Thursday, December 30, 2010

Never Let You Go

When I was your age, kids, the radio played stuff that was worth listening to.  It was actually a regular part of my day and I heard a lot of it between 4:00 and 7:00 during my first wave of homework.  There were actual bands and they got actual airtime.  Some of this music could even be described as rock or alternative.  This is shocking, I know, and I'm showing my age.

Around the year 2000, there was one station in the Boston market that did a phenomenal job of playing these bands.  Tune into Mix 98.5 (WBMX) and you could hear (with some regularity) the Barenaked Ladies, Vertical Horizon, Third Eye Blind, Sister Hazel, and Matchbox Twenty.

Though the suits in the biz would clinically describe this music as "Modern Rock" and eventually "Modern Adult Contemporary", these bands were rock bands.  Sure, songs like "If You're Gone" and the Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris" would end up becoming shopping mall music staples--loved by moms everywhere--but the vast majority of singles and radio hits from these bands were enjoyable and made life a whole lot better in middle school.

Then something terrible happened.  Suddenly, radio stations were all up and changing their formats and crap (because, really, who listens to the radio anymore?) and Top 40 was everywhere.  The niche for a station that played rock songs with thoughtful lyrics and jangly guitars evaporated. Mix 98.5 went with this wave and a small part of me was lost on the day the music died (I believe the exact moment was the day that they played Madonna's "American Pie").

I decided, ten years on, to make a mix CD compiling my favorite songs from back in the day (8th grade, 9th grade, and 10th grade), and my track list is contained here.  I bypassed the obvious title choice ("The Mix Mix") as well as more accurate ones ("Buzz Ballads 3") for the blandest one imaginable ("The Mix 98.5 Throwback CD").


Everything You Want - Vertical Horizon
Slide - The Goo Goo Dolls
She's So High - Tal Bachman
Last Beautiful Girl - Matchbox Twenty
Change Your Mind - Sister Hazel
Absolutely (Story of a Girl) - Nine Days
You're a God - Vertical Horizon
Pinch Me - Barenaked Ladies
The Space Between - Dave Matthews Band
Bent - Matchbox Twenty
Broadway - The Goo Goo Dolls
If I Had $1,000,000 (live) - Barenaked Ladies
Never Let You Go - Third Eye Blind
Desert Rose - Sting
Sweetest Thing - U2
Drive - Incubus
Hanging by a Moment - Lifehouse
Save Me From Myself - Vertical Horizon
Ghost in the Crowd - Sister Hazel

- I had been mulling over this CD for some time, and repeatedly told my friend (a fellow listener and fan from back in the day) that I was about to make one.  We listened to this on the way into Boston last night and it was fantastic to hear these tracks again.  These songs were there and played loudly when I was finding myself, falling for the girl, getting over the girl, and discovering singing and writing.  They mean a lot to me.

- This is not a comprehensive cover of this period in music, but rather a conscious effort to compile my favorite songs from then (minus the extra slow or sad ones--"Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning)" for example).  I didn't listen to Radiohead or the Foo Fighters then so they aren't there.  Also, after this phase, I more or less stopped listening to the radio and got a little too into classic rock.

- Considering that most of the tracks here have a "pop" vibe, I was surprised to recall the quality of the lyrics.  It was especially interesting to hear VH's "I've been unable to put you down/I'm still learning things I oughta know by now" and realize that, a decade later, I still feel that way.

- As a tenth grader, I was certain that if you sang "Slide" to any one girl, she'd have to fall in love with you and be yours forever. "Put your arms around me/What you feel is what you are and what you are is beautiful".  I'm still about 45% sure that this would work.

- "Never Let You Go" has appeared on pretty much every other mix CD I've ever made, and I can play a serviceable version on guitar at college parties when people have been drinking.  It's a dark horse for "Favorite Song from the Last 12 or 13 Years" (a category I just made up now).

- Except it might actually be "Falling For the First Time" from the Barenaked Ladies, which I cannot believe was left off.  Other notable omissions include "Semi-Charmed Life" (overexposure), "Mad Season" (forgot), "Kryptonite" (also forgot), and "All For You" (reminds me of my college a cappella group).  I think I would swap out "Desert Rose" and "Sweetest Thing" for "Kryptonite" and "Mad Season" because they better fit the vibe.

- I still love Matchbox Twenty.  Those songs hold up.

- The last two songs actually came out in 2009, and to my knowledge, have not been played on WBMX (which was coined to be the Black Music EXperience according to Wikipedia--surprise racism!).  I included these songs because both of those bands are still making great music, even if radio isn't listening.

- Also in the Where Are They Now category, Matchbox Twenty put out six new songs on 2007's retrospective Exile on Mainstream and they are pleasantly excellent.  I haven't heard BNL's latest album so I can't vouch for it, but Third Eye Blind still enjoys strong, sustained support from Providence, RI, among other places. It goes without saying that Sting, U2, and DMB are still active.

- I have no idea where Tal Bachman is, but I'm guessing his one hit got him the girl.  It had to.  She couldn't walk away from that.

- I like a lot of The Goo Goo Dolls' mainstream grab Dizzy Up The Girl, but hardly anything else they've done before or since.  I think this is strange and alarmingly conformist of me. Also, for the record, "Slide" blows "Iris" right out of the water. 

