Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Show Will Go On

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From: Stacey
Sent: Monday, February 26, 2007 10:38 PM
To: BAND

Practice this week?

Sincerely,
The Hoi Polloi

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From: Tracie
Sent: Monday, February 26, 2007 10:40 PM
To: BAND

This is an automatic reply. I am out of the office on business all week returning next Monday, March 5. If you require assistance, please contact my associate, Eric Cohen.


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From: Marc
Sent: Monday, February 26, 2007 10:40 PM
To: BAND

I think we should call Eric Cohen like it says on her e-mail. Maybe he can sing for us.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Tom and his PS3 - Alone Time: Not Always Desirable

"No wonder! I'm the only one on my team. Everybody left the game. I'm running around out there all by myself. I should get something for that. Those fuckers."

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editor's note:

In the interest of veracity and because Tom aka "Chris Pike" has put in a formal request, please allow me to explicate the above passage:

Tom's entire team DESERTED him. He was left defending the tree house or whatever the hell it is ALONE. The other team, thus, DECIMATED his lonely little outnumbered self.

I am uncertain why, exactly, ChrisPike is so eager to clarify (given the questions raised by the ACTUAL and PECULIAR CHAIN OF EVENTS) but I am, as always, bounteously munificent.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

(Do You?) Wish You Were Here

Just got back from XC Skiing in Gatineau, Quebec. The snow ran fast, the sun shone brisk and the air swelled quiet.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Dangers of Being a Repo Man in Pennsylvania Dutch Country


Overheard after dinner with the ski club:

Bernie was a repo man for his Dad's car dealership in Meyerstown, near Lancaster, PA. He was 4' 10" back in the day, but that didn't stop him. Each week he would go around and collect car payments, $10, sometimes $15. This was in 1955.

One time, some guy didn't pay, so Bernie showed up with a tow truck and got himself in a little bit of a pickle. The guy, he came tearing across the front yard waving around a pitchfork.

Tom's brother Mark was a repo man in Newark a few years back. He was never attacked with a pitchfork.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Me vs Heidi

The Contenders:

Kathrerine, aka "Heidi": front desk clerk at the Extended Stay Deluxe, 141 Cooper Street, Ottawa, Canada. Heidi earned her moniker by showing up to work with waist-length nordic-blond braids.

Me: Internet addict who twitches if unable to spontaneously search for "Pix of Brittney Spears' bald head" and who receives 500 emails a day which clog up the office server if regular download fails to occur.

Round One:
Heidi Snaps her Lederhosen

I could not connect to the wireless access in our room at the Extended Stay Deluxe, 141 Cooper Street, Ottawa, Canada. A handy notecard instructs me to call the front desk for assistance. Heidi instructs me to call Wireless Ottowa at 613-225-4631 and select option #1 for 'business.' I attempt to do so. Here's my subsequent conversation with her:

"It didn't work."

"Did you press the option for 'business'?"

"There was no option for business. There was an option for 'Network Status,' 'Fiberoptics,' and 'ISP Service.'"

"You should have picked 'business.' You are staying in a hotel, which is a business. I have given these instructions to hundreds of other guests and no one has had a problem."

"Clearly all your other guests are significantly more intelligent than I am. Help a sister out."

"Did you pick Option #1. At least?"

"Yes, as a matter of fact, I did. I waited on hold for fifteen mintutes due to extremely heavy call volume in the voicemail system. Then I was disconnected after listening to a recorded message saying that all nodes were operational."

Round Two:
Heidi delivers a TKO


Heidi is disgusted at my inability to follow simple instructions. Like a mother bird kicking her hatchlings from the nest, she leaves me to my own devices.

I discover, after a lot of flopping around, plaintive yowling, and waiting on hold, that the correct Wireless Ottawa answer was "Fiberoptics." Obviously.

