Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Proximity alert

I know, I've been slacking. I've been busy.

And this past weekend, I was away. And that's what's inspiring the post, so don't complain that I'm slacking, okay, Bubba?

Anyway, I was in Washington, D.C., to see my folks, who were at the every-10-years international mega-stamp show there. I always enjoy those shows, though my stamp collecting is quite limited.

(I'm a topical collector, if you must know, but only a half-hearted one. I buy hockey stamps. When the mood strikes me.)

I'm getting way off topic. The point is, I was in Washington. With my folks. And while I was there, we went to the Museum of Natural History (surprisingly near the hotel), which is right up the road from the White House and Capitol and stuff.

And you know what that museum is chock full of? Science. That's right. The stuff the president doesn't believe in. Things like million-year-old space rocks. I even made the joke that I was surprised Bush allowed this sort of thing so close to his house.

You know, because he's one of those idiots who doesn't believe in science.

Look, I have little doubt President Bush is earnest and loyal and well-meaning. He's not unlike my (late, lamented) dachshund that way. But, like Morgan, he's also dumber than a bag of wet mice.

But what truly scares me, upon reflection about this juxtaposition of science and stupidity, is that Bush is just so damn ignorant.

That's dangerous.

I can live with his politics and policies, though I don't agree with much of them. I mean, he won, if not fair and square, at least when it counted. I can live with him being kind of dumb. There are plenty of morons out there, and it's only fair they be represented in the District, too.

But I've had enough of the sheer ignorance the man displays.

Evolution as an open debate. Global warming as a theory.

For God's sake, schoolchildren know better. And this is the leader of the free world. And, frankly, if he had his way, schoolchildren WOULDN'T know better. Bad enough he's screwing up the world for all of us - at this rate, he's screwing it up for generations to come.

I mean, this zealot talks about scientific fact like it's bogus because it's not in the Bible.

For starters, I'm not taking the word of a C student in the humanities at Yale over the word of Harvard and MIT professors.

Second of all, while I'm not one of those radicals who thinks the Bible is fiction based on reality (guys, "The Da Vinci Code" is fiction based on reality, let's get it straight), I think if it is the word of God, it's the word of God written down by somebody else. And as any interviewee who's ever been misquoted can attest, not every journalist, even the good ones, gets it exactly right.

Besides, who are we to say how long God's days are? God created the universe in six days and watched football on the seventh? What if God's days are a million of our years? I haven't seen him to ask, but I mean, really... who knows? The Pope? Bush? Anybody?

Bush is an oilman, right? And oil is a fossil fuel. What does he think the fossils are of? Adam and Eve? It's the freakin' dinosaurs or whatever.

I'd like to think it's political, partisan kowtowing to his right-wingnut base. But he really does seem sincere in his beliefs.

Look, I don't begrudge anyone their beliefs. As the cliche goes, opinions are like assholes: Everybody has one, and nobody wants to know about anybody else's.

But when those beliefs are ruinous to our country, ruinous to our youth and insulting to our intelligence to boot, then, I have a problem.

The next time this ignorant mook spouts off about science being bogus, I hope somebody verbally, intelligently, eloquently smacks him upside his stupid chimpanzee head. He's an evil munkee and must be stopped.

Washington 2006, through Saturday
The Museum of Natural History, right under Bush's chimpanzee nose
The Office of Science and Technology Policy
Science vs. Politics, Christian Science Monitor-style
Science vs. Politics, MSNBC-style
And of course, Bush or Chimp?

Random bit of D.C. trivia: I saw posters for two mayoral candidates, one named Orange and one named Brown. I'm not kidding.

Vincent Orange
Michael Brown

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The end of the road

I bought a new car this week.

Is it wrong that, as happy and relieved as I am to get a new one, I was sorry to see my temperamental baby go?

It's been kind of a rough year, what with the dog and now the car. Maybe I'm a sap, or maybe I just get attached to things too much.

More than six years and just shy of 160,000 miles of adventures and misadventures, you'd be attached to your car, too.

But it was still tough to see the saleswoman drive it into the back lot. I hope my baby gets a good owner, and doesn't wind up in a junkyard somewhere.

She was my first new car, and the first car I ever bought. So much money, frustration... and so many miles on the open road. Parting is, indeed, such sweet sorrow.

As for my new baby, well, she's big and shiny and smells a little funky (I can't say I'm a big fan of the new car smell), and while I have less stress over the wheels, engine and other assorted parts (Mitsubishi has a much better warranty these days), I get to stress a car payment again.

