Tuesday, August 29, 2006


    My god!  This week is just zooming by.  I can't believe it's Tuesday already. 

     For those of you in offices, step away from your desks right now, and go say that --or something like it-- to one of your co-workers.  We'll wait...

     So, did they look at you funny?  Did anyone hear that they need a vacation?  Is anyone cleaning out their desks now? 

     Earlier today, I said that very same thing to the delightful Gas Station Lady, and she simply answered me with a confused, gaping stare that sort of made her look like a misguided fish who'd just conked its noggin' on the bottom of a barge.  Poor woman... 

    Anyway, I wanted to write about hurricane Ernesto as it's a really highly hyped hurricane, and seeing as how it's also the one-year anniversary of hurricane Katrina, I'm thinking that it's kind of wild that hurricane Ernesto...

    What's that?

    It's not a hurricane?

    It's a tropical storm with 46 mph winds? 

    Oh...  So, why the hell is every freakin' news channel treating it like it's the wrath of God bearing down on us?   I mean, MSNBC even brought in a Senior Hurricane Analyst, and we all know those things don't come cheap.  Who's going to pay for this blunder? 

     Maybe we can get something out of this.  Maybe Ernesto can get a 24 Hour reclassification, and we can label it a Category 15,000 Hurricane with a pretty good chance of not only leveling Libby, Montana, but if things play out "just so," Canada could, very well, lose most of the Yukon Territory. 

     I'm sorry, but I'm just not afraid of Ernesto.  It doesn't worry me in the way Katrina did when it made landfall last year.  I know the news folks want me to be terrified for my friends down there, but that's not going to happen.  The last thing people in that battered and beaten part of the country need is to have their fear increased as a result of sensationalistic, irresponsible "news" outlets.   

    So, Florida?  If you're reading this, your weather forecast for the next few days is that it's going to rain where you are.  You're going to probably get a lot of rain, and it's going to be windy.  But, you know as well as I do that there is a HUGE difference between a tropical storm with 46 mph winds and even a freakin' Category One hurricane. 



Monday, August 28, 2006

Meme Madness...

    I swiped this one from Paul (of course).   

1. A month before it happens you're told you're going to lose your memory. How do you prepare for it and do you attempt to regain what you've lost?

    Easy.  I call my ex-girlfriend and tell her she has a month to scrapbook my entire life, while I go out and do all sorts of morally reprehensible things for which I would normally feel eternally guilty.  And, with that in mind, I don't think I'd be all that anxious to regain those lost memories. 

2. How do you describe your outlook on life?

    Wretchedly ambivalent.

3. You fall in love with your soulmate, decide to get married, and then find out that person is going to die soon. Do you marry them anyway?

    Depends if she's filthy rich, and she's already put me in her will.  If that's the case, then I'd have to say yes.  If not, well...  how soon are we talking here? 

4. What are three of your favorite ice cream toppings?

    Whipped cream.  Chocolate syrup.  And, a big rib-eye steak grilled medium rare. 

5. Is there one article of clothing you love to wear no matter how out of style it is?

    Everything I wear is out of style --including my socks.

6. Is there one color you wish would go away in fashion?

    Yes.  All of them.    

7. What's the first department you head to when you go shopping in a department store?

    If I'm robbing the store, normally I'd head to sporting goods where they keep the hunting knives and shotguns.  If I'm not, then I usually make a bee-line to the electronics.  I'm a total gadget-freak.

8.How far away do you live from your parents?

    Depends on the time of year. 

9. Growing up, who was your favorite cartoon character?

    That's a toughie.  Maybe Woody Woodpecker, but I can't say for certain. 

10. You plan a romantic evening and everything goes wrong, including the fancy dinner you burned. What do you do?

    Laugh about it. 

11. What's the last thing you bought at the store?

    A whole lot of beer I didn't really drink, and a bunch of nightcrawlers that apparently scared the fish I was trying to catch. 

12. Have you ever walked out in the middle of a movie?


13. What celebrity do most people say you look like?

    No one.  But, I did have a girlfriend once who told me that Dave Matthews' character of Otis in the movie Because of Winn Dixie reminded her of me a bunch. 

14. Is there any piece of jewelry you always wear?

    I don't wear jewelry.  In fact, I still have to get my watch fixed.

15. Have you ever tried to pick someone up?

    Sure.  I spent a lot of time at O'Hare airport waiting for friends to arrive. 

16. What's the one thing you always manage to lose on your way out the door?

    My sense of security. 

