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Wednesday, August 30, 2006 :::

A New Weight Loss Program

Why bother losing weight when you can just furnish your house with warped circus mirrors that benefit your silhouette and get a new HP digital camera that removes the pounds for you?

HP's Exclusive Digital Cameras with Slimming Feature

With all these new technologies, my photoshopping powers are soon to be obsolete. Although to be fair, I usually like to take the opposite approach and fatten people up in pictures. I rarely go the extra mile to make people look better, so until HP unveils a Fattening Filter or some type of feature that removes teeth and adds pimples, I'll just keep on keepin' on with my pitiful old Canon Sureshot and my abused copy of Photoshop.

Of course, there's also something a little unethical, or perhaps diabolical, about offering such a ridiculously shallow, inherently manipulative, and flagrantly fraud-assisting option on a consumer-priced camera. Not to mention the fact that it blatantly enforces negative body image issues. But I'm too lazy to be philosophical today.

::: posted by dan at 4:40 PM :: [ link ] :: (13) comments Social Bookmark Button


Tuesday, August 29, 2006 :::

Wake up call.

I was standing in line at the market yesterday in between work meetings, sharply dressed in my pressed pants with my matching messenger bag slung casually around my shoulder. I was in a hurry, both to get to my next meeting and to eat the sushi bagel roles that I was eagerly waiting to devour. My Blackberry buzzed, and I instinctively reached to grab it from its cradle on my belt, when I heard a half-laugh/half-tsk grunt coming from the lady behind me in line. I looked up to see the lady staring at me in a way with which I was very familiar: keen judgment. It only took me a second to see myself the way she was seeing me: thirtysomething conservatively-dressed hipster wannabe standing in line to buy sushi and checking his Blackberry. Just describing it, I can hardly stop myself from making a half-laugh/half-tsk grunt at my own expense.

I never even saw it coming, but my transformation into yuppie asshole is apparently complete. I feel sad for myself.

I felt a little better about myself after dripping soy sauce all over my lap while trying to eat the sushi in my scraped-up Hyundai economy car that's missing half of the sideview mirror from when I hit it on the side of my garage over a year and a half ago. Any truly devoted yuppie would be driving a VW of some sort. I'm sure of it.

::: posted by dan at 10:19 PM :: [ link ] :: (22) comments Social Bookmark Button


Friday, August 25, 2006 :::

The Great Minnesota Get Together

I attended opening day at the Minnesota State Fair yesterday with Cwatts & Kwatts, in spite of the constant near-torrential downpour:

We ate cheese curds and pronto pups and a very large overflowing bucket of chocolate chip cookies. Then we trudged through wet poop to see the little bitty animals in the Miracle of Birth Center, where I pet a piglet:

We also saw cows and horsies and marveled at goats in spandex:

There was one food-on-a-stick item at the Fair of which I refused to partake. It looked just like a corndog only inside its deepfried exterior it was stuffed with potatoes and beef and some kind of cream soup mixture I'm sure. I gag just thinking about it:

We did some learnin' in a mock television studio and weather station, where the excitement of a promised "Tornado Room" was met with disappointment, when we discovered that it was merely a round-shaped room with some low-powered fans mounted on the wall and a swirly blacklight type of thing, apparently for ambiance.

We strolled through the midway, but most of it was sadly inactive due to the rain, which was frustrating because I was really interested to see this Magnum P.I. themed ride in action:

Besides the awkwardly painted Tom Selleck in the mural, I don't understand exactly what makes this a Magnum P.I. ride. There's no Hawaii, no helicopter, no red sports car, no too-short-and-tight man shorts. Or maybe I just don't remember the episode with the giant dancing coke can in sunglasses.

But luckily, the clouds parted and the rain stopped for long enough to provide a beautiful night to see The Flaming Lips perform at the grandstand:

It was a pretty good show besides the late start and the interruptions and the wet and the cold and the fact that even though we had general admission tickets and could have pushed our way to the front row, we were just too exhausted from the events of the afternoon so instead we slyly borrowed some unspoken-for seats higher up in the grandstand.

Our adventure at the Fair also included a few local celebrities, a few politicians, and some Karaoke, where a creepy old man decided it was perfectly appropriate to sing Sexual Healing in front of a bunch of transfixed 8-year-old girls.

