Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dispatches From the Ladies...

Sideburns, Trapper Keepers, and why Edgar Allen Poe was an unsuitable crush... you can check out my salute to the Baltimore Orioles here.

If I said there were shirtless pictures of baseball players, would that change your mind?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Those Biscuits Are Buttery, Flaky, and Deadly

This could explain why the Panthers were so horrid on Friday.
Either that or Delhomme just sucks.
C'mon Carolina! Bring back He Hate Me!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Isaac Asimov Would Be So Disappointed

Here is an actual transcript of yet another call I just made to Time Warner Cable's customer service department. Since last week's conversation with Reba, they've replaced all of the humans with disembodied voices and touch-tone mazes. I can only imagine what they've done to the cast of Orgy Party. Or to Reba...

TWC Robot: Thank you for calling Time Warner Cable. To provide you with the best possible experience this call may be recorded. Para espanol, juan es muy guapo y tengo gusto de sus zapatos. (Note: This may not be accurate, but I'm not exactly bilingual).

Me: Listening intently, picturing a room full of bored robots wearing wrinkled Dockers and reading bland telemarketing copy. Does Time Warner just hire the robots incapable of, like, constructing a Toyota Corolla or are they just the ones that didn't really apply themselves in school? Or maybe this is just a starter job until something better comes along, like a viable script for Short Circuit 3.

TWC Robot: Here's your main menu. To add, change, or disconnect a service, say "service changes". For troubleshooting, say "troubleshooting". For billing questions, say "billing".

Me: Billing.

TWCR: I'm sorry, I didn't hear you.


TWCR: Currently, all billing operators are serving other customers. Your wait time is ninety four minutes.

Me: Operator.

TWCR: I'm sorry, I didn't hear you.


TWCR: Main menu. Para espanol, donde esta la parada del autobus?

Me: Billing.

TWCR: To add, change, or disconnect a service, say "service changes".

Me: Fine. Service changes.

TWCR: I'm sorry--


TWCR: Eres una cochina, el unico razon que estoy contigo es porque tu estas tan bueno en la cama.

Me: OK, I've never even met you. While I appreciate the, um, backhanded compliment there's no way you could possibly know that since I doubt you have a central nervous system, let alone functional genitalia.

TWCR: To point out your weak narrative devices, say "shitty writer".

Me: Did we date in college?

TWCR: I'm sorry, I didn't hear you.

Me: BillingbillingbillingBILLING!

TWCR: I'm sorry--


TWCR: Transferring your call.


I don't know how Steve Guttenberg did it.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Please Mister Postman

From the stacks of catalogs that comprise the bulk of my everyday mail, my name has apparently been sold to some kind of mailing list. And from the types of catalogs I receive, that list is targeted towards women who would like to dress like they're a supporting character in a Molly Ringwald movie. Or, quite possibly, to Molly Ringwald herself.

I'm not totally complaining about the contents of my mailbox. I'd just be opening the little door to rearrange the dust mites if dELiA*s didn't send me a monthly missive attempting to sell me a hot pink Smiths t-shirt, a product that makes me unspeakably sad and disappointed. Everyone knows that the only acceptable color for a Smiths shirt is black, like the dark angels in your soul. And, Ms. or Miss or potentially Mr. dELiA*, the design should never be pre-distressed. The words "Meat is Murder" should have to be eroded by the acidity of your own tears. Or from constantly being shoved to the ground by Nickelback fans.

Anyway, next I looked at the Urban Outfitters catalog and not only do they employ several models that have the downcast expressions of someone who has either lost a loved one or has recently watched The Land Before Time but they also are offering these tapered leg leopard print jeans that I can't imagine anyone would purchase unless they are:

1) Currently living in 1984.
2) Have an audition for a Warrant video (perhaps this should be option 1a)
3) Are a twentysomething Asian girl.

Any Asian woman between the ages of 15 and 42 could wear these pants, combining them with a turtleneck, a feather boa, sixteen wristwatches and a pirate's hat and would look not only appropriate somehow, but also completely adorable. This ability is one of the special skills genetically bestowed only on Asians. That and the ability to be violin virtuosos without ever having someone refer to it as a "fiddle" or asking them to play a Charlie Daniels song.

