Monthly Archives: August 2008

Way Behind the Music

I’ve always enjoyed writing, music, and comedy. It seems that the three have violently collided, thanks to this guy, Harfax Johnson, that my uncle Matt and I have teamed up with.  Both a musician and an artist, Harfax has been in the business for many years, and we think he’s one smash hit away from his big break.  You can check out his debut video here, and be sure to visit his blog for even more hilarity.

Without further ado, I present to you the world premiere of “I Kissed An Earl” by Harfax Johnson.

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Filed under Entertainment, Funny, humor, Language, Music, Video

Hump Day

Wednesday is known as “hump day,” but it’s not to be taken for its literal meaning. Tell that to my dogs, Gizmo (Papillon) and Baby Bear (Border Collie-mix).

The best thing about animals is that they don’t talk much.

Music soothes the savage beast, doggy-style.

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Filed under Animals, Funny, humor, Life, Love, Nature, Relationships, Video

“The Only Good Bug Is a Dead Bug”

Have any of you seen the movie “Starship Troopers?” It’s a science fiction movie about mankind’s battle against these giant alien bugs; ironically enough, the goal of The Bugs is to exterminate us (“us” being human beings, in case you thought I was something else – you wouldn’t be the first).

Before I go any further, I must make a statement: I hate bugs.

Since moving into my new home, I’ve twice come across the dead carcass of a strange insect on my kitchen floor. Legs curled up into itself, much like a dead spider, it was difficult to tell what this bug was or what it looked like when it was alive. I figured that each bug had fallen victim to one of my five Pest-Eating Tailed-Sentinels. Even my 50 lb. Border Collie mix, Bear, loves a good cat-and-mouse with a fly. Still, I shudder to think what I might do should I look to my left and see one of these mystery creatures standing on my shoulder trying to decide which part of my face to attack first.

Last week, I had satellite TV installed at my house. Shortly afterwards, I purchased an antenna to install on my roof so that I could also view my local channels in High-Definition, something not available through satellite TV companies (yes, I’m a technology dork). I installed the antenna no problem, and I neatly ran the cable along different parts of the house in order to get to the bottom without it being very noticeable. After drilling a hole into the cement block at the base of the house near the living room, it was time to run the cable into the crawlspace (a.k.a The Dungeon) and then up through the living room floor and into the back of my cable box. One thing remained between me and endless nights of viewing entertainment: physically crawling into The Dungeon to complete the job.

Already wearing some old jeans and a t-shirt, I added the headlamp (a little flashlight attached to a headband) to my attire and was ready to go. I grabbed my drill and my camera, turning the video “on” on the camera. With Girlfriend out of town, I wanted there to be evidence of what befell me should I be found laying underneath my house, dead, in a puddle of my own blood and piss (yes, I watch too many horror movies).

I crawled through the first hole, a rectangle no more than three feet wide, I’m guessing. Underneath the master bathroom, and I began my crawl to the furthest opposite corner of the house: the living room area. Parts of The Dungeon were simple to traverse, with enough room to comfortably crawl as a baby would. However, because of the uneven grade of the ground, various wiring, piping, and A/C duct work, there were times that I found myself belly-to-the-ground crawling military style. The ground was damp and cool. I passed the master bedroom, another bathroom, and made it to the front bedroom without incident. I took a left and headed towards the underbelly of the living room. After moving a few feet, I was stopped dead in my tracks by this:

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Filed under Funny, How To, humor, Life, Movies, Nature, Personal

Time to Face the Music

Matt posted a survey about the music we as individuals listen to, what it says about each of us, and if we should even care (you can read it here). I would be put into the ‘Don’t Care’ category, but also in the sub-category of ‘Conscious Selector.’ If I had a co-worker in my car or a friend’s kids over for dinner, I most definitely would not put my iPod on shuffle in the background out of fear that “F#@k Her Gently” by Tenacious D would be the next track chosen. A simple solution to avoiding a potentially uncomfortable musical moment such as this is to take advantage of your iPod’s playlist feature (or other mp3 player – I’m really not a digital snob, I swear), or to simply turn on the radio, you know, if you still own a piece of that technology. However, just make sure it’s regular terrestrial radio (AM/FM) and not uncensored satellite radio, unless, of course, you’ve purposely selected a safe channel like Siriusly Sinatra (from Sirius Satellite – not a misspeling); I’ve never heard it, but something tells me that Road Dog Trucker Radio might not be a good choice (yes, that’s an actual channel). Okay, on to the questions…

