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.

Monday, July 31

Connecticut Becomes Officially Useless


I’m not going to go into the specifics, but let’s just say that up until yesterday at 4:30, when I was supposed to be driving my car onto a ferry in New London and cruising blissfully along calm seas to Orient Point, Long Island, thus cutting out interminable hours of additional driving and trafficky mayhem, I liked Connecticut. I thought of it as New England’s suburb, a place where new shades of yellow are invented and polo shirts are handed down from generation to generation. And I’m all for polo shirts and hegemony, and cocktail parties and closeted gay quarterbacks and lighting candles “so things feel special.” But at 4:30 yesterday all that ended. J. Crew is my new sworn enemy and tennis can blow me. You know, Connecticut, for all your civility and prosperity, it would be nice if you could do the “blue collar shit” like take a reservation for the right day of the week during the right month of the year so that when people show up and are like, “Awesome, a nice relaxing ferry boat ride,” that doesn’t immediately turn into three hours of waiting in a “standby line” with exhaust fumes and fat people and only one sudoku puzzle left (the one you planned to do while sitting atop the ferry with the wind in your hair), keeping your sunglasses on even after the sun has set just so others won’t see you cry, and being thrown so far off schedule that the next day, after four refreshing hours of nap, you end up at work wearing flip flops, to the chagrin of everyone around you, walking like a retard to mitigate the ‘flip FLOP’ but, in the process, looking more and more like a retard.

So maybe I went into some specifics, but the bottom line is eff you Connecticut. You’re on the shit list. You have no pro sports team, no major city and you list “foliage” as a tourist attraction on your website. Leaves. Use a week of your vacation time to come check our leaves. Oh, I know. There are other things to do. I’ve seen the commercial. There’s awesome things to do there: You can laugh with your friends and wear sun dresses and hang out at barns and make pretend you’re not still oppressed by the weight of taxes and bills and war because you’re having a glass of wine and the sun is setting. But what Connecticut fails to mention is that a vacation there is about as exciting and relaxing as a vacation in your own backyard with a box of Zinfandel and a Norah Jones CD.

And when the time comes I’m going to let my kid spell it like it sounds because whoever decided on connect-i-cut was clearly learning disabled.

Friday, July 28

Your Weekly News: What I Want, When I Want It


Man Steals Puppy By Sticking It Down His Pants (video)

I think everyone here knows that I love all things puppies: petting puppies, looking at pictures of puppies, making pretend I have a puppy, coloring in puppy pictures, etc. And yet, there are people out there who actually like puppies more than me. Like enough to steal one. Or enough to repeatedly refer to a puppy as “baby” with grave sincerity.

The video itself is hilarious (puppy + crotch = comic gold) but the commentary of the guy who works in the pet store is classic. There is not one thing this guy says that isn’t hilarious. I mean, the end? Where he uses the word “puppy-napping” immediately before threatening violence on the guy who stole the dog? Maybe he can even get the puppy lick the guy’s hand while he shouts “puppynapper!” from a safe distance.

(Sidenote: While looking for this link, I did a search for “puppy” in CNN’s video section and this is the list of results that came up:

















So yeah, Lebanon, Syria, Isreal, Iraq, war, I get it. BUT WHAT ARE WE DOING TO PROTECT OUR PUPPIES AT HOME? Seriously, “Puppies found frozen, dead”? You know who wouldn’t stand for that if he was in charge?

Lactivists: Where is it OK to breastfeed? (I’ve asked myself this question a hundred times.)
















NEW YORK (AP) -- "I was SHOCKED to see a giant breast on the cover of your magazine," one person wrote. "I immediately turned the magazine face down," wrote another. "Gross," said a third.


One mother who didn't like the cover explains she was concerned about her 13-year-old son seeing it. "I shredded it," said Gayle Ash, of Belton, Texas, in a telephone interview. "A breast is a breast -- it's a sexual thing. He didn't need to see that."


"I'm totally supportive of it -- I just don't like the flashing," she said. "I don't want my son or husband to accidentally see a breast they didn't want to see."

First of all, what? Secondly, why even bother talking if you are going to say things like “a breast is a breast”? And third, “a breast they didn’t want to see”? When I was 13, I watched shows on the National Geographic channel in hopes that they would show topless women in African tribes. I think it’s safe to assume that there’s no such thing as a breast a 13 year old doesn’t want to see. And lastly, wtf, baby Nazis? Babies need to eat too you know. It’s not their fault they can’t roll up to Sbarro and get a slice whenever they want.

Chess prodigy death plunge mystery

THAT fucking headline? Just five nouns in a row? It reads like one of those spam emails with a subject like “re: Your question.” Speaking of which, this was one I got this morning:

Put on a few eggs, theres a good fellow! Gandalf called after him, as the hobbit stumped off to the pantries. And just bring out the cold chicken and pickles!

Probably the cheeriest spam message I’ve ever received, regardless of the fact that two lines down was a link reading: “massive erections are right around the corner.” Which to me sounds more threatening than anything else.

You know like when someone shows you a picture of a newborn baby and they’re like, “Isn’t it so CUTE!” and you’re like, “Aww, yeah” but really you’re thinking, “Is there something wrong with me because I don’t think babies are cute?” Well imagine you were a panda.

Thursday, July 27

A Few Questions That Arose While Watching The First 15 Minutes Of Dominion: A Prequel To The Exorcist

1. Why do these types of movies always involve some kind of evil African tribal element? Isn’t that fundamentally racist?*

2. In real life, when a car drives into a poor town in a Third World country, do all the children in the town really chase it down the street?

3. If so, wouldn’t it make more sense to send ONE kid ahead to see what the vehicle is carrying and have the rest conserve their energy, because after all they are in a Third World country and probably hungry?

* A related public service announcement from The Daily Dump

Heads-Up To Girls In St. Louis With Low Self-Esteem Because They Were Fat But Now Are Thin And Have Trouble Believing They Are Pretty: Avoid Wal-Mart


[click to enlarge]

(You want better posts, tell my boss to stop giving me “work” to do.)

Wednesday, July 26

Yahoo! Fails To Mention That Pulse In Question Is That Of A Man 30 Seconds Into A Heart Attack


I can’t think of one single list I would like to be on with Paris Hilton as number one, except maybe “Richest Worthless Human,” and even then I’m still holding out hope that God has a plan for me.

