Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Did I scare ya?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Testing, Testing

I went down to the casino this morning to hand in my gambling license application, get fingerprinted and have my drug test.

Oh, they give a color-blindness test too. Never thought of it, but it makes sense since one needs to be able to differentiate chip colors.

Two things to report today.

First one is an observation: When I went in for the drug test, its like a little doctor's office inside the employee section of the casino. It seems everything is self-contained down there and so far I've found everything very efficient and everyone very, very friendly and welcoming. So as I'm sitting in the little waiting room to go in to pee, I'm seeing all these posters telling people how to avoid spreading colds and about proper hand washing techniques and avoidance of pink-eye, etc. That's all well and good, but then the waiting room is like 4 feet by 12 feet and could hold 10 people. Isn't proximity to others who are ill a prime contributor? I sat at the end.

The second thing is that I went into the bathroom with the nurse. It was a female nurse and of course its a urine sample that's tested. Beforehand, I wondered if they would have me put on a hospital gown so that they knew I didn't bring in some sort of piss apparatus or whatever, but nope. She went in with me but only into the bathroom's common area. I went in the stall alone and it was a good thing I had to pee pretty badly, because that would be a prime time to get some stage fright. I can imagine standing there for 15 minutes and not being able to go as the problem exacerbates itself.

Well, I went. No problems. Coulda surely filled more than a few cups so I didn't flush the toilet per the instructions on the wall when I had much more than was necessary. I'm such the rules follower.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Going for It

Well, I'm going to go for it. Dealer school. Its going to be a tough 3 months. Real tough. But the more I think it over, the more I want it.

What's especially encouraging is how many of my friends and family are so excited for me, even to the point of jealousy. Class starts two weeks from tonight. Wish me luck.

Woooo Hoooo!!!

Red Sox won the World Series!!

My Little One is excited as well, although I'm not sure she really knows why, just that I am excited. I tried to explain to her that the Sox have won just as many Championships in her 5 year lifetime as they have my her grandfather's 70 years but she was unimpressed.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fitting In

Frequently, like any parent, I wonder what my little girl will be as she grows up. Will she be successful? Will she be smart? Will she be beautiful? Will she be a good person? And, perhaps most importantly, will she be happy? In the end, that's all that really matter to me.

Of course, many five years olds want to grow up and be veterinarians, or doctors or even gymnastics teachers (her latest pronouncement) and I make no attempts to dissuade her from any of her dreams. Again, whatever she wants as long as she's happy, I'm good with it. Certainly, we expect and plan that she go to college but if it became obvious in the future, schooling wasn't for her, then so be it. We would make every effort to help her find what was right for her.

While on line for lunch today, there was the gothiest of goth girls in front of me. She was perhaps 16 or so and decked out all in black including full platform boots with zippers, fishnet stockings, scraggly skirt, tight shirt and leather jacket complete with big bulky buckles. Her hair was also jet black, probably dyed and she had black fingernails and very dark lipstick. She was neither unattractive nor pretty under all that and she was with a similarly garbed young man. She also sported numerous necklaces, bracelets, earrings and a nose stud.

For the most part I have no problem with any of it. I rather admire the sense of individuality and desire not to be one of the masses. As I eyed her I thought to myself I would be okay if my Little One went that route at some point in her teens while understanding that most teens tend to grow out of it and move into more conformity as they want to make their way in the world. As long as it doesn't involve tattoos or weird piercings she may regret later in life anything else can, and probably will, change at the drop of a hat.

But what I puzzled over a bit later was - perhaps these kids do it precisely because they don't fit in and its a built-in excuse for not fitting in. I don't know. I was always a fit-in kind of kid and I still am as an adult. I was never one for crazy, attention-grabbing moves or garb. I wonder if it was because of my nature or because I didn't need to? Did I not dress, shall we say exotically, because I did fit in or, again, was it not simply not in me? I do remember wanting all that my friends had in terms of the latest and coolest fashion, that's for sure.

