Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Random 11

It’s one more random than 10!

So fish has decided to cut bait on blogging. It is the end of an era, one full of LOLCAT poetry, homoerotic Tom Brady fan fiction, frothing rage at our Coke/Pepsi political system, puns for the whole family, and science. To commemorate his retirement and thank him for his services, we got him a gold watch. He immediately said he had a bus to catch.

It is a shame to see fish go, and to hear others in our little group talking about closing shop. I certainly don’t blog with the same frequency (or entertainment value) that I did in my heyday, when I toured Japanese and European blogs, developed an addiction to comments, and began writing a concept blog about black holes being the glory holes of the gods.

I thought about pulling the plug, but I’d miss it too much. Because what would I do if my wife handed me a Yankee Candle coupon for man candles, with the suggestion that one should be called Testicle Cheese (she’s speaking hypothetically, not from experience, by the way), and I had no blog with which to crap ou-…er, produce two dozen other prospective scents. I have other things vying for my attention and creative energy these days, but I have too many good comments, occasionally funny ideas, and dick jokes to stop now.

Plus, what would I do on Friday afternoons?

1) “Handsome Devil,” The Smiths. This won’t be news to those of you who saw what happened to me on Facebook, but as Jennifer suggested, what I’m about to share demanded cross-posting.

My friend Tom is a Philly sports fan. I am of course a Chicago fan. Over the years, we have had bets when our respective teams meet. This year, the eight-seeded Philly 76ers squared off against the Chicago Bulls in round one of the playoffs. The Bulls were heavily favored, and in the last 30-ish years, an eight has beaten a one seed only three times. So we made a bet: if Philly won, I’d have to wear an NBA jersey of Tom’s choice and make a picture of me wearing it my Facebook profile pic for the remainder of the playoffs. He’d do the same if Philly got swept.

I made this bet before Bulls guard Derrick Rose, by far their best player, blew out his ACL in the waning minutes of the first game. The Bulls won, but it was as bad of an omen as wearing a black cat as a thong. The Bulls went on to lose 4-2. A couple of days later, I received a package. I opened it up and saw white and pink. A women’s jersey. Funny, but no big deal to a man of my gender enlightenment. Except it was a girl’s large. I couldn’t even get it past my neck. After some cutting, I managed to squeeze into it, and this is now what I look like on the hottest stock on the Internet. WARNING: I am about 75 pounds and at least two cup sizes over the maximum inflation pressure for this garment. Some things you can’t unsee.

2) “Madness of an Architect,” High on Fire. Why is it that men insist on humiliating their friends? I don’t think women do that. They may undermine, betray, lie, and give their friends a complex, but they don’t seem as hell bent on making their friends look like a medical glove filled with 50 pounds of custard. Keep in mind, while I was not happy about what I had to wear, I gave Tom a tip of my cap at the creativity behind it and only wish I’d thought of it first.

3) “Gold Guns Girls,” Metric. Also known as the Ron Paul platform.

4) “Private Universe,” Crowded House. I am writing a novel in earnest again. After celebrating the completion of my first-ever novel last spring, I promptly stuck it in the virtual drawer of my hard drive because the main character was all wrong. Two years of isolation, sitting by myself, pounding on a keyboard, only to realize what I was writing wasn’t nearly as good as what I thought. So why not do it again? That sounds perfectly sane, right? Still, I had a very good idea for anpther book. An idea so good, it took nine months of writing to realize what I was doing wrong and figure out how to do it right. This is why writers drink. At the same time, I have dreams of sitting across from Jon Stewart, hearing him talk about my book and realize he actually read at least the first two chapters for reals.

5) “Girl,” Tori Amos. There was a funny joke about Tori Amos and writing in a journal on HBO’s “Girls”—incidentally, I think my book is going to be somewhere between that show and “Veep” in tone. I laughed, but then I realized that it’s probably time to retire Tori Amos jokes. There’s just a point when you have to get new material. Although doing a Butt-Head laugh and saying, “Huh-huh, you said ‘pole’” will never be unfunny for me.

6) “Southern Man,” Neil Young. Forty years later and this song still cuts. I want to stand outside a state courthouse with a boombox over my head blasting this song whenever some dillweed discusses flying the Stars and Bars over a capital building as an homage to Southern heritage. Why not just cut to the chase and hang a noose from the flagpole?