My suggestion for number one on this list:

Tuesday, July 25

When No Advice Is Good Advice

I’ll admit, I’m not the type of person who seeks out the advice of others. Not because I don’t trust others or value their opinion, but mostly because I feel like asking for someone’s advice binds me to actually taking their advice. For example:

Purely Hypothetical Scenario

Me: “So I was driving home last night and it was really dark and I wasn’t going really, really fast or anything, but I guess I was going a little fast, and you know that road in town that’s really dark and curvy? Well I think I hit a homeless person or something. What should I do?”

Friend: “Whoa, dude. You HAVE to go to the police. I mean, if you did hit someone, maybe he’s still alive and he’s out there and he’s dying, you know? And they can still get to him.”

Me: “Yeah . . . you’re right. OK.”

Three days later.

Friend: “Hey, Dan, whatever happened with the police? Did they go out and look for the guy? Is everything alright?”

Me: “Oh, yeah. Well I never heard anything about it on the news, and I drove by there the other day and I didn’t see anything, and you know it’s only like a little dent on my car so I figured I would just kind of let it go. Want to catch a movie?”

AWKWARD!

Which is why Yahoo! answers is so cool. You can get advice on all your problems completely anonymously. Such as

(Which makes perfect sense, because really who’s she going to go to for advice? Her friends? Ohhhh wait, she has none.)

Then people anonymously answer your question, disguising themselves as hip cartoon characters, and you weigh your options. Such as

All great suggestions. Especially “never give people dirty looks” (going back to fundamentals) and the extremely helpful “u will find some…work on it” (because sometimes you just want somebody to listen and tell you it will be OK – and if you have no friends, that person is “snowy”).

Then finally, you decide which piece of advice is the most helpful and you deem it “Best Answer.”

Surprisingly, this is exactly the advice I would have given. STEAL OTHER PEOPLE’S FRIENDS! Buy them drinks all night long and when the time is right pull them aside and say, “Hey, so you know how I met you through Jill? And I work with her? Yeah well she does drugs. Like heroin. I heard her talking to her mom on the phone about it. Yeah, she steals money from your wallet when you’re not looking. It’s sad. Want to catch a movie this weekend?” And there you go, you’ve successfully stolen your co-worker’s friends. Nothing to it.

P.S. Dear angelsrobinson:

If nothing else works, you can always just make out with random guys at clubs. In my experience, that always leads to long and fulfilling friendships. You’re welcome!

Yours truly,
BI

Monday, July 24

What Fruity Thing Did I Do This Weekend?


While The Girlfriend and I were out on Long Island this weekend to celebrate my grandmother’s 80th birthday, we naturally got bored like hell because, you know, it’s Long Island, and as we ran through the possibilities of what we could do (shopping involves money, which we don’t have; bowling involves drinking, and it was 11:00 in the morning; going to TGIFridays involves being at TGIFridays, etc) we finally decided to just do the most generic Long Island thing we could think of and go to the movies. The only problem is that there was not a single movie playing that interested us both. The Girlfriend pressed for The Devil Wears Prada, I pressed for A Scanner Darkly, in the end we compromised and went to see The Devil Wears Prada.

And I don’t know what effect this will have on readership, or on my standing as the coolest guy on the block, but I actually enjoyed it. And here’s why:

(WARNING: What follows may include “spoilers” as to what happens in the movie, so if you are one of those people who hates to have a “surprise” ruined, don’t continue reading. However it must be noted that if you can’t guess what happens in this movie just by reading a 50 word synopsis, you probably have never seen a movie before in your life, and don’t plan on doing so in the near future because the “home” you are staying in isn’t really big on field trips.)

1. Anne Hathaway looks good: There was a period of time between The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement and Brokeback Mountain (sometimes even I can’t believe I start sentences with phrases like that) when Anne Hathaway seemed to be going downhill, veering away from the promised she showed early on to be hot. But even when she was supposed to look “bad” in this movie, when she was unfashionable and holding onto her principals and all sorts of other ugly things, she still looked cute. I felt pride, because I told my friends after The Princess Diaries that she was going to be hot, and they were all like, “Princess who?” and I was like, “You’ll see,” and they were like, “What movies are you watching?” and I was all, “Whatever.” And then I was afraid I would be wrong, but lo and behold, it turns out she is hot – and that’s awesome for me because now I can add her to the long list of “hot girls I don’t know,” which is what they politicians are referring to when they use the term “empty victory.”

2. It doesn’t try to be funny: The worst thing a movie like this can do is try to surpass “entertaining” and go for “hilarious,” because inevitably they end up peppering the script with placed jokes and awful slapstick and it’s just embarrassing. Everyone making one of these movies needs to take a page from The Cutting Edge, and that’s what they did here – quippy dialogue, but not trying to do too much. This might be the most serious paragraph I have ever written.

3. Meryl Streep is really cool: There’s a whole category of actresses who I am not sexually attracted to, but I still enjoy watching, and Meryl Streep is undoubtedly near the top of that list. And if I knew how to review movies I would use words like “understated” and “biting” to describe her performance, but since I don’t I’ll just say that by the end of the movie I was even a little sexually attracted to her. Because I like my women like I like my roast beef – cold, and emotionless.

4. The clothes: OMG! Like Prada and Chanel and Manolo Blahnik EVERYWHERE!

5. The social commentary: If you knew nothing on how the world works and how people relate to one another, you would learn the following from this movie: it’s OK to blow off your friends as long as you bring them presents; 99% of love relationship issues can be resolves through avoiding the problem and instead having sex; the other 1% can be fixed with time spent apart; if you kiss a girl and she says, “No,” kiss her again. If she says no again, and blabbers on about it being wrong and her being too drunk, kiss her again. If she is still refusing you, kiss her a fourth time and she will ultimately say, “Yes,”; it’s OK to have a one night stand as long as you learn something from it; if someone in the workplace does you a favor, you owe them sex; you will have great personal and professional success if you dress up for work.

(Please note that I compiled that list with the utmost sarcasm, but rereading it now it’s actually all pretty true.)

