:: This Goes Without Saying...Boston, MA ::


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[::.. cast of characters ..::]


AL(al) n.
Narrator of highest note.

LORI(lohr-ee) n.
The girlfriend. Slightly bratty. Arachnophobe.

CHARLIE(chahr-lee) n.
A dieffenbachia plant spawn from the great Mother Charlie in Woods Hole, MA.



[::.. archive ..::]




:: Saturday, August 21, 2004 ::


I went to the Lowell Spinners (Single-A Red Sox affiliate) game last night with my friends Rob and Kim. Needless to say we had a couple of beers. Sometime last evening, I’m not sure exactly when, I forgot the fact that Fridays are a “School Night” for me due to my Tuesday-Saturday work week. Sometimes I just get caught up in the whole spirit of the traditional Friday night festivities and forget some things. But I still made it to work on time this morning, so all is forgiven. Well, maybe not all, the crushing pain between my ears tells me that my head appears to be the lone dissenter on that Forgiveness ruling.

I came up with a plan to beat my hangover at its own game. It seems like it worked, I feel much better now. It’s a simple strategy, really, you can describe it in 3 words: Divide and Conquer, or if it’s Latin you fancy, Divide et Impera.

At sunrise I awoke to find that during the night my hangover had concentrated its devastating firepower in an offensive on my head, pounding away on my temples and in the area around my eyeballs. My first reaction was to immediately send 2 divisions of Ibuprofen infantry straight into battle, reinforced on the left flank by a division of dismounted Coffee cavalry, and supported in the rear by a Tums artillery unit. For the first couple of hours the situation remained deadlocked with fierce fighting reported from all areas of the cranial battlefield. This was no good, I knew I could not win a war of attrition. If I was going to make it through the day I needed a plan to break out of this stalemate, get my troops on the offensive, and crush this hangover once and for all.

A Grilled Stuffed Burrito from Taco Bell answered my call for help.

It was perfect; it was exactly what was needed.

By eating this thing I opened up a second battlefront in my stomach. This weakened my hangover’s overall strength by making it divert some of its power away from my head and sending it to fight the new war in my digestive system.

The results of this new hangover weapon were immediate. With the rumbling in my stomach growing, the pain in my head subsided. I found a new energy to fight on through the rest of the day, and eventually became headache-free. I actually even got some work done.


:: posted by Al on 8/21/2004 04:57:00 PM ::


:: Friday, August 20, 2004 ::


Word has leaked that the Red Sox actually contemplated trying to bring Roger Clemens back to Boston after he was put on waivers by the Houston Astros.

Roger Clemens: "It's not a big deal. It's not going to happen anyway. They just did it to block me from going to the Yankees."

There may be some truth to that statement.

I think that Roger is one of the best pitchers to ever play the game, but that doesn't mean I have to like him as a person.


:: posted by Al on 8/20/2004 10:29:00 AM ::


:: Thursday, August 19, 2004 ::


Last Saturday night the legendary Martini Club had a reunion in Boston. We all agreed it was time to relive some of the good times we had and find out what each other is up to these days. About 10 of us regulars from back in the day got together for the first time in 3 years at the traditional Martini Club bar near Newbury Street. At the end of the night the event ended the same old way, my ex-boss picked up the entire tab. To those of you who do not know of the fabled Martini Club, let me explain:

I used to work for one of those dot.com startup companies that popped up everywhere in the mid-90s. Back then the Boston area was chock-full of young, persuasive, Internet prophets who spoke of vast riches just waiting to be scooped out of this limitless new cyber-market.

The startup I worked for employed about 40 people and had lots of $$ to spend because of the willingness of our investors to throw good money after bad into a business sector they clearly had not researched properly. It really was a fun place to work. You need a new desk, new computer, new servers? No problem. Don’t stay at that crappy motel when you visit our client, rent a convertible and stay at that new place downtown. Stay an extra day and relax. Just give the accountant the bill when you get back. Well anyway, since we didn’t have to worry that much about the monthly cash inflow, some of our spending practices (as you might have guessed) may have fallen a wee bit outside the realm of traditional business expenditures. Especially in the "Morale Improvement" category. This is how the legendary “Martini Club” came into existence.

