The Daily Dump

A place where everyone (me) is welcomed to express their opinions openly and honestly. I encourage free thinking, free wheeling, off-the-cuff banter and monetary donations.

Tuesday, May 31

- I had a satisfying day of being mind-numbingly unproductive. There has been an empty yogurt container sitting upside down next to the garbage can since 11:00 this morning as a testament to that.

- What little energy I did have today was spent arguing with the people at sephora.com over an expired promotion code. A sales assistant and I sent four emails back and forth to each other before I realized that I was arguing with a woman about getting a free sample kit probably filled with eye shadow and lip balm. Actually, that’s a lie, I realized that after the second email but still sent two more because at least doing that gave off the appearance of work.

- The Girlfriend was told over the weekend by a trainer at the gym that she has a resting heart rate of 66. She tells everyone she knows that this is indicative of her superior cardiovascular conditioning. I say it’s because she is in a constant state of nearly asleep, proven by the fact that she can fall asleep anywhere in under 5 minutes.

- Most Popular Headline Of The Day: Bush Calls Human Rights Report 'Absurd': Cites large, difficult words as the cause of absurdity. - I somehow forgot to wear a belt today. And when I got into work this morning my fly was unzipped. It's a wonder I got my pants on at all today.

Friday, May 27

Season Finales: Day 2

First – I stumbled across this guy’s blog, and it’s nuts. Absolutely nuts. Read the entry entitled “Pain.” Promise me, all seven of my readers, most of whom I speak to on a daily basis, if I ever sound remotely like this person in my blog, stage an intervention immediately. And if you can, try to make it on that show “Intervention” on A&E. You don’t win any prizes or anything, but it’s always fun to be on TV, as my two friends found out last year.

Now, I think it’s finally time to get to my “Lost” season finale review. I’ve had time to let it sink in, and I think I’m ready to talk about it now.

At first, I wasn’t happy with it. Like sex without cuddling, it left my pleased but wanting more. There was just enough to get the job done, to tie up some lose ends and to open some new doors, and create more than enough suspense for next season. But it was far from perfect. Here are the pros and cons:

Pros:

- It was humorous. The school teacher talking to Hurley about how “there are 40 people on the island and all everyone cares about is their little clic ” is awesome self-commentary on the producer’s part. And of course the obligatory comment about Hurley not losing weight (since even time I talk to my mom about the show she says, “And when is Hurley going to start losing weight!” . . . because that’s the most unbelievable part of the show…). Then the school teacher blows up and no one cares. Great way to drive his ironic point home.

- Good flashbacks. It’s one of the best parts of the show to see the snippets of the characters’ lives before they were on the island. In particular, seeing Jin confronted at the airport by his father-in-law’s mid-western American, mandarin speaking mafia goon and Locke’s ordeal with getting on the airplane.

- Great montage at the end showing all the characters boarding and seated on the plane, them gathering together anonymously after watching them interact on the island for an entire season. Nice way to wrap up – going from the initial crash scene in the first episode to the boarding scene in the last episode.

Cons:

- Way too long. Not that I mind long shows, but it could have housed the same important content in a much shorter episode for a more intense and riveting episode. Way too much time was spent on filler material – people walking through the woods, the group navigating the boat, Charlie and Siad running after the French woman, etc. I like story-telling best when it stays crucial to the plot. Too often this felt like a one-hour episode stretched into a two-hour episode.

- Not enough resolution. Cliffhangers are great. No doubt about it. I don’t want everything told to me (which was another complaint I heard about season finale of “Desperate Housewives”). The raft plot-line was solid. You’re left with that “I can’t imagine how they’re going to get our of that” feeling, which is the foundation of every good cliffhanger. But the hatch plotline, basically what the show has centered around for the past 5 weeks, was downright disappointing. Either make what’s in the hatch more exciting or don’t make it so central to the show. A ladder? I would have been more satisfied if they had found a time capsule from a 1970 high school graduation.

Will I watch it next season? Absolutely. Is it still my favorite show on television? Ask me after “Nip/Tuck” starts this year. (Now THAT was a season finale. I still have it tivo’d from last year so I can watch it again before the first episode this season. 6/22 on FX. Watch it.)

Should I go for three posts in one day? Sure, I think I will. I worked out this morning – I can do anything.

Exercise . . . In the Morning?!

Woke up this morning at 5:00 with The Girlfriend’s knee lovely, beautiful and tender knee in my back and just couldn’t get back to sleep after that. Maybe it was the Kentucky Fried Chicken I inexplicably had for dinner the night before. I don’t know. But instead of laying there until five minutes before the alarm goes off, when I would finally fall back to sleep only to find it impossible to get up when I actually had to, I decided I would get up and go to the gym. The Girlfriend woke up when I got out of bed and we had this sweet conversation:

Her: “What’s the matter?”
Me: “Couldn’t sleep.”
Her: “Did I hog the bed?”
Me: “A little.”
Her: “Oh man.”
Me: “Want to come to the gym with me?”
Her: “Huh? I fell back to sleep already.”

I went over to the gym not even knowing if it was open. Usually, I’m only up this early in the morning when I am going on a vacation somewhere, or I’ve gone back in time 6 years and I’m finishing up an all night bender.

But when I get there, the place is packed. Apparently, a lot of people do this. They’re all “fit” and “healthy” and they purposely wake up early to go to the gym. And the weird part is, they don’t look sad about it. They look genuinely happy to be there. At the time, the only rational explanation was that all of these people had been in deadly situations at some point and had said to God, “God, if you save me I’ll go to the gym every morning for the rest of my life!” and now they’re just happy to be alive.

