Tag: blog

Now it hurts…

My weight has gotten to the point where now, it hurts.  And not just hurts in a way like my knees hurt or back hurts, though I’ve been having issues there as well.  It hurts to wear jeans.  I’m usually a size 34, but now those jeans cause my physical pain around the waist to wear.  Ouch.

So once again I try to refocus myself and concentrate on the weight loss.  The last time I lost any significant amount of weight was back at the start of the year when I was in the Do it for your selfie Challenge with my pal John.  I lost about 13-15 pounds.  That contest sort of fizzled out for various reasons, so I lost focus and gained it all back.  And then some.

My goal has always been to get to 160 lbs, but that is far, far away from this point.  I then revised my goal to just lose 10 lbs.  Now my goal is to just get through one day of eating right!  Ugh.  It’s awful.

So now I’m wondering if there’s anyone out there who’d love to jump into a challenge to try and drop some pounds before the end of the year.  I know the holidays are tough with the cookies and treats, but I think we can do it.

The winner would be the person who lost the most percentage of weight in the given time, say December 1-31.  No need to post weights anywhere or even share them with me, I trust you my dear friends.  We would just check in every week with the percentage lost.  I just think the ‘challenge’ idea works for me as it did earlier this year and I’d love to find someone to challenge.

No prizes.  No loser humiliations.  Just a weight loss challenge.

Anyone up for trimming down?  Let me know in the comments below or via email grant @ throwing toasters . com (no spaces)

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Senior TP Night

Here’s another blog entry you can read or listen to as I recorded it for the Grantcast.  If you want to subscribe to the Grantcast, you can do so with iTunes, or by using this feed in your favorite podcatcher.  Enjoy!

Senior TP Night
By Grant Baciocco

There was a tradition at Burlingame High School that, the night before the first day of school, the Senior class would give the front of the school the TP treatment.  Meaning, they would cover the beautiful sequoia trees in the front of the school with toilet paper.  I must say, I can still remember my first day of my Freshman year, pulling up to the front of the school and being awed at the sight of that toilet paper hanging off the trees.  It was intimidating, “What have I gotten myself into?”  The annual TPing of the school was something that you didn’t think about too much as you progressed through the years, but it was always in the back of your mind, “When I’m a senior, I get to do this!”

I was in band all four years of high school.  A drummer.  And for band kids, school actually started two weeks earlier in the form of Band Camp.  We didn’t go away or anything, we just came to school each day and worked on our marching and pep rally type songs for four hours or so.  Because of this, we were around the school for several days before the year began.  Senior year, as the start of school creeped closer, thoughts of being able to TP the school started to creep into my head.  I frequently discussed it with my two close friends, Dan and Jeanette.  We were all excited about this tradition it was now our turn to partake in.  There was only one problem, we were band kids.  As such, we didn’t often interact with the ‘cool kids’ who’d be the main ones TPing the school in just a few days.  But then I had an idea.  “What if,” I told my pals, “We did something else?  What if we TP’d the school in a different way?”

Dan, Jeanette and I discussed the different possibilities of achieving this and suddenly we hit upon the idea of, while the other seniors were toilet papering the outside of the school, what if we toilet papered the inside?  This idea excited us all but we quickly realized that we couldn’t just break into the school and, on top of that, the school did have an alarm.  Then a guardian angel appeared.  Now, I will not reveal who this guardian angel was but I will say it was someone who was very knowledgeable about the the workings of the alarm system of the school.  Not how to disarm it, but just which areas of the school were alarmed and which areas were not.  We were told that a large open hallway area between the band room and two english classrooms were not alarmed and that would be our best bet as a place to wreak our TP mischief.  This angel gave us a map showing which doors and windows to stay away from and even discreetly hinted at how we could enter the building without a key or breaking any windows.  We were all set.

The night before school we drove to the campus and drove right past all the other seniors TPing the front of the building.  We drove back around to the band room and parked and found our way to the secret entry point.  In seconds, we were in.  We knew going in, that the hallway would be harder to toilet paper than a bunch of trees, so we brought a long scotch tape to help us hang the toilet paper from he walls.  Also Jeanette, being crafty, made some hilarious signs to hane above the doors of the classrooms.  English teacher Mr/ Morgan got ‘Glen’s Pad.”  Mrs. Caret got ‘Elaine’s Bungalo of love.”  The band teacher, Mr. Kimura, got ‘Mr. K’s,’ which was also the name of a local nightclub in burlingame.

