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Tuesday, January 31, 2006 :::

Dollar Palace

I can't seem to bring myself to turn off the State of the Union address, yet I'm doing my best to avoid actually listening to it because I'm just not in a dry-heave kind of mood tonight. So instead, I'm surfing the web, getting myself excited for the new Raconteurs album, and trying to interpret this statistical chart, created by a fellow Minnesotan, titled: Americans Grow To Fit Their Environment

Basically, as obesity rates have risen over the years in America, so has the average house size. I'm not exactly sure what these stats imply. It could be a dig at the suburban exodus and excessiveness of fat complacent Americans; it could just be revealing that Americans have been extremely fortunate over the last decade in order to better afford both food and square footage; or it could simply mean that big people need big houses. Whatever the case, I doubt a correlation actually exists because the average clientele at your local dollar store, who can barely afford a 12-pack of Mountain Dew let alone own a home, couldn't exactly be characterized as "slim".

Speaking of dollar stores, I found this online today:

Ha ha. I'd love to see her best Wal-Mart shopping outfit. I wonder if a knee-length t-shirt and stretch-pants are involved. Dang, how can I be so contradictory as to mock underprivileged fatties and overprivileged Republicans in the very same blog post? I guess my cruelty is bipartisan tonight.

Oh jesus he just called himself a "good steward of tax dollars". Look at that smug smile. I gotta turn this shit off.

::: posted by dan at 8:25 PM :: [ link ] :: (21) comments Social Bookmark Button


Sunday, January 29, 2006 :::

I would get my teeth capped if I had the money.

Face/Off was the worst. Seriously.

Relatedly, here is an example of good, useful cosmetic surgery (if you can even consider an entire face transplant "cosmetic"):

Face Transplant Recipient Photographed : Better a droopy mouth than the unsightly mess of dog-chewed ground beef that the article describes.

Speaking of dogs, here is an example of bad, evil cosmetic surgery:



::: posted by dan at 4:59 PM :: [ link ] :: (17) comments Social Bookmark Button


Coming of Age

There are a million Hollywood "coming-of-age" movies where the kid loses his innocence, and for the first time he's able to see the world as it really exists, facilitating the realization that it's time to grow up and be a man. In the movies, the catalyst is usually something dramatic and heavy, involving a first love or a dying mother or the Great Depression. My own coming-of-age story involves a Prince & The Revolution LP and my Fisher Price portable record player:

I was ten years old and I was biking home from piano lessons when I passed a garage sale where I found quite a bargain: an almost-new and unscratched Prince 1999 record for only fifty cents. Purple Rain had just recently made a big splash and I was a fan of that "Delirious" song from having heard it on Solid Gold and at the neighborhood roller rink. Luckily, I had the cash on me, so I made my purchase and excitedly peddled home.

But at home I opened the record's slip sleeve and this poured out:

Looking back on it now, it's a ridiculously cheesy picture. He's naked in a bed, painting in watercolor, enveloped in fog and bathed in neon? Please. That must've have been lame even back in the early eighties. But I was ten, going to catholic school, and utterly appalled. I immediately hid the record jacket in the back of my closet and pretended like I never saw it.

Then I pulled out my Fisher Price portable record player and put on the first track of side two, which was curiously titled "Let's Pretend We're Married." I'd heard this before on the radio, but was too young to really catch its drift. I was also apparently unaware the that radio version was heavily edited, because toward the end of the song there is an extended riff where - to my ten-year-old horror - Prince moans loud and lasciviously: "I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna... f*ck you..."

I instantly got a tummy ache and wanted to cry. I scratched the needle off the record before my mother could hear it and hid the offending item behind my bed. It was just too dirty. The album stayed hidden for months before I finally got the courage to play it a second time, but I never used that Fisher Price record player again. A children's toy playing very grown-up music; it's an intriguing visual "coming-of-age" metaphor if I do say so myself. It'd almost be poetic, if it didn't involve a half-naked Prince painting in watercolors.

