Friday, December 30, 2005

This Will Be Our Year

Have a happy new year, everyone.

We're celebrating the new year, rather than the conclusion of the old one. We're interested in beginnings, and the romantic optimism that surrounds them - a first kiss, a wedding, opening day. Beginnings are easier to celebrate, because endings are unpredictable.

Morning Edition aired an interview with Mike Wallace on Thursday:
Steve Inskeep: You write that you angered Mel Brooks at the age of 75 or so when you told him, "It's all downhill from now on."

Mike Wallace: That's correct. And he hated it!

SI: Let me ask you - is it all downhill from now on?

MW: Well, yes...I mean, come on. When you've been on 60 Minutes for 37 or 38 years...when you've been around the world and talked to all manner of individuals and you have the energy - psychic and physical - to do that kind of thing, and then suddenly, you prefer to nap in the's different. And when you say "downhill", that doesn't mean that you don't have the same energy in your mind about the stories that you would like to cover, but you don't have, really, the physical capacity.
It's not just the calendar that's changing; you are changing, and everyone around you is changing. (Look at the list of contacts in your cell phone or your email. How many of those people did you speak with this year?)

Relish the one night we consciously note and encourage the time to go by. Your relationships are constantly changing, the globe is revolving, the tectonic plates beneath you are shifting, your opportunities are shrinking; there's not much you can do about it. Lift a glass of champagne - it's all married ex-crushes, pregnant ex-girlfriends, and fighting your eyelids after a light lunch from here on out.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Richest Man In Town

On Christmas Eve, after mom and I made it through a few episodes of The Muppet Show on DVD, we caught the last hour of It's a Wonderful Life was on television. I noticed a few things in this viewing that I hadn't caught previously.

As you'll recall, George Bailey gets hammered, wrecks his car into a tree, stumbles over to a bridge, and considers jumping in the river to kill himself. Before he can take the plunge, his guardian angel, Clarence, intentionally falls into the river; George dives down to save Clarence instead of killing himself.

I'm no physicist, but isn't there a serious problem with this scenario? If the bridge is low enough so that neither individual died after diving into the river below, why did George pick that spot to kill himself in the first place? He's lived in Bedford Falls his whole life and he doesn't know that the bridge is a glorified diving board?

Speaking of Bedford Falls, we're to believe that if George Bailey had never existed, the town itself would be named Potterville, and its downtown would consist of a dozen or so trashy bars. But wasn't this town - whatever it's called - relatively small? How can such a medium-sized town support so many houses of ill repute? And why does it have so many taxis? Best I can tell, there's only one main street in Beford Falls - do the taxis just drive up and down that one street?

If I'd never existed...

...My elementary school has a different logo, and one of my classmates
receives the Gambino's Pizza gift certificate as a reward for the winning design.

...Ryan is the chess champion of the 7th grade.

...My 8th grade basketball team commits about 6 fewer turnovers during the championship game, winning easily.

...Kristina is Senior Class President, nothing different happens, except maybe a different 10-year reunion.

...One less game of Chug-It occurs, everyone involved probably better off.

...Floyd is convinced he is the greatest EA Sports NCAA Football player/coach ever.

...Website readers are alerted to Lazy Sunday a few days late.

...Four thousand fewer broken hearts.

...Riots in the streets. Lots of riots.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Holiday Photos Full of Cheer

Back from Wichita and the Xmas extravaganza. There was boredom. And coldness. Dear old dad decided to put the thermostat at 56 degrees, and 4 blankets couldn't protect from the chill. I received useful gifts that don't warrant mentioning.

But I did have some laughs, as documented in the photos on my Flickr account.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Hello Goodbye

I've been absent, entertaining Serpentine, who has returned to his homeland for the birth of our Lord. And now I'm leaving again, going home for the holiday.

I guess I'm the only one that finds himself bored over these breaks, browsing the internet for something to read or do. Just in case I'm not alone in my holiday boredom, I invite you to ponder this question:

What statement(s) would a stranger have to make to convince you that you could not be friends with him or her?

Rules for your answer:
The statement(s) can not be objectively offensive (i.e. "The races shouldn't mix").
The statement(s) can not be political.

Basically, we're looking for a mildly to highly trivial statement of opinion that you find unforgivable.

My answer is subject to change, but since it's the statement I had in mind when I thought of the question, I feel obligated to share it.

I can't be friends with a stranger that remarks, "The Beatles are overrated."

Monday, December 19, 2005

Bad Back

Gizmodo had a post today about a body dryer. This image showed how the product works:

Something disturbed me about the model - I see now that a Gizmodo commenter noticed it, too.

Did she have a tail once?

* * *

If you missed SNL this week, I can't blame you. But this video, entitled "Lazy Sunday", is dope.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Dear Mr. President

I am not interested in hearing your plan for Iraq; I was interested several years ago, but not tonight. Tonight, I am interested in watching Family Guy. Family Guy is not on. You are on, going on and on just like the war is going on and on. I want to watch Family Guy. Get off my fucking television. I hate you.

Did you know you've done this to me before? You decided to start the goddamn war on the same day that March Madness began. I took that day off, George. I took the day off so I could enjoy some roundball with my pals. You pushed the war coverage off CBS and onto cable. I didn't have cable, George. Jeff didn't have cable. Ryan didn't have cable. We had to go to a bar, George. We had to abandon the chips and beers we'd already rationed for ourselves, and we had to go to a bar and pay for our seats. And sure, we got to see the games OK, and sure, we got to eat a pretty good cheese and cracker plate, and sure, we got to drink some decent beers - but George, I didn't wanna. I wanted to sit on Jeff's couch and drink the cheapers beers. And watch CBS. But CBS was showing bombs.

Get off my fucking television, George. Get the fuck off.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Wikipedia for Kids

Astronauts are people that fly into SPACE. They fly on a SPACE SHUTTLE, which is like a PLANE but a lot bigger and it has big TANKS for FUEL. The fuel tanks give it a big boost and let the space shuttle go five thousand MILES PER HOUR. It would have to keep going that fast for a year to get all the way to the MARS, which is one million LIGHT YEARS away. The tanks fall off after they're done and the space shuttle is in space. They should RECYCLE the old ones.

When you're in space, you can float around and all of the stuff in the shuttle with you floats around, too. You have to tie yourself down to your BED to SLEEP. This is because there is no GRAVITY in space. There is this video that shows astronauts floating around and doing SOMERSAULTS and other tricks like eating a spinning BANANA in mid-air. Lots of other food is eaten by astronauts. They get their own ICE CREAM that is made by NASA that is different than normal ice cream, because normal ice cream can't work in space.

Many different missions are done by astronauts. They can SPACEWALK
around the shuttle to fix things or just look around space. Astronauts have to install SATELLITES so TVs and RADIOS can send signals to everyone's houses. If a satellite gets too old if becomes SPACE JUNK, and they have to drive around it or blow it up. Sometimes they meet with other astronauts at the SPACE STATION, where they try to make PLANTS grow and do other experiments.

All the time they have to wear a SPACE SUIT, because they would die if they didn't wear it. If they're hand was outside of the suit it would get so cold that it would break into tiny pieces if a hammer hit it.

You have to be in good shape to be able to go on the space shuttle, though, and NASA makes you go around and around on a spinning chair so they know you are good enough. There have been like a hundred astronauts. Only a couple were GIRLS because most girls aren't strong enough to go to space, and if you stay in space for a while, you will be taller when you get back to the ground. An astronaut won't get as tall as SHAQ but he will get a little taller, because space makes your SPINE stretch out. If you get to be an astronaut you make a million DOLLARS a year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

2005 Recap - Film

I went to the theater eight times in 2005, to see:

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Wedding Crashers
Layer Cake
Star Wars - Revenge of the Sith
Batman Begins
The 40 Year Old Virgin
Me & You & Everyone We Know
Corpse Bride

The 40 Year Old Virgin was my favorite by a landslide.

The other films were, at the worst, decent. I'm proud that I didn't sit through any stinkers this year, unlike 2004 (Hello, The Punisher!). And since I don't have much to say about the other films, let's calculate what I spent on movie tickets:

$2.50 (Corpse Bride was at the discount theater) + 3($5.00) matinees + 4($8.50) features = $51.50

Not too shabby.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The State of Saturday Night Live

[I couldn't find "The State" sketch online, so I had to watch the video myself and type out the transcript. Michael Ian Black plays Jerry, the coma patient; Kerri Kenney is his wife; Ken Marino is the doctor; Ben Garant is his nurse; Michael Patrick Jann is Dan.]

NURSE: "He's waking up, doctor."

DOCTOR: "Relax, Jerry. Don't try to get up just yet. You've been in an accident. Do you remember?"

