Wednesday, January 31, 2007

An Open Letter to the CSI: Miami Writers

Dear CSI: Miami Writers:

I'll grant you that I'm not a very talented writer. That's obvious to anyone who reads this blog. However, I'm not a professional writer. You are and you know you can do better.

Let's leave the plots alone for now as I realize that they are more believable than, for example, any episode of Murder She Wrote. It's the dialogue I have a problem with. Here are a few choice examples:

“You almost made it, didn't you baby?” Chief Medical Examiner Alexx Woods (Khandi Alexander) as she strokes the hair of a young lady who died while crawling to the exit of a club that had turned into a fiery inferno.

See? That's not dramatic, compelling, or even sympathetic. It's just really creepy and bordering on necrophilia.

“He's really old. Like 35 or something” a 20-something-year-old model referring to a photographer.”

Now I'll grant you that might have hit a nerve with me considering my impending mid-life crisis, but do people really say things like that?

I could go on and on, but I'm trying my best to forget most of what I've heard. If there’s one message that I'd like you to take away from this letter, it's this:

Have some pride, people.

Thanks.

Your Friend,

Joe

P.S. - I recognize that you can’t do much about his acting ability (or lack thereof) but can you at least add some notes to the script to tell David Caruso to keep his head upright? It tilts to the side so often that I'm constantly distracted by thoughts that he must have suffered some type of horrible neck injury an an earlier episode.

P.P.S. - On a related note, why couldn't you talk Khandi Alexander out of her facelift? She used to look great on News Radio and ER, but now she looks like a 60 year old version of Lucy Liu. Notwithstanding the issues outlined above, you folks are supposed to be good with words. Why didn't one of you intervene?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Quick Thoughts

What's running through my head today:

8;00 a.m. - There's a Japanese restaurant near my place that offers 30% off sushi, seven days a week. That sounds like a good deal until you realize that if they do it every day then it's not really a sale, it's just the price.

8:17 a.m. - They recently installed automatic soap dispensers in the bathrooms of one of our New Jersey offices. Simply place your hand under the pump and it squirts a stream of liquid soap directly into your palm. Now every time I wash up, I feel like I'm giving the fixtures a hand job.

9:53 a.m. - I've already had to fire someone, place another person on warning, and attend a painful conference call. I need a drink. If you're in the area, please feel free to swing by and drag me to the nearest bar . If you do, I'll be forever in your debt.

10:59 a.m. - Now it's nearly 11:00 and the odd day continues. While on my way to a meeting with our COO, I ran into Doug E. Fresh in our reception area. Apparently he's here to meet with our Global Chairman. Who knew that the hip-hop legend was into commercial real estate? Seeing him here was roughly akin to running into Mr. Rogers at a Jay-Z concert.

12:06 p.m. - Is it just me or are the 2008 Democratic Presidential hopefuls starting to resemble a really bad Tommy Hilfiger ad?



1:05 p.m. - I need something like this to get me from the train to my office in the morning and back to the train in the evening.

2:10 p.m. - I'm halfway through a two-hour long HR Leadership Team conference call. Please. Shoot. Me. Now.

2:31 p.m. - Windows Vista rolled out nearly 15 hours ago and it's yet to change the world. Bill Gates has let me down again.

3:24 p.m. - The call just ended with the usually flurry of nonsensical statements including "let me re-echo what Jack just said." and "unless there is any further ado, we'll end the call here."

3:40 p.m. - Back to politics for a second. If Barakk Obama decides to run for a president, I predict that it'll take about 40 seconds for every headline writer in the country to come up with a stupid pun along the lines of "Obama-nation"

6:18 p.m. - Just left another long and fruitless meeting. I'm going to pack up in a few minutes and go on an epic quest for the largest bottle of halfway decent wine that I can get my hands on.

6:19 p.m. - And don't for a moment think that I've overlooked the fact that none of you came to my rescue today. I haven't been this hurt and upset since Windows Vista rolled out and failed to change the world.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Turning the Page

Here's a brief passage from the book I'm never going to finish writing:
It's clear that she adores him.

From the moment that he sneaked up and surprised her with a quick tap on her shoulder, she's hung on his every word. She's followed his every move through the store, asked his opinion on various books, and laughed a little too loudly and and a little too long at his jokes.