In fact, the only thing I didn’t like about the movie was the ending. It’s not just that it was too easy (which they always are in these kinds of movies) but it didn’t make any sense. She comes back to her boyfriend, but he’s taken a job in Boston, but he tells her they can work it out and she is happy, but then she takes a job in New York? And even though Hathaway basically walked out on Streep in the middle of work, Streep gives Hathaway a great recommendation for a new job? I mean, there’s a pro caliber hockey player becoming an Olympic champion pairs figure skater, and then there’s this.

Here are a few of my suggestions on how to make the end of the movie a little more interesting:

– The Horror Twist. It turns out Meryl Streep really is the Devil and, having conquered the conscience of her 1,000,000,000th innocent soul, she brings forth an Armageddon.

The Ironic Twist. Hathaway quits her job to regain her integrity, but with no relevant work experience she is unable to get a new job so she becomes a stripper.

The Fight Club Twist. Al Qaeda destroys the office buildings of Runway magazine; thousands and thousands of fashion records are destroyed, rendering the fashion landscape barren. Everyone starts out from zero, and chunky wool becomes so popular that New Zealand emerges as a world superpower. Hathaway moves there, takes a job in a beachside café, and is often topless.

– The Dramatic Twist. Hathaway is caught in a street brawl during her first assignment as a reporter. Because of her three inch heels she cannot flee fast enough and is stabbed to death.

– The Realistic Twist. Hathaway quits her job and, unable to find work in journalism, becomes a temp paralegal. She starts a blog which has moderate success. Suddenly it’s five years later and she’s too old to change careers so she gets pregnant and goes on antidepressants.

Friday, July 21

DOUBT AN OWL AT YOUR OWN RISK


If I had known that the owl who woke me up hooting outside my window at 7:00 this morning was merely warning me of the apocalyptical storm approaching, I wouldn’t have pulled back the curtain and shouted, “Fuck you, owl!” Instead, I would have hurried up and gotten to the safe cover of my office. But no, I didn’t trust the owl. I assumed the owl was just out for himself, hooting just to hear his own hoot with no concern for the people around him. And I shouted, “Fuck you, owl!” and scared him away and went back to sleep, waking up late and getting off to work late, precisely late enough to trap myself in the apocalyptical storm of which, unwittingly to me, the owl warned. Now my socks are soaked through and my pants are wet up to the knee. I am cold and there are no hand dryers in the bathrooms. And I have no one to blame for my discomfort but myself for not heeding the prophetic “hooooo.”

I’d like to believe it was him, looking down on me.

Thursday, July 20

100 Things About Me: #8



We’re almost there! All ten things about me, revealed!

(You know, in hindsight the idea of me devoting 100 posts to “things about me” is fucking hilarious. It’s like a little kid trying to understand how many dollars “a billion” is. And then all of a sudden it clicks when someone says something like, “With one billion dollars, you could buy twenty candy bars every minute for the rest of your life and not run out of money,” and they get this glassed over look on their face and their mouth falls open in awe. That’s what I just did when I checked back to see what number I was up to and realized it was 8. So I think for everyone’s sake, we’ll cap this thing at 10.)

#8 I hardly ever sleep.

And not by choice. It’s not like I am up 1:00 in the morning unable to tear myself away from “The Late, Late” show. I’m not at Starbucks five minutes before closing finishing off my sixth Venti latte, lining up to squeeze in my seventh. In fact, in my efforts to get a good night’s sleep I have even gone so far as to cut caffeine out of my diet completely. (Somewhere, my sister is scoffing.)

I have tried everything short of injecting warm milk into my neck, yet still, come about 4:00 in the morning, my body rebels against quietude and I lie there, awake and alert, but playing that game with myself where I refuse to look at the clock and refuse to even open my eyes because, you know, maybe I’ll trick myself into thinking I was never really awake and just fall back to sleep. (That has about as much success as this).

When that doesn’t work, I revert to a game of reverse psychology wherein I play on my mind’s innate hatred of waking up. Because everyone knows that the only thing that cures sleeplessness is having to literally get out of bed, like when the alarm clock finally goes off three hours later, for example. So I say, almost out loud and in a voice commonly used in bad sitcoms to denote “I know someone is hiding in the closet but they don’t know I know they’re hiding in the closet so I’m going to speak in some obviously elevated tone so as not to arouse their suspicion, “Ooook. I guess I’m going to get up now. No sense lying here any longer, I’m obviously not falling back to sleep. Gonna go start my day. Maybe even go jogging.” Despite the strong psychoanalytical foundation for the methodology, this, as well, has a high rate of failure.

The only good thing that comes from being awake against my will between the hours of 4:00 and 6:00 is that I get a lot of thinking done. In fact, this may be the only reason I awaken in the first place, because my mind has so much thinking it needs to get done that the 16 conscious hours I provide myself on a daily basis aren’t enough; there are simply too many ponderous facets to the world for a mere 16 hours.

Such as what awoke me shortly after 4:00 this morning:

It began as me convincing myself that I could be a speechwriter, a notion produced by my bitter reading of an article on John McCain in Esquire earlier in the day. I imagined writing a speech for a truly independent candidate, him standing up in the crowd bemoaning the partisanship that has plagued politics, calling out the hijacking of the Republican party by the supposed ethicists of the religious right, and finally setting everyone straight on what America needs to survive. That got boring after about five minutes, so I started thinking about other things I find wrong with America, and almost immediately I came up with the seesaw.

Another little known fact about me (hell, let’s go ahead and make it #9 on the list): I’ve always been afraid of seesaws. I don’t know if it stems back to a singular incident from my childhood, but I have vague, wispy memories of sitting on this plank of wood, nary a handle in sight, and feeling as though I could shoot off into a nearby concrete pillar at any moment. No sooner did my feet touch the ground and I felt safe did I go springing off again into the atmosphere, always with some enormous child on the other end laughing away because he knew in his soul that it would take a hell of a lot more than my 45lb frame to send him flying from his perch.

