Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Awe! How a damn minute.

A few weeks ago I turned the magnifying glass on the holiday classic "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and brought it's dark secret into the light of day. We'll I'm back to wreak more havoc on your holiday spirit as I delve into the meaning the ever present "Baby It's Cold Outside."

I started thinking about this song today, first because "Elf" was on when I was getting ready for work, and then again because it was snowing when I left the house. I was kind of whistling the song to myself on the way to work, and then when I got to my desk I popped the Zooey Deschanel and Leon Redbone version onto my iPod and had a listen. Then it happened, I heard the line "Say, what's in this drink?" and that's when it dawned on me:

This song is the 1940's spin on date rape. Think about it: she keeps saying no, he keeps pressuring her to stay and then there's the question of just what was in that drink? This poor girl just wants to get home to Mom and Dad, cold or no cold, and this fucking letch is all over her. Like he gives a shit if she walks home in the cold. We all know there's only one reason a guy tries to get a chick to stay at his place and that needle always leans more toward "secret concealed rape room" than it does to "I'm worried about your well being. At the very least it is always hovering around "I'll get you drunk, put on Barry White and hope you make a bad decision"

This guy is a classic Shannon Hamilton, acting all chivalrous but in reality he just wants to fuck the girl somewhere uncomfortable. And I'm not talking about the back of a Volkswagen. The male in the song is known as "The Wolf" ("oh, you're sending the Wolf? Shit negro, that's all you had to say") and the female role is "The Mouse"... I mean, come on! It's obvious what's going on here.

Anyway, Merry New Year bitches... and watch out for creepy guys who are going to slip something in your drink and then try and get you to stay at their house because it's cold outside. They never have these problems at New Years in Australia.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

That's A Lot of Nuts!

Allow me to share with you yet another example of how bad the economy is getting these days. People are starting to steal some very weird shit. Just the other day a group of seiral truck tire thieves struck in Central Pennsylvania. That's right, they stole 20 grand worth of truck tires and in the kicker, they used a stolen truck to haul them away. I've also seen at least a dozen stories about copper pipe being stolen, including one in which a downspout was stolen right off a building in downtown York in the middle of the night. To top it all off, someone stole a backhoe in the Greater Harrisburg area the other day, and used a U-Haul to tow it away.

While all these thefts are strange, at least each of the items stolen can be fenced relatively easily. The same is probably not true for the booty gained by a group of pilferers in the Sydney suburbs. They stole $100,000 worth of nuts. Cashews to be exact. Even with the exchange rate, that's more than 68,000 worth of nuts. In the words of the movie Kung Pow: Enter the Fist "That's a lot of nuts."

According to (yeah, I thought that url would be porn too) that is about 8,000 pounds worth of cashews. Just where dose one go about hiding 8,000 pounds of nuts? And who can you sell all those nuts to? Granted, I don't know a lot about the nut business, but I would have to think that you can't fence this load quite as easily as say... diamonds, or even truck tires.

One thing's for sure, I'm glad this nut caper went down, because it gives me an excuse to post this video:


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

...Speaking of Toilet Humor

What can I say, I have a lot of funny stories about the bathroom. The last few have come from work related shithouse mishaps, this one comes from Casa de Inky Y Greazy. Last week I came home from work one night to find that Inky was spending some quality time with the Captain (translation: taking a nap in our bed). So I quietly set about getting out of my work garb in the dark, as not to disturb my sleeping beauty.

I was nearly done when she stirred and said hi to me. We had a bit of a chat as I finished up changing, but, being the nice and thoughtful husband that I am, I still didn't want to turn the lights on, because she had just emerged from sleep. Our bathroom adjoins the bedroom, and so when I went in there to take care of a little post work bid'ness, I didn't turn that light on either.

Luckily for me, I was an alterboy, or what happened next might have scarred me for life. As I began to sit I felt something graze my... well, lets just say my tri-state area. I jumped up and made a sound that would make Howard Dean say "goddamn!"

Upon turning on the light I found that Inky had cleaned the toilet and had left the brush to drip dry into the bowl. The handle of the brush was between the porcelain and the seat, leaving the handle on the outside and the business end centered in the opening of the bowl. The little black protruding patch of bristles was pointed straight up, almost as if it had been aimed. Of course while I was busy processing everything that had just happened to me (and unclenching), Inky was laughing so hard there were four or five distinct snorts.

