Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Happy New Blog!

EXCITING: Is this a sad day or an exciting day? Depends on your perspective. If you are the Starbucks employee who accepted my counterfeit $20 bill this morning, it's a sad day. If you just landed a professional writing gig and your name is "Don", and you just launched a new blog, were put in charge of another blog, and you will be ghost-writing for someone famous ...well, then it's an exciting day.

I invite you to visit my new blog, which is the same as this blog, but with more potential. Like my kids ...each of them are great, don't get me wrong. But there's one of 'em that, let's face it, will be better than the others. Similarly ...both of my 'ego' blogs are great and I love each of them ...but that WordPress blog? Yep. It's gonna be special.

Don't worry ...spunkybean is still alive and kicking. And when American Idol comes back on January 13th, I'll be burning the midnight oil to bring you the most sarcastic and clever commentary anywhere on the Internet(s). I will also be writing the weekly The Bachelor column, which should post on spunkybean this afternoon.

So, to the dozen or so loyal readers ...thanks for sticking around for this past year and a half, for reading everything I write (even the stupid stuff), and for potentially reading my future work.

Don't worry, there'll be more details on my new blog shortly (shortly defined: within 30-90 days). Happy New Year!

HYPOTHESIZING: A funny t-shirt that could be worn by a young toddler ..."Daddy's Little Laps in Judgement". It's in very poor taste, I know. But take a moment and get in-touch with your internal white-trash-self and laugh. Laugh loudly, love passionately, and live dangerously.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Moore

*** EDIT: Huge news from a loyal reader ...the Garmin Forerunner 305 is on sale at Costco for $159 ...just sayin' case anyone around this blog would need to know something like that. ***

Oprah Winfrey plans to broadcast from Washington D.C. the entire week before Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration. Michael Moore still hates domestic automakers.

Now that the blatant attempts to trick people into reading my blog are out of the way, I'll get to the good stuff.

DECKING: The halls. We're off to a slow start, but I think Operation Christmas Decor will be in full swing by this weekend. My household will smell of pine, cinnamon, and citrus. Lamps and overhead lights will be supplanted by tiny white lights on strands ...everywhere.

LIGHTING: The house and tree. But, not to the point I'll share pictures, just yet. I did the roof line and I'm waiting for my electrician to come out this Sunday to give me two dedicated electrical outlets (possibly four) to string the rest of the lights without blowing circuits. Don't worry ...I won't forget to laud my efforts in a future post.

The tree was the real coup. I hurried the selection process while at the tree lot in order to trick my wife into purchasing a tree too big for our living room, because last year's 7-foot tree was just too small. The tree is too big and needed a great deal of pruning, but it's up and fabulous. And I don't even mind that the star isn't actually "on top" (because the tree goes right up to the ceiling) and is just laying in the branches.

COUNTING: Down. Only 6 1/2 weeks until American Idol premieres and I'm chomping at the bit to be poignant, witty, funny, and to write it all down for your reading pleasure.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Sarah Palin Rumored to be Dating Britney Spears

Sorry about the headline, but another trick I'm going to employ in 2009 is using wild, bodacious headlines and word-pairings to spur hits to my blog. Then, I'm hoping the pervert who was hoping to find pictures of Sarah Palin and Britney Spears making out is interested enough in what I'm actually writing about (my hair, my workouts, my observations of conversations between grocery store employees) to stick around.

CUTTING: My hair. My stylist was quite interested in my product-free approach to 2009, but had to admit that, following a quality shampooing and conditioning, my hair did manage to style quite well without pomades, molding muds, gels, our sculpting lotions. I can't say he was fully supportive of my decision, but he's playing along with it for the time being. I mean ...I understand. It's like buying the Mona Lisa and insisting on painting a mustache on her or framing it in a puffy painted naked wood frame from Bed, Bath & Beyond. When I'm out walking around, its as much about my stylist's reputation as it is about my own "look."

I swear, I will not let him down.

TAKING: Pictures. Sure, I should be angry as a wasp (a wasp who's nest has been disturbed, that is, because an unaggitated wasp is actually quite pleasant, believe it or not) that my friend the photographer has grown his business and still hasn't used the catchy jingle-slash-song I wrote for him. But he's a friend, so I'm going to pretend he has a big radio or television commercial campaign planned and my song will be featured prominently. For now ...please check out his new website. And especially check out the 'Portfolio' section and click 'Little Ones' kids are the really, really beautiful ones.

