Friday, August 31, 2007

Was That John Denver Full of Shit?


Inky and I are about to depart HQ for a trip through the John Denver Song "Country Roads." We are heading to West Virginia with Inky's Mom for a trip around the many natural wonders the state has to offer. I'll report more when we return after Labor Day. One of the things I hope to find out is if the "mountain Mama" JD sings about was a mountain or a mountain of a woman. I'll also let you know if the "misty taste of moonshine" makes us cry.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Newsflash: Britney Has A Dumpy Ass


I know what you're thinking: "Is Britney Spears still even relevant enough to take the time to make fun of?" The short answer is; hell yes! For all the mediocrity that bitch put into the world she deserves a life time of ridicule. That is, of course, unless she wants to run up the white flag, which I doubt because she obviously can't find a pair of white panties, let alone a flag. If Britney would just take the money she has left and move to a huge house in Northern Louisiana I wouldn't care. But, alas, she says in LA. What's worse is that she goes out in these outfits that show off her least flattering assets.

I know she had two kids in less than a year (ewww by the way). And I know she's been under a lot of stress, what with the divorce and custody fight and all, but for Christ's sake! Can't she find a pair of jeans? Or a longer skirt, or at a bare minimum a full pair of panties that would cover her droopy ass cheeks.

Is that too much to ask?

_

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Swing and a Miss Teen USA.


Most of you have probably already seen this video of Ms. Teen South Carolina answering a question about ignorant Americans... by proving that she's an ignorant American. Albeit, a pretty ignorant American, which means she'll make twice as much money as I ever will. Go ahead and watch the video a few million times, and you're sure to cringe, laugh, and eventually cry. But if you really want to laugh your ass off I got the medicine you need.

Using the copy below, recite Lauren Caitlin Upton's words using various accents. I started with my best Shakespearean delivery, based mainly on Marc Antony's eulogy of Caesar. Next up, I tried a swarthy Latin accent, like a Tela Novela. At that point it's time to bust out any impersonations you can do, ideally a Sean Connery, Patrick Stewart or Bill Shatner.

"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uhmmm, some people out there in our nation don't have maps and uh, I believe that our, I, education like such as uh, South Africa, and uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uhhh, our education over here in the US should help the US, uh, should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us."

See. Don't you feel better. I don't care if you just watched your puppy get raped by demented clown, doing this will make you feel better. Sadly, knowing that there is even a Miss Teen USA pageant makes me sad, let alone the fact that Caitlin wound up the third runner up in said pageant. How depressed are the other 46 girls who finished behind her? They may as well embark on a career of back alley dick sucking now and save themselves the trouble of college.

The Last Miss Teen South Carolina to win the whole thing was Vanessa Minnillo, back in '98. (Yes, I did the research) She went on to a fabulous career of Failing in her bid to host Wild On, TRL hosting, and now the ever lucrative Nick Lachey dating. That is what Caitlin had waiting for her had she just said "We need to start teaching Geography in a new and exciting way. Have you ever sat through a Geography class where all you do is look at paper maps? It blows. How 'bout an interactive computer program that shows kids where each country is, that'd be cool. Oh, yeah, and I'm hoping for world peace and stuff." Boom! she'd be the winner! But, sadly now all she is, is a punch line for asshats like me.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Record Review: Rilo Kiley

While I was in Boston last week I picked up a copy of Rilo Kiley's new record "Under the Blacklight" and I haven't stopped listening to it. Jenny, Blake, Jason and Pierre got back together from all their various side projects and made one hell of a record. One wonders how much all that side work colors what the band does when they are together. This record has a decidedly different feel than RK's three previous works. It also is vastly different than Jenny Lewis' solo record from last year or her work with The Postal Service.

The record has a few standout tracks, starting with the first single "The Moneymaker." Much of Lewis' old writing centers on death, sorrow and the impact of swirling emotions. On moneymaker, we get a much more confrontational approach to her writing. The track, like the record also deals more with sex, love and relationships than we are used to hearing from Rilo.

Listening to the record, I couldn't help but feel that this is the music that Gwen Stefani wishes she could make. Whereas much of the old Rilo stuff was indie to a fault (but still awesome) this record has catchy hooks and pop laden beets. "Give a Little Love" is bound to be pinned to some teen movie or TV show, and "Breakin' Up" or "Silver Lining" are almost sure to end up in an episode of Grey's Anatomy.

