The Scolai

“Just a Good Guy…With a Few Bad Habits”

Archive for April 2007

The Question

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Are you going to meet me?

Is this the question that has hung just out of reach, unspoken, for so long? The one so often hinted at that it seems surreal to hear it out loud. How do you take it after so many false starts, after so many times of not asking the only question left? Is it real this time, or just one more test of how far you’ll actually go?

Are you going to meet me?

Is it a fair question? Would someone who really cared for you put you in this position? Would they? How does it feel to find that what is right is becoming daily more unobtainable, while what is wrong is daily being placed at your disposal?

Are you going to meet me?

Where would it all lead if you did? Would it lead to a place of lasting acceptance and comfort or one of fleeting satisfaction? Will you ever know? Looking around you, you see what’s been lost by so many who have taken that step. One in a hundred actually gains anything of value. Is it worth it? Are you that one?

Are you going to meet me? 

Where does it leave everyone else in your life? Your actions are like dropping a stone in a pond. The ripple effect is very real. Nothing, and no one, is left untouched, or unchanged.

Are you going to meet me?

I live with this question. I have been alone and seen the possibilities, the scenarios, and the outcomes. I have fallen asleep hoping for an answer in the morning, and awakened to push myself to the point of exhaustion in hopes of an epiphany, something to make this all clear.

Are you going to meet me?

Have you ever needed the phone to ring? Have you ever needed that small connection so badly that when it comes you feel like you’re mainlining?  

I have.

So… Are you going to meet me?

Scolai

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April 30, 2007 at 5:44 am

One of Those Days

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(Originally posted at www.thescolai.com

Pretty common topic I know, but this was definitely one of them. My wife recently had surgery and so I have been driving her everywhere. Yesterday, she asked me to stop by the local McDonalds to get her some breakfast before dropping her at her office. My twins had stayed with a friend the night before, but the “Princess” and “Rusin the Younger” had stayed at our house and were, of course, hungry also. We went through the drive thru. Believe me, Pesci was right in “Lethal Weapon 2” when he said: “They F*%k you at the drive thru!!”

After getting her situated at the office I went back to the car. My wife is one of those funny people who won’t eat meat, at least not the cheap stuff. Shrimp, Crab, and Lobster are okay, just not the more pedestrian meats. As I got into the car, I had a feeling I had better check the rest of our order. As you might have expected, half of it was missing. So its back to McDonalds I go. Once there, I waited ten minutes in the drive thru. When I finally got to the box I explained what had happened to the disembodied voice. It answered: “Oh yeah, we realized that. Pull around the cars ahead of you and someone will be right out.” I pulled up and waived to the woman working the second window. She waived back.

Now any sensible person would think that means: “I see you and I’ll be right out.” Unfortunately, our local McDonalds isn’t populated by sensible people. After waiting ten more minutes, I entered the building. After knocking loudly on the unattended counter, I was met by a rather robust young woman who had covered both of her eyebrow piercings with band aids. “Can I help you?” she asked. “Yes. You folks left out half my order, and now you’ve kept me waiting for ten minutes while what you did give me went cold.” I answered.  She asked what I was missing, then moved back to the prep line and said something to the girl working there.

This particular McDonalds has a clear view of the prep area from the front counter, and as I was standing there I could see that “prep girl” wasn’t making what I had ordered, but I decided to give her the benefit of a doubt. Imagine my surprise when “counter girl” took the items from “prep girl,” put them into a bag and handed them to me. “Here ya go. Have a nice day” she laconically said. Now, I have made great strides in controlling my temper over the last twenty years or so, but this just about put me in Vesuvius territory. “Time out!” I said, taking the items from the bag and slamming them one by one on the counter. “This is not what I ordered.” “It isn’t?” she asked. “I spoke to you not more than five seconds before you went back and told “prep girl” what to make. How the hell do you screw something up from here to there?” She looked at me with a blank expression that said: “This is way over my head.”

Seeing that an adult might better understand this situation, I asked to speak to a manager. Big mistake. The manager that waddled up (and I do mean waddled) was an older, larger version of “counter girl.” She immediately set me in a confrontational mood when the first words of her jowly face were: “What’s the problem, and why are you raising your voice?” I won’t give the exact details of my conversation with this Rosie O’Donnell clone, but they involved a loud and large amount of swearing on my part, and finding someone who could actually get an order straight on hers.

