October 14, 2004

Our Long National Nightmare Is Over.

Earlier today, at approximately 5:15 p.m., a few days short of eight months after being laid off, I was offered, and subsequently accepted, a permanent position of employment with a large, well-known firm located in midtown Manhattan. I am a happy, happy man.


October 12, 2004

What I've Learned From Listening to Eight Hours of Light FM Radio Every Day at Work.

October 09, 2004

Anybody whose favorite season isn't Fall has something wrong with them.

October 07, 2004

Three Interesting Facts About St. Louis Cardinal Outfielder Reggie Sanders: Vote for Your Favorite!
  1. Reggie has played for seven different National League teams over the last seven years, a full season with each.
  2. He is a harbinger of success: this year's Cardinals are the fifth different team who he has played on in the postseason, tying a record held by five other players.
  3. His middle name is Laverne.

October 06, 2004

Update. After only two days I have been forced to abandon the new key configuration. It turns out that there were several unforeseen complications which far outweighed the advantages. I would like to thank you all for your support during this trying time.
Oh, Yeah. Yesterday was the Third Anniversary of this here blog, but I forgot about it. I was going to put up a post and just backdate it to yesterday, but I decided that would be pretty bootleg. Anyway, here's the same link to a bunch of pictures of monkeys that I posted on October 5, 2001 and on every October 5 since. Until yesterday.

October 05, 2004

The only thing that can possibly be better than "Common People" by Pulp? Okay, it's probably not the new "Common People" cover sung by William Shatner and Joe Jackson, but it's better than it has any right to be. Listen to it over at VH1.com, at least as of right now.
Proof That Democracy Really Does Work! A few weeks ago I asked you, my loyal readers, to help support longtime Friend-of-the-Donk (and proud new dad!) Sidney Crackstein in his bid to have Mr. Happy Crack elected top local mascot in the St. Louis post-Dispatch poll, or something like that. Frankly, I was drunk for most of September and don't remember half the stuff I did.

But did it work? Well, it couldn't have hurt, since the beloved MHC edged out the Dirt Cheap Chicken to win the coveted crown and receive...well, nothing. Nothing but the cheers of an impressed and flood-free nation.

Of course, an election as contentious as this one was wouldn't be complete without a bit of controversy, as Jeff Daniel of the SLPD reports:
The two-icon race was neck-and-neck, with the Chicken usually maintaining a slight lead. Then came our Florida moment. In a period of 24 hours during the polling, the number of total votes rose from some 2,500 (accumulated over a week's time) to more than 9,000. In the process, Mr. Happy Crack lapped the Chicken and assumed the front-runner position.
Funny how the obviously Chicken-biased Daniel completely discounts any possibility of a sudden groundswell by satisfied foundation-repair-service customers or Jersey-based blog readers. How happy I am that I don't live in Mr. Daniel's bitter little world where even the happiest of news is greeting with sneers and tainted with the whiff of scandal. For shame, Jeff.

October 04, 2004

While writing the below post I was going to recommend that you all head on over to Whybark's site for his obsessive roundup of MSM links, but I figured it would be construed as commenting. In any event, it's nice to know that even after Mike is buried under 15 feet of volcanic ash that his fine site will still be around to carry on his legacy. Unless the ash buries his server doohickey, too. I'm not really sure how that would work.
Presented without comment:
"Now we can go home and say, 'Hey, we saw a volcano erupting!' This was a good time to come," Patricia Cusic said excitedly at the [Coldwater Ridge visitors] center.
from Crowds Enjoy the Show at Mount St. Helens.
The Start of Something Big? So after almost three years of my current dual-keyring configuration, I've decided to put my car key and remote on the same ring as my garage-door opener, as opposed to the ring with my apartment and mailbox keys. This is a pretty big change for me, and I'm hoping it all goes well.
At the End, There Was Endy. Pinch-hitter Endy Chavez, that is, who grounded out to second base at Shea Stadium yesterday at 4:15 p.m., cementing the Expos' 2943rd and final loss, instantly turning thousands of jersey and hats (most of which seemed to be worn in Shea yesterday) into hot retro items. The team of Dawson, Carter, Raines, Staub, and what seems like the first three seasons of most of the stars in baseball these days was no more.

I was joined at Shea by Mike and Gerard, a pair of baseball fans who are always up for a beautiful afternoon of depressing baseball history. And there was plenty of that on hand yesterday. Besides the main depressing event, the final-ever game for Montreal before next season's move to D.C. (the first franchise shift since the second Washington Senators moved to Texas in 1972), there were a few depressing sidelines:In the end, it turned out to be a good day for everybody but the Expos. Art Howe's Mets won the game 8-1. John Franco came on in to get the final out in the eighth, inducing a foul pop to Todd Zeile, who was making his first start at catcher in 14 years.