I don't want to give the impression that this record is just some shitty sellout pop record, however. All you need to do is Listen to "15" to know that Jenny can still stir up some shit. It's like a fucked up "Son of a Preacher Man" for the 21st century, about a 15 year old girl who begins a sexual correspondence with a 25 year old man. One wonders if this song could become the soundtrack to Dateline NBC or something. It is a fantastic song, regardless of it's taboo overtones, and it's hard to stop listening to it.

Rilo Kiley are still a fantastic band, and they still make better music than most of the big acts burning up the pop charts. This record is a more accessible piece of music than most of their previous work though. None the less, in classic Liz Phair fashion, many of RK's fans are beside themselves with despair over the loss of "their Rilo Kiley" and turn their noses up at the record. I couldn't be happier with their newest evolution, and I only hope we will hear from them again. In the meantime I will keep listening to Under the Blacklight and enjoying.

_

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fresh Meat!

As I have said a time or two on this blog, sometimes working on a College Campus can just suck. Like today, for instance, which is Freshman 'move in' day. Campus is swarmed with clingy parents dropping off there fresh-faced young hormone factory's. Mom and dad beam with pride watching their rock hard boys and supple girls carry their laundry basket into the dorm. The parents think 'There goes my prized child, off to learn and grow' while the kids are thinking 'god, I wish Mom and Dad would leave so I can find a set of genitals to rub on mine.' Or, that was my experience at least.

Thirteen years ago when my Mom and Dad dropped me off I had just two things on my mind: 1) finding out where to go to drink and 2) finding a girl who would knock my junk around as part of her "freshman experience." I know 13 years sounds like a long time, but aside from a few small details nothing has changed, I swear! I just walked by my old dorm and a bunch of the guys were sitting on the wall next to the steps while putting the full court press on a flock of girls, just as we all were doing back in '94. Sure, the style has changed; grunge is gone and shitty R&B now rules the day. And baggy clothes have given way to ultra-skintight, but the methodology is all still the same.

Tonight they will all find out were the off campus party is, and they'll go there and drink way too much. In my day we were alerted to the party's by guys walking through the halls and writing the address on the dry erase boards on our door, now they send out mass emails and text messages. But in the end, they will party all the same. They'll call and tell their parents they are going to watch a movie down in the lobby and then turn in. But what they'll really do is put on the tightest of their tight clothes and head to a party. Some of the girls will put out too quick and some of the guys will have WAY too much to drink and miss out on a few sure things.

In the end, one thing is for sure; freshman year is a great time to reinvent yourself. Chances are pretty good that there isn't a soul on campus who knows you. Which means there is no one who knows all the shit from high school, and no one who has already made up their mind about who and what you are. So you can begin to craft who you are as an adult, and a lot of us chose to do that by partaking in a lot of adult behavior. Even if we weren't exactly prepared for it.

Mistakes will be made, but the rest of your life may very well be crafted as well. Without you knowing you just might meet your best Friend during that first drunken night, like I did. And a few years into your time on campus you may be mature enough to start looking for what you want in the opposite sex and you just might meet your spouse, like I did. As for the degree, shit, unless your Premed, Engineering, nursing or some shit like that, just fake it till you make it. You're not going to need anything you learn freshman year anyway, so just be sure to pass everything and let the good times roll.

I just want to go out and stand in the middle of these incoming freshman and yell: "Enjoy it while you can fuckers, because before you know it you'll be so old that there will be kids in college who were born when you were staring high school." Like me. "Youth is waisted on the young."

_

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Back From New England.

Well, Greazy's back in PA, and not a moment too soon. This is the longest I've been apart from Inky in 10 years, when as fate would have it I was also in Boston. Eight days is just too long to be away from my lady and I can't wait to see her.

That's not to say I didn't have a good time during my travels. I did some work, but also got the chance to do some playing too. After being mistaken for a Federal Air Marshall, I headed to Foxboro Mass where I was not mistaken for a member of the media, despite my press pass. I had a great time in the press box and on the Field, and I'll have an even better time when Inky and I go back in the fall for the Skins game.

One of the things I also got to do while in Bean Town was eat, and they have some good grub up there. I took the trip to my Father's home town of Revere Beach and ate at Kelly's. They serve a ton of different stuff, but for me it's all about the Roast Beef... rare if you please. I eat mine plain, cause it has all the flavor it needs without any toppings. Plus the prices at Kelly's can't be beet, unlike one of my other experiences in the Hub, but more on that after Maine.

walking around a Fair with my Between my working days I had a few days at play with my family up in the Great Frozen North. I got to spend a day with Brothers and my Nieces which was great. The next day we went to my Aunt and Uncle's place for a day of swimming and canoeing. I spent the day playing with 5 children ranging in age from 10 to 14 and...(Hi, I'm Chris Hanson. What are you doing in this Lake?) no it wasn't like that. We just ran and jumped off the end of the dock onto that yellow raft you see there, in addition to the swimming and the canoeing. Just looking at kids tires me out, and two days of playing with them makes me want to run out and get a home vasectomy kit. Life as an Uncle is good: you get to show up, be the cool one, have a blast and then split. Kind of like dating a stupid chick in college.

