February 29, 2004
For more detailed blogging you'll probably want to head over to Mr. Frankenstein's, Mr. Katcher's, Mr. Finnegan's, or Mr. Silver's sites.
February 28, 2004
- My lengthy additions to Paul Katcher's piece The Luckiest Fantasy Sports Seasons Ever. (Well, actually, it only covers the luckiest seasons since 1988, as Paul correctly figured that there weren't that many fantasy players back in 1948 who picked up Ken Keltner cheap.) (And I find now that my days are free I have a heck of a lot more time to pore over dozens of Baseball-Reference.com leaderboards looking for fluke seasons.)
- Meanwhile, over at Up for Poker, I end my 2004-long posting drought to ask the question that has surely been on everybody's mind these past few months: What if the race for the Democratic Party nomination was a poker tournament?
February 27, 2004
February 26, 2004
Still, now that that's all done, it's back to my desk for further job searches, resume and portfolio tweaking, signing up for focus groups, health-insurance comparisons (damn, that COBRA is a friggin' killer), and eleventy-jillion other annoying things. But the big thing is the batch of income and money-making opportunities that have turned up over the last week:
- First of all, just a reminder for everybody to keep close track of all of their work vacation/person day info. I received my close-out check from work and would have missed out on about a week's pay (my last week's pay) had I not saved all of my paperwork. My old HR contacts were pretty quick about correcting everything, though.
- Thanks to Paul Katcher, I will be depositing my check for $13.86 to cover my share of the CD price-fixing antitrust settlement. That is cash money, my friends!
- In case I was looking for a new line of work to enter, apparently some assface used my e-mail as the return address for a mass mailing of penis enlargement spams, causing me to receive dozens upon dozens of returned e-mails. I've yet to receive any interested responses, but if one comes in, I'm sure I would get a cut.
- On a related note, one of those oh-so-accurate web skimmers was kind enough to list me and this blog in the "Clowns" section of their New Jersey Party Links site. It might be tough to stand up, though, since I'll be competing for party work with such noted entertainers as No-Treason.com, Dr. Arthur Janov's Primal Center, and National Review. (Memo to anybody hoping to save time by using one of these auto-web-skimmer things...they completely suck!
- No gummint cheese yet, but I'm refreshing my online banking balance screen every 45 seconds to see if my tax return has come through.
- And if all else fails, it's nice to see that the Nigerian E-Mail Scammers are up and running again (though this round seems to be coming from South Africa).
And here's a little bit of news for those of us who think that the monkeys are secretly plotting, in some sort of monkey language, to destroy us all.
Study: Monkey's Protein Prevents HIV.Yeah, it's about friggin' time that those monkeys helped us out, after all we've done for them! Let's stay in the world of science and hope that there isn't any substantial difference between donkeys and mules!
CAMBRIDGE, MASS: Scientists say they've discovered how some monkeys resist infection with the AIDS virus, a finding that might lead to a treatment that blocks HIV in people. Researchers found that once HIV enters monkey cells, it encounters a protein that stifles its attempts to replicate. That stops the virus from spreading in the animal. "This is really important because it will help build a basis for hammering the virus before it gets started," said Paul Luciw, a University of California at Davis microbiologist who specializes in AIDS research.
Three Cloned Mules Said Healthy, Normal.Cool, it's nice to see that my old home Seattle is still carrying on important donkey-related work. And for the final stop on the MD&J tour we head to one of our favorite locations: the public toilets of Edinburgh.
SEATTLE - Three young mules who are the first members of the horse family to be cloned are all healthy, normal and energetically enjoying life, say researchers who put them on display here Sunday.
Idaho Gem, born May 4, 2003, was the first successful cloning of an equine. He was followed by siblings Utah Pioneer on June 9 and Idaho Star on July 27. The clonings were a project of the Northwest Equine Reproduction Laboratory at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho.
Junkies Beaten by New Blue Loo.Be sure to check back soon for another globe-spanning edition of Nancy Goldstein's Monkeys, Donkeys, and Junkies!
Blue lighting in a court's toilets has stopped junkies from shooting up. Addicts were sneaking into the public loos and injecting drugs under the noses of sheriffs and lawyers. But the blue lights installed at Edinburgh Sheriff Court's toilets stop addicts from seeing their veins clearly enough to inject.
February 22, 2004
- One of the most obvious things in watching the movie and the other material about the Beatles' first visit to the U.S. is how you can see things change right before your eyes. When the camera would scan those screaming Ed Sullivan audiences you can pick out the faces of a couple of stunned, silent 16-year-old boys who thought they were taking their girl on a date to the hottest show of the year, then were instead being rudely informed that perhaps getting that Eagle Scout certification and making career plans to join Dad at the union-approved machine-stamping shop just wasn't gonna cut it with Debbie. Probably not a few guys skipped their regular haircuts that week and instead signed up for guitar lessons.
