Friday, February 27, 2009

Papa's Got A Somewhat Used Bag

I am not a fan of memes. I am, however, a fan of blog posts that require little to no work on my part. Thus, I have chosen to accept the tag of the lovely and talented Cora from Love Letters By Cora and participate in the Bag Meme.

This meme asks you to post a picture of the purse, backpack, briefcase, bindle or other bag that you carry around each day, and also a picture of the contents.

This is my bag. It's a black backpack that was regifted to me a few years ago by my then-boss. It was a Christmas gift to him from the company, and he didn't want it. It saved him the bother of actually getting me anything for Christmas, cheap bastard. Truth be told though, it gets much more use than anything he would have picked out for me. The best feature is a padded slot (huh huh) inside that snugly holds a laptop.

Inside I have nothing exciting. I wish I could say that I held back from showing you the juicy stuff, but that would have been a lie. This is everything. My laptop computer, my work binder, my Photoshop manual, my checkbook, my copy of The Onion, my work I.D., my black shades, my Shine A Light DVD, my tin of Itchy & Scratchy mints, and a pile of bills.

If MTV ever does a spinoff of Cribs called Bagz, I will not be featured.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm Sorry, There WILL Be Math

I am fed up. I have had enough. Uncle, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. You win.

Have you ever taken a look at the account numbers for your various monthly bills? Because I still live in 1886 and use a checkbook, I am required to write the account number for each of my bills on the "note" line of my checks. And I am convinced that the utility companies are playing a practical joke in which they try to see how small they can make me write to fit my account number on the line. Allow me to show you my actual LADWP account number (not my actual LADWP account number):


That, gentle reader, is TWENTY-TWO digits. What sort of twisted accounting system could possibly require an account number of that length? It's simply unacceptable. Do you know how big a number 22 digits is? I do:

1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 = 1021 = 1 sextillion

That's right. SEXTILLION. And before you degenerates even make the joke, no, a "sextillion" is not a tenth-grade school sponsored orgy. So to be clear, a 22-digit account number allows for TEN SEXTILLION customers. Now, the freeways are clogged here. I get it. But there will never be 10 sextillion households in Los Angeles. Not even if the entire country of Mexico moves into my building.

According to the most generous estimate available, there are 10 million residents in Los Angeles County. Do you know how many times 10 million goes into 10 sextillion? I do. ONE HUNDRED BILLION. Essentially, LADWP has created an account number system that can accommodate 100 billion separate accounts for every resident of the county. I know people have lots of sex here, but even David Spade and Charlie Sheen have to run out of sperm at some point.

Let's break it down. To accommodate 10 million customers, LADWP need only have an account number with eight digits. EIGHT.

22 > 8

Additionally, that 10 million is counting people who don't normally pay the electric bill, like kids and homeless people and me, so you should be good for a long time, LADWP. And eight digits fits on my check a damn sight better.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I recently had the opportunity to sit down and spend some time with the one, the only, Dr. Zibbs from That Blue Yak. Zibbs and I sat outside sipping some Wawa coffee on a chilly February morning and talked about his world-famous West Chester based blog, his landmark appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and the recent Oscar sweep for "That Blue Yak - The Movie" featuring Ashton Kutcher, Sidney Poitier, Erin E-surance, and the voice talents of Ray Romano as That Blue Yak.

Dr. Zibbs. Wow. What a year.

Probably not but depends how tight my pants are.

Dr. Zibbs, you rarely mention Mrs. Dr. Zibbs. How does she help support the Zibbs media empire, and how does she feel about the female attention that follows you everywhere you go?

Very good question, WWW. Mrs. Dr. Zibbs has little to do with my blog. In fact, we only discuss it occasionally as blogging is just a part of my famous, jet setting and spectacular life. Plus I'm afraid she'll mention to her friends and family that I have a blog. As for the attention from the ladies, she's used to that but I make sure not to flirt with ladies when she's in the same room.

Many theories have been bandied about by pundits, but please...clear it up for us once and all. What prompted the name "That Blue Yak"?

For some reason I wanted an animal and an obscure one. And I just picked blue for the hell of it. I guess I was thinking that eventually I could make a cool logo out of it and sell merchandise. Also, if I ever want to get a costume made, a blue yak would be pretty cool looking. As for the word "That" instead of "The", I forget why I chose that. I think the whole process took 30 seconds.

You're now an inspiration for an entire generation of bloggers and cross-platform media moguls. Who inspired a young Dr. Zibbs to follow the path that he did?

I've always been a fan of comedy. When I was a wee lad, my sister told me about SNL and I used to tape the show with a tape recorder and listen to it over and over. Other early influences were SCTV and comedians I would see on the Mike Douglas Show.

Please tell us about your new charity foundation, Yak Gives Bak.

Everyone knows that next to caring about me, I care about other people. And I really care about the people that care about me. Does that make sense? The Yak Gives Bak foundation is a new non profit (and by non profit I mean profit) portion of my blog that will help me get more traffic but cleverly packaged in way that it looks like I'm helping other people. For instance granting interviews or selling kits that help people have backyard carnivals. You know, how McDonald's used to have back in the day.

