December 2006 Archives
I can tell you that as a Philly fan, a fan of any team in Philadelphia, that we never expect our teams to win. Joe isn't on my email list, the email list for the Philadelphia Eagles Club of Hoboken, but if he was, he would have heard me say a lot of times: "The Eagles SHOULD win this game". I think I wrote it when we played four teams this season: Houston, 49ers, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville.
At the time I felt that they were "winnable" games. The Eagles were playing good football and on both sides of the ball had the better chance to pull out a victory. As you well know, the birds went 2-2 in those matchups and in my humble opinion should have won all 4.
There are other teams and games, that I felt that they were overmatched. Last week against the Giants, I felt that the Giants were going to beat us. I told plenty of people this and didn't go into the game expecting a win. I was fully expecting our run defense to get destroyed by Tiki and Co.
Imagine my surprise when our run defense shut New York down. I was at Mulligans cheering louder than ever before watching our birds rise like a Phoenix from the ashes of a failed season into a soaring bird of an epic story. This week was much of the same. I thought the Giants game was a bit flukey. I thought "Ok, they had one nice game, but this week we will see the "Real Philly Team".
As any Philly fan can tell you, our teams love to rip our hearts out. Give you some hope, give you something to look foward to, a smidgeon of interest, fanning the flames until they smother it down with a swift smack. Sometimes it is with key injuries or with a collapse of whatever offense they were cobbling together, when the poor playing or terrible professionalism rears its ugly head.
It is 8pm on a Monday night and the Eagles soundly trounced the Cowboys on national television, when most pundits were crowing for a Cowboy victory. Me? I had a quiet optimism. Much like I didn't want to be the Jinx of Jinxes, I just kept my mouth shut. Hopeful, but still expecting the Real Philly Team to show up Monday.
I wrote weeks ago that Garcia wasn't going to be the answer at quarterback. Boy, was I wrong. I think it says volumes about the Philadelphia Eagles. McNabb is a good quarterback, but he isn't the reason why the Eagles soar. They have key players on every facet of the offense and defense that step up and make our team look good. Westbrook, Dawkins, Sheppard, Andrews. Now Garcia can add his name to that list because, quite simply, he is playing some great football.
Eagles are in the playoffs. When McNabb went down weeks ago, I was fully expecting another 6-10 season. I was getting text messages from my friends some offering condolences, and some barbed heckles. One friend of mine, who will remain nameless, had a friendly wager with me at the beginning of the season. I said that the Eagles would end up with a better regular season record than the Giants. I felt like Eli stunk, and their team would be 8-8, and I felt that Eagles could beat that. Everyone was healthy and TO was gone.
Once McNabb went down, well, that friend of mine had his way with me. Heckles and taunts via text messaging. Plenty of advice on paying him and how to pay him. I kept my mouth shut. I didn't expect the Eagles to play as well as they did and didn't expect the Giants to implode. I already felt me losing some weight to my pocket.
I guess it is "Merry Christmas" in more ways that one today. I get bragging rights, a win of a wager and the fact our Eagles are headed into the playoffs. If they keep playing the same football they have been playing the last two weeks there is no reason why they can't beat anyone in the NFC. Mark my words - the Eagles are playing the kind of football that takes you to the Super Bowl.
I expect next week to be a quiet week for the blog.
I am staying in Hoboken for the holidays. Most of my family members are doing the holidays with their in-laws or at their own home. I was just in DC for Thanksgiving and saw everyone. My mother will be at my Aunt's home for the holiday. My other sister and brother are in DC. I was invited to my sister Philly home for Christmas, and I really appreciated it, but decided to instead stay in Hoboken. I love her and her kids (who have just started to play Warcraft!), but in some ways i'd rather just chill out around my house for this holiday. I have the week off from work (my first weeklong vacation since September), and plan on doing the following activities:
2. Playing videogames (Warcraft, Civilization, Battlefield 2142).
3. Bartending on Saturday nights at the bar.
4. Doing loads of laundry.
5. Playing with my camera around Hoboken.
7. Cooking a bit, I have a new delivery from Fresh Direct coming on Sunday.
8. Playing with Layla.
9. Ignoring my diet for the week.
Yes, not very exciting. I know. If I had a girlfriend, i'd use such a vacation to plan a trip to someplace warm. But I really have zero interest in being that single 34 year old guy who vacations in the Bahamas. Unless people know a place I can go where it isn't weird.
I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!
For New Years I am undecided on what I will do. I think the night is a bit overrated, and I have been invited to a few house parties to attend. I think I will just chill with some friends a pop open a few nice bottles of wine.
Happy New Year!
Yes, i'm tooting my own horn on this entry. I know all of you can't read my blog daily, but here is what I think are the "best entries" for 2006. If you haven't read them, i'd read, comment and share with your friends with what I wrote this year.
I'd like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement this year. My readership has doubled this year, and I can only guess that you are all hoping for more PSE&G disasters to entertain you.
