Moustache Sandy

It has been an incredibly crazy past couple of days for the Atlantic coast states (and continues forward with basic supplies dwindling). Hurricane Sandy (or Post-Tropical Storm Sandy to be technical) made landfall in New Jersey on Monday October 30th. It has left behind a swathe of destruction. Mother Nature is no joke, and she ever so often reminds us who is in charge. My head has been spinning over what has been left behind by this massive storm.

My spinning head, made way around to a short, but true story I shared on Facebook about my car ride home about a week ago. This is how it went (edited for grammar and syntax):

Driving home tonight I saw a creepy crawler moving across the windshield. The spider was between the size of a nickel and a quarter. Initially I wasn’t sure if it was on the inside or the outside, so I kept one eye on it, and the other on the road. I was eventually sure it was on the inside, as it passed the windshield wiper test. I figured just leave it be, no big deal. But that backfired, I started to get a bit weary as it crept in and out of the shadows. Losing sight of it caused the eerie feeling it was crawling on me, or worse crawling through my hair, or worse exploring my ear canal…you know irrational non-sense. So with the irrational heebee-geebees (spelling?) I started to scan the windshield for it. As soon as I spotted it I bare handed that MFer into oblivion. I learned today to always kill the spider, if not you will probably realize you should have killed him in the first place, when you knew where he was.

This story has absolutely nothing to do with Sandy, in a direct sense. But, and I didn’t realize at the time of sharing the story, my little life experience was the pure embodiment of carpe diem (“seize the day” – for those without your handy Latin translator, or whom have never read Horace, or more importantly seen Dead Poets Society). It seems cliche (rather it is cliche, since they are born out of truth), but our existence here is limited (you can argue about the afterlife amongst yourselves). Most of us know this, but we need the occasional reminder (Cue mother nature). Take charge of your life, when you see that person that moves you like no other, that career opportunity across the globe, that chance to do something scary but you know inside you want it, you need to barehand that MFer into oblivion, and don’t let go until you are sure you’ve exasperated all your efforts, you never know if you will ever get the chance again.

Wait, you must be wondering right now (or not), “Why did you call your post Moustache Sally?!?

Today marks the beginning of Movember. For those of you not in the know, “During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.” I am barehanding that MFer, in this case, my urge to raise some awareness but also grow facial hair that I would otherwise not dare to attempt. Another great cause, the timing a bit off, but, nonetheless, nothing says you can’t be doing good from multiple fronts. Anyway, this might be a light distraction to some of the doom and gloom on the news for the last few days. If you care to donate (I’ve asked for a lot this post), or learn a bit about men’s health issues please visit

For a quick laugh, here’s my scraggly facial hair from last year:

Until next time, stay safe,


PS: Here are some resources to help out with Sandy:

Red Cross:, Call 800-Red-Cross or text the word “Redcross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

New York Blood Center: Call 800-933-2566 or visit

Salvation Army: Visit to donate.

Feeding America: To donate visit or call 800-910-5524.

AmeriCares: To donate, visit

World Vision: To donate, visit

Save the Children: Visit www.savethechildren.orgto donate.

Samaritan’s Purse is asking for volunteers to help storm victims. To volunteer, visit their website.

This isn’t the NFL. It’s for REAL.

Hi folks, it has been quite a bit since I last shared any of my thoughts (uninterrupted or otherwise). But I found some time to break the silence. I just needed to chime in, and basically preach a little bit. Maybe more a disjointed rant (after re-reading, it’s a bit preachy, with a taste of pleading). It’s about politics (GASP!). Don’t worry I am not going to go on and on about my own political views, that’s none of your damn business! (Or maybe another day) I am shocked with the amount of ridiculous rhetoric being spewed forth by “fans” of both major political parties. I say “fans” because we are treating political affiliation as if it is the same as being a fan of a football team. Undying life long support, regardless of outcome, that is a true fan. Sticking with our team through losing seasons, coaching gaffes, and even out and out team mismanagement, true fans do all of these things. But this isn’t the NFL. It’s for REAL. There is no unwritten rule that once we become affiliated with a political party we are branded for life (this doesn’t even happen with sports, raise your hand my fair weather fans!). I’m perplexed how so many people vote blindly down party lines, even though it might not be in the best interest of their community, their family, their business, or not even for them as an individual. I’m even more perplexed when I hear (or mostly read) us repeating out and out lies, just because that is what our party has been spinning that week. This fanaticism is destroying actual and true political discourse in this country. We could blame the parties themselves for all of the hatred, the finger pointing, the inability to work across party lines, or even their inability to go more than three minutes without lying or exaggerating the truth. That would be easy. Call it a day, politicians suck, they are all cheats. But what about that, they suck, so what then? Keep voting based on all the bullshit? “I’m voting for this guy, because I like the way he lies.” Does that even make sense? We are to blame to for letting this mess snowball out of control. They may be stark raving mad, but instead of putting the rabid beast out of its misery, we allowed the mouth-foaming possum to come in our homes and play with our kids. How about that for personal responsibility? All we have left is ranting and raving from each end of the political spectrum. When people are so deep-rooted in some weird pseudo political gang nothing gets accomplished, the differences are the reason for the hatred, and there will always be differences, and hence continued hatred (think bloods and crips, with less blue and red handkerchiefs, and more penny-loafers).