Turns out, though, that it’s actually kind of cool to be active early in the morning. I start on the treadmill walking, then a light jog. Finally, kick it into a run. At first, I’m forcing myself. My legs are uncoordinated, I’m sweating not from exertion but from the fear that I will trip myself and fall face first on the treadmill and be shot out into the middle of the gym floor. But suddenly I slip into a groove and I’m chugging along with no problem. 6 mph. Throw a little incline in there. 6.5. No problem. More incline. Bring it on. Finally, I’m up to 7mph with a 3% incline. People start taking notice. A small crowd gathers around me. I hear someone whisper the name “Superman.” A woman takes out a poster board sign that says, “Random guy on treadmill rocks my world!” and throws her sports bra at me. I am a running god.

Of course it wasn’t that good, but it was surprisingly not bad. And once I got home I felt great – like I accomplished more before 9:00AM than I accomplish throughout most entire days. Which is precisely why I came into work at 10:00, iced coffee in hand (the symbolic equivalent of of walking in late and giving everyone in the office the middle finger) and promptly started reading the news and writing this. Because I’ve done my work for the day. Bring on the long weekend.

More to come later, including the Amazing Shoe Review!


Pre died before his time. I woke up before mine.

Wednesday, May 25

I'm so tired I could throw up

But that has nothing to do with anything, except for the fact that because I'm so ridiculously tired I won't be writing a long entry today, even though tonight is going to be one of the greatest nights of my life ("Lost" rocks my world . . . twice.)

This is the best thing I've seen in a long time, and Burt Reynold's best performance since Boogie Nights.

The Slap Heard Round Los Angeles

Hilarious.

Tuesday, May 24

Desperate Actresses

Speaking of “Desperate Housewives,” I was watching an episode (OK, three episodes) of MacGyver on Sunday while nursing a slight hangover, and one of the episodes featured Teri Hatcher as the sassy, loveable but ultimately annoying Penny Parker. (If the show was set in 2005, Penny Parker would be played by any young actress staring in a WB sitcom at the moment.)

Then, two episodes later (OK, I watched four episodes), who should appear in the guest start role this episode by the inimitable Mayim Bialik (a.k.a. Blossom), playing “the child whose rich parents are too busy fighting to pick her up from boarding school, so she gets wrapped up in a political assassination plot.”

Now, obviously Teri Hatcher has picked herself up and dusted herself off since her days as Penny Parker, what with those Radio Shack commercials and her turn as Seinfeld’s busty girlfriend with deceptively real breasts. Although this ugly story from her past has come back to haunt her on her imdb message boards:

“In the early 90's my family and I were attending a super soap weekend Softball tournament. We driving down the road and here comes Terri Hatcher running across the street. We slammed on the brakes. She came out of nowhere and it really startled us. She started yelling at us " Watch where you're going you stupid bitches." There were my mother my aunt, my brother(8yrs old), my cousin(7yrs) and myself (11yrs.)in the car she saw us children but it didn't stop her rant. Ever since then my Aunt has hated Terri Hatcher. The rest of the family has let it go.”

Mayim, though, hasn’t had the same luck. After getting notice in a supporting role in Beaches, she starred in the improbably popular sitcom “Blossom.” After that . . . well nothing. Hardly anything you could even consider an attempt to get back into show business. Her imdb page indicates that since “Blossom” went off the air, Mayim has done a handful of voice overs and played “herself” few times. Her latest gig? A guest spot on Kirsty Alley’s show “Fat Actress.” I haven’t seen the episode, but from what I understand her performance consisted of “. . . doing the Blossom dance to the Blossom intro song. She also has sex with one of the regular characters several times (as Mayim) and comments about his lack of size. Her character on the show is both nasty and also rather large.”

So what exactly HAS become of her life? I did some digging:

- She is, in fact, very large now:


She is the unattractive one . . . on the left.

- At a fan’s website, under the section “Mayim is currently…” they have this listed:

1. She is not making Blossom anymore.
2. She is at university studying Marine Biology.

- Mayim did not die of alcohol poisoning in 1997.

- This is the description of her latest movie(Kalamazoo?) from it’s website:

Three women return home for their ten year high school reunion to discover that a time capsule made on graduation night, predicting where everyone would be in ten years’ time, is due to be opened and read aloud at the impending event. Horrified at the thought of their unfulfilled goals being revealed, they embark on a ‘search and destroy’ mission to get their hands on the capsule and chaos ensues! Meanwhile, the spirits of their three deceased grandmothers come down to help to guide the gals through this transitional point in their lives.

What’s the point of all this? I have no idea. But here’s another funny picture.

Quote of the Day:

“There is a british woman here who is actually unattractive to say the least. Yet when she speaks I could search and find a reason to bang her. ‘Wow she really does have nice shoes on.’”

- James, on the undeniable hotness of the British accent

Monday, May 23

Season Finales: Day 1

A few comments on the (some of the) MOST ANTICIPATED SEASON FINALES OF THE YEAR last night on ABC. (This must have killed them to have “Desperate Housewives” on one night and “Lost” on another night. Do you think anyone pointed out that they couldn’t call both those shows “The Most Anticipated Season Finale of the Year?” Maybe the batted around a few idea – like “The Two Most Anticipated Season Finales Of The Year, One On Sunday Night At 9:00pm Eastern Time And The Other On Wednesday At 9:00 Eastern Time!”? or “The Most Anticipated Finale Of The Year On One Night And The Most Looked Forward To Finale Of The Year On Another Night!”? Then they break down into laughter and realize they don’t give a shit because they’re making so much money.)

First there was “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” which was only anticipated in the traditional sense of the word, as in, “Yeah, we anticipated that there would be a season finale at some point, so what?” As with all season finales, this one had to be bigger and better than the other episodes of the season, so there was one big twist this time: They built a house on a piece of vacant land! Vacant land!!!

Personally, I think they should have staged some kind of accident, like Ty getting caught under a bulkhead and the rest of the crew having to design a mechanism to use to get him out, and still stay on schedule to give a deserving family a multi-million dollar home. But instead the producers built a house on a five acre plot of desert land for a Native American family and juiced up the episode with Native American music, dance and tradition.

