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 [http://mike.whybark.com!] 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!!!
Hmm...work 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?
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: Awww...you 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
ESPN.com: 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.
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 pollhost.com. 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
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 ...um...The 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:
- If you are a fellow blog publisher, you will no longer be able to post directly to individual posts, but can only link to the main page. Often readers who reach The Donk in "the middle of the story" miss out on important posts that could help further their understanding of the issues. For example, a reader who goes directly to my whining about my stat counter resetting post below would miss out on the funny picture of Jesus shooting hoops.
- Despite the convenient nature of the permalinks at left, you will no longer be allowed to click on them, but must rather contact me with the name of the blog you wish to visit, after which I will respond ASAP with a brief, pithy summary of that blog.
- You will no longer be allowed to e-mail me directly, but will instead have to send all correspondence to my mom (email@example.com) who will screen all of my mail.
- You can only view The Donk by poking a hole in a cardboard tube and looking at the projection.
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.
April 30, 2002
Boy, if you thought that Jordan’s return was hyped, just wait until this guy’s!
My counter! What has happened to my beautiful counter?!
Myria at The Rain Blog offers her thoughts on Barbie's mythology and figure
in the wake of creator Ruth Handler's passing
. I currently work with the Barbie brand and have heard about a million "Barbie and Ken" jokes in my life, so it's a subject of more interest to me than you might imagine.
In response to my weather comments below, Tony Woodlief makes a desperate plea to see the bottom half of his teevee
April 29, 2002
. A subject that has gotten a lot of discussion in my office recently is the case of the Big Game lottery hullabaloo between Angelito Marquez and his nursing home co-workers over the rightful ownership of a multimillion dollar winning ticket. The dispute was settled today when the ticket in question turned out to be worth a grand total of $2
A lawyer for the nursing home workers had claimed they pooled their money to buy the winning ticket. The workers claimed co-worker Angelito Marquez had the winning ticket but was refusing to give it to the group.
Marquez insisted all the tickets he purchased were losers. Marquez's lawyer, Donald DiGioia, said Monday the co-workers ultimately suspected Marquez had the winning ticket because he called in sick for three days with the flu after the April 16 drawing. Marquez' absence and state officials' reports that the Big Game winner lived in Union County fueled the workers' suspicions, DiGioia said.
A smarter man than myself has already begun working on the movie version of this story.
Nothing here has changed. Just The Bleat.
Damn, James Lileks mercilessly bashes the new Elvis Costello
, in a track-by-track takedown:
Daddy Can I Turn This: EW said this would make me want to put on my Armed Forces T-shirt, and indeed it has the same instrumentation; it only lacks the lyrical pith, production clarity and inventive melody of that period. Other than that, sure, it's a dead ringer for an Armed Forces song, once you get past the fact that it sucks.
What makes this even worse is knowing that I'm still going to go out and buy the damn thing, if only because he's my all-time favorite musician and I've bought every single other thing he's ever done, including Kojak Variety Hour
and that five-CD Steve Nieve box set. There's been some good stuff over the past decade, but I'll most likely listen to it a couple of times and then file it away with the rest of his dust-gathering post-King of America
On a side note, the lyric from "The Beat"
off of This Year's Model
(perhaps the greatest record ever made) that I've never been able to figure out is "I've been a bad boy with the standard leader. My neighbor's revving up his Vauxhall Viva." which would explain my difficulty all these years.
Update: Well, at least Jim Treacher is somewhat positive
about the album.
Flipping through the cable news stations (I lost the remote) I was struck by the complete disconnect between the MSCNNFox world and the one I'm living in. In that world boxed in by weather reports and news crawls there's this utter capitulation to the Robert Blake case, as if after seven months of real news they finally got a story they know what to do with. And what they've decided to do is spend half their programming day discussing its relation to the OJ case, flooding the studios with crocodile tears bemoaning the inevitable OJ-ness of it all, all the while practically begging the media gods to make this another OJ.
