O, the Big Boss Woman, Slut Cheryl, Evil, Spinckter Lips and Dave.
Steakbellie: "No 50-foot Mary? I saw her in Arrow Beard's class with the battered wife, Spicy, and the homeless lady. She said she would come later with Sean-Penn-Face"

"50 foot Mary" was this chick that was incredibly hot from a distance, and as she walked closer to you, you needed more beer. She was very nice though.

There was even a girl we called "The Girl We Remember" although I dont remember WHY we called her that.

There's alot more but I think you get the idea. The problem was, that it was like 'twin-language' between us. We'd talk like that, and then couldnt communicate it to other people, because neither of us could remember their real names.

I've kept up the tradition out of habit and boredom. I've found that I've named alot of people on my commute:

Nates Clone: This guy is a dead ringer of a friend of mine...except he's got this huge beard. I told my friend about it and asked if he had a brother or something. I've even brought a camera to try to get his photo, but like a Sasquatch, he seems to know and doesnt show up.

Ugly Barbie: This girl is a young girl who dresses like Barbie or the chick from Leagally Blonde When she takes off her glasses you realize she's missing some chomosomes or something.

Gumshoe: This guy looks EXACTLY like he should be in a 1940's Detective Movie. The Hat, The Suits, Suspenders, Bowtie, even the way he has his moustache. His whole freaking waredrobe is 1940's and impecably clean!

Unfortunate Nose, Ugly Hat: Ugly girl who carries enourmous hardback books and has the same frumpy hat in 16 different colors.

Iman: This is the cross dressing black man I wrote about recently. She looks like Iman, but I just realized how perfect the name is "I-Man"

8-Ball: This Spanish guy that is 4 foot high, 4 foot wide, shaved bald and sweating like crazy

Skeletor: She was one of the first Blog article I ever wrote! I LOVE skeletor!

I'll add more as I remember them....

***UPDATED JULY 27, 2005***

I remembered a bunch more identities from the college era, here are some of the good ones:
R.E.M: This was a chick that JuneBug brought home from a party. Like good suitemates we sat in the hallway and listened to them have sex. During the heat of passion she requested he put on some R.E.M.

Madonna with the long Neck: This was a girl who was very pretty and tall, but she had this enourmous neck that would crane around. Birdy had gone to High School with her but of course he couldnt remember her name. So we named her after a famous painting by Parmigiano (1534). She was always working out at the Rec Center and had huge muscular thighs. She could have been Madonna with the big thighs too.

IZZY THE NOSE: This was a little Indian girl with this HUGE nose. I think she started as 'The Nose' and somehow that turned into 'Izzy the Nose' and after awhile we just called her 'Izzy'. Nobody knew what the hell we were talking about.

Feets: This guy was amazing. I just realized that I need to devote an entire article to him. There are just too many things to say about him. God, I'm laughing...

Lothar of the Hair People: This was a suite-mate of ours who also deserves a full article, but I will not show him that amount of respect. I used to go to church with him on Sundays during my Freshman year, he had the frizziest hugest afro and white man has ever had. He listened to REALLY bad glam rock, and had this Rock-n-Roll ballad scream he would do. We'd ask him to do it all the time. He was taller than me and with the afro, taller then...well very tall. We called him Lothar to his face and eventually everyone called him Lothar, and he probably had to change his liscence to say 'Lothar'.

Lothar was the only guy in the whole building that had his own computer with him. He would invite people into his room to fill out this extensive survey that was supposed to give you some kind of personality analysis. It asked over 100 very personal questions, so he'd leave the room when people filled it out. When they were done he'd print out their analysis and they'd leave. As soon as they were gone, he'd go into the program and read all of their 'confidential' answers!

Cheese on Fries Guy(s): This is what the whole campus called him. He was an older Mentally Retarded type guy who worked for the school Cafeteria. He stood behind the bin of fires in his little white paper hat and said "Cheese on Fries?" to every passing person. He'd ladel a big ol' puddle of hot fake cheese-food upon your fires. He was short and had a mangy mustache and I really liked him. Somebody once told me he had an identical twin and sometimes it was the twin standing there.

Anyone that we actually knew the name of, we added a modifyer to...Grateful Dave, Elder Dan, Swimmer Brad, Sweet Lou, Harry get out of my food.

Good News: The Universe Remains in Balance

Despite great nashing of teeth and beating of chests, I am NOT the King of the Pool. I raced a valiant 2 laps of Feestyle, but alas did not win. I had so many things I wanted to do as King of the Pool, that I am now saddened for my wet subjects. It is more their loss than mine.

