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Tuesday, 30 September
Nothing To See Here, Move Along

Sorry about the lack of output lately; with the upcoming event at work known as the Group Meeting, work has been really been fucking murder. (Again, I like my job. Just some months more than others.) The Group Meeting--a bi-annual event that takes place in various other cities usually--is taking place in Seattle this time around, and I couldn't find any viable way to duck the fucking thing. So starting Wednesday, I will be hobnobbing with various nurses, doctors, and other medical harpies who will flit around my shoulders, occasionally gnawing on my extremities or shitting in my hair. It should be great. I'm already descending into madness imagining it.

"So here you see the proper way to submit a teleform," I say.

"Awk! I'll feast on your eyes, youngling! What if we didn't perform certain prestudy tests?"

"Well, you'll need to fill in NA in the appropriate field, unless it's for eligibility, in which case that would be disallowed. Ow, Jesus! Hey, easy on the nuts!"

"Bother. That's not what Corixa told me. Awk!"

"Corixa isn't running the study! We are! AAAAHHH! Hey, what the fuck?"

"I shat in your hair. AH HA HA HA HA! Listen, talk to me about online data submission."

It's going to be a long week. Many of my co-workers have already made solemn vows involving the purchase of cocktails after various events, some of them ending at ten in the morning. I don't know if there really are no atheists in foxholes, but I can tell you that they're full of potential drunks.

Speaking of profligate drinking, on Friday, a bunch of friends and I participated in that most Ratpackian of spectacles, the Birthday Roast for my friend J. It was a completely Dionysian affair; around two hours in, someone turned on the global "YOU'RE DRUNK!" switch, and all of a sudden everyone in the room morphed into Peter O'Toole: shambling husks devoid of reason, motor skills, or propriety. In other words, I guess, a pretty successful affair: the various participants took their roasting duties seriously, and we utterly crucified poor J. in the most horrific possible ways. In terms of sophistication, we made "Crank Yankers" look stately and refined. I wouldn't be surprised if someone before night's end jerked off a shaved donkey on a ten dollar bet.

Christ, I hope it wasn't J. That might actually happen to that poor bastard. I hope he wore a condom. By which I mean the donkey.

Saturday was spent moaning and closely monitoring my body's frantic efforts to cleanse itself of the incredible poisons I had dumped into it. My kidneys sizzled like bacon, and complained audibly to the bladder: "Jesus Christ, what the fuck happened? It's like Hiroshima down here." The bladder wasn't having any of it. "God, shut up. The urethra software won't boot up, and the brain keeps singing the jingle for 'Mr. Clean.' " The kidneys panicked. "Reroute to stomach!" Bladder laughed emptily. "Stomach looks like an acre of mashed clams floating in crude oil. We're all fucked, burnt, and buried." There was a moment of silence while everyone stared at bowels, who kept a sphinxlike demeanor. I eventually declared a cease-fire later by sending in the Army of Bloody Marys.

Sunday was wholly unremarkable, and consisted mostly of me watching football while the wife assiduously not-watched football. Sometimes she can't help herself, though. "They're so mean!" is one of my favorite comments, which I cannot disagree with. But a great one from Sunday was, "Are you still playing that phantom football with your friends?" By which she meant "fantasy football," but golly, that was a lovely mental picture. I imagined the Disneyland Haunted Mansion ride where the spectral dancers all suddenly piled into a violent scrimmage, still wearing their Victorian garb. CUT HIM DOWN AT THE KNEES, PERCY! I SAY, GOOD SHOW!

Later that evening, we watched the season premiere of the newly revamped--which is to say, horrifically denuded--"The Practice." Having jettisoned Dylan McDermott, Lara Flynn Boyle, Kelli Williams, Marla Sokoloff and, presumably, the Lead Tie Ironer, I was curious as to what they would come up with. Sadly, the answer was James Spader--a rather opaquely reptilian new counsel--and Chris O'Donnell, who needs only a sudden shortage of Wonder Bread supply to give him any new job opening. Mr. O'Donnell tried to deliver an "edgy" performance, which was somewhat blunted by his eternally fluffy, crustless presence. It was like watching a jellyfish trying to eat hard candy. Hopeless. Teasers for the next episode promised even more low-level candlepower in the form of Sharon Stone, who will presumably not be flashing her snatch, also presumably over the loud objections of Mr. Kelley: "I need beaver shots, people! Beaver shots!" After watching the season opener, which of course took pains to waste the good talents of Mr. Spader, I'm looking forward to seeing how they fumble with Ms. Stone, who interestingly comes pre-wasted, talentwise. If this show makes it to January, then I'll also be rooting for the Bengals in the Super Bowl.

Go Bengals.


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Comments

Wasn't there an episode of Scooby Doo that featured Phantom Football?

Comment number: 003662   Posted by: i on September 30, 2003 07:52 AM from IP: 64.8.202.186

I stopped watching the Practice after John Laroquette got arrested for murder the 2nd time. Getting him off once was bad enough, time #2 was time to stop watching. Also, the show had started leapfrogging timeslots and I wasn't loyal enough to try and find its new night every 3 weeks.

Comment number: 003663   Posted by: Ryan Waddell on September 30, 2003 08:22 AM from IP: 206.47.252.98

I never watched the Practice so I won't miss it.
But I DO watch West Wing, which is bending over and grabbing its ankles with new writers. I am sweating for them....

Comment number: 003664   Posted by: dayment on September 30, 2003 10:43 AM from IP: 12.228.171.123

But I DO watch West Wing, which is bending over and grabbing its ankles with new writers.

Yeah, the wife turned me on to this show (and I became a big fan of lovingly mocking Sorkin-speak), but the opening episode was kind of dire. When a hyperactive pug dog becomes the high comedic point (in a show where even the darkest episodes were usually punctuated with moments of levity), something's seriously wrong.

Comment number: 003665   Posted by: Skot on September 30, 2003 11:00 AM from IP: 140.107.120.123

Awks are not carnivorous.

Comment number: 003666   Posted by: name on September 30, 2003 12:15 PM from IP: 66.160.108.162

Sweet fucking Jesus, this was a rambling entry. You should have worked in rants on a couple more topics, like abortion and pre-sweetened breakfast cereals, and you would've had the record!

Comment number: 003667   Posted by: Joe on September 30, 2003 02:48 PM from IP: 165.247.47.69

Awks are not carnivorous.

Maybe not where you come from. But in the Old Country, there was scarcely a red-blooded man who did not bear the scars of a brutal awk-pecking as a reminder of those terrifying birds and their savage beaks.

Comment number: 003668   Posted by: Snarky on September 30, 2003 06:54 PM from IP: 141.156.195.121

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