Thursday, July 14, 2005


Brad Pitt checked into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center the other night complaining of flu-like symptoms. He is now reportedly at home recovering from viral meningitis, a relatively common, but serious infection of the fluid in the spinal cord and around the brain.

[NOTE: This is not to be confused with viral "womeningitis," which is the rapid spread of information about an amazing shoe sale.]

Viral meningitis can be transmitted by mosquitoes and there is no known treatment for it. Fortunately, the illness is typically mild and symptoms usually clear up in a week. According to his publicist, Brad is doing well. As for how he came down with the illness, Mr. Pitt was in Ethiopia last week with his “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” co-star Angelina Jolie to pick up her newly adopted baby girl. Many are speculating he contracted the sickness during his short stay in the underdeveloped African nation, as it is widely believed Jolie is a carrier of pretty much everything. In all fairness, I should note that a mosquito bite has not been entirely ruled out.

Seriously, though – when you consider all of the shit that’s floating around over there, from Ebola to Malaria to Marburg fever, Brad was fortunate to come away with just a mild case of meningitis. Especially when Jolie ended up contracting a small child. I hear a child outbreak can last 18 years…or more! The condition, which is not terminal, causes headaches, sleeplessness, fatigue, and anxiety. But afflicted friends tell me that these symptoms are made bearable by routine fits of raging euphoria that make a child outbreak one of the best diseases one could ever hope to catch.


Would anyone like to download a Beta version of the PC application I've been working on in my spare time?

I'm still working out a few remaining kinks, but the buzz to date is that it's the the single most useful computer program ever created. I don't know about THAT, but I do think it would be a useful add-on for the busy professional.

Here's a screenshot for your reference. Better get yours now. Once the Beta is complete, copies are expected to go for around $22,000 per unit!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Why in the world are those hairs draped down your forehead called “bangs”?

It turns out the term is short for the word “bangtail.” I don't suspect that cleared things up for you, so I will elaborate. A bangtail is a horse’s tail trimmed horizontally, so that the tail has a flat, even end. Now you know.

And for your safety, please note that if a female co-worker asks you what you think of her new bangs, you should NOT respond that they make her look like a horse’s ass, no matter how (literally) true that may be.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


I went to Summerfest in Milwaukee last weekend and now you get to hear all about it. No, you don’t have a choice. I usually manage to make it up there once a year to overindulge in my two favorite food groups, fat and booze, and this year was no exception.

Summerfest, in case you are unaware, is billed as the World's Largest Music Festival. In addition to that, it may also be the world's largest disbursement of fried cheese products, the world's largest gathering of drunk white people, and the world's largest collection of people wearing clothes that are two sizes too small.

We arrived around 3pm. I was hungry, thirsty, and wearing a t-shirt almost two sizes too small - so I almost fit in. I kicked things off with a pair of deep fried Reuben Rolls and mustard sauce. They are quite possibly the most perfect food ever created. Yes, I am going to provide you with more detail - hold your horses! A Reuben Roll is an egg roll shell stuffed with all the ingredients of a Reuben deli sandwich: tender corned beef, melted Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing - deep fried to a crispy, golden brown. The finished product is a delicacy that’s second to none in my book. After hammering back a couple of those bad boys, I began the beer drinking process with a Leinenkugel’s Berryweiss. For dessert I finished off a few deep-fried broccoli and cheese nuggets.

About an hour later I started to get a little hungry, so I ordered up a chubby German bratwurst smothered in sauerkraut and drenched it in mustard. I pounded another beer to help it settle in my belly.

After picking through the wares in a tent-full of local artists and crap merchants, I decided it was time for a massive butter-bathed ear of sweet corn. I spiced it up with salt, garlic salt, and a dash of Cajun powder, then ravenously mowed it down (and washed it back with another beer). Did you know that beer goes with everything? It’s true. I know because I’ve tried it with everything. Pizza. Brats. Pop-Tarts. It’s all good. But I digress.

