Wednesday, December 27, 2006

What’re Words For, Part 15

Whew! Phase 2 of the 3-part 2006 Holiday Season is over with Christmas having been on Monday (and Thanksgiving last month), now we just await the New Year to bring to a close the annual Holiday Trifecta.

To salute the craziness of this time of year, I selected a Yankee term that addresses just how caught-up we can get running around for food, gifts, and family during the November/December craziness.

Word: Drove Up (V.) phrase
Definition: extremely busy
“Eugene is all drove up trying to get enough money to buy a new color tv. He dug clams on two tides yesterday.”
“Better him than me. I ain’t afraid to work, but I ain’t afraid not to.”

(Definition from: "How To Talk Yankee", by Gerald Lewis & Tim Sample, copyright 1979, 1986 by The Thorndike Press; copyright 1989 by the First North Country Press)

I imagine many of you were all drove up over the holidays buying gifts, cooking meals, and getting ready for Santa these past couple of weeks. I hope it all paid off handsomely for you and your families/friends.

In sad news to the blogger community, it appears that Sar of Belle of the Brawl will be all drove up with school work in the coming New Year and will be unable to devote as much (any?) time to her blog. Sar has decided to go back to school to pursue a Public Relations degree, and understands that this commitment will infringe on her blogging time. While this is certainly fantastic news for a fantastic lady (and super-friend of yours truly and many other bloggers), there will be a vacuum within the internet as her presence will be immensely missed. Best of luck, Sar!!

Sar, keep me updated on your school progress, de-ah! I’ll be waiting to he-ah, ayuh!

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!!!
As Cupcake and I get ready to celebrate this holiday with her family, I want to take a moment to wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Even as an atheist, I love this time of year and this holiday.....cuz people give me stuff! Hope you get lots of stuff, too! ;-)
I'll keep a good thought for all of you and your families, and especially for our military people overseas, separated from their families during this holiday season.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Festivus!

Well, it’s Festivus Eve. Time to put up your aluminum pole, air your grievances, and test your strength.

Traditional Festivus Pole

Or, if you prefer, you can celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or whatever hijacked version of the original pagan celebration of winter your religion endorses.

I hope that, no matter which one you choose to celebrate, it is a great one, and you find a way to send out peace and love to your friends and family. And maybe, just maybe, you can do something nice for a stranger this year also.

And, if I happen to be a stranger to you, sending $20 to my PayPal account would be awesome!

Celebrate wisely and carefully, chummies! I'm keeping a good thought for you and yours.
My Grievances for 2006

I have a problem with people who call themselves members of the Republican Party who are still trying to convince themselves that the current president has done a great job. The man and his administration have wrecked this country, set the world on a course of destruction and hatred, and have constantly proven themselves to be incompetent and idiotic with their "stay the course" and "mission accomplished" rhetoric. Yet, all that the Republicans party supporters can bring up when you point out these facts is that Bill Clinton cheated on his wife. Yo! Wake Up! Your party and your leaders are corrupt and imbecilic.

I have a problem with people who write letters to newspapers and magazines bitching about how someone's done them wrong and how "Karma" will come back to get that person. There is no way that all of the people who throw around the karma term even know what it means, and it's used all willy-nilly as if saying the word "karma" will actually cause something bad to happen to person they're damning. With the number of people who claim to know karma out there, you'd think this was a Buddhist country (which would not be a bad thing).

I have a problem with the dumb people who think that pushing-pushing-pushing-pushing the button on an elevator will make it work faster. For instance, a guy steps up to an elevator and after seeing someone else push the "down" button, which is now lit up to show that it has been pushed, and he also pushes it. But he pushes it twice, as though the elevator, sensing the double-push, is now RUSHING RIGHT DOWN faster than it was before. FYI---elevators don't think, retard.
I have a problem with the idiotic segment of Philadelphia's population who have been leaving their gnawed-to-the-bone chicken wing bones all over the city streets. This phenomenon has been an issue all year, and it makes no sense. With trash cans located throughout Center City Philadelphia, why is it that the remnants of your chicken wing meal get scattered all over the city sidewalks? Use the trashcans, dirtbags.
And finally, I have a problem with myself, for being such a whiner.
Happy Festivus everyone!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Codes

You know that Hall and Oates are from Philadelphia. You know that Joan Jett is from Philly also. I’m sure you’ve heard of Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff…..also from Philly. And for those of you who remember The Hooters brief run at musical stardom, they too were from Philly. I’m now letting you know about the next big musical act that will be hitting the national music scene from Philadelphia: The Codes.

