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Archive for July, 2010

We could tell by the way he rang the doorbell that things weren’t going to go according to plan.   The moment he said,  “What exactly am I here to do today?”  I could actually feel Fehmeen’s blood beginning to bubble and froth from a room away even before I saw the are-you-kidding-me look in her eyes.

You see,  we had called up Comcast earlier in the week and ordered a couple more DVR receivers as well as an internet upgrade for our home.   Apparently,  as evidenced by Mr Notsohelpful’s presence in our foyer,  Comcast had decided to farm this particular job out to one of their sub-contracting partner firms.

While I must plead ignorant to company policy,  I feel quite confident that arriving at a customer’s home without so much as a work order detailing the particulars of the job — as well as no DVRs — is most likely a big fat no-no in the old corporate handbook.

So there we were,  father and daughter sitting side-by-side on the bench at the Picetti family kitchen table listening to our wife and mommy extract her pound of flesh from the xfinity call center.   As she deftly clawed her way up the chain-of-command, she quickly lost track of what Emma was doing with the baby spoon and half-eaten container of chocolate pudding.

Mr and Mrs Picetti’s little girl was oh-so quietly finishing the last remaining remnants of the sweet treat from the tiny plastic cube.   Which of course was fine with us except that when Fehmeen got her first look-see at our arms-and-face-covered-in-pudding darling daughter she nearly lost her tear-them-a-new-one game face.

Almost but not quite.

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Had a brand new bed delivered to the house last night.   Between seven and nine pm.   It was one of those fancy Tempur-pedic mattresses from ManCHEEni’s Sleepy World (pronunciation courtesy of Nasseem Seriana, my favorite mother-in-law).

The bed itself is quite the sight to behold with its adjustable foam and remote control and the little button that goes ding when you push it.  The mattress is a bit on the pungent side at the moment but we were assured that the smell would disappear in a few days.

As far as the comfortability factor goes,  I must say that after one night I kinda miss the old one.  I didn’t realize this until last evening but I had really gotten used to the ALS Boy-sized divot my body had made over the months and months of falling asleep in the same spot night after night.   Things like that are fairly important when your entire repertoire of movement maxes out at rolling from your left side onto your back and you have to constantly wake up your poor beleaguered wife to roll you back onto your side after things get too uncomfortable in the supine position at least two but usually three times a night.

Last night it felt as if I was sleeping on a sheet-covered slab of concrete that was missing my precious divot and then I started to get in my head about it and when I tried to move, my muscles got stiff and I began to moan from exerting so much effort with trying to move and then the lights came on when the short-limbed cavalry burst onto the scene without a shirt on.

Needless to say, I would love to avoid any more household-wide sleep-depriving panic attacks in the future so can somebody who knows from personal Tempur-pedic experience please tell me that this mattress will get super-comfy super-quick.

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From the first time she ever uttered the now infamous word “Boong-yah” — Emmanese for give me that (we think) — to her pronouncement over breakfast of “When Emma gets older,  she is going to drink coffee,” Emma has been entertaining those around her with her patented brand of verbal gymnastics.   Here are just a few of her latest and greatest quotable quotes.

On getting to see her daddy once his acupuncture session is over:   “When Auntie Jen gets out the beetles,  then Emma can see Daddy.”

On the difficulty of being potty-trained:  “It’s only pee pee, Mommy.   It’s no big deal.”

On ascertaining whether or not the person with whom she is speaking enjoys certain backyard critters:  “Do you like yizards?   Do you like yadybugs?   Do you like spiduhs?”

On picking up her mother’s idiosyncratic speech patterns and using them on her daddy:  “Do you want your neck pillow,  yes or no?”

On showing Mommy that she knows what f-r-u-i-t s-n-a-c-k-s spells: “I want some fruit snacks,  Mommy.”

On correcting her mother’s frequent one-armed driving style:  ” Both hands!”

On being told not to play around with her mother’s prized Tim Lincecum bobblehead:  “I want to mess with Lincecum.”

On the act of clinking the side of her Dora the Explorer sippy cup to the side of my plastic feeding tube plunger: “Cheers!”

On finally dropping that elusive first deuce in the toilet: “I WENT POO POO IN THE POTTY!!!”

Who needs words when you have these pictures.

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The universe works in strange and mysterious ways sometimes.

All I wanted was to get a few more comments.   Just a sign from my readers to let me know that you are out there and that you hear what it is that I am saying.   I wasn’t asking for much,  just a middle name and the name of the street you grew up on.   That’s all.

