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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Weekend Recap ... A Little Tardy

The gal about whom I wrote in a less than flattering manner recently, causing a case of self-censorship here, will now be referred to as Xbox Girl.

Last Friday night, she and I saw "The Departed," which we both enjoyed for the most part. Since the movie's been out for four or five months, I'm not worried about ruining things for you, but let's just say a lot of people were shot in the head, crimes that left awfully bloody results.

My parents saw the movie shortly after it came out in the fall, and my mom said other than the violence, it was a good movie. I figured she was just being a mom with such an assessment about the violence. But it truly was pretty bloody.

I'd never really understood the hype around Leonardo DiCaprio. I can think of plenty better actors, even better-looking leading men types. But his effort in "The Departed" was outstanding. Also good to see Matt Damon in a darker role, his abilities in such I've forgotten about since his Jason Bourne heroics of late.

Jack Nicholson played an outstanding psychopath, certainly not a stretch for him, and Alec Baldwin had a line or two that kept things light. Throw in a little Martin Sheen and Mark Walhberg, and sprinkle in a dash of Martin Scorsese directing, and this thing truly met the gargantuan potential a project with such a cast had set for itself. Go see it now before the Oscars.

I'm told DiCaprio is even better in Blood Diamond, so that's probably next on the list.

Xbox had had a late one the night before, so we were just looking for something low key for Friday. I presumed we'd call it a night after the late movie we saw, but we ended up at the Gael Pub on 3rd Ave. for a couple drinks. We were both taken aback when a drunk guy -- albeit a handsome one -- stumbled toward her and introduced himself to Xbox, right in front of me, shook her hand and then split.

Xbox later showed me a napkin on which he'd scribbled his name and number. Always a pretty respectful move. He should have used my pick-up line below.

Broken GlassesI think I told you about my computer problems? My motherboard is fried, so last weekend I was trying to figure out how much money that I don't have that I was going to need to spend on a new one. And when I woke up Saturday, I reached into my coat pocket and found my glasses in two pieces. I guess I stepped on them the night before as the coat lay on the floor. Isn't that where you keep yours?

Fast Forward -- Health benefits at the new job rock. It only cost me at total of $91 for the doctor's appointment and new pair of glasses. I just have to wait another five or six days before I can pick up the glasses.

But back to Saturday, I had the Chinese acupuncturist, Rica, help me put my glasses back together in a mostly half-assed way. The glasses truly split in two, almost perfectly, so I held the pieces toghether while she taped them. I can't always understand what she says, but I did know what she meant when she showed me a picture of her 27-year-old daughter a month or so ago and asked if I'd like to marry her. This is coming from a 60-year-old woman who has seen me naked.

The daughter speaks no English and lives in China. Decisions, decisions.

But the rest of the day, I just hung out at the apartment and enjoyed night-time viewings of Ohio State basketball and portions of two movies I'd already seen more than once. I'm certainly a loser, and if I'd forgotten that fact, I was reminded of it when the glasses started to slip apart while I dozed on the couch. As I was trying to figure out if it was after 12 a.m. or 2 a.m. on the digital cable clock, I sat up and realized that my vision troubles were being caused by the glasses that were somehow sitting on my face though no longer being held together in one piece by Rica's tape job.

Sunday must not have been eventful because I remember nothing about it.

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Jonathan Ames Article

I was diagnosed with depression in early 2002 and an old friend sent me a couple of books to cheer me up. One was by a guy I'd never heard of -- Jonathan Ames. The book was called "What's Not To Love? Adventures Of A Mildy Perverted Young Writer."

For a journalist, I'm probably in one of the lower percentiles in the category of BOOKS READ IN THEIR ENTIRETY, but this one I devoured in about three days.

Anyway, he's got an article out on a site called Nerve.com. It's entertaining, and it's about a sex class he took here in New York. So if you're under 18 or you're my mom or one of my sisters, you don't have to click this link if you don't want to. Especially you, Mom.

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Public Service For You -- No Charge

The new cool pick-up line has been released, just in time for your efforts finding a date for Valentine's Day. Fear no copyright infringements, as I have no trademark for this just yet. Use as often as you wish.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Good Night, Barbaro

2006 Kentucky Derby Winner BarbaroRest in peace, Barbaro.

And for the rest of you, feel free to email me about the purchase of a high-res 8x10 photo, matted and shipped to your doorstep.

