Hurricane Update!

My parents have power in North Brunswick, but it is still dark in Highland Park.

Ask a Stupid Question, Get a Stupid Answer


You'd think the question "What color is the inside of a coal mine?" wouldn't need asking, but -- according to Jeanne Marie Laskas in her new book Hidden America: From Coal Miners to Cowboys, an Extraordinary Exploration of the Unseen People Who Make the Country Work -- the inside of a coal mine is bright white (when you're shining your torch, of course . . . which you should never shine in another miner's eyes) because coal dust is highly explosive, especially when mixed with methane gas -- which naturally leaks from excavations deep beneath the earth -- and so the coal face needs to be coated with crushed limestone, which is the opposite color of coal and gives the mine a much more cheerful appearance than if it were all dark black . . . but this belies the fact that every time you go down there, you are taking your life into your hands . . . a fact that the miners deal with in a cavalier fashion, like the tone of that Jim Carroll song "People Who Died."

Dave Resolves His New Year's Resolution!

Until last Thursday night, I was performing quite poorly on my quest to "Care More About Canada," but then, in an amazing turn of events,  I scored hundreds of thousands of Canada points in one long evening at the Park Pub, because we played a game that you might call "What is the Canadian Analogue For That American City?" or even "What is the American Analogue for that Canadian City?" and while I can hardly remember all the analogous pairs we determined, I do remember that when our friend Adrian walked into the pub -- a bit late -- everyone yelled this question at him: "WHAT IS THE AMERICAN EQUIVALENT OF MONTREAL?" and he said, "New Orleans?" and we all screamed "YES! HE GOT IT!" and then we found out that one of the regulars is actually Canadian, and we tried to check our answers with him -- Calgary and Dallas; Quebec City and St. Augustine; San Francisco and Vancouver; Toronto and Washington DC; Saint- Louis du Ha! Ha! and Hohokus; etcetera -- but he was having none of that because Canadians don't play those sort of silly American games . . . and the rest of the night was centered around discussions of Canadian comedy, Canadian bands (and some BAD Canadian music was played on the jukebox: Barenaked Ladies and Loverboy) and Canadian and Ukrainian geography (Roman always manages to sneak some information on the Ukraine into whatever topic we're discussing) but despite this dramatic comeback in my quest to "Care More About Canada," I'm not trying anything this difficult next year . . . instead I think I'm going to eat more pizza. 



To Pep Or Not To Pep?

Last Friday was the Fall Pep Rally, and the football coach was the MC and he was amped -- he wore a school football uniform, with half his face painted green and the other half painted white, and had a hoodie undershirt so that his already unrecognizable (and quite scary) face was also obscured by a hood that protruded from his green and white jersey -- and not only did he appear psychotic, but he was also yelling into the microphone at an ear-shattering volume . . . so I was happy when, after a deafening: "AND HERE'S THE BOYS SOCCER TEAM, THAT HAS A STATE GAME ON MONDAY!" that he handed the microphone to my friend Terry -- the varsity soccer coach -- because Terry took the pep down a few million notches; he said, calmly "We play Sayreville on Monday . . . unless it rains too much and the game is cancelled," and then he announced the names of his players . . . and then there was more screaming and yelling from the football coach, until the girls varsity soccer coach was handed the microphone -- my friend Kevin -- and he made a rather eloquent and heartfelt speech about the dedication of the athletes on his team, but this was way too long and coherent for a pep rally and I think most of the kids lost focus . . . so it looks like coaching soccer and teaching English is a good match, but coaching soccer and teaching English and having a lot of pep might be impossible (and, of course, Terry was right about the rain).



Of Urine and Tupperware

We had to bring the boys to the doctor for a well-visit and flu shots, and the office requested urine samples, and so we dutifully had the boys pee into a couple of plastic containers . . . a couple of decent reusable plastic containers . . . but I didn't ask for them back and they didn't offer to return them . . . but I would have taken them back and washed them and used them again, though my wife wasn't too keen on doing that.

Dog Anti-Humor

If I were more inclined to juvenile humor, I would call the act of walking our dog in the morning and picking up his excrement "Dog Duty," but I really don't care for that sort of puerile, scatological humor . . . so I don't call it that.