What's next for Dr. Zibbs? What have you not yet accomplished that you'd like to?

To tell you the truth, I'd really like to make more YouTube videos but I keep putting it off. I have a whole list of ideas but can never seem to make the time to actually do it. I would also like more women to send me photos of themselves with no clothes or with little clothing. Anything. I even asked Falwless to send me a PMS # (pantone color matching) of her nipple but she wouldn't do it. And let me stress here that I'm very discreet. There are a few blog ladies that have emailed me stuff and I've never shown it to anyone. It's the truth. Seriously, start sending stuff. I'm not joking.

(Ed. Note: Female bloggers wishing to send racy pictures to Dr. Zibbs may send them in care of this blog at

What would you like the world to remember about Dr. Zibbs? What do you hope your legacy is?

I'd like the world to remember me for curing Lupus. As for the legacy, if I ever die, I'd like to have my blog put onto giant scrolls and the scrolls then travel the world. Then, after completing it's journey, maybe it can be plastered to a huge building. That of course is if I ever die.

For my final questions, I'll borrow from James Lipton, who borrowed from Bernard Pivot.

What is your favorite word? Your least favorite word?

Blue Tit (because it's a bird but makes people think of someone with a blue tit). Least favorite is dry heave. The image just sickens me.

What turns you on, creatively, spiritually or emotionally? What turns you off?

Me. I try to read my blog sometimes but forget it's me that wrote it and I realize how great it is. I admit to myself that it's a masterpiece. And that's pretty humble given that I'm trying to pretend someone else wrote it. What turns you off? Long walks on the beach and when people forget to click on my Google ads.

What sound or noise do you love? What sound or noise do you hate?

I love slide whistle. It just always cracks me up. And a lady being pleased during coitus. I hate the sound of the chicks on The View. Except for the blond one that most people hate. Except I like to picture her with her trap taped shut. So when I'm gettin it on with her she ain't blabbin'

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? What profession would you not like to attempt?

If I could sing, I'd want to be a rock star. But I'd also like to have my own TV show. I would not want to be a math teacher or a mime.

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say to you at the pearly gates?

Hello my son. I've got news for you. Anyone who never clicked on your Google ads at least once a week has gone to hell. Because those free loaders should have known better. Now go get yourself a drink at the bar. We'll send some food over shortly.

Monday, February 23, 2009

If This Trailer's A Rockin'...

My days as a single man are numbered! Finally, the honchos at the interwebs have created a dating site for a man like me. A site that will provide me access to the kinds of women that will find me interesting and desirable. A site that will cater to my desire for a strong woman of action. A site full of down-to-Earth chicks not afraid to make the first move. A site like this.

Of course, upon reflection it's not all that different than meeting women through Blogger. Blogger women have the same qualities. They don't live in my city; they don't know what I look like until it's too late; and based on my experience I'm just as likely to get shanked.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Yet Another Tired Oscar Predictions Post

Like many similarly unqualified bloggers, I hereby offer my own predictions for the Academy Awards. As always, these predictions are for amusement only. Any money wagered and lost based on the following is solely the responsibility of the reader.

Edited after the awards to show the results. I went a disappointing 14-10, not nearly enough to win any respectable Oscar pool. But I nailed all of the Big 8, which I don't think I've ever done before.

Slumdog Millionaire
The prohibitive favorite.

Danny Boyle
It takes a lot for the Best Picture winner to not also win this category.

Sean Penn
He was better than Mickey Rourke, but I'd much rather watch Mickey Rourke give a speech.

Kate Winslet
Not her best work, but it's her turn. It's a shame, because Anne Hathaway was fantastic.

Heath Ledger
I hate when awards are given for sympathy, but in this case Ledger is the strongest in a very weak crop of nominees.

Penelope Cruz
This was the hardest one to pick. I would not be surprised at all if Viola Davis or Marisa Tomei win.

My favorite movie of the year, Wall-E, has a shot.

Slumdog Millionaire
My second favorite movie of the year, Frost/Nixon, gets shut out.

This category is like Mike Tyson beating up third-graders.

Slumdog Millionaire
Personally I'd pick The Dark Knight, but this is still a worthy winner.

The Dark Knight
Sometimes Best Picture snubs clean up in the minor categories. Sometimes they even deserve it, like this one.

The Duchess
Always go with the period epic. I would vote for Revolutionary Road, however.

The Dark Knight
The Best Picture winner usually has an advantage here, but I feel that the Academy really wants to recognize this movie.

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
A lot of the transformation was via visual effects instead of makeup, but that won't matter.

Iron Man
Three guys with multiple nominations and wins. Also, it was the best. And my friend Susan worked on the visual effects crew, so I want it to win.

Slumdog Millionaire
There are some heavy hitters in this category, but Hollywood has a current infatuation with Bollywood. Call this pick a hunch.

"Down To Earth" from Wall-E
The two Slumdog songs will cancel each other out. And Springsteen's snub helps.

