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.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

If I Ever...

If I ever make a movie, some how and some way, I'm including this song. I've heard this song many, many times but never was able to determine the title or the band. But, now ...I have. And if the lyrics - which I haven't listened to very closely - don't fit in with my feel-good comedy about a monkey dressed in drag making a run for the presidency of the United States who, along the way, learns that Washington is corrupt with power struggles, and while changing the country he changes the one thing that truly matters ...his heart. Well ...if this doesn't fit in with that storyline, dammit ...the band ...Never Ending White Lights ...they'll rewrite "Grace" for me.

Pretty lame for blog entry, but that's how blogs work sometimes. It's in my head, so you get to read it. Like these nuggets...

VOTING: Do it. But don't tell me who you're voting for and 'why?' Just do it.

WATCHING: The Daily Show. Thanks to the theater of the political race, this show has never been better. I don't know how they do it.

EATING: 2-week old pasta with cream sauce. Smelled good. So it became lunch.

DRINKING: Coffee. I've been glued to my chair since 8 a.m. and am buried in a project that must get done before 3 p.m. ...or else! I wanted to get outta work early, go home, grab the kids, take 'em to the pumpkin patch, then all carve pumpkins together while singing classic Halloween carols. That may not be happening.


THINKING: I should write something for that site. After all is my site. And while I've systematically destroyed ANFTSJ by hijacking its writer, his talent, and all his ideas and material he has, he could totally use a little help in the content department for spunkybean.

RECRUITING: Writers. Know a writer who I would think is talented, funny, and creative. Is this person also unemployed and, preferably, without a social life and uncommitted to anyone or anything in any way? That's the kinda writer I'm looking for. Have 'em get a holda me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We're All in this Together...

Betcha wonder why I'm so excited, today? Is it because I'm 24-hours away from a 4-day family vacation? Is it because my hair looks fantastic? Perhaps you wonder if I ate a good meal, recently (I did, fyi). To be honest, its all these things and more.

PREMIERING: High School Musical 3, baby! You think I'm joking? Check out these dance moves, yo ... (I'm doing a spot-on routine of the dance scene in part 2 during the "Work This Out" number me). Yes, while the rest of you chump pre-teen and teenage girls are going to have to wait until Friday to see if Troy wins back-to-back state championships, if Chad and Troy can manage to stay friends for longer than six months, if Sharpay ever finds a heart, if Ryan finally gets his moment in the spotlight, and if its actually, really possible that Troy and Gabriella break-up and actually don't go to the prom together ...well's one 35-year-old guy who's going to get all those answers tonight! How, you ask?

WINNING: Premier passes from a radio station for the opening of High School Musical 3. Well, my wife actually won them. And it was awesome. My wife has 'skillz'. Mad skillz. Among them, the power to control time and space, like Hiro, from Heroes. Her other skill? The ability to talk very, very fast. If FedEx revived their classic '80s commercial campaign with that guy who talks fast, and if he was unable to fulfill his duties, my wife could step right in. A local radio station pitted Moms against Moms and asked them to call in and attempt to say "Getcha head in the game" more times in 15-seconds than the other Mom. It was like watching Goliath and David, The Rematch. My wife, the 'Goliath' in this parable, managed to spit out 27 "getcha head in the games" in the 15-seconds allotted her. It was incredible. And it was 6:30 in the morning and she had just come from her early morning bootcamp and was out of breath, and she hadn't even had coffee, yet. The other Mom, obviously shaken from what she'd just witnessed, tried mightily but only managed 18 or 20 times. My wife screamed! We high fived! I started singing "Stick to the Status Quo" towards the phone, hoping the loser Mom would hear me and would pick up on the fact I was taunting her.

"Oh, no, noooooo ...stick to what you know!"

I should be embarassed by all this, but I'm not. Let's put it this way ...go out and get yourself a 5-year-old daughter (please use traditional means, I'm not encouraging anything illegal) and immerse her in pop-culture and see if you, too, don't suddenly know all the words to both HSM soundtracks and tell me you can't wait to see this new movie.

TRAVELING: To Speed Talking competitions, whenever and wherever. A quick Google search revealed there isn't currently a speed-talking circuit (I'm sure its 'underground' and maybe not the type of thing a Soccer-Mom should be involved in), but I'll find it (or start it). I mean, there's a Blackberry Speed Typing league and Pogo Stick league ...speed-talking's day in the sun is here!

TRAVELING 2: To Atlanta to see my best friend. My "bff", if you will. Holy crap! This blog entry reads as if it was ripped out of a 9-year-old's diary. Well, my "bff" is a cage fighter and we're going to roll around Atlanta bashin' heads in and gettin' drunk and coked up. OK. No we're not. We're going to annoy our wives with our stupid jokes, our strange way we talk to each other, and if the Spartans lose to U-of-M on Saturday, with our foul moods. I leave in 24-hours for the road trip and I'll be taking my 5, 4, and 2 year old on a 13-hour trip and I'm looking forward to it. I'm like Clark Griswold over here. We'll play license plate bingo, sing songs, watch movies, tell stories, stay in a hotel, and hopefully visit a few landmarks. And maybe, while on our journey, we'll find ...ourselves. My 5-year-old and I have grown distant and she resents the fact she only has 2 Webkinz (some of her friends have upwards of 12) and I'm hoping, like the road trip in Little Miss Sunshine, that we can do some bonding and break through the wall that divides us.

