Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Happy St. Andrew's Day

  • Cripes. How can it only be Wednesday? You suck, weekdays.

  • I suppose it's not all bad. As mentioned earlier, today is St. Andrew's Day. Get your kit off, ladies!

  • Like a lot of people, I have my blog set up to send me an e-mail every time someone makes a comment. It ensures that I get to see all the witty things you say.
    Unfortunately, the feature doesn't tell me to which post a person has responded. Usually i can figure it out, but this can sometimes be a problem when people respond to posts that have slipped from my memory (i.e., posts that are more than two days old). As such, I have no idea to which post the following comment is in reference:
    "He is a somebody! He is a Disney favorite. Guess you spend to much time on the internet talking about things and people you know nothing about to have children. Why dont you read up before you post any dumb comment. thanks"
    Of course the comment came from "Anonymous" and in classic angry commenter style, it has grammar/spelling mistakes. I think this may be an unwritten rule of negative commenting -- we see a lot of it in the Global Media Conspiracy. Most of the people who write in to complain that we are treasonous homosexual abortionists who are pushing our liberal socialist agenda to take God out of the schools struggle to string words together. But I'm intrigued; what Disney favorite could I have slighted that it would earn an angry response?
    According to the Blogger dashboard feature, I have spoken about things and people I know nothing about some 640 times on this blog (this post included), so it's difficult to just go through the archives and find the comment. I don't expect you to know, either, of course, but which Disney favorite do you think I might have insulted?

  • Scientologists -- crazy? Oh, hell yes.

  • Another reason to stay calm when driving: if you road rage, Ric Flair might kick your ass.

  • I have been feeling something very strongly today, but I only feel like stating it enigmatically via two sentences:
    - The No. 1 rule of broadcast journalism is that there are no other rules when you have good video.
    - Eight months feels like a long time.
  • St. Andrew Leads To St. Nick

    My latest column is out. It contains passing reference to Chris and Jenny and this line: " Here, have some eggnog. Each cup is worth about $30."
    Please forward it to all your friends and family; it makes the perfect holiday gift.

    Tuesday, November 29, 2005

    Road rage

    It was raining last night while I drove home. When I parked my car, my windshield wipers -- as they are sometimes wont to do -- refused to shut off. Usually this problem corrects itself if I shut off the engine; when the ignition is turned back on, the wipers will move into the off position and stay that way. But after killing the engine two or three times without success, I decided that I couldn't be bothered and simply assumed that it would all sort itself out by the morning.

    Overnight, the rain turned to snow.

    When I got out to the car this morning, it was under about an inch or two of snow. I started the car, cranked up the defrost, and then walked down the street (Rachel and I live in the city, so we park our cars in the street) to the truck to finally retrieve the second snowbrush that has been sitting in the cab since our Ford Shitmobile died.

    I wiped the snow off the rear window, the side windows and the windshield. Then, as I was scraping the ice off the windshield, the wipers suddenly came to life (the car had been on for about five minutes).

    WUPBUPBUP

    "Wow, that's annoying," I thought.

    WUPBUPBUP

    I reached in the car and clicked the wiper switch on and off, hoping that would somehow get the wipers to shut off.

    WUPBUPBUP

    I carried on scraping the ice off the windshield, dancing around the wipers, and telling myself calmly: "Do not rip the wipers out. That would be bad. I will need those again at some point."

    WUPBUPBUP

    According to my Pooh watch, I was already late, so, even though the windows were still all fogged up, I set out for work:

    WUPBUPBUP

    "There's got to be a way to shut off these damned wipers. I guess I could just pull the fuse, if I could..."

    WUPBUPBUP

    "Fucking rear-wheel drive doesn't do shit on these icy intersections. The weather guys said it was going to be like this, but apparently no one who works for the city watches the news -- heaven forbid they should put sand and salt on the roads."

    WUPBUPBUP

    "Where the hell is the fuse box in this fucking car? A smart man would put it right fucking here -- but I've already learned that this car was not designed by a smart man."

    WUPBUPBUP

    "Dude in front of me, why are you going so slow? It's icy, yes, but you don't need to... Whoa. What the hell are you doing? The road is over here! Have you ever driven in America? Just because you can't see the lines doesn't mean there's no road. You're going to hit one of those Hasidic Jews that are always walking up and down this road. I'm pretty sure that killing a Jew is a straight-to-hell offense."

    WUPBUPBUP

    "Motherfucker! It's like that Chinese water torture, these fucking wipers! I can't believe the fuse box isn't anywhere close. Those fucking GM cocksuckers probably put it under the hood."

    WUPBUPBUP

    "What the fuck is the hold up here? Shit. There's probably a wreck on the freeway and things are backed up all the way into the neighborhood. I am going to be so late."

    WUPBUPBUP

    "Gah! Fuck you, General Motors! $250 was too much for this piece of shit. No wonder you're laying off 30,000 workers -- no one but a fucking retard would buy one of your fucking cars new."

    WUPBUPBUP

    "Shut up, you stupid fucking wipers! Just...

    WUPBUPBUP

    "FUCK!"

    WUPBUPBUP

    "I'm 20 minutes late. And the defrost barely works -- I can't see out my rear window. And the goddamned alternator is squealing. How did I end up like this? What did I do that I should end up..."

    WUPBUPBUP

    "GRRRRRRRR FUCK!"

    WUPBUPBUP

    "FUCK FUCK FUCKITY FUCK!"

    WUPBUPBUP

    "FUCK YOU ALL TO HELL, GM! You cocksucking can't-build-a-car-for-shit bitches! I fucking hate you! Do you hear me, GM? Hate! Fucking hate! As soon I get out of this car..."

    WUPBUPBUP

    "Fuck you! As soon as I fucking get out of this fucking car, I am fucking going to fucking kick it as fucking hard as I can. I am fucking wearing fucking steel-fucking-toed fucking boots today, motherfucker. I will kick you, you fucking car! I am going to kick you!"

    WUPBUPBUP

    You have to admire that 1980s steel. They don't make cars like that, anymore, boy. My foot hurts.

    Monday, November 28, 2005

    Martha is just alright by me

  • Now that it is no longer possible to stave off Christmas, I have taken to enjoying the holiday tradition of drinking egg nog. At present, I am taking the easy way out and simply adding Jameson to the stuff you buy at the supermarket, but I have visions of making my own nog from scratch. This is a little more difficult than one might think, though.
    A few years ago, the child bride and I attempted to brew up Martha Stewart's egg nog (link is a bit wonky) and it was undrinkably high octane. My friend, Paul, drank a cup of it and passed out.

  • I anticipate some people would criticize me for using a Martha Stewart recipe in the first place, but how can you not love an old boozehound felon like Martha? On her website she has a feature that allows you to search for recipes by ingredient and it's clear that the lady loves her hooch. Here are the number of recipes I found containing various spirits:
    Rum: 79
    Brandy: 63
    Whisky/Bourbon: 56
    Cognac: 53
    Vodka: 40
    Gin: 15
    Tequila: 13
    The search for "beer" returned 225 recipes. Hey. I'll tell you something for nothing -- that Martha Stewart is my kind of lady.