I could sense that something was going on about a minute after I pressed the publish button.   Out of the corner of my eye I noticed that my blog was getting an awful lot of hits compared to the usual amount.   As I began to investigate how and why this was happening,  I could see that they were all coming from The Happiness Project.   Apparently,  Gretchen Rubin — author of both The Happiness Project book and blog — had mentioned my blog on her July 25th post and provided a link to an entry I had written about being able to walk again.

When I checked in on my site this morning,  not only had I received about forty comments on Name Game — thank you all, btw — the Adventures of ALS Boy has gotten more hits these past two days than people who know the name of the reigning American Idol.

So now that you are here,  I would like to introduce you to the most important two ladies in my life: my beautiful wife Fehmeen and our two year old daughter Emma.

Thank you very much for stopping by.   I hope that you will find things around here interesting enough to stay awhile.   See you tomorrow.

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Do you want to play a game?

The game is called What’s Your Adult Film Star Name. You can call it the What’s Your Soap Opera Star Name game if you want, it doesn’t really matter. The rules are exactly the same.

To find out your adult film or soap opera (or AF/SO) star name, simply follow these steps:

Take your middle name and combine it with the name of the street on which you grew up.

Using myself as an example, my middle name is John and I lived on Pepper Drive growing up so my AF/SO star name would be Johnny Pepper. Not a bad moniker for an AF/SO star, don’t you think?

Now it’s your turn to play. Please share with all of us your AF/SO star name by leaving a comment below. I will be a bit bummed out if we don’t get at least thirty responses so get your name game on now.

Thank you for participating.

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Some are good and some completely suck but I watch them anyway.   Here’s what I have to say about the latest bunch of movies that have found their way to my eyes, ears, and brain this past month.

Blow:  I seem to enjoy the rise from obscurity portions of these types of films a little more than the now you get your comeuppance parts.   Still,  I have no excuse for not having seen this sooner.   Paul Reubens rules.   Grade: B+

Remember Me:  Would it kill anyone to be happy at some point during this movie?   Talk about your Debbie Downer story line.   Even the twist ending is depressing.   Made me want to watch Pink Floyd’s The Wall.   Grade: C-

Superbad:  Even though I’ve seen it at least a dozen times, I never fail to catch three or four lines that I’d forgotten about.  A modern American comedy classic.   “I am McLovin!”  Grade: A-

Fanboys:  Coulda and shoulda been better than it actually was,  this film picked up a little steam towards the end.   Lots and lots of guest stars and cameos like Billy Dee Williams,  Kevin Smith,  and William Shatner just to name a few.   Grade: C+

The Diving Bell and The Butterfly:  When the editor of Elle magazine suffers a stroke and wakes up paralyzed and unable to speak,  he is forced to come to terms with his new life.   That he spends his days writing with a blink of his eye is more than a little bit surreal from my point of view.   It is an excellent film, nonetheless.   Grade: A-

Nights in Rodanthe:  Can somebody please explain to me why actors such as Richard Gere and Diane Lane would sign on to participate in such an overtly sub-standard and shitty movie?   It had to be more than for just a paycheck,  right?   Grade: D

From Paris with Love:  A wholly unmemorable action flick with an over-the-top performance from John Travolta.   I enjoyed his two Royale with Cheese references,  though.   Grade: C-

The Proposal:  This one is all on Fehmeen.   I fell asleep within the first fifteen minutes.   I believe she said that it was the worst movie ever.   Grade: D-

Whip It:   This one wasn’t nearly as terrible as the critics said it was but then again how bad can it be watching good-looking women who are dressed provocatively with tattoos up and down their arms rolling around an oval track taking potshots at each other?  Maybe it was some other movie.   Grade: B-

Grown Ups:   An endless series of funny one-liners surrounded by an almost non-existent,  swiss cheese-like plot.   Were you expecting anything more?   Grade: B-

Hostel:   Will your opinion of me change drastically if I told you that I kinda sorta really liked this movie?   Seriously though,  it’s not necessarily for everyone,  just for those of us who are a bit more desensitized to this sort of thing than most.   Grade: B+

Hostel Part II:  It should have been a sign from the movie gods that this film was going to massively suck when the opening credits were exactly the same as the first one.   Chalk it up to heightened expectations but this  movie suffered from unsettling violence for the sake of unsettling violence and the completely unbelievable change in character of every single one of the leads.   So disappointing on every level.   Grade: F

Iron Maiden Flight 666:   I don’t know what I found to be more baffling: 1) How revered this band still is world-wide.   2) How hard they still rock two decades removed from their heyday.   3) The fact that lead singer Bruce Dickinson is actually the pilot of the band’s 757 tour plane.   4) Why the hell could I not have any Iron Maiden in my music collection.   (I do now).  Grade: B

Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage:  Anyone who knows me must be wondering why on earth would I be watching a movie about the band that tops my personal most reviled list.   Let’s just say that my friends Dooms and Paco thought that it would be a good idea.   Actually,  the dorkumentary wasn’t as annoying as it could have been but it did turn into the prototypical Rush fan sausage party once my friend Janet left.   Grade: B-

Now that I’ve had my say,  I would love to hear your take on these movies.

