Friday, June 29, 2007


Today, The Lovely Becky and I said goodbye to our house:

It was our first home. Owning a first home is a lot like having sex for the first time. You're excited but nervous at the same time, eager to join the club but not completely sure what to do. You say things like, "I don't know the first thing about laying pipe," "Are you sure it's okay to drill here?" and "If I put that in my mouth, will I get lead poisoning?" The more time you spend in that house, though, the more it feels like home, to the point where you feel totally comfortable walking around it with no pants on. But today, if I walk around that house pantless, the new owners will have me arrested. That makes me sad.

We now begin our trek toward The North Pole the Upper Peninsula, which apparently is the hot place for Sasquatches. If you happen to read a story, "Michigan man dragged from home by Bigfoot; Guitar Hero controller all that remains," you can bet it's me. However, it's not time to turn the lights out just yet, as we're coming back home to the IC for most of July. So I'll save the Top Ten Tuesdays: What Will We Miss About Iowa list for another few weeks.

For now, I'll just keep doing what I've been doing all week, humming a bit of The Smithereens' "House We Used to Live In."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Top Ten Tuesdays: Why are we getting out of jail early?

10) Because our Daddy is the bestest Daddy evar!

9) Girlfriend brought us Panera’s newest sandwich, Focaccia a la File.

8) Reached plea bargain to do community service in form of jailhouse-themed porn.

7) We only peddled our political authority for sex and money. It’s not like we sold drugs.

6) Needed to be out by the season finale.

5) The rule of law is no match for the power of!

4) Cashed in our “Survive 21 Waterboardings, Get Out of Jail Free! Card” with the US military.

3) Took advice of pal Sharon Stone and removed our legal briefs.

2) The Vice President promised we’d get pardoned if we took the rap, and he wouldn’t lie to us. Stop laughing!

1) Because jails are for poor people, silly!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mind Over Matter

Inside the living room of a house. There are huge boxes all over the floor, a couch, a television, some lamps, a bookcase with books piled on the floor next to it, and other furnishings. ASHLEY sits on the couch talking on the phone.

I don't care how good looking he is, Julie, you know I have to have some brains to go with the brawn. (Knocking at the door) Look, the movers are here, I have to go.

She hangs up and opens the door. MITCH MITCHELL and his twin brother MARTY enter. Mitch and Marty are twenty-something and stand about five feet tall.

Oh, hi. Can I help you?

Hi, ma'am, you must be Ashley. I'm Mitch Mitchell, this is my brother Marty. We're from Mind Over Matter Movers.

Really? I mean, of course you are. I've been, uh, expecting you.

Mind if we start in this room?

No, go right ahead.

Okay. I'll get this TV. Marty, grab those lamps over there.

(sarcastically, saluting his brother)
Yes, Herr General

Mitch turns to face the TV, which is bigger than he is. Marty pretends to be surveying the living room as he approaches Ashley.

Hi there.

Hi. Sorry for the double-take there, I just expected somebody...


No, a little more...traditional. In the mover sense.

Well, can more traditional movers do this?

Marty stares at two lamps on the floor. Slowly, they begin to levitate off the ground. They rise into the air and rotate around each other. Marty makes juggling motions with his hands.

Wow! That's amazing!

What, you've never seen someone juggle before?

Mitch turns and sees his brother playing around with the lamps.

Oh, jeez, not again.

Mitch stares at his brother intently. Suddenly Marty's head snaps forward as if he's been hit from behind. The lamps plunge to the ground. Marty stops them only a few inches above the floor. Marty turns to his brother.

Hey! What'd you do that for?

How many times do I have to tell you about showing off on the job?

Marty sullenly sets the lamps back on the floor.

I apologize for my brother. He has trouble staying focused sometimes.

Don't apologize, I think it's cool. How did he do that?

Actually, it's kind of a mystery.

No it's not. We were abducted by aliens.


Marty! (to Ashley) That's not true, ma'am --

Yeah it is. Mitch and I were driving late one night when we saw this bright light. Next thing you know, we're on this alien ship with these metal probes up our butts. When they brought us back, we could move stuff with our minds. I think they must have stuck these computer chips up there or something.

