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.

Friday, December 30

2005 A Year In Review
The Most Fascinating Person Of 2005: The Ricola Mystery Cougher

Apropos to the subject of this post, I’ve been getting sicker and sicker over the past four days, spiraling against all hope and will into an all out “bad cold” – the kind that are just devastating enough to make you not enjoy your New Years Eve party as much as you should. Maybe I got it from the asshole who came into my office on Tuesday and said, “Good morning, Dan. I feel like crap. There’s NO WAY I should be here today.” Or maybe it’s because the weather went from 18 degrees to 51 degrees in a matter of one week.

Whatever the cause, everyone suffers. Because, while I have a few more categories to my year in review, my head is doing that thing where when you turn it from side to side you feel like you’re underwater. And staring at a computer screen trying to find pictures of Michael Jackson in his pajamas isn’t helping my cause. So I guess I’ll just have to save these other ones for next year. Instead of “2006: A Year In Review” it’ll be “2006: The One Year Anniversary of the End of 2005.”

Hope everyone has a safe and happy new year. Here’s to 2006 being even better than 2005. Unless of course your 2005 was totally awesome, in which case I hope your 2006 is very similar to your 2005.

_________________________________

Every week or so, I get another email from the Ricola Mystery Cougher with a clue as to his whereabouts, and every single time I say to myself, “How come no one is making a bigger deal about this?” You can’t honestly tell me that you wouldn’t:

a) love to see what the Ricola Mystery Cougher looks like;

b) love to see footage from some sort of secret hat camera of a winner offering a Ricola to the Mystery Cougher over the din of his own hacking; or

c) prefer to watch a reality show based on the life of the Ricola Mystery Cougher on the road instead of a reality show based on the life of the Gotti family.

I’m legitimately mad about this. This Mystery Cougher guy is the most intriguing person of 2005, easily. Consider such tantalizingly cryptic clues like:

This week, the Mystery Cougher will be trying to elude you out there in the open air. Just remember that the cougher has a fondness for all things Italian. And he or (she) always enjoys behaving like Julius Caesar, "roaming" from place to place to place.

WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN! That the Mystery Cougher will be outside somewhere “Italian,” screaming, “E tu Brute?” And why is “she” in parenthesis? Or “roaming” in quotations? Does the Mystery Cougher have no conception of how to properly use punctuation? Or is he (she) some hermaphroditic genius, like an editor of a NY Times Thursday crossword puzzle . . . who refers to itself in the third person?

And just when you think he (she) is toying with you, penning impossible red herrings in an effort to never be seen or heard coughing again, you get a clue like this:

The Mystery Cougher will be in Philadelphia on Thursday, December 8th. Catch the cougher at the 9th Street Italian Market near a House of Cheese between 1:00 and 4:00. Good Luck!

WTF?! Why not just say, “Email me with your address and I’ll show up coughing at your front door.” WHAT’S YOUR AGENDA, MYSTERY COUGHER!? Like I’ll show up at the exact location described in the “clue,” Ricola in hand and suddenly I’ll get a call on a nearby payphone with a scratchy, phlegmy voice on the other end saying, “You didn’t think (cough, cough) I would make it that easy, did you? (cough, cough),” and he (she) hangs up as you scream, “Can I offer you a Ricola?! CAN I OFFER YOU A RICOLA!!!”

Bottom line, I know this contest is going to run it’s course with minor fanfare and that’s going to be the official “Shame of 2005.” Because with all the oversaturation of people like Brad Pitt and Tara Reid and Paris Hilton and Bob Sagat, wouldn’t it be nice to learn a little more about some guy (girl) that coughs and gives away money in exchange for Swiss throat lozenges? That’s a rhetorical question, but the answer is yes. Yes it would.

Thursday, December 29

2005 Year In Review
Best Television Character

Something you might not know about me: I love television.

I couldn’t make a year end review without at least one category dedicated to TV. But there’s no contest on the best new show on TV (unfortunately for the millions without Showtime, it’s “Weeds”). Likewise there’s no contest on the best old show on television (you may have seen it, it’s called “Lost?”) So instead I decided to do this category.

Then I realized that limiting it to one character was impossible. It’s like picking your favorite family member. (It’s you, Catherine, don’t tell Mom.) So I expanded it to a top five.