But in the end it was definitely Todd Zeile's day. After being honored by the Mets with a pregame retirement ceremony (and let's be honest: Zeile was a decent hitter who played well for the Mets for their pennant-winning 2000 team, but he ain't exactly Tom Seaver), Zeile supplied a Ted Williams-like moment in the sixth, hitting a three-run homer in what would turn out to be his final at-bat (he came out to bat in the eighth, but was lifted for a pinch-hitter). The homer was Zeile's 253rd, and only Williams (521) and Albert Belle (381) ended their career with a higher-numbered home run. As you can imagine, the crowd went wild.

It was...nice. That's it. Just nice. A nice moment on a nice afternoon, standing and cheering for a decent player ending a decent career, cheering on two crappy teams ending a crappy season (and for one of them, ending a crappy history). We ate popcorn and nachos and ice cream and got our picture taken with Mr. Met and what the hell else do you want in this world?

October 03, 2004

Went with Little C-Za this weekend to see Wimbledon, which is easily the greatest tennis movie I've ever seen. Well, it's not actually that good -- the tennis footage is exciting if unrealistic, Kirsten Dunst is an annoying slut, and though I like Paul Bettany I can't forgive him for stealing the woman of my dreams -- it's just that other than a couple of television movies, I don't think I've ever seen a tennis movie. So we got this thing.

But speaking of tennis movies, did anybody ever find out just what the heck Alfred Hitchcock had against tennis players? I know it was a different era and tennis was considered much more of a Richie-Rich pastime, but it seems an odd coincidence that the both the man who wants his wife murdered in order to marry a Senator's daughter in Strangers on a Train and the man who plots the perfect murder of his wife in Dial M for Murder are both tennis pros. Maybe early in his career some tennis pro stole one of Hitch's many unattainable blonde dreamgirls?

October 02, 2004

For God's sake, will 2004 just end already?! I can't believe I have to go through another three months of this shit.

September 30, 2004

Welcome to the Show, Kid.
Denney Suffers Gunshot Wound

Kansas City, Mo.- Rookie pitcher Kyle Denney was struck in the right calf Wednesday night by a bullet fired at the Indians team bus on the way to the Kansas City airport. The bullet went through the pants of outfielder Ryan Ludwick before striking Denney. Ludwick was not injured.

Bart Swain, Indians director of media relations, said the second bus in the Indians caravan was struck on the freeway about 10 minutes after leaving Kauffman Stadium. "Kyle is all right," said Swain. "He was in good spirits when he went to the hospital."

As part of a rookie hazing ritual, Denney was wearing a USC cheerleader's uniform when he was shot. The outfit included high white boots. "Our trainers said the boots may have saved Kyle from further injury," said Swain.
I guess this would be the rare example of adding injury to insult.

September 29, 2004

New, More Colorful $50 Bill Begins Circulating

(WASHINGTON) - The color of money is changing again. Tuesday's the day the new, more colorful $50 bills begin circulating -- sporting splashes of red, blue and yellow.

Ulysses S. Grant, the Civil War general and 18th president, is still on the front and the U.S. Capitol remains on the back. But subtle colors are now added to the new notes, joining the traditional black ink on the front and green ink on the back.
Yippee, the Canadanization of the U.S. continues. Why don't we just save time and put on some parkas and pick three states at random to start talking French?

Of course, any true degenerate gambler knows you should stay far away from $50 bills anyway, since they're nothing but bad luck. Nobody knows exactly why they're considered bad luck (though theories abound), but I've stood behind several guys at the cashier's window who refused to take them. Of course, this usually happens when I'm standing there after an awful session, waiting to cash in my last three $1 chips so I can go out to the boardwalk and buy a slice of pizza before making that long, sad dawntime drive up the Parkway.
Getting Pretty Close. Good article in The American Prospect by reporter Tom Turcol detailing the reasons that New Jersey has become an unexpected battleground state in the upcoming election. The state, which has not gone to a Republican since 1988, was considered firmly in Kerry's column, with little money or effort directed towards it by either party. But the effects of 9/11 combined with a state Democratic Party in disarray after McGreevey's revelations have quickly closed the gap in a state that Kerry can't afford to lose.

