My Personal Analog Assistant

My Personal Analog Assistant

I know you were all wondering, so I’ll just confirm! your belief. Yes, I did indeed fall off the face of the earth. I am actually as we speak orbiting around the atmosphere, but thanks to Vice Admiral Hyman Rickover and our excellent space program, I am able to send you all this wireless e-mail from my PDA. Actually, I don’t have a PDA. In fact, I was running the beach volleyball tournament last year and as a joke, I got a pencil and went to record the score of a game on my yellow lined legal notebook and said to myself, “Well, let me just record this in my
P.D.A…”

Quote of the Day 3/16/05

“Don’t you mean your P.A.D.?”
-Justin Costa

Didn’t see that one coming. Nice work, bro.

Making faces at Sputnik,
Rocket Man.

Still Standing Right Here…

Seeing Gray

Seeing Gray


OK. I figure a week is long enough for you to read that whining dissertation on the problems with cars and women and tendons. And thanks to everybody who responded. I’m sure more people plan to when they actually finish it sometime later this year. It took me ten years to write. Take your freakin time. Now I’m gonna whine a little bit about getting old. I went out Monday night and as I was getting ready, I noticed a gray hair on the right side of my head by my ear. This is bad. Not horrible, but pretty bad. Because my hair is long now, so the gray hairs are like weeds now. And I was going to a friend’s 21st birthday celebration, so I didn’t want to be mistaken for her father or any shit like that. Anyway, I spent about 15-20 minutes in front of the mirror weeding my head for the grays, or any suspicious-looking characters. I’m sure I pulled out at least 5 hairs that the light may have just hit wrong at the time, but those are just the casualties of war. They knew they were at risk on the front line. Now I know this admission is not very flattering to my image, especially as it pertains to dating right now, but I am OK telling you all of this. And here’s why. I know I have no chance with anyone on this list anymore. Niki has pointed out to me that anyone who gets involved with me runs the risk of being exploited as Psycho Chick 3.0 in front of all of my and her peers. And frankly, I’m not worth the risk of public humiliation. Thankfully, this is something I’ve come to terms with. I had no idea this list of mine would backfire this badly. Well, at least now I know it isn’t my bad aftershave or horrible posture that is driving the women away. So anyway, I’ve given up on the women on this list. And I trust the rest of you will maintain my anonanimity if this is an issue you wish to share with your friends. Which it really shouldn’t be, beacuse this isn’t really one of my better ones. But it’s late and I’m tired and I already typed most of it, so you’re gonna have to bite the bullet on this one folks. Where the hell was I? Oh yeah, I was scouring my head for unwanted death. Well, it reminded me of the first time I put contacts in last year. I forced those torturous things into my eyes and I was sitting about 4 inches from a mirror when I finally got the sucker into my eyeball…

Quote of the Day 3/10/05


Me: “When I finally got my contacts in, the first thing I noticed was that I had gray hair.”
Geoff: “Come on Dustin, your vision wasn’t that bad before.”

He always knows just what to say.

Back to the ole slave and grind,
D Rec.

Still Standing Right Here…

Quote of the Day 10-Year Anniversary!!!

Quote of the Day 10-Year Anniversary!!!

I actually took the day off work for this.
And that is exactly how much of a loser I am.

How about that everybody. Ten fucking years. That’s a damn long time. And for those of you who ask why I still do it, refer to the following conversation I had with a chick at Howl At the Moon a few months back…

Excerpt from 9/6/04:

Random Chick: “…I’m actually a big fan of comedy.”
Excited Dustin: “Well, I happen to write a daily e-mail humor column.”
Interested Chick: “Really?! What did you write about today.”
Nervous Dustin: “Actually, I didn’t write anything today.”
Confused Chick: “Well, what did you write about yesterday?”
Back to the Wall Dustin: “Actually, I haven’t really written anything in 3 months.”
Less Interested Chick: “So you USED to write a humor column.”
Lying Dustin: “No… I still do.”
Uninterested Chick: “It doesn’t really sound like you do.”
Desperate Dustin: “Well, sometimes, things aren’t exactly like they sound.”
Mean Chick: “Kinda like how you originally sounded interesting.”
Pissed Off That He Was Caught In a Lie Dustin: “And kinda like how you originally sounded cute.”

So yeah, at that point in time, my motivation was to get laid. Maybe that’s superficial, but if it weren’t for that urge, our species would be in some serious danger, let alone my little uninspired e-mail thingy. But I think at the heart of it, the reason I’ve been doing this for the last decade is because I feel a sense of accomplishment when something creative that I do gets to so many people. When it comes down to it, my ability to schedule a wiffleball tournament goes relatively unappreciated. So this has become my little vessel to be creative and appreciated. And I don’t have to leave the house to do so. It’s a brilliant scheme for the genuinely unmotivated. But mostly, if it weren’t for all you guys and! gals that are still with me, I’d be writing in a diary. And that would make me gay. It’s awesome that you all still like it, or at least tolerate it, or at the very least don’t raise a fuss about being taken off the list. So thanks to all you loyal subscribers for not making me gay. You are true friends, even if only third-rate acquaintances now.

Ten years. You guys know how long that is? What the hell were all of you doing ten years ago? Let’s see. My roomie’s girlfriend was 9. Most of my very good friends were still in high school and have since graduated college. Every girl I’ve dated (except the redhead that left me for the other girl and the new chick that left me for the voices in her head) was either in high school or middle school. Where was I? About 3/4 a mile away from where I am now, spending about 85% of my day the exact same way. Now instead of film projects, I watch movies. BIG CHANGE! LOOK OUT! CAN I HANDLE IT? So yeah! , I know you guys all have been doing these life-changing things, but not me. I have persevered. I think I need to reiterate my magic shower theory. I actually wrote a year back about how my mind seemed to think that I could hop in the shower at 9:45 and wash my hair, shave, brush my teeth, pee, practice my card tricks, splash in the water a little bit, etc. and I would still get out of the shower at 9:45 with 15 minutes to get to work. My entire morning schedule was based around what I called this “magic shower” in which time did not pass. Well, I’m realizing that was a microcosm of my actual life. It’s like I jumped in the shower 10 years ago and I got out and everybody else was married, had kids, got their PHDs, some were already divorced and married again, some went to Iraq for a war. Anyway, life went on. Then there’s me. I did graduate, so I guess that’s something. But no wife, no kids, haven’t been convicted of any major felonies. My 10 ! year reunion further supported this. “So hey, what are you doin? Last I heard you were down at UMBC doing something with rec sports.” Eat me, thug head. But hey, if it ain’t broke…

In fact, I can tell you exactly what I was doing 10 years ago. I was walking back from the dining hall with John and we were making fun of this new musical artist. I had no idea how to use computers at all. Heck, I had really just learned what a double-click was. I was running on John’s WIN 3.1, messing with the Paint program and jammin to the midis that Proz had. I also have vague recollections of monkeys throwing exploding bananas at each other. Man, that game was serious. I had heard about this e-mail thing, so I had Kady set me up and figured out how to make a mailing list of the 23 people I had addresses for, and off we went:

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Subject: quote of the day 3/3

>From! now on, I’m going to try to have a quote of the day. If it gets annoying, tell me.
-Dustin.

March 3, 1995

“If I ever understand Beck, I’ll kill myself.”
-John Sears (Tonto Sleepyhead)

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Easy enough. Over the years, some people have found it annoying. Some also thought it was crap and uninspired, without an ounce of anything interesting in there. But we all know what her motivations were. So here we are 10 years later, and check out the growth of it. I had no intentions of turning this into an arena for my bitching rants about my car, my dating life, my latest sporting ventures and the injuries I’ve suffered from all three of those areas. And it’s outlasted a lot of other things, the least of which being Beck’s career. I know I don’t put up nearly the same numbers as I used to. Heck the first year, I threw up 122 quotes. That’s a lot of freakin quotes, especially considering I didn’t have a computer of my own or one at all for the summer. I don’t think I do anything 122 times a year (not anymore). And that includes sleep. The QOTD (as it’s commonly called on the streets) has recently been put on the back burner for more trivial things like online euchre, Desperate Housewives and going to work so I can make money to buy food so I can live. But thankfully, I can find the time a few days a week (or every other week, or whenever) to holla at you jiggas when I can. Besides, I’ve recently met a lot more people that say really stupid things, so it should get easier.
Now let’s take a little time to realize exactly how much we’ve learned over the past 10 years from the things my friends say when shot through the Dustin prism. We now know that tow truck and gas can prices are literally highway robbery. And I think everybody now knows that the head gasket is the one in charge. Unless of course you are driving a fart. And try as you may, you’ll never hit the Dante Hall of squirrels. Swat all you want to at that bug. You know it’s the same damn one. Dad got a good look at him this time. Also, if you’re going rafting, the Tony Classification system measures the level of rapids by the number of fatalities. But there are a lot of flaws in Tony’s problem. He needs to learn to think before he thinks like Billy does. And midnight is really just the dark noon. Looks like Mike made another think-o. But all this is from a movie Laurie, I’m not really funny.
For some reason, people see fit to use this as a forum for their odd sexual tendencies. Mike had to prove he wasn’t gay by hooking up with his brother’s best man. Laura also seems to think she can date two people at once because she has two hands. And girls with short hair are sexy. It’s like you’re having sex with like… a little boy. Too many cooks do indeed spoil the brothel (or ! was that cocks?). That’s why I carry my addressbook, checkbook, condoms and a shot of Penicillin in the same compartment. Anyway, I should get going. Flynn comes home everyday around this time and I need to go fuck a pie. And there will always be woman problems. Katie knows a girl who she says is nice, she’s just not nice to other people. She’s the kind of girl that Keith could be telling a story about, and she’d interrupt him to start talking ‘Speaking of me…’

Then there’s me. I talk about me a lot and so do people who talk to me. I fell out of the loop in one of my social circles because I stayed in the loop. But it’s good to hear that I have the potential to not be this spastic all the time. And I worry too much. Life’s not that important. Especially mine. And one day, when Mikey has a few weeks, he’ll tell me. But I can’t whine to Proz about it. He doesn’t want to hear my Saab story.

