Programming Idea

I’ve developed a show that’s the exact opposite of The Voice. Attractive contestants come out while the celebrity judges stare directly at them.

Then the contestants begin singing really poorly and the celebrity judges’ chairs swivel around while the judges put their fingers in their ears.

I don’t know what happens next but the show will be called “The Price Is Right” or something cool like that.

Neighborhood Confidential

I live in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. The neighborhood has become a lot more integrated of late, with a large number of Asian and Russian families moving in. However, in some places it is still an Italian enclave, and at times, can appear like an outtake of Goodfellas.

Today, I was dispatched by my wife and her friend to buy them a prosciutto and mozzarella (or “mutz” in the local parlance) sandwich on Italian bread. I entered a local delicatessen (or salumeria, for you traditionalists) and placed my order, which was nicknamed “The Frank Sinatra” on the large menu that hung over the counter.

After the sandwich was prepared, I took it to the register to pay. A short, stout middle-aged man (OK, let’s call him Vinnie) stood behind the register. The sandwich was $13 dollars (I know it’s expensive, but hey, it’s fresh mutz) but I only had 12. I did have a credit card, but the minimum for charging food was $15.

I looked at Vinnie sheepishly. I asked if he could make an exception on the minimum for credit card orders and he just waved me off and took the cash I had. I headed home with the sandwich feeling guilty. And a little worried.

When I got home, I gave my wife and her friend their food, asked for a dollar and headed back to the delicatessen. I went up to the register and handed Vinnie the bill. He didn’t seem shocked that I had returned. In fact, he appeared as if he expected it.

I left the delicatessen feeling more than a little relieved. I know it’s not right to perpetuate stereotypes, but I couldn’t risk winding up on someone else’s sandwich under a layer of fresh mutz.

The Dead Zone

A couple of blocks from my house, on the far end of 13th Avenue, is a corner store location.

In the past couple of years, it has been a restaurant, a wedding video company, another restaurant and, yes, another restaurant. And yet, a month or 2 after opening, each establishment would close, ostensibly because it didn’t make any money. To be truthful, my neighborhood does not need another restaurant, wedding video company or even another restaurant.

Well, I was walking past the location today and I noticed that a new establishment was opening soon.

It’s going to be a small business development office. I think we need one of those.

Some of you may be familiar with this photo blog. Curated by “Babs”, reportedly an engineer in San Francisco, the K-hole is a bunch of homespun photos of people, mostly taken in the 1970s and 1980s. The homes, dress, style and activities depicted are wonderfully dated and those who lived during those decades will simultaneously smile and cringe.

You youngins will probably gawk in wonder like I do when I see photos and films of people during the 1920s and 1930s.

Babs states that about 20% of the photos are her family’s while the rest are from friends and random places on the Internet. There is a lot of focus on punk rock, skateboarding, mustaches, hair metal, partying and school hi-jinks. Oh yeah, there is also some random NSFW stuff, so let the buyer beware. Babs does not supply any captions for the photos which both adds to their creepiness and allows you to provide the stories behind them.

The blog is not updated all that frequently, so us fans have to enjoy it when we can. As a bonus, there are many Tumblr entries dedicated to the blog, so you can always search for the Internet K-hole tag.

On Sainthood

So I see they’re installing 2 new saints today. That brings the total number to something like 823. Man, that’s a lot of righteous people. I would have guessed the number wasn’t much higher than 16.

According to scripture, in order to become Saint, one has to perform at least 1 verifiable miracle. Between you and me, the fact that I haven’t been audited by the IRS in 30 years should qualify, given my suspect math. But thankfully, this cannot be verified by anyone. Um, I mean until now.

It seems that the quality of miracles being performed by would-be saints has dropped in recent times. Back in the good ol’ days, people would part red seas, raise the dead, and feed a large group of people with a single loaf of bread.

Nowadays, not hitting or cursing at someone on the morning train commute qualifies.

I think the best part of being a saint would be being named the Patron Saint of something. When I become a saint—notice how I didn’t say, if—I will be named the Patron Saint of Humility. It’s only fitting.

Interestingly, the Jewish faith does not mention much about saints. We’re more into prophets, it appears. Jewish scripture mentions both major and minor prophets. Major prophets would predict 40 years of famine or that some miscreants will build a heinous Idol of a calf right in God’s own backyard. The minor prophets were prone to state things like, “I knew you were going to say that!” and “Looks like it’s going to rain soon.”

Anyway, a big hosanna to the new saints in the Roman Catholic faith. I’m sure you were both great guys and we sure need more of them to offset the doofuses, douchebags and tools that abound on this Earth.

I’m looking at you, Guy Fiery, if you haven’t already burst into flames by this time.

Time And Space

On Cosmos, Neil DeGrasse Tyson stated that when we look at stars in the sky we are not seeing them as they are in the present. Nay, due to the time that light takes to reach our eyes from the stars’ great distances, we are actually seeing what they were like millions of years ago.

By extension, when we look at each other we are not seeing what the other person looks like at the present moment, but at some moment in the past.

All I have to say to all of you is, man, you have really let yourself go.