Sunday, December 31, 2006

Routine Blog!

Breaking news! Saddam Hussein executed. Lindsay Lohan's New Year's Eve plans not affected.

Have you all made your New Year's resolutions? I have not. In fact, I'm not going to. I have some goals for the New Year, but I don't bother with resolutions. Though, I have some suggestions for those of you who do.

Take small steps. I think the problem with New Year's resolutions is that many people make their resolutions too big, too soon. For instance, instead of resolving to quit smoking cold turkey, do so in manageable steps with a not-so-distant future date set for quitting entirely. Here's why I'm suggesting baby steps: Let's say a guy resolves to stop smoking (cold turkey). Then, on January 4, he gets into a fight with a girlfriend, probably over something ridiculous like money or punching her in the face when he was drunk the other night. So he starts hittin' the Jameson and decides he needs a cigarette. Well, he's already blown it. So why stop now? He develops this defeatist mentality because he's already blown his resolution so early into the New Year. The natural reaction is to say "fuck it" and start shootin' smack and pimping his girlfriend to make the rent payments. Next thing you know, he's in prison 'slingin' tits' to keep the Aryan brotherhood at bay.

However, if his goal was to smoke less with the goal of quitting altogether by a feasible date in the future, then he still has a good chance at meeting his objective, thus keeping his sanity and well-being in check without the hassle of having a swastika carved into his ass. I've always felt that New Year's resolutions place too much pressure on an individual to change right away with no buffer zone.

Make realistic goals. People can't just change overnight and it doesn't help to set unrealistic standards for yourself such as the aforementioned ceasing use of tobacco products, losing weight, becoming a nicer person, or solving world hunger. Face it, you're going to be an emphysemic fat asshole for the rest of your life. Ok, just kidding. But why not resolve to do something small at first? Perhaps eat less red meat, give up sugared soda, take some guitar lessons, or buy that new pornographic DVD you've been wanting. Imagine how many ways that will make you feel good. In fact, I can teach you guitar lessons. And then we can watch the porn. But you can't sleep over. I'm not a whore.

Think outside the box. I always hear about the same clichéd resolutions (see above!). Snooze fest, my friends. Why not dare to be different? Why not resolve to gamble more? Developing a new addiction is not something many people make it a point to do, but that doesn't mean it's wrong. How about putting on some weight? While all of your friends are trying to lose inches and get in shape for the new year, why not resolve to pack on 10 lbs of pure lard? Go on girl! Go up 4 dress sizes. That way when all your friends are having salad at dinner, you can look at the waitress and say, "The salad sounds good. Can I get it fried?"

Whatever your resolutions may be, I wish you all the best!

The Routine.

Ok, so here I go again with another blog. I do this every week. It's kinda my routine. But it's not all that bad. The word "routine" really gets bad rap. It is defined as "a regular course of procedure ... a habitual or mechanical performance of an established procedure," according to Merriam-Webster online dictionary. Synonyms for "routine" are often drab, like "plain Jane" and "unremarkable." This word really can't catch a break. So, I am going to attempt to defend the "routine."

Routine is everywhere so we might as well get used to it and like it. Routine is a fact of life. I get up, go to the gym, go to work, come home, eat dinner, check my email, watch a bit of TV, and crank one out to an episode of 'Full House' (I usually finish up right before Danny Tanner has his heart-to-heart father-daughter talk with DJ, Stephanie or Michelle. That shit just kills the mood.) Then I go to bed. That's pretty much my routine. And within that routine are other routines.

In the mornings I'm at the gym. There, I've got a whole other routine: my workout. My friend comes up to me and says, "Hey, I just started a great routine!" His friend comes up to him and says, "After a while your muscles get bored and accustomed to your workout. You should change your routine up every couple months." So I say, "Okay, well, the idea of changing the routine up every couple months is a patterned behavior that eventually becomes routine." This kind of intellectualizing does generally not occur at the gym. In real life, the above conversation would be a series of grunts interrupted by brief stares at the girls on the treadmills.

Here's another example: Some guy goes home and his girlfriend says, "Our love life has become routine. I need you to be more spontaneous." So he surprises her with something new and different every single night until even that becomes routine. "Honey," she says, "the idea of me coming home from work every night not knowing what to expect from you is becoming routine. Maybe you could just stick to one thing. You know, for a change." Does this example make much sense? No. Then again, neither do a lot of women.

There are some times you want things to be routine. Like at the doctors. You want the doctor to tell you that you'll be undergoing a "routine procedure." It implies that you'll be okay and that the doctors are proficient in the practice of said procedure. It's a lot more comforting than, "Well, we've never really done this before. In fact, you're the first. We'll probably fuck it up and kill you. Hope you've updated your will."

When it comes to food, I tend to eat many of the same things at the same times of day. It keeps me energized and I know what kind of foods my body likes and reacts well to. Veterinarians say to feed your dog or cat the same food because if you change it, they become finicky and won't eat. They thrive on routine. Perhaps we could learn something from our pets, besides the idea that being able to lick our own crotches would eliminate a lot of the desire to go out on Saturday nights.

Basically, I've always felt people have too many options and sometimes that can lead to being easily dissastisfied. I like routine. Yes, I do like some spontaneity, but for the most part, I'm a guy who appreciates structure and being able to plan certain aspects of my life accordingly.
Happy New Year!!!!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Holy Shit! It's Christmas!

Hey everyone!

This is my Christmas blog, not my holiday blog and most certainly not my winter blog. See, for some reason, our country is so obsessed with political correctness, that we've convinced ourselves that wishing a Merry Christmas to someone of another religious affiliation is bad when it's not. This was NOT an issue when I was younger.

Jewish people are not offended by Christmas. If the phrase 'Merry Christmas' was anti-Semitic, Mel Gibson would have let us know. Hanukkah is only really associated with Christmas because of its timing on the calendar, but it is not a major Jewish holiday.

And growing up, all the black kids I went to school with celebrated Christmas, not Kwanzaa. And, maybe it's just me, but the idea that 'you're black, you must celebrate Kwanzaa,' almost seems a bit racist to me, which defeats the purpose of all the politcally correct bullshit. So let's get our heads out of our asses and just celebrate. It's fucking Christmas!

Oh, and Wal-Mart employees being encouraged to guess the religious affiliations of customers is probably one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. "Well, sir, he looked like a Jew!" As if you needed another reason to hate that store.

Oh, the Guilt!
Don't you hate it when you get a gift from someone you're not expecting, perhaps a friend you don't see often, a casual acquaintance, or a co-worker? Then you gotta pretend that you have a gift for that person, but just forgot it. "Hey, Joey, look I'm really sorry. I had your gift at home. I thought to myself 'I gotta remember that gift for that awesome guy Joey.' In fact, I left it right next to a note that said 'bring Joey's gift.' I'm really sorry, man." Then you hope you don't see him for a while and he forgets. Meanwhile, his gift to you is a constant reminder of what an asshole you are. Joey ruined Christmas. Again.

That said, there are many things I love about this time of year: spending time with friends and family, seeing the festive decorations, eating great food, taking time to think of, and help out, those less fortunate than ourselves while at the same time trying not to make eye contact with the Salvation Army solicitors outside of the supermarket.

I also love hearing the Christmas music. As cheesy as it sometimes can be, the music is, for the most part, the one aspect of the holiday that still reminds me that Christmas is about more than just buying shit. So yes, I like the music. Ok, most of the it. For your reading pleasure, I've compiled a list of Christmas songs that I'm not too keen on.

Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer
The festive nature in which this song is sung and revered is quite disturbing. While it is true that holidays and vehicular homicide often go hand in hand (drunk driving, anyone?), it's still odd to think that one can smile, toss back some egg nog and sing about one's grandmother being brutally killed by a reindeer, and on Christmas Eve of all days. Tragic. However, what some don't realize is that grandma's luck had been running out even before Christmas Eve, as evidenced by the less than renowned 'Grandma Got Raped by the Easter Bunny.'

Last Christmas
"Last Christmas I gave you my heart/The very next day you gave it away." Wham! gave us this classic holiday ode to one-night stands. Though I suppose it's better than "The money is on the dresser, bitch. Good luck finding a cab on Christmas."

