Saturday, May 28, 2005

Bloggus Maximus

I have a lot of ground to cover, including Working for the Man, Part IV and this week's installment of What Dan Learned . But first, the touching tale of a car dealership's utter stupidity...

Upon Closer Inspection...

I took my car (Pepe) to Hyundai yesterday for my annual state inspection. Now although I bought Pepe this past October, my inspection and emission stickers expire in, well, 3 days. I told you I was the Current and Reigning King of Procrastination (tm)...

Anyway, I always found it a little funny that I had to get my car inspected so soon, but I chalked it up to buying my car so late in the year. So I brought it in, and the Hyundai Desk Dude (HDD) started chuckling to himself. When I asked what was up, he said that I should not be getting my inspection now, but rather in October. I shouldn't have been shocked, considering this was the same conglomeration of geniuses that had my temporary registration expire two days after I bought the car.

I thought I was scot-free at this point, but oh no...he said he would have to inspect the car anyway, but he would charge it to the Hyundai Sales Department. "That's more than fair," I thought...until he said, "Then you'll have to bring it back to get inspected again in October." Looking for clarity yet knowing what the answer would be, I asked, "This October?" A simple nod confirmed my suspicions that yes, my new car would have to be inspected twice within a 6 month span and yes, Hyundai has low hiring standards.

Working for the Man, Part IV

The next chapter in the sordid employment history of yours truly...

Babbage's/Gamestop/Software Etc./Whatever They're Called This Week

Duration of Stay
6 months

Job Duties

  • Cashier
  • Professional video game tester (when the boss wasn't around)
What Dan Remembers...
  • Wael (pronounced "Will" or "Jackass", depending on who you talked to). I could probably write a dissertation on Wael, who was my manager for the first three months of my tenure there. On any given day, he would tell you a story illustrating his mad ninja skill, fighting evildoers who dared attempt to steal precious merchandise from the jewelry store where he previously worked. I'm going to attempt to recreate a typical Wael story, as he would tell it. Keep in mind, he would interject his stories in the middle of conversations that had absolutely nothing to do with stealing, apprehending criminals, or ninja backflips. *ahem* "Yo Daniel, get this. One time at the jewelry store, this guy tried to steal jewelry. So he gets out in the street. I do a flip over the counter. I chase him down and POW POW POW I took him to the ground and said, 'How do you like that, mother fucker?' As he was bleedin', he said, 'I respect you, Wael.' I said, 'That's right, mother fucker.'" I heard variations on this story at least twice a day.
  • One day, I was working up front with Wael as he was filing games away. He said, "Daniel, where does Battle Arena Toshinden get filed?" You wouldn't think that question would indicate stupidity...until I told you that the games were filed in alphabetical order.
  • I also worked with a guy named Zion. No, that wasn't a nickname. Yes, he was as out there as the name would indicate. Chances were that if he wasn't working, he was at the arcade. Perfect example: he didn't show up to work one day. The Assistant Manager was ready to call him and blast him; I told him to hang on one sec. I walked down to the arcade, and lo and behold...there was Zion.
  • Wael was also quite possibly the most chauvinistic lifeform to ever walk the earth. He frequently told stories about how his wife "would not dare leave the house" if he wasn't there because, and I quote, "All she's good for is cooking and fucking." So one day, Wael comes back from his break with a Victoria's Secret bag. He holds up the bag, looks at Zion and says, "Zion look...lunch." True to form, Zion asks, "So what did you get to eat?"And people wonder why I question the value of human beings to the world...
  • Two kids came in one day, trading in...I shit you not...95 video games. Actually, let me correct myself: there were 5 actual games...just 95 total copies of said games. I attempted to tell my Assistant Manager that this was what we in the retail business would call a "red flag." He said we had to allow the trade-ins anyway. As it turned out, they were two disgruntled Blockbuster employees. Do the math.
  • Parents were so oblivious to the ESRB ratings on the box. For those not into video gameage, ESRB ratings are the gaming equivalent to MPAA ratings for movies. One day, this 12-year-old kid came in with his Mom, acting like such a prick to me and my co-worker. So the Mom brings Resident Evil up to purchase. Again, for the uninitiated, Resident Evil (especially in 2000) was one of the most violent video games out there, though it's probably considered tame by today's standards. But anyway, I felt that it was my obligation as a concerned citizen/spiteful dickhead to inform the Mom that Resident Evil was rated M for Mature, containing excess amounts of violence, blood, and gore...and thus may unsuitable for children under the age of 17. She slammed the game down, increduous that her son would "trick her" into buying this game. She grabbed the kid's hand and stormed out. The kid looked back at me, certainly wishing a painful death upon me...and I just folded my arms and smiled.
My Moment of Clarity (a/k/a when I got the hell out)
I saw American Beauty in the movie theatre. Remember the scene where Kevin Spacey essentially tells his boss to go fuck himself? Some saw it as quality scriptwriting; I saw it as inspiration to quit the next day.

What Dan Learned...
Although it wasn't the best place to work, DAMN I miss that discount...

Next time: Working for the Man becomes Working for the Mouse...

