September 30, 2003

Okay, Mike...just what in the heck's going on in that new header up there?

September 29, 2003

And speaking of donkeys, if somebody can get me this little beauty as a belated-birthday or early-Chanukah present, that would be absolutely delightful.
Illuminated Donkey Industries Officially Endorses Koen Vermandere for the Exalted Position of King Donkey of Kuurne!

Folks, when you're in the blogging business you tend to get a lot of strange e-mails, so when one with the subject "For Donkey-Lovers" showed up in my Inbox I was prepared for yet another barnyard-related pr0nspam.

So imagine my surprise when I found instead a request from Belgian Beauhunk Koen Vermandere, asking my help in getting him elected King Donkey of Kuurne! I mean, how could I say no?! And folks, he needs all of your help as well. Koen and Ken need you to go to his personal bio page and click the "Stem" button. Koen has jumped out to an early lead (probably due to his snazzy marketing techniques), but every vote counts!

Now, I hear you asking: um, what the hell are you talking about? Excellent question, and one that I certainly had myself. For the answer to that question, let's hear from Koen himself, in the first letter he's ever written in English!
Hello, how are you? I have a favour to ask you. Would you please vote for me. I entered a competition in a local town. the competition is called the donkey festivities... If I wins this, I will become King Donkey, so I can be the ambassador of that local town for 2 years.

In the beginning the people off Kuurne were poor farmers, they don't be able to buy horses or trucks, so they have donkeys. When they go to the market in the nearest Big City (Kortrijk), the feets off the donkey's waked up the people of Kortrijk (tik,tak,tik,tak). Then these people say: "Oh now, there are the donkey's of Kuurne again. Then we also call ourselves donkeys and we are proud to be donkeys. That's why we have donkey-festivities.

To be King Donkey (contest every 2 years) there are a few tests in the afternoon and the evening, we never know before what exactly, but for this year we have to spare votes on the internet and on mobile phone (Saturday), race with vehicles they give us (go-cart, donkeys, childtricycle or something else, we don't know it), we also play-back a singer and have a little examination off Kuurne. The rest of the tests we don't know.

Every time of this contest the last test is with the two candidates with the highest points, they have to find the medal in the haystack, the one who finds it is the King.
Now if that doesn't sound like a noble cause we can all rally around, I'll just go shit in my hat. Now lets get out there, so to speak, and vote!

September 28, 2003

Loser Update. The Detroit Tigers have just scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 9-2 lead against Minnesota. This means that barring a...well, Tigers-like show of suckiness today, Detroit will have won five out of their last six games to avoid a historic 120th losses. Whooo!
Folks, after months upon months of research, fact-checking, and scholarly journeys into the snarkiest depths of the Internet, the Black Hearts Party (of which I am a proud associate) is proud to introduce its latest and greatest feature: Today in Black Hearts History. Countless horrid and heart-wrenching events have taken place during the long and depressing history of the world, and at least one of them will make you forget about your own petty and pathetic problems.

Is today the anniversary of the day that those famously frigid pandas, Ling Ling and Tsing Tsing, arrived at the National Zoo? Perhaps it's the birthday of Yoko Ono, the patron saint of girlfriends who come between a guy and his friends. Or can it be one of the dozen or so Liz Taylor wedding dates? Just head on over to the Black Hearts Party site every single day to find out the scoop.

September 27, 2003

You know, speaking of losing and the Mets, I'm reminded that this year marked the tenth anniversary, which I unfortunately failed to note at the time, of perhaps the lowest moment in Mets history. That's right, Mets fans (which I fortunately not), as bad as things seem now, and they seem plenty bad, they still have a long way to match the night of July 24, 1993.

And what happened on July 24, 1993? Well, to start off, the Mets lost 5-4 in 10 innings at Dodger Stadium, with Anthony Young losing his record 27th consecutive decision. Following the game, perhaps to celebrate, Vince Coleman tossed a lit firecracker at some fans from his car window, injuring three, including a two-year-old girl. Now that's a low point!

