Friday, July 31, 2009

NPR Is Brooke’s BFF

Brooke: “Did you know that most mothers instinctually carry their baby on their left-hand side because it’s close to their heart?”

Me: “Where did you hear that?”

Brooke: “A friend told me. I can’t remember who.”

Me: “Was it someone who just has a baby?”

Brooke: “It was someone I was driving with in the car.”

Me: “You don’t drive around with that many people.”

Brooke: “Wait. Never mind. It was the radio. Sometimes it feels like NPR is talking just to you, you know?”

Thursday, July 30, 2009

1001 Things I Hate: No. 3

After a man in an elevator told me to smile, I decided to start a series on Dan’s blog called 1001 Things I Hate. 1001 things? Well, yeah. I hate 1000 and 1 things, and I have a list.

Flying

Man, I hate flying. Dan already wrote about the time we taxied for an hour: I woke up from my Klonopin-induced nap right as we took off and shouted “We’re all going to die!” terrifying a young girl next to me. My phobia was jumpstarted in the late 90s by a haunting flight aboard Tower Air (anyone remember Tower Air?). Basically, we were in such bad turbulence that people were in the aisle praying. (Then again, Tower Air went from L.A. to N.Y. to Israel, so maybe the flight wasn’t even that bad.) Since then I’ve required two airport Bloody Marys and a Klonopin to not feel, despite rationally knowing better, that I was surely going to plummet to my death.

I don’t know if you’ve ever felt that level of irrational fear. But it’s basically like your stomach is trying to climb out of your throat and your skin tingles and you get hot and sweaty and then you cry. I’ve tried to find ways to calm myself. But truth be told, my pill/vodka mixture doesn’t actually help. (And here I thought substance abuse was the answer to all my problems. Turns out, it only works on depression and loneliness.) Anyhow, the Rx combo only made me tired. So instead of feeling like I was surely going to plummet to my death, I felt like I was surely going to plummet to my death and I was sleepy. But I’ve since discovered a new anxiety-relieving system: talking to the pilots. See I don’t particularly like being in a car either, but it’s helpful when I can see what’s going on. I know Dan won’t pummel into the divider because I can see the divider and shout instructions if necessary. (He loves that.) So before I fly, I go into the cockpit (hehe) and ask what to expect. The pilot, without fail, makes the same joke: “It’s my first time flying.” (Not funny, dude.) Anyhow, it makes the turbulence less scary when I know it’s coming.

So the last few times I flew I didn’t cry or shake or anything. But whatever, flying still sucks. The recycled air, the teeny bottles of alcohol, the total body dehydration, and how if for just one second you relapse and get scared and perhaps grab the muscular bicep of the man next to you, his girlfriend acts all weird.

#3a: Bitchy flight attendants

Look, I like flight attendants. I like anyone who will bring me booze really. And I respect that it can’t be an easy job, and most people don’t follow instructions. But why is it that there’s always that one super nasty flight attendant? Look, Bitch, my seat back was all the way up. I do not need you to press the button for me and force it up further. And I am turning off my computer. What does it look like I’m doing? They’re like the assistant principals of the sky – drunk with power.

#3b: Long announcements

Wouldn’t it be weird if at a restaurant your waiter read the menu out loud and then introduced you to his fellow waiters? I don’t need you to go through the roster of food and drinks or introduce me to your pals. And pilots, I don’t care what our cruising altitude is, where the crew is based, or the current temperature in New York. Just get me there safely and shut up so I can sink into my drug-induced happy place.

#3c: People who clap when you land

Assholes.

Thing I love: Freshly laundered towels.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Secret Lives of Digital Photo Models, Vol. 1

“marriage

(Brooke and I were given a digital picture frame as a gift. While hooking it up I found that there were several photos on there already. The instruction manual says that they are just sample pictures, meant to show you how the display will look. I like to think there’s more to the story.)

Diego peered deeply into Elizabeth’s eyes. Gunshots rang out in the distance. “You’ll get your dress dirty,” he smiled. She was too sad to laugh.

“Take me with you!” she pleaded. “I’m your wife now. We can be happy together in Mexico!”

“You can’t even make a taco,” he joked. She was growing tired of his jokes.

“These past fifteen days have been the best of my life,” she lamented. “I knew it wouldn’t last forever, but I always thought that maybe . . . somehow . . .”

