What's Up!

January 30, 2003


Like Sherman marching to the sea, the sports teams favored by the World of Demosthenes continue their success.

Just in case you were busy watching Ronco Rotisserie Oven infomercials, Super Bowl XXXVII was played this past Sunday and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers spanked, repeat SPANKED, the Oakland Raiders. I can't even remember the score but it wasn't close.

Now for those that think that I'm a fair weathered fan that just recently jumped on the Bucs bandwagon, after the win, I busted out my old, nasty-ass orange gear. Who remembers this guy?

(The reason I am a Bucs fan is because I was/am a Vinny Testaverde fan. Come on, how can you not like a quarterback who's colorblind. Really, he is. In fact, during his final years in Tampa, angry and dare I say, vindictive fans who were tired of the high number of interceptions tossed by Testaverde put up a billboard in the city that had a picture of Vinny in front of a blue background with the phrase, "Vinny thinks this is orange." Ouch. As usual, he left, but I stuck around and look at me now!)

So now, let's recap the World of Demosthenes Sports Dynasty...

  • Arsenal FC: Wins English Premier League Championship and FA Cup
  • Los Angeles Lakers: Wins 3rd Straight NBA World Championship
  • Los Angeles Sparks: Wins 2nd Straight WNBA World Championship
  • Los Angeles Galaxy: Wins MLS Cup Championship and 2002 Supporters' Shield
  • Anaheim Angels: Wins 2002 World Series in first trip there
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Wins Super Bowl XXXVII in first trip there

    And with the Pittsburgh Penguins already owning a pair of Stanley Cups and Olympiakos with a boatload of Greek Championships, finally, the Buccaneers give me a full mantle. Of course, if Mario and the Pens can pull the Cup out of their ass this June, that'll complete the "sweep."

    That's what I call... Hot Championship Love!!!

    January 10, 2003



    - VJP International, a provider of entertainment and educational services, and World of Demosthenes Productions & Entertainment, a global family of entertainment products and services, today jointly announced the merger of both companies into one service-based entity.

    At the announcement, World of Demosthenes owner Demosthenes Spiropoulos heralded the merger by saying, "VJP International and World of Demosthenes both offer services that compliment each other nicely and both companies have had a cooperative relationship over the past 4 years that have seen collaboration on various projects. The merger will now unify the efforts of the two companies and give it a greater market presence."

    With the merger, both companies acquire incredible benefits as VJP International gains access to one of the most skilled new media departments on the West Coast, while World of Demosthenes now has one of the most adept and well-versed staff of journalists and writers to contribute to its newsmagazines and radio programs.

    The new single entity has already begun work on its first unified venture, Lost Expeditions and Adventure Company, which will officially launch in February 2003 at www.lostexpeditions.com.

    About World of Demosthenes Productions & Entertainment
    World of Demosthenes (WOD), headquartered in Pico Rivera, CA, is a global family of entertainment products and services, specializing in web media, radio and print. The World of Demosthenes has spheres of influences in 20 states and 17 countries around the world with its offerings such as Demosthenes OnLine, 4Aces.net and the Random Radio Show. WOD has received major financing from Citibank, MBNA America, First USA, HSBC, and AT&T. For more information about the World of Demosthenes, visit its website at www.worldofdemosthenes.com.

    About VJP International
    With offices in Norwalk, Calif., Butler, Pennsylvania, and Chesapeake, Virginia, VJP International provides entertainment, information, and educational services in a diverse array of fields ranging from publishing to child development to interior design. VJPI also sponsors non-profit foundations promoting public television, academic research and cultural heritage preservation.

    All trademarks identified are the property of their respective owners.

    Media Contact:
    Jennifer Fuller
    WOD Press & Publicity

    December 5, 2002


    So we have added Scrabble to our arsenal of games. And since cracking the game open, Valerie has promptly shellacked me on a constant basis. It hasn't been pretty. Even though Val is an English teacher, she hasn't thrown down words I haven't heard of before. It's just that Val has superior board presence. For instance, she throws down "QUOTED" with the Q on the Triple Letter Score and the word on Double Word Score. In a matter of 4 seconds, Val has posted 70 points. I follow that up with "TINKER" and earn a whopping 8 points. See, not pretty.