Like Father, Like Dog?

Dear Abby . . .

I have no genetic stake in my dog Sirius, nor did I have anything to do with his breeding -- we adopted him -- yet I take great pride in how fast he can run, how athletic and acrobatic he is, and how well he races alongside my mountain bike . . . in fact, I often brag about him to the other "parents" at the dog park . . . and so I am wondering: am I insane?

Signed,

Proud Father to an Extremely Hirsute Four-legged Boy.

Use Your Illusions



I wanted to make a good impression during parent/ teacher conferences, so I cleaned my desk -- but I deliberately left my Merchant of Venice DVD out in a conspicuous location because I thought it was a good intellectual prop . . . perhaps a parent would inquire about it and I could explain that I teach the Shakespeare class -- which sounds pretty impressive -- or at the very least, they would notice it and think that something intellectual was happening in my classroom; on the other hand, I made a point to put away the other video which was lying on my desk in plain sight, a battered VHS tape of Godzilla vs. Mothra . . . I like to show "the death of mothra" as an epic contrast to the subtextually symbolic Virginia Woolf essay "Death of a Moth," which was published posthumously and is essentially a suicide note . . . we watch the first minutes of the movie The Hours, which shows Woolf's suicide by drowning and talk about the tone of that act, and then we categorize "moth" essays -- which are introspective and emotional -- and then the mood really needs to be lightened, and so so we go over "mothra" essays, which simply recount an epic event, such as when Godzilla defeated "the mighty thing" that the tiny twins from the wood box summoned . . . but there's no way I was explaining that to an adult . . . and even if I did, it still might not justify why I show a Japanese man in a rubber lizard suit fighting a giant moth marionette in an honors composition class.

Awkward Dave is on an Awkward Roll . . .

Terry, Mike and I were having a literary discussion in the English office about The Catcher in the Rye, and I said that one of the lessons that Holden has to learn in the novel is that things can't stay the same forever-- Holden wants to catch all the children running in the rye and save them from falling over the cliff of adulthood, which he equates with corruption . . . he wants put everything in a museum -- behind glass-- and, of course, this just isn't possible . . . he struggles most about his sister growing up, that she might eventually have sexual desires like Sunny the prostitute and he's also crushed that Jane Gallagher -- the pure and innocent girl that he platonically loves -- also has sexual desires and goes on a date with the studly Stradlater . . . and it was just the guys in the office and so I expressed this idea very succinctly . . . I said: "Holden has to learn that girls want to get out there and bang people too!" and -- Murphy' Law -- just as I said this the student teacher -- who is young and sweet and female -- walked into the room, and gave me an odd look, and so instead of just letting the comment hang there . . . which was awkward enough, I made the situation even more awkward by turning to her and saying, "Right?" and so now I had put her on the spot and she had to reply to this stupidity, and so she said "Right" in a not-so-sincere manner and then rushed out of the office . . . and then Terry described with great relish how incredibly awkward I made the scene, and I guess that is because he is a big fan of Awkward Dave.

Dave Is Awkward on a Bus!


Back by popular demand, the recurring feature you never thought would recur again, has, of course,  recurred again . . . it's time for yet another Awkward Moment of Dave -- this time the setting is a school bus, on a rainy day . . . and both the 8th grade boys soccer team and the 8th grade girls soccer team have been stuffed onto this bus (because our home field flooded) and it's now 6:00 PM and I've been with this screaming horde of pubescent maniacs for over three hours and there's not a seat to spare on the bus . . . I'm squashed between several kids and a pile of equipment and the girl's coach is up in the front of the bus trying to help the bus driver navigate home, so I don't even have an adult near me to commiserate with; the kid next to me is screaming in my ear -- high pitched, shrill screaming because his voice hasn't changed yet -- he is trying to convey some sort of primitive message to the girls team, and I ask him to stop once, then twice, and then I finally snap and tell him: "You're not allowed to yell until your voice changes -- because it's so high pitched and shrill that it's breaking my eardrums" and though this got him to stop yelling in my ear, it also brought him to tears -- and so I learned that 8th grade boys can be very sensitive about their feminine, screechy voices . . . the kid in front of him tried to console him, he said, in a high pitched voice: "My voice is high too, and I know it" but it didn't help, the kid that I insulted, who was sitting extremely close to me, (making this an especially Awkward Moment of Dave) was despondent -- head down, holding back the waterworks -- and though I tried to apologize, it was an exercise in futility, and when I talked to him after we got off the bus -- and this was a chore, he was so pissed at me that he didn't even want to hear my apology -- I realized that he was so upset because there were girls present -- and he thought they heard my comment (though I doubt they did, the bus was extraordinarily loud) -- and I am sure this kid will forever think of me in the same way George Costanza thought of his mean and grouchy gym teacher, Mr. Heyman, who always pronounced George's surname "Can't stand ya!"