INSPIRING: My triathlete friend, Steve. His recap of his first Ironman doesn't exactly inspire me to follow in his Ironman footsteps, but he did get me motivated enough to take on a really tiny triathlon and I'm definitely doing more of them in 2009.

RECRUITING: Non-Celebrity Fit-Club friends. Yes can be my fitness friend, too. I'm putting together a calendar of target events and then I'm going to recruit an army of active, fun, committed people to run in all these events, bully the other racers, and then party with afterwards. One thing I've noticed about all these fitness events ...not enough beer and partying at any of them. I aim to change that. Keep checking back and "comment" if you wanna know more and even get onto a mailing list. Trust me ...I'll make it fun and easy. That's what she said.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Thanksgiving: The Recap

By far, this was one of the more enjoyable, relaxing Thanksgiving weekends I've had since, oh, probably college. I can't put my finger on the 'why', but it was.

UPDATING: Real quick Christmas list. 23 shopping days remain. Hope you took advantage of the doorbuster deals and thought of me.

TESTING: My children's DNA. It appears that you can now determine which athletic activities suit your children and then relentlessly push them into sports that fit their aptitude. A NY Times article says they can swab your child's cheek and ...voila. They'll tell you if he's a "strength & agility" type, or a "distance & endurance" person. What do you do if the test reveals your kid has "sit & mope" tendencies? Sit and mope, I guess. Crap. Chip off the old block.

AGING: Andy Rooney. His body and his brain. He wears shirts three times before washing them, pours hot water through coffee grounds he puts in a sock (I think that's a sock in the video), and he steals bread from restaurants to have for breakfast the next morning. He's like homeless person, really. And he really makes me laugh. And if you can't laugh at old people, who can you laugh at?

I can't help but think that, in 30 years from now, if I'm still blogging, my blog entries won't be much different than his weekly brain babblings. I can only hope my eyebrows grow out.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Clean Up in Aisle Life

Keeping with my theme from yesterday, I continue to brace myself for the new year by setting up resolutions nearly a month early. Again, I say, why wait until January 1st to turn over a new leaf. Fat from the glut of "holiday" (I'm politically correct) cookies, parties, and reverie, joining a gym and starting that exercise routine is going to hurt ...alot. And when it causes you great pain (muscle soreness or injury), you'll quit. And when I say, "you", I mean the statistical 99% of everyone who decides on January 1st, as they struggle to button their pants, that they'll start working out and losing weight in the new year.

This goes for everything ...losing weight, quitting smoking, starting a hobby, or deciding to go au naturale on ones hair (see yesterday's post).

Start now. Struggle to start something (or quit something, though "quitting" something is "negative" and dooms you to fail ...The Secret). For example, on Thanksgiving, you're gonna "carb load" ...bread, bread, stuffing, potatoes, pie, and more bread. So, on Friday, eat light and then go for a brisk walk in the evening and you'll find that your body will thank you.

And it doesn't have to be running or exercise. Maybe you've been meaning to scrap book, write that novel, conquer your meth habit, or knock out a buncha home improvement projects. Use this holiday weekend to your advantage and get going on whatever it is yer thinking you might "start" in the new year.

Let's call it a "running start." There's some physics principle that states an object in motion tends to stay in motion, while an object at rest tends to stay at rest. So ...which person with an inspired list of 2009 to-do's will have a better chance at succeeding? The person with those plans and dreams already in motion? Or the other guy?

TRIMMING: Spam email and solicited email. This very morning, I unsubscribed to daily and weekly emails I get from Online Media Daily, Bed, Bath & Beyond, ACE, Smith & Hawken, Northwest Airlines, Mediapost, Media Week, iVillage, The Loop (a Chicago radio station), Ode Magazine, and Colony Marina (yes, I thought a 24-foot Sea Ray was going to be purchased at some point, so I was totally on board with receiving their monthly newsletters and immersing myself in "boating culture.") I reported as spam a half-dozen emails claiming they can get me super cheap Viagra. This is "fat" I'm trimming from my cluttered life.