She just thought it was soooooo funny that I had just been violated by a cleaning utensil. For my part, all I could think about what that old Helen Keller joke about her parents punishing her by leaving the plunger in the toilet. For the rest of the evening, and I would guess for the rest of my life as well, she would just start laughing out of nowhere. I didn't have to ask why.

Now I just have to go home and write "Greazy was here" on the brush, like they did in Gavin and Stacey. Merry Christmas Eve Eve sluts.


Monday, December 22, 2008

More Toilet Humor

Happy Monday-before-Christmas e'rybody! Because I'm not one of these "there's just some things you don't talk about in public" people I've already done two posts about funny situations that have occurred in the bathroom near my office. Well, I've got another one.

As with the first two, it involves me ending up embarrassed after a trip to the restroom. First, let me set the stage and expound on a few bathroom truisms. Our particular bathroom is in a building that houses both offices and classrooms, so you get a mixed bag of users. As is the case for many people, I am not a big fan of having an audience when I take a dump (why do they call it taking a dump, shouldn't they call it leaving a dump? - Beavis 1995) and as such I will wait out other users when I have some particularly thunderous work to do on the throne. Sometimes I get lucky and I end up in there when the kids are in class and none of my coworkers come in so I get a good 10 minutes of uninterrupted time to do my bid'ness.

That's what it seamed like I had last Tuesday, when I sat down to punish the toilet like it owed me money. Not only was I ripping along with abandon, but, as is sometimes the case, I was adding emphasis with the odd occasional grunt or growl. You know, just a regular old dump on a Tuesday. Then I heard it; the unmistakable sound of toilet paper being pulled off a spool, and it wasn't me. And that bathroom only has two stalls, the one I was in and.....THE HANDICAP STALL!

The fucking handicap stall, with it's wheelchair friendly dimensions, which also means that from the wrong angle you don't see any feet. I had assumed that I had the place all to myself, but what I really had was another stall staller, right next to me, who was trying to wait me out. I guess he got tired of waiting and decided to wipe and go. As he exited the stall the first thing I did was watch the feet as they went bye, happy to see nikes as opposed to wingtips. That meant that I hadn't just done a one man fart and splash show for a coworker. The next thing I did was wait to hear the door open and close and then I got the hell out of there.

It would be nice to think that as a 32 year old man I wouldn't make an ass out of myself on such a staggeringly consistent basis, but, there you have it. Merry Christmas Eve Eve Eve hookers.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

TGWOOfY Top 25 Records of 2008

2008 was another very good year for music, as we got all kinds of new acts and new stuff from old ones. My top 25 list features 12 US acts, 6 from Australia, 3 from England, 2 Scottish Groups and one each from New Zealand and Iceland. the Male/Female split is just about 50/50 and it is a nice mix of new groups and old favorites. I cut back drastically on the number of records I bought this year. Having gotten dangerously close to triple figures last year, I decided to easy my way into some purchase. I would listen to songs on free streams, and if I found that I liked more than one, I bought the whole disc. If there was only a small hand full that blew what I have left of my hair back, then I downloaded those. When I sorted them all out, here is what I ended up with:

25) British Sea Power - Do you Like Rock Music
24) Kathleen Edwards - Asking for Flowers
23) flogging Molly - Float
22) Vivian Girls - Vivian Girls
21) Architecture in Helsinki - Places Like This

20) Sia - Some People Have Real Problems
19) Operator Please - Yes Yes Vindictive
18) The Watson Twins - Fire Songs
17) Flight of the Conchords - Flight of the Conchords
16) Death Cab for Cutie - Narrow Stairs

15) The Herd - Summerland
14) Emiliana Torrini - Me and Armini
13) The Walkmen - You & Me
12) Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue
11) The Fratellis - Here We Stand

10) The Long Blondes - Couples
9) Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
8) Clare Bowditch - The Moon Looked On
7) She & Him - Volume 1
6) The Audreys - When the Flood Comes

5) Glasvegas - Glasvegas
4) R.E.M. - Accelerate
3) Be Your Own Pet - Get Awkward
2) MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
1) The Wombats - A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation

I had a hard time picking which of the top five should be number one In the end, The Wombats not only had a kick ass record, but they also produced the soundtrack to the driving that Inky and I did in Australia. I think I would have had Glasvegas even higher if I had heard it before November, but even with only one month to make an impression, it made a big one.

