Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Retro Video of the Week: "Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.)" by Mötley Crüe

Yesterday, the members of Mötley Crüe announced that they will be going on tour this year, and then breaking up afterward.  They even signed a contract saying that they will never reunite, which I thought was a little bit much.  Never say never, guys.  Thankfully, they will be coming through the Chicagoland area August 8, and you better damn well believe I'm going to that show.

Here is the video of my favorite Mötley Crüe song, "Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.)," a catchy and rollicking little ditty off of 1989's Dr. Feelgood album, with a video dedicated to the fans, showing clips from various live shows.  God, remember those last couple years before grunge?  Everything was so happy, carefree, and fun.  Then we decided we needed suicidal heroin addicts for heroes instead of happy-go-lucky, sex-addicted heroin addicts for heroes.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday Top Ten: Favorite Performances at the 2014 Grammys

For someone who likes music as much as I do, I usually avoid the Grammys.  I'm not sure why, but I assume it has to do with the fact that I don't listen to and/or dislike a lot of today's pop music.  That's probably not fair, though, given that the Grammys usually have a pretty diverse lineup of performers and give out awards to many different genres.

I had no intention of watching this year's Grammys.  I watched a little bit probably 45 minutes to an hour into the show, but then I decided I would rather finally watch the last episode of Masters of Sex on my DVR, so I did.  

When I finished watching that, I realized that somehow, the Grammys had been paused with over 90 minutes left to go.  So I watched, fast forwarding where appropriate.  I'll be damned if I didn't enjoy the hell out of the show.  Pretty much every performance was great, and the star power of the performers was about as good as it gets:  Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Metallica, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, Chicago, Taylor Swift, Carole King, Lindsey Buckingham, Madonna, Queen Latifah, and Willie Nelson, just to name a few.

Before I delve into my favorite performances of the evening, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the SNAFUs, most notably the "in memoriam" segment, which, for some reason, featured comedian Jonathan Winters and various entertainment lawyers and agents, but failed to include Slayer co-founder and guitarist Jeff Hanneman (who died May 2, 2013) or former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr (who died March 12, 2013).

Hanneman wrote or co-wrote many of the band's songs, including "Raining Blood" and "Angel of Death," arguably Slayer's two most popular songs.  You would think that the Grammys would have been aware of Hanneman, since Slayer has been nominated for five Grammys during their career and won Best Metal Performance twice (both in the last 7 years -– 2007 and 2008) for songs co-written by Hanneman.

Burr was Iron Maiden's drummer on the band's first three albums, Iron Maiden, Killers, and Number of the Beast, which are my three favorite Iron Maiden albums, and probably the most widely known and influential albums by the band.  He was a huge influence on many metal drummers that followed.

The other major SNAFU was when the Grammys ran ads during the final performance of the night, by Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl, and Lindsey Buckingham.  Trent Reznor was understandably pissed off about that.

And the other SNAFU was Jared Leto's incongruous speech about Lou Reed that was used to introduce . . . Metallica and classical pianist Lang Lang pairing up to peform Metallica's "One."  I love Lou Reed and I love Metallica, and I know Reed's last album was Lulu, which he made with Metallica a couple years ago, but there was no mention of any connection between the two.  It was a weird moment, and honestly, I was fully expecting a performance of a Lou Reed or Velvet Underground song at some point during the Grammys, and I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't one.

But aside from those SNAFUs, from what I saw, it was all good.  I didn't see every performance at the Grammys.  I heard Jay-Z and Beyonce were great, but didn't see it.  I would have like to have seen Gary Clark, Jr. play (and glad that kickass blues guitarist are still getting some recognition), even if it was with k.d. lang lookalike Keith Urban, but I didn't.  So, with that, here are my ten favorite from what I did see.  I was going to try to include videos of each, but it looks like neither the official Grammys website nor the CBS Grammys website has any videos of the performances, and they have apparently been pulling them off of YouTube.  I found a few videos or links, though.

10.  Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons
Not a pairing I would have imagined (pun intended, motherfuckers), but it worked.

