There come times when Orf sees something, is affected by it, and feels compelled to tell others. That is why this web page exists. As life develops, Orf will develop his viewpoint along with it. Develop the habit of reading about it.

March 2, 2008: Yes, it really has been eight months since I updated this web log. I'm not much for voicing my petty opinions online. But heck, some people seem to care, so I'll list some some minor happenings that have swirled around the world of Orf:
> I am an expectant father! The orfspring (thanks for that word, Dave Prager) will be male, and as of this writing, is halfway to daylight. I have been told many times that my life will change dramatically upon his birth. However, my life has never been a pinnacle of stability to begin with, so I figure it will be just one more shift (albeit a large one) in my ever-shifting world.
> The presidential primaries are in full swing, and Texas is due up next. The Texas primary system is a convoluted mess that actually requires participants to vote twice if they want their full say. Otherwise they only get a two-thirds say. Don't mess with Texas--they've messed with themselves enough already.
> Southern Methodist University, my alma mater and Laura Bush's too, has officially announced that is has been chosen as the site of this administration's presidential library. They spun it in very diplomatic terms: "No matter how one feels about a particular administration, a presidential library preserves the history of the Office of the President and of our nation during a particular era... We should feel pride that SMU has been selected as a repository of historical documents, a purpose that transcends current politics." I must say I agree with this viewpoint, but I can't help but anticipate a few of the one-liners regarding Dubya's Libary: (a) Does it include "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish"? (b) What good is a library when all the documents are blacked out for "national security" reasons? (c) Will the center include key artifacts such as the pretzel he almost choked on or the particular pieces of the Constitution that he shredded?
> March Madness is upon us, and the ESPN/ABC broadcasters have finally delivered announcer nirvana to us: the team of Gus Johnson and Clark Kellogg. Both men are well-spoken, articulate, knowledgeable, and completely frenzied college hoops fans who get genuinely excited about the games they cover. GuJo sounds rabid at the sight of a mere fast break. Kellogg starts to snap, crackle, and pop uncontrollably when a sweet move is made. If you are watching a game with these two calling it, your own intensity, personal involvement, and heart rate cannot help but increase exponentially. Give us more! More!

That's my update for now. Catch you again when I catch you again -- next week, next month, whenever.

June 16, 2007: We're back! We have reclaimed and reactivated our domain name, and it only took $16.22 and three months of irritation. FYI, here's how the system works: If you wish to get yourself a domain name, such as, you must pay a registrar such as NameSecure or NameScout to register the name with ICANN and set up the name so it points to your website. This usually costs about $8.95 for a year, or as low as $6.95/yr if you sign up for a longer term like a 4 or 5 year contract. When the registration period reaches the end, you need to alert the registrar you wish to extend your ownership of your site name (e.g.,, and pay them the appropriate fee for the extension. If you fail to do this on time, you may get a grace period of up to a month, depending on your registrar. During the grace period, you can re-register at a typical cost. But if you forget to re-register during that grace period, then you go into "redemption period" status. Uh-oh.

This "redemption period" typically lasts one month. During this time, you can reclaim your domain name FOR $100. If you want, you gotta spill some milk. Otherwise, the site will be deleted and thrown back into the ocean of unclaimed web domain names.

So now it's been two months, and you think you're going to get your to come back home, right? WRONG! The domain provider then HOLDS ON to your site name for another month and claims it is "expired." Why? Nobody knows! They just do! You have to wait another thirty days (if not more) until they really free up the domain name. Nothing happens during this time. You can't use your site, but nobody else can either. It's like web address purgatory... your domain just sits there until some higher power decides it may be set free.

Three months or more have passed since you mistakenly forgot to extend your ownership over So NOW you can go and re-register the domain name as if you never had it before, right? WRONG! Because some Evil Domain Gobbling Giant like or Snapnames has swooped in during the first hours or even minutes after your were released back into the wild and registered the domain name for themselves for a year. What are they going to do with your Why, auction the name back to you at a profit, of course. If it only cost them $6, and they can sell it to you for $10 or $15 or even $60 ('s starting price), then they're making some nice profit for just being money-grubbing middle men, wouldn't you say? Thankfully, though they start the bids high ($60), they usually drop the price over the next few days if nobody buys it. If you're patient and watchful, you can get your cows back for maybe $10 or $12 instead of the $8 you would have paid to a typical registrar. It's not that big of a hit, but the whole principle of the thing just sours my milk.

