Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Fifty-Five Words and an Interview

Today and today only, you get two posts for the price of one! That means that not only will you have the abject misery of reading my normal ramblings, but as an added bonus you get the answers to the interview questions that MJ asked me.
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Fifty Five Fiction
A while back, I heard about a contest called "Fifty-Five Fiction" which writers are challenged to create short stories using fifty-five words or less. Now I have enough trouble writing when there are no limits imposed, so you can only imagine how difficult this was. Anyway, rather than bore you with the details, I thought I'd bore you with the story I wrote.

He giggled drunkenly as he dialed the number scrawled on the wall above the urinal.

"Hello?"

Her sultry voice was somehow vaguely familiar.

"Hi. I'm interested in having a good time." he said.

"$250 an hour, cash up front." she replied.

"Deal."

He frowned as she gave him the address.

"Mom!?! Is that you?"

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Interview with MJ
In what I'm sure I will one day look back upon as the highlight of my life, I've been fortunate enough to be "interviewed" by the lovely and talented MJ.1

She was pretty strict about the fact that the rules must be posted with the answers. However, regular visitors to this blog already know that that I'm a rebel, so I refuse to do it. In the immortal words of Craig Hoffman on "Family Guy":

"Uh, that's about as likely as me playing by someone else's rules besides my own. Which I would never do. I play by my own rules, nobody else's. Not even my own."

In fact, just to prove my point, I'm going to answer the questions in whatever order I want.

Question 1
What's the most metrosexual thing you've ever done (i.e.,, gotten yourself a facial, obsessed over matching the colors of your bathroom accessories, manscaped, etc.)?

Manscaped

**pause while everyone dry heaves***

I can say unequivocally that with the exception of one key area, it hardly seems worth the effort. Otherwise, I have no absolutely no desire to explore any aspects of metrosexuality.

Question 2
I've heard many men say jokingly about various ideas and feats of ingenuity, "Oh man, that gives me a boner." Have you ever, in fact, gotten physically aroused upon being inspired in a non-sexual way?

Erm...no. I mean, I understand the theory, but I'm not sure about the application. Feats of ingenuity impress me, but they just don't excite me in that way.

Now farm animals, on the other hand, are an entirely different story...

I'm KIDDING.

Really.

I am.

Please stop looking at me like that....

Question 3
Fill in the blanks (but NOT with house, rock, or knock): When the ________ is ______ing don't come a-______ing!

That's easy...

When the church is praying, don't come a-round with your rock music and dancing because Beaumont's Bible-thumping minister, Reverend Moore banned them both after four local teenagers - including his son - died a few years earlier in a drunk driving accident while coming home from a dance, thus adding a surprising (yet corny) depth to the Reverend's convictions.

Loose, footloose / Kick off your Sunday shoes / Please, Louise / Pull me offa my knees /Jack, get back / C'mon before we crack / Lose your blues / Everybody cut footloose

Ugh, I really hate that movie.2

Question 4
If you discovered that a woman, whom you know to be a friend of a friend, was into DVDA, would you:

a - be disgusted and unable to look her in the eye ever again
b - be strangely fascinated and ask your friend to let you know if there ever was an opportunity to watch (in person or on video)
c - want to tap that
d - other (explain)


I'm not sure any of these answers apply. Let's examine them one at a time.

a - I certainly wouldn't be disgusted. DVD Addiction is a sickness like any other, and people who suffer from it deserve our support and compassion as they struggle to regain their standing as productive members of society.

b - This sounds like nothing more than substituting one addiction (DVD) with another (video). If you're talking about me watching her watch DVDs either in person or on video, I just don't see the attraction in either.

c - I guess it depends what she looks like but I can't imagine how this is relevant.

d - Perhaps this is the best answer. I think I'd do my best to help by holding an intervention, then canceling her Netflix subscription and starting a neighborhood watch campaign to drive those unscrupulous DVD dealers out of the area.

When I think about it, it'd probably be some combination of a, b, and c.

What really impresses me, though, is that someone has actually thought long enough about this topic to both name it and come up with an acronym for it.

Question 5
If you were to travel back in time with a video camera to your favorite or most memorable sexual experience and record the action, then when you got back to today decided to distribute it on the porn market, what would the title of the "movie" be and what would you re-name the characters, including your old self?

Okay, MJ, this question just shows how little you know about me. Let's think about this for a moment. In order to answer this question, I'd have to find someone to sleep with me and, let's be honest, at this point in my life that's not likely to happen. I'm mean, "The 40 Year Old Virgin" was actually based on my yet to be published autobiography.