Link to my e-mail address is in the right column. Scroll down a little bit.


Update: Justin Timberlake

(Reuters, 6 hours ago)

LONDON -- Documents seized at Heathrow Airport early Monday morning suggest that Justin Timberlake did not bring sexy back, as the pop star has claimed in recent months, according to Scotland Yard.

It's not known whether someone else has brought sexy back or if sexy has not yet been brought back, but an investigation is ongoing, according to a Scotland Yard official who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Timberlake could be charged with filing a false report, inciting a public incident, releasing a bad CD and being an overall wuss-boy.

When pressed for a statement, a Timberlake representative offered a blanket denial.

"Justin did not pass out at the club; he was just sleeping because he was tired from his busy schedule," the publicist said. "Also, he is not the father of that baby. The angle of the picture is what makes him look fat. And he has 25 million reasons to bring sexy back."

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Attention Whores

Curiosity Embarrassed The CatI was trying to think of a metaphor for this otherwise obvious cliche about cats and curiosity.

I thought of a few.

Cryptic Message

You know how TV news stories of teens killed or kidnapped increasingly include details about the victim's myspace page?

"'Katefuxalot'" left a cryptic message on her profile, telling friends she had a dream about meeting God just two days before the terrible car accident."

She was just a sophomore in college.

Anyway, here's my cryptic message, and if I don't show up for work Monday, or if I never blog again, after the applause, please consider this a clue:

I ate a yogurt at my desk this morning that had been tampered with. The lid was all jacked up (read: it was already open), but I ate the peach-flavored goodness nonetheless. Perhaps some disgruntled Dannon worker put something in it, perhaps not.

We'll find out.

And STILL waiting to hear back from Geek Squad about my hard drive.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


MySpace has a pretty unusual way of allowing its nearly 150 million users to change their settings.

If you sign up and associate your account with one e-mail address, then change e-mail addresses and want to reflect that change in your account, you have to reply to a confirmation mail MySpace tech support will send you once you try to make the change.

Only problem is, the confirmation mail goes to your old address. This is not something about which the Guiness guys would bump pilsner glasses and describe as "brilliant."

And since I'm annoying many of my friends on MySpace now because two dozen bulletins have been mailed out under my name, I'm obviously trying to correct the situation. What should concern MySpace is that the fact that someone has hacked into my account to send out these bulletins isn't even the most troubling scenario here. I can easily stop the bulletins from going out by changing the password on my e-mail. But of course, once I try to do that, MySpace will send a confirmation note to which I'll need to reply. Only it will go to the old address that no longer exists.

If it was 1988 and I still had a shit list, MySpace would be on it. I'd have pegged jeans and a Kajagoogoo haircut, all the while posing as a talented indoor soccer player. Sheesh, maybe I should bring back the shit list and put myself on it.

So if you're among my MySpace friends, please forgive as I try to remedy this situation, but don't hold your breath. Meantime, please take advantage of the free pizza and cheap clothes outlined in those bulletins.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Burned Or Burnt?

My bed smells like burned popcorn. Maybe it's burnt.

For Christmas, my mom got me one of those pads filled with rice or corn or whatever that is. You're supposed to throw it in the microwave, then put it in your bed to heat up your bed. Actually, this one goes around your neck to help alleviate any neck, shoulder or upper back discomfort you might feel. I was trying to fix my neck, the pain of which is described below.

But I don't have a microwave. I've been up here for eight months and I really don't miss it. The only other option, however, is to throw the pad in the oven, and I think the fabric probably doesn't go well with the heat from a traditional oven.

That's why my bed now smells like burned popcorn. Or is it burnt?

Catching Up

I met a date at a Lower East Side joint a couple weeks ago, then raved about it to a co-worker who was curious to find out about it for herself. So I told her to meet me there last Friday at 9:30 p.m.

We all know that means I'll show up closer to 10, and as I did, she was leaving to go elsewhere, and did not extend the invitation to me. I was quite apologetic for my tardy arrival, but quite frankly, 20 minutes late in New York is not that big of a deal. Was pretty surprised about how matter of fact she was and how she offered zero apologies about leaving. Don't know if I'll plan to socialize with her again anytime soon.