Granted, no labeling of an individual applies to all. But I do wonder if some in life purposefully make themselves more different because they were already different to begin with. Plus, in doing so, it helps them create or keep bonds with others in similar circumstances. If they all battle life similarly and unified then there's a sense of comraderie in it; a sense of fitting in, if you will. Maybe in their efforts to not fit in, they actually do fit in. Only with peers more like themselves.

I guess, then, that all of us merely want to fit in; to be accepted; to be liked. And if being different is the best way for my Little One finds friends and acceptance, then I'm all for it. Just so long as she's happy.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dealer No Deal

With both my wife's and my car getting up there in mileage (both over $130k), the thought of a new car payment, or payments, has made me nauseous. Combine that with the fact that we aren't nearly saving as much for the Little One's college as we would like and extensive, yearly house improvements have worn out some raised-plastic letters and numbers, I'm feeling a money pinch lately. At the very least, I can foresee future struggles if one, or both, of our cars suddenly dies. Lastly, there is nothing I want my family to ever feel like they have to do without and if that means I have to work harder, or longer, than I'm up for the challenge.

In the past I would make extra money through bonuses, overtime or even weekend work for the partners at my work. But that has dried up considerably in the past few years.

So, after some soul-searching for what kind of part-time job I would be willing to do, I thought about a casino dealer. I simply cannot imagine myself being a stock-clerk for $10 an hour or being a server at the local T.G.I.F. Perhaps I feel I'm "too good" to work such jobs but I also don't think my free time is worth less than $18 an hour or so.

I could easily be a Blackjack dealer I think and I'd love to learn their other house games of cards or the spinning money wheel and the like. Since I have such a patron's interest in the games and I enjoy the excitement of the casino atmosphere, why not? Plus they pay between $18 and $25 per hour depending on tips. Lastly, one can work only weekends and/or holidays and the scheduling seems quite flexible to accommodate my current job.

Don't get me wrong, I make a good living. But I also like nice things and I hate feeling like money is tight. It definitely would be tight if we suddenly took on two more car payments. I suppose one would say "then just get a crappy car" but I love cars and I like driving a nice one. I guess I'm shallow that way, but at the same time I'm willing to work hard for what I want. Maybe my current car will go forever, too. That's be great! Then I'll try to sock money away until its needed. I'm mostly concerned about some extra stress for my wife and time away from her and my daughter.

Also, casino dealer is quite a marketable skill that would come in very handy if anything crazy ever happened with my job, which can be dependent on the economy. There's even rumor of a planned casino in Massachusetts only 25 minutes from my home. So, that's a future consideration as well.

Pursuant to all that, I applied at Foxwoods Casino. Gladly, I passed Phase I and Phase II of their employment process and they tendered me an employment agreement. Phase II was a rather lengthy math test which, from the sounds of one of my interviewers, I aced. Funny. There was slight trick question in it that I suspect many miss. Basically, the trick was a multiple choice word problem involving money such as $48.23 is two twenties, a five, three ones, two dimes and three pennies. Well, I spotted another one that equaled the $48.23 in the same question, but the money was laid out differently. Many, I suppose, move on to the next answer when it works. Perhaps its how they test your attention to detail and I'm glad I noticed.

Next, I have a drug test which won't present a problem unless Bud-Lite has crystal meth in it and I have to pass a background check. Again, not a problem. I've never had any issues with the law short of driving too fast on occasion.

Assuming that goes well, then there's dealer school. And that's the hard part. Mrs. Blogger and I need to sit down and decide if I should proceed. First, its over an hour from my house. Second, its Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30 to midnight for twelve weeks and there's no guarantee of passing, although I'm sure I will. The schooling will certainly put a strain on my family which would defeat the purpose of more income, no? But then, nothing good comes without hard work and sacrifice either. Plus I would have a few hours, from 5 to 7:15 every day, with my Little One. So I won't miss her too much.

After passing, I would be able to work weekend days, nights or overnights. That's pretty ideal as far as I'm concerned and knowing me, I would forego sleep to spend more time with my family. Sounded, too, like I could skew towards overnights as well, so as an insomniac I would still have quality family time.

