Archive for category Dan in Real Life

A Kickass Xmas 2013

Yay! It’s Xmas season! Who wants to jam with dan?

Tracklist:

1. Every Day’s a Holiday – Piney Gir
2. All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth) – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
3. Merried With Children – Ages
4. Amazing Grace – Fulka
5. Carry Me Home – Hey Rosetta!
6. Kris Kringle – Kate Rusby
7. Vive Le Vent – MIKA & Michel Legrand
8. Angels We Have Heard on High – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
9. We Need a Little Christmas – AgesandAges
10. Rock Carol Of The Bells – Terravita
11. Winter Wonderland – Jason Mraz
12. The Christmas Song – Stalker Studio
13. A Minor Key Christmas Medley – Chilly Gonzales
14. Goodbye England (Covered In Snow) – Laura Marling
15. More Than I Wished For – Schuyler Fisk
16. Jingle Bells – Sugar & The Hi Lows
17. Ring a Bell – The InfiniTeens
18. Naughty Naughty Children – Grace Potter
19, Wishes – The Bird And The Bee
20. Baby, Es Regnet Doch – Rita Paul & Peter Cornehlsen
21. Sing Along With Santa – The New Christy Minstrels
22. Silent Night – Venus Hum
23. No Mas Tinsel Tears – The Not Fur Longs
24. Bells – DesandNate
25. Auld Lang Syne – Andrew Bird
26. Merry Something to You – Devo

Email me!

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A Kickass Xmas 2012

Yeah, I don’t post anymore, but I still can kick out the xmas jams.

Tracklist:

1. Joy to the World : Kate Rusby
2. Angels We Have Heard on High : Jenny & Tyler
3. Home For The Holidays : Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler
4. Jingle Bells : Pomplamoose
5. Little Drummer Boy : Rags ‘n Goff
6. Santa Stole My Lady : Fitz & The Tantrums
7. Here Comes Santa Claus : Bing Crosby
8. Wonderful Christmastime : The Shins
9. Carol of the Bell : Sarah Jackson-Holman
10. Every Year So Different : Cornerstore
11. 12 Days of Christmas : The Bird And The Bee
12. Dear Santa : Jay Brannan
13. The Dreidel Song : Flash Hawk Parlor Ensemble
14. Trivial Pursuit : Duover
15. Love In A Cold Climate : Fiona Bevan
16. All I Need Is Love (Edit) : CeeLo Green & Some Muppets
17. Sleigh Ride : Jay Manero And His Disco Band
18. I Wanna Do More Than Whistle : Lawrence Welk
19. Hard Candy Christmas : Dolorean
20. Boots (Edit) : The Killers
21. The Holiday Season : Andy Williams
22. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town : Sufjan Stevens
23. Snow Day : Jeremy Messersmith
24. Christmas Auld Lang Syne : Ortolan

I edited out the rapping muppet from that CeeLo song. I just couldn’t deal with it.

If you want to know where one can get such an epic xmas mix, you should email me. Don’t just post a comment, because I’m way too lazy for all that copying and pasting of email addresses…

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Nested

A couple years ago,  I posted about the creative failure that is the set of blank nesting dolls that has been sitting in the back the closet for over a decade. Then last year, when I had way too much to do and absolutely no free time to myself, I got a random bee in my bonnet. So I hauled my ass to Michael’s craft store and came home with $40 in cheap paint and brushes. Six or so months later, I have my own little monster family of hand-painted nesting dolls.

What is that you say? It’s a little odd for a 36-year-old man to paint himself some wooden dolls with which to play? Just wait until you find out that I named them and gave them all back-stories as well.

Milford
Milford’s just a working stiff. He’s got a wife and four kids to feed, after all. He hates his boss and he carries the lunch his wife makes him to work in a pail every day. Milford is just a nickname, though. It was secretly given to him by his seemingly unassuming wife, who lovingly refers to him as her M.I.L.F., where the “M” stands for “Monster” rather than the more-commonly-used “Mother.” His real name is actually Mumford. So he likes coming home to Ethyl.

Ehtyl
Ethyl might look meek and slight in demeanor, but she rules the roost. Don’t mess with Ethyl. Also, she’s clearly a dynamo in the sack. She wears her kerchief as a homage to her Russian heritage.