What Dan Learned This Week
  • You are looking at the king of Scene It and Scattergories. Try to dethrone me...
  • It's so hard to decide on one defining nickname for Pocket Kings in Texas Hold 'Em Poker...
  • Pop Tarts = God's food...
  • Seeing my neighbor bend over in her garden may have been the most vomit-inducing thing I have ever seen...
  • It just never gets old hearing people remind me that my last name is the name of a violent action...
  • Wal-Mart always tries to deflect the notion that they're a Redneck's Emporium. Then someone explain to me why my local Wal-Mart has a live bait vending machine outside their store. I shit you not...
  • Answers to all moral and ethical dilemmas can be found by referencing shows from ABC's original TGIF lineup. Yes, that includes Just the Ten of Us. Bill Kirchenbauer knows all...
That is all.

Dan Will Be Learning in a Different Time Zone

I'm going to be in Seattle for a conference through next Friday. Because the ability to blog through mental telepathy has not yet been fully materialized, I seriously doubt there will be an update for a week or so. But you know me...stupidity follows me wherever I go, so I'm sure there will be bulletpoints galore when I return.

Until next time...

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Early Frontrunners for Dumbasses of the Year

Absolute genius...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Working for the Man, Part III


Duration of Stay
3 weeks

Job Duties
  • Waiter

What Dan Remembers...
  • On my first day on the job, we had a power outage, which knocked out the computerized system to enter food orders. The system didn't work again until the day I quit. Coincidence? Methinks not...
  • Only I could manage to spill two margaritas on the same woman within a five-minute span.
  • I grossly underestimated how quickly chocolate would pour out of a bottle, as I managed to land half a bottle of chocolate onto a customer's sundae. Most waiters would probably trash it and start over again; I put a cherry on top and served it.
  • Tuesday night was karaoke night. "Livin La Vida Loca" was the big single at the time. Put the two together, and you have a recipe for several words than end in -icide.
  • The most dreaded words in the English language for a waiter: "Excuse me sir, today is my friend's birthday..."
  • During one instance that I had to *sigh* sing for someone's birthday, I had the "privilege" of putting the sombrero on the birthday boy's head...only to be told I put the sombrero on backwards. Think about that...
My Moment of Clarity (a/k/a when I got the hell out)
Realizing that I really sucked as a waiter.

What Dan Learned...
I really sucked as a waiter.

Next time: Dan enters the world of video game retailing with no continues. Will he able to Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Select Start his way out of this one? Stay tuned...

Until next time...

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Episode III, Dan Saw; Dan Learn, What Did?

It's early Sunday morning, so let's forgo the introductory jibber-jabber and get right to it...

Spoiler Alert: Darth Vader Is Luke Skywalker's Father

I ventured to Regal Cinema to catch Star Wars Episode III on Friday night. Admittedly, I'm not the biggest Star Wars fan in the world. Hell, I didn't even see Episode II, continuing my tradition of seeing sequels without seeing the previous movie (see Matrix, The). So with low expectations, I entered the theatre, hoping to be at least semi-entertained.

Fortunately, the pre-show entertainment was great. Oh, I don't mean previews or commercials for Coca-Cola. You see, part of me really wanted to think that fanboys dressing up like their favorite Sith Lord was a media-created myth. I try to be optimistic like that. I also thought that if anyone needed to get such dorkdom out of their system, they would have done it at Wednesday's midnight opening. But alas, there was a small group of fanatics, each dressed in a different Star Wars attire. I tried to snap a picture of them with my camera phone, but they looked over in my direction before I could snap a pic. Fearing they would throw their plastic light sabers at me (which could hurt if hurled from a distance), I put the phone away and went my merry way to the box office, snickering the whole time.

My buddy Mike was running a little late, so I decided to get tickets for the 7:45 show as opposed to the 7:20 show we initially planned for. The following is an honest-to-Yoda conversation I had with one of Regal's finest:

Me: I'd like two tickets for the 7:45 showing of Episode III.
Cashier: I'm sorry sir, we're all sold out for the 7:45 showing.
Me: Oh ok...
Cashier: Would you like tickets for the 7:46 showing?

There were so many things I wanted to say at that moment, such as...

This is an outrage. Let me talk to your manager...
I'd rather hold out for the 7:47 showing...
This will make me late for my dinner date at 10:23...

Instead, I said...


So I picked up my tickets for 14-to-8:00 and went back to the lobby to wait for Mike. It was there that, from a distance, I noticed a throwrug that was slightly folded over. Within a 15-second span, I watched not one, not two, but seven people trip over this rug before someone finally decided to put the rug back to its original non-hazardous state. Within 10 minutes of my arrival at the theatre, I seriously began to question if God knew what he was getting into when he said, "Let there be light."

Oh yeah, the movie itself. Honestly, it wasn't bad at all. On the plus side, Jar-Jar was only in the movie briefly and never spoke. On the negative side, he didn't die. Overall, I thought did a nice job of wrapping the sexilogy (it's a new word, ok?) I do sincerely hope George Lucas calls it quits and doesn't go through with the rumored Episodes VII through IX. I don't think I could take Yoda speaking in passive voice for another three films.