17. Out of these creatures which one are you most afraid of:
A.) Snakes
B.) Spiders
C.) Rodents

    None of them.  I actually kind of like them all.  I grew up with snakes, rodents and spiders. 

18. What's the last gift you bought for a friend?

    A really nice coffee plunger. 

19. Do you ever buy people things for no reason?

    No.  There always has to be a reason --even if it's just to see them smile or remind them that they are on my mind. 

20.What's your favorite way to spend a lazy summer afternoon?

    Buying a wine funnel for Paul's wife.  Actually, I'm pretty fond of spending a lazy, summer afternoon in a hammock with a good book and a cold drink.  I know.  It's cliché, but don't underestimate it. 



Mother of fatally shaken child drinks, sings at bar
Posted: Aug. 25, 2006

From her barstool, Anissa Francis and the 30 or so other patrons at Jug's Hitching Post had just finished watching news accounts Monday night of her friend being charged with shaking her 6-month-old daughter to death, when someone started up the jukebox and Eddie Money's "Shakin' " blared out.

"It was weird. Everyone was just in awe," Jug's owner Jason Jug said Friday, noting that the song was played by another customer who didn't know what had happened.
    I swear, some people shouldn't be allowed to have children.  But, from what I gleaned after reading this article, I'm thinking she deserved to hear that damn, annoying song. 
    I know.  I'm kind of cruel that way, but after reading the article, it's clear this woman is a genuine piece of trash, and I'm pretty happy that her surviving child was taken away from her.   Your thoughts? 

How I Spent My Summer Vacation.

    No.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to play baseball with my favorite Japanese team.  I just yanked this picture off the Engrish.com website, and well...  you desperately needed to see it, I think.  Someday, however, it is my dream to pitch for the Bastards.  I think that's the only way I can justify my utter lack of control.  In short, if I'm pitching at your head, it's not because I suck as a pitcher.  Nope.  It's because I'm a Bastard.

    Anyway, the time off was well-spent.  I went golfing and managed to get an outstanding score of 70.  Then again, my math skills completely suck, so there's a pretty decent chance that I forgot to carry at least a few ones (and possibly a couple of twos).  So, honestly, my score could be anywhere between 65 and 378.  The margin of error is just that high. 

    I did go camping.  I'd forgotten how utterly horrible the camping experience actually is.  When the sun was up, it's was a nice time.  Without it though, it's a cold, damp, unhappy hell spent getting gang-raped by mosquitoes who seem to have a drinking problem as we huddled around a weak fire right out of a freakin' Jack London novel.  I didn't even catch a fish.  Everyone else caught a fish.  The only thing I managed to catch was a cold.  Screw nature.  It should all be slashed and burned and paved over to build Wal-Marts and NASCAR tracks.  I would die if stranded in the woods.  Therefore, that threat to my life must be destroyed.  I mean, what kind of retard can't catch a friggin' fish in a tiny pond that's packed full of them?  And fire without gas is just not possible to me.  From now on, I'm going fishing with pipe-bombs, and if I don't see smoke-jumpers raining down from the heavens, I'm not going to be satisfied with my campfire. 

     Aside from that, my computer is currently all repaired and working happily, I think.  They put in a new hinge that looks like it belongs in the space program.  And, it's made out of a strange material called "metal" --a material that seems to be lacking ona great many computer-related products these days. 

    Okay, now it seems I've got a load of catching up to do.  I hope everyone has managed to spin over and congratulate John Scalzi for winning the Campbell Award for Best New Writer at this year's Hugo ceremony.  If there's one thing I like better than seeing bad things happen to bad people, it's when really good things happen to really good people.  Way to go, John. 


Saturday, August 19, 2006


    Well, my laptop is once again in the shop.  This time, it's there to have a hinge issue repaired.  Apparently, when they put it together, some monkey misthreaded the screws, and over time, they snapped like brittle little breadsticks. 

    Anyhow, I'm hoping to have it back in "about a week."  I'm sorry, but the updates to this thing will probably be few and far-between over the next week or so, but I will try to put some prattle up here when I can.  The thing is, I'm using this archaic, little heap of a PC, and typing on this keyboard is kind of like banging a couple of rocks together to make fire (but, I'd forgotten how attractive Windows 98 and AOL 7.0 were.  Sexy!). 

    Fortunately, this seems like a perfect time to step away and take a smidge of a break.  So, you all have fun, and I hope to see you here when I return.  I'm off to go stick my head in Lake Michigan. 


