Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Al Day Wednesday

This week, my guest is a blogger who sprang from the East River full grown. Ain't he purty? Here's Al. Al was asked to define Rookie.

ROOKIE, n. somebody who's new at something. Rookies are usually young, but not always. In fact, many bloggers don't enter the field until well after they've been diagnosed with advanced dementia.

In some endeavors, like professional sports, being a rookie is charming and endearing, therefore widely publicized. On the other hand, if you've been playing for two or three years and the reporters are still calling you "rookie", its probably because they can't get the phrase "this guy sucks" past their editor.

In other fields, like cosmetology and neurosurgery, a practitioner's rookie status is held in the strictest confidence, The customer (or next-of-kin) is always the last to find out, and then only under force of subpoena.

In uniformed service, one can usually spot the rookie as the guy who hasn't yet figured out how to wear his hat. With rookie cops, look for a gunbelt worn 'round the knees. With firemen, look behind the speeding red truck with the flashing lights. The rookie is the guy lying on his back in the street, screaming and flailing away under a full load of gear.

Rookies are often subjected to "hazing" by their more senior colleagues. Hazing is an initiation ritual best enjoyed when particularly abusive and embarrassing. It is in that spirit that I report here today, wearing my thick skin and hoping for mercy - but knowing better.

About Al: Al, we hardly know ye. But we're starting to. Assuming Pia relaxed and enjoyed a productive vacation, the second best thing to come out of Pia's guest-post-a-rama was many of us came to know a poor commenter without even a blog to call his own. Three short weeks ago, this homeless Manhattanite rectified the situation and, like all stalled gypsies, moved right into the penthouse suite. Al's site, Downtown: Up The Hudson with Gun and Camera has to be about the most professional looking blogger blog near Earth. With terrific graphics in the bag, Al started his site with a moving request for information to help identify the people in a photo found in the post 9/11 wreckage and moved right into an interesting and engaging conversation.

Al does conversation well. I haven't quite put my finger on what he's doing over there but it works. So far, his posts begin with an essay or report and end with a Q&A section seeking input from his blogging friends. Al gives good one-liner mid-paragraph. It starts fun and stays voluble. Not much is known about this guy so far so but with research and intentional distortions of his meanings I can offer the following assessment of the man's identity and character, based on his own reports.

Al is 56 years old, and a Sagittarius, and a computer consultant. He majored in psychology, minored in self-deception and claims to like both cats and dogs, suggesting he has fish. He claims to be originally from South Philadelphia, a former New Jerseyite and a current resident of downtown Manhattan. This is plausible as only people from those three places consider those to be three places. He has used the adjectives darling and lesbian to describe his wife. He also called Minka a valkyrie so I'm inclined to believe him about his wife, too.

Other than that, we know he's competitive to come in first, gracious in defeat through conditioning if not by nature, and a pleasure to have in the mix. Thanks to Al for doing the guest spot here and doing it well. When's the old lady coming by? And didn't I win her in a bet already?

How to be a guest on this site: To be anointed, I will need your email address and permission. So, were you to send an email to dpascover at mac dot com and say in the subject line something like "OK, ok I'll do it," that would definitely work unless I thought it was spam and deleted it. On an upcoming Wednesday, after posting that week's guest I would then send you an email with a word not in The Devil's Dictionary which you could then spend the next three days writing a definition for and return to me with a graphic or two of your choosing. The only rules are no profanity, no novels and anything else I make up. If you've done this before, I may ask you again if you're around a lot. If you've done this before and not been heard from since, just let me know that you want to be a guest and then disappear again.


Minka said...

Well, well ...well.
You certainly are a rookie around here, still. But you mananged to get yourself a guest post position in what?...three weeks. *takes cap of*
You certainly beat me, took me ages to get there, but leats I know for sure you wonæt be first today, ey ?! ;)

glad to be helping you in your conditioning of accepting defeat. Somebody´s gotta do it, and I donæt mind it being me :)

Well done with the guesting...I loved the one about the ill-positioned police hat :)

Morning Al! *waves* oh and you too Doug, you did good good too. *pad pad*

Anonymous said...

