Archive for January, 2016

Junk Bomb JPG Blues

January 27th, 2016

I have never sent a picture of my junk to a girl. I am far too paranoid to do such a thing.

Even if I’d been asked to send a picture I still wouldn’t send a picture of it. I can just picture some girl I’m texting with hanging out with her besties, having a cold drink and joking around and waiting for me to send it. Then they get a picture of my junk and they’re like OHMYGODHEACTUALLYDIDITCANYOUBELIEVEITLOOKATTHEPOORTHINGHAHAHAHLOLOLOL.

I am too paranoid at times, but on this one I think I’m on the money. You need to be a little paranoid in order to survive. Maybe all the conspiracies that cause people to be paranoid are bunk. Maybe JFK was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald and nobody else. Maybe 9/11 was carried out by terrorists without the assistance of our government. Maybe the New England Patriots truly earned those first three titles they won with Tom Brady.

Whether or not we believe this things, we need to believe at least one thing (and I’m talking to the fellas here): if you send a girl a unsolicited picture of your junk you are flirting with disaster. For one thing, she probably didn’t expect to see it when she opened her messages. For another thing, the male genitalia do not look well in the harsh light of a phone flash. And rather than interpret your intended message of “I am a sexual man. I want to do sex with you and use this as my primary implement of fun-having”, your junk jpg will more than likely cause the gal to be. . . revulsed.

 

Look at Brett Favre, the poor sap. A former NFL MVP, Super Bowl winner, one of the greatest quarterbacks in history. He sent some girl a picture of his junk unsolicited. And she laughed at it! Why? For one, it was a pathetic excuse for an erection (compared in at least one comment section as resembling “a four-inch thumb”). For another thing, she wasn’t interested. She didn’t care about the MVP and Super Bowl trophies. She didn’t care about him throwing four touchdowns against the Raiders the day after his father dropped dead. She didn’t care. Know why?

 

Because she just wasn’t into him. He pestered her with phone messages but she wasn’t into it. Being a quarterback, Brett thought it was Hail Mary time and dropped the junk bomb via text jpg. It was needy and sad. It was pathetic. A man who had accomplished incredible things. . . acting like a goddamn fuckboi.

 

You can’t have any girl you want. Don’t you fucking know that already?

 

And the beat goes on…

Handshake 101

January 20th, 2016

For a low, low rate I will teach you the ins and outs of handshake etiquette. I will teach you proper technique and the best ways to maximize your handshake. Can teach groups or single learners. In-house demonstrations! Learn and practice. Firmness and grip: how much is too much? THE ANSWER WILL BE REVEALED.

 

In addition, I will teach you these little-known handshake variations:

  • The Over-Under
  • The Chicago
  • The Fatback
  • Mr. Manhattan Steeplechase
  • The Dipsy Doodle
  • The Ava Devine (for adults only)
  • The Two Gentlemen
  • The Solemn Weeper
  • Half-Time (the handshake)
  • Latino Heat
  • The Business Agreement
  • Corporate Hand Hutch
  • The Creedence
  • Bicep Peacocking
  • The Borg Assimilation
  • The Facetious Dandy
  • The Real MVP
  • The Bro
  • Daltrey’s Regret

Teenage Fork In The Road

January 18th, 2016

The passing of David Bowie reminds me of something that happened in my youth. This is something that happened to me in high school and I guarantee this only occurs in the post-war era of rock ‘n roll. And especially after the glam rock boom of the early ’70s.

 

There is going to be some language in this post that I don’t normally use or condone using but I am using here in the context that I dealt with it. Some homophobic slurs that I heard a lot in high school and I think you may know where I am going with this.

 

I became a major Queen fan after the 1991 death of their lead singer Freddie Mercury. Freddie, a gay man who died of complications from AIDS, was not yet the Internet meme and legend that he became posthumously. He was just an dead rock singer who was gay and had AIDS.

 

I started high school in 1992 and I had to deal with a lot of crap from classmates who said “Queen? They’re queer.” as if I had missed out on some important information. As if I would stop being a fan of Queen if I knew about their lead singer being a gay man who had AIDS and died. Furthermore, it wasn’t just the lead singer who was gay. I was informed that the entire band was gay. I heard this a lot. I heard a lot of fag bashing.

 

Certain things you never forget. You never forget how people will say something hurtful because they enjoy it. You never forget how easy it is to spread misinformation whether willingly or by accident. And you have to make a decision about where you stand in relation to your peers.

