Zillionaires on Parade


It’s New Years Eve, and Zillionaires across the country are mobilizing to celebrate the occasion. That’s me, fourth from the left. Not pictured: My bow and arrow.

As Zillionaires, I’m sure you all have a drink within easy reach right now. So let us raise our glasses, and toast the coming year, and hope for as much success and happiness as the law will allow.

And thanks to my buddy Hepworth for producing the graphic. As you can see, he specializes in superimposing characters from Greek mythology into wedding photos. If you have a similar need, shoot me an email.

Happy Letdown Day!

Today is my birthday. December 29th. Like every other year, it will be a day spent without singing, fanfare or festivities.

Me: “Hey everyone! Today’s my birthday!”
Family member: “Nice try. We just celebrated your birthday, like, four days ago. Hello?”
Me: “No… that was Jesus’ birthday. You know, Christmas. I know it’s easy to get the two of us confused. My birthday is today!”
Family members (exchanging nervous glances): “Oh, right… well, those gifts we got you were actually meant for Christmas and your birthday. Happy Letdown Day!”

For the record, I am neither redheaded nor a stepchild. I’m just treated as such. By virtue of having a birthday four days after Christmas, each year I am annually shafted, stiffed, or forgotten altogether. People are so busy celebrating Jesus’ birthday, they tend to overlook mine. It’s understandable. He probably deserves more birthday fanfare than I do.

The problem is the scheduling. Believe me, it’s hard sharing the stage with Jesus this time of year. And I’m in the unenviable position of trying to go after Jesus. He knocks ’em dead every show. Nobody wants to take the stage after Him. There’s just no way for me to top His act, and most of the audience has already filed out anyway.

By December 29th, people are simply ready for the holidays to be over. Frankly, I understand the sentiment. I realize that my birthday is really more of an additional holiday pain-in-the-ass than a cause for celebration. After Christmas, nobody wants to shop for gifts. The malls are just as packed with people, but there is half the selection and zero goodwill towards men. They’ve already spent enough time with family. Nobody wants to wrap anything. And everyone is flat-out sick of being festive. Simply put, celebrating my birthday after Christmas gets the same level of enthusiasm from people as if I suggested we order a pizza immediately after Thanksgiving dinner.

Why couldn’t I have been born on February 29th, the day that leap year is observed? At least my birthday would be recognized every four years, instead of every decade or so as it is now. No such luck. Today is my birthday. And the holidays are over. Happy Letdown Day.

Recap of 2005

Just like last year, I thought I would briefly share some of the highlights of the past year with a post chock full of links to some of my past features. Consider it the Internet’s method of re-gifting. Enjoy!

  • The first big event of 2005 (February 2nd, to be exact) was the celebration of the one-year anniversary of Internet Zillionaire. We proudly toasted this moment, as our website was surprisingly able to survive past the average lifespan of a housefly or goldfish. And we’re still going! Some people may not measure their website’s success against the lifespan of simple organisms, but we do. In a few months, we’ll be surpassing the field mouse threshold, and that’s when the champagne corks will really fly.
  • I spent most of the spring meticulously documenting my thoughts on remote controls. I wrote three massive posts on this topic, and still haven’t beaten the subject to death to my satisfaction. Apparently, I somehow morphed into George Lucas while writing these. At this point, I don’t know where it will end. There could be some prequels to my trilogy of remote control posts. I might interject Jar Jar Binks into a post about my VCR remote. Frankly, anything is possible.
  • While we’re on the topic, May brought the final installment of the Star Wars movies, meaning millions of nerds across the galaxy suddenly had a little less to live for. Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t still debate the nuances of the trilogies to the annoyance and boredom of those around us.

    One final note on Episode III: I think Anakin Skywalker re-defined the expression “being left for dead.” When you sever all the arms and legs off your enemy, and leave his writhing torso engulfed in flames on a remote part of a planet made of lava…well that, my friends, is leaving someone for dead. Of course, we all know how that worked out. But the point is, no longer will I settle for merely running over someone with my truck and passing that off as “leaving them for dead.” The bar has been raised considerably.

  • In June, my wife and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary. I’ll use this opportunity to thank her for being so supportive of my writing, because without her, I would be severely hurting for material. I’m truly lucky to have a wife that doesn’t mind being the subject of a post comparing marriage to joining a monastery. And yes, these glowing compliments are a desperate attempt to score an Xbox 360 from her for Christmas.
  • My wife and I did some traveling over the summer, here are a few highlights:

    Boston: We toured the whole city, but I particularly enjoyed visiting Harvard and MIT, which really put into perspective what a real college is all about. I must say, it was refreshing just to stroll through a campus where half the students weren’t majoring in “Leisure Services” (apologies to Krusty.) And in some random polling I conducted, students actually knew where the “library” was, without me having to elaborate by referring to it as the “big building with lots of books.”

