Friday, December 29, 2006

The night of Dec 29th

In the next few hours, I will be drinking with my friends, and Sadam Hussein will be hung. I hope to play well at cards.

Despite being against this retarded war from the begining (I was hoping we'd go get the guys responsible for 9-11 instead) I'm completely ok with hanging this asshole. Hundreds of Iraqi's are killed each week, some slowly tortured with cordless drills. One Dictator hanging by a rope shouldnt make a difference.

But it probably will. I'm worried for our troops that things will get worse right after he's killed. We need to get the hell out of there are send over bush, cheney, rumsfeld, and all the other idiots who lied to us and spent all of our money. These Neocons love war so much, they should see it up close.

I hope somebody with some credibility, morality and values can step up in 2007 and not these charletons who have been propped up by the Christian Right. Our country needs a new direction this year.

HEADLINE: SRF still taken so Nikki Taylor settles for some Racecar Driver

Casting Call

Anyone in the Philly area that is interested in being in a Short Promotional Wing Bowl XV Video for Steakbellie and Wing Kong please be at the top of the Philadelphia Art Museum Steps at 2pm tomorrow December 30th, 2006. We will be shooting around town all day but need about 30 minutes of your time for a 'Crowd Shot' at that location.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

An Artie Lang Exclusive

Artie Lang has uncovered a portion of my past that I was unaware about. After reading the evidence, much of my life makes sense now.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

breaking myself

I have a large post about Wingbowl looming and this may turn into that post. There's an aweful lot going on that needs to get done in the next 36 days and now that Xmas is over it's pretty much the only thing (other than sex of course) that is constantly on my mind.

I havent posted too much about it but rest assured that I prepare in some way, EVERY day. I work out everyday now at the gym, and like when I trained for the Marathon 6 years ago, I have a constant limp, sometimes in both legs. My back hurts. My Achillies Hurts on my left side and the muscle makes a clicking noise when I walk down steps. I just got over a week of hamstring pain and my knees are more noisy than ever.


The cool thing is that the WingBowl marks my first full year in Competitive Eating. I keep very specific charts of my food training, and I was able to compare this years training against last years, and I am relieved to say I'm way ahead in several undisclosed ways. It would have sucked balls if I had to start at the bottom. You can get better at this just have to be careful at not getting fat.

For those of you unfamiliar with Competitve Eating, the WingBowl is the largest attended Eating event in the world. It's held every year in Philadelphia on the Friday before the SuperBowl at the Wachovia Center. The Wachovia Center holds 20,000 seats and this year it sold out in 24 hours. Think about that 20,000 people watching 30 men eating Chicken Wings for 30 minutes. Of course it's much more than that, as there is great pagentry and spectacle involved. Everyone is drunk. There are strippers. There are floats and costumes. All of this begins at about 6am.

The whole event is run by the Morning Radio Show on the local AM Sports Radio Station. You dont have to be a 'Pro' to try out in fact they prefer that you just be a local guy. Starting after Thanksgiving you can call the Radio station and propose a 'stunt'. On the air they will negotiate with you how much time they want you to eat your food in. Al and Angelo are pretty tough on the stunts and often make them double the qty or reduce the time. SURPRISINGLY, the people that call up to do their stunts are completely unaware if they can actually DO the stunt they are proposing....even more people will not practice it beforehand. If your stunt is accepted you are given a timeslot in about a week to come into the studio and do it on the air.

Since qualifying myself I listen to these stunts to get an idea what the competition is. They also post short videos of each eater that can be found here:

(some of the videos require Real Player to view)

They have my time listed on the page as 5minutes, but it was actually 3:34.

I find that I analyze everyones stunts and imagine how I would do it differently. Most of these people have set themselves up for failure. The people who fail to qualify often have the best videos to watch though.

This years format is slighly different in the prize structure. Only 5 out of town pro's will be allowed to compete. Unlike other years, they wont have to do a qualifying stunt. The five pros will be hand picked from the IFOCE. The remaining 20-25 eaters must be from the Arbitron Listening Area to be considered for Qualifying. The theme is 'Philly Versus the World'. I am being considered a local for this competition.

There will be an overall winner who will be given a Suzuki Grand Vitara. There will also be a Local Winner who will be given a Suzuki SX4. If a local person wins overall they will get BOTH cars.

So whats the big deal for me? There are only 3 pros that are ranked that live in the Philly Area. Humble Bob (who's video is currently not posted), Wing Kong (who is listed as Micah) and myself(who's name is mispelled). From looking at the disposition of the other locals who have qualified so far, the SX4 will likely go home with one of us three.

Wing Kong and I are closely matched. His chances are probably similar to my own. He's not the Man to beat though so I dont mind sharing my training info with him. I want him to do really well. I want him to get second place.

People who have an understanding of Competitive Eating would put Humble Bob as the front runner for the local bracket. He has had a phenominal year and has eaten DOUBLE of my final total in several contests this year. He's that good. He's rated as fifth in the world, and that might be an underestimation.

Can he be beaten? Yeah. Can I beat him? I'm going to try.

It's doubly hard because he is both a generous and caring person & an unflappable fierce competitor. He's always given me great advice on training and competing and offered understanding and encouragement at my failures.

It would be a great story if I did win, but I know that most of the Pro's would assume my totals were incorrect. I understand that, the WingBowl is infamous for questionable totals, and Bob should beat me 10 out of 10 competitions....but what I also remember is all the people...all of the people with biking experience who told me I could never ride a bicycle accross the country. People who said I couldnt run a marathon at 220lbs, or stay married, or be a good father, or have my own business. All of those people had very good reasons for their opinions. I listen to what they say and then fight to make it wrong. It's not easy, I'm very hard on myself.

Me? I'm a mess, but I have the support of my family and a bunch of friends who dont realize what I'm up against here. They love this whole thing and are just happy to go and cheer me on. I have this burning desire to win and to be the very last man standing on that stage, with a plastic crown on my head and a rubber chicken in my hand.

I know how crazy it sounds, yet I am so stubburn and ignorant I'm going to try anyway. I'm going to try to win, and I'm going to try everyday I wake up for the next 36 days. It's not going to be an accident.

Friday, December 22, 2006

December 22nd 2006 (haiku)

my brain is rusting
i wish i was somewhere else
no, anywhere else!

Apparently some of you are more anonymous than you think

I switched over to the NEW blogger yesterday. It took about 30 minutes, and I was pleased and disappointed that my blog looked exactly the same afterwards. As Birdy and dK noted, some of the comments got converted to anonymous during the conversion. Hopefully that was the worst of it.

This better be worth it or I'm gonna demand my money back......

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Your Input Please!

I'm going to try to update my site abit. dK has mentioned a story that I wrote over a year ago as a favorite, that should be linked. Does anyone else have any favorite/memorable posts/haikus of mine that I should include along with it? Fell free to let me know what you liked.

I also intend to update to the new blogger, although it keeps telling me I'm not eligable....crumby cliques...

God, we look dumb.

Rachael Ray Cant Take 'No' for an Answer

So I actually ran into Rachael Ray yesterday.

The bookstore is mobbed and I have my usual look of befuddlement. The crowd is diverse and just standing around in their coats. Noone is looking at books.

There is a Security Guard Blocking the Escalator and I attempt to walk around him, because really...why would he want to keep ME from the third floor???? He turns to me from the mob of close to 100 and mumbles directly.

Security Guard: "Are you here for the Rachel Ray Event"

Steakbellie: (just hears the name 'Rachel Ray' and knows immediatley that she must really really like me alot to show up in my head TWICE in a week) feinging misunderstanding "What?"

Security Guard still mumbling: "Are you here for the Rachel Ray Event"

Steakbellie: i get it this time, Rachel Ray must be here signing books on the third floor. "No, I'm not Ray"

Security Guard now mumbling angrily: "Are you here to buy a book?"

Steakbellie: "Clearly" (OK I didnt really say that I just said 'Yes' but I sound alot wittier if I edit the text.)

Security Guard making room for me to get on the escalator: "Oh"

I looked at all the jealous hoards as I ascend to the floor that holds Rachael Ray. Suddenly, everything is Rachael Ray. Cardboard cutouts, stacks of books, calendars. There are more people on this floor too, but these people have special wristbands...and they are all holding books that they want her to autograph. They are Men and Women. They are Young and Old.

Everyone is chatting nervously, but the common word is:

Rachel Ray
Rachel Ray
Rachel Ray

I wonder for a moment if everyone calls her Rachel Ray. Do you think her Mom just says Rachel, or maybe even just Rach?

All of this attention. All of this buzz, I am swayed to believe she must be more important than I ever imagined. She must be Eight Feet Tall, and er farts must smell of Lavender.

God speaks to us all through the overhead speaker:
"Attention: Miss Ray has not arrived but will be here shortly. For your safety, you will be called to the third floor by the numbers on your wristbands. We can only allow Fifty at a time."

I look at some books and waste time till she shows. It would be pretty ironic if I saw her days after mentioning her on my blog. After ten minutes, I am overstimulated by the crowd of worshippers and suddenly have to leave the building. I get this same reaction in crowded malls. I know once she gets here here enterauge of handlers, publicity and Secret Service staff will just be too much. I give up. I'm leaving. Audi 5000. Good Bye Rachel Ray.

