Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Inspired by a travel sob story posted by Liz over at Gingers Is The Watchword, I thought I'd unearth something I wrote last year about a trip I tried to take on the Thursday before Labor Day weekend...

I'm sitting on the floor at LAX. It's 6pm, my leg is asleep and my ass hurts. But it's 6pm, WWW. Weren't you to depart at 1pm? And wait, weren't you flying out of Burbank? Yes, yes and God yes.

I was picked up for my 1pm flight at 11am this morning. When I arrived at the Burbank airport, they were already trying to get people to volunteer to get off my flight. Not a good sign. Because it is so brutally hot here (101), they had to lower the weight on the plane because apparently in the heat, fuel burns faster. Or something. I don't know, my expertise is not in chemistry, thermodynamics or airline policymaking. WWW, how many people did they need to get off the plane? Two? Five? Alas, dear reader, it was THIRTY-NINE. That is not a typo. I don't make typos, but that is a topic for another entry altogether. The gate people said that the flight would not leave until they got enough volunteers. I just knew that if I tried to wait it out that there would be an hour of passengers eyeing each other suspiciously and playing chicken, waiting to see who gives in. I had a connecting flight to make, and I could see the writing on the wall. So I decided to cut a deal before everyone else did.

What kind of a deal did you get, WWW? Well, the same kind of deal you make with a tow truck driver when your car breaks down in the town where they shot Deliverance. Instead of 1pm, I am now departing at 11:30pm. Instead of 1am, I am now getting in at 9:55am. The only winner here is my father, who is picking me up. Oh, and I almost forgot the best part. - I'm departing from ANOTHER AIRPORT. (Yes, I got a $300 voucher but I'm pissed and on a roll, so don't even think about trying to stop me.) When I and the other refugees from my flight were herded onto a shuttle bus for the one hour ride to LAX, it was 2pm (an hour past the original departure time) and they still needed to pull 13 people off of that flight before it could take off. I can't say for sure exactly what was transpiring with the angry, flightless and heat stroked people inside that plane, but I bet it could have inspired a young adult novel called Lord of the Skies. Poor Piggy. The Bus That Time Forgot arrived at LAX about 3pm, dropping me off a full 8 1/2 hours before my flight. On the bright side, that was early enough that I probably had a 75% chance to get through security in time to make my plane. In an incongruous stroke of good luck, I managed to get through the gauntlet without being disemboweled and by 3:30 I hell again. Hell in the anthropomorphized form of a woman named Helene.

Helene is a fiftyish woman who was next to me in line at Burbank while we were both cutting our deals. We wound up on the shuttle together and she insisted on talking to me. To be fair, she was nice enough. We had something in common as we work in different areas of the film business. Helene makes wigs. When we arrived at LAX, I helped her with her bag and tipped the driver for both of us since she had no cash handy. She insisted on making it up to me by buying me a drink at the airport. Since I couldn't possibly think of anything I wanted more in the world than a drink and I was on the spot, I said yes. We wound up in Chili's and as soon as we sat down her cell phone started ringing. And didn't stop until we got the check. Apparently Mary J. Blige needed a wig like pronto and Helene's shop was closing up for the holiday weekend. So she took and made approximately 15 loud calls during the 30 minutes we were at the bar. No joke. If I thought I could do it without her seeing I would have made the universal “I'm so sorry, I don't really know her” shrug to the family seated next to us and to the waiter. Mercifully, Helene's flight was leaving at 4:45, so she made a quick exit. In departing, she told me I should come to her wig shop to check it out so I could keep her in mind the next time one of my movies needs a wig. I told her that I would be sure to do that when I wanted to die painfully and there wasn't a melon baller or a pair of pliers within arm's reach. Okay, so I didn't, but that's what I would have said if I were cool.