What Dan Learned This Week

  • College graduations seriously need a halftime show. With cheerleaders.
  • It's really sad when your Commencement speaker is former Surgeon General David Satcher and your first thought is, "Dude, the guy from Super Size Me!"
  • should be banned in all 50 states. Well, now that I lost the money I put into it...
  • I'm the biggest Muppets fan in the world. But The Muppets Wizard of Oz SUCKED.
  • It's of the utmost importance for me to educate people of the impact Waldo Faldo made on modern pop culture.
  • I could have bought ten Burger King hamburgers for the price of one Pretzel Bites combo at Regal.
  • To answer "Joe's" question earlier this week...I don't quite know what KR would do.
That is all.

Until next time...

Friday, May 20, 2005

Finales, Typos, and Lunch...Oh My

Happy Friday! May this Friday bring you peace, harmony, and an early dismissal from work.

Ok, enough of the mushies...let's blog.

The Apprentice

Last night's Apprentice finale had to be the most anti-climactic finish in reality show history. It was 56 minutes of "Tana, you suck" and "Kendra, you rock." So Trump telling Kendra that she was hired had the dramatic impact of a test pattern.

American Idol

I have to admit...I'm a big fan of American Idol, but next week's finale can't come soon enough. I am just all idoled out. Watching the show has become an exercise in repetition. So if anybody who works on the show is reading this for some freakish reason, I'd like to offer some advice for Season 5:
  • To the producers: Take a time management seminar. When you end at 9:33, you're cutting into other shows. On second thought, Stacked came after Idol this week. Stall away...
  • To the producers (again): I have boycotted Ford. I drink Pepsi. Thus, your horribly lame music videos are futile.
  • To Ryan: We know they're 866 numbers, not 800 numbers. They've been the same numbers for four years...we got it.
  • To Randy: Go to anyone on the street, tell them, "You can blow," and try to pass it off as a compliment. Let me know how that goes.
  • To Paula: Whore.
  • To Simon: We know you're "being completely honest." No need to preface every metaphor about Indonesian karaoke clubs by telling us that.
Typo of the Year

Every year, my boss' job at graduation is to assist faculty members with their robes. I find it infinitely amusing that University professors can have an encyclopedic knowledge of every war ever fought in the history of mankind...but they can't dress themselves. But I digresss...

Keeping the "robe" theme in your mind, read the instructions my boss was given for this year's graduation ceremony:

Once you have robbed the faculty, please assist the graduation staff in other capacities.

Good thing my boss is an administrator and not an academic. Because if a University professor read that, mark my words...there would be a public hanging in front of Old Main, followed by a French poetry reading.

Dan's "Brown Bag It" Challenge

The other day, I calculated how much I spend a month buying breakfast and lunch every day. Suffice to say, store-bought bagels and Sweet Chicken Teriyaki combos add up A LOT. So I'm challenging myself to bring lunch to work every day for at least the next month. And think, with all the money I'm saving, I could give more money to online casin...


Starving children. Yeah. Starving children.

Until next time...

PS, I'll do my next "Working for the Man" installment soon. Pinky swear.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Working For the Man, Part II

Let's waste no time and get right to it...


Duration of Stay
1 1/2 years (worked at separate points from 1997-1999)

Job Duties
  • Cashier
  • Customer service
  • Preventing the sale of cigarettes to minors

What Dan Remembers...
  • During my interview, Jim (the manager) and I got into a discussion about the internet, for whatever reason. He then asks me if I had ever been to Jennicam. Without explicitly knowing what it was, I assumed it had to do with boobs. And I was right. Again, this is during the interview.
  • On my first day on the job, a mallrat got caught stealing candy. The manager brought him to the breakroom to interrogate him, and for whatever reason, asked me to watch him "at work." To this day, I have absolutely no idea why.
  • Jim later asked one of his employees to pose for a nude website that he was supposedly starting up. Suffice to say, he got the axe.
  • Sunday mornings were hell on earth. Why? It was always the first day of the new weekly sale. You wouldn't think people would threaten bodily harm over the lack of Creme Savers, but you only wouldn't think that if you never worked in retail.
  • Working next to the photo lab occasionally led to some...shall we say...revealing photographic experiences.
  • For whatever reason, I got a kick out of being the killjoy to kids wanting to buy cigarettes. No one else ever carded but me. It wasn't that I was a goody-goody; I just found perverse pleasure in pissing off my "peers."
  • Speaking of said peers, I also did not let them buy condoms without a fight. Now obviously, there is no age limit on the sale of condoms. So I just took forever to deactivate the magnetic theft strip. Then I would drop them on the floor. Then I would "struggle" to get that pesky package of rubbers into the bag. There was no rhyme or reason to me doing this; I was just bitter because they were getting some and I wasn't.
  • You know those mirrors at the top of every CVS? Let's put it this way; for those of you who always felt the need to check out your ass in those things, thanks for the peep show.
  • Customers never quite comprehended the fact that I was a minimum-wage worker...thus I did not order merchandise...and thus I was not responsible if we ran out of Cadbury Eggs.
My Moment of Clarity (a/k/a when I got the hell out)
Eh, got tired of it.

What Dan Learned...
Don't ever say the words, "I will never do retail again."

That's all the energy I have to do today. Join us next time for "A Celebration of Food" (before a couple of green onions and a Hepatitis outbreak quelled that fiesta forever.)

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

How Could They??

I was craving Burger King chili for lunch. The craving went unmet, as the cashier was so kind as to inform me, "We don't sell chili here anymore."

