Monday, August 28, 2006

The Discovery of Big Head Todd: How the Hoover Public Library Is Overloading My iPod

I never considered myself a Big Head Todd & the Monsters fan... I knew of the band, but didn't know any of their music. Heck, I don't know anyone that considers themselves fans of BHT&TM. But there I was, at the Hoover Public Library tonight, staring at the 1993 album "Sister Sweetly" by... Big Head Todd & the Monsters. So, I thought "Why not?" and picked it up.

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Think Hootie + Sister Hazel + The Nixons = Big Head Todd & the Monsters

I love my iPod... unless something just incredible happens, my iPod will be a shoo-in to be #1 on this year's list of the 100 Coolest Things of 2006 (like last year's list, only this year). And I've got tons of music on it, and always adding more... and always looking for new stuff that I might like. So, imagine my joy and happiness when I re-discovered the Hoover Public Library and all of its resources. I say "re-discover" because I'd been there only once before... well, actually, to the theater, when Hillary Kelly and I saw a play once on a date--yes, that Hillary Kelly. See, it was a... I mean, it happened... you know what? Never mind.

Anyway, I went in not too long ago, and I'm not even sure why... and found their section of CDs and their section of audiobooks... so I made sure my info on my library card was correct--which it wasn't. It was two addresses and three phone numbers ago, but no matter. I updated it, then surfed through the CDs and audiobooks. I checked out a stack of stuff, including Sean Hannity's "Deliver Us from Evil" and a 10,000 Maniacs cd (another band I didn't know I liked, outside of "These are Days" and the unplugged "Because the Night" cover).

So, I would load my rentals into my computer, then onto the iPod, and then once a week or two, I'd return my stuff back to the library, and check out a few more. I've managed to load audiobooks like Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation", this book for work I'm supposed to read but will end up listening to and, the one I can't wait to listen to soon, Ann Coulter's "How to Talk to a Liberal (if you must)".

I haven't returned Lisa Beamer's "Let's Roll" and Trisha Meili's "I Am the Central Park Jogger", because I'm loading them in the next few days. Yes, I agree with what you are thinking--"why not just read the book", and I say to that "I plan to. I just have this in case I don't get to it."

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Is it bad I think she's hot? Is it still too soon?

As for CDs, I've loaded in Jessica Andrews, Taylor Dayne, Sara Evans and Sting. Granted, I don't usually load the whole CD in, I usually just find the songs I like and grab them--sometimes, as with the case of Sting, I pretty much have all the songs already, but I'd much rather have a CD quality version than one I downloaded...

...which brings me to a point... yes, I download music. And I'm sure that some of it is not exactly on the up and up. And yes, you might be questioning me on the ethics of copying a CD that I don't actually own.. and to you, I say, I've heard your argument. When I stand before Him, if He says to me, "You know, David, you made Me proud, you did what I asked of you... except for one thing. The music downloading..." then you know, I can live with myself for eternity. So don't email me or comment to me to rebuke. I won't like it. =)

Just got back a few minutes ago, with said Monsters CD. I also picked up the Ocean's Eleven soundtrack, Dave Matthew's "Crash", Nirvana's "From the Muddy Banks of Wishkah" and Bonnie Raitt's "Nick of Time". Also managed to get Stephen Bishop's Greatest Hits, so I can get a better copy of "On and On" and the love theme from Tootsie, "It Might Be You". No, I'm not kidding.

And I'm not kidding either when I say I grabbed Gwen Stefani's "Love.Angel.Music.Baby" Hey, lay off--Gwen is awesome. She's everything Fergie wants to be, including good looking, but can't quite get there. Have you heard Fergie's new song, "London Bridge"? Its terrible! Holy cow... not even good bad like "Hollaback Girlz" or "My Humps"... I mean, its awful...

...speaking of Fergie, did you know she was in a band called Wild Orchid, before the Black Eyed Peas? Guess who actually has a Wild Orchid CD? Yep.

Oh, and I got the audiobook to Stephen King's "LT's Theory of Pets", and this time, I actually checked out a book.... Mike Greenberg's "Why My Wife Thinks I'm an Idiot: The Life and Times of a Sportscaster Dad". Read an excerpt not too long ago, and its really funny. So, this can be the third book I'm reading at one time, after this one and this one. I thought I was abnormal, but apparently, lots of people do this.

