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Where the Hell Was I?

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Proud Moments

  Punchline Fever!


Standup Standup

  11/16/03: Comedy Studio
  12/03/03: Emerald Isle
  12/17/03: Emerald Isle
  01/07/04: Emerald Isle
  01/08/04: The Times
  01/18/04: All Asia Cafe
  01/22/04: The Times
  01/25/04: All Asia Cafe
  01/28/04: On the Hill
  01/31/04: Chops Lounge
  02/04/04: Emerald Isle
  02/08/04: The Vault
  02/15/04: All Asia Cafe
  02/18/04: Emerald Isle
  02/22/04: The Vault
  03/10/04: Emerald Isle
  03/24/04: Emerald Isle
  04/01/04: Comedy Studio
  05/17/04: Comedy Connection

'Me' Things

  101 Things About For Me

  101 Things Posts About Me

  #6: Six Stitches
  #7: What's in a Name?
  #11: The Speling Bea
  #19: A Capital Weekend
  #35: Road Trippin'
  #36: Geronimo! Ditto!
  #40: Three for the Ages
  #43: Mishaps on the River
  #47: Puzzled Over Puzzling
  #53: Justifying My Tuition
  #55: My Yearbook Quote
  #56: Whatever It Takes
  #65: Pissing in the Middle
  #78: Losing My Faith
  #85: Goodbye, Teeth
  #88: A Painful Separation
  #91: An Only Child
  #98: Nothing But Putrid
  #99: Bovine Dreaming
  #100: 'Dudden Hurt'

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  02/15/2004 - 02/22/2004
  02/22/2004 - 02/29/2004
  02/29/2004 - 03/07/2004


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Charlie/Male/31-35. Lives in United States/Massachusetts/Watertown, speaks English. Eye color is hazel.
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Where the Hell Was I? has moved!

Please visit my new home at:
http://www.wherethehellwasi.com

I'll be glad you did!

Saturday, January 24, 2004
 
Is Your Pocket Ringing... Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

Erk. That hurt.

I just got a phone call from my wife. It made me hungry for ice cream.

(That's not the painful part. That's the random-association, short-circuited brain part. Just accept that part, and let's move on. There's nothing anyone can do about it now.)

Anyway, ice cream and phone calls. I hung up with my wife just as I was getting the ice cream out of the fridge. I was downstairs in the kitchen, but using the cordless phone from upstairs, so I wanted to be sure to remember to take it with me. But -- as any ex-ice cream shoppe employee worth his rock salt knows -- the proper scooping technique requires two hands.

(Come to think of it, I'm not sure I've seen even an improper technique that requires only one hand. Not one that also includes a little metal scooper, anyway. I suppose just glomming into the thing with your fingers counts as scooping, and you can do that with one hand, though, so it's possible.

But at that point, why bother with a hand at all? If I'm in that kind of a hurry, I just cut out the middle man, stick my head in there, and lick around the sides. Sure, I get some on my nose, but it's quick, tasty, and a bucketful of fun, too!

Um...I'm sorry. I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but somewhere in there, I stopped thinking about ice cream, and started thinking about, um, foreplay. I apologize. I wish I could at least pinpoint the exact moment when it happened, so I could tell you which bits you can safely read without getting the willies.

Sadly, though, I'm not quite sure. Looking back, it all sounds dirty to me now. So sorry.)

All right, back to the damned point. I couldn't hold the phone and scoop ice cream at the same time, but I wanted to remember to tke the phone with me when I came back upstairs. So, I slipped the phone into my pocket. That's right front pocket, for those of you scoring at home. (Or even if you're by yourself... man, that never gets old. Thank you, Keith Olberman!)

Anyway, phone in pocket, I scooped out the ice cream, plopped it in a mug, and plodded back upstairs. Somewhere along the way, again thanks to my malfunctioning brain, I forgot that I had a massive eight-inch rod of plastic in my pants.

(Oh, go ahead. Please. You can have that one -- it's just too easy. Go on, take your best shot.)

So, I set the ice cream down, pulled my desk chair out, and plopped into it... in the process, ramming the phone antenna deep into that tender fleshy tummy region between the naughty bits and the waistline.

(I'm sure it has a name -- it's not quite the 'nether region' proper, but maybe it's the 'near-nethers' or something. The 'groin porch'? 'Gateway to the genitalia'?

I dunno. I'm just entertaining myself here. You can tell me when to stop...

The 'babymaker foyer', maybe? Ooh, ooh, how about the 'north forty on the ol' pube ranch'?

Yeah. You're probably right. That's just about enough, huh? Okay. Moving on.)

Anyway, whatever it's called, let me assure you that jamming a three-inch plastic antenna deep into it hurts like hell. (Even if that sentence is starting to sound like foreplay again. Yeeks!)

I think I may have busted an intestine, or squooshed my pancreas, or something. Another coupld of inches to the right, and I could have taken out my own appendix with the thing, kebab-style. A pleasant experience, it was not.

So now, now that you feel my pain and I have your sympathy, I have to ask:

Any boo-boo kissers out there in the crowd today? 'Cause I could use a little peck or two to make this feel better. It still hurts like a bitch. Who's gonna help me out over here? I promise I won't think of foreplay. Really. Not much, anyway -- just keep the ice cream scoop and the phone antenna away from me, and I'm sure I can keep it clean. Mainly.

Aw, c'mon -- nobody? Look, I'm just asking for a boo-boo kiss on the groin porch here. (Yeah -- isn't that your favorite one, too?) Anyone?

Nothing? I'm not even asking for any tongue over here, or anything. Come on, it really hurts! Where's everybody goin'? Hey! Hello?

Rats. Looks like I'm gonna have to smear peanut butter on it, and find the dog. Again. You people are no fricking help, you know that?




Friday, January 23, 2004
 
Chewing on a Problem

I wrestle with many demons.

To those of you who've been around here a while, this should come as no surprise. You know all about how gullible I've been, the issues with my name, and my lack of job interview skills, to name but a few of my myriad of thorny problems.

And, since you've been clued in to such things already -- and are still apparently willing to read more (you sick little monkey, you) -- I feel I can let you in on yet another little problem of mine:

I chew my fingernails.

(Awright, hands up -- who thought I was going to say 'bedwetting'? Come on, now -- I know you're out there. That's right... put 'em up. Okay, I see a couple of hands -- anybody else? No?

Well, you people with your hands raised... for shame! That's just gross, and disgusting, and icky, and I would never tolerate having an embarrassing problem like that. If I was ever the sheet-tinkling, mattress-marring type -- and I'm not saying that I was! -- then I'd take steps to get that cleared up right away. A. S. A. P.

Or, you know, at least before I went to college. They sleep people two to a dorm room, you know. And you never know who's gonna have a frigging apoplectic fit because he stepped in a tinkle puddle first thing in the morning.

Uh... theoretically, of course. Let's... let's move on.)

What the hell was I talking about, anyway? Oh, fingernails. Right.

So, it's sort of a weird phenomenon for me. I started chewing my nails back in my teens -- maybe even earlier. And for a few years, they stayed overly short pretty much all of the time. Of course, in my defense, I have to point out that I was a teenager at the time. And male. And shy. And geeky.

In other words, I was a bubbling cauldron of nervous energy. No, wait... I was a crackling inferno -- no, no, that's not it. Ooh, I know -- I was a vein-popping, flab-jiggling, ass-busting screaming Roseanne hissy fit of nervous energy. Oh, yeah. That's the one.

Anyway, the point is, I was a member of the '4-H Club': hyper, horny, harried, and hormonal. So yeah, I chewed my fingernails. Pencils, too. Pens, sticks, staplers, power cords, the arms of small children -- you name it. I had a lot of nervous energy to work off, apparently. Or I was just 'teething' again while I had braces. I can't say, honestly. All I know is that the habit formed, and it stuck. And I've been stuck with it ever since.

These days, of course, I'm a lot calmer. I'm only two of the 'four Hs' -- and no, you don't get anything for guessing which two.

(Okay, fine, if you guess right, and you have a small child, I'll chew on its arm for a while. How's that?

What? C'mon -- just nibbling. I won't break the skin or anything. And no tongue -- oh, come on!)

Anyway, there's less to be 'nervous' and worked up about these days, of course. Those confusing, frightening teenage days are behind me. I'm grown up now, and have a beautiful wife (um... who has a birthday coming up; what am I gonna get her?), and a great house (oh god, the mortgage, the mortgage!), a wonderful job (shit, I'm late.. ooh, they're gonna fire my ass!), and life couldn't be better. Yep, not a care in the world for me, folks.

