Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Who

This one is most certainly blogworthy. Josh and I had discussed going to see The Who in Columbus for a while. Well, the big day finally arrived yesterday. Tickets were so expensive it was ludicrous. We checked the website and they seemed to have a limited number of the $79.00 tickets available. Keep in mind, prices ranged from a low of $59 (+ service fee) to a high of $400.
Well, I was mildly concerned about making the long drive (this ain't no Pittsburgh trip) w/o tix in hand. Yet, I wasn't too worried becuase the show fell on a Monday and it was in Columbus. Columbus, or if you prefer its correct title, CAP CITY is a cool city but the people are generally lifeless. The same exact phenomena occurs in Cleveland. Maybe it was all those George Bush campaign stops that just sapped the spirit out of these towns. I can't attribute it all to W, this "uninspired vibe" has always been a trademark of major cities in Ohio. Cincy is an exception.
Anyway, we met at the Alpha. It was me, Josh, Kelly and crazy Kathy. I've got be honest, I was a little worried about the "integrity" of our crew. Kathy was armed with only a Mastercard (doesn't bode well for scoring tix in the lot) and a desire to call shotgun. Much to my chagrin, we rolled out at the designated time - 5pm. The ride up was basically uneventful. Kathy has a unique ability. She can effortlessly introduce random topics into a converstaion that have nothing to do with anything. It's actually a little amusing.
I got a little turned around coming off 71 North but I knew the general direction even though I had never been to Schottenstein, or if you prefer, The Schott. I pulled into the Holiday Inn parking garage and the attendant asked if we were going to the concert. I replied affirmatively and he requested 20 bucks. I said, "How about 10?" I forked over $10 and we rolled up the ramp. At the time, I was amused but upon reflection, I realized that parking in CAP CITY is usually free for the big events.
Anyway, we walked over to the Arena. The show had already started - The Pretenders were on the stage and most of the crowd had already headed inside. Just a few random stragglers and a couple scalpers. I briefly spoke with a guy who wanted a couple hundred for 2 tix. I figured it might be nice to survey the area a little bit. As we walked to the West entrance, this guy opened one of the arena side doors to smoke a cigarette. I looked at his girlfriend and she asked me, "Do you want in?" Could it really be this easy? Yes, it could. All four of us just walked in this side door and strolled to the top level. I love that rush you get for the first minute or so, when you know you just pulled off a 4-Banger. That was the original term used to describe 4 freebie tickets. From here on out, we'll call it 4 FO SHOW. Of course, we still had no tickets, but no one really gave a fuck. We walked out on the Upper Terrace smoking area and drank Old German and Miller Lite. I'd like to say we smuggled these beers in, but that's an overstatement, because when you use the term "smuggle", it implies an attempt at concealment. Truth be told, we could have hoisted these beers over our heads while breakdancing and nobody would have given a damn. Anyway, we celebrated the smooth entrance with a few high fives and a round of "F'in A's." As the Pretenders closed their set, we encountered Scottie and Schneid (and Buzz). I figured we might run into them. They were sitting on the side of the stage - 400 level. We hit that area for about half the show. I kept on eyeing up the side seats right next to the stage. I easily convinced Josh to head down to the front. I thought they might want to see a ticket stub, but the security and the ushers just kind of moved away from us. It was like I was Moses and we were parting the Red fuckin' sea. We walked down to the fourth row. These seats were adjacent to the $400 seats. Actually, they were better because we had all the room we wanted. It must be something about Columbus. People just don't understand that it's a ROCK concert. I think they view much like the would a grade school piano recital or Linsly Extravaganza-type shit. Then, we walked down a few more rows to the front. Front row seats for free. Once again, F'in A. As the show ended, I realized I needed a memento so I asked the security guy to snag us a couple guitar picks. F'in A. A guitar pick which says Roger Daltrey would fit nicely in the sonofstub collection.
The ride home was a more like a celebration. We listened to a few reviews of the show on the radio. I kept thinking to myself, we've got the best review to offer. I'm pretty sure, I'll head back to The Schott in April for the Eric Clapton show. Of course, a 4 FO SHOW is going to be hard to beat. Might have to come up with a new term if there are more of us or multiple cars. I'm sure we'll figure out something.
By the way, the show rocked. At the tail end of the concert, Daltrey's voice was a little cracked but it was near the end of their tour. Townsend still rocks, except when it comes to doing internet research about young boys.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Killer asked me to take a crew to Mellon Arena for a concert yesterday. It was a group of 8 from Bellaire, 2 of which I knew. When he informed me of the show time (3pm), I was a tad bewildered. Who the fuck starts a concert at 3 in the afternoon. I quickly found out the name of the "band" - Trans Siberian Orchestra. Trust me, this is not a group from Siberia.
Back in the late 1980's, I saw a band called Savatage open for Megadeth at the South Hills Theater. All in all, Savatage was a relatively crappy heavy metal band. If they were the main act, they might have been able to sell a couple hundred tickets. I guess the lead guitarist had grander ambitions in life. He came up with an idea for what might be considered one of the biggest spectacles on the arena circuit. Rather than play horrible songs like "Hall of the Mountain King," he opted for a different approach. He, and his band, would be backed by a small orchestra and they would play "metalized" versions of Christmas songs. Throw in a dazzling light show and hardcore pyrothechnic display and Voila - "Trans-Siberian Orchestra".
They would actually be playing 2 shows that day (a 3pm and a 7pm) - both were totally soldout. Let's see, average ticket price of 40 bucks. 16,000 capacity x 2 = 32,000. Congratulations - you just grossed 1.3 million. That's not even taking into account merchandise sales. And they had all kinds of clothing and trinkets. What a fucking racket! The beauty of this production was the crowd. Good Christians with their pocketbooks, of ALL ages, looking for a little holiday cheer. The show started a little late because of all the traffic with the Steelers game. No problem though, the crowd quietly shuffled in like animals boarding Noah's ark. No need for security, although I did see a girl throw up. But then I realized that she was somewhat handicapped/mildly retarded.
Anyway, the show was pretty entertaining - if you don't get out of the house that much. Way over the top. I was mildly impressed but chose to bolt near the end of the first segment. I decided to go hang out with a couple of the other limo drivers. We had a total of 4 limos go to this thing. Now came the best part of the evening. One of the drivers hates my guts. He is a hardcore fundamentalist Christian and doesn't care for my pagan views. This guy honestly believes I worship the devil. It all started a couple years ago when I made fun "The Passion of the Christ." Big mistake. Anyway, I told him what I thought of TSO - that it was basically just a big money maker for the naive little trained minions. They come out to celebrate their faith and enjoy the holiday revelry and they end up spending all their cash. Then I said, "This Savatage guy is my hero. He really knows how to take advantage of the season. I'd really like to meet him. What a great guy. CHA-CHING!!!" This driver looked at me with the look - the look of total disgust. I love it when he gives me that look. I always make sure to flash him the devil sign whenever I see him. That was probably the highlight of the day. I did manage to snag a freebie ticket from the 92.9 light rock station deejay outside the arena. Like I really would have paid to see that shit.

Friday, November 17, 2006

last night...