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92 Flashback Special

It was an age of smoking Marlboros and getting loaded before watching Star Trek: The Next Generation every night at 11:00 with friends.   Unfortunately for the cumulative college GPA, reading for personal pleasure and intellectual enlightenment was the order of the day every day.   Books like Generation X, The Basketball Diaries,  A Confederacy of Dunces,  and Siddhartha were consumed with an appetite both voracious and insatiable.

A different aesthetic played big in those days.   Earning the degree meant tons but not selling out to the man after getting that piece of paper meant more.   Doing important work without going all corporate was what it was all about for anyone who was tuned in to the countercultural zeitgeist du jour of the times.

Of course,  abject idealism doesn’t pay the bills in the real world.

At least they didn’t in my case.   Not without a haircut.

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Call Him Pasta

Once upon a time in the Fall of 1987, a young college freshman pledging a fraternity offered up his connections for free spaghetti in order to feed the masses at an all you can eat fundraising event.   From that day forward,  he became known hither and yon as Pasta.

Although not much is remembered from those hazy crazy daze, Brother Brad was able to unearth a few pictures circa 1992.

Brian, Pasta, and RJ

Eric, RJ, Pasta, and Brad

At this point in time, the room technically belonged to Brad but when it was mine the year before I hired a couple of middle school skaters to draw on my walls.

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Hard Case Crime Fiction.   That is what it took for me to realize just how big of a problem I had.

It began in my youth with comic books and baseball cards.   Then it expanded to records and cassettes and eventually CDs.   At least in those days I actually had the time to look at and listen to them all.

Things really began to spiral out of control when I started earning some decent money after college.   The collections grew exponentially into comics and cards and sports memorabilia and CDs and DVDs and books and paperbacks and action figures and so on and so on to infinity plus one.

The tipping point came in the form of a super smart and smoking hot rookie teacher named Fehmeen whose less is better philosophy regarding collectible clutter was downright contagious.  And if anyone needed to catch the anti-clutter bug it was me.

To make a long story shorter — at least by my standards — my apartment-sized collection of useless crap has shrunk down roughly to the space of a small closet.

The most difficult part for me was letting go of a majority of my books.   For years I had been collecting this series of hard-boiled mystery paperbacks called Hard Case Crime Fiction.   They were so cool.   I would look for ones that I was missing in every bookstore I could find.   I had approximately twenty of them on my shelf but had only read about three and that was wrong.  Wrong on the level that I was collecting just to collect and not for the enjoyment of the written word.

Now that I am living the less-clutter-than-before lifestyle these days,  I feel I owe it to my wife because I love her and I worry about her.   I know this may seem a little bit preemptive but I want to help you the way you helped me with my collectible issue.   I know that he is your favorite Giants player and that you proudly wear your number 55 jersey every time he takes the hill,  I want to make sure that one Lincecum bobblehead doesn’t become an out of control let’s-redecorate-the-room-in-his-image habit.

Tim Lincecum Giants Cy Young Bobblehead Bobble SGA  7-17
A special prize goes out to the person who can figure out the C Y title reference and how it relates to Fehmeen.   Good luck.

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Welcome to the Jungle

It’s a jungle out there.   All the lizards and slugs and birds and spiders are sleeping in their critter beds.   Snug as bugs in rugs.   The jungle is stone silent,  save the occasional twig-crack leaf-crunch.   Half past twelve and the foliage shimmers in solar-powered artificial light.   Morning comes soon,  and with it, so too does the fresh perspective of a brand new day.

It’s a jungle in here.   Countless thoughts and dreams and hopes and prayers are running through my head.   Picking up steam, gathering momentum.   The visions end unhappily, save the occasional memory-triggered half-smiles.  Half past twelve and my prospects glisten in hope-tinged artificial limbo.   Morning comes soon,  and with it, so too does the fresh perspective of a brand new day.

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