And so I'm over in Seattle for a couple of days.
As far as bigger cities go, Seattle is a wholly wonderful place. Sure the traffic is bad, and the weather isn't always the best... but it's a beautiful city with a wonderful and unique culture all its own. I don't get over here nearly often enough.
The problem is that it was snowing on the mountain passes for the drive over.
This seemed entirely impossible until I realized that it was November already, and somehow the months of September and October have totally passed me by. At first I thought I had been abducted by aliens and am experiencing lost time... but the thing about having a blog is that you can go back and verify that every day is accounted for. It turns out that it's not aliens after all. Instead it would appear that there's some kind of rip in the space-time continuum or something like that. If this keeps up, January will be arriving next Tuesday.
But even more disturbing than the laws of physics unraveling along with the fabric of reality, is the bizarre transformation my beloved "Vance Hotel" here in Seattle has taken. It's no longer a quirky historic hotel... now it's some kind of art boutique hotel. Instead of classically comfortable rooms at reasonable rates, it's become "HOTEL MAX SEATTLE" and has transformed into an odd "W Hotel" wannabe with overpriced tiny rooms, a drab military-gray color scheme, and paper-thin walls that do nothing to dampen the loud flat-screen TVs they've installed.
And the changes don't end there. In a vapid attempt to be "fresh" they've upgraded the philosophy of the hotel as well with "experiences" like the "Hubba Hubba Hanky Panky Romance Package" and the "Rock This Way" or "Gaycation Seattle" packages. This, along with original art pieces on all the walls is supposed to make the rooms worth $60 more a night.
I just don't get it.
If I want to pay this kind of money, I'm going to just bite the bullet and go to the "real" W Hotel down the street where they have larger, soundproof rooms with far better decor. The Vance Hotel was perfect just how it was and filled its niche nicely. Hotel Max Seattle is just a confusing mess, and I have no idea exactly what it's supposed to be or who it's supposed to be appealing to. They've spent tons of money and have only succeeded in ruining a once-nice hotel.
What a bummer, because the beds here are killer comfortable.
More adventures at Hotel Max Seattle.
Last night I finally had to grab my earplugs around midnight because the inconsiderate bitch in the next room continued to play her television at full-volume when I was needing sleep. Oddly enough, the street traffic was obliterated, but I could still hear her television set (which is just behind my headboard around a paper-thin wall). Sometime in the middle of the night, I must have taken out the earplugs, because I was awakened at 5:30am by the shrill tones of the same inconsiderate bitch using push-to-talk on her radio/mobile phone.
Yeah, I wanted her dead pretty bad.
But the REAL adventure started when I decided to take a shower this morning. The bathroom is tiny, but the shower is so small that you could fit three of them in a phone booth. And the curtain is so dark that you can barely see what you are washing because light can't get in. I barely had room to move. My elbows were pinned to my sides. If I were to fart, I'd probably be shot out of the shower by the pressure. This made even simple acts... like pouring shampoo... really difficult.
And of course I dropped the mini shampoo bottle.
And then proceeded to bang my head HARD on the soap tray when I tried to pick it up. I hit so hard that I saw stars and got light-headed. I literally had to climb out of the show all wet and soapy so I could lay down on the bed and wait for the room to stop spinning.
And now I have a big welt on my head...
This sucks ass! How am I supposed to get anything done with a raging headache? And I must have rattled my teeth, because my jaw aches too. Hotel Max Seattle sucks balls! And don't get me started over the new "Japanese-Fusion" restaurant on the property called "Red Fin". To give you an idea... they had natto on the breakfast menu. I wrote about natto here, but suffice to say that it is the most foul, horrifying substance on the planet which is meant to be edible. I can't fathom any Westerner wanting to put it in their mouth. I played it safe and just had the eggs and some strangely spicy potatoes.
And they don't even let you put your restaurant charges on your hotel bill, you have to pay separately.
I'm beginning to think that prisons must have better accommodations. Though bending over to pick up the mini shampoo bottle would have entirely different consequences I'm sure.
I am so totally bummed. My PowerBook appears to be dying. I guess I shouldn't be surprised... the poor thing is three years old and has been drug around the world a dozen times over. I've grown quite attached to her, but the constant overheating and erratic behavior makes her unreliable, and I need a PowerBook I can count on.
Sadly, methinks it's time to consider a replacement. =Sob!= It seems like only yesterday I was waxing poetic over my Titanium-covered baby...
In the midst of my grief over my ailing PowerBook companion, I received an odd call on my mobile phone. Unfortunately for the anonymous bitch who called, I was in no mood for a wrong number, especially with her attitude...
Anonymous Bitch: WHERE ARE YOU? YOU'RE 30 MINUTES LATE!! WE'RE GOING TO ORDER WITHOUT YOU!!!
Dave: WELL I'M SORRY!! I crapped myself on the way to the restaurant and thought it would be better to change my pants and be late rather than show up smelling like shit! Order me a jelly donut and a fifth of Jack Daniel's and I'll be there in ten minutes!
Anonymous Bitch: WHAT? WHO IS THIS??
Dave: I SAID TEN MINUTES!! And that donut had better be fresh!
Can you appreciate how difficult it is being me? I am forever lashing out with smart-ass comments and then immediately regretting it afterwards. My only excuse is that I am so incredibly brilliant that my evil brain is capable of bypassing my sense of shame on its own accord. Either that, or I have no shame to begin with. Either way, it's just not my fault, so I suppose I should stop feeling bad about it.
There. I feel much better knowing that I am not to blame for my poor behavior.
The day wasn't all bad news, however... a big congratulations to James & Erin on the birth of their new baby girl! Welcome to the world Vivian Bow! I must admit to being a bit surprised that they didn't name their first-born child after me though.
Oh well. Even though "David Vivian Bow" has a nice ring to it, I'm very happy for the three of them.
Speaking of happiness, have you registered yourself on the Blogography Reader's Map over at Frappr? Other than sending me a million dollars, it's the easiest way to ensure you will be spared my wrath once my evil plan for world domination has been unleashed. Only by registering now are you assured of my benevolence come D-Day! Mwah ha ha haaaaah!
After Peter Jackson finished up the Lord of the Rings trilogy, my hopes were high that he would finally get the movie rights sorted out so that The Hobbit could be made and the story would be complete. Instead he decided to remake King Kong.
This isn't really unexpected... if you've just finished a trilogy of box-office blockbusters, you can pretty much do whatever you want. King Kong was a dream project for Jackson, and he decided to go for the brass ring. I must admit, the idea of seeing Kong unleashed with today's special effect capabilities and a decent script adaptation is certainly compelling (it will help to erase the memory of the Jessica Lange remake crapfest from the 70's).
From the looks of the delicious new hi-def trailer up at Apple, not only did Jackson do a sweet job of capturing the spirit of the original, but he is composing the film to take full advantage of wide-screen, which should make for a mind-blowing movie experience come December 14...
I still want to see The Hobbit though. Unfortunately, Jackson's directing The Lovely Bones next, so I have no idea if that will ever happen.
Today was a bizarre kind of day, which is unusual in itself because all I did was go to work.
Of course, getting to work was a bit of a challenge because my car was iced over and the frost had somehow bonded to my windows. Scraping did nothing, so I had to wait until the defroster could take care of it. Weird that the first frost of the year was so serious.
After four hours of hard work, I needed to go to the post office to mail some T-shirts on my lunch break. Since it was a Saturday, the actual office wasn't open but there was a scary guy going through the mailing supply rack. He was kind of in a trance and kept repeating the same thing over and over again...
Scary Dude: Everybody's got a hungry heart. Everybody's got a hungry heart. Everybody. Everybody. Everybody's got a hungry heart. Everybody's got a hungry heart. Everybody. Everybody...
