Tuesday, March 27, 2007

You could close down Moe's or the Kwik-E-Mart...

And nobody would care....

I found myself singing the Simpsons' "Save the Burlesque House" song in the shower this morning for some incredibly strange reason. Seriously... I have no idea...

Anyway, I thought this would provide a chance to publicly test my Simpsons in Syndication Theory, which states:

If you think about any Simpsons episode, it will invariably air within the next two-to-three weeks due to the myriad of syndication slots said show occupies.

Cases in point:

Last year, I had a similar shower experience, only this time it was, "Well Mr. Burns had done it. The Power Plant had won it, with Roger Clemens clucking all the while..." The very next day, the WB aired "Homer at the Bat."

While in Indiana, I was really jonesing for the "22 Short Films about Springfield" Episode, and sure enough, it aired within the month.

I have plenty of other examples, but I think you get the point. It's really incredible how often it seems to happen, especially with nearly 400 episodes floating around out there.

Anyway, I'd ask everyone to keep their eyes peeled for the Maison Derriere... er... "Back House." It should make an appearance some time around Easter.


All Feet on Dek

Yeah, for some reason, they spell deck hockey without the "c."

Anyhoo… I had my first practice on Saturday for the upcoming Pittsburgh Sports League Spring Season, and I have to say I'm pretty pleased with the results.

First off, the teammates I met were all swell individuals. We had a guy wearing a "66" jersey, and wouldn't you know it, he was kinda good. I'm hoping that after two or three more practices, I'll have come along far enough to wear a "29" or a "4" jersey. I definitely made it publicly known that I want to be the Phil Bourque or Troy Loney of our squad…

We played a bunch of chuckleheads that were already warming up on the deck (I'm calling it that because it was concrete and not the patented "dek" created by Mylec). We were beating them 8-3 when I finally had to leave.

As for an honest assessment of my personal performance (having not played since I was in junior high)… pleasant surprise but plenty of room for improvement. I played mostly defense, but after pinching in to keep the ball in the zone, I switched to right wing to compensate for the guy who shifted back to the point. I took advantage of that lone offensive opportunity to roof a rebound and give us a 4-0 lead. Hopefully the coach was watching.

I never played much defense as a kid (who among us really did?), so I was a little shady on my assignments. Chief among my concerns were screening my goaltender, picking the correct passing lanes, and not getting hit in the nuts… I'd like to think I did pretty well on all three counts (and especially well on the third).

I finished the game with a +/- rating of +3, so all in all, not too shabby. I'd still rather play forward, though, allowing me to light up the scoreboard and have access to all that dek-hockey-groupie tail…

(Fitness note to those of you who care—you know who you are, you H&M bitches): I'm plenty sore, but that's to be expected. Another solid week or two of practices and some extra-curricular running *sigh* should see an end to that. Problem areas: left shoulder and groin, despite significant stretching before and after.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Sweetest western since Sneaky Fitch...

I just received the link the Life is Short trailer which is based on my ten minute play.

When you click on the link, just scroll down a little bit.

Yep. That's pretty much it. Hope you like it.

On a funny side note, the owner of the pub in which this was filmed seemed kinda miffed that there was a "gay cowboy porn" being shot in his establishment.

Disclaimer: The Logistics of Heroism is not about gay cowboys, since, you know, that's been done to death in the past year or so.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Your princess is in another castle

I know it's early, but as far as self-inflicted injuries go, I'm going to go ahead and give myself an early nomination for The 2007 Stupidest Self-Inflicted Injury Award.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Florida Panthers deadlocked at 1-1 heading into overtime. You have to understand that scoring was very hard to come by. So when Colby Armstrong beat Eddie Belfour top shelf on the short side, I was extremely excited—So excited in fact that I started shouting, jumping around, flailing my fists, and shaking my head.

The result was a direct blow to my right ear, which rang for about 20 minutes and subsequently felt like it was packed with wax (moreso than usual).

I was relieved to find I could still hear out of the ear, but when I pinched my nose and blew out, the result was a pathetic little whistling noise (my wife later confided that she was up for an hour or two in bed laughing at me as my ear whistled in my sleep).