I could keep going with that analogy, but I won't. Check back often, and check spunkybean on Thursday for my preview and review of High School Musical 3 does one write "scrreeeeeeeeeeeee!" to convey excitement?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Absolutely Inexcusable

10 days since my last blog entry, and dozens of awesome things have happened. Shame on me. Let's start big and work our way small...

TRIATHLONNING: I did it. 400-meters in the water, 13-miles on my bike, and 3.1 miles on foot ...blindfolded. I have a really deep, thoughtful, highly observant 'take' on the entire training process, the event itself, and the post-tri-matic stress disorder I experienced. Keep checking back. My self-congratulation is just, kinda, missing something. I don't feel I've done justice to myself and how incredible I am.

RUNNING: spunkybean, still. Don't forget that. Me, along with some incredibly talented writers who are dedicated, energetic, and creative ... we're all still posting some piping hot content over at that thar spunkybean thang. For instance, this morning can check-in for a complete guide to everything you could/should watch on TV this week.

SEARCHING: For more info on the rap act that does "Do Yo Thang." I think they're called KJ-52 and this thing flows, yo. Donnie likey. Couldn't embed the vid, so click the link above and enjoy. In the meantime, I embedded some other video from YouTube. Also good. I just hope the cool 'kids' like this group.

Lots of posts this week (in theory). I've got to talk HSM 3, vacation, spunkybean, and more 'me' ...all day, every day.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Sweeping out the Garage (plus a 9:40am UPDATE)

Many (read: none) wonder how I write my blog and my columns. I keep a notebook with me at all times. Without a notebook, sometimes I'll type something into a Memo on my Blackberry. I also have a small recorder and sometimes I'll speak something into it. And, every now and then, I'll call my own voicemail and leave a message for myself. Then, daily when possible, I'll go over those notes and write a few things for 'the Ego' (as the kids are calling it). Here's a bunch of "thought starters" that I didn't really think could make the cut, but because I got nothing better ...lucky you.

SHRINKING: My waist. I'm a 32" waist, down from a 34" 6-months ago. If anyone was planning on buying me pants, keep this in mind. The abs aren't washboards, yet ...but I'm getting there.

DISGUSTING: The gym I joined. I like to go at lunch, but the place is a mad house. The lockers wreak of other's dirty gym clothes, all five lanes of the lap pool are packed every time and I have to share a lane and often bump into people. Other members treat the place like crap and the showers usually have soaking towels left on the floor or handicap railing. Dudes walk around nude ...everywhere. And there has never been less than 2 nude dudes in the sauna, so I've never used it. GOOD LORD! Is it so prohibitive to wrap yourself in a towel? I can't ever get a bench press machine and people don't understand the concept of "working in a set". They press some bench ...then sit there until their next rep. The TVs are too far away from the bikes I use. The upstairs drinking fountain is broken. I'm glad this facility, a very high-end national brand, will allow me a full refund within 30-days, because I'm definitely not continuing my membership. I need a facility with a few less members and activity.

WATCHING: Everything, but not as much as I used to. Writing about what I watch (Amazing Race, Mad Men, Survivor, etc) has limited the time I can actually watch TV (as has triathlon training). But, last night was like a day of yore. I watched, without any note taking, Chuck, then Greek, and then Heroes. It was a pure joy. Chuck is the best show you aren't watching. And if I see you at a party or any social-type event, that event had better be 'green', and if I ask you directly if you watch Chuck, you had better tell me 'yes' ...or lie to me. Save yourself.

ADDING: M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" (video below), and then also Kanye West's, Jay Z's, and T.I.'s "Swagger Like Us" that borrows from M.I.A. (no video below). And, also, 'I don't care' what anyone says (Young Kevin), I'm adding Fall Out Boy's new single, "I Don't Care" (video below ...and it cracks me up), and I'm stoked for their new CD, Folie e Deux, due out November 3rd.

CRYING: Because life got in the way of my attending the Weezer show recently.

BUYING: A new computer monitor. Those cheap flat screen Dells have a limited shelf life. It's the 2nd one that died on me. Hmmmm. Maybe it's time to get a new PC ...or a laptop? Now that's just crazy talk.

UPDATING: This blog entry ...not par for the course 'round these parts. But it has come to my attention from a dear reader that a 2nd single from FOB's new CD is available. Here it is...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Monday Musings

PILING: Up. To-Do's, that is. Ya ever have one of those days or moments where, suddenly, the weight of the world feels heaped on your shoulders? Gotta caulk the windows. Gotta clean and seal the deck in my yard. Gotta put stuff away for winter. Gotta mow the lawn and probably start raking leaves, pretty soon. Gotta overseed in light of all this wet, damp weather. Gotta write 2,000 words about The Amazing Race. Gotta probably write an article about Heroes, tonight, and also Mad Men. And, I love Chuck, not to write about, just to watch and enjoy. Gotta keep running spunkybean, too. Gotta run 4 or 6 miles as part of my "long run" leading up to this Sunday's triathlon. Gotta spend some time with my kids ...and wife. Maybe call a friend or something. Oh, and not to mention there's that little thing called "work" or "employment" that kinda takes up some of my day. Then I'd like to volunteer for something involving my children's schools or their sports teams. And there's clothes to iron. And my brake lights don't work, nor does most of the electrical systems in my car and all I have to do is take it back to the mechanic, but I haven't done that. So I drive around worried I'll (a) get rear-ended or (b) get a ticket because my brake lights don't work. I'd like to work on that brilliant screenplay. I'd like to write/finish those two spec scripts and reconnect with the two Hollywood writers who were kind enough to get back to me regarding making a living writing. And that radio show ...Mel Robbins. Her patient producer is still keeping in touch with me hoping I'll submit more 'bits' and 'segments.' I haven't.