- Vertical Horizon's Matthew Scannell is a fantastic and underrated songwriter.

- "Change Your Mind" is definitely a song I need to hear more often.  Noted.

- Don't do a Google Image search for "Barenaked Ladies Pinch Me" if the filter isn't turned on.  Nothing good coming from that. Lesson learned.

I wish these bands got the airplay now that they did then, because there is something unifying about liking music that other people like, too.  Until then, I will refuse to listen to the "new" Mix 104.1 and work on "The Mix Mix Strikes Back" (or "Buzz Ballads 4").  Or maybe I'll just buy "NOW 2".

PS - If Nick Hornby and Stephen Chbosky co-wrote an article about music, it would sound exactly like this one.  If you understood that, color me impressed.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

#10 on the Top 10 Top 10 Lists of '10

The approach of New Year's Eve caters to two very distinct American values: 1) the promise of erasing (another) unfulfilling year with copious amounts of alcohol, and 2) the ability to relive condensed highlights of the past year in easy-to-manage list format.  The first value needs no elaboration, especially since you're a nursing major.  What's that, you say? You're not a nursing major? Well you're nursing that beer, so let's go already! Take off the skirt and man up, Grandma.

The second point is fascinating because many people today love to reminisce about things that just happened.  Clicking through another best of list from People Magazine or the like (usually titled, "Top 10 Celebrity Rebound Dates" or something) offers many opportunities for what I call the "Oh, yeah, remember that?" crowd.  Of course we remember that.  It was October.  Keep in mind, though, we were the generation who demanded I Love the 00's from VH1, and got it.

In the spirit of our short attention spans, another year-end Top 10 list!

TEN BEST BLOG ENTRIES (blentries?) OF 2010
  1. Dude, That's Nuts
  2. Moving Forward. Rapidly.
  3. Open Notes to the Springtime Revelers in the Park
  4. A Call to the Bullpen
  5. A Very Recentist List of One English Ed Grad Student's Fears
  6. An Open Letter to Cash-Only Bodegas
  7. A Can't-Miss Business Venture for All You Capitalists Out There with Flexible Morals
  8. Adventures in Education, Chapter 17
  9. Adventures in Education, Chapter 19
  10. Adventures in Education, Chapter 20 
Yup, I haven't written anything good since August.  Lists don't lie, you know.  Even this entry is shooting 1 over par. Here's to 2011, only the 24th time I have wished for a better year than the last.  Hey, this is like... 43 words in a row already!  The internerds are getting restless!  Better throw in another picture!

Your mind may be in the gutter, but Candice is thinking about my blog and hoping for the long rumored "Open Notes to People in the Greenwich Village Bar" entry.

Happy New Year to most of you.  For those who need it, here's a handy reference article for hangover cures. Note that the author digs deep for mind-blowing insight like "don't overdrink".  Also, I don't know for certain what a "drinking expert" is, exactly, but I'd be willing to bet that I know many and we party often.  Best of luck to y'all.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Facebook According to DF, Part 6

Dear Facebook,

The first step in fixing any problem is identifying the problem.  "Something" is not a specific problem.  If you do not know what went wrong, you cannot be fixing it.  Every time you display the following message, it just confirms that you don't care.

I appreciate that my choices here are "Okay" and... guess I'm okay with it, then.

Poking Around

I would like to thank Facebook, weight and measure of all things social and network, for confirming that I poked my friend Steve yesterday.  Even after asking if I was sure that I wanted to poke Steve.  While others rail on about profile page layouts and friendship pages, I find that it's still the simplest things that really, truly creep me out.  Thanks, Facebook.

On an unrelated note, this is blog post #200.  Pow.

I spent about two minutes on this.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Pennies Saved (which are pennies earned, of course)

As I procrastinate at Union Square's Barnes and Noble, which is something I cannot afford to do, I am sitting next to a fellow who apparently has trouble affording things as well.

Exhibit A: Prohibitively expensive materials.
This guy is using his iPhone to photograph recipes in cookbooks that he won't buy, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I mean, recipes really don't strike me as the best example of intellectual property, but this bistro burglar is just copying entire cookbooks wholesale. My mom occasionally photocopies a dish from a library cookbook (please don't tell on us), but she doesn't do it at the library. There's a pile of ten books and like four magazines here, and he's got every page! He's like The Pirate Bay of the kitchen.

Exhibit B: What a dirtbag!
I assume that his name is Albert, because it's written on his coffee cup (but by that logic, his name could also be "Made with 60% post-consumer waste"-and oh man, that would be awesome). Just watch out for this guy, ladies, because when he offers to cook dinner for your first date, it's not just because he's got a stack of recipes, but also because he doesn't like to pay for stuff. He can't take you on a harbor cruise, but if you'd like, he's got a great picture of one on his iPhone.

In a strange and coincidental turn of events, this is my first time blogging from my new iPod touch. I then took pictures of his stuff when he got up.  That is almost ironic.  Technology high five!

