Saturday, December 23, 2006

I love shopping

Grocery stores are fun before xmas. It's highly annoying but the store is doing there best. There's a woman walking around handing out "happy cookies" to anyone who looks grumpy. it made me laugh. but I don't think she's got a big enough cookie on her tray to cheer me up.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

How much scrap metal did you throw out this weekend?!

Not as much as me, I bet.

My buddy Jerry, Mariella, Mom and Mary went up to Toledo this weekend to work on my house. It's coming together. (I'll be there again this Friday, if anyone's interested in helping. Some Xmas break this is shaping up to be.)

Jerry and I undertook the task of getting the burst radiators out from the second floor. Jerry thinks they're the heaviest thing he's ever moved (and he delivered stoves in college - and he almost became a firefighter or something too.) And I'm apt to agree. We're guessing the largest was somewhere around 400 lbs. I'm not sure the refrigerator dolly we rented was outfitted to handle such a load.

After that fun we spent a good portion of the day painting, scraping and Mariella swore once again that she will never remove wallpaper again. Thank god for my "crew."

Mariella joined me Sunday night at one of the Solon rentals to scrape the ceiling of a bedroom. And Kristen popped by to help a bit as well. That house is really shaping up too. I hope we get all this done before too long. It's not much fun and I think my friends are starting to avoid me for fear of being forced into servitude.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Rude ruse

I think, "it's a pretzel."

you think, it's a pretzel."


It's a cookie shaped like a pretzel. There ought to be laws against that kind of thing.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Inspiring confidence

I went to return some equipment to my former cable company. I was greeted by the above TV with an error message on it.

Also of the 4 TVs behind the counter only one had a grainy image on it. The other 3 were all static.

Grandma's Kitchen

Before he passed away, my grandfather asked if I would paint his kitchen. (He also asked about his porch but I was REAL busy this summer. We'll do that in the spring.) And he asked awhile before he passed away. A remodeled kitchen wasn't his dying wish.

I took a day off work and hoped to have it done. But it turned into a bigger project than I expected.

So anyways here's some before shots:

It was painted this drab blue. Actually I'm sure at one time it wasn't drab but it faded into a drab blue. Grandma also had this ugly wallpaper that looked like fake white bricks to cover the sizable cracks in her wall. She also had this paneling that looked like blue tiles behind her counter that began to wear from years of washing.

This is an in-between shot. You can see the new paneling behind the counter and the damage left from ripping off the old. (That's my favorite tool the Stanley FuBar lying on the counter. If you're tearing stuff up you need one.)

Here you can see the new paint and section I later covered with paneling. BTW the cupboards are nowhere close to being straight or level so cutting pieces around it was quite a bear. You can also see Grandma's newly white ceiling. She didn't want me to paint it white, because it would take too long. I'm glad I did because it really brightens it up. She was nervous because I told her I was painting it pink. Glidden makes a paint that goes on pink and dries white. Although I was also using a spackling that goes on pink and dries white and when you paint over that with the pink/white paint, it gets REAL pink. So I was nervous. I would've never heard the end of it if there was a pink spot on Grandma's ceiling. But it dried nicely.

Here's the finished product. We even found a place for a lot of Grandma's blue collectibles.

This wall was covered in the white brick wallpaper and has a huge crack in the corner that's covered by the new paneling. The wall with the bulletin board also had a huge crack that I was able to patch pretty well, if I do say so myself.

Here's Grandma's brand new doorbell. I also replaced the outlet over the sink with a GFCI so it'll trip there in case something happens. Oh, and we replaced the switches on the wall with new ones that LIGHT UP, so she can find them in the dark. Going to Lowe's and Home Depot with Grandma is pretty funny. I put a new lock on her side door and she wouldn't let me get the one with the gold finish b/c she thought someone would steal it or think she had lots of money.

It was a pretty big project but I had help from Mom, Mary, Mariella, Kristen and Grandma picked up a brush a couple of times - so it wasn't TOO bad.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Updated, sparkle-riffic self-portrait.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I live in Loudville

Went to the cavaliers game last nite w/ a whole bunch of peeps. I had bought tix in the rafters (AKA Loudville). And then my agency's (supremely better/awesome/eight-rows-off-the-floor) seats became available. So I had 10 tix total. Unfortunately for me (and fortunately for Mary, her "bf", Lisa & Christy (Mariella's friends)), I only had four agency seats. So, I sat in the nosebleeds with Mariella, Kev, Jill and Greg Bob. I figured Mary hadn't sat in them before and she's been a big help of late. Plus, Kev and Jill sat in those seats last year and would likely never go to a Cavs game if it weren't for me asking - so I didn't want to abandon them.

I couldn't find anyone to use the last cheap ticket, so I ended up with two Brad Daugherty Bobbleheads - which apparently no one wants.

