Friday, March 30, 2012

Don't read this if you don't want me to hit you up for a favor. Thanks.

At the risk of annoying everyone who's already read this (and thank you very much, by the way), I'm devoting this space today to an article I wrote for Raw, the site where I have a side gig writing about the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning.

You Can Play: An interview with Patrick Burke

I've been beating this drum pretty hard this week and I know that can get tiresome, so feel free to stop reading now if you already have (again, thanks) or if you just don't care (that's disappointing, but whatever; no judgments). Below you will find a little insight as to why I'm promoting this so heavily.
Sometimes, the answers to problems are simple. Especially when the problem itself isn't all that complex.

The "You Can Play" project's philosophy is "If you can play, you can play". In other words, forget all the coincident BS. We're trying to win games here and if you're black, white, straight, gay, fat, skinny, male, female, rich or poor and you can play, get your ass out there and do it. If you can play, you can play.

Well, duh.

I don't say this to give you the impression that I thought of that on my own before this came about, like I'm the most enlightened person in the world, sitting around waiting for everybody else to catch up. Because I'm sure I'm not.

Please allow me to backtrack a little...

The first gay person (that I know of) that I met was when I was in a high school and working as a busboy at a hotel restaurant. One of the waiters was a guy named Joe and his mom was a hostess. Joe was flamboyantly, demonstratively, openly gay and he was also a tremendous asshole. Difficult servers make a busboy's life difficult. A flat-out Joe...can make it downright miserable. He was impatient, bossy, condescending and mean. Always. I'm not sure I can overstate this but I'm going to try. He was the kind of guy who would shit on people and then wipe his ass with other people. When I first met him, it was a huge deal to me that he was gay and would always be a factor in my description of him to other people. Joe The Gay Waiter being a jerk, Joe The Gay Waiter pissing me off, Joe The Gay Waiter making me hate life every time I had to work with him. Joe The Gay Waiter Who Is An Asshole. At some point, fairly early on in my interactions with him, his asshole-ishness so overwhelmed every other aspect of every fiber of his being (like he was literally made of asshole and brought to life with lightning bolts, like Dr. Assholestein's I being clear here?) that it changed to Joe The Asshole. The word "gay" was no longer a relevant descriptor. Nor was the word "waiter", for that matter. It's kind of the same thing with people who casually misuse the word "retard"; People who do that mean "stupid", so why not just use that word? Because "retard" hurts more. It occurred to me that while Joe was an asshole and deserved every bit of loathing I could muster and how much I wanted him to hurt (Joe, if you're out there and somehow find yourself reading this all these years after the fact, I'm glad you didn't drive your car off of a bridge like I hoped for back then, but only because I want you to know that I still think you're an asshole...but please tell your mom hi; she was always really nice), other gay people who I had never met didn't, and to use the word "gay" as a slur not only wasn't right, it wasn't even accurate. So I stopped.


Back to now...

If you haven't already read the article that the link above takes you to (and again, if you have, thanks!), it's an interview I got to do with Patrick Burke of the You Can Play project this past weekend.

I really like writing stories about the Lightning's impact on the community outside of the rink. It's why I always devote coverage to the Community Heroes program in the game notes of the home game re-caps, which is my primary responsibility for the site. So when Cassie, one of the associate editors, mentioned this opportunity was available, I jumped on it. Aggressively. More aggressively than I normally would have. In fact if one of the other writers had said they wanted it, I would have argued. I might have even begged, pleaded, kicked and screamed until I got my way. And here's the reason why...

Recently, someone came out to me. Now, I have known lots of gay people over the years, friends and acquaintances, but this was a new experience for me. Obviously this person trusted me a great deal and it was a pretty heavy moment (I sort of knew what was going on, but until someone comes out and tells you, you don't know know). I can't say much more about it of respect for this person's privacy but for this particular interview opportunity to come along exactly when it did, well, I thought it was an opportunity to do something good. And being as I am generally a bad person; very, very lazy, incredibly shallow and self-centered, not terribly bright and completely irresponsible (as of this minute, I have absolutely no idea how much money is in my checking account), leaving any real care and keeping of another human being to me is probably not a good idea. Usually, managing to feed and dress myself four days out of five constitutes a pretty successful week. 
What I'm saying is that I felt a personal connection to the subject matter of this particular article. It's my hope that writing about it will give help and hope to people who need it. I appreciate both the fact that it came along when it did, that Raw Charge gives me a forum to spread the message and that my colleagues let me have it. I work with some pretty great people.