...I drove this crew of 5 guys up to the Duquesne Club in downtown Pittsburgh for dinner. There were all local physicians/hospital administrators - very pleasant. As expected, we ran into horrendous traffic on 79 about 2 miles before the parkway. Usually, it's not backed up that far, but last night was the Backyard Brawl at Heinz Field. Anyway, I was maneuvering a little bit here and there and managed to shave about 15 minutes or so off the trip. Once we got to Green Tree things picked up. Anyway, just as I dumped them off, I get a call from Josh - curious if anyone is watching the game. I tell him I'm caught in the downtown Pittsburgh morass. He mentions that Gary might have an extra ticket to the game. So I give Gary a call and he confirms. The problem is that I'm trying to get to the "NO PARKING" turn around at PNC Park and the traffic is ridiculous. Then they close Mazeroski Way so I have to go all the way around Heinz Field. Anyway, I finally make it and park the limo. Surprisingly, the turn around is completely empty. Usually, this is a good spot for limos if there's a concert or non-football event at Heinz Field. Anyway, I call Gary and he tells me he'll put the ticket in a blue plastic cup in one of the planters outside Gate B. I'm a little hesitant but I figure, alright, nothing to lose. Anyway as I approach Gate B, this black guy sees me looking aorund and says "Hey brother, you need a ticket" At that exact moment, I see the upside down blue cup and repsond "No, I'm good. In fact, I think there's a club ticket underneath this blue cup." I lift up the cup and lo and behold, there it is. I felt like that kid Charlie in the Willy Wonka movie. This other couple was killing their drinks and saw the brief episode unfold. They had this look of dismay and all the black dude could mutter was, "Ahhh, Shit, man." NICE. Anyway, I bolted up the ramp to the seat. Fantastic seats - 2nd level endzone club seating. This area was newly built and I'd never been back there. They probably decided to build it after the Superbowl win last year. Anyway, I hung out with G Max and Pita for the first half and then decided to make a move back to the city. Probably could have stayed well into the third quarter but I didn't want to keep my crew waiting in case they decided to leave early.
So I came back and used the restaurant in the Duquesne Club. This was a truly a bad-ass building. I'd heard of it but never knew where it was. Strictly a coat and tie establishment. A VERY private club. I was slightly intimidated but managed to ask where the restrooms where. Even the bums are intimidated. They won't even walk on that side of Liberty Ave. We cruised home in easily under an hour and I wrapped things up at the 19th Ho and then hit the Alpha for one last drink. The Ho was mediocre. They had this acoustic guitarist named Tim Ullom playing that night. I'd never heard of him but the bartender said he plays there quite a bit. The Alpha was pretty much empty by the time I arrived.
Then, I was hungry with limited options. I went through the Hardees drive thru. The lights were ON, but nobody was taking orders. Here's a novel idea - if nobody is working, turn the lights off. I settled for McDonalds and called it a night.
Great game - WVU won and covered. I love it when the Mountaineers play at Heinz Field. You always hear that Panther "RRoooaaarrrr" and then they lose.

Friday, November 10, 2006

2 for 1 apps.

Alright, it's like I never left.
Seeing that we go to the Alpha about 5 nights a week, I thought it might be reassuring to explore 2 for 1 appetizer night. Actually, Smithers ran out of ideas, so this special runs on concurrent nights (Wed. and Thurs.). It certainly beats hot dog night though. Here's a suggestion. Leave hot dog night to the Wakim's. Let them savor their luke warm chili dogs while commiserating over the Mollahan victory.
Back to the Alpha. Many people blame the oil companies for the high price of gasoline. Allow me to clarify. Exxon Mobil, British Petroleum and my personal favorite, Chevron Texaco do NOT control the price of gasoline. Here are the main contributing factors -

1) the price of crude
2) increased demand from China and India
3) refinery capacity
4) speculation in the futures market
5) to a minor extent - political instabilty in the Middle East
6) and most important, the purchase of Greek wings at the Alpha

Why is it necessary to lay 3 cups of oil on a dinner plate when they serve up their Greek wings? What kind of foundation is this? Why does the amount of oil the Alpha "exports" make Willie Nelson cringe? Why? I've never seen so much oil used since a bad episode of 7 Lives Exposed. I've got other wing related issues, as well. The bourbon wings are ok but the sauce gets a little redundant after the second or third wing. Much to the dismay of Danno and Uncle Ben, Old Bay is not an option. It's not even listed on the menu. It's basically akin to taking a heaping tablespoon of garlic powder and dusting a plate of wings and then proclaiming, "Allah Akbar, Garlic Wings, ye infidel!"
Next up is that Bruschetta thing. Here comes a prodigous half loaf of french bread (which takes up the entire table) served on a wooden slab. That wooden slab thing can also be used to spank Paigey. If anyone wants to steal me one of these wooden boards, I'd be forever grateful and I will use it to administer repeated "Paigey spankings." The bruschetta itself, I don't particularly care for.
Onto calamari - I'm not quite sure the city of Wheeling is ready for calamari. I know for a fact that the surrounding county is definitely not ready. One girl tried to order it, but incorrectly pronounced it "calamity." I think that pretty much sums it up.
The stuffed mushroom caps are tasty, but once again, prepare to embark on another quest for oil. Why stage a coup d'etat on the oil-rich government of Equatorial Guinea when a lifetime supply of oil is conveniently located in Woodsdale?
How about the spinach-artichoke dip? This stuff is tasty but I think the main ingredient is mayonnaise, certainly not spinach. If you are a devout Southern Baptist seeking a cholestoral laden weight gain adventure, this is the dish for you!
OK. What about that giant marinated portabella mushroom with feta and red peppers? This is my second favorite. My overall favorite are the citrus, and to a lesser extent, the tortilla shrimp. This is the right decision. 2 shrimp apps for the price of one might defy conventional wisdom, but rest assured, this is the best option.
I forgot - what about the cheese fries? I'm done with french fries. You know who cured me of that addiction. How about a baked potato instead. Right on, sister. And an advance happy birthday wish. I'm pretty sure you finally turned 26.
See, it's like I never left.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Finally... a new post in the restaurant review column. How about getting back to the basics with some helpful suggestions.

Salad dressings - MAKE YOUR OWN. Don't buy the overly processed stuff like Kraft or Seven Seas. Not only is it filled with preservatives, it simply doesn't taste that great. A better option is to make your own with decent olive oil. And try rice wine vinegar instead of red wine vinegar. There is a lone exception - that's when it comes to purchasing ranch. Trying to make your own would be downright insane. Stick with Hidden Valley. For some reason they seem to get it.

Grilling while tailgating - For god sake, don't go to all the trouble to grill out and opt for hot dogs. Why go to all the trouble and expense of grilling out and settle for hot dogs? How about chicken or shrimp and possibly some vegetables. Hot dogs should always be the last possible choice when everything else has failed, and you have failed as a human being. Maybe if you have children under the age of 8, this is barely acceptable.

Cheezits - Go for the reduced fat kind. They taste better than the regular because they have a light airy quality.

Cranberry and Ruby Red grapefruit juice - Try the Sam's club or Wal-mart brand. Ocean Spray is way too concentrated and it's more expensive.

Coke or Pepsi - For Christ sake, COKE. Pepsi sucks and it tastes like syrup. They are the ultimate bandwagon company. They always seem to get the lamest superstars for their commercials. Never financially support Pepsi Cola or any of their subsidiary companies like KFC, Burger King and Taco Bell.