People watch me descend from her perch and wonder if I am somebody important. Perhaps her Manager? The second and first floors have gotten deep with people holding green books.

Everyone is waiting.

It's cold outside, and I'm glad to be free of breathing other peoples air. There are news vans. I wonder if she will be brought in by Helicopter. By Space Shuttle. By Armored Humvee.

Walking towards me is of course Rachael Ray. All alone. Ha.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"Lost in the Flood"

"Well the blaze and noise boy, he's gunnin' that bitch loaded to blastin' point
He rides head first into a hurricane and disappears into a point
And there's nothin' left but some blood where the body fell
That is, nothin' left that you could sell"

Monday, December 18, 2006

Kettlebells will fuck your shit up.

I took a beginner Kettlebells class last Monday at my Gym. The owner of the gym asked me why I wanted to try it.

"Because it looks hard"
"Thats a strange answer"

Kettlebells are metal weights with a handle. They have you do various repetitive movements while holding said bells. It's Aerobics with weights. It was invented by the Russians in the 17th Century to get their soldiers strong. Many of the people in the class take Karate or are Ninjas in their spare time. Some of the movements and poses are similar to Pilates or Yoga. I am good at none of those things.

I have been lifting weights pretty regulary since summer, so you wouldnt expect too much trouble adapting. My ass hurt for 5 days.

I took the beginner class again today, and I can already feel this weeks dose of pain climbing my ass into my lower back. Hopefully it will only hurt for 4 days this week.....

I am Time's Person of the Year

In a previous post "Annonymous Coward" pointed out that I am Time's Person of the Year, and that it was a stepping stone to my goal of being People's Sexiest Man Alive.

I'm conflicted about all of this.

Time pretty much just pussied-out and nominated EVERYBODY who's ever posted anything on the web. They probably should have made that idiot George W the Person again, as he did the most to influence the world (albiet in the most incompetant of ways) and killing 150,000 Iraqis, 3,000 Americans, and several Trillion Dollars that was borrowed from the countries that dispise us. I would say he should be it. (In fact it's pretty funny that you could absolutely say that the WORLD would be a better place had he OD'd on Coke, or killed himself on one of his DUI's)

I wouldnt mind sharing the award with a few well chosen people, but I have to share it with about Half A Billion.

That sucks.

I intend to outlive all of you, so that I am the last surviving winner. I thought about killing everybody else, but thats alot of work.

When it's just me, they can reprint the cover with my ugly mug on it and I can hang it on my wall.

SB:"You know I was Person of the Year back in 2006"
Not POY2006:"Wow"

i could always self-medicate (haiku)

a shit-storm within
my own private pandemic
such a cry-baby

Friday, December 15, 2006

the lone push pin on the open bare floor

you havent noticed it until just too late


can there be such a duality?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Attention All Employees

First I'd like to congratulate everyone on another successful year here. I am happy to announce that this year, you will be able to 'Make Your Own' Christmas Bonus. Please look in the break room for all the supplies you will need.

We have provided: several packs of multi-color construction paper, glue, glitter, smelly markers, safety sissors (one green handled ones for you awkward leftys) and some dry maccaroni.

Feel free to contruct your Christmas Bonus during your lunch break or even after hours. Please be considerate of others and construct only one Bonus per Employee.

Happy Holidays

Worlds Tallest Man Saves Dolphins

I read about this, this morning and it struck me as sweet and TVish.

Two captive Chinese Dolphins ate a plastic pool liner, and the vets were unable to remove the pieces with their tools. They called in the worlds tallest man to reach down into their stomachs with his long arms and remove the blockages.

Since when do the freaks get to actually use their freakdom to do something important in real life? It's the stuff of every comic book. It's the stuff of after school movies. Hell, it's the basis of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!

"The Dolphins are choking! someone get the worlds tallest man!"

"The remote has been kicked under this very heavy Mr Universe!"

"The computer system is locked up and the Dinosaurs are running all over the Island...get that super smart twelve year old girl who is a hacking genius!!!"

I applaud you world's tallest man, you and your freakish abilities. You are reject to the village no-more! I exhalt the genius who actually thought to call you in the first place, and I would like for him to know that I can eat lots of stuff fast...just in case there's an emergency that requires that sort of thing....

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Forgiven for being, like famous

This person is an asshole.

I read those trashy magazines, because I like hearing about when bad things happen to Britney Spears, or any of the cast of Friends. I adore hearing the dumb things they say, because it make me feel smart. I love when they make trainwreck decisions because I know I'll feel better about myself when their lives fall apart. Yes, I really am that simple.

Some people think I shouldnt be hateful like this but I think it's healthy. I can feel true sorrow and empathy for a stranger. but these arent real people, they are free to hate!

This particular asshole was so drunk that she drove the wrong way down the highway. She's famous for being the daughter of someone famous. (isnt that the best kind of famous?)

Nothing will come of all of this and the real tragedy is that she endangered the lives of REAL people on the highway. Had it just been Heiresses coming the other way that would have been ok with me though.

So they show this mugshot of her on the TV last night and my first thought is..."Thats the best photo she ever took!"

Monday, December 11, 2006


Holly crap I'm in pain!

Important Memo from Secret SpyMaster General

It is with regret and annoyance that I have left my secret cave to write you this email. Recent events in the covert world of super-agents have brought our profession under considerable scrutiny from the public. We look unprofessional here, people.

The next time you need to kill someone, PLEASE USE YOUR OWN bullet, knife, or a pointed stick. Someone took MY bottle of POLONIUM-210 that was in a brown bag CLEARLY label with my name in the staff refridgerator. What's worse they spilled it on four different airplanes, a stadium, a sushi bar, and the controller for my new Nintendo Wii.

If anyone knows the identity, of the person who took my property please leave the name in my mailbox, so that I can give them a serious talking to, and get my controller replaced.

Also, This years Christmas Party will be held at an undisclosed location, please RSVP if you have not already done so.

Rachael Ray petitions the court for my attention

I'm only vaugly aware of who this person is. Without knowing for certain, I'm assuming that she's one of these personalities that Oprah Winfrey shits into existance every other year or so.

I know that people like her because she's spunky.
I know that people hate her because she's spunky.

Suddenly she is throwing herself before me on Wheaties boxies, and cans of Cambell soup. Anusol has a special 'Rachael Ray' branded package. She is on magazine covers. She has a line of vanilla scented garbage bags.

Has her fame been a crescendo or is it as sudden as it feels for me? What does she do? Was she photographed with Paris Hilton or something?

Friday, December 08, 2006

one of the reasons you are an asshole (eight words)

you dont even know
what you dont know

this is my normal (haiku)

head full of static
give me silence and smiles
wouldnt it be nice?

misdirection (haiku)

if i wasnt here
i hope i would be somewhere
not just anywhere

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A corner of Heaven that I am not allowed to visit

Believe it or not there is an eating contest in Boston that requires you to write a Haiku to enter....WHAT ARE THE CHANCES? I'm not allowed to enter that sort of thing unless it's sanctioned by the IFOCE. The requirements are that you include the words "Momo" which is some kind of meat dumpling, and the word "Tremont647"

Fellow Eater and whipper-snapper Erik the Red believes he's got game at the dumpling table, but would no doubt fall prey to my 5-7-5 bite-chew-swallow eating style in such a blended discipline. Here is a smattering contest entries to make him think twice.

i yearn to compete (haiku)
outside looking in
tremont six forty seven
momo never mo

a place at the table (haiku)
Momo meat dumplings
Oh tremont six four seven
Let me eat my fill

and what i show up anyway? (haiku)
no momo to go
tremont six forty seven
can you make enough?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

2ft Hoagie, Half Gallon of Lemonade, Small bag of chips 3:34

In the Studio
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
I beat the freaking time by 2 minutes!!!!
Noone was more surprised than me. I'm home and getting changed right now (lemonade is sticky) but I feel great. Alittle full but nowhere near the pain when I did the trial runs. My best trial time was 5:23...and I wasnt allowed to dunk in the studio!!!!

Off to work!


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Wing Bowl 15 Tickets sell out in 24 Hours

Tickets for this years Wing Bowl went on sale on Monday and al TWENTY THOUSAND seats were gone by Tuesday. Remember, we're talking about watching 30 people eating chicken wings for 30 minutes, not Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

It's just too big to believe sometimes......

i'm ready.

I've eaten my last meal, and now it's just a matter of waiting for time to pass. There's plenty to do here at work so I'm doing it. Once I get home, I need to get the 2ft Hoagie, Lemonade and Chips from Wawa. Get my Kilt and stopwatch together. Take the kids to wrestling practice and then bring them home and clean them up for bed.

Once the boys are down I'll take a long run to burn off any excess energy and give myself some alone time to think about what needs to be done. The biggest issue will be weather or not they let me dunk the sandwich slices in the lemonade first. Anytime you need to eat bread fast, it's wise to get it wet first. I've only practiced the stunt with dunking. That part is out of my hands, so I need to let it go.

I'm looking forward to watching my buddy Wing Kong Qualify at the 7am slot...I'm REALLY looking forward to attacking that food like an animal and claiming my own spot. I want to be up on that stage again.....

