Archive for the ‘Ask the Audience’ Category

25 To Go

Now that we’ve landed in September on the calendar, the San Francisco Giants season comes down to the final 25 games.

It’s good that every one of those games are against the pathetic National League West, including six against the division leading (and not pathetic) Arizona Diamondbacks.

It’s also good that usually the starting pitchers bring their A games with them each time they toe the slab.

And that’s where they run out of good.

The bad is being six games behind in the standings. As well as a porous defense. And a woefully underperforming offense.

It’s not like I’m giving up on the dream of another World Series W, but it doesn’t look so good from my spot on the recliner.

Do any of you feel the same way or are you still drinking the orange Kool-Aid?


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This and That

Just a few of the items floating through the mental in-box of ALS Boy these past few days.

The San Francisco Giants converged on the White House today to celebrate last year’s World Series Championship with President Obama. No truth to the rumor that Brian Wilson’s Beard was forced to go through additional security screening before meeting the Commander in Chief.

Showtime is the new HBO, at least when it comes to programming series recordings on our DVR. Shows like Weeds, The Big C, and The Franchise, A Season with the SF Giants, summer tv never looked so good.

Happy Birthday to my mom. She would have been 65 today.

This is where I give a shout-out to all my friends and readers at 3M in Minnesota. Thank you for your support.

So happy to have my girls home after the weekend away.

Breaking News: Emma just pointed to the tv and said, “That’s Barack Obama,” as he spoke right now during his debt address.

This is where I throw NNN under the bus. Nani hated the movie Catfish. Nana merely disliked it. He kept waiting for it to start.

Have you seen the new Jack in the Box commercial for their Really Big Chicken Sandwich? They claim to serve it with meltING cheese. Somehow, I don’t believe that to be true.

There’s nothing cuter than hearing Emma say the word mortadella.

Finally, I have a question for you. Would you rather time travel back to the past or go into the future? Feel free to explain why in your answer.

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Everyone knows how much I love music. A close second on that list is my love for movies. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that whenever some rock band graces the silver (or flat) screen with even twenty seconds of their onstage act, the collision of these two elements from my pop culture radar is almost too much for the trivia nerd inside me to handle.

So I decided to write a post about it.

Here are the ground rules:  1. Bands must be fictitious entities. Real groups don’t count. 2. Bands must perform at least one time during the movie. There is no minimum amount of time needed to qualify. 3. The name of the group needs to be mentioned or seen (on a sign or on a bass drum) in order for it to be legal under the Law of Picetti.

Now that we’re clear on the parameters, here are some Celluloid Rock Stars — at least the ones that I could remember. Enjoy the show! And the post!

Adult Education from She’s Out of Your League.  Pittsburgh’s own Hall & Oates tribute band.  Just don’t call them a cover band.

Steel Dragon from Rock Star. Mega huge heavy metal band that Mark Wahlberg’s character joins as lead singer after fronting…

…Blood Pollution from Rock Star. Steel Dragon tribute band, who coincidentally also hail from Pittsburgh.

Uptown Girl from Step Brothers. The strictly eighties Billy Joel cover group who don’t take kindly to requests from outside their era of specialty.

Prestige Worldwide from Step Brothers. Will Ferrell’s and John C Reilly’s character’s singer and drummer duo that debuted at the effing Catalina Wine Mixer.  And don’t forget about their Boats n Hoes video either.

Spinal Tap from This Is Spinal Tap. With song titles like Big Bottom and Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight, Spinal Tap is the gold standard of fictitious rock bands. I could do an entire blog about the sheer awesomeness of this super group.

Stillwater from Almost Famous. More than a haven for groupies band aides, Stillwater is an amalgam of at least a half-dozen groups from the seventies. Hold me closer Tiny Dancer.

Alice Bowie from Up in Smoke. Who could ever forget the sight and sound of Cheech Marin singing the classic song Earache My Eye while dressed in a pink tutu? Not an impressionable version of me during the mid-eighties, that’s for sure!

Marvin Berry & The Starlighters from Back to the Future. Marty McFly introduced Johnny B Goode to an unsuspecting teenage populace at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance.

Otis Day and the Nights from Animal House. The moment Boone uttered “Otis, my man!” to an obviously perplexed lead singer onstage at the bar, we knew that they were a long way from Delta House on the Faber College campus.  Bonus points for recognizing legendary blues guitarist Robert Cray playing bass in the band.

