Friday, December 22


I have created an official seal for the Daily Dave 2.0. Here it is. It's a powerful, manly icon that reflects both (a) my strong work ethic, (b) my rugged good looks and (c) my love of the word "logorrhea." I have even snuck in a few words form the rallying cry of the French Revolution, information that I can remember clearly from college courses I took more than a decade ago, even though, on any given day, my memory is so porous that I can't remember where I parked my car in the deck, or what our company's mileage reimbursement rate is, or what I ate for dinner the previous night. These are all clear signs that I have become senile at the age of 34, which does not necessarily pertain to the spiffy new seal that you'll see at the end of this paragraph.
Abso-fucking-lutely fantastic, right? It's artwork like this that renews my faith in the future of humankind.

I have also prepared an emergency backup seal, purely for sarcastic uses. It will be displayed with a mixture of pride and disdain. This seal is sarcastic and self-deprecating because, as Daily Dave readers already know, my blogging philosophy for the past few years has been: "Blog carefully and don't perturb the corporate overlords." The Daily Dave 2.0 is self-censored for my protection.

Thursday, December 21

I'm Featured In Entertainment Weekly

Of course, when I say I'm featured in Entertainment Weekly, it means that my name is listed on the Entertainment Weekly blog because I answered last week's trivia question correctly. This is just one tiny step toward my dream job: being the person who writes EW's pithy "What To Watch" column each week.

Last Friday, the Entertainment Weekly PopWatch Blog asked what Paula Abdul, Lauren Bacall, Scarlett Johansson, Sophie Okonedo, and Gene Simmons all have in common. The answer is that they are all Jewish.

Check out this blog post to see the list of winners, which includes me. As a winner, I receive ... well, nothing. Not even a t-shirt. But it's an honor nonetheless.

Happy Hanukkah! May all your candles be bright, and all your Entertainment Weekly trivia contest answers be right!

Sunday, December 17

I Heart LatkeFest

Once again, supermensch Alan Snel invited friends and family to his house to celebrate the start of Hanukkah. His LatkeFest '06 was a blast: his house was packed with great people, delicious treats and a variety of tasty latkes. Sadly, Britt and I could not stay long, as Britt's recovering from a nasty cough and I'm coming down with something.

Here are some LatkeFest photos:

Everyone loads up on latkes
Everyone loads up on latkes

Oh captain, my captain!
The Captain prepares to celebrate

Britt, Josh and Ellen
Josh and Ellen enjoy some latkes, while Britt snacks on ... spanikopita? Hey, LatkeFest is about more than latkes!

More about LatkeFest: More photos are available on my Flickr photostream. Also, Alan has already written about LatkeFest on his blog, Bike Stories. And I expect Jeff Houck will post something later today on his blog, Side Salad.

Wednesday, December 13

Peter Boyle

I think I shall watch "Young Frankenstein" tonight. RIP Peter Boyle.

Tuesday, December 12

More Photos

Our latest travel photos are now online. Enjoy!

Of Michael And Music: I Miss My Brother

This is cross-posted on the Mike Simanoff Memorial Blog:

Whenever I pick up a new book, or listen to a new album, I always wonder if Michael would approve.

Music was one thing Michael and I had in common, even though our tastes differed. When I was in college, I introduced Michael to the Indigo Girls with a mix tape of live and rare songs. Since then, Michael always returned the favor, exposing me to songs, singers and bands I may never have discovered on my own: XTC, Sufjan Stevens, the Decemberists, Beulah, Wilco, and so on.

The last e-mail message I ever received from Michael was about music.

A few days ago, Ben Saitz were chatting on e-mail and trying to figure out what Michael would have thought of the Beatles' new "Love" CD. Would he see it as a respectful tribute that finds new meanings and connections in the Beatles' classics, or a greed-inspired mash-up of songs that robs the material of its original grace and poetry?

We'll never know. But I'm pretty sure Michael would have sided with the Beatles purists, mainly because (a) that's the stance he typically would have taken and (b) I kind of liked "Love," and Michael and I generally had opposing viewpoints about these kinds of albums.

Let's open this up to discussion. What music have you heard since Michael died that you wish you could have shared with him? Movies, books, TV shows too -- what do you miss discussing with Michael?

