overheard on the subway the other day:

BLONDE GIRL #1:…. And his phone is always out of juice!

BLONDE GIRL #2: What a loser! What kind of phone does he have?

BLONDE GIRL #1: An iPhone 4!

BLONDE GIRL #2: Eeeeeewww!

Well……. I have an iPhone 4. And it’s always out of juice. Eeeeeewwww……


Wisdom from my Mother


When I was a little kid I was on the plane with my mother. This was back when the first class section was separated from the rest of the cabin by a curtain. We, of course, were not in first class. Being the inquisitive little bugger I was back then, this was our exchange:

ROB: Mom, what’s in that curtain?

ROB’S MOM: It leads outside, so don’t go near it!

It was very effective. I gave that curtain a very wide berth.

Don’t swim with your mouth open. Two naughty boys might have done a wee-wee in the lake!

Made out of People

At work:

YOUNG COLLEAGUE: Hey Rob, what do you think we’re getting for our staff meal?

ROB: Soylent Green.

YOUNG COLLEAGUE: Soylet Green! What’s that?

ROB: Well, you know how the quality of staff meal has deteriorated?

YOUNG COLLEAGUE: uh huh…. I guess.

ROB: Believe me. It’s gotten worse. And you know those people you haven’t seen in a long time……. like they don’t work here anymore?

YOUNG COLLEAGUE: Uh huh. So what’s soylent green?

ROB: (wait for it, wait for it) IT’S MADE OUT OF PEOPLE! SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!!!!!

YOUNG COLLEAGUE: ……….okaaaaay………


Two of My New Heros….

MY NEW HERO #46599:

PUSHY GUY: (shoving his way through the crowd to the bar) Get me a scotch & soda. Pronto!

BARTENDER: I’m afraid we’re out of Pronto.

PUSHY GUY: What did you say?

BARTENDER: (with a straight face) I’m afraid we have no more Pronto. But we do have some Wait Your Damn Turn. And we also have some Wait in Line Like Everybody Else. But if you don’t care for that, we always have plenty of Get the Hell Out of My Bar.

All with a straight face.

This bartender is my new hero.

MY NEW HERO #66733:

OLD LADY: What is your house red.

WAITER: It is a Cabernet/Syrah blend

OLD LADY: Where’s it from?

WAITER: Washington

OLD LADY: Washington what?

WAITER: Pardon?

OLD LADY: Washington State or Washington DC

WAITER: (with a straight face) Washington DC. It’s from a lovely vineyard they planted on the roof of the Lincoln Memorial. They’ve also planted a new vineyard out behind the Smithsonian. They tried to start a vineyard on the roof of the Capital Building, but the grapes just tasted bad, sour. They said the soil wasn’t good.

OLD LADY: Oh. Interesting bit of information.

WAITER: Yes, it’s a new project. It’s called Beltway Vineyards.

This waiter is my new hero.

Being from Upstate in the Land of Downstaters

Believe it or not, being from Upstate NY down here in NYC is somewhat of an anomaly, and many people here in NYC have a great lack of understanding of the huge state that sits on top of their city.

ROB: Yeah, I grew up just south of Albany.

PERSON X: Oh… yeah, that’s right by Buffalo, isn’t it?

ROB: Nope. Buffalo’s like 6 hours away. In fact, I was closer to Washington DC than I was to Buffalo.

But did you ever wonder why there are a lot of upstate towns with the same names of exotic places? Because back when they were chartering them, they wanted people to move there and populate!

For Example:

You won’t find any pyramids, in Cairo, NY, but you will find the Catskill Mountains!

Mexico, NY gets about three feet of snow every year.

You won’t find any hash bars in Amsterdam, NY, but you will find plenty of defunct textile mills.

Christ was not born in Bethlehem, NY, but it is by Albany.

The Potsdam Conference did not take place at the State University of New York at Potsdam.

Syracuse, NY does not have any ancient ruins, but it does have the Syracuse University Orangemen. (Go Orangemen!)

Malta, NY is not in the middle of the Mediterranean, but it is in the middle of Saratoga County, and has an awesome Drive-in movie theatre!

You won’t find any bullfights in Madrid, NY, but you will find plenty of snow!

You won’t find any Greek ruins in Attica, NY, but you will find a prison

And you won’t find the Parthenon in Athens, NY, but you will find the Hudson-Athens lighthouse!

