05/28/04 - Phew.

So last night at Game Night I gave my buddy Mike his birthday present, and he laughed. It was a World's Greatest Grandpa t-shirt. My roommate and I found it at Target a few weeks ago. It seemed perfect for him, but I got scared that he wasn't going to like it. He did.

05/25/04 - The Inferno.

Did anyone really doubt that Real World was going to lose the Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno? I didn't.

05/23/04 - The OC.

So this weekend I watched six straight hours of The OC. The last six hours of the season, actually. You know, The Nana, The Vegas, the Auntie Stripper? Anyway, I had missed a few, and my buddy at work had them TiVoed (Tivo'ed?) for our other friend who just moved to Austrailia.

Anyway, I caught something really weird in not one, but two of the episodes. The character of Seth Cohen makes reference to summer camp at Camp Takajo - twice.

So what's so weird about a rich kid going to summer camp? Nothing. Well, do SoCal kids go to summer camp? I dunno. All of the rich kids in New York and New England do, though. But that's not what I'm talking about.

The weird part is that Camp Takajo is a real camp. A real camp in Naples, Maine.

Naples, of course, is the town I grew up in.

So I know that the creator of the show, Josh Schwartz, is 28 years old, just like me. I also know that he grew up in New England, again, just like me. Well, he grew up in Rhode Island, I think, so it's not just like me. And he's a TV show creator extrodinare, and I'm, well, not. That all fits into part of my insame jealousy of the guy. But we'll cover that next time.

Anyway, knowing this, I've jumped to the conclusion that Josh Schwartz went to summer camp at Camp Takajo. Thus, if Schwartz was ever at Takajo (oh yes, that's what we called Camp Takajo. It's like Maine slang. Camp Waziyatah? We just called it "Waziyatah"). Anyway, if he ever went to Takajo, then he ate at the Naples Lobster Pound, the restaurant my parents used to own.

Following along? Good. Now, for the twenty-some-odd years my parents owned the Lobster Pound they had all of our names at the top of the menu. New Yorkers buy that folksy-down home shit when they're on vacation. "Steve, Bonnie, Josh and Daniel Edwards welcome you to the Naples Lobster Pound". Of course five nights out of seven my mom was the hostess, my dad was in the kitchen, Daniel was out back cooking lobsters, and I was manning the pizza oven, making pizza upon pizza for rich kids who went to summer camp and hit on my girlfriend who was their waitress.

Yeah, one time when Crazy Holly was in college at Syracuse, she told someone she was from Maine. This women said how she and her family always went to Naples for vacation every summer. Holly said she worked at the Naples Lobster Pound as a waitress. This woman said that she and her family always went to the Naples Lobster Pound for her birthday each year. Holly then said that her boyfriend's parents owned it.

The woman's reply?

"So are you dating Josh or Daniel?"

My overall point? I'm a celebrity. Freakin' famous as all hell. Josh Schwartz, TV show creator extrodinare? Ate my pizzas and hit on my high school girlfriend.

(No, I'm totally kidding. But yes, it is fun to be this insane, thanks for asking.)

05/22/04 - Etymology Of "Okay".

I just read something very interesting yesterday. In the African language of Wolof the word "kay" means "yes". "Waw-kay" is the emphatic form. That's where the English word "okay" comes from.

We also get the English words "banana" and "hip" (as in cool, not the bone) from the Wolof lanugage.

05/21/04 - New Favorite Ballplayer.

The Angels have a catcher named "Josh Paul". Awesome!

05/19/04 - Like a Chick in a Comic Store.

So as you probably didn't know, Wednesday is the day the new comic books come out. New Comic Wednesday. Yeah, I usually go to my local comic store once or twice a month, check out the sights, buy an Archie or two. But most of the time I go on Thursday. In part to skip the New Comic Wednesday crowds, in part because I get paid on Thursday, and thus usually feel flush with cash (okay, if not 'flush' then at least 'with a tad more than normal').

The last time I was there for New Comic Wednesday was on 04/08/04, the day I picked up the SaveDisney.com bumper sticker. (No, I still haven't put it on my car. Maybe on June 19th, though. Things should be right in a month.)