I also receive a catalog called Swell that seems to exist only to allow bored teenagers in Pennsylvania to dress exactly like they think bored teenagers in California would dress. It's essentially Hollister, but sized for real humans. The last time I attempted to shop at Hollister (which has been more recently than I'd like to admit), I walked out of the store after realizing that my undersized body (I'm not underweight, mind you...I just have a skeletal structure that, with a bit of rearranging, would allow me to be a very nice bird) is considered to be an XL in their world. Apparently the girls who shop at Hollister can also purchase clothing at Build-A-Bear.

These three catalogs were just today's delivery. I can't wait to see what comes tomorrow. I hope like hell it's my leopard pants.

It Tastes Like Laziness

Combining heavy cream and water does not taste at all like skim milk.

I really need to go to the grocery store.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


I took the first step aerobics class of my life tonight. I failed miserably. Not only do I lack any sense of rhythm or timing, I was so insanely uncoordinated that I spent the majority of the time I was supposed to be "grapevining"--whatever the hell that means--wondering if I'd had a stroke earlier today.

The class was composed mainly of middle-aged middle-management women who could nimbly do everything the instructor said, without missing a beat of "Sexy Back". I looked around and realized that I was probably the only person who could name the entire starting roster for the 2004 Red Sox, who knew the lyrics to the Perfect Strangers theme song, and who had read any of Tom Stoppard's major works. But I was also the only one in the room who was completely incapable of counting to four.

It's My Party and I'll Pay $14.95 If I Want To

This morning I had planned to pay my cable bill, that being one of the two that I always send on time (the other being Netflix) because insurance, shmensurance, I need to see the premiere of LA Ink. I was ready to write the check when I noticed that Time Warner had added $12 in charges for a DVR that I don't have. If I did, obviously I wouldn't have to structure my day around being home for the back-to-back episodes of Reba that air at 3:00.

Not only that, but they also added $14.95 for something listed as "Orgy Party". I considered the idea that this was a service they had performed in my apartment, perhaps when they installed the non-existent DVR. I then realized that was the title of a movie because it was listed in the same column as several indie films I'd watched on Pay Per View. I order this type of flick frequently because I have no problem watching them alone on my sofa but seeing them by myself in a theatre somehow seems more pretentious, if only to me.

I called Time Warner and eventually got through to a woman named, sublimely enough, Reba. I told her about the DVR and she agreed to credit the charges to my account but made me schedule an appointment to have one installed. The technician will be here any time between today and 2037 and they'd appreciate if someone would be home during that time period. One problem solved...but Reba balked at "Orgy Party". In fact, I could hear her recoil every time I said the word 'orgy' and imagined that she was holding the receiver as far away from her ear as possible, which of course just made me say it more. In my head, she also looked a lot like Edie McClurg.

Reba wasn't budging, which I kind of understood. I'm sure they get calls like this all the time, people disputing porn charges, mothers insisting that their teenage son could NOT have ordered "Got MILF?" and the like. After ten minutes of debate in which I said 'orgy' approximately 82 times, either Reba had an epiphany or her arm began to tire from holding the phone so far from her head. She told me that they would not refund the money but if I was interested in viewing 'that selection', as she called it, that I would be allowed to do so immediately after the phone call.

And that is how at 9:13 this morning, I was enjoying a bowl of SmartStart and watching amateur pornography. I will preface this by saying that I have not watched a tremendous amount of porn, but I have seen enough of it to realize that it's incredibly repetitive, that the ones with clever titles like "Grinding Nemo" are just as poorly produced as the ones called "Hot Sucking Asians 22", and that--much like minor league sporting events--you realize that the amateurs are playing the same game as the pros but it's nowhere near as entertaining.

The premise of Orgy Party, if there is one, is that a group of couples have been assembled in what appears to be a hotel conference room, given free drinks, and are encouraged to have intercourse with each other while being filmed by an overeager cameraman who is providing running commentary of the proceedings. I'm unsure about the "party" designation of the title though. I have yet to see any pinatas, festive hats, or streamers. Although getting participants for "Orgy Assembly" would have been difficult, "Orgy Conclave" sounds like a medical procedure and "Orgypalooza" has probably already been trademarked.