Iron Man
Christopher Boyes is a multiple winner. That makes the difference for me in a wide open category.

Ben Burtt is also a multiple winner. So why didn't I pick Wall-E for Sound Editing? Beats me.

The Garden
Man On Wire is the one everybody has heard of, but The Garden has local appeal to Angelenos.

The Conscience Of Nhem En
Bereft of a nominee about the Holocaust this year, it was difficult to choose a winner in this category.

The short film categories are always just educated guesses. Pixar made this film, which is all the education I needed.

Spielzeugland (Toyland)
The Holocaust Corollary makes the choice for me.

Waltz With Bashir
It's doing great business at the box office, which is important in this category.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Adult Situations

Like many single men, I live in an apartment. Like many single men in a big city, I live in a small apartment. I don't have a dining room, I have an elongated living room that I've divided into two areas with a couch. This means that I usually eat my meals at my coffee table. I realize this is probably not that attractive, but I must take pains to point out that it is definitely several steps above eating Kraft macaroni and cheese from a pot over the sink.

I began working again in December, and decided that for the first time in my adult life it was time to own a dining table. I have two gorgeous cherry wood barstools with full backs that I uh, "misappropriated" from a movie set some years back. I decided that I needed to find a cherry wood pub table so that I would not have to add chairs to my list of purchases. I found the perfect one at, of all places, Target. It arrived this week and it looks great.

Tonight I decided it was time to eat like an adult and break the new table in. I made chicken parmesan, perhaps my favorite meal. As I sat at the table, I DID feel like an adult. But something was missing. When I ate at the coffee table, it was all about the food. Eating at a coffee table means you sit on the couch and look to the television on the opposite side. Television is a great date. It's frequently funny and charming, and it makes dinner go down easy.

When you eat at a dining table, you don't sit on the couch. You sit in a proper chair. Television is not on the other side. Another proper chair is on the other side. An empty one. Television doesn't judge you. It doesn't say anything about you. It's your friend.

An empty chair on the other side of the table does say something about you. It speaks volumes without saying a word.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This Market Was Not Very Super

Last night I dashed into the supermarket on the way home from work. I just needed a few things and wanted to get out quickly. The regular lane had a long line, but the express lane had only two people waiting, so I lined up.

Bad move. The lady first in line was paying by CHECK. In the EXPRESS LANE. Which is ahem, expressly forbidden. Cash. Debit. Credit. Not check. There are very good reasons for this, and they are twofold. Unfortunately, this woman illustrated both of them:

1. People who write checks at the supermarket do not prepare to write a check. They wait for the cashier to read the total and then their face says, "How will I pay? I know, I'll write a check!" as if it's the first time they'd ever considered the question. Only then do they fish in their purse for the checkbook, write out the check, and hand it over. This happens EVERY SINGLE TIME someone buys groceries with a check.

2. Sometimes checks do not go through the first time. Sometimes checks need to be confirmed with the bank. Sometimes it takes several minutes. Like this time.

The second person in line was no picnic either. He had the chance to step up and get through the line in record time. But no. In order to save 35 cents on a can of peas, he decided it was time to sign up for the store's club discount card. Shouldn't this be against the rules in the express lane? I swear to God, I needed to shave by the time it was my turn!

I sense a riff.

* I fathered and raised a KID that needed to shave by the time it was my turn!
* Angelina Jolie kidnapped three more Asian toddlers by the time it was my turn!
* The Chicago Cubs won the World Series by the time it was my turn!
* Six more Tyler Perry movies were released by the time it was my turn!
* A newly hired bag boy was having his retirement party by the time it was my turn!
* Guns N' Roses released Chinese Democracy 2 by the time it was my turn!

Anyway, to get back to the two annoying people in the express lane, they were annoying.

So I shot them.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Auntie Meme

I never do memes, but this one I nicked from the fine folks over at Gingers Is The Watchword has three things going for it.

1. It requires no personal revelation
2. It requires no work
3. It makes it easy to post after five days of nothing.

The deal is, you put your iPod on shuffle, and answer each of these "important" questions with the next song in line. No skipsies. Let's see how many comments I can get disparaging my taste in music!


Slap and Tickle - Squeeze
I could not have asked for a better start to this.


All You Ever Wanted - The Black Keys
I could not have asked for a better continuation to this.


Zombie Eaters - Faith No More
Not so much, actually.


18 & Over - Prince
I'm trying to think of a dirty comment, but it ain't coming.


Yard of Blonde Girls - Jeff Buckley
You know, I feel like an asshole for asking if they can be redheads. This is really more than I could have reasonably hoped for.


Whatsername - Green Day
If I were a woman, I'd start to hate this meme right


Kiss Your Tears Away - The Smithereens
Hmm. Maybe some of my friends. The hot ones. You know, like you. And you. But not you. Please God, not you.


Rape Me - Nirvana
It's probably best that I say nothing here.


A Little Less Conversation - Elvis Presley
No, that is a DEFINITION of secret, not an example. I think the meme is broken.


Drunk - West Coast Grand
That's actually the BEST thing that could happen. The meme is definitely broken.