The way I remember it, the Martini Club started off as a reward for my IS group after a particularly tough Friday spent going above and beyond the call of duty. It just so happened there was a sort of upscale (but not really) dimly-lit bar right across the street from our office (that served $9 martinis), so around 9pm or so that night our boss suggested we all head over there for a drink or two to wind down. Sounded good to us. My boss drank martinis at the time and for some reason we all followed his lead. Of course 1 or 2 turned into 4 or 5 and at 1am it came time to pay the $300+ tab. All of us started fumbling for cash and trying to do bar math in our heads. Our boss surprised us by pulling out the Amex and proclaiming that he was going to pick it up. Nobody questioned him, sounded good to us. Later I found out that certain funds ("rebates and refunds" (kickbacks)) from certain business sources (vendors we spent big $$ with) had been quietly set aside for certain events (company "outings"). Well, the existence of this slush fund was certainly good news to our ears. The Martini Club was born.

Martini Club meetings first started as maybe a once every 2 months or so under-the-radar event, but at its high-point became a guaranteed twice a month happening. What had started as a small, private group having a drink after work turned into large, company-acknowledged gatherings that included almost the entire staff and many people who didn’t even work for my employers (mostly my friends and then their friends as well), all drinking and eating for free all night long. My boss wouldn’t bat an eye at laying down the Amex for a $1500 tab for a bar full of people, most of whom he didn’t know.

All kinds of people would come out of the woodwork when word spread of an impending Martini Club meeting. All of this made me a very popular person. Until the company went out of business in 2001, that is. Then I was relegated back to my natural place in society. Such is life.

It was good to see everyone last weekend, we are all scattered across the country doing our own things. We all came to the conclusion that we will probably never again work at a company that was so much fun. I think we’ll have another Martini Club meeting in the future. 3 years was too long an interval.


:: posted by Al on 8/19/2004 12:09:00 PM ::


:: Saturday, August 14, 2004 ::


Even as the cleanup from my namesake continues, I would like to let it be known that I, personally, do not harbor any grudge against the state of Florida.


:: posted by Charlie the Plant on 8/14/2004 02:02:00 PM ::


:: Friday, August 13, 2004 ::


I’ve got a solution to the debate over the proposed Nantucket Sound Wind Farm: Hook up a generator to the oft windmilling left arm of Red Sox third base coach Dale Sveum (pronounced SWAIM).

With the frequency that this guy has been signaling Red Sox base runners rounding third to head for home (and eventual dead-duckness at the plate, statistically speaking) we should be able to produce enough power to settle this issue once and for all.

I mean come on, 6 runners out at the plate in the last 10 games?? 2 yesterday in one inning!

Since the aforementioned Red Sox game was at 1pm yesterday, the local TV station that usually shows the games at night for some odd, unknown reason chose to broadcast a live Toronto-Montreal Canadian Football League game instead. Needless to say, my channel surfing habits demanded that I not stay on that channel for very long (especially since I heard that Celebrity Boxing was going to be on FOX). But later on I did find myself flipping past the CFL game once more, and this time something interesting caught my eye. The score said that Montreal was beating Toronto 1-0 in the first quarter. 1-0? How can you score 1 point in a football game?

From the CFL web page:
1 point for a Rouge. (single)
If the ball is kicked into the goal area by an opponent, a rouge is scored when: (1) the ball becomes dead in possession of a team in its own goal area or (2) when the ball touches or crosses the deadline, or a side-line-in-goal, and touches the ground, a player, or some object beyond these lines.

What?! So somebody tell me what the difference is between a rouge and a safety, because the CFL rules say that, like the NFL, a safety is worth 2 points. On second thought, don’t bother. Who really cares.

I learned last night that Darva Conger (of millionaire-marrying fame) can beat up someone that looks like my grandmother, Screech can beat up Horshack, ex-NFLer William “The Refrigerator” Perry is now too fat to even punch ex-NBAer Manute Bol, and that Joanie Laurer (ex-WWF star Chyna) fully expected Joey Buttafuoco to throw fake, WWF-style punches instead of the pounding rights he was landing on her early and often.



:: posted by Al on 8/13/2004 10:39:00 AM ::


:: Wednesday, August 11, 2004 ::


I forgot to mention that we partied with a real-life genuine rockstar last weekend. And you know what? We sent that rockstar off to bed on Saturday night because he was getting sleepy.

I guess they don't make rockstars like they used to.

Nice guy though.

Maybe he'll write a song about us. Probably not.


