Monday, May 29, 2006

The Pirate Adventure Begins

Current Crew:

Co-Captain - Okami
First Mates - LMizzle and Trevor
Quartermaster - Doug
Mutinous Crew Member - High Desert Diva
Pirate Wench - Fresh Air Lover

Buoyed1 by my staggering run of good luck in recruiting crew members from the blog world I set out to begin my Pirate Adventure. While some might argue that the leadership was top heavy with Canadians, I had no doubt that I'd chosen the best available talent, and that the balance of U.S. and Canadian crew, as well as the male/female ratios would bode well when it came time to complete my annual EEO-1 report.2

Still, I couldn't help but to be troubled by what was, to the best of my knowledge, a complete lack of nautical knowledge amongst my crew. Sure, the Officer's Table would be a bastion witty repartee and bon mots unmatched since the days of the Algonquin Round Table, but eventually we'd almost certainly become lost at sea at some point and, if that happened, the crew would almost certainly begin to pay heed to the mutinious rumblings of HDD so that they could starve to death under her leadership rather than mine. Then again, she's a chef so she could probably whip up some plankton stew and seaweed salad with saltwater dressing that would not only nourish them and having them begging for more. All the more reason to get a crew that would limt the possibilites of it coming to that.

In the hopes of finding some experienced crew, I took to the streets near the harbor in search of a tavern where I'd find a few sailors looking to set a course for adventure. Sadly, that seemed put me in mind of the Love Boat theme, which I absently mindedly hummed as I wandered into the tavern.

A few seconds later, I found myself forcibly ejected from the bar.

As I flew through the air on my way to the gutter, my eye caught sight of a small establishment called "Starbucks". After dusting myself off, I remembered that Starbuck was name of the first mate in Melville's classic "Moby Dick" and from that I surmised it to be the local haven for sea-faring folk.

My hunch was confirmed when a few young well-dressed men whistled and called out "Hell-o Sailor!" as I walked by on my way to the establishment.

I entered the brightly lit space, caught the eye of the serving wench behind the bar and growled "Get me a bottle o' rum before I have you keelhauled." Rather than leaping to satisfy the needs of a thirsty mariner, she pointed to the back of a long line and advised that I'd need to wait my turn.

It appeared that the locals had some strange customs to which I'd need to adapt before I could hope to be accepted as one of their own.
1 Note the use of nautical terminology right off the bat. I'm going to be the best Pirate Captain ever.

2 The EEO-1 Report - formally known as the "Employer Information Report" - is a government form requiring many employers to provide a count of their employees by job category and then by ethnicity, race and gender. The EEO-1 report is submitted to both the EEOC and the Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

* Let me close by saying that posting via e-mail rocks. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to keep my promise to a friend to post this by today.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Week in Pictures XLVI

Random Friday Thoughts:

It's Memorial Day weekend in the United States, which marks the traditional beginning of summer. More importantly, the three day weekend will allow me to take a well deserved break working.

My father overdosed on his perscription medicine last night, and smacked his head on his dresser as he passed out resulting in a slight concussion and proving in the process that he remains a dumbass. He's fine by the way.

The pirate thing is going well, thus far as I was able to sign up two first mates within hours of sharing my plans with the world. I can't tell you how optimistic I am, especially given the fact that my research indicates that even the most famous pirates had to settle for only one first mate.

Anyway, on to the Week in Pictures:

The Star of Bethlehem, famous for guiding the Magi to the manger in which baby Jesus lay, crashed to earth earlier this week.

The United Nations launched a controversial new program to prevent child hunger in which starving children entertain crowds and then get to use any spare change thrown their way to buy food.

A local inventor has perfected his full-body plastic bubble condom, which he hopes will allow him to realize his dream of having sex with a polar bear.

In an ironic twist, and environmentalist had to be cut down from a tree after spending so long in its limbs that they began to grow through his body.

A New York City designer has released a clothing line designed to help busy prostitutes keep track of how much time they spend with their customers.

After becoming extremely obese during my forced sabbatical, I've been able to shed quite a few pounds recently - as evidenced by this sculpture of myself that I had commissioned last week.

On the bright side, I was granted a sizeable endowment for a sculpture I created out of my used condoms.

And with that disturbing thought in mind, let's move on to our video of the week:

Inspired by Dan Brown's blockbuster book, researchers looking into the mystery of the DaVinci Code discovered that the Mona Lisa isn't actually a painting at all, but is instead made up of spare computer parts.

