Sunday, December 26, 2010

Come on feel the noise...

While recording my last song I came to the realization that what had been sufficient for a pseudo-hobby was horribly insufficient for recording and programming at the level I want to be currently.

I've always used computers to cover up for my ineptitude as a musician, singer, and songwriter. Back in the day I'd simply rely on my brother to round out a song. I'd write the lyrics and melody along with a lousy guitar part and it pretty much ended there.

2011 is going to be the year of accomplishments. I've finally acquired a modern computer, and the appropriate digital tools to record at home. Save for a dedicated studio I'm good to go. Once Amazon makes the last few deliveries I'll get cracking on writing and recording. I've assured Jill that I will not vanish for the next few months.

I'll of course be writing songs for her as my way of asking forgiveness for spending money on stuff. Thankfully I'm cute because I'm not the best songwriter.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Merry Christmas and all that nonsense

We've got a month to go until Christmas. It's not my favorite holiday but I've been making an attempt to enjoy it a little more. I put Christmas lights up and as soon as Jill and I recover from our current ailments we'll get to work on putting the tree and other pieces up.

Last year was kind of nice since we got snowed in and ended up spending celebrating our yule tides at home by ourselves. Typically we'll spend Christmas Eve with my wife's family which is usually a good time or at least it has been since we started opting out of the gift exchange. We usually get the shit end of the stick so we've figured if we're going to shell out $25 for gifts we'll just get something for each other instead. That guarantees something we both like instead of a discount item of gift card to a store we don't shop at. I'm all about the togetherness and food.

Christmas is spent with my in-laws and is nice and quiet. Jill will hopefully give me some more substantial gift ideas but I'm not going to hold my breath.

I think I'm looking forward to making cookies the most. A little snow would be nice but this year looks to be pretty dry.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Graham's Guilty Pleasures (Music Edition)

I swear I've done one of these before but I'd rather not go clicking about trying to find it so I'll do another.

We all have those particular songs that we like to listen to but would prefer people not know you like. Here's what I regard as guilty pleasures and why.

I'll open up with a little Coldplay. I have nothing against them personally I just don't go out of my way to listen to them and would be a little embarrassed if anybody caught me listening to it.

I don't know what a David Gates is but his cover of this awesome Bread song resonates in my soul. If liking Goodbye Girl is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

Duran Duran is pretty much awesome and I'll gladly blast Rio or Girls on Film with all my windows down. Then there's The Reflex. I tend to roll up the windows for this little ditty.

I'm pretty sure Kiss wrote and recorded Lick It Up just for me.

I'd exercise a lot more if this played on a constant loop in my house. It worked for Ralph Macchio and it would work for me.

I know most everybody loves this song but it's just not what an adult listens to while making a beer run. Well, I do but other adults don't.

Jill assured me that this song wanks.

Jill strikes again. According to her these guys should be called Wank Chung. Who knew?

I think that's a pretty good list. Who wants to come over and listen to some cassettes?

Monday, September 6, 2010

We're west bound just watch ol' Bandit run!

We're almost ready to hit the road which means it's time to start getting our shit together.

The fact that we're driving makes it a little easier to plan a lot of things. Jill likes to over pack and I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what I can leave at home. Now we can take everything we need and none of what we don't.

This will be our first road trip that doesn't involve moving which is nice. Last time we did this many miles we had a car full of boxes and a hamster.

I got my oil changed and tires rotated on Saturday and got the GPS all installed in a manner that won't drive me nuts. I need to get my iPod in order. I think I'll remove some of the stuff I rarely listen to and add Jill's music. I know she hates talking to Ford Sync (which rules by the way) so she'll probably just connect her own mp3 player. Jill also needs a throw blanket to keep her legs warm. My next car will have dual zone climate control. We'll probably buy a decent sized cooler for sandwiches and other junk.

On the packing side there won't be a whole lot of guess work. We'll take a few of what we need so we have a choice in what to wear depending on the weather. We'll pack an overnight bag so we don't have to lug our bags into the first hotel at our halfway point. We'll also be bringing our Tempurpedic pillows which we're normally not able to take with us because you can't cram them into a suitcase. They're also really heavy.

Jill has her road atlas and I'll be putting our two major stops on the GPS so we shouldn't get too lost as long as we do what the nice lady says.

More to come!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Green but not really

In this ever changing climate (double meaning) there appears to be an even divide between those who wish to help the environment and those that don't. The media exacerbates this further by presenting the two most radical sides. You're either hugging trees or chopping them down to build dolphin killing factories.

Why don't we ever hear about the middle of the road people? Are we that boring? Are we contradicting ourselves by remaining neutral? I believe it's possible to do your part and taking a seat is sometimes better than standing up for what you believe. Allow me to explain.

Meet Appleseed (real name: Mike Johnson)
Appleseed is a well meaning hippie who loves dividing his time between flipping off people in suits while protesting and looking through the garbage for "mostly good" fruits and vegetables. After two decades of family trips to Disney World and 5 years at UCLA he decided to sell the Toyota Camry his parents bought him so he could buy a bicycle, a Mac, and an iPhone. He spent the leftover cash on a plane ticket to Washington DC to see Obama sworn in as President. A transcript of his daily conversations reveals words and phrases like "mother Earth," "climate data," and "can you spare a few bucks?" He's viewed by his polar opposites as a freeloader that would rather complain about people not caring about the world instead of getting a job and making a real difference. They're mostly right. He's a douche bag.

Meet Alan Parsons (real name: Freedom)
Alan is a successful Republican who divides his time between working playing golf. After two decades of communal living with hippies Alan escaped and went to business school. After a few years of paying his dues he's finally making a hefty salary and is able to trade up from his pickup truck to BMW. His job provided him with a nice HP laptop. He voted for McCain but has pretty much forgotten about it since all he can think about is how much he hates Obama. A transcript of his daily conversations reveals words and phrases like "tee time," "Vegas baby," and "Vegas baby." He's viewed by his polar opposites as a stuck up consumer that would rather golf and smoke cigars instead of helping his fellow man and protecting nature. They're mostly right. He's also a douche bag.

Then there's me. Where do I fit in? Would I rather help the planet or destroy it? To be perfectly honest I really don't care. I'm certain that to a point it would appear that I'm buddies with Alan. I live in a 3300 sq ft house, drive a 4500lb "SUV," use a PC, and typically vacation at Disneyland and Disney World which are two beacons for consumers. I believe global warming is naturally occurring and I support any war that keeps our oil interests secure. I typically vote Republican and I water my lawn religiously. I eat meat and give the finger to protestors. I would never consider composting. It seems pretty cut and dry to most people.

Upon closer inspection you may notice a few tidbits that even things out. That gigantic "SUV" is really a large station wagon that gets almost 30mpg. I telecommute which not only saves me money but also reduces the amount of C02 I put into the air. I keep my desk near a window so I can work using daylight rather than consume more electricity. When budget allows I'll be switching from a desktop to a laptop for all of my work. Our large home is energy star certified. Every light bulb used in our house is an energy saver as is our appliances. I'll admit I use a lot of water to keep my yard looking nice but I don't water any more than I need to. I run my hoses on timers and waste as little water as possible. I'll be adding some rain barrels to store water that can be used to irrigate my plants. My wife and I plan our shopping so it can all be done at the same time which reduces the need to make extra trips. We cook most of our meals using natural gas or propane.

When it's all laid out like that it's clear I have green tendencies but really I'm all about saving a buck. It's a little selfish but it's also good for the environment. The only difference between truly "Green" people and myself is that I don't set out to help the environment. It's merely a byproduct of my desire to pocket as much of what I make as possible. Maybe that makes me a douche bag. This is about as far as I'll go towards making a stand for what I believe in.

I think if more people would straddle the fence we'd all get along better.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The terrible two

It's Friday and I'm not inspired in the least. Here's a short list.

1. Stubbornness crusades
We all have things we believe in. There's nothing wrong in having beliefs be it following a deity or avoiding animal based products. I'll still like you because you're unique. The buck stops there though.

The rest of you that take symbolic stands for the sake of laziness, cheapness, or ignorance need to knock it off. If the city erected a "No Parking Anytime" sign next to your favorite parking spot that doesn't mean there is a grace period and "fighting the system" by parking there anyway only makes you look like an illiterate ass. If your cars gas cap says "Premium Fuel" only, suck it up and spend the extra $3 per tank. If you don't like it buy something designed to run on the cheap stuff. Don't try to tell me that it doesn't make a difference and your car is fine without it. Just admit that you're cheap.

I understand that it's the American way to disregard those around you and do as you wish but when you park illegally, neglect your yard, dump your used oil into the storm drains you're passiveness attitude towards your civil obligations actively annoy and sometimes endanger those around you. Take a moment and think about somebody else every now and then. You may be unhappy for awhile after realizing that you're an asshole but you'll get over it.