(laughing nervously)
That's my brother, always telling stories. We don't really have an explanation. It's just something that happened to us.

(whispering to Ashley)
It was the butt probes.

Anyway, this is all irrelevant. We should get back to work, Marty.

Mitch turns back to the television set. He stares at it, slowly raising it off the TV stand. He lets out a little grunt, his face strained. Ashley watches in fascination. Mitch raises it for a second, then turns it so it can fit through the door. He grunts as he "carries" it out the door.

(to Ashley)
I think the aliens forgot to take the pole out of Mitch's ass.

Ashley laughs as Marty departs for the family room. Ashley returns to packing. Marty calls out from the other room.

Ashley, check it out.

Ashley turns to look. Marty enters, riding a surfboard hovering three feet off the ground. He makes motions like he's trying to ride an actual wave.

"Let's go surfin' now, everybody's learning how. . ." Come on, Ashley, sing with me.

You're too much.

Mitch returns from outside and sees Marty on the board.


He stares at his brother. Marty receives a phantom blow to the chest, knocking him off the surfboard and onto the very hard, uncarpeted floor. Marty shakes his head, then stands up.

Why'd you have to knock me down like that?

Marty levels his gaze at his brother. Mitch gets an invisible shove to his shoulder.

Because you're worthless. Every time we move someone we go through this. You screw around while I work my brain off.

Mitch stares at his brother, shoving his shoulder with a telekinetic push.

That's because I hate this stupid job. "Let's go into business for ourselves," you said. What a waste! We could be in the circus--

Here we go, always with the circus. Maybe I don't want to make a living by having people stare at me like I'm some freak!

Mitch gives Marty an extra hard shove, causing him to take a few steps back.

They don't stare at you because you're a freak. They stare at you because you're an asshole.

Marty levitates three large books in the air and launches them at his brother. Mitch dodges the first two, but the third nails him square in the nose.

Mitch stares at the surfboard. One end swiftly rises up, hitting Marty in the face. Ashley finally steps in.

Both of you, stop it! Either you knock this off or I will get more traditional movers!

(holding his nose)
I'm sorry, ma'am. Please forgive us. Come on, Marty, let's get back to work.

(rubbing his forehead)
Okay, okay. Sorry, Ashley.

Look, I'll take the kitchen. Why don't you finish out here?

Mitch exits. Marty goes up over to Ashley.

Say, I know I didn't make a great first impression, but I was wondering . . . .

(focusing on Marty intently)
Yes, you're just my type and I would love to. Pick me up Friday, 8:30.

Marty raises an eyebrow then smiles. In the background, a couch begins to levitate.

And I don't do that on the first date.

The couch hits the floor with a thud.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday CJ Random 11

It's one more random than 10!

We had some pretty ominous looking clouds early last night. I was getting ready to go out to get groceries, and our cat, Jonesy, came racing inside off the porch when I opened the front door. I turned to TLB and said, “O noes, u haz a funnel cloud!” Seriously, it’s like I haz LOLcatropy and can't stop myself. Maybe I was bitten by a wereLOLcat looking for a cheezburger.

Onto the list...

1) “Killing an Arab,” The Cure. Hey, the Bush theme song! And like everything else, he would completely miss the actual point.

2) “You Are Invited,” The Dismemberment Plan. Do you like human-beatbox-sounding drum machines, superfluous annoying sound effects, and atonal 20-something moping about some party bullshit? Then this is the song for you! Me, not so much. They release the rock emergency brake briefly, but only long enough to remind me how much I dislike the rest of the song. Awesome band name, however.

3) “Strange Condition,” Pete Yorn. If I had been a single 20/30-something when this album came out, this would have been my sex-music closer. You know, we’ve had a nice dinner, we’ve had some good wine, I’m being funny, etc. Now I just need to not blow the lead. In that situation, I’m not telling Rush to warm up in the bullpen. But I’ve been married since I was 12, so I don’t have to worry about these things.

4) “Shadows in the Rain,” The Police. I will sacrifice a little hipster doofus cred to say I like Sting’s jazzy, uptempo version of this song from Dream of the Blue Turtles rather than this plodding reggae version, complete with so much bland noodling from Andy Summers, I think he’s playing an electric bag of Ramen.

