Thursday, August 31, 2006

Why Did I Want a Job Again?

Here’s a little something for those of you who wonder why HR folks get a little cranky from time to time.

Immediately upon strolling into my office yesterday morning, I was met by my boss and one of the department managers. Apparently, the department manager had been trying to counsel an employee that had chosen to leave work the previous day without informing anyone because he was upset that she had refused his request to take 15 unpaid days off in addition to the 25 days of paid time off that he’d been allotted for the year. When his manager tried to speak with him the next morning, he walked out of the meeting and hid in the men’s room – correctly assuming that she wouldn’t follow him in there.

As you’ve probably surmised, my mission was to coax him out. After spending 15 minutes calming him down, I was finally able to convince him that the restroom wasn’t the best place for him to share his grievances with me. We then spent another 45 minutes in a conference room where I (with mixed results) tried to educate him as to why walking leaving work early and then hiding out might not be the best career move he’s ever made.

As a reward, I’m now fairly well-known throughout the office despite the fact that I’ve only been here for three days. Whenever I meet someone new, they almost invariably say “Oh, you’re the guy who had to go get (employee name) out of the bathroom!”
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In an ironic, and somewhat sad, twist, I later realized that the man hididng in the bathroom was the some one that I wrote about here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Back in the NY Groove

Observations from my morning commute:

"I told her that I'm so messed up since she left that I'm crying for like 45 minutes every 25 minutes." - Overheard on the 2 train at 8:00 a.m. My first thought was, "I wonder what would come first, drowning or dehydration?"

There are a disturbingly high number of people in Manhattan that look frighteningly similar to John Mark Karr.

When I got off of the subway this morning doing the song and dance from the Starbucks commercial below, not only did my fellow New Yorkers fail to join in, but they went so far as to throw coffee at me and call me a f**king idiot.

So I guess in a lot of ways, the dance didn't make it different from any other morning.

Monday, August 28, 2006

My Not Quite Endless Summer

Having blown my casting call for America's Next Top Model (not female, not attractive) and my audtion for The Search for the Next Pussycat Doll (not female, not attractive, not talented), my lazy summer officially ends at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow with my return to work. Since I'll need to be on my best behavior (or behaviour for my British and Canadian friends) for a few days, I thought I'd post something today on the off chance that anyone still reads this blog.

Sadly, I still have nothing to say other than telling you that we won our second straight softball championship yesterday by taking two out of three games in wet and cold conditions. After the game, I reflected on the fact that there's something a bit sad about a bunch of 30 and 40 year old guys celebrating something that, in the larger scheme of things, means nothing. Still, that didn't stop us from doing it.

So in place of my incessant babbling, here is the Jeffrey Brown directed video of Death Cab for Cutie's "Your Heart is an Empty Room."



Because when it comes right down to it, my main reason for being excited about going back to work is because, as the songs says, "Out on the street are so many possibilities to not be alone"

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Week in Pictures LVIII

Random Friday Thoughts:

The softball championship game is this Sunday, so if all goes well I should wind up spending my last day of unemployment nursing a huge hangover from the post-game celebration. My only other option is to spend Monday nursing a huge hangover from a post game drinking binge to drown our sorrows. Either way, I expect to see you all at the came. No excuses...

Spent a bit of time yesterday catching up on blogs. Good to see that everyone is alive and (somewhat) well. Once work begins, I should have a lot more time to invest in screwing around on the internet.

Otherwise, I've been busy finishing up a few projects that I'd stretched out to make the days pass. It's amazing how much you can get done on a deadline - or how long you can make things last when you don't have one.

No video of the week this week. You can blame Liz for that...

Now on to the WiP:


Upset by continued criticism of his administration's Middle East strategy, George Bush threw a massive temper tantrum during a recent press conference that was capped off by the President holding his breath until he turned blue.


Updating a story that we broke for you on Wednesday, it appears that President Bush has turned to the steel workers union to help craft a response to his father's latest salvo in the phallus argument.


As terrorism fears continued to mount, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) expanded their list of banned items to include cattle.


Caravans of refugees stretched for miles outside of Frankfurt as the gnome infantry reached the wooded area between the airport and the city's downtown.


In local news, emergency workers were called to a strip club early this morning to rescue a dancer that had somehow become impaled on her pole.


Tragedy struck at the town fair when a pack of balloon animals suddenly and unexpectedly turned on the clown that created them.


The National Weather Forecasters College is facing legal action for their policy of punishing failing students by using them as part of the school's weather vane.


Veterinarians at Sydney's Taronga Zoo have launched a campaign to remind turtles about the importance of annual pelvic exams.


A Star Trek fan in Melbourne spent nearly six hours waiting to be beamed up by a transporter before a good Samaritan informed her that it was merely a poorly functioning street lamp.