Anyway, I remembered all this because I saw one of those Fisher Price record players in a movie on TV this morning and I got a vivid flashback. Speaking of innocence and LPs, does anyone else remember The Music Machine or the Lollywinks? Man, those were awesome albums.

::: posted by dan at 12:26 PM :: [ link ] :: (23) comments Social Bookmark Button


Saturday, January 28, 2006 :::

Twenty Dollars

How much money would you have to accidentally throw away with the trash before it would be worth retrieving? This is not a metaphor; this is for real. Two days ago, I threw away some packaging for a digital memory card. The barcode on the packaging is required to redeem the twenty dollar mail-in rebate. The trash bag that contains the packaging that contains the barcode is currently in the trash bin out in the alley. Inside the trash bag is a hodge-podge of disgusting items that would need to be sifted through to find the packaging. I remember emptying the kitchen garbage, the bathroom garbage, my bedroom garbage, and about fifty pairs of K-Mack's old used panty hose into the Glad-bag before bringing it to the curb. So the prize may be buried deep within the refuse. I just can't decide if twenty dollars is worth it.

UPDATE: I retrieved the packaging. It wouldn't have been so bad if there hadn't been discarded spaghetti (with marinara) at the top of the bag. I'm not sure if it was worth it, but Best Buy will now get their spaghetti-stained barcode and I will get my twenty dollars. In six to eight weeks.

::: posted by dan at 11:07 AM :: [ link ] :: (8) comments Social Bookmark Button


Wednesday, January 25, 2006 :::

A Bonanza of Ireland Pictures!

I'm back. I took pictures.

We did lots of stuff. We didn't sleep or stay sober much, but we did see castles and villages and cliffs and pubs and leprechauns and harps and fairy bushes and all that celtic jazz. I can't thank Cherry Nut enough for the invitation, so thanks Cherry Nut. Thank you thank you thank you.

There isn't really any commentary on the pics, but here is a list of the things we did, and you can apply them to whatever pictures you want:

1. Stayed up for almost two days straight traveling and then walked the city of Dublin
2. Drank Bailey and Coffees at our first pub, called Pete's, where the soups of the day were Turnip Barley and Beef & Veg
3. Drank fresh Irish beers at a pub called Quay's and listened to a troubadour strum the latest hits by Coldplay
4. Saw the hotel that Bono owns
5. Had a sing-along or two
6. Saw the Book of Kells at Trinity College
7. Took pictures in a library where photography was prohibited
8. Drank lotsa Guinesses
9. Ate Fois Gras
10. Took a train ride across the country while experiencing the worstest hangover evar
11. Visited towns and villages like Limerick, Ennis and Howth
12. Did the Welchman Two-Fist
13. Drank at more than one pub called O'Donoghues
14. Saw Malahide Castle, where apparently no one was ever murdered
15. Slept at Dromoland Castle, where apparently no one was ever murdered
16. Learned to play snooker
17. Saw a doorway accessories store called Knobs and Knockers
18. Discovered that Europeans have their own equivalent to the Dollar Store, called the 2 Euro Store
19. Was serenaded by three Irish tenors, one who sang Danny Boy
20. Heard a jazz band massacre a Radiohead song
21. Saw the Cliffs at Moher where we wished for less wind
22. Swam at the castle pool
23. Took a steam with Kroggy
24. Drank 15 year old Irish Whiskey at the Four Seasons, and also partook of an authentic Irish Coffee
25. Spent way too much time in the Atlanta armpit err, airport

There was more, too. I'm sure bits and pieces will come back to me as time goes on.

::: posted by dan at 3:45 PM :: [ link ] :: (37) comments Social Bookmark Button


Squid beak and whale vomit.

While on my trip I was reading that science book that I keep blathering on about, and I came across this footnote:

The indigestible parts of giant squid, in particular, their beaks, accumulate in sperm whales' stomachs into the substance known as ambergris, which is used as a fixitive in perfumes... you may wish to reflect that you are dousing yourself in distillate of unseen sea monster.

