New Year’s Eve Gallery

Dave was “cut off” soon after this photo was taken…

“What’ll it be?”

My wife was really thirsty.

Thankfully, nobody lost an eye from a party popper…

A few of the regulars at the Zillionaire’s Lounge.

Some satisfied customers…

Where everybody knows your name…

Down the hatch…

The staff.

Chad learned this move from Dave…

Thanks to everyone who submitted pics…

Recap of 2004

Oh my word, well this has been an amazing year… And for once, I’m not referring (entirely) to my video game exploits. Something far greater than passing Halo 2 on the “legendary” setting happened this year. While single-handedly saving the universe is no small task, I must admit the highlight of my year came in June… But we’ll get to that in due time…

The year started off on the ski slopes, where I aimed to conquer my fear of violently crashing down the side of a mountain. Unfortunately, this fear was only enhanced. To me, learning to ski was really more about learning to avoid trees. This is far more difficult than it sounds, mainly because trees are stationary. I’ve found that animals and children are at least capable of diving for cover as I speed recklessly towards them. Trees are not.

In January we all went online with our XBox Live subscriptions. This online service enabled nerds and geeks across the country to classify endless hours of video gaming as a source of social interaction. And most importantly, it allowed these nerds to develop pseudonyms and online alter egos that were generally the polar opposite of their true personalities. True to form, I act as a mild-mannered actuarial analyst by day, and by night I transform into the elite super commando known only as McSex.

Of course, February brought the world This site has been in the works for years, as Dave and I began laying the groundwork when we were merely Internet Millionaires. The launching of this website was a landmark event, as I no longer had to use the walls in public restrooms as my medium for reaching the masses. Over the next few months, I brought the world my thoughts on everything from Les Schwab advertisements to Champion Duffle Bags. And to think, Andy Warhol once prematurely labeled television a “vast wasteland.”

The spring was pretty uneventful, as most of our time was spent waiting in line at Disneyland.

We kicked off June with an epic bachelor party that spanned a 72-hour period. The theme of the weekend can best be described as: Puketoberfest, as our trail of empty pizza boxes and defiled hotel rooms spread over several hundred miles across Washington state. Generally, it takes the National Guard to end a rampage like this.

Jeannette and I got married on June 26th, easily the greatest day this Zillionaire has ever seen. So far married life has been blissful. I am completely dependent on her for my survival. Literally. When she leaves town I somehow forget how to cook for myself. Hell, I even forget how to order a pizza for myself. The first couple of times she’d arrive home to find an emaciated and dehydrated husband passed out from trying to gnaw through a phonebook for sustenance. Thankfully, she bought me a 10-day feeder from PetCo. When she leaves, she just tops me off with some Cheez-its to last me until she gets back. All we need now is a giant hamster water bottle and possibly a litter box…

The highlight of July was our honeymoon. We loved Cancun. For a while, we were debating becoming the first illegal immigrants into Mexico. There was just something especially satisfying about climbing on ancient Mayan ruins one minute, and then eating at Pizza Hut the next.

September and October yielded some exciting improvements in this Zillionaire’s mansion. We added a basketball court and a hot tub. The hot tub has really helped loosen the knots of rage in my back. If I didn’t already own an XBox, I would have been hard-pressed to believe a material object could deliver so much happiness into my life.

And of course, I spent much of the fall working diligently on constructing the Zillionaire’s Lounge. I honestly didn’t think I had it in me, but the construction work has gone amazingly well. Apparently, I must be one-quarter Amish or something. Aside from working with dangerous power tools, I also rolled the dice with electricity and natural gas (mankind’s only natural enemy.) Thankfully, I only found myself engulfed in flames twice.

My primary objective this winter has been to produce an outdoor Christmas light display that would be visible from space. You see, out here in suburbia, there is an intense neighborhood rivalry to produce the most ostentatious waste of electricity. I did my best, but it’s clear that if I am to dominate the neighborhood next year, animatronic reindeer will have to play a prominent role.