I’m biased a bit because I’ve worked with JJ (rhythm guitar) for over a year, and I know Ian (vocals, guitar) from my disc golf endeavors. But the band is really good. Their sound is a mix of rock and alternative, bringing to mind (to me) Buffalo Tom and early Wilco. They are great guys, and the band is really good.

I’m telling you all of this now because when they hit it big, I want all of you to know that I knew them before you did! Ha ha!

They formed in July of 2006, when JJ (drums at the time) and Ian (guitar) left another band they were part of in order to pursue a sound that they found to be more of their style than the band they were in. With Ian on guitar, and JJ moving to rhythm guitar, they recruited friend Jay to pick up the bass, and found Rennie to take over on the skins. Working diligently in the confines of Ian’s South Philly apartment, they began molding Ian’s guitar-based songs into a group sound, and were rapidly getting ready to start playing some live shows. But, they lacked a name. They put out a call to their friends to help them come up with a name for the band. I had my input: Dos Entendres; Flak Jacket; How To Talk Yankee; Pyroclastic Flow; Joe Mason Is Great. All were considered (except the last one!), as were other names thrown at them by other friends before they settled on their own choice, The Codes.

They’ve been getting some stage time lately around Philly, and also did a gig at the
Knitting Factory in New York, a location they’ll be visiting again on January 31, 2007. This past Tuesday, on December 19th, they played at The MRoom in Philadelphia as part of a 3-band show. Playing second of the three bands, they rocked the place. They were tight, and the crowd of about 60 people was totally into them. The set included Honor Plan, Cara, Forty-Foot Betty Joe, Nelson Rockefeller, Houseboat, and Push Button Nose, to name just a few of the tunes they rocked out that night.

Rumor is that there may be some studio time coming up soon for the band, so there's hope to be able to get them on a CD real soon. And, with stickers already available, and TShirts on the way, The Codes are set to release their musical genius on the world, and the world will be a better place for it.

If you’re in the Philly area, and have time to check them out, you can follow their show schedule on their website: If you happen to live in the New York City area, be sure to swing by their show at the Knitting Factory on January 31.

Trust me when I say: Dos Entendres….er……I mean, THE CODES are gonna be wicked huge!


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What’re Words For, Part 14

I have to admit that I’ve been impressed with how far you readers (readahs) have come along in these 14 weeks I’ve been teaching you how to talk Yankee. It’s nice to see you properly using the terms of endearment “chummy” and “de-ah”, and especially the progress you’ve made in using THE WORD….ayuh.

This week we continue our journey with a word that can be applied to any situation that seems dire or pathetic.

Word: Desperate (Adj.)
Definition: hopeless, or nearly so
“Did you see that woman Ethan had out last night?”
“Ayuh…some desperate! God made her as ugly as he could, then kicked her in the face.”

(Definition from: "How To Talk Yankee", by Gerald Lewis & Tim Sample, copyright 1979, 1986 by The Thorndike Press; copyright 1989 by the First North Country Press)

Applied another way, you could say that my Christmas shopping has turned desperate. With only 5 days to go before this holiday, I’m still picking up gifts, and I’m sure I will be right up through the 24th, ayuh. That’s some desperate, chummy.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Gonna Sly Now…….
Last night was the premiere of the new Rocky Balboa movie here in Philadelphia. With the latest in the 6-cycle movie franchise opening nationwide on Wednesday, Sylvester Stallone and the cast of the movie were in town for the city premiere. (Note: for some doofy reason, the movie had its actual premiere in LA last week...the movie takes place in Philly, and should've premiered in Philly.) The movie is supposed to be the final one of the Rocky movies, with Rocky coming out of retirement to fight a boxer that he ‘beat’ in a computerized match-up. Early word of the movie is that this is a fine addition to the Rocky line, which suffered greatly from the horrible Rocky IV and the sleep-inducing-feel-your-IQ-dropping Rocky V.