So alright. Now’s the time of the party where we guess who’s gonna be the QOTD MVP for year #10. Will it be one of the usual suspects? Tony, Mike and my dad all carry about equal weight now since I hang out with each of them about the same throughout the year and they are all powerhouses in the field able to make the most of their time. John’s stock plummeted when Mikey and Michelle moved away, eradicating our monthly chance to see each other. And there’s the lashing quick wit of Mr. Geoff, my new boss. Most of his comments are denigrating towards me, which always helps his chances. However, few are printable due to the family nature of this program. Or would it be one of the new kids? There are two Keiths to worry about. One whom I play volleyball with and hung out for merciless periods of time with about a year ago in NC, and another who moved about 10 feet away from me (through a wall though, thankfully). Both witty and clever and both whom I see regularly. Then there’s this guy! named Jason who I also played volleyball with. Only he stopped playing. And he has a girlfriend. Which means I will never see him again. Or would it be an old friend who hasn’t yet dipped his finger in the sweet pudding of victory yet? Good Joe and Kevin have breakout potential, but they moved all the way up to Boston and got girlfriends too. So they’re pretty much dead to Mike and myself. But in a good way. And then there’s these two guys I play football with who have a tendency to say stupid and clever things. Bowman says the stupid things and Brad says the clever things. At least that’s usually how it goes down. So enough deliberation. Who’s it gonna be this year? Well, it’s a tie once again this year, each with 4 QOTDs. Mike finally took his crown back from Tony (they seem to trade it back and forth for fun) and must share it with a guy who has been so close, but finally got it done here, my own flesh and blood, dear ole dad. And he has supplied those of us who play with quite a repertoire of poker jokes. Which I use regularly in context and take credit for. But anyway, congrats to Mike and the Dad. The crown stays in Southeast PA for the time being. And Keith D will take an uncontested third place with his three jabs at his good friends. That’s just how he rolls. However you get it done, homie. There were five more tied for fourth. John Sears is still a blip on the radar, Mr. Geoff tallied a couple, J Tice got in there as predicted with his strong start, and Brad and Bowman snuck in two apiece at the bar after football games. Good work to everyone who placed. You’ll notice a name missing from that list. Tony. This year was everybody else’s chance to take over because we are scheduling a week long road trip tomorrow night. This should sufficiently put him in the lead if I don’t forget about the promise I made to 23 people I hardly ever speak to 10 years ago when we get back. And I have a feeling Perpendicular Keith is gonna have a strong year too. Good luck next year boys and girls.

The quotes have come from many places over the years. Usually, they’ll come at you from everyday life on the gridiron, the poker tables, the dodge ball battlefield or from the Van of Stench somewhere in Kansas. One of the things I like about the QOTD however, is that it can come from anywhere. I have quoted 4 of my old professors and 9 of my own family members in addition to 3 friend’s mothers and a friend’s father. I have quoted Billy Joel, Vice Admiral Hyman Rickover, and Bill Walton. I took a quote straight out of a UMBC campus announcement and another one straight out of one of my art textbooks. But one of the standard favorites that I have been jackhammering into the muck for the last 9 years came from back in April of 1995, only a month after I started this train. It was debuted as the quote of the month/ year/ decade back then and I still think it’s one of the best I’ve laid my ears on…

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Quote Of the Year 1995-96

The Set-Up…

“Love is like hearts. You want to follow suit, but you don’t want to have the lead.”
-Me

The Quote…

“If love is like hearts, than sex is like spades. If you don’t have a good partner, you damn well better have a good hand.”
-Weed

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The following year was a tough one because nothing really jumped out at me like the other one. But it was John. And he was making fun of me. Not just that, but he was doing it within the context of the quote of the day, which makes it exponentially better…

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Quote Of the Year 1996-97

So this past weekend, we were all hanging out in John’s room (the 5 of us who stayed this weekend), and John was reading a quote of the day, when he turned around and said to me…

Quote Of the Day 4/8

“How can you still be standing right there? You’ve been standing there for like two years. Take a walk! Sit down! Go out!…”
-My roommate that’s not really my roommate

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The 1997-98 quote of the year actually got the honor by being the only one nominated. I never had a quote nominated for quote of the year before, so I figured this was going to be an easy decision. Steve “Baritone” Zebrowski liked this quote so much, he e-mailed me for about the first time in over a year and asked if I was accepting votes for quote of the year, if there was such a thing. Well, Steve, thanks to you, there is such a thing now. And what a beast it’s turned into. Anyway, here it is…

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Quote Of the Year 1997-98

“I would be filled with so much information, it would be a sin to let me die.”
-My father, the hero…

…sandwich.

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1998-99’s quote of the year honor struck a chord relatively close to home for me. Mostly because it was back home where the quote came from and it was about the trip Mike and I were about to take across the country. My panel of judges (Tony, with Misti in the back seat agreeing to whatever he said) carefully weighed all of the nominees and came up with this…

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Quote Of the Year 1998-99

Well, this brings us to our quote. Mike has a pretty crappy car too, and we were talking about whether or not we could drive to Las Vegas. Anyway, he told me that he’d have to find out if it was downhill first.

Quote of the Day 6/9/98

“Most people look at road maps before they take a trip. I look at elevation charts.”
-Mike

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Congrats again, Mike. I’d give you a tote bag, but you already have a bag full of bags, just nothing to carry them in.

For the 1999-2000 season, I actually started to use a panel of judges. I took the funniest 13 quotes I could find and sent them to a randomly selected (I fixed it) group of panelists to vote on which they thought were the funniest quotes in the last year. So of course it would figure that three people on the panel would have a hand in that year’s quote of the year. Well, this quote is kinda like my three best unmarried friends in tandem. But in this case, tandem doesn’t mean they all jump out of a plane attached to one another. The reason this quote is so great is because it involves all three of them directly or indirectly, and it’s about my massive tool:

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Quote Of the Year 1999-2000

I don’t know if you know the principals behind AOL Instant Messenger, but if you type a message to me, the entire sentence pops up on my screen when you hit enter, and vice versa. So man! y times, when both parties are typing at the same time, the messages will pop up one right after the other, before the parties have a chance to read what the other had written first. Well, you get the point. I hope. Here’s what happened in a conversation between Good Joe (using Mike’s account) and Tony the day it snowed a lot and Joe was supposed to come down to MD for the night:

Quote Of the Day 1/21/00

WhiteTony: Smart move by not coming down here today.
GoodJoe4U: Thanks.
GoodJoe4U: I think Dustin has a small penis.
WhiteTony: They changed the forecast to as much as 14-20 inches.
GoodJoe4U: Laughing…too hard…can’t…type…

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So there you have it. The quote of 1999-2000 ! was about my huge penis. And I didn’t even have to fix the ballots. It was funny enough to everyone as it was hey, wait a minute…

I continued using a panel of hand selected judges and using a third eye blind experimentation process, we came up with Tony’s second quote of the year in a row…

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Quote Of the Year 2000-2001

…Anyway, I went and got a ping pong table and two paddles and a few balls at Dick’s Sporting Goods the week before vacation and it wasn’t long before Russ threatened to break one by slamming it on the table…

Quote Of the Day 1/3/01

Me: “If we break one of these we’ll have to go back to Dicks.”
Tony: (walking past the table) “I’m NOT using my dick!”

I’ll bet you’re laughing out loud.

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So there it is. The Quote of the Year went to Tony for the second year in a row. And also for the second year in a row, he was talking about the male organ. Obsessive maybe? Anyway, congratulations again Tony. That’s now four successive calendar years that you’ve had the title. Now let somebody else play.

This past season (I’m replacing the word “year” with “season” from now on because of the fact that… well, because I’m a year late and all) had many fewer quotes, but just as many quality ones, thanks to the invention of paper, pens and pockets. And this is one where every time I read it, my body has a weird chemical reaction somewhere between laughter, embarrassment, and an uncomfortable urge to run 5 miles.

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Quote of the Year 2002-2003

OK, I run this program on campus in which I try to marry Rec Sports and Res Life in our intramurals. I award points for participation in every sport. I knew this one team was from Patapsco, but I didn’t know which hall (3rd South, etc.). So I called the front desk and after I fell over my words about 3 or 4 times, asked the girl (I think her name was Meghan) on! the phone if she could tell me where this guy lived, but I didn’t really need to know his address, I just needed to know what hall he lived on.

Silence.

So then I started explaining what I was doing with the whole Rec Sports/Res Life thing and in the middle of what was already the most uncomfortable conversation I’ve ever had…

Quote Of the Day 2/13/03

Me: “OK, wait. Let me explain myself. My name is Dustin and I work for the Rec Sports office -“
Girl: (cutting me off) “I know. I dated you for 7 months.”

Oh. THAT Megan.

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You can feel the uncomfortable awkwardness from miles away. It’s been over two years now and I’m still trying to think of something to say back to her. And that was enough to make it last season’s quote of the year. I guess the more painful they are, the more funny they are. Like Jerry Lewis pratt falls, but much more heterosexual. So anyway, the quote of the year goes to my ex-girlfriend Megan in the last words she’s ever spoken to me. It’s good to see that though our relationship couldn’t stand the test of time, the humor and the bitterness has.

This year was some serious quality, though not really much in the quantity department. I had a huge panel of about 20+ people and in the end of all the voting, I still had a 4-way tie. So we had to go to our tie-breaking procedures, which calls for me to find t! he closest person around to rank them. And Perpendicular Keith did a reputable job. But there’s one quote I don’t think got enough fanfare. This was in a wedding program. You guys ever been to a wedding? They’re pretty serious stuff from what I remember. Everybody is stressing out about everything, from unnoticeable stains on dresses to improper napkin placement. So when John asked me to be a groomsman, I was nervous. And John knows me, so he was nervous too. In the wedding program, he wrote a little bit about the brides maids and the groomsmen…

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Dustin’s Favorite Quote 2004-2005

The following quote was actually taken directly from John’s wedding program and the reason I am using it is because it describes my relationship not only with him but also the other 249 people on this list. Anyway, s! o John had a few sentences about everybody in his wedding and here is an excerpt from mine…

Quote Of the Day 3/16/04

“…Dustin orbits in and out of my life at regular, comet-like intervals…”
-John and Rachel’s Wedding Program

If that doesn’t describe my relationship with you here, then it probably will once you graduate from UMBC.