Christmas was especially unreal this year. First off, I was able to outsource about 90 percent of my Christmas shopping and gift wrapping to my wife. This was huge. Also, the gifts improved dramatically this year. Last year my wife gave me a lot of GAP clothing for Christmas. And thusly, I spent most of 2004 dressed like Clay Aiken. I was fully expecting more of the same this year, and then a Christmas miracle happened. My wife bought me a 51-inch Sony projection TV. I couldn’t believe it. You’ll all get to see it at some point, as I can guarantee right now, it will be prominently featured in future family portraits and next year’s Christmas cards.

And fittingly, 2004 will end with Zillionaires coming together one final time to toast the year and each other. The Zillionaire’s Lounge is a landmark achievement. Up until a few weeks ago, I thought my legacy to mankind would be the Reese’s S’more. The Zillionaire’s Lounge will be a place for Zillionaires to congregate at when monocle shops are closed or when polo matches are rained out. I just hope there’s enough room on the helipad to accommodate everyone.

Well that’s it… I am worn out… What a year… I feel like more has happened in the last 12 months than the rest of my life combined. Seriously, stick a fork in me. I think I’m going to take the next few years off to recover. See you all in ’07!

Happy New Year,


Homeroom Announcements

If anyone is looking for a Christmas gift for me, may I suggest some sort of a Zillionaire Bat-Signal. As it stands now, we are essentially reduced to posting a daily bulletin and relying on homeroom reps to stand at the front of the room to alert everyone of the breaking news… (sigh)

Another One Bites the Dust: First, let’s give our sincerest congratulations to Bailes & Kami on their recent engagement. I think it’s more of a relief, really. Bailes is now free from the pressure cooker that every woman turns into when her marital clock starts ticking.

And now Bailes, I offer you some marital observations. I liken a man getting married to putting a lion in captivity. There are some advantages. For instance, they will generally live longer, be better fed, and have fewer diseases than roaming in the wild. However, you’ll begin to understand why it is such a landmark and newsworthy event when an animal actually breeds in captivity.

In all seriousness, Kami is a great catch. She passed the standard test I administer to all women seeking to marry into the Zillionaire bloodlines. It all happened on a camping trip two summers ago… I sat down next to her while holding a beer in one hand and a cigar in the other hand. As both my hands were full, this left me unable to defend myself against mosquito attacks without setting my beer down. Since neither of us wanted to see that happen, Kami agreed to swat any mosquitoes that landed on me so that I could fully concentrate on drinking and smoking. With Kami killing mosquitoes by the dozen, I was able to focus all of my attention and energy to the vices in my hands. That, my friends, is the mark of a damn good woman.

Guests of Honor: I hope you didn’t really believe that Krusty and Maleah would miss the unveiling of the Zillionaire’s Lounge. I’ll admit I was worried, but as we always do, we found a way to make the plan come together. Hannibal from the A-Team would have been proud.

Of course, his trip up North will mean that a few hundred children at Krusty’s camp will be left in the wilderness without food, medicine or supervision of any kind. It will only be for a couple of days, though. As Krusty has assured me, it usually takes about a week before things develop into a scene from “Lord of the Flies.” Anything short of that is just building character.

And so, I am pleased to announce that we can all look forward to spending a solid 10-12 hours with Krusty before a concussion on the ski slopes renders him a vegetable. You’ll soon understand why Maleah skis with a stretcher strapped to her back at all times.

Stocking Stuffers: I know, technically, it isn’t the last minute. However, I just wanted to remind everyone that there is still time before Christmas to order Jon Solo’s latest release, Piano. It’s different than every other CD in my collection, and it will be played heavily in the rotation at the Zillionaire’s Lounge. But truthfully, the ideal location to listen to Solo’s music is in your car.

Only a month ago, I was routinely running school buses and ambulances off the road during my morning commute. I had as much regard for the posted speed limit as the Dukes of Hazzard. And I had even mastered the “Terminator II method” of steering a vehicle at top speed while simultaneously re-cocking a shotgun.