Philadelphia is not Hollywood, by any stretch of the imagination, but it has had its share of movie moments, and the Rocky movie and character are no doubt most closely associated with this city. I mean, c’mon, everybody knows the scene where he runs up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Even I’ve done that, while humming the theme from Rocky (Gonna Fly Nowwwwwww). Dorky? Maybe, but people still do it every day.

I remember when they were filming this new movie around the city last spring, seeing the lighting, sound and set trucks around City Hall one morning on my way to work was neat. Returning home that night, the trucks were packing back up, and all I could wonder is “what did they shoot here today?”

Like most people, I was burned out by the Rocky franchise when Rocky IV and V came out. Although, Rocky IV does hold a small spot in my heart for this reason: this movie came out while I was in the Navy in Virginia Beach back in 1985. I refused to see it in the theater because I figured it would be dumb. But, I spent Christmas of that year docked in Singapore, and wouldn’t you know it? Rocky IV was playing at the local movie theater. So, I saw it there, and though it was in English, the Mandarin subtitles were across the bottom of the screen! It was nice to have that small touch of America while serving the country overseas. I saw Rocky V on VHS some years after it was released. That movie can be summed up in one word: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

I am looking forward to Rocky VI….or as it’s really known, Rocky Balboa. I’m psyched that Sly has taken the character back to credibility, or so the critics are saying. Plus, it’s kind of cool (dorky?) to see movies that are shot in Philly because I love saying out loud during the movie, “HEY! I’ve been there!” or “I know where that place is!” Seeing the local landmarks brings movies just a little bit closer as a viewer, so when they’re shot in Philly, I like to watch them.

For instance, another movie shot in Philly last year and released this year was the movie Invincible, about Philadelphia Eagles walk-on football player Vince Papale. Papale was a local bartender and part-time teacher who won a spot on the Eagles after trying out for the team during an open-tryout. Dick Vermeil, then the coach, liked what he saw, and brought Papale onto the team, making him the oldest rookie in NFL history to make a team without the benefit of college experience, with the exception of kickers. This feel-good story was made into a movie and released this year, with Mark Wahlberg playing Papale. This story, like the original Rocky, was the story of an underdog who succeeded. And, like the original Rocky movie, Invincible was well done, and well received.

So, Rocky Balboa comes out Wednesday (tomorrow). I’ll catch it this weekend and let you know what I think. And a big congrats to Sly for bringing his career back with a respectable movie, and returning glory to the story of Rocky Balboa.

Of course, now that Stallone’s gotten himself back up on the chair of respectability in Hollywood, he’s going to kick that chair back out from under himself….he wants to bring back his Rambo character for one more go round. Ugh.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Bus Riderrrrrrrrr…..

I moved to Philadelphia in March of 1995, and in my nearly 12 years of living in this city, I have been a user of the public transportation system, affectionately known as SEPTA (SouthEastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority). I opted to get rid of my car when I moved here in a money-saving exercise, and relied on SEPTA to get me to where I needed to be. The public transit system reaches into nearly every corner of this city, and well-into the suburbs too, so it made sense (cents…? ha ha) to become a rider of the SEPTA system. SEPTA has many forms of transit, including busses, trains, subways, and trolleys. I have relied on busses and trains mostly, some subway, and pretty much no trolley needs.