If someone new were in your car, what song on your player would you be quickest to skip out of embarrassment: You might think that the previously mentioned Tenacious D song would be my answer here, but it’s not. While potentially offensive or inappropriate in certain situations, it is a well-written, beautiful acoustic medley that might go unnoticed playing in the background. I say this because I have another song that could not sneak by one’s ears inconspicuously, and that song is “A Medium Pace” by Adam Sandler (read the lyrics at your own risk).

What song or songs is/are most “atypical” on your player? The answer would have to be “Stairway to Heaven.” I’m a rock guy, so that doesn’t really make any sense, does it? Well, you didn’t let me finish. “Stairway to Heaven” by Rockabye Baby!. You know those various music boxes and toys for toddlers that play goodnight songs to send them off to sleep peacefully? Well, it’s “Stairway to Heaven,” like that. Be right back, I need to delete something.

What song(s) on your player turns you on? I don’t think a song has ever turned me on in the way this question is asking. Being a musician, I get turned on by certain songs in a different way. I can’t even narrow that one down to songs, but some bands that have “turned me on” with mulitple compositions are Coldplay, Metallica, Alice in Chains, Frank Sinatra, Nirvana – I’ll stop there, I could go on for quite awhile. Incidentally, listing Coldplay here doesn’t make me gay since I listed Metallica right after that – they cancel each other out.

If you wanted to get a member of the opposite sex in the mood, what song would you program to come on when they are in the car? “Tootsie Roll” by the 69 Boyz. Wait, sorry, that’s my answer to “Name a song that shares its name with a chewy brown candy.” I’d have to say “Dig” by Incubus.

What is the longest song on your player? Clocking in at 13:46, the longest song on my iPod is the classic “Do You Feel Like I Do?” by Peter Frampton. It’s a good one to listen to if you’re going somewhere that is 13:56 away from your house.

What do you think is the silliest song on your player? “Trapped In The Drive-Thru” by Weird Al Yankovich. This might be the funniest song he ever recorded.

What did you most recently add to your player? I added 74 songs by the Christian parody band ApologetiX, with the intention of burning CD’s for my very religious dad and sister. I found them by accident, but it’s pretty funny if you’re into that kind of thing. Picture Weird Al doing what he does now, except he’d also be a preacher. Robert Palmer’s “Simply Irresistible” was remade into “Sin Can Be Resistible.” You get the idea.

What did you most recently delete? “Girl You Know It’s True” by Milli Vanilli. I don’t need to explain why I deleted it, but maybe I should explain how it ended up on my iPod in the first place. Well, several months ago Girlfriend and I were trying to think of all of the one-hit wonders we could think of and were proceeding to download them and… nevermind. There is NO good excuse for having Milli Vanilli on your mp3 player, unless you are one of the two guys seen lip-syncing in the music video.

What is your favorite song on your player that is from a movie? “If I Didn’t Care” by The Ink Spots, from the movie The Shawshank Redemption (also one of my all-time favorite movies). I absolutely love 40’s big band/swing music, and this is a fairly new passion. A close second is “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” by Nancy Sinatra, from the movie Kill Bill: Volume I.

Is there a song on your player that is only there for someone else’s benefit? Most definitely. “Pocket Full Of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield. This annoying song was Girlfriend’s doing… with it’s nice acoustic guitar, it’s infectious chorus, catchy melody… I’m going to shut up now.

What song or artist do you find yourself skipping most frequently and therefore should probably delete? John Mellencamp. Or is it John Cougar Mellencamp? The Mellencamp…whatever. I only have a few of his classics that I appreciate, but I have always skipped them more often than I’d let them play. Now that I’ve moved back to Indiana (his home state), all I need to do is turn on the damn radio if I ever feel like hearing the story of ol’ Jack & Diane… sheesh.

