Sunday, May 31, 2009

Butch Rifle

If you were to choose an alias with which to woo women at bars, what would that alias be? The correct answer, if you're Adam's friend Brian, is Butch Rifle. I kid you not. I saw Butch in action Friday night. There are at least two women who thought it was plausible that there is actually a man named Butch Rifle.

Speaking of Brian, I am currently watching his Song on Reelz Channel. I sure hope this Gale Sayers character is able to recover from his knee injury and that this Brian Piccolo guy doesn't tragically die from cancer.

Friday, May 29, 2009

New Book - A Confederacy of Dunces

I finally finished Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector by Mick Brown. It was a slow read, but very fascinating. Unlike a lot of biographies that you might read about people who have been vilified, Brown did a great job of making sure you didn’t sympathize with Spector. The book starts at birth and ends just after Spector's first trial ended with a hung jury. The bottom line is that Spector is a musical genius with a dangerous combination of a Napoleon complex, hubris, insecurity, psychosis, and firearms. It was bound to backfire at some point. The guy was (and probably still is) bat shit nuts, but man, did he make some great music -- and, from what I learned, he is more than willing to tell you about the great music he made, as well as take credit for making some other great music that he had no part of. It was a sad tale, but in the end I was not left feeling sorry for Spector at all.

On the recommendation of both my wife and Can Can, I have started reading A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, which is about some fat dude named Ignatius who lives in New Orleans. It has an interesting history, for those who don't know. The author committed suicide in 1969 at the age of 31. When cleaning out his personal effects, his mom found a carbon copy of the manuscript, read it, thought it was great, and took it to a Loyola (La.) professor in 1976, who helped get it published in 1980. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction the next year. In the words of Charles DeMar, "Suicide is never the answer, little trooper."

Books read in 2009:
The Informers by Bret Easton Ellis
Oh The Glory of It All by Sean Wilsey
I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto by Dave Thompson
Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal by Ian Christe
Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector by Mick Brown

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday Top Ten: Highlights from Indy 500 Weekend

This weekend, I attended my first Indy 500 since Rick Mears's victory in 1991. Since I am not 13 anymore, this year was a little different. Goni, Gsell, and I headed down to Indy Saturday morning, arriving at Chambers's parents' house mid-afternoon. TG arrived from Louisville a couple hours later.

It wasn't quite as drunken or adventurous a time as BD had, but a great time nonetheless. I had the pleasure of going to two cookouts in two nights and playing beer pong at both. Yes, I am 31. Friday night we went to a cookout at the home of some of Chambers's family friends. Saturday night, it was at Beyler's pad in or near Broad Ripple. In between, there were lots of fast cars, slow women, and booze.

Here are the top ten highlights of the weekend in chronological order:

10. I have created a new word for a Scandinavian gang bang: a fjörgy. Use it. Love it. Live it.

9. At Friday night's cookout, Goni and I were playing some cornhole against two wunderkinds. Finding ourselves down 15-3, we roared back to win 21-19. Check out Sunday's Indianapolis Star for more details, stats, in-depth interviews, and local and international reaction.

8. Also at Friday night's cookout, I was teamed up with Chambers's cousin Hank for some beer pong against Goni and Gsell. The bad guys sank their last cup, leaving us with two cups left and two shots to force OT. I had the first shot. Since I'm not great at, well, much of anything, I chucked the ping pong ball as hard as I could, thus knocking one cup over onto a slow-reacting Goni's jeans and feet, thus making Goni temporarily livid -- not so much for having beer spilled on him or having me yell that he should have worn shorts or should have just reacted more quickly, but rather for being the one who had suggested that strategy in an earlier game only to fall victim to his own devices.

7. Upon our return to Chambers's parent's place (don't worry, they were staying somewhere else), we watched the first half-hour of Carny, a Sci-Fi Channel original movie chiller starring Lou Diamond Phillips -- the namesake for Judson's blue beach cruiser, Blue Diamond Phillips -- as the sheriff of a small town that is in the throes of hosting a carnival run by a shady man with a cane and featuring some unknown beast that presumably kills things. We went to sleep about a half-hour into it because we had to get up in six hours for a day of drinking, but Carny was definitely a film I plan on watching again. By the way, I'm pretty sure Lou Diamond Phillips is the perfect choice to play Rod Blagojevich in the biopic that I am now going to write about a young Serbian's journey from teenage crooner to peyote-drinking Native American cowboy to Springfield.

6. By about 9 a.m. Saturday, we were drinking Captain and Coke while tailgating in an American Legion parking lot.

5. Hank wore a wife beater and a belt buckle with his name on it to the race, in addition to a very thick fu Manchu, only to be outdone by . . .

4. Gsell's race day t-shirt:
3. I received a picture message with this picture of McCleezie and J-Diza before the Sox game on Sunday:

2. I enjoyed hearing Gsell (who is a Navy vet) have to explain over and over again that he should not be wished a happy Memorial Day because he is, in fact, not dead.

1. The race itself was awesome. Our seats were in Turn 3.
Thanks to a series of yellow flags, the race was pretty close all the way through. Unfortunately, I missed the only crash near us (Tony Kanaan) while hanging out outside the stands with Judson, Tyler, Kashman, and the younger Fankhauser. In addition, somehow TG won all three bets in our race pool: winner, second place, and first driver out. On the bright side, one of my drivers was named Oriol. He did not win, place second, nor wreck on the pace lap. I also failed to sell TG my best driver (Ryan "Disco" Briscoe) for $20 while he was in first place. He soon thereafter lost a gear and dropped to 24th, before fighting back to 2nd with about 15 laps left, only to take a pit stop to refuel, thus dropping him out of the top ten for good. Good times.

