Thursday, July 30, 2015

Midwestern Eavesdopping

Young guy to middle-aged guy on bus:  "My dad died of a massive heart attack.  The only drug he ever did was weed."
Middle-aged guy:  "Weed isn't a drug.  It's a medicine."
Old man who is eavesdropping:  "Amen!  I smoked weed throughout my entire life, and I'm 82.  Ain't nothing wrong with me except my penis don't work."
--Chicago, CTA bus
Eavesdropper:  Rockford Peach

Homeless man in wheelchair rolls up to a homeless woman begging for change and says, "Go home," causing both of them to laugh.
--Chicago, State & Wacker
Eavesdropper:  GMYH

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Retro Videos of the Week: "Say Say Say" by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, and "Wherever I May Roam" by Metallica

This weekend is Lollapalooza.  It will be my 11th overall, and I'm just as excited about this one as I was for my first one in 1994.  Two of the acts I'm most excited to see are Paul McCartney, who is headlining Friday night, and Metallica, who are headlining Saturday night.  I did not feel much like choosing between the two for Retro Video of the Week, so I went with a video from each.

First is McCartney's collaboration with Michael Jackson, "Say Say Say" (obviously before the King of Pop bought the publishing rights to a bunch of Beatles songs and refused to sell them to McCartney).  When it comes to collaborations, it doesn't get much bigger than this:  a Beatle and the King of Pop.  Certainly, audiences in 1983 and 1984 ate it up.  On the heels of their previous collaboration, "The Girl Is Mine" -- the first single released off of Thriller, in late 1982, which reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 -- "Say Say Say" climbed all the way to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for six weeks in December 1983 to January 1984.  On top of that, it came in at #3 on Billboard's Hot 100 for the year 1984, #9 for Billboard's end-of-decade charts for the 1980s, and #40 on Billboard's all-time chart.

The video is a classic from the early MTV era, featuring McCartney, Jackson, Linda McCartney, LaToya Jackson, and even Art Carney.  It's more short film than music video, and I definitely remember watching this video when I was a kid, thinking "who's that old dude singing with Michael Jackson?"

Second is Metallica's "Wherever I May Roam," off of their monster 1991 self-titled album (aka "The Black Album").  It was the fourth single released off of the album, and it got up to #82 on the Billboard Hot 100.  I have always like the line "rover, wanderer, nomad, vagabond, call me what you will."  The video is comprised of scenes from the band while on tour.  All in all, just a badass song.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday Top Ten: Diseases I'm Glad I Don't Have

Apparently, it's World Hepatitis Day.  One of the things I'm most happy about in my life is my lack of deadly and/or communicable diseases.  Aside from all forms of hepatitis, here are the ten diseases, illnesses, and medical conditions I'm most glad I don't have (not including diseases and illnesses for which my parents were kind enough to ensure that I never contracted, thanks to common childhood vaccines):

10.  Halitosis

9.  Gigantism

8.  Dwarfism

7.  Ballanital chancroids

6.  Pregnancy

5.  Anal leakage

4.  Conservatism

3.  That condition where you're born with the upper body of a human and the lower body of a horse

2.  Distemper

1.  ED

Friday, July 24, 2015

Hair Band Friday - 7/24/15

1.  "In America" by Britny Fox

2.  "White Lightning" by Def Leppard

3.  "The Razor's Edge" by AC/DC (it was nearly impossible to find the regular version of this, so I went with a live version)

4.  "Tonight (We Need A Lover)" by Mötley Crüe

5.  "Just Got Lucky" by Dokken

6.  "Pretty Tied Up" (live) by Guns 'N Roses

7.  "Nobody Rides for Free" by Ratt

8.  "Hold Me Tight" by The Scorpions

9.  "If My Mind is Evil" by White Lion

10.  "Cummin' Atcha Live" by Tesla

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Retro Video of the Week: "Tha Crossroads" by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's debut full-length album, E. 1999 Eternal.  This album was huge that summer and my senior year in high school.  Despite the fact that the group was from Cleveland, the album shot up to #1 on the Billboard album charts in mid-August 1995, eventually going platinum many times over.  E. 1999 Eternal was co-produced by Eazy-E, who had mentored Bone Thugs.  They dedicated the album to Eazy-E, after his death from AIDS-related complications in March 1995.  