Meanwhile, back in my world, nobody cares, even a little bit. I think I've heard a grand total of 15 seconds worth of Blake discussion, basically a conversational trial balloon that went nowhere. I suppose it's good for the news teams to stay in practice for the next worthless story we decide to care about, though.
I don't claim to be an expert on criminal law or the Roman Catholic church, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Cardinal Law should really think of another line of defense for his archdiocese besides "the six-year-old was asking for it
." And as long as I'm down this road, could the Boston Herald
perhaps come up with a more decorous headline for a story about a survivor of sexual abuse than "Judge refuses to gag alleged priest victim
April 28, 2002
The latest Smarter Harper's Index
has been posted. We here at The Donk fully endorse anti-Harper's snarkiness in all forms.
The thing that makes the Mariners losing to the Yankees that much worse is knowing that I'll be hearing about it tomorrow from the damn Yankee-lovers at work. Maybe I'll just call in sick. Dammit.
Congratulations to Paul Frankenstein of Men Are April When They Woo
or whatever the hell the title is this month, the Donk's lucky 25,000th visitor or whatever. His fabulous prizes will be on their way once I get an address from him. Paul joins an illustrious list of winners here at The Donk, including the Daily Pundit
and the defunct Smarterpundit. Keep an eye out for the next contest!
Here's a little hint: if you're trying to finish a ten-page training manual for a shipping logistics company, don't head on over to Sand in the Gears, and especial don't read Tony Woodlief's damned funny grad school retrospective
. Oh, and congrats, Tony.
Working on a freelance basis from the comfort of my home is one of those things that sounds great, until I realize that I've just spent most of the last hour-and-a-half watching the Celtics-76ers game, making travel arrangements for my upcoming trip to Seattle, and...um...staring blankly out my window at the Pulaski Skyway. I don't like my office, but I have to admit it does serve a purpose. MUST...PAY...ATTENTION! MUST...STOP...SCREWING...AROUND.
April 27, 2002
Talking about the weather.
One of the many things I find amazing about the 21st century is how central a role the weather still plays in our lives. I imagine that a widely held belief of even 100 years ago was that by this point the weather would be almost completely irrelevant, or at least not a concern for the average person, what with our wonderful domed cities
and our weather-changing satellite technology.
While such ideas have been filed away with the rocket jet-packs, it's still strange just how much energy is expended on the subject. A snowflake falls and the local news stations go on full alert. The temperature goes up or down ten degrees and my co-workers act as though the world's coming to an end. It's incredibly out of proportion, especially considering that some of them spend no more than 15 minutes a day actually outside of their home, car, or office. Still, it starts to drizzle and you'd think they were outside plowing the fields.
A lot of it is probably physiological, more than we realize. I moved to Seattle in September a few years back, and after about four months of glorious happiness a depression came over me, one that seemed to have no origin. After about a week I realized it might have something to do with the complete lack of sun for about two months, with the accompanying lack of desire to leave my comfy room. Everything got a lot better once I started drinking heavily, but that's a whole `nother story.
Anyway, what got me thinking about this was that when I woke up this morning to a beautiful, sunny day, the sun glistening off of the Pulaski Skyway, my immediate reaction was to throw on some clothes and run! Get out there, do something, anything! Whooo! (I'm waiting for an improtant phone call now, or else I wouldn't be bothering you folks with this.) So I won't be sitting around waiting to see which one of you reaches that magical 25,000 number, since I'll be out on the highway getting my car closer to 50,000. Good luck, folks.
Oh, yeah: GO NETS
April 26, 2002
Yes, Mike Whybark, I know how easy it would be for somebody to manipulate the image to make it appear that you're my 25,000th visitor and win the below contest, but (except for you) my readers are honest and good and pure of heart and nice to puppies, and would never dream of using such nefarious means. Plus, the prize ain't gonna be that great.