What Do Francis Ford Coppola, My Dog and I Have In Common?


I love the smell of dog poop in the morning . . . and I'm pretty sure my dog loves the smell of dog poop any time at all; my dog and I also love the documentary Hearts of Darkness . . . he loves it because of the behind-the-scenes look at puppy-sampan scene, where a boatload of Vietnamese civilians get slaughtered, but the puppy survives, and I love it because I can see myself in the hyper-driven genius auteur Francis Ford Coppola; the parallels between Coppola and me are fairly obvious, but I'll point them out for you anyway: just as Coppola completed his great but flawed film Apocalypse Now despite weather, creative problems, and a drug-addled staff -- just as he illustrated that at the hearts of all men, no matter how civilized,  there is a dark jungle creature . . . in the same manner, against all odds, in all sorts of weather -- even rain!-- I pick up my dog's poop -- and though my attempt to scoop all the poop is usually flawed and futile, as you can never get all of it into the bag, some always returns into the earth from which it came -- I still try to capture it as best I can, I try to remain civilized and keep the heart of darkness at bay and I do this rain or shine, wide-eyed or hungover, in darkness and in light, taking some stab at civility, but knowing I am one step away from a shit-stained sneaker.

Uncertainty About Uncertainty

The lesson I took away from Nate Silver's excellent book The Signal and the Noise is one that Donald Rumsfeld pointed out during the war in Iraq: "there are also unknown unknowns -- there are things we do not know we don't know," and Silver -- who believes this -- interviewed Rumsfeld for the book . . . though that chapter is rather anti-climactic, the rest of the book is comprehensive, entertaining, logical, and enlightening; Silver believes that the science and math behind forecasting is improving, and that our predictions are improving as well -- but the way we frame and use these predictions is growing more political, polarized, and manipulative . . . and so we need to realize with all statistics and predictions: political polls, numbers about the economy, the weather, sports, etcetera, that these numbers are simply a stab -- not a stab in the dark -- but a stab with a particular likelihood of hitting the target and eviscerating the truth from it and a particular likelihood of missing the target completely . . . and if you can think that way, you should become a scientist, and if you can't, then you should become a politician.

If an Alien Watched the Debate (an alien from space, not an illegal alien)

If an alien from space watched Tuesday night's presidential debate, she would think we live in a dictatorship, and not a government like this.

Hooray! Hooray For Me! Now Please Kill Me.

I'm getting better and better at parking my mini-van.

