Monday, April 30, 2007

Spring Hopes Eternal

It's springtime in New York, and you know what that means, right?

Someone asked me that in the elevator this morning, waggled his eyebrows, and then stepped off before I could tell him that I had no idea what he was talking about. So if any of you know, please tell me. Otherwise, it's going to bother me for the entire day.

It was supposed to rain today, but it looks like that's not going to happen. Regardless, wouldn't April Showers be a great name for a porn star?

Which brings us to our stupid joke of the day:

Q: If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?

A: Pilgrims!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

WiP: Special Report

BREAKING NEWS

WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Bush took some time out during a Malaria Awareness Day commemoration in the White House Rose Garden Wednesday, to dance with the KanKouran West African Dance Company and bang on some bongo drums.



White House Press Secretary Tony Snow revealed to the WiP staff that upon seeing the video of the event, President Bush was embarrassed at how stiffly he moved, and has taken "swift and decisive action" by hiring this gentleman as the country's first "Dance Minister" - responsible for loosening up the Commander-in-Chief.



We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog browsing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Kitchen Confidential

My company has an executive dining room. Well, it's not really a dining room but more of a converted conference room in which a few small tables have been arranged. They put out bagels, croissants, and coffee1 in the morning and during lunch there are aluminum trays of food from local restaurants.

I think it's the epitome of elitism to provide free food to those that make the most money. In fact, the whole thing sickens me. Or at least I did until I was promoted a few months ago. Now that I'm permitted to use the room, I think it's the greatest thing ever.

Anyway, that's not the point of the story. The point is that the kitchen supervisor is retiring next week. You may recall him from this incident or perhaps from this one. Needless to say, I'm not his favorite person - which is why I was surprised when he came to my office yesterday with a plate of food that he'd prepared for me in the hopes of - in his words - "patching things up between us" before he left.

We exchanged a few kind words, I asked about his retirement plans, we talked about his career, and then we ran out of things to say. As he sat there smiling through the awkward silence that had developed, I suddenly realized that he was waiting for me to begin eating the food he'd brought. About a millisecond later, I flashed back on a conversation that I'd overheard that morning in which some of the brokers were joking about what [employee name] might be doing to the food this week.

Thinking quickly, I stood up, shook his hand, and said "Thanks for the food. I'm getting ready to run to a meeting at the moment, but I'll heat this up and eat it later."

"Are you sure you don't want me to do that for you?" he asked. "You can't go into your meeting on an empty stomach."

I declined his offer and we said good-bye. When I was sure that he wasn't going to return, I tossed the plate in the garbage and spent the remainder of the day checking the garbage can to see if it had melted from whatever toxic cocktail he'd put in the food.

And you thought that being in HR was dull.

Cue dramatic exit music

1 Note to Braleigh: Please take special note of the Oxford comma.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Blogservations

If your name was Ed and you named your son Ed and he named his son Ed and so on, would that be an example of Continuing Ed?

Have you ever noticed that Starbucks is one of the only places that can get away with making you stand on line twice?

I’m trying to get everyone to start using the phrase “That’s worse than Kool-Aid Man's Pants.”

I've learned that checking the varying degrees of sunburn on my forehead after our first softball doubleheader is an excellent way to gauge just how much hair I've lost over the winter.

Not only is amuse bouche1 my new favorite phrase, but I've learned that it has an almost universal application simply because 99% of the people you meet have no idea what it means. Armed with that knowledge, you should feel free to walk around for the remainder of the day saying things like "Joe's latest post was so amuse-bouche."

How people interpret it will be decided solely by the tone of voice you use when you say it.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Footnotes (or things you can just skip over if you'd like)

1 According to Wikipedia, amuse-bouches are tiny bite-sized morsels served before the hors d'Ĺ“uvre or first course of a meal. These, often accompanied by a proper complementing wine, are served as an excitement of taste buds to both prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef's approach to cooking.2

2 That being the case, amuse-bouches from my kitchen would include morsels of re-heated fast food such as McDonald's fries or KFC extra-crispy, and perhaps those tiny pigs-in-a-blanket accompanied by a spicy Gulden's mustard dipping sauce.

3 Wikipedia goes on to say that the phrase amuse bouche is French, literally translated to "mouth amuser" [for bouche = mouth; amuser = to amuse, to please]. The original French word, more frequently employed, is amuse-gueule. Gueule is slang for mouth but in fact means animal's mouth, although amuse-bouche is considered more polite and is usually used on menus in more refined restaurants. Regardless, the term "mouth amuser" makes me giggle like a child every time I hear it.