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Good stuff Johnny. Now if I ever find someone stupid enough to marry me, I’m taking a page out of your book. Not literally of course. Unless it’s funnier. Well, let’s take this one step at a time. Now this runner-up is one of my all-time favorites because of the subject matter. Yes, it’s about crazy chick #1 and how I’m scared of her now…

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Runner Up Quote of the Year 2004-2005

Though the e-mail she sent was obviously meant to hurt me, it ceased to have any affect on me because it came off as a flailing anger-filled tirade. It did, however, scare me. As out of the blue as this was, who knows what the hell else this girl is capable of. I showed this e-mail to a coworker to get a second opinion…

Quote of the Day 1/31/05

“You’re going to want to save this. Your mom will need it for the trial.”
-Nancy, my unpaid social advisor.

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Well spoken. Very concise and to the point. You managed to capture the fear that I felt and hinted at my death without actually beating the point into the ground. Altogether a well crafted sentence. Worthy of runner-up even if it didn’t have that crazy chick motif to fall back on.

But this one is a worthy champion. This one incorporates the improvisation that the others lack, however well crafted they were. And that’s what we look for here in the “quote of the day.” And like I predicted last year, it’s the new guy…

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Quote of the Year 2004-2005

Quote Of the Day 4/17/04

Keith: “I find it hard to breath indoors.”
Jason: “I find it hard to breath in water.”

I know what you’re thinking. Jason is weird.

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So that’s it. The winning ticket. Congrats JT. You won yourself a pretty damn close race. Always knew you had the afterburners in there. Quote of the Year is not an honor to be taken lightly dude. You join the elite few. Tony, Mike, my dad, John, Megan Ex and some guy named Weed. And the greatest thing about Jason is that he’s not an ass hole. He’s just not a very nice guy. Keep diggin sideways bro. Eventually, you’ll hit water. So Jason took the QOTD of the year this year. Who’s next? Well, I have some insider info (scribbles on the back of business cards) that says that Perpendicular Keith, Mr. Geoff or the reigning champ have a decent shot at it. And I have three trips already planned which will hugely favor Tony, Geoff and Volleyball Keith. But all it takes is one good one, so who knows. Unfortunately for Evil Joe and his crowd, I am generally not in a state of mind when I’m with them to remember when funny stuff happens. But I’ll try dude. Everybody carry a pen with you from now on and write it down and e-mail me. That’s the easiest way. Thanks. You guys rock.

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So that was a very concise history of the quote of the day. For a much longer history, I can forward you a file that may overload your disk’s memory on whatever ISP you have. Now this is the part of the anniversary edition where I not only do something really cool, but something really easy. I’ve collected a sampler of the little intro rants that I’ve done in the past nine years and took only the crispiest cheese sticks, the meatiest buffalo wings and the potatoiest potato skins and served them up for right here right now. If you consider yourself a hardcore QOTD junkie, feel free to cruise willy-nilly through this entire thing in one sitting. But if you’re the more timid, “Ill read it when I get around to it” type of QOTD reader, chop it off in chunks, because this is stimulation overload. So go get a Shasta or two to wash this stuff down, cause you may be here awhile…

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On last year’s QOTD anniversary e-mail… 3/3/04

Hello again everybody. Sorry if I scared you all with that last e-mail. This one shouldn’t be nearly as long, painful, or interesting. It will be much more convenient for my subscribers that can’t read.

On the level of my idiocy… 2/3/03

I know a lot of you out there live vicariously through my idiocy, so I apologize for withholding that from you for so long, but you will have to wait no longer. What really cracks me up about this story is that I knew how stupid I was being, and I chose to see if my good luck could outlast empirical facts. Well, here’s what happened:

On being a cicada… 5/18/04

I’d be pissed if I were a cicada. They waited 17 years to come out and they finally come out and it’s been rainy and crappy since they got here. I’d be like “fuck this m! an, i’m going back in the ground. i’ll see you all next year. i mean, why the fuck do we all gotta come out at the same time and shit? do other animals do this? fuck no! dem fuckin bees been here since i was here last time and i can here them out there makin honey an shit every year. it’s bullshit! this is my one two-week vacation every 17 years and i ain’t spendin it outside in the fuckin rain! dat’s why we ain’t indigenous to seattle an shit. peace out.” At least that’s how I figured I’d talk if I were a cicada.

On keeping a camp diary… 6/15/99

1999 Summer Day Camp, Day 2:
Dear Diary, it’s only the second day of camp, and I’ve already witnessed a boy get hit in the eye with a tennis ball, the same boy have an asthma attack later that day, and an unnamed bastard counselor named Stryker bounce a kid into the pool off of the slippery wet pool deck and grate. And despite the 11 year old girls’ endless attempts, they can’t hook me up with any of the female counselors. Or tear my arms from my body. And if Gary asks me to tuck my shirt in again, I’m going to tuck it up his ass. If I’m not running from 25 kids in a spirited game of “Get Mr. Dustin,” I’m busy being a host to these parasitic leech children, usually with one of them around each foot like two anchors making sure I can’t drift too far out to shore, what with all the high tides I experience and everything. And these kids are the only ones who keep my sanity. Unfortunately, they also keep my whistle. And my extra shorts. And the keys to my car. I dread the day I go into work tired and cranky and give the first unfortunate soul who tries to jump on my back a bloody lip out of frustration. But as of yet, they don’t know about my bad temper. Or my criminal record. Or the box of razor blades I keep in my top desk drawer. I must go now Diary, it’s almost time for lunch. And I almost forgot about Billy. It’s probably about time to uncuff him. I’ll write again tomorrow. I love you.

On Kevin’s economic situation… 3/16/04

Kevin called me on Wednesday to tell me he decided to move back into town. “Really, when?” “Friday.” So he packed his crap Friday and left Oregon for good. It must be nice to be so far in debt that it doesn’t matter what the fuck you do anymore.

Rating songs about women’s backsides… 2/11/03

Doin’ Da Butt (Cameo) – This is the one that started it all. One day, everybody was offended when you said they had a big ass. The next day, this song came out on the radio. All of a sudden, it was fashionable to have a lot of junk in the truck. Twiggy was dead and us white kids cried and cried when we realized what had happened years later. I was in middle school and the song kinda scared me because I wasn’t very comfortable with girls as it was and I don’t know that I liked telling them! they had big ole butts. But the best part of the song is just that; that it lends itself to the “banana fanna fo fustin” song theory in that you could put anybody’s name in there. “Joey’s sister’s got a big ole butt, OH YEAH! Ms. Lattanze’s got a big ole butt, OH YEAH! Arnold Palmer’s got a big ole butt, OH YEAH!” And when you told people they had a big ole butt, it was in the third person, so it wasn’t as forcefully degrading. But it didn’t matter, because they just said “OH YEAH!” right back at you anyway. This song changed the world. It inadvertently opened the floodgates for streams of horribly degrading lyrics, but we’ll forgive it because the beat lends itself so easily to putting one’s backfield in motion. A+

On learning new words… 7/25/98

Actually, when I first found out what “facetious” meant, I had also just learned what the word “feces” mean! t. And so when somebody told me I was being facetious, I thought they were telling me I was full of shit. Which is basically what it means anyway.

On the tendencies of cicadas… 5/31/04

Today was even funnier because it involved a third party. I got pulled over today for rolling through a stop sign that I roll through everyday. It’s at the bottom of a hill and my brakes are so shot, I can feel the drum solo from Bonzo’s Montreaux playing in the wheel well when I try to stop, so I feel no need to put further wear and tear on my car just to dignify federal law. I refrained from telling the cop all this, despite the fact that I was drunk off my ass at 9:30 in the morning (no he wasn’t). Anyway, I pulled to the side of the road, and I hadn’t learned from yesterday or countless near misses I’ve had, to drive with the windows up for these few weeks. And I happened to pull over right next to an extremely high cicada traffic area. So as I’m ducking into my glove box to get my registration, one of those icky fuckers takes a B-line for my head (again) and kamikaze dive-bombs into my car. I freak out (again). But this time I’ve got a situation to handle. So I manage to lose the cicada in the car and I continue to fumble for my registration. The cop comes and asks for my license and registration. I tell him I’m working on it and that there’s a live cicada in the car and not to freak out if it flies up at him. This was really just a courtesy because I’m sure whether he was warned or not, he was gonna freak out if the cicada came up from underneath the tape deck and dive-bombed him in the head. So he chuckled and asked if I knew why he pulled me over. “Because I rolled through that stop sign that I -…” and I stopped myself just in time, despite the fact that I was high at 10:45 in the morning (Ed. note: Dustin like to lie a lot. ! Good luck separating the truth from the bullshit (Ed note 2: Not only do I edit my own material, but I do it as I type it, which isn’t really editing at all. My english teacher is probably rolling over in her grave right now. Except she’s still alive, so she’s probably just rolling over in her bed. Sorry about the rant, but I’ve been hitting myself in the head
with a bat for the last half hour).). [Where the hell was I?] Long story medium, he gave me a warning. I don’t know if it was because I worked at UMBC, my humorous and jovial demeanor, or the fact that he made me play with his testicles for 10 minutes, but I got off (I’m not going there). But now there’s a cicada in my car and it gives me the willies because I couldn’t find it. As the cop was writing the warning, I actually got out of my car and looked under the seats for the damn thing, but to no avail. So I’m gonna have a dead suffocated or heat-stroked cicada in my car. And maybe I’ll have about 500 more of them in my car in 17 years. That would probably shoot the resale value to shit.

On getting old… 11/3/97

I don’t know if you guys are taking me seriously with this whole me being old thing, but my knees don’t do things that they used to. Of course, when they did the things that they used to, they never really did the things that they were supposed to, and I think I’m paying the price now. But I don’t know. Because had they not done the things they weren’t supposed to, they might not be able to do the things that they used to now anyway. Or maybe it would just hurt a lot more. Who knows?