Thinking he might be stuck, I decided to help out in my best Springsteen impersonation...
Scary Dude: Everybody's got a hungry heart. Everybody's got a hungry heart. Everybody. Everybody. Everybody's got a hungry heart. Everybody's got a hungry heart. Everybody. Everybody...
Dave: ...LAY DOWN YOUR MONEY AND YOU PLAY YOUR PART. EVERYBODY'S GOT A HUH- HUH- HUNGRY HEAAAARRRT! ... WHOA OH OH OH OH OHHHHHHH!!
The guy just stared at me for a minute, then went back into his trance. I guess that makes me the crazy one.
After another five hours of slaving away on the job, I'd had enough and decided to go home. Along the way I noticed that gas was at $2.51 a gallon, and decided that was good enough to finally fill up my tank (probably a good thing since I've been running on empty for the past several days). While standing in the freezing cold and driving rain pumping my gas, a guy dressed in a Broncos jacket wandered up to me...
Bronco Dude: Hey man, you got any spare cash?
Dave: Uhhh... sorry, I haven't got any cash. I'm having to fill up on my card.
Bronco Dude: I really need it.
Dave: Um. Yeah... well, sorry I can't help out.
Bronco Dude: There's an ATM inside. Can you get some cash?
Dave: Errr... no.
Bronco Dude: Well that sucks man. That sucks!
Dave: Welcome to life on planet earth.
I guess that just goes to show you can never have too much crazy.
And to prove it, I'm going to go drink orange Kool-Aid and watch Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith!
Blogography, for lack of a better word, is a diversion. I spend about ten minutes each day writing an entry (a bit more if there's a cartoon), another ten approving comments, and another 10 to 20 answering emails. It's not a very big part of my day, but it is a part that I'm rather attached to. My online life means a lot to me, and the people I've met because of it mean even more.
Which is why I am starting to get fanatically pissed that people are stealing my blog. And I'm not talking about the hundreds of MySpace bloggers who try to hotlink to my photos... I am talking actual theft here.
Back in February, I got an email from my friend Dave++ telling me how somebody had taken photos and content from his web site and created a new fictional person based on his life (you can read the fascinating story here). Something similar had happened to me the previous summer, so I could relate... a reader had sent me an email telling me that somebody had stolen most of my travel photos (like these) and then blogged about the trips as if they were the one who had taken them. I was curious more than upset, and fired off an email telling them that they should either give me credit for my photos or remove them. Instead, they removed the entire blog, which was okay too.
But that was not the end of it. I still get emails from Blogography readers pointing me to other sites that have stolen my stuff. Sometimes it's just a photo or two, which is no big deal (though I do wish they would give me credit, as specified by my Creative Commons license)... but other times it's much worse. They steal entire entries. They steal cartoons and erase the copyright. The steal photos and claim to have taken them. They steal my site layout. They steal my web feed. They steal EVERYTHING.
What really burns my ass is that many times these thieves have money-generating ads on their blogs, meaning that they are PROFITING off of my work. Do you see any ads on MY site? No? That's because THERE AREN'T ANY! If I am not making any money off of Blogography, why should anybody else get to??
A few weeks ago I was pointed to some kind of television critics site where some ass-clown had stolen my entry about why Lost sucks... in its entirety... and posted it with their name as the author. When I wrote in about it, I was told that there must be some kind of "misunderstanding" and that they would look into it. Since the site had paid advertising, I wrote back and said that this was completely unacceptable... either they remove my content IMMEDIATELY, or I would start contacting their advertisers. Their solution? Rewrite the piece with different words to say the exact same thing. Whatever. It's not like I have the money to have a lawyer sue their thieving asses.
And a few weeks before that I was battling with somebody whose entire site was nothing more than my web feed displayed in their layout... with paid ads! WTF?!? How can ANYBODY think that it's okay to republish somebody else's free material and get money for it? But people do... because I've had my entire "television" and "Hard Rock Cafe" categories stolen as well.
Is it just me, or does this suck ass? For the web feed thief, I actually had to get the idiot's web host involved because he refused to remove my work. His attitude was that "anything put on the internet is fair game," and he "had every right to use it however he wanted to." He honestly thought that there was nothing wrong with stealing my content and making money from it. It's this kind of bizarre behavior that has me completely baffled. If you didn't write it and don't credit the original source, you're just a stealing liar. How could it possibly be interpreted any other way?
This would all be so much easier if I could hire mercenaries to track down the people who steal from me and have their stupid asses killed.
My sarcastic nature is forever getting me into trouble... mostly by people who think I'm serious about all the things I say. I had a girlfriend who once asked me "why do you always expect the worst?" to which I replied "years of conditioning." And, for the most part, that's true. When people, places, services, purchases, and everything else you encounter ends up sucking ass, you just come to expect it...
You expect your new Panasonic piece-of-crap DVD player will break after a week.
You expect the latest Rob Snider movie will be "stupid-stupid" instead of "stupid-funny."
You expect it to rain on your vacation.
You expect politicians to lie and break their promises.
You expect those french fries you just ordered will arrive all limp and greasy.
You expect that your hotel room will smell like ass and have funky stains on the sheets.
You expect that those penis enlargement pills you ordered off the internet won't really work... (ahem, or so I am guessing).
Continuous disappointment ends up conditioning you to expect the worst. Anything else is just a pleasant surprise. Call me a cynic, but I lead a much happier life by not getting my hopes up.
And, sure enough, that same girlfriend dumped me two days later to go back to her psychotic ex-boyfriend...
Yes it was disappointing, but also not wholly unexpected, so life goes on.
But now something has changed for me. My new Macintosh PowerBook is supposed to ship out today, and I can't help but be excited. Heaven help me, I am actually expecting good things this time. My Aluminum PowerBook will arrive and be totally perfect. I will fall in love with the speed and all the fancy new features and get over the heartbreak of my faithful Titanium PowerBook dying. It will be everything I desire in a laptop computer and I will be happy.
Life is good.
Though knowing my luck, FedEx will probably lose my PowerBook during shipment or run over it with a truck or something.
Hey, I tried to be optimistic there for a minute.
The very definition of irony: Crunching numbers with Microsoft Excel this morning and having the program crash on me. This triggers the "Microsoft Crash Reporter" which, big surprise, immediately crashes. Oddly enough, there was no crash reporter for the crash reporter. I guess when the crash reporter fails, you're on your own. My guess is Microsoft wouldn't have it any other way. After all, if MS Office crashes and there's nobody to report it... did it really crash at all?
This was pretty much an early indicator of how my entire day would go.
And how it would end.
Right now I am sitting down to dinner after a long day at work. Earlier I was having an email conversation with Kevin about Chicago when Giordano's Pizza came up. This delicious Chicago institution makes a mighty fine pie, and I was more than a little jealous that Kevin and his wife were getting to eat there tonight.
And all day long I couldn't get Giordano's Pizza out of my mind...
So when I finally got home, I decided to have pizza. And since Giordano's was a 2000 mile drive and 28 hours away, I had no choice but to pop a Cheese Pizza Hot Pocket in the microwave...
It's not quite the same experience.
But then again, a Hot Pocket is not quite pizza.
I decided to make up for it by having a glass of Orange Kool-Aid with a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup and a U-NO bar for dessert. Delicious!
Okay, not really. It's actually a pretty sad little dinner isn't it?
But don't feel sorry for me. Oh no. No tears in my Kool-Aid tonight. In just 21 days I'll be able to have a real Giordano's pizza all my own. w00t! (If you want to cheer me up in the meanwhile, why not stop by the Blogography Reader's Map and add a pin if you haven't already?).