The explosions grew louder. The ground shook and the air smelled of salt and gunpowder. Diego took one last look at Elizabeth; tears filled her eyes.

“I left money for you in the hotel safe,” he started. “It should be enough for you to-” she cut him off with a kiss, a deep, passionate embrace meant to convey to him through all the words she could not find that no matter what happened, he would always be her husband.

He hopped into the boat, untied the stern line, and turned the ignition. Looking back one last time, he cocked his head. “We’ll always have Senor Frogs,” he chuckled.

She couldn’t hear him over the rumbling of the engine, but she knew it was a joke. The boat sped away. He was always telling jokes.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Bachelorette Season Finale Live Blog

7:57 Brooke: I'm early. Also, Dan got Final Jeopardy.

7:59 Dan: Final high school Jeopardy. And none of the other kids got it. It’s the telegraph, assholes.

8:00 Brooke: WHAT?! (The screen was glitching. Brooke is on edge.)

8:01 Brooke: I'd like to start off by saying I'm completely uninterested in the outcome of this. Also, I'd bet Puppy that Ed wins and Kiptyn is the next bachelor.

8:02 Dan: EPIC RECAP. Behind Door #1 it’s a guy with rock hard abs, an endless array of ill-fitting suits, and a forehead with more character than a Paul Haggis script. Behind Door #2 a guy with erectile dysfunction who loves IT Consulting. It’s every girl’s dream!

8:05 Dan: Jillian and Ed are dancing around the E.D. issue so expertly that it should be nominated for an Emmy in outstanding choreography.

8:06 Brooke: What is he bringing Jillian’s parents? Is that, a rug?

8:09 Dan: Jillian’s mom is grilling Ed. His face is like, “This is harder than an IT consulting interview!”

8:10 Brooke: Ooh, starting off with "Do you want kids?" When Dan met my mom, she told him she didn't think I was the mother type.

8:12 Brooke: Who's dressing these people? It's like they're all in matching Island Casual attire. Awful.

8:13 Brooke: Jillan's cousin - like a hot Jillian.

8:14 Dan: Jillian is happy that things didn’t get awkward or weird. This voice dub is played over a clip of the entire family dancing the hula in coconut bras.

8:17 Brooke: Yellow again! Somebody get me the wardrobe consultant!

Dan: Jillian is happy that she “got to that place that she needed to” with Kiptyn. Can we please stop talking about soft penises? Please?

8:18 Dan: Jillian to Kiptyn: “My family is a lot like yours”? Does she have a second family? Like one that owns the first family?

8:20 Brooke: The fact that she thinks he's so hot confuses me. Has she seen those ears? It's liberating to objectify men.

8:21 Brooke: Mom asks "How important is communication?” What's he gonna say, It's not important? Way to lob softballs, Mom.

8:22 Dan: Yikes. Dad asks “Are you in love with Jill?” and Kiptyn responds, “I’m getting there.” It’s not like he asked, “Are you almost done remodeling the kitchen?” Just say yes.

8:25 Dan: Bandslam – High School Musical with instruments. Where can I invest?

8:29 Dan: Mom says both guys are “here for the right reasons.” Someone’s learned the lingo.

8:31 Dan: At this point, I think I’d rather listen to the family discuss Obama’s health care plan.

Brooke: You know what's a good show, So You Think You Can Dance.

8:33 Dan: The cousin says that sex is “a big thing, a very big thing.” Why don’t they just punch Ed in the kidney and get it over with?

8:37 Brooke: No. Ed's wearing a tank top. Again. It's not ok, people. NOT OK.

8:38 Dan: While in a helicopter flying over volcanoes, Ed makes a joke about one of them erupting. Now you’re just asking for it, Ed.

Dan: Holy crap, Ed gets off on exploding volcanoes?

8:41 Brooke: Eeps. He's attacking her face with his tongue. And she was pulling back. If I was a body language expert in US Weekly, I'd say "Fail!"

8:42 Dan: All Ed ever talks about is how hot Jillian is. Personally, I think she’s an enigma. Like Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde. Every so often the light catches her face a certain way and you can just tell that her face is expiring in about three years.

8:43 Dan: These two have done more kissing in water than dolphins. Horny ones.

8:44 Brooke: Ed, "I'm ready to take this to the next level." Translation: "I will show you my love with my cock."

8:45 Brooke: It's pretty pitiful. He's like the representative for every guy that couldn't get it up and asked for a second chance. That's how you know it's not reality. Cause in real life, those guys are branded impotent for life. And then you tell your friends.