A group of tourists were seriously injured when they were attacked by a squadron of kamikaze penguins.

In sports, a spectator at the NBA playoff game between the Detroit Pistons and Miami Heat apparently used the occasion to show the world that he's the undisputed #1 fan of 80's group "Men At Work."

Tragedy struck during the Rally of Italy when France's Sebastien Loeb drowned during the post race champagne celebration.

The Fish World Cup kicked off this week, with the Gold Team winning 1-0. Unfortunately, the entire team was eaten by a shark just hours later.

In entertainment news, Taylor Hicks is the new "American Idol" despite an embarrassing mishap in which he had an orgasm while rubbing against Toni Braxton.

Ricky Martin kicked off his "One Night Stand" tour this week. During the six month long tour, the singer will not perform any of his music, but will instead have night after night of anonymous sex with random men.

And finally, after passing out in a garden while high, singer Macy Gray was thrilled to awaken and find that her body has begun to spontaneously sprout marijuana plants.

Now All I Need is a Suitable Name

I'm tired of being invisible.

I'm tired of being the one left behind, laughed at, of being easily replaced like so much busted plumbing. I'm tired of just not mattering to anyone.

I'm tired of being lonely.

I'm so damn tired.

Anyway, in order to spice up the days until I find employment, I've decided to become a pirate. Stay tuned for entries about my fun filled advetures on the high seas in and around New York.

Now where did I put those Berlitz "Learn How to Talk Like a Pirate" CDs?

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Week in Pictures XLV

Random Friday Thoughts:

Inspired by the new "Tell Better Stories" ads for the Nissan Pathfinder which ask the question "What if you went on a trip and only took left turns?" I decided to make good use of my time off by hopping into my Pathfinder (gas prices be dammed - someone has to support the children in those oil producing countries) and seeing what happened. Six hours and roughly three thousand trips around the block later, I gave up.

Stupid commercials.

I had only one interview this week, but it was an annoying one for a Regional HR Director position at a mid-sized accounting firm in midtown. Actually, of the four people I met with, only one - the National Director of HR Services - was annoying. These two exchanges were typical of the entire hour:

Him: I notice that you were an HR Director and Arthur Andersen and then an HR Manager at Ernst and Young. They usually grandfather titles when you change jobs, so why did they demote you?

Me: They didn't demote me. There is only one HR Director in the FSO structure at EY and so they slotted me into what they believed was an equivalent position.

Him: But they usually grandfather the title.

Me: The equivalent title didn't exist, and I'm not sure that we can draw any parallels between the demise of one of the world's largest professional services firms and subsequent assumption by the remaining "Big Four" and any of the typical mergers to which I assume you refer.

And this one:

Him: You should really list the type of company that you worked for under the company name on your resume so that I know it's a law firm.

Me: Thanks. I figured that the word "Attorneys" in the first bullet point - and in many of the underlying ones - would be a tipoff that it was a law firm.

Actually, I didn't say that, but I wanted to.

And finally:

Him: What was your salary at your last employer?

Me: As you see on my application, it was (actual salary)

Him: You should know that we go through a thorough verification process here prior to extending any offers.

Me: If you're implying that the information I've given you regarding my salary - or my title at Andersen for that matter - is incorrect, I'm certain you'll find that I've given you accurate information in both cases. Now if you insult my professionalism or integrity again, I'm going to snap your fat ass like a twig and toss you out of that widow behind you.

Actually, I didn't say that last part, but I did wind up hating him quite a bit by the end of the meeting.

On a related note, I never understood how lonely and depressing unemployment can be.

Anyway, on to the Week in Pictures.

In a nationally televised speech, President Bush shared his plan to assist Border Patrols by putting up signs to attempt to trick would be illegal immigrants into using heavily guarded crossings at designated points along the U.S./Mexico border.

Unseasonably warm weather in Russia lead to tragedy when several male beachgoers suffered spontaneous testicle ejection immediately upon leaping into the still frigid waters.

Wealthy teens in Brazil have taken to hiring bodyguards to protect them from being mugged as they urinate.

Tired of waiting to become King, Prince Charles announced that he plans to pass his evenings as England's newest crime-fighting caped crusader.

No caption is really required here, but this has to be the closest call ever.