Anyway, thanks for reading this, thanks for checking the interview out and let's all do each other a favor and make more of an effort to look for simple answers to the simple problems.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Support local artists...for your sake, not theirs

Don't you think you deserve better?
Regular readers know that sometimes I get a little evangelical when it comes to trying to drum up support for local, independent artists, be they musicians or writers or whatever. It occurs to me that this preaching could be perceived as schilling on behalf of people who might not merit such attention. After all, if they were any good, you'd have heard of them somewhere else, right?
Today, I'm going to pitch you once again on the benefit of supporting these local artists but I'd like you to consider it from another angle: yours.

Word is circulating that a major Hollywood studio might be developing either a remake of or a sequel to The Garbage Pail Kids Movie. The original was released in 1987 and was intended to cash in on a craze that was popular among kids at the time. However, it was a critical and financial failure.

Now, here is what I would like you to think about:

It's not a stretch to assume that this studio probably receives several brand-new screenplays every week. Yet, they would rather invest in a project that failed over 20 years ago, when the subject matter was at least relevant to the small audience to which it would have appealed at the time.
Do you really think that not one of those unknown screenplays might have been more worthy?
Do you really think that only one movie studio operates like this?
Do you really think that this only happens with the movie industry?

My only point is that there could be some good stuff out there that these big companies can't or won't deliver to your door. You owe it to yourself to go out and find it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Those darn drag queens

"Believe me, Bob, these days gentlemen are an endangered species. Unlike bloody drag queens who just keep breeding like rabbits." - Terence Stamp as Bernadette in 'The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert'

It's true, you know. The drag queens, they are everywhere. For example, they're getting a lot of attention for extolling the virtues of Chik-Fil-A, a fast food franchise that openly campaigns against any and everything associated with drag queens and what they represent.
I guess that's the best way to know you make really delicious chicken; when people you wish would simply cease to exist go to the trouble of making a music video to say "yeah, we know, you hate us, but we're going to keep eating your food anyway", you're doing something right. And wrong.

I really wished they'd picked a different song though. I'm a much happier person when the music of Wilson Phillips isn't stuck in my head.

And if you think all they're doing is Occupying Chick-Fil-A, nope. Check it out...

They're everywhere! Everywhere, I tell you!

Friday, March 23, 2012

I'm so smoov

Today, I'm going to tell you a story about myself and how smoov I am. I'm sorry. I realize how arrogant this sounds but I can't help it. Facts are facts. And smoov is not smoothe; it's smoov.
There are two parts to this story, both of which factor into the overall smoovness of the matter.
1) One of my unofficial side duties as a writer for Raw is to interact with other forms of media, such as appearing on radio shows to talk about the Tampa Bay Lightning and our web site's coverage of the team.
2) This is Lynne Austin.

Lynne is The Original Hooters Girl and was featured as a centerfold in Playboy magazine because she's hot. She currently co-hosts a sports show on the radio because she's funny. And she is actively involved in charity work with a number of organizations because she's a good person. She also happens to be a friend of mine. Not just someone I met out at a public gathering once or interviewed for this blog. No, she's someone I know. I actually have her phone number and I can call her up any time I want. Or any time I don't want, as it turns out (more about that in a minute).

Now, here's where I get downright smoov. Not smoothe; smoov.  
Tuesday morning at 7:30, I was a guest on Lynne's show (The Hooters Nation Morning Show, 1010 WQYK AM) to talk about the Tampa Bay Lightning and the wonderful things we write about at Raw Charge. When I was done, I texted a 'thank you' to Lynne, because that's the classy, polite thing to do and I try to be a classy, polite dude. What happened next was neither classy nor polite. That's when something in or near my pocket decided to send Lynne some text messages. Here is a transcript...