(*mmmmppphh* Do you *mmrrpphhfff* see this, people? I'm actually *mmmfffftt* chewing my fingers as I'm typing. Holy crap *mmmpppffftt* what the hell am I gonna do? Mommy!)

But I do have a bit more self-control than I used to. Which is not exactly an earthshattering revelation. Mike friggin' Tyson has more self-control than I did at sixteen. I know fetuses with more restraint.

Still, I've managed to largely control the problem, but it's still there. Old habits die hard, after all. When I get really worked up over something, I'll still find a thumb or finger in my mouth.

(Usually, it's even my digit I'm drooling all over. Which is the preference, of course. Besides the fact that most people in line at the bank don't seem to enjoy having their fingers gnawed on, there's also the issue of cleanliness. I don't know where those people have been... and when I nibble on their nails, I'm sucking the spit of every person who's ever chewed on that person's finger.

It's something to think about.)

Anyway, it's something I struggle with. And I've learned a few things about my condition over the years. The index fingers are the worst to chew too far, for instance. If the tips of your index fingers are sore, you're just screwed for a few days. You're constantly poking 'em into something -- elevator buttons, 'F's and 'J's on the keyboard, stupid people's foreheads... and each one of those touches sends a little ouchie up your spine. It's horrible.

I've also learned what triggers me to chew my nails, after years of careful observation and thought. (Okay, so really it was ten minutes on a bus a few years ago, when I happened to be both fully awake and not drunk. The point is still valid, dammit!) I've found that I don't chew my nails when I'm nervous, per se, as the thinking usually goes. Rather, I start 'sucking knuckles' when I realize that there's something that I'd desperately rather be doing. (Like shooting tequila, for instance, rather than being stuck sober on a stupid bus. That's just an example, of course.)

But the realization has come in handy, and helped me to keep my nail-chewing under control of late. So whether it's a horrible situation that I want to claw my way out of (shopping for high heels with the wife, perhaps) or a time when I'm stuck somewhere away from the 'hot action' (nailed to my desk at work during the first two days of March Madness), at least I know what's going on, and can usually keep myself from chewing away the entire fingernails of the digits on both hands. That doesn't mean I frigging like the hell du jour any better, but at least I'm starting to see a pattern.

Anyway, that's my story for today. I hope it hasn't disturbed anyone too badly -- I know a lot of people out there consider nailbiting to be a dirty and disgusting habit. For the record, though, I disagree with that assessment. Sure, it's not the most sanitary thing one can do with one's hands, but I think it's closer to the top of that list than the bottom. And certainly, if I were working in the garden, or skinning animals, or in the habit of jamming my fingers into any other of my orifices first, then I'd agree -- putting those fingers in my mouth would be a dirty, disgusting habit to have.

But I don't garden, hardly ever skin animals (on purpose), and -- despite a recent report to the contrary -- I do not sit around all day with my thumb up my ass, thank you very much. (And is that really the kind of thing you're supposed to be putting on an employee evaluation? I think not, boss lady.) So, I'll try to keep the nail chewing to a minimum, but I'm not gonna get all grossed out by it. Believe me -- if this were the most disgusting habit I had, I'd be a far, far happier man. And I'd still be legally able to travel to Florida. I tell ya, those retirees know how to hold a grudge down there. Damn!



 
Okay... So It'll Make Sense a Little While Later...

Well, poop. I'm a loser.

I got so worked up and nervous about remembering my standup material (you know, the nonsense I posted earlier?) that I went and forgot the stupid videocamera. No tape, no clip, nothing to show other people's grandkids. Bupkis. What a friggin' tool.

So, none of what I listed is gonna make any damned sense anytime in the immediate future. And for that, I'm truly sorry. (And embarrassed. And chagrined. And -- how freaking brain-dead does a guy have to be to write about something he's got to record, and then forget to take his camera an hour later? Bitches.)

Anyway, I apologize. My standup show at the Times didn't get taped, so you won't be able to see right away what all the 'Frozen. Powdered. Dip' hoohah was all about. On the 'silver lining' tip, we comics were plying our trade tonight in front of approximately eight people, so the set wasn't quite as smooth -- or guffaw-riddled -- as I might have liked. Still, a tape of playing to an almost-empty room would be better than no tape at all, right? Well... again, sorry. Maybe if I hadn't made the shit so complicated, my brain would've had the extra bandwidth left over to remember the goddamned camera.

(I know. I'm a douche. I've got no excuse.)

Here's all I can tell you, and then we'll speak no more of this debacle -- I'll do the exact same set on February 4th at the Emerald Isle, and there will be more people there than tonight. And I'll have lots of time to practice between now and then, so hopefully you'll enjoy it more, anyway. You'll just have to wait nearly two weeks to get it.

(Eh. In the meantime, I'll hopefully get clips from Sunday's 'Two-Minute Marathon' at the All Asia. Maybe that'll tide you over. And actually, if I can cut away enough fat from tonight's set, I may even be able to do the bit that requires memorizing all the shit I posted about earlier, and squeeze it in under two minutes. We'll have to see.)

So, sometime soon my last post will make some sense, after all. (And hey, that's more than most of my posts get, so that's gotta be worth something.) Until then, make up your own explanation for the madness, or write a little vignette that includes it, or -- you know, like a sane person -- just forget about it until I can manage to get a relevant video clip online. *sigh*

Look, nobody ever said comics were smart, all right? And I did have some fun tonight, and got to hang with some really cool friends, standuppers and non-standuppers alike. So not all was lost, at least from my perspective.

But of course, that doesn't change the fact that I'm an empty-headed brainless cod-weasel. And I don't even know what that means, but I think it fits. So I'll wear the ol' dunce cap tonight, and can hopefully appease you soon with something amusing, either in print or video format. Hang in there. I'm sure something funny will show up here soon. Really.

(Hey! Stop looking at your watch, dude. That's just damned rude!)

For now, I'm off to bed. I guess I'll leave the 'dead' links up to shows that I can't tape -- I'll even go back and add the last show at the Times that didn't get recorded. (And at least that one wasn't my fault.) Anyway, the presence of those grayed-out, inactive links just might shame me into never forgetting the videocam again. And maybe it's not so important to you, I dunno -- but I'd like to see how it went tonight. There's really no way to tell when you're onstage, with all the lights and adrenaline and the rotten fruit flying to and fro. (But mostly 'to', I'm sorry to say.)

So, I'm disappointed. The crowd was sparse, and the mic didn't work quite right, and in the end, I didn't quite get the sequence down the way I listed it earlier (though I was damned close, and nobody but you guys would know the difference). But it was still a 'show', and so it'd be nice to have, even if it were a primer in 'What Not to Do Onstage'. I'm just starting out, folks -- I can learn from anything, particularly mistakes.

Let's just hope I learned something tonight, and duct-tape the frigging camera to my forehead the next time I head out the door to a club. Jeez, I really am a numbnuts. Sheesh.




Thursday, January 22, 2004
 
It'll All Make Sense in a Little While...

Okay... I can do this.

Show starts in a little over an hour; I've got plenty of time. Just finish this post, grab some leftovers, and head down to the club. No problem.

And then... just like I practiced. I've been going over this part for a week now; I should have it down. Just breathe, and let it flow. And try not to forget any of it.

(Why the hell did I make this so difficult, anyway?)

Okay, here we go -- wrap it up here, and grab some dinner. I'll come back later to post more. It's gonna go smooth and easy.

Just remember the order, and I'll be fine:

Fresh.

Leafy.

Chopped.

Canned.

Frozen.

Powdered.

Dip.

Pasta.

Juice.

Waffles.

Cookies.

Ice cream.

And then the new turkey thing from tonight, and I'll be down the home stretch. Just breathe, and let it come.

(Jeez, I'm such a glutton for punishment. Why can't I write simple bits, like normal comics?

Oh, right. There's no such thing as a 'normal comic'. Feh.)

All right, time for dinner. Wish me luck, folks. And maybe chant that list a time or two for me, too. Sometime between nine and eleven tonight, I'm gonna need some support. Say it with me, now:

'Fresh. Leafy. Chopped. Canned. Frozen. Powdered.

Dip. Pasta. Juice. Waffles. Cookies. Ice cream.
'

How hard can it be, right? Yeah. Let's see how close I get.



 
Look on the Bright Side -- There's Only One of Me!

So, I'm an only child. I've mentioned this before, but I thought it might bear repeating.

(See, for you 'siblingers' out there, it explains a lot of strange behavior. Like... oh, I don't know, wacked-out interview questions, for instance. Posting my dog's ass on a mousepad, maybe. Perhaps even writing this.

Yeah, okay, so maybe not that last thing. You can only push the envelope so far before you have to start blaming this shit on the 'dropped on my head' thing, rather than the 'only child' thing. Meh.)

Anyway, growing up an only child certainly wasn't all bad, despite the odd stares and concerned whispers. For one thing, I got everything I asked for from my parents.

(No, really -- 'beaten', 'thrashed', 'pummeled with a ski boot'... all of 'em. At least, they told me I was asking for it, every time it happened. I've been so blessed. Really.)

But life as an only child wasn't always wine and roses and painful raised welts.

(Oh, come on, I'm kidding. I was only beaten as often as I deserved it, and probably a lot less. The head-dropping thing -- that was uncalled for. But the beatings were very reasonable. And conveniently scheduled, too!)

Where the hell was I, anyway? Ah, the downside of life without siblings. Right.

So, the worst part about being the only kid in the house is that I had no one to blame things on. The best I could do was trying to play my parents off each other, and that hardly ever worked. (Those 'adult' douchebags really stick together, you know?)

Occasionally, I'd get away with something -- if Mom was way off in the kitchen, I might be able to tell Dad:

'Well, I didn't break the lamp. Maybe Mom did it.'

Or, you know, if I was coming in from playing while Pop was working in the yard, I could try:

'No, no, you've got it all wrong, Mom. It's was Dad that peed on my pants!'

(Yeah, that one was... unfortunate. Dad went 'away' for a while after that, before we got things cleared up. Said something about Turkish baths when he came back, or candlelit cells... I forget. I'm sure it's not important.)

Anyway, the 'rents kept a pretty close eye on me growing up, which could be pretty inconvenient. The only thing I could consistently get away with was passing gas around the house. That I could always blame on the dog. And I suspect Mom and Dad must have, too. Seriously, if you believe them, they didn't fart once for an entire fourteen-year span while I was growing up. Yeah, right. They'd have ballooned up like friggin' zeppelins within a week without letting off a little steam now and then. Not to mention that they don't seem to be able to go more than seven minutes without a tootle these days.

(What the hell do these people eat, anyway? I had no idea they were already part of the Metamucil and stewed prunes crowd. *shudder*)

But back to the dog -- she was quite the convenient scapegoat when it came to disavowing the 'air biscuits'. As long as she was within a thirty, maybe even forty, foot radius, any foul odor in the room automatically became her doing. And it was easy to believe -- even without our help, that dog had downright eye-popping gas. Seriously, she was a veritable fart factory. she once tootled in the kitchen with the freezer door open -- the ice didn't taste right for a month.

(Of course, I'm not sure what it says, exactly, that we continued to use the ice for a whole month. You know, rather than just throwing it out and making new ice cubes. I suppose we just weren't that bright, to be honest. Or else we were too busy chasing the dog around, trying to stay in range so we could fart with impugnity.

Come to think of it, those two options really aren't particuarly mutually exclusive, are they? Two sides of the same coin, some might say. Or two cheeks of the same ass. Damn.)

What was I talking about again? Oh, the old family dog's intestinal prowess. Gotcha.

Of course, our current dog has the same paint-peeling, mind-melting, toe hair-curling abilities. I suppose we can't really blame dogs for their explosive, noxious gassiness. Hell, you try eating nothing but horse meat and whole grains for six years, and see how your ass smells. You'll have the putridest pooties this side of the Tom Arnold Family Reunion and Chili Cookoff, I can tell you that.

(Hey, if it's any indication, I started seeing results after only three weeks on the 'oaters and oats' diet. And the horse meat tastes like chicken!

Well... okay, so it tastes like sunburned roadkill chicken, mostly. With, um... gangrene. Or something. Not good chicken, certainly. That much is certain.)

All right, I don't know where the hell this is going any more. First, it was about being an only child; now, it's degenerated into diseased flattened chickens. I'm sure there's a moral in all of that somewhere, but I'm just as certain that I'm not going to find it without some serious self-medication. But it's too late for that now, so I'm just gonna go to bed. Maybe it'll make sense to one of us in the morning.

And if not... well, just remember: I'm an only child. You really shouldn't expect anything I say to make any damned sense. I'm lucky if I can type all the friggin' words in the same language most of the time. Screw it -- I'm going to bed. Ciao!




Wednesday, January 21, 2004
 
But Will It Fit on a T-Shirt?

Don't ask me how this happened. Don't ask me why this happened. It just happened.

I've told you -- the oddest random things pop themselves into my brain, like fingers poking into the Pillsbury Doughboy's tummy.

(Actually, that's an eerily apt analogy -- for one thing, I can almost feel my brain squish together when it happens. More to the point, I almost always make that little 'Hoo-hoo!' sound, too.

That's why I try to keep my hands visible -- and crotch-free -- at all times in public. People hear you giggling like a moron and 'Hoo-hoo!'-ing during a bus ride or a business meeting, they think you're having a diddle or something. And I've got enough troubles, without having that rumor hanging over my head, too.)

Anyway, the thought. For no reason that I'm aware of, a fully-formed sentence just occured to me. I don't recall seeing 'WWJD?' anytime in the past few... I don't know, days, maybe? Yet suddenly, I had an answer to the question: just what would Jesus do, anyway? And I think it's my new personal motto:

'Dude, Jesus would have never put his tongue in there in the first place.'

I'm not even quite sure what it means, to tell you the truth. I just know that it needs to be merchandised, and I need to have it on a coffee mug, and a mousepad, and a Hanes Beefy T™. I may even get it tattooed somewhere -- ooh, ooh, how about across my ass? Sort of in an 'If you can read this, it is so true' kind of way? Oh, man. This is gonna be big!

(I can't believe I'm actually going to post this one, folks. It just gets sillier and sillier around here. I think I'll go have a beer and curl up in the fetal position for a while now. I'll catch you later.)



 
Memes and Themes and Contests, Oh My!

Hey, folks. Lots of stuff going on around the ol' blog these days, and I wanted to be sure we're all on the same page. I'll be back tonight with a 'real' post, but for now, hopefully you'll find some interesting stuff below.


First of all, the 'blog interview' bug is going around again. It's one of my very most favoritest memes, because it allows me to be silly (times five) over and over again. Here's the score so far:

Natalie of Natalieville was nice enough to ask me five questions; I answered them yesterday, if you're interested.

(Last year, I got my first set of questions from Shampoo of Shampoo Solo, and answered them here, if you're still interested. Damn, you're a glutton for punishment.)

I dutifully offered to ask questions of others, and, so far, have interview sheets out to the following folks:

Eka of SnazzyKat: hasn't posted yet

nv of Advanced Maternal Age: hasn't posted yet

Jon of Quality Control: answers posted!

Joe of Play By Play: answers posted!

Natalie -- yes, the same Natalie -- of Natalieville (who should have known better after seeing my answers): answers posted!

Cometgrrl of Adventures of Cometgrrl and Comet: hasn't posted yet

Amber of Learn to Speak Ebenese: hasn't posted yet

Mark of R80o: answers posted!

Marti of Marti's Blog: answers posted!

Erin of Chix Mix: answers posted!

Faith of Faith Wild: answers posted!

Rae of A Likely Story: answers posted!

Dinky of Dinky's Docket: answers posted!

JavaJenn of Mommy Needs Coffee: hasn't posted yet

Susan of Third Daughter: hasn't posted yet

I'll update with links to the answers (and the oddball, insane questions that I asked) as they come online. In the meantime, if you'd like questions of your own, just leave me a comment on my interview answer post, and I'll getcha. And if I missed you, or you're listed above and didn't get your questions, let me know via email, and I'll try to think up a new batch for you. (Rae, I'm sorry -- I couldn't decide whether you wanted questions, or were just commenting! Let me know if you want to be interviewed.)

(Oh, and in case you want to see the types of ridiculously complicated questions I'm likely to come up with, you can read Andy's classic post, in which he does his best to provide sane answers to the nonsense that I sent him the first time this meme came my way. I only hope I haven't scarred the guy for life.)


Moving on. I'm also participating in Blogger Idol. It's sort of a loose conglomeration of people who agree to post on a set topic each week, and then... well, the rules sort of tail off at that point. But participants are encouraged to read each others' posts, and list their favorites midweek. Well, folks, it's 'hump day', and I, for once, am determined to follow directions, so here are a few posts about 'The 80s' that I found particularly interesting:

Looking Back... from Codswallop and Flapdoodle

Truly Awful Outfits from LoobyLu

Eighties TV Madness from What in Tarnation?!?!?

