Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In Search of Lost Baby Ruths

When I taste the blend of chocolate, caramel, nougat and peanuts, I see myself as an 8-year-old playing with small army men at my Uncle Steve's house. It takes me back to being with my cousins and watching things like the "Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling" and performing with a Casio keyboard.

The Baby Ruth is my madeleine, an item that brings back an involuntary memory. Madeleines typically affect either taste or smell. Some memories can be long gone, but if the madeleine is tapped into, they come back.

This idea is key to Marcel Proust's "In Search of Lost Time," which is also titled "Remembrance of Things Past." A madeleine is a French cake that when tasted gives the book's narrator an awakening. Honestly, I don't read Proust because I find it too inaccessible, but I love the idea of the madeleine because I've experienced it many times."Hey, it smells like grandma's house."
"Mmm, that tastes like grandma's soda pop."
"Oh, man, Baby Ruths are the best candy bars!"

I have discovered that nearly everyone has a madeleine. What is yours?

The sensation also is called synesthesia, and I love how it sneaks up on you. To me, some madeleines are connected to the holidays. A pine smell = Christmas. Cheap champagne = New Year's Eve. Semi-drunk at Church = Midnight Mass.

And we can argue about this all day, but the Baby Ruth is by far the best candy bar. Perhaps its taste is debatable, but the meaning it has in my life puts it on a pedestal.

For as long as I can remember, my Uncle Steve has been a proponent of Baby Ruths as are his children and me. His father, my grandpa, eventually had his health fail, but even during that time, he often would ask to eat "A Ballplayer," a reference to the glorious Baby Ruth.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The polar bear is about to die!

My daughters and I are addicted to the classic game "Don't Break the Ice" and vow to "play just once more and then easily stop if we want."

We each have different styles of breaking the ice as we attempt to save the red polar bear from falling to his death. Like a surgeon, I carefully knock out cubes. Sophie and Chloe replicate my style, but when the polar bear comes close to falling, they have different reactions.

Sophie, 5, announces, "I'm scared!"

In contrast, Chloe, 3, pounds all the ice around the polar bear to make sure he does indeed fall. Sophie and I react shocked every time she does this, although it is no longer a surprise for us and we continue to be undefeated against Chloe."Don't Break the Ice" originated in 1968, and I enjoyed it as a lad years later. I must have passed some sort of gene to my daughters to like the game as well.

After a gluttony of Christmas gifts, "Don't Break the Ice" somehow has emerged as our favorite despite having many more expensive and "classy" games. Despite my ability to quickly post blogs, Sophie is demanding that I play another round of "DBIT" with her as I type. No problem. One day, we may branch out to "Cootie" and/or "Ants in the Pants."

It may be one day after Christmas, but I will be saying "Merry Christmas to you AND YOURS" for at least a few more days.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

For relaxing times, make it Suntory time

Although I may have started my job search a little late, I have figured out the perfect position for me over the holidays - celebrity alcohol spokesman.

I was a major fan of Bill Murray's character in the 2003 film "Lost in Translation." He traveled to Japan to be a spokesman for Suntory whiskey and promoted the phrase: "For relaxing times, make it Suntory time."

I also have noticed that Michael Imperioli, who played Christopher Moltisanti on "The Sopranos," is doing quality work for 1800 Tequila. He makes a great point in one commercial when he says: "What happened to tequila? These days, it's all velvet ropes and posturing. I don't know about you, but when I drink it, I really like to kick back and be myself."The occupation of "celebrity alcohol spokesman" is rare, and, obviously, that's a shame. Suntory employed Sammy Davis Jr. in the '70s to showcase its whiskey, and he is arguably the most famous alcohol spokesperson.

When I recently explained my plans to be a celebrity alcohol spokesman to a pal, he replied, "I think you're delusional. You're not a celebrity."

Let's not split hairs here. I truly believe the masses would respond to me pointing out some liquor's sophistication. Absolutely. Absolut.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Kindergartener questions Santa's methods

My 5-year-old daughter Sophie already is questioning the logistics of Santa Claus' whereabouts and his gift delivery methods. Her metaphysical points have been so deep, and logical, that I am now questioning my own existence.

