To the most awesome people at Merrill Lynch:
I have had a wonderful time getting to know each and every one of you over the past year. Working with each of you has been a pleasure and your willingness to help and teach me the ins and outs of the job has been irreplaceable. I wanted to let you all know that I have just informed Brad of my intention to resign on the last Friday in May. You will all be dearly missed.
I will be spending the summer traveling around the country with two good friends, and when I arrive on the West Coast I will take up residency in Portland, Oregon. You can track my adventure and leave me comments at www.americain100days.com.
Each of you has been open, friendly and helpful to me over the past year that I have been here and it has been a sincere pleasure to bring you pie, see you smile, and chit chat about everything under the sun. I hope to stay in close contact with everyone.
Thank you all for a wonderful year.
I click “send” and the final weight flutters off my shoulders like rice paper on a breath of air. Joey and I have finished funding, we recently found out there is a cousin in Portland willing to share their home with us when we arrive, and just now I informed my boss and co-workers of my plans to leave on a grand adventure.
Nothing left to do now but wait.
…well, packing would be a good idea too, I guess.
To the most awesome people at Merrill Lynch:
After Joey posted his challenge contest post, I kept a close eye on the responses people were leaving. Given the fact that Joey accepted a ready-made, decades-old challenge of his own, and that he accepted with no objection, I couldn't really sound any objections of my own when he announced his decision.
So, challenge accepted. I will eat your bull's balls, Joey, all three orders of them, and from the reviews I've read, I don't think it'll be as unpleasant as we're hyping it up to be.
But before I get too upset, let's think about some other questionable items I've enjoyed over the years - namely, bologna, scrapple, and hot dogs. These three savory meat products are all mindless hodgepodges of pig and cow and chicken and whatever else happens to be lying around the factory. The difference here is that when I bite into a delicious, juicy hot dog, there's no way for me to know what part of the animal (or which animal, for that matter) I'm biting into. But when I bite into those Rocky Mountain Oysters, I'll know that I'm sinking my teeth into 100% pure testicle, with no mystery whatsoever.
(From top) Photo by [bastian.] courtesy Flickr.com; photo by Mike Johnson - TheBusyBrain.com
Joseph V. Salvucci, Jr.
I like all of the ideas presented in the Challenge Contest, thanks to those who participated. Unfortunately, Tom would cry foul if I picked them all, so I must eliminate all but one. After looking up the cost of oysters in New Orleans, marshmallow birds, and skydiving, those suggestions are out. I would not want to challenge Tom to do anything that would be more fun than challenge, so the trapeze school is also getting nixed. We’re not designing a challenge around lifting lawn ornament(s).This leaves two hilarious finalists (in order of submittal): a “Where’s Waldo style photo at each stop” and “digging in to some rocky mountain oysters at any number of fine Denver eateries”Since both of these ideas have their merits and potential for hilarity, I am going to let the random number generator at random.org take care of the deciding.And the winner is…
Congratulations to Chris. If this is not the Chris I am thinking of, make sure to identify yourself and get me your address. I’m not in a subtle mood today, so let’s not mince words here: for anyone who doesn’t know, “rocky mountain oysters” means bull’s balls! Since the challenge doesn’t specify the number of “oysters” that must be eaten for successful completion, let’s put the number at three orders. This should amount to a large meal of oysters. Though this is not a challenge of extreme eating excess, I really want to give Tom time to reflect on what he is eating. Tom, once you see this post please let us all know your reply. Do you have the… ahem… oysters?
Out of absolutely nowhere, the warm weather blew into and through my hometown of Conshohocken, rudely shoved onward by a thrust of genuinely hot weather directly behind it. Today was a blistering 96 degrees outside, easily the hottest day of the year thus far. And since I'm a waiter at a restaurant that features an very popular outdoor seating section, it's the hot days like this that are particularly evident to me.
This summer, we'll find ourselves in some of the hottest areas of the country, during the hottest time of the year. While I have difficulty getting out of the house during the winter, I can't imagine it'll be much easier when it's 108 degrees out with not a cloud in the sky. I expect this to be the case during our visit to Texas, where we'll spend five days and nights in the beginning of August, and where I'm fairly certain that camping is near impossible. It actually sounds a little dangerous.
But we can be thankful that between the three of us, we've assembled an impressive, yet realistic list of good people from our lives who have either agreed to put us up for a night, or who we're planning to ask to put us up. Kimmy here (with the three of us creeping in the background) lived on the same floor as Joey and me in Smith Hall during our freshman year of college. For old times' sake, we'll be crashing into Kimmy's personal space and making her go out on a Thursday night. Just like the good ol' days, only this time we're bringing Sarah, and she has work the next day instead of a 9:00 a.m. economics class.
(From top) Photo by Joe Jansen; photo by Megan Yuppa
Only two days left to do your civic duty and present an idea for the "Tom's Challenge Contest"
It was more than a month ago that I promised some big upcoming news within the few days following the post (see it here). Unfortunately, that news didn't come, and I even got a few complaints about where my big news was. WTF, they all said.
It was early March, during a planning meeting at Joey & Sarah's house. Perusing the festival guide at JamBase, the three of us were trying to find a shindig we could attend during the second half of our trip. I figured we might not be able to find one for a little while, since these things usually aren't announced until within a few months of their planned date.
When this year's lineup was announced less than a week ago, I didn't really know what to think. I tend to shy away from pop music on most fronts, and this year's lineup got considerably more poppy than last year's. By that, I mean poppy with regard to the crowds that these bands tend to draw in, and in some cases, the singles that I've heard far too many times on the airwaves. My radio's been playing Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder (shown here) for as long as I've known the difference between AM and FM.
But after some calming and deliberation, I have grown to be genuinely excited for this three-day long party in the hippie capital of the world. Many of the acts that I've grown weary of through incessant radio play, are supposedly as different as night and day when they're in concert. Popular bands like Incubus and the Beastie Boys (shown here) have a tendency to err on the side of funk when they play on stage, bereft of the confines of formatting their music for three or four minute radio slots.
(From top) Image courtesy SFOutsideLands.com; photo by riotonsunset courtesy Flickr.com; photo by blythe_d courtesy Flickr.com
In response to Tom’s eating challenge to me, I have been trying to think up a counter challenge that, if accepted, would bestow an equal or greater amount of discomfort upon him. So far I have fallen a little short, so it’s time to see if you guys have any ideas. And if the opportunity to compel Tom do something ridiculous isn't enough, there's a prize on top of that. So warm up those typing hands folks, and let all get ready to watch Tom do something stupid.
On Wednesday night, I sat down with my computer late at night to peruse through my emails, which I've been doing on a compulsive basis since our site's been up and running. Lately, I've noticed an unusually large amount of emails pushing the quintessential email scam - someone from outside the US has declared you the winner of a large amount of cash and needs your personal information to award you with your winnings, or a Nigerian prince has a family account that he needs your help accessing. Really funny emails, to be honest, which is why I took the time to open one up to read it aloud. No downloading of any files or anything, just a look for a larf.
It's not what you're thinking... Happy 100th day of the year!