The Latest News From NARSAD

NARSAD is the organization we asked people to support after Michael died. I got the following update from them earlier today. It looks like all of our donations are being used well.

The Latest News from NARSAD
(Great Neck, N.Y., Dec. 12, 2006) - The holidays are upon us and NARSAD: The Mental Health Research Association has some end-of-the-year tidings to share with its supporters:
  • The organization has given a record number of grants this year to scientists throughout the world to improve our understanding of psychiatric illnesses and to develop new treatments for these conditions.
  • Some of the world's most innovative investigators in psychiatry were awarded NARSAD's prestigious prizes for career achievement in brain and behavioral research at our recent New York City gala.
  • Medscape, a leading medical news website, recently profiled three NARSAD Scientific Council members, Drs. Carpenter, Coyle, and Seeman, for their insights about schizophrenia.
  • Summaries of several of NARSAD's scientific symposia, held throughout the count, are now available to the public on our website.
  • The Schizophrenia Research Forum, an online forum for research about schizophrenia partially supported by NARSAD, has celebrated its first birthday!
And in other news...NARSAD-supported researchers have continued to advance the frontiers of research into memory, neurological degenerative diseases, depression, and autism, all with the goal of improving the lives of people living with mental illness.

As you consider your charitable giving this time of year, remember that all these research activities by NARSAD would not be possible without donor support. Acting now will have an even greater impact thanks to a challenge grant from the Essel Foundation, which has pledged to match every contribution to NARSAD dollar for dollar. But to make the match, donations must be received by December 31st.

Click here to make a secure online donation and join us in our fight against severe mental illnesses.

Cross-posted at the Mike Simanoff Memorial Blog.

Monday, December 11


Wondering what I want this holiday season? I'd like the usual: peace on earth, and goodwill for all men and women. Also, I'd like all the stuff I've bookmarked here.

Britt & Dave's Holidaymix 2006, Now On iTunes


I love pancakes. I am reporting the following film to the Pancake Anti-Defamation League:

I'm happy to see that at least one of the Hanson kids has found gainful employment. Thanks to Michael Fechter for bringing this to my attention.

Sunday, December 10

Britt & Dave's Holidaymix 2006

Britt and I have updated our holiday playlist for 2006. Some of the songs have been carried over from our 2005 holiday mix, and others are new songs we've discovered. Here's the complete playlist:

  1. Missile Tow, Mosquitos
  2. Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah, Barenaked Ladies
  3. Happy Joyous Hanukah, The Klezmatics
  4. Christmas In America, Melissa Etheridge
  5. Christmas in Hollis, Run-D.M.C.
  6. Applesauce vs. Sour Cream, The LeeVees
  7. Jingle Bells, Barenaked Ladies
  8. Winter Wonderland, Eurythmics
  9. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Frank Sinatra & Cyndi Lauper
  10. Swingin' Dreidel, Kenny Ellis
  11. Do They Know It's Christmas? Band Aid
  12. Feast of Lights, They Might Be Giants
  13. Hanukkah Blessings, Barenaked Ladies
  14. River, Aimee Mann
  15. Rock of Ages, Kenny Ellis
  16. Hanuka Bell, The Klezmatics
  17. Goyim Friends, The LeeVees
  18. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, John Mellencamp
  19. Happy Christmas (War Is Over), John Lennon
  20. Christmas Time Is Here (from A Charlie Brown Christmas), Vince Guaraldi Trio
  21. Hanukkah Swingin' Holiday, Kenny Ellis
  22. Peace On Earth, U2


Monday, December 4

Today's Memo: Passengers

To: The Couple Sitting In 2E and 2F
From: Dave
Date: Monday, Dec. 4, 2006
Subject: Ewww

Stop making out. Now. I don't want to see straight people playing tongue hockey. It's not that I have a problem with it: some of my best friends are heterosexuals. I just don't want to see you flaunting your lifestyle in public.

Wednesday, November 29

Happy Birthday, Dale

Dale Hokrein turned 42 yesterday, and Mary Shedden made sure everyone in the newsroom knew about it. Mary, as you may remember, found her face plastered all over the newsroom earlier this month when she turned 40, and Dale was one of the people responsible for the poster blitz.