The Scepter is in the hands of a 17 year old lifeguard, who will udoubtibly rule with a tyranical hand. He will say things like "Dont Run" and "No Horseplay" He will blow his silver whistle at all of those who are not elevated above the pool, and relagate his enemies to the shallow end.

Enjoy your time my young prince. I'll be back to claim my throne next year....and next year...I will cheat!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Make room on the trophy shelf

I have been blessed with athletic sons. They are natural winners, messomorphs, jocks. I was not.

I was picked third to last all through grade school. This wont happen to them, they are the ones who organize the games. They have an easy popularity and ability to make people laugh.

I played baseball for a year and never got a hit. I bat lefty for undisclosed reasons, and got walked all the time to the new pitchers.

I played 12 years of soccer and never won a trophy or scored a goal. Mostly I was a defender, but you'd think I'd chip ONE in.

I wrestled through high school, and got only one trophy.

My eleven year old has at least a dozen trophys probably more. Several wrestling tournaments he won or placed in. Twice on the championship baseball team. Once the Home Run Derby champion. The other two boys have similar stacks of hardware....pyramids of fake metal bolted to real marble. It's impressive and I'm grateful that they can win and be humble in loss (most of the time).

Some of the trophys they win are outlandish. My 6 year old placed 2nd in the Districts in wrestling. The trophy they gave him is the same size as he is. I have a photo of him when he was awarded itand he's frowning. With tears in my eyes I asked him to smile, he says he wanted to win it all...he's six and wanted to win it all.

My youngest noticed a small trophy on my dresser. It's only three and a half inches tall and is mostly plastic.
"What did you get that for Daddy?"
"I rode my bicycle 3,000 miles one summer"
"is that alot"
"'s kind of small"
"yeah, I like the irony of that"
"did you win?"

Tonight I'm on a team of winners though. The our pool club and swim team are having a race open to everybody. They have a 'fastest family at the pool' contest. Me and the boys are signed up for the four man freestyle relay. I dont know who the competition is, but still like our chances.

My wife signed my name to the 'King of the Pool' contest too. I'm less sure about how things will work out there. It's two laps freestyle, and I think it's mostly teenage boys from the swimteam.....and me.

gangsta grip (haiku)

gangsta grip
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
killin the vampires,
blowin away the zombies
with all my pops change

Monday, July 25, 2005

conversation on the trolley

Nurse: "I see that you dont have your cane today"
Blind Lady: "I have my daughter with me today to lead me. I'm no good with the cane, it gets stuck on things and keep bumping into walls. I feel like a pinball machine, but with bruises."
(everyone forces a nervous laugh)
Nurse: "Oh well you have very pretty eyes anyway..."
(awkward moment)
Blind Lady: "Thanks."

work today (haiku)

my bad attitude
masked with a smile and tie
please take me away

Sunday, July 24, 2005


I'm the only guy in PA that follows bike racing. A good friend of mine follows it too, but he lives in Jersey. We call each other every day to discuss the tour, who crashed, who might win what stage, any detail we can glean. I read the Internet sites that are updated every 2 minutes for 5 hours a day, I listen to the podcasts....I yearn for Phil Liggetts voice. I've been dying to discuss the Tour here, but I'm embarrassed to say that I didnt post anything because I've been holding my breath for the last 3 weeks....I didnt post anything because I actually fely like it would ruin Lances chances.

I have a very very long article that I am writing that argues how it's not incredible that Lance has been clean, despite the unbelieavable sting of wins. I back up my ideas with examples of his attitude, leadership, preperation, and his peddalling style. No one will find it interesting, but I am compelled.

This isnt that article. This is me letting out that freaking breath.......if this were a movie it would end the same way. Real life never works out like this....

Friday, July 22, 2005

69th Street Station, Philadelphia

69th St Station in Philadelphia is a majot hub of the SEPTA system. If you want to take Center City Public Transportation out to the Philly suburbs to must pass through 69th street and transfer to a different line.

Standing in the middle of this Mayhem are the 'Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints' people. I pass them every morning as they lean against the walls holding out their religeous tracts that say 'AWAKE!' on them. They dont approach anyone and sometimes will say 'Good Morning' and smile.

The young black women who hand out tracts are usually in their 30's and they group together and chat in hushed tones with one arm extended. They are polished and dressed like they are going to church in the South. Long floral dresses, simple jewelry, sometimes hats.

The black men who are here are in their 50's and look well feed but not fat. They look like people who worked hard their entire lives but never lost the ability to be gentle to their neighbor. I'm reminded of my Grandfather how they hold themselves solidly. They have suspenders and yellow straw hats. They have gold watches and pressed slacks. I imagine if you hugged one of them they would smell nice. I dont know anything about their religeon, but I like these people, especially since they dont talk to me.