I knew I'd ruptured my eardrum, and I went to the doctor the next day hoping to get some antibiotics to fight off any impending infections. Doc Bentz explained that the only way this could have happened was if my fist made a perfect vacuum over my ear. It turns out pulling it away from the vacuum is what caused the perforation (Million-to-one shot, doc. Million-to-one...). He then proceeded to prescribe me one of the following three courses of treatment:

A. Amoxicillin
B. Penicillin
C. Shower Cap


So, what's embarrassing about all of this…

A. I hit myself in the ear.
B. I was NOT drunk.
C. I was not on any other kind of mood/mind-altering substance (unless you consider orange juice to be a mood/mind-altering substance).
D. I was able to hit myself in an extremely and profoundly rare manner.
E. Now, when I shower, I look like this.

Next time the Penguins go to overtime, I'm going to make sure I have a goddamn beer in my hand.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Life is Short

It's been awhile since the last blog activity, and there's no valid reason for it. As part of a new resolution, I'm going to try to keep things short and sweet. In the past, I've had a tendency to ramble.

As some may know, I used to harbor illusions of being a playwright and enjoying all of the perks that come along with such a distinction (destitution, obscurity, pomposity, etc.). Thankfully, I put that dream in my rearview, and I don't think I'm any worse off for doing so.

As it happens, my good friend Nathan turned me on to a 10-minute play festival/event/shin-dig/showcase (take your pick). I submitted a 10-minute play that features—I shit you not—a total of nine actors on stage at once (this is craziness, for people who are familiar with the genre).

Anway, wonder of wonders, it's going to be put on in New York City as part of the Kids With Guns inaugural season (Yes. Now I can say I've covered the Super Bowl and had a play produced in NYC—Suck it, Edgar Allen Poe).

Check out the showcase's myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/sevenshortplays

Incidentally, if it weren't for myspace and having the Life is Short site "befriending" said Nathan, I still wouldn't know about the play being chosen.

So in that spirit, I'll give myspace another blogging trial. You can, of course, continue to find updates here at www.facedowninthemuck.blogspot.com, if you prefer.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My last day as a bureaucrat

As I type this, I officially have less than an hour to remain at my government job. It is a wonderful feeling. A sweet, sweet, sweet feeling.

I will miss the following things:

Knowing that I will have about 70 percent of my day free to do whatever the heck I want. I make Peter Gibbons look like Blake in Glengarry Glen Ross. Your tax dollars have been much-appreciated.

Paid Hour Lunches. You hear about them, but you never think they’ll actually happen to you.

Sixty percent of my co-workers. If you were my co-worker at one point and you’re reading this, then know the following… If you think we got along and everything was cool and that I liked you, chances are that you’re right. You are a swell, honest and worthwhile person, and I wish you all the best in all of your future endeavors.

If you aren’t sure where we stood with one another, you can probably take it to the bank that I wouldn’t have pissed on you if you were on fire. I mock your beliefs and deride your values.

I will NOT miss the following things:

The 40 percent of people who just sucked in so many varying and terrifying ways.

The complete lack of accountability. This is the first job I’ve ever worked in which people just sort of decided whether they wanted to do their job or not. It baffled me to no end.

The “it’s not my responsibility” phenomenon. People knew exactly what they were supposed to do, according to their job descriptions, and they would not do a single thing outside of those parameters. Gooooooooooo… Team!!!!!!!

The absolutely mind-numbing work. If you’ve never typed a form letter in your life… don’t. I suspect it will take my brain three-to-six months to fully recover from eight-month period in which it was not engaged in any way, shape or form.

The copiers. The… fucking… copiers… Somehow they became my responsibility (I suspect this was due to my possession of a penis). I have no mechanical aptitude. I was on the phone to the repair people on a twice-per-week basis because they kept malfunctioning. Thus, reinforcing one of my sweetest fantasies

The general aura of mistrust and petty politics that are prevalent in any government job.

Smell ya later.

NOTE: My final act before logging off and leaving this job forever was to score 177,400 in Pac Man--a personal best.

An astute reader may point out that such behavior (writing blogs/playing video games) at work makes me a hypocrite. Let me assure you, smartass, that such activities were never engaged in unless my in-box was emp-tay... Damn whistle-blowers...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Thoughts on the DMV

They say there are only two certainties in life: Death and taxes. I suppose they’re right. But as far as your average non-living-in-super-major-metropolitan-area-Americans are concerned, there’s a third certainty.

The Department of Motor Vehicles.

Chances are, if you’re a citizen of the United States and you’re over the age of 16, you probably have a driver’s license. If you fall in that vast majority of folks who operate a motor vehicle for occupation/recreation/procreation purposes, then you’re going to need to get that license renewed every three to five years or so.