Without cheating, start your player and list the first 10 songs that come up in random play.
(Oh crap, the first random song just came up. Maybe I need to change an answer.)

“Push It” – Salt-N-Pepa (yikes)

“Death Blooms” – Mudvayne (heaviness)

“A Little Bitter” – Alice In Chains (another great soundtrack song, by the late Layne Stayley and co.)

“Gasoline” – Audioslave (I’ve been a Chris Cornell fan since Soundgarden – check out his acoustic version of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”

“God Put A Smile Upon Your Face” – Coldplay (one of their best)

“You Always Hurt The Ones You Love” – The Mills Brothers (a great Big Band-era group)

“Drive-Thru” – Tenacious D (this isn’t actually a song, I need to delete this)

“Welcome My Son” – Adam Sandler (weird that he came up again in this blog – I currently have 2,301 songs on my Ipod, and just three belong to Adam Sandler)

“I Will Survive” – Cake (this would be bad if it were Gloria Gaynor, which I don’t have)

“Christian Woman” – Type O Negative (funny dudes. no, really)

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Filed under Funny, humor, Life, Lists, Movies, Music, Personal

Topic Tunder

I was laying on the couch last week watching the news (I won’t say the channel, but it was a certain Cable News Network), and a story came on about the “controversy” surrounding the then-impending release of Ben Stiller’s new movie, a rated-R comedy entitled “Tropic Thunder.” Dozens of people were protesting the film’s “liberal use of the ‘R’ word” (‘R’ word = retard) during one particular scene of the movie. Here are a few snippets of things seen and overheard at the protest:

“Tropic Blunder” – t-shirts worn by protesters featuring one of the few words that rhyme with ‘thunder’

“When I heard about it, I felt really hurt inside.” “We have feelings. We don’t like the word retard. We are people. We’re just like any other people out there. We want to be ourselves and not be discriminated against.” – Dustin Plunkett, Special Olympics global messenger

“I just think Ben Stiller and the people involved in this movie just didn’t think it was going to be offensive.” – Andrew J. Imparato, president of the American Association of People with Disabilities

“If you want to pick on people, as the old playground saying goes, pick on people your own size. This population struggles too much with the basics to have to struggle against Hollywood. We’re sending a message that this hate speech is no longer acceptable.” – Timothy Shriver, chairman of the Special Olympics

“Using the ‘R’ word brings our people down,” – an anonymous protester interviewed by the news reporter

Call me insensitive, but this all seems a little ridiculous to me. It’s a comedy – rated R, no less. My first comment is, if you don’t enjoy this type of off-color humor or are offended by the ‘R’ word, don’t go see it. If you’ve seen or read anything about the movie, you would know that the movie is making fun of actors and how seriously they take themselves. Yes, it’s edgy. Yes, they make fun of stereotypes. But did Ben Stiller and friends intend to hurt the community of the mentally disabled? No way. The use of the ‘R’ word was taken out of context, and that can’t be construed as discrimination against an entire community. I suggest that most of the people protesting have not seen the movie (and probably shouldn’t), and that this is merely political correctness gone too far.

I think I’m more surprised that people aren’t up in arms over Robert Downey Jr. playing a black man, but that’s another story entirely.

I’d like to think that I’m a good person, with good morals. There’s always room for improvement, but overall I think I’m a pretty good guy. I would never call a mentally disabled person retarded. My brother David is a retard though, and I’ve told him that countless times. I think Grey’s Anatomy is retarded, and I won’t watch it no matter how many times Girlfriend asks me to. John Edwards is retarded for continuing to lie – you got busted John, you might as well come completely clean.

My point is (and I could be naive in my thinking) that the use of the word “retard” is generic, and I don’t think I’m alone in that attitude. I would call my brother a retard much like I would call him a dork or a dweeb. What I’m essentially doing is calling him dumb, not mentally disabled, and in doing so I am not referring TO the mentally disabled. On the other hand, I can respect someone who comes from a different place and isn’t comfortable with the word (someone like my uncle who works with children). Ben Stiller has every right to make a movie like this, the protesters have every right to protest it, and I have every right to write this retarded blog.