Mary's payback gift: a massive display mocking Dale about his missing middle name -- no, really, he doesn't have one -- and a newsroom-wide contest asking people to help select one for him.

I had several suggestions, including Dale "El Elegante" Hokrein, which is a tribute to Dale's Latin roots, Dale "Evans" Hokrein, for obvious reasons, and Dale "Umberto" Hokrein, purely for the intials. I think Dale "Riffic" Hokrein got the most votes. There were a handful of write-in candidates, according to Mary, according to Dale "Buttercup" Hokrein (which I contributed), Dale "Mabry" Hokrein, which refers to a Tampa thoroughfare, and Dale "Chip" Hokrein, which refers to two lesser-known Disney rodents.

Mary decorated the signs with baby-faced (yet, strangely, bearded) pictures of the birthday boy himself. Take a look:

Dale's birthday sign
Dale on display

A close-up

Upon seeing the signage, Dale hams it up

What's a birthday without cake?

Tuesday, November 28

Today's Memo: San Antonio

To: San Antonio
From: Dave
Date: November 28
Subject: Riverwalk Parade

Congratulations on your twinkly lights! They were quite festive. Also, thank you for the spectacular boat parade. Such lengthy delays between each float -- how innovative and entertaining!

Breaking The News

As you may have read in an earlier posting, I'm going to be an uncle.

Lee and Michon delivered the news on Thanksgiving day in a way I'll never forget. He asked my parents and Michon's parents to line up for a photograph. Just before clicking the shutter button, he announced, "Michon's pregnant!"

Here's the photo:

Gayle, Jim, Mom and Dad

As you can see, only my mother believed Lee. So Lee told everyone again, and added that he wasn't kidding. Then he snapped another picture:

Gayle, Jim, Mom and Dad ... part 2

Everyone is elated and, of course, Britt and I are thrilled for Michon and Lee. This niece or nephew will not want for stuffed elephant toys!

Lee, thanks for finding a creative way to share the news. Now we'll all always have this photo to remind us of such a wonderful moment.

Thursday, November 23

Thanksgiving Announcement

I'm going to be an uncle! Congratulations, Michon and Lee!

Monday, November 20

Milhouse Van Houten

This Simpsons quote is, as far as I'm concerned, without hyperbole, the absolute wittiest, funniest, most clever thing that has ever been written or uttered.

It's what Milhouse Van Houten, Bart's nerdy best friend, says despondently after his puppy-love relationship with Samantha, his first love, is broken up by Samantha's angry dad.

Pure genius. Seeing it on the SimpsonsBot (the Mac desktop widget that displays random Simpsons quotes) absolutely made my day.

Sunday, November 19

Oh Come All Ye Gay-Ful

Christmas ornaments recently seen at the mall:

Why buy one dog ornament, one rainbow flag ornament and one leather jacket ornament when you can just buy this one?

Apparently, the Village People have added another singer, and he's a mermaid. His glittery tail is frightening.

Happy Birthday, Mary

One of my favorite humans, Mary Shedden, turned 40 years old on Friday. Intrepid Tribune coworkers Dale Hokrein and Ted Jackovics posted signs all over the office, ensuring that nobody would overlook Mary's milestone. I used my cellphone camera to capture the embarrassing loving tribute.

The first sign I saw was posted inside the elevator door.

Happy birthday, Mary
Mary seems to be taking it all in stride. I think she's pretending.

Mary in the men's room
I assume this is Mary's first appearance in the men's bathroom.

Mary signage
Signs, signs, everywhere signs

Mary removes a sign in the elevator
In the elevator, on the way to lunch, Mary tears down one of her posters.

Michael Sasso demostrates the wrong way to wear a birthday hat
Michael Sasso is either (a) imitating a duck or (b) demonstrating the wrong way to wear a birthday hat.

Mary's birthday cake
Mary basks in the glow of her birthday candles. We wanted to put 40 candles on the cake, but apparently that would have violated some sort of municipal fire code.

Mike Kersmarki is in a festive mood
Mike Kersmarki is either (a) celebrating Mary's birthday or (b) preparing to celebrate the Ohio State victory that would come one day later.