I made one last anguished cry for relief by pleading with the American Airlines customer service rep to give me a complimentary day pass to the Admirals Club. After all, I was bumped 10 hours and one airport through no fault of my own. I had the same success I would have had if I’d asked them to wipe my ass with a cashmere pashmina. In other words, they said no. I have always wondered what goes on in those Admirals Clubs. I envision a grown-up frat party, the airline version of Caligula's palace. Champagne fountains, masseuses, dodo egg omelettes, a live string quartet, and giggly blondes bouncing on the laps of guys with loosened ties and pilot's hats. And for some reason, it’s always 1963. I probably shouldn't actually visit one, because they're bound to pale in comparison.

I'm sitting on the floor at LAX. It's 7pm, my other leg is asleep, and my ass hurts. And in sixteen hours, I'll be home.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

1,000 UPB Fans Can't Be Wrong

Sometime over the last week, Untitled Blogger Project received its 1000th site visit!

(Insert tasteful and classy fanfare here)

I'd like to thank everyone that made this possible, mostly me. Nothing I've ever written has been seen by this many people, other than the time I spray painted "Go Phillies" on that cop car and it wound up on the news.*

To celebrate, here are a few interesting facts about some of those 1000 people who have seen fit to visit:

1. I receive an alarming number of hits where the length of visit is recorded as zero seconds. I can only surmise that these people have a phobia of the color brown. Thanks for giving it a fair chance, folks!

2. I have a disproportionately large number of visits from Oregon and Alberta. I know one person in Oregon and none in Alberta. I'm really hoping that I'm the David Hasselhoff of Alberta and that I'm wildly popular there for no good reason. That would be tremendous.

3. I'm fairly certain that if Falwless, Dr. Zibbs and Fancy Schmancy did not pimp me on their blogs, my hit count would be holding steady at six (6). I would include Beckeye, since I was once the Firecrotch Of The Month, but that was before I had a blog to pimp and I was going by the mysterious nom de plume "fran".

4. Yes, I included that last bit just because I wanted to boast that I was Firecrotch Of The Month.

5. No fewer than EIGHT people have found my blog (specifically this post) by using the search term "kim jong il jacket". It could be many more than eight, but I didn't start counting until I noticed it was a trend. And they weren't all the same person, either. These people all had different IPs, some as far away as Sweden. If I had any idea that dictator haberdashery was such a topic of interest, I would have turned this into an entirely different sort of blog.

* Yes, I made my obligatory Phillies reference. As I will continue to do until they win the World Series despite the best efforts of metorologists, Bud Selig and God Himself to prevent it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Good Grief!

I wrote this last Easter on the previous non-Blogger blog. But I'll be damned if I wait until next Easter to post it here, especially when I'm dying for content. Enjoy your reruns!

You're Dead, Charlie Brown!
Charlie Brown Of "Peanuts" Fame Dies At 59

PEORIA, IL (AP) - Charlie Brown, who rose to fame in the 1960s as the protagonist of the wildly popular comic strip "Peanuts", died Sunday afternoon after jumping off the balcony of his third floor apartment. He was 59.

According to police, toxicology tests indicated high levels of Xanax and alcohol in Brown's system. Early speculation is that he leapt from his balcony due to panic and anxiety stemming from hallucinations. Brown was found in the alley at about 10am by neighbors who heard incoherent ravings about the Easter Beagle coming from his apartment. Paramedics were called and declared Brown dead at the scene.

Police were able to reconstruct Brown's last hours from evidence in the apartment. On Saturday night Brown augmented his usual pitcher of whiskey sours with a few pills of Xanax and then dyed a dozen Easter eggs, hiding them around his apartment. According to acquaintances, Brown was unusually distraught over of a rebuffed attempt to reconnect with the Little Red Haired Girl through her Facebook profile. Police psychologists speculate that Brown was attempting to get so drunk that he would black out and forget he had colored and hidden the eggs himself. In this way, he could awaken on Easter Sunday and think that someone loved him enough to color and hide eggs for him. Ironically, upon discovering the eggs Brown became paranoid that someone had broken into his apartment overnight, leading to his anxiety, hallucinations, and eventually his fatal leap.

