May 31, 2002

I had already vowed to never to fly American Airlines again, so unfortunately I can now only vow to do everything possible to make sure that no member of my family does either.
TOKYO (AP) - American Airlines chief executive Donald Carty said Friday another terrorist attack against commercial airlines was unlikely and urged some security measures added at airports be dropped.
Via Lori Byrnes' Ruminations.


May 30, 2002

Stanley Elkin, my favorite writer and a huge influence on me, died seven years ago today. If you're looking for something terrific to read, pick up The Dick Gibson Show or The Franchiser
Stanley Elkin, who never quite got himself a name, wrote a novel called The Franchiser about a man who gains a strange inheritance from his wealthy godfather. He is given the right to borrow money at the prime rate in perpetuity. This lucky legatee, Ben Flesh by name, uses the leverage to buy franchises: Burger Kings, Travel Inns, Texaco service stations, all the roadside's hideous familiarity. He spends his days driving from one franchise to another, a man with nothing but names, none of which is his own and all of which he owns. It's a Great American Novel. [Gary Greenberg in McSweeney's]
And if anybody from St. Louis is out there, shine up his star for me, please.
Self-Indulgence Warning. There's still plenty of time to move me up the rankings in Up Yours' Sexiest Male Blogger Poll, since apparently this self-esteem nightmare will be continuing until the end of the week. And if you're looking for some documentation on which to base your vote, Mike has posted his KG of the Week. And unlike the last one, this time I have a neck!
Racial Profiling for Dummies. I suppose there's some folks out there living in cities that get positive coverage, but if, like me, you live in a place like Jersey City and you see your city's name on the cover of this month's GQ, it's a pretty safe bet that the article ain't going to be a travel feature. The article is "Misadventures of a Racial Profiler" by Walter Kirn (not available online), and details Kirn's trip to the city that "is to Islamic-fundamentalist violence as Dodge City was to cattle rustling." Kirn heads to the belly of the beast to interview Arab Muslims, and along the way paints a lovely picture of my current home:
Looking for a Muslim, any Muslim, I walk the streets. They're stupendously depressing. The center of Jersey City, whose whole economy seems to be based on the sale of discount phone cards used for twenty minutes of long distance to countries such as Tonga and Turkmenistan, reeks of disconnection and thwarted dreams.
Besides complaining about his "miserable visit," the recurring image of the article is Kirn's difficulty in finding or recognizing Muslims to talk to, a difficulty that creates huge doubts in his mind about the effectiveness of racial profiling.

It could be an interesting point, and might be far more persuasive if Kirn's attempts to find and talk to Muslims didn't make him look like a retarded monkey who had been living in the Black Hills before GQ gave him a plane ticket and an expense account. Some examples of Kirn's investigative technique:
In the V.I.P. Diner where Mohammed Atta ate, I venture leading remarks to patrons and waitresses. "Lots of Arabs around here?" Blank reactions.

If one abiding feature of Muslimhood remains in my brain after all this second-guessing, it's this: a proclivity for driving cabs.

[The owner of Boulevard Drinks] squints at me. "Why would you want to pick up Arabic?"
"I don't know. To read the holy Koran." [...] "Are you a Muslim?"
If Kirn's point is that racial profiling won't do any good if the practitioners are morons who seek information by randomly accosting strangers and hailing cabs, then I guess the point is made. And don't let the Pulaski Skyway hit your ass on the way out.

Why does The Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee, an event that tests an increasingly pointless skill, get such glowing, blanket coverage while The World Series of Poker, an infinitely more interesting competition that requires luck, skill, and daring, gets practically none? Is it because one involves cute little nerdy kids while the other involves swarthy, gamblers hunched over large piles of chips? Probably.

But in case you missed it, the 2002 WSOP champion is first-time winner Rob Varkonyi of Brooklyn, who collected $2 million and the coveted gold bracelet. I've linked to the Poker Forum site, which contains great recaps of all the WSOP events, none of which was won by the obvious Donk favorite Ken Goldstein (though he did finish in the money at least once.
Here's a depressing thought for those of us who are hoping that a certain NY-based American League team fails to win another pennant this season: even if September finds the Bombers a few games out, the team plays 20 of its final 23 games against the Tigers, Orioles, and Devil Rays. Bleh.