You Can Get Away With Bad Acting in the Dark

At work recently, we have been speculating on an alternate reality . . . a world where females are not only in power . . . unequivocally in power . . . but also have been in power for a long, long time -- we have been wondering how culture, architecture, religion, laws, warfare, sex, art, and the media would reflect this change . . . it's a difficult and very hypothetical question (and I started the discussion because I was lamenting the fact that there is no great sci-fi movie or book on this subject) and while we haven't come to any definitive conclusions, it is a great conversation starter . . . so I asked my wife what she thought the world would be like if women had been in the political, economic, and cultural driver's seat for a very long time, and she said the question was almost unfathomable, and she would have to think about it, and so I took the dog for a walk while she cleaned up dinner (typical gender roles!) and he defecated on someone's lawn around the block, so I pulled the little poop-baggy from my pocket, but -- try as I might -- I couldn't get the mouth of the bag open, and it was dark and rainy, and no matter how much I rubbed my fingers together with the bag between them, no matter how much I picked at the plastic -- I couldn't pull apart that opening . . . and so I finally made an executive decision and gave up . . . and so I pretended to pick up my dog's turds with the malfunctioning poop-bag -- which wasn't really a bag . . . it was a two dimensional square of plastic -- and once I had pretended to pick up the poop, then I picked up the bag and pretended to hold it as if it contained poop;  once I got a block away, I checked to make sure no one was following me, and then put the bag back into my pocket; when I got home, I told my wife what happened (and as I told her the story, of course I got the defective bag to open right up -- and so I looked like a complete idiot) and my anecdote must have triggered an epiphany in my wife's brain, because she suddenly had the answer to my earlier question: she said, "You know, if women were actually in power, they would get rid of all the men and become lesbians, because of behavior like this."

Fishing For Anything

Last week at the dentist, I had to endure a full ninety minutes of drilling, pinching, poking, clamping, and lip-stretching, plus an additional ten minutes of biting into gooey and gross substances, and -- to make matters worse-- I wasn't in the good hands my normal dentist, a family friend who's been doing my teeth since I was six and still calls me "Davey" . . . or "Marc," if he mixes me up with my brother . . . but he was swamped and so I was given to the other dentist in the office . . . a young Asian lady who works with her own assistant . . . but this didn't faze me because I had adopted a new dental persona for this visit (though I nearly chickened-out and skipped the appointment entirely . . . I almost drove by the Milltown exit and started towards the beach . . . I really didn't want to waste a day-off at the dentist's office) but once I got it into my head that I was actually going to this appointment, despite some serious white-coat anxiety, then I decided to conquer my cowardice and become a new patient, a bad-ass patient, and so I kept saying to myself: Behave as if you are a bad-ass . . . a veteran of the war in Afghanistan . . . a member of a motorcycle gang . . . a guy who wrestles alligators . . . a  not a guy who likes to play soccer and tennis and reads poetry out loud for a living . . . and I pulled it off, I did a damn good job of it, I didn't complain, I only required one break (when I had to cough) and I didn't require any laughing gas or extra novocaine . . . and this was despite the fact that my dental team offered no encouragement whatsoever during the procedure -- these two were all business, they gave me no time frame -- unlike my dentist, who is constantly bantering, saying things like "Halfway done, Davey, just two more roots in there" -- but these two never said "boo," except when they chastised me for not raising my left hand high enough when I had to cough because I was drowning from my own phlegm . . . and so I endured ninety minutes of drilling without complaint, and when it was finally over, I expected a little something for the effort . . . maybe not total consciousness on my deathbed, maybe not a lollipop, but something . . . some acknowledgement that what I went through was painful, tedious, and uncomfortable, and that I handled it like a seriously bad-ass dude (but I guess a real bad-ass doesn't need confirmation that he's a bad-ass) but I got no such praise -- no compliment on my stoic attitude and uncomplaining mien -- and so I tried to fish for a little bit of appreciation . . . I said, "I hope I can talk tomorrow, or I won't be able to teach class," but this didn't work -- the mean assistant said, "You can talk now, you'll be fine," and then she left, and I realized that these two had no appreciation for my work, and probably expected people to behave the way I did . . . and so I will never behave that way again; next time I'm going to rinse every three minutes, take bathroom breaks, hit the gas, request a radio station, and generally bitch and gripe to my heart's content.



Motivation?

Sometimes it's hard to get up early on a Saturday morning and go to the gym -- but when you walk into the locker-room and smell that pungent sweat-stink, and see an old Japanese man drying his testicles with the community hair-dryer . . . if that doesn't inspire you, then nothing will.

