Monthly Archives: January 2009

Time to restructure

Welcome to the dismal winter state of Florida. It’s not cold, yet cool enough to be annoying. It is not torrential rain that is falling, but the kind of rain that you have to set your wipers on low, but it is still too much. So, what does JP do on these kind of days? Thats right kids roll straight into Starbucks and snatch up a brew and take 5 minutes to validate what I have always said. I took my time today rolling into work, replaying John Doe’s “the losing kind” for some odd reason. Wait, I know the reason:

It has been a rough week at work, for some reason everyone has come unhinged and as usual I just hide in my office; this has also become the safe haven for other non-sense refugees. It is here tucked away with my new obsession that I reflected on the current climate of change and thought, “why the hell can’t this office experience change?” So, I came to this conclusion: we need to vote for an office president.

I realize that there are already presidents and ceo’s and people that have official power. I get it. But, that is not the real truth. As any office dweller knows, there are people in the office that are seemly above the system in all normal conventions of the setting. They can be outspoken, mellow, or even a total pain in the ass, but if you want something done, you go to them. Personally, I am the antithesis of what constitutes a solid employee and I have alway been the one to run the black-market. I can get you anything you need, thus, people leave me alone and let me be cantankerous. Though everyone can see this system at work, we need an organized leader. I hear by propose a vote.

Each organization should vote on an underground president. Someone that will be the overall mediator for situations that require, well, that delicate touch that only those who run the underground of “office mafia” know how to pull off. Think of this person a kind of central mediator; all proposals for the “whacked” list need to go through this elected unofficial. This position has a lot of unofficial power and is dependent on the foundation that all office dwellers, need a central “underdog champion” figure. The kind of office Robin Hood.

Some other possible “positions”  may include:

Scribe- The person that keeps a running record of important company developments, such as getting screwed on health insurance, or how the new bonus structure will ACTUALLY effect your pay check. Would be in charge of emailing the underground members.

Sargent at Arms- Is responsible for membership or initiation. All potential underground members must be approved through this person. Is responsible for maintaining members status and revocation of status. Reports directly to president.

Gossip- A powerful instrument in a manner not thought of. Think of this position more as a spy. A traditional gossip causes issues, the underground gossip will report issues or “gossip type” situations directly to the underground. This person must be able to move seamlessly throughout all office “cliques.” This position requires a female with the gift of the gab.

Black Market Dealer- Is the go to person. May it be an extra packet of post-it notes that is required or a can of coffee. This person is able to by pass the “supply nazi” that every office has. Is essential in daily no non-sense smooth operation. All supplies are dealt internally and not for outside use. Though, if items are needed for outside use, a pass-phrase will be established for such requests.

Slut- Every office needs a hot and slutty personality. This helps increase gossip flow and keeps the helpless males entertained. There may be multiple openings for this position.

As you can see implementation of these positions would make things either run smoother or make things very entertaining. After witnessing a heap of office madness this week, I fell that this increase productivity and reduce the petty stress level. Hell, everyone needs a go-to person to get things done. I am throughly convinced that this cannot be done through management. So, spread the gospel and form your own underground and yes Che would be proud of you.

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Memories

Hello again. I have successfully pulled my head out of my ass (with the help of a tow truck) and returned to writing. This week has been a bit, well, trying. Even though it has been a bit trying and I have been REALLY anti-social, I did manage to have a pretty deep conversation with a life long member of the JP fan club. A person that I have both loved and hated passionately, who is still one of my closest friends. We chatted about some really deep estranged family issues that we have in common; well, we basically grew up together. This Cubanita is still one person I can speak with and know that she gets where I am coming from.

After talking with her I had a “Scrubs”  style flashback. The glorious kind that even now while I write this, I smile. I recalled sitting at  my Cuban family’s big kitchen table after a large meal, sipping cafe cubano and playing dominoes. Discussing political situations on the island with a retired Cuban police officer and a delusional union organizer. These discussions were passionate and in Spanglish. It was a concept that only today, do I begin to understand. Being 14 years old and far away from any sign of my Irish roots, I was estranged and comfortable at the same time.

Like any strong passionate culture may it be Irish, Cuban, or German, food is the central theme. In this “flashback” one of my all time favorite dishes made an appearance. A very simple working class meal, Picadillo. Loosely translated,  Cuban beef hash. And it is damn good!

I remember coming over and Abuela always asking, “did you eat? Are you hungry? I will fix you something.” This something, Picadillo con frijoles negros y maduros. I would sit and savor this dish that was hand made for me, as if I was the star of the show, king of the castle, nay, master of my domian;  Abuelo, well always saved me a seat near him, so that we could watch the miss Venezula competitions and he knew that he would get served as well. As for Abuelita, well this woman could cook. So well, that even today Picadillo prepared by anyone other than Abuelita, is an inferior product.But every once and a while I come across a place that comes close. This was the case Monday.

I was jonesin’ like a crack head on 10 spot binge and I had a coupon! Yes, I was rash and brazen to go out and buy. I committed a sin against all Cuban grandmothers everywhere; for this I apologize. While seeking forgiveness, I would like to share Abuelita’s recipe for Picadillo, so that you can build the same memories I have. Enjoy!