But my final correct answer is that the wireless internet in the Extended Stay Deluxe, 141 Cooper Street, Ottawa, Canada, just sucks. This answer has been confirmed by the technical expert I never travel without. (Tom Nash, for all you in the know.)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Minutes of Meeting / George & Martha's / 7:30PM

Board Members:
Present: Suzanne, Melissa, Lynn, Stacey
Absent: Kerry
Quorum Present? Yes

Others Present:

Melissa's handbag which we had to obtain an extra chair for

First Order of Business / Award Ceremony:

Demonstrative Evidence:
Upon rounding the corner on Morris Avenue, both Suzanne and myself observed a movie-star parking spot directly in front of the restaurant. But the back end of a dark-colored sedan angling into said parking spot shattered our shortlived elation.

May it be noted for the record that Suzanne passed by the indicated location approximately ten minutes prior to myself.

Recap of Judges' Ruling:
Melissa recieved the award for "Most Dastardly" in the "Parking the Car" category.

Judges praised her for not only securing the "Best Possible Parking Spot," but also for repeatedly backing into said spot with the intent of tormenting the greatest number of other Parking competitors driving by.

Judges awarded Melissa extra style points for timing her movements with the traffic surges generated by the red light at the intersection of Spring Street.

Second Order of Business / Contemporaneous Affairs:

Suzanne reports that Margeux is nearing one year in age. Her speed has increased substantially and she is able to identify complex molecular structures pictured on flashcards.

Suzanne noted for the record that her Burberry Blackberry case was a gift and that online worlds, long known as good places for orc bashing, have evolved into a phenomenon more dangerous than transfats.

Lynn revealed that she has been neglecting her exersize regimen in favor of frivolous pursuits like working. Lynn modestly acknowledged her trendsetting, fashion-icon status earned by inspiring millions to cut their bangs and try dusky purple eyeshadow.

I, myself, disappointed the crowd by allegedly failing to exactly match my socks to my new striped shirt. Assuming arguendo, matching socks are not always the warmest choice.

Kerry had provided advance notice as to her absence. She claims to be skiing in Vermont.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Substantial Earnings Report

This is my current revenue tally. After some analysis, I uncovered that $.005 of my earnings had been generated when someone used my blog's handy Google search feature. (See sidebar). They searched for "sex blog."

I got to thinking that if my earnings were a pair of pants, they would be really poor and penurious pants. They would be hard up, skimpy and strapped.

I find this so hard to swallow. If I could just figure out how to bang in some hot search words! It would be so satisfying and yield profit.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tom and his PS3: Comments on the Topic of Skinny Dudes with No Shirts

"Yowza, a skinny dude just ran by with no shirt."

"It just surprised me, the skinny dude with no shirt. I just saw this like, white flash, and I couldn't figure out what it was."

"There aren't many dudes with no shirt. Very few choose that option."

"I don't know where the skinny dude with no shirt went. He's around here somewhere. I'm looking out for him."

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Tournament of Andrew

Despite a slow start and his strange twisted finger bowling style, the Birthday Boy quickly regained his big league moniker and demolished all competition with a high score of 170. But Birthday Andrew did not savor the sweetness of victory. Turns out, Last Time He Bowled Andrew, Birthday Andrew's true opponent, had pulled down a 234 and had hard copies to prove it. The two will meet again, never fear, according to Birthday Andrew.

Competition for second seed was lively. Bill clearly arrived at the lanes with experience, immediately apparent when he wiped off the bottoms of his shoes with a towel. "Smooth Operator" Tom, as nicknamed by Marc, demonstrated his gazelle-like style while Mike's friend Gaby, a dark horse coming in and surprise contender, posted consistent results.

Marc "Miyagi-san," took time away from his own respectable game to assist "Team Denim and Diamonds" break the 50-point barrier. Team members Janet, Claire and myself struggled to achieve a focused zen-like state of mind. We had lessons in proper form and finishing our release with our thumbs up our noses in the classic "nah-nah-nah-nah" pose.

Tracie "Hostess" and Betty "Boop" showed off their aptitude and largely refrained from grandstanding and trashtalk, although their high two-digit scores could easily have prompted excursions into this space. Boop was questioned on use of hair gel as a lubricant, but she was later exculpated of all allegations.