May 29, 2002



Caught up a little on my Canadian news during my stay, and boy, that Canada's got a heck of a political scandal juggernaut brewing up there. Calls for the Prime Minister to resign, Defense Minister Art Eggleton removed for granting a five-figure government contract to an ex-girlfriend then claiming it was acceptable since the money came out of his own ministerial (but still tax-provided) fund, various other ministers getting free vacations, courtesy of an advertising agency who later landed a government contract for which no other agency was invited to submit a bid...well, it's all rather overwhelming for Prime Minister Jean Chretien's Liberal government, especially now that all the Canadian teams have been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
More on the "Bud Bowl" All-Star Ballot. I've thought a bit more about the "Vote for an All-Expos/Twins All-Star Game" plan, and while I'm not going to be stuffing the ballot box myself (I'm actually in favor of contraction, at least when it comes to the Expos, and probably for the Marlins as well, and certainly for the Yankees.), I have to admit the idea of Bud Selig watching three innings of a Twins-Expos game in his home stadium is real damn funny. Still, I have no actual desire to watch large numbers of Expos play, a sentiment shared by the good people of Montreal. Anyway, if you're interested in the meme, you can follow its progression in the Clutch Hits message board devoted to the topic.

To avoid boring everybody, I've listed my All-Star selections in the comment box. And Lou forgive me, I actually voted for two Yankees (and really should have voted for three).
Dammit, just because I don't actually live in one of the five boroughs, the masters of the finely designed have cruelly barred me from their little club. If you are not so unfortunate, I suggest you head over and join the club. I shall have to create a similar site involving PATH stations, once I burrow my way out of this huge pile of laundry and bills.

Speaking of such local matters, isn't it about time for the Big Apple BloggerBash, part the third? I would think so! What if I were to just name an upcoming Friday, and even say that it would take place at the same bar as the last one? Would that set the ball rolling? Hmmm?

Double Update: A Donk First! I have been informed by the kindly folks at that I can add my name to their growing ranks, and have thusly done so. I have also been informed that a BABB3 is definitely in the works.
Continuing the roll call of stuff I missed while away, longtime favorite The Fat Guy wanted me to pass along word of's "Vote for an All-Expos/Twins All-Star Game" plan, and while I'm not sure I approve of the idea (I take my All-Star voting responsibilities very seriously), I figured it was the least I can do for a Texas gentleman who lost both his shirt and his truck in a tequila-related mishap, even if it did happen in the mid-80's, when stuff like that happened every day.
While I was away, I found out that I had been kindly included as a contestant in Up Yours' "Vote for the hottest, sexiest , Male blogger in the blogosphere" poll, and let me tell you, there's no more exciting feeling than finding out in the middle of a vacation that you may, in fact, be the least sexy blogger known to man. So if you want to make us here at The Donk feel pretty damn good, head on over there and at least get us out of last place. We thank you in the sexiest possible way.
(Actually written at about 1:30 in the a.m., but not posted until daylight come.) Through the magic of technology and cross-country flight I find myself posting from the comfort of my own bedroom. It was an odd trip for me, since in a lot of ways Seattle still feels more like my home than Jersey. I've spent the last week among most of my closest friends and visiting familiar, favorite places, so it's taking a little while to sink in that this is the permanent, and that was just a fine interlude. I remember flying into Newark about a year after I moved to Seattle, and how excited I was to see the flying neon eagle on the Anheiser-Busch plant near the airport; it's a little like how I felt seeing the Space Needle last Wednesday.

