Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Super Bowl Hangover

I would love to buck the trend of touchy-feely posts - but I need some emotional support here, Reader.

Football is over.

I feel so used. We had those beautiful few months together and now - nothing. We weren't one of those couples that were together all the time. We would get together Monday nights, then spend most of the weekends together. About halfway through the year we added a Thursday night rendez-vous to the schedule. Sometimes, when I felt
romantic, I would get up bright and early on Sunday mornings and drive down to the Muni Lot to make sure I was nice and drunk before football came on. I am a giver, Readers, a giver.

Anyways, football and I had our problems. My beloved Dolphins were 1-15 this year - and the Patriots, football's version of Nickleback, were 16-0. But even with all of our problems, it was pure, and it was beautiful. What we lacked in victories we more than made up for in Miller Lite and passion.

But now football is over. Oh sure - next weekend it'll call me up for some pity sex called the Super Bowl - but it's over and I know it. So what now? Where do I go from here? Basketball? C'mon - if I have too much whiskey I might watch a few Cavs games but I'm not going to take 'em home to Momma. Baseball is still a few months away - and I'm getting all ancy in my pantsy (did I just use that phrase AGAIN?). But what is going to feed the need until that beautiful March 31st opener?

Here are my Top 5 Things To Fill The Giant Void Football Left In My Life Until Baseball Season Starts Or Possibly The Cavs Make The Playoffs Again

1. Grow a beard - because chicks dig beards...right? Right?

2. Go to 1,000 concerts - because when you miss being at the bar with sweaty meat heads the next best thing is scrawny emo kids.

3. Save a box of kittens from a burning house - kidding - I do that during football season too.

4. Bring sexy back - and hopefully receive store credit since I don't have the receipt. (That joke was funny when the song was still popular, I swear.)

5. Go outside.

Monday, January 28, 2008


My last two fortunes -

"Continue taking risks - you will have a pleasant surprise."

"Now is the time to try something new."

I guess it is time to stop dragging my feet and finally change shampoos.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Women Without Whiskey

I was recently listening to one of my favorite Drive-By Trucker’s songs, ‘Women Without Whiskey’ and pondered the following line:

If morning's a bitch with open arms
and night's a girl who's gone too far
Whiskey is harder to keep than a woman
and it's half as sweet
but women without whiskey, women without whiskey
Whiskey is hard to beat.

And goddamn if the ol Stroker Ace, Mike Cooley, isn’t on to something there. The whiskey bottle ain’t half as sweet as a woman, but goddamn if it’ll ever walk out the door, either. And I’ve yet to meet a man who hasn’t been driven to the bottle by a woman – without her even picking up the cab fare. So I’m going to do a lil pro’s and con’s on two of life’s sweetest treats.

Let’s start with women. I love ya, girls. There are a whole helluva lotta things women can do that a whiskey bottle can’t – and I’m not just talking about the stuff with your pants off. I think all guys can admit they need a woman around now and then. Dirty jeans and busted knuckles aside, when the nights get long there is no comfort like a good woman. Not to mention, as independent as guys want to be, we can barely get ourselves out the door without a woman telling us to match our belt to our shoes and ask us if we “are really going to wear that shirt?” And of course, when the lights go out there are a few things a woman’s touch can do that make a bottle a poor substitute (not that I’ve tried).

But goddamn if ya don’t have to get all crazy on us, girls. You get mad at us for being jealous, for not being jealous; for not standing up for you, for not letting you stand up for yourself; for not listening and for not ever telling you how we feel. I’ll tell ya how we feel – lost as hell and in need of a drink. And so comes the whiskey. The whiskey bottle is there on the nights you’ve had a few too many and are dancing awful close to another man, the nights you are crying and screaming and it’s “all our fault”, the nights we can’t do anything right, the nights you do us wrong, the nights you walk out the door and the nights you don’t come back. The whiskey bottle is there and only a few shots away from giving me that warm, fuzzy, numb feeling. “What? You’re going home with him? Alright, me and Jack Daniels are in the middle of a conversation anyways.”

But whiskey ain’t perfect. And the bottle can numb the feeling of a bad situation, or plant the seeds to a new one. Sober, these hands are steady as can be, and haven’t done anything I regret – but with that Crown Royal starts tickling my throat and making the corners of my lips curl into a shit grin – well we won’t go there (I SWEAR she was skinny last night). And fact of the matter is that when your eyes creep open that next morning to see who has a pipe clamp on your temples – the whiskey will have left you as well. Waking up with a cold bottle in your hand is no substitute for waking up with a good woman.

