Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ever Since I Was A Young Boy, I've Played The Silver Ball

Why it's not hard to make me laugh, volume 317:

I don't know how many people have seen or are familiar with 'Tommy', the rock opera by The Who featuring the song Pinball know, that deaf, dumb, and blind kid....sure plays a mean pinball! If this isn't sounding familiar, or you haven't at least heard of the song, you might as well stop reading here. Actually, just a heads up, you might want to stop reading regardless, I will probably be the only one laughing by the end of this post.

We went and saw this play performed during some middle school field trip (unfortunately not by The Who) and my friends and I were all floored by the scene where Tommy plays pinball, and begins freaking out and essentially has a seizure while he plays. You know, since he's a pinball wizard and all??? Totally makes sense.

Soon after that fateful day, Ike began doing his Tommy impression, during which he would calmly put a quarter in a pinball machine, make his neck go limp so he's facing the ceiling, roll his eyes into the back of his head, go into entire body convulsions, and rattle and shake the shit out of the machine, while everyone else in the place stares at him in total disbelief. Eventually, as we got older (but, sadly, not more mature) he started pulling his Tommy routine on vending machines, ATMs, jukeboxes, basically any machine in a public setting where you had to insert money. And every single time, I would ignore everyone staring and pretty much fall over laughing; Ike usually has that effect on me.

(The second dumbest thing he used to do that made me pee my pants laughing: when a red light would turn green at a busy intersection, he would start to accelerate, then suddenly jam on his brakes, pound his truck (an automatic) into neutral, kill the ignition, then restart it up, and repeat the process over and over. As traffic would start passing us while we lurched down the street, all the while flipping him off or otherwise showing their disgust, he would lean out the window and try and apologize for just learning how to drive a stick shift. In many ways, we were a perfect match: he loved doing nonsensical things for cheap laughs, and I'm about the cheapest laugh on the planet.)

So anyway, I'm in the drive thru for the bank this morning, and 'Pinball Wizard' comes up on the shuffle for my ipod. As I drift into the childhood memory, I gradually start giggling, and before long I'm full on laughing; alternating between slapping my steering wheel and holding my belly thinking about Ike's seizures. Suddenly I realize that the bank teller is staring at me through the window, and had been trying to tell me to 'have a nice day' for an unnaturally long time. I thought about trying to explain myself, then thought better of it and just took my deposit slip and left.

She had the same look on her face that most of you probably have

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Star Wars Haters Need Not Apply

If you don't appreciate this joke in the Facebook exchange below, you might as well skip this post today. Use your ten minutes a little more wisely. Pay some bills online or google your own name or go creep some pictures.

{OK, quick side note before the non-Star Wars fans can leave: what is going on with these fake Facebook accounts that just friend you to get access to your information? I thought we were moving in a good direction when they were at least using pictures of hot and/or stacked girls as their profile pictures (paging Leigh Stern) but the other day, I got a friend request from a girl named Vqrecd Xq. I mean, that's just lazy. C'mon viral hackers! I accepted the friend request just so I could light them up with a profanity-laced tirade on their wall about how weak sauce the fake name was....then I got defriended minutes after said tirade. Awesome. End side note.}

OK now that we've got all the Star Wars nerds in the house together, we can proceed.

When the Star Wars prequels were released starting in 1999, George Lucas took a lot of (well deserved) crap for creating a ton of plot holes with the original movies. I've watched the movies enough times, read enough Star Wars message boards, and listened to enough conspiracy theorists to know that Lucas didn't think things all the way through when he was shamelessly plugging characters from the original trilogy into the prequels, just for the sake of doing it. The scene where Yoda thanks Chewbacca by name in Episode III is cringe-worthy, it's so blatant. ("Thank you.....(pause, wait for it, wait for iiiiiit).......Chewbacca." Whammo! I remember him, he was Han Solo's buddy in the old movies! Yeaaaahhhhh! C'mon, George. Give us a little credit here.

But I digress.