Something Gained . . . and Something Lost

The New York Times ran an article last March about the "new model" for soccer in the United States, and as a coach I have been seeing this idea slowly being implemented in New Jersey . . . essentially, the United States Soccer Association wants to "uncouple high school soccer and the training of top youth players," and so these potential stars will not have the option to play for their town in the fall,  instead these players must train and play year-round on regional Development Academy teams . . . so a good player essentially has to choose whether he will play for his school, or play on an elite team (and he also has to choose soccer as his only sport . . . no lacrosse or tennis or golf in the spring . . . no hoops in the winter . . . it's got to be soccer, soccer, soccer) and while this may help us compete with Brazil, Argentina, and Germany on the world stage, and while this may be good for the highest level of U.S. soccer, it's not going to be particularly good for acquiring a girlfriend . . . which is what playing high school sports is all about . . . because you're never going to impress a girl by explaining to them that you play on a Development Academy team-- a team that plays games in some faraway place against some other abstract Development Academy Team . . . most high school kids can't even communicate with the opposite sex well enough to ask someone on a date, let alone explain that nonsense . . . so while our soccer skills may increase, and while these players will certainly be able to focus completely on soccer -- because they won't have any girlfriends -- there is something terrible being lost here (and it's certainly not anyone's virginity).

Some Forecasts Are All Wet


Nate Silver's new book The Signal and the Noise: why so many predictions fail -- but some don't details his methods of assessing statistical probabilities of future events -- and he comes to the same conclusion as Yogi Berra: "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future" and while this advice isn't groundbreaking, his treatment of it might be . . . he reminds us that we have a fantastically large amount of information available now, yet the accuracy of many of our predictions don't necessarily reflect this added information-- we still can't sift "the signal" out of the chaos, and so we need to know what "noise" to ignore -- and often the most significant information comes either in the tiny details, at the "more granular" level or in the big story . . . at a largely philosophical level (his explanation on how Standard and Poor's and Moody's blew the CDO risk assessment and contributed to the financial crisis is excellent) and while his explanation of how he built PECOTA -- an algorithm designed predict the success of baseball players over the course of their career -- is engaging and fun, my favorite chapter so far explains the truth about weather forecasting: the National Weather Service does a great job, but Weather.com and your local weatherman have a "wet bias," because the worst thing a weather service can do is NOT predict rain . . . so if there is a 5% or 10% or 15% chance of rain, Weather.com will say that there is a 20% chance of rain -- to avoid the ire of folks who might get rained on when they didn't think that there was a chance in hell it was going to rain . . . and since rain makes such good TV, on your local forecast, if they predict a 100% chance of rain, the rain only occurs 66% of the time . . . it's kind of like setting your clock a few minutes ahead so you're not late for work . . . you're fooling yourself for your own good.

My Son Alex Is So Skinny! How Skinny Is He?


Alex is so skinny that he when he wears skinny jeans, he looks like MC Hammer.

Sometimes You Have To Acknowledge What Is

I was moving towards the register at the Wawa when an absolutely stacked, off the pages of a magazine, Playboy Playmate quality woman -- the kind of woman that doesn't belong in East Brunswick, New Jersey, let alone a convenience store -- strolled in front of me . . . and at first I noticed that she was wearing tight corduroy pants and an even tighter sweater, and then I noticed her high cheekbones and silky hair and then I noticed what she was carrying . . . an entire box of 100 Grand Bars . . . and she placed the entire box of 100 Grand Bars on the counter; she then proceeded to count out ten bars, aloud: one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten . . . exactly one million dollars worth . . . while the cashier and I ogled her . . . and then she paid for them and walked out of our lives forever . . . but she left the box on the counter, as a reminder that she really was just there; once she was gone, the cashier looked at me and said, "That was the strangest and best thing that happened to me all day."