It was indeed the great Minnesota get-together.

::: posted by dan at 7:57 AM :: [ link ] :: (23) comments Social Bookmark Button


Thursday, August 24, 2006 :::


I came across this online quiz today that dared to question whether I was as smart as an eighth grader or something like that. Of course I thought I had to prove myself, so I fired up the quiz with self-righteous confidence... and I totally flunked on the very first question. Apparently there are more than four oceans now. Everything I ever learned from Trivial Pursuit is totally blowing up in my face:

Where the hell was I in 2000 that I missed the addition on an entire ocean? The Southern? WTF? Am I the only one who let that one slip by? So we lost planet Pluto today, but we gained an ocean?

I feel dumb.

::: posted by dan at 3:50 PM :: [ link ] :: (10) comments Social Bookmark Button


Wednesday, August 23, 2006 :::

Dr. Erik

My good friend Dr. Erik sure has a lot of reasons to celebrate today. Not only is it his birthday, but he is also feeling the relief of having finally finished his internal medicine boards! So I say Happy Birthday and Congratulations Dr. Erik! Go put on your dancing shoes, your favorite out-on-the-town ensemble, and celebrate in style, like we know you will!

Dr. Erik, out on the town:

Someone should probably teach you how to accessorize, but Happy Birthday anyway.

::: posted by dan at 3:57 PM :: [ link ] :: (10) comments Social Bookmark Button


Dikfore for Prez

Look who's running for State Representative:

[thanks for the heads up Alicia]

I had no idea he was such a politico. Is running for a position in the government and getting photographed in such a T-shirt the hometown equivalent of sitting in a boat called Monkey Business with Donna Rice on your lap? Or is that reference too outdated and obscure for anyone to follow anymore?

While we're talking politics, take a look at this ranking of countries by their relative bank accounts, and then notice the rank of the U.S., dead last, with nearly ten times more debt than the nearest competitor. And ten times is a lot when you're talking tens of billions. Fiscal conservatives my ass.

::: posted by dan at 12:41 AM :: [ link ] :: (13) comments Social Bookmark Button


Meat Head

It's nice not to be the only one making an ass of myself at the gym, finally. Earlier today, I went to exercise at my regular health club, which is bigger than a breadbox, but not by much. There are maybe twenty weight-lifting machines (I'm ascared of free-weights) in the whole place, so it's hard not to keep seeing the same people. One guy in particular seemed to have the exact same workout routine as I did, only he was one step ahead. He didn't appear to be too aware of my presence at first, so I began to notice that every time he finished a set on a weight machine, he would reach over, take out the metal peg that determines the amount of weight he was lifting per repetition, and he would increase it by a good thirty pounds. Then he would walk away and start on the next machine, repeating the process: lift weights, increase total weight without actually trying to lift that amount, and then move on.

It took me a while to realize that he was doing this for the benefit of anyone who might happen to see him working out and then approach the machine immediately after, as if they would notice the weight setting and be impressed with his strength and vigor. And he did it every time, totally oblivious to the fact that I was watching with keen observation.

Finally, on the vertical bench press machine, he did the same thing, only this time he looked up to see me catching him in the act just as he was increasing the weight at the end of his set. I didn't flinch, and he literally stopped dead in his tracks with a scared, startled look. The awkward pause was lengthy, as he was unable (and I was unwilling) to break the gaze. It was then that he totally pulled a dan and tried to fake his way through it, fully committing himself to the farce: he sat down and pretended that he was simply going to do another set, at the significantly increased weight, as if that was always his intention. So he took a deep breath, prepared himself physically with marked embellishment, and then nearly popped a blood vessel trying to complete even one lift. When it clearly wasn't going to happen, he faked a cough attack (I'm assuming), and got up quickly to use the water fountain, ostensibly. But he wasn't fooling me. He was totally busted.

I quickly tried to work on a facial expression that would convey an I-know-what-you-were-doing-you-vain-meat-head kind of sentiment, but alas, he never made eye contact with me again. Oh well, at least I know I'm not the biggest douchbag in the place anymore. That will probably last about a week.

