Tuesday, December 30, 2008

“I’m all out…”

Yesterday, I was grabbing a cup of coffee at a major international coffee retailer. As the scruffy young man at the register handed me the piping hot cup, I realized that it didn’t have one of those cardboard sleeves. I looked around for a second before showing him my cup and asking,

“Excuse me, can I grab a sleeve for this?”

With compunction on his face, he said, “I’m sorry, I’m all out of sleeves,” before giving me an extra insulation-cup.


As I walked away, his words replayed in my head. “I’m all out of sleeves.” I thought, “Is he really out of sleeves, or is this particular location of this major international coffee retailer out of sleeves? Even if he is the shift manager, I’m not totally sure that those are his sleeves.”

As I enjoyed my coffee, I reflected on the phenomenon of service professionals taking ownership of their product, and realized that this guy is not alone. There are others: waiters (“I’m sorry, I’m all out of the tilapia”), Foot Locker refs (“I’m sorry, I’m all out of the Air Max Court Executioner in a 12”), 7-11 cashiers (“I’m sorry, I’m all out of Fiesta Chicken Go-Go Taquitos”), and Banana Republic associates (“I’m sorry, I’m all out of the Charleston brown Relaxed Dawson Chino in 34x32”).

It seems to me that it would be smarter for these folks to pass the buck and say something like, “Yeah, our buyer Steve is constantly dropping the ball. I apologize for his negligence.”

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Caption Contest Winner

Congratulations to the winner of the caption contest. Since I know who you are (and what's good for you), I'm guessing that I don't have to hook you with an Amazon.com gift certificate. I'm sure a burger and beers on me at our favorite spot will do. Massive respect, brah.

After being spotted by the authorities in Dubai,
the offenders were sentenced to death by caking.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Things an Old Fashioned Pretzel Would Say

"Honey Mustard flavored!? In my day it was salt or no salt. End of story."
"Preservatives preschmervatives."
"You shouldn't be dipping us in anything. You either eat us or you don’t."
"I remember when you used to be able to get a whole sack of us for a nickel."
"Pretzels shouldn’t go living together before they’re married."

Friday, December 19, 2008

Caption Contest Finalists!

Very nice work, everyone.

I was only able to narrow it down to four finalists. Now it's up to you guys. Vote on your favorite (over on the right) by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Monday, Dec. 22.

Here are the choices:

Double Stack
“Long John Silver's launches new "Double Stacked" menu option!”

Opting Against the HJ
“Mark wisely opted against a hand job.”

Dubai Caking
“After being spotted by the authorities in Dubai, the offenders were sentenced to death by caking.”

Office of Marine Gettin’ It On
“Barak Obama's short list for the newly formed ‘Office of Marine Gettin' It On’"

Honorable mention goes to: "OOOHHH, you're so hard!" and "...and when Kevin looked back at the single set of footprints in the sand he said, 'God, where were you the times i needed you most?' To which steve replied,'I'm not God, asshole,and you're not dead! You fainted and shat yourself back there when the seagull swooped down at us, and I've been carrying your lucky ass since.'"


Monday, December 15, 2008

GM Employs Alternative Recovery Strategy

Washington, D.C., Dec. 15, 2008 – The office of Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) has confirmed that on Friday—as the senator walked out of the Hart Senate Office Building—General Motors President and CEO Rick Wagoner approached him and asked for some spare change. Initial reports indicate that Wagoner was dressed in an old coat, wearing a costume beard, and smoking a cigarette butt that he had found on the ground. The suspicious senator asked what he needed change for—at which time Wagoner rattled off a shaky story about needing to scrape together enough money to buy a bus ticket to visit his sick cousin up in Baltimore.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Photo Caption Contest

Drop a witty caption for this photo in the comments by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Thursday, December 18.

The best one will win a $20 gift certificate to Amazon.com. It's that simple, people.

Photo courtesy of the lovely Natalie.

O.J. Simpson Sentenced to Prison for Something Other Than Killing Two People

See the incredible true story at SI.com.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Illinois Governor Blagojevich is Taken into Custody

CHICAGO, Ill., Dec. 9, 2008 - According to state law enforcement officials, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been taken into federal custody. Though the exact reason for his detainment remains unknown, a source within the U.S. Attorney’s office for the state's Northern District says that the office’s director, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, has been asking a lot of questions lately about how Gov. Blagojevich “gets his hair to swoop like that.”

