Archive for category Dan in Real Life
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve been gone. From both the blogosphere and Minnesota. I sold my house and have been trying to buy a new one and the process is astoundingly awful and drawn out, in the middle of which I went to Hawaii and swam with the sharks:
When the lady said, “Anyone who wants to swim with the White Tips, follow me this way,” I didn’t realize that White Tips were sharks. Sure, they are smaller, docile creatures who seemed more interested in burying their heads in the ocean floor than eating the fleshy part of my thigh, but being an Icthyophobe, I got the hell out of there as soon as I realized what I was looking at. Eff that.
I’m surprised I even got in the ocean in the first place, considering I had sworn off snorkeling when I saw them drag a dead snorkeler out of the surf and onto the beach on a previous Hawaiian adventure. “That guy’s hardcore!” we all remarked as we saw him strutting out into the ocean on his own with nothing but a snorkel mask and some flippers. A few minutes later, he wasn’t so hardcore anymore. Unexpected deaths can cast a pall over your entire vacation if you’re not careful, so you gotta keep them to a minimum.
Anyway, I’ll blog all about my trip, my shark adventure, my old-house-selling and my new-home-buying woes, as well as everything else as soon as I can get myself and my soiled swimsuit sorted out.
In the meantime, here are some more grody fishies.
C-Minus (the artist formally known as K-Mack) recently had a baby and she’s coming along just fine. I like her lots, in spite of the fact that she seems completely disinterested in her uncle Dan:
You wouldn’t think it, but babies are a tough audience. Maybe I just need to buy her more presents to gain her favor. I’m thinking this is a super cute shirt that everyone will enjoy:
Here’s a bonus creepy pic:
You might think that C-Minus’ house is dirty and dusty when you look at the beam of light coming through that window. I know I did. But she assured me, “No, that’s just bacon grease.” So no worries.
The Goonies is 25 years old this year. And I can still remember the first time I ever saw it. Vividly.
I was ten years old – prime Goonie-lovin’ age – when it was released in theaters. My mother planned an outing for my friend Timmy Crocker and me to see it on a Wednesday. When we picked up Timmy, he started blabbing about how he had already seen the movie that previous weekend and how awesome it was. I was deflated.
By the time we reached the theater, he had summarized the entire plot of the movie. And he ended with this warning: “Man, there are so many skeletons in that movie… man, if you don’t like skeletons, you’re going to HATE this movie!”
I didn’t mind the skeletons at all, but I was surprised that he had completely omitted the malformed-manchild-chained-up-in-the-basement part of the movie, which really freaked my 10-year-old-sh!t out.
I was only friends with Timmy-the-Buzkill-Crocker for a couple more years, when one morning before school another classmate approached me to tell me that Tim had told everyone that I had cheated at a boardgame called Squiggle, and was therefore totally lame. I recall the game of Squiggle in question very vividly as well, and truth be told, I have no idea if I cheated or not, because I totally did not understand how to play the game but was pretending like I did. Timmy Crocker was a tad smarter than Dan was, you see, and I thought it was probably better to have the reputation of being a cheater than someone who was not smart enough to understand the needlessly complicated rules of a game called Squiggle. So I just let it slide. But Timmy Crocker didn’t hang out with me much after that.
Goonies is still one of my all-time favorites, though. Even if it was ruined for me in advance by the the Squiggle champion of the world.
ps. There is a board game out these days called Squiggle that is completely different than the game of my youth. One has something to do with drawing doodles and the other one has something to do with lots of colored blocks with random point values and shaming children who are not smart enough to play it. So try not to confuse the two.
I haven’t been a very good blogger as of late. I’ve been trying to sell my house and buy a new one and all that business has my guts tied up in knots and so animated GIFs just aren’t tickling my fancy right now. But I’m still making plently of embarrassing blunders of course:
I think it’s strange that my initial panic responses to these types of embarrassing scenarios is to say “Oh Jeeze” like I’m Marge Gunderson or something.
By this point my coworkers must be thinking I’m some closet perv who is unable to avoid overt Freudian slips. Stupid C and stupid X being so stupidly close together on the stupid keyboard. Sorry, Tara.
