Dang it All
Trials and Travails of a 20-something
Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Picture of the Day

Monday, January 30, 2006

The big question on the copy desk:

The guy is getting shocked by a taser. Why doesn't that affect the two men holding him?

For Buster:

If I were a musician,
I'd write you a song.
If I were a traveler,
I'd take you along.
If I were an artist,
you'd be my muse.
And if you were smothered by kisses,
I'd stand accused.

Picture of the Day

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Picture of the Day

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Picture of the Day

Friday, January 27, 2006

Picture of the Day

What is this world coming to? When you can't trust a door-to-door tattoo salesman, who can you trust?

My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can.
~ Cary Grant
Music playing right now: The Dandy Warhols - Horse Pills

So I was in a bar, meeting a girl I liked, but had only talked to on the Internet, and I had no real idea of what she looked like.

I spent about five minutes sitting at a table by myself, taking nervous sips of my beer and wishing Kelsey and I had agreed to hold a white rose in our left hand or something like that. I was wearing my black Subpop shirt to impress her with my musical acumen. The time we had set for meeting had already passed, and my biggest fear was that she was sitting in another part of the bar, staring at me and wondering why I was ignoring her.

She walked in about 10 minutes late and I thought, "Oh, there's somebody I kind of recognize, that must be her. Wow, she's cute." She found me straightaway. Apparently she didn't suffer from the same amnesiac condition I do when it comes to remembering faces. We had an awkward hello so nice to meet you in person haha moment and then sat down. She showed me up by ordering a Guiness. I stuck to my Budweiser.

Two other girls were with her, one spectacularly drunk. She said the inebriated one was a friend of Amy, the other girl present. Amy had obviously been briefed on the situation. Her Cheshire smile was one of gleeful anticipation, the same one all girlfriends get when they think one of their friends is about to start a new romance.

I don't remember what we talked about that night and neither does Kelsey. Probably the normal "So what kind of music do you like? What are you going to do with a major in English? I really like that movie, too!" kind of chit-chat. It doesn't really matter. There are two things from that night in Kelly's that stand out in my head. The first occured about an hour after I arrived.

I excused myself to visit the little boy's room and when I came back, the table went abnormally silent, a real feat in a place where the normal decibel level hovers around the same range as a jet hangar. Kelsey left shortly after to order another drink or inspect the jukebox or something, and in one of my more lucid moments of understanding the female psyche I asked Amy what she and Kelsey said about me while I was in the bathroom. She stuttered around a bit and finally told me they'd decided I seemed like a nice guy, but the jury was still out. At last, I was reasonably sure that Kelsey liked me. At least enough to keep the option open.

The second memorable incident didn't seem strange at the time, at least not to me, but looking back I'm sure it was for everybody else at our table. Another guy came into Kelly's after we'd been chatting for a while and made a beeline for our group. He knew everybody except me and we were introduced. The girls left to take care of girly business shortly after and I talked to this new guy about his band, his art, etc. After the girls came back we all talked a bit more and then I left and went home.

It was a few weeks later when I found out that this nice guy I'd talked to was Kelsey's ex-boyfriend, who happened to be passing by Kelly's and stopped in the first time Kelsey and I really met each other. I'm glad nobody told me at the time or I'm sure the atmosphere would have been even weirder. As it was, I obliviously chatted away with Kelsey's ex while thinking to myself how great the whole evening went and how well I'd done at convincing her I was one spiffy muchacho.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Perhaps all pleasure is only relief.
~William Burroughs
Music playing right now: Barenaked Ladies - Maroon

I made her call me first.

After I made a sad attempt to ask her out the first time we talked, I was somewhat surprised that Kelsey decided to keep talking to me. Nevertheless, she must have had pity on me. And in the midst of an online conversation a few days later, she mentioned that she and a few of her friends were headed to Kelly's Irish Bar. (I'm sure it was just a coincidental detail Kelsey happened to drop.) I seized my chance and asked her if I could meet her there. Unfortunately, it was about 5:00 when I was talking to her, a bit early to meet at a bar. We arranged for her to call me when they were headed that way so I could meet her there and we could run into each others arms slow-motion style. Or something like that.