Tonight there's a new episode of Veronica Mars on, yet all I see is promos for somebody dying on Lost. How sad. I mean, they can kill off all the characters they want on Lost but it isn't going to change the fact that the show is spinning its wheels and nothing new is happening. It's just the same old stories and the same old mysteries and the same old plot twists being recycled for another season. Where is the payoff? How many times can they sneak Hurley's "bad numbers" into a scene and expect people to still care? I sure don't. Not anymore. I stopped watching weeks ago.
And speaking of Veronica Mars, what is going on with the Buffy The Vampire Slayer reunion there? First we get Alyson Hannigan (Willow) appearing as Logan's sister Trina Echolls...
Then Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia) shows up as Dick and Beaver's delicious step-mom (and Logan's new lover!) Kendall Casablancas...
And now Buffy creator Joss Whedon Himself is guest starring. Not as a writer or director, but as an actor...
When a talent like Joss Whedon not only writes a rave review for Veronica Mars on DVD, calls it one of the best shows ever, AND decided to try acting on the show... what more do you need to know? Veronica Mars is the shit! Take a whiff tonight at 9:00pm on UPN! Unlike Lost, STUFF ACTUALLY HAPPENS!!
And in non-Veronica news...
In yesterday's entry I was whining about wanting a Giordano's pizza and my misery over having to settle for a crappy Cheese Pizza Hot Pocket instead. Some of you were nice enough to sympathize with my sad existence, and I thank you for your pity. Then I happened upon a comment that took me by surprise...
Okay. Get this: my wife grew up on Giordano's pizza that when she met me (a guy who thought PIzza Hut Deep Dish was the best pizza ever) she had Giordano's sent us pizza halfway across the country for a special occasion. Did you know they do that? For a price, they ship them half cooked in dry ice — then you finish the job at home in the oven. Works awesome, and you get that amazing Giordano's pizza.
Mmm, can't wait till Christmas to get back to Chi-town and eat myself up some of that goodness.
Posted by Pauly D on November 09, 2005
At first I was surprised at the thought of being able to order a REAL pizza from Girodano's here in the backwaters of Washington State... for a price... but then I followed the link for "Pauly D" and got the real surprise of the evening.
Here is my response to the above comment:
Okay. Get THIS: You are THE Paul Davidson!
I'd seen your comments here and added you to my list of blogs to check out. It never registered to me that you are the "Consumer Joe" guy until I visited your web site last night.
Your book Words for My Enjoyment was passed to me when I started helping out at the local library, and I loved it. I was going through a difficult time just then, and it was nice to find something to laugh about.
And now I find out that you have a blog where you are giving away your writing for free! Sweet!
But something is puzzling to me...
What in the heck are you doing reading my crappy blog? I'd think that to REAL writers like yourself, James Bow, and Cavan Terrill, and dozens of other bloggers far more talented than I) my blog would be absolute torture. I mean, doesn't it drive you crazy pouring over my dangling participles and never-ending ellipsises? Or my making plurals out of words like "ellipsis" that are already plural in their singular form? Or talking about "dangling participles" when I don't even know what they are? Is it some kind of self-inflicted torture? I heard once that good writers are tortured writers... is this what does it for you? Reading crappy blogs I mean? And, because I am really curious, how much alcohol do you have to consume before reading Blogography doesn't make you want to gouge your eyes out?
Oh well. Here you are. I suppose I should thank you for stopping by... but I feel like I should apologize or something instead, so here it goes.
I am so very, very sorry.
And for everybody else out there, stop reading this right now and go read this instead...
It is laugh-your-ass-off funny, and a mere $10.36 at Amazon! If you can't wait for a taste of Paul Davidson, then take a look at his blog: Words for My Enjoyment, which is far more entertaining than anything I write here.
And do NOT forget to watch Buffy Mastermind Joss Whedon make his acting debut on Veronica Mars tonight on UPN!
The Dave dropped his rugged frame into the uncomfortable chair with a grunt. His manly hands banged away at the computer's keyboard, tracking the shipment through the byways of cyberspace. After weeks of delays, today was the day his new PowerBook was due to arrive. Finally, all those bastards would pay.
As he waited for the requested information to appear, The Dave's testosterone-laden body heaved a sigh of indifference. The world may be going to hell around him, but the PowerBook was all that mattered now. He was blind to everything else.
Until the tracking data starting running across his display...
WHY! OH LAWDY WHY! WHY ME? WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS?
Trapped in Indianapolis for "International Shipment Release" by FedEx, there would be no new PowerBook delivered today.
The Dave pounds his massive hammer-like fist on the desk in a fit of unbridled rage. How dare they?
How. Dare. They.
Time passes, but the shock doesn't. Drunk on disappointment, The Dave staggers into the uncaring arms of a cruel night. Throwing caution to the wind, he drives home without his seat-belt on, laughing in the face of danger. The fine for driving un-belted is $101, but The Dave cares not.
Bring it on Johnny Law. Bring it on.
Took a forty-minute drive into Wenatchee this morning to retrieve my new PowerBook from Fed-Ex before having to head over Seattle-side. I had a half-hour to play before I left.
Unpacking an Apple product is an experience unto itself. Everything is so perfectly arranged to maximize the impact of your new PowerBook not as a piece of equipment, but a piece of your life. Just taking it out of the box makes you feel special (which, of course, you are... you're a Mac user now!).
The Aluminum PowerBook itself is quite nice, though I can honestly say that it's not as sweet to look at as my beautiful Titanium PowerBook that it's replacing. It's bigger. It's bulkier. It's less elegant. It lacks the classic stylings that makes the TiBook such a sexy piece of hardware. Even so, it's far, far, far better than anything to come out of Dell or any of the other Windows crap factories. I certainly won't be embarrassed to whip it out in public (if you know what I mean).
But outside of appearances... it's perfection. The denser pixel count of the screen gives me a larger desktop to work on. The screen is far, far bolder and brighter than my old PowerBook. The backlit keyboard is sweet (though my left-side Apple key is sticking for some reason). It is much quieter. It seems faster and more responsive (probably due to the 7200 rpm drive I upgraded to). The ATI Radeon 9700 graphics card allows all kinds of cool video effects. The nifty scrolling-trackpad is very handy.
So, while I am sad to say goodbye to my dying Titanium PowerBook, I think I will like working with my new Aluminum PowerBook just fine.
And now I am off to Redmond for some drunk and disorderly conduct.
After driving home, the first thing I did was go to the bathroom. But the second thing I did was pull out my brand-new PowerBook and wipe the drive clean so I could maximize disk space and install only the things I need. After that, Apple makes transferring the files and settings off my old laptop so easy that I dare say a US President could manage it. My new PowerBook is now good to go.
Okay, wait a minute. That was actually the third thing I did. The second thing I did was wash my hands after having gone to the bathroom. Just want to be clear that I am not typing this with pee-hands.
Not that I am a messy pee-er. I'm just saying that sometimes things spatter, and I take precautions to make sure you don't have to worry about shaking my hand if we should ever meet.
And this is not to say that I am a germaphobe or crazy-obsessive about urine. I'm just saying that I do my best to keep my hands pee-free.
And when I say "germaphobe," you do realize that I am talking about germs and not Germans, right? Because I am not afraid of Germans at all. Part of me is German from my mother's side of the family, and being afraid of yourself is just silly.
Though the fact that David Hasselhoff is a big singing star in Germany makes me think that perhaps I should be at least a little afraid of Germans. But, in the interest of full-disclosure, I did think the talking car he had in that Knightrider television show was pretty cool.
Not that I believe that cars can really talk, I mean... it was a TV show and all... but if there was such a thing as a talking car, I would find that cool.
Now what was I talking about again??
Oh yes. Two-headed turtles...