So ladies, you win. You might drive us to drink – but you don’t have to give us directions on how to get back. And while guys may never compare to shoes in the minds of women – just realize your monopoly isn’t quite as strong as you’d like to think.

I feel that I should clarify this was written after a 4 hours southern rock / country music bender. Please read with a grain a salt and realizing that I was trying to sound like an old Hank Williams song.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Random Thoughts 1/22

I find it weird that some guys undo their belts in the urinal. That is what the fly is for. Don’t act like you are SO big you have to undo your belt, Buddy. When I am saddled up in the urinal, the sound of a guy next to me undoing his belt is a bit frightening. I’m in a vulnerable position, back turned and hoodle-hoo in hand, some guy undoing is belt is actually the exact worst thing I could hear.

I wish I could spell the word embarrassing right on the first try – just once. Damnit.

If Cleveland were ever attacked by giant monsters, I think we would be saved by shear boredom. “RAWR! SMASH KEY BANK BUILDING! RAWR! NOW….UM…Fuck guys what else is there to destroy around here? I mean the river was on fire before I got here.” Oh man would Godzilla be pissed. King Kong would have it even worse – he could climb to the top of the Key Bank building and the authorities wouldn’t know WHAT to do. “Oh no! He climbed all the way up there! We’ll never reach him – unless I throw kinda hard!” I actually think Cleveland would be MORE safe. At least you would know just to avoid the giant dinosaur. The way things are now I have to avoid the everywhere.

I find it odd that when driving on 480 there is a handicap lane. And it stands for mentally handicapped. And it is for all four lanes on 480.

Why does everyone’s voice drop to some crazy deep voice when they are in meetings? I already have a deep voice so I sometimes just speak in tones only a whale can interpret. “Well 3rd quarter trending is down in our target markets. Jeff, what do you have to say about this?” “Whaaaaaaaaooooooooaaaaaaaaeeeeeeew.”

I just read that Heath Ledger apparently committed suicide. I am already sick of all the Brokeback Mountain jokes that are going to come out of this. I think how awesome he looks as the Joker in the new Batman should immediately cancel any guy from being able to make a gay cowboy joke.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Two Month Rock Extravaganza

January 22nd - Drive-By Truckers album released
January 24th - Emmylou Harris @ Playhouse Square
January 26th - The Magpies at the Happy Dog
Feb 8th - The Whigs @ Grog Shop
Feb 15th - Jason Isbell and Will Hoge @ Beachland Ballroom
Feb 19th - Nicole Atkins @ Beachland Tavern
Feb 22nd - Wilco @ Lakewood Civic Auditorium
Feb 26th - Tift Merritt album released
March 1st - Bachelor Party
March 17th - St. Patty's Day
March 18th - Recovery from St Patty's Day
March 20th & 22nd - March Madness begins
March 29th - Tift Merritt in Pittsburgh
March 31st - Tribe opening day

I'm going to be a busy, busy man for the next two months. I'll see you on the other side - my wallet and liver, however, only bought a one way ticket.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

George Washington Carvin' Out a Piece of My Heart

Yes, that is TWO George Washington Carver references now in this blog. Must have been the one day I didn't skip social studies in school.

My old man came up to visit a month or two back, and he brought with him a 25lb. box of salted peanuts.

I should probably explain this. Back home, our grain elevator (where you take the grain after you have harvested it you damn city kids) shares it's driveway with my high school. This was a bit annoying when I was haulin' loads with the ol' John Deere in front of cheerleading practice - but I got to know the owner, Terry, quite well.

Terry was the epitome of a small town guy - he knows every farmer that comes through his place by name, and always remembered the lil stuff - where I was at school, what crazy shit I was involved in (rock bands, radio stations). Anyways, Terry kept a healthy stock of snacks at his place, knowing that most farmers don't have time to take a lunch (although I can admit I have driven a John Deere 7610 (seen below) through the Arby's drive-thru).

Among the usual candy bars and cans of pop was a huge bin of peanuts. I have always loved eating peanuts in the shell and my old man would go up to Terry's and buy a shipment of peanuts - which came in a box of 25lbs. So there is your background on where the 25lb box came from. (This paragraph is intentionally unfunny because any joke would have involved puns about being "asSalted" or jokes about "nuts".)

