Thursday, November 30, 2006

So Tired

Sorry about the lack of quality posts today. Though, I suppose, an argument could be made that I've never made a quality post on here since I started. Your own defenition of quality shall be your guide on that one. Anyway, I only got about two and a half hours of sleep last night and I'm currently trying to stay busy enough to where I don't notice that I'm so tired, my heart's stopped beating and I'm now functioning entirely on the caffinee from the 9,734 cups of coffee I've had since 9am.

As a hat-in-hand gesture of apology that secretly couches a plea for forgiveness, here's a picture of a fruit basket and another of Tom Waits:

Fruit Basket

Tom Waits

If you reflect upon the fruited bounty of the former, and then upon the grizzled, drunken mug of the latter, you just might find a citrus-y, gravelly-voiced kind of inner peace.

Or maybe not. Goddamn I'm tired.

"Don't Make Me Wait" by Locksley

These guys are "Beatle-esque" in much the same way that the Pacific Ocean is "somewhat like a large body of water." And they're so peppy, I've started drinking them instead of coffee on dreary Thursday mornings such as this one. No sugar needed:

Ahhh... that's good stuff. Special hugs and inappropriate touchings to the S. S. Rocketchair for the heads up.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Junk Foods I've Consumed This Week

Chili Cheese Pringles

Eating Chili Cheese Pringles feels queasily like cheating on adulthood. It's like listening to Pearl Jam's Ten or making out with your girlfriend in the backseat of a car parked behind a mini-mart; guilty pleasures all, laced with the sinking feeling that you're engaging in activities meant for those younger than yourself. I feel that, as a man in my mid-20's, I should have graduated on to the more "adult" flavors; stuff like Salt and Vinegar (whose taste mimics the wincingly tart effects that growing up has on us all), Dill Pickle (to nicely compliment my sourness towards life) and, especially, Plain (because as we age, we realize life is just an endless stretch of bland, flavorless, beige landscapes, metaphorically speaking). But, perhaps I'm being a bit too much of a Snack-food Sartre. Especially since we're dealing with a flavor combination that, despite the initial pangs of guilt that it causes, somehow manages to wrap up all the age groups in it's loving arms of Chili and Cheese. It's rough going at first, but soon your heart will take over your brain and you'll eat the entire can of Chili Cheese Pringles without shame, not caring if the neighbors can see and what they must think. We're adults, yes, but we deserve Chili Cheese Pringles. We're not that old.

Budweiser Beer

If I may posit an analogy... The beer you drink is like the woman you love. It's fun, for awhile, to date the microbrewed, double-stout, chocolate infused variety of specialty beers; they're exciting and impressive to look at and when you take them out in public, all your friends go "oooh" and think you've got exquisite taste. They're always dressed in a fancy label and they're always silky smooth. Trouble is, the fancy microbrews are expensive to always keep around and, for some, they must be kept at a certain temperature and poured just so at a 45 degree angle to maximize the flavor and not upset the sediments; they're high-maintenance, in other words. Also, they make you paranoid. You stop having your friends over because you're afraid that, as soon as your back is turned, one of them will steal your expensive microbrew from the fridge. In the end, though you've had some fun being with the high-class ale, your thoughts begin to turn towards the simple, plainly pretty beer you've turned your back on. The beer that's always loyal. The beer that never requires special treatment and costs you far, far less in terms of money and stress. You start to think of how that beer always looked great, even if it was simply in a pop-top can. It was your first love and, now, you've cruelly left it on the shelf for some tarty, spicy brew that's done nothing but cause you trouble in exchange for a fleeting good time and a taste of prestige. You curse yourself, but it's okay. That small-town beer is still waiting for you. It's love is as pure as the mountain spring from whence it's water came. That beer, my friends, is Budweiser; The beer you marry and bring home to the family.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Eggnog Pie: The Recipe

For those of you wanting to know how to make the Eggnog Pie mentioned in the post below, my girlfriend has been kind enough to dictate the recipe to me for the purposes of sharing. She also wants me to tell you that it's easy; so easy that even a fool could make it (see picture). And speaking of the picture, notice my new, non-homeless person look. Handsome, in a chubby, Fyvush Finkel sort of way, no?

Anyway, on the to the recipe:


Again, trust me when I say that you will not be disappointed by this. It's better than a kiss under the mistletoe from that hot cousin that you know you shouldn't be attracted to, but secretly... um... hey, look, it's the recipe!!!


1 quart good eggnog (my girlfriend recommends the Southern Comfort brand eggnog)
2 packets of powdered gelatin, unflavored
1/3 cup water
1 store-bought pie shell (or you can make your own, if you're feeling industrious)


Blind bake the pie shell at 400 degrees (otherwise known as baking the pie shell with nothing in it). Remove it from the oven and let it cool.

In a small saucepan, mix the 2 packets of unflavored gelatin with the 1/3 cup water and let "bloom" for 10 minutes.

Next, pour in a cup of the eggnog and heat it to a boil, stirring "hardcore." Once it's boiling, take it off the heat and add the remainder of the eggnog (minus a few sips, because you cannot resist the call of the eggnog) into a large mixing bowl, again, stirring "hardcore."

Then, put the bowl in the fridge and allow to cool for about 25 minutes; until it's hard enough to poke, but sticks to your finger (that's what she said!).

After it's sufficently cooled, remove it from the fridge and whip it with a spoon, whisk, standing mixer, or what have you until it's frothy and creamy.

Finally, plop it into your now-cool pie shell and put it back in the fridge for about an hour.

Once it's set, sprinkle with cinnimon and/or nutmeg, spray on some Redi-Wip and eat that bad boy like it was about to vanish.

A New Level of Achievement in Pie

Last night, in our kitchen, my girlfriend re-invented the wheel. Well, not the wheel, exactly, or at least not literally. Though she is quite skilled in the craftly arts and could probably build you a fine-looking wheel if she felt like it, that was not the event that took place. Also, she probably wouldn't build a wheel, re-invention or otherwise, in our kitchen; sanitation issues abound. Furthermore, by using the phrase "re-invented the wheel," it's implying that she did something earth-shatteringly innovative, like harnessing the power of cold fusion or discovering a way to convert lead into gold. While, again, she could probably do those things if she put her mind to it (wicked smart, her), her accomplishment of last night was more along the lines of a culinary innovation that, for me at least, threw open the doors of perception and ushered in a brave new world of tastetacular awesomeness.

I am speaking of (and it's hard to do so without shedding joyful tears)... Eggnog Pie.

That's right. A pie made up, primarily, of eggnog. Feel free to take a minute to find your socks because no doubt they've just been KNOCKED THE FUCK OFF!!!

Imagine if you will a cold, frothy, cinnamon-sprinkled glass of eggnog. Now imagine a slice of delicious, custardy pie. Now, put both of those things in to Seth Brundle's teleportation pod from The Fly and crank that baby into high gear. What you'll get is Christmas with a crust, the holiday spirit cut into wedges, 'tis the season that you can eat with a fork!!!

I'm so excited about this pie, I can hardly stand it!!!

Beats the ever-lovin' crap out of fruit cake, that's for sure.

