Thursday, December 27, 2012

Top Ten Thursdays: What did we find stuffed in our stockings?

Special extra 12 days of Christmas edition!

12) Subpeona.

11) Box of rubbers with two missing.

10) Phone pre-loaded with a video of our sister-in-law which was clearly meant for brother’s stocking.

9) Copy of budget proposal with an orange bronzer stain that looks like face of Pontius Pilate.

8) One pissed-off tarantula.

7) Peppermint Xanax canes (thanks, sis!)

6) Bottle containing the Ghost of Drunk Christmas Past, Present, and Future.

5) A lump sum from the coal lobby.

4) White Flower candle from Confederate Candle.

3) Four-Finger Louie’s fifth finger (with bonus pinky ring).

2) Brochure from Santa’s Village, the old folk’s home our ungrateful children are committing us to.

1) Note saying, “Sry, naughty – S.C.”

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Random 11

It’s one more random than 10! 

I just gave this blog mouth to mouth and it Frenched me.

1) “Divine Intervention,” Matthew Sweet. I’ve been away from blogging in part because I’ve been pounding away on something else (that’s what she said!). I am working pretty diligently at my dream of becoming a novelist, although my book would benefit greatly from vampires, zombies, suburban S&M, or being a completely fictional memoir about my crippling addiction to Viagra (A Million Little Boners). However, while I am writing the kind of book that may only sell dozens of legally purchased copies in today’s publishing market, my secret wish is that it gets me on The Daily Show and/or The Colbert Report. I honestly think if, just before Jon Stewart interviewed me, he shook my hand, I would seriously consider getting my hand amputated, stuffed, and mounted next to a picture of the handshake. But then if I later got invited onto Colbert, I’d have to shake hands with my hook. I’m not sure if that would increase my chances of getting on the show.

2) “Roll Away Your Stone,” Mumford & Sons. I’ve had a little bit of my M&S fill. They are good, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like I do about The Black Keys—pleasant band who become big when there are so many more deserving candidates. This sometimes feels like Coldplay covering The Pogues, and it is a testament to The Pogues that even hearing Coldplay covering “The Sunny Side of the Street” would still have a strong awesome quotient. They are a classic band I don’t mind hearing but never decide to play.

3) “The Roar of the Masses Could Be Farts,” Minutemen. Okay, seriouspants rant: The title pretty much sums up my feelings about the post-Sandy Hook debate, because we’re not going to change enough to change the fucked up gun culture of this country.

I have never been so saddened by a tragedy as this one, because it involved such innocent victims falling to the clusterfuck stupidity of our country. It was so easy for a sick individual to kill two dozen people. Why? Because he had no trouble obtaining his weapons from his mother, who was a “gun enthusiast.” Not anymore, I’ll bet. That’s harsh, but at the same time, if she didn’t feel the need to own multiple military-grade firearms, maybe her fuckhole son would have just hung himself or stabbed her or done something that didn’t involve killing 20 first-graders because he couldn’t have shot his way into the school and committed his massacre in two minutes thanks to his trusty high-capacity Bushmaster assault rifle. I think if we could audit every “law-abiding citizen” who owns a gun and see how they store their firearms, we’d collectively shit our pants and mandate fingerprint locks on every weapon if we didn’t actually ban them outright.

So now we're going to have a debate and maybe we’ll take assault rifles off the market and reduce clip sizes, but that won’t do shit. People will still get killed in workplaces and malls and schools, there will just be more handguns used and more reloading. And then the fucktarded gun rights idiots will say, See, we told you. And they’ll suggest that if only the director of human resources/kindergarten teacher/Hot Topic clerk had been armed, they could have prevented the tragedy. Ignoring of course the possibility of psychotic workers/students/Orange Julius patrons from wrestling a gun away from the law abiding citizen carrying it, eliminating that pesky background check. But hey, what can you do, it’s in the Constitution, holmes. That shit’s, like, permanent.

The irony is that the Second Amendment is supposed to protect us from tyranny, and yet how much tyranny has it subjected us to? What other part of the Constitution has that much blood on it? Instead, gun sales reach a record high after Sandy Hook. Instead, gun owners are jizzing over a story about a guy who says, because he pulled his gun, the Oregon mall shooter decided to kill himself, when no one can answer that except the guy who ate a bullet. (A lot of conservative sites say that story proves that guns prevent crime. Shit, I wish they were that lenient about the fossil record or climatology studies.) They will say that guns help deter criminals every day, without considering the converse that guns enable criminals every day. The same people who don’t trust teachers to discuss a pee-pee entering a hoo-hah or that we have a lot in common with monkeys want those people to be ready to drop hot lead at a moment’s notice. We have to make hard decisions about whether we give old people money or poor kids health care, but fuck if we can do anything about all these goddamned guns laying around, because if we do, only criminals will have them, because look at the rampant gun crime in the rest of the industrialized world. No, we’d better take the same approach that East Africa does, because that’s worked out so well.

I don’t have the answers, I don’t have a solution, and I’m not even necessarily against banning guns. But we’re not going to have a real conversation on putting limits and safeguards on gun ownership, because America! Freedom! Flag!

4) “Hateful,” The Clash. Am I bugging you? I didn’t mean to bug you. Joe Strummer, play the blues. 

5) “Vaccine,” Ladyhawke. I really hate a sophomore slump from a band whose debut I loved. I am like an anti-hata who will try to convince myself it needs a few listens, that it’s a “grower,” because I want that first album experience again. Sadly, this was really a Mehdyhawke album.

6) “The Wind Cries Mary,” The Jimi Hendrix Experience. I hate business jargon. I have to use it because I work for a business, so I have to say shit like FYI and talk offline and PowerPoint. Sometimes when we have meetings and actually come up with action points, we label some as just do its. a saying made popular by the philosopher Nike. I hate that one most of all; however, the biggest just do it of all that we’re just starting to do is legalize pot. How can we be called the Land of the Free when you are not able to listen to a classic Jimi Hendrix song the way its creator intended? Now that may become a reality in a select few states. Praise the Lord and pass the Funyuns.

7) “That’s Entertainment,” Morrissey. This cover of The Jam classic was beautifully recorded in Mopely Digital.

8) “Encore,” Jay-Z. I bought the new NBA 2k13 game. I normally play a season mode, but I didn’t want to be reminded that Derrick Rose is out for MONTHS with a knee injury every time I played a game to escape the fact that Derrick Rose is out for MONTHS with a knee injury (not to mention having bad pink jersey flashbacks). So I decided to play the career mode where you make yourself as an NBA player, get drafted, try to get better, acquire an entourage, pull a groin in the champagne room, and so on. The game cleverly gets around announcing your name by allowing you to choose from a big list of nicknames that get announced instead. I picked “The Beast,” and it is so satisfying to see my little doppelganger being called that every time I make a J from the top of the key. I wish I could have those announcers calling me The Beast when I crack a good dick joke or open a difficult jar for TLB.

Anyway, the 2k13 game was executive produced by Jay-Z, and if I had known rapping could have lead to producing videogames, I’d have grabbed the mic when I was a teenager. Although there’s not a lot that rhymes with “hobbit” or “mithril.”

9) “Country Road,” Toots & the Maytals. Translates remarkably well from twang to jah.

10) “Cuts Like a Knife,” Bryan Adams. I like this. There, I said it. It’s complete cheese, not even like a block of cheese, but that red wine cheese food that comes in the plastic jar and is to hard to dip crackers in without breaking them in half. But I don’t care, and I can’t hear any mocking over my nah-nah-nahs at the end of the song. Bryan Adams also cannot hear them from atop the mountain of money where he lives.

11) “Coming Up,” Paul McCartney. TLB and I watched SNL last week with Macca as the musical guest. The two surprising things to me: I laughed really hard at a sketch and I loved seeing McCartney play with 2/3 of Nirvana plus Pat Smear. TLB didn’t quite revel in the latter performance the way I did and was not exactly unrestrained in her evaluation of his current or former musical ability. I prepared for a verbal salvo back at my lovely wife, but decided I would fight no more forever. Our Beatles feud was silly and worse for me, cockblocking. So I told her that I would no longer give her crap for her contrary about The Beatles being ZOMGFUCKINAMAZING! I believed we could coexist peacefully. The Middle East could learn a lot from us. 

