Monday, November 22, 2004

The Current and Reigning King of Procrastination

I know, I know. It's been awhile since I updated. But hey, Dan's been busy (so busy that Dan has lost sense of reality and is inexplicably speaking in the third person).

On Friday, I presented in front of about 15 or so University administrators in Philadelphia for a regional conference. Overall, for displaying no discernable preparation skills whatsoever, I thought I (along with my co-presenter and session chair) did a pretty decent job. It is always scary when you deal with creatures of academia, because you utter one split infinitive and you're doomed to Scholarly Hell. But fortunately, no infinitives were split and no sentence ended in a preposition, so I live another day to tell about it.

On Saturday, I worked one of the vaunted Wind Gap wrestling shows, and yes, my Away Message premonition came true; once again, I got attacked by a kid. Apparently, they don't respond too favorably when you try to take off their shoe. And when I say "don't respond too favorably," I mean, "they will start pounding the shit out of you." One wouldn't think a 6-year-old's punches would hurt very much, but then wouldn't also think that taking off a kid's shoe is the brightest idea in the world.

Finally, to end my weekend, I had my final improv class, at least for the next month or so. I say this with all sincerity...this group rocks. Our teacher said it, and I think it's so true...we have the makings of a true ensamble if we all stick with the more advanced classes over the next year or so. I will say that I really underestimated how difficult improvisation can be. But by the same token, everyone in this group brings unique strengths and characteristics to the table that, once melded together, gives that ensamble feel to the games and performances.

I'll TRY to write up a "What I Learned" sometime this week...which validates my blog (and personal) title as DUM DUM DUM...


Until next time...

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Blogged Topics of a Random Nature (BTRN)

I have a lot of thoughts in this ol' noggin of mine, so let's begin, shall we?

Trial of the Century of the Decade of the Year of the Month of the Week of the Day of the Hour of the Minute of the Second

Ok, so the Scott Peterson case never quite got elevated to such status, but the media circus was extremely reminiscent of the OJ trial we all know and love to hate. But the difference between OJ and Peterson was that Simpson was actually a well-known celebrity, whereas Peterson...well...wasn't. And this is where I take issue with the insane coverage this trial has been given...

Now let me preface this by saying that I am in no way belittling the murder of Laci Peterson and her son; the media has done a good enough job in that regard. But let's be very honest here...what makes this murder different from any of the thousands of other murders that occur on a daily basis? Was it brutal, sick, and twisted? Absolutely. But have there been more twisted murders out there? Um, yeah, there have.

I'm not trying to really play a game of compare-and-contrast here; murder is murder and should be punished to the nth degree. But that's my whole point...nothing truly sets this case apart from many of the other cases out there, yet the attention this case got was just beyond comprehension. Let's face facts: Scott and Laci Peterson were a well-to-do, attractive, and yes let's say it...white couple. If this were to happen in an urban setting, would this have garnered this level of media attention? No. If they were two poor rednecks with missing teeth and mullets the size of Arkansas, would there be talks of TV-movies? No, because COPS would have already gotten first crack on the story.

Now that Scott's been convicted, it is just a matter of the sentencing being handed down. After that, I hope I never have to hear anything about this case ever again.


Because There Is No Better Way to Honor Our Fallen Soldiers Than By Selling Discounted Gucci Purses

Ok, I guess that's all I really have to say about Veteran's Day Sales, other than that I just find them incredibly distasteful and tacky.

MY Turn to Make an "Organized" Pun

I just wanted to share the irony of the fact that, last night, I dealt with a Professional Organizer who couldn't get a full refund because she lost her receipt.

Just think about that one...

Retail (Leads to) Therapy

I don't know if I've ever mentioned how much I truly hate Radio Shack. Everything there is an upsell.

"Sir, because you are spending more than $5, you are entitled to DirectTV service, with 500 channels, parental controls, 200 Argentinian Soccer games, and access to the 24-hour Judge Judy channel, all for the great monthly price of $29.99."
"Can I just have my batteries please?"

Well, last week, I made the mistake of saying, "I need a Digital Camera cord and I'm in the mall...might as well stop in Radio Shack."

*ala Chris Farley* Stupid stupid stupid!

Actually, that visit itself wasn't bad. But, because I have a knack for being the wrong shit, I bought the wrong shit. I needed a different kind of cord. So yesterday, I went back to return it and found myself behind two Hispanic men who really didn't seem to have a good grasp on English. And by saying, "didn't seem to have a good grasp," I'm being extremely generous.
Now let me stop and say I am not mocking the guy for not knowing the English...I'm mocking the moron behind the counter who can't take a hint.

So the cashier first spends 2 or 3 minutes trying to sell the one guy on a "Buy Four Batteries For $10" deal. No comprende. After a lengthy game of Charades, the cashier finally gives up on that endeavor.

