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Four Questions

In honor of Pesach, of the improbable parting of the Red Sea, the ten plagues, Moses, Pharaoh, the bitter herbs (especially the bitter herbs), and escapes from bondage anywhere and anytime…

  1. Better song revival in the past 15 years – Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” or Sir Elton’s “Tiny Dancer?”
  2. Remember Ellis from Die Hard? You know, “Sprechen ze Talk…Hans, Bubby,” i.e., the character once voted by Maxim Magazine as the second greatest movie sleazeball of all time (and it was quite a list). His name, by the way, is Hart Bochner (with a name like that, he was born to play a douchebag). Anyway, did you know Hart directed the cable movie extraordinaire PCU (his directorial debut, PCU was the classic that paved the way to stardom for Jeremy Piven and John Favreau)? (I know…this was two questions and a bunch of nonsense…but the first question was rhetorical…so just chill and roll with it. You’re supposed to relax on Pesach anyway.)
  3. If Netflix is releasing (allegedly) 13 episodes of Fuller House – and oh yes, I am dead serious (click here) – should we now prepare ourselves for Different Strokes With Different Folks (RIP Gary, Dana and Conrad), Fully Grown Pains, More Wonder Years, Better Times, Retired With Grandchildren, and Uber (I like that one too)?
  4. What is scarier: The tragedy on that Germanwings flight last week (and what it means in a broader sense) or the Iran deal Obama just forced down the world’s throat?

Mah Nishtana – Halaila Hazeh…

Sorry to end on a serious and somber note. Enjoy your time with your families.

Hope all of you find the Afikomen, whatever, metaphorically, that means to you.

Happy Passover and Easter. And save me some peeps.

All the best,

IDROS

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Things

1) Pretty sure I saw the big DJ from Maloney’s circular bar a few weeks ago when I was at the shore…I did a double take and may have even stared a second or two too long…but that guy played Bon Jovi and Bruce and kept the party going until hours I only see when my baby cries in the middle of the night (because my two year old woke her up crying and I am useless).

2) Where in the world did Tia Carerre (her real name is Althea Rae Janairo, BTW) go? First off…her real name is Althea. I love the name Althea. But she was one the hottest actresses on the planet for a hot cup of coffee in the early to mid-90s…almost ubiquitous. Then she took a wrong turn with Pauly Shore and a second misstep with Eric Roberts and then found herself mired in B-Movie hell with a veritable who’s who in the netherworld of straight-to-video C-Listers from Stevie Baldwin to the pro’s pro, Steven Seagal…

3) A day on Venus is longer than a year on Venus. That’s right…look it up (or just click this link). Not only that, Venus is the only planet in our Solar System that spins counter-clockwise…so the sun rises in the West and sets in the East. Talk about an Axis that’s Bold as Love

4) These two guys:
Things 1 and 2

5) I just finished watching The Wire, which was tops on my list for shows to be snarfed down like a box of Bugles or Thin Mints or anything else that it is extremely difficult to stop eating/drinking/doing once you start…binge watching at its finest. As promised, the show now rests firmly in my own pantheon of top five dramas of all time (where, exactly, I am still not sure)…but I can say this unequivocally: Whereas The Sopranos and Lost had endings that irked and disturbed me because they were executed somewhere between questionably and poorly (for Lost, that might be kind)…David Simon’s opus (vastly different than Mr. Holland’s) disturbed me at its end because the subject matter is just incredibly frustrating and vexing and well, disturbing…from beginning to end and everywhere in between.

6) I recently learned that Quentin Tarantino has the exact same IQ as none other than Steven Hawking…yeah, I wasn’t sure what to do with that either, but on some level it just makes sense. You will all get a kick out of this link

7) And lastly, there is a time when you and your partner/spouse/significant other are pregnant, but you are mired in the delicate period of “loose lips sink ships,” unable to tell anyone but the closest of relatives for fear of jinxing everything. It’s a weird couple of months, and as the safe zone approaches, I find it more and more difficult to keep the secret. Recently, in our eleventh week, I ran into a couple while out with friends (wifey wasn’t with me)…the woman was probably eight months preggo…it was so obvious I felt comfortable breaking rule number one for men when speaking to women…assuming (or asking) if she is, in fact, knocked up. I was excited as a father-to-be and so I found myself blurting it out to these two complete strangers just because of the bond of pregnancy.

Anyway…that’s my show for today. Enjoy the day and fruits of your labors.

