Thursday, January 25, 2007

What's creeping me out

As soon as I walk into work on Wednesday, I'm greeted by a strange sight at the far end of the hallway -- a man frozen seemingly mid-gesticulation. I can't understand why he's not moving. He starting to make me worry.

Someone got the brilliant idea to take a piece of marketing collateral and install it at the back of the office. So, now, whenever I get up out of my chair, I'm greeted by the two-dimensional life-size cutout of a man enjoying himself, way too much.

I feel like I'm constantly being watched.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Cinque

OK, Dura-Log, tag me with a viral meme, will you? Thusly, it's on.

1. I have an irregular heartbeat that has been more or less described to me as not worthy of treatment.

2. My father passed the time on a trip to the beach back in 1979 by throwing my favorite teddy bear, Teddy, into the surf and making me cry. Correlative: Whenever I dropped or bumped Teddy, I used to kiss him where I thought the boo-boo was. Further correlative: I still keep Teddy to this day.

3. I have no great love for the Beatles, and I'll add that their cultural phenomenon is generally overbaked.

4. I met Steve Perry in 1995 and got his autograph. It was the most star-struck I've ever been to date.

5. I won a radio station-sponsored spelling bee at the Smithaven Mall on Long Island in 1985 by spelling the word "coagulate." The prizes were a $50 gift certificate and a copy of Elton John's "Ice on FIre." On vinyl.

Following the modified rules of engagement, I tag one Smart Centipede, Tina Coleslaw, and the aptly-named Central Content Publisher. Git!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Marginalized voice

"What? Oh shit, not again. I'm so tired... can we wait a few weeks this go-around? I'm still poisoned with Malibu rum from the last time. Couldn't you get a fucking bird, instead, and leave me alone? I have calluses."

Inspire

Hello there! I'm a talking mince pie. My name is Brice!

What a novelty, I know. A speaking pie! I always get quizzical looks from people who ask impertinent questions like, "How good is your vocabulary?" Or, "What did you score on the SATs?" There's even, "Do you need to go to a dentist?"

First, my vocabulary is very good, probably better than yours... I do like to read a lot of Steinbeck. Secondly, I don't have to take the SATs; I am a pie after all. Thirdly, I don't have a mouth, so no.

But you can see, right? Irrelevant questions all.

I grapple with larger issues -- what to say. I'm stuck for words. If a talking pie isn't talking, he's just a pie. No more, no less. Sink a utensil in me and dine away.

It's not like I have to talk -- pies aren't expected to do a whole lot of anything, anyway. But it's always a bonus to get a talking pie. As far as I know, it's just me and Nigel out here. Everyone else -- wordless. And Nigel is a kidney pie, no less.

I haven't the foggiest what to do about it. Worked hard to cultivate a unique voice amongst baked goods -- I wonder where it's gone?

I'll just be over here, cooling, should you need me. Try the sweetbreads first.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick...

And now, Andy has a few things to get off his chest about what he sees on television...

I like to watch the news on TV before I got to bed at night. I turn in early, around 9:30 reliably, so I watch some news on cable before the local broadcast comes on at 10 p.m. Now, I'm used to seeing some pretty frightening things during the news, what with Darfur and Iraq recently, and going back a while, the Vietnam war.

It seems that the tide of frightening things on my television -- I mean truly frightening -- is spilling over into the commercial space during programs. Now, I'm an old man. That much is plainly obvious, for certain. As an old man, a lot of things scare me -- pirates, for instance.

I can't turn my damn box on without seeing pirates plastered all over it. Pirates live on ships for long periods of time, they don't get enough vitamin C, and they have hooks for hands. Also, the state of their dentistry is quite poor. Horrifying.

But that's not even the part that's got me in such an uproar these days. The worst part, is the cavemen.

Some blasted insurance company is using cavemen to sell their auto policies during prime time. Like I said, I'm an old man. I'm scared of cavemen, perhaps more than even dinosaurs, wolves, or Belgians. When the damn commercial comes on, I have to ask my wife to change the channel as I pull the covers up over my head.

Do the wizards up on Madison Avenue think it's a good idea to advertise their wares by scaring the bejeezus out of an old man just as he's getting ready to push off into sleep? I'll remind the world that sleep is the closest an old man comes to dying on a daily basis. It's a wonder I make it through the night as it is.

They're damn near killing me!

I have a suggestion for those same ad wizards, with their Gucci loafers, their Brooks Brothers suits, and their fancy mayonnaise packets: I'll give you an exception on pirates, and even on giant spiders, should you want to use them for a stock brokerage commercial.

Can you just stay away from cavemen?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A nice wummer day

What's wrong with this picture?

OK, you really can't tell just by looking, but this is what a perfectly beautiful summer dusk looks like. The problem is, of course, that this is January 6. And it's 72 degrees in New York.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

My interest level is in "Jeopardy"

Let's meet our returning champion...


His name is Bill Scurry, and he's a newspaper designer from New York City. Can you tell us something about yourself, Bill?

Sure, Alex -- I've been sitting in an uncomfortable chair probably purchased in 1993 stuffed with flat, dead foam in a room where the air conditioning is spotty since 11:45 a.m. this morning, working at a job that would seem to indicate that no one of any consequence is at the wheel making sound and informed decisions... or even trying to make it seem as if there's any regard for the employees.

That's all under the heading of T.M.I., my sniffly friend...

