Thursday, January 28, 2010
Case in point, the University of Alaska at Fairbanks – a school that has won ten NCAA mixed rifle championships, including nine of the last eleven – has a hockey team with what might be the most hilariously insane game intro of all-time. UAF's mascot is the Nanook. For those of you not versed in Inuit mythology, Nanook (or Nanuq) is not just any polar bear, but rather the master of all polar bears. He decides if hunters are following the proper protocol closely enough to deserve success in hunting bears. It's unclear whether he views shooting animals from planes to be within the realm of acceptable hunting practices.
The computer-animated intro goes like this. An ice-breaking cruise ship called the Seawolf (presumably a reference to the mascot of the University of Alaska at Anchorage) is plowing through the frozen sea while blaring "Sirius" by The Alan Parsons Project (which is famously used as the Chicago Bulls' introductory song). Nanook, who is frozen hundreds of feet below the surface, is shocked back to life by this ship. Underwater lightning begins to shoot from his eyes, and he bursts through the surface, revealing that he is several times as large as the ship. Rather than use his God-given strength to flip the ship over or break it's bow, Nanook does something unexpected. He turns off the Alan Parsons Project, opting instead for "Self Control" by Laura Branigan, which gives him strength and otherworldly powers, as evidenced by the fact that he rubs his hands together and creates a hockey stick made of pure energy. With that hockey stick, he strikes a vicious blow down the center of the ship, cutting it in half, blowing it up, and killing its hundreds of passengers.
But blowing up a ship does not a Nanook bloodthirst sate, so he immediately divides himself into three smaller Nanooks, such that each can fit in the cockpit of a F-16 and listen to Kenny Loggins's masterpiece "Danger Zone." Their mission? To each destroy a Midwestern university with missiles. Nanook #1 takes out Miami University. Nanook #2 – who I kinda like – takes out Ohio State. Nanook #3 takes out Michigan State, destroying Spartan Stadium in the process. (This isn't completely unreasonable, since UAF is in the CCHA conference for hockey, which includes those other three schools as well.)
Nanook #1 (presumably) then goes overboard, dropping a bomb INTO A VOLCANO. This destroys Planet Earth. Luckily, though, Nanook #1's F-16 is capable of space travel. He flies through space at an incredible rate of speed until the unthinkable happens: his F-16 disintegrates, sending him hurtling through space with this hockey stick of energy leading the way. Galaxies and nebulae are passed. Then he reaches his destination. A sports arena resting on a chunk of a meteorite in the middle of space. It is the 4,595-seat Carlson Center.
Nanook crashes through the roof, instantly killing any oxygen-breathing organism that might be inside. He then uses his hockey stick of energy to shoot a puck into one of the goals, which immediately bursts into flames, no doubt resulting in a partially melted rink, a destroyed goal, and no chance whatsoever of a hockey game being played. Touché, my furry friend.
If all this sounds to crazy to be true, check this out:
Immeasurable thanks go to The Floppy Burrito for the link.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I'm sure someone has already written about the gross inconsistencies between the Good Morning Miss Bliss era of Saved By The Bell and the Bayside era, as well as the final season's "Tori Conundrum." But I haven't. Thus, this post will contain ten (or maybe more) inconsistencies with Saved By The Bell.
For those of you who are not as versed in Saved By The Bell history as I am, here is some background. In 1988, the show that would eventually become Saved By The Bell first aired on The Disney Channel as Good Morning Miss Bliss ("GMMB"). It was set in Indianapolis, Indiana at JFK Junior High. GMMB spent an equal amount of time focusing on Carrie Bliss (played by Hayley Mills), an 8th grade teacher at JFK, as it did focusing on the students (who, of course, became the focus of the Bayside era). Richard Belding (played brilliantly by Dennis Haskins) is the principal of JFK. The main student characters are Zack Morris (a preppy, blond schemer), Samuel "Screech" Powers (a nerd), Lisa Turtle (a pretty, vain girl of African or possibly West African descent), Nikki Coleman (a tomboy with a round face), and Mikey Gonzalez (a dago with curly hair).
In 1989, the show returned as Saved By The Bell, airing on NBC. The setting was now Bayside High School in Palisades, California. There are four characters from the GMMB era who are also in the Bayside era: Mr. Belding, Zack, Screech, and Lisa. It is apparent (but never discussed) that, in between Zack, Screech, and Lisa's 8th and 9th grade years, all four moved from Indianapolis to Bayside, California. In what had to be seen as a ladder-climbing move, Mr. Belding became the principal of Bayside High. Remarkably, Zack, Lisa, and Screech all enrolled at Bayside upon their arrival in California. Nikki and Mikey did not make the move. They were replaced by Kelly Kapowski (a beautiful girl-next-door type), Jessie Spano (an intelligent feminist of apparent Greek descent), and Albert Clifford ("AC") Slater (a military brat of ambiguous ethnicity with curly hair who was new to Bayside).
Oddly, however, when NBC reran the GMMB episodes, (1) Zack appeared as Bayside-era Zack before each episode, sitting in a director's chair, and he introduced many of the episodes as if these events actually occurred. Notably, he did not discuss the following inconsistencies. (There may be more, and if I find more, I will update this post.)
(2) In the GMMB era, Zack's father's name is Peter Morris, and he is played by Robert Pine.