A moment of silence for Burger King went before its time... Posted by Hello

Working for the Man, Part I

Every time I talk to my buddy Tom, we inevitably reminisce about all of the shitty jobs we've ever held. After talking to him this weekend, I thought it might be an interesting blogging adventure through the Wayback Machine of Menial Labor . So without further ado, let's take a look back at the last 12 years of me...

Working For the Man (part I)

Our Lady of Charity Rectory

Duration of Stay
3 years (1992-1994)

Job Duties
  • Answering phones for the priests
  • Serving them dinner
  • Sitting on a couch and watching TV
What Dan Remembers...
  • Anytime I would page the Pastor to tell him he had a phone call, he inevitably would ask, "Did they ask for me?" Even if they didn't ask for him, I would always tell him they did, just so I could go back and watch Tiny Toons.
  • Opening the priests' refrigerator and finding several cases of beer was like seeing a picture of a naked woman for the first time; for a 12-year-old, it changes your perspective on everything.
  • The couch where we sat in the lounge was roughly 50 years old. It smelled like a yard sale and had springs sticking out everywhere.
  • Anytime I was asked to fill out a Mass Card, I would say, "The woman who does the Mass Cards isn't here, so please call back tomorrow." I technically told the truth; I just left out the part that I didn't pay attention when said woman told me how to do them.
  • Going upstairs to the priests' "quarters" was one of those unwritten taboos; you just didn't do it. So of course, I did discover they had big-screen TVs and gigantic stereo systems. Vow of poverty my ass...
  • Priests are served hand and foot. Professional cleaners come in frequently to vacuum the place, and cooks prepared meals for them every night. One cook in particular, Faye, would always prepare a seven-course meal; they would eat about one course of it. I'm pretty sure it was out of spite because she was so damned annoying.
My Moment of Clarity (a/k/a when I got the hell out)
Ok, picture this scenario: you (meaning me) attempt to transfer a phone call to a priest, who we'll call Father Bob. You accidentally lose the call. Twenty minutes later, you're on the phone with a friend, when Father Bob storms down the steps. He approaches you in a tight tank top and neon orange biker shorts, showing the most body hair this side of Chewbacca. Yes, this is still a priest we're talking about.

Father Bob then commands you to get off the phone (though you were actually encouraged to talk freely on the phone as long as you weren't busy). Father Bob not only calls you a sneak and a liar, but tells you that you must be a disappointment to your parents...all because you lost his phone call. You simultaneously tremble and stifle your laughter, because you're being yelled at, but you're being yelled at by Sasquatch in biker shorts. Father Sasq...uh...Father Bob notices your attempt to suppress laughter and becomes more incensed. You realize that going to him for Confession is no longer an option. You can't get the vision of a gay-looking Wooly Mammoth out of your head. You decide to get the hell out of there.

What Dan Learned...
I have a fear of body hair.

Toys R Us

Duration of Stay
2 months (1996)

Job Duties
  • My sole duty was to put returns back. That tells you a lot about the quality of merchandise sold at Toys R Us.
What Dan Remembers...
  • The comprehensive application included questions like, "If your friend steals from the store, would you tell us?" and "Can you count to 50?" I shit you not.
  • My friend Brian decided it would be a good idea to show me how to play Super Mario 64 in the store, as the Nintendo 64 had just arrived that year. The manager came up to Brian and said, "This is your last more playing video games", implying that Brian was already reprimanded about this before.
  • On a whim, aforementioned friend Tom and Brian built a Lego Fortress as tall as the highest endcap in the store. Suffice to say, they were asked (threatened) to take it down.
  • At the same time I was working at Toys R Us, I was president of Our Lady of Charity's CYO. Deciding that I no longer wanted to do it (especially after the Chewbacca Incident), I "resigned" from a Toys R Us pay phone on my break. In the biggest slap in the face in modern Catholic Youth Organization history, the next CYO newsletter said, and I quote, "Dan has resigned as President of our CYO. We wish him luck in his future endeavors at Toys R Us." Nine years later, the priest who wrote that remark is enjoying the fruits of fatherhood...and I'm not talking about his life in the ministry.
  • I competed with this guy Ken for the affection of a co-worker Danielle. After thwarting each other's attempts for romance for weeks, we found out she was taken anyway.
  • Every single time that I was called up for my break, the manager would say, "Ok Dan time for your 15...I mean 10-minute break." Too bad my selective hearing prevented me from picking up any words after the syllable "-teen."
  • I worked there the year that Tickle-Me-Elmos took off. Imagine 50 of those goddamn things going off at once when they all came in on backorder. Yet I live to tell about it...
My Moment of Clarity
I walked into work the week after Christmas and looked at the following week's schedule...noticing that I wasn't on it. I had this subsequent conversation with my manager, the paragon of sympathy:

Me: Am I still working here?
Manager: Are you on next week's schedule?
Me: No.
Manager: Guess not.

What Dan Learned
Despite the million toys at Toys R Us that I could play with, I no longer wanted to be a Toys R Us kid.


