February 27, 2003

There... is... no... sanctuary. That red crystal in his palm has started blinking, which can only mean one thing — Paul Katcher turns 30 today! If you're walking by Coyote Ugly at around 3 a.m. tomorrow night and see some soused guy stumbling out of the place, guided by two hottie bartenders, wish him a happy birthday for me!
Happy Happy!!!Hey, breaktime’s over — get back to work! Well, I feel a lot better now. I played some tennis, finished some freelance work, did a little reading, and stopped wanting to punch people in the throat, so it's time to just eeeeease right back on into the posting.

First off, while I was in hiding, Kevin Heller of the First-Notable-Blogger-Blog-of-2003 Tech Law Advisor blawg was nice enough to ask me to join his other project: The TwistedFans Sports Blog. I don't have much up there yet, but it's where I'll be posting all my sports-related stuff so as not to contaminate any of you non-sports-fans. Also, longtime DonkWatchers might notice that I've added five blogs to my permalinks over there on the left, bringing the total up to 15, only six of whom I actually owe money to.

Finally, in honor of the 28 days of February finally coming to an end (a month that was good for exactly two people), I submit for your approval the genius of "The 28 Hour Day: A New Clock for a New Age." Just imagine it: 56-hour weekends, avoiding the tediousness of working during daylight all the time, four more episodes of "24" every season. Plus, it means that the alarm clock division of my company would make tons of cash.

February 24, 2003

Hmmm...I just read this blog over and I sure have been sounding cranky lately. I think it's time for a little break...

Then the phone went dead.
Attention World: Look, I understand that you're probably just trying to be nice or something, and I'm sure you mean well, but I'd like everybody out there to please stop holding the frigging door for me all the time. It's one thing when I'm walking a couple of steps behind you and letting go would cause me physical damage; that's fine, hold the door then, much appreciated. But you know what? If I'm, like, 20 yards away and in no particular hurry and haven't even looked at you, don't stand there holding the door and staring at me like I'm the most ungrateful bastard you've ever seen. What the hell do you want me to do, make a mad dash for it? Drop whatever I'm holding and run to the door, stopping to kneel down and thank you for being such a wonderful and caring person? How about you go on inside and leave me to handle this complicated door technology all by myself; that okay with you, champ?
Hey everybody, howsabout this week we all pull together and do our best not to have any horrible, ridiculous, tragic accidents, okay? All right, on three, and.....break!
The Talking Dog has collected all of his "Breeds and Comments" blog reviews and summaries into one handy list. You should check it out, and not just because he gives me credit for all of Whybark's work.
Over at Cut the Shit, Joe lists the Top Five NYC Subway Peeves, along with much, much more.

February 23, 2003

Go see Old School. Right now! To quote Abraham Lincoln, "People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like." But even more so!
Doing Fine. Oh...um...thanks for all the nice words and notes and everything, but that little tiny-text box over there on the left, the "very sad and lonely" one, isn't true or anything. It was supposed to be funny, but I suppose I can see how it could be taken at face value, especially considering that most of you don't really know me too well. But no, really, I'm doing pretty okay, unless I get fired on Monday, which very well might happen, but that would be an occasion for anger more than self-loathing. Stay tuned.

Then again, checking my referral logs I find that the newly permalinked and days-away-from-30 Paul Katcher and I have somehow ended up (for completely unrelated posts) as the #4 and #5 results for "dale earnhardt jr shirtless pictures." I may have to add "scared" to "sad and lonely."
You know, everybody's getting all hepped up about Michael Jackson all of a sudden because he may have done this or that, or because he has weird things done to his face (but hey, it's his face, his business!), or on occasion engages in a little horseplay, but why is it that this person makes a career of exploiting infants, dressing them up in weird outfits, photographing them naked, or even dangling them from the ceiling in nylon bags and nobody says squat! What's up with that!?
Via Slate's Summary Judgment, a link to the funniest damn thing I've seen in months (and I've seen a lot of things), an interview by Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten with self-published author Robert Burrows. Weingarten promised Burrows a promotional platform of two million readers, but only on the condition that the interview be about how truly awful Burrows's book is. The exchange contains the line, "As you know, I think Great American Parade is a wretchedly terrible product that shames the American publishing industry. Is it available in stores?" and many, many more.

