Wednesday, November 29, 2006 :::
I've been trying to take up knitting. I'm not sure why. I guess it just sounded like something productive to do while watching TV. Turns out it's not so bad, but anyone who tries to tell you that knitting is a perfectly respectable hobby for a man and that it isn't at all emasculating is a total liar. It's emasculating as hell. Honestly, it's incredibly hard, if not impossible, to hold two knitting needles in your hands and a ball of pristinely wound yarn in your lap and not feel a little bit like you may as well be breastfeeding. But there is a certain sense of satisfaction you get after completing each perfect row that almost makes it worth it. Almost.
It's not exactly a hobby for the impatient or those inclined toward instant gratification, that's for sure. It's been two months and I have about one foot completed of my five foot scarf, which when all is said and done will probably have taken me 15-20 hours to complete, making this scarf worth almost $500 when you factor in my time, and that doesn't even include the price of yarn. And even after all that, it still won't look as nice as the nine dollar knitted scarf I bought on clearance at Banana Republic last year. But somehow, it's all worth it? I dunno, I'm still trying to convince myself of that.
Or instead of yarn I could using IV tubing and then fill it with my own blood... oh wait, that's already been done:
How to Make Your Very Own Bloodscarf
::: posted by dan at 5:15 PM :: [ link ] :: (19) comments
Friday, November 24, 2006 :::
As per our Thanksgiving Day tradition, my family dined at Barnicle Bills yesterday and then regaled in a rousing game of ten-pin, or "bowling" as they probably call it in your neck of the woods:
Yes, the food is as good as the laminated xeroxed menu might suggest. Also in accordance with our usual Thanksgiving Day tradition, Madam Von Bighair made her regularly scheduled appearance. Unfortunately we were not seated in the same vicinity, but that didn't mean that I wasn't able to enjoy her presence from afar:
There were a lot of disappointed faces at the bowling game, as the stakes were high and 7-10 splits were aplenty, so I made sure to capture the dejected looks with my camera:
Including my own, when I didn't take first place for the first time ever in Thanksgiving Day bowling history:
But my crushing defeat marks the beginning of the Christmas Holiday season, so all's well that ends well! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
::: posted by dan at 9:05 AM :: [ link ] :: (13) comments
Thursday, November 23, 2006 :::
I began my Thanksgiving this morning by running the Turkey Trot 5k through downtown Minneapolis with Cherry Nut and 8,000 other people:
We just wore our normal jogging-in-the-frigid-cold outfits, but some people dressed up for the event:
At the halfway point of the jog stood a man with a megaphone who was shouting words of encouragement. In an out-of-breath hallucinatory stupor, I thought, "Why is David Lee Roth here? That's weird..." but then the closer I got I reconsidered, "No wait, that's Bobcat Goldthwait," who's presence I wasn't sure if I should consider more or less weird. That's when I realized for the first time that they could be brothers, or Doppelgangers living parallel lives, like in The Double Life of Veronique (or is that reference too obscure?):
Or maybe I'm just confused because they both look so weathered lately. Turns out that the man with the megaphone was neither of these "celebrities", but I thank the Turkey Trot for giving me the personal epiphany of their lookalikedness, which is a word I just made up. So I thank the Turkey Trot for helping me make up a word, too. I also thank the Turkey Trot for being kinda pretty:
Now it's off to participate in my next Thanksgiving day tradition: bowling with the family.
::: posted by dan at 10:42 AM :: [ link ] :: (3) comments
Wednesday, November 22, 2006 :::
They say that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the busiest bar night of the year.
I wouldn't know anything about that.
I better get to bed. I gotta run a 5k in the morning.
::: posted by dan at 11:46 PM :: [ link ] :: (11) comments
Sunday, November 19, 2006 :::
After a few weeks of living in what seemed like a perfectly mouseless house, we found fresh poops in the kitchen. I'm smack dab in the middle of an expensive professional extermination cycle, and they had warned me that the mice were probably not all gone yet, but I was still disappointed to discover that they are indeed still living among us.
I was hoping the "mouse repellent" that the exterminator sprayed around my yard would do the trick. It is supposed to be laced with "predator urine" after all, although they didn't specify which predator. I fear it to be human. Last time the exterminator made a house visit, I asked what was in the mouse-repelling mixture that he was spraying all over my lawn. He replied that it was a "secret concoction" he himself had mixed back at the office, and I just winced while imagining him evacuating his bladder directly into the spray applicator. So now not only do I have mouse poop in my kitchen, but I probably have a barrier of some random dude's pee around the perimeter of my house.
