TTMC: The Thankful Edition

TTMC.jpg picture by jmooser

Monday looms on the horizon. And with that, December and the countdown to holidays will begin! But of course, there is plenty of time this Sunday to reflect upon what we are thankful for here at the heap.

First and foremost, being able to have a dinner. God has blessed us here with a loving family, excellent cooking ability, and a mediocre metabolism. But emphasis on the family part.

What a meal! Special thanks to Abuelo and Mom for cooking the meat. Even Nicole pitched in with her classic green bean casserole. I, of course, am the expert turkey slicer. It pays to be nice. I decided the rations!

What a beautiful bird! It was deeeeeelicious. And I highly recommend the white wine Chateau Ste. Michelle. While I had a glass or two, I can’t say I can kill off a wine in less than an hour 😉

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, where you may have spent it! Never forget to thank God for all that you have, especially as we become more successful… and never let us forget to help out those who need it!

The heap’s Ultimate Thanks List:

Families, no matter how unorthodox or dysfunctional they may be, my Texan Kitty- for always being there no matter what, my job- which allows me to make a difference… as little as it may be, friendships- near and far, music- what usully gets me through the day (other than feline filled thoughts!), and so many more things!

Let’s get mentally prepared for Christmas now, perhaps what Christians are most thankful for. Presents aren’t bad either!

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

Trojans Break

Thanksgiving weekend traditions. Where do we start? Turkey is a given. Then of course, insert your favorite source of carbs a la potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing. There’s family, and those interesting conversations. Then of course, the shopping extravaganza that is Black Friday, the commercial arena for the best of gladitorial shoppers out there.

But of course, my favorite tradition of this weekend is of course… watching Notre dame get pummelled at USC every other year.

When was the last time we won against the most vile of arch nemesises? I don’t even know. I don’t even want to look it up. It would only be appropriate for the season to end with a wimper. Or perhaps a wailing scream asking for mercy.

Toss me a basketball. The gates of Breytopia are wide open. Come and find refuge in the JACC, where the home field mystique lives on on the hardwood. Brey and the boys are ready to make a run come March.

And turn those 4th quarter W’s to J’s for Jackson. My dream come true. We are a hockey school. Currently number 2 in the nation… and gaining on the mighty and historic Golden Gophers of Minnesota.

Go Irish, Beat the Spread. Charlie gets one more year. Jimmy needs to step it up.

Hopefully we can make a respectable showing in our bowl game, and perhaps even break that monkey of a streak.

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I just want to feel that you are as crazy in love with me as I am with you…

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

The Trashman Chronicles: The Office Edition!

TTMC.jpg picture by jmooser

I know this entry will present a bit of an interrupton with the sequence of TTMCs, but I just wanted to share with everyone pictures of my new office, and well, just a rundown with what’s been going on in my life! it has been hectic and full of changes in the past few months, so I’ll take a little bit of time to share with everyone the events of my life.

As everyone has known, the job market in general has been challenging. Add into the mix having an English degree, and you’ve got a nice little volatile concoction of unemployment followed by panic and grief. It has been a tough few months after graduation. It’s been bittersweet to see you all having the initial parts of your lives figured out. I can only feel happiness for everyone who is continuing studies, and for you all who have entered the workforce in your fields and are already successful at your jobs. Its wonderful to see people you’d do anything for get to this point. But of course, by the same token, it’s hard feeling that I have nothing to show for what work I did at ND. Add the sense of urgency felt as a result of sizeable loans closing in on me soon… well, you can just say I was feeling really down.

So at the beginning of October, being in need of a job, I was forced to take a labor position back at the truck shop, while also doing the trash. I certainly had to have been one of the most highly educated laborers/trash dudes in the country! Don’t get me wrong, it’s something I enjoy, and I loved the people I worked with. It was great becuase for many, I had become an adopted son, the one who went to college and came back to share stories of my youth… I lived their dreams. Also, I hoped I motivated some of the younger guys to go back and get that degree. One guy I worked with recently decided to stay in school instead of drop out because I talked to him. Affecting a decision like that is more touching than anything could ever be.

But, at the same time, it was really bothering me that having this degree I had to work so hard for a pittance. It became much more evident that it just wasn’t my place anymore. I needed to touch the world in a different place. And my opportunity came a few weeks ago. I received a call from the husband of one of my moms pharmacist friends. I had interviewed for this position way back in September. I went to the interview and pretty much walked out of there thinking there was no way I had gotten the job. I had no pharmacy experience whatsoever, and I had no idea what she was even talking about. So thinking this, I took the job at the truch shop without thinking about it.