I don't know. It sounds kind of scary and it sounds kind of exciting at the same time. I would make an excellent dealeras I like the whole thrill of gambling and gamblers and I'm good with math and I would make it a fun time which I'm sure would make me a desirable employee.

I haven't received all Mrs. Blogger's input just yet so I'm not sure whether I'll definitely proceed. We're a team and we'll make this decision as a partnership, but I think if she approves I'm going to go for it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

World Series

Yesterday, a Red Sox fan co-worker of mine and I were discussing tickets for the games. Apparently, some tickets for the World Series were being scalped as high as $7,200. I am a huge fan, but I would think that even if I had F-You money, I would never spend that much to see a ballgame that I could see on TV for free.

As the discussion progressed, I mentioned that I might spend as much as $300, though, if given the opportunity. Maybe it sounds crazy to some but to others its a pittance. Its certainly not a pittance to me, but its not a life-altering amount either and let's face it, World Series tickets are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Anyway, I got a phone call last night from my buddy Dave. He has tickets available to him for $200 each. Naturally, we're going!

I don't know where I'm sitting yet, but look for me on TV tonight. I'll be the guy wearing the Red Sox cap.


Edited thirty minutes later: Its unclear to me what happened but apparently they sold the tickets out from under my buddy for $400 each. Bummer :(

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Greatest Hits

There's been a few blogs I've read where I wanted to read more so I've actually gone back to the beginning and read every post. I don't think mine is one of them, but I was reading through my own to reminisce and to see if I missed any comments. I have not gotten too far but a couple of my posts did strike me as kind of funny or clever. So, for any of my newer readers, here is the Cliff's Notes version of my blog. Check these out. More to come later perhaps.


The Wait

Regal Burger

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sox Win!

My Red Sox won last night and are on their way to the World Series! I am so psyched about that especially since the NFL season, at least for this Jets fan, is essentially over.

My buddy and his friend went to the same place we were when the Sox won it all in 2004. Its a little hotel "sports bar" that has more televisions than patrons I think. I'm not terribly superstitious about much but those two were and Boston won. So why mess with a good thing?

His friend can be VERY negative in a doomsday sort of voice. I know the Red Sox have left their share of heartache on New England, but I guess I'm an eternal optimist. I'm always thinking "No, they can do it" or "Lets not worry, that error didn't score yet" while the friend, who's otherwise a terrific guy, is of the attitude "Oh, man, they're going to blow it" and "I can't believe he booted that ball. Here we go again". But they didn't blow it. Just as they didn't in '04.

On the myriad of televisions was Sunday Night Football and the Red Sox. Everyone was having a ball and we noticed a guy setting up a Karaoke Machine. We were all like, "They're kidding, right? Nobody is here to sing Evergreen tonight, are they?" Apparently, management thought better of it and the DJ sat at the bar until the last out of the game, which must have been around 11:40. The singing began as we were leaving. Perfect timing.

What I found even weirder than that, though, was Kevin Millar announcing the lineup and throwing out the first pitch. Kevin Millar was one of the main components, especially as a team rally-er, for Boston's win in 2004. But he's not with the team anymore! He went to the Baltimore Orioles via free agency and he still plays for Baltimore. Its strange that a current player from another team in the same division shows up to support his old team and his old teammates. He even referred to Boston as "us" and "them".

While I have no doubt that when Millar goes back to his team during spring training he will endeavor to do everything in his power to help them win. However, I think as a teammate I would have an issue with his support of "the Enemy".

But, Hell. It worked for "us". The World Series starts Wednesday. Go Sox!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dance Revolution

There are so many mornings when I wake up with a song in my head. I don't sleep with a radio on or anything like that so I am unclear where it comes from. The song du jour could be a contemporary hit like Nickelback's Rockstar - which has happened more than once - or something very extraneous like a Sinatra song.

Today it was The Hustle.

You know the song? The disco hit --

Doot doot doot doot doot doot doot doot doot dooot
Doot doot doot doot doot doot doot doot doot dooot
Do the Hustle!

I didn't actually count my doot's as there would be thousands of them. But I think you get the point.

