Sunday, December 25, 2011

New Christmas Rule

Bill Maher is the King of New Rules, but that hasn’t kept me from coming up with some of my own. One of my latest new rules: you shouldn’t “like” your own Facebook status. The reason is self-explanitory.

I saw a commercial on TV the other night which spurred another New Rule. The commercial featured Santa, reindeer, Christmas trees, Christmas lights, stockings over the fire place, and milk and cookies.

It was, without a shadow of a doubt, a Christmas advertisement. But Santa said, “Happy Holidays,” and with that, I took issue.

When I was a kid, the whole Merry Christmas thing offended me. If you know me today, you might be surprised since the general though of religion makes my skin crawl. But when I was young, I felt screwed. Why didn’t Jews get TV commercials? Why was Chanukah an afterthought? Why didn’t Jews get a holiday movie (Passion of the Christ doesn’t count)? Why would TV shows have some half assed little Menorah in the corner with one big nosed, curly haired Jew standing all alone, while everyone else had a good time? Why does this paragraph remind me of Passover diners?

Then, to appease me (and only me), the holidays were jumbled together. And that made me happy because, well, the spotlight wasn’t just on Santa and Jesus. If you wish me a Merry Christmas, chances are I’ll give you the death stare. While I don’t really celebrate any holiday, I do feel, in the spirit of the season, that the whole Happy Holidays greeting is acceptable.

If you run a generic “go buy stuff” commercial, it’s cool to cut to the chase with a Happy Holidays greeting. If you make no effort to include anyone else’s holiday celebration in your ad (and that’s totally fine) then call it what it is—a Christmas ad.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Getting There

I had dinner with a friend last night that lives in Alexandria, Virginia. You’d think as a lifelong DC resident, I’d know my way around … Good thing I have Annie, my portable GPS (MapQuest and I don’t get along—reading a map as I drive down dark, unknown roads is a recipe for disaster). I don’t name inanimate objects (I’m not eight), but after Annie helped me get to Annandale last year, I felt she earned a name.

Once I entered the address to the Mexican restaurant, I was good to go … except the suction that held Annie onto my windshield puckered out. Annie fell to her death. Good thing I had a backup navigation system on my cell. Annie II seemed to do the trick; until she told me I arrived at a stranger's ... casa. 

People say it’s not manly to ask for directions. It’s not manly to drive around wasting gas and getting pissed off. I found myself in Old Town and asked a lovely couple for directions. They were tourists. Fuckers. My friend couldn’t direct me. Next thing I knew, I was on 495 going to Baltimore! Turn around! Turn around!

I asked a guy at a gas station for directions to the Mexican restaurant. “Oh!” he said. “They have bomb ass enchiladas. Stay on this road until you get to the light and turn left on, you know, whatever that road is.”

His directions, no surprise, were incorrect. Suffice to say, I eventually found the place. The enchiladas were just okay.  

Monday, December 5, 2011


I like fruit. I don’t eat eight pieces a day, but I usually have some berries, an apple, banana, or some mango. Occasionally, I like to freeze fruit. Bananas, when cut into slices and frozen, are great. Don’t make the mistake I did by freezing an entire banana unless you want to chip a tooth trying to take a bite.

I’m a writer. If you haven’t bought my book, you might consider doing so (www.itsamiracletheyaintdeadyet.com). People tell me they like it. Maybe they’re lying. I hope not. One thing I like to do from time to time is make comparisons. I like analogies just fine … unless one of the items being compared is a fruit and the other is something that will make me never want to eat that fruit again.

The tumor on his colon is the size of a grapefruit.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

CM PUNK vs. CHRIS JERICHO: WRESTLEMANIA 28 (with a surprise ending)

If you know me, you know that I've been a fan of the WWE since I was three years old. If you don't know me ... now you know. I like to create fantasy bookings that I, as a fan and part of the WWE Universe, would like to see. The following is a booking I think most fans would enjoy. If so, spread the word. Tag @IAmJericho, @steveaustinBSR, @WWE, @CMPunk, @R_Roddy_Piper on Twitter. Send them this link. Tell them to read this. Let's make this happen!


Chris Jericho returns as a rock star heel. Everyone is beneath him. He's back for the money. And he's making a helluva lot more than anyone in the WWE Universe will eeee-eeeeever see! He's also returned because, while he was touring the world with Fozzy, CM Punk was stealing the 'Best in the World' moniker that describes only one wrestler: Chris Jericho.