Junior
Junior is either the waddling toddler of the family or the mentally-deranged uncle, depending on my mood. Either way, a lot of drool is  involved, and the shenanigans always start when someone’s watchful eye is distracted long enough for him to sneak out the porch door and terrorize the neighborhood.

Missy
Missy is sixteen. She’s hot, but she knows it, so she’s also a bitch. Which is why she’s named Missy. All Missys are bitches, hot or not. She’s grounded right now, and her boyfriend is the boss’ son. He’s a buffoon but at least it irks good ol’ dad.

Nana
Ethyl’s mother is just visiting from Scottsdale. Milford can’t wait for her to leave, but Missy likes having her around, because she pays for fast food and takes Missy’s side on everything. Little does Missy know that there will be no trust fund for the kiddies, though. She’s left all her monies to some conservative church that hates abortion.

Pete
Pete’s a brat with a Justin Bieber haircut. No one pays him enough attention, what with that bitch Missy, her non-stop drama, and a baby in the house…

Ruff and Mee-Yow
Ruff and Mee-Yow are the family cat and dog. Their back-stories mostly consist of eating the local wildlife and pooping in weird places.

Sweet-Pea
Sweet-Pea is the newborn baby. His back-story also happens to feature pooping in weird places, but he’s also the reason Nana has come to visit, which is the only reason Milford can tolerate that woman’s presence for more than five minutes at a time: at least he can get a solid 5 hours of sleep every night with her help, ferchrissakes.

Skull
Skull exists only because I don’t have the skill or dexterity to paint at such a small scale. But I imagine he makes a fun chew-toy for the dog and cat.

So now I can check that task off my list once and for all, and finally open my closet door without the looming judgement of a blank set of nesting dolls. Phew.

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A Kickass Christmas 2011

It’s that time of year again to bust out the xmas jams.

This year’s KAX mix tracklist goes something like dis:

1. Angels We Have Heard on High by Sarah Jackson-Holman
2. Tiny Tree Christmas by Guster
3. Deck the Halls by Pomplamoose
4. Sweet Bells by Kate Rusby
5. Ain’t No Chimneys In the Projects by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
6. Just What I Wanted for Christmas by Bing Crosby
7. Joseph, Better You Than Me by The Killers
8. Do You Hear What I Hear? by Pink Martini
9. Silent Night by Katie Herzig
10. The Christmas Waltz (Remix) by Nancy Wilson
11. White Christmas by Lounge All Stars
12. Frosty The Snow Man by Ella Fitzgerald
13. In the Morning by Jack Johnson
14. Angels We Have Heard On High by Future of Forestry
15. Little Drummer Boy by Erin McCarley
16. Xmas Cake by Rilo Kiley
17. Winter Night by Little & Ashley
18. Christmas by Teddy Thompson
19. Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Allo, Darlin’
20. Mrs. Claus Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me by Little Jackie
21. Mistletoe And Holly by Frank Sinatra
22. Up on the Housetop by Pomplamoose
23. Fruitcake (Remix) by The Superions
24. When the Leaves by Ingrid Michaelson
25. This Will Be Our Year by OK Go

This year I was surprised to find a Bing Crosby song I’d never heard of before, where he sings about a lovely paisely muffler that is just his type. It doesn’t get better than that. And I’ve wanted to put that Rilo Kiley song on my xmas mix for years, but I always decided it was just too weird and depressing for the hoi polloi. Finally this year I thought “Eff that, I’m putting it on there and they’ll eat it and like it.” So it’s on there.

Early feedback is that the remix of Fruitcake by The Superions is the most unappreciated track, but I stand by my decision. I like to pump my fist and shout “…green ones too it’s Fruitcake!” at the top of my lungs. It feels real good. Other than that, the songs are pretty solid this year. I allow my taste in music to stray into twee territory when it comes to Christmas, but I suppose that’s just the nature of the beast. I defy you to not enjoy it.

Oh and the mix tape themed cover is a direct ripoff of this gal’s work. I just updated it planetdan xmas style.

If you want the tunes, I could point you to where they could be acquired if you email me and ask fawningly. Maybe. And you gotta email me. You can’t just post a comment or I won’t have your email address, you dig?

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planetCannes

I’ve become the worst blogger on the planet, obviously. Not only do I rarely post anymore, but it took me over a month to finally get this post together in order to regale anyone who will listen with my recent experience at the

CANNES FILM FESTIVAL.