Water - Avoid Dasani at all costs. It tastes like they've added some kind of iron chemical. Truly disgusting.

I'll add more to this post in the future.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Stratford Springs

I ate here yesterday along with prominent lunchable members G Max, Jenn S and Heather. Personally, I've always thought this place was mediocre at best. Great atmosphere and ambience though. However, this post will be about the meal. I opted for a caesar salad, bowl of soup and half of a chicken salad sandwich. The food all came at once - no major surprise there. I was well-prepared for the tri-onslaught. What I was ill-prepared for was the horrific chicken salad sandwich. This was the most disgusting thing I'd eaten in probably 2 years. You've got to be thinking to yourself - geez Saf, it's chicken salad - How bad can it be? Surely, he's exaggerating. I assure you, I'm not. What makes it really disturbing is that it was "the sandwich of the day." Here's what they did to this abomination. They pureed the chicken until it had the consistency of liquid. Then, I think they added corn starch and mayonnaise to achieve some kind of velvety, ultra-creamy texture. The end result - it was totally disgusting. I wouldn't even serve it to the Bush administration. Well, maybe Cheney. Next time he goes in for heart surgery, I'll suggest that Stratford cater the event. They could hook up an IV directly to his stomach and send in the chicken liquid unabated.
Heather had the same sandwich and could only take one bite as well. So I'm not making this up. It was so bad it turned my stomach for the rest of the day. I was able to scarf down a cheesesteak around 8pm at PNC Park but that was it. As far as the rest of the meal goes, the salad was fair and the soup (a seafood bisque) was decent, but unfortunately, room temperature. The service was fair and our waitress was cute. The only highlight was a "knockout woman" in the same room - she smiled at me and said "Hi, Eric."

Monday, March 27, 2006

another poem

My father worte this one in response to mine. I've got to get back to reviewing restaurants. But in the meantime...


Here are some reasons why liberals resent
George W. Bush, our President.

In 2000 he stole the election from Gore.
Then he used “fear” to win in 2004.

When he came into office, it now seems quite plain
He had already planned to get rid of Hussein.

He gave George Tenet of the CIA this instruction,
“find evidence that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction!”

Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney concocted the evidence
To justify war in the name of national defence.

The intelligence was false, it could make your blood boil.
We invaded Iraq because we needed their oil.

Over one trillion dollars is the estimated cost,
And saddest of all, the war’s probably lost.

The war was all wrong and the entire world knew it,
But who can blame Bush when God told him to do it.

Now thousands have died and more die every day.
The insurgents plant bombs while the mullahs all pray.

The Shiites and Sunnis try to work out a plan,
But the Shiiite majority gets support from Iran.

The insurgents grow stronger, sworn to kill the invaders,
This is their holy Jihad and we’re the “crusaders”.

Before we invaded, Iraq was a secular society.
Now fanatics kill each other in the name of religious piety.

Once a beautiful country, a proud modern nation
Now lies in turmoil and horrible devestation.

Granted their leader was an inhuman despot,
But now death and destruction is all that they’ve got.

Freedom, democracy and liberty are to them only words.
They mean very little to Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.

We should quickly withdraw and start making amends.
You can’t invade a country and expect to make friends.

Harold L. Saferstein

Monday, March 20, 2006



I must admit, I got a really bad feeling
When I heard that George Bush, was coming to Wheeling
The speech sounds familiar, it's one I really don't care for
The battle for freedom, and the endless war on terror

We must fight them there, so we don't fight them here
The same exaggerated notions of terror and fear
Common sense, it's something that they lack
When developing a coherent policy, to deal with Iraq

Perhaps it was the cherry-picked evidence
Concocted by the CIA and Department of Defense
Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle et al
How tragically ironic that our Secretary of State would take the fall

So let it be stipulated
That Colin Powell was manipulated
The only voice of reason and moderation
In a neo-con chicken-hawk right wing administration

Bush must be admonished
For the lie of Mission Accomplished
But how can he really listen
When he's surrounded only by yes-men

I'd recommend and even beseech
That we commence with proceedings designed to impeach
But if we get rid of W, because he makes us sick
The successor is Cheney, his first name is Dick

If you want something embarrassing to hear
How about a President who still can't pronounce "nuclear"
The good ol boy comes to West Virginia, now solidly red in the nation
A fitting tribute, since we rank last in overall education

Every time he speaks, you really get a sense
Of someone who hasn't got a clue, pure incompetence
It's starting to seem, this country wouldn't mind
If our President approaching 60, was the child left behind

I don't want to sound all cynical and negative
He claims to be a compassionate conservative
And there are times when he demonstrates vision and sight
But it only occurs when he pursues the agenda of the wacko religious right

With the continued erosion of our civil liberties
All under the guise of homeland securities
It's no wonder this country is divided and despondent
Our commander in chief is entirely, totally and completely INCOMPETENT

Friday, March 10, 2006

Turning the corner...

In the past, I have repeatedly blogged my experiences at the Met Grill. They've ranged from highly favorable to disturbingly atrocious. I think it's safe to say that this establishment has finally turned the corner. Note - the food has always been fantastic. It was always the service that was confusing and troublesome. Maybe I only have myself to blame. I've always had a strict policy of waiting at least 2 months before trying out a new restaurant. This way, they have sufficient time to work out the "kinks." I think a major problem might have been the high turnover rate with the wait staff. Let's face it - you can't have great service if the staff is quitting or getting fired on a continual basis. It seems there are always new faces in there. In a way, I truly sympathize with restaurant/bar owner/operators. Everyone is constantly trying to rob you in one way or another. People are always calling off at the last minute. And the worst part - there's always some dickhead like myself who doesn't have anything better to do with his life than bitch about his small town dining experiences. Plus, it's just a really tough business to begin with. Factor in the anti-business climate in Wheeling and it makes for additional grief. The servers have it rough too - remember, this is Wheeling. This is a town where an old lady can tip 1 dollar per person, regardless of the size of the bill. It is commonly understood, that if you reside in Wheeling and you're a social security recipient, you only have to tip one dollar per person. The bill can come to $70.00 for 4 people and guess what, the tip only has to be 4 bucks. I imagine this could result in a "serving backlash." Just something to consider.
The last few times I've eaten at the Met Grill, the service and food were really high end, particularly the salads. Let's stop demonizing this fine establishment. One last objection though - the overzealousness of promoting a Martini Bar in Wheeltown. Do we really want our friends, family members and co-workers gathering on Chapline Street to sip a variety of martini concoctions when the sun is setting? I'd have to offer up a resounding NO. What is it with this new craze of martinis - caramel apple, lemon zest citrus, olive infused, cool blue raspberry, and so on. We live in Wheeling, not San Francisco. We must accept this reality and acknowledge our dependence on MBL, IC Light and cheap vodka. For those of you who've been living in the closet. It's time to come out - MBL stands for Milwaukee Best Light.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Yonder Mountain String Band

On Thursday, me, G Max, Jess and her younger brother Tim went to see YMSB in Morgantown. Jess drove. This was nice because I usually end up driving 94% of the time. It always seems that when you opt to drive, you seem to sign up for some kind of "moonlight babysitting service." By this, I mean, that you become responsible for the behavior of your passengers. Negative behavior might include things like...