A radio station in Auburn, Maine spent it's entire annual budget trying to boost ratings by launching an airship to keep commuters informed about rush hour traffic on Main Street.


Thousands of fisherman from around the world lined up to show off their prowess at identifying types of fish by their smell alone.


A group of Balinese men who had been participating in bird racing on Serangan beach...


...were dismayed upon returning to the parking lot to find that the bird's relatives had lined up to crap on their cars.


Archaeologists in Boston, Massachusetts have unearthed a new species of dinosaur that they are tentatively calling the "Sandasaurus."


As penguin hunting season kicked off this weekend, several confused hunters filled the sky with cleverly designed decoys, despite the fact that penguins can't fly.


In an effort to save the last remnants of their privacy, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have instituted a "no photos" policy in their bathroom.


Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland has entered a rehab program in the hopes of getting the monkey off his back.


In a related story, the Tigers announced the monkey's uncle will manage the team in Leyland's absence.


Santa was in town this weekend to cavort with a few hookers prior to the beginning of his busy season.

And finally, here's our official Sankes on a Plane reference for the week:


All your plane are belong to us!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Week in Pictures: Special Report

Many of you have noticed that I haven't been writing as much of late as I had in the past. While I couldn't speak of it earlier, the truth is that I've been laboring to uncover the truth behind the war in Iraq. While many theories have been touted including the war on terror, the mistaken belief that Iraq posessed WMDs, and the desire to spread democracy in the Middle East, I've discovered that in the end, it comes down nothing more than the age old battle between a father and his son.


Things came to a boil at a recent press conference, when in reference to the President's ranch in Crawford, Texas, reporter asked "How big is it?" Mistaking the intent of the question, the President estimated the size of his manhood for the crowd. The moment was eerily reminiscent of a similar gaffe his father made during a debate in 1980.


After seeing the side by side comparison, Bush Sr. immediately went on the talk show circuit to "set the record straight," claiming that the stress of the Presidential race lead him to greatly underestimate the size of his proverbial endowment.


Not to be outdone, the younger Bush took the opportunity to not only prove his manhood by invading Iraq, but to use a speech at a local college to clear up any misconceptions about who is the bigger man.


At last sighting, Bush Sr. was seen scouring seedy adult shops and back alleys for the perfect props to end the battle once and for all. .

We'll be back with more on this story as it develops.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Week in Pictures LVII

Random Friday Thoughts:

After declining offers from an Ivy League university, a technology firm, and a law firm, I accepted the offer at the real estate investment firm and will begin working on August 29. While it was nice to have the summer off, it'll be fun to get back to work.

Of course, Labor Day is September 4, so I'll get a well-deserved three day weekend right away.

Softball playoffs continue this weekend. If we win this week, it's on to the championship game.

Due to the many complaints received after last week's WiP, I've decided to spare you the nausea that comes with seeing pictures of me, and have instead posted a pair of pictures of my niece Jasmine. The first picture was taken a few weeks ago after she spent an hour running through the sprinkler in her front yard.

As far as I can tell, the second is of her world-famous Stevie Wonder impersonation.

By the way, tomorrow is Jasmine's second birthday, so Happy Birthday, Pumpkin!

Okay, that's it.... I've had it with these motherf***ing snakes on this motherf***ing plane!

Erm...sorry. I'll try not to let that turn into another "I wish I knew how to quit you" thing.

Let's move in to the WiP.


As President Bush embarked for a vacation at his Crawford, Texas ranch, he told reporters that he plans to spend his time off reading, horseback riding, and copulating with his pet dogs.


Hindu deity Lord Krishna was arrested by customs agents when he was caught smuggling illegal aliens into the United States.


Plumbing giant Kohler introduced a new shower system designed to clean those difficult to reach places.


In an exclusive interview with The Week in Pictures, the first pig in the Three Little Pigs saga tells us about his particular affinity for straw.


A small boy in India was hospitalized after a prank in which his flute holes were plugged went horribly awry .


Several squirrel monkeys living in China's Anhui province contracted a nasty STD after sharing a sex toy that they stole from a tourist.


Dozens where injured at Disneyland this week when the new Paper Ferris Wheel ride collapsed unexpectedly.


However, the recently installed "Inside Tara Reid on a Friday Night" ride is among the park's most popular new attractions.

This week's video is "In the Sun" by Joseph Arthur.



Of course, that's just a clever ploy to keep the kiddies away from the pornographic content on the real video of the week, which you can find by clicking here.

What can I say? Liz rocks.


According to a Yahoo! Spokesperson, 99.8% of the answers posted on their new Ask Yahoo! feature come from one incredibly intelligent man.


Research shows that the vast majority of cell phone conversations revolve around which phone to buy next.


Stung by criticism that their wasting taxpayers money, Britain's Royal Family said that they will consider cutting back by not having their tea served in the traditional fashion.