But if I were fortunate enough to have a favorite or memorable sexual experience to recall, the title of the "movie" would be along the lines of "Joe's Week of Mind Blowing Sex with Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie, and Rosario Dawson" Granted, it's an unwieldy title, but it is pretty descriptive.

Now if I did make this movie, I'd never re-name the characters. In fact, I'd buy a billboard in Times Square with my real name splashed across it.

On a more serious note, I could name any of the experiences I had with my ex-girlfriend. They were all amazing (most notably the weekend in San Francisco) and will be seared in my memory forever in much the same way every moment I spent with her is.

With that in mind, the movie would probably be a montage called "The Best Two Years Of My Life" with characters named Don De Esta (me) and Ramona (her).

Sorry. I know that's hurl-worthy but it's the truth...and about as honest an answer as you'll ever get out of me.

God, I'm pathetic....

Okay, that's enough embarrassing revelations about me for one day. After this, I'm certain that I'll never see most of you again. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

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1 The black and white picture above was taken by MJ's publicists during the interview which, for some reason, she insisted on conducting in a barn. You'll also notice that the man in the picture isn't me. That's because MJ and her publicists insisted that she not be photographed with me. Apparently it has something to do with her having an image to uphold or some such nonsense...

2 Special note for
High Desert Diva's eyes only: Erm...Don't believe a thing I said up there about hating Footloose. Clearly, it's one of the greatest movies of all time.3

3 Special note for
geekdarling's eyes only: Erm...Don't believe a thing I said up there about it being for HDD's eyes only. The previous footnote was meant for you, too..4

4 Special note for
High Desert Diva's eyes only: In the event that you read the comment above, which was meant for geekdarling's eyes only, I didn't really mean anything I said to her. The addendum was meant for you , and you alone. I just didn't want any ill will in the air during her upcoming visit with you since I know I'll be the main topic of conversation between the two of you.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Week in Pictures XII


In our top story, French authorities are hunting for the Mona Lisa after she made a daring daylight escape from the Louvre by hiding behind a copy of the DaVinci Code.


President Bush showed he's serious about education reform by using his vacation to go to summer school in order to complete the second grade. He received mostly C's on his report card, which was good enough for promotion to third grade with the rest of his class.


In Seattle, participants at the annual Hempfest gathering - including this 19-year-old woman - disputed recent reports that marijuana usage may cause premature aging.


The crew of a tall ship who lost their sails in a poker game with a group of fishermen in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean were able to successfully pilot themselves to shore by unbuttoning their shirts and standing on the yardarms.


After centuries of survival of the fittest, marine biologists now report that some fish have adapted by hiring bodyguards to protect them from predators.


A young worshipper was seriously injured during Catholic World Youth Day gathering in Belgium when a nun landed on him after stage diving into the crowd.


An 85-year-old man and his 82-year-old girlfriend emerged from a hedgerow labyrinth in Berlin after being lost for over sixty years. They claim to have survived on leftovers given to them by a Minotaur they befriended during their ordeal.


Genghis Khan, thought to have died in 1207, emerged from an underwater fortress in which he'd been vacationing for nearly eight centuries. The well-rested Mongolian ruler is said to be disappointed with the work of his descendants and reportedly plans to embark on a quest to re-conquer his empire.


Bonsai cultivators in Kuala Lumpur have developed a 'water jasmine' variety of the plant that measures 22 mm, which they say is approximately the same size as my peni....Hey! How did they know that?!?!


As rabbit hunting season kicks off, Bugs Bunny has once again turned to cross-dressing in order to fool the gullible, yet persistent Elmer Fudd.


In business news, 1-800-Flowers.com announced this week that they've purchased a flotilla of canoes in an effort to expand their delivery service to include cruise ships and other watercraft.


Comedian Roseanne Barr will appear on the reality show Miami Ink this week in an episode in which she has a tattoo of ex-husband Tom Arnold's face altered to become that of famed revolutionary Maverick (a.k.a. Trevor) Record.


This week's gratuitous picture: Mary Kate Olsen


In sports, a group of spectators were accidentally crushed when eighty-seven foot tall ski jumper Primoz Pikl of Slovakia fell face first during his landing at the FIS Summer World Cup in Courchevel, French Alps.


Columbia pole vaulter David Rojas set a new world record by clearing the bar at 35,000 feet. Unfortunately, he was struck by a passing jetliner on his way down and was last seen heading in the general direction of Ireland.