Pigeon Man in the Park (eight words)

bread crumbs
lots of bird crap

Monday, December 04, 2006

i'm bored of me (haiku)

at least you can leave
i go whereever I go
just cant get away

will miss you baby bird....

lets get this over with (haiku)

over and over again
i'm pre-living it

On Edge

I found out this morning there may be some changes to my stunt on Wednesday that could make something hard drastically harder. I wont know what the status is until I get to the radio station. I was just feeling really good about the whole thing too


Friday, December 01, 2006

Agent Thirty-Nine Knows

It was just a gut feeling and some circumstantial evidence till now...but it's a whole lot more circumstantial evidence. (How much do you hate the Romans? ALOT! Alright you're in)

But this case....
this case is just too important to the world to spoil with something like truth.

it's like digging up the treasure
taking a look
reburing it
and never mentioning it again

damn you Agent Thirty-Nine

I'll bet he wears white after Labor Day.

The Mom-Dad-Jesus-Santa Negotiations

Mom and 10 year old are having a conversation about what he wants for XMas. Mom warns the boy that every store is sold out of the Nintendo Wii and that he shouldnt be too upset if he cant get one this year.

Ch@rlie to Mom: "I'm going to pray to God that I get a Nintendo Wii for XMas. I'm going to tell him that if he gives me it, I'll give away my Playstation 2 to somebody."

Dad sensing that thousands of his dollars that he's invested in the last 5 years in the Playstation 2 System are at risk, reacts with lightning speed....

Dad: "You cant give away the PS2, how will you play all those games I bought?!?!"

Ch@rlie answers slyly: "I'm not going to give it away, I'm just going to tell him I am. How's he gonna know?"

Mom gives Dad dirty look.

Dad is uncertain how he's at fault for this mindset, but puts his tail between his legs and lopes out of the room anyway.

Take this cold from me

I feel like complete crappy-crap-crap.....

Thursday, November 30, 2006

My WingBowl 15 stunt has been accepted

Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Live in the studio: 8:30 am

2 Foot Wawa Hoagie:

Half Gallon Lemonade

Small bag of chips

5 minutes 30 seconds

Last year I got in on the Gross factor eating 2lbs of Haggis in 2.5 minutes. While that stunt showed gumption, it was important that I do a stunt deserving of a pro this year. I chose the Wawa 2 ft Hoagie, because it's something that any person in Philly can go and pick up at anytime and it will be identical. Anyone who thinks they can beat me can just walk down the street and give it a try. It reproducable in identical conditions. The challenge is also in the different densities and textures which will make it tough to get into a rhythem.

I called in yesterday without the Lemonade and have been arguing will Al over this one. Angelo loved it, but Al wanted it in 4:30. I called in this morning and added the Lemonade and he still had a hard time with it. I did this stunt last weekend just to see and I have to say it will be at the very limit of my ability and volume to pull this off in that time. That roll is TWICE as wide as the standard Wawa roll and of's two feet long.

Philly Legend, El Wingador was sitting in the studio to publicize his restaraunt, and he said it was a really good stunt. It took him and Angelo together to convince him that 5:30 would be a tough time to finnish in. I think when Al sees the Hoagie, he'll change his mind.

I feel that this is a legitmatly great stunt, and when I pull it off I will be deserving of being on that stage. I will also be worthy of some Axia 3 and a nap.

By not having any buffer time room for error though, I'm risking the whole reason I became a Competitive Eater, to compete again in WingBowl and Ultimately to win. For me it's alittle scarier than last year because this year of competing has given me great insight into what these Pros can really do.

I just cant count on Joey Chestnut having a bad day. Even if he does there are 5 other eaters of his caliber to take his place. I have to actually BEAT him. That is a stunning admission for me considering how much respect I have for what he can do. I have to be completely honest with myself from the beginning.

I have time, passion, support and I have a plan....will that be enough?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I'm sick.

I dont remember the last time I was sick, must have been a year ago. Not flu sick, but bad-cold sick, the kind you still go to work with.

Yesterday my wife sent me to bed when I got home and she was kind enough to get the boys to wrestling practice despite her very long day. I lay in bed in the quiet house reading the latest issue of People magazine in my underwear. My dog Larry watched me the whole time.

Did you know that George Clooney is the sexist man alive? It says so on the fact the whole issue is dedicated to the sexist men out there. George says that Brad is going to be upset because now they are tied for being the Sexiest Man Twice. It also says he'll never get married and that he has a Pot Bellied pig for a pet.

The magazine has found the other 199 sexy people too.

I paged.....
and paged...
and paged...

no pictures of Steakbellie!!!

what the fuck is that? Not only was I overlooked over AGAIN this year, NOBODY I know was even mentioned, let alone pictured. 90% of the "Winners" were actors and the rest were Musicians. No plumbers. No IT people. No Graphic Designers. No Competitve Eaters.

Do you know any professional Actors?
I Dont, but I Act everyday. You should see me at work!

I lay in bed, with a pillow folded in half under my head. What Dispair! Matt Damon doesnt even have his own Blog! I pulled the sheets over my head so Larry didnt have to watch me cry. I cried and cried until I knew I had to do something about this.

I've decided I'm going to win next year. I'm going to be People's Sexiest Man of 2007 with a huge photo of my face on the cover. They will have photos of me trying to find two identical socks in the morning. Photos of me picking up dog crap in my back yard. Intimate pictures of me staring blankly at the screen waiting to see if I die before the 5 oclock whistle.

You can stop smiling because I'm serious. I'm a winner.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

HEADLINE: Face Transplant Successful, Personality Same-Old Same-Old

ug. (haiku)

sore throat, stuffy head
sheets tucked, pillows stacked, lights out
stuffed bear, goodnight moon

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Axia 3 Thanksgiving Invitational 2006

Even if you've never been to a New York Deli, I can tell you that Arties is a typical New York Deli and we'd pretty much have a similar image in our heads. There are long glass cases of pastries and meats to buy. There are reviews and autographed framed photos on the walls. There are people getting 'the usual' and enjoying the paper with their breakfast.

News outlets are desperate for Thanksgiving Themed content. Other than Parades and Black Friday stories there isnt much non-violent news to present. The IFOCE's Thanksgiving Invitational fills this need and gets the sponsor National exposure at a fraction of what a tv commercial would cost. There is so much interest in this event that it is closed to the public. I had to get special permission to bring my family...i promised they wouldnt eat much.

The main portion of the restaurant is now full of video techs running heavy cables out to the satellite trucks parked just inside. Marketing people are constructing a 20' 'pop-up' backdrop with the 'Axia 3' logo on it. Crazy Legs Conti and Eater X have been here for hours, doing a radio show and some other media interviews. The IFOCE has lots of deserved confidence in their ability to talk off the cuff on camera. They speak in serious tones about the event and what Competitive Eating means to them. Crazy Legs Conti call Thanksgiving 'Amatuer Day' much the same that an alcoholic might say about New Years. Eater X mentions how his Sports Phsycologist has helped him prepare for this event. I listen to some of their straight-faced humor and cant keep from breaking out into a smile.

It's about 8:30am and I'm sitting with my Mom, my wife and my three sons waiting for the remaining eaters to show. We drove in from Jersey and came early incase the tunnel traffic was too much and got lucky. Arties is still serving clients on the porch, so my family gets breakfast and I get to watch longingly.

Eater X and Conti finish with the press and Conti gives me a hug. I meet the Pickle Champion, Beautiful Brian Seiken and he gives me a hug too. Justin Mih and Arturo Rios show up and it's hugs all around...I love how affectionate these guys are, and how welcoming they can be. Crazy Legs puts me infront of some news people and I answer some press questions into voice recorders and video cameras:

Q: "How do you prepare for a contest like this"
A: "I've been an eater all my life, everyday is practice"

Q: "Did you eat anything this morning?"
A: "Of Course, Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!"

Q: "How do you think you'll do today?"
A: "I'm the least ranked eater at the table today, but I'm expecting an overall win. Most of the eaters here will fall alseep by the 6th minute from the Turkey overload. I've built up my Tryptophan resistance to the point where it doesnt effect me anymore."

Q:"Will you eat Turkey Tomorrow?"
A: "ABSOLUTELY" (the only true answer I gave)

I meet Kate Westfall who handles schedules all of the eaters and the events they want to attend (hug) and the Legandary Hungry Charles who now is the Comissioner of the IFOCE (hug). Kate gives me my Axia 3 tshirt and I begin to prepare myself mentally.

Big Brian shows, Sonya Shows, Pat Bertoletti shows, and there is a media crush to talk to Sonya & Pat. The eaters huddle together waiting for the intros. George Shea calls the eaters out one at a time, giving their histories (wonderfully embellished with colorful stories of how each eater came to love Competitve Eating) George tells the black wall of cameras that I am actually FROM Scotland. (it gets printed)

The Turkeys are brought out and I spend some time touching them to see that they are cool and look over cooked. The turkeys have been stuffed with Turkeys so that each one weighs exactly 12.00 lbs on the digital scale. I think over the advice Humble Bob has given me for this event. Bob suggested I keep my bites small in case the Turkey is dry.