On the positve side of things, is back in the hands of Orf. It only took from March 28 to June 15--a total of 78 days--and $16.22 to get it done. Registration lasts a twelve months. You can be fairly certain we will not let the payment date slip by next year.

March 28, 2007: Orfinmagic has just made a huge mistake. Maybe not huge, but definitely a big pain in the butt. We have missed the deadline for payment to our domain registrar. The result: we now must either pay $100 to reclaim the "expired" domain name of (one year of registration usually costs around $8.95); or we must let the name expire, be deleted from the registry, and then hope nobody else picks it up and holds it hostage for even higher payment. There is a good chance the domain URL will become unusable for a while. This will be a grand experiment, right? Either that, or a huge mistake.

November 8, 2006: It is a sad day in ultra-conservative land. The people of the U.S.A. have spoken, and their votes at the polls said, "We don't need your stinking right-wing ideologies!" The voters returned the control of the House of Representatives to the moderate-to-liberal Democrats; the Senate is at least a tie (the VA senate seat is still undecided). Now the true test: will the change in power cause any change? Or will I STILL not be able to get Dave Barry to write a guest column for me?

November-ish, 2006 - a Friday. We have found a source for tasty, reasonably-priced Italian food in Austin, Texas! Hooray! You have to understand, this is a big thing. Growing up in St. Louis, fantastic Italian food was as close as The Hill, and it was cheap. It still is; I can go back to StL and get a huge plate of deeeelicious pasta that feeds three people for about $10. But I just found the first place in Austin that even comes close to that. It's a little Italian market with a restaurant in the back of it, in a new area called The Triangle. The portions aren't huge, but hey, Texans are fat enough anyway. Seriously. Go to Houston. You'll think Sea World's orcas have escaped the tanks and donned cowboy hats. But if you want so good pasta with flavorful sauces and toppings and you happen to be in Austin, check out the place in the Triangle. Yum!

October 26, 2006: The Cardinals have won the World Series! The Cardinals have won the World Series! If you think I sound excited about it, you should see the city of St. Louis. They held a parade today to honor the World Series champions, and the attendance at the rally was an estimated FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND people. 500,000!!!! The whole regional population of the greater St. Louis area, extending into Illinois and out to the western 'burbs, is only 2.4 million people. That means that more than 20% of the area population attended a parade just to tell some athletes, "Hey, thanks for playing really good baseball!" What a trip.

September 19, 2006: My favorite coverage of an international political story in recent memory: the leader of Thailand's military has staged a coup, and newpapers are trumpeting "It's the first coup in Thailand since 1991!" Really? That's a long time to go between coups? Fifteen years without a military overthrow of a sitting government is considered excessively stable? We sure are sheltered here in the U.S. of A. Our leaders stage their coups through mudslinging, rabble-rousing, and rigged elections, not armed force.

The wraps are off, and it is official: I now have more than a foot's worth of scars on my right forearm. 13 1/4", to be exact. (I just measured.) Two and a half inches on my right elbow from the most recent surgery, then another four and a half on my inside forearm, and then just over six inches from the three long scars on my right hand (two from the nerve surgery that go along with the big forearm scar, and one from a standard hand gash that required stitches in jr. high or high school. The left arm & hand? Almost completely scar-free. (I've got a little small half-inch line from a bartending accident that involved a poorly designed refrigerator latch.) If I have a few more surgical repairs to my right hand/arm, I think I become an honorary member of the Skywalker family.

August 2006: For the third or maybe fourth time in my life, I have been put to sleep under a general anestethic. The last time was about 15 years ago, in the early 90s. Let me tell you, in the time since then, anesthesiologists have developed some GOOD stuff. As I rested in my room at the hospital, preparing to have my years of elbow abuse fixed via surgery, I was chatting with my wife. The anesthesiologist walked in and said, "Margarita time!" I said something to my wife... I think. I suddenly woke up four hours later in a different room with a cast on my arm. For all I know, I dozed off in mid-sentence after the doctor injected the goods into my IV. I'm not sure if I like this or not. When I went under for my hand surgery 15 years earlier, the doc said something about "count backwards from 100" as he injected the drugs. I had a few seconds to fight the fog as it engulfed me--and those few seconds were fantastic. You get a blur around the edges, then a pixelated view of the world all over, then a feeling of euphoria for about a quarter-second, and then you go under. And you can remember this when you wake up! I suppose that would be disconcerting to some, who don't like the loss of control. I dug it. Alas, the drugs now are too good for that little bit of silliness.