DIGRESSING: It's not to complain, really. Really. I'm not. This is all of my own doing. I just hope I'm not alone. It's like I can't be happy until I'm neglecting something or letting someone down. It's a pattern. My Kindergartener is learning about "patterns" (her's are shape-shape-shape or color-color-color patterns, mine are behavioral). My behavior "pattern" seems to be to commit to a million things because I like being busy and hate saying, "no", but then always only half-achieving things or doing half-ass jobs. Keep in mind, I know who reads this blog and who will recognize this entry, kinda, as an apology ...or avoidance ...or something. But also keep in mind, I write this blog. Sometimes you'll get random, somewhat humorous thoughts. Sometimes you'll get shameless self-promotion, triathlong training updates, or updates as to the progress of my washboard abs. But sometimes, you'll just get me complaining about this, that, or the other thing.

HIGHLIGHTING: The great things. Now that I'm done crying on your shoulder. Interestingly enough, on Friday, while driving around in my car at lunchtime crying and feeling sorry for myself (a man can weep openly, and there's nothing wrong with that), I tuned into Dennis Prager's show and his "Happiness Hour." Typically, he's a conservative talking head and difficult to swallow, but on Fridays he devotes his show to callers and to the topics that led me to appreciate him in the first place. His book, Think a Second Time, literally (seriously, I'm not making this up) fell off a book shelf and landed on my foot about 10 years ago. So, for $1.50, I bought it and was rivetted from the beginning. The book struck me as a modern day lesson in philosophy - which I was really into at the time. I liked it so much, I looked into Dennis's other offerings and enjoyed his book, Happiness Is A Serious Problem, even more. Loved it so much, I read it twice. Obviously, based on the early part of this blog entry, I need to read it a third time.

Point? Yes. Friday's show ...Dennis was talking about his self-coined "Missing Tile Syndrome." It's lesson is thus ...we tend to look at something beautiful and then oft focus on only the small flaws. Or, imagine a fully tiled bathroom or floor, or a tiled piece of artwork. Instead of focusing on the overall beauty or finished product, all we see is that missing tile. The more beautiful the overall tile project is, the more we focus on the missing tile.

So, today ...I'm going to focus on the 'missing tiles', but only to fix them. But also, I'm going to dwell on the rest of the tiles ...perfectly in place, exactly where I want them. I hope you do the same.

I promise ...tomorrow ...I'll post an old journal entry, and those always have tended to be nonsense.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Do Blog Entry Titles Really Even Matter?

WELCOMING: New readers. E.J. A.K. J.R. How the heck are ya? Hope yer enjoying the blog. Please help yourself to snacks. Careful with the toilet gotta jiggle the handle just right or it won't flush. And welcome back M.P., K.H. We've/I've missed you.

: Losers. And then submitting them to a hilarious site called Walmart Wolverines, dedicated to dickheads and dirt asses who root for U-of-M, but probably couldn't even get themselves hired as a janitor by the school. A few months ago I took a great shot of a ridiculous dude at a Beastie Boys concert wearing a UofM 'baseball jersey' and Walmart Wolverines posted it post haste.

SELF-AGGRANDIZING: I'm just going to copy&paste my spam email I sent to all my friends. I'm now going to slowly push them all away because I won't stop promoting myself, my writing, my blog, and my website. Oh, well. If you know a better way for me to capture the hearts and minds of dozens of people and make them fans-of-Don, lemme know.

Knock, knock. Hellooooo? Anyone still around? Have you been waiting with baited breath for my next 'spam' email pleading/begging you to acknowledge me and read my articles? Wait ...more! The written word of Don abounds on the web. Allow me to explain.

First ...if you watch The Amazing Race, or know someone who loves that show, the please bookmark and remember that I'm now writing a weekly column recapping each Sunday's episode. My first recap posted this very morn'.

Second ...if you watch Survivor ...well again. I'm gonna recap them there shows, too. My first column was last week. It wasn't written very well, but I'm fairly certain most of the sentences are complete and the language therein resembles English. Enjoy. Look for another recap tomorrow(ish).

Third ...there's AsktheCommish-dot-com where I don my 'sports columnist' hat and will attempt to write a weekly article on the topic of sports. Tomorrow I'll have a column I'm calling, "Can't We All Just Get Along" and it'll be ripe with cleverness, insight, and maybe even a few puns.

And, fourth, and eternally, there's my blog. Thanks for stopping by.

Thanks for reading. And if not reading, thanks for clicking thru and giving me page views. And if not either of those ...thanks for coming to complete stops at stop signs, safety, safety ...that's really all I care about.

Have a great, great Thursday. It's my bowling night. Wish me high scores. I'll wish you sound sleep.

Oh, and wait more thing before you "block sender" ...maybe you don't dig me or my writing. Fair enough. But, spunkybean is full of many other creative, talented and funny writers. Our Dancing with the Stars recappers are, in my opinion, two of the best on the entire internet. And spunkybean has so much more ...Heroes recaps, Mad Men discussions, and we have even launched the All-Pilot Project where we break down each and every new, original show on the Fall, mid-season, and hiatus period timeslots. There's alot there at spunkybean around. Check it out. Enjoy. And if you know a creative and talented writer who loves pop-culture, send him my way. We are always looking for new talent.