Punk and Jericho feud over who deserves to be labeled the Best in the World. 

What unfolds is basically the WWE's version of Annie Get Your Gun: Anything you can do, I can do better.  One-upmanship ensues. They compete in a series of exhibition matches, stealing all the local shows. Both men are excellent. But who is the BEST? 

CM Punk says he's sick and tired of Chris Jericho coming back to soak up some limelight just because his career on Dancing with the Stars fizzled and his Fozzy tour ended. Jericho never does anything for the fans. Punk says Jericho left because he couldn't handle the pressure of not being the best, failed at his other endeavors; now walks in like he's hot shit.

Jericho says he's the Best in the World and is entitled to do whatever he wants. He shouldn't be ridiculed by Punk! Not only is Jericho the best wrestler, but he's a helluva dancer and one bad ass rock star. Punk drops a pipebomb saying if Jericho was the best, why'd he fail on Dancing with the Stars? Why hasn't Fozzy ever hit #1 on the Billboards? Why is Jericho crawling back to the WWE like a sniveling, snotty, desperate six year old? The WWE is the only place that wants Jericho! 

Rowdy Roddy Piper interjects himself into the argument with one helluva idea: Wrestle at Wrestlemania 28 and put something on the line, like say ... the moniker for Best in the World!

Best in the World vs. Best in the World

A week before WM28, Jericho hosts a highlight reel. His guest is CM Punk. Jericho says there is a small category of Absolute BEST wrestlers. Shawn Michaels. Bret Hart. Steve Austin. Chris Jericho. Punk doesn't come close to anyone on that list.

Punk says comparisons like that aren't fair because everyone but Jericho has retired. But all that matters is that Number One Spot. And if Jericho thinks he's at the top, then once Punk wins at Mania, he'll be at the top!


CM Punk vs. Jericho steals the show. They wrestle a 30 minute match, nailing home the fact that they are the two top guys world-wide. CM Punk wins, officially becoming the Best in the World. 


A highlight clip plays, including the promo where Jericho mentioned HBK, Hart, Austin, and himself. Punk: "If that's how you wanna play things, then that means once I win at Mania, I'll be at the top." 

CM Punk comes to the ring to celebrate his victory. He cuts a nice little promo until ...

Everyone is stunned! CM Punk cannot believe what's happening! Austin congratulates Punk on his victory. He admits that Jericho was one of his toughest opponents.

"It's a helluva accomplishment, beating Jericho at 'Mania. There's just one thing. When Jericho rattled off his list of "The Best," you said it wasn't a fair comparison since they were all retired. UH-UH! See that ain't quite true, son. Texas Rattlesnake's got him one more match in his tank and it goes like this. Stone Cold Steve Austin. CM Punk. Wrestlemania 29. And that's the bottom line, 'cause Stone Cold said so!"

Austin asks Punk if he wants a beer. Punk says he doesn't drink. Austin looks at him and says, "What?" Punk tries to explain, but Austin holds up his hands like he can't be bothered. 


Monday, November 28, 2011

Can We Afford to Eat There?

I walked through Times Square, the must-see destination for tourists in what is arguably the Greatest City in the World—a nucleus of hotels, entertainment, food, and street shows. But, sadly, I noticed that the streets of Destination Numero Uno are lined with chain restaurants—the same ones that populate every suburban shopping complex in the U.S. of A. After site seeing in a bustling new world the likes of which, perhaps, you’ve never seen, it’s perfectly understandable to seek something familiar and comforting for dinner. 

Alternatives exist that are cheaper than one might expect. Get a bagel with lox, pretzel with mustard, and real New York City pizza. I know you’ve had Hebrew National hot dogs before, but there’s nothing like Central Park on a blustery winter day—chowing down a hot dog. 

It dismays me to think that tourists might forgo the culinary wonders Manhattan has to offer. Budget your trip expenses to permit one dining splurge. Many restaurants offer a true taste of extravagance. Not even Gordon Ramsay can afford to eat at Gordon Ramsay at the London. But you can find upscale restaurants that offer less expensive bar alternatives, like Maze by Gordon Ramsay.

Food is a crucial motivator for travel. Different countries/cultures boast unique, amazing food. So do American states.  

Maybe it’s just my inner food snob speaking, but, while on vacation, everyone should experience one-out-of-this-world meal. It’s a damn shame to travel to the Greatest City in the World only to end up at TGI Friday's.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wrong Number

No one really dials a number anymore. Either you take advantage of speed dial or you comb through your phone book and select the friend you wish to call.