Then the cashier tries to get the customer's zip code. Shock of shocks, the customer doesn't know what he means by "zip code." So the cashier condescendingly says, "" and motions for the customer to fill in the blank, which he (barely) does. Meanwhile, I'm still standing there while the other available cashier is sipping on an Icee.

So I'm thinking to myself, "Ok, he got the guy's zip code...he's just going to make the transaction and get on with it."

Just by me saying that, you know where this story is going.

The cashier then tries to sell him a WARRANTY. Now if the guy doesn't understand the words "zip code", what in the blue hell made him think that he's going to know what the word "warranty" means? Not taking "No comprendo" for an answer, the cashier proceeds to EXPLAIN THE WARRANTY TO THE GUY WHO CAN'T UNDERSTAND ENGLISH.

And the other cashier is still sipping on her Icee...

Now I'm not one to visually show my frustration when I get impatient, especially because I know how crazy retail can get. But when you have a guy who doesn't even let a blatant language barrier impede him from an upsell...add a woman and her Icee...and you have a frustrated Dan. Now I'm not saying I threw a fit or started yelling, but the eye rollage was starting to become frequent, which I almost never do (well, to someone's face at least).

In conclusion, the customer (probably unknowingly) bought the warranty, a new cashier processed my return, and the other cashier was still sipping on her Icee.

And I'm sipping on my last drop of coffee, so I'll go get some more and end my diatribe here.

Until next time...

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Kevin Costner He Ain't...

So Liza Minelli's bodyguard is suing her for sexual harassment. That's funny enough. But he's also suing her for "assault and battery."

Let me break this down again. A bodyguard is suing his 5'4, 58-year-old client for assault and battery, who then allegedly forced him to have sex.

If this isn't the greatest story in the history of Hollywood, I don't know what is.

Until next time...

Arafat "Dies"

Originally uploaded by thenameisdan.

Well, it looks like Yasser Arafat has finally died.

I'm still waiting for the retraction.

But Yahoo picked a really bad choice of pictures to put with the news item. It looks like Arafat is reading his own headline and is saddened to learn that he's dead.

Nothing else new or exciting to talk about, so I'll sign off here.

Until next time...

Monday, November 08, 2004

Threatening Robots

I really have to stop chatting with AOL robots. Again, to clarify before anyone thinks I'm clinically insane...this was a robot, not a human being. But what the robot said in response may just be the funniest thing I have ever read in cyberspace. Why?

Because the programmers actually prepared for someone like me...

ElNombreEsDan680 (3:11:44 PM): DIE
ZolaOnAOL (3:11:44 PM): Your crude attempt to terminate me will not succeed puny human.

Until next time...

What I Learned Last Week...

It's time to resurrect my profile staple, where I share with the world (a/k/a, the people on my buddy list) what I learned within the last 7 days...without the lame 1076-character confines of AIM. Well, technically 9 days, since I'm doing this on Monday out of sheer weekend laziness. So without any further adieu, I present...


What I Learned Last Week...(en espanol sea disponible)

  • 59 million people can't be wrong...unless those 59 million people happened to vote for George W. Bush (I'm sorry...I couldn't resist)...
  • Singing the "Full House" theme on AIM with your cousin = instant comedy...
  • Playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas automatically cements your (my) place in hell...
  • Giving your (my) Grand Theft Auto character a blonde afro, joke glasses, and boxer shorts with hearts on them automatically cements your (my) place in a mental institution...
  • I have been through Houses of Mirrors less convoluted than the new Super WaWa parking lot...
  • Seeing Santa Claus in the mall during the first week of November is just wrong...
  • My boss still thinks she's the only person on earth who gets spam...
  • The best way to win a $50 gift card at a store meeting is to cheat your ass off...
  • Having a 2-9-1-1 record in NHL 2005 online is just beyond unacceptable...
  • Having a 60-hits-per-game average in NHL 2005 online makes one feel better about having said 2-9-1-1 record...
  • Always wipe off the exercise equipment when you're done with it lol...

That is all.

Until next time...

Friday, November 05, 2004

Arafat, Death to Radio, And Other Random Bloggy Goodness

The Media? Jump The Gun?!? Surely You Jest...

Yesterday, conflicting reports surfaced on the health of Palestinian Prime Minister Yasser Arafat. First, he was in a coma. Then, he was "clinically dead," which channeled memories of Miracle Max in the Princess Bride.

Miracle Max: It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.
Inigo Montoya: What's that?
Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

*Ahem* Sorry.

But fortunately, a French spokesman held a riveting press conference, for which they set up a podium, stage, and a microphone for the following statement:

"Yasser Arafat is not dead. Thank you."

I would think a simple shout through a megaphone could have saved them a lot of setup work, but c'est la vie.