Daddy: I think we should go see Santa Claus and tell that fat man what we want for Christmas.
Sophie: But Daddy, Santa lives at the North Pole. It's too far.
Daddy: Wait a second. I heard he was at one of the malls around here.
Sophie: Those are just Santa's helpers. You can't have the same Santa at all the malls.

I'm with you, Soph. To understand if Santa Claus exists, I don't think it's right to be completely illogical. Heck, that tactic didn't really work with the movie "Inception."

Perhaps more than any other year, I have my biggest case of holiday fever. Do you know what it is like to have two gleeful daughters, ages 5 and 3, who embrace the holiday season more firmly than Richard Dawson embraces Family Feud contestants? To kind of quote DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, "take it from me, parents just do understand."My girls have spurred me into becoming "Mr. Holiday" this year. My home and Room 618 at Cerritos High School are decked out in tinsel and trees and ornaments, and I am constantly spreading holiday cheer with two verbal greetings:

1) Happy holidays to you AND YOURS.
2) Get your nog on!

For a second consecutive year, I will not be sending out Christmas cards and instead am sending out this blog post. For these holidays, the girls and I will staying in Long Beach, Calif., although in future years I expect to often make the trek to my favorite holiday city - Cleveland.

The biggest change in my life this year was changing workplaces. I went from Firebaugh High School in Lynwood to Cerritos, and the change has worked out well for me. It's my third year teaching high school, and I'm still enjoying it.

The girls keep growing. Sophie is in kindergarten, trying to read and is the ringleader of my home. Chloe, AKA Gumball, shows a perfect blend of creativity and clear thinking to be likable to all. No major point about these random updates except:

Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Happy Kwanzaa. Feliz Navidad.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fantasy world is a nightmare

Snooze Button Generation founder and CEO Joe Stevens insists on doing a blog about the woes of his fantasy football team, despite the urging of his entire staff that repeatedly told him "nobody gives a rat's ass."

"Will you just listen to me!?" a wild-eyed Stevens demanded of his staff. "You do not know the depths of pain I experienced this season. I swear I had the best team in the league, and I didn't even make the playoffs. Do you know how crazy that is?!?"

The staff repeatedly pointed out that Stevens' fantasy football team was not the best because it finished 11th of 12 teams with a 5-9 record.

"You're not listening to me!" Stevens barked. "Only one team had more points than me. I at least was second best. Man, this was demoralizing."Upon further review, the staff does see that Stevens lost five games by less than five fantasy points - 89.7-85.2, 97.7-94.5, 107.5-103.9, 101.4-100.9 and 104.1-103.1. Ha. Ha! Those last two games, losing by one point or less, might be what wild-eyed Stevens is talking about.

"Exactly!" he said. "When you score 100 points in fantasy football, you're almost assured a victory. The record of the rest of the league when scoring 100 this year was 23-1. My record was 2-3. This is some sort of twisted lesson."

When asked why he took the time to add up the 100-point games in his fantasy football league, Stevens responded, "I was just curious."

When asked why he has put so much thought into this, he said, "It's got to mean something. I guess you realize your true character when bad things happen. Now, it is time for me to see if I can recover from this fantasy football nightmare."

Because he did not sign out of his yahoo login on one of the SBG's computers, the staff looked at his team and realized that Stevens frequently made bad picks with his lineups this year. Stevens also would have been in the playoffs had he won his last game, but he was demolished 122-78.

Not even Jay Feely, the Arizona kicker who scored a mind-blowing 24 fantasy football points on Sunday, would have helped him.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tic-tac-toe chicken will be defeated!

One of my favorite pastimes when I lived in New York City was playing a chicken in tic-tac-toe.

The pastime was so fun that I sometimes took visitors to the seedy - yet glorious - arcade at 8 Mott Street in Chinatown to see the chicken's brilliance.

I've had many conversations like this:

Friend: I've never been to New York City. Where should I go?
Me: The Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty are a bit too touristy. You should see the tic-tac-toe chicken.
Friend: What?
Me: There's a chicken in Chinatown that plays tic-tac-toe.
Friend: Huh? ... Yeah. You're right. That's a must-see.