Thursday, November 16

More on Britt's Birthday

Exactly how old is Britt today? I'll give you a hint ... he's somewhere between the age at which people hold their birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese, and the age at which Willard Scott wishes you a happy birthday on the "Today" show.

I hope that clears things up.

Happy Birthday, Britt!

Today is Britt's flawthy-blarth birthday. Notice how he kind of slurs when he gives his age. I'm assuming this is (A) either a sign of senility, or, (B) he's not willing to admit exactly how old he is. Come to thing of it, it's probably both.

This year I bought Britt an elephant. Sure, I've given Britt lots of elephants before, but this is the first live one:

I also got Britt a travel book and a Target gift card. My parents bought him a book about Bear Bryant and a Starbucks gift card. And my mother made Britt a beautiful, colorful quilt -- a busy patchwork of red, yellow, blue and green, so vibrant that it looks ready to explode, reined in only by a thin frame of electric blue and green fabric. It's one of the most stunning quilts my mom has made.

Happy birthday, Britt.

Monday, November 13

We're No. 1! (But Not Anymore)

What an accomplishment! For a few sweet days, Britt and I could boast of having the most write picks overall in the mighty Tampa Tribune annual football pool.

Here's the standings as they appeared before this weekend's games:

Sadly, our reign at the top of this list didn't last too long -- we fell a few notches after making a slew of bad picks this week. At least we've got this screenshot to remind us of the short period when we out-prognosticated some of the world's smartest footbal fans a bunch of other folks in my office with nothing better to do.

Rumbly In My Tummy

I spent Monday at home, thanks to what Winnie the Pooh would call a "rumbly in my tummy." Most of my time was spent sprawled out on the couch, with my MacBook resting on my stomach. This is what it looked like from the computer's point of view:

Sunday, November 5

O Captain My Captain

Capt. Randy Diamond, one of the most interesting people I have ever worked with, worked his last day at the Tribune Friday. Tomorrow morning, he'll be a staff writer for the venerable Palm Beach Post.

(Captain is an honorary title. As far as I know, Randy has never piloted any kind of watercraft.)

I snapped some photos of Randy's final days. If you know Randy, you won't be surprised to see that most of the photos relate to Randy cleaning his desk, as this is the sort of activity Randy does often.

Randy de-clutters
Randy figures out which papers to file and which ones to throw away.

This is the view from my desk.

At Randy's farewell lunch, he receives a gift from our editor, Mark Guidera.

It's a DustBuster!

The funniest thing about Randy receiving a DustBuster as a send-off gift is that the second he realized what it was, he announces that the staff at his last newspaper bought him the exact same thing.

Tuesday, October 31

National Novel Writing Month

Tomorrow is November 1, which means I'll begin writing a 50,000-word novel as part of National Novel Writing Month. I've done this twice before -- I was successful two years ago, but failed in 2005.

Official NaNoWriMo 2006 Participant

Will I be triumphant this year, or will I crank out several thousand words of drivel before throwing up my hands in disgust?

Probably the latter.

I'll keep you posted.

Boulder And Estes Park Photos Now Online

Photos of our recent trip to Boulder and Estes Park are now online for your viewing pleasure. It was a wild adventure, filled with moose, mountains and mmmm-mmmm-delicious Celestial Seasonings tea.

Today's Memo: Stephen King

To: Stephen King
From: Dave
Date: Oct. 31, 2006
Subject: The Stanley Hotel

Britt and I recently visited the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colo. It's my understanding that the Stanley was your inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in "The Shining." After seeing the hotel, I was inspired to pick up "The Shining" on Saturday night. I read about two-thirds of it on the trip back to Tampa, and the remaining third last night in bed.

I am now scared out of my wits. Thank you so much. I will have to sleep with the lights on for the rest of my life.

Monday, October 30

Today's Memo: The Mute Button

To: The Mute Button
From: Dave
Date: Oct. 30, 2006
Subject: Thank You

You saved my sanity last night when John Madden launched into a lengthy discussion about the dryness of pork chops and the moistness of pulled pork -- a topic which, if I'm not mistaken, has nothing to do with football. Thank you. Thank you so much.