Saturday was better. Much of the last month or so I'd gone out of town or battled a bad cold, so it was nice to just relax on my warm couch and watch college hoops all day. This just in -- The PAC-10 is hot.

Then at night, Anne from work arranged a gathering at Chinatown Brasserie, which was fairly cool. I'm more of a pub or lounge type of dude, and typically not much for hanging around a bunch of expensively-dressed pretty people, but one night on the glam scene wasn't too painful. Got a pleasant text message asking for my presence over at a joint called Honey, which I thought I'd read about previously in Vanity Fair. But when I showed up and saw it was a bunch of 20-somethings, perhaps I was thinking about some other place. Or maybe Paris Hilton released her bad CD there months ago.

Sunday afternoon was typically unproductive, but then I went out for a little while to Jack Russell's to watch what turned out to be an outstanding AFC Championship game between New England and Indianapolis. I was quite surprised that my friend Emily was anti Tom Brady. I thought all the gals love him. He's handsome, rich as hell and has three Super Bowl rings ... and he's not even 30.

Monday, I was off, but the day was not as pleasant as I was hoping for it to be. First, I woke up and was in excruciating pain. I slept awkwardly on my neck, which remained jacked all day. And the computer problems that the Baton's printer caused over the summer appear to have caught up with me. I've been talking about buying an external hard drive for about two months now to back up all my files. It might be too late. My hard drive might be fried. Old dude Jason tried to talk me through taking the hard drive out of my computer and installing it in an old CPU I had laying around the crib. Not working.

So I took the piece to the Geek Squad down the block at Best Buy. New laptop might be in order. So much for getting out of debt by midyear.

I think we're all caught up.

Dreamgirls not nominated for Best Picture?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Review: Agra

I try to be a gentleman, at least in the early stages, and I like to order for the lady if I'm out on a date. I mean, if I've actually shaved, put a little bit of thought into what I plan to wear and even arrive on time, what's the harm in taking the extra step and pretending to have manners? So I open doors, help the girl with her coat and try to order for her.

And I've eaten at Indian restaurants about 10 times in my life, so I thought I had a handle on the traditional Indian fare. But then I met National Anchor Girl at Agra for dinner on Monday.

Like I said, I try to be mannerly and order for the lady, but I couldn't even order for myself. I do like lamb curry and a few other dishes, but she made several suggestions that I was not familiar with. Instead of lamb curry, she said things like sad paneer and so forth, and I played along as if I knew what she was talking about.

We ordered a few things, and I ended up enjoying them all, but getting there was a little awkward because in my eagerness to agree with whatever she suggested we order, I clearly showed an unimpressive streak of indecisiveness. Or at least I think I did. Well, maybe it wasn't so bad.

Nonetheless, NAG was a very fun date. Good conversation, splendid sense of humor and she happens to be quite attractive.


Catching Up ... Again

CINCINNATI -- Flew into Louisville Friday, hung out at my old station all afternoon, then drove my rented white PT Cruiser -- no, I did not request such an absurd vehicle -- up to Cincinnati.

Was going to kick it at Tom's crib, but pregnant wife Margie -- his, not mine -- has been a little under the weather lately, so I rented a room at what was once a decent downtown Cincinnati hotel, but it's now fairly ghetto.

Tried to force in a short nap but the cell wouldn't stop ringing, so I ended up at Teller's in Hyde Park. Earlier in the week, I'd sent out a note to old friends in both Cincinnati and Louisville, hoping to see as many as possible on my Midwest Mini Tour. The first person I saw after I walked into Teller's was old girlfriend Heather. Remember her? Hadn't seen in her several years. Was good to catch up with her, as well as with old dude Charles Sutton, who came out long enough to buy me a drink but kept his visit brief in order to meet up with far more important people.

Drees, pregnant wife Amy and D-Tizzle were out, but I felt bad for not conversing with them much. Then I didn't feel so bad after Drees e-mailed me a doctored up jpeg of me and my outstanding new scarf. If there's one thing you still don't do in Cincinnati, it's try to be bold with accessories or really make any style statement.