2. Coming up with stuff to complain about
Occasionally I such a mundane week that I can't think of things that annoy me. This is a challenge because everything annoys me. Perhaps it's because it's my birthday week and everybody was super nice to me. Hopefully next week things will be back to normal.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I'm a blogging fool

I think I blog more when I'm in a good mood which is a little strange because I tend to blog about things that bother me.

1. People who don't get/like sarcasm
I get that people don't like being made fun of but this rampant disdain for sarcastic people needs to stop. Perhaps I never noticed how many people who just don't understand sarcasm because I haven't done as much internetting as I've been doing lately. Not a day goes by where I read a negative message board post in reply to absolutely nothing. The internet has always been a group of people enjoying lighthearted socializing but now that everybody and their brother has it there is this subculture of people looking to be offended. Here is a completely serious response for them. Nobody is out to get you. You're not special. Get over yourself and try to have a good time.

2. Disney
I'll do my best not to step on toes here but I've got big feet. What is the deal with Disney fanaticism? I love theme parks as much as the next person but my life doesn't revolve around the Disney parks like it does for other people. I'm not really well traveled but I don't hold Disney World or Disneyland as the pinnacle of travel. I'll still happy make a yearly pilgrimage to one of the parks but I don't live for it. Perhaps if I lived in Kentucky.

3. Abusive patrons
My encounters with the people that comprise the first two topics have further exposed me to the growing number of Earthlings looking for somebody to complain to. They somehow think that they're entitled to more than everybody else. Being an elitist I can understand an inflated sense of self worth but I don't go around looking for things that disappoint me in an effort to get treat somebody like shit. The Disney types are disappointed when Disney doesn't kiss their ass and provide for their hatred of whatever is pissing them off at any given moment. Some don't even discriminate when selecting annoyances. They just want to abuse the various employees they encounter from day to day. Next time you want to berate some poor barrista for putting whipped cream on your Double Carmel Macchiato Soy Frappuccino take a moment to consider this.

Think of the most recent incident at your job that ruined your day. It can be anything from a mean boss to an angry client or somebody drinking the Shasta you brought from home. Think about how your pleasant day had been compromised. Think about it long and hard. You've ruined somebody's day. They may very well have been incredibly happy and you shit all over them. Now they get to spend the rest of the day thinking about your lack of compassion. You took happiness from them just so you could feel better about yourself. Enjoy your beverage asshole.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'm a gonna do it...

...some day.

My diminished social circle knows that I've been known to do a song every now and then. I typically compete with my brother to see who can do it better. I won the last round by the way. I'd probably do it for fun if I had the facilities.

For those that heard my rendition of "One" I'll tell you how I did it. Where some people have a studio full of mics, mixing boards and instruments I have a computer, bargain software, and a USB Mic/Headset that I think was built for gaming.

My fancy software gives me access to a plethora of instruments.

Those instruments blow but the effects are pretty good and make everything sound decent after a little tweaking.

That's really all that keeps me from working on stuff. If I'm in the groove I can ignore my own voice and enjoy programming instruments though I've been told I need to learn how to mix. I'm not asking for a mega studio with sound booths and Jon Brion making me sound good. I wouldn't even know what to do with all that stuff.

A couple of mics, some good headphones, a keyboard, and a decent audio interface for my computer would do the trick. I might even pay for the software I've been cracking every month. Drums, a bass and amp would be nice as well but I can manage without them. We actually have a piano that just needs to be moved. I'd have a much easier time with my compositions if I could just play the chords on a piano rather than doing them in my head.

If anybody wants to give me $500 to build my mini-studio I'll write several songs for/about them.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Another foray into music

My brother and I occasionally challenge each other to cover the same song by ourselves then after a month of procrastination we play them for each other and laugh hysterically. I usually overdo it and either give up or turn in my overcooked song. I promised myself I would do neither this time.

It was a long battle between my horrendously underpowered computer and myself to compose and record a cover of Henry Nilsson's "One." I think I did a decent job considering my lack of recording ability and instruments not to mention a shoddy singing voice and a key that was way too high for me. Here's what I ended up with.

Rather than try to come up with something original I just did a hodgepodge of the Henry Nilsson and Aimee Man version. Sadly, it's one of my better tunes.

I did a slightly better mix and did what I could to cover up the nastiness at the end.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Yup... It's friday again.

It seems like less and less time is passing between each Friday. This is good I guess because I'm still finishing all my work. The only bummer is that my 32nd birthday is getting here fast.

1. Holy fuck it's hot!!!
It's no secret that I loathe summer. It's the primary reason I left California. I don't understand how anybody can like sweating profusely unless they're taking part in the physical act of love making. It baffles me whenever I hear people talking about how they can't wait for it to warm up. Maybe it's because I don't like tanning or wearing bikini's. Either way this summer thing has got to go.

2. Making peace with the neighbors
I've been a home owner for a short time but I think I'm getting better with the whole neighbor thing. While I wish we lived in a neighborhood that had strict rules with regards to what people can do I generally don't mind what the riffraff are doing these days. Generally everybody takes care of their yards to some extent.

Whenever I start to get annoyed I simply think about truly crappy neighbors and consider myself lucky. Growing up I lived near people who had notoriously bad yards. I'm sure you've seen them. Mower sitting in the middle of the yard completely engulfed in overgrown tall grass and weeds. I've always wondered how it got to be that way.
Obviously that's not the preferred storage place for a mower so the owner of it had to have reached that point while mowing. Did they run out of gas? Did they decide that the first strip they mowed was enough for them so they vowed never to mow again? Maybe the homeowner had a heart attack and nobody bothered to put his mower away. These are the things that keep me up at night.

3. Am I the only person that notices these things?
My lovely wife recently brought it to my attention that I notice the strangest things. Things a normal person wouldn't notice or question. Perhaps it's because I'm hypervigilant and everything annoys me. Anyhoo here are some of the strange things I've noticed.
In a "Revenge of the Nerds" movie there was a robot at their frat house bringing somebody a sandwich. My first thought was, "Are we to believe that the robot made that sandwich?" Clearly the robot was capable of little more than carrying things and rolling on wheels so somebody would have had to have made the sandwich then put it on the tray. Why couldn't they just walk it out there? It would have been a whole hell of a lot quicker. If I was that robot I would have attacked them.
We were watching "Taken" the other night and there was a scene where Liam Neeson was using a bag of groceries to sneak into an apartment building. I assume it was to appear like he was coming home and waiting for somebody to open the door. The bag was full of baguettes and had fresh produce sticking out the top. It was a huge bag. The logical side of me said he needed the large bag of groceries to keep his hands full. The analytical side of me pondered him at the grocery store buying a lot of obviously expensive shit that he had no intention of eating. Why not just buy a crap load of rice or something. It would still be heavy enough to maintain the desired illusion and you wouldn't be out $40 for all those gourmet items.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hey, that's a neat song.

I like to think that I have good taste in music but when I listen to what the general population listens to I'm fairly certain that I love crap. Here is some crap that I love.

I've made peace with the fact that I'm a little out of touch. Just a little.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Four For Friday

...because five is too many.

1. Insects
I have nothing against insects or at least I had nothing against insects. I can ignore swealtering temps during the summer for the most part but all these damned bugs need to die. If they're not hitching a ride into the house on my shirt or eating my plants they're biting me. A moth just flew into my coffee cup. Fuck 'em.

2. Lawn care
I just wanted to say that my lawn is freaking incredible this year. I have easily the best lawn in my neighborhood if not the entire county which puts me pretty high up in the running of best in the state. In the grand scheme of things I really don't do that much. I mow and edge at least once a week but and I water whenever nature refuses to do it for me. I seed and fertilize every other month as well. I can mow both the front and back yard (two passes for each mind you) in less than an hour. Why the hell can't my neighbor manage to at least water and mow more than once a month? It could be that the mowing process takes him 2 hours. He prefers to bag his clippings because mulching (what I do) doesn't yield as healthy a lawn. Apparently his thin, blotchy lawn is healthier than mine. Go figure. I'd like to tell him that he wouldn't have to bag it if he'd just mow the damn thing once a week. I'm tempted to start doing it for him.

3. Self starters
I love self starters. Unfortunately I don't get to deal with a lot of them. Instead I get people who know they're being sent some place to fix a specific thing. Upon arrival they stand there and complain that nobody has provided any instruction on how to go about fixing it. I'd throw a fit if I took my car to a mechanic for an ignition problem and he spends three hours making phone calls to God knows where for instructions on where he should start. IT'S YOUR JOB TO DO SOME EXPLORATORY WORK AND FIND OUT WHAT IS WRONG!!!