  • The Vikings won another game. Brad Johnson is unstoppable. We're going to the Super Bowl, baby! Super Bowl! This is our year! Never mind that three of the four teams we've beaten this year have sucked.

  • If I wrote headlines: Motor City Kitties Boot The Mooch

  • This weekend I was having a discussion with Esther about information that is blog appropriate, and I envisioned some insufferable blog in which a person wrote about all sorts of things that no one else would want to know, like expertly documenting a rash.
    It was one of those jokes that cuts dangerously close, though, so I will avoid telling you that the duct tape worked.

  • There is so much wrong with this story, I don't know where to begin. Although, I wish I had thought to propose to the child bride via a kiddie pool full of chocolate pudding.

  • When I was in high school, I had a four-year crush on a girl who was a fan of the Moody Blues. This was in the early 90s and as much as I liked her, I couldn't get over how dumb I thought it was to be a fan of the Moody Blues.
    Once again displaying my amazing teenage capacity for duplicity, however, I was an unabashed fan of bands like Blackfoot and Lynyrd Skynyrd. "Freebird" still makes me weep. It runs in the family -- my uncle used to claim that he could be heard on a Skynyrd live album clearly answering the question, "What song does Dallas want to hear tonight?"
    Blackfoot had slipped into almost total obscurity before I had even heard of them and I doubt that even the radio god that is Dave could name their biggest song without Google-searching, but I feel a certain sense of vindication to have learned today that Skynyrd will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Sunday, November 27, 2005

    Merry Christmas, bitches

    BeforeI am the sort of person who generally likes to hold off on thinking about Christmas until at least 1 December. But my wife comes from a family that keeps Christmas trees up year-round.

    No, really. My mother-in-law has a disturbing obsession with Christmas to the extent that she keeps up at least four trees all year long. Recently I was looking at pictures from our wedding day and I was thinking: "A few generations from now, people will look at these pictures and think that Rachel and I were married in December."

    We were married in the month of June.

    Our Christmastime compromise, then, is that Rachel is not allowed to start celebrating the Yuletide season until after Thanksgiving. On the day after Thanksgiving we drove out to Hansen Tree Farm to cut down a tree and drag it back home. It had snowed that day, so it actually felt Christmasy as Rachel and I wondered through the rows of trees, looking for the one that looked pretty enough to kill.

    AfterI always like to tell the story of our first Christmas together, when Rachel and I bought a massive 9-foot tree and could afford no ornaments for the damned thing. So, we drove up into the Sierras (we lived in Reno, Nev.) to collect the large pine cones that fall from the Ponderosas -- we used those and a few strings of lights to decorate the tree.

    Over the years we've collected a handful more ornaments than I've managed to drop, so our tree looks a little more legitimate. Although, there still aren't enough ornaments to go all the way around the tree -- the side facing the window is bare.

    My favorite element to our tree is Black Santa -- a 16-inch tall black man with a French horn and the most stylin' fur-lined robe ever made, for a man of any size. Black Santa, of course, sits in his rightful place atop the tree, making sure that all Christmas happenings are to his liking.

    Now we just need to put some presents under the tree.

    Friday, November 25, 2005

    Impatient


    Rachel and me
    Originally uploaded by ChrisCope.
    This is what Rachel and I look like whilst standing out in the cold and waiting for my dad to get his damned camera to work.

    We were taking pictures to turn into Christmas cards (yes, we are those people -- the ones who send Christmas cards of themselves) but by this point had lost all patience with my dad's camera.

    "Well, it keeps shutting off on me," my dad said.

    "I need to get you a new camera for Christmas," I said.

    "But there's nothing wrong with this camera."

    "Yes there is. We've been standing here for five minutes and you haven't taken a picture yet."

    "Ah. There it went."

    Thursday, November 24, 2005

    Self-made meme

    Even though I wasn't asked to do so, I thought I might steal the meme on Dave's blog from a few days ago. But then I decided I didn't really like the particular meme, so I've just made up my own:

    What were you doing 10 years ago?
    Nov. 23, 1995, was Thanksgiving Day. My girlfriend at the time, Sara, and I had Thanksgiving in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., at the orchard where she worked.
    This is where that Steely Dan song comes in. Annandale-on-Hudson consists of little more than Bard College, a tiny liberal institution of higher learning tucked away in farming country. Steely Dan originally formed at Bard, with Chevy Chase as their drummer. The group (sans Chevy) eventually went on to immortalize Annandale-on-Hudson with their song "My Old School" in their 1973 album "Countdown to Ecstasy."
    As indicated by my seven years of marriage to Rachel, things with Sara didn't turn out as well as perhaps they could have and for comedic effect I have a habit of playing up how pear-shaped it all went (conveniently ignoring my own culpability). As such, I am particularly fond of "My Old School" and the lyrics: "California tumbles into the sea -- that'll be the day I go back to Annandale."
    Interestingly, oleanders used to grow just outside the window of her dorm room.
    Anyway, 10 years ago, I took time from my busy schedule of failing all my classes at Moorhead State University to spend Thanksgiving and Sara's birthday (Nov. 26) with her.
    The dinner was hosted in a barn, with two or three massive tables stretching from end to end. Both sides of the family that ran the orchard were there; they had more family members than I had to that point thought could exist in a family. With Sara and I and another girl who worked the orchard serving as the only non-family members, there were at least 70 people at the dinner. Normally when I tell this story, I put the number at about 85 to 100, but Sara occasionally reads this blog, so I am trying to be conservative in my estimate. No doubt I am still off -- I have a horrible memory. If she were telling you this story, she would name everyone there and tell you what each person ate.
    Before dinner, a number of people went on a hayride that went around the orchard, and Sara and I walked around in the cold for a while. I have always thought, and continue to think, that miserable cold weather is romantic. There is not a woman alive who agrees with me on this, so Sara sniffled and swore at the cold until she could stand no more.
    The barn was warm and alive with all the people. Sara's letters to me used to read like menus, so she would, of course, remember better all the food that was available, but I do remember that there was a lot of it -- turkeys and venison that had been killed that day; a whole table of pies; and loads of wine. It's probably odd that I remember the wine. To put it very politely, my attitude toward alcohol at the time was priggish*, but I remember that I tried a very small amount of strawberry wine and wished that I could drink more. My stupid drama king pride refused to allow me to do so.
    This was the year that Thanksgiving became my favorite holiday. Before then, the holiday hadn't meant a whole lot to me. I come from what my cousin, Shawn, once described as "a dysfunctional family where everyone likes each other." We achieved this happy state by not forcing ourselves to spend a whole lot of time with one another, so Thanksgivings growing up were sporadic. When my family moved to Minnesota, my mother decided that just the four of us -- her, my dad, my brother and me -- weren't worth the trouble of making a turkey. Our tradition became that I would barbecue a rack of ribs.
    That Thanksgiving at Annandale-on-Hudson was amazing to me, though. I felt as if I were in some film or book. Like when you see one of those Jane Austen films and everyone is at the ball and you think: "Who did that really?"
    Who actually has a Thanksgiving like the one in "Avalon?" We did, motherfucker, and it was bigger.