On the way back from the Seattle-side of the mountains, I saw the above sign while stopped at a light outside of the city of Monroe, Washington. So many questions come to mind: Is this a zoo where a two-headed turtle is the star attraction... or is it a zoo devoted exclusively to two-headed turtles? If it's a zoo that only has two-headed turtles, how many of them do you suppose they have there? How do you think a zoo like this gets started anyway? Somebody finds a mutant turtle with two heads and decided to build a zoo or something? And, most of all... how many people see this sign and are compelled to visit such a freaky attraction?
You can bet I'll be losing sleep of those queries tonight...
This morning I woke up to a lovely email from somebody who apparently had too much time on their hands. If I were to have printed it, I'm fairly certain it would have amounted to at least four pages.
FRONT AND BACK!
It started out friendly enough... but quickly escalated into a diatribe of how everything I write here is wrong, and proceeded to explain in excruciating detail how people like myself are a blight on all of humanity for producing morally bankrupt content on the internet.
At first I thought it might be a form letter that is randomly emailed to unsuspecting bloggers, but as I continued to read I realized that this was not a form letter, but instead a well-thought-out opinion piece on my blog that was addressing specific excerpts from my entries.
Naturally, I was touched.
This person spent some serious time working on this email, so how could I not be?
Usually I don't bother replying to stuff like this (unless I think of something snarky, sarcastic, and laced with profanity to reply with), but couldn't help myself. This was the nicest thing I could come up with to say (in its entirety):
"Thanks for reading Blogography!"
Sure it's no four pages or anything, but you've got to give me credit for trying.
BLOGOGRAPHY FLASHBACK ENTRY: Email
BLOGDATE: May 12, 2005
In which Dave finds himself responding to wacky emails from his faithful readers and inadvertently creates a Google search result for people wanting to know more about having sex with coked-up hookers while having your ass covered with peanut butter by a pizza delivery boy.
Click here to go back in time...
And so Cavan writes to me and says "Dude, I am totally going to start interviewing popular bloggers!" And I am like "Dude, that is so cool!" And Cavan is all "I know! And I totally want you to be my first interview!" And I am like "Dude, I am so totally NOT a popular blogger!" And Cavan says "Dude, you so totally are! You've got over 100 links on Technorati!" And I am all "No way!" And Cavan is "Way!" And then I go "Dude, I so totally AM a popular blogger!" And then Cavan goes "For reals!" And then I am all "OMG! Dude, you so totally have to interview me now!" And he is all "I know!"
Well, maybe it didn't go exactly like that. I have a bad memory and have been reading way too many MSN Spaces blogs. But he did interview me, and you can read it over at Cavan's The Blurred Line Blog.
Would it surprise you to learn that I have been hiding secret information in my blog entries since the very first one? Do you find this shocking? Disturbing even?
My very own Da Vinci Code... a DAVEinci Code, if you will.
That's right. Just when you think you have experienced everything that Blogography has to offer, you find out there is a whole new level to my genius. Like an onion, this blog has many layers.
And it occasionally it smells so bad that it makes you cry...
But anyway, like I said, each of the 1156 entries here has hidden information imbedded in them... and each bit of information combines with other bits to create a grand tapestry of forbidden knowledge, ancient secrets, profound revelations, and shocking prophecies. It's a remarkable achievement, I know!
So feel free to spend your life trying to decode the fabulous mysteries contained within my blog. I just can't imagine a more noble devotion of one's time. And in order to inspire you, I've included some sample scenarios to get you started...
DAVEinci Code Sample #1: Have you ever wondered what happens if you take the fourth word of every fourth Blogography entry, convert the letters into hexadecimal, then multiply the result by four and feed the end product into Photoshop as a raw file? Well wonder no more! Here is the fabulous result...
Okay, the incredibly sexy Elizabeth Hurley doesn't actually have a mustache... I think I must have miscounted some words along the way... but that's pretty amazing isn't it?
DAVEinci Code Sample #2: Can you guess what happens when you take all the entries from my trip to China, strip out all of the vowels, convert the remaining letters into their base vector equivalents, feed the result into a cartography plotter as GPS coordinates, then overlay the resulting image over a map of the United States? Why it's a treasure map! And what happens when you link up the cities? I'll show you what...
That's right! Anybody living in Seattle, Spokane, Boise, Elko, Redding, Salem, Salt Lake City, Great Falls, Wiliston, Cheyenne, Idaho Falls, Buffalo, Minot, Omaha, Duluth, Marinette, St. Louis, Rochester, Pittsburgh, Roanoke, Chicago, San Diego, Ely, Grand Junction, Gallup, Las Vegas, Bisbee, Durango, Las Cruces, Amarillo, Cheyenne, Salina, San Antonio, Beaumont, Poplar Bluff, Baton Rouge, Pensacola, Greenville, Birmingham, Knoxville, Norfolk, Asheville, Augusta, Charleston, Orlando, and Montgomery... well, you might want to grab a shovel and start digging for buried treasure! And, if you find it, just send it to me and I'll cut you in for half of the value as a finder's fee! How cool is that?
Yes, yes... I know... it's totally incredible isn't it? And there's so much more! Want to know where Jimmy Hoffa is buried? It's in there! Want to know next week's winning lottery numbers? That's in there too! Dying to know the name of the guy who will be chosen as ball-boy at the final tennis match at next year's US Open Tournament? Yep, that's in there too!
Knock yourself out, and don't forget to forward my half of your lottery winnings.
BLOGOGRAPHY FLASHBACK ENTRY: Dave Approved: Crest
BLOGDATE: August 28, 2004
In which Dave stumbles upon the miracle of cinnamon-flavored toothpaste, and discovers a tasty new breakfast cereal topping that can kill you.
Click here to go back in time...
At what point is something declared so hopelessly broken that you finally decide it's time to scrap it and start over from scratch? I mean, at what point do you just drag Old Yeller out to the barn and put a bullet in his head rather than have the rabid bastard f#@% up everybody's day? Sure you love the mutt, but something has to be done... the question then becomes "when do you do it?" How do you sense that moment, that very second of change where something goes from acceptable to bad? From bad to worse? From worse to hopeless? And shouldn't your goal be to stop the train before things actually become hopeless? Who wants a train wreck after all?
I am to the point where I see far too few redeeming qualities in the governmental machine of these United States of America. Our government has just gone from worse to hopeless. And before you go all "YEAH, BUSH SUCKS!" on me, I am not talking about President Bush... I am talking about the entire system.
The government exists to serve the people. Well, I feel served alright. SERVED A BIG STEAMING PILE OF STANKY ASS!
And it's all because I've been trying to help people with the new Medicare Drug Insurance Plan that went into effect yesterday.
Talk about your steaming pile.
As we age, our bodies break down. Our quality of life decreases. Things become harder. Life a little less pleasant... a little more painful. But thanks to pharmaceuticals, our quality of life can be made better beyond that point where our bodies start to decline. No need to nip off behind the barn and have a bullet put in your head just because you're old... drugs make it possible for you to live a good life to a ripe old age. Some drugs are even more critical, and allow you to go on living to a ripe old age.
But drugs are expensive. This means that only people with serious money (or really good insurance) are able to maintain their quality of life as aging starts to take over. Those without the means to pay hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars for drugs each month are faced with choices that must be made. Do I buy food so I can eat another day, or do I buy a pill so my heart can go on beating another day?
This is not exaggeration, this is a real-life scenario faced by an increasing number of elderly persons every day. And while some are able to stay healthier longer than others, there comes a point where most everyone has to form an intimate relationship with their medicine cabinet. And this means you.
Our government's solution is to supplement private insurance carriers in order to assist the elderly with their prescription drug costs. This is called Medicare-D, the drug insurance plan. All you have to do is find a plan that fits you best and, chances are, you can save some money on the drugs you take. Sounds simple right?