In the Bayside era, Zack's father's name is Derek Morris, and he is played by John Sanderford.
(3) In the GMMB era, Zack's parents are divorced, and we never see his mom.
In the Bayside era, Zack's parents are happily married throughout the show, and we see Zack's mother, Melanie Morris, on multiple occasions (including, but not limited to, that time she caught the guys dancing at The Attic).
(4) In the GMMB era, there is mention of Zack's little sister (although we never see her).
In the Bayside era, Zack is an only child, and there is no mention of his little sister's death or abduction.
(5) In the Bayside era, it is explicitly stated that Zack and Jessie have lived next door to each other and been friends since the early '80s (they saw ET together). However, in the early '80s, Zack lived in Indianapolis with his divorced, different-looking father and then-living sister.
(6) In the Bayside era, there is never any mention of Miss Bliss by any of the characters, even though Mr. Belding and Miss Bliss had a relatively close professional relationship, and Zack, Lisa, and Screech were all students in Miss Bliss's class. (7) Likewise, Nikki and Mikey are never mentioned during the Bayside era. This is a good thing, though, as they were replaced by more aesthetically pleasing characters.
This pattern would be repeated by NBC in the show's later years. During Season 4 -- the characters' senior year of high school -- the regular cast filmed 13 episodes. Then NBC ordered 13 more episodes. However, Tiffany Amber Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkeley (who played Kelly Kapowski and Jessie Spano, respectively) refused to sign new contracts. Thus, a new character was introduced -- Tori Scott, a motorcycle-driving tomboy, who transferred to Bayside. She appears in 13 episodes, in which her existence is never questioned, but actually acknowledged by all of the characters who encounter her. During those same episodes, (8) Kelly and Jessie are not mentioned or alluded to. Yet, in the other 13 episodes that season (as well as Saved By The Bell: Hawaiian Style -- a two-episode special that aired that season), Kelly and Jessie are on the show, and Tori, of course, is not. (9) Kelly and Jessie's absence is never explained or mentioned, and (10) Tori is never mentioned in the "Kelly and Jessie" episodes. When NBC aired that season, it actually alternated between "Tori" episodes and "Kelly and Jessie" episodes, further confusing the hell out of its audience. Also of note, (11) Lisa's hair is different in the "Tori" episodes than it is in the "Kelly and Jessie" episodes, and (12) Tori was not part of the Bayside graduation ceremony, but Kelly and Jessie were.
So there you have it. And despite these inconsistencies, I am physically and emotionally unable to stop watching this show, no matter how many times I've seen every episode.
Monday, January 25, 2010
I got an email from monkey-keeper and all-around good egg, Bohmann, who forwarded an email he got from his friend Jeff, who, in addition to being the drummer in local band All Things Lucid, is a bit of an audiophile.
Jeff posited the following delightful question:
If you were going to build a dream band, who would be in it? The only requirements are they have to still be alive and you can't use the another person in the same band. The first band has to consist of musicians from the last 20 years. [I took this to mean bands whose first album was released in or after 1990] The second band can consist musicians from anytime before that.
Jeff's choices were as follows (so as not to assume anyone's knowledge is greater than it might be, I'm including band names behind everyone):
Vocals/Guitar – Noel Gallagher (Oasis)
Vocals/Guitar – Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys)
Bass – Carlos D (Interpol)
Drums – Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters)
Keyboards – Tim Rice-Oxley (Keane)
Vocals/Guitar – David Byrne (Talking Heads)
Vocals/Drums – Levon Helm (The Band)
Keyboards – Ray Manzerek (The Doors)
Bass – Peter Hook (Joy Division, New Order)
Guitar – Steve Cropper (Booker T. & The MGs)
All of his choices are excellent. Here would be my choices. Note that I prefer twin lead guitars, and, like Jeff, I am Beatlesque in my willingness to let multiple band members tackle vocal duties.
Lead Guitar/Vocals – Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, Dead Weather)
Lead Guitar/Vocals – Justin Hawkins (The Darkness)
Rhythm Guitar/Vocals – Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Them Crooked Vultures)
Bass – Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam)
Drums – Patrick Carney (The Black Keys)
Keyboards – Franz Nicolay (The Hold Steady (formerly, now))
They would be called The Tori Conundrum.
Second Band (this one was tougher)
Vocals (and sometimes bass or keyboards, as needed) – Paul McCartney (The Beatles, The Quarrymen, Wings)
Vocals/Rhythm Guitar – Bruce Springsteen
Lead Guitar – Slash (Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver)
Lead Guitar – Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin, The Yardbirds, The Firm, Them Crooked Vultures)
Bass – Steve Harris (Iron Maiden)
Keyboards – Booker T. Jones (Booker T. & The MGs)
Drums – Ginger Baker (Cream, Blind Faith)
They would be called Lust Monkey.
Of course, I will take it one step further and do a third band consisting of dead musicians:
Vocals – Janis Joplin, Freddie Mercury, and Otis Redding (because I can)
Lead Guitar/Vocals – Jimi Hendrix (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)
Lead Guitar - Steve Clark (Def Leppard)
Rhythm Guitar/Vocals – John Lennon (The Beatles, The Quarrymen, The Plastic Ono Band)
Bass/Vocals – Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy)
Drums – John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)
They would be called Amniotic Tsunami.
If you're so inclined, I'd love to hear your choices.
