Miss(ed) Manners

January 30, 2008

24

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 1:17 pm

So I’ve got a minor relapse of a head cold. I’ve got a septum that’s more deviant than Andy Dick and I get sinus infections at the drop of a hat. Instead of getting antibiotics, I try to beat them through natural means in the hopes that when I eventually come down with that case of the super-Clap I wont be entirely immune to the effects of all forms of penicillin.

Also not helping is the fact that I’ve been about a pack-a-day smoker since 15.

So this time around I decided instead of buying neti pots, steaming my head, gargling with salt water tonics or sleeping upside down… I’d just not smoke for a day. Something I haven’t done in over ten years.

I’m 15 hours in and it’s really not that bad… though time does seem to CRAWL.

I’ll report back after I chew someone’s head off for asking me what kind of salad dressing I want.

January 24, 2008

Argh.

Filed under: Politics — missedmanners @ 1:18 pm

Frankly, I’m more than a little tired of hearing people say that neither Obama or Clinton can win the presidency based solely on the fact that one is black and the other is a woman.

When you say that, you’re in effect saying that you wouldn’t vote for them based on those qualities alone, because you’re speaking for other American citizens.

If you can stay objective and base your vote only on how a candidate stands on the issues and how that candidate would lead this country, why can’t the rest of the country? Not having any faith in the rest of the populace breeds the kind of intolerance and ignorance that you’re assuming exists.

It doesn’t help.

I could give two shits whether the next president is black, white, male, female or a dwarf Hopi Indian hermaphrodite. So long as he, she or it doesn’t fuck this country up any further.

January 17, 2008

Ask Dave! Vol. 19.1

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 2:37 pm

Every now and then I get a bad ass email response to one of my posts. Since I’m about to leave for San Francisco to hang with some friends, I figured I’d post one of them because I my brain was murdered last night at the end of a thirteen hour work day (Damn you coinciding projects).

Anyway, below is a letter from Jess who is responding to my mostly sarcastic Ask Dave! post from yesterday. Since she took enough time to write out what is in effect the RIGHT answer to Not Satisfied in Nova Scotia’s letter, I figured I’d post it and not quietly remind her that everyone should always read this site as if there are giant quotation marks around every word (I’m what they call “sarcastic”).

Anyway, here it is:

(Thanks, Jess!)

Dear Dave,

One of my favorite parts of Dear Abby is when she posts when readers disagree with her. Now I am writing to you to tell you that I disagree with the second half of your reply to Not Satisfied in Nova Scotia.

Part #1 was spot on. I too was given an unfortunate piece of jewelry by a boyfriend. It was a silver bracelet. I violently despise anything on my wrist, but since he obviously tried really hard to find something I would like, I wore it every day until we broke up.

Part #2 was a travesty. Rather than suggesting she train her boyfriend, perhaps you should have suggested that if she is going to insist on being materialistic, she should stop being a manipulative bitch and tell him point blank what she would like. Men are dense. Dropping hints and expecting a guy to comprehend, or even notice that you are trying to communicate with him, is like throwing a rock at Mount Everest and expecting it to fall over. It is completely unfair for women to be all ‘I gave him so many hints!’ and then get mad because men simply do not communicate like that. She needs to pick out exactly what she would like and hand him several photos or print outs of exactly what she would like with ‘THIS IS WHAT I WOULD LIKE FOR MY BIRTHDAY/VALENTINE’S/CHRISTMAS/ETC.’ written on it. This is how you tell a guy that you want something in particular, not by pointing items out and commenting on them. It’s girls like that who give the rest of us a bad name.

Sincerely,
ARGH! in Austin

January 16, 2008

Ask Dave! Vol. 19

Filed under: Advice,Ask Dave — missedmanners @ 2:21 pm

Dear Dave,

I’ll be frank. My birthday is five months away, and I’m wondering how I can actually get my boyfriend to get me a gift I’ll like.