Umm, goodness!

Umm, goodness!

Abuela’s Easy Picadillo Recipe (Feed 4 Americans OR 2 Cubans)

1 lb. ground beef (Not too lean)
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of Garlic Powder
3/4 of a small can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup Pimento Olives (As much or as little as you like)
SALT (to taste, remember the olives and tomato sauce are salty to watch your hand)
Raisins (this ingredient is optional, it is a family thing not everyone likes it)

Ok so take the oil and warm in a skillet. Add the beef and season with the salt and garlic powder. Raise the heat to med or med high. As you cook the beef be sure to break it up as much as you can. When the meat is 1/2 way browned add the green peppers and onions. Incorporate these ingredients. Once meat looks fully cooked add the tomato sauce, olives and raisins(if using). Lower heat to med or med low and cover. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until you think the onions and peppers are nice and soft.

Serve over white rice. Indian firm/Basmati rice is the best. Most Cubans like to use Mahatma white rice. Remember to put olive oil in your rice if you want it to taste authentic.

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Best Dive Bar Orlando: Odin’s Den

What do you get when 3 friends with a lust for beer and thirst for adventure embark on a journey? Thats right, a terror squad of drunks, dropping into in to say hello on the unsuspecting populous. JP, Jimbo, and J-Man out on a mission to conquer all that is smoky, questionable, low-brow, and all too wonderful. The kinds of places where the tall boys are cold and any take home prospect may require a 3 beer minimum and a follow up of penicillin.

This review started out as a trinity of Orlando dive bars, but I quickly realized that out of the many, only one stands out in the crowd. A place that gets my repeat business whether it may be on a Wednesday or a Weekend spot. One has to realize that there are many bars that have suffered from “yuppification” like my old stomping grounds The Copper Rocket and Bar-B-Que Bar. This has been a recent trend in the Metro Orlando area. These fine establishments need to make money to survive, I know this. However, the clientèle has drastically changed and they consider these places a “dive bar,” I see them as a nice place to take a date, go figure. The Matador is about the only downtown bar still “worthy” of my patronage; take it as you will. And yes, I have to give mention to McRaney’s and Tom and Jerry’s as they were our pre-game places and well worth checking out.Though as I thought about this review, I quickly came to the conclusion that they alone or combined, did not have all the elements that make Odin’s Den the official hang out of JP, Chocolate Bear, and crew.

You may ask, “JP what makes a good dive bar?” Simple! Good inexpensive/cheap beer, atmosphere, and of course characters. These combined elements make Odin’s Den, in my opinion, the best damn dive bar in Orlando. This is why…

The Beer List that reads like an epic novel:

On tap…

Beer is served by these lovely girls!

Beer is served by these lovely girls!

NEW!Lagunitas IPA
Newcastle
Spaten
Strongbow
Guiness
Blue Moon
Purple Haze
Rogue Dead Guy
Köstritzer
Lindemens Framboise
Hoegaarden
Warstiener
NEW!Left Hand MilkStout
Tennents Larger
Shipyard Prelude ale
NEW!Orlando Brewery’s Old Pelican (seasonal)
Harp
Brooklyn Larger
Bass
Lost Coast Great White
Stella Artois
Sea Dog Blueberry Ale
Orlando Brewery’s BlackWater
Yuengling
Miller Lite
Bud light
Budweiser

In bottles…

NEW! NEW!Lagunitas PILS
NEW!Hopf
Tucher
Grolsch
Smithwicks
NEW! Delirium Tremors
NEW!Belzebuth 13%
Red Stripe
Amstel lite
Orlando Brewery’s Orange Blossom Pilsner
NEW!Red Bauch
Corona
Corona Light
Sea Dog Porter
Heineken
Mickey’s Grenades
Okocim Mocne
Unibroues…
La Fin Du Monde
Don De Dieu
Trois Pistoles
Maudite
NEW!Ephemere
Domestics…
Icehouse
Budweiser
Bud Light
Coors Light
Michelob Ultra
Michelob Light
Miller Lite

In cans…

Wexford
Wittekerke
Miller Highlife
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Busch

Atmosphere wise, well this should explain it:

It's always mission accomplished when a funnel is introduced.

It's always mission accomplished when a funnel is introduced. Think of it as team work for the sober impaired.

Yes, if your drinking is slowed down by the traditional can/bottle/glass to  mouth method, a funnel is available to help speed up the process.

Arogant Bastard Ale, my kind of brew!

Arogant Bastard Ale, my kind of brew!

Yes, for all of those that questioned if there really was a beer named after me, here’s the proof…

In a fine establishment such as this, it’s always the Charators that make the place:

We tend to pick up people along the way

We tend to pick up people along the way

The Granted Ink crew is usually present. The blonde is going to fill in my arm!

The Granted Ink crew is usually present. The blonde is going to fill in my arm!

You can't really tell here, but I had my drunk face on!

You can't really tell here, but I had my drunk face on!

So, it needs to be said that we always have a good time at Odin’s. Ha! The even let me do the last call ceremony as I shotgunned a PBR. This is the spot where its warm and inviting. No one knows your name and guess what, they just don’t care either. It’s my kind of joint.