- On a similar note, it was a bit disconcerting to see just how old everybody except for the Beatles and the screaming girls was. I mean, Ed Sullivan, all of the DJ's (including the MCA "Good Guys" and Murray the K, the gaggle of press photographers that covered the visit...not a guy under 40 in the bunch. Probably within three years the average age of the press surrounding that type of event was probably lower by at least a third.
- As for the Beatles themselves, one of the interesting things was seeing just how fully formed their individual and collective personas and images were at that early point. Though even then you could see them beginning to strain a bit. George and Ringo would be cutting up on the train for the press and passengers, fully "on" and working, but every once in a while you can catch a brief pleading look that seems to wonder just how much longer they'd have to do this. Of course, at that moment, they were only two-and-a-half years away from releasing Revolver and giving up on performing live.
February 21, 2004
But definitely not a better fan than those fine, fine folks at JoeNetsfan.com, the No Stranger to Frustration boys themselves! Head over right now to look back on all the craziness of the past few months, check out individual player first-half grades and second-half predictions , and learn why Keith Van Horn is like Brussel sprouts.
February 20, 2004
- The gummint will send you a decent check every couple of weeks or so, for a while.
- Extremely fine people and their fiances (and the unlinkable Mo-Skee and David) will take you out for pity-related single-malts and Italian food.
- After drinking way too many scotches on a Thursday night, you don't have to worry after waking up early the next morning.
- Plenty of time to work on various writing projects I've put aside.
- A logical focus for all of those feelings of anger and resentment I've been harboring these past few months.
- Paul Katcher does a head-to-head comparison of two of the most feared baseball lineups in history: the 2004 Yankees vs. Mr. Burns' Springfield Nuclear Power Plant Dream Team! It's too close to call!
- Bill Barol presents a Message From The National Council to Promote Literacy Among 15-Year-Old White Boys.
- Oh, and please cast a vote for our beloved Mr. Happy Crack in Contracting Digest's 'Mascot of the Year' awards. In your crack, you know he's right.
February 19, 2004
February 18, 2004
So...um...was anybody else laid off today? No? So that would just be me?
February 16, 2004
Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. Godspeed D'Lish, and thanks for closing it down before mentioning the latest horrible sabotage I pulled on ya. I'll see you in hell.
February 15, 2004
- Was there an exact moment when absolutely nothing could be considered truly "uncool" since the very act of publicly espousing said apparently uncool thing showed that the person was above such judgments and, hence, even cooler (study tentatively titled "Hey, Laugh at My Mullet: the Birth of Noncool")?
- How long do the marriages last where the man felt compelled to propose to his wife on some sort of stadium Jumbotron DiamondVision or on an airplane or similarly public venue, as opposed to those where the man didn't feel the need to have the whole world watching?
- Given that the price of a movie ticket keeps going up while the price of DVD's and videos generally keep going down, at what date and price point will the two intersect?
- Why do some people — people who are apparently not hurting for moolah or cultivating a deathwish — choose to live in shoddy buildings that fall apart in the face of a stiff breeze?
The other thing is that we've reached a point where we've accumulated a reasonably sizable number of hints, lessons, attitudes, procedures, etc. that we're supposed to use, and a lot of times there's a bit of a bottleneck in the act of trying to do so while actually performing the scene. A classmate likened it to coaching sports, where when we first started we were just going up to the plate and swinging wildly, whereas now we're standing there thinking "okay, right elbow up, knees slightly bent, lift that shoulder, step in a bit..." all while a fastball's coming in at 90-mph. Basically, we haven't absorbed it all so that it's a natural, fluid process.
As for me, I thought I did fairly okay tonight, though I had my own problems with the bottleneck, as well as a specific difficulty at being able to disregard the suggestions as opposed to the actual path of the scene. Another negative was that in the one scene where I was best received, I was a bit selfish, in that I didn't really leave a lot of space open to my partner, though it still all worked. Oh well, just yet another thing to think about when I'm making up a story and a bunch of people are staring at me. If nothing else, the drinks and conversation after class were a lot of fun.
But now I definitely need to collapse. So that is what I'll do.
Update: Dear Lord...it was all...just a dream.
February 14, 2004
February 13, 2004
- Everybody can stop e-mailing, IMing, and accosting me on the street: I had absolutely nothing to do with this:
The Storybook Romance Comes To An End For Barbie And KenI mean, who the hell decided that it would be a good idea to announce this couple two freaking days before Valentine's Day?! Makes me think somebody at Mattel has been checking out a certain site.