(8:23AM): Pppp

(8:23AM): Pppppppp

(8:23AM): Ppppp

(8:23AM): P

(8:23AM): Pppp

(8:23AM): P

(8:23AM): P

(8:24AM): P

(8:24AM): P

(8:24AM): P

(8:24AM): p

(8:24AM): P

(8:24AM): p

(8:25AM): p

(8:25AM): p

At that point, I was in my car on my way to work, listening to the remainder of Lynne's show on the radio. That's when I heard her announce to her audience that I had texted the letter 'P' to her 15 (actually 16) times in two minutes and that if I was listening, I should probably do something about it. I was and I did, but by then the smoovness was in full effect.
I don't know how many people who listen to her show wonder what they would do if they had direct access to a Hooters Girl/Playboy centerfold, but now they all know how I would handle that situation.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Below the basics

I honestly can't remember the last time I turned on my tv.I know how that makes me sound like one of those dinks who looks down on tv and the people who make it and watch it but that isn't me. I've seen tv when I've been other places, but this tv, here in my home? It's entirely possible that it hasn't been on since January. Not because I'm a snob, I just do other stuff instead.
I really think I should go ahead and cancel my cable at this point. I sort of did once, but having it turned off for a couple of weeks because I didn't pay the bill isn't really the same thing. I ended up paying my balance and downgraded to what is below "basic" cable. It doesn't even have a name and you can't call up and order it.
When you ask your cable company for "basic cable", they're going to give you about 30 channels and it will still cost you about $40 a month. It's only when you say, "well, forget it then" that they look around to make sure nobody's paying attention, and then motion for you to follow them behind a tent where they keep the REAL budget package.
Here's what I think I get (like I said, it's been a while so I might be a little fuzzy), all for about $10 a month...

  • Channel 7, 10, 11, 14 - These are the local affiliates for NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox respectively. I think it's a law that they have to give you these because even broke people need access to emergency info. Like when you're broke and sitting around watching tv, waiting for a hurricane to hit.
  • Channel 9 - This is BayNews9, which is a 24-hour news channel, designed to be like a Tampa Bay-specific CNN. Except for the most part, they repeat the same stories all day long with very few pertinent updates or breaking news. When they do update a story, they frequently get basic details wrong. I once watched a space shuttle launch on BayNews9 and immediately after the launch, the next story was abot astronauts making preparations for that day's shuttle launch. True story.
  • Channel 3- PBS. I'm guessing. Never watched it, even by accident, but scrolling through, I would pick up hints of British accents.
  • Channel 4 - WTOG, a local channel consisting only of reruns of "Two and a Half Men" at night and courtroom reality shows that make me feel vaguely racist during the day time. These are sponsored entirely by programs to get a GED or college degree on line and lawyers who specialize in slip-n-falls and car accidents. A BRIEF ASIDE - Why are lawyers utterly incapable of making a classy, tasteful televeision commercial? For all their education and money, shouldn't their ads be at least as sophisticated as those from Steak & Shake?
  • Channels 8 and 13 - Spanish language soap operas. I would sometimes hesitate as I was flipping channels and ran across one of these because they look a lot like the set-up for an action scene in a porn movie.
  • Channel 15 - C-SPAN, but an even more low budget version than what you're used to; it's in black and white and there's frequently no sound at all but there are subtitles. In Russian.

Monday, March 19, 2012

How I would save basketball

Basketball is a great sport. It's a terriffic blend of strategy, athletic ability and endurance. And I hate it.

Wednesday night, the University of South Florida Bulls played the California Bears in the opening round of the men's NCAA Championship tournament. The Bulls had never won a tournament game and hadn't even been invited to participate since 1992. So this was a momentous occassion for most of us here in the Tampa Bay area (I used to work at the Sun Dome, the home of USF's basketball teams), and I wanted to be a part of it. The game went about as well as any USF fan could hope for. Here's a brief description from USF fan web site Voodoo Five:
The (Big East) conference's ninth and lowest-seeded entrant in the NCAA Tournament put a full-fledged #BEATEMDOWN on the Pac-12's second-best team, regardless of what the scoreboard said. USF gave up 13 points in the first half. They were ahead by 32 with nine minutes to go. The Bulls had at least a 20-point lead for over half the game. It was a bloodletting.

