It seems every year December becomes less and less Christmassy. All week, there have been a gaggle of tourists outside the NY Stock Exchange clogging up the sidewalk. Enter me, a cannonball of under-rested, overstressed fury, barreling my way from the subway to the front door of my office building, straight through the crowd. Last week, a small Asian child took a picture of me as a ducked my head, making like Sonic The Hedgehog through the crowd. I imagine he will show the picture to his friends and they will all laugh about how I need acupuncture or Tai Chi or a happy ending. “Hahaha, Westerners!” Bite me.
Then today I looked up and saw why the crowds have been gathering. The Stock Exchange had put up its annual 65-foot Christmas tree. 65 feet of Norwegian Spruce decorated with multi-colored Christmas balls the size of a newborn’s head, and it took me four days of walking past it to notice. That’s just not right.
So I decided that I am undergoing a Christmas Spirit blitz, starting today. It’s Christmas music all day long (I suggest using this station at Pandora). Then, at lunch, I’m going to Century 21 and buying a snowman figurine to put on my coffee table at home (maybe even a whole set of figurines, which I can place in sexual positions when Brooke isn’t home). I will also buy an advent calendar, preferably one with chocolates in it. On my way back, I’ll drop a few coins in the Salvation Army can and maybe even make eye contact with the homeless guy who smells like urine from 30 feet away. Then I’m buying an eggnog latte and standing in front of that tree for no less than 15 solid minutes, making a mental list of every single fucking thing I love about Christmas. Then I’m finding every clip of Scrooged on the internet and watching them on repeat. I refuse to go another day devoid of Christmas Spirit.
On to the questions.
Dear Dan and Brooke:
I was recently dumped by my fiancé so that he could go live the life of a River Rat, floating down the
Here's the dilemma/ question: he left a bunch of shit at my house (e.g. winter boots, coats, suit,). As it is cold here in
-Still Going to Hell in SLC
Apparently, I’m not good enough to answer questions solo anymore. So I consulted with Brooke via IM and this is what she came up with:
Brooke (1:14:50 PM): Hmm
Brooke (1:15:09 PM): Scavenger hunt!
Me (1:15:22 PM): Make him work for them?
Brooke (1:15:22 PM): Yes
Brooke (1:15:31 PM): Mail the picture to friends throughout the country
Me (1:15:35 PM): That's pretty genius
Brooke (1:16:01 PM): And then post clues on a website called perplextheex.com or some such thing
Brooke (1:16:07 PM): You'll make tons of money off the idea
Brooke (1:16:20 PM): Readers can offer to receive pics and hide them for you
Brooke (1:16:31 PM): You'll have tons of liquor sponsors
Me (1:16:32 PM): This is almost too good to publish
Brooke (1:16:59 PM): Yeah, but we'll never do anything with the idea. “Lost” comes back on the air in ‘09. We're very busy.
I don’t think Brooke understands how Q&A Fridays work. This seems like an awfully helpful answer. Much better than my first reaction, which included a blowtorch and a bad pun involving “On The Chode.”
I think I may have had my first gay experience when I masturbated to your blog the other day. Does that make me gay?
I’ve taken a few virginities and turned a few women straight, but never have I turned a man gay. I’m not sure whether to file it in under “conquests” or “misadventures,” but the in fact I am flattered. Now let me relate a little story to you that might help you through your confusion.
When I was young and still believed in Santa, every November I would start trying to be a good person. I figured Santa wasn’t watching us all year long because he was busy with preparations and housework, but that sometime around Halloween he really began working on his naughty/nice list. So I would help my mom around the house and make my bed and not complain when my vegetables touched my mashed potatoes, which, any other month of the year, was totally unacceptable.
Then, every Christmas, like clock-work, I got a pile of presents under the tree. I thought I was a mastermind. “You can’t catch me, Santa. No one can.” When I found out that it was my mom and dad who were buying all the presents, I was shocked. First, because how could they fool someone as smart as me? But more importantly, they were with me ALL YEAR LONG. Through the good and the bad. Yet they still bought me presents? Even though I shot my dart gun at my sister.
My point is, it’s our actions all year long that matter. Not just the desires we concede to during lonely moments of weakness. But in this case, yeah that’s pretty gay what you did. No questions here. Yes, Virginia, You Are Gay.
Why are bands, like
The short answer is,
But the long answer is much less interesting. Sad, angry, dark songs are a trend in music right now, much like black babies or alpaca ear muffs. Many people will say that music defines the times, but those people probably didn’t study macro-political-economics at Harvard. While the music industry may think it has some sort of influence on popular culture, the fact is pop culture is defined long before we get jiggy with it. Musicians are writing music impressed by years of subconscious cultural influence. (The sole exception is Gloria Estefan’s “The Rhythm is Gonna Get You,” which was recorded at the height of a social, political and economic maelstrom – to this day underground think-tank marvel at its resiliency.)
Anyway, what we’re experiencing in music right now is a response to the lack of oil, the war against terrorism, the conclusion of the Harry Potter series, and global warming. It’s a sad state of affairs, and music cannot help but reflect that. It is a dire state of affairs, and there is only one hope . . .
How do I get the sales woman here to stop saying "Knock Knock!" with a cheery little smile on her face when she walks into any room? Understand, she is not actually knocking, nor is she even attempting to. She is literally just saying the words "Knock Knock". It makes me want to puke blood.
There is only one surefire way to stop annoying office behavior, and that is to make it so awkward for the other person that they become literally scared and disgusted of themselves to ever perform that action again. It requires some steely nerves on your part to pull it off, but if you can, I promise this woman will never say “knock, knock” again.
Here’s what you do:
The next time she comes to the door and cheerily chirps, “Knock, knock!” look up at her wide-eyed, in complete terror, cower behind your desk and begin sobbing. When she asks you what’s wrong, tell her that when you were young, your uncle molested you. Late at night, after everyone else had gone to sleep, he would tip toe to your door and very quietly he would peek in to see if you were there. And you would hide under the covers, gripped by fear, hoping he would leave. And when she says “knock, knock,” it reminds you of him.
When she asks “Why, because he would say, ‘knock, knock’ before he entered the room?” you reply, “No, because he was really fucking annoying and so are you.”
(Think you’ve got what it takes to have a questions? Email me at