The cycle can’t be broken until we say its okay to not always be a Democrat, or a Republican (or at the minimum holding them accountable to their rhetoric). Shit, we can be a Libertarians, Greenies, Constitutionalists, or even go back in time and bring back the Whigs, Federalists, and Prohibishionists, it doesn’t matter. The only important facet is that we treat the political spectrum as something that has real effect on our lives, rather than Monday Night Football, just a game with some bragging rights.  Hit the fact checking websites (,, even has real facts!) listen to what the parties are saying, call them out on their bullshit. Both of them! All of them!

Shouldn’t the American people and the actual policies that effect them be greater than the parties themselves?

Until Next Time,


PS While reflecting on my own political peacocking, I questioned and doubted my motivation behind my words, and this rant spilled over as a result. In the end I am just calling a spade a spade…that’s all.

(Exhausted) Life and (Fast) Times – 4/16/12

(Fast) Times

Time is an evil bitch.  When you are kid, time appears to not even move at all.  I would stare at the clock in the classroom and would swear it would move backwards just to drive me mad.  Summer was the holy grail.  The  journey was the school year.  Time was a treacherous endless desert.  If you could make it to the end, you would be rewarded with eternal life, drinking from the cup of the covenant.  Or at least two months off from school.   Then one day, you look over your shoulder and you see a deranged zombie chasing you up Hamburger Hill (not a Night of the Living Dead zombie, I’m talking a 28 days later Olympic sprinter).  All you want is for everything to slow down.  That is life as I know it today.  Imagine trying to write a blog running uphill (figuratively of course, who has time for exercise), with a zombie chasing you.  Doubling the lack of writing was another evil bitch, guilt.  Guilt of cheating on the rest of my life.  There were just so many more important things to do (reads “I’m wearing my big boy pants”).   This is partially a lie, back in February I wrote out a bitter, resentful, and tedious diatribe about my favorite sports teams losing, but instead I opted to highlight and delete it, after all, it was bitter and resentful and tedious.  I had some other ideas, but most of them were time sensitive, and won’t make sense to do now; forever to be lost in the confines of my sub-conscience.  Using Twitter and Facebook as mini-self-censored avenues to express some ideas (and irritate the living daylights out of anyone who happens to be my friend) I was able to satiate my writing bug, but not really. Today my head is above water, so before I get sucked back down, I wanted to play blog-catch-up. Here goes nothing.

(Exhausted) Life

I write what I know.  Most of my posts have been about my everyday life, and as of late, my everyday life is about being tired.  Plus, if no clever shit happens to me, there’s no clever shit to write about.  Anyhow.  My brother seems to always be complaining about being exhausted.  If ever I try to relate to him, and share in his exhaustion he scoffs at the idea that I could somehow be even remotely close to his level of tiredness.  My brother has a laborious job working in the shipping and receiving department of a warehouse. When he arrives home he is tired, and rightfully so. Scientifically it’s easy to calculate his effort: work = mass * acceleration * distance (What up Newton?). At the end of the day his work is tangible, he can stand proud and say, “Look here, I have moved these here boxes, from this side of the room to that side, I am man.” Picture Captain Morgan, one foot up on a box, but not so piratey.