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Name is Canceled

For some reason NBC has decided to cancel My Name Is Earl, in favor of Amy Poehler's new show Parks and Recreation. This is unfortunate because Earl was a pretty unique and funny show, with what I thought were excellent characters. Parks and Recreation is basically a rip-off of The Office and, while it is funny, I don't think it's as funny or unique as Earl.

Given that NBC canceled Kath & Kim, I'm not sure why there isn't room for both Earl and Parks and Recreation on Thursday nights. Frankly, I don't think the SNL Thursday Night Live (which will be getting the initial 8E/7C slot on Thursday nights) has as much legs as Earl, but apparently NBC disagrees with me.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Midwestern Eavesdropping - 5/21/09

Middle school teacher from Connecticut: "I had a girl in my class that shit in a piano."
--Louisville, Churchill Downs
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Dude at bar: "If Grant bought cigs, I will suck his dick under the table."
--Chicago, some bar
Eavesdropper: BD

Sixtysomething female, after opening a Mother's Day card from her son and daughter-in-law and seeing a sonogram, thus realizing she is going to be a grandmother for the first time: "Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Are you kidding me?! Is this yours?"
--LaGrange, IL
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Twentysomething female: "My underwear was about to come out of my mouth it was so far up there."
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian

Thirtysomething male after eating at Fogo de Chao: "I'm gonna take some Tylenol PM when I get home, and I might actually shit my bed tonight."
--Chicago, Fogo de Chao, 661 N. LaSalle
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Twentysomething female referring to Biggest Loser contestant: "It's kind of like a ridgeback, but he has a vag-back."
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian

Thirtysomething male discussing the bar The Liars Club: "It's where a girl told me Derek Jeter got her pregnant as a way to pick me up."
--Chicago, Hidden Shamrock, Halsted & Diversey
Eavesdropper: GMYH

One West Side elementary school teacher to another: "I'll G-Chat the shit out of you."
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian

Thirtysomething dude: "I gotta wash my hands to do this beef. That didn't sound right."
--Chicago, State & Ontario
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Thanks to those who contributed. For the remaining 6,781,199,165 of you, for shame. When you overhear something funny or something that can be taken out of context, email it to for inclusion in the next Midwestern Eavesdropping.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday Top Ten: Memories of The Vu

It is with great sadness that I report to you that Déjà Vu -- the late-night bar on Lincoln Avenue, not the many strip clubs around the world with the same name -- is no more. It will now be known as the Rock House -- a live music venue, which, according to their website, will have no cover. Actually, this is a vast improvement over the Vu, but nonetheless, the Vu will be missed.

In the hierarchy of Lincoln Park 4 a.m. bars, the Vu held a firm spot between The Store on the upper end and Beaumont on the lower end. It was the kind of place you went to when you just wanted a few more beers or RBVs after the regular bars had closed (or perhaps wanted to hear some Latin-influenced rock band that for some reason is playing at a dance club on a Friday night), but you didn't want to get in a fight or go trolling for someone drunker than you (Beaumont) or play pop-a-shot (The Store).

For anyone who frequented the Vu, you know it's a place where memories -- and sometimes, babies (not ours) -- are made. Because I'm a sucker for a pregnant chick, I'm going to be posting Jester's top ten memories of the Vu, and then my top ten memories.

Jester's Top Ten Memories of the Vu:

10. Same as Andrew's #7.

9. When the gals and I had a whole bag of Cubs Old Style pint glasses we had acquired at an out-of-control Waterhouse happy hour give away and we hid them in the bushes outside the Vu (don't worry, we got them on our way out).

8. Multiple occasions of Ari and the anonymous wife of Alex chugging 40s behind the 7-11 next to the Vu.

7. When it was super hot and I had to take my strapless bra off on the dance floor and put it in my purse and Brian said it was the most amazing move he'd ever seen (he still brings it up sometimes).

6. When the anonymous wife of Alex ran to the bathroom to throw up and somehow returned from the bathroom with a whole tray of shots.

5. The night we took the teachers to their first Hillbilly Sunday.

4. Not a memory, but I love the fact that Reed met his future wife in line at the Vu, a place I would most definitely vote "last place on earth to meet someone meaningful."

3. Many hours of video bowling and Photohunt.

2. Drinking greyhounds with Ari and Brian.

1. They all drunkenly blend together, but every night when I first moved to the city and the gals and I would cap out a good night at The Apartment with a trip to the Vu.

On that note, I'm sad my future child will never know all the joy the Vu had to offer.

GMYH's Top Ten Memories of the Vu:

10. Going to the upstairs of the Vu once, sitting down on one of the couches, and immediately contracting pretty much every strain of hepatitis.

9. Sitting on the pool tables, but never actually playing pool.

8. Gregerson sitting at the nudie photo hunt machine pretty much every weekend night between 2 and 4 (and 5 on Saturday nights). Go Moops!

7. The relocation of Hillbilly Sundays, and, with it, the very confused look on people's faces as they walked into a dance club at 1 a.m. hoping to grind on some chicks, only to hear Toby Keith blaring. Often, that resulted in the ordering of one beer, and then a prompt exit upon realizing that the country music simply was not going to stop playing.

