Thursday, April 19, 2007

On Vacation

I’ll be on vacation for the next four days. Not like the vacation I’ve been on the past month where I only log on two or three times a week and post FART! An actual vacation involving sun and bathing suits and drinking, but special drinking because you’re in the sun wearing a bathing suit. I promise as soon as I get back I am going to rededicate myself to [redacted]. Well, not the first week back. I’ll probably be pretty busy catching up. But really soon after that. It’ll be like a huge party here with giveaways and synth coke and everything. Like a mediocre father who never wanted kids in the first place, I promise.

Have a great weekend. See you when I get back.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Knut And I Aren’t Feeling Well

BERLIN (AP) — The Berlin Zoo's popular polar bear cub, Knut, is not feeling well and had his daily public appearance in front of thousands of visitors cut short Monday after only 30 minutes.

Later Monday, Schuele [the zoo's veterinarian] told the Associated Press he examined the cub and said Knut is probably not feeling well because he is teething.

"He is getting his right upper canine," Schuele said.

After I broke the story a few month ago about Knut’s impending execution and subsequently probably saved his life, I’ve followed his story closely. Call it my natural instinct to nurture the vulnerable elements of society. Indeed, I’ve often thought about how great it would be to volunteer as a mentor at Big Brothers and Sisters. I imagine hanging out with an underprivileged kid who is angry at the world. I would take him to the park and make him run wind sprints like in Remember the Titans. He would resent me at first, but slowly he would grow to respect me because I would scream things like, “Ain’t nobody in life going to give you anything! You’ve got to earn it!” And he’d be all precocious and say something like, “What the [beep] you talking about? I don’t see yo honkey ass out here running. Alls I see is you sitting at your desk writing yo [beep] blog all day getting’ paid!” We’d share an intense moment and in the end we would both learn something.

But eventually he’d call me on a Sunday morning to hang out because his mom’s boyfriend was drunk again and I’d be in bed or maybe I’d have plans for brunch, and helping would slide surreptitiously into “responsibility.” I’d shake my head as I watched his number light up on my cell. Then, as I turned the phone on silent, I would realize that he taught me the greatest lesson of all – that of loving yourself.

Anyway, my point is How much fun would it be to take care of Knut though! How could you ever get tired of that little pillow with legs. Some people, like those German “animal specialists” who said it wasn’t fair for Knut to be raised by humans, may say that I don’t have enough in common with a polar bear to raise one. But I know what it’s like to be sick. I’m sick right now, in fact. I may have had my right upper canine pulled a long time ago to make room for braces to pull my teeth together, but just like Knut I’m teething too, in a way. I am chomping at the bit of life. Gnawing for answers. And if that’s not good enough, I could at least do a better job than Leonardo DiCaprio. How could you spend over three minutes with this thing and not succumb to the urge to stuff him in your mouth? If it were me, you would have heard, “Hey, is that Elvis?!” and then the camera would pan away and when it came back on me there would be a tuft of white hair sticking out of my mouth like when a cartoon cat eats a bird.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I know it’s been quiet around here. Too quiet. Like the quiet right before a ghost comes out of the shadows and scares you. And I’m sorry about that. I really am. I miss you guys. I feel like Andy Dufresne when he went through the period where he was repeatedly attacked by The Sisters, feeling alone and isolated and busy all the time. But it’s all for a good cause. Me. And honestly, it’s kind of fun. Basically, I watch videos all day long. Then I go home at night and watch TV. Sometimes on the weekends I go outside, but it’s confusing because I can’t pause it, so I don’t stay out long.

Anyway, the great part is that I’ve got all these videos that end up on the cutting room floor even though I really like them. Such as this one. You may have seen it before, but if there’s one thing this blog doesn’t care about it’s being current and hip. In fact, we pride ourselves on being behind the times. (There will be a tribute and retrospective for Kurt Vonnegut sometime in May.) Basically, who cares if you’re seen it. It’s hilarious. If I had even the vaguest idea how to work a video camera (or owned a video camera) and friends attractive enough to pull it off, these are the kinds of movies I would make. Luckily for the people who actually made it, I have none of those things. So the genre is all theirs . . . for now!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Easter With An Imaginary Friend (Besides Jesus)

Yesterday over Easter brunch, my family got to doing what it does best – inadvertently chipping away at the foundation of my relationship with my girlfriend. Last time, at Christmas, conversation turned to astrology, and when Brooke asked what sign I was a resounding chorus of “SCORPIO” came out in unison, as though I were a little Korean midget and the questions was “What is Dan?” and a chorus of “A LITTLE KOREANtal MIDGET” rang out, because my grandfather is 82 years old and maybe a little racist.

They went on to explain how I am the stereotypical Scorpio: black, hollow and conniving in every way. Sitting at the table, one would have thought I wasn’t there, or that if I was everyone desperately wanted me to leave. Brooke and I had been together for approximately two months, yet this did not stop my mom from leaning back in her chair so she could peer down the table directly into Brooke’s eyes and say, “He is dangerously manipulative.” I let out a gasp of shock as everyone at the table nodded along in assent, even my father, who hadn’t acknowledged any of us since asking for the gravy twenty minutes earlier. Brooke, seeming like she might cry, looked at me across the table and I said, “They’re exaggerating. I’m not like that at all,” while my sister said under her breath, “That’s exactly what a manipulator would say.”

This time the topic of conversation was imaginary friends. We were all laughing at the memory of my little sister’s imaginary friend (Friend Jenny) and her imaginary entourage (Piar, Candle and Pichetti). Unbeknownst to us, Friend Jenny and the crew would go everywhere with us, until one day my mom asked my sister if friend Jenny was safely in the car before we left and my sister informed us that Friend Jenny had moved to Massachusetts.