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Infidelity is not funny, let alone appropriate for the subject for a Christmas classic. This song is sung from the point of view of a voyeuristic child who witnesses his mother cheating on his father with Santa Claus, someone who is supposed to represent innocence and joy to a child. Now I know that you'll probably say that the mommy was really kissing her husband (the boy's father) dressed as Santa (yes!), but the kid does not know that. The song goes, "Oh, what a laugh it would have been/If Daddy had only seen Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night." Oh, child, a laugh it would not have been. Unless you find humor in being removed from your home by DCF after your father beats your mother and her jolly lover with the rolling pin she used to make the fat man his annual cookies. On second thought, that does make me chuckle a bit. Merry Christmas everyone!

Santa Baby
If you buy me expensive stuff, I will fuck you. This song is actually the most honest and relevant of the bunch.

All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth
"Everybody pauses and stares at me/These two teeth are gone as you can see." Christmas time should be an innocent and joyous time for a child, yet this kid is dealing with being ridiculed by his peers and made fun of because of a naturally awkward phase of his life. Therefore he must use his Christmas wish not for a video game or toy that he greatly desires, but simply that his two front teeth grow in so he will feel accepted amongst his peers. This song is just fucking mean. I guess calling the song "Ugly Kids Don't Deserve to be Happy on Christmas" was a little too obvious?

Santa Claus is Coming to Town
This song never sat right with me. It always seemed both threatening and creepy at the same time. It's the whole 'knowing when you're sleeping and when you're awake' part that just makes me shiver and turn the radio off when this song plays. I guess if John Mark Karr had written a Christmas song, this would have been it.

On that note, I hope you all have a marvelous Christmas and happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Am I the Only One? Part IV: The Revenge

Am I the only one boggled by the phrase "educate yourself?" How does one do that? It's impossible. You cannot logically teach yourself something that you do not know! If you pick up a book to help you, the book is educating you. You are learning on your own, which is a concept I agree with, but you are not educating yourself. If you learn to play an instrument without taking lessons, you are "learning" on your own, however you are not educating yourself and not teaching yourself. It's illogical to think that you can teach yourself something that you don't know!

Am I the only one who thinks tribute albums to bands that have ONE album are pretty stupid? ONE. That's like...12 songs. . What's next? A tribute album Tribute. "Man, that tribute album totally rocked! We should pay tribute to it." And don't forget string tributes for those who like Slayer, but prefer the riff to 'South of Heaven' played on the cello.

Am I the only one who finds our obsession with anti-bacterial soap a little funny? Imagine a soap that is ANTI bacterial...as opposed to regular soap which is....also anti bacterial. Soap certainly doesn't promote bacteria. My friends, I think we've all (myself included) been taken for a little ride courtesy of some ingenious marketing. Anti-bacterial just sounds good. It sounds bad ass! It sounds more active than plain old soap. People are tired of passive soap. They don't want soap that politely asks the bacteria to leave, you know, when they get the chance, if it's not too much of a problem. They want soap that sounds like it is fighting to keep us clean. Not only does the soap fight bacteria, but it grabs hold of each bacterium, gives it a good swift kick in the nuts, and then disembowels it with a sharp knife. 'Fuck you, Bacteria' the soap cries as it stands upon a mountain of dead bacteria. Now that's clean!

Plus, it puts a stigma on those who use plain soap. 'Don't shake hands with Biff. He washes with...regular soap!'. Biff. That gross bastard.

You know those big trucks that carry all the cars on them? The ones that you pull up alongside on the highway and hit the gas to get by them, hoping to God that none of the cars suddenly come loose and slide off of the truck onto the highway, turning your seemingly uneventful drive into a goddamn Jerry Bruckheimer movie. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

So…..am I the only one who would absolutely love to see one of those trucks fuckin' jackknife and all those cars go flying and bouncing along the highway? Seriously, I would. Preferably where I can watch from a safe distance and no other cars are around. I am not hoping for a mass fatality situation here. I'm not that evil. I would just like to see 12 brand spankin' new cars defy gravity on an interstate one of these days, sending a shower of sparks and twisted wrecked metal raining down around me. Hmm… Dear Santa…..

Am I the only one thrown off when a host/hostess at a restaurant says "good evening" as I'm leaving? When I am leaving a restaurant in the evening, I expect to hear "goodnight" not "good evening." "Good evening" is something you say when someone first arrives, as is "good morning" and "good afternoon." Likewise, if they said "goodnight" to me as I arrived, I would be put off. On the other hand, "have a good evening" is a perfectly fine utterance as I'm leaving. Though you could always say, "good day" and that would be appropriate for either coming or going. These are the things I think about as I'm staring at the waitress' chest.

Am I the only one who believes that an article about Lindsay Lohan not having a drink in a week is a waste of a headline? Now you see why, when people ask if I'd ever consider going into journalism, I just shake my head and look around for something to cut my wrists with.

Am I the only one who thinks this Barack Obama/Osama Bin Laden name comparison is pretty fucking ridiculous? I've actually read articles speculating if Obama's name could ruin his chances at being our first black president should he choose to run. Yes, Obama sounds similar to Osama, but considering one is a college educated senator and the other fucks goats, lives in a cave, and orders his friends to fly planes into buildings, I think the differences are more profound. Even so, this country has shown that similarity isn't always bad. After all, George W. Bush sounds surprisingly like….George W. Bush, and somehow the American people found the guts to keep that bag of failure in office for another 4 years.

Lastly, am I the only one confused by the term 'late.' When do you stop referring to someone who is dead as 'late'? I can understand the late Steve Irwin or the late Ronald Reagan. However, I recently read about an actor who portrayed "the late James Dean" in a movie. Um, Dean died in 1955. That's over 50 years ago. Was your favorite president the late Abe Lincoln? Is there any rule established to when we just accept the fact that someone is dead? Can you refer to fictional characters are 'late'? In Spiderman 2, James Franco plays Harry Osborn, the son of the late Green Goblin.

And where did that term come from? If someone's dead, they ain't just late, they probably won't be arriving at all. Unless it's to their funeral. Then again, some people will be late to their own funeral, as the saying goes. That's an interesting concept. That would make them doubly late. Late to the second power. The late Joe Smith is late. Actually, you'd have to blame that on the driver of the hearse.

From what I gather, 'late' is term used out of respect. You don't hear much about the 'late' Uday Hussein, nor was I informed about details for the 'late' Jeffrey Dahmner's funeral. Eh, I'll stop before I get too ridiculous.

Or perhaps it's too late

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

A Day at the Office

Before I get to the meat of today's rant, here's some shit goin' down in the news:

When Britney Spears isn't having babies or nearly dropping them and then crying about it, she's trying to find ways to sabotage her chances of getting full custody of said babies by partying it up with Paris Hilton, the queen of rich famous-for-nothing whores that people just seem to love so much. If the only qualification for being a good mother was simply having a vagina, then Britney has made it perfectly clear to the world that she has what it takes. By giving the world a peek under her skirt, she has created both controversy and a worldwide cry of "I think I just threw up in my mouth." Perhaps it's a message to her soon to be ex, K-Fed, who, after a nasty divorce and custody battle with Spears, will likely be so broke he'll be unable to afford a pair of underwear.

And he certainly won't be able to afford a PlayStation 3, which is a hot item right now. It's as hot as the searing pain of a bullet ripping through your flesh as you are gunned down for your precious PlayStation, which is then stolen and sold on Ebay for thousands of dollars. One such occurrence took place in the lovely state of Connecticut at (surprise, surprise) a Wal-Mart. What the fuck is wrong with people? Seriously, folks, it's a fucking video game, and unless I missed the part about how, aside from killer graphics and a high definition DVD player, the PS3 also cooks dinner and jerks you off, then I do not understand the hype. I always thought that people who shut themselves in their rooms to play video games all day were pegged as dorks and losers. Now, apparently, it's a lifestyle worth killing over. At least I can play my Super Nintendo without fear.

In New Jersey, nearly three dozen people got e-coli poisoning after eating at a local Taco Bell. Ok, let's all put down our Seven-layer Chalupa Cheese Supreme Grilled Wraps (so it's good to go!) and think about it: Taco bell has been creating Mexican sounding foods for the past however many years using, say, 8 different ingredients, including meat that the USDA says isn't quite good enough to feed a stray cat with feline AIDS. Let's stop pretending that this news surprises anyone and take a minute to realize that a healthier alternative to Taco Bell would be a can of dog food and salsa. Yo no quiero Taco Bell.

