Sunday, April 29, 2007

Who's Your Leather Daddy?

NOTE: I'm typing ths entry from home (while my phone recharges) and we've got wireless keyboard which SUCKS! It skips some letters. I'm trying to catch all the hiccups but it's highly aggravating. Please bear with us.
Friday was a pretty good day a work. I went to lunch with some folks near our office. As we were walking to the restaurant, we noticed that there was van unloading "costumes." That's not that unusual. We're located in Playhouse Square (the second largest performing arts center after Broadway.), so there are always productions coming through and unloading seemingly strange items for upcoming shows. The only thing is how would I have not heard about (and made fun of) a musical tribute to the village people? Because that what the outfits seemed to be for. There were military outfits, black leather numbers and a pair of leather hotpants with flourescent yellow piping. The guy I was with said, "Oh, it must be a biker convention." There was a bike parked nearby and a couple of guys with handlebar mustaches but those outfits were a bit extreme even for bikers. So we went and ate and on the way back there were still items being unloaded and my buddy was determined to get to the bottom of this. So he asks a bystander what the deal is. Before the guy answers I notice a vendor unloading her wares, it's a box of patches some of them reading: Leather Girl, Leather Love and Leather Daddy. And we learn that it's Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend (C.L.A.W. - so that's who was out to get inspector gadget all the time?!). I thought people we're already pretty aware of leather but whatever. And then I remembered that I was downtown last year for C.L.A.W. I was parking to go to the Tribe game when we saw all these older men in shirts without sleeves (some of them sheer), leather pants and the mandatory leather police cap. Frankly, I'm shocked I didn't mark it on my calendar. I learned more about the event from Cleveland Convention &Visitors Bureau:
The sixth annual CLAW takes place April 27-29th in Cleveland at the host hotel, Wyndham Cleveland Hotel at Playhouse Square. The convention itinerary includes a silent auction featuring a wide variety of leather and gear, artwork, and gift certificated for travel, entertainment and other services. CLAW will also feature its second Juried BDSM art show. Field trips include visits to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland Botanical Garden and Western Reserve Historical Society.
I wish I could've been at the botanical gardens for when the ladies-who-lunch crowd ran into the CLAW!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I'm going to put baseball cards in the spokes

After we consulted Fr. Jeff, we went bike shopping and I got an el cheapo from Target. $80!!! Hopefully it doesn't fall apart with me on it. But in case it does, I got a helmet too. Safety first!

I'm debating wearing the helmet to work tomorrow. I look like a dork in it but that's half the fun. Actually, I don't understand the whole helmet craze. [ANGRY OLD MAN RANT STARTS HERE] When I was growing up, no one had helmets. I'm sure there were occasional head traumas, but we survived. I was once screwing around and somehow caught my foot in the front wheel while my bike was moving - causing the whole thing to flip on top of me. It's a wonder I lived through that.

Anyways, the whole bike thing has brought back some childhood memories. I don't actually recall learning to ride a bike but the bicycles themselves were signs of maturity. It was a big deal in my family when you got your first "ten-speed" it meant you weren't tooling around the neighborhood on a "kid's" bike anymore. My first "adult" bike was maroon. But actually I rather enjoyed the hand-me-down bikes from my dad's childhood. I had a gold sparkly schwinn with a banana seat and a gear shifter knob right on the frame. But the ultimate was my Dad's bike. It looks a whole lot like Pee Wee Herman's bike. It's even got a built in horn that required a couple of D batteries. It's a real smooth ride on account of it's giant shocks and tremendous size and weight. And the best part was it was no other kid in the neighborhood had one like it.

We've got a church, a priest and an exact time

St. Rita's, Fr. Jeff @ noon.

See the countdown clock for the big event on the right.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Monday, April 23, 2007

Strange contests

The new spelling bee?

Is there really any skill involved in this?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A beautiful & busy weekend

The weather seems to have finally broke. (I'm sure by posting that I'm guaranteeing a mid-May blizzard).

And it's been gorgeous!

I took a half-day on Friday after a lunch meeting I had previously scheduled.

The terminal tower is now wearing an enormous Cavaliers jersey in honor of the play-offs. Go Cavs!

I went to Bedford to mow the lawn and found that my pear tree is already blossoming. I hope we sell it before I get to try some of those pears. But it's pretty none-the-less.

After mowing that lawn, I got Grandma some gas for her mower. And went home to pick up the other lawn mower so Mom and I could tag team the GIGANTIC Solon rental lawn. It was mow of a pain b/c the mower kept stopping b/c the grass was so long. When I got to the swingset left behind by a prior tenant, I noticed how rusty it was and decided to rip it out - WITH MY BARE HANDS! ROAR! It's quite cathartic to systematically remove a structure that not intended to move.