On getting e-mails from old acquaintances… 3/7/02

I got this really bizarre e-mail the other day. It was from somebody who claims to have known me from college. I would normally delete this right away because somewhere! along the line, I signed up for too many daily porn e-mails, which you can by the way, NEVER unsubscribe from, no matter what they tell you. So anyway, they all say about something like that. “Hey, remember me? It’s Jenny McSweetboobs from college! Sorry I’ve lost touch, but things have been *crazy*. I thought I saw you on campus the other day, but I didn’t recognize you without the pink hat.” So about now, I figure it’s not one of those regular porn ones. Or they’ve gotten really good at what they do.

On the problem with ski lifts… 1/21/99

I was on one of the ski lifts with Teresa (Little Boy Hair Girl) and it suddenly stopped. Apparently that isn’t too uncommon. Whenever somebody fucks up getting on the lift, they have to stop it for a while, to avoid further deaths. Damn rookies. If you can’t get on the lift, you don’t deserve to have the benefit of a ride back up the hill. Just carry your skis and start hiking. Actually, those lifts are scary. I could picture somebody getting stuck trying to get on one. I mean, you’re standing there and the gate opens a split second after the people in front of you get on, and you can see the seat you need to get on coming down the other side, and you have to make it out onto the loading deck with those big bulky skis on with another person beside you in like 3 seconds, or you’re going to get blindsided by the side of it when it comes swinging around the turn. I could see somebody starting to trip and panicking and trying to jump out there anyway, and falling off the deck, but still trying to reach for the passing lift to both save a little embarrassment and to preserve his place in line and his right to not have to walk back up the big hill.

On my relationship with Good Joe… 6/18/98

Well, thankfully, one of my best friends happens to be a Car major at GMI Institute (which in its written out form, is General Motor’s Institute Institute). So I tell him all the problems I’m having with the car and he says some words I don’t understand and I nod my head and go “ooooh, ok,” and then we play tennis.

On stupid names for buildings… 3/14/02

So there’s this guy named Jason Woody who happens to be an RA in the less new dorm, named Erickson. As opposed to the new new dorm called New Dorm. I’m not kidding. For those of you who don’t know, there have been two new dorms built in the past three years. They basically sold out their idea of having a body of water theme and named the less recent one after the guy who put up the money. Kinda like PSINet Stadium and 3Com Park, etc. So this new new dorm is already built and people are living in it and everything, and it still doesn’t have a name. I think they were waiting for somebody to put up money so they could name the thing, but it’s already built. So they don’t need money to build it anymore. So they just want somebody to give them money now so they have money, and in return, they will put that person’s name up on the New Dorm. That reaches a possible new height in selling out, unmatched by even the Stone Temple Pilots. So until somebody pays a lot of money, all envelopes going there will be addressed to “New Dorm.” I hope they have a sign up there that says New Dorm, because I think that would exemplify how pathetic UMBC really is.

On major life decisions… 1/10/03

My sister and her boyfriend recently bought an RV and decided to give up the luxury of a steady income for a life of considerable doubt, second-guessing, and Ramen noodles.

On why we should have a queen… 11/9/00

Hold the phone!! There’s a red flag on the field. What the hell happened?!? I went to bed and we had a president and I woke up and we didn’t. Who figured that going to bed at 3:30 was too early? I guess the people at CNN just wanted to go to bed at that point too. Well, if that’s the case, I’m glad they’re recounting everything. I’d hate to have our fate for the next four years sealed because reporters and election officials were getting too tired. And to all you Bush/Cheney fans out there who think the Democrats are being sore losers, I say let’s take the extra week and not fuck it up. And I think I heard something about how the electoral vote can be swayed if the popular vote favors the other candidate. If this is the case, then why don’t we just say fuck the electoral vote system and just go with the popular vote? But I’m probably misunderstanding something.
So for those of you who live in a darkened cave or have been trapped under something heavy with all sources of external stimuli off, here’s the presidential race throwdown as explained by the definition of a layman: The man who will lead us for the next four years, direct our country into the new millennium (whether you believe my reasoning or not) our executive role model for the next tenure, will be chosen by 19,000 residents of Palm Beach County, Florida. We no longer matter. We’re done. The only people that matter anymore are the voters of Palm Beach, Florida. Not just any 19,000 voters, but the stupidest 19,000 residents who were too dumb to fill out the ballot properly. These are the citizens who will choose our leader. 19,000 old Jewish ballot filling out fuck-ups. Apparently, there were way too many votes for Pat Buchanan of the Nazi party that somebody figured something had to be wrong. So Palm Beach, Florida will probably revote. So the world’s got to wait for Palm Beach to decide what they’re gonna do. I think it’s funny that Oregon is also still undecided, but nobody gives a shit. Fuck Oregon. It rains too much there anyway.

On that ugly Star Wars chat group mess… 2/1/05

I lost two friends over that. But an important lesson was learned. And we can all agree that important lessons are sometimes worth at least the friendship of two Star Wars freaks.

On turning 30… 1/10/05

So yeah, it seemed like a lot more people were upset that I was turning 30 than I was. Like the 19-year old college chicks I’ve been seeing who thought I was 23. And their dads. And boyfriends. Push comes to shove, age is just a number you tell people. And sometimes, it’s not even that. For example, this is the seventh straight year I’ve turn! ed 23. Some people are starting to figure it out. So I’m going to need all of you to keep it under wraps. If word gets out that I’m 30, I officially become invisible to 19-yr-olds. Just a UMBC Rec Sports polo and jeans walking around with no discernable face. And that’s been one of my major demographics. This includes 24-yr-olds that say they’re 19 also. Cause don’t think that doesn’t happen. As well as the 16-yr-olds that say they’re 19 (remember people, this is a “humor” article in which I “embellish” and “lie.” Everybody knows I draw the line at 17.) So the way I figure it, if you average the age that I act, the age that I feel, the age that I tell people I am, the age my birth certificate says I am, and the age my body parts think I am, it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 30. And that’s good enough for me. All apologies to everyone who didn’t see this coming. I should have prepared you better.

On my relationship with my parents… 9/6/99

Today is a very important day in Dustin history for two reasons. For one, it’s my parent’s anniversary, which was a very important step in my conception. Secondly, it’s my dad’s birthday, a hands-down much more important step in my conception. Happy birthday, dad. He turned 33 for the 18th year in a row. To help him celebrate, I decided to take the weekend off, drive back up to Pennsylvania, and play tennis with Joe.

Why I don’t vote… 11/17/00

Well, the Florida Supreme Court has decided to let the recount last until Sunday, at which time, a final number ABSOLUTELY MUST be reached. So if they don’t count your vote before Sunday, then it doesn’t get counted. That sounds about fair. The Bush people are pissed off at the decision. He feels that the decision of who is to be president should be decided by Florida state law, not the will of the people. Well, at least this close race proves that every vote counts. Unless you didn’t quite punch the hole all the way through. In which case, it gets thrown out.

On having a spine… 3/11/02

I did it! I googled McSugarBoobs and I found her! I knew the stalking skills would pay off in the long run. And she wrote me and said her name was Karen, as the caption in the picture indicated also, but all through college I swear I called her Kathrine. Folks, if I get your name wrong, please stand up for yourself. I won’t feel embarrassed or humiliated or anything. I’m a big boy and I can handle making a mistake. But to sit there and let me call you the wrong name for like 3 whole years has got to be either some sort of joke that you are playing on me or a clear indication that you are deaf.

On Valentines Day… 2/16/98

I don’t knock Valentine’s Day as a national holiday, but I have to question a few things about it. Does anybody else find it disturbing that those little candy hearts that used to say stuff like “Be mine” and “You’re cool” now say things like “You suck,” “Fuck off,” and “Stop following me around, you pink hatted bastard!”?… And why are they all of a sudden written in pen too?

Rating the Decision 2004 Players… 11/2/04

Bush – I still can’t believe he’s actually our president. And barring another extreme Florida-2000-scale debacle, it looks like we’ll probably have another 4 years of this monkey. But he’s a resilient one, you have to admit. He didn’t win the election but he still became the president. The UN said he couldn’t go to war, he went to war anyway. I’m starting to think he didn’t even get accepted to Yale. He probably just showed up there one day and started going to class. Ugh. D+

On stupid acronyms… 9/29/00

I don’t read many things that make me bust out in laughter out loud. Like every time I chat on the internet and I type LOL, I’m really not. But L is kinda boring and I don’t think I’m ready to start a new acronym that means laughing, but not really all that loudly. And who the hell rolls on the floor during an internet chat?

Making fun of Mikey… 7/12/02

“Sorry I’m late, but it would be really funny if we were late to a movie called ‘Insomnia’ because I overslept.”
-Yelnick McMikey

You should have heard his excuse for when we were late for “Dick.”

On Appalachian State University… 10/7/96

…Anyway, I was talking to Kevin, my friend from home who goes to school at Appalachian State University. And if you don’t know where that is, it’s because it’s surrounded by trees for 8000 miles in each direction. It looks almost like they were flying an entire college campus from Boston to Miami and dropped it in a forest and figured ‘fuck it, we’ll get it later.

Rating career moves for celebrity boxing participants… 3/13/02

Paula Jones – She was filling in for Amy Fisher, who they wouldn’t let out of jail for the fight, and I’m not kidding. Not that the turning her head away and walking backwards technique isn’t her best chance at surviving, but it didn’t make for the greatest show. I take that back, yes it did. It was kinda funny watching Tonya Harding bang her from behind while she ran all around the ring. Kinda like life in the oval office. B-

On catering to everybody… 12/25/99

Well, Merry Merry (fill in appropriate holiday) to all of you out there. I hope your (appropriate holiday) was just as (fun/God-worshipping/I didn’t drop a piece of ham on my blouse again (circle one)) as mine. I trust your family was just as (excited to see you/fun to be around/thank God Uncle Louie didn’t show up drunk again) as mine and that they got you (exactly everything you wanted/more stupid socks/the same CD they got you last year). I really enjoyed seeing my family, but I think my favorite part of my break was seeing friends that (I haven’t seen since high school/I never liked in the first place/aren’t getting as good grades or as much money as me/all of the above). At any rate, I need to go now, but I hope you had a happy (appropriate holiday) and I hope that y2k doesn’t (crash your PC/shut off your water supply/stop the rotational inertia of the earth).

