Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's been a big week for me (which it stands to reason means that it's also been a big year for me) in terms of my relationship with technology. As my vast readership is already acutely aware, on Tuesday I finally got high-speed internet for my personal computer. And having that made it so much easier for me to shop online for my first camera phone, which arrived in the mail today. So, to recap, that's high-speed internet (so fast) and a new camera phone in the same week. It makes me wonder what might happen in 2010. An HDTV? A Mac? Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Baby steps. And this year, I took some big steps forward. In more ways than one.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I've had high-speed internet for over 24 hours, and I haven't gone to one porn site. I guess I'm just a freak like that.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Seeing and spending time with Sidney was far and away the highlight of my time in Florida. I figured that it would be, and it did not disappoint. He was just the best dog he could be. The only thing that I was sad to leave was him. Otherwise, I was more happy to get home from a visit to Florida than I can ever remember being. Even returning to the truly winter weather that has beset Pittsburgh recently. I love Florida. But Pittsburgh is my home. It's where I feel the most comfortable.

Monday, December 28, 2009

It's good to be home . . .

JIM: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Uncle Dave.

Enjoy the weather in Florida! the skin on my legs has begun to get dry and itchy. Very dry. Very itchy. No moisturizer.

Do you have your high-speed internet yet? I have holiday porn to share!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

DAVE: I think Troy is done. At the very least, he is not anywhere near worth his big contract with him standing on the sidelines.

MICHELLE: What?!?!?! What has brought this about?????

DAVE: He doesn't play a full season anymore. These next two games are critical , and he can't play? Done.

MICHELLE: But I did hear that he signed on with a Hollywood agent….but I can’t imagine him giving up on football just yet.

DAVE: Yeah, I've seen him in more commercials this year than ever before. Good to know that he's keeping busy.

Is it the Madden Curse? Except that Larry Fitzgerald is fine.

MICHELLE: It does disturb me.

On a brighter note, are you in lovely Florida?

DAVE: I am. And it is lovely. The only problem is that as Uncle Dave, I am pretty much the low man on the totem pole around here. I have to sleep on the world's most uncomfortable pull-out couch, I generally don't sleep well here, and last night was no exception, I don't really have any space to call my own and provide some privacy, and everything is about the baby. But Sidney is here, and the weather is warm and humid. No dry, itchy skin today. No need to moisturize. And no socks for the first time in months.

Speaking of drunk relatives, read my blog.

MICHELLE: LOL! Merry Christmas Uncle Dave.

MICHELLE: Very funny – enjoyed catching up on the blog, except for the photo of the chick with very large breast enhancements. What is that about?????

Maybe if you have some vodka and tonic you will be less annoyed by your brother-in-law?? Just a thought. It’s always helpful during my family gatherings.

DAVE: That photo was part of the joke about the Catholics having coffee. It came with the joke. Jim likes seeing hot girls on my blog.

I know. I've tried that before, but I only end up feeling crappy afterward. He does not appear to get hungover. But I do. So, although I am sipping on a glass of Pinot Grigio right now, I'm going to keep my drinking to a minimum. Family gatherings. They are always better when you have the option to leave. When you're all packed into Grandma's house, there's no getting away from everybody. Even now, I'm in my parents' bedroom (which has become the de facto diaper changing room, for some reason), and my mother, father, sister, Evelyn, and Sidney are all in here with me. My sister's husband is outside. Nope, I spoke too soon. He's in here with the rest of us now.

MICHELLE: I know what you mean. We are planning on spending the night at my parents' this evening and I’m wondering if it is wise. But at least there will be visits to other family members in between. Then it’s off to Kentucky. Sigh. Not much time for relaxing.

Does your brother-in-law help with the baby at all? It seems likes he is a functional alcoholic.

DAVE: I really don't understand why people insist on running themselves ragged around the holidays. I swear, my mother has done more work since I've been here than I can ever remember her doing in any 24-hour period. She just won't stop. You can try to talk to her, reason with her, but it does no good. So, I try to help out here and there, but it bothers me that a woman of 71 puts herself through all of the craziness around the holidays.

Jerry does help with the baby. Even as I'm typing this, he just finished changing her and he's "getting her ready for bed." However, the reality is that he's a little passed out right now with his daughter in his arms. He passed out after dinner last night. I don't know what his deal is. I don't know whether he drinks this much at home normally, but he always seems to indulge when I see him. My parents and I were talking last night after they went to bed about whether my sister even notices.

MICHELLE: I don’t know either. All the preparation and it goes by so quickly! I try and remind myself every year to just relax and enjoy, but it never seems to work out that way. And I’m not even the one doing much cooking or preparation! There is just a ridiculous expectation that people try and maintain. It’s craziness. I look forward to Christmas, but it’s also nice afterwards to get back to some so-called normalcy.