And with all the damn house bills, I don't know how I'll do it. Plus, she ate my tax refund.

I got a top-of-the-line Mitsubishi Outlander, a little SUV with all-wheel-drive, an MP3/CD changer and a sunroof. Dark gray with cute little pinstripes. Less powerful than my Eclipse, but it runs smoother and has fatter tires (thank God).

Of course, it doesn't have a tape deck, so I need a new adaptor for my iPod. Hmm.

You buy a new car, you can't help but feel like you're being screwed, but somehow, I feel like I actually got a good deal. They're redoing the Outlander for '07 so they seemed eager to get the '06 off the lot - it was their "trophy" model out front - in fact, they were so eager, the sales guy overnegotiated and had to rather red-facedly tell me he couldn't make the deal we agreed on. But he made one close enough. It strikes me that I got a $28,000 car for about $19,000 plus my tax refund and my car (which essentially covered the interest on the loan). Maybe I'm wrong. I'm sure that math doesn't add up. But as long as I believe it, I'll sleep better, at least until I start getting the bills.

Tell you what, though. Nothing like a new, slightly wider vehicle to make a guy sweat pulling into and out of his garage, eh?

So I'm either driving too fast or too slow, I'm sitting about two feet higher up than I was last week and I still flinch when I hit bumps in the road. Four-year-old habits die hard, I guess.

(Anybody want a 17" sports tire, a dented rim and some brake rotors? Guess I won't need my little busted-but-useable parts pile anymore...)

Well, readers, think of it this way: You'll get more posts, since I can't afford any more books or DVDs or other things that occupy my time instead of this.

Mitsubishi Motors, makers of the Outlander and Eclipse, both in new 2007 versions

And for the curious, I bought another Mitsubishi because I like the dealer where I get my service done. That's probably stupid, but I got a $500 loyalty bonus and everything.

Mood: Nervous. Or speedy.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The it's-about-time About Me post

Yeah, I know, a year-plus into this thing, I never got around to an "About Me" post. I meant to, honest.

So tonight's episode of Insomniac Dinner Theatre will have to serve.

By the way, I made a MySpace page and it has a blog, but for now I'm sticking with this one. The sad thing is, that MySpace blog has these cool little mood icons you can pick for each post to say what kind of mood you're in. I wish this one had them, I think they're neat. I'll have to find some little munkee icons and use them. Like "happymunkee" and "sadmunkee" and so forth. I want icons.

But back to About Me.

I saw something on somebody's blog once that was basically a list of 100 facts about them. I'd give credit where credit is due, but frankly, I can't remember where I saw it. Might have been Norman or maybe Lesley or maybe even Crystal. Or somebody else. I dunno. But the point was, it was just a list of 100 random facts about the person writing it.

So here goes. 100 bits of information, in the order they pop into my tired-but-not-sleepy brain.

See how many you knew!

Oh, and Mom, you might not want to read this one. You know enough about me already.