Now with nearly 12 years of SEPTA-riding experience, I feel like an expert in pointing out how much this mode of transportation can suck.
Busses: In any other job, if you don’t show up for work, you would get fired. Not so with SEPTA. A bus-driver can completely not show up for their scheduled route, and apparently nothing happens. Despite having a printed schedule, there doesn’t seem to be a system within SEPTA to replace a bus driver who has either decided to not show up or call out sick. But it’s okay…another bus will be along in another 25-30 minutes. This is especially good to know when the outside temperature has yet to get up to freezing.

The people of Philadelphia who ride busses have no idea how to have a cell-phone conversation in a low volume. Nope. They YELL TO THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END. Apparently unaware that cell phones do in fact transfer your voice to the person on the receiving end of their call, they choose to scream to their phone mate. Of course, needing a cell phone at this point is moot as the person can hear your yelling anyway, and the cell phone is now just in the way.

It’s apparently easy to carry food onto the bus, but impossible to carry the trash off. Despite the clearly visible signs that say NO EATING ON THE BUS, the dumbest members of Philadelphia’s population do anyway. And then leave their trash on the bus. It’s with frequent regularity that I’m stepping over fast food wrappers and “Homeboy” chip bags to get to a seat…a seat that usually has some visible remnants of gum all over it. Nice.

Since there are no signs that say “Brown-bagging your alcohol is prohibited” or “Try Taking a Shower Today”, many bus riders use this opportunity to chug beers and reek. This is an especially nice welcome to visitors of the city who assume that taking public transportation will be good way to visit the city’s many locales.

Subways: And I’m not talking about the cruddy sandwich shops. Philadelphia’s subway system is fast, reliable, and atrocious. There is litter and graffiti everywhere. The residents of this city have no pride or respect, and it shows with all of the cocks and cusswords spray-painted on nearly all of the walls in nearly every subway station. But I guess this form of ignorant-art is meant to enhance the sterile orange and white motif that SEPTA has chosen for your visual pleasure.
And it's normal to have at least one mother screaming at her kid. Philadelphia is just one family fight after another, and the public transportation system is a great place to see this firsthand. C'mon's Family Fight Night on the Broad Street Line!

Trash is strewn liberally throughout the subway stations too. I mean, it just doesn’t make sense to keep the trash isolated to the busses, eh? Spread it around! And don’t, I repeat, don’t even think of throwing your garbage in the one of the many, well-placed trashcans located at each stop.

The subway’s crowning jewel, however, is its piss-infused aroma. Just walking down the steps to catch the subway is a nasal-nightmare of old piss emanating from….well, everywhere around you. **inhales deeply** There’s nothing the smell of urine to begin your city-travels.

The toll-booth workers are a breed apart. When they’re not sleeping (subway riders now take cell-phone pictures of sleeping attendants, and send them to SEPTA!!! Classic stuff!!), the toll-booth attendants are too busy reading their Vibe magazine or talking with the other toll-booth operator to quickly process your request for a subway token. They don’t care if the train is pulling into the station or not. Finding out when Chingy’s next single is being released or if Eminem has remarried his ex-wife (again) is far more important than taking care of the customer.

Trains: The biggest issue with the trains is their inability to stay even close to their printed schedule. During the morning and rush hours, the trains tend to run a few minutes behind schedule. Now, a few minutes isn’t so bad, I guess. But SEPTA’s problem is that they just don’t provide any information when the trains are running late. There were times when I used the trains that I would hear on my portable radio that there was a problem with the trains BEFORE it was even announced over the loudspeakers. C’mon people….you know the trains are late, just admit it, and announce it.

And like the busses and subways, trash is a problem, but not quite so much on the trains. It’s mostly the daily newspapers that litter the train.

My decision to give up my car when I moved to the city meant that public transportation would be my main method of transportation. I just never realized how many problems were associated with using it. And, I also never realized how ignorant some of the people of Philadelphia are when it comes to taking care of city property. It’s no wonder this city will never be considered a major city that people want to go to: there’s no pride here. And, it really smells of piss.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice ELF Agin)

Wanna send a fun holiday greeting to friends and family? Just have a picture of your face (less than 1mb, though) ready, and then click the link below and follow the directions. You can also record a message if you have the ability to do so. Otherwise, just do the picture part.

