Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I am going to make a strong effort...

To be a nice guy.

I know what you might say, 'but jeff, you're already such a nice guy', and you'd be right. But the fact remains that over the years I have stayed at the same level of niceness while others have either improved their niceness or become less nice. I've reached my breaking point. It's time for me to look nice in the eye and say 'it's time to fish or cut bait' and I'm hoping nice will say, 'let's go fishing'.

No longer will I let things just slide by without comment. If I walk past a person on the street I will not simply nod at them in appreciation of their humanity, I will say 'hello'. If a checkout person at Trader Joe's or Giant bags my groceries I won't say 'thank you', I will say 'thank you very much'. If someone calls me I won't just say 'hello', I'll say 'hi, how are you?'

"We will not go quietly into the night!
We will not vanish without a fight!"
We're going to live on! We're going to survive!
Today we celebrate our Independence Day!
-President Thomas Whitmore

p.s. - this is a future thank you to pete for allowing me to poke fun at his totally honest and serious blog post and to let him know that this was not an attempt to be... well what he is trying to be.


So some of you who read other blogger-blogs, may have noticed that mine looks a little different. That's because I recently put ads up as a little experiment in money making. I have a sitetracker service now so I know I don't get tons of traffic, but I'm not expecting to make millions off of this. If it makes me $.50 a month then that's more than I would have had if I didn't do this. I also know that some bloggers go back and forth on whether or not to put ads up on their sites and many readers are turned off by ads. I don't expect a backlash but I wanted to write something ahead of time about it.

Every post that goes up on a blog is advertising something. You might mention that you drank soda and you'd be advertising generally. You may mention how you just bought a new laptop (which I did but didn't mention) and where it came from, then you would be advertising for that company. Putting ads up on a blog is no different or rather, the only difference is that I'll be making money off of it now instead of just giving it away for free.

So if you happen past this site in the coming weeks/ months, click on the ad(s). Even if you don't look at what the resulting page is, it would be a big help to me.

Regular posts about regular stuff will follow soon!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I have a new hero...

and he is a conservative. My roommate sent me an excellent article when I woke up this "morning". It was a newsweek story about the infighting that took place leading up to the decision to wiretap U.S. citizens. The antagonist of the story is Vice President Cheney's new chief of staff David Addington (formerly the counsel). Addington worked tirelessly to create an imperial presidency based on the current war on terror. Since a story always needs a protaganist for its antagonist, we have former Assistant Attorney General Jack Goldsmith. Emphasis on the former part. Mr. Goldsmith along with a few other devoted justice department, CIA and state department lawyers, fought to overturn several internal rulings on hot button issues and also fought against the administrations efforts to wiretap U.S. citizens.

A friend of mine who is currently at law school had an away message up today saying; "Jack Goldsmith is my hero". I thought she was simply referring to the article I was about to send her, but that wasn't the case. It turns out that Jack Goldsmith was her civil procedures professor. I told her to give him a hug. I think it translates better if he was to get a hug from her then to run into me on the street and be confronted by a bear hug.

so here is the newsweek article. It is a bit long but well worth the read.
Palace Revolt

Last post of the day

I seem to be trying to make up for lost time.

This site was mentioned to me a little while ago, and I have to admit, it's pretty darn cool. Some of you may have heard of it, either indirectly or directly, and just never gone to see it. It's called Postsecret. People write in on postcards (anonymously) their biggest secret. It was also featured in an 'All American Rejects' music video. I have yet to see one that says they once killed a man and never told anyone, so it's nothing horrific. It does however make you stop and think. First, everyone is weird. Everyone has something weird about them, whether it's a good weird or a bad weird is in the eye of the beholder. Secondly, it makes you look around and take notice of the people close by. It seems many of the people who write in these post-secrets are depressed. The blogger of the site was smart, and kindhearted enough to make sure that he has things up there for those people.

Just a warning, some of the secrets are of a mature nature, so if you're easily shocked you might want to take a pass on it. The artwork is definitely interesting, the way that people interpret their own secret through magazine covers, pencil drawings, photographs, etc.