Adventures with George Jones from Brother Phil

Back to the Eighties from Avoiding Evil

For the sake of reference -- and to give you something pitiful to laugh and jeer at, in the face of these good entries -- I'll point you to my misguided attempt at humor for the week. Eh. There's always next week.

Oh, and you can see all of the entries by clicking on the icon below. Check 'em out!

blogger_idol-1.gif


In other news, voting for the Bloggies is still ongoing. Pop on over and vote, if you haven't already.

(Yes, I'm up for 'Best New Weblog'. And no, I don't consider this pandering for votes. Just go vote -- for me, for someone else, whatever. Do what your heart tells you. Or your liver, or whichever bit of you seems to be in charge at the moment. I won't be offended if you don't vote for me. Promise.

Sure, I might drop a flaming Hefty bag of porcupine poop on your porch... but that's not personal. Chill out, man.)

Anyway, whether you vote or not -- or vote for me or not -- thanks to everyone for coming by. And to the many folks coming over from the Bloggies site, feel free to look around. There's plenty of quantity here... someday, I'll start working on that other thingy, too. (What is it again? Starts with a 'Q', too, I think. 'Quackery'? 'Quiltery'? Harrumph. I'm sure I'll remember it later.)


Two other random fun things that you can get involved with:

The first -- but you've gotta hurry to get in -- is Blog Madness 2003. Submit your own favorite post from the past year, and see how it fares in a head-to-head, 'March Madness'-style tourney. I'll have to remember to put a button on the sidebar for that, once it gets going.

(And I think the submission deadline is tonight, so for the love of Pippi Longstocking Underoos, hurry!)

(And for the record, I don't actually know whether Pippi Longstocking Underoos exist... but if they did, wouldn't you love 'em? Mmmmm... long stockings... nnnnnggghhhh...)

The other cool site that I've just recently found is called Blorgy. Here, you can submit posts -- from any blog, anywhere -- that you find particularly moving, entertaining, or snot-snorting hilarious. People then vote on the posts, and they get a little extra attention. There's no prize or award or anything -- oh, sure, the 'Blog of the Moment' (i.e., the currently top-rated post) does get it's name in 'lights' at the top of the page, but that changes several times a day, if not an hour. Blink, and another blog has taken over.

Still, it's a fun way to recognize posts you like, or hype posts you're proud of, or find 'best-of' posts from blogs you've never heard of. No telling whether the site's eventually going to suck or not -- somebody might upload their whole archives and gum up the works for good -- but for the moment, I think it's pretty cool. And I've read some really good stuff from people I have never run into before. And that's always a good thing.


Finally, and because clearly, I'm not writing enough as it is, I've signed up for the King of the Blogs. I'm not exactly sure how that's gonna work, but it looks like I'll have to beat out four or five other blogs to keep playing. (Where the hell is Jeff Gilooly when you need him?)

Anyway, you'll soon see a bit of 'KotB' artwork in the sidebar, and a post on the 'Challenge' topic will follow shortly thereafter. From there, it's sink or swim, determined by a panel of esteemed judges.

(See? See how I said 'esteemed'? Let the ass-kissing begin in earnest! Huzzah!)




Tuesday, January 20, 2004
 
Yes, Natalie, That's My Final Answer!

It seems it's interview time again. I don't get into a lot of these meme dealies, but I've got to admit that I really like this one. You get to know me, I get to know you... it's a whole freakin' lovefest. It's beautiful.

If you're not familiar with this particular game -- if you started blogging yesterday, for instance -- here's how it works:

I asked the lovely and talented Natalie over at Natalieville to ask me five questions. (She really asked me seven questions, but who's gonna quibble, right? Five, seven, seventy-two -- it's all good.

Anyway, it's now up to me to answer her questions... whether I want to or not. Them's the rules. And in addition -- as though I haven't suffered enough! -- I now have to offer to ask any of you fine folks five questions of your very own. Anyone who leaves a comment asking questions will be 'rewarded' with five outlandish, ridiculous questions that you're obligated to answer on your blog.

Then you'll take interview requests, and the circle will extend, unbroken, until the very end of time itself. (Or until we get bored, whichever comes first. My money's on 'very end of time itself', but that's just me.)

Okay, then. I'll repeat those rules at the end -- it'll take a while to get there; you'll probably forget by then. In the meantime, with much thanks to Natalie, let's get this starty parted, shall we? On to the interview!


1. Where have you always dreamed of doing your stand-up act?

Hmmm. Actually, that's a harder question than you might think. I've only been doing standup for a couple of months, after all, and I've pretty much played in all the crappy little bars cozy, intimate clubs that I've seen around here. So again I say, 'Hmmmm.' (With an extra 'm' this time, too. Really, I'm thinking hard about this shit!)

Certainly, I've been watching standup comedy for a lot of years, and thinking I might like to try it sometime. But even then, I'm not sure I could say that I have a place I wish I could play. Remember A&E's 'An Evening at the Improv'? That's the most famous running standup show that I know of... but I don't even know where that club is -- or whether it's even there; the show's been off for years. And frankly, the Taj Majal it weren't, if you catch my drifticles. You really don't need a lot of opulence to do comedy. Nor do you seem to get it, either. Bitches!

I suppose I could go the theoretical route, and answer your question with something like 'On a girls-only nude beach in Rio', or 'For a hot horny harem of a Saudi sheik who's willing to share' -- women like guys who make them laugh, I hear -- but that's not gonna get me anywhere, either. I'm already quite happily married, for one. (And I don't know where those girls have been!) Plus, my wife tapes all my shows... I don't see any of the chickies getting within three steps of the stage without getting a HandyCam in the ear. Or worse.

(Or... you know, better, depending on how you look at it. Hell, if nothing else, I'll tell my wife to make sure the camera's still rolling, and we'll sell the video on the internet. Some guys are into that 'superzoom' up close 'n' personal stuff. Me, I just get dizzy. It's like being plopped out of the womb again, or something.

You know... I may have lost my train of thought back there somewhere. Imagine that. Now where the hell was I again?)

So, the dream standup venue. Honestly, the best place I can think of is whereever Comedy Central puts on their 'Showcase' shows -- it's a huge place, the stage is enormous, and they custom-build a backdrop for each comedian. How cool would that be? I could have a big question mark behind me, or some goofy-looking picture, or a big papier mache crotch, or something. Super.

But, unfortunately, I don't know where the hell that place is, either. So, I think I'm gonna have to say, right now, my dream gig would be at Nick's Comedy Stop in Boston. It's not a particularly opulent place, nor very spacious. And, as far as I know, it's not especially famous, either. So why Nick's?

Very simple -- they're local, they're in downtown Boston, and, unlike most of the other clubs I've been to, they don't have an amateur / open mic night. Which means I simply can't play there now. So if I play Nick's, through whatever set of circumstances (other than them starting an open mic night), I'll know I've taken a step up. Maybe a baby step, maybe one large step for mankind -- I dunno. But a step. So that's my goal. Sorry I couldn't make it any sexier.

(And yes, I do say that to all the girls. Thank you, thank you -- I'll be here all week.)

2. You just won the Bloggie for best new weblog. How do you spend the $11 cash prize money? What is the first song you purchase on iTunes?
(Did you see how I snuck two questions in behind the number two? Pretty sneaky, eh?)


Damn, a whole eleven dollars? I had no idea blogging could be so damned lucrative. Forget spending it right away -- I'd get that prize money in pennies, and take a bath in those bad boys! Whee! Ain't nothin' like frolicking naked among a bunch of Abe Lincolns, is there, folks? Solid!

But that doesn't really answer your question. All that really does is give you a really disturbing mental image of me rubbing pennies over my bare nipples and chanting, 'Bloggies, Bloggies, Bloggies, Bloggies -- Oh, Bloggies, Bloggies...'

(What? You didn't have that image? Oh. Well, now you do. You can thank me later, really.)

Anyway, let's assume that I'd eventually put some damned clothes on, hose the pennies down, and trade 'em in for eleven bucks. Then what? Well, that's a good question. What would I spent an eleven dollar windfall on, anyway?

I'll tell you what -- I really can't think of anything that I just can't live without (and that only costs eleven dollars!), so here's what I'd do if I won:

I'd use that eleven bucks to buy a beer for the first two people (or three, if the beer's cheap!) who read this blog, and come to meet me at a standup show. (And yes, Amber, I already owe you one!)

