August 31, 2003

Mike Whybark was lucky #100,000. Congrats to The Bark.


August 29, 2003

Don't forget, folks, Visitor #100,000 will win a wonderful prize package, absolutely free*!

*All contests are free and are open to legal U.S. residents, age 8 or older residing in the continental U.S. Shipping and handling charges may apply to prize packages larger than three ounces. Contest is not open to employees of IllDonk Industries or residents of Bozeman, Montana. Prizes which include dinner with Ken Goldstein and an overnight stay at IllDonk Industries headquarters do not include transportation to New Jersey, but may include a car pickup from Newark Airport. Each winner consents to the use of his or her name and likeness, e-mail name, address, e-mail address, and/or photograph in any publicity, promotion, or advertising carried out by IllDonk Industries and/or the Halliburton Corporation or its agencies. Upon request, Winners agree to sign a sworn statement of eligibility and/or a further authorization/release which confirms the rights granted to IllDonk Industries herein. Failure to comply with a request for such information or to claim any prize within 14 days of notification may result in prize forfeiture, the selection of an alternate winner, or imprisonment.

Whoooo! Good luck!

August 28, 2003

Two quick things.
  1. Tickets for The New Yorker Festival go on sale today at noon. Lots of cool stuff, and you might even run into me!
  2. Mr. Paul Frankenstein has posted some incredibly rare photos of me in Boston, as well as one of the biggest frigging steak you've ever seen. Seriously, the thing is huge. And Paul ate it. In one giant slurping gulp. And then polished it off with a lobster. It was horrifying.

August 26, 2003

Maybe I should just go to sleep.
So it's looking pretty certain right now that I will still be unmarried by the time I turn 32 (next Sunday), which seems kinda old now that I think about it. Should I start to worry about this?
And remember: Visitor #100K here at The Donk will be receiving a fabulous prize package, filled with fabulosity. Just keep checking in (though I can tell you it'll probably happen sometime on Saturday) and if that counter to your left reads 100,000...well, you're looking at a mailbox filled with swag. Just get a screenshot, send it off to me in an e-mail with the details of when you visited, then sit back and wait for the lovin' to start. In the case of two or more "100,000" counts (weird, but apparently it happens), the person who sends the first valid e-mail will be declared the winner. Good luck, and don't be a dickhead cheater!
Root canals aren't very much fun at all. And for what it's costing me, I could take a fairly nice vacation. Stupid root canal.

August 25, 2003

Ten Things I Did Over the Weekend that You Most Likely Did Not:
  1. Stayed in a hotel across the street from where the first phone call was made — oh, and the hotel was crawling with stewardesses, too.
  2. Ate steak and lobster, like one of them Richie Rich types I'm always ragging on. Sorry, Richie Riches — them's good eating!
  3. Visited the delightful Fenway Park for the first time to see my Mariners lose a thrilling 7-6 10-inning game that featured back-to-back Red Sox homers (okay, I missed these while waiting on line for a Fenway Frank), 11 pitchers, Manny Ramirez being sort-of picked off of second base after just sort of wandering off, and the following series of lead changes: Red Sox, Mariners, Tie, Red Sox, Mariners, Red Sox, Tie, Red Sox. Great game.
  4. Won one round of a Fleer-sponsored card-flipping contest, winning a pack of cards (Pedro insert/Edgar/Helton) and a t-shirt that some joker managed to spill ketchup on.
  5. Ate beans.
  6. Watched a seemingly endless parade of Boston Duck Tour Boats/Buses pass by, including one that we ended up following for about 15 minutes on our way out town, all the time wishing that my friend Mary Duck, a noted Duck Tour enthusiast, could be there.
  7. Drank a glass of Talisker single-malt....mmmm, that's some tasty stuff.
  8. Took a tour of the U.S.S. Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned warship still afloat, while a large group of new Chief Petty Officers repeatedly sang "Anchors Away" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" real loud-like.
  9. Ripped out a chunk of filling while flossing, revealing decay that will now need expensive root canal work to fix.
  10. Got home after a seven-hour, four-state car trip and passed out before my head hit the pillow.