iPod Touch Justice

Last weekend, when my wife was preparing an overnight bag for my children (because they were slated to sleep over my parent's house) she discovered my iPod Touch in the sweatshirt pocket Alex had already packed . . . and so my wife realized that Alex was attempting to smuggle the device out of our house so he could play Angry Birds or Samurai Fruit or whatever else he has on there . . . and this was nothing new, as he had already been caught smuggling the iPod to school (I guess this is what you get when you don't have cable or a video game system) and so my wife decided to teach Alex a lesson . . . she surreptitiously removed the iPod Touch from the sweatshirt pocket and then finished packing the bag; Alex discovered that the iPod Touch was missing that evening when he was at my parent's house, and he assumed that he lost it, and that all holy hell was going to rain down on him . . . which was the exact effect that Catherine intended -- but there was one problem: she did not inform my parents that she unsmuggled the iPod Touch, and so they had to deal with Alex's misery as a reality . . . and he was really miserable because he knew he had royally screwed up . . . but when my parents called us to break the news, we were in the basement of Tumulty's -- which gets no cell-phone reception -- and we got home late and never checked our messages, so it wasn't until the next morning that Alex and my parents found out the truth; we all learned a lesson about the power these devices have over us, and if I wasn't committed to writing this stupid blog for the rest of my life, perhaps I would completely unplug myself and my family from all of them . . . iPods, laptops, televisions, cell-phones, toasters, microwaves, alarm clocks, digital watches . . . all of them!

Sensitive Student Saves Teacher's Job

Last week, I was moved from my classroom for several days because of make-up HSPA testing -- and so when I informed my classes of the change of venue, I also told them that this was a "test of their memory," and if they showed up late to class because they originally went to our normal classroom, then they had failed the test and would have to do ten push-ups . . . and I told them that I was certainly in jeopardy of failing the memory test as well, and many students confessed that they thought they were definitely going to fail . . . because it's really hard to escape "the clutches of the bell schedule" and then I had a great idea, and I told my students that I was going to make a big sign to put on the door with the correct classroom information and the addendum: "YOU FAILED . . . YOU FAILURE" and everyone thought that would be really funny and a great idea, and everyone was speculating on who was going to screw up and have to suffer the sign . . . except one student, who said, "I don't think you should do that because the kids taking the make-up test are going to read the sign and think it's directed at them and it's going to make them feel really bad," and I took a moment to process how stupid a mistake I almost made, and then I thanked the kid profusely and we all agreed that he did me a great service.

No Sex or Drugs, and Not Even That Much Rock'n'Roll


If you're looking for something similar to Hammer of the Gods, then do NOT read David Byrne's new book How Music Works . . . there are no sordid tales of fish-sex, drugs, and hotel orgies . . . instead Byrne offers his theories on how the context and setting of music is just as important as the composer, and he peppers his insights with anecdotes from his long, varied, and very experimental music career . . . here is an exercise that his dance choreographer, Noemie Lafrance, used during dance auditions, when they had to whittle a room of fifty hopefuls down to three lucky winners:

Rule #1) Improvise an eight count dance phrase to the music playing;

Rule #2) Once you have an eight beat phrase you like, then loop it . . . repeat it over and over;

Rule #3) When you see someone else with a stronger phrase, copy it;

Rule #4) When everyone is doing the same phrase, the exercise is over;

Byrne said it "was like watching evolution on fast forward" . . . the room started in chaos, and then pockets of order formed, and finally certain pockets "went viral" and within four minutes, the dancers were moving in perfect unison . . . and I feel like I could use this in class -- maybe with verbal chants and/or hand gestures rather than dance moves -- and it also sounds like a fun game to play at a party or in a bar (if you could get everyone to participate) and I tried to search on YouTube for an example of dancers doing this, but I had no luck . . . so if anyone has any ideas on how to implement this in a classroom, or does the exercise at a party or in a discoteque, please inform me of the results.


Meta-Debate


I missed the presidential debate last Wednesday -- The Walking Dead trumps politics . . . and remember, there won't be any politics once the zombies come . . . as Sheriff Rick says, "This isn't a democracy anymore" -- but I did enjoy the aftermath of the debate, especially the debate about who won the debate, and I even started a debate about who won the debate about who won the debate.

New Jersey Is Not San Diego

Every summer, I make grand plans for our back deck; I envision installing a retractable awning, or screening it and adding a roof, or even simply buying a pair of those giant, heavy duty umbrellas . . . but I never get to it, and then summer ends and I realize that the weather in central New Jersey is so disgusting that there is never a good time to sit on the back porch anyway . . . it's either too hot and humid, or too damp and humid, or too buggy, or too cold . . . and so we have this wonderful back porch, but the only resident who uses it much is the dog, who isn't as particular as the rest of us, and there's no way I'm buying a thousand dollar umbrella for him.

PAH!

