Posts from January 2005.

Dream The Improbable Dream

Upon being awakened by The Squirrelly’s fussing around 2:30 on Sunday morning, The Queen and I groggily compared notes:

Me: In my dream I was the star of a line of children’s DVDs that taught kids how to make fajitas.

The Queen: In my dream I was being bitten on the ankle by a monkey in a Thai restaurant.

That wife of mine, always with the one-upsmanship.

Last night I dreamt that The Queen and I were on an Amazing-Race-esque reality program called Hot Lava, where participants had to get from Seattle to Miami without using any vehicles and without ever touching the ground. We were far in the lead, because while the other teams were traveling the old-fashioned way (hopping from car to car to cross parking lots, for example), we had cleverly thought to bring along two large sofa cushions, and were using them leapfrog-style to traverse plains of Colorado at a fairly good clip.

DIY Oscar Pool Page

By popular demand (yes! there was actual demand!) the Make-Yer-Own Oscar Pool Page has been updated for 2005.

If you notice any bugs, or if you just have suggestions to make it better, don’t hesitate to let me know.

The Bad Review Review: Darkness Falls

Christian Slater and Tara Reid star in Alone In The Dark:

“Saying Uwe Boll

The Magician

A little over a decade ago, in the final days of Bill Bixby’s life when he on the cover of many tabloids and weeklies (“Bill’s Heroic Battle Against Cancer!”), I was standing in in line at the supermarket behind a woman and her young daughter. The mother pointed to Bixby’s picture on one of the magazines and said “Do you see that man? When I was a your age I had the biggest crush on him. He was on a show called The Courtship Eddie’s Father, and couldn’t wait to grow up and marry him.”

Although I don’t make a habit of talking to strangers in the grocery store, I couldn’t resist saying, “It’s probably best you didn’t — he had one heck of a temper. You wouldn’t have liked him when he was angry.”

To which the woman deadpanned: “That’s not the Bill I loved.”

(I was reminded of this story by a recent discussion on “TV Crushes” at a site I frequent. For the record, the earliest crush I recall having was on Caroline Ellis, who played Joy on The Bugaloos. I distinctly remember my eight year-old heart racing whenever I watched the show.)

2005 Bloggies

defective yeti was nominated for a 2005 Bloggie award, in the “Most Humorous Blog” category. Hooray for defective yeti!

I made a passing reference to this fact on Monday, in a brief post where I predicted that most readers would instead vote for Dooce, who is also a finalist in the same category. I think some people misinterpreted this as some sort of subtle, sour-grapes, reverse-psychology ploy on my part to get people to pat me on the shoulder and say “there, there — you are so much funnier than Dooce.” Others took it as a subtle dig at Heather’s expense. Ah, no. People, rest assured: when I use subtlety, I will make it painfully obvious.

Heather and I are friends — not physical, we-go-out-and-play-miniature-golf-together friends, true, but certainly as Internet, we’re-in-a-book-together, we-both-just-had-kids, my-wife-often-gets-us-confused, we’ve-been-known-to-exchange-mix-CDs friends — and no weblog award hoohaw is going to suddenly make us rivals. Furthermore, I would be reluctant to compete against Heather in anything, for fear of a thorough ass-kicking. Well, maybe pie-eating. I bet I could pull a draw in pie-eating. Possibly Boggle.

Anyway, some folks were badmouthing Dooce in the comments of that post, so I pulled it. I recognize that one of the central tenets of quality blogging is that you never delete anything you’ve written, so I guess it’s a good thing that, from this site’s very inception, quality has never entered the equation. Besides: if The Queen were to discover that people we’re dissing her favorite site on my site, I’d probably wind up sleeping on the couch. So its removal was an act of self-preservation, really.

I think that’s enough said about that.

Anyway, thanks for the nomination, person and/or people who nominated me! Now that I’ve been nominated twice, Voiceover Man can start mention that fact in any movie trailers I happen to appear in. (“Starring Acadamy Award Winner Denzel Washington, Acadamy Award Winner Judi Dench, and two-time Bloggie Nominnee Matthew Baldwin, in Land Before Time XI: Rise Of The Machines…”)

And, now: let the “Most Humorous Blog” nominations second-guessing begin! The comments are open: please mention the blogs that make you go hah hah hah. I’ll start with Mr. Sun, Fafblog and The Sneeze.

Research Day: Hebrew, Yiddish, and Semi-Weekly

Hebrew vs. Yiddish: The Queen and I had a watched a DVD double-header last week: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban followed by Trembling Before G_D. The former film you made have heard of; the latter is, as IMDB puts it, “A cinematic portrait of various gay Orthodox Jews who struggle to reconcile their faith and their sexual orientation.” It is also remarkably boring, given the provocative subject matter.

Afterwards, The Queen asked me if the people in the film had been speaking Hebrew or Yiddish, and I confessed to not knowing. “What is the difference between Hebrew and Yiddish,” she asked.