As the couples start fondling each other, I start to wonder about the hotel. Are they aware what is, um, going down in Conference Room B? Did they willingly rent this room out for this purpose, knowing full well that all of their furniture will need to be incinerated immediately afterward? Or did the crew convince the staff that this group of overmuscled pockmarked men and their capri-wearing female companions are actually part of the Rotary Club or something? Or perhaps this type of analysis is why I really can't enjoy pornography. And also why most nights I'm alone watching movies about mentally challenged bank robbers.

After about twenty minutes and two bowls of cereal, I'm convinced that the participants are Canadian, just because most of these people are built for cold weather and/or for physical labor. These are people meant to be bundled in sweaters and driving threshers, not naked and tangled in a writhing mass on an upholstered couch that I sincerely hope has been treated with some sort of stain-defender.

Confidential to Scotchguard: Perhaps you could start sponsoring pornographic films?

By 10:00, I'm ready to give up. Obviously, the only reason I'm watching is so I haven't just given $14.95 to the cable company but that just makes this more unsatisfying, like buying a wedding gift for someone then when the wedding is called off, you're stuck with a Magic Bullet blender that you didn't ever want in the first place.

I just have so many unanswered questions. Like if a woman is willing spend five grand to get breasts the size of Jack Russell terriers, wouldn't she be willing to drop a couple hundred to have her teeth fixed? The woman that all of the men and the cameraman (whose repetition of the phrases "oh yeah", "eff yeah", and "hell yeah" make me long for the commentary of Chris Berman who would at least throw in a "he's taking her from the backbackbackbackback") are fixated on has gigantic boobs but her teeth are incredibly jacked and she, like most of the other women, looks like she could be an enforcer for the Ottawa Senators.

I was going to give it another few minutes but I'm distracted by two men who are naked except for white athletic socks. Who wears socks to an orgy? If you're OK with having sex with 9 strangers, you can't be terribly concerned with where you're putting your feet.

After rinsing my bowl in the sink, I turn the TV off. According to my calculations, I got about $3.75 worth of enjoyment back. You win, Time Warner. Now where's my DVR?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

There's Also Plenty of Available Parking

Last weekend I visited my sister Runtie who recently moved to a large Southeastern city to work as a pediatric nurse. We were walking to dinner, an expensive sushi restaurant that she could afford because she has a career and I could not because I spend the bulk of my day watching Designing Women and taking kickboxing classes at the Y (although even without the classes, I'm pretty sure I could overpower, disarm, and possibly render Meshach Taylor unconscious).

On our way to the restaurant, we walked past the library and had the following exchange:

Runtie: I think next week, I'm getting a library card.

Me: Good idea. You'll probably save money that way.

Runtie: I know, right! They rent DVDs. And I think CDs too. And they get a lot of magazines.

Me: And books. They have books at the library.

Runtie: Whatever. Think they'll get Disturbia?

This is why I love my sister. And why I'm going back this weekend. That and the fact that she'll buy dinner.

Please Eat More P'Zones

After seeing this picture of Star Jones in this week's People magazine (what? I was on the elliptical machine and The Economist is too hard to prop up) I was admittedly sad. Not because she lied about having gastric bypass or that losing 160 pounds makes us now focus on her uncomfortably large forehead, but because with the emergence of the new skinny Star, we've lost our last easy punchline.

First Kirstie Alley went on Jenny Craig, Carnie Wilson joined Celebrity Fit Club, and Camryn Manheim drifted into obscurity (or onto Ghost Whisperer, essentially the same thing) And now Star Jones has shriveled down to delia*s weight (which has to be a wonderful development for her husband Al, who is no doubt borrowing a pair of her leggings as we speak).

So whose name will precede phrases like "sweats gravy" or "thinks Bisquick is a beverage"? No one else in the pages of People even comes close, except maybe the subject of one of those human interest stories they bury in the back behind the crossword puzzle and ads for "Mrs. Pitt" t-shirts. Really, I think I speak for all comedians when I say Congratulations, Star! Go out and celebrate, perhaps at Pizza Hut. You've earned it. And we deserve it.