Public Service Announcements

PLEDGING: Scratched DVDs and CDs. Ya know what I hate? Racism. But a close second is receiving a DVD from Netflix that's scratched and won't play. I've heard for years to smear your own saliva, or skin- oil from your nose/face, onto the surface of a scratched CD, and then it would play. That works 50-percent of the time ...and I bet you're happy to know I've slobbered on a DVD you might have rented . Sorry 'bout that. No ...but from now on, I have the solution. I read that you should spray the scratched DVD with Pledge, and then wipe it with a soft cloth from the inside of the disc towards the outside. So far, it has worked for me 100% of the time. Now ...if I could just read about a remedy for racism, I'd really be getting somewhere.

WRITING: My Amazing Race recap. Whatever. I know it's been 3 days since the premier and many of you are emailing me wondering where it is. Later today. Or for sure, tomorrow. I was very, very tired and had no 'angle' ...but now I do. And it's writing itself. Sit tight. spunkybean will be overflowing with my written work in short order.

READING: Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Because my favorite TV show, Mad Men, references it quite a bit. I'm hoping, by reading this 1,100 page "novel", that I'll become an intellectual. I hope that I'll be able to reference lessons-learned from Atlas Shrugged in everyday situations. "Goddammit, man! Didn't you see me changing lanes?!?!?!!?" which I'll reply something about 'objectivism' and 'empowerment' and defuse a tense situation. One thing is for sure, there's no way in hell I'm reading an 1,100 page book and not figuring out ways (outside of my blog) to reference my awesomeness. I'll join a book club if I have to. Or I'll crash someone else's. I never do anything for my own personal satisfaction. So far ...10 pages in, there's a guy who works for the railroad company. Ayn Rand is very descriptive of scenery, settings, and people (aka "page filler"). This train-working-guy seems prone to daydreams. Check back daily for a similar book report, I guess. At this pace, I'll finish this book in just under 4 months.

SLEEPING: Because it's important. Last night, also thanks to Ayn Rand, I easily fell asleep by 9:45 and got nearly 8 hours of sleep. I feel fantastic. I think I'll cure something Cancer ...or boredom. Hey ...something shiny. Boredom ...cured.

CUTTING: My hair. Today. I have a 4:00 p.m. sitting with my stylist. This is nearly two weeks overdue, so I'm stoked. They serve coffee. I talk politics with my stylist. My hair thanks me for quality care and salon-quality conditioners. All this swim-training and the requisite chlorine found in the pools has taken its toll. My poor hair. It really deserves this. Shhh. I haven't told my hair what's in store for it, today ...I want it to be a surprise. So excited.

So long, for now.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Just Might Have a Few More Readers

MARKETING: Myself. I've mentioned my marketing approach for Donniego, spunkybean, and for my writing, right? First, I don't tell anyone. Second, I hope it comes up in conversation in front of someone who doesn't know I have a blog (or two). Third, I act sheepish and modest. Fourth, I tell them my blog is all about myself and completely self-bloviating. Fifth, I tell 'em I'll email them next time I send out one of my annoying email-the-world, look-at-me emails. Sixth, I email them along with a couple hundred or so people. Seventh, I hope they are not so turned off by my arrogant tone that they bookmark me and check back from time to time.

If Coca Cola had used my tried and true marketing method, they'd have exactly 815 Coke drinkers to their credit.

I hope someone caught my numerical reference ...high five!

BRISTLING: At our government. I've come to accept the petty bickering that plagues modern day politics. But now, in this dire economical moment, Congress needs to stop its bickering and get something-the-hell done. As I understand it, our politicians are 'acting worried' about our economy, but what they really care about is getting back to their home towns and states to campaign. And when the Bailout Bill was offered up to vote, many of them voted only on what would secure them the most votes back at home, ignoring what might work or not work. Congress is a buncha cowards. And guess what else? While you and I toil away, some of us with second jobs, and as we turn off lights, cut expenses, and cling to every extra penny we can ...Congress? Exhausted from late night sesssions ...took a vacation, today!?!?!?!?!?!

And, what's worse, I don't ever think I'm getting a straight story. Today I'll be listening to NPR (liberal hippies), Limbaugh and Hannity (pompous blowhards), Air America (namby pamby whiners), and read some Newsweek and Drudgereport to make my own sense of this all. Why? Well ...check out these headlines. "House Republicans Blame Pelosi's Speech" for the Bill's failure. Seems pretty cut and dri- ...oh, wait. Someone else is blaming someone. It was the Republicans, I guess. No, wait. It was ALL OF THEM. Here's the only quote you need ...and remember ...these Washington folks are not on your side, or my side ...they are on their side.
Most of us say, 'I want this thing to pass, but I want you to vote for it - not me.' -Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis
BORING: The last two paragraphs. Sorry about that.

ANTICIPATING: The inaugural viewing of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. My son turned four. This movie came out in 1977, when I was four. So, I think it's time. It was difficult deciding which version of this movie to actually get for this Friday's movie night - there's the "Original Theatrical Version", a re-release Lucasfilms Enhanced version, and another one recreated completely from Legos. You have no idea how difficult it was to not go with the Lego version. Welp ...because I have so much money invested in a big LCD TV and overpriced speakers and stereo equipment, I'm going with the recently remastered Enhanced version.