By the way, Big Head Todd & the Monsters? I like 'em. Apparently, they opened for Al Franken, so they obviously can't be too bright, but I know lots of stupid people that can play guitar.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Snakes on a Cotton Pickin' Plane!

I am about one hour removed from seeing what might have been the best movie I've seen all year... certainly it was the most fun. Probably the most fun I've ever had at a movie was "Scream" because I saw it in Troy with all of my good friends... but tonight, I had the honor of hanging out with Michael Nipp to watch... Snakes on a Plane.

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And you thought "Roadhouse" was craptastic good fun

Quick background about this movie... it was written about... well, a bunch of snakes on a plane, but was originally called "Venom", then changed to "Pacific Air Flight 121." The guy the studio was courting, Samuel L. Jackson, had issues with it. First of all, it was to be rated PG-13, and secondly, the title was awful. So he basically demanded that the movie push for an R rating to allow for more gore and the use of his favorite word, a four letter word often used in conjunction with a mom (of which I'll refer to here as "cotton pickin'", simply because I like that phrase, always have).

They added more gruesome snake related deaths and attacks, beefed up the scripts with lots of "cotton pickins" and then change the name to "Snakes on a Plane." Sam Jackson said yes imediately.

Samuel L. Jackson is one of those legendary actors that is just... well, cool. He's been in some awesome flicks (See Jurassic Park, Unbreakable, Pulp Fiction and The Incredibles), he's been in films that were pretty bad, but were so good (see The Negotiator, Star Wars Episode II, DieHard With a Vengeance and Deep Blue Sea), had random bit parts (do you remember him from Coming to America, Goodfellas or Out of Sight?) and of course, he's had his share of absolute crap... that being Loaded Weapon I, The Long Kiss Goodnight, The Man and Amos & Andrew, among others. Yet, he's still just cool. Somehow.

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Sammy Jackson holding a cotton pickin' snake

The movie was set to be a goofy, quiet little film, until the power of the internet took over. Fans started producing their own videos and trailers to it, most of which you can find on YouTube, and blogs were set up to talk about the film, the most notable being Snakes on a Blog. Instead of ignoring fan hype, the studio embraced it, even as far back and January of this year.

New Line Cinema partnered with to allow fans to produce SoaP shirts, and one of the more famous stories floating around now is how Chris Rohan of Maryland created a mock video of the movie, featuring a Samuel L. Jackson sound-alike, uttering the phrase "I'm tired of these cotton pickin' snakes on this cotton pickin' plane!" Fans went nuts over the possibility of hearing the great Sam Jackson say these words, so the studio reshot a scene just to add that line in.

As for the movie itself, the title pretty much sets up the plot... Sam Jackson plays Nevill Flynn, an FBI agent who is escorting Sean Jones (Nathan Phillips) from Hawaii to Los Angeles, so that Sean can testify against mob boss Eddie Kim (who Sean conveniently saw murder another man). Well, Eddie Kim can't have that, now can he? So he rigs a crate full of poisonous snakes to open while the jetliner is flying over the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

And the movie is a hoot... it starts well, and then when the snakes go crazy, we have a good solid twenty minutes of creative and fun death-by-snakes. There is a "mile high" scene with boobage (warning) but they pay for their transgressions courtesy of a fork-tongued judge, jury and executioner. If you are squimish about snakes, as my buddy Ryan Sherman is (wuss), then this isn't the best way for you to spend $9 and two hours... lots and lots and lots of snakes, all hissing and striking and biting and slithering and so on and so forth. There's a wound being cut open and venom seeping out, there's someone being squeezed to death, there's eyes being taken out, there is drool from a tongue that gets bit... family entertainment.

Watching Sam Jackson do his thing is a blast, too. From the moment he enters the movie, he just entertains... Michael and I were sitting there quietly uttering other movie phrases we've seen him do, stuff like "I killed the snake and I hope they burn in hell!" and "do you think this snake will fulfill the prophesy and bring balance to the force?" and "I wonder if he'll read the snakes Ezekial before he shoots?" (from A Time to Kill, Star Wars Episode II and Pulp Fiction, respectively)

The only time the movie drags is during the middle third, after the snakes have done their initial damage, it slowly becomes a typical "the odds are against us, we all could die, what are we going to do?!" kind of movie... it does keep its unpredicability in that some really likable characters get snipped, while others live on. Plus, it was nice to see Anchorman's Champ Kind do some stuff, as well as seeing Dick from High Fidelity working again. Heck, even Kenan gets involved, though there's no Kel to be seen.

