Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hey look, I put some links on the right-hand side

As you may have been able to surmise by the title of this post, I put some links on the right-hand side. Among the links are various sports-related pages, some funny pages, and a blog started by Wee Wee, the man who inspired me to start this blog and in turn I inspired him to start his own blog.

Since today is pretty boring as far as non-hurricane-related stuff, I didn't have much to talk about. Although, I would like to point out that Hurricane Andrew is currently still the costliest hurricane in terms of real dollars and inflated dollars spent (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastcost2.shtml?), and I don't think Katrina has a chance in hell of catching that. Boo-yah!

Tomorrow morning, I'm heading to Detroit for my grandma's wake and funeral. Jessie has never been to either. My prediction: Jessie + open casket = crying and puking. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Explanation of the name "Give Me Your Handrew"

Several inquisitive little SOBs have asked what the hell "Give Me Your Handrew" means. I shall tell you. It all started in the glorious fall of 2001 when I lived with Tradd "Don't Call Me Chad" Fromme and Ryan "Don't Call Me Brian" Christoff (as well as the best roommate of all-time, Jason "Byrnsie" Byrnes). Tradd, Ryan, and I decided that enough was enough: we needed to make our use of the English language more streamlined and efficient. Refusing to be bogged down by words that started and ended with the same sounds, we developed a plan: we would use word combinations whenever possible. So, when Ryan grabbed a large knife and said, "give me your hand, Andrew," I said, "Don't you mean 'give me your Handrew?'" He replied with a smile, "Of course I do." So I did.

After returning from the hospital, I vowed to turn our dream into reality. Wanting to stretch this brilliant idea as far as possible, we founded AbbreviNation, a non-for-profit organization devoted to enhancing the efficiency of the use of the English language through word combinations and abbreviations. We can achieve this through several steps:
1. Promoting the use of currently used word combinations:
-calf + ankles = cankles (the unfortunate occurrence, often in middle-aged women, when the calf and ankle become one)
-shit + fart = shart (when more than gas escapes during flatulence)
-she + him = shim (someone whose gender is indecipherable)
-wimp + pussy = wussy (anyone of the pampered brats on E!'s "Filthy Rich: Cattle Drive")
-frisbee + golf = frolf (a pastime of George Costanza)
2. Encouraging the support of companies whose names are word combinations or abbreviations:
-Unocal (United Oil of California)
-3M (Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing)
-The Michillinda Beach Lodge (a hotel in southwestern Michigan that services travelers from Michigan, Illinios, and Indiana)
-GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company)
-Evite.com (Electronic invite)
3. Engouraging the combination of words not previously combined:
-Abbreviation Nation becomes AbbreviNation
-Black Acura becomes Blackura
-Red Honda becomes Rhonda
-Give me your hand, Andrew becomes Give me your Handrew
-Good day becomes Gooday
4. Encouraging the invention of new words with new definitions through the use of word combinations:
-Al Qainada (Canada's Islamic fundamentalist terrorist sect)
-Aireykjavik (Iceland's new national airline, replacing the more cumbersome Iceland Air)
-Hookery (playing hooky with a hooker)
-Exgermanation (ridding the world of those pesky Germans)
-Spermination (murder by ejaculation)
5. Encouraging the visitation of geographical areas that promote efficient word usage: Texarkana; Illiana; Kentuckiana; Michiana; Benelux

Anyway, I hope this clears up any confusion about the name "Give Me Your Handrew." I wish you a gooday.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

In Memorium: Carmela D'Alleva

Well, after nearly 95 years of zest, my grandma died today. She was a great woman who cared about everyone she met. I've never written an obituary before, so here is hers from my point of view:

Carmela Teresa D'Alleva, born Dec. 16, 1910 in Carlopoli, Calabria, Italy, died Aug. 28, 2005, in Royal Oak, Michigan, USA. Carmela was born in Italy's southwestern-most region, Calabria, in 1910 to Teresa and Carmine Talarico. Her father came to America and Canada in the 1920s to work, and in 1927 (after he had made enough money to bring them over), the rest of the family joined him. When Carmela first arrived in the US, she lived with some relatives in Brooklyn. According to Grandma, these relatives, the Mancaruso brothers, lived in a mansion in Brooklyn, owned their own construction company, and everyone did favors for them and they did favors for everyone else. Despite the obvious, Grandma vehemently denied my suggestion that the Mancarusos were Mafia dons, even though they clearly were. Either she didn't know (since she was a teenage girl and they wouldn't have let her in on the "family business"), or she was sworn to secrecy.