8:45 (As Jillian and Ed shut the lights out in their room, the producers cut to a clip of a volcano exploding.)

Brooke: Unbelievable.
Dan: Believe it.

8:48 Dan: The producers upped Kiptyn’s meds backstage, because now all he can talk about it how he wants to marry Jillian.

8:49 Dan: Jillian, “I need to know Kiptyn is in this for the long run.” (Cut to scene of speed boat taking off.)

8:50 Brooke: Uh oh. She just said "I love Kiptyn." What I said before about betting Puppy, I was just kidding. You can't hold me to that. You have no proof!

8:51 Dan: Does anyone else feel like Kiptyn is a bit rough with Jillian? Like Lenny?

8:52 Dan: Kiptyn and Jillian are out paddling on a long board. Even on Kiptyn’s date, Ed can’t escape his E.D.ness.

8:52 Brooke: Friend Amy texts in: "Are we sure Ed's not gay?" Friend Amy, though about ten minutes behind, makes a solid point.

Dan: That would explain his attitude of “I love everything about you except your scary vagina in the dark” towards Jillian.

8:56 Dan: The fact that Amy Adams is in a movie about blogging makes me hopeful for the day when Zac Efron will play me in [redacted]: Better than Brian DePalma’s Movie.

8:58 Dan: Kool-Aid promises “more smiles per gallon.” Hypoglycemia will do that to a person.

9:00 Brooke: “Hehehe. ‘Kiptyn’s always been the dumper!’”

9:01 Dan: Jillian has officially made her decision. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that it was The Hardest Decision She Has Ever Had To Make™. Meanwhile, Kiptyn and Ed choose their rings, which is the easiest decision ever because the network has already bought them (like in all good love stories).

9:04 Dan: Jillian is crying. Already. I just realized now that I stopped liking her at least four episodes ago.

9:05 Brooke: A white wedding dress? For the proposal? Ridiculous.

9:06 Brooke: OK, they're about to walk into the rose ceremony and we have an hour to go. They're going to have to stir up a lot of drama to make this work.

Dan: My guess is that it has something to do with a man whose name rhymes with “weed.”

9:09 Brooke: Friend Amy on delay: "Ew, they both picked the grossest rings." So true. That heart-shaped diamond was hids.

9:13 Brooke: How awesome would it be if she picked Chris Harrison!?!

9:14 Dan: Walking up to Jillian, Kiptyn says, “The impossible is possible.” (Sad trombone sound.)

9:14 Brooke: The producers must have arranged this with Kiptyn. Telling him to say he was going to propose, so he's a more sympathetic Bachelor. Bet on!

9:15 Dan: Jillian to Kiptyn: “I’ve fallen in love with someone else.” Kiptyn: “Hmm. This hurts.” (Bear hug.)

9:17 Dan: On the Limo Confessional Cam Kiptyn says he wishes he had more time to tell Jillian how he fe-

9:18 Dan: On to more important things – why would a girl want vibrating mascara? If there’s one body part where I want to keep all vibrating objects away from it’s my eye. No?

9:25 Dan: Jillian is really good at pulling off the smug look of “I’m so happy everything’s settled and there aren’t any surprises coming.” Even while the ominous music plays!

9:26 Dan: Reid comes out of a minivan and tells Chris that he made a huge mistake by getting kicked off. Then he goes out and hugs Jillian – but so passionately! And then he proceeds to say nothing. That’s so Reidy!

9:27 Brooke: Whoa. He's going to propose. And he had to pull strings to come back? Like say yes when the producers offered him 50k?

9:27 Brooke: They're both sweating profusely. How romantic.

9:28 Dan: Jillian, “Letting you go was the hardest thing I ever had to do, except when I let go of Kiptyn ten minutes ago.”

9:29 Dan: The producers are so pissed they couldn’t score the rights to “Don’t Stop Believing” for this scene.

9:30 Dan: Reid’s reason why he never had anything to say: “It’s indescribable because it’s meant to be.” You can’t argue with logic, Jillian!

9:31 Brooke: (Reid gets down on one knee and proposes.) Text from friend Amy, who has caught up: “Ahhhhhhhhh.”

9:32 Dan: Jillian, “I can’t make a decision like this!” She doesn’t even have her flowcharts.