A Day at the Office

If you're like me and work the 9-5, chances are there are things about the corporate culture that piss you off. Here's my list:

Do not use the elevator to go up only one floor when there are stairs 10 feet away. Only handicapped people (and pregnant women) have any good reason for doing this. People make fun of you when you get out of the elevator. Trust me.

Similarly, my building has handicapped accessible doors. You press a button and it takes 2-3 seconds for the mechanical door to open. People are perfectly willing to stand back and wait for the mechanical door when it's plainly faster to just walk a foot and half to left and open the regular doors. This is what is known as a crossroads: when laziness and the need for instant gratification collide, and it's the leading cause of aneurysms in the corporate setting.

Another reason to take the stairs is to avoid having to stare straight ahead at the walls in morgue-like silence during the elevator ride. Then again, you can always opt for awkward elevator chit-chat. But there are guidelines for that, as well as general inter-office banter:

Don't talk to me about the weather. It's tantamount to admitting you have nothing to say, which isn't always a bad thing considering we are most likely strangers. But I was just outside. If it's cold, I'm aware. If it's unseasonably warm, ditto. I can look out the window. Please, just talk about anything else; your daughter's flute recital, last night's episode of Bones, or the affair you're having with your co-worker. Anything but the weather.

Ok, almost anything.

Don't talk about religion. If you insist upon it, do so in a manner that does not come across as you pushing your beliefs on me. It's not appropriate and you most likely will not like what I have to say. At my office, a woman who is a Jehovah's Witness recently chastised a fellow co-worker for dressing his infant son up for Halloween. I have no idea what Jehovah's Witnesses have to say about Halloween, but she had no business thrusting her religious beliefs on my friend in the form of criticism, especially for something as innocent as dressing up his seven month old son in a lobster costume to take some pictures. It must be great to be part of an institution that preaches tolerance only of others who are exactly the same as you. But that's a blog for another day.

On a related note, don't volunteer your views on abortion. I'm only bringing this up because it's happened to me before and it wasn't pretty. There's a 50/50 chance that we disagree and I will argue this one to the death, no pun intended. Like religion, that's a blog for another time. So let's skip the pro-choice/pro life debate and stick to pro sports.

Moving on…

Don't say T.G.I.F. We all look forward to Fridays. T.G.I.F was only cute and catchy the first 3 million times it was said. It's old and clichéd by now. May I suggest: "Thank God it's the day that I get to meet my co-workers out for Happy Hour, have way too much to drink, end up sloppily fondling the 'sorta' cute girl who just got hired and then have to explain that when I say 'I love you,' I only mean that she has pretty eyes and this doesn't have to affect our working relationship." While long winded, you'll get points for creativity. And it may score you some after hours sex on the copy machine.

Lastly, don't tell me how fat or out-of-shape you've gotten since you started working in an office. My first day at my current job, one guy said, "I used to work out, too, until I started this job." Don't question my dedication or project your dissatisfaction with your current physical condition on me. It's not the job's fault. I'm not criticizing those who choose not to exercise, but am simply saying that if you truly wanted to get in shape, you'd make the time. That's what people do.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Gun violence

I wrote this piece for a writing group I'm part of. I can't take all the credit for it so I must give Vern, a co-worker and fellow writer, some credit. He is the one who came up with many of the main ideas expressed in this blog as well as brought Dr. Cohen's article to my attention. I have reworded things a bit and expressed some of my own views. Enjoy.

In the days and weeks following any school shooting, the media is full of reactive solutions to the violence, such as metal detectors, random locker searches, and zero tolerance rules that do little but infringe upon the students’ rights and make schools feel more like prisons. And we know how safe prisons are. Then along comes The Hartford Courant columnist Laurence D. Cohen with his solution to let school administrators and teachers carry weapons in an effort to combat school violence. Now it all makes sense! It’s no wonder kids believe that bullets solve problems. Apparently everyone else does, too.

Cohen cites an incident in Joplin, MO where a kid fired a shot into the ceiling of his school, the gun jammed, nobody was hurt, and the boy was apprehended. But Cohen begs the question of what would have happened if the rifle had not jammed and goes to suggest that, “Maybe the story would be more reassuring if the school administrator spotted the boy with the rifle, told him to drop the rifle; the boy refused—and the school executive pulled out a revolver and shot the kid in the head.” So we train these administrators to shoot to kill? Even the police are trained to shoot to disarm. Cohen comes across as the crotchety “you damn kids get off my lawn” type old man whose solution to dealing with troubled youth is to put them out of their misery. I read Cohen’s article waiting for the punch line or satirical slant but, alarmingly, there was none.

First off, the kids who bring guns to school are not afraid to die. Often times, they commit suicide after their attacks are complete because they can’t bear to face the consequences of their actions. These are angry, scared and weak kids. Then sometimes they are shot by police. So replace suicide and the police with school administrators and the only thing that really changes is who is pulling the trigger. It won’t lessen the body count.

Rarely do we hear about proactive solutions. The words “massacre” and “violence” grab more headlines than “peace” and “love.” We crave violence almost as much as we abhor it. What’s even more prevalent is our need for instant gratification. We want a fast and easy solution to everything. A teen brings a gun to school to instantly get the respect he craves and as a result, we want our instant solutions to stop these types of tragedies from ever happening again.

What about the idea of raising kids in a culture of love instead of hatred and violence? The cynical hear the cry of love as a plea by the uninformed, the power malnourished and the weak, but nothing is more powerful than love. Children aren’t born with the innate desire to hate. They are born to love; to give it, receive it, crave it and depend on it. The hate comes later but it does not have to. Kids are not genetically predestined to bring a pistol to school and unload it into fellow classmates.

Our society may not like this solution because it is not tangible. “Love” is not something you can hold in your hand and there’s no cookie cutter idea of what love is or how kids should be raised. This idea also puts more responsibility into the hands of the parents and asks them to be more accountable for the actions of their children. For instance, talk to your children and occasionally take a peek in the garage to see if they are building crude pipe bombs.

You can’t put a timetable on “love.” Tactically, the answer is complex because it requires a societal change; change in belief, attitudes, and most importantly, actions. People are slow to change because it means relinquishing control, exposing some vulnerability and risking that someone or something could gain advantage over you. If society as a whole is urged to change, to embrace a culture of love and kindness rather than selfishness and violence, does that mean that more kids won’t be shot to death in schools in the meantime? No way. I’m not that naive. That’s just as ridiculous as the idea that teachers packing heat would solve the gun violence problem in our schools. But it’d be a start.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Kramer vs. Jesse

I've never been one to tackle the issue of race. Society taught me that because of the way white people acted long before I was even thought of being born, I am to have no opinion whatsoever about race issues. Sounds fair, right? Ok, (takes deep breath, clears throat and adjusts posture) here I go:

The backlash of Michael Richards' racist rant has been fiercer than I imagined. This week, in an attempt to "let the healing begin," Richards met with Jesse Jackson on his radio show to discuss the incident that, apparently, has shattered the black community. Now, without trivializing the incident, I had no idea that the well-being of the black community (a rather large group of individuals) hinged upon what that guy who played "Kramer" on Seinfeld thinks. It's actually sort of ridiculous, and would probably be news to most black folks who actually have better things to do with their lives than concern themselves with this bullshit. But good news for fellow Caucasians: I have been in touch with Jaleel White a.k.a. "Steve Urkel" from the hit sitcom Family Matters and he has advised me that he thinks white folks are just terrific.

In an email to CNN.com, one reader wrote, "He [Richards] has single-handedly left an ugly blotch on mankind." This statement made me laugh because up until last week I think most people had forgotten Richards existed and now he's seemingly changed the face of race relations as we know it. Then again, the last guy who polarized the nation regarding race had to kill his ex-wife to do it, so I think we're actually making progress.

Here's how I see it: people can be bigoted, stupid, easily angered, and impulsive, and sometimes these things conspire at one point in time and a bad decision is made. If you happen to be a celebrity, then things get complicated. Again, I am in no way condoning his tirade, but I don't see this incident as one that warrants the attention it's getting. Richards claims his comments were made "out of anger, not bigotry." I see this ordeal as one guy getting angry and lashing out at some people who were being disrespectful while he was on stage. Unfortunately for him, they were black. If the audience members were white and obese, perhaps Richards would have called them "fat asses" and it would have been a mere blip on the news radar. Or Richards would end up on Oprah show having to explain that he really has nothing against overweight people. Except Rosie O'Donnell. She's evil.

