March 31, 2003

Astronaut Ice Cream! Astronaut Ice Cream! Astronaut Ice Cream! Normally I'd spend about eleventy jillion words here recapping the little trip I took down to DC, but this time I figured, "Ah, what the heck? Let's let the new girl have a go at it, see what she's got!" It's a two-parter, and it has a little more sex than you might be used to in my trip recaps. (That's not too surprising, I guess, since the classified ad sections of church newsletters tend to have more sex than this site...)

March 29, 2003

Back and, after nine hours of driving and a whole lot of walking, possibly alive. I'll have to check again in the morning.

Update: Yep, alive, if not actually well...

March 27, 2003

Heading down to DC this weekend with everybody's favorite new blogger, Jahna D'Lish. Don't wait up.

Update: In the meantime, though, you can check out my submission to Mike Wolf's "A Case For Song" project. It's about Pulp's "Common People" and it's convoluted!

March 25, 2003

I believe this calls for some scotch! Continuing what's apparently Anniversary Week here in Bloggertown, can it be that it was one year ago yesterday a crafty whippersnapper named Mike Whybark burst onto the blogging scene, grabbing the blogging bull by the horns, jumping in the saddle, and squeezing every last drop of literary life out of this metaphor I'm now hopelessly tangled up in? I'm proud to say that I was Mike's first ever link, and ever since then I've been flogging that blog like it was my freaking job or something. Anyway, if it wasn't for my dear friend Mr. Whybark I'd never have known just how easy it is to Photoshop my head and all sorts of things, and for that I think we all owe him our gratitude.

March 24, 2003

For those of you who keep track of such things: "Hoping the Troops Come Home Soon and Safe" has officially replaced the seemingly more vague yet not really "Supporting the Troops" as the official content-free war-releated statement when there's a microphone in front of you and you feel you have to say something.
Well, I was way off in my picks, but getting to hear Barbra Streisand announce the Oscar for Eminem made it all worthwhile.

March 23, 2003

Happy First Anniversary to Christian Finnegan's Tower of Hubris! Ol' Finny is celebrating with a look back at some highlights from his first year, though the lazy bastard doesn't bother to link to any of them, so if you wanna see just what was that post about "Why the World Cup can blow me" or "The $100 Blow-Your-Landlord Challenge" or any of seemingly dozens of other blowjob-or-handjob-related humorous comments, well then buddy, you're just SOL. Still, though, he seems like a decent enough guy, and I think every visit to his site helps raise money for scurvy research, so why not just head on over there for a few minutes, hmm?
Screw the Oscars. Today is your last day to nominate worthy blogs for The Anti-Bloggies, the only blog awards that really matter. Normally I'd sit here and figure out which sites are most worthy of the "Most Banal Content," "Worst Attempt at a Meme," "Turn off that Webcam," or "Biggest Whiner After Being De-Linked" awards, but it's really nice out now and I can use some coffee. Maybe if it's not nice where you are you can pick up my slack.

(Oh, as long as I'm here: Chicago, Marshall, Day-Lewis, Kidman, Cooper, Moore.)

March 21, 2003

An open letter to the woman I cornered at my friend's girlfriend's house at a party tonight.

First of all, just to get it out of the way, I again apologize for spilling those two drinks on you. I now understand that as part of my apology and explanation for the first spilling incident it was probably unnecessary for me to show you the odd way I was holding my glass, thereby instigating the second spilling incident. May I just say that you were very gracious about these accidents, at least about the first one.

And while you did seem to have it pretty well figured out by the time you left the party, I suppose I should still come clean and admit that I am not, in fact, a writer for the New Yorker in any capacity, and that the articles I claimed to have written were actually written by a number of authors, including many of Joseph Mitchell's pieces during the 1930's. With regards to my claims, any impression I may have given about the many fine vaudeville theaters in Manhattan is most likely false. On a related note, I realize that your comments about how difficult it must be to be a full-time reporter while still running a film production company and playing piano in a successful jazz combo were spoken with a tone more of skepticism than admiration, and I certainly shouldn't have taken those comments as an invitation to cut the already too-close distance between our faces in half, and to maintain that close distance despite all attempts on your part to extend it.