At some point, the family moved to sunny Erie, PA, which at the time was apparently not the armpit of Pennsylvania that it is today. Carmela's mother and two brothers, Guiseppe and Salvatore (or Joe and Sam, as they were called in America), lived there until their respective deaths. Somehow and somewhere and some point in time, Carmela stumbled upon a brilliant and dashing young chap by the name of Basil D'Alleva. They married in the early 1940s and moved to sunny Detroit, MI, which at the time was not the murder capital of the world that it is today.

After birthing two daughters, the happy couple moved to the suburb of Royal Oak around 1950. It was there where Carmela honed and perfected her cooking abilities, eventually becoming maker of the world's number one ranked gnocchi and lasagna, and number two ranked pizza (only behind Chicago's original Uno's). And she did all of this with the same stove for 50+ years and without ever having a microwave. Her cooking has actually become kind of a curse because I can never have gnocchi as good as hers. No matter where I go or how much I spend, no restaurant has come close. I only wish I would have videotaped her making it (she never had a recipe--she just made it).

In addition to her cooking prowess, Carmela was a chronic gambler, never missing a chance at playing the lotto. In fact, she was so addicted to gambling that she started a tab at the nearest party store and she would actually get her neighbors to go get her lottery tickets when she couldn't walk down there herself. If she ever gave me $20 and I said I was going to spend it at a bar, she would scorn me. But if I told her I was going to Casino Windsor with it, she would praise me and give me another $20.

She was also psychic. There was one rule with regard to her dreams: If she dreamed you were going to die, you would. It was actually kind of freaky to hear her tell some stories. For instance, she had a dream that one of her cousins died in a shipwreck. The next day, she got a letter saying that her cousin drowned. Now that's just sick.

There wasn't a heart she didn't touch or a stomach she didn't fill.

She is survived by two daughters, Christine (of Troy, MI) and Anita (of LaGrange, IL), and two grandsons, Andrew (of Dayton, OH) and Reed (of Chicago, IL).

Here is a short timeline of Carmela's life:
-1910 - Born
-1927 - Moves to US
-1942 - Marries Basil
-194? - Daughter #1, Christine, born (I was sworn to screcy about the actual year)
-194? - Daughter #2, Anita, born (ditto)
-1950 - Moves from Detroit to Royal Oak
-1951 - Carmela's gnocchi and lasagna both debut at #1 in the world
-1977 - Grandson #1, Andrew, born
-1982 - Grandson #2, Reed, born
-1982 - Teresa Talarico dies in Erie, PA at the age of 93
-1987 - Carmela shatters one hip after she and Basil for some reason tried to move a 500-lb wood lathe in their basement
-1990 - She accidently (and innocently) refers to someone as the "jackass of all trades"
-1995 - Basil dies in Clawson, MI at the age of 86
-1996 - Carmela shatters other hip after falling down stairs in Erie, PA
-1997 - Brother Sam dies in Erie, PA at 89
-2004 - Carmela's gnocchi and lasagna ranked #1 in the world for the 53rd consecutive year
-2005 - Brother Joe dies in Erie, PA at the age of 93
-2005 - Grandson #1, Andrew, gets married
-2005 - Carmela dies peacefully in her sleep in a hospital room Royal Oak, MI, thus reuniting with her husband and family, and leaving a huge void in gnocchi and lasagna circles

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Why firm golf outings suck

So I'm back from my law firm's annual golf outing. Aside from the free Michelob Ultra (the athlete's beer), my sweet pastel blue Arnold Palmer golf pants, and 2 0r 3 straight drives, it was a mostly forgettable round of golf for me (not that I've ever had a round of golf worth remembering). Jessie and I were paired with an older guy in my firm (65 or s0, but easily the best player in the group) and a guy about 10 years older than me who hadn't played in four years. The key to our team, aside from our cocksure determination an vocal harmonies, is that everyone worked at the firm or (in Jessie's case) was a family member of someone in the firm. We shot a respectable 1 over, and we were a few putts away from shooting below par. Good round, or so we thought.

