All right, table--"Dani, I believe, table all RIGHT."


You got a job. Your hair looked really good the last time I saw you. You are in law school. You won an award. You got married. You made it there and back. You look fantastic! You hooked up with someone who's been chasing you for years. You made one of your dreams a reality (Dani, this is NOT sad). You are Maddox Jolie; you are so hot right now! You are good in bed. You left HRG. That was an excellent performance! You have a hangover. You are better looking than Fat Chandler. You are GOOD, you are HOLY. You read my mind. You are Jewish, Happy New Year!


La Bonne Soupe! Family cruise. Dinner with Mike. Road trip with Bob, Philadelphia's newest It Boys! Nico sing-a-long. Managed a project well at work. Loch Ness Pondster. MG danced with me at Jenny's wedding, very Swing Kids. Hari danced with me at Matt & Leslie's wedding. Weddings. JP. Long Island Iced Tea Night. Montaukin' to you. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Summer reading list. Bagel Mill. Boston.


These days Whippany makes me feel defeated. Long Island was fun but thoughts always drift to family and friends absent. Life's happiness and life's sadness all rolled into one: a mental Wuzzle. New York can make you feel at the center of the universe or at the bottom of a hole. Up until this post-college (side note: doesn't sound dirty like pre-college) life there was always a sense of belonging. And now I'm a jellyfish bobbing up and down in a wave.

Spirits were totally lifted by September reunions. The Huntsman crew all under one roof, and one under a chuppah! Zaki Attacki! Penn Singers gossip. Erin and Samantha's party: for the first time in a long time, everything feels right. Cozy. Fall into it.


Today's topic: Esurance. First, a completely animated campaign for car insurance? Okay, most car insurance commercials suck because they don't have a lot to work with. They're corny, with that "it's not your best moment, but we care about you" attitude. But I trust a corny old man or testimonial-style State Farm moment more than a cartoon character. Furthermore, pink hair. The animated Esurance girl has pink hair. My brain says: you are so NOT in good hands with an insurance company whose front person is a pink-haired animated woman! (Even the Geico gecko interacts with humans.) Third, in the TV spot, the woman needs insurance because she needs to quickly hop into a getaway car and evade capture. Trust factor drops again: is Pink-Haired Girl good or evil? Where is she running to and why? Too many big questions for me to give her the benefit of the doubt. You know what type of people need quick getaways?!

Who is Esurance trying to attract with this story? My theory is that the intention is to emphasize the convenience of printing out a policy from the Internet and that this should appeal to young urban drivers "on the go." (Cartoon + pink hair + metrosexual insurance agent +online policy + fast fast fast!) To me, cartoon equals don't take seriously, pink hair equals ditto, what the fuck, and fast fast fast equals untrustworthy girl is probably a criminal; I don't want to be like a criminal so I will not use Esurance.


Could we be like them? Of course I've thought about that and in somewhere secret also considered that we'd have another go left, whose catalyst would be some profound inner change in me. But I haven't changed. But often I want to say bullshit to another relationship; I just want this one to work.


The rumor is true. Seven people sat, and when one drew a seven, the seven would go around and state something sad about life today. Cancer. Darfur. Nuclear holocaust. September 11th you wanted sadness I fucking gave you sadness. Dead puppies. Beaten puppies. Several present kept talking about puppies, and I didn't understand. Then Hurricane Katrina happened, and it seemed like everyone cared about puppies. So.

Being old enough to know better. Lying to your grandparents. Dying and no one noticing. The way these people ping-pong through an otherwise empty brain. It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change. Seeing photographs of old friends in cyberspace. Not speaking French. Weddings. Divorces. Sabotage. Blog.

Fuckin' Pink Floyd...



"A young woman was squatting on the lawn, holding out her left palm. Butterflies were settling on this surface while, with her right hand, she picked them up and put them in her mouth. Slowly, methodically, she breakfasted on the acquiescent wings.

"Her lips, cheeks, chin were heavily stained by the many different colours that had rubbed off the dying butterflies." --The Satanic Verses


Films co-starring Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Matthew Lillard.



"Ennis ran full-throttle on all roads, whether fence mending or money spending..." --Brokeback Mountain


Can I get paid for bitching about advertising? Two races of short people? Should a whore count as an animal? When are you guys getting tested? When will the Weird NJ Marathon happen? Why didn't I get it? What's teak? What does his head look like? How does a lesbian sing? Does your fiancee work...in a donut shop? Where is the nearest Cracker Barrel?


Before addressing anyone, you must say his or her name.



Degree Difficulties

Satyr: a woodland creature depicted as having the pointed ears, legs, and short horns of a goat and a fondness for unrestrained revelry.

Satyr? I hardly know her!

Word from Goldman, star of the Jewish Romantic Trilogy, is that the new apartment in Chicago is "money." Dan is a proud text messager. This should be worked into the plot of #3, considering that one currently has nothing but a title.