I couldn't be happier that R.E.M. returned to form in 2008, I rather think it's like getting one last lucid day with a beloved grandparent with Alzheimer's. I don't know where they go from here, but I hope it keeps tracking upward. Sadly, I know I won't be hearing anything from #3 and #10 as both Be Your Own Pet and The Long Blondes have split up, but maybe in years to come we'll hear from members of the bands in other acts.

Well, now it's on to 2009, and I already have my eyes on a few early year releases.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Top 100 Songs of 2008:10-1

I've come to the end of my list of the best songs of 2008 which is topped with these 10. The list is made up of a few new acts, a few that have been on the scene for the last few years and two that have been doing their thing since I was just li'l Greazy. I've been waiting along time for the group at #1 to get back to the top of the rock world, and in '08 they did that in triumphant fashion.

10) James - Hey Ma. Anyone who ever heard James' famous 90's track "Laid" either loved it to pieces or hated it. Their '08 effort is a bit more down the middle musically, but certainly has a strong message. It's only an anti-war/protest song if you take the time to listen to the lyrics, but that is easy to forget because it rocks so hard.

9) Tom Gabel - Anna is a Stool Pigeon. I listened to the campus radio station all year, and just about the only song I was introduced to that I dug was this tale of big government setting up a leftist nut job. I still can't stop listening to it, even though I didn't hear it for the first time until about two months ago, it has to be in the top 10. In times like these, we need more music like this.

8) Jenny Lewis - Jack Killed Mom. I first heard this song back in March of '06 at a show Lewis did in Baltimore. Sometimes you only have to hear a song once to know that you love it, and that was the case with this one. I thought it might make it onto the Rilo Kiley's last disc, but it has a more fitting home on Lewis' '08 solo release.

7) Kati O'Toole - Move. This is another song that I was hooked on the first time I heard it. O'Toole is an unsigned act who I saw as part of an opening act for Missy Higgins in Philadelphia and Baltimore. I've also enjoyed her newly released EP, but I keep coming back to this upbeat little number about keepin' on keepin' on.

6) Operator Please - Yes Yes Vindictive. This group of Aussie youths really knows how to push the balls to the wall. Normally that would be ping pong balls (as in their most famous single "Just a Song About Ping Pong) and I'm happy I got to hear them on Triple J, the Australian national youth radio network.

5) Vampire Weekend - A-Punk. A lot of people think of this song like a big greazy cheese steak. You really enjoy consuming it, but it makes you sick after a little while. For some reason (maybe because I rationed out my listening) I haven't gotten tired of it at all. In a lot of ways this will be the song that most says 2008 as a whole to me, because I listened to it throughout the year.

4) The Wombats - Let's Dance to Joy Division. If A-Punk says 2008 to me, This tune, and this whole record for that matter, say May of 2008 to me. Or more specifically, Driving through the Outback and along the Great Ocean Road in Australia with Inky. We picked this disc after reading about the group in an Aussie music mag, only to find out that despite being named after a native of Oz, these boys are from Liverpool. But that didn't stop us from making this uptempo record the soundtrack of our month in Oz.

3) Be Your Own Pet - Twisted Nerve. Another Year, another phenomenal release from this 20-something group from Nashville. Sadly, it will be the last, since the group broke up this summer. It's another all around great record from a few punk prodigies, and this was the best track on the disc. I just hope that Jemina is back with another group, or as a solo act, soon, because she is too big a deal to be over at 20.

2) She & Him - Sentimental Heart. Not only do I think that Zooey Deschanel has a great voice, but I think she is one hell of a songwriter as well. Volume 1 is filled with differing types of songs, all exceptionally well done, but this slow track, with it's light strings and piano is the one that really jumped out at me. I just pray that there's a Volume 2 in our future.

1) R.E.M. - Supernatural Superserious. I had all but written off the boys, er, men from Athens, but I'm glad I rolled the dice on their most recent offering. Accelerate is filled with classic R.E.M. sound. So much so, that if you told me these were all tracks written in '92 but not recorded till today, I would have believed you. As Michael, Peter and Mike each get closer to 50 it's great to see that they can still bring it just as well today as they did in the 80's or 90's.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Top Songs of 2008: 40-11

Here is the last of the bulk lists of the best songs of the year, in my humble, yet well defined opinion. Tomorrow I'll let lose with the top ten, which I think would make for one hell of a good playlist on any iPod in the nation. Till then, I'll bore you with more useless facts culled together from this list. Such as, the city with the most spots accounted for is New York with 15, just edging out L.A. Not a lot of surprise there, but one thing that I did think was kind of crazy was the fact that I have 4 acts from Maine on the list this year, who knew.