Does he bring his own vodka???

DAVE: My mother slaved in the kitchen all day. My sister (who really doesn't cook herself) did not offer to help (that I know of) and even had the unbelievable audacity to ask my mother to watch the baby in the middle of her cooking, while her husband sat outside having a drink and reading, which is pretty much what he does when he's here. The thing of it is, I think, that when they're here, they consider it "vacation" time. And so they just sit back and relax and let my mother work her ass off to accommodate these ridiculous holiday expectations that come from god knows where. They definitely take advantage of her kindness when it comes to Evelyn, and it has been bothering me while I've been here. Because nobody says anything about anything, except in hushed secrets. And he drank a ton again today, only he didn't pass out. Honestly, this has not been a great visit for me so far, and I really don't know if I want to do it again next year. If it weren't for Sidney, I would be looking for a flight home tomorrow.

He drinks the big 1.5 liter bottles of Stoli that my father buys for him to drink. I think he's about halfway through his second bottle.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

. . . And the vodka and tonics have begun.
Well, I arrived in Florida yesterday to spend Christmas with my parents, my sister and her husband, their daughter Evelyn, and, of course, my buddy Sidney. Last year when I was here, it was under somewhat different circumstances as I was having some issues with my depression. But this year I come to Florida feeling pretty good. It's been wonderful to see Sidney, perhaps a little less so to see everybody else. I suppose we all have issues with certain members of our family, especially those that may not be related by blood. But suffice it to say that the universe around my parents' pleasant little house seems to revolve around Evelyn, which I'm quite sure is normal. However, it doesn't leave much room for me to even find a place to put my small bag, with baby items scattered about all over the house. Even Sidney's traditional distribution of his toys doesn't compare to the chaos of having a baby in the house. Anyway, that's the way things are, and I will have to just adapt and deal with them while I am here. Meanwhile, I suppose we all have issues with certain members of our family, especially those that may not be related by blood. As he often does when he is on "vacation," yesterday my sister's husband apparently drank his trademark vodka and tonic water cocktails all day long. The good news is that it's Christmas Eve Day at about 10:30 in the morning, and he hasn't had a drink. Yet.

Monday, December 21, 2009



Sunday, December 20, 2009

High lead levels in office for lead prevention
Shabby Lawrenceville building's peeling paint is likely source

Sunday, December 20, 2009
By Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Saturday, December 19, 2009

So, Pittsburgh got its first significant snowfall of the season overnight. No matter how little or how much snow we get, there are two things that you can always count on. Pittsburgh motorists do not clean all of the snow off of their cars before they hit the road, and they don't turn on their headlights, which are often still covered by snow, even if they are on.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I think my married friends with children have been grumpy lately. Is it the holidays? Are the holidays stressful for people with children? I guess they could be. I'd hate to think that the holidays were stressful for my parents when I was a young lad, but maybe they were. Perhaps I will ask them.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

DAVE: I received your politically correct, all-inclusive, environmentally conscious, recycled, and just plain brown holiday card today. Thank you.

MICHELLE: LOL!!!!!!! I love it. Only a few of my dearest friends will actually get that! I did also purchase recycled cards that said “Merry Christmas” as well!

DAVE: You know, considering how "earthy" you are these days, it's somewhat surprising that you don't come home from a day at your job and light up a nice, big, fat one.

MICHELLE: But I am too health conscious. I fear that would get in the way of productivity at the gym!

MICHELLE: You are lucky I didn’t just send a holiday E-Card. I gave it serious thought! Instead I opted to cut down my card output. You should feel very lucky.

DAVE: I do. I do feel lucky.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Interesting article:

The "word of the year" actually happened to me. And apparently, I'm "funemployed," another new word from 2009.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A funny joke from Jim . . .


Four Catholic men and a Catholic woman were having coffee.

The first Catholic man tells his friends, "My son is a priest. When he walks into a room, everyone calls him Father."

The second Catholic man chirps, "My son is a Bishop. When he walks into a room, people call him Your Grace."

The third Catholic gent says, "My son is a Cardinal. When he enters a room, everyone says Your Eminence."

The fourth Catholic man then says, "My son is the Pope. When he walks into a room, people call him Your Holiness."

Since the lone Catholic woman was sipping her coffee in silence, the four men give her a subtle, "Well....?" She proudly replies, "I have a daughter,



38D breasts,

24" waist, and

34" hips.

When she walks into a room, people say Oh, My God."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Steelers are not playing today, thankfully, so my attention is not as drawn to the football on TV as it might normally be on a Sunday in December. I'm blogging instead. I wanted to post a conversation that I had with Jim (aka Mr. Blondie, for you newbies) (That's the first time I've ever used that word, "newbies," in written or verbal form. I don't know how I feel about it.) last week.