4. Road Trip
It can't get here soon enough. I need a vacation.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

WDW Trip Report - Day 8

Anticipating crippling sickness the next morning I packed it all up the night before in case I needed my morning to sleep. Of course I wake up feeling pretty much fine. I have the worse luck ever just ask anybody. I don't win contests... hell... I don't even find quarters in the street. I find gum pennies that turn out to be gum.

I ate some breakfast that just wasn't as good today as it had been on other days. I still had that disconnected feeling which didn't bode well for the flight home.

Our bus was running a little behind so we sat out front for awhile or at least I did while Jill walked about and snapped some more photos. The bus eventually showed up and got us to the airport pretty quick.

We were pleased to find that the security lines weren't as bad this time. We zipped through fairly quick and had plenty of time before our flight arrived. Yup. Still sick.

On our way into Omaha my ears refused to pop thanks to my ever lingering illness. My eardrums survived so that was a good thing. Chilly temps greeted us but the bus to the parking lot was ready and waiting for me so I didn't have to stand out in the cold as long as I did last time. The car was still there and unlike our last outing wasn't covered in a foot of snow. I picked up the wife from the terminal and home we went.

All in all a good trip. I can only imagine how great it would have been if I hadn't been sick. We'll just have to try again some time.

Disneyland in September. Woot.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

WDW Trip Report - Day 7

Our last day of Disney fun!!! That is of course unless you're me or my poor wife.

Jill got up at her usual time so she could get ready to go to the park. I mustered up the strength to get out of bed and hit the shower. I didn't exactly make it and ended up right back in bed. I slept while Jill finished getting ready and went to get some breakfast. She brought me back something to eat so I could take some drugs. I felt like I was going to die.

Eventually I was able to get myself out of bed and into the shower. I didn't want to ruin Jill's last day but at this point I was certain that I wasn't going to be able to have any fun. Still I managed to get myself moving. Once I was up and dressed I felt a little better and we were off to Animal Kingdom.

We got our safari on which was good and bad. I had forgotten about my illness with the help of a screaming child and a fat guy sitting on my left leg. It was kind of funny after awhile. I hope I gave them something. Jill got some good pictures so it wasn't a complete loss.

After the feeling returned to my left leg we hit up the trails which we kind of missed the last time we did them since we saw most of it through the camera. It was really nice to actually look at the animals. The fresh air and sunshine was doing me well. Take THAT illness!

My appetite was still nonexistent but if I had any intention of getting through the rest of the day I'd have to eat. I forced some lousy french fries down my gullet and we were on our way again for some more sightseeing. I don't know why nobody likes this park. Even when I'm at death's door I still got wrapped up in all of the little details.

We decided this was a trip to discover new things at the parks so we took the train to conservation station. Shortly thereafter we took the train back to the rest of the park.

Standing and waiting for the train wore me out a bit so I had to skip Expedition Everest because the line was pretty long. I was feeling pretty low at this point due to being sick but I also knew I was ruining Jill's trip as well. I have yet to make it up to her. I'll figure something out babe. Dinosaur didn't have a line so we squeezed it in before doing a little more shopping.

I was pretty beat so we went back to the hotel so I could take another nap. When I woke up we had a late dinner then went back to the room to pack it up. I was finally starting to recover at this point but it was too late to go to any more parks. More than anything I just wanted to sleep in my own bed.

This is how I ruined day seven of our trip. Thanks for reading. One more entry to go.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Why do you need all that stuff?

I'm taking a break from being angry on Fridays... somewhat. I still have the capacity to complain though. Let's discuss hauling stuff around Disney theme parks.

When I was young my family would make a yearly trip to Disneyland. Aside from it being a blast (though occasionally stifling) it was pleasant and relaxing. Our cargo for the day? Nothing at all. This includes my parents. My dad brought his wallet which was all we needed.

These days I'm a less of a casual visitor to the parks and now find myself among the masses of tourists. Living out of a suitcase forces many people to want to take a portion of their belongings with them. Water, wallets, sunglasses, cameras, portable DVD players, buckets of chicken and two liter bottles of Shasta don't carry themselves. There are various ways to strap these items to yourself.

Backpacks are great in that they will hold everything you'd want to bring with you to the park. My wife and I pack one up ourselves. I've stopped complaining. The only real purpose it serves for us is a method of bringing sweatshirts/jackets, a few bottles of water, and a change of shoes for Jill. We immediately shove it in a locker and forget about the contents until it's time to leave. Some people lug them around all day and I can't for the life of me figure out why. They're heavy and they make your back sweat. The fact that people don't know how to queue in this country also makes them even more pleasant. People forget that they have an extra foot of mass hanging off their back and bump everybody over and over.

Purses are another option for those not wanting to be an obnoxious backpack wearer. Some people call them messenger bags, cross body bags, or baggallinis. They're purses. Like the backpack, the purse is a lot of empty space to lug around unless you must have the kitchen sink with you at all times. Leave it in the locker with your backpack.

Compartment vests are stupid. Are you on a fishing trip? No. You look stupid. Knock it off. Nice safari hat. It looks almost as stupid as your vest. You know what? It looks stupider. The fact that you entire family is copying your ensemble makes it even worse. Are those Crocs???

Fanny packs are my wife's preferred way to carry all the comforts of home with her. She can cram an entire pharmacy, a pack of Kleenex, her camera, her phone, her sunglasses, and a partridge in a pear tree inside that little thing. It's pretty small and not that noticeable. I've grown indifferent. I'm almost 32 and I've realized that I tend not to notice what skinny people wear. I'm not about to wear one but I don't really care anymore. They're small enough to ignore.

Cargo pants/shorts are how I roll. I'll admit that I don't carry a whole lot with me. I'm a pretty spartan traveler as is so it's more of a question of what can I leave behind rather than what I can strap to myself. I've recently discovered the magic of cargo pants that can become shorts!!! The legs unzip and become a pair of shorts. The cargo compartments are big enough for the legs to be stored in but I usually have a small package of Kleenex in one of them so they go to the locker as soon as possible. If I carried more stuff with me I'd probably look pretty dumb but since I don't I think I've got a look that is pretty stealth. I don't need to be admired and who would admire me anyway.

I carry my wallet, phone, and a small pack of Kleenex. I'm switching over to transition lenses in the next month so I won't have to fuss with separate sunglasses anymore. As far as a water bottle goes I'll be using those handy water bottle straps. I'll probably have to check out Bass Pro or Scheel's since I think Disneyland has decided to stop selling those nifty straps.

All in all we do what we're comfortable doing. Some of us reduce the load as much as possible while others find ways to take it all with them. There's no wrong way to do it. In the end it's what you're least embarrassed doing. Enjoy yourself unless you're wearing that damned compartment vest and stupid hat. I'm going to point and laugh at you. I don't care if you are from Germany. You still look dumb.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Road Trippin'

Jill and I have a road trip coming up. We haven't done one in some time unless you count the occasional trip to South Dakota or Des Moines. Our last trip was when we moved ourselves to the Midwest after Jill did a stint in California while I figured out a way to relocate. We took the scenic route and went North so I could soak in some California before zipping across the plains. Our first road trip together took us to the Grand Canyon which was awe inspiring. Driving through the salt flats in Utah on our most recent wasn't as amazing but still pretty neat.

I've probably told this story here or maybe Jill has but I'll tell it again because it's easier than going back through old posts. I was initially going to make the drive myself because I didn't think Jill liked the long car rides. I figured we'd save our airline miles for our next Disneyland trip. Jill was surprised that I didn't ask if she wanted to drive out. We crunched some numbers and decided to drive and spend some quality time together soaking up scenery and putting some miles on my car.

As we get closer to the trip I'll be getting a blog ready. We're not sure how easy it will be to do updates but we'll try our best. It's going to be a pretty quick trip since it's only about 24 hours of driving unless weather forces us to take our Southern route which is 28 hours. I'm very excited about it. I love road trips and hopefully Jill and I can procure a camper in the coming years so we can do it more and more.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Rant: Glee Edition!

There are plenty of things that brought my tolerance to a screeching halt this week but they're going to have to wait a week because I'm going to open a can of whup ass on Glee.

I recall watching a pilot some time ago for what seemed like a hilarious new show. It was about a group of outcasts joining the high school Glee club. It had a delightful politically correct lineup that was done with such disdain for the status quo that it was easy to side with them. Each character had incredible depth and plenty of baggage for most everybody to relate to. For some reason the producers of the show decided to throw this all away in favor of a weekly karaoke jam smothered in auto-tune. Let's figure out what went wrong shall we?

Meet the original cast. A rag tag group of kids wearing white gloves being awkward.