Upset by an ongoing dispute over a digital camera that broke just one day after the warranty expired, a goaltender for the NHL's Los Angeles Kings has chosen to forgo putting his own name on his jersey, opting instead to express his anger towards the company that made the camera.

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Playoffs start this week at 10 a.m. at Kennedy Park in Hempstead. I fully expect to see all of you there this time...and that means you, too, Braleigh.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Triage


"GET OUTTA THE G*DD*MN WAY, ROOKIE!"

He jumped back, panting. He'd thought he was ready for this, but he'd never imagined anything like the pandemonium he was witnessing. He found himself staring, paralyzed by the chaos.

"MOVE IT ROOKIE! NOW!"

He snapped out of his stupor and leapt into action. He hurried over and stood before the gleaming tray of equipment.

"Tongs!"

He slapped the tongs into the waiting hand and was rewarded with a withering look.

"Handle First, Dumbass. Didn't they teach you anything?"

Suddenly a scream rang out, rising high above the cacophony of noise and leaving a moment of silence in it's wake. He looked over to see a bright red geyser spurting through the air and one of the others trying without success to contain it.

"WHAT ARE YOU STARING AT, KID? GET OVER THERE AND HELP!"

He rushed over, slipping on the fluid that had quickly puddled on the floor. He looked around for something to staunch the flow, but he came up empty. Thinking quickly, he improvised by tearing a strip of cloth from his shirt and creating a makeshift tourniquet. It worked and he felt a momentary surge of pleasure at having so ably resolved his first crisis.

"GET OVER HERE, ROOKIE. WE HAVE A CODE BLUE!"

He sprinted across the room again, skidding to a stop next to the woman who'd called him. Her hands moved like lightning as she attended to the burn victim before her. With no time to think, he did his best to keep up. Only afterwards did he stop to consider what they'd done and he choked back a wave of nausea as he looked down at the pile of charred flesh they'd been working on.

She glanced over at him.

"You're looking kind of pale, kid. If you're gonna be in this line of work, you're gonna have to get used to seeing this kind of stuff."she said. "This is the worst of the lot - third degree burns over 98% of the exposed area. I don't think this one is gonna make it."

She gestured to her left. "Its not all bad news, though. I think the rest of them will be okay."

As the day wore on, he ran himself ragged gathering supplies, reacting to emergencies, and doing what little he could to help.

Finally, it was all over. He pulled off his hat and slumped to the ground, exhausted. He looked around the room. When he arrived that morning it had been spotless and gleaming, now it looked as if it might never be clean again. He was near tears as he considered the futility of it all. No matter how hard they worked it would never be enough. It was like using a bucket to empty the ocean.

He felt a hand on his shoulder and looked up into a pair of kind but exhausted eyes.

"You did okay today, kid. You might not realize it now, but the work we did mattered to a lot of people."

His chest swelled with pride. Suddenly, he saw everything in a whole new light. He glanced across the room at the ketchup hose and recalled how he'd improvised to save the day. He stopped thinking about the few burgers that they'd burned, and instead he thought of the ones they'd saved. He remembered the hundreds of satisfied customers that had scarfed down their value meals and went back to their jobs sated and ready to face the afternoon.

He'd survived his first day and he knew that he'd earned his place on the McDonald's lunch crew.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Week in Pictures XI


NASA officials announced this week that the Space Shuttle Discovery accidentally ripped a hole in the sky upon re-entry this past week. They plan to conduct a daring spacewalk during the next mission in which an astronaut armed with a giant needle and thread will attempt to repair the tear.


Syrian born artist, Hala Faisal, protested the war in Iraq and the occupation of Palestine by appearing in New York's Washington Square Park in the nude with anti-war slogans written across her body in both English and Arabic. Observers pledged to support whatever cause she wanted as long as she promised to put her clothes back on.


A new law requiring all horse owners to clean up after their animals took effect in Tibet this week.


Emergency workers at a local beach were called in to rescue a man after his children became overzealous as they buried him in the sand while he slept.


The International Balloon Festival was cancelled after a swarm of giant bees punctured several of the hot air balloons awaiting takeoff.


Chinese officials announced that a 100 year old woman from the Guangdong province gave birth to a healthy baby boy six months ago. The new parents are thrilled with the unexpected child, especially now that he eats the same baby food as them.


This week's gratuitous picture: Eva Longoria


Recently divorced Christmas icon Santa Claus ran into trouble with the law when he attempted to win a drunken bar bet by stripping down to his underwear, starting a blizzard, and parading down a London street holding a stolen donkey.