When she smiles at him, her eyes are alight with expectation. For his part, he remains aloof. Is he oblivious to her interest, or is that part of his game?

"I see that you're growing your winter beard." she says as she reaches up to stroke his chin.

He grunts in surprise and touches the stubble on his chin as if noticing it for the first time; as if his beard was, indeed, something that naturally occurred with the changing of the seasons.

"Yeah, I guess I am." he replies. "I started it a few weeks ago when the cold weather set it, but with the unseasonably warm temperatures we've been having, there doesn't seem to be much of a point to it now."

"It looks good." she says. "Really good..."

Her words trail off but her eyes linger while a seductive half-smile plays on her lips.

He strolls over to the Sci-Fi section of the bookstore. It's an area which, judging by the books in her hand, she has no interest, yet she trails him obligingly. He mentions an author he likes and expresses disappointment that a specific title that he's seeking is out of stock.

She checks the shelf to confirm.

"I'll be right back." she says.

He continues to peruse the shelves while she makes her way over to the literature section in the hopes that she'll find a copy of the book to ease his disappointment. Her search is complicated by the fact that she glances in his direction every two seconds; apparently fearing that he'll disappear as quickly as he appeared. After satisfying herself that the book has not been misshelved, she hurries back to his side.

I can watch no longer. I put the books I'd intended to buy on a nearby table and I make my way towards the exit. I look through the window and see her hanging on his arm as he reads aloud from book he's holding and I can't help wondering how things would have been between us had I been more to her than just the guy she was with because she couldn't be with him.

My eyes slowly lose focus until I'm staring at my own reflection in the window. I stare at the broken man I've become, and then I turn and try to lose myself in the crowd that snakes its way along 5th Avenue.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Week in Pictures LXXIII

Random Friday Thoughts:

Winter appears to have finally hit NYC with temperatures plunging overnight to around 10 degrees with a wind chill of 20 below (if you believe in wind chills). As I made my way into the office, I was reminded of the simple pleasures in life: Walking over a warm subway grate on a frigid day.

Jen has apparently devised an interesting way to test the warming properties of a new coat. I'm going to pick up a bikini this afternoon and see if mine keeps me as warm as hers does.

The weekend is upon us and I plan to spend much of it recuperating from the work week. My boss is transitioning out and as a result, I'm doing my job and hers. I love it here, but sometimes I wish I'd taken the job up at Columbia University as I sense things would have been slightly less hectic up there.

Still, it's hard to complain about a job that I enjoy going to every morning.

Let's move on to the WiP:


YouTube continues to skew younger and younger, as evidenced by a video posted this week by an infant who taped his own birth.


Military officials believe that they have stumbled on to a way of pinpointing where the next insurgent attack in Iraq will occur.


An international incident threatened to erupt when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad got fresh with Bolivian President Evo Morales during a recent summit.


Hundreds of people were saved when a mysterious parka wearing superhero appeared in a nick of time to hold back an avalanche that had threatened to destroy a small mountain village.


A group of pirates embarked from Vancouver on an epic journey, only to turn back when they realized that they'd forgotten to procure a boat.


In an effort to improve the effectiveness of their troops, the U.S. military has hired Jedi Master Yoda to train new recruits.


Music producer Phil Spector was shocked to learn that jury selection for his murder trial will begin in March, 2007 .


Gratuitous picture of Zuleyka Rivera.


AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Oh, sorry, it's just Ashley Olsen.


Now in fairness, even her sister, Mary Kate, was terrified by Ashley's appearance.


In a stunning upset, a raven won the Ultimate Animal Fighting Championship with a tenth round knockout of the heavily favored polar bear.


In other animal sports news, the Grasshopper Synchronized Swimming team continued it's preparations for the upcoming summer games.


Hot on the heels of Nintendo's interactive Wii gaming system comes a new console that allows you to play classic games like Space Invaders...


...and Tetris.


As temperatures plummeted in Kiev, a Good Samaritan gallantly draped his coat over a nude statue of a woman.


Dentists have begun experimenting with cauterization as an alternative to using fillings to repair cavities.


A local woman turned and vomited in a nearby car after I asked her out last weekend.


In medical news, a woman is suing her physician after her eye transplant failed when the doctor substituted daisies for the irises.