Check it out here: Postsecret

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Apparently the NYTimes agrees with me on the issue of democratic elections in Palestine as well... sorta. They definitely are more eloquent and what's the word? coherent.

Last but certainly not least

It has been a while since I have written posts, as has been intimated by my first post of the day (been a while) and told to me by several people. The problem lay in my lack of a computer that wouldn't crash after about 5-10 minutes of use. Luckily Dell was kind enough to charge me an arm, leg and my firstborn for a new laptop. Dell shipped it out wed. and UPS sensing my dire need to be reconnected to the intertron brought me my spanking new laptop (dubbed spanky for short) on friday. That's right folks, for UPS 3-5 business days means get it there as soon as possible. When I looked at an email from Dell they said it would not arrive until the Jan.31-Feb.5. Apparently Dell has less trust in its synergistic partners than the rest of us do.

in other news

While I was watching the footage on the news yesterday I neglected to mention that I was laying on the couch freaking out about a job interview that I had in about 2 hours time. If someone had taken pictures of me throughout the morning they would have seen a spectacular transition.

10:00am - in bed sleeping
10:15am - jumped out of bed (literally) and walked to my chair to watch TV
10:30am - chair was uncomfortable, made some coffee now I'm on the couch
11:00am - coffee finished, laying on the couch
11:45am - jumped off the couch and ran to the shower
12:00pm - laying out my suit and going back to shave
12:30pm - brushing my teeth cause there's nothing left to do
12:31pm - realized that I had yet to polish my shoes even though I had been telling myself to do it for about 3 days now and I just never got around to it and ohmygod where's the shoe polish I need a cloth now where did my shoes go...
12:45pm - shoes polished, walking out the door (ON TIME) is there anything else I forgot? Nope.
12:45:35pm - DANGIT... my discman is empty now I have to ride the metro without any music... I HATE THAT.
1:37pm - after what seemed like the longest metro ride ever, I have arrived at my stop... 23 minutes early.
1:45pm - after walking around for about 5 minutes I decide I can no longer look like a normal person, I go inside.

And after that I'm going to leave it suspenseful. It's better to not tell you what happened next. It was just too amazing.

How's that for a cliffhanger?

been a while

So this will be the first of a couple of posts. I wanted to talk about one thing I was struck by yesterday while watching the footage of Fatah supporters in the streets of palestine. First, even though CNN, MSNBC and FOX were carrying the footage as BREAKING NEWS, there was little to no violence or violent acts seen. Secondly, the palestinians just had a democratic election. What western countries, including the united states, have to start understanding is that even though a democratic election didn't go 'our' way, we still have to keep our noses out of it. The palestinian people were sick of the corruption of the Fatah party and yes, frankly they agreed with Hamas on one key issue: Israel. Let me use some of the things I learned in sociology class for a second. In 2004 the US election came down to one big issue: security. Which party can make us feel more secure? The majority of Americans believed that the Repbulican party could make us more secure. In early 2006 the Palestinian election came down to a couple of important issues: Israel and corruption. Now do NOT get me wrong. I am not advocating a group that seeks the destruction of another country. What I am saying is that I can understand that if I lived in a country that had continued hostilities with its not only bordering country, but a country that splits mine down the middle, I would be inclined to not like them.

The EU has said it will pull all aid from Palestine, the U.S. is saying that it will not talk or negotiate with a terror organization. This is the wrong thing to be doing right now. There are many, many instances of an organization becoming the institution. Do you know what every single organization realizes when the responsibility of rule is thrust upon it? That it is much more difficult than it looks. These organizations follow two courses, they adapt or they wither. One example is the IRA or Irish Republican Army. Their eventual accension to power in Ireland put them in a position where they no longer were able to pass the blame. They were the gov't and had to answer to other governments for their actions. On top of that they had to legislate for an entire country that may not agree with them on every particular issue.