It’s kind of a long one, but I gotta get it all out at once.

So to begin: due to the fact that I live a charmed life (and because I just happened to be going to the right place at the right time, continentally, and because I also happen to have very nice friends), I managed to get myself invited to the Tree of Life when it officially premiered at the Cannes Film Festival back in May. It was the opportunity of a lifetime for a film-nerd/celebrity-whore/name-dropper like me.

Making the trip itself was a lot more difficult than I imagined, but my travel companion and I managed to find our way to Cannes, tuxedos in hand. And after stumbling blindly through the French Riviera, we finally procured what we were told were “the hottest tickets in town, even more so than ‘Pirates‘,” whatever that means.

Until the moment those tickets were in my grubby little hands, I never believed it was actually going to happen. But being in Cannes during the festival is an exciting experience whether or not you are attending any fancy screenings, so I didn’t sweat it too hard.

Unfortunately, my mind is a prisoner of logistics, so rather than anticipating the event with excitement, I mostly worried about how we were going to get to the theater, where we were going to park, how I was going to look in my battered tuxedo, what door we were supposed to enter through, and how I was going to document the whole experience when cameras where expressly forbidden. My stomach was in knots. Subsequently, I took more than my average share of bathroom breaks that day.

Note to Future Dan: If you are ever fortunate enough to get invited to the Cannes Film Festival again, don’t worry about parking or your scuffed up shoes. Ain’t nobody gonna be looking at your scuffed up shoes and parking is a breeze. You’ll relax more and poo less.

We did a dry run of the whole affair the day before, just to make sure our ducks were in a row, but that did little to soothe my nerves. Then I saw Rob Lowe. Not exactly the high-caliber celebrity-sighting I was anticipating, especially since I find him to be the least-interesting of all brat-packers, but considering the extent to which I’ve been enjoying Parks and Rec lately, it was an exciting enough experience to whet my appetite for the upcoming festivities.

Then on the actual day of the event, we safely arrived at the theater two hours early, which afforded us the opportunity to grab a nerve-soothing martini at the bar across the street. At this point, a drinkipoo was in my belly, my cares were behind me, and I was ready to party.

Note to Future Dan: If you are ever fortunate enough to get invited to the Cannes Film Festival again, leave time for TWO pre-premiere martinis.

Then it became time to make our way to the theater. The tickets were very clear about two things: get into the theater by 6:40 and be wearing a tuxedo or you won’t be getting in at all, and don’t even think about bringing a camera or you would be duly executed on the spot. So I crotched a camera with very little intention of actually using it, and we headed toward the theater entrance around 6:15.

I had assumed we would be entering the event through the side-door, or some appropriately modest entrance for nobodies, but the signs guided us toward a security check-point which led us down a long walkway which was lined on either side by excited gawkers who were hoping to catch a glimpse of anyone more exciting than me. But I took it in stride and relished in the undeserved attention.

But when we got closer to the theater, we realized we were being funneled onto the red carpet, and I panicked. First of all, I was positive we had taken a wrong turn somewhere and that we were definitely not supposed to be anywhere near the red carpet (and that we were sure to be banished from the event the moment my discount tuxedo breached its border). Second, there was absolutely no one else on the red carpet at the time except for hundreds of professional photographers and paparazzi who lined it on both sides.

My brain immediately went into survival mode, and I thought to myself, “Just look straight ahead, walk fast, and act like you’re supposed to be here. You’ll be inside the theater in no time, and all trespasses will be forgiven.” The empty red carpet looked like it was the length of ten football fields, so I held my breath and took off on a speed-walk — heels up and elbows out — like a middle-aged mom on a treadmill. A few camera-flashes flared from photographers who were probably mistaking me for an ugly version of that Grey’s Anatomy actor, but I was unfazed and resisted the distraction, keeping my speed at just short of a sprint. It was probably the fastest and most determined-looking red-carpet-walk any of them had ever seen.

Finally within the refuge of the theater, we found our seats and sat down to watch the big screen, which depicted a live view of the very same red-carpet I had just left in the dust. It was then that I realized that everyone already in the theater had watched my nervous sprint down the red carpet. I also realized that ALL of the other average joes attending this event were walking down the red carpet. We hadn’t taken a wrong turn after all. And not only that, practically everyone had ignored the no-camera warning, and they were all strolling down the red carpet taking pictures of each other and enjoying the experience like they had no cares in the world.