5) “You Are a Light,” Pavement. Lazy even for Pavement. I think they recorded this while sitting in Lay-Z-Boys, until the producer flipped the wooden lever and forced them to stand up and rock at the end.

6) “Someone to Love,” Fountains of Wayne. Such a disappointing new album from a group I really like. This song is indie pop color-by-numbers:

  1. Disco-Beat Silver
  2. Pop-Culture Reference Blue (Coldplay and King of Queens popping up in the same song!)
  3. Distorted Guitar Red
  4. Flock-Of-Synthesizers Magenta, and
  5. Listener Malaise Maize.

7) “Freedom,” Amos Lee. Amos Lee is like a blusier Pete Yorn, and the dilemma of liking artists like this is discussing said artists with rock guys, who may find them too delicate. For instance, my friend Bob and I went to see Amos Lee perform recently. Bob mentioned this to one of his serious rock friends. “Amos Lee?” Bob’s friend asked, “What are you, some kind of pussy?” I have to admit, I had to admire the Paul Rudd-ianness of his observation.

8) “Moon Over Shark City,” Devin Davis. The beauty of Teh Internets is how much easier it is to find cool artists you’ve never heard of. Devin Davis is from the Matthew Sweet school of big-ass power pop that tickles my taste buds like a Take 5 Bar. This song in particular has a fuzzy guitar riff that reminds me of Bowie’s “Suffragette City.”

9) “The Flame,” Cheap Trick. O noes! Brando confession time. This was the wedding song for The Lovely Becky and me. I know, I know, and I guarantee you that the thoughts running through your head right now have run through ours a hundred times. But here’s the thing: this song was very huge when we started dating, and we were very young when we started dating. Plus, when you have to do the long-distance relationship thing in college the way we did, you should get some slack if maudlin ballads by former rock greats make you a little fucking sentimental. “Bizarre Love Triangle,” which was much more our song, was too fast for first-dance wedding action. And my sense of irony was still at Alanis levels, which kept me from suggesting something like “Sister Christian” or Loverboy’s “Hot Girls in Love.” But despite all of this hemming and hawing, this song still reminds me of marrying TLB, and that alone makes it worth keeping it in the rotation.

10) “Operation: Mindcrime,” Queensrÿche. TLB’s classic reaction whenever I mention this group is, “Queensrÿche? Really?” Like I should be embarrassed in a Costanza-with-a-Glamour-magazine way. And perhaps I should. The umlaut is unforgivable. “Silent Lucidity” has the unique combination of being composition-class pretentious and testicle-shrinking wussy along the lines of Extreme’s “More than Words.” But the Operation: Mindcrime album is one of the best metal albums ever recorded. The 1984-flavored story is actually pretty good and the music kicks ass on nearly every track. If I have to swallow a little pride and a couple umlauts, so be it.

11) “15 Minutes,” The Strokes. And we’re back on the solid footing of indie rock acceptability.

Bonus video. Loverboy. Performing “Hot Girls in Love.” In a mall. In Calgary.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Poll: 68% of Republicans “Totally Not Shitting” About Disbelieving Evolution

In a rare move by America’s most prominent polling group, The Gallup Organization decided to verify the results of an earlier poll on evolution because the results were so hard to believe.

The original poll, which revealed an almost even split between Americans who believed in evolution and those who did not, also showed that 68 percent of Republicans did not believe in evolution.

“With every poll we do, there are always people who may hold unpopular or seemingly ridiculous views,” said Noah Wey, a senior statistical analyst. “For instance, 11 percent of Americans still supported President Richard Nixon, even after admitted he had broken the law and resigned. But when we saw that two-thirds of Republicans did not believe in evolution, we thought we had made an error.”

Skip Tickel, vice president for anomalous analysis, put it more bluntly. “I said, ‘Are you shitting me?’I know the GOP has a very strong religious base, sure, but it’s also made up of a lot of educated rich people. Captains of industry, government leaders, and so on. It’s one thing to start wars based on faulty assumptions or say you hate gay people for political advantages, but I could not believe so many Republicans felt this way about such a solid scientific principle. So I authorized a follow-up poll to verify the results.”

