Archive for the “From Your Face” Category

There are many places, people and things that remind me of my hometown. I tried to soak them all in while I was home for my sister’s wedding. The wedding was beautiful, quaint, and a very sweet. My sister looked gorgeous, her husband was ecstatic, and everyone seemed to have a great time including me.

I got to watch the Philadelphia Flyers lose the Stanley Cup first at the Edman’s house, then a second time at Natalie’s. I don’t pay much attention to hockey, but had a great time for both games. And boy was it nice to catch up with Natalie.

The gang pulled together on Monday to go out for dinner and drinks. Other nights I had plenty of time to hang out with my family for dinner. I Indulged in as much Wawa coffee and diet green tea as my system could handle, and gorged on pizza, cheese steaks, and grilled reubens. I can’t figure out how I didn’t come back to California 20 pounds overweight.

Princeton Record Exchange proved that it still has what I’m looking for, as does the journey. Bob and I had a good amount of time to catch up, and as always enjoyed our time together. I picked up a few records while there, and discovered that The Flaming Lips cover of Dark Side of the Moon sounds much better on a turntable than in digital form.

I spent other days and nights going out to old stomping grounds, visiting proud parents-to-be for lunch, and even playing ping pong while chatting away with my good friend Jay.

All around, this has been a spectacular trip home. I returned back to California feeling incredibly refreshed, and am looking forward to all that life and summer has to offer.

Here’s a photo that reminds me of home, and a photo that reminds me of The Simpsons.

The little steal bridge that crosses the Nesaminy Creek


Nuclear power plant in Limerick


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(AP) The football season is approaching rapidly, where the biggest news in the off-season was of a disillusioned team manager being fired for steroid use, we find a new star is on the rise. The biggest move for the new manager, Dave Seeton, is naming his team of up-and-coming stars. It has been long overdue. The hype has been building, and has reached a boiling point where disappointment within the league is inevitable.

Asked where the relaxed approach to naming his team, Dave states, “I didn’t want to rush into anything that I wasn’t fully satisfied with.” But the fact remains that he has still neglected to name his team with less than two weeks remaining in the off-season, and rumors are spreading like wild fire that perhaps Dave is not going to ever name his team, or play the season with the integrity and dedication that the league demands.

When the commissioner was approached for his feedback on Dave’s lack of follow through naming his team, he had a more optimistic view.

Every league goes through it’s ups and downs.  The NFL has the Bengals and Michael Vick.  But they also have the Steelers and Tom Brady.  The NBA has Ron Artest and the Clippers.  But they also have the Celtics and LeBron James.  Major League Baseball has steroids and Pete Rose.  But they also have the Red Sox and Albert Pujols.  Our league is not immune to problems that face these other leagues.  4th and the Season has had one team, unfortunately, withdrawal from league competition.  But it’s also gained a worthy successor and adversary in Dave Seeton.  This is not a time to dwell on our losses but a time to welcome a new competitor.  One that will be with us for years to come. Good luck to Dave in his inaugural season.  And good luck to the rest of the league as the 2009 season gets underway.

Matthew Wood

Perhaps this is the optimism Dave Seeton was looking for. Perhaps the suspense has grown to an adequate level, a level that the new team manager needed to kick off the season. Whatever the case, Happy Chang’s Army of Robotic Ducks was born on this day and out of haste. The fellow team managers of the league will surely be disappointed upon hearing the name. But the unofficial statement from Coach Seeton’s training camp seems to demand the respect of the league. “I know we have a long road of earning respect ahead of us and large shoes to fill. But we will not go down without a fight. Oh captain, my captain, we will not go quietly into that good night!” When it comes down to it, Dave Seeton has stated on many occasions how honored he feels being introduced into 4th and the Season, and how excited he is to get his first season underway.

He also made many statements of Jeff C being a douche, but that’s not a surprise to anyone. The only 2 questions left unanswered this pre-season are these: How will Happy Chang’s Army fair during their rookie season? And just how much of a douche is Jeff C going to be this year? It’s a long season, only time will tell.

