Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Is Daddy funny?

A typical night at the home office of CJSD International, Ltd. My daughter is in the bathtub and we are discussing the subject of whether her mother and new Italian literary sensation The Lovely Becky is funny.

ME: Libby, is Mommy funny?

LIBBY: Yeah.

ME: Is Daddy funny?

LIBBY (pauses): No.

ME: What? Daddy's not funny?

From the other room comes a triumphant cackling as if one of the Graeae had just snatched Perseus' nutsack from him.

TLB: That's my girl!

ME (making a sad clown face): I don't think she understands what "funny" means.

TLB: You'd be less hurt if she'd called you fat.

ME: Damn right. (Moving into another room out of Libby's earshot). Fuck if I'm going to read her stories in all these different voices, trying to make her laugh. I might as well be a sack of shit reading Green Eggs and Ham.

TLB: Except a sack of shit reading Green Eggs and Ham would be funny.

ME: Goddamnit.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

No time for love, Dr. Jones

It is all finding lost luggage and mandolin strings in the middle of Austin for me this week. No drugs, no sex, some rock and roll, but only as background noise as my office chair and I grow increasingly resentful of each other, like a WASPy couple who hate each other but let their hatred fester silently beneath a veneer of civility.

I don't say that for sympathy. My job usually doesn't require that kind of time commitment. We just happen to have a big project and a tight deadline, which sounds much hotter than it actually is. As such, my dick joke reservoir is running a little dry (please feel free to insert witty rejoinder in comments*)

However, this presents an opportunity to play a song that all most some one of you will love:

For the haters, you can fast-forward to around 2:25 for Tremendous Geddy Face. It's only a quick flash, but he looks like he surprised himself with his own awesomeness.

*that's what she said

Friday, February 11, 2011



I was originally going to ditch this week’s post because I’m really busy with work. My company’s going through a big Web site redesign, and sadly we haven’t invented content management software that can take my half-assed verbal directions and create a pristine Web site. And here we thought by 2010 we’d have to worry about psychotic computers building the most kick-ass Arnold Schwarzenegger wax museum statues ever or taking over our missions to Jupiter.

A Non-Random Friday disappointed me, because I love both rocking on Fridays and writing about rocking on Fridays. After I was on our corporate Twitter account today, though, I thought, why not do today’s list in Tweet form? So here you go, comedy in 140 characters or less, or your money back!

1) “911 Is a Joke,” Public Enemy. One barometer for if racism is still a problem: does one race fear calling the police more than others? http://bit.me/whitey

2) “Returning to the Fold,” The Thermals. @lapsedcatholic: Being Catholic is like being Jewish. Even if you don’t practice, you still consider yourself a member.

3) “Hold My Life,” The Replacements. @EddieMoney1 can suck a fat one. This is the song that makes me wanna go back & be in my poster-covered room w/ headphones on #leftofthedial

4) “Working Class Hero,” John Lennon. Do we even have any working class heroes anymore? Do we even have a working class?

5) “Fleur De Lys,” Juliana Hatfield. Underrated, sweet, and crunchy, like kettle corn. #alternativeisheretostay

6) “We End Up Together,” The New Pornographers. Two straight disappointing albums. Can’t tell if it’s because the first 3 were just too awesome & these just pale, or if they aren’t good.

7) “Elsewhere,” Sarah McLachlan. Lilith Fair Indigo Grrls jokes aside, she can really sing and creates great atmosphere on her songs. So, like button for me. #sensitiveguys

8) “All Your Kayfabe Friends,” Los Campesinos! @millennials Pls. don’t get freaked out if you see me dancing at a Los Campesinos show. Swear I’m good old and not Dateline NBC creepy old.

9) “The Long and Winding Road,” The Beatles. @TheRealPhilS: Should we now refer to your production technique as the Prison Wall of Sound?

10) “Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” Jay-Z. Must be played at 3 am through a trunk sub the size of Rhode Island as you drive in a neighborhood full of sleeping kids #notbitteratall

11) “Autonomy,” Heartless Bastards. More yes, yes, yes for me than the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. Have had a soft spot for female rockers since Leather Tuscadero. #Ms.MeDeadly

@allofyou: Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Top Ten Wednesdays: How are we promoting democracy in the Middle East?