The elite South Korean riot police force welcomed their two newest members by sneaking up behind them and issuing the traditional "nightstick initiation"


Just a few weeks after Mel Gibson's arrest, actor Nick Nolte was arrested again on drunken driving charges.


Gratuitous pictures of Jessica Biel.


Disappointing sales figures lead Wham-O! to cease production of the Hula Squares that they'd hoped would become the next fad.


Sociologists believe that Melon Day, a national holiday in Ashkhabad, is the only place it's acceptable for a man to greet a woman with the phrase "Those are some nice melons you got there."


Speaking of holidays "Punch a Buddhist Monk Day" in Sri Lanka was as festive as ever.


A former prostitute has designed a clothing line that call girls can customize with targets to show customers the areas where it's permissable to touch - and arrows showing the orifices approved for insertion.


And while we're on the subject of sex, studies show that many animals make the same stupid faces as humans when having intercourse.


Theater goers in Tripura, India received a shock when two of the male members of a dance troupe became aroused by the feel of the silk sheet covering them during the performance.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Mu-Sick

As I was browsing through iTunes the other day, I noticed a recently released Paula Cole greatest hits CD. For those of you who don't recognize the name, she is the artist behind the unforgettable song "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone." Those of you who are unfamiliar with that song should consider yourselves fortunate. You probably also know her from the song "I Don't Want to Wait," which was the theme song from Dawson's Creek that they played incessantly in the background during every commercial for the now defunct series.

As hard as I tried, I couldn't remember hearing any of her other songs, so I was assuming that the album was an EP, perhaps consisting of those two songs, two remixes of the songs, and maybe a new song designed to get her die-hard fans (all three of them) to buy the damn thing. You can imagine my surprise when I saw they they'd dug deep into her voluminous body of work (3 CD's, the most recent of which was released in 1999) to cobble together the sixteen (!) songs that comprise the album.

For those of you that are tempted to buy the CD, I'd advise you not to. Instead, you should search the bargain bin of your local music store, where I'm guessing that you be able to buy all three of her CD's for significantly less than the $10 that "Paula Cole Greatest Hits - Postcard from East Oceanside" will run you.

Which brings me to the real point of this pointless post.

In the late 1960s a combination of corporate greed, a stagnant economy, an unpopular war being waged in a far away country, and the perception of a corrupt - or at least unfeeling and out of touch - government combined to spur the hippie movement. Among other things, some of the greatest protest songs ever written sprung from that movement.

Forty years later we seem to have come full circle -and ironically enough, this is happening while those who grew up in the late 60s - and vowed to change the world -are in power - and John Mayer's recently released single "Waiting On the World to Change" is poised to be the seminal protest song of the era. Let's break it down, shall we?

Me and all my friends
We're all misunderstood
They say we stand for nothing
There's no way we ever could
Now we see everything is going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don't have the means
To rise above and beat it

Wait a second....I'm not sure I like the looks of this. Then again, I'm sure he's just lulling them to sleep before he hits the powerful chorus.

So we keep waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
Its hard to be persistent
When we're standing at a distance
So we keep waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change

I guess I was wrong. So if I'm reading this right, I guess that the plan is to sit back and wait for things to change. Well, that ought to shake up the people in power. I can almost hear the protest chants now. "No more corporate greed! / And time to end the war! / You either do what we say! / Or we'll have to wait some more!"

At least I'm guessing that's what they'd say. However, it seems that John and his friends lack the energy and outrage to protest at all.

Now if we had the power
To bring our neighbors home from war
They would've never missed a Christmas
No more ribbons on the door
When you trust your television
What you get is what you got
Cuz when they own the information
They can bend it all they want

Good point, John. You shouldn't trust what you see on television. If only there were some sort of world-wide web of information out there that we could use it to research issues, read arguments from all sides, and make our own informed decisions we wouldn't have to rely on those damn TV news reports to tell us what to think!

I won't bore you with the rest of the lyrics (those interested can read them here), but I'll close with a couplet that he sneaks into the chorus that he repeats ad nauseum at the end.

One day our generation
Is gonna rule the population

I guess that's true, but with apologies to Okami, I'm not sure I really want to be around when apathy takes over.
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It turns out that there is, indeed, a world wide web that you can use to find information. For some reason, they've named it "The Internet." Anyway, I used it to uncover some statistics about 9/11 and the war in Iraq:

  • Nearly 3,000 people died during the terrorist attacks on 9/11. The loss of American lives - particularly the lives of innocent civilians - spurred the war on terror, which was used as the original justification for the invasion of Iraq.
  • To date, there have been in excess of 2,600 American military deaths in Iraq since the war began.
  • There have been more than 40,000 reported civilian deaths resulting from the military intervention in Iraq