9:33 Brooke: No! What?! It must be hard to say no to a proposal. We women are groomed to want to be proposed to. To want to put that ring on. When she saw it, she even looked confused. "Me want ring. Grrr!"

9:37 Dan: Friend Amy: "I hope she picks him. Good Jew."

Brooke: Friend Amy is Jewish, so that's not offensive.

9:39 Dan: ABC’s Fall line-up includes shows about cougars, witches, and gravity. What is this, 1960?

9:40 Brooke: Poor Reid. They're just making him stand out there in the sun, sweating.

9:41 Dan: Chris Harrison should have his own show called “Chris Harrison’s Emotional Advice.” And on the premier episode he should box Dr. Phil.

9:43 Dan: Reid: “How are you?” Jillian: “Emotional.” I think he was being rhetorical.

9:44 Dan: The way Jillian talks about this decision sounds just like how I sound when I talk about choosing what to have for dinner. That says something bad about one of us.

9:45 Brooke: Nice, Jillian. Now Reid will never open up again.

9:47 Brooke: I give Jillian and Ed a 50-50 shot. 50 percent they make it through the first round of publicity. 50 percent they don't.

9:48 Dan: Think of it this way, Reid. How many guys can say that the last two times they were dumped they were whisked away in a limousine? Not many!

9:49 Brooke: Anonymous commenter 4, I'll give you that the dress is pale pink. But still, a sweetheart neckline with a full skirt? It screams bridal.

Dan: Yes but what do you wear to the most pathetic moment of your life? Where is this month’s Martha Stewart Living when I need it!

9:53 Dan: DATING IN THE DARK! DATING IN THE DARK! Please tell me you saw that!

9:55 Dan: Ed calls Jillian kind, beautiful, funny. This is what Reid was never good at – adjectives.

9:57 Dan: Ed’s down on one knee and you can see it in Jillian’s eye: GREEN CARD!

9:58 Brooke: Oh god, that ring. Honestly, if after all that, he gave me that ring, I might cry. It's a heart-shaped diamond, for fuck's sake.

Dan: I heard it’s a blood diamond!

9:59 Brooke: Weird country song montage. They deserve this music.

Dan: The fact that the Jillian and Ed Music and Picture Montage doesn’t include a shot of Ed back in his office in Chicago pining for Jillian while doing internet technology consulting is a crime. Like, “Well, sir, I’m not sure your baud is up to speed.” (Breaks out crying.)

10:01 Brooke: I know Kiptyn is the next Bachelor. But I really wish it was Reid.

10:02 Dan: (Secretly records Dating in the Dark while Brooke isn’t looking.)

The Bachelorette Season Finale Live Blog Starts Tonight (Because It’s Live)

“Canadian

I know Brooke and I dropped the proverbial ball of processed love two weeks ago when we failed to recap the penultimate episode of The Bachelorette. And we’re sorry, but something important came up. It was dinner, and it was delicious. I had the Farfalle. Very fresh.

But tonight we’re not letting food get in the way of our mission: live-blogging the shit out of The Bachelorette season finale, which promises to be (Can you guess? No really, can you? Here’s a hint, it rhymes with “pragmatic.” Yes, that’s right) THE MOST DRAMATIC ROSE CEREMONY EVER.

For everyone with a life and a modicum of dignity who hasn’t been keeping up with the show, here’s a brief recap of what happened on the last episode so we’re all on the same page going into tonight.

KIPTYN

With the field down to three, Jillian knows that things were about to get real. Really, really real. Jillian loves Kiptyn’s abs, but needs to know that she can trust him. So the show starts with Jillian and Kiptyn going on a metaphor date at an obstacle course. Perched some 20 feet in the air and secured by only professional-grade harnesses, Jillian and Kiptyn simulate a real-life relationship by tackling a series of problems, difficulties, and tribulations, like a rope bridge and a zip line.

On the final task, Kiptyn coaches Jillian through a particularly tough totem pole exercise by saying, “If we can do this, we can do anything [except achieve world peace or a universal health care system].” Jillian fails and is saved only by her harness, then says, “That is exactly what I needed.”

The Bang Card comes out for a second time, and Jillian manages to make the prospect of sex on a tropical island unimaginably boring. I wouldn’t be surprised if she measures all the guys’ cocks and enters the data into her Who’s Here For The Right Reasons Bachelor Compatibility flowchart.