Note to Future Dan: If you are ever fortunate enough to get invited to the Cannes Film Festival again, don’t rush the experience and don’t worry about getting kicked out. You can probably hide your camera in a less-awkward orifice. Also: don’t show up so early. That’s what loner losers do.

Once you’re inside, they don’t let you exit the theater, so I couldn’t even try to recreate the experience for my crotched camera. And by that time the really big celebrities were showing up, so the red carpet was off limits. We saw Gwen Stefani (and her has-been rocker husband), Jude Law, Faye Dunaway, Sean Penn, and Brad Pitt. And then Angeline Jolie showed up. The collective gasp from inside the theater was deafening, and she wasn’t even in the movie. It’s like she was hovering two feet above the red carpet. We could only watch it on the screen with stars in our eyes.

When the celebrities finally entered the actual theater, the rest of the attendees went a little ape-sh!t. Everyone mobbed their seats, snapping photos and shrieking with delight. Follow-the-rules-danny was still scared to take out his hidden camera, but after hundreds of people had shoved their cameras into Sean Penn’s face with no reprimand whatsoever, I finally mustered the courage to snap a few quick ones that turned out to be monumentally disappointing, to say the least:

Note to Future Dan: If you are ever fortunate enough to get invited to the Cannes Film Festival again, forget about bringing a camera after all. You’re too short to get any good pictures anyway.

Pictures or not, I sat in the same row as Angeline Jolie: only 13 seats and one aisle away. Unfortunately, closer to me — in the very next seat, actually — was a tarted-up trollop in a wildly inappropriate dress who was text-messaging for the entire movie, except for when she would pause to roll her eyes and sigh audibly, as if she couldn’t stand having to sit in the theater watching Brad Pitt not take his shirt off.

And then the movie was over and the celebrities exited in a blur of sequins and satin and we were left with an empty red carpet. So we attempted to recreate the amazing experience for the camera, but somehow we ended up with a photo that looks even more fake than if I had actually faked it:

But luckily, we were also invited to an exclusive after party: an opportunity to redeem ourselves and to fully take advantage of the amazing opportunity we had been given! Unluckily, I am a stupid low-class schmuck, and I didn’t realize that anybody who’s anybody doesn’t show up to a Cannes afterparty until 3:00am at the earliest.

We got there at 9:30.

Not that it was a bad party by any means, but we didn’t know anybody there. We had been given eight free drink tickets but we blew through those in 20 minutes and the bar didn’t seem to be taking cash. Every once in a while a celebrity like Jane Fonda would walk in and the crowd would go wild… until he/she was escorted to a prohibited roped-off area never to be seen again.

Worst of all, we had a flight early the next morning, so my logistics-addled mind was starting to seize again. How would we ever get up early enough to catch our flight, what with staying out this late? How long would it take us to get to the airport in this foreign city? What if I couldn’t find a gas station on the way to the rental-car return? They would charge me an arm and a leg!

So at 1:00am, we left the party, pushing our way out through a throbbing crowd who were begging to get in. At that point a sane danny would have thought, “Hey wait, if all these people are desperate to gain entrance to this party, perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to leave?” but the real danny was more concerned with conceptualizing a morning schedule that would get them to the airport two hours prior to departure.

The next morning we discovered that all the movie stars arrived at the party around 3:00am, and that the lines between the roped-off area and the general hoi-polloi were probably significantly blurred by then, meaning my one and only chance to rub elbows with Brangelina had come and gone while I was sleeping. Or not sleeping as it were, since I laid awake all night worrying about whether or not the weight of my luggage would cause any issues upon check-in.

Note to Future Dan: If you are ever fortunate enough to get invited to the Cannes Film Festival again, just plan on not sleeping. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity ferchrissakes. Also: you need to learn how to pack lighter. Do you really need all those neckties and that neti-pot?

All in all, we really screwed the pooch with how we handled the whole event. But it wasn’t our fault. We didn’t know what to expect or how to act or what to do or where to go, and frankly, we were a bit out of our element. But still, it was probably the awesomest thing that I’ve ever been fortunate enough to experience. I got to walk (run) the red carpet at Cannes, after all. But just imagine if I had not been a panicked little worrywort? I could be besties with Brad by now.