Friends report that Brown had become withdrawn in recent years, cowed by a continuing series of setbacks that started in childhood with his famous and ill-advised attempts to kick a football held by Lucy Van Pelt. "I don't think he ever really got over that", said best friend and renowned psychologist Dr. Linus Van Pelt. "Lucy is my sister and I love her, but she really did a number on Charlie Brown. It's bad enough to start in life as a bald kid whose father is a barber...I mean, do I have to draw you a picture? But he was never the same after that football thing, always waiting for life to pull the football away from him." Life did just that in 1975, when Brown's wife Peppermint Patty announced that she was a lesbian and filed for divorce. "Having his personal life splashed all over the tabloids was really the last straw for Charlie Brown", said childhood friend Schroeder. "A guy like that who's insecure to begin with? And then his wife leaves him for a woman? That's enough to make anyone nuts. And speaking of nuts, you'd have to be nuts to miss my set at the Airport Holiday Inn piano bar every weekday afternoon from two to four!" Perhaps the most touching tribute came from Brown's elementary school teacher, Miss Othmar. "Wah wah, wah wah wah, wah wahhhhh", whispered a tearful Othmar.

Charlie Brown is survived by his sister Sally Brown-Kennedy and his dog Snoopy IV. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for memorial donations to the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sheshe Taggedtagged Meme

I got tagged with my very first meme! I suppose I'm officially a blogger now. Kimmie from the mouthwateringly delicious food blog KimDeC did the honors, and thank God she did. I haven't made an entry in days, and frankly, I got nothin'. This will help me skate a few more days.

This meme asks you for your favorites in the following categories...

  • CLOTHES - I'm casual. Very casual. I like jeans, cargo shorts, t-shirts and hoodies. I do enjoy dressing up for the right occasion, like funerals and parole hearings. But I have no dress code at work, which means I tend to wear what's comfortable most of the time.
  • FURNITURE - I am a man, so I actually don't know if I have an opinion here. I like furniture that is comfortable and matches my apartment's color scheme of brown and red. I suppose one thing I do like is a loveseat that I can stretch out on with my laptop.
  • SWEET - Anything that combines peanut butter and chocolate. I'm also fond of ice cream, doughnuts and tiramisu.
  • CITY - Vancouver. The perfect mix of cosmopolitan big city and natural beauty. Clean, friendly, and smells like outside. I also love Dublin and, even though I was only there two days, Seattle.
  • DRINK - Jameson Irish whiskey, straight up. I also like dark hoppy beers and dry red wines. I don't often drink mixed cocktails, but when I do I like mojitos and Manhattans.
  • MUSIC - It's impossible to talk about my favorite music in such a limited space. But I'll give it a go and say my favorites are blues, 60s soul, and power chord-laden cock rock. My favorite band is either U2 or The White Stripes depending on my mood.
  • TV SERIES - The Simpsons, first and forever. My other favorites are The Twilight Zone, Cheers, Seinfeld, SNL, Moonlighting, and Jeopardy. My favorite current shows are 30 Rock, The Office, Pushing Daisies and Chuck.
  • FILM - Raiders of the Lost Ark. It's the movie that made me want to make movies. I was 11 when it came out and a girl I had a crush on grabbed my hand during the scary parts. A career was born!
  • WORKOUT - Hahahaha. Wait, really? Okay. I hate working out at the gym, but I love playing sports. Sadly, all my friends are comic book and movie nerds, so that means I don't get as much exercise as I should.
  • PASTRIES - Chocolate croissants. The end.
  • COFFEE - I love a good strong cappucino. The best coffee in the entire world is at Caffe Artigiano in Vancouver. Their espresso is almost chocolatey, and I swear they make the lattes with actual liquid velvet.
I think everyone I know has actually already been tagged with this meme...except for one person who's been neglecting their blog...

That's right, snooze, you lose!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

UBP Presents "Pat And Sully Go To The Game": A Play In One Act

Pat: I can't believe it! We're actually here at Fenway Pahk for a playoff game!