I also got to have a few great Maine meals, lobster included, both at my family's cafe and in some of the area's other eateries. But, I could have eaten at Ralph's Cafe 10 times for what the drinks cost at my next stop. Once back in Boston I hosted an event at The prestigious Oak Bar at the Fairmont Copley Hotel. Seventeen fucking dollars for a fucking Martini! Holy fucking Shit! The food was amazing but to say it was overpriced would be like saying that Mike Vick is mean to animals.

I'm back home now and I have to get myself ready for a grueling 3 1/2 hour work day tomorrow. Will the injustices never cease?

_

Monday, August 20, 2007

Children of the (Candy) Corn

My two brothers and I took our three nieces to the carnival today. We had a good time taking them on rides and wolfing down all manner of Carney food. Shortly after the 14 year old puked all over the lunch table area, we began to walk around the place. My little brother met up with one of his friends from school and we lost track of him for about an hour and a half. This kid was a Ginger-kid. (if you don't know this term see the South Park ep of the same name.)

As my older brother and I tried to find lil greazy we decided that it was just easier to look for the ginger kid. You know like when you get a new car you suddenly start to notice a lot more of them on the road? Like, "gee I never realized how many people drive Saturns till I got this one." Well the same can be said about gingers. All of the sudden, every fifth kid we saw was fair skinned, freckled with blazing red hair. All I could think was "Holy fuck, that's a lot of ginger kids." Plus, they're kinda creepy and I have to admit I was getting a little uneasy. I mean where do they all come from? Don't most people get rid of a ginger baby via the "bridge, brick and pillowcase method?' I mean, I would, and so would The Evil Brother.

As and added bonus, there were also a whole lotta trampy girls there too. One girl, who we saw just barley less than the gingers, was wearing a dinner napkin for a skirt and my evil brother kept trying to send the youngest niece to tell her that she had a tarantula crawling up the front of her torso. Two more days in the great frozen north, and It's back to the land of massholes, then back to PA, and my baby.

_

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Inky is Two Timeing Me... With Kelly

Inky and I celebrated our eight years of marriage the other day, just before I left for the trip I am currently on. Eight years! And that's why it came as such a surprise to me when I found out that she was running around on me with Kelly. Or, more correctly, Hiking around on me at Kelly's Run. Inky has reached a point where she loves to work out, and I don't know how she's done it. Now, with me away and fantastic weather in Central PA she went out for a 4 mile hike without me. I'd like to be upset, but I can't be. Instead I'll say 'that's good work out of you' to Inky and prep for the next hike that we'll take together.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Would You Trust This Guy With Your Life?

Would you trust me, Greazy Tony, to protect a model airplane, let along a real one. Here's how it all went down. You know how when you travel you end up seeing the same people over and over again. Even more so when you are a square and you keep seeing the big hulking Italian guy with the tattoos on his arm, and you keep pulling your kids close to you? Well that's what happened last night at BWI when this guy in his 40's kept seeing me. First at the check in, then at the Chinese fast food place and finally in the "B line" to board the plane. Once off the plane I saw this dude again at baggage claim, and then to his surprise we got on the same shuttle to the hotel. I rolled my eyes the whole time he talked to the driver of our van in his broken Spanish, mainly because she was Portuguese and she kept trying to tell him that they aren't as similar as most people think.

Then when we got to the hotel, he and his clan were behind me at the check in. When I asked the lady what time the shuttle left for the airport in the morning, she told me, and I was ready to be on my way. Then this dude taps me on the shoulder and asks me if I am a Federal Air Marshall. What? I ask, and he proceeds to give me his evidence which went something like this. I was alone, I didn't get 'extra attention' at security (mainly because I'm not a douchebag and I know what I can and can not take on a flight) and I didn't make conversation with anyone while waiting for the flight. Then the coup de gras was that I was flying in and then flying right out again. Presto: Air Marshall.

The reason I am going back to the airport is to pick up my rental car so I can make my way though New England for my various tasks, but when some people think they know everything you just can't convince them. I told him that I was not a Air Marshall, and he said, and I'm not joking here: "You probably couldn't tell me even if you were." What an asshat!