Mr. Tickel’s outburst actually inspired the follow-up question, which the pollsters felt needed to be strongly worded in order to confirm the results. They were confirmed in spades. Here was the question and results:

Considering all the proof supporting evolution, and the fact that there is no scientific evidence supporting the literal interpretation of the Biblical story of creation, were you shitting us when you said you didn’t believe in evolution?
Shitting you: 0%
Totally not shitting you: 100%

“We expected some demographic differences,” said Mr. Wey. “We broke it down by the major GOP groups: mouth-breathers, blowhards, greedy bastards, messianic zelaots, and knuckle-draggers. But they all agreed they were not shitting us.”

“I actually cried when I saw the results,” said Mr. Tickel. “Just wept for my country. I’ve never wished so hard for a poll to be wrong. But I want to believe and what the evidence says are two different things.”

Mr. Tickel added that he was “deathly afraid” of next month’s poll asking if the sun revolved around the earth.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Top Ten Tuesdays: What revisions are we making to the immigration bill?

10) Hiding border patrol agents in Trojan Piñatas.

9) Using series of Guinness Fly Traps to round up Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

8) Bestowing automatic green cards for shortstops with good range and power.

7) Redirecting the Big Dig to construct one-way tunnel to China.

6) Deporting anyone adding “eh?” to end of non-interrogative sentences.

5) Restoring the God-given right of poor Americans to work menial jobs for immigrant wages.

4) Mandating that all NBA players have at least one vowel per syllable in last names.

3) Using light bulb installation test to catch illegal Polish immigrants.

2) Rounding up all angry white guys and returning them to their native homeland, Idaho.

1) Granting all illegal immigrants “shamnesty,” which will allow them to stay here until the next wave of elected assholes decides otherwise.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lolcat Bibel Tranzlation Project

Three Bulls, always at the forefront of Internet trends, has been going crazy with lolcat posts (see teh lolcat Wikipedia defnishion if u dont noes wut lolcat iz). Today, plover started the Lolcat Bibel Tranzlation Project with Teh Booxxor of Joob (loosely translated, "Take This and Shove It Up Job") The post also has my retelling of the story of David and Bathsheeba. A brief excerpt:

Day-vid: im on mai roof, watchin u scrub urself. U r hot.

Bath5eeba: creepy. i haz husband. he iz hittite.

Day-vid: wut iz hittite?

Bath5eeba: not shur. but he iz 1.

Day-vid: w/e. he haz 2 fite 2day.

Bath5eeba: oh noes!

Day-vid: sry.

As the cool kids say, read the whole thing. At this rate, Teh Stry of Danyell and teh Lions D3n may be finished by tomorrow.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday CJ Random 11

It’s one more random than 10!

I am dedicating this Friday 11 to the person or persons who felt compelled to remind me and everyone else that my story about Mitt Romney promoting dry humping was not real. That sort of thing has happened a few times here, and it makes me very, very proud of my work. On to the list!

1) “Doctor Jimmy,” The Who. Quadrophenia is my favorite Who studio album (with Live at Leeds my overall favorite). It holds up much better than Tommy and rocks as hard as Who’s Next.

2) “Your Picture,” Camera Obscura. I don’t know why, but this song—featuring a beautiful acoustic guitar melody and male vocal—makes me think of the guy singing on the stairs in Animal House, right before John Belushi destroys his guitar. Once you have an association like that, it’s impossible to erase. My apologies to Camera Obscura.

3) “Strange Brew,” Cream. Fossils like me can not only remember a time when MTV played music videos all the time, but had a feature called Closet Classics where they played old classic videos. They used to play the video for this song a lot. I am not sure if it was drugs or an electric shock that caused Eric Clapton’s hair to look like he should be singing in the B-52s. But I do know it takes divine intervention to outdo the fashion disaster that is Ginger Baker’s cape. Clapton is indeed God.

4) “Afterimage,” Rush. Synthesizers, like cheese, should be stamped with an expiration date. I love the band, I like this song, but it’s filled with those 80s synths that sound so out of style: not cheesy enough to be 70s retro, not realistic enough to be 90s samples. My perscription for synth poisoning: Take two Casios and call me in the morning.

5) “Tired of Sex,” Weezer. This is actually a slightly modified cover version of a song I wrote in college, “Tired of No Sex.”