April 25, 2002
Time for another failed contest. Since there's something lovely about round numbers, the 25,000th visitor to this site (or whatever the hell that counter over to your left means) will receive a patented Super-Special prize. Simply send some sort of proof, like a screenshot, of your 25,000thness to firstname.lastname@example.org, and that prize will soon be on its way to you. Good luck!
Via The Weigh-In
, a link to the Chicago Sun-Times
' excellent TV section
, featuring "Will Your Show Go?
," a comprehensive listing of TV shows and their chances for renewal. The bad news is that, according to the article, Fox will be choosing only one between Andy Richter's show and Greg The Bunny, two shows I like a whole bunch.
The Weigh In's angry, conservative Justin Sodano, who posts more in an average day than I do in a week, learns that online advertising creates some strange bedfellows
with an Amazon link for Michael Moore's book prominently featured on his site.
Thanks to my friend Lisa for sending me this link to Forgotten NY
, a loving, detailed tribute to the living past of the greatest damn city in the world.
While it's certainy nice that the damn-near contracted Montreal Expos have gotten off to a not-terrible start (13-8, 1st place in the nobody-wants-it NL East), the sports media's current round
of anti-Selig gloating
seems a bit premature, considering that attendance, the number that really matters, is down 27% from last year's already deflated numbers
. The team is generally drawing about 4500 fans to its non-Opening Day, non-Mets games, and while that may pick up a bit if the team continues to win (which they won't), it's still absolutely nowhere near what a club needs to draw to survive, forget succeed.
April 24, 2002
Via Jim Romenesko's MediaNews
, a San Francisco Chronicle
interview with Harper's
editor Lewis Lapham (Harper's editor laments rise of corporate news purveyors
), where he portrays himself as the only honest voice in the post-September 11 media.
Lapham is most dismayed that he has been accused of being unpatriotic, when he isn't. "In a democracy, the most valuable quality is candor," he said. "Democracy works best when people try to tell each other the truth. That's not what we've got. We've got a lot of cant."
Ah yes, Lewis Lapham: the unbiased voice of honesty in these hideous, Big Media days. Apparently Lapham's definition of "candor" includes printing reworked and distorted versions of speeches
so that they better illustrate his incredibly narrow view of how the world should be run. Unreadable prig.
Why I Do Not Want a House, Reason 37.
A friend of mine is in the process of closing on a house, and yesterday received this message from the current owners, passed along from the realtor:
"They are concerned that you will be daunted by the growth rate of the grass and suggest that you begin planning your lawn care strategy ASAP."
I wouldn't even know how to begin planning a lawn care strategy.
April 23, 2002
Hey, it's steal from my friends night here at The Donk. From the oft-plugged Mike Whybark
, one of the greatest Captain Renault moments I've ever seen, in The New York Times
Enron: Skilling "Agitated"
"When shown records that laid out the details of the financial returns during his testimony several months ago before the S.E.C., Mr. Skilling was said to have grown agitated as he described his opinion of the information. Had he known the magnitude of the profits, Mr. Skilling was said to have told the regulators, he would have immediately summoned Enron executives involved in the dealings and given them 24 hours to justify such outsize results."
WhhaAATTT! Why, THESE PROFITS are an OUTRAGE! EXPLAIN YOURSELVES or face the WRATH of... KENNY BOY!
Mike Whybark: if you can't hire him, at least go read him
Thanks to my friend Jahna D'Lish for sending me this Discover Your Aura guide
from Lifetime Channel's Horoscope Central.
Uncover the Secret of Your Aura
An aura is a light surrounding every person and it hints at the color of his or her soul. Psychic Carol Pate says, "You don't need special powers to see someone's aura. Let your eyes go blurry and you will see a light around them — a clear light. See your own aura by standing about three feet in front of a mirror with a blank wall behind you. You may see color surrounding your head, shoulders and body."