Thursday, August 17, 2006


    Now this is a fine how-do-you-do:


Name:  Dan
Age: 38
How we know him: Fellow AOL Journalist
Why we like him: This sexy stud muffin makes us all roll on the floor laughing ass over at his journal. We can bring him into our homes, crack open a beer with him and then get rid of him when ever we want with a simple click of a mouse.
Why he’s not #1: His cat was recently arrested, a poor reflection on the owner.


    Apparently, I made Amanda's list of the World's 99 Most Drool-Worthy Men (oops).  I rank a modest #75.  I'm right above Kurt Russel who played perhaps one of the greatest movie characters of the Twentieth-Century when he took on the role of Jack Burton in the film Big Trouble in Little China.  It's tremendously humbling to learn that I am more "drool-worthy" than a guy who says such cool things as:

    When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac  grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, looks you crooked in the eye and asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Jack?" "Yessir, the check is in the mail."




    All I know is that this Lo Pan character comes out of thin air in the middle of a goddamn alley while his buddies are flying around on wires cutting everybody to shreds while he just STANDS there waiting for me to drive my truck straight through him with LIGHT coming out of his mouth!

    I mean, how can I compete with that?  How, I ask you. 

    Unfortunately, above me at #74 is Fifty-Cent.  It's hurts me deeply to think that I'm not as drool-worthy as some bullet-ridden, marble-mouthed, thug gangsta whose rapping has all the deep, intellectual insight of the chemically-altered poetry one might hear in a Mongolian coffee house at three in the freakin' morning.  Perhaps his appeal is based on someone's desire to play connect-the-dots with all his bullet holes.  Quite frankly, your guess is as good as mine.  Maybe it's just all about the G-G-G-Unit, yo'. 

     Anyway, thanks for putting me on your list, Amanda.  It really is quite flattering, and I'm sorry my cat's habitual criminal activities kept me from being Number One.  Personally, I think you failed to remember that not only did I figure out all the secret ingredients in a can of Skyline Chili, but I also recently saved Puerto Rico from the deadly, man-eating Chupacabra.  I'd like to see anyone on the list make THAT particular claim. 


Oh My God! I Killed the Chupacabra!

Why am I here?

     Indeed, the pen is mightier than the sword.  At least, mine seems to be pretty dang lethal lately. 

    For example, I wrote about Floyd Landis winning the Tour de France with a bad hip, and look what happened there?  He wound up having more testosterone in his system than the entire Italian World-Cup winning soccer team, and now, it seems, his Father-in-Law committed suicide.  I'm sorry Floyd.  I was just writng, ya know. 

    Then there's the things I wrote about Ken Lay, and look what happened to him. 

    Anyway, yesterday, in my anniversary entry, I added the deadly, man-eating Chupacabra, and now they found a dead animal in Maine that, as far as I'm concerned, is, in fact, the afformentioned deadly, man-eating Chupacabra (You can thank me later, Puerto Rico.  Tonight, let the rivers of rum flow, and sleep well, my friends.  You no longer need to fear the deadly, man-eating Chupacabra, for he is dead, and I killed him with my words). 

     If this keeps up, I'm going to start rigging elections and building my empire.  If I ever say that George Bush is the best President in the history of best Presidents, you know he's doomed.  Oh, Donald Rumsfeld is a nice, sweet man consumed with love and peaceful intentions, and Pat Robertson will live forever because of his God-defying, Jesus-juice milkshakes that gave him the strength to leg-press a freakin' ton


Harding Versus The Rookie.