So a month later, I get a call from my current boss offering me a job. I couldn’t say yes fast enough. So I happily finished out the week at the shop, took the next week off, and started last Monday!

I love my new job. It doesn’t pay that well, but really, it’s satisfying. Also, it’s really improving my phone and communication abilities, while increasing my knowledge and interest in public health. I love talking with clients on the phone and finding that common ground, which for many of my clients is the fact that we speak Spanish. It’s also nice to be on the receiving end of gratitude. Our company provides free brand name medicine for qualified individuals in Hillsborough County, so we are pretty much dealing with the lowest of the low. They have to be at or below the poverty line. Many of the cases are that of HIV or STDs, and these medicines are extremely expensive. Some meds for Hepititis C clients are around 20k. That’s some time doube their income for the year. Through our partnership with the county and our relatioship with the pharamceutical companies which make the medicines, our clients are able to get them for free.

So what I’ve been doing for the past week is calling clients, one by one, and informing them we are their new PAP provider and advocate. We’ve been scheduling appointments for this week, and I am booked all of Monday morning! So when they come in, we take copies of some info we need, get them to sign a waiver, and just talk about their meds and which of them are covered by the plan. The day goes by pretty quick!

And another perk was that I got my own office! And I have plenty of pics to share of it! First, yours truly in action!

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Just your typical day at “Pharmacy Administrative Solutions, This is Josh.”

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Nice little overview of everything, from my office door. Nice collection of sticky notes I have going on. LOTS of things to do!

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Middle of the desk. My phone that I am on non stop! and my cool desk calendar for 2009 from my Aunt! Notice the ND binder!

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My computer. Brand new… very fast. Nifty pharmacy program we use too. My M&M dispenser is now full of green and red M&M’s!

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The other side of my desk! Full of papers pens, World Series Tickets… and of course, a picture of Angel and me!

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And lastly, a picture of my files! I already have so many things going on in there!

So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed reading about what’s been going on. Hope all of you are doing well. I miss everyone dearly. I hope to see you all soon.

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

Oh My GAD: It’s Gleason Appreciation Day!

Double check the dates on the back of your shirts so we avoid last year’s fiasco! If it’s November 16, then a select few domers know exactly what day is. It’s the heaven-sent day in which we honor the memorable and not so memorable traits of John Michael Gleason, our pugilist and defeater of video games in one sitting extraordinaire!

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We’ve had some memorable moments in GAD history. The 1st annual celebration is hard to top of course. A commemoration weeks in the making, it was like Christmas when I woke up that chilly morning sophomore year and I sneakily put on my shirt and exclaimed to a slumbering Gleason at his desk, “Happy Gleason Appreciation Day!” Other red-shirted Gleasonites were soon to follow suit. A special day for a special Irish Newyorican.

This highlight of this day is always the trip to the dining hall for our designated GAD banquet! This is where the magic happens. Everyone, glad in GAD garb, emulates the unique eating habits of Gleason. Bowls of white rice were had. The approximate US equivalent of what we call a gallon of milk is split among dining hall cups and is meant to be a serving for 1 person. For Gleason, it was a way of life.

Of course, a lot of the mystique takes place back in his dorm room. Barrels of cheeseballs must be consumed, complete with the licking of fingers. Practicing Chinese phonetics on a microphone is another necessary activity. And of course, we all can’t forget, the smearing of shaving cream in your sleep is another staple. For the last one, a diabolically sneaky and intuitive roommate with an affinity for “good, bad ideas” is needed!

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Most of us have had the honor of meeting Gleason in the flesh and being subject to his unique traits. And this holiday of holidays surely extols the Gleason we’ve come to know and love. But what of the earlier Gleason? Haven’t any of you wondered about the formation of the man? Maybe even his early childhood? Well, his story is eerily similar to that of Jesus. Much like him, we don’t have any historical information beyond his presentation at the Temple by Mary and Joseph, but we do know a little bit of information after his birth and up to a few years old. So it is with Gleason. We have some historical evidence of a few important events in young baby Gleason’s story of Appreciation. But aside from the infamous pizza parlor story, and his run ins with Duke Lacrosse players at his high school, not much is known about his adolescence.

So it is with much glee that I give you a brief, informative and entirely true rendering of how GAD came to be: The Gleasontivity Story.