Love and peace,

IDROS

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White Trash

ImageI walked out of our house today to jog and almost tripped on a disgusting white bag covered with ants and a reddish brown substance I really hope was ketchup. It was crumpled up near our mailbox in the street. Around it were two yellow cheeseburger wrappers, also crumpled up. My first thought was that the garbage must have fallen out of the back of the garbage truck yesterday, which was trash day. But then I remembered that when I got home the previous night from work, the trash had already been picked up, and there was no nasty waste strewn about the street in front of our home. I was angered, of course, at the fact that the sanctity of our home and neighborhood had been violated…but I was not at all surprised.

For the past few months, during my morning jogs through our neighborhood, I have unfortunately encountered a similar sight far too often (and by the way, once is far too often). We seem to have a serial litterer in Weston, or a few of them (perhaps copy-cat litterers?), and the culprit(s) use(s) white McDonald’s drive thru bags along with yellow cheeseburger wrappers as their exclusive suburban DE-beautification devices of choice.

I have wracked my brain on these runs, set to whatever random musical soundtrack my Shuffle spits out that morning, thinking about litter – don’t judge me.

First the obvious stuff, like the word litter itself. I mean, how can a word with such a dirty and even criminal definition also have such a beautiful, adorable and joyous meaning? Image

Then I think about these particular incidents/crimes like a detective…as if I am going to find the hooligans responsible, and…and…and what? Wring their necks like Homer does to Bart? If only…but back to the facts. Always McDonald’s. Always thrown to the side of the road, by the curb or on the shoulder, as if it were the murder weapon tossed out the window of the getaway car fleeing a crime scene. Throughout my life I have unfortunately seen my share of litter. I would say the majority of it has been fast-food related. Not once have I ever seen litter from “The Palm,” or “Joe’s Stone Crabs” or even “P.F. Chang’s.” I know, I know. Millions and millions more people eat at fast food joints every day than at nicer restaurants, so the stats are skewed. Plus, a good percentage of people use drive-thrus at fast food restaurants, while most upscale diners eat in, and when they take out, they certainly don’t eat the food in their cars. Fun facts, but nothing that will lead to a break in the case.

So where I really have been focusing with this sudden rash of littering that has invaded my otherwise pristine suburban neighborhood is on the who and the why. While the who could be anyone (no, not Townshend, Entwistle, Moon and Daltrey), I am pretty confident it is someone (or a couple people) under the age of 22. Yes, I am profiling there, so call me an ageist, but I just don’t see the perpetrator(s) being property owners, or even renters. The crimes have a juvenile air to them, and strike me as being munchies- or alcohol-induced as well.

I also don’t see the asshole(s) responsible for using suburban Weston as his/their personal dumpster being from out of town. Nope, I seriously doubt someone from Parkland, or Cooper City or Hollywood is driving to Weston just to rid their cars of their fast food remnants…and because Mickey D’s has locations pretty much everywhere, I also refuse to believe they are coming here to eat their burgers and fries and then tossing the waste as they head back to their own town.

Furthermore, I don’t see the troglodyte(s) being female. The nature of the crime just strikes me as being male. Feel free to disagree if you must.

The why is a bit more complex. I don’t see a situation where littering is something even an adolescent would do to impress his or her peers. I also don’t see this being a reaction by a kid or young man getting grilled (no pun intended) by his girlfriend or mother about the filth accumulating in his car (“Your car is disgusting! I refuse to set foot in here ever again if you don’t clean it up. Call me when you grow up”…Or…”Clean up your car Billy. If you don’t, not only will you lose the car, but you will no longer be welcome in our home…that’s right Billy. Clean your car or move out. The choice is yours. Your father and I didn’t raise you to live like an animal.”).

Nope…this is a douchebag (or a couple of them) all the way…but the motivation is unclear.

What I do know is this…and it is clear as day:

THE PRIDE ONE HAS IN WHAT HE PUTS IN HIS BODY IS DIRECTLY CORRELATED TO THE PRIDE ONE HAS IN HIS OWN NEIGHBORHOOD

If you have any information that leads to the arrest, or at least the public humiliation, of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes, please call me…I will reward you with a happy meal, and Mayor McCheese will present you with a key to the city of Weston.

As always, thanks for reading. Enjoy the Super Bowl tonight.

IDROS

My pick for tonight: Denver will cover, as the Broncos capitalize on a few key turnovers and win big in New Jersey, 31-20.

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Happy Halloween

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and safe night of candy, costumes and community.