6. Even though I wasn't there: Reed meeting Sarah (his fiancé) in line to get into the Vu and, within three hours, holding the record for longest relationship spawned by the Vu.

5. Same as Jester's #8, except she forgot to mention the peeing in giant recycling bins.

4. Taking money from, and losing money to, Gregerson at Silver Strike, which was eventually replaced by the punching bag game.

3. Some chick spraying vomit like a sprinkler all over Luke and his girlfriend while they were sitting at the bar rather early one Hillbilly Sunday. Seriously, it was only 8, and this chick was more slammed than the anonymous wife of Alex (see Jester's #6).

2. Some she-monster drinking Gregerson's beer while he was outside smoking, and after Jessie said "I think you accidentally drank my friend's beer," the she-monster trying to choke Jessie and yelling "I'll do something!"

1. Accidentally punching a mute woman who was standing too close to the punching bag game as hard as I could square in her back, and then spending the next 20 minutes apologizing to her and her giant boyfriend (who was also a mute) -- both of whom were glaring at me -- and unsuccessfully offering to buy them drinks. Somehow I came out of it looking like the good guy because the bartender yelled at the mutes for not accepting my profuse apologizing and offers of drinks.

I encourage all of you to post your favorite memories (or quasi-memories) of the Vu.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Speaking of babies, at some point near the end of November, another generation of self-deprecation, encyclopedic music knowledge, and deceptive foot speed will be unleashed on the world.

Reactions thus far have ranged from guarded optimism ("Oh, uh, that's, um, nice?") to concern ("Is Jessie okay with this?") to more concern ("You're not really going to name it Leon, are you?") to horror ("Sweet Jesus, not another. Not another.") to confusion ("I'm sorry, but I think you have the wrong number.") to skepticism ("Is it yours?") to outright denial ("It can't be yours.") to esoteric ("Just as the prophecy foretold.") to congratulatory ("Congratulations."). Stay tuned to this week's Midwestern Eavesdropping to see which one was my mom's reaction.

So, for the next six months, expect hilarious stories about the approximate size of our spawn (a lemon, a small woodchuck, a human fetus, etc.), Jester eating crazy food combinations ("A cheeseburger pizza topped with rocky road ice cream and pickled beets, again Jester? Mama mia!"), and being forced to watch videos of natural child birth. Beyond that, expect hilarious stories about pooping, stroller races, and the like.

Needless to say, we're extremely excited. Aside from a steady stream of vomit, Jessie is doing well so far. She has been a trooper. I've been doing fine too, although drinking for two is harder than it seems, but at least Jessie has someone to commiserate with about the vomiting.

Also, for those of you who thought there was something awry by the fact that I posted about baby names a couple weeks ago, I assure you that was actually purely coincidental, as the Social Security Administration happened to release the 2008 list of baby names that week. I would have written that post regardless of the then-lime-sized being living in Jessie's womb, as evidenced by my similar post in 2006 and my general history of poking fun at unusual names.

Who Cares About Jon and Kate?

I'd be lying to you if I said I've never seen an episode of "Jon & Kate Plus Eight." I find it to be occasionally funny, slightly terrifying, and otherwise benign. It's not a show I would go out of my way to watch, and I've always felt Kate comes across as sort of a bitch. I never had any idea that the parents on the show, Jon and Kate Gosselin, were big enough celebrities to merit a whirlwind of press coverage for both allegedly having affairs. Seriously, every damn magazine in the supermarket check-out lane has a picture of a woman with eternal bed head on the cover.

If Jon wants to hang out with a 23-year-old rather than a woman who looks like she has a cockatiel on her head, then so be it. And if a woman with a cockatiel on her head wants to hang out with a bodyguard rather than her husband, then so be it. Personally, I don't give a shit if Jon and Kate are not having sex with Kate and Jon, respectively. What I do give a shit about is having to hear about it and having to see that woman's hair when I'm buying groceries. Seriously, it's like a sideways version of the Flock of Seagulls hair, but with more anger and less presence in the 1980s.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Gordon Shumway

If you like ALF -- and you do -- check out this YouTube channel with clips of ALF episodes. Man, that guy loved to eat cats. Thanks to Christoff for the link.

Guest Shit I Hate: Friendly Reminders

The Shit I Hate feature I started eight months ago has predictably caught on like wildfire (which I hate, coincidentally). So much so, in fact, that I received an email from a loyal reader asking me to post some of his job-related hatred. With that, here you go (with certain edits to make it anonymous, per the reader's request):
I fucking hate when someone sends me an email that says its "just a friendly reminder." First of all I am not friends with the woman in this other department (I have absolutely no idea who she is) that sends the email telling me to complete an evaluation.

Also, is there an "adversarial reminder"? Why do they bother to tell me its friendly when its some sow's attempt to be passive aggresive? Would an adversary even give a reminder?


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Top Ten: Favorite Led Zeppelin Songs

There comes a point in every man's life where he discovers Led Zeppelin. It's usually around junior high, potentially earlier if you have a cool older brother who lets you borrow his records, or potentially later if you have an older sister who listens to Cyndi Lauper and will be pregnant by the time 1987 rolls around. Either way, you discover them, and then it's over -- meaning your pre-Zeppelin existence. From then on, you love them. They are probably the ultimate guys' rock band: blues-influenced, pounding drums, killer guitars, a wailing front man, sexually charged lyrics, mystical lyrics, banging groupies with fish. And any self-respecting classic rock station has a daily "Get the Led Out" block of Zeppelin songs, which you can't really say for any other group.

