Wednesday, April 30, 2008

KEEP TO THE RIGHT!!!

I hate to bitch (editor's note: by hate to, what I mean to say is "love to") but if the unchecked laziness of people these days continues, we should just give the keys to the country to China. I have blogged before about my loathsome hate of people who use the handicapped button, rather than pulling the door open themselves, but I think what I am about to talk about is even worse. First, let me pose a situation, and ask how you would react:

You are walking toward a set of double doors, and someone has just come out of the building you are going into, thus, leaving the door on your left ajar. Do you: A) Just open the door on your right (swap directions if in Australia, or any other British Realm) and walk through? Or do you: B) Walk through the open door on the left, causing the other people exiting to have to do the "are you going left or right" dance with you on the other side of the threshold?

If you answered B, go get a knife and stab it into your own eye.

We live in a society of right of way, and just like you wouldn't drive into on coming traffic to get around a red light, you shouldn't walk in other people's path to avoid opening a door. I can't stress enough how much of a douche nozzle this makes you.

_

Monday, April 28, 2008

It's Australian for approved casual sex

Inky and I have both posted our lists of the top 5 famous people that we're allowed to cheat on one another with. Since we are just 13 days away from leaving for Australia, we both thought we should update our list with a few Aussies, to improve the odds. Here are my five chosen Aussies:

5) Oriel Morrison - She is a reporter on Chanel 9 down under, but I get to see her every Friday on MSNBC's "Australia This Week" recapping the financial goings on in the lucky land. She comes across as very straight laced, almost nerdy, but I think she's very pretty, not to mention very smart.
4) Melanie Adams - I'm going to skip all the obvious "pole vaulter" j0kes here, and just say that Ms. Adams is at #4 on my list. She should definitely be in Oz while we're there so that is an added bonus as well.
3) Yvonne Strahovski - Before she was a hit as the hot spy on NBC's Chuck, Yvonne was a small time Aussie actress. Since the networks aren't shooting right now, I would guess that she might take the time to get out of Hollywood and go back home. That, plus her undeniable hotness place her at #3.
2) Lauren Jackson - LJ has had a few turns on my overall list, so she had to be on the Aussie specific list. Word is that she wont be playing for Seattle in the WNBA this year so she can get ready to take on the US in the Olympics this summer.
1) Abby Cornish - This is a bit of a long shot, since conventional wisdom would say that Cornish is a LA resident these days. But, she is so amazingly beautiful that I couldn't pass up the chance to put her on the list.

Two Athletes, Two Actors and a News Presenter, not a bad list. Even I was astonished when I came up with a list of all blondes, but you have to go with the best picks available. Inky will almost certainly have a few footballers on her list, but who can blame her?

_

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Greazy and Inky: Two Weeks Till Oz

At this moment in two weeks, Inky and I will be sleeping the afternoon away at a hotel just outside LAX. After taking some time over the weekend to get ourselves on an antipodean schedule, we'll take off from LAX just before midnight, west coast time, two weeks from today.

What once seemed like an impossibly long wait back in October, has turned in to just a fortnight's wait. It is not possible to be fully prepared for any three week vacation to the other side of the world, but we're pretty damn close. Now it's all there in front of us just waiting to be experienced. This next 14 days will either be agonizingly long, or fly by, but when it is done, I'm goin' south!

(This week's picture is of Cataract Gorge in Launceston Tasmania, we'll be there in three weeks.)

_

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Don't Kids Go To School Anymore?

I'm in Virginia Beach for business tonight, and I've been struck by a few observations. #1: Traffic in the Old Dominion State, and the whole DC area for that matter, really sucks. #2: Did I miss a memo or do kids get out of school when ever they want now?

I know this is a beach town, and in my previous visits, both for work and with Inky, we've seen a lot of people here regardless of the season. But, on this visit, with temps in the upper 70's, there have been an inordinate amount of children in town. I'm not just talking about kids who are younger than school age, because some of these kids range from 7 to 17. It's a Thursday night, what are they doing here? I know that there are a ton of colleges and high schools here, and some of these kids are local, but a large number of them aren't.