Small Bites...
Small Bites...
Small Bites...

The Contest begins and I tear off one of the enormous breasts with my hands and shove the whole damned thing in my mouth. I know I was supposed to take small bites, but I got so excited with all the tv cameras that I lost my mind for abit and took the biggest bite of my life.

Turkey has very little fat and Overcooked Turkey is devoid of water. This huge chunk of white meat couldnt be dryer if it was made out of powder. I chew and chew and chew trying to get enough moisture worked in to be able to swallow. My wife and kids are yelling for me from the side, I can hear lots of excitement from the crowd but I'm mostly blinded by the lights. It's almost two minutes in before I completely get my mouth clear (despite my chipmunked cheeks I kept putting more Turkey in) and I get into a smart rhythm of small pieces dunked in gravy (each eater got a bowl) I keep my hands tearing at the bird and concentrate on swallowing. My hope is to get through the white meat first, and then move to the dark meat on the bottom and finally the legs if there is time. The dark meat is easier to eat but the bulk of the weight remains in the breasts.

I'm on the end of the table and it's hard to see whats happening at the center, every time I try to peak, my wife yells at me to stay focused on my own Bird. Sometimes I'm too much of a fan to not be so nosey. Big Brian is next to me and I'm rushing small pieces into my mouth trying to catch him. Brian has hands like dinner plates, and he picks the whole turkey up and puts it to his mouth. With his second hand he grabs the gravy bowl and drinks directly from it. The media loves this and flash bulbs go off like crazy.

Typically, they play music during the contest, but today it's just George Shea barking insightful commentary of whats happening at the table. I'm determined to mind my own business.

"Sonya's in Trouble!!!" George says with genuine shock.

I look over and the most important, most impressive person in competitive eating has a hand over her mouth. For a second it feels like everyone stops in disbelief. She's been in more competitions than anyone, has beaten more people than anyone, has astounded more crowds than anyone. This 99lbs woman has competed for almost 4 years and never puked. She's eaten 65 Hard Bolied Eggs in 5 minutes for goodness sakes.

She doesnt puke but appears to have coughed a bit up when trying to swallow too much. There's just a tiny bit, but thats enough be DQ'd, the rules say nothing can come from your mouth. She steps away from the table and the eaters dig in deeper.

I keep my pace right up to the 12th minute, and I dont hit a single wall, not even the meat sweats! Big Brian is practically wreslting his carcass next to me, I feel like it's going to be close. I stuff my mouth at the buzzer and step back from the table. Our birds are inspected and any eaxtra meat from the area is put on the platters and weighed. I can see my Mom waaaaay in the back behind the cameras. She's never seen one of these events before and I can tell that she's relieved I didnt choke to death.

Sonya talks on camera with the most gracious smile, and jokes that she should have had some 'Axia 3 Antacid' before hand.

Crazy Legs gets ahold of a pumkin pie and passes around slices for everyone. The TV cameras love this too and gasps can be heard that we can eat more after 12 minutes of gorging. I feel fantastic, fullish but not near capacity. The pie is wonderful.

The results are announced and I am 6th of 8, better than what was expected of me, and another small victory for me. I am improving slowly and I have to be patient and happy with the progress I've made. There are many many more hugs, and talk of when we will all meet again. I thank anyone who will listen, and head out into Manhattan with my family.

I have some photos to go through and I will post them tonight!

Patrick Bertoletti: 4.8 lbs
Tim Helen Janus: 3.8 lbs
Arturo Rios: 2.8 lbs
Crazy Legs Conti: 2.38 lbs
Justin Mih: 2.375 lbs
Steakbellie: 1.80 lbs
Brian Subich: 1.42 lbs
Sonya Thomas: DQ

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Why I LOVE this job. I get emails like this!

"The Turkeys will be 12 pounds, and gravy will be provided. You can not bring your own gravy"

Doesnt that rock?

And wouldnt you know, I had considered bringing my own......

I'll never understand women

My twelve year old just got dumped by his girlfriend, just as I was begin to cope with the concept that he was dating. That was pretty freaky.

He chose well and she was just so pretty, smart and sweet. She would come over with her friend and chat with my wife, and then offer me fashion advise.

"DONT wear your running shoes as casual wear, Mr Steakbellie"
"You're REALLY not going to wear Camoflague shorts?...ewwwww"

To my surprise the girls asked to see his baby photos and asked a million questions of what he was like as a kid. I marveled at these girls..they are so very deeply DIFFERENT than boys. Girls ask so many questions! They want to talk about things!

So now he's dumped, but I'm the one who feels bad...I'm confused...did she know to say 'it's not you, its me', does he still talk with her at school?

In the end it's a good experience for him...maybe he wont wind up being a big sap like me.

Save the Tuba Player, Save the World.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Hot Chick invites Steakbellie to dance, he mumbles something that sounds like 'Yes'

So something very unexpected happened. Not long ago I was bemoaning not getting into any of the cool contests (either by not qualifying for or not being invited).

Most of the contests are open calls-first come first serve. A few are by invite only. So last week I received an invitation to the IFOCE's Thanksgiving Invitational. There are an aweful lot of people that would like to go to this thing. I think they only invite 8 or so, for me to be considered is just stunnning. All of the other eaters are in the top twenty, but I see it as a great opportunity to beat somebody...anybody!!! No Pressure! Cause if I come in last, thats just what was expected!

The food?
Whole Turkeys!

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Gross Clinic by Thomas Eakins

About ten years ago I had one of the drunkest, most funnest days of my life. Artie Lang and I went to the Army/Navy Football football game and got box seats that he squandered from someone. We drank beer from early in the morning (actually it was probably bloody mary's at first) and kept a wonderful pace of alcohol, food and yelling throughout the day.

We sang songs he learned in the Navy and I cheered everytime the cannons were fired in celebration of a touchdown.

Artie: "Navy just scored!!!!"
Crowd Cheers
Artillery Cannons placed in the endzones thunder off shots.
SB: "GO BOOM!!!!"

I was so delighted by the cannon fire! What a happy and simple drunk I am.

The ball was brought into Veterans Stadium by parachuters, and various killing machines streaked overhead to the crowds delight. It was awesome. Bill Clinton was at the game. Bill knows were the fun is.

That was an afternoon game, which we followed up by drinking more and (as he recalls) diner at some restaurant (which I dont) in which various fight songs were once again sung against Army supporters.

We drank some more and then went to a UPENN basketball game in which we were even more obnoxious and I'm sure I regretted not having any cannons with me to celbrate each basket. I do remember storming the court after the win. I dont follow college basketball, but why not get involved when you can?

Sometime after midnight we convinced a Security Guard to let us into an office building owned by Thomas Jefferson University so that I could see this painting. I wish I could remember what the hell he said to them to let two very drunk, very cold twenty somethings into a room so that they could see the most valuable (and in my mind) most important painting in all of Philadelphia.

We had studied the painting in art history, so i was very familiar with it but had never seen it in person. The guard led us into a dark room, and I felt struck when the lights came on and I saw that the tiny picture in my Art History book was over Eight Feet tall!

The 8-by-7-foot painting shows a doctor and his students performing surgery on a boy's leg, while his mother covers her face with her hands. It's a realistic, dark and illustrious painting style that appeals to me. At the time it was painted it was very different from everything else being painted, in style and subject matter. It was painted here in Philadelphia and has been here since 1878.

Thomas Jefferson just surprised the city by announcing it had just sold the painting to one of the Walmart heirs for $68 million and the city will have to match the offer by December or it will leave. The painting will make a stop at the National Gallery for abit (which is arguably where it should be anyway) and then will reside in Arkansas.

That sucks.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

War Machine (eight words)

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
somewhere inside
is something...

something really
really hard.

Run this message to Marathon! (eight words)

"i am trying to
get my shit together"

Agent Thirty-Nine (haiku)

answers are out there
laying out the evidence
what am i missing?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The difference between us and Abraham

We give our burnt offerings just out of sick curiosity. They dont even have to ask us.

I'm a stinker

I buy the same lunch from the same person every day for the last year or more. My wife cant stand to eat the same thing twice in a week let alone everyday of the year. I think I'm missing that gene.

The man who makes my lunch recognizes me and I have found him to be an optimistic and sweet person. His food is excellent, especially his marinated chicken sandwhiches. Long long lines for Jons food, but you can count on the fact that the food is good and that he may have a joke for you. Several times a week I catch him feeding the homeless.

I dont know why I screw with him. For the first two months I ordered the EXACT same lunch five days a week: Marinated Chicken Cheesesteak with fried Onions and Hot Sauce....until the day he knew what I wanted, then something devious in me made me change it.

"No, not today Jon. Today I want Chicken Salad on a Wheat Pita with Tomatoes...."
I then proceded to order that exact lunch five days a week for a months until the day he finally caught on and started making it.

"No, not today Jon. Today I want Marinated chicken with fried Onion and hot sauce, no cheese, no roll...." That went on for three months

For the last six months I've been eating chicken on a wheat pita with Cayenne Pepper instead of hotsauce. I dont think he's gonna ever assume again.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Saturday Nite Live Cartoon Skit Featuring Kobayashi!

thanks OJRifkin
This totally kills me. It's based on a cartoon called Dragon Ball Z that my sons used to watch pretty regularly a few years ago.

my boy (haiku)

he thinks he's in love
does she make his heart flutter?
how do you teach that?