Sex Bob-omb from Scott Pilgrim vs the World. The band at the epicenter of the greatest video game, kung fu, music movie hybrids of the last few years.

The Jerk Offs from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. The all-gay band with a straight bass player and a drum machine, The Jerk Offs seem to be perpetually searching for a new name — although they may have settled on one (Fistful of Assholes) late in the film.

Blues Hammer from Ghost World. You can literally see Steve Buscemi’s blood begin to boil when this group is announced as real delta bluesmen.

Aldous Snow and Infant Sorrow from Get Him to the Greek. Usually, a little of Russell Brand goes a long way with me but this film is the exception. Every song is practically a comedic gem, especially The Clap and Furry Walls.

The Blues Brothers from The Blues Brothers. I played the soundtrack album so many times that the song She Caught the Katy sounds funny to me when the song in the movie doesn’t skip like my worn-out record does. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve seen this movie at least one hundred times.

Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate from Coming to America. I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.




Now that I’ve exhausted my list, I cordially invite you post any other ones in the comment section below.

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Q & A Time

Who is your favorite Beatle? Which Rocky Horror Picture Show character do you secretly wish to be?  If you could only listen to the music of either Rush or U2, which would you choose?

Why did you decide to become a math teacher?

What’s it like eating every meal through a feeding tube?

Even though you can’t walk any more, do you still have feeling in your legs?

If ever you wanted to know something about me, either pre- or post- ALS, this is the perfect opportunity to do so.

Basically, you may ask all the Q’s your heart desires and I’ll (do my best to) provide you with all the A’s that I can in as timely a manner as possible.

Just submit your questions in the comment section below and I will answer them on a first come, first served basis right underneath the original question itself.

I thank you in advance for the combination of both serious and not-so-serious questions.

And for lots of them.

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Some of my best ideas have come to me while shaving.

Standing in front of the sink with a towel around my waist and staring at my Edge gel covered face in the mirror, the creative thoughts seem to flow inside my mind like the warm water draining out of the faucet as it washes the stubble off the razor blade in my right hand.

It was at intermittent times during this daily morning ritual that I gave birth to ideas that shaped my life for years to come.

Like the time I envisioned performing an a cappella version of Stand by Your Man (a la The Blues Brothers at Bob’s Country Bunker) with two of my teacher friends at our middle school talent show one year.

And like the time I figured out how to pop the question to Fehmeen in such a way that wasn’t expressly forbidden by the power that be, like at a baseball game or at a family gathering, in a restaurant or in a classroom, or in any way deemed too cliché.

It involves eighty-eight keys, a nursery rhyme and is a story for another time.

Anyway, since I no longer have the ability to stand and/or shave, I’ve been forced to find my creative juju elsewhere than over the bathroom sink.

This morning, however, was just like old times.  Almost.

As I sat in my shower chair, slumped over the white porcelain sink, my mouth open so the saliva-toothpaste mixture occupying my oral cavity could exit and find its way down the drain, I felt an idea brewing.

Last night I saw an ad for this new dish at Olive Garden called Pastachetti and I got to thinking that this was not the first time I remembered that one of their entrees had a ridiculous sounding and obviously made up name.

Pastachetti?  Are you kidding me?  How much of a bonus did they have to give to the MBA-degreed veep over at the OG corporate offices who stumbled onto that one?  It sounds to me like a hybrid of my college nickname (Pasta) and my last name (Picetti).

Come to think of it, that’s why I’m so annoyed by this latest turn of events.  And they didn’t even think to get my permission to use my good names.

So, my plan was to go online to do some research on all the other silly names for food at this particular restaurant chain and make fun of them in this posting.

Well, as the title states, the best laid plans yadda yadda yadda.

When I accessed their menu with my eye gaze, I quickly came to the realization that pastachetti was all that I had to go with.  (For awhile, the appetizer known as Fonduta was a candidate but sadly, it didn’t pass through the Google search filters for having a made up name).

Even though I didn’t have enough to go on, I couldn’t just let this delectable morsel of a topic be brushed off the table like so many crumbs.

I open the floor up to you, my wise and knowledgeable reader community, to access your memory banks and come up with names of dishes and meals from (any) restaurant that fit the criteria listed above.

Thank you.