Now I bet you’re wondering why I’m asking this now if my birthday is five months away, and that’s a valid question. You see, the guy is a little bit thick. Sometime in August, I started dropping blatant hints to him that, for Christmas, I wanted a white gold pendant with a little sparkle to it (that means diamonds). I wasn’t looking for him to spend a fortune, the ones I was pointing out were all under $150, but my point is that for months I was pointing out white gold (or silver) pendants that I liked. So Christmas rolled around, and I unwrap a yellow gold birthstone ring. This may not sound like a huge deal, but one would think that after dating me for the better part of the last six years he might realize that I never ever wear rings (this one now sits in the box on my shelf where jewelry goes to die), and I don’t own anything that is yellow gold (I loathe yellow gold). This wasn’t the first time he’s been totally off the mark when giving me a gift (which is why I started hinting
early). I’m wondering if there’s anyway to actually teach him to get me a gift I might actually love, or is he a lost cause and I just need to work on pretending to like what he picks out.

-Not Satisfied in Nova Scotia

Not Satisfied, I am going to answer your letter in two parts. Please read both.

Part #1:

You are what is wrong with male/female relations.

What’s the point of trying to influence someone’s decision on what type of gift they’re going to get you? Suppose he did get you this little white gold bauble, what then? Congratulations, you got something you wanted that required no thoughtfulness or emotion on his part. He’s the robot you’ve always wanted.

Gifts are not about trading material wealth. When you get someone a gift it should communicate a message to that person about how you feel about said person. For example, for Christmas, my little sister got me a silver bracelet engraved with my initials from a craftsman in Senegal. She had to haggle the price in broken Senegal-ese or whatever it is they speak over there. It’s the best gift I’ve gotten in years because of the thought that went into it and the story behind it. When you just grab someone something from Spencer Gifts at the mall no one cares, even if it is a novelty dildo.

Where’s the surprise? Why would you want to know what you’re getting for your birthday? Explain that to me.

Part #2:

Having said all that you’ve piqued my interest. I’ve always said that humans are just as trainable as pets, as long as you look at them that way. If you’re intent on pre-determining your beau’s actions, you need to realize that what you’ve got here is simply an under-trained schnauzer.

Once you accept that reality, you’re going to have a lot more success. Males are notoriously forgetful. They don’t remember birthdays, anniversaries, eye color (funny story, I actually only remembered an ex’s eye color because it was her screen name), dress size, coffee preference, etc. This doesn’t have anything to do with how much or how little they care, it’s just that to them these facts are erroneous to their existence. How would knowing that you hate rings affect his ability to survive? Assuming you’re not looking to gun him down over this transgression, it doesn’t.

So if he’s not remembering details about you why would he remember details about what you want? Gift suggestions rate somewhere between the annual rainfall of Chile and the winner of Miss North Carolina 1948 in their importance to men. What you need to do is make it important.

How do I do that, Dave? You may ask.

How do you house break a dog? I may answer. And I did.

Simple. Reward good behavior and punish undesirable habits.

I’m going to go ahead and assume your boyfriend isn’t a fan of doggy biscuits and that smacking him on the nose with a rolled up newspaper might raise an eyebrow or two. It’s up to you to find out what would qualify as reward and punishment. I could be so obtuse as to mention provision and subsequent denial thereof of sex as an obvious suggestion.

But every guy is different, the key is to tailor not only the rewards but also the level of subtlety. Some guys might pick up on what you’re doing, they may or may not care. Other might need to be let known that they’re being trained. For example tell him you’re going to quiz him on what kinds of jewelry you like, and then reward or punish accordingly.

If he is as dense as you say, then what you need to do is make it clear how important this type of behavior is to you and make it even more clear that there is incentive act in a certain way. People don’t change simply because you want them to, men least of all.

Hope that helps.

January 15, 2008

Real Quick

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 8:15 pm

Just got sent another picture of our building crew from my surrogate little sister, Lis. Since I’m stupid busy at work (still), I figured I’d post this in lieu of rubbing any of my remaining brain cells together.

My favorite people:

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Oh and just in case you weren’t sure if we’re crafty allthefuckingtime, here’s a picture of our other creation of that week, the Asshole hat:

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Over seven days we probably played three hundred hands of Asshole. Slowly, this once innocent case of Miller Lite got turned into the most badass piece of Asshole headwear known to man. It featured a chin strap. Two sets of ear-holes (first set was seriously misjudged) and a shockingly emblazoned additional label for the Asshole to go by.