    The other night, I finally recorded my first victory by a mere point. Finally! I was usually losing by 50+ points, but I was able to keep it close and got the win with, of all things, "HATER."

    Don't feel bad for me though. In Boggle, I am the Peggy Hill of the household, routinely trouncing my lovely companion, and I also am the better Formula One driver between us. The only game where we are evenly matched is Yahtzee.

    And to think, we haven't even cracked open Stratego yet.

    Like Pink Floyd, but different
    It's call futsal. That's short for "futbol de salon." In this country, we call it indoor soccer. And take a wild, wild guess who's playing. That's right baby, yours truly! I was one of the best goalies in my prime (my prime soccer playing days being when I was 9), and now I return to tend the goal for a group of ragtag players from work. It's going to be simply phenomenal because it's a coed league, and our girls are the better players.

    Apparently, the rules at this soccer complex are a little tweaked. I (as goalie) can't advance the ball passed what would be the far blue line in hockey, so that means I can't simply throw in goals from across the field. Guys can only have 3 touches and the ladies' goals are worth 2 points. But guess what? No offsides. So pretty much, this is going to be soccer in a blender. Fabulous.

    Are you ready for some Quidditch?
    I would pay good money to see a Quidditch league form here in the United States. Somebody, anybody, make it happen!

    Rain On Your Parade, Inc.
    So, I'm walking through the Hotel and come across Buffy and Robert. Buffy asks if it's 5:30 p.m. yet, for that's when she would get to go home. I informed here that she still had 2 hours and 15 minutes to go. Her response, "Thanks for dashing my hopes."

    "No problem. I'm here to dash your hopes and crush your dreams. Anytime. Anywhere." was my immediate response. Robert thus asked jokingly if I was going to put that on a business card. 5 minutes later, RAIN ON YOUR PARADE, INC. was born with a business card reading, "Dashing your hopes and crushing your dreams since 1974."

    After the initial laughter subsided and I had time to ponder that a little more, I realized that pessimistic and pragmatic consulting in an untapped frontier. Think about it, people would pay to have me come in, shoot down ideas, and walk out without any hard feelings. It would be great for those that acknowledge that they are surrounded by Yes-men. I need to research this a little more.

    Oracle, no more... oh, wait!
    I was going to write about me and Val just sucking it up with my football picks. 3 weeks in a row of just utter catastrophe. Then we nail 11 picks on the week and win the pool. Ok, never mind.

    Plenty of go, just no flow
    I get a lot of e-mail. And a question I get every once in a while is why the What's Up tends to be choppy. Well, let me tell you. Despite my desire for journalistic expression, I rarely get a chuck of time where I can sit down and hammer out an article. So, I have to come up with topics I need/want to address, and then I write the issue in about 3-4 minute bites. Usually, when I have a moment of free time at work and I've been gripped by the urge to write. That is why I don't have any significant flow to my writing here for What's Up. If you look at my BCS piece from last year, you can see how fluid that was. Man, just imagine if I could that all the time. I'd be in awe of myself. Maybe one of these days, I'll put some of my old college papers up. Truly sublime works of art and humor.

    "...we're practically sleeping with each other."
    Nothing's worse than being sick. Honestly. And my office is definitely an incubator for disease. When someone comes in, and they are sick, we all know that we are going to be sick. It's just a matter of time, and there's nothing we can do about.

    That inspired me to pen the phrase, "The way we share diseases, we're practically sleeping with each other." And let me tell how much that sucks because you're getting all of the downsides, but none of the perks.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go Typhoid Mary on the rest of the staff.

    Neither Axe nor Apple Cup
    It's not one of more glamorous rivalries in college football, but the UCLA-USC is one the longest running, and for the fans of the two schools, one of the most passionate. (and played in two of the most historic stadiums in the country: the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the Rose Bowl). I am pleased that during my tenure at UCLA, we never lost to USC. During my career there, we were 5-0, part of a string of 8 straight wins. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, UCLA promptly dropped 4 in a row to the Trojans, including this year's showing, losing 52-21. Ouch!

    And yes, as with other major football rivalries, there is a trophy that changes hands. In this series, it's the Victory Bell. I heard the story of it while in Westwood, but it eludes me now. But its existence isn't really trumped up. It's usually more of an afterthought. A way after thought.