The way I see it, the seesaw, like politics, can be viewed as a balancing force between differing people. Of course you can only view it as such if you are an ignorant lunatic, embroiled in an all out war with reason. The seesaw is a power struggle. It is the playground’s equivalent of “Who has the nicer car?” or “Who can take home the Asian girl first?” It is a structureless game, shrouded in the guise of “fun through the cooperation of effortless non-competitiveness.” Lies. I’ve never been on a seesaw with someone who didn’t want the end result of our “fun” to be me eating sand. And maybe that means I rode the seesaw with a bunch of assholes, but like most power struggles (rich vs. poor, man vs. beast) the antagonism is inherent. If it wasn’t, I would have set a 45lb. chunk of granite on the other end of the seesaw, or at least the girl who walked funny because she had a problem with her legs. But I didn’t – because the evil grip of the seesaw is innate, and overwhelming.

Which is why, I concluded around 5:30, if I were a politician, I would outlaw seesaws. And these people.

Wednesday, July 19

Taylor Hicks Likes The Yankees, Utz Chips


Monday night some friends and I went to the Yankees game. The tickets were courtesy of CBS (home of “CSI,” and the most insane marketing campaign since this) through my “industry” friend, John. Needless to say, the seats were awesome – about 10 rows up right on top of the Yankees dugout – so close that the field actually looks smaller, and you can even imagine yourself hitting one 318 feet to left field. (If you are a woman, change that analogy to “you can even imagine yourself having a chance with Derek Jeter.”)

As we settled in our seats and got over the fact that we paid $8.00 for a beer (for the mathematically inclined, that’s approximately a 1,039% mark-up over the national average price of a single beer in a six-pack) we noticed that there was a commotion going on to our left. We look over to see what’s going on and it seems there is a crowd gathering around a very old man sitting five seats away. Finally the crowd disperses and it’s none other than Taylor Hicks! And he’s there with Seth Green! (Ed. Note: It was not Seth Green, it was in fact Elliott Yamin, the third place finisher in “American Idol.” He was, however, the first place finisher in the “Eating Dippin’ Dots Out Of A Mini Helmet Bowl” race.)

For anyone out there who is wondering what Taylor Hicks looks like close up, here is the best description I can give: old. I’m not kidding when I say that this man is lying about his age. (No, I don’t feel bad making fun of him because 1. I watched him pay for his food and he peeled off a $100 bill and 2. in his profile on the American idol website is this:

Q: What's been your toughest obstacle in life?
A: Life itself.

And the bottom line is he’s obviously at least 38. So obviously in fact that when everyone in our section first started turning around to see who the celebrity was, this exchange happened between a father and son sitting behind us:

Son Craving Love And Attention: “Who’s that old guy over there?”

Drunk Father Who Is At Least 40: “Watch who you call old. He’s probably younger than me, and I’m not old.”

Implied subcontext.

Son: “I love you, dad.”

Father: “Stop being gay, we’re at a baseball game.”

The moment of the night, though, came in the top of the third inning. We had ordered food earlier in the game, and each of our orders came with a free bag of Utz potato chips. My friend Scott, who doesn’t eat carbs, set his off to the side in case someone wanted them later. Suddenly, though, Scott picks up his potato chips, which had been tucked in neatly by his side, and reached across my friend Jeff to hand them to me, sitting at the end of the row, closest to Hicks. He says, nonchalantly, as though it were to be expected, “Pass these down to Taylor. Tell him they’re from us.”

I look him in the eye to judge if he is joking, and it turns out he is completely serious. I look to my left and there is a family of four between me and Hicks. I take a swig from my beer, gather myself and say to the gruff old man sitting next to me, “Would you mind passing these down to Taylor Hicks?” (Keep in mind that saying this at a baseball game, while having no absolute equivalent, is roughly the same as turning to a stranger and saying, “Would you mind getting this dab of ketchup on the side of my mouth, I just keep missing it!”)

The guy looks at me for a solid five seconds with a blank stare before taking the chips from my hand, stretching across his family to hand them to his youngest son sitting on the end of the aisle and shouting, as though directing him to put away his toys, “Hand this to Taylor Hicks. Say it’s from these guys here.” He then goes back to watching the game and he and I purposefully don’t look each other in the eye for the rest of the night.

But his son dutifully gives the chips to Hicks, and while doing so points in our direction, and Hicks looks up to see me and my three friends giving him our best “Here’s looking at you” pointy-finger-gun hand gestures. He nods his head in approval, tears open the bag and eats them right then and there. Mission “Get Taylor Hicks to eat our Utz” accomplished.

SO WHAT DID WE LEARN:

1. Contrary to popular belief, Yankees fans will tolerate a modicum of homosexual behavior, though only a modicum.

2. American Idol really does make you famous.

3. But coming in third place gets you no where on The Daily Dump.

4. Fathers and sons often times have difficult relationships, marked primarily by the conflicting natures of affection and machismo.

5. If, for any reason, you wanted to harm Taylor Hicks, a good way to do it would be to poison a snack food and offer it to him in a public venue.

6. Taylor Hicks really does ‘get what he wants and goes where pleases.’ The man’s songs are truth, even if his birth certificate is a lie.

Tuesday, July 18

Because Yesterday’s Post May Belie The Fact That 50% Of All Marriages End In Divorce


It’s the age old question: If you have the chance to corner a 17-year old girl in your office and force yourself on her sexually, do you take it? Even though it will jeopardize your marriage with a woman who, at 52, is still very attractive, never mind ridiculously wealthy? I’m going to have to go with

I’m not saying it’s the right thing to do. But it’s certainly the cool thing to do.

Side note: I’ve never understood what prompts people to write letters to newspaper editors about crap like this.












I’m just fascinated at the thought of Michael Chimenti finding out about Christie Brinkley’s divorce and immediately writing a letter to the editor of AM New York to publicly vilify her cheating ex-husband. Does he feel better after putting it in the mailbox? Like he really effectuated cultural stimulation with his commentary, and people will now see Peter Cook for the heartless, harbinger of evil that he is?

You told him, Mike! Dope of the Century! Yeah!

Monday, July 17

The Post That The Girlfriend Will Refer To As “That Stupid Post”

A good friend of mine recently announced her engagement, and while I can’t get over the fact that she is younger than me and getting married, I guess I have to accept the fact that she is prettier than me and this, among other things (like free drinks and the freedom to wear sun dresses in hot weather without being made fun of) is one of the benefits of being a pretty girl.

