Wednesday, November 28, 2007


"You don't look like a salmon patty type of guy to me."

I guess I didn't so much overhear this as it was said directly to me. But I wasn't about to create a whole new virtual category of things I've heard.

At any rate, what type of guy is a salmon patty guy? What does said guy look like? Is pan fried salmon a particularly effeminate breakfast choice (plus 2 scrambled eggs)? I've always thought of it as a pretty neutral meal - sexual-orientationally.

I await your learned explanations.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

some thoughts on commercials

  • Ok, jewelry/diamond industry - we get it. Jewelry/diamonds make good gifts. Don't worry you're the perennial fallback for every guy with a significant other, you know, if the vacuum we're looking to gift is out of stock or whatnot.
  • Have you seen the Lexus commercial with the wife/mother getting the new car? The husband/father is outside with their kid and a new Lexus for the wife. He calls her and pretends he has to work late and can't pick-up the kid. She agrees to do it, but is giving a ton of attitude, including hanging up on him while he's saying, "I love you.". They are intimating he does this often? It's unclear. She goes outside and is elated by her new car. So the message is either: 1. It's ok to be an absentee father so long as you buy your wife a Lexus (kids are SOL). OR 2. Occasionally, you have to work late to bring home the bacon and your insufferable bitch of a wife can't take time away from the comforts you provide in order to pick-up your kid. The only way to appease her - new car. The commercial confuses.
  • The new "Dude" Bud Light commercials. Might not be universally liked as my mom said, "What's the point of that? He says 'dude' about everything?"

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Monday, November 26, 2007

thumbnail sketches

Wednesday: Drunk.

Thursday: Stuffed, drunk, Scattergories!

Friday: Casino Royale - wishing I was drunk.

Saturday: A buddy of mine had a wine tasting party/contest. It might as well have been a pig anus cook-off. Not a big fan of the wine. In my judgement, bad taste, bad buzz, bad hangover. That's the trifecta of death, my friends. Now, don't get all wine-snob on me. I don't care much for reasons, but I know what I like. And wine is not one of those things. But, Great Lakes Christmas Ale is. I had 2 of those and stopped since I was driving and after 2 Christmas Ales - all bets are off. I'm pretty sure it's what mommy was downing before "kissing" Santa Claus - if you know what I mean and I think you do.

Sunday: Watched some football. Then had a hockey game at 10:15 (PM!). The problem with the late games is it's tough to get to sleep. And it was depressing to start the week off with such a huge, embarrassing (9-1) failure. As goalie, I take these things personally.

Monday: ZZzzZZzZZZzZZ . . .

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

wham! with the right hand

If you were at the Cavs game last night, you can probably skip this post. (Nothing to do with the actual game.)

theMonica and I got there about 20 minutes before tip-off. As we're walking to our seats one of those "scream team" kids (generally they run around the arena throwing stuff at people) stops us and asks if we know who Joe Tait is (radio play-by-play voice of the Cavs). I'm muttering, "No thanks," while theMonica is saying "Yes." (Even though I come to find out she only KIND OF knows who Joe Tait is.) He tells us they're having a "Talk Like Tait" contest. All you have to do is make a game call like Joe Tait. You compete against one other person. Now, I'm no Frank Caliendo, but I suspected my Joe Tait was better than some randomly selected crowd person. After all, I'm been listening to the guy for 15 years.

These perfectly logical thoughts convinced me that, yes, I could "Talk Like Tait" and I should do that in as public a forum as possible! I filled out this form and as we're walking away I thought, "Wait, Brain, why did I do that?" " I don't know Roger, but we need beer – fast." I then started to think about how there were going to be upwards of 20,000 people in the arena. And really, my Joe Tait isn't that great (although I can busta-rhyme). This inspired an impressive consumption of 4 16-oz beers in about 30 minutes. After all, there were going to be a lot of people watching me make an ass of myself. You might say that I make an ass out of myself sometimes daily, via this blog. True, but that's making an ass of myself on my own terms. This was something else entirely.

I had to be at a certain section concourse at the start of the 2nd quarter. I was there, but my opponent wasn't. And some time passed and I was like, "Maybe I'll get out of this. Awesome." But, the scream team is too industrious. One of them went out and grabbed another person. It was on.