    Despite the UCLA loss though, perhaps my beloved Bruins can make it to Bowl postseason. I'm sure they can be invited to the Salad Bowl sponsored by Hidden Valley Ranch.

    (No, there is no Salad Bowl currently, but there used to be one. It was played in Phoenix)

    College Bowl Sidenote
    Of the 28 Bowl games to be played this winter, (that's right, I said twenty-eight) my favorite name for a bowl is the Continental Tire Bowl that's going to be played in Charlotte, North Carolina. FYI, here are all 28 Bowls for the 2002-2003 season.

    It's true, it's true
    The 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens are about 1 1/2 years away. And 1996 Wrestling Gold Medalist and current WWE Superstar Kurt Angle is possibly going. Oh, it's true. It's true. Word on the street says that the WWE has given Angle the green light to compete for the Olympics if he so chose. This shouldn't come as a shock since the WWE has often let its Superstars take time off to explore other avenues such as the Rock with his acting, and Mark Henry with the Strongest Man Competition. And if Kurt did take another gold medal in Athens, I'm sure that'll pay huge dividends for the company as well.

    Kurt Angle's wife just recently gave birth to their first child, and Kurt said he would make a final decision on the Olympics idea sometime in early 2003. Of course, if he did go for it, he'd have a diminished WWE schedule to train and compete at the U.S. National Champsionships like everyone else before getting the invite to the Summer Games. If he goes, then good luck Kurt. If he doesn't, then never mind.

    November 1, 2002


    First, throw in a little Los Angeles Galaxy:

    Throw in some Anaheim Angels:

    ...and you've made for a fine October.

    And then for laughs, let's not forget the NBA World Champion Los Angeles Lakers or the WNBA World Champion Los Angeles Sparks, and suddenly you'll find that southern California is the center of the Sports Universe.


    October 14, 2002

    OH, HELL YEAH!!!

    Set franchise record for wins in a season: Check

    Advance to playoffs for first time in 16 years: Check

    Win League Division Series: Check

    Win American League Championship: Check

    Advance to World Series for first time in franchise history: BIG FAT CHECK, BABY!!!

    September 25, 2002


    It's time for the first ever visit to the legendary (as of 2 days ago) Hut of Mystery. Within the thatched walls of the Hut, we'll learn predictions about the future. Don't believe me? Well then, let's step in and see what the future holds, and we'll see who has the last laugh!

    Predicted to happen in the next 25 years...

    Cubs lose to Vegas in World Series
    After years of catastrophic play, the Chicago Cubs will stun the world by winning with the National League Pennant with ease and advancing to the World Series for the first time since the Jefferson administration. Unfortunately, they'll get throttled by an expansion team based in Las Vegas that's only been in existence for 4 years and owned by Mirage founder Steve Wynn.

    U.S. replaces paper dollar completely - barter system ensues
    In a relentless effort to put the dollar coin into mainstream circulation, the U.S. Treasury completely eliminates the paper dollar. Now since you can't have a healthy ghetto wad using a fistful of Sacajaweas, the American population revolts by abandoning money completely and resorting to the time-honored barter system. While this does help combat inflation (because seriously, a new BMW M3 is really only worth 3 horses and 20 chickens, and not a hen more), the government is the big loser because how can it really tax goat exchanges. Honestly? After 3 years of the barter "fad," the American population returns to hard currency, but instead of old U.S. money, we adapt the Euro as currency of choice. (See, this is ironic because the euro dollar only exists in coin form as well. I guess it's the 2 euro coin that won us over).

    OC ghetto housing prices
    Housing prices in southern California's Orange County will continue to skyrocket to ridiculous heights. A prime example of this is when crack houses in Santa Ana, listed as "fixer-uppers," fetches $1.5 million on the open market.

    First woman President of the U.S. elected
    Finally, a woman will assume the Presidency of the United States. Naturally, being the misogynistic society that we are, we'll have mixed feelings about it, except for us "progressive thinkers" who all agree it's about time. Sadly, some jackass will make an assassination attempt on her life, but luckily will fail. She will eventually serve two terms and be considered a popular President. Helping her cause will be her husband, who becomes a big hit with the American people as he insists on being called "First Lady."