6) “Zombie Eaters,” Faith No More. I saw them play this song at Oakland’s Day on the Green, with Soundgarden, Queensrÿche(!), and Metallica. During the slow opening part of this song, I tried pushing my way up through the masses to get closer to the stage. The crowd got too dense, though, and I encountered the Crowd Tide, where you're so close together that any little movement triggers this huge ripple effect. I was a little claustrophobic. Then the thrashy part kicked in, and the entire crowd broke into a mosh. I saw this one huge guy stumbling around dazed with a big cut on his forehead and blood rushing down his face. Right then, like something out of a Spiderman movie, I imagined this newspaper spinning around with a headline that read, “Dozens Trampled to Death at Day on the Green Concert.” Thankfully, the story wasn't written, but I decided the view looked better from the back. Despite my love for it, I am so not metal.

7) “Watch Out for Me, Ronnie,” Yo La Tengo. From the awesomely-titled I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Kick Your Ass. There’s no quiet shoegazing here, either, as the song laces up its boots and pulls the leg back from the get go.

8) “Running Train,” Geddy Lee. Have you ever accidentally bought light cheese, thinking it's the real thing and not seeing the "lite" on the packaging? You unwrap it and take a bite, and realize that even though it looks, feels, and smells the same, it’s not the same. That’s what this song is. Not bad, but it lacks extra creamy awesomeness of full-fledged Rush.

9) “Tell Her About It,” Billy Joel. Later rerecorded by Christie Brinkley as “Tell My Lawyers About It.” You can practically smell the schmaltz.

10) “Just What I Needed,” The Cars. Speaking of “she married that?” guys, I don’t think we’ll ever see a greater looks mismatch by two people who seem genuinely in love than the Ric Ocasek/Paulina Porizkova marriage. It’s like Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hit streak. When Paulina appeared on The Colbert Report recently, she looked stunning. My college roommate had the famous swimsuit poster of her, and she looks even better now. Ocasek has also appeared on Colbert, and he looks the ugly stick used to beat Dorian Gray’s portrait. But God bless him for writing this song, which is on my desert island 10.

11) “Everybody’s Happy Nowadays,” The Buzzcocks. This was used in an AARP ad earlier this year. You know that expression, “When X happens, God kills a kitten?” This is one of those Xs. But it could be worse—at least they didn’t use “Orgasm Addict” for an abstinence PSA.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Romney Introduces Plan to Rub Out Teen Pregnancy

WASHINGTON - The problem of teen pregnancy has perplexed Americans of all political orientations. But the efforts of pro-contraception liberals bumping up against conservatives pushing abstinence has simply led to painful, inflamed impasse. Now Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney hopes he has a compromise position that will satisfy both sides: dry humping.

The act—formally labeled coitus clothus—involves two people simulating the act of intercourse while still wearing clothes. It is known by a number of slang terms, including “knocking boots with your boots still on,” “button-fly bumping,” and “Friday night at BYU.

The last term comes from the practice’s enormous popularity among young Mormons. The Mormon church forbids unmarried men and women from engaging in sex outside of marriage, but this ruling grinds against the problem of chronic erections and the desire to make boys like you.

Governor Romney, a Mormon, acknowledged that his experience in Utah inspired this Solomonic compromise. “Ideally, men and women should refrain from sex until marriage,” said Romney. “But we don’t live in an ideal world, so the Mormon faith has allowed this practice to slide up and down a bit. And, since the man’s seed never actually touches the ground, it technically does not meet the Biblical criteria for onanism.”

Other Republican candidates have not been so enthusiastic. Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas—an Evangelical Christian—replied, “It takes more than two layers of clothing to keep the sin of premarital relations from seeping into our culture. It’s not just about preventing pregnancy. It’s about having a healthy attitude about sexual repression.”

Former New York mayor Rudi Giuliani also doubts the feasibility of the program. “Dry humping has a low longevity rate, as the longer a couple is together, the greater the chances of the moose getting loose.” Giuliani has promoted his own initiative to satisfy teen sexual urges and while preventing pregnancy, the “Just the Tip” program. “It’s very much like ‘Just Say No,’ but with a little bit of ‘Yes,’” he explained.