Except the entire process of choosing an insurance carrier is massively complicated. Here in Washington State, there are SEVENTY to choose from. And since you never know what the future holds, something that might work now, may be useless three months from now. It's a hopeless mess of a "solution" that should have never made it off the page.
Unless, of course, you are one of the insurance agencies... in which case, there is money to be made.
I am a genius... not a self-proclaimed genius... but an actual, certified, Mensa-level genius with an IQ of 142. I am adept with internet research. I am fearless when having to make calls or track down information. My massive intellect allows me to solve problems that mere mortals fail to grasp. And yet... trying to help people find out if there is a Medicare-D plan that can help them is a huge, huge, chore for me. It's MADE that way. Sure the Medicare.gov web site helps you narrow down the choices (when it is actually working) but there are other factors which makes a final choice difficult, and has me questioning my sanity.
Now imagine that you are 85 years old and your mind isn't what it used to be. You don't have a computer or an internet connection. You might not even know how to turn on a computer. Reams of complex documentation might as well be a brick wall you can never make your way over. You have nobody to turn to for help and, since scams that fleece the elderly are so common, you can't trust a stranger. Even if you wanted to ask for help, you don't know where to go. Stacks of Medicare pamphlets and insurance company brochures arrive every day, but they seem to be written in a language you can't comprehend. You have mounting prescription bills that consume all your income. Sure there might be a Medicare-D plan that can help you, but it is well beyond your capabilities to grasp. Afraid and alone, you have no choice but to take a pass on drug insurance you don't understand, and pray that your prescriptions don't get any more expensive. Your budget is already so strained that you are down to one meal a day, and even that is getting to be a luxury...
And guess what... THAT'S THE TARGET AUDIENCE THAT THIS PLAN IS MEANT TO HELP!!
WHAT THE F#@%?!? Seriously, WHAT THE FUCK?!?!!
THIS is the best our government can do for our elderly? This piece of shit "solution" is all we get?? A complicated plan to help people who may not even understand it? A system so totally f#@%ed that some plans can actually cost you MORE money than you're paying now? A helping hand that can totally bitch-slap you if your drug needs are radically changed and no longer fit in the plan you've chosen? This is it?
Well game over. If this crap is the best our government can come up with, it's time to take a bullet in the head and start over. Find a new government which doesn't pay politicians to fight with each other over inane party lines AND FIX THE SHIT LIKE THIS THAT NEEDS TO BE FIXED!!
What totally douches me here is that prescription drug assistance for the elderly is such a simple problem compared to all the other crap we've managed to get ourselves into. If the solution for a simple problem ends up being this bad... what does it say for the bigger cookie?
As anybody who has ever called a customer service line can attest, half the battle in getting help is getting transferred to the right person. It seems that every time you call, there's a maze of "press 1 for this" and "press 2 for that" to go through, and most of the time the number you select is either wrong, or leads you to yet another maze of options. It's a horrifying and thoroughly frustrating way to treat people, but that doesn't seem to deter companies from using complicated automated phone menus.
So imagine my surprise this morning when I call a software company because of a problem, only to have an actual REAL-LIVE PERSON answer the phone?
I am so conditioned to having a machine pick up that I think I must have gone into shock. But once I regained my faculties, I was giddy with happiness that I wouldn't have to waste my time pressing buttons and could be connected directly where I needed to go...
Operator Lady: Super Sweet Software Company*, may I help you?
Dave: Uhhh yeah, I'm having problems installing your program.
Operator Lady: Well this is Customer Service, sir, you need to call Technical Support.
Dave: Oh. Uhhh sorry, this is the only number on the pamphlet thingy... can you transfer me?
Operator Lady: No sir, it's an entirely different number. I can give it to you if you're ready.
Operator Lady: (gives number) Thank you for calling Super Sweet and you have a good day!
* Company name changed to protect the innocent.
Okay, not so bad. A little annoying I have to pay for a second non-toll-free call, but whatever. I call the new number...
Operator Lady: Super Sweet Software Company*, may I help you?
Dave: Ah. I think I somehow dialed the wrong number again. I had just called a minute ago and was trying to get Tech Support.
Operator Lady: Yes, this is Technical Support, I'll transfer you now...
Dave: HEY! WAIT A SECOND! Aren't you the same person I just spoke to at the other number?
Operator Lady: Yes sir. Both lines are routed thro--
Dave: Well why didn't you just transfer me the first time?
Operator Lady: We are using call logging to keep count of the number of calls each department receives, sir. You have to call in on the proper line so the count is accurate. Let me trans--
Dave: WHAT? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of... this means your count is already wrong because my first call was to the wrong number! Why not have the phone in Tech Support just keep track?
Operator Lady: (frosty now) Sir, providing you with the number for Technical Support IS a Customer Service Call!!
Dave: You have GOT to be kidding me. If you do--
Operator Lady: SIR! If you want to place a complaint call, I need you to call back on the Customer Service line.
Dave: (head just asploded) No. No. The last thing you want today is another call from me. I'll take Technical Support please.
Operator Lady: I'm transferring you now. Thank you for calling Super Sweet.
* Company name changed to protect the clueless.
I feel like I am trapped in a Dilbert cartoon. Seriously, does anybody know how really, unbearably, remarkably, stupid... STUPID people get in charge of dreaming up this shit? I'd be mad if I didn't find it so gosh-darn funny!
It also doesn't hurt that there was yet another amazing episode of Veronica Mars on last night. I swear I don't know how they manage to be so positively brilliant on that show every single week. I mean, two characters who are on the far periphery of the Veronica Mars universe were given shocking revelations last night that were so seamlessly woven into the main story that you have to wonder how mere mortals can create something so perfect. Who would have thought that they could ever, EVER turn Sheriff Lamb into a sympathetic character in such an unsympathetic way? AND WHAT THE HECK WENT ON WITH DUNCAN AND KENDALL BEHIND CLOSED DOORS?!? GAH!
Speaking of perfect... have you SEEN the spread of Ms. Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell, in the latest issue of Giant Magazine? I've scanned some eye candy from my copy to post, but there are more (tiny) shots along with the interview on the Giant Magazine web site.Better yet, subscribe to Giant at the super-cheap price of just $7.97 a year. It's worth every penny...
Yes. Love me the Kristen Bell.
BLOGOGRAPHY FLASHBACK ENTRY: Dave Approved: Lame!
BLOGDATE: March 2, 2004
In which Dave decides that internet quizzes are lame and decides to invent some quizzes that he'd actually want to take. Unfortunately, Dave failed to impress upon people that these were FAKE quizzes and don't actually exist... which is why he still gets emails asking where the quizzes can be taken to this very day (eventually Dave relented and actually created his own quiz, which practically nobody has ever bothered to take... go figure).
Click here to go back in time...
I am now officially totally psyched over the prospect of seeing Depeche Mode's "Playing the Angel" tour in a mere ELEVEN DAYS! The reviews have been fantastic, and I have yet to read anything but raves. If only I could have gone to the Seattle show on the 16th as well. Oh well. The fact that I am getting to see DM at all is practically a miracle, so I shouldn't be complaining.
The set looks to be a perfect blend of old and new (though it seems odd that Master and Servant isn't in there somewhere, because it is amazing when performed live)... A Pain That I'm Used To, John The Revelator, A Question Of Time, Policy Of Truth, Precious, Walking In My Shoes, Suffer Well, Damaged People, Home, I Want It All, The Sinner In Me, I Feel You, Behind The Wheel, World In My Eyes. Personal Jesus, Enjoy The Silence; ENCORE: Somebody, Just Can't Get Enough, Everything Counts; ENCORE 2: Never Let Me Down Again, Goodnight Lovers.