JERRY: (bewildered) "Well, I remember I was changing to papers on the Xerox machine and I stood up and I hit my head on the file cabinet and…"

DOCTOR: "Yes, Jerry, and you've been in a bit of a coma ever since--"

JERRY: (seriously) "How long?"

DOCTOR: "Well, prepare yourself, Jerry. You've been asleep for almost one hundred and nineteen...well, almost two hours."

JERRY: (relieved) "Oh. Is my wife here?"

DOCTOR: "Yes, but--"

JERRY'S WIFE: (walking into the hospital room) "Jerry, we heard you were waking up. We came straight over from the apartment."

JERRY: "What apartment?"


JERRY: "We don't have an apartment."

JERRY'S WIFE: "Well, I had to sell the house, Jerry, it just held too many memories. I live in an apartment now with my new husband, Dan."

DAN: "Hey."

JERRY: "Husband? You remarried?"

JERRY'S WIFE: "Well how long was I supposed to wait for you, Don?"

JERRY: "Jerry."

JERRY'S WIFE: "Whatever. I've moved on with my life. Oh, which reminds me, your parents are dead. Here." (Jerry's wife hands Jerry an urn)

DOCTOR: "After tedious and painful therapy, you should regain partial use of your limbs."

JERRY: "How soon can I return to work?"

DOCTOR: "Oh, Jerry, you don't have a job anymore! (laughing) Computer programming has sort of been 'phased out'."

JERRY: "Phased out?"

DOCTOR: "Yes, we don't use 'computers' anymore, Jerry, now that we can all read minds."

JERRY'S WIFE: (angrily) "Some of us had to keep evolving while you got to sleep, Jerry!"

DOCTOR: "And without telepathy, we wouldn't be able to communicate with the Martians that now rule our planet. Jerry, your coma stretched across one of the most eventful early afternoons in history. (upbeat) But with hard work, therapy, and drugs, I bet you can readjust yourself, huh?"

NURSE: (bringing Jerry his plate of food) "Dinner, Mr. Johnson!"
(orderly hits Jerry on head with dish cover, Jerry is knocked unconscious, the heart monitor flatlines)

DOCTOR: "Jerry!" (the doctor shakes his limp body) Jerry! ...Ah, hell. Unplug him."


Now read this SNL sketch from two weeks ago, which is similar in many ways, except that it's not very funny. At all.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Better Together

If you're curious to know what album Amazon recommended as a companion to the latest from Oasis, click here. You'll want to listen to the sample tracks, too.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Nineteen Dollar Steak

Went back to Mirth - things have changed. Just goes to show, there's no such thing as a free lunch or a nine dollar steak.

I had a brownie, too. Recommended.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Winter Warning

I saw a woman from a distance today and thought, "Oh, she's pretty cute." Then I realized that she was almost entirely hidden beneath winter clothes. Heads up out there, people - winter fogs the senses. Something as simple as a scarf can make a girl 15% more attractive. Add a cap with a fluffy ball on top, add 5%. Adjust accordingly.

* * *

Speaking of fogged senses, Hollywood has decided to make a CHiPs movie starring Wilmer Valderrama. You know, I never saw the Dukes of Hazzard movie, but I gather that it sucked. Why would CHiPs be any better? That show always sucked - at least the Duke boys would jump over shit in the General Lee. Erik Estrada and that white dude just rode lame motorcyles around.

Case in point: I only remember one scene from CHiPs. Some underage kids were driving a station wagon. They couldn't stop the car, because the driver kid's skateboard had wedged itself under the brake pedal. Estrada pulled up alongside and told them to turn off the ignition. The car rolled to a stop.

Good luck making a movie out of that.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Humps, Revisited

So "My Humps" is terrible. Really, really bad. I wonder, has anything been worse? The worst songs I can think of:

Lou Bega - Mambo #5

An oldie (by somebody named Lou Christie) that had a chorus repeated, "LIIIIGHTNING STRIIIIIIKES MEEEE AGAINNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!"
Buster Poindexter - Hot Hot Hot

Things I would rather listen to than "My Humps":

A Creed album
A Nickelback album
A crying baby
Several hours of bad talk radio
Five minutes of a fire alarm

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

This Dude is Correct

Follow the "parody videos" link, too.

Oh, and Fergie is gross.

I hope they all die. Or become much less popular.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Nine Dollar Steak

Look. I've told this story about two dozen times since it happened, so bear with me. I ate a steak Friday night. It was a KC strip steak, maybe 12 ounces, and it was exquisite. There was some gorgonzola goodness happening, and some twice baked potato action, and even some spinach/pear salad. It was nine dollars. It cost me nine dollars. The bill came, and I asked the waitress, "What gives? The menu says $19. This says $9. Do you just want to fuck me or something?"

"No," she said. "I don't just want to fuck you or anything. It's the price of the perfectly grilled steak you just ate. It's nine dollars. It's a nine dollar steak."

"Well, now I just want to fuck you!"

"Ha ha," she said.

"Ha ha," I said.

They call it Mirth, but they should call it Nine Dollar Steak.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

2005 Soundtrack

Iron and Wine - Waitin' for a Superman
Flaming Lips - Waitin' for a Superman

I bought the Morning Becomes Eclectic compliation for a lot of reasons. It had Damien Rice, Franz Ferdinand, Radiohead, Jem - and it was on sale, and I'm cheap. The Iron and Wine track caught my attention one day, and some time later I learned it was a Flaming Lips cover, and some time after that Shawn implored me to buy the Lips' album that originally featured "Waitin' for a Superman". I love how that works. Pay attention to what you're hearing, do a little reading, and the music you didn't know you liked will reveal itself. When I hear these songs, I'm at work, headphones on, typing.

The Arcade Fire - Wake Up

I'm normally about a year behind when it comes to new music, but at least I bought this album before U2 started playing "Wake Up" at the beginning of their concerts, and before I started hearing it at Henry's. When I hear this album, I'm renting cheap DVDs from the supermarket; I'm driving to the airport.

Stars - Your Ex-Lover is Dead

Gavin is driving us home from a softball doubleheader. We're headed north on Wakarusa; the light is red. "I'll write you a postcard, I'll send you the news," Gavin sings half-heartedly.

Elliott Smith - Coast to Coast

"I should grab an Elliott Smith CD to listen to in case she breaks up with me," I think. "From a Basement on a Hill is already in the car," I remember. Always prepared, I drive away from her apartment listening to track #1.

Josh Rouse - My Love has Gone
Rhett Miller - Come Around

I had considered buying the Rouse album one day at the record store, but thought, "I shouldn't buy any more sad bastard music." Corinne made me a CD for my 26th birthday, and these two songs were stuck in the middle. I asked her if she had them side-by-side because Rouse sings, "when you come around..." and Miller sings, "unless you come around." She denied the intentional placement. I'm working, working, working - the birthday CD was kept in my cubicle for months.

Death Cab for Cutie - Summer Skin

There are catchier songs on the album, and there are more plaintive songs on the album, but this is the one keeps me coming back. The lyric "on the night you left I came over" blew my mind several times over.

The Shins - One By One All Day

I am in Albuquerque, home of The Shins, for a conference. I'm at their Liberty Hall concert, listening to them rock an extended outro.

Nirvana - Aneurysm (demo)

I got the box set for Christmas, gave each of the CDs and the DVD a listen, and ignored it until the fall. Then, I realized that the unpolished version of this song is superior to the final version heard on Incesticide. I'm pretty sure if you turn this up loud enough, you'll see God. I'm driving to Manhattan to give a presentation.

Snow Patrol - Wow

I heard "Run". I liked it. I heard "How to Be Dead". I liked it, too. I heard "Spitting Games". I liked it. Still, I was worried the album would be fit for a sissy. I bought it anyway, and "Wow" proved my suspicions were unfounded. I'm at work, in front of my computer.

Spoon - I Turn My Camera On

This was the year I stopped using file-sharing networks and started reaping mp3 blogs. gave me Spoon, and I am grateful. I am at work. Still.

The White Stripes - Denial Twist

Sometimes, you have to fight through a CD to find the great moments. You listen casually, you listen carefully, you listen to it LOUD on decent speakers. Most important, you activate shuffle mode and see what strikes you. "Denial Twist" is special when it's removed from the center of Get Behind Me Satan. It's also my favorite song with the word "rumpus" in the lyrics. I'm at work, and the Classic brand personal CD player I bought 5 years ago for $10 at a Twin Cities area Circuit City is on shuffle.

Coldplay - Low

I'm in the car, "White Shadows" has finished playing, and I'm still looking to rock. I'm at home, sick, realizing that I don't feel well enough to attend the Coldplay concert.

