Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sorry, Gentle Readers

I got the job!

Sorry for the suspense, Gentle Readers, although I'm flattered that events in my hum-drum life are able to arouse at least a mild bit of curiosity.

I was on a very tight schedule yesterday. I had to be at a client's office in New Jersey in the afternoon, and the VP only had a very small window of time to meet with me. I went into his office, shook his hand and he sat down at a conference table across from me, with a serious look on his face. I had a bad feeling.

However, he simply proceeded to question me about the job, confirming my interest in the position, and clarified a few other things. Then he dismissed me, saying I would be hearing from them "in short order."

Then I had to pack up my stuff immediately and head home on the subway to get my car so that I could drive out to New Jersey.

En route to the Holland Tunnel in my car, I had to hang up on my sister when I saw call-waiting from Minnesota, the location of my company's home office. It was my new boss, offering me the job. Woo hoo! Then I almost had an accident in New Jersey, and ended up five minutes late to my meeting. After the meeting I wanted to rush back to NYC because we had dinner plans with some friends, and of course I got lost which is almost par for the course when driving in New Jersey. We were out late, and I didn't have time to log on to tell you the news.

Anyway, I am now a Strategic Sales Executive. I'm already working on my Amanda Woodward impersonation, which I expect to have down pat by next week. I'll get back to you on that.

Thanks to all for your good wishes, and especially to Dale who offered me his mercenary services in case it didn't work out.


ps: Don't tell anyone, but my new boss confided to me that I beat out someone very senior for this job. I wouldn't have chosen myself over this guy, except that I have better personal hygiene. I guess that counts for something.

Monday, January 29, 2007

New job?

Hello all,

In 9 minutes I walk into our VP's office to see if he's going to give me a new job that I've been heavily recruited for by other people in my company.

If I'm rejected after their proactive pursuit of me, I'm going to be pissed. And lucky you, you will get to hear all about it.

Wish me luck!


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Another brilliant post from the world of Katie Schwartz

I barely even know where to begin with this one. I'm trying to think of what blunt instrument I would prefer to use on this girl.

I also like Katie's description of her, although I'm a bit shy of using that particular word.

I'm on New Blogger now

Grover Derwood

I was forced to switch to New Blogger this morning. I hope it doesn't give me any problems, becasue I really don't have time for this.

In other news, Dale warned me not to do "all cats all the time" on the blog. I'm just sneaking this one in for lack of any other relevant picture to post.

Did I mention my cats were cuter than all other cats combined?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Songs I will never listen to from start to finish, Vol. 1

Grant Miller and Lulu hate the song Little Drummer Boy. Personally, I think they're much too hard on that little guy. After all, Mary nodded, Jesus smiled, and the ox and lamb kept time - all for him! How could you dislike a little boy who was smiled at by the Lord himself? Grant and Lulu are just a couple of evil bastards without souls.

But I, Coaster Punchman, have a confession to make. I too possess a repertoire of songs I cannot stand, and for a select few of them I have gone so far as to enact the following policy: If one of these songs should come on the radio in my presence, I must either a) change the station; or b) leave the room.

I have never, ever violated this policy with regard to "Every Breath You Take." I cannot STAND that song. I didn't mind it so much in 1983. But one day, some time in 1994, after I had heard it for the billionth time, I decided enough was enough. That song had been played more times than even the entire universe could bear. It had overstayed its welcome. Right then and there I vowed that I would NEVER listen to that song in its entirety, ever, ever again.

It's not always an easy rule to keep, Gentle Readers. In fact, one time, not long after I instated the policy, I got caught in the world's most horrific traffic jam on the Hollywood freeway. The road was a parking lot, for over an hour, with no explanation from anyone on what was causing the holdup. I kept the radio on the entire time, waiting for the traffic report.

One report came - no news. Next report, about twenty minutes later - again, nothing. So I said to myself "self, on the next traffic report they are sure to explain to all us nice people what the fuck is going on with the Hollywood freeway." So I kept the radio tuned to that station.

Another 15 minutes went by, and the freeway was still a parking lot. "Good," I thought. "In just another 5 minutes we'll know what the problem is."

And then it started.

The sickening "thump, thump thump thump thump, thump, thump thump thump thump..." of the opening bars to that fucking song.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!" I screamed. "That is NOT FAIR!!!!!!! I've waited ALL THIS TIME!!!!!!" I was quite upset.

But I still changed the station. I had to.

After all, we have policies for a reason. And sometimes there's just no turning back - no matter what the cost.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Dawn Wiener Files: Twenty years later and he's still a geek

The Dawn Wiener Files is a new CPW series in which I will share painful stories of my moments of childhood geekdom. Unfortunately, sometimes these moments stretch all the way into adulthood. But I know you all enjoy a good cringe-fest, or else you wouldn't still be here.

Guest editors are welcome in this series - just email me your submissions and we'll talk.

I was prompted to post this first edition of The Dawn Wiener Files by some work colleagues who were discussing high school reunions with me recently. My 20th reunion occurred a few years ago. I could not attend because I was going to be on vacation in Europe, but still enjoyed a lot of email and Internet hubbub over the event.

One day in a grocery store near my parents' house, I was walking past a woman who looked my way and said "Tom?" I didn't recognize her. I haven't lived in that area since I graduated high school, and am only around sporadically.

"Hello..." I said, ever so hesitantly.

"Tom, it's Marissa, from Palatine High!"

"Oh, Marissa! Hi!" We hugged briefly. I finally recognized her - we had been in the same class from fifth grade through high school.

