Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sweet Sixteen

It was the ultimate Cinderella story.

No one thought it could be done.

Sixteen and oh.

Listen: I'm here to tell you that dreams can and do come true with just a little heart... and four years of obsessive-compulsive repetition.

Perfection. The New England Patriots couldn't do it. The Davidson Wildcats couldn't do it. But, assuming the personae of one effervescent Toad and another unflappable Paratroopa (the cartoon racers that wouldn't (say) die), your humble narrator has conquered the machine and run the perfect Nintendo Game Cube Mario Kart Double Dash 150cc All Cup Tour.* I have fought the good fight. I have run the good race.

Overcoming the onslaught of spiked flying blue shells, wildly careening around banana peels giant and small alike, deftly avoiding the decoy item boxes decorated with upside down question marks, I powerslid my way to sixteen consecutive first place finishes. Wario ("Here I go!") couldn't keep me down. Princess Daisy ("Hi, I'm Daisy!") couldn't stop me. Not even the mustachioed Italian plumbers themselves with all their heat-seeking red shells and pyrotechnic fire balls and incredibly shrinking lightning bolts could prevent me from finally reaching my goal of the perfect 160-point tour.

I skillfully navigated Wario Coliseum, scaled the DK Mountain, conquered the deceivingly treacherous Baby Park, and, finally, flawlessly traversed Rainbow Road (Rainbow Road is where I normally choke, unable to withstand the tremendous pressure of fifteen well-run races).

This was my finest hour. Actually, my finest thirty-five minutes and forty-seven seconds. We'll just round up. And I've got the screen shots to prove it (you didn't think I'd ask you to trust without verification, did you?).

It is finished.

Just in time for the Wii version.

I'm going to Disney Land.

(for the record, this feat of Nintendo greatness was actually accomplished several months ago--before I began to work on my dissertation. it's taken me this long to get the digital camera with the screen shots, the connection cable, a charged battery, and my computer all in the same place at the same time so I could upload the proof.)

* If you have no idea what I'm talking about in this post, do not despair. I promise to return with more readily accessible material soon. I just thought my gaming readers would want to celebrate with me.

(images courtesy of Nintendo)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Election Update

Land of Yajeev readers voted en masse to give a free wedding to friends of the blog, Regan and Steve.

Thanks to all who rocked the vote--I've just learned that Regan and Steve have won the free (televised) marriage from the Youngstown NBC affiliate.

If there's one thing I've learned from my years of living on the streets of Liberty Township, Grove City, Indianapolis, and Cranberry Township, it is this: Free is Good. Whether it's a t-shirt at the race track, cappuccino for two at Sheetz, the grace of God, a foul ball at an Indians game, or even a wedding, gratis is great. There's just nothing better than getting stuff you didn't pay for or steal.

Now that the winner has been decided, check the WFMJ website weekly to vote for additional wedding details: bridal gown, tux, honeymoon, menu, wedding cake, flowers... at least one friend is determined to vote for the ugly stuff, so do your part to help Regan and Steve by voting each week.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

If you believe in free love...

... then please visit this Youngstown, Ohio NBC affiliate television website and vote for my friends, Regan and Steve, to win a free wedding.

Click here to vote.

Voting ends this Friday, March 28 at 3:00 pm, so click now and exercise your American duty/right/privilege and ROCK THE VOTE! Regan and Steve had The Audacity of Hope for no-cost matrimony, and together we can make their dream come true--Yes We Can. Remember, It Takes a Village to make a marriage, and theirs is a love Worth the Fighting For.

Someday when I make it big, I'll throw a Win-a-Yajeev-Themed-Wedding Contest. Until then, it's t-shirts and pride.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Another happy customer

Please allow me to distract you from your Shamrock shakes for just a minute to point you in the direction of a fully satisfied Land of Yajeev Megastore customer.

Avery caught the Irish fever and purchased the Land of Yajeev limited edition St. Patrick's Day T-Shirt with the contest-winning design. Please take a moment to click here to see the Yajeev gear in action, read her compelling testimonial, and enjoy the bloggings while you're at it!

Remember Yajeev's Irish-themed merchandise is available for a limited time only, so hurry on over to the Megastore to get yours while supplies last.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Welcome to Puttsburgh!