MALIBU, Calif. (February 12, 2004) - After more than 43 years together, Hollywood's quintessential "doll" of a couple, Barbie and Ken, have decided to spend some time apart. Although Barbie® has befriended some of the world's most famous celebrities, from popular boy bands to super secret agent spies, Ken® always remained her #1 sweetheart. After all, Ken has been Barbie doll's biggest supporter for more than four decades, by her side from her early career as a teen fashion model to her recent turn as movie starlet. Their relationship was so revered that other successful celebrity pairings were often dubbed "Barbie and Ken."
- I need some help completing this list:
1970's: John Oates.Were the 1990's woefully short on talent-lopsided duos or am I missing somebody obvious?
1980's: Andrew Ridgely.
2000's: Meg White.
- And no, D'Lish, I had nothing to do with this either. I mean, seriously, a pool cue? You know I prefer shovels for my road-rage incidents.
February 10, 2004
Oh, and try not to do anything stupid again this Valentine's Day.
February 09, 2004
February 08, 2004
It was an opposites kinda night for me in a few ways, since before one of my scenes I went up there with the idea of being really proactive and showing a lot of energy, yet ended up trying to focus more on reacting to my partner and being real, then the next time up I tried to focus more on the reality/reaction, when it turned into a (pretty much successful) free-for-all with a lot of energy and laughs. One breakthrough for me was that after my first scene, which didn't go well, my first reaction wasn't to grab my bag and coat and run out of the class forever, forfeiting my tuition.
We're also supposed to now be thinking about signing up for Level 2 classes, and as of this moment I have no idea if I'm going to. We'll see what happens next week, I guess. Gulp.
February 07, 2004
- If you're going to drive out to the Meadowlands (and how the hell can the Blogger spellcheck be missing Meadowlands?!?!) to watch your alma mater for the first time in ten or so years, and if that alma mater is going to lose the game, then I suppose they might as well play so horribly that the game is pretty much decided midway through the first half and the taunts of the opposing team's students don't really sting since they're we're all pretty much in agreement that, at least for this one night, we pretty much do suck.
- If that opposing team is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a half-time old-timers game featuring alumni from over various eras, then perhaps somebody could tell the 6'6" recent graduate that it's perhaps not in keeping with the spirit of the event to swat a massive power rejection into the face of the poor 70-year-old guy who's just trying to put up a set shot or two without getting injured.
- Mapquest directions seem to be more suggestions than hard-and-fast rules.
- It's great to see good people that you haven't seen in easily a decade and everybody's doing well. It makes you feel like maybe we all did something right at some point.
- Oh, and in case any of you out there were wondering if the term "Cock-block" had yet entered the general vernacular to the point where it can just be dropped into a conversation at a party without bringing said conversation and the surrounding area to a screeching, needle-sliding-off-the-45 halt: that's still a big negative on that one.
February 06, 2004
February 05, 2004
Oh yeah, there's also a Flood Watch in effect.
February 03, 2004
Oh, and I know that I'm supposed to disguise my posted e-mail address with an -at- instead of the @ so that Spam-scoopers or whatever they're called can't pick it up, but if I did that there's a good chance I would never have received the following request from the webmaster of "a spiritual web directory:"
Hello, I am creating a web directory and would like to include your website Bleak.blogspot.com under the "health/massage therapy and bodywork" category.I mean, it's about time that somebody's recognized what I'm really trying to do with this site!
Well, Belle has just one more thing to say about it: ASS! Or actually: ASS ASS ASS!
February 01, 2004
Of course, I had been telling everybody around me that it would be a rather low-scoring, low-key game, with New England taking an early lead and shutting down the Panthers the rest of the way. And while I guess it was low- (actually, no-) scoring for about 25 minutes, after that both offenses just went completely ape-shit and reminded me why I should never, never, never bet sports, including maybe even grid pools. I just apparently don't know nothing, not that I could beat the vig even if I did. Which I don't.
And can somebody tell me just what the heck happened at halftime that the NFL had a statement out within minutes?
Statement by NFL Executive Vice President Joe Browne regarding the Super Bowl halftime show:An all-star musical recreation of the Paris Hilton video? Folk music? Cannibalism? Now I'm sorry I missed it.
"We were extremely disappointed by elements of the MTV-produced halftime show. They were totally inconsistent with assurances our office was given about the show. It's unlikely that MTV will produce another Super Bowl halftime."
Update: I shoulda known...the Gigglechick has the straight dope on the disturbance, complete with close-ups! Oh dear.
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