As a Hold Steady fan, I can say that he will be sorely missed. Thanks to Can Can for being the bearer of bad news.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
I just started reading The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Mayhem at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson. I have been meaning to read this one for several years, since it combines the three things I love most: 19th Century Chicago, World's Fairs, and serial killers.
Books read in 2010:
Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
10. Superbad (2007)
Michael Cera is hilarious. Jonah Hill is hilarious. McLovin' is hilarious. The whole movie is just excellent. It's like Dazed and Confused for a new generation.
Becca: "Your cock is so smooth."
Evan: "Yours would be to, if you were a man."
Seth: "So one day, I'm finishing up this real big, veiny, triumphant bastard . . ."
9. Super Troopers (2001)
Broken Lizard's first (and, in my opinion, best) offering. This almost makes you want to become a Vermont State Trooper.
Fast food worker: "Litercola? Do we serve litercola?"
Farva: "License and registration, chicken fucker."
8. Blades of Glory (2007)
The best movie about figure skating ever. Take that, Cutting Edge!
Chazz: "No exaggeration, I could not love a human baby more than I love this brush."
Chazz: "Twin dongs."
Hector: "I totally want to cut off your skin and wear it to my birthday. It's coming up."
7. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2005)
I didn't think this was all that great the first time I saw it, but it has definitely grown on me. It does have the best dog-punting scene in recent memory.
Ron: "Brick killed a guy. Did you throw a trident?"
Random news station employee: "Smells like Bigfoot's dick!"
Ron: "Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diego, which of course in German means a whale's vagina."
Tino: "We have a saying in my country: The coyote of the desert likes to eat the heart of the young and the blood drips down to his children for breakfast, lunch and dinner and only the ribs will be broken."
6. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
This is one of those movies that people either love or hate. I thought it was hysterical. Napoleon is one of the most ridiculous characters of all-time, yet you somehow have no problem with anything he does because it's his own little world and it all makes sense there. I also think Kip and Uncle Rico are two of the more creepily hilarious supporting roles.
Napoleon: "This is pretty much the worst video ever made."Kip: "Napoleon, like anyone can even know that."
Kip: " Napoleon, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter."
Rico: "How much you wanna bet I can throw a football over them mountains?"
5. Almost Famous (2001)
This is just a great movie. The story (which is kind of based on a true story) is great. The music is great. It's all just great.
Russell: "I am a golden god!"
Elaine Miller: "May I speak with William, please?"
Sapphire: "He's not here. He's down in the bar with the band. They just got back from the radio station. Is this Maryann with the pot? Hello?"
Elaine Miller: "No, this is not Maryann with the pot. This is Elaine. His mother. Could you please give him a message for me? Could you tell him to call home immediately? And could you also tell him, I know what's going on."
Sapphire: "All right. But I'm just going to say this, and I'm going to stand by it: you should be really proud of him. 'Cause I know men, and I'll bet you do too. And he respects women, and he likes women, and let's just pause and appreciate a man like that. I mean, you created him out of thin air, and you raised him right, he's having a great time, he's doing a good job, and don't worry - he's still a virgin. And we're all looking out for him. And that's more than I've ever even said to my own parents, so there you go. This is the maid speaking, by the way."
4. Old School (2003)
I think this is every man's fantasy: having a crash pad on a college campus and starting a fraternity for non-students. I guess that's kind of what the Elks do, minus the college campus thing.
Mitch: "Sorry, your seatbelt seems to be broken. What do you recommend I do?"
Cab driver: "I recommend you stop being such a faggot. You're in the backseat."
Peppers: "You better pull that shit out man. That shit is not cool."
Frank: "Wait. What? Pull what out?"
Peppers: "You got a fucking dart in your neck man."
Frank: "You're, you're crazy man. I like you, but you're crazy."
Beanie: "Oh yeah. Cheeeeeese. Yeah, didn't we lock you in a dumpster one time?"
Dean Pritchard: "Yeah, I got out."
Beanie: "Cool man. Good. Glad you did."
3. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001).
This is my favorite Wes Anderson movie. In addition to creating extraordinary characters, he does such a fantastic job of creating visually interesting films and an even better job of using music in his films. This movie is one of the driest, most deadpan comedies around. I'm actually concerned when I meet someone who doesn't like it because they "don't get it."
Royal: "Oh no no, that's uh, dog's blood."
Eli: "What'd you say?"
Richie: "I didn't say anything."
Eli: "When? Right now? (pause) I'm sorry. Don't listen to me. I'm on mescaline. I've been spaced out all day."
Richie: "Did you say you're on mescaline?"
Eli: "I did indeed. Very much so."
2. Best in Show (2000)
In my opinion, this is the funniest of the Christopher Guest mockumentaries (with Waiting for Guffman coming in a very close second). The characters are all perfectly hilarious. Not that I have ever watched a dog show, but if I were to do so, it would not be the same as if I had watched a dog show before I had seen this movie.
Max: "I'll gouge your right eye out with my thumb, I shit you not, you little freak! Now, will you get down here? I'm gonna punch you in the eye till it turns to jelly! I'll stab you with forks till you bleed, how 'bout that?"