Also, a special shout out goes to Tina from the Bagel King, she totally made the morning after more bareable with her kick-ass breakfast special. Go see her!

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Spotlight on me

Today I edited the “about me” section. Feel free to check it out and let me know what you think.

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One for the Ladies

I have been asked alot lately about my 40+ hours of ink. The main question is, how do you rack up so much time under the needle? Well, maybe a photo evolution would explain the process a bit better. Okay, due to popular demand for more tattoo pictures, today is the day JP’s (not all but a good portion) ink is exposed. Ladies, you may now swoon:

First Line Work–For those that don’t know, it can suck!

Start of my leg

Start of my leg

The foot is a little bit uncomfortable, just a little. So are the toes now that I think about it.

The foot is a little bit uncomfortable, just a little. So are the toes now that I think about it.

Beginnig of the arm

Beginnig of the arm

I seriously have issues--The elbow was let's say uncomfortable

I seriously have issues--The elbow was let's say uncomfortable

Then comes some color:

A little bit of pink goes a long way

A little bit of pink goes a long way

Looks like it hurt

Looks like it hurt

Acheilles tendon made me squirm a bit

Acheilles tendon made me squirm a bit

My placement regret that I have to now tie in.

My placement regret that I have to now tie in.

Now the out come:

This took a few years to complete!

This took a few years to complete!

Mothers day gift.

Mothers day gift.

All that color was dumped in, in one sititng!

All that color was dumped in, in one sititng!

Thats right, one dose!

Thats right, one dose!

Look at that handsome devil!

Look at that handsome devil!

Remember this is just a sampling of what I have, as it is hard to photograph other areas and put them on the WWW.

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Lemmonex interviews JP

My soon to be ex-wife beautiful friend Lemmonex, that helped me get this blog off the ground, interviewed me the other day. I was just excited such a girl would even talk to me! Seriously though this person is truly appreciated. So, without further ado:

Lemmonex ask’s,
1. You are a man who likes a beer….what is your favorite one?

This is a difficult call as I like all beers, except the Beast; I can’t handle that old man shit. I have to say my palate evolves with the seasons and different brewery’s have been catching my eye. Some of my top beers right now are Pale Ales and IPA’s verging on the seriously hopped Lagunitas Maximus, Magic Hat #9, and New England Brewing’s Sea Hag IPA (this comes in a can).
2. Do you regret any of your tattoos?

You have to understand that I have over 40 hours of ink and this is due in part to my neurosis. Once I have a picture, idea, or concept in my head it has to come out in ink form. Regrets, yes one. I regret the location, not necessarily the tattoo it self, as I now have to tie it into another project I am working on. I do firmly believe everyone should have at least one trashy and or questionable tattoo, just to keep it on the level. By the way I will be sitting for 4 more hours in the next few weeks.
3. Do you prefer Florida or DC? Why?

I grew up a surf bum in New Smyrna Beach and will never trade that in; however, the beach is about the only thing of value in Florida for someone like me. The people down south are of a different breed, I think it has to do with the 102 degree temperatures at 100% humidity for like 8 months. I love D.C.! I love the people, the culture, and the mass transit. Yes, I know it can be a challenging pain in the ass, but when you have to drive everywhere, mass transit is a blessing. Plus, the atmosphere is different. It’s challenging and thought provoking. When you converse with someone its not just trivial matters; politics are openly discussed, something that would never happen in Florida! Plus, I can walk to a bar in D.C., enough said.
4. I know you have been in school for a long time–think it was worth it?

Worth it, now that is an interesting question. I always thought after every accomplishment there would be a huge evolution, though this has not been the case. I remember picking up my B.A. and thinking, “wow, thats it. This is why I busted my ass? Why don’t I feel different than I did before I picked it up?” I truly think it was worth it. I like instant gratification, I mean who doesn’t right? Here is my “roll” of time/experience: Have only took a combined year off of post-secondary education since 1999. I hold A.S., A.A., B.A., and I am a certified professional fire fighter medic. Matter in fact just submitted my application to one of the “George’s” in D.C. for Ph.D. candidacy. So, I have been around the academic block and I don’t think that will change.
5. Tell me one thing I don’t know about you that you think will surprise me.

I was first runner up in a Little Mister “—-City” competition when I was 6.; same year I shattered my elbow playing superman on a swing set. I have pictures of me in my suit that had to be altered to fit my cast. I still have a wicked scar from 2 pins and 60 stitches. During the interview portion I was asked, “what is your favorite cartoon?’ I answered, “Thundercats!”

Also, I probably have a larger Reggae collection than most Jamaicans. Both new and old, cause thats how I roll.

If you’d like to play along, just follow these instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. Be sure you link back to the original post.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

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Get Excited

Next week there are some good things coming your way:

Lemmonex interviews JP

Review of Dive Bars in Orlando

Guest Post from Chocolate Bear

and we check in with Sis and Lizard Breath as they brave the 4 million people about to descend on our apartment.

So, get your brains ready for a lot of useless knowledge and mindless dribble!

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