    The police called me this morning.
    Apparently, my cat was "arrested" for loitering at the local Little League baseball park about half-a-mile from where I live.  Normally, during baseball season he'll hang out there playing with the kids and eating hot dogs, hamburgers or whatever the heck else people decide to feed him, then, he'll hop in a minivan with a soccer-mom and her brood of children, and he gets dropped off at my house when the game is finished.  It's a perfectly fine arrangement.
    I don't know.  Maybe he just likes to be part of a team or something. 
    Unfortunately, the Little League season has come and gone, the diamonds are silent and empty, and poor Harding the Dog-Cat seems to be having a difficult time grasping this.  But, don't worry, he's still got the little old lady across the street who feeds him wonderful things.  Plus, school's starting soon, and he tends to wander over there to spend some quality time sleeping in the janitor's office and enjoying recess and gym class more than I ever did when I was his age (he's 8 years old).  
    On the other hand, he also spends more time at the police station than I ever did as well.  In fact, he's even got his own special container of treats in the kennel there.  And, since crime's kind of low in this odd little town of mine, I think the police officers get bored, and subsequently grab a shiny, new rookie officer and drive around looking for my cat to have a bit of fun watching the newbie try and catch him. 
    Unfortunately, for the rookie, Harding really enjoys being chased.  If you take a step toward him to pick him up, he will bolt off in some direction which could, quite possibly, shred every ligament and tendon in your knees if you try to grab him. 
    What the rookies don't know, and what the veterans are well aware of, is that the easiest way to catch my cat is just to sit down on the ground and wait for him to come and treat you like some sort of chew toy.  I think the veterans love this because it makes them look like some sort of Zen animal control officer with mystical powers for attracting wild beasts.  What the rookies don't realize is that the closer a human being is to eye level with my cat, the more my cat thinks he's going to be fed.  If he thinks for one second that you're having some sort of picnic, he will charge at you in an all-out, full-blown sprint. 
    Anyway, I went and bailed my pet out of the slammer once again.  Did he look guilty?  Hell no.  He was passed out and lying flat on his back snoring in his little cage like some drunk that had just been tossed into a cell after a wild night of debauchery.  But, I gathered him up, and a few of the officers gave him a scratch on his head --except one.  He suggested that I keep my cat indoors.  Of course, it was a little hard to take him seriously since his knees and elbows were covered in grass stains. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

AOL Journals 3-Year Anniversary Badge
    This coming Monday, AOL Journals will be celebrating their Three-Year Anniversary, and apparently, according to Vivian, there seems to be lots and lots of celebratory goodiness going on to mark this special day.  I recommend heading over to her journal in order to stay informed on these things.
    Now, I've only been doing this journal thing since late February of this year, so, as a noob, I don't know if I'm actually all that qualified to really participate in the festivities, but, since I'm here, I might as well say one or two things about my impressions of AOL Journals, the overall journaling process, and the reasons why I chose such an odd medium as a means in which to broadcast my insanity.
    I have to admit, AOL Journals is ridiculously easy to use.  I mean, even in spite of the occasional outburst of chronic keyboard dyslexia, the ability to simply type on endlessly and hit save to post these thoughts for all to see seems almost TOO easy sometimes.  And, to think that anyone upon this planet with an internet connection and a little time to kill can simply go to a search engine, type in the typo "DPoem" and find all this chatter from me is freakishly intimidating.  For all I know, some guy sitting on a rock in the Gobi Desert is reading this as he bogarts his stockpile of yogurt and tends to his estate of sand and dirt.  Someday, he may read this and tell his wife, "Honey?  I want my cheese deep fried from now on, or I am going to leave you and move to Wisconsin where they deep-fry everything and even the mosquitoes have a binge-drinking problem." 
    Anyway, along the way I've learned all sorts of nifty tips and tricks, and I'm pretty sure that I'd start to develop some very suspicious troubles with my AOL account if I didn't mention that pretty much every trick I learned these last six months came from the exceptionally helpful Journal Editor Joe and his ever growing list of useful tips and pointers designed to make the ridiculously easy even easier. 
    And, since I'm doing shout-outs, I should say that for everything Joe does to help us make these things work, AOL's also got Blogger John Scalzi to help give us all something to actually put on these pages.  John's been blogging since long before it was even called blogging, and I can't even count how many times I've meandered my way around his entries to find something to spin my mind in the write direction. 
    Obviously, the whole Journals team isn't simply limited to those two.  But, without Joe and John, I'd be a lot more confused than I already am, and I'm pretty certain that I'd have been institutionalized after my first few entries.  Of course, that threat still exists, but at least now I can point to a legitimate source of inspiration for my madness. 
    As it stands, I know I've not exactly been updating as frequently as I used to.  I think that somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind still exists a sort of schoolboy mentality that demands I get out and enjoy this last month of summer vacation before September rolls around, and I've got to get back to work.  In other words, August is not for thinking about anything other than nice days on the beach and lazy afternoons.  Hey!  Don't blame me.  Blame the freakin' monks who created this calendar. 
    On top of that, I've also been working and writing.  And, I'm pretty sure by the time June rolls around, you're all going to be sick and tired of hearing me plug my book.  Of course, I'm not like John Scalzi who, it seems, can write a novel while standing in his kitchen waiting for a freakin' Pop Tart to cook in his toaster. 
    Finally, I think I've covered everything I wanted to say.  I hope you've all enjoyed reading this journal as much as I've enjoyed writing it.  So, thanks again AOL for giving a guy who's got a lot to say a place in which to say it, and congratulations on three years. 
     Now, here's the deadly, man-eating Chupacabra:

Monday, August 14, 2006

To-Do List...