Humble and Focused (haiku)

for Bob
Turkey and Meatballs
Chicken Wings, Hot Dogs, Shoo-Fly!
Get'em!, Got'em, Good!

Monday, November 13, 2006

liquid cooled

alcohol fueled

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Sacrifice

I did it
I defeated Senator Rick Santorum.

He is a Dragoon of the Apocolyspe but with a big nose and bad hair, He is a loudmouth surrogate for el presidente, he is a liar and a fraud.

As it turns out, God doesnt like him either. I had a dream in which I was to wrestle an angel. His name was Larry. He broke my arm and healed it. He broke it again.

"Stop That!!"
"What?!" The Angel says with a cruel smile

"Let us contest a different sport" I demand
"Sure, whatever.." says the Angel looking at his watch and wondering how much longer this dream would last.

"If I beat you, can I have a free wish?"
"If it's about you and Angelina Jolie again, you can forget it" scolds the Angel.

some silence

"OK I have a new wish" I say
Larry The Angel turns dark and serious. I notice he was smoking a cigarette.
"I'm not really supposed to do this, but I only have one more thing to do today. Not too many people dream of wrestling Angels anymore ya know.

If you win, you're still going to have to pay a heavy price to get your wish...I'm not shiting you, nothing's free."

I nod my head with understanding.
"So what's this Contest you wanna have with me" the Angel confidently inquired.
"Hold on...let me get my Kilt"

Eight minutes later I hold the world record for competitive eating Mana. 10.5lbs compared to Larry's measly 3lbs. Larry's holding his stomach, sweating and leaning against the table. His wings droop abit and he seems perplexed by the experience.

"You had me beat, but you kept eating right up to the end...why?
"I was afraid Joey Chestnut might show up"
"Oh" says the Angel with a nod.

He furrows his brow like a man trying to recall details from last nights drinking binge.
"Who were those guys in the funny hats?"
"The Shea Brothers, it's their job to run these things"
"Even in a Dream?"
"They kinda have a lock on the Sport I guess"

Larry isnt looking to good.
"Lets get this over with kid, what do you want for your wish"
"I want Rick Santorum to go away"
Larry looks better for a few moments and smiles broadly with a cruelty similar to when he was breaking my arm.
"You're stupid. You should have wished for money or good personality. God, totaly thinks Santorum is an Asshole and sent me down here to make sure he lost the election and to give him the Herpes."
"Ewww" I snear
"You blew your wish, dumbass...and you still have to pay the price!"

Without thinking I punch the Angel in the belly and he pukes up warm, half digested manna all over my good blue kilt and shoes. It stinks like baby formula. As the dream fades the Angel reaches out and breaks my arm again.

So I woke up this morning to see that Santorum was defeated by the heavy hand of Larry. 60-40. I also recived an email detailing the price I have paid.

I was not selected for the Tropicana Meatball Invitational. It's held in Atlantic City and the Trop puts you up for a weekend of good times and great eating. I registered early but theres only 15 spots and they selected mostly from the top 20 from what I can gather.

I hate that I never get invited to the dance.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Me & My Mom 1971

Me & My Mom 1971
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
My Uncle just emailed me this photo. Look how pretty my Mom is! This makes me happy on a grey day.

Still, I look at this photo, and even the deepest parts of me have a hard time acknowledging that I was ever a baby. I think I've so deeply aligned myself with fatherhood, that I often forget that I'm a son too.

Rick Santorum

God, you are the creepiest guy I've ever seen.

Please, Please, Please let my vote be the very last vote counted. Let mine be the one the the top of the pile.

Let me break the camel's back.

Monday, November 06, 2006

when you finally ask for help

they say they'll have to call you back.

my parade of one

oscilating between impatience and indifference
i march down this sidewalk
tooting my horn

Senator, please dont call me anymore...

wonderful words from Dr Suess

This is not good
This is not right
My feet stick out of bed
All night

stalled (eight words)

things are not good
things are not bad

Friday, November 03, 2006

Eight Words of Prayer (eight words)

dear god
it's me
i'm here
i'm waiting....

Steakbellie Solves the Mystery of the Gay Marriage

I hate the whole fear of gays thing. Saying that gays cant marry or defend their country is just freaking retarded. If you dont like gays, dont marry one.

So to keep my solution simple here it goes:

I am Conservative in some ways. I believe that this country should be run like a business (not completely but there are some things that it could learn from Business, and I'm not refering to Bush/Cheney type businesses that steal/pollute but American Business as an ideal)

If gays are to be denied rights like the right to marriage, then they shouldnt have to pay for those services they arent receiving. Citizens with half the rights only pay half as much! By checking the 'Cocksucker' box on your 1040 you get half off your taxes.

Within a year every goddamn unmarried person will have checked that or not. Tax coffers will plummet and then the Politicians will have something to think about.

The Black Pot Said: (eight words)

It was just Meth
and a Gay Massage

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Sidewalk of Least Resistance (haiku)

do it tomorrow
why stress over it today?
its not like they'll know

Eight Words For You (eight words)

glad to hear
everybody else
hates you too

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"These are not the IT people you are looking for...."

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
For several months I've been working on an important software project. The project was due today and we had one last very important meeting last night.

Present in the conference room were all sorts of CEO/VP/Director types dressed in various states of business dress.

My lead developer came to the meeting too.

He was dressed as a Jedi Master with flowing robes of Brown and tan, utility belt, and lightsaber. It was awesome.

I want the whole IT dept to dress like that from now on.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Humility, Shock & Awe

The Krystal Killers
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
It's over.

This weekend was the finals for the Krystal Burger Championship. Ya'll will remember that I flew down to Memphis a month ago to compete in a qualifier. I had expected from my training to eat more than 30 burgers but limped in with only 23. It's been a hard month of self abuse, but I enjoy that there is nowhere else to place blame. I blame my friend Wing Kong. :)

In general I regret that I have to wait a whole year to get another shot at this contest. The good news is that I have the Wing Bowl coming up the friday before the Super Bowl, and thats something that will fill 3 or 4 months of planning and training. I'm good at that format, and think I can have another great performance now that I know what to expect. In the spring I can try to break the 20 hotdog barrier as well...there's always something on the horizon.

So if you didnt get to see the Krystal Burger Final on ESPN this weekend you might be able to catch a glimpse of it on YouTube soon. I am the best/worst fan of Competitve Eating in that I root for EVERYBODY, and my list of favorite eaters is almost as big as my list of known eaters. This particular contest was stocked with my favorites and me and the family yelled as each one was introduced. I also had some deep Pangs wishing I was there to compete....or even just being there for the after party.

Now everybody at the table outclassed me on this day. I have so much respect for Eaters like The Black Widow, Humble Bob & Eater X, Crazy Legs...I should just list the whole table. These guys put up tremendous numbers 40's 50's & 60's. To eat that many Hamburgers in 8 Minutes is just stunning, but in a believable kind of way. I know with a few years of hard work I could have a shot of being at this level.

People in the crowd want to know where they put it all. They want to know how a skinny person can eat 50 Hamburgers. I'm past that, I know it's possible.

So the big story is that the old record of 67 Burgers was broken...and broken by three people! Pat Bertoletti ate 76 Krystal Hamburgers. I had predicted 73 to be the winning total.

Joey Chestnut the only eater to ever really be a challenge to Kobiashi (the great Japanese Hotdog Eater) pushed himself to 91 Burgers in 8 minutes...NINETY-ONE!!!!!
That is unfathomable to me. I'm back to the basic questions of 'Where does he put it?' His performance has really stunned me this week into silence. I know why I do all this, but honestly, it's abit Humbling to see a performance like this. Whats even more incredible is that Joey ate 91 Hamburgers and came in second. Koby ate 97. WTF? Thats the Old World Record PLUS what I ate in a whole 8 minutes....
THATS humbling.....

Monday, October 30, 2006

so anyway.....

me and my three sons are out Toilet Papering the neighborhood. The two oldest run to the next block to hit a friends house. I want to keep the baby close to home so we start soaping up a neighbors car in their driveway.

M@x takes the bar of Ivory and writes:
on the back window as I drape long strands of toilet paer over it.

The neighbor walks out on her porch, but doesnt see us because we duck behind her car. I think she's watering plants or something.

"I want to write more" he whispers
"Go Ahead" I say
"How do you spell...'From the Mystery Man'?"

So in the dark, on a school night, on Mischief Night, I'm spelling out a sentence to my Seven year old so he can write it on the side windows of a neighbors car.



As of today I've been married for 13 years.

By strange coincedence so has my wife.

What is the secret to being married this long?
I dont hold any great answer but these are some of the things I've been working on. I expect to have a much better list for my 50th.

You need to find someone who shares the same level of stuborn ignorance as you. I'm not joking about that. If the two of you are focused in the same direction you will get through most of lifes problems together, but thats not guarenteed.

Love is important but just love wont carry things accross this chasam of time. You both have to be open to the idea of working at it. The Wedding Day was not a finish line.