Monday, December 8, 2008

I Wish It Were Sunday Because That's My Funday, An I-Don't-Have-to-Run Day

Nothing says "I may have had a bit too much to drink yesterday while watching three consecutive football games" like forgetting to wear a belt to work on Monday (the one day out of the week that you regularly meet with your organization's CEO).

Friday, December 5, 2008

New Jersey Scientist Discovers Life on Mars

PASSAIC, N.J., Dec. 5, 2008 - Earlier this week, while cruising through his extensive catalogue of TiVoed-but-yet-to-be-watched programs, Passaic, N.J., physiologist Eugene Melowictz discovered ABC’s television series Life on Mars. After watching the first episode of the sci-fi/crime drama, which originally aired Oct. 9, Melowictz was reportedly hooked.

“It’s really, really good. Kind of weird, but really good,” Melowictz told a coworker the day after his discovery. “And Harvey Keitel is awesome. I'll probably be able to watch the rest of the episodes in the next few days here and be caught up by the weekend.”

Most of Melowictz's colleagues expressed tempered excitement about his discovery as well as concern that he may be a very sad, very lonely man.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Source: President-elect Obama Finalizes Cabinet Selection and Installation Timeline

CHICAGO, Ill., Dec. 2, 2008 – After two weeks of unenthusiastic exchanges with his wife, Michelle, and several conversations with Washington D.C.-area contractors, President-elect Barack Obama has finalized his cabinet selection and installation timeline.

“We’re going to go with cinnamon birch,” said the president-elect as he walked to a car outside his Chicago transition office. “The doors will be Roman arched veneer with recessed panels. Michelle and I are thrilled.”

A source within the Obama transition team says the chosen contractor will be visiting the White House just a few days after the Obama family’s move-in, and the project should be completed by President’s Day.

An artist's rendition of the president-elect's cabinet selection.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

You Know the One...

Do you ever have that dream where you're visiting an old friend in Boston, and you're hanging out on his high-rise balcony enjoying the view of the city when all of a sudden the city comes under attack by aliens and you flee down into the extensive below-ground area of the building, and you find out that the aliens have infiltrated the building and are infecting people zombie-style, and then the next thing you know you're in a group--including President-elect Obama--that makes it into what you think is a "safe room," and the president-elect takes to a stage in the front of the room--flanked by some of his key staffers--in order to address the group, and then it becomes eerily apparent that he and his staffers have become infected, and the song "Thriller" comes on and the president-elect and his team break into an MJesque choreographed dance, and then you resign yourself to the idea of being a zombie and allow the person standing next to you to chop your head off with a sword?

Me too!

Monday, November 24, 2008


One of my buddies, Jeremy Bauman (pictured below), had his Peace Corps service in Georgia interrupted because of the August South Ossetia war. His hometown of Gori was right in the middle of the conflict. From the balcony of his house, Jeremy could hear and see the bombing occurring less than 20 kilometers away. After his evacuation, Gori was heavily bombed and occupied by Russian and Ossetian forces.

After spending three weeks in Armenia, Jeremy and Kelly, another Peace Corps Volunteer in Gori, returned to try to help their community recover. After talking with the Rector of Gori University, they learned that more than half of the 1,500 students, mostly from low-income families from the villages in the war zone and Gori, could not pay their tuition because of destroyed livelihoods. In response, Jeremy and Kelly started the Gori Regional Education Fund (GREF), a legally-registered NGO in Georgia. GREF awards scholarships to these affected students. Students must complete an application, submit a CV, and have an interview. Scholarships will be awarded on Dec. 8.

Believe it or not, one semester's tuition is only $532 per student, so even small donations help.

If you are able, there are a couple of ways to donate:

1) Using a credit or debit card: GREF has set up a custodial PayPal account to collect donations from the USA. To make a donation, please end an email to info@gorifund.org, and indicate the amount you wish to donate. You will receive--via email--a request link that takes you directly to GREF's PayPal account. From there, you just follow the instructions.

2) Using a check: To make a tax-deductible donation to GREF, you can write a check to GREF's fiscal sponsor in the United States, "The Megobari Foundation"--a registered non-profit. Checks must be made out to "The Megobari Foundation" with "GREF" written clearly on the notes line.