For the first time in over a hundred attempts, a young European man successfully used the pick-up line "Do you know what's better than your garden of tulips? Your two lips against mine."

All over the world, bears are busily preparing for the upcoming World Monkeyball Championships.

Six Flags Theme Parks announced that they are ceasing operation of their controversial "Sudden Stop and Toss Ferris Wheel" effective immediately.

In an effort to curtail the messy duck droppings that foul public parks, several municipalities have begun installing specially designed self-flushing duck toilets.

Our video of the week is a "Brazlian ass-shaker" (or is that Brazillion, Alice?) called PopoZao by the soon-to-be hip-hop star Kevin Federline.

That video just never gets old for me...

Okay, here's the real video of the week from Snow Patrol.

I actually prefer their song "Chasing Cars" but they don't seem to have made a video for that one yet.

I caught a minute or two of "Two and a Half Men" this week, which was just long enough to remind me about the wonder that is Emmanuelle Vaugier (who still, for some strange reason, refuses to date me.)

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have discovered that they can determine the athletic prowess of male orangutans by observing the size of their balls.

Balding women have options other than Rogaine with the release of the new Chia Pet Floral Toupees.*

*Low cut blouse sold separately.

In business news, Friendly Ice Cream Corporation stock rose after the company that they will be shutting down their unprofitable "Friendly's in the Middle of the Lake" franchises.

In entertainment news, super-thin model Eva Herzigova tried in vain for over three hours to create cleavage for photographers taking her picture during the premiere of "The DaVinci Code" in Cannes.

Horrified onlookers could do nothing but watch when Mel Brooks, Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, and Will Ferrell were sucked into a black hole during a press conference touting the release of "The Producers" on DVD.

Tinkerbell will appear nude in the July edition of Playboy magazine.

And finally, actress Tara Reid was arrested at a German botanical garden after repeatedly attempting to mount an Arum Titan flower.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pale Rider

Nothing could be finer than to wake up in Regina every mooooorning!

Oh, sorry. Didn’t see you there.

Did you see Grey’s Anatomy last night? I couldn’t believe it character died!

Erm…I guess you can tell that I don’t watch the show. I’m just trying to take part in with the water cooler gossip that I’m sure is taking place in offices all over the country this morning. I’d do it at my own office except, as you’ll recall, I don’t have one at the moment.

Of course, the other reason that I missed Grey’s Anatomy is because I was busy extracting myself from a bit of trouble that I ran into over the weekend whilst in North Carolina.

Because the weather was so beautiful, I slept with the window open on Friday evening. As so often happens, the night air was a bit cooler than I expected, and the next morning I awoke with a stuffy nose, clogged ears, a sore throat and a touch of laryngitis.

After a hearty southern breakfast of, I believe, fried lard and grits, we headed off to the stable for a day of horseback riding. As we rode, the man leading us on the trail told us about a series of horse thefts that had been plaguing the area. Apparently, the horses were always found unharmed shortly after the thefts, and local police surmised that they were either being used for a rogue breeding operation or, more likely, for bestiality films that would later be posted on the internet. In fact, their stable had been victimized that morning when they noticed that a pony disappeared.

Though I managed to stay on the beast for the duration – even when we were at full gallop, I’m still a horrible rider. In fact, I live in fear of riding in a DeLorean lest I be transported back in time to 1885 and the Wild West days of Back to the Future Part III as I’d no doubt be the laughingstock of the entire town and would likely wind up as Marty McFly's bitch...but that’s another story.

We returned at dusk and while everyone else went for a bite to eat, I lingered for a few minutes around the stable admiring the grace and beauty of those majestic animals. On my way back, I heard a noise coming from an abandoned building across the field. I ambled over and peered through the dirt covered window and was surprised to see a pony that I could only assume had wandered in and gotten stuck when the door blew closed.

Naturally, I surmised that this was the missing pony that we’d heard about during the ride and I later learned that assumption was correct. Despite my complete lack of knowledge about animals, I opened the door and tried to coax him out. Unfortunately, he appeared traumatized his ordeal and as a result, he refused to come near me.

Using my often-failed dating strategy, I stood in the doorway for at least thirty minutes casting shy glances his way in the hopes that he’d grow comfortable enough with me – or that he’d feel sorry enough for me – to eventually wander over. Sadly, he remained rooted in place, proving that the approach works as well with horses as it does with women.