Dear Unilever, makers of Degree anti-perspirant and deodorant:

What the fuck? Because you have long marketed Degree as a unisex deodorant, I consider this new line of Degree MEN a betrayal. I don't want Extreme Blast, I want Shower Clean! I love Shower Clean! I've received compliments for smelling Shower Clean! But now, Shower Clean has this slender, curvy, feminine packaging. I can no longer purchase my preferred "flavor" of Degree without the shopper next to me judging me for buying women's deodorant. Despite the suggestions of my friends, I refuse to purchase a box of tampons along with Shower Clean just to create an illusion that I'm buying it for my "girlfriend." I will not stoop so low! Hence this open letter. Shower Clean up your act, or I'm taking my business elsewhere.


As you probably know by now, I was shocked by the hotness of a Blockbuster employee in Long Island this weekend. It will be inspiration for a new pop-punk or folk song. First, I thought it would be a parody of "sk8terboi" (He was a boy, I was a boy, could it be ANY more OBvious?), but I couldn't get too far with that. Alas. Summer goals.

Yes, I had a lot of alone time this past weekend, and all the reflection (plus the fantastic kickoff on Friday) got me pumped for the summer. To do: Trip to Montauk? ERS Black Tournament? Whippanica? Reading list? Camping? Family cruise!

When I used to walk the two blocks from high school to my house, on more than one occasion I posed the question to myself, "If you were to get shot right now, would you sit there and die, or would you try and get help?" I brought this up at lunch the other day. No one caught this drift.


My Feelings

The line between madness and masochism was already hazy..."

I have a nuclear reserve of nervous energy prepared to blow up all residences within a 10-block radius. The pavement of Fairchild Place will snake up and down in the air like a sine curve, followed by multiple simultaneous explosions with that blurry air from all the heat. You'll see the stereotypical tire roll out of the flames, and perhaps some Sykes children. Then Janine will bust out and Garbage will be playing and I will have fantastic hair.

Either I will move to Russia or I will get over it.

Episode III. Check. It was pretty good. Yes, it blows the other two prequels out of the water. Yes, the screenplay is shit. (Natalie Portman, I feel sorry for you.) The fact that the love scenes suck has a larger ramification when you consider that the passionately intense devotion to Padme (which apparently happened all off-screen in between II & III) is the supposed motivation for Anakin's turn to the Dark Side. In short, you don't believe it. I agree with the criticism circulating that the Star Wars universe is one of moral absolutes. You'd think for someone to go from the Golden Boy to a kickass villain might involve a bit more personal torture than some bad dreams. The story doesn't make Anakin's downfall seem like a progression, rather it appears one day he gets down on his knees and pledges allegiance to evil. Perhaps this is supposed to be a testament to the power of the Dark Side--that it makes you look like an ass--but I don't buy it. Anyway, I like the iguana-thing and, of course, the lightning (which was the reason Return of the Jedi was always my favorite). The dual operating table scene is what you came to see.

Other pop culture comments: That song "Don't Cha?" What's not to love? And then, there's this other song they play on K-Rock by Mars Volta. I have no idea what they're saying, but everytime it comes on, I'm mesmerized.

****Things You Should Not Write at Work About/To a Former Co-Worker but Brian did Anyway:****
Q: Where do you see Dan G in 5 years?
A (B): Handcuffed to a motel room bed in Montauk, NY. See you then.



Did you know that the French word for paper clip is trombone? For some reason this is fascinating. I think they named it that because a paper clip looks like a little trombone. In German, it's b├╝roklammer.

I played softball. Regression Agression. That's the name of our team. We lost. Maybe it was Todd's windbreaker and shorts-bordering-on-short-shorts, or the white wine, but it was fun.

I'm also excited because Garbage has a new album.

I'll say it again, I'm inspired by the ivory-billed woodpecker. This bird that everyone thought was extinct for the past 60 years is still alive! It was gone forever, and now it's back. How can you not think that is cool? That bird is a SURVIVOR. No question who's had the best week ever.



It was good to check in. Some notes on our meeting:

  • I check myself in the mirror before leaving the hotel, notice I'm wearing a Polo Sport jacket over a blue Polo oxford with khakis. I look so fucking preppy. Oh my God, he's going to think I haven't changed at all! Have I changed at all?

  • I was nervous on the phone, but things are better in person. We talk a little about Whippany. Justin points out that we're nearing a reunion, but that the people you'd really like know what happened to wouldn't show up. I agree, but then he chooses Ed K as his example, and I feel like saying, "If you really want to know, my sister was lamb-sitting for him just the other day."

  • I'm surprised by his sense of humor in "I seem to have a habit of getting into long-distance relationships. I don't know, maybe it's the only way they can stand me..."

  • I learn that college kicked his ass and that Chris L wasn't very big on the party scene.

  • He likes The Onion! We quote "Point-Counterpoint." It's good to find a kindred spirit, I say.