    What were you doing five years ago?
    Nov. 23, 2000, was the day before Thanksgiving. I was working at a now-defunct Internet company that paid me to do little more than eat Rice Krispie treats and teach myself Welsh.
    Being a media hack, I was not able to leave town for Thanksgiving, so Rachel and I had dinner with a few other media hacks -- Jim "Landeros" Landrith and Gene Vance. Continuing the Steely Dan theme, Landeros has a habit of analyzing the band's lyrics when he is drunk:
    "'Gonna strike all the big red words from my little black book' -- That is great, my friend. That, Mr. Cope, is fucking genius!"
    Landeros now produces a show in Sacramento, Calif., and Gene has gone back to being a photographer in Reno, Nev., but at the time we were all living and suffering in San Diego.
    The dinner was hosted at Landeros' house in Tierrasanta and he did the brunt of the work -- fixing the turkey and the stuffing. Rachel did everything else and Gene, strangely, brought a 5-pound ham that he had bought at Boston Market. I did nothing but sit there and drink Corona.
    There was far too much food, the warm Southern California weather made it feel terribly un-Thanksgiving-like, and I had to leave early to get to work, but its still ranks up there as one of my favorite Thanksgivings. It's very hard for me to explain why I like Thanksgiving without sounding like the blog equivalent of a Precious Moments figurine, but that Thanksgiving had all the necessary elements for me.

    What were you doing last year?
    Nov. 23, 2004, was two days before Thanksgiving. I wasn't doing a whole hell of a lot -- I was at the same job, putting the same useless crap on my blog. The only difference, I suppose, is that the creator of Stove Top stuffing was still alive.
    One year ago I was, as is the case this year, looking forward to Thanksgiving at my parents' house in the suburban wonderland that is Bloomington, Minn. Rachel woke up early on Thanksgiving morning to make a delicious, task-intensive turkey; my dad made the stuffing; my brother and his wife brought desert; and my mother and I sat around drinking beer. As will be the case this year.
    The only real difference between this year and last year will be that my brother and his concubine will bring desert. Jon separated from his wife, Erica (whom he now calls "Ex-ica"), shortly after Christmas last year. Replacing her will be Vanessa, whom I refer to as "the concubine" because Jon is still legally married. The concubine is smarter and bigger breasted than Jon's wife, so I guess things are moving forward.

    What will you be doing one year from now?
    Nov. 23, 2006 will be Thanksgiving Day. The child bride and I will be living in Cardiff, hosting a dinner for all the poor souls who do not usually celebrate Thanksgiving. Britons regularly criticize the fact that Americans seem to have a holiday for everything, but this is one that's worth carrying over. It has no real religious or patriotic association and no one expects gifts -- the sole purpose is to get together, eat, drink, and say: "Here's to livin'."
    If you can get there, you are invited to join us.

    *If you are one of the people who is able to expound on my duplicitous stances on alcohol consumption, please remember that this is my blog -- I can delete comments.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2005

    100 Things: 26-30

    1-5 ~ 6-10 ~ 11-15 ~ 16-20 ~ 21-25

    26) Professionally, I am little more than expensive and unreliable spell-check software.

    27) I wish I could develop a connoisseur's appreciation for whisky.

    28) I wish I had the entire music catalogs of Elton John and Queen. Unfortunately (or, perhaps fortunately), pride will not allow me to even purchase a greatest hits CD. Similarly, I am ashamed to have paid good money for the greatest hits of Steely Dan.

    29) I am even more ashamed that I identify with the lyrics to a Steely Dan song.

    30) Sometimes I really do not understand why my wife likes me. I wonder if perhaps she does it as some sort of self-issued penance so she can get into heaven. Maybe she is like UltraMan. "UltraMan" was a 1960s show from Japan about a space alien bloke who could turn into a giant robot. When the space alien bloke first came to Earth, he accidentally landed on some random Japanese fellow. So, in a sort of apology to the universe for killing a perfectly innocent person, space alien bloke assumed the dead guy's identity and dedicated himself to doing good by occasionally turning into a giant robot and fending off the various monsters who seem so keen to attack Japan.

    Five and five

    Minnesota loves you, Paul Edinger. Of the five wins on the Vikings record this year, three of those games have been won by just three points -- Edinger kicks. Finally, kickers are getting the respect they deserve!
    Uhm. OK, maybe not. But still -- if Edinger can't get home to Florida this Thursday, or wherever the hell he's from, I am sure he would be welcome at any Minnesotan table.
    Despite the win, I can't say I enjoyed Monday's game all that much. Watching the Vikings play the Packers always makes me feel mildly sick because I want so badly for the Vikings to win and I am so painfully aware of their incredible ability to find creative ways to lose.
    Now that we no longer have a losing record, however, I am, of course, plotting out where I will sit during the parade after the Vikings win the Super Bowl. We don't need no stinkin' offense. THIS IS OUR YEAR, BABY!

  • Here's one of the things I like about the Internets: you can be sitting around and say something like, "Have you ever noticed that the same guy's voice is in just about every cartoon made over the last 20 years? I wonder what that guy's name is?"
    Then, with a minimum of effort you can sort out that the guy you're thinking of is Rob Paulsen. Then, you can try to remember the lyrics to the "Gummi Bears" theme song, give up and find that, too.
  • Pen-blwydd hapus, Beth

    Beth is old. Go wish her a happy birthday and give her advice on what to do when her hip snaps.

    Monday, November 21, 2005

    Love Jell-O

  • Among the things that I had strangely kept in my parents' basement for more than 10 years was a notebook in which I kept record of amusing things that I heard other people say. No doubt, I had designs on stealing these quotes and claiming them as my own at some later date. Here is one from my friend, Paul Gronert:
    "You are a bowl of love Jell-O. And there is always room for Jell-O."

  • So, embarrassingly, I have a wart on the ball of my right foot. After ignoring it for several months I finally decided to do something about it this weekend and bought one of those fancy kits that allow you to freeze it off in the comfort of your own home. What better way to spend an evening than destroying one's flesh?
    For some reason, I decided to break with man code and I actually read all the directions. Rather strangely, these instructions informed me that I may have wasted my money because duct tape removes warts. I now have duct tape on my foot.

  • Did you see the clips ("Hell Breaks Loose in the House") from the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday?

  • How'd you like to live next door to this guy? The amount of time it likely took to coordinate all that is kind of sad. Admirably sad, but sad.

  • Japanese girls with pork chops strapped to their heads encounter lizard. Hilarity ensues.

  • Fantastic. Now I'm ready for some celebrity stalking.

  • Sometimes I wonder how certain things make the news.

  • 30,000 jobs.

  • On an unhappy note, Gene's wife, Betty, died Friday.
  • Sunday, November 20, 2005

    Memories

    It turns out that much of the stuff filling my parents' basement closet was mine -- boxes and boxes and boxes of junk that should have been thrown away years ago. So, much of my time Saturday was spent condensing seven boxes into one.