10) By supporting the right of Middle Eastern people to have a say in their own political futures and elect the governments that they want, rather than live under the yoke of dictatorship!

9) Unless that government is, you know, a little Muslimy.

8) Look, we were founded under the written principle of all men are created equal, but we have an unwritten part we also follow, that some men are more equal than others. (Okay, that part used to be written, too.)

7) The problem with giving power to the people is that you sometimes get people in power that you don’t like, and while we support freedom, there has to be some limits.

6) It’s not that we won’t recognize governments that are run by Muslims, we just prefer that they act a little more Christian.

5) Even better, why not have Egypt be led out of the desert of oppression to the milk and honey of democracy by a nice Jewish boy?

4) But if that can’t happen, it’s not a bad idea to have someone who’s been Western-educated hold freedom down until it’s ready to grow up.

3) Someone like a president who will step down but not leave office. Or a general. Or maybe a shah, which sounds so glamorous!

2) Because if we’re not careful, what’s happening in the Middle East could happen here, the way it did 235 years ago.

1) Finally, if there’s one thing we know about American foreign policy, it’s this: You can’t harvest freedom without spreading a lot of fertilizer first.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Friday Random 11

It’s one more random than 10!

We added another cat to our household yesterday. The Lovely Becky and Libby brought home Truman (so named after Mizzou’s mascot), a two-year old ball of mellow orange fluff. He joins our six-year-old ball of orange fluff, Jonesy, who seemed a bit lonely after losing his pals Bubba and Bugsy this past year.



As you can see, Truman and Jonesy could be brothers. In fact, I came upstairs yesterday and saw one of them sitting in Libby’s chair like a little prince. It took me a moment to tell it was Jonesy. “Your majesty, you look like the piss boy!” I told him. The problem with making pop culture jokes with cats is that they don’t deliver the rebuttal line.

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I’m glad we have two cats in the house again. Yes, TLB, you have that in writing.

Tune time….

1) Lucky Ghost, “Made in America.” Social networking has been blamed for the unraveling of social ties as we ditch face-to-face interaction for tweets, comments, status updates, and likes. But this song is another testament to how social networking can connect you with people you otherwise would never know. It’s from a guy I’ve known as Slumberland, a fellow poster from a videogame message board we’ve both posted on for years. We’ve interacted in post form and also playing games online, but never met or talked outside of gaming. Without that social networking, I never would have known about Slumber’s album, Sex Griddle (how can I not love that title?), an album that has been in heavy rotation for the last few days. It’s a great bit of rocking new wave that pulls from the 80s without stealing from it. I hear The Killers and The Postal Service with even a few proggy keyboards thrown in for good measure (don’t worry, this is wank-free music). I highly recommend downloading it.

2) “Headache,” Liz Phair. Sadly, headaches are what Phair’s new music trigger. It’s a shame she went from Exile in Guyville to Avril in Blahville in just a couple of albums.

3) “The Trooper,” Iron Maiden. METAL! And nothing is quite so metal as a song based on “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” Bayonets, swords, cannon, bugles…Okay, so bugles are not really metal unless you hook them up to distortion pedals and a stack of Marshalls. This is my favorite Maiden song, mostly because the bass line really sounds like charging cavalry and Bruce Dickinson sings like he’s waving a flag to rally the troops. Related: I wish someone would make a simulation where you could experience what it's like to perform in front of 50,000 Brazilian rock fans. A helmet you could wear that allows you to yell, "SCREAM FOR ME, RIO!" and hear the fans yell back before they start a soccer chant in your honor.

4) “Title Track,” Death Cab for Cutie. And now for something completely different. Actually, after the sturm and drang of “The Trooper,” this sounds like a post battle letter written by Private Emo, who is portrayed by Elijah Wood in the Ken Burns documentary. My dearest Emma, I was filled with jubilation after surviving the great battle, until I received your letter that you have left me for that mandolin player. I dare say that I shan’t recover and will be in my room for the remainder of the war.