See? I lose focus on the things I want to do when I bombard myself with distraction after distraction reducing spam email and clutter is a start. Next up ...negotiate the sale of one of my 6 children. At least one of them.

ADDDING: A few things to my Christmas list at the right. Check back often.

DECLARING: How did I miss this? Rivers Cuomo released a second set of his early home recordings, Alone II: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo. And now I heard he's going to release a third volume. Ahem! Tops on my Christmas list, y'all. Check it.

***EDIT: Also just unsubscribed to, a leading soccer equipment sales and merchandise company. Who the hell needs weekly specials from a soccer equipment site?!?!?! ***

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Run Up to Thanksgiving and 2009

Many people wait until the last week of December to reflect back on their failures from the year. Not me. I'm a go-getter.

2008 was going to be the year I launched my website (have I mentioned spunkybean?) into the stratosphere, I was going to write 3 or 4 "spec scripts", get an agent, get discovered, and finish my screenplay. Instead, it became a year of mega fitness and I lost 20 pounds. And I did some other things that give me pause.

READING: Watchmen. What's that you ask? What about Atlas Shrugged? Um, have you seen that book? Pick it up, sometime. Use your legs (you'll get it when you see the book). Turn to page 43 and just do me a favor and read page 43 & 44. That's all I need to say. I'm sure the book was going somewhere and is deep and meaningful, but I didn't quite get there. Maybe Atlas Shrugged really started gettin' cranked up around page 371. I'll never know.

But ...I do know that Watchmen was good right off the bat. I've never read a "graphic novel" because it looks an awful lot like a "comic book", which is totally nerdy and not something "Don" does ...but this thing ...this Watchmen good. It's dark ...ominous ...sad ...loathing. I can tell you its not even near as cool as the trailer "looks." I'm guessing I haven't gotten to "the twist."

I like using "quotation" marks, even if I don't use them "correctly."

WISHING: For things for Christmas. Not many of my loyal readers came through around my birthday. I thought famous people (I'm counting myself among them) with rabid fans got free stuff. I got nothing. But if you are so inclined, you'll note that on the right hand side of this page, I've made an easy to follow Christmas list. Please to enjoy.

RUNNING: Out of time/space. I have an awesome list of funky fresh fitness type things I'm going to do in 2009, and I still have to champion the efforts of my triathlete friend and what he did this past weekend. Check back tomorrow.

Monday, November 24, 2008


GOING: Green. On my hair. Meaning, for the foreseeable future, I'm going "product free" where matters of my hair are concerned. This is immediately revocable if, in fact, I should see or hear of people pointing, staring, and/or laughing. I will incorporate a dab of Aveda Conditioning Oil, but that's good for my scalp, smells nice, and eliminates that initial "frizz" that comes fresh out of the shower. Nothing more. It simply jump starts the process of my bodies natural oils that usually take about 2 or 3 hours to naturally condition my hair. Don't worry ...I don't look like some Brylcreemed freak.

Fans of my hair may wonder "why" I'm doing this and, to be honest ...I don't know. Some dudes grow goatees or beards during hunting season or wintertime "just because". Me? I'm going to leave my coif alone.

I told you entry every day. This is what that looks like.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm Rich (Again)

You probably get "spam" like this. Emails from some foreign millionaire or representative of an estate, claiming you are a long lost relative of someone in Africa and you are entitled to a share of a huge fortune. All you have to do is provide your bank account # or send money and ...voila! You'll have tons of money in return.

Sadly, some people fall for this. Including yours truly. Save for a few computer glitches, I'm guessing, I'm waiting on nearly $7.4 million dollars to be deposited into my account, any day now. More than worth the nearly $5,000 I've laid out ...but, after all ...these are long lost relatives. I feel I owe them.