So anyway, as I'm soaping up my incredibly muscular and tan body and lathering my thick and healthy locks of hair (nobody exaggerates online, right?) I have the stupid song in my head. Actually, it may have even been vocalized. But if one sings in the shower and nobody is there to hear it, is it really singing? Ah, philosophy. Its the words on a cereal box......

My out of sync wailing caused me to remember that I took dance lessons as a kid. It was an after school thing that was like $10 for 1 billion lessons or something. I think I was 11. We did line dancing and polka among others as well as the Hustle. I liked it and was not at all self-conscious about it.

But I don't care for it now.

Sure, I like a nice slow dance with my lady. Some romantic diddy that takes us back to a pleasant memory. I also like dances where the singer tells you what to do or when the dance is goofy by nature such as the Hookie Pookie or Electric Slide or whathaveyou. That way, I am supposed to look stupid. Which I'm sure I do. But I never partake without alcohol. Copious amounts of alcohol. Without alcohol, would any guy dance?

Yep, it definitely makes the gig.

I think one of my many other other dancing problems is that my taste in music is not conducive to good dancing. I don't have a kick-ass dance mix CD, nor should I! Plus, I don't' get all ga-ga over Kelly Clarkson's latest and don't even get me started on the Techno Crap I hear at the gym. Gack!!

Aside from that stuff, though, its very weird to be out there, shaking your money-maker, making sure your arms don't go above your head and then coming to a near standstill because of some 4 minute guitar solo a the end of a Danzig song.

In the planning stages of my wedding, the DJ asked what songs we wanted played. I am kind of Queer-Eye in that I had interest in the planning of the wedding just as I'm into home decor and what clothes to buy and helping Mrs. B choose outfits. Oh, and I have a tiny dog. Otherwise, its all man here! Don't you forget it.

Mrs. B is very eclectic in her music tastes and we like much of the same stuff, so we didn't have much difficulty selecting songs. I only had two "must plays" and one of which was You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC. Its been a constant favorite song in my life since my early teens and all my buddies and the Mrs. are into it too so we had to have it. Somehow it became our "clique" song so to speak. And, it screams lust love, doesn't it?

Naturally, it was one of the last songs played during that special day and the dance floor was pretty packed by the younger guests. I'm not positive, but over in the corner I may have seen my 82 year old Nana rocking out to it too. Powerful song, I tell ya.

Consequently, we were having a blast. Most on the floor were pretty tanked up from the four hours of open bar and we sort of had a circle dance thing going on which was mostly to make fun of each other I suppose. The song rocked along and we all went nuts dancing in our white guy overbites and air-guitar simulated ridiculousness.

The solo came up and my hysterical sister-in-law, in full bridesmaid navy blue dress and black hose goes into a pseudo Pete Townsend air guitar solo complete with the obligatory arched back, guitar hero, slide across the floor as she nailed every chord.

Of course, her hose at the knees basically exploded open and I think she was sore for a few days. But it was a pretty incredible dance move and she pulled it off under the most difficult of circumstances.

It was a great time. Many still talk of that move.

At least she can dance. I can't. And I had the billion lessons for $10.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ohh! Scary

There's a certain nip to the air this morning. Today dawned damp and breezy it would seem Autumn is upon us here in southern New England. Corn stalks and hay bales and painted guords and carved pumpkins are beginning their eclectic appearances in retail stores as well as formalizing the season at neighborhood homes.

Spooky novelty stores have opened and a certain adult-themed "boutique" is advertising sexy costumes on a billboard that I cannot miss on my morning commute. Nor do I try to. Of course, less than three weeks away is Halloween. And my kid wants to be a tree. Yeah, a tree. Go figure. Should be an easy costume to put together at least.

While seemingly not as abundant nowadays as in my youth, I am reminded of haunted houses. What was once available in nearly every town now has become somewhat of an amusement park venture or been transformed into considerably less spooky hay-rides or corn mazes.

There used to be a really good one in downtown Hartford that was set up in an old department store and although they collected a hefty entry fee, at least it was for some charitable cause. This one was good though. Really good. Patrons didn't mind waiting on line for 2 plus hours to visit this particular fright fest and I recall my then-girlfriend, now Mrs. B., my buddy and his long-gone girlfriend doing just that.