EXCITING FOLLOW-UP! Turns out "Albert", or "Post-Consumer Waste" , is not only too cheap to buy things, but he left all of the books (and his trash) for someone else to clean up!  Nice. Take that, B&N.  Apparently, customer service is not just limited to customers.  Before exiting, he checked out the Spirituality section (he'll need to redeem himself someday), the Newly Arrived section (in case there was something that he didn't get photos of last Sunday), and the Men's Interest section (too easy).  I would have and should have called him out publically, and by name, too.  Ideal Me would have done it.  Goshdarn propriety.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Don't Be a Flake

One thing that really, really aggravates me is when people say they would like to see you, even going as far as saying this date at this time, and then wait for you to call them so that they can tell you that they can't make it.  I've had more people flake on me this year.  This has literally happened more than real plans have gone through. No, I'm not being facetious. It's just getting ridiculous.

If you say you're going to be somewhere, be there.  Either that or you damn well have a better reason than "I'm tired" or "I forgot" or "I have to do this thing".  You should be meeting with Nelson Mandela and The Situation on the moon if you're making me plan around you so you can blow me off.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Checking In

I once wrote a very eloquent post about how most blog posts are posts apologizing for the lack of posts. I even successfully used raison d'etre in a sentence.  You should go read it; you'd love it!

Shown: Approximate size of RI.
This morning I find myself at a Starbucks in Providence, Rhode Island, a place where I have many memories, and a few nights without memories.  I used to come to this particular shop to unwind before my work study job at a nearby museum, as well as to get some work done when I used to do adorable things like write papers about literature.  Having woke up in Brooklyn this morning at 5 for a 7:10 bus out of Penn Station, Rhode Island at 10:30 strikes me as quaint in its littleness.  It's like it thinks it's a state or something.

None of these things matter to you, however, because you didn't come here for that.  You came here hoping to find out why I haven't posted lately, and I don't blame you.  Being a student teacher is hard.  Parent teacher conferences, disciplinary actions, and grades are all hard enough, but painstakingly crafting original exams and watching your class bomb them in front of you after a month of study and two days of review might be the most discouraging thing ever.

Hey, how do you feel about
stock photos? I'm for 'em.
At the very least, my 7th graders are killing it with vocabulary units and I couldn't be more jazzed.  Gradually I've been able to appear as less square-ish of a teacher, which is exciting.  Despite anything you've heard, most teachers would, in fact, like their students to think that they are cool, if all other things are equal.  Sure, teachers aren't supposed to be their students' friends and there is work to be done.  Still, holding back the perfectly timed joke is like looking at delicious red velvet cake without eating it.

Ah, but I've wandered into things that no one cares about again.  Coming back around to this blog, my blogging will probably pick up substantially in January, but in the meantime, it's a slow drip.  Enjoy your Thanksgiving and please tell all of your female friends about me.  I'm available and I'm a snappy dresser.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Confession:  Student teaching has been kicking my butt.  I don't know why I decided to take 13 credits of grad work, teach a 7th grade English class, and spend 30+ hours a week in the fine public schools of Brooklyn, but I did.  I am legitimately amazed that I did not collapse during midterms last week (which coincided with all grades becoming due as well).

You can now add captions for photos.  That's pencilrific.
I suppose this is what I signed up for as an English Education major.  Generally speaking, my time is spent teaching reading, reading about writing, and writing about teaching. I also collect present-tense verbs and gerunds.

Anyway, I'm getting to the point.  POINT: I will start blogging again soon.  I have resurfaced after hell week and life is slowly returning to normal.  Although I remain very busy, I will now have more opportunity to procrastinate without immediate and collosal negative repercussions.  Besides, my class deserves a subsitute teacher and a VHS tape every now and then.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Adventures in Education, Chapter 20

Friday, Summer Camp, 11:14pm

Counselor DF:  "You might want to paint your names on the sides of your toolboxes, so you will know which one is yours when the paint dries."
1st Grader:  "I wrote 'Tool'!"

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Adventures in Education, Chapter 19

Wednesday, Summer Camp, 4:02pm

Camper: "I have a joke. Why did the monkey fall out of the tree?"
Counselor DF: "I don't know."
Camper: "Because it died."

ADDENDUM (12/28/10): This is still potentially my favorite joke ever.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Adventures in Education, Chapter 18

Preface:  Although I hate setups, this one is necessary.  A theme of this week at camp was the "Dress A Bus Contest", where campers use materials provided to decorate a bus (as you may have guessed, you smart thing you).  Our bus's theme was "Under the Sea Disco Party"--a theme that could only happen when you work with young children.  Enough ado.  As always, true story.

Friday, Summer Camp, 4:32pm
Camp Bus to Manhattan

7 y.o. Girl: "Want to hear me sing my favorite song?"
Counselor DF: "Sure."
7 y.o. Girl: "Let's have some fun, this beat is sick, I wanna take a ride on your disco stick!"
[Awkward silence]
Counselor DF: [Too afraid to say anything]
7 y.o. Girl: "We should have a disco stick on the bus for our bus party!"

Friday, August 6, 2010

An Open Letter to the Boston Red Sox

Dear Socks,

Thank you for beating the Yankees today.  However strong your desire to relish this victory may be, I must implore you to stay the course and remain focused.