Did your folks take you out of school for a trip down to the beach? The only time I got to miss school for a vacation was when we took a trip to Europe over the Christmas break, and at that it was only a few days that I missed. Far be if from me to tell people how to raise their kids, because if I did, I'd start with a bunch of other things, but maybe pulling the kids away from their studies for a cheep beach get away isn't that great idea.

_

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

This is a Big Day!

It's April 22nd, and that means it is a very big day. No, not because it's Earth Day, because we all know the Earth is irrevocably fucked thanks to the worlds corporate raiders. Pennsylvania primary, you say? No, that is no longer relevant since all three candidates scummed to pandering at the lowest level last night, by appearing on pro wrestling. (See them here, here, and here if you have the strength) At this point I think we should just be honest with ourselves and elect Randy Jackson and Bret Michaels (a balanced ticket) and be done with it.

No, today is a big day because it is the first anniversary of a revolution in this nation. One year ago today the clouds rolled in, and it began to...


Chocolate Rain!

That's right, April 22nd, 2007 Tay Zondy unleashed the internet sensation that has been parodied by just about every hack to ever get on the interwebs. I don't know of a single person who hears that song and says "Wow, those lyrics are profound, and his voice is mesmerizing." Most of us rightfully think Tay is a dork of Potsy like proportions, and point at him and laugh. However, most of us also click the "watch again" button, or else we move on to the "Vanilla Snow" video or Chad Vader's remake.

I don't know about you, but if I'm having a bad day, Inky or XL can turn and look at me and, in their best deep voice, say: "Chocolate Raaaaaaaain" and i'll laugh. Likewise, if one of them is struggling through the day I may give them my best Chad Vader voice, saying: "Randy made me mop the floor again."

It's no different from years past, when I could make XL crack up by asking "Is Rusty still in the Navy?" or make Inky laugh just by saying "Milk was a bad choice." Now, those quotes can come from regular people, and can be volleyed back and forth across cyberspace at the speed of nerdiness. It's the democratization of funny, and today we celebrate one of it's forefathers: the honorable Tay Zonday.

_

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Three Weeks!

Every day the reality that Inky and I are going to Australia gets more and more palpable. Whether it be a bill we are paying now, that we have to remember to pay before we leave, because at this time in May we'll be in Tasmania. Or, the fact that we are starting to make plans to meet up with people during our stay, we know the trip is upon us.

Three weeks goes by quickly enough in the course of normal life, but I also have a bunch of other things going on in the next three weeks. I'm taking a few small trips for work, I may be rendezvousing with my Mom and younger brother in DC, and I have my 10 year college reunion to attend with a large gaggle of my college buddies. I'm swamped.

This is where being me comes in handy. I already know every piece of clothing that I'm taking with me on the trip. I have an actual checklist of items that we need to take, and I have a file folder filled with all the requisite paperwork. The cars are rented and all possible routs via road, train and boat have been thought through. The only thing we don't have is hotel/hostel reservations, because we want to be able to make changes to where we are staying if something comes up.

Hell, we even have some of our entertainment set up. The first night that we're in Sydney, we are going to the world famous Enmore Theatre to see Rove McManus's stand up act. Then, after a quick jaunt to the Blue Mountains on Wednesday, we're meeting up with a few folks for dinner, drinks and digital music exchange on Thursday. It's all coming together, and it'll be here before you know it!

There is an outside chance that I may get on the plane to come home, but, I can't promise anything.

_

Friday, April 18, 2008

I'd Watch That

At lunch today, one of my coworkers pointed out that Flavor Flav has said that he won't do a 4th season of his show "Flavor of Love." That's too bad, because it really elevated the social discourse, and will be missed. But, what will the legions of Flavor loving skanks do now? They were lining up to take their run at fame, money and an STD, but now they are like a ho without a corner to stand on.

I say that VH1 should go through with the casting for a Flavor of Love 4, but then use the women they get for a special crossover series: Flavor of Rock. The women who think they are vying for Flav's love will instead find Bret Michaels waiting for them. Think of the sociological ramifications of this show. It will be a case study of what happens when subcultures collide, and framed in the racial and feminist contextual ethos of the current Presidential campaign it will shine a light on...