One of the worst days of my life came my senior year of college when an unnamed coed named Jessie left the passenger door of Blackura (my '89 black Integra) unlocked over night. In a shoebox on the floor in the back seat, I had a bunch of tapes, including every single Zeppelin album. The thieves did not take my Oakleys, nor did they take any Cream, Hendrix, or Doors tapes. No, they took every one of my Zeppelin tapes, except for the two that sloppily fell to the floor as they were trying to escape. To punish Jessie, I forced her to spend the rest of her life with me.

Zeppelin obviously has a lot of great songs, and narrowing my favorite down to ten was as difficult as forgiving Jessie (i.e., it has taken ten years). Here are my ten favorite songs, with the album from whence they came in parentheses (and because I love you, I included the honorable mention on the mix):

Just missing the cut: "Ramble On" (II); "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" (III); "Misty Mountain Hop" (IV); "The Ocean" (Houses of the Holy); "Houses of the Holy" (Physical Graffiti); "Fool in the Rain" (In Through the Out Door)

10. "How Many More Times" (I).
This is a badass song. You're not sure where it's going for the first 30 seconds, and then Bonham just starts sounding like a heard of elephants, and Robert Plant kicks it in, explaining that whoever he's singing about is consistently ungrateful.

9. "Travelling Riverside Blues" (Box Set).
This is a great cover of a Robert Johnson song, which the band recorded in 1969 (but didn't release). There is also a version on the BBC Sessions double CD. Jimmy Page's slide guitar sounds otherworldly (and I kind of mean that literally), and the whole "squeeze my lemon til the juice runs down my leg" thing means the guys must appreciate homemade lemonade.

8. "Bring It On Home" (II).
This one starts out slow and bluesy, and it almost lulls you to sleep. Then, at about 1:44, BAM! What an awesome guitar riff.

7. "Good Times Bad Times" (I).
I've always loved this song. Well, not always, but at least for the past 18 or 19 years. What a heavy song for 1969. As this was the first song off of their first album, it was the first thing tons of people ever heard by Zeppelin. And with that, heavy metal was born.

6. "Over the Hills and Far Away" (Houses of the Holy).
What a great song, starting off with an acoustic intro, and then building up with anticipation until sonic orgasm is reached with the chorus.

5. "Your Time Is Gonna Come" (I).
I don't know how I forgot about this one on my list of Top Ten "Fuck You" Songs, but it should probably be up there. It starts with some strange church organs, lulling you into a false sense of security before unleashing some hate on a woman who done somebody wrong. "You been bad to me woman, but it's comin' back home to you."

4. "What Is and What Should Never Be" (II).
It starts off all slow and trippy, the busts into the chorus like John Bonham into a liquor cabinet.

3. "Out on the Tiles" (III).
This is an underrated Zeppelin nugget about hanging out on tiles and such.

2. "Hey Hey What Can I Do?" (B-side to the single version of "Immigrant Song"; also on the Box Set).
This is a very sweet song about a whore.

1. "When the Levee Breaks" (IV).
I've sung this song's praises before, and I will likely do so again. The unmistakable drum beat, driving guitars, fuzzed-out harmonica, and wail of Robert Plant adds up to seven minutes of blues-soaked awesomeness.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Look Out.

Jessie is out of town this weekend, visiting The Meadows, Snow-covered for Ari's bachelorette party. This leaves me to my own devices. As you might expect, I will spend the weekend doing the following: staying out until 5 or 6 in the morning; drinking whiskey in bed; dressing the dog up as a ninja; flirting with Target employees using the name "d'Artagnan" and talking about my three buddies "who are really into swords and fucking. Now where did you say the cereal was?"; mining bauxite; passing gas in public; triple dog daring homeless people to eat quarters for pennies; and taking a bath in gin from three to five tomorrow and Sunday afternoons.

Baby Names 2008: The Maiden (or Mayden or Maeden or Maden) Voyage

As it does every year, the Social Security Administration released its list of the most popular baby names for 2008. A good way to waste several hours is to surf the SSA's baby name database.

Here are the top 10 for boys and girls:

1. Jacob
2. Michael
3. Ethan
4. Joshua
5. Daniel
6. Alexander
7. Anthony
8. William
9. Christopher
10. Matthew

1. Emma
2. Isabella
3. Emily
4. Madison
5. Ava
6. Olivia
7. Sophia
8. Abigail
9. Elizabeth
10. Chloe

As you can see, the boys names are pretty much traditional. Ethan, I could do without, but unfortunately I haven't yet been given naming power over all birthed humans in the United States. When that day comes, you better goddamn well believe that Leon will be higher than 502.

The girls names tend to be more trendy. Ten or fifteen years ago if you named your daughter Sophia, you'd be branded a "gay," since it would be assumed that you were a huge Golden Girls fan. And for Christ's sake, haven't we endured enough Madisons?