I have been recommending the chicken to friends for years but recently read that animal rights activists had the chicken removed from its post in 1998, the same year I moved out of the city. Apparently, some animal rights activists consider playing a chicken in tic-tac-toe cruel. I find it cruel to stifle a chicken's gaming abilities.

The chicken has been on my mind again because the other day at Ports O' Call in San Pedro, Calif., I stumbled across a game called "The Love Maine Lobster Claw" that has live lobster as the prize.Catching a live lobster out of a machine is not nearly as exciting as playing a chicken in tic-tac-toe. My record against the chicken was 0-1-8. I never beat him, almost always tied him and goofing around once, learned that the chicken could win if I made a bad play. But, damn it, the chicken always got to go first.

A cynic might say the chicken's game was programmed to always give him the best move. But I don't think so. I think I was playing against a genius. I vow to find that chicken wherever he is, play one last game and even our win total at one apiece.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Drakkar Noir: Superior to common scents

Many lads look to me for advice on how to talk to girls, be a man and be smooth. I tend to give terse, two-word phrases of advice, such as "be yourself," "calm down" or "just listen."

After years of giving advice, though, I have finally discovered the best two words to tell any young, potential loverboy - Drakkar Noir.

As any gentleman knows, a man's scent is what attracts ladies. Drakkar Noir is the perfect combination of wolf pheromones and tangerine undertones with a hint of rear-view mirror air freshener. I'm pretty sure it's an afro disiac for all mammals, including hippopotamuses, hyenas and classy ladies.

I speak from experience. Back when I was 14, I got my hands on some wonderful Drakkar Noir and immediately added maturity to my life and attracted women. Soon, I was sipping martinis on yachts, modeling Top Siders and playing baccarat in destinations including Monaco, the French Riviera and Garfield Heights, Ohio.Nowadays, lads are doing something similar with a product called "Axe," although it obviously is not as refined as Drakkar Noir. There will never be a more powerful scent, and even though I have no specific proof and it is impossible to research this fact, I am pretty sure Drakkar Noir is French for "Black Dragon."

Friday, December 3, 2010

Coupon collection beyond expectations

My Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon collection has ballooned to 28 coupons and because of urging from my daughters, hope to have the collection reach 100.

A little more than a year ago, the collection stood at eight, and my daughter Sophie wondered why we had so many Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons.

Since then, I have gone to Bed, Bath & Beyond twice, but I have only successfully used one coupon. That happened last week, when I picked up seemingly random items for Thanksgiving.

In the summer, though, pain enveloped me and The World's Most Sophisticated Man when we got items for a classy party and forgot to bring a coupon. Although 20 percent off any item is quite attractive, we did not think it was worth it to drive back home for a coupon.As Kevin Arnold from "The Wonder Years" might say, life takes us in many different directions, and sometimes Winnie Cooper isn't there. For me, I am philosophically against collecting anything but find myself with two collections - the Chewbaccas and now the Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons.

Although I hope to live for at least four more decades, I will not be able to take my collections to the after-life. But I am pretty sure that when I die, Saint Peter will greet me at the pearly gates, commend me on my Chewbacca and coupon collections and give me 20 percent off if I buy a cutting board from him.

Monday, November 29, 2010

'Turkey chic' replaces heroin chic

The popular 1990s style heroin chic has been replaced by "turkey chic," the Snooze Button Generation has learned from a shopping trip in Costa Mesa, Calif.

During a voyage to the shopping mega-plex South Coast Plaza, I noticed that shoppers were not very stylish. Instead, they seemed overweight, or "turkey chic." Granted, this trip happened during Thanksgiving weekend, and many may have been bloated from feasts.

However, there is a good chance that many people were going for that plump "turkey chic" look. I found it to be an average look, not even close to as sexy as heroin chic. Some people went for the look half-heartedly with big bellies and fat asses. I say if you go turkey chic, you might as well sweat butter.With Kate Moss and Vincent Gallo leading the way in early '90s Calvin Klein commercials, heroin chic should go down as one of the coolest looks of the 20th century. It was austere and rock 'n' roll, real yet make-believe. It was good fashion, if you ask me.