In a two-minute recap of what I did during this past week instead of working and blogging (a week in which I spent a total of about 20 minutes in front of a computer), I spent a lot of time hanging out with some of the best damn people on this big, blue marble, was taken by my old roommate Murph to a Mariners 7-3 win over Tampa Bay (folks, you have no idea just how popular Ichiro is), went to the Woodland Zoo and saw a baby elephant, ate at Catfish Corner, had some fine Vietnamese sandwiches, vegetarian Ethiopian and barbecued salmon, took a bus up to Canada for the lovely wedding of the wonderful newlyweds, Kate and Steve Leroux, hung out in Vancouver with Zach and Heather (what a gal!), did a little Canadian shopping (acetaminophen with codeine, anyone?), checked out this hip new coffee place, Starbucks, and just had an all-around action-packed time. Thanks to all my NW friends for helping me do up the town Broadway (Capitol Hill, that is) Style!

But as Tony Soprano said under similar circumstances: "Back to work."

May 28, 2002

Greetings from between Gates A and B of the Sea-Tac International Airport. It's been a long and overwhelming trip filled with triumph, heartache, tragedy, and love, but in less than an hour I'll be safely on my way back to New Jersey, the happiest land on Earth. For those of you who've stuck with The Donk during our hiatus, fret not, as the silence will soon be at an end.

May 25, 2002

Hello. This is Juli. We have kidnapped Mr. Goldstein and are holding him hostage in Seattle. We are keeping him entertained until our demands are met. So far we have filled him with various microbrews from local pubs and dragged him to the local hippy-fests. He went out of control at the skee-ball booth so we made him sit in on a LOUD drum circle... He was the only jewish guy there... We will send him back when we have exhausted all possible means of torture.

May 20, 2002

Just to put it simply, if I don't get out of town for a few days I'm going to go crazy and start chucking my furniture out onto the Pulaski Skyway down there. Fortunately, 48 hours from now, I'm going to be on a plane heading west towards Seattle. Look out Emerald City! (Oh, that's a heads-up for a bloggage reduction.)
Via Mike Whybark, Casey Marshall's Picture of Weblogs, a friggin' cool spiral-shaped searchable map of the blogiverse. The diagram features about hundreds of blogs, with color-coded lines showing how they're all connected. It would take way too long to explain fully, so just go and check it out.
Super-Special Self-Parody Quiz! This week's New Yorker features the profile "A Man-Child in Lotusland: Inside the Big World of Shaquille O'Neal" by Rebecca Mead. In an opinion most likely unique among New Yorker profile subjects, O'Neal lists the Walter Matthau character from "The Bad News Bears" and Redd Foxx as the two non-relatives from history he'd most like to know.

With that in mind, which of the following obscure, graduate-level references does Mead not use in the article?
A. O'Neal, by contrast [to Michael Jordan] is solidly earthbound. (On the court, Kobe Bryant is Ariel to O'Neal's Caliban.)

B. The sight of [O'Neal] backing towards the basket, slowly shoving the opposing team's center, inch by inch, brings to mind nothing so much as Sisyphus endlessly rolling the rock up the hill.

C. [O'Neal] wears size-22 basketball shoes, which are made for him by a company called Starter. (When the Lakers' equipment manager carries the shoes into the locker room before a game, he cradles them in gentle arms, as if he were the nursemaid of Otus and Ephialtes, the twin giant sons of Poseidon.)
Post your guesses in the comments box; there's no prize or anything, but I'd like to get some comments.

May 19, 2002

Wondering what to do today? Just check out "Girls Are Pretty," a fabulous blog that will tell you exactly what you should be doing, every day of your life. For example, today was Go Outside And Show The Neighborhood Those Unbelievable Fucking Lips Of Yours Day! while Friday was Openly Weep To Avoid Invites To Happy Hour Day! You'll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Non-Attack of the Clones Movie Review: I'm not much for the movie reviews, but I saw About a Boy last night and it was excellent, much better than I thought it was going to be. Crisp, funny, great performance by Hugh Grant, it's definitely a film to check out if for some strange reason you don't want to go watch stuff get blowed up real good.
Poll Results: Well, another poll has come to an end here at The Donk, so let's take a look at the results:
Ridiculing the ignorant and less-fortunate 22% 12
Absolutely nothing; it's great just how it is! 20% 11
Recipes 14% 8
Exciting contests with fabulous prizes 11% 6
The dirt on my personal life 9% 5
Even more links to Mike Whybark's blog [!] 5% 3
Minutia regarding my fantasy baseball transactions 5% 3
What's new and fun on The Lifetime Network homepage? 5% 3
Catchy doggerel and assorted verse 3% 2
Daily rants on why my company doesn’t deserve somebody as brilliant as me 0% 0
It was close, but it seems that my readers are clamoring for me to ridicule the less fortunate, which is certainly a relief since a late surge by Recipes might have meant that I'd have been forced to divulge the secret of my signature deviled eggs (here's a hint, though: eggs are not an ingredient). We here at The Donk appreciate your support, and hope to continue serving your mild amusement needs in the future.