Beck - E-Pro

There's a scene in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind when Joel realizes he doesn't want to lose all of his memories of Clementine. As he relives one experience with Clementine - I think they're in bed, joking - he begs to save this single memory from deletion.

It's April 16, 2005. I've left the bars early to meet Ali at her place. I'm emptying my pockets, placing my phone, wallet, and keys on the glass dining table. She tells me that Beck just performed on Saturday Night Live. I ask what song he played. She doesn't know the song's title, so she sings the chorus instead.

Joel has his moment, and I have mine: Ali, near the door, half-shrugging, half-dancing, half-singing, "Na-na naa na naa na naaaah!"

We go to bed. She twitches, then falls asleep. I watch terrible comedy featuring Tom Brady, then power off the television and close my eyes.

The Fiery Furnaces - Sweet Spots

I'm in Chicago, the home of The Fiery Furnaces, for a conference.

The Golden Republic - You Almost Had It

I'm playing darts.

The Decemberists - Engine Driver

It's May 26, 2005. I just woke up from a dream, in which I was listening to this song. In said dream, I explained to someone that I used to think The Decemberists suck, but the song had grown on me. It has, in fact, grown on me, despite the fact that I had committed only 2 of the song's lines to memory prior to May 26 - those lines just looped in my dream, but I somehow still enjoyed the tune.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Football, CPR, Lovemaking Furniture

Paul McCartney was last year's Super Bowl halftime performer. The Rolling Stones are this year's entertainment. Next year: the corpse of Buddy Holly. Thanks, Janet Jackson!

* * *

I'm a card-carrying, certified CPR guy. (No big deal.) Anywho, should I not be around when needed, you should know that mouth-to-mouth is less important than chest compressions. It's all in the latest CPR guidelines. 2 breaths per 30 chest compressions. Sure, it will save more lives, but what of the whacky teenage coming-of-age comedies? How will a zany, ugly teen scam a prolonged kiss from the lady lifeguard?

* * *

If you want to know the story behind this photo, you can read all about the Dream Love Chair at its English-language website. Think "Craftmatic Adjustable Bed", but sexier. Note the site points out the chair's usefulness for the overweight and the physically challenged -- not to mention the corpse of Buddy Holly!

Or, if you're feeling daring, you can watch some Japs get it on in the instructional video. [Don't even think about opening the video at work. Found via Gizmodo]

Note the lack of technique on the part of the male - you can't just put your hand there, dude! You've got to move it around! Squeeze! Release! Caress!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

More Search Word Fun

Hats off to the hard-working students at St. Cloud State University.

Question: what Matt Damon film doesn't have latent homosexuality?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Holiday Hiatus

Some questions for you to ponder while I am away for T'sgiving:

If you could sing one song perfectly - if you could be the world's best performer for that particular song - what song would you choose?

If there had never been a movie called King Kong, would you even consider going to see a movie starring Naomi Watts and a giant gorilla? Just read the plot summary from IMDB - what about this makes you think it would be worth your $8+?
Set in the 1930s, this is the story of a group of explorers and documentary filmmakers who travel to the mysterious Skull Island (near Sumatra) to investigate legends of a giant gorilla named Kong. Once there, they discover that King Kong is a real creature, living in a massive jungle where creatures from prehistoric times have been protected and hidden for millions of years. As the explorers search for the great ape, their quest puts them up against both Kong and his dinosaur enemies. Ultimately, it is the attention of a beautiful human woman that soothes Kong long enough for him to be subdued by the explorers and shipped back to New York, where his bleak future involves being put on display in front of humans... but how long can even the mightiest shackles of man hold back an ape 25 feet tall?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Commune, Feel The Noise

It could work. There's no reason it couldn't. Lots of people don't have jobs.

Housewives (remember back before the Teri Hatcher resurgence when we had to call them "homemakers"?) don't have jobs. That is, they usually don't bring in much income. They do things around the house and they care for a child or two.

This could work, because I don't even have a kid. Or two. I just have me. And my peers - they only have themselves, too.

There's a lot of math involved. Sometimes, I miss math. Assigned equations to solve, little puzzles.

Letterman once interviewed someone - the (moviestar?) was once responsible for sacking groceries, as was Letterman. Letterman enjoyed the work. "Every bag is like a puzzle," he said. His guest was less enthusiastic.

So, math. Let's say there is a house full of five of us. Families of five are all over the place - the difference here is that we're all adults. But let's say the house exists, it's roomy, and we are in it. There is a mortgage. We all have enough space. Five of us. Professionals.

Five professionals, living together, utilities shared, mortgage shared.

If all five professionals were employed, the house would have significant income. I make about $40 K right now. Math says the five of us would pull in about $200K.

Here's the trick - if only four of us were employed, the house would still make $160 K, and one lucky individual could sit around in his/her boxers all day.

We'd work in shifts. You work for a year, maybe two, pay your dues, then you take a year off, you play with the house money like a teenager with an allowance. Maybe after that year (when you travel, you spend time with your dog, etc.) expires, you go back to the same job. Or maybe you spent your year off learning a new trade, and you decide that you want to take a job in that line of work. No sweat. Just get back to making some scratch so your housemate can relax.

There are some problems. By now you've noticed that this reeks of socialism/communism, and you might want to point out that such isms have a spectacular rate of failure/tragedy. Fair enough. You might also point out that that "allowance" for an adult would be much higher than for a child. Health insurance and the like. And who gets to take a year off now? Who has to wait a few more years?

These are hard questions to answer. Harder than working every day for the next 40 years? Probably not. Let me know when you want to move in together.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Tornado Slide Circa 1996

[Every day, I thank God that blogs didn't exist in my youth. I shudder to think of the things I would have published...actually, I know exactly the kind of things I would have published. Below is a typical post from my high school days.]

i fear that i am ordinary, just like everyone
to lie here and die among the sorrows
adrift among the days
for everything i ever said
and everything i've ever done is gone and dead
as all things must surely have to end
and great loves will one day have to part
i know that i am meant for this world
my life has been extraordinary
blessed and cursed and won
time heals but i'm forever broken
by and by the way...
have you ever heard the words
i'm singing in these song?
it's for the girl i've loved all along
can a taste of love be so wrong
as all things must surely have to end
and great loves will one day have to part
i know that i am meant for this world
and in my mind as i was floating
far above the clouds
some children laughed i'd fall for certain
for thinking that i'd last forever
but i knew exactly where i was
and i knew the meaning of it all
and i knew the the distance to the sun
and i knew the echo that is love
and i knew the secrets in your spires
and i knew the emptiness of youth
and i knew the solitude of heart
and i knew the murmurs of the soul
and the world is drawn into your hands
and the world is etched upon your heart
and the world so hard to understand
is world you can't live without
and i knew the silence of the world

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What A Post Looks Like Before It's Edited

best food per shape

hexagonal polygon: oyster crackers
sphere: cheese balls (puffed kind or the kind you spread on crackers), chocolate orange, not gumball
cube: Jell-O shouldn't count, nor should cheese - caramels?
rectangular polygon: starburst, candy bars (uneven bars like Snickers disqualified?)
oval: not cadbury eggs
pyramid: toblerone comes close, but not quite a pyramid. ditto Hershey's Kisses.
disc: M&M beats Skittles, Spree, etc.

Monday, November 14, 2005


The ladies hate it when you don't come to the party.

A smattering of photos can be found on my Flickr account.

Found: a woman's black hat (66% acrylic, 18% nylon, 16% wool), one pair earrings (metal looking, spiral design)

Thanks for attending.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Meat Marketing

Matt drove up for the party.

"I saw this billboard for beef - you know, 'Beef: It's what's for dinner.' But if you take out the contractions, it's saying 'Beef: It is what is for dinner.' That's stupid. It should just be, 'Beef. Dinner.'"

Pork is the other white meat. Beef is dinner. But there isn't a slogan for chicken. What gives, National Chicken Council? Think of a catchphrase already.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Crappy Crafts

I was in Concordia, Kansas for work on Thursday - I wandered around this Methodist church's classrooms, including one room called the Craft Zone. This season's project seems to be nativity scenes made from clothespins. Here's what it's supposed to look like, and here is what happens when the less-than-gifted kids try to make their own.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Barely Legal Advice

Could one of you lawyer-types could let me know if I should contact the authorities about this particular website visitor?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Hershey's Hypothesis

Hershey's Miniatures have been available since 1939; the tiny candy bars always disappear in a nonrandom order.

1. Krackel. These chocolate and crisped rice treats are the first to be eaten, and for good reason - they are unquestionably the cream of the crop. Delicious.

2. Milk Chocolate. If Hershey's Miniatures are neapolitan ice cream, the milk chocolate bar is the vanilla. Despite being so plain that it isn't even provided with a catchy name, the milk chocolate bar is next in line to the Miniatures throne. Baffling.