Checks can be mailed to:

The Megobari Foundation
PNC Bank
1900 Greentree Road
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

To learn more, visit GREF's Web site at http://www.gorifund.org/ or email Jeremy or GREF at info@gorifund.org.

GREF Assistant Director Jeremy Bauman at a Nov. 22 GREF fundraiser in Arlington, Va.

Friday, November 21, 2008

PHUD: Dog House Foreclosures Continue to Rise

WAVERLY, Iowa, November 21, 2008 - As the market continues to dip, more and more U.S. dogs are facing dog house foreclosure. According to the U.S. Department of Pet Housing and Urban Development (PHUD), since September more than 15,000 K-9s have lost their dog houses.

The Midwest seems to be feeling the sharpest sting. Dash, a four-year-old golden retriever in Waverly, Iowa, who recently sired a litter of six, says the rough market and a too-good-to-be-true adjustable rate mortgage, or ARM loan, is to blame. “Yeah, in 2005, I was like, ‘I can get into this house today! This is too good to be true!’ Now I see that, yeah… it was.”

In early August, Dash suffered a nail clipping injury to his left hind paw and subsequently lost his job—chasing cars on West Bremer Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets. His employer offered no disability nor severance, and his family’s modest savings quickly evaporated.

“It was tough,” say Dash’s bitch Sadie. “He was gimping around the yard all day, tail between his legs. Pathetic.”

PHUD Secretary Mallory Balloon hypothesizes that the situation will improve along with the economy, but suggests that—in the interim—people can help dogs like Dash by enthusiastically and repeatedly asking, “Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy?”

Photo courtesy of Dash's family's family archives.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shiver My Timbers: Pirates are Back on the Scene

MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA, November 20, 2008 – A recent rash of ship seizures perpetrated by pirates around the Horn of Africa is causing detrimental damage to the world’s plundered booty and buried treasure markets. In the past few weeks, the number of attacked and/or seized ships in the waters of the Indian Ocean has skyrocketed. Giant sloops flying skull-and-crossed-sword flags seem to be specifically targeting transports carrying chests full of gold doubloons, bejeweled artifacts, and other shiny wares.

“It’s getting ridiculous,” says Captain Sian Woolsey, who runs “Best Booty”—a totally legitimate treasure shipping business. “I used to be able to move ships loaded with treasure from Bantaeng to Les Cayes with no problems whatsoever. Now I’m staring down the barrel of having to send my fleet around the Cape of Good Hope; and that’s not cheap.”

The burden associated with burgeoning treasure shipping costs is—unfortunately—being passed on to consumers. In the last week, the cost of jewel-studded gold crowns shot up by more than 20 percent. Experts foresee the gold doubloon significantly slumping on the international market.

“Something has to be done,” says Cpt. Woolsey, “Too much treasure is falling into pirate hands. Too many hard working men are getting a one-way ticket to Davy Jones’ Locker.”

In a recent press conference, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen addressed the situation directly, “I mean—tactically—we are dealing with sophisticated bands of highly skilled swashbucklers. Depending on the situation, the pirates will either begin firing their cannons from far away, hoping to provoke a white flag surrender; or they will approach targets silently through creepy dense fog and stealthily board by swinging from ropes clenching knives between their teeth.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nobody Knows Hot Kids Better Than Forbes.com

Earlier this month, Forbes.com released a top-ten list of Hollywood's hottest tots. Suri Cruise, the daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, topped the list.

In related news, PedophileDigest.com is targeting early December for the release of its list of "Wall Street's 10 Hottest CEOs."

Al-Qaeda Calls Obama a "House Negro"

A recent Internet message, supposedly sent from Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda's second-in-command, calls President-elect Barack Obama a "house negro."

Yikes. Not cool, al Qaeda.

I think this can be interpreted in one of two ways:
  1. Al Qaeda is mixed up and has forgotten that our president-elect is a member of the Senate.

  2. Al Qaeda is confusing President-elect Obama with Omar Epps.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"E" for Effort; "T" for Nice Try

A big thank-you is due to everyone who participated in the most recent poll (right). Unfortunately, no one was able to come up with the correct response: eight. I was thinking of the number eight.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Report: Women are Not Getting Enough Vitamin D

A very important and prestigious medical journal recently released a study finding that most women in the U.S. are not getting enough Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to such illnesses as breast cancer, heart disease, and multiple sclerosis.