About Me:
1. I am adopted.
2. I was born in Vietnam.
3. I'm Jewish. Yup, a Vietnamese Jew. See #1.
4. I was valedictorian of my high school class.
5. The only fruit I like is berries. All kinds.
6. The only vegetables I like are potatoes and corn. Not necessarily together.
7. I studied creative writing in college.
8. I'm a journalist.
9. I once answered a job interview question, "why do you want to do this (here)?" by saying "because I'm good at it."
10. The only beat I've ever covered was college soccer.
11. I have some mild clinical depression, but what really bugs the shit out of me is my undiagnosed obsessive/compulsive streak.
12. I love the Oakland Raiders. But I love the sport of hockey more than the sport of football.
13. I got engaged to my college sweetheart.
14. I've never been married.
15. I played almost exactly two minutes of varsity soccer in high school.
16. In a decade of playing soccer, the only goal I ever scored came in an exhibition game, from midfield, on a clearance, because the goalie wasn't paying attention.
17. I have more stuffed monkeys than any postpubescent person I know.
18. I make a girl I know help me buy clothes so I'll look better on dates.
19. Everyone at work thinks I'm ambitious, but I'm not. I'm just competitive.
20. I tried to shake my DVD addiction by buying a 200-disc changer, and vowing never to own more discs than would fit in it, forcing me to sell the extras and think carefully before buying new ones. I bought a 300-disc changer when I filled the 200. Then bought a 400 when I filled the 300.
21. I had a mullet in high school. Now I have a buzz cut.
22. I think #21 probably counts as two.
23. I've been in love twice.
24. I still miss them both every day.
25. I wrote a movie! Yay!
26. My psychologist says I can tell the difference between fantasy and reality, I just prefer fantasy. She's right.
27. My lower legs are deformed.
28. (Thus) I have really bad knees.
29. My skin is different colors so parts of me look dirty even though I loofah regularly.
30. My teeth are slightly yellow, though I've never smoked (regularly).
31. I had my first cigarette at 13.
32. I lost my virginity at 16.
33. I've been accused of being an alcoholic twice.
34. I have the nagging suspicion I'm going to hell for the things I've done.
35. When my friends committed (relatively minor) crimes growing up, I was usually the lookout.
36. I love horror movies. Heck, I love movies, period. But mostly ones with blood and boobs and explosions.
37. I've bought porn for friends who don't want it shipped to their house.
38. Like most men, I'm fascinated by the female anatomy. But I mean, really fascinated. Like anatomically curious. Or just plain mystified.
39. Some days I'm too mature. Some days I'm too juvenile.
40. I've had a stunning amount of kinky sex for someone who's often mistaken for a social loser. Most people, or at least the ones I know, have a far duller sex life than I would've expected.
41. I'm the third- or fourth-biggest Asian most people I know, know.
42. I'm 5'9" and on the wrong side of 200 pounds.
43. I dream of having a library in my house. With real wooden shelves and all that.
44. If I won the lottery, I know more ways I'd give away money than ways I'd spend it.
45. I'm afraid of spiders and heights.
46. And dying old and alone.
47. And that, if I ever go back to Vietnam, they won't let me leave.
48. I want to buy a gun and learn to shoot, but I'm afraid I'll kill myself, either accidentally or intentionally.
49. A girl at a party once called me "cute enough."
50. I hate shaving.
51. I like doing laundry. I like the smell of it drying.
52. I used to drive past this bread factory near where I lived, and I'd roll down the windows just to smell the bread baking.
53. In the days before Columbine, all my high school friends wore black trenchcoats.
54. The second one I've owned still hangs in my closet.
55. I ruined my serve when I hurt my shoulder playing tennis in high school.
56. I'm athletic, but grotesquely out of shape.
57. I have a serious earwax problem. I can barely hear out of one ear.
58. In the dozen years I've been buying Blood Bowl miniatures, I've managed to paint one team.
59. I can't sing. But I do anyway, when no one's around.
60. I can go years without sex, and it doesn't really bother me, but when I'm getting some, I can't get enough.
61. When my (late, lamented) dog was a puppy, when he'd poop, he'd look back over his shoulder, all embarassed, to see if I was watching him. I was.
62. I play Dungeons & Dragons. I've been doing it since I was 8.
63. The first really great toy I remember having was actually just a giant cardboard box from my parents' replacement furnace. I made a fort out of it.
64. "Star Wars" inspired my imagination all through childhood, and to this day.
65. Some days, I think I really am a male lesbian. I like girls, but I envy them in so many ways that sometimes I wish I were one just for the "cool" factor.
66. I don't sleep well, but I love sleeping.
67. I love two kinds of food: the really great kind and the really bad kind.
68. I wear glasses, and I hate them.
69. I have a little bump on my nose that's been there for years and won't go away no matter what I do to it.
70. Pneumonia put me in the hospital in college for one night, my only overnight stay.
71. I was in a fraternity in college, and none of my "cooler" friends were.
72. I ran for editor of my college paper, lost in a landslide, and was glad.
73. I'm good at my job, but I'd rather do something else.
74. Jews can't get tattoos, but I really want one. Or more. If I were a girl, I'd have them already, because I think they look much better on girls.
75. I was eager to get married and have a family when I was 21. Now that I'm 31, not so much.
76. My house has three toilets. I only have one ass, so it's always seemed like a waste.
77. Most of my furniture is green because I have no idea how to decorate so I only buy things that match.
78. I have the sinking feeling I'll never read all the books I own, but I keep buying more.
79. Can't cook anything more complicated than a pound of ground beef and a box o' stuff.
80. Of all the things I've collected, media guides are the only ones that have stuck through my life.
81. I'm a spender, not a saver, which is why I have credit-card debt.
82. I'm a moderate-to-liberal Democrat, very conservative on some things, very liberal on others.
83. I root for the Yankees because of my father.
84. I get Flyers season tickets with my best friend, but I'm really a Penguins fan.
85. My best friend's wife thought I was HIS one normal friend, so I had to tell her it's the other way around.
86. I pay people to clean my house, partly out of laziness and partly because I'd rather have a professional do it.
87. I've never mowed a lawn.
88. I'm not handy at all, despite my Basic Locksmithing diploma.
89. Strip clubs suck, unless I'm drunk. Then they rock.
90. I could say the same thing about dance clubs.
91. I'm a "boob" guy, but more and more lately, I can see "butt" guys' point.
92. A teacher called me introspective once, and meant it as a compliment, but sometimes I think it is a curse.
93. My imagination dreams up little fantasy worlds all the time, but they've seldom helped my writing.
94. I'm scared that when I'm finally tested, I'll fail. And I'm scared that's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
95. I'm always late, and I lie about why a lot.
96. Otherwise, I'm too honest (or obvious, one of the two) for my own good.
97. I talk like a cynic, but deep down I'm a raging optimist. It's my not-so-inner child.
98. I often believe I'm the luckiest person ever.
99. And I often believe either my luck ran out years ago, or I'm blowing my good fortune.
100. Last, but not least, I dream of having a robot monkey that would follow me around, entertain me and perform useful tasks with its prehensile tail. I'm serious. That would rock.