E. 1999 Eternal produced three songs that made the Billboard Hot 100, including two top 15 songs ("1st of tha Month" and "Tha Crossroads").  "Tha Crossroads" -- which was also dedicated to Eazy-E, among other deceased friends and relatives -- went all the way to #1 for 8 weeks in the summer of 1996, was #7 on Billboard's year-end chart for 1996, and #25 on Billboard's Hot 100 for the entire decade.  It's a sentimental rap song, expressing vulnerability, fear, and sadness, which was certainly rare in the era of gangsta rap.  All in all, it's a great song, worthy of all of the accolades it received.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tuesday Top Ten: Favorite Swears

Whether you call it swearing, cursing, or cussing, saying bad words is often cathartic and rewarding.  On the other hand, it can get you in trouble with some folk.  Myself, I enjoy the shit out of swearing, and it turns out, that's a good thing, as people who swear a lot tend to be more trustworthy and loyal.  With that, here are my top ten favorite swear words, with examples of each used in a motherfucking sentence.

10.  Ass
"The doctor said I need to lance the boil on my ass, but I was all 'I bet you'd like that, chode.'"

9.  Cunt whore
"My friend's ex-girlfriend has been described by his wife as a 'cunt whore,' you know, because she is, in fact, a cunt whore."

8.  Chode
"If you continue this line of questioning, you will leave me no choice but to demand that you lick my motherfucking chode."

7.  Dickhead
"Cary Elwes looks like a dickhead, but he's actually a pretty nice guy."

6.  Bitch
"If that's how it's gonna be, then let's play some fucking bocce, bitch."

5.  Asshole
"That asshole just took the last curly fry.  I should mention that we're at Arby's."

4.  Cunt
"Hi, cunt -- I mean, grandma."

3.  Motherfucker
"Last time I saw that motherfucker, he was all shit-faced, singing 'Call Me Maybe' at karaoke with that narcoleptic chick named Heidi, right after she got all those spider bites on her tits."

2.  Shit
"I accidentally shit all over your bathtub again, and by 'accidentally,' I mean 'repeatedly,' and by 'over your bathtub,' I mean 'in all of your pillows.'" 

1.  Fuck
"Fuck Purdue."

Friday, July 17, 2015

Hair Band Friday - 7/17/15

1.  "Cry of the Gypsy" by Dokken

2.  "Hang Tough" by Tesla

3.  "Rhythm of Love" by The Scorpions

4.  "Wasted Generation" by Steel Dragon

5.  "Fallen Angel" by Poison

6.  "The Rage" by Judas Priest

7.  "Just Take My Heart" by Mr. Big

8.  "Don't Tell Me You Love Me" by Night Ranger

9.  "Ridin' High" by Warrant

10.  "Scene of the Crime" by Ratt

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Retro Video of the Week: "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and The News

I meant to post a Tuesday Top Ten yesterday, but I just plumb forgot.  And now you have just witnessed the first time I have ever used the word "plumb" -- audibly or in writing.  Anyway, I will be combining Tuesday Top Ten with the Retro Video of the Week post this week, so as not to deprive you of the chance to click on a link I found interesting.

Said link is to an article entitled "20 Predictions Back to the Future Made That Turned Out to Be True."  You see, millennials, in 1989, there was a movie called Back to the Future Part II that was released.  It was the second in a trilogy about a time-travelling car, its crazy inventor, and his friend, who was a teenage boy.  In the second installment, the boy -- Marty McFly -- travels forward in time to the year 2015.  Specifically, he traveled to October 21, 2015.  In this then-future world, he encountered a variety of inventions that seemed absolutely implausible to any sane person in 1989.  I mean, who would have thought multiple people could have a phone call at the same time on video?  It turns out, according to the article, Back to the Future Part II correctly predicted a lot of technological advances that we now have in 2015.  Cubs fans must be freaking out right now.

Fitting in the theme of Back to the Future, this week's Retro Video of the Week is "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and The News -- a song that appears on the Back to the Future soundtrack and in all three Back to the Future movies in one form or another.  You may forget how huge Huey Lewis and The News was in the '80s, but just in case, let me remind you.  Between 1982 and 1991, the band had 17 Billboard Top 40 hits, including 12 Top 10s and 3 songs that hit #1.  "The Power of Love" was the first of those #1s, topping the Billboard charts for two weeks in August 1985.

