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.