I also had the privelege of finally meeting the darling Kari Wethington, the splendid Cincinnati writer. Despite being with who I presume was her boyfriend, she couldn't stop staring at me. That was a weak stab at humor.

One stranger I did meet was Anna, a lovely Californian now in Cincinnati for grad school at UC's prestigious design program.

I didn't talk to Buroker, Loon or Slazyk much because the time normally spent catching up was instead full of scarf commentary.

I ended up spending most of my time talking to Mindy, the twin sister of that Survivor chick from last year. She just got back from Florida after being stalked by a former co-worker or something. I'm glad I'm not an attractive young lady. There are some f*d up guys out there.

LOUISVILLE -- Saturday I returned to Louisville and took a lovely nap on Patrick's couch as the Colts were putting the finishing touches on their AFC playoff game with the Ravens.

Grabbed a bite at Brendan's with Patrick and Maureen, then rolled down to Felt, which just might be the last time I step foot in that place. It sucks.

But a good crowd came out to say hello, and despite the rest of the crowd and the awful music, I had a good time.

Flying back on Monday looked like it was going to be yet another hassle. My Northwest connection was going to take me from Louisville to Detroit, but icy conditions in Detroit canceled our outbound flight. So I was going to be delayed and perhaps re-routed, and my LaGuardia arrival of 3 p.m. was going to be more like 7 p.m., which would mean I'd have to cancel my date with national anchor girl. I lucked out; Northwest actually put me on a USAirways direct flight that got me into LaGuardia at 2 p.m., so not only did I make my date, but was able to procrastinate an extra hour. A win-win situation all the way around.

Chocolate -- A One-Act Play

Cast of Characters:

Me -- White dork with glasses
Erin -- Nice white female co-worker
Gayle -- Nice black female co-worker

I'll never forget when, around the holidays, I was working one evening at a television station in Cincinnati. As is often the case at a TV station around the holidays, there were candies and treats and what not all splayed out on a nearby desk.

Erin was coming around the corner, and I caught a glimpse of her just as she was popping a Hershey's Kiss into her mouth. So I continued the gaze and said, "What's up, chocolate?"

Of course, now that she had a piece of candy in her mouth, she couldn't immediately respond, so Gayle, now appearing in my line of sight just a few feet behind Erin, answered the question for her.

"Not much, John, what's up with you?"

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Catching Up

Bishop Don JuanI haven't been able to write at length like I was hoping to, so I'll just give you the Cliffs Notes version of what's been up the last couple of weeks. I'm sure that learning my stories will be shorter, rather than longer, does not ring to you as bad news.

* I got sick after Christmas
* Delayed Celebrity Sighting -- Mary Steenburgen the night Troy Smith won the Heisman. Walking with perhaps a teenage daughter around jam-packed Times Square.
* Delayed Celebrity Sighting, Part II -- Michael Musto, Village Voice Dork Bureau Chief, on Dec. 27. Homey was riding what looked like my grandmother's bike -- I think it even had a basket on the front -- on the Lower East Side in busy traffic.
* Perhaps the celebrity sightings were delayed because they were Mary Steenburgen and Michael Musto.
* Perhaps my post-Christmas illness was related to seeing Musto maneuver that Schwinn in a very feminine manner.
* New Year's Eve in Chicago was much like my new rotary phone in that it was off the hook.
* In a group of six on the night before New Year's Eve, I was the only white kid, and Marcus reminded me of my poor dancing skills at least once. If he wasn't around, my dancing skills wouldn't have been so bad. They took me to Cuatro, where the Rate My Curls competition drew looks from many adoring men, but the dames were with us.
* In Chicago, I also made the coolest purchase I've made in a long time. A Clyde Frazier-like, three-quarter tweed coat with orange and yellow flecks and a black fur collar. Only $50 on Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park.
* This purchase was made after I bought a cashmere-ish orange and yellow scarf that also was very reasonably priced.
* But the biggest headline from Chicago was being in a cloudy hotel room rented by none other than the Bishop Don Juan. Who's Don Juan? The best way I've been able to describe him is Snoop Dogg's sidekick, the guy with the four-fingered rings, round-the-clock sunglasses and his trademark gold glass, often filled with some sort of alcoholic beverage. He and his entourage smoke a lot of marijuana.
* Janet the Dancer from the NYE party at the W is officially one of the sexiest people alive. People magazine doesn't know shit.