Then when I came down for a drink about an hour later the lady behind the desk asked me what I actually do for a living. I told her, and she laughed really hard. She said that the guy kept talking about it after I left the desk, surmising that my tattoo was a good sign that I was ex military (you know because there's an anchor in it) and he's heard that they get those types of guys to be Air Marshalls. Wow! And people tell me that I'm obsessed with being right!

_

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

To the Hub, and Beyond!


I'm leaving for a trip to New England tonight that will feature a few days of work, a few days of play and a visit with my family. My Mother, and siblings moved to Maine four or five years ago, and I find that it's best to visit in the summer when it's not bone numbingly cold. Along the way I'll also be stopping in Foxboro to take in a Pat's game from the sidelines, thanks to my Bean Town sports hook up. I'll have pictures when I get back, and I'll post story's from the road.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

'Cause the Jacket Fits.

First things first: Bret Michaels is a tremendous douchebag. Now that that's out of the way, I can commence with discussing this week's "Rock of Love" I've already said that this is by far the best show of the summer, but not for it's inherent value. This show is great because it is so bad! It is like a 5 car pile-up on the side of the road. While no one is happy to see a bad wreck, none of us can take our eyes off it. Plus ROL is so damn funny! Albeit, unintentionally, but still funny enough to make you pause the Tivo and let the laugh wave pass before you go on.

This week had a few gems, such as Bret dating himself by using the phrase "I'm Johnny Bravo, because the jacket fits" which of course is an illusion to the Brady Bunch episode where Greg becomes Johnny Bravo only because he could wear the jacket. Bret was referring to the feeling that Erin "wasn't there for Flav....I mean Bret" because she was upset that she missed the chance to meet Justin Timberlake. How dare she be mad that she missed the chance to meet a star who isn't old enough to be her dad! She's supposed to be there for Bret!

Of course, the chick that told Bret about Erin's desire to have sexy given back to her took the chance to call her "Star fucker." She went as far as to write Bret a letter about it, because she just couldn't hold her tongue...out of his ass crack. When Bret found out about this transgression he stated "I was about to be a notch on Erin's bedpost. I'm the notcher, not Erin." Profound TV, huh? All this might have been ok, until it was reveled that Heather, the craggy old stripper, was just like any other finger pointer. She had secrets of her own, and the girls let Bret know that she had been a "star fucker" as well, when she tried to bed Vanilla Ice on the Surreal Life. Wow, those who live in Skank Whore houses shouldn't throw Valtrex.

In the end however, the only girl who should have a chance to win this thing is Jes Rickleff, who is by far and away too good for Bret. In that respect I hope she makes it to the final three and then gets sent home, so she gets all the TV time she came for, but Bret doesn't get drag is fake hair all over her. When Jes showed up in that black dress for her date with Bret... I mean, goddamn! That girl has a great body, and she is also pretty, unlike so many of the others. Add to that some pink hair and Greazy is sold. Of course, she may not "be there for Bret" so her tour will end sometime soon.

_

Monday, August 13, 2007

Show Review: Crowded House


Inky and I braved the cold to see the boys of Crowded House play once again in the city of brotherly love. On an evening when we thought we were going to be melting, it turned out to be a fall like night, filled with the sounds of our youth. Once Neil, Nick, Mark and Matt took the stage the cold didn't seam to bother us anymore. Maybe it was because we were jumping to the songs we love so much, or perhaps we were too busy laughing at all the douchebags around us.

First and foremost, the show was amazing. You can buy a copy of it here and hear for your self. There were only a few songs that they didn't play that we had hoped to hear, like Sister Madly. But, when you've been around as long as CH has been you can't do them all. They played from 9:45 till just past 11:30, and gave us 20 songs during that time. The set list contained all the favorites:

1. Locked Out
2. World Where You Live/Money's No Object
3. Heaven That I'm Making
4. She Called Up
5. Recurring Dream
6. Fall at Your Feet
7. Don't Stop Now
8. Pour le Monde
9. Don't Dream It's Over
10. Silent House
11. When You Come
12. The Carnival Is Over (The Seekers)
13. You Are the One to Make Me Cry
14. Distant Sun
15. Something So Strong
16. Pineapple Head
17. Throw Your Arms Around Me
18. Weather With You
19. Mean to Me
20. Better Be Home Soon

In addition to the band's fantastic musical performance, we were also treated to a few classic Neil and Nick back and forths between songs. They have the natural rapport that you can only gain by being friends for years, and being in a band that never split up over petty squabbles. They still play like they love it, and that makes their performance so genuine that it cant help but be amazing. It didn't matter if they were playing a song I've known since I was 10 or one off their great new record, they all just felt perfect.

