Archive for July, 2010

Two Thousand Zero Zero Party Over Oops Out Of Time

Posted in Stuff on July 31, 2010 by bigdaddygouda

When I say I’m going to party like it’s 1999 I mean business.

Afterall, on Dec. 31, 1999, I attended one of the greatest parties in the history of the world. It was held just off the UCONN campus at Walden Apartments. It was absolutely crazy. About 30 people showed up. Booze flowed like water and other things were consumed like candy.

Because of the pending millenium and because most in the apartment hadn’t seen each other in a while the night was filled with an energy that was impossible to ignore.

I still remember everyone counting down from 10 at midnight and then BAM! Happy New Year. On cue Prince’s 1999 played over the stereo and everyone sang along and danced. It was fun. It was awesome.

Truth be told my life was one big party from the time I turned 17 to right up around 30. House parties first, then when my friends and I hit the legal drinking age a whole new world opened up. A world of bars and party bands and the Hartford nightlife created a whole new mayhem that I wasn’t even aware existed.

I’ve had some hangovers in my lifetime that felt like true death. Many morning were spent hugging the toilet as I prayed to god in between heaving. Promising that I would never drink again if he’d make the pain stop, only to break that vow the following weekend, or the next day…or sometimes even hours later.

Now the parties and even the drinking are so few and far between that that part of my life seems less like a part of my life and more like some crazy dream I had once, if that makes any sense.

Some friends at work a having a party Saturday night. Our intern is going back to college in NH and he’s throwing himself a goodbye party. The evening will consist of a little house party, followed by some bar hopping. Most of the sports guys are in the early to mid-twenties. I really don’t think I could hang but I remember when I was that age I was just like them. Partying at someone’s house till about 10 then going to a bar till 2, then back to the house till we all passed out on couches and floors.

I seriously don’t think I could do it. I’m sure by the time it was bar time I’d be ready to hit the hay, or even worse, starting to catch a buzz and then worrying about things I never worried about in my 20s. Like being hung over in the morning or being able to find my way home later on. Back in the day, the NEXT day just didn’t matter.

I was supposed to go out tonight.  I had an offer to meet up with some friends in Danbury. I had an offer to catch a few beers with an old work colleague. I had an offer to go over a friend’s house in Litchfield. But I did nothing….

I got stuck in traffic on the way home. Instead of arriving home at 7, I got home around 8. I was moody and sweaty. No A/C in the car. By the time I woofed down some leftover pizza and walked Andy it was 9 o’clock. After taking a semi-cold shower the last thing I wanted to do was leave the house. Instead I put on some comfy clothes, plopped down in front of the tube and haven’t moved.

Not gonna lie. I feel a bit pathetic. Granted I’m relaxed but I don’t think I should waste opportunities like I seem to do so much. Last week I went to a picnic Saturday during the day and went to a friend’s house that night. I had a few beers but by no means did I rage.

I can actually count all the times I’ve RAGED since turning 30 on one hand. Road Race Weekend last year. A few parties at Jamie’s. And that’s pretty much it. Is that sad or is that just part of life?

I dunno. But it’d be a whole lot cooler if I did.


Know Your Movies

Posted in Movies on July 26, 2010 by bigdaddygouda

It’s the trailer that gets us into the theaters.  The better the preview the more likely we are to slap down our hard-earned money for a movie ticket.

Ya know what I, an avid movie watcher, can’t stand? Misleading trailers. You think you’re paying for one thing, only to find out you were duped. Tricked by studio heads just to get your ass in the theater.

Remember how cool Where The Wild Things looked in the previews. Come to find out it was frikin awful. One of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Ditto for Alice In Wonderland.

I mean, did we know from the previews that Wild Things was not really based on our beloved childrens book but was in fact a story about dysfunctional jewish monsters tryiing to decide whether to eat a 9 year old boy? And who knew from the trailers that Alice And Wonderland should have been called Alice In Wonderland: 10 Years Later.

Or how about when a comedy trailer looks absolutely hilarious. Only to realize later that the funniest parts were in the previews and the rest of the movie shits. Love Guru? Dukes of Hazzard?

So below I have a little quiz. I’m pretty sure you’ve seen trailers for the below Summer Movies. I bet, based on those previews you think you know what the film is about.

Thinking ONLY about the trailers you’ve seen, can you match these actual plot summaries with the titles below them? Betchya can;t

A: Man tries to come to grips with his wife’s suicide that he feels responsible for.

B: Alcoholic business man tries  to live up to his dead father’s expectations.

C: Group of friends attempt to escape from a prison run by an evil dictator.

D: Young record executive tries to help aging rocker overcome his heroin addiction

E: A pack of loners must set aside their differences and depend on one another if they want to survive.

F. A stressed out family man has but one day to realize everything he’s ever wanted in life is right in front of his face.