5. Emmanuelle Chiriqui, Sloan on “Entourage”

Because look at her.







4. Justin Kirk, Andy Botwin on “Weeds”

"When my ferret killed itself I went on Celexa. I gained forty pounds. I couldn't ejaculate. Is this the kind of future you want for your child?"

His delivery of that line was so perfect that I have actually remembered it to this day. I can’t remember my own blog’s website address, but I remember this. It’s a really great show.


3. Terry O'Quinn, John Locke on “Lost”

This is an entire character based on the ideology of a 17th century philosopher (appropriately named John Locke). A quick synopsis of his philosophy from the Stanford website:

“He defines reason as "the discovery of the certainty or probability of such propositions or truths, which the mind arrives at by deduction made from such ideas, as it has got by the use of its natural faculties; viz, by the use of sensation or reflection." Faith, on the other hand, is assent to any proposition ". . . upon the credit of the proposer, as coming from God, in some extraordinary way of communication." That is, we have faith in what is disclosed by revelation and which cannot be discovered by reason.”

Makes his character all the more compelling when you watch him thinking about that . . . if you can understand it.

2. Will Arnett, Gob Bluth on “Arrested Development”

I think this says it all:

(Flashback)

Narrator: In an effort to "hip" up his act, Gob had briefly introduced a puppet.
[Gob is acting as a black puppet named Franklin in front of the family]
Gob: [as Franklin] Can I tell you something, my man?
Gob: [as himself] Sure, Franklin.
Gob: [as Franklin] You are one cool (BLEEP)
Gob: [as Franklin] Speaking of mothers, let me give that oatmeal some brown sugar.
[the puppet kisses Lucille]
George Sr.: Get off my wife, you bastard!
[strangles Franklin]
Gob: [as Franklin] What's the matter with you?

(In the present)

Gob: Franklin said some things Whitey wasn't ready to hear.
Michael: Gob, weren't you also mercilessly beaten outside of a club in Torrance for that act?
Gob: He also said some things that African-American-y wasn't ready to hear either.

1. Chris Shelton a.k.a. Screamy McYeller on “The Apprentice: Season 3”

But when all is said and done, no TV character made more “must see TV” moments than Screamy McYeller, the unbelievably enraged real estate manager from Utah who inexplicably made it to Week 12 of “The Apprentice 3.” I mean, every time this guy opened his mouth, no matter what he was saying, he would scream it, hence the nickname “Screamy McYeller.”

Three priceless moments shared with my friends via email:

1. Was anyone else completely overcome with laughter last night when Donald asked Screamy McYeller if he was a homosexual and Screamy SHOUTED back (with CONVICTION!) "I am not a homosexual!" it was so far up the impromptu hilarity scale, that I found myself consciously thinking, "I really wish someone was here with me." Just a priceless piece of television. Does this guy shoot steroids right before the board room? Without even being provoked he just screams every time he opens his mouth! If there was ever going to be a physical altercation on "The Apprentice" this is the guy who will cause it.*

2. The conviction with which Screamy McYeller affirmed that "Yes, I dip and yes, I am addicted!" is plain old hilarious - as though as long as you say it in a dignified and staunch tone, it makes everything you say OK. "Yes, I touched the boy inappropriately and yes, it did feel like a soft cloud of flesh against my warm face!"

3. (The episode where he is fired)

It brings to mind the closing of one of my favorite poems by T.S. Elliot:

"This is the way the world ends,

Not with a bang but a whimper."

And boy did he whimper. That quivery-chinned "I promise" at the end was hilariously touching. I was hoping for some fisticuffs - I really thought this would be the year that that line would be crossed. No such luck.

________________________________
* I shouldn’t include this, but I laughed when I reread it. So here’s the remainder of that email:

Priceless moment number two – Caroline's DISGUSTED face when watching team Magna's commercial. I mean, that was an "I might vomit" face. Just perfect editing on the show's part.

Priceless moment number three – in Magna's commercial . . . THE TEABAG!?!?! Random, pointless, having NO place whatsoever in the context of the commercial other than to suggest dipping one's balls in another person's mouth, it's just THERE. A teabag being gentle dipped into a cup of tea. I have to stop thinking about this. I'm getting all worked up. I can't wait to watch it again tonight on Tivo.