But in all seriousness, it looks like Arafat's final days are ahead. I sincerely hope that his seemingly-imminent death doesn't lead to further instability in the region, though it's sadly hard to imagine otherwise. We'll see, I guess...

Thank God For CD Players

Yesterday, I griped about the hellish Christmas rotation at The Land of the $10 Pill Box. Well, my musical disdain isn't just limited to Aaron Neville expressing how lonesome he is on Christmas Day.

Simply put, radio is evil.

Seriously, how many times does one have to subject to Pieces of Me by Ashlee Simpson before he/she is declared clinically insane? (Though I will say this...hearing the opening guitar strums of that song makes me laugh every time as I think of her dancing like a doped-up New Kid on the Block on SNL.)

In a desperate attempt to get away from my musical doldrums, I actually listened to *GASP* AM Radio the other day. Unfortunately, I happened to turn it on to Rush Limbaugh.

Once again, radio is evil.

Final Thoughts


Until next time...

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Election Musings, Christmas Music, etc. etc. And So Forth


Well, I've finally decided to jump into the world of blogging. I figure that everyone else has an ultra-biased opinion that they can post on the 'net, so hey...I'll join the party.

Let me just say first that this is not going to be a journal of my personal life. I'm not saying I won't talk about things that happen in my life, but I generally like to keep private matters private. I'm not at all knocking those who do have online journals...just different strokes for different folks. Mainly, I'll just be discussing my (really) random observations about this crazy world around us.

Most importantly, it kills time at work.

And just remember folks, it's just my opinion, so gentle. ;)

Ok, with introductory yammer out of the way, let's get to the good stuff, shall we?

Vote or Die(t) (5 Bucks to Anyone Who Gets This Extremely Vague Pop Culture Reference)

Well, we're two days removed from Election Day and one day removed from Bush's official reelection as President of the United States. Now anyone who knows me knows that...well...I'm not particularly happy with the outcome. But democracy spoke, and there isn't a whole lot that those of us in the liberal persuasion can do about it.

What shocked me is that only 1 out of every 10 eligible voters, aged 18-to-24, actually voted. The extremely surprising apathy of my generation is what, in my opinion, hammered the nail into the coffin for Kerry. I think all of Kerry's supporters (myself included) really counted on the youth vote to push him to victory, but alas, it didn't happen that way. But if you go by P. Diddy's ingenious *cough* voting drive, it looks like 90% of Generation Whatever-Letter-At-The-End-Of-The-Alphabet-We-Are is going to kick the bucket.

Hey, you can't say Puffy didn't warn you.

Though I'm trying to be as gracious as I can about Kerry's loss, there is one stat Republicans are throwing out that is just irking the hell out of me.

"This is the first time since 1988 that the winning candidate has won more than 50% of the popular vote."

I don't take issue with this to take away from Bush's accomplishment. He won, plain and simple. But man, people are all over this "majority of the popular vote" stat like white on rice as if it's some unbelievable feat. When you don't have a viable third-party candidate, someone is going to win the majority vote. That's just simple mathematics. In 1992 and 1996, Ross Perot took a sizeable chunk of the popular vote. In 2000, Nader took a little less than 3%, which doesn't sound like much...but that election was insanely close. To me, it's just like those inane sports stats that drive me up a wall.

"No team with the letter "q" in their name has ever come back from a 17-3 deficit on an odd-numbered day in December with the temperature between 37 and 43 degrees fahreinheit."

With Bush remaining in office, my sincere hope is that we works on mending the deep rift we have in this country right now. Since it seems that he MAY be bringing in a more moderate cabinet this time around, I will say that gives me some hope.

Ok, I'm off my election soapbox now...

At This Rate, We're Going To Be Putting Up Easter Decorations Before New Year's...

As I was working in the Land of the $300 Trash Can last night, my ears beheld a song (a song) that sounded strangely like a Christmas Carol. "Eh, one Christmas song, I'll deal with it," I thought. But oh wasn't just one.

That's right, on November freaking Third, the dreaded "Christmas Rotation" officially began.

I just got done saying yesterday, "Well, at least we don't have to deal with 527's for another year." So of course, we now have to segue right into the Christmas music. Now please don't get me wrong...I love the holidays just as much as anyone else. But when you hear four different versions of Little Drummer Boy in a 4 1/2 hour span and we're still over two weeks away to's a tad grating.

Reverse Darwinism (a/k/a, Someone Said Something Really Stupid)

It's pretty common to hear really stupid things when you deal in retail. Last night, I heard one of those gems that just make you question the whole theory of evolution.

Customer 1: Ooh, what's this?
Customer 2: It's a shoe bag.
Customer 1: Wow! What do you put inside of it?

On that note, I bid adieu.

Until next time...