    Spanish homework from college? Movie tickets? Christmas cards from 1992? Who needs that stuff? But Lindsay's high school senior picture -- hell that's worth keeping. I also have five black-and-white photos of Lindsay, taken on 24 June 1994 at the Mall of America: Lindsay in front of the Champs Sports store; Lindsay in front of Planet Hollywood; Lindsay throwing coins into a fountain; Lindsay reading "Lion King;" Lindsay in front of Tony Roma's. In all of these pictures, she is wearing Harry Potter-style glasses -- beating the trend by about four years.

    I have absolutely no recollection of this event, nor why it occurred. Lindsay, I will send these photos to you and perhaps you can explain them.

    Not remembering stuff was a common theme as I dug through the basement closet. I apparently went through a phase in my life in which I kept every note and card and scrap of correspondence given to me by girls, and in sifting through these I found myself struggling to remember the people who had given them to me. Angel? Jill? Anna? Who? Who? Who?

    It's probably for the best that these people slipped so easily out of my life. From what I am able to pick up about myself, I was a dick. I knew this already -- I have long said that if I had a time machine, the first thing I'd do is go is go back in time and kick my ass -- but I guess I had allowed myself to forget just how much of a dick I was.

    Most of that stuff has been thrown away. The rest has been wrapped and closet and stuffed up underneath the stairs in my parents' house. And we shall never speak of it again.

    You have something on your shirt


    DSCN0943
    Originally uploaded by shakesenora.
    I just got a Flickr account and found this whilst exploring other people's photos. Right now, at least one of the people in this picture is regretting it.

    Saturday, November 19, 2005

    It's where we keep the evil

  • Rachel is in St. George, Utah, this weekend. You know how the old saying goes: when the cat is away, the mice will clean their parents' basement closet. Or something like that -- it's what I'll be doing, at least.
    In my parents' house is a large closet that is about 12 feet deep and then curves up underneath the stairs. The closet has become a sort of bottomless pit for my parents, who will open the door, simply throw something into the closet and then slam the door shut. They have operated in this fashion for at least 10 years, so Duw a ŵyr what I will find in there. It has been so long since my parents have ventured into that closet that when I announced my plans to clean it out, my mother got a little scared and suggested that I wear gloves and a mask and "clothes you can throw away."

  • "If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science," says an official in the Vatican.

  • I forgot to link to this Thursday -- it appears Eddie Guerrero may have died of heart disease. I find that statistic of more than 65 pro wrestlers to have died in the last eight years to be pretty alarming.

  • Martin Moon makes a daring escape from a maximum security prison and then gets some 490 miles away before he decides to take a nap... wait for it... just outside a prison.

  • Reshel Reid gets thrown 40 feet from her motorcycle into a lake and then swims 50 yards to safety. That is pretty John L. Sullivan.

  • In the story of this random dumb guy, I think it's interesting that Sky goes out of its way to mention that the fella is Turkish. Sky is owned by News Corp., which also owns Fox News. I'm just saying...

  • Paris Hilton is kind of scary.

  • "My husband and I have sex about eight times per week," claims book shill Kerry McCloskey. Right. I can just imagine trying to convince the child bride to suffer me eight times a week: "But it's for your health, honey."

  • I mentioned the other day that my co-wage-slave, Maggie, is funnier than the rest of us (probably in part because we are boys and we try too hard) -- here's proof.

  • Good name for a band: Bag of Havoc
  • Friday, November 18, 2005

    Educated masses are a drag

  • Southern Ohio hates fancy learnin'. I read a number of stories from across the United States and have noticed that Ohio voters love to defeat school bonds. Schools cancel buses; no one cares. Schools cancel extra-curricular activities; no one cares. Schools lay off teachers; no one cares. Schools turn down the heat and encourage students to dress warmly; no one cares.
    Charlotte, please explain what the hell is happening in your state -- why do y'all hate ejukayshun?

  • Ford has introduced something it calls its Keep It Simple Plan and rather brilliantly, it is not simple. If you look at the example given, there are four separate figures to look at.

  • So, if someone brings me cold chili I'm just supposed to let it go? How is that fair?

  • Come on, Prince George's County! You can do it! One more to tie the record.

  • Australia gets all the cool stuff -- like glowing meat.

  • Creative judges always amuse me. But something about a judge's ability to just make up punishments has a certain third world element to it, I think.

  • Yeesh. You can tell it is November sweeps -- the time when TV stations will do anything and everything to increase viewership -- when you see stupid stories like this one that have absolutely no journalistic value whatsoever.
    Uhm. Wait. What was the name of spray again?
  • Wednesday, November 16, 2005

    International Mayor Time Bureau

  • I don't do this very often, but this is an actual sentence that was sent to me today in a news story:
    "According to the International Mayor Time Bureau, nine ships have been ceased by pirates holding those vessels and more than 100 crew members as ransom."
    I hurt.

  • Modern boycotts are half-assed.

  • Do-it-yourself laser. Sure. Nothing bad will ever happen there.

  • My brain is completely shot today -- I think I may have lost several brain cells in Tuesday's migraine; my head is now reassembling my limited resources for the purposes of daily functioning. Stephanie Wechsler, the date of your birthday has been wiped from my mind to make room for operation of my left pinky finger.
    But here's what I was thinking about this morning as I was driving to work (my car seems to like the cold weather, by the way -- although it appears that simply pushing the defrost button is not enough to get all the snow off the rear window):
    "You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?"
    This song lyric doesn't make any sense. I don't really know Dasher and Dancer, et al. I mean, are there any songs solely about Comet? But let's say that I did know all those other reindeer -- that I was member No. 2214 of the Santa's Reindeer Fan Club -- would you need to ask me if I recalled the most famous reindeer of all? Of course I recall him. If I'm going to recall any reindeer, I'm going to recall the most famous of all.
    Cripes, what a dumb song.

  • Utah is ranked No. 10 when it comes to household spending on women's apparel. I'm pretty sure my wife's mother has a major role in this.
  • Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    Why don't you start wearing the purple

  • Have you heard the song "Start Wearing Purple" by Gogol Bordello? This is my favorite song of the moment -- you cannot listen to it without wanting to drink and shout nonsense. I am particularly fond of the line "A purple little, little lady will be perfect for dirty, old and useless clown."
    That somehow sums up my marriage, I think -- myself being the old and useless clown, of course, and the child bride being draped in insanity for staying with me.

  • Bryn 'Meatloaf' Terfel. I can't quite explain why I think that is so funny. I wonder if people ever come up to Meatloaf and ask him to sing 'Cwm Rhondda.'

  • I got a rocking migraine headache in the middle of the day today. These damn things seem to be hitting me with more frequency in my old age. Whereas I previously never had them, I now tend to get them about twice a year. Today's felt as if my head was splitting open; I kept waiting for the full, soft sound of my skull cracking right along the top. It didn't, obviously. As dedicated as I am to blogging, I'm pretty sure I'd take a few days for myself were I to crack open my brainpan.
    Accompanying this pain was a happy, electric-rainbow-colored sunspot in the center of my vision, which made it impossible to see clearly the words I was supposed to be correcting. Inevitably, I missed something and the person complained. I think it's sort of funny when people complain to me about things I have missed, because it forces them to admit that they screwed up in the first place.
    This pain is a unique experience that is almost not bad, save the fact that I can't concentrate and I want to hurt anyone who talks.