June 29, 2006: My VW bus finally died. Sad. He made it to 237,000 miles and then pretty much disintegrated. Have you ever known a car to break apart in such ways that you could see the highway beneath your feet while you sat inside it? Me neither, but Al the Third did just that. When VW's die, they really die. If anybody knows of another 1971 VW bus without body rust, let me know.

I have entered a new phase of life: I am now a married man! So far, so good. Having my little lady around me on a regular basis is pretty nice. The wedding itself was a fantastic party. How we're supposed to pay for all of it now is the mystery. On the plus: we're married, we have a house in south Austin, we threw an awesome day-long party for our wedding, and our parents are still glowing about the event. On the minus: we're deeply in debt, only one of us has a job at the moment, and I'm way behind on my acting and writing work. But on the whole, I would have to say I'm very much on the plus side. Woo hoo!

Have I updated my blog much? No. Want to know why not? Because I don't like doing it. I'm not enamored with my own drivel to the extent that I want to write trivial little updates and opinions on a regular basis. I have a newsletter that I send out on a monthly basis to my friends and relatives. It includes a little bit of opinion, but mostly it's a comedy forum where I write humorous columns such as the album review of "Terry Schiavo - Unplugged." I print it out on festive colored paper, and I mail it via the old-fashioned postal service to about 50 people. That's good enough for me. Either I promote my films/theater/written work, or I goof with friends. I don't need no stinkin' daily web journal. So if you want to know why this blog is only sporadically updated, there you go.

I have agreed to undertake a life shift: I am returning to Texas in mid-September. I am not sure of how excited I am about going back to Texas, or leaving New York (even if turns out to be only temporary). However, I've got a sweetie there, and she's in Austin, which isn't really like Texas. So it looks like I'm headed back to the land where I went to college, the land where I first bought a VW microbus, the land where people think that low-tax, low-service is the best was to operate public services. It should be interesting. We'll have to see how it works out.

This blog and my websites got me a job! Holy crappity crap! ABC is starting two new shows in the fall of 2005, and they both feature characters who blog. Combine my comedy writing, my TV experience, and these blogs, and I have been tabbed as the guy who gets to write the character blogs for the new ABC shows Invasion and Commander In Chief. How ridiculous is that? I love this country. I don't know if the shows will be any good, but hopefully they're just good enough for me to stay employed and pay off some bills. That would be nice. Big thanks to my buddy Andrew, who thought of me and referred me to ABC for the gig. I'll try to post the blog links when I know what they are.

There's a crazy woman on the Hudson River bike path every morning. I've mentioned her in this blog before. She is old, frumpy, frequently sports a turban, wears big bug-eye sunglasses, and ALWAYS walks her bicycle. I finally saw her doing something different today: She got on her bike and RODE it! She rode very slowly, and only for about 50 yards. Then she got off and walked it again. I find this behavior almost as perplexing as taking her bike for a walk. She rides it, but only for 50 yards, and at a pace that causes her to weave and almost tip over? Why does she do this?! Why would anybody do this?!! Please help me understand.

I think I have figured out why I don't update this blog very frequently. I'm too busy having a good time and trying to write worthwhile comedy. The self-importance and literary masturbation inherent in most weblogs just aren't that appealing to me. But I'm keeping up the experiment anyway, to see if anything worthwhile comes of it. I'm not hopeful. But I'm staying positive! Always positive! More blogging! More of my inconsequential thoughts posted in electronic form!