Finally, my tirade following your refusal of my offer to drive you back to your apartment was completely unjustified, especially given that I was extremely drunk at the time and had actually taken the PATH into Manhattan. None of your actions tonight in any way could have possibly qualified as "teasing" or "leading me on," and I obviously regret turning off the music to loudly announce that faulty assessment to the room. Despite these and any other unfortunate lapses in judgment on my part, I certainly did enjoy meeting you, and hope that you will not hold them against me should out paths cross again.

Suggested New Terms for the Oxford English Dictionary, 2004 Edition.

blair ('blar) n.
1. Unquestioning loyalty, even to point of pain or detriment.
Sample Usage: "The soldier maintained his blair to his commander, despite the hopeless and insurmountable odds."

blix ('bliks) v. blixed, blix*ing, blix*es
1. To offer an excessive level of trust and understanding.
2. (Archaic) To thoroughly investigate, report on.
Sample Usage: "I thought when Scott cheated on his wife with that cocktail waitress it be the last straw, but three cocktail waitresses later and she still blixes him."

en*be*cee ('EN-ba-see) n. en*be*cees
1. Loud, ominous audio signal used to interrupt broadcasts for announcement of a) impending catastrophic event, such as nuclear or biochemical attack, or b) special encore presentation of "Friends."
2. Audio signal preceding an image of a serious-looking, 50ish white man in a suit.

france ('fran[t]s) n. franc*es
1. To project an excessive level of trust and understanding.
2. A strong air of superiority in the face of available evidence.
Sample Usage: "Betty in accounting became my france after she bought me lunch and said she'd help me with the project then canceled my funding and bad-mouthed me to the VP."
— france v. french, franc*ing, franc*es
1. To attempt to project power through bureaucratic or totemic symbols as opposed to financial or physical strength.

kim ('kim) v. kimmed, kim*ming, kims
1. To focus all of one's attention on the simpler of two situations.
2. To believe that fixing a small problem will cause a large problem to fix itself.
Sample Usage: "I guess I was just kimming when I changed that flat tire while the engine was still on fire."

ku*wait (ku-'wAt) v. ku*waited, ku*wait*ing, ku*waits
1. To exhibit a feeling of ungratefulness or lack of gratitude.
2. To neglect to repay a debt, especially an implied one.
Sample Usage: "I can't believe that after I lent Bill three grand and helped him through that rough patch with Mary he'd still kuwait when I asked him help me move my couch!"

spain ('spAn) v. spained, spain*ing, spains
1. To build one's status by arranging to be seen near more powerful or attractive figures.
Sample Usage: "Even though I spent all night at the bar spaining near those movie stars, I still didn't meet any women."
2. To offer enthusiastic moral support in lieu of financial or physical support.
Sample Usage: "Pete never showed up at the soup kitchen, so I guess he was just spaining when we made that passionate speech at the last meeting."

(Special thanks to Paul Frankenstein for his help.)
Oh, yes! It has indeed begun!

March 20, 2003

Personal Day. Figured if I went into work yesterday I'd finally say one of the near-constant stream of momentarily-satisfying-yet-ultimately-not-really-especially-when-I'm-hastily-packing-my-belongings-into-a-box comments that keep reaching my teeth before I shove them back down my throat. The same damn people in the same tiny little room, day after day after day after day, the same office politics, lack of communication, generally stupidheadedness...

So I called out from work, got in my car, and headed west. Ah, the open road! The fresh air (until it got way too cold)! The country stations! The weird meat market off of the Interstate that had a bunch of $2 roast tracheas hanging up near the cash register! The guy driving a green Honda who I almost rammed into in the Gettysburg Visitor's Center parking lot and that I swear was Kenny Rogers! The yummiest pretzels ever! It all felt...purifying, like a cool, strong wind cleaning out all the garbage in my life (though I guess an enema would be a better metaphor there, but I'll stick with the breeze for now). I fell asleep last night exhausted and content, ready to start fresh in the morning.

And then at EIGHT-FREAKING-FORTY-THREE A.M. the whole stupid mess started again. Perhaps even worse, since I had to make up for all the BS I missed yesterday. Bleh, I say. Bleh.
It has begun.