February 21, 2003

Pink is the new black. You know, every once in a while it's a wonderful thing to be able to contribute, in some small way, to something much grander and more noble than oneself. With that in mind, may I direct all of you to the brand-spanking-new-and-shiny thisfish.com, home of This Fish Needs a Bicycle, designed by the illustrious Paul Frankenstein.

February 20, 2003

Nets 98 — Pacers 91. I took my brother to the Meadowlands for his birthday gift, and we both got to witness the six-foot-four bundle of unbelievable clutch that is Jason Kidd completely take over the game in the second half, finishing one measly rebound shy of a triple-double. There was some fine play by Kenyon Martin and the highly underrated Aaron Williams, but this was a showcase performance for Kidd (well, a showcase second half; he had only five of his 31 points at the half).

Unfortunately, if the Nets can't do better than 5,000 empty seats for what any basketball fan had to know would be one of the biggest games of the regualr season, we're probably going to have to watch Kidd play somewhere else next year. Frigging shame, really, but I suppose you just can't ask people to miss the new episode of "Are You Hot? The Search for America’s Sexiest People."
Via the Gigglechick, I put my blog down, flip it and reverse it. Now I be all dizzy-like.

February 19, 2003

Oscar Fever? Make that Whybark Fever! Hey, howsabout everybody head on over to our good pal Mike Whybak's place so we can all post our Oscar picks in his comments box. In fact, if he'd be willing to organize some kind of little Oscar pool, I'd be willing to offer a Grand Prize of a sealed VHS copy of the cinematic jewel "Paradise," Phoebe Cates's film debut, co-starring Willie Aames, with Tuvia Tami as "The Jackal." What do you all say?
Speaking of the press, I present my nominee for the Most Probably Exaggerated Use of the Description "Awe-Struck" to describe twelve-year-olds:
Bush Adviser Returns to Sacred Heart School
By Miles Doyle, Journal Staff Writer

Assistant Secretary of Commerce William H. Lash recently told a group of awe-struck uniformed Jersey City students about how he went from solving algebra problems as a Sacred Heart schoolboy to being hand-picked by President George W. Bush to protect American economic interests across the world. [...] As the head of market access and compliance, Lash advises on the analysis, formulation and implementation of the nation's international economic policies.
Oh my god, it's the man who formulates international economic policies! Somebody please catch me if I faint...AAAIIIEEE!!!!

(Although as the aforementioned Mr. Frankenstein points out, it would indeed be awe-inducing if Lash really did go straight from elementary school to the White House.)
I Smell Pulitzer! For sheer StephenKingEsque chills, it's hard to beat the opening few lines of ESPN.com's uncredited "The Chilling Final Journey of Ted Williams."
What would Ted Williams have thought if he knew his body would be hanging upside down in a nitrogen-filled tank with perhaps four other full bodies and five heads at a cryogenics lab inside a strip mall in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Williams' close friend, Buzz Hamon, said the last time he spoke with The Splendid Splinter, Williams said, "I need a lawyer ... Because I made a mistake."

Then the phone went dead.
The ESPN.com piece definitely improves upon the original New York Daily News story by Bill Madden, which not only buries the nugget in the second-to-last paragraph, but goes for the more descriptive and less bone-chilling:
'In my last phone conversation with Ted, two weeks after I left the museum, he told me he wanted to write a story on his last 20 years," Hamon said. "Then he said: 'Buzz, I need a lawyer.' I said: 'Why?' and Ted said, 'Because I've made a mistake.' At that point, someone apparently walked in the room where he was and yanked the phone out of his hand."
"Apparently?" What the heck kind of word is that to use, Mr. Bigshot Yankee Suck-Up? Where's the zing, the whack in the face?