  • Girlfriend, girlfriend, girlfriend. Not in an annoying way.

  • The cosmic forces currently linking us together are softball and a distaste for the president.

  • The money shot: he drives me back to the hotel in his BMW convertible.

  • He slaps his hands against the middle of the steering wheel along with the music. His father used to do the same. I surpise myself when this bit of knowledge comes bubbling to the surface.

  • Oh, Justin. I'll always love ya, baby. Always and never.(With apologies to Frank Miller. And Clive Owen. Damn, can he walk around in a trenchcoat!)

I went home this weekend. I kind of have a crush on the waiter at Breanna's. It was bound to happen. I mean, spending that much time with someone. That and he's always so nice, because it's his job. We should totally go out! No pressure in meeting the family.

My mom wants me to start saving money to buy a condo. Then she asked where I would buy one, as if I've been weighing this decision for months or something. Yes, saving money should start happening.

The weather is warming up. Bust out the Beyonce! Where's a BMW convertible when you need one?



I slept poorly last night: I kept thinking of things that must be covered in the Encyclopedia Whippanica, or whatever its name will be. "The Movie That's My Life", sex photos in the Dark Room, Beth, the Ledge concert...

Remember when seeing your friend in Church was the coolest thing? When your parents let you sit with them, man, that was the MEANING of divine intervention. It wasn't boring anymore. Conclusions on this Easter Sunday: it's still cool to see your friend in Church. And the "Peace be with you" thing. That's cool, too.

I'm currently making a list of the several folk to whom I could say, "I don't know whether to kiss you or kill you." And mean it. Plus, it would be fun to say. I'm all about enacting the no-drama policy, but it would be fun to say. Not that I ever would. Sober. Jesus Christ (is risen).

"Stuck in the Middle with You." I used to hate it because it conjured up disturbing ear-chopping images. Today it has made its way onto the list of songs I would like to make out to. Yes, I do. Not on paper, just in my head.


NJ and Me: Perfect Together

Oh, Whippany, the mix of love and resentment! Maybe I like it this way.


Get Over It

Resolved: No longer condemn the future to death so it can match the past.



Well! That was helpful.

More congratulations: one for Bob, whose translation received positive reviews, and one for Mike.

Overheard at the office this week:

"Who brought the chocolate cake in?"
"The Devil. We've already established that."

"I'm gonna take an aggressive approach: I'm going to kill myself."



¡Bailamos! would like to extend its sincerest congratulations to two friends on their engagement. (Look, you both won!) Here's to many happy adventures together.



It was about little things. The French kids had their toast, I had a graph paper hat you made. In Chemistry, once, you built a bridge between our desks with a ruler and touched the hole in my jeans. (I had a hole in the left knee of my favorite pair. I ripped them freshman year, falling in my driveway one morning after staying up late to churn out a History paper. Sometimes I fear I made all this up. Then I think about the jeans and the fact that I still have the paper hat, and I know this happened.) I know this happened. I learned the word for "hole" in French so I could use it: un trou.


You Can Dream On Me

It doesn't mean anything. It doesn't. Mean. Anything.

"Miss You" has been on the Brian Top 40 since September. "Let it Bleed" is making its way up the charts with every passing minute. I fucking love it.



I contacted my high school nemesis last week. Nemesis is too strong a word, really, I'm the first to admit. And apparently the word has a lot to do with retribution, which I never knew. But one of the definitions according to www.dictionary.com is "an opponent who cannot be beaten or overcome." I think that could work. In an attempt to dramatize my teenage life into epic proportions, I created a nemesis, even if there wasn't one there.

I wrote him because I think I will be in his vicinity this week and would like to see him. (Maybe he can feel my presence. A real nemesis would be able to do that.) And colleagues left and right are confused about why. I don't have anything in particular to say to him, that's true, but I feel like I should check up. What if he isn't my nemesis anymore? I mean, I never hated him. He was more Professor X to my Magneto. The mutant world of music geeks and AP nerds is small, so you run in the same circle, and despite your opposing worldviews (which you didn't have, remember, because you fabricated this whole thing in the first place), you team up as circumstances require: a Bio lab, a slow Friday night. For seven years our fates were intertwined. Remember the Physics Award? A coin toss. Even if he wasn't my friend, he was still essential.

Sidenote: I don't let go of things, and by things I mean people, easily. I feel it is a very un-Aries-like quality. Not that I know much about my astrological profile. I DO know that my nemesis is one of the few Aries contemporaries to cross my path. As two rams, we apparently butt heads.

Today I don't know who my nemesis is, but it's probably myself or something. And he's a much trickier one. Curious and destructive. That bitch Mother Nature got nothin' on the Prince of Mystery.

...Though she has turned Janine into a dirty slut. No real nemesis these days, but I talk to my car!

Nemesis hasn't written back.

And I had to do something I really didn't want to do to get his email.


In office news, Brian attempts a joke insinuating that a co-worker jerks off to The Economist. It's DOA.