The surprising thing? Even when the show sucks, it’s still the “Best Reality Television Show That Doesn’t Have To Make Fun Of Itself To Be Good.” “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” used to be up there on the list before they started giving away plasma televisions to guys simply because they kept food until it grew mold and wore pleated pants. After a while, I started having this self-loathing, knowing they would never give me a $2000 leather chair because I used a face wash. At least with “Extreme Makeover” you never get the feeling that you deserve it more than the people who are getting it. It’s the same reason you hate watching a movie with Aston Kutcher in it – because he’s getting paid millions of dollars and you know you could do a better job.

Next there was “Desperate Housewives”, inexplicably the most popular show in America.
This show just doesn’t draw me in. I tried a few times to get wrapped up in it and every time I just forgot that it was on or, during a commercial break in the show, switched over to a horror movie on Showtime and never switched back.

Here’s it's fatal flaw: Is it a comedy or a drama? Neither – it’s a dramedy, and I hate those. That’s not to say that you can’t have comedy and drama in the same show. You definitely can (one of my Top Three shows, “Nip/Tuck," can be very funny), but there has to be a line drawn. A good drama needs to be, first and foremost, a drama. Then it can have some comedy on the side. But it can't work the other way around, which I think is what "Desperate Housewives" is trying to do. Think back to every comedy you’ve ever seen that had a “special episode” that dealt with a dramatic event. Do you remember how much you cringed at it for being so awkward? That’s kind of how I feel when I watch “Desperate Housewives." Not quite funny enough and not quite dramatic enough, they try to walk the line and it ends up being all around uncomfortable. The only show I can think of that pulled off this type of dramedy successfully was “Picket Fences,” and that was because it wasn’t afraid to acknowledge it’s awkwardness and let itself and its characters be weird.

I also dislike the show because it castrates men on a weekly basis. At least "Sex and the City" protrayed men as being good for sex. Here I wouldn't be surprised if their Season 3 gimmick was to replace all the men in the show with 6' talking dildos.

Plus, the most interesting thing that happened in the episode was COMPLETELY overlooked by the end of the show, that being the suspicious black woman and her son who move into the neighborhood. Right away there is the feeling that something isn’t right (besides the collective pang of social consciousness when 10 million viewers realize there hasn’t been a black person on the show yet), and through the last 15 minutes of the show, right up until the final 30 seconds, I kept hoping they would go into that house and see what she was being so secretive about. But they blew it and left it with Teri Hatcher and the “boy with gun,” which was SO anti-dramatic (he’s holding a gun to her and she asks if she can get him a soda?) that I never, ever thought anything extraordinary was going to happen.

Then there was the new hit show “Grey’s Anatomy”, which I haven’t watched before and still haven’t watched. What does it say about a show that can have such hot people, yet still be so uninteresting? Instead, I watched a repeat of "Law and Order: Criminal Intent," which I had seen before but, oddly, I was still lost by the middle of the episode. Is there a more challenging show on TV than "Criminal Intent"? It’s getting to the point where the only reason I watch it anymore is because I feel smart when I try, like the Thursday NY Times crossword puzzle. (OK, Wednesday.)

All in all, it was an uninspiring night of TV. ABC should have called it “The Second Most Anticipated Season Finales, But Only Because There’s Such Crap On Every Other Channel.”

And if I haven’t made it clear before, I am positively giddy about the season finale of “Lost” on Wednesday. This might be the closest I’ve come to that “Christmas When You Were 10” feeling since I officially became an adult. And I've had sex at least 10-15 times since then.

_____________________________

Best news item of the day:

Futa, a lesser panda, is proving a hit at a zoo near Tokyo as it can stand on two legs like a human being for about 10 seconds, an unusual feat for the species, zoo officials said.

Surprisingly, zoo officials did not comment on how the panda obtained the black jumpsuit. But rumors were swirling around the panda pavilion that Futa had become enraged when a janitor referred to him as “lesser” and killed him and now is wearing his jumpsuit as a warning to all other zoo workers.

Friday, May 20

Previewing Fox's Fall Line-up

Seeing how I spend approximately 3 hours a day watching TV (loser) I feel not only qualified, but almost obligated to weigh in on the networks’ new shows for the fall schedule. I mentioned NBC’s dismal ideas the other day, with the government sex toy “The E-Ring” and “Inconceivable,” which should turn out to be the best show on television set entirely in a fertility clinic.

Fox, I am surprised and happy to say, seems to have done a better job. Who would have thought that the innovator of “Cops”, the 10:00 news and the glowing hockey puck would rise to be number one in the coveted 19 to 49 year-old demographic this year?

Fox is taking the risky step of not introducing ANY new reality shows (as opposed to almost every other network channel who have their attorneys working day and night figuring out how close you can come to copying a reality show without breaking the law). They have instead decided to rely on the renewed strength of the hour long drama (“Desperate Housewives,” “Lost,” “The OC”) and to try their hand at a couple of sitcoms, even though history has shown Fox to have the amazing ability take a seemingly good show and either ruin it, cancel it or pound it into obscurity (“Wonderfalls,” “The Family Guy,” “Arrested Development”).

Here are the shows and their descriptions, courtesy of my favorite news source, Yahoo news:

"Prison Break," a drama about a man on death row. His brother is convinced he's innocent and robs a bank to get in the same prison, where he comes armed with an elaborate escape plan.

I think this has great potential. You see the success of a shows like “Lost” and “24” and “Alias”, and the source of that success is intense action and unbeleivably frustrating cliffhangers. Someone is running from someone, something is plotting something, there’s violence and sex and people love it. There is constant action, so the show rarely needs to rely on characters and relationships to get by (Do you really care about anyone other than Jack Bauer on “24”? Really?)

Then of course there’s the Oz-like possibilities. The bottom line is people love the taboo of life in jail. If they aren’t afraid to be edgy, this could be the best thing the show has going for it. If they, instead, try to focus too much on this guy’s innocence and no one really cares if he’s innocent or not, audiences will lose interest before the first anal sex threat is even made.