And by reader request, let's start ridiculing the ignorant and less-fortunate! Boy, those ignorant people sure are stupid! And those less-fortunate people, why don't they...become more fortunate...and be less...ignorant?

Well, folks, sometimes a huge editorial shift like this takes some time.

This is a bit out of character for me, I suppose, but this blog serves a personal purpose as well as a public one, and strangely enough this seems the least awkward way for me to tell a few people who ought to know. So briefly, Rachel and I are no longer together. It was amicable and we're both doing okay, but it's all obviously rather sad. Anyway, back to the hilarity.

May 18, 2002

Ha ha ha...screw my freelance career! Spongebob is having a party, and he filled the pinata with...DEVILED EGGS!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!! on my freelance assignment to create an inventory processing manual for a shipping logistics company, or watch the Spongebob Squarepants marathon. It's this sort of dilemma which illustrates why I would make a very poor work-at-home employee.
Zapped is on, and I'm too lazy too get up to change the channel. The one thing I've learned from Zapped: back in the 80's people wore really short shorts.
I was driving up 287, the lights were on, so I ended up attending my first-ever minor league game, a not-all-that-exciting 3-2 loss by the hometown Somerset Patriots to the Newark Bears. The teams are part of the Atlantic League, an independent league whose teams contain several ex-major leaguers hoping to make their way back to the show (Jose Canseco was the foremost example of this a couple years back, and tonight's exes included Wes Chamberlain and Curtis Goodwin), as well as promising prospects hoping to catch on with a major league organization, such as the Cubs' Bobby Hill (no, not that Bobby Hill).

I arrived at the ballpark about a half-hour after the game started, scoring a $9 ticket for a seat on the aisle, two rows behind the plate. The game itself was almost completely uneventful, but the ballpark was pretty darn nice, I sat next to some Somerset regulars who I had a nice conversation with, and they had Dippin' Dots. From where I sat I had a great view of the matchups, and the players were noticeably less talented than the major leaguers I'm used to seeing; the pitchers were a gear slower, with less bite and movement, and the hitters occasionally seemed to be a bit unsure of themselves at the plate. Definitely worth nine bucks, though, and I think I'll be going back.

Of course, while I was whiling away an evening in Somerset, the Yanks were beginning an all-time classic in the Bronx, with Jason Giambi hitting a game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the 14th to beat the Twins 13-12. That's why I go to games: in the one-in-a-million (ten-thousand?) chance I'll see something like that.

May 17, 2002

In case you missed it, the World Wrestling Federation has lost its ongoing battle with the World Wildlife Fund, and is changing its name, logo, and stock symbol to reflect its new name: World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. Of course, according to company management, the lawsuit was only a tiny part of the decision:
As World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, we have entertained millions of fans around the United States and around the globe," said Linda McMahon, CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment. "Our new name puts the emphasis on the "E" for entertainment, what our company does best. WWE provides us with a global identity that is distinct and unencumbered, which is critical to our U.S. and international growth plans."

Mrs. McMahon said the company began considering dropping the word "Federation" from its name when World Wildlife Fund (a/k/a World Wide Fund for Nature) prevailed in a recent court action in the United Kingdom.
Coincidentally, I started to consider getting out and meeting new people after I was evicted from my apartment and my girlfriend filed a restraining order against me.

