Friday, November 21, 2014

Midwestern Eavesdropping

Thirtysomething woman describing Asahi beer: "It tastes like a congregation of buttholes."
--Chicago
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Grandmas Smoking a Bong and Playing Cards Against Humanity

I saw this video yesterday, and I was literally crying in some parts because I was laughing so hard.  It's three grandmas in Washington state (where the weed is legal) smoking pot for the first time and then talking about it and then playing Cards Against Humanity.  Most importantly, the video contains a discussion of queefing that, I must warn you, is not to be watched while drinking any liquids.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Retro Video of the Week: "Take a Picture" by Filter

In honor of the picture Paul Stanley took of me this past weekend, it seemed like Filter's hit "Take a Picture" was an appropriate Retro Video of the Week.  Released in late 1999, it rose to #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 2000.  In addition, it reached #1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play charts, which seems strange, as well as the top 10 on the Billboard Adult Top 40, Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks, and Hot Modern Rock Tracks charts.

Interesting tidbit: the song has a great backstory.  According to frontman Richard Patrick, the song is about him getting drunk on a flight, and fighting with flight attendants who tried to prevent him from taking all his clothes off.  We've all been there.

Even more interesting tidbit:  Patrick's older brother is actor Robert Patrick -- the T-1000.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday Top Ten: Las VeKISS Edition


This past weekend, I went to Las Vegas.  Before continuing this story, I must first give a gigantic shout-out to my wife, Jesterio the Magnificent, for letting me go on this trip on short notice.  You see, fine readers, this all started on the morning of Saturday, October 25.  My wife, children, and I were at Rocks's Northcenter location.  Some of us were decorating pumpkins, while some of us were drinking beer.  The co-owner of Rocks, who also happened to go to college with me, approached me and indicated that he and his wife, along with two other couples, were going to see KISS at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas on Friday November 14.  He had two extra tickets and asked if I was interested in one or both of the tickets.  I was indeed.

After some persistent begging, combined with the fact that I could fly for free with points, Jester let me go.  It was a fantastic trip.  Here are the top ten highlights from the weekend.

10.  Watching free live TV on the flight home
I flew Southwest, and sure enough, their commercials aren't lying.  You can actually watch about 10-15 channels of Dish Network for free.  The best part is that, if you're watching on a tablet or phone, you don't ever have to turn your device off (just keep it in Airplane Mode), so you can watch TV from the time you sit down until the time you leave the plane.  This is particularly awesome on a Sunday during the fall, as I was able to flip between the Chargers/Raiders game and the Eagles/Packers game for most of the flight, before the Colts/Pats Sunday night game started.

9.  The Hard Rock
Because the show and a KISS-centric gift shop were at the Hard Rock, we made a couple trips there over the course of the weekend, even though we weren't staying there.  I hadn't been to the Hard Rock during my other trips to Vegas, since it's off the strip, but I will say that it was pretty cool in there.  As you might imagine, they had a lot of cool rock and roll memorabilia, including, but not limited to, some KISS costumes and a bunch of Def Leppard stuff (since Def Leppard recorded a live album there a couple years ago)




The bars at the Hard Rock also had KISS-themed cocktails.  I had the Psycho Circus, since it contained "vodka and orange juice" –- just in case KISS played "Cold Gin" and Paul Stanley recited his banter to the crowd from Alive! verbatim, in which case I would have been able to yell passionately without feeling like an imposter.


8.  Craps
God, I love craps, although this would have been higher on the list if it was kinder to me.  That said, here is a picture of the craps table at the Hard Rock where I had my most success.

7.  Gambling on college and pro football
The only other times I have been to Vegas have been during the summer months, so I have never been during the college or pro football seasons.  I quite enjoyed betting on both.  My favorite bet was when I bet the second-half over of 21.5 points in the UTEP/North Texas game.  Winning that bet made me feel like a champion and a degenerate all at the same time.

6.  Eric Carr lookalike
After the KISS show Friday night, walking around the Hard Rock, we saw this guy, dressed up like former KISS drummer Eric Carr, full fox makeup and fox stole included.  This is some pretty solid dedication.  Of course, it's gotta be creepy for Gene or Paul to see the spitting image of a man who died over twenty years ago.

5.  KISS Mini Golf
Across the street from the Hard Rock is KISS Mini Golf, an indoor, black-lit putt putt adventure for any KISS fan.  In addition, they had a bunch of KISS memorabilia on the walls, and a KISS gift shop.  Good times were had by all, even if I turned in a Jean Van de Velde-esque collapse, squandering my lead in spectacular fashion.