::: posted by dan at 12:06 AM :: [ link ] :: (12) comments Social Bookmark Button


Tuesday, August 22, 2006 :::

Popular Music

I went to see Wolf Parade in concert last week. It was a terrific show, and of course I added to my concert T-shirt collection, most of which is virtually unwearable, but whatever. The ladies directly in front of us decided to dance in a way that is wholly inappropriate to any Wolf Parade song I've ever heard, and the reaction of the crowd around them was perfectly articulated in the blank stare of the girl behind them:

I miss my online jukebox where I could play all the exciting new music I'm listening to, but my webhost was choking on it so I'm forced to look for a better solution. In the meantime, I will take this opportunity to list out the upcoming CD releases that I am practically shitting myself for, in case anyone cares. This will also help solidify my music-snob pedigree, I'm sure:

1. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
It already has leaked online, and I already love it.

2. Emily Haines - Knives Don't Have Your Back
The lead singer of Metric finally goes solo. She's like the Gwen Stefani of the alternative rock world. Wait, that's the worst analogy ever. Regardless, it's going to be an amazing CD, trust me.

3. Andrew Bird -?
I'd be more excited for this if it had a release date. But apparently he finished recording it months ago. If it sounds anything like the new songs he's been playing in concert lately, it's going to be my favorite of the year.

4. Scissor Sisters - Ta-dah
Shut up, they're fun. Go eff yourself if you think otherwise.

5. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Even Before the Ship Sank
Only because Johnny Marr has officially joined the band and I'm curious.

6. Swan Lake - Beast Moans
Members from Destroyer, The New Pornographers, and Wolf Parade, all wrapped into one. There's also some Frog Eyes in there, but I guess I can't have my cake and eat it, too.

7. Badly Drawn Boy - Born in the U.K.
The first single is a little underwhelming, but still.

8. Augie March - Moo You Bloody Choir
One of the most underrated bands of all time released a CD in Australia earlier this year that I just can't seem to get my hands on.

Other good albums, recently released: The Long Winters, The Junior Boys, TV on the Radio. Who among you can challenge my musical snobbery? Step up and declare yourself.

::: posted by dan at 7:23 PM :: [ link ] :: (9) comments Social Bookmark Button



This would probably be considered the zenith of animated gifs, if it made any sense whatsoever.

::: posted by dan at 6:20 PM :: [ link ] :: (11) comments Social Bookmark Button


Wednesday, August 16, 2006 :::

Stranger in a Strange Land

T-Bone took me to a Twins game last night. I haven't been to a baseball game in at least 15 years, and I was embarrassingly unfamiliar with the customs and practices of such an event. For instance, some random clip of organ music would play without warning and the entire crowd of 30,000 would spontaneously clap in some predetermined pattern and then cheer as if it meant something. I couldn't keep up.

But we each had 72 ounces of beer and some salty peanuts.

I also kept hearing someone call my name, and I'd turn around to find nobody but gape-mouthed baseball fans. It took me a few times to realize it was just the Miller Lite guy, and he wasn't calling my last name, he was simply announcing that he had cold bottles of Miller to sell. At one point, while waiting for his payment, the Miller Lite man yelled "Anyone else want some Miller?" and I thought sheepishly, "Hell, yeah, who doesn't want a piece of Miller?" Sometimes it's fun being named after a beer. I can easily get clothing and kitchenware pre-emblazoned with my surname.

Miller Lite Guy:

I watched as the girl in the orange dreads and alternative threads ordered and devoured a huge Dome dog that must have had a three inch diameter. It reminded me of this.

And we won the game. Anyway, it wasn't nearly as boring as I was assuming it would be.

::: posted by dan at 12:03 PM :: [ link ] :: (10) comments Social Bookmark Button


Mmmm... Pringles.

I can't remember where I found this image in order to give them due credit, but I think it's astounding:

Insert joke about Olestra and anal leakage here.

It's an interesting shape/pattern. Almost like a buttsweat Rorschach test. I feel bad for the unsuspecting subject of the photograph, though, seeing as how I am not a stranger to excessive dance sweat.

::: posted by dan at 1:45 AM :: [ link ] :: (8) comments Social Bookmark Button


Sunday, August 13, 2006 :::


I may tuck my T-shirt into my underwear, but I take solace in the fact that I could never ever in twelvity million years be this lame:

Tattooed with Polo. Why? It's left unexplained here.