I recently read this article by a Star Wars fan who has an amazing theory that both helps to plug some of the more obvious plot holes, as well as tie together the prequels with Episode IV. In a nutshell, his theory is that Chewie and R2D2 were top field agents for the Rebel Alliance. I won't go into any more detail- I'll just say it's one of the more fascinating things I've read lately, and now I can't wait to watch Episode IV for the 300th time, now that I have this new knowledge in my brain. So enjoy, fellow Star Wars nerds. May the Force be with you.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Brady Maguire

Preferably to be read while 'Secret Garden' by Bruce Springsteen is playing in the background:

I was just about to tell you.....that I love him. I do! I love him, I love him. And I don't care what you think. I love him for the man he wants to be. And I love him for the man he almost is. I love him, Laurel. I love him. him!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Great CD Audit Of 2010

After almost five years of listening exclusively to my ipod, I'm finally undertaking the long-overdue task of getting rid of most of my cd's (compact discs, to any readers under age 17.) I'll still hang on to some of them, but my giant-ass binder that holds like 400 million discs is finally getting the heave-ho. Some of the things I found during my project:

>> Every cd from my entire life is in this case. So needless to say, there are some atrocious ones. Not quite on the level of ADawg still having his All-4-One cd on the front page of his case, but still.....Weird Al Yankovic, No Doubt, Insane Clown Posse, BLACKstreet, DJ Mix '97 Volume 1 (remember Dj's Girl?.....yup.) Paging Dr. Yee Ikes. Those are brutal. (However, not included in this list are Kris Kross, Tag Team, and MC Hammer. Not only are those cd's not brutal, but they made the cut. I'm keeping those little gems.)

>> Back in my early college days, I was a hip-hop snob. Big time. If you had any female (or R. Kelly) singing your choruses in a song, you were a pussy and not a real rapper. If you didn't listen to, or at least appreciate, old-school rap, you were not a real fan of rap music. If I found myself enjoying a Notorious BIG song (which was inevitable because he was awesome) I practically gave myself a self-flagellation like the dude in Da Vinci Code, due to my blind loyalty to 2Pac and West Coast rap.

There a bunch more examples, but to sum it up, I was a big douche. Ugh. So, all that being said, as I was perusing some of my old rap mix cd's.....I can't believe some of the shitty rap music I listened to. My snob status was completely unwarranted. Just ask Xzibit, Black Rob, the Big Tymers, Juvenile, and others.

>> It was fun going through all the various mixes Schneweis made for different parties throughout college. (He made me so many mixes, if they were cassette tapes instead of cd's, you would've thought we shared a torrid romance in a mid-80's romantic comedy.) I could actually visualize the parties as I listened to a particular cd. You could tell which songs and artists we were digging, since they showed up in nearly every cd over a three-year period. Namely Modest Mouse, Robert Randolph, Stevie Wonder, and Flogging Molly. As Alex put it as she was trolling through the cd's, "Sooooo, you guys really liked the song 'Superstition' then, huh?"

I also enjoyed some of the names of the cd's. Por ejemplo:

- T.Nels turns 21 (if one of your buddies turns 21, but nobody is sober enough to remember it, did it really happen?)
- Can I Borrow a Feeling? (Kirk Van Houten, natch)
- Why Not Minot? (the infamous Minot trip to visit Weisser when the Mighty Ducks were born)
- Culligan = Party
- Culligan = Party V.2.0 (must've been a kickass party to warrant the 2.0)
- Party at the Z's

>> My top 5 Greatest Hits cd's that I couldn't live without:

1. Stevie Wonder
2. The Clash
3. Styx
4. The Who
5. Run DMC

>> And I don't know why I was making fun of 'Dj's Girl' earlier....who am I kinding, that song is still awesome. I just checked my iTunes, and it has a play count of 26. "Check the guest list again, Mr. Bouncerhead Muscleman. Hey stupid Steroidface, I'm not gonna pay your dumb little cover charge. I'm with the Dj, OK?"