After I got to Chicago, Marcus hit me with, "Hey, would you mind shooting this party on New Year's Eve for a couple hours?" So I was working with unfamiliar Nikon equipment -- I'm a Canon guy -- but I got a few good pictures. Marcus assembled the slideshow for his station's site in Chicago. Here ya go.

* Jan. 1 -- For the second time in two weeks, I sat next to and talked the ear off of a lovely NYC gal on the airplane. We split a cab back to the city and it was on like Jonathan Papelbon. We grabbed a couple drinks later that week at Cafe Charbon in the LES. Very hot place, btw, if you're looking for a dimly lit joint with comfy couches and an overall splendid atmosphere. Of course, at least several gay men work there, so if you look like me, expect more attention from them than from your date.
* Jan. 8 -- Tracy from the Fox party called back on the night (Jan. 5) we all said goodbye to reporter James Ford last week at Merchant's. We met up on Monday, and, just as I suspected, ESPN she was not. She had very little game.
* A half hour after parting ways with her, I caught up with Sapna, and we went to a small gathering to watch OSU get handled in the BCS game. If there was a silver lining to that night, it was that I made six new friends who seem like outstanding people. And of course, Sapna charmed them all. That gal is quite delightful.
* Looks like I'll be catching up with national anchor girl next week. Stay tuned for further details.
* Jan. 10 -- Firth MacMillan, the lovely cousin of my good friend Tom Cunningham, had an opening at Hunter College. She's quite an impressive artist, but how she sells her work without a Web site I don't know. Get online, Firth! Her aunt and uncle, aka Tom's parents, were up here from Cincinnati, and it was excellent to see them. Enjoyed hearing from Mr. Cunningham his precious tale of how global warming doesn't exist. Met a few more people who I hope to keep in touch with, including a film director. I feel like a Cincinnati Reds fan when I describe my intention to finally write that freaking screenplay. "This could be the year."
* Just checked my flight info and my flight leaves for Louisville Friday morning at 6 a.m. Ouch.
* I guess I did write some lengthy shit. Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year!
* Speaking of the new year, come on back soon. I have resolutions other than trying to quit procrastinating that I plan to post in February.

Rosie-Trump Madness

By now, I think the only high road Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump should try to find is the one underneath a burning jet rapidly descending toward its demise. Please please, both of you jackasses, be on the next plane that crashes. Your childish and very public spat has been tiresome since the first stone was thrown, which, for the record, was by you, Rosie, yet you continue to perpetuate this unnecessary and extremely annoying conversation with pot-and-kettel words like, "He needs to move on." You need to shut your disgusting mouth, and then probably he will. And as someone who works in the news industry and is surrounded by televisions for nine hours a day, I beg you both to SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Word From The Wise -- Audio Blogs

I forgot to tell you; I'd been recording some audio blogs about the BCS bowl games. They're not very good, but here's a listen anyway.

Listen here.

What happened to Ohio State?


Monday, January 08, 2007

Matt Does Matthew

This is my 201st blog post. Congratulations to me.

This is fairly funny video. Matt Damon does a spot-on impression of Matthew McConaughey on a recent Late Night With David Letterman.

Not Funny At All

What is the fascination with Duane Cook? He's not even close to being funny.

Oh, it's Dan?

He's kind of like the Carmen Electra of acting. No talent in doing what the salary pays for, but at least looks good while failing. I'll admit he does have that rugged look that many ladies like. But how he sold out big arenas on his recent tour I'll never know. His game is fairly weak.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Paper Waste

Con EdisonI've been away and sick, so please forgive for not posting lately. And as you await details of my late-night smoke session with Snoop Dogg's sidekick, the Bishop Don Juan, chew on this one for a minute.

Why would the local utility company of all people send me a postcard announcing that it plans to use MORE paper when it sends me my monthly bill? Shouldn't this be the one creditor that should think about steering its customers online? As I do keep most of my affairs online, I haven't mailed a check to these people once in the eight months I've been up here.