Sweet! I love that they're keeping Just Can't Get Enough and Everything Counts paired up in an encore, just like their "Music for the Masses" tour, which was killer.
Speaking of Depeche Mode, pop quiz hot shot...
You've just rocked out at a Depeche Mode concert in Chicago after working in Wisconsin for four days. Do you...
A) Go back to your hotel and sleep-in until 8:30 before hopping a plane home. Then skip going into work so you can spend the afternoon unpacking, resting, and reflecting upon what an awesome show you got to see the night before.
B) Go back to your hotel room for a 4-hour nap, then hop a plane to L.A. so you can go to a meeting the next morning. Spend two days in L.A. both dazed and deaf... hoping nobody important notices.
I thought the answer was "A" but apparently I'm wrong. The proper response is "B" -- yes, "B" is the correct answer.
Fortunately, I don't usually get more than four hours sleep anyway, so that's not an issue. It's more the fact that I have to hang at the airport for 90 minutes, then take a 4-1/2 hour flight after having only 4 hours of sleep that's the scary bit.
But who cares! I get to see Depeche Mode in ELEVEN DAYS!!
Whoo! Dig that freaky futuristic stage. It's like out of The Jetsons or something.
Eleven days and counting...
A while back while I was waiting in the Miami airport, there were two young ladies in the seats behind me who were discussing diets.
Well, maybe it was the Ft. Lauderdale airport.
But probably the Miami airport.
Anyway, while I was in a FLORIDA airport, these two girls were discussing diets...
Anonymous Girl 1: I want to try that liquid diet, but you have to go to a doctor to get it.
Anonymous Girl 2: You don't need a doctor! That's just Slim-Fast!
Anonymous Girl 1: No it's not. I tried Slim-Fast and it doesn't work.
Anonymous Girl 2: Really? My friend lost 20 pounds on the Slim-Fast diet!
Anonymous Girl 1: Nope. Didn't work for me. I drank it with my breakfast and drank it with my lunch for a week just like they said and nothing happened.
Anonymous Girl 2: You idiot! You're not supposed to drink it WITH your meal... you're supposed to drink it INSTEAD of a meal.
Anonymous Girl 1: Huh?!? What kind of stupid plan is that?
This was yet another example of people using a product wrong, then blaming said product when it doesn't work properly... all because they failed to read the instructions. With a can of Slim-Fast, it's not really a big deal. But you can't say the same for other things. Like filling out your ballot when voting in Florida, for instance.
Anyway, this morning I was dumping my usual load of spam from my email inbox and ran across something a little different. It was spam from a law firm encouraging you to hire them if you had suffered damages from misunderstanding the instructions that came a product you purchased. So I guess this means that the dumbass who didn't read the instructions on her can of Slim-Fast can call them up and sue for a couple million dollars or something? Emotional distress and all that?
If this kind of stupid crap actually works, it makes me wonder exactly how far companies will go to avoid lawsuits in the future. Will we soon have ten-page instruction booklets included with a bar of soap so that soap companies won't be sued for a million dollars when some idiot gets suds in their eyes? I mean, we've already got jars of peanuts that say "WARNING! THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS PEANUTS!" — how much worse can it get?
I don't think I want to know the answer to that.
I weep for the future.
BLOGOGRAPHY FLASHBACK ENTRY: Barbie.
BLOGDATE: July 12, 2005
In which Dave gets the crap scared out of him when he discovers the horrors of child beauty pageants, and decides to see what celebrity he looks like when manipulated in Photoshop to become a dead hooker baby.
Click here to go back in time...
TBS (Turner Broadcasting System) is airing a 2-hour star-studded event called "Earth to America" which is an attempt to educate people as to the dangers of global warming via a comedy standup show. It's a great idea, and a noble gesture for TBS to take time out of their busy schedule of Friends and Sex and the City reruns to air it.
Except that they're running DUMBASS ADVERTISING at the bottom of the screen during the show. I guess that makes TBS complete and total tools. It's like "Save the Planet... but be sure to watch Everybody Loves Raymond weeknights at 7:00 and 7:30! Lame!
TBS = Total Bull Shit?
Apparently I am going to be one of those people who dribble food all over and wet themselves when I get older.
I know this because the slow decline has already begun.
This morning I had to change my shirt three times before I made it to work. THREE TIMES! First I dribbled strawberry jam on my shirt while I was having toast for breakfast. Then I dribbled Cinnamon Sparkle Crest on my shirt while brushing my teeth. Then I got dirt all over my shirt as I was cleaning off my car...
It was as if the universe itself was conspiring against me.
Unbeknownst to the universe, however, is the fact that I have a never-ending supply of Bad Monkey T-Shirts in size medium. TAKE THAT UNIVERSE!
Yesterday morning I needed to make a business call to a guy I know who is anti-Bush. And I mean really anti-Bush. Every time I have to call, I get an earful about the latest Bush happenings and how the world is sure to end soon because of the latest thing President Bush has done or said. Usually I don't mind listening to him going on with his ranting, because it's a nice source of free entertainment. But yesterday I wasn't really in the mood for it, and just wanted to get the information I needed to do my job and move on.
Naturally, this proved impossible. When somebody is passionate about President Bush... pro or con... you simply cannot stop them...
Guy: HA HA HAH! DID YOU HEAR BUSH TRIED TO ESCAPE A PRESS CONFERENCE IN CHINA AND WAS FOILED BY A DOOR!!
Dave: Uh... no.
Guy: I'LL SEND YOU THE VIDEO LINK! IT'S HILARIOUS! A DOOR!!
Dave: Uhhh... he forgot how to open a door?
Guy: NO... NO... IT WAS LOCKED! HA HA HAH!!
Dave: And he ran into the door and fell down or something?
Guy: NO! HE JUST WENT TO THE WRONG DOOR AND IT WAS LOCKED!
Dave: Ah. Well that's not so bad is it? I mean, it's not like he accidentally started a war with China or anything.
Guy: NOT YET! BWAH HA HA HAAAAAAH!
Well, whatever. I mean, it is a bit embarrassing... but if Bush didn't have an exit strategy for Iraq, why would he have an exit strategy for a press conference? Shouldn't people be accustomed to this kind of thing by now?
Hey, as long as Bush doesn't declare war on Canada or nuke the moon or something... I say it's all good. Run into doors or make up all the non-existant words you want, just don't get us into any more trouble than we already are, and I'll pretend to be happy.
Embarrassed, but faux-happy.
(Uhhh... there is still a two-term limit on the presidency isn't there?)
BLOGOGRAPHY FLASHBACK ENTRY: Leather Jackets
BLOGDATE: April 7, 2004
In which Dave attempts to find a place to buy a leather jacket via Google and discover that "leather" can mean very different things to different people... and there are plenty of freaky people out there.
Click here to go back in time...
Watching television is getting to be a horrible exercise in self-inflicted torture.
Let's face it, most of what's on TV is crap. And once you finally do find something to watch, it's constantly being interrupted by commercials. But even that wasn't enough for dumbass network execs, because they've also started putting advertising ON TOP OF THE SHOW YOU ARE TRYING TO WATCH! It's getting so bad and so distracting that sometimes it is hard to focus on the actual show...
You would think that it couldn't get any worse than that.
But you would be wrong.
Now networks are trying to drive traffic to their web sites by offering "exclusive scenes" of their popular shows which are only available online. For example, at the end of the last CSI Miami episode, there was a huge banner telling you to visit CBS.com to see the "extended ending" for the show. Nevermind that a good chunk of their viewers probably don't even have access to the internet... for some reason CBS is just dying to get people to their site.
So off I go.