1) Urinating in public - girls doing double doors or guys brazenly pissing on your right rear tire in full view of the police or lot attendants.
2) Flicking cigarette butts out the window which hit a cop's windshield while on I-70.
3) Passengers wanting to go through a drive thru but they're so intoxicated they can't place the order in a coherent manner. Then they chew with their mouths open and get mayonnaise on the seat and shredded lettuce on the floor.
4) People who might decide to instantly become ticket scalpers but have no fives, tens or twenties. Or even worse, ask you for cash to support their newfound occupation. Or even worse, when they compete against you personally - undercutting your own scalping endeavors.
5) Passengers who commandeer the radio and climate controls. The worst is when people put the AC on maximum and complain it's too hot when all they have to do is open the vent(s) and direct them toward their respective faces.
6) People in the backseat who find the need to stretch out their legs - the end result is their sockless fuckin' feet invading my armrest.
7) People who need the extra clicker/key for the vehicle and then lose it.

Alright, I don't think there's a need for 8,9, or 10. Trust me, I could think of another 50. Suffice it to say, it's nice not to be the driver all the time. Anyway, Jess drove this one so I decided to get tanked. They all hustled into the show. I had no intentions of hearing 2 1/2 hours of hippie music from the git-go. Instead, I decided to have a few drinks at one of the downtown bars. I asked a quasi-homeless man where a good place was to have a few drinks and he motioned me in the direction of this place called the Sportspage. I had never been in there but it wasn't bad. Had a few drinks and made some idle chit-chat with the bartender. She ended up finishing her shift and sat down with me. We mostly discussed her work-study program in Hong Kong and some of our trips abroad. This other young kid sat on the other side of me and we started talking. Mostly about WVU and Morgantown related issues. About 15 minutes into the conversation, the kid says he knows me from somewhere. I assure him that we've never met and I live in Wheeling. Then, he looks at me and says he's from Wheeling, too. In fact, he says I've been to his parents house for one of their parties and we've had a few previous discussions. This really throws me for loop. Then he says, "Hey, I know who you are. You're Killer's limo driver." I'm like - holy shit. I remember him now, his name is Trevor. We both had a good laugh, amused at the irony of running into each other.
As if that's not enough, I took his mom and stepdad (along with 4 others) to the airport on Sunday. They also seemed to find the chance encounter relatively amusing. Small world, isn't it?
As far as the concert goes, I walked in at the end for the final 3 songs. They encored with New Speedway Boogie which was pretty cool. They sounded good but I think I would have gone insane if I had to sit through 2 hours plus of a hippified extravangza. Same thing goes for the Linsly Extravaganza.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Me, Jepson and his friend Nancy went to see Overkill last night. We departed Wheeling around 6pm and went straight to the Southside. They were playing at this place called the Rex Theatre. I'm not sure what took longer - the drive or finding a place to park. After recycling around the block 4 times, I found a tight spot a few blocks up. I didn't want to go directly into the show so I convinced them to hit the bar next door - Mario's. It's a decent bar - I met my brother AJ there once back in the late 1990's and ate a smoked turkey sandwich. Although a distant memory, the sandwich was pretty good. This time there would be no sandwich - strictly Dewars and a Rolling Rock. We settled down at the corner of the bar. Eric and Nancy noticed this straggly dude sitting next to me. Turns out he was Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth. I'll assume that 98.7% of the people who read this crap have no idea who Bobby Ellsworth is. He's the lead singer of the band we were going to see. We briefly exchanged pleasantries and Nancy got her picture taken. Jepson lamented that he would have liked an autograph. Unfortunately, the only thing available for him to sign was a menu. I doubt that would have gained much momentum on ebay. I asked him what they were going to open with and he replied "Deny the Cross." Kind of poetic.
We made our way into the "theatre." I was expecting a place like the Towngate in Center Wheeling. Basically, it was just a big open room with a bar in the back. Kind of small - probably had a maximum 250. Maybe it's just me, but the concert was way too loud and I'm getting way too old. The strange thing was that it looked like most everyone was in their 30's and 40's. These were old school metalheads, not a bunch of young kids. The band had to be in their 40's. Lots of bald men with long greasy ponytails were in attendance. Heavy tobacco presence as well. Smoking has not yet been abolished at the Rex Theatre. The band played for about an hour. I just kind of wandered off in my own isolated corner. I'm not sure how I ended up getting intoxicated, but somehow I managed. I hadn't eaten much all day.
On the way back, for some bizarre reason, I drifted left on 279 and ended up going home through Steubenville. Just wasn't paying attention. We stopped at Wendy's in Weirton on the way back and shoveled some food down our throats. Nothing overly entertaining to report. I think my days of "real" heavy metal are just about finished. Maybe I should stick with the lighter side of metal, except Slayer.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Steelers game #10

Another regular season playoff game - this one against the Lions. Win and we're in. As if my Detroit relatives weren't a sufficient reason to loathe the Lions. We picked up this couple off the Mt. Nebo exit. They seemed pleasant. The guy was cool and his girlfriend was mildly appealing, but looks can be deceiving. I had no clue what would transpire 4 hours later. She insisted I try some of her homeade quiche, and I must admit, it was the best quiche I'd had all day.
My earlier prognostications led me to believe it would be an easy ticket. Big mistake. I didn't anticipate the level of interest in the final Jerome Bettis game. The weather was unusually pleasant as well. Plus, most people were in for the holidays. I looked all over the place but to no avail. Then I decided to try the remainder of incoming cars on the Gold Lot. Still no luck. That game had just started and I figured I'd give it a little more time. Worst case scenario - hit a bar or watch it in the limo. Then, this middle aged man and his daughter overheard me asking for a ticket. He offered me his sinlge for cost - 55. I couldn't believe it. Apparently, he was unable to find a ticket for his daughter so they decided to get rid of their single. I hastily gave him 60 and he insisted on giving me a five back. I thanked him several times and told the girl she was lucky to have such a cool father.
I bolted into the stadium. Missed the opening score by Randle El but no big deal - I had made it in to every regular season home game. Mission accomplished - and we're not talkin' G.W. Bush style. Much to my surprise, the Lions came to play. They looked strong, but in the end we gave it to the Bus. He scored 3 times and they had a halftime tribute for him on the big screen. A heartwarming end to a turbulent season.
But the day was far from over. The girl we had taken up (her name was Beth) went into rare form after the game. She was simultaneously screaming, cursing, crying - basically annoying the living fuck out of everyone in the limo. Over the next few hours, I grew to really despise this cunt. We all hit a bar on the North side and things got progressively worse. I silently thoguht to myself - this girl is lucky she's not physically repugnant or she'd been killed off long ago. Eventually, after an agonizing trip back to his vehicle, we managed to get rid of them. Thank God Pittsburgh had won. If we had lost and had to endure her bullshit, I might have lost it. In the end I told Killer, "I hope that woman gets gang raped by Al Quaeda." Fuck it - I'd be willing to make the pilgrammage to Mecca if it means no further contact with that piece of shit known simply as Beth.