Nice looking group of kids right? Hell no! They took everything that rich, attractive, and popular kids in high school hate more than anything. You have a street wise, black girl who happens to be overweight to ensure the "cool" kids can still make fun of her without upsetting liberal folks because everybody hates fat people. She can sing which makes her a perfect fit for the group.

Racial equality is important so there is also an Asian girl. The black girl already took obesity as her outcastic trait so they made the Asian girl goth. Goth kids tend to cut themselves in private and/or secretly plot to destroy the school so they made her shy and gave her a stutter. Check and check. The only catch is that she can sing which makes her a perfect fit for the group.

Kurt is a special case. I use his name because it's the only one I can remember. He's gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
It wasn't enough for him to be into men. They gave him a feminine swagger that was actually pretty damned cool. It didn't seem like the school got to him at all. His girly voice made him all the more endearing. He could sing which made him a perfect fit for the group.

In rolls wheelchair boy for the wild card spot. My wife and I were very excited to see this kid. He was hilarious as the captive pizza boy on The Office.
I would have liked to see them hire him on as a warehouse worker but alas it wasn't meant to be. To lessen the blow of high school students picking on the handicapped kid they dressed him like a nerd so they could dislike him for that instead. The fact that he had wheels was an avoidable topic. He couldn't dance but he sure could sing and play guitar which made him a perfect fit for the group.

Meet the showbiz nerd. Her story is interesting because she's obsessed with stardom and appears to have what it takes to make it. To counter that she's completely clueless that she's lame. They did an incredible job of making the (arguably) most talented member of the Glee a complete and total outcast. She could sing which made her a perfect fit for the group.

No show would be complete without yin to the nerd's yang. Enter The Jock, his cheerleader girlfriend, some other jocks, and some more cheerleaders. The Jock has an interesting back story involving his mom and a guy that paints dead grass green. The grass painter was banging his mom while teaching The Jock how cool Journey is. His girlfriend is a total bitch and loves to make fun of the girls in the glee club because they obviously suck. He can't really sing but he knows all about cool music which makes him a perfect fit for the group.

Rounding out the cast is the teacher guy and his bitch of a wife, an Indian principal, (I knew we were missing a race there) the mega butch cheer leading coach, and an anal retentive redheaded guidance counselor that I like very much.

The pilot was hilarious. Yeah, they were all outcasts but when they got together to sing it didn't matter because they were really good and Journey rocks.

What happened?
The pilot was a hit and Fox did what any network with a new hit show on its hands does. It completely revamps the show and kills everything that I found entertaining. They did it so gradually that most people didn't notice it. The slowly sliced away the layers of each character. What we have now is this fantasy program where everybody gets to be themselves and are celebrated for it. Ironically, the character I think we were supposed to love the most has become the least endearing character which goes to prove my theory that characters named Rachel ruin shows.

The Asian broad lost her stutter which, as it turns out. wasn't even real. By the end of the season she'll run for class president and win.

Kurt has softened up waaaaay too much. Apparently focus groups don't like their gays to be confident and unaffected. People want to see him pushed to tears which is kind of sad. His turn as a place kicker was pretty sweet but apparently the jocks forgot about that and went right back to threatening to kick his ass on a daily basis. Pick a plot line and stick to it!

The street wise, black girl is still fat but she's pretty much off everybody's radar. She'll be replaced before next season starts. Nobody will notice.

Wheels went from being a nerd that could sing and shred the guitar to one of the saddest characters of all. He wants to walk now which we know will never happen. Then again this is the magical world of Glee. They'll chalk his paralysis up to mental trauma and he'll be dancing about with little to no evidence that his legs are underdeveloped from lack of use.

Jane Lynch is still a bitch with a heart of gold. I'm starting to hate her character too. She does what she can to keep is real but you can tell they're pushing her to start sucking on the same level as the rest of the cast.

Don't even get me started on the teacher guy. The only thing he's good for is segueing a classroom scene into a musical number. He's a dork.

I've made peace with the fact that I'll never get hear the glee club on Glee sing another Journey song. I'm not even sure if I'd call it a show now. Mostly it just seems like the story gets in the way of the musical numbers which also suck. I want to like the show but I can't seem to find a reason to watch it.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Aw crap, it's Friday. I'm really disappointed.

1. Film remakes
It's easy to say that Hollywood is out of ideas but they're not. There are plenty of great films being made every year that are ignored because they don't fit the mold. They've resorted to this lazy strategy of simply remaking old, popular films in the hopes that they'll be popular. Do they think we won't notice? Certainly not. They HOPE we won't notice and they're method of hiding it is by changing the ethnic background or age group of the cast. Yes, the films make money but not because they're awesome. The stories themselves are completely overshadowed by cheap sight gags, catch phrases, and toilet humor. Thank God some film makers still want Golden Globes bad enough to make good movies.

2. Florida
I like to think I'm moderately well traveled but admittedly there are a lot of places I haven't been that I probably should go. One of the places I have been is Florida. Having grown up in California I ventured out into the world with a somewhat jaded image of life in "foreign" states. I never felt the need to visit Florida. To me it's always been California's sweaty cousin. I've only personally witnessed the Walt Disney World aspect of it but I think the majority of the people visiting are from the area and it paints a very accurate picture. The people who live there don't know it's a cesspool and I think it's because of an inflated feeling of worth not unlike California. It's America's schlong and it will always be that to me.

3. Burger King
I used to like Burger King. When I worked there during my teenage years I actually enjoyed the food for the most part. Lately they've put more money into marketing and less into the food. Don't get me wrong. Breakfast there is still great but after 10:30am it all goes downhill. When people say they're going to Burger King I politely decline in favor of going hungry. The place smells like burnt beef and the food tastes about the same. Don't even get me started on the fries.

4. The Burger King
What the fuck is up with that guy?

5. Country folk that don't know they're not in the country
It's safe to say I live in a pretty white part of the country. There are several cultures out here but in general it's rife with Whitey. I don't mind the obnoxiousness of most Caucasian groups. Rich folks protesting the war, Christian youth group leaders, soccer moms, and even granola crunching hippies are all part of the landscape and don't bug me one but. Most of them are very nice and don't pollute my person space. Then there are the country folk. Truck driving, tobacco spitting, dry humping, camo wearing, lawn littering crackers from the sticks move into neighborhoods near the outskirts of town. Note that I said NEAR. It's like they think it's their personal mission to combat urban sprawl by breaking down the walls of civilization one neighborhood at a time. They buy a tract home then proceed to turn it into their own little place in the woods or at least I assume that's their reason for not mowing their lawn or putting up a fence. They let their dog roam freely like it would on an acreage with little regard for their neighbors. The keep as many vehicles as possible because you never know when one might break. Thankfully they park them in the driveway or on the street though I know some would prefer parking them on their lawn. If they want to live in the country they should get a trailer and move there.

6. Sex and the City
Who do these bitches think they are? There's no end in sight and a third film is almost a given. It will likely be some stupid horse wedding but anybody with half a brain will realize it's simply a Golden Girls prequel. They're way too privileged to be even remotely realistic. The "grounded in reality" version of the show would feature four ladies in their mid twenties. Each would live in a crappy apartment far from where they all hang out and they'd spend all their time banging dudes they think are wealthy but actually live in Jersey and work at a tire shop. I'd pay to see that.

Friday, May 21, 2010

HOT DAMN! It's Friday!

I'm in a pretty good mood today so I'm going to talk about stuff I like. It's easy for me to complain about stuff I hate because there are so many asinine things out there to scoff at. Here's some stuff I like.

1. Hall & Oates

Freaking rad. Show me somebody who doesn't like Hall & Oates and I'll show you somebody that doesn't have an ounce of soul. I can barely describe just how good Hall & Oates is. The hooks are as addictive as crack and John Oates has an honest to God Tom Selleck moustache. I'm actually convinced that they share a moustache which is why you never see them together. Tom has probably been hoarding it as John hasn't been wearing it for some time. Maybe he had it on loan during their heyday.

2. Brownies
Anybody that's seen me polish off a pan of brownies knows that I love brownies. I like pie and cake is pretty good on occasion but brownies are all that is wonderful in the world of food. I hold it in the same high esteem as bacon.
Look at how awesome they are.

3. Station Wagons
I don't know who ruined the station wagon but for everybody. At one point they were the premier family hauler. They were purpose built to traverse the long stretches of highway in our great nation. At some point soccer mom's wanted something large and stupid. I say bring back the station wagon. Road trips rule and so do wagons.
These people are clearly having the time of their life. They just got in off the road and are now going to cruise the Pacific in their yacht.
I drive a station wagon. Ford doesn't call it that but that's exactly what it is.

I promise to have things to hate next week.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Late Rant

I didn't do my Friday rant last week because I had a busy Friday and just wanted to get away from the computer. Here's a quickie to hold you over.