4 You don't really need to know all of that, but it might be helpful in the event that find yourself in conversation with
pinknest. Erm...the part about what "amuse bouche" really means, of course. Not the parts about my eating habits or my childish sense of humor.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Week in Pictures LXXXI

Random Friday Thoughts:

As I type this, I'm listening to music drifting up from the EarthFair that's being held on the street below and let me tell you, you've never really hated the song "Owner of a Lonely Heart" until you've heard a 10 minute version being played by a really bad cover band 17 floors down.

For a moment this morning, I fear that a nuclear meltdown was upon us, but then I realized that it was merely the sun coming out for the first time in, I believe, 11 months. Not only that, but it's also near 70 degrees (I think that's about 600 celsius, Braleigh) after hovering in the 40s for most of the last few weeks.

Softball season kicks off on Sunday. I can't wait to hear the crack of the bat, the ball smacking into a leather mitt, and the first beer being opened at around 10:30 a.m. If all goes well, I should be over my hangover by the time Family Guy comes on that night.

The cover band just wrapped up with a towering wall of sound, finally reaching a crescendo that threatened to tear down the very walls of not only this building, but of every one in the area, reducing the man-made canyon in which they played to a mere pile of rubble.

When they finished, there was stunned silence for an instant before the crowd let out it's collective breath and said "Thank God that's over, now I can enjoy the fair."

Let's move on to the WiP:


In our top story, Hell froze over last night.


PETA has lodged a formal complaint against a Midwest traveling carnival that's using real ferrets for their "Whack A Mole" game.


Ronald McDonald was arrested for public indecency after being caught soliciting sex in a local park.


The story took a tragic turn when the disgraced fast-food chain spokesclown hanged himself in the same park shortly after being released on bail.


A few enterprising farmers are trying to develop cattle that barbecue themselves in the sun.


The Russian Space Agency held a pre-launch celebration for the Soyuz TMA 10 which culminated in the christening the spacecraft with beautiful arcs of glow in the dark urine.


A former hippie who hadn't driven or washed his Volkswagen Van since he attended Woodstock in 1969 is reportedly "thrilled" with the look the vehicle has developed over the years.


The North Korean Leapfrog team pronounced itself World Champions after learning that no other country even fields a team.


Gratuitous picture of Jessica Alba.


Abstinence advocates are developing what they believe to be the world's only fear-based birth control device.


Jerry Springer Show participants set what is believed to be a world record for most chairs tossed in a single episode.


Still flush from their takeover of Congress, Democrats in the Senate are paying back their Republican counterparts for years of humiliation by making them walk and clean up after the Democratic party mascot.


A weightlifter finds himself a foot shorter this morning after his body was compressed during the clean and jerk competition at the European Weightlifting Championships.



And finally, boa ties are the hot new accessory this spring.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Kool-Aid

If one more person at my job uses the phrase “drink the Kool-Aid” one more time, I’m going to jump out of the window.

"They go out to Chicago and drink the Kool-Aid and come back all fired up."
"We need to figure out how to get them to drink the Kool-Aid."

"They drank the Kool-Aid on that one."

It's enough to make you want to...well...drink the Kool-Aid.

See? Now they've even got me saying it.

Am I the only one that finds that among the most distasteful sayings of all time, particularly given its origins?

And then there's this: When the hell did Kool-Aid man start wearing pants?!?

I much preferred when he wasn't afraid to walk around with his ice cubes hanging out. Someone should really do something to protest the change, and I think I'm just the guy to do it. From now on, I'm going to take my pants off in solidarity with the old mascot every time I see a Kool-Aid commercial.

I just hope I remember to put them back on before I leave the house.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Life Lessons: Baa-d Day

Never use the phrases “I love you” or “You make me happy” while the police are on the lookout for a man whose been buggering the local female sheep population.

I speak from experience here when I say that it sounds too much like "ewe" - and it takes a long, long time to convince them that isn’t what you meant.

Also, it probably helps if you're not wearing an "I (heart) Sheep" shirt when they stop you.

Erm...and carrying lambskin condoms.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Week in Pictures LXXX

Random Friday Thoughts

I haven't been doing these as much of late, so perhaps I should change the title to something like "The Week-ish In Pictures" or "The Every Second or Third Week (whenever I have time) in Pictures"

Negotiation and compromise are the key to any successful relationship. Real estate brokers, however, take that to the extreme. I'm reminded of this every time I watch two of them debate who should get the last bagel in the breakfast pantry.