Steelers 35
Lions 21

Steelers game #9

Nothing beats a regular season playoff game. For all intensive purposes, if we lost to the Bears, we were done for the season. The roads were pretty slick that morning. Lots of snow fell overnight and there was a mix of light rain. We picked up friends in Washington, PA. Nicole and her husband - I really like these two. I took them to an Allman Brothers show a year ago, but that's largely irrelevant.
I hooked up with the regulars. It seemed they were partying a little extra hard - probably just trying to stay warm. It wasn't freezing but the forecast did call for snow showers. We made our way through the lot and I couldn't help but notice this crew of a dozen tailgaters. They had a massive RV decked out with Bears logos and all the amenities - directv hookup, mammoth grill, portable bar, etc. Unfortunately for them, they also had a prime parking spot on the corner of Gold Lot A. I doubt they had considered that 40,000 out of the 65,000 Steeler fans would end up walking right by their RV. The end result - they were getting pummelled with snowballs from every conceivable direction. I'd say about 100 per minute - no joke. They were holding up ok, swatting some of them away, and occasionally, they'd throw an errant one back at the crowd. I sat and watched for about 5 minutes. It proved to be a good lesson for opposing crowds at late season games. If the forecast calls for snow, you might want to rethink your tailgating agenda.
Due to the cold weather, tickets were everywhere - easiest score of the year. I ended up getting a freebie from a Marine who was helping with the toys for tots campaign. I honestly could have wall-papered my laundry room with extra tickets.
Hooked up with G Max and Rip for the second half. They had great seats on the 35 yard line - probably the 2nd best seat I had all year.
Then, an all-out white-out descended upon us. We were getting pelted with wet snow for almost the entire second half. You couldn't see anything beyond the stadium. The skyline and Mt. Washington were nonexistent. It was actually very surreal. I was a little worried about the drive home, but it turned out to be a non-issue as the snow never really stuck. Steelers ended up taking care of busines with Bettis and Hines Ward leading the way.

Steelers 21
Bears 9

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Steelers game #8

This was a fun one. Great atmosphere. The Bungles came to town for a 1pm game. If they won, it would basically assure them them the division title for the first time since Bush Sr. was in office. It was a rowdy scene outside the stadium. Believe it or not, tickets were EVERYWHERE. Considering the magnitude of the game, I was very surprised. I had earlier turned down an old lady who wanted face value and it was a tough decision. I ended up prematurely paying 20 bucks. Probably could have gotten a freebie if I would have applied myself. No big deal, though.
I usually stand on one of the benches outside Gate A and watch the mob roll into the stadium. It's nice to get an overview of half the attendees all pushing and shoving, chanting and yelling. All of a sudden these 3 Bengals fans jump up on the bench next to me and start yelling like Mel Gibson in Bravehart before the first major battle scene at Sterling. They are totally decked out in Bengals gear and wearing orange facemasks. They were really brazen about it. The crowd starts booing them and I yell at them to "Sit the fuck down!" All of a sudden, drinks and beer cans start flying in. These guys are getting pelted with beverages, but they handled it with unbelievable composure. I'd say they lasted for about 30 seconds and were pelted by about 25 beverages. All in all, it was one of the coolest things I'd seen all year. Then, they jumped down and stormed off.
Halftime was very cool. They did a Myron Cope tribute and the place went nuts. Towels waving all over the place. I'm glad they gave him a halftime show at one of the big games.
As for the actual game, our special teams really blew it. Plus, we had turnovers galore. Still we managed to keep it close. I totally forget where we went after the game - I guess everyone made it home ok.


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Steelers game #7

This is the first game where someone rode up front with me. Jenn D. was kind enough to give me an extra ticket she got through a Cingular competition. The passenger seat of the limo is really not a seat. It's more of a plastic electronic control station with a nice cup holder for my bottled water. However, if you have a pillow to sit on, it's really not that uncomfortable as long as you're less than 6ft tall. Fortunately Jenn is on the petite side so the accomodations worked well. We snagged the others and made our way up to Heinz Field. The crew was much more quiet than usual.
We made it to the lot and Jenn and I went off to the Motorola hospitality tent to mingle with the cingular team and eat some compimentary bland stir-fry. It was nice to see some of the old faces of AT&T Wireless. I showed them the sign I'd made and got a lukewarm response. My sign was for TRENT DILFER #8 of the Cleveland Browns. Unfortunately, over the years we have assigned him the name Trent Dildo. My sign had a little flap and when you lifted it up, Dilfer #8 would magically transform into Dildo 8". When I showed the sign to the cell phone people, reactions were mixed.
We stopped back at the limo and they had the hood up. Danny was feverishly disconnecting the alternator. Apparently, no one could get the lights in the back to go out. The last thing we needed was a dead battery after the game concluded. Fortunately, no one asked for my assistance. It's commonly understood that all I do is drive from point A to Point B and then back to Point A. Occassionally, I'll perform "nursing duties" but whatever that might constitute, I'll leave to the imagination.
We made it to our row of seats on the 5th tier. One of the cell phone people couldn't sit in her correct seat so she pretty much threw the entire row into chaos for about a quarter. I ended up sitting in between Jenn and this mammoth woman whose thigh encroached on my mid-section. I swear to god - her thigh made it well over the arm rest and was massaging my ribcage for most of the first half. Something similar once happened to me on a US Air flight. You really don't have much of a recourse in matters like this. You just have to "take one for the team." No big deal though - I survived. What made it a bit annoying was that this woman was a bit self-righteous. She bombarded me with some personal questions and seemed to view me as inferior. She had this odd attitude like - I didn't realize that if I accepted these tickets I'd have to sit next to him. No problem though.
My Trent Dildo sign was a big hit. I paraded it along the 5th tier walkway as Trent Dilfer #8. The boos reigned down on me, but I told the hostile crowd to be patient. On my return, I exposed the Dildo 8" and was greeted with warmth and love.
For the second half, we hit the pit as usual. Jenn got a Primanti's sandwich which she didn't care for much. I've always proclaimed that those sandwiches are the best food option at Heinz Field. What you've got to realize is that there's a huge quality disparity between a sandwich from Heinz Field and one made fresh in the Strip District. Still, they're far superior to the othe main options - a hot dog or kielbassi, the Benkovitz fish sandwich, Papa Duke's gyro, Quaker Steak wings, or any of the other offerings. Trust my judgement on this one. I've studied the matter thoroughly.
While in the pit, I was showing off my sign and some kind of militant security guard informed me that the sign had to go. It was either leave the stadium with the sign or hand it over. I was aghast. You'd think this tyrant was some kind of hulking figure, but no, she was probably about 19 and weighed in at less than a hundred pounds. I really didn't have much of a choice in the matter, so I handed it off to the kid next to me. He got scared and dropped it on the ground. She picked it up and disappeared to the confiscated goods locker. Sucked.
We made it home safe and sound a little after 1am.