How's that for putting your blogging money where your microphone is? Or... um, something. You know what I mean, dammit!

Oh, and as for the iTunes thing -- I've got to admit, I'd probably take the Amazon gift certificate. I've already got a lot of my own CDs ripped to MP3s, and way too many things that I want on my wishlist. Sorry, Natalie. I've never even looked at iTunes.

But, if it helps any, I'll tell you this -- if I could magically get MP3s of any songs that I don't have, I'd pick the hopelessly obscure, but personally cherished 'Steeltown/Bluestown' by Broken Homes and 'No Waitress No More' by the Del-Lords. I've got the LPs that both songs are on -- yes, kiddies, vinyl; look at the relic... oooooh! -- but still, years later, don't own a phonograph or the software needed to digitally capture those things.

(So if the prize were actually one hundred and eleven dollars, I think I know what I'd be buying with it. You know, in addition to that beer or three. Yeah, a hundred bucks would just about cover the record player and the software. I'll have to work on that.)

3. Your wife must be pretty patient (and I mean that in the best possible way!) - how did you get her to marry you? No wait, what I really meant to ask was how did you propose to her?

Oh, for the love of flavored lubricants... you don't really want me to tell that story, do you? Aw, crap... it's so cheesy.

All right, all right -- just don't say I didn't warn you. Jeez, here goes all my 'street cred'.

(Which I probably never had, and certainly lost just by putting 'street cred' in quotes. Dammit, there goes another of my closely-held illusions! I hate this question already!)

Okay, so I had already gone out and picked a ring. By myself, so I was sweating that one a little bit. I knew, like, two of the 'Four C's', and was working on a shoestring budget, so I had no idea what the hell was gonna happen with the ring. She might flush it down the toilet, or lob it out the window, for all the hell I knew.

Anyway, it was the winter of '94-'95. I very carefully planned out the date. Couldn't do it at Christmas -- too easy. Not on valentine's Day (which is also her birthday -- I know, I know... 'Awwwwwwww.') -- she'd see that a mile away.

So, I did some ciphering. (Really -- we're talking all twenty of my digits, and the fingers of two of my closest friends. This was serious shit.) Anyway, I calculated that on January 14th of 1995, we would be dating for fifty months. Our (sort of) golden anniversary -- perfect. She'd never think of that, and yet it just reeks of romantic. Even if she said, 'no', I'd get some sweaty snuggles, just for thinking of the date. Sweet.

Anyway, the day neared, and I had my plan in place. At the time, we were living in separate apartments. (She'd just moved to Pittsburgh, where I'd been for a couple of years -- we did the long-distance thing for a couple of years after I graduated, and... look, this part's really not important. We had two apartments, okay? This is gonna take long enough as it is...)

So, I innocently asked that morning -- it was a Saturday -- what her plans for the day were. She replied that she had to go into work, but she'd be back for dinner, maybe five o'clock or so. Perfect. It took all my strength not to tent my fingers and let out an 'Exxxxxcellent'.

And, dutifully enough, she toddled off to work, while I tried to give the impression that I was going to stay in bed all day and be a lazy bum. (I'm pretty sure I pulled it off -- years of practice, you see.)

But really, as soon as she hit the door, I hit the shower and put my plan into action. It was masterful -- I'd already ordered fifty roses, and just needed to pick them up. Then, I was gonna run to the store, grab some blueberry muffin mix (look, it was a 'thing' of ours, all right... I know, it's blueberry muffins; it's ridiculous... just let me get the hell through this, all right?), go back to my place, and bake fifty blueberry muffins.

(I know -- look, just get it all out. Laugh it out now, okay? I can't even type that part without shaking my head at myself. What the hell do fifty blueberry muffins have to do with getting engaged? I don't friggin' know. It made sense at the time; maybe I was drunk. I honestly don't have any fricking clue.)

Okay, so. I manage to pick up the flowers, and the muffin mix, and get back to my place. The first batch of muffins goes in at, I don't know, let's say one o'clock. Plenty of time. Things are good.

Now, the way I planned it, I'd shuttle the roses and muffins over to her place, along with a bottle of wine and a bottle of champagne I picked up, and then come back to finish the baking. Her apartment building was only a half-block away, so I just walked over. If all went well, I'd be done by four or so, and be able to surprise her by waiting for her at her place, when she thought I'd be slacking in my apartment. No problem.

Only... problem.

Around two thirty, I took the wine, the flowers, and a batch of muffins over to her place. I just plopped the stuff whereever -- I was coming back in a half-hour or so, and I'd arrange everything then. I bolted out the door to get more muffins in the oven. (Again, with the muffins... really, I'm a loss. Looking back, I'm just bewildered. Anyway.)

So, I hop off the elevator in her building, round the corner... and there she is. Walking in the building. Three freaking hours early. Shit.

I actually managed to sneak past her, thanks to an enormous column in her building's lobby, and got as far as the door before it hit me. 'Dude. Duh! She's gonna go upstairs, and find the stuff strewn all over the apartment, and you're still busted, whether you creep past her or not.' Oh. Oh, yeah, right. Duh, indeed.

So, I basically threw myself at the elevator to keep the doors from closing, and -- fumbling and stumbling, with no plausible excuse -- sent her to my apartment, to think about what she'd done cool her early-gettin'-home heels until I said she could come out wait for me to call her. Dammit.

I guess that was the right thing to do. The only evidence over there was a used muffin pan and the smell of baked blueberry goodness. Still, very disappointed. Even now, it pains me to think how flawlessly it should have gone. Honestly, I never get this sort of shit quite right. Poopstain!

So, let's cut to the chase. I took a half-hour or so getting everything just so, and went with the eighteen or so muffins instead of fifty -- what the hell could I do at that point? -- and called her back over. We had some wine, talked about what to do for dinner, listened to some music, and then the doorbell rang. Only this time, she was the one who was surprised.

It was a Pizza Hut delivery guy, right on time with the pizza I'd ordered a few hours before. I told my wife-to-be that it was our fiftieth month anniversary, and that I wanted to recreate our very first date. We were in college back then, and had planned a picnic. Only it had rained, so we ordered from Pizza Hut, and sat on a blanket in my dorm room, pretending it was a real picnic. So that's what we would do on our anniversary, too.

Long story short, I think that put her off guard a bit, and explained all the weird behavior. And yes, the muffins. Let the damned muffins go, dude. I can't do anything about the muffins now.

So, when I pulled the ring out from under the couch and proposed, I don't think she exactly expected. Maybe a little, but she was a good sport and looked surprised, anyway. And said yes, and didn't throw the ring anywhere. All in all, it went perfectly.

(Except for the whole 'three hours early' thing, and wanting to bake fifty muffins, and stashing her in my room for thirty minutes. You know, besides that.)

And so, we had our champagne and celebrated. And then, we wanted to tell people... but all our friends were out of town. So, we walked down the block to the little dive bar on the corner and had a couple of beers, and grinned shit-eating grins and disgusted everyone there by being so goddamned in love and happy. And we're living happily ever after.

There. That's the story. Happy now? I'm gonna get teased about all that sappy shit, and the oohing and the aahing, and the muffins -- holy crap, the muffins -- forever... I just hope you're satisfied, that's all I'm sayin'. Muffins... sheesh.

4. (Your choice here - pick A or B and surprise me)

A) You're a guest judge on American Idol. Which judge are you most like? Simon (snarky and sometimes downright mean), Paula (uber-nice) or Randy ("Yo, Dawg. That was cool, but I'm not really diggin' it, you know?")
OR
B) Who is your favorite author and which book of theirs did you like best?

All right, I'll surprise you, there, cupcake -- I'll answer both. How'd ya like that, eh?

A) Okay, how's about this:

If I were judging American Idol, I'd play it as part Simon, part Randy.

(And no, it can't tell you how much it pains me to know who the hell those people are, and what they're like. But watching the 'worst of' segments was a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, so I did watch a couple of shows in the second season.

But that was before TiVo! I want to stress that I have been born again, and saved by that little blinky box beneath my television. It doesn't record 'Da Idol', so I no longer watch 'Da Idol'. I am finally free of the off-key chains that bind!

But, um, yeah... in the meantime, I unfortunately know all about what I'm about to say. No amount of scrubbing can wash off my shame. Don't... just don't look at me directly, all right? I don't want to be seen like this.)

Anyway, I think I'd do my best to affect Simon's disinterested stare and accented monotone, never showing emotion or encouragement with any sort of body language or inflection. I'd practice that really hard for a few weeks, until I had it down.