Recently, I got this gem...
Dear Email Owner,
I am Mr. David Smith I have been waiting for you since to contact me for your Confirmable Bank Draft of £600,000 Six Hundred Thousand Pound Sterling) but I did not hear from you since that time. Then I deposited the Draft with FedEx Delivery, West Africa, I travelled out of the country for a 3 Months Course and I will not be back till end of January.What you have to do is to contact the FedEx Delivery as soon as possible to know the delivery of your package to you because of the expiring date. For your information, I have paid for the delivery charges, Insurance premium and Clearance Certificate Fee of the Check showing that it is not drug oney or meant to sponsor terrorist attack in your Country.The only money you will send to the FedEx Delivery is to deliver your Draft direct to your postal Address is ($120 USD) only being Security Keeping Fee of the Delivery Company . Contact Person: Dr. David Grant
Finally, make sure that you reconfirm your
Postal address and
Direct telephone number to them again to avoid any mistake on the
Delivery and know when it will get to your address. Yours Faithfully,
Dr. Tony Page.
Now, before you go sending this cat $120, just know ...this was sent to me! Get your own trustee or long-lost-Uncle. Got it?

What do you suppose happened here? This is, by far, the most poorly written, least focused, and least clear letter I've received on one of these scams. I believe this is a multi-million dollar industry in Africa. The "unknown inheritance" business is the auto-industry of the continent, if you will. This "Tony Page" very likely worked for the biggest "unknown inheritance" firm in all of West Africa, for years, and just kept getting passed over for a promotion until one day, finally, he was like, "Screw this. These bastards won't promote me, and I just sit here monitoring emails all day waiting for some old American to fall for this crap ...and for what? A bag of rice and their 'word' that my village won't be burned and all the people in it killed?"

So one day, after a particularly bad performance review, "Tony Page" quit and decided he'd run his own fraud company and ...well ...that's the letter.

Good luck, Tony Page ...or David Smith ...or David Grant ...whomever you are. Your bosses were right to keep you on the administrative side. I'll say a prayer for your village ...see? I've seen Blood Diamonds ...I know all about Africa.

p.s. I'm just glad its not drug money. Otherwise ...well ...I'd be a little leery.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

End of the Year BLOWOUT!

That's right folks! Everything ...must ...GO (echo, echo, echo). From now until the end of the year, my blog will be host to every random thought I had and never did anything with. Sometimes I'll take an idea and run with it, while other times I'll just give you the idea and leave it there.

Like this ...

JOURNALING: I'm 35 and less and less interesting, every day. Hence, many days can pass before I post an entry. But you know who's young and very interesting? My kids. I'm going to see if I can trick them into dictating diary entries to me each night before bedtime. No, not so that I have a charming record of their 5-year-old, 4-year-old, and 2-year-old thoughts and dreams. No, actually its so I can compile them and have a best-seller in bookstores by next Christmas. So help me, if they fail to amuse me or say anything clever, I'll find new kids with better observational skills.

CHRONICLING: American Idol stuff. Even though the actual American Idol season is only 18 weeks long, isn't American Idol the gift that keeps giving all year long? For example, the Davids both released CDs. Archuletta's annoys me. A stalker killed herself outside of Paula Abdul's house. Simon Cowell broke up with his girlfriend and gave her a $10-million dollar home and something like $4-million in cash. I should check those facts and write and article.

There you go. Every day. I promise. I'll be here for you.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Funky Fresh Fitness Friends

MOTIVATING: Loyal readers know that I recently competed in a triathlon, and that I've done tons of adventure runs this year, that I'm a proponent of barefoot running, and that my Project Washboard is about 70% complete. So, naturally you'd expect I hang out with all kinds of totally in-shape, totally buff, totally fit type folks. And your expectations would be spot on.

Like this guy ...Jeff Watters. You've see him mentioned here before. My wife is a member of his bootcamp, and I run in the events he hosts, and every now and then I attend a bootcamp in my wife's place. He wrote an article for Outdoor Athlete about a different approach to dieting and losing weight. Basically, its about setting goals - but not weight loss or caloric goals.
Your numbers on the scale will become a side effect of the training you're doing to reach the fitness level needed to complete your event.
You know how much I looooove (sarcasm) The Secret, but here's a place it truly applies. Focusing on "losing" weight, or "cutting" calories, or eating "less" keeps your brain in a negative realm. Instead, focus on eating "more" greens and whole-food. Focus on "increasing" your distances (runing, biking, swimming, moonwalking). Focus on "growing" your time spent exercising to include "more" variety stair, trail running ...pushups, lunge-walks, river-dancing.