Friday, February 10, 2006

Steelers game #6

Alright, our only home Monday night game versus the despised Purple Browns. Could you ask for a better Halloween game? I wore my witches hat along with my usual uninspired attire (jeans, t-shirt and a jacket). I could have at least brought a broom or snagged an umbrella from the limo. Once again, it was a packed limo originating from the Angel. Plenty of traffic but we landed in the lot around 7:30pm. Not much time to rock but just enough to get in the flow of things. There were a few pockets of Ravens fans who seemed to be taking a great deal of abuse. I was listening to the pregame show on WDVE most of the ride up and they were all picking the Steelers in a blow-out. We were 10 point favorites. Hardly any respect was being given to Baltimore.
On my way to the stadium, I knew finding a ticket would be exceptionally difficult. I ran into some black kid and overheard him mention he had a single. I asked him how much, and he said, "Yo man, gimme a buck." I countered with, "How about eighty?" He said, "C'mon man." I said, "Alright" and forked over a hundred. This was the only game of the year where I paid over face, but considering the stakes, there was no way I was going to sit outside for this one. No big deal if you think about it - just 35 bucks over cost. In retrospect, I don't think I've ever paid more than face value for a Steelers ticket. Actually, I take that back. I paid $75.00 for the final game at Three Rivers against the Redskins. Turned out to be a bad move as the weather turned miserable and people were giving them away at the gate. My bad. I've always hated people who relate what they pay to the price of the ticket. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the face value of the ticket means NOTHING. Supply and demand is everything. Wake up, America.
As usual, we were hanging out in the pit area. This would be my first encounter with Death - a truly haggard middle aged woman with long, ill-permed, blond hair and heavy, multi-layered make-up. Scottie looked at me and said, "That is the face of death." I would end up noticing her at all the future games as she was a regular in the Steel Pit. However, it was destiny that Death made her first appearance on Halloween night. Aside from her, the pit has a lot of odd characters. This is where the rougher people hang. Lots of people staggering and shuffling about. Security always warning people not to stand up on the tables. Discarded food everywhere. Half-eaten soft pretzels and cigarette butts dumped in warm beer with a little ranch dressing on top. Tattooed rednecks, toothless whores, morbidly obese greaseballs gnawing on Quaker Steak and Lube wings, and on it goes. You might get the impression that I don't like the pit. Nothing could be farther form the truth. The landscape is constantly changing and perhaps I'm being a bit harsh. There is an occassional hottie from time to time.
It ended up being a pretty late game. Great crowd energy. The standard Hank Jr. MNF theme song followed by a great F-16 fly-by. You don't get to see those very often. The crowd even did "the wave". It was the first wave I'd ever seen at Heinz Field (I think) - perhaps, an omen for Seattle down the road. The atmosphere was truly intense.
I actually got pulled over in Bellaire around 3am. The cop claimed I didn't use my turn signal off the exit. It was the middle of the night and I was in a turn-only lane but I decided not to mention it. I handed over the info and told him I just wanted to get everybody home. He didn't even bother running my info through the computer. I think he just wanted to get a look at the occupants inside the limo. I'm sure he'd seen the limo over 100 times in the back parking lot of the Angel. No big deal though. Took everyone home and finally crashed out as daylight broke. One of the longest limo trips of the year.


Steelers game #5

After the bye and a gritty Monday night win over San Diego, we would face the Jags with a standard 1pm start. It was mid-October and definitely football weather. Before we headed up, Killer mentioned that he didn't have any parking passes. I think he gave them to some tire retailers. I figured no problem - I'll just park the monstrosity off in the distance, on the North side, but not in the ghetto. I always have this eerie premonition of someone throwing a brick through the front windshield. I dropped the six of them off and ventured up above the stadium. I found a good spot about 3/4 mile from the stadium. I then hoofed it down to the PNC lot and joined the regulars for some brief tailgating. That was the last time I'd ever see my favorite backpack cooler. Scottie has assured me that one day we'll be reunited. Half of me believes him - the other half is indifferent. It is a nice cooler though - very portable.
The tailgating in the lot and build up to the game seemed more subdued than usual. I was having difficulty finding a ticket. There just weren't that many out there. I joined a large crowd in front of Heinz Field and started yelling, "Anyone got an extra?" Right after I'd gotten a little more brazen, a man said "Yeah, I got one." I asked how much and he gave me the how much you willin' to pay routine. I squinted and said, "How about forty?" Much to my surpise, he said ok and handed over the ticket.
I remember a strange malaise over the crowd. Most of the fans just seemed to be expecting a win. One guy in the restroom started yelling "We've got to take these guys seriously or we're going to lose!" Turned out to be pretty prophetic. I remember telling Scottie at the half how disgusted I was with Maddox. I was convinced that Cowher would bench him even though we were leading. Cowher opted to not follow my advice. What transpired was an atrocious 2nd half where we did everything humanly possible to lose the game. Eventually, we got beat in OT. Lots of highs and lows - entertaining yet ultimately disheartening.
I decided to make a move for the limo. I had to pick everyone up near the stadium so I knew it was going to be a tricky. After all, everything becomes turns into outgoing after the game is over. I figured that I'd swoop down from a Northwest direction. It quickly turned into a serious pain in the ass. Traffic was spilling out from every little mom and pop store parking lot. I even had to dodge a few crusty North Side hookers. I finally got moving. I saw this yellow light and decided to zip through it. Big Mistake! I was immediately pulled over by a Pittsburgh drunk-tank van. This black city cop emerged and comes up to my window. His female partner at the passenger side window. He starts screaming. "What's wrong with you? You almost ran me off the road. You just barrelled through that red light. You could have killed someone. You almost killed me. Why are you driving like a maniac. Where do you have to be that it's so important you almost kill someone? Why don't you have your seat belt on? LICENSE and REGISTRATION!!!! I humbly apologized and told him my boss had just called and they were waiting for me by the stadium. I gave him my license and he takes one look at it and says "Eric Saferstein, don't I know you?" I'm bewildered - "How on earth do you know me?" He fires back, "Didn't I issue you an open container violation a few months ago?" I couldn't believe it, it was the same fuckin' cops who nailed me at the Miami pre-season game. I'm in a state of shoch and awe. I asked, "How on earth could you possibly remember that?" He starts up again, "Remember that???? I know everything that happens in this town. You're driving like a maniac, someone's going to get killed. I've got kids. Do you want them to grow up without a father? What's wrong with you anyway? Do you drive like that in West Virginia? " Eventually, he calms down a little bit and goes back to the car and run my info. It all comes back clean and I offer up a sheepish response, "Well on the good side of things, at least I paid the fine." I wondered to myself if he was going to bring up the hostile letter that was included with the payment. He didn't. "Put on your seat belt and drive like a normal human being and get the hell out of here. I never want to see you again." I'm like "Yes sir, sorry sir, I'll be more careful in the future."
Anyway, I snagged the crew. They were indifferent to the loss, hooping it up and having a good time. We stopped at the 19th Ho for a beer that night and Lisa grabbed Justin Dustin's guitar and started strumming; well, let's call it flailing away. Rechter was not amused. Another long one.