1. Douchebags
These days there is no shortage of douchebags, tools, dickheads, etc. You know who you are. Tribal tattooed, Ed Hardy shirt, Tap Out hat turned backwards, and some pathetic broad paying your bar tab. When did this become okay? I know we've always had an assortment of dickheads out there to give the finger to but it seems that they've incorporated lately.

Not only have women become more dependent on these pricks but now it seems to be something that people aspire to be. Where does the problem lie? It's pretty obvious. The women that dig these guys.

There's no cure for douchbaggery. There isn't going to be some tool prohibition that will end this once and for all. As long as there are girls with low self esteem there will be plenty of assholes to take advantage of them.

My only hope is that my child will not fall into this crowd.

Check this out.

Friday, May 7, 2010

This is why we can't have nice things...

I look forward to Fridays. It's nice knowing you won't have to go to work the next day but for me it's more than that. I get to complain about everything that annoyed me in the past week. I don't discriminate. I'll take on everything from the government to your grandma, or even that toe nail that found its way into your sock and is now stabbing your foot. I hate that.

1. The Room
It's an incredible piece of cinema. The title itself immediately lets us know that there is no plot and the filming is mostly isolated to one poorly decorated room. I love a piece garbage film and I'll watch just about anything but this film is completely unwatchable. I tried I really did. I'll make another attempt at one time or another but I really don't... Oh, hi Mark.

2. Cigars
I used to like a nice cigar but with all things my appreciating for something handcrafted is immediately destroyed when douche bags decide they need something obnoxious to accentuate their pinkie rings. Thanks to their new found hobby I suddenly see what I didn't see before. Big brown dicks. That's what they look like now. When I look around a cigar bar I see a bunch of bald(ing) men sucking cigars like there's a $20 in it a for them.

3. Knock off cartoons at Walgreens
As soon as Disney puts out a cartoon it's not very long until the knock offs show up. They only take what I assume are a couple of weeks to do and just barely look like what they're intended to be mimicking. They're designed to pray off of grandmothers that only shop at Walgreens and don't know what a "Toy Story" is. Generally kids don't care as long as it's a cartoon. I was one of those kids that did care. It's in the dollar bin for a reason. Just get me some candy.

4. Separation of church and state
The concept is something I agree in. Keep the government out of churches. Americans have the freedom to believe as they choose or at least they used to. The generalized purpose of keeping the two separate has mutated to a belief that our the US government is to be atheist. The biggest part of atheism is to create more atheists. In essence it's a religion but without an individual deity. The crusaders against religion use the church and state separation to push their beliefs which is in direct contrast to what it should be. The government should be agnostic.

Short list this week which is good. It means people aren't annoying me as much. I will have a good weekend now.

Friday, April 30, 2010

F-Off Friday

Not a week goes by where I don't look at the world and think "What the hell is wrong with people?" Here is who has annoyed me this week.

1. People who call grills barbecues - It's a grill. Barbecue is either the act of seasoning/flavoring meat then cooking it over an open fire or simply the food itself. It is not a grill. Making hot dogs and hamburgers on a grill is not barbecuing. This guy on TV the other night kept talking about where he was going to put his barbecue and I just about punched out the TV. I'm not a violent person but this really burns (barbecues?) my ass.

2. Robots or lack thereof - There was a time when robots were promised to be the saviors of the near future. They'd farm the fields and clean the kitchen. The concept was a big deal at the beginning of the atomic age. Thanks to communism and an increasingly stupid work force, those promises of robotic servants doing all of those basic tasks so we can pursue things of a more scholarly nature have been quelled to ensure Jasper can have a job cleaning toilets and mopping floors in between Klan rallies. Those of us that did consider ourselves with regards to education and obtaining skills to succeed on a grander level have the Roomba to sweep the floor. I'm so disappointed in humanity.

3. New Jersey - Speaking of disappointments, let's talk about New Jersey. I could do an entire blog on this state but I'll just touch on a few key points so you can go out and enjoy your Friday night. It's hard to pick a starting point because just thinking about these people get me steamed. Metro-sexuality is still going strong in the Garden State. If you thought the ladies were made up like clowns a simple look at the fellas requires a triple take. Not that the ladies don't try to outdo them. There's something about a deep tan combined with bronzer that makes white eye shadow and fake lashes look all the more clownish. Thin eyebrows and equally groomed pseudo beards leave the rest of us wondering who thinks this looks good. This is also one of those states we can look to as blame for not having servant robots. To create more jobs for the morons that populate "Smellyville" they don't allow you to pump your own gas even though pretty much everybody else in this country can manage to do it themselves.

4. Optimists and Pessimists - The glass is half full. The glass is half empty. Did you really need to grab such a big glass? Maybe you should just put some ice in that glass. Optimists like making lemonade when life gives them lemons. Pessimists worry that nobody is going to buy half empty glasses of lemonade. People should just let the universe do what it's going to do and enjoy what they're doing. I have bad luck but rather than worry about it or look on the bright side I simply experience my fortune (both good and bad) with a slight chuckle. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn't here yet. Live in the now.

5. People that don't watch TV - You know the type. Every once and awhile we encounter intellectual types who spew forth statements like "I don't own a TV" or "I don't watch TV." It's not because they don't like TV or can't afford one. They simply get off on leading people to believe that they're so intellectual that books and wine are enough to entertain them. Bullshit! They watch American Idol and Survivor just like the rest of us. The only difference is that the rest of us can do so without being ashamed. Since when do only stupid people like entertainment. TV rocks.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A different observation

My last blog entry was a little wordy and very boring. I have another observation about a completely different topic. I think this one is far more amusing that the health care debate. Let's talk about guys who tell other guys to suck their dick as a means to insult them.

Since when is it okay for a dude to ask another dude for sucky sucky? Even in the context of emasculating somebody you're still making a request of a man that a straight man never would.

The fact that men state it so plainly has me wondering about men that say this to other men. I've never said such a thing to another man because I immediately think, "Why am I about to ask this man to fellate me? Is that what I really want him to do?"

I think it was originally a statement for the other party to perform oral sex on another man in a private setting where the gentleman making the request doesn't have to see it occurring. It has become a request to not only be present for the oral stimulation but to be the receiving party as well. This likely took place in either a prison or at a frat party both of which usually see their fair share of homoerotic activity.

Photobucket pretty much the same thing as this.

I know that a great deal of men lack the ability to hold their beverage or are simply angered to the point of seeking out men they assume/hope are gay for the purpose of pointing out that they know they are gay and that they have a vested interest in kicking their posterior. We can only assume that by "kicking" they actually mean "make sweet love to."

I'd honestly never get all up in some dude's grill because I might be welcoming a kiss from a sexually confused meat head all hopped on steroids. I'd probably just yell at them rather than hint at what could be construed as having feelings for them. I don't want to send the wrong message. I'm happily married and I'd hate to lead them on.

This is a perfectly acceptable form of intimidation.

For all you dudes out there, think long and hard (but not about dicks unless that's your thing) before telling another guy to suck your dick. You may be indirectly telling him you think he's gay but you're also indirectly telling him that YOU'RE gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The public option - Topics ignored

I'm against the public option for health care. It's not because I hate poor people or the unemployed. I generally love them and wish them well. They're on my Christmas card list. Not really but if they don't want to work who am I to force them? I'd rather not see my tax dollars go to pay for the undereducated or just plain lazy to have health care. I'd rather see said dollars pay for police officers, firemen and our infrastructure.

I pay for my own health insurance straight out of my paycheck. I pursued a job that offered health care. If anything I think the job market would benefit from employers competing for employees. Competition is always good for everybody. It keeps most businesses from getting lazy. That won't be the case as long as there is a need for minimum wage employees to do jobs that don't require a whole lot of thought.

That's a pretty boring discussion though. Let's talk about some lesser ignored topics that are amusing or at least to me they are.

Helmets, elbow/knee pads, and seat belts don't really show up on the national health care debates but they should. Why you ask? Let me equivocate.

Think of our government as an overprotective mother that wants nothing more than to protect its dependents. Yeah, moms hate to see their children hurt but what they really hate is having to pay to fix the occasional boo boo. Under most circumstances a kiss on the forehead or a popsicle will do the trick but occasionally the little buggers are going to need stitches, a cast, or major reconstructive surgery. Our parents dread the thought of paying for such things and so does Uncle Sam. To keep from having to shell out the cash to take care of such things those overprotective moms put helmets, elbow/knee pads, and seat belts on us. to keep from having to do that. Our government does a couple of those things too.