Key to success: A great escape plan. We’re talking like Shawshank Redemption great. A long, drawn out, smart escape plan.

"Bones," a sort of "CSI" for REALLY dead people, is a drama about a team of forensic anthropologists who study bones to solve crimes.

Is it just me or is the fascination with anything forensic just completely blown out of proportion? The entertainment companies seem to think that the general public is OVERWHELMED by the practice of identifying a body by a piece of hair left behind at a crime scene. Now this? What’s next? “Odor”? A show devoted to catching criminals by the scent they leave behind?

Key to Success: Strong characters and good plot ideas; not just bones.

"Head Cases" stars Chris O'Donnell as a lawyer who gets kicked out by his wife and suffers a nervous breakdown. He meets Rachel Leigh Cook to help him get on his feet again.

The show would have no chance if Rachel Leigh Cook wasn’t in it. I’ve been wondering recently (basically right after I read her name) what has happened to her in the entertainment world. If she can make Freddy Prince Jr. tolerable for a feature length film, she might be able ot make this show watchable.

And Chris O’Donnell is no slouch either. He’s probably the second most famous O’Donnell, right after Rosie. Remember the movie with all the women in wedding dresses chasing him? Remember?

It’s a tired premise of “man on the rebound meeting a girl,” but people will watch.

Key to success: Tightness of Rachel Leigh Cook’s outfits.

"Reunion," sort of the inverse of "24," the series follows six friends over the course of 20 years. Each episode is set in a different year.

I hardly have an opinion on this one without knowing who’s in it or, more importantly, what they look like. And I’m not motivated enough to go look it upon the internet either. But I will say this: unless these friends have had some VERY interesting lives, no time gimmick is going to make it watchable.

Key to success: T & A, good back-story.

"The Gate," set in San Francisco, is a drama about a detective in the police department's deviant crime unit.

As a steadfast fan of “Law and Order: SVU” (aka “Law and Order: Rape”), I must say that the “deviant crime unit” is a good place to troll for plot lines. But what show set anywhere other than New York has survived? Can you really make us believe that there are some awful, twisted crimes taking place in the home of Rice a Roni? When I think of San Francisco, I think of trolley cars and good chardonnays, not sadism and molestation.

Key to success: Not showing a trolley car in between scenes.

"The War at Home" is a comedy about once-rebellious parents of now-rebellious kids.

How does this work? Do the parents sit around talking about how they used to sneak out of the house, drop acid and loot burning buildings, only to find in the next scene their children climbing out the bedroom while one says, “Dude, I see pink elephants. Is that smoke I smell? Let’s go!” (Falls out the window – cue laugh track.)

Needless to say, I’m incredulous. Shows like this rarely survive, mainly because it’s not 1989 anymore and no one cares about charismatic kids like they did in “Family Ties” and “Growing Pains.” “Everybody Loves Raymond” was an adult comedy that happened to have a few kids in it. Most episodes, you would think their kids could be out playing with electrical wires and they wouldn’t notice. In “Friends,” “Seinfeld” and “Frasier” kids were jokes, not people. I just don’t see it happening.

Key to success: Funny kids, avoiding tired parent/children storylines.

"Kitchen Confidential" is a comedy about a once-hot cook stuck slinging pasta at a restaurant chain because of his boozing lifestyle. He's given one chance at a job at a top restaurant but has 48 hours to impress 300 people — including the food critic at The New York Times, a jilted ex.

Is this the first episode, or is this an actual series? Do they film it in real-time, like 24? Will the last episode of the season be called “Finally Serving The Meal?” And what the hell is so “confidential” about it?

Things I can guarantee:

1. a plate of food will be dropped in someone’s lap.

2. the chef will come in late for work, drunk, and spill sauce on someone in the kitchen.

3. someone will get burned on the oven and, in turn, knock food out of someone’s hands splattering it all over them.

Basically, this show will rely on food being spilled.

Keys to success: Naked women and live-action gun fire.

Wednesday, May 18

Best of Wednesday

Best Reason to Be Excited It’s Wednesday

New episode of Lost tonight. The French woman comes back, as do the “Others." Nothing funny about this one. Just truth.

Best Reason to Be Scared For Your Children’s Future

Courtesy of James (the painter).

"Another Air Force space program, nicknamed Rods From God, aims to hurl cylinders of tungsten, titanium or uranium from the edge of space to destroy targets on the ground, striking at speeds of about 7,200 miles an hour with the force of a small nuclear weapon."

It’s as though the Air Force sat down and said, “Listen, we need some really cool stuff. Something that incorporates space and explosions. And it has to have a cool name, one that preferably rhymes. We’ll worry about how unbelievably ludicrous and perilous the idea is later on.”

Biggest Tease

A white lion plays with a papier mache zebra. Items such as boomer balls, cardboard boxes and puzzle feeders are used on a daily basis at the zoo to help stimulate the animals natural behavior.

Best Weirdly Intimate Introduction to a Live Song

This song is about . . . um . . . waking up under a bush in your ex-girlfriend’s garden. Um . . . this is a song about getting drunk and forgetting that you don’t go out with her anymore, and forgetting that she doesn’t love you anymore. So, um, so, ah, this is about, um, leading, um, being, wanting too much, wanting to be close to someone too much, wanting to know where they are all the time and when they’re going out being like, “Where are you going?” or “What time will you be back?” or “I’ll come with you.” And it’s about trying to do the right thing. Trying to withdraw so that you don’t love so much, trying to go “OK.” And in doing so, something in side you just dies, and you turn off, and then, and like all things in life then she falls in love with you and you don’t care. And it’s a song of hope.