There's another religeous group that recruits in the station. The Scientologists set up table and offer 'Free Stress Screenings'. The tables are manned by young white men in Polo shirts. The have Bio-Feedback machines and stacks of Scientology books.

I want to sit down for a stress test and ask them questions about Tom Cruise as if I'm really interested, except I'll keep mistakenly calling him Tom Select. As they sell their religeon, I'd ask if 'Goose' from TopGun was a Scientologist too. I'd tell them that I would be very good for Scientology as I got Straight A's in Science. I'd want to know what their favorite Tom Select movie was, if they ever met him,or slept with him. When they get frustrated I could switch to John Travolta..he's a wacko too, theres tons of material here.....

The Fashion Police

There's a new guy here that wears WHITE shoes with his blue and grey business suits. Not even dress white Rockport walking shoes. Can I get some backup on this call?

My Favorite Part of the Day

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
There is a 20 second moment that happens almost everyday to me that is really special. After getting up early and being a phoney all day long, I have a hot commute home in my monkey suit.

We have this enourmous heavy wooden door that swells in the summer and is really tough to get open. So when I get home I literly punch it open with one big hit. The next 20 seconds make the whole thing worthwhile.

Both Dogs bark like mad and lope over to me in excitment, my boys and wife all yell 'DADDY!!!' and the little buggesr run to hug me. I grab them as tight as I can and smell their hair. Even the cats are happy to see me and one will brush my leg to remind me to feed them. It sounds made for tv and it is.

Things generally fall to shit immediatley, with the boys fistfighting, the dogs wrestling each other, and somebody crying over who got what, and can he get that too. There's alot of yelling in my house.

At this point I put down my work bag, strip down to my underwear and stand in front of the Air Conditioner.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


"coffee hon?"
I waive off the laminated menu
and she fills my mug
"two eggs, over-easy, homefries, rye toast"
but I say it in a practiced string so it comes like reciting a nursery rhyme
i can feel the alcohol burning off through my eyes
i close them for a long second
"oh, and a corn muffin"

My head buzzes from the hang-over. It doesnt hurt, it's just sort of a slowness that afflicts my body and mind.

When the rye toast comes I'll dip it in the whitened coffee
I'm the 3rd Generation that does that. It probably goes back farther than that, but the people who would know are dead.

pretending to work

I'm getting tired of pretending to care
My weekends arent long enough
My weekdays stretch on and on
How long will I sit here smiling?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

cry baby

Daddy gave the baby a Mohawk
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
Having kids really broadened me, emotionally. I cried when each of them was born, and for the first few years I cried over stupid little things that they did. I had to stop watching the show ER, because they'd let bad things happen to kids, and I found that more stressfull than entertaining.

I think I've hardened alot over the last couple of years though, I dont think I cry once a year even. It's not that I dont want to cry, sometimes I cant even though I would like to.

The last time I remember crying was probably at my Dad's 60th Birthday Party a few years ago. It was at a really nice restaurant and all of my Aunts and Uncles were there. I wrote a speech, and got up to say something and started to sob after the first sentence and I had to sit down. It was supposed to be a funny speech!!! I even quoted Mark Twain!!!!

I pretty sure crying should be a natural regular thing, like taking a dump or laughing. I wonder what mechanisms stop it from happening?

No. 203

There's a little counter in my blog dashboard that I just noticed. It says that I've written 202 Blog Articles so far. That seems like alot to me, and I wonder what the hell I've been writing about all this time.

Typically, I have 5 or 6 major ideas in my head that I'm working on. Ususally when I'm sitting on the train they come to me. Sometimes I even string together the words that I will use. Some of those articles never get written, some get written, but I keep them as drafts and never let you see them. Isnt that funny? I edit my Blog for Quality and Content like it was a real magazine or something. Typically, the ones I dont publish are too self-indulgent, and I feel sickly when I reread them.

Once in awhile I'll go looking at random blogs just to see whats out there. I love to see that everyone else out there is dealing with the same stupid shit I am. I love the humanity of it all. The domestic, pedestrian problems that people face from day to day. We all share the loneliness of life......

A.C. Lighthouse

A.C. Lighthouse
Originally uploaded by SlimFatty.
I watched them build this Lighthouse. It's actually beautiful sculpture of a lighthouse. At the top of the photo you can see all of the equipment they put there to do Laser Lightshows. It cost several Million to build and sits on the bottom of the AC Expressway as you enter Atlantic City.

