Dang it All
Trials and Travails of a 20-something
Friday, October 31, 2003

I was talking to this 3 year old I know the other day, just discussing world matters, when he looked up at me and said in his grownup voice, "Mr. Dan, I think we might be twins."

It kind of threw me for a loop, I was surprised he even knew what twins were. So I asked him why. And he looked at me for a second, real serious, then made me bend down so I could put my ear right next to his mouth. Then he cupped his tiny hand over my ear whispered, "Because after I went to bed last night, I looked like you all night long."



***Disclaimer***
This is not a true story, it did not actually happen to me. It occurred in a dream last night, and I liked the line so much that I had to write it down somewhere so I wouldn't forget.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

I am without a doubt, the coolest person in the world. Besides my normal spiffiness, I am now in possession of tickets to see both the strokes and all three lord of the rings movies in the theater. What does that make me anyway? A hipster geek?

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

So I went to a "poetry slam" tonight at Kirbys. Just for you information, it sucked. There were 3 people who actually read. Apparently my brother and I made it there too late to hear the first two, so I'm not really sure if they were any good. But the last guy was just laughable. His poetry consisted of lines such as:

"I did not vote for you. You are not my president. Florida says you're my president, but I did not vote for you."
or
"Life is a mirror that looks back at you in a reflection of souls eating your heart in a glass reflection of your own soul."

I felt like breaking out into laughter the entire time he was reading. I did manage to drink a pint + an entire pitcher of beer while I was there though. And met a cute chick named Tamber (Tamber? What the hell kind of name is that?). So I'm feeling good right now. hooray!

Monday, October 27, 2003

If life is such a big joke, why should I care?
- Diana

Music playing right now: The Nields - I Need a Doctor


Whoever makes windshield wiper fluid is evil. They package it in huge 56 gallon-like containers that you will never use up. Consequently, you have no place to put all of the extra you have left over after you fill your miniscule tank. So you leave it in your trunk.

I opened up my trunk the other day to find my big blue bottle of windshield wiper fluid completely empty. Two days before when I had glanced in there it was almost full. The furry mat covering my spare tire was soaked. My hand came up blue. I wonder how long it'll take to dry.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Giant robots are kickass. I want to build one someday so I can use it to cross the street without having to look for cars first.
- Bredon

Music playing right now: Delerium - Stopwatch Hearts


The word for today is: oops.

oops1

spoo. Erica had never quite gotten the hang of oops. It always came out backwards, not that uncommon in five year old speech patterns. "Spoo! My hand thlipped and I dropped my kichen!"

I got her some more fried chicken from the box and carried it to her place for her. "Keep an eye on this one. Make sure it doesn't jump off your plate."

She gave me a beatific smile. "Ok daddy!"

oops2

Soup spills on my pants, leaving a big wet stain right in my crotchal region.

"Shit!"

I glance out at Meredith to see if she heard the pot fall. She was still playing with Max, watching him chase his tail around the room. I grabbed an apron and wrapped it around my waist, then glided out to the table with two bowls of minestrone.

"Are you going to play with that dog all night? Dinner's ready."

oops3

I never could quite get the hang of climbing the rope in gym class. I always made it halfway up and then my arms gave out. That and I was afraid of heights. More than I was afraid of heights however, I was afraid of burning my hands sliding back down the rope. So I always jumped off when the muscles in my arms started stinging and I knew I was high enough to avoid ridicule for one more day.

I would land on the mats with a thudding moof. The same sound a pineapple would make if dropped from 3 stories onto a fat man balancing a pillow on his stomach. Moof. Every time. Until I went Moot. I landed square on my right foot and felt the bone inside creaking from the pressure of my 110 pounds. My face contorted and I let out a weak "oops."

Saturday, October 25, 2003

All dressed up...
Music playing right now: Eve6 - Jesus Nightlight


I look damn good tonight. My hair is cooperating with me, I found a shirt in my closet that I forgot looked so sexy, and I've got a great smile on. And then I realize I don't have anywhere to go or anybody to go with.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

You can't write poetry on the computer.
- Quentin Tarantino

Music playing right now: The Electrics - Yer Man McCann Can


That Dang Mother Goose

One night ago I stood by a wall,
My blind date showed up, my heart took a fall.
Her face was hellacious, her form a bit lumpy,
but after enough drinks I still humptied Dumpy.

Jack Sprat could eat no fat,
He found their taste obscene.
Chubby women need not apply.
He only likes them lean.

Little Miss Muffet showed off her tuffet
to every john on Broadway.
Any man who spied her,
could venture inside her,
contribute, and then creep away.

I have this paranoid delusion that someone has planted a truman show-esque camera behind my bathroom mirror. They probably laugh at me all day long.

But seriously, where else is one supposed to try and learn the moonwalk?