Wow, you made it to the end! Yay! Now you know all About Me.

(101. I could, depressingly, go on. I guess I like talking about myself more than I usually care to admit, or perhaps I'm just as fascinated by myself as I am by girls and how dachshunds poop. It's kind of a confessional feeling, making this list, in a good way.)

Mood: Strange. Or Sleepy.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I love surveys

I'm thinking my blog has been kind of depressing again. So I thought I'd do one of my favorite things: Fill out a survey! I love surveys, personality tests, all that crap. I once joined a dating service just to get the free personality survey results. Which was good, because I never got any dates out of it. Anyway, I got this from Norman, who got it from someone else who got it from blah blah blah Internet blah bundtcakes.

1. How did you get the idea for your profile name?
Ace is short for "Ace Rim Rat," which is my usual Internet handle, which is what I am: an ace rim rat! (A rim rat being a rim editor, being a type of copy editor. And me being a good one. Or having 10 kills, depending on the standard.)

2. What song are you playing now, or wish you were playing?
I have Justin Timpane's "Starbucks Nation" in my head. Which is OK, because it's a really good song, but not so OK, because it's catchy and been in my head for two days and is kind of getting on my nerves now. Download the MP3 at his Web site, and join me in bopping along.

3. Has the death of a celebrity ever made you cry?
Probably. But I can't think of one offhand. It takes a lot, cynical journalist that I am, but I'm sure it's happened.

4. What colour underwear are you wearing?
Blue and black.

5. Do you want a baby?
Eventually, if only to try and reverse my karma and appease my (would-be grand)parents.

6. What does your dad do for a living?
Retired English professor at Bloomsburg University. He even has one of those jackets with the patches on the elbows.

7. What does your mum do for a living?
Former teacher and administrator, turned Children's Museum volunteer. She's been at it like 25 years, and never gotten a dime. She's a saint.

8. What is/are your pet's name(s)?
Morgan. He was a dachshund. He died last year. We've been over this. (See previous posts.) I'll never have another pet.

9. What colour are your bed sheets?
Gray and dark gray flannel. But I should probably change them soon.

10. What are the last 3 digits of your phone number?
109, like Kennedy's PT boat.

11. What was the last concert you went to?
Live and the Gin Blossoms.

12. Who was with you?
Stewie and some of his cool pals.

13. What was the last film you watched?
"Poseidon," on a date Saturday.

14. Who do you dislike most at this moment?
I can't say, because I'd like to keep my job.

15. What food do you crave right now?
I'm not really hungry, but by the time I get home, I'm thinking it'll be chicken wings.

16. Did you dream last night?
Yes. I almost always do.

17. What was the last TV show you watched?
"Iron Chef America," of all things. I used to be a big "Iron Chef" fan (the Asian version), but I've never really gotten into the new version.

18. What is your fav piece of jewelery?
I don't wear jewelry. Probably my Brother's Pin from my fraternity.

19. What is to the left of you?
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right. Here I am, stuck in the blog with you.

20. What was the last thing you ate?
One whole Blimpie Best sub, with LTO, mayo, O/V, oregano and those crushed red peppers I must be the only one who gets, since the dude at the store recognizes me and digs them out from the fridge on sight.