Then -- then! -- I'd actually say only things that Randy would be likely to spout. So try, if you will, to imagine Simon, with his bored, dead eyes and arms folded over his chest, flatly declaring:

'Well, booyah, my brother. That was tha fashizzle... dog.'

Or maybe:

'Yo, Snoop 'Froggy Frog', my momma didn't raise no fool. And yo' momma didn't raise no Idol. Snap, yo. Next!'

I dunno. It's just a thought. But get me somebody like that on the show, and maybe I'd start watching again. Without cringing, even.

On second thought... no. I'd probably watch, but I'd still smack myself in the head for doing it. Bleh.

B) Okay. In the interest of actually providing more answers than there are questions (even when there are more questions than there are supposed to be!), I'll say two things about this:

First, my most favoritest book, all-time, without a doubt -- and I hate to go all 'highbrow' with this crowd -- is The Monster at the End of the Book. Without a doubt.

This is the book that grabbed me during my formative years, shook me upside down by my ankles until milk leaked out my nose, and turned me into a card-carrying, lip-snarling smartass. It's the bestest book ever, and I'll take a staple gun to the genitalia of anyone who says otherwise.

(Unless they'd like that sort of thing -- you know how kinky some people get. In that case, I'd have to think of some other deterrent. Something with Brillo pads, maybe, or Rosie O'Donnell. But bad. Very, very bad.)

Anyway, I'm not sure that really answers your question, because I had to look up the book to find the author -- Jon Stone. And while he did also write Another Monster at the End of This Book, some of his other works include Latin for the Illiterati, The Arms Trade: Security and Conflict, and the outrageously-named An Archaeological Assessment of the Middle Santa Cruz River Basin, Rillito to Green Valley, Arizona, for the Proposed Tucson Aqueduct Phase B. All of which sound like good substitutes for elephant tranquilizers, if you're in the mood for a nice long nap. So I'm not sure I can call him my favorite author.

Actually, I'm not sure I have a favorite author. Tell you what -- I've waffled enough on this one, so I'll just rattle off a few author-book combos that I like, and you can take it from there. I don't know what more I can do for you people. So here's a list, off the top of my head and through my fingertips:

George Alec Effinger -- The Nick of Time
John Steakley -- Armor
Douglas Adams -- The Salmon of Doubt (Not by him, exactly, but amazing)
Frederik Pohl -- Gateway
Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett -- The Mind's I (Okay, so they edited it... pick, pick, pick)
Richard Feynman -- The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

That's probably more than you bargained for, eh? Anyway, those come to mind as favorites. If you're a fan of science fiction and nonfiction, feel free to ping me. If I were standing by my bookshelf at home, I could recommend quite a few more.

(And I would, too -- don't you test me, dammit!)

5. You have to choose: Live in a climate where there's always snow on the ground or live in a climate where the daily high is 100 degrees?

Ah, you ended with an easy one, Natalie! I think I even addressed something similar a while back... lessee, where did I put that?

Nope, not in there...

Not under there... but what the hell is that thing stuck to the floor? I'm gonna pretend I didn't see that...

Oh! Okay, here it is. That covers a lot of it, but I'll see what I can add.

(For those of you too lazy to click the link, here's the basic summary: 'too cold' is always better than 'too hot', because it's easier to fix. You can always put on more clothes, and layers, and fuzzy blankies to get warm. But if it's sweltering hot, you can only take off so many clothes before you're naked. Or arrested, or both. And you still might not be cool.

And trust me -- the very last thing you want to be is naked and slicked up with perspiration in a holding cell. That's one time where you never wanna let 'em see you sweat. Or let 'em see your winkie, I suppose. Hopefully, the cop's will at least give you a blanket or something. It might make you hotter again, but I think it beats the alternative. Ouchie.)

But the question doesn't just specify that the place is cold -- there's also snow, year-round and constant. But see, the thing is, I like snow. Sure, it's a pain in the ass -- and the legs, and the back -- to shovel, but it's also a hell of a lot of fun. You can sled on it, and build things with it, and even -- back me up here, guys -- write your name in it after a six-pack of brewskis.

(Hell, after another six-pack, you could probably write a whole damned letter:

'Dearest Love,

Four shots and seven beers ago, my forebrain brought forth to me an idea. A most excellent idea, to write you this letter.

I just want you to know how much I miss you, and hope that you won't hold it against me that my company had a snow day today, while yours, sadly, did not.

I still love you with all my heart; I hope you see the remarkable romance in what I'm doing now.

I'd love to tell you more... but I believe my testicles have just frozen together. I must away now, to warm them by the fire. I will await there for your return, many hours hence.

By the time you read this, I will be drunk.

With all my heart and bladder,

Your Pookie Bear
'

(And no, by the way, I don't know how you'd make some of those words bold by peeing in the snow, either. And yes, I bet the ellipses would be pretty hard to do, too. Look, it's just a gag. Don't overthink it, there, Lambchop.)

Anyway, I suppose the short answer would be 'The snowy place'. But when the hell was the short answer any fun?


So, that concludes the second-ever interview here at the old blog.

(If anyone's interested, and hasn't gouged out their eyes yet, you can also read the first one, with questions thoughtfully provided by the 'poo.)

I hope you had as good a time as I did. And if you'd like your own set of questions, leave me a comment and I'll deliver them, piping hot and fresh, right to your door. (By which I mean your emailbox. I don't know where your door is; it's just a figure of speech, okay?)

Finally, since Natalie will hurt me if I don't, here are the official interview rules. My interpretation of them may have varied a little, but hopefully nothing here will startle you.

THE RULES!
1 - Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2 - I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.
3 - You'll update your journal with my five questions, and your five answers.
4 - You'll include this explanation.
5 - You'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

And that's it! Leave me a message to join the fun, or just to tell me what an odd and unruly beast I am. Whatever -- you're not gonna ruin my mood, buster. It's Interview Day!




Monday, January 19, 2004
 
My Dog, the Betty Page Wanna-Be

Okay, this is going to seem a little odd to some of you, right from the start. And it only goes downhill from there, I'm afraid.

(This is stark contrast to most of my posts, of course. Usually, they start out very odd, and then tailspin down into the gutter. But don't worry -- we'll get there. Just hang on.)

So, I want to tell you about a Christmas present that I got from my parents. It's one of those well-intentioned gifts that sometimes go horribly awry. You know how these 'sentimental' things sometimes go -- like when the glue in the homemade scrapbook gives way, and it falls apart. Or the glaze on the 'ashtray' you scultped all by your little self flakes off onto the expensive furniture. Or when you forget to poke airholes in the cake that the stripper is meant to leap from. That sort of thing.

Well, that's what's happened with this present from my parents. I appreciate the effort, and it's a really grand idea... there's just one teensy flaw that makes it more or less unusable. Allow me to explain.

First, I'd like to introduce my dog. (Click any of the following piccys to expandipate into a larger image.) I've mentioned her many times before -- she's the furry one who drools a lot, chases skunks, and piddles on the carpet; and no, I'm not saying I'm roommates with Gary Busey -- but I've never actually posted any pictures. So, here's one now. This is the pooch in 'gonna git yer camera' mode.

(It's a lot like 'gonna git yer cheeseburger' or 'gonna git yer jar of peanut butter' mode, but with just a little less enthusiasm. She's never eaten a camera before, you see, so she's not sure how it's going to taste. But she'll try anything once, and often twice. We lose a lot of home electronics this way.)


Anyway, that's my dog. Cute little bugger. I mean, sure, scary pit bull face and all, and the overcropped ears make her look like some sort of carnivorous canine alien, but -- you know, apart from that, she's a cutie, in a 'don't put your face there unless you want it eaten' sort of way. Ahem. Moving on, then.

Back to my parents -- they decided, and I've got to give them props for creativity here -- that they should make a Christmas present for my wife and I from pictures of the dog. Fine. We don't have kids, so my folks don't have actual little people to do crazy shit like this with, so they used the dog. Again, fine. Whatever grates their cheese, right? So, they found a couple of snaps that we'd sent to them of the pooch, and they got them processed into Christmas gifts.

Specifically, they had the pictures made into mousepads. Not a bad idea -- my wife and I both spend several hours a day at computers; why not be able to take a little break from time to time to check out the puppy? Nice idea. A little cheesy, maybe, but so far, so good.

So, now that you're caught up on the backstory, let's have a look at these mousepads, shall we? This is the first one -- the one my wife decided she wanted. (Remember that later, folks. You'll see what a deal she got.)