I'd like to also point out, this was not my idea. George Lucas and his Star Wars franchise continue to market themselves, and when my 4-yr-old is watching Boomerang, Noggin', Nickelodeon, and even Disney Channel, he's bombarded with Star Wars ads schlepping toys, movies, and new animated cartoon series. Yes, my 4-yr-old has been asking for months about seeing this movie, and is especially curious because his cousins have all the toys. As I mentioned, I was four when the original was released, so I think he's ready (I'll just fast forward past the scene featuring charred remains of Uncle Owen).

PONDERING: What next? Do I make him wait the full three years, as I had to wait, before showing him Empire Strikes Back? Then another 3 years before seeing Return of the Jedi. One thing I'm sure of, though ...I'm going to make him wait 20 years before seeing Episodes 1 thru 3 so that he's equally disappointed in them as I was when he finally gets to watch 'em.

I don't want better for my children.

That is all. Big things a'brewin' on the home movie front. And although I mostly use TV as a 'babysitter', I really want movie nights and major movie events like this to be special. Friday we'll watch Star Wars. Saturday, I'll be light saber fighting like its 1978 all over, again.

Hard to believe this trailer started it all.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Celebrating Things

SWIMMING: 60 lengths. That's 1500 meters to you and me, Russ. That's just under 1-mile. Ya know, I read recently in a triathlon training book about reaching "aerobic maintenance" and the book claimed that once you reach this level and can keep a relatively good pace, and your heart rate stays about 140-160 beats-per-minute, you can likely do said activity for as long as you want. I thought that was b.s., but I gotta say's totally right. I stopped at 60 lengths because my lunch-hour was over, but I really could've kept going. I wasn't tired, wasn't slowing down, wasn't cramping, and sharks were leaving me alone.

RECORDING: With a Tivo, next year. I've mentioned it before, and I'll say it again ...I hate my DVR. I've had Tivo for years and the box finally died, and DirecTV can only offer their own version. It sucks. I'm sure some people like it, but it sucks. I get mad when using it. But, earlier this month, Tivo and DirecTV renewed their relationship and an HD Tivo and Tivo service will be back in my home the minute it becomes available.

WRITING: Recaps. When the teacher asked, "who wants to recap Survivor and The Amazing Race, I raised my hand high in the air and yelped like Welcome Back Kotter's Horshack. Tonight, we'll all enjoy the two-hour season premiere of Survivor: Gabon and, hopefully, tomorrow you'll enjoy my recapping of the nonsense therein. Do I love Survivor? Yes, yes I do. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the first reward challenge will involve swimming and untying of things. Worried you'll forget about my recaps? Worry not. I'll remind you. Look for spam in your inbox, tomorrow.

FIRING: Matt Millen. Though the Detroit Lions and the Michigan State Spartans bring me great joy, heartache, and entertainment, and I'm a huge fan, most times they aren't blog worthy ...well ...because they don't lend themselves to talking about myself. Well ...because the Lions fired General Manager, Matt Millen, I'm kinda excited about the Lions, again.

FANNING: The flame of Javon Ringer's Heisman campaign. He's a little-known running back from a fairly mediocre football school, but Javon Ringer's dominant performances of the past 3 weeks are getting him some attention. I think the notariety, size, and reach of my blog should put his name firmly into the Heisman Trophy conversations. He's awessssssssome.

MISSING: My family. When you have an awesome, glamorous job like I have, sometimes you are forced to dine out and socialize, and typically, toddlers and families are not invited. Tonight, I'm looking forward to a night like I imagine the "common man" enjoys. I might even have a beer and "chat up" my neighbor.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One Reader at a Time

MARKETING: Myself. Here's how I typically pick up new blog readers. First, I don't tell them I blog alot about nothing much in particular except myself. Then, I hope someone else brings it up. Then, I kinda deny it, acting sheepish and embarassed (a very difficult thing for me to do). Then I say, "Yes. I have a blog where I write all about myself." Then, I spend the rest of the conversation convincing them I'm worth their reading time. Anyway, yesterday at lunch, I think I may have picked up another reader through this tried and true method.

SPUNKYBEANING: You know I'm always plugging the pop-culture web-site I founded with a friend, right? No doubt, you've checked it out. Well, if you haven't, lately, now's the time. The fall television season is back and we're some mad writing fools ...because we love TV.

TRIATHLONING: Less than three weeks until the big day. Something incredible has happened. Where once I hated the swimming, now I look forward to it. Being in the water is quiet and peaceful and I can be alone with my thoughts. Be happy I don't have a laptop with me during those moments and that I'm not blogging those thoughts. They'd be very "TV theme song" and "shark" heavy.

REMEMBERING: To tell you about my hair. Hard to believe, but it's better than ever. My stylist (whom I need to see, soon, btw) gave me a little tip on styling this coif. "Smoosh it forward," he said. "Then over," he said. Bam. The hardest part about swimming is that my hair must become mussed. But afterwards, in the lockerroom, I get a chance to style my hair for a second time on "swim days" and it makes it all worth it. When people say "hi" to me or smile at me in the mall, I like to think they're really saying "hi" and smiling at my hair.