Fuck it. There would be no redeeming value to it what so ever, but it would be funny as shit. For starters, would Brett give the girls nicknames like Flav does? While Flav doles out names like: New York, Hoopz, Prancer, Hotlanta, Black, Prototype, Deelishis, Buckeey and Nibblz, (I could go on, but won't) Brett has always allowed the girls to use their own names, and/or stage names.

I would also insist that the show be shot in the same fashion that F.O.L is, down to the wardrobe. So Brett will have to sport Flav's ridiculous clothes (top hats, clocks and all) rather than his own (fake hair, bandanna etc). For further tinkering, neither Big Rick or Big John would be the "side kick/Clock or backstage pass hander-outer." We would place Chamo in that job, only we would ask him to really play up the whole "gay latin guy" thing. He's been a bit understated in his two turns on I Love N.Y. Additionally, the role of Bret's confidant/translator would be filled by Michelle "Sister Patterson" Patterson, enabling him to rely on a mother's guidance (since his has got to be 90 by now) when picking from the women.

I don't know about you folks, but I would never miss an episode of Flavor of Rock, and I ask you to join with me in calling on VH1 to make this show, post haste.

_

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Trees That Smell Like...Uh, Well, Like...

There are a few smells a person has to get used to when they choose to live in my area of the world. I still remember the first morning I walked out of the dorm nearly 14 years ago and was smacked in the face by the west wind, bringing with it the smell of paper factory. That's a smell anyone could detect, and turn to the person next to them to comment on.

The spring of my freshman year brought with it a new discovery; one I wasn't so fast to talk to other people about. Sitting in the radio station, windows thrown open to celebrate the new born spring, I caught a very unique smell. I sat there thinking to myself: "Self", I thought, "that smells an awful lot like semen". But where could it be coming (no pun intended) from? To generate that heavy an odor it would have to be a whole lot of spunk. Was there some sort of fraternity circle jerk going on by the fountain? I said nothing, and neither did anyone else. Before you knew it the spring gave way to finals, and finals gave way to a trip back to New Jersey for the summer.

The following spring, now surrounded by my closest friends -I had known them for 19 whole months at that point after all- I had the guts to wonder aloud about the smell. It was a short conversation which went something like:

Greazy Tony: Don't those trees smell an awful lot like...
Everyone Else: Cum? I know, what is that about!?!

From that point on, we called them Jizz Trees, which I thought was an invention of the good students of York College of Pennsylvania. In the following years we would draw attention to them when they were in bloom, and enjoy watching as the bewildered freshman struggled to bring themselves to talk about it. Of course we laughed even harder at the boys who feigned ignorance of the smell, and the girls who would one day go on to say "eww, it smells just like those trees on campus."

Just what was nature playing at when she made these trees? Are they there to remind us that spring is here, and its time to get with the propagating of the species? And why in hell would anyone put these trees on a college campus filled with horny young hard-bodied teens and twenty-somethings? We wondered all this as we sat talking about the trees each spring, and some of us (Hint: the boys) wondered where the female equivalent to these trees could be found. And don't say pussywillow, because we've checked.

Now, in the day of the internets, all you have to do is Google "Jizz Tree" and you get 47 different mentions of the phrase. They can't all be York College Alumni can they? If you do a bit more digging, by broadening the search, you find that there are ton of trees nation wide that cause this problem. Be they Ginko Trees, Flowering Dogwoods, The Tree of Heaven or the Bradford Pear which is the one we have on campus. There are just a lot of trees that stink like semen this time of year.

I thought it was only a York thing, but while plodding around the net I found a site run by a woman from my hometown in New Jersey that bemoans the arrival of the Bradford Pear bloom, and it's accompanying smell. She has far more aplomb, or far less experience with man mayonnaise than the average college student, and as such doesn't mention what the smell is evocative of. It makes me wonder if they were there when I lived there.