In fact, Paul Frankenstein (who I consult in such important matters) and I are so taken with this particular journalistic style, we wouldn't be altogether upset if it found its way into more articles that can use a dash of spice. For example:
Wachovia Buys Prudential Brokerage Unit
Wed February 19, 2003 06:00 PM ET By Brian Kelleher

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wachovia Corp. WB.N said on Wednesday it agreed to buy Prudential Financial Inc.'s PRU.N brokerage business, creating a new firm large enough to compete with top industry rivals such as Merrill Lynch & Co.

"This new company makes sense because it gives us the scale necessary to compete," said John Strangfeld, who ran Prudential's brokerage operations and will be chairman of the new firm.

Then the phone went dead.
See that, Mr. Brian Kelleher? That's friggin' journalism!!!

February 18, 2003

This is a sad, sad photo.
My Day Job. I made it home alive again, this time from the not-nearly-as-much-fun-as-it-sounds Toy Fair, where nearly all the cool stuff is kept behind closed doors, and most of the big excitement comes from watching red-faced, middle-aged reps haggle over shipping terms for Groovy Girls or Funky Monkey plush dolls. The general industry blahs (besides the overall economic woes, the parent company of FAO Schwarz and Zany Brainy has filed for bankruptcy, and the ongoing Kmart collapse continues to wreak havoc), not to mention the fact that the whole area is still practically a disaster area, has led to another fairly subdued experience. This is my second time in attendance, and while I enjoy the field-trip atmosphere of the day I've been told by co-workers that the show used to be far more exciting and interesting before I arrived on the scene (and how many times have I heard that before?).

The swag quotient was fairly decent though, as I filled my bag with the usual assortment of pens, keychains, and magazines, plus a few boxes of Simpsons Cookie D'ohs, some packs of baseball cards (I got an Ichiro!), a cute little doll for Jahna's niece Amber, and some fun little Lego-like blocks. Not to mention the company-expensed lunch (though if a dish is gonna be filled with mushrooms and in a mushroom broth, don't you think the menu description should at some point contain the word "mushrooms"?), and taxi ride. It made me feel all ... corporatey good.

February 17, 2003

I don't know how things are in the rest of Jersey City, but the condo association board here just voted 4-1 to resort to cannibalism if the blizzard doesn't break by 4. And there's a rather plump and succulent-looking marketing manager in C-9 who's in for a pretty big surprise if that happens.
I am trapped.

February 16, 2003

Whew, I made it home alive! You can all relax now, I'm home safe and sound, indoors and unsnowed-upon. It's just crazy what's happening out there now — the snow's falling at the rate of about a half-inch every minute, with no real break in the weather expected before Wednesday, and the mayor of Jersey City has just decriminalized crazed looting for the remainder of the crisis (which is good, because I am totally running low on milk, bread, and stereo equipment). Anyway, I picked up a halfway decent digital camera today, so here's a look at the scene currently outside of my window, with some of the plows off in the distance trying to restore some order.

Oh, and not that I'm not slightly pleased about the recognition, but the fact that I was somehow named as one of Blogstreet's 100 Most Important Blogs can only mean that either a) Their ranking system considers a disconcerting combination of self-promotion and self-deprecation to be extremely important, or b) Every single other blog that they ranked is about kittens.

Update: Um...I seem to have fallen out of the top 100 to #115 in their list, which is a touch embarrassing, but I'll be goddamned if I'm gonna take that banner down! They'll pry those pixels from my cold, dead, unimportant fingers!
[I think I'll go for a long drive tomorrow, and I think I'll listen to this song a few times to keep me going.]