What was your favorite entry? Either leave a comment or shoot me an email.
The season isn't over for our birds, but I have to say that last Sunday was such an exciting game to watch. Ups and downs. Turnovers and offensive battles. The bar had a modest crowd of about 40 people at kickoff, and the energy level was amped.
There was even a Giant fan or two in the back bar and I was a bit unhappy about that. A few people emailed me asking if they could bring a Giants fan to the bar, and I suggested they just sit in the front bar, to avoid any problems. I have no personal problem with opposing fans coming to the bar, but do they REALLY need to sit in a crowd of Eagle fans?
I remember at one point I was cheering so much that I got dizzy. Also remember jumping up and down with the crowd that was left by the end of the game (right after the Cole interception for a TD) and got klunked in the head by someone's elbow. It didn't matter I was on cloud 9.
Yesterday at work and online I had a lot of payback. I tried to remain "somewhat" civil about it, but I was absolutely savoring this win. I said at the beginning of the season that, to me, the Giants were an 8-8 team and the Eagles were a 10-6 team. I even put a few friendly wagers to back my words up. I remember when the Giants were 6-2 my roommate Matt laying into me relentlessly about how great the Giants were and crowing over and over. Oh, I was steamed. I told him a simple rule, "Never talk trash until the season is over."
I stuck by my rule. Even with this win, I just felt like it was an early Christmas present. Win or lose next week against the Cowboys, you can't take this win away from us. Hey, if we beat the Cowboys - that's another present. If we make the post-season it is present number three.
With the Eagles who knows what will happen. I am just happy that after McNabb went down that we have responded as true professionals and can win as a team.
I eat at Panera Bread about once a week for dinner. I like their multi-grain bread, and i'm trying to eat healthier when I can help it. It seems that 4 out of 5 times I go there they fuck up my order. I swear. I will always get home and open my sandwich and they forget something. Like they forgot lettuce. Or mayo (I know, not healthy, but i'm hoping the multi-graininess offsets the mayo). Also can anyone explain how mustard should be on a tuna sandwich?
I got finished at Club H around 8:30 and walk up Washington. I see Panera and decide to stop in, getting a smoked Turkey Sandwich. Quick segue. If you walk into Panera at anytime at night, look to the right. There is always an older woman sitting there, with glasses. Like every time I walk in there, this woman is sitting there. Sometimes she is with a man. She looks easily 75 years old, if not older. I'm convinced she is like homeless or something, because she is always at Panera. Anyhow.
I pass by the Creepy Old Lady and I'm waiting on line at Panera. An older guy, around 65 or 70, is in front of me and orders his food. He has a full head of white hair, oversized glasses and a button sweater. He also has those "old guy sensible shoes". Like the kind of shoes that are for people who shuffle to the bingo parlor right after "Matlock" is over. When asked for his name by the cashier, he replies, "Al".
Yep, to me, the name fits him. He looks like an "Al". I think about it for a second and then my warped mind decides to have some fun.
I go up and order, slowly, exactly what I want on my turkey sandwich: Swiss. Mayo. Lettuce. Onion. On multi-grain.
For here or to go? To go.
Your name? Tupac.
Now the girl was about all of 16 years old and African American.
She looks up at me with a curious look on her face, her eyes a bit wide as if to say "White boy with the name TUPAC?". While she is looking me over curiously, I don't smile or react - just keep a poker face. She says, "Fo real?". I just nod slowly as if to say: Yes, Tupac. She starts laughing and trying to type "Tupac" on her register, but the laughter overwhelms her and she gives up.
I can't hold back a smile any longer and I start laughing along, and say: "What!? Don't I look like a Tupac!?"
This gets her to laugh even more and i'm the type that once I start laughing with someone over my joke, that I can't stop either. We both get a good laugh out of it and I go to wait by the end of the counter, and i'm in a good mood. I watch the sandwich makers because they look up at the TV screens for the order and call out your name when done.
I want to see the moment that the word "Tupac" registers on the guy making my sandwich.
Oh, it was worth it. The guy is making the sandwich and looking up at the screen from time to time - i'm sure reading off the ingredients of the sandwich, and when done calling out the name of the person who ordered.
Right before he is about to call out my name you can see him just...stop.
He starts to laugh and then taps the other guy next to him pointing at the screen, the other guy starts laughing too and he calls out with a questioning laugh, "Tupac?".
"Right here, dude.", I reply. Both of them laugh even more once they look at me.
I shrug my shoulders and comically reply, "What!? My parents liked rap! It's a 'Thug Life', dog."
I thank them for my sandwich and leave. On the way home i'm trying to think of more names I can use next time I order. I think I will say "Oprah" next. Or maybe "Jesus", but I think the guys there would be like "Hay-Zeus! Your sammich is ready, man!" I have to come up with a good one like Tupac again.
I get home and the motherfuckers forgot my lettuce. Tupac gets no respect.