So your Axe Body Spray is partially whale vomit. And squid beak. Anyway, by total coincidence, I also came across this article today:

Whale 'vomit' sparks cash bonanza

Just thought I'd share. I don't use the word "bonanza" enough. I'm amending my '06 new year's resolutions to include its usage.

::: posted by dan at 3:31 PM :: [ link ] :: (8) comments Social Bookmark Button


Sunday, January 22, 2006 :::

Jealous much?

This is where I am right now:

Dromoland Castle

The last few days in Dublin have severely tested my stamina, as well as my tolerance for alcohol. But you can bet I pulled through okay. Things I miss at home:

1. My Computer
2. My Bed
3. Sleeping
4. Proper Qwerty Keyboards
5. TV news that isn't about a whale getting stranded in the Thames.

::: posted by dan at 10:09 AM :: [ link ] :: (23) comments Social Bookmark Button


Wednesday, January 18, 2006 :::

Van Dammit that dude can dance.

I was flipping past some bad E! channel expose show on Jean-Claude Van Damme this weekend when they happened to mention that he got his start as an actor in movies such as Breakin'. Try as I might, I had no recollection of Van Damme pop-lockin' along side the likes of Turbo and Ozone (or to a WAY lesser extent, Kelly), so tonight I finally remembered to perform my due diligence and I looked it up. It turns out that not only did he actually have a cameo in Breakin', but that someone was actually kind enough to make a video-capture of his scene and transpose it into animated GIF format for everyone to enjoy.

This is just a screencap, click here to view the animated GIF. It's big, but for some odd reason it's worth it:

You can also see more of his moves here.

I was a big fan of Breakin' as a third-grader, but who wasn't. I remember when the breakdancing fad hit its peak and some kids at school requested an audience for what promised to be a breakdancing extravaganza, so our principal, Sister Mary Ann, allowed them to perform in the gym during mid-morning recess. There ain't nothing like skipping recess in a catholic elementary school to watch twenty pre-teens compete for your attention by attempting the robot in front of a poorly painted cardboard brick wall. I remember that Sister Mary Ann had explicitly forbade any headspins, fearing the inevitable broken neck, but the Helicopter was fair game. I wish I had that on video. Thank god I didn't participate, cuz my knee-spin was subpar.

ps. I also found this clip of Van Damme dancin', although it ain't from Breakin'. It's just as hurl-inducing, though.

::: posted by dan at 12:07 AM :: [ link ] :: (21) comments Social Bookmark Button



This is a test to see if I can figure out how to post to my blog from Ireland via email with my crackberry because being disconnected from the internet for six whole days might kill me.

::: posted by dan at 12:05 AM :: [ link ] :: (7) comments Social Bookmark Button


Sunday, January 15, 2006 :::


A little over two years ago (December 7th, 2003 to be exact), I stalked Rufus Wainwright after a concert and got my ticket autographed. Then some mystery woman took a picture of us together and promised to mail it to me, but I never got it in the mail, nor did I get her name or contact information. All I know is that she worked at US Bank somewhere in Minneapolis. I've waited long enough. I want that picture. So if you know a current or former US Bank employee in Minneapolis who likes to make empty promises and is also a Rufus Wainwright fanatic, help a brother out.

As long as we're on the topic of autographs, I have a few others I should mention:

Anna Nicole Smith
Way before Anna was famous for slurring her speech and marrying an octogenarian, she was just a Guess model with less-big-yet-still-fake breasts. She came to the mall I was working at to promote jeans at the JC Penney, so on my scheduled 15-minute break I got a taco and went to meet her. This autograph is funny because it says "thanks for waiting" even though I was the only person there to see her. At the time I was embarrassed about munching on a taco in front of a supermodel (hey, my break was only 15 minutes, I had to multi-task), but had I known the trashy depths to which she would eventually sink I probably wouldn't have given it a second thought. In fact I probably would have offered her a bite.