I’ve gotten a little pushy at work, so even if a coworker’s Instant Messenger status says they are “busy” or “away”, I just IM them anyway. This is probably obnoxious, but sometimes I just got no time for petty delays. My work is too important! Today my unbridled ambition and reckless haste may have backfired on me, though:
Tina must have thought I was insane. Or in some sex chatroom. Stupid T and stupid Y are so stupidly close together on the stupid keyboard. Sorry, Tina.
I went out to dinner last night, and my friends brought their grandchild along to join us. He is actually cute as a button and very well-behaved. He’s just entering the first grade and he even ate scallops and escargot without blinking an eye. When I was that age, I was crawling under the table like a common brat and nothing but pizza was ever allowed to penetrate my lips. So I was duely impressed.
But eventually, like any child would, he started to get antsy from having to sit in one place for so long, so to preoccupy him a bit his grandparents gave him a pen and a paper and told him to make a nice card for danny.
This is what I got:
Looks like I made a good impression on the lad. Not bad for a first-grader. Oh, he also told me a joke:
Q. How do you wake up Lady Gaga?
A: Poker Face.
Rejoice! The moment has arrived!
Subway Sandwich Shops officially began tessellating their cheese today, so instead of their previous overlapping stacked cheese triangle pattern, the triangles are supposed to be arranged to never overlap and to offer more complete sammich coverage.
So I visited my local Subway today in celebration of this blessed event, armed with my secret planetdan-cam. At first I was concerned, because the female Sandwich Artist was stacking the cheese the old-fashioned way for the patrons ahead of me. My face got hot as I mentally prepared a reproachful speech for when she would inevitably flub my pepperjack. Fortunately, there was a last minute employee switcheroo, and I got a pinch hitter.
As you can see, I was overjoyed to see that my new Sandwich Artist was heeding the new cheese placement directive. But my happiness soon faded as I realized that this also resulted in getting less cheese. I am almost certain that previous six-inchers were given three pieces of cheese, not two. Am I wrong?
ps. Forgive my big fat wide face in the video. It’s due to the camera angle, and not any sort of excessive Subway consumption.
Lasagna is my favorite. Especially at my mama’s. So when she told me she would be having me over for lasagna dinner on July 13th, I was understandably excited. We all marked our calendars. Then the other day I was leaving her house when I saw her daily planner:
Lasagna + Kill. She’s not exactly diabolical with her scheming, having posted it on her public wall calendar and all, but I was suspicious nonetheless. So, I casually asked her what the “plus kill” part of her day might involve on the 13th, and she got all flustered and mumbled something about it being related to my nephew Killian, who nobody has ever called “Kill” in his life (although “Killer Miller” is going to be the coolest nickname ever when he eventually enters the highschool sporting arena). I nodded in acknowledgement and got the hell out of there.
Is there an antedote to poisoned lasagna?
Little baby K-Mack/C-Minus/Kroggy is here. Her name is Lily and she’s almost as super cute as her uncle danny. She will make a good accessory.
It’s really strange. There was no baby, and now there’s a baby. Weird. I can’t really wrap my head around it or fathom the transition. I love holding babies, but I was a little more concerned with the condition of the mommy, and maybe a little too infatuated with asking about the condition of her tored-up hoo-haw. Sometimes I’m blissfully unaware of the ettiquette in certain situations.
But that’s not the only reason to celebrate. Did you hear?
As of July 1st, Subway will officially start tesselating their cheese.
I think it goes without saying – and without hyperbole – that this is the biggest victory for sandwich enthusiasts in all of recorded sandwich history. I will definitely be ordering a 6-inch BMT on July 1st with a big beaming smile across my face.
And for that reason, and without any power invested in me, I declare Thursday July 1st to be Tessellated Cheese day, and I encourage everyone to celebrate with their own favorite 6-inch, or even a five dollar footlong if you really want to relish in all the tessellated glory.
Victory is ours! See you at Subway!
Oh, and congratulations to the Kroggys. She really is almost as cute as me, and much better than a 6- inch Subway.
I want bowties to come back. And I don’t mean just for proms and limo rides. I mean casual bowties. I had to learn how to tie it from youtube, but I think I pulled it off with panache. Would it be weird to show up to a client meeting in a bowtie?