As of now, I am still the sole member of PAH! (Parents Against Halloween!) but please take a moment and reflect: are we really going to do this again? the sugar meltdowns? the costumes? the aimless wandering around the neighborhood? the eating of all the extra candy? the diabetic comas? . . . and I'm willing to negotiate with the children . . . I'm willing to offer them firecrackers and BB guns and an go-carts, if they are willing forego this "holiday" . . . I'll even buy them a couple of candy bars-- but let's put our collective feet down -- they're only children and we can stand up to them and give All Hallow's Eve back to the witches and satanists . . . I'll even carve a jack'o'lantern . . . but I just don't want to deal with that giant bowl of processed sugar . . . I can't handle it and neither can they. I'll even give them 100 bucks!

Sometimes You Need To Let Your Head Breathe

I don't have a problem with wearing a visor, and you shouldn't either.

Exotic and Spicy Mystery Story

Last weekend, we got Indian food delivered from Delhi Garden, which is usually very accurate and reliable with to-go orders and delivery . . . but this time, when I brought the food inside, I noticed we were missing our uttapam, our nan, and one of our samosas . . . and so I sprinted out of the house, accompanied by my faithful dog, and caught the delivery guy before he drove away; I told him the story and showed him what we had, and so he called the restaurant, and then he called some of the other houses on his delivery run -- thinking that he gave someone an extra bag of food, but no dice-- and so he had to drive back up Route 27 to fetch the rest of our food . . . and the next morning, Catherine "solved" the mystery when she found a bag of Indian food in our vestibule; she assumed that one of the neighbors realized they had an extra bag of food and left it on our front porch, and that I had stupidly put it in the vestibule -- which already smells awful because of the piles of shoes, cleats, neoprene braces, and shin-guards -- but she assumed that when I got up to walk the dog that I didn't think about the malodorous combination I was creating, and instead of tossing the old Indian food into the garbage, I lazily chucked it into the shoe pile . . . but this was not the case . . . no one returned that bag of food: it was there the entire time, and then I remembered that I was late getting to the door to pay for the food, and the delivery guy opened the screen door and went into the vestibule, and then I opened the door, and the dog was running around, and in the confusion of the transaction -- I'm not really sure when, he must have put that bag down, or dropped it, or I put it down to pay him, and then we both forgot about it . . . I'm not sure if I ever noticed it at all, and he certainly must have forgotten that he handed me two bags, but that fact of the matter is that Delhi Garden was reliable in its order and delivery and we got an undeserved sack of food . . . but unless they read this blog, they will never know the truth.




At Least There's a Name For It

I was going to look up the weather on the internet -- to prepare for my son's soccer game -- but, as usual, I forgot where I had planned to drive on the digital super-highway, and I got lost on a back road and found this incredibly appropriate sniglet . . . Netheimer's: when you go to do something on the internet but forget what you were going to do.

Tracy Morgan Is NOT Tracy Jordan (Or Is He?)


The actual comedy of Tracy Morgan has very little to do with the endearingly bumbling sack of non sequiturs that 30 Rock calls Tracy Jordan . . . or at least that's what I surmised from Morgan's show at The State Theater in New Brunswick last week; Morgan's material is too profane for me to quote on this blog, and while it was very funny at times, and Morgan is astounding mimic -- whether he is singing Michael Jackson or the theme song from Good Times -- the show also had some remarkable low points . . . some strange Michael Richards-esque rants (which Morgan is known for) and a monologue where he came off as just shy of crazy (he seems to sincerely believe that the Moon landing is a hoax and that dinosaurs never existed . . . and there were no punch lines to this portion of the "comedy" act) and while I didn't love the show, I did love the conversation Connel, Craig, Anne and I  had at Tumulty's after the show . . . but that was even filthier than Tracy Morgan's brand of humor, and so I can't transcribe it here either . . . but there was plenty of discussion about bestiality, swinging, and this amazing Dear Prudence column (also, Morgan's body refutes the old wive's tale that the camera adds twenty pounds to one's figure . . . he looks much fatter in person).



A New Sentence Every Day, Hand Crafted from the Finest Corinthian Leather.