 

I didn’t have the vocabulary in high school that I have now. I got a crash course in human nature in my four years there. And I got it from being an outsider. And listening to Queen and being a fan of them and their music was that fork in the road like it must have been for a fan of David Bowie or Elton John in the ’70s or Prince in the ’80s.

 

I didn’t have the vocabulary then but I knew several things. I knew that while Freddie Mercury was gay, his bandmates in Queen were not. I knew that I loved the music of Queen. And I knew that I didn’t have an issue with gay people or homosexuality. I knew that listening to Queen did not make one gay. If it did, I would not have wasted all of high school having a crush on Lori.

 

Think about being a Bowie fan in ’73 and having a haircut like Ziggy Stardust and wearing a Bowie shirt to school and having the gym teacher call you a fag. It’s like the Coach hadn’t heard “Changes” or “Suffragette City” or something. Kids learning from their parents, from their authority figures. Good ol’ boys. Teenage boys wanting to be tough, macho guys when they can’t grow a peach fuzz mustache. It’s about teenage boys wanting to be men without even knowing what it means to be a man. 

 

This is the fork in the road that you have to decide upon in your youth. Are you going to go along with everyone else or are you going to flip up both middle fingers and do your own thing? It’s not a matter of making waves. It’s about not letting the tide take you away.

 

Eventually I moved on to other bands, as one does. I moved on to Frank Zappa. I didn’t make it easier on myself in high school.

Dressing Up A Lady All Fancy Like

January 15th, 2016

My friend Mary is a master of networking. You know how Michael Jordan is the Michael Jordan of basketball? And how Cadillac is the Michael Jordan of automobiles? And how Thunderbird is the Michael Jordan of horrible tasting wine that hobos and bums drink?

 

Mary is not the Michael Jordan of networking. Not yet, anyway. I say this because she knows I am fond of sports metaphors. She’s turning pro. When the going gets weird. . . and it has gotten weird.

 

Last October, she told me she was going to Keeneland for the Breeders Cup. Halloween, 2015. She’s not even a degenerate gambler or horse breeder but there she is, at the Breeders Cup. She showed me a picture of a dress she thought about buying for this auspicious occasion. I didn’t like it.

 

I had a good idea for the Breeders Cup. I wanted her to wear Daisy Duke cutoffs, cowboy boots, a cowboy hat and a spaghetti strap shirt with the name of a 70’s band on it like Kansas or Molly Hatchet. I also suggested she wear a bra underneath that the spaghetti straps couldn’t conceal. I wanted her to trash it up. She’s a Casey County girl and should keep it real for the squares at Keeneland. Cake on a bunch of makeup and call every older male “daddy”. Give ’em an embarrassed erection.

 

I’m looking at pictures of crop tops on Google images, and I’m thinking that should have been the way. Really push up the cleavage and don’t be afraid to use makeup to accentuate it. Worked for Annie Sprinkle.

 

e6f3b9e01623d308856d00d79debf518

Not Annie Sprinkle.

 

Okay, now take this outfit. Swap out the wool cap for a cowboy hat. Take up those cutoffs another three inches. Really showcase the front butt and DON’T CROSS YOUR LEGS. Also, put the words “BLACK OAK ARKANSAS ’73 TOUR” on the top and you’ve almost got it. Oh, and more makeup. Like obnoxious makeup.

 

Of course she didn’t do that. She wore something boring and whatever. Do you want to be a champion networker, Mary? You have to use rouge and plunge that neckline into the abyss. Carry around a half-empty bottle of bourbon. Be approachable. Put lipstick on your teeth before you leave the house. What would Michael Jordan do? He would put lipstick on his teeth and give everyone at Keeneland the fuck eye. That’s how he won six NBA titles.

It Takes So Little

January 14th, 2016

It takes so little to put me into a deep funk.

 

For Christmas I was gifted a Wal-Mart gift card for what I thought was $125. What I thought was $125. I thought it was $125.

 

I thought I had a gift card with $125 on it. From Wal-Mart. A gift card. With one-hundred and twenty five US dollars on it. That I could spend at Wal-Mart. Using the card. The gift card. The gift card I was given on Christmas. By my grandmother.