I was loathe to walk away lest he dart out of the building and become lost elsewhere, nor did I want to lock him back in while I went for help as he’d been through enough already. Screwing up my courage, I cursed myself for never bothering to see “The Horse Whisperer” and I inched my way closer to the frightened animal. When I was a foot or so away – close enough to reach out and stroke his mane, a police car screeched to a halt outside. As I turned to look, the pony reared up, his forelegs coming to rest for a brief moment on my shoulders before he scrambled off and went back to standing stock still behind me.

That was all the policeman needed to see. In one smooth motion he emerged from the car with his pistol drawn.

“Freeze!” he shouted.

I put my hands in the air as I’d been trained to do by watching hundreds of hours of Law and Order.

“What are you doing in there?” he asked.

“Trying to help a lost pony.” I replied as loudly as my sore vocal chords would allow.

The officer’s gun remained trained on me. “You’ll need to speak up, son. I asked what you’re doing back there.”

“You’ll need to come closer,” I rasped.


“I’m feeling a little hoarse.”

The words came out before I realized the implication. Fortunately, two days in jail and a few thousand dollars in lawyer’s fees later, the whole misunderstanding was straightened out.

In fact, my attorney is fairly confident that I may even be allowed back in North Carolina one day.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Week in Pictures XLIV

Random Friday-ish Thoughts:

The interviews continue. First round with the asset management company went well. Have first rounds for a Manager job with an oil company and for a contract job with a publishing company next week, and I hope to have a third round with the cosmetics company, and second rounds with the asset management firm and with the investment bank as well.

I need a break from...uh...not working so I'm heading out for a few days before I go stir crazy. It's supposed to be pretty rainy, so I'm heading down to North Carolina to visit a friend and soak up the warmth and sun in an effort to come back prepared for a few second and third round interviews next week.

Have I mentioned how much I hate not working? I have? Oh. Okay.

Despite the media's attempts to create controversy over them, Pimpfants clothes crack me up.

The other day, I had the following conversation with my 70 year old, 330 lb. neighbor.

Me: "Do you have a sec?"

Her: "I have plenty of secs."

Me: "Uh....okaaaaay."

Hmmm....perhaps it's funnier if you say it aloud.

Not sure if I'll be back in time for Sunday's game, but it's okay since none of you have shown up to watch and/or drink afterwards. I can't believe that you won't fly/drive for hours to see a virtual stranger try to hold on to his fading youth by playing a child's game..... Hold on. I think I understand now. Never mind.

Now on to The Week in Pictures.

In Paris, the Eiffel Tower was closed and the surrounding area quarantined after the structure contracted a rare case of measles.

While in New York, a woman who had been stranded for days by a flash flood was rescued when she cleverly used her torch to signal a passing boat.

Toyota announced that it's mini-electric vehicles will be sold exclusively at Toys-R-Us stores.

Herders in China report that a drought has made it increasingly difficult to find grazing land for their flocks of folk dancers.

A local woman suffered an embarrassing moment when a sudden updraft blew her skirt over her head.

A fisherman in Vancouver, British Columbia set a record by catching his thousandth buoy last weekend.

Ornithologists are reporting that birds are requiring ever more elaborate birdhouses - many including indoor plumbing - before they choose to move in.

Okay, the real reason that I'm going to North Carolina is because I had a disagreement with the woman I've been seeing. However, she just sent me a video she made of a song that she wrote for me, and it's so sweet that I thought I'd share it with you.

*sniff* I need a minute.... *sniff*

To the relief of millions, performance artist and illusionist David Blaine was locked in a "Phantom Zone" prison and launched into outer space where he will float for eternity, unless he is somehow released by a nuclear explosion.

As an added precaution, his internal organs were fed to monkeys prior to his imprisonment.

More evidence of dolphin intelligence was revealed with the discovery of a people filled "Airquarium" in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

The Lilliputian champion Ferrari racing team completed a triumphant tour of Europe this week.

Extreme Sports performer Yasser Arguelles set a new vertical leap world record after landing spread eagled on a railing that he'd been skating across.

As a parting gift before going on tour to support his album, Kevin Federline left his once again pregnant wife Britney Spears a life sized replica of his penis and testicles.

A close up shot of actress Sharon Stone's skin reveals one of the many reasons behind the disappointing box office results of Basic Instinct 2.

And finally, in response to repeated questions, actress Eva Longoria showed the audience the exact position she assumed to win her her role on Desperate Housewives.