Archive for March, 2013

An Awkward Easter Weekend.

March 31st, 2013

I had an awkward Easter weekend.

 

SATURDAY:

 

I accused a woman of lying during a party game, noting that her “tell” was her constant half-smile while talking.

 

“I have facial paralysis, you asshole.”

 

I left the party, screaming in embarrassment.

 

SUNDAY:

 

My family had Easter afternoon supper and an egg hunt for the children afterwards. My grandfather, who normally does the pre-supper prayer, asked me to do it this year.

 

“You really want me to do it?

“Yeah, I want you to do it.”

 

So I tried to do a prayer. Never mind that I am not a religious or even a spiritual person, let alone a Christian. The best you could say about me is that I’m agnostic. I haven’t prayed in a very long time. Praying is not like riding a bike, you can forget the routine after a point.

 

“Our gracious heavenly father. . . (something about the food). . . (something about the new babies in the family). . . (extremely long pause because I couldn’t figure out how to end the prayer). . . Amen.”

 

It was no facial-paralysis faux pas from the day before but I felt like a hypocrite and not even a convincing one. My grandfather will be 83 this year, is he trying to pass down this custom to me? Does he want me to take over the prayers for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas? I hope not.

March Death Pool Update

March 29th, 2013

Thank goodness for Hugo Chavez kicking the bucket or else I wouldn’t have gotten on the board.

 

The late Venezuelan leader earned me and many of my fellow players forty-two points in the death pool. As we near the end of March, a majority of players are finally on the board.

 

While many players obviously had Hugo Chavez, a few astute players picked TV actress Bonnie Franklin (One Day At A Time) who died on March 1st after a long battle with cancer. Sixteen people in our pool had Franklin, who was worth thirty-one points upon death.

 

As of right now, I am in a massive tie for 14th place with 42 points, my only hit being Chavez. I knew it was important to get a score in the first three months, but I am looking for my action to improve in spring. Some of my picks seem to not be dying at all. El DeBarge is alive and well and on tour and especially not on the verge of dying from a drug overdose. Fidel Castro and Bob Dole are frail and are not worth a lot of points, anyway. Ennio Morricone is in such great health he’ll be conducting a concert this July in Ireland. Bobby Womack and Glen Campbell and they’re both on tour! Annette Funicello can’t move, talk or even swallow on her own and yet she’s still alive. Ralph Bakshi not only isn’t ready to die, he’s raised money through Kickstarter to make a new picture.

 

My best bet for a hit is Whitey Bulger, 83-year-old mob boss out of Boston in prison awaiting trial for multiple murders. He’s in frail health with a heart issue and while he’s only worth 17 points on his own, as I’m the only one in the pool who has him he’d be worth an extra 50. If Bulger died tomorrow, I’d get 67 points and jump into fifth place!

 

Is it weird that I’m excited?

Candy Fights At The Fairgrounds

March 28th, 2013

If you weren’t at the fairgrounds this weekend, you missed out as a packed house enjoyed some great wrestling action. Six matches were on the card and the Tag Team Championship was on the line in the main event.

 

In the first match of the night, Reese’s Pieces (with Reese at ringside) defeated the Jelly Bellys in an intense tag match encounter after outside interference from Reese, who hooked Jelly Belly #2’s ankle while Reese’s Whipps held him down for the three-count. Despite the crowd’s protests over Reese’s interference, the referee didn’t see it and the decision stood. After some post-match arguing, the Jelly Bellys double-dropkicked both Reese and his Pieces out of the ring.

 

The next match was a women’s match between the flamboyant Baby Ruth and and the determined York Peppermint Pattie. Despite continued teasing from her opponent, Peppermint Pattie won by pinfall after a cross-body block. While celebrating her victory with the fans, Peppermint Pattie was blindsided by Baby Ruth and left in a pool of her own mint.

