Archive for the ‘Rants and Raves’ Category

Hello everyone and welcome to yet another edition of R & R-squared. I apologize for the online disappearing act these past seven days but I figured that you’d understand if I wanted to get all the keg stands, beer bongs, and games of naked Crisco Twister out of my system during the first week of summer vacation. Now that I’ve completely recovered from the mother of all fictitious hangovers, I am rejuvenated and revitalized and ready to write. And equally ready for you to read. Enjoy the post.

Holiday in the Hamptons. My favorite new tv show of the summer is Royal Pains. Part fish out of water drama (a black-listed NYC E.R. doc stumbles upon a new career as a concierge doctor to the fabulously wealthy!), and part MacGyver-MD thrill-ride (Get me a sharp knife, a ballpoint pen, and a bottle of vodka, Stat!), this socio-economically correct show (Dr Hank treats both the rich AND the poor!) has something for everyone. Program that DVR now.

Revoke My Man Card. Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone but I was really into the Real Housewives of New Jersey. Man, talk about drama for your mama. Personally, I’m glad that Teresa decided to get new “bubbies”. At least now she looks like the rest of the ‘wives.

Can’t Fight City Hall. While I’m not going to name names, someone that I know got pimp-slapped by the City of Good Living for trying to run an end around the normal building permit process. After being caught and shut down for a week, the proper paperwork was finally ratified and the project was able to continue unabated to it’s conclusion. Lesson learned, right, my IMS/TM?

An Offer You Can’t Refuse. In a possibly related development, thanks to an over-eager whistle-blower named A.N., several residents in our neighborhood, present company included, got their sidewalks painted orange by the City and tagged as dangerous. We also received notification to get it repaired. On our dime.

They Don’t Write ‘Em Like They Used To. During a 30-minute span on the radio recently, I heard the following three songs: Birthday Sex, Lonely Stoner, and Disco Stick. Remember when Sisqo’s Thong Song was pushing the limits of acceptable taste.

Those Crazy Khans. Congrats to Farah on her move to Los Angeles. Don’t forget about all of us little people in the Bay Area. And save me a seat at Les Deux. Props to Ameer on his graduation from SJ State. Thank you for including me in your speech and for calling me your brother. And to Alia, good luck on your billable hours, Pea Hag. I’m looking forward to Idol Live with you and the Shadow.

(Not My) Million Dollar Idea. Imagine how off the hook it would have been if George Michaels would have endorsed Rice Chex cereal during his heyday twenty years ago. I Want Your Chex would have been everywhere. Don’t you think it’s time you had Chex with me? Credit should go to my college roommate Sean B for the idea that never escaped the dark recesses of  my sub-conscious mind. Yes, have some.


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Ch, Ch, Ch, Changes. If all goes according to Hoyle, you, loyal reader, will get at least four ALS Boy blog entries per week. Yes, you read that correctly: four new postings each week. In order to accomplish this goal, I am ceasing publication of my other two blogs (a big thank you to all five of you who visited regularly) in order to focus my attention on this one. I will also spend some time each day writing my memoirs, so I’ll apologize in advance for the short(er) length of some postings.

Undiscovered Country. Fehmeen has Bravo, Aria has VH1, the P-Hag has HGTV, and now, at long last, I have a cable channel of my own. I discovered the Sundance Channel equally by accident and by a hot tip. Things I’ve enjoyed so far: The Elvis Costello interview show, a short doc about the recording of the Travelling Wilbury’s record, a British show about three single women called Pulling, and part 2 of some epic multi-generational Italian miniseries. Anything else I should try?

Once a Geek, Always a Geek. I had a very vivid dream the other morning about how to figure out sales tax if/when pennies disappear from circulation. I woke up sweating and reaching for my TI-83 Plus.

In Hoc Signo Vinces. I received a package in the mail last week from the Brothers of the Sigma Chi fraternity at UC Davis. Enclosed in the envelope was a letter and three t-shirts, one of which was signed by all the active members. Even though it’s been 17 years since my own days as an active Sig, it was great to feel the bonds of brotherhood. And thank you to Kaitlyn Sitts for her part in making it happen.