Women should remember that men dont read minds (or emotions either).
Men should remember that it's better to be kind than right.

Booze helps.

Avoid fucking other people.

Encourage your partner to get out with their friends once in awhile or pick a hobby.....even if it's a hobby you'll never really understand.
While it may be difficult to maintain a completely independent identity in a marriage, it is wise to at least have some facets that are unique to one individual.

I love you honey, thanks for putting up with me for so long!

Friday, October 27, 2006

A Deficeit in the Economy of Love

The Professional Marketers stand on the street corners. In the summers they use college girls on vacation, but in the cold, it's just a guy.

Todays guy has a beautiful embroidered windbreaker that says something like "International Childrens Fund" and he's a holding a notebook full of mournful photos that have artfully been put together. Tomorrow he may be wearing a purple jacket that says "World Wildlife Fund". It has a Zebra and a Koala on it.

These people are very effective, and I often see them talking to people out of their checkbooks. The college girls are extrememly good getting the middle age working suits to stop to hear their sad story. It's funny to watch, but I typically just say 'no-thankyou' and keep going.

My problem with these people is that a very very small percentage of the money they collect actually goes to the charity. They dont work for the Charity directly, so they dont have to give it all. These companies have administrative costs to pay first, and then can take whatever profit they choose on top of that. We used to get calls at the house from people like this and I'd keep asking them what percentage actually goes to the charity over and over until they hung up.

Todays guys steps right into the stream of walking commuters and singles me out with direct eye contact. He's four steps from me and in my way.

With a keen smile he starts his rehearsed speech with
"Excuse me Sir, Would you like too..."
Without a thought or slowed step, I spit my words through gritted teeth and a jutted jaw...
"I HATE you..."
It comes out beautifully and I am leaning forward on these last two steps between us. I have not slowed at all.

I'm sure he hears alot of things, but I dont think he expected this. I watch his whitened body implode upon itself and shrink away almost into nothing.

Suddenly he is out of my way and gone.

I'm still laughing.

words without credibility

compasionate conservatism
clear skies
no child left behind
sectarian violence
culture of life
war on terror
mission accomplished

Thursday, October 26, 2006

painfully distracted.....

and sick of toddler stuck in vending machine.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

become a durable nothing (haiku)

i pray to myself
for humility and grace;
for perseverence

Accounting (haiku)

sunrise to sunset
one less chance to live a day
do anything good?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Will be posting on an As Needed basis

because of work issues i might be posting differently over the next 8 days. maybe more, probably less.

Monday, October 23, 2006

January 20th, 2009

There's no place like home
There's no place like home
There's no place like home
There's no place like home
There's no place like home

His tattoo will read:

If found, please return to Olympia.
Postage will be paid.

to the man who has run out of options:

you could always go biking

mornin' (haiku)

monday underway
sleep has got a hold of me
bugger off, sandman

Friday, October 20, 2006

one of those days

standing on a rainy platform this morning for a train that would be very late...i just kinda had the feeling that things wouldnt go my way today.

one hour into it i can see i was right.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The man who is bothering me

I'll bet he really likes parades
all of those people doing the same thing
the same way
in the same outfit
shiny shoes and polished brass intruments

I'm certain his big white forehead gets all sweaty
and he counts everything
hoping for even numbers
hoping for the most balance possible

I like when the wind kicks up
and Bullwinkle gets loose
now thats fun

same (haiku)

here we go again
yesterday redux, part two
some change would be nice

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Note to self

Dont wear the SpongeBob Squarepants Boxers on the days you go to the gym at lunch. Might make for some awkward moments in the locker room....

"Hey Check Out My Nose!!!!"

My little brother is in Africa.

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
He's a Highway Engineer and his wife is a Medical Student. They live very very busy lives in New Jersey. It's ok that he's on the other side of the world, because I never see him anyway and he might as well do something interesting if he's not gonna be hanging out with me and his nephews.

Through a crazy set of opportunities, he's spending three weeks vacation helping build mudhuts and she's working in a Medical Clinic. I think they are doing Missionary work also, and this may be a trial balloon to become Missionaries in the future.

Through the miracle of GoogleEarth you can see where he is right now:

I heard thirdhand that somebody tried to give him a chicken. So if you can zoom in and see a white guy with a chicken, thats probably him.

What a wonderful interuption for their lives though...I'll hear all about it on Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 16, 2006

"with hope in our hearts, and bricks in our hands"

I'm disappointed in Kim Jong Ill

He set off a bomb. A nuclear bomb.

The problem was it was such a small nuclear bomb, that at first we thought he faked it...that he just stacked up a shitload of high explosives and set them off underground somewhere hoping to fool everybody. What a jokester.

This would have put the UN in a funny situation, where it implement sanctions over North Korea, for just pretending to set off a nuclear bomb.

Instead he set off a real one.
That sucks....send in Team America.....

Can we just hit the FF button?

Today hit me like a Monday
A big dry thud

Friday, October 13, 2006

When somebody loves you....

Someone that loves me sent me a video attached to an email. The email said this.

This 2 minute video is about the day the rapture will happen, it is powerful!

This is what I am sending back to this person.
Here is a 2 minute video of Joey Chestnut eating hamburgers, it too is powerful!

Lets pretend I dont care

Wing Kong
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.

If I were in a movie, I'd be on a plane to Jackson Mississippi right now. I'd be wearing cool sunglasses and looking out the porthole window, refusing mylar bags of crappy pretzels.

I'd have battle tempered resolve.
I'd have something witty to say to my competitors.
I'd have fresh breath.

Sunday is the last qualifier for the Kyrstal Burger World Championships, and there is a very interesting battle going to be fought between 3 or 4 eaters who are tied in the Wildcard spot with 36 burgers. There are also several other good eaters who are very close to 36 who want another shot at it. They are flying in from Seattle, New York, and Connecticut for this chance at the finals.

I want another shot too.
I'd like to redeem myself.

I have a really good ending for this movie, and I'll force myself to watch it a few hundred times before finally letting the dream die on Sunday with a sigh. None of these guys would like my version of the movie anyway. (it involves a trophy, a pony, some dancing girls, and an aweful lot of Krystal Hamburgers

Back to work, boy, back to work....

Thursday, October 12, 2006

wet powder (eight words)

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
click click click

click click

click click boom

October 12th or whenever (haiku)

tired of tired
pedestrian bull-ka-ka
life is a rerun

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Lunesta Seven Day Challenge

What the fuck are these people thinking? They actually have a commercial inviting people to take their perscription pills for seven days in a row.

Hello? A free packet of seven sleep pills that they hope you get addicted to and buy every month, should not be confused in any way with a contest or challenge.

It is not:
A pile of twenty HotDogs
5K worth of road
A Hot Chick in the corner
A twelve pack
2 books in 52 weeks

i hate hate hate drug comercials. Remember that stupid Celebrex Commercial with the old lady doing Tai Chi and the happy chorus singing "Celebrate! Celebrate!" and they forgot to mention that their pill had been killing people for years? I wish I could hop into that commercial today and kick that old lady's ass in her karate outfit. I'd punch her right in the nose and then rub dirt and grass in her hair while singing that 'Celebrate' song.

How unresponsible ARE these people? Now we have a sleeping pill challenge? Do I get a t-shirt? A Branded Cup to wash it down with? Will I be ranked amongst other sleeping pill competitors? Should somebody contact George Shea about creating the International Federation of Competitive Sleeping?

It's all been up the ass since they lifted the ban on Drug Commercials. Now everybody diagnoses themselves and tells the Doctor what the hell they want to take. "Ask your Doctor if an unexpected Heart Attack is for you" They'll NEVER take the commercials back now, too much money gets paid to the media and politicians.

I'll be stuck watching dick pill commercials till i actually need them......

we'll at least i can take the train

Anyone else suspicious how gas prices are suddenly falling right before the election? I know quite abit goes into determining the price of gasoline, but I really dont trust these companies or the Incumbents who have their hands covered in motor oil.

I dread how high the prices will climb in December, once the Political pressure is off. I though the whole reason we've been killing Iraqis was to get cheap oil...or was it to get revenge for what they did to us on 9-11? i forget...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

and June Bug just wanted to get out....

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
Yesterday I was really bothered by a thought. I present it to you so that you too might be bothered by it.

For millions of years we scavenged for food. We hunted, we grazed the forrests. Eventually we figured out how to plant and cultivate our own food. It gave us some control over what we ate, and with some luck kept our bellys full. This was truly hard won knowledge, that had to be passed on from person to person or risk failure of the species. The end of humandom. Everyone was involved, in fact it was the ONLY thing you had to do.

Today with all of the people I know and knew. All of the friends and aquantainces, the people I worked with, partied with....people I met on the Internet, I can only think of ONE person who has the knowledge, experience and land to grow his own food in a real way.(Two months ass deep in tomato and basil wont cut it) ONE PERSON out of what must be over 1,000.

Isnt that kind of dangerous?

Monday, October 09, 2006

blue and distracted

this city is empty and so is my head.