Besides that, though, I was thoroughly impressed with the way in which her fiancée proposed to her. You see movies and TV shows all the time with people dropping rings in glasses of champagne or hiding it in the dessert, only to have the unsuspecting woman swallow the diamond and then everyone involved go on a wild series of slapstick events to get the ring back (I watch TBS), but often it’s the normal stories that are more heartfelt, because, well, they are more plausible than training an elephant to kneel down and present the ring to a woman using his trunk.1

How he proposed was this: They were spending a normal Sunday together and all day she had been saying how she wanted iced cream, and he continually balked at the idea, saying he wasn’t in the mood for iced cream.2 Then, later in the evening, he finally said, “OK, do you want to go down to the beach and get some iced cream and sit on the bench and watch the sun set?” She excitedly said yes, and as they finished their iced cream and sat there looking out over the water he leaned over and said, “Would you be my wife?”

Can you say “brilliant”? It’s cute, and tender, and memorable in its simplicity, but what I like most of all is the set-up: all day long brushing off the idea of getting iced cream until finally, late in the day, suggesting yourself that you get iced cream, putting her in the best mood possible immediately before popping the question. The simplicity of the initial request (iced cream) pales in comparison to the complexity of the impending request (to be his wife), but the happiness fostered by the acquiescence to the first request is so enormous (who doesn’t love iced cream?) that its resulting euphoria is more than enough to put her in the right frame of mind to say yes to the following question! It’s the old bait and switch! (Ed. Note: No, it’s not.) Plus she loved him, which, according to the magazines I read, is the best reason to get married, iced cream high aside.

But the whole thing got me thinking about how I will propose to my future wife someday. What “tactic” would I use? Would we be drunk? On instant messenger?3 Or will I have no plan at all and get caught up in a moment of whimsy at our local bagel shop and pop the question forgetting that I have neither a ring nor the money to buy a ring, nor the money to purchase the bagel, leaving me with a lingering second question, “ . . . and can I borrow $2.25?”

Yes, I fully expect it to be an awkward moment for everyone involved, from the potential bride straight down through to the guy in a wheelchair I topple as I suddenly kneel down on a crowded sidewalk in midtown. Because if you know anything about me, you know two things: that I climb things when I get drunk, and that I am awful at talking to girls I like when I am unsure if they like me.

You see, normally, I am the kind of guy who doesn’t ask questions he doesn’t already know the answer to. It prevents surprises, let downs, basically all those things in life that people say make them “grow” and “learn” and “feel.” And being that I can easily see any marriage proposal I make going either way, I’m bound to be a little bit nervous when the time comes. And nervousness makes me, as the French say, retarded.

Consider the last time I really went out on a limb and asked a girl out (or tried to) who I wasn’t sure would say yes. This happened:

Scene: We are amongst a group of people, drunk at a bar. (Romantic!) I spy her move away from the pack and towards the bar. I follow, probably appearing to any sober third party as if ready to put a bag over her head and make off with her.

Her: (seeing me approach) “Hey.”

Me: “Hey.”

Her: (making the normal pleasant conversation that normal pleasant girls make, but I hear . . .) “Hmmm alalaba, boopboop neeeeee naww–“

Me: (interrupting mid-sentence) “So I like you.”

Silence, and sweating.

More silence. Overwhelming regret.

I become desperate for something, anything, to say as it is clear that she will never speak again.

Me: (spying the menu on a chalkboard above the bar) “Hey, I never knew mayonnaise had two n’s in it.”

I then place my drink down on the bar, gather up my coat and leave.

Hence, the plan to have the elephant there – because if I am going to slink away in grand embarrassment, I am at least going to do so atop a majestic elephant.

_________________________
1. No one steal this idea, as it is my back-up.
2. This is where, if he had been proposing to The Girlfriend, the plan would have fallen apart because The Girlfriend would have said, “I wasn’t asking you if you wanted iced cream,” and then gone by herself to get it.
3.

Friday, July 14

Fuck The Swiss


Bear With Me, I Have A Hangover The Size Of Mexico


Thursday, July 13

Secret To Staying Young: Making Pretend You Are Young


Last night after braving the rain and humidity* for a trek down to the Ray LaMontagne / Guster concert in Prospect Park, The Girlfriend and I, plus her brother and his girlfriend who are visiting from Maine, cabbed back to the Upper East Side and went to DT/UT for a nightcap. DT/UT is one of those really eccentric, hip places, where people use the word “vibe” when describing it – the kind of place that requires adjectives, which I hate, so here’s a picture.















The place ended up being packed, but there happened to be a couch and a few chairs available in a little side room; the reason being, of course, that also in the room was a couple dry humping one another on a separate loveseat. And presumably because dry humping is so awesome, no one wanted to interrupt them. We stopped outside the little enclave and silently motioned to one another, “No, you go first. No, YOU,” for about five minutes before finally I walked in and said, “Hey, you don’t mind if we sit here, do you?”

Of course, because dry humping is so mind blowing, and you really can’t stop once you’ve started, they pretty much ignored us as we sat down with our drinks and tried desperately to talk about anything besides the awkwardly intimate moment happening right besides us. I mean, my foot touched his foot. And I was like, “Oh, sorry,” and he was like, “(muffled sound of tongue on tongue).”

At that point, the only thing to do was take pictures.













The quality is so poor because we were afraid to use the flash. (Personally, I like the “surveillance camera” look. It gives it more of a “night vision, end of Silence of the Lambs” feel.) But once we realized these two were utterly oblivious to anything except his jean erection in her hip bone, we were like “Weekend at Bernie’s!”















Finally after a third shot (the title banner shot) they were roused to attention with the guy saying, “No pictures, please.” I felt like saying, “Listen dude – one, it’s a free country. Two, I have a blog. Alright? Do you know what that means? That means when two people engage in heavy petting in a bar, I’m going to take a picture of it. Third, I think it’s safe to say the GHB is working, you an take her home now.”

But before any of us could say anything, the couple sat up and the guy, after collecting himself, said, “How old do you think I am?”

Stunned, but for some reason perfectly happy to play along, because I love games, I say, “28.” He then says, “Interesting . . . and how old do you think she is?” gesturing to the girl sitting silently, primly next to him.