Usher, Please. Over break, I went to see I Love You, Man with my friend Janet. We arrived about five minutes into the movie only to find that all of the handicapped seats were occupied by blue hairs with walkers and wheelchairs. I had to improvise and grab an aisle seat in the front. I have to wonder if the octo/nonegenarians dug the movie. Or even got it.

Loves It or Hates It. My sister-in-law, Farah, recently got bangs and we here at ALS Boy want to know what you think of her new hairstyle. Vote here:

As The Bug Turns. Lock up your valuables. Emma is walking. Gulp, double gulp.

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With Humble Gratitude. I would like to extend an unbelievably huge and heartfelt thank you to Renee Batti and Michelle Le for their incredible article about me in The Almanac (a newspaper in Menlo Park). Renee, your story, and the way in which you chose to tell it, compelled me to not only read, but literally digest, every word on those three pages. Michelle, your photographs are amazing not only in the sense of their composition but also for your ability to capture the subject at precisely the right time (case in point: the cover pictured at right). 2009_04_01cover4Thank you both for joining me and my family on this journey as full-fledged members of Team ALS Boy. You guys can roll with me and my entourage anytime you want. Props to Robin for making it happen. Read the article online here or grab a copy for yourself.

My New Obsession. I am hopelessly and haplessly addicted to the website pandora.com . For the uninitiated, pandora is internet radio. All you do is click on the Create a New Station button and then type in the name of any band or artist that you want to hear. Within seconds, you will be hearing a song by that band, followed by songs from other groups or artists within that genre. Leave it there for hours or create new stations at will, it’s all good (and did I mention free?). I am so hooked, I feel an intervention coming on soon.

Fist Bump. A pair of double fist bumps go out to my brother in law, Ameer, and future brother in law, Jason (aka J2). Whenever I hang with you two munhooses, I act like I’m in my twenties again (and that’s a good thing). Thanks for taking such good/bad care of me and helping me feel normal.

For Those About to Rock. Plans are being hatched to get yours truly, ALS Boy, out to a few shows in the coming weeks and months. First up, Clem Snide is appearing at the Bottom of the Hill in SF next week followed by two mega-concerts at Shoreline featuring a Jane’s Addiction/Nine Inch Nails double bill in May and Cruefest II with Motley Crue in July. If you see me coming at you in a blue power wheelchair with a cane in my hand, you best move out the way!!!

Wake Me When It’s Over. Even though it was cool to get my fix of New Zealand’s fourth biggest folk music duo, I can’t help but feel a little let down with the second season of Flight of the Conchords on HBO. Sure, I still love ya, Bret and Jemaine, but I wanted more memorable songs per episode. At least the ones that appeared on the show are available on iTunes (my current faves are “Sugalumps” and “Fashion is Danger”).

Sssshhh. Don’t tell Fehmeen but baseball season is starting up again next week (let’s just say she’s not the biggest fan of the game). How much trouble do you think I’d be in if amongst Emma’s first words were the phrases “home run”, “play ball” and “lousy Dodgers”? I would guess a lot of trouble. And speaking of guesses, I predict that the Giants win 84 games this year. And yes, I will make it to a game this season, okay, Mom?

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Hey all of y’all, and welcome to another issue of R and R Revisited, aka R Cubed. I hope you had an enjoyable weekend doing whatever it was you did. Can you believe that it’s already February? Just two days ago, it felt like January. Next month, it’ll be March. Now before I get into the various items of the column proper, I would like to take a second to tell you what’s in my ear as I write this column. Call it Sesame Street Syndrome (or S Cubed), but today’s edition of Rants and Raves is brought to you by Bon Jovi’s 1988 neo-classic cd, New Jersey. Please excuse me if I spontaneously break into song as I write this; I am a total bitch for hook-laden eighties arena rock. Enjoy the column.