...in overtime

Steelers game #4

After crushing the Texans on the road, one of the biggest games of the year lie in wait. The AFC Championship rematch vs. New England. This would be a long one. I've always liked the idea of a 4:15 pm start on the East Coast - it's a good way to get the crowd extra juiced up. More time to drink translates into a more hostile environment. Not that the Steeler fans need extra motivation against the Patriots. Of course, this was a big one - nationally televised and highly anticipated. We were 2-0. The Pats were 1-1 and desparate to avoid a 1-2 start.
I picked up the crowd at the Angel around 11am. They all had a few drinks and we rolled up. The limo was packed for this one. We got to the lot and one of the occupants (the older brother of Jason Wilson) asked me if I had a ticket for the game. I replied no and he asked me if I wanted his extra. Incredulously, I responded, "Sure, how much?" He told me he couldn't accept money and thanked me for hauling them up. I was in heaven - the guy was very generous to give me a free single for the AFC Championship rematch. He told me he going to go take a piss and he'd give me the ticket when he got back to the limo. When he came back he mentioned that a guy in line offered him $300.00 for a single. But, he said he had to decline as it was already promised to "our driver." I thanked him repeatedly and we all went our separate ways. I hooked up with the regulars (Bob, Missy, Scottie & Schneid) and a few others. One girl and her husband were from Columbus and recognized me from the old Wheeling Jesuit days. I forget their names but they were cool - Hey, it's not like I was ever enrolled at that pseudo-university.
It was a tight game. Lots of field position - a definite chess match between Cowher and Belicheck. I stood in the pit for almost the entire game. A gust of wind knocked over a swath of half-empty beers as the weather grew increasingly brisk. One highlight - after Rodney Harrison broke his leg, they wheeled him out on a golf cart right in front of me. They brought the ambulance inside Heinz Field next to the main entrance, loaded him up, and zipped the fuckhead to a nearby hospital. Poor guy (not financially) - out for the season.
As Vinatieri lined up for the winning field goal, Scottie made repeated kicking motions while repeating the word "Shankatieri." Vinatieri split the uprights and the crowd went dead silent followed by a quiet walk back to the limo. Eventually, everyone made it back to the car. It was a super long ride home. There was a really bad 10 car wreck on 79 so they had to reroute everyone through the Carnegie exit. We probably sat in traffic for an extra hour. I took a little heat for going 79, but it's not like the accident was my fault. Long day, long night and a tough loss.


Steelers game #3

As noted, I missed the 2nd pre-season home game against Miami. If you don't have a life, we were victorious 17-3.

The regular season would commence on a really rough note. The night before the game I went to Eric and Amanda's wedding. I proceeded to get relatively trashed at the recpetion. Then, we went to the Alpha and drank til about 2am or so. One of Amanda's friends (Jen) left her car downtown and otped to stay the night. We both passed out.
I awoke the next morning when the sun hit my face. My alarm clock said 8:44am. I started screaming, "Fuck, Fuck, Fuck!" I could not believe it - I had overslept through both alarms (my cell phone and my alarm clock). I woke up Jen and we flew out the door. I basically drove through several red lights and stop signs and made it to limo land at 9am. I called Killer, apologized, and told him I running about 15 minutes late. He was cool about it and said to just get moving. I dropped Jen at her car and bolted to Killer's place. They were waiting outside on the street corner. Lisa gave me a little flack which was understandable. We then zipped to Stoney and picked up Danny and Rita. Rita came to my defense telling everyone that they were late as well so it was irrelevant.
The rest of the day was much calmer. I snagged a ticket at crunch time for $20.00 off an older gentleman. It was a 200 level suite ticket just a few rows up with a $195.00 face value. Ironically, my best seat for the whole year. I had been very fortunate as it was opening day and there weren't many extras floating around. I hung out with Scottie and Schneid on the 5th tier for a while. Schneid wanted to bet me 5 bucks that Tennessee wouldn't score an offensive touchdown. I declined and minutes later they scored their only touchdown of the game. Then I decided to check out my seat. I sat in the air-conditioned suite for a while and then walked down to check out my real location. I thanked the guy who sold me the ticket a few times. Nice guy - didn't mind that I hadn't showered and probably smelled horrible as it was blistering hot. Everyone was sweating profusely. I sat there until midway through the 3rd period and then left for the pit.
It was a relatively uneventful ride home. Dropped them all off and got home around 7pm. The Steelers got a resounding win but it was a rough way to start the season.


Steelers game #1

In honor of the Steelers winning the Superbowl, I have decided to post my experiences from every game I attended this year. This was the first time I hit all the regular season games. The only game I missed was the 2nd pre-season game against Miami. I think I had a limo gig at Starlake, or something similar. It was a gripping season of football and each game had its own strange vibe.

Danno and I hit the first pre-season game of the year since the Eagles were playing. Some of you might recall that the last time we went to a pre-season Pittsburgh/Philly game, I got rear-ended in the Fort Pitt tunnel by the original Cunting Whore. That's pretty much irrelevant, but it does provide a nice backdrop for what would occur this time. We avoided the overpriced parking and opted for a spot on the street above PNC Park near the Children's Hospital. We packed up a to-go bag and tok it to the streets. On our way to the stadium I was summoned over by a black city cop standing on the curb between gold lots 1 & 2. This would prove to be my initial encounter with him. I walked over and casually said, "Hey, what's up?" He promptly explained that the city of Pittsburgh has an open container law and demanded to see my license. I was in a mild state of shock. I asked him, "When did this new non-tailgating policy go into effect?" He seemed uninterested and directed me over to his female partner who had just finished writing a citation. Still astonished at what was transpiring, I asked her the same question and she rudely threatened to "take me downtown." At this point I just decided to shut the hell up. She issued me the open-container ticket and I mumbled a sarcastic thank you. Meanwhile, Danno was observing the whole incident from a safe distance. Suddenly a large group walked by chanting "Here we go Steelers, here we go." Most of them were hoisting beers in the air. I asked her, "What about them?" but she was totally disinterested. Apparently I was the better target - Jew, isolated, unshaven, and so on. After the ordeal, we walked into the Gold Lot 1 and there was a group of people sitting around moping and disgusted. They too had been caught up in this revenue enhancement sting operation.
Anyway, we had a relatively decent time at the game. We snagged tickets for 10 bucks a piece and sat in the 500 level. There was a strange anti-bandwagon female "fan" who sat in front of us. She was wearing a Philly jersey - I think it was a Donovan McNabb one. Danno and her talked for a little bit. Strangely enough, when the Steelers took an early convincing lead, she removed the McNabb jersey, and much to our mutual chagrin, she was wearing a Steelers shirt underneath. She had literally changed sides in a split second. I'd never seen such a drastic change-up. Some kind of anti-inverted bandwagon approach to fandom. We tried to explain the error of her ways but she didn't want to hear it - A lot like the 2 cops who co-issued me the open container ticket.
Anyway, most of the night I bitched about the fine. I was so pissed off that I decided to write a blurb about it on the wimp. It would later turn into a poll and I would eventually pay the fine, although I did include a rather terse letter to their superior. Not that it would matter, or would it?


Here is the orgininal post from the wimp. Don't be surpised if the specific details are different. It has been several months.

Something out of the ordinary happened to me last night. I went golfing with Danno in Cannonsburg and hit the Steelers/Eagles game at Heinz Field. Anyway, after soundly defeating Danno, we proceeded up to the stadium. Parking at the Carnegie Science Center lot was a whopping $35.00 and all the main lots were pre-sold. So I ventured beyond PNC and parked on the street for free. As we walked to the stadium we passed a police officer who was writing a citation to a semi-homeless black dude for an open container violation. The cop motioned toward me and told me to "come over here". I complied and walked over. Then he called over to a female cop who immediately asked me for my drivers license. I was kind of surprised but handed it to her. She explained that it was illegal to have an open container on the city streets. Keep in mind, there are people drinking everywhere, all around us - some on the street, some in the lot. I asked her why they singled me out and she said that "things could get much worse if you continue acting belligerent." I explained, while smiling that I was not being belligerent - I just wanted to know when this new selective no-tailgating policy had gone into effect. She wandered off to her police van and started writing the ticket. Then, she handed me back my license and the ticket and said I was free to go.