Here is where I think, for the first time, that these two may be the type of couple you hear about on shows like “American Justice” who lure strangers into their web of kindness with quirky question and answer games and then, after gaining trust and confidence, murder their new friends and use their preserved corpses as “guests” at future “dinner parties.” Of course, though, I still play along. “27,” I say.

The guy then smiles a big, glowing smile and proudly says, “What would you say if I told you I was 34. And she is 36.” Our jaws drop in exaggerated astonishment, because really who gives a fuck? Sure, they looked young for their age, but already we liked them better when they were making out with one another and leaving us alone. We try to go back to our own conversation, but now that they are free from one another’s embrace, they seem to need to acknowledge us. Eventually, it gets to the point where they are pushing this age topic so much that this bit of dialogue happens:

Brother’s Girlfriend: (trying to find something to say) “So do you use moisturizer?”

Girl: “Yeah, moisturizer is good. Important.”

Guy: “And she has a child! (gesturing to her flat stomach) Can you believe a baby came out of that?”

It is here that everyone in the room who isn’t insane (the four of us) want to run. But the guy, unprompted, immediately goes into his sales pitch: “There are three things you have to do to stay young looking: 1. no smoking (dramatic pause, waiting for nods of approval); 2. no drugs (dramatic pause, waiting for nods of approval); and 3. no drinking.” We all look at the drinks in our hands and say, “Oh well.” Then the crazy girl offers to take a picture of us, the guy makes a joke about stealing the camera, and as we prepare to leave, my head swirling with awkwardness as I try to sort out the night’s events, I am sure of only two things: That even if I survive some chemical accident that causes me to age in reverse and I look seven years old when I am in fact 45, I will not ask anyone, “How old do you think I am?”; and that, despite my entire high school experience, dry humping is about as satisfying as digging for a coin in your pocket.

___________________________________
* About halfway through Guster’s set, the lead singer gave the standard “thanks for coming out” speech, only he started it with, “The weather reports were bad, but you guys all came anyway. Thanks for braving the humidity to be here.” WTF, braving the humidity? Does this guy know there’s a war going on in Iraq?

Tuesday, July 11

My Five Day Late Reaction to The Emmy Nominations


I’ve finally had the time to really contemplate the nominations for the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, and by “really contemplate” I obviously mean “catch an article about them because I had no idea they even happened until now,” proving once again that if you’re getting your news from me, you don’t really care about the news.

I watch a lot of TV. I think that’s the fourteenth or fifteenth time I’ve written that sentence in this blog, because I’m proud of it for two reasons: 1. I think TV is a valuable creative medium – both for information and entertainment; and 2. I’m being honest, and I lie about so many other things that it feels good to tell the truth from time to time, unlike those people who say, “I never watch TV.” Who the fuck never watches TV? What do you do at night if you don’t watch TV? My guess is you think up other lies to tell about yourself to make you seem interesting, like “I read,” or “I paint,” or “I think it would be cool to go to culinary school.”

Anyway, I was planning on reviewing every category but then I realized that I don’t know what cinematography is. Or art direction. Or why the hell there is a choreography category. Plus it turns out there are 90 categories. I can’t even come up with 90 things that happen on TV, yet the academy has come up with 90 things that are “outstanding.” Oh, wait, 89 things that are outstanding, and one thing that gets “exceptional merit” – the unique category “Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking.” (Which contains the movies Two Days In October and Three Days In September. Who said nonfiction filmmakers weren’t creative?)

So I guess I’m left just covering the main categories, plus any others that catch my attention. Like “Outstanding Makeup For A Series (Non-Prosthetic).” If you don’t have an opinion on that, you’re an asshole.

Outstanding Main Title Theme Music

Get Ed • Disney
Masters Of Horror • Showtime
Over There • FX Network
Prison Break • FOX
Rome • HBO

My Pick: If the point of title music is to catch the viewer’s attention and make him want to continue watching (and I’m only guessing that’s what its point is, but I think I’m making sense) then these all blow. Sure, I haven’t seen two of the three, but I’m pretty sure you could play a recording of Mandy Moore saying, “Have I ever told you how perfect you are, Dan?” and I still wouldn’t watch “Get Ed” or “Masters of Horror.” My obvious choice is the title music to “Weeds,” which you can hear here (it’s the first song).

Will win: This isn’t good – it’s my first category and I already don’t care.

Outstanding Lighting Direction (Electronic, Multi-Camera) For VMC Programming

78th Annual Academy Awards • ABC
American Idol • American Classics Songbook With Rod Stewart • FOX
American Idol • Finale • FOX
2005 American Music Awards • ABC
Late Night With Conan O’Brien• Episode #2226 • NBC

I don’t care who wins, I just want to know who watched episode #2226 of “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” sat up off their couch and said, “There’s something different about this episode. Everyone seems bathed in a celestial light. I’ve got to call the academy - that’s the kind of lighting that will land you an Emmy.”

Outstanding Reality Program

Antiques Roadshow • PBS
The Dog Whisperer • National Geographic Channel
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition • ABC
Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List • Bravo
Penn & Teller: Bullshit • Showtime

My Pick: If anything other than “Extreme Makeover” wins, it’s just proof that that academy hates poor people.

Will win: “Extreme Makeover.” Because the academy doesn’t hate poor people, I was only kidding about that. They care about poor people. Poor people represent a class of society who struggle for things like cable TV, making it seem important and worthwhile.

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program

The Amazing Race • CBS
American Idol • FOX
Dancing With The Stars • ABC
Project Runway • Bravo
Survivor • CBS

My Pick: I actually became interested in “Survivor” this year. And while I am loathe to say that it was because of Danielle’s rack, the bottom line is . . .

Will win: How can they possibly ignore the popularity of “American Idol?” I read an entire article in U.S. News and World Reports about how parents are teaching their toddlers to use the phone by voting in to “American Idol.” Of course that’s a lie . . . but it could be the truth!

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series

Extras • HBO • Patrick Stewart as Himself
Extras • HBO • Ben Stiller as Himself
Two And A Half Men • CBS • Martin Sheen as Harvey
Will & Grace • NBC • Alec Baldwin as Malcolm
Will & Grace • NBC • Leslie Jordan as Beverley Leslie

My Pick: Alec Baldwin, hands down. Even if you hate “Will & Grace,” even if the mere idea of watching this show makes you want to become gay just so you can hate the show on the pretense that it mocks your station in life, you have to enjoy Alec Baldwin, you fruit salad head.