 

Between matches was a promo from the three-man team of Good, Plenty and Fruity who talked about their match next week against Skor and the duo of ZagnutRageous (Zagnut and NutRageous). Good blew his nose on one of ZagnutRageous’s t-shirts (available for sale at intermission) while Plenty and Fruity took a pro-Skor sign from the audience and ripped it up in the middle of the ring.

 

Up next was a midget wrestling match between the Jujyfruits and the Junior Mints. As both teams entered the ring, they were each mocked by the leaving Good, Plenty and Fruity. Junior Mints defeated the Jujyfruits by disqualification after fellow midget tag team Jujubes ran into the ring to assist the Jujyfruits to beat up the Junior Mints. The beating continued until super-heavyweight O Henry came out to scare off Team Jujy. Afterwards, the crowd celebrated while Oh Henry put both Junior Mints on his shoulders and walked to the back.

 

The match between Mr. Goodbar and Butterfinger came to an abrupt end after Butterfinger dropped Mr. Goodbar on his head and concussed him. Mr. Goodbar was carried out on a stretcher and the match was called a no-contest.

 

After intermission, there was a wild brawl between the Atomic Fireball and the Jawbreaker. The referee let both wrestlers have some leeway as they each used a steel chair and a bamboo cane on each other. Finally the match spilled out of the ring and the referee had no choice but to count both men out.

 

In the MAIN EVENT, the Lemon Drops shocked everybody by winning the Tag Team Championship in a 2-out-of-3-falls match against the Starlight Mints. After losing the first fall, the Lemon Drops cheated their way into winning the next two falls and then taking the tag straps to the back.

Worst Lyrics By A Famous Artist

March 28th, 2013

I submit that the following verse is the worst set of lyrics you will ever hear from a famous, established artist.

Now hear this, Robert Zimmerman,
Though I don’t suppose we’ll meet.
Ask your good friend Dylan
If he’d gaze a while
Down the old street.
Tell him we’ve lost his poems
So they’re writing on the walls.
Give us back our unity.
Give us back our family.
You’re every nation’s refugee.
Don’t leave us with their sanity.

Now who would write such a terrible lyrical fluffjob about Bob Dylan to Bob Dylan? And in 1972, nonetheless?

If you guessed David Bowie, give yourself a kewpie doll.

 

 

 

 

I know I’m supposed to be excited because Bowie just put out his first new album in a decade but remember that he wrote and released the verse above on a song called (creatively enough) “Song For Bob Dylan”. It was on the 1972 album Hunky Dory, which has so many great songs on it like “Changes”, “Life On Mars” and “Kooks” and then in the middle of side two there’s this awful Dylan pastiche. David Bowie sometimes makes the bad lyrics work, like “Time takes a cigarette, puts it in your mouth” but others he can’t salvage at all, like “Putting out fire with gasoline!”

 

Don’t believe me? Start listening to the video about 2:25 when the verse I’m talking about kicks in. See if you don’t get a douche-chill.

 

Bob Dylan should have been shot for all the bad music he inspired.

 

It’s easy to criticize a Bieber or a Britney or a LMFAO but they weren’t trying all the hard or aiming that high to begin with. You show me the song where Justin Bieber sings an ode to Fran Lebowitz or Christopher Hitchens, then we’ll talk.

 

Also, in the last week I’ve criticized Dylan, Bowie and the Flaming Lips. I am really trying to lose friends around here.

You’re Too Stubborn For Me Right Now

March 25th, 2013

This old coot. This old stubborn coot won’t listen to anybody.

 

The third night in a row, my Grandpa is sitting next me to me in his favorite chair because he can’t sleep. He can’t breathe when he lays down because his sinuses are a problem. The weather is hard on him, I get it. So he has been advised by his doctor to elevate himself with three pillows.