Monday Morning QB. I feel obligated to apologize profusely (and I’m not merely saying that “I state my regret” a la Dwight Shrute) to anyone who attempted to slog through even one line of my Super Bowl Pool Party blog entry from yesterday. I learned two or three important lessons from my incoherent mess of my blogging in real time experiment: 1) I can think waaaaayyy faster than I can type. I came to this unfortunate conclusion during the first commercial break and by then I was already committed to seeing the project through. 2) Blogging in real time is kind of pointless when no one is out there reading and responding in real time. Duh. 3) With all the typing and publishing going on during the game, I literally had no time to properly gorge myself on nutritionally devoid empty calories. Or at least as many as I would have liked to have had. Again, my apologies about yesterday. It won’t happen again.

“Your love is like Bad Medicine…”

Return to Form. From the simulated fire drill to the celebrity roast and all points in between, The Office really came through with the laughs in the hour long post Super Bowl episode. The question now is can they keep it going? If not, you suck, roasted!!!

“You were born to be my baby, and baby I was made to be your man…”

Time to Revoke my Man Card. I spent my Saturday evening at the Khan family house in Union City. Given the choice of what to watch on tv, I settled on the double feature of the movies 13 Going On 30 and The Devil Wears Prada. I even expressed serious interest in going to see Confessions of a Shopaholic when it comes out. Who the hell am I?

Fist Bump. I would like to say thank you to my cousin-in-law Aria for hanging out with me Saturday night. I really appreciate you taking the time and having the patience to talk with me. You are a cool kid and I’m glad that you find factoring in algebra to be easy. Too bad Farah bailed on us after she promised to get Cold Stone for us.

(Don’t) Call Me Mr Pee. When we moved to San Carlos, one of the first things we did was to install a lift to more easily transport me from the floor of the garage up the three steps to the house. Visualize it as a small, single person elevator and you’ve got the right idea. One evening last month as I was taking the thirty second ride up, I was overcome by the most uncompromising need to pee ever. Knowing full well that I didn’t have a cupcake’s chance at fat camp of making it all the way down the hall and into the bathroom, I stopped the lift halfway up and mumbled/moaned, “Gotta pee now,” to Fehmeen. Thinking quickly, she dumped the cans and bottles from a nearby foot tall plastic trash can and handed the empty container to me. I proceeded to relieve my distressed bladder into the recycling can as I stood on the lift. I have to say that it sure beat pissing in my pants…again.

A Sure Sign of the Apocalypse. It takes a big man to admit it but I kinda sorta like a few tunes on the new Britney Spears cd. I find myself singing along to songs like Womanizer and Circus every time I hear them (it’s my own fault since I bought Fehmeen the cd for Christmas). The real gem on the album is called If You Seek Amy. While lyrically, the words don’t necessarily make sense in actual context, it is fun to recite the words of the title phonetically. Try it, you know you want to.

As The Bug Turns. Emma is ten months old as of yesterday. She is crawling on her hands and knees but covers more ground in half the time doing the army crawl. She flings herself with reckless abandon up and down the step from the kitchen to the family room. She pulls herself from a sitting position to a standing one on the coffee table. Emma enjoys eating big people food (including Grandma Maureen’s pish pash dish which she grades as a solid B+) and she mimics every sound we make (even coughs). If I haven’t mentioned it before, I’ll say it now: The Bug Rules. I love you, Emma.

“I’ll be there for you, these five words I swear to you…”

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Hello everyone and welcome to a long overdue installment of R and R Revisited. The past few weeks have been a bit more mentally and physically challenging for me than they have been in the recent past and one of the unfortunate by-products of rougher than expected times is a drop in the timeliness and productivity of my writing. The good news is that I have been feeling a whole lot better (because I’ve resumed seeing most of my people since the shitstorm hit) and the end result of that is more writing. Speaking of which…enjoy.

I Swear It’s Not Nepotism. Remember how in my last post entitled “Nine Thousand”, I offered a prize to whoever could figure out the meaning behind the title? Well, we have a winner! Fehmeen explained her prize-winning idea in the comments section as such: “I figured it out……There are nine pictures, which explains the nine part. Then, the thousand refers to the common saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Hence, nine thousand! What do I get?????????????????????” Since my response of, ‘You get me,’ was met with an icy glare and her reaction to my offer of breakfast at the restaurant called Stacks’ was the monotone answer, ‘Alone?’, it is safe to assume that we are still in negotiations on the mutually agreed upon prize. Thank you to everyone who participated and congratulations to my wife (who was obviously joking, right, babe?)