Skipper Black (haiku)

hey little buddy
am i really real for real?
one man says i am

Friday, October 06, 2006

How to Make a Lemon Cough

Buy a package of Lemon Crystal Light Drink Mix. Open one of the little plastic tubs and observe the very fine yellow powder. It's made that fine so that it will dissolve instantly in water.

Fill a 2 Quart Pitcher with Fresh Cold Water

Agressively dump the Crystal Light Powder into the pitcher. While most of the mix enters the water, you'll notice that the finest grains of powder actually bounce off of the meniscuss of water and create a yellow fog just above the surface for several seconds.

Put your face just over the pitcher and take a deep breath through your mouth. That yellow mist will enter your lungs and you'll start coughing Lemony Goodness!.

Dump pitcher down the drain and start over!

how long will this meeting last? (haiku)

indifferent stare
automatic head nodding
I dont really care

simple man (haiku)

tell me you love me
it's ok if you're lying
i choose to believe

time to be a big boy again (haiku)

long conference calls
piles and piles of work
rather be sleeping

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

40,000 Feet Over Virginia

Wing Kong
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
At Charlotte we changed planes for the final leg back into Philly. This one was a 757 which had much larger seats and almost leg room. I have the window and Wing Kong takes the aisle with a seat between us for our ipods and ticket stubs.

The pilot announces that beverage service will begin shortly, I continue to look out the plane window counting the sylables in various words.

between here and there
we have built alot of stuff
where are all the trees?

For the fouth time in three days I'm handed a small mylar bag of crappy pretzels. I motion to Kong if he wants my bag and he places it next to his on his tray. I see that Kong has taken my ipod and hid it under some of his paper debris.

He gives me a sheepish grin and hands it back.

"Excuse me Mame?" I say to the Stewardess
She's pouring someone a soda.
"Do you have any more pretzels? This Man took mine" I point a finger.
Kong freezes with his hand in the pretzel bag and just raises a single eyebrow John Belushi style.

The stewardess give him a dirty look and hands me another bag.

I motion to him if he wants it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Seaver Miller

Seaver Miller
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
It's just after the contest and all of the eaters are behind the stage at the Tennessee Mid-South Fair reconstructing what happened. My friend Seaver put up the performance of his life, and ate 41 Hamburgers to get 3rd place. He weighs about 160lbs.

Seaver is pacing back and forth with discomfort.
"I'll be back in a minute" he says and runs off.

I figure he pushed alittle too hard and now he's likely to puke. It doesnt happen much at these contests, but understandlibly sometimes it happens.

We look over he's not sick at all....he's in line for Ice Cream.

Krystal Burgers Memphis Qualifier 2006

My Second Tray
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
I was riding the train into work this morning and I suddenly laughed out loud. It was a response to a thought I had. I had a miserable performance in Memphis, and it's a bitter bitter pill that I am chewing and refusing to swallow until I can understand it. I laughed on the train, because I realized I was trying to find meaning in it. Meaning in an eating contest loss. I still get's funny, but for me it's been a weekend of soul searching and reflection.

People try to find meaning in so many things. We see the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwhich. We wonder why we have Cancer, or Herpes or Bad Breath. Has God chosen this for us? Have we chosen it? Was it just bad timing? What is the meaning of this Car Accident, this crashed harddrive, this broken Happy Meal Toy. I dont mean to make light of any of those things, just point out that what may seem trival to you, may be a profound event for another.

I've made it clear how deeply I wanted a great performance. I trained, I charted my results and improvements on spreadsheets. I worked my technique. In my head, my first Goal was to Eat 30 Hamburgers, my next goal was to eat 36 hamburgers and Qualify for the Finals on deep fantasy was that I was going to eat 40 Hamburgers and win the contest. None of those things happened.

In practice I've been able to eat 20 Hamburgers in 2:25. Thats a fine pace, and afterwards I didnt feel any discomfort, nothing from my body to say I'm at my limit. At the contest I only ate 23 Total in 8 minutes. I hit 15 at the two minute mark and immediatley fell into the 'Meat-Sweats' Thats the reaction your body gives you when it's trying to convince you to stop...I didnt anticipate the sweats until roughly the 3-4 minute mark. I chewed and chewed my food and had to force each swallow.

Whats so puzzling is that I have nothing to blame it on, I dont know WHY I couldnt eat more. This is what makes it baffling for me.

I was well rested
My stomach was completely empty and I was starving
I attacked the food passionately
I went to Graceland Earlier in the Day and Prayed to Elvis at his grave. (honestly who better to serve as the God of Eating?)
I was focused, and didnt even look up from my tray until after the 4 minute mark.

On the train I recognized that food, and the act of eating have a spiritual element. Our religeons incorporate this into their rituals...we eat the host, we fast, we have Seder, we leave a plate for Elijah, cookies for Santa Claus, Carrots for the Easter Bunny, and a Turkey on ThanksGiving.

Many of the People who continue to Eat Competitively find that they get more out of it than a win. So many of us are shy people in an everyday sense, who are able to lower our walls abit and really enjoy a meal together. It is easy for me to walk up to an unknown eater and initiate a conversation. I know that he shares my obsessiveness, my need for comfort and comraderie. All of us are driven to compete against ourselves, to reach that magic number in our heads.

Picture this Scene:
It's moments after the contest and the trophy has just been awarded to Eater X for Eating 54 Hamburgers in 8 minutes. (Only six people in the World have eaten 50 or more in 8 minutes and TWO of them did it at this contest. The Locust ate 51!!!) X's face is painted in a mask and I'm standing there in a Kilt and fake tattoos. I tell him that I'm confused and sad about the result. He's kind enough to be genuinly consoling, and offers a story about his first Krystal contest. All of this while he must be in serious discomfort, and several reporters are trying to get his attention for interviews. I dont know X except though some comment exchanges on some blogs.

This kind of thing would never happen in my real world, and I certainly wouldnt let it happen, but in this community it's the norm. I think thats a wonderful thing to be apart of, and it's the only reason I refuse to give up despite my embarrassing showing.

I dont have the time or money to travel to another Krystal Qualifier (they're all in the South) but I'll be watching on October 28th rooting for the all the Eaters. The only other plans I have for Eating are Qualifying for WingBowl 15 and possibly eating in the Tropicana Meatball Contest in Atlantic City in December.

Thanks to my wife, kids and everybody else for screaming into the computer screen during the contest. I could hear you in my head. Thanks Humble Bob for the guidance these last couple of weeks. Also, nice job Wing Kong on eating 27. I know you wanted 30. Seaver and Arturo, you guys made the biggest statements at the table!

This is not the Krystal Burger Write-Up

Eater X Wins Memphis!
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
This is a quick note, I know some of you are waiting to hear how things went. I didnt get home til yesterday and I need to catch up on work before I can finish getting it all down.

A couple of things:

Krystal runs the best contest I've been to in my short career. They go to considerable effort to treat the Eaters well, and I'm so appreciative of their hospitality.

This was the best tasting food of any competition so far.

People in Memphis wear pants. Even when it's 90 degrees out on a Sunday. Pants, pants, pants.

Also, thankyou all for your interest and kind words of support. I feel very lucky to have even strangers(you know what I mean) hoping the best for me, perhaps there is some hope for this world.

Much more coming!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Nothing left but to show up

I'm done training. I was going to do another run tonight, but I've decided against it as I dont think I have much room for improvement as far as technique is concerned. I have TONS of room for improvement as far as stomach Volume. I'm working on it.

This particular contest is being held at the Mid-South Fair in Memphis Tennesse. I spent the first four years of my life in Tenn, and actually learned to eat there. It's the great wheel of life that brings me back there to show them how much better I got at it.

There's a considerable amount of behind the scenes banter that goes on between the Eaters concerning who is showing up at what contest. Some eaters announce it openly, while others try to be be more sneaky. Here's what I've been able to gather about the some of the guys I'll need to beat:

Wing Kong: Very close friend. We go to many contests together, competing against each other. We tease each other some but are genuinly happy for each others accomplishments. Wing Kong has been a wonderful coach helping me through my training. His wife desperatley wants to get in my pants. I'm gonna kick his ass no problem.

Seaver the Achiever: A great eater out of Virginia. He's the eater that beat me at the Nathans QVC contest. Seaver has competed in a Krystal Qualifier already this year and finished with 35 in 8 minutes. There is a "Wildcard" opportunity to go to the Krystal finals for the 4 best non-winning performances. Currently Seaver makes the cuts with 35 but he hopes to improve on that this Sunday. My plan is to set his tray of burgers on fire (he's a fire-fighter and will no doubt be distracted trying to save those little burgers)

Sam Vise: A local Tennesse eater who has won the Memphis Qualifier for two years runnning. His best performance was 35 Burgers. His best Nathans performance was 20 Hotdogs...I'm guessing/hoping he's within my reach. I dont have a plan to foil him yet. We may have to resort to the old Itching Powder in the Pants.

Russman88: I think this is a guy from QVC and Shoofly Pie. There's many PA Eaters who I know by sight and not name yet. I'll make him buy me a beer after this contest. If he beats me, he owes me a case.