Monday, November 27, 2006

"Comic Strip" by Serge Gainsbourg

A little bit of French weirdness for the afternoon:

Point of interest (mild): This was originally recorded in French; the English-language version was recorded after they'd already shot the video. So, instead of reshooting, they just layed the English audio track over the original visuals and hoped no one would notice that Gainsbourg's mouth doesn't match the words. Also, that is, in fact, Brigitte Bardot and that's really her singing the "Bang! Pop! Wizz!" parts. Doing just a bang-up job, too.

In Dreams

Does anyone know what it means when, all of a sudden, you start having bizarrely elaborate dreams that are so vivid you wake up utterly convinced that you're, say, running from the mob or being jointly sued by the states of California and New York for tax evasion? Because if anyone could help me with that, that'd be awesome. I'm really fucking tired.

I don't know what the hell's going on. All my life, I've been the type of person that doesn't dream a whole lot. Or, when I do dream, I dream about ridiculously boring things. I remember once, as a child, I dreamed three nights in a row about trying to jump over a card table. I've also had dreams about checking the mail, pumping gas, ordering increasingly large portions of french fries, trying on pants, buying used CDs and dropping off my laundry. For an extended period of time in my early 20's, I dreamed almost exclusively about wandering through abandoned airports. Oh sure, occasionally I'd be sitting at the long-unmanned Cinnabon and, every now and again, I'd find myself sprinting along the tarmac, but mostly it was just the wandering through empty terminals. I'm sure you could make a case for all of that being very symbolic, however, I'm not that deep.

Anyway, with that dream history, you can understand that I'm a bit out of sorts about this sudden dream-splosion of violent imagery and chaotic goings on. I miss my dull, restful dreams.

Anyone know how to get them back?

Eh... I'm going to try to go back to sleep; I'm off today, in an effort to burn off my remaining vacation days before the end of the year, so I'll probably have some exciting, non-dream related stuff up here later. Let's keep the excitement at a low boil, shall we?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Rating The Bonds

Sean Connery

The man who started it all; excellent blend of wit and grit; could fill out a tux better than just about anyone; wore a blue-terrycloth beach ensemble in Dr. No without dying from shame; was a man's man; was a ladies man despite looking like someone's uncle who works in the English Department of a small liberal arts college; went on to a prolific career in films; was also Indiana Jones's Dad.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Golden Guns

George Lazenby

The Pete Best of Bonds; only lasted one movie, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, which would have been one of the best Bond movies ever... had it starred Sean Connery; not bad as Bond, just bland; has continued to work, though not in anything you'd care to see; was originally born in Australia... so that's something... interesting... I guess...

Rating: 2 out 5 Razor-sharp Bowler Hats

Roger Moore

The most prolific of the bonds, though that's not exactly a good thing when you consider A View To A Kill; turned James Bond from a ruthless secret agent into a quipping, tuxedoed cad; got lots of octopussy; Speaking of Octopussy, at one point in that film he was disguised as a clown; that pretty much sums up how far the series had fallen by then; a lot of people consider him to be a better Bond than Connery; they are wrong; was way better in the old BBC series The Saint so check that out instead.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 thunderballs

Timothy Dalton

The miscast Bond; had the charisma of a tuxedo-wrapped 2x4; ironically, was the closest to Ian Fleming's Bond as written in his novels, which proves that Fleming's version of Bond was boring; actually is a good actor and has been in several movies and TV shows that prove this; unfortunately was also in The Beautician and the Beast with Fran Drecher.

Rating: 1 out 5 Aston-Martins

Pierce Brosnan

A great fit for the role, though the guy who played Screech on Saved by the Bell would have been looked upon favorably after Timothy Dalton; looked sharp in a tux; was saddled with the worst scripts of the entire Bond series, however he did get the best stunts; was forced to pretend to take Denise Richards seriously as a nuclear physicist; very suave; a lot of people consider him to be a better Bond than Connery; they are wrong, though not by much.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Goldeneyes

Daniel Craig

The new, edgy Bond; fantastically dark; fills out the tux damn fine; remained dignified and manly while being nut-tortured; the first Bond to actually look dangerous; handles the fighting and action sequences just as well as the dramatic acting sequences; has only appeared as Bond once to date and people are already considering him to be a better Bond than Connery; they are wr... well... they may have a point; Daniel Craig + a new creative direction = a saved franchise.

Rating: 5 out of 5 shaken, not stirred, martinis

Barry Bonds

An obvious steroid abuser; was never technically James Bond; wouldn't save the world even if he was because he's always too busy telling reporters that he's the greatest; fantastically whiny; most people wish he'd just go away; they are correct.

Rating: 0 out 5 anything-you-pleases

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

From all of us at Zombie Fights Shark!

(Again, the "all of us" is really just me, though I suppose you could count my girlfriend in the mix as she's very supportive of ZFS!. And, you might could even count our cat, Silus, though he's very aloof and I imagine he doesn't care one way 0r the other if you have a happy Thanksgiving. Truthfully, he'd probably try to steal your turkey if given half a chance. So best leave him out all together. Now, off to prepare for the arrival of my girlfriend's parents. And by that, I mean it's time to start drinkin'. Love to all; eat lots and nap long!)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Movie Poster A Go-Go: High Five

Here I am, mock you like a hurricane:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I know I'm in the minority here, but I never really got the whole Harry Potter thing. I tried reading the first book in the series once and it seemed to me to be just okay. Not bad, of course, but not worth the ridiculously blown-out adoration that's been heaped upon it. Anyway, that being said, the poster for the new movie looks pretty good; creepy and dark, which is how all childrens fare should be. And it's nice that one of the creatures from The Descent managed to find some more work.


Good god... just seeing this movie will guarentee that you'll never know the touch of a woman ever again. So powerfully nerdy; This poster was clearly thought up by a bunch of guys (and only guys) that write a lot of Krull fanfics and spend every spare minute perfecting their kick-ass costumes for the Ren faire. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but still... this poster makes me think of sad basements full of Sci-Fi novel collections, full-sized posters of Storm from X-men and a collection of action figures rivaled in scope and depth only by their owner's quiet desperation. Don't think that's what the producers were hoping to bring to mind here.

Hot Fuzz

Of course, I can't really harsh on the nerds too much when I'm dancing around in an excited panic because the makers of Shaun of the Dead are putting out another film. This time, they're exploring the tropes of the buddy-cop genre and this poster, a take on every slick action movie poster ever made, is spot on. Bonus points for the British policeman's hat that's so square it's hip. Look for these to start appearing on the heads of Williamsburg residents any day now.

Black Christmas

Sweet Jesus... ow, ow OW!!! Looking at this poster makes my eyes feel like they just got their asses kicked in a bar fight. In fact, this just might be the ugliest poster I've ever seen. Or, rather, would have seen, were my eye-sockets not filling up with blood due to the poster's sharp, pointy vileness. Side note: my boy Buzz at Camp Blood saw an advance screening of this and said it's nearly unwatchable.

Smokin' Aces

The poster design it's self isn't horrible, but they did get the title wrong. It's supposed to be called Douchebags With Guns, Lotsa Guns, and We'll Swear A Lot Because We're Edgy. And if there's a take in this longer than 10 seconds, I'll eat my hat. My British policeman's hat. That's right... I'm gettin' this trend off the ground!!!