May 16, 2002

How could you not love a blog named "Hooray for Captain Spaulding," especially one with piles of posts about Bob Hope, Woody Allen, and Johnny Carson? Answer: you can't, unless you're some kinda Margaret Dumont!
It doesn't happen very often, so when we here at The Donk get some media attention it's a major boost for us. So when we glanced through Dawn Olsen's Up Yours interview with blogger Marc Weisblott and saw the following, it just about made our week:
Me: I have a question. Since you railed hard on what you don't like in a blog what do YOU like.
MW: I just like personality, character ... the kind that I'm drawn to in real life is reflected in the sort of blog I want to read. [...] Do you want me to give you a favorite blog top ten list?
Me: You listed like four, where are the other six blogs?
MW: Ken Goldstein is the least grating of the NYC blog society. You know it?
Me: Again...No
Wow! Where I come from, that's a compliment! And where I come from is a very sad place indeed...

May 15, 2002

Heather Havrilesky writes about online dating in today's Salon.Here, let me pick a paragraph at random:
You have to hand it to these online daters for the enthusiasm with which they commodify themselves. Most seem unabashedly honest in exposing themselves, and few appear to be unfamiliar with the value-add. As Bedbury asserts, it's important to "know that your advertising must create a proposition that your product or service delivers on, time and time again." Accordingly, chirpy love-seekers offer up their services with the enthusiasm of merchants at a street market: "I visit the beach or the canyons at least once a week!" "I'm easy-going and intense!" "I give great massages!" And then there's the more subtle: "I love cunnilingus!"
A recent survey has shown that nine out of ten Heather Havrilesky paragraphs are frigging hee-larious! And be sure to check out her Rabbit Blog (and by rabbit, I apparently mean penis).
Before plugs for Mike Whybark's site officially get democratically curtailed, I have to thank him for introducing me to this superdang cool and addicting...well, you go check it out. Then give him a job, already.

Update: Mike tried to reciprocate for all my links in one fell swoop. Either that or he's madly in love with me. In either case there's a nice photo of me there.
What would you like to see more of here at The Donk? Poll Update: folks are the best! I whine like a little baby girl who just had her favorite dolly taken away from her, and you reward me with a lead for "Absolutely nothing; it's great just how it is!" with "Ridiculing the ignorant and less-fortunate." (same thing, really) following close behind. Vote early and vote often!
Speaking of sports collectibles, Jeff Nelson was auctioning off his bone chips on eBay. Bidding reached $23K before the auction was cancelled for some silly "no body parts" rule. Prudes.
More Ken Goldsteins step to the plate. As I've discussed before, while I may be the most notable, I am by no means the only Ken Goldstein in the world. Last week a California-based Ken Goldstein finished in the money in a World Series of Poker No-Limit Texas Hold `Em event. Today, though a somewhat less impressive Ken Goldstein was quoted in Slate!
Anyway, as if all this wasn't illuminating enough, another Expert stepped into the spotlight: Ken Goldstein, an economist with the Conference Board. According to Goldstein, "People with money to spend and a willingness to spend tend to spend money."
It's Ken Goldsteins like that which make me a little ashamed to be a Ken Goldstein. Thanks to Josh Bittker for the heads-up, though.
Margy Rochlin: New York Times writer, celebrity interviewer, blabbering dunderhead:
In 1999, however, Ms. Aniston was fleetingly featured as a grim waitress in Office Space, a box-office and critical dud that can count Mr. Arteta among its few advocates. — "Time to Leave Rachel Green and Friends Behind" (registration required)
What's next, for Pete's sake?! Calling Casablanca a "well-received love story"? The Godfather a "fairly popular genre film"? If I hear one more disparaging remark about this classic I swear I'm gonna set the building on fire.

May 14, 2002 MLB: Canseco calls it quits 38 HRs shy of 500. Well, Dave Kingman can rest a little easier now, as he will no longer be known as the player with the most HR's not in the Hall of Fame. Back in 1992 when he left the A's for the Rangers he looked like a shoo-in, or at least a strong candidate, though a series of screw-ups shortly after (the oft-shown ball bouncing off his head for a homer, his disastrous, injury-causing inning of pitching) changed his image from that of a Bash Brother to a bit of a joke. He bounced around from team to team, playing for seven in his last eight seasons, not including the independent Newark Bears.