Harlan: "I used to be able to name every nut that there was. And it used to drive my mother crazy, because she used to say, 'Harlan Pepper, if you don't stop naming nuts,' and the joke was that we lived in Pine Nut, and I think that's what put it in my mind at that point. So she would hear me in the other room, and she'd just start yelling. I'd say, 'Peanut. Hazelnut. Cashew nut. Macadamia nut.' That was the one that would send her into going crazy. She'd say, 'Would you stop naming nuts!'"
1. American Psycho (2000)
Based on one of my favorite books, this might be the most quotable movie of the decade. From what I gather, a lot of people simply don't understand that this is supposed to be a dark comedy, satirizing the excesses of the '80s. I think it's a laugh riot, myself. Christian Bale (who was relatively unknown then, other than as the kid in Empire of the Sun) plays Patrick Bateman perfectly, so much so that I can't imagine him in any other role when I hear him speak.
Patrick: "I like to dissect girls. Did you know that I'm utterly insane?"
Waiter: "Would you like to hear today's specials?"
Patrick: "Not if you want to keep your spleen."
Patrick: "I think, um, Evelyn that, uh, we've lost touch."
Evelyn: "Why? What's wrong?"
Patrick: "My need to engage in homicidal behavior on a massive scale cannot be corrected but, uh, I have no other way to fulfill my needs."
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
After we both had a good laugh, she went on her way, and I went back inside and made myself a mozzarella and andouille omelette, and then painted my face.
On another note, last night we went to Kith & Kin, a new restaurant/gastropub at 1119 W. Webster, along with Chenandler Bong and Lisa. It was excellent. They have excellent food and a really good beer list (not huge -- maybe 8-10 on tap and 15-20 in bottles -- but all of the beers are solid). For appetizers, they have these little crocks with spreads that come with crustini bread. We had a pork spread and a smoked trout spread that were excellent. For my main course, I had a bratwurst and bacon plate, with not-too-sour sauerkraut and red potatoes. It was really good. The bacon was actually about as thick as a pork chop. Just about everything on the menu is $15 or under, and it is munchkin-friendly. All in all, I highly recommend it.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Also, according to the little map/tracker thing on my sidebar, I've been getting an inordinately high number of hits in the past couple days (anything over 100 hits in a single day is cause for concern), many of which appear to be from B-town and West Lafayette. Any idea why? I don't feel like I've written anything particularly relevant recently, or ever, for that matter, but thanks!
949: Grant hill drinks sprite?
937: For my money, it doesn't get any better than pam ward
812: Kendall Gill is an abortion of an in-studio analyst. Did he actually graduate?
812: I cannot tell you how pissed I am at the Colts shameful chicken-shit decision to forfeit the game yesterday. Disgraceful. Players clearly wanted to play.
937: The look on Manning's face said it all: Bill Belichik is still so far in his head, it's unbelievable.
937: Why does matt millen announce 4 nfl and college games every weekend? Do they want lions fans to kill themselves?
937: Does john cheney coach temple's football team?
937-2: I hope so, especially if john calipari coaches UCLA
309: If the moon were made of spare ribs would u eat it?
773: Good to see frank tilghman gave Dalton the night off from the double deuce so he could QB TCU in the fiesta bowl.
As I said in the initial Thursday Texts post, I invite you to email hilarious texts that you send or receive to email@example.com, and I will post them accordingly. All texts will be anonymous, identified only by their area code. Or, I also strongly encourage people to post texts as comments to the Thursday Text posts. I will not approve any comments that contain last names.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Approximately four years ago, I wrote what I consider to be the single most important piece of literature ever written on the subject of rushing the court after college basketball games. It has become apparent to me that, either my South Carolinian readership needs to increase exponentially, or these rules need to be repeated, as the students in college now were in high school when I wrote that.
Thus, here is what I said in that post, in pertinent part:
A court rushing is a special occurrence that should be reserved for only a few distinct, monumental situations. Being an alum of such a venerable and storied basketball institution such as Indiana University, I feel that it is my duty to explain when it is and is not appropriate for students to rush the court following a victory. Here they are:
Situations in Which it is Appropriate to Rush a Basketball Court:
1. You beat the #1 team (and your team is not ranked in the top 10)
2. You clinch a conference championship
3. You beat a higher-ranked team on a last-second shot
4. You end a losing streak of 30+ games
5. You beat a yearly opponent you haven't beaten in 20+ years
6. You beat a ranked team for the first time in your school's history
Situations in Which it is Inappropriate to Rush a Basketball Court*:
*These are of course subject to the above rules regarding when it is appropriate to rush the court. When the rules conflict, go with the "appropriate" rule over the "inappropriate" rule.
1. You beat an unranked team, no matter how bad you are (rushing the court in that situation is the equivalent of Belgians celebrating their country's military victory over France)
2. You beat a team ranked lower than your team (even if you're #2 and they're #3)
3. You win a game in which you were the favorite (rushing the court in that situation is the equivalent of clapping and cheering for Carl Lewis as he breezes across the finish line ahead of a toddler with Down Syndrome)
4. You are a student at Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, or UCLA (your schools are considered the elite programs in the history of college basketball, so act like it.)
5. You beat a team at home that you already beat on the road earlier in the season (rushing the court in that situation is the equivalent of calling your ex-girlfriend a week after you broke up with her to tell her that you're breaking up with her--fun, but unnecessary)
6. You beat any of the following: a team not in the ACC, Big Ten, Big East, Big XII, Pac-10, or SEC; Northwestern; a team in your own conference; any school from Mississippi, Alabama, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, or South Bend; or a team that has never won an NCAA title (in men's basketball, that is).
And if you do rush the court, for the love of Robert Montgomery Knight, make sure that everyone's with you. There's nothing more pathetic than seeing 20 drunk Nebraska students rush the court after a big win over unranked Texas A&M, only to look around and realize that they're the only ones on the court. They try to persuade the rest of the students to join them, but all they receive is the collective blank stare of hesitant confusion and outright shame.
It goes without saying that this message needs to be spread to college students around the country. Please, for the good of humanity and the future of respectable intercollegiate athletics, forward them this post or email it to them using that nice little envelope icon at the bottom of the post. Even if we can convince just one student section not to rush the court in an inappropriate circumstance, then I think we've made the world a better place. Together.
This time around, folks, please listen. You don't want to look like those kids from Clemson did tonight.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Women, when are you going to realize that guys hate perfume? (I realize the problem may lie in the fact that no guy is going to tell his significant other that he hates the way she smells.) Other than a few homeless women and a few morbidly obese women (like over four bills), I don't think I've ever come across a woman who smelled bad. Women generally use soaps, shampoos, and lotions that are inoffensive to the sense of smell. Yet so many women decide to undo all that by masking their perfectly pleasant scent with perfume. It's unnecessary, and frankly, women, you run certain risks by doing so. If you have too much perfume on, all you will do is ward off men. Even if you're not wearing too much, you run the risk that the perfume reminds a guy of some woman he hates, or his ex-girlfriend, or, worst of all, his mother.
Whatever strippers wear -- Broken Dreams by Calvin Klein, I believe -- is what every woman should wear. Both sides win. For the woman, smelling like a stripper will not only attract your man to you, but also dull some of the exotic appeal to strip clubs. For the guy, if your clothes reek like stripper perfume, you have an out.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
You see folks, as a testament to our respective abilities to have childhood delusions of self-aggrandizement, "Red Cobra" Ball and I each independently had "king of the world" theories as children. It's very similar to the Truman Show, and it goes like this: What if I am the king of the world, and everyone knows it but me? For the most part, people around the world go about their daily lives, but nothing around me or that affects me is random. The kids that I went to school with were there because their parents paid giant sums of money for their children to grow up near me and potentially encounter me. Some people are told to act indifferent towards me, some people are told to be nice to me, and some people are told to be dicks. When someone walks by me on the sidewalk, it's because they paid to do so. The kicker is that no one (including my parents) is allowed to tell me that I am the king of the world or even hint that everything in the world is not as it seems to me. If anyone were to tell me that, they would be summarily executed soon thereafter. Thus, I will never know that I am the king of the world -- until the time is proper, of course.
The beauty about this theory is that no one can ever prove me wrong. If someone tells me that I'm not the king of the world, I know they're lying. They have to keep up the ruse. Or else they die.
I've received a flood of emails and carrier pigeon letters asking about Daughter. Here is an update.
Monday night, I had this really fucked up dream. I took Daughter to some sort of Puritanical outdoor wedding on a meadow. She was somewhat fussy, as I assume she also doesn't appreciate the strictures of organized religion, so we walked towards the back of the ceremony (which was still a while from starting). Some Puritan woman who looked like Chloe Sevigny's character from Big Love kept asking to hold Daughter, and I kept being all, "Chill out, ankle-length dress, I don't know you from Adam" (presumably referring to my friend Adam). There was something off about her. Anyway, eventually Daughter puked. This must have had some meaning in the Puritan world because the woman said something like, "Now it's my turn to hold her." She grabbed one of Daughter's arms. I pushed her hand away and clutched Daughter, then flew (yes, flew) swiftly to the front of the ceremony, where I came face-to-face with a priest who was sitting in one of the chairs in the second row. He had demon eyes and jagged teeth, like that creepy old lady in the trailer for Legion. I stared him in the eyes and let out a primal, guttural howl -- one of those yells that felt so real that I was sure I was actually yelling in my sleep -- to indicate that none of these evil beings would be handling Daughter. Then I woke up, only to realize it hadn't been a dream at all.
From day one, I've made it clear to Daughter that insolence will not be tolerated. For the most part, she has fallen in line. I don't know if it's the codeine or what, but she is sleeping really well. I am not, however, as I am inclined to watch Daughter sleep and, well, I am having night terrors about demons trying to steal my baby. I have no idea why or how Daughter is sleeping for 6+ hours at night, but I don't question it, since I have been told by many a people that I am very lucky.
She appears to be smiling more often, but her smiles are often followed by flatulence. Like father like daughter.
She kicks just as much on the outside as on the inside. She can kick herself in the face.
Sometimes she gets flaps of skin that hang down from her lips, caused by feeding. When that happens, we refer to her as Bunnicula. It's frustrating because she doesn't get the reference.
In less than four weeks on the planet, she has already played in as many NCAA championship games as every Purdue men's basketball player ever.
Her ability to pull exposed chest hair is progressing at an alarming rate.
Here are a couple other notes and observations for new or soon-to-be parents:
-The Diaper Genie is worthless. Our friend Kelly gave us her old Diaper Genie and told us it sucked. We didn't listen and tried it out anyway. It does suck. A garbage can with a lid does the same job.