INCHING: Ever closer to going on The Amazing Race. I begin recapping The 'Race for spunkybean beginning next Monday (the show's season premier is Sunday night, fyi). Well, we (fellow spunkybean writers and I) Facebook "frieneded" a racer from the upcoming season and, through CBS, he's agreed to let us interview him for the site. Soooooo the course of questioning, I ask him to evaluate mine and my partner's premise of going on the show as "complete strangers who've never met." And ...I have a CBS Executive (probably only an intern) who will also see the concept and maybe we can bypass that pesky interview and audition tape stuff, as well as being bound and gagged while at the auditions in order to avoid any contact with my would-be partner on The 'Race. In my brain, this'll work.

BREWING: Biggby's Coffee home. Costco sells giant bags of the stuff (was the use of the quantifier 'giant' really necessary when talking about Costco). And so, if you'll excuse me ...I'm off to brew some joe and start the day.

Friday, September 19, 2008

People are Noticing Me

Good news (for me). I'm gaining readership like crazy. And I've had to threaten very few people to do so. A post like this one won't attract many new readers, but life is crazy and sometimes I can't spew brilliance and high comedy.

SWIMMING: 1200 meters. I know. I couldn't believe it either. Who knew? However, my attempts to summon dolphins using mental telepathy and then to ride them around the pool weren't as successful as the swimming. Thank goodness I'm not training for a Superhero Triathlon. See? That joked sucked. And for that, I apologize.

AMAZING: This little experiment. Enjoy. Scratch your head and ponder.

Remember, there's always something to read at spunkybean. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cool Stuff

CALLING: A spade a spade, they say. I don't know why they say it. Personally, I call a spade a shovel. Hmmm. Spade? Shovel? Two different names for the same thing. Like radio stations. Specifically, two radio stations in Washington D.C. For the moment, WTNT will be known as "McCain 570", and will feature right-wing talking heads. Sister station, WWRC, will be called "Obama 1260", and likewise will feature left-wing, pro-Obama pundits. I agree with the new Program Director ...don't hide behind a "fair and balanced" slogan a Republican spade a Republican spade. And call a Democratic shovel a Democratic shovel.

I wonder if there's any room for a Libertarian hoe and Ron Paul. I'm sure if they had a third radio station, they'd totally give 'em a host of shows. I'm sure of it.

BALANCING: Both sides of the argument. Nowadays, you can form your opinion and then stick entirely with whatever news source you prefer that does nothing but reinforce your opinion. I encourage all of you to listen to both sides and refuse to let the media - be it the 'right' or the 'left' - to tell you which issues are important to you and which of them should sway your vote. With banks failing, soldiers dying, jobs disappearing, police forces shrinking, goverment integrity disappearing, homes foreclosing, and our reputation and our dollar-value falling world wide, don't let anyone frame the debate as being all about gay marriage, sexism, or choice v. life, drilling for oil, or a definition of 'qualified' or 'ready'. Turn over the money counting tables in the Temple. Listen. Talk. Hear. Educate yourself. Then vote. And then, whoever we vote for, we must hold them to each and every one of the promises they made while campaigning.

My head hurts from being 'serious.' Sorry about that.

BLOGGING: Not just here ...but at spunkybean. Well, there, I'm more of a 'columnist' and I'm especially proud of my recently posted recap of Mad Men ...the coolest, smartest show on television.

REMINDING: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia begins its new season in two days. Thursday ...September 18th ...10pm. Guess what I'll be doing when I get home from bowling? Oh, yes ...laughing. And yoga.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Triathlon Training and Tivo

So much happening ...

TRAINING: My triathlon training has started in earnest. 4-weeks until the tri'. Today, I fake-joined a gym. You see ...I need a pool in which to train. So, I'm using a 1-week trial at LA Fitness for a week (free), then I'm going to pretend to be auditioning Bally's for 2-weeks (not my fault they'll actually let you use their facility for 2 weeks), and finally I'll buy a cheap pass for the local h.s. pool to train any additional days. Problem is ...after 1 day at LA Fitness and how nice that place is ...I wanna join. Hmmm. I guess that is why they give away free weeks. If you care to donate to my personal fitness, I would appreciate it. I'll write your name, or the name of your business, on my legs and arms while I compete in the October 12th Collegiate Triathlon.

REDIRECTING: Once again, I wrote a great article for AsktheCommish. Read it here. I expect Dr. Scholls will be contacting me soon and paying me for that comfort insoles script. And ...sahweet! I'll use that money for my gym membership.

MOURNING: The death of my Tivo. I love Tivo. Tivo is created by TV-nerds for TV-nerds. My Tivo 'got' me. It has 2 tuners easily jumped between, Tivo suggested shows I might like and got it totally right, and was so easy andhad such a fun noise it made when pressing buttons and fast-forwarding and stuff. Well ...last week ...Thursday ...a day I'll never, never forget died. So, I had no choice but to call and get DirecTV's far inferior DVR. It arrived Saturday. I've used it quite a bit since then. But's ...oh, man ...I said I wasn't going to cry's ...not ...the ...same. Pray for me in this difficult time.

CELEBRATING: That DirecTV will renew its relationship with Tivo next year and I will be able to smash my stupid DVR on the curb and get Tivo once again. Oh, what a happy day that will be. I wish I knew the exact date ...I'd circle it on my calendar and prepare for its arrival. "Hi, Tivo. How've you been? It's been a tough year. I'm glad you're here." I wish I could blip-blip-blip my life forward to that moment.