I'm back and I ain't feeling that great. Bleh.

August 21, 2003

Summer Hiatus. It's time for our annual break here at Donk HQ. By this time tomorrow I'm gonna be...well, now that I think of it, I'll still be here in Jersey, at work. But by this time the tomorrow after that? Well, folks, Mr. Paul Frankenstein and I will be tearing up Boston USA, and we ain't gonna be directing traffic, lemme tell you! Details to follow? You bet yer sweet ass there's gonna be details to follow! Later, Gators.

August 19, 2003

If you were ever lucky enough to roadtrip down to Atlantic City with Glamour Girl Jahna D'Lish, the trip report might look a lot like this.

August 18, 2003

Only 1000 or so more visitors until the magical 100,000! And yes, to that lucky #100K will certainly be receiving a Donktacular prize package, which I am currently in the process of putting together. And while it's still in the planning stages, I can say that the package will include not only a genuine $1 chip I won playing poker at Binion's Horseshoe in Vegas, but also a state-of-the-art VHS copy of Stuart Gillard's Paradise, starring Phoebe Cates and Willie Aames! Can you handle the excitement? I would think not!
A Concordance of Key Phrases and Names from the National Enquirer article "My Wild Night of Love with Ben — Affleck's Lover Tells All!" (August 19, 2003 issue)The above concordance is presented for research purposes only.
You know, I'm tired of all those rosy-cheeked pundits going on and on about how nice everybody was during the big blackout and, as opposed to 1977, there was no looting going on. Well, I have it on firsthand authority that that's a filthy lie! My sister, who you all know as Nancy, was waiting on line in a bodega when she saw somebody run into the store, grab a soda from the cooler, and then run out without paying! Now that, my friends, is looting, and this damn coverup is just making me sick!

August 16, 2003

Well, I'm on my way to Atlantic City with D'Lish and Little C-Za. Damn right I'm one lucky dog. First person to leave a comment gets 3% of my winnings, if any, which there probably won't be, but still, ya know.

While I'm down there in Sin City Jr. I certainly won't be doing any of the following:Update, much later: I lost...not a lot, but definitely a loss. Hence, no profit to be shared. Paul, you owe me a beer.

August 15, 2003

Report from Great Northeastern Blackout of Ought-Three. Though for obvious reasons I was unable to report during the power outage, I did provide up-to-the-second updates to my friend, a wonderful human being, and the next Governor of the great state of California, Mike Whybark. [I'm not going to link to each individual post; just go over there and read the whole damn thing.] Needless to say, power was restored sometime during the night, while I slept soundly, and the lack of a working alarm clock means that I am still here in my room as I'm supposed to be at work.

As I mentioned to Mike the problem with a massive blackout is that while it seems like a great story, not much really happens. I mean...there just wasn't that much to tell him. It was kinda dark, though at the time I talked to him it wasn't fully night yet. I talked to my NYC-working sister and she was doing fine, as she was about to head over to a local friend's house. I didn't reach D'Lish, but I assume she was doing well. My roommate and I chatted and lit little candles. People were wandering around the streets. That sort of thing. Thank the Lord that Mr. Whybark was able to turn by pebbles of info into a mountain of journalism.

August 13, 2003

Sowing the Steves of Glove. Hey, everybody! Guess who just got back from on the town (Queens) with Jahna D'Lish, who was given two free, primo box seats to the Mets/Giants game, where not only did Mike Piazza go 3-for-5 with a homer and 5 RBI's to lead the Mets in his first game after almost three months out, but where that same certain friend of Miss D'Lish got his very own foul ball?!?!

The answer is, of course, former Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

No, wait, the answer is me! And while it was definitely a delightful night at the ballpark (for which D'Lish was repaid handsomely in Bud Lights), the highlight was undoubtedly that foul ball. Now, you might have noticed that above I said "got" a ball as opposed to "caught" one. This is unfortunately too true, because while the foul ball hit by Roger Cedeno in the fifth was certainly very catchable, as the meteor-like ball hurtled towards me a rather large part of my brain decided I didn't really need a baseball that badly, and I froze at the crucial moment of non-impact, not even making any contact.