Monday, January 18, 2010

Everything You Need To Know About K-State Fans

Isn't the point of these signs to use up every letter? I mean, these "Hey guys, watch me take the initials of the TV network that is broadcasting this game and spell something relating to my team being awesome" is one of the lamest ideas in sports to begin with.....and this guyski can't even think of four words to string together. And it's not like he was struggling with a 'Q' or 'X' or's a fucking 'E'!

Around these parts, Missouri and its fans get hated on the most, but stuff like this is why I hate K-State much more. At least I can respect Mizzou fans- they actually know what they're talking about at least half the time, and their team actually has their own identity. These idiot K-State fans base their entire year's success not on their team's record, but on whether or not they beat KU (which they've only done eight times in the last 26 years, so good job there.)

I guess I shouldn't split hairs though, at least this guy used 75% of the letters in ESPN. I suppose that's a victory in itself for a K-State fan. And they also figured out that when you're a ranked team, you don't storm the court after a win against a higher-ranked team. Go 'cats!

(And while I'm bitching, note to ESPN:

Here's how the Big 12 works: all the teams in the North division play each other twice per year- once at home and once on the road. They play everyone in the South division once per year, alternating between road and home from year to year. And for the teams in the South division, it's obviously the opposite. Both Musberger on the air and O'Neil in her article have absolutely no clue how it works, apparently. It's not a "scheduling quirk" you jacks, it's the same system every year, and it's not even a difficult one to grasp. Smarten up.)

And now I'm pissed off and sweating. Also a little hungry.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Good Day, Sun Shines!

>> I was under the impression that most everyone knew about the Emmitt Smith Roast from about seven years ago, where Jamie Foxx pretty much ended Doug Willams' career as comedian. But then I referenced it last night at our poker game (my first time playing in over four years, and it was finally fun again) and nobody knew what I was talking about. So maybe it's not as popular as I thought it was.

At first Foxx just kinda toys with Williams; then starting around the 3 minute mark, he makes the decision that he's gonna completely end the dude's career. The reason so many of you thought 'Who?' when you read the name 'Doug Williams' is because he has basically disappeared since this roast.

Although you may have also thought 'This guy?'

Whenever I watch it, I alternate between laughing my ass off, and feeling terrible for Williams because his jokes are so bad and he gets owned so badly. Foxx just absolutely puts the clown suit on him. The look on Williams' face after it's all over and he sits down is heartbreaking. It's almost as cringe-worthy as watching the 'Boom Goes the Dynamite' guy. So anyway, here is the clip.

By the way, this is NSFW, unless you W in Harlem or Yonkers or something.

>> Big football weekend upcoming. I'm not usually a believer in having second-favorite teams- I'm more of a "there's your favorite team, and there's everybody else" kind of guy- but I inevitably end up cheering pretty hard for the Vikings if/when the Titans are eliminated. I spent 90% of my Sunday afternoons from 1988-2007 watching the Vikes with my dad, and it's the only sport the big guy actively follows, so I'd love to see them make it to the Super Bowl, for him if nothing else. The Vikings have burned him (and the entire fan base) for years and years now, and he's rapidly approaching the level of sports fandom I was at in 2003, which is not a good thing. I thought after the Bears game a few weeks ago we were gonna find him passed out on a bridge in downtown Indianapolis or something. So, let's go Vikes!

Happy Friday.

(In low, fast-speaking commercial voice: "This post has been brought to you by You can ask, if there are such firms? I'm obliged to tell the truth, YES, there are. Please be informed of one of them.")

Monday, January 11, 2010

The 'Meh' List

With the end of a decade comes an all-you-can-eat buffet of "Best of the Decade" lists. Slightly less popular, yet still quite prevalent, are the "Worst of the Decade" lists. It's always fun to name off the things you loved or hated the most- I'll probably make a 'best of' list at some point. But what about the things you were absolutely indifferent about? The things you would neither recommend nor....un-recommend? Is that a word? These things deserve recognition as well. So here are, in my opinion, the most absolutely average movies I watched in the last 10 years. My Middle 10 Movies of the Decade:

10. Ocean's 12- it was nice to get the ol' crew back together, I guess.

9. 28 Days Later- Zombies and shit.