Now, I just pop in Solo’s CD. My drive is relaxing instead of stressful. So when you’re looking for a gift for those difficult to shop for, give the gift of serenity. Pedestrians the world over will thank you for it.

Christmas Memories

In the spirit of the season, I thought I’d share some of my fondest Christmas memories…

Christmas in the 80’s:
One thing was certain on Christmas Eve. Before any presents could be opened, a never-ending list of chores would have to be completed. You see, this was the one night of the year where my dad could develop an extensive work list for his children with very little backtalk or insubordination. Needless to say, he took full advantage. Every family has their special Christmas traditions. Ours were unloading the dishwasher, shoveling the driveway and cleaning our rooms.

Growing up, I loved seeing presents under the tree. I would race home from school and make a fortress with my presents. I’d sit behind a barricade of gifts, and bring my Transformers or He-Man action figures back there to keep me company. So you can understand the psychological torture I experienced when forced to delay opening presents for the sake of helping out around the house. It was tantamount to depriving a diabetic of insulin.

Of course, the gifts we received were always worth the wait. One year, I received a toy laser gun that made a particularly loud and high-pitched noise at the pull of the trigger. It was as if Hasbro designed a toy encompassing all of the annoying characteristics of a car alarm.

Naturally, I spent an entire three-hour car ride home after Christmas blasting my sister in the head with it. And naturally, she cried like a little girl. Since she was a little girl at the time, I suppose this reaction was justified. As always, my parents failed to see the humor in making my sister cry. They made repeated threats to confiscate my laser gun if I shot it one more time. Of course, these warnings would buy them about 45 seconds of silence before I would shoot her again. To reiterate, this went on for three hours.

Finally, my father reached his breaking point. He pulled the car over to the side of the road, ripped the gun from my hands, and pretended to throw it into the night. Of course, he didn’t really throw it away. He simply tucked it into his jacket during his follow-through. It was slight of hand that Houdini would have been proud of. I was devastated, thinking a pack of coyotes would soon make off with my laser gun. And sadly, for the rest of the ride home I had to resort to other methods to make my sister cry.

Christmas 1997: I was living with Krusty at the time. A week before Christmas, he brought home the leftovers from his company Christmas party, which included five gallons of eggnog and rum in a giant stainless steel coffee urn. The two of us drank the whole thing over the ensuing weekend.

While that is a landmark achievement in itself, the really amazing aspect of this story is that the urn was too big to fit in our refrigerator. The entire five gallons was kept at room temperature over a 48-hour time span. Towards the end, we were pretty much just drinking cups of salmonella, but it was easily the most festive case of food poisoning we ever got.

Christmas 1999: Surprisingly, I just could not get into the Christmas spirit that year. Somehow, even erecting a fortress of presents failed to deliver any Christmas cheer. It wasn’t until Christmas morning that it happened. Under the tree Santa brought me a lightsaber… just like the one I had when I was six years old. Even though I was 21 years old at the time, I gleefully ran around the house fighting imaginary Storm Troopers and pretending to lop off my sister’s head. And in that, I found the true meaning of Christmas.

Watershed Moments: I remember when I first figured out the true identity of Santa Claus. I awoke on Christmas morning to find a handwritten note from Santa, apologizing for breaking a toy that he had tried to assemble the night before. It didn’t add up. Somehow Santa, a toy maker by trade, is inept at assembling toys? Even at six years old, it didn’t take the cast of CSI to solve this mystery.

Finally, my all-time favorite Christmas gift? That’s easy. My Nintendo back in the fifth grade. This was all the sweeter because I didn’t think I’d actually get one. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, my dad actually cut out newspaper articles detailing the shortages of Nintendos at major retailers. I wanted to believe that a Christmas miracle would bring me a Nintendo, but it was hard to argue with the Wall Street Journal’s supply-chain forecasts.

Thankfully, economists had underestimated the inventories overseas and the short-term production capacity at manufacturing plants. This was a huge oversight, as these things often constitute the necessary ingredients of a Christmas miracle. As I clutched my Nintendo on Christmas day, it was a scene of Christmas joy only Norman Rockwell could possibly capture.