A Variety of Thanks

Thanks to...

-The entirely pleasent, forever-huggable editors at Gawker for linking to my blog and giving this hillbilly a small taste of the classy, go-go world that exists in the global spotlight. May never get back there, but it sure felt awesome for my brief tenure and I really appreciate it.

-The readers of Gawker, for putting up with my rough, whiskery face. I know that it's shocking to see a picture like that without an advance warning and some psychological steeling but you all took it in stride and are stronger than most.

-My girlfriend, who took said picture (which was very nice, save for it's inclusion of the aforementioned atrocity) and who also came up with the title for the post in question. She's one in a million, and, dumb as I am, I won't forget that.

-The sly, shifty street vendor who preyed upon my weak mind and sold me the sham video game; turns out, that was the best eight bucks I've ever spent.

-The brewers of Budweiser beer and the makers of spring rolls, both of which we consumed in great quantities last night in a fit of late-evening celebration. That's right; we know how to party in Bay Ridge.

And, of course...

-Rupert Murdoch, who for once acted like a decent human being and gave the ghoulish, horrible OJ Simpson the boot from the NewsCorp family, apologizing to the familes of the deceased and publicly admitting his folly in the process. I don't usually like to pat multi-billionaire media tycoons on the back, but I feel he earned this one. And only this one. Otherwise, he's still an evil tyrant.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Grand Theft Uh-Oh!

I'm not what anyone would call a "smart" man. I mean, I know my way around a Trivial Pursuit board and, every now and again, I can be called upon to make astute observations on movies, music and the occasional bull-riding competition, but, by and large, I've not ever been mistaken for the drawer's sharpest knife. Truthfully, I'm fine with this. People seem to like me anyway (I give them money) and I'm told that the ladies really dig a guy who reminds them of Curly from The Three Stooges.

However, there are times when I do wish that I possessed just a few ounces more of the brainy stuff. Times when I do things so crossways with common sense and intelligent behavior that it actually makes the people around me slap their foreheads in disbelief. This is the story of one such moment:

So my girlfriend and I were having a pleasant afternoon in the West Village; wandering from quaint shop to quaint shop, smelling candles, looking at overpriced records, etc. As we were heading back to the subway, we happened upon a street vendor hawking a table-full of books, incense and assorted DVDs. We stopped to look and, during my browsing, I discovered a copy of the PS2 game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. I've been actively lusting over this game for over a year now; an old roommate of mine owned it and we (the game and I) had a hot n' heavy affair for many months until said roommate moved out, cruelly taking the game with him. I asked the street vendor how much for the game and he said, "Eight dollars."

Now, here's where any right-thinking person would immediately say, "Eight dollars? For a well-liked video game? Being sold on the street? This seems too good to be true and, therefore, it is. No sir, I do not want to be cheated out of my eight dollars today. Thank you very much."

I, on the other hand, thought only, "Eight dollars!!! Whatta deal!!! I'm the luckiest man in New York Town!!! Oh happy day!!! Here sir, take my money and a million blessings on your family!!!" Now, I did give the disc a cursory look-see. No scratches, no blemishes, it wasn't a piece of baloney with the words "Grand Thetf Ahto" written on it... to me, it looked like found gold. So I handed over my cash and walked away a joyous man.

Until I got home. And the game didn't work. After pounding my PS2 and grunting at it like an ape, my girlfriend came in and offered to take a look (she's way, way smarter than I am and I'm always happy to have her watch my back; she reads books, for real). After glancing at the disc for about three-tenths of a second, she pointed to the label and said, "You know this is a sticker, right?" She then proceeded to run her fingernail across the surface of the disc, revealing the blank CD-R beneath it.

My heart dropped. My stomach sank. My brain went, "Huh?"

Yes, I paid eight dollars for a blank CD-R with a Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas sticker on it. And, yes, I feel powerfully dumb for having done so. However, it did come with a genuine Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas game case and all the manuals and maps therein. And no amount of stupidity can take that away from me.

Now, all this writing is making my head hurt. Need go lie down. Take nap. Nap good.

Monday, November 20, 2006

"Wincing the Night Away" by The Shins

Who: Indie rock super-awesomes The Shins

What: A way-in-advance review of their new album entitled Wincing the Night Away

When: Release date, January 23rd, 2007

Where: All over, I assume

How: I work in the billing department of a well-known ad agency here in NYC. Because we're all on an inter-connected computer network, everyone in the building's iTunes are linked up. Someone who works in this building has "Wincing the Night Away" on their iTunes; I can only assume that this person is involved with the marketing/advertising of this album, though I can't say for certain that that's true. Whatever the case, I'm exploiting it for funsies.

The Review: My initial impression upon listening to Wincing the Night Away was, and I'm quoting myself here, "Meh." There's isn't an abundance of poppy, catchy hooks like in their previous efforts and they don't do themselves any favors by opening the album with "Sleeping Lessons," as song as sonambulent as it's name would suggest. They compensate, however, by following it up with "Australia," easily the albums tightest, punchiest song and one that would have been at home on Chutes Too Narrow without question. The rest of the songs on Wincing, as a whole, aren't bad, though they do suffer a bit from over-production and from the aforementioned lack of hooks. Songs like "Red Rabbits" and "Black Wave" in particular find The Shins attempting to mix their own style with Radiohead-ish sonic landscapes and, at least for me, it's not something that mixes well.

This kind of experimentation is perfectly understandable from a band coming off of an album such as the widely-enjoyed Chutes Too Narrow; they want to prove that they've got more to them than finely-tuned pop songs and crisply written lyrics. Why a band as talented as The Shins would want to be more than that is beyond me but whatever.

The good news is, after a few more listens, the album does in fact cohere into a respectable work. It's nowhere as likeable as they're earlier albums, but it's got it's own minimal charms. Overall, it's a very pleasant album; something good to have on in the background while you're working (it's served that purpose well in my experience). It's not going to turn anyone off of The Shins, though it's not going to win over anyone who's not already a fan. Here's hoping, though, that they've gotten the experimentation out of their collective systems and go back, the next time around, to doing what they do best.

Penguins Kick James Bond's Ass

This is totally lame.

Movie-going public, how could you let a bunch of tap-dancing penguins top James Freakin' Bond at the box office? Especially since this particular Bond is being heralded as one of the best Bond films ever. For shame, for shame!!!

Now, okay, "technically" I didn't go see the Bond movie either. However, I fully intended to and, as they say, intent is 9/10ths of the law. Or am I thinking of possession? Well, regardless, my point is that the country has, as a whole (excluding me, of course), dropped the ball. Having it scooped up by a lousy gaggle of animated flightless birds is only so much salt in the wound.

America, I expected better from you.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Junk-Food I've Consumed This Week

Doritos Blazin' Buffalo & Ranch

First off, you don't pair Buffalo Wings with Ranch dressing. That's like drinking a martini made with whiskey or brushing your teeth with soap; the fundamentals are the same, but you're just making things more unpleasant than they need to be. Everyone knows that Bleu Cheese dressing is the one true God of Buffalo Wing-land and so it shall always be, forever and ever amen. But, because I'm egalitarian about my snack foods we'll let that slide and judge the snack on it's own merits. The verdict: Lame. Never have I felt so betrayed by a chip (and believe me, I've been hurt before). The closest these get to the vicinity of Buffalo Wings is a mild heat; nothing worth pulling out your Scoville chart or anything, but there's a tiny kick. Flavor-wise, they taste exactly like Doritos Salsa chips with maybe a light dusting of whatever flavor powder they put on the Doritos Cool Ranch chips. Just not going to cut it, Doritos. And I had such high hopes for these guys. Sadly, the festive blue packaging contains nothing but wasted potential and broken dreams.