“Well,” said I, “‘Hebrew’ is their language, and ‘Yiddish’ is the sport they play while flying around on broomsticks.

After a few moments of stony silence, I added, in my best (albeit terrible) Hagrid impression, “Yeh mean the Gentiles kept it from yeh for all these years? Yeh don’ even know what yeh are?! Harry — yer a Jew!”

“You are totally going to get hate mail if you put that on your blog,” said The Queen.

Anyway. defines Hebrew as “The Semitic language of the ancient Hebrews, [or] any of the various later forms of this language, especially the language of the Israelis.” Plugging the phrase “what is yiddish” into Google, meanwhile, brought me to this page. “Yiddish was the vernacular language of most Jews in Eastern and Central Europe before World War II … The basic grammar and vocabulary of Yiddish, which is written in the Hebrew alphabet, is Germanic. Yiddish, however, is not a dialect of German but a complete language –

My Driver Is A Crafty, Crafty Stalker

Junkies … on boarding the bus! (Note: this post has been corrected.)

{Scruffy man clomps up the stairs and stands vacantly before the driver.}

Bus Driver: Fare is $1.50.

Scruffy Man: I ain’t got no money.

Bus Driver: Well, the fare is $1.50.

{Pause while Scruffy Man grapples with cognitive dissonance.}

Scruffy Man: I’m gonna get on the bus.

{Pause while bus driver waits for Scruffy Man to make good on his threat. Scruffy Man stands inertly until he’s obviously forgotten what’s going on.}

Scruffy Man: Can I get on the bus?

Bus Driver: Well, I ain’t gonna kick you off, let’s put it that way.

{Long pause while Scruffy Man noodles out the ramifications of this statement.}

Scruffy Man: Where does this bus go?

Bus Driver: Where are you trying to go?

Scruffy Man: Home.

Bus Driver: Where’s “home”?

{Scruffy man becomes abruptly alarmed.}

Scruffy Man: Are you asking me where I live?!

Bus Driver: Yeah.

Scruffy Man: Fuck you, asshole!!

[Second, Completely Fictitious Scruffy Man: I shall exit the bus as well.]

{Exeunt Scruffy Man[s]. Doors close, bus leaves the curb, passengers are silent for a few seconds.}

Elderly lady, to no one in particular: That was kind of weird.

Correction: (Note: This correction has errata.) A previous version of this entry accurately reported that only one Scruffy Man was involved in this incident. Shortly after posting, however, I received what could only be described as a flurry of emails from drama majors, Latin scholars, and grammar nerds, all of whom informed me that “exeunt” is, in fact, a plural, and should only be used when two or more people are exiting. I have therefore taken the liberty of inserting a second, gratuitous Scruffy Man into the piece, which I believe solves the problem quite nicely.

Errata: Upon reflection, it occurs to me that the quantity of email I received could also be describes as a “bevy,” a “passel,” or a “slew”.

Update: Someone just wrote and informed me that “errata” is also plural. SHUT UP INTERNET!!

You’ve Got Litigation!

Our son’s current favorite toy is the Laugh & Learn Learning Home*, essentially a big, plastic, electronic facade. Dear Fisher-Price: please fire your entire marketing department and hire some guys who can at least think up a product name that doesn’t use the same word twice in a row.

Every part of this toy makes noise. When you open the door there’s a creaking sound, and a voice cries out “hello!” a tone so impossibly cheerful that it makes me want to go goth. When you open the shutters it sings “How Much For That Doggie In The Window?” And the Squirrelly enjoys nothing more than to press the doorbell thirty thousand times in a row (“ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong! ding-dong!”), until mama and papa are so irritated that they find themselves in a screaming match over whether “meatloaf” is one word or two.

Also, when the mailbox is opened it says “you’ve got … letters!” I’m probably imagining the slight hesitation between “got” and “letters,” but in that illusory pause it almost seems as if I can hear the Fisher-Price voicework woman thinking “oh man: if I say ‘mail’ AOL is going to sue me so hard that even my tattoos will be repossessed …”

* Gratuitous hyperlink to product page to ensure mention of this post on Daddy Types.

When Animal Lovers Attack!

I eventually turned off the comments for this post, because I got tired of people comparing me to Mussolini for mocking Animal Planet. But if people are going to send me email directly, maybe I should just turn them back on.

From: R H
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 16:39:56
Subject: Your Website

I just viewed your website for the 1st time. Perhaps you should stick to Golden Girls and not watch animal shows... it seems to me like you are too young or immature to even have a rational opinion on the reality of how dangerous the Animal Cops jobs can really be ... do you even have a job? I am wondering in what position you feel you are in to judge the work they do? If you don't care about the welfare of animals....then why don't you just keep your opinions to yourself?

Tell you what: I’ll start caring about the welfare of animals when you stop engaging in wanton ellipsis abuse.

How I Spent My Day Off