I live in New York City now.  I have been called an "asshole" and a guy with "a lot of balls" on the sidewalk as recently as last week for daring to wear a Red Sox hat and stand quietly [Note: the difference between "big balls" and "a lot of balls" is substantial].  I even got made fun of by a Mets fan once--which is crap.  On the whole, the city's disdain for the Red Sox is best described as a smug apathy.  You like the Red Sox?  Good luck with that.  However, the antagonism is ratcheted up quite a bit when the Sox are in town to play the Yanks.

As a Sox fan for my entire life (I vaguely remember Dave Henderson in 1990 and I definitely saw Mo Vaughn play in Pawtucket), I beg you to make a good showing in the Bronx this weekend.  Tonight was a great start, but at a bare minimum, please don't lose the next three games.  You need to at least win one more.  It is very hard to be a transplant and face the public after your hometown archrivals dismantle your team (like they did this time last year).

Just saying "Yeah, well... 2004" doesn't cut it anymore.  The Yankees are the defending champions and I have to take the heat if you dudes can't split this series.  I'm six stops away from Yankee Stadium and I don't want to be cussed out in Spanish when I'm just running out for a donut.

Love always,

Adventures in Education, Chapter 17

Thursday, Summer Camp, 3:02pm
1st Grade Boys Free Swim

Camper: "I have spit on my hands."
Counselor DF: "Okay. How did that happen?"
Camper: "I spit on my hands."
Counselor DF: "So what did you learn?"
Camper: "If you spit on your hands, you get spit on your hands."
Counselor DF:  "Great.  Tell a friend."
Camper: [Tells a friend]
Friend: [Nods]

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wait Here for the Next Available Teller

The bank teller at the local branch is absolutely gorgeous, and every time I drop in I want to flirt or make a witty joke or seem like a romantically desirable potential male counterpart... but then I stop because I remember that she can see exactly how poor I am.

New plan:  start hitting on unemployed girls.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Truthful Pickup Lines

"Want to watch me order a drink sometime?"

"I won't take up much of your time.  Yeah, I guess I meant it in that way, too."

"I'm definitely not the worst looking guy that will talk to you tonight."

"Is it too late to steer clear of the Friend Zone?"

"Can I buy you a drink?  You can get my next one."

"Are you here with anyone more physically impressive?"

"I like your face."

"I am incredibly lonely and you have a pulse."

"I don't have a shot in hell with you, but would you mind talking to me for a bit so that other girls might get interested?"

"Your boyfriend is a tool.  I'm not really much better, but I mean, think about it."


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Limited or No Connectivity, Part IV

As I continue to blog about my lack of internet access (irony!!), my dependance on Starbucks is reaching frightening new levels.  I've been on the lookout for other free wifi outlets that I can use in the evenings, but most places also have at least one drawback.  McDonald's doesn't offer electric outlets, Bryant Park isn't sunny at 10:30pm, the closest independent coffee shop closes at 7, and people call the cops when you stand outside of their window and mooch internet.

Tonight, I passed a bar that advertised free wifi and drink specials.  I'm seriously considering it.  Sure, I'd be the sketchy looking dude rocking a 7-year-old laptop at a bar by himself, but this is New York City.  There are 8 million people here and I can afford to put off quite a few of them.

An Open Letter To The Lady Sitting Behind Me

Get your arm off of the back of my chair or I will end you.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Can't-Miss Business Venture for All You Capitalists Out There With Flexible Morals

A Laundromat Strip Club.  The most appropriately inappropriate establishment of all time.  You're welcome.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Limited or No Connectivity, Part III

When going online is a chore, giving out my email address is a pretty useless gesture.  My poor response time will most definitely lead to hurt feelings and possible reprisal via mocha lattes thrown at my head.  Yet I cannot shake the growing terror I feel when I remember that the parents of all 21 of my campers have my cell phone number now.

Some Crappy Haiku / Copied From My Other Blog / And Recycled Here

Ever feel awkward
When you've drank more or less than
your friends? Cause I do.

As you read this, I'm
Breaking my resolution
To write better stuff.

If I'd my druthers
I would run around barefoot
And play in the sand

Don't you hate it when
You meet paid professionals
Who suck at their job?

Standing by the door
You stop to fix your sun dress.
I'm checkin' you out.

Yeah I hate it when
You come home from work and you
Still have work. What gives?

Someone should look at
Truth in Advertising Law
And let Best Buy know.

Bad luck is just that
Black cat climbing the ladder
Up a house of cards.

If I write haiku
But then nobody reads it
Is it really there? 

Fun note!  I learned recently that haiku is composed of moras and not necessarily syllables.  I do not understand moras, but if you took any of these haiku seriously, then shame on you.  And, also, thanks.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Fond Farewell to the W Train!

Um... actually I don't have much to say here.  You were simply all kinds of adequate that one time that I took you.  I suppose I will miss the disappointment of seeing you rounding the corner and not being a Q train, N train, or even an R.  You ran to my school and to... well, nowhere else that I ever needed to go.  Sure, you could get me to Times Square, but so could the 1, 2, 3, A, C, E, N, R, Q, S, and 7.  I've actually even walked to 42nd Street and beyond from West 3rd Street (several times), so it's hard to say that you were worth the $2.25.  While the N and Q often got the new rail cars, the cars on your local W runs often looked like poorly-lit crime scenes. When I found out that your service was being cut, I couldn't believe it--though only because it proved that the MTA actually does do things sometimes.  I figured that they just deliberated a lot.