Harry Potter fans rejoiced when they were told this week that the seventh and final book in the series will be released one page at a time over 682 days and at a cost of $5 per page. The book is tentatively titled "Harry Potter and the Fortune He Made for Me."


A trio of cattle rustlers were arrested in Jackson Hole, Wyoming when their scheme to steal a prize bull went awry and the animal wound up floating into a nearby atrium.


Rap sensation Baby Face Killa returned to the studio this week to start work on his new CD tentatively titled "Too Young to Crie."


Russia's Anna Pyatykh barely escaped harm after torrential downpours turned the long jump pit into quicksand. Fortunately, she was able to grab onto a nearby branch and pull herself out.


Meanwhile, the wet weather caused a runner to blow a shoe emerging from the starting blocks in the men's 1500m. He came to rest on the infield after flipping over several times and causing a six runner pile-up.


Meanwhile, in an effort to draw more fans to the World Athletics Championships, the IAAF has introduced several controversial new events including the Poltergeist mile,


The 400m blindfolded stumble,


And the men's 100m funny run.


And finally, the long running romance between Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz may soon be over. Friends of Timberlake say that he's concerned about the way Diaz has let herself go lately.

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Alright folks, I'm off for a week of fun, sun, and drunken carousing. If I can make my way to a computer - and am somehow sober enough to type when I do, well, then I'm clearly not having a great vacation. Take care and I'll see you all soon.

Oh, and anyone wishing to bring me a going away present can do so by coming down to in Kennedy Park in Hempstead, NY any time between 11 a.m and 3 p.m. where I'll be playing my pre-trip Sunday softball game followed by about 7-8 beers. Come early as I expect the line of well wishers to stretch for miles.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Infinite Jest

I generally reserve this spot for my pointless and poorly written stories. Sadly I feel the need to share a personal story this time.

As some of you know, a while back with my ex-wife caused some problems for me and the woman I was dating. As a result, my girlfriend broke up with me. Since then, I haven't really had the desire to be with anyone else. However, a few weeks ago I decided to cautiously wade back into the dating pool.

I met a woman who seemed really nice and we started talking. Eventually, we began seeing each other. It was kind of strange, though. Every time we made plans, she either cancelled or she had to leave early. She often brought her niece or sister with her when she came over to my place. I didn't think much of it as I thought she might be concerned about being alone with a guy she hadn't known that long.

The few times she came alone, she would stay for a very brief period before rushing out for some emergency or another. She never wanted to meet me by her office, but she had no problem coming over to mine. She gave me her work number, her mom's phone number, and her niece's cell phone number but she was rarely around when I called. Clearly, something wasn't adding up.

Those of you who've already figured it out are much smarter than me.

Earlier tonight I was out having drinks with some friends. (What? If you were me, you'd drink a lot, too). I looked across the room and much to my surprise I saw her sitting at a table. She wearing a wedding ring and snuggling up to her husband. Not one to cause a scene, I got up to leave. As I passed them, she looked over and our eyes met. I just smiled politely and kept walking.

Shit.

My phone hasn't stopped ringing since then. She keeps sneaking off to what sounds like the ladies room to leave messages apologizing for both what she did and for the way I found out. Does she really expect me to answer?

So I've decided that I'm done with this dating thing. I leave with a less-than-stellar track record. I've been cheated on or lied to in the vast majority of my relationships. My marriage failed. And I ruined the one shot at happiness that I truly had by letting my ex come between me and the only woman I've ever truly loved.1

To quickly recap that relationship for the newcomers:

  • I would have crawled across a desert of broken glass just to see her smile.2
  • She taught me what it was like to love with complete passion and abandon.
  • I listened to every word she said, not because I thought that she wanted me to, but because everything she said was important to me.
  • As hard as it was to lose her, I consider myself fortunate to have had any time with her at all.
  • I'll always treasure the memory of her kiss, the sound of her voice, the words she wrote to me, and the feel of her in my arms.
  • In summary, as James Joyce once wrote, "There is no word tender enough to be her name."
Anyway, I'm done. From now on, this is the only girl I'll ever love.

My vacation next week couldn't have come at a better time.

Let me see if I can come up with a joke about all of this....

Nope. I've got nothing.

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1Ironically, about eight months ago my ex-wife madly in love with someone. On the rare occasions that we speak, she almost always apologizes for the things she did. She says that she finally knows how I felt about this woman, and that she feels horrible for the lies she told to drive us apart. Hell of a lot of good that does me now.

