Monday, June 7, 2010

Is Jesus Coming to See Us Today?

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Slept in, beautiful weather, did laundry, went outside and played some basketball (with my shirt off to get a little tan, ladies…), watched some NBA Finals, followed by adult cartoons like Family Guy, in between chatted with friends & family, cooked some nice dinner, overall just a good Sunday. My mom apparently took Kairi & Vinny to church for the first time yesterday (and my brother is PISSED!!!). Eh, my mom knew it was going to happen…but hey, church is a great way to learn basic values & meet people in your community. Whereas my brother seems to prefer the hermit lifestyle void of friends & sunshine. Anyway, that’s not the point & I’m not going to get into a theological discussion between family members. Apparently, Kairi loved it. When she sat down on the front row and looked at the picture of Jesus with the children standing around his feet, she turned around to my mom and said “Grandma is Jesus coming to see us today?” How f**king cute is that? I wouldn’t even think that she knew what Jesus looked like. I know my mom has told her about Baby Jesus…and I’ve probably told her about Zombie Jesus around Easter…but yeah, not the long-haired Dude Jesus. She amazes me all the time. By the way, do you know who her favorite person to call on her toy cell phone is? That’s right, Uncle $teve, who lives in California with the fishes and the “alligator” (elevator). I also got to thinking…and maybe it’s not a good idea that I’m always around, especially in a church setting. “Uncle $teve, is Jesus coming to see us today?” “Oooh, I sure hope not sweetie. That’s called the Rapture. It might be good for a few people…but the vast majority of us will be burning in hellfire for all eternity.” “That’s a long time.” “No doubt. That’s why you should always be a good girl & if you ever have any questions, just call up Uncle $teve, okay?” “What’s a Cleveland Steamer?” “Well sweetie, when two people love each other VERY much…and are probably REALLY drunk, usually German…” Okay, so I’m not that bad…but hey, she might hit me with a real brain buster like “What’s Heaven like?” or something…then I’d just have to make stuff up. Anyway, cute story I thought I’d share. Now here’s the news…

Dam Beavers - Officials in Latvia's capital city of Riga are to seek suggestions from people about how to deal with an unusual city centre problem: a colony of beavers. The online version of Diena newspaper said on Thursday that a Riga city committee had been asked by the parks and gardens department to come up with funds to get rid of the beavers, which have been damaging the sides of a canal which runs through parts of the picturesque city centre. But because some members of the committee did not want to be associated with killing the animals, the panel decided to launch a competition for ideas on how to deal with the beavers. "If by the autumn a better way is found to deal with the situation than catching these beavers and putting them down, then that could be done," Diena quoted Riga city official Askolds Klavins as telling the committee. The parks and gardens department has long complained that the beavers are damaging trees and the sides of the canal. The department has suggested using local hunters to catch the beavers, but the council has so far stopped short of taking such action. Well, my Eastern European brethren, I think I have the solution – Eat the Beavers. Now, I know it sounds a little weird…and you’ve heard that the taste and/or smell is less than delicious from all your friends…but I assure you that, if you’re anything like me, you’ll develop quite a taste for that sweet tender succulent meat and crave it more than three meals a day. Before you know it, the water will flow freely through the canal, your belly will be full & you’ll no longer have a beaver problem. Besides, the ladies love a clean canal. Mmm… I don’t know if I’m going to win the competition with that idea…but the taste of victory may soon be on the tip of my tongue.