Thursday, October 26

Today's Memo: Equal

To: Equal
From: Dave
Date: October 26, 2006
Subject: Demands

Your Drink Demands Equal

Cut the attitude, Equal! I decide what artificial sweetner goes in my iced tea -- not you. I will not take orders from packaging.

Wednesday, October 25

I'm Wendy Testaburger

Well, if you've got to be a girl in the South Park universe, you could do worse.


Sunday, October 22

Today's Memo (No. 2): John Mellencamp

To: John Mellencamp nee Cougar
From: Dave
Date: Oct. 22, 2006
Subject: Stop.

Stop. Please stop. Please stop now. You know what I'm talking about.

Today's Memo: Burger King Employees

To: The employees of the Burger King in the Delta terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport
From: Dave
Date: Oct. 22, 2006
Subject: Sluggish service

Two days ago, at lunch time, I ordered a chicken sandwich, a fish sandwich and some onion rings for my partner and me.

Your restaurant was so slow that in the time it took me to complete my order and receive my food, the entire Burger Royal Family could have been deposed in a coup d'etat and been replaced by a republican political system with clearly delineated branches of government and constitutional protections for its citizens.

This worries me because (a) I fear violent government change and (b) it is well known that monarchies make the best onion rings.

Thursday, October 19

Today's Memo: Claudia Schiffer

To: Claudia Schiffer
From: Dave
Date: Oct. 19, 2006
Subject: Project Runway

Jeffrey won? Is this some kind of joke? We're talking about the guy whose dresses look like schmattas hand-stiched by Dr. Frankenstein.

Bad call!

Tuesday, October 17

Today's Memo: John Mayer

To: John Mayer
From: Dave
Date: Oct. 17, 2006
Subject: Haircut

I recently saw this picture of you in a promotional e-mail from Starbucks:

Have you considered a haircut? You sort of look like Edward Scissorhands.

Thursday, October 12

Today's Memo: Fergie

To: Fergie
From: Dave
Date: Oct. 12, 2006
Re: London Bridge

I wish to point out to your attention that your song seems to refer to Tower Bridge, not London Bridge. Accordingly, the lyrics to your song should be: "How come everytime you come around, / My Tower, Tower bridge, wanna go down like, / Tower, Tower Tower, wanna go down like, / Tower, Tower, Tower, we goin' down like."

The current London Bridge is a drab, unimaginative concrete cantilevered bridge built about 35 years ago. It does no go up or down. The most remarkable thing that ever happened there was when the the bridge was hit by the HMS Jupiter in 1984. Perhaps this collision could be the inspiration for a revised, more accurate song: "How come everytime you come around, / The HMS Jupiter, HMS Jupiter wanna collide like ..."

Tuesday, October 10

Blogger On The Rebound

I haven't done much posting recently, but that may change soon. I can feel the creative juices rumbling, bubbling, boiling inside me.

Oh wait, that's my stomach.

Where is the nearest bathroom?! Hurry!

[Time passes...]

Okay, so maybe those weren't creative juices. Nonetheless, for the first time in weeks, I feel compelled to write, to share, to extract thin slivers of my brain and place them on microscope slides for the rest of the world to examine. (Figuratively, of course. I would prefer to keep my literal brain intact.)

Today, I wrote the following haiku at work:

Like a lousy whore,
Coke machine takes my money
But doesn't put out.

Okay, so I'm not William Blake. But at least I know how to spell tiger properly. What's the matter, Blake: you too busy to run spell check?

Sunday, September 10

Thirteen Again

It's a good thing I'm not triskaidekaphobic. After posting a list of the 13 things that went wrong these past few days, Britt and I went to dinner at IHOP and the check was -- drumroll please -- $13.13.

The Glass Is Half Empty

Given my current state of mind, it's not entirely surprising that I can go to a wonderful NLGJA convention and hang out with wonderful people and still compile in my head a list of everything that went wrong.

And here is that list:

1. When I checked into the hotel on Thursday, I as given room 929 – with two double beds, but an OK view. We reserved a room with a king-size bed.

2. Went back to front desk and was given room 503 – which had a king-sized bed but a horrible view. We overlooked parking decks, satellite dishes and a rather uninspiring stretch of Collins Avenue.