A lot of people who didn't get the look assumed it was glamorizing drugs, but I'm not so sure about that. Most supermodels are freaks of nature. At least heroin chic photos didn't try to make the models appear "real."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Coolio: Brilliant master chef

As much of America soon will focus on Thanksgiving and turkey preparation, many amateur chefs might be unsure how to deliver a feast. Well, The Snooze Button Generation has one word to help those chefs: Coolio.

The rap star made a drastic career change last year when he released a cookbook, "Cookin' with Coolio." The book is flat-out hilarious and boasts the following quotes:

"[My mom's] fried chicken would literally put on tennis shoes and run the fuck into your mouth."

"This dish ain't just called Karate Meat because it's got an Asian kick to it. It's called Karate Meat because it will beat you up like a pigeon in prison."

"Hell, when I was growing up, I could make a meal out of a package of Top Ramen and a bottle of Windex."

Dang, Coolio, that's some funny stuff!Some celebrities don't know how to make proper career changes. Time is a factor for the success of many singers, actors and entertainers, and they have to accept that.

As a child, I remember seeing the comedy of Jerry Lewis and being totally baffled and stone-faced as I watched. His act was outdated, and it simply didn't work for me.

Not too long ago, I saw Robin Williams on a talk show. He presented himself in an over-the-top way that I used to find pee-in-the-pants hilarious. Ten years later, though, I watched him and his hairy arms and hardly smiled. He could learn from Coolio.

Most rappers just fade away or get killed. I know no other rap sensation with a cookbook. Coolio, the "Ghetto Gourmet," made one of the coolest career moves I've ever seen.

Monday, November 15, 2010

'Cock Talk' will never exist - thank God

As I try to figure out the differences between men and women, "The Vagina Monologues" comes to mind.

Apparently, "The Vagina Monologues" is a play in which women talk about their private parts. As a man, I find this curious. I suppose there could be a successful play about the "who-ha," but I find no male equivalent.

There will never be a "Cock Talk" or "Dick Discussion" because men simply are not interested in such a play. Men also don't go to plays that much. We prefer to play fantasy football, drink beer and pretend to fix things.

As I reflect upon the wonderment in the fact that "The Vagina Monologues" has no male equivalent, the TV show "The Man Show" comes to mind. Perhaps that was the closest equivalent to "Cock Talk." Egads!I never really liked "The Man Show" and found it Neanderthal-like. I am not a wussy, but something about the show just didn't work. It was trying to be a parody, but I am not certain its followers got that and reveled in its sexism.

Of course, obvious differences exist between men and women. The frequency of decorating fingernails, the love of yogurt and chest hair come to mind. At the root of it all, the lack of "Cock Talk" says it all.

Monday, November 8, 2010

'Making it rain' can be a tough call

I faced a tough decision the other day. I found myself in O'Connell's Cocktails in Long Beach, Calif., with a festive atmosphere consuming me and the patrons.

As I looked in my wallet, I noticed I had six singles - I rarely have that many singles. The major question I faced was this: Should I make it rain?

Although "making it rain" typically occurs at gentleman's clubs, when classy men shower dancers with money, I figured O'Connell's could provide a proper setting for me making it rain. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that making it rain with money hardly ever is a smart idea.

A few years ago, NFL troublemaker Adam "Pac-Man" Jones attended Minxx, an exotic dancing club in Las Vegas, where he told police he brought $100,000. He had at least $40,000 in singles in the club. Pac-Man appeared to have a solid plan - make it rain.

Unfortunately, trouble for Pac-Man ensued because he became upset when dancers picked up the singles after he made it rain. He preferred the ladies dancing on the singles and allegedly grabbed a dancer by the hair and slammed her head on the stage. A shooting then took place outside the club, and someone was paralyzed.As I sat in O'Connell's with my six singles, I thought, "There will never be a better time to make it rain than now."

I stared at my singles but just couldn't shower my friend, Paul, with them. Instead, I told him I was running out of cash and probably wouldn't be having any more beers.

Life can be filled with regret if you let it to be. Still, what if I never find myself with such an abundance of singles again?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nerf H-O-R-S-E games transcend this world

The more I learn about Nerf balls, the more I question the human race.

As a lad growing up in Cleveland, Nerf balls were a part of my everyday existence. The foam football was fabulous and the basketball - forget it about! I'd play H-O-R-S-E and have slam dunk contests with friends and family. Sometimes, Nerf H-O-R-S-E games transcended this world.

