There are so many intelligent and articulate people covering the hard-hitting
issues in our country these days, that I felt it was my duty to cover the
rather inconsequential bullshit that tends to make up the vast majority of
our lives. Actually, I'll just be griping a lot which, if you weren't aware,
doubles as a synonym for complaining, and as a descriptor for
a sharp pain in the bowels.

Friday, February 29, 2008

I Had a Point

When I opened up this browser window I had every intention of writing something in particular. Unfortunately, by the time I got back to it, I forgot what that was. So, for posterity I'll just reference a couple of today's news events and chide myself for being forgetful.

It turns out rocker Prince, the famed artist whose nuts get licked pretty regularly by other musical artists, is in the market for a hip replacement. I didn't even know he was fifty, or 5'3" for that matter, let alone in need of a hip replacement. Make no mistake though, I am not hating on Prince. He's a fairly righteous dude with some pretty sweet songs and his performance at the Superbowl last year was probably about the best halftime show I watched, not that that says much. So best wishes Prince. Get well soon.

Also, in the realm of dorkdom, seems that JK Rowling — creator of Harry Potter in the event the name escapes you — has blocked the publication of the Harry Pottery Dorktionary. Copyright on that dorktionary jazz. Honestly I found that article slightly confusing. I couldn't really grasp certain particulars about the nature of the copyright infringement, but that probably had to do with my state of mind while reading it. The gist of it is JK Rowling and, more to the point Warner Brothers who seems to have an awfully large stake in Rowling's intellectual property ownership, doesn't want some n00b cashing in on the immensely profitable new nerd dialect she has created. It actually seems reasonable, but I can't help thinking they just need to open up the dialogue. And if you think I am making fun of Harry Potter fans (only specific ones that I can point out if you ever see me on the street) with all this nerd and dork talk, I probably am, but remember, I've read the entire Wheel of Time Series.

Anyway, that's enough news for the moment as I close with one of my favorite videos of all time. Trust me, if these Michael Owen highlights to the tune of New Order don't give your shivers you aren't human. I was tempted to use one of my favorite terms of the moment there: automaton. Great word. Cheers folks.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Intergalactic Planetary

After looking over the title of yesterday's entry I noted that I had entitled another recent entry "Sleepy." This may represent some form of pattern and I plan to adopt an earlier bedtime.

All I really wanted to drop down on the comp screen tonight was this crazy little proposition from Akoo International where you will be able to control what you watch on TV even in public places like bars and um, bars. This is only getting one step closer to the kind of crazy targeted ads and other nonsense portrayed in Minority Report that I feared at the time might one day come to fruition. It's like the way I joke about not getting an iPod until they devise a way to implant it directly into my body and songs can be selected based on mind-reading technology. And speaking of Minority Report, looks as if we might get a bit of the picture-touch technology we see Tom Cruise fool around with in the crime lab. Not too surprising given iPod and iPhone touch technology perhaps, but sort of nifty nonetheless.

The other thing I wanted to mention, which I think I covered in the past but can't be sure, is Virgin Galactic. Yes, everyone's favorite crazy millionaire Richard Branson has a plan to send your ass to outerspace. It's supposed to be unveiled by 2008, with commercial service to ensue 12-18 months later. I think I'll hold off for the time being.

And there it is, I got out the little silly tidbits rolling around my head. Some of them anyway.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Je Suis Fatigué

I wish that was the correct way to say "I am tired" in French, but sadly I think there are errors, more specifically relating to tense. I often think how sad it is how my knowledge of French has dropped off precipitously over the years but then it's not as if I've been taking any initiative to do anything about it.

So lately I have been pretty tired and while generally I would think this is a bummer, it's kind of refreshing since when I am not active, I usually am fairly close to being an insomniac. The last couple of days I have done two mile jogs, but I think it's my body recovering from the flu rather than this modicum of exercise that is the culprit for my fatigue. It's kind of nice to go to bed at night and want/need the sleep.

I'm not sure how much the general public is following the current incarnation of the MLB's steroid scandal, but I think it's been front page type stuff. This latest tidbit that links Roger Clemens to a Jose Canseco party where he is alleged to have had his first contact with steroids. At this point, no amount of drug use in sport shocks me. I've been out of the sports loop for a while actually, a far cry from the days I used to scour the sports' page as a child. I've been slowly trying to get back into it, but all of the drug scandals aren't exactly raising my enthusiasm. I'm sure people use plenty of drugs (I guess I should specify PEDs when I say drugs in this context) in soccer too, but I think that's going to be my sport of choice once again. With the aid of the interweb, it shouldn't even be that hard to follow anymore.