In order to increase awareness of this possibly growing problem, I took to the streets of Washington D.C. with a fanny pack full of Vitamin D supplement samples. On a Saturday night, I decided to walk up and down 18th Street in the hopping Adams Morgan neighborhood of D.C. (during prime bar hours). My mission: to let the women of D.C. know that they need more Vitamin D (and that I have some for them—for FREE). Unexpectedly, I got a lot of pushback. I don’t know if D.C. women are in denial about their inadequate Vitamin D intake, but they certainly weren’t receptive to my offer.

Here are some snippets of my interactions:

“Excuse me; did you know that you’re probably not getting enough Vitamin D?”
“Ewww… Get away from me…”

“Pardon me, honey; how would you like some free Vitamin D? I’ve got some right here.” (*Pointing to fanny pack*)

“Good evening. How would you like some Vitamin D tonight?”
“I’m going to pass.”
“I’m thinking about your breasts.”
“Vitamin D will keep them healthy… I…”
“Leave me alone.”
“But I’ve got some right here…” (*Reaching into fanny pack*)
“She said leave her alone, man!”

Eventually, the gentleman-suitor of one of the women I approached decided to attack me. He punched me in the ear and I had to take a cab home. I guess no good deed goes unpunished.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Batman: Superhero or Turkish City?

CNN is reporting that the city of Batman in southeastern Turkey is planning to sue Dark Night director Christopher Nolan for using its name without permission. The city—situated near the banks of the Batman River (in the Batman Province)—claims that it owns the rights to the name. No word yet on whether the Turkish cities of Superman, Daredevil, or High School Musical 3: Senior Year plan on pursuing similar lawsuits.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Product Review: 5-Hour Energy

OH MY GOD!!! Have you tried this stuff!? It’s incredible!!! It’s… It’s… I tried it for the first time last week and it DEFINITELY WORKS!!! At first I just drank half a bottle to avoid the niacin flush, which turns my face all red, but then I started drinking it a bottle at a time and then I found out that you can buy it in bulk in packs of like… like… six or twelve… and sometimes I drink like three a day even though the package says to limit yourself to two… I JUST CAN’T HELP IT!!! I’ve been incredibly productive at work and just buzz around getting things done!!! I guess it’s all of the B vitamin that they pack into this guy… I mean it says that it only has as much caffeine as a “cup of the leading premium coffee.” I wonder what they mean by a “cup of the leading premium coffee…” Are they talking about Starbucks or stuff you make at home? Maybe Maxwell House? Possibly Folgers?! I don’t know!!! But since 5-Hour Energy can only give me as much caffeine as one cup of coffee, I usually supplement each shot with one or two Red Bulls so that I… I… I mean, IT’S INCREDIBLE!!! I feel great and I feel like I’m just burning calories sitting right here at my desk. My feet are tapping; I’m going through piece after piece of Orbitz gum; I’m writing this; I’m on the phone with AT&T settling a problem with my cell phone bill; I’ve got like 75 windows open on my computer!!! There’s this voice in my head that’s just screaming “GO! GO! GO!” And I am GOING!!! I mean… It’s… It’s… AAAAAAHHHH!!! AAAAHHHH!!! I can’t explain it!!! You have to try it!!! GO TRY IT!!! AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Who Said it: A Three-toed Sloth or Sloth from the 1985 film 'The Goonies'?

  1. “Hey, you guys!"
  2. “Ahh-eeee!”
  3. “Sloth!”
  4. “Aaaaaahhhhhhh!”
  5. “Sloth love Chunk!”
  6. “Rocky… road?”
  7. “Eeee-Ahh-eeee!”
  8. “Ruth! Ruth! Baby! Ruth!”
  9. “Ahh… Ay! Ay!”

Three-toed Sloth: 2, 7, 9
Sloth from the 1985 film The Goonies: 1, 3, 5, 6, 8
Both: 4

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Do Doodle

Do you doodle? I certainly do.
During a recent conference, I was listening to a presentation entitled "Keeping the Lights On and More--Solutions to Sustainable Energy Challenges." Compelling stuff. As you can see by this first doodle, I was totally into the presentation--so much so that I doodled a rendition of a given day's residential electricity demand curve at the bottom of the conference program.