Some have also attacked Governor Romney’s dry humping initiative as sexist. “Clearly, this is a program that puts male sexual needs first,” said Dr. Cindi Shebop of the Hitachi Center for Stimulation Studies, a female sexuality think tank. “Studies have shown that the odds of dry humping producing a female orgasm are 173:1, compared to the 73:1 odds that actual intercourse will produce a female orgasm.

“God, this job is depressing,” she added.

Despite the criticism, Romney stands by his platform. “You have to ask yourself, what would you rather do? Treat unwanted babies, or treat stains in your khakis? I say praise the Lord and pass the Shout Wipes.”

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Why were we greeted so enthusiastically by the Albanians?

10) Crowds thought they were seeing Taylor Hicks.

9) Crowds thought they were seeing Bill Clinton.

8) President lifted his shirt to show his Zog Life tatoo.

7) In Albanian, “Enough is enough, Kosovo is independent” translates to, “The Serbs, the Serbs, the Serbs are on fire, we don’t need no water, let the motherfuckers burn!”

6) Albanians relieved that cannons fired by Secret Service agents only contained Bush/Cheney campaign t-shirts.

5) Not much else going on since it’s another week until goat racing season.

4) US Naval warplanes dropped thousands of leaflets offering 20% off at the Tirana Gap.

3) President offered the three tallest Albanians an NBA tryout.

2) Albanian government warned that if the crowds didn’t cheer loudly, Vice President Cheney would steal their children in the night.

1) As formerly the most backward part of the Iron Curtain, they really appreciate incompetent oligarchs.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Friday CJ Random 11

It’s one more random than 10!

1. “Narc,” Interpol. They make even break up songs sound so fashionable, like here... The couple sits at a New York restaurant with no less than a 28 score in the Zagat guide. His yearning heart beats beneath an exquisitely tailored virgin wool suit ($895 from Hugo Boss). He reaches across the table, pleading, the candlelight glinting off his TAG Heuer Carrera Automatic Chronograph ($2,695), her Christmas gift to him that she so adorably called a "watch." She cries but remains firm in her decision, her mascara tears disappearing into her black silk stretch cocktail dress, ($365 from Nicole Miller) until she reaches into her Hobo International Double-Frame clutch ($98) for a tissue.

2. “Chicago,” Sufjan Stevens. The album art actually spells out Illinoise. When I was in college, I once made a mix tape called Illin’ Noize. This is why Sufjan Stevens is famous and I am not. Side note: I have an uncontrollable attraction to songs filled with regret.

3. “A Pair of Brown Eyes,” The Pogues. This is from an album with one of my favorite titles, Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash. A beautiful song dampened, as many Irish songs are, with Jameson tears. Bonus points for Shane MacGowan’s surprisingly clear enunciation.

4. “California,” Semisonic. If you’re looking for a good music-related beach read, pick up So You Want To Be a Rock and Roll Star by Jacob Slichter, Semisonic’s drummer. It’s a smart, funny look at the career of a one-hit wonder that deserved better.

5. “Come in Alone,” My Bloody Valentine. The record that the staff at Pitchfork would love to marry (they named it their #1 album of the 90s). Personally, while I like it and certainly don’t mind having dinner with it, the relationship ends at the doorstep. It just has too many distortion issues for me to get involved long term.

6. “Charmless Man,” Blur. I wish I could sing with a thick English accent without seeming like an affected cobag. What’s funny is, while this song is very English, the whole spoiled cad caricature paints a perfect picture of every American teen/sex/romantic comedy antagonist.

7. “Teclo,” P.J. Harvey. I like the punky assault of her Rid of Me album a little better, but this song and everything else from To Bring You My Love really showcases her voice. Nobody howls quite like she does.

8. “Leave Me (Like You Found Me)” Wilco. Wilco is that friend you love to run into, the guy who won’t do you wrong. Like you’re at Whole Foods, and he says, You should really try the kiwis, they’re delicious right now. You cut yourself a slice and, sure enough, it’s pretty damn good kiwi fruit that you wouldn't have thought to buy without the recommendation. This is from the new album, which is nice and sweet and very much in season.