    Ford to unleash Mammoth
    Ford Motor Company, after years of sub par SUV sales, will try to rebound when it debuts the new Mammoth. It will seat 20 full-size adults, have 6 wheels, full size fridge, Sony PlayStation 4, satellite dish and DVD player with 18-inch screen, arboretum, jacuzzi, photon torpedoes, take up two parking spots and get about 4 miles per gallon on it's 16.5 liter, 24-cylinder engine. Of course, that's the Deluxe Eddie Bauer "Soccer Mom" edition. But standard on each and every Ford Mammoth will be a Ford Focus in the rear cargo bay. That way, you have a runabout for those small trips away from the mothership. (As is the case in the automotive marketplace, the Ford Mammoth will spawn copies from other auto manufacturers, so shortly after this, expect to see the Chevy Goliath, the Toyota Sumo, the Cadillac Gilgamesh EXT, and the Lincoln Leviathan).

    Electric car sidenote
    This is my own prediction as opposed to those from the Hut of Mystery. The only way electric cars will gain a foothold in the U.S. market is if it has the get up and go of an old-school GTO on the quarter mile, is reasonably-priced, doesn't look like a oversize egg, and can get from L.A. to Vegas on a single charge. Then maybe, just maybe, electric and alternate fuel vehicles will have a chance. (Whether that happens in the next 25 years remains to be seen. I was promised flying cars by the year 2000, and that came and went with out a single real-life episode of the Jetsons taking place overhead).

    Boxing reveals it's fixed
    The world collectively says, "This is news?"

    Japanese Space program will put man on moon. Find part of Apollo missions, but not everything
    After years of preparation and planning, Japan will put a man on the moon. (Before this actually happens, NASA scoffs at the idea that someone else can do it, and the "rice rocket" jokes fly). Upon landing on the moon, the Japanese astronauts will locate an Apollo landing site, thus quelling the conspiracy theories that NASA faked the original moon shot on some Hollywood soundstage. However, after further exploration, the Japanese discover that many items left behind are missing, with evidence suggesting that these items were removed at a later date. Of course, back on Earth, mass hysteria erupts as people think aliens took them to study.

    On a happy side note: The Weekly World News will feature a cover story that 2 teenage alien punks were arrested outside Las Vegas, Nevada, on charges of Grand Theft Lunar Rover.

    Peru becomes new sex capital of world from Brazil, wins World Cup
    The country that brought us Carnival and the Girl from Ipanema has long been considered the sex capital of the world. Don't believe me? Ask any sailor that has stopped in Rio, and they'll confirm it. However, sometime in the next 25 years, the title of "Sex Capital of the World" will be bestowed upon Brazil's neighbor, Peru. How? You can thank the Peruvian Bureau of Tourism and their hosting of the annual "Inca Orgy at Macchu Picchu." And as an added bonus, shortly after winning the title, the Peruvian National Team will go on to win their first World Cup, thus exposing the Brazilians' secret of soccer success.

    I will have completely surfed the web
    Factoring in the rate of attrition (sites and pages that disappear) and including the rate of growth (sites and pages that are born), I should have visited every single English-language website on the Internet by the year 2023.

    September 9, 2002


    If the world we live in had 8 days a week, then maybe I'd get a day off. I just the made the chilling discovery that I work every damn day of the week. Let's break it down. At the Hotel 5 days a week, usually Saturday though Wednesday. Working for Primerica one day a week (Thursday), and then doing the radio show on the 7th day, Friday. See, no day off. Granted the radio gig isn't exactly work, but it takes a nice chunk of time to prepare and produce a popular radio show (It happens to be the highest-rated show that originates from California on Saturday mornings in Azerbaijan). Where's all this leading to? Hell if I know.

    Do I like working 7 days? Oh, HELL NO!!! Right now, it's merely a necessary evil that I must endure. The Hotel is my bread and butter right now. Primerica is my job of the future, and I'm slowly picking up speed on it by doing it part time. In the grand scheme of things, I'll spend about 3-4 days on Primerica, do the radio show on Fridays, and axe the Hotel completely (Did you know I have over 6 years of Hotel experience? 3 1/2 of those with a managerial background. Why don't I have some phat Hotel Manager gig somewhere?). With that, maybe I can launch Lost Expeditions fully, and I could even produce a second radio show (I'm thinking of putting out a hour-long show playing solely Greek music, in addition to the Random Radio Show. I think it would be a hit).