You must wear a seat belt (with the exception of truck drivers in New Hampshire) when you operate a motor vehicle otherwise you have to pay a fine. Most states require helmets when riding a motorcycle though they usually allow very small ones about the size of a yarmulke that offer little to no protection. Talking and texting in cars is slowly becoming illegal everywhere as well though that is to protect other motorists as well as offenders in the same way drunk driving laws work.

Once the first wave of health care bills are tallied up our fearless (hapless?) leaders will realize that we get hurt a lot and they'll be faced with a difficult choice. Either tax the shit out of us to cover it or force citizens to be a whole lot safer by introducing more laws to nanny us.

Helmets - No more beanie caps. If you ride a motorcycle, moped, or scooter expect a federal law to require a full safety helmet no exceptions.

Seat belts - You better believe there will be stiffer fines for not wearing one.

Talking/Texting while driving - Illegal everywhere. Hands free will be the way to be. This is a good idea actually.

Protective gear - If you ride a motorcycle you won't be able to go for a ride wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Along with that full helmet you'll be forced to wear pretty much what the guys who race motorcycles wear. Have fun on that summer ride as you bake in leather or kevlar.

Hot water - There could be limits on how hot your water heater can be. We can't have you accidentally scalding yourself now can we. Boiling water for cooking may also be reviewed for safety.

Many outdoor activities like rock-climbing, hang gliding and other potentially dangerous activities may also be rendered illegal.

Pretty much anything that could seriously injure you could potentially require either a license or will just be outlawed. It seems drastic now but just you wait.

Have you heard anybody mention food? Fatties are a problem in this country. Anybody who has seen Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution know what they're feeding kids in schools and how bad it is for them. So long processed foods. All foods will have to be healthy to keep health care costs for fatties down. They can't force you to exercise but the FDA can certainly pick and choose what is available at the grocery store and in restaurants/cafeterias.

I may just be talking out my ass but I think I make a valid point. It's this kind of paranoid government protection that we're facing. Take a look at nanny states like the UK and tell me that can't happen here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Five albums you don't own

When I'm rocking out and other people are around they usually get annoyed because I'm not listening to songs they know. I love popular music too but there's something fun about taking the road less traveled. Here are some great albums that I own that most people don't.

David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
It's easy to pick an album like "Let's Dance" or "...Ziggy..." to get your Bowie fix but I find myself returning to this lesser known album. It follows a narrative like many of his albums do but this one hints at Orwell's "1984." If you like to sing along to albums and you have a strong voice this is the one for you.

The Pixies - Doolittle
This one hit most markets with a pretty good reception but most everybody forgets about it. Most people go want to hear "Where Is My Mind" because it was awesome in "Fight Club." Anybody who owns this album won't find that but they will find pleasant ditties like "Here Comes Your Man" and "Debaser." Most of the tracks are less than three minutes long and that's plenty.

Sloan - Between The Bridges
Everybody likes "Navy Blues" mostly because it's poppy and full of hooks. The general consensus is that "Navy Blues" is their best album but that's because they play "She Says What She Means" and "Money City Maniacs" on repeat. Again great songs but as a whole BTB is a much more complete album and shows a lot of effort on the guy's parts and that's not easy considering they all pretty much do their own piece then head home. There's a real sense of collaboration on this one which is why it's my preferred Sloan album.

Magazine - Real Life
Most people who are familiar with punk rock have heard of the Buzzcocks but few know about Magazine. They're little closer in sound to groups like Joy Division rather than The Sex Pistols but they have plenty of edge. They only lasted from '77 to '81 so a lot of people didn't have a chance to jump on the bandwagon. Their debut album should be in everybody's library unless they like crap.

Sebadoh - The Sebadoh
Folk Implosion, Dinosaur Jr. and freaking Sebadoh. This is my favorite Sebadoh album. I don't have a lot to say about it. It's neat and most people don't own it even though they should.

Friday, April 23, 2010

That really burns my ass.

It's Friday again so you get another installment of me ranting about things that burn my ass.

1. Fat chicks in track suits
It's no mystery that there is nothing sexy about a track suit no matter how many ladies think they are. They're glorified sweats and we all know how I feel about those. The only thing worse than a skinny broad strutting about covered in neck to ankle velour is a fatty trying to work the same look. Those sporty pin strips down the sides make you look like a race car. At least in sweats I can ignore the fact that all you wear is stretchy fabric. The track suit simply showcases the fact that you haven't been to the track lately.

2. Drinking holidays
I love beer. I love drinking beer. What I don't understand is the delight people get out of being shitfaced. A few times a year the town drunk has a few extra companions. You know who I'm talking about. They gear up for a night of swilling like others prepare for a job interview. Be it St. Patty's, Oktoberfest, or Cingo De Mayo (brought to you by Corona) those of us who still think we're college freshmen go out and drink until we can't sing the "Drunk Carols" anymore. Maybe I'm just a stick in the mud who doesn't know how to have a good time or maybe you're just a stupid drunk that likes drinking. It's a lot like girls that can't wait until Halloween so they can dress like a slut. Plenty of people dress like a slut every day just like plenty of people get drunk every day. A holiday doesn't make it okay. You're an embarrassment to yourself and your family.

3. Glitter
Glitter is the herpes of arts and crafts. Once you come into contact with it you've pretty much got it for the rest of your life. It will show up from time to time to embarrass you in front of your friends. "Hey Graham. You have some glitter on your cheek. There's also some on your shirt. When are the Ice Capades?" A family member that clearly hates me sent me a greeting card with glitter all over it and now I have glitter all over me. They could have easily spit into an envelope and sent that to me. I'll be just as annoyed and they'll have saved a few bucks in the process.

4. White supremacists
Whether they're burning crosses in the south or banging chicks behind Sandra Bullock's back I hate white supremacists. Is this the farthest we've come as a nation? It's like saving the green M&M's because you've been conditioned to put them on a pedestal. They're just like the other colors. Who are the role models for these people? Inbred, pig farmers, with a third grade education. Maybe you should set your sights a little higher. I know those kind of aspirations are easy to achieve but with a little work (extra emphasis on little) you might be able to afford a house without a hitch and axles some day. Think about it.

5. Sex tape celebrities
How is it that we as a society have come to exalt people who have taped themselves screwing or getting screwed. Before they were just dumb rich people being dumb and rich in various clubs without anybody giving a shit. A few of them show up in videos taking a pop shot and suddenly they're role models??? How the fuck does Kim Kardashian end up at the Teen Choice awards. I'll tell you how. She and her big fat ass got banged by a football player. Let's make her president.

I still feel a little cranky. I'm going to go outside and spit.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Blowing off more steam.

It's Friday again so I'm about to unload. This has been a pretty swell week but I can always complain so here goes.

1. Pee spots on my lawn
Don't get me wrong. I love my dog almost as much as I love my wife but she pisses me off. I've made peace with the fact that she requires my backyard to make. I diligently pick up her deuces because nothing says lazy slob like a backyard covered in dog shit.

My real gripe is that my dog pees like a troubled artist paints. She can't just walk out to a predetermined area. That would require rational though which her brain just can't handle. She has to walk around for at least ten minutes until she can find an area suitable for her bodily fluids. From time to time she'll pick a dedicated area just to fuck with me I'm sure. Those spots eventually turn yellow and nothing will grow there without me forcing nature to occur. Once this damage is done do you think she'll pee in those spots? HELL NO! They're either not good enough or she wants to start a new spot.

I'll continue to love my dog but I wish she didn't have to pee.

2. Foreigners, strange parents, and names
I'm one of few Republicans that appreciate immigrants both legal and not in this country. Not only do they work hard to set an example (which is ignored) but those that come over with names that are hard to either pronounce or spell usually change their name to something more conventional. They do this to make all of the day to day doings as easy as possible for those they must do those things with. God bless these thoughtful people.

To counteract that we have these generation X/Y parents throwing out a hail Mary when picking baby names. Names like John, Michael, and Robert just aren't good enough for their crotch fruit. They have to scour the alphabet for additional vowels or consonants. Robert becomes Rhaburt. Johnathan becomes Jaanothen. Micheal becomes Cash. You get the picture. They pretty much do whatever possible to ensure schools, the government, and their employers will have so much trouble trying to get their names right that they invariably have to change them to the conventional spelling.

What does it matter how they spell their names? It's not like they'll have it embroidered on everything they wear. People are going to call them Mike, John, and Bob which is what their name is and also how it is spelled in their phone book.

3. White trash parents and their children.
Why is it that a great deal of these bottom feeders will happily throw down with their significant others on a regular basis but they'd never think of disciplining their children. Some kids need a good whuppin' every now and then to keep them in line even if it's a figurative whuppin' like a time out and not necessarily a sore bottom.

If I can train a dog they can train a kid.