It was 1985, and New York was, even then, your typical “Can’t you see I’m WOLKIN here” state. It was a sunny May day, with the days of summer lovin’ soon approaching. The atmosphere was ripe for appreciation. And low and behold, on that fateful May afternoon, it was fate that Mr. and Mrs. Gleason were “appreciating” themselves. There were no angels telling Mrs. Gleason about an immaculate conception. That was a given. This story isn’t of angel messengers, but of the birth of an angel, the angel of appreciation. Almost like it was written for a movie, our Gleason was born on Valentine’s Day in 1986.

From the get-go, the world knew Gleason was a special kid. His love for milk was expected, but his early desire for cheeseballs wasn’t. His cute baby fingertips were always coated in the neon orange of cheeseballs. His first steps were also memorable, as he simply got fed up of waiting around for his rice flavored baby food. So he simply got up and walked over to the panty and got what he wanted. On this almost supernatural walk across the floor, he picked a fight with one of his sister’s dolls. His parents saw this act of violence and young Gleason was heavily reprimanded for it. This explains why such feelings were repressed until Bengal Bouts.

But of course, the most notable event in young Gleason’s life is the Presentation Before the Mob. We know that Jesus was similarly presented before the priests at the Temple. Gleason was presented before the congregation at the Italian “printing” company his father worked at. He was supposed to be initiated, but after some testing, no useful skills for being the next Irish lackey could be found. Gleason was also nowhere to be found either! After an extensive search of the factory, Gleason was found, Atari control in hand, to have beaten Pac Man in one sitting. He was immediately exalted, and placed under the secretive protection of the Mob.

Then of course came the Notre Dame years, where many of his followers picked up and imitated his teachings, such as learning how to literally box someone out on the basketball court or getting drunk off of water. No one really knows of Gleason’s arrival onto the Notre Dame campus, but rumor has it that he was simply dropped off as his parents waved good bye and drove back to Long Island… all on the same day. Thanks to them, and God, we have been able to learn so much about Gleason, and even ourselves, such as the limitations of our bodies regarding milk consumption and the devouring of saltines crackers. Graduation day was a sad one, and the memory is fading fast, but I could have sworn he was whisked away in a black SUV as soon as the ceremony was over. Months later, some of us have not heard one peep from him. We can only hope he lives on. I know he lives on in my heart. Maybe there will be a second coming of Gleason. Until that day, I’ll continue to wear my shirt proudly on every November 16th.

So there you have it, what you may have wanted to know, and certainly what you needed to know about the early days of where our beloved holiday comes from. Hope you all have a wonderful GAD today!

Bond, James Bond

I have anticipated this movie for MONTHS I tell you. Truth be told, I never was into the Bond movies. The only one I really liked was Goldeneye, and I can tell you that it mas mostly due to the sheer awesomeness of the videogame for Nintendo 64. A classic. After Goldeneye, I really feel that the Pierce Brosnan portrayal began to miss the mark by becoming more and more preposterously absurd. I can appreciate how the written versions (were they novels?) function, but towards the end of the previous set of movies, debonaire was being trumped by extreme stretches in plot, and the believable was compromised by ridiculous stunts and effects.

The franchise needed a break, a new perspective, and a new Bond. Speculation surrounding the Bond vacancy mounted, and the biggest of Bond geeks pondered who would fill the role.

Daniel Craig was introduced as the new Bond a few years back, which was met by seemingly unanimous disapproval. The biggest concern of the public’s outcry? Craig had the accent down, as he is, of course, a native Englishman.

The looks? Not so much.

He’s much more rugged than the previous castings. Many people’s opinions were downright brutal. In their eyes, Craig was just plain unattractive.

But of course, his looks only coincided with the new brand of Bond as the franchise continued with Casino Royale in 2006. I myself was skeptical. I wasn’t too big of a Bond fan at the time, and only went because my dad had wanted to see it. I can only say that Craig absolutely nailed the part, as he succeeds in his portrayal of a darker, more ruthless Bond.

Craig’s second Bond film, Quantum of Solace, comes out this Friday, November 14. It has already been released in other world markets, and the reviews have been stellar. I’m trying not too read too much because I really don’t want to ruin anything!

What also caught my attention today was an article I read regarding an interview with former Bond actor Roger Moore. His comments about the new direction of Bond are interesting, and I can certainly see where he is coming from, but I don’t agree. This is like the 23rd Bond film, and most of them follow the same formula. It was about time the character was invigorated with some old fashioned over the top (in a good way) action. It was about time that the only thing that didn’t motivate James Bond was “little Bond.”

Believe me, I get it. James Bond can get any woman out of their clothes with his sweet talk and whatever. Good for him. I’m sure it would get old after a while. Now we have an emotional, more human Bond (he even looks more human, because of his “numerous” flaws according to critics!) that appeals to more of the audience. Before, Bond was an ideal- the super suave, rich, masculine, and government employed super spy (I’m sure his government work comes with a nice pension).