Here's the funny part, it's only been used once since it was built 8 years ago. There's a local airport, an International Airport, FAA Inspection Airport and the Department of Defense Airport within 2 miles of this. The first time they fired up the Lasers NONE of the planes could land because of the confusion. Hasnt been used since.....

Iman part 2

So I'm in the subway station yesterday waiting for the train to come. I've got my ipod on and I'm unfolding the day in my head, down the steps walk Iman.

This is funny because I had just finnished writing a blog entry and I never expected to see her again. There are plenty of people I recognize on my commute, but it takes months to see the patterns of coming and going, and remember the faces.

So I actually smile. I'm glad to see this cross dressing man, and that makes me laugh out loud. I'm lauging BECAUSE I smiled. I never smile at good looking women I dont know, but this one was ok I guess because I dont feel threatened? The train had pull up and I get on and continued to laugh at myself.

I didnt realize till this morning that it was the first time in awhile that I didnt flirt with the idea of jumping in front of the train.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Green Day: Novacaine

Apparently I've listened to this song over 40 times in the last week. Atleast that's what my ipod says....

Woman on the Bus

The El is under construction, so I had to take the bus for part of my commute yesterday. The Elevated Train goes over the poorest neighborhoods in Philly. The bus goes through them.

I enjoy this part of town for it's visual texture. Once stately townhomes are in various states of Entropy. Many stand gutted and lifeless. Some are collapsed into piles of brick and rotted wood. Most look condemable.

I'm the only white guy on the bus. We stop at the corners and pick people up and drop them off blocks away. I'm going all the way to the Terminal.

We pick up a beautiful Black Woman on the corner of Market and Hell. She is my height, over 6 foot, and dress very stylish and slighly revealing. She looks like Iman. Iman sits down in the sideways seat, and I can stare at her clevage.

By the next stop I figure out she's really a man. The first indication was her feet, no woman should be cursed with feet like that. I then spotted a slight Adam's Apple.

I still stared at her clevage though...beautiful is beautiful.

The New Harry Potter Book

I took the day off and finnished it, here's whats important:

*Ron brings Hermonie home for a party, she gets drunk and gets knocked up by one of the twins. There's a funny scene where Dumbledore has to cast a special spell to figure out which one is the Father.

* Crabbe & Goyle get each others names tattooed on their shoulders

* The new 'Defense of the Dark Arts'Teacher (Mr Snuffleluffogus) Eats an Bernie Botts Every Flavor Bean, and gets "Ass Flavor" and dies vomiting.

* Draco Malfoy says something really sinister

* Harry renegotiates his contract with JK Rowling...says that his true wish is to Direct


Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
They found Kurt Cobains body the day after my first son was born. I was a fan, but had other things to worry about at that time.

About a year ago I told my son how I was holding all 8lbs of him in the Hospital watching the coverage on TV. I told him about what was going musically before Nirvana's 'Nevermind' came out and how it sounded so much different than all of the recycled Classic Rock that we were being force fed at the time. I told him that it would happen again and popular music would take a new direction, leaving the old behind.

I actually remember the first time I heard 'Smell's Like Teen Spirit', some football player had a cassette tape copy of it in the gym I was working out at during my junior year of college...he said 'you GOTTA hear this!!!'

So my boy has built a connection to Cobain through their death/birth dates...perhaps he even is Kurt Cobain recycled. We were at the Ocean City Boardwalk the other night and they have this ride that has tons of lights and you ride the Carts in a circle backwards for a minute and then forwards for a minute. They blast music, and flash the lights, teen kids love it. The variation on this ride is that they now have the jukebox controlling it right in front of the ride. It cost me a dollar for one song. As the ride started up and my 3 sons were whipped around scrolled past 'Thats what I call Music 18' and I punched in
The grunge guitars thundered out of the speakers, and from the blur that I call 'Son Number 1' I heard...."YEAH!!!!!"
Rock On

Ferris Wheel, Ocean City, NJ

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
Here's something funny. Ferris Wheels are named after the guy who inv3ented them and not because they are made out of Metal(Ferris=Iron). About a year out of Art School I designed Ferris Wheel to be built inside a casino. It was about 40 feet high and actually worked! I completely forgot about that until I looked at this picture I took. Now I think back at how crazy it is to have a graphic designer do the intial drawings...the CAD guy who made the plans didnt change any of the dimensions or anything, he just figured out the materials, bolts, and engine...kinda funny!

Actually there's more funny things I've done for Casinos. I designed a 2 Story Tall Slot Machine that was built inside the Tropicana, and was probably there 10 years before they took it actually worked.

One of the most popular things I did was design an enourmous Safe...10'x10x 15'. It was for some 'Break the Bank' promotion. The safe was made entirely out Plexiglass with huge brass bolts and lights all over it. The doo was Steel and had a huge metal wheel as a handle. What was cool was it was Filled with $100 Bills. Actually it looked like it was. It was a huge plywood box with stacks of dollarsized pieces of paper wrapped and stacked around and over it. Only the top piece of paper was an actual $100 Bill.

They hired an actor (usualy a weight lifter) to stand in front in a Security Uniform like he was guarding it. The deal was you brought your 'break the bank' postcard with you and gave it to the security guard. He'd punch the number into a typepad and tell you if you won the Million.

I used to walk through the casino floo at lunch and people were alway mobbed around the safe. It really looked like it was full of real money. I was even drawn to it, and I knew the secret! It was supposed to be a summer promotion but they wound up keeping it for about 2 years.

Monday, July 18, 2005

he should kiss me if he plans to screw me....

I'm disappointed, embarrassed, and angry over this promotion. I fee like all the steam has been taken out of me. What exactly does he think I'm getting out of this?

I know I'm getting the experiences I need for my next job. To actually cry poor to me is hilarious, I know how much is coming in, and I've been dead broke before, I understand being poor. Maybe its me? After I talked to him, I felt like, he was surprised that I wanted more money. SURPRISED!

I'm going to have to develop a new plan to figure out how to parlay this experience into a kick-ass job elsewhere...otherwise I will find it nearly impossible to even do the work in front of me.....

So mad my legs are numb

When I get really really mad, I lose all feelings in my legs. I dont know why that is, but it's always been that way....maybe thats so I can runaway and not get tired? My Boss sideswiped me this morning. I wanted to talk money after I presented him my plan....he walked straight in and said he doesnt want to pay me anymore until he sees 'results'.....

He gave me a laundry list of things he wants done, and essentially I've taken that list and mapped out how to get there, and have taken responsibility for getting those things done. By 'results' he meant money saved for him. He's the sole owner of this company, so getting him to part with an extra penny on things he needs to do everyday business is almost impossible. By just leaving things as 'results' he's not tied to awarding me because there is no defined bar to jump, and no defined award. I'm so F'ing frustrated, he doesnt know the level of commitment I have, and he's completely blown his ethos with me. I dont give it away......

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Yo Adrian!!!

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
So after a year and a half of playing Texas Holdem Poker and coming in 2nd and 3rd out of 10, I finally won. Of course it was a 5.5 hour game and of course we only put in $10 instead of $20.....the real point is that I won....and the game was so long that I got drunk, got sober, and halfway drunk what is Mr. Bigshot gonna do with his cool $100? Dunno......maybe buy my next tie

Friday, July 15, 2005

Dead-on and Strong

Today was the day my boss and I were to discuss my raise. I spent the last 2 weeks building my plan, and making the case for what I'm asking. I'm laying out the roadmap for his company for the next 2 years.

I went out and bought a special tie just for today. I've dubbed it "Republican Red". I look sharp and today I can do anything. My boss called me into a meeting with some CFO's and I highlighted all the improvements my financial software will make and impressed the shit out of them in their own language. When I'm confident, words just roll outta my head.

So I send my boss an email that I'm ready to discuss my compensation package.....he high-tails it outta here like Me on Prom night!!!!! An hour and a half early without a word!

That pisses me off. Now I gotta buy another tie for Monday.....he's mine

Craziness Revealed!

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
I keep a copy of Joseph Hellers in my work bag. The theroy is that I want to be able to get at it if I need it. I've read it 9 or 10 times over the last 15 years and I intend to read it once a year for the next 66 years. I dont typically read books more than once, so this is pretty odd behavior. Each time I read it I laugh out loud and my wife looks over and shakes her head at the madman she married.

At one point I had decided to only post replies in Birdy's Blog with quotes and passages from the book. We think alike in some ways and I know he appreciates the dark humor. I did it for a few of his passages and then I realized I should be typing such wonder things into MY blog, so now I type it into no-ones.

nothing's going to change my world

nothing's going to change my world
This is the best Blog I ever read. It's a 21 year old girl, who doesnt know what to do with her life. She's engaged to be married, and is wrestling with her lust for another man. Whats fascinating is that she is honest about her situation to the readers but not to the real people in her life.

Her feelings and situation are incredibly human, and as an outsider you can feel all of the pitfalls around her. Furthermore, the girl has 'comments' turned off so, it's a one way broadcast. It's watching an accident happen, and being unable to stop it....check it out

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Maybe I should skip a few issues

I LOVE reading tabloid magazines. It's a funny thing for a 34 year-old married father of three boys to be doing. I'm planning an article explaining my strange obsession, but it's not ready. A funny thing happened this weekend that put a spotlight on my past-time.

A couple that were are very close with came over for drinks, which turned into dinner. Their sons blend with mine like brothers, so the kids were out of the house and cruising the block like a wolf-pack.

We sat at the dining room table dicussing everything loudly, and somebody mentions the show 'Friends'. Those of you who know me, know of my decades long hatred of that show and of all actors involved. The subject matter changes to Angelina Jolie and all of us saying how hot she is.

This launches me into an alcohol fueled analysis of the American Cult of Personality and Stars lending their names to a cause and how unique it is that she has committed true time and reasources to her position as UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and I cite all kinds of details of her meeting with the President Musharif of Pakistan, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, as well a long list of war zones and refugee camps that she actually ahows up at in the middle of hell....yet all the tabloids show are photos of her on the red carpet and speculation of her love affairs.

I was obviously impressed and impassioned as I went on about this unlikely scenereo when I realized the erie silence I had created. I know WAAAAY too much about Angelina Jolie. I shut myself up and the subject quickly changed....

a legend in my own mind

despite life's crushing reality
i still jump off the bed in my underwear
playing air guitar

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Dead End

The El
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
So there's a funny thing I do (big surprise). Whenever I'm at the 15th Street Station, and I see the train coming, I walk up to the edge of the concrete, just past the safety line that they painted and think about jumping in front of the train. I'm not considering jumping in front of the train. I'm far to happy with my life to bother with that. It's just a thought I have and standing past that line with the train flying by really scares and excites me.

I'm curious how determined do you have to be, to pull that off. How low do you have to be. Is it better to jump to the ground and be run over, or should you try to strike it midair? What will happen to the train driver? Has he hit someone before?

It just one of those things I think about, and then try to stop thinking about and then think doubly so. It's all for naught because I know exactly how I die. Not to sound like that idiot Tom Cruise, I know BOTH ways I die. All of this is of course covered in a a blog essay I'm working on in my head and will make slightly more sense then (hopefully) when I get a chance to write it.

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Spoiler

On the El
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
I stand in the train car with my sunglasses on. You dont know if I am staring out the window or watching you in the reflection, criticizing your choice of footwear. (Please refrain from wearing the blue socks with the tan shoes again)

You see me with the headphones. Am I listening to some proto-punk download or do I bob my head subtly to mask that I have paused the music to eaves-drop on your conversation about Talapia and White-Fish.

The Stainless Steel Car is filling up and there is only one seat left. Old Women are standing, people with children are standing, and yet there is still one seat left. Someone is keeping two seats for themselves, it's time for action. I am the spoiler.

Today it's a gang banger. He's in his twenties and his tattoos, street dress and profanty laced words have scared people from sitting with him. He's half laying accross the seat to further prevent anyone from getting a seat. He scowls at me as I jam my ass into his side. 'Oh, Excuse Me' I say in my whitest voice.

He's pissed off that I'm not afraid of him, and trys to slowly drive me off the seat with his hip. I have the tenacity of a kindergartener and I push back and keep constant pressure on him. I up the ante by pulling out a newspaper and reading, as if I dont know even know he's there. We're both determined to be uncomfortable, but I do it for the greater good and my big ass is going nowhere. I am the Spoiler.

He gets off 2 stops later and mutters some curses he half wants me to hear. I keep reading my paper.....

Friday, July 08, 2005

Trailers and shit

When I saw Batman they played a bunch of trailers.
Charlie & the Chocolate factory- I recently rented this film and showed it to my kids(the original) Amazingly it holds up really well, and should NEVER been redone. I like Johhny Depp, but he reminds me of Michael Jackson in this movie....spooky....

Dukes of Hazard- I remember coming home from roller-skating on Friday nights in my Dads Pontiac Grand Safari (I have a whole article to write about that car) with half the neighborhood in tow. I'd watch the Dukes with my little brother who had the Dukes metal garbage can in his room, as well as the TV Dinner Tray. The movie looks fun and I'm glad they didnt get rid of the Dynamite arrows. Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse? Awesome.... Yeah and then there's that Jessica Simpson person..... :)

The Fantastic Four

I'm pretty hard on movies based on comic books. It's a difficult task to take a Character that has appeared monthy for 50 years and tell a two hour story that is faithful to the lush background that has been built. I was a Comic Book geek as a kid and because those characters had an important place in my imagination, I can take affront to a movie that does not respect the subject matter.