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Other than the most basic of necessities, like being showered and fed and adjusted and suctioned (to name a few), I really don’t ask for a lot of things.  Just give me my eye gaze, recliner, flat screen, and time to spend with family and friends, and I’m good to go.

However, that said, there are a couple of things that I need to ask you, the local Bay Area Adventures of ALS Boy blog-reading community, to procure for me.

The first item is a 2011 SF Giants schedule.  I know that they are available online but I have my heart set on getting the kind they give away at the ballpark or at Giants Dugout stores.  My plan is to have it taped onto the arm that supports my eye gaze so I can look at it each and every day.  If you happen to score one of these bad boys and manage to get it to somebody who can get it to me, I will be most appreciative.

The other item is a bit more complicated and technologically challenging.  It is also the culmination of a lifetime of personal musical performances so it is a project that is fairly high on the priority ladder.

I have a bunch of audio cassette recordings of me playing and singing in various bands over the last twenty-five years.  The plan is to convert selected songs from those tapes into digital mp3 files.

What I need from you, should you be willing and able to assist in this endeavor, is to be the engineer who flips the switches and pushes the buttons.  I have a laptop, a stereo, and a slightly more than vague idea of how to pull this off.  (Hey, the directions are bookmarked).

If you are interested in doing this, I am happy to work around your schedule.  Please leave a comment or send me an email at jasonp110@yahoo.com  .  Thank you.

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As the weather turns warmer and cargo shorts replace blue jeans as the official lower body wardrobe choice of ALS Boy, I suddenly find myself with an interesting dilemma.

Do I continue to do what I have done all winter long and by doing so risk drawing scorn and critical glances from friends and strangers alike or do I go back to the way it used to be last summer and offend the senses and sensibilities of those around me?

I suppose before I formally ask for your help with this decision I probably should clarify things for you a little bit.

I don’t wear shoes any more.  It’s been over a year since I’ve worn anything but sandals and I don’t plan on changing back to those curly laced torture devices during this lifetime.  That is not the topic of my moral quandary.

The issue at hand is that I’ve gotten really used to wearing socks with my sandals.  It’s been borderline acceptable to do this during the fall and winter months because I had pants on and the fashion miscue wasn’t eminently noticeable.  But now that it’s springtime, I’m fairly certain that the shorts-socks-sandals look just ain’t gonna fly with the people that have to be seen in public with me.

So what’s the big hangup then?  Why don’t I just go commando — sandals sans socks — like any other reasonably minded, semi-fashionable person would do and be done with it?

The answer to that million dollar question is that without socks providing a much needed buffer between the synthetic material of the sandals and my feet there exists an otherworldly funky stench so olfactorily offensive that you wouldn’t unleash it on your worst enemy.

Okay, I may be guilty of hyperbole here but I’m told it’s a little stinky.

So now that you are up to speed on the two sides of the debate, I feel that now’s the time to solicit your opinion about my next course of action.

Do I flaunt the rules of decent society and roll around town in a perpetual state of fashion faux pas or do I embrace my inner Pigpen and let the bodies hit the floor?

Your anonymous vote determines the fate of those around me.

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Can you believe that baseball season begins tomorrow?  It only seems like yesterday that we were watching the Giants win their first World Series Championship in San Francisco history.  Wow, talk about a fast five months.

Before we get to the prognostication part of the post, I would like to share with you some baseball inspired photos from my personal collection.

A swing only a mother could love.

From the season our team won the Midget League Championship. (San Bruno didn't sweat being politically incorrect during the eighties).

And I still bite my lower lip from time to time when I'm really concentrating on something.

We won it all with the Carpets International Eagles in my thirteen year old season of the Teener League.

Back in 1998, this radio station had a contest where they invited listeners to write in 25 words or less why they deserved to play catch with their dads on the field before a Giants game at Candlestick Park. My dad and I were one of 98 couples that won.

The Picetti Boys take a break from the action to turn and face the camera. My dad is in the middle closest to the infield standing next to the cooler and I'm in the outfield with my head under the G on the GAP sign on the wall.

Mugging for the mamarazzi in the backyard in sunny San Bruno proudly showing off our souvenir balls.

Now we turn our attention to this season.  I think it would be fun to predict how many wins your favorite team will get this year as well as how many wins that Barry Zito is going to end up with.  I also invite you to prognosticate who will be the last team standing in late October as World Series champions.