As the presentation went on, my mind began to wander a bit (as evidenced by my next doodle).

Friday, October 24, 2008

Talking Trash: A Total Garbage Move

A special guest contribution to Toby or Not Toby by Zack Nicaragua

You know what I hate? People who talk trash about other people behind their back.

I mean, I have this friend, Steve Resnick, who constantly does this. Just the other day, he was going on and on to me about one of our mutual friends and how he’s super cheap—always bailing on bar tabs and missing his round. I remember thinking, “Steve! You’re TOTALLY guilty of this! If I had a nickel for every time you’ve said, ‘I’ll get the next one,’ I’d probably have somewhere between eighty-five and ninety-five cents. And even that wouldn’t even come CLOSE to offsetting the cost of all those beers and mai tais I've bought you over the years!”

And the other thing about Steve is that he ALWAYS bails on plans at the last minute. Not two weeks ago, I fronted the money for Vertical Horizon tickets at Constitution Hall only to get a text from Steve TWO HOURS before the show telling me that he’s “not really up for (it)”. Amazing show...

Oh, man, and you should hear this guy eat. Never take him to the movies. You’ll have to put up with two-hours-worth of the most ludicrous chewing sounds you’ve ever heard in your life. Absolutely disgusting.

Steve’s definitely a good wingman though. Back in the day, we used to kill it together at bars. Although there was the one night that I asked him to help me out in snaring Alison Fish. He agreed and then ended up taking her home. We didn’t talk for a while after that. That was really uncool and a pretty low move if you ask me.

In summary, unless you are a person who is totally perfect and has never done anything wrong in your LIFE, I think you should probably think twice about throwing glass in stone houses.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Terrence Howard Trimmed from “Iron Man 2”

CNN is reporting that Terrence Howard, who played James Rhodes alongside Robert Downey, Jr. in Iron Man, is being replaced by Don Cheadle for Iron Man 2. Howard is apparently confused about the change saying, “It was the surprise of a lifetime.”

I’m thinking that it wouldn’t be such a big surprise if he’d read the script. The first two acts of Iron Man 2 involve weapons mogul Tony Stark, his sidekick James Rhodes (played by Cheadle), and a documentary film crew traveling around the world attempting to raise awareness about the genocide in Darfur by meeting with people who can’t do anything about it. The final act involves Stark making cool modifications to his suit and then flying to Darfur to join the Sudan Liberation Movement so he can fire really awesome weapons at bands of Janjaweed horsemen. Rhodes stays stateside to film commercials promoting the NFL.

This just in: Iron Man 2 producers are reportedly reaching out to George Clooney to reprise the role of Tony Stark.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Simple Math



Friday, October 10, 2008

Number of Americans Raising Their Hands to Their Heads, Faces Hits Record High

NEW YORK, N.Y., October 10, 2008 - Earlier this week, the number of Americans throwing their arms up in the air and allowing their hands to come to rest on their heads and/or faces hit a record high, and experts are predicting that there’s no relief in sight. On Thursday alone, an estimated 675,487 people—in acts of utter anxiety—threw their arms up and brought them down on their heads and/or their faces. The number represents a jump of 480,000 from this time last year.

“We haven’t seen numbers like this since the early 1930s,” said Max Von Engle, a researcher at the American Institute for Frazzled Gestures (AIFG), “People are really stressed out, and their arm and hand positioning is showing it."

The trend seems to be affecting people of all walks of life. Darrell Dawes, a grocery store owner in Ludlow, Kan., feels like he’s had his hands on his head for days. “I mean, what am I gonna do,” he said. “I feel like… I just don’t know what else to do here.”

AIFG can’t say for sure when hands are going to start coming down, but the outlook is pretty bleak. “Things may get worse before they get better,” said Von Engle. “Our research shows that even those who are most inclined to keep their arms at their sides or their hands folded neatly in their laps are beginning to crack.”

For the last sixty years or so, America has been blessed with unmatched command over its collective arm movements and hand resting spots, but for the past few weeks, it’s all been slipping away.

“We can’t lose hope,” said Long Beach, Calif., resident and small business owner Susan Olsen, “We can’t give up on the idea that—in the end—we control our own destiny… and that of our arms and hands."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hefner Loses a Lovely

CNN is reporting that Hugh Hefner and one of his three girlfriends, Holly Madison, have broken up.