3. Mr. Goodbar. People love Snickers, the best-selling candy bar that is Packed With Peanuts (TM). The reaction to Mr. Goodbar is less enthusiastic. Perhaps we don't appreciate its moral superiority. Or maybe, just maybe, Mr. Goodbar kind of sucks, because the peanuts dry out the whole experience and make you really thirsty.

4. Special Dark. The darkest are picked last - like a pickup game of hoops, but the opposite. Women seem especially opposed to these treats, preferring white chocolate instead. Are they racist? Probably. Nomenclature may play a factor -- calling oneself "Special" rarely scores popularity points. But I'm down with the brown. Good, and good for you. Kind of.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Teen Wolf Talk

Phil and I read "Covering Teen Wolf: One Coach's Guide" on Friday, and spent the rest of the day emailing about the issues it raises:

ME: I always thought Teen Wolf's dribbling skill left much to be desired. Same with his face.

PHIL: Teen Wolf. Man, what a punk. I disagree with that coach's assessment, I think a box and one defense would work.

ME: If the Kate Beckinsdale vehicle Underworld taught me anything, it's that a blood feud between the vampires and werewolves has raged for centuries, and it won't stop anytime soon. Your box & one had better include a vampire manning up with Teen Wolf; or, preferably, an entire team of vampires. Or that kid from Hoosiers.

PHIL: Dan, let's get one thing straight. Vampires hate bright lights. Basketball games in gymnasiums require bright lights. It's just not something you can do. However, what about recruiting other werewolves? Is Teen Wolf the only one? If not, is he the only werewolf that has eligibility? Seriously..

ME: Actually, IMDB tells me that there was another Teen Wolf - Teen Wolf Too. The deuce was aptly protrayed by Arrested Development's Jason Bateman - his character was the original Teen Wolf's cousin. Teen Wolf Too is on a college scholarship, so his eligibility is up. Still, it's clear that the werewolf gene obeys simple Mendelian genetics -- so yes, another werewolf must be out there that could guard Teen Wolf. Much like the Civil War, it would pit brother against brother (or distant relative against distant relative).

And if I might squabble with you on the issue of bright lights...yes, vampires hate bright lights. But more than they hate werewolves? Hardly. So long as the game is not played in sunlight, I see no problem fielding a team comprised of bloodthirsty, fanged, godless, immortal beasts.

PHIL: Not having seen Teen Wolf Too, I have to ask, did this "Bateman" werewolf attend the same school as Michael J. Fox's Teen Wolf? If so, do the Beavers have some sort of edge in recruiting werewolves much like the Yankees and Cubans? Or, is it just that all the werewolves live in the same part of town thus requiring them to attend the local high school.

Back to the vampires, who are you kidding. Them have all that clothing, the cape, amulet, etc. There's no way they could "d-up" on a werewolf. Nice try.

ME: You know, it's hard to say what high school TWToo attended. IMDB only gives me so much of the plot outline. I can tell you that the original TW's tagline was, "He always wanted to be special... but he never expected this!", while the sequel's was, "High school was easy. But college is a whole different ANIMAL."

And did you know that TWToo is ranked in IMDB's bottom 100 movies? It's the 67th worst movie on the list. That poor ranking would hurt anyone, including the abnormally thick-skinned werewolf that is the subject of such derision.

Oh, and if you like TWToo, IMDB recommends you watch the original Teen Wolf. Like Teen Wolf? IMDB recommends you watch Fat Albert, starring Keenan Thompson.

, , ,

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I Wish I Was Taller

I'm pooped from all my time in the darkroom this week, so today I just want to pass along this awesomeness: an anti New Yorker caption contest, where folks try to come up with the least clever caption possible. Be sure to check out the reader comments - my favorite is "This is wholly unacceptable."

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

All Hallows Images

I've uploaded all of the hilarity and tragedy from Monday's halloween excursion to my flickr account. You'll want to click on each photo individually (or use the "next" link on the right side of the screen) so you can read my hilarious and tragic witticisms.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Feel the Illinoise. And Indianoise. And Ohioise.

This was last night's group costume. Congrats and thanks to Gav for his efforts in creating these costumes. To scale.

Incorrect guesses from last night (Gav and Floyd, correct me if I'm wrong): red states, swing states, bullseye targets, Alaska, Utah, Idaho (2), California, Texas (4), Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, New York.

I'm going to catch up on sleep tonight, so the rest of the Halloween pics won't be posted until late tomorrow.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

See Straight

I met a gay male and his female friend last night in line for the restroom. Each decided that I was not gay, but each came to that judgement in a different way.

At the right, you see a photograph of how I looked last night (sans shoes). I invite you to guess why the female said I was straight, and also guess how the male knew I was heterosexual.

Hint: One answer is an item of clothing, one is not.

Readers that were with me at the bar last night are not eligible to guess. The correct answers will be posted in the comments in 48 hours or so.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Other Archives - Dawson's Freak On

I'm out of it tonight. So here's an old e-mail I sent Heather:

Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2005 10:24 AM
To: Heather
Subject: RE: oops

I'm sick today. I'm watching Dawson's Creek. I would bang every chick on this show. Big time.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Text Dump

Time to delete my old text messages:

10:03 AM
Finger bang any sluts this weekend

4:10 PM
I smell your fuckpit

2:32 PM
Wanna finger me for a little while

1:16 AM
So horny...So hard...So lonely...I miss your touch

10:12 AM

10:08 AM
If you meet a guy that wants to beat you up don't keep calling him hero cause he hates that

12:15 AM
I was inspecting my penis today and noticed the throbbing vein running down the top is exactly the same shape as the amazon as seen from space

12:19 AM
Have you ever jerked off to a picture of hitler

10:02 AM
Okay did I ever tell you that I don't believe in dinosaurs

9:40 PM
Wanna make fuck

4:25 PM
Inspect any poo today ha ha you work with shit

8:43 PM
go to

7:51 AM
I'm in chicago taking a shit

9:36 AM
I just saw the hottest girl ever followed by the fattest girl ever

5:03 PM
I want to make fuck to you.

10:10 AM
Hey did you bang any hairy cunt this weekend?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

When You Can't Hit The Jackpot

Jackpot Saloon has apparently decided to end their Monday night karaoke, banishing mediocre talent to Duffy's, a bar inside an Econolodge that used to be a Ramada. But you know what? There's something to be said for Duffy's.

1.> They've got a wacky martini list (here's me drinking an oh-so metro $3.00 "Anastasia martini").

2.> They've got a red neon sign that says "Duffy's"

3.> No one will see you make an ass of yourself.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Wedding Weekend

It was a wild night Friday - not because of our activites in Westport (I lost this time), but because Chicago had one too many Ketel One drinks. As I (and Jeff and Heather and Kim...) know from experience, Ketel One will cause both vomiting and memory loss. When he finally passed out on the couch, I tucked into my sleeping bag and experienced two disturbing dreams.

1. Kevin Federline impregnates Mandy Moore. No graphic scenes in this dream, but the very fact Captain Jerkoff made it into my subconscious was troublesome. Oh, and if my dream was any indication, you'd better pray to your God that he doesn't knock up another woman, because the media coverage will be unbearable.

2. It involved HIV / AIDS and an odd retroviral therapy wherein the patient inserts beads into his ass.

Saturday I bought a camera, which I used at that night's wedding. Interested parties can view the photos at my Flickr account. (Each photo has an explanatory comment.)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Wake Up

Lately (as in, for the past month or so), I've been waking up a few minutes before my alarm sounds. This morning, seconds after gaining consciousness, my brain tried to comprehend the man it occupies.

BRAIN VOICE #1: Maybe he just prefers to wake up before the alarm.

BRAIN VOICE #2: But I am him.

BRAIN VOICE #1: (...)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Child Left Behind

I found this poster on my business trip to western Kansas a few weeks back. It seems to be a homework assignment comparing the gods of Greek mythology to modern day humans. If you look closely (go ahead and click on the photo to enlarge's TOTALLY worth it), you'll see that the child scored 30 out of 30 points for "writing" as well as a perfect 30 for 30 for "drawing".

I assume that either the child or the teacher is retarded, because there is no way a mentally competent individual could consider this poster to be a flawless project. Osama Bin Laden has three words in his name, and the child only spelled one correctly. And it's Brockovich. And Hussein. Mahumade Ali? Is it Athena or Athen, kid - make up your mind! Zeus or Zues? Care to buy an "E" for "quarrelsom"? HOW THE FUCK DID THIS KID SCORE PERFECTLY ON THE WRITING PORTION OF THE POSTER??