With all the advances in technology that makes many things, like placing a phone call, so effortless (who remembers phone numbers?), one should take extra precaution when physically dialing a number … especially at five a.m.

I can imagine a few scenarios where one would need to call someone at such an hour. A death in the family, husband or child didn’t come home—all stressful occurrences, which might lead one to dial in a panic.

But, please pay attention, because I don’t know you, “Hamilton, Geoff” from (614). And I’m sleeping. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

If I End Up in the Hospital, You Know Why ...

Call me a food snob. I’ve dined at some of the best restaurants in Manhattan. I recall every detail of every meal. My two best? Gordon Ramsay at the London and Bouley.

So when I walked into McDonald’s with the intention of ordering a McRib (at the behest of a friend), I wanted to keep a low profile. Because: I work out six days a week and I eat vegetables! Then again, the company I keep is also pretty healthy. So if I ran into someone I knew at McDonald’s, I’m sure they’d feel just as busted. But, since one of the 70 ingredients in the McRib is a product used to make yoga mats, that makes the McRib a quasi-health food, right?

Fearful that other customers would judge me, I planned to whisper my order. I imagined adjacent customers would say, Is this dude really ordering a McRib? Gross. I successfully placed my order with the cashier who appeared to be the only one listening to me. ExcellentHe’d hand me my food, I’d run to my car, take several bites, toss the evidence, go home and take a cold shower.

I found myself wondering if I should order a back up meal. Yeah, I like foie gras. But I also like a double quarter pounder with cheese. To be a proper food snob, you can’t thumb your nose (snout?) at lesser foods. We should find something enjoyable in every meal.

An employee appeared with a to-go bag presumably for me. I hurried to grab my food, but before I extended my hand, her voice rang out. McRib, to go!

Damn. Everyone was looking at me. I thanked her, snatched the bag, and ran to the safety of my car.

If you ask any non-food snob if he’d willingly eat the lesser-known parts of a pig—heart, snout, maybe even some skin— he’d probably say no. But people eat these processed pieces of meat every day when they eat fast food or a Slim Jim.  So in some weird way, they’re food snobs too, eating unique and odd food combinations that other people might snort at as being too pretentious.

I ate my McRib in the parking lot, half regretting not ordering fries, a milkshake, and a double quarter-pounder. During my drive home my teeth started to hurt. Not one tooth—all of them.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Making Lists

I make lists the old-fashioned way. On paper. I don’t have an iPhone, which means I don’t have Siri. I suppose I could use the memo pad on my not-as-fancy Smart Phone, but then I’d have to remind myself to check my reminder notes.

One of two things always ends up happening. I either forget the piece of paper at home or I forget that I have it on me until I get home and empty my pockets.

This makes going to the grocery store a hassle. The usual things—like time constraints, long lines, or annoying people who park in the center of the aisle and don't hear me say “Excuse me”—don’t bother me (as much) as always forgetting the one thing I absolutely needed just as I pull out of the parking lot.

Son of a bitch! Toilet Paper!

Monday, October 31, 2011

60 Minutes

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of comparisons to Andy Rooney.

I disagree. For starters, I don’t look like I’m in my 90's and Andy doesn’t look like he’s in his 20's. I rarely wear suits. But every time I see Andy Rooney, he's always wearing one. And my eyebrows are not the slightest bit bushy. 

We do put our elbows on the table, though.

I’m not saying similarities between the two of us don't exist. We both have noses. And eyes, too. And it just so happens that we both hear with our ears. So in that instance, we’re very much alike. We’re both men, too.

So for friends and family to say I remind them of Andy Rooney just boggles my mind. Unless, of course, the similarities they speak of have nothing to do with appearance. 

Monday, October 24, 2011


Walking is great. I use my feet to take me places, like from my sofa to the bathroom. Or from my car to the subway. Sometimes, if it’s nice out, I’ll even park my car a little further from my destination.

But sometimes people walk incorrectly. Walking, like driving, takes great concentration. You shouldn’t text while you drive, but you also shouldn’t text while you walk. There are all sorts of distractions, from light poles to other pesky pedestrians to uneven sidewalks that can get in your way.

I wish Apple had a horn app that I could download so I could honk at people who linger after getting off the escalator, or slow down in the middle of the sidewalk instead of stepping to the side. Saying excuse me just doesn’t say hey you, get out of my way like a blasting horn. Although I guess saying, “Hey you, get out of my way” would work.