    Some day down the road, I'm going to look back at today and laugh my ass off. I should stop punishing myself, and drop a bunch of stuff that's on my plate right now. I'm reminded of the old adage concerning "idle hands," but I don't if I preventing it or if all this is a result of it. Who knows?

    Oh, and if you were expecting some sort of point of moral from this little tirade, then you must be one of our new visitors to the World of Demosthenes. Welcome!

    Roses & Buccaneers
    As Valerie and I stroll through the Hallmark at the Block at Orange, we stop and smell their selection from the Yankee Candle Company. Val's a sucker for the candle, and I enjoy their aroma as well. As we sniff through the jars of scented wax, we come across "Roses of Cliff Walk." Wonderful scent that indeed smells like roses. As I inhale, I comment on the scent, and Valerie pipes up with, "I know how much you love the smell of roses." What? The opportunity for that kind of fact to come up are few and far between. I can't even remember when the last time I could have mentioned that would have been. And then Val busts it out like I mention it everyday. (Yes, I do like the smell of roses, and the rose on the Imperial Crest of Demosthenes isn't there by accident) But then it gets better.

    As we peruse through the sports apparel shop at the Block later in the night, I notice a coffee mug that highlights the uniform of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers through the years. I say something to the effect of, "Hey this is cool!" Then Val turns and say, "Do you like the Buccaneers?" What? How is it that she can bust out the rare Rose reference and then have no clue as to what my sports allegiances are? Then the following exchange took place...
    This is one of many reasons I love this woman. Full o' surprises.

    High School Reunion
    Well, my high school's 10 year reunion came and went. When I received word about 6 months ago, I wasn't sure if I was going or not. And with everything else going on, I never gave it much thought. And then I get an e-mail saying, "Don't forget, the reunion is tomorrow, tickets are still available." Oops. Was working that night, so that answers the question if I was going or not. There were a few people I would have like to have seen, but I don't need an event like this to track them down and contact them. It's just an issue of having the time. (hell, I don't have time to talk to the people I see on a somewhat regular basis). Sure, it would have been nice to go and flaunt, but alas, that's for another time.

    Grid Iron Pixs
    So with the NFL season just starting, it's time to see how my football picks pan out. However, after last year's fiasco, I've decided to let Valerie make my picks. She did pretty good during the last part of last season, so I'm starting Valerie from the opening gun. And for laughs, we airing some of Valerie's picks on the
    random radio show. We'll see how Val does with my money.

    As big as Hasselhoff
    One of the perks of having the World of Demosthenes based on servers from myhosting.com is that I can review my site's statistics at any moment. And as a result of these statistics, I have discovered that I am huge in Germany!

    The World of Demosthenes averages about 3000 hits a week. Not bad for a small site on the huge expanse of the web. About 30% of these visitors originate from Germany. How? Well, someone is using an image (Kopaka from Bionicle) from my site as his chat icon on some RPG chat forum. But instead of swiping it, he's referencing it directly from my site. Now, other people see this pic, click on Properties, see that it's on the World of Demosthenes, and Voila! Another satisfied customer. And apparently, some of these fine folks from Germany are returning visitors. See, I'm about as big a star in Germany as David Hasselhoff.

    On a side note, about 3% of my site's visitors originate from Great Britain, but most of them are looking for information of the Waterloo Train Station (yes, I know they are specifically looking for that), and somehow end up on my Live From London pages. It wouldn't be funny if it wasn't so consistent.

    Color of my Wind
    And has you may have noticed, I unveiled my new fragrance for men called Color of my Wind. It's comes from my Demosthenes Paris division. It's a light scent for the stout male and is a cross between CK One and a Philly cheesesteak. For those that believe that putting on extra generous amounts of cologne is a viable substitute for taking a shower, then this fragrance is for you.

    What's Up Archive
    April 2002 - August 2002
    November 2001 - March 2002

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