Last time I posted about trapping mice, I got a whole bunch of comments from people who were concerned about how humane some of the traps might be, but I say eff that. Once something starts pooping in your kitchen, all pleasantries go out the window. You can't train a mouse to spread its disease infested defecations somewhere more convenient. They aren't like dogs, after all. How much would you put up with? What if it wasn't a cute little mouse? What if some person just decided to poo all over your kitchen? Sure, you probably wouldn't catch him in a sticky trap and then drown him in a bucket, but you'd definitely retaliate...
::: posted by dan at 4:08 PM :: [ link ] :: (26) comments
I've been catching up on my recorded Tivo programs this week and I've decided that 30 Rock is a good show, plus Tina Fey is a personal hero of mine, for saying things like this:
Howard Stern: What is Paris Hilton like?
Tina Fey: She's a piece of sh-t. The people at SNL were like maybe she'll be fun, maybe she won't take herself so seriously. She takes herself so seriously! She's unbelievably dumb and so proud of how dumb she is. She looks like a tranny up close.
Howard Stern: Was she bad on SNL, was she hard to deal with?
Tina Fey: She was awful. People never come in and say "I'm not doing that." So, this guy Jim Downey wrote a really really funny sketch, it was supposed to be Lorne Michaels just finding out that she had a sex tape and telling her she couldn't host the show because SNL has standards... So she was like "I'm not doing it!" and refused to come out of her dressing room. Also, you would walk down the hall and find what just looked like nasty wads of Barbie hair on the stairs... Her hair is like a Fraggle.
Howard Stern: Did she give you ideas for sketches?
Tina Fey: Yeah, she wanted to make fun of all the girls she hates. She was like "I want to play Jessica Simpson, I hate her." She would come in the room and say "you should do a show about Jessica Simpson because she's fat."
Howard Stern: What was the bet you guys had going about her?
Tina Fey: The cast had a bet if she would ask anyone on the cast anything about themselves, you know like how are you? where are you from? anything. I think Seth Meyers won because at one point, she asked him if Maya Rudolf was Italian.
I know I should probably have better things to do than to care about what Tina Fey said about Paris Hilton, but nope, I don't.
::: posted by dan at 4:02 PM :: [ link ] :: (8) comments
Friday, November 17, 2006 :::
I love this:
Jesus at the pool.
::: posted by dan at 12:17 AM :: [ link ] :: (10) comments
Monday, November 13, 2006 :::
I had a dream the other night that I got a puppy with a human face. The face was that of a middle-aged bald man, slightly pudgy with reddish-brown facial hair. He kinda sorta looked like the guy who played the dad in Just the Ten of Us, only with a goatee. He pooped in my kitchen and so I rubbed his nose in it (like your are supposed to do while house-training a puppy), which made for a very disturbing visual. I could tell by my man-puppy's reaction that he wasn't very happy with me, and so I apologized, but being just a puppy, he wasn't mature enough to accept, so he just sulked off stubbornly. I woke up unsettled.
Then today I saw this video, which for some reason I find to be EXTREMELY perverse:
Dog Humping Cat (The title is accurate. Don't say I didn't warn you.)
Anyway, all that reminded me of this old picture, one of my favorites, which depicts K-Mack's dad in the process of snow removal while the children use the dogs to re-enact key scenes from Eyes Wide Shut in the background:
What does all this mean?
::: posted by dan at 10:36 PM :: [ link ] :: (16) comments
I used to spend a lot of time on my website talking about The Decemberists and Gilmore Girls, but I let those obsessions slide while waiting for a new album and a new season, respectively. Well, The Decemberists were in town last night, so I attended the show (solo... thanks, Stacy). Their new album is astounding, and they put on a great show as always, even while lead singer Colin Meloy was taking time out between songs to barf backstage. That sounds very rock and roll, but honestly, he claims he just had the flu.
I brought my camera but only had the opportunity to snap one picture before a steroid-enhanced bouncer threatened me with a menacing glare. Had he not been distracted by some drunk bimbo who started throwing elbows by the coat check, I may have lost the camera altogether. The picture didn't turn out so great, so I turned it into a collage by adding in my new Decemberists T-shirt, which, if it's anything like my last Decemberists T-shirt, will be getting a lot of wear:
The Decemberists are as awesome as always. I can't tout them enough. Gilmore Girls, on the other hand, is working my nerves hard. Not only did they do a complete 180 (and a total disservice to their characters) by barely even recognizing the Luke and Lorelie split-up that we spent three years preparing for, but everything about the show seems a bit... off. Sure, there is still some witty banter, but the characters aren't as true to themselves anymore, the plot development moves at a glacial pace, and irritatingly phony side characters like Kirk get WAY too much screen time. Worst of all, the show, which always felt like it was building toward something bigger, seems to be spinning its wheels in anticipation of an unknown future on a new network. The "Big Picture" has been lost in a tidal wave of restructuring by new writers with no solid direction. Even after all that, it's still one of the best shows ever on television, but the magic is gone.