_

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Air Time

When I came back to work at my alma mater, one of the first perks I saw in it was the chance to get back on the college radio station. That was the fall of '06, and it took a bit longer than I thought it would. In January, I started doing a show with Inky each Wednesday from 8 AM to 10 AM. Now that I feel like I've worked out some of the bugs in my on air presentation (it had been 10 years since I had DJed on more than a one off basis) I'd like to invite you to listen in.

Inky and I do a lot of theme shows, ranging from a focus on a certain year to shows built around a more whimsical theme. Inky has prepared shows focusing on the most prominent years in our musical lives, the 90's, and she is also ready to premiere a show set up around songs about Fire and Water. I have done all Australian Music, all live recordings, Songs featuring place names and songs that all used the word "Hey." It sure ain't easy, you should give it a try sometimes.

So if you want to hear one of our shows, tune in tomorrow via the internets using this link (Just click on "FM Stream in the upper left). Tomorrow I'll be playing my favorite songs from 2007 which covers a wide array of styles.

_

Sunday, April 13, 2008

One Month Until Oz

Waking up today, I realized that I can finally say "this time next month Inky and I will be in Australia." God, it feels so good just to type that. We take off 28 days from today, and while we depart on May 11th, we land on May 13th. So any way you cut it, it's just a month away.

We did a lot of great stuff on our last trip down under, but we still have a ton of new things to try. We're going to get to see our first live Aussie Rules Match. We're going to have a meat pie. We're going to see Uluru, and we're going to go to Tasmania. While I am terribly excited about all the new things we are going to do, I am almost more excited by the things we're going to do again. I like the idea of starting a tradition or falling into a habit in a city that is 20 hours away by plane. My mom and dad traveled all over the world, but they went to Wales a number of times. It was their favorite place to go, and luckily for them it was a bit more accessible than Oz.

For Inky and I, we are looking forward to going back to Oz even more than we were the first time. I love the idea that we can go and grab a pizza and a few cans of Schweppes Lemonade from that little place on Union St and sit by the side of Darling Harbour while we eat. That will become a tradition every time we are in Sydney, which by my birthday will be three times.

We'll add this to the little traditions we have when we are in various towns. For example, when it Las Vegas, you can be sure Inky and I are going to have breakfast at Blueberry Hill at least once. Or, when in Eaglesmere PA, we will steer clear of Chef Toby once dinner is over and he gets to drinkin'. And, who knows what new traditions we will establish in Sydney, Katoomba, Launceston, Geelong, Torquay, Lavers Hill, Warrnambool or Yulara? I'll let you know in two months when we get back.

_

Saturday, April 12, 2008

What Constitutes Famous?

On our way down to DC to see some baseball XL and I took a tiny detour to Hanover PA to get our eat on. Baseball and hotdogs go hand in hand, so we took the oppertunity to try some dogs that we've never had. We went to Famous Hot Weiner to partake of their dogs which are known the world over. (Please note: the world over may be substituted with parts of York and Adams Countys)

XL and I are hot dog conasures to say the very least. If they ever made a hoity toity movie about hot dogs, like Sideways was to wine, XL and I would star. We've had dogs in ball parks, dive road-side joints, and from street corner carts, and I was hoping to be able to put FHW in the Pantheon of dogs past. They didn't quite measure up.

We both got the Famous Hot Wiener Special, which consists of your choice of either two burgers, two dogs or one of each, with fries and a drink. I got one of each, and XL opted for twin dongs. The dogs are too big in circumference (other wise know in wiener circles as girth) and so the middle doesn't get done enough. The onions were very pungent, and the chili sauce can't hold a candle to other famous dogs we've downed. The burger was actually quite good, even though it isn't what you would expect. It is served on a hot dog bun (pictured left in the photo above) and is long and thin rather than patty shaped.

When it was all said and done, I was happy to have a new wiener to put in my mouth, but I don't see myself going out of my way to get it again.

_

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Is That Why He's Still Single?

If you were a company that made steam engines in Cleveland, you'd probably stay away from calling yourself "Cleveland Steamer Inc." If you were an oven making company in the Netherlands you would avoid being called the "Dutch Oven." Likewise, if you were a formal ware syndicate from Cincinnati, you wouldn't name the company "Cincinnati Bow tie."