Sully: Hey, we still have to make our sign before we go in!

Pat: What should we write?

Sully: I don't know, mind is a total blank.

Pat: Well, think of some things you like.

Sully: I like Fridays. I like Hahhpoon Ale. I like Family Guy. I like baseball. I like how omelettes at IHOP always come with pancakes...that shit is wicked awesome. I lik...

Pat: Wait, WHAT? Go back.

Sully: We should go to IHOP?

Pat: No, before that, chowdah head!

Sully: OMG, RIGHT?

- FIN -

Comedy Blog Posts (Intentionally) Unfunny Entry

Scoring a cheap ticket because LA fans suck: $10
Subway fare: $2.50
Watching your team win the NL pennant and go to the World Series: Priceless.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


My beloved Philadelphia Phillies are one win away from reaching the World Series after winning last night's game and taking a 3-1 series lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The hero was little-used Matt Stairs, who crushed a dramatic two-run home run in the 8th innning that was the difference in the 7-5 victory. Stairs has only been with the team since August and has seen very little playing time, so naturally he was happy to make a contribution to the team in such an important spot. In his enthusiasm, Stairs employed some unfortunate wording that will ensure clubhouse ribbing for the rest of his playing days. Here is his quote from the Philadelphia Daily News:

"You want to get that one big hit where you feel like you're part of the team," Stairs said. "Not that I don't feel like I'm part of the team, by no means, but when you get that nice celebration coming into the dugout and you're getting your ass hammered by guys, it's no better feeling than to have that done."

That ball isn't the only thing getting hammered on this night.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Drugstore Cowboy

Many of you surely read my heartbreaking account of a trip to the drug store to buy NyQuil. That experience has stayed with me, because such an unfortunate situation would not have occured if drug stores did not have the curious habit of understaffing their cash registers.

I've consulted hundreds of some two friends about this, and the problem appears to be universal. Be it CVS, Rite Aid, Long's or Walgreens, drug stores consistently staff only one cash register no matter how many people are in line. These drug stores often have as many as six cash register stations, but I can only conclude that these are for show and that the registers themselves are inoperable. It's certainly not a question of staffing, because whenever I'm seventeenth in line behind fifteen fat people buying Ben & Jerry's and one nervous teenage girl fiddling with a pregnancy test, I see smocked and nametagged employees wandering around the store in great numbers. They often congregate together and eye the line blankly as if to say, "Wow, there are a lot of people in line. I wonder if this is something somebody should be addressing."

Eventually, one of the frustrated and hungry Ben & Jerry's lovers will berate the person behind the operable cash register. "Hey, why can't you open another register? There are three employees over there playing grab ass and peeling security tags off of the Jagermeister!" The response will invariably be, "They're on break." I've never seen so many people on break at one time as I have in a drug store. It seems like the ratio of employees on break to employees actually working is at least five to one. How is this possible? I mean, everyone loves taking a break, but this is ridiculous.

I decided that I needed to get to the bottom of this. I donned all black clothes, put on a ski mask, and searched the internet for answers. You will be shocked at what I found. I'm about to blow the lid off this thing. Apparently, this behavior is not only tolerated by the corporate bigwigs, but encouraged. All you need to do is check out this sample Rite Aid store floor plan and it will all become clear.

Dateline, here I come!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rays and Chargers and Trees, Oh My!

Many of you don't enjoy posts about sports. To you I say: I don't care. This entry will prove that you can enjoy the sports world without actually 1. knowing anything about, or B. caring at all about, the actual games.

The Cinderella story of those perennial doormats, Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Rays, has brought to the forefront a topic which has bothered me for years. Many teams in the sports world have a name which either does not match their mascot or creates a dilemma wherein they have multiple mascots that play on completely different interpretations of their name.