7) “A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off,” The Magnetic Fields. There are plenty of songs about penises in the rock catalog. But how many penis allegories are there?

8) “My Sister,” The Juliana Hatfield Three. Speaking of HBO’s “Girls,” this song always reminds me of when I got out of school and moved to New York. I was lucky and found a job in three weeks. None of this LinkedIn or internship stuff. I just got married to TLB (who already had a job in NYC) and figured I’d find work like the good, naïve, Midwestern hayseed I was. And only someone that dumb would get that lucky. Now there’s no way I’d even relocate to another part of town without an intensive Yelp review vetting of local restaurants. Anyway, we lived in Jersey for the first few months, and I made mixtapes to get me through the commute. I loved cranking this when I was heading home on a Friday.

9) “Subterranean Lovesick Alien,” Radiohead. I’m not sure, but OK Computer may have been the first album I bought because of Pitchfork, back when they could be infuriatingly entertaining instead of infuriatingly boring.

10) “Marry Me,” Drive-By Truckers. TLB and I are approaching eighteen years of matrimonial bliss this month. Yeah, I know, barf, but it’s true. I don’t know the secrets to a successful marriage, because we’re all snowflakes and one person’s Love Potion No. 9 (the magical potion) is another person’s Love Potion No. 9 (the Sandra Bullock movie, which is like having an outbreak of herpes while in divorce court). But there are two things that I think have to be in a marriage for it to work for men. First, you have to want to sleep with your wife. The older I get, the more I’m amazed at how many married men I’ve met who treat their wives’ hoo-hahs like a Christmas stocking that only gets filled once a year. Second, you have to want to talk with your wife. Imagine being on a date, talking with someone who makes you want to look up scores on your phone or shove a breadknife through your ear and not stop until you pull it out the other side. Now imagine seeing that person at happy hour for the rest of your life. It also helps if they buy you a new TV when they sell a book, but that’s not a requirement.

11) “Call Me,” Blondie. Another song introduced to me by Chipmunk Punk. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Alvin singing about calling a male prostitute. Bet Dave didn’t see that one coming.

Have a good weekend.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

That's an awesome pic, Brando.

Jennifer said...

Yay! I'm glad you shared the picture. That's so awesome that you upheld your end of the bet.

Also... Happy Anniversary!!

Jennifer said...

Also, I still think you're wearing a little bit of make-up in that photo. Again, the look on your face is priceless.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I am kind of surprised that TLB was able to stop laughing long enough to take a blur-free picture.

All I got was a blog post out of your misguided sports allegiances. Obviously need to step up my game.

Brando said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brando said...

I will be running all future wagers past my lawyers.

Substance McGravitas said...

When I worked at a record store there was a small group of mullet guys who really liked Eric Clapton and - Canadian content alert - Kim Mitchell. So we had a lot of Chipmunk Punk in the rotation.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

On the book; I am just reading The Space Merchants by Frederick Pohl (recommendation from driftglass, although I've never read it before. Probably the cheesy title; I would have read it as Gravy Planet, the original title). In the foreword, he talked about the first book he wrote, and eventually came to the same conclusion. I suspect most writers have to write that first not-so-good one to understand how to write that good one.

Also, if my guess is correct, I think you have a live one with the one you're working on, not that you asked for my opinion.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I always had kind of a soft spot for Max Webster, substance.

But then I have notably poor taste.

fish said...

I think you should avoid pink.


Brando said...

I can't wait to see how that picture is used during fantasy football season.

fish said...

No offense, but I am pretty sure that is not my idea of a fantasy.

Von said...

1 - "My Sister" is one song I could never get sick of.
2 - We're going to need to talk about these bloggers who are thinking of jumping ship....

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

hmpf. I was quitting blogging before quitting blogging was cool.

Kathleen said...


Pinko Punko said...

BRANDO, I will skip over the jersey (super awesome), to go straight to Chipmunk Punk. I remember the TV ads and I really wanted it especially for "Call Me". I had this one:

We will quite the old-fashioned way. By becoming infested and decrepit.