The Second Smartest Guy in the Family. Congratulations to my cousin (and ALS Boy blog commenter) Bryan on his successful and lucrative appearance on the television gameshow Who Wants to be a Millionaire. I guess all those times he and I took on the rest of the family in Trivial Pursuit really paid off.

Oh We Get Letters. The following email is from the still-anonymous, microphone wearing, flatulent subject of the Telling Tales Out of School story: “OMG, did that happen to you too? Or is that my story come back to me?” Classic in every sense of the word.

Ya Win Some and Ya Lose Some. My fantasy football seasons are over and the results couldn’t be any more mixed. In my free Yahoo league, I was crowned the champion. Yay for me. Unfortunately, I didn’t even make the playoffs in my $200 per person entry fee CBS Sportsline league. Boo for me. Will my not so silent partner let me forget this fact? Most likely not. Oh well, there’s always next year.

Cutting the Mustard. Last week I managed to sneak in the new Kings of Leon cd into the nearly impenetrable music queue of the family Honda CRV six cd player. (It was no easy task usurping such current faves as Britney, Akon, and Jason Mraz). I knew the disc was good but when Fehmeen expressed an active interest in it, I knew it was money. Check it out yourself, you won’t be disappointed.

Statute of Limitations. Is there a statute of limitations on sporting an Obama bumper sticker on your car nearly two months after the election? I mean, I voted for him, too, but there’s no need to remind everyone on the road that you did as well. It smacks of poor sportsmanship to me.

Just Let It Go. At what age do earrings on men become a fashion faux pas? When do they go from cool to tool? I’m thinking earlier than later.

Check It Out. On the days I’m not working on ALS Boy material, I am hard at work on my other blog called The Concert Project. Every show I’ve been to has a story and I intend to tell them all. Stop by if you can, I’ll leave your name on the guest list at the door.

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Hello everyone and welcome to issue four of R and R squared. (The math teacher in me will never die). I hope you have been enjoying the daily offering on the blog so far this month. I am hoping that my long-held theory of the ‘busier I am, the more productive I will become’ holds true so I can go from the brainstorming/outlining stage to the actually writing my memoir stage very soon. I hope you dig the random assortment of items below. My crackerjack team of staffers enjoyed gathering them for you. Happy reading.

TMI Alert. For the past three to four months I have been fighting a losing battle with a persistent, itchy growth on the side of my scalp that looks like dandruff would if it met Greg Anderson and Victor Conte during Balco’s heyday (that’s a steroid reference, Maureen). The continent sized crust and flakes got so out of control two weeks ago that Fehmeen took it upon herself to book me a dermatologist appointment. It took the doctor all of ten seconds to inform me that I have cradle cap (How do ya like them apples, Emma. I find it odd that Dad gets cradle cap and the infant doesn’t). She suggested I brush the affected area with a soft-bristled toothbrush when my hair is wet in the shower and wash my hair with a dandruff shampoo. After about a week, when the crust is gone, apply a topical solution to that same area until the scalp heals. Well, two weeks into treatment and my head looks a thousand times better; I estimate it at about 80% cleared up. Thanks, Doc. Maybe I should hit her up for her advice on curing ALS.

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen. Does The Office really need to have eighteen (count ’em, I did) credited producers (executive, consulting, associate, adjectiveless, etc) to churn out this blase mess of a season? That turns out to be 1.2777777777 producers per minute of airtime. (Once a math geek, always a math geek).

It’s a Small World After All. As I was thumbing through the 2008 edition of the San Carlos Chamber of Commerce booklet the other morning at breakfast, I noticed that the beautiful exterior cover art was painted by a man named Alvin Joe. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that my landlord for the seven years while I lived in Burlingame was such an amazing painter. If you ever see the painting, I believe that you will be able to see my rent money somewhere on that canvas.