Seen in Union Square park in the span of one hour on a Tuesday afternoon in late July:

* a fivesome of musicians, jamming underneath a tree (the fivesome included a tuba, soprano saxophone, guitar, bass guitar, and bongo drums)
* a (presumably) homeless man sleeping underneath another tree
* an old lady feeding the pigeons that everybody else wishes didn't exist
* a collective of 15-20 people doing yoga
* humidity
* a banjo and clairnet duo playing old dixieland tunes
* the resident crazy guy who wears headphones and sunglasses as he leans against the stone wall and shouts out diatribes to nobody in particular
* four kids skateboarding in the open paved area that is utilized by the Farmers Market on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
* the zeitgeist
* an overtly high-maintenance young woman trying to walk on soft ground in spike heals, and looking very uneasy about it
* at least three people reading the latest Harry Potter book
* apathy

Hot time, summer in the city! Well, not really. The temperature hasn't even broken 100 in the New York area this year. Meanwhile, my old home town of St. Louis is doing it's usual thing: prior to the start of a Sunday night baseball game, Cardinals outfielder Jim Edmonds took a thermometer out to center field. It registered 119 degrees. When he went back into the shade, the needle dropped all the way to 114. Perfect weather for a baseball game! You hear that, you New Yorkers? Quit yer whinin'!

There is a new Beirut. It's not Kabul, it's not Baghdad. It's Morningside Heights, Manhattan, on the Fourth of July. On July 3rd, my neighbors and the local residents got an early start by setting off fireworks in the middle of Columbus Avenue, just below 109th street. As a white SUV turned the corner to head south on Columbus, it had to swerve over a lane to avoide getting a firecracker launched up its undercarriage. But that was NOTHING compared to the 4th itself. Don't you love that our nation's independence has become synonomous with people blowing stuff up? I don't know how many windows were shattered or cars destroyed, but I do know that the explosive revelry was constant from 6 pm until about 3 am. The 11:00-midnight hours were especially vibrant, and I only wish I had a tape recorder to catch all the sounds. Thirty second long strings of firecrackers, followed by screeching tires, then bottle rockets, an thunderous explosion that set off car alarms, some police sirens, and more firecrackers. It was a symphony of destruction that could only be rivaled by middle eastern wars. Vive la independence!

It has been nearly a month since I last saw my honey down in Texas. (That was May 31; it's now June 29.) For the most part, it hasn't been too bad. I'm not used to having one particular person on my mind for any length of time, much less have one person in my immediate presence (both emotionally and phsycially). It's an interesting shift to call or email the same person every day or two. It's nice to not have to follow up meeting a cute girl at a bar with the thought, "I wonder if she's single and would like to go home with me..." But it'd be nicer if I met that cute girl at the bar, didn't have that thought about her, but then turned around to my own woman and said, "Hey, let's go home and, uh... play Scrabble." (Elana comes to visit July 1 for about a week. I've got my dictionary ready.)

I didn't think bill collectors exist except in the movies, or in the form of lawyers with nasty letters. I have just been proven wrong. In my absence from NYC, I was estimating payments to Con-Edison for my apartment's utilities. Turns out I must have underestimated a bit. At 8:57 am on a Thursday morning, some burly blue-collar guy with a clipboard buzzes my apartment. He tells me that I need to pay him $225 on the spot, or he's going to turn off my electricity and gas. I believe him, too-- he's got the tools right there on his belt. I pulled out my checkbook and wrote him a check, winced at the amount left to live on until my next paycheck of any kind, and smiled as I handed the check to him. He wrote me a receipt. It was all very cordial, which was kind of a letdown. Aren't bill collectors supposed to threaten your kneecaps and make you feel unsure of your future survival? I suppose the threat of living in the dark with no stove or refrigerator would have threatened our food supply a little, but hey, that's what the cheap Chinese restaurant and the Spanish bodega around the corner are for, aren't they?

June 2, 2005: The Fog has landed. The rain has not stopped. Have you ever driven along a storm front? You know, the kind that moves gradually north and east while you're driving north and east? I just reached the mountains in Virginia (Appalachians? Smokies? Shenandoah? one of those groups) and the rain is still with me, as it has been since the Louisana/Mississippi border. In the mountains, the clouds touch down and cover the roads. It's surreal. They have little lights built into the shoulders of the road. It's like driving down the middle of an airplane exit row. Tower, can I get clearance? I want to land in Charlottesville.