Adn finally, a surprising new study shows that it is, indeed, possible to freeze one's balls off.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Open Letter to People on Line

Dear People on Line:

Lines are annoying - we all know that; but queuing up and patiently awaiting one's turn is the mark of a civilized society (or an inefficient one - I haven't decided which).

Anyway, one of the things that you apparently haven't noticed is that the time you spend on line can be used for more productive things than blasting your iPod so loud that everyone withing 300 yards of you can hear how much you love"Dancing on the Ceiling" (Best. Song. Ever!) or calling your friend to give her a blow-by-blow account of your progress through the line.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to make the whole experience easier for everyone:

Please stop looking back at me for fear that I'm going to move the little plastic bar that separates your groceries from mine. I promise not to try to make you pay for my orange juice, and also promise not to steal your prunes. I'm even willing to sign an agreement to that effect.

Try not to crawl up my back. Much like honking your horn in a traffic jam, it's not going to make the people move any more quickly, and it places you at severe risk of having me put my foot up your ass.

It helps for you to be prepared when your turn comes rather than acting surprised when the cashier explains that they're expecting money in exchange for the goods that you've selected.

On a related note, exact change is a wonderful thing - but not if you have to empty the contents of your pocketbook to search for that last penny. Use a nickel instead, secure in the knowledge that the four pennies you'll receive back will make your quest for copper that much easier to fulfill the next time around.

As Idle correctly points out, the bank teller window is neither the proper time nor place to balance your checkbook. It's already been scientifically proven that bank lines move slower than a one legged sloth and there's no need for you to make it even worse.

Finally, I know it's winter, but when your transaction is complete, it's okay to move away from the counter rather than standing in everyone's way while you bundle up like Nanook of the North for the 20 second walk to your car.

I hope this helps.

Your Friend,

Joe

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Probably More Than She Respects You Right Now

Overheard last week at Ava Lounge:

Egotistical Jerk:
"You're marrying that guy?!? Does he even have what it takes to be successful? How are you going to respect him when you’re sitting across the dinner table ten years from now?"


Bonus bad joke:

Man: "You've got to help me, Doc. I walk around all day, every day singing 'What's New Pussycat?'"

Doctor: "It sounds like you have a bad case of Tom Jones Syndrome."

Man: "Is that common?"

Doctor: "It's Not Unusual."

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Week In Pictures: Traffic Update

SICHUAN PROVINCE, China - Traffic along the freeway connecting Guang'an City,the hometown of late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, with Nanchong City is at a complete standstill after an accident in which a truck carrying a load of oranges tipped over, spilling it's cargo across several lanes.

Crews are at a loss as to how to deal with the mess.

"They say that when life give you lemons - make lemonade." said one worker, "but they don't tell you what you're supposed to do when life gives you a truck load of oranges."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

An Open Letter to Lindsay Lohan

Dear Lindsay,

I read in the paper this morning that you've checked into rehab and that you issued the following statement through your publicist, Leslie Sloane Zelnick (who, by the way, is the first person I plan to hire if I ever become famous):

"I have made a proactive decision to take care of my personal health. I appreciate your well wishes and ask that you please respect my privacy at this time."

First, I applaud your decision to do whatever it takes to get well and to overcome your addiction to...uh...whatever it is that you're addicted to.

However, I might suggest that issuing a press release about it probably isn't the best way to ensure your privacy. You may not have noticed, but press releases tend to be issued to the press (hence the name), who then print it for mass public consumption.

For example, you'll notice that I chose not to blog about my recent arrest in Bolivia a few weeks back for...well...it's best not to get into the details. Anyway, rather than dialing up Leslie, I simply bribed a guard and hiked to the Brazilian border wearing nothing but a smile and a pair of burlap underwear (which, you might be amused to learn, gave a whole new definition to the word firecrotch).

Anyway, my point is that the best way to ensure your privacy is to, you know, do things privately.

Hope this bit of advice helps.

Your Friend,

Joe

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

An Open Letter to Escalator Riders

Dear People,

General etiquette dictates that you stand on the right and walk on the left. This is especially true when you and your best-friend-forever (BFF) are in the midst of a soul baring discourse. Believe it or not, its just as easy to stand in front of the person and turn to speak with them as it is to clog the stairs by standing side by side.