Red represents sexuality. It's highly charged and suggests strong emotions and passions. A murky brown tint to it suggests a dangerous individual, very violent or psychotic.
Orange represents mental stability and clear thinking. Psychologists and philosophers often have this aura. A murky orange indicates insanity and nonviolent emotional instability.
Peach is the color of anxiety. Actors who have stage fright will have peach auras, as will anyone experiencing a lot of stress.
And plenty more auras for the askin'! Now mebbe I can understand them pesky womenfolk.
And hey, as long as you're at Lifetime, why not ask Bea Arthur a question
, take the "Which Designing Woman Are You?" quiz
(I'm Charlene Frazier-Stillfield), or add a comment to one of the many message boards
Great article (not available online, but I'll keep an eye out) by Richard Rayner in this week's New Yorker
about Oscar Hartzell, the perpetuator of the Francis Drake inheritance scam in the 1920's
. Hartzell stole and expanded a long-running scam based on a legend surrounding Sir Francis Drake's will. Hartzell claimed to have unlocked the secret of Drake's inheritance, making him the sole recipient of Drake's massive fortune, which had become unbelievably massive over the past 300 years (compound interest, ya know). All Hartzell needed was some investment money to cover the legal tangles, of which there were, of course, many. He got upwards of 70,000 individual investors, most of whom believed him for years.
What drew my interest about the scam was just how similar it is to the more-recent, ongoing Omega Trust and Trading bank debenture scam
. The same massive fortune locked up in some sort of government entanglement, the same magicians with a convincing story of how they unlocked the mystery, the same large groups of people practically begging to throw money into the growing pit. In both cases (and in hundreds more) the scammed became the most rabid supporters of their crooks, forming clubs, protesting, doing anything possible to keep that appointment with the endlessly delayed money train. A cautionary tale definitely worth checking out.
Oh, Dear Lord, No.
Just days after discovering that I had finally become Google’s #1 search result for Ken Goldstein
(hey, there's a lot of them out there), I found out that The Illuminated Donkey is now the #1 search result for the word donkey
. A sharp increase of late in donkey searches led me to realize that something was up, and the marketing department here at ID Inc. is feverishly working on a plan to cash in on the donkey-fan demographic.
April 22, 2002
“What’s that, Asparagirl and Megan? You’d like to hear another fascinating, insightful, and hilarious anecdote about my remarkable life? Well, if you insist.”
Raghu of Sophismata has posted a batch of Big Apple Blog Bash pictures
, and check out this snapshot
to see your humble host with delightful referral queen Asparagirl and razor-sharp Megan McArdle, while Nick Marsala can only sit back and watch the charmage. Can you see why I can’t wait for the next Blog Bash?
April 21, 2002
Wearing Someone Else's Shoes.
Lane McFadden, the organizer-by-acclamation of the upcoming Big Apple Blog Bash 3 (coming soon to a sleazy dive bar near you!), today announced his retirement from warblogging
— but only from the "war" part of it.
With a greater number of visitors and a greater number of links from people's blogs that are primarily focused on political and foreign policy issues, I've felt pressured to contribute similar content. Well, that experiment has been demonstrative of one thing, at least — such writing is not my forte. Thus, don't consider this a farewell — consider it a renewed statement of purpose.
I have to admit that this rang pretty true for me. There have been a few times over the past months when I've perhaps paid more attention to the the prevailing winds and the referral logs than I should have, and found myself trying to be somebody I wasn't. I got called on it a couple of times (mostly by my good friend Mike
), and it was a touch humiliating, like getting caught in a lie always is. So I've tried to keep a watch out for that sort of thing, making sure I'm posting only about topics I'm really interested in. I mean, it ain't like this is my job or something; why do it if I don't enjoy it?