March 17, 2003

So...I was just old does a baby have to be before you can say she isn't just being cranky and really just doesn't like somebody? Because the three times I've seen my cousin's little girl have all gone poorly, just lots of screaming and freaking out whenever I get close to her or start talking, and now I'm supposed to go to her 2nd birthday party and I'm really not looking forward to it. You think that maybe she'll grow out of it and realize just how nice a guy I really am, or is this pretty much it forever?
Erin Go Blog! Every year we here at The Donk celebrate St. Patrick's Day the traditional, old-fashioned way. First, on St. Patrick's Eve, we hang out with the legendary Jahna D'Lish, who cooks up a big-ass feast of corned beef, cabbage, and roast potatoes, with plenty of beer to wash it all down. Then we make some dumb variation on a pun she's probably heard eleventy-thousand times today and head on over to Erin the Gigglechick's site for all the Manhattan parading lowdown on this greenest of days, as well as a link to a cause we can all get behind during these troubled times. Then I guess we'll do some laundry and watch TV.

(And while we're on the subject, wouldn't all of you love to read a blog by the aforementioned everlovin' Miss D'Lish? Doesn't that sound a heck of a lot more exciting that reading one by, say, me? You know what? Maybe if a whole bunch of people asked her real nicelike she'd start one up! C'mon Mr. Fat Guy, I know you're out there!)

March 16, 2003

Way, way, way too much happened this weekend to even think about going into it all here.

Long, Pointless Update: Well, I'm feeling a bit more awake and less cryptic than I did last night, so as not to deprive you all of my life's minutiae, let me just list some of the way too much I mentioned above.

As some of my more local readers may have noticed, Saturday was bee-yootiful, simply the nicest weather we've had around here for something like 16, 17 months, so I took full advantage by heading into Manhattan and wandering around Central Park and parts thereabouts. Well, of course that was delightful, even more so when my friend Gabe invited me to go bowling later that evening, an event to which I immediately invited my sister Nancy (who some of you may remember from her exclusive Winter Olympics dispatches). With that all lined up, I headed over to the Guggenheim to finally check out the Matthew Barney Cremaster Cycle exhibition.

For those of you who are planning to see this show, a striking, in-context collection of sculptures, photographs, and weird gloopy things from the five Cremaster films (which I'm not even going to try to summarize or describe, though you can check out the trailer here), I would strongly recommend trying to see one of the films beforehand (probably Cremaster 3, which plays on Tuesdays and Saturdays). If that isn't possible, go against the signs and start at the top of the rotunda, where you will be able to watch the segment of C3 that was filmed in the museum. After watching the story unfold on the giant Jumbotron screens, I definitely appreciated my trip down the ramp more than my trip up. I was somewhat ambivalent about the exhibit while I was there, but the images and sculptures have stuck in my head ever since, and now I can't wait to head back and explore further.

Well, the sun was still shining when I left the museum, and with Central Park beckoning I decided that it was the perfect time to restart a favorite tradition of mine. I headed over to a little takeout place on 91st and Park, picked up a bucket of fried chicken and some onion rings, then headed over to the Central Park Reservoir jogging track to grab a bench, chow down and wave at the runners passing by. Between the serene majesty of the still-frozen reservoir and the icy glares of the runners, it was a truly wonderful way to spend the afternoon.

After I threw out the bones and found my car it was time to pick up my sister and head downtown for some serious bowling action...except that Gabe completely punked out on me! Like a punk! Something about being all tired and stuck in traffic and needing to be up early the next day, but to me it just spelled WHAAA!!! and no bowling for Ken. My sister and I managed to make the best of things, ending up at the Odessa Restaurant on Avenue A for some fine home cooking (I had the brisket), as well as a spirited discussion about the state of arena football, which included an angry exchange with the loner at the next both, who somehow thought "Odessa" was Ukrainian for "library."

And from there it was time for the main event. Folks, when the whip-smart and smokin'-hot Ari invites you out for her birthday celebration...well, everything else you might have been considering suddenly becomes Plans B-Z. You put on your drinking shoes, pick up a (hopefully kickass) gift, get your insurance in order, and head on down to the Lower East Side. I might have gone with a different selection of tunes (I mean, I like The Cars, but their entire freaking catalog? And Duran Duran's "New Moon on Monday" for Pete's sake?), and there was that unfortunate incident where I may have threatened to break somebody's kneecaps for accidentally looking at my sister, but those quibbles aside you couldn't have asked for a finer evening with better folks. I'm getting teary-eyed just thinking about it.

Then the phone went dead.