Oh, and a good commercial would have been showing, at the bottom of the TV screen, the top of a girl's head moving up and down for about 15 seconds, then showing their her face getting squirted with Dove New Cool Moisture and her loving every minute of it. Then she could wipe it off with the back of her hand and say, "Now THAT'S refreshing."

2005 Year In Review
Email Of The Year: James Vanderberg’s Sexual Harassment Test

There was a very scientific process that went into finding this email. I opened Google desktop, typed in the search “hahaha,” sorted the email results by Sent from: Me, and read the emails to which I was responding with the laugh. What I learned? I write “hahaha” too much. Either that, or my friends are the funniest people on the face of the earth.

With apologies to Brendan, who had a whopping FOUR emails in contention, I still have to go with this one:

From: James Vanderberg
To: [censored]
Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2005 2:46 PM
Subject: Re: Tuesday afternoon sex

Actual Question on an online sexual harassment test I am taking right now:

"Roberta is an Account Rep at EZ Interactive Company and has hired Alex, right out of graduate school, as her assistant. Some time after Alex starts working at the company, Roberta tells Alex that the only way he can keep his job at EZ Interactive is by having sex with her. Alex is very upset with this demand, but finally agrees because he really needs the job.

Because Alex gave in to Roberta's demands, the situation is one of mutually consenting adults, not sexual harassment.

True or False?"

First of all the company name is "EZ Interactive"???

Second of all, this question?!

Attached are actual photos from the test. Office world is a fucking laugh, basically just a club house for idiots.























And there’s just this guy. Looks like that fucking hurts he's got a whole fist full.












What the hell is going on in this one? And who are these dudes? They both look like reanimated corpses. And the fat zombie is giving the skinny zombie lip. Sexual harassment in the netherworlds?









Runner-up

From The Girlfriend: “Oh and I figured out what my stomach problem was. I forgot that I swallowed two raisins whole yesterday by accident. That will do it, I assume.”

Wednesday, December 28

2005 Year In Review
Best Tom Cruise Moment: Interview Water Squirt


For me, Tom Cruise is like a good novel that suddenly got really bad; a bowl of Cap’n Crunch that got soggy; an enjoyable night of eroticism with a women who turns out to be a man. The thing is, I like Tom Cruise. Or at least I did. I’ve seen Far And Away approximately 13 times. I’m not kidding. I liked The Last Samurai, I liked Minority Report, I liked Vanilla Sky, I loved Jerry Maguire and I loved A Few Good Men. The whack job makes good movies. You can’t convince me otherwise.

So when he went batshit crazy this year, it was a sad time for me. I was conflicted. Even after the whole “jumping around like a monkey on steroids” on Oprah I said on at least on occasion, albeit well below audible level, “Maybe he’s just really that happy.” Then he took my beloved Katie down Crazy Lane with him, denounced psychology (which is sort of like denouncing astronomy) and bought a sonogram machine, because seeing your unborn fetus any less than once a month is unacceptable. That’s pretty much where the honeymoon ends for me.

In memoriam of a time when all Tom Cruise did was make good movies, my Tom Cruise moment of the year goes to what might have been his singular expression of sanity. You have to admit, when the reporter squirted him with the water and Cruise grabbed his arm like a child so he couldn’t walk away, chiding him with, “Why would you do that?” you had to feel a bit of the old “That’s the Tom I want to see! Now go make Far And Away II and stop going out in public!”

Link to Video.

2005 Year In Review
Picture Of The Year

This picture singlehandedly redefines unintentional comedy. There’s Donald Trump on his carphone telling his secretary to cancel all his meetings because he has a big boardroom coming up, and then there’s this picture. I’m in love with it.

2005 Year In Review
Most Overrated Event: Election Of A New Pope
Most Underrated Event: City Engulfed By Maple Syrup Smell


I happened to be in London at the time of Pope John Paul’s death. My family, mostly Catholic in the “Well, nothing else makes more sense, so . . .” kind of way, had the television on every morning watching the same scenes over and over of reporters standing outside the Vatican waiting for news. It got to the point where whenever someone woke up and walked into the living room the first thing they would say is, “Did he die yet?”