The game was good. They won - despite their best efforts to lose. Coaching tip for Mike Brown: If you've got the lead with less than five minutes left, attack the hoop, get fouled and get to the line. You don't shoot threes. Fortunately, they hit their ill-advised 3s but failed to get to 100, so no chalupas. And despite the violent crosswinds at such a high altitude the seats weren't that bad except for the screaming banshee of a 9-year-old who shrieked through the whole game. Her parents thought it was cute. Mariella and myself did not.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Busy. busy. busy.

Hope to post soon.

Things have been hectic.

Stay beautiful, readers.


More scary, scary holiday decorations in our lobby.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Go 'Cats!


Loco 4 JoCo Local-ly

Jonathan Coulton will be at Wilbert's in Cleveland tomorrow (Thursday) at 8pm EST. He's known to my circle of friends as the guy that does the lite rock cover of Baby Got Back. I like him more for Skullcrusher Mountain and many other ditties. Also, I border on man love for his work with John Hodgman (Author, The PC on the Mac commercials and Daily Show correspondent)on the Little Gray Book Lecture Series.

Special thanks to Len at Jawbone Radio for heading up the effort to get him here and alerting the minions to the news.

See you there.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pope preaches brotherhood on Turkey trip

That's the headline I saw on Yahoo! News and for an instant I thought, "I didn't know turkey was a hallucinogen."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Teaser if you please 'er!

My gf's godfather (no. you don't have to kiss his ring) is in a band called Teaser.
I've seen them on several ocassions but they've never been as good as they were on Friday night. They were playing on W. 6th (SIDE NOTE: I typically abhor going out on W. 6th/douchebag city/meathead factory b/c this is mentality of the clientele there.) at the Blind Pig. It was the first time they ever played there. And they totally blew the roof off the dump. It was great - even though I was in a foul mood after some tool in a blazer and jeans was playing grab-ass with his friend who was wearing uber-chic (READ: idiotic and stupid-looking) glasses spilled his drink on me - who proceeded to smile, mouth "sorry" and walk away. That was during the second song of the Teaser set and I was still perturbed from my shopping episode earlier that day. So, it's probably better that he walked away.

Check out the guns on that chick!

Mariella's Uncle Tony is the one to the right of the singer.

I hope they play the BP more often b/c the sound system was WAY better than their usual venues.

Oh, and this was the banner hung up above the band:

I wonder if he brings the blow.

Painful to watch

and even more painful to be a fan.

I had to alter my jersey.

Friday, November 24, 2006

I wanted to punch myself in the groin repeatedly

my dad was definitely a bargain shopper, but he always resisted the siren song of the sales held the day after thanksgiving. I now wish I had realized that wisdom.

mom needs a new computer. the one she has at the house is 5+ years old but kicks it like a tandy. so, B-I-L Mike sees that circuit city has an e-machine (what does the "e" stand for? electronic?) at a doorbusting value of $200. the problem is that door busts at 5 am. So I take one for the team and set the alarm for 4:30. it's REAL foggy when I wake up and you can't see more than 20 ft - making driving a challenge especially with deer running around trying not to get shot. I get to c.c. a little after five and there's NO parking. so you've got to play parking roulette and follow a shopper from the store to their car and wait for them to leave. if they parked in the next county, so are you. that's the fun part of the game. I actually lucked out and found an extremely close spot. as i'm walking into the store, someone lays on their horn seemingly to wish another patron "happy holidays" or an "get the F- out of my way." the one horn causes a chain reaction with other "cheerful" shoppers who aren't as good as me at parking roulette. To the right there's a table that was once filled with breakfast items for the people who hunger for more than mere bargains - it's been reduced to nothing more than wrappers and empty cups.

inside the store is worse. a greeter laughs at the kid looking for a ps3. checkout lines wrap around the store making leisurely browsing (my shopping M.O.) an impossibility. there's lines eveywhere. and I mentally prepare for the prospect of standing in one of these lines, thinking I can blog on my phone (which I left in the car anyways.) using the deft footwork frequently showcased by the cleveland browns opponents, I make my way to the computer department only to find another line. I avoided the line by finding onne of the god-forsaken teenagers working there. he had a shorter sub-line of people asking if they should even bother standing in the other line. the woman in front of me in this pre-line had apparently never been to a store or actually out in society. When it was my turn I asked if they had anymore of those computers. He said no. I left, thankfully providing an abrupt ending to my Black Friday Raider career.

People are crazy for a discount.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ham vs. Turkey

In honor of T-Day, I've added a link to my buddy Chris/Eddy's site.

Also here's a game to get you psyched for a tryptophantastic Turkey Day. (The music rules.)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Publicity stunt in poor taste?

