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Sunday, December 31, 2006 :::

The best of the year.

I received an Onion daily calendar from Kmack last year for xmas. Today I removed the very last page, which is always an extremely satisfying experience. All year long I've saved the ones that made me laugh out loud. Some of them are still funny. Some of them make me wonder what I was on that day. My top three favorites:

And here are all the ones I saved throughout the year, so you can see what choices I had for the top three.

I'd put together a big Best of 2006 Extravaganza like I usually do, but it was a busy year and so I only saw a few movies and read a couple books. This is the best I can do:

Best Movie I Saw: Children of Men
Worst Movie I Saw: Apocalypto
Most Disappointing Movie: For Your Consideration

Best Book I Read All The Way Through: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Only Book I Read All The Way Through: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Great Books I've Started but Haven't Finished:
Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs
Spook by Mary Roach

My Top Ten Favorite CDs of the Year:
10. Friendly Fire by Sean Lennon
   (It grows on you.)
9. The Avalanche by Sufjan Stevens
   (Not entirely perfect but still great.)
8. The Trials of Van Occupanther by Midlake
   (If only for the opening track: Roscoe.)
7. The Life Persuit by Belle and Sebastian
   (Which was one of the best concerts I saw, too.)
6. Ys by Joanna Newsom
   (In spite of the fact that it gave me the stomach flu.)
5. Putting the Days To Bed by the Long Winters
   (Underappreciated and underrated by everyone and anyone.)
4. Apologies to the Queen Mary by Wolf Parade
   (I know this came out last year, but I only gained appreciation for it
   this year, and I listened to it more than any other CD.)
3. Rabbit Fur Coat by Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
   (So totally enjoyable that even my musically illiterate roommate likes it.)
2. The Crane Wife by the Decemberists
1. Impeach My Bush by Peaches
   (I had to buy this CD four times because I kept giving it away to spread the love.
   It has made me happier than any other CD released this year.)


::: posted by dan at 9:50 AM :: [ link ] :: (11) comments Social Bookmark Button


Wednesday, December 27, 2006 :::

Happy Xmas (War Ain't Over)

I'm kinda depressed that Xmas is actually over. For anyone interested, I got some real good gifts. Check it out:


As tradition dictates, I also bought a few gifts for myself this holiday season, including a new Nintendo Wii game system which shipped last week but hasn't arrived yet. I've been waiting very impatiently for what feels like an eternity and tracking the shipment online from city to city as it trudges ever-so-slowly yet frustratingly closer to its final destination. But now I hear that the entire post office might be shutting down for a day because dumb old Gerald Ford died. As if there's a single mailman out there who seriously gives a crap. I'll tell you whut, if I have to wait even one extra day to get my Wii in the mail on account of dumb dead old Gerald Ford, then I'm going to go postal, which would be the ultimate in irony.

Here's an Xmas gift I'm glad I got.
Here's another Xmas gift I'm glad I got.
Here's an Xmas gift I'm glad I didn't get from anybody.
Here's an Xmas gift that I really wish I would have gotten somebody. Anybody.
  ('Cept maybe my mom cuz it's NSFW!) [Thanks, Rebecca]

::: posted by dan at 11:42 PM :: [ link ] :: (22) comments Social Bookmark Button


Wednesday, December 20, 2006 :::

Shopping Cart Chaos

I finished up my Christmas shopping at Target this evening. Somehow stocking stuffers and wrapping accoutrements cost me nearly $200. But the excessive crowd and the manic atmosphere got me flustered, so the majority of my time there was spent wandering glossy-eyed and aimless, trying to remember the internalized shopping list that I had previously and regrettably decided need not be written down.

At some point during my hour-long Target shopping extravaganza, I returned to where I thought I had parked my cart to find some unfamiliar items, including a snowglobe, a leather purse and a black coat with a hideous fur collar. In fact, nothing in this cart looked familiar to me. I stood for a minute, perplexed, and then started traversing the aisles to find my cart, which I had previously packed to the gills with typical Target purchases like shaving cream and toilet paper, but I had no luck. I decided to walk back to the last place that I actually remembered seeing my cart, which was halfway across the store in the giftwrap section, and sure enough it was there quietly awaiting my return.

But I was certain that I had brought my cart with me across the store before losing it, so my instant assumption was that I had accidentally grabbed another lady's cart, a good twenty minutes earlier, and had been mindlessly pushing it through multiple departments ever since. Suddenly the frazzled looks on the Target Team Members faces as they communicated via walkie talkie were starting to make sense. Someone had obviously reported their purse stolen and they were on a manhunt...