3. Realized soon after being reassigned to room 503 that I had left my sunglass clip in room 929. Had to return to front desk, then head up to the ninth floor and wait for security officer to let me in. Sunglass clip was on the nightstand.

4. Called to complain about the view. Was told that no other rooms with king-size beds were available.

5. Called Britt to tell him about the room. He looks online and finds that, in fact, there are lots of rooms with king-size beds available at the hotel. I call back and point out that other rooms with king-size beds are available on the Web site, but man on other end of the phone explains that I can’t be moved into those rooms because we’re paying a special convention rate. I explain that (a) we reserved our room early and (b) the hotel was at fault for saving a room with two double beds for us in the first place. I am told that I am in fact staying in a better room now, which I have a hard time believing is the truth, and give up.

6. On Friday morning, a pen leaked all over my right hand. I didn’t realize it until I got blue ink all over the right size of my brand new white MacBook. I was able to clean most of the ink off, but there’s still a blue smudge to the right of the trackpad.

7. On Friday night, I tripped outside. I placed my hands in front of me to cushion my fall, and as a result I hurt my wrists when I landed. Also I bruised my ego.

8. In the fall, I dropped my camera on the coquina floor. It survived, but some my pictures now look a little fuzzier and grainer than they did before. However, some photos seem just fine. Now I don’t know if I should buy a new digital camera or not – it seems wasteful to replace something that’s not entirely broken. It’s quite probable that the camera is fine and I’m being overly critical of the photographs because I’m looking for flaws. I wish it were flat-out busted so that I would feel justified in buying a new digital camera.

9. Five minutes after tripping, I tripped again. This time it was in the hotel gift store, and I nearly took out an entire display of overpriced tacky souvenirs.

10. Britt and I were outbid on almost everything we wanted at the NLGJA annual silent auction, including the Hotel Elysée package we have won the past two years.

11. When we checked out, the trainee behind the desk didn’t return Britt’s American Express card. We didn’t realize it until we were in the taxi and halfway to the airport.

12. When Britt called the hotel to report his missing American Express card, the first person he spoke to had a so-what-do-you-want-us-to-do-about-it attitude. Britt then spoke to the desk worker, who said she had turned it in to security and would cut it up if we wanted.

13. Sitting in the American Airlines Admirals Club, we realized that we left our Airport Extreme (the portable gizmo that lets us share a single Internet connection and set up a wireless hotspot in our room) at the hotel. Britt called the hotel back; they called us about 20 minutes later saying they had found the Airport Extreme and would mail it to us.

I don't suffer from triskaidekaphobia, but I'm a little unnerved to discover my list has exactly 13 items on it. Still, it's something of a relief to focus on everyday annoyances instead of the big stuff.

Thursday, August 31

DoubleClick's Generous Donation

This is cross-posted at my brother's memorial blog:

DoubleClick, Michael's employer, has donated $2,500 in Michael's memory to National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, or NARSAD for short.

Thank you, DoubleClick. I can't begin to express how much the gesture means to me and my family.

It was almost exactly one year ago that Michael moved to Chicago to take his job with DoubleClick. I was in Chicago at the same time for that year's NLGJA conference. The first night I was in town, I blew off the NLGJA evening meet-and-greets and Michael and I ate dinner at the original Pizzeria Uno at Ohio Street and Wabash Avenue, just a few steps away from the Magnificent Mile. The next day, Britt came to Chicago and Michael signed a lease on his new apartment. That night, we celebrated Michael's new job and home with a big steak dinner at Lawry's The Prime Rib on Ontario Street.

Here's a picture of our waitress making a big production out of the salad. This is what they do at Lawry's -- the spin the salad bowl so the dressing is distributed evenly. It looks kind of cool, actually:

At Lawry's The Prime Rib in Chicago, 10/2005

That Sunday, before Britt and I flew home, we went to Michael's apartment to check out the incredible view. The south side of Chicago, including US Cellular Field, spread out beneath us. To the left stood Sears Tower.

Here's a picture of Britt and Michael pointing out landmarks. Michael, who despised being in photos, agreed to let me take this picture because his back was to the camera.

Britt and Michael, 10/2005

Here's the view of Sears Tower:

Sears Tower, seen from Michael's apartment, 10/2005.JPG