I’m not here because the movie upset me or because I liked it (I haven’t even seen it yet actually, but I plan to). I’m not trying to get you to agree with my opinion one way or the other. I’m here today because I need to apologize.

There was one guy in particular who was protesting during that news piece and told the reporter, “Using the ‘R’ word brings our people down.” He opened my eyes – I had no idea that every time I’ve called my brother a retard that I was actually hurting this guy on TV, and others like him, whom I have never met. Using that logic, I decided to take this opportunity to apologize to a few others that I may have unknowingly hurt:

Albert Einstein – Einstein was a physicist best known for his Theory of Relativity. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921, and Time Magazine named him “Person of the Century” in 1999. So I’m not really sure why, if my aforementioned brother made a bad decision or did something stupid, I would say “way to go, Einstein.” I can assure you, Mr. Einstein, that I never called him by your name in a complimentary manner, and for this I apologize.

Girlfriend – This is a fairly new one, but I might as well sneak it in here. Girlfriend and I play tennis with some of my relatives every week, and we’re not very good (but we are less bad every week). Girlfriend likes to swing and miss at easy ones. It’s happened enough that I have noticed it, and when anyone else with whom we’re playing does the same thing, I proclaim that they “Girlfriend’d it.” Sorry, Girlfriend. (On a side note, I hit the ball into the net, a lot. Long story short, I’m also owed an apology.)

Prostitutes – I’ve had many different relationships over the years. Some have ended badly, others not so badly. I have to admit that a few ex-girlfriends became known to my guy friends in conversation as “stupid whores” rather than their actual names. Most were deserved. What isn’t deserved is my careless use of the word “whore.” Just because a couple of ex-girlfriends put me through hell doesn’t mean I should do the same to prostitutes. I know you’re only trying to put yourself through college, you fell on bad times, or your boyfriend is a pimp and you have no choice. You don’t deserve the negative connotation attached to the slang I threw around like a frisbee. I’m really sorry, prostitutes.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Today, if someone said something to me that was a painfully obvious fact, such as “it’s hot outside” or “you’re awesome,” I may respond with “thanks, Captain Obvious.” When I was younger though, the response would have been “no shit, Sherlock.” Why? Who knows? Sherlock Holmes was a fictional detective known for using his intellectual prowess and deductive reasoning to solve difficult cases. Like Einstein, using Sherlock’s name as an insult in this manner didn’t make a whole lot of sense. That didn’t stop me from doing it over and over and over, though. For that, I offer my apologies to the creator of the great Sherlock Holmes. It’s quite obvious (no shit) that I was a jerk.

Homosexuals – I have nothing against homosexuals, nor am I afraid of them. So, why I would call my brother a fag when he would squat over my head and fart while I was laying on the floor trying to watch TV, I don’t know. I don’t think this is typical homosexual behavior, but you never know what goes on behind closed doors. Regardless, I owe you all an apology. So, from the bottom of my fabulously gay-friendly heart, I’m sorry.

Lead singers of bands – I was in a rock band for six years. It was definitely fun, but mostly it was hard work. It’s very difficult to find four people who get along, have things in common, agree artistically, and are willing to put in the work required. In my band, the lead singer was a lazy retard jerk who’s antics ultimately led to our band’s demise. Any time he missed a practice, canceled a show, or was late showing up so he didn’t have to help load equipment, we told everyone that he had “Lead Singer Syndrome.” Axl Rose had it – it does exist. However, it should be called something else, like “Scott Stapp Syndrome.” The hard working lead singers of the world far outweigh the lazy ones. So, to all of the musicians out there busting their asses, I sincerely apologize. To the rest of you, you should get your S.S.S. checked out.

My brother David – I’m really sorry. You’ve obviously taken a beating.

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Filed under Funny, humor, Language, Life, Movies, Relationships