Here are some disturbing trends:
  • With a ranking of 12, Andrew dropped out of the top 10 for the first time since 1995 and has its lowest ranking since 1984. This is sickening. Come on people, the name means "Disease-free slayer of dragons and vaginas, who gambles well." Worse yet, Andrew is now behind Jayden, whose rise in popularity I assume is directly related to the fact that Britney's second kids is named that. Fuck you, America. On the bright side, at least I'll know who my kids' drug dealers are going to be.
  • Elvis has dropped from 673 to 713. More people need to be naming their sons Elvis.
  • The largest increase in popularity in the Top 1000 is Khloe, which has jumped from 960 in 2006 to 665 in 2007 to 196 in 2008, which the SSA says "is undoubtedly related to the popularity of Khloe Kardashian from the show 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians.'" Idiots.
  • Leonidas made his debut into the Top 1000, with a ranking of 883. Until he reaches 300, expect there to be bloodshed.
  • Marley also debuted, at 764. This is the text from the official SSA press release: "Social Security officials expressed hope that parents were not naming their sons Marley after the badly behaved dog who starred in the movie 'Marley and Me.'" Yeah, I suppose it's better to be named after the pot-smoking philanderer who died of cancer.
  • The number of two-syllable names on the boys list that have a long "a" in the first syllable and a "den" sound in the second syllable is an astounding 38: Jayden (11), Aiden (16), Brayden (51), Aidan (59), Hayden (79), Jaden (88), Ayden (91), Caden (95), Kaden (99), Kayden (152), Braden (156), Jaiden (168), Cayden (173), Kaiden (190), Caiden (250), Aden (254), Adan (299), Braydon (325), Aaden (343), Braeden (346), Jaydon (434), Jadon (473), Zayden (488), Braiden (494), Aydan (567), Jaeden (610), Bradyn (612), Kaeden (661), Kadin (722), Jaydin (745), Haiden (773), Raiden (780), Jaidyn (802), Aedan (821), Braedon (822), Jadyn (823), Jaydan (886), and Zaiden (898).

    "Well, all I know is that my Kaeden is more unique than y'all's Cayden." Curiously, there are no Gaidens, which, for you Gen Xers out there, is surely a disappointment, assuming it would be pronounced "guy-den," like the video game Ninja Gaiden.

Here are some other names I thought were ridiculous:

-Aditya (702). Huh?
-Aryan (669). Shouldn't this be #666?
-Avery (216). That's a chick's name (see #38 on the girls list).
-Blaze (866). Only appropriate if his last name is Ofglory.
-Bridger (978). "What does he do?" "Oh, he's a bridger." "What does that mean?" "It means his parents are assholes."
-Cannon (631). Unless he is hung like a horse, this name is sure to be unwise and a disappointment for future suitorettes.
-Cash (253) or Kash (779). You better hope he's cool, otherwise the nickname Broke might be appropriate.
-Dalton (218). Actually, this is completely awesome, assuming your son is a head bouncer (or "cooler," if you're up on the lingo) in a down-and-out live music club in a small Missouri town that lives in constant fear of Brad Wesley.
-Dayton (484). Dayton? I spent a month there one night.
-Dexter (715). This is a great show. Incidentally, it's also the name of the serial killer on the show.
-Draven (670). You're draven me mad! That's so Draven.
-Fabian (288). Only clean-cut, bubblegum pop singers from the 1950s are allowed to be named Fabian.
-Gideon (534). You can never take him to a hotel or allow him to hang out with anyone who has ever been to a hotel.
-Gunnar (540). Only appropriate if you have twins, the other one is named Matthew, and you're name is Ricky Nelson.
-Isai (734). Presumably Foghorn Leghorn fathered a lot of children (or at least named a lot of children) in 2008.
-Jagger (954). I love the Stones, but come on, go with Wyman.
-Jairo (556). I prefer Gyro.
-Jaxon (154) or Jaxson (268). Look, I know that's more unique than Jackson, but you're setting your kid up to be an MMA fighter. Plus, his nickname isn't going to be Jack, it's going to be Jax. "Oh, like the children's game from before there were TVs?" Yep, except it's spelled wrong. Alternatively, you can just skip the formalities and name him Jax right off the bat (#692).
-Jesus (79) or Messiah (704). Setting your kid up for failure.
-Jett (529). Sure, it may get a bump because it's the name of John Travolta's dead son, but there are very few people who can pull this name off, and most of them have the last name Li.
-Kale (500). Why don't you just name your kid Cabbage?
-Killian (794). You named your son after the beer that Coors decided was more important to keep in the U.S. market than Caffrey's. For that, I wish you ill.
-Krish (831). How can we give our kid a name that sounds like Holly Hunter saying Chris?
-Kyler (271). It's like a Brit saying Kyla.
-Luca (304). Sleeps with the fishes.
-Mauricio (369). If I could think of one name that would guarantee my kid would grow up to be a date rapist, it would be Mauricio.
-Maverick (511). I'm as much, if not more, of a Top Gun fan than most of the people out there, but come on. Then again, certain lesbians may see some real genius in his flying.
-Maxim (701). I would have gone with Stuff or Gear.
-Maximilian (300) or Maximillian (943). Only hip hop groups that release songs called "Fat Boy" should have either of these names. Oh, I guess that was Max-A-Million, but still.
-Memphis (688). I guess it's better than West Memphis.
-Noe (518). No.
-Odin (983). I didn't realize there were that many Norse pagans around anymore.
-Remington (721). A lot of people must have the last name Steele.
-Ryder (203). Stop! Drop! Shut 'em down, open up shop!
-Ryker (420). Rikers Island is a notorious jail. Ergo, Ryker is not a good name.
-Semaj (696). At first, you're thinking that Semaj is an "ethnic" name. Then you realize it's James spelled backwards. I did not see Werdna on the list.
-Sincere (719). You better hope he is.
-Talon (465) or Talan (726). Do the chickens have large your sons?
-Teagan (658). This is also a girl's name (see #321 on the girls list). Also, this name is only appropriate if the child walks with ghosts.
-Uriel (387). You should not be naming a child something that is in any way close to "urine" or "urinal."
-Xander (267) or Zander (298). I know it's not Szandor -- the middle name of the founder of the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey -- but it is a homophone, and it's probably best not to set your kid up to look like this.
-Yael (912). I have a guess as to where he will not be attending college.
-Yair (838). Hopefully he doesn't get stuck in a tree, otherwise you'd have the Yair up there. Ah-thank you!
-Zaid (924). What the fuck is that? Oh, that's just supervillain Zaid, here from Krypton to battle Superman.