9. “Back to the Old House,” The Smiths. Is anyone surprised that Morrissey doesn’t want to go back to the old house? Is there a bizarro version of him in some other dimension, singing about how excited he is to go back to the old house, and how happy that the object of his affection has moved on to a happier, more well-adjusted relationship?

10) “Cinnamon Girl,” Neil Young. He’s accomplished a million things over his career, but one of the biggest things I think any rock musician can do is write the classic riff everyone knows and loves. My foot starts tapping the second this song starts.

11) “When the Levee Breaks,” Led Zeppelin. A great way to head into the weekend. Jimmy Page and John Bonham are just perfect on the chorus, with Page playing that shiny riff and Bonham adding some thick fills that are a great contrast to the metronome beat of the verses. It’s one of those parts that you wish would go on for a long time, but would be ruined if it did.

Bonus video: I may start adding one of these each week. Last week's Hall&Oates abomination reminded me of the most unintentionally hilarious video I've ever seen, Manowar's "Gloves of Metal." (It takes about 15 seconds to start.) For those of you who haven't heard of them (and that would be many of you), their biggest distinction is that they are (or were) the loudest band ever, according to the Guiness Book of World Records. The other distinction is that they are 100% dead serious. This is no Spinal Tap tribute or tongue-in-cheek performance. The fur boots and spiked gloves are for reals. The song is horribly hilarious, but if it annoys you too much, skip to around 3:20 when Manowar attack the villagers. Oh yes, there's melee combat!

Have a great weekend.

God to Republican Candidates: “Enough with the faith BS!”

DES MOINES, Iowa - Faith. Jesus. God. More than any other issue, the candidates for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination have campaigned on their religious beliefs. But the object of their love and respect has some rather vengeful words for them.

“Enough with the faith BS already,” God said today. The Creator of All appeared as a large thunderhead in central Iowa and spoke through his press secretary, the Burning Bush (no relation to President George W. Bush).

“Every freaking question turns into a psalm about on how they love me so much and how they’re such good Christians,” God added. “That’s coming from career politicians who are diverting millions of dollars that could go to the poor just so one of these humps can be the most powerful man in the world. They expect me to buy that? Do I look like I was born just 6,000 years ago?

“How about using the brain I gave you?” God asked. “Tell me what you’re really going to do about curing the sick, about making peace, about defending the meek. I already know the answers, but I want to hear you say it.”

When reached at his campaign headquarters and asked for his reaction to God’s words, candidate Mitt Romney said, “I have nothing but respect for the Word of God, in all its forms. And that’s why I believe I am the man for the White House, because I treat every word from the lips of God like a....”

The thunderhead immediately appeared and struck Romney deaf, dumb, and blind with a bolt of lightning. “Wrong answer,” boomed a voice from the heavens. “Do I have to write it down on some golden plates for you? Tell me what you plan to do as President!”

Hearing of this divine command, Governor Mike Huckabee called a press conference to offer his interpretation of God’s anger: “I am unsure why God is so angry. But we cannot begin to understand God’s ways. We can only obey God’s way. And that is what I will do as the next President...” Huckabee could not finish the sentence, as he transformed into a pillar of salt.

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!” God yelled. “What does a Supreme Being have to do to get you guys to provide some policy details? Okay, let me put this in a way that you’ll understand: Thou shalt give me a straight answer on the issues!”

From his office in Washington, Senator John McCain looked to the heavens before saying, “I support environmental legislation that will help curb global warming. I don’t think this should be a political issue, because we’re talking about the future of our planet.”

“Thank you,” said God, “See, how hard was that?”

McCain continued, “And that’s because, in every unpolluted stream and vibrant forest, I see the face of God...”

“Medamnit!” bellowed God across the skies. The earth immediately rumbled, split open, and swallowed McCain whole.

“That’s it, I’m out of here,” God said. “You jokers are on your own. Smell you later at the Rapture.”

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Top Ten Tuesdays: Why are we restarting the Cold War?

Special expanded US vs. Them edition!

13) Olympics haven’t been the same without tyrannical enemies to root against, and the Axis of Evil can’t skate.

12) Hoping it would reunite Gorky Park. We had all their records!

11) Shitty Star Wars sequels inspired shitty sequel to Star Wars.

10) Moscow mobsters demand retribution for the cancelling of The Sopranos.