Happy Holidays, whether that involves a fat man in a suit, a baby in a manger, going to empty movie theaters, or feats of strength around a pole!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Top Ten Wednesdays: Why were we relieved from duty?

Special Operation Endless Entendre Edition

15) Deployed our troops to multiple unauthorized hot zones.

14) Violated rules of engagement through use of stress positions with our assets.

13) Removed restrictive intelligence briefs in order to facilitate going full commando.

12) Received way too much blowback during undercover missions.

11) Spent an inordinate amount of time investigating leads from the Militarily Intelligent Ladies File.

10) Started as a military observer, but got sucked into conducting an insurgency into the bush.

9) Added whips to the chain of command.

8) Procured lucrative military contract for Adam and Eve.

7) Redirected spy satellites to scope out topless beaches for babes.

6) Kept labeling self as a hard target.

5) Diverted funds to form all-female SEAL Team 69.

4) Leaked our homemade video of our insertion team engaging in some excessive wet work.

3) Ordered attractive WMD experts to search for a huge bunker buster in our pants.

2) Set DEFCON status to “HORNY”

1) Put the Homeland into Homeland Security.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Top Ten Tuesdays: How are we voting?

10) Republican, because the best preparation for a future without electricity is a government that’s already medieval.

9) Democrat, because we need to know we can buy rubbers after the bars close.

8) Libertarian, because hands off my shit or I’ll fucking cut you.

7) Green, because, dude.

6) Constitution, because we are also old white people who take a dim view toward blacks.


4) Independent, because we love Burger King’s hamburgers but prefer McDonald’s fries.

3) Socialist, because these student loans aren’t going to forgive themselves.

2) Romney, because we want a president we could play polo with.

1) Obama, because his skin looks like our favorite drink at Starbucks and he’s twice as smooth.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Friday Random 11

It’s one more random than 10!

I’m in blur central right now, and not the good “Woo-hoo!” late-90s kind. I seriously have no idea where the last two months have gone. I had no intention of taking a break from the blog, but the break sort of happened. There are the usual suspects—time, work, kids, football season and the obsessive fantasy management that follows. There was another suspect, my novel, which is moving along fairly well and occupying the brain cells allocated for joke production. But the bigger issue is that I felt like I didn’t have much to say, or that I was saying was repeating what I’ve said before (insert, "When has that stopped you before?" joke). I had increasing instances of writing things like the Top Tens or Random 11s and wondering if I was reusing a previous joke. I mean, I find “cock” and it’s many variations wildly hilarious, but there’s a point where I have to wonder if I’m sucking all the nutrients out of the fertile dick joke soil (that’s what she said!)

Sure enough, after a little time of letting the field lie fallow, some things started popping into my head. However, I then ran into that laziness like when you stop working out because you went on vacation. I kept thinking, “I’ll blog tomorrow” and tomorrow turned into next week and next week turned into next month, and next thing I know my little Circle Jerk at the Square Dance is instead dancing by itself. Now my sense of blog humor feels a bit bloated, sluggish, and full of processed cheese, but I’m going to attempt to hop up on the comedy treadmill and sweat out some bon mots. Hopefully I won’t pull anything (that’s what she—ow, my taint muscle!)

1) “All the Young Dudes,” Mott the Hoople. I recently saw my brother Tickle and our two twenty-something cousins, Youngblood and Zoolander, who Tickle has dubbed The Nasty BoyZ. The Nasty BoyZ are young and nubile athletes, both former college hockey players who have always been athletic. We went out to play some two-on-two basketball, the Old DudeZ (Tickle just turned 35) vs. The Nasty BoyZ. Tickle is a very good basketball player and in good shape, but my current physical condition and lifelong inability to dribble render me the pick-up equivalent of Kate Capshaw in Temple of Doom. There’s a lot of breathless screaming and scenery chewing and wishing I would just die by the end of the first reel. In fact, within the first few minutes of playing, suicide seemed painless compared to the air I was shotgunning in mouth-filling gulps. However, I am nothing if not a team player. I set picks, rebound, and generally try to harass as much as possible on defense. I also think the Nasty BoyZ were taking it easy on us, and Tickle and I won our first game in the best-of-five we played.

Midway through the second game, the FILFs (Fathers I’d Like to Fastbreak) shot up 8-2. Not only was Tickle unconscious with his outside shots, but I reached into some bag of homeboy magic and pulled out some respectable jumpers, layups, and even a sky hook. Right then, Youngblood flipped a switch and went into super competitive mode. In fact, The Nasty BoyZ are notorious for never passing to each other and then arguing that the other person is hogging shots. I joked before the game that Vegas set the over for their total assists at 1 and that I pounded the under. Not so this time. They set screens, backdoored (hey now!), and really tried to win. They came back and won the second game, and I figured it was nice while it lasted.

Surprisingly, though, I found a desire to win surpassing my desire to lay down and die. Right then, I decided hitting a winning runner over Zoolander before my heart shattered into a thousand heaving pieces wouldn’t be a bad way to go. I even started calling out plays like Prince in the Chappelle Show sketch (“Computer Blue!” “Darling Nikki!”). We beat the Nasty BoyZ in game three, and then in the decisive game four, I called out for “Computer Blue” again, passing to Tickle, who got nothing but net on the winning jumper. I felt like I’d just won a gold medal. The Nasty BoyZ were good sports, too, which is easy when you have young legs and washboard abs and don’t equate some meaningless pickup game with a triumph over your mortality.

2) “Calling It Quits,” Aimee Mann. I could use their washboard abs this week, because the pipes under my laundry room decided to call it quits (how is that for some transition offense?!). We had some water backup in our basement and yadda yadda yadda $13,000 worth of eventual plumbing repairs, half of which we need to do right now if we don’t want to take our dirty clothes to the Warshin’ Rock on Lake Michigan or TLB’s parents’ house. Plumbing repairs are doubly annoying because a) you don’t realize what a pain it is to lose using your washing machine or dishwasher until you face having to wash dishes by hand or (shudder) visit the laundromat, and b) you don’t get to see what you dropped an assload of money on. You buy a new roof or siding or a Drifter Composter, at least you get to see what you spent your money on. Although I’ll spend anything to avoid going to the laundromat. That feels like wearing condoms again. That’s for sailors, baby!

3) “Electric Band,” Wild Flag. Between this album last year and the new Corin Tucker album this year, I feel like Sleater-Kinney got back together, which is awesome. It’s the opposite of the way I felt when The Firm and The Honeydrippers released albums in the 80s, which almost made me wish Led Zeppelin had never existed. Do you remember/ when we rocked / instead of sounding / like a bunch of old cocks?

4) “Jail Guitar Doors,” The Clash. It occurred to me that, if I do continue doing the Random 11, should I shift from my own collection to doing a Spotify 11? That made me sad and I’m not sure why. It is amazing that, at any time, at any place with an Internet or cellular connection (we even had both in the UP!), you can listen to almost anything you want. This would have made me ecstatic at 15 or 20 or even 30. Now, though, nostalgia is holding me back. Why, I don’t trust no music that gets beamed into my phone, dag gummit! It has to be my music, not some gosh-darned shared collection that I rent with a million other hipsters. That’s socialism. So, for now, I’m keeping it local.

5) “Flowers in Your Hair,” The Lumineers. Perfectly pleasant, but I don’t know if that’s enough for me. My foot taps, the chorus sticks, and yet there’s something lacking.

6) “Caught, Can We Get a Witness?” Public Enemy. I watched one of the excellent ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries, Ghosts of Ole Miss, about the year the Ole Miss football program went undefeated why the school nearly destroyed itself as James Meredith became the first black student in Ole Miss history. Watching stuff like this makes me really, really hate Tea Party crackers even more. Any pale fuckstick who complains about reverse racism or affirmative action or other #whitepeopleproblems should sit the fuck down and watch footage of James Meredith going to class surrounded by armed escorts while a sea of angry crackers looked hungry for a lynching. Even worse, he couldn’t hide his approach, because his enormous brass balls would clang every time he left for class. It’s a good thing for me white people don’t face real discrimination, because there is no way I would have the courage to do what he did. I just would have gotten a degree from University of Phoenix.