This pad features the pup posing by our living room rug. It's a side angle shot, and our little aspiring model is working on her over-the-shoulder 'come hither' look in this one. Quite fetching, really.

(More so than the dog herself, anyway. Damned dog wouldn't bring me a pair of slippers if I slathered them with peanut butter and stuffed Snausages in the toes. Lazy mutt.)


Now, all's well with that mousepad, I bet you're thinking.

(Or you're thinking, 'Where did they get that sensational rug?' Or, 'When the hell is he gonna come to the damned point?' Or possibly, 'Someday... I'm gonna marry that dog!'

But I don't have time to address those thoughts. And especially that last one -- dude, get some help, would you? So let's meander back to what you're supposed to be thinking. Which, in case you missed it, was:

'All's well with that mousepad.'

Good. We're all caught up again. Soldiering on, then.)

Now let's have a look at the other mousepad -- the one that I get to use. Here we see the puppy in a more relaxed pose, lounging on the faux linoleum floor of our old apartment's kitchen.

(Hey, this wasn't a 'Tommy Hilfiger' shoot, folks -- it's not like you're gonna get glamorous backdrops for this shit. Deal.)

Anyway, at first glance, nothing seems amiss with this picture, either. Just another happy lazy dog plastered on a mousepad, right?


Well, maybe. Let's take a closer look. Anything about the picture starting to bother you yet?

Making you antsy?

Just a little uncomfortable, perhaps?

I see some of you are with me here. But a few of you aren't quite on board yet.


Let's zoom in really up-close and personal and have a gander at this picture.

This, folks, is what I believe is known in the adult film industry parlance as a 'money shot'. This is my dog, on a laminated slice of foam rubber, showing off all of what God gave her. It's a wee little detail that my parents must have overlooked when selecting a photo.

I only wish that I could've overlooked it, too -- ignorance is bliss, my friends. Ignorance is bliss, and your dog's hoohah on a mousepad is just icky. I'm not sure who said that, exactly, but truer words were never spoken.


And the worst part is, I think the dog knows it. Just look at the face in that picture up there -- does that expression not say to you:

'I just know you're not gonna take that picture, when you can see that my bidness is hangin' all out in the floor. So help me, if I ever see this up on the Internet...'

Poor puppy.

So clearly, I can never use -- nor touch, nor look at -- this mousepad. Maybe I'll do the old switcheroo with my wife's mousepad, and see if she notices. I might get away with it -- I"m not sure she's really taken a good look at the 'Cootchie in the Kitchen' shot. But once you've noticed, you can't stop looking at it. The rest of the dog might as well not even be attached at that point; it's like a bad train wreck that you can't pull your eyes away from. *shudder*

So, that's the story of the Mousepad That Can Never Be Used. And my dog's been a good sport about all of this -- she's even been lying here at my feet while I've written a lot of the post. So, because she deserves better than you leaving here with her 'unmentionables' foremost in your mind, I'll leave you with a few 'action' -- but not that kind of action! -- shots that I snapped of her today.

  

Hopefully, that'll make up for the crippling shame she must feel over being plastered naked and exposed on the web like a 'Girls Gone Wild' Spring Break bimbo. Sorry, girl -- I just wanted these folks to feel my pain. And, you know, have to look at your ass, like I did. And if that's not 'pain', well... I don't want to know what is. I'm just that close to taking a cheese grater to my eyeballs as it is. Yuck.



 
Wow! And Thanks! And Welcome! And... Wow!

Wow!

(Shit. Did I say that already?)

Well, it's worth saying again: Wow!

(Okay, that's the last one, I promise. Sorry, I get a little carried away sometimes. You think this is bad, you should see me after sex. Sheesh.)

Anyway, I'm so excited because I found out this morning that this site's been put on the short list for consideration for a Bloggie! Yay!

(See? Aren't you glad that was 'Yay!' instead of... you know, the 'W' word?

No, no, you perv -- not 'winkie'. Or 'womanhood'. And not 'whiskerlicker', either. No! And ew! The 'W' word is 'Wow!'

Well, dammit. You made me say it again. Poop on you.)

Anyway, since I'm still fairly new at this blogging thing, and haven't been jaded and beaten down by years of these contests like all the cool bloggers have, I'm pretty damned excited. And I'd like to thank whoever it was that helped to put me in this position -- why, I'm just so giddy I could do a jig. A giddy little jig. Hold on, I'll try one.

*jig jig jig giddy giddy giddy jig jig jig*

Yep. Just as I thought. Hurt myself. Won't be able to put my pants on for a week until that heals. Damn. Damn. Damn.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand here -- with the nomination (and thank you again!) being so public and all, I've noticed a lot of new faces around here this morning. Okay, so actually, just new IP addresses. But we all scroll through our logs and imagine faces for all the unique IPs that come through our sites, don't we? So you know what I mean. It's not like that's obsessive, or insane, or anything. Perfectly normal. The voice in my head said so, and he's never wrong. He told me that, too.

In any case, this seems like a good time for a quick virtual tour around the place. You grizzled vets probably don't need to know this stuff -- you guzzling vets, maybe. I know how you tend to forget things. And you grizzly vets... well, you just need to shave your damned backs, and then maybe we can bear to let you back in with the rest of us.

(See, 'cause 'grizzly'? And then 'bear'? Get it? It's... oh, all right, it's crap. Hey, you try finding clever words that sound like 'grizzled' sometime. This shit ain't easy, people. I'm working without a net over here.)

Let's just get back to the tour, before I completely lose my chance to make a good first impression. A lot of what this site is all about is covered in the 'About This' page. There's also a less helpful, but more personal (Rawwwwr!) 'About Me' page, for those who are interested. (And you 'Peeping Tom' types know who the hell you are. Pervs.)

Most everything else around here is pretty standard -- archives, search, links, and credits -- but there are a couple of features that you might not find on most sites. First is the 101 Things Posts About Me. See, even when I do somebody else's meme, I've got to get all ridiculous and out of control and muck the whole thing up. So, instead of just listing 101 things, like a normal sane person, I turned each 'thing' into it's own post. So there's an extra 101 posts for you to check out, should you get finished early with your homework in the archives. Knock yourself out.

The other item I'm kind of proud of has to do with my 'secret life'.

(No, not that secret life! For goodness sakes, nobody can see me doing that stuff. And, as I always say, what happens in the kitchen sink with the extending-head faucet stays in the kitchen sink with the extending-head faucet.

At least, until I can find some Drano or something. Then, it'll go away entirely. But you know what I'm saying.)

No, my other 'secret life' is my burgeoning standup comedy career. Last fall, I took a 'Standup 101' class, and have been doing shows around the Boston area for a couple of months now. I'm really enjoying my time onstage, and finding a lot of similarities between doing comedy and blogging here.

(See, I was gonna say I'm finding 'synergies', but that's too manager-babbly for me. Screw that -- I hear enough of that crap in my real job. I'm not bringing it into my other one.)

Anyway, for your viewing pleasure and ridicule, I've taped all (but one -- 'technical difficulties', you see) of my standup sets and posted them under the 'Standup Standup' section on the left-hand sidebar. Click the active links for a description of the show and to download video clips in various formats, or take note of the gray links to plan your next vacation around seeing one of my shows. Either way, it's all good.

(And for any 'long-time readers' still hanging in with this post, my show from last night is up. It was a pretty rough crowd, but it was still a lot of fun. New folks, please don't start with that set, because you'll likely get a slightly... nastier impression of my comedy than is really true. This particular show ended up being something of a Twilight Zone premise -- 'What if someone staged a comedy show, and a Sex Pistols concert broke out? ' Yeeks!)

So, if you're here for the first time, feel free to have a look around. Check out a show, dig through the archives, search for your favorite dirty word. (It's probably in here somewhere.) But by all means, settle in and stay a while. I'm glad to have you, and I hope you enjoy your stay. Ditto for you 'regulars', of course, but I've told you all of this already. You know I love you.

(Not sexually, of course. More like a brother. Unless you're hot -- then, it's more like a stepbrother, or third cousin, maybe. Close family friend, perhaps. It's sort of a 'case by case' thing.)

Anyway, thanks for stopping by, and for reading this far. If you've never been here before... well, this is pretty much what it's always like around here. If you giggled at this, then you'll probably like the rest. (Probably a little more, even; I like to think it gets a little funnier when I'm actually talking about something.) And if you're just exhausted by all the words, and the paragraphs, and 'oh, my god, so many parentheses!'... well, then this probably isn't for you, I'm afraid. Sorry I couldn't come through for you, but I only know one way to write, and you're soaking in it. I wouldn't even know how to begin to do this differently.