And then he did die, while we were in the airport coming home. We were waiting on line to go through customs and word spread like wildfire on the snaking line. And you know what everyone did? They went about their business. Except for me – I cried for three straight days. (Haha – sorry, Mom.)

Immediately following that, the world was downright ENTRANCED by the selection of the new pope, which, to me, was about as exciting as the selection of the new Northeastern Divisional Manager at JC Penny. But everyone else did the thing where they crowded the streets, waiting for news, blah, blah, blah. Then the new pope was chosen, and you know what everyone did? They rejoiced – and promptly forgot about him. Pope Benedict had a shorter media shelf life than the Runaway Bride (whom he edged out in the Most Overrated Event category).

I still say they should have gone with my idea: They should have turned the selection of a new pope into a reality TV show. They could have a room set off to the side where the cardinals could go in and complain to a camera about the other cardinals. (“Cardinal Egan smells like mothballs. I can’t stand sitting next to him!”) And then they could vote off 10 cardinals every day until it's down to the final three, and America (just America) could text their votes in to choose the next pope. It would have been golden.

_______________________________________

As for the entire city of New York smelling of maple syrup, frankly I can’t believe that we let this go without an explanation. How eight million New Yorkers were satisfied with “Oh it’s Trade Winds,” or “Probably just pollen,” is beyond me. For all of you that weren’t here, I don’t know exactly how to explain it – I mean, IN MY APARTMENT it smelled like fucking pancakes and syrup. I’m getting angry all over again. I need to stop. But this has to be the definition of underrated: For a few hours, one of the largest cities in the world experienced a phenomenon unlike anything ever experienced in history, and the next day we were back to Nick and Jessica. I think we could have spent a little more time on that one.

Tuesday, December 27

2005 Year in Review
Immensely Important Cultural Event That I Still Don’t Get: Palestinian Evacuation Of The Gaza Strip


I still don’t understand exactly what’s going on with this. My friends tend to discuss issues of such gravitas only when on the cusp of inebriation, meaning that I am full-on inebriated at that point. Meaning I nod my head like I understand what they’re saying, make some comment like “Clearly there’s no winners here,” and interrupt with a story culled from an experience in the men’s bathroom earlier in the day. But the media made an enormous deal about this, so I’m assuming it’s immensely important. Then again the media made a huge deal about the season finale of “Desperate Housewives” and I’m not even sure that show is on the air anymore.

2005 Year In Review
Worst Women's Fashion Trend Of 2005: Anorexia

Well it’s not so much a fashion trend as a disturbing body dysmorphic trend. But no one can deny that it suddenly became en vogue to shed those last few necessary pounds that held you back from being the horrific skeleton your parents always dreamed you could be.













At least it seems Lindsey is back on track. Because really, I don’t care about the other ones. I just want my Lindsey back, back to a time when it was illegal to like her as much as I did. The way it should be.

Close Runner-Up: Genie Pants.

I’m not saying that girls’ asses don’t look good in tight sweat pants, I’m just saying that The Girlfriend’s looks the best. AND I’m saying that just because your pants are tight around your ass doesn’t mean that you can wear a skirt on each leg.

2005 Year In Review
Entertainer Of The Year: President George Bush

If you think about it, how spoiled are we that we have a nation led by a certified comedian? I mean, almost every other nation in the world is led by a stern, distinguished, diplomatic leader.

Us? In 2005 alone we got more laughs than any constituency should from our president. From Peegate to “Kisses for Oil” to the large, locked door, the hits just kept on coming for a solid 12 months. Not to mention the fact that we’re the only country on the globe that can see a picture of our leader on the front page of the news chasing a turkey around a yard with a civil war musket in tow and shake our head and say, “That’s just George being George.”

Will America make it through until 2008 in tact? Doubtful. But will there be plenty of laughs along the way? Absolutely.

2005: A Year in Review


I love year-in-review articles. I don’t know what it is about them, but I can’t get enough of over-opinionated people shooting off their “Best Songs of 2005” and “Most Ridiculous Fashion Trends of 2005” lists. I actually still have, somewhere in the recesses of the “storage” portion of my closet, the New York Times magazine dedicated to “The Most Important Things, People, Events of the Millennium” from 1999. I don’t think I even read it through at the time, but I can’t bring myself to part with it; as though I may take it out when my grandchildren are of a reasonable age to learn how important the elevator was in comparison to German Nazi rule.