Happy Halloween to everyone outside of New Jersey. For those in the flooded Garden State, feel free to open this on Friday, when you are permitted to celebrate. Actually, due to conditions, you likely won’t be able to read this until then anyway (too soon?)

Seriously, though…I do hope all of you along Sandy’s devastating path are safe, along with your families, friends, pets and homes, and I send my thoughts and best wishes for a quick and easy return to normalcy, whatever that might mean.

And just think…next Halloween, I will likely be dressed up as a dad!

Peace, love and warm regards to you all,

IDROS

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Happy Father’s Day

This is a test post (technical difficulties), but the sentiment is real

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Five For Fixing, Part IV

So here is my long-awaited fourth installment in a growing list of issues and frustrating cluster-f*#ks that if eliminated or amended, would help improve the world we all live in…sure, I offer opinions and recommendations on how to best resolve and/or eradicate the issues at hand, but other than to type and edit, I seldom lift a finger in an effort to enact change. I know my strengths, and I am definitely a better complainer and instigator than I am a doer. I campaign for and champion change, but as an idea man rather than as a front-line warrior. So without further ado:

1)      Recent legislation requires minors (read: girls under the age of 17) to have a prescription from a doctor in order to purchase “the morning after pill” known as Plan B at a pharmacy.  Sure, I can see both sides of this debate, and am actually somewhat sympathetic to those who agree with this legislation. But the double standard with regard to other contraception sold in pharmacies – and make no mistake, Plan B is contraception; nothing more and nothing less – as well as the fact that we do not live in a perfect, “Green Acres” world has me shaking my head much in the same way I shudder at pro-life activists who cannot see any possible scenario where their philosophy wouldn’t hold water (rape, incest, extreme poverty, illness, etc).

For those of you who haven’t been following this story, the FDA approved over the counter sales of Plan B, which was then quashed by Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius last Wednesday, December 7. In fact, last Wednesday marked the first time EVER that a scientifically backed FDA decision was publically overruled by a HHS secretary.  This decision by Sebelius was clearly made based upon political (and perhaps religious) beliefs, and is another in a long line of attempts at government trying to dictate how its constituents, and particularly women, should choose to live their lives and treat their bodies. 

Parenthood is a decision for the parent(s), not our government; particularly when the often difficult decision is made not to have a child. Even if the government is offering the parent(s) in these cases the going rate of surrogacy inclusive of all health care costs during pregnancy and childbirth and then is willing to foot the entire bill for raising and educating the child (and beyond should prison, mental health issues and/or unemployment enter into the equation), the parent(s) should still have the ultimate decision. And the government makes no such offer, and even if it did, the true financial burden then falls on us, as taxpayers. So for crying out loud, reverse this ludicrous legislation and allow Plan B to be sold over the counter. I am not happy to give our immature, ignorant and often misguided youth such omnipotent free reign to act foolishly and without responsibility for their actions, but unfortunately, it is the better alternative in this case.

 

 

 

2)      When ordering in a restaurant and a dish comes with a predetermined number of pieces (i.e. –  5 dumplings, or 3 chicken strips, or 4 chocolate beignets, etc.), your server should automatically ask the table whether everyone will be sharing, and if there will not be enough of a sharable dish to accommodate everyone at the table, the server should let his or her table know the situation, and offer a solution. This solution is simple: If there are four people at the table and the dumplings come 3 per order, let the table know that fact and recommend getting a fourth dumpling for 2 dollars more, or whatever makes sense. This is a simple solution and does not create that awkward moment when you are forced to splitting bite-sized pieces into smaller and unappetizing pieces in order to allow everyone at the table to taste everything. This lack of service is particularly vexing at higher end and pricier restaurants, where frankly, for the prices charged, this should be done automatically for no additional charge, but is no less frustrating at your neighborhood Chinese restaurant. People go out to eat for the food and the service – so to all of you restaurant owners and managers, please get a clue regarding service. And to all you servers out there, 20 percent gratuities are expected on your end…please earn them.

 

 

 

3)      We all know the BCS system needs fixing. Most people would like to see some sort of playoff among the top four or eight teams. The NCAA and BCS proponents champion their current system based upon the monopoly they have and the fact that, as far as the most popular collegiate sport is concerned, they are the only game in town. But remove the “C” and it is clear that the BCS is total BS. And this year in particular, when we all get to behold a rematch of one of the most boring games in recent college football history, a 9-6 bore fest between colossal SEC stalwarts Alabama and LSU, the demand for systemic change is as strong as ever. There is only one unbeaten team (LSU), and countless one-loss teams behind them. There is no doubt LSU deserves to play for the national championship, but why should they have to play a team they already have defeated on the road again?