On trying to cure my strep… 4/5/04

So I go to this ghetto clinic (that’s what it’s called) and I sat in a room from 9am until the doctor finally showed up at 10:45 (and I’m not kidding about that). She finally came in at 11:30 and woke me up, took a throat culture which I’ll get the results of tomorrow, and left for another half hour. She came back at noon and gave me three prescriptions for pain, sleep, and the actual cure and didn’t even tell me what I had or what to do or anything. It was really weird. I went to Giant and had to wait another hour and a half for them to take things from a big bottle and put them in a little tiny bottle with a neat little label on it. Hell, you can skip the pretty label if it’ll get me out of there an hour earlier. Anyway, I went to pay for them, expecting them to cost more than I could probably trade my car in for now, and the total was $33. They were each $11 apiece. Well shit. I had that much in cash. I was gonna get better and it was cheap. Awesome! Until I got home and tried to take this antibody that looked like something you’d put in a horse’s ass to calm him down. I mean she knows I can’t open my throat, what’s with the fuckin mondo pink elephant pills?
So I didn’t get better. And I know it takes at least an hour or two for the antibods to set in, but after that weird voodoo Saturday ghetto clinic thing, I thought I’d go see my real doctor. Or at least somebody without Tarot Cards and Rudraksh Beads in his office. So when he got the test back positive for strep after being on the meds for three days, he said something like, “Whoa, that’s fucked up.” OK, he really said some stuff that had words that I don’t know what they mean in it, but it all meant “that’s one doozy of a virus you done got there.” And it also might be complicated with the flu and he tried to sneak the word “mono” by me. Like this is the perfect storm of thro! at sickness all gangin up on me at once. Bullies. So he prescribed these other antibods for me and I asked him what the difference was. He said that you don’t have to kill an ant with a sledgehammer. I like this guy. So apparently, whatever I have is something you’d need to kill with a sledgehammer whereas I was trying to squash it with my thumb before. You can’t squash an evil cat with your thumb, but you can sure beat it dead with a sledgehammer.
I’m getting off track. Anyway, so where was I? I’m sick. Oh yeah, I went to get the new drugs. I realized another difference between the two meds. I went to pull out my $11 cash and there was an extra one on the front there. They cost $111. I didn’t have that in cash. Shit, I wasn’t sure if I had that kind of credit limit. But at least they are smaller less intimidating drugs. And if anybody needs a horse sedated, I have some extra pink enormo pills now.

On the most boring trip to Vegas ever… 4/5/04

I’ll get to Vegas in a little bit. Unfortunately, there’s not much to tell. I didn’t kill any hookers, bang any maids or even accidentally graze my hand along some 17-year-old’s ass. I dyed my hair, lost a lot of money and all I have to show for it is a container which at one time held a $25 long island ice tea which took me two days to finish.

Critiquing Memento… 3/15/02

Anyone willing to accept this will enjoy the film like no other, unless you watch it with Mike or this guy Dan from my bowling class.

But when all is said and done, they’re just tiny little pricks that shouldn’t take away from the enjoyment of the film.

The storyline is not without it’s cluster of pin-sized holes, small onto themselves, yet numbered enough to let a little light come through.

I spent a lot of time studying Guy Pearce’s pictures and the tattoos all over his arms, legs and chest and let’s face it, the guy has a nice body.

I didn’t want to have to go home and jerk myself around, beating on my head after this movie was over.

But it was really hard.

And I really wanted to.

From that second on, it was like a 4 dimensional timed puzzle I had to try to put together.

On age old battles… 12/20/04

But it’s not like Christmas is any better. It’s a religious holiday you don’t even need to be religious to celebrate. You think all those people that celebrate Christmas are Christians, well you musta just fell off the Gullible Wagon. It’s the default holiday. And somewhere along the line, they even took the Christ out of Christmas and replaced it with an X. Like you do in algebra. It’s the age old science vs religion debate playing out under our noses on one of the most sacred (or secular) days of the year and we never even knew it! Those secret society masons are clever.

On living with a kitten… 4/29/99

I don’t think I told you guys this as a big collective group yet, but we now have a kitten. My roommate’s girlfriend’s parents decided it was a good idea to burden me with wildlife at this point in my life. This thing is wild too! It’s traditionally really good about not clawing people’s skin, but if it tries to jump up on your leg and starts to fall, it’s no holds barred. Every cat for themselves. It’s fallen from the height of my leg many times before, I don’t know what it’s scared of. Hell, I’ve thrown it at least 10 feet in the air across the room against the wall before and it didn’t even limp. Hell, it didn’t even move. And it did, even after impact, land on its feet. You know, they say that cats always land on their feet when they fall or when you throw them. Well, I figured out that so do dogs. And gerbils. And fish. It’s just that we see cats land on their feet more often because it is necessary to throw cats around, whereas dogs, gerbils, and fish will listen to you. All you have to do is hit the dog once and say “NO!!” real loud and he’ll get the idea from then on not to do whatever it was he did. He also learns what the word “no” means really fast. Not cats. He needs to jump on my lap to try to help eat my cereal, and he still does it every freakin day. And everyday, I punt him across the room into the wall. Damn thing doesn’t learn. I’ll bet modern psychology would turn 180 degrees if Pavlov had cats instead. People say dogs are dumb, but this kitten refuses to learn this stuff, despite it’s many flights across the dining room against her will. And it comes right back for more. This dude has no fear. I don’t know why there are so many terms associated with cats being scared. Fraidy-cat… Scaredy-cat… Pussy.

On the Cicada Party… 6/9/04

(I got a lot of compliments on this one, so here it is uncut)

First of all, let me preface this by saying that I’m probably more proud of this than I should be. A few friends ok mine threw a cicada party over the weekend. I thought that it was just a regular party called “The Cicada Party” to kinda justify having a party for those people who need a better reason than getting drunk and passing out on a floor covered in potato chips and salsa. So I later heard through the grapevine that there would actually be a live cicada eating contest. The gag reflex you’re probably all feeling right now was my first reaction also. And if that sentence disgusted you, stop reading now. Because it was more than just a live cicada eating contest that made this a cicada party.
I showed up and they had o! ld bay cicadas, chocolate covered cicadas and cicadas in taco meat with taco shells and all the fixins. They had poster board up for anybody who tried the different kinds to write their name down. And in this particular setting, people were impressed by these sort of accomplishments. I later realized that these accomplishments were not met with the same respect and reverence at work. In fact, I think I made Mike gag so much, he started to sweat. So anyway, these posters were up there just begging for people with low self-esteem struggling to fit in to shove a dirty chocolate covered insect down their throat to earn a spot up on the wall of fame. And so I did. And then some hot chick convinced me to eat an old bay one. They really do taste like shrimp, by the way. But so does everything you douse in old bay. I had thought about signing the poster below it which would have entered me into the live cicada eating contest, but not after seeing the tupperware container full of them sitting outside. If you were even close to on the fence about eating a live cicada, seeing about 100 crawling around each other in a see-though plastic hell was enough to turn you vegan. It looked like something out of an Indiana Jones movie. And so I played flip cup. And then I played beer pong. And I don’t remember specifically, but I probably played asshole too. At some point, I was swayed by either peer pressure, large amounts of alcohol, or a curiosity of my own competitive limitations when it came to winning something, and I signed up for the live cicada eating contest.
Honestly, I knew that nobody would give me a shot, but I knew my mind over matter reflex would trump the gag reflex to at least earn me a ride to the second round. I suppose it’s also possible that I just don’t give enough of a shit about my body to care what I eat. Or maybe it was the! last 10 straight years of eating UMBC food that has prepared me. At any rate, I got to the next round. Before I had realized it, I was eating cicadas like they were jello. Crunchy, squirming jello that flaps its wings for a half second, but jello nonetheless. And after a photo finish determined a tie and I had to go head to head with Joelle, the hostess of the party, she punched me in the throat when it looked like I had gotten ahead of her. She was fined $50,000 by the league. So at this point, I made it to the final round, which combined agility with cicada eating. I was possessed at this point. I could have probably eaten a squirrel if somebody handed it to me. Anyway, after completing the two rounds of beer pong and flip cup and cicada eating, I came out a second ahead of the other guy. This marked several firsts in my life. It was the first eating contest I had ever won, it was the first cicada-related activity I had ever participated in,! and it was the first time I ran sprinting to the bathroom to puke and had absolutely no desire to. That was weird. I expected to feel a whole lot worse after eating what turned out to be about 24 cicadas. Nothing. I was ready to go play flashlight tag. I had no ill effects at all. But for some reason, I couldn’t sleep all that night. Maybe cicadas have caffeine in them too. So anyway, I am the Lord of the Cicadas until the summer of 2021. You may refer to me as Gorgatron.

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If I was ever having a slow week and struggling to find something humorous to write about, there have always been two subjects in which my hardships in those areas of my life would cause laughter and joy to the greater public. One of these areas is my constant battle with automobiles. I’ve gone through two Olds Cutlasses in two years. I had a window stuck down, the brake pads worn completely off, and reverse just plain stop working. My cars have been broken into twice, and I can’t seem to even get rid of them without a hassle anymore. I’ve run out of gas at least 4 times that I can think of and I was called over the loudspeaker at a bar to stop my car from rolling through the parking lot. Anyway, these next few quotes are going to be all car related for your organizational pleasure.

On odd natural occurrences… 2/15/01

…Sometime last night, my driver side rear window imploded. As if that wasn’t enough, my ratchet set and about $2.45 in change managed to escape through the broken window.

On the average night out with the boys… 3/18/04

While I’m on my way out, I hear over the loud speaker throughout the entire bar “Can the owner of a maroon station wagon please come to the front desk. Your car is rolling through the parking ! lot.” So it’s embarrassing enough that I drive a station wagon, but now it’s broadcast all through the building. Not only that, but now it’s drifting through the parking lot somehow. And I’m running through the bar/pool hall behind a guy in cowboy boots and everybody is staring at me.