-Huggies are better than Pampers at preventing shit and piss from leaking out the sides of the diaper and through a onesie and onto an adult's shirt.
-A changing pad cover is a waste of otherwise usable fabric. Our changing pad has a waterproof soft plasticky surface. For some reason, we bought a pink fuzzy cover for the pad. After the second time Daughter peed on it while being changed, we realized our mistake and burned the cover.
-We have received as gifts two "Rockabye Baby" CDs, which respectively include instrumental lullaby versions of Beatles and Queen songs. They work pretty well at soothing Daughter, as you might expect. There are many other artists as well. I might have to get the GNR, Ramones, Zeppelin, and Metallica CDs. I'd love to hear a lullaby rendition of "Mr. Brownstone."
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Just so we're clear, I am taking a strict view of "released" in the 2000s. Thus, if a song was on an album that was released in 1999, but the song itself was not released as a single until 2000, it can't be on the list. This, unfortunately, excludes Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin'," among others. And because I am insane, I am including a playlist of all of the songs that Playlist.com has.
Anyway, here are my favorite 100 songs of the 2000s, starting with other songs I considered that didn't make the cut:
Honorable Mention (in reverse alphabetical order by song name): "Chop Suey!" - Richard Cheese; "Stones in My Passway" - John Mellencamp; "Right Now" - SR-71; "Shoot Shoot" - KaitO; "Black Plant" - The Last Shadow Puppets; "Young Folks" - Peter Bjorn & John; "Killer Parties" - The Hold Steady; "Hot Girls in Good Moods" - Butch Walker & The Let's-Go-Out-Tonights; "Devastator" - Catfish Haven; "The Pretender" - Foo Fighters; "Open Up" - Dispatch; "Hate to Say I Told You So" - The Hives; "Diablo Rojo" - Rodrigo y Gabriela; "Float On" - Modest Mouse; "Life on a Chain" - Pete Yorn; "Here It Goes Again" - OK Go; "It's OK" - Slimm Cutta Calhoun; "The Taste of Ink" - The Used; "Crawling in the Dark" - Hoobastank; "The Underdog" - Spoon; "Black and Blue" - Ko & The Knockouts; "In a Little While" - U2; "Outer Space" - Ace Frehley; "Bad Weekend" - Art Brut; "In the End" - Linkin Park; "Faded" - Soul Decision; "Rehab" - Amy Winehouse; "Shout Bama Lama" - Detroit Cobras
100. "Hella Good" - No Doubt
99. "It Wasn't Me" -Shaggy
98. "Huddle Formation" - The Go! Team
97. "Kelly Affair" - Be Your Own Pet
96. "The Dude's Old Lady" - Runner & The Thermodynamics
95. "In the Morning" - Razorlight
94. "It Returns" - The Greenhornes
93. "Mother Mary" - Foxboro Hot Tubs
92. "Crazy Bitch" - Buckcherry
91. "Don't Let Me Get Me" - Pink
90. "Drunken Lullabies" - Flogging Molly
89. "Oh My God" - Kaiser Chiefs
88. "Eleanor Put Your Boots On" - Franz Ferdinand
87. "Seven Nation Army" - The White Stripes
86. "Take It Off" - The Donnas
85. "Perfect Gentleman" - Wyclef Jean
84. "Fat Lip" - Sum 41
83. "Slither" - Velvet Revolver
82. "The Man Comes Around" - Johnny Cash
81. "Knockers" - The Darkness
80. "15 Minutes" - The Strokes
79. "Constructive Summer" - The Hold Steady
78. "White Night" - The Postelles
77. "How a Resurrection Really Feels" - The Hold Steady
76. "Why Don't You and I" - Santana feat. Chad Kroeger and/or Alex Band
75. "Since U Been Gone" - Kelly Clarkson
74. "Ms. Jackson" - Outkast
73. "Night Shift" - O.A.R.
72. "This Is Our Emergency" - Pretty Girls Make Graves
71. "Demon Eyes" - The Answer
70. "No Trust" - The Black Keys
69. "Bubble Toes" - Jack Johnson
68. "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To" - Weezer
67. "Kryptonite" - Three Doors Down
66. "Take Me Out" - Franz Ferdinand
65. "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" - Dropkick Murphys
64. "Black Girl" - The Paybacks
63. "Going in the Right Direction" - Robert Randolph & The Family Band
62. "Turn It Up" - Man Raze
61. "A-Punk" - Vampire Weekend
60. "All Nightmare Long" - Metallica
59. "Hate It or Love It" - 50 Cent and The Game
58. "Banging Camp" - The Hold Steady
57. "Electric Shake" - Be Your Own Pet
56. "Baby Fratelli" - The Fratellis
55. "E-Pro" - Beck
54. "Roses" - Outkast
53. "The Middle" - Jimmy Eat World
52. "No Brakes" - The Bravery
51. "Ein Stern (…der deinen Namen trägt)" - DJ Ötzi
50. "I Predict a Riot" - Kaiser Chiefs
49. "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" - The White Stripes
48. "Sex On Fire" - Kings of Leon
47. "Pledge of Allegiance" - Louis XIV
46. "Without Me" - Eminem
45. "B.O.B." - Outkast
44. "Wasted Generation" - Steel Dragon
43. "Someday" - The Strokes
42. "Great Expectations" - The Gaslight Anthem
41. "Hot in Herre" - Nelly
40. "My Doorbell" - The White Stripes
39. "Alright Alright (Here's My First, Where's the Fight?)" - Sahara Hotnights
38. "Gold Digger" - Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx
37. "California" - Phantom Planet
Damn, I miss The OC.