Who didn't love Nerf balls?

As I recently reminisced about Nerf balls, I realized that I hardly see them any more, and I was wondering why. After doing some extensive Internet research, I learned that the Nerf company took a drastic turn in the 1990s. Instead of marketing their cushy, lovable balls, the company focused on selling NERF guns and killing devices.The Nerf company is now about guns and rockets and crap like that. The company went awry and even chose an equally horrid slogan - "It's Nerf or nothing!"

I have toyed with the idea of embracing the new Nerf world. Maybe I'd get a couple Nerf guns and blast the XMan. But, no, when given the choice of "Nerf or nothing," I choose nothing.

But that doesn't mean I still don't fondly remember my slam-dunk contests and super-human H-O-R-S-E games.

"OK, this one, you got to bounce it off the floor, then bank it in off the ceiling. Lefty."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Scary movies are too damn scary!

"A Nightmare on Elm Street" has edged "The Shining" and "Scream" to be named the scariest movie of the Snooze Button Generation.

Although Snooze Button Generation founder and CEO Joe Stevens is not a big fan of horror films, the SBG still released its top 10 scary movies list today as part of "Halloween Weekend 2010."

"Some people are totally into horror movies, and that's not me," Stevens said. "But I still think it's appropriate to have such a list, although I try to stay away from these movies. They scare me."

Wes Craven's "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (1984) has pretty much everything a scary movie needs from quirky and dermatologist-needy villain, Freddy Krueger, to the feature film debut of Johnny Depp. It has much more depth, and humor, than many other films in its genre but is cliche enough to be a scary movie.

2. The Shining (1980)

This is by far a better film than "A Nightmare on Elm Street," but it has too much going on to be considered a mere horror film. Plus, it was released in 1980, so it's darn near impossible to find a member of the Snooze Button Generation who saw "The Shining" in the theater. In fact, I would guess that's about as rare as going to an adult's Halloween party without seeing a "Catwoman" there.3. Scream (1996)

Dang, it's another Wes Craven film, and it deserves to be there. It's funny, a box-office smash, and it revitalized the horror genre. Yeah, the SBG likes Wes Craven. It's only a coincidence that he hails from Cleveland, the hometown of Stevens.4. Halloween (1978)

Jamie Lee Curtis had her feature film debut here. Without that part, would she have ever been able to write her much talked about, but seldom read, children books?

5. Friday the 13th (1980)

Jason is an institution of fright. Honestly, the movie is not the best. Is it? But it certainly holds a high spot in the pantheon of horror flicks.

6. Poltergeist (1982)

Carol Anne? Carol Anne? The fact that Heather O'Rourke, the actress who played the girl Carol Anne, died at 12 makes the film even creepier.7. Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)

Real cheesy and m-f-ing scary!

8. The Exorcist (1973)

Well, "The Exorcist" might be the scariest film of all-time, but its 1973 release date probably doesn't make it an SBG film. But, man, that pea-soup flick deserves to be somewhere on this list.

9. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."10. Saw (2004)

If the horror genre isn't dead, only "Saw" can save it. Unfortunately, many of the films on this list have a gazillion sequels that just make it obvious that their goal is to cash in and not pretend horror films can be an art form.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

'Dazed and Confused' star wins Game 1

The Snooze Button Generation would like to congratulate "Dazed and Confused" character Mitch Kramer for his victory in Game 1 of Wednesday night's World Series.

Unfortunately, after the game, the pitcher was chased around Austin, Texas, and was paddled in the backside by his brother's friends. Those friends, though, were then cool enough to invite him to a party and give him a couple beers.

Technically, Mitch Kramer, played by Wiley Wiggins, is a fictional character. But that doesn't mean Giants star Tim Lincecum is not a dead ringer for the teen in "Dazed and Confused."

The SBG considers the 1993 film "Dazed and Confused" a classic. The movie is extremely funny and entertaining, but it has heart, too, and captures a side of teens not often represented in film.Even though Wiggins' career peaked with "Dazed and Confused," the movie's cast is like a who's who of acting - 17 years later.

Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Parker Posey, Joey Adams and Adam Goldberg all are in the movie. Their roles were, more or less, the biggest breaks for all of them, and many now see the movie as a cult classic because of its marijuana references. Yeah, maybe, but there's a lot more to it than that.

What is even more amazing is that Wiley Wiggins somehow won the National League's Cy Young Award last year and inked a two-year, $23 million contract earlier this year. Apparently, it's never too late for a career change.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Breaking news: Encyclopedia Brown goes freaky

Encyclopedia Brown is entering a real awkward pubescent stage and likely will make readers laugh at him, the Snooze Button Generation has learned through a source who requested anonymity.

"Yeah, he's been stuck on 12 since 1963, and he's going to age," the source said. "Beware. It's going to be a lot like Daniel Radcliffe in the Harry Potter series. Can you say 'awkward'?"

Harry Potter is extremely popular and all, but the actor Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Potter, has aged to make the character look awkward and weird. The same thing will be happening with Encyclopedia Brown.Encyclopedia Brown author Donald J. Sobol likely understands the risks of aging his boy detective. But perhaps he does not understand the far-reaching ramifications. There is a chance Brown will now hit on his gal pal Sally Kimball, drink with bully Bugs Meany and give up solving some cases in order to message hot chicks he doesn't know on facebook.

Goodbye to puberty, Encyclopedia Brown - and goodbye to solving cases.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Black Max: Evil or genius?

It's rare that a product hits the market that revolutionizes lives. I say the television, cell phone and snooze button on alarm clocks did that.

But a more subtle, but just as important, product was the Black Max tennis racket from Dunlop. Not long before the Black Max hit the market in 1980, tennis rackets were made of wood, then aluminum. The Black Max, AKA the Dunlop Max 200G, was the first widespread used graphite racket, and it totally changed the game.

The Black Max was lighter. It offered more control, and it had a cool name.

As a lad, I remember yearning to use the Black Max, although I never found the courage to say, "Uncle Ed, could I borrow your Black Max?"

Eventually, the racket become commonplace enough where getting my hands on one was simpler. Yeah, man, I loved that Black Max, but I'm wondering if it did more evil than good.

The Black Max hit the market in 1980, the same exact time tennis style peaked. Take a look at any picture of Bjorn Borg or John McEnroe from that time. Yeah, man, those were two sophisticated gentlemen.After 1980 and the advent of graphite rackets, tennis style went way down. Ivan Lendl, for example, had decidedly less style than Borg, McEnroe and even the staid Jimmy Connors. Andre Agassi was simply a cheeseball, and nowadays, Roger Federer is about as exciting as a cornflake.

Technically, the Black Max is an inanimate object and cannot talk. But I bet it would argue that its usage had nothing to do with the lack of style of post-1980 tennis champs.

Some might say that style is alive and well in tennis today. I wholeheartedly disagree. If it didn't peak with Borg and McEnroe, then it peaked with Richie Tenenbaum.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dirty martinis: Sexier than Bond's drink

As I continue my quest for self-improvement, I need to draw the line somewhere of how far I will go to be in good shape. Therefore, I will not take steroids.

Granted, if I truly wanted to be in great shape, I should probably lift weights and opt for the 'roids. However, something just doesn't feel right about that plan.

One thing I have been doing, though, is curtailing my drinking. I am not going to go cold turkey with drinking because of my successful track record of social drinking. I believe I can drink in moderation and will keep that in my repertoire of skills.

As I cut down drinking, I am planning to not bring any liquor into my house until I have another one of my popular and classy parties (probably soon). So without buying liquor until then, I will only drink what is in my house. I happen to have a big bottle of Seagram's gin in my house, so I've been drinking a bunch of martinis of late.If you ever wondered if it is a good or bad idea to drink martinis, I suggest reading an old New Yorker article by Roger Angell. He described a martini in a perfect way that I'll never forget, saying it has a "stark medicinal bite." That's so true, and I've come to love that medicinal bite.

Glamorizing drinking is probably a bad thing, but perhaps no one did it better than James Bond. While I am a fan of Bond's wardrobe, I question his choice of martinis. He typically orders "a vodka martini, shaken, not stirred," which is redundant. Martinis are rarely stirred, so when ordering one, saying "shaken, not stirred" is a bit goofy.