David + David: "Heroes"
Fifteen long years on a losing streak
And a lot of bodies unburied,
And there comes a time when you cannot turn the other cheek,
You have got to ride the ferry
Past the battered old bodies of dead dead dreamers,
Past the tethered and fettered and deskbound schemers,
The punks and the drunks and the bad guitar players,
And the dewy-eyed teenage dragon slayers,
You come to this place where you can say
I just want to work with you,
As we do the things that we know we have to do,
Ever hopeful and ever blue,
We do the things that we know we have to do,
And though we all know deep down in our hearts,
That someday this will all fall apart,
For right now,
Let's just be heroes.

(Thanks to the David Baerwald Info Source for the lyrics.)

February 15, 2003

Two Things Before I Get the Hell Out of Here (but not too far; in the future, if I want to get away for a certain weekend, maybe even on an airplane, I should really start planning for it before late Thursday afternoon...):
  1. If anybody out there would like to help me with a project I'm working on, I'm trying to come up with a whole calendar-full of happy, happy love-dates like the ones below.
  2. The illustrious Mike Wolf, who has managed to unearth even more unappealing photos of me at the BABB, has also provided a link to the superhilarious Dictionaraoke, which has just posted its 100th rockin' hit as sung by the audio pronunciation samples from online dictionaries. Enjoy, yes!

February 13, 2003

Happy Valentine's Day, Everybody!

Folks: love ain't something that should only be celebrated on February 14. Love's so darn big and wonderful that it should be celebrated every single darn day! Here's some great dates in the history of love and romance to mark on your calendars and get you into the lovin' mood all year `round!And remember, folks: no matter what your spouse, significant other, or family member says — we here at The Donk are the ones that really love you!
Whoever the bastard was who installed a whole wall of mirrors right next to the Ski-Track exercise thingy I use sure has one vicious sense of humor.
As a little side note, copies of The Donk featuring that crappy little makeshift title bar that ran for a couple of days are gonna be huge collector's items!

Also, even though I don't really ever review movies or records or anything, I might just have to start just so I can institute my swanky new Whybark-Donkeys in a new Donkey rating system! For example: Monday's Supergrass show at the Bowery Ballroom gets One Donkey!!!Two Donkeys!!!Three Donkeys!!!Four Donkeys!!! out of five donkeys!
Some quotes are so wonderful that they should appear in every single magazine article about any subject for a whole week.
''I'm hot for many reasons,'' says Gisele, 19, a petite brunette who pirouettes and lifts her skimpy white mini to reveal a naked, cellulite-free bottom. ''I mean, just look at me -- I've got a nice face, a good body, and a nice ass. It's obvious!'' As a casting director stares, slack-jawed, she purses her glossy lips and adds earnestly, ''I feel very sorry for ugly people.''
[From an Entertainment Weekly article about ABC's upcoming ''Are You Hot? The Search for America's Sexiest People,'' based on the William Makepeace Thackeray novel of the same name.]
Whew!!! Angry residents of Atacames believe the donkey died of depression.

February 12, 2003

Dot's All! I think that this Valentine’s Day I’m going to break with tradition by sitting alone in my room loudly weeping, instead of silently; let's shake things up a little! ... I can never see a headline like "South Dakota Firm Recalls Beef Products" without thinking of a bunch of folks sitting around a South Dakota conference room, sighing and remembering all of the fine beef products they've had over the years ... One of the best things about the Academy nominating five really hot women in the Best Actress category is that no matter who wins you know it's going to be somebody really hot ... Up until I was around 12 years old I had no idea that there was such a thing as a silent b, so I'd pronounce words like "doubt" as "dubbit" and nobody would ever bother to correct me ... Boy, it sure would be really great if my job mattered in the grand scheme of things even a teensy little bit ... A lot of times you'll hear people try to convince you that they're not racist by saying something like "If somebody's the best-qualified candidate for the job I wouldn't care whether they're white, black, brown, yellow, or purple!" but you know they're just bullshitting you about hiring that purple guy ... If I used to be the President of the United States but now just spend a lot of time hanging around the house, I think I'd build a pretend joint session of Congress in my basement, like Rupert Pupkin in The King of Comedy, set up lights and an applause machine and give the most kick-ass State of the Union address ever! ... Thinking back on my 31 years on this planet, on all of the amazing people I've met, incredible sights I've seen, wondrous things I've learned, on all of the simple and beautiful facets of just being alive, I think that the time I was truly the happiest and most content was that one time when I was making out with that hot chick.
[Goldstein:] Hmmmm.......yeah, everything seems pretty good...didn't really ask for the mask but I guess it looks...okay.