In unrelated news, I've been getting some odd phone calls on my cell phone. I'm sure this happens to everybody with reasonable frequency but with it picking up of late, I'm searching for some explanation. Aside from getting a lot of messages from some old Spanish grandmother a couple of years ago (who must think her grandson or whoever I was supposed to be hates her), I think I had a clean slate. Whenever I get these random phone calls I always look them up on google to see if they can be accounted for. Sometimes, well, they can. Recently my fun call list has included some pizza place in Red Bank, NJ (also home of Kevin Smith's comic shop), multiple automatons (incidentally, one of my favorite words of late), and even such numbers as simply "102." I don't know how three digit numbers dial me up, but it's happened more than once. It probably means I'm going to be murdered soon.

But back to being tired. Last week on the train ride home I was so exhausted I fell asleep on the shoulder of the portly man seated next to me. I remember being annoyed when he sat next to me for some reason, possibly because he was enormous, but I think more because he was rude and also there were three-seaters with only one person in them and I was in a two-seater. Whatever the case, when I awoke he gave me a pretty dirty look and I couldn't help but think it was hilarious. It wasn't as touching as the time I fell asleep on the Fung Wah, only to awaken before the guy next to me to note that he had fallen asleep on my shoulder. In that instance I just pretended to still be asleep until he woke up so as to avoid any potential man-falling-asleep-on-the-shoulder-of-a-stranger-who-is-also-a-man type embarrassment. And on that note, I think I shall catch some z's.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Virtually Frightening

Virtual reality has been all the rage since at least my very youngest days in the mid-80s. As a youth I recall playing games like Rollercoaster Tycoon – which represented a pretty good advancement over the hot dog stand game we had on school computers – and, of course, Sim City in its many incarnations. Simulators, virtual reality, close enough. Then, of course, came The Sims which was grossly popular, but I actually never played. And you can't talk virtual reality without mentioning VR Troopers. It was usually book-ended by Power Rangers and Big Bad Beetleborgs, the latter being one of the oddest and worst television programs I've ever seen.

But the reason I brought up VR (we use hip abbreviations on this website) originally was because of a site I stumbled upon at work the other day called Habbo. It's a virtual community that looks like a Final Fantasy Tactics version of the popular Second Life. These sites scare the shit out of me. I think there are also sites that combine fantasy with VR for the uber-nerd (like an Ultima Online). This actually makes more sense to me since you generally aren't allowed to wear chain mail and wield maces and cast magic spells on people in day-to-day life, so why not pretend to behind a computer screen?

I am all for being imaginative, having an imagination and all that jazz, but your virtual life should never exceed your real life. I just don't see how virtually doing things on the internet at all compares to doing something, well, anything, in real life. There are folks who are seriously seriously engulfed in this shit. I think you can even buy things for yourself in your virtual world, but that is done with REAL money. This makes even less sense to me. You can buy all the virtual undies you want, but you'll still be standing there cold and naked, and now poor, until you get the real thing.

Anyone who wants to enlighten me to the joys of the virtual world, I am all ears, but it seems an awful lot like plugging into the Matrix to me, without the joy of not knowing you're plugged in. With the snow coming down outside, I recommend a good book, a nice movie, snuggling with a loved one, hot cocoa, a fireplace...okay this list is getting long, but enjoy the snowy day before it's tainted with the dirt and filth of automobile and industry.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Plague o' Both Your Houses

When it comes to things like the flu, generally I am pretty lucky. In fact, in all my years I don't think I'd ever come down with it. My most serious illnesses included a brief bout with strep throat and a prolonged battle with unconfirmed mono that came right on its heels.

As it is, when sensitive skin and a bit of the chills descended on me Friday after work, I decided it couldn't be anything too serious, and that I'd still be going out to enjoy a few pints with friends. I warned everyone I came into contact with that I had the plague, and I can only hope that I have not infected anyone else. The foolishness of having any alcohol when the body is fighting off illness is quite apparent, but consumption of 6+ pints and a skunky Negro Modelo Especial nightcap leaves my idiocy without question. Maybe I thought the poisons of alcohol would kill off the poisons of my virus? Surely that was it. And when I attempted the hot toddy cure Saturday evening my body, in its diminished and malnourished (I've had little to no appetite) state, quickly descended into a realm that was surely related to drunkenness, but not one I was ever familiar with. Honestly, even without knowing the specific feelings associated, I would liken it to rohypnol aka roofies. I literally could not have fought to stay awake or move my limbs and had I not been in the safety of my parents' home, it would have been frightening. Hell even then it was frightening.