 

Now all of a sudden I can budget ahead for January. An extra $125 goes a long way in my world. I can get an oil change for my car. I’ve been needing one for a few weeks. I’m sure my oil is low. I’ll also be able to use the card for groceries. The gift card. The Wal-Mart gift card. It had $125 on it. An oil change is what, twenty dollars? I can go to the store and get groceries. I’ll have $105 or so left over. On the gift card. The Wal-Mart gift card. I got it for Christmas.

 

So I went and got the oil change. Which cost twenty bucks and change. That was last week. This week I went back to get some groceries. I got about $20 worth of stuff. Which would leave me with about $85 on the card. The Wal-Mart gift card that had $125 on it. You get the idea.

 

But nay! I swiped the gift card and the checkout counter man said “that will be $16 and. . .” blah blah. I owed him that. I owed him extra after I used the gift card. My $125 gift card that was going to get me through January.

 

He checked the balance on the card for me. Zero. Zero dollars. Zero sense. I owed him sixteen and change after the difference.

 

After I sorted all that out, I came home and tried to figure out where everything went wrong. I went online. I went to Wal-Mart’s website. I typed the card number in. It said zero dollars. I had spent the entirely of the card. All $25 on the card.

 

Why did I think it had $125 on it, then? I looked at the little envelope the card came in. The one my granny gave me and it said $125 on it. She wrote it down. My granny. My 77-year-old grandmother. My sweet, kind granny who gave me a $25 gift card. A $25 gift card.

 

A $25 gift card.

 

I have included an artist’s rendering of the envelope my granny wrote the amount down on. See if you can guess what happened.

giftcard

 

Granny tried to make a dollar sign with two strikes through the “S”. Two vertical lines through the “S”. You can draw a dollar sign with one vertical line or two. Either is common. But my granny. My nice, arthritic 77-year-old granny went wide right with the second strike and. . . I had a $25 gift card.

 

Now I know this sounds ungrateful on my part. But I’m not mad at Granny for messing that up. I’m mad at myself. I’m mad at my own dumb luck. You think you’ve got something figured out and you’ve planned it out accordingly. I’ve got this much to spend this month. Oh, I’ve got a little extra thanks to my $125 gift card. This will allow me to breathe easier in January before I finally move out. It’s supposed to be February. Maybe by Valentine’s Day. We were originally gonna get me moved out before Thanksgiving.

 

Nope. Just forget it. Forget everything you know. You didn’t have what you think you had, Mike. You got an oil change out of it. It’s fine. Really, it’s fine. Are you gonna let a misunderstanding and a difference of $100 get you in a funk today?

 

Yes.

 

It takes so little to put me in a funk. Every now and then I get a few feet away from a deep funk. Just when I get out, I get pulled back in. It doesn’t take a lot. It’s the big things. It’s the little things. It’s everything.

 

It’s everything.

I Like Something: The Best Show

January 13th, 2016

I picked an interesting to get into a new thing, especially since it isn’t a new thing. The Best Show, an online radio show hosted by Tom Scharpling is my new thing.

 

For nearly 15 years it was The Best Show on WFMU, when Scharpling hosted a three-hour Tuesday night shift on that famous station. Scharpling put the show on hiatus in late 2013 and returned a year later with a revamped, Internet radio podcast, The Best Show with Tom Scharpling.

 

What got me into the show were Youtube clips of the show, specifically the calls from Jon Wurster, famous drummer and Scharpling’s comedy partner. What happens along when Wurster calls is like a Reiner/Brooks “2000 Year-Old-Man” thing, modernized.

 

Scharpling plays straight man to Wurster’s characters, which include

  • Philly Boy Roy (a Philly-centric doofus)
  • Ronald Thomas Clontle (self-appointed music expert)
  • Corey Harris (singer of Mother 13, generic buttrock combo)
  • Roland Gorchnik (“The Gorch”, inspiration for The Fonz from Happy Days)

 

I’ll give you a few clips. Here’s Wurster in the role of a drummer leaving a voice mail on a wrong number.

 

If you’ve heard of “Rock, Rot & Rule”, these are those guys. Scharpling takes calls from listeners (sometimes it goes badly) and Wurster calls in as a character every week. These bits can go anywhere from five minutes to an hour. But the skits are just one aspect of The Best Show that I enjoy. Tom has a few characters himself that he breaks out, notably Gary The Squirrel and Vance, the prog-rock expert/space alien.