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Sans Kel, Kenan gets a juicy role

You'll also see Julianna Margulies, who I must admit is looking pretty good for her 40ish age... though she had it in her contract that she wouldn't be near the snakes at any time (which, thinking back, I don't think she was...) so that's not fun. I know some of you might be thinking ER, and you're right, but most of you probably know her as Rica from Out for Justice, or Maureen from Ghost Ship.

Of course, when Samuel L. Jackson says the money line, "That's it! I've had it! I'm tired of all these cotton pickin' snakes on this cotton pickin' plane!" the whole theater went nuts, and truly, that line alone was worth the price of admission. If you decide to go see this movie, please have the mindset of "This is gonna be really crappy", and I think you won't be disappointed. Its as fun as you make it, truly.

My fear is that they'll take something fun and run it into the ground (see Ghostbusters, Police Academy) by making "Rats on a Plane" or "Snakes on a Speed Yacht" or "Rabid Beavers on a Louisiana Air Buggy"... but until then, I just say to you... Enjoy the crapfest goodness that is Snakes on a Plane.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The French Military History Lesson

So, I heard today that the cease fire between Israel and Lebenon, taking place soon, was being headed up by Kofi Annan, and that France was going to send troops to help keep peace in the regions. France. Yes, that France. After I stopped laughing so hard, I thought about it...

I don't know anyone of French descent, but I can't help making fun of them. Their leader, Jacques Chirac is a pud, plain and simple... not only did he condemn Israel for defending itself against attacks from Hezbollah, he consistantly condemns the US, and Dubya, for the war on terror, a war he is known to despise mostly because his oil contracts are in danger...

Someone came into Starbucks the other day and bought a pound of Frnehc Roast. I smiled and said "to truly enjoy the fullness of French Roast, you need to hold up your hands and surrender after every sip." He laughed.

The Official French Military Magazine
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With that, I decided to dig up a gem from the web, something I've loved glancing over for a while. So, without further delay, I give you The Official French Military History:

Gallic Wars - Lost. In a war whose ending foreshadows the next 2000 years of French history, France is conquered by of all things, an Italian.

Norse Invasions - Lost. King Charles the Simple buys peace with the Norsemen by giving them Normandy.

Moorish Invasions - Lost. Charlemagne scoots behind the Pyrennes.

Third Crusade - Philip Augustus gets mad at Richard the Lion Heart and goes home.

Seventh Crusade - Lost. St. Louis' crusade to Egypt resoundingly crushed.

Eighth Crusade - Lost. St. Louis goes to Tunis.

Hundred Years War - Mostly lost, saved at last by a female schizophrenic who inadvertently creates The First Rule of French Warfare, "France's armies are victorious only when not led by a Frenchmen."

Italian Wars - Lost. France becomes the first and only country ever to lose two wars when fighting Italians. Interestingly enough, I found a liberal site that refutes much of this, but this is what they had to say about the Italian Wars... “Dumb, dumb, dumb. Get your facts straight -- the French didn't lose the Italian Wars to the Italians, they lost to the Spanish (and, on a smaller scale, to the Swiss), with whom they were attempting to parcel out Italy. In the end (in 1559, sixty years after the wars' start in 1494), Spain controlled the country.”

Wars of Religion - France goes 0-5-4 against the Huguenots.

Thirty Years' War - France is technically not a participant, but manages to get invaded anyway. Claims a tie on the basis that eventually the other participants started ignoring her.

War of Devolution - Tied; Frenchmen take to wearing red flowerpots as chapeaux.

The Dutch War - Tied.

War of the Augsburg League/King William's War/French and Indian War - Lost, but claimed as a tie. Due to 3 ties in a row, deluded Frogophiles the world over label the period as the height of French Military Power.

War of the Spanish Succession - Lost. The War also gave the French their first taste of a Marlboro, which they have loved ever since.

American Revolution - In a move that will become quite familiar to future Americans, France claims a win even though the English colonists saw far more action. This is later known as "de Gaulle Syndrome", and leads to the
Second Rule of French Warfare: "France only wins when America does most of the fighting".