So of course I figured I would do my own year in review. Just so everyone knows, this is a serious test of my attention span to dedicate so much time to a singular theme. It’s not like teenage girls from the 80’s are involved this time. This is just a fair warning . . .

Also, I don’t really “know” things. I often pretend I do, making up explanations both scientific and logical for things about which I have no understanding whatsoever. But when it comes down to it, all someone has to say is “You’re full of shit,” and that’s the point where I call them a childish name and make fun of some obvious flaw they have. So while some might call my list “shortsighted” or “frighteningly irrelevant” understand that I’m doing the best I can and that I’m too lazy to do any better.

Also, I welcome everyone to send me via comment or email any question they might have concerning my feelings on 2005. Want to know the most embarrassing thing that happened to me in 2005? Just ask! Want to know who I thought the biggest asshole of 2005 was? Just ask! (You see where this is going.) One of my new years resolutions is to make this blog more interactive, and, like with sex, I’m starting early.

First post to follow shortly – as soon as readjust to these weird surroundings and figure out why people keep coming to me with papers asking me to do things . . .

Friday, December 23

Tis The Season To Drink Because, Kids, Drinking Makes You Happy

I swear I had something terribly witty and clever to write today. But then last night Kris Kringle 2005 turned into Smoke Cigars and Drink A Lot 2005 rendering me completely incapable of stringing together coherent thoughts today.

So instead I’ll just post this cute picture.

Have a great holiday everyone. Hope you all get everything you want. Like a polar bear cub or a penguin. Or a world where polar bears and penguins can hang out without the polar bears eating the penguins.

The Only Meaningful Thing To Come Out Of Our Kris Kringle Party

My friend John can’t stop looking like the J-Date billboard guy.

(When you’re as drunk as I am, this seems important. Terribly important.)

Thursday, December 22

I’m Closet Gross

Well the transit strike is officially yesterday’s and the day before’s news. My last morning of “telecommuting” saw me watch Supersize Me followed by D3: The mighty Ducks (I’m a sucker for The Flying V). Now I have to get ready for Kris Kringle: 2005, which I’m hosting tonight.

In preparation for the party, I did a little straightening up. (You’d be amazed pretty unfazed by how much filth can build up when a person basically stays in their house for three days straight.)

While people commended me for my tidy apartment, and I’ve admitted in the past that I’m a bit of a neat freak, it turns out I’m a bit of the old “closet gross.”

I was cleaning out some stuff in my kitchen and I came across the canister in which I store my baking flour. Note that I bought this canister and filled it when I first moved into my second Manhattan apartment back in 2002.

Backstory: A few months ago I was at my friend James’ apartment for a party. I went into the freezer for some ice and saw a bag of flour in there. I immediately made fun of him (something along the lines of getting old and forgetting where things went – it wasn’t my best joke). He tried to explain to me that if you don’t keep flour cold, over time it can somehow “develop” these little worms. I was drunk so I of course disregarded everything he was saying and continued to laugh at my own bad jokes.

Flash forward to 10 minutes ago when I open my flour canister for the first time in probably a year and a half.

I think I speak for all of us when I say, “That’s the grossest thing I’ve seen all day.”

I think the worst part of it all is that Ikea got to me SO BAD that I honestly believed I needed a flip-top canister full of flour in my kitchen. FOR THREE AND A HALF YEARS! I’m a pawn of corporate America and I have worms in my flour to prove it.

Wednesday, December 21

My New Office, Up Close and Personal



DVD copy of First Daughter starring Katie Holmes. I won it from a grab bag at a Christmas party this past weekend. OK, I actually won Alias, the paperback novel based on the hit TV show. But I traded with someone. If there is an upside in that trade, I think I got it.















This is not a real mouse.









Nor is this.














Yes, the lamp is from the Pottery Barn. But it’s OK because . . .

























. . . I read Sports Illustrated.

























Not my real family. They just seemed so happy I couldn’t replace them.