REID

Reid finally gets to go on a helicopter and is like, “Finally, a helicopter ride.” Every other moment of their date is awkward. Jillian is like, “TELL ME HOW YOU FEEL” and Reid is like, “I FEEL LIKE WELL THE THING IS I’M LIKE YOU KNOW.” He resorts to showing her how much he likes her by spreading his arms as wide as they’ll go and saying, “This much,” and Jillian is so happy because he loves her approximately 5’ 7” worth.

Again, Jillian describes all of the special learning and bonding that should come out of the special Bang Card night and the look on Reid’s face is like, “You mean sex, right?”

ED

Ed surprises Jillian by saying that he flew his parents in to meet her and she gets so excited that Brooke is like, “What the fuck is wrong with her? No one gets that excited about meeting a guy’s parents.”

Meanwhile, Ed is dressed like a 1970’s jogger and he and Jillian go sailing and swimming and making out – a lot. Unfortunately, Ed’s cock is like Checkov’s gun: They’re doing so much dry humping and talking about how special their connection is that you just know somebody’s gun is going to misfire.

Lo and behold, the Bang Card comes out and Jillian is like, “Yes please.” They retire to the fantasy suite and start to rub each other down with oil from many different camera angles. But when it comes time to seal the deal, E.D. lives down to his name and fails to rise to the occasion (KABOOM! Word play overload!)

Or, to put it more tactfully, Ed “couldn’t show her that he’s in love with her with his cock.” Jillian chalks it up to sunburn (?), stress, and exhaustion. Brooke is thoroughly disappointed in Ed.

ROSE CEREMONY

Jillian has a “special chat” with Ed, which I assume goes something like, “Does your cock work?” “Yes, my cock works,” so she keeps him. Kiptyn’s forehead is also relieved to make it through, leaving Reid as the odd man out. Ironically, in the Limo Ride Confessional, Reid perfectly vocalizes how he feels about Jillian, saying “I was falling in love with her” and somewhere Jillian perks up and a tear comes to her eye as she senses someone opening up and finally respecting the process.

TONIGHT

Live blog starts at 8:00 p.m. EST and goes until I say it’s over. Or someone’s heart is broken. Whichever comes first.

Friday, July 24, 2009

This Guy Is a Crappy Teacher*

Seems easy enough.

Um, refund please! My wolf training video is broken.

________________________________
* Alternate title: A “Howl To” Video. (What, I couldn’t just leave that one on the sidewalk to die.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Live Blogging a Sleepless Night

Most people experience nostalgia for things like acumen in sports or being pretty or living in a world where big decisions meant Froot Loops and Count Chocula. Personally, what I miss the most is sleep. I was the soundest sleeper in town. They told stories about it – how I used to nod off while watching TV (sitting upright) and have to be carried to bed, where I would wake 12 hours later happy and refreshed.

Then I reached a certain age, right around the time it became apparent that life wasn’t just one big Hardy Boys novel (action! suspense! no need whatsoever for disposable income!), and suddenly sleeping wasn’t so easy. I’d wake up early in the morning and immediately start thinking about life choices, get-rich quick schemes, and ways to avoid that awkward moment when you’re putting on a condom and the girl basically just sits there watching (excuse yourself to the bathroom?). You know, LIFE.

It’s gotten better, thanks to Ambien and the growing realization that 95% of what you do with your life doesn’t matter in the grand scheme (shout out, Camus!); but still sometimes I find myself wide awake at 4:00 a.m., unable to sleep, just thinking. This is how it happens.

3:59 a.m. I’m startled awake by a half-asleep Brooke trying to reposition my body in order to cuddle me. She gives up a few moments later, leaving me awake, violated.

4:25 a.m. I think of the TV show Medium. Every episode starts with Patricia Arquette’s husband being startled awake when she has another psychic nightmare. How has he not started sleeping in the spare room by now? For a show about a woman with psychic abilities, this is the most unbelievable part.

4:46 a.m. There is a nagging feeling that I forgot to do something before I went to bed. After ten minutes of racking my brain, I realize that what I forgot to do I set the TiVo for the So You Think You Can Dance results show. The fact that this is something on my to-do list leads me to consider the possibility that I need to do more things.

4:51 a.m. Here comes the urge to go to the bathroom. I’m hesitant to give in, though, because I’m convinced that the human body can get into “pee cycles” in which a person doesn’t really have to go, but thinks they do because they went at that time for the past two nights. The resulting catch-22 is that I can lay there, uncomfortable, not able to fall back to sleep, or I can go pee, thus perpetuating the cycle.