It was a lot of fun to watch...right up until the last couple of minutes. That's when Cal, who trailed the entire game, started committing intentional fouls. This is something that happens all the time in basketball. Not so much in meaningful games, thank goodness, which makes the NCAA tournament the best championship in sports. But during the regular season, when blowouts are frequent, it happens every night. The idea is if you're behind, you commit fouls, the other team shoots free throws and you hope that they miss so you can get the rebound and score. If that strategy sounds inherently flawed to you, you should know that it never works. Oh sure, maybe in a game that's fairly close, it's a gamble that might pay off once or twice and make a difference. Not in a game with a large margin and the team that's trailing hasn't been competetive all night. After all, if they could rebound and score at will, why did they fall so far behind? It would be like a pitcher in a baseball game who keeps giving up hits deciding to intentionally walk batters, hoping that they step out of the baseline and get called out.

In spite of this basically NEVER, EVER working, you still see it all the time. It's less a strategy than it is an sad attempt to delay an inevitable outcome. As a result, sitting through the last two minutes of a basketball game can be an utterly miserable experience.

Luckily, I have solutions.

My first brilliant idea was that in the last two minutes, if a team commits an intentional foul, the other team has the option of shooting the free throws or running five seconds off the clock. But then I thought that making it a choice that might require multiple huddles to figure out would defeat the purpose. So here are my other ideas:
  • Put a physicist at the scorer's table, calculating equations all night long. As soon as it's determined that it's impossible (not unlikely, impossible) to come back, game over. This is probably my BEST idea. My second best idea...
  • Make the coaches commit the the fouls. That's right. You want somebody to commit fouls? Put your sportcoat on, walk out on the floor and do it. If you can't catch the younger, faster, better-conditioned athletes to put yiur hands on them, so be it. Coaches running around out there, chasing after players might become my favorite sport.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Why I Am Leaving Gotham City

TODAY is my last day as a clown. After over 50 years with the Joker's gang — first as an unnamed mime, then as an unnamed thug in a satin jacket and sunglasses, and now as an unnamed thug in a rubber mask in Gotham City — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it, which is saying something, considering how much we work with toxic, destructive gas all the time.
To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the Joker continue to be sidelined in the way his gang operates and thinks about stealing money. The Joker is one of Gotham’s scariest and most dangerous villains and he is too integral to crime and general mayhem for his henchmen to continue to act this way. The gang has veered so far from the place I joined right out of clown college, when all I really wanted was my own ice cream truck/rape van, that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.

It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of the Joker's success. It revolved around teamwork, insanity, a spirit of homicide, and the colors of green and purple. Always green and purple. The culture was the secret sauce that made this gang great and allowed us to steal art and jewelry and money from Gotham's wealthiest citizens for the last half century, which is not to be confused with the secret sauce that causes muscular convulsions, facial paralysis and laughter until the point of death by asphyxiation that we used on hamburgers during our brief, ill-advised foray into the restaurant business (murdering people with fast food is McDonald's turf and they put a legal beatdown on us that made anything Batman could ever dish out look like a tongue bath). It wasn’t just about taking money; this alone will not sustain a gang of hoods for long. It had something to do with excessive, grandiose, elaborate schemes and utter unhinged lunacy. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love being a part of the Joker's gang for many years. I no longer see the excess, or the schemes. I will say the lunacy is thriving though. So there's that.

But this was not always the case. For more than a decade I recruited and mentored candidates through our grueling interview process, which mostly consisted of pitting them against one another in fights to the death with broken pool cues. In 2006 I managed the summer intern program in Gotham for the 8 college students who made the cut, as in cutting the rest of those who applied for the program into little tiny bits.

I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look my fellow clowns in the eye because I was standing behind them, shooting them in the back.

When the comic books graphic novels are written about The Joker, they may reflect that he lost hold of the gang’s culture. I truly believe that an increase in the gang’s moral fiber represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival. Well, that and absolutely savage beatings from Batman, of course.