And what I find there is something that I guess you could call it an extended ending to CSI Miami, but it's kind of hard to tell when the entire segment seems to be nothing more than Hummer beauty shots that happen to take place in front of some actors...
Seriously, it's in EVERY SHOT! They didn't even attempt to make it subtle... it's a Hummer ad.
Now we know. Apparently it's not enough that networks are whoring out their shows for product placement (accepting money to feature products IN the show)... now they are BUILDING SHOWS AROUND THE ADVERTISING! And what's so totally lame here is that they actually worked that gas-guzzling Hummer into the dialogue!! So now we have the entire cast of CSI Miami driving around in Hummers. As if David Caruso's pathetic "acting" wasn't enough to make me gag, now the show has turned into an advertisement that's interrupted with more advertising with advertising in the advertising.
Next week it will be a new CSI Miami "extended ending" sponsored by Massengil feminine hygiene products...
Det. Horatio Cane: Calleigh, do you ever have those moments where you just aren't feeling fresh?
Calleigh Dusquesne: Excuse me?
Det. Horatio Cane: You know... down there...
Calleigh Dusquesne: OH! Of course I do! There's no need to be embarrassed, everybody does! But freshness isn't a problem since I discovered Massengil's NEW Herbal Douche!
Det. Horatio Cane: Really? Calleigh, you are a life-saver! Ha ha!
Calleigh Dusquesne: Ha ha! No problem! Now go douche yourself and then we'll try to figure out how our murderer managed to feed this dead body into a food processor.
Det. Horatio Cane: Will do! Oh... and Calleigh... that's no ordinary food processor, that's a NEW Cuisinart Model 6000, with titanium blades that are able to make short work of even the toughest foods... and even tough body parts like bones!
Calleigh Dusquesne: Wow! I need one of those for my kitchen! Now hurry up with that NEW Massengil Herbal Douche, Horatio... you're not getting any fresher by just standing there!
I'm sure networks will defend themselves over this kind of blatant forced-advertising by claiming they have no choice... people with TiVo and VCRs are forcing them to work ads INTO the shows, because people aren't watching them OUTSIDE of the show. Well, whatever. All it's doing is making me not want to watch television AT ALL.
Except, of course, for the most excellent VERONICA MARS airing tonight at 9:00 on UPN!
Last night I got about ten emails from people asking if I heard that Alias had been cancelled. Actually I had. But what is surprising here is not that the show had been cancelled... but that people were surprised that the show had been cancelled. Once the third season had started, Alias had gone from one of the best shows on television to one of the absolute worst. What was once a brilliant spy drama degenerated into an un-watchable mess.
So while I am sad for the show that Alias once was... I honestly don't care that the fifth season is its last (I've long-since stopped watching it). Maybe now J.J. Abrams can focus his attention on fixing stupid-ass Lost so that it's worth watching again.
Threshold has also been cancelled... but I never watched it, and only care because I heard the delicious Katherine Bell was joining the cast. Oh well.
In other news, here's an IM session that I was hit with yesterday...
Bad Robert: DUDE! HELP ME PLEASE!!
Dave: What up cracker?
Bad Robert: I am about to spend TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS on eBay for an Xbox 360!!!
Dave: WHAT?!? Are you insane? Are you high? Are you on the pipe? TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR A FRICKIN' VIDEO GAME?!?
Bad Robert: Yes. Spank me some more...
Dave: If you've got $2000 to blow, spend a week in Europe for the holidays. Or go to Hawaii for a month. Or even spend it on cocaine and hookers... anything would be better than wasting it on a game!
Bad Robert: Yes you're right. Thanks man.
And then today...
Bad Robert: Hey thanks for yesterday! Xbox 360 is now only $700 on eBay, so you saved me $1300 bucks!!
Dave: WHAT?!? Are you insane? Are you high? Are you on the pipe? SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR A FRICKIN' VIDEO GAME?!?
Bad Robert: Don't be a dick.
Dave: Happy Thanksgiving to you too.
I won't be buying a new video game system until I finish the video games I have for my old Xbox. Given how much time I have to play games, that will be in the year 2008.
Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to pack my suitcase...
Winter travel is always interesting, because you have no idea if you will actually reach your destination. Flying out of the small airport at Wenatchee this morning presented even more of a problem, because a snowstorm had just hit. Fortunately, gallons of de-icer dumped over the plane allowed us a departure only a half-hour late, which was better than I could have hoped for. Once in Seattle, it was a relatively quick three-hour hop to Chicago, which was having a snowstorm all its own. As we pulled into the gate, all the planes were getting deluged in de-icer. I can only hope the stuff is biodegradable.
Once I had arrived in the Windy City and waited a half-hour in the bitter cold for the hotel shuttle, I was shocked to see that I was not the only one waiting for a ride... a full dozen people were crowding on the small bus. This seemed unreal given that other shuttles were leaving with only one or two passengers, and I couldn't figure out why the Wyndham Hotel should be so popular.
Until I arrived to find that there is a huge Dr. Who convention here.
Apparently this one is particularly meaningful to fans because the "Fifth Doctor" himself... Peter Davison... is in attendance. This stroke of luck has me wishing that I was a bigger fan (sorry James!), though work would prohibit me from attending anyway.
Why couldn't it have been a Veronica Mars convention? I would have skipped work for that! I'd probably get fired, but at least I would have Kristen Bell's autograph to console me during unemployment!
I'm not so much into memes anymore, but Kachina has come across a musical meme I haven't seen before, so here we are...
And on that happy note, I'm off to bed. Is it too much to hope that Chicago weather will be kind to me tomorrow morning when I pick up my rental car?
BLOGOGRAPHY FLASHBACK ENTRY: Love
BLOGDATE: March 22, 2005
In which Dave professes an unnatural attraction towards his PowerBook and contemplates the merits of loving a Mac vs. loving a girlfriend.
Click here to go back in time...
After nearly killing a "K-9 robot dog" pull-toy with my suitcase while trying to escape from the Dr. Who fanatics (which got me a nasty look from a "Doctor" dressed up with a nasty hand-knit scarf)... I managed to make my way to the car rental place so that I could pick up my Dodge Neon for the trip north. The Neon itself is not such a bad automobile, but the visibility is horrendously bad, and made all the worse by the funky spoiler that's blocking my back window. I'm relieved to report that I didn't back over any Daleks in the parking lot.
Checking in at work revealed that I had nothing to do today, which meant there was plenty of time to goof off. My idea of goofing off was to get a long-overdue haircut at the Mayfair Mall (which is considered to be Milwaukee's largest, which is odd considering it is located in the city of Wauwatosa... not Milwaukee... just down the highway from the Harley Davidson factory).
This was a big mistake. The mall was so crowded that I had to park in the next county and, once inside, found myself wising that I had brought my Papal Power Staff...
Yes, there are benefits to being The Pope.
The Apple Store was so packed with people trying and buyng iPods and iMacs that I couldn't even get near the iPod accessories to buy a case for my new nano. Eventually I just gave up at the mall and headed to Culvers for a plate of delicious crinkle-cut fries and a caramel-cashew sundae. Sweet!
It's cold out, so I'm going to sleep in tomorrow.
BLOGOGRAPHY FLASHBACK ENTRY: I Want a Gun
BLOGDATE: April 26, 2004
In which Dave denounces violence in all forms, but then wishes he had a big-ass gun so that he can have a more pleasant driving experience.
Click here to go back in time...
Ah, it's sweet to be back in the heartland of America. You know... the kind of place where you can come back to your hotel after lunch and find a guy in the lobby watching football while drinking Jack Daniels and eating pork rinds? It's a pity I'm a vegetarian or I might have had to join him.
Assuming I could stay awake.