Now, returning to Jesse Jackson. For him to urge the public to not buy Seinfeld DVDs is just ridiculous and does not in any way show the level of forgiveness and compassion that this man supposedly has. If you're gonna consider yourself the spokesperson for an entire race of people, try not to be such a big fuckin' baby. Call me crazy, but I don't think boycotting Seinfeld would have any effect on race relations in this country. On the other hand, letting the Wayans brothers continue to make films is definitely a step in the wrong direction.

One thing that I do agree with is Jackson's urging the usage of the "n-word" in entertainment be stopped, including in rap lyrics, which is probably where the most abundant use of the word is these days. I want to make it clear that I do not advocate censorship at all. It should be up to the artists to use or not use the word, but understand that a black person saying the "n-word" should be no more acceptable than a white person saying it. If we're going to try and preach racial tolerance, it should be universal. If a black person uses racial slurs towards another black person, how is that less offensive? To me it's both offensive and stupid.

As far as I'm concerned, there are so few entertainers who approach the issue race with any sort of intelligence and the less of it we see, the better. I'm sorry but, "you ever notice how white people buy a lot of khakis" is not a funny joke. It's true, but it's not funny.

There is a ton of racially biased and outright racist content on television, but as long as it's not a white person saying it, then apparently it's acceptable. And I'll never understand the popularity of Carlos Mencia who, because he is non-white, seems to have the right to disrespect every race, color, creed, and religion imaginable. Honkys, beaners, wetbacks, ha-ha…we get it. Moving on…..Let's face it: the only reason Carlos Mencia is popular is because Chappelle's Show went off the air.

Anyhow, this issue can't be neatly packaged up into a nice conclusion. All I can say is that racial discrimination will always be an issue in this country, as will discrimination of all types. The more sensitive and 'politically correct' people try to be, the more the pronounced our differences become. When I think about how political correctness has infested our culture, I believe that perhaps our tolerance levels have actually decreased over the years. Political correctness doesn't change our differences, but only serves to highlight them in a pathetic attempt to appear 'sensitive.' So fuck that. It's all bullshit.

But that's just this cracker's opinion.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Judgement free zones?

Spoiler alert!

The following blog contains the word "fuck," "bullshit" and "marshmallow." Some readers may find its content humorous, angry, harsh, and/or politically incorrect. That is my intent. Happy reading.

The big news this week is that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, referred to by idiots as TomKat, finally got married in a castle in Italy in front of friends, family, and their little baby daughter who is named after some sort of Chinese food item. They even wrote their own vows. While I wasn't able to secure the full transcripts, I have it on good authority that at one point Katie looked into Tom's eyes and, emulating Cruise's character in Jerry McGuire, said, "You had me at 'hello, let's have a baby and eat the placenta.'" Then they engaged in a long kiss that made everyone feel very uncomfortable, but was probably Cruise's way saying to the public, "If I was gay, how could I kiss a woman for this long?" How indeed, Tom. How indeed.

Dammit! I had this whole rant written about O.J. Simpson's new book, "If I Did It," and coinciding television special and I just logged onto the CNN.com to find that both the book and interview have been cancelled, therefore my diatribe is pointless. Now, since we'll never know how O.J. would have killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, we'll have to settle for knowing how he did.

Michael Richards, better known as Kramer from 'Seinfeld,' shocked an audience the other night by yelling out the "n-word" to a fan who was heckling him during a stand-up comedy routine. After his tirade, another audience member yelled, "It's not funny. That's why you're a reject, never had no shows, never had no movies. 'Seinfeld,' that's it." While that doesn't excuse Mr. Richards' actions, the audience member couldn't be more wrong. Michael Richards has numerous movie and television appearances to his credit, including UHF w/ 'Weird Al' Yankovic, Problem Child w/ John Ritter, Airheads with Adam Sandler and Brendan Fraser, and even an appearance on 'Miami Vice' and 'Hill Street Blues.' There are few things worse than a misinformed heckler. Except maybe some has-been actor yelling out racial slurs to an audience. When asked for comment, Jerry Seinfeld said, "Who is Michael Richards?"

Ok, here's the story that really pisses me off.

In Wappinger Falls, NY, a former bodybuilder turned corrections officer was escorted out of a Planet Fitness gym by the police for grunting while squatting 500 lbs. Yes, I said grunting. To be fair, he was asked to stop grunting, but was escorted by police only after he refused and allegedly swore at the employee. Nevertheless, I'm so pissed off that I'm having a hard time finding the right words. I'm almost tempted to just write the word "fuck" 50 times and end it there, but I consider myself to be good with words and you probably expect better from me.

Let me clarify that while I do not consider myself a bodybuilder per se, I take my weightlifting, diet, and physical appearance very seriously. Therefore, I get upset at these chains of "gyms" popping all over the place claiming to "Judgment Free Zones" or gyms "for the rest of us," which apparently means they cater primarily to people who like saying they work out more than actually putting their bodies through any rigorous activity. FYI: answering your cell phone does not count as a bicep curl.

These "judgment free zones" are bullshit because they discriminate against those who lift heavy weights. People don't grunt because it's fun, they grunt because it's a natural reaction to exerting energy, which is what you should be doing if you're exercising*.

*exercising not defined as doing a set of 10 crunches and then talking for a half-hour about last nights episode of Grey's Anatomy.

For me, and many others, going to the gym is more than a conversation piece, it's a lifestyle. These "gyms" claim to be non-intimidating atmospheres, which is total crap. Feeling intimidated and having someone actually intimidate you are two completely different things. If someone has bigger muscles or a thinner waistline than you, deal with it. You either find the motivation to try and better yourself and reach your desired goals, or you go home, rent a movie, break out the Ben & Jerry's, masturbate, cry, go to bed, and then wake up and start all over again. I'm not a grunter, I don't drop weights too often, and I would never intentionally humiliate or intimidate another gym member, regardless of their size or strength. However, I refuse to compromise my routines in the gym because some marshmallow might feel 'intimidated.' There are lots of guys less muscular than me, and plenty of them that are more muscular. Some of it is genetics and some of it is dedication, diet, and hard work. Ok, and yes, some of it is steroids. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them all then you have the facts of life, the facts of life.

Well, I want to end on a positive note by saying Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Keep safe this holiday season. Remember, no video game system is worth getting shot over, even though the natural urge when in a Walmart store is to take a human life.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Am I the Only One? Part 3

Am I the only one who thinks some commercials need to lighten up on the sexual overtones? For example, take the ads for Overstock.com. You've got this hot chick dressed in all white with a big red "O" necklace on and a low cut dress to show off her cleavage (Ok, honestly, no complaints so far.) Their slogan: "It's the 'O'." Red, of course, is the color most associated with sex and "the O" is alluding to an orgasm. Why are we sexualizing this website? Has anyone achieved orgasm over saving $3 on a toaster? God, I hope not. And if I've got a hard-on, Overstock.com is NOT the website that I'm gonna be logging onto.

And likewise, please don't use the words "sensual", "passion", or "ecstasy" when describing yogurt. It's just gross and creepy.

Am I the only one disturbed when an actor/actress gets special attention and accolades for gaining/losing weight or becoming "average" or "ugly" for a movie/TV role? Congratulations! Through movie magic, make-up, intense sessions w/ your personal trainer to-the-stars, yoga, Pilates, and an all lettuce diet, you managed to appear "average." I woke up average this morning. It's not that hard. Where's my award?

Am I the only one disturbed by Christmas carols in October? I don't want to think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. It's just gotten way too commercial for me. Christmas season seems to come earlier every year. Only after I scoop that last bit of Pumpkin Pie into my mouth on Thanksgiving will I start getting excited about Christmas. That way, I am able to pretend (just a little) that there's some sort of meaning left to Christmas besides the obligation to buy, buy, buy. I know, I'm naïve.

Am I the only one sick of school violence? I just am. Fuck. I have no solution, no serious ideas for how to quell the rash of school shootings or how to go about preventing such atrocities. Just fucking stop. Jonesboro, Columbine, Canada, Michigan, etc. These kids are just proving their tormenters right; that they're a bunch of losers who can't handle life. High school is not that hard. Teenage life is not that hard. If these kids would realize that there's more to life than video games and jerking off to a dog-eared copy of Mein Kampf, then perhaps they'd learn how to fit in just a little bit. Hey, Eric and Dylan (Columbine killers): guess what? Trench coats aren't cool, Wolfenstine 3D was outdated, Hitler sucked, and Marilyn Manson still sucks. You accomplished nothing in life or death, except paved the way for a bunch of high school cast outs to think bringing a gun to school might just make people realize how justified their existence is. You deserved every swirlie, wedgie or wet willy you ever got. Assholes.