 
4.  The show itself
The show was, as expected, phenomenal.  The Joint holds only 3,000-4,000 people, so it was the smallest venue in which I will ever see KISS play a concert.  Our seats were ridiculous.  There were two kind of wings coming out of the corners of the stage at a 45-degree angle.  Four of us were right next to the right wing (the Paul side), and the other four were next to the left wing (the Gene side), with both sets maybe ten rows back from the front of the stage.  We were close enough to the stage that we could feel the heat every time the pyrotechnics went off, which is pretty much every few seconds at a KISS show.  Every once in a while, Paul or Tommy Thayer would wander down our wing, and get closer to us than any member of KISS had ever been before.  It was definitely in the top five concerts I've ever attended, and it might be number one.

Here are some photos, as well as videos I took of part of the opener, "Detroit Rock City," and part of "Deuce," with Tommy Thayer coming right by us for his guitar solo.





3.  The encore
The encore was two classics, "Shout It Out Loud" and "Rock and Roll All Nite."  During the latter, they shot off enough confetti that it looked like a rock and roll blizzard.  It was awesome.  Here's a video.

2.  I touched Paul Stanley
At one point during the show, Paul was down on his knees right in front of us (and yes, I realize how bad that sounds), so I reached out my hand and, sure enough, he grabbed it.  It happened shortly after he knelt down to talk to this lady.
  
1.  This
Here is a picture of Paul Stanley that I took when he was right in front of us.
Here is a picture taken seconds later (by photographer Keith Leroux) posted on KISS's Facebook page the next day showing Paul Stanley grabbing a fan's phone and taking a picture.

Here is the picture he took.
Yes, Paul Stanley took our picture.  When he was crouched down, the guy in our group next to us (whose face is half cut off) had his phone out, so Paul asked for the phone and took a picture of us.  Truly a concert-going high point for me, which is saying a lot because I have some really great concert memories.  Paul McCartney at a giant outdoor plaza in Munich.  Def Leppard in the round from the 6th row in 1992.  Justin Hawkins stage diving off of a 15-foot stack of amps into the crowd at The Metro.  A photo of me wearing a sleeveless Union Jack t-shirt at a Def Leppard concert appeared in the Dayton Daily News.  But I have never had a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer take my picture.  That's gonna be tough to top.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Oldest Bar in Every State

Sorry for the lack of posting the last few days.  I was visiting The Meadows, Nevada, where I saw a band that JR Smalling used to call the hottest band in the land.  It was life-changing, but you'll hear more about that tomorrow.  

In the meantime, here is a pretty cool article that lists the oldest bar in each of the 50 states and tell you a little bit about each one.  The only bar on the list I have patronized is Lafitte's in New Orleans, which is a fantastic bar.  I don't know what it is about drinking in old buildings, but I like it.  And now I have a reason to go to Long Grove, a town that I literally had no intention or reason to ever visit, until I learned it contains the oldest bar in Illinois.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Retro Video of the Week: "Waterfalls" by TLC

Sorry for the lack of a Tuesday Top Ten yesterday.  By the volume of emails I received, I know you were all concerned about my well-being.  Don't tell anyone, but I was just up in Lake Forest interviewing for the Bears' head coaching position.  If chosen, I would install an offense that exclusively uses polecat formations.  On defense, I would employ a bounty-based system that would make Gregg Williams vomit, with $1 million going to the first man to infect Aaron Rodgers with full-blown AIDS and $2 million going to the first man to infect Jay Cutler.

Speaking of AIDS, this Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the release of TLC's CrazySexyCool, which featured the megahit "Waterfalls," which stayed at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks in 1995.  Here's the video.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Tuesday Top Ten: Halloween Costumes 2014

Apologies for the belated Tuesday Top Ten.  After spending most of the day Tuesday returning videotapes, yesterday I had a lunch date with Cliff Huxtable, then dinner with Courtney at Barcadia, followed by drinks at Harry's with Bryce and Van Patten.

As you know, Halloween is my favorite holiday.  This year, because Halloween was on a Friday, we were blessed with two weekends of Halloween joy, since the traditional Halloween party/bar night is the Saturday before Halloween.

Here in the Your Handrew household, we got into some shit this year.  The girls are embracing their dark sides, which is nice.  It started on the night of Friday the 24th, a week before Halloween, when we carved some pumpkins.  Lollipop is apparently terrified of pumpkin innards.

My stencil this year was Devil Flanders from the Simpsons.  Unfortunately, as is often the case with these intricate pumpkin stencils with thin cuts, the pumpkins wilt pretty quickly, so by the time I took this picture a few nights later, old Neddy boy's moustache had shriveled up.  The other pumpkins are more standard jack-o-lanterns.



The next night, we had a costume party, which fulfilled a lifelong dream for me.  We decorated the house appropriately, with plenty of spider webs, bats, blood-penned threatening messages on the walls, and the like.



There was also this painting, which we've always had up.  When we woke up Saturday morning, it was bleeding from the eyes and mouth.  Talk about a team player!

For the party, Jester dressed up as a spider web, although I don't have a good picture of that.  Daughter was a witch, and Lollipop decided to think outside the box for a three-year-old girl and be Elsa from Frozen.  I don't have pictures of them, either.  Son went as Freddy Krueger.  As expected, I have about twenty pictures of that, although I will only make you look at one.