For fans around my age, especially those who collected baseball cards back then, Canseco's retirement means another name gone from the storied rookie class of 1986. The 1986 rookie crop was touted by some at the time as perhaps the greatest ever, and it's a little strange to me that except for three or so players their careers are all over, and for the most part they did not reach the lofty heights that were predicted for them. Among the notables besides Canseco were Will Clark, Cory Snyder, Danny Tartabull, Pete Incaviglia, Kevin Mitchell, John Kruk, Todd Worrell, Robby Thompson, Bo Jackson, Mark Eichhorn, Bobby Bonilla, and Charlie Kerfeld. That 1986 Topps Traded set was loaded, I tells ya. As far as I can tell, the only three players remaining from the crop are Ruben Sierra (after a lengthy hiatus), Barry Larkin, and Barry Bonds, who makes up for a lot of disappointing performances by the others on this list.

May 13, 2002

Speaking of blogpolls, check out Jim Tracher's latest. It answers the age-old question: Frooleeloo or grakkakk? Genius, I tells ya.
Um...if at least one reader doesn't vote for the "Absolutely nothing; it's great just how it is!" option in my little poll I'm going to get really sad and my bottom lip is going to do that quivery-like thing and you won't like it when that happens!
Slow news day? Even if it is located "a few blocks south of ground zero," I'm not really sure why a $150 holdup of a T.G.I. Friday's is worthy of special coverage by MSNBC, including a major headline on my MSN home page. I know crime is down in Manhattan, but I still don't think this counts as major news.
I grew up in Old Bridge, a place in Central Jersey that nobody outside of Middlesex County has ever heard of, not least of which because it only became Old Bridge in 1975 (it was Madison Township before that). I generally describe it as being the city that connects the hometowns of Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi.

Anyway, for the first time I can remember, Old Bridge actually made a little news this week when after months of council meetings, debates, and codgers still moaning about the Grateful Dead concert twenty-five years ago when their lawn was used as a parking lot, Harley-Davidson withdrew its permit application to hold the Northeast stop of its 100th Anniversary Open Road Tour at Raceway Park. The final straw was apparently the recent biker gang violence in Laughlin, and despite the fact that the Harley event was more corporate festival than Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, my brave little city politely asked Harley to keep all the big, bad bikers away.

Jeez, if Old Bridge is like one of my other former homes, attendees probably wouldn't have been allowed to wear "Kawasakis Suck!" t-shirts to the event, anyway.
Sure it blows now (at least whenever they can bother to air a new episode), but longtime fans with too much education will certainly want to check out Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies. Articles include "The Comic Anti-hero in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Or Silly Villain: Spike is for Kicks," "Generation Lapse: The Problematic Parenting of Joyce Summers and Rupert Giles," "Synergy and Smut: The Brand in Official and Unofficial Buffy the Vampire Slayer Communities of Interest."

May 12, 2002

"I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply doesn't work." Well, the results from my first poll are in, and according to my audience penguins are funnier than all other animals put together, with 23 of the 45 votes cast. And even though this means that my readers are obviously foolish and wrongheaded (what part of the word OTTERS do you people not understand?), I've put up another one over there on your left. In this week's poll I ask the burning question: What would you like to see more of here at The Donk? Make your voice heard! [Okay, penguins are pretty funny.]

May 10, 2002

Made my first trip down the shore tonight, a lovely evening in Seaside Heights with my sister Nancy. I won some prizes, played some Paperboy and 720, and ate two of the "world's biggest slices of pizza" at The Sawmill. I went down for some wholesome boardwalk fun but I definitely learned one thing: if it's not already, Spongebob Squarepants is gonna be absolutely huge!