I'm not a Super-Fan who knows, expects or wants every detail to be perfect. Dont cram 50 years of story telling into one movie, but also dont change the storyline 'just because'.

We now have the technology to create these films with a sense of realism, so expect them to keep coming.

Movies that Sucked:
Daredevil - One of the Hazards of casting someone famous as the main character. I kept thinking 'Bennifer' everytime they showed Ben Affleck

Hulk - A horrible job with the graphics. Hulk looked like a green play-dough man. The storyline sucked, it took over an hour for the guy to finally turn into the Hulk. WTF?

Punisher (Dolf Lundgren) - A blatantly low budget B film or worse. I dont mind that, what pissed me off was that The Punisher didnt wear the skull face shirt. How do you miss that F'ing detail? Without the shirt it's just a vigilante film.

Punisher (Thomas Jane) - Much better produced, but The Punisher wasnt 'Bad' enough. I never cared about the character enough. The Punisher in the comics is a guy with a sick sense of Justice that often goes too far.

Batman - This does not include Batman Begins. Those other ones were far too Over-Produced. Every character was played by one celbrity or another. It was a parade of actors and not a story about Batman. Like the Punisher, Batman is a sick bastard. The films had the feel of a Musical.

Movies that Rocked:
HellBoy - I never read any HellBoy comics, but after seeing this movie, I read all I could about him on the Internet. It had great depth of character, and was a pleasure to watch.

- Depite all of the big names in this, they were well cast. A superfan might find alot to nitpick about, but I thought it followed the spirit of the comic and was fun.

Batman Begins - A great great film. I'm going to go see it in IMAX format sometime this weekend.

SpiderMan - Nicely done. The best thing they did was cast an (at the time) unknown for the role, based on his ability to act. I loved these movies.

So I'm not liking what I see in the Fantastic 4 Trailers. The biggest problem I see is that "The Thing" looks like he's made out of a Rice Crispy bar. Equally bad is their representation of Dr Doom. He supposed to be one of the most evil men in the world, and he looks cheap. I could have done a better job. I actually HAVE done a better job. The whole movie looks forced.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

It's Genius

I've had a similar theory, but I couldnt articulate like this. This is simple, elegant and true

A Match for the Fire

Why dont you see any Christian Fundamentalist Terrorists? I suppose that Eric Robert Rudolf can be considered one, as I guess some of the other Abortion Clinic Bombers are.

Why is it that these Muslums have such little value for life that they can just go around blowing up themselves everywhere? Cant they find an open field to blow themselves up in?

Look at the savagry. Look how they took over that school in Russia, and shot babies. It wasnt like the kids got caught in the line of fire, these people PLANNED to take over that school.

Look at 9-11, look at England. They kill people who are just going to work. Going Home. Going on with their lives. Does anyone else see the difference in religeons? Do we have to start breeding Christian Terrorists to blow themselves up on their buses? In their Kindergartens? The difference is that they wouldnt care. These people have such little love in their hearts that they can destroy themselves and everyone around them. They wouldnt be phased in the least if we blew up their babies.

The Simple Things

I love to have my back scratched. I'm like a puppy. I love it so much that my back is all itchy right now writing this. Last night I flopped down on my bed in my boxers to see what my wife and kids were watching. The AC was on and it felt great on my skin.

"Son Number 2, would you scratch my back for a minute?" then he whines.."nooooo..." (They're watching 'Cribs' on MTV) "Come-on, just for a minute" I give him a look that reminds him, that me and him had just gotten back from a secret trip to Rita's Water-Ice that nobody else in the family knows about and if he ever wants to go there again he better break out those Talons right now)
"I dont want to...."
I'm frustrated and pissed off. I ask Son Number 3
"How come number 2 doesnt have too?"
I'm completely frustrated because I know to get my back scratched I'll have to yell at somebody and give them a dollar.
I kick all of the ungratefull little bastards out of the room.
By now the itch has moved 10 times around my back. I give my wife the puppy dog eyes and she has mercy on me. It's like the 3rd or 4th best thing ever.....

People on my side - Friends of Carlotta

Thomas Edison
Robert Goddard
John Yossarian
Most people's Moms
Mr Pink
Abraham Lincoln


i wanted to start today off with some Haiku's but I'm too upset about this whole bombing in London. Right now they say 2 people are dead, but that doesnt sound right from some of the descriptions of packed double decker buses flying through the air.

it's exhausting to think about how the American response will be. W will say "see? I told you we should stay the course in Iraq" and half of the country who was trying starting to accept that he was full of shit will say "Yeah! Lets get those Iraqi's!"