36. "My Mind is Ramblin'" - The Black Keys
35. "Get Low" - Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz
34. "All My Life" - Foo Fighters
33. "Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley
32. "Good Morning Aztlan" - Los Lobos
31. "Holy Roller Novocaine" - Kings of Leon
30. "All This Time" - Heartless Bastards
29. "Saturday (Ooh Ooh)" - Ludacris
28. "Woman" - Wolfmother
27. "She Hates Me" - Puddle of Mudd
26. "Teenage Dirtbag" - Wheatus
25. "Jolene" (live) - The White Stripes
24. "Hard to Explain" - The Strokes
23. "In Your Eyes" - Runner & The Thermodynamics
22. "If I Can't" - 50 Cent
21. "Keep Fishin'" - Weezer
20. "I Hate My Fucking Life" - Marc Pinansky
19. "I Get Wet" - Andrew W.K.
18. "Still Take You Home" - Arctic Monkeys
17. "Lady Ann" - Township
16. "Fever Dog" - Stillwater
15. "You're Pretty Good Looking (For a Girl)" - The White Stripes
14. "Something Good" - King Konga
13. "Salute Your Solution" - The Raconteurs
12. "We Want Fun" - Andrew W.K.
11. "Black Thumbnail" - Kings of Leon
10. "Fluorescent Adolescent" - Arctic Monkeys
This song is about longing for one's youth -- which we can all relate to -- and it's just a really good, catchy song. The first line to this song is great: "You used to get it in your fishnets / Now you only get it in your night dress." And only in British songs do you get prominent use of the word "daft."
9. "10 a.m. Automatic" - The Black Keys
This is my favorite Black Keys song. It's a great rock song with a great riff.
8. "Mr. Brightside" - The Killers
The first time I heard this I thought it was fantastic, and my opinion has never changed. I love the story of deception or perceived deception, as some guy is going to sleep while his girlfriend is smoking another dude's cigarettes while waiting for a cab with the dude. Or so he assumes.
7. "Chelsea Dagger" - The Fratellis
Everyone knows the refrain ("do do-do do do-do do do-do-dah-do"), since it's plastered over sports arenas, beer commercials, and movie trailers, but my favorite part it when it kicks into the chorus. The song builds perfectly, and the band makes great use of anticipation, so when that guitar slides down the fret board, the listener is ready for the payoff.
6. "Ignition" (Remix) - R. Kelly
"Now usually I don't do this." With those words -- which do not refer to urinating on underage women -- R. Kelly kicks off one dastardly catchy song about partying in hotel lobbies. This song should be on every wedding reception playlist.
5. "Massive Nights" - The Hold Steady
A shining example of what is right in the world of rock and roll. This song is anthemic and fun, detailing the madness that comes with a high school dance, and, in my mind, established The Hold Steady as one of the best rock bands of the decade.
4. "Offend in Every Way" - The White Stripes
Story of my life.
3. "Stumble and Fall" -Razorlight
Like many of the songs on Razorlight's debut album, this song is catchy, punky, and edgy, making effective use of the crescendo.
2. "Hey Ya!" - Outkast
What I remember most about "Hey Ya!" is how insane people used to go when it came on. I was at a bar in Bloomington when I was back for a football game, and "Hey Ya!" came on the juke box. It soon turned into bedlam. People immediately started dancing on chairs and tables. I'm not sure there's been a catchier song put out in the last ten years and, as far as I'm concerned, this is one of the top five pop songs ever written.
1. "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" - The Darkness
The first time I heard this song, I fell in love with it. The guitars. The falsetto. The machismo. It's exactly what the rock world needed in 2003 (and still needs, in my opinion). I can't get tired of this song.
Monday, January 04, 2010
And don't get me started on this godforsaken decade we just ended. Remember 2000? The economy was booming. Spirits were high. The world didn't end. Things really seemed to be going well for the country. Little did we know that Macy Gray's "I Try" was not only a song about lost love, but also, in retrospect, a chilling warning that collectively we should have clung to the goodtime 1990s for as long as we could and should not have taken such prosperity fir granted ("I try to say goodbye, and I choke / Try to walk away, and I stumble . . . My world crumbles when you are not near."). Beginning in late 2000, things started to hit the fan (shit, mainly). For reasons that are still unclear to me (and I've read the opinion many times), the Supreme Court elected George Bush to the presidency and, for reasons that are even more unclear to me, Bush was reelected four years later. Since that fateful day in late 2000, all sorts of bubbles have burst, our economy has gone from a surplus to a massive deficit, we've been hit with terrorist attacks, SARS, Asian carp, K-Fed, and H1N1, we've started two unpopular wars that don't look promising (and have already cost the taxpayers nearly a TRILLION dollars), and The OC came and went. Bottom line: this decade sucked.
It wasn't all bad. We saw IU go to a Final Four, the Bears go to a Super Bowl, and Myles Brand die. The country elected its first minority president. And that 30 Rock is pretty funny. But those things hardly make up for everything else.