On rear wheel drive vehicles in the snow… 1/13/00

Well, it snowed. And mind you, I’ve never driven a rear wheel drive vehicle in the snow before, so I was in for a treat. Stryker told me it would be “fun.” I guess he’s talking about that kind of “fun” that accompanies looks of terror and moments of panic as the back end of the car begins creeping slowly and involuntarily toward the row of parked cars on the right every time I try to make a left turn. They always tell you to turn into a skid, which makes no sense to me. That’s like telling a boxer to lean into a left hook. But it works. Temporarily. What happens is that you regain control of the vehicle, which is good. But you also happen to be under control going in a direction you don’t want to be going, possibly toward a group of parked cars on the right side of a road. Which is bad. I haven’t quite mastered the art of not hitting parked cars, but I’ll give you updates as I learn them. Actually, my snow tires are kick ass. They’re probably the coolest thing on there besides the Extendo license plates. They look like they belong on a monster truck. They have thick treads and illegal metal studs and everything (if you’re a cop, substitute the word “emergency” for “illegal”). Anyway, get yourself a pair of those. I’m not so sure that they help, but they make your car look bigger and badder than it did before.

Pros and cons on getting one’s window stuck down… 11/9/98

I don’t know if I told you guys this, but sometime in late September, I ! was rolling down my window, and it got stuck about halfway down. Well, being the intelligent, auto-knowledgeable guy, I figured that all I had to do to solve the problem was press harder. That’s approximately when I heard the really loud metallic snapping noise. Then my window started to slowly sink down into the door. I grabbed it to try to stop it, then realized that I’d have to hold it open until somebody that knew more about cars than I did just happened to walk by. Seeing as how I doubted this was going to happen, I figured “ah, it’s nice out. I’ll just get it fixed sometime next week.”

CUT TO:

November 9, 1998. It’s been about a month and a half since the window has been up, and it’s starting to really become a factor. I’m going to share a few of the pros and cons about having one’s car window stuck down 24/7:

CONS:

The cold. This is the most obvious one, as I am constantly reminded every time I get in the damn ! thing. I have to actually wear extra heavy clothing to prepare to ride in my car. And I’ve started supplying blankets, parkas, and earmuffs for any unfortunate passengers. Sure their window goes up, but it doesn’t help that the entire other half of the car is exposed to the freezing cold Novemberness of the air. And that reminds me of another thing…

Dates: It’s one thing to tell one of my good friends to suck it up and bring a scarf and mittens or something, but it becomes a problem if I want to try to ask a pretty girl that I don’t know all too well. “Hey, baby. How bout we goze ridin in my big blue tank o looooove? Oh, and make sure to dress warmly, if ya know what I mean *wink*.” I’m having enough problems as it is, I don’t need a faulty crank to count against me (don’t even think what you’re thinking).

Rain: I’m reminded of this factor about three or four times every month. Not only do I not have a driver’s side windshield wipe! r, but I have an absentee window now too. And it’s still down there! I can hear it rattle every time I shut the door, or go over a bump, or shift. It’s in there teasing me, having a grand ole time. Anyway, rain sucks. I have to lean all the way over toward the middle of the car just to see, and then I’ve got to put a towel over my left side (a towel is now a standard feature in my car) to keep from getting drenched. I also try not to make right turns when not absolutely necessary. And parking is a key issue. If I park it in the wide open, I’ll come back and have to get out my reserve towel just to slightly slow down the migration of the water from the seat through my shorts, through my underwear, to my bare ass. My cold bare ass, I might care to add, also. So I park in a garage whenever possible (at Bennigans), and under trees, if a garage doesn’t happen to be around and the time. This, however, introduces a problem you might not think of off t! he top of your head…

Autumn: Autumn has one major characteristic that distinguishes it from most of the other seasons. This characteristic is actually how it got it’s nickname, “fall.” This characteristic is that leaves change color and fall off the trees that they had once thrived upon. I get in my car each morning with about half of a maple tree waiting for me. I’ve started collecting the leaves in hope to someday make my own tree in my trunk. I used to brush them outside, but the following morning, I realized just how little that helps the overall aesthetics of the car.

Safety: Thank goodness my car is a piece of shit to begin with. If it had any redeeming qualities at all, somebody would have definitely stolen it by now. And when most people leave their possessions in the passenger seat, or back seat of the car if they have them there, I take them out and throw them in the trunk. It’s a pain in the ass, but you kinda get used to it. I think the funniest thing is the accumulation of police safety warnings that I’ve been getting. After the first two weeks, I think they gave up.

Dirt: Well, since I have no window, I can’t really go through a car wash, can I? Well, I suppose it’s possible, but the implications of that kinda turn me off. And seeing as how the alternative to needing to reupholster the entire interior is just having a dirty f*cking car, I’ll live with the dirt. Actually, I’ve gotten in the habit of taking those windshield wiper things at gas stations and going over the entire exterior. It turns out that not only does this not work, but it is counterproductive to the cleanliness of the vehicle. I don’t know if any of you have tried to use Windex on cold metal before, but it streaks like a drunk Ryan McMullin. So now my car has that icky soap residue in non-parallel streaks all over the hood, and the roof, and everywhere else.

Self-image: I was driving down the road and looked out the window and saw a carfull of cute girls staring at me. I thought I was the man, so I waved at them. They proceeded to laugh and sped up to never be seen again. It was then that I remembered that I was driving with the window down in 40 degree weather and wearing a pink knit hat and a scarf. Man, I wish I had that minute back.

PROS:

I can never lock my keys in my car.

The windshield doesn’t fog up as easily.

My window is already down at the drive-thru.

On drive-thrus… 2/11/99

I don’t know if you guys heard about this, but there is talk of making the use of cell phones in cars illegal. Now, I’m not a big advocate of accidents in any capacity, but if we’re going to outlaw something because it detracts too much attention away from the actual turning and breaking of the vehicle, then we need to start with something other than cell phones. Like drive-thrus. Now, I’m not the most coordinated guy in the world, but I can quite easily hold a phone with my shoulder and cheek if necessary. And I’m also talented enough to not have to look into the receiver in order to trust that it’s working. If you’ve been keeping track, that leaves my eyes available to look down the road, my left hand free to steer the car, and my right hand free to change the radio station when that stupid “Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” song comes on. However, simple things like turning the car aren’t as easy when you’re trying to use the pickle to scrape the onions off the top bun of your Big Mac. And you’re bound to drop a fry or two in the seat of your car that you won’t be able to find with your eyes on the road. And the fun doubles when you do all of this with a McFlurry in your crotch. In short, I say we start at the source and ban drive-thrus before we start with cell phones. Laptop computers and audio workout tapes are also up there.

On finally getting a new car… 10/20/00

Well, I did it. I went out and bought a new car today. Well, not really “new,” but more like “different.” Like for example, it stops when you step on the brakes, and it probably goes backwards. I’m not sure because I just instinctively pushed it out of the dealership. They looked at me really funny. Anyway, it’s a 94 Mercury… something. I forget. It’s not yellow. There was nothing yellow in my price range. It must be an expensive color.

On bad places to run out of gas… 1/18/05…

Mon, Dec 27, 2004 1:00am – Ben Franklin Bridge.
OK, I’m coming back from a Jersey bar after watching a meaningless Eagles game with Kevin, Leigh and a few friends. I took my parents car because mine doesn’t really have heat. I did not know that the gas gauge reads 1/8 of a tank when it’s really empty. So ! it starts to putter out just as I got to the tolls and I think “OK, I’ll just get gas as soon as we get into Philly.” Well, Kevin and I make it halfway up the bridge and… pfffftt. That word was supposed to represent the car running out of gas. This is very dangerous. I’m on a bridge in a car going over the Delaware River and all of a sudden, well, I’m not on a bridge in a car going over the Delaware River. But all the cars behind me think I am. Little do they know that I’m on a bridge in a car sitting still about 1/2 a mile above the Delaware River. So I put my blinkers on to signify to all the buses coming up on our ass at 60 mph (if you’re my mom, stop reading this now) to get the hell out of the way, there’s a big problem. And I definitely lost my cool. I was in fear for my life. Kevin, meanwhile, was writing a country song about it. Well, he was at least more relaxed than I was.
I came up with a plan I thought was best at the time, to drift backwards down the bridge into Jersey to at least get onto a shoulder near the toll booth. As I’m doing this, a cop came up behind me. Thank God. I’ve never been so happy to see a cop before in my life. He puts his lights on and parks behind me. He comes up to the car and asks if I’ve been drinking. “Drinking?!? I’m out of gas halfway up the Ben Fucking Franklin Bridge and you’re asking me if I’ve been drinking?!? Who gives a fuck?! Yeah, I’ve been drinking officer, I’ve been drinking gas and I’m out. Now can you give me a fucking hand?!?!?” Actually, I think I said something like “no.” He tells me to put the car in neutral and he’ll come up behind and push me to safety. Brilliant! He even did it free of charge! So I was ecstatic when I got to Philly and pulled over. He asked if I had a plan to get out and I lied and said yes and he left. Whew! Thank God that was over!

Rating ways to get rid of a crappy car… 10/24/00

Donate it to charity – Well, this has been the suggestion of at least 4 of you via e-mail since I sent out my last message. Most charity places will tow it away for free and give a $500-$1000 tax exemption thingy. Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? Well, this is what I did with the last car (Pimp-Mobile Jr.) when I needed to get rid of him. The thing is is that I don’t make enough money to itemize my taxes which would be the only way I’d benefit from the tax exemption thingy. Of course, there’s the overwhelming feeling of good that I’m overcome with when I donate a piece of shit car to the American Cancer Society, because God knows they need one, but that’s only worth a D. D

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The other obvious direction I like to steer my mini-gripe sessions is toward my dating life and/or my problems ! with flirting. And everybody knows how much I love making a spectacle out of my incompetence (That was inCOMpetence. Don’t forget the COM). So here are the best of the perils of dating wisdom I have accumulated in the last 10 years. Good luck.

On the difference in the sexes… 6/20/98

You know what guys? There is a significant difference between guys and girls. OK, there are several. And I imagine there are some even I don’t know about yet. But here’s one of them. Guys flirt because they like to be around a girl they find attractive. Girls flirt to send signals. Guys have no idea what those signals mean. Girls think guys are stupid. Guys are stupid. Girls are right.