Am I the only one who likes when the leaves change colors in the fall? I love it. This is a nice time of year. I have nothing negative to say about this topic. Just thought I'd give the throbbing vein in my forehead a chance to calm down before I continue.

Ok...

Am I the only one not surprised that Survivor: Cook Island's little racial experiment only lasted two weeks? Seriously, did anyone actually think today's society could handle that? It's not the 70's anymore. People are so sensitive and politically correct these days, that we're actually MORE uptight than ever about issues such race and sex.

Speaking of sex….

Am I the only one saddened by the idea that this society treats gays like entertainment, rather than people? Will and Grace, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Boy Meets Boy, Brokeback Mountain, Tom Cruise, etc. They're good enough to laugh at or take fashion advice from, but God forbid they want to be married or not be persecuted for their sexual orientation. I don't know if people are born gay, but I certainly don't believe they choose to be gay. You don't choose who you're attracted to. And with gays it doesn't make sense. Why would someone "choose" to go through all the bullshit that gays go through in this country of uptight, hypocritical, two-faced assholes? It's sad when you'd alienate an entire class of people just because of who they have sex with. Grow the fuck up. Isn't alienating people because of the color of their skin enough? Now I'm just confused.

Am I the only one amused by the fact that we have to have laws telling us not to have sex with animals or dead people? Seriously. That cracks me up. That means that someone HAD to have done it and the cops were like "Um, stop." And then a law had to be passed and the judge would say "Wow. We have to make this a law? I sorta thought it was obvious. But ok." I imagine that's gotta be quite a reputation to live down. Or so says my friend, Lenny the Corpsefucker.

And the what about the guy who gets caught fucking a dead animal? What would his defense be? "Whoa! I didn't know it was dead!"

Ok, back on track....

Lastly, am I the only one who thinks that maybe fat, white men who haven't gotten a blow job since the Nixon administration shouldn't be so quick to tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies? Obviously, I'm speaking of abortion. Let me get this straight: Abortion is wrong, yet cumming in your pants when some criminal gets executed by the state is somehow acceptable? Ok, I'm getting a headache.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween!

Boys and ghouls, it's time for another frighteningly poignant blog. It's so funny, it's SCARY!! You just may DIE laughing hahahah!

Ok, so I'm not quite as quick with a pun as the Crypt Keeper from Tales from the Crypt was, but being in the spirit of Halloween, I have decided to jot down some aspects of Halloween that I enjoy, as well as some things that annoy me. Read on….if you dare!!


Horror movies
During most of October, television stations are always playing horror movies, which range from classics like Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Omen, and The Exorcist, to newer movies such as The Ring, The Grudge, and Halloween 12: This Mike Meyers Shit Again? Ok, I made I that last one up. I love scary movies. There are few things better than turning out all the lights and throwing on a good horror flick, preferable in the company of a pretty girl who scares easily and deals with her fright by randomly taking off articles of clothing. Between all the remakes, spin offs, sequels and prequels, I can't help but long for something original and innovative. Zombie movies are all the same and the formula is wearing out its welcome in my eyes and most of the originals are just a lot of scary music building up to a "boo!" and then….nothing, or mindless gore with no real plot. Old episodes of Unsolved Mysteries hosted by that walking corpse Robert Stack scare me more than most of the 'scary' movies coming out these days.

I'll tell you what I am a fan of: freak animal movies. Snakes, spiders, ticks, sharks, bats, cats, rats, gnats, I don't give a shit. As long as you blow them up to ridiculously large scale sizes and make them bloodthirsty killers, then you've got my attention.

Pumpkins
Pumpkins kick ass. Pumpkin pie is delicious and I could live on pumpkin bread alone, though I'm not much for pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin carving is not only a great way to utilize the rest of the pumpkin, but can be a creative way to showcase your artistic talent and the fact that you have too much time on your hands, not unlike these blogsJ Please don't confuse pumpkins w/ gourds. I don't even know the fuck gourds are all about. Fun Fact: Did you know the inside of the pumpkin is known as the "meat"? Gross.

Sports
Ok, this doesn't really have much to with Halloween, but at this time of year I can enjoy both the World Series, football all day on Sundays and Monday night as well. So I have something to switch on during the commercial breaks of The Halloween Chainsaw Living Dead Massacre on Elm St II: Chucky goes to Space Camp.

Women's Halloween attire
I like seeing scantily clad women as much as the next hetero guy. When I can tell what color panties a girl has on from across the room, I know I'm having a good night. I'm just making that clear to you folks. But lately, I've been noticing how uncreative women are when it comes to Halloween. I'm sorry ladies, but wearing a short skirt and a low cut top and a headband with devil horns on it is NOT a costume. Minus the headband, it's pretty much what every chick wears every weekend at every bar in every town everywhere. Hot? Yup. Sexy? Sure, but not a costume. If I wanted to see slutty looking chicks (and I do), then I'd hit up the bars on Saturday nights (which I do). Ladies, don't be surprised when you go to a Halloween party see 100 other women dressed in the exact same get up as you. You don't all have to wear school girl uniforms. This is your chance to be sexy, but also creative. Show us all you're more than a sweet rack and tight caboose.

Trick or Treating
I loved trick-or-treating as a kid. But now that I'm older, and on the other side of the door come October 31, I realize there's only a small age group that I really enjoy seeing on my doorstep. Some kids are too young to comprehend what's going on, and while they're cute, they have no use for candy and are probably not cognizant of what is happening. If baby still breastfeeds, baby don't need no candy.

It's the 3-9 age group that really seem to appreciate and enjoy Trick-or-Treating for more than simply getting candy. They're all excitable, into the spirit of Halloween and truly grateful when they get candy from you.

Then you've got the 10-15 year old kids who are just pricks They proclaim, "trick or treat" with all the emotion of Lurch from The Addams' Family, and just stand there waiting for your candy. And God forbid it's not to their liking; they'll let you know on the spot. "Ugh! This candy sucks," to which I reply," You know what else sucks? Getting stabbed in the chest. Move the fuck along!"

Lastly, basically anyone older than high school age has no business soliciting candy. You're now old enough to stay home, dress up like a giant penis or a keg, laugh at how clever you are, and then collapse in a pile of your own candy corn laden vomit.

Kids' Costumes
Whatever happened to kids dressing up as good ol' vampires, witches, ghosts, goblins, and Dr. Howie Feltersnatch, OBGYN? I start to feel a little old when I don't recognize half the costumes. "Oh how cute! A giant piece of pineapple with shorts on. Oh, you're Spongebob Squarepants, huh? Is he a rapper?"

Ok, I'm not that out of touch, but you get the idea.

Candy
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Butterfinger, and Snickers were always my favorite candy bars. All the other stuff was incidental and used as bartering with my brother to secure more of the candy that I liked. Fuck tootsie rolls, and def. fuck candy that is too generic to even have anything but plain orange wrapper. Where does one even buy this candy?! When I was younger, I neither knew nor cared about fat content, calories, or sugar. How I long to blissfully destroy my body again.

I always remembered the few houses that would give you full size candy bars. And of course, the opposite side of the spectrum was those fuckers who gave me Necco wafers. Hmmm…I wonder what dried spackle tastes like? If someone were to make "asshole" into a candy, what would it taste like? I reckon it'd taste like Necco wafers. And Whoppers. God help me, I hate Whoppers.

Myths and rumors
A few years back at U of Hartford there was a rumor going around that a popular TV psychic (Sylvia brown, I think) had predicted a mass murder at a college campus with a building shaped like an X. For those of you unfamiliar with U of Hartford, there is a dorm called Regents Park that, from the air, resembles an X (actually, it's more like a swastika, which is interesting for a campus with a 25% Jewish population). Regardless, nothing happened, and I still don't trust anything I hear on Montel Williams to this day. But it still freaked people out and was a nice addition to the Halloween mood.

Also, there's the famous 'razorblades in candy' cautionary tale that you always hear about. Sadly, I never did find any razorblades in my candy. I think it would have made a good story. It'd be something to tell the grandkids, assuming that I found razorblade before I bit into the candy and still had a tongue to orate my evil discovery.