    Hey all.  Just a quick blurb of an entry this morning as I am scampering myself out the door.  But, before I go, I wanted to address a question I heard on my local news this morning while waiting for the traffic report.

    Apparently, everyone's doing this list of "One Hundred Things To Do Before You Die."  I guess they're showing up all over the place.

     Anyway, I can't think of one hundred things.  In fact, I can't even think of one thing.  But, as I'm scooting around Milwaukee this morning, I'll try to think of something and update this entry when I can. 

     However, before I post mine, I was wondering if any of you out there in this great, big world have ONE thing you'd like to do before you die?  Just one thing.  And, you really don't have to be all that serious, ya know? I mean, if you want to say "I'd really like to learn how to stop eating so much chocolate before I die," I'm all for it. 

      So, that said, I am off.  Have a great morning, and I'm looking forward to hopefully finding some great ideas. 


***UPDATE***  Okay...  Insofar as I really like Paul's suggestion to become immortal before I die, I really don't know how to go about doing that without significant medical assistance.  And, well, this IS America, and our health care system is more like Somalia than that of Canada.

    Anyway, I've narrowed it down to either hitting a home run in a major league baseball park (it doesn't have to be during a game.  I just want someone to serve a sweet one up for me to whallop just to see if I have what it takes to go the distance), OR, I'd like to kick field goals in Lambeau Field in February just to see how far I can boot one in the cold. 

     Aside from that, the runners up are:

     Driving a lap at Indy, getting married, or doing shots of tequilla with the Dalai Lama. 

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Look! It's a Poll...


    Now, it's been a while since I've done a poll.  So, ya know, I wanted to see if I could actually still create one.  Hopefully, this poll will encourage a heated, yet rational debate.  And remember, as with every poll, I encourage you to vote early and often. 

    If you'd like to learn how to create your own poll, go hassle Editor Joe.  A while back, he did an entry about how to embed polls in journals.


Vroom-Vroom, Baby!

    John Scalzi wants to know about driving in this Weekend's Assignment, and I decided to accomodate.  After all, if you don't know by now, I've got a somewhat quirky life, so why should my experience with learning to drive be any different?

    I was 15 in when I took my Driver's Ed classes in high-school.  The Teacher, who lived in my neighborhood, was a full-blown maniac in both the classroom and behind the wheel.  After a childhood spent watching this lunatic blow through stop signs, tear down the streets and generally drive in a manner that left the neighborhood fearing for its life when it came to stepping on pavement, I knew full well that this bastard was perhaps the least qualified person on the planet to be teaching the subtle art of motor vehicle operation.  But, the class was required in those days, and we had no choice but to deal with one another when that inevitable semester rolled around in 1983. 

     Driver's Ed class, Day One:  When the bell rang, The Teacher banged a hunk of retread on his desk and spoke.  "I know all of you are going to get drunk.  And I know all of you are going to drive.  I've learned that if you eat an English muffin before you drink, you won't get as drunk, and you won't drive your parents' car into a tree and die.  Just make sure you put a lot of butter on it." 

    And, the madness didn't end there.   

    "Someday," he continued,  "you're going to get pulled over by the cops when you're out driving drunk.  When they ask you why your eyes are red, tell them that you got into a fight with your boyfriend or girlfriend, and you've been crying.  You're young, and the cops will believe this."

     With our minds filled with those valuable pearls of driving wisdom, we moved onto the gruesome, blood-spattered movie Death on the Highway

     "See all that blood?" The Teacher asked in the darkened room as the projector clicked and clacked over a scene showing some mangled teenagers in a mangled car.  "It's fake.  There's never that much blood." 

     Then came the "simulation" part of the class where we sat in archaic machines that stunk of mold and the sweat and urine of terrified, nervous teenagers who'd probably pissed themselves in fear behind the wheels of these monstrosities.  One student named Dennis wound up in therapy after demonstrating his constant desire to mow down old ladies and small dogs.  "You dumb bastard!" The Teacher would wail.  "Hit the animals, Dennis, not the people!  Look!  There's another dog.  Hit the gas you idiot." 

     When the semester was over, and our summer vacations were upon us, we were unleashed upon the world with Temporary Driver's Permits, and, every summer, the city lived in fear as our quiet summer days were punctuated by the squealing of tires, the occasional crunch of metal and the screams of terrified citizens.  One mangled wreck of a car was even found abandoned in the sand trap on the seventh hole of the local golf course.  Our summers were sheer, bloody terror filled with the stench of burning brakes and clutches.