Logically I understand why he is tired, but he can’t seem to fathom how I can muster the gall to bring up that I am tired in his presence. How dare I! True, I sit at a desk all day.  How can I even remotely be tired? How can I call that “work”? Do I need to remind myself of Newton’s second law (see above)? I’m essentially a desk jockey. I sit on average seven to ten hours in a given day.  So physically this isn’t all that challenging, if anything this is probably pretty detrimental to my health.  However, what my day lacks in physical labor it makes up tenfold in stress.  In any given day I can make hundreds of decisions.  They vary in importance from absolutely mundane to nuclear meltdown.  Emails, phones, contracts, insurance, sales, bills, vendors, customers, computers, employees, 401ks, and on and on (how George Carlin of me).  It is hard to stay fresh and energetic when Forrest Gump and that Chinese guy are going at it like it’s the World Championship of Ping Pong in my head.  So to say the least, I am constantly working the grey matter in my cranium.  When I am done with my work day, my body aches, my eyes are strained, and I feel completely and utterly spent.  All I want to do is go home and sit down (how ironically awful is that).  It doesn’t make sense, and this is the crux to why sedentary exhaustion is exhausting.  Taxation without representation!  Aches and pains with no physical origins.  I have done basically nothing, but my body feels like I have been hit by a Peterbilt Truck.   So I challenge you, who is more exasperated, the laborer, or the desk jockey?

"When I am done with my work day, my body aches, my eyes are strained, and I feel completely and utterly spent."

Until next time,

Endlessly seeking a chair – Dan

Switching Artistic Gears

I managed to find some spare time this past week, however I also managed to not write (except for this little blurb), as promised myself I would.  Instead I focused my energy on a project I had been meaning to work on for a while.  Typically when people find some spare time they fix that door knob that’s been loosening up,  or they organize their underwear drawer.   I use my spare time in a wiser fashion, I prefer to write, or read, or draw.  It feels productive to me (and that’s all that counts, right?).

This week I spent my lunches and my evenings (after the kiddie was down for the count) drawing.  This was inspired by a photograph I took of my wife and daughter on a chilly morning at our kitchen table sometime in December of 2011.  My wife was showing my daughter the gingerbread house she had made, and the early morning sunshine was coming in through the back sliding door.  I thought it was a cool photo, and thought it to be a really nice picture to reproduce by hand.  Plus I would be able to apply some artistic license with the lighting and such.  So I decided to recreate the moment with my trusty iPad and the amazing Sketchbook Pro app.

Here are my ladies:

I’ll get around to writing soon, (I promise)

Until next time,


Sorry for the Hiatus

I know I’ve left so many of you holding on desperately for me to update my blog (all jokes), and I too have desperately wanted to share so many thoughts, but alas I’ve been overwhelmed by life.  This has been a serious Hiatus, but it is coming to an end.  I’ll get back to this shortly, I promise, once things settle a bit.  In the meantime please enjoy this little piece of fan art I have been putting together.  I worked on it five minutes at a time sporadically over the last six months (exemplifying my lack of time management skills).

This is Aaron Ramsey, he plays with a certain inalienable passion.  This is my club.  This is Arsenal.

Until next time,


Arsenal ’til I Die!

You, my friends, are looking at a proud Gooner!  Today, my first article for Arsenal America (the official supporters club here in the states) was posted (or is it published?  damn you internet age!)  If you are a fan of anything I think you may appreciate what it means to write about your fanaticism.  If you are not a fan of anything, we’ll then we can’t relate, my apologies.  I suggest you go out and become a fan of something to fill that void.   Any how, here’s the link, hope you enjoy.

Happy Weekend,

One Happy Gooner,


Live from Germany: Life and Times – 11/11/11

This blog is brought to you live from Deutschland.  It’s my second time here in five months, and I’m starting to have an affinity for the German culture, the people are warm, and the country is beautiful, but traveling for business is still overrated.  This is the last night and I’m suffering from a bit of insomnia, set in from a bout of homesickness; I’m excited to get home to my wife and daughter.  Blogging is the closet thing I have to ambien.

“Are you willing and able to assist in case of an emergency?”

On the flight in, I paid extra for the additional leg room, on an emergency exit aisle.  This I tell you, is the airlines best racket.  Legroom is king on an eight hour flight, but at what cost?  I thought it was just a hundred bucks or so, but there are implicit costs at work.  Costs that are subtle in nature, but deep in pain.  Immediately upon sitting, I noticed the seat was very stiff.  Extraordinarily extra stiff.  Like sitting on the metal bleachers at Union High School.  This was by no means an issue; I had all the leg room in the world to compensate.  Still with no worries, I couldn’t manage to find the lap tray (bulkhead seats, with no actual seats in front of you).    Go go gadget tray!  The tray folds up and out of the armrest and PRESTO!   A tray, except upon further inspection, it’s more like a second seat belt.  The tray is tucked up against my waist, and barely wide enough to hold two soda cans.  This is perfect for just about nothing aside from hiding your hands so you can adjust (it’s a guy thing).  Even so, this was no big deal, I could just slide my seat back a bit, close my eyes, stretch out my legs, and take a nice long snooze.  I only needed to find that damn button to recline the seat.  I felt like some sort of imbecile, first, unable to find my tray, and now unable to recline my seat.  I even resorted to talking to the passenger next to me (yes, I am still afraid of strangers).  He confirmed it, our seats did not recline.  I went through a good chunk of the flight performing the dozing-off-into-a-wicked-head-nod-whiplash maneuver.  Oh so reminiscent of those early morning college classes, and equally frustrating.  Extra legroom was an option, but apparently sleep was not.  When the flight was over, my legs were numb from the concrete slab doubling as seat cushion, my lower back was pulsating, I had spilled half of my dinner on my lap (a failed tray balancing act that, if successful, would have put Cirque Du Soleil to shame), and I was entering my 29th hour without sleep.  Money well spent.