Also, entering and exiting on to the escalator should be fairly easily accomplished. You needn’t turn it into a feat akin to Indiana Jones swapping a bag of sand for a golden fertility idol. Don't stand there watching the steps roll by before suddenly taking a leap of faith by stepping forward and breathing a huge sigh of relief that you’ve once again bested the metal monster.

By the same token, when exiting the steps you might want to consider allowing the momentum of the steps to carry you a few paces clear rather than stopping to catch your breath before deciding your next move - oblivious to the fact that you're incurring the wrath of the commuters behind you who have yet to brave the 15 minute wait at Starbucks for their morning caffeine fix.
Thanks.

Your Friend,

Joe

P.S. As Idle and Stepping correctly point out that this also applies to people on the moving walkways in airports.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

More Thoughts from Jasmine

I saw my little cutie pie niece Jasmine this weekend. She's two-and-a-half years old and she gets funnier every day. Here are my favorite quotes from our day together:

Hands me a dictionary: "Can you read this to me, Uncle Joe?"

"I’m going to make you a delicious pie. No, wait. I’m going to make you a delicious cake."

Pointing to her doll's arm and then her own: "Look Uncle Joe, baby Lilly is the same as me."

"Mommy, can I have my very own bowl for my cookies?"

Coloring her book: "I’m doing my homework beeeeecaaauuuuussssse…..I’m doing my homework."

"I’ll be Princess Jasmine and you can be…ummm….Princess Uncle Joe."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My sister just IMed me to tell this Jasmine story:

On Sunday, Jasmine kept saying "Uncle Joe is coming over soon." She then she sat baby Lilly in the sink of her play kitchen and said "Don't worry baby Lilly. Uncle Joe is nice. You don't have to be scared of him. He's fun. Okay, little buddy?"

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Week in Pictures LXXII

Random Friday Thoughts:

Another three day weekend is upon us. Between the holidays and my bout with the flu last week, I haven't worked a five day week since the week of December 10. Just another reason to love this time of year.

I'm considering moving to California at some point in the near future. I'll either keep you posted or I'll just let the idea die. Let's see which one winds up happening.

Coliseum Books on 42nd Street closed for good last week. I can't tell you how much that sucks.

I went to a post-holiday "Winter Fling" party as Skylight Studios downtown yesterday and wound up crawling home in time to get an hour's worth of sleep before work today.

Why didn't any of you get me some self-discipline for Christmas?

Anyway, let's move on to the WiP:


Architects studying the gender of the Eiffel Tower claim to have uncovered incontrovertible proof that it is male.


Tennis player Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus was forced to forfeit a recent match after he was hit in the nether regions with a 150 mile per hour serve.


Stormtroopers proudly displayed the flags of their home countries during the Opening Ceremonies of the Death Star Games.


A group of Vikings are facing unemployment after they burned a village but neglected to loot and plunder it first.


The Chinese military is taking basic training to an entirely new level after discovering that many new enlistees don't even know how to wear their caps properly.


Rescuers had to use the jaws of life to save a local tennis pro after he was caught hitting on a club member's wife.


That's quite a woody that Panda has going...

This week's video is Twenty Twenty Surgery from Taking Back Sunday.




France's Remi Bizouard fell short of his goal of being the first person to ride his motorcycle across an arena ceiling.


A pilot is may lose his license after nearly causing a collision by ignoring a one-way sign that was conspicuously posted at 35,000 feet.


Reviewers at a newly opened Indian restaurant in Manhattan are united in their view that the food is entirely too spicy for Western tastes.


The French government proudly unveiled its uphill bullet train, which they say is a tribute to the celebrated virility of French men.


Police are investigating the mysterious deaths of a snowman whose severed head was discovered Thursday in Central Park and second snowman whose torso was propped up next to it.


Terrorists are finding new ways to communicate to each other which airports have stringent security procedures and which are more lax by comparison.


A woman is suing the Minnesota Department of Correction for forcing her to wear a striped uniform that she claims makes her look heavy.


Hunters were able to corner and capture a member of the annoying Blue Man Group, raising hopes that they will be able to eliminate the remainder of the tribe within next few weeks.


This just in: Despite her recent publicity surge, Britney Spears remains irrelevant.


Rather than hitting up dating sites, lonely singles now have the option simply buying a "family on a stick."


