Friday, September 29, 2006


This past Wednesday, my wife and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. I sent her roses and cooked her favorite dish, lamb tenderloin marinated in rosemary and garlic and served with mint jelly. It was surely better than anything we would have gotten in a restaurant where we live. (And I'll try not to pull a muscle while I pat myself on the back.)

But that's not what I wanted to talk about.

I am amazed that out of all of the guys that I grew up with, only two have been divorced. Two out of 20 guys (including me). And both of those were extraordinary circumstances that were caused by the wife! And both have remarried and are very happy.

If you'd have asked me 15 years ago what percentage of my buddies marriages would end in divorce, I would have said 60-70%. And that was only if any of us actually got married in the first place! (Yes, two of the 20 are still single.)

Not that these guys are bad guys or anything. In fact, it's just the opposite. They're all really good guys. They liked to drink beers, chase girls and play and watch sports, none of which are conducive to marriage.

Who would have guessed that they all turned out to be good family men?

Have a great weekend! I am having a barbecue to celebrate my son's dedication to God and my family is coming up from NJ. It should be a blast!

Monday, September 25, 2006

I'm Still Alive

Lately things have been a little hectic around the Delta House for 'ol Flounder. Last week I worked 10 hours of OT that will really help out the budget, but it kind of kicked my ass. My normal 40 hour work week is a bit misleading in the first place. I work from 7am to 4pm, and have an hour commute each way every day making my work day 6am to 5pm. Add in some OT and I never got home before 8pm last week. In fact, one night I got home at 10:15!

So of course all I did this weekend was lay around and sleep. NOT!

Saturday was yard work day and dinner with the fellas at Marchetti's. I only mention the dinner because we had the Famous King Cut of Prime Rib. It's pre-cooked weight is 64oz, and there were no doggie bags taken from our table. The video below looks a lot like me that night.

Anyway, this week looks a little less crazy so I should be able to post a little more.

*****Isn't it ironic that this is my 96th post?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

More Wedding Crashers

When we first received the invitation to the wedding back at the end of July, it was a no-brainer for me. We're not going.

It's was nothing against the happy couple, or the fact that we don't like going to weddings in the first place. No, it was much more simple than that. We have a baby and no sitter. Everyone that we trusted with the boy was going to be at the wedding, so that left us out.

In reality, it was kind of relief. I really couldn't afford to get my wife a new dress, get myself something to wear and get a gift. I don't own a suit and don't really want one.

(Side Note: I have this theory that as long as I don't own a suit, I can't die because there wouldn't be anything in which I could be buried. You may laugh at that, but my theory is 100% correct at the moment.)

So imagine my horror when the bride called my wife and told her that if the only reason we weren't going to attend the wedding was because of the baby, then we could bring him along.


Total cost for clothes and gift: $300.

They had beautiful weather last Saturday morning for their outdoor ceremony. It must have been wonderful, but I wouldn't know. No, I was waiting on Mrs. Flounder to get ready, and we arrived 45 minutes late. Luckily we could tell the couple that Jake was fussy and we didn't want to disrupt their ceremony, so we elected to only go to the reception. We didn't even mention that we got pulled over on the way there, though the RI cop was cool and let us off with a warning. (Side Note: Mrs. Flounder was driving. If it was me, they would have put me under the jail.)

Now for the worst part. It was a closed bar wedding. As in, if I wanted a Bloody Mary to take away the morning angst, I wasn't getting it there. You see, the bride is our pastor's niece and everyone at the wedding was from our church. Apparently they all forgot to read John 2: 1-11, the story of Jesus turning water to wine at a wedding.

And if I ever needed a drink at a wedding, this was the one. Every wedding cliché came to fruition, including the first dance to Celebration. There was the Electric Slide, the Macarena, the Hully Gully, and the dreaded dollar dance. The bride and groom acted like they were gonna slam cake in each other's face, but didn't. The bride and her father danced to Butterfly Kisses. It was nauseating.

The only sort of cool thing was the floor show that the bride and two bridesmaids did towards the end. They danced like Michael Jackson in the Thriller video. Without a doubt, it was the first time I've ever seen a woman move like that in a wedding dress.

Regardless, I wanted out of there faster than the virgin bride and groom. That should tell you something.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Never forget

I remember where I was when I heard that JFK had been shot.

I had heard people say that for years, and I can relate to it. I always seem to recall details of my life when I think back to a memorable event, good or bad. But I am sure that everyone does that to one extent or the other.