Very funny!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Vote for a Teacher
Hey all…

I’m lobbying for votes!

My friend in Allentown is a first-grade teacher. She was selected as a “Teacher of the Week” in WLEV Radio’s (local Allentown station) teacher recognition contest. Now she’s up for Teacher of the Quarter.

It’d be cool if you’d throw a vote her way! If she wins, her school (Parkway Manor) gets $1,000 towards supplies, etc.

Go to this link:

Vote for Miss MaryKate Brown (she’s at the bottom of the list)! She's an awesome teacher, and the first graders she teaches are much better students and people having been around her.

And on top of all that, she's a de-ah.
(I think she's really cool, too. **blush blush**)

Voting ends December 15th, and the winner will be announced on December 18th.

Thanks for your vote, chummy!
What're Words For, Part 13

With the end of December approaching, we will all be seeing all of our friends and family as we celebrate whatever holiday/festival it is that we may celebrate during this time of year. As we hang out with our chums and tip back a holiday drink, be it cider, eggnog, or alcohol, we celebrate our lives and those who have made it what it is.

This week's word is a term of endearment for any and all of your friends, family, and everyone else that you'll be spending your upcoming days with.

Word: De-ah (N.) (sp. "dear")
Definition: friend, chum
Don't be alarmed if you hear a couple of rough, tough clam diggers address each other as "De-ah". It's an old custom and indicates not a whit of effeminacy. The greeting crosses all lines of sex and age, and even total strangers may talk to each other thus -- provided they know how talk Yankee.

(Definition from: "How To Talk Yankee", by Gerald Lewis & Tim Sample, copyright 1979, 1986 by The Thorndike Press; copyright 1989 by the First North Country Press)

So, de-ahs, I hope your holiday plans are going swimmingly!

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What're Words For, Part 12

It's that time of year when we North Americans are devouring our turkey dinners, hanging our stockings by the fireplace, and just-a-waiting for ole Kris Kringle to leave us our goodies under the tree after he climbs down our chimbley!

"Ahem...excuse me, Joe...did you say "chimbley"?

"Yeah, why? Don't you have one on your house?"

This week's word:

Word: Chimbley (N.) spelling: chimney
Definition: What Santa comes down. Also the glass tube or globe of a kerosene lamp.

(Definition from: "How To Talk Yankee", by Gerald Lewis & Tim Sample, copyright 1979, 1986 by The Thorndike Press; copyright 1989 by the First North Country Press)

Happy Holidays everyone!

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Thanksgiving Day Soup Pic

So, in my November 22 post, I was telling you about hanging out in Allentown, PA with my friend Cupcake. I mentioned making the onion soup that was served IN the onions for the Turkey Day feast, and thought I'd show you how it turned out! Just got the pic emailed to me today from Cupcake's sister (I'll call her Brownie!) and wanted to share it with you.

Another thing Cupcake and I brought to the dinner was asparagus wrapped with prosciutto. Awesome, eh?

Your mouth is watering, ain't it??

Hope your holiday was as awesome as mine was.

Now, with the XMas holiday upcoming, I'm wondering how I can top these two items when I go to Cupcake's again, and have to bring something for the meal at Brownie's and her husband's house.

I also make a pretty awesome chicken soup, so I'm thinking that will be soup of choice. Unlike the onion soup, however, I don't serve the chicken soup in a hollowed-out chicken.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Voting Day IS NOT Over.....

Quick....jump over my chummy Sar's Belle of the Brawl site and vote for my caption to win her weekly caption contest.

Make your vote for the line: "Meanwhile, on the island of Dr Moreau...."

Admittedly, it may not have been one of my best lines ever, but you can help make it the best of the bunch this week.

And if that doesn't persuade you, then how about this....please please please please please....

But it's okay if you don't vote for me, I'll still like you....for the most part.

Have a great day, and don't spend it all barse-ackwards, ayuh.