21. Who is your best friend of the opposite sex?
Probably Sari.

22. Who last MSN'd you?
I don't have MSN. Last person I AIM'd with was probably Stewie.

23. Where is your significant other right now?
My imagination? At the end of my left wrist?

24. Do you have a crush?
Not really.

25. What is his/her name?
I don't know, but she's probably out of my league.

26. When was the last time you had your hair cut?
Funny you should ask: yesterday morning.

27. Are you on any meds?

28. Do you have a mental disease?

29. What shirt are you wearing?
A 10-year-old softball T-shirt that's still in perfect shape (no fading, no holes, it's amazing) and a fancy light sweater from Express Men.

30. Are you sexy?
If I have to think about how to qualify it, the answer's probably "no."

31. What's your favourite store?
A bookstore. Pretty much any bookstore. Especially if they have music and DVDs, too.

32. Are you thirsty?
No, but I have to pee really bad. This is a long survey.

33. Can you imagine yourself ever getting married?
Yes. I mean, I got engaged once, so I'd better be able to imagine it. Or accept that my love life reached its high-water mark at 19.

34. Who's someone you haven't seen in a while and miss?
Sari, since she left the paper. I miss her every day, Monday through Friday.

35. Where do you work?
A big ol' newspaper. Not telling which one, as per my standard policy.

There, that wasn't too bad, was it? A happy post! Yay! Bunnymunkee!

Friday, May 12, 2006

How I'm feeling today

Today's Civil War quote comes courtesy of Confederate Brig. Gen. Abner Perrin, who vowed before the battle of Spotsylvania that he'd come out of the fight a live major general or a dead brigadier.

The way things are going at work, the coming months could well be my chance to make a real name for myself. Or it could kill me.

I'm trying to keep my chin up, but it's getting tougher by the day. Things aren't good. But where there is chaos, there is opportunity. If I want it, because I believe in my soul that if I do, I can take it.

I just don't know if I do.

I broke my Blood Bowl guys out of storage the other day, and I bought some paints. I'm hoping the painting may not only enable me to finally play the darn game (since I'll have two shiny, happy teams instead of one), but soothe my aching soul. Calming art. (Or frustrating as hell, but with a real sense of accomplishment at the end.)

I keep trying to cheer myself up. Funny how a little while back, I didn't have to. Don't worry, it's not the depression. It's the frustration.

By the way, Perrin was carried off the field at Spotsylvania, a dead brigadier. At least he was a man of his word.

"And Then A.P. Hill Came Up," one of the Net's great Civil War sites

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Helping out the Lesley

So, if I say I heard of an Asian place called WildOily, I'll bet you're thinking it's one of those massage parlors, right?

Turns out, it's a Chinese restaurant. At least according to The Lesley, who put out an urgent call for help because of some kind of Google madness I don't fully understand.

But she said her readers should blog about it, so I am.

What the hell kind of name for a restaurant is that, anyway? I remember driving past the "Hard Wok Buffet" once. But even that was kind of funny.

Then there was the time I thought "Frank's Chicken House" was a fried chicken place. You know, when a couple of my food-loving buddies recommended I go, I figured, yum! Nope. Strip club. With imported Russian stripper slaves. Which is probably why it's not called Delilah's and under new management.

And then there was the reason I didn't eat Vietnamese food for years. My college buddies went downtown one day and all came back with business cards from "My Dung Vietnamese Restaurant."

I told that story to a co-worker with a Vietnamese wife years later, and he told me the "D" is pronounced like a "Y." I asked him how he knew, he said "Dung" is his wife's name.

Speaking of things you put in your mouth, my foot needed washing between the toes.

So now this place. WildOily. Two things I really don't want in my food. I like my food dead, and if I want it that greasy, I'll call the lousy Chinese place near the office. I'll bet they deliver quicker (nine minutes or less! hot food! no lie!).

Don't send me mean e-mails for mocking this place. I don't care what you think, I've never been there, am never going there and am just helping a friend/fellow blogger.

Heck, they don't even have a Web site I can link to. Don't believe me, go Google "WildOily" and see what you find. Of course, you might just aggravate the Lesley. And we don't want that!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Awesome munkee thing of the day

Mary at work found this:


That's right, e-mail messages featuring talking monkeys! That say whatever you want them to say! Including:

Munkee? Munkee! (Though it's better if you spell it the conventional way.)

With inflections and everything. You can dress them and accessorize them and use different voices and stuff.

And send them to friends! Yay!

I hate spring

When people ask me my favorite season, I say crushed red pepper.

Oh, wait, that's my favorite seasoning.

