May 26, 2004

As someone with a staggering ability to recall useless facts, I often keep track of my personal records in various pursuits, such as running (a now-unthinkable 5:58 mile at a track meet in high school) and bowling (a high score of 212, even after several beers, while out with some friends four years ago).

After my latest trip to the local gas station, I can add a new item to the record books: a whopping $33.18 for a single tank of regular gas!*

My trusty Altima usually gets about 20 miles per gallon, but those hybrid electric vehicles are looking pretty good these days…

* Update: Ah, I recall those golden days of ’04, when I could buy an entire tank of gas for less than $35. In April 2011, a single fill-up of 15.770 gallons at $4.159 per gallon (!) came to a grand total of $65.59 — nearly double my previous record.

[ No. 97 ]

May 24, 2004

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend among some popular weblogs out there — many bloggers have actually set up PayPal accounts and are asking their visitors for donations toward their site’s hosting or software fees.

Look, kids, those crazy dot-com days of getting something for nothing are long gone. If you have the dough for a computer and Internet access, not to mention the free time to post your random thoughts online, then you should be perfectly capable of running your Web site without the need for an online tip jar.

Have some pride. Don’t be a blogger beggar — you’re better than that.

I rarely say the word “never,” but I will never ask anyone to pay me for ranting on my own Web site. That’s just not the way.

[ No. 96 ]

May 15, 2004

Attended my sister Meg’s graduation from Penn State — she’s the third and final Devine sibling to receive her degree from PSU. Congratulations, Meg!

And I thought I felt old three years ago when my sister Jen graduated from college. During our weekend visit for Meg’s commencement, I barely recognized parts of the Penn State campus, and I found myself constantly referring to the way things used to be during my own college days way back in the ’90s.

But no matter how old I get, I’ll never get tired of returning to State College for a trip down memory lane — especially if the fine folks at the Rathskeller continue to charge just $3 for a pitcher of Yuengling!

[ No. 95 ]

May 10, 2004

Ladies and gentlemen, my latest brush with greatness:

In case you haven’t seen it, the Late Show with David Letterman Web site runs a weekly Top Ten Contest that invites everyday people to submit some comedy writing on a specific topic. I’ve casually contributed a few ideas once in a while, but this morning, I discovered that my latest one-liner was actually selected as a winner and posted on the site!

Check out the # 2 item among the Top Ten Least Popular Friends Episodes!

Top Ten Least Popular "Friends" Episodes

The winning Top Ten entries are only displayed online, so Dave won’t actually read my joke on the air. But my cameo appearance on his site is a true honor — and now I’m officially as funny as my friend Larry according to the staff at Worldwide Pants.

[ No. 94 ]

Image credit: Screenshot, Late Show with David Letterman

May 6, 2004

Watched the series finale of Friends — and for all of the hype, the show ended its 10-year run in fine form.

I think it’s the right time for the show to call it a day. Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey, and Phoebe have changed quite a bit since Friends debuted in 1994 — the characters have paired off in almost every way possible, and most of them have become parents by now. One more season would have been a stretch, and it’s always a shame to see a good show run into the ground.

Over the years, Friends became my favorite show on television — I can’t think of a single episode that didn’t make me laugh out loud, and the reruns still crack me up. It’s a little sad that there are no new episodes to look forward to, but it was great to see that Friends went out on top.

[ No. 93 ]

May 2, 2004

I’m probably in the minority on this one, but I don’t understand why so many people are obsessed with reality TV.

To me, reality shows are a strange hybrid of game shows and soap operas — contestants compete for money, a spouse, or a job working for Donald Trump, but they sure go through a lot of arguing, crying, and humiliation in order to win the prize.

If you’re thinking of breathlessly asking me about the latest episode of one of these programs, please be advised:

I don’t care who got voted off the island on Survivor.

I don’t care who chose whom on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette.

I don’t care which singer received the most votes on American Idol.

I don’t care who ate the largest quantity of pig intestines on Fear Factor.

I don’t care which overachiever was told, “You’re fired!” on The Apprentice.

If you happen to like reality TV, that’s perfectly fine — I won’t think any less of you. But spare me that look of surprise when I sheepishly claim ignorance about these shows. Considering my penchant for reciting quotes from The Simpsons, Friends, and South Park, I watch enough mindless TV already.

[ No. 92 ]