Duration of Stay
3 weeks

Job Duties
  • Cashier
What Dan Remembers...
  • I had no idea there were so many different kinds of lettuce.
  • This was my first foray into the world of cash registers. While I certainly struggled to get the hang of things, I sure as hell wasn't losing 40 bucks out of my register every single night. They put me on probation 3 weeks in; sensing something was up, I bolted.As it turns out, my manager was caught on camera stealing from my till and the till of the other new guy there.
Dan's Moment of Clarity
Yeah, that was it.

What Dan Learned
Unions suck. When I picked up my final paycheck, they told me that my last week was coincidentally the first week union dues were taken out. So they literally handed me a paycheck for $0.00. Up until the Patriot Act, this had to be have been the biggest waste of paper ever.

Well, that concludes it for Part I. I have MANY more jobs to go, just not enough mental capacity to do them all at once.

So until next time...

Monday, May 16, 2005

What Exactly Did Dan Learn Last Week?

It's Monday, the boss isn't here, and a J'Lo movie is number one at the Box Office. It's either time for a good ol'fashioned apocalypse, or it's time to find out...

What Dan Learned
  • When you're at a poker table with guys named Diesel, Juice, and Dum-Dum, you know you're in for a long night...
  • Ricky Ricardo's club was not "El Clubbo..."
  • You can't expect good service from an 80-year-old waitress...
  • There needs to be a version of Family Feud released for PS2...
  • A 9, 10, J, Q, A poker hand is not a straight (kinda missing a card in there)...
  • After swearing I would not watch one episode this season, I am officially hooked to The Inferno 2. I am not proud...
  • I still have yet to meet a person who has finished a meal at Denny's and said, "Mmm, now that's good eatin'..."
  • Only I could find a way to reference Waldo Faldo in an AIM conversation...
  • There are some really dumb shits on
  • Crossing guards who wave at you every day are just using you for coffee money...
  • Today was supposed to be my birthday, but nooooooo...
That is all.

Until next time...

Friday, May 13, 2005

Know When To Hold 'Em

I just finished my first Texas Hold 'Em "tournament." (I use the term loosely, as there were 7 total people including me). I placed 5th out of 7th; I said my goal wasn't to place dead last, so chalk up a moral victory for me. I got every shitty hand known to man, and the only hand I did win was a pair of tens. My "cousin" George, on the other hand, must have been sitting on a secret deck, because he pulled so many hands out of his ass it wasn't even funny. I use the term "cousin" loosely, as we're as distant blood-wise as family can get. I did inform him, however, that he has been demoted from Third Cousin to Fifth Cousin. I'm just bitter like that.

But it was a very good time overall. It's always fun to play any game with people who are sloshed ahead of time, as it ups my advantage. Yeah, too bad that didn't work either...

Until next time...

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Pop Culture King Dethroned + Another Philly Phailure

Not Even a Moral Victory...

Figuring that I'd use my mad trivia skills to score some loot and/or prizes, a bunch of us tried out Quizzo for the first time last night at Riddle Ale House. For the uninitiated, Quizzo is a trivia game (typically played in bars) where teams answer several rounds of pop culture questions. We probably had a decent chance to win...if we were told the right freaking time that the game was going to start.

When I first called Riddle yesterday and asked what time it started, the guy was like, "Uh, 9:30...9:00...between 9:00 and 9:30." Having no confidence that this guy knew what the hell he was talking about, I told my sister to call back a little bit later to see if she could get someone with a clue. Nope, same guy, except this time, he just said, "Around 9:00." Still feeling that I was being fed wrong info, I called several hours later, this time getting a lady who must have been no younger than 97. She says it's 10:00. My instincts told me she was right, so we all met at discover that we were entering Round 3.

Yeah, my instincts suck.

But we stayed around and played anyway. Round 3 consisted of nothing but city nicknames; we breezed through that one by answering 9 out of 10 right. Round 4 rolls around, and after the first two questions, we thought this was going to a cinch:

Question 1: Who is Dr. Evil's cat?
Mr. Bigglesworth. Cake.

Question 2: Where does The Drew Carey Show take place?
Cleveland. C'mon, challenge us!

Question 3: In which part of the body is the tympanic membrane located?

Yeah, it was all downhill from there. We grew to discover that the tympanic membrane is in the ear, Colorado is the Indian name for "Red River", and apparently, Ricky Ricardo's club's name was not "El Clubbo."

The final round was "Name That Tune." I believe we got two right, but we didn't stick around to find out, adhering to my life theory of, "If you're going to lose, leave before you find out the results."

So yeah, we sucked. But it taught me a valuable lesson, one that I hope you all take with you...

Never judge the intelligence of other teams by the number of teeth they collectively have.

I May Have Sucked, But At Least I Didn't Lose on National Television...

Anthony Federov was finally eliminated on American Idol last night. All I have to say is...Philly chokes again. Way to McNabb it, Anthony. Way to McNabb it.

Saying that, I realize I often throw my Dan-isms into these blogs, not realizing that some people may not know what the hell I'm talking about. So let's define "McNabbing", shall we?

tr.v. mcnabbs, mcnabbed, mcnabbing
To choke under pressure in a big game situation, named after Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb

Dan McNabbed Quizzo last night.

On that note, I should

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Survey SAYS...

I borrowed (stole) this from Bill's site. I haven't done one of these things in forever, and I have zero ideas for new blog material. So away we go...