I had more or less steered clear of the peanuts since he brought them up; seeing as how they are messy and make too much noise during The View - but yesterday I decided it was time to dive in like so many circus elephants.

It is amazing to go back and visit something that stirs up so many memories. At first taste I was back home, cracking peanuts as I worked on the farm, tossing the shells on the floor of the John Deere and hiding my face from the cheerleaders. Then, I was at the Jake (still the Jake to me) sitting in the upper deck on a Wednesday night cracking shells and sipping a beer; cheering on my beloved Tribe.

Then I realized it didn't stir up an exact memory or moment - but just a bunch of good memories. It took me back to places that are most core to me - be it as broad as the memory of the small town in Northwest Ohio that taught me how to get my hands dirty and how to drink a beer; or as exact as the sun going down behind my favorite baseball park as my team makes a run towards October.

So here is a quick list of other things that don't recall so much of an exact memory as just a warm fuzzy feeling (for once not a result of whiskey).

Coke from a glass bottle
Playing baseball
Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On
Tom Petty
Busch Light

So cheers to realizing an old favorite. And to another reminder of those redneck roots I sometimes forget to flex.

And to hilarious pictures of me on a tractor that I am SURE will be used as blackmail at some point in my life.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Top 5 Overly Sarcastic Excuses for Not Blogging

5. I'm too busy with work

4. I'm too busy hanging out with chicks

3. My dog ate it

2. I looked in the mirror and got lost in my own eyes

1. I got sick of hearing myself talk

Friday, January 11, 2008

Nerdiness Update

Please see refer to my local friend's blog for a recent zombie conversation that borders on the frighteningly nerdy. The question I posed was simple. Who would win in a fight, 100 Rip Torns, or 100 zombies? I also tacked on the sub-question: is a reanimated version of Rip Torn a super zombie the likes of which the world has never seen? His response is dead-on (get it? DEAD on. Like a zombie? Aaahh forget it.)


Thank you, BloggingJason, for sharing in my nerdiness. As Hot Coffee Girl says, "Nerdiness loves company."

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Mind Bloggingly Nerdy

Sometimes I let the constant stream of supermodels and product endorsements get to my head. Sometimes I may, possibly, become a little full of myself when Becks calls me for fashion advice. Often, I forget that I am not actually some higher being, and that I am, in fact, just an everyday guy.

Of course I am kidding. I try to tag along with the cool crowds but am always exposed for what I am – a TurboNerd. I mean I own pleated pants for christ’s sake.

So in the interest of healing, I wanted to get my nerdiness out in the open.

My name is Jeff Elmer Nomina and I have a problem…

I am a music nerd. Two-fold.

First, I am one of those elitist music pricks who buys records on vinyl because, “You haven’t even HEARD Van Morrison until you’ve heard it on vinyl, man.” Listening to mp3’s is like reading Moby Dick as a picture book – 90% of the sound quality is lost in the process of converting it to the mp3 format.

See how nerdy I am – I can’t even control my rants when talking about how nerdy I am!

The second way music prevents me from getting laid is the incredible amount of time I spend sitting at the computer researching bands. I live for finding new bands and reading articles about ones I love. When a band I like name drops another band you can be damn sure I have researched them and already formed an opinion. I also contain more music knowledge than is anywhere near necessary. “Have you heard of the Drive-By Truckers? They just kicked out Jason Isbell who is an amazing songwriter. He went on to play with a band named Son Volt, who’s singer, Jay Farrar, used to be in the band Uncle Tupelo with Jeff Tweedy, the lead singer of Wilco.”

This explains why I rarely find a companion in bed – it’s like six degrees of celebation.

Next on the list of nerd – Sports.

I love to watch sports and try to keep up as much as possible, but when it comes to my favorite teams (the Dolphins, Tribe and Cavs) I go overboard. I'm that guy who will talk sports with anyone at any time about any team (mainly because I am not busy talking to girls). Beyond the average nerdy stat knowledge - and memorizing entire rosters - I love message boards. I know, I know, where's my goatee and Est. 1983 shirt? Not only do I love message boards - I actually PAY to be part of a Dolphins board. I'm so argumentative I have to pay money to argue with people I'll never meet about a team I have no control over (with people who are ALSO fans of the team). I am not sure if this is nerdy or just sad.