Holly... Holly...

I can never remember whether she is the blonde one with huge fake sweater kittens, the blonde one with huge fake sweater kittens, or the blonde one with huge fake sweater kittens.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Born too Late?

According to projections made possible by the experts over at YearBookYourself.com, there's a good chance that I would have received the superlative of "Most Popular" (and/or "Best Mustache") at my high school had I had been born 14 years earlier.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Delicious Football Commentators

Tony Korndogheiser
Joe Chickentheisman
Pat Summersausageall
Jack Arutietootiefreshandfruitie
Keylimepieshawn Johnson
Ron Jaworskielbasa
Mike Tiricomisu
Steve Youngcoconutkefir
Brent Baconcheddarmusburger
Chocolate Moose Johnson

Friday, September 5, 2008

Stripper Name or Car Make?

a) Mercedes
b) Amber
c) Lexus
d) Porsche
e) Infinity
f) Chevrolet
g) Carl

Stripper Name: b, g
Car Make: f
Both: a, c, d, e

Moving on Up

So Natalie and I moved into our new apartment this past Labor Day weekend.

As should be expected, all able-bodied friends were out of town or otherwise disposed. So this left the two of us to move. We arrived at the U-Haul place to pick up our truck at noon on Saturday. As we walked in, one of the employees in the parking lot warned us that there was “a long line in there.” We had no idea. The line weaved through piles of boxes and moving supplies—all the way around the room's perimeter. It was about 30 people deep. The people near the front of the line looked haggard and broken—like refugees. Word came back that some of them had been there for upwards of two hours.

So we waited…

Two and a half hours later, we had a truck. Luckily, we found a spot on the street outside of Natalie’s place and began the grueling process of unloading her apartment—a third floor walk-up. Once loaded up, we grabbed a quick bite and headed to the new place. I carefully guided the ten foot truck into the alley behind the building and we began the grueling process of making runs into the new apartment—a third floor walk-up. Once we unloaded the truck, I went to grab my keys, phone, and wallet off of the kitchen counter. Unfortunately, my phone (MiPhone) was nowhere to be found. That’s right; while we were doing runs from the truck to the apartment, someone brazenly walked into the building (through the propped-open door) and up into our apartment. I examined my wallet and found that my driver’s license and gym card had been taken. All of my credit cards were left behind. Bizarre. The crazy thing is that we think we saw the guy. As we were hauling something up, we heard someone coming. Not knowing whether he was a tenant or not, we excused ourselves. He ignored us and ducked into another unit’s corridor where he fake-fielded a cell phone call. This may have given him an opportunity to time how long it took us to do a run from the truck to the apartment—thus telling him how much time he would have to get in and out of our place. Later, we spoke to another one of the buildings tenants who—around the same time—had a guy come walking into her apartment. Scary.

So we continued on—over to my place where we unloaded my stuff into the truck and—later (as the sun set)—loaded it into the new building. We found a spot for the truck on the street and hit the sack.

The next day, when we went to return the truck, we saw even more desperate U-Haul patrons in a line that matched the one from the day before. We felt for them.

On Monday (after picking up a new iPhone [resulting in a new $20 monthly charge for joining the 3G network]), I helped my roommate—who was under the gun after returning from business travel—move his stuff out of our old place (and into Natalie’s old place). Before dinner, a DC police officer stopped by to take a report on the theft.

In the end… our place looks great!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Life's Too Short: A Case Study

Dave Freeman, who—with his friend Neil Teplica—co-wrote the book 100 Things to Do Before You Die, died on Aug. 17 after falling in his Venice, Calif., home and hitting his head. According to the UK’s Telegraph, Freeman had only done about half of the book’s “things” before he died.

I can’t help but think, “Man… If only someone had written a book to really inspire him to get out there and see those places… I mean… Life’s too short.”

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

May He Who Has Never Delivered a Taekwondo Kick to the Face in a Moment of Frustration Cast the First Stone

On the final day of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Cuban taekwondo competitor Angel Valodia Matos—after being disqualified from his bronze medal match for taking too much time out to deal with an injury—delivered a kick to the face of referee Chakir Chelbat, prompting immediate public outcry for Matos and his coach to be banned from taekwondo competition for life.