You won’t find any ancient civilizations in Phoenicia, NY, but you can go tubing there!

If you are looking for the tower of Babylon, don’t bother looking in Babylon, NY. You’ll just find a bunch of Long Islanders there!

Those of you who are Jane Eyre fans need to keep looking for the Earl of Rochester. You’ll only find the Eastman School of Music, the Kodak Plant and the Gennesee River in Rochester, NY.

And it’s doubtful you’ll find the Colosseum in Rome, NY; but Syracuse is close by, and they have a stadium! (Where you can see the Orangemen!  Go Orangemen!)


When my brother Mike Pagnani and I were kids we shared a code-word. That word was “oath”.

Whenever one of us would get caught by the other in some act of wrongdoing, or if the other was privy to the wrongdoing, the word we would say would be “oath”.

That meant: “You have taken a solemn oath not to tell anyone.”

I’d catch Mike raiding the cookie jar, he’d say “oath”. And that would swear me to secrecy. Mike would catch me sneaking in late, or calling my long-distance girlfriend on the phone, or find out I’d done something else. I’d say “oath.” That meant, “Not a word!”

For me, “oath” was sacrosanct. For Mike, not so much.

In fact, if Mike got mad enough at me, he’d go to our parents throw me under the bus. And then I’d get punished. And I’d think, “Why, you little……”

Well, after being burned a few times, I got smart. Here’s what I did:

I made up the most ridiculous, impossible acts of wrongdoing, and then told my brother I’d done them, followed by “oath”.

EXAMPLE: “Hey Mike. I’m going to tell you a secret, but you have to promise not to say anything. Oath. Yesterday, I held up the Catskill Savings Bank. I got a whole bunch of money, but snuck down to Florida and spent it all on whores and whiskey. But oath.”

Mike, of course, would agree to the oath. He’d agree to anything. He’d sign his soul away.

Then I’d sit back and wait for him to get mad at me:

“Mom! Robert robbed the Catskill Savings Bank and snuck down to Florida with the money!”

And I’d sit back and laugh as my brother would get chewed by my mom for making stuff up.

The problem with “oath” is that once you start manipulating it, it stops working!

First World Problem & Solution: Spread Cream Cheese on a Bagel without a Knife

PROBLEM: You got a bagel & cream cheese. The cream cheese came in one of those little small tubs with the “peel-off” foil top. They forgot to include a knife.

BAD SOLUTION: You use your finger to spread the cream cheese on your bagel. Now you have cream cheese all over your finger and you have to suck (or wash) the cream cheese off

GOOD SOLUTION: You take the foil top, wrap it around yourfinger, cream cheesy side outside. So now you have sort of a “thimble” to spread your cream cheese. Spread. BE sure to scrape the thimble on the side of the bagel to squeegee as much cream cheese onto the bagel. Take off foil thimble. Now you have a cream cheesed bagel and a clean finger!

When faced with any problem, no matter how mundane, always ask yourself, “What would Mac Gyver do?”

Common sense

“Making no assumptions” is not the same thing as “not using common sense”.

There are many situations where making assumptions is dangerous, even if the assumption is intuitive.

“I thought of that as well as infinite other potential and actual possibilities” is often misinterpreted as “Uh….. I never thought of that”

Sometimes it’s better to overthink than underthink.

Now, That’s a Cat of a Different Color!

Dreamed that for whatever reason, our cat was green. Like the color of a granny smith apple.

At first I thought something was wrong, but he didn’t seem to mind it; doing his usual cat things: yowling for food, scratching the accent chair. And being green

I knew that cats weren’t supposed to be green, so I’d close my eyes, as thought it was a dream I expected to wake upfrom, but when I’d open my eyes, nope, the cat was still green. And I just couldn’t get my head around it.

I thought of taking him to the vet, but I was worried the vet might make fun of him, or chew me out for dying him green even though I didn’t.

He has a habit of escaping from the apartment, and I wondered what the neighbors would think when he ran out in the hall. Especially the old cat lady on the 6th floor.

He also sheds somewhat, and I thought of all the green hairs all over our apartment.

Finally I had an idea: if I played Land down Under by Men at Work on the stereo, he’d turn back to his regular color.

And it worked, but then I woke up.