Oh yeah, Alex, I forgot to mention that I've been ambushed by a cold, like something out of "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell." Seriously, one minute I'm fine and the next minute I'm gobbing all over the carpet.

Um, if you're finished with your pity party, it's time to pick a category.

Alright... how about... "Japanese Comic Books"?


The answer is, "This comic features the adventures of a large-eyed wage slave who looks vaguely like a supporting castmember of 'Naruto' trying to avoid the C.E.O. of his company on the way into the office kitchen on his way to make some green tea, because he's trying to drown his bacteria-ridden sinuses in anti-oxidants."

What is, "Happy-One Tentacle Porn Guy From the Seventh Floor Cubicle"?

That's correct. You pick again.

How about, "I'm bored."


The answer is, "This is what you're most disaffected by in the workplace."

IknowitIknowitIknowit... what are "Stultifying workplace conditions and a general disregard for the work environment by corporate masters"?

That is correct. You pick again.

I'll take "My Busted Ass Career" for $1,000.


The answer is, "Thousands of years from now, archeologists from the planet Saturn will be scouring the remains of this dead industry you work in and find your dried, dusty skeleton propped up in an uncomfortable chair in front of 1997-era technology, like that scene in 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' where Harrison Ford busts through the wall of snakes and has to pass by all those creepy mummies."

Um... hmmm... what is.... "How will my contribution to my chosen industry be remembered?"

Right again. You choose the category.

I'd like "Murder My Coworkers."


The answer is, "There are countless numbers of these located in your personal folder on your computer."

What are, "Microsoft Word documents containing detailed fantasies about how I boil select coworkers in Cornola while forcing them to watch reruns of 'Blade 2' on Spike TV."

That is correct. Quite a hot streak you're on. Now, let's see if you can keep it all in Final Jeopardy. Our category today is, "Taking My Pants Off In Public."


The answer is, "Society forbids the modern day practice of this particular act, because of common decency and a general desire of passers-by to retain their hope for a better tomorrow." Write your response and wager down now.

Boo-bee-dee-boo-dee-bee-doo-boo-dee-bee-dee-boo!

OK, let's take a look at how you answered. Your response was...


I wrote, "What is unbuttoning my tan corduroys, dropping them to the ground, giving them a good toss to the left so they wind up on the marketing lady's desk, and then dance on top of the stack of aluminum cabinets in my socks until they shoot me with a fire extinguisher full of mustard and tell me to take that beef brisket off my head, it's needed for lunch elsewhere," Alex.

That is correct! You win no dollars and you lose the respect of all around you! Any standing you had as a functioning member of the community has been set back a decade, at least. You should reconcile yourself with a life of minor accomplishment where members of even the most backward of cultures retain the ability to poke fun at your insignificance!

Thank you Alex, thank you world... I knew I could do it. I'd like to thank a disinterested public school system, which provided next to no guidance. I'd like to thank a college education that was essentially a waste of $45,000 for the privilege of reading no books and pretty much assaulting the "Street Fighter" machine in the cafeteria. And I couldn't have done this without an awful job market where the most meager of opportunities are constantly spirited away from me by the combined pincers of a contracting industry and the chummy, advantageous connections that others seem to have over me.

We'll see you, our returning champ, on tomorrow's episode of "Your Career Prospects Are in Jeopardy." Bye-bye!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Assessment

The problem with "Ugly Betty" is that Betty is not ugly. And I would know, having watched five consecutive episodes on ABC Family mid-day on New Year's Eve.

The Uglies Betty on international versions of this show are GASFACE! SO STANK! They know what it takes to truly ugly up a bitch. In the States, the best they can do is cast a cute, curvy chick and figure that NORMAL WEIGHT is halfway to making her incredulously hideous-looking. That's not the only flaw of the show: There's the cute boss (Eric Mabius) who doesn't seem to be good at anything... or DO anything at all, for that matter; the mincing queen office-guy who minces up a mince-pie storm each episode as he over-the-top-gays-up the show, repellently so in the most gay-Uncle-Tom-ic fashion imaginable (Message from Hollywood: It's still safe to laugh at queers! Signed, Bob Iger. P.S. -- Send more gays.) Also, the distance between Betty's house in Rego Park, Queens, and her office on midtown is portrayed as being, like, 15 minutes away from each other. It's at least 20.

I don't want to make it sound like I'm a grouchy dousche who can't plug in to a popcult phenomenon ("Heroes" is mirthless, by the way). America Ferrara is great, a very capable comedic lead who long-deserved a shot like this. Salma Hayek's English is still "charming," and her cleavage has been described by no less than the late George Plimpton as, "being awed by it -- the uniqueness and nicety of style -- and I suspect I was a bit jealous because we were more or less of the same generation." I just don't think there's enough to make me add this to my appointment TV docket. Not when the first 15 minutes of the episode is spent pratfalling, only to have the final 15 spent mawkishly resolving the emotional hurt of said pratfalls to tinkling piano chords.

I gotta scram... a double-header of "Shark" and "8 Lbs" is coming on.

Dick Clark's Awkward Rockin'
Goat-Fucking New Year

I hope your 2007 will be as shweet as can be. Let's start off with a joke -- why did Saddam Hussein tell a knock-knock joke on his way to the execution? Because he was a fan of gallows humor. Tee-hee. American death toll is now 3000, if you're keeping track.

Is Gerald Ford dead yet?