     Eventually, though, the day of our driving tests would come, and we'd wander over to the local DMV with whatever remained of our motor vehicles after a summer spent beating them into the ground. 

    I took my test in my aunt's turbo-charged Saab since both my parents' cars had manual transmissions.  At least, that was the excuse I was given.  The test went well for me.  I drove absolutely perfectly, and even the person administering the test complimented me before she failed me. 

    "You're one of the best drivers I've seen," she said that day.  "But, I'm going to fail you on principle." 

     Was I angry?  You bet.  However, before I could exact my vengence, one of my fellow failed students was arrested for shredding her front lawn by doing donuts with his car one night in a drunken rage.  So, in light of that, I was happy when my second test rolled around, and I passed with flying colors.  And since then, I've been driving all over the world and I've gone through countless cars. 

     The first car I bought was a dark green, 1971 Ford LTD.  I think the reason it caught my eye was because I remembered seeing one in the Death on the Highway film, and it seemed to have been the one which suffered the least amount of damage when wrapped around a telephone pole.  It was a pretty cool car, and I drove it until the engine exploded. 

    I wish I had a picture of that car, but I don't.  However, I think there were several photos taken for insurance purposes during the many years I owned that car. 


Wednesday, August 9, 2006

I'm So Evil...

    Time has stopped for me.   You see, my watch has died, and though I rarely ever wear a watch, when I do, I like to have it working because, you know, it's kind of convenient to have a fully functioning timepiece.  Mine stopped working when the battery died two months ago at 11:37:14 AM. 
    Now, I suppose I could run out and pick up a battery and cram it in there myself; however, since I lack the nimble fingers of a Chinese sweatshop seamstress, I think it's probably in the best interests of time and space for me to just take it to a jewelry shop and have them deal with it.   
    Why am I telling you all about my watch?  Well...  Here's the thing:
    Guys, and I know a couple of you read this, if you ever get the chance to tell your wife, girlfriend, or significant other that you're going to the jewelry store, regardless of how innocuous or utterly benign the reason, do it.  It's just like tapping on a fish tank.  Women get all wigged-out gonky when you plant that little nugget in their heads.  It's kind of like when they tell us that they're going to Best Buy, or when you even mention the name "Chuck E. Cheese" in a room full of children.  Great things happen, and I wonder how long I can stretch this sort of thing out before guilt overwhelms me, and how much I will pay in the long run. 
    "Let's go have lunch with my parents today," she may ask.
    "Ohhh," I'll stammer nervously.  "You know, umm, I have to go to the jewelry store to get my watch fixed.  It's driving me nuts." 
    "Yeah.  They must sell lousy batteries at that place." 
    "It's okay, honey.  You go to the jewelers and, since you're out, go have a beer with your friends, and when you get home tonight, I'll make you a huge bacon-wrapped steak for dinner, draw you a nice, hot bubble bath and then give you a massage and invite my college roommate over to spend the night." 
    Hey!  Don't judge me.  It's not MY mind leaping to conclusions.  I'm just too stupid and clumsy to change a watch battery on my own. 

Monday, August 7, 2006

Death and Brunch.


    Yesterday, Allison and I decided to hit brunch.  I like brunch.  It gives me a great opportunity to not only test the effectiveness of my Lipitor prescription with a near-unlimited supply of sausage and bacon, but I also have the potential to hone my wicked-mad ninja skills on an omelette chef as he charges and slashes at me with a gleaming cheese knife and a frothy mouth.
    "I'd like some of this, oooh..  And that.  Hey!  Those green onions look good.  Are they good?  You didn't get them from Chi-Chi's did you?  Those scallions almost killed Pennsylvania, I think.  Is that Gruyere?  Is that crab meat fresh?  I've been poisoned a lot this week.  Got it?  Oh yeah.  No need to dazzle me with your flipping skills.  I'm not impressed.  I've been making omelettes since you were... well... since YOU yourself were an egg, cowboy.  Easy on the butter.  I'll be over at that bucket of bacon. Yee-haw!"
    Of course, as I sat down with a plate of omelette, sausages, toast, and another plate of bacon (there may have been a sweet roll in there somewhere, but its existence is something of a blur), the delightful woman sitting across from me just sort of stared blankly with one eye twitching.
    "Got enough to eat?" she asked as she nibbled on her lobster eggs benedict.  "Would you like me to fetch you the head off the goose ice-sculpture for you to gnaw on?"
    "Don't be silly," I said.  "It's a swan.  Not a goose."
    "Got enough bacon?" She asked.
    "I hope so."  I replied.  "It's all they had left."
    "Yeah," she sighed between bites.  "Think you'll have enough with the twenty pieces you have, or should I ask them to bring out more?" 
    Hey!  It's not my fault.  If you put me in a place with a sign displaying "All You Can Eat," I'm going to see that as a challenge.  And, when that challenge includes bacon, I'll double up on the Lipitor and give it an honest effort.  I will either get full (yeah right!), or, more likely, my heart will explode like bad plumbing.  But, I will go with a smile on my face.  I swear, I ate so much bacon that day that the frothy little omelette chef could have met me in the parking lot, stuck me straight in the heart with that cheese knife, and that wound would have instantly sealed itself. 
    On top of that, brunch was Allison's idea.  I wanted to stay home and make blueberry pancakes.  So, if anything, she's an enabler for my tremendous addiction to artery-straining pork products. 