He's probably got a Guess triangle tattooed on his left buttcheek, too. And one of those Girbaud tag and loops on his... oh never mind.

Speaking of Girbaud jeans, I was in the ninth grade and making the transition from private school to public school when that trend hit, and my mom was gracious enough to buy me a pair. That article of clothing, along with my newly minted mullet/sidespike combination haircut, should have cemented my spot in the popular pantheon. Plus my acne provided an air of burgeoning maturity that those fresh-and-rosy-faced kids were clearly lacking.

But alas, it wasn't meant to be. I wore the jeans along with a fetching cardigan sweater over a black turtleneck for the first day of school, only to be ridiculed with endless taunts, most of them crude and underdeveloped, but all of them possessing the basic principal of "a loser in Girbaud jeans is still a loser." Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

I was going to be brave and post my ninth grade photo, just to help you imagine it properly, but when I got out my yearbook all I found was this. Hmmmm, perhaps I didn't have the healthiest self-image back then after all.

Man that guy's got a bad haircut to boot.

::: posted by dan at 8:11 PM :: [ link ] :: (23) comments Social Bookmark Button


Friday, August 11, 2006 :::

Proper Tuckage

I've taken a lot of heat in recent days for admitting that I tuck my T-shirts into my underwear. But I stand firm in my conviction that this is the only proper and most practical way for a man to dress. K-Mack couldn't really mount an argument against my method of T-shirt tuckage. Instead she just said it looked too "Sears Catalog". Cherry Nut agreed, only she used the just-as-offensive variation of JC Penney. All my coworkers just laughed and pointed. But it's clear that they are merely jealous of my ability to dress myself properly and with total disregard of any ridiculous and absurd culturally imposed standards.

Allow me to mock up a demonstration of the most practical tucking strategy and outline its benefits:

You see, this way your undershirt and the tails of your dress shirt don't get all bunchy and entangled. Everything stays tucked and taut, all day long. There's no abundance of fabric or excessive bulging at the waist (in spite of the extra large package I seem to have given myself in the above illustration). There is absolutely no downside to this method, except for K-Mack's lame and unjustifiable retort of "well, it just looks dorky," which she said with a tone that suggested that I should be feeling a certain level of shameful disgust with myself. This coming from the girl who likes to indulge in gas station hotdogs when they "catch her eye in the steamer box."

Anyway, I was originally going to make this a poll and ask for opinions about whether or not T-shirts should be tucked into underwear, but while I prepared my debate strategy I realized that I don't need a poll to determine that I am inarguably correct on this issue.

Unrelatedly, that illustration I created above gave me an interesting idea:
planetdan paperdolls.

::: posted by dan at 12:54 AM :: [ link ] :: (51) comments Social Bookmark Button


Thursday, August 10, 2006 :::

If it bends, it's funny, if it breaks, it's even more funny.

So what's the most funny:

A. Pre-disaster Photos

B. Mid-disaster Photos

C. Post-disaster Photos

Not that I don't love a good bloody Fabio photo, but I think I gotta go with B.

::: posted by dan at 10:26 PM :: [ link ] :: (22) comments Social Bookmark Button


Friday, August 04, 2006 :::


When life gives you effin' hot lemons...
...make cookies on your dashboard.

[the full story]

I remember one summer break, decades ago, when I was still young enough to be retarded but old enough to get bright ideas on my own, I saw a news reporter state that it was hot enough outside to fry an egg on asphalt. So I took an egg from the fridge and brought it out into the blistering sun. I cracked the egg onto our concrete driveway and waited, but nothing happened. It just sat there all liquid egg-like. So then I decided that the black-top parking lot out behind the house was probably hotter and had a surface more akin to a frying pan, so I scooped up the yolk (now with added dirt and egg-drowned ants) with my mama's spatula and carefully took it out back, where I skillfully poured it onto the black-top.