The crowd was a different story however. Inky and I have been witness to many a strange act in public but this one took the cake. There were, as was to be expected, a lot of older people in the audience. One could imagine that many of them first got into CH back in the 80's as 20 somethings, and now are in their late 40's. Their pathetic, not because they are old, but because they are trying to act like they are 25 again. Like the gray haired fat guy in the sued jacket and the chinos who was grooving like a pole dancer. Or the two old cows with him, in their summer dresses and heals, who were holding their beers aloft as if they were a gift to the gods to somehow win their youth back. Or the strange chick with the half Amy Winehouse hairdo who was doing the head back, eyes closed, slow swaying dance to the music. They were all priceless.

Nothing topped the group of four who were two rows in front of us, however. The one couple was pretty benign, but the blonde couple...god damn! The dude was one of these jock types who looked kind of like Matt Mulhern, who played Teddy Beckersted in "One Crazy Summer. In retrospect, I think I was waiting for him to turn around and say "I'll go when I'm done with my laps!" To which we would have replyed: "Thaaaaank Yoooou Teddy!" I digress. He and his lil woman, Cookie, were taking pulls of a silver plated flask all through the opening acts, and right up through the first few tunes. After about an hour of this Cookie starts to get all PDA flirty with Teddy and she's kissing his neck and rubbing his back under his shirt. Right around the time Teddy started pumping his fists upon realizing that the band was playing "Heaven That I'm Making" (prompting him to say: "I knew it. I knew they would play this next, bro.") Cookie started to go south. She was putting her head down for a different reason, and Inky and I were just waiting for her to blow chunks.... or as our antipodean friends would say chunder.

Somewhere between "She Called Up" and "Recurring Dream" Cookie went missing, and Teddy was worried. He darted around the section looking for her, and came back to enlist the help of the female from the other couple to go and look for her in the bathroom. By the time they came back "Don't Dream it's Over" was just wrapping up, and they missed the big hit! It was about the time they played the Seekers song, that Cookie came back, claiming that she was just off looking for water. It was at this time that Teddy and his woman sat down behind us and started having a "nothing fight" wherein Teddy bemoaned the fact that she made him miss "Don't Dream it's Over" and that he was worried that someone had "snatched her." She just kept repeating "I'm sorry, I was OK and I was just looking for some water." Teddy, for his part, was having none of it, and so the nothing fight went on for a while longer.

In the end, I think she was just waiting for Joel Murry to walk up to her and say "Cookie, why don't you and I quite playing all these games?"


_

Friday, August 10, 2007

They Came All the Way To America

Inky and I are loading into the family truckster today to head east to the city of lovin' brothers. We aren't going for cheesesteaks or to see the Phillies. Rather, we're going to see one of our favorite bands, who are back together again. Tonight we'll be lucky enough to see Crowded House perform, live, on stage!

Just weeks after staying us to all hours of the morning to see their set at Live Earth, we now get the chance to sit back and listen to all of our favorites, as well as the fantastic new songs from their first studio album in over a decade. This is by far the reunion tour I've been looking forward to, you can have your Police, I'll take Crowded House. I'll blog all about the show when we get back!

_

Thursday, August 09, 2007

And They're Not Even Using KY

I almost fell out of my chair when I saw this story about Johnson & Johnson suing the Red Cross to prevent them from using the Red Cross logo on products. Take a second to think that one through. A multi Billion Dollar company is trying to get a not for profit organization to stop using the symbol that is the very essence of who they are. The Red Cross was founded in 1863, and the American Red Cross was founded by Clara Barton in 1881. J&J was founded by Robert Wood Johnson in 1886, just down the road from where I grew up. Never mind the fact that J&J began putting a red cross on their products in 1887 because the symbol was synonymous with aid due to the Red Cross' good work. How about the fact that they started using the symbol a full 24 years after the IRCARC did.

Now the J&J people want to stop the Red Cross from using a red cross on products. Granted they are not upset about the items the aid organization give away to people who have lost their homes et al. They are upset that items are being sold with the red cross logo on them, albeit as parts of health and safety kits. But in this country business is business, and you can't fuck with the almighty profit!

So the Fat Cats over at Penis & Penis are after the people who give you food and a place to stay when your house burns down. God bless the USA! The worst part is that while they are fucking the not for profit set, they aren't even using KY, which J&J makes. I guess they didn't want to waist any money on them, I mean other then the money they are spending on lea gal fees and the money they will lose from customers who are appalled at their treatment of an aid organization.