-Aurora (288). Last name: Borealis.
-Azaria (954). I'm a fan of Hank Azaria. His work on Herman's Head was brilliant. But I wouldn't name my child after him.
-Brooklyn (47). Brooke and Lynn (or Lynne) are fine names. Brooklyn is a stripper's name. Same with Brooklynn (#182).
-Cadence (212), Kaydence (286), or Kadence (387). I hope she has good rhythm. Also, Cadence is the name of an Argentine Mastiff at the dog park, which is a dog the size of a small cow.
-Dayanara (658). The fact that it is ranked 658 implies that there are multiple people who have named their children Dayanara. I can guess what people will say when she's about to leave.
-Diamond (449). "And now, welcome back to the center stage, Diamond!" And then Rob Zombie's "Living Dead Girl" kicks in.
-Dulce (302). Sweet.
-Esmeralda (294). I didn't realize soothsayers were breeding that much these days.
-Essence (979). "And that was Diamond. Now welcome Essence to the center stage!" And then Ludacris's "What's Your Fantasy" kicks in.
-Genesis (95). Any first-born named Genesis will forever be subject to parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents saying, "It all began with Genesis. See what I did there?"
-Haven (631). I hope she's safe.
-Heaven (275). I hope she's not too far away.
-Ireland (834). Kind of an odd name for a girl. Not that it is necessarily any better for a boy, but of all the countries out there, the ones that end in "land" are kind of the worst to name a child.
-Journey (594). Where to begin. When the lights go down in the city, she won't stop believing that someday love will find her, faithfully. Then she'll get it any way she wants it, which will be the way she needs it. There will be lovin', touchin', and squeezin' with open arms. And then she'll see a wheel in the sky.
-Liberty (620). "Thank you Essence. Now if we could get Liberty to the stage -- Liberty. Guys, put your hands together for Liberty." And then Mötley Crüe's "Girls Girls Girls" kicks in.
-Lola (246). Well, I'm not dumb, but I can't understand why she walked like a woman and talked like a man.
-Marely (334). Is that pronounced "merrily" or "mare-lee"? And should you be naming your daughter something that implies she has the characteristics of a mare?
-Marley (146). See the discussion above regarding Marley being a dog, and then remember that chicks hate being called dogs (or Rastafarians, I suppose).
-Miracle (484) or Milagros (731). How many times in her life will she hear the phrase "It's a miracle" or "Es un milagro," respectively, when she walks into the room?
-Monserrat (674). At least they spelled Montserrat wrong.
-Patience (771). All the guys will need is just a little but of her.
-Princess (939). I didn't realize this was the teacup poodle list.
-Raven (625). "Thanks Liberty. Alright guys, get ready for Raven!" And then Warrant's "Cherry Pie" kicks in.
-Rayne (860). "Guys, give it up for Raven. Now, making her way to the center stage is Rayne!" And then Billy Squier's "The Stroke" kicks in.
-Riley (39). That's a yellow lab's name (see #2 on yellow labs list). And it doesn't matter if you spell it Rylee, which is somehow #116. Or Ryleigh (#264). Or Rylie (313).
-Serenity (111). Now.
-Trinity (70). I was a bit shocked that Neo and Morpheus weren't on the boys list.
-Willow (408). She is great.

Also, the results for most popular twin names are always good for a laugh. I have expounded on the ridiculousness of some of these in previous years, 2005's names in particular. Back then, I stated:

"Jaden and Jordan (#37) or Jayden and Jordan (#79) - So we have a basketball player and a hooker. You should only name your daughter Jaden (or Jayden) if you want her to be penetrating herself on the internet in 18 years."

Well, apparently people with fertile uteruses failed to heed my warning. Jayden and Jordan is now up to NUMBER 3! I now know these names to be MALE names, but that doesn't make it any better.

In addition, people openly mocked my warning about Taylor and Tyler (now #5) and Christopher and Christian (now #25). When you have twins, the goal should not be to name them so similarly as to cause confusion. Again, which one is Chris?

This year's number 2 is Daniel and David. This is all great if they are competing Olympic decathletes in 1992, but you're just setting up one of them for failure.

Tops for the female twins are Gabriella and Isabella. Unless you are Italian (or have an Italian-sounding last name), this really doesn't work. No one likes identical girls whose names are Gabriella and Isabella Kowalski.

At least Americans have cooled on Hope and Faith, which down to #14 (and now only the fourth-highest combo for girls).

Is it me, or do the majority of the twin combinations in the top 25 seem pretentious? Ethan and Evan, Madison and Morgan, Landon and Logan, Madison and Mason, Mackenzie and Madison? Not everyone summers in the Hamptons, so who the hell are these people?