4. Stupid Americans
Arguably the United States has slowed down with respect to the advancement of human kind. Some blame all the red tape but I blame stupid Americans. There was a time when even the dumbest President we've ever had still had the stones and know how to put a man on the moon. Ponder that for a second. A man on the freaking moon. We had never done that and Kennedy wasn't about to let the Russkies get another Sputnik past us. We did it using slide rules and a shit load of machismo.

These days the kids would rather create/play video games or program apps for the iPhone or simply become famous. Those are just the ambitious kids. The rest of them are just sitting around waiting for their 21's birthday so they can buy their own beer and get drunk.

5. PBR
I know I've talked about Pabst Blue Ribbon before but in the spirit of complaining I figured I'd mention this just one more time.

It's cheap beer plain and simple. I know it's recently become the preferred drink of impoverished and wealthy hipsters (who can really tell?) who prefer to drink the best tasting of the worst tasting beers. It's basically a way of saying, "I can't afford something that tastes good but it's so important for me to be drunk that I've developed a taste for this swill. Pass me another 12'er. I'm not buzzed yet. "

PBR = The cooking sherry of beers.

See you next week.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Time To Vent

I don't vent very often and I really should. The problem is I don't have an audience to tear into and I'm not about to unload my various grievances onto my lovely wife. Feel free to read and comment as you see fit.

1. Public Restrooms
I don't frequently use public restrooms. I have a pretty massive bladder capacity and I tend to do my business prior to leaving the house so I don't have to use public facilities. Why you ask? The incredible amount of filth. I'm sure the ladies room isn't much better but I think our bathrooms are the worst.

Who are these disgusting people that use public restrooms like Japanese business men use prostitutes? This goes beyond claiming a space as your own. It's not like the people who "move in" when they get to their seat on a plane. Even though they certainly leave their mark it's not like they plan on returning to claim said area.

I'm sure they can manage using their own bathroom without making it a work of modern art so why is it as soon as they reach an area that somebody else cleans they revert to the level of primates and go where they please. It's disgusting. Oh yeah. Wash your damn hands!

2. Guy who let his dog shit in the street.
Just because you let your dog shit in the street instead of on somebody's lawn or on the sidewalk doesn't let you off the hook for cleaning it up. You're a pig and your dog is ashamed of you.

3. DJ's on the Radio or lack thereof.
I'm not old but I can still remember a time where DJ's were necessary for good radio. They were required to not only know how to work a sound board but to also *gasp* put together a play list and let us know what we're listening to and why it's significant enough to play in the first place. This was before quotas to play a certain song a certain amount of times each day existed. Radio used to kick ass.

Some stations still employ somebody to take us through the song list even though said list is meticulously controlled by an unseen corporate entity. Rarely do they actually know about the music that they're about to play or just played. I understand there's not much you can say about Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" but there are occasionally songs that have substance that get played and many of us would like to know a little about the song or artist involved. Instead we get the time of day and a half assed weather or traffic report. First of all we already know what time it is because our car has a clock otherwise our cell phone does. Secondly, if we're sitting in traffic we're well aware that we're sitting in traffic and for those of us that sit in said traffic every day don't really need to be told why. We already know it's due to poor civil engineering and/or some jackhole that rear ended another jackhole while text messaging to his/her significant other that they're stuck in traffic.

If you're a DJ and have to use time fillers then basically you're only good for taking calls and responding for the most part. That pretty much only qualifies you for the fast food industry although you do need to know how to make change so I guess your options are limited. Enjoy employment while it lasts. Most stations now consist of a computer that plays the chosen singles and commercials without your interference. It will be doing your job soon.

4. The giant insect that flew in while the door was open.
Were you waiting for me to open the door? I think you were. The first thing you'll do is orbit one of the lights in my kitchen like Skylab before following more of a comet trajectory that takes you past my TV every fifteen seconds which forces me to get up and swat at you. I won't hit you and you'll disappear until I get to my bedroom which is where you've apparently been hiding all night. I'll hit you with my slipper and you vanish again. Next stop, my outer ear at 6:45am. So much for sleeping in. You'll likely die of natural causes since there is no way I'll ever be able to kill you. You're as cunning as a mongoose and as smart as a slice of buttered bread.

5. Car slobs.
It's no mystery that I like a nice clean car. It tortures me that my wagon is all dirty in the garage right now. At least it's not full of garbage. My wife may have an impressive Kleenex collection in her car but at least I know I'm not going to find a chicken leg bone sitting on a floor mat. I try to clean it out periodically. Once I have a good weekend both cars will get their bi-annual detailing.

To some it's just a car. A means of getting from here to there. To others it's a landfill. Give them the keys and they'll turn a cup holder into a ketchup tray for their fries. There is no excuse. You're a slob plain and simple.

6. One month anniversaries
What the fuck is this. It takes a year to have an anniversary. Annual!!! You can celebrate one month of not breaking up or a week of exclusive screwing all you want. Just don't call it an anniversary because it's not.

7. LOL
This means laughing out loud or at least that's what it used to mean. Somewhere along the way LOL replaced the period. I've never used it because I rarely laugh out loud when doing anything online with the exception of looking at pictures of cats with poorly spelled captions.

In the proper context it would be an appropriate response to something genuinely funny or even at the tail end of a statement that you consider hilarious. Instead it's used to complete most coherent or incoherent thought. Here are some examples.

Correct = Bla bla bla bla bla... The Aristocrats! LOL
Incorrect = I'm going to the store later LOL

It's not rocket science. The top statement is easily funny and therefore an individual may actually be laughing or at least wish they could if they still felt emotions. The second statement isn't even funny to the person who made the statement. LOL is just this knee-jerk statement that is the internet equivalent to a ham radio operator saying, "Over." Knock it off or I'll knock it off for you.

8. We met online
No you didn't. If you haven't made eye contact you haven't met yet. You're still acquaintances as far the universe goes. You're actually more acquainted with the Moon since you've actually laid eyes on it. It's like me saying I've been to Australia based upon what I've read about it and pictures I've seen though I've never actually been there. If you can't say for certain what they look like in person you haven't met. Yet another case where the internet has muddied our vocabulary.

This concludes my rant. It feels good to get these things off my chest. They're not the only things that burn my ass but it's a good start. I feel pretty good now. Thanks for reading. Remember to wash your hands.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

WDW Trip Report - Day 6

Monday - Part 1 - Hurm...

I woke up this morning not feeling as well as I had been feeling this whole trip. I loaded up on the galaxy of drugs Jill brought along and we headed out for breakfast then the Magic Kingdom. If I ignore it, it will go away.

Buzz Lightyear was a delightfully humid ride which made the lazers easy to spot. I got an awesome score and gawked at everybody else's small scores. Kids suck at Buzz Lightyear. No trip to Tomorrow Land is complete without a trip on the People Mover. We moseyed around for a bit afterward and snapped some photos in Toon Town. I don't feel any better.

We hopped on the train and rode it around to Frontier Land. We weren't about to do another trip without visiting Tom Sawyer Island. We took a crowded boat over and snapped a butt load of photos. I was delighted (yes delighted) that their Fort Wilderness is actually open. The Disneyland Fort Wilderness first saw the removal of the rifles then they just closed it down completely. Bitches. More good times on Big Thunder Mountain then it was time for lunch.

We spotted people eating with a nice view of Small World the other day so we went to the Village Haus and nabbed a table right by the glass. I waved at everybody. It was a nice lunch. We heard a familiar sound but not what we'd expect to hear at a Disney restaurant. The SHHHHHK! of a two liter bottle got me looking around. I saw a lady pulling a couple of them out of a backpack. The cheapness of it all.

We walked back to the Frontier Land train station and took it to Tomorrow Land since we didn't feel like taking a short walk from the Village Haus to the People Mover. We're dumb like that sometimes. The awesomeness of the People Mover made up for it. We grabbed another Dole Whip and pondered the rest of our day. We realized that we hadn't done the Haunted Mansion yet. It beckoned that we hurry back. I think little Leota is jealous of the People Mover.

We emptied our locker and headed to the Monorail so we could finish our day at Epcot. I'm feeling pretty lousy right now. I was doing great all day. Either the drugs were wearing off or I was about to succumb to illness. I blame the scurvy people on Midway Mania the day before.

We started with Spaceship Earth which we love just as much as the People Mover. Jill and I love our slow moving rides. Innoventions was next on the list since we really wanted to do THE SUM OF ALL THRILLS. I have to write in all caps. At this point I was really focusing on pretending I felt fine. Jill didn't want our fake roller coaster to be too exciting so we kept the speed and the hills to a minimum. My impending sickness was immediately forgotten after the ride attendant closed the lid on my manly bits. You heard me right. The next element of surprise was what happens when you have a looping roller coaster going as slow as possible. Physics ensured that we went through the loops very slowly. Next time we're going to make it thrilling. I'm talking super thrilling.