7) “Father Christmas,” The Kinks. People propose all kinds of idiotic Constitutional amendments, but we most definitely need one to block premature Christmas displays. I was at Tar-jay on October 30, looking for a costume (I was going as a procrastinator), and the Halloween stuff had been shoved into a two-aisle ghetto of bagged chocolate and flammable fabric so they could set up the Christmas displays. October fucking 30th! Think gay marriage is confusing to young people? What about conflating celebrating baby Jesus with slutty witch outfits?

8) “I’ve Changed My Address,” The Jam. This catchy little ditty is a pretty brutal tale of a guy ending his marriage (or engagement). I played this in the car recently and was singing along, which is funny considering this month marks the 25th anniversary of my first date with TLB. Not only is my middle name Monogamy, but I would rather stomp on my Xbox than make a woman cry. So why do I enjoy songs of malicious heartbreak so much? Do they touch some Grand Theft Auto nerve of wanting to run over pedestrians while evading the police and (if my joystick skills are good) the National Guard? Or is it just goofy fun with a catchy beat? My behavior would say the latter, but perhaps I should chase this with....

9) “Faithfully,” Journey. I hate myself for loving this. It is about as schmaltzy as rock music gets and makes Foreigner look like death metal in comparison. Yet it tugs at my heart strings every time. Steve Perry misses her so much! It’s so hard to go on the road and not fuck anything that moves (Honey, she had an all access pass. I only did it for the fans!) No, I’m not crying! You’re a baby, you baby!

10) “Spring Break,” The Fucking Champs. Get ready for tangent circle, but I wrote something today for the fantasy league that made me laugh, and this song triggered my desire to share it.

Being a child of the 80s, I watched a lot of MTV. MTV also introduced me to the concept of “spring break,” because they used to have the MTV Spring Break specials that would feature things like the cast of Remote Control hosting a wet T-shirt contests. I also seem to recall Gilbert Gottfried doing spots for MTV Spring Break, his lunatic rantings about “naked people and sand” introducing me to The Voice. I became a fan instantly.

Today, my fantasy league was e-mailing, and we were making fun of Uncle Andy, our oldest member. Uncle A is not really that old, only a couple years older than me, but he acts like an old man. His e-mails in particular are very elderly: they are in HUGE fonts and often make no sense. Today, Tickle said that Uncle Andy’s e-mails always reminded him of Gilbert Gottfried talking. Well, like a bolt of lightning, I had what I think is a pretty good Gilbert-style joke shoot into my head. I have to use all-caps because you can’t do Gilbert Gottfried in lowercase:





That’s the kind of quality comedy that I just need to share with the world. Here's the real Gilbert, roasting George Takei with some hilarious and extremely impolitically correct jokes.

11) “Anarchy in the U.K.,” The Sex Pistols. Is there any other vocal performance in the history of rock music that summons images of plaque and gum disease? You can practically hear how green Johnny Rotten’s teeth are.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Friday Random 11

It’s one more random than 10! 

We put the storm windows down last night. That’s the most depressing weather day of the year for me, because it’s like being put on weather death row. Of course, at least I’m doing it in October now instead of August.

1) “If You Want Blood, You Got It,” AC/DC. Well hel-fucking-lo! One of my favorite AC/DC openings because the riff is all peppy, and then Bon Scott comes in sounding like a meth-addicted frog. If I was ever at a fancy dinner with a shady underworld character a la Indiana Jones and he poisoned me with a Coldplay martini (or, more likely, a Coldplay Cosmo), this would be the antidote. Bonus if I had to reach down TLB’s dress to get it because that’s such a Bon Scott move.

2) “Strangers,” Portishead. One of those beats where it is impossible to avoid the head bob. You could play this at a funeral for a puppy that pulled a busload of children out of a volcano, only to then get run over by the bus, and everyone would be bobbing through the tears.

3) “Everywhere I Go,” The Call. This song came out roughly around the time I learned to drive, and I could never not drive fast when I heard it. We owned a Vanagon then, and the minute this song started, I punched it and made those four hamsters in the engine run as fast as possible. This is why you don’t give new drivers fast cars. Also, while I’m not blaming music for making me drive like I was in a real life version of Spy Hunter, music definitely me made want to drive like I had just stolen a sensible-if-underpowered family-style minivan. That’s why Libby will have no speakers in her first car.

4) “When Doves Cry,” Prince. I would enjoy Prince’s music much more if it didn’t make me think of Prince. What part of oily, permed, garden gnome in platform boots and a thong sounds sexy?

5) “Fly By Night,” Rush. First, I nearly jizzed in my pants when I saw this commercial. I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO DOES THIS! I NO LONGER HAVE TO LIVE A LIFE OF SHAME AT THE STOPLIGHT DURING “TOM SAWYER.”

Second, Rush is finally on the ballot for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Our long North American nightmare may be over! Up until yesterday, I took the party line of fuck those bitches, the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame is bullshit. Today I’m like, Let them in, you sons of bitches. Bumpuses! Because I want my validation as a Rush fan. That’s sad, I know, but the documentary started it, and now that I see my favorite band being used to sell attractive German cars that need new electrical systems by the time you drive them home from the lot, I want even more mainstream acceptance. Plus, they are on the ballot with Public Enemy and N.W.A., and I really want to see an onstage medley of “911 Is a Joke/Fuck Da Police/Xanadu.”

6) “Don’t Stand So Close to Me (orginal, non-asswipe version),” The Police. My fantasy football league has four teachers in it, and one of them was a member of the Chicago Teacher’s Union. He is also our league treasurer, and like every fantasy league, we have The Guy Who Doesn’t Pay. That guy is Pancake Z, who has never, ever paid his dues, but somehow always wins enough to not owe money. It’s become such an issue we officially call them dueZ. So during the strike, we wanted our CTU member to march with a sign that said, “Z, pay your dueZ.” I would have plotzed if that would have shown up on the news (or newZ), but sadly, he didn’t do it.

7) “Wrapped Up in Books,” Belle & Sebastian. TLB and I are both firmly immersed in novel writing right now, and for the first time, probably at about the same point in the process, pounding out a shitty first draft. This leads to a lot of book conversations, especially at night when we are supposed to be going to sleep but wind up talking characters and structure and dick jokes for 45 minutes (well, one of us talks about dick jokes). For me, though, it feels a lot like talking to a professional trainer about doing squats. One of us already has two novels published, including one that was a bestseller in Italy, and also teaches writing to people who pay extravagant private school prices. Hint: It’s not the one discussing dick jokes. I imagine it’s a bit like a married porn couple where everyone knows the wife but no one recognizes the husband until he drops his pants.

8) “21 Guns,” Green Day. I’ll tell you what’s killing rock and roll: it’s not downloading and mashups and dubstep and laptop beats. It’s one of the few bonafide rock stars we have going into rehab for swearing in public. What. The. Fuck? Back in the golden age, that’s what stars did after getting out of rehab, because it meant they weren’t zonked out on some Mexican zoo tranquilizers that they got from David Crosby.

9) “Raging in the Plague Age,” Les Savy Fav. Then there’s a song like this that shows rock and roll is not only not dead, it’s wielding a Bec de corbin of awesomeness. Yes, I know my pole arms. Who wants to touch me?

10) “Reunion,” M83. One of the most John Hughes-ish of their many John Hughes-ish tunes. We let Libby watch some of Ferris Bueller the other day, partly because it’s harmless, partly because it’s set in Chicago and she needs to learn where she should ditch school, and partly because it didn’t involve any cartoon characters or animated animals. Anyway, it is an adventure to watch a movie like that with a four-year old, because they are a lot of questions, and Libby can’t ask a question without acting like she’s shouting it from the back of a townhall meeting. WHY DID THE GIRL KICK THE MAN WITH THE MUSTACHE IN THE FACE? WHY DID THAT BOY KICK THE CAR THROUGH THE WINDOW? WHY IS FERRIS BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL?

11) “Go Your Own Way,” Fleetwood Mac. Does Lindsey Buckingham have this set as his ringtone for Stevie Nicks? That would be both awesome and such an asshole move. Incidentally, I think they should have a The Voice-style show where the judges are all members of a band that had a bad break-up. Imagine Lindsey and Stevie on either side of Mick Fleetwood. Or Axl and Slash separated by Duff. I would definitely watch that.

Have a good weekend, and stay warm! Unless you already live someplace warm, in which case, suck it, you lucky bastard.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Random 11

It’s one more random than 10!