8. Hide and Seek- ahhh, so Robert De Niro has a split personality, and he's also the bad guy. Fair enough, fair enough. Spoiler alert.

7. Mystic River- really? This won awards?

6. Napoleon Dynamite- there's a Family Guy episode that fires a little zinger at Napoleon Dynamite; I don't remember the line exactly, but it's something to the effect of "I don't find this particulary funny, but I can understand people who do." That sums up my thoughts perfectly.

5. Invincible- it's not like I wanted Marky Mark to get cut from the Eagles or anything....but I wasn't jumping for joy when he made the team, either.

4. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button- worth watching once. And only once.

3. Juno- see Dynamite, Napoleon.

2. Mr. and Mrs. Smith- I have the exact same reaction every time I'm flicking channels and see it: "Hm. Mr. and Mrs. Smith is on." And then I watch it for about 10 or 15 minutes, and then I wonder what else is on.

1. You, Me, and Dupree- perfectly average in every way. Exactly the kind of comedy you'd expect when your two male stars (Owen Wilson and Matt Dillon) are Scottie Pippens, not Michael Jordans.


Friday, January 8, 2010


So all those times in various bars that I asked random girls what color their underwear was, that was considered "creepy" and "inappropriate" and "Get away from me jerk, my boyfriend is standing right over there and he's on the football team and he'll totally kick your ass!".......but now, thanks to breast cancer awareness, girls all over the planet are just giving that information away for free, via facebook status updates?

I'm not usually a big fan of the acronym 'WTF', but seriously.....WTF.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's All About The U

>> I first watched the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on Miami University, "It's All About the U", about three weeks ago now, but I figured since I've spent so much time in real life talking about it, I should probably pimp it a little bit here. (JonJon and I spent roughly nine hours of one Saturday raving about it, and we even delayed bar-hopping by about 10 minutes because our favorite part was coming up- even though it was loud in Whitey's, and there was no volume on the TV over the bar.) It's absolutely phenomenal. I don't want to talk about it too much, since I felt like over Christmas break we straddled the line between 'inspiring people to watch it' and 'annoying the shit out of people by constantly referencing something they hadn't seen yet.' Just a couple scattered thoughts:

- I love pinpointing the exact moment when I know a movie is gonna be awesome. In this instance, it was at about the 33 second mark of the opening credits. That's when I looked around my empty living room, nodded my head approvingly and said "This is gonna be fuckin' sick, bro." (When I talk to myself, I like to talk like a snowboarder.)

- Any of my long-term friends can tell you that I have problems standing still for longer than like 8 seconds at a time. I have a little nervous tic where I'll start practicing my golf swing, or throwing up karate moves like Mac on It's Always Sunny, or making robot noises and actions, etc. etc. But for the time being, all that has been replaced by late-1980's Miami University dance moves. The George Jefferson Motorhips; the pistols; the one where they all get in a circle, slightly lean back, and swing their arms in sync (yeah I can't describe that well, I'm no choreographer. It's the 47 second mark of the opening credits.) They're all deadly.

- So far pretty much all the 30 for 30s have been amazing. I've been really looking forward to the one about Reggie Miller vs. the Knicks and Spike Lee, as well as the one about Allen Iverson in high school. After I saw the one on Len Bias, I thought that was the one that wouldn't be topped....and then this one on Miami came along and rocked my socks. On my list of most unexpectedly awesome videos of 2009, this one ranks #2. Just behind King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, and just ahead of this clip of an eagle throwing goats off a cliff (off a fucking cliff!!!)

OK that's all I'm gonna say. Watch it if you haven't.

>> On the flip side, I finally got around to watching The Many Deaths of Ian Stone, some horror movie I had DVR'ed a couple months ago. And I want to chew on this for a couple days, see how it tastes a little bit....but I might be ready to call it the worst movie I've ever seen in my entire life (move dowwwwn the bench, Cabin Fever.) The movie ran long, so the last 3 or 4 minutes got cut off, and I almost gave the DVR a standing ovation for mercifully ending the crapfest that is this movie.