Here are a couple other shots:

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There was a later entry, but it was deemed too awesome:

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And you couldn’t breathe that well in it.

January 12, 2008

Road Post

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 11:37 pm

You know what’s embarrassing? When you’re waiting for the train on your way out for the evening and you realize you forgot to spend the requisite twenty minutes in the shower scrubbing the back of your hand in some perverse reverse jerk off motion to get the club stamps off from the night before.

Now everyone is going to think one of two things, you’re unclean (only in the head) or you’ve stayed out for the past twenty four hours and are knee deep in a shit storm of a coke binge and the fading of the stamps isnt from your actual half hearted attempt at cleaning yourself, but instead from flop sweat and stripper friction.

At least that’s what I always think.

Some Answers to Some Very Frequently Asked Questions

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 12:24 pm

Hey everyone!

Thanks for all the great comments on our candy recreation of the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

As always I do my best writing when hungover so here goes at answering some questions, as I’m dehydrated, ornery and suffering from an eight hour lack of booze:

Yes.

No.

No.

Seventy five.

A wooden leg.

“Biotech” is a joke from Overheardinnewyork.com referring to a kid misreading the word as “beeyotch,” and thinking a local school offered courses in it. I use it far too often.

We definitely could have actually made the whole thing out of gingerbread, but my baking skills are subpar, and gingerbread is a bitch to work with.

The whole castle gets cannabalized by my parents’ pets for a few weeks and then by some neighborhood children, and then we will eventually blow it up. Not joking. That’s our plan. We’re going to film it.

Our plans for next year? Either Moria… or… the Death Star, entirely suspended.

January 10, 2008

My Global Initiative for 2008

Filed under: Golbal Initiative,Photography,Tourism — missedmanners @ 5:47 pm

My commute to work is 80% awesome, 20% infuriating. The 80% being the fifteen minute train ride in from Brooklyn wherein I almost always get a seat. The 20% is the part where I walk from the train station through a gauntlet of camera wielding tourists.

Between the station and my office lies the new nexus of New York tourism. The New York Stock Exchange, Trinity Church and Ground Zero. Every day it’s literally an uphill battle to weave in, out, about, over and through crowds of both commuters and travelers. Not to mention that since security got all beefed up down here, there are these crazy car barriers shaped into what someone at Homeland Security thinks is corporate art (That’s bureaucratic corporate art) and fencing that cuts a lot of the formerly large foot paths into six foot choke points.

It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, there is ALWAYS someone standing in the middle of this little passageway getting their picture taken in front of the NYSE entrance.

Why?

Have you ever seen the  entrance to the NYSE?

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That’s it. It’s a fucking doorway.  Why people feel the need to photograph themselves in front of it simply baffles me. In fact, the whole idea of landmark tourist photography is completely lost on me. You are taking a picture of something that millions of people have already photographed. The only difference is you.

Will the addition of you really make that photograph any better?

Why are you taking your picture there? Will your friends and family not believe you when you said you saw the world’s largest ball of string unless they see photographic evidence?

This applies to any landmark.

Yeah, I’m super stoked you went to Egypt. Wow, a picture of the pyramids? Double wow, A picture of you in front of the pyramids? That’s amazing. Really. I’ve seen pictures of you, I’ve seen pictures of the pyramids. Why would I want to see a combination? Your winning smile?

There is a reason that slide shows are a worldwide euphemism for boredom. Because usually they’re pictures of things everyone’s already seen, only with your ugly mug in front half of them.

Show me a picture of something I’ve never seen before.

Which is exactly the topic of my global initiative for 2008: End tourist trap photography.

The next time you’re off on holiday in France, don’t go stand in front of the Louvre like a douche and say cheese. Instead, find something completely unremarkable nearby, somewhere out of the way, and take a picture of it. So when you show the picture to one of your friends you can say, “Here’s me and my significant other standing next to a lamp post about a hundred yards away from the Louvre. We didn’t have to wait for anyone to go by, we didn’t get in anyone’s way and we are now showing  you something that you could not easily see for yourself by typing in ‘the Louvre’ into Google, but we’re still expressing that we visited a famous landmark and got ourselves some culture. Aren’t we awesome?”

Real quick, here’s an artist’s rendition of an example:

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That’s me standing next to a trash can, next to the Taj Mahal. Never mind that it’s a New York City trash can. Do mind that coquettish grin and awful haircut though.

I’ve got a few trips lined up in the near future, and I’m absolutely going to start doing this. Ideally I’d like to get a picture exactly a quarter mile away from Buckingham Palace, one of me sitting on the ground next to some litter near the Sydney Opera House and definitely a picture of me facing away from but thinking about the Golden Gate Bridge (not visible).

January 8, 2008

The Builders Gallery

Filed under: Candy,Silly — missedmanners @ 11:06 am

One of my biggest regrets from last year’s posting of the Battle of Helm’s Deep was that we didn’t have any pictures of us building the thing. This of course led to wild speculation that we’re all socially retarded mongoloids sporting coke bottle glasses and greasy hair. Nothing could be further from the truth, I wear contacts.

In any event, here are a couple pictures of the construction of this year’s project:

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picture-142.jpgpicture-055.jpgpicture-036.jpgpicture-052.jpg

And now the key constructors:

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Sunshine and Brendan, who thought they were coming up just to visit and hang out. I put them to work almost immediately.

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Brian in the foreground, my big brother Jon in the back.

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My little Brother,  Danny, doing his best Superbad impression.

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My little sister, Katie and my Mom, Barb (Who didn’t help out that much, but she did let us destroy her dining room for a few days, so she’s getting full credit).

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My other little sister, Lis.

and finally, of course…

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Me, in all my nerdtastic glory.

January 3, 2008

The Battle of Pelennor Fields

Filed under: Awesome,Candy,Dorky,Humor,LOTR — missedmanners @ 6:26 pm

(Two year after the fact edit: Heya Wil Wheaton! Thanks for the tweet. For the project we did last year check this out: The Mines of Moria)

(For those of you who don’t remember, this is really a continuation of last year’s project: The Battle of Helm’s Deep )

Last year, when my brothers and I decided to make the Battle of Helm’s Deep out of candy, naturally none of us thought anyone would go as nuts over it as they did. We’ve always just done things like that simply because they’re fun. When the pictures of our little creation started getting passed around the Internet like a stewardess with daddy issues, we were both excited and nervous, what with our dork underpants showing and all. A year later, having looked back at all the comments, I’m still surprised at the overwhelming majority being so positive and light hearted. Considering the nature of the Internet, anything above four percent non-idiotic fourteen year old “OMG ur so gai” replies would have knocked my socks off.

And it did. Cheers to that.

Before we get to this year’s offering however, I figured I’d remark on the most common comment from last year: “You guys have way too much time on your hands.” Not really, but we certainly found the time. All told this year’s project took about seven days of off and on work. I guess we’re just better at turning off the TV than most. Oh, and also, if you’re not using your free time to do stuff like this, what the hell else are you doing with it?

And now, without further ado:

What I Did Over THIS Christmas Break:

My brothers, sister, myself and some of our friends built a scale model of Minas Tirith during the Battle of Pelennor Fields from the novel, The Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien.

(All of these images are clickable if you can’t see the whole thing)

main-view.jpg

Behold, the White City of Minas Tirith is under siege by one of the largest, and certainly the tastiest army ever to walk Middle Earth. For two days the evil host, under the brutal licorice fist of the Witch King of Angmar has bombarded the ancient city with stone and fire.

first-ring.jpg

Amazing how much those stones look like green marshmallows, eh? Here you can see some of the city’s garrison trying to clear the south east gate of the second ring of debris. If only they had arms. Coincidentally, you can also see the exquisite craftsmanship of the ancient men of the West (which would actually be myself and my little brother Danny). Apparently there was a HUGE licorice all-sorts boom at the beginning of the Second Age.

Now as we climb the walls into the interior rings the rocky central precipice juts out over the city like a tangy ship rudder.