By now, you've probably all heard about Michael Richards' (Kramer from Seindfeld) racist outburst on stage at a comedy club.

I hope what I'm about to propose isn't true but:

1. The timing of this event is peculiar - happening several days before the release of Seinfeld Season #7 on DVD. Plus, who's heard anything from Richards in a while?

2. Why/how would someone be recording this act on what was presumably a cell phone. Most clubs I've been to don't allow recording devices. Is there footage of the whole set? The only released footage has been of the insane racist rantings. There's thousands of comics performing nightly and this is the one act that was caught on tape? Strange.

Some say, "Any publicity is good publicity." Is this someone's sick way to get Richards back in the spotlight? I hope not.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Country stars should not be allowed to listen to rap music

Honky Tonk Badonkadonk?!

"Badonkadonk" wasn't cool when rappers were rapping about it 5 years ago. What's next? Bootylicious Scootylicious Boogielicious?


I could fart better lyrics .

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sucks is an understatement

I got a phone call from one of my good friends in Toledo on Sunday. From her voice I knew something was wrong.

She told me that one of our friend's father passed away. There weren't any details. Just that it was extremely sudden. He was 61. I asked her how our friend was. She said, "You know."

Crap. I guess, I do. I guess asking how someone is is just a deflection we use while we try to comprehend the enormity of the news we'd just been told. Because I do know what it's like. And it's terrible.

Unfortunately, work and traffic stopped me from attending the wake. I really wanted to be there for my friend. I'm not sure what I would tell her. I'm still trying to figure things out. (Yesterday, I was asking a heating contractor for advice b/c I don't have Dad to talk to about these things.)

I didn't know my friend's father. But I know her and she is an amazing person and I have to imagine some of that is due to her father. I know he had a dog named Bindi b/c it had a spot in the middle of it's forehead (why I remember that I don't know) so it sounds like he had a nice, obscure sense of humor. It's hard to eulogize for someone you don't know.

So, I'll wrap it up by saying be sure the ones you love know that they are loved. I know I was loved by Dad and he knows I loved him and still do.

Let's keep all the departed in our prayers.

I was a Zolli fan when he was underground

Andrew Zolli will likely be creeped out if he reads this. Because (a)I've never met him and (b)I know a whole bunch about him that I spout off fairly often.

(sidenote on item B: While working at the Computer Service Center while attending Ohio University, my main duty was scanning IDs and assigning people computers. Over a period of 4 years you start to recognize people's names and faces. And I have a tendency to remember odd trivia. But the long and short of it is while being introduced to someone that you've presumably never met before you shouldn't say, "Oh you're Nancy Watkins (name changed protect the innocent) you went to OU and wore a purple shirt in your ID photo.)

I guess we'll just have to add him to the list (of people that think I'm creepy.)

Anyholler, I saw Andrew (Andy? Mr. Zolli?) speak at the American Advertising Federation National Conference in San Fran in June. And he was awesome and hilarious. If you have 40 minutes to spare and any interest in advertising, the future or ninjas watch the video of his speech.

Well, I happen to be the First Vice President of the Cleveland Ad Association which puts me in charge of programming and procuring speakers. Pretty much every ad club was drooling thinking of getting him as a speaker. But guess who nailed him down for a Feb. 21st speaking engagement? Yours truly. Actually I had a lot of help from some folks at my agency. We put together a video based on - a tremendous site Andrew mentioned in his speech. And in a weird full circle thingy, the Ninja answers Andrew's question this week. Goosebumps?! I thought so.

So in my non-creepy defense, I've pretty much memorized his bio b/c people keep asking me about our February luncheon. And I'm happy to tell them b/c it should be great.

So the image above is my promotional T-shirt that I made to promote the luncheon he'll be speaking at. Below is the back - NOTE: I cheaped out and didn't by the number pack.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Angels!

The building I work in used to be a department store - it's actually the building that winfred lauder from the drew carey show is based on (We have very similar in our offices). So there are a lot of mannequins (figuratively) floating around here. Someone decided to paint two of them gold and dress them up as angels and hang them as though they are (literally) floating above the bank of elevators in the lobby.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Cheap Tees

Haikus are easy but... - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Okay. By now you should realize that I'm a T-shirt whore. I own over 200.

I love Threadless. It's an on-going t-shirt competition where anyone can submit a design or a slogan and the best ones get printed. You can vote on T's, leave comments and buy them fairly cheap. Every so often they put the entire catalog on sale for $10 a shirt. One of those time is now. Go consume.

I think I may have to get the one pictured above.

Monday, November 13, 2006

It's T-Mas Season

I got an email from Brandon Bird today. (I have one of his paintings hanging in my office.) He's selling cards in honor of the season. Go buy some.
Which brings us to the topic of Mr. T - one of my childhood heroes from the A-Team, Rocky III, and the WWF.