So I slyly returned to the department where I had discovered the mystery cart with the purse, only now there were multiple carts with multiple purses and I had no idea which cart was the errant one. Shockingly, hideous black fur collars are not rare in my neck of the woods. I pretended to peruse some random merchandise as I waited for people to come back to claim their carts, hoping that I could simply assume that any cart leftover would be the one I had inadvertently stolen from the giftwrap department. I didn't want to grab the wrong cart AGAIN, after all. I had been lucky enough not to have gotten tackled by some pissed off Target bargain-hunter the first time I grabbed the wrong cart, so I wasn't about to take the same risk again.

After waiting fifteen minutes for fate to sort out the cart situation for me, I started to imagine the Target Team Members checking the store security tape, frantically searching for the thief who had callously stolen some poor lady's purse and coat the week before Christmas. So I bailed.

All I could do at that point was hope that someone would find the "misplaced" cart and return it to its proper owner. I can only imagine how I would have felt had I been a woman shopping at Target and returned to where I thought I had parked my cart, and purse, only to find them missing. I probably really ruined her evening. And she had probably planned on getting all her Christmas shopping done tonight. And now she'll have to finish another time when she is less prepared, and her gift choices will be shoddy and rushed and therefore poorly thought-out, resulting in disappointed gift-receivers and decades of resentment and hurt feelings.

Karma is going to bite me in the ass BIG TIME for that one. Dammit.

::: posted by dan at 10:54 PM :: [ link ] :: (24) comments Social Bookmark Button


Friday, December 15, 2006 :::

Merry Xmas from T-Bone

T-Bone and his hairless cats want to wish you a merry xmas:

A little closer, for the detail:

I activated my Photoshop powers to help him create the card. And here I've altered it a bit for planetdan. Needed more skin folds:

Feliz Navidad!

::: posted by dan at 12:29 PM :: [ link ] :: (15) comments Social Bookmark Button


Thursday, December 14, 2006 :::

Two Incher

I passed this car on the freeway today and for a while I thought the dude was advertising his shortcomings:

It took me a while to figure out that it probably isn't supposed to be read as "Two-incher". He's probably some insurance agent and so you're supposed to read it as "To insure", but I think he made a serious error in judgment when personalizing that plate. Or maybe his wife gave them to him as a gift as she laughed under her breath.

::: posted by dan at 5:38 PM :: [ link ] :: (11) comments Social Bookmark Button


Wednesday, December 13, 2006 :::


K-Mack and I spent an entire day decorating the house for Christmas. I spent four hours of that day climbing a ladder in my dining room to hang balls using fishing wire and 3M Command hooks, but I think it was worth it because the effect is quite breathtaking:

And here's our tree so you can pretend to celebrate xmas with us:

And here's me, doing an elf dance for you:

And for a temporary time, you can watch me do the whole dance. [Thanks, Cherry Nut]

::: posted by dan at 8:31 AM :: [ link ] :: (16) comments Social Bookmark Button


Monday, December 11, 2006 :::

An Eventful Weekend

I started out last weekend by attending the Joanna Newsom concert with Stacy. If you're unfamiliar with Joanna Newsom, she's a spritely little elf of a freak-folk harpist who writes beautiful music that she sings with a shriekingly squealish voice, and she's incredible. She didn't disappoint, either. It was an unbelievable performance that I was sure I would remember as one of my favorites ever...


... I went home that evening and promptly fell ill with the stomach flu. Throughout the course of the evening and between the violent bouts of throwing up, I would drift in and out of mad consciousness, never quite falling asleep but never really lucid either. The intense fever mixed with the sweaty chills kept my hallucinations vivid, and for some reason my mind decided to keep me at that Joanna Newsom concert all night long. I just kept hearing her harp and then that voice, and then more harp, and then more voice, ad nasueum (literally) until at one point I actually shouted loud enough to awake me from my own hallucinatory stupor: "Enough with the harp already!" fully believing that I was still being forced to endure that concert in my sickened state.

Two days later and eight pounds lighter, I still can't even look at the cover of my new Joanna Newsom CD or the awesome new concert t-shirt that I purchased without it bringing back memories of vomit and nausea. The negative association truly saddens me. I hope that it subsides over time and that I will once again be able to listen to her music without clutching my stomach in agony, but I still can't eat Rocky Rococo pizza and that little incident was almost eight years ago, so who knows what the future will bring.