 

The old bastard elevates himself with a whopping two pillows two nights in a row. You’re driving me crazy, old man. You make me nervous because I have to worry about you. Keeping me on edge throughout the night because IT DOESN’T END THERE. No, he wants me to wake him up at 2 am so he can get up and shave and clean up. No, make it 5 am. And I need to brush the snow off his car at 4:30 in the morning and warm the car up and go get him his paper and some biscuits for myself at the gas station. He gives me $2 to buy a biscuit that he can give to my aunt (who will probably not eat it because it’s a gas station sausage biscuit).

 

I would like to add that while I could get the paper at the gas station, my Grandpa wants me to go to the newsstand by the clinic because if I don’t, the paper guy won’t put papers there anymore.

 

He always tell me not to worry about him but I can’t help it. He is an 82-year-old man and his days are numbered. His health has sucked for months and he’s too stubborn to listen. Why not give three pillows a shot, grandpa? What is it gonna hurt? You’ve still got fluid in your heart. Are you taking your fluid pill? You just had fourteen pounds of fluid taken off your heart last week. You were in the hospital the entire weekend, for crying out loud.

 

Don’t you realize that when you finally die, it is going to be a SHATTERING EVENT in my life. I have been a lucky person. I have not had to experience a family member dying since my uncle passed in 1991. I want you to stay around as long as you’re able. Don’t you know that I can’t help but worry about you? Don’t you know that I love you and when you’re sick it makes me scared?

Another Talk With Myself From 1998

March 25th, 2013

1998 Me: So, did we ever get to be in a band?

 

2013 Me: Yes. We are currently in a band.

 

1998 Me: Whoa!  So what happened to our solo act thing when we used Casio keyboard presets to perform songs?

 

2013 Me: Oh, we stopped doing that a long time ago.

 

1998 Me: Because we finally got into a real band?

 

2013 Me: Um. . . no.

 

1998 Me: When did we stop doing the keyboard thing, then?

 

2013 Me: About 2002.

 

1998 Me: Jeez, that’s a long time.

 

2013 Me: And then we kept doing it on rare occasions until 2006.

 

1998 Me: Are you kidding? Why did we keep doing it? Were we successful?

 

2013 Me: Oh, no. Lord, no no no. We were far from successful. We were just stubborn. Or persistent, however you look at it.

 

1998 Me: We really are dumb, aren’t we.

 

2013 Me: We can be awfully stubborn, yes.

 

1998 Me: No. We’re stupid. Why didn’t you come here earlier and we could have cut our losses.

 

2013 Me: It gets better, I promise.

 

1998 Me: How? Do we get laid? Do we meet lots of babes who like rock ‘n roll guys and end up swimming in poontang?

 

2013 Me: . . .

 

1998 Me: We don’t get to swim in poontang, do we?

 

2013 Me: . . .

 

1998 Me: WHY ARE YOU HERE TO TAKE ALL MY HOPE AWAY FROM ME? (punches self in face repeatedly)

 

2013 Me: If it makes you feel any better, the girls who end up going to bed with you are the girls actually like you as a person. . . I think.

 

1998 Me: Which means nothing. Fuck you. I hate you. Why am I punching myself?(punches 2013 Me in the face repeatedly)

I’m Over The Flaming Lips

March 23rd, 2013

The Flaming Lips have a new studio album coming out next month called The Terror, and for the first time in a while I’m indifferent. Perhaps you could say I’m not looking forward to it. When did my fandom turn to dread?

 

For a very long time, I was a Flaming Lips fan. Seen them in concert about five times. I knew about the “She Don’t Use Jelly” song when I was in high school and justifiably ignored it. So let’s put my fandom starting shortly after The Soft Bulletin came out in 1999, which is going to insult FLips fans who have been riding for the band since “Jelly”, or god forbid In A Priest Driven Ambulance¬†before that, or even more-so “Jesus Shootin’ Heroin” from 1986.

 

An Okie carny with an acid brain.

 

Whatever, assholes. Fourteen years is a long time to like a band. Or it would be if I still liked them. When did I fall out of love with the Flaming Lips? Was it that 2002’s Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots wasn’t as good as The Soft Bulletin or 2006’s At War With The Mystics wasn’t as good as Yoshimi, and 2009’s Embryonic was the least good of them all?