The Frames, “What Happens When the Heart Just Stops”

Best Description of what Britney Spears is Doing With Her Life

“She’s just drinking and smoking and having a baby.”
- The Girlfriend

Most Mind-blowing Paintings

Street Paintings

Most Blatant Example of How Bored I Am At Work

After every bottle of water I finish, I peel off the label and enter into a contest at the Poland Spring website for a chance to win a “Feel Like a Movie Star” adventure package. I have entered 13 times since Monday.

Best Spam E-mail Name

“Wiley T. Peyote”

(The email was advertising “Solutions to dog problems.”)

Largest Font Ever Used for a Pap Smear

Headline That Most Misses the Point

“Jacko Kin: I Saw Cancer Boy Sneaking Wine”

Most Unsanctioned Review of Disney World

“Magic Kingdom is officially the meeting ground of obese Americans and oddly a large number of Brits. No truly new rides at Magic Kingdom, just a shit load of magic.”
- BJ (the teacher)

Tuesday, May 17

Playing Catch-Up

It was a long, drunk weekend - so long in fact that I stretched it into Monday just to give myself an extra day of relaxation. Not that I stayed home and relaxed yesterday, I just came to work and relaxed. Kind of like what I do every other day at work, but with more emails to people I like and less to people to whom I write things like, "Please advise the status of the contract, you douchbag." Although in a spurt of productivity on Sunday, I went out and bought an ironing board, only to bring it home, iron a shirt and find out that although I now have an ironing board ironing still blows.

Once again though the world has gone on without me and I need to catch up. I'll break it up into four sections, not to make it easier for you but because I am easily overwhelmed.

Local News

This one comes courtesy of The Girlfriend, who has finally accepted that it is my destiny to be a blogger (although she still can't accept me bawling like a baby at Extreme Makeover Home Edition, often times breaking down and shouting things like, "Jesus Christ, I'm dating a woman.")

A team of police officers raided a home on Long Island over the weekend and recovered a stash of drugs and weapons held by the notorious Bloods gang. Among the findings was the official Code of Conduct for the Bloods, pictured below.

Chilling, isn't it? But it gets better - I got my hands on an addendum to the Code that was previously unreleased to the public. It appeared to be written on a couple of post-it notes and attached after the initial drafting of the Master Code. Here it is:

(Sidenote: When I was 8 or 9 years old, my friends and I formed a secret club that only had four members. There was an elaborate secret handshake and we even had meetings where we would discuss if we wanted to ride our bikes or play football that day. We also had a Code of Conduct and we typed it out on the computer!)

International News

Tanzania has been plagued by a bat-like spirit that has an overwhelming lust for humans - and is willing to take it when he wants it.

Popo Bawa has been swooping into people's homes and night and, indiscriminately, overpowering and raping men and women in their sleep. "We believe reading the Koran is our only defense, nothing else," says a 41-year-old driver and father of four. "But Popo Bawa is real, and well prepared." Well prepared indeed, often showing up with "oils, candles, toys and Moby cd's."

"Worst of all though," said one villager, "is he doesn't even take you to dinner first."

Only in Tanzania . . .

Hot Girl News

- Natalie Portman has shaved her head for her upcoming role in V For Vendetta. The way I see it, this is the best chance I will ever have of getting Natalie Portman to date me.

- In a similar story of a girl wasting her hotness, Lindsey Lohan is officially ugly. I was trying to ignore the rumors of anorexia and drug use. But irrespective of all that, the truth of the matter is that now she's just ugly.

HOT:

NOT HOT:

Not to let the rumor mill turn on without me, here's what I think happened:

She was chubby because she was 16 and her father was white trash masquerading as a normal person on Long Island. All he ever fed her was macaroni and cheese and ho-ho's. Her PR people said, "Well, if you're going to be a porker, you may as well be a porker with big boobs," so she got her implants. Flash forward a year or so and suddenly she's rich and 18 so she can legally use drugs. Downward spiral, blah, blah, blah; tired of being described as "curvy,"she goes on a coke bender, ends up in a hospital in Middle America where she has her implants removed to fit her new heroin chic look, and now she'll be caught making out with girls and, eventually, marrying Kevin Federline. I also put 3 to 1 odds on finding her implants on Ebay.

- In some GOOD hot girl news, Playboy has reportedly offered Jessica Simpson $10 million to appear in a special Christmas spread in the magazine. ($10 million . . . that's TWO islands in Dubai. You could build a little bridge between them and jump off it into the water in the summer time . . . God, I'm making myself sick over here.)

Also, Nick Lachey has offered to dress up as Jessica Simpson and pose naked for $2 million.

Entertainment News

- Joey and Alex kissed on the season finale of Joey! I don't even think the producers of the show cared.

- NBC has announced they have six new shows to release in the fall to help their dismal ratings as of late. NBC has decided to go with popular topics such as homeland security, in a drama called The E-Ring (which sounds more like a sex toy), and "idiots in competition" in a spinoff of Donald Trump's The Apprentice, where contestants will vie to be Martha Stewart's apprentice (Episode 4: "Roasting with a Shiv.")

This is the best one though: "Inconceivable," a serialized ensemble drama set inside a fertility clinic. I mean, it has to be good, the title is a great pun.

Sports News

The Girlfriend says that if people wanted sports news they would read espn.com.

Friday, May 13

A Few Thoughts on Friday

– There’s a certain women who calls my office from time to time, and every time she calls on a Friday we have this conversation:

Her: "Hey Dan, how’s it going?"
Me: "Good, how’s it going there?"
Her: "Good. TGIF, right?"
Me: (brief pause waiting for the pain to stop in my head) "Yeah totally."

– The Girlfriend has the uncanny ability to call me when I’m on the bowl at work. It’s happened like three times already.

– The deli around the corner from me makes the best goddamned panini. Chicken caprice. You know what makes it better than other paninis? They’re not afraid to put lettuce on it. Common sense says you don’t put lettuce on a grill. But they defy common sense and it pays off. What Newton did for physics, The World Café is doing for paninis. Seriously, if they asked me to, I would advertise their paninis. But not their meatloaf; it looks like sewage.