>> While I'm handing out reccos, I'll pass along a couple clips from Schneweis and Pacing the Cage, of comedian Nick Thune. I laughed hard at both of them, and I predict you will too.

Instant Messenger Love
Other Jokes

>> One last note: Brett, if you can possibly help it, next time you find yourself in a VIP suite drinking with Mark Buerhle and Zach Galifinakis**, hop in the DeLorean and go back in time about 4 1/2 hours, give me a call, and I'll drive to St. Louis and join you. What a ridiculous night that was, and I wasn't even there.

**If I hadn't received a picture text of Brett with Galifinakis, and if I hadn't been indirectly conversing with Buerhle through Brett, I don't think I'd believe the story. (I told Brett to tell Buerhle that DeWayne Wise saved his ass. Buerhle's response: "It was a decent catch. I've seen better." Funny guy, that Mark Buerhle.) I mean, Mark Buerhle and Zach Galifinakis? Can you come up with a more random baseball player/movie star combination to be drinking with? Scott Rolen & Shia LeBouf? Lance Berkman & Tracy Morgan? Francisco Cordero & James VanderBeek? John Olerud & the guy who played Bubba in Forrest Gump?

Do you think John Olerud would still wear his batting helmet in the club, or if he was in VIP would he be comfortable enough to take it off? OK now I've derailed.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Years Eve, Filipino Style

For the last couple of years, New Years Eve had pretty much been dead to me. In both '05-'06 and '06-'07, I went to Vegas, which was so insanely fun that it ruined the holiday for me. The last two years, I haven't wanted to do anything at all. Last year, with Alex still back in North Dakota for the holidays, I sat and played video games by myself all night, celebrating the stroke of midnight with a couple chili cheese wraps and a strawberry limeade. And I was pretty content with it. Borderline thrilled with it, actually.

But this year we decided, along with Shaun and Janelle, that we'd at least go out to a quiet bar in Lawrence and be a little bit social when the ball dropped. During our prefunking session, however, we found that our "quiet" bar had a live band and a $25/person cover. If I'm paying $25 to get in anywhere, the following things had better be involved: a lunch buffet whose two main courses are chicken wings and macaroni & cheese; Van Halen music being played way too loud; and an all-female staff trying to pay for med school and/or their raging drug habit. Our party was 0-3 in those categories, so we called a last minute audible and drove to Topeka, where Jen and Shelly were working a Filipino NYE party at the country club. Not only are we not paying a cover, but after packing a couple coolers full of beer, whiskey, and champagne, we're drinking for free the rest the night. So we've got that going for us, which is nice.

And let me tell you, this party did NOT disappoint. We couldn't exactly crash the party quietly, as our group constituted 8 of the 11 white people in the entire banquet room (there was a 15-year-old white girl already in attendance, just crushing the line dances with all the Filipino well as two fat middle-aged guys who were undoubtedly the plus-ones of their mail-order brides.) But after a few sideways glances and dirty looks, they left our table full of gringos and smuggled-in booze alone.

After the ball dropped, and kisses and toasts were exchanged, I started gearing up for my first New Years resolution: slow-dancing with a Filipino mom. But we quickly learned about a little quirk in the Filipino culture: midnight is the final buzzer of the New Years Eve party. By 12:02, the music was cut, and the dance floor was completely empty. By 12:08 (no exaggeration, I checked my watch in disbelief) the only people left in the banquet room was our table, the 15-year-old and her friend- who was anywhere from 11-23 years old. This place cleared out like it was on fire. I've never seen anything like it, except for one time when the cops were knocking on the door to Ike & Jake's place, and we jimmied open the window in the back bedroom and the entire party bailed.

So we had to settle for hijacking the deejay booth, dancing the Apache dance on the now-abandoned dance floor (although the 15-year-old and her friend enthusiastically joined in) and passing around champagne bottles for another hour and a half. A wonderful ending to a wonderful New Years Eve. Not quite the Vegas strip or anything, but as far as the holiday is concerned, in the words of Ron Burgundy: I am BACK!