The in-game entertainment/announcer, Nicole, comes over to MC the event and tells us we're playing for DiGiorno pizzas for our section and gives us some pointers (basically, spaz as much as possible). They are going to show a "classic" Cavs clip, first with Joe's call and then twice more with me and Frank (the other guy) doing the call. The whole time I was waiting – I was sure it was going to be a LeBron drive and slam or a LeBron alley oop. Simple and fun. So when she said "classic," I was all – uh-oh. They show the clip and it's Damon Jones' Game 6 series winner against the Wizards from 2006. Per se, not a bad call, but there are like 5 passes in a few seconds before the pass to Jones for the shot. Whatever. I go first (they had me in a little picture-in-picture on the scoreboard). I start, not sounding exactly like Joe, but definitely getting the tone and pacing down. And what do I hear? People booing! F#@K YOU! You invent something like inward singing! Ok, so more people were cheering, but you can definitely hear the boos. It's very disheartening. I do my best with all the stupid passes and when Jones hits the shot, the requisite, "GOT IT!" And then I tell "Cavs fans to put a DiGiorno pizza in the oven." Frank goes. (I'm happy to hear he gets booed too). And I swear to you he mumbles some sh1t and at the end screams really loud. That's it. For the first second he was trying to sound like Joe Tait, but he abandoned that for his regular voice.

Now, the judging. I'm thinking I got it locked up. I mean, Joe is not effusive. He's kind of surly with a gravelly voice and he has that edge of bitterness from seeing so many completely terrible Cavalier teams. Joe doesn't scream when the Cavs win. That's the whole point of the contest, yes? Joe would never partake in the kind of histrionics Frank was pulling during his call. Not even if the Cavs won the NBA Finals. It wouldn't happen.

Surely, Joe Tait gets to pick the winner, right? Wrong! The ignorant masses get to decide via "loud-o-meter." I was really hating going first at this point. My fans adore me, true, but the bar is set and Frank's idiotic fans know how loud they have to be. And I had a bit of a cold . . . and . . and my finger hurts and and –

Ok, so I lost. Bitter, bitter, red-faced shame and embarrassment – literally my face was the color of a baboon's ass. I got a bagful of Cavs stuff, along with a DiGiorno pizza (DOG FOOD!). I was famous for like 2 minutes. On the way back to my section this woman in the concourse asked me if I won. I said no. She said she would have cheered for me had she been in the arena, but she was waiting in line for a beer. I called her a stupid drunk and slapped the beer out of her hand. No. I said thanks. People in my section were pretty supportive and I apologized that I couldn't bring home the pizza. One guy in my row was like, "That other guy didn't even try to sound like Joe Tait!" That's what I said! We had a moment there.

At any rate, it was a valuable learning experience. First, I call bullshit on the whole thing. 90% of the people wouldn't know Joe Tait if he delivered their next DiGiorno pizza. On almost every level, I was the superior Joe Tait impersonator. But, alas, you must give the people what they want, which, apparently is a lot of yelling - and judging by the first quarter contest a lot of people sticking their heads into plastic tubs full of mashed potatoes in search of ping-pong balls. They say there are no moral victories in "Talk Like Tait" contests. But I think we all now know that that's not true.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

tuesday is the new hump day

I am getting old. Well, I am at least getting sleepier as I thought old people slept less. I used to routinely go to bed after 1 and be at work after 7 (and before 7:30, wiseass). theMonica and I went to see No Country for Old Men last night. I liked it a lot. I think I loved it, but I want like to see it again to confirm. You know what I mean? Mostly what this guy said. At any rate, I could not wake-up this morning. And my arrival time has gradually been creeping later in the morning. Is this a function of being married?

Two people that are annoying me at work lately . . . Oscar the grouch (via his looks and not his attitude) asks me, nearly every day, "Are you still married?" He thinks it is the most hilarious thing (I mean, obviously). And ok, I chuckled at his persistence over the first 3 weeks, but now it's a little much. Oscar - go back to your garbage can.

Another person I've helped do some stuff and I don't get a thank you. It's just rude. Granted, I'm a big proponent of the driving "thank you wave," so maybe I'm a little sensitive. Nonetheless a little civility can go a long way. Anyway, you're welcome.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

another day

I forgot the faceplate for my car stereo so I was forced to maintain radio silence during my commute to work. I try to avoid thinking for as long as possible in the morning as the two of us do not agree with each other.

Anyway, the mind wanders. I saw a guy driving a pick-up with a Maine license plate. You don't see many of those around here. And I thought, "Man, I wish I knew a guy from Maine and I could always ask, 'Are you the Maine man?'" And I laughed a little to myself. And then I kept thinking about how anonyingly hilarious this would be to me and how the guy from Maine would hate me, but try to laugh every time, because he was a nice guy. Dang. I should have rammed that truck.