Anyway, the other reason that day was memorable was the simple fact that there was a really cute woman buying comics. And she seemed to know what she was doing, too. Very impressive. Very rare.

Now, I hate to be general, but comic book stores are kind of a haven for ... how would you say ... the terminally geeky. Multiply that exponentially for New Comic Wednesday. These are the kinds of people who only leave their Mom's basement once a week, for New Comic Wednesday. I mean, I swear the internet runs faster the minute the comic store opens on Wednesday.

Anyway, today after work I hit New Comic Wednesday. Of course as I pull up in front of the store, who is pulling up in front of me but the Cute Comic Woman. (I was going to call her 'Cute Comic Chick' but I know that some of you might be offended by that, and it's not my intent to offend you. Yet.)

Thus I walk into the store two or three paces behind her. Now, the store is pretty busy (well, for a comic book store) and has say, a half a dozen patrons shopping, and two clerks. The minute she steps into the room, it's as if a zebra has wandered into the wrong part of the Serengeti. All actions stop. Conversation ceases. Eyes forward.

She has to be aware of this - hell, Helen Keller would have been aware of it. But she steps forward and says 'hi' to the guy who owns the store. Well, I don't know if he actually owns the store or not, but he's always there and acts like he owns the store. Huh. You know, that kind of sounds like every guy who works there.

As she talks to the dude, Clerk #2 goes to the file cabinet and pulls her comics for the week. See, most stores will hold specific new comics for the week for their regular clients. Like, you'd say "Please hold for me every new issue of 'Spectacularly Gay Man'" and they will. It's really win-win, they keep you going to their same store, and you are assured the books you want each week.

Anyway, Clerk #2, already has her books out and ready and she's only been there for, like, ten seconds. Yes, this is the same guy who kept me waiting fifteen minutes while he discussed some Dungeons and Dragons stuff with one of his buddies one Thursday.

I quickly circle the store, see a few things, and feeling ashamed to be a male, doubly so for being a male in a comic book store on New Comics Wednesday, want to get the hell out of dodge as fast as possible.

I, of course, end up in line behind the Cute Comic Woman.

It's at this point the owner guy has totally bumped Clerk #2 from the register, I assume so he would be the one to wait on Cute Comic Woman. As I step up behind her (and can I just say that she's Cute. Not "cute for a comic book store" but just all around "cute". No matter what the setting.) Anyway, as I get there the owner guy is doing his Axl Rose impression. Don't know why, don't really care to know why. So he's trying to do the Axl Shuffle, and it really looked like it sounds - a comic book store owner doing the Axl dance. Sad.

Partially to help diffuse the really weird vibe, and yes, partially to talk to the Cute Comic Woman (I'll be honest!) I make some crack about "At least he's not doing Fat Axl of today." She laughs, the three of us mock the rich rock star for a minute, and she's on her way. Now, I personally hope that the haste in which she exited the store wasn't at all in part due to me, and more fleeing the crowd at New Comic Wednesday, but then again I was there. I was part of New Comic Wednesday.

I mock myself.

05/17/04 - That New Hair Smell.

So last week when my roommate and I did our marathon shopping day (I've been to Victoria's Secret more with her than any other girlfriend I've ever had!) I got new shampoo at Target. The main reason being I was almost out of my old shampoo. That, and the new stuff was on sale. Pretty much the only reason dudes buy new shampoo.

I picked one of the flavors of the Herbal Essence brand - you know, the ones that the women always really really "enjoy" on the TV commercials. My roommate said that it wasn't not manly. With a sentence that double negative, I should have stayed away.

But since I had over-ruled her at Macy's while picking out cologne for me, I went with her choice in shampoo. Yes, I'm one of those males who knows he has no fashion sense and totally gives in to the female influences around me. (The one exception? When Crazy Mychelle wanted to pierce my ears when she worked at the earring stand at the CambridgeSide Galleria. I'll give in to the female influences ... unless pain is involved.)

