Saturday, January 15, 2011

yeah, I used to be in a band

I've had a few people recently inquire about some former band-related nonsense.

Yeah, I used to gig back in the day and even embarked on a two-city European tour (consisting of a bar we frequented in Florence and a restaurant in the next city over that belonged to a regular at the bar we played at. You follow?) 

I just re-found out some of my old tunes still exist on myspace (along with an abundance of child molesters trying to friend me. Thanks, but no thanks). Anyway, if you're bored, take a listen.

I still write, sing, and play some piano, guitar, and mandolin and am available to play exclusive private parties.  Expect to pay upwards of $10k an hour.
This post also gets me thinking about what should be on my backstage rider.
More on that to come...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why Global Warming Really IS Our Fault And How You Can Stop It

Disclaimer: Despite numerous claims by the author of this blog, none of the information contained below is or should be taken as fact.  There is no actual evidence to back up this ludicrous theory.  I pretty much made up the whole thing while I was shoveling a 18 inches of snow off my driveway. In fact, I'm pretty sure following my advice on solving global warming will actually make it worse.

In order to establish the cause behind global warming, one must begin by looking at the science behind it.  Some researchers argue it has everything to do with the Ozone, others say it's the CO2 levels in the atmosphere, and others (mainly meteorologists) point toward tens of thousands of years of climate change, both warming and cooling, and argue these cycles occur naturally and regularly.

I have a new theory on the science behind global warming: Murphy's Law is behind it.  No one can argue the existence of Murphy's Law.  Everyone in the universe at some point has experienced an "anything that can go wrong, will go wrong" type of situation.

The phrase ("anything that can go wrong, will go wrong") was coined in adverse reaction to something Murphy said when his devices failed to perform and was eventually cast into its present form prior to a press conference some months later — the first ever (of many) conferences given by Dr. John Stapp, a U.S. Air Force colonel and Flight Surgeon in the 1950s. These conflicts (a long running interpersonal feud) were unreported until (Author of "A History of Murphy's Law, Nick T) Spark researched the matter.

I lifted this last paragraph from Wikipedia, a modern internet encyclopedia, so it has to be true. You may have noted, the last line of the paragraph refers to Murphy's Law being "researched."  If something is researched, it has to be science, right?

So, now that it has been established that Murphy's Law is in fact accurate science, here is a look at how it is partially responsible for global warming.

This winter is my first as a suburban homeowner.  As a rookie, I made two glaring mistakes that I blame for all of this recent snowfall. I mean, when is the last time two blizzards hit Massachusetts in less than a month?
First, I asked for and received a pair of ice skates for Christmas.  I hadn't skated in about 7 years and was anxious to get back into it.  This purchase could have gone one of two ways; warm winter or lots of snow.  Either way, there's no way Murphy is going to let things go right on that purchase.

The deciding factor, which was actually a precursor to the skate purchase, turned out to be my decision NOT to purchase a snowblower.  My neighbor's elderly sister was getting rid of hers and offered it to me at a steep discount.  I declined.  Instead, I was saving my money for a pair of ice skates.  Those two decisions obviously directly lead to massive amounts of snowfall and the probability that I won't see my grass until early July.

The same science applies to global warming.  After an unbearably hot early summer, I finally got my hands on an air conditioner.  But some people continue to hold out. If those people decide not to purchase one this spring, thinking they can survive the summer without any air conditioning, Murphy will be there to impose his law.  Thus, the trend of global warming will continue. This will just reinforce the beliefs of scientists who blame mankind for global warming.  If you buy the A/C (and save up enough additional money to cover the extra expense an A/C puts on your electric bill), expect a cool summer.

I realize there's a foot-and-a-half of snow on the ground and most stores are closed today, but please, for the sake of stopping global warming, go out and purchase an air conditioner. Do it now before it's too late. And while you're out, if you want to swing by and help shovel my driveway, I'd appreciate the help.  Thanks.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reflections of Tragedy

Warning: As the title describes, this is not a happy post.  

This month my cousin unexpectedly lost her husband. He was young. She has two young kids that she'll have to raise without him - a tragedy.

When tragedies hit close enough to home, they stir all kinds of thoughts and emotions.  I believe in God, heaven, and that things happen for a reason. Maybe it makes me weak, but I still can't help feeling overwhelming heartbreak for a young widow and her two children.  Death doesn't scare me or upset me nearly as much as being on the other side of it does.

