December 23, 2003

Gone Fishing!

December 22, 2003

Come Crap with Ken: An Illuminated Donkey Travel Buddy Contest!

Yes, like the salmon swimming upstream or the swallows returning to...that swallow-returning place, I once again find myself drawn to the sweet decadence of Las Vegas. Friend of the Donk Keith and I will be gracing that fair city this New Year's Eve, and as always, I am giving you folks, my faithful readers, a chance to share in my bounty.

Some of you might remember this past May's contest, Donk Roulette, a wonderful and exciting event with absolutely no winners. Well, this time we're testing lady luck again, but we're moving away from the wheel and towards the dice. Yep, we're playing Donk Craps!

Those of you not familiar with this fine game might want to head over to the craps page of The Wizard of Odds and scroll down to "The Pass Line" section. I'll wait right here. Okay, good, now here's what you have to do: the first six of you who comment get to choose one of the six "points" (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10). Once a specific point is taken, it cannot be chosen again. Once all six are taken, I may open the commenting up to a new group of six with diminishing prizes, but for now it's only the first six.

Then, during our stay at the Sahara, I will head over to a table and place a $10 bet on the pass line. Now, if my first roll is a 7 or 11 (automatic winners) or 2, 3, or 12 (automatic losers), we will have to wait for my next roll for Donk Craps to officially begin. When I roll my first 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, the commenter who chose that point will at the very least receive a Vegas gift bag, filled with swag. If I manage to make that point before ignominiously crapping out, however, the commenter will receive my $10 winning bet!

It's no-risk Vegas high-rolling from the comfort of your home or office! How can you resist? But remember: only the first six are guaranteed spots, so hurry up and comment, and good luck!
My Favorite Films of 2003.
  1. Lilya 4-Ever: One of the starkest, most powerful films I've ever seen, and when the houselights came on not a single person moved, all riveted to our seats staring straight ahead and our breath knocked out.
  2. American Splendor:Will I just be a hopeless idealist as I wait to hear Paul Giamatti's name when they read out the Oscar nominations? Whatever happens, "You should know I've had a vasectomy." definitely goes on my list of the most romantic lines in Hollywood history.
  3. Old School: The scene: Shea Stadium in June. The situation: sitting in front of me is a father with his young child, becoming increasingly concerned about the half-drunk fan cursing up a storm in the row in front of us. After a couple of hints, the father explicitly asks the drunk guy to tone it down a little, at which point he looks at the father, then at the kid, then back to the father, finally saying, "Earmuffs! All you had to do is say earmuffs!" School of Rock and A Mighty Wind got all of the attention, but Vaughn, Ferrell, and a cast of thousands made me laugh the hardest.
  4. Finding Nemo: Worked on every level.
  5. tie: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and Lost in Translation: Basically the same movie on different scales, so how could I choose?

December 21, 2003

Let's hear it for David! You know, my brother David gets overlooked on this page, especially compared to my sister, regular contributor Nancy. And I know I don't hesitate to call him out when I think he's screwing up. So when he comes through, like he did today, I definitely owe him a big thumbs-up.

Because not only did he take care of both dinner for the whole family and the Return of the King showing me, him, and my sister saw afterwards, he gave me one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. Folks, take a gander at this:

It's a major award!

That's right. My brother gave me a full-scale replica of the Leg Lamp from A Christmas Story, and it is freaking beautiful. God bless us, every one.

December 20, 2003 I may have mentioned, official Friend of the Donk Keith and I will be heading off to Los Angeles this week, followed by New Year's Eve in Vega$. If anybody out there has an idea for a Illuminated Donkey Travel Buddy Contest, Vega$-style, that would be a worthy successor to Donk Roulette, please drop a comment in the ol' box. Slots? Craps? Getting strippers liquored up and giving them each a shovel? Help a brother out and maybe win some cash-money.
Lo Bob. You like pie? You know, I think part of my problem lately has been due to my complete and utter forgetting of The Everyday Adventures of Weebl and Sometimes Weebl's Friend Bob! How can I do such a thing?! Check them out this week; they have hilarious blooper outtakes!
Via Paul Frankenstein, avowed non-Jew: a link to a celebration of the most wonderful and overlooked holiday of the season: Jewsmas. Please visit to learn all about the festive rites of the holiday, such as the Refusal of the Ham, the Mumbling of the Carols, and the Ogling of the Shiksa.