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Day #4

Where were we? Oh yeah, I am on Andrew Nation’s floor. how do I wake up? well a little asian girl appears in the doorway and whispers “hi everybody” to the group that is just starting to stir. then she shuffles off and disappears into the house. i half thought i was dreaming. the way she walked was like when you watch Scooby Doo and the characters kind of walk in place across the screen from left to right. they kind of turn exactly sideways and shuffle across the screen. also much like the characters in the video game Kung Fu do. it was Nation’s girlfriend, but i started to think maybe Kung Fu to him isn’t just a game.

we all stumble out to the car and make our way for coffee and then back to dave’s. i settle in on the couch and announce my intentions to watch NFL football all day. once again, jen armani starts our day off with breakfast burritos. this never gets old.

around half time of the first game we decide to head down the Pacific Coast Highway to La Jolla. Very nice scene watching the seals playing in the water and walking out on the pier to observe. very cool. apparently the waters there are open to the public, though there is a big controversy because snorkelers scare the seals away(or sea lions or whatever) so passersby don’t get a chance to see them. i get the impression that without the snorkelers  there are 30+ seals that hang out there at a time. with snorkelers there are about 5 seals. unfortunately some loser snorkelers were there which made it harder for everyone to enjoy the scenery and harder for the seals to enjoy their home. what was funny was that wherever the snorkelers went the seals would go under water and popup about 30 yards in the other direction so they couldn’t get close. i felt like yelling at the snorkelers to get out of the water. it was obvious they weren’t welcome.

as we’re walking to the car a guy riding by on a bike notices dave’s eagles jersey and maybe my phillies hat and says “from philly? manyunk.” he was insinuating he was from manyunk and asking if we were from philly.(at least i think it was manyunk so lets go with that). this is a guy flying by on a bike not stopping to make chit chat but just wanted to inform us of his home town. we got a big laugh out of him for some reason.

“philly? Manyunk.” Thats all it takes to have a conversation in La Jolla.

so we wander around to a mexican restaurnat/bar that had the end of the eagles game on tv. as we go to take our seats we give a big shout out to “Manyunk” who happens to be at the bar. gotta love that guy. a lot of philly representation on the west coast. anyway, we share some nachos and have some brews and we leave after the eagles win and on the way out “Manyunk” gives us another shout out. my new MVP of the trip.

next stop, downtown san diego the gas lamp district. we hit up the mall first. interesting thing is that they don’t have “malls” as we know them. the malls are open air. pretty much just take the roof off of the montgomery mall and there you have it. so we’re just standing around outside one of the stores  and i turn just in time to see a girl falling down and hitting her head skull first on the ground. the sound was terrifying. i think she might have been leaning on one of the railings and had her feet up on a curb or something and slipped backwards. her friend immediately got down to check on her and i waited for his reaction to see if she was ok. from the look on her face i thought she was ok and just embarrassed because she seemed to be staring right at me with a small smile on her face. it turns out she was actually in shock and possibly convulsing. damn, thats scary. people start calling 911 and looking for mall security and help. it kind of surprised me how long it took the mall people to get there, but once they arrived they seemed to do a good job and blocked the whole area off. we over heard also that the girl was pregnant but we don’t have confirmation on that. it was scary, i can still picture her face that seemed to be looking right at me. i wonder if she died? i’m not sure if i’ve seen someone die before.

so we skip off to the real gas lamp district and walk around downtown. downtown philly can’t compare to this. blocks of restaurants and bars and small shops. everything is really clean and seems safe. granted we were there on a sunday evening, but everyone was so nice and layed back. we stopped in at a couple bars and enjoyed the drinks and scenery. nobody was drunk on the street trying to fight us or harrass us. it was just good people trying to have a good time.

next up, jen Darmani’s house to pick up her dog and find my brother another bathroom. we do both in one shot. Carmani drives us back to dave’s to get cleaned up and we hit up a great Italian Restaurnat for my brother’s last night and to celebrate Dave officially turning 30. The food was fantastic and the restaurant itself was great. Many toasts went out to dave and damon and McClure’s and it was a good sendoff to my brother visit and a good sendoff to Dave’s 20’s.