Bucket O' Trouble - Izzy Stradlin & the JuJu Hounds
Way to be specific.


I'm Stepping Out - John Lennon
This was the one I was most tempted to call a do-over for.


Sex Farm - Spinal Tap
Well, I'm not exactly sure what a sex farm is. But I'm pretty sure it would make me laugh and cry in a ratio yet to be determined.


Bad Actress - Def Leppard
Aces. Leave it to hair metal to bring us wisdom.


Grace - Jeff Buckley
Not hardly. I'm liable to pull a Dick Van Dyke if you have an ottoman.


Take It All - Badfinger
Okay, I might be a little ribald, but I'm not an out-and-out perv. As far as you know.

WHAT IS 2+2?

All These Things That I've Done - The Killers
I've only done four things? Actually, upon reflection, that's probably generous.


Out Of Control - U2
Not since Pete Doherty and I went our separate ways.


Hanging On A Heartbeat - Hooters
Well, she does have hooters.


That Smell - Lynyrd Skynyrd
I really need to start doing something with my life. Starting with a shower.


You Were Made For Me - Sam Cooke
I got nothin.


Luxury - The Rolling Stones
Aren't all kids a luxury in this economy?


Somebody To Love - Queen
This is uncomfortably accurate.


Murder By Numbers - The Police
I'm going to go ahead and mark that down as a "no".


You've Got Her In Your Pocket - The White Stripes
Then why does it hurt? Is she really fat?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chatters Say The Darndest Things, Vol. 2

Because the first collection of his folksy wisdom was so popular and because I have nothing else to say today, I am proud to present another collection of aphorisms from my favorite idiot savant, Like An Abaratar. Enjoy!

Abaratar On The Value Of Education

Like an abaratar: like gearge plays dumb and normal and trys to appear to be like an every day middle class guy even though is was born with millions and has degrees from yale and harberd
Like an abaratar: harverd
Like an abaratar: harved

Like an abaratar: I come from people that halled water on a sled and pooped outside yet my family has doen pretty well

Like an abaratar: maybe i schould go to college

Every Vote Counts

Like an abaratar: I'm voting for the pink M&M again, it should have one the last election

Abar & Ebert

Like an abaratar: wats heavy metal ans the faces of death documenteries 1-5 must be on your acid list., and the never ending story, and labrynth(best movie ever that doesn't star john wayne

Abaratar On Race Relations

Like an abaratar: Emp. b;lack people are not real big on oral sex, it is a white thing

Miss Manners Says

Like an abaratar: blame are you teaching them to do curticy flusher in public rest rooms when they are really smelling them up bad

He Knows How To Pick A Melon

Like an abaratar: I had 18 year old boobies several months back, there is something so amaising about young hooters

Abaratar On Intimate Apparel

Like an abaratar: get lots of women to were bakiny tops and have maney sacks connected to the bakiny tops, so that once the bads are full of pennies they will weigh down the top and make it rfall down

Like an abaratar: the thong is sopose to creat the illution or the jiggles of a gal wearing no underwaer, which is ruined when you see it sticking out the bacl of a galls brichis

Those Amazing Animals

Like an abaratar: one my dog was a lil puppy I gave it a gig an of oil fat and butter that came off a cooked turkey, it dropped a gaint bigger then a 400 lb human turd in the middle of the living room I mean it just flew out the dogs butt

Like an abaratar: cats are whores

Just Say No!

Like an abaratar: I smoke to joints in the moring. I smoke 2 joints in the afternoon, it makes me feel alright

Like an abaratar: but if you decide to get drunk while skating it is better to take you drink with you while skating so you can gradualy get use to skating drunk, other wize you will fall down

Abaratar the Epicure

Like an abaratar: green eggs and ham is awsome, first cut hame into cubes, put in pan cook, add 2 cans of spinnich , heat till way hott, add 4-8 eggs mix up real good, salt and pepper to taste, serve hot

Like an abaratar: I have finanly lost my mind, I walked in the kitchen to heet my tamalies anouther 2 minutes, but insted of touching the button on the microwave I touched the button on the water dispincer on the refigerater and squrted water on the floor

Psychiatrist - 5¢

Like an abaratar: just don't think about it, think about other things if you find you self thinking about this guy cut yourself with a razor or burn your self, that will make you relate negativity with thinking about him, and soon you will no longer want to think about him

Like an abaratar: to make a girl like you you need to get her emotions and feeling pumping, like a rollor caoster or a scary movie or even a petting zoo, she will subconchisly make a connection between the intence feelings she felt in your pressance and you

Like an abaratar: ehmm, I may be seeing hings wrong , but we now have medication that keeps peopleple from doing gret things, as if thomas jefferson n abe linkon, and george washington were not mentaly il by todays standerds, AMBITION IS NOT BAD

Like an abaratar: I only tell people off when they are overy pretenchis, I am very nice and polite to people if I think they are mentally ill

There’s No Accounting For Taste

Like an abaratar: well some girls like boys like me the rest can have you

Like an abaratar: Psss, trent I hate you, and will keep you on ignore for ever, maybe you should change names and start over

Abaratar, Consumer Watchdog

Like an abaratar: I grew up a chexy man growing up in texas being that ford was always asociated with nazzis, but as i got older I learned that fords get a lot more mile for the $

Honesty Is The Best Policy

Like an abaratar: and patty if you have any STD's pleace be upfront about them before you start banging thinkers

Like an abaratar: beat up a kid in the 7th grade for calling my mom a fat bictch, but sadly the kid was telling the trueth

Call Webster’s!