The video features Doc Brown and the DeLorean, which Doc for some reason leaves on the street with the doors open in the middle of a crowd of interested people.  Great Scott!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Hair Band Friday - 7/10/15

1.  "Gonna Getcha" by Great White

2.  "You're No Different" by Ozzy Osbourne

3.  "Miss You In a Heartbeat" by Def Leppard

4.  "Knockin' On Heaven's Door (live)" by Guns N' Roses

5.  "Back For More" by Ratt

6.  "I'll Be There For You" by Bon Jovi

7.  "Little Guitars (Intro)" by Van Halen

8.  "Good Love" by Poison

9.  "Tragic Comic" by Extreme

10.  "City Boy Blues" by Mötley Crüe

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Retro Video of the Week: "The Good Life" by Weezer

On this unseasonably warm October cold July evening, I will be seeing Weezer perform a musical concert at the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park.  Weezer is one of my favorite bands, and needless to say, I'm pretty pumped about it.  To honor this blessed occasion, it seemed appropriate for this week's Retro Video of the Week to be a Weezer video.

I went with "The Good Life" off of the band's dynamite, yet commercially unsuccessful, second album, Pinkerton.  Released in 1996, Pinkerton is awesome, but I honestly had no idea it was released until many years later.  For whatever reason, it didn't resonate with mainstream radio or MTV, but it has since gained cult status and critical acclaim.

"The Good Life" was the second single released off of Pinkerton, released on my 19th birthday.  Presumably, "The Good Life" did not puke up a bunch of Icehouse off of a balcony at an off-campus party that night, but I sure as hell did.  God, I miss college.  Anyway, "The Good Life" peaked at #32 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart, making it the least successful Weezer single released up to that point.  It's a shame, too, because it's a great song -- the kind of catchy, yet rocking, power pop you've come to expect from Weezer.

The video is directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who have directed a ton of great music videos (including "Been Caught Stealing" by Jane's Addiction, "Tonight, Tonight"  and "1979" by The Smashing Pumpkins, and many Red Hot Chili Peppers videos) as well as the 2006 comedy Little Miss Sunshine.  Starring in "The Good Life" is a young Mary Lynn Rajskub, who went on to star as Chloe O'Brian in 24 (among many other acting credits).

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Tuesday Top Ten: Favorite Film Adaptations of Written Works

Since I recently finished reading The Shining by Stephen King, I have been thinking about how different the book is than the movie, but that the film version is still my favorite horror movie.  Then I got to thinking about how many other Stephen King books and stories have been turned into movies.  For a minute or two there, I was thinking about doing a Tuesday Top Ten of my favorite Stephen King film adaptations.  Then Albert, the centaur that sometimes visits me in my office, appeared before me and made a good point.  "You haven't seen Shawshank Redemption all the way through.  They'll mock you mercilessly."  "Who's 'they?'," I hissed back.  "Ev-er-y-one," he replied, slowly, but forcefully.  And like that, he was gone, as were the apples and carrots I had left out on my desk.  I put my head down.  Whenever Albert visits me, it makes me very tired.  "Albert," I said aloud, "That fucking centaur.  He always knows what's best for me."  When I looked up, my boss was standing in the doorway looking very confused.  She just turned and walked away without saying anything.

So I decided to expand the list to my ten favorite movies adapted from any written work.  They could be based on books, short stories, plays, or comics.  I don't even give a shit.  Just because they are on this list doesn't mean I read the book or whatever -- just that I like the movie.  As you can see, I generally tend to lean towards comedies, so don't get your American flag boxers in a bunch when you don't see any Tom Clancy or John Grisham movies on here.  With that, here are my ten favorite film adaptations of written works:

Honorable mention:
-Carrie (1976), based on the novel Carrie by Stephen King (1974)
-Vacation (1983), based on the short story "Vacation '58" by John Hughes in National Lampoon magazine

10.  Memento (2000), based on the short story "Memento Mori" by Jonathan Nolan
I have never talked more about a movie immediately after seeing it than I did after seeing Memento.  It's unlike any other movie I have ever seen.

9.  The Exorcist (1973), based on the novel The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty (1971)
One of the great horror movies ever, The Exorcist is terrifying and contains one of my favorite lines ever said by a possessed adolescent in a movie to a priest:  "You mother sucks cocks in hell."  Zing!

8.  The Godfather (1972), based on the novel The Godfather by Mario Puzo (1969)
I'm pretty sure I don't need to explain why The Godfather is on the list.