5:08 a.m. Defeated, I pee.

5:32 a.m. Some years ago, I devised a technique to help treat my insomnia. Because I always seem to fall back to sleep right as it’s time to actually wake up, I try to trick my brain into thinking that it is, in fact, time to wake up. “OK, five more minutes and we start the day!” I think, going so far as to swing one leg out of bed. Though the underlying theory is sound, in practice the tactic remains ineffective. This goes on for about 20 minutes.

5:52 a.m. Tactic #2: In order to distract my mind from the frustration of sleeplessness, I attempt to make a list of every girl I have ever kissed. The fact that I can’t do it fills me with a shameful pride prideful shame shameful pride.

6:10 a.m. Puppy jumps onto the bed and immediately walks over to sniff my face, presumably to make sure that I am alive and haven’t pulled the old switcheroo on him. (Note: The oldest switcheroo dates back to the time of pagan rituals. People who were going to be sacrificed to gods would find the corpse of someone who looked like them – everyone looked the same back then; you’ve seen the wall drawings – and place the corpse in their bed the morning of the sacrifice.) Satisfied that it is indeed me, Puppy lays on my pillow, forcing me to roll over in order to avoid the bizarrely intense corn chip odor from his paws.

6:33 a.m. Gentle weeping.

7:14 a.m. The sun comes pouring in through the cracks in the shades like this.

7:37 a.m. Resigned, I plan my morning. I will wake up and make coffee. I will take The Onion, which I have been receiving via mysterious free subscription for over a year now, out onto the balcony and watch the sun rise over the bay while laughing at hilariously crafted headlines like “Area Grandmother Tries Indian Food.” I’ll appreciate all the good things about life instead of bemoaning my restlessness. In fact, I will embrace the fact that I am not sleeping through these beautiful life moments, the ones that make each day special.

7:38 a.m. Doze off.

8:30 a.m. Get woken up by the alarm right at the point of my dream where the girl I randomly made out with freshman year of college uses her psychic powers to tell me who won on So You Think You Can Dance, then sets down her glass of Kool Aid, sniffs me face, cuddles up to me, and turns away so I can put the condom on in privacy.

Ugh.

This guy knows what I’m talking about.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Law & Order: B.C.

Finally, some answers!

Human Stabbed a Neanderthal, Evidence Suggests

Spear replicas

Steven Churchill of Duke University is holding a replica of a Neanderthal-type spear (left hand) and a spear thrower and dart (right hand) that would have been similar to weapons used by early modern humans tens of thousands of years ago. Credit: Duke Photo by Les Todd.

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Spear replicas

Steven Churchill of Duke University is holding a replica of a Neanderthal-type spear (left hand) and a spear thrower and dart (right hand) that would have been similar to weapons used by early modern humans tens of thousands of years ago. Credit: Duke Photo by Les Todd.

Newly analyzed remains suggest that a modern human killed a Neanderthal man in what is now Iraq between 50,000 and 75,000 years ago . . . The probable weapon of choice: A thrown spear.

You might think that 75,000 years would be enough time for Science to let it go, but apparently those archaeologists (?) can really hold a grudge. Unfortunately for them, their evidence is pretty flimsy.

By studying “a lethal wound on the remains of a Neanderthal skeleton,” scientists determined that “. . . the best explanation for this injury is a projectile weapon, and given who had those [humans] and who didn't [Neanderthals], that implies at least one act of inter-species aggression."

To further bolster their case, scientists performed a series of “stab simulations” (good times) on pigs, who “make a pretty good model for Neanderthal thoraces” (who knew!). The cut marks made in the pig ribs were similar to the cut marks in the Neanderthal.

Finally, by comparing the Neanderthal wound to medical records of injuries from the American Civil War (objection, relevance?), the researchers figured the Neanderthal likely died within weeks of his injury, perhaps due to associated lung damage from a stabbing or piercing wound.

The conclusion: “Since modern humans had developed projectile hunting weapons and Neanderthals hadn't, the researchers deduced the probable suspect — a modern human.”

Um, not if Jody has anything to say about it.