  • Take a look at Joe -- I have trouble believing he really is this much of an idiot.
    "Hi, what's your name? No, wait. I see that you've written it on your neck -- you have got to be the dumbest kid alive."
    I can't get over it. The boy has tattooed his own name on his neck -- that is synonymous with stupid. It is a new metaphor: that kid is several bricks short of a load; his elevator doesn't go all the way to the top; he has tattooed his name on his neck.

  • Random quote from my fellow wage slave, Maggie, who is funnier than all the guys she works with: "Sometimes I like to curl up on the couch with some ice cream and a good porn movie; that's me time."
  • What Happens Every Seven Seconds

    Hooray! My latest column is out.

    My editor originally had as the article's headline: "What Comes Every Seven Seconds?" But then he decided against it, fearing that a higher-up would take issue.

    Because I have the word "sex" in the article, it runs the risk of garnering an utterly random viewer complaint. Journalists, for all their blustering about things like integrity and responsibility, are pussies who will crumble at the first sign of criticism. As such, any nutcase who knows how to send an e-mail or operate a telephone can get a whole building full of college-educated adults to run around in a full hysteria simply by complaining.

    The No. 1 rule to dealing with complaints in television news (and, by extension, TV news-based websites) is this: panic.

    Do not fact-check the complaint, do not make an evaluation of the validity of the complaint, just panic. After a good deal of panicking and yelling at people who may or may not have culpability, the standard operating procedure is to then make some sort of ridiculous decree. Ideally, with this decree you want to set up impractical operating procedures, or editorial standards that are at once impossibly narrow and wholly undefined.

    So Adam (who is a huge UT fan, by the way) decided to avoid all this and go with a less suggestive headline.

    "I'm already putting about a 65 percent chance of (our higher-up) talking to me about it," Adam said. "I don't want to throw 'come' in her face."

    While my solitary use of the word "sex" may serve to be the verbal Samson to your moral Temple of Dagon, I still think the column is probably one of my better ones in a while.

    Monday, November 14, 2005

    NFC North: best football division ever

  • Great googly-moogly. We won a game. That never happens -- especially on the road against teams that aren't arse. Indeed, the whole NFC was wonky this weekend, our beloved NFC North in particular. Green Bay won; Chicago won; and Detroit won.
    OMGWTFBBQ! Cats and dogs living together! What the hell is going on?! I suppose we can take some consolation in the fact that Minnesota's offense still sucks -- Sunday's win was all defense and special teams.

  • Where will I be on Sept. 1, 2007? In Brighton, of course.

  • I would say that I was shocked to hear that Latino Heat is dead, but I'm not, really. The story mentions that Guerrero was celebrating his fourth year of sobriety -- he was celebrating by falling off the wagon, methinks.
    Remember that week when we thought that wrestlers were going to stop being roid freaks and that smaller, normal-sized fellas would be able to win the title? Then Vince went back to supporting idiots like Batista (am I the only person to notice how exhausted he looks at the end of almost every match -- the boy has no stamina).

  • Why I'm retiring in Ireland.

  • I found out yesterday that my cousin recently coughed so hard that she cracked a rib. What?! How does that happen? If anyone needs me, I'll be drinking milk.

  • It's finally getting cold in the great state of Minnesota. The weather types are promising upward of four inches of snow over the next few days. This will be an exciting test of Y Bwystfil's winter ability. If I suddenly stop blogging on Wednesday, it means my car has failed the test and someone should call the police.
  • Wrestler Guerrero found dead in hotel

    (This paper requires registration, so I just cut and paste)

    WWE star was in Minneapolis for event at Target Center

    BY FREDERICK MELO

    Pioneer Press

    He was supposed to be a comeback kid.

    Groomed from childhood to follow in the professional wrestling career of his father and three older brothers, Eddie Gory Guerrero made his debut in Mexico 17 years ago as the "Magic Mask."

    Later dubbed "Latino Heat," the 5-foot-8-inch, 220-pound entertainer carved a following for himself on both sides of the border, battling gargantuan rivals in the ring while fighting a career-stunting addiction to cocaine, painkillers and alcohol outside of it.

    At 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Guerrero, 38, was discovered dead in his hotel room at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center, hours before an event at Target Center. His nephew, fellow professional wrestler Chavo Guerrero Jr., and a security guard found his body.

    The two men forced Guerrero's door open after he failed to answer a wake-up call. They found him on the floor. His door had been latched from the inside.

    Authorities would not speculate on a cause of death. Minneapolis police said they do not suspect foul play. The Hennepin County medical examiner's office is expected to perform an autopsy today.

    The two athletes had flown to Minnesota together late the previous night. Sunday night's event was a show to be taped for World Wrestling Entertainment. The company dedicated the event to Guerrero's memory, and segments will air tonight on USA Network's "WWE Raw" and Friday on UPN's "WWE SmackDown!"

    "If this is a tribute show to Eddie, then I definitely want to be a part of it, and I know that he would want me to be a part of it also," Chavo Guerrero said at a news conference Sunday afternoon with WWE Chairman Vincent McMahon Jr.

    Eddie Guerrero, a native of El Paso, Texas, recently moved his family to Phoenix. He is survived by his wife, Vickie, and their three daughters, Shaul, 14, Sherilyn, 9, and Kaylie Marie, 3.

    "This is a huge loss for WWE. Eddie Guerrero was one of our star performers," McMahon said. "Eddie was a consummate performer."

    At Target Center on Sunday, most fans knew about Guerrero's death. They described the wrestler as a skilled performer able to throw his body around the ring and make his matches exciting and believable.

    Guerrero's signature move was the "Frog Splash," in which he would fly from the top of ropes and land on his opponent. It was the move he used to finish off matches, said Jerry Otto Jr., who brought a portfolio of photos and articles about Guerrero to the event.

    "Eddie could do pretty much any move he wanted to," Otto said.

    Chris Vetter said Guerrero was a tremendous wrestler: "He knew how to make a crowd cheer for him when he was a good guy and boo like crazy when he was a bad guy."

    As a child, Guerrero cultivated his fighting stances under the tutelage of his father, Gory Guerrero, who was idolized in Mexico as a founding hero of the "lucha libre," a Mexican fighting spectacle featuring wrestlers as masked avengers.

    Guerrero, who grew up in South El Paso, wrestled at the University of New Mexico before joining his three older brothers in professional leagues in Mexico and Japan. He broke into the U.S. television market in the mid-1990s, competing for four years with World Championship Wrestling.

    He later left WCW and in January 2000 joined its rival, WWE, where he was spotlighted as a star performer.

    "Out of my whole life, there were maybe four months that I thought I don't want to be a wrestler," he told the El Paso Times in an August 2003 interview. "I grew up watching my dad and my older brothers do it. This is a dream for me."