And finally, the Cowardly Lion said an emotional farewell to his wife as he was taken off to begin his 20 year prison term for organ harvesting.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Life Lessons: Nothing Changes on New Year's Day

At around 10:00 on New Year's Eve, I decided to hop a train and head into Times Square to watch the ball drop. Having lived in New York for most of my life, I'm embarrassed to admit that I've never done that before and it seemed like it might be more fun than the boring party I was at.

I survived the crush of the crowds on 59th street near Central Park, and was among the last of groups allowed onto 7th avenue just moments before the ball dropped. Even from 30 blocks away, it was amazing to stand among a million people celebrating, catching confetti, and watching the fireworks explode over Central Park.

Anyway, my favorite part of the night was when I called my sister at home and asked her if she would mind finding out where the access points for Times Square were so that I could figure out the best way to get there. As she went on line to check, she mentioned a link on a NYC web site that read "Aussies Welcome in the New Year."

"I kind of thought they were always welcome here. Why would it be different in 2007?" I wondered.

"I know." agreed my sister. "That does seem kind of odd."

"Maybe the city is launching a tourism campaign in Australia." I speculated. "Click on the link and let's see what it's about."

Of course, the story was about the New Year's celebrations that had taken place in Australia earlier in the day, and detailed how they'd gone about welcoming in the new year.

Lesson learned: Though time marches on, I remain a moron.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Week in Pictures LXXI

What are you looking at sugar tits?

Sorry, I'm still a little cranky and sore from the vestiges of the flu that kept me from posting this on Friday and, let's be honest, that Mel Gibson line will never get old.

That said, without further ado, let's move on to the WiP recap of the last few weeks.


Despite some unseemly photos emerging on the web, Miss USA Tara Conner was allowed to keep her crown after agreeing to touch Donald Trump. To her credit, the beauty queen swallowed her distaste and did what was necessary to hold on to her title.


Still, you can't really blame these two for wanting to kiss each other...


Tragedy struck in Moscow when the fireworks that erupted whenever a teenage couple kissed soared too low and ignited the pair.


It was a Frosty the Snowman-esque moment when a pig built out of snow magically came to life after a fake cigar donated by a magician was placed in its mouth. Unfortunately, just moments later the pig succumbed to lung cancer.



Having mastered the art of snake charming, some artists have moved on to the more difficult balloon charming circuit.


Two men were hospitalized in serious condition after they foolishly waved their testicles in the direction of a leopard cub.


A group of children barely escaped with their lives after being attacked by a pair of large, angry forest creatures.


Gratuitous picture of Leslie Bibb


WiP Classifieds:
For rent - Luxury apartment featuring exquisite views of the surrounding area.


Reclusive blogger Ultra was spotted wandering around a London park this past weekend.


Researchers may believe that they have perfected a way to make psychedelic mushrooms easier to identify.

Our video if the week is Aventura's Un Beso, which remains one of my favorite songs from 2006.



Meteorologists attribute the pre-holiday snowstorm that hit the Denver area to an overabundance of people dreaming of a white Christmas.


They also believe that the following week's storm in the same area was due to God's irritation at people's lack of gratitude for the holiday storm.

Meanwhile, a small boy who'd been missing since the storm finally succeeded in digging himself out.


This undated picture shows the tableware set in happier times before they split up when the dish ran away with the spoon.


In sports, Sevilla's Frederick Kanoute came to the rescue the other day by directing a lost fan to the restroom.


New York Ranger goaltender Kevin Weekes took a moment out of a recent game to comfort teammate Fedor Tyutin when the defenseman began crying about their opponents hitting him too hard.


Unable to find a tactful way to tell her that he'd found a new skating partner, Olivier Schoenfelder tore Isabelle Delobel's leg off during their routine at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, effectively ending her career.


Meanwhile, Americans Milissa Gregoru and Denis Petukhov lost their shot at a medal when Petukhov couldn't stop himself from climaxing at a critical point in their routine.


And finally, Santa kicked off his post holiday season with his traditional Ski and Surf vacation - beginning on the slopes.

Before taking his private sleigh down to the tropics, where he nearly drowned several reindeer while making a drunken water landing.

And then passing out on the beach and vomiting on some nearby tourists.


Meanwhile his son, continues to show no interest in taking over the family business, preferring instead to pick up boys on the beach.