Gott im Himmel, I almost went a whole month without updating the blog. Where the fuck did September go? It was one of those blurs that was mostly good—a lot of fun stuff, a buttload of great weather getting me outside, the start of obsessing about all things football, and also a lot of work, which is good in that it means I have a job.

I have missed my little Friday afternoon rendezvous, however. Being able to not only listen to music but also express poorly thought out, meandering, and often typo-filled blogs on said music is hugely satisfying, even if this blog doing an imitation of a Norwegian blue parrot pining for the fjords may make it an exercise in musical missive masturbation this week. Good thing I like a lot of wank in my rock.

1) “Galileo,” Indigo Girls. My initial instinct was to type, “This is TLB’s!” However, despite my fondness for dick jokes, I don’t want to be a penis. The IGs may not be my cup of green tea with lemon and honey and just a hint of nutmeg, but I don’t like to have that knee-jerk-off male reaction to Lillith-rock, as if the very sound of two women singing is going to get me on my knees faster than a male intern for a closeted GOP Congressman. Some of the music I listen to is primordial in its level of male juvenileness and is 1000 hit points more embarrassing than a catchy little folk-rock song with pretty harmonies.

2) “Back Door Love,” Graham Parker. iTunes, however, feels the need to overcompensate. Or perhaps is pushing me toward gay marriage.

3) “Vagabonds,” Gary Louris. One of those albums I’ve had for a long time and never listened to. I was never a big Jayhawks fan (why, I don’t really know), but this is good stuff.

Speaking of vagabonds (tangent alert!), the advantage of working at home is that you often get to dress like a vagabond. The disadvantage is that you often look like a vagabond. I have been in vagabond territory for a while, in large part because having a four-year old who loves to wake me up in the middle of the night makes me cling to every possible minute of sleep I can get before I trudge downstairs for coffee and work. This week, though, I reached a breaking point when I woke up, wore the clothes I slept in while working, remained in those clothes after work, and slept in those clothes again. For a fastidious metrosexual like myself, I may as well have been squatting in a filthy cave while wearing a dire wolf hide in bad need of dry cleaning. So yesterday, I showered, shaved, and put a collared shirt on before working. Damn if I didn’t have my most productive day in a month. So my solution is to get matching magnetic sheets and pajamas for my daughter so she unable to escape her bed at night, allowing me to get the sleep I need to have enough time and enthusiasm for a shower.

4) “Kiss Me Dudely,” Torche. Helmet-style hard rock sung by one of the rare openly-gay hard rock frontmen, doubly funny to me because I owned the Lita Ford album for which the pun is based. This is far less gay.

5) “Love Is the Seventh Wave,” Sting. Despite being recorded after The Police, the first couple of Sting’s solo albums sound much, much older than The Police stuff to me. I still think Dream of the Blue Turtles is both good and his best solo album, but the stuff packed into these songs—smooth jazz, world beats, a little bit of Bobby McFerrin-ness on this song, the super-clean thin production, expressing brotherly love without using some form of "bro," a complete lack of irony, and Sting at his Stingiest—make it a bit of a musical Cosby sweater.

6) “Tickle Mountain,” Fang Island. While listening to this on my iPod, I stopped to take a picture and send it to my brother Tickle. Just a picture of the iPod screen. For all the amazing things that we can do in our mobile iShare culture, it’s dumb shit like this that I enjoy the most. Facebook should just be called OneLinerBook, because that’s what I used it for about 93% of the time. Tickle is the same way. For someone who used to HATE cell phones, he couldn’t live without his phone. How else would I get a text message at 3:17 am that has a picture of his cat wearing a collar with dice on it, a cock lamp, and his brother-in-law lasciviously eating an ice cream cone?

7) “Heart of the Sunrise,” Yes. Yes is close enough to talk about the amazing Rush show I saw this month. I ventured out to Northern Virginia again to see them with my friend Tom, and again we took a limo to the event, traveling with two other dudes and a bona-fide diehard Rush dudette. Why a limo? Because when you’re going to see a band nearing 60 play a three-hour show, including most of their new concept album that centers around a man making his way across a steampunk universe searching for the elusive Watchmaker (which has also been novelized!), why the fuck wouldn’t you take a limo? For added brownie points the limo had these 1987 prom lights in the ceiling, which almost made me wish I was wearing a full tuxedo and cummerbund. I would have been surely immortalized online as Tuxedo Rush Fan, especially if my cummerbund had “2112” on it. Sure, my wife wouldn’t touch me again with a double-necked bass guitar, but fame always has a price. Alas, I was only wearing my Rash shirt.

Anyway, the story of the evening was that the male-female ratio was the most even I’ve ever seen. It was my sixth Rush show dating back to 1988, and up until a couple years ago, the few women I saw at Rush concerts looked like they were live-action roleplaying or had clearly lost bets with their boyfriends. However, it was probably 4:1 dudes this time, and many of the women looked normal and appeared to be attending of their free will. Sure, still mostly Tom Sawyer, but with enough Becky Thatcher to at least flirt with the concept that the women in attendance would have to wait for a bathroom stall. I sat next to a woman—not even the one who came with us—who seemed to be enjoying herself almost as much as her male companion. Behind us, and blowing my mind, were two unaccompanied female Rush fans. They weren’t doing any guys a favor, they weren’t there because they dug that song with Aimee Mann. They were there because they wanted to be. I would have been less surprised by a female president of Saudi Arabia than the female turnout at the show.

So, yeah, it was awesome.

8) “Once,” Pearl Jam. One thing I learned from this Rush experience: I cannot pour a mixed drink to save my life when using a Solo cup. We had those in the limo, and I got stuck being the bartender. I don’t know if it’s the inability to see the booze level or if drinking out of Solo cups takes me back to high school mixology where mixers were simply there to make the alcohol slide down your esophagus faster, but I was pouring about a fist of vodka into those drinks. I partied like a rock star, but was hungover like a 42-year old dad who was pretty sure at least one and perhaps as many as three internal organs had liquefied the night before.

9) “Stay Free,” The Clash. The proliferation of reunion tours really makes me sorry Joe Strummer died relatively young. Sure, maybe a reunion would have seemed more Cash than Clash, but to see Strummer and Mick Jones playing stuff like this would have been worth a few corporate-sponsored ideals.

10) “Slow Drip,” Superchunk. When I was still going to the gym—which my 42-year-old expanding ass needs to desperately start doing again—I was on a major Superchunk kick when doing any cardio. I liked to imagine myself as the lead singer, playing Grant Park during Lollapalooza, because I a) need some pretty serious fantasies to distract myself from how out of breath I am and b) the lack of breath and excess of sweat enhances the fantasy of thrashing around a stage in the middle of July in Chicago. I feel foolish when thinking about this stuff at my age, but then again, when my dad was 42, he took my Guns N Roses tapes to the gym to work out to. For all I know, he was fantasizing about singing about heroin addiction, street urchins, and women with eyes like the bluest skies. Whatever gets you exercising.

11) “Head Over Heels,” The Go-Go’s. The breakdown in the middle always picks me up. A splendid song for heading into the weekend!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Random 11 Punchlines

Too busy to ramble about tunes today, but I can't let the Clint Eastwood speech go unused like an 80-year-old's Viagra prescription, so I present:

Top 11 Things Clint Eastwood Said at the Republican National Convention

11) Does this empty chair make my ass look fat?

10) They were originally going to have me talk to a hard stool, but I already do that every morning in my bathroom. 

9) I'm here today to show you just how wrong you are about the stereotypical image of the Republican Party. 

7) When I told an ape to make a right turn thirty years ago, little did I know Republicans everywhere would listen. 

6) I was also a pioneer in the conservative treatment of women.

5) I like Mitt Romney because he reminds me of myself: a rich actor who is terrible at ad libbing. 

4) Plus, if anyone knows what to look for in a leader, it's a guy like me whose whole career revolved around playing psychotic outsiders with a violent disregard for authority. 

3)  In closing, I once asked a punk if he felt lucky while I pointed a .44 Magnum in his face. That is precisely the message the GOP wants to deliver to everyone thinking about voting for Obama. 

2) Finally, don't forget to check out my latest picture, Every Which Way But Lucid.

1) You know, chair, you're a much better actor than Sondra Locke. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Top Ten Tuesdays: What are we learning about the real Mitt Romney?

Special extended "guy you would have a glass of Chateau Margaux 1787 with" edition!