This being the truly first nice day of the year, I forgot about the damaging power of the sun and didn't put any sunblock on my bald head - resulting in a nasty burn. I fell asleep on the couch and woke up the next day feeling like someone had beaten me up. Mom said the same thing. This landscaping gig is hard work.

When I got up Saturday, I became Don of NY. I beat the Godfather game on wii eliminating all the rival families.

Then I met Greg at the rental to start painting. We went to Wal-Mart to get paint (hey, it's cheap) In the paint section it took us 15 minutes to find an associate to shake our paint. I noticed that all the cans of ceiling paint were dented and had dried paint on the side. I asked if she'd give us a discount because they were damaged.

"Unfortunately, I don't have the ability to do that," she told me as though her Wal-Mart superpowers were limited to telekinesis and doing inventory.

"Well, who can do that?"

"A manager," she retorts.

"Is there one around?" I questioned.

"I can page one," she said staring at me blankly, not moving.

"Would you?"


Now Greg will vouch that's how it went down. Wouldn't a rational person cut the crap and when someone asks for a service that requires a manager, immediately locate a manager? But we're at Wal-Mart, we've got to play by their rules. So she pages a manager. No answer. She pages again this time with "Customer is waiting" tagged on the end. No answer. She pages a third time with an audibly annoyed "customer is waiting." Still no answer.

"Apparently the managers don't want to talk to me today. Take the paint up to one of the people in the red vests at the front of the store and they may be able to help you," she says. By this point, figured Kevin was already at the rental house, which he was. So I wasn't going to wait around for the possibility of a red vester giving me 20% off a $9.43 can of paint. Maybe Wal-Mart should change their tagline to "Always low prices and the service to match."

So, Kev, Greg and I painted pretty much every ceiling we could find. And started on the kitchen. Then I went and traded the Godfather for some emergency room game for the wii, which sucks. I played that for a bit and then went to Mariella's.

We went to the bar at the corner of her street. She's never been there in the 4 years she's lived in her house. It was cool minus all the NASCAR crap (NASCAR: never got it. never will.) The owner gave us a complimentary house shot, the apple pie. It really does taste like apple pie! I'd go back for those. We watched the end of the tribe game (dammit although Hafner CRUSHED that ball) and then Cleveland All Pro Wrestling came on. It was at the same time embarassing yet completely awesome. They've ripped off everything from the WWE right down to the commentators, one badguy and one goodguy. Maybe I fashion myself a costume and try out. Fear the Killbasa and the Polish Boy. (Greg would be the Polish Boy.)

Brownies are the new cupcake

WARNING: Emotional roller coaster of a post.
So, I wake up and check the info. super hwy (because that's how hip, trendy people prefer their news.) and yahoo's front page tells me about brownies popularity.

And I keep reading.

Pretty much all bad news. Blue angel pilot killed. Suicide bomber in Iraq. More on the VT massacre.
Speaking of VT, I was at work when the whole thing happened, editing some videos. My friend Dean's wife called and said there was a shooting at VT. She didn't mention the scale. So I figured it was one or maybe two people. It's strange that school shootings have become so commonplace that we don't really react much anymore.

Also I heard on NPR (I was channel-surfing b/c I didn't want to listen to Justin Timberlake's crappy new song or any number of crappy local commercials), that they've set up a temporary memorial with 33 stones arranged in a semi-circle to remember the victims. One of those stones symbolizes the shooter. If I were a parent or a friend of a victim, I'm not sure how I'd feel about that. Isn't he the reason all those people are dead? Then again, the media's reporting on how he was picked on at school, while I'm in no way condoning killing anyone, kids can be pretty damn cruel. If you woke up every day and knew the kids were going to tell you to go back to China and you're from South Korea or laughed everytime you opened your mouth to talk, you'd likely be a pretty disturbed individual. So maybe it's all of our faults that he snapped. Our society is a particularly kind one. I can remember a number of situations were I could've and should've been nicer to someone. Not that I pushed anyone hard enough to an act of violence but if everyone treated that person the same way, well, who knows? So maybe the shooter does deserve a stone in the memorial. And we should all strive to be a little more polite and outreaching to people.

On the other hand, I was at a happy hour the other day and I saw someone standing near the wall not really talking to anyone, no one had approached this person, so I made the effort to start the conversation. I asked about work, school, hobbies giving my own answers to the questions as well in order to make it seem less like an inquisition and more like a conversation. But you need two to tango. And this person was offering up one word answers to every question and not asking me anything. So there's something to the whole you-can-only-help-those-who-will-help-themselves thing

In lighter news, Yahoo also informs us that a man drowned after apparently copping a feel.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What's wrong with shoe?!

So I'm at the airport waiting for John & Tug, looking at my feet when I noticed how scuffed up my right shoe is. The left looks brand new. I just polished both of 'em. So what's the deal?! How is this even possible?