December 19, 2003

Worst. Week. Ever.
Another reason for the Sox to expand Fenway Park.
Two Yankees Charged in Bullpen Fight

New York Yankees Jeff Nelson and Karim Garcia were charged Thursday with assault and battery for fighting with a groundskeeper in the Fenway Park bullpen during a playoff game against the Red Sox. [...]

Clerk Magistrate Michael Neighbors called the case against the two players ''weak,'' but said there was enough evidence in the police report to allow the case to go forward, despite a lack of eyewitnesses.
Well, sure, a lack of witnesses...I mean, the place only holds 34,000. Sounds like a few Yankee fans had a little chat with the fans out there..."Hey, ain't nobody seen nothing, got it?"

December 17, 2003

December 17, 1903: Kitty Hawk, NC

"High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds -- and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of -- wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

December 16, 2003

The Lightning Round! You're probably not going to believe me, but I've actually been incredibly swamped at work these days, what with the 2004 line going into production and CES coming up in a matter of days. (But have they recognized my trade-show experienced and asked me to go to Vegas to help out? Nope.) Anyway, before I crawled over to my bed and collapsed, I wanted to pass along a few little notes that have come across my desk this week.

December 14, 2003

After a lovely party on Friday night my weekend completely went downhill, with my car's brakes needing over six bills worth of work, yet more sloppy and crappy weather befalling the greater Jersey City area, me coming down with...something headachy, and Mike Whybark once again taking an interest in my life. All of this means that it's probably time for me to hide in my closet, under a pile of sheets, until this blows over. See you all in March.

December 12, 2003

Happy birthday, Frank. You are missed.

December 10, 2003

Boycott the Weblog Awards!

The Blogosphere is a wonderful, powerful, conglomeration, and I am proud to be even the infinitesimal part of it that I am. It is truly special, but what is it, exactly, that makes the it so special? The millions of unique and independent voices, ideas, talents, and opinions? Of course, those are all part of it. But what truly makes the Blogosphere special are the shared ideas, intellectual roundtables, reciprocated links...a sense of community that makes us all feel like part of something great.

And that, my friends, is what Kevin Aylward's Wizbang Weblog Awards is trying to destroy, with the coldhearted psychosis of an eight-year-old boy ripping the wings off of hundreds of delicate, beautiful butterflies.

For those of who you might not be aware, I was recently nominated by Mr. Paul Frankenstein, without my advance consent, for a 2003 Weblog Award, in the category of Best Humor Blog. And while I certainly had my misgivings about the whole enterprise, I did not wish to insult Paul's gesture of goodwill (and I was, admittedly, a little curious).

Well folks, that go-along attitude and curiosity have together congealed into a large putrid mass of disgust. Over the past week I have witnessed human nature at its very worst, as bloggers I have read, respected, and even met have thrown honor to the wolves, fighting tooth and nail for every vote possible. Honesty? Decency? Self-respect? Compassion? Apparently those words all become meaningless once some strangers slaps together a polling screen and comes up with an award and a logo.

Now I certainly don't want to tar every nominated blogger with this same brush of disgust. For example, the five bloggers currently trailing me in the polling have all done an exemplary job in balancing good-hearted competitiveness with at least the thinnest veneer of dignity. As for the 14 ahead of me...well, craven, bottom-feeding opportunists might be the kindest collective description that springs to mind.

And while at least one of these 14 has managed to make Paris Hilton look like an Trappist monk with agoraphobia (I don't want to mention any individual blog, but it rhymes with "Wiggle-Stick"), all have apparently put this flimsiest of awards ahead of a potentially enlightening friendship with me. Sure, Mr. or Mrs. Scrappleface, you may have 24 times the votes I have, but do you have 24 times the love, or sense of self-worth? Well...probably...but do you need a silly poll to tell you that? I sure don't.

So far all of these reasons, I am hereby boycotting the Wizbang Weblog Awards, and I am hoping that you do the same. From this moment onward, I will consider every vote I do not receive in the poll a tacit expression of support for this effort. I thank you all in advance.

December 09, 2003

Would anybody mind if we just went back in time about three weeks and tried this whole thing again?

December 08, 2003

Okay, everybody stop saying "guesstimate" right now. I'm tired of it.

December 06, 2003

Inclement Weather Leads to Discovery of Winter Coat Time Capsule

"This fortuitous finding gives our generation a clearer picture of what life was like back in April of 2003," says local professor.