Since when is Poseidon (the kid spells Zeus wrong but nails Poseidon?) a trident? Doesn't he HOLD a trident? Does Hermes wear winged shoes or IS he winged shoes? Hey teach - I'm no Bob Ross, but aren't these photos of famous people...uh...NOT DRAWINGS?

What messages did the great Cassius Clay deliver, exactly? "Sting like a bee?" I know he spoke out against the war - are those the "messages" you're talking about? Is that really the best parallel to make with Hermes? Is that even the best ATHLETE to compare to Hades? Is that even the best character portrayed by Will Smith to compare to Hades?

This work is Wiggumesque. Clearly no help from the parents.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Horsing Around

You can learn a lot from your friends in the Peace Corps:
In the rural parts of Panama it is pretty common that young boys or even adult men will have sex with female horses, pigs, dogs, or goats. Why? Because masturbation is really taboo in these areas, so instead they experiment with animals. Well, my astonishment and curiosity as to the mechanics of having sex with a female horse led me to have a conversation with my good friend...She explained to me that they tie the horse’s head to a post, then tie the front and the back legs together so she lays down, and that is how it works. I guess every culture has its quirks.
And I say that to say this:
Cal: Oh, man, I had a weekend.
Andy: Yeah?
Cal: We went to Tijuana, Mexico, you know? And we thought it would be fun, you know, to go to a show. Everybody says you gotta check out one of these shows. And... it's a woman fuckin' a horse. We get there and we think it's gonna be awesome and... it is not as cool as it sounds like it's gonna be. It's kinda gross.
Andy: Yeah.
Cal: You think "A woman fuckin' a horse" and you get there and... it's a woman fucking a horse.
Andy: Yeah.
Cal: It was really giving it to her. And you know what? To be honest I just felt bad for her, we all just felt bad for her.
Andy: Yeah.
Cal: I kinda felt bad for the horse!
Andy: Wow, that's something.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Let's all take one last look at Ms. Dunst. It's our final chance to enjoy Kirsten before Elizabethtown pollutes her. I'm telling you, we're going to find this movie veeeeeeeeerrry average.

[via again]

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

That Makes Me A Sad Panda

As this e-mail exchanges illustrates, our panda-themed Halloween costume idea has been axed. Without an electric sign flashing "PANDAMONIUM!!!", it's not worth the effort.
From: dn
Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2005 8:11 PM

I'm looking for a scrolling LED sign I can wear around my neck. The belt buckle LEDs are too small for my purposes. Please let me know if any of your larger LED signs in stock run on batteries.

Thank you for your help!

To: dn
Date: 3Sep05 12:39pm

Sorry we do not carry anything like that.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Sexy? Yes. Alive? Yes.

Jessica Biel was named "sexiest woman alive" by Esquire magazine.

I am reminded of a conversation Phil and I had during our radio programme days - we were discussing the sexiness of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, back when people bothered to debate such things.

"When I see Britney," Phil said, "I think, 'Wow. She's it. Untouchable.' But when I see Xtina, I think, 'Yeah, I could take her home. No problem.'"

Now, I'm not saying Jessica Biel is unattractive. I'm also not saying that I could hit that. But when it comes to the sexiest woman alive, the thought shouldn't even cross my mind.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Order Out

From this point forward, I will never order the following dishes when dining out, because they never meet my delicious expectations:

Biscuits and gravy
Chicken fried steak
Onion rings / Awesome Blossom variants
Tuna salad / chicken salad

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Off the Road

Apologies for the very late ThursDunst. I have only just returned from my westward trek. My hair is unsatisfactory - the Hays Super 8 has cut corners since my last stay, and there was no miniature bottle of shampoo in my shower. They do still provide the tiny, wrapped bar of soap. Why are the soaps that size? Shouldn't they be even smaller? Have you ever stayed in a hotel long enough to use that entire bar? Ever wonder what they do with those little soaps? I like to think they're recycled - thrown on a pile, melted down, poured into mold, shipped back out to the world's motels.

The trip was otherwise ordinary. I pushed through a lot of Tender is the Night:
One writes of scars healed, a loose parallel to the pathology of the skin, but there is no such thing in the life of an individual. There are open wounds, shrunk sometimes to the size of a pin-prick but wounds still. The marks of suffering are more comparable to the loss of a finger, or of the sight of an eye. We may not miss them, either, for one minute in a year, but if we should there is nothing to be done about it.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Mayans' Ruin?

Damn the work that requires me to drive 5.5 hours across Kansas to a Comfort Inn. Damn the society that places the hotel on a highway, across the street from a Burger King, but doesn't build the sidewalks or crosswalks that would allow me to get a Whopper without the aid of a rented automobile. Damn the society that triggers, "Uh that going to be enough to fill me up?" after I order a double Whopper with cheese, and damn the brain that tacks on the small order of onion rings.

On the bright side, it looks like it may have finally happened. Someone at the City of Wichita googled "Carlos Mayans". Did the mayor google himself, only to find that his attempt to cheat at basketball did not go unnoticed? Or did a curious employee search for information on his/her boss, only to learn the shocking truth?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I Like Your Blog!

The comment spam is now appearing in old posts as well as the new ones - there were over 20 this weekend. In response, I've implemented word verfication. Now, posting a comment will be kind of like ordering from Ticketmaster, only with a slightly lower surcharge. Obviously, I'm not trying to discourage reader comments, just the ones from people who seem to put a lot of faith in a very faulty advertising method.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

BacheLAN Party

At 8:30 pm Friday, I walked into Tanner's apartment. The groom and the gang were already there, playing a first-person shooter.

"Did you bring your laptop?" Blaine asked.
"I thought you were kidding."

I played for a few minutes - to my horror, I realized that it wasn't Quake, a game this group played religiously in 1998, in the dorms, every evening after enjoying a meal at the Kramer Dining Center. Tired of being shot to death, I quit and watched The Soup.

That show is hilarious.

It wasn't all hard-core gaming - we managed to go out in Westport and interact with other humans. At Harpo's, for example, we talked to our waitress. And we played that game where you try to throw a football through a hole - like Pop-A-Shot but for football. Blaine and I tired of the traditional gameplay, so we made a rule that you had to throw a play-action pass. This meant that you grabbed the ball from the machine, sprinted back 7 yards toward the now annoyed table of four (play-actioning along the way), turned, and launched a spiral toward the target. I won.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


By popular demand...

Thoughts on the outfit?

This Is The World We Live In

As previously discussed, it's my job to inform you of the latest Genesis/Phil Collins news. Today's alert comes via Stereogum: Disturbed has covered "Land of Confusion". Stereogum has the mp3 (and the dialogue from the related scene in American Psycho), so I downloaded and listened.

Let's just say I didn't make it to the end of the song, and it's now resting in the ol' recycle bin.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Anthropomorphic Genitalia

I don't have anything to say tonight, but there is good news.

You can watch a video that features a talking penis (voiced by Amy Sedaris).

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Other Archives - Love Song

Excerpt of an old e-mail Paul sent:
as for the cure lyric that i stole, i'm going to have to first give some background on the situation. this freshman girl who i had been seeing for like 2 weeks was over one night and she was in a really bad mood. it was fairly early in the school year, and she was really homesick. so, being the consolation type of guy that i am, i was telling her that alot of people get homesick. in my mind, i was really thinking "how can anyone be homesick? college is the best situation you'll ever have." then, the following dialogue occurred, as best as i can remember:

Her: "Do you ever get homesick?"
Me: (Lying like there's no tomorrow) "Sometimes."
Her: "What makes you feel better?"
Me: "You, because when i'm with you, it makes me feel like i'm home again."

when i told my friends the next day, they almost couldn't believe that i had stooped that low. since then, i've tried to decide if it's more pathetic that i used that line or that she went for it. also, i find it amazing that i was able to get that out without laughing.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Creepo Deluxe

Yahoo Personals Guy: what's your fucking deal?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Make Me Sick

Tornado Slide took a sick day yesterday, just like its creator!

As a young adult, I used to get sick about once per year. Since 2005 rolled over, I've been sick at least thrice. I guess that means the immunosuppressive drugs are working. Hooray!

Once, when I was a wee child in grade school, my mother decided I was too sick to attend class. I threw an epic tantrum, throwing my pillow about my bedroom, and screaming (this quote I recall verbatim), "I WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL BUT SHE WON'T LET ME!!!"

If you'd like more proof regarding my "odd child" status, you can ask me about the days I spent revering a Christmas card that told the story of the Little Drummer Boy.

Rum pa pum pum

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

They're Breakdance Fighting!

The Dynamic Steppers, a local drill team, was practicing routines at McAdams Park near 13th and I-135 on Saturday night when members of another drill team, the White Tigers, showed up and challenged the others to what was described as a "dance-off," police said.

I don't want to ruin it for you, but there's a box cutter involved.