First best friend: I'm sure it was some kid in the sandbox at the playground

First car: "Paco", my '99 blue Suzuki. You always knew I was coming, because as long as you lived within a 5-mile radius, you heard my brakes squealing.

First kiss: 12 or 13-ish, maybe?

First screen name: VCDan. That was a LONG time ago.

First self purchased album: Weird Al Yankovic, "Smells Like Nirvana." I still even have The Wall sticker on there.

Funeral: Some random guy back when I was an altar boy. Yes, I was an altar boy. Seriously, I was...

First pets: Two fish. Yeah, they lasted about a week.

First piercing/tattoo: Hells no.

First musician you remember hearing in your house: ? It was the 80s, so chances are it was Culture Club or Tears For Fears.

Last car ride: To work this morning...the same work where I am doing this survey.

Last kiss: I'm stealing Bill's answer: "Hahahhaha nope"

Last good cry: When my Pop Pop died.

Last library book checked out: Probably some book back in college that I didn't want to pay $85 for in the bookstore.

Last movie seen: Sin City

Last beverage drank: The coffee that is keeping me awake to do this thing.

Last food consumed: Bagel with cream cheese

Last phone call: My sister, about 4 minutes ago

Last time showered: An hour and a half ago

Last shoes worn: Considering our University's strict, "No shoes, no shirt, no education" policy, I'm wearing my loafers right now.

Last cd played: Dan's Mix #38

Last item bought: Aforementioned coffee and bagel

Last annoyance: Stupid truck driving in the left-hand lane this morning

Last disappointment: Finding out that House was a repeat two weeks ago

Last time wanting to die: Never really had the urge, thanks.

Last time
scolded: By my boss, last week. Oops.

Last shirt worn: I'm starting to think the writer of this survey assumes people do these things naked.

Last website visited: Does this one count?

Last song you sang: Whatever the last song was in my car this morning...I think it was "Got My Mind Set on You" by George Harrison

Last color socks are you wearing? It's one of those "Can't tell if it's Navy or Black" type deals.

What color of underwear are you wearing? Getting a tad personal, aren't we?

What time did you wake up today? 7:00 AM. My alarm is lucky to live another day.


Where do you want to go? Spain, Italy, would probably be easier to ask me where I don't want to go (Chester).

What is your career going to be? I have no bloody clue.

Where are you going to live? Good question!

How many kids do you want? Ask me after the first one.

What kind of car(s): I'm holding out for one of those flying ones from the Jetsons.


Current mood: A lot better after that cup of coffee

Current music: Just the sounds of silence right now

Current taste: Coffee aftertaste

Current hair: What little is left...

Current clothes: Shirt, tie, etc.


1. Nervous Habits? Clicking my teeth. And I wonder why I get headaches...

2. Are you double jointed? Not remotely

3. Can you roll your tongue? Nope

4. Can you raise one eyebrow at a time? I raised my eyebrows before The Rock ever stepped foot in a wrestling ring.

5. Can you blow spit bubbles? Nah, I'd just drool all over myself

6. Can you cross your eyes? No, but I can roll them in the back of my head. It's pretty sweet...

7. Do you make your bed daily? I don't make my bed yearly.


10. Which shoe goes on first? Right

11. Speaking of shoes, have you ever thrown one at anyone? Nah, just a bee.

12. On the average, how much money do you carry in your wallet? I live off my debit card.

13. What jewelry do you wear 24/7? Yeah, that gets a big n/a

14. Favorite piece of clothing? My totally beaten up Eddie Bauer cap

-- FOOD --

15. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it? Now what fun is there in cutting spaghetti?

16. Have you ever eaten Spam? Can't say I have.

17. Favorite ice cream flavor? Chocolate

18. How many cereals in your cabinet? 2...both Reese's Puffs, AKA God's Gift to Cereal

19. What's your favorite beverage? Root beer

20. What's your favorite restaurant? Olive Garden. F you, Atkins.

21. Do you cook? Does toast count?


27. Animal? Steak

28. Food? Steak

29. Month? June

30. Day? Any day that doesn't begin with Mon, Tues, Wednes, Thurs, or Fri (only til 4:00)

31. Favorite Cartoon Character? Bugs Bunny

32. Shoe Brand? I shop at Payless. Do you think I pay attention?

33. Subject in school? Lunch

34. Color? Blue

35. Sport? Probably football

36. TV show? Tie between House and Family Guy

Until next time...

Monday, May 09, 2005

Oh, By the Way...

Leaving comments is no longer limited to Blogspot members since, well, no one I know uses Blogspot.

A Calorie-Rich Blog Entry

I sit here on Sunday night, free Diet Coke in hand (thank you, Showboat) , ready to muse on the events of this past week.

Let the musing begin...

Then How Does Ronald McDonald Keep His Svelte Figure?

I finally saw Super Size Me this past weekend. Obviously, the deterring effects were minimal when my buddy Mike and I looked at each other and said, "Ready for Hibachi's?" It was still a very interesting study in American excess, particularly when it comes to food consumption. The film showed far too much cellulite for my liking, and I could have lived without the visual of him lurching up his fries. But it was very good nonetheless. It didn't really change my viewpoint a whole lot since I gave up excessive fast food eating several years ago. Then again, I never said to myself, "I'm going to eat nothing but McDonald's for an entire month and make a movie about it." But with the money that bastard made off the film, I'm sure he has enough Slim-Fast and Stacker 2 to last him a lifetime.