Great White Wedding – Yes, it’s a bad pun. Shut up! I’m talking about Love here. A New York couple has taken the plunge inside a shark tank. April Pignataro and Michael Curry were lowered in a steel cage into the tank to exchange their wedding vows at Atlantis Marine World in Riverhead, N.Y, on Sunday. She wore a white wet suit; he wore a black one. The experienced divers spoke their vows into radio headgear transmitted to a minister outside the tank (“I ain’t f**king going in there”). About 75 guests watched from behind glass. The tank is part of the Lost City of Atlantis shark exhibit. Cute. Two shark freaks getting married in a shark tank. That’s like me & my Chinese mail-order bride being married by a panda. I wonder if certain precautions had to be taken though to avoid any complications to the ceremony. You know like… if they had to make sure that April wasn’t having her monthly visitor, Aunt Flo. Not just because of the white shark suit but…put that smell in the water and it’s all over. You’d have a feeding frenzy, a veritable Crimson Tide. Anyway, congratulations to April & Mike!!!

Sharing Birthdays – Does anybody out there share a birthday with their mom or dad? How about their son or daughter? How about both? No? Well, three generations of women from Coon Rapids, Minnesota are now part of that very unique club that answered both. They all share the same birthday. Roxie Koep was born on June 1st. She shares the birthday with her 29-year-old mother Rachel Koep and 56-year-old maternal grandmother Paula Ballanger. According to a St. Paul Pioneer Press calculation, the chance of a mother having the same birthday as one of her parents and her newborn is 1 in 133,225. (By the way, I’m amused that they had to refer to an official newspaper calculation to compute 365 times 365 to get 133,225) The chance of them all having the same gender is even more remote (times that by approximately 4, so it’s roughly one in over half a million). Many variables can affect the odds, including that June is a busier month for births than others. Ballanger said when Koep was younger she always tried to give her daughter her own special birthday, but now they nearly always celebrate together. That’s sweet for the gentlemen of the family. Only one day to remember. Back on the variables thing though, I’m pretty sure there’s one very important variable that greatly increases the odds of having three generations on the same day. Apparently for the Koep / Ballanger clan, Labor Day weekend seems to be a very productive time of year…because about nine months later, that’s when those June 1st deliveries are made. Just think about it. Being a child that was conceived after a long, hot Pioneer Days parade in 1980, I know how these things work out. P.S. If you’re looking for a New Year’s baby, April Fool’s is a good time to start. Anyway, just fun with statistics. I’m a bit of a math nerd. Deal with it.

Winning the Lotto – A wise man from Brooklyn once said, “Man make the money, money never make the man.” So when we were talking about unlikely odds, I thought I’d share this tale about winning the lottery. The winner of a $16 million lottery jackpot in Brazil escaped his own father's plot to kill him after police caught two contract killers supposedly hired to carry out his murder. Police informed Fabio de Barros of the plan by his father, Francisco, to have him killed in order to keep the winnings the two had fought over since Fabio won the prize in 2006, O Globo TV and the Agencia Estado reported. A legal battle began after Francisco, 60, refused to hand over the winnings Fabio had deposited in his account. They had not spoken for about three years, Fabio's lawyer said. Francisco was arrested in Cuiaba in western Brazil on Wednesday. Agencia Estado said police learned of the murder plot during monitoring of phone conversations between the two men accused of working as guns-for-hire. Ain’t that a b**ch? His own father (not even stepfather like it usually is) plotting to have him killed for a little money. Okay, a LOT of money. That’s messed up. See, when/if I ever win the lottery, it’s like my buddy Nate Dogg once told me, “It ain’t no fuuuuun, if the homeys can’t haaaaave none.” (What is it with me & quoting 90’s hip-hop today?) I’m all for sharing with my people because…there’s really only so much I would want to spend that kind of money on. A nice place to live, a boat maybe, hell consolidate it into a houseboat, college funds for Kairi & Vinny & my future litter, then what? I’d make my friends & family’s dreams come true. Want to open up your own art studio? Here’s some startup capital. Student loans? Skadoosh! Excuse me Miss, your throat’s a little dry? Get this girl some Cristal while I make it rain up in herrrre. Anyway, more on that when I get Oprah rich. I have to keep an element of surprise. “Look under your seats everybody…”