By the way, if you want to complain to J&J I say you write to Vice Chairperson Christine A. Poon. Poon, great name for a higher up at a Fortune 500 company! You can only hope there's another exec who's last name is Tang!

_

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Song Spotlight: Augie March "One Crowded Hour"

In anticipation of going to see Crowded House on Friday night with Inky, I thought I'd do a little post about antipodean music and the word crowded. And so I bring you "One Crowded Hour" by a band called Augie March. This is a Steely Dan or Lynyrd Skynyrd situation, where it may sound as if the band is a dude but it is in fact the name of the group, taken from the Saul Bellow book The Adventures of Augie March. They are a quintessential rock group who write, play and sing perfectly. This song was the #1 song on last year's Triple J Hot 100, which is voted on by actual fans, and it really deserves it's nod as the best song of the year. While it only received a top 10 spot on the TGWOOfY half way list, chances are very good that it may end up in the top 3 before the year is out. The record was released here in the States yesterday, and it is well worth you ten bucks to pick it up.

Now should you expect to see something that you hadn't seen
In somebody you'd known since you were sixteen;
if love is a bolt from the blue, then what is that bolt but a glorified screw?
and that doesn't hold nothing together
Far from these nonsense bars and their nowhere music it's making me sick
And I know it's making you sick
There's nothing there, it's like eating air
It's like drinking gin with nothing else in
And that doesn't hold me together.

But for one crowded hour, you were the only one in the room
And I sailed around all those bumps in the night to your beacon in the gloom
I thought I had found my golden September in the middle of that purple June
But one crowded hour would lead to my wreck and ruin
And I know you like your boys to take their medicine
From the bowl with a silver spoon
Who run away with the dish and scare the fish by the silvery light of the moon
Who were taught from the womb to believe till the tomb
In as far as their bleeding eyes see
Is a pleasure pen, meant for them, built for and rent for them
Not for the likes of me
Not for the like of you and me

And for one crowded hour, you were the only one in the room
And I sailed around all those bumps in the night to your beacon in the gloom
I thought I had found my golden September in the middle of that purple June
But one crowded hour would lead to my wreck and ruin

Oh but the green-eyed harpy of the songland
She takes into hers my hand
She says, "Boy I know you're lying
Oh but then, so am I,"
And to this I said "Oh well."

They put me in a cage full of lions, I learned to speak lion
In fact I know the language well
I picked it up while I was versing myself in the languages they speak in hell
That night, the silence gave birth to a baby
They took it away to her silent dismay
And they raised it to be a lady
Now she can't keep her mouth shut
And for one crowded hour, you were the only one in the room
And I sailed around all those bumps in the night to your beacon in the gloom
I thought I had found my golden September in the middle of that purple June
But one crowded hour would lead to my wreck and ruin

One crowded hour, you were the only one in the room
Well I played a few songs for those bumps in the night
In fact I played this very tune
You said, "What is this six-stringed instrument but an adolescent loom?"
And one crowded hour would lead to my wreck and ruin.

Monday, August 06, 2007

What Price (net) Fame?

Inky and I got into a discussion yesterday about the plight of the famous in our Country. On one hand it is easy to understand how much it must suck to feel like your life is not your own. Having photographers following you all the time, and your love life splashed all over the TV and the Web must be hard. I said something to the effect that "something about their lives has to be hard" which may have been an unconscious response we all have to the challenges facing famous people. They have tons of money, and no matter how hard they say it is to make a record, TV show or movie they will never really know hard work like the 99.9% of us who are in the real world. Maybe that is why we secretly delight in the misfortunes of Britney, Lindsay and Paris, and maybe that is why we don't feel sorry for all the stars who just can't make a relationship work.

The "star" Inky and I were talking about was Missy Higgins, who I'm sure 95% of Americans have never heard of. She was what some people may call a 'reluctant star' who's sister sent one of her songs to an Aussie Radio Station contest which she ended up winning. Still, she resisted singing a record deal, because she was only 17. After High School she went on a backpacking trip through Europe and eventually came back to Oz with some more songs she had written. Her songs are very personal, almost as if they were taken from her diary. One glimpse at Missy on stage and you realize that she's not the music biz type. She seems shy, and at times actually kind of dorky, not unlike so many other 23 year olds. She is easily recognizable in her home land, and looks forward to time in Los Angles where she can blend in and not be hounded. In LA! Talk about a paradigm shift.