On the bright side, this gives me the perfect excuse to put up another photo of Ms. Dunst.

[Jesus. I just spent 30 minutes looking for a suitable screen shot of Kirsten in a cheerleading uniform, and all I've found is crap. I feel empty inside.]

[9/21 UPDATE! After more searching, I've settled on this picture from Wimbledon, a Dunst film I have never seen. I'm still angry that they didn't title the picture Love, Love.]

Monday, September 19, 2005

My Nappy Roots

I was soooo tired from the wedding weekend that I took a nap yesterday afternoon. It was my first nap in a long, long time. Today I tried to remember precisely when I last took a nap. My best guess: Summer, 2000.

Did I set some sort of record?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Wedding Bliss

Brian and Kelly,

Thanks for the fun wedding weekend. Please note that I neglected to attach a card to my gift - mine is the iron and the toothpick dispenser. The gift receipt for the iron is included. I'm afraid you're stuck with the toothpick dispenser.

Jack Serpentine,

Thanks for laughing at the following exchange:

BRIDESMAID: "C'mon! You have to come dance!"

ME: "Well, okay...but I'm going to grind on you pretty hard."

Other bridesmaid,

Thanks for letting me know that your mom thinks I'm "adorable". Again, I'm sorry if my inquiry re: her marital status was offensive.


Thanks for your help in getting me drunk. You have a gift.

Dave, Dustin, Curtis, Ashley, et al,

Thanks for the Neil Diamond tribute show. You guys nailed it. I'm still reeling. Can't wait for the next one.

Other Brian,

Thanks for driving. It took 26 years, but we finally experienced a time when I was less sober than you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Until Monday

Bachelor party and wedding this weekend - no new posts until it's all over. V has a more detailed explanation.

While I'm away, let's comment about Reese Witherspoon. It's the best topic I can come up with, because she's on Letterman as I type. I'm just looking around the room. I love lamp.

I find Reese's appearance alternatively adorable and terrifying. It's not nearly as bad as the Drew Barrymore level of hot and cold, but it's there. For me, anyway.

On the last day of seventh grade, we watched The Man in the Moon on VHS. Sam Waterson and Jason London also star. It's pretty dope. Classic coming-of-age tale.

My favorite Reese movie is Election. My favorite quote from that movie is, "Shit, that was a fun party!" uttered by the otherwise hated, narrating Chris Klein.

My friend Pete once returned from a screening of Cruel Intentions at the KSU student union in a poor mood, as the movie does not show tit one.

One night Steph and I had grand, cultured plans to see Waking Life at the indie theater in Minneapolis, but we ended up going to see Legally Blonde at the second-run, dollar theater across the street from her place.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Rabbit Fever (Also Known As Tularemia)

Fred Weber checks out a rabbit at the rabbit barn at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, Friday. Weber, who is superintendent of the rabbit show, has worked with rabbits at the fair for 50 years.

When I saw this in the Topeka newspaper today, I thought, "That man looks exactly like someone that has superintendend rabbits for fifty years."

* * *

Gizmodo is easily my favorite Gawker website. Visiting Gizmodo is like going to The Sharper Image or Brookstone, only you don't have to weave through a dozen kids fighting over a chance to sit in the vibrating chairs. Gizmodo will tell you all about crazy crap, attractive crap, and crap that you secretly wish you had. It will also tell you what the iPod has in common with a bathtub.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Show Me The Way

Three years ago, if you'd told me that I would be explaining the history of Peter Frampton's voice box (and his resultant, deserved spot in rock history) on my drive home from work to a middle-aged, Jew-Catholic convert that shares my carpool, I don't know if I'd believe you. Moreover, I don't know if I'd want to kill myself or not.

And I still don't.

[On a side note, one of my favorite moments from Arrested Development's second season was when Gob recorded an album with his controversial black puppet, Franklin. The album was called "Franklin Comes Alive", and the cover art mimicked "Frampton Comes Alive" with hilarious results.]

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Too True, Twain

"That's one of the only things that I disagree with Mark Twain on."
--guy at Vermont Street BBQ last Monday, talking golf with his buddy

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Goofy Glam

I hate these things.

It's an odd fashion statement to make. If you look better with sunglasses that take up half of your face, it's probably a bad sign.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Little Trouble In Big China

Driving home today, I saw a guy driving a Toyota Prius with flames on the side. And you thought the previous two posts were about pussies. (rimshot)

I think we all miss Matt and his hilarious text messages. As a public service, I pass on some of his messages from China. Note that Matt has not given me permission, but he's in China, so what's he gonna do about it?
Saturday, September 3rd

I have been in Shanghai for about two days now. There is a new Australian girl in my room. Not sure about her yet, she was sleeping. An old lady yelled at me when I came into the room at 7:30 PM and turned on the light. I guess I didn't think anyone who would pay a shitload of money to come to China would go to bed at fucking 7:30. But then again, she is old. Met up with a British guy last night and had a couple pints of beer called Suntory. Its good. Not great. Thought you would like to know, for lunch I ate a peach. A peach as big as three of my fists. Remember that time I stuck three of my fists up your ass. Sounds impossible due to the fact that I only have two fists but as I recall you really fucking liked it, you dirty whore. Okay, I will write to you later.

Sunday, September 4th

Forgive poor spelling and grammar. I am at an Internet bar in the Fuxing district of Shanghai. It is just after midnight. I am with Will, a guy from the Netherlands and Alise (sp ?) from Paris. She is hot. I am fairly certain that Will is gay as I am 100% sure that we just left a gay bar that he said is his favorite and he knows everybody there.

Helpful hints:

1: What are listed "amenities" in the description of a hostel in Shanghai are bullshit unless it means: do not put toilet paper in the toilet as it will block it; security lockers means no security lockers, free internet means 2 RMB per 10 minutes; key card access means a chinese woman will let you into your room if and only if you show her a receipt.

2: What the amenities should say: Free lizards in every room; cheap beer; hot international women, shitty toilets.

Explanation about lizards:

Last night I went out with Will. At one point we had to go back to the hostel so he could take a shit. While there we met Alise and sat on the patio and had a few beers. Later we left, Alise stayed. In the morning I was awoken by Alise, who is also in my room, saying its time to go. This is the conversation as I remember it:

Alise: Matt, wake up.
Me: What?
Alise: Time to go to Pudong.
Me: What?
Alise: There is a lizard on your bed.
Me: Motherfucker! Get it off!
Alise: No.
Me: (after flicking lizard off my bed): Sleep.
Alise: You said you would take me to Pudong.
Me: When?
Alise: Now.
Me: No, when did I say this?
Alise: Last night.
Me: Was I serious?
Alise: Yes.
Me: I'll get up.

So we went to Pudong. Quite a ways from the hostel and not yet to Pudong, Alise says "I'm tired, lets take a break".

Me: No.
Alise: Please.
Me: (Didn't say anything, just gave her a look of disgust).
Alise: Oh look, shoes!!!
Me: You've got to be fucking kidding.

After visiting Pudong Alise needed a nap. Which I was all for. So I spoke with Will and we made plans for tonight. The plans included a really seedy bar with beers that cost about 17 cents and then we moved on to the internet/bar/snackbar place. We are leaving now to go to what is certainly a dirty, dirty bar/whorehouse.

Peace out fuckos


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Hair Down There

Heather and Tall Steph forwarded a NYT article that was relevant to my recent mention of the "landing strip":
"I do full body exams to check for skin cancer, and I can think of almost no female patients who come in with natural pubic hair," said Karyn Grossman, a dermatologist in Santa Monica, Calif., and New York City. "Either they have nothing left, or they have a small patch that is two inches by half an inch, but the trend is toward having it all gone."
I've taken a day to reflect on the subject (read: I tacked on another one or two thoughts about vaginas to my already cooch-heavy mindset) - here's my hard-hitting opinion.

I don't care.


Let's say the snatch fairy jumped out of my fireplace and presented an ultimatum: "Choose your preference, and lo, from now until death, shall ye behold only this type of groomed honey pie." Forced to choose, I'll choose hair. Variety. Keeps things interesting. An unsurprising answer, perhaps, for a man that prefers his orange juice with pulp, but often buys pulp-free juice, too.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Naked Women Dancing For Money

I think there is a reason why I prefer small-breasted strippers. All the dancing, the pole climbing, the gyrating - breasts, like penises, are not meant to be seen flopping about during periods of physical exertion.

I had plenty of time to consider that fact Saturday; I thought about it at the first strip club we visited, and I thought about it at the second.

It was Laura's last night as a server at The Flamingo Club, and she invited us to come by and celebrate the occasion. I thought we were being spoiled when she arranged for us to enter without paying the $10 cover. That thought was confirmed after the club closed, when we were headed to The Outhouse with her, a now-clothed stripper Rachel, and a 30 pack of Coors Light Laura took from the bar.