The Discovery Channel

Oh how I love you. Dirty Jobs, Deadliest Catch, Myth Busters and absolutely any of those shows that give you entirely too much information about an animal. I watched a show about ants for an hour the other night. Man Vs Wild is on? I got $50 on Man, baby! I think I could live on a steady diet of only the Discovery Channel and History Channel (though the History Channel goes straight to my hips).


I. Love. Zombies. I have zero interest in horror movies OR action movies - yet I'm like a kid in a candy store every time an infectious disease reanimates the dead and sends them on an endless quest for fresh human brains. I love everything zombie - even that Cranberries song. I catch myself zoning out and daydreaming about what I would do should I suddenly find a horde of zombies attacking me (by the way - my work building is poorly designed for attacks from the undead). It also turns out that, "Hey, have you seen 'Dead Alive'?" is not a good ice-breaker. Who knew? That won't stop me from stopping to watch Shaun of the Dead every single time Comedy Central sends it through the takling picture box.


Lets face it - blogging is kind of nerdy. Cool kids are too busy riding motorcycles and listening to the "rock'n'roll" to have time blogging. As Momo can attest - I also love to talk about blogging when I see her out at the bars. It could be worse - I could talk about Space Camp or X-Men - but still, its a bar, I'm sure I could come up with a better topic for discussion. How embarassing.

Obviously these are only a few of what must be thousands of nerdy tendencies of mine. There is the way I still say, "Aw snap!" and the fact that I can recite Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore from front to back - but I hit the big ones.

Next time you see me at the bars with my trendy clothes and $40 haircut you will know my secret - I'm only out because I have my Tivo set to record Dirty Jobs.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Top 5 Places to Visit

A friend of mine suggested (nagged) that I should make a list of the top places I want to visit before I die. The list was pretty easy because at my pace I only have 5-6 good years left. That fact, along with my financial situation, and the list never really made it past Sandusky. For the sake of a more interesting blog, I decided to do a fictional list instead - so this is my list of places I would like to visit assuming I have plenty of money, vacation time and the Swedish Bikini Team as company.

1. Ireland

I'm not Irish, but I do like to drink, take off my pants and get in fights. I want to go to Ireland to see the amazing rolling countryside, incredible architecture, and get a taste of a culture that seems to be like really intelligent Southerners (loud and drunk with funny accents).

2. Austin, Texas

I have been to Texas (San Antone) and loved it. I am pretty sure I was supposed to be a Southern boy, and Texas has everything I could ask for (BBQ, bull-riding and funny accents). Also, with my being a musicaholic, Austin could provide a constant stream of musicahol. A good percentage of my favorite bands hail from Austin (or a few miles north in Fort Worth) and their incredible live music scene, be it South by Southwest or Austin City Limits, would make packing socks unnecessary (because they would immediately be rocked off). Their slogan is "The Live Music Capital of the World" but there is also a movement using the slogan, "Keep Austin Weird". That has Jeff Nomina written all over it.

3. Rome, Italy

So I could do as Romans do. The architecture and history would be interesting to see, as well as the cultural differences. Historically, Rome is the greatest city on Earth and it would be interesting to get a feel of what remains from the glory days.

4. Toronto, Canada

I live like three hours away from Toronto so this one will likely happen someday. I have never heard a bad thing about Toronto, other than the fact that it is in Canada (not that I am downplaying how terrible that is). Seems to be a young and eclectic city with a lot of culture and opportunities.

5. Athens, Greece

Yeah I am a nerd and love all that Greek mythology stuff. Plus people often tell me I look like a Greek god or I am sculpted out of stone so I would fit in well. I could just take off my shirt and stand really still and people would probably think I was a statue and take pictures with me. Then I could put bunny ears behind their head right before they take the picture. Oh, the hilarities!

New York was purposely left off the list. Everyone I told I was making this list said I had to include New York, but I refuse. I am much more interested in going places with a lot of culture and history, or at least more than just great shopping. One of my biggest pet peeves is large groups of people, and how we are the only species that gets dumber when we move in herds. From what I understand of New York, you are more or less surrounded by a million people at all times - the only time that sounds enticing is if those "people" are "zombies" and I happen to have a chainsaw or cricket bat.