JIM: So, over the past two days it's gotten really cold for this first time this year. Both days, I went out to my NEW CAR and the windshield was frosted up with ice.


This morning, I actually had to scrape the ice off the inside of my windshield with an ice scraper.

Called the service dept. at the dealer where I bought the car. They said I could bring it in and they would look at it if I really wanted them to, but there was nothing they would be able to do. The manager of the service department said that this is perfectly normal and happens to cars all the time.

Why does this always happen to me? I play by the rules, try to be a productive member of society; have a house in the suburbs with my wife, two kids and a dog; pay my taxes...

DAVE: That has never happened to me, and I lived in Toronto for two years. Maybe it's a trait unique to the Prius.

JIM: It's perfectly normal. There's not a problem at all.

And then we talked about turtlenecks.

DAVE: In addition to corduroys, I'm also a big fan of turtlenecks. Winter wear at its finest: corduroys and turtlenecks.

JIM: I think I might have a turtleneck somewhere. I wear a turtleneck once or twice a year. when my wife makes me wear one under a sweater around the holidays or something like that.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I was grumpy today. And I am rarely grumpy. Like many citizens of Pittsburgh, I was dealing with the reality that the Steelers are not only not going to make the playoffs this season, they really appear to be a team in complete disarray. In every phase of the game. So, rather than a nice follow-up season to last season's Super Bowl, the Steelers are having a down year. A bad, down year. It happens to every team in the NFL, and I would argue that it actually happens to the Steelers significantly less often than any other team. There are few down years for the Pittsburgh Steelers. But this is one of them. And, if you take the same comfort from this that I do, it appears that the Patriots are also a team in a bit of disarray and having a down year. So, it can even happen to the great, evil genius Bill Belichick and Golden Boy Tom Brady. And you know what else you can take comfort in? The Steelers will do what needs to be done in the off-season, and they will be back in the hunt again next season. Because that's what they do after a down year. They don't allow it to become a trend.

It's not like they're the Pirates.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Why Leigh's last name no longer appears in the previous post . . .

AMY: Dude...what if your dream girl goes out to Google and types in her name? The first thing that will come up is your no-longer-quiet observation about her. Not just the delightful sexual encounter (albeit in your subconscious), but also how you think she's old and frumpy and overweight.

I worry, Dave.

I worry.

DAVE: She said she was middle-aged and frumpy. Those were not my words.

Sometimes it's hard having a blog, man. The story is so much better with her real name. It's perfect for the story.

AMY: Well, it's an inconvenient truth, but sometimes I think Al Gore's internet does more to damage relationships than to build them.

But I would find a way to damage my relationships no matter what, so I can't really blame Al.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs . . .

I went to a well-known private school in Pittsburgh from nursery school through tenth grade. And it wasn't until I got to high school that I had my first experience in coeducation. Of course, I cannot possibly describe for you what it was like to finally go to school with girls. It was glorious (cue: "Hallelujah Chorus"). But that's not the point of this post. One of the great objects of my burgeoning adolescent lust was a senior named Leigh. She had the most amazing body that I had ever seen in real life. Typical freshman boy lusting after a super hot senior who only dates the biggest jocks in school. Blah. Blah. Blah. As it turned out, I did get to know her (I was very convincing back then.), and we became friends, and I discovered that she was a really nice girl. Like, really nice. And she played for Jesus and all that. So, I guess you could say that my raging lust was somewhat dampened after I got to know her. But she was still a perfect unobtainable senior for me to enjoy the very sight of strolling, as she did, down the hallway in her corduroys. Oh, yeah, I forgot about that. It was 1983, and we weren't allowed to wear jeans to school. So, most of us wore Levi's corduroys, which were as close to wearing jeans as you could get. Well, the girls wore them, too. And some girls could really fill out a pair of Levi's corduroys. I think Leigh wore those Levi's corduroys better than anyone else in the school. At least that's how I've chosen to remember it now. So, anyway, all of this is exposition to the point of this post.

A couple of nights ago, I had a dream in which I found myself going down on Leigh.

In the morning, I was lying in bed thinking, and I was wondering, what ever happened to Leigh? And then I realized that thanks to the wonder that is Facebook, I could probably find out pretty easily. So, I did. I found her. Last night, I sent her a friend request with a little note. Today came her reply:

LEIGH: David, I'm not sure it was a good idea to accept your friend request - now you can see that the girl of your 9th grade dreams is now a frumpy, middle-aged mother of 7! :)
Dare I ask what, exactly, I was doing in your dreams of late? :)

So, I looked at one photo on her profile. Sadly, her description of herself was not off the mark. I was, I'm afraid to say, a little devastated. We're all in our 40s now. We're all middle-aged and frumpy. And a lot heavier than we were in high school. Including me. So, I wrote back:

DAVE: It's funny. Nobody calls me David except my parents and people from school. Anyway, I am so entertained by your profile photo now that I understand that you have seven children. That's really quite a lot, you know.