G: Brainwashed orphans are turned into assassins by evil Russians.

H: Pack of serial killers set their sights on a peaceful family.

I: As he embarks on the crime of the century the life of a world-class criminal is turned upside down by three homeless girls.

J: The death of a former mentor causes a group of friends to examine their own mortality.



2. SHREK 4










Posted in Stuff on July 21, 2010 by bigdaddygouda

33 is not a Birthday that you’d call special. That’s reserved for 16, 18, 21, and 30. Those are the “special” birthdays, I suppose.


For a birthday that is supposed to be ho-hum, held on the second worst day of the week besides Monday, I must admit, today was a really great day.

I got some great phone calls and texts from out of the blue which made me feel good and the crew at work threw me one hell of an office party. I can only pray the photos never make it online.

However, the best part of my day? It may sound cheesy but it was the Facebook Love!!! I hope i’m not breaking some “guy code” by saying this but I was TRULY touched by the messages I got today.

Say what you want about Facebook but if, on one day out of the year, it can make you feel half as good as it made me feel today, then my god, it’s worth it.

I heard from people today that I haven’t heard from in years. A decade even. It was great.

It’s no secret, as fans of this blog may remember, I’ve always made somewhat of a big deal out of people’s birthdays. Remember all the birthday roasts I used to do? Holidays are shared with the world but birthdays are the one day where you alone are entitled to feel special and THAT should definitely be taken advantage of.

Thanks again for all the “Happy Birthdays”

And now, some answers to various Bday remarks made today on FB:

  • I’m living on Red Mountain Ave, Sara
  • Yes, Marcy, I did do something stupid. I wore an extra small prison uniform at work
  • Sorry Heather, 33 is too old to go out during the week
  • Beka, it was great to see you too
  • Thanks Cullen, it does feel great being an Uncle
  • Yes CC, I too, am glad that my parents had unprotected sex in October of 1977
  • Paige wants an update on the Donut Girl. Hmm. Saw her this morning before work. Found out her name. That was the only question I asked of her.
  • Yes Sherry, we should get together soon
  • And, to respond to the most common sentiment expressed to me today: Yes, it was a good one!

And here below is my favorite gift of the day:

The Donut Girl

Posted in Stuff on July 18, 2010 by bigdaddygouda

This post could very easily have been called The Craigslist Girl, but that sounds a bit creepy, and, the last thing this story should exude is creepiness. Henceforth, The Donut Girl.

About two months ago my mother gave me her extra air conditioner; a GE 5,000 btu Cooling Machine. Needless to say it beat the crap out of the clunky old A/C unit I inherited from my father. But since it still worked I decided to put the old unit on Craigslist for $30 rather than junk it.

A day later as I was watching TV my phone rang. A girl with a sweet voice was inquiring about the air conditioner. She had but one question, “Does it work?” I told her yes and she immediately said, “I’ll take it!”

She planned to stop over the next day and pick it up around noon. I didn’t think much of it. I’d been burned by Craigslist before and over the years I’ve had a lot of folks say they were coming to pick something up, never to hear from them again.

So, the next day around noon, I grabbed Andy the puggle and we went out to the front yard to see if the girl with the sweet voice would actually show.

At 12:10, when I was about to go back inside a girl came walking down the road. She had parked in the lot adjacent to my house.

“Are you Walter,” she asked, her voice sounded sweeter in person. Shit.

She apologized for being 10 minutes late. Apparently her relief at work was late, which in turn made her late. I believed her. She was still dressed in her Dunkin Donuts uniform and carried that cheesy tan DD visor in her left hand. She was short. Blonde hair and as she got closer I couldn’t help but notice her big blue eyes.

She smiled at Andy and we made the short walk up the driveway to the garage where I had put the old AC unit. We made small talk. Mostly about Andy. She thought he was cute. I thought the same about her, of course I didn’t say it, though. As we walked I thought how desperate she must be for an air conditioner. Granted, it was really hot outside but she didn’t know me. And here I was, some strange craigslist dude walking this cute girl into his garage.

“Nice,” she said, as she looked it over. “So $30?”

I was ready to bargain with her, I was ready to let the thing go for $20. Before I could answer she held out a $20 and a $10.

“Good deal,” she said, with a big grin on her face.

Before I could say another word she bent over and attempted to pick the thing up.

“It’s heavy,” I said.

She attempted to lift.

“Nope. Not gonna happen,” she said, laughing.

“I’ll tell you what,” I said. “If you don’t mind holding on to Andy I’ll carry it to your car.”

She eagerly held out her hand. I handed over Andy’s leash. We made more small talk as we walked to her car. Damn this thing was heavy. I just prayed my pants didn’t fall down as I was carrying the AC to her car. Thankfully, at least today, luck was on my side. They stayed up.