 

What makes Gary and Vance so great is they are actually puppets. Tom is doing puppetry on a audio medium. That is wonderful and pointless and wonderfully pointless.

 

 

One thing Gary, Vance and Tom share is a disdain for bad callers. I called once and Tom yelled GET OFF MY PHONE and hung up on me. In fairness, I deserved it. Another thing that they share (Wurster as well) is a love for music and music-based humor. The whimsy and weirdness of rock ‘n roll is great fodder for The Best Show. Moments that you wouldn’t think would be much to listen to turn out to be classic.

 

 

Did I mention the audio collages or celebrity guests? I’ve written almost 400 words here. There’s a lot to enjoy about the show. Go to TheBestShow.net and listen. Download the episode and best-of clips. Last night’s ep was a Bowie tribute. You’ll love it, it’s a way of life.

You’re Different, And That’s Okay

January 12th, 2016

When David Bowie’s death was announced, I didn’t believe it.

When I checked the official Bowie social media, I still didn’t believe it. The official Facebook and Twitter said he died after an 18-month battle with cancer. I thought it was a hoax. His son Duncan posted a tweet saying it was real and that’s what it took for me to believe even though I didn’t want to and still don’t want to.

 

If you get a chance, read Adrian Belew’s Facebook post about Bowie. He has a great story about David Bowie hiring him to play in his band even though Belew was currently in the middle of a tour (and a show) with Frank Zappa. Literally, Frank was doing a gig in Berlin and Bowie asked Belew to join his band while Belew had a moment to walk off stage.

 

A lot of people say that Bowie allowed the loner to be comfortable with their existence. Which is true for a lot of people. But then I think Frank Zappa did that, too. Only they weren’t “loners” or “outsiders”. Those kids in 1966 that Frank Zappa talked to were “freaks”.

 

And I think about it some more and I realize that it doesn’t matter. What we need are more positive reinforcements for the outsider. Lady Gaga went from singing about being “born this way” to accepting Golden Globe trophies like it’s the most important thing in the world. Kanye West wants to be an innovator but he kisses up to the fashion scene which is the most snobby clique. Who’s left for the little guy/gal?

 

Frank Zappa basically said “I’m different, and you’re different, and fuck everybody else.” David Bowie basically said “I’m different, and you’re different, and that is okay. It’s all the same. We separate and subdivide ourselves into little groups. Somehow we end up being the outsider among outsiders. We don’t have to be.

 

There will be a time when you can even take your clothes off when you dance. Give me your hands ’cause you’re wonderful.

I Don’t Want To Believe

January 12th, 2016

Just saw on social media that David Bowie has passed away.

Lemmy passed away after Christmas.

Father Time still undefeated. Ugh.

 

 

They both died on their own terms. Lemmy had just finished a European tour two weeks before kicking. He had gone downhill for at least the last year, and it could be seen plain as day. Yet he carried on as normal until it was time to go.

 

Bowie, according to the statement on his official Facebook, died after a 18-month battle with cancer. This was a private battle, fought with only family and close friends as witnesses. He took the Freddie Mercury route. People guessed Freddie had been dying for years and he wouldn’t confirm it until the day he died in a press statement.

 

The next time I hear “Under Pressure” I’ll start crying. “This is our last dance. This is ourselves.”

 

Is There A Mr. Treasurer?

January 7th, 2016

Barely a month in to Governor Bevin’s first year in Frankfort and I’m already steamed. I practically got steam pouring out of my ears. I mean the guy has already started slashing budgets like a bureaucratic Jack The Ripper, going after the Transportation Cabinet budget. I mean it’s not like we need good roads or anything.

 

Ohhhh, hello.

 

(be still my loud beating heart, there is a lady present)

 

Hlox7JPS

 

You’ll have to excuse me, m’lady. It’s just that this Matt Bevin is a real creepazoid and I fear he’s going to send our state deep into the third world.

 

(gulp)

 

What’s that? You’re Allison Ball, Kentucky State Treasurer and Bevin appointee? Oh, well, how doooo you do?

 

(smile, Mike, but not too long or too hard. . . you don’t want to come off like a weirdo)

 

You’ll have to pardon me, Treasurer Ball. I just feel as if the Governor is more dedicated to a set of ideals and beliefs than he is in improving the lot of a state that ranks in the bottom third in most categories ranging from education to average income to. . .

 

You have the nicest smile.

 

WCPO_Allison_Ball_1432095958518_18516632_ver1.0_640_480

 

Urghm. . . no, I appreciate that the Governor has a set of principles. Don’t get me wrong. I just think that compromise is necessary sometimes, especially when making decisions that affect the lives of millions of Kentucky residents.

 

 

Allison. . . Allison. . . that’s a really nice name. Ever listen to Elvis Costello?

 

Obviously, we’re not going to see eye-to-eye ideologically. You’re a Republican and I’m. . . I wouldn’t say a Democrat although I am registered as one. I would definitely admit to leaning to the left on a lot of things. I don’t think that’s any great sin.

 

(okay, Hail Mary time, big man. . . you can do this)

 

I think we both want what’s best for Kentucky, even if we don’t necessarily agree on how to get there. That doesn’t mean we can’t reach across the aisle, if you will, and have a meaningful dialogue. You feel me?

 

B9319363950Z.1_20151029205840_000_GN1CATBT1.1-0

 

This may sound forward, but I really want to be a part of your story.

 

(Oh my God, did you really just say that?)

 

Really, Treasurer Ball, think about it. How are we going to have a dialogue if we just think of each other as these one-dimension stereotypes of liberals and conservatives? I’m not just some knee jerk tax-and-spend Obamadroid like you’re not some libertarian wackadoo Paultard. We’re both human beings, with beating hearts, and flesh and blood. . . with wants and needs. . . you have needs, don’t you? I certainly do.

 

Better Nostalgia

January 7th, 2016

Cassettes, vinyl and roller derby. Artifacts and phenomena of the past that have been revived for modern amusement. It’s a nostalgia culture we’re in. We keep retconning film franchises and remaking them over and over again. We keep going to see these damn films that have been remade multiple times within a decade. We can’t help ourselves. We listen to the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, the Kinks, the Dead, the Floyd, Queen, what have you. Kids getting into punk rock are dressing up in the old punk uniform of their choice.

 

Oh and burlesque is a thing that people keep doing. Local burlesque groups in East Fuckfart, Nebraska and anywhere else where there’s a stage to strip but not quite strip to Dresden Dolls songs. Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, Downton Abbey. Based on a past that feels real in a way it wasn’t.

 

I’m not bitching, though. The past is fascinating. There’s so many insane stories to tell about the past, Cracked and Buzzfeed will never go out of business doing clickbaity lists “10 Craziest Things To Ever Fill-In-The-Blank”. “7 Whatsits You Never Knew Had A Whatchamacallit”. We will digest interesting factoids as much as we can handle, then we regale (bore) our friends with these factoids at parties.

 

So if we’re gonna revisit this stuff and bring it back, let’s not limit ourselves. We need to get weirder with our nostalgia. Like playing cards with naked girls on them. I bet if I got a set of novelty playing cards with naked girls on them today, they’d be the same set of softly-lit 70’s babes with giant bushes that have been around for forty years. IT’S 2016 FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! (Also, giant bushes on chicks can come back. Stop being afraid, men.)

 

Remember those novelty pens where the girl has a bikini on and you click it and WHOOPS the bikini’s gone? We need that too. This shit needs to be mainstream. And nude apartment wrestling. I used to see that in every wrestling magazine I bought as a kid. I’d want to read about what Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan were doing and I’d see the photo feature where the two girl roommates were fighting. They always wore bikinis and they fought over domestic chores and inevitably they’d end up topless. And then there were ads for people who wanted to buy videos of that stuff. You had to be 18 to buy the videos. But apparently you could look at the ads even if you were 10 like I was. I turned out fine.

 

I understand the three things I’ve brought up all involve naked women. I don’t see the problem.

 

There’s a porn site called Ultimate Surrender that has taken the nude wrestling thing to a weird place. It’s treated like a sport with a referee and a point system and an amateur wrestling mat. Except the girls start out in skimpy bikinis fighting and the winner gets to aggressively fuck the loser. So far, this makes sense to me. Everything needs a gimmick. But there’s a fucking crowd watching the action. How weird is that? I think it’s awkward.

 

Maybe I’m old fashioned but I prefer the homey intimacy of two lady roommates having a quarrel about who’s turn it is to do the dishes and then having a catfight. Who needs a large audience when all you need is two roommates in bikinis, their photographer friend, a lighting guy for the photog, and somebody else taking notes? I mean, there used to be an order and simplicity to the world.