A Profound Apology. You know how when a person participates in a twelve step program and one of those twelve steps is to formally apologize to everyone who that person has wronged? Well, here goes mine (although I am not enrolled in any program). I, Jason ‘ALS Boy’ Picetti, would like to extend a most sincere and heartfelt apology to anyone who I forced to watch the movie Spirit of ’76. This most likely includes anyone with whom I partied a bit in the early 90’s and then required them to endure the next ninety (or so) minutes of their not quite sober at the time of viewing lives when I pressed play on my trusty VCR. If you happened to miss this cinematic rhinestone, here’s a quick summary: In the year 2076, American culture and history has been erased. A team intends to use a time machine to return to 1776 in order to pick up artifacts in order to reestablish that which has been lost. All goes according to plan except instead of landing in 1776, they end up in 1976. You know, disco, leisure suits, Pop Rocks, Pintos, Pacers, and on and on. I made the mistake of watching it last night on our 37″ LG tv while Fehmeen organized our dvd collection. All I can say is what the heck was I smoking back then? Ah, never mind.

All That and an Order of Fries, Too. I went to see a dentist in Berkeley a few weeks ago in order to have a fitting and ultimately take home my palatal lift prosthetic device (It’s a retainer-like device that pushes up one’s soft palate in order to help one speak more clearly, if you were wondering). Because his office is located on the second floor of an elevatorless building, the dentist came out to the car in the parking lot to test my device. What a cool concept: drive-thru dentistry.

As the Bug Turns. It’s official: Emma has begun to crawl. Granted, she needs some kind of incentive to prompt her to move forward, but hey, whatever’s clever, and our girl’s gotta move. The funniest thing is when she tries to crawl but doesn’t get all the movements coordinated, she looks like she’s humping the carpet. It’s both hilarious and disturbing at the same time. Emma, Daddy is very sorry for outing you as a humper but he couldn’t resist, it just cracks him up.

All right, ladies and gents, that’s all I’ve got today. I’m off to listen to some vinyl. Ahhh, bliss. Late.

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Hey everyone, and welcome to another installment of Rants and Raves Revisited. I’ve really meant to get this post out sooner but I have literally been busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. Between all of my various appointments, my seemingly never-ending Spite and Malice card games with Dorian and The Hen, and my watching other people move my things from one place to another, I’m downright exhausted. Either that, or I have been extremely lazy. Irregardless of my excuse du jour as to the tardiness of this here column, I will quote Izzy Mandelbaum by saying, “It’s go time.”

Countdown to San Carlos. Negative five. The reason why this number is negative is because we’ve already moved in this past Saturday (which was five days ago, hence the negative five). And when I say we, I mean the royal we because yours truly, ALS Boy, was whisked away to see Dr Sarah for an appointment followed by a thirteen person screening of Zack and Miri Make a Porno (I should have waited for the DVD; the only memorable line was Dutch Rudder) and lunch at the Mexicali Grill. Thank you, Janet, for accompanying me; Ameer, Jason Number Two, Iqbal, Farah, Alia, Rob, Mike, Adam, Sarah, Mike, Nancy, John the WD, and Judy for lugging countless boxes and several furniture items; and to Nanny McFeast for babysitting the Bug. I especially wish to thank the lovely and amazing Fehmeen for almost singlehandedly packing and organizing our move from Sunnyvale here. We all would still be  sitting around twiddling our thumbs if it wasn’t for her. I love you, babe. And it’s not like I  neglected to mention you in the first draft. 🙂 All that I can say is now that the Picetti’s are in town, the City of Good Living (the town motto of San Carlos) will never be the same.