The wife and I were browsing the political section of, and we found a calendar of current political events. Ever astute, the little lady quickly identified a Freudian slip that made clear the opinions of the MSNBC political editors regarding our fair town.

It's a rare pleasure for Pennsylvanians to be the focus of major presidential candidates prior to the primary elections. Today, our fine city welcomed Senator Hillary Clinton. The Burgh of Putts is honored you came.

I'll be sure to check back at for the rest of her cross-state tour. What's next on the docket? Filthadelphia? Queerie? Errisburg?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Great Wall

Depending on who you ask, one of the great benefits (ask my wife) or drawbacks (ask me) of home ownership is the opportunity for improvement. I suspect that my occasional reluctance to fully devote myself to home upgrades and renovations stems from unpleasant childhood experiences.

My earliest memory of hammer and nails involves my father nailing something to something else. The identities of the something and something else are not important. They could have been anything: baseboard to a wall, mailbox to a post, hardwood plank to the floor, ninety-five theses to a church door...

I was not in the same room with my dad, but the sounds he created clearly betrayed his advanced degree of home-improvement know-how. As I tinkered with my Muppet Babies Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy Happy Meal toys in my bedroom, I could hear Dear Old Dad's frustration level rising.

BANG! BANG! "Ouch."




His cycle of pounding and pain continued for some time.

A moment's silence was followed by Dad shouting in my general direction, "Yajeev, can you come hold this nail for me?"

I do not remember what happened next. Likely, one of two scenarios unfolded. First, with no one to save me, I might have actually agreed to hold his nail and endure the finger bruising he had just self-inflicted. The trauma may have been severe enough to wipe the events from my awareness, to be forever secured in some cognitive lock box with a cadre of other repressed gems from my childhood (most of which probably involve failed attempts to elude JR, the bully in my second grade class who, according to legend, beat up eighth graders for the challenge that his second grade classmates just couldn't provide).

The second possibility is that my mother, overhearing my father's painful experience and subsequent entreaties for me to assist him in his home-improving task, swooped in to the rescue of my delicate phalanges. I suspect that this is in fact what actually occurred, given the relatively normal present-day morphology of nine of my ten digits (the general misshapenness of my left thumb has historically been attributed to it having been vigorously sucked for so long and/or being slammed and pinned by a heavy car door).

On another occasion, my mother had asked my father to install a pair of louvered doors in front of the washing machine and dryer that had been tucked away in a closet-shaped space with nothing to hide the eyesore they presented.

My dad (who thrives on creativity) decided that he had a better idea than louvered doors. Everyone had louvered doors--they were too commonplace, he thought. He would conceal the washer and dryer with something totally unique: a wall. Somehow, in place of actual doors, Pops managed to create a piece of wall that matched that of the rest of the room. And, instead of swinging open like a secret door, it was built with a pulley system and track and could be raised and lowered like a garage door. The opener had simply to pull rope to lift the wall above the laundry machines.

The major problem with having a piece of wall for a door is the fact that a wall is a wall and not a door. Doors are typically lightweight and designed to swing open and shut with little resistance. Not so for walls. Walls are often quite heavy, and, as a general rule, are not designed for facile movement. Dad's faux wall was no exception. The wallness of his creation was undeniable both in its heft and unwieldiness. In addition to its significant weight, Dad had failed to include some mechanism to keep the wall in the elevated, open position. One needed to continuously hold the rope down to hold the wall-door up.

For my mother, doing laundry now required a monumental team effort. Each time she wanted to put a new load into the washer or move clothing from the washer or dryer, she had to go outside and solicit help from neighbors. It would often require a team of two or three helpers to hoist the door and hold it open (grasping the rope tightly and leaning back with all of their weight) while my mother hurriedly combined sullied clothing, detergent, and fabric softener. She would have to call them back each time a load had to be added to or removed from either machine.

My mother's goal was to have the laundry machines hidden from plain sight. My dad succeeded at that. Visiting neighbors would have no idea that hidden behind this one particular patch of wood-paneled wall were a couple of Maytags (unless, of course, the visiting neighbors had earlier been conscripted into the army of laundry assistants).