French Revolution - Won, primarily due to the fact that the opponent was also French. France introduces the world to the guillotine and the Terror.

Chirac's Real Reason for Being Against the War
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Quasi-War - Tied. France, angry that the US normalized relations with the British, seizes US ships in the Caribbean and decrees war on American shipping worldwide. France conveniently ignores that the US and France have a treaty of alliance that effectively makes the US a subject state of France. American envoys in Paris are told that they must pay a $250,000 bribe to the French Foreign Minister and a $10,000,000 "loan" to France before the French will even consider negotiations (XYZ Affair). US refuses to pay, builds up a navy which promptly seizes 80 French ships, and continues to sue for peace. Delighted British offer aid to the US against the French. Ends when Napoleon seizes power in Paris and abandons North America. Napoleon also agrees to abrogate the unequal treaty of alliance, making the US truly independent for the first time. Produces the First Rule of American Diplomacy: You'll regret making any alliance with the French. The US makes no other treaties of alliance for nearly 150 years.

Haitian Rebellion - Lost. Loss marks the first defeat of a European army by African slaves, and produces the First Rule of African Warfare: We can always beat the French.

The Napoleonic Wars - Lost. Temporary victories (remember the First Rule!) due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no match for a British footwear designer.

India - Lost, to the British.

Mexican Empire War - Lost. Napoleon III takes advantage of US Civil War to invade Mexico. Collapse of the Confederacy dashes plans to invade Louisiana. Saber-rattling by reunified US leads to hasty French withdrawal, leaving puppet Austrian "Emperor of Mexico" to face a Mexican firing squad.

The Franco-Prussian War - Lost. Germany first plays the role of drunk Frat boy to France's ugly girl home alone on a Saturday night.

Panama Jungles - Lost to vegetation and mosquitos

World War I - Tied and on the way to losing, France is saved by the United States. Thousands of French women find out what it's like not only to sleep with a winner, but one who doesn't call her "Fraulein." Sadly, widespread use of condoms by American forces forestalls any improvement in the French bloodline.

World War II (first act) - Lost to the Germans. Conquered French liberated, against their will, by the United States and Britain just as they finish learning the Horst Wessel Song.

World War II (second act) - Lost to the Italians. True, the Germans already had France on the ropes, but nevertheless France is the first and only country to ever lose three wars when fighting Italians!

World War II (third act) - Won, primarily due to the fact that the opponent was also French, which was its Jewish population. Vichy government consistently gives Germans more than the Germans ask when it comes to anti-Semitic policies.

World War II (fourth act) - Won, due to the fact that the opponent was a French woman. In what is perhaps the vilest act ever committed by any French government, the Vichy government guillotines Marie Latour for the having an abortion.

World War II (fifth act) - Lost, this time to the Americans in North Africa. Ostensibly independent collaborationist Vichy government immediately occupied by Hitler, putting to an end the myth of "unoccupied France." Vichy remains popular with the French people until it became clear that Germany was losing the war.

World War II (sixth act) - Reminiscent of the American Revolution, France claims a win even though the British and Americans did all the work (remember the Second Rule!) of liberating France, and the British, Americans, and especially the Russians did all the work of defeating Germany. France demands (and, amazingly, gets) a spot as one of the victorious Allies; and even more amazingly gets a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

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War in Indochina - Lost. French forces plead sickness, take to bed with Dien Bien Flu. The US, forgetting the First Rule of American Diplomacy, steps into the mess and spends the next 20 years getting out.

Algerian Rebellion - Lost. Loss marks the first defeat of a Western army by a Non-Turkish Muslim force since the Crusades, and produces the First Rule of Muslim Warfare -"We can always beat the French." This rule is identical to the First Rules of the Italians, Russians, Germans, English, Dutch, Spanish, Vietnamese, Africa, Haiti and Eskimos.

Ivory Coast Conflict - On the way to losing (remember the First Rule of African Warfare!).

War on Terrorism - France, keeping in mind its recent history, surrenders to Germans and Muslims just to be safe.