'Morning, Minka. 'Morning, Doug. And, Minka, about making it to a guest post in three weeks -- well, seeing as I don't have that much time left, Doug cut me some...

WAIT! WAIT! *Gasp!* Oh my God, I just spit a mouthful of Cheerios onto my laptop...

Ha! That picture isn't me! Doug, I sent you that picture as an example of what a "rookie" cosmetologist might -- (oh, Jeez, I'm dying laughing... LOLRF, uhh,G-H-? Oh, whatever... )

Ha ha, I can prove that's not me - When I was that guy's age, color film still hadn't been invented yet. Oh, man, that's, like, funny! He "sure is purty", that guy. I never looked that good... :-)

Oh, Jeez, *composes himself* Happy Thanksgiving, Doug! And many thanks indeed for a truly great time.

And, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

The amoeba said...

ROOKIE, n. One who castles prematurely, Mr. Kasparov.

Just remember that the goal
Is for us all to capture all we want

Hi Al! Great job, and welcome to the blogosphere. Not to mention Minka's garden. Care for some spaghetti hair?


Anonymous said...

"The Rookie"

What is up with this guy called Al?
He shows up one day and takes over!
I suppose that's ok, new blood and all.
But really, respect the elders that wander here.
Walkers and canes, and bed pans galore.
These new fangled ideas are not for us.
So take your fancy schmancy avatar back to the shop.
When a rookie shows us all up that's just too much.

Welcome Al, I hope your stay in the majors is a long and fruitful one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, OC. From now on, I'll take my time castling. And, yours isn't the first mention I've heard of "spaghetti hair"... hmmm, hello? Rookie? 'sup wit' dat?

Brian, gosh, that's the absolute first-ever poem anybody's ever written for me. What are you doing Saturday night?

(Seriously, I'm just another smart-ass, but you? You've got something special.)

Anonymous said...

AL! what a surprise and/or treat to see "not your face" but a wonderful guest post, nonetheless!

Rookie is a great word, but doesn't really apply to you, now does it? oh, technically, i suppose it does, but your fabulous comments, your wit and humor, and your amazing blog tell a different story. i could go on, but then i'd have to throw up a little in my mouth -- because too much sweetness so early in the morning upsets my delicate stomach.

that said, i, for one, appreciate the production value of your clever avatar, even as i try to figure out how to get one for myself.

and, Doug? them's some right purty words you had to say about a guy ye hardly know! well done.

Charlene Amsden said...

Al -- my first look at your blog made it apparent that whatever you are, it isn't a rookie. And if my memory serves, Doug asked you to guest before you got a blog. Turns out he knew what he was doing. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Al. I think Dewy has me for a prior date on Saturday night, but thanks. :)

Being the rookie and all, it's hard to tell all the players without a playbook, so hop on over to the bunny's blogs when you have time. I have a link in my header to all my Guest showings, they explain much.

Anonymous said...

Puppy, why, thank you! and, you're too kind. I've had you to learn from over the past few weeks, which shows that, if I'm anything, I'm a fast learner. FYI, I'm running a holiday special on animated avatars, so send in your artwork - free service for great new friends like you, but, of course, I'll have to bill you for the shipping.

Quill, thanks for the kind words, and for perfectly summing up my life: clueless at every stage of development as to what I was, I've somehow always known exactly what I wasn't.

Thanks for the tip, Brian. I'll be over later, after the food-shopping, potato-mashing, in-law-shuttling, cranberry-crushing...

Anonymous said...

Doug always knows what he is doing

Hi Al, well I always knew that you had all the attributes everybody else is just learning

I'm beginning to feel that my blog is a launching pad for new and better bloggers :-)

Anonymous said...

Just newe ones, maybe, Pia, but none better. And, many thanks.

Anonymous said...

Doug, just a clue: those are three very distinct places Al hales from - I just wonder which accent he has in speech?