I had a couple scotches-on-the-rocks before I decided to update my Outlook calendar last weekend, and apparently I made a few additions and left myself a couple motivational notes, which I discovered today:
At least I marked it as a private appointment.
And for the record, I’m not a self-flagellating alcoholic or some mean drunk in a funk. On the contrary, the scotch was just part of a celebration that also involved bow-ties and tuxedos, so it was all perfectly appropriate and socially acceptable. Plus, I remember giggling to myself at the time. Whatever my excuses may be, it does indeed act as a motivator of sorts in the clear light of sobriety. This fat bastard is gonna get himself to the gym!
I’ve been combing through my videos of New Zealand in an effort to put together a vacation montage with which I can torture my friends and relatives. It’s mostly just quick pans of beautiful scenery, but then I came across this forgotten oddity, which apparently started out as a recreation of the closing credits from Little House on the Prairie and then in the middle somehow morphed into my own personal adaptation of The Sound of Music.
I’m not sure either recreation was entirely successful, but the mountains of New Zealand sure are beautiful, and I can’t believe I was able to run uninterrupted for that long without throwing up. Or falling down. Or passing out.
My most common recurring dream is the one where I suddenly realize I’m on the schedule to work at the video store this weekend and I have to find my uniform. I have this dream regularly — at least a couple times a week — and I usually wake up stressed out and needing to repeatedly assure myself that I don’t work there anymore. I’ve had quite a few jobs in my time, and I haven’t worked at the video store in nearly 15 years, but for some reason that particular work experience seems to dominate my subconscious. Sure, it was the best job ever — I basically just watched movies by myself for four years straight while the porn addicts perused the back room — but that was forever ago. Why can’t my mind let it go?
Then C-Minus and I were chatting the other day, and she revealed that she has the same recurring dream about her stint at the Applebees: she suddenly realizes she has to waitress this weekend and needs to locate her uniform. She wakes up thanking her lucky stars that it’s all just a dream and that she won’t need to go back to the endless refilling of Diet-Pepsies anytime soon. It is a curious thing, to both have the same recurring dream, especially since it was my most favoritest job ever and her least favoritest. What was the common connection?
But then suddenly we had a simultaneous epiphany: I never actually quit the video store — I just told them not to put me on the schedule for a while and then never called them again — and she had never really quit the Applebees — she just took herself off the schedule until the computer auto-terminated her. So the hypothesis is that this isn’t about being obsessed with the best or the worst job ever. This is about lack of closure.
And the dream has really been plaguing me lately. It’s become even more regular, and it even invaded my dreams while I was across the planet in New Zealand, where my subconscious should have been focused on more Middle-Earthy things.
So I’ve decided to put an end to it. And the only way I can think to do that is to officially quit the video store. Unfortunately, my particular mom-and-pop video store chain went belly-up over a decade ago, but I did find an address for an Adventures in Video on Google, which I think might be enough to fool my subconcious and to finally satisfy my need for closure. So I’ve drafted a letter:
To Whom it May Concern:
This is my formal notification that I am resigning from Adventures in Video as Shift Supervisor. September 16th, 1997 will be my last day of employment.
I genuinely appreciate the opportunities I have been given here, and wish you much success in the future.
Signed, sealed and delivered. It may confuse the hell out of whoever receives it, but it also might stop the madness on my end. As you can see, I even found my old uniform, so as to quash that part of the dream into pieces as well. It will be an interesting experiment, and I encourage C-Minus to do the same.
My second most common recurring dream is the one where I realize that I haven’t graduated from college, that I have one class left, and that I have forgotten to attend it for the entire semester. My recent epiphany about dreams and lack of closure has led me to believe that this dream is probably due to the fact that I skipped out on all the pomp and circumstance of my graduation ceremony and never even had a party. So if this Adventures in Video Termination Letter solution pans out, I might just have to stage a mock graduation or at least throw a party in honor of my graduated self in the near future. Maybe I’ll even hang my diploma on the wall. You gotta attack these things from all sides.
I’m still unsure of how to stop the dream where my teeth become loose, crumble and fall out. Unless I just go ahead and get them all pulled and replace them with some dentures. Perhaps I’ll wait for the results of this experiment before committing to that, though.