If the EU and U.S. wants the peace process to move forward, if they want to maintain healthy, neutral relationships with both Palestine and Israel, then I suggest they sit this one out for a while. Allow the new ruling party, Hamas, time to realize that this is not as easy as it looks. Hamas will either overcome the difficulties and transition into a responsible government or they will wither and be replaced in the next election.

Friday, January 06, 2006

new years update

So it's 5 or 6 days into the new year (depending on how you really look at it) and so far I have to say things are pretty much the same. I have a feeling this won't be the year of the jetpack or teleporter... what a disapointment!

The restaurant's closed so I have nothing really to do. Daytime TV is hooooooorible. I had forgotten just how bad it is. I have a couple of irons in a luke-warm fire right now. Politemps is awesome as always. There's two girls there who always look out for cool jobs for me whenever I'm available. Right now there's two possibilities, one with AIPAC (the pro-israel lobby) and one with two dem lobbyists (I KNOW! DEM LOBBYISTS! WHO KNEW THEY STILL EXISTED!)[sorry my caps must have gotten stuck there...] I also have applied to two massachusetts cong. offices that I will never hear back from and another restaurant. All I know right now is that I need money in a bad way and I need to do something other that sit around or I will go insane again.

I had a good chat with my friend Meredith tonight. I got a chance to see her while I was home this past christmas. I hadn't seen her in 5 years. Kids have been born and started preschool in the time that it has been since I had seen her. CRAZY. Anyway, she was singing the praises of a book called; "He's just not that into you". She said she did the 'ol RHA thing on it (for those of you not in the know that stands for Read Highlight and Annotate). She was trying to get me to read it and I told her the only way I would read something like that is if she sent me her copy so I could read her chicken scratch in the margins. Keep your fingers crossed people!

New CD's (to me anway): Snow Patrol - Final Staw (*****)
Green Day - Bullet in a Bible (*****)
The Bravery -The Bravery (***1/2)

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Years Finale

Last night (Dec. 31st-Jan. 1st) I worked at the restaurant. I volunteered back before christmas because I knew that everyone would be off doing their own thing and I wanted/ needed to make some money. The night started out pretty slow with none of my tables arriving until around 9-9:30.

I had already been at the restaurant for about 5 hours by then and was getting pretty darn bored. But then the walk-ins started. I only had 2 reservations for the night but all of a sudden I had 5 tables and only one of my reservations had shown up... albeit an hour and a half late. Ms. Johnson (our hostess for the night) came up to me and asked if I could take another table in the 50's and then 5 minutes later asked if i could take another table in the 40's. This was in fact not my section. Ted had the 40's and 50's, Gail and I had split up the 10's and 20's. After doing a quick check of Ted's tables I realized that he had 3... 3! Gail and I were working on 6-7 tables, the bartenders were slammed and this jackass had 3 tables and was saying he couldn't take anymore. The reason you may wonder? Was he unprepared for a busy night? Nope. Turns out he wanted to go to a party in georgetown. A party were Barbara Bush was going to be at. After an early attempt by myself to inform him of the error of his ways I turned to Jaimie (our assistant GM) to correct the situation. After Jaimie came Sylvia (one of the co-owners). When Sylvia gave us a quick pep-talk Ted took the opportunity to try to bitch about not being able to leave early. Sylvia set him right, but I still wanted to beat the snot out of the kid.

The night went much smoother after that. Around midnight I neglected my tables in order to pour champagne for our guests. After the champagne had flowed I stayed behind the bar and had an awesome time. It reminded me of college when Nick and I would bartend for our parties. The real fun came when everyone left the restaurant and just the owners and workers were left. We jammed on the band's drums, we drank champagne, we goofed around. Christian grilled up some steaks for us and we drank some beers. I ended up walking out with around $200 in tips (after being one of the only servers in history to get tipped out by the bartenders), ~$150 in wine and some wine glasses.

I may not have gotten a new years kiss, or been surrounded by family, but I was certainly with friends and had a great time.