It is now official: small-town police officers will come up with ANYTHING to drum up revenue from out-of-staters. I was four miles from the LA/MS border in I-20 when a cop swings a U-turn through the median and pulls around behind me. I knew I should have just pulled over right then and saved him the hassle of making up a reason to do it himself. Sure enough, after about 30 seconds of him tailing me, the rollers come on. His explanation: my license plate lights either weren't working or weren't bright enough for his liking. My tag lights? Are you kidding me? The town of Delta, Louisiana, is that strapped for cash that it needs to issue citations for dim tag lights? I know the deputy was probably bummed that he didn't get a good drug bust from me and my hippie van, but I don't feel he needed to give himself a consolation prize by writing me up on a violation without so much as a warning. And police officers wonder why they're not popular with the people.

My, how easily plans change when you're on the road. Especially when you meet a cool chick and you have no major responsibilities and you drive a VW microbus. I was supposed to attend my cousin's wedding on May 21 in St. Louis, and then head back east to hole up in a friend's house and crank out some writing. But then this fiesty little redhead starts dancing with me at Jazz Fest, and she lives in Texas. So instead of driving to New Jersey and being distracted by thoughts of her while I'm trying to write, I decided to turn around and drive back down to Texas and be distracted by the actual her while I write. It might cost me an extra $120 in gas. Whatever. I'm on a freakin' road trip, right? Right!

It's April 28th, and I've been on the road for about two weeks now. Wow. Do you know how hard it is to keep up any sort of weblog or steady communication when you're constantly moving about and having fun? It makes me think that the people who do run blogs don't have much of a life. That, or they don't know the joy of the contantly shifting location. Since I left on April 16 I've stopped in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Alexandria, Chapel Hill, Asheville, Nashville, New Orleans, and now Houston. And those are just the places I've STOPPED. The places I've driven through or briefly paused for refueling are even more varied. This is crazy, and I love every second of it.

The pace gets a little slower down south. My friend Bob and I pulled over for some BBQ at an Alabama truck stop on Route 11, near the Mississippi border. I asked about the rib bones, and the nice lady said that they had a fresh rack just off the grill. If I wanted to wait for them, the other girl was jes' choppin' 'em up. But they was just like the ones on the tray in front of me, so I decided to go for the ones I could see. Good thing. By the time they lady served me two rib bones and a chuck of rib tips, roughly a half hour had passed. She asked if I wanted some bread, and I foolishly said that one of the dinner rolls would be nice. She walked over to the bread box... slid open the plastic door... unwrapped the twist tie... took out one roll... set it on the styrofoam container that held my ribs... re-tied the twist tie... slid the door shut... ambled two steps over to in front of my rib order... ambled two steps back... pulled out a sheet of tissue paper... ambled back to my order... picked up the roll, set it on the paper... folded one side of paper over, creased it... folded the other side of paper over, creased that... tucked the sides of paper underneath the roll... set the roll back on the styrofoam container... hesitated... took a nap, maybe... and asked me if I wanted anything else. I was thinking it might have been nice to shave, since I had grown a full beard while she was preparing my order, but I didn't say anything. I just smiled and took what I could get at the moment. Bob had yet to order, and I wanted to give him a chance to experience the cordial, statey, somnabulent hospitality I had just received. For all I know, Bob may still be waiting for that fresh set of ribs to come out. After all, she jes' has to finish cuttin' 'em up.

There's a crazy woman on my bike path. I can't say for sure that she's clinically insane, but here's what she does: She takes her bike for a walk every day. In winter, she wore a fuzzy leopard-print coat, a big purple scarf, and oversized mittens. Now that it's warmer, she has lost the coat and mittens. She wears a green turban-like hat and big fly-eye sunglasses. She's about five-three, a bit pudgy, and I would guess in her 60s. She has an old model of bicycle, with the wide handlebars and a basket on the front, but I'm not sure if the pedals work. Why? BECAUSE I'VE NEVER SEEN HER ACTUALLY RIDING THE BIKE. She walks it, at a very deliberate pace. Maybe she thinks the bike is a basset hound. Maybe she is actually using the bike as a walker because she has poor balance. I have seen her somewhere between 23rd Street and 57th Street nearly every day that I've ridden my bike down the Hudson River bike path in the past six months. She looks surly, soured on life. She's obviously a little overweight, so the exercise isn't doing her a whole lot of good. I don't understand this woman's motivation. Does her bike get cranky if she doesn't give it some fresh air? Is her balance so bad she can't ride it properly? Does she enjoy standing next to her bicycle? I ride my bike, to travel from point A to point B. I've never had much of an urge to take it for a stroll. Then again, I'm not insane either.