The biggest insult of all might be the horrible "girl talk" round table discussions they have after each episode, produced in some half-assed target-marketing attempt by a loathsome facial soap company, that depict an obnoxious group of fresh-faced twenty-somethings philosophizing about what they think of the latest episode with an utter lack of understanding or profundity that is nauseatingly embarrassing, to say the least. That these spots are even allowed to air within any proximity to the actual episode shows a gigantic lack of judgment by the show's new producers, and pretty much acts as the final nail in the coffin for me. After six great years, The Gilmore Girls and I may be breaking up. It's a sad realization, indeed.
So if you're impressionable or at all prone to influence: go buy any Decemberists CD and the first season of Gilmore Girls on DVD and you won't be disappointed. Trust me.
::: posted by dan at 9:45 PM :: [ link ] :: (13) comments
Saturday, November 11, 2006 :::
After working out at the gym during lunch yesterday, I returned to the locker room to find my locker busted open and my pants missing. Along with my pants, some crafty jackass had taken my wallet, my Blackberry, thirty bucks, and my La Tortilla Ria frequent eater stamp card, which incidentally was finally full and would have entitled me to a free burrito.
It's a good thing I was working at home that day, otherwise I would have had to return to work in my sweaty gym shorts. It's also a good thing that I had left my car keys in my coat pocket, otherwise those probably would have gone missing, too. By the time I contacted my credit card company and bank, they had already charged up $800 worth of crap from the local mall. But what I really don't understand is why they had to take the pants? They were nice looking, to be sure, but did the thief and I just happen to share the same size? They couldn't have much street value, since I think I had purchased them at the Gap for thirty bucks over six months ago... but they were my favorite pair. They could have at least just left me my pants for gosh sake.
My poor jeans are probably lying by the side of the street somewhere. Abused and discarded as if completely uncared for. Bally's Swim & Fitness has kindly denied having any responsibility for my lost or stolen articles, in spite of the fact that they let some random stranger sneak into the locker room and pick my padlock.
The good news is that my company will provide me with a new phone, the replacements for my credit cards and ID are already in the mail, and I won't be held responsible for any unauthorized charges.
But some nasty bastard out there owes me a burrito.
::: posted by dan at 3:04 PM :: [ link ] :: (27) comments
Thursday, November 09, 2006 :::
I always wonder what impression I'm making on little kids. I don't like to talk all cutesy with them and I rarely have the patience to indulge their childlike behaviors or accept their limited reasoning abilities, but I like to think I come off as pretty cool. The reason I'm worrying about it is because I was searching through my own memory for my impressions of the adults I encountered as a child, and most of my memories aren't so sweet. For instance, here are the predominant memories I have of my elementary school teachers, grades one through eight, with their names removed to protect the innocent:
Grade One: Mrs. H
Mrs. H yelled at me for squeezing Cory Hendrick's face during class. I couldn't help it, it just looked so squishy.
Grade Two: Miss R
Miss R rolled her eyes and acted put out when my mother offered a candy-stuffed pinata for my class' entertainment, then she purposefully structured the pinata-whacking list in the order of "reverse birthday" so that I would be dead last. I never even got to take a single swing at my own pinata. I was still twenty names down the wait list when another kid busted its seams. I ended up with nothing more than a Root Beer Barrel, some Butter Rum Lifesavers, and a broken spirit.
Grade Three: Mrs. Hg
Mrs. Hg's heel clicked when she walked.
Grade Four: Mrs. B
Once while helping me with a math problem, she had breath that smelled like pipe tobacco and poop.
Grade Five: Mrs. A
During the summer, I saw Mrs. A on a televised local news variety program talking about how she curbed her appetite with the help of a hypnotist. She told the reporter her success story about how she didn't even have cravings for hotdogs at ballgames anymore. I saw her in public a short time after and she greeted me with a smile before I shouted "Hey! I saw you on TV talking about how you had to get hypnotized into not eating so many hotdogs!" Her smile instantly faded and she walked off without replying.
Grade Six: Mrs. N
Mrs. N had an indistinguishable face. I can't even picture what she looked like if I close my eyes and try real hard.
Grade Seven: Mrs. Bx
Mrs. Bx shouted out the F-word after frustration with her students caused her to have a minor break down during Social Studies class.
Grade Eight: Mr. P
Mr. P once had white powdery pinch marks on his pants at the precise place his butthole would be after he picked at his own backside with his chalky fingers.