March 15, 2003

Ouch. Last night, my ace-high flush met up with an extremely well-hidden full house, bringing my night to a quick and stunning close. Then I woke up in agony at around 3 a.m. with a massive leg cramp, since I am apparently 12 years old again...stretching, aspirin, tumblers of water until I could finally fall asleep, and even now I can't walk without limping and grimacing.

On the positive side, it's a gorgeous day out, so I'm gonna try and take advantage of that, perhaps lounging in the park and then heading to one of those museum things I've heard so much about. Plus, I just made my hotel reservations for what promises to be the social event of the decade: this July's Jersey Shore nuptials of Murph & Juli, with the beach ceremony performed by...ME! Yes, I'm sure I'll be writing more about this as we get closer, but I have been asked (and have humbly and gratefully accepted) the rather weighty task of joining together my old roommates from back in Seattle. We're working out all of the details (such as: long and ornate white or purple robe, or perhaps one of them Boss Hogg white suits I've always craved?), but if any of you folks out there have any experience with this sort of thing, please drop me a line.

March 12, 2003

Well, tonight I had planned to broaden my cultural and political horizons by checking out a documentary about the local aftermath of the September 11 attacks, "Terror Town: Jersey City, USA," followed by a panel discussion. It was all probably pretty interesting, but about ten minutes before the film started I was driving around looking for a parking spot and I ran into a pothole that must've been about a foot deep, blowing out my front-left tire. So no interesting documentary, no heated panel discussion, just me covered with grease and dirt, struggling to unscrew some damn lug nuts. Bleh. At least I'll get to see Elvis Costello, tonight's Letterman replacement, interviewing Eddie Izzard; that should be cool. Will Ferrell's filling in tomorrow, if you're the kind of person who's interested in that sort of thing...
Spring is definitely in the air. Not only did I hear my first game of the season on WFAN (and folks, former "Bowling for Dollars" host and original Met broadcaster Bob Murphy ain't sounding any younger; ya think maybe the Mets might just leave him down in Florida?), but the 2003 lineup of Seattle Mariners commercials has been released! This latest batch features The Ichiro Shift, casual Fridays, and new Mariner Randy Winn's visit to Judson & Sons Nickname Consultants. Ah, I can almost smell the stale beer tinged with a whiff of unfulfilled promise!

March 10, 2003

You know, I just picked up my notebook to work on a little project, and it turns out I've completely forgotten how to write, like, manually. It's been so long since I actually tried writing that the pen just felt bizarre in my hand, my handwriting looked like a drunken six-year-old's, and my fingers were killing me after about half a page. This can't be a positive sign.

March 09, 2003

Well, I hadn't linked over to The Fat Guy for quite sometime, so I figured I'd stop on by and see what was a-happenin', and basically the man's just gone about as crazy as six squirrels in a gunnysack. In one short day the man's gone on a major road rage rampage followed by a vicious armed assault on a deflated air mattress, stalked some poor wild turkeys, chainsawed down what looks like a frigging forest, nearly killing his brother in the process, plus some other assorted burning and chopping and (thankfully clothed) dancing around a toxic bonfire. This might be my last TFG link for a while; frankly, I'm scared to death to go back there.
Wow, 80,00 visitors, that's really cool. It's especially humbling when I take a moment and realize that's far more people than ever read, say, Alexander Pope's or Joseph Conrad's blogs during their lifetimes. It's the kind of affirmation that makes me want to pick up Jahna D'Lish and drive down to Seaside Heights to check out hotels for the big Murph & Juli wedding coming up this summer. So I guess I'll just do that.

March 08, 2003

TOP SECRET PLAN EXPOSED! CATACLYSMIC WORLD FLOODS EXPECTED! On second thought, maybe we will be getting some rain around here today...

March 06, 2003

Songs from the Attic. You know, I was always pretty upset that the whole Kensapoppin' experience had passed from the public conscious, even being left out of the seminal work "Not Since Carrie: 40 Years of Broadway Musical Flops," but thank God that Mike Whybark has taken the time to resurrect this noble theatrical experiment! Perhaps a stint as part of the City Center Encores program is in order!

March 05, 2003

The cool thing about having a roommate is that sometimes you come home and she's just made a batch of chocolate-chip cookies and says you take as many as you want, she just felt like baking.