Since it’s my blog, I’ll go first:

  • The Giants will win 92 games and finish first in the NL West
  • Zeets will earn 13 W’s this season (I’ve always been a half full kind of guy)
  • As for the World Series champs, even though it is difficult to repeat, I have to say the Gigantes are going to do it again

I open the floor to you, fellow fans of our National Pastime, to make your voices heard on those three topics.

I leave you with one final picture that will no doubt make my friend Beusch throw up in his mouth a little because of the jacket I’m wearing.  Sorry, dude, at least it wasn’t the Dodgers.

Amidst the throes of my short-lived New York Yankees frontrunner phase of the late seventies.

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Now that the Super Bowl is over and done with for another year, what did you think about:

The Black Eyed Peas Halftime Show.  Personally, I would have preferred to have seen them just lip-sync their set instead of actually “singing” it.  They were pretty terrible to listen to live and if they thought that a bunch of human glow sticks would provide a distraction from their lack of discernible stage presence, they most egregiously underestimated the Simon Cowell in all of us viewers.

Christina Aguilera’s Star Spangled Banner lyrical malfunction.  At the time it happened, I thought I heard something odd going on but I ignored it even after I saw a couple of the Packers players notice the same out of place line.  I didn’t think that it was a treasonable offense until I googled her name today.  Ouch.

The Game Itself.  While the game was close and came down to almost the end, it was by no means memorable.  I’m happy that Aaron Rodgers and the Packers won.

The Commercials.  With the exception of a scant handful, a vast majority were underwhelming and instantly forgettable.  Is it safe to say that the era of watching the Super Bowl for the commercials is over?

The Post-Game Episode of Glee.  Fehmeen and I (and Emma) huge fans of the show — one look at our Glee-filled DVR will provide you with plenty of evidence, as will the fact that our preschool-aged daughter can sing nearly every word of nearly every song on those episodes — and it pains me to say so but I wasn’t very impressed with last night’s offering.  The songs were great (as usual) but the story was completely lame.  Too many gimmicks for the sake of having them (like the cannon).  And besides, when does their football season end?  Isn’t high school basketball almost over now?  Oh well, at least we get a new episode tomorrow.

So now I invite you to chime in on any of these topics.

Oh yeah, lucky Leanne is buying Orange Julius’s (or is the plural form pronounced Orange Juli-eye) for everyone who comments thanks to being the big winner (winner chicken dinner) in the old office pool.

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Retraction – To anyone who was misled by my statements in item five of yesterday’s post regarding Fehmeen’s enthusiasm for the game of football, I apologize.  Nothing even remotely like the way I described it went down, in fact, the opposite was true.  She had her fingers in her ears and was loudly singing La la la la la la la la la throughout the duration of Ray Woodson’s sports update on KNBR.  Also untrue was my statement regarding the greenlit fantasy football money.  Perhaps I will plead my case via public poll as reader Eric suggested in the comments section.  All I know is this:  The only thing I love more than I love my wife is winding her up with silly shenanigans like this.  Thank you for playing along with me, babe.

Movie Club – Thursday Afternoon Movie Club resumes tomorrow, January 13, with the 11:20 AM screening of The King’s Speech.  Take an early lunch break and join us for this critically acclaimed Oscar hopeful.  I will personally pay for your ticket if it is as terrible as our last selection, How Do You Know.

What Was I Thinking – It takes a lot of guts to open yourself up to certain ridicule by posting old pictures of your younger self on the internet.  And it is another level of intestinal fortitude to ask the public to vote for the worst one.

I apologize in advance if these photos frighten your children or cause any damage to your eyes, screen, or emotional well-being.

Looking resplendent in his red tank top, Mid-80’s Jason parted his hair right down the middle, wore relatively large glasses, and appeared to have a full-grown caterpillar on his upper lip.  In his defense, that stache bought him a seat at Lake Tahoe casino blackjack tables five years before he was of legal age.

The early-90’s version of Jason was living the dream of the modern day hippie by going to Grateful Dead shows, attending the occasional class at school, and fighting against the man, man.  Harsh reality came a-calling some six months later in the form of graduation and the move home to try and find a job.

Times were rough on mid-to-late-90’s Jason, as seen in the picture to the left.  He was a pack-a-day cigarette smoker who was not terribly concerned that his driver’s license photo bore a disturbing resemblance to Ted Kaczynski when the authorities brought him in out of the woods.

Now that you’ve seen them all, please take a second and vote for the worst.  Thank you.

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