Mike "Mr. North" added a celebrity flair to the event, although some bystanders failed to recognize him as he had traded his signature black Chuck Taylors for flourescent yellow/orange bowling treads. The crowd went wild when Mr. North handed out coupons for dollars off his new standup comedy DVD and latest Podcast.

Dave "DJ," Ray "Zippy," Joan and her daughter "Kitty," rounded out the klatch. Linda and boyfriend John made a brief appearance punctuated by a dry hacking cough and a story about goldfish fertility.

* * * *

Here is a tip empirically proven to improve your own bowling game:

Purchase and wear your own bowling shoes and/or bring your own bowling ball.

Based on observations recorded last eve, everyone who had their own bowling shoes or ball finished in top decile. Clearly, owning your equipment produces significant competitive advantages.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

New Year's Resolution

My New Year's resolution is to hold open doors for those walking behind me. I hold open doors currently, don't get me wrong, but I need to improve my skill in this area. Really elite Door Openers make it look so easy, but maybe they have some special advantages:

1) Eyes on the backs of their heads. My current status as a rank amateur requires me to spin around to see who is behind me when approaching a door. This is awkward. Maybe it would be less so if I wore a tutu and worked in some arabesques, but how impractical and timeconsuming. Recently, I did learn a trick but it works only if the door is glass: I check out the reflection of the area behind me. Progress!

2) Superior Depth Perception. For twenty minutes, I stand there holding open a door for somebody across the parking lot. Often, the object of my politeness is overcome by the impulse to sprint for the entrance and may twist an ankle or trip over their overcoat. My good deed is not considered helpful when this occurs.

3) Ability to Flatten Themselves. When I hold open a door, no one can fit past me. My triceps are burning while the person assesses the possibility of squeezing by at various angles. I am considering switching out my backpack for something less bulky.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Bowling for the Birthday Bird

We are invited to Andrew's bowling birthday party on Saturday.

We will all have the opportunity to show off our bowling prowess, or nega-prowess (if you’re me and last time you bowled injured yourself by tripping and flinging yourself down the bowling alley.)

Nonetheless, I have always enjoyed bowling, but I enjoy it more since I learned the following fact:

Bowling is actually a sport derived from when Chuck Norris accidentally roundhouse kicked himself in the testicles and one broke free. In a fit of rage he threw it at a nearby forest creating our modern logging industry as well.

The internet is an amazing and reliable resource for all kinds of valuable information. I tell you.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Open message to my bandmates:

As we all know, I am guitarded.

This current phase I like to call "Never Practicing" is causing my normally sketchy talent to sink to depths blacker than lungs plagued with emphysema.

On 2/5/07 8:46 AM, "Andrew" wrote:

I think the main point of this email was to show off your new word.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The cat frolicked about, as cats are wont to do

Alex, my confidant and business partner, suffered some heavy distress after watching this video. It changed him. This explains why he frequently escapes to the basement to listen to Bauhaus.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I am More Inspirational than a Personal Trainer

Besides the guy who does substandard handstands, the YMCA is a place of traditional values and strapping young men.

When I enter the workout annex, Handstand Guy is trying hard to do scissor-kicks while his hands scuttle around on the floor. I select the far corner to work out with the Swiss ball given the inherent danger of a skinny dude flinging around his limbs in a precarious upside-down position.

I do 20 hands-on-the-ball pushups. While I rest up for my next set, two muscleheads come in. The one lays down a challenge: which of them can do more pushups with hands on the Swiss ball. I pause to watch the competition. So does Handstand Guy.

Head One does like three before he collapses. Head Two manages maybe eight.

Of course, I make a lot of racket preparing for my second set. Also predictably, I don't stop until I shake out 35 reps.

Next set, both heads practically kill themselves to manage a few more ups. Handstand Guy offers them helpful tips, which are not overly appreciated. Head One comments, "The heavier your upper body, the harder these pushups are." He asks me, "These pushups are kind of hard, aren't they?"

I nod. Whatever blows your skirt up, girly boy.