Just to back up and set the scene a little: D'Lish and I were sitting in the last row of our field section, a row that had only the two seats and some room to either side. Now, when I stood up to supposedly catch the ball, I ended up actually standing a foot or so to the left of my seat, and when the ball finally shot down it landed...on my seat. And stayed there somehow. Leaving me the much simpler and pain-free task of turning around and picking it up, then waving it around like I actually did something. Still, it was pretty damn exciting.

Now, this wasn't my first foul ball. Late in the 1996 season at the Kingdome I grabbed one under similar circumstances (except that the ball had bounced around and landed at my feet) off the bat of Geronimo Berroa (who hit 36 homers that year). This may have been the same game that Mark McGwire hit two mammoth upper-deck shots in the same inning, but as I get older they all kind of run together.

And then there was a memorable game I attended years ago with Friend of the Donk Keith, the last home game at Shea after the Mets had been eliminated. It was late in the meaningless game had we had moved down to the fourth or fifth row behind home plate. There was a bouncing foul ball that landed right in the first row, under the seat of some Richie Rich executive type sitting on the aisle. Specifically, it had landed in a discarded tray filled with condiments, and Richie Rich was unable to find it. After a few seconds had passed I saw my opportunity, jumped out of my aisle seat, ran down the aisle and grabbed the ball, then returned to me seat with the mustardy treasure.

Well, a few seconds later Mr. Richie Rich runs up and tries to grab the ball out of my hands, screaming how it had landed under his seat, and we weren't even supposed to be sitting there, and blah-de-blah-blah-blah! I mean, what a complete prick! I finally let go of the ball, because what the hell else was I supposed to do, and I was becoming covered with mustard. God, I hope something really awful has happened to that prick. Anyway, that game was also memorable for us since we had the honor of sitting behind Larry Doby's son, an imposing guy who was extremely pissed off at those bastards at the Hall of Fame for not electing his dad. Doby was finally elected in 1998, and Keith and I have always suspected that a personal visit by his son might have swung a few of those Veteran's Committee votes.

(Oh, yeah. The cryptic headline has to do with the fact that every time Mets starting pitcher Steve Trachsel came up to bat the PA played the Tears for Fears classic "Sowing the Seeds of Love," which is a fairly odd song to hear at the ballpark. Anyway, D'Lish and I decided our version made more sense in that context, so we sang it real loud every time he came up.)

August 12, 2003

Peanut Butter Jelly Time? Out!

Fhqwhgads? IN!!!

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Vincent Gallo causes cancer.

August 10, 2003

Two mistakes I made over the weekend:
  1. Not reading the fine print in the New York Magazine listings until after I busted my ass to make it to the movie on time, at which point I learned that the 25th & 5th was actually in Brooklyn, not Manhattan.

  2. Leaving out an all-important "make a right at the light" in the directions I just gave to two nice people who were trying to get to Hoboken, but are now probably hurtling towards Kearney. Hoboken sucks, anyway.
Two non-mistakes I made over the weekend:
  1. Picking up "Mr. Show: What Happened," the companion to the funniest damn show since "Sgt. Bilko," with a look back at L.A.'s alternative comedy scene, behind-the-scenes show stories, and a complete episode guide that brings back all the love. Indispensable.

  2. Heading up to the Bronx to catch my Seattle Mariners take on the Evil Empire. It was a heck of a game, and I'd say that even if the Mariners didn't win, though in that case I would be lying. I picked up a Loge Box ticket for face value and came in with the M's already up 1-0 against Roger Clemens, but Jamie Moyer was a bit off today, and the Yanks were up 4-1 heading into the 7th. (By the way, the matchup was the first time in 10 years that two 40+ pitchers matched up.)

    Clemens let the first two batters in the 7th get on base, and that opened the door for the Yankees' bullpen, whose terrible season continued today. The Mariners scored five in the 7th (mostly off of the recently traded Jeff Nelson, who looked positively Armandoesque today), and though the Yanks tied it in the bottom of the inning, a bases-loaded walk by John Olerud in the 8th put the Mariners ahead for good. Final score: Mariners 8, Yankees 6.