Anywho, here’s the article. Read it. What do you think? While it’s obvious that Moore is concerned with the integrity of the Bond character regarding possible Hollywood corruption, the tone comes across as a bit condescending!

As Chaz, the heap’s movie expert said, “He wasn’t even a good Bond! He was second worst!”

Roger Moore dislikes the more violent James Bond
Tuesday November 11 12:45 PM ET

Movie audiences nowadays expect scenes of graphic violence in James Bond movies, unlike when Roger Moore played the super spy with a tongue-in-cheek humor, the actor believes.

“I am happy to have done it, but I’m sad that it has turned so violent,” Moore said before “Quantum of Solace,” starring Daniel Craig as a darker Agent 007, opens in North America on Friday.

“That’s keeping up with the times, it’s what cinema-goers seem to want and it’s proved by the box-office figures,” Moore told Reuters in an interview about his memoir, “My Word is My Bond.”

The new Bond film opened in London on Oct 31, breaking the British weekend box-office record with a gross of $25 million. It has taken in more than $106 million worldwide so far.

Moore, 81, recalled being appalled at the violence in “A View to a Kill,” the 1985 movie which was the last of the seven in which he played Bond. “That wasn’t Bond,” he said.

In his book, Moore writes of his distaste for guns, ever since he was shot in the leg by a friend with a BB gun as a teenager.

While making “The Man With the Golden Gun,” director Guy Hamilton wanted Bond to be tougher and had him threaten to break Maud Adams‘ character‘s arm to get information, he writes. “That sort of characterization didn’t sit well with me, but Guy was keen to make my Bond a little more ruthless.

“I suggested my Bond would have charmed the information out of her by bedding her first. My Bond was a lover and a giggler, but I went along with Guy,” the British actor wrote.

Moore has not yet seen “Quantum of Solace,” but based on Craig’s first Bond film, “Casino Royale,” believes it will be a success in North America too.

“Daniel has done one Bond and he was in ‘Munich‘ and … he’s done a lot of stuff, but his face, after one Bond film, that’s all he needs. He is Bond.”

Asked about his own legacy as an actor known mostly for playing Bond and in TV series such as “The Saint,” and “The Persuaders,” with Tony Curtis, Moore said: “I would love to be remembered as one of the greatest Lears or Hamlets. But as that’s not going to happen I’m quite happy I did Bond.”

His memoir is full of anecdotes about Hollywood and the stars he worked with such as Vivien Leigh, Mae West and Lana Turner. He also tells of his bust-up with Grace Jones during the filming of “A View to a Kill,” when he forcibly pulled the plug on her stereo and flung a chair against the wall because she was playing loud rock music.

The only child of a south London policeman, Moore also writes about growing up before and during World War Two, of evacuation to the country and air raids and getting — and being fired from — his first job with a cartoon film company.

By the time he was called up, the war was over, but he served as an officer in Allied occupied Germany, where he ended up in the Army’s entertainment regiment.

That was his entree into show business, along with his marriage to British singer Dorothy Squires.

“You’re not that good, so smile a lot when you come on!” his first repertory theater manager told him. His first wife, who was a professional ice skater, was no less encouraging: “You’ll never be an actor, your face is too weak, your jaw is too big and your mouth’s too small.”

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser



Basketball season is quickly approaching, and us Irish fans can take solace in that thought at least, especially after that embarrassing to Boston College last night. It was so bad, I have deemed it unworthy of post game analysis! But I digress.

The Men’s Basketball Team is #9 in the preseason rankings. Despite anticipated strong recruiting classes in the upcoming years, I would have to say that this year is our best shot to go deep into the tourney for a couple of years. I’ll have to put a hoops schedule up, along with hockey, who, by the way, beat #2 ranked Boston College 4-1 this weekend. At least one team go the memo.

But the true reason for this post is to venerate perhaps one of the greatest ND basketball fans in the land. He was one of the founding fathers of “Breytopia,” spreading his concept of the ultimate ND basketball fan colony quite emphatically, preparing a constitution and ruling government on Facebook. Yes, our adorwartable Tom Dorwart has been memorialized in a new ND Basketball commercial. Thanks to Breytopian and the heap. correspondent Mike Hatke for submitting the link. The face which launched a thousand ships can be seen at 14 seconds, beaming of ferocious intensity.

And of course, here’s the link! Check it out!:Tom in the Notre Dame Basketball Commercial!

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser