Monthly Archives: March 2006

March 30, 2006

I have spent this morning sitting at my desk with peanut butter in my hair rewriting my personal trainer’s college paper on muscle-fiber types.

I suppose there aren’t really limits to what one will do with the double incentive of a free training session and having fallen asleep with gum in one’s mouth.

Sugar-free, naturally, but still.

Somehow I always thought I would amount to something slightly greater than this.

The contest deadline is tomorrow night at midnight, wherever your time zone is.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 13 Comments

March 28, 2006

A friend of mine who used to keep a brilliant blog until she stopped writing it to pursue other brilliant creative avenues just returned from Italy and reported overhearing the following conversation in the Villa of Mysteries in Pompeii:

GIRL ONE (reading her guidebook’s description of the mural): “To the right, the woman cringes in fear at the flagellation scene on the adjacent wall.”

GIRL TWO: Flagellation?

GIRL ONE: Yeah, she’s sucking some guy off.

GIRL TWO: That’s cool.

I would say “O brave new world, that has such people in’t,” but I think I already used that line somewhere else in this blog in response to a very similar situation.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 8 Comments

March 27, 2006

I haven’t gotten a single entry for the contest yet. Or, rather, I got two entries for the old, confusing version of the contest, but none for the new, improved version. This leads me to believe that a) people prefer old and confusing to new and improved; b) people don’t care about tuberculosis; and/or c) nobody loves me.

If you can find it in your heart to take pity on me, please send me your entry. The deadline is midnight this Friday, whatever your local time is.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 5 Comments

March 24, 2006

Almost two years ago we had the Blogalike Contest here at the Search for Love in Manhattan, and now, in solemn commemoration of World Tuberculosis Day, we have another contest.

The dollar bill below played an important part in a recent event in my life.


Your task, should you choose to enter the contest, is to send me an email explaining what the event was and how the dollar bill was involved. Once the contest is closed, I will post all the answers, including the real one, and everybody can vote for the one they think is true (or perhaps which one they think is best/most interesting/most creative–I haven’t decided yet). The author of the explanation that receives the highest number of votes will win a gift card to Powells City of Books, unless that explanation happens to be the real one, in which case the gift card will go to the author of the explanation that receives the second-highest number of votes, since giving myself a gift card to Powells would be exercise in sophistry that would tax even my patience.

You need not write in the style of Faustus, M.D.

You must send me your entry by midnight on Friday, March 31. This gives you a week.

Good luck, and Godspeed.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 8 Comments

March 21, 2006

Servants began carrying in trays of plastic jewelry–tray after tray–and Mrs. Marcos hovered. It was a breathtaking re-enactment of the years when she had more of everything, from shoes to sunglasses, than she could ever wear. . . . “I’m more bejeweled than before,” she said. “Bejeweled with garbage.”

I cheered along with the rest of the world in 1986 when Corazon Aquino became the President of the Philippines and kicked those Marcos chumps out, shoes and sunglasses and all, partially because she was so cute and partially because my friend Max did a mean Corazon impersonation.

But I do find this profile of Imelda fascinating and bizarre and incredibly compelling, and it kind of makes me want to be her friend.

I mean, come on, a Power Point presentation?

Okay, her friend from far, far away, but still.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 7 Comments

March 19, 2006

I just got off the phone with E.S. (I am still in Chicago) and he says he is very sick.

He is not actually very sick. I mean, he feels like hell, but it’s just a one-day virus that’s going around the floor of the hospital where he works. This means that he has turned into a giant, whining baby. He has also decided, in the apparently common manner of doctors-in-training, that what he has is in fact not a one-day virus but cholera.

I am going home on Tuesday but in the meantime I said I would tell everybody he has cholera so that he could have lots of sympathy.

I have some dreadful news to report. E.S. has cholera. I’m sure he would appreciate any sympathy you can direct his way.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 10 Comments

March 17, 2006

I really like St. Patrick’s Day.

Not because I ever do anything to celebrate it, but because it reminds me of the time when I was six that my school put on a St. Patrick’s Day show and I played the Head Snake.

I guess I’ve been trying to recreate that role ever since.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 12 Comments

March 14, 2006

Okay, do you think that we, as a society, can all agree to stop saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results”?

Because that’s not insanity; insanity is thinking you’re the Empress of China.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 18 Comments

March 11, 2006

In the commuter rail terminal of Chicago’s Union Station, where I was this morning, a pleasant female voice makes frequent announcements. One of them is the following sentence:

In the interests of security, we are asking you, our passengers, to add your eyes and ears to that of our own.

The only way I can parse this is by assuming that “our own” is short for “our own young.” This allows for the interpretation that the Chicago commuter rail has children who have, collectively, not eyes and ears but one organ that functions simultaneously as an eye and an ear, and that it is asking its passengers to give up their eyes and ears, surely not an unreasonable request in the face of such mutational cruelty on the part of the universe, especially since the children are employed as station guards and their function as such is severely impaired by the lack of vision and hearing.

I am really hoping that somebody out there can come up with something better than this.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 13 Comments

March 9, 2006

Here is part of a conversation I had with E.S. in bed last night:

E.S.: Ow! You bumped my nose.
FAUSTUS: I’m sorry.
E.S.: You should be more careful. You could have knocked it off.
FAUSTUS: It’s lucky that I didn’t. I wouldn’t love you if you didn’t have a nose.
E.S.: Would you love me if I had cancer?
FAUSTUS: Well, then you’d just die, and I wouldn’t have to love you.
E.S.: No, cancer of the nose, and I had to have a nasectomy.
FAUSTUS: Oh. No, I wouldn’t love you if you had a nasectomy. Unless you got a really natural-looking prosthesis.
E.S.: What about the really creepy times when it, like, fell off on the subway?
FAUSTUS: Definitely I wouldn’t love you then.
FAUSTUS: But I’d love you again after you put it back on.
E.S.: I’m not sure I believe you.
FAUSTUS: You’ll never know until you remove your nose, will you?

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 9 Comments