The case of beer was an important addition to the evening's second leg. The Outhouse is open until 4 a.m., but the liquor stores are not. It's an unfortunate truth, especially considering The Outhouse is a BYOB strip club.

The stripper was an equally important enhancement. It was exciting. I don't love strippers, but I do love the idea of hanging out with strippers. If that seems a little childish or piggish, you'll have to excuse me - I'm a goddamn scientist, and this is exactly the sort of excitement that is not commonly afforded to my kind. This was the first time I had spent time with a stripper that was not Phil's cousin, and I was confident it would not end as that evening had, because there weren't any bass players around for this stripper to fuck.

If The Flamingo is HBO, The Outhouse is MTV. It's small, it's crowded, it's loud, and the sex surrounds you. There's a dancer on the main stage, there's a dancer on the back stage, there's the creepy guy with the microphone, announcing, encouraging. Most overwhelming, there's a dozen half-naked girls milling around on the floor, straddling laps and earning money by the song.

I'm looking at a stripper, I think, in order:

She is (naked, nearly naked).
She is (desirable, not desirable).
Her breasts are (large, small, perky, saggy, round, pointy, etc.).
I wonder how she is groomed.
She is gyrating in a suggestive manner.
This is done to sexually arouse myself and the other males.
It's probably a landing strip - it's usually a little strip.
She will be given money in exchange for our arousal.
This is the product of a capitalist society.
Yeah, there it is - it's a landing strip alright.
This is also the product of biology and instinct.
For one dollar, I could feel her boobs on my face.
My face has touched boobs before.
It was a lot cooler when it didn't cost a dollar.
I'd rather have the dollar, because we live in a capitalist society.

That's not to say that I didn't have a good time. I like girls, and I like dancing, naked girls, and I like watching the crazy pole tricks, and wondering how much practice it would take me to equal their moves. I especially like these things when they occur in the middle of a cornfield on the outskirts of town. I even like being reminded that life is basic, and we're not so evolved, and there are basic urges that need to be addressed for everyone.

But mostly I like the small tits that aren't all wobbly-bobbly.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Update Soon

This post will be replaced with a proper one tomorrow. You'll hear all about the strippers tomorrow.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Toasting The Couple

Every time I empty the dishwasher, I think about marriage.

The plates, the bowls, the forks, the glasses - all of it will have to be replaced, because married couples' dinnerware must match.

I'm headed to two weddings in the next few months. Both couples are in their mid-twenties. All four individuals have been lived on their own for years. Yet, somehow, they need new toasters.

Well, okay...they don't NEED the new toaster, but they placed the new toaster on their respective gift registries. Why? Do they hate their old toasters? Do they need a toaster that symbolizes their union - not your toaster, not my toaster - OUR toaster! The toaster that will feed our children!

These couples don't care about new toasters. They are victims of an outdated idea. Back in the day, when the 18 year-old man would marry the 16 year-old bride, the new couple needed stuff. They needed dinnerware because they didn't have any. They needed a toaster because they hadn't spent the last six years in dorms and apartments.

The age at which we marry has changed, but the gifts haven't. Instead of upgrading their toasters, we should be upgrading their TVs to plasma and their mattresses to that space foam stuff - gifts that the happy couples would much rather receive, gifts I'd much rather give. Of course, purchasing, wrapping and delivering such gifts to the reception would be terribly difficult.

So what's the solution? I don't know, but maybe I'll quit this gift registry game. Future couples can expect my gift to come in the form of a check - it won't be enough money to buy that plasma screen, but hopefully you'll use it for something more exciting and more necessary than a new toaster.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Fire Drill

I read a blog written by a guy named Dan that also likes Gilmore Girls and lives in Minneapolis, my former home. He recently wrote about the items he would rescue from his burning home. ATC breached a similar topic this evening, interviewing a Mississippi resident who couldn't save anything from her home (including her husband's journals, which he had written EVERY DAY since he was a child) before it was destroyed by the hurricane.

It's a topic I've thought about often, dating back to my dorm days in college - the fire alarm there was set off every other week or so, depending on when the rowdy kids decided to set the trash chutes ablaze. In those days, I'd grab my wallet and checkbook, put on a pair of jeans, socks, and shoes before leaving the room.

By the time I was in Minneapolis, the procedure became more complex. This was an apartment building that had honest-to-God fires, not just silly, nuisance pranks. Every time the fire alarm - and old-school, loud-as-hell bell - went off, I really had to rush outside.

I messed up the first time. I took my laptop, wallet, and because it was right in front of me, sitting on the coffee table, my autographed copy of Dave Eggers' You Shall Know Our Velocity.

By the next time the alarm rang, I had decided to save some photos, too. Laptop, wallet, my small photo album...and the autographed book. Hey, it's a good book.

I haven't thought about what to save since I moved into this house and surrounded myself with more possessions. Clearly, I don't have to save this piece of shit laptop anymore, because its new hard drive is blank. I guess I need to get one of those fireproof lockboxes, and throw all my backup disks in there. Do you get the feeling I'm just posting my to-do lists on the internet now? Do you get the feeling I should have saved this as a draft and not posted it? Do you ever wonder why you keep coming back to this website? Or any website? What are you looking for, anyway? Do you think I'm going to have something witty to say? Do you think I'm going to reveal something? Do you hate yourself? Do I hate myself? What am I doing with my life?

I guess I have to save the unique things. The autographed book is unique. My photos are unique - I have two albums now I need to save. There's an assload of notes from old girlfriends in a shoebox in my room, but I'm not going out of my way to save those, just like I'm not going out of my way to get rid of them.

Is that it? I own 3 things that can't be replaced?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Casting Crowe's

I'm a Cameron Crowe fan. How can you not be? He's goofy looking, he's married to one of the chicks from Heart, and he makes great films, from Say Anything to Almost Famous...quality stuff. His latest, Elizabethtown, will be out soon, and I'm worried.

(Quick tangent - "Only in theaters"? Really, Paramount Pictures? We still need to remind the moviegoing public that this film will NOT be a straight to DVD release? It's not an off-broadway show that's making its way across the country on the state fair circuit?)

OK. I've only seen the trailer, and there isn't much to be gleaned from it. Orlando Bloom's father dies, he goes home for the funeral, and meets flight attendant Kirsten Dunst in the process.

Now, I'm not the most frequent flyer around, but I have seen my fair share of flight attendants. Sometimes, when my aircraft isn't being serviced by gay males, the job is done by nice ladies. I can say without hesitation that none have been, or will ever be, confused with Kirsten Dunst.

[Dunst photo taken from Use My Computer]

Has it been so long since you've flown coach, Mr. Crowe? It has? Oh, right, the successful filmmaking and the corresponding income. Right. Fair play. Well, I hope the new movie is good. I'm just saying - Ione Skye was a little more believeable.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Wedding Party

Two parties last night - one was a theme party. An "ordained minister" (she entered her email address into a website) was on hand to "marry" couples every 30 minutes...or at least that's what was supposed to happen. In the end, it was just a party. Most people didn't dress the part, and I only saw about 3 vows exchanged. Pure chaos over at the housing cooperative. Great idea, though.

By the end of the night, back at party #1, we were discussing sex. With sandwiches.

ME: "If you were going to have sex with a sandwich, what sandwich would you choose?"

NICK: "If it's got carmelized onions, I'm going to screw it."

Thursday, August 25, 2005

My Life In Song: Fiona Apple - Tidal

[I couldn't sleep last night. Before I finally made it to dreamland (dream: rain had caused the ground around my house to shift around, and my dad was there, saying we should move the dirt one way, and I wanted to do it a different way, and Ali was going to take a job in Chicago, and I was hosting some sort of family reunion...), I had a thought. What if I connected every song to a memory? Like Nick Hornby's Songbook, but different. How long would that take? Even if it's possible, would that suck? I decided to give it a shot, starting with the first slot on my alphabetically arranged CD tower.]

Fiona Apple - Tidal

*Fiona Apple in general*
When I think of Fiona, I think about an article I read in Spin magazine. She was raped when she was young, and she altered her memory of it - in her mind, the rapist was Jimi Hendrix.

*The album as a whole*
In my sophomore year of college, as I was making out with Jenny in my dorm room, I became very aware of the silence. I can't recall why I was concerned about it. Either I was didn't want others on the floor to hear us, or I didn't want to hear them. Especially Ross. "Bennett! That's money, dude! Money!" he'd say. I decided to play Tidal in my Aiwa three-disc stereo system.