Well Al you do make rookie look pretty darn good. I'm sensing an MVP for you. Only fitting that I come in after Pia as her's is the launching pad for a whole new crew of bloggers. Quite the tastemaker our Pia. Nicely done Al - but then again, I've come to expect nothing less.

By the way, which accent?

Anonymous said...

Thanks, G, and Philly. I took a test last week on Shayna's blog, and I even lied as I answered the questions, but Philly broke through.

Anonymous said...

I knew it! I was going to say you can take the boy out of Philly, but you can't the Philly out of the boy.

TLP said...

Hey Al! You done good.

You did well also Doug, in your write-up.

*sigh* So, that boy's not you, Al? Too bad. I fell in love with him in a flash. I could have been there in a New York minute.

Miz BoheMia said...

Al pulled a G on us all and just jumped into the fray with much delightful humor and wit and so rookie? Yes and no and yes and no and yes and no... me a yo-yo...

Well amigo Al, bohemians officially welcome you into the blogosphere and what better place to do it in but here in WA, hermano extraordinaire's casa, hmmm?

Faboo post FO SHO... hermano, tienes buenos amigos y oye... si necesitas invitados sabes donde encontrarme!!! *sniff, sniff*

ha, ha, haaa! Gotta tease you but is there truth to that... yes and no and yes and no and yes and...

... you know what follows!

mdocd- MAD OCD!!!!


Mutha said...

I loved the show "The Rookies" when I was litle. I believe I may have even had a crush on one of the guys -- although I also loved "Emergency" which also had a kind of Rookie flair, and the lead guy whose last name was something like Mantooth (I'm not kidding -- that's a google for later)was more dreamy.
I love that Rockwell picture as I am a Red Sox fan -- and the comment about the title "rookie" as a substitute for "sucks" is too good, Al. Which makes me think of Bull Durham:

Rookie: see "Meat."

I am pro-Al!
I think Al rocks!
His blog is so impressive, I buckled at writing a comment.
But I am happy to hear you are a South Philly boy. I am from just over the bridge, A Camden girl.

Anonymous said...

Nice call, G -- according to the quiz I took, I'm "as Philly as a cheesesteak and a soft pretzel." Two of my favorite foods.

TLP. nope, alas, that's not me. I'm much older, and probably way to old for a young'n like you... :-)

MizB, thanks! And, I ran your comment by Google's translator and got: "Crest (R) toothpaste has been shown to be an effective decay-preventing dentifrice when used in a conscientiously applied program of oral hygiene and regular professional care." Was that right?

Mutha! No WAY! Camden!@?! Get OUT! Small world! We're neighbors! This, by the way, explains our shared affection for police and paramedic TV.

Speaking of which: Randolph Mantooth, right? He's got a web site, just like you and me:

Charlene Amsden said...

Mutha -- don't google -- Randolph Mantooth -- you were right. I had a major crush ... sigh

Anonymous said...

Nicely done go get me a bucket of steam.

Anonymous said...

my sister and i just liked the *name* Randolph Mantooth. or MANtooth, as we liked to say, and did every chance we got. ah, good times.

these days, from a TV viewing standpoint, doesn't Rookie = Probie? it does if you're a fan of NCIS (which we are).

Anonymous said...

thanks for visiting my blog!

Doug The Una said...

Minka, *wags*

Al, that could have been you in the 1920s.

O Ceallaigh, I'll always appreciate the rookie Kasparov for driving Mr. Fisher around the bend, down the hill and under the river. That dude needed to lose his mind and sure enough did.

Brian your rightful place is secure.

Al, you're a first-rate co-host, Dude.

Puppybrose, and let's be sure to acknowledge your hidden but doubtless important contribution to Al's blog.

Quill, no-one's more surprised than I am when I'm write.

Pia, your blog is the mountain we moles aspire to.

G, no offense but you're one of the people from that place(s).

TLP, I guess Al found that guy googling. Maybe he can help you. Al's right, he couldn't keep up with the likes of you.