Classic picture, taken at a drunkfest college party. Reminds me of a time when “telecommuting” was just a word grown-ups threw around to sound important.























NY Times crossword puzzle calendar – a present from The girlfriend last Christmas. It’s her loving way of saying, “If I’m making a long term commitment here, you had better not get dumb.” I typically use them to jot down notes or blog post ideas like, “Write one about large girls at the gym being so flexible. What’s up with that?!”

Transit Strike: Day 2. Food And Water Running Low. Well Not Water Because I Have A Brita.

I miss my family.

Home from work again. Yesterday I finished my Christmas shopping, wrapped all the presents, watched Sportscenter three times and made chicken cutlets. Today? Who knows. I want to be amongst people, I want to feel the warmth of an understanding smile. But there’s no train to take me there.

It’s cold. So cold.

Some reporting from the field on the strike (via email):

James: “Greenpoint is in a state of anarchy. We have created a large thunderdome on top of my building and we chant "Two Hipsters enter One Hipster leaves!!" We throw in a pack of American Spirits and a six pack of PBR and see what they do.”

John: “Walking 3 miles doesn't bother me, it's the mixture of sweat and freezing you get. You walk in the sun to keep warm but then you have to take your hat off cause you're getting too hot. Then your ears are freezing so you put it back on. Vicious cycle.”

Brendan: “The middle aged woman around me are now discussing there different diets. Its like the officers of the Titanic discussing whether to close the water tight doors.’

BJ: FUCK YOU TRANSIT WORKERS: GET YOUR FUCKING ASS TO WORK should be the headline of the NY Times. I'm all about union power, I just dislike it in the sole case of me not being able to get to kris kringle.”

Yes, our kris kringle party is in danger. This is a 3 year old tradition of blatant metrosexuality at it’s worst (best) with eggnog and Brandy Alexanders. Maybe this year we’ll drink gin and tonics and make it ubersexual instead. Or maybe we’ll all get on a conference call and describe to each other what the presents are.

Thank god HBO updated their on-demand offerings recently. Yesterday was I [Heart] Huckabees. I’ve been telling people for years that I saw and liked this movie. After seeing it, I can confirm that I liked it. However I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. Although any movie that pits nihilism against existentialism using Naomi Watts in a bikini is doing 85% of everything right.

Today it will be Closer and The Man Without a Face. Actually, I’ll just get to the part where you first see Mel Gibson’s face and then I’ll change it.

I’m also “telecommuting” right now. Ironic that in the middle of doing a project to email to my boss, I stop to write a blog post. It’s confirmed: me working from home is absolutely no different than me working at my office. Except for that fact that while I work I’m watching the E True Hollywood story for Janice Dickerson.

If you don’t think the transit strike has been hard on me, reread that last sentence.

I [Heart] You “Nip / Tuck”


The season finale of Nip / Tuck was almost too good. Like you know when you are in the middle of a great dinner and you keep thinking to yourself, “Man, I really hope this steak never goes away. I just want it to last forever, like that guitar solo in ‘November Rain.’” That’s exactly what it felt like watching this show. I don’t know if it’s possible to top Alec Baldwin and Famke Janssen from last season, but they came as close as possible without Jesus, Son of Man himself making a guest directing appearance.

Please, if for any reason you haven’t watched this show before, just do it. Trust me. There are two things I know in life, and TV shows are the other one. The other other one is chocolate chip cookies, if anyone is interested.

Tuesday, December 20

Transit Strike Cripples City: Millions Of People Affected, Me Not So Much


I finally got up the courage to go outside and face the madness of an entire city full of people unable to travel long distances. It wasn’t pretty.

There was immediate chaos in the streets as I exited my apartment.














People looting, carjacking, ANYTHING to get some sort of advantage in their commute.














There wasn’t a cab to be seen anywhere.














The police barricaded off roads that no one wanted to travel on anyway.














This man said he had no idea what to do with his onions now.














Garbage was piling up in the streets.














Mothers were left with nothing to do but meet their friends for lunch and go shopping . . .














Even the Boarshead guy couldn’t get through.














That’s when I knew I had seen enough. CALL AN END TO THE MADNESS TRANSIT WORKERS UNION! PEOPLE NEED THEIR COLDCUTS! Besides I’m running out of things on Tivo.