Christmas

Ok, so what does Halloween have to do w/ Christmas? Well, if you've been in a fucking store lately, then you'd think pretty much everything. It seems as if we're bypassing Thanksgiving and trying to whore Christmas out to as many people as possible as soon as possible.

Simpson's Tree House of Horror
While I greatly enjoy these specials, I'm upset that because of the World Series, they're now on TV after Halloween. D'oh! By November 5, I'm over Halloween. This guy's looking to the future. Eat my shorts!

Devil's Night
Also known as Mischief Night. It's the night before Halloween. It is the night for toilet papering houses, egging houses and cars, ringing doorbells and running, leaving only flaming bags of dog shit behind, and all that truly juvenile stuff. Wouldn't it be a shame if one of these kids, while attempting to toilet paper a tree in my yard, accidentally got their foot caught in a rusty bear trap that happened to be lying around? Wait, did I say "a shame"? I meant fucking hilarious.

Happy Halloween everyone!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Obituaries

I read the obituaries. Most people think they're morbid. I do not. In fact, I think that these obituaries can be the least morbid section of the paper. All throughout the papers, you read stories of murder, rape, assault, abuse, robbery, white collar crime, and people doing other awful things to other people. And of course, let's not forget our daily dose of the happenings in the Middle East: suicide bombers, terrorists, fires, explosions, and yet more of our Americans being blown up in the name of oil, re-election (by garsh, it worked!), and (somehow) freedom. And then we have little Agnes Jones who died in her sleep at the ripe age of 88. That seems pretty tame in comparison. Maybe the reason I like the obits is because, with some exceptions, it reminds me that people actually DO live long full lives and die of natural causes. I'm not saying cancer and disease are good things, but they're natural and, as sad as they are, they are a part of life, as opposed to being drowned in a bathtub by your lunatic mother (wait, killing 5 children is wrong?) or raped in the seminary by someone you've trusted with your spiritual well-being.

But there are some things about the obituaries that always bugged me.

I'm a curious guy and sometimes the obituaries aren't detailed enough for me. When someone dies "suddenly," they don't often elaborate. C'mon! "Tom Jones, 48, died suddenly Monday night when he was struck by car. The driver was identified as Mona, a 350 lb grizzly bear, reported missing from the San Diego Zoo." Yes! Now, that's the epitome of suddenly.

Conversely, some obits are quite wordy and I find myself drifting off about the time they get to the part about the deceased's service in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, his affinity for bocce ball, and the 23 other relatives who preceded him in death. For Heaven's sake, James Joyce, put down the pen. And Danielle Steele, when you get to the part of about him being reunited with his deceased wife so the two can now hold hands in Heaven and make sweet sweaty love in the back of a Ford Model-T in the midst of God's holy splendor…well, then you've just lost us all. It's a death notice, not a Harlequin novel.

And what's wrong with "dying." Why does the word "die" in an obituary seem to be a dirty word? You ever notice that not many people "die"? Many "pass on", "pass away", "cross over" "soar with the angels", "join God's heavenly flock," "enter Heaven" , "leave this world" or some other useless phrase that does nothing to change the facts. There is nothing wrong with saying someone died. Though I suppose you could get clinical:

"Tom Jones, beloved husband and father, ceased oxygen intake Monday night as a result of a severe myocardial infarction that occurred when an atherosclerotic plaque slowly built up in the inner lining of his coronary artery and then suddenly ruptured, totally occluding the artery and preventing blood flow downstream. He was 48 years old." (Thank you, Wikipedia)

But then again, you do pay by the line. So, if you're gonna get cute, there are some other fun euphemisms for death that can be used. For instance, "Tom Jones, son of Earl and Betty Jones, bought the farm Monday night…" I'd love to read an obit that used the phrases "kick the bucket" "took a dirt nap" "pushin' up daisies", "no longer eligible for census" or "became worm food". That'd be so funny, I might cross over laughing.

Also, there's nothing wrong with being old. I'm sort of taking some cues from George Carlin here, but our world has a fear of aging and of being old. Admittedly, I'm a small part of it. I work out and eat (relatively) healthy in attempt to look good and stave off certain signs of aging, but word old doesn't bother me much. I saw an obituary once for a man who had recently…um….died. Not only did the obituary read "90 years young" but the picture they published of this man was from at least 60 years previous. So not only could his delusional family not acknowledge that he was "old", but they couldn't bare to show a picture of him as he was, which I find to be quite insulting to old folks in general, and the deceased specifically. That's fuckin' denial.

Woo! Not bad for a Monday.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Hazards of the Road (this is a long one!)

Did you know that in 2005 alone, there were 39,189 fatal car crashes in the United States? If you googled (love that word!) 'car accident statistics', then you would. You would also know that Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous weekends for auto accidents. It's coming up, so be vigilant.

I've wanted to vent about the hazards of the road for a while now, but just never got around to it. Now seems like as good a time as any, seeing as I almost got killed Friday night by some fucking maniac who practically rear ended me and ran me off the road at 90 mph while blinking their high beams at me and changing lanes simultaneously. Sound confusing? Well, it was enough for me to dial up the State Police and let them know they'll likely be scraping some bodies off the highway before the night is over. I hope that this guy was drunk for the simple reason that anyone who drives like that normally should not only have their license revoked but be forbidden to go within 500 yards of a car, road, or fellow human being.

With statistics what they are, it surprises me how lightly people seem to take driving. We got 2 dead in the Midwest from e-coli tainted spinach and the country goes apeshit, recalls all the country's spinach, and practically declares spinach illegal, but we've got tens of thousands of people dying each year in fatal car crashes, no doubt many of them preventable, and people barely bat an eyelash, nor go about changing their driving habits. Cars are not inherently dangerous, but they become weapons when you get careless, disrespectful people at the wheel.

Yes, I have road rage. It's more internal and I don't act upon it. I tend to just get angry and the words that come out of my mouth would probably make Andrew Dice Clay blush. I just get frustrated because when I'm driving, I keep a basic idea of what/who is around me and have respect for fellow drivers, even the ones who plainly don't deserve it, namely those who subject to me to bumper sticker wisdom such as, "it's a child, not a choice" and "have you hugged a tree today?"

Likewise, I'm not a fan of decals, namely the famous one of Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes) urinating. It's overdone and not funny or clever. I'll admit, I have a decal of Charlie Brown taking a shit on Lucy's chest, but I keep it off my car. I know where to draw the line.

Joking aside….

Yes, I have been in a car accident, but I have never caused one. I have gotten a speeding ticket in the past and do believe that 80 mph is a nice safe speed for the highways. Am I an example of a perfect driver? No. I speed on back roads, and if no cars are around, I will make rolling stops at stop signs, rather than complete stops. Yes, I'm a bad boy. Mothers, hide your daughters away. I might just take them out for a wild night of turning without signaling and passing on the right hand side.

I've come a long way since that blustery December day in 1996 when I took my driving test and was awarded my license. Not many know this, but I came close to failing. You know why? Because after the driving portion of the test, when I parked, I neglected to turn the lights off. Yes, 2 p.m. in the afternoon and I had no idea that the lights were even on. And for this the old bastard almost failed me. On a related note, I still remember the words that my Drivers Ed teacher said one day. He asked us to look around the class and said simply, "At least one of you will be killed in a car accident within six months." Ironically, he died of a heart attack not long afterwards.

Now there are certain road hazards and that I cannot pretend to be above. Yes, I do have a hands free set for my cell phone. It's in my glove compartment, where it's been since Christmas of last year when my mother gave it to me. That being said, I also don't have long conversations on the phone in the car. I keep the conversations functional ("you want me to pick up some milk?"), not recreational, ("Oh. My. God. You'll never guess who I saw at the mall?! Jessica! Yeah, right? Seriously. She got so fat since prom"). I will agree that talking on the cell phone in the car is distracting, and I confess to not being at my peak driving ability while on it. And this topic of distraction also covers putting on make-up, shaving, and "road head."

Also, I cannot understand why traffic backs up for miles when there is an accident...on the other side of the road? Can't people rubberneck at 60 mph? I understand that a bitchin' car wreck can totally make the commute to work better, and I appreciate the sight of mangled metal just as much as the next guy, but still...keep it moving!

And it boggles my mind that you have thousands of fully functional human beings capable of dressing themselves and going to the bathroom without the assistance of licensed care professional, yet these same people cannot figure out how to successfully merge into traffic from an on-ramp.