You would think this encounter would be enough for one day. Not. I dropped breakfast off to the two girls at home and then went to the local Rite Aid to fill a prescription. I made the mistake of walking up to the “pick up” window instead of the “drop off” window. Keep in mind I was the only one in the pharmacy area at this time. The matronly lady who came to the window asked what she could do for me. I smiled, as I always do when dealing with elderly retail workers, and said: “I’d like to fill this script for my wife, ma’am.” In keeping with the way my day was going, she gave me an extremely condescending look and sternly said: “You are at the wrong window.” Needless to say, I nearly passed out choking down my temper on that one. “Where am I supposed to be?” I asked, as pleasantly as I could manage. “At the ‘Drop Off’ window” she curtly answered. I walked down to the “Drop Off” window repeating “respect your elders, respect your elders.” At the “Drop Off” window I was met by guess who? The same woman! “You mean to tell me I had to walk all the way down here when you had my script in your hand?” I asked. “That’s right” was all the answer I got from her.

After taking my information, she said “15 minutes.” I answered, “I’ll wait.” I sat down in the waiting area and waited. Remember I’m the only one waiting. After 10 minutes a name came over the loud speaker, definitely not mine, so I waited some more. During the ensuing 15 minutes, this lady looked at me at least 3 times. Finally, she held up a bag and said: “Are you going to take this?” At this point I was nearly apoplectic. “You mean to tell me that that script has been ready all this time, with you looking at me waiting, and you never bothered to tell me?” The pharmacist, hearing the commotion, came to the counter. “What’s the problem?” he asked, attempting a professional demeanor. “Nothing a little competence wouldn’t cure, and don’t bother puffing your chest pal, I’m leaving.”

I paid for the script at the front counter to avoid any further problems and left to go to the gym. Thinking to myself: “This day can’t get any worse, I’ll burn off some stress and I’ll feel better.” I walked into the gym to find a teenage girl in street clothes splayed out on the only bench in the room, talking to a heavy set teenage girl in sweats. I looked up and silently prayed “Lord, you have to be kidding me.”  I sat down on a rowing machine to change my shoes just in time to over hear the girl in sweats tell the owner: “Uh, me and my friends are supposed to go shopping and stuff, but I have to work out first. So… their going to come in and wait, okay?” The next thing I know five teenage girls, with Nintendo physiques came bulging through the door followed by one boy who had to have been a white ethiope.

So now she has an audience and I have agitta. These kids were literally passing around a box of “Cocoa Puffs” and yelling across the room to their friend, who had turned out to be the “thin”, “pretty” one of the group.  By now I was nearly defeated. I stopped my work out, packed up my stuff and got in my truck to go home. I thought I would just go back to bed and write this one off.

As I was pulling out of the parking lot, I was nearly hit head on by a teenager in a full size Dodge Pick Up. The driver was wearing his baseball cap sideways and had gigantic, “hoop” piercings in both of his lobes. He looked out at me and threw his hands up in a “What do you think you’re doing” motion. Like most kids these days, he must have thought he could do this with impunity. Unlike most adults these days, I believe in accountability. I jumped out of my truck and started for his door, bent on pulling him out and teaching him the respect his father should have. The young wanna be bad ass decided discretion was the better part of valor as he put his truck in reverse, flipped me off, and headed down the road.

I don’t know how many of you would have reacted, but I took the Scolai route:

A Boilermaker and Bed.

It was just “One of Those Days.”

Scolai

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April 29, 2007 at 1:08 pm

How True, How True:

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April 29, 2007 at 6:36 am

You Know You’re a Firefighter If:

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As most of you know, I am a Firefighter. Yesterday, a friend of mine needed a new roof. As is our custom, a bunch of us went to help put the roof on and drink all the beer in his house. We managed to do both. When I got home I checked my e-mail and, low and behold, a non firefighting friend had sent this list. Except for numbers 13 (my girls are, thankfully, afraid of very little), and 15 (no toys for this Scolai), I’ve pretty much done everything on the list.

Scolai

You Know You’re a Firefighter If:

1. You can tell what type of fire it is by the smell of smoke 10 miles away.

2. You have ever had a heated debate over the color of fire trucks. (Note: Fire Trucks are Red. RED!!! Not Yellow. Not White. RED!!!!)

3. You have ever spent 10 min trying to force open a door only to have someone come along and open it by turning the handle.