I was starting to slow down at this point. We visited the shops in the world showcase again and settled down in Morocco for Tea and Baklava. Both were very good and I forgot about how sick I was. This was easily one of our nicest evenings. We like Morocco.

After that I was starting to run out of juice so Jill was nice enough to let us go back to the room. I loaded up on drugs again and fell asleep. In hindsight I should have just endured for the rest of the night but I had no idea I would feel the way I did the next morning.

Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion to my trip report.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

WDW Trip Report - Day 5 - Really this time.

Sunday - Part 1 - I got nuthin'

We did our usual morning routine. If you really want to know what we did go and look at either of the Saturday reports.

I know a lot of people like Hollywood Studios but to me it feels like a bit of a chore. It's a lot like Farmville or Pet Society. You just do it because it's there. I just don't feel it. There are some great rides and there are some terrible rides. One of those terrible rides is The Great Movie Ride. What the fuck right? It's a good idea poorly executed... by a firing squad. Every gun was fired but it survived. They try hard to make aspects of it exciting but at less than 1mph you have way to much time to analyze the poor animatronics and deadpan spiel that the depressing tour guide has clearly done too many times. Our tour guide, who we'll call Antoine since I can't remember his name, was gayer than a pink Christmas tree. That was actually the most entertaining aspect about this ride. Sadly he left us halfway through so some mousy broad trying to sound like a Texan mentally counted the seconds until the end of her shift/life. At the end they asked us to exit stage right. This would have been fine except stage right is actually left. It's Florida so I'll forgive them.

Next on the list was the Tram Tour which we actually like. It's about as entertaining as a mime but we still do it because it kills some time and the special effects display with tourists is quite entertaining particularly because nobody wants to do it.

We grabbed some pretzels then headed over to see the stunt show. It's amazing how quickly seven Brazilian tour groups can fill a stadium while your wife uses the bathroom. We got decent seats off to the side and had an incredible laugh when it started raining on a bunch of people. Good times. The show is great and makes me want to drive like a maniac. My car is too big for those kinds of hijinks.

Rock N Rollercoaster was next on the menu. It's nice to see familiar freeway signs and not having to sit in traffic on them. What's a She-daisy?

We were pleased to find some new pathways at the park. Last time we went there was a lot of extra walking because of dead ends. We were also pleased to find Midway Mania which is one of our favorite rides. We got to ride it a bazillion times at California Adventure but for some reason the lines were really long here. Some cock-feature was hacking up a lung in line for this ride. More on that later. Jill and I kick ass at Midway Mania. We know where one of the Easter Eggs are for getting lots of points. Jill is more accurate but I have stronger arms so I win in the points department. I rule. I'm done with this place. Let's go to the Magic Kingdom.

Sunday - Part 2 - Something witty.

When we arrived at the Magic Kingdom the rain started to really come down. It was so heavy that the mic'd people in the parade that was going on said their spiel really fast then high floored it to the backstage area. Jill hung out at the Emporium while I ran back to the locker for our raincoats. As soon as I got back to Jill with our raincoats the rain stopped and didn't return. Fuck. The park really cleared out due to the rain. I'm guessing once everybody got shuttled away it wasn't worth coming back. Their loss.

We hit up the Haunted Mansion first and it was empty Jill had a bit of a head start on me and entered the doom buggy that the attendant told her to go to. I made it there just in time for the safety bar to close on me. These close with a lot more power than the ones at Disneyland close with. Ouch.

After that we slowly walked to Big Thunder Mountain. No lines again. I love this park on rainy days. What better way to finish up Frontier Land than with the Country Bear Jamboree. They tore it out at Disneyland to make room for Pooh. I enjoyed the show. Jill did too.

The Jungle Cruise is always an afterthought for us which is strange because we love the ride. We skipped it the last time we were there and I'm glad we decided to throw it in. The skipper sucked but they do at Disneyland now too. I miss the days when they were allowed to have fun with it. I was really pleased with the unique features and will definitely go on it again.

Why yes, we'll go on the Haunted Mansion again. I managed to make it into the doom buggy this time. We got out in time for the crappy fireworks to finish up and waited for them to let us back into Fantasy Land. Everybody ran like idiots towards their respective rides. Jill and I walked casually and got on Peter Pan without really waiting. We rule.

Since new experiences were what we were all about this time out Philharmagic was next up. It's nice to see Donald get some dedicated action. We'll do it again.

No trip to the Magic Kingdom is complete without a trip on the P-Mover. Rawk!

Jill snapped a butt load of castle photos then we headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest.

Thanks for reading. I love you.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

So sue me

I wrote about the same day twice. It was a good day. Get off my back.

Monday, March 8, 2010

WDW Trip Report - Day 4 - Deja Vu

Saturday - Part 1 - Takin' it easy

We slept in a little today but not too much though I would have liked to on account of how lazy I am. We hit the food court a little later thanks to the extra ZZZ's but there was still the usual riffraff lurking about. It was nice not jumping on a bus right after we ate.

We hung out in our room for about as long as we could handle that God awful Stacey promo channel. When schedule allows, Jill and I always like to roam around our hotel and see all that there is to see. We took photos of all the gigantic crap and read the little fun facts about each year that are posted on signs near the lake. We also walked across the bridge to get a closer look at the abandoned hotel on the other side of the lake. It's too bad that they couldn't finish it. I would have liked to stay over there.

Saturday - Part 2 - Stop staring at my wife

We decided that the bowling pin pool would have the least amount of pee in it so we threw on our suits and headed over. The water was pretty cold so I had to pull force Jill down the steps and into four feet of chilly death. We were fine after a few minutes. Jill felt a little uncomfortable since the life guard was keeping an eye on her. It's rough when you're the only skinny person in the pool that isn't a hairy man. Once we were tired of staring at each other and the beached whales reading Daniel Steele books we headed back to our room to shower up.

We had a moderately good lunch at the food court again then we headed off to Epcot which really stole some thunder from Animal Kingdom this time out.

Saturday - Part 3 - No barf bags???

We did hit up Spaceship Earth again. You know you've been on a ride too many times when you start to recognize cast members in a park you visit every other year. After that I talked Jill into doing Mission Space. She was a good sport and hit all of her buttons. Interestingly enough all the barf bags that were there the last time I rode were gone. It didn't stink so I'm guessing somebody stole them. Why didn't I think of that the other night? She didn't find it to be as thrilling as everybody made it out to be either and it will definitely be one a stop on future trips.

There was still time to kill so we took a leisurely stroll through the world showcase and went into every shop except the ones that sell perfume because they stink.

Saturday - Part 4 - Nice cans

Restaurant Marrakesh was our next stop and we were a little concerned after the disaster that was Coral Reef. The friendly staff seated us right away. Not a Brazilian in sight. This might be a good dinner. We ordered some mint tea and I got a boozy drink and the beef brewat rolls. I wasn't expecting cinnamon and beef to go well together but they were incredibly good. Jill even ate some which surprised me. She's become very adventurous with food lately. I saw Ghandi in the kitchen and Jill didn't believe that I did until he came out with a drum and sang a birthday song to a happy little girl.

Our entrees came out in no time and we got to savor the flavors before the entertainment came out. Ghandi, some other guy, and a quite attractive belly dancer. I did more drooling over my dinner but the belly dancer did have a nice set of cans. She brought a bunch of kids out to belly dance with her. It was so adorable I almost threw up my delicious dinner. The number was over quickly and the crisis was averted.

I ordered a dessert of fruit and ice cream that was quite good. While eating it some woman dragged her backpack across our table and almost spilled what was left of my very expensive booze. I wanted to be angry at her but it turns out she was blind. I blame her husband for not helping her through the tight area. Nothing spilled so we ignored the little snafu and got ready to leave. Our waiter looked like Aladdin so we gave him a gigantic tip. Restaurant Marrakesh gets an A+ and will has become pretty much our favorite place to blow some cash.

Saturday - Part 5 - Illooooooosions

We timed our dinner so we could catch Illuminations. We asked a cast member where the best spot to see it was and she directed us to the most popular area to watch it. We should have been more specific when we asked for a good place to watch. We should have asked her where we could watch it without having to stand ass to crotch with the all the mouth breathers we've been smelling for the past four days. We went to the same spot I watched some if the other night. The real bummer was that it would have been a much shorter walk had we not taken the long way around the world showcase. Oh well. I thought the show was very good. I don't think I'll ever watch it again.

The crowds were pretty heavy after the show so we planted ourselves on a bench and watched the mod clear out. We walked through a few more shops then went back to the hotel where we slept and turned our delicious dinner into fat.

I'll try to get the rest of the days done since I know both of my readers are antsy to read the rest.