And so you see, the morning and I are enemies. This morning this post seemed like a great treat for everyone, but the lucidity of the afternoon reveals it's sub-par, even by my standards. But the afternoon is also sadistic. I hope you've enjoyed this dose of Marginally Clever. Sucker.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

theMonica: an email exchange

(I heart my wife.)

From: theMonica
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 12:33 PM
To: theMe
Subject: ?

You never told me you met Jason Schwartzman. Are you making that up?

From: theMe
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 1:21 PM
To: theMonica
Subject: RE: ?

Why would I make that up when it wasn’t even a good story?

From: theMonica
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 1:23 PM
To: theMe
Subject: RE: ?

why didn't you tell me that or have you?

From: theRoger
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 1:29 PM
To: theMonica
Subject: RE: ?

I don’t know. It wasn’t a big deal. I mean, was it? I didn’t have sex with him or anything. He looked like a giving lover though.

From: theMonica
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 1:33 PM
To: theMe
Subject: RE: ?


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Friday, November 09, 2007

hobo say what?

You know, these days, I don’t talk to the hoboes too much. I’m mean, sure, Jesus Hobo is still out on the corner of Erie St. Cemetery some mornings, standing with his cup, right in front of one of this "It's ok to say no [to hoboes]" signs. He hasn’t really modified his pitch at all to take into account there's a sign 6 inches away that says a concerned citizen's money is better applied elsewhere, perhaps via donation to a homeless shelter. Nope. Jesus Hobo transcends such things and instead of saying, "Hey, this sign is bullshit." He still yells, "GOOD MORNING SIR!" And sometimes adds, "Anything helps."

I’ll say "good morning" to JH, but for the most part all I've been saying to his hobo brethren is "sorry, no." I am kind of sorry I can't help them for reals. I can help them get drunk, but I can't really help, you know? So I keep saying "no", almost to the point that it’s become reflexive. So yesterday, a buddy and I are at the Euclid Arcade for some China Wing lunch. We are bs-ing about his "moms" – the numerous older ladies in his work group – or I'm complaining about my hockey team ("Team, I'd like to introduce you to a good friend of mine, 'defense.' I don't believe you're acquainted. Defense – team. Team – defense.") or whatever and this old-timer (coke-bottle glasses, red winter cap, leather jacket, no noticeable hobo stank) comes up and mumbles something to me and I, reflexively, say "no." The words he said are starting to process in my head when my buddy asks, "What did he say?" And I say, "I don’t know. I think he asked for 5 bucks or something." But then Tony, the boy who lives inside my mouth, says, "Dude, he said something about his belt. I think he said, 'Can you do my belt?'" "But Tony, why would old school say that?" "Crazy old man? Not sure. Hey, fortune cookie."

As this inner-dialogue continues ("They are trying to steal the preciousssssss!"), I see Captain Belt going up to a bunch of people and asking them something. The grown-up Opie clone got this look of disgust on his face and said something like, "C'mon man." Watch out Belts! Don't get knocked the f- out. It occurred to me: maybe he is asking a bunch of dudes to play hide the salami with him. I started to watch closely and reading his lips I could tell he was asking people to "do his belt." Sure, he moved a little slowly, but he was in no way impaired. Maybe it was a really tricky belt with like a combination lock on it or something.

He disappears around the back seating area of the food court, out of my sight. We are giggling like school girls with the new issue of Tiger Beat. And suddenly he emerges . . . a look of "belt-done-ness" on his face. I'm not sure, but I can only guess that he found somebody to "do" him. If that's the case, Belts has got game. If you can find some random person to take care of your personal attire issues, you are a hero to me. Anyway, he goes over to a table of four women and says something to them, we think apologizing for asking to play pocket pool with him and then disappears into the distance – like a modern day Lone Ranger, with a malfunctioning belt. Touching.

Next week, the tale of Popeye’s Dad Hobo and the Emergency Manicure.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007


"I don't believe in painting wood. I think it's sacrilegious."

That's what she said!

Yes the god of 2 x 4s will rain down upon you a deluge of splinters. Woe is ye!

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007


In line at the cafeteria:
"How big are your pancakes?"

It would have been funnier if the cook was a woman. It wouldn't have been funny at all if she said "the pancakes." Such is comedy.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Netflix: Shopgirl (2005)

Remember when Steve Martin was funny? Yah, neither do I. I bet the novella was hilarious and thing got f*cked in rewrite. Because it turned out to be a less-funny episode of Three's Company.

(With apologies to the movie's lone bright spot Jason Schwartzman. I met him once at the Cleveland International Film Festival. Nice guy.)