An Italian, a Greek, a Turk, an American, a Brazilian, an Englishman, and a German walk into a bar.  They all order beer.  

My trip this time around was for a sales conference with one of our German vendors.  They hosted about a dozen of us, from around the world.  It turned out to be the cast of the Dirty Dozen, if instead of being outcast American soldiers, they were Blue Berets (U.N. peacekeepers).  The crew was loud and boisterous and full zingers.  Dinner was the best part day with the dozen.  In German, when a bunch of foreigners go to a pub or restaurant in Germany, they throw you in the deepest part of their establishment, or at least that is where they threw us.  We ate in dungeons nearly every night.  (Those Germans do like their bondage.)

Our First Dungeon Dinner

Early on during the conference, the Englishman (the loudest and de-facto leader of conversation) let me and a few of the other attendees know that football (both American and traditional) were sports for “puffs, and rugby was the only sport worthy of a man.  He then went on to explain an injury he had acquired playing rugby that dislodged one of his ribs, causing one of his arteries to be pinched, restricting the flow of blood to his brain.  He ignored the chronic fainting, until one day he fainted on his motorcycle.  A true man, worthy of nothing less than what rugby can offer.  He doubled as also a brilliant consumer of booze.  He clearly out drank everyone present, and at one point, was on his “mobile” as he calls it, calling every German he knew to find out the true name of a type schnapps he was referring to as “the black death”.  Oddly appropriate for our dungeon-like surroundings.

Call of Duty: Modern Salesman

On our last night with the group, we went to the German Biathlon training facility in Oberhof, Germany.  The biathlon is a Winter Olympic game that combines intense cross country skiing with rifle shooting.  This sport is inherently German; rigidity, discipline, and control are paramount to success.  We were each given a brief lesson from an Biathlon team coach, and then were asked to battle it out to determine who was the top shooter.  The competition was simple, the targets were 50 meters away.  We would each fire 5 rounds at 11 centimeter diameter targets, and 5 rounds at 4 centimeter diameter targets.  The highest total targets hit, won.  I finished middle of the pack with 5 hits on the big targets, and 1 hit on the small targets.  Considering my only previous rifle experience was playing Call of Duty on XBox, this was well above what I would have expected.  The top four were all from former Soviet satellite countries, and by the looks of it, knew how to handle a weapon, or maybe they play a lot more Call of Duty than I do.  I didn’t want to ask.

Life back at home…

In college, I pledged a fraternity (please leave your prejudgments at the door).  It had been, up until a week before I left for Germany, nearly a decade since I had seen many of my fraternity brothers. The last time I saw most of those clowns (this is a term of endearment) I was buying them beer, shit talking at the thed table (thed (rhymes with head) is an acronym : triangles help everyone drink.  The game is more commonly known throughout the binge drinking world as beer pong), and partaking in the general malarkey of the times.  Regardless of your preconceived notions of fraternity life, real bonds of friendship were formed.   Outside of my “little brother” Mike, I rarely saw anyone after college.  There were a bunch of reasons, but mainly life got in the way.  Several opportunities came up over the years, but I just seemed to never to be able to make it.  Until recently.   Mike planned a gathering at his newly purchased home, and made it a point to harass me into attending, and it worked.  Literally within a minute of arriving at Mike’s house, I had bridged the time gap.  I felt as if I had seen these guys every weekend for the last seven years.  Of course things were different, the clowns I called fraternity brothers were also tripping all over life; the same growing up I was undergoing.  They were the college guys I remembered, but without being college guys, and vice versa.  At the core, we remained friends, brothers even.  It was nice to be reminded that the real bonds of friendship have no definition of time.

To quote the great words of my little brother Mike who in turn is mimicking Batman’s wise butler Alfred, “Because some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn (*with their friends).”

*Alfred doesn’t actually say, “with their friends,” but one can only assume that it was implied.  I mean, he must certainly be talking about the sitting around a bonfire, shooting the shit…right?

Until next time,