Like an abaratar: equestrains is a funny word, what do trains have to do with horses

Abaratar, GLAAD Man Of The Year

Like an abaratar: the new gal I am seeing says she is bysexual but will give it up when she gets marreied becasue cheeting is cheeting,

Like an abaratar: once had a huge body builder/proson garde dike hit on me at the "L" in denver, she had just split with her girlfriend and wanted something different

Like an abaratar: ira , I would love for you to be the one that takes my over 50 virgenity

Like an abaratar: ada is your teacher a dyke, the one that assigned this project

Make Sure You Write Down The Tracking Number

Like an abaratar: I knoiw one of the service men converted to islam because he had to under iraqi law to marry the chic, not sure about the other one though. but they are trying to get there wifes shipped back to the US

Does ‘Fear Factor’ Know About This?

Like an abaratar: sara for 5 million dollors sadly I would grab my ankles and spell run for MJ

A Freudian Slip

Like an abaratar: hi hoe are you today

And We End With The Secret To A Happy Life…

Like an abaratar: irr, the secret to having a happy life is to treatr every womwn you know as if you want them, even if it is your grandma or the lady at the department of moter vehicals, if they feel wanted they are happy

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Actual Conversations With Real People, Vol. 3

This episode's Actual Conversation is between me and a cute-but-damaged-and-unshowered-girl-probably -on-her-way-home-from-a-rave. I was sitting on the steps of my apartment building waiting to be picked up to to go the movies. She was walking down the sidewalk toward my building.


Me: (ignoring her)


Me: Hi.

CBDAUGPOHWHFAR: Do you have a car?

Me: Uh, no. (lie)


She walks away.


Monday, February 9, 2009

How I Suck In The Kitchen

Last weekend I was making macaroni and cheese and committed a grievous error. The proper procedure is to pour the macaroni mixture into the pan, lay down a layer of cheese, and then add the bread crumbs on top.

I was dividing my attention between the task at hand and a football game, and my absent-mindedness led to the bread crumbs being carefully layered on top of the macaroni mixture before the cheese went on. I was kind of screwed. You can't just add the cheese on top, because the bread crumbs, entombed beneath a layer of cheese, will get soggy instead of crispy. You can't just add the cheese and then more bread crumbs, or there will be altogther too many bread crumbs. And finally, it's practically impossible to pick up the bread crumbs by hand.

I was stumped.

Inspiration, however, soon struck.

I was vacuuming up stray bread crumbs on the floor when it came to me - if the vacuum picks up bread crumbs off the floor, it might pick them up off the macaroni! In the words of every terrible movie, it was just crazy enough to work. I thoroughly cleaned and disinfected the wand attachment (I added this part so I don't get fifty comments that say "ewwww gross!"), slid it on the vacuum, and went to town. It worked like a dream. Honestly. The macaroni mixture was just heavy enough to stay put while all but a few bread crumbs lost their grip and got sucked into the black hole of my Hoover (I added this part so I DO get fifty comments containing oral sex jokes.) The dish was saved!

The lesson? Don't watch football while cooking, kids. And add "vacuum cleaner" to the list of useful kitchen gadgets.

Edit: After posting this and reading it over, I realized that there will be LOTS more sex jokes about "disinfecting the wand attachment" than there will be about "getting sucked into the black hole of my Hoover".

Friday, February 6, 2009

Feel The Hate

Have you ever wondered why the ratings for television shows rarely have any correlation whatsoever to their quality? I used to as well. Not any more.

I was out shopping with my friend Amanda and I was finished in the store before she was. This was the day that I learned Amanda could spend hours shopping just for the hell of it, and resolved never to go shopping with her for anything ever again. Unless she buys me an Orange Julius.

I didn't feel like hanging out in the store for her to be done, so I went outside and sat down. Across the street and directly in my line of sight was a billboard (pictured below) for the show Burn Notice, which I hadn't heard of before. I sat there waiting for Amanda and getting more irritable with every minute that passed, with only this billboard to look at.

I couldn't just leave like I wanted to, because she was my ride. I was trapped. My irritability boiled over and soon transferred to the billboard as I became increasingly angry with the people pictured. "Look at that smug asshole with his condescending smirk and his sunglasses and his cufflinks," I thought. "Who the hell does he think he is? Does he think he's BETTER than me?" I then carried on an internal monologue of things he would likely say, all in an inexplicably whiny voice. "Oh, look at me, I'm so cool! I work in Miami and wear a suit and have a pool to stand in! Don't you wish you were like me, fatty? I could probably have sex with this girl right now, but I don't have to because there is a never-ending stream of strippers and Miami Dolphins cheerleaders trying to give me their number!" I imagined the girl next to him with the bratty little-sister pose thoughtfully adding, "YEAH!"