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Netflix: Butterfield 8 (1960)

Kind of like an angrier version of Pretty Woman except the hooker dies at the end.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

well shave all my hair and call me JD Rockefeller

The office store clerks have this annoying habit of looking over your purchase and saying, "Is that all?" They don't say it in a helpful manner. Instead they say it like every teenage girl that's ever lost her virginity in a movie - that special mix of disappointment and disgust.

Jeebus woman! Do I look like I'm made of money? Do I have a soft-greenish hue? Are there traces of cocaine on me? (S      T      R      E       T      C      H      !) And even if I were, doesn't my 18 trips per day to buy food at this establishment sate your need to see me shove food into the black hole that is my mouth? I will have you know I just ate lunch. Twice.

Ok, maybe I oversell my fattiness, but I was extra hungry today or something. Speaking of underutilized candy bars, Zagnut. That's some good candy goodness right there. It's got that super-synthetic peanut-buttery filler, rolled into a coconut cocoon (and I'm not a huge fan of coconut). It's flaky deliciousness at its best. So support your street's Zagnut vendor and munch on a half-dozen or so.

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a story for another day

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Netflix: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

(I'm basically going to tell you everything that happens in the movie, so if you really want to see it then don't read on, but you're like 30 years behind.)

It's a really dumb movie.

Ok, these aliens sail their spaceship around the US/globe (?). Said spaceship/alien power compels humans to follow it/do stupid shit/Spearsian levels of insanity. The spaceship also gives you a rash/sunburn. Dale Carnegie would not approve.

Richard Dreyfuss is out on a work service call when he spots the alien spacecraft. From that moment forward his is a complete pain-in-the-ass to his family and friends. He begins sculpting things - anything - into a giant monolithic shape (we later find out it's a rock/alien landing beacon). Naturally, his family deserts him because who hauls 10 yards of mulch into their living room in order to construct a giant phallus? Better yet, who stays with a person that does it? Apparently, this is the aliens' way of clearing your schedule for you. If the sunburn/psoriasis doesn't scare people away, how about your husband/father seemingly constructing sex toys with his mashed potatoes?

Eventually, he meets the mom from A Christmas Story. She's crazy too (her son ran after the aliens into the woods in the middle of the night, fucking bears and wolves walking around out there - thanks a lot Alf) and draws pictures of the rock (crazy, but less destructive) too. Oh we have so much in common! So they meet and are crazy for each other.

They see the rock on TV and go there where the government is staging a big, crazy-fake syphillis epidemic or something. Mr. Holland is not scared though. Eventually, he gets someone to admit something or whatever and they leave/escape the military compound. Then they're all hiking over to the rock. Eventually they get there and - WHEEEEE - there's the spaceship.

The aliens and some government scientists/Liberace play this weird-ass protracted game of "name that tune"/Simon (fuzzy here). The hatch opens up and all these skinny-ass aliens come walking out. Because the aliens have exercised complete mind-control over these sun-burned yokels they all want to hitch a ride on the Olsen Twin mobile. You know Dreyfuss wants in on that. Out of their probe-mobile, the aliens dump out all these "old" (but not aged) WWII pilots, in full uniform and completely disoriented. Said abductees have obviously not achieved any higher realm - they're just looking around like, "WTF is going on?" These douchebag aliens capture all these people, take them from house and home, drop them back off 40 years later into a strange world which they don't understand (it's the disco era for God's sake) - they're soon to discover all their loved ones have long passed or are wearing diapers - and I'm supposed to want to believe people were clamoring over each other to hitch a ride? Fuck that Spielberg. When the aliens come here to harvest your brain for their cinematic benefit and you go running out of your giant mansion to greet them, don't say I didn't warn you. Aliens are bad news. Did V teach us nothing?

(Oh - Truffaut is in the movie. I liked Shoot the Piano Player.)

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trick or treat

Somebody brought in a mega-bag of Halloween candies and placed it upon the community food cabinet. Initially I thought it was candy that someone was giving out last night and these were their leftovers. But judging by the vast array of varied candy, I can tell that it is clearly part of some child's hard-earned booty.

Now, I don't agree with this. Now would be a good time for this parent to take their child aside and say, "Hey, just because you have all this candy, doesn't mean you should go into a sugar coma." The time was ripe to teach young Jimmy or Julie that personal responsibility is the key to living. And that self-restraint is a great virtue - wait, I gotta go. I just got Butterfinger in the keyboard.

Update: 3:29 p.m. diabetes setting in . . .
Update2: (chronologically occurred before "Update," but what's it to you?) I'm throwing my empties into the community garbage can. Now the cleaning lady won't know what a fatty I am. Unless she sees my fat face.

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