So therefore, dear W train, as you noisily approach that light at the end of the tunnel [Ed. note: Sorry, I couldn't help myself], I will leave you with a positive to take back with you to the rail yards.  While you were certainly among the unsexiest of subway lines, you were not the late night G train--and you'll always have that.

Limited or No Connectivity, Part II

I'm hitting up Starbucks more often than usual (you should be concerned) because the internet in my sublet is missing.  If you find it, please return it to... wherever it is that I live.  I keep forgetting that I have no idea what my current address is.  The post office has no idea either.
In the meantime, my entries here will be sporadic as well as unfocused.  Actually, this is probably not a new development.  Inspire confidence this post doth not.

Limited or No Connectivity

Occasionally, the following series of events will happen to me.

1) A stranger will ask if he or she can share my table space at a wifi-enabled cafe.
2) I happily oblige and they sit down with me.
3) A free table opens up and they immediately move their stuff away.

Should I feel slighted?  I usually do.

Friday, June 11, 2010

An Open Letter to Cash-Only Bodegas


Are you serious?  Look, the last time I had cash was probably by accident, and it certainly wasn't because I left my apartment that morning thinking, "Damn, I could really go for a bottle of juice or a quick snack--not now, but sometime around 4:15 this afternoon."  You might have that kind of foresight, but I certainly do not.  Then again, if you did, you'd have probably seen the year 2010 coming and you'd have gotten a charge card system.

As for you, "Seven-Dollar-Minimum-Purchase Bodegas on the Corner of Thompson and West 3rd", it's about time you knew your role.  If you don't want my money, fine.  There are other bodegas on the same block that will happily accept my business.  Stop acting like you're the only game in town.  I'm not spending $7 when all I want is a Clif Bar, so why you fronting?

I'd prefer to pick one bodega and be a loyal customer.  I like to support the little guy, and CVS and I have a beef at the moment.  Just embrace the fact that a good 30-45% of your sales are impulsive, and help us blow our hard-earned cash at your establishment even when we don't have hard-earned cash.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Useless Post (33% Less Fat!)

Although it should technically be fine, I cannot come around to the notion of cream cheese on toast.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

An Open Letter to the Diminutative Fellow Who Berated A Library Employee After Cutting Me In Line.

Dear Short Stack,

Although we only spent about two minutes in each others' presence today, I wanted to drop you a line and let you know how much you suck.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Illustration by Nedroid
Not sure, but I think I just had the lamest birthday ever.  Guess I'm a grown-up now.  Crap, when did that happen?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

An Open Letter to the Cockroach I Saw in the Laundry Room

Dear Tiny Manifestation of Evil,

So, we finally meet.  You: the first naturally occuring cockroach I have ever seen.  Me: mild-mannered student teacher by day, part-time super hero by night.  There was a definite moment as I entered the laundry room and you paused in your scurry across the floor that our eyes locked.

We stared at one another, sizing each other up for a good few seconds.  Then, as we nonchalantly went our seperate ways, we continuously turned around to monitor each other's paths.  No doubt, you were considering the brute strength that must lie within each of my disproportionately toned arms (Hey, I'm working on the shoulders, alright?  Lay off.  LOOK AT YOUR LEGS, SHRIMP!).

Listen, let me lay this out for you in a language that you can understand.  I have no quarrel.  I do not bite my thumb at you, sir.  You pose no threat to me as you scamper across the floor, looking for God knows what (as it was past midnight, I'm forced to assume you were out looking for a lady friend).  I live on a much higher floor, whereas you live in the basement, or you were just visiting.  So long as you remain below ground level, in the land of dryer lint and the occasional pipe leak, we have no beef.

But I swear to Eric Clapton, if you so much as stick one little antennae into our hallway, I will sick the baby panther on you and she will rip you into a dozen nuclear-radiation-resistant pieces.  Sure, you might have the upper hand when it comes to longevity, but who is more likely to survive the swift justice of the bottom of my sneaker?  Me, that's who.  Don't ask questions.

Listen, bug, I've wasted enough of my time writing this patient, heartfelt letter that you can't read cause yous straight ignant.  You've probably already been smashed by someone since I started this tome, so I will wrap it up and wish you a good night far below my apartment, stuck to the squeaky wheel of a laundry cart.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wednesday Morning

Editor's Note:  There used to be an entry here about the taxi cab that struck me on the sidewalk one morning. There are currently several legal cases pending, so I decided it was best to take this post down given my involvement in these cases.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Adventures in Education, Chapter 16

The administration at my student teaching site asked us to create a homework packet or research project assignment for our students for the public school spring break last week.  As a part of our unit on Night by Elie Wiesel, I asked students to select one of four project options for their research on Holocaust history.

Option #3 was a series of creative writing journals detailing, with some historical accuracy, daily life in the ghetto for an "undesirable".  I apparently did not specify that I meant the Warsaw ghetto, and I am currently reading through journal entries describing life in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and Hunts Point in the Bronx.

Tomorrow's class will be featuring a "teachable moment".  I'm still learning things, too.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Very Recentist List of One English Ed Grad Student's Fears (but not mine, certainly).