I'm all for the firm allowing family members to play in the golf outing. After all, these people have to deal with lawyers at home on a nightly basis. But I draw the line when people bring in ringers with no blood relation to anyone in the firm. Our firm happens to represent Lexis-Nexis (which employs thousands of people here in Dayton) in many matters, so apparently the guy in charge of the golf outing (we'll call him Fairplay Phil) invites the 3 best golfers at Lexis-Nexis to be a part of his foursome. After it's over, and everyone else is sitting, eating, and drinking under a big tent, they stroll in with shit-eating grins on their faces. All the other teams were talking about how happy they were to shoot 1-unders or even 1-overs (thank you very much), so we ask them what they shot, and what do these assholes say? Fucking 14 under! That means they shot a 58. They won by 9 or 10 strokes. The whole thing was gayer than Liberace and Elton John's gay son. I called "shenanigans," but it seems those don't hold any value outside my own mind. Seriously, 14 under. Anyway, I hope Fairplay Phil is happy, since he bought all the prizes with the firm's money. He might as well have just given himself a $50 gift certificate to Golf Galaxy (or whatever the hell it is that you get for winning one of these things) and called the whole thing off. What he really should have bought himself was a $50 gift certificate to Firestone so he could fix the 4 slashed tires waiting for him in the parking lot.

On the bright side, my dog hasn't shat blood in about 27 hours.

I have created a blog

At the behest of Jason "Wee Wee" Whitney, I have created a blog for his pleasure so that he has something to laugh about each day. Well, here goes...

So my dog, Harley, puked a couple times last night. No big deal, dogs get sick. I'm sitting at work today, busting my ass for the man, and my wife (Jessie, aka Jester, aka Pea Head) calls telling me that Harley has shat blood. Yes, shat blood. Not having a band-aid for that particular situation, we had to take Harley to the vet. Outside the vet's office, Harley proceeds to shit blood without shame or concern, only stopping when yanked by the neck into the office. I guess she had some sort of intestinal virus that has been floating around the Miami Valley's dog population. To remedy the possible dehydration that Harley was bound to be experiencing on account of the constant vomiting and blood shitting, the vet jams an IV into Harley's back and fills her back with fluid, thus giving Harley a camel-esque hump of water. Luckily it dissipated within a couple hours, but messed up nonetheless. Fear not, the little bitch is well on her way to recovery and can now eat without puking or shitting blood.

So now I'm sitting at home on a Friday night, about to go to bed because I have my firm's golf outing tomorrow morning, which should prove to be an embarrassment on account of the fact that I suck at golf and they have free beer.

Sorry Wee Wee, this isn't the best start, but I went with what I had to work with: a dog who shat blood. I promise it will be funnier in the future, and hopefully less to do with dogs (or anyone, for that matter) shitting blood.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Def Leppard Rocks

So last night several of us went to see the Def Leppard/Bryan Adams concert at Fifth Third Field here in lovely Dayton. I guess they're doing a tour of minor league ballparks, alternating each night who opens and closes. Last night, Def Leppard went first. It was general admission, and we got there early enough that we were about 4-5 people back, center stage. Def Leppard was awesome. I don't remember any of Bryan Adams. I puked when I got home, but it was all good because the next morning, I came across this picture in the Dayton Daily News:

Yeah, that's right. I'm totally rockin' the sleeveless Union Jack t-shirt. It's hard not to do. As you can see, the crowd was an attractive one. I'm surprised you can't see the sweet state fair hair on the chick in front of me. I'd be surprised if she hasn't blown at least one member of Enuff Z'nuff.