15) New and improved empathy circuits now allow him to sense economic pain among the top 5% of all earners.

14) Became a Mormon for the tax-benefits of having multiple wives, only to find out bigamy was outlawed. Boy, was he steamed, but he eventually grew to love Ann.

13)  Is so committed to cutting spending that he will make every member of his administration run with scissors.

12) While governor of Massachusetts, showcased his sense of humor by beating Bill Belichick in a joke-telling contest. 

11) Is a huge fan of rap music outside of the lyrical content. 

10) Had his penis monogrammed. 

9) Relaxes by heading to the Caribbean, cracking open a Corona, and basking in the glow of his offshore accounts. 

8) When he says he buys American, he buys actual Americans.

7) Loves to call New Jersey Governor Chris Christie “Chris Crisco” while twisting his man-boobs until the governor says his name

6) Once nearly died after a three-day Ameritrade bender.

5)  Offered to give gay Republican delegates free haircuts.

4) His flatulence makes the sound of a cash register.

3) Can recite the ticker symbol of any company on the Dow Jones.

2) Provides a little "stimulus" in the bedroom by playing a game called “Just the 1%.

1) Lost a $1 bet with John McCain after he didn't believe John McCain could turn a foreign-born, Middle-Eastern-dictator-named, coke-snorting, jump-shooting, Islamic-schooled, terrorist-fist-bumping Negro into the president of the United States.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Random 11

It’s one more random than 10!

There are times when I just have to bow down to someone else’s genius, and that’s the case with this incredible takedown of Stars Earn Stripes by Steven Colbert.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
"Stars Earn Stripes" Reality Series
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

In five minutes, he takes down military propaganda, military action, celebrity culture, reality TV, and our indifference to all of the above.

Seriously, if we ever shook hands, I would have a serious Marcia Brady-Davy Jones moment.


1) “Eyes of a Stranger,” Queensryche. My cousin Youngblood went to see Coldplay last week. Voluntarily. In fact, after the concert, he posted a pic of the show with the update, “Time stopped for two hours.” I wanted to ask if that was because it felt like those two hours would last a hellish eternity while Satan put Viva la Vida on repeat. But I felt so embarrassed for him that I refrained from what could have been an ANWAR of undrilled comedy on Facebook (although I will definitely be using the team name Coldplay Is Magic in our fantasy football league). Yet my enjoyment of Queensryche's Operation: Mindcrime album is pretty much the heavy metal version of Coldplay man love. Any time I try to explain why this is a great, underrated heavy metal album, I immediately feel like I would be more manly walking down the street in hot pants and gold body glitter to the tune of "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall."

2) “Here Comes,” INXS. Speaking of underrated, I was way more into INXS when I was a teenager than I should have been. Not that they were not a good band, but I had talked myself into putting The Swing on a pedestal that seems a bit silly now (sample dialog: Kick is pretty good and all, but The Swing is way better. Note: I was not a convincing critic at the time). Songs like these two make me wish I had been blogging when I was a kid, because I would love to read kinds of pompous delusional proclamations I used to make, as opposed to the pompous dick-joke-infused proclamations I make now. SUPER BONUS: Video is from a performance at Magic Freaking Mountain in 1983. I love YouTube so much I think we should scrap the BC/AD thing in favor of a MEH/YT designation.

3) “Stand Up and Shout,” Dio. I love the concept of Dio much more than the execution. There’s a great clip of RJD discussing how hair bands ruined metal—which has merit—but there is no reference to say, excessive references to dragons and sorcery ruining metal. Because I would play anything by E’Nuff Z’Nuff long before I would play “Mystery.”

4) “You’re All That I Have,” Snow Patrol. So I bash Coldplay, yet this is one of those songs like The Goo Goo Dolls “Name” that I know is reheated MOR Cinnabon sauce, yet I find it irresistible. It’s times like these that make me question whether I actually have any taste in music, or if it’s just a random series of binary code that makes no distinction between great and schlock and makes me think things like, “Let's see what Ratt albums are on eMusic.”

5) “How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel,” Morrissey. The funniest song title in Morrissey’s catalog because he’s been telling us the answer in excruciating detail for 30 years. I can’t imagine he plays poker, because he would be the worst bluffer in the world.

Morrissey: Why did you fold your hand?

Me: Because you were singing a song called “The Boy With The Straight Flush In His Hand”

6) “In the Morning,” Built to Spill. I am failing as a parent in getting my child to go to sleep at a reasonable hour, in no small part because I refuse to go to sleep at a reasonable hour. Last night I conked out at 11:57 and thought it remarkable I was going to sleep early. Both of my ass cheeks can be dragging ten feet behind me at 10:30, and as soon as the reasonable suggestion maybe I should drag these glutes to bed, I find something to keep me up (Ooh, look, a Hard Knocks marathon!). Libs does the same thing, dragging out milk drinking, story reading, teeth brushing, potty pottying, to the point where getting her into bed early just means we’re going to have extended grabass. She’s doing what I’m doing, thinking there’s got to be something better than closing your eyes and seeing a whole lot of nothin’. The difference is that she bounds into our room at 7:15 like she’s just snorted a mirror full of pixie sticks, whereas I wonder if there is enough coffee in the universe to get my other eye open.

7) “Let It Be,” The Beatles. I feel like I am cheating on TLB with iTunes right now. Don’t get me wrong, I love my wife, but she doesn’t give up the Macca like you do.

8) “We Can’t Have Nice Things,” Kelly Hogan. This year’s album to have a contemplative glass of wine to. She has a great, soothing voice that wraps up catchy nuggets of sadness and regret in velvet.

9) “Don’t Do Me Like That,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Last weekend was my main fantasy football draft—The League of my leagues, the one that is as serious and competitive as it is full of vulgarity and childishness. I was sitting near the liquor cabinet, so I was the designated shot pourer for the evening. After a manly opening of whiskey and cognac, the crew wanted to switch to Rumchata, which is sort of like a rum version of Bailey’s—creamy, sweet, and white. I started pouring a shot and, never one to miss a chance to score a cheap, crotch-level laugh, moved the bottom of the bottle over my crotch and used my hips to dispense the liquor, so to speak. This elicited a great round of laughs, which is like heroin to my sense of humor. I banged out a round of Rumchata shots, culminating in an extended “pour” that nearly reached the brim of my brother Tickle’s glass. “Look at that fucking shot,” he said. “Hey,” I replied, “Let an infertile guy dream.”

10) “Us vs Them,” LCD Soundsystem. I’m curious to see what the voter turnout is going to be this fall, because the gap between the rhetoric and the apathy feels enormous. You know it’s bad when the media has to play up the excitement of The Paul Ryan Experience, which is somewhere between an Objectivist book club and a plain cheese sandwich on the excitement meter. The only political sign on my block is a lone Romney sign that looks like it was stuck out after an embarrassing late-night chocolate milk binge. Thank God for Todd Akin livening things up.

11) “Rumour Has It,” Adele. Currently Libby’s favorite song. What’s not to love about a four-year old singing along with a fuck-you-and-the-skank-you-rode-in-on song? Looking forward to parent-teacher conferences when she really gets the verses down.

Have a good weekend, and a hearty "party on, Zombie" this weekend.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Congressional Officials Agree That Representative Todd Akin ‘Was Asking for It.’

Claims about misspeaking deemed incredulous in light of ‘flaunting naked conservativsm.’

WASHINGTON – Days after getting repeatedly pounded in public for stating that women could not get pregnant in cases of “legitimate rape,” Congressman Todd Akin (R-PE) claims he ‘misspoke’ with ‘poor phrasing,’ and that he was only trying to discuss anti-abortion laws, not paint women who become pregnant after sexual assaults as wanting it. However, in a rare show of bipartisan support, his Congressional colleagues are not only dismissing his defense, but saying Akin was “asking for it.”

“As a woman, I have excellent WHORDAR,” said former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-UH). “You don’t go on television, whip out a pair of words like ‘legitimate rape,’ and then say, ‘Ooh, I was just trying to have a platonic pro-life dialog, I wasn’t trying to get everyone all hot and bothered.’ He was being a family values whore.”

Her colleague, Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-‘CHA) of Denver, was more vociferous in condemning Akin’s behavior and intentions. “He was practically begging for us to give it to him,” the Congressman said, his eyes ablaze with excitement as he licked his lips. “You could give me 100 hours of audio from a closed CPAC session on erotic Ann Coulter fan fiction, with Jonah Goldberg as a moderator, and I wouldn’t find anything as politically provocative as this.” He wiped his brow and added, “Is it me or is it hot in here?”