Defense rests, bitches.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Million Dollar Idea #4

“pregnancy

If there is one thing that New York has taught me it’s that you have to fight for what you believe in. Like when Brooke and I moved into our new apartment in Miami and found out that our assigned parking spot was on the sixth floor, and, after driving around the parking garage levels a total of once decided that this would not do, I went to the person in charge and, while not exactly saying that I am a doctor, did tell them that I was on call for my job very often and would need to enter and exit the building much faster, all of which is not a lie due to the fact that sometimes my work calls and asks me to do things, which, I believe, is the definition of being “on call.” So now our parking spot is on the second floor of the garage, all because I heeded the fourth rule of Fight Club, which is always follow your dreams wherever they may fly.

And if there’s one other thing that New York has taught me, it’s that there’s apparently no such thing as “enough money.” Like when millionaires sit around at The Elk Lodge drinking $100 glasses of scotch and talking about the future, they’re never like, “$100,000,000,000,000.00 is enough for me!” Because then someone goes and buys Central Park for $200,000,000,000,000.00 and everyone’s like “You rascal! That should have been me!”

So while the Miami sunshine may have tempered my cut throat capitalistic sensibilities, my recent trip to New York has revived them with a vengeance, leading to the rebirth of my Million Dollar Idea series. Though none of my previous ideas have panned out, that’s not the point of entrepreneurship. It’s about ideas that serve the common good by identifying an underserved area of society and then coming up with a product or service that they will overpay for due to a misconstrued sense of need and an unidentifiable feeling of emptiness that can only be filled by accumulating well-marketed goods.

And you know what consumer base is totally untapped? Women who think they’re pregnant but don’t want to be.

Consider this: most pregnancy test companies market their products with pictures of smiling women and commercials where husbands and wives jump into each others arms like “We did it! I inseminated you!”

But in most of my personal friends’ experiences, not being knocked up is the winning outcome. Which is why I’ll introduce The Joy Stick™, a home pregnancy test made specifically for women whose positive outcome is a negative one. (Possible slogan?) So instead of + or –, these would have things like smiley faces, or cute phrases like “You win!” or “Not again!” or “Dodged that bullet!”

“pregnancy

And the best part about them is that while they are highly entertaining, they are also totally vague. So women will need to take two or three tests to figure out if they’re pregnant or not, thereby bolstering sales. But most importantly, they’ll be having fun while they do it, sharing it with their girlfriends, etc.

I don’t know about you guys, but I got a feeling that this is it, the idea that will finally make me as rich as this cat, who is apparently wealthy enough to hire a deer to bathe him.

If only!

See Also:
Million Dollar Idea #3
Million Dollar Idea #2

Million Dollar Idea #1

Monday, July 20, 2009

Why Certain People Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Have Kids

Dog in kimono

Everyone who has been a big bummer the past two weeks raise your hand!

Oh, I’m the only asshole raising my hand? Real nice, guys. Reeeal nice.

Long story short, I was in New York (you may have heard of it). Brooke was there, too, and we traveled to exotic places like Long Island and downtown Manhattan. Because Puppy (on principle) despises all things exotic, we left him here in Miami with a professional dog sitter. (And to everyone who is like, “HOW COULD YOU LEAVE PUPPY ALONE TO DIE LIKE THAT?” it should be noted that he slept snuggled up in the dog sitter’s bed with her every night like it was Don Cheadle’s Hotel for Dogs. Clearly Puppy isn’t putting as much thought into the situation as we are.)

travel essentials

So Brooke came home on Wednesday because she had a few friends visiting Miami this past weekend, but I stayed in New York a few extra days to see friends and eat pizza. I also spent some time in The Office (my work building, not the fictional sitcom), which is kind of like a grab bag of awesomeness. At one point, one of the girls that works there handed me a messenger bag full of travel-sized stuff for men: toothpaste, q-tips, tissues, a shoe horn (score?), etc. She’s like, “Hey, do you want this?” and before she can finish the question I’m rifling through the bag, pulling out a lint roller like it’s Christmas morning.

The only problem was that my suitcase was already overflowing, to the point where when I tried to stuff it in the overhead compartment on the flight to New York I had to stop midway through, take out a pair of shoes stuffed in a front zipper compartment and kind of balance them – half hanging out – in my computer bag instead. (I could tell Brooke thought it was really classy because when people looked at me funny she kind of hid her face like, “I feel so bad for those people who don’t understand how cool it is to carry shoes in your computer bag.”)

So when it came time to pack everything back up and leave New York, I was facing a seemingly untenable situation: overpacked suitcase, nearly overpacked computer bag, and now a handy shoulder bag full of travel essentials – a particularly biting bit of irony wherein these “handy travel essentials” are precisely the things that are making it so difficult for me to travel.