Dark Chocolate M&M's

Now we're talking. Dark Chocolate, to me, has always been the sexy, older woman of the candy world; it's that girl you date right after college that's ten years older than you, drinks a lot of Jack Daniels and saw The Cure when they toured behind "Disintegration." Dark Chocolate M&M's are an idea on par with the two of you getting all dressed up and going to the fanciest restaurant in town. She's wearing the make-up and the perfume, but it's only a sweet candy shell; it can't hide the smoky, almost bitter chocolate underneath. I suppose that the empty bag you're left with when you've finished all the M&Ms represents the memories you'll always have when you move back to the girls your own age and she hooks up with a biker named Knuckles. If we want to extend the metaphor that far. Which we don't. Because it's just candy, dude.

Rock Star Energy Drink

I have such a love/hate relationship with Rock Star. It's foul-tasting, like sweat and cocaine mixed with a half-bag of sugar and then carbonated. I wouldn't drink it on my own time. But at my job, which is mostly about as exciting as watching your fingernails grow, it's an essential tool to make it through the long sprint from nine to five. You know that friend you hate because he's really annoying and has bad breath, but who you still hang out with because he's got a car and is always willing to drive your ass around town? That's Rock Star Energy Drink. A pain in the ass, but an necessary one.

A Golden Grill Shiny Like the Sun

I spent my evening with this man:

Rather, I spent my evening watching his TV show, which my girlfriend and I have started renting on DVD. You'd think we'd be deeply, deeply ashamed of this and go to great pains to keep it from the public. However, nope. Flavor of Love is quite possibly the most entertaining program I've come across in years. Why? Because it combines only the best of all reality show elements:

-Mentally ill rich people
-Ghetto-fabulousness in both fashion and attitude
-And a pursuit of love so patently false that it's practically made entirely out of synthetic materials; it's the polyester of relationships.

If you haven't seen Flavor of Love, do yourself a favor. I'm not saying that you won't feel dumber for having watched; you will. But you absolutely will not care.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Award Winning Social Commentary

And now... Some Award Winning Social Commentary:

OJ Simpson is an idiot. Not only is OJ Simpson an idiot, he's basically admitting on national television that he's a murderer. What an idiot! Look, here's a picture of him from an old Hertz commercial:

He's supposed to be running to a rental car (or something) but I bet he's really running away from the COPS!!! Because he's a murderer. And an idiot.

Thank you.

Please leave all Pulitzer Prizes and other assorted, lesser, journalistic awards with my secretary (my secretary is my girlfriend's cat; his name is Silus!).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hood Memories

My Three Favorite Memories of Living in the Hood:

1. Listening to crack dealers fight. Seriously, you'd think it would get old but it never does. The best argument I ever heard happened on a Thursday morning while I was watching TV. Two people were screaming at each other, which always warrents hitting the mute button, and when I did, I was treated to this exchange:

Crack Dealer: Mind yourself, Bitch!
Concerned Girlfriend: Why you out here selling crack?! You gonna get killed!
Crack Dealer: Bitch, shut the fuck up. I gotta sell my rock and you fuckin' up my business!
Concerned Girlfriend: Cops gonna shoot you, Tiny (swear to God, she called him Tiny)!!!
Crack Dealer: (at the top of his lungs) I don't give a fuck! That's me, Bitch! I'm gonna sell crack 'til I die! Who wants some crack! I gots the crack! Sell crack 'til the day I muthafuckin' die!

Mind, this was at about 10 o'clock in the morning. It was like being in an episode of The Wire. You certiantly have to admire the conviction present there, though. That's a man who knows exactly what he wants to do with his life and is doing it, consistantly and thoroughly.

2. Guns, guns, guns!!! Can't live in the hood without seeing a few guns. The runner-up for this particular memory was being on the G train about about 1am when a seriously drunk "gangsta" pulled out a gun and started screaming that he was, "Gonna rob all the white people on this train." He didn't, of course, because he was seriously drunk and his friends managed to get him off the train without incident, but still. My favorite memory, though, was walking home from my friend Lisa's house one night and walking past a guy blatantly loading a gun while casually standing in front of the deli that was around the corner from my apartment. The matter-of-factness of the situation really made it a special moment for me.

3. Being offered a "hoe." Coming home in a cab after a pleasent Christmas in Texas, we stopped at a light about three blocks from my apartment. Standing on the street corner was the hands-down skankiest junkie I've ever seen in my life (and, having worked retail in the East Village, I've seen a lot of junkies). She was wearing nothing but a just-below-the-fun-zone mini-skirt and a ratty, stained wife-beater, not seeming fazed at all by the 20 degree weather or the falling snow. I remember her as also wearing a large sign that said "I have every STD known to modern medicine and you will too, should you decide to spend the money for my company," but that might actually not be right. Anyway, standing next to her was a short hoodrat with a gold grill that was shouting, "Twenty dollars... Twenty dollars!" at every car. When he noticed me, gawking out the window like a total farmer, he reached over and flopped one of the junkie's breasts out the arm-hole of the wife beater. He then stared directly at me and said, "Yeah white boy, twenty dollars, twenty dollars. You want this shit!" Fortunantly the light changed just then and I didn't have to be so impolite as to decline his offer.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

"Girlfriend in a Coma" by The Smiths

I got nothing.

Here's a video of The Smiths singing "Girlfriend in a Coma." Actually, it's just Morrissey in the video but, let's face facts, he pretty much was The Smiths. You can say what you want about Johnny Marr's contributions to the bands but, let's put it this way, Morrissey has gone on to have a successful solo career and has produced some very decent albums. Johnny Marr will clear your plate if you're finished with that.

Man, what is it with me attacking obscure-ish musicians this month? Anyway:

I just remembered that Johnny Marr is now an official member of Modest Mouse, as of earlier this year. So I guess he is still around. And, once again, I look like an asshole. Still, give his solo stuff a listen. It'll make your ears wonder what they did to piss you off.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Morrissey is huge among the Latino gay community? It's true. I've never really understood how the depressed whinings of an Englishman could possibly fit into a Hispanic rent-boy's life but... well... I don't belong to either cultural subset, so I'll just chalk this up as yet another of the many things that I'll never understand about other people.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Death Doesn't Like Me

Today marks the improbable fourth time that I've been on a subway that's been held in the station because someone has had a heart attack/serious medical malady in one of the cars and requires medical attention. Because of this, I am lead to one of two conclusions, though I haven't decided yet which one is true. They are:

1. I am death. This is the least likely one since, as a general rule, people don't regularly drop dead around me. Also, I don't own any long, flowing, black robes and, were I given a scythe to wield, I'd be just as likely to lop off one of my own hands as to not. Furthermore, I haven't found myself playing chess with any Swedish knights (that I can remember) and I've never, ever courted Anthony Hopkins's daughter while looking like Brad Pitt. I'm especially confident about that last one, because I think I'd remember having met Anthony Hopkins. I suppose the final nail in the coffin (as it were) is that I'm a bit of fat ass and Death is, traditionally, skin and bones. Well, mostly bones. Okay, entirely bones. Unless he's masquerading as Brad Pitt. Then he's just dreamy.


2. The real Death, the one whom I'm most definitely not, lives in the New York area and, for reasons unknown to me, enjoys my being late to work. I'm not sure what I could have done to offend Death; I'm not a cavalier stunt man or an irresponsible junkie or any such person who routinely looks Death square in the eye-sockets and goes "Nyeah, nyeah, nyeah!" I don't even occasionally jump down whole flights of stairs or dart into traffic when I'm in a hurry. I'm just not that daring. The only logical explanation is that I bumped up against Death in a bar and caused him to spill his drink on his tunic and, thus, he's doomed me to a life of subway delays and mildly annoyed bosses. Oh yeah, and a bunch of people got killed by Death to achieve this end too. Which is lame. Man, Death is an asshole.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Borat Was... Funny

Saw the Borat movie, finally, today. It was... funny. Not the funniest movie ever and certaintly not better than, say, Jackass 2, but still... Funny. Now, to be fair, we did see it at about noon on a Sunday; hardly prime "Ha-ha" time for us or for anyone really, especially if they've just been to church. That'll suck the sense of humor out of anyone. There was a pretty sizable crowd, but they were oddly subdued and, actually, laughed harder at the preview for Reno 911: Miami than they did at anything in Borat.

Anyway, when it was over, I was left with the same feeling I had after both of the Jackass movies: Exhaustion. The whole "large-scale pranks on America/each other" genre is really suited for half-hour TV programs and, while I gladly support the movies in the theater (especially the Jackass boys, because they hurt each other hilariously) I find it hard not to nap afterwards.

The other thing that bothered me about this movie is the same thing that bothered me about the Austin Powers movies. Everyone who's got a bit of a reputation as "a card" or as "the nutty guy in the office" is going to be an absolute asshole for the next month with his "hilarious" Borat impersonation (sorry about the air-quotes abuse; the situation warranted them). We all remember how dreadful it was to hear "Yeah, baby" and "Shagadelic" out of the mouth of every frat guy and with-it Uncle that we came in contact with. That rage you felt when asked "do I make you horny" in the worst British accent this side of a high-school Shakespeare production? Sucked, didn't it? Well it's going to happen again. Don't say I didn't warn you. Should probably stock up on pepper spray.

So, again... Borat was funny. Not overly so, but not a waste of time either. I will say this for it, though. It certaintly, unquestionably had a naked wrestling match between two men, one of whom being morbidly obese. It was like a kick in the nuts, but for your eyes.

Friday, November 10, 2006

My LA Woman

My girlfriend is totally famous.

I mean, she's not Britney Spears famous, thank god, because that would make me a lot more like Kevin Federline than I'm entirely comfortable being (I'm still a little uneasy that he and I are both biologically male). But I digress... Yes, it seems that my girl has gone coast-to-coast. As you may remember, a few weeks ago my girlfriend was assaulted by a student at the school where she teaches. We got through it of course, because Em is a ridiculously strong person and because I'm really good at pretending to be a strong person.

During all of this, her story was picked up by an apparently well-trafficed blog called NYC Educator. We were thrilled, of course, because that meant, if nothing else, that people were paying attention to this sort of thing and were actually concerned. The show of support was really awesome, from teachers and non-teachers alike, and even though it was my girlfriend that people really cared about, they were all very nice to me too.

Well, it seems today that we've reached another level of notoriety. Last night, Em's blog post was picked up, via NYC Educator, by the LA Times.

Hollywood, here she comes. I'll be the one bouncing off the pavement on Sunset Boulevard, hanging on to her coattails. For real, though, this is pretty incredible. So proud, me.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Curiously Delicous

Omigod... I just popped a mint boner.

Brief anecdote to explain why this excites me so: When I was in High School, I agreed to work as the assistant stage manager for my school's production of Annie, Get Your Gun. As this was a fairly lavish production (as least as far as high school theater goes), I was really stressed and the only thing that kept me tethered to reality was a constant, never-ending stream of obsessive Altoid crunching. The extreme levels of peppermint oil coursing through my veins powered me through numerous set changes, equipment failures and on-stage motorcycle riding (for reals) and still left me with enough energy to make out with my girlfriend during intermission. On opening night, I consumed three tins of Altoids in a four-hour period. This, by the way, was before I discovered the magic of booze.

Anyway, I had pleasantly fresh breath until graduation and, ever since then I've been a slavering mint addict. New mutations of the Altoid formula such as this are greeted in my house like the birth of a new baby and this, this chocolate-covered tablet of joy, has the potential to be my most favored child.

It will certaintly be better than the Licorice Altoids. Though that's not saying much, I guess.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Confessions Of a Political Idiot

I'm sitting at my computer with two very large, very stern-looking members of the Blog Police standing directly behind me. The one to my left has a very firm grip on the back of my neck and the one to my right has a small-caliber pistol pointed at my temple. Their instructions: "Write about the current political climate, with particular emphasis on the events of today and, also, call Bush a weenie a couple of times. No... call him a Nazi."

I ask them why while I tremble in an entirely manly way.

"Because," they say, menacingly, "you write a blog. On the INTERNET. It is your Desssstiny." Then the guy on my left tightens his grip on the back of my neck and the one on the right grinds the gun into my temple. I stare at the blank Blogger posting form and sweat starts running down my face. My hands tremble. I have to get myself together. Be a man, damnit! My salvation comes when I delude myself that, right now, I look exactly as stoic and macho in the face of imminent doom as Sawyer from LOST did not three hours before as a member of the The Others held a gun to his head. I'm comforted by this (as well as by the thought of Sawyer's dreamy pecs) and I begin:

So... politics, huh? Crazy, crazy politics. The Dems and the Rep... ub...licans. Their name doesn't shorten very well. Which says a lot about their POLICIES!!! Am I right??? Right?

(heavy sigh)

Okay. This is what I know. Tonight, the Democrats have won the midterm elections and now control both the Senate and the House of Representatives for the first time in over ten years. Due in part to these facts, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld resigned his position, which, in essence, is an admission of wrong-doing by the current administrations regarding their policies in Iraq. I know these things because I just spent 10 minutes reading an article on CNN's website. Actually, I skimmed the article while trying to think of a clever way to work tonight's episode of LOST into a post about politics (I should have thought about it harder, probably).

What I'm trying to say here is that I am, politically, an idiot. While I've always aligned myself with the Democrats and the Liberals, I haven't really ever given the "Issues" much thought. Basically, my entire political ideology is defined by two things:

1. Who's less "Jesus-y"


2. Who supports gay rights the best (neither of them do it particularly well, but, you know, at least the Dems don't picket AIDS victim's funerals)

It's not that I don't care about the state of our country; I do. As much as I can. When I have the time. When I'm not too busy worrying about my perpetually tailspinning writing career or keeping my relationship on the high, happy ground, or trying to keep the bills and the rent paid without starving to death. I know that these aren't good excuses; lots of people do this plus a lot more and still find the time to stay active in all levels of our nation's political process. But I'm just... ugh, the only word for it is lazy.