Forty-five minutes later when Amanda finally emerged from the store, I not only never wanted to watch this show, I wanted to spray paint a thought bubble on the billboard that said "I AM GAY."

The point of this story is that when you're alone with something for an extended period of time, you will begin to hate it. I imagine that my time with the billboard is a microcosm of why many marriages fail.

"Good morning, dear."

I'm told by more open-minded friends who've actually seen Burn Notice that not only is it pretty good, but also sort of a comedy. So, fuckface up there wasn't really being smug, he was just mugging. Still, the damage is done. The scars are permanent. I will never watch this show. And I will never trust Amanda when she says she "just has to run in there for a minute."

I don't want to veer wildly off topic, but I can't let the subject of smugness pass without talking about that self-satisfied Carl's Jr. star. I've about had it with him, too. What does this little shit have to be so smug about? He works in fast food and doesn't even have limbs! I just want to wipe that smile right off his fat face.

I think I need an enemies list. If it worked for Nixon, it will work for me.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How To Get Divorced

Valentine's Day can be a special day to show your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/booty call/drunk hookup/blog crush/best friend who doesn't like you that way how much you care. All too often though, marketers crassly co-opt the legacy of Saint V and try to sell you something you would otherwise never purchase by branding it as the perfect Valentine's Day gift.

This morning I saw the most shameless example I can remember. A television commercial proudly touted the DVD release of Disney's Space Buddies as "the perfect Valentine's Day gift." This begs a multitude of questions, chief among them "Uh, what?" and "Are you fucking kidding me?" Space Buddies is about puppies that become astronauts. No, really. Frankly, I can see only one situation in which Space Buddies is the perfect Valentine's Day gift. And that's the kind of situation where you have to tell the police every time you move and you aren't allowed to live near a school.

I imagined a scenario in which a husband took the advice of this commercial and gifted his wife with Space Buddies.

Honey, I'm home!

Welcome home, dear! Happy Valentine's Day! I've
made your favorite dinner, pot roast! I've been
cooking it all day long.

Aw, baby, you're the greatest! I've got something
special for you, too!

It's not your dick in a box again, is it?

No, honey, this year I got it right!

I'm so excited!

The wife opens the DVD and her face registers puzzlement followed by shock followed by anger. She calmly walks over to the stove, lifts the dutch oven full of pot roast, and dumps it on the husband's head.

There's bologna and cheese in the fridge, Romeo.
I'm going to my mother's.


Monday, February 2, 2009

The Cockblocker Chronicles

This is the very first post I made on my very first blog, back in February 2002. It was the day of the Super Bowl, which is what made me think to post it now. For the record, J the cockblocker and I developed into very good friends. Hopefully this means he won't be mad if he somehow happens across this post.

The Cockblocker Chronicles

I just watched my favorite football team blow a chance to go to the Super Bowl. They had a perfect opportunity to win in the waning seconds but didn’t get it done. They’re a young and talented team, and in all likelihood they’ll have other chances in coming seasons. But the future is never guaranteed. You need to seize the moment like it’s a last dying gasp. The gnawing uncertainty of getting a second chance is a killer.

Which brings me to this. It all happened at the wrap party for the movie I had just worked on. These tend to be restrained affairs, seeing as how no one wants to be the drunk asshole who isn’t asked back on the next job. Don’t get me wrong - people have fun, but by and large they’re also very aware of the impression they make.

This one was different. The hall, the food, the decor, the vibe…it was all great. And a Beatles cover band played happy songs everyone knew. I also happened to work with my friends, which made it better. My friend J brought a girl named KP as his platonic date. KP had worked with us a few times, and so it was natural for him to bring her along. I had always had a major crush on KP. She was impossibly cute with big brown eyes and spoke in a Texas drawl that made it sound like she had a honey-glazed tongue. She was also one of the most genuine, kindhearted people I’d met in Los Angeles. If you live here, you know how precious that can be.

The party was well underway (as was my buzz) when KP came over and grabbed my arm. “Come on, we’re going to dance!” she said. Now, gentle reader, lest you misunderstand what is to come, let me give you an idea of my feelings on dancing. I don’t do it. Seriously. I’m way too shy and self-conscious to engage in something so carefree. Slow dancing is one thing. I can get away with swaying from side to side without looking stupid. But fast dancing is just the most terrifying experience I can imagine. I can count the number of times I’ve done it on one hand and have enough fingers left over to type this story at a pretty good clip. And those few times I did do it, I was lubricated by enough beer to drown a horse. Allow me to explain what happens in my brain when I’m dancing. Imagine that you are on the dance floor among a crowd of people. Further imagine that not only are you in your underwear, but that your underwear is Wonder Woman Underoos. With a tear in the back. Under a spotlight. Now multiply that by ten, and you’re getting close to the abject fear involved here.