When I finally buckled down and took my temperature on Saturday around 5:30, it was a whopping 103.7°. Now I am generally a warm-bodied and excessively sweaty individual but this seemed extreme. As it turns out, according to this CNN health article, I probably should have gone to a doctor. But pumping fluids and acetaminophen slowly things seem to have returned to safe levels (current fever in the 100-101 range). The craziest aspect for me was the dreams I had Saturday evening where I was convinced I had to solve some puzzle even though I had no idea what the puzzle was. I can't describe it to you at all because I was clearly hallucinating. I would pretty much awaken hourly, either sweating or freezing, looking at the clock and thinking I was running out of time to solve the puzzle. I could tell I was seeing nominal improvement when this morning my dreams involved my typical "what I am going to do with my life/what will the future hold fears." Sometimes those day-to-day anxieties can be a comfort.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Blue Monday

Yes, I'm well aware it's Tuesday, but this Orgy remake just came up on my playlist. The New Order original is vastly superior, but I do recall that I dug the cover a pretty good amount when it was always blaring on K Rock and I was fifteen or so years-old.

Yesterday I went on my first run in a couple of months...okay six weeks because yes I was pretty much counting. My legs were feeling like shite, but the Doc said to give it the old college try come six weeks so I did. If you know anything about yesterday, even in sunny Jersey, it's that it was nipple-bitingly cold. In fact as I stepped out the door, the Nike compression shirt(yes, that is me in the photo) I was wearing felt like a thin sheet of ice against my skin. Anytime I step out into weather of this variety I am reminded of one of my favorite Russian parody names which I wish to insert some day cleverly into some sort of writing. Now is that time. Frozmydikov. Instant classic. ™ and © me.

I am a sleepy man these days, but I'll leave you with a little temptation and a photo-shoot of a couple of my favorites, Heidi and Will.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Tomorrow IHOP is giving away free pancakes. I remember one time I ate thirteen at the never-ending pancake promotion at a 24-hour joint somewhere in Connecticut. That is a value at $3.99, but this time things are free so there is no compulsion to eat to sickness, especially since they only give you three free anyway. Sadly I don't think it's going to fit into my schedule but hey, it's for a good cause, so go eat some pancakes and make a donation. Or not...

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Without realizing it fully until perhaps last night, I've long connoted wet hair with the act of showering and general cleanliness. It's probably the reason that when I wake up in the morning, splashing water on my face and running my hands through my hair is enough to make me feel revitalized. The association is so strong that, essentially it doesn't feel as if I've showered at all if I fail to dampen my hair.

While I write, I'm watching the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice and I need a quick aside to say that it's pretty fabulous. I will probably have to re-read the book. It's no doubt what landed Firth in arguably his best work, 2003's What a Girl Wants.

Until Friday I'd also taken to wearing a 50-cent chain, as in those you might find in a grocery store vending machine, rather than one worn by the famous rapper. While Curtis and I are of similar builds physically, our styles are quite different. My necklace actually looks a lot like this instead, and my wife beaters tend to be made by Fruit of the Loom. Whenever I see those lovely fruits, I can't help but be reminded of then-Pirate Randall Simon's infraction against a sausage.

Friday I was lucky enough to throwdown with Bobby Flay. Translation: I ate at the Mesa Grill in Manhattan and it was excellent. Bobby was actually in attendance as well, which is probably a semi-regular occurrence anyway. BF may lose every throwdown he enters on the Food Network, but his restaurant gets it done; the food was almost universally delicious. The lone exception was the feces-infused poppyseed and who-knows-the-hell Napolean, which still leaves 13/14 successes from among the foodables I tasted while on the premises. Another thing is that I may hate overuse of the word sexy, but man do I ever love to say "infused." So it goes.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Socks, Shits, and Superbowl Ads

Every year it's common knowledge that advertisers go all out for the Superbowl. But with people out there as cynical or more so than myself, it's tough to deliver. Advertisers will easily be criticized for trying too hard, or not hard enough. I generally never find the ads to be all that wonderful but it's because, as I believe I have mentioned here before, I don't deal well with hype. So I'll give the Will Ferrell Jackie Moon Bud Light commercial some love, because I generally like most things Will Ferrell does and, more importantly, I think I own a couple of pairs of the socks he's wearing.

Despite the title of this entry, there will be no mention of hot carls but, and I realize I am quite late on this, I had to mention this shitty rumor about Giants DE Osi Umenyiora. The thing I really wonder about rumors like this is, who goes out of their way to create them? More importantly, how do they successfully market and spread them? For all the great information the internet provides us, I just hope the lines of fact and fiction don't blur together too closely.