Level 1
- Being late for class
- Teaching the day after a Boston team bites it against an NYC team.
- Running out of Clif Bars
- Houston Street bicyclists

Level 2
- Forgetting to set the alarm
- Showing up to class unprepared
- Crossing the street the day after the Yankees win the World Series
- Not having a devastatingly witty response for Nigerian email scammers

Level 3
- Not being able to shake the feeling that I forgot to set the alarm
- The Lincoln Tunnel
- Taking the Ashmont Red Line instead of the Braintree Red Line, only to wake up and find out it was all a dream... as I miss the late night 1 train at 116th Street.
- Being called a phony as I teach The Catcher in the Rye

Level 4
- Being called a phony as I teach The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Being placed at a Staten Island student teaching site
- Nigerian email scammers riding bicycles on Houston Street
- Whales

Level 5
- Men's rooms in Brooklyn
- The subway level of the Port Authority Bus Terminal
- The G train
- Dying alone

Level 6
- Having to drive through Connecticut even one more time.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Help Me Get Lunch, Friends

There is a restaurant nearby called Project Sandwich, and they are asking for sandwich submissions. You can see the list and vote or die here.

Naturally I am hungry and anticipate getting free food so please consider the issues, place a sign in your front lawn, and go vote for "The Upper-Middle Class Pilgrim"--the sandwich that is about to take Manhattan by storm, kind of like the rain just did.

"The Upper-Middle Class Pilgrim" Sandwich
1 Serving of Smoked Turkey
A Few Slices of Ham
Two Strips of Bacon
Cranberry Mustard
Served on Potato Bread
w/Cape Cod Potato Chips

Feel free to submit your own recipe as well, if you are looking to snag second place.  I really think that having my own sandwich will be the difference maker and I will finally have lots of friends.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Call to the Bullpen

Fantasy sports are exciting.  Despite the fact that most of us got made fun of in gym class (but not me, certainly), playing fantasy sports allows many of us to get the competitive juices flowing without any of the detracting risks that come along with being an athlete, like pulled hamstrings, road trips to Milwaulkee, and cheating on your spouse.

One of the highest orders of business in fantasy sports actually has nothing to do with the sport at all.  Picking a tremendously hilarious team name will earn you the admiration of your peers and make you seem like an awesome human being--even though, by all accounts, you are not.

I joined a fantasy baseball league where I will need to come up with a baseball related pun on a popular book title (examples that are already taken: "Catchers in the Rye", "David Copper Fielders", "A Midsummer Night's Team", and "The Great Batsby"). Although I am quite aware that I am the funniest person I know (and smartest and best looking and most modest), I thought I would take it to the Internets and solicit votes from the peanut gallery, as well as potential submissions, before I finally select a team name.

Here is my preliminary brainstorming list:
Jane Error
Slaughterhouse Nine
Lord of the Flyouts
Angels & Dodgers
The Pinchrunner's Guide to the Galaxy
Perks of Being a Wallballer
Homers for Algernon
Fahrenheit 6-4-3
Dante's Infieldo
Clubhouse Chatterly's Glover
Artemis Foul
Comedy of Errors
Taming of the Screwball
The Bunt for Red October
For Whom The Ball Rolls
Number the All-Stars (I'm going to hell)
Fight in August
A Pitcher of the Artist as a Young Man
Silas Mariner
Homer's Epic Cycle

Please overlook some of the lamer choices in there; I was tired.  My friends also came up with lists, among them these choice choices:

Excerpts from JM's (probably superior) List:
Atlanta Braves New World
The Base Runner
Of Dice-K and Men
The Full Count of Monte Cristo
The Pitcher of Dorian Gray
Atlas Slugged
One Flew Over the Green Monster
The Outfielders
A New York Yankee on King Arthur's Wall
Jackie Robinson Crusoe
Journey to the Center Field of the Earth
[and my personal favorite]
The Tragedy of King Richard at Third

Excerpts from DL's List:
Glove in a Time of Cholera
Balk Two Moons
Animal Farm League
A World Series of Unfortunate Events
Around the Bases in 80 Days
Charlotte's Web Gems

Have you got anything, Internets?  I'm picking my team name by this time tomorrow.  Feedback/suggestions/hate mail appreciated.

An Attempt to Single Out My Huge Fan from Mountain View, California

Hello, Mountain View, California!!!!!

Many of you will wonder why I'm offering this salute to this quaint little village of 70,780.  As it turns out (and yes, I get statistics on such things), I've received quite a few hits from this town, which perhaps not coincidentally is where Google is based.  In an effort to find out if I have a stalker (and find out if said stalker is a gorgeous, 22-year-old brunette with brown eyes standing about 5'5"), I am reaching out to said creepshow who seems to be stalking my blog.

At any rate, hi.  My name is Dan.  I am impressed by your taste in comedic blog writing, since you've come to the greatest source for blog-o-comedy on the Internets.  For those of you who fall into a category I just created called "Not my stalker from Mountain View, California", you might be thinking: "Hey, this entry is irrelevant to me!!".  And you'd be right, except for the fact that this stalker that I may or may not have might in fact be my future wife, and thus an integral part of my blogging experience from 2013 onward.  I'm just saying.  If she is, I'd like to give her enough time to break into the world of hiLARious comedic blogging so she can be up to snuff when I have to introduce her to my mom.