40) Counting Crows - When I Dream of Michelangelo
39) Kate Nash - Foundations
38) Adele - Right as Rain
37) Foxboro Hot Tubs - Mother Mary
36) Lenka - The Show
35) Ani Difranco - Emancipated Minor
34) Joan as Police Woman - Migpies
33) Dykehouse - Chain Smoking
32) Missy Higgins - Where I Stood
31) Robert Francis - One by One

30) Stephen malkmus & the Jicks - We Can't Help You
29) Department of Eagles - No One Does it Like You
28) Chairlift - Bruises
27) The Long Blondes - Guilt
26) Cat Power - New York (Cover)
25) Kathleen Edwards - Oil Man's War
24) Weezer - Pork and Beans
23) The Herd - The King is Dead
22) emiliana Torrini - Gun
21) Clare Bowditch - You Looked So Good

20) The Audreys - Lay Me Down
19) Sheryl Crow - Gasoline
18) MGMT - Time to Pretend
17) The Fratellis - Shameless
16) Paul Weller - Cold Moments
15) The Walkmen - In the New Year
14) The Ting Tings - That's Not My Name
13) Dawn Landes - Twilight
12) Glasvegas - Daddy's Gone
11) Death Cab for Cutie - Cath...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Top 100 Songs of 2008: 70-41

Here is my second of four instalments of the best songs of 2008. I made a solemn vow to buy less records on spec this year, and as such I did a lot more single buying. That is fully evident in the fact that the list features 99 different acts, with only one group, Scotland's Glasvegas, making the list twice. There are 11 different nations represented on the list, coming from four different continents. Here now is positions 70 through 41, enjoy.

70) Morningwood - Best of Me
69) Kasey Chambers/Shane Nicholson - Rattlin' Bones
68) Jennifer O'Connor - Always in Your Mind
67) Juliana hatfield - This Lonely Love
66) Katie Melua - Mary Pickford
65) Ray LaMontagne - Meg White
64) Leslie Mendelson - Hit the Spot
63) Yael Naim - New Soul
62) The Silent Years - Goddamn You!
61) Martha Wainwright - You Cheated Me

60) Sara Melson - Dirty Mind
59) The Old 97's - Dance with Me
58) The Breeders - We're Gonna Rise
57) British Sea Power - Waving Flags
56) Loudon Wainwright III - Motel Blues
55) The Cure - The Only One
54) Less Than Jake - Does the Lion Still Roar?
53) Catie Curtis - Sweet Life
52) Peter Moren - Social Competence
51) Vivian Girls - Where Do You Go To

50) School of Seven Bells - Half Asleep
49) Erin McCarley - Love, Save the Empty
48) Jem - It's Amazing
47) Flogging Molly - (No More) Paddy's Lament
46) Flight of the Conchords - The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room
45) The Watson Twins - How Am I to Be
44) Tristan Prettyman - All I Want is You (Cover)
43) Matthew Sweet - Daisychain
42) Architecture in Helsinki - Debbie
41) Sia - Little Black Sandals


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Top 100 Songs of 2008: 100-71

As promised (even though not asked for, or cared about) here is the start of my favorite songs from the year that was 2008. In keeping with a normal trend a larger portion of the list(54%)if from female artists than male(46%). Bucking a past trend, however, is the fact that England came in second to the US in the number of acts posted on the list, with 14%. That balloons to 19% if you count the UK total including Wales and Scotland. In a year when Inky and I went to Australia, you would think that it would have gone up, not down, but alas it has slipped to 3rd place with 9%, dropping from 23% last year.