So anyway, my point is I got new shampoo and conditioner and used it for the first time yesterday. My roommate and my friend Jen went up to Santa Barbara for the day. It was great weather, we had two great meals, and Jill bought a few little trinkets. All around fun Sunday.

Except that every once and a while I caught a whiff of my new shampoo. But I didn't know it was mine. I'm not used to smelling so good!! I thought it was one of the ladies'. "Is that Jill's hair that smells so Strawberry delicious?" I asked myself. "Goodness, Jen's hair smells good!"

And then I realize that it is, in fact, my own hair that smells.

Man, I can see how those ladies on the commercial enjoy their shampoo!

The good thing is I also bought new manly cologne last week. So then I'd catch a whiff of that, (Hugo by Hugo Boss, in case you're interested and want to take a hit off of it next time you're in Macy's to see what Josh smells like these days) and I'd come back down.

So I'm torn now. On the one hand, I don't want to waste the new shampoo I just bought. Plus, I rather enjoy how the conditioner makes my poofy hair calm down. On the other hand, I don't want to keep confusing my hair with the ladies' hair around me. Just my luck I'll be at a bar and hit on some woman because I confuse my tasty shampooed locks with her not-smelling-so-good hair.

It's just so tough smelling so good.

05/15/04 - Shakabuku (or, 'Hey Jenny Slater. Hey Jenny Slater.')

August 14, 2004. The date is set. August 14, 2004. Three months from yesterday. August 14, 2004. My ten year High School Reunion.

I'm freaking out about this. I don't know why I'm freaking out about this. It's no big deal. It's a pretty big deal. Probably nobody will go, anyway. All of the people I care about are going. Why am I freaking out? Why?

For some reason I've been thinking, been aware, about this reunion since before I graduated. Other kids in my class and myself even talked about it, all of those ten years ago. That's kind of weird.

Now, I don't want to give my generation more credit than others. But one thing original to us is our real sense of history.

Perhaps it was coming of age at the end of the millennia. (Although I'll be the first to counter that the Gregorian calendar used by most of the Western World is pretty arbitrary. I mean, the year 2000 for us is also the Jewish year 5761 and the Japanese year 2660. If it weren't for Pope Gregor - who must have been pretty damn full of himself to name the whole calendar system used by the modern world after himself - in the late 1500s, we'd still be on the old Julian Calendar, and the "millennium" would have been a couple of years earlier ... aw, forget it.)

Anyway, regardless of whether it was an impending millennium or not, for most of the 1990s it sure felt like we were building towards something. That has to count for our particular sense of history. Look at our President at the time, even. Many things, both good and bad, can be said about Bill Clinton. One truth is that he was overly aware of his place in history, his legacy. Now why he did some of the things he did, well, that's not for me to comment on. I mean, didn't he know he was gonna get caught? And being a student of American History, doesn't he know they love to focus on the negative? The damn fool!

So yes, even in 1994 we were aware of 2004. True, many of us were going away to college, and knew that the economic realities of rural Maine would not be hospitable to our chosen career paths. Heck, if someone made a viable traditional animation company in Portland, I'd be the first one at the door with my resume. So maybe we knew that 1994 was the last time we'd all be together for a long time so we looked forward to 2004 when we'd all be together again. Maybe that helped dull the pain of graduation, leaving friends, moving away?

Still doesn't explain why I'm freaking out.

Of course there's the simple "so-and-so married so-and-so and they just had a baby and he/she is so cute/adorable!" Or "so-and-so is so happy! Did you hear that he/she married his/her college sweetheart/hubby"? That people have paired off with each other or someone new and own a house and have a dog and maybe have offspring and I haven't ... well, I know it's not a race, but they're winning. Sometimes it seems like a big game of musical chairs, and right now I'm still standing. I don't want to be left behind.

Maybe it's because my friend Zak from high school always said he was going to be a chiropractor. He said he'd be back in 2004 driving a Hummer and make everyone call him "Dr. Zak". Well, I'm not sure about the Hummer part, but I know he's a licensed chiropractor today, and if we have nametags, I can bet you dollars-to-donuts what his will say.