Not to sound like a Drivers Ed teacher, but the left lane, also known as the passing lane, or fast lane, is for…you guessed it: passing and driving fast. If you can't go at least the speed limit, stay out of the fast lane. Likewise, if I'm doing 80 in the fast lane, and you come up behind me doing 95 mph flashing your brights, do NOT expect me to change lanes, especially when doing so would put me behind a slower moving car that I'm attempting to pass. Basically, if you show me your high beams, I show you my brake lights. And if you show me your middle finger, I'll fuck your wife when you're not home. Don't test me.

Conversely, people who drive too slowly are equally as dangerous as those with lead feet. If you can't handle the speed limit, stay off the high way and take the back roads. And if you're slow due to being 90 years old and not being able to see above the steering wheel, then just stay home or have someone younger, perhaps the hot 75 year old down the hall, drive you around.

Next up, motorcycles. I have nothing against them, per se. But I do have a problem with these idiots on Suzuki "crotch rockets" who zip in between cars at a buck-ten, or perhaps when the rest of us in cars are in traffic, and think that because their vehicle can fit in between the other vehicles on the road, that somehow traffic laws don't apply to them. Listen dickheads, or "organ donors" as I've heard them referred to as, you're riding a bicycle with a motor on it and your vehicle has a kick stand. Grow up or stay off the road. And that hot chick on the back of your bike? Well, she'll dump your ass as soon as she meets a guy who rides a Harley. Just be prepared.

Also, the breakdown lane is for broken down vehicles (and emergency personnel) not assholes who don't want to sit in traffic. Next person who passes me in a breakdown lane while I'm in bumper-to-bumper traffic will be getting a visit from the Tooth Fairy, meaning I will come into your house one night and knock all your teeth out with a sock full of quarters. Another thing that irks me is people who are in such a hurry that they creep up under the red light so that as soon as it turns green, they're off, leaving only a trail of exhaust behind and the rest of us thinking, "Wow, it must be so cool to have to be somewhere that badly. Perhaps dinner with a high ranking government official or maybe they're just late for their bikini wax." But the problem is, the assholes get so far under the light, that they can't see it anymore, so when it turns green, they're still sitting there holding up traffic while my blood pressure spikes and I lose about 7 minutes off of my life.

Lastly, you have these people who are forced to merge into another lane either to get off an exit, or because their lane is ending, and they wait until the last possibly minute to merge because, apparently, their parents raised them to believe that they're superior to everyone else and can't be bothered with waiting in line like the rest of us. Well if you're one of those people, I've got a secret to tell you: Come closer….closer….Ready?.... Your parents were WRONG! You ain't any better than me or the guy in that SUV back there. Don't expect my car to yield to you. I've been sitting in this lane for 10 minutes since about 1000 feet back that way, listening to some awful Top 40 song on the radio, going 5 miles per hour waiting to get off this exit ramp and you zoom along next to me and think that because you've got nowhere else to go, that I MUST let you in. Sorry, bub. What has two thumbs and doesn't give a crap? (Points at self) This guy! (Yes, I stole that from 'Scrubs.')

Basically, all I'm asking is that people show a little more respect for each other on the road. Acknowledge the fact that you're behind the wheel of a vehicle, which unlike those matchbox cars we played with as kids, can actually do damage to other cars. People die every day from careless mistakes of others. If you feel the need to drive 100 mph, then move the fuck to Germany. If you're more at pace w/ 50 mph on the highway, then take the nearest exit, catch the early bird special at Denny's and stick to back roads.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Am I (Still) the Only One?

Am I the only one who loves movie previews? I remember as a youngster having to sit through what seemed like endless previews in order to watch Oliver and Company or the Land Before time. I hated previews, so much so that in cutest bright-eyed 8 year old boy voice, I would look up at my loving father, who was holding my popcorn and Id ask (God, this is so cute), "Daddy, when is the fucking movie gonna start?" He would smile that loving fatherly smile, muss with my hair, and say, "Son, shut the fuck up and eat your Sno-caps." And that, my friends, is the best advice anyone has ever given me.

It is only within the past few years that I've really come to appreciate a well crafted movie trailer. It can illicit from moviegoers the same emotions that the movie itself is expected to: anticipation, suspense, tears, laughter, and thrills. Its only genuine movie magic that can make me turn to my buddy next to me and exclaim, "Wow, that new Wayans brothers movie looks great!" Just kidding. There’s a difference between magic and miracles.

They should make an entire movie out of just previews. And I don’t mean Ebert and Roper. No commentators, no thumbs up, down, side wise, diagonally. Sit on those thumbs, bub. Just gimme more previews.

What’s the best part of the movie trailers? The narrator’s voice! That deep, gravely and totally unmistakable, and somewhat eerie voice. If I had that voice, I'd narrate everything! Everyday life would be so much more profound. For example, in the middle of a dinner date, I'd reach out, grab my dates hand, and say, “One man...on a mission.... to conquer the odds ....struggling to find the girl of his dreams.....and get her to take her clothes off..... Coming soon to a bedroom near you: My Naked White Ass. Rated R for Ridiculousness."

Conversely, am I the only one who hates commercials at the movies? Last weekend, they had a commercial for KY personal lubricant before the movie. What the hell am I suppose do with this information? I'm trying to watch the movie but can’t get the phrase "warms on contact” outta my head!

Am I the only one who hates being asked to give money to charity at the supermarket? I'm not talking about the Salvation Army at Christmas time. I mean as I’m at the register. I've just spent $100 on Diet Pepsi, Cottage Doubles and Skippy Peanut butter, when they come out with "Would you like to donate a dollar to help kids fight cancer?" Ah, damn! You can't say no without feeling like a total asshole. But I think I’ve come up with the perfect response: "Sure! Why don’t you gimme the name and address of a kid with cancer and I'll go to their house and take them out for ice cream." It's much more personal and would really raise the spirits of the kids. I guarantee you they will not break out the phone book. Just shows you that these companies aren't as dedicated to fighting cancer as they want you to think.

Hey, speaking of kids.....

Am I the only one thinks Anne Geddes is out of her mind? She's the lady who photographs babies enveloped in flower petals, in baskets, and other creepy shit. And what's worse is that the babies all look dead. People are so worried about pedophiles on the internet and hangin around schoolyards, but no one seems to be concerned about her. This woman is seriously disturbed and needs to be stopped. No one, not anybody, should have such a sick fascination with children.
On a related note, am I the only one who finds these baby dolls that look like real babies to be the creepiest fucking things ever? Again, you buy materials to make bombs and the Feds tag you as a terrorist, but if you buy one of these freaky ass dolls, no one bats an eye. I think these people need to be watched a bit closer.

The same with every college girl who has posters of little half naked boys and girls kissing. The RIAA was cracking down on every college kid who downloaded a Backstreet Boys song, but no one was alerted to the fact that many of these same people have soft-core child pornography hanging on their walls! What is the attraction?! I like my porn the old fashioned way; 2 girls, a horse, and a midget. God Bless!

Am I the only one who both hates & loves Sonic? I'm not sure if I hate them because they take up my valuable time advertising their wares on TV here and there isn’t a sonic with 400 miles. Or maybe I love them because over the years they've etched permanent space in my brain, now known as my medulla oblon-Sonic. Is it faulty marketing? Or perhaps genius? I haven’t figured that part out yet.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

If I Were Famous

First off, I would not get married. At least not to a celebrity. It never lasts. I don't know if it's the hectic schedules, or the egos, or perhaps just the pressure of being a celebrity and having to appear accessible to pretty much the world while having so many details of your life scrutinized by so many. Regardless, no celebrity wife for me, though I would certainly date them. I'd have whirlwind romance after romance, but they would all end the same way: in dramatic fashion involving a car chase, an escaped Panda from the San Diego zoo and a structure fire.

Eventually, I'd get sick of famous women, so I would have to get hooked up with someone out of the spotlight, such as a truck stop diner waitress with a cute little bun in her hair who wears horn rimmed glasses and snaps her gum real loud like while shouting, "Where them damn pancakes, Otis?!" Otis, of course, is the gruff and greasy, but loveable, owner of the diner. Forget about Otis.