Hermana de mi corazón, eres siempre en cerca. Pero entiendo y voy ahorita a la Casa Bohemia.

Mutha, "See Meat" cracked me up. Who now?

Quill, see immediately above.

Joel, I'm sure it's on the way.

Puppybrose, I have to say, I like the name. Maybe I'll change mine to Dogfang.

East of Oregon, you bet!

Anonymous said...

Quilly, its Mantooth this, and Mantooth that... what does he have that I don't have? (No need to answer.)

Joel, which kind? The left-handed steam, or the right-handed?

Puppy, NCIS? We like that, and CSI, CSI NY, L&O, L&O SVU, L&O CI, and sometimes WWF (RAW). Oh, and did I mention ER and, oh yeah, Dr. Phil, too? (Actually, I just threw him in. I hate that guy.)

And East of Oregon: Hey Doug? Your blog's ringing, and its for you...

Anonymous said...

Al: you hate Dr. Phil, too? i *knew* there was a reason i liked you.

nevubqpj: Neva bought queer and ugly pajamas (for Joel).

Charlene Amsden said...

Al - I'm over him. I promise.

Anonymous said...

Puppy, Oooh, the brown ones, with the Cowboys and Indians? Merry friggin' Christmas, Joel! Lucky guy...

Quilly, yeah yeah, I'm dumb enough to fetch steam by the bucket for Joel, but no way I'm fallin' for that one...

Anonymous said...

O Ceallaigh - Classic.

I've got nothing. Chalk it up to rookie incompetence.

The amoeba said...

Quilly, [phew]. :)

Doug, that was Karpov, not Kasparov, who was responsible for Fischer quitting chess and life. Kasparov was 12 in 1975 when this all happened. Even he would have been too young for a World Championship at that age.

To be sure, all good chess players (the human ones anyway) are nuts. [I played a tournament or two as a teenager. I know, you didn't need the confirmation.] But Fischer takes the prize.

What I didn't know is that Our Bobby is holed up in Iceland. See, Minka, you can go turkey shooting on Thanksgiving after all.


The amoeba said...

Used up all your ammo at Sar's place, did you, Diesel?

well, in the holiday spirit, here's a freebie.

ROOKIE, n. What Chewbacca's people called themselves before they got taken over by the Empire. See also GEORGE LUCAS WITH A LISP.


Mutha said...

See? MANtooth! SO dreamy. I am awash in nostalgia.

And Al, I believe the correct regional dialect for our neck of the woods would make that "No friggin way!" and "Get the f*** out!" (of course with no "t" sound).

I miss the Philly Thanksgiving Day parade badly. Even though Macy's puts on a great show -- it's just plain not the same when thre are no booes for Santa as the finale.

Mutha said...

booes? boos? certainly not booze...I think you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

OC, or, the victim of a rooker?

Diesel, OC's right. You've got a bunch of good caption entries for a particularly weird photo at Sar's, but here you've got nothin'? It ain't you, its me, huh?

Mutha, "'Youse' know what I mean." Youse.

As in, "Have a happy thanksgivin, youse guys." :-) Hmmm, I feel right at home here.

Anonymous said...

Roo Keys: small string of islands off the coast of Australia.

(you can always tell when i'm running out of ideas, because i make up stupid stuff, and convince myself it's funny. i really do need help. preferably from someone with experience.)

Anonymous said...

Mutha...Our favorite Philly parade is the Mummers Parade...nothing like it that we've seen anyway.

Anonymous said...

Punny, Doctor Phil! 53 minutes and he'll have you straightened right out. And, if he can't help, there's his wife, Robin, or his son that married the centerfold.

Oh, Joel, the Mummers! I grew up on Clarion Street, about half a block off the parade route up Broad. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of drunken Mummers from the parade's Comics division retching on the sidewalk in front of our row house. I mean, not just food, but, like, lungs and livers. Jesus, those guys were completely bombed. Ahhh, memories...

Doug The Una said...

Puppybrose, if I said it once I've said it a thousand times. That Joel's a lucky fellow.