Each summer the game booths at Seaside and Pt. Pleasant are filled with versions of the latest hot property, whether it's The Simpsons, South Park, Powerpuff Girls or the latest big action flick. Well, tonight about half of the many booths featured some sort of Spongebob merch, with a high percentage of those devoted entirely to Spongebob. I won a stuffed one early in the evening, and was greeted by adoring fans many times during my boardwalking, including at least one man who sang the theme song at me. Basically, if your town hasn't been overrun by Spongebobbians yet, it's only a matter of weeks.
Hmm...the penguin-lovers seem to have taken a commanding lead in the Funniest Animal Poll down there on your left, but there's still plenty of time to make your opinion known, especially since I plan on drinking a lot this weekend and maybe playing Skee-Ball, so who knows when that thing's gonna be changed. Personally, though, I'm pulling for the otters.
I started seeing a new dentist today for my myriad of pains and problems. I've gone through a number of dentists in my life, and there's always this depressing moment when one looks into my mouth for the first time, and I can immediately see him calculating the new deck or luxury cruise my terrible mouth will soon make it possible for him to buy. Anyway, the whole novocaine thing screwed up my schedule, and that's why I'm up at three in the freaking morning. Bleh. But at least I'm no longer mainlining Anbesol and Orajel.
Via Mike Whybark, news that "accused mailbox bomber Lucas Helder told authorities he was planting pipe bombs in a pattern to show a happy face during his five-state weekend spree." "Police: Suspect Planned Smiley Face Bomb Pattern" I can't imagine how horrible it would be to get seriously injured by a pipe bomb, but I can't imagine it helps much to find out that you were chosen because some nutjob needed you to complete the right eye of a smiley face. No word yet as to whether he was a big Watchmen fan.

May 09, 2002

And now a new feature at The Donk, the P0rn Spam Subject of the Week Award: "Guess What kengoldstein - I F*cked a carrot!" Well, I do have to admit I wouldn't have guessed that.

May 08, 2002

In our continuing effort to give our readers every possible form of interactivity, we here at The Donk have added polls, courtesy of My test poll, located to your left, involves funny animals. Coming soon: Ken Goldstein will personally show up at your house and make amusing sound effects while you read!
Well, things are now officially allowed to suck in Seattle. After two embarrassing weeks of "We here in Seattle are above that sort of thing" comments from management, Safeco executives rescinded the ban on the potentially-offensive-if-you've-been-living-in-a-convent "Yankees Suck!" t-shirts. I'm hoping that they will also lift the ban on showing emotion and exhibiting any baseball knowledge, which seemed to be in effect at about 90% of the Seattle games I attended during my years there.

Now, Mariner fans can wear their "Yankees Suck!" t-shirts with pride. Of course, with the unbalanced schedule the Yankees won't actually be returning to Seattle for another three months, so some fans were exercising their newfound rights by wearing "Yankees Suck" shirts to the Mariners/Blue Jays game, but I guess it's the thought that counts (especially when that thought is the suckage of the Yankees).

Anyway, my favorite part of the story is today's Great Moment in Civil Disobedience:
Not knowing of the change, freelance journalist Matt Villano held a two-hour protest on the corner of Occidental Avenue and Royal Brougham Way across from Safeco Field. Wearing a gray T-shirt that he had printed for $15 with the phrase "Mariners Management Sucks," Villano chanted through a megaphone that "Censorship sucks" and gave dissertations about fascism, the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights.

After handing out fliers with the dictionary definition of "suck" and getting about 100 people to sign a petition noting their disapproval of the Mariners' ban, Villano, 27, staged his entrance to the ballpark wearing a television camera microphone. When he wasn't stopped, he asked why. "He ignored me," Villano said of the gate employee.
God, isn't that beautiful? Can't you just picture this maroon, all pumped up over this gigantically important issue, striding up to the ticket gate, chest puffed out, waiting for the confrontation, and then...nothing. I laugh at you, Matt Villano!

May 07, 2002

Tony Pierce's various blogs make me very happy, and this super-special extended-danceplay interview with Dawn at Up Yours makes me even happier.
BLIMPS! For those of you who may be visiting from Mike Whybark's site, I regret to inform you that negotiations broke down late in the process, and I will not be performing The Blimp Week Theme Song. If you haven't been over there yet, I cannot suggest strongly enough that you do so. Blimp Week is turning out to be a super-extravaganza, with music, dirigible disasters, German blimp rides, and Rolling Stones. Pretty soon Mike's gonna run the world's best blimp-related blog, and you'll wish you were there during it's early, funnier days.