Saturday, August 5, 2006


    Now, it's not that I'm anti-religious or anything, but I think they owe us something for making people work so hard, and having to employ things like particle accelerators just to be able to friggin' read.  What?  Did they have a shortage on paper two-thousand years ago that this monk had to erase the theories of Archimedes and replace them with his religious mumblings?
    I swear, if I ever get my hands on either the Dead Sea Scrolls or some other original Biblical text, I'm going to be like this monk and scribble out the original writings and replace them with the names and numbers of strippers and porn stars. 

    Hey!  We've got African World Fest going on here in Milwaukee this weekend.  It's actually a lot of fun, and a great way to learn a lot about the African culture and arts without having to worry about things like starvation, Ebola, civil war or the fact that you may be eaten by a lion while sitting down to eat your lunch. 
    However, I do have a problem with one of the organizers who came on TV this morning and said, "We have lots of wonderful things from the country of Africa."  Eeeeesh... 

    Now, aside from the African World Festival, we also have the Wisconsin State Fair going on in Milwaukee. 
    I've never really liked the fair.  It smells bad, and I really have no desire to watch some sweet, doe-eyed, little farm-urchin cry when her shit-coated sow doesn't win a friggin' blue ribbon on its way to the bacon factory.  It's too emotional for me.  As guilty as I already feel for eating too much bacon, I don't need my shame compounded by the image of a blubbering little farm child that's been burned into my mind.  Dammit!  Stupid kids!  Don't develop emotional attachments with members of the food chain --especially those crispy, tasty, hickory-smoked members of the food chain.  Get a pet rat or something.  It'll hurt less, and you won't grow up to develop an eating disorder.

    In other news, I learned that I had unjustly accused the now innocent fish taco for damn near killing me.  I apologize to the fish taco for my presumption of its guilt without gathering all the evidence.  It seems the fish taco has been exonerated by a carton of crimini mushrooms labeled "pre-sliced, pre-washed, ready-to-eat.  Yum!"  I ate some the day I met the fish taco, and I ate some yesterday when Mr. Fish Taco was nowhere to be found.  Yes.  Last night I seem to have perfected my math skills.  #$@&!


P.S.  Like the new spacers?  They say "more" because, you know, in case you were wondering if there was more, that should clear that up for you. 


Friday, August 4, 2006

Hello Friday!

Happy hour, here I come!    Yes.  I start off the week as Mild-Mannered Dan, but by the time Friday afternoon rolls around, it's a bloody mad dash to the ATM and an all out race to find a decent happy hour with a mountain of chicken wings that glow like the Holy freakin' Grail.  Even a dish of peanuts would be acceptible so long as the beer's cold, the music's not too loud and turn your phone off, or I will eat your brains!  Dig? 


Wednesday, August 2, 2006

You Need This Canada!

    It seems that in between stuffing his head with more Poutines and Labatt's than Canadian socialised medicine can adequately accept, my chum Paul has taken to picking on me in his journal by showing off his wireless Underwood, and challenging my dumb, American public-education addled brain to more obscure trivia than I can handle. 
    Not to worry.  I'm certain he's being kind and all.  And, being the friendly Yank that I am, I found this for him. 
    Look, Paul?  It's a sundeck for your igloo.  Now you can step out and enjoy the handful of days which constitute the Canadian summer.  And, even better, it's portable.  You can take it with you when you break down your igloo and trundle across the tundra in order to follow the seal meat your people so desperately need in order to survive.  And look!  They even have a blanket to keep their delicate Canadian backsides off the permafrost. 
    You need this.  We can't have you getting frostbite as you work on that tan of yours now, can we? 
Your pal,

So Ends Our Broadcast Day...