LA is also home to a young woman who is experiencing an avalanche of unwanted media attention these days. Unlike Missy, who recorded her songs and agreed to have them played on the radio (tantamount to agreeing to become a public figure and thus subject to public scrutiny) Allison Stokke just signed up for her schools Track team. What followed is a tail of icky older man attention , due in large part to one picture taken of her. The picture of Allison in her tight track kit while adjusting her hair became an internet phenomenon. I think she and her Lawyer father are over reacting a tad, but I understand that she may not have wanted to become masturbation fodder for half the male bloggers in the world.

It is all the result of the more interactive world we live in. Who could have imagined that being able to interact with one another instantly and anonymously would have cause these types of problems? Uh... just about anyone with a brain, that's who. The world was once captivated by images they saw on newspapers and magazines, like the Afghan Woman on National Geographic, or the man standing in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square. But our connection to those people was analog, and tenuous. Now the world goes online to see pictures of Brit's junk, The girl from American Idol in a fountain or Miss NJ getting her boobs grabbed. The interaction here is dynamic, and made all the more real by posting boards where any one can sound off. The funny thing is: I don't have a real problem with people looking at this stuff, but where does it stop? And, more importantly, who is fair game?

Back to celebrity, which is basically a contract with the public at large to love you for what (or in some cases who) you do. If you're a singer you want people to like your music, if your an actor you want people to like your shows or movies and if your an athlete you want people to be in awe of your accomplishments. The rub is, that you don't get to control the flow of attention. That's the deal, you get to live a life of monetary security and we get to make comments about who you're dating, what your wearing, how heavy or skinny you are and if we'd sleep with you or not. If you don't like it you can join the rest of the work-a-day set and give up the attention.

In many ways that also goes for the non famous among us as well. If you put a picture of your self on the internet, don't be shocked when it's used in a way you may not have intended. I don't know how it's possible that people have become so ignorant of the power of the WORLD WIDE web in so short a time. I guess it has something to do with the generation who has grown up with it as a given. I came to college as a freshman, never having used email, let alone the web. But, there are tons of young adults for whom instant access and connection has always been a reality. One young blogger said this:

"The internet was the enabler behind most of my middle school drama.The enigmatic anonymity that the web provides was a big green light for mean teenagers to harass other mean teenagers without the consequences of face-to-face confrontations."

First of all, Middle School. And people wonder why Chris Hanson keeps finding guys who chat with kids on line. Second of all, all you need to remember is this: All of the worst behavior exhibited by so called adults is nothing more than a more refined version of High School and Jr. High behavior. And so it is that the internet has become a place to rip on people both famous and unknown and criticise everything from politics to sports all from behind the veil of your PC. It has been said that "Those who can, do. Those who can't, become critics." Thanks to the web we have all become not only critics but columnists. I couldn't have put my thoughts out in a forum like this ten years ago. Ten years ago, fans of Missy Higgins would have to meet in small personal groups to wonder if she is Gay and talk about where she likes to go for lunch. Ten years ago the lusting after Allison Stokke would have been confined to her High School, College and work place. Some times you have to take the good with the bad.


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Friday, August 03, 2007

The Role of a Lifetime

I was saddened to hear that Scarlett Johansson had no interest in playing Jenna Jamison in the upcoming movie "Heartbreaker" based on Jamison's best selling book "How To Make Love Like a Porn Star." Scar would have been perfect for the role, all you need to do is look at the photo to the left to see that she can really pull off sexy. Hell, you didn't need the photo to tell you that, but it gave me a reason to post it. Anyone who's seen Johansson act knows she exudes sex appeal, but she also has the needed softness in the face to play Jenna. If Scarlett is not on board, then TGWOOfY proudly presents the 10 actresses who either could, should or would play the worlds most famous porn star. They are in no particular order, and for a picture of each, just click on their names.

1) Elisha Cuthbert, 24. PROS: She's played a porn star before in '04's "The Girl Next Door" and went to Vivid Entertainment to do research on the role. She has all the requisite sex appeal and a pretty comparable figure to pre-implant Jenna. CONS: May not want to go down the porn route again, and seems against nudity in her roles.
2) Kirsten Dunst, 25. PROS: She has a strangle hold on the geek market with her cred from the Spiderman movies. Undeniably beautiful. CONS: Never really done a sexy role, and doesn't quite have that hot smouldering sexy vibe.

3) Laura Prepon, 27. PROS: She has a very intense presence that comes from being a bit of a tomboy, and a great figure. CONS: Jenna is short, and Laura is quite tall, she also doesn't pull blonde off well.

4) Katherine Heigl, 28. PROS: Men love her and women identify with her thanks to her time on Grey's. She, more than anyone else on this list, has the perfect figure to play the early Jenna. CONS: Almost certainly wouldn't be allowed to do this role by the folks at the network who can't afford to lose anything else from Grey's or it will flounder.