[checks arounds, looks behind Archives, straightens out the left justification a touch]

You know, Mike — and I'm not implying that you necessarily had anything to do with it, not at all — but I'm pretty sure that when I gave you the password last night this site had a couple more insouciant and witty comments, at least one shocking expose that's gonna bring this country's pet food conglomerates to their knees, plus some change in one of the cupholders. Now, I'm looking around, and I don't see those things. Again, I'm not accusing you of anything, there could be a lot of explanations — this has been a high-crime blogroll and word has it that Frankenstein character's been lurking around — but how about I just head off to work now, and maybe when I get back home we'll see what's...turned up. Okay? Great.

February 11, 2003

[Whybark:] Welp, Mr. Goldstein, that'll do.

[slams hood, wipes hands on shoprag, looks thoughtful]

So, lessee now, that's deeplinked imagehosting, an html tuneup, rearrangment of the Blogger badge, a coupla pictures... um, except for the interim imagehosting, you're all set! I only imagine you'll find that to be a problem if my computer freezes or something. Of course, that NEVER happens.

What's that? No, no, put your wallet away.

Come to think of it, I do have a voice recording I could use you for... Call me when you're at work, or in a public place, especially if you've had a beer or two. How's tomorrow looking for you?
Wow! It's the All-Sparkly-Like-New Illuminated Donkey, now featuring Super-DLux
(Oh, yeah: Mike has access to The Donk for the time being; don't be alarmed.)

Um...the blog revamp seems to have hit a bit of a snag...

Hmmm...that's slightly better, but still not Whybark-Perfect yet...but here's a little preview of the goodies to come:

Ride That Donkey!!! Well, that isn't working either. Try again tomorrow, I guess. Wait, maybe this will work...nope. Ah, the hell with it.

[mike says:] grmble grmble... bravenet spotty imagehosting...

Ah, the bastages changed hosting policies on me, no deeplinking. Well, so now Ken's graphics are on the ever-trusty bellerophon.

Since I'm here:

Don the mask!

February 10, 2003

Oh, yeah, baby. Back in my J.C. apartment after catching the rockass Supergrass show at the Bowery Ballroom, and it just reminds me of what my friend Little C-Za always says:

Bridge + Tunnel = HOT!

The Lastest Ever Big Apple Blogger Bash Update
Atheist Blogger Undeterred by Mortifying Public Humiliation

An atheist weblogger who fell into a theologically-induced alcoholic stupor at a crowded blog party will continue with his shrill, anti-religious moralistic pontificating despite the apparent stain upon his reputation. The Screaming Atheist -- rendered unconscious for approximately four hours Friday night at downtown L.A.’s Xanadu by six overly-strong White Russians -- declared that the incident had only strengthened his resolve to expose the falsity of God-belief and the stupidity and hypocrisy of its adherents.

“It’s not exactly like I was toppling skyscrapers with airplanes or buggering boys in the rectory, now, was it?” he asked rhetorically. “Nor was I even a belligerent drunk like those homophobic Papists in the St. Patrick’s Day parade.” TSA noted that he fully cooperated with the restaurant’s so-called “bouncer,” a term that he disputed should even be applied to someone you tip $10 to help you stand up and hail a cab, a fact that anyone who had bothered to question the alleged “bouncer” would have discovered.
Dammit, R.A., or whoever the heck that was wearing your nametag, the next time I see you I owe you a drink!
I'm planning on reworking the content here at The Donk, with a focus on larger humor pieces and commentary, but before I did that I just wanted to announce that "Hummer," as in "Hoops Star Cleared in Hummer Probe" has offically replaced "Smoothies" as the official Consumer Good / Blowjob Euphemism that makes me giggle uncontrollably when it's dropped into everyday conversation. [And a happy birthday to Murph as long as I'm here.]