Democrats were not the only ones saying Akin was on the prowl for a scandal. Perlmutter’s Republican opponent, beer magnate Joe Coors (R-DUI) concurred. “You can’t just guzzle down anti-abortion propaganda and expose your conservative bona fides on camera . You have to maintain control and attack  women’s rights responsibly.”

Republican Vice Presidential Candidate and noted budget rapist Paul Ryan also condemned Akin for his behavior by noting how he changed his own ways. “You know, Todd and I, we were pretty wild back in the day about sticking it to abortion advocates,” Ryan said. “We’d knock back a few cases of Beast, put ‘Testify’ on my boom box, and spend all night slipping ‘forcible rape’ into abortion legislation. But I called him and said, ‘Todd, bro, what were you thinking? You don’t say shit like that until after the election.’”

Media pundits were quick to pounce on Akin’s provocative comments as well. NBC’s David Gregory didn’t believe Akin’s defense of an innocently poor choice of words, commenting, “Akin knew exactly what he was doing. His mouth’s saying one thing while his policies say another. Your goddamned right he wanted to meet the press.”

Fox News host Sean Hannity went one step further. “Not only is Todd Akin not a victim, he’s the perpetrator. He’s the one who just screwed the Republican party without its consent.”

It’s unclear whether Akin will heed calls to withdraw from the election for the sake of the Republican party, but one former political candidate with extensive experience in blowing elections offered this advice. “Congressman Akin, I know how hard it is to admit defeat and accept the inevitable,” said former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. “But just lie back and think of Washington.”

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Top Ten Tuesdays: How did we misspeak?

10) Referred to “those people” when we were discussing those people.

9) Didn't mean to label female orgasm as “the whore’s reward.”

8) When we referred to ourselves as “proponents of a theory that allows us to be immature, self-centered, uncaring asshats,” we meant to say ,“We’re big fans of Ayn Rand.”

7) Regretted adding, “Money money money! Cha-ching! I’m rich, bee-yoch!” when calling for the permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts.

6) Accidentally said, “We will turn the elderly into a delicious, nutritious paste” instead of “We need to find cost-effective ways to deal with Medicare and childhood obesity.”

5) Should have said we were “sticking up for the job creators” instead of “sticking it to the job seekers.”

4) Our comment about banks, “they’re going to put y’all back in chains,” neglected to mention that customers will be charged 5% or $50 per month for chain-wearing privileges unless maintaining a minimum balance of $5000 in checking.

3) Due to a find and replace error, our speech referred to “fisting” instead of “austerity.”

2) We forgot to preface our remarks, “Obama ordered the shootings in Aurora as a way to enact gun control,” with “Here’s how you can make Lars Ulrich seem likeable by comparison.”

1) When we said, “We, the American Taliban, value the right of splooge violently forced into your hoo-hah to create a living reminder of your hellish sexual brutalization more than your right to take a pill or have a doctor remove a clump of cells from your uterus, because if you really didn’t want to get pregnant, you wouldn’t be out walking around without a husband or with a job, you selfish, murderous, equality-loving slut,” we meant to say, “We’re the party of pro-life.”

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Random 11

Special Thunderstruck Edition!

I am back from a whirlwind of work and vacation and trying to settle back into ordinary life. I have that feeling where you stop running but still feel like you’re being tugged by leash. It’s been three days and I’m just starting to feel myself slip back to normality.

Vacation was fantastic, as it always is. We took our annual beach trip with The Lovely Becky’s family, and we had all the ingredients for a successful trip: beer, Canadians, sea, sand, fried food, grilled meat, and an older child who was delighted to herd the younger ones so that we only occasionally had to put down our drinks and act like parents. The men even grilled during a thunderstorm where we put up a tent over the grill to keep the coals dry, while holding the metal poles to keep it from blowing away as lightning flashed all around us. Put that in a fucking commercial, Budweiser.

I snapped a few photos that reminded me of the illustrious thunderpants, although not the same level of quality he delivers. The house we rent is on the ocean row, so we have easy access to the beach as well as a great view.

I arrived my first day just in time to catch the sun setting.
The view from the deck of the house. This makes cramming 17 people together for a week worth it.
The ghost crab next door. Not pictured: Ghost melon.

This little guy kept coming back for the peanuts we were eating while drinking on the deck.
Libs on the walkway to the beach. How the fuck is she this big already?

1) “Begin the Begin,” R.E.M. Before we got to this magical time of not working, there was much work to be done. My company sponsors a pretty big conference each year—we had 1500 attendees this time—and it just so happened that it was in Chicago right before I left for vacation. Now, there are worse things than spending a few days in The Loop, but as it’s our event, the conference is very exhausting because you are constantly on. For instance, let’s say (hypothetically) that you are in an elevator and feeling some ill effects from drinking too many beers the night before and especially the gas generating effects of said hops, malt, and yeast. You are alone in the elevator and you simply cannot wait, so you do what you have to do, figuring at least you’re only punishing yourself. Except right after the fog horn sounds, the elevator stops, and four attendees enter, see your name badge, and then narrow their eyes as they wrinkle their noses. You didn’t just commit a faux pas, you just lost a sale! Alec Baldwin definitely won't give you the good leads after something like that. 

2) “With a Little Help From My Friends,” Joe Cocker. Of course, I would not be employed by a company that was all work and no play, and my company knows how to let loose. In fact, I was asked by our events manager if I wanted to manage “the suite.” Due to the size of the event, we usually sell out our host hotel, so they throw in their presidential suites. We use these as our sanctuary where we can hang out, drink, and be our real selves, potential elevator consequences be damned. The downside is that whoever stays in the suite has company well into the night, but as our manager pointed out, “You’re usually one of the last ones there, so I figured you wouldn't care.” That logic was water-tight, so I gladly accepted this most important of responsibilities.

The suite was amazing. It was as big as the main floor of my house and had a view of Navy Pier—from the Jacuzzi tub! What has two thumbs and was going to enjoy that view while sucking down a few cans of Fat Tire? This guy! The first night wasn’t even too bad. People were still trickling in to the conference, so we had a modest group, had a few drinks, and everyone was out by 11. I let out a Sir Robin, “That’s easy!” and retired to bed with plans to enjoy my big soak the next night.

3) “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” Led Zeppelin. The second verse was not the same as the first. The first full day of the conference was very, very busy, which meant I was feeling even more in the mood for liquid refreshment than usual. I also wound up going out and having preliminary drinks with some friends who happened to be in town, so I showed up back at my palatial abode with my wheels already greased. I had given my key to someone earlier so he could unlock the suite, and as I rounded the corner of the hall, I could hear the unwinding quite clearly. The suite was full, many bottles were empty, and quite a few more fell to the wayside until the other side of midnight. No soaking for me and not a lot of sleep, but what’s a little fatigue to hang out with friends.

I forgot, however, that the night before the last day of the conference is always the FINAL night, because most people leave after the final session (myself included). So night number three carried on into the wee hours past 1:00 am…and I was scheduled to man our exhibit booth at 7:00 am. We also spent the evening taking pictures of people in my tub (clothed, sadly or gladly, depending on your point of view), and as the final guest departed, I decided against a late night Jacuzi blast because I was worried I would fall asleep beneath the bubbles. So for all the luxurious frippery of what will probably be the nicest room I will ever stay in, my use of the room extended to getting not enough sleep in the bed and cleaning up beer bottles at the end of the night. Yeah, I know, it’s white people problems, but I was genuinely bummed about the tub. I also volunteered to do it again next year.

4) “Skyway,” The Replacements. The best part of the week was being in downtown Chicago. I have made it abundantly clear how glad I am to be out of Frosty Beaver, Michigan, and back into a land full of traffic, corruption, and random crime. But I live in the burbs and have only had the occasional afternoon or evening jaunt into the city. Being able to stay downtown for a few days really let me soak the city in. Just walking around to and from dinner was so invigorating. I really hope civilization doesn't collapse in my lifetime because I quite dig it.

5) “Two of Us,” The Beatles. TLB is a notorious Beatles agnostic—not a hater exactly, but she doesn't believe in them. I love her despite this, the way she loves me for enjoying screeched-out prog-rock missives about trees unionizing in a forest. We had this conversation recently.