Having just “celebrated” my 28th birthday, my number was up. Time to get an updated terrible picture of myself to show to bouncers at the gay bars I no longer frequent now that I’m married.

While I waited on line at the East Liberty (pronounced “‘S’liberty” in these parts) DMV, a couple thoughts occurred to me.

1. The clerk who takes care of taking your photo ID card, verifying information, and snapping your sweet new head shot should have a lot more authority than he/she apparently does.

For instance, about four years ago, when I was doing this renewing song and dance in Indiana, I wanted some information changed on my license. When I earned the privilege of operating a Class C motor vehicle from the State of Pennsylvania, I was 16-years old and 5 feet, 10 inches tall. This height was reflected on said license.

Since that time, I’ve grown about six inches. I’m currently 6-feet-4 and have been since I was about 18 years old. So when the clerk in Indiana showed me the screen and asked if all the information was correct, I said, “No. I’m 6-feet-4. Please change that.” She asked for signed verification from a doctor. I asked if I could just go grab a tape measure or stand in the doorway of a convenience and have my picture taken instead. She said no. She asked if there was anything else she could do for me. I asked for fellatio, since she was apparently not going to follow through on any of these offers anyway. Luckily, she had no idea what fellatio was, so she took my picture and I was doomed to be 5-feet-10 for another four years (In that time, I filled out the proper paperwork and while I waited at ‘S’Liberty, I was ready to grow six inches in the span of three minutes).

In addition to being able to change obvious vital statistics without medical verification, these clerks should also be granted veto power over people who are there to renew. While I waited my turn, an older, portly gentleman operating a rascal had to get into position to get his picture taken.

During that time, he knocked over a garbage can, crashed into the clerk’s desk, then got stuck on a chair. To be fair, it was a bit of a tight space, but c’mon man. Three strikes and you’re out. This is the dipshit who’s going to gouge my fender while parallel parking and then just drive away.

In this case, the clerk should be able to politely refer the gentleman to the line where they issue bus passes.

And 2. What do famous people do when they need to renew their licenses? They drive cars/trucks/SUV’s/what-have-you. Therefore, they must have driver’s licenses. Therefore, they must renew their licenses. Therefore, they must come to the DMV, right?

I mean, famous people have a lot of crap done for them by other people, but this is something you have to do yourself, right? You can’t email a digital picture of yourself can you? If you did, how could you assure that it would be unflattering enough? And you still have to be there to put down your electronic signature and decide whether you want to be an organ donor and/or register to vote, no?

I take a certain sick satisfaction in knowing that people like Paris Hilton and Barry Bonds have to sit in the damn DMV line in order to have the right to drive their obscenely expensive automobiles. They have to do that, don’t they? There’s no way around it, is there? Other than death, the DMV provides the second-most-ultimate form of equality in our rigid class structure, right?

I sure hope so.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Last Straw

I've been at my current job since April of 2006. Take some time to reflect on all the wonderful things that have happened in the wide world of sports since that month...

Steelers coach Bill Cowher finished his 15th and final season as Pittsburgh's head coach -- a truly remarkable feat in this day and age.

Willie Parker rushed for OVER 200 YARDS twice this season. He was overshadowed only one of those times by a running back that rushed for under 50 yards and committed a costly turnover but scored his first-ever rushing touchdown. (Yet another reason I'm fed up with New Orleans).

Yay, New Orleans!!!! The Saints had the kind of season that the downtrodden white upper middle class football fans of New Orleans needed to boost their morale. They have earned the right to lose their first ever divisional playoff game at home in just a few days.

St. Louis won the World Series after barely finishing with a .500 record in the NL Central (Honestly, I had to think really hard to remember who won this year's World Series. I really, kinda forgot...)

Tiger Woods is back on top of the PGA.

Shaq seems to have gotten the final F-U to Kobe by winning a championship with the younger, sexier and more flexible D-Wade.

I'm sure other stuff has happened, too. A lot of stuff. The point is, through these past eight months, I've been able to keep up to date on all of these happenings on espn.com. On January 12, 2007, on the day Cowher officially resigned as the Steelers head coach, the Allegheny County IT nazis finally decided to block user access to ESPN.

Way to go. Coincidentally, I turned in my two-weeks notice on January 12, 2007.

You mess with the bull, Allegheny County, you get the horns.