And so, dear future wife from MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA, I am very happy to have artificially met you.  Please get in touch with me soon.  I'd be more than happy to leave my current girlfriend, "Beer".

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Unexpected Case for "Y'all"

I'm a man with facts.  While some people have opinions, my "opinions" are really just facts that I label as opinions so that other people don't feel insecure around me.  Trust me, it's hard work being right all of the time.  People start to resent you.

That said, I never change my mind about anything, because to do so would be to change facts, and to change facts is un-American (or standard practice, if you're Rush Limbaugh). I have to make an announcement, however: I have, in fact, changed my mind on one very important point.

After much malignment from myself and other intelligent, great looking people, I think it's time we embrace the word "y'all".

Now step down from that window ledge, Grandpa; I know what you're thinking. "Y'all" is a grammatically suspect folksism from the backwoods of all the states that we should have just let secede. You'd be right. However, at the moment, we have a need, and necessity is the mother of invention. And your mother was a duplicitous tramp, but we don't have time for that right now.

You see, there currently exists no good option for replacing "guys" in the vernacular.  Sure, everyone uses it, but those with too much time on their hands are quick to mention that "guys" is sexist (even if you were just addressing four men whose names were all, literally, "Guy").  I have several professors that have gone out of their way to deliver a ten-minute tangent on why America needs to stop referring to groups of people as "you guys".

Sure, my other professors think those guys need to just chill out, but they may have a point.  Who knows?  Somewhere there could be a girl that actually gets offended when she's directly or indirectly referenced as a part of the "you guys" collective.  No, I wouldn't want to hang out with her either, but I think I have to at least pretend to care about her life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

"Oh Rhode Island, you so silly!"
Therefore, I ask you to indulge me and reconsider "y'all".  It's hard to get the attention of a group of people if, say, you're a student teacher and you need to bring a room with 33 students to order.  I mean this is strictly hypothetical, of course.  "Ladies and gentlemen" sounds a bit stuffy.  "Boys and girls" is patronizing.  "You folks" sounds like something my grandma would say.  "Fellas" isn't going to do it, either--you'll have the "You Guys" KGB knocking on your door in no time.  Yet, a well placed "Hey, y'all need to shut the hell up!" could get the trick done without offending anyone at all!*
* based on gender

So, dear friends, hear my plea!  Given that there is no more edumacated synonym for "y'all", I suggest we try it out. We have nothing to lose, and so much community to gain. Whaddaya say, y'all??

ADDENDUM (6:58pm):  Forget it, you guys.  I can't do it.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I'll Be Honest; I Don't Fully Understand Where This Leaves Us

Okay, so... usually I like to post my own stuff, because I think that I'm hilarious and awesome and head and shoulders above the rest of the world... and, well, I am. Sometimes, however, I like to throw the spotlight to those who are less talented than I am. Enjoy this clip that I cannot get enough of:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Don't Call It A Comeback!

Two reasons for that:
1) It's too early to tell
2) It probably isn't one; I've just always wanted to say that

photo credit: CNN/SI

I would wager that 65% of all blog posts are posts apologizing for the lack of posts, which means that they help alleviate their own raison d'etre but not by a lot.

At any rate, I'll add substance to this post by mentioning that I would favor a cruel and unusual punishment for anyone who takes up the whole sidewalk while walking, especially if they stop abruptly.  I'm thinking that they should have to listen to "Party in the U.S.A." once or twice.

Okay, that's a bit excessive.  It's good to be back.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Open Notes to the Springtime Revelers in the Park

Preface: This is the second installment in my Open Notes series, where I talk to people around me but on my blog because I lack the guts/interest/pickup lines necessary to actually conversate with other people.

Today I thought I would take advantage of the 73-degree weather (that's Fahrenheit, for those of you who identify as Eurotrash) and grade some papers in scenic Washington Square Park.  Given its location, WSP is a nexus of every population subset imaginable.  Where else could hippies, musicians, NYU students, yuppies, tourists, dogs, communists, druggies, protestors, pretzels, Sesame Street Muppets, film crews, artists, and squirrel enthusiasts gather in one place?  Well okay, Brooklyn, yeah.  You're right.  Happy?

Anyway, before I was so rudely interrupted by an anticipated argument, I was about to announce that it was time once again to make fun of people on the internets while hiding behind the enclosure of my craptop screen.

To the indie artist next to me: I had no idea that stringing together a long list of words that end in "-ation" constituted a deep, meaningful song.  Bravisimo! I can tell by your softly plucked chords and clever use of juxtaposition and free association that you are a douche.  There are more chords in the world besides G and C.  Please learn some of them.  Any of them, really.  Also, thanks for calling your girlfriend/incredibly patient sister over to play the egg shaker--it really adds to the ambiance of your composition.

To the undergrad girls stopping to listen: No, girls, he sucks.  Move along.

To the ladies walking the small lapdog: Does your dog know that he is an accessory?  How does he feel about this?  Does he have the will to live at all?  Was his father a hat?  Was his grandfather a cotton ball? What kind of metaphor does he think his leash is?  Is he a she?  I have so many questions.