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I think I want to marry one of those carnies that works the crappy amusement rides at county fairs. Just so I can call her My Fair Lady.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Health is merely the slowest way someone can die.
Music playing right now: John Lennon - Borrowed Time


I learned a life lesson today. Put my glasses on before shaving. I was shaving merrily along, humming a bit to the puff daddy song running through my head. And then boom! Out of nowhere comes my nose. Who would have thought it could get in the way? But did I let that stop me? Of course not. No wimpy bit of cartilage is going to keep me from having a silky smooth face. So I just ripped a big chunk out of the corner of my nose. Needless to say, it started gushing all over my now baby-butt smooth face. I was forced to take remedial measures.

Remedy #1: Ignore the problem.
Results: Blood dripping from my nose, giving me a bright red moustache, and falling in the sink.

Remedy #2: Stop the bleeding with a kleenex.
Results: 30 minutes later, 20 kleenexes with big red polka dots on them. Further, the forcing of said kleenex up my schnoz meant that I had to begin breathing through my mouth. When I stopped sucking air in my nose, all of the snot inside decided to evacuate it, along with the already pouring blood.

Remedy #3: Styptic pencil.
Results: This wonder of modern man, designed specifically for razor cuts, is meant to force the blood to coagulate and scab over. Given the fact that we can put a man on the moon, I was sure that science could make this succeed. Unfortunately, my admiration for the scientific community was ill-placed. I received a lot of pain (I think it's a pencil made from salt), but got no real results.

Remedy #4: Back to the kleenexes, this time with more pressure.
Results: No visible change.

Remedy #5: The classic, tear a corner off the kleenex and stick it on the site of the cut.
Results: It did an admirable job of stopping the bleeding, forming a temporary kleenex scab. This meant however, that when I was sure I had finally fixed it and pulled off the tissue coagulate, I pulled off the scab with it, restarting the bleeding process.

Current situation: Still bleeding, but retrying Remedy 5 in the hopes that it will eventually stop. Adios for now.

***UPDATE***
Brooke, home remedy doctor extraordinaire has saved me. If you're ever in a similar situation, the following works quite well. Soak a cotton ball with white vinegar and apply to the affected area for a few minutes. It stings a bit, but stops the bleeding. My life can now continue.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Sex is good, but not as good as fresh, sweet corn.
- Garrison Keillor

Music playing right now: Bracket - 867-5309


Our household has a problem. It has become painfully apparent that we are all either too busy or too lazy to go grocery shopping. We're facing a shortage of food. An issue that's quickly coming to a head. Finding something to eat is becoming somewhat of a treasure hunt as we scour the empty cabinets and bare pantry. It's like Y2K actually happened and we're desperately trying to eat every scrap of food in the house.

"Dry Grapenuts and a can of greenbeans? Sounds good to me!"

"How about some instant mashed potatoes and peanut butter?"

I don't know what we're going to do when we finally run out. Probably starve. Laying on the tile floor of the kitchen weakly glaring at each other. "Why don't you just go shop?"

"I don't wanna. Why don't you?"

"I'm too busy counting tiles. You never know when we might need to know how many we have in here. It's your turn anyway."

"What the? I went last time! ...I think. It's been too long."

etc.

My great-grandmother recently celebrated her 90th birthday. In recognition of this amazing achievement, we (being my entire extended family) drove up to Kansas City today and threw her a party. I got to see relatives I hadn't seen in years and forgot existed. I also met some new ones. I met my great uncle Don, who used to be a cowboy in Mexico. And a 2nd cousin whose claim to fame is inventing that big standup computer thing hallmark used to have in grocery stores so you could make your own greeting cards. Why didn't anybody tell me I had interesting relatives? I just thought they were all boring white bread people like me.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

I can feel my date counter mocking me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

I had an epiphany today. An epiphany brought on by a TV delivery. Nash and I loaded up a repaired TV today and headed out to drop it off. We'd seen the guy who owned it earlier, paying for it in the store. He's a big white guy, probably about 6'5", 300 pounds. He was dressed in faded overalls and a blue shirt suffering from pit stains.

Nash and I pulled up at his house and both of us burst out laughing. It was the epitome of whiskey tango white trash inbred hickdom. There were random plastic toys abonded years ago, a mangy little dog, 3 teenage girls with crooked teeth, and a baby that must have belonged to one of them, although it was impossible to tell who was the owner. We hauled the TV into their tiny house, over their uneven tile floor and shook the dust out of the extension cord to plug it in.

Later tonight I stopped by Barnes and Noble to pick up a copy of Moby Dick for American Lit. While there, I browsed through the current fiction. I realized that there are about 200 current novels about 20 or 30-something women dating in big cities. As I reflected back on my day though, I realized that I've never seen a novel about white trash finding love. And I want to write one.

The problem now is this: I don't know anything about white trash. Where does one research this charming subculture? Jerry Springer? Nascar races? Old Roseanne episodes? Joe Dirt? And how do I write characters that aren't one huge stereotype? This could be a toughie.

If I had to describe my soul in 5 phrases or less, the first one would be "Lover of Hummus."

Monday, October 13, 2003

If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise.
- Johann von Goethe

Music playing right now: The Smiths - I Started Something That I Couldn't Finish


I have one inherent problem: I want to know everything.