Secondly, I'd manage my money well. When I hear of some celebrity squandering away all their money and winding up broke, I can't help but laugh. Many of these idiots have millions thrown at them and the piss it away while the average Joe (or Ryan) will probably never see a million dollars in their lifetime, but somehow often manage to make it work. I would not have lavish homes on every coast, but rather a modest home with a few optional features as gifts to myself. I'd have a nice car or two, but my lifestyle would not necessitate a fleet of expensive automobiles. Most importantly, I would make wise investments and save my money. That way, when after the fame and legal expenses (see below) are gone, I'll be able to reap the benefits of smart financial planning.

Now we know how much people get crazy over the pics of expectant mothers and celebrity babies. I would not disappoint. As a practical joke, I would have my wife fake a pregnancy and then when she "gave birth" I would let the paparazzi photograph me with our "baby", which would actually be a monkey in a diaper. But, I would not acknowledge that fact, which would leave people wondering, "Um....does he realize..?" Yes. Yes, I do. His name is Ralph and he's got his daddy's smile. And he throws poop.

Moving on: Theres always a constant battle between the paparazzi and the celebrities. You always see these celebrities covering their faces or acting like they don't want their pictures taken. Fuck that. Take my picture. In fact, let me just give you some. Here's me throwing a football on the beach on vacation, here's me looking all aloof, yet intense GQ style, or getting out of my car with my lastest love interest. I would follow the paparazzi around. Need another picture of me? Wanna stake out my house? I'll be on the lawn posing for photos and handing out autographed 8x10s. The paparazzi would eventually have no interest in me and have no choice but to focus on the important stuff, i.e. which Biblical character or fucking piece of fruit the lead singer of Coldplay is gonna name his next kid after.

Now, as a celebrity, I would also give back to the community.

I would use my celebrity to get Perfect Strangers and MTVs The State released on DVD. You can thank me later.

I would also use my celebrity and the fame and money associated with it for good. I'll let Bono, Angelina Jolie and all those other pompous Hollywood assholes parade around starving African nations with their Gucci, Prada, and Vera Wang, and act as if somehow they can identify with the plights of the needy. I'm not that arrogant. Here's what I would do:

I would help authorities solve crimes. I would go along on police rides, interview witnesses, interrogate suspects, and analyze forensic evidence in a makeshift crime lab in my basement. Ryan L: musician/actor/criminal profiler. It just sounds so good!

Lastly, but very importantly, I'd kill someone. I wouldn't necessarily murder anyone, but I'd be directly or indirectly responsible for someone elses death, enough so that charges would be brought against me. This would probably be towards the end of my career, when my albums aren't selling as well, or the movie roles arent coming in as readily. Perhaps my gum-chewing truck-stop waitress wife would be found dead at the bottom of the stairs. Clichéd? Yes. But it's just an idea. Anyhow, a celebrity trial is always a crowd pleaser and I'd milk it for all it was worth. I'd have entrance music like I was a wrestler and it was the main event at Wrestlemania! I'd enter the courtroom to "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses. Then I'd flex and point at the prosecution and say "What ya gonna do, brother, when these 24-inch pythons run innocent on you?!!" My defense attorney would be like my manager and he would distract the judge while I hit the Prosecuting attorney with a steel chair. And then I'd body slam him into the Spanish announcers table and sign autographs for the jury.

Once I'm acquitted (using a great lawyer contact that I made while assisting on my police investigations as detailed above), then I'll retire away to a small town to write my tell-all book and die peacefully in my sleep at the age of 94, lying next to the 25 year old blonde model that I'd been dating.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Am I the Only One?

Am I the only one who doesn't care to see Da Vince Code? Or read the book? Or buy the lunchbox, the t-shirt and or any other merchandise? Is it weird that I just don't care? I'm not a hater. I simply have no interest in it.

Am I the only one who doesn't give a shit about Angelina Jolie? I never thought she was that hot. And I certainly can't stand hearing about her and Brad Pitt (Brangelina? Good fucking God!) I don't care that she has big lips and I don't care that she's adopted the entire nation of Uganda. Her philanthropy really doesn't tickle me much. Same with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (TomKat? I think I want to kill myself). He's insane. That's pretty much the bottom line.

Am I the only one who doesn't like Coldplay? I guess it's for those who think U2 is a little too hardcore! Seriously, their music is so boring that the last time I heard a Coldplay song on the radio, I fell asleep before I could cut my wrists.

Am I the only one who thinks it's weird that 4 ½ years seems to be the appropriate length of time to go by before Hollywood can FINALLY start making a profit from September 11? Phew! Glad that whole cultural sensitivity shit is finally over. First United 93, now there’s a new Oliver Stone movie with Nicolas Cage (screw those no name actors!) about the firemen trapped in the World Trade Center. I guess 4 ½ years was long enough. Show me the money!

Am I the only one who doesn't cum in my pants over cover bands? Seriously, some cover bands are good, I will admit. But does EVERY cover band have to play the same songs? Is there any allowance for creativity and originality even when you're playing other peoples' music? And I don't mean just wearing a silly hat. To all you human Jukeboxes: don't be afraid to shake things up a bit. I'd love to see a cover band that played all b-sides! Here's a Bon Jovi song that you can only hear by purchasing a rare German Import from 1991. Good luck!

Am I the only one who thinks the whole romance between former Washington State teacher Mary Kay Letourneau and her (then) student is actually kind of sweet? I mean, OK so it might have a little wrong back then when he was like 13, BUT its been about 10 years! He's grown up, she's out of jail and they're still together and in love. Imagine that! A love that actually stood the test of time (and incarceration). In a country where half of all marriages end in divorce, and people are so wrapped up in their own sexual insecurities that the idea of gay people marrying bothers us more than the idea of a president who is willing to send thousands of troops to die for his personal agenda a.k.a "daddy issues", perhaps we shouldn't pass too much judgment on people who actually seem like they have a shot of being happy. Plus, you must consider one important thing: she is HOT! Seriously, go Villi! (By the way, do you know that Letourneau is actually in Microsoft Word spell check?)

Am I the only one who is disappointed when I get stuck in bumper-to- bumper traffic for an hour and the accident turns out only to be some stupid fender bender or some car with a flat tire? Don't you secretly wanna see some catastrophic 20 car pile-up to justify your inconvenience? Yes, you do:)

Am I the only one who thinks it's sad that more people vote for an American Idol than for President? The show is very proud of this statistic; however, maybe if more people voted for President, perhaps this country wouldn't be hated by the entire world. Just a thought. Maybe voting should be done via text messaging on cell phones in 2008 and the winner could release a CD of his (or her?) inauguration speech remixed by Kanye West.

Monday, March 6, 2006

Why music reviews are useless.....

I do a lot of online shopping for music. Often, I find myself reading the drivel that "fans" write about music I'm interested in purchasing. No more. I can't do it. I've come to realize what idiots people are and how music reviews are generally pretty useless. Ironically, I spent two years in college writing music reviews. OK, but I'm done with it. I mean, reviews are opinions and everyone has different opinions. YOu can't always explain why you do or do not like something. It's a matter or taste that is often out of your control. That's why sound clips are very helpful. Much more so than fan reviews.

First off, to those who post on cdnow.com/amazon.com, if you DON'T LIKE the artist or genre of music in the first place, shut the fuck up and don't post. Someone who hates Green Day should not be putting their 2 cents in regarding a Green Day CD. Your opinion doesn't matter because you are not a fan of their music in the first place, and it's beyond me why you think anyone should care what you have to say.

Also, if you do decide to read a music review and base your purchase on someone else's opinion, AT LEAST let it be a debut album so that these "fans" have nothing else to base their review on. Because as soon as you start getting to sophomore efforts and beyond, people always compare it to the first CD and it is usually never for the better. God forbid an artist become more skilled, a better musician or a better singer. Or perhaps (you may wanna take a seat for this one) they actually decide to expand their sound and write songs in a different or varied (are you seated?) style. That's fuckin' blasphemy in the eyes (ears) of the finicky fan.

Then again, people who write these reviews are not true fans of an artist because they allow virtually no room for growth and maturity. They are fairweather fans who will only support the artist as long as their music stays the same over time. If you are a musician and your three albums are virtually indistinguishable from one another, chances are you're going to get a great online review. Congratulations, you've appeased the masses by showing no versatility whatsoever in your craft.

So, yeah, what I'm saying is that you should trust your ears and own tastes when it comes to...well, anything really, but in this case, music. Check around for sound clips and if you HAVE to read a music review, read one in an actual magazine by people who actually do this for a living and who know how to write.