Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Handful of Embarrassing Moments

Doing stupid things is second nature to me. Almost so much that I should probably just call them "things" and then things that aren't stupid should just be called "smart things".

The other day, I reached into the basin at work where the chefs throw their pots and pans, and I pulled out a 250 degree metal handle, completely cooking my hand. Unfortunately, nobody saw it, nor did anybody see my reaction of jumping up and down 4 or 5 times while saying "fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck". I feel like something of that nature must be enjoyed by all.

I've also done other stupid things.

-In my first game of high school hockey against Baldwin High School, I was hanging around in front of the net. My net. The puck bounced out in front of me, and I lunged....for a slap shot. Yes, my friends, I beat my goaltender top shelf on my second or third shift ever in an Upper St. Clair uniform. That's the story of how I scored on Ken Wregget's son to give Baldwin a 1-goal victory. School was fun the next day, but not quite as fun as getting changed in the locker room afterwards.

-In my senior year for the homecoming football game, I went to buy a blank white t-shirt at Walgreens so that I could draw on it with a sharpie. The guy at the counter gave me a very strange look, which kind of annoyed me. Dude sells cigarettes and condoms, but he's giving me a strange look for buying a t-shirt? Ass. After drawing all over the shirt and writing some colorful messages for Bethel Park on it, I was ready to put on the shirt. Then it hit me....I had bought a girl's size medium v-neck shirt. Needless to say, it showed off my flawless physique, but also was a girls size medium v-neck shirt.

-At James Baily's grad party, people were going down his zip-line in the back yard over and over, but I could sense danger. I kept telling myself "no, don't do it. You'll end up like Christopher Reeves without the money". Eventually, my heart won out over my brain, and I climbed the hill to get on the zip line. My friend Jake decided I needed a little boost, so he helped me out. By a little boost, I mean he grabbed me and ran full speed, letting go at terminal velocity. I couldn't jump off, so I prepared for the worst. The rope snapped when it hit the end of the zip line, causing me to soar through the air....and land directly on my back. Rather than care about my possible upcoming role in Superman, James's brother simply said "you asshole, you broke my zip line".

-I wave at people I don't know a lot, because I think they're talking to me. Instead, they're talking to a person right behind me. My Mom actually did this a few days ago, so I know I'm not necessarily the biggest loser on the beach.

-And my personal favorite. The house was empty one day, and when I got out of the shower, there was a knock at the door. I tried to ignore it, but the person kept knocking. Finally, I got annoyed and opened the door in my towel. Two Jehovah's Witnesses were standing there, eager to offer me eternal salvation or some such thing. Unfortunately, as my hand was on the doorknob and not on my towel, the lone piece of 100% cotton that was hiding the not-allowed-on-basic-cable parts of me fell off, exposing said HBO parts of me to these very religious gentlemen. I have to hand it to them, they tried to ignore it, but I could not, so I laughed and shut the door. So that's the story of how I flashed my junk at two door-to-door pilgrims.

But nothing happened that's quite as embarrassing as this. Yet.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Will Schuster's Fantasy Draft

As the sounds of the Beastie Boys' "Paul's Boutique" pump through my empty room (Tommy's at Mid-am camp, looking to take on the rest of the US at a national camp), I sit and think "hmm, haven't written about hockey in a while". Let's do this.

Congratulations to the Kings. I've already vomited about rooting for a team from California for over a month, so the less said about them, the better. I still recall being absolutely livid that the Ducks won a few years back because "NO TEAM FROM CALIFORNIA SHOULD EVER WIN THE STANLEY FREAKING CUP". 

On to more pressing matters. THE 2012 NHL DRAFT!!!! THE NAIL YAKUPOV SWEEPSTAKES!!!! From what I've heard, he's the only person worth drafting this year, but inevitably, the draft will produce a few all stars, and a legend or two. This post is going to be a look back at a few busts the Penguins drafted in the past, and some people they should draft in the upcoming NHL entry draft, coming to you LIVE from PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA on June 22nd and 23rd.

2005: the Penguins drafted Sidney Crosby 1st overall, missing out on the opportunity to draft absolute SUPERSTARS like Benoit Pouliot (#4 overall, Minnesota Wild), Gilbert Brule (#7 overall, Columbus Blue Jackets), and Marek Zagrapan (#13 overall, Buffalo Sabres). Obviously this one didn't pan out. I would have taken Zagrapan 1st overall. In his career, he scored 127 points in the AHL compared to Crosby's 609 NHL points. We missed the ball on that, but everyone makes mistakes.