I went as Patrick Bateman. 

I ordered some business cards off of Etsy.  That's bone, and the lettering is something called Silian Rail.

At the party, anytime someone was hovering over the food and trying to figure out what to get, I would tell them, "Don't stare at it; eat it!"  Later on that night, I went out to a couple bars.  Some people asked if I was Dexter.  Their bodies are currently dissolving in a bathtub in Hell's Kitchen.

On Halloween proper, Ari and John and their kids were in town for a wedding, so they stopped by to go trick-or-treating before heading out to the burbs for the festivities.  It was cold and windy, with gusts over 50 mph.  That doesn't stop kids, and nor should it.  Here is a shot of Lollipop dressed as Elsa, and her cousins dressed as Elsa and Olaf.

Daughter was Bat Girl.

Son is less than eight months old, so he stayed home with me while I handed out candy.

This year, I dressed up as Teen Wolf on Halloween proper.  When it comes to Halloween, I prefer not to half-ass things.  The beard that came with the costume had elastic and hooked around the ears, and it was also way too fluffy.  It looked more Amish than werewolf.  I was not satisfied, so I decided to cut strips off of the beard and attach them to my face using spirit gum, which achieved a more authentic look.  I also got fangs that attached to my teeth.  They were a pain to put in, but like the Soup Nazi, I suffer for my work.  I added some tan makeup to look a little more vulpine.  In the end, I was quite satisfied with how things turned out.

One of my favorite new Halloween traditions is costume karaoke, which I started last year, when I dressed up as the grim reaper and sang "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" and "Heaven."  So, I went to Rocks with Gregerson (who was dressed like Neil Diamond), since Rocks has karaoke on Friday nights. 

When we arrived, the karaoke guy was starting up.  I went to the bar and ordered a keg of beer.  Apparently, they don't sell beer by the keg, so I just got a twelve-ounce bottle instead.  Whether it was nerves or disinterest, the patrons were slow to get up and sing.  Karaoke night isn't quite as fun when people aren't singing karaoke, so I did what any good werewolf would do in that situation.  I got up on stage and howled my heart out.  I tell you this, fair readers:  for the next couple hours, I was the King of Karaoke. 

Before my first song, I grabbed the mic and asked if anyone out there was starving.  "I know I am," I said, right before bursting into a rather randy version of Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf."  Laughs were had, heads were nodded in visceral approval, and pictures and videos were taken, and after I got off the stage, high fives were administered.

A little while later, I began to walk to the stage again to put in my next song, when I was stopped by a man dressed as Mike Ditka.  "Hey Teen Wolf!" he exclaimed.  "Yes," I replied.  "I'll give you $20 if you sing 'Werewolves of London," he said, immediately regretting his words.  "Twenty dollars?" I asked, not telling him that I was about to go put that song in to sing anyway.  "Well, I'll buy you a drink," he said, somewhat uncomfortably, as I was bearing my fangs.

I did indeed sing "Werewolves of London," and this time, there were more pictures and videos being taken.  Where the fuck was Styles during all this? I wondered to myself, before realizing that I was not actually Teen Wolf.  After a deafening round of cheers, I walked back to Ditka, and he bought me a shot of Fireball.  Aaaaooooooooooooo!

I sang one more song a little later, Sam the Sham and The Pharoahs' campy classic, "Li'l Red Riding Hood."  By this time, women were throwing panties at me on stage, some of them quite bloody.  I'm not really a wolf, people, I wanted to cry out, but I was having too much fun signing the entire song while doing a handstand.

Then, at some point, I realized that all of these people didn't like the real me; they just liked the wolf.  I'm nothing if not true to myself, so I changed back into Scott Howard at the end of the night, when I beat the Dragons without lycanthropic powers and then boofed Boof.

But anyway, as I have done in years past, I will share with you the ten best Halloween costumes I saw, other than my own and my family's, of course.

10 (tie).  Baby farmers
They grow genetically modified babies.  This one was crossbred with a carrot.  And you can see Jester's spider web costume in the background.

10 (tie).  Whatever this is –- a red-headed jester, maybe?

10 (tie).  Walter Payton
See, she's double fisting, to symbolize Payton's death from liver failure.  Or so I assume.  Maybe she's just double fisting.

9.  Minions

8.  Neil Diamond
That's a shiny shirt.

7.  Swayze Pumpkin

6.  Priest and Nun with child
They brought an actual child.  And beer.

5.  Zombie lumberjack

4.  Rock Lobsters
I do love a good play-on-words costume.

3.  Jasón
With glitter, a scarf, and stars on his mask and cleaver, he's the effeminate slasher.

2.  Nick Pappagiorgio from Vegas Vacation


1.  Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation
It was with such accuracy that even his belt was correctly cockeyed, although he was unable to find any Meister Bräu.