And I feel bad about this. Really. I want to be politically active. I want to have valid, neat-sounding opinions on things other than my Top Five Songs About Getting Drunk. But when it comes down to a day like yesterday, a day when I could make these things happen... I don't do anything. I don't go vote; hell, I haven't even switched my voter registration from Texas to New York and I've lived here for four years. It's a bit pathetic, I know. And what's worse, I don't know how to change. I've even dated girls who were very active, politically, and even they, the ones who shared my bed, couldn't persuade me to Rock The Vote. Not even a little bit. It's like I'm this immovable object of apathy and I really hate that about myself.

Anyway, I guess that's my whiner's bio for tonight. The men from the Blog Police have gone home, disgusted (the gun was filled with water, by the way; they're harsh, but they're still internet nerds). And as soon as I'm done writing this, I'm going to go watch the Food Network until I fall asleep and I probably won't think of politics for a while. Not until it's rubbed in my face again.

I don't think I've ever said this with as much conviction and meaning as I do now: I suck.

And I'm sure all of you with your "I Voted" stickers agree.

"Romeo and Juliet" by Dire Straits

Currently raining buckets in New York. If you live here, listen to this song, stare out the window and sigh all dreamy-like because nothing goes better with a rainy evening than the star-crossed love of two young kids as told in song by Dire Straits. If you don't live in the New York area, feel free to watch the video of "Romeo and Juliet" and laugh at the 80's visuals and bad hair. Either way, you win:

P.S. This is the only good song Dire Straits ever did.

A Multiple Choice Question

1. In what way am I, today, the most like a hobo?

a) I've got all my possessions in a bindle that I've jauntily slung over my shoulder
b) I stabbed a guy who touched my bedroll
c) I've got a hole in my boot that lets the rain have it's way with my sock
d) I reek of filthy clothes, subway stations and abject sorrow

The Correct Answer is: C

I found out that I have a hole in my boot this morning as I walked to the subway station and noticed that, while my left foot was snuggled warm and dry in it's sock like a sleeping child, my right foot was being held under water by Mafia goons as a form of punishment for squealing to the Feds. I'm deeply, deeply saddened by this fact because I now have exactly ZERO pairs of shoes that are entirely water-tight. And during the rainy season, no less. Compounding my misery, I'm broke right now, so I can't buy a new pair of shoes until next week.

So. Being me is absolutely a riot.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Last Mike Doughty Post

You know that phenomenon where you learn a word for the first time and then, suddenly, you hear it said by four different people, it shows up in an ad for Buicks and it's the punchline for a joke on Friends (which is especially odd, given that the word is "exsanguination")? Well, I had a healthy dose of that phenomenon today after my ham-handed attack on Mike Doughty who, I now fear, is going to save my life one day and I'm going to feel just awful for having called him a twat.

I swear to whichever religious deity suits your needs that I'm not making this up:

First, I was listening to the internet radio at work today and, around three, on the "Indie Rock from the 80's, 90's and Today!" channel, the Soul Coughing song "Super Bon Bon" came on. Weird...

Then, secondly, I was reading Chuck Klosterman's "Killing Yourself To Live" on the train ride home and, in it... actually, side note: Anyone else read any Chuck Klosterman stuff? I'd read some articles he wrote and they were alright, though he tends to go on a bit about hair metal, and this book is pretty good too but, I don't know. He's that guy who works at the all-vinyl record store who has amazing insights into music and movies and pop culture but who, for some reason, you just can't stop hitting in the face with your shoe. Is this just a "me" thing? Anyway, my point... I was reading his book and, during a discussion on the importance of music criticism, Klosterman quotes... you guessed it... Mike Doughty regarding his thoughts on uber-critic Robert Christgau.

So bizarre.

The kicker here is that the quote is actually dead-on accurate and masterfully deflates not just the man, Robert Christgau, but the very idea of Robert Christgau and all other insularly self-important music critics in the world. In the words of Doughty:

"Let's face facts here -- what Robert Christgau does is write about his mail."

If you've ever hung out with a music critic, you know how on the nose that statement is. Not really an outdoorsy bunch, them, and you wouldn't be either if every album you ever wanted was in your mailbox bi-weekly. At any rate, I'm officially laying down my arms and admitting defeat to Mike Doughty. Apparently he's omnipresent and this is the fates way of firing a warning shot across my bow. Don't mess with the Doughty. The Doughty will mess back.

UPDATE: The Worst Opening Act Ever

So, I reread the last post a few minutes ago and now I feel kinda bad. I'm thinking I was perhaps a little too harsh on The Mike Doughty Band. No, my opinion on the show hasn't changed, but I'm also really not a fan of sounding like a bitter crank and that, unquestionably, is how the last post made me sound. Also, apparently, I'm a bit off base:

Commenter mmyers said...

"I played with Doughty at a show called Monsters of Folk in the late 90s. He was super nice to me. He did an acoustic solo set and was pretty great. Just thought I should take counter-point on this one. "

I know, grand scheme, it doesn't really matter what I say about a given band, not to mention that I'm fairly certain nobody takes me seriously anyway, but still, for what it's worth:

An Apology to The Mike Doughty Band:

Mike Doughty, I'm sorry that I called you a twat and said you looked like Phil Collins with Downs Syndrome. That wasn't very nice or very fair. I stand by my convictions that your music was almost entirely unlistenable, but personal attacks are the sign of a lazy writer and, for that, I suck. Again, sorry about that and... I guess keep rockin', if that's what you want to call it. Okay, that was pretty condescending... sorry for that too. Best of luck in all your endeavors. Just... you know... enough with the guitar player crouch thingy. Seriously, it's making us all uncomfortable.

Ugh, okay I'm going to stop trying to be apologetic because I don't do it all that well, it seems. This is doing nothing for my claims that I'm not a mean, hateful person. Best to leave off now.

The Worst Opening Act Ever

Despite my abject snobbery about music, musicians and the assorted miscellany surrounding same, one of my Top 5 favorite bands of all time is Barenaked Ladies. Yes, the guys who did "One Week" and, yes, I'm pretty much sick of that song too. For the record, I was into them before that particular song hit the airwaves (and, admit it, it's a good song, despite the fact that it got overplayed), having bought all their early, Canadian-produced albums at least a year prior. I've been a fan for about 10 years now and I've seen them in concert 5 times; the most that I've seen any band with the exception of Old 97's, but they don't count since they're from my hometown and hometown bands will always win that particular race.

Anyway, I say all this, risking the eye-rolls and sarcastic comments that usually come with this admission, because we went to see them in concert last night. But this is not a post about them. My professing my love of BNL is merely the set-up; an explanation as to why I was at Radio City Music Hall last night, watching the worst opening act of all time.

