Thursday, December 20, 2012

The End

If the world ends tomorrow like the Mayans have foretold, thanks for reading. If not, I'm taking the rest of the year off and will return in 2013.

All the best to you and yours!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

All I want for Christmas is ... originality.

Believe it or not, but I'm pretty sure Mariah Carey's, "All I want for Christmas is you", is the last Christmas song to become a classic. It was written in 1994. Since that time, I don't think another song has made it into the rotation of traditional holiday songs. Yes, some performers have done wonderful covers of classic songs, but no original song has risen to the level of "Rudolph" or "Jingle Bells" like AIWFCIY has.

Strangely enough, in my brief and haphazard research, I also learned that "Santa's a Fat Bitch" is the only Insane Clown Posse song to ever be charted on the Billboard Hot 100.

The holidays really are a time of celebration.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

So close.

This pretty much sums up my year.

If you can't read the picture, it say, "Score exactly 777 and get a free bucket of beer." As you can see, I hit a six shy on the old punching bag machine. 

Likewise, in both of my Fantasy Football leagues, I was second place heading into the playoffs. Both of my quarterbacks let me down: One by getting me negative points and the other for being injured (okay, to be fair, that's my fault for not replacing him). Bah!

Then, last night, I came in second place in a poker game. Bah humbug!

So maybe the Mayans were right after all? Or maybe, just maybe, some of my luck is going to rub off on them?

You're welcome, world.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Laugh, damn you! Laugh!!!

Based on recent events and an impending Mayan apocalypse, it seems like we could all use a good laugh. Below is a list of some of my all-time favorite gut buster episodes from shows you might have missed. I’m loathe to even describe any of the plots—for fear of ruining some of the fun—but they definitely work best when you’re somewhat familiar with the characters and their mannerisms.

Party Down, Season 1, Episode 8: “Celebrate Ricky Sargulesh”
Wannabe actors and writers in L.A. moonlight at a catering company until they catch their big break … whenever that is. In this episode, each cast member gets a moment to shine and the guest stars really chew up the scenes.

The I.T. Crowd, Season 2, Episode 1: “The Work Outing”
Two geeks and their non-geek boss work in the computer services department at a typical faceless corporation. This episode is ridiculously funny and I’ll leave it at that.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Season 3, Episode 15: “The Gang Dances Their Asses Off”
A group of friends buys a bar in Philadelphia, with hilarious and oftentimes crass results. While this show often relies on shock value for its laughs, this episode proved that it could be just as funny as mainstream shows by simply focusing on its characters and their faults. Scratch that: funnier. 

Extras, Season 2, Episode 2: “David Bowie”
A pair of friends work as TV and movie extras while they wait to get discovered. Best, most amazing guest star appearance in recent memory.

Coupling, Season 1, Episode 5: "The Girl with Two Breasts"
Basically a Friends rip-off, this show, about a group of five friends in Britain, was pretty funny. While I’ve seen a lot of concept episodes from other sitcoms, I have never seen an episode quite like this one. Bizarre, yet brilliant.

Friday, December 14, 2012

DON HERTZFELDT is very funny


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Review: Startup Communities, By Brad Feld

The Premise:
Entrepreneurial expert, Brad Feld, promises to unlock the secrets for “building an entrepreneurial ecosystem in your city”.

The Good:
Mr. Feld spells out why some cities, like Boulder, CO, succeed in creating a vibrant startup community and others do not. He gives easy to follow guidance on how to access whom the true players and influencers are and which parties are more supporters or even obstacles. He provides real-world examples and case studies throughout to support his point of view and isn’t shy about giving some rather blunt, yet pragmatic advice for anyone looking to embrace a startup culture in their community.

The Bad:
There’s too much name-dropping. This book could have been half as long and twice as practical if he stopped mentioning his buddies and their ventures. One gets the sense that Mr. Feld is almost trying to sell Boulder versus Silicon Valley at times. This may not have been intentional, but it is distracting. A more straight-forward “how to” may have been a better approach, in my opinion.