Our little posse next meandered from stage to stage to stage in seek of a music option more tolerable than the last. After about an hour of being band gypsies, we were ready for some more grub, so we headed over to Famous Dave’s trailer camp for a healthy helping of BBQ ribs and seasoned potato wedges. And beer.

As the sun began to set somewhere in the west, we wandered down to check out JoJo's martini lounge. It was there I finally decided it was time for a beer break. So I ordered up a chocolate martini instead...and it was sweet, pardon the pun. We endured roughly ten minutes of a curiously entertaining lesbian lounge act before escaping back into the festival grounds where I dialed up a cheeseburger from Major Goolsby’s and a side order of what had to have been two pounds of cheese fries in a grease-soaked cardboard box. It was all very, very good.

A couple of rounds of beers later I was more than ready for a good night’s sleep (or a stomach pump).

The next morning I woke up next to a letter of resignation signed by my liver.


Isn't it about time they stuck a sword in this ridiculous tradition?

Or at least changed the name from the "Running of the Bulls" to the "Running of the Criminally Stupid."

Running down a narrow street in front of a pack of charging bulls is about as smart (and almost as dangerous) as asking Karl Rove to keep a secret.


The people write:

"One issue with the new format that I thought you could help with. With each new segment, I end up printing the entire blog rather than your most recent entry. Is there any way that you are aware of to only print the most recent. Your help is greatly appreciated."

Here's how it works. This main page includes all posts from the past 7 days. After 7 days, a post is defaulted to an archive file. These archives are listed on the left-hand side by date, so you can catch up on stuff you may have missed.

If you print THIS page (the main page), you will be printing every post from the past 7 days. That would be one full edition of AYNtK.

So the best thing to do would be to always print your copy on the same day of the week at the same time. That way you won't end up with overlapping content. For example, if you were a fan of the Friday 5pm mailing, then you could just print off your copy at 5pm every Friday and you would have all new posts for the week dating back to the previous Friday. Or, if you prefer, change the print date and you'll always have a fresh copy on the day you choose.

NOW, if you just want to print a couple of the more recent posts to take on the train after work, I would suggest clicking on the title of the post you want, which is listed at the left. That will take you to a page that contains ONLY that post. Print and go!


This used to be a post to a funny movie clip, but the link didn't work. So I closed the post.

Please move along. There's nothing to see here.

Move it.


Monday, July 11, 2005


Here’s a little news out of Tennessee (so you know it’s going to be good). Law enforcement agents recently raided an illegal cockfight operation, arresting 144 people in what one official on the scene said was likely the nation’s largest such gathering.

According to reports, it was a real law enforcement to-do. Several SWAT teams, police helicopters, and dozens of state troopers converged in the raid to contain participants at the sprawling Del Rio Cockfight Pit. They seized nearly $40,000 in cash and killed more than 300 roosters in mopping up. That's a waste of cock on par with Rock Hudson.

“Reputedly, this was the largest cockfight in the United States,” said District Attorney Al Schmutzer Jr. He clearly forgot the day Al Franken and Bill O’Reilly squabbled at a C-SPAN Book TV event a couple years ago. A bigger cockfight there has never been.

Anyhow, each of the 144 taken into custody was charged with being a spectator to cockfighting, a misdemeanor in Tennessee. If convicted, they face up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and a $2,500 fine. 11 months and 29 days? A FULL YEAR must have been deemed a little excessive. A year in prison just for being a spectator seems almost as cruel and unusual as watching birds peck one another to death for sport. Imagine having to explain to your new "bunkie" that you're serving time for watching cocks go at it. These people won't last a day behind bars.

John Goodwin of the Humane Society of the United States said this raid served notice to others conducting such illegal operations. “I wouldn't want to be a cockfighter in East Tennessee right now,” he said. I’d personally rather be a cockfighter in East Tennessee than North Hollywood. I won't even stand within a urinal’s width of one of those monsters.

David Webb, a gamecock owner from Rhea County, said he lost more than 20 chickens during the raid. “I've been around this stuff all my life. Everything I've ever known is a chicken fight,” he said. Now that's living.

We need to make sure this man and the woman who had tattooed to her forehead never get drunk together or we may end up with another Jessica Simpson on our hands.