So that's it -- I'll be back later with a 'normal' post, but I wanted to be sure to put out the 'welcome mat' for new visitors. Come on in, pour yourself a beer, and get comfy. There's plenty of room, and the blather just keeps coming, each and every day. It's great to see so many new folks, and again, an honor to be nominated as a 'Best New Weblog' over at the Bloggies. I don't know what else to say but: 'Wow!'

(Yeah, you pretty much knew that was coming, didn't you? Damn.)




Sunday, January 18, 2004
 
This Post Has No Title Because I'm Not Really Here

Dum de dum de doo.. de dum de -- waaauuughh!

Shit, you scared me. What're you doin', creeping around here like that, anyway?

Oh. Just stoppong by for a read, eh? I suppose that's pretty... normal, after all. Sorry. I didn't mean to suggest you were 'creepy'. Just 'creeping'. Which, it turns out, you weren't. So -- sorry. Again.

Look, I'm just a little on edge here. I was kind of hoping no one would be here right now. I wanted to slip in, make a quick little 'editorial change', and slip back out unnoticed. You sort of surprised me, I'm afraid. I think I may have peed, just a little.

(No, no, don't look, dammit. I was kidding. At least, I think I was -- and either way, no good can come from you squinting at my crotch like it's gonna jump up and do backflips, all right? So just put those specs away. There'll be no crotch-gazing going on around here this morning.)

Anyway, look -- don't tell anybody, but I'm a little jumpy because I came in to change the timestamp on the last post. See, I'd actually intended to post it as today's post, since I knew I wouldn't have a lot of time for blogging today, but I was so antsy to get my first Blogger Idol post online that I went and published it earlier than I'd meant to.

(Hey, hey now -- no comments from the peanut gallery on that one. Just because I was overly excited, and had a little bout of 'premature publication', doesn't mean that there's anything for you to comment on, all right? Keep the line moving. Scoot!)

So, I popped in for just a second to fix the date. But if anyone asks, I'm not really here, okay? You never saw me today. The Blogger Idol post was up on Sunday morning the whole time, as far as you know, and I didn't do anything to it after the fact. Cool? Can you help me out with that?

What? Oh, all right, fine. Here's ten bucks. Now will you help me out? Okay, good.

Anyway, I'm off now. I've got a full day ahead, ending with the Patriots game at four, and a standup comedy gig at eight. I likely won't see you again until tomorrow, but I'm sure I'll have more drivel lined up to blather about by then. No worries.

So have fun while you're here -- feel free to browse around. Take as much time as you like -- just be sure to turn off the lights and close the door behind you when you're done. And remember that tenner I gave you -- you never saw me today, right?

Good. Now I'll sneak off before anyone else sees me. Like the wind, I am.

*shwack* *bam* *boogity-boogity-boogity-bap*

Ow... damn, who put that door there, anyway? I mean, I mean... I meant to go into the broom closet. I was... um, looking for something, and all that stuff just fell on me for no good reason. Right. Fell on me. Not my fault.

(Damn, I think I sprained my head in there.)

Look, I'm just gonna limp off to the door now. You... you stay and read. I'll -- ouch, why won't my leg move the way I want it to? -- I'll see you later.

(Damn, what.. is that a broomstick? Ooh, yeah, that would explain it. Yikes. Gonna need some Bactine back there when I get home. Eep.)



 
I'd Rather Be a 'Blogger Idol' Than an 'Idle Blogger'

Hey, all -- time for something a little bit different around here. I've signed up for a new, um... experiment is the best way I can put it, really. It's called 'Blogger Idol', and it seems like an interesting way to find some new blogs, have a few laughs, and learn something about our fellow online writers.

(Ooh, and most importantly, it's a damned fine way to get handed an interesting topic once a week for a while. And I'll take all the help I can get.)

So, read up on the 'Blogger Idol' concept, and join in if you like -- it seems it's never too late. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my humble entry into the Blogger Idol Week One fray. It's coming up... why, as a matter of fact, right now. Hang on tight!


blogger_idol-1.gif
(Click to see all Week One posts)

Week One Topic: 'The 80s'

Okay, so right off the bat, I'm gonna be a big weenie. (Those of you who read regularly, pipe down already. These other folks don't know that's par for the course. Hush up.)

Anyway, the Blogger Idol instructions encourage us to 'interpret the theme however you wish', so that's what I'm going to do. Most people will spend time discussing 'The 80s', meaning the 1980s, and all the cool / memorable / embarrassing / unruly / illegal things that they did during that decade. But I'm not going there. I've talked about a lot of things already that happened in the 1980s here on the site -- if you're really interested, browse my 101 Things Posts About Me; anything I describe there as happening between ages ten and twenty occured in the 80s. Knock yourself out. Come back when you're ready.

As for this post, though, I've chosen not to talk about 'The 80s' as they were, fourteen to twenty-four years ago. Instead, I want to consider 'The 80s' -- more specifically, my 80s -- as they're going to be, forty-five years and change away from now. I'm gonna plan for my old old old age now, and get that shit out of the way. This way, if senility creeps in before I make it to my octagenarian years, someone can dust off this post and find out what I have in mind for my post-golden years.

(Not that they will, of course... but they could. I can hold onto that thought until the last vestige of sanity finally slips away, believing until the bitter ed that my words will save me. Of course, it's far more likely that I'll be spouting gibberish and pooping my geriatri-diapers in a cold, deserted alley somewhere. But I can dream, can't I?)

Anyway, on to the 80s -- my 80s. I'll turn the big eight-oh on July 27th, 2050, assuming I last long enough to celebrate the event. Of course, by then, the attendees at birthday parties will be holographically beamed directly into our brains, so I won't even have the pleasure of bitch-slapping whichever bastard decides to put those 'ever-lit' candles on the damned cake. Great. I'm looking forward to this already. Right.

Anyway, let's assume the world of nearly fifty years from now will be much like today's society. (Yeah, yeah, I know better -- but in my Alzheimer's-addled brain, I'll probably think it's still 2004, so work with me here. I'm working without a net tonight.) So, in case this post survives, and any of you are still around to protect my interests, here's what I want for 'The 80s: Charlie-Style':

First of all, I want to be in a 'home' of some sort. I don't care what it's called -- 'retirement village', 'elder care facility', 'the Super-8 of Boca Raton', any of these would do. I just want to be anyplace where the staff is obligated to feed me, tuck me in at night, and help me keep my pants on in public. Ooh, and give me sponge baths, when I'm feely frisky. Hell, screw my 80s -- all of that sounds pretty good right now.

Anyway, next I'll be wanting a fake ID. As an optimist, I like to think that by the time I turn 80, there will be laws against nearsighted old wrinklebags taking the wheel. 'Grinch the Geezers' statutes, or something similar, I expect they'll be called. But I, for one, am gonna drive. I'll have an ID made showing that I'm fifty-three years young, and I'll drive like the shrivelled, half-blind, confused old bastard that I am. (Or that I'll be -- yeah, that I'll be, that's what I meant.)

In any case, it's gonna rock -- I'll finally be able to get even for all of those old farts who've been cutting me off, and not using their blinkers, and driving at three miles a frickin' hour in front of me on one-way streets over the years. Oh, sure, I won't be getting back at the same people... but by then, all the old people who've wronged me will be dead, or cryogenically frozen. Either way, I'll need more lively targets, so I'll take to the streets and annoy the rest of the world, instead. Look, by the time I'm that old, it'll all make perfect sense. Just wait and see.

Let's see... what else? Oh, yeah -- a private bathroom. Generally speaking, I wouldn't mind being stuck in some sort of overcrowded ward -- as long as the feeding and the the tucking and sponge baths are included, natch -- but I am not spending my eighties watching raisiny old coots getting in and out of the shower, all right? I got enough of that shit when I belonged to the YMCA as a kid; I'm not goin' out like that.

Okay, that's probably enough, given that I started on a fricking tangent from the intended topic. (Usually, it takes me at least a paragraph or two to lose focus; this time, it was downright instantaneous. Nice little preview of life in my eighties right there. Bah.) So, I hope you enjoyed my 'interpretation' of the very first Blogger Idol subject. And maybe this will help you think about how you want to spend the after-autumn of your life. These are important considerations, folks -- you don't want to be dressing yourselves, and cleaning your own diapers, or trying to erase the images of flabby naked old geezers from your traumatized retinas. Get with the program, and make your own '80s list' today! Just don't get carried away -- I've got dibs on the sponge baths, all right? Find your own hot nurses, dammit.




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