I can do that with almost every adult I ever met, and most of the predominant memories are the embarrassing or bad ones. It makes me worry about what predominant memories people will have of me. Therefore, I shall stay away from chalk and hypnotists.
::: posted by dan at 8:17 AM :: [ link ] :: (26) comments
Wednesday, November 08, 2006 :::
I need to cleanse the blog palette. I can't have Michele Bachmann's hideous face above the fold on my site. A person should have a little forewarning before having to view that beast. So this should fix it:
::: posted by dan at 2:57 PM :: [ link ] :: (11) comments
Dear Sixth Congressional District of Minnesota,
I'm unsure why you thought that the devil's concubine (a.k.a Michele Bachmann) would best represent you in the U.S. House of Representatives. I gotta hand it to you, it's a bold move, to elect evil incarnate like that. Perhaps you were worried about the inevitable damage her flaming breath would have caused as she swooped down in vengeance over your cities and counties had she lost, which I suppose is understandable. I mean, I wouldn't want to be torn to shreds by her beelzebubesque talons, either. Is it possible that you believe a demon of the underworld could really serve you best? She may tout her dedication to God (similar to how a Revelationary Anti-christ might... I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'), but taking into consideration her past record and statements you must know where her true allegiances lie, so I can't believe you elected it by accident. I'm just not sure I understand your motives as a voting public yet. Perhaps they will become more clear in the warming glow of Armageddon.
Seriously, though. She first got into politics because her husband told her to, and she had to obey her husband because she had been given a vision by God to marry him in the first place. Then God told her to run for Congress. Then she sprouted horns and fangs and cackled as she ate innocent babies. Oops, I'm getting ahead of myself here, but if you aren't from Minnesota, or don't know Michele Bachmann, you should read up, because she may be coming to your town, soon.
Oh, and I'm all for Independents trying to upset our rusty old two-party system in this country, but sometimes they really should just consider the greater good and back down:
Sigh. Thanks a lot, Binkowski. You're kinda like this guy. I blame half of this fiasco on you, and half on Patty Wetterling's haircut.
PS. This might be the best photograph ever taken. It deserves the Pulitzer. It was taken as Bachmann's evil male counterpart, Rick Santorum, conceded the election:
MATCHING DOLL CLOTHES.
::: posted by dan at 11:26 AM :: [ link ] :: (19) comments
Tuesday, November 07, 2006 :::
For the benefit of the gym-going public: a service announcement targeted at some people who seem to have allowed their public behavior and social standards to get a little lax lately. I'm here to help.
Things you should NOT do at the gym, ever:
1. Hork a loogey in the public shower. Maybe you thought it was okay since you were alone in there, but guess what, everyone else outside the showers in the locker room can hear that awful throaty extended nasal inhale followed by the even more disturbing "hoooorrrrcchhh" noise you make to transfer your nasal bounty into your mouth in preparation of its release. We know you're not swallowing it. Even in flipflops, I don't wanna be walking around in that stuff. Similarly, don't leave your blood-stained band-aids floating in the soap holder, either.
2. Those nasty pelvic thrust exercises. You know the ones, where you lie with your arms, shoulders, and back flat on the ground with your knees up and your feet firmly planted and then you thrust your crotch upwards. You're probably in stretch pants, and you're probably grunt-counting with each and every violent thrust of your pelvis, and I'm sure it's doing wonders for your abs, but honestly: no thanks.
3. Bring your disease to the gym. Maybe you think you can exercise that head cold away, but I can see the snot running down your chin, and I can hear your chunky, labored breathing. I also saw you wipe your nose with your bare hand and then grab the handle to the elliptical machine nice and tight. I still maintain that I contracted mono from a mislaid water bottle that I mistook as my own. I vividly recall leaving the gym and gulping the last of my water only to remember that I didn't bring a bottle of water to the gym that day. I blame you for my three weeks of sickness.
4. Shave anything but your face in the locker room. And remember that it is indeed possible to wear your pants and shave your face at the same time. Full nudity isn't required for a clean close shave. Similarly, the air blast hand-dryers aren't meant to dry off your entire body, especially if it means you're going to rustle your hands all over your pubic region to help speed the drying process.
5. Stand on the bench while you change your clothes. I know that some of the lockers are higher to reach than others, or maybe you just don't want your bare feet on that nasty bacteria-covered floor, which is understandable, but the cleanliness of those benches isn't any better, and frankly I just don't need your junk at my eye level.
Also, don't wear sunglasses in the locker room: we know what you're looking at. Don't forget to brush your teeth before coming to the gym: your sour-milk breath is only exacerbated by your heaving and panting. And, trim... everything. In the privacy of your own home.
And that's one to grow on, because knowing is half the battle.
::: posted by dan at 11:40 AM :: [ link ] :: (16) comments
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