I know, I know, in high school I always said that I'd be in Hollywood working for the (then) premiere feature animation company in the world. And I've done that. True, we don't make traditionally animated movies here anymore, and true, I'm still technically at the same position I was when I started two weeks after college graduation back in 1998. But I moved out here and did what I always said that I was going to do. That I'm a miserable failure, well, that's besides the fact.

I guess, since the luster and newness of Hollywood wore off years ago, and I haven't progressed at either my professional or personal life much in the past six years (some might say that I've taken a few steps back in the personal aspect - what with me being horridly broken right now).

Of course it doesn't help that so many movies, so many good movies, have been made about reunions. Most notably, "Beautiful Girls" and "Grosse Pointe Blank". Both have characters named Martin. Sorry John, but Natalie is cuter.

So the other night I watched "Grosse Pointe Blank" again. Well, most of it, my roommate wanted to watch the season finale of "One Tree Hill". Good God, is that a bad show.

"Grosse Pointe Blank" is a good movie, though.

And I know I've swelled. Well, I was pretty scrawny in high school. And now ... okay, I am a little puffy. We won't even get into my own pending sense of my own mortality.

And in "Beautiful Girls" Willy goes back home to New England (albeit in the winter) to hang out with all of the old guys who still live there. Where "nothing changes but the seasons." I can relate to that. I can imagine that's what home is like for my brother, and other people who still live there.

But is it weird to say that it sounds refreshing? True, all of my close friends, sans my brother, have moved to the far reaches of the earth. But somehow that sounds better than Hollywood right now.

I guess the grass is just greener there ...

05/14/04 - Lakers

Damn! Did you see last night's game?! Derek Fisher is the man! That was unreal! When these guys are good, they're goooooood!

05/11/04 - Right after Mother's Day, no less ...

My ex-girlfriend and I still work in the same office. It's weird. And now she's now dating a guy who has two kids, a seven year old and a two year old. I guess his wife up and left him or something, and he lives next to her aunt and uncle, so they met.

Anyway, today I walked by her office and she has a big photo of the little girl and her cousin framed on her desk. It's just odd.

05/10/04 - HSX.

Okay, so since I've maxed out my Friendster.com friends, I've moved on to the Hollywood Stock Exchange. When you sign up they give you $2 million of their fake dollars to invest in upcoming movies or actors. They have that scrolling sign down on Santa Monica Blvd in Boys' Town. Not that I go to Boys' Town much, but, you know, I've been by there. Through there. Around there.

So far I've invested most of my fake money in these movies:

The A-Team remake, Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Open Season (Jack's working on it), Standing Still (Jill worked on it), A Day with Wilbur Robinson (I'm working on it. Conflict of interest? Maybe!) and then for answering a survey they gave me a hundred shares of the Aviator for free.

Then I invested in these stars:

Carla Gugino
Colin Hanks
David Mamet (he was a steal!)
Elisha Cuthbert
Ice Cube
Rachel Blanchard
Sam Jackson

I know some of them I bought just because they're cute (Carla, Elisha and Rachel, for those of you counting) but hey, it's my fake money. I'll do with it what I please!

So anyway, at the end of the day my Net Worth is H$2,019,690.10. That's almost $20,000 more than I started with!

This is so much better than Friendster. So until you can buy and sell friends, I'm sticking with the Hollywood Stock Exchange.

If you want to join, tell me and I'll refer you and get H$100,000! Sweet!

05/09/04 - Wranglin'.

So my pal Mike just got a new Jeep Wrangler on Friday. Yesterday we went out driving. Wranglin' in the Wrangler. We drove down to Santa Monica, had some food, drove back up on Sunset, just around. It felt like High School again - you know, driving around for driving around's sake. It was awesome.

I'm in a really good mood now. It was a good weekend!

05/08/04 - California Dreamin'.

For about two weeks I've been having all of these dreams about my now ex-girlfriend. Short, mundane things like driving or grocery shopping - nothing dirty.

Last night I had the oddest dream. She met my parents.