– When you go to get a haircut, is it OK to close your eyes while the girl washes your hair?

– Here’s a New York story for you told by my friend James:

“ . . . apparently Jorge [his cat] caught the mouse he has been hunting for days now, and Jess was on a chair screaming while he ran back and forth trying to give it to her as a gift. He had it in his mouth all the way with the tail hanging out and she could see it kicking his cheeks from the inside. It then escapes and runs away and neither of them could find it. Later after yelling at me for not being there, she is watching TV and Jorge runs in and starts putting his paws under the seat cushions. She jumps up and takes off the couch cushion and there is El Rodent, squashed to death by Jess’s fine-behind. Next week on Wild Discovery . . .”

It’s the greatest city in the world.

– Some bittersweet resolution to the Wendy’s finger fiasco. Authorities have traced the finger the women planted in her bowl of chili to a former co-worker of her husband who lost the finger in “an industrial accident.” It’s nice to know the finger didn’t come from someone stirring the chili, and instead a man pocketed the finger off the floor of an industrial plant while his co-worker writhed in pain and anguish over a lost digit, only to take it home to his wife who held onto it for a couple of months only to wake up one morning, drive down to Wendy’s and drop the finger into her chili. What isn't nice to know is that this seemed like a good idea to someone. Someone say a finger on the ground and said, "How can I make some money off this?" And then it took them two months to come up with something.I'll tell you something - if I had found the finger, I probably would have given it back. But if I had kept it, I can say with confidence that I would have thought of a much better way to make money off it, and it wouldn't have taken me two months to do it.

That's all I got.

Thursday, May 12

Putting the 'Nuts' in Dunkin Donuts

What an awful morning. First I buy a bagel from an unusual bagel place and it turns out to be, not unsurprisingly, a rather unusual bagel. But on top of that I decide to get a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee (solid) before I go into my office building; but, unfortunately, this requires some work. My office building is right across from the New York Stock Exchange, which is soon to be renamed the New York Stock Fortress due to the insane amount of guard rails, surveillance, men with big guns, Chinese tourists, etc. so while the Dunkin Donuts may well be just one block south of me, the road I need to walk down is barricaded and guarded (guarded!). I’ve sometimes thought of reasoning with the men, pointing out that from the front of my building I can SEE the Dunkin Donuts and it shouldn’t be that I have to walk around the block to get to it. The one time I almost got up the nerve to say something, I realized at the last moment that I was going to ask a man with a gun if he could let me past him so I get to the Dunkin Donuts easier.

Anyway, this morning I started my way around the Wall Street Compound and as I turn the first corner, behold!, before me like an oasis is a glistening, a new Dunkin Donuts, literally 50, maybe 100 yards closer than the other one! I’m giddy.

I run up to this new Dunkin Donuts, but something doesn’t feel right. The people behind the counter are presentable, the place is clean, all the trays are full of seemingly fresh donuts – this doesn’t seem like a Dunkin Donuts to me. Then, when I’m the next on line, the girl behind the counter says, “May I help the next guest?” Guest? Then I look up at the menu and notice they’re serving a chocolate banana latte. And it hits me – they’re trying to be chic. They’re trying to be Starbucks.

(Don’t get me wrong, Starbucks is good if you want a venti, extra hot, no foam, two pump tazo chai. I get that. But Dunkin Donunts is quaint, it’s homey. It’s grassroots. It’s 80’s colors. It’s your childhood and your adulthood all in one place. You can get a box of munchkins and a box of coffee. You can’t put a price on that . . .

. . . And one more thing - in a way I’ve always felt prejudiced for liking Dunkin Donuts more than Starbucks. There are so many Starbucks around my office it’s not even funny. I once saw a blind man give a tourist directions to a Starbucks. I’m convinced he had no clue where he was, but he knew that no matter what direction he pointed, there would be one. But for a Dunkin Donuts I have to walk the equivalent of a Walmart parking lot. It’s like living on the Upper West side and eventually saying to yourself, “Maybe I SHOULD become Jewish. There’s a synagogue on EVERY CORNER!” But that’s no way to pick a religion, or a coffee shop.)

So I ask for a medium iced coffee, decaf. She replies, “Sugar, or alternative sweetener? Milk or cream? Any flavoring?” I’m losing it here. This isn’t the way it’s supposed to go. Dunkin Donuts is working class. It’s a blue collar, microwaved-egg-and-meat sandwiches, hold a napkin on top and shake your cup kind of place. I’m supposed to order coffee like I’m translating a foreign language. Noun first, adjectives follow. “Small coffee, black. Large coffee, light and sweet.” Because that’s the blue collar way of doing it. You say anything extra as though it were an afterthought, like you don’t really care, you’d drink it however they gave it to you, but if it’s not too much trouble, throw some sugar in there. Yeah, sure, some milk while you’re at it. And I like that.

I’m so confused by all this that I forget to ask for milk, so when she brings me my black iced coffee I have to ask for a cup of milk on the side. Oh and some sugar packets. She looks at me in that way that says, “I just asked you if you wanted milk and sugar and you said no. why would you do that?” and I’m ashamed. This isn’t what I had in mind when I decided to get an iced coffee.

After fixing my coffee in the store (with seemingly every employee staring at me as I shake my coffee with fear, always fear, that this time the top with somehow come loose, I walk outside and take a sip. It’s gross. Terrible. It’s my awful morning wrapped up in a chilled drink, only it’s NOT that chilled because apparently she made my iced coffee by pouring hot coffee over ice, undoubtedly the worst way to make an iced coffee in iced coffee’s short history. In case you haven’t kept up with chemistry, hot liquid melts ice.

Back at my office, I’m left with my unusual bagel, my tepid coffee and a lingering questions as to how I got here before I even checked me email. It’s 4:00 and only now can I bring myself to write about it.