And a good send off to my last night sleeping on the floor. Although sleeping on the floor is an ok sacrifice to hang out more with my bro.

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Day #3

Day 3 I wake up with a sore back, though the rest of me feels well rested. I lay on the floor awake for about an hour while the rest of the crew goes about their normal morning routines. the highlight of my stay on the floor was my brother with a cup of coffee in 1 hand and the Gang Handbook in the other reciting every single highlighted portion of the Gang Handbook. Those in the know will understand how funny it is. Especially when my brother never changes his tone and uses no inflection in his voice while reading the rules of being in a gang which include fighting, carrying guns, using racial slurs and of course stealing ice cream from girls.

A nice stroll down to the beach is followed by my 2nd breakfast burrito for my 2nd breakfast in San Diego. This time the meal was made by Jen Armanito and I must say it she makes the best of all the breakfast burritos i consume while in San Diego. Great Beans! If ya know what I means!

Some chillin is followed by a ride down the coast to Lou’s Record/Music and some crazy store called Ducky Waddles (or something like that) that sells weird books and posters and little trinkets. Very cool place that you could spend hours in given the time. The best part of this place was the owner kept talking about anal beads real loudly. he asked almost every customer if they had an interest in them. i think he had gotten them in a trade earlier in the day. i wonder if they were used? Next up? Tacos to go. never a disappointing when you are on the border of mexico.

It is evening by now and we are all cleaned up and ready to go to Andrew Nation’s!! Why you ask? For David J Seeton’s 30th birthday party! (combined with my brother’s 33rd!) Andrew Nation is sweet. Not sensitive sweet, but super cool sweet. I mean he may be sensitive sweet but i don’t know him like that. We got to meet some of Dave’s friends, who were all very cool and easy to get along with. They grilled up some awesome eats and we had some cake and celebreated the life of Dave. Among the party activities was Kung Fu, the Nintendo game. Very addicting. I can understand sitting down and playing for a an hour here and there, but come on guys! they play for hours at a time and they’ve accomplished all there is to accomplish in the game! i’m not a gamer and i guess that mentality is part of the reason. granted, they turn it into a drinking game, but still. there’s got to be something more fun for the whole group than Kung Fu.
Double Dribble is played later on of which I’m happy to say I dominated in. I also re-live some child hood memories playing Duck Hunt throughout the night.

Andrew Nation lives on a golf course with a huge hill in the back. I’m thinking that hill would be great for sledding! but i realize there is no snow here. The next best thing? Ice! These people actually buy huge ice blocks and after a few hours of drinking hike to the to top of the hill and slide down on the ice! they came back a little bruised and battered, but i’m sure it was worth it.
There was a girl from Canada there who was quite interesting. She married recently for her green card, but her family doesn’t know because they are having a formal wedding soon. the big disappointment about her was that she didn’t know Bret the Hitman Hart. How can you be from Cananda and not know The Hitman? I say she’s a Fraud. Of course she knew Bryan Adams. Fraud.

The night ends with Dave the first one to pass out while Andrew Nation and others are on their 5th hour of Kung Fu. They retreat to the basement to play some more allowing us to go to sleep. Me? I sleep on the floor again. No padding. My brother can consider this a birthday gift. Although i have to mention he did invite me multiple times to sleep next to him and we could share the pull out bed. Not cool, Damon.

It was a night of many beers, many video games and much fun. Toasts to be Dave and my brother and McClure’s were common as were nipple tweaks. Congratulations on the Birthdays Boys! Here’s to many more! And most importantly here’s to McClure’s!!!!!