RAINING: All weekend. More rain than I've ever seen at one time. It rained non-stop (and I'm not exaggerating) from Thursday until late in the afternoon on Sunday. My yard typically gets some water pooling up in the middle of the yard during heavy rains. No biggie ...usually. But as the monsoon-type rains kept driving and sheeting, the "pooling" became a lake and was not more than 6 feet from my house. My neighbor was dealing with the same fear and, together, we decided to dig a trench on our property line and try and make the water move from the backyard out into the front yard and then into the street. It ain't the best trench you'll ever see, but damn worked. I now count Civil Engineering among my many amazing skills.

DIGGING: A trench. I know. I mentioned that already. I was wearing a wind breaker and now, in hindsight, I wish I would've boken out my trench coat. I paid good money for that thing ...seems like I should have finally used it for its intended purpose.

WRITING: Lots of stuff. I'll be recapping Survivor and Amazing Race this fall, I'll have my part of the Mad Men piece on spunkybean tomorrow, and a few other things. I know ...I impress even myself.

Until tomorrow ...stay dry.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Now That's What I'm Talking About

Alternate sites, other articles, stuff to watch, politics, and a better Old Fashioned.
My friend wants me to set her up with one my buddies. I told her that I won’t do it unless she joins Facebook. What does she want me to do? Type an email about her and attach some pictures? What is this, the f*ing Middle Ages?
- Aaron Karo, author of Ruminations on College Life
ENJOYING: A SoCo Old Fashioned. Some may recall my quest to be just-like-Don-Draper, and with it my quest to learn to drink Old Fashioneds. All the sugar cubes and orange wedges in the world couldn't make that drink enjoyable. But, as soon as the man behind the counter at the liquor store suggested Southern Comfort in place of actual whiskey, I knew I'd be "an Old Fashioned man" in an instant. Two sugar cubes, splash of water, splash of bitters, and an orange slice muddled in the bottom of my Old Fashioned glasses, then filled with Southern Comfort and two ice cubes ...vioala! I'm an Old Fashioned man. SoCo Old Fashioned ...just like my SoCo Manhattans. I've successfully muddled myself into a renaissance man.

BLOGGING: Elsewhere. Namely, at I'd prefer to call it a "column" and refer to myself as a "columnist", over there. Here, I'm a blogger. There (at AsktheCommish), I'm a columnist. At spunkybean, I'm an editor and Creative Director, and "contributer." Basically, I want you to be clear on how to refer to me when you're talking about me at parties or family gatherings. Oh, heck ...just call me a "writer" or an "author."

SPEAKING: Of spunkybean. Make sure you check it early and often, this week. I think Big Brother must be nearing its finale. Dear Casey writes about her misguided love affairs. Each Monday we tell you what to watch during the week, then on Friday, tell you what you should've watched all week. And I "contribute" to the weekly Mad Men Roundtable (posts every Tuesday morning). But most exciting is our All-Pilot Project where we (mostly EJ) tell you all about the new shows and whether you should watch them or not. First up was 90210.

REVIEWING: Read my "column" at AsktheCommish. Read this blog, every day. Read spunkybean. There ...that should keep you busy.

BY-THE-WAYING: I'm going to run a tri-athlon. Don't think for a second I'm going to keep that to myself.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I Just Realized How Long and Boring Summertime is

TV is back! Football is on. New TV shows premier. Old favorites return. And my blog, in turn, should get better.

Some things are perfectly fine and good over at spunkybean Mad Men. While other things are fairly simple and don't need in-depth analysis Greek ...or The Backyardigans.

DARLING: My daughter. Today was her fourth day of Kindergarten, and she's still cute as the dickens. I'd post a picture, but ...well know how that goes? Posting a picture of a five-year-old in a Catholic schoolgirl uniform isn't responsible. I predict the words themselves will land me some increased traffic from pervs out surfing the web, actually. No such thing as bad press, they say. Anyway ...she's still adorable and seeing her growing up before my eyes is awesome.

LOVING: Greek. I mentioned it above, but this little bit of televised cotton-candy never fails to amuse me. Casey, the main character is unlucky in love. Cappy is her true love. Rusty is a socially inept nerd trying to function in the highly social-slash-superficial fraternity-sorority world, while maintaining his high intellectual standards. Then there's a buncha supporting characters and back-stories that color Greek up like a real college campus. Friendships are pitted against romances, sexual orientation is contrasted with devout Christianity, and much, much more. Unlike many shows of Greek's ilk, it doesn't try too hard and it doesn't lose focus of the fun aspect of college. I've said it before, but it seems as if the shows writers actually went to college and were in the Greek system, where as similar shows only write the stereotypes.

This brief review probably hasn't sold you, but watch it, and you'll be hooked.

: This blog ...and possibly spunkybean. I have a horse in this Presidential race, sure, but it ain't like I have a horse that, if both its legs broke, that I'd shed even a single tear for upon its euthanasia. Mainly, I'm a fan of "the theater." I've taken lots of notes, listened to crap I don't really enjoy listening to, and changed my mind, daily. "He makes a good point," I say. And then I say, "Oh, but he's really enlightened on that, too." "Oh," I then say, "well, I hadn't thought about that." And, "is that really true," I ask? I like to think there are very few people like me who slog through the shit on both sides. Stay tuned. I'm going to try and be insightful, very soon.