And hey, as long as we're here, there's no reason why you shouldn't read Mark Steyn's excellent-as-usual It's Time to Snap Out of Arab Fantasy Land
In the last month, I've found as many Jew-haters on the Continent as in the Middle East, but the difference is that the Arabs are fierce in their hatred, no matter how contorted their arguments, while the Europeans are lazy, off-hand Jew-haters — they don't need arguments, they're happy to let the Arabs supply the script. Thus, the extraordinary resolution this week by the UN Human Rights Commission which accuses Israel of many and varied human rights violations, makes no mention of suicide bombers, and endorses the movement for a Palestinian state by "all available means, including armed struggle" — i.e., terrorism. The resolution could have been drafted by the Arab League or the PLO.
While the official policy of The Donk is to unreservedly support Goldsteins in all of their endeavors, there's no doubt that Jeff Goldstein's Protein Wisdom
would be at the top of my list this week even if he didn't have such a noble last name. Damn, that guy's been on an angry tear lately. It's all good, of course, but if you're in a rush you can check out this look at editorial lunacy at my old alma mater
, about the United Nations' "Jewish problem," and for pure unadulterated crankiness, Fight the Power, Refuse to Shower™!
Jeff Goldstein: he gets pissed off so you don't have to! (Though you probably should as well.)
The Illuminated Donkey: Plug-Friendly!
Received an e-mail today from "the person who introduced karaoke to the English-speaking world."
Now there's a sentence I never thought I'd write! Martin Roth is a 53-year-old Australian journalist and author who has lived in Israel, England, and Japan, and who has written books about Buddhism, sake, the Japanese stock market, and his own Christian spirituality. It's probably a safe guess that our paths would not have crossed if I didn't run The Donk.
Mr. Roth has recently started his own blog, A Weblog from the Christian Counter-Culture
, and it's definitely an interesting addition to the blog world. This guy can write, has done enough cool stuff for four or five lives, and he writes from a point of view not often seen round these parts. Go check it out.
Ken resumes blogging, take two!
Well, I feel a touch more verbose this afternoon (though those piles of paper haven't gotten any smaller), so I figured I'd take another run at it.
First off, just to ease back into things, I thought I'd spend a few moments clearing up a matter that has apparently been a source of interest
and/or confusion: namely, the meaning of "The Illuminated Donkey." I actually wrote about this in one of my first posts about eleventy-million years ago (or six months ago in non-blog time), but since my readership at that time consisted of about two or three close friends on a good day, here's a brief list of what the title doesn't
- It has nothing to do with the Democratic Party, with the “Illuminated” qualifier meaning neither enlightened nor superior.
- While it’s a perfectly understandable guess, the name doesn’t parse as “Wise Ass.”
- Finally, the name is not an underground slang term to attract partners for some bizarre and possibly illegal sexual act, and the posts are certainly not written in some sort of code designed to inform readers of my whereabouts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings! (Wait, you mean nobody out there had actually thought that? Urm…carry on, then.)
To put it simply, the Illuminated Donkey is a hollow, plastic animal from a Christmas creche (see the left sidebar), given to me about seven years ago by my friend Anthony Russo. I brought it with me to Seattle, where it lived in our window, continuously lit, for over two years (until it...um...caught on fire). It guided my roommate Murph and me home from the bars on blurry nights, and therefore seemed like the perfect name for this here little blog.
And now, back to our regular blogging.
Time to get back on that horse! While I'm still looking at a huge stack at freelance work on the yonder corner of my desk, a boatland of bills, paperwork, and reservations to take care of, as well as some business of a personal nature, the extremely aforementioned Blog Bash has rejuvenated me a bit, so I've decided I need to start posting again. There's a ton of cool people out there who stop by The Donk, and I don't want them to go away disappointed. So with that in mind, let's get on with the show! Whooo!
Yeah, let's get some quality posting going! Here we go! Yeah....all right. Whooo.
Hey, how `bout that...professional sports team? And what about this weather we've been having? Isn't it...cloudy?
Urm...maybe I should try this again tomorrow.
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