100) Jackson Browne - Time the Conqueror
99) David Byrne & Brian Eno - Strange Overtones
98) The Bridges - Pieces
97) Sara Bareilles - (Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay (Cover)
96) The French Kicks - Carried Away
95) Blues Traveler - The Queen of Sarajevo
94) Dave Mason - Good 2 U
93) Allison Moorer - Mockingbird
92) Jenny Scheinman - Come on Down
91) Metro Station - Shake It

90) Holly Conlan - You are Goodbye
89) Melody Gardot - Worrisome Heart
88) Bonnie Prince Billy - Easy Does It
87) Ana Serrano van der Laan - Paradise
86) Ingrid Michaelson - Be OK
85) Silver Jews - My Pillow is the Threshold
84) Emmy the Great - Gabriel
83) Black Kids - I'm Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You
82) Marnie Stern - Ruler
81) Emmylou Harris - All That You Have is Your Soul

80) Glasvegas - Geraldine
79) Duffy - Mercy
78) Scarlett Johansson - Falling Down (Cover)
77) The Asteroids Galaxy Tour - Around the Bend
76) Aimee Mann - Freeway
75) Conor Oberst - Cape Canaveral
74) Mickey Avalon - My Dick
73) The Kills - Cheep and Cheerful
72) Anna Nalick - Shine
71) The Clientele - Retiro Park


Monday, December 15, 2008

Yeah, That's About Right

When you start a war against a sovereign nation with no valid provocation you kind have to be ready to have some stuff thrown at you. So when W ducks this shoe with ninja like like reflexes, you have to understand that it is because he's been practicing. I bet he has the secret service throw nerf balls at him every morning so he can be prepared.

The only thing missing was some kind of snappy one liner after the throw, I would have said "Who throws a shoe, honestly" in the Austin Powers accent. it would have brought the house down, because it works on so many levels. I mean, come on, the guy was the Governor of Texas... and lived in Austin! Classic.

In the end though, I just found myself being sad that the shoe missed. His father finished his time in office by puking on someone, this would have topped it in spades.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Greazy Tony to The Road: "I Want to be On You!"

When I was a young lad of just 17 or 18 I loved nothing more than jumping in my car and just driving. Sometimes I would head south to the Jersey shore, no matter the season. I would often nip off to New York City, even though that meant parking in my father's garage and walking past his riverfront office in Hoboken to get the PATH train. Of course, gas was less than a dollar back then, and my Honda got 35 MPG highway so these little trips of me barely cost me one pizza delivery's worth of tips.

I have a strong case of wanderlust, but I come by it honestly. My old man used to love to pile us all in the van and drive us to this little restaurant he loved on the shore. And god knows how many times he took us into the City for no reason. I don't know how much gas was in those days, but sufficed to say if it was $3.98 we would have just taken a walk. I'm sure the same would have been true for me in the mid-90's when I used to drive off on my constitutionals. Lord knows, over the last few years Inky and I have severely cut down on our roaming, due in no small part to the price of petrol.

All this serves as a backdrop to the day I had yesterday. With gas hovering at a buck and a half (which we all know is temporary) and Inky out of town I had the perfect opportunity to go for a driveabout. I gathered all the new CD's I bought this year so I could review them for my annual list and at 9:00 AM I hit the road, bound for New York. I couldn't resist the opportunity to make a pit stop in Allentown for some Yocco's dogs and pierogis, which were like my appetiser.

Next, I stopped in my hometown and did my usual drive around to be sure that everything is still relatively the same. After I talked to my mom on the phone, I went and got a few cannoli, one of which I left at my father's grave site, because he wouldn't ever want flowers. Then it was back on the road as I picked up 440 and made for Staten Island. XL called me just as I was paying the $8.00 toll to go over the Outerbridge Crossing, it certainly never cost that much when I was a kid.

I finished my talk with XL as I was approaching the Verrazano and soon I was in Brooklyn. I did a little Christmas shopping for XL in newly trendy again borough, and had a bite to eat at The Pie Shop, near Prospect Park. When I was done in Brooklyn I gave my regards to Flatbush Avenue and crossed the Manhattan bridge in to, well, Manhattan. As I drove along Canal St. I couldn't believe how many people I observed standing in front of three card monty tables, and buying knock-off handbags and watches. There is one thing that hasn't changed since I was a kid. It was slow going to the Holland Tunnel, but the next thing I knew I was back in Jersey, heading west.

Along the way home I talked to Inky on the phone, topped off my road-food intake with a few more Yocco's dogs and listened to more great 2008 music. I got back to York shortly after 6 confidant that I had shaken the urge to hit the road... for a week or two.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Reindeer are Bitches

Inky and I were at dinner tonight when we heard the song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and we got to talking about this old time family song. It's a happy-go-lucky tale about a once derided member of the community who rises up and gets the admiration of all his peers... right? We think there is more to the story. I see it as a tale of bullying, affirmative action and finally, sycophants run amok, but I'm getting ahead of my self.