:: posted by Al on 8/11/2004 02:38:00 PM ::


:: Tuesday, August 10, 2004 ::


My friend Tom ran the Falmouth Road Race this last weekend.

It's a 7-mile race along the ocean and the Kenyans who win it every year finish it in about 31 minutes and change. Those guys sure are built for running. When you see them go by they look like they're floating, they've got this effortless stride that just carries them right along. My friend Tom, on the other hand, like most of us, was probably not designed for running. But hey, he finished it in a respectable non-Kenyan time and seemed no worse for wear later that night at the bar or the day after at the beach. I remember running that race in the past and not being able to walk up and down stairs the next day due to the soreness of my legs.

I can't get "Mississippi Queen" by Mountain out of my head this morning.

"Mississippi Queen...you know what I mean"



:: posted by Al on 8/10/2004 09:08:00 AM ::


:: Friday, August 06, 2004 ::


Whoa!

I just heard that the legendary Super-freak himself, Rick James, has died of natural causes in L.A.!


:: posted by Al on 8/06/2004 04:09:00 PM ::


:: Thursday, August 05, 2004 ::


Attention! Boston Red Sox fans! Nomar is gone. He has been traded to the Cubs. This means he does not play shortstop for the Red Sox anymore. It is time to let it go; time to move on.

I am sick of hearing about Nomar. Yes, he was loved by many in this town, and I won’t deny he had some great moments here in Boston, but the fact is that he twice turned down a 4-year/$60 million contract offer from the Sox. That’s $15 million a year. That's a pretty decent salary. Nomar's refusals left management with no choice. He had to go.

I am finding the minutia of my job very frustrating on this crappy, rainy, day. It seems as if time is standing still, I’ve only been here an hour and I’d swear that I’ve been sitting here for 17 hours already. This does not bode well for the remaining hours I will be required to perform my duties as listed in my job description.

Someone just handed me a page that came off the laser printer in the room next to me, and that made me laugh. The woman gave me a look like I was insane. There’s something obviously wrong with the printer because this page is all shredded and has a large ink streak running the full length of the page. But that’s not the funny part. The funny part was that she walked in, handed me the page and said "Al, what can you make out of this?" I took the paper and, in my best wise-ass, Johnny-from-the-movie-Airplane impression, replied "This? Why I could make a hat, or a brooch, or a pterodactyl. . ."

In my opinion, any opportunity you get in life to use top-quality quotes from Airplane should never be passed up.

The woman left the room without saying anything after my impromptu actors workshop. What a crab.


:: posted by Al on 8/05/2004 09:01:00 AM ::


:: Tuesday, August 03, 2004 ::


So after a protracted vacation, I am back in Boston. A lot has happened since I last posted on my blog.

First and foremost, Lori's sister Krissy gave birth to her daughter Maggie last weekend. Congratulations to the new family. Here's a tip: Bring earplugs next time you find yourself hanging out in a Maternity Ward waiting room. Hearing people you care about yell and scream in pain is not a fun way to spend a Sunday night.

Also while I was gone, the Red Sox finally shipped Nomar Gar-See-Ya-Later out of town for a couple of defensive infielders. I guess Sox GM Theo Epstein got what he could out of the deal, Nomar had kind of painted the team into a corner with his sucky attitude. Here's a tip for you Cubs fans: Don't believe the hype, Nomar's over-rated, make him the DH. Oh, that's right, you guys don't use the DH. Well you'd better buy your first baseman a 10-foot long pole with a net on the end to catch some of his throws. When he's not hurt, that is.

And finally, the Democrats have left the building. The long feared DNC is over! All in all it was not as bad as first projected. Mayor Menino and company scared the bejeezus out of so many of us with their threats of security lockdowns and unheralded traffic jams that a whole bunch of us just skipped town all together. Good for traffic, but bad for local businesses. And judging by the lack of a bump in Kerry's post-convention polling numbers, bad for the Democrats as well.

I myself spent the week sleeping late, taking bike rides by the ocean, getting sunburned on the beach, attending no less than 3 Cape League baseball games and 1 day of Patriots Training Camp, grilling kielbasa and scallops, and reading 2 books cover to cover.

But now I'm at work and the world I left on-hold in July has come crashing back down on my head.

(Big sigh)


:: posted by Al on 8/03/2004 10:51:00 AM ::

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