I stood looking down at that dirty egg holding my mama's spatula for ten minutes, just waiting patiently for something to happen, when I looked up and saw our crusty old neighbor staring at me from his backyard, which also bordered the parking lot. He was a mean ol' bastard and had it in for me. He had this face whenever he saw me coming:

Only his head was more square. Anyway, that exact moment an adversarial neighborhood kid screeched up on his dirtbike. He was at least one whole year younger than me, but still somehow had the chutzpah to play the role of neighborhood bully. "Making dinner?" he said and laughed and sped off. It was a sophisticated joke for a nine year old, so admittedly I was feeling a little burned. I looked up at my neighbor for some sympathy, but all he said was, "You better clean that mess up." I went in the house and came out with some paper towels to wipe up the still-liquid egg/ant mixture, but my crusty old neighbor wasn't satisfied. The dude actually made me go get a bucket of water and mop that shit up. The thing wasn't even partially cooked. It was just a sloppy raw egg mixture on a bed of dirt and dead bugs. Stupid news reporter. Stupid ants. Stupid neighborhood bully. Stupid crusty neighbor guy. *sniff*

::: posted by dan at 4:42 PM :: [ link ] :: (17) comments Social Bookmark Button


Outta my way, bitches.

I went to see The Raconteurs in concert this evening. This was my initial view of the stage, the back of Mr. Fidget McCantstandstill's tall head:

I fake fan-yelped directly into his ear until he got annoyed and moved away, which allowed me this view:

Jack White was all crazy on guitars and shit. They were putting on a really good show, but some drunken ass from the balcony above kept spilling beer on me:

If you're out there somewhere, Drunken Asshat, keep your beer inside the guard rail next time. I was able to ignore it long enough to see Brendan Benson sing some pretty harmonies:

But then a new girl weaved her way in front of me and proceeded to enthusiastically headbang her pony-tail into my mouth, repeatedly. Every time I took a step back she would do the same, getting all up in my stuff and tasting like aquanet:

But when she dropped her guard and danced too hard to one side, I seized the opportunity to nudge her outta the way, leaving me with a clear view of the grand finale:

It was a great show, indeed. Of course I bought a concert T-shirt and a limited edition gig poster suitable for framing. Perhaps I'm getting too old and ornery to go to rock concerts. Next up: Wolf Parade, August 9th.

::: posted by dan at 12:11 AM :: [ link ] :: (13) comments Social Bookmark Button


No No No

Ketchup doesn't have the charm of mustard. I could eat mustard by the spoonful. All my friends will tell you that I like hotdogs, because they are a good vehicle for mustard. In my opinion, all food can be judged on how well it can aid in the transport of mustard into my mouth. But ketchup is nasty, and this is a disturbing trend:

Shame on the conceptualizers, the manufacturers, and the participating consumers.

::: posted by dan at 12:06 AM :: [ link ] :: (20) comments Social Bookmark Button


Tuesday, August 01, 2006 :::

The Return of the Rentals/Planetdan

My Roommate K-Mack keeps leaving blog comments requesting a new post because planetdan has gone un-updated for nearly a week, but she knows as well as I do that there is nothing new to tell. It's been rather uneventful around here. In fact, she can contest that our early evening activities tonight alternated between me playing with her tactilely pleasant upper-arm fat and her sniffing my armpit. For serious, it's true: K-Mack has a not-so-secret and rather nauseating fetish/fondness for sniffing male deoderant:

But the good news is that later in the evening I was fortunate enough to see The Rentals at First Avenue (thanks for the tix, Lauren!), and it was a great show. In fact, they are such an entertaining live band that they totally upstaged the too-old-for-pigtails and too-wide-for-that-skirt thirtysomething gal who was straddling/humping the guardrail directly in front of me with rabbit-like fervor. They were really that good. I suggest you give them a listen:

I thought I got a video of the poodle-haired guardrail vixen and her mating dance, but apparently the lighting situation inside First Avenue could not properly capture the intensity of her pelvic thrusts. Oh well, next time.

But back to K-Mack, who will be relieved that I finally put up a new post. So I will leave you with a transcript of one of our recent discussions, after we viewed a television commercial for an upcoming film that is touted by Roger Ebert as having "Hitchcockian Suspense":

K-Mack: "Is Hitchcockian even a word?"
Me: "Of course."
K-Mack: "I don't see how."
Me: "People make up words all the time. That's how language evolves."
K-Mack: "Oh yeah? Well you're douchebagian."

She truly has a way with words.

::: posted by dan at 12:44 AM :: [ link ] :: (18) comments Social Bookmark Button


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