I feel like crap today. I should have just stayed in bed and ignored the world, but I'm needed at work so that I can...well...do really important stuff that nobody will remember or care about a month from now.

I started to create a Broadway show-stopping number WiP last week, but I didn't have time to finish it.

Here's how it began:

The Week in Pictures Showstopping Number
lyrics by Joe, Doug, and pinknest


Line: A pair of White Tree Nymphs squared off to see who would become the next monarch.

[cue music]


That's a butterfly joke.



Or as they say in Egg City, "a butterfly yolk"


A sex therapist is teaching new doggie styles.


To be near Halle Berry, I'd crawl a thousand miles.

The Week in Pictures
It's a weekly blogging fixture
The Week in Pictures
As sweet as a chocolaty mixture


Someone stole China's He Zi's bed.


While wallabies are still believed to give the best head.

Needless to say, that's as far as I got. Clearly I'm not all that creative.

So with that said, lets move on to the WiP:


Fish markets are stocking up on Golden Colored Tiger Fish after a recent survey showed that they are, for some reason, remarkably popular with lonely men.


Golfer Sergio Garcia was swallowed by a giant clam that lured him in by disguising itself as a sand trap.


A terrified Shakira abruptly canceled her NYC concert upon seeing me in the crowd.


Hilary Clinton issued a public apology after berating a woman who emerged from a meeting with former President Bill Clinton with what later turned out to be a vanilla icing stain on her dress.


A particularly strong storm caused coastal erosion, exposing what some believe to be the lost city of Atlantis.


Further exploration uncovered residents in the midst of their spring yard cleanup.


As tough times hit the journalism industry, freelance photographer Peter Parker has been forced to take on a job as a window washer.


Gratuitous picture of Adam Sandler (for SSC)

Everyone else get your gratuitous picture requests in now! Time is running out! Operators are standing by!



Madonna is working hard to get back in shape for her next world tour.


Italy's Francesco Dell'Uomo was injured when he accidentally leaped off the wrong end of the diving board.


Best. Set. Of. Melons. Ever.


Tired of always being beaten to the last lamb chop, a Florida man grafted baby crocodiles to replace his fingers.


Japan's Miki Ando finished last in the pairs figure skating competition after forgetting her partner in her hotel room.


A prison Panda porn ring was broken up after the animals became too loud.


A recent discovery indicates that Ancient Egyptian culture was far more advanced than previously believed.


And finally, Italian actor Gene Gnocchi paid off a bet with Dustin Hoffman by performing fellatio on stage at New York's Lincoln Center.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Workday Science Experiments

I'm was in our Stamford office for much of the day yesterday and, as is my apparent custom, I spent an inordinate amount of time noticing things like coffee machines, free coffee and tea selections, plumbing fixtures, and the like.

Since my last visit, they've added a counter top water dispenser. According to the convenient digital temperature gauges the hot tap dispenses water at a scalding 211 degrees, while the cold water is a refreshing 45 degrees.

Next time I visit, I'm going to tape down the nozzles on both dispensers to see if I can create a frontal rain storm in the pantry area.

New Improved Post: Now with a Braleigh inspired link to a temperature converter for all - okay both - of our international readers. Just click here for hours of fun!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Zentastic

Overheard at the All You Can Eat Chinese Food restaurant:

Woman: "Excuse me? What's the difference between real crab and fake crab?"

Worker: "One is real and the other is not real."

Monday, April 02, 2007

Give My Regards

Sorry for not posting much recently. I’ve been busy with rehearsals for the Broadway version of “Random Thoughts from NYC: The Musical”. Opening night is just a few weeks away, and we’re all very nervous and excited. All, that is, except for our lead actress and actor, both of whom infrormed me last evening that they're leaving the show after the tragic deaths of their respective great, great, great Grandmothers. What are the odds?

Nevertheless, the show must go on (as we say here on the Great White Way) and so we’re plowing ahead without them. I’m certain the script is a winner as everyone I’ve shown it to laughs and shakes their head while reading it. Unfortunately, the roles are also challenging, which probably accounts for how many people refused to even audition. While I admire their ability to admit that they can’t handle the material, it’s disappointing to see how many actors refuse to stretch their talents by taking on difficult parts.

I guess I should get back to work. I’m in the final revision of the show-stopping song and I can feel a breakthrough just around the corner.

Which reminds me, do any of you know what rhymes with “The Week in Pictures?"