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.