Ferrari World - The world's first Ferrari theme park, inspired by the luxury Italian sports car and racing teams, opened its gates in Abu Dhabi Wednesday for a sneak preview before its official opening in October. What currently looks like a big construction site will become Ferrari World Abu Dhabi in just over three months, home to 20 Ferrari-inspired attractions including rides, a 4D fantasy adventure, a racing academy, children's play area, restaurants offering Italian cuisines and various shops. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, described as the world's biggest indoor theme park, will be home to the world's fastest rollercoaster ride which developers say will reach a speed of 240 kms per hour (150 MPH), giving its riders the sensation of being in a Formula One car. The park's manager Andy Keeling said he expects the park on Yas Island will attract a variety of visitors and not just fans of Ferrari, particularly as it is first of its kind in the United Arab Emirates. "We give you the brand and our interpretation of the brand Ferrari, but we are not going to give it a Ferrari price tag. We are going to give it a very affordable price tag," Keeling told Reuters Television. Currently, the most visible element of the park is its 200,000m square, sleek red roof, which is inspired by the double curve side profile of the Ferrari GT car body and carries the largest Ferrari logo created. The theme park, being built by Abu Dhabi property developer Aldar Properties and to be managed by a joint venture of Aldar and international leisure company ProFun Management Group, is due to open to the public on October 28. The theme park is located next to the Yas Marina circuit that hosts the season-ending Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix on November 14. Abu Dhabi's government-owned investment fund Mubadala has a 5% stake in Ferrari whose Formula One team has won more championships and races than any rivals. So next time you’re in Abu Dhabi living it up like those chicks from Sex & the City, be sure to stop by Ferrari World for a 4D fantasy adventure and a canoli. Just remember to not get any love stains on the rollercoaster as even kissing is strictly forbidden in the UAE. Remember? Anyway, I’ll let you know how it is when I visit there.

When Pranks Go Wrong – There’s a time and place for everything…and it’s usually college. Sometimes pranks are good for the soul. If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? Other times though, pranks are just f**king wrong. In New Jersey, a boy’s lawyer calls it a foolish prank, but the judge isn't laughing. A 17-year-old high school student from Haddon Township admitted in family court Thursday that he defecated (in layman’s terms, sh*t) in a classmate's soda during an auto-shop class. Prosecutors dropped an aggravated assault charge in exchange for the boy's guilty plea to a charge of tampering (not pampering) with a food product. Authorities said the victim sipped the soda, then spit it out as his classmates laughed back on March 29th. A judge ordered the boy to serve probation, serve 200 hours of community service, write a letter to the victim to apologize, and… this is by far the best part… to write a 1,000-word report on why it's unhealthy to ingest fecal matter. Yes. Seriously. Basically a five-page report…about why recycling food isn’t good for your body. Personally, I want to read this report. You know, check it for grammatical errors, coherent sentence structure, ask questions like “Is there another way to say this?” and write little notes like “How are dogs able to do it?” or “You already said that.” Hell, I want an annotated bibliography that refers to all of his intriguing finds. Oh…and if he gets less than a B, then I double the community service hours. So what’s the moral of the story? Don’t sh*t in another man’s sarsaparilla. Don’t crap in another man’s Kool-Aid.

Well, I think I’ll leave you with that taste in your mouth. Or if you’d prefer, you can always refer back to my beaver story…and yes, there was a double entendre dripping with sexual innuendo throughout that story if you didn’t already know that…but I’m sure that you did. Think I’ll go shoot some hoops now that the weather nice & try to continue getting a tan of my chiseled body. I’m sure the ladies will appreciate it. Especially when it comes time for shirts & skins at the recreation center. “$teve, you’re on skins. Take your shirt off. Oh! Sorry. I thought you still had it on.” Not for long, my friend. Soon you will know when the statue is on display. “My God, it’s like he’s made out of bronze & smells of lavender.” Indeed it would appear that way. Anyway, have a great day everybody!!!

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