9.  "Okie From Muskogee" by Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Blake Shelton
As you may know, I'm not a country music fan by any means, but I do enjoy Willie Nelson's voice, and I liked this performance.

That was cool.

7.  Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl, and Lindsey Buckingham
It was nice and rocking, even if it did get cut off prematurely.

6.  "Try" by Pink and "Just Give Me a Reason" by Pink and Nate Reuss
Once again Pink did her high-flying, suspended-from-the-ceiling thing.  Yes, I know she did it a couple years ago, but it's still more impressive than anything you did Sunday night.

5.  "Photograph" by Ringo Starr
Anytime a Beatle performs, I like it.

Anytime two Beatles perform, I like it even more, especially when it's a song about a Liverpudlian children's game.

I like "Get Lucky" to begin with.  It's about vampires, after all, or at least that's what I assume.  And, of course, Stevie Wonder is a welcome addition to any song, ever.  I thought the stage set-up was cool too.  Steven Tyler's dancing in the crowd was an added bonus.

2.  "One" by Metallica and Lang Lang
You would think this would be #1, given my love of metal and all, and the fact that it was only Metallica's second performance at the Grammys and first since 1989, when Metallica famously lost the inaugural Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance to . . . Jethro Tull, a rocking band, but a band with a flute nonetheless.  Anyway, I very much enjoyed Sunday night's performance of "One," and I think the pairing with Lang Lang worked surprisingly well, but I thought James Hetfield looked like he was reaching a little bit on some of the vocals.  Here's a link to a video someone took while watching it on TV.

1.  "When Will I Be Loved" by Miranda Lambert and Billie Joe Armstrong
I'm not sure what it was about this that I liked so much.  It was right after the "in memoriam" segment, which ended showing Phil Everly, who died earlier this month (and who wrote the song).  When Lambert and Armstrong were first announced, I through it was kind of an odd pairing –- a female country singer and a punk/alternative guy –- and I was even a little skeptical when Billie Joe started playing.  But as soon as they started signing, I thought they really nailed it.  Great harmonizing (and it's tough to try to emulate the Everly Brothers' harmonies) on a great song.  Here's a video, assuming it doesn't get yanked off of YouTube:

Monday, January 27, 2014

New Book: Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin

I've been a little slow on updating you about my reading over the past two months, and based on the thousands of emails I have received, you're itching for an update and you may believe I may need male enhancement.

I finished reading I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling With Villains (Real and Imagined) by Chuck Klosterman at some point in early December, and it was a typically funny and interesting Chuck Klosterman take on pop culture and history.  As the title implies, it was about villains or perceived villains, from history, sports, music, politics, and media.  Like all Klosterman books, I highly recommend it.

After that, I read Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile by Nate Jackson.  It was a fantastic memoir.  Jackson is a former wide receiver and tight end who played in the NFL for seven seasons, for the 49ers and Broncos, almost entirely as a backup.  The book takes you through the nitty gritty of what it's like to play in the NFL (and NFL Europe) while not being a star.  As it turns out, playing in the NFL has many perks even if you're not a name everyone recognizes.  Of course, you're also pretty much constantly injured and in fear of losing your job.  Anyway, it was a quick read, and really interesting, especially for any football fans.  I would definitely recommend this one as well.

I finished that one just before Christmas, and I've spent the last few weeks dodging polar vortexes while playing Words With Friends and fake craps on my phone during train rides instead of reading anything.  I've built my fake craps fortune from $200 to over $3,300, which is nice, aside from the fact that I have not actually made $3,100.  But I have perfected a strategy for the next time I actually play craps.

Today, I started reading Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin.  Turns out it's about Springsteen, not the shark from Finding Nemo, but I'm going to read it anyway.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Oral History of Swingers

If you were a male in your 20s at any point in the '90s, chances are you've seen Swingers.  It was definitely one of my favorites when I was in college.  Hell, it is the single reason I started drinking scotch.  Five of us went in on a bottle of Glen Fiddich and watched the movie one night while drinking scotch.  I think only me and one other guy actually liked it enough to keep drinking it -- not that we could afford to drink much scotch in college.  Swingers was just one of those movies that every guy could relate to, and it had so many great lines and scenes.  If it weren't 10:30 at night, I would pop it in right now because it's been too long since the last time I've seen it.  If it were 1998, I would be popping it in and pouring myself a glass of a glen.  Any glen will do.

