July 23, 2004


July 21, 2004

Working with my Dad in his office this week.  I have no other offers and it is a little extra money, but it does kinda insta-revert me back to when I was ten and I'd be working with him on some project like opening up the pool, and I'd screw up on purpose just so he could get the yelling-at-me over with and I could go back inside and continue reading Casper.

July 19, 2004

35th Anniversary?  Sure, of lies and deceit!

Highlights/Lowlights of the Last Three Days.
My Trip with My Sister to Washington D.C.



  • The fire alarm in our hotel that went off at six in the morning, sending us all out into the street in our pajamas.
  • Getting stuck in rain-induced traffic in three different states on our way home.

Tonight's Improv Class

Highlight: A classmate's performance as the Purchasing Manager for Solo Party Cups, specifically her way of always wheeling around a pony keg wherever she went.

Lowlight: When I initiated a scene by grabbing my partner and throwing him to the ground in order to stay hidden from the police, yet actually injuring him, bringing the class to a grinding halt.

The Trip Home from Class

Highlight: Waiting to buy a pretzel while the vendor drew a map of Africa/Europe in order to show another customer the location of his home country of Morocco, and me actually knowing where it was without the map (though I think it was only because of an episode of Absolutely Fabulous).

Lowlight: Subsequently missing the Journal Square PATH train, almost certainly because I was showing off that I knew where Morocco was.

I just performed a small task and then wrote it down on my to-do list just so I would be able to immediately cross it off and feel that momentary tinge of satisfaction.
But now that tinge has dissipated.

July 14, 2004

Who says there was no Edwards bounce? While much of the political discussion since Kerry picked Edwards as his running mate (at least depending on which paper you read) has been about the "small" or even non-existent bounce for the campaign, at least one New Jersey poll has shown a rather sizable rise in Kerry's popularity.

Yes, that's right, in the all-important Spanish Tavern Patron's Poll, Kerry has picked up over six points since last Tuesday and now leads Bush 52.4% to 47.6%. The Spanish Tavern is located in Mountainside on Route 22, about 20 miles away from Manhattan, and has been posting the results of its poll on its sign for at least a few weeks. (For what it's worth, the place was supposedly "a big Limbaugh advertiser.") Bush had been maintaining a steady four-to-six-point lead over Kerry for much of this time, but over the last couple of days Kerry has shot ahead.

Now, I'm not really sure about the methodology, and it's entirely possible that some kind of gathering of Kerry supporters took place there over the weekend, but if this is, as I suspect, a cumulative poll, this would indicate a huge shift of late. Unfortunately (for many reasons), the assignment I had which took me down Rt. 22 has ended, but I'll try to get Gerard (my friend who got me the job and who is still working there) to keep me updated).

July 11, 2004

Why bother writing when others have done it first and probably better?

July 09, 2004

Boy, this working every day thing sure gets old pretty darn quick.

July 07, 2004

A Big Congratulations to Mr. Paul Frankenstein, who celebrates his Third Blogiversary today, or maybe yesterday; it's hard to figure out that Hong Kong time zoning. Check out a selection of sometimes-enlightening, sometimes-embarrassing posts from the three years of P-Frank. Heck, I remember way back in April of Aught-Deuce when a young and apple-cheeked Paul was my 25,000th visitor and won...something or other for it. How the years have flown by, leaving us nothing but dust...

Gosh, it just makes you wish that there was some sort of upcoming gathering to pay tribute to Paul, don't it?

July 06, 2004

Some Call It Chilltown. Looking through my referral logs I was pretty psyched to find that I had been linked by NJ.com, and then somewhat less psyched to realize that this had apparently happened a last weekend and I had missed it. But non-psychedness turned back to psychedness when I started reading the rest of Lori Key's Jersey City View, her notes on the town I call home. Lori delves deeper into my admonishments to drunk late-might PATH-riders, tries in vain to buy a 27-cent ice-cream cone in my local McDonald's, and some other stuff, of course. The nj.com deal is one of, like, seven blogs Lori has, including a very entertaining one about her publishing career. If that doesn't excite you, she also apparently takes pictures of local fires.

And speaking of Jersey City, it's always a good time to check up on Mr. Tris McCall, who's always writing something or singing in a local club or giving his take on Moneyball or something else that makes me feel like even more of a shiftless slug. He's good people.

And while I'm on the subject, Jeff Jarvis is definitely the king of the JC bloggers, which isn't exactly a hard-fought competition, Amy and Jeff from Brand New Key always seem to have a lot of interesting stuff going on, I'm pretty sure that Susanna of Cut on the Bias lives here, and The Tin Man has a new logo and a pile of old Buffy reviews, so that has to be worth something.
Speaking of Kerry...dammit, these were all either sold out or pulled by the time I got into New York today. Truest usage of the word "exclusive" I've seen in a newspaper ever...
I listened to the Kerry speech this morning on my way to work, and while I was pretty excited that he did the right thing and picked Edwards, didn't it seem a little odd to anybody else that Edwards wasn't there for the announcement? I mean, did he have a prior engagement or something where he just couldn't make it, like maybe a dentist's appointment, or perhaps he needed to catch up on his laundry before the heavy campaigning? It just seemed a little weird to me, plus it meant that I had to listen to Kerry speak for about 15 minutes straight, which is way too long. He has this thing where he seems to emphasize the first syllable in every word, which becomes a bit jarring, though I suppose I'll have to get used to it over the next four months.