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The streets are almost completely deserted, of course. Because war is very scary. Even for Gummy Bears. Even the meticulously paved ramps and individually placed windows are empty. I use the words meticulously and individually so that you can get an idea of just how much a pain in the ass building this was. Meticulously. Individually.

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Ah, here we have the sole gardens of the city outside of the Houses of Healing. The fact that I knew these were the sole gardens in the city and that I took the time to put them in made me the focus of a bout of fifteen minutes of pointed laughter. But isn’t it worth it? Don’t those gardens look fucking awesome? They’ve got marshmallow plants, which are about thirty times cooler than real plants.

the-tower-of-ecthelion.jpg

This is the Tower of Ecthelion. If a candy tower could be measured in units of pimpness, this candy tower would be off the fucking charts. And if that wasn’t pimp enough, in front you can clearly see the White Tree of Gondor, which I made out of white chocolate pretzels. Give me my Nobel Prize now, thankyouverymuch.

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Tolkien made a real point of mentioning how there was this “Kingly Head” statue right above the gate to the citadel. So we made a real point out of biting the head off of a Gummy Bear and sticking it there.

But enough about the city, there’s a battle going on! Let’s take a look:

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At this point, the Riders of Rohan have already arrived and they’ve completely made the Orc forces their collective biotech. It’s hard to see here, but they’re riding on majestic Gummy Frog mounts and are doing heinous battle with the Mumakil Elephant warriors. There’s a suitable amount of blood and gore as well.

battle-detail-1.jpg

Now, on this side of the battle field you can see Aragorn’s forces streaming off the stolen Corsairs and doing battle with Sauron’s evil sweetness. Also, you can see that the main gate of Minas Tirith has been breached by Grond, the giant battering ram, and now the men of the city are sallying forth to join in on the wholesale ass-whooping. Let’s take a closer look at all of these.

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First, here you can see the dead Lord of the Nazgul and his crazy bird like black licorice rope mount. He’s already killed Theoden and beaten the sweet out of Merry and Eowyn. I’d say this scene is kind of sad if it weren’t for the sheer awesomeness of that black dragon type thing. I mean, really.

the-riders-of-rohan.jpg

Just like last year, the Riders of Rohan have come to the rescue. For the sake of simplicity we made all the good guys yellow and White Gummy Bears and the Bad Guys Red, Orange, Green and Black. This is in no way any kind of remark on culturally preconceived notions of morality and how it relates to skin color. Except for Green people. They are lazy thieves.

the-mumakils.jpg

Now this kind of sucks. The Riders of Rohan, right after saving the day, AGAIN, have to fight gigantic Elephants. My older brother was in charge of this part of production, and I think we can all agree he spanked it like an underpaid dominatrix. Check those bitches out. Circus Peanut bodies on top of gum drop legs, licorice nib trunks, chocolate pretzels for the men of Harad to stand on and shoot from. How on earth could any sugar-based army stand up against such crazy power?

(PS: You can see my mom’s still got a bitching rug in this picture.)

grond2.jpg

This is Grond. Yes, Tolkien named EVERYTHING even battering rams. I know you can see that it’s pretty awesome just from this picture alone. However, what you can’t see is that our Grond actually swings back and forth. On LICORICE ROPES. Props to my friend Brian for putting that one together.

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This is the final detail shot, because it’s the most bad ass. Aragorn’s army is just pouring off of those stolen Corsairs like really fast molasses (which is like light speed for candy). With their arrival the tide of the battle turns and the evil, though tasty army, is destroyed to a gum drop.

Soon after a miniature gummy hobbit named Frodo succeeds in casting the One Ring Pop of Power into the molten chocolate fondue of Mount Doom and then peace, prosperity and pizelles returned to Middle Earth. Or something like that.

Hope you guys enjoy this as much as we enjoyed making it.

I’d like to thank my brothers, Dan and Jon. My little sister, Katie. My other little sister, Lis. My buddies, Brian and Brendan, and my best friend, Sunshine. Without them this would have never been made, even with our very frequent, very drunken recesses.

Happy (Belated) Holidays!

PS: I also took a video.

PPS: Digg This

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