After going to bed around midnight last night, I was rudely awakened by a flash of light and a huge explosion outside my window at 3:15 am. At first I thought a bomb had gone off, since the whole room seemed to have been shaking. After coming to my senses, I decided that a truck must have crashed and exploded or something. But by the time I got to the window, the sky opened up and a deluge of rain started to fall. Turns out it was only a thunderstorm.
I never could get back to sleep, even after the thunder and lightning show ended.
So now I am having to work while both mentally and physically exhausted. I have no idea how I am going to make it through then next 17 hours, but something tells me it won't be pretty.
Hmmm... for some reason a taco sounds really good right now.
My work necessitates that I drive between my hotel and the job site every 2 or 3 hours, which doesn't leave me much time for things like eating and sleeping. But that's the job, and I'm used to it, so I try not to worry about what my freaky schedule required of me. Of course, doing that for eighteen hours straight on only 3 hours of sleep is not the best way to spend an evening, but I do my best not to let the hallucinations and voices in my head get the best of me.
This time, the situation was made all the stranger by the weather here. Wisconsin is flat and on a big lake, so the environment can be really freaky and changes quickly...
After relatively calm weather all day, I was surprised when I left my hotel at 2am and couldn't see anything. The fog was so thick that I could barely see the front of my car, and the headlights were reflected back as if they were hitting a wall. Two hours later, it was mostly clear, but pouring rain. The two-minute walk from my car was enough to soak me to the bone. Two hours after that, it had stopped raining... but there was a nasty haze and winds so strong that I was very nearly blown off the road.
Two hours after that, blue skies were starting to peek through the clouds, and it was time for breakfast at McDonalds.
So there I am eating my Egg & Cheese Biscuit when I hear this "CLICK! CLICK! CLICK!" - the dreaded and unmistakable sound of some COMPLETE F#@%ING IDIOT CLIPPING THEIR F#@%ING FINGERNAILS IN A F#@%ING RESTAURANT!!! AAAARRRRRGGGHHH!! How gross to be trying to eat your breakfast only to have some UNBELIEVABLY RUDE AND TOTALLY DISGUSTING WHITE TRASH BITCH performing her personal grooming two tables back with fingernails flying all over the place. I mean, holy shit! How big of a f#@%ing moron do you have to be to realize that this is not appropriate behavior in a restaurant?
But that's not the worst of it.
SHE WAS A F#@%ING McDONALDS EMPLOYEE ON HER BREAK!!!
Yet no manager told her she was a DISGUSTING BITCH or instructed her to STOP DOING THAT GROSS SHIT WHILE PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO EAT AND SHOVE THOSE F#@%ING FINGERNAIL CLIPPERS UP HER ASS. Oh no. They just merrily let this REVOLTING, REPELLANT, ABHORRENT, SICKENING, NAUSEATING, FOUL, NASTY, DETESTABLE PIECE OF SHIT keep clipping away!!
I left before this REPUGNANT VOMITOUS DUMBASS CRAP-BAG BITCH had a chance to start on her toenails.
And yet, if I had pulled out a gun and shot her, I WOULD BE THE CRIMINAL HERE!! That's just wrong. How will these IGNORANT HALFWITTED RUDE IDIOTIC SHIT-HEAD WHITE-TRASH ASS-LICKERS ever learn proper manners if nobody pops a cap in their ass from time to time?
I wonder if she shaves her legs and gives herself enemas in public too? I wouldn't doubt it.
My nightmares are going to be particularly nasty tonight.
With nothing to do today, I decided to take the Blue Line into Chicago proper to have a delicious Giordano's pizza for lunch and see what's new at the Apple Store. I've been to Chicago many times, which makes it easy for me, since I already know where everything is and how to get there.
The pizza was bitchin' (as usual), though I ate too much (also as usual). There are several Giordano's locations in the city, but I like the one on Rush St. best, and was not disappointed. Around the corner on Michigan Ave. was the beautiful Chicago Apple Store, where I proceeded to immediately fall in love with the new iPod that can play video. When it was first released, I decided the screen was too small... but, after holding one in person, I see that it is perfectly watchable and totally sweet. Damn you Apple! I want one bad. So bad I nearly dropped the FOUR HUNDRED FREAKIN' DOLLARS to take one with me. Ultimately, I decided it might be nice to eat for the month of December and... very reluctantly... decided against it.
I did buy a copy of Bejeweled 2, which is the sequel to one of my favorite time-wasters. The new version is really beautiful, and they've added some cool new toys that make it even more fun than the original...
After drooling over everything in the Apple Store, I decided to head to the Art Institute Museum since I missed it the last time I was in the city. The guardian lions at the entrance have been dressed for the holidays, which is kind of cool...
This truly sweet museum holds numerous well-known works, including American Gothic which, oddly enough, is out on loan to a museum in Rapid City Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Most children of the 80's (such as myself) will best know the museum for Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte from the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off...
And Mary Cassatt's beautifully rendered painting The Bath...
And Edward Hopper's much-imitated work Nighthawks...
But my favorite is the nifty collection of Monet's, which includes an entire series of Stacks of Wheat, painted in different seasons and different times of day, along with this haunting Waterloo Bridge painting...
Two hours is much-too-brief a time to spend at a museum this fine but, since I had been here a few times before, I decided it would be best to be getting back to my hotel before rush hour came.
And just like that, my Chicago adventure comes to a close... but not really...
Turns out my "Chicago Adventure" was NOT over last night... I had a Depeche Mode concert to go to with fellow-blogger Kevin Apgar and his charming wife Katie!
As expected, it so totally kicked ass. Depeche Mode is easily the best live band I've ever seen, and one of the very few who sound better live than in a studio. Their latest album, Playing the Angel, is not their best work... but every song was -stunning- when performed live (oh how I want a DVD release of the concert). Dave Gahan is an amazing singer who puts everything he has into a performance yet STILL manages to deliver crisp vocals that strike you at your very soul. Personally, I don't understand where he gets the energy... I think he must be 45 years old now, but is kicking more ass on stage than guys half his age.
And what a funky cool stage it was...
The artistic genius behind the band, Martin Gore, was in fine form... delivering emotionally wrenching lead vocals for a few songs, including Home which is a favorite of mine. But I think people will most remember him for running around the stage in a little black chicken suit. Needless to say, I simply must get one of my own, because I think I would look fabulous in feathers...
As I mentioned, the set list was a pleasing blend of new and old that ensured there was something for everyone. All songs were well-received, but I dare say that the older material had a bigger impact on the crowd than the new stuff. When songs like Enjoy the Silence and Just Can't Get Enough started blasting through the arena, the crowd just went nuts. This in turn energized the band, so it looked like they were having more fun with the old stuff as well. And as if that weren't enough, they've managed to update the classics yet again to make them sound all shiny and new (one of my favorite DM songs, Everything Counts was given a blistering rock beat that totally killed).
My only complaint was the band's selection for the final song of the evening... Goodnight Lovers from their somewhat boring Exciter album. After all the high-energy drive they put into the rest of the concert, it seemed like a week weak ending. Had they went out with a pumping crowd-pleaser like People Are People or something... they would have totally freaked out the entire arena and allowed them to sign-off on a high note. And isn't that how you WANT to leave a room when you're a rock band?
Anyway, even though I had to catch a plane to L.A. just five hours after the concert, and only managed to get 3 hours of sleep... it was all so totally worth it. My only regret was not getting to spend more time with Kevin and Katie, because they are alarmingly nice people. Not only that, but Kevin thinks I'm cool. You can read about just how totally cool I am in his entry over at Kapgar.com (oh... and I think that he wrote something about the concert as well).
Seriously though, meeting your readers and fellow-bloggers is really the best part of having a blog.
Well, except the guy who keeps emailing me to tell me that I am going to hell.
That's just mean.