The Second Annual Spring Fling BBQ and Frolf Outing, Sunday April 10, 2005 - I have found the key to a happy and fulfilling life, and it is called Goofing Off With Friends On A Nice Day. On a beautiful spring day, a dozen or so of us carpooled up to F.D.R. State Park in Westchester, about 30 miles north of New York City. The park features an array of picnic tables, barbecue grills, basketball hoops, a ball field, and an 18-hole disc golf course. We brought with us meats and veggies to grill, frisbees to toss, basketballs to shoot, and cheese to race. We packed in assorted other amenities for our enjoyment, such as an iPod and battery-powered speakers, a box of donuts, and a cooler of beer. We cooked and ate to our stomachs' content. We had three rounds of cheesracing, which were very tense and exciting. We played a round of frolf on a somewhat muddy course, but the scratches from brambles and the mud on our shoes did not impede our fun. In fact, these only pointed out how much fun we were having. You can't have much fun if you're sitting by yourself in an office building, can you?

After the disc golf, we gathered 'round the donuts and relaxed for a bit, savoring the moment. Then two basketballs were brought out, and the egalitarian and excessively fun game known as Knockout commenced. One basket, two balls, and a line of many players... the rest of the rules are irrelevant. We played until it was dark. It did not take a genius to realize, this is the Good Life. Expensive cars, big houses, or exotic locales are not required. Goof Off With Friends On A Nice Day. Trust me, you'll feel satisfied.

On April 2nd, at 5:00 in the afternoon, I'm driving my van over to Greek Mike's to join a little party and watch the NCAA games. This is the second week of spring, and it's suddenly monsoon season in New York. I'm coming off the highway, and there's a damn lake at the bottom of the exit ramp that almost swamps my bus. Wind is knocking my vehicle sideways into the next lane. Branches and rocks are pelting the car with audible thuds. Cats are taking up with dogs. It's mayhem, it's madness! What could be the reason for this otherworldly onslaught of the elements? Is there any explanation?! at all???!!!
Then in a phone call my friend Mark astutely points out a potential reason: "Hey, the pope only dies once."

10 pm, March 31. In front of a church on Columbus and 82nd, a young girl is trying to teach a younger boy how to jump rope face-to-face with her. A group of four or five adult men stand nearby, shooting the breeze. As the girl swing the rope around herself, the boy tentatively tries to decide when he should step in and jump with her. Out of the diner next door, another older man exits and walks to join the men in front of the church. Rather than swinging a wide path around the girl jumping rope, he heads straight for her. While the boy continues to hesitate, the older man in one fluid move ducks his head, steps inside the arc of the rope, jumps it twice with the little girl, and then escapes out the other side to join his buddies. It was like it was the most natural thing in the world for this 50 year old man to jump rope with a 12 year old girl in front of a church at 10:00pm. Made my freaking night.

The final day of March. I felt hung over this morning, even though I didn't even drink anything last night. Maybe it was the two hours of playing basketball in the evening combined with the whopping four hours of sleep. Or maybe it was the residual feeling from witnessing my roommate Jeremy and his visiting family & friends, 7 women in from Illinois, watching videos of his sister's cheerleading competition. I've watched cheerleading competitions on ESPN--I figured it was good for me to see them, for unintentional comedy purposes if nothing else--and at their best, they're stiff and dry and make me not want to cheer at all. Now take this concept, get rid of all production values, and use a single hand-held palmcorder from the bleachers behind the performance stage. You try watching that with seven midwestern females in your Manhattan living room, and tell me if you don't feel like you're drunk.

3/29/05 - All right, this reputation for women using me to practice rejecting unwanted advances has gotten out of hand. How did this happen? Maybe it had something to do with 4 women in the course of 6 days either lying to me about wanting me to call them, telling me that they're "just not ready to be in a relationship right now" (with 'right now' meaning 'with you, ever'), or flat-out standing me up. And then an email from my buddy Mark Hanes comes to me with this preface:

>>It's getting late, you're probably already out getting lied to by some chick at this point.