I ran in Jeff's GLTeams "Cider Slam" and I dressed as Barack Obama. I ran the 7 miles in a navy blue suit, red tie, and my Obama mask. Well ...the mask gave way when I jumped into the river, but up until that point, it was pretty awesome.

NAMING: Names. This dude named Steve is the guy that gave me that push I needed to run a triathlon. So what if it was "only a sprint distance." I did it, therefore, its awesome. However, I'm awesome enough to recognize when someone does something more awesome than me, and that's what this Steve character is doing. He's training for a real Ironman and blogging "how not to train" for an Ironman. Track him, if you are so inclined. Or go leave a comment over at his blog and cheer him on, or ridicule him for being insane enough to bite off such an endeavor.

In case you aren't aware of the distances involved in an Ironman, you gotta swim the length of the Mississippi River, then bike the entire coast of North America, and then you run until your legs shatter and turn to dust. Good luck to Steve.

HEMMING: And hawing. Another crazy idea. I might start writing something really deep and thoughtful once a week. Maybe. Stay tuned.

CRANKING: This song. Add it to your workout mix. "Undead" by Hollywood Undead.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Not Much to Say

REMINISCING: You've heard of The Onion? About 6 or 7 years ago, for me, it was required reading. At the time, there was nothing anywhere like it. It cracked me up. My friends would all talk about it and debate the funniest article of the week. As the years have passed, its either gotten less funny, or I've just picked up on the formula they use, and I don't laugh as heartily (or at all) as I used to. There's a very funny article from this week's issue, about "struggling Americans" needing to work in the fourth-dimension, just to make ends meet. Very funny. A clever premise, yes. But then the article drones on for 1,000+ words with only a few humorous observations.

Just like this other headline ..."Kobe Bryant Scores 25 In Holy Shit We Elected A Black President". Get it? Yes, the headline is hilarious. And in this case, I really laughed at how the article was written - stream of consciousness. But ...and what's my point? Oh, yes. Two funny articles. A site that's slipped a bit.

Not even really sure why I talked about it. I could've easily just said, "here's two funny articles." But for a moment, I thought I was really something. Really acted high and mighty, like, just because I have my own site (spunkybean), and my own blog (you're reading it), that I am some sort of authority on sarcasm, satire, and writing.

ANNOYING: People at Starbucks. I realize Starbucks jokes and observations are about as cliche and tired as airline jokes were in the 80s and 90s, but Starbucks really needs a separate line for people who want coffee-only. Worse than Mochas and Lattes, however, are the people who want egg-sausage sandwiches. I didn't even know Starbucks was in that business. But I learned this morning while three hoity toity chicks ordered egg-sandwiches, lattes, cappuccinos, and bottles of water for a little breakfast circle they were having. Dude! Denny's is that way. Check it out. I got lucky and was only the second person behind them in line. As I left the Starbucks after getting my "black coffee only", there were 14 people in line.

SAYING: Order coffee!!! Learn to drink coffee!!! Lattes and cappuccinos are for desserts and special occassions. I hope Obama does something about this.

CREATING: My own The Onion headlines.

"80% of Obama Voters Changed Mind Upon Hearing McCain's Concession Speech"

"Racists Restructure Hate Allocation in Wake of Historic Election"

So much to do. So much to say. So much to blog. I really gotta get busy.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Vote for FREE Starbucks Coffee

See, that was like a play on words. You're not actually voting for free coffee, but if you vote, you get a free small coffee from Starbucks. There's a story there, but I didn't have time to read it.

CRACKING: You up. With my insightful look at the election today and what we know about the candidates and the issues. I may have bitten off more than I can chew, but my point is this ...its an election. We've had many, many in our nation's history and we'll have many, many more, and people will try and convince you each election is the most important election of your lifetime to date and failure to elect their candidate will lead to the downfall of America. They'll compare so-and-so to Hitler, or tell you future-America with whats-his-name as President will be like France, or Cuba, or some nation that's ruled by a dictator. But, it ain't that bad.

LOBBING: A softball article written by my fellow spunkybean'r ...EJ examines the best television Presidents. That dude from the All State commercials totally has my vote.

Now, I'm off to flash my "I Voted" sticker again at another Starbucks and get yet another FREE cup of joe.