And I imagine I could be collecting on quite a few bets right about now if I had bet people back in high school that a Van Halen tune would one day be used as the theme song for a presidential campaign.

Oh, and just in case he's planning to use the line again, technically you can't "rebuild new alliances."
Hey, guess what I did today?! Today I performed services in an office setting in exchange for the promise of a future payment of money. How about them apples?!

Seriously, during the middle of the day, while rushing to finish one project and trying to get a few minutes of somebody's time to help me with a different one, I suddenly felt this huge, satisfied glow that was all like "Wow, I am actually accomplishing something today that is being recognized by other people, and they're going to pay me for it, and be happy to do so!" That damn dad-instilled work ethic of mine was, after four-and-a-half guilty months, finally being put to some good use.

Now to just find somebody else who wants me to work for them after this little project is finished.

July 04, 2004

Thanks, Gerard! A big public thanks to Friend of the Donk Gerard, who helped me garner my first regular employment since I was laid off way the hell back in February. Yep, for an unspecified number of days (until the project is completed) I will actually be waking up early and commuting to an office, where I will be performing a task for compensation during a 9-5 workday. I almost feel like I'm a part of a society or something.
Speaking of eating too much, Takeru "The Tsunami" Kobayashi took home yet another Mustard Yellow International Belt in the Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest
with a (his own) record-breaking 53½ dogs sucked down in 12 minutes, which factors out to a dog every 13½ seconds. Official Donk eater Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas broke both the American and women's record with 32 dogs, but it was still a disappointment for the woman I thought had a chance to bring the belt back to the U.S.
This Is the Goddamn Bestest Country in the Whole Goddamn World! Sure, you hear everybody say that, or at least you do if you're like me and spend a lot of time hanging around the VFW Hall (always your best bet for dirt-cheap top-shelf alcohol and drunken brawls), but where's the proof, the incontrovertible evidence? Well, folks, this weekend I set out with a few choice companions to finally prove this once and for all.

Saturday was spent with the aforenotmentioned mystery blogger, who bravely overcame what was apparently a huge hangover to meet me in Newark, where I picked her up and began our trek westward. Ah, Pennsylvania, birthplace of freedom, home of Philadelphia's Liberty Hall which we weren't going anywhere near. After riding Route 78's white line for a couple of hours, stopping only to pick up some vital meats and cheeses, we headed on over to scenic Kutztown for their legendary Pennsylvania German Festival for some Pennsylvania Dutch Folklife & Fun. Which we had, in spades, though unfortunately not so much beer which we were really hankering for as the sun beat down and which if we had thought about for more than a few seconds we would have realized that an Amishfest might not be the best place to get hammered. Or pick up women; those people have no sense of humor about that kind of thing.

Anyway, we ate way too much food and were completely regretful about missing out on the all-you-can-eat banquet in the back, and somewhat less regretful about missing out on the frightening ox roast, featuring a half-ton ox on a huge freaking spit. The place was filled with fantastic craftsmanship and gifts, including this "Lady Liberty" pendant, and we were feeling the all-American love as we got back in my car, cranked up the AC, and continued heading west towards Hershey.

In Hershey we ate some chocolate.

Pulling out my trusty road atlas we figured that the logical next stop would be Gettysburg. In a nice coincidence, it was the 141st anniversary of the third and final day of the battle, the day of Pickett's charge, and the day I figured that thousands of angry ghosts would be roaming the battlefields of their demise.

Well, it turns out that my traveling companion had a certain baseless phobia regarding the undead, and not only didn't she want to check out most of the cemetery, but she had absolutely no interest in hanging around the battle areas after dark or going on one of the many Haunted Gettysburg tours that were doing brisk business. Partypooping aside we still had a fine time doing a little touring and walking through the reenactor-packed town. And at dinner we had Yuengling for $2.25 a pint!

Somehow after that we made it back to Jersey, and somehow after all that I managed to wake up this morning and make my way into New York City (passing on the way to the PATH train the Stanley Theater, holding a convention of what might actually trump those Amish gals as the least pickuppable folks in America: deaf Jehovah's Witnesses). And fortunately I did, for my sister had used her International Federation of Competitive Eating connections to hook me up with quite the perk: guest-area access to today's pretty-good-but-not-notably-different-than-the-other-three-times-I've-seen-him Lyle Lovett concert in Battery Park. Now, sure, it was a free concert anyway, but unlike some people I didn't have to worry about hours-long lines or uncomfortable seating, plus I was able to chow down on piles of free food, helping me continue my plan to eat far, far too much this weekend.

And then I finished up the weekend with -- what else? -- fireworks. Okay, I was tired and ended up watching them on TV with the sound down because NBC was broadcasting them with the worst musical accompaniment ever, but still: Yay!

July 02, 2004

ROADTRIP!!!!! Going on a little westward-bound driving excursion tomorrow with a fine member of this here blogging community. Maybe we'll get us a little chocolate, maybe some cured meats, maybe watch folks blow some stuff up real good. But whatever we do you know we'll come out of it with a fine appreciation of this little country we like to call the U-S of A. God bless us, every one.

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