I'd be more interested to see how many sets of male triplets were named Thomas, Richard, and Harold.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Drew P Update

How's a man supposed to interview for a job at a brothel when some punk former co-worker arrests him on trumped-up murder charges? Ahh, such is the life of media darling and lady killer Drew Peterson. Shine on, you crazy dog.

This is Why You're Fat

Americans are gluttons. It's a fact. Hell, on two separate occasions this week I ingested close to five pounds of beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and bacon. Last night I almost puked because I was so full. I could barely muscle down three strawberries and a cup of yogurt this morning because I was still full (and still burping up garlic filet). My kidneys still aren't 100%. But hey, that's what America's all about -- overindulgence to the point of physical discomfort. As one of the guys I went with last night said, "What's that they say about insanity? Insanity is doing the same thing the same way every time and expecting different results." By that definition (and several clinical definitions), I'm insane. On a related note, if you're ever thinking about going to Fogo de Chão twice in the same week, I beg you to talk to me so that you can hear my story.

I know what your thinking: "GMYH, what's this all about? Is this going somewhere? And why haven't there been any thinly veiled Bon Jovi references yet?" Well, Tommy, this is going somewhere. You see, last night, as I was starring in Fogo de Chão 2: The Revenge of Picanha, I received an email from loyal (?) GMYH reader Matt "Don't Call Me Tim or Tom or, for that matter, Jim or Jom" Eckerle with a link to the following website: This is Why You're Fat. It features various gastronomic delicacies (and cardiovascular nightmares). Indeed, it is food like this that is why we Americans are fat.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Tuesday Top Ten: Favorite Running Songs

In a week in which I will be going to Fogo de Chão twice and ingesting several thousand wonderful calories of succulent, delicious Brazilian beef, pork, chicken, and bacon, it's probably a good idea to counteract that with some exercise so that I don't put back on every single pound I've lost so far this year.

Whether you're running inside on a treadmill listening to a boombox (or possibly a CD player, or possibly an iPod) or you're outside with a walkman (or possibly an iPod) strapped to your arm (or possibly clipped to your shirt or dangling from a cord around your neck), music is the perfect complement to a good run. Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I'm one of those people who loves to run. Sometimes I enjoy it, and sometimes I don't. But no matter the case, I must have music to keep me going.

Good running songs sometimes overlap with, but are not always the same as, good songs for lifting weights, psyching yourself up before a football game, or competing in a World's Strongest Man competition. For me, a good running song should have some combination of the following: (1) it must have a steady, driving tempo; (2) it shouldn't be too long; (3) its subject matter should be somewhat intense. So, with that, here are my ten favorite:

10. "All Nightmare Long" by Metallica.
While this song is longer than I would prefer, it's still a good running song with driving beat and heavy guitars (as you might expect). I prefer to use it at the beginning of my workout to get me in the mood to run. "'Cause we hunt down without mercy / Hunt you down all nightmare long." That's badass.

9. "Search and Destroy" by The Stooges.
A classic proto-punk anthem, with a hearty message about cheetahs with hearts full of napalm, as well as searching and destroying.

8. "Alternative Ulster" by Stiff Little Fingers.
This is a recent addition to the playlist, and it has not disappointed. It's a straight-up punk song with a fast beat and fast lyrics.

7. "Hybrid Moments" by The Misfits.
It's short, sweet, fast-paced, and sung by Glenn Danzig.

6. "In Your Eyes" (live) by Runner & The Thermodynamics.
This is not the cheesy Peter Gabriel song, but rather a energetic rocker with a great drum beat (that is predictably not available on

5. "B.O.B." by Outkast.
This song is almost too fast, but perfect for intervals or finishing strong with a monster kick (such as that of Chris Stanley of Lyons Township's 1995 and 1996 state champion 4x800m relay team).

4. "Heroin" by Velvet Underground.
Yes, I realize this is a long song and that it starts out slow, but it is a great one for longer runs or when you're warming up. If nothing else, it satisfies my third criterion, and although it has some slower parts, it becomes quite frenzied at many stages.

3. "I Get Wet" by Andrew W.K.
He has several good running songs, but this one is my favorite. All of his songs have a massive, Wall-of-Sound-esque sound to them, which helps complement the driving beat and frenetic lyrics.

2. "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne.
The mental picture of Ozzy with a frizzed out perm in this video is enough to keep anyone running, and Randy Rhoads's guitar work doesn't hurt either.

1. "Breed" by Nirvana.
I started to listen to this one on runs at some point in college, and it has been on every running mix tape or subsequent digital playlist since then.

Honorable mention: "Holla If Ya Hear Me" by 2Pac; "Minus" by Beck; "Mother" by Danzig; "Get Your Hands Off of My Woman" by The Darkness; "Monkey Wrench" by Foo Fighters; "Everlong" by Foo Fighters; "New Way Home" by Foo Fighters; "The Pretender" by Foo Fighters; "Good Grief" by Foo Fighters; "All My Life" by Foo Fighters; "Iron Maiden" by Iron Maiden; "Murders in The Rue Morgue" by Iron Maiden; "Run To The Hills" by Iron Maiden; "Communication Breakdown" by Led Zeppelin; "Live Wire" by Mötley Crüe; "Ace of Spades" by Motörhead; "MFC" by Pearl Jam; "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine; pretty much any Ramones song; "Paint It, Black" by The Rolling Stones; "Right Now" by SR-71; "Romeo Delight" by Van Halen; "Fell In Love With a Girl" by The White Stripes; "Dragula" by Rob Zombie

I'd love to hear what your favorite running songs are, as I'm always open to adding songs to my running playlist.