9) Uniting schoolchildren under a mushroom cloud of atomic death may discourage them from shooting each other.

8) Poland won't return our calls any more.

7) Russians are enriching Smirnoff Ice to unacceptable sweetness levels.

6) Finally getting our revenge for that God-awful Scorpions song.

5) Only need a squad of attractive teenagers to thwart a Russian attack.

4) Still had the lack of democracy, sputtering economy, and proliferation of nukes.

3) Fighting a pretend war in Europe is much more enjoyable than fighting a real war in the Middle East.

2) Watching the Americans trudge aimlessly around Afghanistan got us a little nostalgic.

1) (tie) Because if our hardliners don’t have a boogeyman to fight against, they get a little antsy.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday CJ Random 11

It has been a very busy few weeks of getting ready to move and working. May was just a blur. But we have sold our house here and had an offer accepted on a house there, and now I can relax a little and just enjoy some tunes to start off my weekend. I don’t think I’ve looked forward to a Random 11 as much as this one.

1. “Sixteen Blue,” The Replacements. No other band could write such a sincerely poignant song about teenage sexual confusion and get away with sequencing it right after a song called “Gary’s Got a Boner.” In other words, they were my kind of people.

2. “Cemetery Savior,” Son Volt. Hi, I’m Jay Farrar. I’ve made a career out of looking at the Midwest through a rust-colored screen door. I write songs that are so beautifully depressing, they make you want to slit your wrists with rose thorns. This next one's called, “The Mill Closed up After It Collapsed on My Baby.” 2-3-4...

3. “Intervention,” Arcade Fire. I love when the indie kids get proggy with it. This starts out with a pipe organ that wouldn’t sound out of place on The Yes Album. But before you can say “Rick Wakeman,” it transforms into a propulsive, earnest pop song. I guess you can have your cape and wear your eyeliner too.

4. “The Wind Cries Mary,” Jimi Hendrix Experience. Oh hell yeah. Hendrix is maybe the saddest of the great rock casualties. While all those young deaths are tragic, most of them died at the likely peak of their careers, before they became irrelevant and were dropped from their labels and started playing state fairs. Hendrix could have aged gracefully, I think. I could see him being 65 (!) and still making amazing music like this.

5. “Into the Heart,” U2. My friend Bob has one of the best I saw them before they were stars stories: he saw U2 very early in their career, opening for The J Giles Band(!). It’s quite a leap from “An Cat Dubh” to “Centerfold.”

6. “Girl’s Got Rhythm,” AC/DC. Hey, whaddya know, an AC/DC song about sex. Speaking of people who died at precisely the right time, Bon Scott would have aged even less well than a craggy Angus Young in schoolboy shorts. I could see Scott now, singing something called, “Baby, I Got a Lift for You” for a Viagra ad. So maybe it was for the best.

7. “So What’cha Want,” Beastie Boys. The first Beasties song I liked for beyond the “Hey, ‘Brass Monkey’ is kind of funky” way. Love the Rod Carew reference and the single bass note.

8. “Dinner Bells,” Wolf Parade. Great band, terrible name. It seems like one of those band names where they had a hat full of words and these were the two that got pulled out. I just flipped through my dictionary, back to front, and front to back, and came up with The Imperfect Impressionists. Okay, so that sounds like a sketch comedy group, but still, you have to choose these things with care.

9. “There She Goes,” The La’s. The guitar is just full of Southern California sunshine. A true pop gem.

10. “Saul Bellow,” Sufjan Stevens. I was hoping something from Greetings From Michigan would pop up this week. As I was jotting my notes, I wrote, “the world’s only song about Saul Bellow,” but Wikipedia says there are four pop music references to Mr. Bellow. I love Wikipedia. I am beyond the point of caring if it's true.

11. “Kick It Out,” Heart. They kick this off with a riff that reads, Property of Lynyrd Skynyrd. I have a soft spot for Heart in my heart. What can I say, I dig women who rock.

That’s all the time we have for today. Before we go, I highly recommend watching this video of Hall & Oates for “She’s Gone.” Blue Girl found it, and it is astounding in its craptitude. You will be tempted to stop it, but do not—I repeat, do not—stop before Oates picks up the guitar.