    I am never eating a fish taco again.  Like Woody Allen and apricots, the fish taco is dead to me.  Dead, I tell you!  Somewhere between the time it was placed on a plate before me at the restaurant, and the middle of the night math session where, after plowing my way through the literary campaign of soap, shampoo, and toothpaste ingredients, I found myself counting the tiles of my bathroom floor, the poor fish taco curled up and died a horrible, gut-wrenching death.
    Don't worry.  It wasn't all multiplication tables and "rinse, lather, repeat" at Two AM.  I actually had some wonderful moments sitting in front of the TV watching (what else?) the Food Network.  Yes, my friends, it takes a special kind of masochist to battle food poisoning while watching Emeril Lagasse elicit screams of blind glee from his wailing, happy audience with things like booze and garlic (why do people go so nuts whenever he adds those things to a dish?). 
    However, once the cult-like madness of Emeril had passed, at Three AM, the following show was something called Low Carb, and Lovin' It (Remember the evils of the dreaded carbohydrate?).  The host of this odd little show struck me as a lone soldier in the fallen Commander Atkins' battle against the culinary insurgent that is the carbohydrate.  However, he made a pizza with only six net carbs per serving.  That's good considering that had he pushed the envelope and gone for the insane flavor explosion that comes with seven net carbs, I'm certain we'd all be lining up for bariatric surgery and begging for the second coming of Dr. Atkins.
    Anyway, I flipped through the channels after becoming bored with this chef's irrational war, and as a result of not being able to sleep, I was brought into a strange world of television programming where nearly ALL channels broadcast a common theme.  Apparently, the three-AM demographic consists of overweight, carb-loathing insomniacs who do not know how to operate a computer.  Every single station broadcast either that guy who will send you a handful of CD's to teach you how to work your computer or exercise equipment.  Even the religious channel had some maniac on there hawking a body-shredding device which looked as though it was stolen out of a health club during the heyday of The Inquisition
    So, I curse the fish taco for opening the door to this bizarre and dirty world.  However, once the gastro-intestinal event had passed, I slept like a rock and awoke craving a huge breakfast of carb-laden doughnuts and beer-battered, deep-friend, hard-boiled eggs. 
    Finally, there was supposed to be a lesson in here somewhere, and if you find it, let me know. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Lazy Day...

     Yes.  It's indeed the dog days of summer, and I'm in a house of weird, longhaired cats.   The white one pictured on the left is curled up and sleeping in front of the central air-conditioning register, and where's the big, dopey, furry, black cat?  Well... He's outside in the blistering sun with his face buried in the recently cleaned and filled bird baths.  Perhaps later I'll see if I can fry an egg on the dumb animal's forehead. 

    Anyway, it's a totally lazy, hot day, and I'm looking for things to scribble about.  I noticed Ninja John Scalzi did an entry earlier about eating Fruit Loops with chopsticks.  Yes.  It's a little odd for us folks who have been spoiled with the handy silverware of the Western World.  But, it got me thinking about what other foods should be eaten with chopsticks.  For example, I could go for a little Swedish Fish sashimi.  Mac and cheese?  You bet.  Wedding cake? Oh yeah...  Pudding?  Hmm... 

    In fact, aside from pudding and soup, I really can't think of anything you can't eat with chopsticks.  Can you? 

    Yes.  It's still a struggle of a day creatively, and I can't even start an international incident by plagiarizing my Canadian pal Paul because he's suspiciously silent as well.  However, he is currently looking for a ribbon for his battered old Underwood typewriter.  So, if anyone knows a good typewriter shop...  I've just got an old Smith Corona with a great many dents and an odd habit of jamming itself into a tangled mass of little lettered hammers.  But, it's got good door-stopping power on a windy day. 

     Well, I'm off to investigate the efficacy of my overheated, pan-headed feline.  I'm telling ya, just the thought of cracking an egg on his forehead while he looks up at me has a way of giving me the wicked giggles of a man overcome with the total madness of a blinding heat stroke.  Of course, he's got claws --big, sharp claws-- and absolutely no reservations against disemboweling the man with the magic thumbs who opens the cat-food cans should he ever get out of line and do something stupid.  Yes.  I live in constant fear.