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Day #2

My first night I was very restless. I was woken up once an hour from the train rolling by and shaking dave’s house. In addition i was anticipating Jen Alarmini showing up in the morning and i awoke with every extra noise because i didn’t want her to see my in my underwear… in dave’s bed… with dave. But of course she showed up like 3 hours later than expected and dave and i were already up and waiting… for Breakfast Burritos!!!! i’ve never really had a true breakfast burrito before. it was awesome and big. plus i had some kind of cinnamon soda with it which is apparently common amongst the mexican folk – the soda was ok, good in small doses.

after breakfast we made our way to L.A.!!!

first stop, Amoeba music store. the biggest music store you could imagine. more like a music warehouse. every piece of recorded music in history you can find it in various formats. the people there were real chill too. you didn’t get teeny boppers looking for the latest Nick Lachey record. I got a my morning jacket demo cd from a couple of old albums. dave and jen Barmani loaded up on their vinyls which looked cool and sounded even better at dave’s house. also while in line i walked by dave and patted his butt,  dave pretended he didn’t know me and he got a few weird looks from other customers. this was the first known case of Fake East Coast Gay invading the West Coast. on the way out to the car we encountered a beautiful woman. very much my ideal traits. probalby my top pick for the trip. i introduced her to the edman from PA. it was more like i yelled my introduction to her as she quickly walked by us. She was too shy for me anyway.

Next stop, the Hollywood sign. you’ve all seen it. well, i’ve seen it closer than you. Jen Zarmani weaves and winds her way up the hills of the Hollywood elite trying to get us closer and closer for about 1/2 hour. none of us realized there was a straight road to take you there in about 2 minutes. but this was better. we parked at the top of a really steep hill and did our thing. lots of pictures in all different poses. Yes, the edman conquers the Hollywood sign. I took 2 different pictures of dave and jen by the sign. later on we found that none of them showed up, so now there is no indication that jen even came with us. she has been erased from the trip just like i planned! so we get back to the car (stick shift mind you) on this hill and jen tries to back up away from the parked car in front of us so she can go around him. She Stalls. There is also a car parked a number of feet behind us so she can’t gun it backwards. a normal road this is no problem. she tries again, STALLS. hmmmmm. dave offers the next try. Jen says No, gathers herself and gives it the old college try… STALLS. ok. so now we are close enough to the car in front of us that you can barely fit a single sheet of paper in between the bumpers. great. we can’t go in reverse without going forward a little because of the steep hill. so we brainstorm. Dave and I try pushing the car, its too heavy. Jen says we should get boulders from the valley below and put them in front of the tires so we won’t slide forward, we’re not down with that idea. Jen’s other idea is to call Triple A! I wasn’t going to wait an hour for a tow truck to get there to move our car 4 feet so we can back up! thats embarrassing!! the only choice is to knock on the doors of the neighboring houses and ask who’s car is in front of us. We nominate jen for the job since she’s a girl.
Luckily, someone comes out of one of the houses and they know the guy who owns the car. To make a long story longer, jen convinces him to move his car up and we cruise back to the mean streets of LA.

Next stop, the Walk of the Stars where any Celebrity with more than 15 minutes gets a star. The one I’m searching for? Regis, of course. Jen Parmani chooses Alex Trebeck. Dave chooses Benny Hill but only becasue we forced him to. After a good 45 minutes of strolling we figure out we are in the boring area – the best star was Jack White, No not the musician which made us excited, but probably some radio star from the 1920’s. Gay

We go back to the car and head in the opposite direction. The stores and restaurants get better and so do the stars. Within 10 minutes it appears like the 2nd coming of Jesus. That’s right, The REGIS star. It was beautiful. There was a huge crowd around it but i pushed through to the front. They knew i had a connection to it. I got down on my knees and kissed The Regis star like it was his own bare butt.