We'll all be further distracted, and nobody will look for Osama bin Laden, or any of his other flunkies. He'll even try to turn himself in, and be turned away. We're not any safer under this idiot.

Allah Akbar, Ya'll

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Bring the Hammer Down

I've been distracted, worried and unconfident about today. Today I get my promotion. Whats been bothering me is that it's not going to be received well by several people. Mostly it's because yesterday I worked for them, tomorrow they work for me. I can understand and anticipate the angst that comes from that.

One guy in particular doesnt like me. He didnt like me BEFORE he met me. I've been sweet as pie to him and I've determined that he doesnt WANT to like me.

Over the weekend I've thought very hard about my situation. This is a fantastic opportunity for me, and it's mine to blow. I'm an embarrassment to all of those who deserved more but got less, if I allow things like this ruin this opportunity for my family. I've done worse to myself than anyone in this building could ever do to me.

I've prepared myself and written a Business Plan to create some excitment, structure, and goals for the team. I've rehearshed my words, and in an hour I will speak them like I am describing the promised land.

I've been given a pile of rocks. I will either break them or they will break themselves upon me. Either way they get broken.......

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Live 8 Philadelphia Soundcheck Photos

Live 8 Philadelphia 100yrds
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.

This is Sarah McLoclan and Josh Groban singing during the Live 8 Philadelphia Soundcheck. As you can see from the Photos, It's impossible to see them even if you had the Hubble Telescope once you are more than 200yrds away. The Monument blocks everyones view!Read about the Live 8 Philadelphia Soundcheck

Live 8 Philadelphia 150yds
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.

Live 8 Philadelphia 200yds
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.

Live 8 Philadelphia 500yds
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Live 8 Philadelphia Soundcheck

I just walked over to the Live 8 stage during my lunch break and got to hear Sarah McLaclan's soundcheck. She is freaking awesome! She sings as good or better than on her cd. Josh Groban comes out for a duet during 'arms of an angel' and it send shivers down your spine.

I took a bunch of photos that I will upload tonight to Flickr and post here. If you are from the Philly area, and are interested in 'Seeing' the show you should leave work and go right now for the soundchecks.

They expect 1,000,000 people to turn out. Believe it or not, you cant see the stage if you are more than 500 feet away! The stage is set up on the steps of the art Museum, and there is an enourmous Momument right in front of it!!! I'll uploads shots from varying distances tonight. I'm guessing there's room for 10,000 people TOPS to see the thing. Beyond that there are trees all over the Ben Franklin Parkway that further block your view. Fortunately they have video screens set up all down the parkway for the remaining 990,000 people.

Expect to hear a great concert and have fun, but you wont see a thing. It was really a poor choice for a concert, they should have had it in Central Park in NYC.

Batman Begins

If you havent seen this you should consider it while it's still in the theaters. While more than rentable, its an excellant movie to be seen big. I only see a handful of movies in the theater each year, and they are usually kid fillms. Worth getting the sitter. I'd like to give a 'shout-out' to my homey over at DC Comics....well done picture! I was surprised that it didnt review all that great...especially considering the reaction I got from friends who said..."You must see this movie NOW!!!!"

This isnt like those other retarted Batman Movies...this one is dark, edgy, and nearly believable. I sat there with a 55 gal drum of Diet Coke and wouldnt get up for the bathroom because I didnt want to miss a minute!

The guy who plays Batman is great, Liam Nesson is great, Gary Oldman is ALWAYS great...even that stupid chick who is making out with Tom Cruise and his funny tooth is good! She's actually CUTE in this movie. They also did a fine job of respecting the die-hard fans. Steakbellie gives it a solid A

Need an ass-kickin....

I'm going through a mild depression lately. Mostly because of my job methinks. I cant sleep, I cant work. I get like this once in awhile but very rarely in the summer. I should probably be on anti-depressants, but that's too much like asking for help. I dont like asking for help (or reading directions for that matter).

I'm going to use this long weekend to break myself out of it. My plan involves vigorous excercise, lots of sunshine, gallons of beer.

Tonight I start with Squats. I'm going to put 350lbs on the bar (most I ever lifted) and do squats til failure. 60 seconds rest, then drop 10lbs and do another set til failure. I'll keep doing this until I clear the bar (about 29 sets), I throw up, fall down, or give up. This should put me in a righteous amount of pain for the whole weekend. I'll do the same thing with Back tomorrow, Chest on Sunday, and Shoulders on Monday.

I'm going for a long run tomorrow, and a long bike ride on Sunday. The rest of the time I will be at the pool playing with my wife & kids. Evenings will be spent drinking myself happy.