On self-degrading realizations… 2/12/01

…See there’s a not-so-affectionate term that some of us guys refer to as “diving on the grenade.” It can be more tactfully cal! led being the wing man. It’s the guy that talks to the really pretty girl’s… well, not-so-pretty friend so his friend can talk to the pretty chick. It’s a very noble man that does this job proficiently. Well, this past Friday, I was the grenade. I came to that realization fairly early but chose to ignore it. Besides, we had hit it off pretty well despite the circumstances which could have possibly led us to one another. So then I thought that maybe I wasn’t really the grenade, but it was just a coincidence. I can’t tell if my initial thought was the pessimist in me coming out or if the justification was the optimist peeking through. At any rate, I’m willing to accept defeat again. It’s the damn Valentines Day curse. Cupid’s got the arrows sharpened and pointed the right way, but the tips are laced with cyanide.

On the “Attractive Woman Theory”… 12/13/04

Now I shouldn’t let some ! of you women behind the curtain, but you would also be a fool to let my theories of relationships make you consider things any more seriously than your average Quantum Leap episode…
Counteracting this theory is the “low self-esteem corollary.” If one of these subjects happens to actually be interested in myself (or Tom), it can be quite intimidating and odds are against any sort of cooperation on our end. At least, this is my reaction. So when a somewhat unmistakable pick-up line came out of her mouth, jokingly or not (something like “so, do you have any more room in your little black book?”), my reply was something to the effect of “I don’t do very well with extremely attractive women.” And I didn’t really recover either. Some people think that it was kinda cute. Maybe if I had thought of something to say after that other than “OK, I gotta go.” But most laugh in my face. For the record, this sound! s really idiotic now that I reread it, but I didn’t really expect too much out of it anyway.

I think I’ll choose funny over stupid. But I’m afraid I’m doomed to stupid anyway.

On the psyche of females… 6/22/99

Well, the perks of my job just don’t stop. I get to go to see Tarzan with 45 chicks tomorrow. I like my chances. And a lot of the older girls ask me why all the younger girls like me, and I honestly don’t know. I think it’s just because I treat them like normal adults. Tiny, stupid adults. Actually, I think I figured it out. I think I unintentionally pit them against each other in competition for my attention. It’s probably not emotionally healthy, but it’s a damn fun game! Now, if only I can harness this talent, and somehow manipulate the basics a bit to be able to control the minds of older women. Like 18 and 17 year olds. Then, I could complete my life and write that book.! But for right now, I guess I’ll have to settle for the 9 and 10 year olds.

On my new class… 2/27/03

Well, I’m taking a class again. I forgot how annoying it was to have deadlines and worries. But I figured hey, since I don’t have to pay for it, I might as well get some free stress on the government’s dollar.
Anyway, I showed up to the first class and it was 16 women and me (counting the students, instructor, and the girl bringing in the video equipment). I had mixed reactions about that. The first one was the same reaction guys get when they find out they are the only guy just about anywhere. It resembles the first scene of a lot of porn flicks. The second, more realistic reaction, was to curl up into the fetal position and pray we never started talking about driving, PMS, or things we hate about the other gender. On a separate note, I noticed I bring up football at least once a class for some inexplicable reason.

On dating unstable chicks… 2/17/05

And then there’s the third. Well, we should all know what happened there. Beelzebabe reared her ugly head and spewed forth bullshit from her eyes, whilst her alter ego, “The Ultimate Quizmaster” set up impossible hurdles for me to stumble over so she could still maintain her self-respect if the relationship went sour. Damn! I don’t want to shit on everybody’s slurpee here, but I just hit a bad case of apples here. Deal with my cynicism. It’s funnier than contentment.

On morality… 6/24/98

…She has a boyfriend! What the hell is up with that? Am I really that stupid, or are women just that inherently evil? You girls all suck. And not like in a good way, either. And I really got the hint that she wouldn’t mind cheating on her boyfriend. And though on one hand I know it’s wrong…, I could really be convinced to have a premeditated moment of weakness. Maybe a few, if things really go well.

On inspiration and tests… 1/31/05

Anyway, she started by saying my quote of the day was crap, uninteresting and uninspired. Well no shit it’s uninspired! I hope none of you are looking to my dinky little attempts at humor to motivate you to finally write that detective novel or sculpt that enormous red ear. Hell, I don’t even really expect it to make you laugh most days. I really just use it as a transition between downloading porn and playing internet poker. If you guys are still reading it, that’s an unexpected bonus.
Then she went on to say that she was testing me the whole few times we had gone out and I failed every one despite the fact that she made them progressively easier. And the whole time I thought we were just having a conversation. Nope. I was wrong. And it seemed so much like a conversation. But not when you are out with the self-proclaimed “ultimate quizmaster.” Nope. Then, you are under a microscope. Two weeks later, she brought up a topic that came up in passing that I didn’t bother asking her about. Some musician. Apparently, I was supposed to ask her why she liked this artist. I did not. So I got that question wrong. The e-mail had a few other examples of things I didn’t ask her to expand on. This lowered my overall score to finish in the same percentile as that of the average ginkgo plant. If the score I got on her little tests translated into SATs, I probably couldn’t even get into Towson (zing!). So please tell me now if I’ve ever thought that I was having a conversation with anyone on this list and I was actually undergoing some sort of exam and wound up failing miserably. Or please tell me if I passed. Because I want to know! what my GPA is for these single-blind quizzes I may have been enduring for who knows how long. And for God sakes, if you want to talk about something, talk about it. I’m not gonna put up with this shit anymore. You’ve been warned.

On rating women’s hair color… 1/16/01

Brunettes – Brunettes span the attractive woman superlatives. They can be cute or sexy, pretty or exotic, Treat Her Right or Back That Ass Up. I guess blonds can be too, and so can redheads too for that matter, but there’s something about Charlotte from Sex & the City that just does it for me over the rest of them. Of course, Moranda isn’t really representing redheads that well. Anyway, brunettes have that look in their eye like they’ve got it all together. I don’t know what I’m talking about. A

On the nature of woman… 7/20/99

I’ve said it before, but I love seeing children outsmart these “adults”! we have working for us. Especially when it shows signs of a budding sarcastic bitter hatred for the world’s supposed “humanity.” One of the 12-year-old girls in the older group is cheating on her “boyfriend” from school with a 13-year-old junior counselor at camp. And she shows no remorse for what she’s doing. Apparently I’ve been giving women a bad rap. It’s not a conscious choice they make to be evil. It’s inherent in their DNA. Genetics is to blame and that’s a losing battle, despite what those Austin Powers penis pumps say on the label. If it wasn’t for the fact that men’s DNA make them inherently blind to it, procreation of the human race could be in serious jeopardy.

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Four years ago, there was one particular incident that managed to monopolize most of the rants I went on for at least an entire 6 months. That incident ! would be my Achilles rupture. And though it was probably the most pain and suffering I’ve ever had to endure in my life so far, I can see how other people not experiencing that pain and suffering would think that it’s fucking hilarious. So here’s a brief recount of my changed life shortly after “the bad day.”

On raising the bar… 8/31/00

I have reached a certain apex of self-pity. Just after my surgery, my mom took me up to PA to mother me in my time of need. I was actually kinda upset she was taking me away from my digital cable, Mario Kart, cable modem, air conditioned apartment with a bed to go all the way back home for a week, but she’s my mom and I love her, so I let her. She brought me food, played games with me and got me stuff when I asked. There were spans of probably 24 hours when I literally didn’t leave the couch. It was necessary to recover, but boy was I glad to be back to the life of luxury again. That is, until I found myself crawling across the living room floor on my stomach with a plate of ravioli and a glass of milk like a Marine under barbed wire. Even if nobody’s around, it’s a pretty humiliating and humbling experience.

On going to the MVA in a car without reverse… 9/7/00

…I always feel nervous going to the MVA as it is. It’s like driving into the lion’s den. No tags on the front of the car, no insurance (which has been corrected mom), and I think I missed a vehicle emissions test sometime a while ago too. And I’m not sure if it’s a law to have a car that goes backwards, but it’s probably not great that mine doesn’t. They’d find something to write a ticket about.

So anyway, when I got back out to my car, there was a cop about 50 feet away, giving some lady in the middle of the parking lot a ticket. I figure! d, I’d wait for him to be done, then I’d go. This must have been the most complicated citation in the world. I can’t even fathom what would have taken them so long. They kept walking around the car inspecting it and pushing down on the hood and the trunk and yelping like monkeys (OK, now I’m just making stuff up). Anyway, I had to sit there for 50 minutes from when I got into my car. People were driving by looking for a spot and asking me if I was leaving. I’m like “No, I’m just gonna hang out here and read my magazine. Sorry.” I tried several times as discretely as possible to push the car out with my opposite leg, but the car is very heavy, and “discrete” was not the word to use to describe it. Some hot chick walked by during one attempt, causing me to need to abort it. It was pretty embarrassing, but after reading the “privileges of handicapped stickers and tags” pamphlet 3 times, you are willing to compromise pride for freedom. Needless ! to say, I eventually got out. Even with the hot chick looking under her hood 3 cars down from me. So in order to combat this problem, I think I may need to park at the McDonalds across the street and crutch over to get my handicap parking stickers. Which will enable me to park in an even closer spot I won’t be able to get out of. Life sucks.

On finally getting my handicapped sticker… 9/11/00

…But I finally got it. And I drove to school and turned into the upper deck of the parking lot all proud and ready to whip it out and… ALL THE FUCKING HANDICAPPED SPOTS WERE TAKEN!!! What the hell? Where’s a handicapped guy gotta park nowadays? So I had to park by the soccer fields again and crutch just as far to work as usual, but now I have a useless piece of red cardboard to prove that I shouldn’t have to do that. Stupid UMBC.

On my doctor’s medical competence… 9/26/00

Sorry to keep you all in suspense for so long, but I got the news back from my doc. And I swear sometimes it seems like Laurel and Hardy might as well be in the office working on my heel. I really don’t think they know what the hell they’re doing in there. I mean I’m sure they know their anatomy and passed the cutting up humans part of their medical exams, but it’s like a craps shoot figuring out what they’re gonna tell me about my foot. I mean they recognize my face, and I’m sure they’ve got a lot of patients, but try to remember what you told me last week. Keep a chart or something. Plus there’s this fat guy with a Hitler mustache and a derby running around in black and white getting into fine messes all the time.