5) Abbie Cornish, 24. PROS: She is going to be huge one she gets a big role that a lot of people talk about, and this could be it. She is a knockout to be sure, and can pull off blonde. CONS: She is very young looking for her age, and that would be bad for later scenes in the film. She doesn't have a whole lot of curves.

6) Rachel McAdams, 28. PROS: Something about her smile reminds me of Jenna, and she looks totally different as a blonde. CONS: She is also challenged in the curves department plus she doesn't seem to be one to break the 'good girl' image she's got going.

7) Isla Fisher, 31. PROS: She has a precocious and flirty nature that would lend itself well to the role. Plus, she has a fantastic body that sell as a porn star. CONS: Despite being among the older people on this list she has a young feel to her that may not play well through out the movie.

8) Jenna Fischer, 33. PROS: She can play anything you want, be it Pam or Jenna the hip Hollywood wife in her mock-doc LolliLove. She is also a natural beauty, who can pull sexy off with no problem. CONS: Again, I don't think NBC would be too crazy about this, since The Office is about all they got.

9) Christina Aguilera, 26. PROS: She's looking to make a splash in the world of movies and what a splash this would be. She is just about the sexiest woman on this list, and after having her baby maybe she'll fill out a bit to play the role. CONS: I really can't think of one.

10) Britney Spears, 25. PROS: She needs a comeback in the worst way, and this country has let crazier people back in the door for less. If she were to do this film well it would be a huge step back to the party for her. Plus, she's already shown her junk to everyone. CONS: She can't act her way out of a paper bag.


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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Hey There Ladies

Layla had Eric Clapton on his knees. Kiss heard Beth calling. Tommy Tutone wanted to make sure that Jenny didn't lose his number, while Simon and Garfunkel lost their turn with Cecillia. Brandy was a fine girl, and Melissa was sweet, but the Ramones told us that Heidi is a Headcase.

Is there any subject better to write a song about then a woman? Weather it be one you love deeply, love from afar, love for just one night or no longer love, songs about Chicks are as enduring as music itself. I'm always interested to find out if the women in the song are real, fake or just an amalgam of a few other women given one name to make the writer sound like less of a dog.

So as the year has worn on and I have heard the Plain White T's song Hey There Delilah over and over again I began to wonder who Delilah was... if she even existed. Well she does. She is Delilah DiCrescenzo who at the time of the songs writing in 2004 was a student athlete at Columbia University. T's singer Tom Higgenson met her, and was so smitten with her that he told her he already had a song in mind for her. She, for her part, wanted nothing to do with him because she had A) a boyfriend B) Aspirations of competing in the 2008 Olympics C) An Ivy League education to fall back on D) No interest in some dude from a going nowhere band, at the time at least.

So Tom writes the song and no one hears it. Delilah goes on with her life, still working toward her dream of Steeplechase Gold in '08. Then after being out for 2 years the song becomes one of those inexplicable hits that was in the right place at the right time. Now she says she is torn when she hears the song "When I'm at the gym, it's playing; when I'm at the pool, it's playing. Part of me wants to scream at the top of my lungs that it's about me. Another part of me wants to cower and say it's not."

Still, it's pretty cool to have a song written about you. Plus, it's not like she's a model, movie star or other famous person. Her immortalization came about in the most unlikely of ways: as a normal person. She's pretty, but not the type of knockout gorgeous that moves guys to write a song about a chick who's tight, stretchy running outfit they never got into. I'm sure a Gold in Beijing will be more rewarding to look back on, but in 40 years it would be cool to be able to tell your grandkids that this tune was about you.


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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I swear officer, I only had one.

Back in the days when I used to drink, I knew that anymore than 6 and I shouldn't drive. I'm a big boy, and at one time I had build up quite a tolerance. I think we all know how many we can have before we are too impaired to drive. OK, let me rephrase that. I think most responsible people know, some people just don't care.

So what do you do if you're a 5'2" woman who weights 105? Obviously the number of drinks you can have safely is lower. And if you're a little person, one must imagine you can have even less. And so it was that Matt Roloff, the father from the show "Little People, Big World" got pulled over for DUI a few weeks back. It was his second such violation, with the previous one coming in 2003. See: they can do everything we can do. They can also get thrashed for doing something irresponsible just as well as any other public figure.

I tip my hat to people who say they don't want any different treatment because of a disability. Gary Colmen has been saying that for years. And he is just like anyone else, he can get in fights with his women Friends, has charges pressed and faces the music. If only we could get Britney, Paris and Lindsay to understand that they don't get special treatment because they are retarded.

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