Monday, October 17, 2011


I was trapped in an elevator once. I was going out for dinner with some family friends. We were starving. You know that scene in You’ve Got Mail (shut up, you know you’ve seen it) where Joe Fox (“F-O-X”) and his neighbors are stuck in the elevator and they’re doing that whole if I ever get outta’ here thing? That was us, except we were thinking about what we’d order ...

I’ve yet to be stuck in an elevator again. I don’t want to be stuck in an elevator … but if it happened, I would hope it’d be the time I was coming back with some delicious Chipotle or a burger from that burger place I like so much in New York City. That wouldn’t be so bad. Or with a deliveryman from a pizza place or a Chinese restaurant. They always put plastic forks in the bags, so we’d be good.

But there’s the possibility that the deliveryman has a 100% successful delivery rate and refuses to eat the food. I’d offer to pay for it, of course, but with a 100% successful delivery rate, I doubt that’d matter. Would I tip him? After all, I didn't actually place the order. I imagine that the family who ordered Chinese food or pizza would want us to eat their food if they knew we were stuck in an elevator possibly starving to death.

I just hope I never get stuck in an elevator when I have to pee, because deliverymen don’t carry empty water bottles.  

Sunday, October 9, 2011

New Name!

Yup, I changed the name. The old It’s a Miracle They Ain’t Dead Yet blog could only deliver so much. I don’t work in the restaurant industry anymore. Creating a new blog would be such a hassle—I’d have to notify all six subscribers.

It’s time to shake things up!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Damn, It's Hot in Here ...

From time to time, a random Texas Café memory will pop up that makes me think back to the good ol’ days. I recently found myself complaining to a neighbor about the June-like weather we experienced in April and how I desperately wished our building would turn on the A/C.
Suddenly, I recalled a sweltering night at the Texas Café and a burning hot kitchen's role in uniting an entire kitchen staff in absolute misery.  If you’ve read It’s a Miracle They Ain’t Dead Yet, you know the story about the broken kitchen air conditioner. (If you don’t, the book is six bucks on Kindle—make it happen.)
Luckily, on that particular hellish night, I wasn’t on the line, which meant I was about five degrees cooler than the line cooks. But our kitchen thermometer was hovering at 135; we were gulping water from giant plastic to-go cups every few minutes.
I had two towels on my apron that night. One for hot plates, the other to wipe away the sweat beads that accumulated on my forehead. Wait until August, said Max, one of the line cooks. I reached for my second towel.
There’s gotta be something we can do, I said as I instructed Nelson, the dishwasher, to hose my face down with the retractable faucet handle. The other cooks lined up and instructed Nelson to do the same to them. Temporary relief.
Manny, another line cook, suddenly threw his tongs down and hoisted his arms into the air. Eureka! The old kitchen fan served no purpose other than to re-circulate warm air. BUT! If he put a giant bucket of ice in front of the fan, perhaps the ice would melt, blowing cool air through the kitchen.
We watched with great anticipation as Manny ran outside with a plastic container and filled it with ice. We stood in front of the old rickety fan and waited with eager anticipation.
And just like that, a kitchen crew once united through heated misery, returned to work slightly cooler than we were just moments ago.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Short Story

There was this guy and his boss and let's just say they didn’t get along. One day this guy goes to Chipotle for lunch. The line was crazy. He groaned, looked at his watch, and tried to estimate how long he'd have to wait.  Just as he decided to join the line, someone shouted his name!

He scanned the endless crowd until he saw a familiar face at the front of the line. His boss! His boss winked and called out, "What took you so long? I've been waiting for you!" Didn't take long for this guy to realize what was going on ... He joined his boss, shook his hand, and apologized for his tardiness. "Traffic, you know?"

They conversed as they placed and paid for their respective orders and then parted ways. I know what you're thinking —they became good pals.
You’d be wrong. A week later, the guy was fired.

Still though, the guy appreciated his former boss' gesture in letting him escape the long line at Chipotle.

A month later, the guy was standing near the front of another long Chipotle line. A beautiful woman entered. She took in the line and looked at her watch—just as he had done a month ago! He knew she did not have time to wait. A second before she turned to exit, their eyes met.

"Hey," he called out. He waved and she looked at himWho is that guy, she thought? He winked and said, "I've been waiting for you! What took you so long?" She smiled, walked over to the guy, threw her arms around him and apologized. "Traffic, you know?"