Anyway, Grantland has an awesome article entitled "So Money" (thanks to Wee Wee for the link) that is essentially the oral history of the making of Swingers, told by writer and co-star Jon Favreau, the other actors and actresses in the movie (from Vince Vaughn and Ron Livingston to the random chicks that turn Mikey down throughout the movie), the director, and the producers.  Of course, it's on Grantland, so it may take you several hours to read, but it's definitely worth it if you're a fan of the movie.

Retro Video of the Week: "We Built This City" by Starship

Starship was huge in the mid '80s, with three #1 hits between 1985 and 1987.  "We Built This City" was their first of those three and has since been voted the worst song of the '80s by Rolling Stone and the most awesomely bad song ever by Blender Magazine.  I remember when I found out that Starship had been, more or less, birthed out of Jefferson Airplane, I was taken aback.  Frankly, I'm still baffled.  From "up against the wall, motherfucker" to "corporation games."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tuesday Top Ten: Concerts of 2013

Although not quite as good as 2012, 2013 was a pretty damn good concert year for me.  Once again, I didn't see a bad show.  2014 doesn't look like it's going to be as fruitful, as there aren't many good shows on the horizon.  But alas, don't let the past remind me of what we are not now.  Anyway, here are my ten favorite shows of 2013 (not counting Lollapalooza):

Honorable mention: 
Flogging Molly, Aragon, January 26

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, Metro, February 16

The Features, Rib Fest, June 8

Black Crowes, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and London Souls, Charter One Pavilion, August 14

10.  Black Sabbath, First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, August 16
They are Black Sabbath, and they still kick a lot of ass.  This is the first time in my life that I've taken a cab from an airport and gone directly to a concert.  In the early afternoon, I was attending a hearing in rural West Virginia.  In the evening, I was rocking out to the fathers of metal.

9.  Dropkick Murphys, Aragon, February 22
The pancake hats and Bird jerseys were out in force, and Dropkick Murphys didn't disappoint.  They also played "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" during their encore, so that was awesome.

8.  The Gaslight Anthem, The Riviera, March 1
This is one of my favorite bands from the past few years, and they have been great live every time I've seen them, including last March.  I was able to squeeze myself amongst the hipsters and punks to get relatively close to the stage at The Riv.

7.  Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters, Grant Park, July 12
I had never seen Robert Plant before, so I was both excited and kind of wary because I wasn't sure if he could still hit the high notes.  He made a fool of my doubt.  Not only was his backing band pretty damn good, but Plant wailed.  He played a great, Zeppelin-heavy set, and hit all the notes that I never could.

6.  Vintage Trouble, Beat Kitchen, March 8
Good Lord, these guys put on a great show.  My prediction when I saw them in December 2012 was that they would not be playing at venues as small as the Beat Kitchen for much longer.  Thankfully, they got another show in at Beat Kitchen in March before moving to the larger Park West in October (which I unfortunately missed).  The only negative to this show was that it was the same night the Blackhawks lost their first game of the 2012-2013 season.

5.  Blackfoot Gypsies, The Gills, The JAG, and Swayze, Bottom Lounge, July 6
I decided to see this show based solely on the fact that I liked the name Blackfoot Gypsies.  It just seemed like the kind of band that I would like.  I was right.  This show was one stop on the Gypsy Camp Tour, a 15-show mini-tour with four great rock bands from Nashville.  I liked every one of the bands, and I hope the Gypsy Camp Tour comes through Chicago again in 2014.

3 (tie).  J. Roddy Walston & The Business and Taddy Porter, Double Door, September 12
J. Roddy Walston & The Business, House of Blues, November 12

J. Roddy Walston & The Business is so damn good I saw them twice in two months.  Both shows were equally as awesome, so I'm not going to try to pick one over the other.  The Double Door show was great because it's a small venue, and Taddy Porter opened up.  The House of Blues show was great because it was the largest venue in which I've seen them (aside from Lollapalooza), and they commanded a big venue just as well as they did a small venue.  There is only one thing you need to know about J. Roddy Walston & The Business:  if they come to your town, see them.