When I learned how to juggle, I decided I wanted to learn every juggling trick in the book. I went to clown school, I practiced for hours. I got amazingly good. And then I found a new obsession. When I decided I was going to become hip in the music scene I downloaded every piece of music I could find. I listened to music every minute I was awake. I tried to know about every new band on the road. Then I decided to be a writer. I started reading the classics. D.H. Lawrence, Nick Hornby, E.L. Doctorow, Dorothy Parker. Everything I could. Trying to pack a lifetime of learning into the shortest time possible. I watch movies. All of them. I get a lot of pride from saying that I've seen every single Tarantino film and every single Jack Black movie. It's a real waste of time though. Then I started drinking. And I wanted to find just the right beer for me. So I started trying them all. I'm still working through them, trying to find my favorite. It's a pleasurable search.

I've recently discovered that there's not enough time in the day to know everything. I can try as hard as possible and I'll never know everything about writing, or music, or drinking. There's simply not enough time. I need to concentrate on just one. It's not possible to be a renaissance man anymore. Nobody can know everything. If one tries to, they simply end up knowing a miniscule tiny amount of every subject, which does no good. My problem now is just deciding what to actually concentrate on following through. 24 hours is not enough.

Yesterday was the 35th anniversary of my grandfather's death. Obviously, I never knew him, but I've always kind of wondered what he was like. He was a pilot for the air force. Crashed in Iran. Actually, that's pretty much all I know. My dad never talks about him.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

My reading list this month is all coming from Lux, shy though she may be. I'm starting at the top and working my way down. Just ordered Dave Eggers' bestselling debut. I've got high hopes for this one. Adios for now.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.
- E.L. Doctorow

Music playing right now: Cake - Nugget


You're so much dust to me,
a walking gob of incredulity.
So complain all you want,
I'm not saving your cunt.
Cause I'm not your savior
and I'm not your peace.
I'm just the man
who's canceling your lease.

I've been on this strange poetry kick lately. Which is weird for me. I suck at poetry. I know this. I accept it. And yet I've been feeling this strange urge to write all of this crappy rhyme down. around. bound. sound. Strangely, or perhaps as a result, I've been terribly uninspired to write much of anything else. which leaves me at somewhat of a loss. I want to concentrate on writing stories. Maybe I just need to get all of this drivel out first.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

My day was made when I heard a 50 year old woman make the following statement in reference to eminem: "I really appreciate his body of work."

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Life would just be more exciting if I had my own personal squad of cheerleaders following me around all day.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Believe it or not, my life thus far has been very sheltered. I've never been in a fight, never smoked anything, never done any drug harder than motrin, and just started drinking this year, 2 months before turning 21. So it was a new experience for me today when the guy I deliver TVs with stopped off at his house to get himself high. I spent the next hour and a half watching him giggle for no reason I could fathom. At least he looked happy.

I try to leave out the parts that people skip.
- Elmore Leonard

Music playing right now: They Might Be Giants - How Can I Sing Like a Girl?


I was sitting in starbucks last night and trying to figure out what to write about for national novel writing month. I think I've decided to write about a book editor in NYC. The problem now is, what to do with him? I've got this great character in my head, I just don't know what conflict to place him in. Fall in love with a writer who sends him material? Find a CIA conspiracy putting codes into books he publishes? Something that has nothing at all to do with his job? Secret double life as a tattooed guy at freak show/superhero/lounge singer/woman? Solves murders by using ideas from detective novels?

I'm kind of at a loss at the moment for what situation to dump this guy into. Any ideas?

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Avoid popularity, it has many snares, and no real benefit.
- William Penn

Music playing right now: Ben Folds - Song for the Dumped


"Can I help you find anything?"
"Nah. I'm fine. Thanks."

Note to self: Avoid Blockbuster nearest to home. Especially on weekend nights.

I discovered tonight that a girl from my philosophy class works at the neighborhood blockbuster. It's kind of hard to justify showing up alone on saturday night and getting 4 movies. I'm such a dork.

Friday, October 03, 2003

What kind of stupid tattoo place closes at 8 on Friday nights?

Thursday, October 02, 2003

spiffy
frenetic
fan-fucking-tastic
cheese
schadenfreude

what are your five most favoritest words in the world?

I've had a wonderful time, but this wasn't it.
- Groucho Marx

Music playing right now: The Cardigans - Love Fool


A study in patheticity
The scene opens with a wide shot of our hero alone on the middle cushion of a couch. A single lamp lights the right side of the plate he hunkers over. As the camera zooms in, we see that it's a frozen burrito, just recently nuked by the looks of the steam. The protagonist is staring intently at something behind the camera, absentmindedly biting his fingernails. As the camera swivels around we see that he's watching TV, specifically the movie Angus. As the fat loner kid slowly succeeds in his mission to become the popular kid, we see the loner on the couch smile to himself wistfully. The movie over, he turns out the light, moves to the kitchen to wash his plate, then heads up to his room. The lights in the house turn off as he goes, finally leaving one pane of light flowing out of his door. He closes the door and the screen fades to black.


About Me

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Days since Dan entered into wedded bliss:




::Required Reading::
My beautiful wife
The Slot
A Capital Idea
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eegah, eliot!
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