Not content on letting it end there, where it should, with the playful ridicule of the youngest person at the table, everyone then decided it was time to talk about my imaginary friend. Obviously my family has seen a lot of romantic comedies where a guy brings home a girl for dinner and they sit around showing naked baby pictures and telling stories about how when they first brought him home from the hospital the dog was so unfamiliar with him that it peed on him. Everyone laughs, the guy is embarrassed, but later the girl wraps her arms around his neck and says, “I think it’s cute,” and they cut away before the sex scene.

In real life, when your parents tell your girlfriend how you had an imaginary friend named George who lived in the attic and came down into your bedroom through a hatch in the top of your closet, her reaction will be a polite smile. Then later on when the two of you are alone, she will say something like “You never told me about George!” as though there was an appropriate time, maybe right after sex or while cooking dinner together, to say, “Oh hey, did I tell you about George and his family, the imaginary people who lived my attic?”

Brooke wasn’t startled by this, more just amused. She asked if I made him up because I was lonely and I reassured her that despite the picture of me with the glasses and the high top fade, I had a lot of childhood friends. I told her that when I was young, the only entrance into the attic was at the top of the closet in my bedroom, so naturally I was scared that if the monsters ever decided to come down I would be the first one eaten. (This is the same reason I would sometimes sleep with my head under the covers, so that maybe if the monsters didn’t see me they would go down the hall and eat my older sister first and the screams would serve as an alarm for me to run.) But having George live in the attic meant that he was keeping tabs on the monsters for me. And George and I were so close that of course he would never let the monsters eat me first. So, in reality, creating George as an imaginary friend was an ingenious move by a precocious, advanced child who realized that if he could harness the power of his imagination, he could control his fears.

To which Brooke replied, “Your family is right, you really are manipulative.”

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Busy As A Jew Who Is Addicted To TV And Can’t Write. THAT Busy.

I’m not going to insult your senses of humor and use the same old “Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but I’ve been really busy with something important – not you” joke. The fact of the matter is, I have been busy. First it was the holidays, and let me just say I totally take it back: Being Jewish is hard. There’s no time to get your work done because you’re leaving work early, and then you travel to Jersey for dinner (on a weeknight!) and the meal lasts for about three hours. When my family celebrates holidays, they put a turkey and some macaroni on the table and it’s a free for all. The whole thing is done in twenty minutes with very little talking. Here though, there is reading and singing and hide and seek and bread is an entire course. It’s like Medieval Times. There’s even stuff on the table that you’re not supposed to eat – it’s only there for symbolism. It’s confusing and tiring but delicious at the same time. I was so tired when we got home that I got right into bed and passed out, and now I’ll have to wait an entire year for Passover sex, which I imagine must be great, what with the whole “celebrating your people’s emancipation from slavery” thing. Bummer.

Then, of course, there’s all this ‘other writing’ I’ve been doing. Which isn’t much, but let’s face it: I’m no professional writer. The most “professional” thing I ever wrote was a memo to my office asking everyone to please stop drinking my yogurt shakes. (Just because I brought in a twelve-pack doesn’t mean that I’m supplying the whole office.) Now people are asking me to write things and if I wrote all this stuff AND posted five days a week I would be writing like 4000 words a week. And I only know about 200 words. So I think until I get the hang of it and learn some new words, things may slow down here. But don’t worry – I won’t be shutting it down. This blog is like my mistress. No matter what directions I may be pulled in life, I will always call her when I am horny. Or maybe it’s more like my wife, and when my life gets more interesting I will ignore her, but not get divorced because then I would have to pay alimony, which is a fancy word for “a bill for having an ex-wife.” Whatever it is, I love it.

Speaking of loving things, I’ve also been busy with my iPod, because I finally figured out how to transfer shows from my TiVo to my iPod. I’ll give you a second to let that sink in. From TiVo . . . to iPod. It’s like being in love with a woman who is chained to your living room, and finally she is free and you can take here wherever you want. I’m not sure there is a proper way in which I can express how happy this makes me. If a madman kidnapped me and tied me to a chair and told me that I could choose, either he takes away my video iPod or he cuts off my hand, before answering him I would ask him if I would be allowed to make a video iPod replacement hand. I love it that much.

Monday, April 2, 2007

One of the Chosen Boys

For years I have been a minority in my office. A Gentile. Unchosen by God and shunned by my coworkers, I felt lonely, like I had no one to turn to, not even Christ because he was the one that got me in this mess in the first place.

It is the worst on Jewish holidays. Everyone milling about the office, talking about their plans to leave early. It was so obvious that I was uninvolved that I was literally asked to close up at the end of the day. It was understood that I would still be here, reading the Gospels and receiving the sacraments, long after everyone else had left.

But no more! Now I’ve got a Jew girlfriend, and she’s a ticket into the cool club. It’s like being in high school and now that I’ve stopped hanging with Jesus and started dating the head cheerleader, everyone wants a piece of me. Guys are stopping at my office, asking me what time I’m leaving. I tell them, “Around 3:00,” and they’re all, “Hey, stop by my office. I’ll walk out with you.” One guy even asked me what I was having for Seder. It was like that old commercial where the kid makes all these friends because his mom makes mac and cheese.

Basically, I’m having the best time being Jewish. I have no idea why they call themselves a tortured people. It’s like having a snow day for God, and everyone wants a ride on the sled of my eternal soul. And I would stick around and flush out that metaphor, but I’ve got to go. See you later, Catholic suckas!*

* This is not directed at you, Mom.