I'm at the bar on Saturday night, and it is busy. We have the DJ spinning music and a large crowd drinking. There is a birthday party in my corner and i'm throwing Bud Lights their way to keep them happy.
I get an older guy, maybe around 40, and his wife near the taps. From the corner of my eye, I can see that he is eyeing me. But i'm busy making drinks and queue him up in my mind as the next guy i'll serve.
I get over to him and ask for his drink and immediately I knew this guy was a class-one asshole.
It will be hard to explain in writing, but i'll try. Most people, when ordering will look directly at me, and say clearly what they want. This guy treated me with something close to disdain. Like I was beneath him. It was palpable. I could feel it and I kept my composure but really wanted to say "What the fuck is your problem?"
So, he orders his drink and mumbles it to me while looking away, like he has more important things to do. I'm busy, the crowd is jumping, and I can already see my birthday party in the corner wants more "O-bombs" (Stoli O and Red Bull similar to Jagerbombs) and this guy is wasting my time. So I get his attention and ask him again what he wanted. He says his order and then holds up an index finger to me to "Hold a moment" and talks to his wife.
When you are busy, and behind a bar, you don't have many times to "Hold a moment". The owner is there and he's watching us work. The owner can see that other people need drinks and frequently jumps behind the bar to help us if we fall behind. I personally hate that, because it says "I'm not working fast/efficiently enough" to me. I don't want anyone helping me, if I can help it, unless something goes terribly wrong behind the bar (like the register breaks or I run out of liquor/beer and have to fetch something).
So i'm standing there while the 40-year old is making me wait for him to ask his wife what she wants.
Now, like I said before, he was waiting for me at the taps before I walked over. Wouldn't you think he would have asked his wife what she wanted BEFORE that? Nah. Not this guy.
Many times if people do this to me, and it is busy, normally I will just say, "I will come back when you are ready." and walk away to help someone else. But I was just annoyed this was happening and stood there in a detached sense of amusement (I knew it was going to be blogged) and anger (no one likes to be treated like this).
I finally get what they both want, and it is that same contempt he has when ordering. He doesn't look at me when he talks - he just sort of talks AT me. Like i'm a vending machine, not a person. Like he is sitting at the drive-thru at McDonalds and talking to the metallic box and looking for a Happy Meal.
I got his drinks, didn't say a word to him. Didn't say Thank You, just gave him the money and his drinks and went to help the rest of my customers.
Hey, I get it. I'm a bartender. I serve drinks. I try to talk to people, make them laugh a bit, maybe listen to their problems.
But i'm not a fucking servant.
“Housing Slump Is Over!” claim the National Association of Realtors.
“Eating Red Meat Is Healthy!” claim the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.
“Tobacco Doesn’t Cause Cancer!” claim Altria Group Inc.
“Shampooing Seven Days A Week Doesn’t Affect Hair Loss!” claim PhRMA.
“Ground Zero Dust Isn’t Toxic.” claims the U.S. Government.
“We Don’t Use Steroids On Our Chickens!” claim The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.
“Children’s Belly Fat Increases More Than 65% since 1990s, No Direct Link Found As Of Yet.” claim The Sugar Association.
Before I get any cease and desist letters, these are all in jest. Well, except the NAR claim.
I remember when I approached Paul about having the Eagles club at Mulligan's. I told him that i'd probably be able to get about 60-80 people at his bar a week.
Paul was very nice about it and said the number of people didn't matter. He was fine if I brought in 5 or 500, he was happy to host the club.
I went on, telling Paul, that every season, for the last 3 seasons, we had a sharp decline in people coming out to the bars when December hit, for various reasons. Its colder, and people don't like going out to bars in the cold. The holiday season takes it toll on our attendance. So do injuries, and if the team plays poorly.
This season was much like last season. We had 80 people in the bar for the first 5 games, then about 60 in the bar for the next couple, and with a McNabb injury & some bad losses, some people figured that watching the game at home was better than at the bar. To me, the club is more than just watching the football game. It is being social. Meeting new people and cheering or nursing our wounds together.
But I will tell you what. I watched the Carolina game with a handful of fans on Monday night. We sang when the Eagles scored each touchdown, and were jeered by Jets fans and other Eagles haters each time. I kept my mouth shut. By the time the game ended I had only five Eagle fans left in the bar and the haters all were long gone. It could have been the most fun I had watching a game of this season, even with such a small gathering of local fans.
Thom and Kathleen, you two shouldn't have left early!
I hope to see a few people who still believe next Sunday. We got the Redskins to take care of before our big showdown with the Giants. Stay tuned people, we aren't out of this yet.
I want to write something about "What you should know if you are going to set Sean up with someone". No, I wasn't set up, but I have many girl friends over the years that have tried to set me up with people and I sort of want to write something about that. Yes, i'm annoying, aren't I? This isn't Dickens, people.
Hope you enjoy the picture. It was taken during my trip to DC over Thanksgiving. I have been reading some books on photography and trying to experiment a bit. I really want to take some more trips into NYC and try to explore a bit.