As a final quick note, I've begun labeling my entries. This might not actually be that helpful since I go off on many a tangent, but you can let me know your opinions, or not. Slowly I'll go back and tag my older entries as well.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Eli, I'll Drink to That

I've gotta say, hats off to Eli Manning. The photo above is one of my favorites of the young man, and apparently is now the number one returned result for a google image search of "Eli Manning." I'm not sure how I feel about the choice of MGD, but I'll also give Eli the nod on the generic blonde skank. Apologies if she is in fact wholesome and/or his actual girlfriend. If you watched last night's game as more than 100 million people did at some time or other, you know what I'm talking about. It's no secret that Eli was doubted all year and I was among the doubters, but I am going on record, obviously much too late, as saying the Giants victory was not a surprise to me.

The Patriots were, to almost everyone, heavy Superbowl favorites, but to me that was not the case. I couldn't see how everyone was so easily disregarding how good the Giants defense is, how good Eli was capable of being and, most importantly to me, that the Giants could easily have beaten the Patriots a month ago. As Brady says so eloquently in that article: "It was kind of a strange game. It really doesn't mean much to either team, but it means a lot." That reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from high school teammate Neal Jordan: "If you do less, you don't have to do as many." His is merely redundant while Brady's is paradoxical, but they're undoubtedly both taken out of context.

So am I saying I was 100% picking the Giants? No way. I just thought they had a good chance. So when it's said over and over that this could be the biggest upset in history I really have to take it with a grain of salt. Yes, the Giants entered the playoffs as a wild card, but when they successively knocked off the Bucs, the Cowboys (America's team my ass), and the Packers, some people out there had to be thinking this might be a pretty good team right? Especially after blowing a lead against the Pats the final game of the season right?

But you know what, it hardly matters. I'm sorry I had to root for the Giants by way of an intense dislike of the Patriots, but either way that final two-and-a-half minutes was the greatest sports experience since I attended the Rutgers upset of Louisville a year and a half ago. Being in the tri-state it was one of those wonderful you'll-hug-even-your-mortal-enemy-or-at-least-a-whole-shitload-of-strangers moments where everyone is united by a bizarre joy that is unique to athletics.

And if there's a little more insight into what helped the Giants win, it could indeed be the fear factor. In the words of Giants running back Brandon Jacobs: "Most definitely, other teams gave the Patriots too much respect. Our attitude was, '(Expletive) them (expletives). We're gonna beat these (expletives)." I think that says it all.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Damnit Timberlake

Why did you have to go and declare that you were bringing sexy back? I realize that JT is not directly to blame (neither is Sacha Baron Cohen)but, as I was alluding to in my last entry, overuse of the word sexy is, well, one of my gripes. Everything is sexy. In an excerpt from the Columbia Business School alumni magazine Hermes (note: link not provided because for whatever reason the article from which I am quoting is contained only in the print release, and is excluded from the online version and the downloadable pdf – pages 20-25 literally omitted), there is an article on "The Future of Advertising." I'm citing this article rather than many other blatant misuses of the word "sexy" because the advertising world is extra hip and savvy and up-to-speed on buzzwords, so you can usually look to them for the first transgressions of word over-use (see also: Chrismukkah).

In said article Shelly Lazarus, big-time marketer for Ogilvy, says "it's always more sexy to report calamity than continuity." This is not to say this is incorrect word usage. Take, for instance, this example given by the Dictionary application that comes with my Mac: I've climbed most of the really sexy west coast mountains. Quick question(s). Have you ever a) heard anyone use sexy this way and/or b) wanted to smack them for doing so. I really don't have a problem with Shelly, just that word, especially because Shelly is Columbia Business School class of '70, making her, even were she a prodigy when she graduated, old. Do you want to hear your grandparents calling things sexy? Probably not.

Bottom line: sexy is permissible as a joke adjective or descriptor of someone you find sexually attractive. Examples include:

"Wow, I never noticed Jennifer's butt before she wore those jeans to casual Friday; she was looking sexy." This is doubly allowed because of semi-colon usage.

Casey: Wow, did you see Jake's abs when that bucket of Gatorade got dumped on his head, rendering his shirt see-through?
Rachel: Ohmigod, I know, and the orange drops coming off his hair was so HOT!!
David: Don't you mean sexy?
Rachel: No, because I'm talking about the drops coming off his hair, which was hot, but you're right, Jake is sexy.
David: At least we can all agree on that.

Robocop vs. Terminator: Half-man, half-cop meets Cytodyne cyborg from the future…with sexy results.

In the 80s, this may have passed for sexy. That is just one reason the UK is great. Parliamentary practices are another. In closing I just want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy Groundhog Day.
Thanks for stopping by…you stay classy Planet Earth.