Today - The French government raises its terror alert level from run to hide. The only two higher levels in France are surrender and collaborate. The raise was precipitated by a recent fire which destroyed one of France's white flag factories, disabling their military

So sayeth Donald Rumsfeld: Going to war with the French is like going deer hunting with an accordion. You’re forced to leave behind a lot of noisy baggage.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Macchiato Rules of Engagement

Starbucks is a fun job. No, it really is... I mean, think about it... its flexible hours, good pay for a barista, much less an assistant manager, full benefits just for working part time, and you get to interact with lots and lots of people.

That being said, it can be taxing. I work on the Highway 280 store, close to Inverness, right in front of the Jason's Deli and the Fresh Market, where I'm the ASM, heir apparent to getting my own store one of these days.

This is a drive-thru store as well... for the longest time, Starbucks wasn't going to be a drive thru type place, but back some time ago, they gave in--and now the biggest money makers for the company are pretty much DTs. I started with Starbucks back in 2003, opening the store in Vestavia Hills, which was Alabama's first DT... and its first $1 million dollar store. Other stores have followed suit with that achievement, but we were the first.

If you've ever been to a drive thru anywhere, say, McDonald's, you know how much room there is for improvement... alot. I went to Wendy's the other day, bought my combo, and the lady was actually on her cell phone, talking away. She took my money, handed me my food, handed me my drink (which I had to wipe off because of the cola running down the side) and then shut the window, all while telling Kamisha she shouldn't take that from ReyRey, and she better not catch her man Shatheed doing that stuff.

Taco Bell is even worse--I waited in the DT line for over twenty minutes--not kidding--to order (I couldn't leave, because the one by my apartment has a closed lane... when you are in, you are in) because the guy forgot to turn his headset on. Forgot to turn the stupid thing on.

Starbucks as a whole, and myself as well, personally prides itself on bringing service to you at the counter, or in the drive thru, service that you won't find anywhere else... did we get your drink wrong? Its on us. You ordered a tall? Well, we made too much... here, you get a grande instead. Tried the vanilla bean and didn't like it? Tell me what else you'd like, and we'll make that for you instead, free of charge.

I think everyone in our store realizes that at one time or another, EVERYONE had a first time in Starbucks... mine was in Manhattan in 1998. I ordered a grande mocha... I had no idea what I was drinking. Not a clue.

However, there are 16 things I'd like to tell you in the drive thru, some things that will make your Starbucks experience much easier... pay attention... this will make your barista love you:

1) When ordering, there are two things you must identify first... size is the first thing. Size matters because the barista needs to grab the right cup. If you order a "cafe mocha with three equals, two pumps of mocha, two pumps of caramel, light whip, skim milk and can you make it half-caf?" but don't specify a size, the barista is standing there trying to remember everything, and wondering what cup to mark it on. And when you do say size, with an order like that, you'll have to say it all again.

2) If your drink is iced, you must say so. Don't order a venti vanilla latte, then get upset when they give you a hot drink. You didn't say "iced". And yes, people are drinking hot drinks even though its 113 degrees outside... you don't say "iced", chances are, you aren't going to be asked, and you aren't going to get what you want.

3) Starbucks can be pricey. We recognize that. Thats why we try so hard to make your drink just how you like it. If you are in the DT, don't get upset if we ask you a few times what you just said. We might repeat it back to you five times--don't be alarmed... if you are paying four bucks for a 16 ounce drink, we want to make sure its exactly what you want... we'd rather repeat it to you five times and give you what you want than make it wrong, and hae you bring it back.

4) Having said that, when you order a drink--especially when you have multiple drink orders-- don't spit it out like "yeah, I want a grandemochadecafwith1splendaandlightwhip and then I want a ventivanillalattewith..." We have to do two things with each drink: put it into the register and mark the cup. Take a breath, give the size first (is it iced??) then give your drink order in a calm and collected fashion. If you have another drink, wait two seconds and then start--don't be upset if your barista says, "Okay, hold on one second... you had a decaf grande 1 splenda light whip mocha, right? Alright, go ahead with the next drink."

5) If you a smoker, and like to hold your cigerette in your left hand so the smoke drifts through the open window, we hate you. Nothing personal, but we hate you and talk bad about you when you leave. Hold your cigerettes in your right hand when you get to the window. If you keep it in your right hand so smoke doesn't get in your car, then you know what? Put the darn thing out for two minutes while you are in our drive thru.