5) “Tall Trees,” Crowded House. We actually have two tall trees that we need to cut down this spring, a pair of pines that get needles all over everything. They are the plant equivalent of sand. No matter how much we vacuum, I have at least one case per week where I’m walking around the house and then, STAB! One of those fuckers ambushes me from the threads of the carpet like a piney Viet Cong.

6) “Poltergeist,” Les Savy Fav (song not on YouTube, so I'm using another from the same album). The clown is the part of the movie Poltergeist that always scares the shit out of everyone, myself included. Killer clown dolls are one of the scariest things among scary things that don’t really exist. The part of that movie that scares me even more, however, is the scene where JoBeth Williams is in the kitchen. She goes to the cabinet and then turns around a second later and all the kitchen chairs are stacked on each other. Gets me every time because it looks so real and seamless in the movie.

7) “Drown,” Son Volt. Just a stomping good time and a textbook case of the proper use of cowbell.

8) “Immigrant Song,” Led Zeppelin. True story: this has been banned from all classic rock stations in Arizona.* Also, this illustrates why I cannot ever be president. If was running for president and my birth records were questioned by a bunch of tinfoil wearing knuckledraggers who had eaten too much dirt and stared at the sun too long, after issuing the usual denials, I would order my campaign manager to make this my new campaign song, just to fuck with those idiots.

9) “I Will Follow (Live),” U2. I don’t have a bucket list, mostly because creating such a list would have me obsessing how much time I have left to accomplish everything on that list. I have a difficult enough time with tasks popping up in my Outlook, let alone something like “See the Sphinx” that I have to snooze for 20 years. However, one definite bucket list item is seeing a concert in Red Rocks. Also, if I had a time-traveling DeLorean, I would consider setting it to go back so I could see U2 play Red Rocks in 1983. My parents’ future happiness and my existence could wait until after we finished singing “40.”

10) “Rock of Ages,” Def Leppard. Def Zeppelin in the Random 11 two weeks in a row, which is like getting forks in one’s ears two weeks in a row for my lovely wife. We don’t really see eye-to-eye on the hard rock, mostly because she grew up in a place where every day was like a Beavis and Butt-Head marathon, only without any punchlines, jokes, or hope of a change in programming. But me? I want rock and roll, especially thumping, Mutt-Lang-produced British hard rock that opens with pig German and also has another textbook case of awesome cowbell.

11) “This Charming Man,” The Smiths. I agree with a lot of others that this is their best song. It reminds me of watching old movies where actors and actresses would conceal the subtext of the animal lust and longing beneath wit and banter. Watch North By Northwest and see how Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint would love nothing better than to forget the whole conspiracy and tear each other’s clothes off. Yet they show so much restraint and put all that passion into a kiss. Given the title, tagline, and level of discourse this blog usually revels in, it may come (heh-heh) as a shock that I like subtlety, but I really am impressed by the old-fashioned movie flirting. Morrissey pulls that off brilliantly here, in a gay context no less.

Hidden bonus track: “Find Your Way Back,” Jefferson Starship. I don’t know why I like this fucking song so much, because I realize it’s a thick slab of classic corporate rock idiocy. Yet every time it plays, I have to crank it, especially the throbbing part that leads to the guitar solo. It’s times like these that I question my qualifications to write about music. Sad sidenote: Pretty soon no one will know what a hidden bonus track is.

Have a great weekend. I abstained from writing about the Super Bowl because the thought of another Packer title gives me anal leprosy. Should the Cheese Monkeys pull it off, however, I hope the zombie parties til his limbs fall off and slowly crawl back toward his torso.

*Not actually true although not surprising if it were true.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Top Ten Tuesdays: What new snowstorm-related nicknames are we coining?

10) Snowgasm
9) Frigidiculous
8) Disiceter
7) Snowbulation
6) Freezapallooza
5) Hirosnowma
4) Frostnarok
3) Snowitnam
2) The That’s Not a Barometer in Jim Cantore’s Snowpants Storm
1) Snowkkake