JERSEY CITY, NJ -- December 6, 2003 -- The discovery of a believed-to-be-lost heavy winter coat in the deepest corner of a hallway closet has both answered and raised questions about everyday life in Late Winter 2002/2003, according to anthropologists and social scientists. The contents of the coat, which had lain undisturbed for approximately eight months, are currently in the process of being catalogued and analyzed, but early reports already have the scientific community buzzing.

"Our first realization was that this was an immensely wealthy people," says Horst Eisenhardt, Director of Local Anthropological Studies at Pulaski Skyway State College. "We instantly discovered over 50 cents in small change in the left pocket, assorted pennies and nickels in the right, and even a folded dollar bill in the breast pocket. Imagine a people of such wealth and riches that they simply couldn't keep track of it all, or miss any of it when it was lost." (At the present time, the City Council is still considering whether to display these funds in the Jersey City Museum or use them to help pay for snow removal.)

But for all their prosperity, it seems that the citizens of that era still suffered in numerous ways. "Preliminary findings do seem to confirm early theories that the people of Late Winter 2002/2003 were in no way healthy," postulated Eisenhardt. "Several loose aspirin, vitamin pills, assorted painkillers/medicines still undergoing lab testing, a plain Chapstick...there can be no doubt that Late Winter 2002/2003 man was a headachy, sniffly, chapped, mess. Frankly, we were all a little scared to even touch the coat."

While these findings seem fairly straightforward, others are far more cryptic. Why would the wearer have left a MetroCard in the coat, leaving it to expire; and if it had expired, why leave it in the coat? Did he think that stain would just get itself out? Why would the coat's wearer carry around a movie-theater receipt for approximately three months after he had seen the film? And why would he have ever seen The Truth About Charlie? While researchers hope to find out the answers to these questions, it appears likely that some answers will just have to remain lost in the murky depths of time.

December 05, 2003

2003 Weblog Awards

I'd rather not finish last. Polling has been opened for the Wizbang 2003 Weblog Awards, in which I am one of 20 nominatees for Best Humor Blog. am in 19th place, two votes ahead of Bad Money. Which has no votes. You do the math.

And sure, Erin Gigglechick and the Pretty Girl are both also nominated, and we here love them a lot. But for heaven's sake...two votes? And one of them was me? So please head on over there and at least help me not finish last. Thanks.

Update: Okay, I'm now in 15th place. Let's keep it going.
First snow of the season: pretty nice.

Second snow of the season: pure slushy dank two-and-a-half-hours-in-traffic hell.

December 04, 2003

It's Friday morning all across this wonderful country of ours more or less, and that can mean only one thing: it's time for another breathtaking serving of Nancy Goldstein's Monkeys, Donkeys, and Junkies: a regular foray into the latest headlines concerning three of our favorite things!

Far too often we hear only the bad news concerning our friends the monkeys, so it's always heartening to hear a little monkey-related hope and healing for a change. As is often the case, we find that happy news in Thailand.
Thailand Opens First Hospital for Monkeys.

LOPBURI, Thailand - At least seven patients crowded the hospital room. Four with respiratory diseases were on the same examination table, out cold from anesthesia. Another had survived a fall from a building, and one more — hit by a car — had a broken leg.

It was a busy day at Thailand's first monkey hospital, which opened Wednesday in Lopburi, 70 miles north of Bangkok.

The 8,440-square-foot monkey hospital, located at the Lopburi Zoo, has operating, examination, treatment and admittance rooms. The $45,000 center was built with loans and donations from animal lovers.
That seems pretty cheap for a monkey hospital, doesn't it? Well, there's an old Thai saying that when life's good for the monkeys it's bad for the donkeys, and nowhere is that more true right now than in Iraq.
Life Worsens for Donkeys Under Suspicion.

Since guerrillas used donkeys to outwit the high-tech defenses of the U.S. military in Iraq, the life of the beast of burden has never been so miserable.

Attackers used donkey carts to launch Katyusha rockets at the Oil Ministry and two fortified Baghdad hotels Friday. Two other donkey carts were stopped -- one carrying more rockets, the other a donkey-bomb wired up with explosives.

Every donkey in Baghdad is suddenly under suspicion as President Bush wages a global war on terror. In a crackdown on an animal that already suffers multiple daily whippings, U.S. soldiers with automatic rifles regularly stop and search donkey carts for weapons.

Donkey owners say petrol stations have been refusing to sell them kerosene for resale since the rocket attacks. The animals salivate and wheeze with exhaustion as they pull their owners and heavy loads across the potholed streets of the Iraqi capital in a desperate search for kerosene.