I was glad to see Marissa, because I liked her and we'd always gotten along well. But our very casual friendship crossed cultural lines; she was squarely rooted in our high school's popular crowd, whereas I was definitely well on the outskirts of that group. And although Marissa had never personally been mean to me, I always viewed her as an ambassador of the cool. A person who could make or break you with her extensive network of social connections. The type of person who has to be handled very, very carefully.

We chatted about our lives and the upcoming reunion for a few minutes, and decided to exchange email addresses since I wouldn't be attending. We both searched our pockets for something to write on, but neither of us could find anything.

"Wait a second, my husband's right over there. I'll see if he has something," she said. A few seconds later Marissa returned with her husband in tow, and made the appropriate introductions. "Hey, give Tom one of your cards so we can trade emails," she said.

Marissa's very handsome husband opened his wallet and handed me a card. "Great!" I exclaimed, happy that we would each be able to write down our emails. I proceeded to rip the card in half so that I could give her the other half.

Ripped. His card. In half. Just seconds after he handed it to me.

Nice going, Tom.

A split second after my little gaffe, I haltingly mumbled "oh.... I guess.... maybe I could have just emailed your husband....."

She giggled.

"I'm sorry I ripped your business card," I said sheepishly. I was mortified.

"Oh, that's ok. I'm sure people have done much worse to it," he replied, magnanimously.

What an asshole. Twenty years out of high school and I still can't play it cool. I still wonder what Marissa must have told the rest of her A-list friends about me.

Yours in geekdom,

ps: For anyone who is wondering, I did email Marissa's husband. And never heard back from either of them.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Katie + Blair = Love

Every now and again a blogger tickles my fancy just enough that I am compelled to plug her over here at CPW.

My latest favorite blogging event is a series Katie Schwartz has running on Lisa Whelchel, the buxom gal who played rich bitch Blair Warner on "The Facts of Life." I had read about Leezy becoming a Kristian and homeschooling her kids and such years ago, and as most of you know, I continue to harbor a sick fascination for religious zealots.

Katie has developed her own fascination with Leewee, which she demonstrates to her readership through a series of fan letters to Warnsey.

Oddly enough, Ms. Whelchel has as yet failed to respond to any of Katie's inquiries.

I think it's important that we continue to work to bring semi-obscure celebrities back into the limelight, as the South Park boys did for Brian Boitano. This is what endears Katie to me.

It is a new year, and as usual the notion of trying to be a nice person has crossed my mind. I am a bad man for continuing to egg Katie on in this manner.

But I can't help it. It's just too much fun.

Katie has too many Blair posts scattered about her blog for me to be able to reference every one of them individually, so if you are C-list obsessed like me, I encourage you to browse her archives to read her sundry tributes to Lisa.

Monday, January 08, 2007

But really, who's keeping score?

Number of holiday cards sent: 106

Number of thoughtful friends and relatives: 58

Number of self-absorbed ingrates: 48

Number of thoughtful parties we snubbed, probably for good reason: 4

(NB: Next year, those who send e-greetings will receive half credit)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A call for applications

Legacy CPW members may recall that Mindy June and I maintain a separate American Idol blog so as to spare our everyday non-AI readers the agony of our endlessly annoying commentary.

We are hoping to attract more commentators for the upcoming 2007 season, and would like to invite any or all of you to apply for membership in American Idolarty: We Judge the Idols!

Mindy June has posted the application procedure on the site. You can email your request to join directly to me at cp.marytylermoore@yahoo.com, or by commenting on any of our blogs.

Note: Your blog must be on the New Blogger (formerly Blogger Beta) for you to be able to participate. This means I will have to switch over, which I am not looking forward to. My very most favorite thing in the universe (NOT!) is to spend ten hours dinking around with settings on my computer. Blech.

Divas and pin-ups and saints, oh my!

Jennifer Hudson has finally matched Judy's moment of magic in "A Star is Born"

'm still on vacation the rest of this week, thank the good Lord.

Today I get to recover from our New Year's festivities. I begin my day of recovery by ignoring George's admonitions to "stay off the couch." Yeah, right, Georgie boy.

This morning's first couch session includes a double feature picture show, beginning with "Mother Theresa" - a biography of this lovely pious woman. I was interested to learn more about her history, but once it got going I found myself not that interested in the rest of the film. Just one more reason I'm headed straight for Hell, I suppose.

Mother Theresa has just finished pontificating on the blessedness of being poor and wretched in Calcutta, and so we continue our Double Feature with a film biography of Bettie Page. I know naught of this woman as of right now, but in approximately 90 minutes I will know a lot more. Then, Bubs and I will become even better friends.

But as soon as I get off the couch (maybe tomorrow?) the first thing I am doing is taking myself to the good ole' movie the-a-ter for an encore showing of Dreamgirls, which George and I saw during the afternoon of New Year's Eve.

George was not enthused when I first suggested this movie. I believe his exact words were "why do we have to go see that? Doesn't that Beyoncé woman have 'bitch' written all over her?" But despite his initial reluctance, he ended up really enjoying himself. As did I.

The crown jewel moment of the film, if you have not heard by now, was Jennifer Hudson's show stopping performance of "And I Am Telling You." Even though we were not in a live the-a-ter, she brought the house all the way down. People cheered and applauded her, and rightfully so since it was by far the best female vocal performance in a film since Judy Garland sang "The Man that Got Away" back in 1954. She was AMAZING. I get chills just thinking about it.

And to think, that little girl just came out of nowhere. Double props to Mindy June for being her first champion on American Idol.

I have to go now, Gentle Readers. I may be developing a bedsore, so it's time to flip over.