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!