There's something a little beautiful about this. Heading into tonight's game the Detroit Tigers were sitting on a record of 41-119, one loss away from matching the 1962 Mets' modern record for losses in a season (second only to the legendary 1899 Cleveland Spiders). This record looked all but tied with the Tigers down 8-0 early and 8-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh against the playoff-bound Twins, with the few fans in attendance probably staying only for the promised fireworks and the chance to see history, pathetic though that history may be.

And then they won the damn game.

In the bottom of the ninth, light-hitting outfielder walked, stole second and third, then scored on a wild pitch to cap off the amazing rally and ensure that the Tigers will do no worse than tie the record (though they had already clinched a better winning percentage, as the 1962 Mets went 40-120).

Tomorrow Mike Maroth, who earlier in the season became the first 20-game loser since Brian Kingman in 1980 (and he won't shut up about it), will try to help his club avoid loss #120.
It keeps getting sadder and sadder...Johnny Cash, John Ritter, Gordon Jump, George Plimpton, a bunch of other folks, and now the man responsible for one of the high points in movie history, the "Make `Em Laugh" number from "Singin' in the Rain," Donald O'Connor has passed away at the age of 78. According to O'Connor's family, among his last words was the following quip: "I'd like to thank the Academy for my lifetime achievement award that I will eventually get."

September 26, 2003

Happy Rosh Hashanah to my fellow members of the Tribe; I wish you and yours a happy and healthy 5764, and to enjoy lots of apples and honey and Torahs and shofar-blowing (that's shofar-blowing, D'Lish!) and the three or four other things I can remember from my Hebrew school classes 20 years ago.

And for those of you out there are somehow both not Jewish and in the NYC area, be sure to head over to the Gershwin Hotel tonight at 10 to check out Christian Finnegan's "Portable Comedy" Spectacular. It's only $7, you get some vodka, and I understand that Finnegan's been saving up his classic collection of virulently anti-Semitic jokes and rants exposing the Zionist conspiracy for tonight's holiday event!

September 24, 2003

Has anybody else out there ever accidentally set their computer's clock back an hour, then sat there at work until six, not noticing that everybody else had left or that the parking lot was empty, and then thinking that both their cellphone clock display and their car's clock must have accidentally been set ahead an hour until they heard the time on the radio? Okay, it's just me, then?

September 23, 2003

Goodbye, Big Guy. It's already been a sad year in terms of lost sitcom greats, with Nell Carter, Buddy Ebsen, and John Ritter passing away. But none of these brought more tears to my eyes than the passing of the Big Guy himself, WKRP Station Manager Arthur Carlson, Gordon Jump. Whether he was arranging to have live turkeys dropped from a helicopter or wondering if his Mom was sleeping with Andy, Gordon set a standard for befuddled leadership and comedy that has never been equaled. We'll miss you, Sir.
Indulge yourself until pleasure sickens you. I don't normally recommend a lot of music on this site, and it's entirely possible that everybody has already heard it before, but if you can find a catchier and more smile-inducing tune than The New Pornographers' "The Laws Have Changed" I'll eat this delicious bowl of rice pudding I have here in front of me. Check out the video and thank me later.
On Passing by Miss Ohio Wandering Down the Atlantic City Boardwalk at 11:30 the Night of the Miss America Pageant.
Trapped in AC, aching head,
My luck colder than cold.
I bet on black, it came up red,
They raised, I had to fold.

Again I hit the bank machine,
Once more into the breach ,
Dealer drew an eight to his 13,
Maxed out, I hit the beach.

Walked out the cool casino door,
Felt the losers' humid blast.
No joy had touched the Jersey Shore,
Until she sauntered past.

Cleveland cutie, Dayton dream,
Five hundred miles miles from home.
Her skin as lush as fresh-drawn cream,
Smile bright as polished chrome.

"Ditch your handlers, family, friends,
For once do something rash.
Run off with me to the earth's ends,
Wear nothing but your sash."

"We are both losers here tonight,
You: a pageant, me: two grand.
But we'll end up winners here tonight,
If you'll only take my hand."

But we played our separate roles,
So lonely I did stay,
I sold some blood for tolls and gas,
Plasma for the buffet.

A loser's memory often fades,
Soon back to AC I'll go.
And I'll play with diamonds, clubs, and spades,
But my heart's in Ohio.