The answer, I doubt I'll know in this lifetime.  The question is "why?"

Inspired by anyone who has ever struggled with being left behind, this is my reflection:

The perfect life, we had it all.
A perfect future was in store.
But now I'm trying to make sense of what this all is for.

We had so many hopes and dreams,
To watch it all just be wiped clean,
I can't go on, the way it seems.
My world is crashing down on me.

I know you're somewhere better now.
I've so much left to figure out.
I'm sure you're shining down on me,
but it's just not the same.

If I could hold you just once more...
Instead I'm lying here on the floor.
Every day feels like a war
that I might lose without you.

I'm counting days like counting sheep.
My heart and soul have gone to sleep.
And selfish as it all may seem,
well, you were everything to me.

The perfect life I used to dream
has left with you and just left me.
Now I'm left to make believe
there's someone left for me to be.

Afraid of what might be in store
A sad reminder it's no more
Just the pieces left of me
There's nothing left for them to see.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Let it not snow

Top reasons I don't want snow this winter:

- Shoveling.  First winter I've had a driveway that I'm actually responsible for.

- The snow boots I bought two years ago hurt my feet.

-I'm getting ice skates for Christmas (surprise!). There are several ponds in my neighborhood that look like they might freeze over. Snow would ruin that.  Size - Juniors 5 1/2.  Realized next year I can join an over 30 league.  Watch out old guys, here I come.

-I continue to procrastinate my purchasing of an automobile.  It's one thing to ride your bike in the cold...
Speaking of which, two weekends ago, to avoid a car/train schedule conflict, I biked from my home in Walpole to my job on Soldier's Field Road in Boston (and yes, there are showering facilities that I took full advantage of).  "Wow," said my co-workers. "You rode all that way.  It's about 19 miles, or the equivalent of 5-6 miles running.  The real "wow" is that it took me an hour-and-a-half (it's a single gear bike, cut me some slack), the same time it takes if I take the train to work.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Greatest American Athlete of All-Time

Michael Jordan, Alex Rodriguez, and Tiger Woods all have one thing in common: They are undoubtedly the best our generation has given us at their respective sports. But, who among them deserves the title "Greatest American Athlete of All-Time?" That award should go to another superhuman: Joseph Christian "Jaws" Chestnut.

Fame and fortune rewarded the efforts of the first three elite athletes I named. The fourth is merely a college student, but already arguably the greatest competitor ever to live. EVER.

Growing up, Joey "Jaws" Chestnut must have wanted to be the best, Wondering, what is it that America does best? Baseball? Basketball? The answer was so obvious. (Think loathing health officials and jealous media members. "Blah, Blah, Blah... obesity epidemic, Blah, Blah, Blah.") Americans can eat!

(Feel free to boo this next bad pun and explain to the other people in the room why you are booing -- don't forget to give them the full www address). Hungry to achieve, Joey challenged himself to become the best competitive eater in the world.  The San Jose State University student broke into competitive eating just five years ago, and has since built up a resume that any overweight American would envy. 

He ranks #1 in the world and just this weekend he devoured 47 burritos in 10 minutes to set another record (the reason I'm writing this blog today -- timeliness).

Here are a few of his most notable career highlights (just typing out this list gives me a stomach ache):

- 1 gallon of milk in 41 seconds
- 103 hamburgers in 8 minutes
- 241 chicken wings in 30 minutes
- 10.5 LBS of macaroni and cheese in 7 minutes
- 231 gyoza (time unknown)
- 45 slices of pizza (time unknown)

Finally, his greatest and best known feat -- on July 4, 2009 -  he devoured 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

Some naysayers might incorrectly argue that competitive eating is not a sport. An international governing body called Major League Eating runs it. There are rules, rankings, records, and most importantly, competition.  Above all, like in baseball, hockey, football, and soccer, food competitions take training and preparation, there are clear winners and losers, and vomiting is frowned upon (although that applies outside of sports as well).

Joey Chestnut does it better than anyone else.  He has become the best American at what Americans do best.  That is why he deserves the title "Greatest American Athlete of All-Time"

Friday, September 10, 2010

Narrowly Avoiding The Legal System

I have been able to avoid the legal system for nearly my entire life. Other than two moving violations, both of which i defeated, the court system has not seen the likes of me. And apparently, it has no desire to.  Recently I received a notice in the mail that appeared to summons me to jury duty.  Despite my oft transient living situation, the Jury Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts managed to track me down... sort of...