In line, long-gone girlfriend mentioned a fear of clowns. A common fear I suppose. I'm not so fond of them myself but its more dislike than terror. My ex-sister-in-law was a part-time clown for children in her younger days. Since she was a bit of a fun-loving antagonist and knew so many adults didn't like clowns, she made sure to annoyingly visit with a few at whatever party she was working if only to entertain herself. That I would hate. But I wouldn't feel scared.

Anyway, we progress into the haunted house and one particular exhibit had a haunted elevator ride. Inside were the four of us and perhaps four other patrons. After bumping around like the elevator was falling out of control it came to a "stop" and a panel opened up. Out came, you guessed it, the scariest, most disgusting clown I've ever seen. Everyone on the "ride" was totally startled. But, just to make things more fun, this clown sought out long-gone girlfriend and scared the bejesus out of her. She nearly melted as she slid down the corner walls of the box and screamed and cried hysterically. The rest of us were hysterical too. From laughter.

I don't know if anyone heard our outdoor conversations or if it was just dumb luck they got her. This poor girl was as terrified as anyone I've ever seen and took a long time to recover afterwards.

Funny to the rest of us but I guess I'm glad he didn't pick me.

What are you afraid of?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Busy, busy

Like many in blogworld lately, I've been quite busy so my commenting is down as well as my posts.

I took a few extra days off from work, so, naturally when I returned I had to kick it into high gear to catch up, put out fires and deal with all the new crap I normally handle. Luckily, however, I haven't had to call that company yet.

Anyway, over the weekend I began replacing my roof which included a complete tear down of the old one and installation of new shingles as well as two new skylights. Four days of hard labor basically running from 7am to 6pm. I had the help of my brother and nephew on Saturday for the tear down and my buddy helped over the weekend on both days. My father-in-law was at my side nearly the entire time all four days and I'm not sure I could have handled the skylights, at least without having leaks, without him. My living room looks wonderful with them as well. So brights and cheery. We love it! So, thanks boss!! You rock!!

Also, extremely helpful was Mrs. Blogger. I'm respectful of heights but not terribly afraid of them. Mrs. B is to the point that she's shaking nervously at the 5th step of a 6 foot ladder. Yet, she got her cute butt up the ladder, on the scaffold and eventually up on the roof. Day one had her wide-eyed and nervous but by day four, she was walking around the roof like an old pro even cutting and nailing in shingles along the edges. Plus, when she wasn't working her fingers raw, she was keeping the crew fed and hydrated since over the weekend it was in the mid-eighties. Temps that high are very unusual around these parts in October.

Good job Honey! We're all proud of you.

This coming weekend we should be able to wrap up the rest of the project. The front of my house, which is nearly complete and included the skylight installation, is about two-thirds of the job and its mostly done. I/we merely need to install the ridge vent and strip and shingle the backside. The fall, though, is a lot higher back there at two stories. In that event Mrs. B. may choose to be ground control as in cleanup, chef and supply clerk. But we'll see.

Friday, October 5, 2007


I had an issue that had to be corrected relating to a payment my company made on behalf of another. Its complicated but it doesn't matter.

The company I had to deal with, the receiving company, likes to treat all call to 10-15 minutes of the same "hold" music before one is actually able to speak with someone in customer non-service. I mean, the music is the same song every time. And I call the company 2, 3 even 4 times per week, sometimes more. Believe me when I say I know the tune. But that doesn't matter either.

One particular women with a "fuck you" attitude who is no doubt pissed off that her Harvard Law degree hasn't panned out to more than this $7.37 and hour job, seems oblivious to the fact that without people calling the company, she isn't really needed. I mean, really. If you're job is to answer phones and sort of deal with issues on people that call, shouldn't you be happy when they call? Without calls you're without a job. Although it sets the tone here, even that doesn't matter.