7.  GoodFellas (1990), based on the non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi (1986)

The rise and fall of real life mobster Henry Hill was as interesting a gangster movie as has ever been made.  And after seeing this movie, it's impossible to hear the coda to "Layla" without thinking about dead Italian-Americans.

6.  The Shining (1980), based on the novel The Shining by Stephen King (1977)

I vividly remember the first time I saw this movie.  A friend and I rented it, not knowing anything about it, other than the freaky cover with Jack Nicholson peering psychotically through the broken door.  I was about 12, and I had to get up an leave halfway through the movie because it was too much.  Since then, I have seen it dozens of times, and I have grown to love it.  Nicholson is fantastic.  Danny Lloyd is great as Danny -- his first and last acting role.

5.  Braveheart (1995), based on the poem The Actes and Deidis of the Illustre and Vallyeant Campioun Schir William Wallace by Blind Harry
For about two or three years after seeing Braveheart, my inner monologue was mostly in a Scottish accent.  I also fought like a warrior poet, whatever the fuck that means.

4.  Animal House (1978), based on various stories in National Lampoon magazine
Based on a conglomeration of college experiences from Dartmouth, Wash U, and McMaster in the early '60s, this is the quintessential college movie.  Without knowing it, you probably quote this movie every day. 

3.  Christmas Vacation (1983), based on the short story "Christmas '59" by John Hughes in National Lampoon magazine
The greatest Christmas movie of all-time is based on a short story by the greatest '80s filmmaker.

2.  American Psycho (2000), based on the novel American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (1991)

The book is one of my favorites, and so is the movie.  Christian Bale is phenomenal as Patrick Bateman, and I think this is probably one of the top dark comedies ever made.

1.  Fletch (1985), based on the novel Fletch by Gregory Mcdonald (1975)

I think this is probably Chevy Chase's best performance, and it's one of my favorite movies of all-time.  There are so many one-liners and little jokes that you'd have to see it a hundred times to pick everything up.

I'm sure I'm missing some, but I do not intend to look up every movie I love.  So, you may or may not have just wasted the last several minutes reading this post.

Midwestern Eavesdropping

A twentysomething couple wearing Cardinals gear on their way to Wrigley Field, watching from an elevated train as people play a sport involving a bat on a field below.
Guy:  "What are those people down there playing?  Is that cricket?"
Girl:  "No.  That's softball."
--Chicago, Fullerton L Station
Eavesdropper:  GMYH

Midwestern Eavesdropping

Person whispering about a victim of child pornography:  "He went to Jared's!"
--Dayton, OH
Eavesdropper:  The Spiciest of Gs

New Book: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

A week or two ago, I finished reading The Shining by Stephen King.  As I have previously mentioned, The Shining is my favorite horror movie, but I haven't read the book since I was in junior high.  I had forgotten how different the book is than the movie.  The basic plot is the same -- Jack going insane in The Overlook and Danny having "the shining" -- but the ending is entirely different.  I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, but I'll just say that there are people who die in the movie who don't die in the book, and a lot of the weird stuff that happens in the movie doesn't happen in the book (and vice versa).  All in all, it's highly entertaining, and it's a must-read for anyone who enjoys horror novels.

Basically the entire reason I bought The Shining is because I also bought Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, which is the long-awaited sequel to The Shining, released in 2013.  I wanted to read them back-to-back, especially since it had been so long since I had read The Shining, and I couldn't really remember the differences between the book and the movie.  Doctor Sleep is about a grown-up Danny Torrance, and his Overlook-related demons.  So far so good.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Retro Video of the Week: "Big Me" by Foo Fighters

Saturday marks America's 239th birthday and the 20th birthday of the Foo Fighters' self-titled debut album.  It was, of course, Dave Grohl's first post-Nirvana album, and he played nearly all of the instruments on the album.  All in all, it's a pretty fantastic album, and a harbinger of things to come, as Foo Fighters has essentially established itself as the best hard rock band of the last twenty years.

My favorite video from the album, and possibly my favorite Foo Fighters video period, is the video for "Big Me."  It's a parody of the mid-'90s Mentos commercials, and it's spot on.  Happy birthday, America.

Midwestern Eavesdropping

Clerk in federal courtroom calling cases by litigant's name: "Mary Christmas."
(Lawyer steps up and tells judge status of case, then heads back to seat.)
Judge, shaking her head: "Why would any parent do that to their child?"
--Chicago, 219 S. Dearborn
Eavesdropper:  GMYH