Over the course of my career I have had the privilege of robbing some of the largest banks and museums on the planet, I had a green and purple company car and sprayed acid in the face of some of the world's most beautiful women. I have always taken a lot of pride in spraying acid in women's faces, even if it means taking an absolutely savage beating from Batman. This view is becoming increasingly unpopular among my peers within the gang. Another sign that it was time to leave.

How did we get here? The gang changed the way it thought about taking absolutely savage beatings from Batman. Batman used to be much less threatening than he is now. At times, he was downright campy. He wore blue bikini briefs over gray tights with knee-high leather boots and might punch you in the mouth if you made him really angry. Today, he wears black body armor and will break seven of your ribs just to make sure you're paying attention. Plus, there's no room for advancement. Even if you're a complete sociopath (and maybe an ax murderer) you're never going to be promoted into the position of Assistant Joker.
What are three quick ways to become a superhero's nemesis? a) Develop a scary 'schtick', ideally by shifting an existing paradigm and perverting something relatively benign (such as penguins or clowns) into something twisted and evil. b) Attempt to kill that superhero. c) Kill plenty of other people in the process. 
Today, many of these villains display a willingness-to-take-an-absolutely-savage-beating-from-Batman quotient of exactly zero percent. When I sit around our hideout playing cards, not one single minute is spent plotting unnecessarily elaborate schemes with gigantic exploding props. It’s purely about coming up with catchphrases and how we can incorporate more black into our outfits. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that stealing a bunch of money or art or weapons or whatever was not part of the thought process at all. It's also much more likely that you'd be in Metropolis in the first place, visiting Brainiac's henchmen at their hideout.
It makes me ill how callously people don't talk about ripping off the citizens of Gotham City. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different evil henchmen plan an outing to go see “The Muppets,” sometimes over internal e-mail. Since when do evil henchmen communicate via email?!? I don't want any part of those stupid 419 scams. I mean, come on. I'm a brainless goon but I'm not an idiot. I don’t know of any legal behavior, but will this new breed of villain push the envelope and not steal coins from the "leave one, take one" cup at the gas station or sort their recycling? Absolutely. Every day, in fact.

It astounds me how The Joker himself doesn't get a basic truth: If citizens trust you they will eventually stop being terrified of you. It doesn’t matter how smart you are.

These days, the most common question I get from young gang members is, “So even though Batman has sworn an oath to never take a human life, has he ever so absolutely savagely beaten you that you wished you had died?" It bothers me every time I hear it, because the answer is yes. Hell, he once kicked me so hard, I swallowed my own pancreas. Now project 10 years into the future: You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or an evil scientist with a rocket-powered motorcycle to figure out that the kid hanging quietly around a street corner watching Batman punch a thug in the spine through his stomach as he whimpers, "not the face!" probably doesn’t want to turn into the next Scarecrow.

When I was a first-year henchman I didn’t know where the bathroom was, or how to tie my shoelaces. I was taught to be concerned with learning the ropes and how to tie up the daughter of the mayor with them, finding out how to self-adminster antidotes to toxic gas, understanding explosives, getting to know the citizens of Gotham City and what motivated them, learning how they defined abject terror and what we could do to help them get there.
My proudest moments in life — gassing the Gotham Museum of Modern Art, spraying acid on the mayor, spraying the mayor on the Gotham Museum of Modern Art, gassing the Gotham Museum of Acid — have all come through hard work, with no shortcuts. The Joker's gang today has become too much about shortcuts and not enough about achievement. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore.

I hope this can be a wake-up call to the Joker himself. Make the citizens of Gotham the focal point of your villainy again. Without them you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist as a criminal, and since it's not as if you're all that funny to start with, well then...
He's right behind me, with an acid gas pistol of some sort, isn't he? Shit. I really should have seen that coming. Oh well. No more absolutely savage beatings for me, I guess.