Missing the ‘Vale. Having resided in Sunnyvale for a little over three years, I finally felt like I had the town wired. I knew how to get from here to there in the shortest amount of time (a process which took me all three years to get down, of course), where I could get free wireless internet (Bean Scene on Murphy Ave), and where all the cool record stores were (Streetlight and Rasputin’s; though not technically in the “Vale, they’re close enough). I will miss driving by such awesomely named businesses as Dry Clean Best, The Furnitures, and Daily Donut, as well as never quite having the guts to actually sit down for a meal at Crazy Buffet (we got as far as the front door once and bailed). And even though they’re a quick ride down 280 to 85 to 237, I will miss having such delicious spur of the moment restaurant options as Kabul, Tau Tau, Gumbas, and Frankie, Johnny, and Luigi’s now that we reside further north. Thanks for everything, Sunnyvale.

Tales of My DVR. I am officially one more disappointing and unfunny episode away from jumping off the Kath and Kim bandwagon. Maybe my once lofty standards have plummeted. Although I’d never quit watching it, The Office has been subpar this season as well. Let’s get over all the relationship drama and get back to what made this show worth watching: the supporting cast. I would never admit this in public, but I am sort of bummed that Army Wives is over for the season. And, yes, I am quite aware that the show airs on Lifetime. One last thing: I am Jon and Fehmeen is Kate on Jon and Kate Plus 8. If you know us, you know it’s true.

Just How Low Can I Get. It doesn’t get much more pathetic than this. While waiting in the Embody Spa waiting room for my QiGong appointment a few weeks ago, I actually tore out a page from Us Weekly magazine because it had an article about Lauren and Audrina’s feud over Justin Bobby on it and I wanted to show Fehmeen. I’m conflicted about which is more sad: that I destroyed someone else’s property or that I give a crap about LC and Audrina.

And then the Wheels Came Off…Twice. Last month I had the honor of participating in a Walk to Defeat ALS around Lake Merritt in Oakland. My friends Traci, John, Marci, Tim, Alex, Barbie, and my Dad comprised Team JP Rocks (you could spot us a mile away by our spiffy red t-shirts; photo at bottom) for the three mile trek. Billed as handicapped accessible, the path around the lake was mostly paved except for the patches of tanbark and grass, the jutted and cracked concrete, and the countless exposed tree roots sticking out everywhere. Now, I’m not complaining here or anything but when the tires came off the rims of my wheelchair for the second time as we made our way around the track, it may be time to rewrite the accessibility label. Even though I wasn’t able to finish the course in a physical sense, the rest of Team JP Rocks crossed the finish line for me in spirit. What a great day, thank you.

Faceplant. I woke up Sunday morning, as the sun shined brightly through the sliding glass doors of my bedroom and the birds chirped and cooed as they feasted on assorted nuts and berries. I felt incredible after my first night’s sleep in my new sleigh bed in my new home in San Carlos. All was right in the world. Three small steps later, I tripped on the wooden base on my (did I mention it was a new and unfamiliar) bed and faceplanted the beige carpet. The entire weight and force of my being hit that carpet flush on my lip below my right nostril. It kinda hurt. For my troubles I earned a fat lip and several small cuts on my face. When I had to explain the swollen state of my face to my family several hours later, I lied and said that I got into a fight at an ALS support group meeting. Needless to say, no one believed me. In all seriousness, though, it usually takes a while to regain my confidence with regards to my walking, so if you are behind me, please be a bit more patient than usual.

Quote of the Week. “My parents were the thieves,” said Fehmeen to Thomas the security guard at our condo complex when she finally figured out who had mysteriously opened our garage door and took four dining room chairs as we slept at 11:00 pm. We had given them our remote and assumed they would return for the chairs in the morning. We were wrong.

Golimar. Emma recommends that you watch this video on youtube. Don’t ask me how I found it for her, it just happened. She goes nutty with glee when she hears and sees it. For fans of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video with a twist.

As the Bug Turns. It has been a real renaissance here in Emmaville lately. Maheen taught her how to clap so now Emma claps when she hears music or even when you ask her to (provided she’s in the right mood, which is most of the time). Emma is also rolling around all over the house and sitting up on her own for steadily increasing lengths of time. Finally, the Bug got to experience her first Halloween and her first rain drops falling on her face, all in the same night.

Thank you for reading and enjoy the picture of our little Pea in a Pod.

pea-in-a-pod2 jprocks1

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