2 Fortunately, it never came to that. Instead, a pint of Karamel Sutra Ice Cream, an hour long massage, and a Bratz doll or two frequently did the trick.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Slow Chase

The foot lights dimmed as Act II came to a close. Standing just offstage, Detective Jordan scanned the audience looking for Billy Windsor, the man he'd spent weeks tracking down. He about to call off the stakeout when his eyes were drawn to a figure slowly making his way down the aisle.

Acting on the discreet signal they'd developed, he alerted the officers he'd stationed throughout the theater by jumping off of the stage, pointing to the man, and shouting "THERE HE IS!"

A life of crime had taught Windsor to recognize subtle clues like this, and so acting on instinct he turned and sprinted back up the aisle. Jordan leapt off the stage in hot pursuit, pausing only briefly to exchange phone numbers with an attractive brunette in the second row. Meanwhile, the curtain rose signaling the start of Act III. After huddling and quickly convincing each other that Jordan had matters under control, the other officers returned to their seats to see how the play ended.

Windsor and Jordan burst out of the theater and into the crowded street. Both men quickly tired as the chase wore on thorugh the winding and hilly streets. As they passed Elm Street, Jordan's cell phone rang. He stopped to pick it up, hopeful that the brunette from the theater would be on the other end. Much to his surprise, it was Windsor. After a brief chat, they agreed to continue the chase at a brisk walk.

At the reduced speed, both men were able to continue the chase for the better part of the day. Both grew hungry as the evening wore on, and so after another quick conversation, they stopped in a local steakhouse for a bite to eat. Of course, they took seperate tables as it would be unseemly to be seen dining together.

At around 8:15 p.m., Jordan thought he'd lost Windsor. He cursed himself as for dawdling over his after dinner cappuccino. He knew it had been a foolish decision, especially after he noticed that Windsor had elected to skip desert. He left the restuarant in a foul mood.

Fortunately, luck was on his side. Just up the road, he caught sight of Windsor standing at the corner waiting for the walk signal. Just before the light changed, Jordan caught up with him and made the arrest.
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The next night Jordan awoke with a start from a deep and well-earned slumber. He reached over and gently shook the brunette.

"Do you smell something burning?" he asked.

"That's just me" she mumbled sleepily "I told you that I usually smoke after sex."

He lifted the blanket and peeked down at her. "Yeah, but I thought you meant cigarettes..."

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Week in Pictures X


A swimmer in Washington barely escaped with his life after he attacked by a flock of wild rubber ducks. He was unable to positively ID his attackers as they had cleverly disguised themselves by wearing dark sunglasses.


Over at the White House, President Bush learned how to sign his name this week.

"This is a significant milestone for the administration and represents the culmination of five years of hard work." said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.


Later that day, the President flew to his ranch in Crawford, Texas where he answered reporters questions, including one who asked "How big do your balls have to be to do the things your administration does?"


Meanwhile, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick sparked an international incident after settling a drunken bet about who's manhood is bigger by dropping their pants in the midst of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations forum.


In London, former cartoon star Magilla Gorilla called on Prime Minister Tony Blair to free the detainees being held without charges in the London Zoo.


In space news, Pluto and Neptune collided last week causing a massive planetary traffic jam that backed up orbits for several hours.


Astronaut Stephen Robinson was forced to undertake another emergency repair mission after NASA engineers expressed concern that the Shuttle's persistent and unexpected erection could cause problems during re-entry. Robinson was able to correct the problem with a hammer and some ice water.


Despite his heroics, Robinson was voted off of the Shuttle later that day after his team lost an immunity challenge.


Meanwhile, Astronaut Wendy Lawrence admits that she may have overpacked for the two-week mission, but defended her actions saying "Anyone who's ever watched Star Trek knows that you can never be sure who you're going to run into in space. I just wanted to be able to dress right for every occasion."


This week's gratuitous photo: Eva Mendes


Acting on an anonymous tip, authorities in China stormed an illegal baby growing farm, seizing over 1,000 baby plants were seized in the dramatic pre-dawn raid.


GM unveiled the Hummer H4 this week. The vehicle boasts a price tag of $379,000 and gets a whopping .006 miles per gallon.


And finally, in sports the Oompa Loompa Fighting Chocolateers lost their 87th consecutive game this week by a score of 168-0. Owner Willy Wonka is said to be mulling over a coaching change in the hopes of providing a much needed spark to the team.