(Inspired by "Why I Am Leaving The Empire" and other similar parodies which were originally inspired by "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs", originally published in the New York Times on Wednesday, March 14)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Let's not do the time warp again

It's Wednesday and if you live in a place that adjusts clocks to comply with Daylight Savings Time, you're probably still having trouble adjusting to the time change that happened this past Saturday night. Every year, twice a year, it's the same old annoying things:
  • Trouble sleeping and waking up - One hour either way shouldn't have that much of an impact but it totally does. It feels like you're going to bed much later, getting up much earlier or vice versa. Either way, it knocks you for a loop and you feel tired and irritable for days afterward.
  • Adjusting your routine - The stuff you do when you're awake gets screwed up too. Never mind how darkness when it's supposed to be light (or vice versa) screws with your mind. How about just trying to figure out just how many time pieces you have that need to be updated and how to do it. Not just clocks and watches but microwave ovens and timers and stuff like that. Does your computer and cell phone do it automatically? Probably...but do you always rely on those devices to do what they're supposed to do without checking on them? I called someone at 6:00AM on Sunday to ask what time it is. "Your phone should automatically update itself", she said. I told her I don't trust machines. I heard some static that sounded like someone swearing into a pillow, a loud click and she was gone, further validating my lack of faith in gadgets. Also, odds are that your car radio clock doesn't have a one-button option for that. It's more likely that you have to push two different buttons until something flashes and then you have to simultaneously turn a dial with some other appendage. Once you get it done, you'll immediately forget how you did it and be in the same boat again in six months.
  • General confusion - Is now Daylight Savings Time or is that what just ended? I have such a tenuous grasp of so many aspects of day-to-day life sometimes.
  • Bitching - Every year, everybody complains about it. Including me. That might be the worst aspect of the whole thing. There's not a lot of point to complaining about something that everybody is dealing with and that probably isn't going to change. Although, it seems to me that there's a little extra edge to the complaints this time, what seems like real genuine anger. I don't know if that's because we're all just exponentially angry about everything or if people are finally just truly fed up with the whole thing.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Much ado about pumpkin (bread)

The other night, I went to a coffee shop out on Harbour Island. The "u" tells you it's a fancy place. Poor people don't have "u"s in their harbors. I was there to see some short independent films, hear some local musicians and see some stand-up comedy. It was nice, but another way you could tell it was a fancy place was the level of rude snootiness exhibited by the patrons. Like the older gentleman who sat in the front row and read a magazine the entire time the comedians were performing. Unbelievable.
Still another way you can tell it's a fancy place is in the presentation of what they serve. For example, this is a slice of pumpkin bread I ordered: 
Every single thing you see (aside from the pumpkin bread itself) is unnecessary for me to enjoy a piece of pumpkin bread.
A plate? Not as long as I have at least one hand.
A knife? I guess to cut into small, bite-sized portions before eating it. But that's what my mouth is for: capacity = one bite.
A fork? Who am I eating with, Nancy Reagan?
A napkin? As if my shirt doesn't have sleeves.

This is one of many reasons why I don't go to fancy places. I don't need/appreciate really nice extra forks and people who read magazines while someone is performing.
Listen, fancy coffee shop. You're a nice place and your pumpkin bread is delicious. You don't need to try so hard on my behalf. Besides, I already have a coffee shop.

Friday, March 09, 2012

A rose by any other name

The other day, I was leaving my apartment and I saw this on the sidewalk:
How lovely! Pink rose petals strewn about on my path. Why, who could have made such a lovely gesture? I couldn't begin to guess but what a beautiful way to begin my day. I'm a romantic at heart and I was truly touched. And such BIG rose petals too! Someone must have tended to them with extra special care in a garden, loving them, nurturing them. Then I examined them closely... 

Nope, not flowers. Ham. Someone dropped a couple of ham slices. Slices of ham strewn about my path. But not as a lovely romantic gesture. Probably by accident. Still, I can't help but be touched. Because I do so enjoy ham.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Clark to the rescue!