Let me pose this question: Who among us has never delivered a violent martial arts blow to the face of another during a moment of frustration or anger? I will admit—readers—that if I had a nickel for every person whom I have savagely attacked over even the most negligible of disagreements, I would likely have enough money to purchase Lil Wayne’s new album—Tha Carter III.

I find it hard to believe that there’s anyone out there who—in a moment of rage—has never punched a barista at Starbucks in the face, sweep kicked a DMV employee, or eye gouged an auto mechanic. And you know what? In those situations there isn’t even an Olympic bronze medal at stake (rather an Ice Vanilla Brewed coffee, a new driver's license, or rear brake pads to replace the ones that appear to be working JUST FINE)!

It seems to me that once the initial shock of Matos’ regrettable lapse of self-control dissipates, we will all see a glimmer of ourselves in him. Deep down, we all just want everyone else in the world to be sympathetic to our side of the story. We want people to listen to us—to hear us out. And if they aren’t willing to accommodate our demands—no matter how ridiculous they may seem—I find it hard to say that they shouldn’t be karate chopped in the throat.

Something to think about…

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Alison Poole: Rielle or Fake

Alright, let me get this straight:

Rielle Hunter—the woman who was banging out Sen. John Edwards as his wife battled cancer (and may or may not have bore him an illegit son)—used to date author Jay McInerney (Bright Lights, Big City)? Woah.

Apparently, McInerney based a character on her—Alison Poole—for his book Story of My Life. Alison Poole is painted as a cokehead who is morally casual with rich and powerful men. Further, McInerney’s friend Bret Easton Ellis uses the character Alison Poole in two of his books—among them the disturbing portrait of 1980s excess: American Psycho. Even in the film American Psycho, Poole is mentioned. One of Patrick Bateman's soon-to-be-victims says something along the lines of "If you had platinum card, she'd give you a (*bleep*)." Yikes.

So I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised to see Hunter lay down with Edwards—the smooth-drawling senator who made bank as a hotshot trial lawyer in the early 80s. I’d just peg her as being more into Republicans.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Michael Phelps: You Make the Call

Which of the following images is most likely to arouse U.S. Olympic hero Michael Phelps? (There may be more than one correct answer.)

A) This FHM photo of U.S. Olympic swimmer (and July 2007 Playboy cover girl) Amanda Beard:

B) This photo of U.S. Olympic swimmer (Phelps' teammate) Aaron Peirsol:


C) This Googled image of a dolphin leaping out of the water:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mary Carillo Touches Yao Ming

Mary Carillo is really manish.

For some reason I’ve been getting uncomfortable during her on-the-street segments during NBC’s coverage of this year’s Olympics. In her last piece, she prowled about the streets of Beijing in Wrangler-looking jeans and a tucked in man-blouse looking for really gross cuisine. She was served cow stomach in a hotpot and snacked on scorpion on a stick from a street vendor. She’s gross. That’s gross. Gross.

This morning, I woke up a bit early to catch the USA men’s basketball “Redeem Team” face off against pseudo-rival Greece. Prior to tip-off, NBC aired a teaser for a Mary Carillo/Yao Ming one-on-one interview. The clip went something like this:

Mary Carillo: So, you’ve become something of an icon here in China…
Yao Ming: Like a panda?
MC: Well, people constantly want to see you, to touch you…
YM: (*giggling bashfully*) To touch me?

I’m still not sure whether I dreamed this, but the whole thing was surreal and in some strange way… homoerotic.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Life Tastes Sadder with KFC

A thought:

There's nothing wrong with going to KFC, but there is something wrong with looking like you belong there.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Break(-Dance) in Case of Emergency

In the lobby of Natalie’s building, I noticed this sign:

I began thinking about emergencies that would prompt me to call Mario Lopez. Here’s what I’ve got:

  • I need to borrow a pair of elastic-waist stonewashed jeans.
  • I need a last-minute partner for a contrived all-male dance-off to save my favorite diner/hangout.
  • I need someone to watch my lizard for the weekend.
  • I’m casting a stage version of Greg Louganis’ autobiography Breaking the Surface.
  • I’m having trouble embracing my Mexican heritage.
  • My band is performing a version of Michael Bolton’s “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” and the drummer (or lead male vocalist) has called in sick.

Any others?