2004: the Pens drafted Evgeni Malkin, a bum from Russia who can't even learn English well enough to speak coherently, and hasn't done much. Who did we pass up? Lauri Tukonen, that's who. Guy played 185 AHL games and scored 103 points. He's currently hanging around in Finland. I believe that he will be the next breakout NHL superstar.

2012: the Penguins will most likely miss out on drafting bath salts. I think that he could be a superstar in this league, but people are worried about his erratic behavior off the ice. People don't seem to be willing to look to his impact in a locker room, which could change a lackluster team into a face-eating monster in no time. Especially in pivotal games in against Southeast teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.

2012: inside sources tell me that despite a few missteps in the last few months, the Greek Economy would be a pivotal addition to the Penguins blue line. History has proven that Greece tends to make huge comebacks, and their economy would be a great 3rd or 4th round, low-risk addition. If it doesn't pan out, the Greek Economy can just be dumped on Spain's or Italy's national squad.

2012: finally, I think that the real dark horse of this draft could be Will Schuster. The kid played a few years of high school hockey, as well as some years in the WPHL. a stay-at-home defenseman, Schuster is known to occasionally lead some rushes up the ice, and has several 2-goal games under his belt, as well as a few league championships at both amateur and high school levels. Veteran leadership, as well as a lack of run-ins with other potential draftee, Bath Salts, make him a possible late 2nd-early 3rd round draft pick.

Pictured: Future NHL superstar. See the t-shirt?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Thoughts on Starting My New Job

I'm beginning my job at Piccolina's restaurant on Tuesday. It'll be nice to finally have some money again. I haven't begun yet, but I'm already very thankful that they hired me when nobody else would. Most places won't hire you if you tell them that it's only for the summer. They'd prefer someone who will be sticking around, and understandably so, but it's caused me a lot of stress this summer. Once you've had a job, it really wears on you when you don't have one.

When I walked in to apply, I instantly got flashbacks to the first restaurant I worked at way back when I was 16, Delallo's cafe. The food there was spectacular. a few of the people were extremely friendly, particularly an old woman named Lynn, who had worked as a waitress there for 35 years, since the day it opened. Whereas most waitresses seem somewhat dead on the inside after 5 years at the same restaurant, Lynn had a sense of positivity and cheerfulness even when the place was packed out the door and everyone was losing their mind. I learned a lot from her about keeping a relatively cool head at work when shit was hitting the fan, for lack of a better phrase.

However, despite the two or three friendly people at Delallo's, there were more than a few people there who did everything they could to make it as unwelcoming an environment as possible. The worst of them all was the owner, who in moments of calmness could be a nice enough guy, who explained away his faults as coming from the stress of running a successful restaurant. In almost every other situation, however, he was a terribly unkind man, who barked orders out of his 5'6'' Mussolini-esque frame. At one point, he referred to me as useless, and kicked me out of the restaurant to sweep up cigarette butts in the parking lot. During my time there, I was miserable every day. On days when I worked, I dreaded going in. On days that I didn't work, I dreaded the next time I did. 16 was not a fun age.

Therefore, when I walked into Piccolina's, and saw that the setup was almost identical to Delallo's, I got Vietnam-like PTSD flashbacks of a horrible boss, angry patrons, and surly waitresses. Then I met the owner, and my fears subsided. When I met the owner of Delallo's, he told me to get a hair cut, then walked away. The owner of Piccolina's welcomed my brother and I with a smile, and offered us both drinks, then gave us a tour of the restaurant.

I'm feeling good about this job, though I'm a bit nervous. I'm always nervous before I start a job. I never know what it's going to be like, how the people I work with will treat me, whether I will dread each coming day. Thankfully, each job I've had since that first one has been lightyears better in every way. I was fortunate enough to work at the Grand Residence for over a year as my second job, and it changed my outlook on working. I had, at one time, dreaded the rest of my life, thinking I would never be happy again, and that every job would be the same. I've never been so happy to be wrong.

Regardless of how this job turns out, I'll at least be making money. Plus, they hired my brother as well, so it'll be interesting having him around, even if we won't be working the same days. Kid's rolling in money right now from cutting lawns, but I'm kind of proud of him for finding a job on his own, despite not really having to. That's pretty cool, right?