Will win: Patrick Stewart, because everyone loves to hear him speak.

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series

Boston Legal • ABC • Michael J. Fox as Daniel Post
Boston Legal • ABC • Christian Clemenson as Jerry “Hands” Espenson
ER • NBC • James Woods as Dr. Nate Lenno
Grey’s Anatomy • ABC • Kyle Chandler as Dylan Young
Lost • ABC • Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond

My Pick: Michael J. Fox. Not just because he was good, but because for almost four years of my life I wanted to be him. Not recently . . . I mean a long time ago. Obviously.

Will win: Michael J. Fox. If he doesn’t, I will be the first one writing a letter here.

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series

Desperate Housewives • ABC • Shirley Knight as Phyllis Van de Kamp
Extras • HBO • Kate Winslet as Herself
Malcolm In The Middle • FOX • Cloris Leachman as Ida
Monk • USA • Laurie Metcalf as Cora
Will & Grace • NBC • Blythe Danner as Marilyn Truman

My Pick: Kate Winslet. I only watched one episode of “Extras” and it was the episode with Kate Winslet. And while I didn’t find it as HEARTPOUNDINGLY HILARIOUS as everyone made it out to be, there’s still something to be said for Kate Winslet being funny. And that is: “She’s hot.”

Will win: I tried to read some articles on the internet about who Shirley Knight is but I got so bored every time I couldn’t finish. But I’m going to say that she wins, because when in doubt give an award to the show that everyone watches but doesn’t like. It makes the world feel better about itself.

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series

Grey’s Anatomy • ABC • Kate Burton as Ellis Grey
Grey’s Anatomy • ABC • Christina Ricci as Hannah
Huff • Showtime • Swoosie Kurtz as Madeline Sullivan
Six Feet Under • HBO • Patricia Clarkson as Aunt Sarah
Six Feet Under • HBO • Joanna Cassidy as Margaret Chenowith

My Pick: I’ve seen none of these episodes, so I’m going to go on pure intuition. Christina Ricci, because she looks good in a bathing suit. What? That’s not intuition? Oh. Bite me.

Will win: Swoosie Kurtz was awesome in “Sisters,” Patricia Clarkson has done like 75 indie movies, and Kate Burton is literally a professional guest star, but Joanna Cassidy’s measurements at 66 years of age are 36C-25-35. Draw your own conclusion.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series

Arrested Development • FOX • Will Arnett as Gob Bluth
Entourage • HBO • Jeremy Piven as Ari Gold
Malcolm In The Middle • FOX • Bryan Cranston as Hal
Two And A Half Men • CBS • Jon Cryer as Alan Harper
Will & Grace • NBC • Sean Hayes as Jack

My Pick: Sean Hayes. Because it’s brave of him to break through gay discrimination and embrace his role as a spokesperson for changing times. Yes, of course I’m kidding, fuck that progressive shit, Will Arnett deserved this award when he was in the womb, and every step along the way from that womb to my heart.

Will win: Something tells me Jeremy Piven will. And that something is that the Emmy voters are always a year behind, probably because they don’t read blogs and get most of their facts from overhearing their housekeepers on the phone with their relatives in the Dominican Republic saying “Let us hug it out, bitch!”

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series

Boston Legal • ABC • William Shatner as Denny Crane
Huff • Showtime • Oliver Platt as Russell Tupper
The Sopranos • HBO • Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti
24 • FOX • Gregory Itzin as President Charles Logan
The West Wing • NBC • Alan Alda as Arnold Vinick

My Pick: Gotta be William Shatner. And not just because of this.

Will win: The only reason I think William Shatner might not win is because he’s more funny than dramatic. I mean, the entire show is. And you’re up against Alan Alda. I can’t think of any competition in which I would challenge Alan Alda – the man, the mystery, the name with only four different letters in it.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series

Curb Your Enthusiasm • HBO • Cheryl Hines as Cheryl David
Desperate Housewives • ABC • Alfre Woodard as Betty Applewhite
My Name Is Earl • NBC • Jaime Pressly as Joy
Weeds • Showtime • Elizabeth Perkins as Celia Hodes
Will & Grace • NBC • Megan Mullally as Karen

My Pick: Elizabeth Perkins, and not just because I love the show. She is genuinely good, everything you want in a supporting character. Once, while referring to her teenage daughter, she delivered the line “I should have had an abortion” with such aplomb, that even if you don’t really know what aplomb means, like me, you know that it was awesome.

Will win: Alfre Woodard, because OMG it wouldn’t be an award show if “Desperate Housewives” didn’t win more awards than it deserved. (Side note: On the scale of awesome irony, where would it rank if Jaime Pressly won an award for acting like who she is in real life? Basically for showing up on set and being herself? I think I have to root for this now.)

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

Boston Legal • ABC • Candice Bergen as Shirley Schmidt
Grey’s Anatomy • ABC • Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang
Grey’s Anatomy • ABC • Chandra Wilson as Dr. Bailey
Huff • Showtime • Blythe Danner as Izzy Huffstodt
24 • FOX • Jean Smart as First Lady Martha Logan

My Pick: Candice Bergen. And not because she’s particularly brilliant (her part is generally well written and she’s entertaining) but more because the rest of this list makes me want to punch myself in the leg like five times. Hard! If you don’t think Sandra Oh is a scary person to look at, I’m sorry that you’ve lost your eyesight. It must be difficult.

Will win: Blythe Danner in an upset! I don’t care.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series

Curb Your Enthusiasm • HBO • Larry David as Himself
The King Of Queens • CBS • Kevin James as Doug Heffernan
Monk • USA • Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk
The Office • NBC • Steve Carell as Michael Scott
Two And A Half Men • CBS • Charlie Sheen as Charlie Harper

My Pick: Fuck that, I’m writing in Jason Bateman. I can put one chamber of my heart behind Steve Carell, and next year I’ll probably whole heartedly support him, but not while Jason Bateman is still eligible. I was planning on sabotaging the award show by parachuting in when this award was being delivered wearing an “Arrested Development” billboard and a Jason Bateman mask, but the last time I went base jumping, when I woke up I was really scared so I don’t think I’ll be trying it again.