    Superior, Montana: As the name suggests, this town is much better than its sister city, Inferior, Montana. We stayed in Superior as part of an annual river-rafting trip. Montana is the last great frontier, a place where you can drive without speed limits or seatbelts and unabashedly drink from an open container. They even have drive-thru windows that serve alcohol. You don’t even have to get out of your car for a beer! In other words, the entire state is like a reckless driving fantasy camp.

    Now, compare that to my drive back to Washington. Suddenly, I have to keep it under 70, and wear a seatbelt, and get rid of my open beer. And the strongest beverage I can get via drive-thru is espresso. Needless to say, the state flower in Washington is the pansy.

    Las Vegas: Truthfully, Las Vegas was our third choice. After Hurricane-Fest 2005 destroyed our attempts at a Caribbean cruise, we opted for Vegas. The highlight of the trip: My wife and I attended a topless variety show together at the Sahara. We both thought the show was excellent, but for different reasons.

  • September brought news of a fetus in my wife’s oven. Naturally, an event like this inspired a series of posts, ranging from an innuendo-laced account of how the child was conceived to my fatherhood anxiety . I’m still coping with all of this, but as long as I don’t end up wearing a fake man-breast like Robert DeNiro in “Meet the Fockers,” I’ll be alright.
  • On November 10th, we officially joined the 9Rules network. This was nice recognition for Internet Zillionaire, as 9Rules prides itself on only featuring quality sites. Clearly, our inclusion in the network is jeopardizing that legacy.
  • Finally, I thought I would share something of interest pertaining to Internet Zillionaire. If you’re curious what our top post for the year was (in terms of hits), click here.

    The sad thing is, it’s not even a horse race. That’s our most widely read post by far.
    The Captive Lion summed it up perfectly: “The Internet is so lowbrow.”

As you can see it’s been quite a year. And the year will conclude the same as last year, with dozens of Zillionaires descending on my mansion to toast the New Year and each other. For those that I won’t see this holiday season, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…

A Christmas Wish

As you know, I have been the beneficiary of multiple Christmas miracles over the years. Whenever my happiness and physical well being depended on finding a certain toy under the tree on Christmas morning, somehow Santa always delivered.

But this year, I’m a little concerned. The item I desire most this Christmas, the Xbox 360, is impossible to find in the stores. Somewhere in all the excitement of the most important product launch in the company’s history, Microsoft forgot to actually manufacture any consoles. Apparently nobody bothered to schedule that in Outlook. Sadly, a few pop-up reminders might have averted this whole mess. Seriously, can you imagine if Microsoft planned a New Year’s Eve party? There would be a total of four beers for every thousand guests.

Memo to Microsoft: You call this taking over the world!? Pathetic. My little sister could do a better job of world domination.

Maybe if Bill Gates wasn’t spending all his time getting bad haircuts and eradicating polio this wouldn’t happen. (On a side note, I seriously think Bill Gates goes into Great Clips and asks the stylist to make him look like Harry Potter.) Anyway, even if Microsoft were to get their act together, there is probably little that could be done at this point. It’s not like the Xbox 360 is produced in sweatshops… so that ruins any hopes of them pumping out a million units overnight. Yep, we’re all screwed.

And that goes doubly for me. Getting an Xbox 360 under the tree falls on my wife’s shoulders. You’ll understand my concern once you read my interpretation of what goes through her mind on a typical Christmas shopping trip. (I changed the font style accordingly, as women tend to think in italics…)

She wanders into the GAP. Mens’ collared shirts are on sale! And look, there’s a blue-checkered one in his size! I’ll buy him one of those. And look, matching scarves too! Perfect! He’ll look every bit as emasculated as the mannequin in the store!

Next, she heads to a department store. Here’s a good gift, some nice coasters! Granted, we’ve already got some coasters. But maybe if I get him his own set, he’ll be more mindful of actually using them! I should have thought of this when we first moved in together!

Here’s the big Christmas surprise: I already decided to surprise my husband with some ballroom dancing lessons! And coincidentally, all the lessons occur during Gonzaga basketball games or during the likely playoff schedule of the Seahawks. Of course, he balked at this idea earlier, but I’m getting it for him anyway. That’s the surprise!

At this point, my wife pulls my Christmas list from her purse, seemingly to insure that she didn’t accidentally purchase something I actually want:

Carhardt Jacket
Laptop Computer
Bombay Sapphire (That’s right, I put alcohol on my Christmas list. And I don’t care if Jeff Foxworthy would say that doing so might make me a Redneck.)
Dilbert Calendar
Xbox 360

Wait, what’s this? An Xbox 360? Yeah, right. That’s like, twice the cost of ballroom dancing lessons! And there’s no way I’m getting him both!

Finally, ladies… Does this shopping scenario sound familiar? I have a feeling it does. There’s still time to do the right thing. Remember, it’s the season of giving. Give your man what he really wants, not what you want him to have… Put a 360 under the tree.

Well guys, I did my part. And I hope my wife picked up on the many subtle messages I left in this post. My fingers are crossed for yet another Christmas miracle.