So I was excited to hear that he had a new show.

I pity Mr. T.

It's not bad - "bad" meaning "good" in the Mr. T lexicon. Mr. T has been reduced to Dr. Phil with a mohawk. He's teaching fools the rules. And it borders on unwatchable. I guess I wasn't expecting him kicking ass in his advancing years (he's 54 now). But I at least hoped he would be at least as entertaining as Flava Flav.

C'mon, T, you can do better. What would Murdock think?!


the cornhole is all done and at my office. It does smell like varnish in here now.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

maybe we can park here someday

this is something we haven't seen in a long time - our garage floor. I spent most of the day cleaning it out. i'm not done but it's much better.

I even put some new hardware on the wall so could hang some stuff.

The recyclables no longer get hung on the basement doorknob. I'm so handy.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Spitting Image

My self portrait for an exhibition at work.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

You love monkeys. You love T-shirts.

Space Monkey - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Click the monkey and vote for my buddy Paul's T-shirt design. He's a genius and the shirt rules. If enough people score it high, they'll print it. Paul's blog is linked to the right. Check it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I'm crafty

Last week, mom showed me how to use the sewing machine which I guess makes me a sewer (Leave your "manhole" jokes at the door, please.) Or maybe a seamster. It's taking my crafting to a whole new level - that level being whatever comes after none.

I'm quite impressed by my mad skeelz!

Thus far I've made:

a set of bean bags for the cornhole set I'm STILL working on

and this hat for our agency's holiday card and video.

Knitting circles and quilting bees, you're on notice!

Friday, November 03, 2006


Last night mom, grandma, mariella, mary, joan, kristen and I attended an event at the cleveland natural history museum. Mary had a run-in with a king cobra.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Another trophy for my office wall.

The world is full of stupid people

Went last night to see Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers (one of my favorite bands) at the Beachland Ballroom (one of my favorite venues) with Mariella, Mary (who stole my Americano! CD), Lisa (Mariella's friend) and eventually Uncle George. Mariella pointed out that I have a serious man crush on Roger Clyne - which I won't deny. I love their music, their message and the memories they bring back of college and my buddy Shane in Arizona.

The opening act was As Fast As. They were amazing. They we're totally funky and covered Bowie's "All the young dudes." I picked up one of their discs for $5 and, frankly, I like them better live. If you get a chance to see them, check them out.

Uncle George showed up about 3 songs into the RCPM set - claiming that we stiffed him. I tend to forget which shows I recommend, so I forgot to call him. Which, I guess, does constitute "stiffing." He didn't want to stand by the speakers so I spent half the time with the girls and half the time with him in the back. And really the sound was better in the back and you didn't have to deal with nincompoops holding camera's over their heads for the whole show. (C'mon, people. What are you going to do with 300 photos of this show?!) I've probably seen this band 10 times and every show is more crowded than the last and filled more and more with the Dave Mathews/Abercrombie&Fitch/recovering frat-boy Crowd, which worries me. And there's a few too many people wearing Roger Clyne shirts. Did you learn nothing from Jeremy Pivin in PCU?! (Which BTW is an under-rated college flick.)You don't wear the shirt of the band you're seeing to the show. "Don't be that guy." And Mariella doesn't like the fact that pretty much everyone at the show (myself included) knew every word to every song - I suppose that would be annoying.

I did get this poster. It was made by Sandusky Bay Poster Works. They do amazing work. It's the fifth Roger Clyne one in my collection. I think this is one of the best unfortunately it's considerably smaller than the other ones in the series - ruining my standard size framing system. I guess I'll have to get a mat.

Overall, good show and a fun time.

Cloud Mountains

This is the second time in about a month that the morning clouds made it look like Cleveland is as close to the Appalachians as people on either coast think it is.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Monday, October 30, 2006

Breaking Gourd News!

Pumpkin update

Tape T. Rex Runs Wild.

There it is in all it's glory - my Duck (not a typo, that's the brand) Tape Costume.

It's not really comfy, but I think it looks sweet.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

one of the reasons mom can't park in the garage

Cornhole set I've been working on for several months now. I've just got to touch up the logos a bit and put a clear coat on them and we'll be in business.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Bad(der) news Browns

Things in Cleveland have gone from bad to worse.


The first salt truck of the year. Blah.

Did dinosaurs have uvulas?

That's the kind of question I was asking myself this weekend while working on one of my halloween costumes.

It's a tryannosaurus made entirely from duck tape and chicken wire. It's for this contest and my work halloween party. I fit in the middle of it and my legs will look like they're its legs. So this week I've got to find time to make faux legs so it appears as though I'm riding it. Hopefully it all comes together nicely.

And, for the record, my dinosaur has a uvula.