 

You know something? Nope, it wasn’t. Yoshimi is a pretty good album, I liked 2/3rds of At War, and Embryonic is one of those albums that some people will like and others just won’t, no biggie.

 

Was it the unfortunate band side projects, like making a duets album (including Ke$ha) and covering the entire Dark Side Of The Moon? That didn’t help. DSOTM sounded like it was recorded by the worst War “Low Rider” tribute band in Oklahoma. It doesn’t help when the critics give good reviews to this stuff (their duets album got an 8.2 on Pitchfork). Nobody with any influence is willing to tell Wayne Coyne and company when they’re fucking off.

 

Was it the endless gimmickry? The EPs that came on a hard drive inside a gummy skull or gummy fetus or vinyl discs with blood inside them or a 24-hour song that has to be played on at least a dozen Android phones at the same time? Why not just make songs that can only be played on a glucose meter, IF YOUR GLUCOSE IS BETWEEN 75 AND 99 after fasting for eight hours? Why not record an album consisting of nothing but six-second Vine videos, while you’re at it?

Was it Wayne Coyne’s unending attempts to become Sam Rockwell’s Zaphod Beetlebrox from Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy? More than possible, yes.

Time To Be Sick Again

March 21st, 2013

It’s time to be sick again. My body has decided it, and has made it so. I am coughing up little things, little green globules and my voice sounds terrible. I am sitting in my favorite chair and if I had any good sense I’d put the computer down and just watch some basketball on the TV. This is my relaxation time and I’m writing.

 

I have a show to sing with the band tomorrow night. That should be wonderful (eyes rolling). This will be the second time in a row I’ve been sick playing Bowling Green. Last time, it was the infamous Spillway show where I was disallowed from taking my shirt off because “it would violate the health code because we serve food here” (no kidding).

 

Luckily for them, I was too sick to disrobe. I was too sick to sing, but that didn’t stop me from doing my worst Tom-Waits-with-a-thyroid-tumor impression. I’m afraid tomorrow night will be more of the same.

 

I have a pink Snuggie in my bedroom that used to belong to my Granny. I might break it out tomorrow night. What’s stopping me from breaking it out right now on this cold, cold night? Fair warning, if you come to the show tomorrow night you might get gobbed on.

Fake Friends

March 20th, 2013

“You don’t lose when you lose fake friends.” (c) Joan Jett

 

 

That’s the truest thing ever sung by anyone ever in a rock song. “Fake Friends” is a song Joan came up with right after the success of “I Love Rock ‘N Roll”. “Fake Friends” is the first cut on the follow-up album to the “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” album.

 

Think about Joan Jett, the ex-Runaway who had been rejected by over twenty record labels before starting her own label to promote her record. When that song hit, everything changed for her. Unloved and forgotten about when she was down and out, she was the 1981-1982 Prom Queen of Rock.

 

Do you think the new fame made her happy? No, it pissed her off as she looked at all the people who never gave her a second glance were now sucking up to her. No coincidence that she also covered the Rolling Stones’ “Star Star” on the same album.

 

Common lyrical theme between “Fake Friends” and Lee Perry’s reggae classic “People Funny Boy” from 1968: “When you were down and out, I used to help you out. But now that you win jackpot, you no remember that.” Shoe’s on the other foot. Leaving real friends behind, taking on new fake friends. Remember who your people are. Remember who always gave you the time of day.

 

Personally Optimistic? YES.

March 18th, 2013

I could be discouraged right now. It would be incredibly easy. All I would have to do is comment on the news. But the best thing I can do is to not take it personally. How can I remain personally upbeat even as the world gets or remains awful?

 

Here’s one way: my grandfather is out of the hospital. He was in the hospital over the weekend for fluid around his heart. My grandfather is alive and well at age 82, and that makes me supremely happy. Today he came home and no one could be happier than I.

 

That is all.