All Your Base Are Belong

All Your Base Are Belong To Us

I got the best request for the Ultimate Water Gun yet to date! Here’s a sample:


…In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my
voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.
Immediately I saw with my own eyes the trophy of an object of light in the
heavens, above the sun, and bearing the inscription, CONQUER BY THIS. At
this sight I myself was struck with amazement and immediately fell to my
knees and awoke from my dream.


Believe it or not, when I looked up your website was on the screen…


>>Read the whole request

All Your Base Are Belong

The Terror of Sharpless


The Terror of Sharpless Alley

Well, now I’m an official Badass Motorcyclist! That’s me in the picture, wearing my new motorcycle helmet and gloves, bearing down on the camera at breakneck speed like the Lone Biker of the Apocalypse. (Would it look more convincing if I airbrushed out the kickstand?)


Anyhow, I had a great time tooling up and down the alley behind Kate’s parents’ house in West Chester at speeds approaching ten miles per hour, driving fenced poodles into an exquisite lather of rage. I started out feeling like I was playing the pipe organ, except if you forget what you’re doing a pipe organ doesn’t fall over on top of you. Soon, though, I felt more comfortable, and even made it into second gear! Woo-hoo!


Kate and her dad politely looked the other way while I thumbed the start button and stalled, thumbed the start button and stalled. Kate’s dad is a motorcycle racer. Apparently, if you’re a motorcycle person, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of him. He’s also a really nice guy. So, while I was having a great time, I was also in excruciating boyfriend purgatory as I teetered around on the bike, hitting garbage cans at low speed.


But I’m going to Motorcycle Safety School this Wednesday through Friday, and I hope to be able to ride around with some competence this weekend. Who knows, maybe I’ll even put the kickstand up!

The Terror of Sharpless

I’m sending the Ultimate Water

I’m sending the Ultimate Water Gun to Brunswick, Maine today, so that a sophomore named Matt Cowger can use it for a Bowdoin College beach party. Unfortunately, sometime during the last year, the o-ring that seals the tank has gotten elderly, and needs to be re-greased. Curse of a Meyers-Briggs INTP: I immediately rushed out into Times Square in my shirtsleeves looking for grease. Cosmetics Plus was closed for inventory, damn, no Vaseline. Luckily, I met an HVAC engineer named Ravi, whose van was parked outside [My employer]’ offices on Seventh Avenue. He gave me a big dab of grease in a paper towel.


When you’re holding a pile of lithium grease in a paper towel on a crowded elevator, the stockbrokers look at you funny.

I’m sending the Ultimate Water

Diffusing Violence in Schools On

Diffusing Violence in Schools

On Sunday, Kate and I went to the Miss Manhattan Scholarship Competition to see my co-worker Alice Bugman compete. I hadn’t realized that “Scholarship Competition” is post-nineties code for “Beauty Pageant.” Anyhow, this was the real beauty pageant deal, you betcha! Nineteen contestants donned swimsuits, sang, performed gymnastics, answered questions drawn out of a crystal bowl, and forgot the words to “What I Did for Love.”


In the program, each contestant listed a platform, which they would vigorously promote if chosen Miss Manhattan. Marcia Velez Soto (number 19) chose “Preventing and Diffusing Violence In Schools.” God knows that school violence needs to be diffused in our country. I can just see Marcia in her tiara, spreading violence from high-aggression schools to those needing more, so that the violence could be equally divided among all student populations. Perhaps she, herself, would diffuse the violence, smacking fourth-graders on the head with a Swarovski crystal-studded sceptre.


Alice was the fourth runner-up in the pageant (I’m not sure whether the fact that, in the interview, she actually ventured a strong opinion, backed up with facts.) She won most popular contestant, though; in the lobby, there were little metallic bags with each contestant’s name on them. Each contestant’s friends buys tickets for a dollar, then puts the tickets in their contestant’s bag. The contestant with the most ticket wins that amount. Ha ha ha, the other contestants were ballerinas, gymnasts, and teachers — pursuits in life that result in shallow-pocketed friends.


Alice had PROGRAMMER friends, NEW MEDIA friends, BIG NEW YORK INTERACTIVE AGENCY friends, and we stuffed that bag like the glossy fat cats we are. When she was announced the winner, we all rose to our feet and shook our fists in the air: “WHAT dot-com downturn? WHAT recession? BOW to us, ye aspiring actresses and struggling PR executives! BOW to us, for we are WEALTH INCARNATE!”


Okay, so we put ten bucks each in the bag, but just for a moment we all felt like Beauty Pageant Scholarship Competition Queens.

Diffusing Violence in Schools On

Ming the Merciless, Darth Vader,

Ming the Merciless, Darth Vader, and Tintin Have a Posse

Saturday was a big shopping day. Here’s what I got, in order of purchse:

  • A grey velour pillow carefully embroidered with an Imperial Walker, from Ssur Plus. Ssur’s store is right under my apartment, and for as long as I’ve lived on Spring street, I’ve been resisting the urge to buy this pillow. I finally succumbed, and I’m really, really happy about it!
  • Also from Ssur Plus, a bunch of Obey/Andre The Giant stickers, the one on the left featuring Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon. I framed it, and now it’s sitting on my desk. During the day, I like to make eye contact with Ming and chant “o-bey!” “O-BEY!!”
  • A couple of Ben Sherman shirts. I love these shirts, they’re really boxy and British.
  • A Tintin book from a European store on Prince street called Karikter. Now I’m hooked on Tintin again. There are posters of the Tintin book covers that are really cool.
  • A pair of huge, heavy Red Wing engineer boots. I had a pair of style #2268 all through college, and loved the “swish-chunk-jingle” sound they made walking around. Hurrah, now I can stomp around in engineer boots again!


    Kate did a lot of shopping too, but got real-people stuff (not like the giant robot turntable slip mat that I also got at Ssur Plus): she got a couple of cool long-sleeved T-shirts trimmed with material from antique scarves at Claire Blaydon, and a trenchcoat at Built By Wendy, and a new pair of work shoes on eighth street, where the Israeli shopkeeper smoked like a fiend, squinted one eye, and warned us that the blizzard to come was going to be unparalleled in recorded history.

  • Ming the Merciless, Darth Vader,