As the song begins we learn of Rudolph's handicap, namely that of his freakish red nose. A nose, that if you ever saw it, you might even say that it was luminous. Like is the case with so many groups, the supposed strong ones chose to group up on the weaker, more unique one. They probably came up with all sorts of ridiculing names, and pushed him into his stall when Santa wasn't in the hallway. I'm sure they might even have made a fake MySpace for some hot, young reindoe and made him think she was all into him, before pulling the rug out from underneath him. Then, one overcast December 24th, the big man saw an opportunity to use Rudolph's freak gift to his own benefit, and he tapped Rudy to lead the charge that night.

Well, well, well. Didn't the worm turn then? Once he had the eye of the Bossman then all the others loved him. When Nick was within earshot they exclaimed how much they were into Rudy, and how they thought he would be the shit forever and ever. Yeah right! Like they changed their minds that fast. It all makes sense to me now. If his nose ever burned out they'd go back to rubbing his face in deer turds.

I'm beginning to question the validity of all the Christmas tales. Like, are we really supposed to believe that a few kids put a hat on a snowman and he "came to life one day" because that sounds like bullshit to me. More than likely those kids were huffing paint and started tripping balls and hallucinated the living snowman. When their folks caught them with paint stains around their nose and mouth they tryied to change the subject by laying out this tale of the snowman who came to life.

For that matter, how about "Silent Night." Has there ever been a more ridiculous story told in the history of humanity. The unmarried virgin gets knocked up and rather then fess up to Joey that she was stepping out on him, she says the Holy Spirit did it. And he fucking buys it! Man, people really will swallow anything if you set it to a catchy tune, won't they?

Happy Holidays Bitches!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Borderline Retarded*

I'm going to write the following, knowing that I am violating the trust of a person who told me this in violation of yet another person's trust. So, forgive me if I'm a bit vague, but, this is a story that needs to be told. It is yet another tale that makes you wonder just how smart the supposed smart people are, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

As the first semester comes to a close my school has a process whereby faculty and staff can nominate Seniors for an academic honor at graduation. It is supposed to be initiated by the faculty or staff member, based on what they know of the student. But, some students do a bit of lobbying. In this case, a senior who has great grades but doesn't stand out otherwise, emailed a professor asking him to nominate her and to get others in the department to do the same.

The prof told her that he didn't think she did enough to stand out, and that this award was for an all around well rounded student. At this point, the student decided to plead her case by trying to turn her perceived negatives into positives. When accused of never taking a leadership role in group projects or holding a position of leadership in any student organizations, the student responded thusly:

"I shouldn't be punished because I'm not a pre-madonna like all the others." After which, she goes on to take all the other students in her major down a peg. I, of course, couldn't get past the "pre-madonna" part of the email... because it's ridiculous.

Did she mean before-Madonna? Like 1981, or like Prince or something? Because most college educated people know the term is: Prima Donna. God help us if students with a high B average think the term is pre-madonna, because we are heading into tough times and the Japanese are already whipping our asses. In fact, I would guess that 9 out of 10 Japanese college students know it's Prima Donna, and they don't even speak English, let alone Italian.

*Alternate titles for this post are: Like a Moron, You Must Be a Stupid Star, Post-Intelligence, Spotlight (On Ignorance), Professor Don't Preach, (Please Don't)Express Yourself, Holiday from brain power, and lastly, from "American Life" I'm So Stupid, whew.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I've Got the Blues...and Grapes

I try and keep my office inviting, if not neat, so I have all the necessary trappings. Interesting photos on the wall and personal photos of Inky and of my Dad (at his own desk) on my desk. I have bookshelves with some nicknack's and interesting books, and of course, I have lots of work stuff too. But the one thing that keeps people coming into my office is my candy dish. It's not actually a dish, but a Russian teacup that I smuggled out of Moscow back in '92.

It's not the cup that people like, however, it's the candy. Every so often I pick up a bag of assorted Jolly Ranchers and fill the cup with them. By and by people come in and chat with me while they browse the cup for their favorite. People can be very selective when it comes to a display of individually wrapped candy, and I'm no different, so over time all the cherry's, watermelon's and green apple's go missing leaving nothing but grape's and blue raspberry's behind.