    But the dream was nearly cut short by his public battles with alcoholism and drug abuse. After flipping his car while high on liquid Ecstasy, Guerrero bounced back from a knee injury with an addiction to painkillers. He was fired from WWE in 2001, his wife filed for divorce and the IRS seized his wages.

    After regaining his sobriety, Guerrero reconciled with his wife and was rehired by WWE in 2002. He performed tag-team matches with his nephew and became an inspirational symbol to fans struggling with their own addictions, Chavo Guerrero said.

    The two men shared a flight from Phoenix on Saturday night, and Eddie Guerrero appeared in good health. He told his nephew that he was celebrating his fourth year of sobriety this month, Chavo Guerrero said, and he congratulated him.

    "We sat next to each other; we watched the movie; we talked," he said. "Everything was fine."

    Professional wrestling has been plagued by the untimely deaths of star entertainers. According to a March 2004 article in USA Today, 65 wrestlers died in seven years, many from enlarged hearts and other coronary diseases consistent with drug or steroid use.

    In October 1997, former Cincinnati Bengals football player Brian Pillman was found dead in his Bloomington motel room. Pillman, who wrestled under the name "Flyin' Brian," was later found to have died of heart disease.

    Jason Hoppin contributed to this report.

    Friday, November 11, 2005

    Ill, but not necessarily licensed

  • For reasons that I cannot explain, I found myself suffering very serious hiraeth for Reno, Nev., today. I'm pretty sure some sort of awful infection has reached my brain.
    You may remember my being sick two weeks ago. I got better for about two days but now I'm sick again. So, I did that dumb thing of trying to self-diagnose by searching my symptoms on Web MD. I have tuberculosis.

  • It may be worse, actually. Dogs can smell cancer, apparently, so I may have testicular cancer.

  • Sheep + rugby players = fun

  • Maybe too much fun with sheep is to blame for Wales' poor performance Friday. They beat Fiji, but only just barely. At half-time, Wales were down 0-7. That's hardly the play you'd expect from the reigning Six Nations champions and it has put me in a pissy mood, especially since I know things in my sports world will not improve Sunday when the Vikings go against the Giants.

  • Yipes. What a horrible, horrible way to come into the world.

  • Let's all raise a toast to the informed voters of Riverside, Calif., who this week elected a prisoner to their school board. The best guess as to why they did this: His name was at the top of the ballot.

  • Wasn't this woman a character in a Carl Hiaasen novel?

  • Earlier this week, a relatively sizeable piece about older bloggers showed up on The Associated Press wire*. I'm sure the first thing you'll notice about this story, however, is that Gene got screwed. Not one mention of him.

  • Not sure the point of this.

    *Note that USA Today has slugged the story "geezer-blog" in their URL.
  • 11 November

    Boys and girls

  • Just as men and women respond to humor differently (look for the link in yesterday's post) we also -- shocker -- respond to stress differently. In this story, it says that women eat sweets and chocolates when they are stressed, whereas men go for pizza and steaks. Women, the story says, go for sweets and chocolates because it raises their levels of saratonin -- that stuff in your brain that keeps you from sitting around in your room and writing crappy high school poetry ("The demon midday moon laughs at me as I walk these halls, my feet strapped to concrete blocks..."*). But men go for pizza and steaks because... uhm... it doesn't say.
    I'm inclined to believe women did the research, because it implies that men do things for no particular reason.

  • My wife tends do take on the brunt of the cooking and cleaning in my household, which means that I have very little leeway when it comes to complaining about things or getting my way. If I want a steak or a pizza, the child bride possesses undefeatable veto power. In practice, I never really notice -- but I can't help but feel a wisp of melancholy for the emotional capital I don't possess.
    Spare a thought, then, for poor Brandon Eneriz, whose wife lost 40 pounds and worked three jobs so the couple could make a down payment on a house. She owns his ass now.
    "Honey, I was thinking that maybe..."
    "No."
    "Right. I was not thinking. I will sit here quietly until I receive my next command."
    "That's better."

  • Rural Indiana men have trouble using condoms properly. Make your own jokes.

  • In Thailand Wednesday, several hundred easily-amused people showed up for a panda wedding. But because pandas are godless heathens who want to live in sin, they didn't actually get married -- "two mascots dressed as pandas and took the vows on behalf of the bears."
    This is actually very similar to how my wife and I got married; I hired someone to dress as Rachel and take the vows in her place.
    "Hey, Rachel. You and I are married."
    "My ass we are. Clear off before I call the police."
    "Maybe you should take a look at this marriage certificate -- we're married. And here's a few pictures of our wedding. See? There you are."
    "That is a 400-pound bearded man in a veil."
    "Yeah, well. He was the best I could do on short notice."

  • I'm probably the last person on the planet to have seen the video of two Chinese blokes lip-synching to the Backstreet Boys. The element that amuses the hell out of me is the third fellow, with his back to the camera. He can't be bothered to turn around just once?

  • One of the evil super geniuses at my benevolent employer each year puts together a collection of "Best of" lists. The Best of 2005 List is already under way -- it will grow considerably over the next month or so.

  • I thought this story about one of Minnesota's oldest prisoners was interesting. I especially like the idea of a grumpy old guy wandering around a prison bitching at everyone.

  • I don't think I would really mind if someone stole my identity after I died. In fact, I kind of like the idea -- especially if my identity were stolen by someone else after the original ID thief died. With the help of a handful of ne'er-do-wells, I could -- in a legal sense -- still be alive and applying for credit cards 400 years from now.

    *While that is not a line I ever wrote in high school, it pretty much embodies the crappiness of everything that was written.
  • Wednesday, November 9, 2005

    God bless Charlie Mops

  • I tried a new beer on Tuesday night. Well, it's not really new -- the company's been around for 17 years -- but new to me. I realize that it doesn't seem like a blogworthy event but you have to remember that for many fellows, trying a new beer is like seeing a new piece of art or reading a new book; we walk away from the experience feeling better about ourselves.
    Actually, beer is better than books or art. "The Sun Also Rises" is a pretty good book, I think, but it's going to start to lose a little something on its 100th read. But my 100th Guinness, whenever that occurred, was just as tasty as the first.
    The beer I bought Tuesday is from Canada, which makes me especially well-cultured (beer from another country -- oooooh!). Ingesting beer from other places is like traveling on the cheap. Recently, Curly was saying that when he travels, he likes to experience a place from a more local perspective. What could be more local than to drink from area streams, rivers and lakes? That's where the water for beer comes from. So, I have metaphorically dipped my hand into bodies of water all over the world; and by doing it via beer, I have never once suffered cryptosporidium.
    You know that map that everyone has put on their blog at one time or another showing all the countries they've been to? Off the top of my head, this is what my beer travel map looks like -- the red identifies the places from which I have had beer.
    Beer is great.
    Beer is candy for men. Every time I go to the liquor store on the corner, I find myself standing along the wall of beer coolers, hand on chin, pondering my beer purchase as if it were a major life decision:
    What state or country do I want to go to now? What kind of commitment do I want to make to that place -- a six-pack or 12-pack or just a one-off single-bottle jaunt?
    And I'm not the only one. There are always other guys doing the same thing; strolling from the quality domestics over to the cheap mass-produced stuff and back, and peering through the glass at the beers as if trying to read the lie of a golf course.
    My wife refuses to go to the liquor store with me because, she says, I take too long to pick things out. She clearly doesn't like to travel.