September 19, 2003

I'll be crazy/busy all weekend with the big festival, but those of you who can't make it to Jersey City might want to spend a little time avasting ye mateys for today's official international "Talk Like a Pirate Day" superspectacular, helping to give Paul Frankenstein a snappy nickname, checking out the new all-degenerate, all-the-time blog "Up for Poker" (which I will be contributing to), or maybe trying to pick up some runway models before they snap out of their post-fashion-week sleep-deprived hazes.

September 17, 2003

The Illuminated Donkey Festival

*** September 19 - 20 - 21 2003 ***

Jersey City, New Jersey

Welcome. The third annual Illuminated Donkey Festival, a three-day celebration of arts and ideas, this year makes its (hopefully permanent) new home in Jersey City following last year's much-remarked-upon unpleasantness with the creditors in Manhattan. Those treasured guests returning to us from the first two Festivals can rest assured that IDF3 will offer even more in the way of cultural enrichment and intellectual nourishment, with the added bonus that you will most likely not again be repeatedly asked by us to feign violent nausea while rushing out the fire exits en masse. (One lingering consequence of last year's difficulties, however, is that several of the venues will be barring their fire exits; we ask that you please wear non-flammable garments and bring plenty of bottled water.)

But enough about the past; let us talk about the glorious now! This year's Festival program offers an exciting and eclectic series of readings, panel discussions, guided tours, unguided tours, kidnappings, performances, surgical procedures, panicked stampedes, and light housework — truly something for everyone and nothing for nobody.

And we are especially pleased to announce that Illuminated Donkey Editor-in-Chief Ken Goldstein will be returning to the Festival following his one-year hiatus. Last year, many of you registered your disappointment at his repeated, often unannounced absences, and we can assure you all that following a lengthy discussion regarding contractual obligations and the realities of the current editorial field job market, Mr. Goldstein has rededicated himself to the goal of making this event a success.

And now…on with the show!

Friday Night Roundtables

"The American Empire in the Age of Media Bias and Eurpoean Relations. Oh yeah, and Ashcroft." 8:00 P.M. Grove Street Meeting Hall.
Panelists: Eric Alterman, Ann Coulter, Christopher Hitchens, William Kristol, Paul Krugman, Lewis Lapham, Bill O'Reilly, Andrew Sullivan, and whoever else we can round up; Moderator: A Hungry Wolverine.

Some of the most outspoken and relentlessly insistent voices in the world of punditry attempt to score debating points against their toughest interrogator — a hungry wolverine — while the audience watches in safety via closed-circuit television. (By the way, if you see any of the panelists, please don't mention the wolverine. We'd like it to be a surprise.)

"Reformatting the Server Whatsits to Clear the Flibber-Flabber" 9:00 P.M. Brunswick Towers Conference Center. Panelists: Michael Whybark and Paul Frankenstein.

Longtime Illuminated Donkey contributors and associates Michael Whybark and Paul Frankenstein discuss the latest Internet technology and why it always seems to be crashing. Attendees are guaranteed that at least one-third of all words used will be intelligible to the general public.

"No…YOU'RE the Best!" 9:00 P.M. Loew's Theater, Journal Square. Panelists: A bunch of bigshot muckety-muck writers; Moderator: A writer of a slightly lesser muckety-muck status.

Join us in this beautifully restored historic site to watch a bunch of richie-rich writers fall all over themselves talking about how great they think everybody else there is and how they don't deserve to be in such esteemed company. Those in attendance are asked not to look directly at the panelists, lest you disturb the mood.

"Thirst, Alcohol, and the Single American Woman: A Sequential Panel Discussion" 11:55 P.M. Journal Square Pub. Panelists: To Be Determined; Moderator: Ken Goldstein.

The drinking habits and practices of the American single woman have long fascinated American single male researchers (the subject's interest for non-American, non-single, and non-male researchers may be discussed in a future panel). Over the course of this unique evening moderator Ken Goldstein will enlighten the audience with his attempts to purchase alcoholic beverages for a series of panelists. Mr. Goldstein will then offer a series of follow-up questions and/or beverages, or move on to a new panelist. While the event may conclude at any point, prior experience suggests that Mr. Goldstein will be in attendance until closing time.