Quill, how do you mean? I don't understand.

Diesel, you're a sophomore by now.

Well, tie my feet and call me a squid, OC. We must not have an extradition treaty with Iceland which would explain the sassy penguin.

Mutha, maybe that's why I think it's all one place. We can hear you from the others.

Punnybrose, you have me convinced as well. I smiled as soon as I saw Roo Keys.

Anyone feel like explaining Mummers to a Midwesterner in California via the South?

Anonymous said...

Hmm, tough one. According to my wife: "Philly guys who want to get out of the house, away from their wives, drink a lot, and delude themselves into thinking they're doing something great for the city." She gets this way every Thanksgiving. We call it "Holiday Spirit." And who am I to argue? She's holding a ten-pound roasting pan and a meat hammer.

For a more fair and balanced point of view, try:

Doug The Una said...

Thanks, Al. By the way, the Midwest, California and the South are three different places.

Anonymous said...

Doug: you haven't lived until you've witnessed the wonder that is... The Mummer's Parade. you can read about it HERE. great big guys (lots of 'em are firemen and cops) in drag, shaking their tail-feathers (literally), puttin' on a big "show"... it's a trip. and a damn fine one, at that.

The amoeba said...

Happy Turkey Day, folks! Might be able to check in or not next two-three days. Don't eat too much. nyuk nyuk.


Anonymous said...

Ah the Mummers...a sight to behold for sure, and such an odd juxtiposition for the blue collar city that is Philadelphia.

Happy Thanksgiving one and all!

Mike said...

I wanna be a guest! Happy Thanksgiving! Welcome Al!

Charlene Amsden said...

Doug, I am not at all certain what your question pertains to ....

I am over Randolph Mantooth. Wholly. You I still adore, but my real affections are leaning elsewhere. Sorry.

Sophisticated Writer said...

Hi, Al.

Hey Doug, I think my last post will interest you (and anyone into chick lit, not you of course, Doug). My post BEFORE the last titled life (oh crap) is a must read for you since you're nostalgic and all (remember when I mentioned the bad ex-boss and the dreaded ex? Can't believe you still said you were nostalgic. But I understand how you miss our old plots of sweet revenge)... Let me know what you think :) Take care!

Doug The Una said...

Puppybrose, here I am just past my thirty-ninth birthday and I haven't even been born. Ain't that a fine how-do-you-do?

O Ceallaigh, happy gobbling, Friend.

Mike, send me an email and you got it.

Quilly, I'm sure the question was as guileless as its asker. A ham handed fellow like me can't hope to hold a feather. Happy wafting.

Sophisticated, I'll look forward to catching up on your story and getting my decadal dose of chick lit in the morning.

Sar said...

Well done, You Can Call Me Al! Although I think you should have included a picture from the first Police Academy. ;)

Apologies for the late arrival, I'm playing hostess with the mostess to my family who are in for Thanksgiving.

And thank you all for saving comment 47 for me! :)))

Anonymous said...

very nice and nice to meet AL.

nice going.

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

Al, after last Sunday's game, I bet you are glad you are no longer from Philly.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Come see my attack hand turkey, Charlie.

Doug The Una said...

Sar, I had to incapacitate Blogger to do it. Happy 47 and Thanksgiving.

Thanks, Alice. Happy Thanksgiving.

Shirazi, old friend. Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving, Goldennib. That's a great Turkey and I second your suggestion.

Kyahgirl said...

Al! Sorry I missed your debut on Waking Ambrose.
Excellent write up on 'rookie'. Its hard to believe you're a rookie blogger. I always enjoy your comments and now your posts too!

Nice intro Doug, as always :-)

Cie Cheesemeister said...

Al seems cool. I am often amused by his comments.

Mutha said...

One more note -- about Mummers.
Besides the irony of drag and blue collar workers, AND stringbands on top of that -- Mummers are famous for the "Mummer Strut" a kind of a dancing stepping strutting proceed and retreat. I have Mummers in my family, believe it or not. Related by blood, which means the strut is in my blood too.