The Postal Service was kind enough to forward my summons from my former address in Brookline to my new address in Walpole.

What really confused me was the spelling of my last name.  I always thought it was "Saleeba."  I guess I've been spelling it incorrectly for 29 years.  Nonetheless, I RSVP'd "Yes." I also informed the Jury Commissioner of my new address and the incorrect way that I spell my name; that way he would have it available next time he wanted to get in touch.

Fast-forward to yesterday, with the looming imminence of Jury Duty approaching, I was ready.  I spent weeks mastering an impression of Al Pacino in And Justice for All.  Hours upon hours of practicing in front of the mirror all turned out to be for none.  The Jury Commissioner uninvited me.
I rearranged my entire schedule for the Commish and he goes and pulls a stunt like this.  He apologized for the inconvenience, but also made it clear that he plans to possibly invite me to a future trial at his discretion.  However, he refuses to say which one... stringing me along and there's nothing I can do about it.  So until that date, I shall wait (and continue working on my Pacino impersonation.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

puppies and babies

I've decided to throw my opinion into the age-old debate: What's cuter, puppies or babies?
I recently began babysitting for the little one.  She's 10 months old, the age when babies begin to develop personalities, and in my opinion, it's probably their cutest age.  This is the pre-tantrum-throwing age.  And they've grown out of the frighteningly ugly-alien-looking stage awkward-looking young baby phase (The awkward phase I'm referring to is the one when everyone is like "oh, she's so cute" and I think there's something wrong with me because all I see is an oddly shaped pooping/eating/crying machine).  But, I digress.

Back to the debate; baby or puppy.  Women probably don't come across this too often.  It's hardly a rarity to see a woman pushing a stroller, many times with a dog in tow.  But, every twenty to thirty-five-year-old man who's ever walked a cute dog or pushed a stroller (without his significant other standing by his side) has probably noticed the miraculous happening where the attention of nearly every woman in sight is drawn to you.  I often bring along my dog when I babysit.  Early on during our walks around Boston Proper, based on the reactions of passersby, there were a few times where I actually thought a celebrity or professional sports player might have been walking behind me.  I quickly realized the phenomenon that was and is still taking place, and since it's a known fact that I like attention, I have embraced it.  "Sure you can pet my dog.... Oh, the baby? Thanks, isn't she cute? She's actually not mine. She's my wife's little cousin.  I'm taking care of her for the day.  It's kind of like one of those parenting workshops, only I don't even have to pay for it. How great?"  

Editor's note: Notice the word "wife" comes up in that conversation.  I'm happily married.  I enjoy the attention, but it's not like I'm looking to pick up a date out of it.  So, my readers are not allowed to judge me on this one.  Besides, I've seen creative entrepreneurs go as far as renting out puppies by the hour.  Judge them.  Their aimed demographic is single twenty-something year-old men (I believe Boston actually blocked one of these business from setting up in the city).

So, puppies or babies? On my numerous walks with both, I found many more people are drawn to the dog than to the adorable baby.  Seriously.  The truth is, it's not a matter of who's cuter, it's a matter of who's crazier. Yes. Crazier! City folk know, the only people who ever talk to you are lost tourists or crazies; on the train, at a crosswalk (who am I kidding, Bostonians don't use crosswalks), in line at the deli, wherever.  Yeah, you all know exactly what I'm talking about.

Then, there are dog people.  It's well-documented, dog people (including myself) are crazy.  Proof: they spend more money on their dogs than they do on themselves.  Look at the recession numbers: an estimated $43.4 billion was spent on pets in 2008, up from $41.2 billion in 2007 (source:  
And for some reason, whenever there's a cute dog, they (again, including myself) feel the need to engage the dog's owner in conversation.  

The most impressive piece of work I have ever witnessed was when some classless woman in her mid-forties walked up and stopped in front of the three of us.  She leaned over, pet my dog, talked to it, told it she has dogs like him at home, and went on her way without acknowledging or making eye contact with me or the baby. I was stunned and amused.  "Hi, um... Hello? Hello?"

"Baby people", on the other hand, are relatively docile.  Chances are, they have children.  That means they are too exhausted from dealing with those children to strike up a conversation.  Hell, I'm just babysitting while I write this post and I'm too tired to finish it.  So I guess this is the end.