Oh well. No regrets are to be had, and if I were to be entirely honest, I would have to admit that it probably couldn’t have gone any smoother.

Note to Future Dan: If you are ever fortunate enough to get invited to the Cannes Film Festival again, accept the fact that you are not worthy, and then forget about it and go with the flow. Also: maybe schedule your outbound flight for a couple days later, because you obviously don’t travel well.

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Outside My Window Right Now

The view from my home office.

Me no likey. :(

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Adventures in Optometry!

Following is a list of words and phrases that I had not expected to hear from my optometrist today:

  • Assault Rifles
  • Robots in Space
  • Dog Shit
  • Pedophiles
  • Semen
  • Singularity
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Dismemberment
  • Bipolar
  • Dandelions
  • Chinese Space Tourism
  • Chick Flicks
  • “An Army of Hubbles”
  • Private Jetliner
  • You May Need Glasses

And yet, all of those were uttered some time during the course of my 15 minutes appointment. Made reading those little letters a lot more interesting, though.

That is all.

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Peekaboo!

I’m still getting used to the new digs after I moved last September. My new bathroom is awesome, and it’s got a glass-block window in the shower, which I thought was way better than the old rotting pane-glass window with the rusty blinds and makeshift shower-curtain-cover at my old place.

The problem is that the glass blocks do not seem to provide the amount of privacy that I assumed they would, which I learned after I noticed my neighbor, who has the exact same glass-blocked bathroom as I do, showering in the evening. The show left very little to the imagination. What I always assumed would appear to be more like a big amorphous blob from the outside was actually closer to a slightly pixelated JPG porn pic.

Then I remembered that I generally take my showers when it’s dark out. And my bathroom faces the bedroom of a 12-year-old girl. And we live on a busy street with many-a-passerby. And I’ve probably traumatized the entire neighborhood by now. No wonder I haven’t gotten any warm-muffin welcome baskets yet.

So what’s the point of glass-block shower windows then? Because they seem more suitable for peepshows than prudency. I guess it’s only daytime showers for me from now on.

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Upgraded

I had to go clean out my smooshy smooshed car at the impound lot, so I took a new picture of the damage in the daylight:

Then I had to start my new car hunt, because those bitches at the insurance company decided that they would not be funding my rental car any longer, which would have left me stranded at home and alone for the holidays.

So I got all obnoxious and self-righteous with them, threatening to hire lawyers and implying that all the stress of negotiating a settlement payment was aggravating my physical injuries. I’m sure the insurance adjuster could practically hear me chicken-heading and waving my finger on the other end of the phone, but at least I ended up getting my rental car extended past the xmas weekend. It was not exactly easy to buy a car in four days, especially when all the dealerships were closed for three of them.

So I went to ten dealerships and test-drove twenty cars and I ended up picking the one that happened to be playing Prince’s Kiss as I went to take it out for a test drive, because really, I don’t know anything about cars, so what else could I base my decision on?

That car turned out to be a 2011 Nissan Sentra:

For you gearheads, its an SLRPGTRZF8 or something. And I got the upgrade with the bluetoof, but really the car salesman had me at “iPod USB port.” Even with my utter ignorance about cars and stuff with combustion engines, I was still able to negotiate a fairly good price.

So here’s to celebrating the start of 2011 with no more bangs. And to Phil at Nissan: you should really send half of your commission to Prince.

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If you didn’t think I looked like a pedophile before…

For placing second in the unofficial Xmas Sweater contest at my work party last night, I got a prize:

It’s a semi-creepy Scottish-style, Xmas-inspired Tam o’ Shanter cap. If I was worried that my Snoopy-Riding-a Candy-Cane-Xmas Vest made me look like a pedophile before, then as I added the hat last night I probably sent people’s pedo-meters into the red.

But, I suspect that Snoopy vest has seen it’s last party, as least on my body. So I guess this won’t be an issue any longer. It’s still up in the air as to whether or not the Dan o’ Shanter will make any future appearances.

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Smooshy Smoosh

My car and I got all smooshy smooshed last night. I was just minding my own bidness when an SUV jumped the median to my left and slammed into my driver’s-side door, narrowly avoiding a head-on collision. I could have easily gone through life without needing to know what an airbag feels like as it pummels your face, but I guess I’m lucky to have had the experience, if that’s how you wanna look at it.