We spent about an hour making everything perfect and, when we were finally satisfied, to honor the moment, we snapped a few pictures of our handiwork and carefully snuck out of the building and into the night.

The next morning I was so excited to get back to school to see the reaction of the people as they walked into the band room area hallway, I parked and made a bee line to the door to the hallway.  I ran up to the door, flung it open and…the entire hallway was spotless.  There wasn’t a square of toilet paper anywhere.  The signs were gone from above the doors.  It was your average, everyday hallway.  I was crestfallen.  Jeanette and Dan arrived and they too were majorly bummed out.  We had worked so hard.

Apparently, what had happened is the janitors had arrives earlier, found the mess and cleaned it all up before anyone else arrived.  Insert sad trombone sound here.

Not to be deterred in letting people know what we had done, I wrote an anonymous letter to the Burlingame B, the school’s newspaper telling everything that had happened.  And I included one of the pictures of the toilet paper hanging in the hallway.  The letter ran and the world knew.  But it would have been much better had they seen it with their own eyes.  I read the printed letter and the picture accompanied it.  Under the photo, a byline, Photo by Grant Baciocco.  Oops.  Maybe I should have just shut up about it.

I was never punished or anything.  But that was the story of the one time the inside of Burlingame High School was toilet papered.

©2015 Grant Baciocco/Saturday Morning Media

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Calling Beth

Here’s another blog entry you can read or listen to as I recorded it for the Grantcast.  If you want to subscribe to the Grantcast, you can do so with iTunes, or by using this feed in your favorite podcatcher.  Enjoy!

Calling Beth
By Grant Baciocco

I solemnly promise that this blog is not going to become a collection of old girlfriend stories, but I do have one more to tell. And actually, this story is less about a girl than it is about my own stupidity.  Although, those two things often go hand in hand.

My first girlfriend in college was a theatre major, like myself. Her name was Beth and she was studying costuming and was a year ahead of me. We hit it off pretty well when she was doing costumes for a play I was in and we started going out. This was in the fall of 1992.

As we approached Christmas, she got the opportunity to go study in Europe over the winter break. We promised to keep in touch while she was gone.

I lived in the dorms at Long Beach State all four years of college and, like most dorms did back then, we had a unique phone system. It was almost like a hotel. You had to dial a special number to dial out. It also allowed you to call into a special number and find out how much you owed on your bill. It was a little clunky, but it worked.

Beth took off to Europe and I stayed in Long Beach. I was taking a few classes during winter break, so I stayed back in the dorms during that time. Beth and I had planned to talk on the phone just a few times because the bills would be huge. She’d call me one week, then I’d call her the next. Well, after the first phone call I made to her, I called into the central computer to see what my bill was. I was fearing the worst, but was pleasantly surprised that my phone bill had only ticked up about five dollars.

Five dollars?! For a thirty minute phone call to Europe?! These were great rates.

The next time Beth and I talked on the phone I told her that, from then on, I would call her and we could talk as long as we wanted. And you’d better believe we did. For the next two weeks, almost daily. My phone bill crept up by teeny tiny amounts after each call. Probably spent a good thirty dollars in phone calls over the rest of the break.

Finally, the first day of the Spring semester rolled around and the students returned to campus and the people that ran the phone systems returned to the office. The first moment I knew I was in trouble was when we received a campus wide voicemail from the people that ran the phone company.

“Residents, we just wanted to inform you that over the winter break there was a small glitch in the reporting of the phone calls over the winter break. We will be fixing that glitch over the next few hours. Until we are caught up, your final amounts due will be incorrect.”

I frantically called into the system. My bill was $50 more than it had been the last time I’d checked. With a feeling like I had been punched in the gut, I spent the rest of the day calling into the system and listening as my bill rose higher and higher.

When the dust settled, I had made over $350 in calls to Europe. I swallowed my pride and paid for it, partially, with the money I had got as gifts for Christmas.

Beth and I broke up later that semester after she got home from Europe. When it was over, she brought me a garbage bag with all the things I had ever given her in it. Sadly, there wasn’t $350 in the bag.

©2015 Grant Baciocco/Saturday Morning Media

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Jackass on a plane.