  • Oh, man. The cat's out of the bag. I suppose it's only a matter of time before people make the link between this blog and Estonia's foreign policy.

  • Gah. Spooky.

  • According to this story, women appreciate humor more because they don't expect a punchline. Huh?
    "The funnier the cartoon the more the reward center in the women's brain responded, unlike men who seemed to expect the cartoons to be funny from the beginning," the story says.
    I suppose the pessimist could say that women are more used to disappointment.

  • But, wait. Detroit really is a city of abandoned buildings, desolate neighborhoods and burned-out cars.

  • Oh, Kansas. You make me sad.
  • A social tip

    If you walk into the middle of a conversation and people are all laughing about something, don't sit there and derail the thing by asking: "Who are we talking about?" "Wait, what did he do?" "Who is that?" "How does she know him?"

    Just consider it a moment lost and let it pass, you boob.

    Tuesday, November 8, 2005

    This one goes out to Huw

  • Huw on Monday lamented the fact that no one has ever dedicated anything to him, like a book. I can relate. I have always wanted to be mentioned in CD liner notes.
    I have several friends who have been in bands over the years and there's always a twinge of rejection when I search through the liner notes for my name. My best friend Eric is wearing my shoes in the picture they took of him for the liner notes of this CD. But is there anything in there about me? A simple, "Thanks for the footwear, Chris?"
    No. Nothing. Not a damn thing. We'll see how many more pairs of used Doc Martens that sort of gratitude will earn you, Johnson!
    There's a chance, I suppose, that at some point in the future I will be a published author, but I'm afraid I won't dedicate any of my books to Huw. I can say this with confidence as a result of a conversation I had with my wife a few months ago. I mentioned that in one book, I would like to use that little dedication section to apologize to Talisyn Flagg, whom I dumped just days before we were supposed to go to senior prom -- it sticks in my conscience as one of the more evil things I've done in my life. My wife responded to this idea by pointedly waving some bloke's book in my face.
    "I like this author because he has dedicated all his books to his wife," she said.
    Right. Message received.

  • Here's a random picture of me at the headquarters of my benevolent employer. They took it so that people who don't work in our suburban office Valhalla can get to know me. Lucky them. Unfortunately, I am not nearly as cool-looking as this fellow who is wanted in Kansas City for beating up his probation officer.

  • Welsh-language blogger Dafydd has put together another track using clips from the audio posts on my Welsh-language blog. This track is more amusing than the other one, I think -- especially when it stops for me to say, "Yeah. Tipyn o country. Woo!"

  • Andraste had this link several days ago, but it still makes me giggle: BabyCage.net.

  • "State Farm said customers in Pennsylvania made 18,000 claims for deer crashes last year." The hell?

  • The city of Baltimore is paying someone $500,000 to help them think of ways to improve their image. Here's one for free: Stop being such a shit city.

  • When life resembles a country song: "Attackers knocked the man to the ground, pulled off his boots, and used them to severely beat the man in the face."
  • Dan's on the blog!


    He looks like he's 18 years old here. He's also a Republican, so feel free to make fun of him (within reason).

    Hey, you -- get into my car

    It's like being in the car with me, sans the carbon monoxide fumes -- an audio post because Charlotte loves them so much.

    One thing to remember here is that the windows of my car are closed.


    MP3 File

    Monday, November 7, 2005

    Dave's not here, man

  • Thomas has ceased to be. I'm pretty sure Tom DeLay had him shut down.

  • If your name is Dan, you may be looking at this blog and wondering why the hell your picture isn't here -- I never got the file.
    A group of us went out to The Liffey on Saturday night to celebrate the child bride's birthday, and Dan went to the trouble to take a rock-and-roll style "I'm on the blog" photo with his camera phone. But I think his weak drinks may have caught up with him sooner than he thought, because while I received the e-mail from his phone, the picture that was supposed to come with it wasn't there.

  • The Vikings actually won a game this weekend (true, it was to an utterly pathetic Lions team, but we'll take what we can get), and the Packers continued their losing streak. That means I've almost forgotten about Wales' embarrassment against New Zealand. Almost.

    Support The Poppy Appeal 2005This is kind of cool. The Poppy Appeal this year offers a little button that you can put on your blog. I have put it up on my site to make up for the fact that I won't really be able to buy one this year -- due to my lack of easy access to old fellas selling poppies in train stations. I will also be wearing the poppy that Jenny sent me last year.

  • In a number of municipalities all across the United States, Tuesday is election day. This is not the fabled Mid-Term Elections upon which Democrats are pinning their hopes, but simply a time to elect myriad city and state leaders who actually hold more influence in our daily lives, but to whom very few people pay any attention. In St. Paul, we have two elections taking place -- one for mayor and one for three open slots on the school board.
    Across the river in that slum they call Minneapolis (here's a picture of their goofball current mayor dancing in traffic), there are some five separate elections taking place, including for the Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation. The hell? It brings up that old question of whether one of the problems with American politics is that there are simply too many layers of government -- city, county, state, and federal, and all with multitudinous roles to be filled. What percentage of the Minneapolis population, do you suppose, can name one person who is or has ever been on the Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation?
  • You'd think they'd run out of cars

    Here in the northern parts of the United States, we have the concept of a winter car -- a piece-of-shit car that we use amid the salt and ice and dirt of winter. The car costs very little, looks like crap, and usually has mechanical problems, but we put up with it for the peace of mind that comes from knowing we won't be upset if we wrap it around a tree in a blizzard.

    Apparently, in the northern suburbs of Paris, they have riot cars -- similar to the winter car, but always ready for burning amid a major civil unrest. I wonder if they advertise these cars in the paper in similar fashion:
    "82 Citroen. Runs good. Some rust. Great riot car. €250"

    Saturday, November 5, 2005

    Birds

  • What with my being a 48-year-old woman going through menopause, I decided to spend my lunch hour outdoors today to help me overcome the hot flashes. Despite some lovely landscaping, there is no place to sit outside the palatial headquarters of my benevolent employer because we are located in suburbia and simply spending time outdoors -- not at a designated soccer field or baseball field or the like -- is against the law. More importantly, this is business park suburbia; business people do not go on walks or simply sit outside; they pay $145 a month to run on treadmills indoors whilst watching MSNBC.
    So, I sat in the grass. It was overcast and about 45 F (7 C), but I was wearing a rocking warm sweater, so I was fine. Something about the weather and the atmosphere -- serene and yet everything moving all around me -- reminded me of sitting on a train platform in Wales on a Sunday.
    And I read my book, "Y Sach Winnwns," by Gary Slaymaker. I recommend it.
    Suddenly, just behind me came the sound of birds; it was if someone had turned up a volume knob on their stereo. And in a large, leafless tree across the street I saw dozens and dozens of small birds, silhouetted black against the gray sky. It was like a scene out of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds."
    "What could possibly be the point of all that chirping?" I thought. "It's cacophonous. There is no way one bird could hear and discern the blathering of another. They are like elementary-aged children doped up on sugar -- mindlessly making noise into the wind."
    After staring at them for a few minutes, I went back to my book and they continued on with their chirping.
    Then, again very suddenly, they all stopped at exactly the same time. It was as if they had all gone on a birdy one-two-three count to shut up. They swung out of the trees en masse, probably 150 to 200 of them, and undulated like a bubble in a lava lamp -- making a soft "swoosh" as they passed about 50 feet overhead. I watched them wander, seemingly directionless, toward the west, then looked back and saw that not one bird was remaining in the tree.
    It was all very odd. I'm afraid I don't have anything poignant or witty to say about it, though.