My favorite season is fall.

I like the leaves. Hockey's starting. Football's in full swing. Baseball is into its pennant races. And it's not too cold, and definitely not too hot. And not as much rain as spring.

And no goddamn allergies.

I hate spring (or as I'm saying it these days, "I haype sbrig.")

My allergies are all out of whack this year because of the early heat and stuff. They were getting better after I moved from Pennsylvania (which has plants and stuff) to Jersey (which has malls and stuff). But not this year, no.

Why do I hate spring? Let me count the ways.

1. I can't breathe through my nose.
2. I sneeze all the time.
3. My eyes water so bad I literally can't see sometimes.
4. Nosebleeds.

From all that sneezing and crap - I woke up the other day just literally fountaining blood. By the time I blinked into the bathroom mirror, I looked like an assault victim.

5. Lack of sleep from aforementioned breathing issues. So I'm prone to being tired anyway.
6. I can't take allergy medicine.

That's right. I can't. It puts me right to sleep, even the daytime stuff. I took two pills the other day and fell asleep at work four times in eight hours. It was a joy driving home, let me tell you.

I took a different pill Saturday and it worked great. Sunday, not so much. Today, not at all, really.

And my two weeks of allergies are about up, but there's no sign of abation this year.

(Is "abation" a word? Don't expect me to look it up.)

7. Chapped lips - from mouth-breathing all the time.
8. Watery eyes mean constant rubbing mean oily hands on face mean zits.
9. Did I mention my eyes itch like hell?
10. Sinus headaches, from being all stuffed up.

Yeah, that's fair. Either my nose is running, bleeding or completely clogged, and because all the snot is backing up, my freakin' head hurts. Right where I have to rub it to get the crap out of my eyes.

Insert string of profanities here.

11. My glasses are constantly filthy.

Don't ask how sneezing and rubbing my eyes gets them so damn dirty. Backwash, I guess.

12. I can't roll down the windows in my car or open the sunroof.

Takes the joy out of the nice weather and the long commute. Insert second string of profanities here.

I hate spring.

Seasonal allergies
The joy of nosebleeds
Allergy medicines

And yes, the people I hung out with this weekend really saw me at my finest. Not.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I'm famous!

Well, kind of.

I was at the NFL Draft this weekend, covering it for and I got interviewed for another sports Web site.

Check it out!
Sports Business Simulators' blog

Sports Business Simulators is pretty cool - they're based out of Oakland, so they were interested in the Raiders among other things. And they've got an XFL business simulator. I ran the trial version and did shockingly well after an initial dropoff. Certainly better than Mr. McMahon!

My Mom thought I was good. So I must've been. Yay!

That's the fourth time I've been on TV or video in my life, that I know of.

First, when I was little, I got to sign off the local evening news when they came to my summer arts program. That was neat, and neatest of all was that I got to stay up late to see!

Second, in college, when some of my fraternity brothers were on trial, I got caught on camera (and had a wee altercation with a cameraman) leaving the district magistrate's office. Not quite so cool, especially since it had to do with the (accidental) death of one of my brothers, but the altercation was fun, and there was a priceless moment later when a quasi-friend of mine remarked that I'd "walked right into her bedroom" in front of her quasi-boyfriend. (She neglected to mention it was on TV.)

Third, when I worked in Atown, one of the sports guys had a local sports-talk show on the local TV station. And my first weekend in sports, he brought me and two others from the department on. (That's how I met Steph, more or less, she was one of the others.) That was pretty cool, even if I called the national championship game wrong, I had the right idea. (It was the year Virginia Tech played Florida State, and I said the key was, Florida State had to find a way to get the ball into Peter Warrick's hands because he was a wideout, while Virginia Tech put the ball in *its* best player's hands every snap, because Mike Vick was a quarterback. So FSU killed Tech, but they found ways to get the ball to Warrick, including on a punt return for a TD, and that's why they won.)

So this makes No. 4, even if it's not quite really TV, it's still a video. That almost counts.

And for the curious, you want to know how posh Radio City Music Hall is, that's a comfortable couch, in front of an art-deco wall, in a 20x30-foot lounge... in the men's room! So when you see me trying not to crack up, somebody just flushed in the next room. Or, in one case, um, broke wind.

Very, very loudly.

It's actually a serious interview, and I shouldn't tease Zennie (the interviewer), who was a great guy. But, Zen, when I suggested the men's room lounge, I was joking!

I really did want to do it in front of the giant naked woman statue.