The joke you want to make is right there.
Go ahead, take it.
You're welcome.
 As the fracas over conservative radio talk show pundit Rush Limbaugh's disparaging remarks continues, my thoughts are with those who are truly suffering as a result: his former sponsors.
Those poor big companies, suddenly finding themselves with all this extra advertising budget money. What the hell are they supposed to do now?
Well, don't worry everyone. I happen to have a big, dumb, purple blog right here, almost completely devoid of advertising. Sure, I am trying to sell you a book over there on the side and there might be a banner ad floating around near the bottom (I try to avoid going down there; it's icky). But aside from that, we're wide open! And being as there is no overtly discernible socio-political agenda (or even a coherent point) to this whole enterprise, it's not limited in terms of demographics!

Just look below and see how this blog is an absolutely ideal match for just some of the sponsors that have (so far) fled bailed ejected reconsidered their options...

•Bare Escentuals - Every single reader of this blog spends several minutes a week naked and as a group, are relatively tolerant of egregious spelling errors. No brainer there!

•Sensa Team (Sensa Weight Loss) - Teamwork is important, especially when it comes to weight loss. That is something we're willing to say we stand behind 100% in exchange for money.

• - Buy and sell vitamins online? Of course! How else would you buy and sell vitamins, dumbass?

•AOL - I remember when AOL was the internet. Everybody used it and almost everybody complained about it. Just like Facebook now. Except Facebook is free. Which is dumber, complaining about a free service or paying for a service that you complain about? Here, have a CD.

•Carbonite - If you saw this and immediately thought of a frozen Han Solo in "The Empire Strikes Back", give me a high five. Unfortunately, that's not what this is. So this one may not actually be a good fit. Sorry, Carbonite.

•Citrix (which owns - This blog originates from Florida, world renowned for citrus products! This is truly a natural!

•Quicken Loans - Oh man, if you could spot me $50...

•Sleep Number - Exhaustive research has determined that 100% of this blog's readers sleep. And many of them do so in beds. A bed that can be made more comfortable by using math? Sounds crazy to me but go get 'em, Sleep Number!

•Legal Zoom - This implies that the service offered is legal assistance rendered quickly. That, or they issue legal documents blown up on a copier so they're easy to read. Either way, I don't think this is a service my readers can live without.

•Sleep Train Mattress - Uh-oh, two sleep accessory providers? I guess we can make that work, since apparently this one caters to people who travel primarily by rail. All aboard (heh heh)!

•Pro Flowers - Damn right, Pro Flowers. Save that amateur shit for the flower olympics. Boom.

•Tax Resolution - Well, who doesn't think that whatever this is, it's a damn good idea?

•Bonobos - I will readily admit that I've never heard of this and that I am too lazy to Google it. It sounds like little chocolate donuts made by the lead singer of U2, but considering it was advertised on The Rush Limbaugh Show, I doubt that's correct. Still, I'm sure it's (they're?) delicious.

So, think it over, potential corporate sponsors. Obviously, I've demonstrated that I'm familiar with what you have to offer and I'm completely up to speed on what you're looking for from a media outlet (you're selling something or other, right?). While you're thinking about where to spend this sudden, unexpected budget surplus, please take into consideration that I would never call anyone a slut or a prostitute as a joke, a means of illustrating "the absurd with absurdity" so to speak. No, the only reason I can think of that I would ever need to do that would be as an immature and highly inappropriate way of addressing my own douche-nozzle inadequacies by reflecting a deep-seated hatred of all women.
Thanks, fellas!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Aim high!

The internet (regardless of how you spell it) is a wonderful place where you can make all your dreams come true. Maybe your goal is to find a job or save a Nigerian prince or get a cupcake recipe or watch videos of honeybadgers. Whatever.
Or maybe your goal is just to find someone to play with.
It's all out there. Or so I'm told.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Mind like a sponge...if you believe in that kind of thing

I love interacting with the interns where I work. It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to be an important influence on young people in their formative years. They're so impressionable, so eager to soak up knowledge and new ideas. It's awesome!
Here's an example of the kind of interaction I'm talking about that happened just yesterday...

INTERN: I hate sealing envelopes. It's by far the worst part of this job. No question.

CO-WORKER: That's because you lick them. I've told you at least a dozen times that's unnecessary.

INTERN: I know, I know. You keep telling me about some machine or something. But I don't know where that is or even how that would work.