August 07, 2003

I can't believe I now have to root for Armando "Clutch" Benitez.
For all his success during the regular season, however, Benitez struggled egregiously during the post-season. He allowed three game-winning hits in the Orioles' six-game loss to Cleveland in the 1997 ALDS, including a three-run homer in the eighth inning of Game Two by Marquis Grissom and a pennant-winning home run by slap-hitting shortstop Tony Fernandez in the 11th inning of Game Six.

The pattern continued during Benitez' tenure with the Mets, most notably during New York's Division Series matchup with San Francisco, when he surrendered a game-tying three-run blast to J.T. Snow in the ninth inning of Game Two. The Mets rallied to win that game in extra innings, but weren't so fortunate when Benitez blew another ninth-inning lead in Game One of the World Series against the crosstown rival Yankees. The Bombers won the game in the 12th and took the series in five games.

In just 28 1/3 career post-season innings, Benitez had surrendered seven home runs, a record for a relief pitcher.
Yeah, I'm really looking forward to that post-season matchup against the Yankees...please kill me now.

I'm still's the posts that got long. Soaking wet from the rain and the humidity, stumbling back home from an evening with Miss D'Lish (and you better not cut in front of her on line!), catching the luscious new digital print of Sunset Boulevard at the Film Forum. As you can imagine, a fine time was had by both, with the only regret being the hot sauce we slathered on our falafels at the better-than-you'd-expect little hole-in-the-wall mideastern place next to the perhaps-not-abandoned Waverly Theater.

But about SB: it's one of my favoritest movies ever, and by now I've seen it at least ten times (though this was the first time on a big screen), but the funny thing is that my perspective on the film has changed so radically from my earliest viewings that it's almost like I'm seeing a different film. I remember just being blown away the first time I saw it, amazed by the razor-sharp script, the caustic and unsentimental look at Hollywood, the utter weirdness of much of the film, and the terrific performances. Most of all, though, there was the classic character of Norma Desmond, wonderfully played by Gloria Swanson.

The character is so vivid that it wasn't until I had seen the film a half-dozen times that I stopped focusing so much on Norma Desmond and began to take a closer look at William Holden's Joe Gillis, and what I realized really changed how I watch the film. To summarize:

Joe Gillis is a complete scumbag.

Once that thought entered my head, Sunset Boulevard was no longer the story of a former star clinging to her faded dreams with the help of a down-on-his-luck writer who unwittingly becomes tangled in her web of delusion. Instead, it's about a probably-talentless, at-wits-end hack who stumbles upon a near-insane-but-minding-her-own-business former star and conspires to become her kept man, and is happy to collect the fancy clothes and jewelry until said star becomes jealous of his new love interest, who just happens to be his best friend's fiancee.

Gillis's closing narration about how "life, which can be strangely merciful, had taken pity on Norma Desmond. The dream she had clung to so desperately had enfolded her." is no longer as poignant, especially now that I think that he, almost deliberately, put her over the edge. And while I'm not saying that he deserved to die, those last few stumbles of his into the swimming pool now seem strangely satisfying. Poor, poor Norma Desmond...

August 05, 2003

September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Boy, this brings back great memories of how when I first got AOL, back when I was living with Gary Schwartz in historic Plainfield, one of my screen names was "PirateLad," and we used to go into all the goth-themed chatrooms and try and convince all the vampires and frowny people to act like pirates instead. One time we managed to get about 20 people to stop worshipping darkness and pretend to put on eye patches and scream "AAAARRRRGGGHHH" and threaten to make somebody walk the plank and all sorts of other cool stuff like that. Ah, good times...
You know, I'm feeling a bit hungry right now, but I just can't decide on a delicious, nutritious snack...

Look! A wagon wheel!
When my get up and go has got up and went,
I hanker for a hunk of cheese!
When I'm dancin' the hoedown and my boots kinda slow down,
Or anytime I'm week in the knees,
I hanker for a hunk of,
A slab, a slice, a chunk of,
A snack that is a winner,
And yet won't spoil my dinner!
I hanker for a hunk of cheese! Ya-hoo!
Mmmm...that hit the spot!