So why in the hell did big butch man, Dale Earnhardt Jr. agree to this marketing deal? Inky and I walked in to a convenience store on our way home from campus last night and what did I see, but a candy bar called the "Big Mo'" with Lil E's photo staring at me. He knows that colloquially a Mo is a Homo, right? I know he spends all his time with ignorant, southern fried hicks, but he always seemed a bit more hip. Hell, he hangs out with rappers for christ's sake. How does he not know that his stiff, chocolate rod of goodness has a name that is gayer than what I just typed?

I think someone needs to check Junior for a mesh shirt and leather pants the next time he goes out. Until someone proves it to me differently, I'm going to have to assume that Little E is a little gay...not that there's anything wrong with that. Some of my best friends are gay, they just don't advertise with a candy bar.

I'd understand this more if his name was Mo, Maurice or something like that. But, the explanation is that he grew up in the town of Mooresville North Carolina, which he and his friends (I'm not your friend, buddy. I'm not your buddy, guy. I'm not your guy, friend...) called big Mo'. Now, I don't know about you, but I'm not going to name my candy bar after the place I grew up. There are a few reasons for that, one being that the crispy, crunchy Metuch doesn't sound all that appetizing. The other reason is: It's my candy bar, not a bar to recognize all my bro's in Metuchen.

In the end I guess I'm just amazed that it wasn't Jeff Gordon or Michael Waltrip that put out the Big Mo', because I think that wouldn't have come as a surprise to any of us.

_

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Just Five More Weeks.

My apologies to those of you who read my "Australia trip canceled" story on April second or third. I posted it on the first, and the link on the words "Branson Missouri" revealed that it was an April fools joke. The trip is still on, and if I make it through this coming hellish week at work we're damn near a month away. Today marks 35 days until we board our Qantas jet and traverse the Pacific.

Five weeks isn't really a long time, but it seems like an eternity to me now. Hell, if someone were to tell you that you had only five weeks to live, I'm sure it would go by in a flash. But, when you have five weeks till something you really want, it tends to go very slowly. I'll be spending the next few weeks looking at hotel and hostel rates, checking in with some of the people we'll be rendezvousing with in Oz and checking, rechecking and re-re-checking our plans. I'm sure I'll make a list of things to take at some point, and I'm sure I will be ridiculed for preparing too much.

I don't care. It'll all be worth it when I drive by a sign like the one you see above, and remember that I can stop and enjoy the sights, because I've mapped out three or four travel routs per destination in advance.

_

Friday, April 04, 2008

Why South Park Still Rules

For those of you who didn’t see this weeks episode of South Park, you missed out. Matt and Trey are still the masters of using the absurd to shine a light on what is going on in our world.

In this episode they all at once poked fun at TV writers for their strike (which was about the value of internet content) and then pointed out that four fifths of the crap on the net doesn’t make any money for anyone. In the process of trying to help the striking Canadians (who represent the WGA) the boys from South Park are told that they have to get “some of that internet money” and give it to the Canadians. In an effort to make “internet money” they have Butters make this video, and then they head off to collect.

The problem is, they are in line behind Afro Ninja, sneezing panda, tron guy, Chocolate Rain, laughing baby etc. In the end there is no money to be had, and so the writers (oops I mean Canadians buddy, pal, friend) settle their strike.

Genius!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

No Oz, It's for the best.

So with the American dollar falling, the Aussie dollar surging and mounting considerations on the home front, Inky and I have decided to cancel our trip to Australia. Qantas has a 90% refund policy on the airfare if you cancel with in a month of your departure date, and I can get out of our hotel and rental car reservations without penalty. Now I just have to find a place to sell my Footy tickets, and we'll be just about even.

I hate to cancel this trip, especially since we were just 40 days away from departure, but with the economy the way it is we just got squeezed. I started running the numbers and I felt like we'd have to spend too many nights in hostels and eat too many meals at Hungry Jack's to really get the feeling of vacation. So, with the time off, Inky and I are going to go to Branson Missouri. Oh well.

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