they finally pull me away and we continue our trek. I’m dehydrated from all the excitement and at this point i need a soda.  I stop in at Arby’s. Let me tell ya, the blacks in Hollywood love Arby’s! Plus its hot like a sauna in there! Sweaty blacks all over the place… and me. I was the only one that actually purcahsed anything because they couldn’t afford to so i am also the only one that gets a bathroom coin. all the other “customers” relied on me to hold the door open to the bathroom when i was done. therefore, i was a king to the customers in Arbys.This brings up another topic. On my trip one of things i wondered was “Dave, where are all the blacks?” Well, they’re there, but you can’t always see them. it’s like playing Where’s Waldo. Sometimes Waldo jumps right out and scares you when you turn the page, but other times you really have to look around and study the environment before waldo reaches out and grabs your wallet. There’s a ton of mexicans but they are much more chill than the “waldos” and i can probably beat them up. let’s move on.

We stop at Hooters for drink. I was disppointed with the waitress selection. I figured Hooters Hollywood would be “stacked” but it was a little too normal for me. After the shift changed for dinner it seemed like the B team replaced the C team, but it still was a disappointment.

After stopping at a few stores we head back the way we came on the other side of the street, but pause around the Kodak theatre to take in the movie characters taking pictures with the tourists. We saw spiderman, batman, the joker, a hispanic talking Barney and my favorite – the midget dressed as Chucky. Midgets are scary enough, but a midget dressed like a killer doll is outrageously frightening.

about a block before the car Jen Quarmani screams and scares the crap out of Dave. What was the cause for alarm? No she wasn’t being robbed. It was the Alex Trebeck star! Dave pretends to be amused long enough for me to take pictures of them with the star. Jen’s goal has been reached.

Next up a ride around downtown Beverly Hills and a stop at Rodeo Drive. After that we head to the train station to pick up my brother, Damon. It’s his birthday and he traveled about 6 hours to meet up with us for the weekend! I get my first exposure to L.A. traffic, not cool.

We’re all hungry so we exit in a hick town and stumble in to McClure’s restaurant and bar. I’ve never walked into a place where i felt like all the women were checking me out. In fact i’ve never walked into a place where i felt any woman was checking me out. It all changed as i strutted into McClure’s. Unfortunately all of the women were late 40’s with big poofy hair, stone washed jeans from the 80’s and about 50 pounds over weight. Basically, we were in paradise. McClure’s rules!

So we barely make it before the kitchen closes. We order sandwiches.a few minutes later they inform us they are out of bread. Who runs out of bread? i offer to go to the grocery store for them but they insist we order something else. Meanwhile Dave falls off his stool trying to take a picture of us.

A karoke type performer takes the stage. he looks like a cross between elvis and roy orbison, but Awesomer! he sings terribly, but for whatever reason the crowd goes crazy for him. So does my brother. We realize that some of the time he is actually lip synching the words. Ridiculous. His big number was “God Bless the USA” (not God Bless America) where we all joined n and patriotically pumped our fists in the air like it was an AC/DC concert.

We realized Jen Crampani was cramping our style so we sent her outside to leave us alone. this opens up the female flood gates.a group of women fresh from their bowling league take the booth next to us. We all share our bowling averages, I win of course. One totally tattooed and scary one is celebrating her birthday along with my brother and of course this is practically an invite to talk about an endless amount of terrible topics.
i see women from across the bar actually pointing at us. i’m sure this happens to hot chicks all the time. but a group of uncool guys are not used to this. so the leader of the pack approaches the table targeting my brother. she forces her friend to come over and says “this is Wendy and she’s single. WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT!!” what we do about it is leave, though my brother insists he will be coming back. he probably shouldn’t have admitted that, but hey the guy was Romeo in that place. He could live for free the rest of his life by showing up there and having women groveling for him. McClure’s in now legendary and we toast to it with every round of drinks the rest of the trip.