After the guy hit me, my car was forced off into a nearby snowbank, and so it took me a while to get my berrings. A witness came up and asked if I was alright, and then for some reason I started to gather all the CDs that were now scattered about my car. Eventually, the driver of the other car came over. He was a younger man of undeterminable Eastern origin, and this is how that particular conversation went:

Him: Oh man, it’s slippery out there.

My Thoughts: I think I’m okay from what I can tell, thanks for asking.
Me Out Loud: Uh, yeah, I guess. You okay?

Him: I saw the red break lights in front of me and so I swerved to not hit them.

My Thoughts: You swerved into oncoming traffic to avoid rear-ending someone? Brilliant.
Me Out Loud: Oh.

Him: It’s not even my car.

My Thoughts: Well this used to be my car, but I guess we should be more worried about you right now.
Me Out Loud: Oh. That sucks.

* long pause *

Him: So… do you know the laws around here?

My Thoughts: Here we go…
Me Out Loud: Ye…

Him, Cutting Me Off: Because I don’t really have a license to drive.

My Thoughts: Oh Jebus.
Me Out Loud: But you got insurance right?

Him: Oh yes, I think she does.

* he looks over my car *

Him: Man, you lucky to be alive.

My Thoughts: If you don’t shut up and get out of my sight you’re going to be lucky to be alive.
Me Out Loud: I’m going to get out of the street and wait for the cops now.

In my limited experience, cops are generally not very amiable. It was ten below and I was freezing, and I asked if we could sit in a squad car while they wrote out the report. He just stared at me, without replying, grimmacing just enough for me to notice. Then a more civilized civil servant came over and said I could sit in the back of his squad car, usually reserved for handcuffed criminals, except the second I got in there on those hard plastic seats and with the glass divider pane right up against my face, I got super claustrophobic and I made him let me out again. I probably wasn’t making any new dan fans in law enforcement.

Somehow the driver’s side mirror ended up on the passenger seat floor, without smashing my face on its way over, so I was glad about that. I got a few small cuts on my hands from when the window exploded, and I can still feel where that airbag hit my face this morning, but I got no exciting bruises to show for it.


This airbag and I have a complicated love/hate relationship right now.

Now comes the worst part: dealing with the insurance agencies and trying to figure out how I’m going to get around for the next couple weeks.

Yay for Minnesota Winters!

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It Snowed Last Night

It’s all blizzardy up in here.

Being snowed in for the weekend was supposed to be fun, but I had too much to do, and somehow I lost my keys without ever leaving the house, which is like one of those locked-room mysteries, and everything has been a major frustration. Especially the driving, when actually being able to stop your car becomes a luxury.

A coworker told me to get some blizzacks for my car, to help with the traction. I thought he was talking like Snoop Dogg in the hizzity hizzouse or whatever, and I was all “What are blacks?” And he was all “No, I said blizzacks,” and I was all “Like blizzity blizzacks?” and then there was a weird back and forth exchange where neither of us could comprehend what the other one was talking about. Finally I deduced that Blizzacks are actually a brand of tire or something.

Anyway, I need a snowday to recover from this snowday.

It Snowed Get Adobe Flash player

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Does this outfit make me look like a pedophile?

I bought an ugly xmas sweater off eBay the other day to wear to my company xmas party this year. Then, as a practice run I wore it to a friendly holiday get-together last weekend, and rather than chuckles and smiles I got winces and stinkeyes. Eventually someone admitted what everyone else was thinking: my funky xmas sweater made me look like a pedophile.

I don’t see it. Is it the Snoopys riding candy canes? The peppermint piping? The feminine cut? The oversized fit? Maybe it’s all in their own perverse minds, but now I’m nervous about wearing it to my work party next week.

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CLOSURE

So planetdan has been painfully neglected as of late. I did take a trip to Hawaii last month, but my absence has mostly been due to the fact that I moved. Or rather, I put my house up for sale, sold it for a song, agreed to purchase a new one, and then lived in limbo for months until the damn thing finally closed – just last Friday. I’ll try to keep it short:

February
I put my house up for sale, thinking that such an awesome house would surely incite a bidding war, and that the thing would sell for a premium, netting me a hundred grand to put down toward the next house, easy. I have a ton of showings (and log countless hours to vacuuming, dusting, and sitting at the coffee shop waiting it out) but no offers.