2.  The Darkness and Hell or Highwater, The Vic, January 27
For the second year in a row, The Darkness came to Chicago.  For the second year in a row, it was my second concert of the year.  For the second year in a row, they kicked ass.  For the second year in a row, after I left the show, I honestly did not think any other concert during the year could possibly top it.  Until . . .

1.  The Rolling Stones, United Center, May 28
They're The Stones.  Game over.

Midwestern Eavesdropping

Random barista at coffee shop:  "Let's face it.  Getting to listen to Chris Isaak while it is snowing outside is pretty special."
--Louisville, KY
Eavesdropper:  RPTre

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Retro Video of the Week: "Hot For Teacher" by Van Halen

I was going to write a Tuesday Top Ten last night, but I was too busy watching my beloved Hoosiers end their 12-game losing streak to that turtle-faced bastard Bo Ryan and his #3 ranked Wisconsin Badgers.  My joy turned to pain, my sunshine to rain, when the IU student section rushed the court.  Look, I get it.  It was a big win.  But we're Indiana, not Northwestern.  We shouldn't rush the court when we beat Wisconsin unless we are clinching a Big Ten title.  For a detailed explanation of the instances in which it is proper to rush the court, please read my most recent angry post (before this one) about court rushing.

Then I was going to write a Tuesday Top Ten tonight, but there's this awesome retrospective on VH1 about SNL in the '90s.  I can't be expected to come up with anything decent while laughing my ass off.

Anywho, last week Van Halen's 1984 album turned thirty.  This makes me feel terribly old, especially since I vividly remember the first time I ever heard the album, in 1984, on my friend's brown Fisher-Price tape player.  It was one of those watershed moments in my musical upbringing.  We were going absolutely crazy when we heard every song -- even the ones with synthesizers because we were too young to know we were supposed to feel betrayed by Eddie Van Halen.  So, in honor of 1984's 30th anniversary, here is the classic video for "Hot For Teacher."  Notice Michael Anthony's inability to stay totally in step while dancing.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

BAM!: Amsterdam Day 1 (Monday)

Prior BAM! posts:

Monday morning in Brussels was relatively quiet.  We got some breakfast and did some shopping in the Gallery, a stretch of a couple blocks of stores that is enclosed.  Every other store in the Gallery seemed to be a chocolatier, so I grabbed some chocolates for Jester and a nice little hand-picked mix for myself from Neuhaus.  Of course, only after I got back to the hotel and looked at the bag did I see that there is a Neuhaus store in Chicago.  That did not affect my opinion of how delicious the chocolates were.

We all packed up and left raw meat in the heating ducts, as we do at every hotel, and headed to the train station to catch our Thalys train to Amsterdam.  I gotta say, high-speed rail travel is pretty fucking nice.  We had first class tickets, which got us plush seats, free wifi in the train, and included drinks and food.  I enjoyed a beer or two as we whizzed through the Belgian and Dutch countryside at almost 200 mph, arriving in Amsterdam in less than two hours.  How high-speed rail travel has not caught on in the US is beyond me.

I hadn't been to Amsterdam since I was four years old, and even then, I was only in the airport.  That didn't stop my parents from buying me a little windmill to commemorate the experience.  It is with 99% certainty that I can tell you that windmill is broken and buried in my mom's attic somewhere among the mounds of toys she has not made any effort to remove from her house.

Daniel was the man when it came to our lodging in Amsterdam.  Through, he found a nice three bedroom apartment on a quiet street (or straat, if you will) in the center of the city, and it was cheaper than any of the hotels we were looking at.  The only catch was that it was on the second floor, and the staircase up was narrow and steep.

Before getting started on what we did in Amsterdam, let me just say, as far as you know, I drank no coffee while I was in Amsterdam, nor did any of my fellow travelers.  I have always loved the smell of coffee, and there was no shortage of that walking through the streets.  I was only slightly surprised at how many coffee shops there were.  My favorite was one that we passed on our way to our apartment called The Doors, named after the greatest American rock and roll band of all-time.