Saturday for the Young and Young at Heart

"Peanut Butter Jelly Time: a charming and memorable performance for kids 12 and under" 11:00 A.M. Grove Public Library Showcase Room.

After graduating from the world-renowned Sheboygan Conservatory in 1953, the legendary performer Pixilated Banana thrilled audiences worldwide for decades with his pioneering dance recitals and one-banana shows. It wasn't until he moved to the Lower East Side in 1978 and met up with Smiling Donkey (himself famed for his independent film "El Burro de la Diablo"), that he became a household name. During this rare appearance, the pair will teach children the wonderful "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" song and dance, after which noted contract law expert Valerie Woolley will teach children the negotiating skills need to extract expensive gifts and amusement park trips from parents in exchange for not performing the song/dance at home.

"Cirque Du Baudet" 1:00 P.M. Pavonia Palladium.

Direct from a three-month Las Vegas engagement in the El Cortez Casino's Midnight Lounge, this world-renowned acrobatic company makes a rare visit to the East Coast. Children will delight at the hilarious and thrilling antics of the clowns and acrobats, while middle-aged men will stare with slack-jawed wonder during the contortionists' routines. Truly something for everybody.

"Skee-Ball: Rising Above by Rolling True" 2:00 P.M. JFK Boulevard Skee-Ball Palace.

All-time Skee-Ball great and Hudson County native Jock Casey captivates children with an hour of lessons, tricks, and words of inspiration. [Parents and guardians in attendance should note that the terms of Mr. Casey's community service sentence do not require him to pose for photos or speak to any non-court-appointed personnel over the age of 14.]

Sunday About Town Events

Once again the Illuminated Donkey Festival offers an exciting array of unique excursions throughout the New York metropolitan area. Be sure to bring your imagination…and a good pair of shoes!

"It Happened Here! Walking Tour" Did you know that Jersey City was the site of one of the Civil War's bloodiest battles, the birthplace of legendary English monarch Richard II, or the home of the fields where Wilbur and Orville Wright made their earliest test flights? Well, frankly, neither did we, and now that we're typing it all out it does seem a little shady, but we went out drinking last night and got to chatting with some guy named Steve, and apparently we paid him a few hundred bucks to conduct this walking tour. If the tour isn't going well, have Steve tell you the one about the hunchback of Notre Dame's brother; it's a real pisser. [10:00 A.M. to Noon. $10. Meet at Pavonia/Newport PATH station]

"Vanishing New York" Noted adult entertainment connoisseur Jeremiah "The Claw" LaRue will conduct a walking tour of some of Manhattan's most beloved "blue" businesses and historic sites, past and present. Stops will include LaRue's "rare gems" amongst the Times Square emporniums, Midtown's sole remaining bulk hand lotion outlet, the former home of the film studio believed to be where the terms "money shot" and "sticky scubadiver" were coined, and an empty third-floor apartment on West 62nd Street with an excellent view of the aerobics class in the gym across the street. [12 noon to 2 P.M. $30. Meet on the 3rd floor of Port Authority Bus Terminal. Please bring a subway Metrocard and some hand sanitizer.]

"The Sporting Life" Dude, Jets are at New England, and if they don't win this week they might as well just pack it in. Damn, why the hell did Pennington have to get hurt?! [12:30 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. Ken's place. We have plenty of beer left over from last night, but we could use some chips…or a sub! A sub would be great!]

"Jersey City Splendor" Built by flugelhorn and Sousaphone magnate Chester Jehosophat Dobosh in 1896, the Dobosh Mansion is considered Hudson County's most spectacular private residence. Though the mansion has never been opened to the general public, the current owners' regular church attendance combined with their butler's recent cold streak at the track has created this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see how the other half lives! [10 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. Meet by the back door; bring a $20 for the butler.]

These events are sure to sell out quickly, so order your tickets today!

September 08, 2003

I am pleased to announce that The Illuminated Donkey will return to the airwaves on September 17. Thank you for your continued patience. In the meantime, please try to get some fresh air or maybe read a good book or something.

September 04, 2003

I mean...maybe not goodbye forever, but at least for a little while.

September 01, 2003

Okay, I think that should just about wrap things up. Goodbye.

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