  • I used that "BlogThis!" feature (what a lame element this is -- how about instead spending the same time on making Welsh one of the language options?) for the first time today to draw attention to Esther's post in which she sorts out any foreign policy issues that may come up when she becomes president like Geena Davis.
    Hopefully when she becomes president, people will see Slowpoke Rodriguez for the role model he truly is.

  • "Twenty-two years ago, Wooddale (Minn.) was a traditional house of worship with a fourteen-space parking lot. Now it's a thirty-one-acre complex of Christian modernity where 5,000 people worship on an average weekend and buses shuttle worshippers to and from the far reaches of its mall-sized parking lot."
    That's wrong in a lot of ways.

  • "Hi there. My name is Nick Stokes. I live in St. Louis and I'm a gypsy. I've come for your daughter."
    "Oh, sure. Here you go."

  • I used to have a girlfriend who wrote "I love Chris" on everything -- her walls, her notebooks, her clothing. I was pretty sure she was a little crazy, but clearly I had an inaccurate perception of what crazy is:
    "Slaby woke up in (his girlfriend's) bed after a nap with his penis glued to his stomach, his testicles glued to his leg and his rectum glued shut. Purple and red nail polish made his gray hair look tie-dyed. Profanity was painted on his lower back."
  • Thursday, November 3, 2005

    Vicarious thank you

  • "Can you tell the people who wished me a happy birthday that Rachel says, 'thank you very, very much?'"
    "Why don't you do it?"
    "I won't write on that thing. People would expect me to be witty -- I'm not witty."
    "There's no wit involved in saying thank you."
    "I'm still not writing on your blog. I refuse."

  • If you happen to live in the Twin Cities metro area and are willing to sign over $120 for dinner, I suggest this place. The child bride and I went there for dinner last night and it was really, really good. I have decided that I need to become wealthy, so I can eat at places like this all the time.
    As an added benefit, I learned how to order wine like a snob. There was a fella sitting next to us who seemed nice enough, but clearly had more experience eating in nice restaurants. Every time I go someplace nice, I have this sort of internal John Boy* complex: "Shucks, mister, thanks for not spittin' in our food."
    But fella was confident in his swishing and sniffing and sipping of wine. After pausing to consider the wine, he nodded to the waiter that it was acceptable. Classy. No I know how to do it.

  • Did you happen to catch the video of the Rev. Charles Adams saying thank you to God for Rosa Parks? It is great. You have to watch the whole thing -- I assure you it's worth it. If Adams preached at a church near me I would go every week.

  • Green Lantern vs. BDM -- truly one of the classic battles.

  • I am a dance track. No, really. Welsh-language blogger Dafydd spent an hour cutting up a clip of one of the audio posts on my Welsh-language blog and adding a bloopy little backing track. That's got to be the coolest thing that's ever happened to me. Although, you have to feel sorry for Dafydd -- that's a whole hour of his life that he'll never get back.

  • Bad hair -- bad hair -- bad hair -- bad hair -- bad hair -- bad hair -- Not much hair. I have come to the comforting realization that all my writing heroes have been crap when it comes to their hair.

  • Good name for a band: Half Glass Empty.

    * A reference to "The Waltons" -- how obscure is that? Go watch the Hallmark Channel and you'll see what I'm talking about.
  • Wednesday, November 2, 2005

    Borderline intellectual functioning

  • Yesterday and today, when I arrived at work I had to fight a mild bout of nausea. I can't decide whether this is a result of:
    A) Residual illness from last week.
    B) Carbon monoxide poisoning from my car.
    C) General disgust with starting a new working day.

  • Do you ever watch the Colbert Report? They are getting the wrong audiences for that show, because none of the people in the studio seem to get Colbert's jokes. Last night he did a long bit on Rocktober that I thought was hilarious, but the audience barely registered a response. I think the audience he has is left over from "Daily Show," but that crowd doesn't quite get him -- they want Jon Stewart and his transparent personal/political beliefs. I enjoy that, but I also enjoy the fact that Colbert never really breaks character: "George W. Bush: great president, or the greatest president?"

  • Dick, Nutt, Johnson, Cocks -- this story has all sorts of elements that make for a rockin' headline, but pretty much every news outlet wussed out. I personally would have preferred: "Hogs' Dick To Replace Johnson Against Cocks"

  • I have seen a number of stories today that suggested the holiday shopping season has already begun. Personally, I think retailers who are already blaring Christmas music should be dragged out into the street and shot. But this forward thinking has me already looking past Christmas to February. I've got Olympic fever baby, and the prescription is more cow bell (and salchow).

  • Toward the bottom of this story is a fact that I suppose I should not find surprising -- McDonalds had a manager with an IQ of 83. That falls under the psychiatric classification of "borderline intellectual functioning."
    Actually, I'm sure we can all think of managers we've had who have not met the lofty standard of an average IQ.
  • The child bride turns 29

    Today is Rachel's birthday. Every time I post a picture of her, she will say "Why did you have to put that picture on your blog?"

    So, I have gone with this picture from a few years ago. Underneath all that winter clothing she is naked. Sexy.

    Tuesday, November 1, 2005

    That shattering sound? My ego

  • To answer Geraint's question, no, I am not related to this guy. I found his picture via a web article on the hairstyles of Victorian gentlemen and had actually intended to link to the picture of this fellow.
    Last night, I was again being a big girl about my hair.
    "I thought you had already decided what to do about it," my wife said, alluding to Monday's post.
    "Yeah. I want something unique, but, you know, it's not very bad-ass is it?" I said.
    "Honey, you will never be bad-ass," my wife said.

  • "I want some motherfuckin' chocolate milk." ---- Gah. Remember that stuff I said about occasionally considering fatherhood? Lies. I hate children. I hate them because they have the potential to turn out like the kid heard in the video linked above. The video purports to have the voice of a 9-year-old kid having an argument with his mother, but I'm thinking he's a little older than that. Regardless, why is he not being beaten? Really. Why does this video not end with the child yelping in pain?
    (Link via Mariam)

  • Is there any other way to fight?

  • This confuses me: Why would Britain's Guardian newspaper cover city politics in St. Paul, Minn.?
  • When 'If' Becomes 'When'

    My latest column is out. Feel free to send it to all your friends and relatives.
    Random phrase: "the hell-spawn giggle of 'Sesame Street's' Elmo."