I also prefer "dirty martinis" with gin to vodka martinis because they have more of that medicinal kick I dig and I like the extra drops of olive juice. And to me, ordering a "dirty martini" sounds far sexier than Bond's order. Who doesn't like a dirty drink now and again?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

'Loviking' Sniglets is natural

When Michael Scott - AKA my brother - recently visited California, he had a difficulty exiting a rental car and said, "Ooh, sorry, had a lot of curbswell here."

I said, "Don't sweat it. At least it's a rental."

Curbswell is one of many Sniglets that has been in my family's vernacular for about 26 years. Sniglets are made up words that make total sense and were put together in a 1984 book by comedian Rich Hall. Curbswell, for example, is a seismic condition in which the curb on the passenger side of a car rises and wedges a car door.

I find myself inventing Sniglets now and again and the other day was wondering: What in the world ever happened to Rich Hall?

Apparently, Hall lives in London, had some TV shows there and is often on quiz shows, where he is known for being an excellent participant. I also have discovered that he is the inspiration for the bartender Moe in "The Simpsons." Huh, who knew?One Sniglet a student of mine invented that I think is brilliant is "lovike." Sometimes in a relationship, it is inappropriate to say both "I love you" and "I like you." Lovike is in between those two, and I think it's a necessary word.

Anyone who checks out this mega-list of Sniglets is likely to find words that have been experienced. On a recent plane ride, I experienced "elbonics" - jockeying for the arm rest with a stranger.

I also have walked on "cinemuck" - the combination of popcorn, soda, and melted chocolate that covers the floors of movie theaters. I have also participated in "tubswizzle" - sliding back and forth in the bathtub to mix the too hot water with the cooler water.

I respect Hall for not milking Sniglets too much. He did his Sniglet thing in the '80s, then stopped when the '90s hit and moved to England to become their quiz-show version of Charles Nelson Reilly and/or Richard Dawson.

The Snooze Button Generation thanks him for his words, including "grantnap," the extra five minutes of sleep you allow yourself that somehow makes all the difference in the world.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Grandma deemed 'cooler than Snake Eyes'

Snooze Button Generation founder and CEO Joe Stevens continues to discuss life-and-death issues, following the death of his grandmother Adele Stevens. He refuses to give the SBG staff guidance as he reunites with family in Cleveland to remember Adele.

"Look," Stevens said from Cleveland. "I really don't care. Just do the post on how Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe wore all black from birth on. That works. It makes sense. I just don't want to be bothered now. I have more important things going on."

Instead of focusing on Snake Eyes' style plan as a lad, the SBG staff would like to extend its condolences to Stevens and his family. Adele Stevens passed away Thursday night at 93. She was Stevens' last remaining grandparent and has been deemed cooler than Snake Eyes by the SBG staff.Adele had a close and successful family mentioned in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Sunday. From what Stevens says, she was an eccentric, funny and sophisticated lady. She saved her money a lot, deeply loved her husband "Coach" and tried to give her three children - Eddie, Lynda and Freddie - superb upbringings in Cleveland.

"Although we all knew this would happen eventually because she was 93, it's a difficult time," Stevens said. "It'd hard to explain how quirky and cool she was to people who didn't know her. She truly got a lot out of life - way more than most do - and I admire that."Stevens did not offer many details about his grandma, other than mentioning a 1977 white Ford LTD, Chippewa Lake, Ohio, and something called "Cleveland water." He was vehement in saying he did not want to get emotional because he prefers to simply celebrate his grandma's life.

"When something like this happens, it's real easy to sob," he said. "That's normal and OK. But I'd rather just smile and think, 'Yeah, Adele was one of a kind.' Memories are important to me, and I'm happy to have so many great ones with her and my family."

Monday, September 27, 2010

SBG founder ages

Snooze Button Generation founder and CEO Joe Stevens has turned 37 years old today and insists that this website have no blog posts about that fact, and this post may get certain staff members fired.

"Look," Stevens said, "I can think of nothing more egotistical than writing about my birthday. That is totally unimportant to the Snooze Button Generation. If you do a post on that, you will be fired."