6) You are in our drive thru line. We enjoy you coming to visit, but no one forced your hand. So if you are on your cellphone, don't talk to us like its an inconvenience to give your order. We've actually had one customer in the DT on their cell phone sigh, "Hold on, the Starbucks guy wants my order..." That's why you are here. Now, sometimes emergencies happen... sometimes phone calls are just too important not to take, and we understand that. But you'll have a happy barista for life if you tell them at the window, "I apologize for being on the phone... I know its rude, but it couldn't be helped..." One lady said that to me once, I still remember it to this day.

7) Passengers, either tell your driver what you want and let them repeat it, or speak very loudly from the passenger seat. You know what? Don't even talk. Just let the driver do it.

8) If you hear us say "Welcome to Starbucks, we'll be with you in one moment", that does not mean you should go ahead with your order. It can be very hectic inside, and we want to give you our full attention, so let us get to the point where we can. If you don't hear us say "we'll be with you in a moment" because you're on your cell phone, then thats your fault.

9) Its okay to ask questions. Its okay to ask how many shots come in a grande latte (2), or do we put whipped cream on the regular coffee frappuccinos (no), but please don't sit there for five minutes at the speaker wondering. You could easily say "I'll come to the window" and we'll be happy to answer your questions... this will also let the line that will have built behind you move a little.

10) Quick lessons... a latte is espresso with lots of steamed milk and some foam. A cappuccino is espresso with half steamed milk, half foam. It becomes a vanilla latte when you add vanilla to a regular latte. It becomes a cafe mocha when you add chocolate to the latte. It becomes a hazelnut cappuccino when... that's right, you had hazelnut to a... you got it. Cappuccino. You'd be surprised the number of people who struggle with this.

11) Frappuccinos are easy too. We have three kind of frappuccinos... with coffee, and without coffee (also called a cream base) and the new juice blends. We can make your coffee frappuccino decaf, or light (less carbs & calories) and by itself its just a coffee frappuccino... but when you add chocolate it becomes a... mocha frappuccino. If you want to play at home, guess what you'll have if you add caramel or java chips to a coffee frappuccino....

12) Cream based frappuccinos are made with just that... a cream base. Yes, we make it with nonfat milk, but do not get the idea this is good for you... this is the base we use for strawberries & cream, double chocolate chip (the same as java chip, just not a coffee base), vanilla bean and others. If you are concerned about fat grams, either leave off the whipped cream, or try our triple filtered ice water.

13) I mention #9 thru #12 only because you have to know, we can do just about anything. We have over a dozen syrups, and we can add any of it to your latte, your cappuccino, your frappuccino or whatever. Want a raspberry cream frappuccino? Done. How about a cinnamon & toffee nut latte? Got it. Perhaps a sugar free hazelnut frappuccino light or how about a iced latte flavored with melon syrup and made with soy? Yep. If you don't see it on the menu (and you might not--our board is only so big) then just ask. If we can't do it, we'll tell you.

14) None of our coffee is flavored... not saying flavored coffee is bad, but its a cheaper bean that Starbucks does not buy. Typically, there are three brews in the morning--bold, mild and decaf. You want stronger coffee? Go bold. You want more caffeine? Go mild. If its the afternoon, many stores will not have mild brewed... just ask for it, but you'll have to wait about five minutes. Which means you should just come in the store, and not in the DT for five minutes.

15) Starbucks is not for everyone. And if you don't like it, that's fine. But don't make it a point to tell me how awful your Starbucks coffee is, how its burned and all, and then tell me how you like your Folgers flavor crystals. If you'd rather have Southern Home mac and chesse and never the Kraft, then that's all you baby.

16) And finally... remeber what you are doing. You are paying five bucks for a pimped out cup of coffee. If we make a mistake, if we put whipped cream on your drink when you asked us not too, or we didn't stir your macchiato when you wanted us to, don't get mad. Yes, you may have had a hard day, but you have to keep in mind ITS JUST COFFEE. We are not delivering babies, we are not performing neurosurgery, we are giving you a cup of coffee. If the drink is wrong, let us know... chances are you'll get a free drink out of it. The barista might have just been yelled at five minutes before you came in the DT... your smiling face, even after we make a mistake, might be the best thing to happen to us.