I'm sure there are really smart mathematicians working on some sort of candy based game-theory about how people chose their flavors, but I can only go on what I see. There is only one person in my office that likes the blue raspberry, and while Inky likes grape, she doesn't come to see me very often. So the supply of red and green candy gets depleted while the blue and purple keeps building up with each bag I buy. I can't help feeling a bit waistful, but then again, I can't stomach the idea of a blue raspberry jolly rancher.

There was a time when I only had the grape left over at the end of the bag, because the fifth flavor in the mix was lemon. I loved lemon, and would often pick them out just after the green apple or cherry. I don't know quite when it happened but the lemon jolly rancher is no more, and in it's place we have something that makes your tongue blue so you can walk around looking like a douche all day. I'd love to meet the marketing people who made that call, so I could kick them in the balls.

Till then, I'll just keep going to the store when the red and green ones are gone, and my stockpile of blue and purple will continue to grow.


Sunday, December 07, 2008

Saturday, December 06, 2008

This Just About Says It All

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

SEE ALSO: Other things damned in Leviticus.


Friday, December 05, 2008

The Dirty Dozen.

As Inky has already pointed out over on her blog, today is our anniversary. Not of the day we were married, which was 9 years and 3 1/2 months ago. No, today is the 12th anniversary of the day I finally got up the balls to ask her out. We have both made mention of December 5th 1996 over the last couple of years that we have been blogging. I've always gotten the feeling that this day is more important in many ways to us than it would be to other couples. In fact, a lot of people I've talked to don't remember the exact day they started dating, and some have even said that they thought it was weird that I am so fond of this day.

It's your classic chicken and egg situation. Of course I am immensely happy thinking about that hot and dry day in August '99, that ended up becoming a rain sodden evening. That's the day that we became a real couple in the eyes of the law, which is something I don't take lightly since my own brother doesn't have the same right to be legally joined with the person he loves most. That said, I know that Inky and I could have very easily just been ships that past in the night if everything hadn't gone right in the fall of 1996.

What if I had been dating someone when she broke up with her boyfriend? What if I had just assumed that we were too different to be together, as most of the people we knew did. What if I had never told a mutual friend (who had a propensity to blab) how I felt, causing her to say something to Inky. So I will never take December 5th lightly, because you can't count to 10 with out 1, and that day was step one (cut a hole in a box...) for us.

It all stems from that day, all the laughing. All the great times and inside jokes. Years worth of love and friendship were made possible because of that day in December of 1996. Here's to another few dozen, I love you!


Thursday, December 04, 2008

It's Official: Hollywood is Out of Ideas.

There was a time when remake was a bad word in this country, when the thought of taking a beloved old movie and "updating it" was treasonous. Now, it is not only the good movies that are being remade, but the shitty and otherwise unremarkable ones too. As proof of this I offer a threesome of 80's flicks that will be finding their way to the silver screen either in the '00's or the '10s. First up is "They Live" which was of course the Rowdy Roddy Piper film about two regular guys who take down a long standing alien conspiracy to enslave the human race. They do so with special sunglasses that allow them to see the skeletal looking visage of the aliens beneath their human facade.

Of course the movie was taking itself seriously, and it had a viable message, but it fell on it's face thanks in no small part to the terrible acting of Piper. Of course the 5 1/2 minute fight scene between Piper and Keith David, which is so ridiculous that it was parodied on South Park in the "Cripple Fight" between Timmy and Jimmy didn't help either. In the end the fight had to be 5+ minutes because with out it, the movie would have been less than an hour and a half, much of it filled with lacking dialog and woeful acting.

At least we remember "They Live" for the fight and one of the all time great lines in movie history "I have come here to chew bubble gum, and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubble gum." There are all sorts of improvements you can make upon this story to make it a viable 21st century movie, but what, prey tell, are they going to do with "Arthur" and "Romancing the Stone" to make them better/relevant?

"Arthur" was what it was, and I guess the idea of Russell Brand playing the part has some appeal, but it was all said and done, so do we need to do it again? As for "Romancing the Stone" are you fucking kidding me? That was one of those movies that always seemed to be on HBO in the late 80's, and as a result, I've seen it more then I'd ever care to admit. Stolen Jewels, Colombian drug cartels, Danny DeVito and Michael Douglas's head accidentally going between Kathleen Turner's legs... that's the movie. Oh yeah and Douglas showing up on a huge boat on the back of a trailer in midtown Manhattan wearing boots made of the alligator he killed just as the credits roll. Did we need to do that again? Really?