A Correction. Apparently there was a small error in my salute to celebrities below: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez met during the filming of Gigli and did not, as I implied, accept the roles in order to spend more time together. I apologize to anybody who might have...well, now that I think of it, I can't really imagine how anybody could have been harmed by this mistake.

Gigli definitely was a huge quacking bomb, though, earning only $3.8 million to finish 8th in the weekend box office, behind American Wedding, Lara Croft, and those previews where you have to unscramble the movie stars' names. The film's failure wasn't too much of a shock, obviously. I mean, the last time there was advance buzz like that the Nazis were marching towards Paris.

August 03, 2003

The Managing Board of Directors of IllDonk Industries is pleased to invite you to take part in a new experiment in artist retreats.

Welcome to Donkloaf.

Located on nearly 1/60th of an acre in the scenic Journal Square region of Jersey City, the mission of Donkloaf is to encourage artists to achieve new levels of creative expression. Unlike other artists’ communities that place a high premium on nurturing the creative process through serene surroundings and abundant personal space, we believe in providing a structured, rousing environment that will best propel our residents to reach new creative heights.

What puts Donkloaf head and shoulders above other artist colonies and retreats? In a word: stimulation. While other organizations believe that letting promising candidates roam free on hundreds of acres of beautifully landscaped serenity inspires artists, we at IllDonk Industries feel that’s a sure to way end up with a half-dozen bored writers babbling on about birds tweeting or the wind or something. Most artists have plenty of time and space; what they need is the stimulation Donkloaf provides.

That’s why rather than build a languid paradise away from the hustle and bustle of the city, we’ve located Donkloaf right in the heart of one, namely, in a two-bedroom condo located near the Pulaski Skyway. From the cacophony of trucks passing by at five in the morning to the loud, lengthy conversations taking place right outside the window, artists of all fields will never be at a loss for inspiration and new ideas. And for those who might not be inspired by the sounds of the city, we have digital cable as well.

Perhaps of even more benefit to the artists who join us, rather than let our artists face the endless expanse of the day alone, we provide individual and group activities that strengthen both the body and soul. Whether they’re performing physical tasks like the Director’s laundry and bathroom cleanup or more analytical ones like balancing the Director’s checkbook, the artists will finish each with the satisfaction of a job well done and the thrill of putting that newly acquired work ethic into their creative accomplishments.

And best of all, unlike the other groups who base their acceptance policies on elitist standards such as personal connections and existing talent, we’re open to any budding artist who is able to meet the fee requirements. Below are our one-week fee levels with accompanying accommodations:
[Please note that additional space in the Director’s bedroom may be available for specially qualified female members of our dance program.]

Availability is limited to eight reasured guests per one-week period, so please contact us as soon as possible to arrange your stay. The staff of Donkloaf looks forward to hearing from you, and can promise that your art will never be the same.
Yep, only 2500 visitors away from the magic number, and I've yet to decide whether that lucky visitor will get a real prize, or whether my recent monetary troubles will make me cheap out and just write something like a day of posts or a sonnet about him/her. I'm leaning towards the cheap right now but that can change.
Well, to make a long story short, though the rash would take almost three weeks to fully disappear, that didn't stop the young Iowan from competing in the soap box derby, and from later coining the marketing term "Super-Size."

August 01, 2003

How Strange. So D'Lish and I were checking out the video from the big wedding last weekend, which was all very lovely and sweet, but then we noticed somebody in the crowd who we didn't quite recognize, which is odd, as it was a very small wedding. Well, we hit the ol' freeze-frame to check it out, and whaddya know — it turned out to be Christopher Walken!

Thank you, this has been another edition of Christoper "Gigli Kangaroo Jack Joe Dirt Country Bears" Walken Has Officially Supplanted Michael Caine as Hollywood's Most Ubiquitous Decent Actor.
August? You've got to be kidding me...

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]