March 04, 2003

Oh, acetaminophen with codeine smuggled across the Canadian border, you are my only true friend...
Bleh. So how can everything make perfect sense one day, like everything's coming together and all the pieces finally fit, and then the next day you can't even imagine what could possibly have made you so damn content and it's like if someone asked you the time you'd just get a confused look on your face and hold up your watch because you just know that if you opened your stupid mouth you'd just screw something up?


On the other hand, have I recommended Raging Cow to you yet? Mmmmm...Raging Cow!
A refreshing blend of Half-and-half, seltzer, and Pixie Sticks! Holy cow! Hey kids! Do you like The Illuminated Donkey? If you do, then you'll definitely dig Raging Cow, the brand-moo milk-based soft-drink product from Dr Pepper. It's an udder sensation!
Can't sleep — clown will eat me. Can't sleep — clown will eat me. Can't sleep — clown will eat me. Can't sleep — clown will eat me. Can't sleep — clown will eat me. Can't sleep — clown will eat me. Can't sleep — clown will eat me. Can't sleep — clown will eat me. Can't sleep — clown will eat me. Can't sleep — clown will eat me. Can't sleep — clown will eat me. Can't sleep — clown will eat me.

March 03, 2003

Ken Goldstein of the Week Week: A Hyperlinked Sonnet

Was never a morning guy; always liked night,
That's especially true when I wake with a fright.
Though it isn't bad nightmares that cause me to freak,
Just my first painful glance of each Me of the Week.

I remember Mahir with his "I kiss you, please!"
And hampsters, and clicking on loot stuck in trees.
Tourist Guy, Donkeys — I love a good meme,
But somehow it's different when I'm on the screen.

What damaging pics will be dug out of boxes?
Will a Photoshopped me be surrounded by foxes?
Into which ancient archives will Whybark delve? Is
My face gonna be on a ballsy, fat Elvis?

What horrors do Frankie and `Bark have in store?
Do I dare to awake for four mornings more?

March 02, 2003

The second series of the super-spectacular Patchouli strip — Patchouli Squared — just came to an end on Friday, so you can now read the whole thing in one glorious chunk. Of course, if you never read the first one you'll probably want to start there so you're not totally lost. But just to give you a little incentive to check it out, Patchouli Squared features Bloomin' Onions and Implied Nudity!
I linked to one of his stories below, but if you haven't checked it out yet go do so. Karl Iagnemma is the most interesting and talented writer I've come across in a while, not to mention one with the most impressive bio I've ever seen:
Karl Iagnemma is a research scientist in the mechanical engineering department at M.I.T. His short stories have received the Playboy College Fiction award and the Paris Review Discovery Prize, and have been included in the Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies.
Sure, other terrific writers like, say, George Saunders may have "explored for oil in Sumatra, played guitar in a Texas bar band, and worked in a slaughterhouse," but I'd personally like to try the whole M.I.T. Research Scientist/Award-Winning Writer combo the next time I'm in a bar and somebody asks what I do for a living. Anyway, Iagnemma's first collection, "On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction," will be published soon, so you should probably go and pre-order a couple of copies to give to friends.
Lyle Lovett: The Coast Continues. I've written about this subject before, but with the release of his new album Smile, a collection of his songs and covers from recent films, the man who I once considered to be the greatest songwriter in America continues his apparent refusal or inability to write any new material. Since the release of Joshua Judges Ruth back in 1992 (or, to put it another, perhaps more insinuating, way, since his marriage to Julia Roberts), Lovett has released seven albums, including a greatest hits collection, a live album, a collection of songs he wrote before his debut album, a double-album of covers of songs by Texas songwriters, a soundtrack with instrumentals and some old songs, this new movie collection, and exactly one album of new material. Seriously, this is the kind of discography one expects from the Sex Pistols or Tony Bennett or somebody, not a guy who should still be writing new stuff. Feh on him.
Nope, it wasn't a bad dream — all those pictures are still there...

March 01, 2003

Oh no. No no no no. NO! You know, I come home from a long night in NYC to celebrate my friend Little C-Za's birthday, figure I'll check my mail and a couple of other things before hitting the hay, and I am confronted with this, part of Mike Whybark's (who claims to have met me once when I lived in Seattle, though I certainly don't remember it) ongoing and possibly libelous Ken Goldstein of the Week Week. I mean, how the hell am I supposed to sleep tonight?!?! And more importantly, why do I have absolutely no memory of this night?! (Warning: link contains Ken.)

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

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]