Now, no one expects opening acts to be any good. Oh sure, occasionally you'll see The Strokes open for the Red Hot Chili Peppers (or something) but usually it's a random, mediocre band that's either friends with the top-billed act or that have been foisted upon the tour by the record label. Whatever. It's a part of the concert-going experience and I've learned to live with it. However, I, nor my girlfriend, nor anyone at Radio City Music Hall deserved... ugh, I can't even say the name without shuddering... The Mike Doughty Band. Now, those of you who are a veritable font of obscure music knowledge will probably recognize the name Mike Doughty as the ex-frontman for Soul Coughing, a mid-90's band that, if you'll remember, also sucked a tremendous amount of ass (listen to their "hit" song "Circles" again if you doubt me). Anyway, he's back, off heroin, and even less entertaining than before.

Instead of the hip-hopish, spoken-wordy crap that Soul Coughing foisted on the masses, Mike Doughty has gone the other route; the singer/songwriter/douchebag route. What's interesting (I'm using that term extrordinarily loosely) is that he some how has managed to combine everything that's bad with rock and roll into one band. Let's go down the list:

1. Unwarranted Bravado - Mike Doughty is the shit, so thinks Mike Doughty. He's got that chummy, too-loud, anti-humble attitude that only the minorest of musicians seem to posses. Clearly thrilled with himself, he had the unmitigated gall to attempt extended, jokey stage-patter about his "rock and roll tunes" and how he really "bringin' it tonight." Um, ew. You sound like somebody's dad listening to KROQ. Stop it.

2. White-Man Jazz Scating - I don't know if that's exactly what he was doing, but there were a couple of points where he went off on poly-syllable tangents that were remnicisent of Ella Fitzgerald, but thuddingly embarrassing.

3. Samples - There was a whole song that consisted of the band playing their various instruments while Doughty pushed buttons on a sample machine, producing such deep clips as "Too much bacon for the pan to handle," and "Woooo!" And while he did this, he had a spotlight on him. As if that warrants a spotlight. It does, however, warrant a beating.

4. Mike Doughty Looks Like Phil Collins With Downs Syndrome - Okay, that's not technically his fault, but it's still true. I blame the heroin.

5. Guitar Player Stance - He kept doing that thing that only hardcore metal guys can get away with where he'd stand all hunched over, his legs apart like he was bracing himself on a rocky boat, his eyes intently focused on the guitar. This works if you're producing bone crunching black riffs (it helps, too, if you're a 400 pound Norwegian, but I digress), but is merely silly when you're a doughy Irishman who's, at best, doing a bad, Xerox-of-another-Xerox, imitation of the Dave Matthews Band. Having jam band aspirations is vile enough, but then posturing like you're in Darkthrone while you limply noodle on your acoustic guitar is so hateable it's a miracle he didn't burst into flames.

Ugh, there's more but I'm officially sick of talking about this twat. And, anyway, the show ended up being great because Barenaked Ladies are physically incapable of putting on a bad concert. They are, and always will be, a live band and anyone who doubts it should go see them before passing down judgment.

Mike Doughty, you should take notes. Or just go to hell. Either one.

Monday, November 06, 2006

"So. Central Rain" by R.E.M.

Today is the last day of my 4-day weekend lazy-thon, so, in an effort to expend as little energy as possibly, I present to you the following clip:

This is a performance by R.E.M. on David Letterman's old show and it serves as classic nostalgia for both parties involved. For Dave, it shows that, as good as he is now, he's always been a born TV host and, as for R.E.M., well... let's just say that they're performing a song that's "too new to be named." That song is, of course, "So. Central Rain" which still ranks among the best in their catalouge.

Stars on the rise and cementing their respective legends. Can't ask for more than that on a Monday.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Notes From a Lazy Weekend

I've done almost nothing the last three days and it's been an experience I can only equate with losing one's virginity or stumbling upon a large box of money out in the woods;Unbridled excitement mixed with the heady rush of free-falling out of an airplane, all covered in a thick gloss of luxurious torpor rarely found outside of F. Scott Fitzgerald novels. Needless to say, it's been a great ride.

So, herewith, my notes:

-Budweiser tastes sweeter than regular beer. I've done extensive tests on it this weekend and I'm now certain that this is true. I'm also certain that I'm drunk.

-A room with both a fully-functioning radiator and a window cracked just enough to allow a fistfull of icy wind inside is the perfect environment for laying around under a thick blanket in your boxers and reading books about rock and roll. The interplay of heat and cold, naked skin and blanket, a sleepy brain and some slightly-pretentious musical criticism is something that should be bottled, marketed and sold to people who routinely are told to "just chill, man."

-Our one outing of the weekend was to Macy's so that my girlfriend could purchase a birthday present for a friend. Macy's, despite whatever role it might play in the nation's mythologizing of New York, is a hateful maze of unhelpful service, over-priced socks and tourists that stop in the middle of the aisles to go, "Wow-wee!!!" It's an evil, mean store that want's only the money you leave on the dresser after it's roughly had it's way with you. It will cut you if you look at it crossways. It goes without saying that I did not enjoy my time spent shopping in Macy's.

-Garlic Lime Chicken, made by my girlfriend, is fantastic. The skin snaps when you bite into it and it's insides are moist and tender like a 70's folk song.

-Despite my lay-about ways this weekend, it's become very apparent that I've lost the ability to sleep late. Not sure when this happened, though I suspect that it was sometime after I got a "real job" and stopped working at divey video stores that didn't require my presence before 5pm. At any rate, I've started waking up, almost without fail, somewhere after 8 but certaintly before 9 and I think this is criminally, horribly unfair.

That's all for now. Too lazy to go on. More... later... maybe... ooh, Cheez-Its....

Friday, November 03, 2006

My Green Day Off

Let me give you the definition of an Ideal Situation: I'm sitting at my desk a couple of days ago, minding my own business and attempting to look like I'm working hard while surreptitiously reading The Onion, when I get a phone call from our office manager, Joann. She tells me that I've still got seven days of accrued vacation time and I "really need to use those up before I lose them at the start of the year." For those of you that don't speak corporate (and kudos to you; nice Black Flag t-shirt, by the way), that means exactly this: "Hey C-Dog, you really need to take some paid time off. No, we don't mind, in fact we insist."

Much cartwheeling down the cubicle aisles and screaming "In your face!!!" at my co-workers ensued.

Anyway, I tell you this as a way of explaining why I'm, at 9am on a Friday, enjoying a breakfast of Budweiser and Funyuns and perusing YouTube for the riches it forever contains. Side Note: Now that Google has bought out YouTube, we're pretty much in the last days of said site being at it's current glory. They've already been forced to take off all the Comedy Central clips that they housed and I'm sure that many other networks aren't too far behind. Pretty soon, YouTube is going to be a video wasteland consisting exclusively of people filming their cats and attempting to light their own farts. This is the proverbial crying shame. However, for the moment, you can still find some great things there, especially if you've a taste for obscure musical clips like I do.

Now, I'll admit right off that I was searching for videos, concert footage, etc for the band Green Day. I'm not ashamed, though I do admit that they're a little too closely grouped with MTV and hordes of screaming 15 year olds than I'm comfortable with. See, I've got a marshmallowy soft spot for Green Day; their album "Dookie" was one of the first CDs I bought when I discovered music at 14 and, even today, it still finds it way onto my stereo every now and again. Yes, they were responsible, at least indirectly, for the current wave of mainstream psuedo-punk and, yes, I still think the concept of a punk rock concept album is ridiculous but... what can I say... I still love the guys. They almost always put their fulls selves into the songs they sing and, even with their ages advancing, they can still rile up a mosh pit and sneer as convincingly as anyone around.