But I digress. KP was dragging me onto the dance floor. Amazingly, I went. Sure, I’d had a few. And sure, who doesn’t feel like shaking something when “Can’t Buy Me Love” is playing? But this was still a big deal. And when I got out there, I actually found myself enjoying it. I’m sure that it was mostly because KP was paying attention to me. But I did notice with relief that no one else was paying attention to me. And as one song turned into the next, I was really having a good time. It was the same kind of thrill mixed with fear that makes people wait in line two hours for a roller coaster. She had watched me dance for a good twenty minutes and hadn’t either recoiled in horror or looked over my shoulder and seen a phantom friend that she had to say hello to. This was big.

The band took a break and we went to get a drink. J saw us at the bar and asked us if we wanted to come up to the second floor with him where it was quieter to take a break. We went upstairs to the balcony, as this party was being held at an old theater, and we discovered that we were the only ones up there. When we sat down on one of the plush couches strewn about, J planted himself squarely between us. The conversation was animated and vaguely philosophical, as conversations tend to be when the participants are shit-faced. The talk revolved around how when WE had some clout in this town, things would be done differently! I was giddily on the verge of a perfectly logical utopian vision of Hollywood when J realized that KP and I were leaning over him to talk. Before long he was playing the Berlin Wall to my awakening libido’s East Germany. Yet there he stayed, the self-appointed last line of defense for KP’s virtue. Now, I would normally applaud this. As sexist as this may sound, I’m a big fan of keeping assholes away from nice girls. But J was my friend. A relatively new friend to be sure, but still my friend. And I don’t happen to be an asshole. A woman’s virtue is safer with me than a plate of broccoli is at a pie-eating contest. In my head, this was as clear as if I were wearing a giant scarlet ‘H’ for Harmless. But maybe J didn’t know me well enough to know this. Frankly, I wasn’t in the mood to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Despite conducting our first giggly get-to-know-you-better conversation in front of a militant chaperone, KP and I managed to elude J long enough to go downstairs and dance some more. By now, I was having the best time I could remember having in years. I was floating on air. It says a lot about me, I fear, that a few hours’ attention from an attractive female can put me in such a state. But I was in the moment and loving it. I had even managed to overlook the disturbing fact that when the band ripped into “Got To Get You Into My Life”, she said she didn’t know the song. When the band took another break, we parted for a while and retreated to our respective corners to chat with our friends. Then the defining moment of the evening was upon me.

The band announced the last song, and it was “Hey Jude”. I was in mid-sentence when KP ran over and grabbed my hand, pulling me onto the floor with an insistent “Come oooooooon!” much to the amusement of my friends. As we settled into our first slow dance, I had an overwhelming feeling that this was right. She was looking up at me with those big brown eyes and a smile, and I was Jello.

And then it all went inexplicably, astoundingly wrong.

I didn’t kiss her.

It felt like the time was right for a kiss. And if I am aware of this, then every pair of eyes in the place must have been focused on me, wondering “why the hell isn’t that knucklehead kissing that girl?” Even a dopey romantic movie would have known enough to have a kiss here, no doubt set to a schmaltzy ballad by a veteran of the Mickey Mouse Club. How then, you might ask, did this fail to happen? In nearly every aspect of my life, I’m strong in the clutch, saving my best for when it’s needed. When it comes to women though, I’m a big time choker. I never have the fortitude to close the deal. I can describe to you in painful detail every instance in which I’ve failed to kiss a girl that was eminently kissable, from the time I first started to think girls weren’t so icky right up until this shameful debacle. I often wonder how many women that I thought the world of didn’t know I was interested because I didn’t kiss them. I took this one to the moment of truth, and came up short yet again.

Yet somehow, when the party ended I still had a puncher’s chance. We huddled with our friends to see what was happening next. Fortune was about to smile on me and give me yet another opportunity. Our group was going to go to my friend and boss R’s house to wind down with a nightcap. But KP wanted to go home, and didn’t feel she was in a condition to drive. So for once in my life, I stepped up. Even at this early stage, I was aware of the blunder of the non-kiss, and I was prepared to fix it. You should have been in my brain. I was so proud of myself in advance for what I was about to suggest. I selflessly volunteered to pass up drinks at R’s to take KP home.

This immediately set off J’s radar. “I don’t really feel like going over there either. Why don’t all three of us go to KP’s place and have something to eat?” I assured him that this wasn’t necessary. “It’s okay, I’ll take her, there’s no reason we should both miss the fun.” I can’t be certain, but I think a threatening tone crept into my voice. I knew exactly what he was doing, and I strongly resented the fact that I was considered a danger. My mind flashed back to every bad TV movie about date rape, and I thought, “Is that what he thinks I am?” My intentions were honorable. I just wanted to take her home, make her something good to eat, and maybe suck her face off. J didn’t care though, as evidenced by his absolutely brilliant reply. “I’m not sure I should drive. Why don’t we all go to KP’s place in your car? By the time we leave, I’m sure I’ll be fine and you can bring me back to my car.” The guy was slick. No wonder he went to Yale. He had cleverly made it impossible for me to take KP home alone, lest I appear the type that would make a drunk guy drive in order to get some action.