You know the drill - lets hear where you want to go! Improve on my list, I am sure there are some great places I missed!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Love In An Elevator

Very rarely in life do you find yourself in need of a rescue. I don't know if girls actually have those fantasies where a guy tosses away a flaming beam and scoops her in his arms and brings to from a burning house to safety, but as a guy, I prefer to never be in need of rescue (unless it is from being parched - beer please!).

That brings us to last Friday.

The night began simple enough - roommate and I made the ten foot trek to the apartment next to ours with a twelve pack ready for the normal shenanigans. Six beers and twelve arguments about Brady Quinn later, the group heads for the door with visions of bad decisions dancing in their heads. Little did we know, what had began as a manly event would end like so many romantic novels.

There were 14 of us that night, Reader, thirteen of us carrying a Y chromosome and one brave female. We entered that elevator young and careless, laughing at the weight limit. "Maximum Occupants: 15?" we laughed, "There are only 14 of us! Surely we will be fine!" Ah yes, sure we would, we could have ridden that elevator the two floors necessary and been off to the bars in no time. But then someone yelled, "JUMP!"

I don't know who jumped. In the hustle and commotion it could have been anyone. It is a bit hazy now and I don't want to point fingers, but I know that six people jumped, and your Humble Narrator could be part of group.

Of course the elevator immediately stopped.

The fourteen of us, butts to nuts, immediately laugh. As I mentioned, I am six beers deep and this is pretty funny. Five minutes pass. Ten minutes pass. Finally a crackling voice across the intercom system. In our hurricane of dirty stories and bad jokes, we delegate one person to be responsible for all outside conversation.

Voice: Hello?
Us: Hi - we're stuck in the elevator - can you get us out?
Voice: I've called maintenance. They will be there in an hour.
Us: An HOUR?
Voice: He lives far away.
Us: Thats convenient.
Voice: Can I disconnect now?
Us: We're stuck in an elevator - don't you think you could stay on the line and keep us updated?
Voice: I understand sir and I will be sure to give you more information as I receive it but I need to disconnect.
Us: What else could you POSSIBLY be doing? There are like 20 people that live in this building.

(I have to interject here. We assume this lady is sitting in the office of the apartment talking to us. Maybe I am wrong, but I just assume the intercom was linked to the individual apartment. Then she dropped this bomb on us.)

Voice: Sir, I'm not even in OHIO.

Fucking great, Voice. No one on earth knows there are 14 people trapped in an elevator except Voice, the slightly annoyed person in Connecticut. And just when things couldn't look any worse, I've gotta piss.

Don't blame me, Reader, I'm six beers deep and I didn't PLAN on being trapped in a confined space with 13 other people. Of course, being guys, we immediately decide who we will eat first (which only took a few seconds). The argument over which corner will be the dedicated bathroom corner, however, waged for several minutes. I know, this is disgusting, but we were in survival mode here people - I've watched enough Survivor Man and Man vs Wild to be prepared for this situation.

After being stuck for about 45 minutes we decide to give Voice another try.

Us: Any word on maintenance?
Voice: He will be there in an hour
Us: You said an hour a half hour ago!
Voice: He will be there as soon as possible.
Us: We're eating each other in here!

So we swallow our pride and call 911. A half hour passes and we begin to hear banging against the door. Before we could cheer, however, someone from the outside yells, "I've got the axe lodged in the door!" Wait, what? An axe? I can't exactly move away from the door to get out of the "Axe Swinging Zone". I want to get out of this elevator but doing so with an axe in my chest doesn't sound so appealing. At least in here I get to eat some delicious human before I die (I'm kidding, human is tough and kinda stringy).

Another 15 minutes pass and finally they popped the door open. Somehow we were in between the 2nd and 3rd floors so we had to crawl underneath and jump down to the 2nd. We immediately pour into the streets and relieve ourselves against the wall of the building. The firefighters just stood and laughed at us - thank god. After finally letting the lizard drain I turn to notice that there are TWO firetrucks there. What were these firetrucks going to do? Was it REALLY necessary for there to be two? If the elevator broke and we plummeted to our death was that second firetruck going to be more useful than say...an ambulance?

In the end I was rescued by a group of firefighters. How romantic. I gotta say it isn't really like the movies either. Except the mustaches - still lots of mustaches.

And while I wasn't overly happy with using the Aerosmith reference in the title, I guess it is better than having to use, "Dude Looks Like A Lady".