Happy Saturday.  Here’s a recent true story about a fun travel experience.  You can listen to it via the player below or just read it.  The choice is yours.  If you want to hear more stories (some of which aren’t on this blog) subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, or by using this feed in your favorite podcatcher.  Enjoy!

Jackass on a plane
By Grant Baciocco

It had been a long weekend. I had travelled to Atlantic City to film the second season of The Ultimate Nerd-ament. Traveling with me were fellow puppeteer Russ and our director Dave. There had been a lot of headaches leading up to the trip, just in the planning of the trip and making sure we would have everything we needed for the production once we went got to Atlantic City. It had been a bumpy road.

The filming had gone well. We got the footage we needed, and we even got to do a cool guest puppet appearance with director Kevin Smith. As good as it went, however, the travel plan mess ups were kind of outweighing the good of the trip, no matter how hard we tried to remain positive. So, at the end of three long days, we were sitting in the Philadelphia Airport waiting for our flight home to Los Angeles.

The first warning that things were not going to go well, came when we were told that the inbound plane was going to be late. About an hour late. We weren’t too worried because out path was taking us from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. then on to LA. We were scheduled to have a one hour and thirty minute layover in D.C., so we’d just be having the layover in Philadelphia instead. But then they announced even further delays that would make our connection in D.C. pretty tight. Finally, the inbound plane arrived and everyone worked together to board quickly and be ready to go.

The plane we were flying to D.C. on was a small plane. Each row only had three seats and you had to gate check any bags bigger than a backpack. Everyone complied with this rule. Except for The Jackass. The Jackass was this guy, probably in his early fifties, loud, brash, everything going wrong in his life was everybody else’s fault. When we were boarding, he couldn’t call his boarding pass up on his phone. This was, somehow, United’s fault. When he finally got on the plane, he was determined to bring his carry on suitcase on, even after being told repeatedly that it would not fit in the overhead bins.

“Sir, that bag is not going to fit in the overhead. You’ll have to gate check it.” The flight attendant said politely.

“I have a 5 minute turnaround in D.C.!” The Jackass said loudly. “You have to let me bring it on.”

“Sir, it’s not going to fit.” She replied.

“At least let me try!” he shouted and pushed past her.

“Fine.” The flight attended said, resigned. “You can try. It’s not going to fit.”

Well, The Jackass marched to his seat and those who had already boarded watched as he tried to cram his roller bag into the overhead bin that was, plainly, far too small for the bag. He pushed and shoved and, to his credit, got most of it in. Enough of it, that he tried to close the bin. The moment he started to try and close it, the bin started going off the tracks because the bag was not letting it close right. I leaned over to Russ, who was sitting across the aisle from me and said, “He’s going to break the door.”

Russ, whose wife worked for Jet Blue, loudly said, “If he breaks it, this flight is going nowhere because it’ll be a service issue.”

The Jackass heard him, but was determined to get the bin closed.

The Flight attendant, seeing the bin warping, came down the aisle, “Sir, if you break the bin we’ll be stuck here because we’ll have to call maintenance.”

The Jackass, determined, continued to pull, as hard as he could, on the door. There was a pop and the door came off the track and wedged tight. At this moment, The Jackas says, angrily, “Fine, I’ll gate check my bag!”

He sat in his seat as the flight attendant took his bag off the plane to gate check it. Then she calmly walked down the aisle to the bin and tried to close it. Of course, it wouldn’t budge. She walked to the cockpit and, a moment later, the captain came down to try and close it. The Gate Agent boarded the plane and tried to help as well. Finally, The Jackass got up and tried to assist. The captain walked back to the cockpit and the PA system clicked on.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have a small maintenance issue and will be unable to take off until it is fixed. We will be delayed here in Philadelphia a little longer until it is fixed.”

Russ was furious, “You broke the door, now we’re all going to miss our flights!”

The entire plane hated The Jackass. So, what did he do? He just got up and left the plane. No apology to the rest of us, he just got up and walked out. About 15 minutes later we saw the Gate Agent retrieving The Jackass’ bag from the plane’s cargo hold and return it to the terminal. The coward was running away, leaving us to deal with the delay.

We got to Washington D.C. to watch as our flight to Los Angeles pulled away from the gate. We were now in Washington D.C. for the night. No luggage. No change of clothes or toiletries. Just our carryons. United did give us hotel and meal vouchers. But we are left to wonder what The Jackass got.

©2015 Grant Baciocco/Saturday Morning Media

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