So, yes, looking for Green Day clips on YouTube: After sifting through a few music videos and quite a bit of "I snuck a video camera into the concert" footage, I stumbled upon this:

This is, I feel, a truly remarkable video. Apparently professionally shot, this captures Green Day starting a cover of Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself," getting bored with it, then pulling members of the audience up onstage and having them (the audience members) play a cover of the Ramone's "Blitzkrieg Bop." This is accomplished by Green Day lead singer, Billie Joe, polling the audience thusly, "Who can play drums.... okay, who's got bass.... anyone know the lyrics... etc." I certaintly haven't ever seen a band do something like this and if you have, well, you were probably at this show.

At any rate, I thought it was noteworthy, so I thought I'd share. Now, I'm going to return to my four day weekend of eternal bliss. Talk at ya later!!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Drinks For Fall

It's getting cold outside, as the more observant among you may have noticed, and with that comes the annual switch from Margaritas, Mojitos and other such summery fare to drinks with a little more body, depth and, of course, enough liquor to make you go blind. It doesn't hurt, either, if they're hot drinks; i.e. made with coffee, hot chocolate, or chai (if you're comfortable being that guy). I would, however, advise against taking this concept to "the next level" and just heating up a glass of whiskey in the microwave, unless you're okay with exploding kitchen appliances flinging hot booze and rocks glass shards at your face.

So, without further adieu, the new line of...

Drinks For Fall:

The Warm Hug

1 part apricot schnapps
3 parts hot water
1 bag of Sleepy Time tea

This is the perfect thing to lull your sainted grandmother into a pleasant nights sleep. You can then raid her purse for ribbon candy, loose meds and pension checks. Warning: Do not drink The Warm Hug if you're under 65 years old. Any younger and you'll suddenly be overtaken by a powerful urge to do the Lindy Hop and to tell your grandkids about how things were back during "The Big One."

The Work Day

1 cup of coffee
2 airplane-bottles of cheap vodka
The ability to pour under your desk and make it look like you're searching for a file

Hey look, you're drinking like a wintery corporate drone! Welcome to the wonderful world of stockpiling breath mints (hider of all shames) and passing off the booze-shakes as "too much caffeine."

The Apple Sui-Cider

2 part Everclear
2 parts hot apple cider
1 shot cinnamon schnapps

This is like a slow walk through an upstate orchard during a crisp November morning. But drunk.

The Creepy Relative

1 Steaming mug of hot chocolate
1 pint glass of peppermint schnapps

Mix both into a largish beer stein. Carry it with you everywhere during family gatherings. Call everyone "Good buddy!" and leer suggestively while under the mistletoe. Get asked to leave around midnight after passing out head-first and pantsless into the tree.

The Snuggly-Wuggly Blanket

1 bottle rum
1 gallon warm milk
Enough Everclear to float at least two inches on top

Wrap yourself up in a snuggly-blanket. Get settled on the couch. Pour the rum and the warm milk into a large bucket. Float the Everclear. Listen to a tape of calming bedtime stories, taking liberal chugs from the bucket at regular intervals. Wake up three days later still wrapped in the snuggly-wuggly blanket. Be careful: This drink's name is ironic. It will destroy you.

I Know Yoda

So I noticed yesterday that some right-thinking, I'm-sure-handsome person posted a link to Zombie Fights Shark! on a bulletin board for the Rocky Mountain Fan Force, which appears to be a Colorado-based collective of Star Wars fans. I've had a handfull of hits from there and I think that's cooler than Hans Solo frozen in carbonite (that's right, I went there)!

So thanks, guys, and welcome to the ZFS! family. The Force is totally with you.

p.s. I'm partial to The Empire Strikes Back, though eps 4 and 6 are certaintly worthy. Didn't really care for the new trilogy.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Five Songs for a Miserable Depression

Feeling a bit meh about life in general right now. Nothing serious, of course; your basic "job sucks, stuck in a rut, why isn't my play finished yet, holy shit I have no money, my god I'm a fat bastard, why does it always rain on me" type of funk. But, because I'm financially unable to afford a three-day whiskey bender at this time of the month (my preferred method of dealing with depression), I've got nothing to soothe my soul except the depths of my record collection and the knowledge that I'll never be as bad off as Kevin Federline.

Anyway, here's my top five songs for a miserable depression. No particular order, because sadness is like so totally random, man:

"Misery and Gin" by Merle Haggard

The title says it all. This is a song about drinking away your pain in a run-down honkytonk and when you're currently occupying the blue area of the emotional color wheel, that sounds like the best idea since the introduction of fermented hops to water. Haggard has a great, craggy voice that sounds like the personification of sorrow mixed with enough machismo to make certain that he's never cried, ever, though he's deeply hurt inside. What I'm trying to say is that I want to be a tough heartbroken cowboy; they wear it so damn well.

"Accidentally Like a Martyr" by Warren Zevon

This is the quintessential "long, dark night of the soul" songs that make a perfect backdrop for holing up in your bedroom and thinking about all of the love you've lost in your lifetime. Reminiscing can always be more painful if you want it to be and this tune is just the salt to rub into that particular wound. Side Note: While we're on Zevon, his song "Keep Me In Your Heart For Awhile" from his final album before his death is the perfect song to listen to after someone close has recently passed away. It'll instigate a good cry that will last for days.

"The River" by Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen is one of those rare artists who does peppy rave-ups and downbeat weepers with equal skill and this one is easily the biggest gun in the arsenal of the latter. Basically, it tells the tale of a high school pregnancy and the aftershocks of same that last a life time. It's useful for your day-to-day sadness because you can compare your life to the lives of the kids in the lyrics and, unless you're currently working in a union-run mill with a pregnant teenage bride waiting at home, you'll feel tons better about your lot in life. The Boss's album "Nebraska" is a great work of bleakness, too, but that's best saved for an absolutely crushing misery when you can't be bothered to make a mix tape.

"Hackensack" by Fountains of Wayne

This, admittedly, isn't as heavy as the previous three songs but that's okay. It's a good idea to throw on something that's still thematically gloomy, but isn't going to kick you over the edge into the inky blackness where the word "suicide" starts to sound a lot like "super idea." This one fits nicely with any feelings you have of being stuck in a miserable job, missing someone you love, and/or hating the town you're living in. Double points if the town you're hating on is, in fact, Hackensack, New Jersey.

"Where Did You Sleep Last Night" by Nirvana

This is from their live, unplugged album and it's absolutely choice for when the memories of your failed relationship are clinging to you like a too-tight sweatshirt. It starts out slow and mournful, gets loud and screamy towards the end, just like a perfect depression. Kurt Cobain's never sounded so much like a wounded animal, which is perfect because that's pretty much how you'll be feeling on the inside after listening to the aforementioned songs.

Honorable Mentions:
"Perfect Blue Buildings" by The Counting Crows
"For No One" by The Beatles
"Evaporated" by Ben Folds Five
"Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" by The Smiths
"(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" by REM
And, of course, the entire Tom Waits catalogue.