Carmen Electra
Way before she was on Baywatch or married to that mush-mouthed basketball player, Carmen Electra was just a Prince protege trying to put out her own rap record. B* and I were at Prince's club Glam Slam to attend a "Star Party" that I had won tickets to (featuring such amazing acts as John Secada, Shai, Expose, and Eddie Money, if you can handle it). Prince was nowhere in sight, but Carmen made a surprise appearance to promote her new single Go-Go Dancer. This autograph was signed mere minutes after she cartwheeled across the stage in a hot pink bikini while she rapped about being the life of the party:

I also have a autographs of Tuvok and B'Elanna Torres from Star Trek: Voyager that I acquired after B* dragged me to a couple sci-fi conventions. They are not scan-worthy. On the other hand, the pictures I took at the sci-fi-convention are extremely scan-worthy, but B* told me he would stab me in the face if they were ever released to the public, so I guess that's out.

I also got David Cassidy's autograph once, but I gave it to a friend. And I had every member of KISS sign a CD booklet for a coworker once, too. I believe that's the extent of my autograph collection, so I'll shut up now.

::: posted by dan at 4:58 PM :: [ link ] :: (19) comments Social Bookmark Button



I've been on-again/off-again reading this rudimentary mass-market science book, A Brief History of Nearly Everything, for the past year now. It's a good book because I like that kind of nerdy science stuff, and because today I read this passage:

Because they are so long lived, atoms really get around. Every atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to becoming you. We are each so atomically numerous and so vigorously recycled at death that a significant number of our atoms - up to a billion for each of us, it has been suggested - probably once belonged to Shakespeare. A billion more each came from Buddha and Genghis Khan and Beethoven, and any other historical figure you care to name. (The personages have to be historical, apparently, as it takes the atoms some decades to become thoroughly redistributed; however much you may wish it, you are not yet one with Elvis Presley.)
Not to bring this admittedly mind-blowing concept to gutter level, but this means that little bitty parts of your body were once Alexander the Great's penis (which would make you part gay, by the way). You might like to think that some of your own personal atoms were also once part of Da Vinci's superior brain, or Chopin's nimble fingers, and that may very well be true, but you are also part Virginia Woolf vagina. Or you could be part of the fingernail that Caligula used to pick his crack. I could go on forever. Science is fun.

Religious people might want to believe that this makes them literally one with jesus (or maybe not, would that be sacrilegious?), but they would be forgetting that according to their tradition he eventually ascended into heaven, so none of his earthly atoms would remain, except for those in his foreskin as we have already learned.

I'm kind of bored today.

::: posted by dan at 4:22 PM :: [ link ] :: (11) comments Social Bookmark Button


Wednesday, January 11, 2006 :::

Mad Skillz

I am awesome. My friend Homer-J just got a brand new job, and they took his picture at orientation. Another friend who happens to work at the same company saw it on their intranet and forwarded it to me. As a stupid joke, I photoshopped an open fly with a protruding shirt onto the front of his trousers, and emailed it back to Homer-J with the following message:

How embarrassing for you on your first day!
Did you walk around like that the whole time????

Apparently my photoshopping skills are completely awesome and utterly convincing, because upon receiving the picture, Homer-J panicked and called his brand new HR department to inform them of the embarrassing picture they were posting to the intranet, and then proceeded to have a confusing conversation with them about whether or not his barn door was open. It took a few minutes before it occurred to Homer-J to doublecheck the actual image on the intranet and realize he'd been hoodwinked. It may be an almost cruelly embarrassing thing to happen to a guy on his first week at a new job, but I am more proud of inciting this confusion than of anything I've done so far in 2006. I rule. Yay for being the cause of embarrassing mayhem.

::: posted by dan at 5:36 PM :: [ link ] :: (30) comments Social Bookmark Button


Helpful Warning

This was on boingboing last week and I think it's awesome:

It's a "beware of bumping head on sign" sign, and apparently it's real. It throws my head for a loop because it could be totally recursive and go on forever, like videotaping yourself in front of a television. I'm not making any sense, am I. Still, the apparent uselessness of such a sign is what makes me so happy that it exists.

The story of the sign can be found here.