The machines were hidden so well that they might as well not have even been there at all. After several weeks of hard laundering, my mother realized that less effort would be required to load the car, drive the family's dirty clothes to the laundromat, wash, dry, and fold clothing there, pack the car again, drive home, and put away the clean garments than to participate in the team sport of behind-the-wall laundry.

These specters of home improvement past still haunt me and may explain my periodic aversion to do-it-yourself projects and involuntary assumption of the fetal position in response to my wife's mention of new house projects.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

You'll know how to find me...

My regular readers have no doubt added the Land of Yajeev to their list of internet bookmarks to save themselves the hassle of having type the entire web address each time they visit. If you haven't done this yet, I recommend you do this now. Because you never know when the urgent need to access the exclusive contents of this blog will arise, it's best to keep me on standby, just a point and click away.

However, should you find yourself at a strange and unfamiliar computer terminal and do not have the web address memorized (shame, shame), below are a few keywords and phrases others have googled to find the Land of Yajeev. These data come straight from Google Analytics, the free web traffic-monitoring tool provided by your favorite online megapower and mine.

If you need to find me in a pinch, here are the search terms utilized by your fellow web surfers. Following most queries, I have included hyperlinks to the blog post or posts to which I suspect Google may have ultimately directed them. For the poor soul who entered "my email is empty like my soul, sad ha ha", your guess of the ultimate Land of Yajeev entry destination is as good as mine. The important thing is that this sad person found me. I hope he/she and the other googlers have found solace and personal fulfillment in these pages.

And now, the abridged (!) list:

  • the bumpkins (click here)
  • are black panthers unicellular (click here or here)
  • thanks for the nuts (click here)
  • biology nerd gift ideas (click here or here)
  • prevent sweating during an interview (click here)
  • dementia imaginary friends (click here or here)
  • fall possible head injury eventually show up as bruised ankles (click here or here or here or here or here or here or here) (other similar search terms included: "multiple unprovoked fall" and "my failed attempt at skateboarding that kept me falling")
  • glen davis on michelangelo (click here)
  • the steps of falling in love (click here or here)
  • timeline on gary grubbs life (click here)
  • impress the girlfriend parents and sung to grandma (click here)
  • perfect western blot (click here or here)
  • martha messiah (click here)
  • moo shoo cereal for breakfast with duck sauce (click here)
  • my email is empty like my soul, sad ha ha
  • what is the most humiliating thing that could happen to a youth? (click here)
  • afro puff silhouette (click here)
  • butter burst into flames (click here)
  • 600 calories model's diet weight loss (click here or here)
  • will i ever walk straight and not waddle (click here)
  • bubelah tee shirt (click here or here)
  • chinese is not blog (click here)
  • i don't eat vegetables (click here)
  • funeral director jokes (click here)
  • alter ego and shoulder angel demonstration (click here or here)
  • creepy dog picture real? (click here)
  • how to land a 30 foot jump (click here)
  • intelligentsia, yorker, atlantic, harper's, republic, nation (click here)
  • sleeping wife blog (click here)

It's comforting to know that the Land of Yajeev meets the needs of all sorts of googlers... those who want to know if they will ever be free from waddling and able to walk straight (the answer is an emphatic "no"), those who seek to join the elite ranks of the Atlantic Monthly-subscribing intelligentsia (reading this blog is a good first step), those who need love advice (I'm your man for illustrative writing about falling and falling in love), those who want to maintain their model's figure (two words: diet pills), those who need help preparing for job interviews (if you're a perspirer, bring a towel), and those who need to know what to do in the case of an emergency butter fire (do not attempt to extinguish with a rubber oven mitt)... and all others looking for wit and wisdom, anecdotes and insights into the dark worlds of funeral humor, imaginary friends, alter egos, and babysitter messiahs.

Batman had only one alert: the bat signal projected into the clouds above Gotham City. This blog is much more versatile--responsive to a wide range of googlings. The Land of Yajeev is the new Rome: All (online) roads lead here.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Congratulations to my sister-in-law and future brother-in-law on their recent engagement!

Just wanted to let you know that I'll be there, as long as I'm invited, of course...

...and as long as there'll be free wi-fi. I'll be the guy in the back, live blogging the event.