On a positive note, I found this map of the Dubai island project today. The new game: What’s the best country to live in? Personally, I think Sicily has got to be the island of choice. Or, for the solitarian in you, perhaps Madagascar.


Wednesday, May 11

$25 Million Well Spent

I have to admit, as utterly disgusted as I am with this gross display of exorbitant wealth, I also admit that the only reason I’m disgusted is because I can’t afford something so cool as my own island. Hell, I can’t even afford a flight to Miami Beach.

I don’t care how crunchy or communist you are, you can’t tell me that it wouldn’t be awesome to have your own hut on your own island half a mile away from a couple of your friends on their own islands where you could make some dinner on a balmy night and hang around a bonfire before hopping in your little motor boat and heading home for the night. I was jealous when Dawson and Joey got to do it, I’m even more jealous now.

It’s something along the same lines of living in a small gated community with your friends as your neighbors, only without the beach, the constant sunshine, the relaxing feeling of being a thousand miles away from all responsibility and your other three neighbors aren’t Ralph Lauren, Beyonce and George Clooney.

And no, I’m not too concerned about the “effects on the geography of the world” or whatever. I mean, nature is cool, but not as cool as your own private island. Just like being white is cool, but not as cool as marrying Heidi Klum . . .


The pair plan on opening a new nightclub named "Club a Seal"

. . . but way cooler than marrying Renee Zelleweger, which apparently you have to do in secret if you’re a country music star.


"Open your eyes, please honey, just once? Just a little?"

And then there’s this:


"What did I tell you about trying to eat daddy's head..."

In Calcutta! The city synonymous with poverty and hunger? Next thing you know we’ll find out the parents bought an island in Dubai.

And finally, in tennis news:


Maria Full of Grace (hahahaha, I'm laughing out loud at myself.)

Quote of the day:
"In other news it turns out the girl downstairs from me is either insane or a real bitch. The past 2 Sunday mornings she was screaming at her boyfriend and then again last night. Luckily the walls are pretty solid and so its muffled but from the little I did hear he doesn't say the words 'I love you.'"
- Brendan "Hot Dog" Loud, on his new neighbors


Monday, May 9

Is it called a chicken because it's a "chick" and a "hen"?

I’m literally disgusted at how awful the first line of this story is: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/chicken_ticketed. Here’s a chance to capitalize on the realization of one of the most if not THE most famous joke in history, and this is what you come up with?

“Linc and Helena Moore may have finally learned the answer to that age-old question: Why did the chicken cross the road?


Because the chicken doesn't know jaywalking is illegal.”

"Because the chicken doesn’t know jaywalking is illegal?" Not only is it not funny, it’s not even remotely true.


Metaphysically speaking, a causal chain of action/reaction would dictate that the bird didn’t cross the road because it didn’t know jaywalking was illegal. It is a base assumption to suggest that the bird’s motivations were founded on a lack of knowledge of the local code of moving violations. Knowing or not knowing the legality of jaywalking would not have altered the bird’s actions in any way – unless, of course, the bird is a morally inept, calloused law breaker and crossed the road for no other reason than to break the law; in which case the writer of this article would be not only unfunny and inaccurate concerning the bird’s state of mind, but also a terrible judge of character.

Some funnier suggestions:

Why did the chicken cross the road?


1. To get to the other side . . . of a jail cell.
2. As a form of personal protest against a ridiculous, unenforceable law.
3. Because it’s a fucking chicken and it has no self-awareness whatsoever.


Just one more piece of evidence that I should be writing articles for Yahoo news. Perhaps my five readers here could start a petition for this to happen. Just think, if you get five people you know to sign it, we’ll have twenty-five signatures in no time! And you know what they say – one person can’t change anything, but twenty-five people will at least think they can.


"I'm going to write a story for Yahoo News about this!"

Quote of the Day:
"A woman got on the elevator on the 6th floor and hit 7 and as she got off and the doors were closing I said 'Lazy.'"
- James Vanderberg, being James

Friday, May 6

The Virgin Grimace

Have you seen this story about the water stain that looks like the Virgin Mary? I know this is old news, but I thought if I ignored it, it would go away. But now it seems that someone has defaced the image (painting “The Holy Ghost wuz here!” – just kidding, they painted a more banal “Big Lie”) prompting authorities to paint over the graffitied image in a pleasant poop brown color.

(Speaking of poop – what are the chances I could get a group of believers to flock to a log of my poop if it resembled a swaddling baby Jesus? Because don’t think it hasn’t happened at least twice before. Moreover, is there any word more underused in the English language than “swaddle”? By precise definition, when every baby is born, it is immediately swaddled. There are a lot of babies born everyday, yet I never hear the word. I also don’t hang out at hospitals in the maternity ward, but still. You would think I would come across it from time to time.)

Can someone please show me where the likeness is? Personally, I think the stain looks more like Grimace, McDonald’s version of the purple, furry milkshake, than it does the Virgin Mary.

And what’s more, Grimace is, in a lot of ways, a Christ-figure. According to McDonald’s, this is the history of Grimace:

And what’s more, Grimace is, in a lot of ways, a Christ-figure. According to McDonald’s, this is the history of Grimace:

“When Grimace first emerged from his cave and confronted the other citizens of McDonaldland, he expected them to be frightened of him. He had four arms and was known as the evil Grimace who stole everybody's milk shakes. The opposite turned out to be the case. No other character in McDonaldland is more beloved, especially by the children who visit McDonaldland from time to time. While initially conceived as a character representing McDonald's shakes, Grimace has transcended his role and is now seen as Ronald's closest friend. He still, though, retains his love of shakes.

Grimace personifies the child in everyone. He's a big, fuzzy, purple fellow, and is Ronald's right-hand man.

Everyone in McDonaldland loves Grimace because of his innocent, loving nature. He's enthusiastic, eager and easily pleased. Grimace walks with a rolling gait, and can't be classified as any particular kind of animal.