But then I get a brilliant idea: I’ll empty out the travel essentials from the shoulder bag and put my computer in it. Then I will put the entire shoulder bag into my computer bag like Russian nesting dolls. Everything fits perfectly and I am so pleased with myself – until I notice the pile of travel essentials emptied out on the floor next to me. Apparently my capability to think more than one step ahead is terrible, like in action movies when the hero kills the terrorist who has hijacked the plane, but now has no idea how to fly the plane.

My first thought is, “Do I really need a mini sewing kit and a packet of tissues that look like $100 bills?” to which I immediately reply, “Of course I need a mini sewing kit and a packet of tissues that look like $100 bills. Don’t be stupid.” So I start stuffing these items in to my suitcase and computer bag anywhere they will fit. After 15 minutes of trying numerous combinations to make everything fit together (like one of those IQ tests, which apparently I would fail miserably) I achieve some sort of acceptable conglomeration. The suitcase zips closed, and nothing is blatantly falling out of the computer bag, though if it is jostled or tilted the wrong way it would be like a travel essentials piñata explosion.

Flash forward to me at the airport. I’ve managed to make it through security, although when my bag took extra long going through the conveyor belt I was sure they were going to be suspicious, like “This dude’s got a lot of toiletries.” But I made it through, boarded the plane, and got to my seat. There was no available overhead bin space near me, so I had to proceed a few rows down to find some. When I did, I hauled my suitcase over my head and attempted to slide it in. Not happening. Hmm. Try again. Nope. Fuck. The shoes.

Being the idiot that I am, I packed the same shoes in the same outside pocket that prevented the bag form fitting on the plane the first time. Talk about learning from your mistakes! This time though, things are a bit dicey. My seat is three rows away, and there are a line of people that need to get past me to their seats. The stewardess is looking at me with that particular brand of glare that can only come from a woman who routinely deals with people that make her job harder by failing to perform simple tasks like putting a tray table up or buckling a seat best. There’s no empty space nearby for me to slide into, so a woman offers to move from the aisle seat to the widow seat so I can use the aisle seat to sort out my shit, which sounds great until you remember that you’re still on a fucking plane and now you’re just wedged into a tiny space with a huge bag that needs to be opened up with nowhere for it to open up to. Oh, and my computer bag is on my shoulder. That is, until someone walks by and bumps into it, sending sundry travel essentials flying through the aisle. For a split second I think, “It does look like a piñata!” which quickly turns into, “Fuck, it does look like a piñata.”

The very nice people around me all helped clean up the mess. It was like, “Here’s your lint roller. Here’s your deck of playing cards. Here’s your Listerine Pocket Mist still in it’s wrapper.” Whether I was viewed as the biggest asshole ever or the most proficient packer ever is debatable, but one thing’s certain: Brooke never has to worry about me inadvertently attracting women with my irresistible air of charm and self-confidence.

Anyway, I got back to Miami yesterday and Brooke’s friends were still here. Their flight out wasn’t leaving until 9:30, so we all decided to go out for dinner together, Puppy included. It was a lovely meal, seated outside in the unseasonably mild summer air, a few bottles of wine and lots of dessert sharing. It was so nice, in fact, that we completely lost track of time and suddenly the girls’ flight left in an hour. Whoops! We rushed to pay the bill, gather our things, and leave. As we flew out the front door of the restaurant the waitress said “thank you” and “goodnight” and then “Where’s your dog?”

We all paused as though she was talking about an umbrella. “Well I thought you had the umbrella.” “I thought you had it!” Except we were talking about a living thing, which we inadvertently left tied up to a café table out back.

WHOOPS.

In hindsight, he did jump up and put his two front paws on my lap a few times throughout dinner, which I wrote off as a sign of intense affection from dog to owner, but could very well have been Puppy’s innate survival instincts kicking in as he tried to communicate non-verbal reminders that he was there and we should not, under any circumstances, leave without him. WHOOPS! That’s nature for you – totally fallible. But it all worked out (like what could have been if the McAllisters had remembered Kevin before peeling away from the house in their rental van) and Puppy seems as genuinely happy to have me home as I am to be home. And the next time I go away, I’ll be sure to bring Puppy with me – because at least then I can’t lose him, even if I accidentially dump him out all over the plane.