I don’t like heights – never really have. I don’t know why, but being up in the air freaks me out. I don't even like to jump. Okay, I may be exaggerating about that. Still, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that skydiving, along with line dancing, is one of the two things I won’t do. I'm just not into cheating gravity like that. Evolution didn't provide for it.

I will get on a plane, though. If I have to. It may take some coaxing, a little meditation, and half a Valium – but I can usually be herded onto an airbus without too much kicking and screaming. Usually.

See – the thing people don’t understand about the fear of flying is that it’s not actually a fear of flying. It’s a fear of crashing. Flying is great. Flying I enjoy. Flying is like an amusement park ride you can have a few drinks on. Crashing is the part that sucks. And you can give me all the statistics you want on how much safer it is to fly than to drive and I will remind you that there are far more people driving than flying. I will also point out that the majority of car accidents are not fatal. Not true for air disasters. You don’t hear about too many fender-benders in a 767. If your jet plane is totalled, chances are you will be, too. So I like to keep all of those fancy statistics in perspective. I’d rather be in a dozen car accidents over the course of my life and LIVE to pay higher insurance premiums than to be in just one plane crash. Even if it would mean a better value on the life insurance premiums I ought to be paying.

What exactly is it about flying that terrifies me so? It was on a recent trip to Palm Springs (the details of which I will share in due time) that I managed to pinpoint the primary source of my anxiety: turbulence. But not JUST turbulence. Turbulence without explanation. That stomach-dropping sense of uncertainty accompanied by an inability to focus on a pleasant outcome because no one will tell me what the fuck is going on.

I used to think it was a control issue – that I would feel better if I could be the one steering the plane. But that’s not necessarily true, especially considering I don’t know the first thing about flying a plane. What turns out to be true is that all I really need to shift from a frazzled Jim Ignatowski to a calm James Bond is a little information.

“This is your pilot speaking. Just wanted to let you know we’re experiencing some routine turbulence, so please remain in your seats with your belts on for the next 20 minutes or so until we can find some better air.”

And that’s it – then I’m good. That little bit of information is all I need to get my mind off of an inevitable crash landing and back on the disappointing in-flight movie. A few words to pacify me. A simple communication makes all the difference in the world. Sometimes you'll get a pilot kind enough to share what’s going on…other times they are not so thoughtful. And the less information I get, the worse I feel. My mind makes up these horrible excuses: "They're not explaining the turbulence because they CAN'T! We're disappearing in aviation's Bermuda triangle. How can my girlfriend read her magazine when we're knocking on heaven's door?"

But whether I get a word from the pilot or not, the turbulence always comes to a close and the plane always ends up on the ground in one piece. That's been my experience with planes, anyhow. So I really have no reason to realistically believe I'll be involved in a crash. The fear is completely irrational...and yet it exists. Funny to think how a few words can settle me faster than a tequila drip.

Here’s a link on turbulence, by the way, for those of you who share a fear of crashing. I am going to print it out and bring it with me next time I fly. It’s the information I need to relax and enjoy the view – even when the cabin is shaking like a wet dog.

All this talk about anxiety and information made me think about life in general and how, when things get bad at work, or with a loved one, or with my health – all I really need to feel better most of the time is to hear the pilot let me know we’re just going through a little turbulence and everything is going to be fine.

When the agency isn’t as busy as I think it should be and there’s been a round of salary cuts, I need the pilot to let me know that we’re still on course for great things. When I do something stupid to invite the ire of my wonderful girlfriend, I just need the pilot to tell me that the whole plane isn’t going down. When I’m freaked about a new pain or sudden sickness, I just need the pilot to assure me that what I’m feeling is normal (for someone who eats the way I do). And when the pilot doesn't give me the reassurance I need, I've found myself relying on the co-pilot inside my head to let me know things are going to be fine. I just wish my co-pilot didn’t drink so damn much.

And for those of you reading this right now, this is your pilot speaking. We've got nothing but clear skies today, so kick back and enjoy the ride. Life is good.