Thursday, August 25, 2005

And The Winner Is...

Oh, wow. Give me a second. Just let me... Oh, God. I need...water. Please. And could someone raise this mic stand just a little bit? Appreciate it.

Well, then.

This is truly amazing. They say there are only two certainties in life: death, and taxes. Well, now I know there is a third: winning this award. At least in my case.

[Laughter, applause].

Many of you are probably wondering why I've chosen to actually accept the award this year, after declining it for the past ten. The answer is simple: my children. They wanted it. They were tired of waiting.

[Applause].

I tried to explain to them that once I accept the award, no one else will want it, ever again. There'd be no honor in it. No value, really. Who wants an award after it's been given to yours truly? But you know these kids: in one ear, out the other. Want, want, want. Gimme, gimme, gimme. They're great kids. They deserve it.

[Awwws, laughter].

So, yes, I accept. Hear that, Sadie? Raphael? Ying Dong Zhen? Daddy's bringing home a big present! What do you say to Daddy? You say, "thank you." Well, you're welcome.

And let me just extend that to the rest of you out there. You're so very, very welcome.

[Laughter, applause].

If I could just single out a few people here. Julia Morton. Hey, sweetie. I know you had your doubts. Now they're regrets. Live with them.

Bobby Wasco. My best friend. You've been with me since the beginning. How blessed are you, huh?

My brother couldn't be here tonight. If he was he'd be very jealous. Trust me. He lives in Wisconsin. Some small town, you've never heard of it. Spokane. He's a lawyer. Not a great one. I talked to his bosses, they told me that. "Long way from partner." That's a quote. Sometimes he plays guitar. Alone. In his garage. At night. It's pretty sad. He'd love to be here. He'd love to be me.

[Laughter, awwws]

I'd like to dedicate this award to my wife, Cynthia. What a woman. Intelligent. Honest. Funny. So lovely, so supportive. Exotic. Fashionable. Thin. Really, she's the best thing any of you could hope for.

I love what I do. That's the simple truth. Is it difficult? Is it a struggle? No, really, I'm asking. I have no idea. Because it comes pretty easy to me.

You're all probably wondering what's next for me. That's a good question. Luckily, I don't have to ask it. I don't have to think too far ahead. I have nothing to prove. Right now, I just want to think about tonight. So, what's everybody doing later? I'm totally free. Text me, seriously. Let me know where it's at. 310-555-9678.

Cool.

[Music plays]

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

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“Clear those gutters and drive my herd to Montana.”

“Spay my boxer and check the accuracy of this Clippership model.”

“Change the air filter and find my daughter a proper suitor.”

“Organize my collection of vinyl records, first by release date, then by relevance.”

“Title my installation.”

“Freak this and, upon completion, peep that.”

“Unclog that drain and build me an exit strategy for invading an oil-producing nation with a history of entrenched tribal conflict.”

“Make reservations for four at Spago, under the name “Camille,” and bring me the head of Diego Santa La Joya.”

“Gather quotes on this shelving job and restore honor to my father’s name.”

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“Translate Oslo Accord into Mandarin.”

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Bruce Wayne Kept a Shame Journal

My name is Bruce Wayne. I’m eleven years old. I’m sick of my Mom and Dad. I wish they would die.

I’m sick of Gotham City. Everyone thinks it’s so great. I can’t wait to leave.

I hate everyone at school. I wish they would all die. I read in the newspaper about a girl who got kidnapped and thrown in a cellar. She was a cheerleader. I thought, “good.”

I dream about my death. Everyone who was mean to me would have to come to the funeral. They’d look at my grave and feel sad and ashamed of themselves.

If I could live anywhere, it’d be a big cave. I’d fake my own death and move to the cave, then watch my funeral with hidden cameras. I’d see all those jerks crying and I’d smile. You know why you’re sad, Trent Baker? Because I’m dead, and it might as well be your fault.