Eater X: Unfortunatley, this is one of the best Eaters in the world. Ironically he's already qualified for the Finals by eating 52 Freaking Burgers last week in Atlanta. Believe it or not he came in second. There was some controversy with the judging at the end, and I think he wants to prove something, or maybe just win a trophy. This completely fucks with my chances of winning the contest outright, but the reality is that Shit Flows Downhill and I just have to deal with who shows up. Some of the ways I will stop him, will be: Three-Stooges Eye-Poke, Steel Folding Chair accross the back, secretly placing 20 of my burgers in his mouth, Disrupting the Space/Time Continum, and Anonnymously sending him a 20lbs box of fudge the night before (who can resist fudge?) or just simple eat like a Brazillion Burgers.

If you would like to watch the contest live, it will be on, and start around 3pm, I'm assuming that's EST. The webcam they use is alittle choppy, and the sound is completely f'd...but it's the best thing going, and they are always cool enough to post a good version on YouTube within a few days. Krystal will also text the results to your phone if you like...I'm going to have mine sent to me at the table so I know how I did.

It would be a good performance for me if I can eat 30 burgers. To make the wildcard I'm probably going to have to eat 36 or more. I've been training to eat 40 although I've never even gotten close to that number. For me, this contest is about intensity, and I am going to push myself right up to the brink of puking and hold it there for 8 minutes. Look for me to eat 18 - 20 in the first 2 minutes. Thats the intensity that I intend to harness and if I do barf, we can all have a good laugh later on. Well you can have a laugh at least.....

UPDATED 9/29 The Webcast should begin 3pm CENTRAL (thanks OJ)
UPDATED 9/29 IFOCE.COM says that The Locust is coming now too. DO NOT BE FOOLED BY HIS PHOTO, HE'S GOT THE BODY OF A RUNNER AND THE STOMACH OF A PHILISTINE!!! This guy is 8th in the World and I believe that to be understated. LOOKOUT TENNESSEE!!!!!!!!

Blonde Lightning

This is my youngest son. He is the least like me of the three boys. Until this summer, he was also the most distant as far as my relationship with the children. I dont know how it happened, but we really got close this summer and I'm grateful.

Actually some of our bond may have to do with Competitive Eating. He's a HUGE fan of Professional Wrestling and somehow he equates Wrestling with Eating. I think alot of it has to do with the nicknames, the personnas, and the intense competition. The both have manic announcers, some sweating and folding tables. Our dinertime conversations consist of how various Eaters and Wrestlers match up. He likes to compare and contrast them

M@x: "Who could eat more, The Locust(Eater) or Triple H(Wrestler)?"
SB: "The Locust"
M@x: "Can you beat up the Locust"
SB: "If he stole my Chicken Wings, I might"
M@x: "Can you eat more than the Locust?"
SB: "Only if I beat him up first"
(The Locust is one of our favorite Eaters, and I'd NEVER dream of beating him up...unless he stole my chicken wings that is)

The kids actually get alittle street cred with their friends, and thats helped fend of the natural embarrassment that they feel about their parents. The oldest has turned the corner since he started having girlfriends though....

As tough as he looks here, the little bastard stills crawls into bed with us every night though...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

...two bits

The first time I ever shaved was in 6th grade. I had just watched the Musical 'Sweeney Todd' and decided it was time to shave off the peach fuzz that I considered to be a moustache. I was incredible scared that somehow that my Dad's soap encrusted twin blade schick would accidentially kill me. That fear actually came from the play Sweeney Todd itself, which is about a Barber who slits the throats of his customers when they come in for an old fashioned shave. He then grinds up their bodies and makes meat pies.

I know what you're thinking: 'mmmmmm......meat pies!!!!'

Since that day I've been plauged by this Man-Ritual. I produce 13 gallons of Testosterone a Day, which by some joke of God, hasnt made me as strong as a Yeti, but I still get to look like one. If I wanted to hang out with the Queen of England or Angelina Jolie, I'd have to shave 2x a day....still it's better than having a Menstrual Cramps

The other day my middle son calls me at work. A package has arrived from our friends at the Gillette company. I have been given a free razor. My son is more thrilled than I would expect, and I wonder about the Lore of Shaving as it applies to little boys. He wants me to shave with the new razor. It has FIVE blades on it and he is excited I got it for free.

I explain to him that the promotion is a Marketing Scheme. They give me a new Razor Handle for free, and I buy blade replacements for the next 10 years. I tell him I like my old Two Bladed Sensor. I'm confortable with it. It works.
"But THIS one is free, Dad"

I try the five-bladed razor. It works too. I think about the revolution in cutlery we are having. Ten Thousand years to invent Carbon Steel, then In five years we've gone from two-bladed razor to four-bladed ones. Can you see the R&D money that is poured into the shaving community? Long hours spent mixing chemicals and shooting Neutrons into plastic polymers, and some product engineer adds a goddamn blade to the razor. Do you dare even guess what they have planned for next year?!?!?

There Are Only Stupid People

I like to think of myself as a student of life. I contemplate things like the birth of the Universe, String Theroy, and that refridgerator light puzzle. None of these things actually effect my life in an everyday sort of way, but I think the excercise of being curious is imperitive to longevity.

So here's today's question....If I take a pee and it smells like Paint Thinner, should I be concerned?

Monday, September 25, 2006

and then a sensible dinner...

six days left until the Krystals hamburger contest.

Most of my training has been with a half-quantity of my goal total. All of these training runs have gone better than expected. I typically finish with my heart racing and my hands shaking and a feeling that is not quite full. I also finish ahead of the time I'll need on game day. I'm ahead of pace.

Twice, I've done runs with seventy-five percent of my goal total. Both of these runs have ended in complete failure. The latest failure was yesterday. I have an eating technique for burgers that I mentally refer to as 'Mike Mulligan's Steam Shovel'. Yesterday the shovel never even got hot...I ate 8 Burgers in the first minute, and then just fell apart and only limped to my halfway quantity mark before stopping.

I may do two more runs this week, maybe only one. I need to finish training with a bang, not a poof. I'm ok with a bad run or two, as long as I get them out of my system before gameday.

Nickel 56

at the core is a furnace of misery and narcisssim that fuse together to make a brilliant show of self-loathing. in the end it doesnt really matter how it's made.

I mean light is light after all and it's kind of pretty to watch all that destruction.


Friday, September 22, 2006

Friends of Carlotta

Originally uploaded by -Birdy-.
When I was a kid there was a show called "Quincy Jones" in which a guy who was an extremely messy patholigist, lived with a neat-freak and they had all sorts of funny situations and solved murders and whatnot by noticing some funny brusies on a dead body. That show is the great grand-daddy of all the millions of Medical Investigative shows that are on now like ISI:SUV. I dont watch ANY of those shows, but I wish I did right now.

This morning, out of the blue, there was a break in a FIFTEEN YEAR OLD cold case. What is the newfound evidence you say? It's the image you see right here in this article. That image was produced by a Man named Birdy.


In college I had a full and perfect Cow Skull that sat on my desk. You could touch it and it was wonderfully dry and white. It still had it's teeth but no horns and it was one of the many hundreds of things that kept hot young horny college girls out of my pants...(the first thing on the list was the brain within my own skull).

People would ask about the Cow skull, and I would reply simply:

"His name is Ramone"

This line is from an old Steve Martin Movie called "Dead Men Dont Wear Plaid". No One ever saw the movie and if they did, they probably wouldnt connect the two because he was holding a Puppy at the time, not a Cow Skull. So, anyway I'd say the line with a gravely Spanish accent just like Steve did. The blankley staring piece of ass would soon walk out the dormroom in search of someone far less complicated.

There were two other important things in that room. One was a poster of Georgia O'Keefe's painting:"Cowskull: Red, White and Blue", and the other was a roommate named.....Birdy.


Ramone lived with us for several years and was quite happy and content on my Drafting Table. He was thrilled when we moved off campus to a much larger apartment and took on two new roommates named JuneBug and LumpLump.

JuneBug and LumpLump were wonderful roommates to have because they were outgoing and fun and not social mistfits me and Birdy were (Birdy was Brooding and Menacing in a small kind of way, and I was shy, narcistic and unaware in a big kind of way) Large, LARGE parties of people would appear in our apartment(Birdy was once invited by a stranger on Campus to his own party.) and we would desperately try to kill ourselves with copiuos quantities of beer.

I had longish hair and bikini underwear.
It was fun.


So one weekend or summer or whatever I was back at my Ancestial Home...away from the party for only three days. When I came back, imagine my shock at seeing Ramone moved from his perch, and broken in several places. This Cow Skull who had become one of my closest friends was forever broken...unable to heal because he was, well, dead.

When I asked my roommates what had happened, I wasnt comforted for my loss or told that they dont know...just silence...noone said anything. I was hurt and suspicious as I buried my friend in cardboard box and placed him in my parents attic.


I believe that Birdy knows something, and this image is just a shout-out from his subconcious to be free of the guilt. It's been a long time my friend, it's time to let Ramone rest....

Junebug, you're not off the hook either. I'm going to go to my parents house this weekend so my kids can scan it with their electron microscope for clues. You should tell what you know now, before my sons coming knocking at your door looking for answers.


Incidently, it may have been the destruction of Ramone and not my reallization that God wants us to bang hot chix, that lead to me meeting a blonde haired girl from South Jersey.....