Ten years ago, I was a carefree college senior with a new girlfriend and no cell phone, starting a nine-credit-hour second semester with no classes before 2:30, genuinely excited about law school the next fall, and sure that I knew what I wanted to do with my life.
Now, I am an anxious (albeit hilarious) new father with a cell phone that ensures I am connected to my job 24/7, cursing myself for going to law school, and I have no idea what I want to do with my life.
Of course, what's odd is that if I were to tell my 22-year-old self that I was now married to Jester with a beautiful daughter, living in Lincoln Park and working at a law firm while taking sketch writing classes at Second City, I probably would have thought that sounded okay. Then again, when I was 22, I got drunk six nights a week. God, I miss college. (This is not meant to imply that I am unhappy with anything in my life other than my career path.)
The end of a decade provides an unfortunate marker at which you look back at the last ten years of your life and figure out whether they were a complete waste or not. More often than not, you think about things you wish you would have done differently or things you simply wish you would have done at all. You vow that the next ten years will be different; that you will take the bull by the horns (perhaps literally, if that's what you're into). But you won't. There is always an excuse, and there is always the feeling that you will eventually have time to do it -- the summer break that never comes.
This post isn't meant to depress the shit out of you. The point of the post is that I hope you make the most of this decade. Make it your decade, whatever that might mean for you. If you want to go back to school to become an archeologist, do it. If you want to own a bar one day, make it happen. If you've always wanted to start a game show called Wether or Not, find 15 castrated goats and 15 intact goats, and pitch it to J.D. Roth. No matter how old or young you are, it's never too late to take your life back. The worst thing you can do is be idle. When the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2020, I hope you can look back on this decade with satisfaction, not with regret.
Obviously, set realistic goals. You probably don't want to set a goal to take over the world because you're just setting yourself up for failure. But if you want to take over, say, Paraguay, then buy some tanks, set up base in a nondescript house outside Asuncion, and start building a resistance that may one day become your junta.
With that, here are my New Years resolutions and Decade resolutions, some more serious than others.
Resolutions for 2010
-Lose weight while drinking more
-Teach Daughter how to ski jump
-Use more creative ways to get out of conversations I don't want to be a part of, such as (1) explain that I have a fungus on my finger that comes and goes, then say "I'm going to get another beer. Does anyone want anything?"; (2) "Do you know where the bathroom is? I have to take a dump."; (3) go on and on, in graphic detail, about what I think it would be like to "fuck a vampire"; (4) keep steering the conversation back to cattle rustling (while making excessive use of the pun "steering"); (5) describe everything as "mental masturbation" while simulating masturbating; (6) speak only like Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs, using only his quotes from the movie (you'd actually be surprised at how relevant some of the quotes are)
-Be better about using The Rule of Three
-Get a webisode or six filmed and posted on the world wide web
-Write a will – and make it the best will ever
Resolutions for the Decade
-Get at least one book published
-Complete at least zero Ironman triathlons
-Leave the legal profession
-Continue to spawn adorable children, including one named Leon
-Buy a whole bunch of CDs
-Invent a porn-based bio fuel
-Maintain a weight that is at -- although preferably below -- my current weight
-Mold an adorably evil genius who will one day rule Paraguay
Saturday, January 02, 2010
Guy on sidewalk: "I live with a guy who has sex with reptiles."
Girl (overly curious): "Oh really?"
--Chicago, State and Grand
Twentysomething female: "I would hate to take it up the ass from Vin Diesel. He's so big he'd split you."
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian
Dude in bathroom at concert venue with standing water on the floor: "It's wetter than a preacher's cock in here."
--Chicago, Riviera Theatre, Broadway & Lawrence
Twentysomething male to female, waiting in line in front of nice restaurant: "Let's go apeshit here because I've got the munchies big time."
--Chicago, Frontera Grill, 445 N. Clark
New mom on Thanksgiving, talking about her newborn daughter: "I could probably put her in the turkey cavity."
Thirtysomething female at a holiday party: "Cock rings are the new Jesus."
Woman about to head to the hospital to have a baby: "Ugh, this is like going to the guillotine."
Twentysomething woman with two masters degrees: "I won't eat veal or any other lamb meat."
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian
Woman who just had a baby, to husband: "You didn't put any pictures of me on Facebook looking all skaggy, right?"
Woman's mother: "Just that big one of your twat."
--Chicago, Prentice Women's Hospital, Superior & St. Clair
Twentysomething female: "I would love to bathe in fettucini alfredo sauce"
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian
3-year-old at pediatrician's office: "Babies don't die."
--Chicago, Sheffield & George
Former 30 in 8 winner discussing college: "It was like an abortion in there. We drank vodka and kool-aid, and we puked everywhere. It really looked like an abortion."
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian
Female doctor checking out new mother and baby: "I see a lot of babies, and yours is definitely one of the cute ones."
Doctor: "You don't know how many times I have to tell new parents their baby has a great personality."
--Chicago, Prentice Women's Hospital, Superior & St. Clair
Thitysomething female: "It smells like a bloody ho. It TASTES like a bloody ho."
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian
As we do here from time to time, here is something that isn't technically eavesdropping, but definitely worthy of inclusion:
--Morris, IL, liquor store
Eavesdropper: The Floppy Burrito
As always, thanks to everyone who contributed, and if you overhear something funny, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in the next exciting edition of Midwestern Eavesdropping.