The Verdict:
Skim it and share it. There are definitely useful nuggets throughout the book for anyone interested in starting their own business or fostering a larger entrepreneurial culture in their community.

Monday, December 10, 2012


During a recent conversation, a friend of mine inadvertently created a malapropism. For those needing a refresher, a malapropism is when you substitute a word with a like-sounding word for comic effect. Oftentimes this substitution is accidental, like my friend’s, but it can also be intentional (mainly by writers with a humorous bent).

An example would be “Statute of Liberty” versus “Statue”.  
An example would not be “I wish you were dead” instead of “Hello”.

Famous people who have made a career out of malapropisms are Yogi Berra, Bil Keane of Family Circus fame and former President George W. Bush (known as “Bush-isms”).

Which brings us back to my friend. Instead of saying, “I like you in general”, my friend said, “I like your gender.” And there was much laughing.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cards from Japan

A delicious adventure

Know your sushi!



Yes, it rotates.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book Review: The Lost Continent, By Bill Bryson

The Premise:
Author Bill Bryson, after having lived abroad for years, returns to America and rediscovers the land of his youth, embarking upon a road trip that takes him through 38 of the lower 48.

The Good:
Mr. Bryson is hilarious, insightful, heartfelt and scathing. He manages the impossible: both mocking and praising a thing at once. You can tell that he finds most tourist traps ridiculous, but can’t imagine a world where they don’t exist. He delivers historical facts with aplomb and gives surprising gravity to the simplest of pleasures. And he can write. And, wow, does he make it look easy. The whole book is chocked full of imagery such as, “the waves crashed like exhausted swimmers on the shore” and hilarity, “My first rule of consumerism is never buy anything you can’t make your children carry.”

The Bad:
Like Mr. Bryson’s book, Walk in the Woods, the voyage kind of peters out in the back half. It’s still informative, poignant and funny, but you can feel that the gusto and verve displayed in the first half isn’t really found when describing town after town after landmark near the end. Also, he can be a bit crass at times, which to me is like hanging out with an old friend, but can be a bit much for the overly religious or all together too sensitive.

The Verdict:
Buy it. Read it. Laugh with it. And relish in a time capsule written by a close, yet distant friend.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Killing Maybe.

The holidays are a celebratory time when friends and family send out Evites and Facebook invites for parties of varying levels of faith and camaraderie. And if you’re like me, then you’ve probably clicked on the “maybe” option.

“Maybe” (henceforth without the quotation marks) is crap. Why is this even an option?

Maybe I’ll answer your generous and thoughtful invitation to me by creating more stress for you?
Maybe you should buy enough food and drink for me in case I maybe do or maybe don’t stop by?
Maybe I’m a dick and just want to cause more work for you with my uncertainty?
Maybe I drunkenly groped your best friend’s roommate’s cousin and I’m waiting to see whether or not she’s going to attend first?
Maybe I don’t really want to attend and think that saying maybe is a valid if woefully misguided way of doing that? Maybe?

The only time maybe is acceptable is if you need a little time to figure out if you can attend. Like you’re having lunch with a friend and they ask, “Hey, can you come to my party next Saturday?” If you don’t know if you have next Saturday available and need to do a little research, then saying, “Maybe. Let me check my calendar/with my spouse/with my parole officer and get back to you,” is perfectly fine.

Otherwise, just say either, “yes” or “no”. If something comes up that changes your situation, then you can always contact the person to determine next steps. For instance, “Hey, it looks like I can attend after all. Is that invitation still open?” To which they might reply, “Heck, no. You groped my best friend’s roommate’s cousin on the veranda.” Either way, you’ve given the host the most important thing of all: the information they need to throw the best party possible.

Because you should realize by now that:

Maybe is like farting in an elevator when there’s only one other person and not saying, “excuse me”.
Maybe is the equivalent of your parent’s disappointment in you when they find your stash.
Maybe is finding out Santa is real and he’s dating your sister.
Maybe is the awkward half hug, half kiss at the end of a date.
Maybe is locker room nudity.
Maybe kills puppies.