A Public Service Announcement

Each day, nationwide, an average of three mall cookie stands shut down (Stabb 498). Replacing these American institutions are Cingular stands, gumball machines, and, in many cases, absolutely nothing. The average American currently drives 45 minutes or more to find the nearest cookie stand. As Americans and as human beings, we can not allow this to happen.

Support your local cookie stand. Take advantage of every "Buy five, get one free" deal they offer. If you don't, the cookie stand may go the way of the arcade or Boston Market. While the world is a better place without Boston Markets, there would be a dark unfulfilled void in Mother Earth if cookie stands cease to exist.

Thank you.

Works Cited
Stabb, D. What The $!&* Happened To My Cookie Stand?
Pennsylvania. What Dan Learned Publications. 2005

What Dan Learned This Week
  • Hawaii does not have cookie stands...
  • Bartering cookies for hot Hawaiian girls is a fair trade-off...
  • This has been a very cookie-intensive blog entry...
  • Swami is a fighter...
  • Two guys drinking Cokes and playing Photo Hunt at a bar probably gives off the wrong impression...
  • The word "beard", when used in the proper context, is the best word in the English language...
  • There is no greater form of artistic expression than the Onion Volcano at Hibachi...
  • I'm still going to eat McDonald's...
  • You know a mall is desolate when they have a prominent advertisement for Freaky Friday that says, "Coming Soon to DVD"...
  • All of Atlantic City's past transgressions on my wallet have been forgiven...
  • Wendy's greatly underestimates how many people are willing to show up at the drive-thru 12:30 on a Friday night...
  • Organized Living and the sole black space on the Wheel of Fortune wheel have something in common...
That is all.

Until next time...

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Creepy Old Women, My New Slot Bitch, and More From El City de Atlantic

Well, for the first time in the last six gambling excursions (including my checking account-bleeding trip to Vegas), I actually came back a winner, this time from my home away from home away from home, Atlantic City. (The other homes being Chick-Fil-A and...well...home) I went with my Dad, my sister, and my Mom-Mom. My Dad's initial plan was for us to meet at his house at 7:30 in the morning, which was greeted with a hearty "Um, no" by me and Rachel. So we met up around 9:00-ish (ish = we were late), grabbed breakfast at Java Joe's, and went on our merry way.

Some of the highlights, in BULLET FORM (oooooh, aaaaaah):
  • Upon signing up for a Showboat Rewards card, I earned a free 12-pack of Diet Coke, as did my sister. My reaction was roughly the equivalent of finding out that I hit the jackpot at a slot machine. What can I say...we're thirsty freeloaders.
  • As I stood at a quarter slot machine for a few minutes, I has the "pleasure" of having a 95-year-old woman staring at me playing the entire time. When I won $75, she said, "You did well, young man." Thanks stop creeping me out.
  • The Wheel of Fortune nickel slot has supplanted The Price is Right nickel slot as "my official bitch."
  • An elderly Showboat security guard gave my sister beads as she was trying to ask where the bathroom was. When I later explained to her what receiving beads meant in a Mardi Gras Themed Casino, her face turned four shades of red.
  • The Price is Right Stage Show was fun, though none of us got called up. I swear though...every other person called up on stage was named Lorraine.
  • Mark Walberg was the host of the show (Russian Roulette/Temptation Island Mark, not Marky Mark Mark). I always thought he came off like a douchebag; seeing him in person did nothing to erase that notion.
  • For anyone who goes to Atlantic City with me from here on in, parking is on me*.
  • If you ever want a good laugh, watch my Dad get yelled at for making every illegal bet known to man on Roulette. None of it was's just hysterical seeing the dealer (who can barely speak English) scream, "You can't do that!" every other spin.
  • No one carded my sister, thus taking the fun out of flashing your ID legally for the first time in a casino.
I end this blog with words of wisdom dispersed by the curators of the Atlantic City Expressway...

Stay Alert...

Stay Awake...

Stay Alive.

Truer words have never been spoken.

Until next time...

* With my Showboat Rewards Card, parking is always free.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Wifebeater Observation

After watching Scott Savol tonight with his hair grown out, I've come to the conclusion that he looks like the bastard child of Kathy Bates and the lead singer from Smashmouth.

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Assorted Bloggage

Lowes Update

The Neverending Saga of Lowes (tm) continues...

When they rescheduled the delivery yesterday, I asked them to please call me so that I could make sure someone was there to sign for it. They said they would call me around 8:30 or so.

At 12:25, I got a call, but it wasn't from Lowes. It was from my Mom.

"Jay (the tenant) called...they dropped the wood off in the front yard and left."

On one hand, I should be pissed because...well...they defy Darwinian Theory. On the other hand, they've become great blog fodder, so I'll chalk it up as "one of those classic moments."

But the fun's not ending yet, oh no...we have to order an extra part for delivery. The fun is just beginning.

Idol Tonight

Considering their penchant for really bizarre-ass themes, I'm betting tonight's American Idol theme is Any Song With the Words "Gadda Da Vida" In Its Title.