I hope this helps better your relationship with your local barista. Smile and talk to your barista, have fun at the DT because truly, 99% of them want to have fun with you. And if I know you--even if I don't--depending on the time or day, you might just get your coffee for free...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Ramble Time

If you are looking for the New York City Blog, you can start by clicking here.

For the rest of you, I guess its time I talk about something else, isn't it?

Have you ever had a song rolling around in your head, yet couldn't figure out what it was or who sang it? Yeah, me too.

So there's this one song that has been bothering me for about five years. No, really... five years. I've heard it before, but it never really hit me until one day my buddies Mikey and Shawnifer Sharpenious were visiting K-Mart, the one down on Hwy 31. Olde Time Pottery is there now, and this was actually when it was closing and liquidating all its crap. I heard the song on the overhead muzak system... I thought "Hmm... this is kind of a fun song. I wonder who sings it. I'll have to find this."

And years went by. Turned it to the classic rock station here in The Ham a few times, hoping they would play it, but no avail. When I worked at the radio station, I talked to the program director... see, the problem was, I didn't know any of the words. Not a single one. Even from two words, I've managed to find a song's info by googling, but all I had was the tune... and when I hummed it out for the program director at the station, he looked at me like I was a moron.

Then, a few months ago, I'm sitting at Jason's Deli, and it plays overhead. At my request, one of the employees spent ten minutes looking at their own muzak system, trying to find an artist or title. Nothing.

So, the other day, I'm at Starbucks. I'm in the drive thru, doing my thing, and faintly, I hear a familiar rhythm. I block everything else out, and listen closely... yes... maybe? Maybe? THAT'S IT!!!!! I practically run over little Courtney and race back to the cd player to figure out the song that has been haunting me for five years. And now,
I have my answer. Its almost anti-climactic, really.


Speaking of Mikey, I saw him tonight. He and Reverend Ty came over, went to Wings then came back to the apartment... and we watched this for about twenty minutes. And for a donation of only $110, you can watch it too on dvd! I wish I were making this up.

The Reverend left, and Mikey and I watched WWE: Raw... Its a male soap opera, its stupid, its hokey, its just plain bad acting... and its a guilty pleasure that I can't shake. The Nature Boy Ric Flair and Terry Funk might as well wrestle with walkers. Looks like they are washing clothes.

And John Cena is the man. So there.


Stephanie is in Minneapolis, MN, for the annual Creative Memories Showcase, which is like the big conference for nationwide consultants. I, being the loving husband and attempting to out-serve her (yeah, right... like I could do that) drove her and her cousin Karen, also a consultant, to Atlanta Sunday morning to the airport early, early. Left at like, 430am. Way too early.

Supposed to pick them both up at the airport early Wednesday morning, but luckily for me, I found a college friend of mine on MySpace, so I'm going to stay with her and her friends Tuesday night so I don't have to get up so early Wednesday. So, basically, in the last 19 days, I've been without my wife for 11 of them.

Speaking of MySpace, I think I'm addicted to it. You might remember I had a column about being caught in
MySpace's tractor beams, but it really is an addicting thing. I mentioned several pages I had found... well, I found even more! I mean, I've got like, 45 friends now, which rocks! I'm still waiting for Sheryl Crow & The Rock to approve my friend request, but I know its coming!

Here is a page for Tyler "the Sexy Beast" Campbell, while here's a page for Ben Caver (who performed at our last Deuce Christmas Party, just fyi), and here's the page for New York's Kid Sister.

Is anybody else just giddy about this movie? I mean, the sheer ridiculousness of the movie itself is going to have me there on opening night. (I'm still imagining Julianna Margulies yelling at her agent "I was in freakin' ER, and you got me THIS???" and the agent replies "Yeah, well, you didn't mind this when you needed rent money, did ya?")

I'm pumped.

I've always had a celebrity crush on Elisabeth Hasselbeck--you might know here from Survivor. Entertainment Weekly posted some thoughts on her conservative views she spouts on The View. The best part about it is, though, is not the revelation that she's against the morning after pill, or that she calls out a bad babysitter on national tv, but the comments that follow. No logical arguments opposing her views... just name calling and the like. Typical liberals. That's why I love you people... gives me something to laugh about.


Finally, here's another "Black Horse & the Cherry Tree" mention... have you seen KT Tunstall do this song live? It is just amazing... she does all the back up vocals and music herself. You can watch here on YouTube. don't see me.....