March thru July
As I slowly catch up to the reality of the crappy real estate market, I am forced to admit that my house might be overpriced. I try various price reductions, new signage, and weekly open houses, but people still don’t seem to be grasping the unparallelled charm and decorative whimsy of Casa de Danny. I set up a nanny cam in the house in the hopes of hearing some constructive criticism, but the garbled audio picks up nothing except for the loud booming bass when someone actually has the guts to play a song on my jukebox.

August
After four price reductions the showings have all but dried up. The options are to take it off the market and try again in a few years, or to do one more drastic price reduction as a last ditch effort. I love my house, but in my head I’ve already moved, so I try for bottom dollar. It sells in three days and for twenty percent less than I was hoping. Closing is scheduled for a little over a month away, so I start looking for a new home, and find the perfect place three days later. They accept the offer and I start packing.

The buyers of my old house schedule their inspections and appraisals. The house is in even better shape than I thought. I see the new buyers drive by the house occasionally, clearly looking forward to moving in. I’m knocking on wood like crazy and doing everything I can not to jinx the sale, when one morning I wake up to this:

My neighbor’s car, parked directly in front of my newly-sold home, has had its tires stolen, replaced by a lone cinder block, like I lived in the projects or something. I thought this type of sh!t only happened in the movies. I tell the neighbor to get that thing towed before my buyers drive by, mouths agape. He complies, and luckily no one is the wiser.

September
Closing time arrives and my old house sells without a hitch. My new place is not so lucky, though, and closing has been delayed until the seller can get his affairs in order. He lets us move into the house anyway, which is good because I would have nowhere else to live, but it’s also unnerving because if the house doesn’t close we’ll have to move right back out a month later.

On moving day, the meteorologist predicts it will Flash Flood all day long, and it does, but I’ve hired movers so I stay dry as a bone and tip them all ten dollars extra. Regardless, none of my furniture fits in the new place and moving sucks hind teat. Is that even a phrase? Hind teat? I don’t like it and I wish I hadn’t used it.

October
The new place is nice, but not officially ours yet, so I feel apprehensive to hang anything on the walls or alter the decor, so I just live out of boxes. Then one day we get a foreclosure letter in the mail that says all occupants must be out of the house by December. Panic is followed by lawyers who are followed by the realization that if we don’t close on the house by December, it will go into foreclosure, and we will be evicted. Which sounds awesome, but there is nothing I can do about it. I go to Hawaii and lay on the beach and try not to think about the rotting pit in my stomach.

November
After countless delays, the new place has still not closed, and certain requirements detailed in the purchase agreement have not yet been met. Closing is scheduled for a Friday, and on Thursday night we are forced to threaten to walk away from the deal. There are screaming matches between realtors and few hurt feeling when dan gets testy and starts telling people how it is. Very few escape my wrath. But at the last moment everything works out, we officially buy the place, and I spend the next week walking around IKEA like a zombie, hemorrhaging money.

This whole process of getting from one place to another has been the world’s biggest pain in the ass, and in the future I will probably have to refer to 2010 as “The Lost Year,” but now I live here:

The only thing I haven’t really figured out yet is how to deal with this:

Won’t the tree eventually outgrow the hole and rip the deck to shreds? Doesn’t nature always win these battles? Oh well, looks cool in the mean time.

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Wall of Dan – The Beginning

No one’s ever drawn a portrait of danny before. Ever. Not one cheesy baby portrait in pencil. Not one poorly-conceived 80′s painting of me straddling a wall in a mini-skirt a’la Some Kind of Wonderful. Not even one of those ham-fisted caricatures you can get at the county fair for fifteen minutes and ten dollars.


Some Kind of Horrible.

So I commissioned the first portrait of danny from an internet friend, and it only cost me twenty bucks, delivered to my door. So consider this the big unveiling:


The first commissioned portrait of danny, ever.


The inspiration.

For the record, it measures 3.25″ x 4.5″ and I love it, although I’m having a hard time finding a frame for it. Anyway, I feel like commissioning inexpensive self-portraits might be a new hobby of mine, so if anyone’s got a recommendation for a good portrait artist, send them my way. One day I’ll have a whole wall of ‘em. A wall of dan. Just like I’ve always deserved.

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