ME: There are big companies that put thousands of envelopes in the mail every single day. Far more than we ever send from here. Do you really think people lick them all one by one?

INTERN: What I think is you're just trying to mess with me because I'm an intern.

CO-WORKER: Why would we do that...?

INTERN: Because I'm an intern!

ME: That is not an entirely unreasonable accusation.

CO-WORKER: Look, just seal the envelopes, okay? If you insist on licking them, don't bitch about it. Because you've been given other options.

INTERN: Oh yeah. Like the magical envelope-licking machine. Right. There are machines for everything around here!

ME: That sounds like you just hate machines. Are you Amish?

CO-WORKER: You know, you could just get a piece of damp sponge.

ME: Which isn't even a machine.

INTERN: I've tried that. I can't get it to work.

ME: You...can't figure out how to operate a sponge?

INTERN: I never said that.

CO-WORKER: You said you can't get it to work.

ME: It doesn't actually "work". It doesn't do anything but retain moisture. It has no moving parts. You get it wet and it just sits there, sort of like an old woman's...

INTERN: Stop. RIght there.

CO-WORKER: How do you take a shower?

ME: (muttering under my breath) I was going to say flower garden but whatever.

INTERN: I don't use a sponge! I use a wash cloth, duh.

ME: Hey, if you can't figure out how to operate a sponge, you're certainly not qualified to express sarcasm with the word "duh"!

CO-WORKER: What about washing the dishes?

INTERN: I have a dishwasher.

ME: Oh yeah. A magical dish-washing machine. Right. There are machines everywhere around an Amish farm...oh wait, no, there aren't!

INTERN: That is a real thing!

ME: Riiiiiiiight. Just put the dishes inside, push some buttons, beep-boop-boop-beep. 'Wow, thank you for the clean dishes, robot'!

INTERN: I'm not Amish. It's not a robot. And you have to add soap...

CO-WORKER: I can't get past the idea that you don't know how to use a sponge. I'm blown away by that, frankly.

INTERN: I didn't say I don't know how to use sponges; I said I don't use them in the shower or to wash dishes.

ME: Do you know how many envelopes you could have sealed in the time you've wasted trying to prove that sponges don't exist?

CO-WORKER: You said you couldn't get it to work!

INTERN: I meant, the sponge gets too wet and it's sloppy and...hold on, when did I ever say that sponges don't exist?

ME: I'm thinking all the envelopes. All of 'em.

CO-WORKER: What college do you attend? I think I really need to know where you go to school.

ME: It's got to be in some land-locked state where they don't have water where sponges can grow, so they build robots to wash their dishes instead. Nevada or Utah or Kansas or Michigan...

INTERN: Michigan is surrounded by lakes!

CO-WORKER: Is it a state college or a private school?

ME: Is it an Amish university that inexplicably offers degrees in the robotic arts and marine biology but you couldn't get in to either program and your parents shunned you because you were such a disappointment and now you express your bitterness toward them via hatred of robots and certain forms of aquatic life?


ME: Or something?

CO-WORKER: It's obviously a college with extremely lax admission standards.

INTERN: It is not!

ME: It's definitely a college that teaches Michigan is an island, apparently, since now it's "surrounded by lakes".

INTERN: You know what I meant.

ME: Somebody better tell Indiana it's a lake! I guess that means the Indianapolis 500 is a race for boats now.

INTERN: Michigan's not completely surrounded by lakes, it's mostly surrounded by lakes.

ME: None of which have any sponges growing in them. Huge surprise you couldn't cut it in the marine biology program.

INTERN: I never wanted to be a marine biologist!

ME: Tell your parents! They're the ones you're mad at, not me!

INTERN: I am not mad at my parents!!

CO-WORKER: Now I have absolutely no idea what you're even talking about.

ME: Yeah, don't try to draw us into your madness, you sponge-denying, robo-phobic envelope licker. We want nothing to do with your sinister plan to flood the great state of Indiana because you have Amish mommy and daddy issues.

INTERN: I take it back. This is by far the worst part of this job.

Some day, she will look back and realize that she learned something very important that day: messing with interns is a lot of fun.