September 27, 2004

A Public Service Announcement. If you're attending karaoke night with some friends and want to surprise/embarrass the one who isn't planning on performing by signing him up on the sly, for god's sake don't pick the Rolling Stones' "Emotional Rescue" as his song. Even if he knew the song well -- which he didn't -- the damn thing's almost impossible to sing anyway. At least give the guy a fighting chance rather than leaving me up on the stage like a lobotomized drifter holding my cack in my hand instead of a microphone.
258 Hits, 60 Wins. Since people keep bringing the subject up: while it's definitely pretty cool that Ichiro Suzuki is mounting a strong challenge to break George Sisler's 84-year-old record for hits in a season, the fact that my Mariners are closing out an incredibly hideous and hopeless season (their worst since their worst year ever, in 1983, and only two more losses away from matching their expansion year total) does take a lot away from my appreciation of the event.

I mean, not every record chase can be Maris/Mantle in 1961, but the team should at least has a chance for the playoffs at some point so that the record numbers are contributing to something, unlike this year's Mariners who opened the season 2-8 and have more or less matched that pace ever since. Well, at least the U.S.S. Mariner always finds something interesting about this lost season.
Irons in the Fire. Yes, the job search continues, but in about 12 hours things should be a lot clearer. There are three strong potentials I should hopefully hear about sometime tomorrow, two temporary and one permanent, all of them pretty acceptable at this point. As longtime readers may have picked up on, this whole looking-for-work thing had already gotten old back in May, and I'm ready to move on. Either that or head down to Atlantic City for a couple days.

September 22, 2004

News Roundup. I have to admit that this headline stopped me a little short when I saw it on Google news: How Will the General Use His Huge Mandate? Can't you just see that line towards the end of some euphemism-laden Harlequin romance? With lust in his eyes, General Goodbody strode across the now-empty ballroom towards the wide-eyed Deborah. With one hand he tore open her bodice and with the other he pulled Deborah towards him, kissing her passionately. As he lifted her from the ground and carried her up the stairs to the master bedroom, there was just one thought on Deborah's mind: How will the General use his huge mandate?

Sorry, got a little carried away there. In news a little closer to home, controlling the media my ass!
Debate Schedule Troubles Jews

Observant Jews are unhappy with the schedule for the televised debates between President Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry, saying the dates put politics and religion at loggerheads. The first debate, to be held next Thursday in Coral Gables, Fla., coincides with the Jewish harvest holiday of Succoth. The second, slated Oct. 8 - a Friday - in St. Louis, falls on the eve of the Sabbath.
And, of course, the third debate is in direct conflict with the opening night of Jackie Mason's five-night stint in Evansville, Indiana.

And if I wasn't feeling a little depressed lately already, seeing ads all around NYC for The Awesome '80s Prom, one of them annoying interactive shows, that takes place at a 1989 high school prom. Something about seeing my own graduation year as the subject of a cheesy reenactment just makes me feel about 90 years old. It is worth clicking on the link just to access the photo of Kevin Bacon who, to put it mildly, is not caught up in the interactive hilarity.

September 19, 2004

Philippe de Montebello
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10028-0198

Dear Mr. de Montebello:

It is with a heavy heart and not without some bitterness that I hereby renounce my membership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, effective immediately. I hope that this letter detailing my reasons for this action will help instigate some obviously needed changes in your organization.

Like most relationships, my association with the Met began in happiness before deteriorating into disappointment and rancor. I was thrilled to receive the membership as a birthday gift from my siblings earlier this month. Other than fairly non-exclusive classifications such as homo sapiens or U.S. citizen I had really not been a member of anything since my high school days on the Mathletics team, so to suddenly be a part of something as lofty and prestigious as the Met was truly humbling and I was just hoping to live up to my end of the deal.

As I mentioned, things started off great. The day after my birthday, membership card in hand, I entered your museum, strode up to the counter, and received my admission pin from the smiling cashier. Those were six happy and fulfilling art-viewing hours that day, I can tell you. As it turns out, the very next afternoon I found myself on the Upper East Side with a certain urgent and embarrassing biological need. When I showed the nice woman at the counter my card and told her that I only needed to use the facilities and wouldn't be looking at any of the art, she laughed away my concerns and said that I could use the facilities, look at the art, whatever I wanted. I was a Metropolitan Museum member, part of the Met family.

Well, the events of the last two weeks have proved those to be empty words.Maybe I'm just a naive Jersey guy, not used to your big city museum ways, but where I come from we treat our family members with a little more respect and understanding. If my brother needs a few bucks until payday or a Yuan Dynasty vase to brighten up his apartment, I help the guy out rather than getting all huffy and threatening to have him arrested even after he puts the vase back without even a scratch. So when you receive my membership card in the mail, I hope you'll take a moment to reflect on what I've written and realize just how much harder it is to replace a member of one's family than it is a 13th century Italian stained-glass window (I'm real sorry about that, by the way).

Ken Goldstein

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