To the fellow with the crazy hair, ridiculous hat, and Nike shirt which reads "SLICE IT UP":  When your track jacket covered the "S" of "SLICE IT UP", your headwear suddenly made so much more sense.

To the girl on the phone to my right:  You seem like you'd be really annoying, but you're hot so I'll let it slide.

To the dude that walked by and said "Wrong shirt, buddy": First off, I'm not your buddy.  Secondly, making fun of my Mike Lowell shirt is not fair unless you are properly marked yourself.  Yankees or Mets?  It makes a difference, yes.  I don't know how to respond to you without that pertinent information.  I guess I could take the high road and yell "Suck in the gut!". Maybe next time.

To several male friends via text message:  SKIRTS!  YES!!

To my iPod: Thank you for being here.  Now I can pretend that the John Lennon wannabe next to me actually is John Lennon.

To the dude walking through in a Wu-Tang Clan shirt and actually blasting Wu-Tang Clan on his boombox:  Holy 1993!

To the barefoot girl sitting across from me who also laughed and then shared a knowing look with me:  My roommate is gone for the weekend.  I'm just saying.

To the guy feeding the pigeons:  Wow. I think Mary Poppins sings a song about you. Also if you've got that many pigeons on you, I imagine you do a lot of laundry.  Why aren't you wearing white?

To the folks stolling by with the weiner dog:  If I put relish and mustard on your dog, would you laugh too?  I would laugh.

To the girl clearly not wearing a bra: Usually I'd be okay with this, but... how can I put this tactfully?  I support you even less than your clothes do.

To the folks that asked me to slide down so they could fit their whole group and then decided to leave once I had moved all of my stuff because they wanted to go sit on the grass instead: It was great meeting you today.

To the Communists handing out fliers: Okay first, communism has never worked well anywhere in the history of time.  So give me a break. I'd love to help out with the Rebellion, but I have to do some laundry.

To the LaRouche fringe group handing out fliers of a Hitler mustache on President Obama, ostensibly to protest the health care plan:  Hitler wasn't socialist.  He was fascist.  Sorry no one told you before you printed 2,000 of these things.

To the really large retriever dog passing by:  Eat a pigeon! Eat a pigeon! Eat a pigeon!

To the backside of the really large retriever dog passing by: Wuss.

To the hippie walking from the other direction:  You bear a passing resemblance to the backside of the really large retriever dog passing by.

To me: You've sat here for an hour and graded 3 papers. You suck.

To the indie artist next to me as he gets ready to leave: I know you came out here this morning with big dreams of being the next Bob Dylan.  You were so excited that in your haste you forgot to shower this week.  At any rate, I'm sorry no one took you seriously today.  I suppose you could write a song about it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Moving Forward. Rapidly.

Times are tough, but we at Toyota would like to thank you for sticking with us!  Sure, the reports are dire and getting worse every day, but you, the American Public, have once again stood by us and our superior brand name.  Well, mostly.

At any rate, we're totally out of ideas (and even we're driving Hondas now), so to entice you to purchase any one of our fine products, please check out these offers!!
  • All Priuses (Prii?) now come with jet brakes
  • Innovative new Tuk-N-Rol in all Rav-4s
  • All Camrys (Camries?) now upgraded to Corollas
  • Drag racing rear parachutes installed in all Avalons
  • All 4Runners equipped with escape Yarises
  • Yarii?
  • Tacoma now features bubble wrap exterior
  • All Lexuses (Lexii?) now come with larger Christmas bows on the roof, to increase drag
  • Every new Sienna comes standard with lifeboats, perfect for a roadside lake near you!
  • All Tundras now include Mario Kart mode.  It doesn't solve anything but we've always wanted to try it.  Yoshi not included.
Thank you once again for your patronage!  And for those of you pointing fingers, we now think the problem might be due to excess radiation in the southern part of our country.  Yeah, I wonder whose fault that was.

TOYOTA. Hey, at least we're not Chevy™.

Friday, February 12, 2010

An Open Letter to the Guy In Front of Me in the Metal Detector Line at my Student Teaching Site

Editor's note:  I have decided that this entry served its purpose--anonymously belittling a self-important loser--and I will be deleting it.  It's too negative to sit here at what is currently the top of my blog.  For a better example of how to make a small person feel smaller, please consult my Salute to the Bar Room Tough Guy.

I'll write more here soon.  In the meantime, you'll just wait and you'll like it, capiche?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Sometimes it is really hard to keep up with a blog.  When you see it as an extension of yourself, and then you are forced to neglect it for long periods of time while you tend to your own real life (Existance 1.0), you feel as if something is missing.  Then, when you return, you feel as if the vitality and the creative spring that used to be there is dried up, gone, something from yesterday that didn't survive.

I think of things to write every single day, and I want to get them down.  Yet, I have so many obligations at the moment that my kiss-offs to ridiculously obnoxious strangers and my love letters to random girls on the 1 train never seem to materialize.  I then wonder if it really matters; do I only write for me?  That might be the only reason.  This entry is uncharacteristically serious.

Your mom.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dude, That's Nuts

There is absolutely no way that the inspiration for this product did not happen on a Friday night in the backseat of a '57 Camaro.