It seems to me that I'm trying to continue my relationship with her ... in my sleep!

See, although I had met her parents a bunch of times, geographically my parents were just too far to go. But my parents always expressed interest in meeting her. Heck, maybe when they're here in June they will! Anyway, this morning early, they met her and we all went driving somewhere, in her car. (99% of the time she and I went anywhere when we were dating, she drove. Says a lot about the relationship, no?)

The crazy thing was, most of what I remember was from when we stopped at one of those little rest areas on the highway. You know, those trashy little gift shops? We spent most of my dream browsing a in a junky store. My ex-girlfriend, my parents, and me.

Top that.

05/07/04 - Crazy Story!

I'm going to take time out of being mopey to tell you a crazy story that I forgot. Last Saturday night my buddy Mike and I went out to the Snake Pit on Melrose for a drink. On the walk over we decided to stop and get a burger at Johnny Rockets, because we thought it would be the quickest of our options. It wasn't.

Anyway, as we're sitting there for what really was about four-times as long as I should take to get a burger at Johnny Rockets, this kind of weird guy walked in.

Now he wasn't homeless, and he didn't look mental. He was weird because when we walked in the door, he did one of those "Uh ..." like he was going to say something. To me.

I learned long ago in Boston if some weird guy is about to talk to you, turn away. This holds true for Melrose, and all of Hollywood. So I turned to Mike.

A minute later, as our food still wasn't up yet, the mental man came over.

"Excuse me, are you Josh?"

I turned and looked at him. He didn't seem familiar. Nor was there a reek of urine about his person (the first sign of a homeless person in LA, because if you go by tattered clothes alone you might confuse some hip new rock band as homeless). Speaking of, his clothes were firmly rooted in this decade. Because if they looked vaguely futuristic I would have freaked out, as one of the movies that I've been writing for the past, oh, four years is about a dude from the future coming back in time to convince his past-self to stop pining over his now ex-girlfriend (wonder where I got that idea? Hmm. More about that after I finish my flux capacitor ...)

Anyway, I say "yes". Because, in fact, I am Josh.

He pulls out a paper.

"We just saw the show, can I get an autograph?"

Now I know someone is pulling my leg.

I did a "what-the-hell-are-you-talking-about-not-homeless-or-future-man" look.

"Josh and Jaime ... the show? We just came from the show."

"I'm sorry ... that's not me ... however, my name still is Josh."

"Oh. Weird. Sorry."

And he walked away.

Now, Mike is good for many things. But he does this one incredulous look that cracks me up. Of course as I turn back to Mike, there's the look.

I crack up.

Apparently there's some show on Melrose, which does have lots of little indie theaters, that stars a guy named "Josh" who looks a hell of a lot like me. I tried doing some research on it, but through Google all I ran into were about ten-thousand Josh Hartnett pages. So I stopped, because I hate Josh Hartnett. Besides, it's almost more fun NOT knowing who this other Josh is.

05/07/04 - Ross & Rachel.

I know that I'm just sad and bitter and lonely, and I'm sorry if you're one of the like, three people in the USA who didn't watch the Friends Finale last night and I'm ruining it for you, but things like Ross and Rachel don't happen it real life. The people who love you don't love you back in real life. And if they do, it's at the wrong time or in the wrong place, and things just don't work out in the end. The geek doesn't get the girl, either. (At least on "The OC" we like the geek. Who likes Ross, seriously?)

Plus, you never stay friends with the same people for ten years, especially the ten years between 25 and 35. And forget the ones who get married. They just disappear. And the ones who have babies? Um, they usually spend most of their waking lives with the babies, not on the couch at Central Perk drinking coffee.

It's just annoying and frustrating and it makes me sad. Sad.

05/06/04 - Funny.

I just saw a bumper sticker today - "Re-elect Gore in 2004".

05/05/04 - The OC.

Is it really wrong that I'm painfully jealous of Ryan on The OC? He's so in love Marissa, and although she has a totally messed up life, she loves him back. She's capable of that, despite her screwed-up emotional state.

Jealous Josh. Very jealous Josh.