I thought that it was sad that my generation's equivalent to the JFK memory would be I remember where I was when OJ made his escape in the white Bronco.

But then 9/11 happened, and that changed. I remember exactly where I was when I heard about the cowardly terror attacks on our country, and I remember the days afterward vividly.

I was driving north on I-395, just south of the Massachusetts border, when I popped out my Bat out of Hell CD and tuned in Imus. It was a little before 9am, and I had a meeting with the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority at 10am just outside of Boston.

Imus was already talking about the first plane hitting tower 1, but the facts were a little vague. I called my wife and told her to turn on the television and call me back. She sat in front of the TV eating her Fruity Pebbles when the second plane hit tower 2. She hasn't eaten that cereal since.

She called me hysterically crying, asking Why over and over. I calmed her down and told her to keep watching and let me know what was happening.

I arrived at the meeting place next to the tollbooths at the beginning of the Boston extension. It's about 10 miles from downtown Boston, and there is a little break room inside. I was early, so I went in to check out the news on TV. That is when I saw the towers collapse and watched the seemingly endless barrage of camera angles of the second plane hitting the towers.

I got a call from one of the guys that I was supposed to be meeting and he said that maybe we better table this for another day. That is when I noticed the state police cars flying into the city on the Pike. There must have been 150 of them in a span of a little over an hour.

By then, it was about 11:30 and I started thinking that I should get on the road home as traffic was already picking up. I stopped at a WalMart and bought an American flag and small pole and attached it to the back of my truck's cab. I got home around 1:45 and just sat there and prayed and cried with my wife.

Over the next few days, we were glued to the TV like everyone else. We bought supplies for the rescue workers and dropped them off at Cardi's furniture store in Rhode Island. We gave blood. And of course, we prayed.

Three weeks later, I had to go to work in lower Manhattan. It was a completely bizarre experience to say the least. The strangest thing was riding in a cab from Grand Central to our site on Hudson St, down 8th Ave, and not seeing the trade center towering up ahead.

I remember watching people wearing white masks as they walk along the streets. And the signs with the faces and names of missing people on them. Oh my, they were everywhere.

When I got to the site, all of my coworkers had a story about that day. They told me how the first plane flew right over the site and that they would never forget that sound. They talked about watching the back of tower 2 blow out towards them while they were on their roof watching in horror. They told me how they could see people unimaginably jumping from the towers. Just horrible.

That was my 9/11 experience. Tell me about yours.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sleeping with the fishes

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Scenes From A Mexican Restaurant

With the new Flounder family budget firmly in place, there isn't much room for dining out. So when I get to actually enjoy a meal in a restaurant now, I try to enhance the experience by noting the people around me. And since I dined alone at lunch today, I had nothing but time to do just that. Today's fare: Mexican.

I must get one of those t-shirts the servers are wearing that say "You had me at Patròn"

Four grown men dressed in business casual should never, under any circumstances, sit in a cramped little booth together.

The bus boy looks exactly like Damon Wayans in those Men on Film skits from In Living Color. And that other waitress looks a little like the David Allen Grier character.

The inside of this restaurant looks like a cross between The Macaroni Grille and the set of Sanford and Son, complete with a Tuscan-style fireplace and a beat-down Chevy pickup. Lamont was nowhere to be found.

The woman at the table next to me ordered a case-a-dill-a, just like Napoleon Dynamite's Grandma.

Watching highlights on the plasma tv in the bar of FSU beating Miami really enhanced my dining experience. Go Noles!

Whoever made my burrito rolled it the wrong way. As a result, half was all vegetables and half was all chicken, and the two never crossed paths until they met in my belly.

One napkin. That is all they gave me, one lousy napkin. And I guess that restaurant has a no refill policy on water because my glass got emptied and stayed empty. Her tip certainly reflected my discontent.

Of course the waitress that took my order was not the same person that brought my food or check. You know why? She quit in the middle of my meal. No shit. That is the second time that has happened to me. At least the last time, they comped my meal because everyone else forgot about me.

This restaurant offers a $5 discount on your next visit and a chance to win $25k if you fill out their service questionnaire online. The way I see it is the only people that fill this out are probably pissed off, want to bitch about it and will never eat there again. And if they weren't pissed off in the first place, they will be when they see the hoops that they need to jump through to get the damn coupon! Don't judge me! I'm on a budget!

Some prick bastard parked way too close to the F-150's driver side, so I had to get in the passenger side and shimmy across the seat. People just have no respect for us fat guys anymore.

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