A little history is in order. The Tampa Bay Rays began their existence in 1998 as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, with the manta ray as their logo. As the years went on, the Devil Rays organization became uncomfortable with having the word "devil" in their name. For the 2008 season, the team announced that they would change their name to simply the "Rays", and change their logo to the word "Rays" with a sunburst. Thus, the Rays no longer represented a sea creature, but the rays of the sun. The Rays even made sport of the change, fining staff and media members a token sum for every instance in which the team was referred to as the Devil Rays.

All good, right? Until the uniforms for the new-look Rays were unveiled. As is patently obvious in this photo of the Rays' Rookie Of The Year candidate Evan Longoria, the Rays have kept the manta ray as a secondary logo in the form of a sleeve patch. Which is it, Rays? Are you the rays of the sun, or are you a fearsome sea creature? YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. It sends my steel trap of a mind into a logical loop from which it cannot escape.

The Rays are not alone in their duplicity. The San Diego Chargers, an NFL franchise for which I have many warm feelings, also engage in these shenanigans. As celebrity blogger Red from famous San Diego sports blog Pink Hat Nation confirmed, the Chargers have mascots that play on both the "electricity" interpretation of their name and the "war horse" interpretation. Which is it, Chargers? Are you a douchebag dressed like a bolt of electricity, or are you a noble steed? You cannot be both!

Finally, there are the Stanford University Cardinal. Contrary to popular belief, the Stanford athletic teams are not named after the bird, but after the color. So all those testosterone-laden football players are actually named after an abstract shade of maroon. Not very fearsome. Also not very easy to replicate in mascot form. Realizing this, Stanford...well, they went another way. That's right, the mascot of the Stanford Cardinal is a tree. If you can make a connection between the color cardinal and a college student dressed as a tree constructed from toilet paper, you are smarter than I. However, to be fair, the Stanford Tree has quite a colorful history for an unassuming conifer. During the NCAA basketball tournament, the Tree once put the moves on the St. Joseph's University Hawk, only to be summarily rebuffed. Not to be outdone, the 2006 version of the Tree was dishonorably relieved of his duties after drinking on the job. Nothing like a drunken, surly pine tree to get the fans jacked up!

I won't even pretend to know why a team called the Phoenix Suns employs a death-defying gorilla as a mascot.

I just wish that sports teams would adopt a consistent theme with their names, color schemes and mascots. I don't think it's too much to ask, even if I am a raging anal-retentive. Some might say that as an alumnus of Syracuse University, whose sports teams are named the "Orange", I have no room to talk. I disagree. At least the mascot of the Syracuse Orange is actually an orange. So there!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hot Tub Meta-Musings

This evening was quite cool by Los Angeles standards (i.e. my windows were open and my air conditioner turned off), so I decided to avail myself of the lovely hot tub on the roof. As I've stated before, I often get my best ideas in the hot tub, so sometimes I sit amid the bubbles for inspiration.

Alas, tonight my only epiphanies were about the hot tub itself.
Each of the four corners of the hot tub has a contoured seat, each with a different configuration of water jets. Three of the seats are quite comfortable (see Fig. 1). However, the seat with the very best and strongest jets sits a little lower in the water than the other three seats. This means that especially buoyant persons like myself tend to float over the seat, unable to sit comfortably (see Fig. 2). Complicating matters, the very same strong jets that make this the most desirable seat in the tub become an irritant for the aforementioned especially buoyant persons. Floating free and unanchored to the seat, these persons are easily propelled into the middle of the hot tub by the thrust of the very jets meant to soothe (see Fig. 3).

I can only surmise that the designers of this hot tub have lowered the most desirable seat simply to amuse themselves with the thought of innocent people being propelled across the hot tub, their only crime a desire for relaxation. Sonsabitches.

Friday, October 3, 2008

All Aboard The Dumbass Express!

Once again, driving around my fair city with a camera phone has paid off in hilarity. Check out this road work sign I encountered today:

You have to wonder how many people were involved in the design and production of this sign that failed to see the blunder. I should have every one of their jobs. You also have to wonder what a "pedestrain" actually is. I posit that it would look something like this:

Get used to pursing your lips like that, kid. I'm just sayin'.