Will win: Steve Carell. And it will be a bittersweet victory for comedy. And when is someone going to stand up and realize that Antonio from “Wings” has won two Emmy awards. Can we stop just accidentally giving these things away? Also, I can’t believe you’re still reading this.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit • NBC • Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler
Rescue Me • FX Network • Denis Leary as Tommy Gavin
Six Feet Under • HBO • Peter Krause as Nate Fisher
24 • FOX • Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer
The West Wing • NBC • Martin Sheen as President Josiah Bartlet

My Pick: Great category. I haven’t watched “Rescue Me” enough to really appreciate Denis Leary, but his performance in the consistently overlooked The Ref has endeared me to him ever since. And I like all of the other shows in the category, and I like all of the actors, but once again I need to balk here: I’ve only recently started watching “House,” and you know what? It’s not a very good show. But you know what else? Hugh Laurie is awesome. Really. For one hour, I prefer watching him more than any of these other guys. I mean, maybe if Kiefer Sutherland dressed up a little more, you know?

Will win: “The West Wing” went out with more of a whimper than a bang, so I don’t know how high the sentiment is right now for Martin Sheen. But if Hugh Laurie can’t win, and I don’t think he will since he’s not nominated, then let’s at least get a Kiefer Sutherland acceptance speech out of this. No one has heard him speak out of character for about four years now. I wouldn’t be surprised is he started his acceptance speech with, “I’m Jack Bauer. Kiefer Sutherland couldn’t make it tonight.”

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series

The Comeback • HBO • Lisa Kudrow as Valerie Cherish
Malcolm In The Middle • FOX • Jane Kaczmarek as Lois
The New Adventures Of Old Christine • CBS • Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Christine Campbell
Out Of Practice • CBS • Stockard Channing as Lydia Barnes
Will & Grace • NBC • Debra Messing as Grace

My Pick: They should just give the award to all five of them and make each one give a 30 second speech on why they deserve it. Then have America vote in to see who wins. And the four losers get dunked in a dunk tank. Then I’ll care about this category.

Will win: No one wins in this situation. Unless Stockard Channing wins and says, “What is this ‘Out of Practice’ everyone keeps talking about?”

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series

The Closer • TNT • Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson
Commander In Chief • ABC • Gena Davis as Mackenzie Allen
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit • NBC • Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson
Six Feet Under • HBO • Frances Conroy as Ruth Fisher
The West Wing • NBC • Television Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg

My Pick: Give it back to Mariska. I can’t give any credit to Kyra Sedgwick because for some reason I blame her for getting ugly. I feel like there’s no reason she shouldn’t be hot, yet she isn’t. So the only plausible explanation is it’s her fault. And maybe the “Six Feet Under” girl is good, but aren’t they all the same person on that show?

Will win: Gena Davis. And the only way I won’t change the channel is if she gets up on stage, says, “Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!” and Michael Keaton comes out on stage in full costume and carries her off on his shoulder. Also note that I should be producing the Emmy awards.

Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series

Arrested Development • Development Arrested • FOX
Entourage • Exodus • HBO
Extras • Kate Winslet • HBO
My Name Is Earl • Pilot • NBC
The Office • Christmas Party • NBC

My Pick: “Arrested Development” was one of the greatest comedies ever put on television. “My Name Is Earl” is the writing equivalent of taking a crap with a hemorrhoid.

Will win: “The Office.” Because everyone has decided to move on past “Arrested Development” like the autistic child you put in a home and feel bad about, but, you know, there’s no use crying over spilled milk. So you move on with life and think of happy things.

Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series

Grey’s Anatomy • It’s the End Of The World, As We Know It (Part 1 & 2) • ABC
Grey’s Anatomy • Into You Like A Train • ABC
Lost • The 23rd Psalm • ABC
Six Feet Under • Everyone’s Waiting • HBO
The Sopranos • Members Only • HBO

My Pick: While “Lost” may be an addicting show, I really don’t think it’s due to the writing. And let’s just say that on a list of the Top Five Reasons To Watch “Grey’s Anatomy,” writing is right behind “make-up.” So “Six Feet Under” or “The Sopranos”? I just don’t feel like giving “Six Feet Under” any props today. It’s like supporting suicide. So “The Sopranos” it is.

Will win: “Grey’s Anatomy” will win and I’ll say something to The Girlfriend like, “This is fucking ridiculous. For writing! That show is popular for two things: tits and feelings.” And she’ll say something like, “Why do you care so much?” And I’ll say, “Because it gives tits and feelings a bad name.”

Outstanding Comedy Series

Arrested Development • FOX
Curb Your Enthusiasm • HBO
The Office • NBC
Scrubs • NBC
Two And A Half Men • CBS

My Pick: It’s a good category, with four genuinely enjoyable shows and one that is included because Charlie Sheen threatened to molest his co-star if it wasn’t on there. But again – I can’t say it enough – “Arrested Development” made me want to be a better person. I want to have kids someday just so I can watch “Arrested Development” with them. And I’m man enough to admit I’m not kidding when I say that.

Will win: Fuck it, I’m practically drunk with writing at this point. “Arrested Development” is my prediction. Because maybe there’s some decency left in the world. And maybe the academy believed my email and thinks I really do have a bomb hidden somewhere in Los Angeles.

Outstanding Drama Series

Grey’s Anatomy • ABC
House • FOX
The Sopranos • HBO
24 • FOX
The West Wing • NBC

My Pick: I think we’re using the term “drama” a little loosely with “Grey’s Anatomy” here. “Grey’s Anatomy” is about as dramatic as that time I was walking down the street and my helium filled balloon slipped from my grip. For my money, “The Sopranos” is the best drama on TV, hands down. And anyone who says it’s getting “boring” just because someone doesn’t get shot every week, you’re probably the one who makes the obnoxious noise when you sink someone’s battleship. So blow me.

Will win: “The Sopranos.” Because I ran out of commentary, so I asked my magic 8 Ball about this one and it said, “Cannot Predict Now,” and I got pissed and threw it away and guessed that “The Sopranos” would win.

(If you’re actually read this whole thing, thank you. Now please go get some exercise.)