As far as I'm concerned the only reason to ever remake a movie is if the telling of the story can greatly be enhanced with the inclusion of modern effects. One of my favorite movies as a kid was "The Andromeda Strain" based on the book of the same name by Michael Crichton. It is a great story, but the effects available to Robert Wise in 1971 made it just seem cheesy when I saw it for the first time in the late 80's. Sadly, it was not remade as a feature film, but as a TV mini series by the Sci-Fi channel, and if you've ever seen any of their stuff, you know the effects are pretty awful.

Perhaps even more sadly, another of my favorite old movies in need of modern effects and cinematography got shafted by being put on TV. I first saw the 1959 movie "On the Beach" staring Gregory Peck in the early 90's as my obsession with Australia was just beginning to become fully formed. It is a great tale about the end of the world originally written in '57 by Nevil Shute, the film still holds up pretty well. But in 2000 someone decided to make a 4 part TV movie out of it and scuttled it immediately by casting Armand Assante in the Gregory Peck roll. Damn.

Now we'll just have to wait and see what happens to the trio of 80's movies that are getting ready to make their way back to the big screen. I don't foresee any of them being all that huge, but then again, I didn't think people would lose their shit over a movie about a young vampire in love that was written by a Mormon, so what do I know.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

He Won't Be Smiling For Long

If Scott Stapp wanted to come back from the dead, doesn't he know he was supposed to do it after three days not after 5 years? I don't know what part of Jesus' life he was mimicking when he sucker punched 311's drummer and made a pass at Howard Stern's wife on TV, but I know for sure he has a Christ complex. And so it is that he has decided to rise from the dead and ascend to the top of the summer tour earnings list.

I think we can all agree that our country is in a state of massive turmoil right now. And it is now, more than ever, that we need to avoid the soul sucking pitfalls that can accompany the resurrection of Creed. It's bad enough that they kept on going sans-Stapp as Alter Bridge, but that offense was tempered by the fact that they didn't sell any records. Now, we face the dawn of 2009 knowing that there is a good chance that Creed, Eminem and Britney Spears will all be touring. Listen folks, just because the same groups are around now as were active in the late 90's doesn't mean the economy will all the sudden rebound.

In fact, I think there is a very real possibility that if Britney, Creed and Slim Douchie all take the stage on American soil at the same time, then that will usher in the rapture. We are entering the era of Obama, we can't allow this to happen, and so it is with great thoughtfulness and humility that I suggest the following. We must make a reality show where Britney, Eminem and Scott Stapp all will be forced to convince us why they deserve to remain relevant, let alone living. In the end: America will vote and one of them will be banished from the public consciouness or removed from the the realm of the living... it'll depend on the amount of votes.

I think it's tough, but, fair and most importantly, necessary. It's going to be a tough few years ahead of us, and there's no way we'll all survive if we allow the reintroduction of that broke-ass Mystery looking bitch on the world. Seriously, have you ever looked at him closely? All Scott Stapp needs is a fuzzy hat, a tabby cat coat and some aviator goggles and he'd be Mystery. And have you ever seen the two of them in the same place? I may be on to something here, but I don't want to be distracted from my original point: we can't let this happen. We must rise as one and say: "No! Our arms are not wide oh-pawn."


Monday, December 01, 2008

I'm There, Because I Was There

When I was a kid, in the 80's, it was common place for people to set their movies in the time my folks grew up: the 60's. Now, we've come to a time and place where the movies that are being set "in the past" are being set during my childhood. I don't know how I feel about that, but one thing's for sure: I'll be seeing this movie.

All I needed to hear was Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader and I knew I would see the film. But the idea that it is set in the late 80's, with all the pop culture references that will come with that peeked my interest a bit more. I'm even willing to overlook the fact that the main "love interest" in the flick is Kristen Stewart, who is the Twilight bitch.

Now someone just needs to write a RomCom set in a mid 90's college radio station where the hilarious leading male and his ever-present best friend do all sorts of crazy shit. In the end he falls hard for the cool leading chick, who everyone thinks is the exact opposite of him, but whom he finds is his soul mate. The soundtrack would kick fucking ass.