I loaded the AC into her car and she thanked me as she handed over my dog. I again held out my hand and said thank you. I got that funny feeling in my stomach as we shook hands. And then….she was gone.

I thought about her off and on for most of the day. So cute. So polite. And Andy seemed to like her too. The next day I thought of her a bit and by the third day she was pretty much gone from mind.

About a week later I pulled up to the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru window on East Main Street. As soon as the window opened her pretty face, big blue eyes and warm smile greeted me.

Before I could say a word she said, “Hi Walter!”

Shit! She remembered me. And you know what. For the life of me I couldn’t remember her name. I knew her face, remembered her sweet voice but her name escaped me. I covered though.

“How’s the AC treating you,” I asked.

“It’s great,” she said. “Thank you so much.”

For the next two weeks I made it a point to go to the DD on East Main in an attempt to see her. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t. But when I did, it was really neat. She was always uber friendly and, if I didn’t know any better I ‘d say she was happy to see me.

A week went by and nothing. Then Friday, I saw her again when I stopped at Dunkin for my morning coffee.

“Nice to see you,” she said, as I pulled up.

We made the usual small talk until the line formed behind me and I drove off.

And that’s that. While I enjoy seeing her, I feel like these nice little encounters are somewhat torturous. I think I should just ask her out and get it over with. If she says no, then I’ll never return. I mean, come one. There’s only about 20 Dunkin Donuts in Torrington. But…But. What if she says ‘Yes’. There’s still month left till Labor Day. Plenty of time for that classic Summer Romance.

There is only one problem. When I think of saying, “Hey, wanna go out some time?” I want to vomit. I am absolutely terrified to do it. I feel like sending a friend up there and asking her, “Hey, if any of your customers asked you out what would you say?”

Ugh, just writing this post about it puts a knot in my stomach.

My 33rd Birthday is Tuesday. Maybe the Great and Powerful Oz will send me some courage.

What Heat Wave?

Posted in Stuff on July 8, 2010 by bigdaddygouda

It’s a time in my life I may never forget.

It was this past February during a record cold spell. You remember that right? The temperature barely got out of the teens for about a week. And at night, much worse. The temps hovered around zero and more often than not, would fall below when the wind picked up during the night. People stayed in. No one wanted to leave their houses. Bars and movie theaters remained empty as people wisely chose to hunker down at home rather than make the short walk from their front door to their car. I was no different.

It was a Saturday. Shortly before 7 p.m. I checked the gauge on the oil tank. It was less than a quarter. When I checked early that morning it had been just under half. I had blown through a quarter tank of oil in less than a day. But that wasn’t the scary thing. The worst part of this was what lay ahead. There was no way the oil would last through the night when the temps were colder.

I called Dad and explained the situation. We put our money together and started making calls. It wasn’t long before reality set in. It was the weekend and no oil man wanted to come out in the freakish cold. The few who actually answered the weekend emergency line wanted to rape us for oil. $2.49 a gallon. 100 gallon minimum, plus a $125 emergency delivery fee. We didn’t have the money. Dad was retired and I was a broke journalist.

A glimmer of hope came from one oil man who called us back after we left a message on the ER hotline. He seemed a bit drunk so I wasn’t sure how much stock to put into his advice but we were desperate. He told us to go to the gas station and fill up a portable gas can with diesel fuel. He said that should do the trick till monday when the fees come down and oil companies are actually open all day. Hmm. Well, after 10 minutes of internet research Dad and I were on our way.

Our first stop was the garage. Luckily we found a five gallon gas can. We didn’t bother washing it out. It cost $15 to fill it.

The memory of my father and I filling our oil tank with Diesel fuel will be with me forever. It was blustery cold and dark. The wind stung as it whipped against our faces. It took both of us to dump the fuel into the oil spout: One to hold the can and one to steady the  funnel. Smelly fuel splashed about recklessly, covering our clothes and the ground below. Andy barked inside – a mixture of curiosity and worry.

All in all we made three trips to the gas station and back. Then three more the next day. We spent the last of our cash on the actual oil delivery Monday morning. I almost cried when I was awoken at 7 a.m. that day by the rumbling truck on the side of the house. I would find out later that dad had begun making calls to oil companies at 6 a.m. I was broke, I still smelled of gas but I was warm…..

Much has changed since February. The big money sucker of a house is long gone. I’m a bit more comfortable now, both financially and in my living quarters. Andy, who was more than just a dog but a true companion during those months seems happier now too, with his own porch and doggie friends downstairs.

 I stepped out of my apartment both yesterday and today, sweating before I completed the 20 foot walk to my car, stopping only to glance at the thermometer hanging on the fence.  85 degrees at 9 a.m.

I may be in the minority here but believe me when I say it:  This record-breaking heat wave does not bother me. Not one god damn bit.