So thus we went, the ingĂ©nue, the eunuch, and the human chastity belt, off to see the fucking Wizard. On the way there, KP turned the radio up loud and started singing. She can’t sing, which made it even cuter. However, J insisted on talking over her and thoroughly ruining the charm of the situation. I briefly considered telling him to undo his seatbelt so that I might crash into a telephone pole and send him through the windshield.

When we arrived, they both claimed to be ravenous, but it was too late to order anything. So I was soon enlisted to cook. It’s a well known fact among my friends that I know my way around the kitchen, mostly from the various desserts I’d bring into work on Fridays to help ensure that I’d still have a job on Monday. I rummaged through KP’s refrigerator and discovered that it was emptier than a Russian grocery store. I found a carton of egg whites, salad fixings, salsa, a bag of shredded cheese, some condiments that shared their prime years with The Doobie Brothers, and the ubiquitous bottled water. I have a pet theory that females under the age of 40 in Los Angeles live in constant fear of a contaminated water supply.

It’s a testament to either my lameness or my true love of cooking that for the moment the biggest challenge in my life was not how to get rid of J, but how to assemble these meager ingredients into a kickass dish. I quickly decided that the egg whites dictated an omelette. Mushrooms, peppers and cheese inside with a dollop of salsa on top. Seeing as I don’t like mushrooms and I don’t like salsa on eggs, I did not partake of the feast. But J practically had an orgasm on the spot. Too bad I wasn’t hot for him instead. KP also had lavish praise for me, and I replied by saying “Well, I’ll have to cook dinner for you sometime.” She responded by saying “Oh my God, yes!” Damn, I’m smooth.

After the meal, we sat around talking that end of the night talk, which is to say we had exhausted our daily allotment of wit and insight earlier in the evening. Soon it was time to go, and KP bade us goodbye with hugs. I also snuck in a kiss on the cheek, which I felt was more than appropriate, if not an admission of defeat. On the drive back to J’s car, he kept up a lively patter, apparently ignorant of my silent seething. I proceeded home with my radio on full blast, filled to bursting with the conflicting emotions of triumph and regret.

Monday morning came and of course the topic of the day at work was the party. Just as the conversation had petered out and I thought I was going to escape unscathed, out it came from the mouth of R, my boss. “So, WWW, what’s up with you and KP?” Suddenly a chorus of ‘ooooooohs’ filled the room as if two characters on a WB sitcom had just kissed. I told the Reader’s Digest version of the story, and R turned to J and said with perfect timing, “You cockblocker!” The entire bullpen practically fell off their chairs laughing except J. That was his nickname for at least a week. Later that day I asked him for KP’s number. He asked me why I didn’t ask her for it. I wanted to say, “Because you wouldn’t leave us alone long enough to exchange so much as an area code!” but didn’t, seeing as how he had something I wanted. He seemed reluctant to give it to me, but he eventually did. Maybe he felt a slight twinge of guilt. In any case, I was certain that he would soon tell her the call was coming and then warn her that I had been seen in the company of Chris Hansen and a phalanx of TV cameras.

I waited until Tuesday to call her. I needed two days to summon the courage. After all, I had managed to live a good number of years on this Earth without calling up a girl on the phone and asking her on a proper date. I had always just fallen into dating my friends; promoting from within was my policy. So I dialed the number and waited about an ice age (or three rings) for her to pick up the phone. I started off strong, I really did. I told her what a great time I had, and we talked about what a great party it was, and she again complimented me on my culinary skills. “This is it,” I remember thinking. “It’s in the bag.” Now, it seems obvious that after a little warmup, you go right to the reason you’re calling, and ask her out. But I kept on blabbering away about God knows what. And after about 15 minutes, she said that she and her roommate were watching a movie, and could she call me the next day? “Of course”, I said, and I gave her my number. In retrospect, 15 minutes was a very generous amount of time on her part to give to a guy that obviously has no idea why he’s even on the phone. Amazingly, she did call me back the next night while I was still at work. When I got the message and called her, she was out. We played phone tag for a few days, and then I just sort of resigned myself to my fate and gave up. I knew when I was beaten. I heard that a few months later she moved to San Francisco. I never saw her again after the night of the party.

It’s clear why I thought of this story after watching that football game. Another chance is never guaranteed. In fact, I got two chances and still came up wanting. I could very easily blame J the cockblocker for this, and in fact I did for a long time. Everyone else did too. It would have been easy to leave it at that. But he only prevented me from taking her home. He didn’t stop me from kissing her when she should have been good and kissed. He didn’t bungle what should have been a simple five-minute phone call. Sure, he didn’t help any. Maybe if I had been able to take her home by myself, things would have been different. But I had my chances. This was my fault. And I hope to God that my desire defeats my fear before I’m 50 years old and making up lies about how I’m married to my job.

Then again, maybe she was just drunk and playful that night.

But I’m never going to know, am I?