Oh, and as I lay sick on the couch all day Saturday, K-Mack got engaged. It's a nice little story so I'll let her tell it:


::: posted by dan at 8:03 AM :: [ link ] :: (32) comments Social Bookmark Button


Sunday, December 10, 2006 :::

The Fearless Photographer

Back in my mulletted days of the late 80's and early 90's, I had myself a little hair-band phase. So when an opportunity comes to relive those "glory days" and take in some arena rock by a little band called Guns n' Roses, you can bet I'll be there. And when I'm with my pushy and fearless friends T-Bone and Alicia, you can bet I'll get up nice and close, to boot:

It's a good thing I was a little tipsy, because cameras were banned at the event, and the extra booze gave me the false courage to take about a million pictures while standing just a few feet in front of the notoriously high-strung Axel Rose. Seriously, it must have looked like there was a strobe light going off in the audience right where I was standing. When I got home I was surprised to discover that I had taken over 180 pictures of the front man himself:

I had slyly snuck the camera into the venue (don't ask me how), but as the night wore on I became increasingly liberal with it. At the end of the evening there seemed to be more drunk people in the general admission holding area than in the actual arena, and I got this AWESOME video of two police men dragging a nearly-passed-out and naked-from-the-waist-down super fan into the security area. Of course by this time I wasn't exactly being discreet when I took the picture, so the guards chased me down and forced me to delete the video in front of them. I suppose I should be grateful that they didn't confiscate the camera altogether, but damn that was a good video. :(

Check out the pyro, dood:

::: posted by dan at 8:24 PM :: [ link ] :: (6) comments Social Bookmark Button


Friday, December 01, 2006 :::


Yay! The day after Thanksgiving marks the earliest possible date when it is socially acceptable to listen to Christmas music. I have actually been listening for months already, gathering tunes and making the selections for my sixth annual KICK ASS XMAS MIX CD, this year dubbed as "The Kickassiest" (for reasons that will be made obvious), which has the following official playlist:

1. Jingle Bells - Bing Crosby & The Andrew Sisters
2. Get Behind Me, Santa! - Sufjan Stevens
3. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Aimee Mann
4. Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming - Feist
5. Sleigh Ride - Herb Alpert
6. Over the River - Danny Kaye and The Andrew Sisters
7. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy - The Berlin Symphony
8. iPod xMas - Hello Saferide
9. Greensleeves - Sarah McLachlan
10. A Christmas Song - Jethro Tull
11. The Ice Storm - The Go! Team
12. Calling on Mary - Aimee Mann
13. O Holy Night - Sufjan Stevens
14. White Christmas - Esquivel
15. Santa Claus’s Party - Ferrante and Teicher
16. Port Starboard Sox - Kate and Anna McGarrigle
17. Winter Wonderland - Chet Baker Quartet
18. Jing-A-Ling, Jing-A-Ling - The Quincy Jones Orchestra
19. Back Door Santa - Clarence Carter
20. Deck the Halls - Bobby Timmons
21. Jingle Bell Rock - Pas/Cal
22. River - Sarah McLachlan
23. Come On! Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance! - Sufjan Stevens
24. Santa Claus is Coming to Town - The Ray Conniff Singers
25. The Kickassiest Christmas - Planetdan
26. An Auld Lang Syne Adios - Esquivel

I can't offer them for download or disseminate actual CDs since that would infringe on copyrights and such, but I think I can stream low-bit versions without any worry, so feel free to listen to the mix on my holiday jukebox, which shall be made available to you throughout the celebrating season on the right hand side of my site. Take a peek, it's there already.

You'll notice that there is another xmas surprise as well: the first ever planetdan original xmas tune. It's the official title track to the album, in fact, and since I wrote, composed, and performed this already-classic song myself, I am legally entitled to offer it as a free download. You can get your own copy by right-clicking on its title above. It's an unassuming little ditty, created only with a wonderful little program called GarageBand and my own free-wheelin' penchant for go-for-broke brilliance, that slowly builds to an incredible climax that is not unlike an orgy of aural delights. Listen to it and your world will be forever changed. No hyperbole intended. I have given you the gift of auditory perfection. Enjoy.

::: posted by dan at 10:30 PM :: [ link ] :: (41) comments Social Bookmark Button


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