Coming Attractions

Tomorrow, my Dad is taking my sister and I to Atlantic City to celebrate her 21st birthday (which was a few weeks ago). You know I'll have stories from there, as I always do. We're also likely going to the Price Is Right Stage Show, which I also went to last year with my friend Paula. It's actually pretty damn close to the real thing, save the presence of Bob Barker and/or 22-year-old supermodels that he's probably still boinking.

Random thought (ok, it's been on my mind for years, but it fits here): If every pet owner followed Bob Barker's advice to "help control the pet population" by having them spayed or neutered, wouldn't that effectively end the pet population? Look at the looking glass here, people...

I Am The Norm Pedersen of Subway

You know you're a regular when you get to the end of the condiment line at Subway and the Sandwich Maker says, "Oregano and a little bit of mustard, right?"

Let's face facts; Subway is my sandwich soulmate.

Words of Wisdom From My Sister

From a conversation at Subway today...

Me: There's a diner upstate that's selling a 15-pound burger.
Rach: No freaking way.
Rach: I could take it.
Me: Rachel, that is the equivalent of 60 quarter-pounders.
Rach: Wow...I'd feel really guilty.

And with that, I bid adieu.

Until next time...

Monday, May 02, 2005

I Sold Out

Yes, I now have a Google Ad Bar at the top of my screen. No, I do not know what meta words I have used so that "Homocon" is an ad. (not that there's anything wrong with that)

The reason for including the bar is real simple: I get paid for each click *hint hint*. So I hope you find it in your heart to donate to the Dan Needs To Pay Down His Credit Card Fund.

Until next time...

My Weekend, Plus The Return of *dum dum dum* WHAT DAN LEARNED

It's Monday. I'm blogging. There's your riveting intro.

Bridging the (Wind) Gap

I performed in the Quadriannual (it's a word now) Wind Gap wrestling show this past Saturday. Shocker of shockers, I wasn't physically attacked by a 5-year-old this time. You know it's bad when an actual fan comes up to you and says, "Wow, you weren't physically attacked by a 5-year-old this time."

I got to meet Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, which was definitely cool. But being in a locker room environment, I also saw way more of Brutus than I ever wanted to see.

After the show, our crew went to Applebee's, where I was told the funniest thing I have heard in a long time. There is a very nice family that goes to our shows in Delaware, and they actually made the trip to see us in Wind Gap. While we're waiting at Applebee's, the father tells me that he recently had a Parent-Teacher Conference for his 6-year-old daughter. The teacher said, "Your daughter is a good student, a bit talkative. But I do have to ask...who is Hightower?" (For those that don't know, Hightower is my "gimmick name" in wrestling). Apparently, her hatred for my character (a bad guy) runs deep enough that she talks about it in class.

Getting boos is all well and good...but when you have indirectly infiltrated the educational system, that's when you can say, "I have done my job."

And Knowing Is Half the Battle

Family Guy FINALLY returned last night, and holy mother of crap...I have not laughed so hard in such a long time. Between Peter rambling off the 20 or so cancelled Fox shows to Gepetto bending over and trying to get Pinocchio to lie, I was literally rolling at some points. Even the Evil Monkey Living in Chris' Closet (tm) made a cameo appearance.

Welcome back, Seth MacFarlane. Welcome back.

More Lowes Fun

My war of attrition with Lowes continues to rage on. They were supposed to call me at 8:30 this morning to tell me the estimated time of delivery. Around 10:30, I still heard nothing, so I gave them a call. The call went something like this:

Lowes: How may I direct your call?
Me: Deliveries.
Lowes: Just a moment.
*20 rings*
Lowes: Who are you holding for?
Me: Deliveries.
Lowes: Just a moment.
*20 rings*
Lowes: Who are you holding for?
Me: Deliveries.
Lowes: Just a moment.
*20 rings*

Yeah, it was about 10 minutes of that. When I finally got a hold of someone (likely Tweedle Dipshit), he told me the manager was on a delivery (note, not my delivery), but he had all of the day's delivery information with him, so he couldn't tell me anything. He said I would get a call back "within a half hour."

As I typed that last sentence, they called me back.

"Can we schedule it for tomorrow?"

Oh my holy God. I initially told him no, because Ned was already there taking down the porch. When I called Ned about it though, he said it would work better for him since he didn't have to wait forever for the delivery, which makes sense. So I called Lowes back...

Lowes: How may I direct your call?
Me: Deliveries.
Lowes: Just a moment.
*20 rings*
Lowes: Who are you holding for?
Me: Deliveries.
Lowes: Just a moment.

I shit you not. But luckily, they picked up before ring #19 the next time. So everything is apparently squared away for tomorrow...

Which means the delivery is likely to be Thursday.

What Dan Learned This Past Week...

  • F Lowes...
  • I have the ability to make a life metaphor out of any scene or character from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory...
  • Family Guy is BACK...
  • If you're talking about someone and that person ends up walking into the room, it is not a good idea to pretend you're talking about someone else by saying, "God rest his soul..."
  • Roy Rogers rest stop hamburgers kick ass...
  • Wrestling fans really know how to beat a joke into the ground...
  • Companies who ban the use of AIM should be shut down...
  • Giving a two-week notice is only effective when the company actually schedules you to work during the second week...
  • People outside of my circle of friends actually read this crap...
That is all.

Until next time...