Thing is, I can't even get pissed at him, 'cause he speaks truth.

Screw this bullshiite, man. I'm just gonna go online and find me an internet girl. The odds of finding a sane one amongst all the desperate women on the net have got to be better than finding a straightforward female who's willing to say to my face "I'm just not physically attracted to you." Anybody got a coupon for

Monday, March 28. I've just watched the most insane weekend of college basketball EVER. Three of the four games went overtime, with one them going double-OT. The only non-OT game was tied with less than 2 minutes to go. And my adopted boys from Michigan State made the Final Four! (The MSU connection is legit--I've had many fine times in East Lansing, what with my boy Brendan Niemira spending a good six years there.) With a 20-point comeback by Louisville, a 15-point comeback by Illinois, and the rain of three-balls from West Virginia, I'm a freakin' wreck. And I declare here and now for all to see that I will be naming my next pet "Pittsnogle."
I must give credit to Dan Shanoff of for summing up another valid point, as stated here.

Things I learned from watching WAY too many hours of college hoops these last four days:
Women are like McGriddles. That Hootie dude? Yikes. PSP: New Shuffle? Vice versa? I hum that Enterprise tune. NCAA athletes don't turn pro! Do I suffer from taste loss? No: Spade still isn't funny. Tiger refuses to relax. I won't even put my bag down. Coach K drives a Chevy? Really: Women are McGriddles?

I also watched my buddy Nate make about five grand the easy way, because every time they showed his Enterprise commercial (Class of '94, here I come--"looking good, Moose!") or his Capital One commercial (playing David Spade's new hire) I could practically hear his residual checks being cut. Congrats, Nate. Spend it on something nice for your wife or for little Cooper, you lucky bastard.

3/21/05 - Why would I want this prize? I just receieved an email from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, or the NJPAC. The subject heading said

Win 4 Tickets to Oklahoma! -- Join the NJPAC E-Mail Club Now!
It only took me a second to realize they were talking about a production of the musical, but that was still long enough for a thought to flit through my head. "That's the dumbest travel promotion I've ever heard of."

Missed Opportunity - Wed 03/15/05
So I'm walking down 8th Avenue, heading to have lunch at the Corner Bistro, when a tall frumpy guy in white sweatpants, sneakers, and a green jacket passes me. He's got his head down, looking at a little piece of scrap paper. I catch a glimpse of his face out of the corner of my eye, but it's two or three more steps before it hits me who it is. I stop and turn around. The guy is now stopped 15-20 feet away from me, looking at building addresses and back at the scrap paper.

"Mr. Platt!" I call.

Oliver Platt turns, trying to find the source of the voice (me).

"Hi," he says amiably.

At this point I know I should say, "Hi, my name's Orf. I'm a filmmaker. Any chance I could buy you lunch and pick your brain about some movie business?" He did, after all, make The Imposters, the low-budget indie farce with his buddy Stanley Tucci. He has to know a little something about connections and getting financing. But what comes out is, "I really like your work on 'Huff.'"

"Thanks!" he says with a smile. "Thank you very much." He turns back to find his destination address.

And rather than following up that brilliant opening gambit with the offer to buy him lunch, send him a screenplay treatment, become his intern, or what have you, I tell myself, "He's got a meeting. I shouldn't bother him and make him late." I turn around, take three steps, and think, "What kind of idiot am I? Of course I should bother him and make him late! I'm The Orf, goddammit!"

(FYI, 'Chris Orf' is the quiet, nice guy with the low self-image who stays pretty solitary and doesn't bother people. 'The Orf' is the gregarious superhero mega-personality with cajones the size of Montana and a complete lack of fear or shame, into whom I sometimes consciously transform myself.)

I turn back around, and he's gone. Vanished. I check the address buzzers of the building he was near, and No. 2 is for a film company. And inside that building is Oliver Platt and my chance to make a fortuitous connection with a fine actor who gives the impression of being a congenial fellow.


At least the chicken sandwich and mug of beer at the Corner Bistro were tasty. Even if I was dining alone.