::: posted by dan at 8:29 AM :: [ link ] :: (5) comments Social Bookmark Button


Tuesday, January 10, 2006 :::

The sincerest form of flattery.

My friend B* just sent this to me, and I think it is all too appropriate considering the fact that tonight is the first new Gilmore Girls episode in almost two months.

When two TV obsessions collide:

Watch the clip.

::: posted by dan at 1:48 PM :: [ link ] :: (11) comments Social Bookmark Button


Saturday, January 07, 2006 :::

I lettered in Nerd.

I went clearance shopping today and found myself at the dorm-room superstore: Urban Outfitters, where I saw this T-shirt for sale:

It was $28. I had five of these when I was in high school. Had I known there would be a market for ironic t-shirts in the future, I would have saved them and made a mint on eBay.

To repeat myself for the umpteenth time: I wasn't exactly popular in high school. In fact, after a disastrous transition from Catholic school to public school in the ninth grade, one of my well-meaning friends, Maurice, suggested that I join a group with him called Friends For Life. It would be fun, he assured me, help me meet people who wouldn't want to beat me up for a change, and perhaps even look good on a college resume. I thought "Ok! Friends For Life! Sounds great! God knows I could use some of those!" and I signed up. Little did I know that it was my school district's version of D.A.R.E. As in: Dare to Keep Kids Off Drugs. It's kinda funny how being desperate for friendship will make you do just about anything. No wonder these Al Qaeda jackasses find it so easy to find new recruits.

Now don't get me wrong, I know it's all good to keep the kids away from the naughty substances. I read A Million Little Pieces. I know where that road leads. But if there is anything that guarantees social suicide at a public high school more than joining the unionized anti-drug crusade, I don't know what it is. To make matters worse, my involvement with this group put me on the front page of the metro section of the local newspaper mere weeks after starting the tenth grade at my new school:

Yes, that's a mullet. Social death: accomplished.

What's funny is that I remained a member of this group throughout the duration of my high school career, and somehow got elected as secretary of the club, in spite of the fact that I didn't attend a single club meeting for the entire last year. Upon graduation, I discovered that my participation in this club had somehow earned enough points to qualify me for a letterman's patch in Friends for Life, a.k.a., DARE.

That's right, I lettered in Nerd:

Granted, this was 15 years ago, but it was a proud moment, to be sure. The real irony might come from the fact that my predecessor as club secretary died last year. His death was attributed to drug and alcohol abuse. Seriously. Friends For Life, indeed.

::: posted by dan at 8:12 PM :: [ link ] :: (31) comments Social Bookmark Button


Tuesday, January 03, 2006 :::

A Slight Miscalculation

Next time I'm having an obnoxious day where things just aren't going right, I'm going to watch this:

Breaking the Ice (500k .wmv, right click to download)

I especially love the astute comment from the audience member who correctly deduces that there may have been an issue with the distribution of weight.

::: posted by dan at 8:06 PM :: [ link ] :: (14) comments Social Bookmark Button


Sunday, January 01, 2006 :::

The Best of Aught Five

Now that the year is finally over, and I'm officially sick of all things xmas, I have compiled my Best of 2005 List because it's never to late to jump on a bandwagon. This is mostly just a good way of replacing the xmas songs in my jukebox with something more palatable, but click on the icon below to read about all the stuff I liked last year:

Or just listen to my Top 40 of '05 in the Jukebox on the right. ------>

::: posted by dan at 6:02 PM :: [ link ] :: (20) comments Social Bookmark Button


Happy New Year

My friends and I celebrated the arrival of aught six by eating some expensive beef and then playing some games. Confetti was thrown. Horns were blown.

Cherry Nut and I ring in the new year:

Cherry Nut gets sick of my shit:

Dang, ten minutes into the new year and I'm already grating on everyone's nerves. Actually, we all had a good time and I'm going to assume the camera simply caught Cherry Nut mid-blink, 30-seconds before she burst out laughing because I am so awesomely entertaining.

Anyway, Happy New Year!

::: posted by dan at 12:55 AM :: [ link ] :: (10) comments Social Bookmark Button


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