Before Stevens said those words, he talked about an array of subjects, including the planet Jupiter, Whoppers and something called "birthday insomnia."

"You explain to me why I can't sleep!?" he demanded. "It's gotta be the birthday. Did I sleep the day before I was born? There's no chance of that."

Stevens' words were pensive, yet practical, when describing the significance of turning 37. He talked about personal subjects, including his children, love and death.He also talked about the Cleveland Browns, point spreads and luck. He often switched conversations from personal subjects to pop-culture subjects and wondered aloud if somehow the two were connected.

When asked if he had any major point to make about turning 37, he said this: "Believing in an afterlife is self-deceit. So each year, there's a bittersweet feeling about getting closer to chest-bumping the grim reaper. But y'know what? If you know what you're doing, each year gets better, and a birthday is a cause for celebration."

Stevens' comments spurred a debate among the SBG staff. As the staff argued about the merits of an afterlife for human beings, he drank champagne in the corner of the room.

Finally, after a lot of arguing and champagne, Stevens said, "Cherish the relationships you hold dear to yourself. Sophie, Chloe, XMan, mom, Michael Scott, Meathooks and Sophistication - I love you all and more."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Breaking news: Patricia Arquette has fangs

Actress Patricia Arquette has fangs, the Snooze Button Generation has learned through anecdotal evidence and extensive Internet research.

The SBG noticed the fangs during a viewing of the 1993 film "True Romance," then confirmed the fangs through google images. Strangely, only about 2 percent of her images show Arquette's teeth.

"We take great pride in our scoops," Snooze Button Generation founder and CEO Joe Stevens said. "Our staff did an excellent job with this one. I'm surprised Arquette smiles so much with her mouth closed. Fangs are something to be proud of."

Arquette comes from a showbiz family that includes Rosanna Arquette, David Arquette and transvestite Alexis Arquette. Patricia Arquette is the most successful of the family because of her fangs.The top three movies of any of the Arquettes are "Pulp Fiction," "Desperately Seeking Susan" and "True Romance." Rosanna was in the first two of that list, but Patricia was in "True Romance," her tour de force.

I love the title "True Romance." Hey, man, I'm not sure what true romance exactly entails, but replacing "I love you" with "You're so cool" and having that xylophoney music from Hans Zimmer is a great start.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Joey the Polack to replace Jimmy the Greek

I keep telling myself I need to wear a medallion. If I only donned one, I would finally feel "complete" and then be the country's foremost expert on gambling - like Jimmy the Greek.

For approximately 22 years, the United States has felt a horrible void because of the loss of Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder. First, he was fired from CBS in 1988 for racist comments, then he died in 1996 from a heart attack.

My daughter Sophie and I are attempting to replace Siskel & Ebert as the country's foremost movie critics. While I am at it, I am going to replace Jimmy the Greek as the nation's top gambling expert and be called "Joey the Polack."

Gambling, of course, is a mega-billion-dollar industry in the U.S., and football is the most bet upon sport in the U.S. Approximately 30 million Americans play fantasy football, and one of six Americans participate in sports gambling, according to my Internet research.

Football season is underway, and I have three tips for NFL bettors.
1) Never under any circumstance bet on the Raiders, Browns or Lions.
2) Try to bet against the popular teams - Cowboys, Steelers, Packers, Patriots and Colts.
3) Pick teams with good defenses. With the proliferation of fantasy football, bettors tend to bet on offenses. It's better to put your money on defenses.

These tips, I believe, are 100 percent valid. However, I am not wearing a medallion to back it up, but soon I will have one like the hip-hop sensation T-Pain.Despite my memories of Jimmy the Greek and his medallion, I was unable to find a picture o him wearing one. I am pretty sure he sported one, though.

The Greek made major news when he made racist comments and was fired. Here were some of those racist words:

"The black is a better athlete to begin with because he's been bred to be that way — because of his high thighs and big thighs that goes up into his back, and they can jump higher and run faster because of their bigger thighs. This goes back all the way to the Civil War when during the slave trading, the owner — the slave owner - would breed his big black to his big woman so that he could have a big black kid."

Yikes. As a Polack, I do not believe I am racist. However, I likely will subconsciously lean toward teams with white socks.