I don’t know what I’ll be when I grow up. I just know while everyone else is studying to be a doctor or a banker, I’m gonna practice ninja fighting until I’m unbeatable. Every year on the anniversary of my fake death, I’ll appear at night to save one of my asshole classmate’s lives. They’ll be in an alley getting mugged, and I’ll come out of the dark and kick the mugger’s ass. They’ll be so scared of how quick and deadly I am that they won’t even be able to say “thank you.” So I’ll say it for them. I’ll say “you’re welcome.” Or I’ll say, “I think the words you’re looking for are ‘your welcome.’” They’ll feel even worse because they killed Bruce Wayne and now his ninja ghost just saved their life. They won’t know what to think.

This is awesome. I’ll save Mark Schulte first. Twenty bucks says he shits his pants.

After my third or fourth rescue someone will call the police. Too bad the police will be on my side. At least the chief of police will be. He won’t try too hard to catch me because secretly he likes nothing better then pulling up to a crime scene and finding Nick Hammand sucking on his thumb like a two-year old.

When I save Annie Bates, she’ll go crazy. She’ll fall in love with me and never be able to sleep until she finds me. They’ll put her in a padded room up at Arkham with a bunch of stuffed animals and the doctors will shrug their shoulders. Then, on the night of the big dance, I’ll bust her out and take her as my date. We’ll walk in and Greg O’Donnell will punch the wall and Mark Schulte will shit his pants again without even thinking about it. Annie will smile for the first time in years, her dream finally come true. Then she’ll turn around and I’ll be gone and they’ll have to put her in restraints.

I know what my parents will say when they find out I’m a ninja. They’ll say what they always say. “For a boy who has everything, you’re awfully selfish.”

Fuck them. Ninjas save lives. They’re just not wimps about it.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Yes, I’m An Astronaut.

Yes, I have degrees in both aerospace engineering and physics. No, I can’t afford to be absent-minded. Yes, I’m aware the world is watching. Yes, I know I left my razor behind at the International Space Station.

Yes, I’m aware I left my journal, too. Yes, I heard it read aloud by the Russians on their daily transmissions yesterday. Yes, I heard the giggles. Yes, I wrote the phrase “a kagillion stars.” Yes, I’m aware there is no such word as “kagillion.”

Yes, thermal protection is my specialty. Yes, I want another launch in September. Yes, I was alarmed by the foam loss. Yes, I have ideas on how to reduce its size. Yes, they’re in my journal. Yes, I see your point.

Yes, I like Harry Potter. Yes, that’s my “Half-Blood Prince” in the crew quarters. No, I didn’t finish it before we returned. Yes, I will have to buy another copy now that we are back. No, I didn’t know Dumbledore died. Thank you very much for telling me.

Yes, I take my job seriously. Yes, I think what we do is important. Yes, I believe in the mission. No, I didn’t say NASA was a “clown show.” Yes, I did write that Colonel Reed reminds me of Fatty Arbuckle. Yes, I think there is a distinction.

Yes, I like my job. Yes, I want more shuttle missions. No, I don’t think we should abandon the space station. Yes, I want to fly the successor spacecraft. No, I don’t think it should be named after me. Yes, I realize that wasn’t a serious question.

Yes, I’m currently single. Yes, I live alone. Yes, as of a few weeks ago that was not the case. Yes, I wrote that the infinite black of space is only slightly lonelier than my apartment. No, I have nothing to add to that.

Yes, I know there were reporters camped out at my mother’s. Yes, I heard she talked to them. Yes, I know what she said. No, I didn’t call her when I landed. Yes, I haven’t called her in months. Yes, I forgot her birthday. No, I don’t want the press and public thinking we send degenerates into space. Yes, but you’re assuming that she’s ever been supportive about anything I’ve ever done in my entire life ever, which she has not. Yes, I suppose giving birth to me is something. No, you’re right, I wouldn’t have walked on the moon if it weren’t for her, but we can’t exactly give out medals for getting knocked up by the factory foreman, now can we?

Yes, I realize you’re the one asking the questions. No, I have nothing further. Yes, I plan to shave tomorrow.

No, thank you.

We Call This The Pete Rose Haircut

Short in the back. Combed forward in the front. Bangs cut even.

Thanks, Sheila. School's fine. I'm working at Blockbuster for the summer.