Furthermore, all of the drones in sector 7 that answer the phone at this particular company have a habit of putting you on hold (again with the muzak) for every single little thing. Its almost as if when you call, there isn't a computer in front of them and they have to look something up in the server room. Something like "I'm calling on invoice number 201456 and......." then they say, "Please hold" but before you can continue, its the music. Then they come back and you continue with "Payment of $1,246 was incorrectly referenced to......" "Please hold". Argh!!! Very frustrating. I don't get why they do it.

This particular call necessitated me going into some complicated detail to explain what happened but before I could finish a sentence I got a, "please hold". This happened twice after which she came back 60 seconds later so that I could again try to explain it to her. I imagine during these hold times, she looks over at her coworkers and giggles, "I'm going to win the bet. I'm sure I can get this guy on hold 5 times."

So, as I'm explaining for the third friggin' time she says "hold on". A coworker of mine was right near my office as I exclaimed, "Jesus! Why do I have to go on hold every three words with this goddamn company. Every fucking time!" As the words were still forming somewhere near my uvula, it dawned somewhere in the back of my dark brain there was no muzak.


Of course, Mrs. Cheary Customer You Can Bit Me overheard my diatribe. "I DIDN'T PUT YOU ON HOLD!"

I responded, "Well. This time you didn't! If you would only let someone finish their sentence before putting them on hold maybe callers wouldn't always be so frustrated."

The amazing part was that this totally unaccommodating and gristly and abrasive lady's personality got worse! I didn't think it could, but it did.

Long story short: I had to speak with her supervisor. We weren't going anywhere at that point. Then I faxed over the appropriate documentation and hopefully the issue is resolved.

I'm really not that embarrassed at my outbreak. I think it needed to be said if I was thinking it. Its very frustrating to deal with them and perhaps she, the least friendly of them all there, needed to hear the venting.

The problem as I see it, is that I deal with them multiple times per week and there are only 5 or 6 different voices on the other end. Hopefully, it will be a while before I get her again.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

World of Idiots

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I went to Cape Cod again last weekend for a birthday party. Got up there late on Friday but Pizzeria Uno sat us at 11:20 for dinner. Good thing. We were starving!!


My Red Sox finished with the best record in baseball. Playoffs start tomorrow night and I'm nervous. There is no better nervousness than when your favorite team is going for the championship. That's what makes sports so great. Unfortuantely, it usually ends in heartache.


My New York Jets season, I'm afraid, is over. They lost to the Buffalo Bills last weekend and never should have. Now they are 1-3 and going nowhere. Sigh!


I listen to the radio through much of my day at work. I think they have only five commercials though. If I hear the one where the little girl announces she will be an alcoholic in 5 years because her parents don't give a shit, its going to drive ME to drink.


This weekend I start a major home improvement project. I will be tearing down and replacing my very weary roof and installing two skylights since I have cathedral ceilings in my living room. Today I purchased most of the materials and the total amount actually came in lower than I expected. Here's to hoping all goes well and that my tennis elbow holds up.


I'm totally Jonesing for a new car as mine is now up near 132,000 miles. Its been a great car and it still runs well, so I can't justify a car payment at this point but it doesn't stop me from looking. Perhaps a new, loaded to the gills Honda Civic SI.


When I returned from Maine the other weekend I was troubled to find a garden hose had burst in my backyard. It totally flooded my patio and a tiny bit even got in my basement (flashback to March '07). I NEVER leave a hose on with the sprayer stopped but I guess I did this once. I think it ran all weekend. Sigh! That water bill, especially after filling the pool too, should be a treat to pay.


I'm very slowly reading a rather lengthy and detailed biography on Joe Namath. He was the quarterback for the Jets in the late sixties. Its really quite fascinating and I'm learning so much.


I watched the beginning of the Bionic Woman last week but I fell asleep half way through. I think I lost interest when the producers decided not to use the "na-na-na-naaaaaa" as her bionics activate. Plus, I can't figure out why she's so pissed she's bionic. I would be psyched!!! I just received the first season of Heros on DVD. Looking forward to that.


My mom was doing awesomely when I visited her the other weekend. I'm cherishing the lovely weekend and hope she stays well as long as possible.


I have NOT seen any cars on fire in 10 days now. That's good right?