When you buy a $300,000 car, do you take out an auto loan … or a mortgage? (Actually, I’m guessing you pay for it with a bag of unmarked bills.)

When you buy a $300,000 car, do you take out an auto loan ... or a mortgage? (Actually, I'm guessing you pay for it with a bag of unmarked bills.)
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So here’s that Lamborghini I was telling you about. It was parked outside the Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia, widely considered the nicest hotel in the city. Wonder Woman and I… [read the rest]

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Proof that Pixar should have hired me to draw Lightning McQueen

This is me standing next to the Lamborghini that I happened upon while in Philadelphia this past weekend. As you can see, I had my camera with me … which was fortuitous, as it allowed me to capture a fabulous photograph of this kick-ass automobile. And I had fully intended to show you that photograph. However, despite going out of my way last night to make sure that I would be able to access from my work computer today the photograph in question, the Internet has chosen to instead flip me the digital bird.

(I’m flipping the Internet the digital bird right back.)

(The Internet doesn’t care.)

(I’m doing it anyway.)

Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Jon, why on earth would you take a picture of someone else’s car?” And I get that … because, normally, I wouldn’t do any such thing. Unless, of course, the car was a Lamborghini, an earlier version of which I fell in love with at the tender age of 11 (thank you, “Cannonball Run“), and every version of which I’ve coveted madly ever since. And given the automobile’s roughly $300,000 price tag, I can say with great certainty that I wish I had instead fallen deeply in love with something more in my price range … like, you know, a roller skate.

So, let’s review: Not only can I not get my hands on an actual Lamborghini of my own … I can’t even get my hands on the picture I took of someone else’s Lamborghini.

This about sums up how my Monday is going.

Sigh.

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Zombie Dinner Party … with your chef, Dr. Hannibal Lector

Before dinner

“Ugh. Brains,” I whispered to Wonder Woman after the chef announced that the third course would include sweetbreads.

“What?”

“Sweetbreads,” I whispered, “are brains.”

“Oh,” she said, sounding rather amused, though far from relieved. “I thought they were balls.”

Hey, they might as well have been balls, because guess what brains and balls both have in common? Neither one goes in my fucking mouth.

Equally as appetizing as balls

Listen, when my mother-in-law sprung for us to attend an expensive benefit dinner at a luxury apartment in the ritziest section of Philadelphia for a meal prepared by the chef of a well-known Italian restaurant, I knew it was unlikely that he’d be serving something as lowbrow as my beloved chicken parmesan, OK? But brains?

And not just any brains, mind you: Veal brains. Yes, that’s right: Brains from cute little baby cows:

Cute little baby cows, whose brains the chef wanted us to eat

Oh, thank you, cute little baby cows, for reminding me about the cringe-worthy first course, featuring:

Tongue is not a food, motherfucker

Please note that there is only one person on this earth to whom I utter the phrase “Give me some tongue,” and that person has neither a penis nor a culinary degree. So if you’re gonna start off my supposedly “Italian” dinner with tongue, the least you could do is disguise it amidst a tangy red sauce and some delicious pasta, am I right? Of course I’m right … which is why I was disappointed when the tongue instead was topped with this:

Now THAT'S Italian!

Ah, yes, that beloved Italian classic: Fried eggs and tongue. (PS: Does anyone have a phone number for the closest pizza joint?)

Thankfully, the second course featured pasta. Ravioli, in fact. Hallelujah. At last, a dish I can really — hey, wait a minute … What the fuck is in my ravioli?

Seriously? What’s for dessert, asshole? Pan-seared unicorn with baby-harp-seal sauce?

Mercifully, dessert turned out to be a plain-old flourless chocolate cake. I think. Probably, he pureed his mother and folded her into the mix … but at least he had the common decency to not tell us about it.

If nothing else, the wine was good. And the company. And the luxury apartment. Next time, though? I’m bringing some chicken parm.

After dinner

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Mother Nature is a heartless wench who will turn your own children against you

When I was a little boy, and thunder rumbled in the distance, my mother would react as though the approaching storm was an Afghani mortar attack instead of a minor weather event. Because of this, I spent much of my childhood reacting to thunderstorms in a similarly panicked fashion.

When my mother was a little girl, and thunder rumbled in the distance, her parents presumably reacted calmly … until that one time when the electricity went out during a storm, and they sent her to get from her upstairs bedroom something to play with, and she opened the door at the bottom of the staircase, and looked up to see that the second floor was engulfed in flames … because lightning had struck the house.

So she gets a pass.

Fortunately, by the time I became a parent, I had learned not only to not panic over the arrival of an electrical storm, but to rather enjoy it. And when the sound of thunder caused my own young children to react in an understandably fearful manner, my wife and I would calmly reassure them that there was nothing to be afraid of.

Let us travel back in time, shall we? Destination: The kitchen of our former home in Massachusetts, June of last year. The sky is dark, the lightning is flashing, the thunder is rumbling, and the rain has suddenly begun to come down in torrents.

We see Wonder Woman standing beside the kitchen table with the then-4-year-old Jayna in her arms and the then-6-year-old Zan by her side. They have been startled by a particularly loud crack of thunder that seemed to emanate from directly above their home.

“Wow, that sure was loud!” says Happy Smiley Reassuring Daddy. “Mother Nature is rocking out, huh guys?”

The children nod nervously, and clearly aren’t buying into Happy Smiley Reassuring Daddy’s bullshit.

Happy Smiley Reassuring Daddy walks around the kitchen table so that he can close the adjacent window.

“Look, guys, I know that’s a scary sound, but there really isn’t anything to be afraid of,” he says as he reaches up and places his hands on the lower window sash. “Mommy and Daddy are right here with you, and we’re all perfectly s— Read More »

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Posted in Jayna, Life | 14 Responses

Surviving The Matrix: Year One

Surviving The Matrix: Year One

A year ago today, I left my new house with a bag lunch in my hand, dorktastic clothes on my body, 10-year-old dress shoes on my feet and a massive knot in my stomach. After years of building a career on my own terms, I was, at age 40, taking an unwanted but necessary detour into Corporate America, where I would earn a living as a sunlight-deprived, business-casual-wearing, cubicle-dwelling web developer.

It’s not easy to pretend you’re Mr. Anderson when you know you’re really Neo.

It took a while before I stopped having anxiety attacks at my new job — anxiety brought on by the realization that I had no fucking clue how to do what it was I’d been hired to do, as well as a suffocating fear that, after years of eluding capture, I would now spend the rest of my life plugged into The Matrix.

Many weeks passed before I felt comfortable enough in my new environment to do anything other than job-related work on my computer. Paying bills online, reading and commenting on blogs, writing for my own blog … suddenly, all of that no longer was a part of my work day. I felt like a claustrophobic rat trapped in a cage. A small cage. With no sunlight. Some might even call it a cubicle.

A year later, things are better. For starters, it turns out I apparently do have a fucking clue how to do what it was I was hired to do, and have managed to do it well enough that my boss slipped me a surprise bonus last week. Does that make me feel any better about being trapped in The Matrix? In a word: No … but it does make it easier to endure this gig while I plot my escape.

To that end, the blog is back in action, and, whenever possible, I’m reading, writing and commenting from behind enemy lines — and based on the aforementioned bonus, I’m managing to do so while simultaneously keeping my corporate overlords happy.

But rest assured: It’s only a matter of time before I kung-fu my way out of this bitch.

There is no spoon.

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