Around 9:00 that night I heard her voice for the first time. I don't remember a bit of our conversation. There should be some rule that when an important milestone in your life is happening, your memory kicks into overdrive and everything becomes burned onto your brain in a searing brand of scar tissue and dendrites. But it doesn't work that way. So I have no idea what we said or how I sounded or how she sounded, except I'm sure she sounded delicious, just like she does now. But no matter what we said, about 15 minutes later, I was in Kelly's nervously sipping my Budweiser and waiting for this girl I barely knew to walk in. It was then that I realized I had only the vaguest idea of what she looked like.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Picture of the Day

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Toast to my wife: 'May you live forever and may I never die.'

I got a piece of junk mail today offering me some Bank of America life insurance. The first sentence: "If you're 21-34 years old, one of the greatest threats to your life is a fatal accident."

Apparently, once you turn 35, fatal accidents are just a nuisance.

Picture of the day

Monday, January 23, 2006

Picture of the Day

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Picture of the Day

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Interesting detail from the CIA World Factbook: The United States has about the same annual death rate as the Gaza Strip and Iraq combined.

Picture of the Day

Friday, January 20, 2006

It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.
~ Albert Einstein
Music playing right now: Madonna - Material Girl

I was drunk the first time I talked to my wife. (Always start out a story with a slightly offbeat sentence like this. It catches the reader off guard and draws them in. Think 'Call me Ishmael.') Well, perhaps not the very first time I talked to her, but the first time I remember. She worked with my brother at Hollywood Video. I went in there for months without noticing her. Obviously I can't spot a good thing when it's right in front of my face. Not an unusual happenstance, as Kelsey can remember exactly how many times I kissed her when I woke up in the morning, whereas I can walk all over the city for hours on end before realizing my zipper is down. But it wasn't until a night in April 2004 that I started a conversation with her that didn't involve me renting a movie.

And I was drunk. Mostly, anyway. Which probably helped me ask her out. I chalk it up to one half vodka and one half fake bravado, the kind that naturally materializes when having a conversation via the Internet. But no matter what was to blame, I did ask her out. And my life has been amazingly perfect ever since. End of story. Mostly.

In actuality, she turned me down. A smart decision on her part, as she didn't know what this crazy sounding guy who couldn't even spell was really like. Creepy things can happen to pretty girls who accept Internet invitations from strangers to visit a dark movie theater. I think she also wanted to see what I was like when I wasn't under the influence of alcohol. Wise woman, my wife.

But I persevered. And within a few days we worked up to talking on the phone. Sober. A big step for a communication-wary guy like me. And a step that led to our first informal date, which will be the topic of tomorrow's entry.

Picture of the Day

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Picture of the Day

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Picture of the Day

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Picture of the Day

Monday, January 16, 2006

Picture of the Day

Sunday, January 15, 2006

It's an old genre, but a classic for a reason. This has to be the best blonde joke ever.

Picture of the Day

Saturday, January 14, 2006

You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover's arms can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip.
~ Jonathan Carroll
Music playing right now: Counting Crows - Mr. Jones

Kelsey and I received the complete series of As Time Goes By for Christmas and have been voraciously watching one episode after another for the past few weeks. We're currently in the middle of season five. Unfortunately, we only have about another 30 episodes to go. Who knows what we'll do then.

It's a wonderful show, and not just because it's one of the few sitcoms that doesn't revolve around sophomoric fart jokes and dares to use more than a fifth-grade vocabulary. It's great because it's genuine. An American sitcom that revolved around a love story would inevitably denigrate into something like this: "They kiss, exchange Serious Looks and murmur dialogue that is either portentousness disguised as stupidity, or vice-versa. She: 'You were always trying to hold everything together.' He: 'You never needed holding together.' " (Full scathing review of South Beach here.)

But the story of Jean and Lionel is much more realistic than that. Not to say there aren't some touching moments and romance, but, for the most part, they're just two people. Two friends very much in love who both know it and don't have to show it off to everybody else whenever they get a chance. They have rows, they make up, they bicker, they complain, but they're almost always realistic. This isn't Everybody Loves Raymond, where the big issue of the day is who forgot to change the toilet paper roll and the entire family ends up shouting (and yet somehow everything is hunky-dory again next week). This is instead a genuine relationship that we, the viewers, get a chance to spy on in their most interesting moments.