TLB: I heard “Let It Be” today, and I think I figured out why I don’t like the Beatles. It’s because they don’t do enough of anything for me. They’re not rocking enough, not folk enough, not arty enough…they try all those things but don’t take them as far enough to be interesting to me.

ME: (pause) It’s amazing, but my ears completely closed up after “…I don’t like The Beatles.” You had this reaction after hearing "Let It Be?" Like, one of the greatest, most moving songs in recorded history?

TLB: Yes. (shrungs)

ME: Let's not speak of this again.

6) “Turk,” High on Fire. METAL! The cover of this album features a guy who is either a skeleton or wearing a skeleton mask and also carrying a bag of skulls. The guy next to him is wielding a glaive, which I recognize because I learned about medieval polearms from playing D&D. It is easily my favorite album cover of the last 10 years. Yes, I am 41 and not a virgin.

7) “Burn After Writing,” The Menzingers. TLB and Libby flew out for vacation a little early this year, which I couldn't do because of work. Instead, I drove out to meet them after I was done. I had two days by myself in the car, and I don’t think I have ever driven that far by myself before. It was also two days with my iPod and no demands from my daughter to play all “girl singers” or hearing “I HATE RUSH” from both of the ladies in my life. So I enjoyed this bit of punk pop that has a splash of emo at high volume without hearing complaints from the booster seat or someone psychoanalyzing my enjoyment of high school pop punk as a symptom of Peter Pan complex. I’M CRYING BECAUSE SHE LEFT HIM BEFORE THE PROM! THAT’S SO SAD! Seriously, though, I really like this.

8) “When I Was a Young Girl,” Feist. Libby had a blast on vacation. Two of her cousins who accompany us are six and five, so the three of them enjoy playing together. At the end of the week, however, she got very upset when she found out we were leaving. We told her we had to go home and another family was coming to rent the house. “I don’t want them here, I want to stay!” she said. I think she thought we had moved. We talked about how she would go back to school and see her friends, and she gave us a look that said they were all dead to her. The real irony is that TLB and I were discussing whether to move Libs to a more affordable daycare. We ultimately decided no, in part because my itinerant, Navy-brat existence has made me want to provide my daughter with as much social stability as possible. Yet here she was, ready to ditch kids she’s known for two years for ocean-front property.

9) “Call the Doctor,” Sleater-Kinney. A few weeks ago, I went to see my doctor because I had a chest sensation. It was this odd feeling that lasted a couple of days. As soon as I felt it I was immediately on WebMD looking up heart attack symptoms, and I realized that WebMD should require you to present RN or MD credentials, because that fucking site can talk you into anything. Oh my God, I have fatigue, I must have West Nile! Anyway, as I have high blood pressure (gee, I wonder why?) I went in to my doctor. I felt like a tool in a Hertz commercial when he asked his questions: Does it hurt? Not exactly. Do you have any pain? Not exactly. Are you a giant dingleberry whose imagination and high-speed Internet connection turn you into a panicky idiot? Exactly! Just to be safe (translation: avoid a lawsuit when I dropped dead of Ebola), he sent me in for a cardio test. They put you on a treadmill for a while with electrodes everywhere and find out how much of a fatty your heart is. I was fine, of course, but the bonus (translation: punishment) was that I got to have my chest shaved with a DRY RAZOR do they could attach the electrodes. So I went to the beach with swaths of chest hair mowed down like a Brazilian rainforest. Would it have been too much to tell me ahead of time so I could have manscaped properly? Afterward, TLB said it wasn’t that noticeable, but that’s what they say about Ebola until it’s too late! So I spent all week in a swim shirt.

10) “Bring Me Back,” Seeker, Lover, Keeper. Here’s what I hate about buying music digitally: I have no real connection to the buying process. I can look through my CDs and kind of remember mostly what I was doing, where I was, or how drunk I was when purchasing those albums (hello, Lita Ford’s Greatest Hits). Now I probably buy more than half of my albums digitally, and I wind up with stuff like this—perfectly lovely female folk, but I can’t remember what possessed me to buy it. Had I been driving my Subaru a lot? Wearing Becky’s underwear? Trying to find something to calm me down why reading symptoms of leprosy online? Yet I can remember exactly the time I marched into the local shithole record store and bought Danzig II: Lucifuge on cassette. (I think a Lucifuge is a centrifuge that turns holy water into a fallen angel.)

11) “On the Way,” Dinosaur Jr. Only a week from my fantasy football draft and I am like Rainman waiting for Wopner. One of the running backs I was hoping to draft broke his clavicle last night, and I spent at least 20 minutes laying in bed mentally debating the merits of taking two wide receivers with my first two picks. This is why TLB’s Beatles animosity doesn’t bother me, because she puts up with a hogshead of retardary from me while she has a shot glass of things that mildly annoy me. On the plus side, my heart felt great.

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday no fun day

I am squarely stuck in the third part of this classic 80s song and will be for the next week:

Thankfully I am sneaking in "vacation" before my demise, at which time I will be sitting on a beach, playing with my daughter, and reading this. Oh, and drinking.

Also, for those of you not on The FB (not to be confused with The OC), I was shopping with Libby this week. I picked up a box of cinnamon almonds, a snack Libby likes so much she shouted, "I LOVE YOUR NUTS, DADDY!"

There was of course a male employee standing three feet from us.

Enjoy the weekend. I hope to post a picture of my work accommodations next week. They will resemble a certain blogger's travels, only these will not make me want to kill myself.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesdays: What are we checking out at the state fair?

Special extended acid washing edition!

11) I Can’t Believe It’s Not Michelangelo’s David!

10) The biggest set of cans you’ll ever see.

9) Cotton candy hair extensions. 

8) Heart stents made out of deep-fried bacon.

7) The Tilt-O-Hurl.

6) Ron Paul supporters working their day jobs. 

5) A lot of parties in the back, not as much business in the front.

4) Foot-long meth dogs.

3) Guess the OSHA violations to win a prize.

2) Sisters Christian, the all-female, all-sibling, all-gospel Night Ranger cover band extravaganza!

1) As always, hog balls.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Friday Random 11

It’s one more random than 10!

When I left the Wisconsin Sno-Cone that is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I made a vow to myself that I would never, ever complain about the heat again. I believe that vow came to me during our second winter there when we had more than 200 inches of snow, which seems like some kind of typo. I was probably outside snowblowing, the snow I was blowing being blown back into my face by the howling belch of Old Man Winter. The summer after that winter, I had to go to San Antonio in July, which is very much like going to your oven in the middle of cooking a turkey. I stepped out onto the Riverwalk into 99-degree heat and I thanked Flip-Flops-and-Swim-Trunks Jesus that I was sweating my balls off.

Skip the memory DVR forward two years and then back a couple days because we went into the first thirty seconds of the show: I thought I was going to melt on July 4. I was standing—STANDING STILL—and my pores were doing an imitation of a new Kohler showerhead that simulates an overweight Slavic guy sweating like he just ran down the block for more kielbasa (it’s not a very popular model). Then I started moving because Libby was riding her bike in a parade and I learned what real sweating was. 

Did I complain? No, I did not. Nor did I during the next two 100-degree days. Nor will I. Because you don’t have to shovel heat, no amount of heat will feel worse than having snow that’s been through a gasoline-powered engine being spit back in your face.


1) “Magazines,” The Hold Steady. I read three magazines regularly: The New Yorker, Esquire, and Entertainment Weekly. I read The New Yorker because it makes me feel smarter. It doesn’t actually make me smarter, but given that even the cartoons are challenging, it’s the brain equivalent of eating Brussels Sprouts—look, the talking dog is making a reference to Proust! It’s not funny, but I’m being so intellectually healthy! Then I cool off with Esquire, aka CosBropolitan. I occasionally read the longer articles, which are quite good, but usually I am reading things like what kind of tie knot matches my shirt collar or sex survey results that show as men get older, they are more open to getting a finger in the cornhole during sexy time. Neither of these types of info is helpful as I work in shorts and a T-shirt and I get enough of the backdoor “you’re number 1!” maneuver during my annual physical. Yet I like to envision myself as a man who dresses in $3000 suits when it’s time to work and is open to new experiences when it’s time to play, were I to have the money and ability to unclench. As for Entertainment Weekly, it’s my pop culture booty call. A couple of sloppy, uninspired tussles per week and I’m fully caught up on what Channing Tatum is doing or which five superheroes should be next to come out of the closet. You don’t get that with The Economist.