On shopping with only one leg… 10/9/00

Well, I’m getting better now. In fact, I might be back in the shoe an! d walking by the end of the month. This, of course, is my own personal assessment because I’ve stopped listening to my doctor. And I’m still just not getting anything in the way of sympathy dates. I don’t get it! I’ve even got a cute little blue dog humping my crutch. I must not look pathetic enough or something. Or maybe I’m just too cute that I’m unapproachable. It’s probably one of those two things. So before I get completely better, I need to squeeze in all the material I’ve stocked up about me being injured while I’m still injured. For example…

I went to go get my antibiotics at Giant a few weeks back. I knew we were out of milk and other things, and I had to wait half an hour for my medication anyway. Apparently, taking 30 pills from a big bottle and putting them into a little bottle isn’t as easy as I thought. So anyway, I needed to get some stuff. I would normally carry one of those hand baskets around and pile all the crap in there. This is not so easy when you need your hands to walk. So I thought I could just stick my bad foot on the push cart and use it like a skateboard. But because I couldn’t put any weight on my left foot, I put all my weight on my arms, which were leaning on the handle of the cart when I pushed off with my good foot. This caused the cart to flip over backwards in not so subtle a way, which in addition to embarrassing the hell out of me, caused me a lot of pain. I was in a really bad position here and I had definitely lost my chance with any chicks in the relative vicinity. If Tony wasn’t away for the week, I’m sure there would already be milk and other eating products in the fridge anyway. But relying on Russ to buy food for the apartment would mean I would eat smack ramen noodles and Natural Light until I died or Tony came home. That’s when I saw the riding cart…
It seriously took me about 20 minutes to figure out how to use it. I had to take the advice of a 12-yr-old kid who helped his grandpa operate one once, and I’m really not kidding. And I didn’t expect them to be like little racing go-carts, but I could have crawled along the floor, pushing my 12 items or less to the cashier a little bit faster. Having suffered enough embarrassment, I opted not to crawl. Though it was embarrassing enough driving around with my milk and Froot Loops in my cart, getting passed by two-legged walking people. I started “accidentally” running into the bastards. And I ran into some cute little freshman chick at the check out line who had seen me fall and asked if I was OK and wanted to know if I needed help carrying my Froot Loops to my car. So I told her to fuck off and to go patronize somebody who gave a damn. I have another theory on why I don’t get any sympathy dates.

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Love, pink hats, and volleyballs,
Love, pina coladas, and the muppet dance,
An hour older, an hour dumber,
Your 7 card stud,
I kid because I loathe,
The man. The myth. The idiot.
The lyrical prankster,
Crutch fucked by the man,
Playing near the snow drift of tactlessness,
Protector of the quotes,
Keeper of the crickets,
Lord of the cicadas,
Barely stupid enough,
Sniffing lots of pepper and wearing a helmet,
Wasting time with all the chat room yackers,
Anybody need a 12-foot parking space holder,
Bettin on a loser,
Identifying the cost of stupidity,
Licking the ceiling fan of torture,
A perpetual sleep deprivation experiment,
Faking an organism,
Mock the vote!
Praying to t! he patron saint of late computer art projects,
Single and probably doing it wrong,
Robbing, er uh… rocking the cradle,
Breaking the patterns of chaos,
Flailing my limbs in the ocean of predictability,
Hot for student,
Chipping for bogie,
Shot clock violator,
Pointless guard,
The Dante Hall of internet humor,
A foot in his mouth and his heart in his hand,
Testing the boundaries of child abuse,
The guy with which you can up help the TV hook,
If it ain’t hard, it ain’t goin in,
Rook for a rook,
Wiping dirt off a surface,
The walls have ears too,
Still crazy after all these years,
Getting old and taking everybody with me,
Nobody special today,
Not the man,
Runnin into the sun but I’m runnin behind,
Meters to go before I sleep,
Meters to go before I sleep,
Nevermore,
Good friends, good times,

Dustin.
D Rec.
Extendo.
De Fishy One.
Busted Nuts.
Spastic Man.
Crutch.
Achilles Heal.
Screaming Cricket.
Drifting Cricket.
Strepping Cricket.
Screaming Dustin.
Crippled Cricket.
Air Fisher.
Nipples.
Fathead.
Duckpin Dustin.
The Riddler.
Screams with Crickets.
Nitsud.
Fish.
D Ref.
D Wreck.
Gorgatron.
Sir Mix-Just Barely-Enough.
Extenda-Poe.
Mr. Dustin.
Mr. Robinson.
Crotch McFlurry.
Extendaclaus.
The Extendinator XXX.
Mr. Cantaloupe.
Mr. Taxi.
Mr. Jungle Gym.
Bungle Nut.
Dumbstin.
Mr. Whistlehead.
Slim Gimpy.
Limp Daddy.
Little Big Fish.
Grandmaster Quote.
Quote Daddy D.
Stressing Cricket.
The Quorax.

Still Standing Right Here…

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So if you laughed when you first read that I took the day off work to do this, I’ll bet you’re not laughing now. Which actually sucks, cause that’s the point. But you probably know what I mean (Bowman, I’ll catch you up later). But this QOTD kinda means a lot to me. Like I said, I don’t keep a diary because I’m not gay, but you could pretty much piece together old QOTDs to recreate the last third of my life. And if I’m still goin in another 10 years, it will have been half of my life (quick math, catch up everybody. Bowman, skip to the next sentence). But really, look what we made it through. I lived in 5 different rooms in two dorms and an apartment complex. Then I moved out and kept goin. Four place! s later, I’m right back to within 3 miles of school. Since I started the QOTD, I’ve had 21 roommates, 4 cars and (get this) over 16 jobs. I lost count. And I’m not even counting the ones where I just showed up for a day to drive 50 Safe Kids vans from a fire department in Bowie to the Washington Monument in the middle of the night with Stryker. I mean actual jobs over sustained periods of time. The quote was there when we packed up and drove to LA, and then down to Florida a few years later, and most recently Charlotte. And it flew with me out to Reno twice, Vegas twice, Scotland once and landed right back home in the loop at UMBC. It has also witnessed me become the victim of graduation. It’s been there for me through all of my various unlikely and likely injuries. It was there through all of my women problems (and some of my women solutions), and it was there when you guys all e-mailed each other behind my back to conspire to chip in and buy ! me a television. That was the absolute coolest thing anybody has ever done for me. In fact, I’m watching it right now (now meaning when I’m typing this, not necessarily when you’re reading it, though with the DVR now, there’s like a 50/50 chance). I truly thought that when I first sent out that first quote that it might last the last three months of the semester and that’s all. I had no intention of spanning the globe from California to Thailand, and from Alabama to Australia. And I definitely didn’t figure a couple hundred people would want to get this thing once a day for the last decade. Well, apparently you do, and that puts all the more pressure on me to keep it coming. And congrats to hose of you who have gotten married or engaged in the last year. Geoff finally tied the knot. I didn’t even know he owned any string. Stryker and Cathy did the same a couple years back. But when you live up where they do, there’s nothing better to do than get married. 🙂 John and Rachel are old news by now and Laura is finally catching everybody in the with-child department. Only by the time she reads this, she may not be. And congrats to Milkman and Aaron for getting engaged to a couple of babes. Heck, I hear even Tim is gettin married this weekend. There is hope for Eagles fans out there. Anyway, good luck to everybody out there getting married and graduating. Not me. My life hasn’t changed a bit in these last 10 years, as became glaringly evident at my 10-year high school reunion. Except for some reason I keep aging. Damn that shower!

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Well, I wish I had some sort of poignant quote to put here that would be inspiring and clever and somehow about me or my quote of the day or friendship or something. And after searching some really old e-mails (I don’t delete anything), I found something. And I’ve decided! to sacrifice a little humor today for some relevance. It’s a commonly known fact that I’m funnier when I’m bitter and unhappy, and it’s tough to be bitter and unhappy when I’m dating someone. Well, OK. Not recently. But I also have lots more free time when I’m not dating anybody. That’s pretty standard for every relationship I’ve been in, even if the first thing is complete bullshit. So I sent out my second quote in a row after like a 3 month sabbatical. And Mikey hit the nail on the head…

Quote of the Day 3/3/05
“So I guess you and your girl broke up – because the silence has ended. :)”
-Mikey C.

Sad how unbelievably predictable I’ve become. But it’s even sadder that you guys pick up on this stuff.

So I hope this was worth all of your time. If not, well, you’re really the one mostly at fault. But I’ll be happy to share the blame. Cause if it wasn’t a waste of your time, I want some of the credit to! o. And for a little bit of fun, I’m gonna ride this 10-year reunion thing a little bit by doing something extra interesting once a week. Thanks again for a great decade. I’ll try to do better next time.

Doing what I can for the people I love,
Dustin.

All said and finished
I got miles left ahead
Should we be laughing
Or fighting instead
Never sure when
To say all those little things
Unsure in front of me
Of what the next one brings

But I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve lied and I’ve lied…
But I’ve gotten nowhere

But I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve lied and I’ve lied…
Still standing right here

All huddled up
With a couple close friends
Then you step outside, come back
And there’ll be one less of them
Their foes will line en up
And their guns will shoot en down
And they’ll all keep on leavin
Until you’re the only one left around

But I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve lied an! d I’ve lied…
Still standing right here

I thought I was important
Used to walk with my head tall
Yeah, I thought that I was different
Coulda sworn I knew it all
I had friends I could rely on
They were there at every call
But they always seem to leave me
With my back against the wall

But I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve lied and I’ve lied…
Still standing right here

But I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve lied and I’ve lied…
Still standing right here

I know many people
Have stood where I stand
Benn searchin for years now
For just one honest man
People tell me I can trust them
And then they’ll play their little games
And then I tell them I’ll be faithful
But sometimes I act the same

But I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve lied and I’ve lied…
Still standing right here

But I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve lied and I’ve lied…
And I’ve gotten nowhere

But I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve lied and I’ve lied…
Still standing right here

-lyrics by Drew Holloway and Dustin Fisher