Monday, April 16, 2007

I'm 3x as excited for this one

Spider-Man 3 opens on May 4th.

They did some second unit shooting outside of our office. I think productivity was pretty low that week. What do you expect? They were crashing cars and dragging Spidey (his stunt double anyways) behind a truck!!!

Here's my friend Josh's blog about the whole awesome week.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Haven't posted in a while. Here's why:
1. Busy at work - which is good.
2. Taxes - hate them.
3. WII - awesome. I came home the other day to find mom playing bowling. Which I find funny. Half the fun of the system is watching people play. Hilarious. Mom's not bad at bowling (my high game: 267) but it took her a while to get the hang of using the wiimote and actually point it at the screen.
4. Ad Fed stuff - I'm prez next year and I got bidness to handle.
5. Easter - Lisa and the gang came in to town. Which was amusing as always. Sammy's new thing is to turn every statement into a question simply by adding "right?" i.e., That's a robot, right? That's a car, right? And you have to answer or he gets upset. It stops being cute after a bit.
6. Wedding planning - looking for halls. Meeting with some guy on Saturday that kept saying "Mama Mia" on the phone. We also looked at the Astrodome of Parma (seriously, that's the name.) I think it's a nice hall. Mariella was a bit underwhelmed. And it's not the most affordable option we've seen. When you're guest list is as large as ours, you really limit your options. But we have seen some nice ones. I told Mariella that even after we're married we ought to pretend like we're still planning and go and sample the food at every hall in town. Free dinners out!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Crappy music from the office next door: update 4.10

Toby Lightman. I asked what it was b/c a crappy rock country song wasn't descriptive enough.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Crappy music from the office next door: update 4.4

It's some new-agey crap. There might be a pan flute in there somewhere. Could be the score to some emotional, crappy movie that people would claim to like b/c it made them seem sophisticated. I keep waiting to hear Celine Dion start singing.

300 - PG Version

This is caketown!

Star Wars Nerds

In my AAF-Cleveland role as 1st VP - Programs, I'm bringing in John and Tug from American Copywriter.

Check out some hilarious commercials they wrote and starred in here.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Unicorn Rap

My friend Chris is the star and author of this. Chris used to be the mascot for our softball team and then he up and moved to NYC. I guess Josh did the music for this.

It's pretty funny and possibly NSFW.

There's definitely something wrong with this kid. And I like it.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Fergit the curveball. Throw 'im the heater.

Today's my 30th b-day and opening day for Major League Baseball.

I'm particularly fired up for the Indians game against the Angels on Tuesday April, 10 because it's Rick Vaughn "Wild Thing" Glasses night. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you're likely a nincompoop.


I'm old.

Today's my 30th birfday.

I'm not really overly concerned.

We did have a good time on Friday. I was pretty surprised by the number of people that showed up. Jen and CJ drove all the way from Columbus. Mariella's friends came but I think it was to see the ring more so than me.

And I did get some nice stuff.

Cards and gifts got shuffled in transit, so I'm not entirely sure I've got the right givers to gifts. Here's my gift haul (in no particular order):

1. $
2. Both new BNL CDs (from Mary and Mariella)
3. A bad ass bowling ball bag with a skull and crosspins from Mariella.
4. BNL tix for their concert this summer from Mariella - I spoiled her surprise when I asked if she wanted to go.
5. One of the most delicious cakes I've ever had from Mariella's parents.
6. An AWESOME silky shirt from Mariella's aunt.
7. Demolition Drivers from Kristen. They are as cool as I had hoped. I can't wait to hammer one through a 2x4
8. 300: the book and a screaming monkey from Kev & Jill (who get more excited than most when mentioned on bflk)
9. A whole bunch of lottery tix.
10. Gift Certificates to Darden Restaurants (from Uncle Dennis), PF Chang's (from Paul, I think whoever gave it didn't sign the card. But they labeled the envelope "Marky" and Paul's one of the few that call me that), Cinemark (from John) and a VISA gift card (from Vince and Carli.)
11. A lucky mini garden gnome from my friend Stacey.
12. Rick and his wife got me a pair of speedos, Being a groom for dummies and a book about being a leader (to prepare me for my presidency.) He also offered to let Mariella and I use his condo in Fla.
13. The biggest surprise in scale and unexpectedness is that Mom, Lisa, Mike and the rest of my family are all chipping in to get me a Nintendo Wii. That is if they can find one - Lisa and Mike have been going to stores when they open hoping for a shipment. And according to Vince they are totally awesome.

I'm sure I left something off. But that's all I can remember right now. I didn't really expect this much stuff. I even asked in the invite that people shouldn't bring gifts but it was very nice of them. And it's all cool. So thanks.