*Sleep to Dream*
Dad always planted potatoes. Or, more exactly, wanted potatoes planted. My brother and I helped, hoed the rows as they grew, and finally dug them up in the summer. One summer, my brother and I were again assigned the task of harvesting the potatoes.

At that time in his life, my brother's routine was:
1:00 p.m. - Wake up, walk upstairs.
1:30 p.m. - Lay towel on living room floor, a few yards from the TV. Place lunch plate on towel. Eat while lying on stomach.
2:00 p.m. - Shower.
2:30 - 5:00 p.m. - Watch TV, read, other low-impact activities.
5:15 p.m. - Leave the house before Dad got home from work.
3:00 a.m. or so - Return home, retreat to basement, sleep.

As you can clearly see, potatoes were not his thing. Even if I was able to convince him to help me bring in the crop, he wasn't available until the scorching heat of mid-afternoon. I chose to dig potatoes myself, in the morning, alone. For several consecutive mornings, I clipped my Memorex personal cassette player to my waist and listened to Tidal play through the headphones. I was careful not to push the shovel too near the plant, keeping the number of accidentally injured potatoes to a minimum. After the initial plunge into the earth, I pushed down on the shovel's handle slightly, then plunged again, then lifted it all out of the ground. Grasping the stem with one hand, I shook it to remove the large clumps of dirt still attached. The individual potatoes were then plucked from the roots, brushed briefly by hand, and tossed into a cardboard box. When I was young, separate bushel baskets were used for small, medium, and large sized potatoes. Working alone, by my own rules, every potato met the same fate, red or white, big or small.

*Sullen Girl*
Shawn and I were roommates for our first semester of college. His CD player loaded from the top, and we had to place a book over the lid to keep it shut. Sometimes, we listened to soft music as we fell asleep (I had the bottom bunk). When we'd choose Fiona, we had to program the CD player to only play the soothing songs. As a result, "Sullen Girl" would play first.

Shawn's high school girlfriend Lori loved this song. I think.

Any connection I had to "Criminal" was immediately and forever replaced when I saw the video on MTV. I didn't have MTV at the time, so my first glimpse was at Brian's house one afternoon. I'll bet I haven't seen this video from start to finish more than three times in my life; from the way it's etched in my memory, it may as well be the Zapruder film.

*Never is a Promise*
One night in 1998, I tricked Anastasia into liking this song. She liked the song - she hated Fiona, and was devastated to find to two were linked. She studied in Prague years later, and I put "Never is a Promise" on her bon voyage CD. In a letter home, she admitted to skipping over the "Fiona Crapple" song.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Ice Cream and Oatmeal

We've just finished our lunch. The topic of conversation is the strawberry jam Deb used on her rye toast. The diner waitress is explaining a unique breakfast dish she sometimes enjoys - it's not on the menu.

"It's a scoop of ice cream, oatmeal, and strawberry jam."

"Is this cooked oatmeal?" I ask, imagining some kind of granola/yogurt pairing.

"No," she laughs, "That's a man question! It's okay, my husband doesn't cook, either."

"Yeah, I guess I'm the freak here. Silly me, trying to clarify your receipe for a rare, ungodly breakfast trifecta (breakfesta?). You're old. Just die already," I don't retort, leaving her tip behind as I walk to the register, pay, and exit.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bears in Mind

Cuter bear: panda or koala?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Keyed Up

Whenever I'm on a sidewalk and walk by/over a grate, I think, "Uh oh. My keys could fall in there."

Even if they're in my pocket, safe.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Working for the Bleak End

I get one point for every year I work for my current employer. Those points are added to my age to determine if I'm eligible to retire. The total number must be 85 or higher if I want to receive a regular retirement check.

If I work for my current employer for 29 more years, I'll have 86 points, meaning I can retire at age 55.

Retiring at 55 sounds excellent, especially for those co-workers who have already passed that age. What sounds less excellent is the other number, 29. Really? Twenty-nine more years? I haven't even been alive that long - it will take another lifetime PLUS three years of work before I can retire.

Of course, there are other things that could happen. I could take a lump sum payment from work's retirement program, getting some money but not the full benefit. And there are other investments to make outside of work, IRAs and funds and such, that could further shrink the retirement age.

We've got it all wrong, though. We need some way to switch the workers and the retired. When I'm old, I won't have much to do, so why not work? I'll be up at 5 in the morning and in bed by dark anyway. Isn't there some way I could take 10 years off now? I'll take 10 years off, spend my days irresponsibly, then work an extra ten years when I'm old, when I'm desperate to get out of the house, away from the wife, etc etc etc.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Back when I was a young undergraduate, I was walking from my car to the movie theater. One teenage girl pointed at me and screeched, "You look just like Shades from That Thing You Do!" Then she and her little friend went on their way. That fall, two freshmen girls that lived in my dorm also decided that I looked like Tom Everett Scott, and even drew a representation of me - a brain wearing sunglasses. I couldn't find a photo of Tom from the movie, but here's a photo of him not wearing a shirt for some reason:

Had Mr. Scott's career gone differently after TTYD (it wasn't that bad of a flick...why was he banished to poorly received television shows, anyway?), I might have been known only as his body double. His C-level status allowed others to think of me as looking similar to other celebrities, such as:

That's right, Mr. Foreman himself, Topher Grace. If I had the personality of say, a '89 Buick Regal, people probably wouldn't have mentioned a resemblance. But, the Foreman kid is sarcastic and funny, and I am too (even moreso on both accounts, truth be told).

It's been some time now since I've heard a Foreman reference. I didn't really like it while it was occurring, but the last two people I was compared to makes me long for those days of Shades and Topher.

Heather recently said I reminded her of the Hank guy from the Starbucks commercial.

Last Friday night in Manhattan, Shawn's friend (black) said I looked like Adam Corolla. "In this light," she qualified. Well, it was dark in Auntie Mae's, but dark enough to transform me into Captain Crank Yankers himself?

Be sure to visit my blog in 2026, when little girls scream at the sight of me and orthodox Jews rip their shirts after catching a glimpse.

"Aaaaaah! It's the very elderly and very ugly Steve Buscemi!"

Monday, August 15, 2005

It's Such a Perfect Day - Part Three

I had a hard time writing part 2 of this "perfect day" story. Why? Because if the beginning of the day was anything like part 1, I wouldn't care what happened the rest of the day. If my morning was like that, I could peel potatoes for the rest of the day and be fine. Still, I wrote the icing on the cake, and that was part 2. Part three seems especially greedy—not only that, but seeing as how there is zero chance of living to see 99% percent of this perfect day, this has been an entirely unhealthy mental exercise.

If I were to write a part 3, I'd go to a concert. It would be held in an indoor, intimate setting that holds about 400 people and lacks seats. All attendees would be cool; nobody would take 800 digital photos, no one would sing really loud in my ear, everybody would jump up and down during the appropriate songs and sing backup and cheer loudly when the lead singer cursed or mentioned our hometown. After the show, my friends and I would go get drinks, and the band would show up and have a few with us, and everyone would ask them intelligent questions about music and they'd share thoughtful answers. (Today, the band would be The Shins, but U2 or Foo Fighters or Tom Petty or etc etc etc would all be somewhat perfect.) They'd give us their private numbers, and the band would play at my wedding or birthday or anytime really, whenever they could swing it, whenever we felt like hanging out again.

I wouldn't get sleepy or look to see what time it was, and I'd feel good but not so good that I get sick or stupid. Leaving the bar at close with the woman I love, we'd run into God at the crosswalk. There'd be a little small talk at first—turns out He absolutely hates that "Footprints in the Sand" poem-thingy—and then we'd get into a little deeper conversation, how He pulled off X, Y, and Z, what were actually miracles and what actually weren't. Eventually, I wonder how to bring up the subject, and I finally just say, "Hey, what the fuck, man?" as I gesture toward our surroundings.

The Almighty then gives a shrug of His shoulders, shakes His head and says, "Yeah, man. I don't know what to tell you. I'm sorry about all this. But you worry too much, you know? You worry you're using too much water to wash a couple of pots! You're trying to save everything, and hold on to everything, and it's just not feasible. I'm telling you, and I would know, that it's not feasible. What, on Earth, have you seen that would make you thing you could keep things in order, in a nice little package? You can't even write a story about one perfect day, and you expect every day to be perfect?"

"You're a really decent guy, and you mean well, and you're trying. That headbutt you dropped on that dude today? Totally justified. Stop worrying. Living with this woman? Having sex with her? I mean, aren't you 26 years old? You don’t even know how to womanize! Do you really think I'm going to bust your balls for your actions within a committed relationship? You need to relax, Jack!"

We say our goodbyes and walk home, and the woman I love laughs at an inside joke of ours, and we watch some TV and we make love, and we’re both really pleased with the effort. She falls asleep, and then I do.