ORGANIZING: Myself. I got all these 'big ideas.' Write some television scripts. Work on my screenplay. Write a short story for a contest. Write articles for spunkybean. Write a novel. Blog. Submit my writing to places. Oh, and run a website ...kinda. I used to get up early and write, write, write ...for a solid 1 1/2 hours. Now, I've found myself a bit distracted. That's it. Summer's over and I'm gonna get back at it. Big time!

BOWLING: Tomorrow. The way-too-long season begins tomorrow, and I'm super excited. Golf sucks. No, actually, golf is fun, but I suck at it. Bowling ...I'm good. So I love it. I'll update you on my scores and my current average throughout the season.

WATCHING: NFL football, staring tomorrow night. I'm joyous. Overwhelmingly, joyous.

LAUGHING: At Patton Oswalt's commencement speech from his old h.s. Brilliant.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Happy Day Off

Defining "geeky" is a tough thing. While watching TV endlessly and then writing about it might be geeky to one person, something else might be even geekier than that to someone else. Like, say, printing movie scenes onto iron-on paper and ironing them onto t-shirts. I mean, isn't that geeky? Heck, some might even say writing a blog is totally geeky. But what happens when that person who called blogging "geeky" suddenly gets a blog of his very own? Is it, then, not-geeky by virtue of his participation? Or is it not-geeky because of the content therein? Or is it still totally geeky?

Well, I'm here to tell you blogging is totally cool. Iron on t-shirts are, still, horrendously geeky.

REDIRECTING: To Trent's Twisted Thoughts (on football, mostly). Now is the time of year where young men and women turn their thoughts to football, and some of them even join Fantasy Football leagues. Don't know what that is? Well, read his blog and the site he writes for ...Ask the Commish. With the onset of autumn, you might enjoy picking apples, raking leaves into piles and jumping into said piles, and you might even enjoy a Fantasy Football league. And if I catch any of you loyal readers using any site but Ask the Commish, I'll put you in timeout.

Ya know what else is cool? Grammar and spelling. Most times.

GRILLING: Something. Probably a hot dog. Maybe a burger. It is Labor Day, after all.

And, as always, tune in tomorrow and, very likely, I'll have a new post.

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain Picked a Mate; I Wrote a Joke (and other stuff)

Oh ...woo hooo ...phew ...hold on. Let me catch my breath. I wrote a joke. OK. Ready? Get this. Read it. Copy & paste it, and email it to all your friends. I'm a comic genius.

JOKING: Many people are scratching their heads as to why and how McCain picked Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin. Well, his advisers told him to pick someone far removed from D.C.

Get it? Alaska is far? Tell me that wouldn't work on Leno. Well I don't care. I included it in spunkybean's What a Week It's Bean feature.

RUNNING: Running. And, running ...running ...let's get it stawted in herrrr, let's get retawded in herrrr! Remember I mentioned I was doing another Bump n Run? Well, I did it last Saturday after two days of drinking and very little sleep. I got outta the gate strong. Then my energy levels crashed. Then I got lost. Then I did battle with a Man-Bear-Pig (half man, half bear, half pig) and managed to finish in the top 12. Boo yah! Here's an awesome picture of me. Results follow. My wife, my sister, brother, sister-in-law, and my cousin all turned out as well. I'm not one to brag, but I could if I really wanted to. I'm just sayin'. Have a great holiday weekend.

Last Name First Name Race Start River
Lapse Time Finish Lapse Time
73 Culbert Jason 8/23/2008 9:30 8/23/2008 10:07 0:37:30 8/23/2008 10:15 0:45:17
122 Wyczyk Jimmy 8/23/2008 9:30 8/23/2008 10:09 0:39:15 8/23/2008 10:20 0:50:12
108 Cook Ken 8/23/2008 9:30 8/23/2008 10:13 0:43:01 8/23/2008 10:23 0:53:03
87 Rzepka Mike 8/23/2008 9:30 8/23/2008 10:13 0:43:50 8/23/2008 10:23 0:53:10
104 Howard Niles 8/23/2008 9:30 8/23/2008 10:15 0:45:04 8/23/2008 10:28 0:58:53
81 Licari Yolanda 8/23/2008 9:30 8/23/2008 10:16 0:46:02 8/23/2008 10:29 0:59:11
76 Freeland Carrie 8/23/2008 9:30 8/23/2008 10:16 0:46:02 8/23/2008 10:29 0:59:34
91 Weber Matt 8/23/2008 9:30 8/23/2008 10:15 0:45:02 8/23/2008 10:29 0:59:51
71 Bogan Krystal 8/23/2008 9:30 8/23/2008 10:16 0:46:03 8/23/2008 10:30 1:00:17
86 Phebus GW 8/23/2008 9:30 8/23/2008 10:16 0:46:01 8/23/2008 10:30 1:00:29
79 Kowalewski Don 8/23/2008 9:30 8/23/2008 10:45 1:15:01 8/23/2008 10:30 1:00:42
111 Stepulla Joseph 8/23/2008 9:30 8/23/2008 10:15 0:45:07 8/23/2008 10:30 1:00:57
94 Gustafson Kelsey 8/23/2008 9:30 8/23/2008 10:15 0:45:03 8/23/2008 10:31 1:01:00
115 Carlin Nic 8/23/2008 9:30 8/23/2008 10:16 0:46:03 8/23/2008 10:32 1:02:09