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Monday, May 04, 2009

Texts From Last Night

I don't know if any of you have had the pleasure of reading Texts From Last Night, but it's a pretty solid read, in the vain (or possibly the vein) of Overheard in New York or even Midwestern Eavesdropping. I'm putting it on the sidebar under "Other Blogs." Enjoy.


This past weekend, Jester and I had the pleasure of attending the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby. Jessie had not previously attended the Derby, while I had gone in 2001 and 2004. Both of those years, I sat (and stumbled) in the infield. I'm not sure I saw a horse except on the jumbotrons. This year would be different.

Our friend Tony, aka TG, aka T Ditty, aka Master T, works at Churchill Downs and was able to secure us some pretty awesome seats in the lower grandstand, about 20 yards back from the track and about 50-70 yards before the finish line. Here is the view from our seats.We were informed that the grandstand carries with it certain expectations of decorum that one might not find on the infield. So, this year, instead of shorts and a sleeveless "Show Me Your Tits Or I'll Pour My Beer On Them and Then Drink the Beer I Just Poured on Your Tits Off of Your Tits and Then I'll Do It Again 'Cause I'm a Dick Like That and I Love Tits" t-shirt, I wore my seersucker suit. Jessie wore a dress, accompanied by a fantastically garish hat. Bear in mind that nearly every hat worn at the Derby can be described as garish.And if we didn't want to sit in our seats the whole time, we could go up to Tony's office, which (1) is right next to a balcony that overlooks the main entrance to Churchill Downs and thus makes for some great people watching, (2) has a TV with closed-circuit racing coverage, and (3) is down the hall from several private betting machines. It was awesome.

Here is a view from the balcony. As you can tell, that's Barbaro, who has been forever preserved in carbonite, ridden by who I assume is Han Solo.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the Derby, the actual Derby is the 11th of 13 races run during the day, with the first race starting at 10:30 a.m. (and the Derby coming around 6:30). We got there a little before 10.

After a short tour of the Downs, the betting commenced. Over the course of the day, I hit one trifecta (which, unfortunately, was an early race, so there wasn't as much in the betting pool and only paid out $54), and a few other win/place/shows.

I also discovered some diabolical bet called The Matrix. I took the red pill and discovered not a simulated reality, but a bet-hedgers' betting dream. You pick 3 horses and pick how much you want the bet to be (usually $1 or $0.60), then The Matrix gives you a win bet on each horse, as well as an exacta box and trifecta box involving the three horses. It's 15 total bets, so you multiply whatever your bet is by 15 (hence, a $1 Matrix cpsts $15). It worked out nicely once or twice for me. I highly recommend it for races where there are 2 or 3 clear favorites, since you can hit several bets at once. Whoa.

During one of our stints up in Tony's office, we were sitting in his office when someone noticed through the window a group of very nicely dressed people approaching the entrance to the Downs, surrounded by police officers. We ran out onto the balcony when the group was about 15 feet from their private entrance. There was some confusion amongst the balcony dwellers as to who it might be, until I astutely exclaimed, "That's Prince fucking Charles!" Unfortunately he was inside before I could get my phone out of my pocket to take a picture. A couple others went inside and saw him pass through another courtyard. So that was pretty cool.

After the tenth race, no one had lost a lot of money, nor had anyone won a lot of money, so most of us felt the need to do one or other with the Derby. Obviously the Derby itself brings more betting (even though it's usually the most wide-open race of the day, with by far the most number of horses). Four of us decided to pool some money to do a long-shot show pool. I collected $12 from each and put show bets on the six horses with the worst odds. Of course, I managed to screw it up by only putting $2 down on each horse instead of $8. This would come back to bite me in the arse.

After placing our bets upstairs, we headed down to our seats, some people sang about their old homes in Kentucky, and then it was Derby time.
As I'm sure you know by now, a 50-1 shot by the name of Mine That Bird won the Derby by 6 3/4 lengths -- the largest margin of victory at the Derby since Triple Crown winner Assault won it in 1946. The four of us in the long-shot pool were pretty excited, since the show bet on Mine That Bird paid $25.80 on a $2 bet. When I cashed it in, I realized that I had failed to put $8 on it, as I was supposed to have done, which would have given us $25.80 each. Instead, I had to explain to the others that they would be getting $6.45 each, plus whatever they put in that I failed to bet. The doctors say that my broken knees should heal sometime before August.

In retrospect, I really should have gone with a winning $2 trifecta bet, which would have netted me over $41,000. That is unbelievable. Oh well. Next year.

After the Derby, we didn't stick around for the last two races, but instead headed back to Tony's house, where we ordered some Papa John's. God, how I've missed that garlic sauce. How Papa John's hasn't put a franchise in the city of Chicago is criminal. Who wants to go in with me on one?

We also played some Wii, including Game Party 2, which I had never played before, but have since purchased. Darts, jarts, horseshoes, bar bowling, bar shuffleboard, trivia, skeeball, beer pong, and more, all in one game. Not bad.

To celebrate, I went to Fogo de Chão, tonight and will be going again Wednesday because, frankly, I don't get the meat sweats often enough these days. As I said after my only previous visit, I assume this is what Henry VIII felt like all the time.