The reason I'm mentioning this whole incident is because I am going to let my fellow wimpers decide whether or not I will pay this fine. How's that for Democracy? You get to vote. I have 10 days to pay the fine or throw it in the garbage. Keep in mind, I could conceivably get a warrant in Pennsylvania although I'm not entirely sure they can issue a warrant for an open container violation. Here are some other specs on the incident which might help sway your vote.

I was with Danno at the time. Danno also had an open container but they went after me and he escaped underneath the radar. I was carrying a clear Ikea plastic bag with 3 more Miller Lites in addition to the open one. The first cop had me dump the can and then said I could take the bag of beers with me after it was all over.
The female cop never asked me to sign the ticket. She also didn't write down my social security number - never asked for it . She also didn't specify the amount of the fine, although it says "if no fine is specifed, remit a check or m.o. for $50.00." My address listed on the ticket is my old place in North Puke, not my current residence. 34 Eagle Ave instead of 45 Ridgewood.
The drivers license # is correct.
The comment area on the ticket reads "Actor had an open container of Miller Lite on a city street". No other comments were made. Not quite sure why I was referred to as an "actor".

That pretty much sums it up. I encountered a few other people who had also just been given tickets. They were more noticeably distraught than me. Personally, I think I got caught up in some ill-designed revenue enhancement sting outside the stadium. I also think that nothing will happen if I don't pay the fine ($50.00). I think they were just randomly issuing as many tickets as they can and then hope for the best.

The only cool thing about this whole crappy incident is that you guys control my destiny. If you have some old grudge, here's a great opportunity to get back at me - make him pay the fine. Ironically, even more sinister, would be to vote "no way" and secretly hope I get a bench warrant. Anyway, I'll sum it up with "vote or die." It's now in your hands.

and the poll results turned out like this...

Should our brother Saf pay the fine?

Yes. Make the fool Jew part with his money.
[ 5 ]

No. Fuck da police!
[ 3 ]

Who gives a shit about Saf?
[ 2 ]

Fight it in court, preferably Judge Judy
[ 2 ]

Total Votes : 12

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Met Grill - the saga continues

On Friday, I met up with Heather and surprise lunch guest B Noel, for a return visit to the scene of the crime. Once I again I'll reiterate my thoughts on the Met Grill. The food is great. The question is whether or not they are willing to sell it to you. This is a continuing source of consternation and bewilderment. Anyway, we entered the place about 11:50am. You've got to there before noon if you want any chance of success. Success at this restaurant simply means "getting to eat the food."
Much to my delight it appears that Oaf-Boy is no longer employed there. A friend of mine (J.S.) claims he offered her some heroin a few weeks ago. Hard to believe. You'd think he would have had a prosperous career at this establishment. Anyway, B joins us and we all place our orders with the new waitress (young girl - somewhat pleasant). I ordered the salmon pasta with a side salad. B orders some hamburger nonsense and Heather got the chicken portabella sandwich with a side salad. We waited about 25 minutes and our food arrived. Not bad. My only complaint was that my side salad should have been served first rather than with the meal. Normally, one expects to receive the salad early since it was not a lunch combo, but rather, ordered a la carte. Anyway, I'm just thrilled they got the order correct. We're halfway through our meal and a local atty (J.S. - not the same J.S., the other one is a woman) shows up. He was meeting a client and sat down with us for a while. He was impressed with the level on my keychain. I use it to verify the playability of outside foosball tables. Incidentally, I stole it from Scott T a few years ago. I extracted it from his keychain and put it on mine. He seemed puzzled by my blatant theft but I told him it was for the greater good, whatever that means. He's like, "Saf, you can buy them over a True Value for 79 cents." I'm like, "No, I need this one."
Anyway, the food is decent and I insist on picking up the tab. I think the bill came to something like $26 for the 3 of us. I gave our waitress a $100. She comes back with a slightly exasperated look. "Excuse me, do you have anything smaller. We don't have change for a hundred." Me being a Wheeling bigshot, I respond, "Not really, it's all I've got." This was a true statement. I suppose I could have used a credit card, but to be blunt, there are so many quality control issues with this place, I thought that using my Mastercard would be an error in judgement. Anyway, she looks at me and says, "Well, I'll see what I can do." I thought to myself - maybe I should have offered to go around from table to table and ask if anyone has change. That would have been appropriate at this place because everything truly is a group effort. By the way, I also asked for 3 large to go boxes as I was going to get all the leftovers (salad, salmon/pasta, and half a sandwich with the remnants of some vegetable skewer thing). She manages to find the change for the hundred. They probably had to send someone to the bank. Isn't it odd that a restaurant wouldn't have change for a hundred dollar bill (on a Friday no less)?
She comes back with 4 mini stirofoam boxes. They are out of normal sized to-go boxes. It's cool though. I stack the boxes as if they were a ladder to heaven. Think of it, I'm the one building the ladder to heaven at the Met Grill. Can we achieve a greater level of ironic blasphemy?
Anyway we all say our goodbyes and head out the door. I get to the car and start looking for my keys. I must have left them on the table. Heather keeps a watchful eye on the to-go boxes and I head back inside. I'm looking all over the place. I ask the waitress - did you see my car keys? She says no as they haven't cleared the table yet. I'm a little confused. I ask the trio at the next table if their 3 yeard old might have snagged them. Nope. I'm like what the fuck - B Noel must have snagged them. I call him and he also repsonds in the negative. I'm a little flustered. The only other option is local atty., J.S. He must have snagged them but I don't know his number. Wait a minute, he was meeting a client for lunch there. I scan the restaurant and see them in the back. I go over and say, "Hey, what the hell? Did you take my keys?" He's a little surprised but starts fumbling in his jacket pocket, and lo and behold, pulls out my keys. I ask him, "How the hell do you just snag someone elses keys?" He offers up an apologetic glance and hands them over - "Sorry Saf, I don't know how I ended up with them."
Alright, no problem, I figured it all out. This is how he gets people off DUI's and it's consistent with overall Met Grill policy. When a client somes to the office of J.S. with a DUI, he takes their keys. This way he can look at the client and as a matter of absolute certainty calmly say, "You will never get another DUI." Well duhhhh - How am I supposed to drive without my keys? Kind of an innovative strategy for a young attorney.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Well, I suffered my first defeat in the soup milieu. Everything started out fine. Stock, carrots, celery, onion, meatballs, zucchini (Jean Anne thought they were cucumber slices), and various secret seasonings. Then, I decided to get creative. I usually go with a potato base but decided to mix it up and infuse the concoction with an egg noodle ensemble. Absolute disaster. After 20 minutes the soup started to resemble some kind vomitous slime. Metaphorically speaking, it became a Sunni triangle quagmire. AJ had some kind words. "It's the best tasting gruel I've ever had. Mmmmm, just tell people it's chicken'n'dumplings."
Needless to say, I dumped it out this morning. Even the garbage disposal seemed a bit disturbed. To anyone who reads this crap, I make this pledge...