05/05/04 - My fortunes are rising.

So I don't eat Chinese food anymore. No, it's not for fear of the MSG, or the sodium, or any of that crap. It's because of the long string of similar fortunes I got back in March and April:

"The star of happiness is shining on you."

"Share your happiness with others today."

"Kindness makes for happiness."

"Your kindness will lead you to happiness."

"Personal achievement will be your key to happiness."

Now I'm 100% serious, those were all in a row. True, the one I got six times ago was "You are next in line for promotion", which is like, totally a joke on the scale of "You won the lottery without buying a ticket". Seven times ago? "Joy will come with the return of a good friend". Again, major joke along the lines of "Your ex-girlfriend will dump her new boyfriend and take you back".

So fortunes don't really count for shit, and I know this. However, when you get five in a row about happiness, and you're generally NOT happy in your life ... well, that's cause for pause.

Anyway, yesterday I got "Enjoy the fine goods life has to offer & friends with whom to share it".

So I guess tomorrow when I go over to my cousin's for the last episode of "Friends" I should buy the good ice cream??

Or just discount fortunes as a randomly generated slip of paper wrapped up in a tasteless cookie waiting for you, or the next guy, or the next guy, to believe it.

05/03/04 - Facts.

I just heard two fun facts in the past day that I want to share.

First - The tongue has four different kinds of tastebuds. Ones that taste sweet, ones that taste sour, ones that taste bitter, and ones that taste salty. What's interesting about this is that only salt can be salty. So you have tastebuds that only detect salt.

(Okay, that sounds lame here, but when Alton Brown from Food Networks' "Good Eats" said it last night, it sounded much cooler. Granted, the whole half-hour was dedicated to salt, so you kind of had salt-on-the-brain at that point.)

Second - Disney Fastpasses. If you've been to a Disney theme park in the past three or four years, you've seen they offer these passes that let you not have to wait in line for an attraction, and pretty much just waltz right on with a minimal wait.

I've always wondered how this works, but figured it's all about math, and probably much too complicated for my feeble mind.

Well I just read online that the standard ratio of 70 to 30. So out of a hundred people on, say, Space Mountain, seventy have Fastpasses and thirty are just plain-old standby.


05/02/04 - Celebrities Gone Wild.

Now, I'm no legal expert, but I was watching a report about Michael Jackson tonight on the news, and I think he's screwed. No doubt the report was a little sensational, as most news is, but still, it looks like Jackson has really done it this time. He's being charged with 28 individual overt acts of child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion, four counts of lewd acts involving a minor child, one count involving an attempted lewd act upon a child, four counts of administering an intoxicating agent. None of that sounds good at all.

And this month Maxim, or Stuff, or one of those "laddy" magazines had an article about Kobe Bryant's legal woes. This article says that Colorado has some of the strictest sex offense laws, in five years they've sent 476 sex-offenders to prision, and only two have been paroled. But the scary part of the article was how much of the evidence might not make it into the trial, and how that'll probably hurt Kobe. There's a chance that even if he's found guilty he'll get parole, but it's not too likely.

So I'm just thinking, in light of Martha Stewart, are celebrities not safe anymore? Is there a chance that Michael Jackson is going to prision? That Kobe won't be on the Lakers next year, he'll be playing his B-Ball in a prision yard? In the past this would be damn near impossible, but now ... who knows?

I guess in this day and age when celebrities are quicker to rise, we don't need the old ones as long. I mean, look at Ruben Studdard and LeBron James. Last year at this time did we even know who they were? And now look how big they are. To a certain extent they're hotter than Jackson and Bryant. So is it out with the old, in with the new ... with "out" meaning "sent to a maximum security facility"? I guess we'll see ...

05/02/04 - Re: Lakers.

I hate San Antonio.

I hate Tim Duncan.

I hate Tony Parker.

05/01/04 - LiveJournal.

In order to get Crazy Leah to join Friendster (see below post) I had to create a LiveJournal. Don't know how much I'll actually update it (shh, don't tell Leah) but you can check it out, if you'd like.

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