February 09, 2003

In case it wasn't already obvious, I've decided to redesign this little site, so things could be a little ugly for a few days. Once I get that straightened out, I'll do something about the boring content.

February 07, 2003

Thank the Lord that whole thing's finally over...

Update: Hmmm...since there's been some question as to how I really felt about the festivities and some strange desire to hear my opinion on the subject, let me just say that I had a fine, fine time at the BABB, despite any photographic evidence to the contrary. While the attendance was so large and the space so narrow as to make getting around a bit difficult, it was great to meet some new writers like Erin the Gigglechick, Paul Katcher (who is indeed doing God's work over there), Kambri Crews, Mike Wolf (my new favorite Connecticut-based blogger), Alex of BrokenType, and Eric Rosenfield (whose interest in Cerebus I wish I knew about beforehand) among others. This is, of course, in addition to the BABB veterans who I delight in seeing anew each and every time.

Oh, and Ari, I swear that any apparent discomfort you may have noticed during your farewell hug was not due to any possible "physical boundaries" issues, but because of the sudden appearance of a bizarre monster outside the window who ...disappeared when anybody...turned...to look. Or maybe it was something else.

February 06, 2003

Big Apple Blogger Bash 2003!

February 04, 2003

Seriously, though, if anybody even mentions the words "specification sheet" to me over the next 12 hours, then they better have a shovel with `em, because they're sure as hell gonna be in a shovel fight.
Today is the 175th anniversary of the equilateral triangle.

February 02, 2003

To answer the dozen or so people who've inquired about the brand-new Ken Goldstein MegaMart: 1) Yep, it's for real and 2) Nope, I won't be seeing a dime of it.

Update: due to unpopular demand (actually at the request of my sister, one of my many apparently broke-ass friends and family members), prices at the KGP StripMall have been slashed down to almost nothing! Nothing I tells ya!
"Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays!" Office Space: quirky cult comedy classic dealing with the humorous foibles and mind-numbing alienation of the modern corporate world, or most world-shatteringly influential film since Metropolis?
  1. First, last year, in response to an unprecedented office-supply meme (warning: article contains suicidally depressing line " 'Most people have had a Swingline on their desk, looking at the name every day, year after year,' [Bill Carvell, VP of Swingline's parent company] says."), Swingline introduced a "Rio Red" version of its standard "747" model, which is also notable for the new direction it takes with stapler marketing copy:
    Up the Revolution: The Red Stapler! Staple and be heard! WHAM-cubicles! WHAM-dress code! WHAMWHAMWHAM! By popular demand, we're offering this desk stapler in screaming, gleaming red. Use with caution (unless you're the boss).
    Of course, the revolution will require SF4 Hi-Performance Staples.
  2. Jim Flanagan of Everything Burns noticed that in Adaptation, Ron Livingston, playing Charlie Kaufman's agent, paraphrases his old boss Bill Lumbergh's line when he tells Kaufman, "Mmmm...yeah, if we can see something on that...tomorrow, that would be great...yeah..."
  3. In one of the current Reebok "Terry Tate: Office Linebacker" series, one of the most popular Super Bowl ads, Tate is shown berating a cowering co-worker, screaming, "You know you need a cover sheet on your TPS reports, Richard! That ain't new, baby!"
Remember, folks: two is a coincidence; three is a conspiracy!
Well, I saw my shadow this morning, so I'm due for another six weeks of annoying bullshit.

February 01, 2003

Horrible, just horrible. I always worry about saying the wrong thing in times like this, so maybe you just better head on over to Whybark's place, where he's offering full coverage. InstaPundit is also presenting its usual thoughtful and comprehensive commentary and links.
Great, it's February, like I really need that kind of garbage right now.

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