Grimace is generous and affectionate. He occasionally causes minor problems in McDonaldland because of his clumsiness and perpetual confusion. But, these problems are generously overlooked by his many friends.”

Except for the milk shakes and the part about being fuzzy and purple, you could easily take that as a description for Jesus (right hand man to God, not Ronald, of course.)

So, in this light, doesn’t Grimace sound like someone we should spend a little time worshiping? Or more to the point, wouldn’t the Virgin Mary be a little more interesting if there were more Biblical stories about her playfully stealing some of Jesus’ holy water while the apostles stood by and shaking their heads saying, “There goes Mary, making off with the holy water again. Good thing Jesus is easygoing.”

Maybe if she were, no one would have defaced her likeness in the first place.

Except for the milk shakes and the part about being fuzzy and purple, you could easily take that as a description for Jesus (right hand man to God, not Ronald, of course.)

So, in this light, doesn’t Grimace sound like someone we should spend a little time worshiping? Or more to the point, wouldn’t the Virgin Mary be a little more interesting if there were more Biblical stories about her playfully stealing some of Jesus’ holy water while the apostles stood by and shaking their heads saying, “There goes Mary, making off with the holy water again. Good thing Jesus is easygoing.”

Maybe if she were, no one would have defaced her likeness in the first place.

Wednesday, May 4

Escargo make some human friends.

In a startling ecological find that has the scientific community buzzing, three snails that were thought to be extinct were found to be not extinct.

Jeff Garner, who rediscovered the snails, said, "One of these I found is pretty distinctive, I've always said it was my favorite snail — I hated it was extinct."

Before I get a ton of emails from the ladies, let me say that yes, Jeff is still single.

New episode of Lost is on tonight. It also happens to be the girlfriend and mine's anniversary. I think she's more excited about Lost. (But I don't blame her.)

Tuesday, May 3

The difference between the U.S. and India

The U.S. is trying to legislate to prevent people from smoking in their cars and India is trying to legislate to prevent monkeys from stealing government records.

And that's not the only problem. Apaprently, India is a total zoo:

“Cows are sacred to Hindus and just the rumor of mistreatment can prompt angry mobs to kill people in revenge. Traffic routinely comes to a halt to allow the animals to amble across highways and pedestrians constantly side-step steaming evidence of their passage . . . Meanwhile, the city is also infested with thousands of monkeys blamed for attacking people and stealing medicine from hospitals and files from government offices.

But in Delhi, authorities can do little more than fine people for feeding them and calling in specially trained, larger and more aggressive long-tailed langur monkeys to scare them off.”

This is the best idea you can come up with?! Bring in bigger monkeys to scare away the smaller monkeys?

Here’s my suggestion: get the cows to befriend the monkeys and then start a nasty runor that the cows are only using the monkeys for their stolen medicine and government files and let them kill each other off in a turf war. That’s about as good an idea as bringing in bigger animals to scare them off.



"Do you see any medicine in there?"


I'm more worried about the condition of the bus actually...

In other completely inconsequential news, the new Iraqi goverment was sworn in today. “Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari pledged to unite Iraq's rival ethnic and religious factions and fight terrorism . . ."

Thank God, I was beginning to think no one noticed what was going on over there.


I'm going to go get a panini for lunch. That's bigger news than any of this.

Monday, May 2

Shameless Brides and Shameless Promotions

I found out this morning that, contrary to what I have bragged to my friends about in the past, I do have work to get done when I am at the office. I knew something like this was going to happen someday, I just didn’t think it would be so soon. (I thought after five years my bosses would catch on. I suppose they hoped the same thing . . .)

So just a short post today. Two main things to address:

1. I am never ignoring my journalistic intuition again. On Friday, I was contemplating breaking the story on the Georgia Peach who did her best Julia Roberts impersonation and fled the scene of her own wedding, all ready to play down the ridiculous million man search party for a woman who simply decided that sex with one southerner for the rest of her life was too much to bear.

But I didn’t for fear that I was wrong and the day after my post went up authorities would find her body on the side of some old country road or, worse, that she’d fled to a blue state.

It all played out like I originally thought though, with her leaving the house baggy sweat pants to catch a bus to Las Vegas, team up with a Mexican couple and head on down to New Mexico, where she would cut her hair and call her husband to tell him she had been kidnapped. What ever happened to just going over a best friend’s house and drinking gin and watching the second half of Jerry Maguire? Or sleeping with your Pilates instructor? All I know is, if I was this woman’s husband, I would be less concerned with her “cold feet” and more concerned about her lack of ability to put together a simple escape plan. I’ve seen 10 year olds do a better job of it.

and

2. I finally got my hands on the record release of the year this weekend. A long time in the making, it is the first release from fledgling record company Novelty Organ Records, founded by Matt Sucich (Soo-sich) and Jess Guerrette (Grrr-et), two dear friends of mine who decided to start a record company, much the same way a person decides to buy a new pair of pants. Within a few months, Novelty Organ Records was born and Jess will officially release her new EP (What’s One More?) later this year. In the meantime, check out the record company’s website (
www.noveltyorganrecords.com) and Jess’ personal website (www.jessguerrette.com), where you can download a few of her songs (If you don't like "Hold Me" then i probably don't like you). Oh, and she’s hot. But don’t get any ideas, she’s dating Novelty Organ Records’ merchandise man James Vanderberg, a close friend of mine who happens to be a pretty damn talented painter too. While you’re at it, check out his website: http://www.artwanted.com/artist.cfm?ArtID=10690&SetBG=Yes.

Ok, I think that covers all my friends’ websites. But for the sake of equal treatment, my friend John Johnson has the same (the guy who was so nice his parents named him twice), works for a Broadway production company and is very tall; BJ Kiernan is a high school teacher and writes better than most published authors; Brendan Loud’s nickname is Hotdog for obvious reasons and Scott Barry works with computers and makes more money than all of us put together.

Look at that, time to clock out. Guess the rest of this work can wait until tomorrow.