There was also a Blues Brothers coffee shop, which we passed while walking towards the Red Light District.

On that note, after arriving and getting settled, we walked to the Red Light District, which, in addition to housing prostitutes and sex shops, has a ton of bars and restaurants.  If you've never been, it's really quite fascinating.  The main part of the Red Light District is probably a mile long, on both sides of a canal.  Each girl has her own little doorway in which she stands behind glass, usually in a bikini.  If she is working, there is a red or pink light in the doorway.  When you pass by, the girls tap the glass and beckon you to insert your penis into any one of several orifices.  When a guy (or girl) goes into the doorway and the connected bedroom, the whore closes a shade on her doorway for privacy while she and her customer take the skin boat to Tuna Town.  It's common courtesy to refrain from photographing the whores.  Here are a couple general shots of the Red Light District, and a sly photo Colleen took of a couple doorways.

Looking at half-naked Dutch women can make five men and a woman thirsty, so we grabbed a couple beers at a bar at the end of the Red Light District, before going to see a giant phallic symbol and some really bad street performer who was berating his audience.

That, too, can make five men and a woman thirsty, so we found this dark little bar called Café Belgique, where we had some delicious beers by candlelight.

For dinner, we went to some restaurant with a Dutch-sounding name.  Van Speyk, I believe.  This was the only place in Amsterdam with stairs steeper than those in our apartment.  Going to the bathroom was a do or die proposition.  In the hour and a half we were there, six people perished at the hands of the famed Van Speyk Steps of Death.

Eating a meal of food can make five men and a woman thirsty, so we went to a nearby bar that Chandler recommended called Bar Dominus.  It wasn't the bar he was thinking of, but they did have an interesting house wine.

Going to the wrong bar can make five men and a woman horny, so we all strolled back through the Red Light District, half intending to see a sex show.  It was Chandler's birthday, after all.  You'd be amazed at how much money a theater will charge to watch two humans fornicate on stage.  They were as much as 45 or 50 Euro, and I think the cheapest one was something like 25 Euro, which seemed reasonable.  But let's be honest here, we were all more than a little concerned that we would get what we paid for.  It's probably the cheapest sex show for a reason.
Deciding not to see a sex show can make five men and a woman thirsty, so we went to a bar on the main Red Light District canal called The Pint, where we proceeded to tie one on in honor of Chandler's birthday.  The bartendress, probably in her late 40s or early 50s, was named Natalie, and she was pouring some strong drinks and cranking some American rock and roll. The combination suited us well.

We got Chandler healthily intoxicated.  If you're wondering which one's Chandler, he's this one: 
At some point, a group of about four or five Scotsmen (presumably warrior poets) came into the bar and sat by us.  For a period of about a year and a half after I saw Braveheart, my inner monologue was almost entirely in a Scottish accent, so I feel a deep kinship with the Scots.  Anyway, some bloke called Paul was talking to Bonham and me.  Paul was 24, from somewhere in between Glasgow and Edinburgh, and had a haircut not unlike Paul McCartney's in 1965.  When we mentioned that we were thinking about going to a sex show, Paul became very serious and told us the following story that I will never forget (please read it in a Scottish accent for accuracy). 

"Don't go to sex shows," he said, pausing for effect to let the simplicity and gravity of his statement sink in.  I wondered, had this guy gone to the 25 Euro show and watched an overweight, pasty, middle-aged couple rubbing up on each other?  Or maybe he paid good money and only saw a handy?  Or maybe he would rather spend his money on the real thing?  No, no, and no.

He continued, "There was a guy from back home who came here on business with some co-workers.  They were all friends, and they all went to a sex show, probably 10 of them.  The people on stage asked for a volunteer, and this guy's friends made him go up on stage." 

At this point, I thought Paul was going to say that this guy got his bare ass whipped or something similar, like what strippers sometimes do to embarrass a bachelor.  My life experiences could not have prepared me for what I was about to hear. 