Snow Transit Strike Day


I stayed up until 1:00AM last night waiting for news on whether or not there would be public transportation this morning. No word by then, so I went to bed and had a dream about being in War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise. Weird.

Woke up at 6:30, turned on the TV and saw on the bottom of screen “Transit Strike is on.” Went right back to bed and woke up at 11:30.

Now I’m going to put on my snow suit and go sledding make a cup of coffee and see what’s on HBO. Thank you, Transit Workers Union. Thank you Small Law Firm With Partners Who Live In Westchester. And thank you, guy with head sticking out of the train in all the news stories. I know you had something to do with this. I just know it.

Monday, December 19

Christmas Shopping, Much Like Kicking Yourself In The Head . . .

I’m in full fledged WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO BUY YOU PEOPLE mode. I love them all, I really do, but when it comes to buying family and friends presents all these feelings of rage just come to the surface. Not because I have to spend money on them – I’d gladly spend up to $30 (30!) if I knew it would make them happy. But trying to figure out that perfect present for everyone is daunting.

And that’s not even taking The Girlfriend into account. She has literally psyched me out this year in terms of what to get her. It seems like I have already bought her every single present known to man that doesn’t require taste or a personal opinion. DVD players, digital cameras, stereos, etc. I’ve exhausted the market of what I know, unless of course this year I buy her a wireless keyboard deluxe desktop set or tickets to a Knicks game.

But NOOO! Of course this year she wants clothes. She wants jewelry. She wants all these things that require me picking out one of hundreds of different styles, cuts, colors, etc. And if there’s one thing that The Girlfriend and I differ on (besides opinions on movies starring Elisha Cuthbert) it’s taste in clothing, or as she says: “It’s not that you have bad taste, it’s just that I have good taste and we’re very different.”

It got to the point where, after an exhaustive day of shopping by myself yesterday, The Girlfriend and I sat down to dinner and I begged and pleaded with her to tell me what she wants. She said a jacket, she said boots, she said sweaters. And I cried. She attempted to reassure me that I CAN DO THIS. I can pick out something she will like; yet for every item she threw out I reminded her of a time we went shopping together and we had this conversation:

Me: (carrying jacket up to her) “I really like this one.”

TG: “Oh.”

Me: (carrying sweater up to her) “What do you think of this one?”

TG: “Hmm.”

Me: (tears in my eyes, carrying jeans up to her) “These?”

TG: “You can stop trying now.”

My only recourse at this point is to go into a store, pick out an article of clothing that I think is nice and then carry it around the store with me looking for it’s exact opposite. Either that or turn the standard sex coupon book into a full-scale diorama that I can wrap in an enormous box and pass off as “a big gift.” Or break her television and then buy her a new one. (Yes, part of me just said, “That’s not a bad idea.”)

On a positive note, there’s a good chance that I bought my father the same exact thing this year that I did last year. Good times.

Friday, December 16

A Dramatic Rendition Of Last Night’s Finale Of “The Apprentice” In Emoticons


The season finale of “The Apprentice” last night pitted Randall, a 34 year old consulting firm owner from New Jersey against Rebecca, a 23 year old financial journalist from Chicago.

Although Rebecca was clearly the more attractive contestant, in the end it was Randall who heard the magic words: “You’re hired.”

Randall:

Rebecca:

But wait – immediately following his announcement of Randall as the winner, Trump sat both contestants back down and asked Randall what he thought of Rebecca. As he had done throughout the season, Randall heaped praise on the brunette with mousey features but a deceptively tight body. Trump then says: “Randall, if you were me would you hire Rebecca too?”

Randall:

Rebecca:

Everyone is taken aback. This move is UNPRECEDENTED in the history of “The Apprentice.” Randall thinks deeply for half a second,

Randall:

Rebecca:

then tells Trump that the show is called “The Apprentice,” not “The Apprenti,” therefore there should be only one apprentice.

Rebecca:

Randall:

Oxford English Dictionary Editors:

Trump then states that he could have been swayed to hire her, but if that is Randall’s decision he will leave it at that.

Rebecca:

Randall:

(End Scene)

The real question:

How close did we come to the first ever live nationally televised hate crime?

The world may never know.