4. You have ever taken 10 or more showers in 1 day.

5. You have ever been airborne without an aircraft and water was your thrust. (Yes, I am a proud covert participant in the fire hose rodeo)

6. You have ever slept in a hose bed.

7. You’ve ever clung to the air horn chord for dear life because the driver is insane.

8. You have ever played jingle bells at Christmas time on the air horns to clear traffic. (I usually play “I Got One For Ya” by Kid Rock)

9. You have ever said, “she’s hot tonight” and not been talking about a girl.

10. You have ever had “yoda ears.”

11. You have ever smoked and there wasn’t a cigarette in sight.

12. You have ever stomped out a fire with your boots because you couldn’t wait for water.

13. Your kids are afraid to get into water fights with you.

14. You have ever uttered the words, “I can break the door if you need me to Cap,” before actually testing to see if it is locked. (Generally, I break the door and then ask if it’s okay)

15. If you have more toy fire trucks than your kids do.

16. You run towards a dangerous situation and not away from it.

17. You have ever been dressed from head to foot in rubber and it was not a sexual experience. (I won’t discuss “rubber suits” as long as my mother reads this blog)

18. Your idea of ventilation is done with a chainsaw and not a Bag-Valve-Mask.

19. You’ve ever cursed a guy for Armor alling the seats in the rig.

20. You take great joy in smashing the windows of a car parked in a fire zone or in front of a Hydrant. (This has to be one of the simplest, guilty pleasures in life. The picture of the BMW with a 4 inch hose running through it just warms my heart.) 

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April 28, 2007 at 5:38 am

Robert Downey Jr.

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If you have kept up with this blog, you know how much I love a great quote. In fact it’s almost time to come out with another set of “Ten Stupid Statements and the Morons that Made Them.”  Anyway, below is a great quote passed to me by a great friend. What I’m trying to figure out is this: Is he talking about running a great race? or is he talking about being the Stud amongst Mares? Any thoughts?

Scolai

“I’m like a quarter horse in the paddock most of the time.  That’s my ideal life: I would come out and do forty-five seconds of unadulterated genius every other week.”Robert Downey Jr.

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April 27, 2007 at 5:27 am

Harry Reid: Girly Man

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Turn your speakers down if you’re like me and can’t stand polyphonic music. I think this video best represents the punk from Nevada. You would think with legalized prostitution and a Senate seat, that even this present day Icabod Crane could get laid, but apparently not. Do you think it’s a coincidence that his rhetoric went into overdrive around the time the Washington D.C. Madame was arrested? Everytime I see him, I’m reminded of the great line Robin Williams had in “Good Morning Vietnam.” Let me paraphrase: “Hey Harry! You are more in need of a blow job than any white man in history.” 

Scolai

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April 26, 2007 at 5:14 am

Scolai at the Movies: Chick Flicks that Aren’t

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 In the last installment of this series, I covered my Top 5 Mob movies. That genre is still my favorite, but I’m smart enough to know there are times when Mob movies and seduction scenes just don’t mix. So if your lady puts you on the spot and asks you to pick up a movie on the way home, and it sounds like you have a shot, here are 5 movies that look like Chick Flicks but are actually movies that a guy can watch without raising his estrogen level.

Chasing Amy: Kevin Smith directed this sleeper about a cartoonist and a conflicted lesbian. Excellent dialog drives this dramedy. This movie stars Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams and Jason Lee, with cameos by Jason Mewes and Smith as “Jay and Silent Bob.”  

She’s The One: Ed Burns wrote and directed this film that features great performances from Burns and Mike McGlone as brothers Mickey and Francis Fitzpatrick. Also starring, in early movie appearances are: Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, and Maxine Bahns.  

Ladder 49: This is a firefighter’s movie. Station sequences and bar scenes are about as real as you’ll ever see and, against all odds, Travolta turns in a credible performance as a fire officer. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, John Travolta, and Jacinda Barrett. (Okay, this one is really out of place on this list, but trust me it works.) 

Under the Tuscan Sun: Diane Lane in Italy, Diane Lane in anything, Nuff Ced. 

Message in a Bottle: I’m not a Costner fan (can you say “Happy Ending”?), but I am a huge fan of Paul Newman, and Robin Wright Penn. Costner stars in his usual limited range, sensitive role. Newman, once again, plays the crotchety old man to perfection, and Penn plays the mechanic for broken hearts. All performances are familiar, and yet the movie works. 

Scolai

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April 25, 2007 at 6:04 am