Speaking of romance in popular culture, I was reflecting the other day on just how farfetched it all is. Not to say that it's not important or heartfelt, it's just not all that believable. For example, while there are a great many good love ballads out there, can you really imagine Joni Mitchell telling somebody "I could drink a case of you and still be on my feet"? Or how about Dave Matthews telling his wife "Into your heart I’ll beat again, sweet like candy to my soul. Sweet you rock and sweet you roll." Or even Brian Johnson of AC/DC telling some waif of a groupie "Baby, you shook me all night long." OK, maybe that last one is a bit more realistic, but you get the point. If you looked deep into your significant other's eyes, held his/her hand tenderly and said in a voice filled with emotion, "Yummy, yummy, yummy, I've got love in my tummy and I feel like loving you," you'd be laughed out of the country.

Of course, all the popular glop may exist simply because realistic depictions of love aren't all that exciting. Who wants to listen to a song about someone volunteering to do the dishes because they know their wife isn't feeling well? Or read a poem about making sure to pick up crescent rolls for your husband at the grocery store because you know he really likes them? Seems kind of bland, doesn't it? But that's fine with me. Other people can live their lives looking for that person who traversed mountains and spent their life savings to find them. I'm happy with the person who still smiles at me every morning. Because I know what I can be like, and I know that smiling at me every single day is infinitely harder than any silly hike around the world.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Picture of the Day

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Picture of the Day

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof shit detector. This is the writer's radar and all great writers have had it.
~ Ernest Hemingway

Music playing right now: House of Wires - World of the Future

One of my favorite articles to read each week is the the summary of the week's daytime TV shows. I'm not really sure why we run it, but it does make for some interesting snippets.

Guiding Light is obviously being filmed in Kentucky this week: "Tammy and Jonathan finally have a conversation about being cousins. They decide that having one grandmother in common doesn't matter and, to prove it, head out on their first real date. "

Passions lives up to its name: "Things are tense among the party guests in the Crane living room when a weak Alistair attempts to name his would-be assassin. As he's about to tell, Rebecca plunges a drug-filled syringe into his chest."

And you can't help feeling Shawn's pain on Days of our Lives: "Hope refuses to believe that Zack could really be brain dead. Lexie explains it is only artificial respiration keeping him alive. Lexie asks Bo and Hope if they can harvest Zack's organs. Shawn lashes out at God, unable to take all the tragedy. "

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Picture of the Day

Monday, January 09, 2006

Marriage is our last, best chance to grow up. ~ Joseph Barth
Music playing right now: Bob Dylan - Tangled Up in Blue

Kelsey thinks I've been feeling sad lately. I certainly haven't been my normal chipper self quite as much. Perhaps the excitement of starting a new job in a new city with a new house is starting to wear off and I'm starting to get homesick. Or perhaps I just need to stop sleeping in until 11:00 and living on coffee and fried eggs.

Come to think of it, that sounds really good right now. I've been attempting to perfect my fried egg recipe. I think I should work on it a bit more. I just need to learn two things before I can really be impressive: How to break an egg with one hand (Well, break it without coating the kitchen in yellow goo) and how to flip an egg without a spatula. I figure if I can master those techniques, I could probably be considered a culinary expert. Perhaps I could go by Iron Chef Breakfast.

Or maybe I could just tell people to call me that.

Picture of the Day

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Bad artists copy. Great artists steal.
- Pablo Picasso
Music playing right now: Superchick - High School

I'm very thankful right now for the triumvirate of the copy editing profession: Coffee, Internet word games and more coffee.

Picture of the Day

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Picture of the Day

Friday, January 06, 2006

Picture of the Day

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Picture of the Day

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Picture of the Day

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Picture of the Day

About Me

My wife thinks I'm awesome. Counter

Days since Dan entered into wedded bliss:

::Required Reading::
My beautiful wife
The Slot
A Capital Idea
eegah, eliot!
Practicing Myrtle
Obscure Store
The Plug


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