In other right-before-I-fall-asleep news, in case you blinked the Nets smacked around the Hornets tonight, putting them up 2-0.

Rode home on the PATH train last night (from the quite-excellent Belle and Sebastian show) with four Mormon guys in their mid-twenties, including one who had just seen Manhattan for the first time and was completely blown away by it. What made this even more impressive was the fact that he had actually spent two years doing missionary work in Jersey City and Newark without taking the 15-minute ride across the Hudson to NYC (he apparently would have been recalled had he done so, as he was there to spread the gospel, not to sightsee).

Anyway, this was about the third or fourth time I've found myself in a situation involving a group of Mormons, and I was once again amazed by their ability to get large groups of people talking about life, spirituality, and pretty much anything. Obviously, a huge part of successful missionary work is getting people to start talking about their lives, and I'm always impressed with how effortless they make it seem.
But have they apologized personally to Tony Pierce? In a 100% absolutely sincere, you betcha statement, Penthouse has apologized for printing topless photos of some random skinny chick and identifying them on the cover as being exclusive shots of Anna Kournikova.
"We deeply regret this unintentional error and offer our heartfelt apologies to both women," the magazine said in a statement. [...] In the statement, Penthouse said it had examined the purported images Kournikova in "painstaking detail" and received assurances from the photographer before deciding they were genuine.
The "painstaking detail" must have not included the part where they actually look at the photos, since the woman in them doesn't resemble Kournikova even a little bit. Ah well, I'm a Hingis man, myself.

May 06, 2002

Well, in case anybody's still out there, posting should resume tomorrow afternoon after work. Since the last time I was able to sit down at this computer I've watched the Mariners smack around the Yankees twice, the re-release of The Last Waltz (with a great THX sound system), a fine birthday dinner followed by an evening of drinking and burlesque, and an excellent Belle and Sebastian concert. I've left out the laundry and bill-paying portion of my time, not to mention the myriad of personal and professional issues.

Anyway, I hope to be back very soon with the hilarity and insight you've all grown to love and tolerate. In the meantime, though, here's a picture of a car with a donkey for a motor.

May 04, 2002

Having too great a New York weekend to post. Last night was spent with good friends McSorley's Old Ale House, memorialized by Joseph Mitchell in his story McSorley's Wonderful Saloon, a work I had read several times without realizing the actual place was so close. This was followed by dessert at Veniero's Pasticceria and Cafe. Right now I'm off to see the Yankees play my Mariners. Damn, I love this (and by this, I mean that) town!

May 03, 2002

To the person who stole all my stats: if the stats, including referrals, are returned to me by midnight tonight, I will not contact the authorities and there will be no questions asked. Thank you.

May 02, 2002

Is there a better feeling than coming home after a tough day at work, feeling pretty blah, and realizing that you don't have to do a damn thing until work the following morning? Well, almost certainly, but it still feels pretty darn good. If anybody needs me, I'll be on the couch screaming at Kerry Kittles. It's funny, if the Nets win tonight the 2001-02 season was a huge sufccess, and if they lose it was a giant failure. That's a lot riding on one game, and I'll be watching every minute of it.
Did you know that Canada has at least seven Tragically Hip cover bands: Almost Hip, Completely Hip, From the Hip, Little Bones, Practically Hip, Strictly Hip, and the Wheat Kings! I learned this and much more on The Canadian Tribute Bands website, your source for all things Canadian and tributitious.

May 01, 2002

In solidarity with the recent statement by Jamie Kellner, Chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting System, that TV viewers have a "contract with the network" and when they "skip a commercial...[they're]...actually stealing the programming" and The Dallas Morning News' current battles against deep-linking, the executive management of Illuminated Donkey Media has instituted some changes to the implied contract between The Donk and you, our loyal readers:It may seem complicated, but by following the above simple rules you can avoid becoming the scum-sucking content thieves you so desperately long to be.

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