I didn't look at your photos. I'm not really much of a Facebooker. I only use it as needed. Like to find you. But perhaps I should just take your word for it that you're "now a frumpy, middle-aged mother of 7." You know, keep the fantasies intact and all that. And that's probably about all that I will dare to say regarding what, exactly, you were doing in my dreams.
DAVE: I'm getting high-speed internet on the 15th! Imagine the possibilities!


DAVE: Did you see the comment on the blog? FF already posted that website. You people are all alike.

JIM: Really?

Of course I saw it. I have never been on, but must admit that I am intrigued now. Let me know how it is.

DAVE: I'm not going to check it out. I didn't get high-speed internet so that I could watch porn on my computer. I got it so that, well, so that I can do everything that I do online now, only much faster.

Monday, December 7, 2009

After Michelle sent me a text last night in which she said that the only person that she really felt sorry for following the Steeler loss was Mike Tomlin . . .

DAVE: I'm going to disagree with you about Tomlin. I put a lot of this season on him. I understand and fully expected a Super Bowl hangover this season. That's why I felt in my heart that it was going to be 8-8. But once Troy went down, we stopped bringing the pass rush, and when the Steelers defense doesn't bring the pass rush, the secondary gets picked apart. It's been that way for years. The great blitzing protects the lousy secondary. Which, I admit, has had a particularly bad year. But Tomlin could have stuck with the pass rush. But he didn't. I'm actually very disappointed in him.

MICHELLE: I don't know, Dave. I don't know what the problem is...

DAVE: They sure as heck didn't unleash hell in December.

MICHELLE: Indeed not. And the more I think about it, I am getting pissed about Troy. He has played in what - 2 or 3 games tops? I hate to say it, but I hope his recent physical troubles are not correlated with his big contract. Probably not, but I'm still cranky.

DAVE: I understand. But I think, regardless of what everyone in the media says, that the defense is worse than people think it is, even with Troy in there. No pass rush and a lousy secondary. I will preach this as long as I live.

MICHELLE: Is LeBeau losing his touch??? Seems impossible. But yes, the defense should not fall apart without Troy. Seems like the secondary and special teams are always the bane of our existence!!!!!

DAVE: Yep. Secondary and special teams. That's it right there.

I doubt that LeBeau will return next season.
DAVE: Meineke Car Care Bowl! Woohoo!

JIM: I was joking with people on Saturday that Pitt would end up in some scrub bowl like the Meineke Car Care Bowl. I am prescient.

DAVE: Well, at least Pitt had a better season than the Steelers are. Wanny should get an extension just for that.

JIM: Did you mean "better" or "bitter"?

DAVE: Oh, I definitely meant better.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I just joined the 21st Century. I ordered high-speed internet, begrudgingly from (media mega-giant and getting bigger after buying NBC from GE last week) Comcast.

And because I know that it can take hours to accomplish something with Comcast on the phone, I placed my order online, using good old dial-up. Speed: 56 Kbps.

My whole life is about to change. Hopefully, for the better.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

JIM: I'm wearing corduroys today. Could life be any better?

DAVE: Big day. You're wearing corduroys, and Alan Iverson is coming back to the 76ers.

JIM: The corduroys are comfortable. But it makes me kind of sad to wear them. As it turns out, they are comfortable because they are a size 34 waist and all of my other pants are either size 32 or 33. I have been putting on weight lately because I have no time to exercise and barely have time to eat (and end up eating dinner quite often at odd times like 9:00 or 10:00 at night) and certainly have not been eating as properly as I should. So it turns out most of my other clothes are becoming somewhat snug around the waistline. I have pretty much given up even trying to wear any pants that are size 32 and even the size 33s are becoming uncomfortable. So, wearing my size 34 corduroys kind of makes me feel like I've just given in to getting fat and that's the way it's going to be.

DAVE: A few months ago, I gave all of my 32s to Goodwill. I am a 34, and I've accepted it. You will in time.

JIM: You aren't helping.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I have a confession to make. I live in some degree of fear that the depression will come back. I even have dreams in which I am experiencing depression, and then when I wake up, I am incredibly relieved. It's ironic, because when I was suffering severe depression, I would have dreams that I was fine, and when I woke up to find that I had been dreaming, I was devastated. I feel good now, but this specter haunts me.