as soon as we hit the road my brothers asks to stop at the bathroom. why he didn’t do this in the restaurant i don’t know. maybe he thought all those women would follow him in. so we pull into a couple places that don’t have public bathrooms. he runs across the street to another convenient store while informing us he has to do a little more than just a little tinkle. he gets denied by this place also and sprints across the street to a gas station. i think this is as close i’ve come to seeing an adult (non-retard) crap their pants. it was awesome. anyway they finally give him the key to the potty. while we wait for him a gang of about 5 kids roll in and of course all of them want to use the bathroom. this is trouble. they look like thugs. there is no way my brother is getting done in a reasonable amount of tie for these guys. luckily seeing that the door is locked the gang leader decides to tinkle behind the dumpster instead. the others stagger after him trying not to draw attention. all except for 1 guy. we’ve been there a good 8 minutes now and no sign of Damon and this guy is getting real anxious. i think he might have actually had a baseball bat and was ready to knock the door down. i was close to asking Dave to drive over to the bathroom so we could protect my brother while he did his duty (or doody). i think damon could hear the commotion and quickly finished up without wiping i think and to our relief exited the bathroom seconds later. crisis averted.

well, thats a wrap on the big day out. we go home. damon gets couch and i get the floor. dave decides not to accomodate me with much padding to sleep on. thanks dave!

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Ok peeps of Destroyed Madness, I have a special treat for you all. I will be passing the keyboard along to the one and only Edman for the next few days, so he can tell you all about his trip to San Diego, California. So please sit back, relax, and get ready to be wowed by the man, the myth, the legend… THE EDMAN!!!

(Roaring applause ensues & slowly subsides)

I fly in on Thursday September 18th. My layover was in Minnesota which probably had the nicest airport i’ve ever seen. the 2nd leg of my trip the lady next to me actually woke me up half way through while i was sleeping and asked if we could switch seats so she would have more room to work on her laptop. NOT COOL.

san diego has a very nice baggage claim area. it always amazes me that the baggage claim is not restricted and anyone can go in there off the streets. if i was homeless this would be like going to happy hour. if i ever become homeless this is where i will get my wardrobe.

The weather was low to mid 80s with a only a few clouds and a small breeze. probably perfect. Dave picks me up at the airport and we do the awkward handshake half hug combo greeting that guys do.

we drive the pacific coast highway and dave takes me through some of the gorgeous little towns. i ask to stop at a bar he’s never been to. a nice little hut in a yuppie town. we get a couple brews. we see a very small skinny girl with absurdly huge knockers. she was with a few guys who couldn’t stand talking to her but loved looking at her. well, not her face because we found out that wasn’t too good. so this was my first run in with California plastic surgery. Can’t say i’m disappointed.

Next we stroll over to get a good look at the beach. gorgeous. dave is hungry and as is theme of the trip i request mexican food and go with the fish tacos. while in the small shop a woman is asking people for exatly 35 cents so she can get a taco. she was dressed casually and i didn’t quite get the whole thing. she wasn’t homeless. she wasn’t dirty and she wasn’t a kid or retarded. very perplexing.

next stop. dave’s house. banana tree in the backyard. i get to sit on the Triumph. it felt good, almost like i would like having one. i should also say that dave had expired registration and already a DUI on his record so he either drove really carefully or we had Jen Harmony limo us around. Next i take in the beach scenery. about 2 short blocks from dave’s home. amazing. beautiful place to live. i can see why he doesn’t want to come home.

next we hit up dave’s pool league. good people, all very chill. not the best pool players. Dave unfortunately gets nervous in front of the edman and loses to an inferior opponent. I get my first interaction with Jen Farmani during the games who keeps me company while dave plays pool. I got some good feedback on my jukebox picks. we leave around 11-11:30 and of course hit up more mexican food. the places have better food and cheaper prices than taco bell. dave introduces me to carne asada french fries. christ, i’ll gain 10 lbs by the time this trip is over.

after that we call it a night and talk about life while falling asleep.

and folks thats just the first day!!!!!!! oh so much more excitement awaits!!!!

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