2) “Hi-Definition,” Lupe Fiasco (featuring Snoop Dogg and Pooh Bear). I cannot think of a time when “featuring Snoop Dogg” did not make something more entertaining.

3) Neko Case, “I’m An Animal.” I started using Twitter and following Neko Case. I've learned that Neko Case really, really loves animals, to the point where I’m not sure I could hang with Neko Case. She’s great and all, as are animals, but we’d have that awkward moment where she’d invite me to sit on a couch that’s clearly covered in dog hair and I’d be like, I just bought this suit after I saw it in Esquire. She’d say, You’re not really with the U.S. Census Bureau, are you? And I would say no, because the number of parakeets was giving me a case of Hitchcockian dread that was overwhelming my desire to have a conversation with Neko Case, even if it was about the number of dependents in her house.

4) “Girls & Boys,” Blur. There’s a quick way to decide where one sits on the social conservatism fence: Whether the phrase Same-sex marriage will turn America into a big gay orgy seems like the Apocalypse or a way to spice up our country after a couple hundred years of dull, Puritan independence. I say pass the amendment and hand me a bathrobe.

5) “Rio,” Duran Duran. They will be playing a mere mile from my house next month, close enough that I will be able to hear this song and the screams of 40-something women enjoying it. I would be attending, but tickets sold faster than John Taylor snorting a line of coke off a coffee table book of Nagel paintings. Why-yi-yi-yi did I wait so long to try-yi-yi-yi to get tickets? Now I will just to pretend my driveway is the Rio Grande.

6) “The Guns of Brixton,” The Clash. Instantly fired up. There are songs that make me want to run through a brick wall. This is a song that makes me want to tie a red hankie around my face, don a beret, and foment revolution. Unfortunately, when it ends, my bourgeoisie returns with the rhythm of the tide. It is an exhilarating three minutes, however (that’s what TLB said!), and it also does not end in bloodshed or an icepick to the temple.

7) “Soul Shoes,” Graham Parker. Can you order those from Zappos?

8) “Cary On/Questions,” Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. I’m not a big CSN fan because they always seemed hippies for me. I’m not against hippies per se, but hippiedom never appealed that much to me, as I am way too big of a fan of showers and steak. But this is a glorious song. The harmonies, the little bit of rock thrown in, and then the transition to “Questions” that drops a magic mushroom in each year.

9) “Jo Jo’s Jacket,” Stephen Malkmus. The #1 track among rock songs about Yul Brenner. I really miss this version of Stephen Malkmus.

10) “Don’t Speak,” No Doubt. I have always disliked Gwen Stefani’s annunciation. There’s something overly dramatic and also buzzing about it, like an emo kid singing through a kazoo. Yet I like a lot of No Doubt’s faster songs. Maybe I just don’t like kazoo ballads?  Also, MOAR SLOMO CONCERT FOOTAGE!

11) “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” The Band. We celebrated the Fourth of July at my sister-in-law’s house. She has a pool. Libby is just learning to swim, and I watched her spend the afternoon overcoming her fear of water. She started out the day using a noodle to float, but halfway through the barbecue, she ditched any support mechanisms and just jumped in, paddled to the pool ladder, got out, and did it again. The sheer joy on that child's face was a revelation. I have a tendency sometimes to think of life like a car ride where the gas gauge is running down, I'm out of money, and I'm hoping I have enough in the tank to get where I want to go. But watching my four-year old daughter go carpe fucking diem on that pool really stuck with me. Here I was, being WARM, drinking and eating, and spending the day with loved ones. What more do I need? And isn't this the point of everything, the feeling we work so hard to get to that we often don't stop to enjoy it? Sometimes I just need a kick in the ass to realize that, and this week, it came from a four-year old.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Top Ten Tuesdays: How are we celebrating the Fourth of July?

10) Getting “Don’t tread on me” tattooed on penis.

9) Wearing our best American flag muumuu.

8) Visiting the burn ward after sparklers ignited the chicken grease on our fingers.

7) Using up the expired dip in our fridges because we’ve got health care, bitches!

6) Playing “America the Beautiful” while piloting a drone attack against a villag…er, terrorist stronghold.

5) Listening to our uncle who went to the local state school on the G.I. Bill, worked at Lockheed Martin, and uses his Social Security to buy E85 for his FlexFuel Chrysler complain about government handouts.

4) Remembering the heroic sacrifices and bravery of the colonists by shoving 50 hot dogs in our pie hole while a crowd cheers.

3) Taking a patriotic step toward next year’s pivotal Supreme Court case: First Amendment v. Pants.

2) Heading to the nearest red state where the fireworks-stand-to-Planned-Parenthood ratio is higher than the maximum altitude of a Mongolian Sky Fucker bottle rocket.

1) Downing 13 beers and belching the Declaration of Independence.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Court Decision on Health Care Triggers Epidemic of Spontaneous Head Explosions Among Conservatives

CDC says the “batshit crazy” and those participating in anonymous, unprotected “tea parties” most at risk

FREEDOMVILLE – Across the United States, computer screens, smartphones, televisions, and tinfoil hats are awash with blood as the Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s health care mandate as constitutional.

Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, one of the fiercest opponents to “Obamacare,” was also one of its highest profile victims. After months of crowing that the Supreme Court would “overturn the greatest threat to liberty since Will & Grace,” Ms. Malkin was eagerly live-blogging the decision. “Get ready for a slice of humble pie, traitors,” she typed. Moments later, she wrote, “Wait, what? UGGGGHHH!!!!” Many of her followers became suspicious because that line was much more literate than her usual postings, and they alerted authorities.

Police arrived to find a grisly scene. Ms. Malkin’s body was found at her blood-spattered computer, head gone, her hands still on the “Shift” and “1” keys. Police found no evidence of foul play but were baffled at what happened.

Similar scenes appeared at Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, conservative think tanks, country clubs, prep schools, and basements housing most conservative blog offices. Police again noticed no evidence of break in, violence, or insertion of air pumps into ear canals, which had explained an earlier rash of cranial fractures at the conservative Web site Townhall.

However, things came more clearly into focus when police were called to the offices of The National Review. After fielding numerous calls about popping sounds and a horrid stench, authorities walked into a nightmare crime scene. Nearly every staffer lay headless, their computers or phones open to the decision, some in the middle of tweets. Only one person remained alive, writer Jonah Goldberg, who had not yet read about the decision as he in the midst of his morning ritual of masturbating to hentai. After climaxing, Mr. Goldberg walked into the middle of the offices and saw the carnage, collapsing into a fetal heap. An examination of the seat of his pants also revealed him to be the source of the smell.

One veteran police officer noted a striking similarity to an incident that occurred at The National Review after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling. He alerted the Center for Disease Control.

Dr. Richard Scanner, a forensic psychologist assigned by the CDC to examine the evidence, noted that the explosions were the result of a perfect storm of hubris, ignorance, and cognitive dissonance. “What happened is that you had a large number of people who were 100 percent confident this law would be overturned, creating high levels of arrogance, and that arrogance reached explosive levels after being amplified in the right-wing echo chamber. But then the actually ruling came, sending a shockwave through that same echo chamber, and pewwww, it’s like the front row at a Gallagher show.”

Some high-profile conservatives were able to avoid this spontaneous decapitation. Taking a precaution recommended by former head of homeland security Tom Ridge, Fox News host Sean Hannity preemptively wrapped his head in duck tape, which kept his head together, but also led to suffocation. Washington Post columnist and noted golem Charles Krauthammer avoided explosion due to his head being made of stone, although he reported some minor fracturing and a “bit of a migraine.” And former vice-presidential candidate and spokeswoman for the conservative spank-bank industry Sarah Palin appeared to be functioning normally, sending her incomprehensible tweets as normal. Dr. Scanner postulated that Ms. Palin may have been spared due to her brain being “mostly inert gas.”

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney did not escape so easily, however. Responding to the decision at a press conference, Mr. Romney was only able to say, “1-00-1-00-1,” before there was a loud clicking in his head and his face changed to a Blue Screen of Death. His IT staff are reportedly working on a patch.

There is no word yet whether the health care law will cover spontaneous decapitation.