I am not going to explain how and why the system should be fixed. That has been done to death, and frankly, I do not want to bore you all with the thousands of words it would take to effectively debate the merits of a new system. However, my recommendation for this year to all of you fans and non fans out there is rather simple. DON’T WATCH THE GAME. Don’t go to the game in New Orleans and don’t watch it on television. I guarantee if Madison Avenue feels the pain of only getting true Crimson Tide and Tiger fans to watch their pricey ads on Tuesday night January 9, 2012 (and we all know advertisers coveted demographic are the large and sophisticated populations of backwoods Alabama and bayou country Louisiana), there will be widespread ramifications, not the least of which will be a push by the deep-pocketed sponsors of the BCS for change.

So will it be that difficult for all of you to just ignore the game this year? Spend time with your family, or on work, school or a hobby. Just don’t turn on the TV. If you must, check the score on your iPhone or laptop. But judging from the prior meeting this year in Tuscaloosa, you will not be missing much. And your ambivalence may very well be the pivotal factor to bring about much needed change.

 

 

 

 

4)      Recent sex abuse scandals are dominating our headlines, and clearly change is necessary as it relates to sex crimes across the board, from education of society as a whole to finding and helping victims of such heinous acts to making it more difficult for situations like what allegedly occurred at Penn State and Syracuse Universities to transpire. But among the long and growing laundry list of things that piss me off and bewilder me beyond words about both scandals is a fact that leaves me shaking my head in disbelief.

How can a Statute of Limitations be placed on a crime as heinous as the rape and molestation of a child (or children)? I understand the need for statutes and/or periods of prescription (the equivalent term used to describe statutes of limitation in civil courts or proceedings) for non violent or horrific crimes. After all, over time, evidence can be corrupted or disappear, memories fade, crime scenes are changed, and companies dispose of records. The best time to bring a lawsuit, clearly, is while the evidence is not lost and as close as possible to the alleged illegal behavior.

But unfortunately, because the crimes in question are all committed against children, who are seldom mentally equipped to handle the stress of questioning and scrutiny under normal circumstances, a time limit to bring charges seems ridiculous. After the life-changing experience of being raped and/or violated, youths often do not have the courage to even come forward and speak to their own parents, friends or trusted loved ones about the ordeal let alone strangers in a courtroom setting.

There are no statutes of limitations for murder. There should not be for rape or child molestation/abuse either. Syracuse (and any other city, state or municipality that has a similar statute) ought to be ashamed of itself right now, and may have the lives of many children on its hands.

5)      I realize it isn’t baseball season right now, but pitchers and catchers report on Sunday February 19, 2012, just 66 days from now, in case you were wondering. Anyway, I was at a game last year and a play occurred that left everyone at the stadium absolutely dumbfounded as to what happened. No replay was shown, no scoring decision was posted on any of the many digital screens throughout the stadium and no announcement was made.

I love to attend a live sporting event, particularly a baseball game on a nice day or night. But there is no excuse for the paying fans to be left on their own to decipher the occasional complex umpiring decisions and rulings on the field with no recourse. I was forced to call home to figure out what just happened at a game I was at, for a play I watched live. Read that sentence again and you will begin to crack the surface of the absurdity of this phenomenon.

Is it so much to ask that someone on the stadium staff gets the ruling from an umpiring official, either by direct communication or through an umpiring official upstairs and posts the scoring decision or on-field ruling on the giant screen for the fans? Furthermore, on weird plays, a replay or two should always be run. Finally, an announcement could be made on certain occasions where a play was unclear or bizarre, with some sort of explanation. Even if the play is so obscure and bizarre that a formal ruling can’t be posted until a few minutes later, please humor us paying fans with some sort of acknowledgement that the people who actually forked over the dough to see the game may actually care what they are watching.  

Thank you.

IDROS

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My Blog Has Moved….

In order to cater to my throngs of fans, I have relocated my blog to WordPress. Please check out my new link at:

https://idontrollonshabbas.wordpress.com

You can now follow my blog without being given the third degree by an archaic and frankly, poorly conceived blog site heretofore not to be mentioned again.

Thank you to my loyal readers for your diligence and patience as I find my best online solution to quench my thirst to write.

Thank you also to those of you who will now join my journey to find and comment on truth, justice and humor.

All the best,

IDROS

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