"When he got on stage, they tied his hands behind his back, put a ball gag in his mouth, and pulled down his pants.  He was raped on stage by a huge black man, in front of his friends.  None of his friends tried to stop it.  After it was done, he took the first flight home and never spoke to any of the other guys again."

As you might imagine, Bonham and I were a little floored by this.  If true, this is probably one of the worst things that could happen to you:  being raped on stage in front of your friends, who are apparently ambivalent to the stranger's dick in your ass.  This is a life-ruining event.  There's no coming back after that.  There was the portion of your life before the sex show stage rape and the portion of your life after the sex show stage rape.  When you participate in "most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you" ice breakers, you win, hands down.  And you also cry and weird everyone else in the room out because no one knows how to possibly react to that.  I mean, holy shit.  And who are these friends of his?  I'm sorry, but if any one of my friends –- or even a total stranger –- is being forcibly penetrated against his or her will, I am going to try to stop it, rather than sit back and say "now this is art" while I sip on my 6 Euro Amstel.

Needless to say, we did not go to a sex show.

That night on the walk back to the apartment, Amsterdam was foggy, which made for some nice eerie pictures.

In the next installment:  Van Gogh, boats, and the single most fucked up first date conversation ever overheard.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Retro Video of the Week: "Hazy Shade of Winter" by The Bangles

In honor of the -40 degree wind chills we had earlier this week here in Chicago, as well as the foot of snow on the ground, this week's Retro Video of the Week is The Bangles' cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Hazy Shade of Winter."  The song was featured in the movie Less Than Zero, based on the Bret Easton Ellis book of the same name, and the video contains many clips from the movie, none of which involve snow, ice, or temperatures so cold that exposed skin will begin to get frostbitten in five minutes.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

2013 Year in Review

Sorry for the hiatus.  I have spent the last two weeks, in no particular order, shoveling snow, celebrating Christian, pagan, and non-denominational holidays, making corned beef, freezing my ass off, and consuming winter beers.  But alas, I'm back in the swing of things (i.e., back to work), so you can count on regular posts for the foreseeable future.

The family and I moved into a house.  I went to the zoo a bunch of times.  The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup again, and I actually got to go to Game 1, which was the first Stanley Cup game I've ever been to.  Pretty awesome, even if our tickets were standing-room-only, and the game went into triple overtime and I blew out my flip flops.
I lit off like 30 smoke bombs on the Fourth of July.  
I accidentally discovered that my boys can still swim.  I threw out the first pitch at a White Sox game (and threw a strike, at that). 

I rode on a couple boats.  The whole fam damily went out to Colorado to visit my dad, marking Lollipop's first and second plane rides.  We saw a shitload of prairie dogs and mountains.  
 Daughter started preschool.  I took an awesome trip to Brussels, Amsterdam, and Munich.  I sang "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" at karaoke while dressed as the grim reaper.  
We bought a fish.  Harley turned 70.  The Hoosiers brought the Old Oaken Bucket back to Bloomington.  KISS was finally elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  I drank all 12 beers of Christmas at Rocks, twice.  Jester bought an Alf doll, which we made into Alf on the Shelf, our cat-eating, Elvis-loving alien who flies to the North Pole every night to report to Santa whether you are good or bad that day.

2014 promises to be equally as awesome, as my third -- and, in all likelihood, final -- spawn will enter the world.  We got the Winter Olympics and the World Cup (even if the US is in the Group of Death and Lindsey Vonn is a scratch).  A couple very good friends are getting married -- not to each other, but to their respective fiancés.  I will finish recapping the BAM trip.  I'm gonna go to the zoo a bunch more times.  Probably New Orleans too.  Daughter will be taking a swimming class and Lollipop will be taking a gymnastics class, so look for them in the 2028 Chicago Summer Olympics.  I'm gonna order a bunch of stuff from Amazon.  The Hoosiers are going to both a Final Four and a bowl, which will be a nice complement to their ninth NCAA soccer championship, the Blackhawks' third Stanley Cup in five years, Derrick Rose's knee completely healing forever, and the Bears going undefeated.  Perhaps most amazing of all, Ted Mosby will finally meet his kids' mother.