And for the final stop on the MD&J tour we head to LA-via-Montreal to check in with an old reliable.
Downey Meets Fiancee on Set of 'Gothika.'

"Gothika" is a dark thriller, but the movie had a happy ending for Robert Downey Jr.: He met his fiancee on the set in Montreal. Susan Levin was a producer on the film, in which Downey co-stars with Halle Berry and Penelope Cruz.

Downey said he and Levin haven't set a wedding date; in the meantime, they're planning to spend Thanksgiving with her family.

"I'll be going to Palm Springs and I won't be getting arrested while I'm there," he joked, referring to his November 2000 arrest for drug possession at a Palm Springs resort. A judge dismissed the charges in 2002 after determining that Downey had stayed clean and sober for 14 months.

You know, two out of three hopeful stories is a new record for us here at MD&J. Be sure to check back soon as we try for three-out-of-three on another globe-spanning edition of Nancy Goldstein's Monkeys, Donkeys, and Junkies!
With props to FotD Little C-Za, I direct you to the delightful American Package Museum, featuring hundreds of classic products from the supermarkets of yesteryear, such as the much-missed-and-lamented Pimento Velveeta (also available from the Index in a 3-D rotation!).

December 02, 2003

It did snow today, though; first snow of the season. I thought that was pretty nice.
A big thanks to another Donk regular, P-Frank, for nominating this humble site for Wizbang's 2003 Weblog Awards in the category of Best Humor Blog. And how fortunate for me that he's done it during a week where I've apparently tried to be as depressing and cryptic as possible. So I'll have to try for a couple of laughs here...

Nah, I'm still too annoyed about this crappy week. So yesterday I bought a turkey-and-swiss wrap at Shoprite to eat on the ride home, then when I pulled onto Rt. 1/9 and took a bite I discovered that the damn thing had gone bad, and I was left with a mouthful of rotten meat and cheese. So about a mile up the road, still hungry, I pulled into the Dunkin' Donuts drive-through for a 99-cent egg-and-cheese sandwich, and had this wonderful conversation:
"Yes, I'd like an egg-and-cheese on an English muffin, please.

"Will that be all?"


"No beverage?"

"Nope, just the egg-and-cheese."

"You sure you don't want some coffee, or maybe some juice or a soda?"

"Well, those would be beverages, and I already said I don't want a beverage."
Well, that was probably a mistake, especially when you can't see them making your sandwich. Not that it really mattered, because when I unwrapped it after once again pulling out onto Rt. 1/9 I discovered that they hadn't bothered to cook the damn thing! They had microwaved it for ten seconds instead of a minute or something, and I'd left with a mouthful of raw muffin and egg covering up the rotten cheese. Thanks a frigging lot, world!

And then today I had to deal with a whole lot of Jahna-D'Lish-related crap from my brother which I don't really feel like getting into right now (plus, he is my brother, so I can't slag him too hard). Maybe Jahna will, though! Keep checking

Hmmm...this is actually turning out to be more whiny than funny, so lemme try something cheaper and more crowd-pleasing...right! The Paris Hilton video! I know it's a bit old, but a subject was raised tonight when D'Lish and I saw a promo for Paris's new show on a farm or something.

Anyway, D'Lish and I started talking and agreed that it seems a bit...coincidental that these celebrity sex videos only mysteriously appear when the guy involved is hung like a freaking border guard. For some strange reason the rest of the videos never make out of the guy's nightstand.

I mean, without fail, Johnny Tripod's got footage of him banging some skank and you can't open a Visa bill without a special offer selling the DVD for $4.95 plus shipping. Meanwhile, ol' Needledick the Bugfucker has Nicole Kidman bent over a coffee table and he's got that videotape locked up with the same storage system the National Archives uses for the Declaration of Independence. Makes you wonder. Or maybe that's just D'Lish and me. Or maybe just her.
Wow! Big news from Cracktown! On the same day that I celebrated both him and the English alphabet by placing him atop my alphabetically ordered list of Regular Characters Here at the Donk (see below), Sidney Crackstein of Mr. Happy Crack sent word that he and the lovely Mrs. Happy Crack are expecting a little Crack Baby!

We here at The Donk send our fondest congratulations to the happy Happy Crack parents-to-be, and plan to send a savings bond that the child will be able to cash in just in time for some much-needed therapy to recover from a childhood of Crackwear and a future in the glamorous field of foundation repair.

But dammit, that's gonna be one dry baby.

December 01, 2003

Well, now we pretty much just have to put our heads down and slog our way through until spring.

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