Friday, April 27, 2012

Trampled by Turtles on Letterman

A few days after I had the kick ass opportunity to watch them play for an hour at SiriusXM, my current favorite band played Letterman.  Funny thing - when we were in the studio at XM, the manager of the band was telling us that they just got the call that they were going to be on.  And here they are:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Hockey

At the end of every NHL playoff game both teams formerly meet at center ice to shake hands.  No other sport does this.  Some football games end with random hand shakes and hugs among opponents, but it's not mandatory.  Poor sports and pissed off prima donas are free to escape into the locker room like bratty children.  Not in hockey.  In hockey the honor rules all.  Which is ironic given the large number of fights and rivalries during the game.

After last night's dramatic Capitals win over the reigning champion Boston Bruins the players lined up and shook each others hands.  Lynette saw this and asked, "What are they doing?"  I explained it to her and she said, "Okay, hockey just became my favorite sport."

Speaking of last night's amazing win, if you can't understand why hockey is awesome then you have no pulse.  Here's how it all ended last night:

However, the honor sometimes fails to rub off on the fans, who after last night's winning goal (scored by the Caps' lone black player) quicked tweeted sad, disgusting racist tirades.  Stay classy, Boston!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Californians

Easily one of the funniest sketches on SNL in a long ass time!


So, I just found out there's this thing called Cookie Butter.  (I'm a fat slob.)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Goose Egg Math

Forehead + entertainment center / the inability to walk = cry

Perks of Marriage

My view on Friday at Sirius XM while Trampled by Turtles recorded an hour long live show.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Two Things

What a great and peculiar week.  First, Lynette sees the Space Shuttle Discovery flying overhead prompting her to pull the car over on Interstate 395 with the rest of the traffic and stare in awe as a 747 made several low passes over Washington DC with a freakin' spaceship strapped to its back.

Then, earlier today Lynette called me to say that my current favorite band, Trampled by Turtles, is getting ready to play in studio and I'm welcome to come and watch.  (Racing to Sirius XM while listening to banjo music = not a good idea, though I did make excellent time.)  They played for an hour and I had my own personal concert.  They have 2 sold out shows at the 9:30 Club in DC this weekend, but I was lucky enough to see what none of those concert goers will see.  Plus, I got to meet the banjo player, Dave, and we had brief conversation about banjos and babies.

These are moments in life that feed the soul.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Words of Wisdom for Men

Saw this on Reddit today... 

Son, if you're 23 I have some words of wisdom for you. I'm almost old enough to be your dad and my boy and I talk pretty regularly about how the world works so I hope you don't take offense to my tone, it's meant to be helpful.
You need very few things at your age to meet a wonderful woman, but it's a quest. Think of it that way. You're Link, or Luke, or some other hero of the story.

First you must unlock the mystery of self confidence. This is like pulling the sword out of the stone. Only the one true king can do it, but you just didn't know that was you the whole time because you were afraid to try.
Read. Good. Books. Not that PUA shit, things that actually make you a better person, not a manipulative jackass. I highly recommend Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People as well as a book called The Magic of Thinking Big. It's been a while, but I remember those as being very helpful to me in life.
Why? Because most people are not socialized well and they are taught to believe they deserve things they don't without effort. You need to know how to be comfortable talking to people. Be genuine. Learn how to not over share. Relax in your own skin. Be genuinely interested in what someone else has to say.
Now that you know how to communicate and you believe you can be awesome, start being awesome.
If you have problems with having a conversation with a woman, maybe you're just fucking boring. Fix that. Change your life. Have some hobbies and passions. Work out for God's sake, make your body look good. Do you like being with attractive women? Well, make yourself attractive. Even if your face is a mess, if you take care of yourself it tells someone else "this is a guy that takes care of himself". It will help you.
Now that you're a good communicator, have healthy self esteem, and have become more physically active we need to talk about your career.
I've had a strong six figure job and a self esteem that was shit and couldn't get a date. I've also been a struggling artist and had to almost literally fight dates off. The big difference was passion. It was all what was going on in my head. If you hate your job reconsider it, maybe you're in survival mode for money but whatever it is you choose to do, you choose it, and you make it something you can be enthusiastic about.
Mind, body, and soul is important, but the impressions are very, very important. Dress well for fucks sake. Everyone in a first world country can clean up. Have at least one outfit that makes you feel good. Polish your shoes, or at least clean your sneakers if that's your thing.
If you're a punk with a mohawk then there's a different but similar thing going on, it boils down to making yourself feel good about you first. If you feel good about yourself you will emanate something that is attractive. You'll be more confident, and that will lead to....
Talk to women in real life. I'm not saying that it's a catch all solution to your problem, but if your goal when talking to women online is to eventually meet them in real life, you could always cheat the system and practice talking to them in the real world too.
Consider this. If you setup an okcupid or whatever account you're saying hi to a woman who has probably been hit on 30 times in the past day. If you go to a nice club, with a haircut and clean clothes and approach a woman, she may have only been talked to by a few guys in the past hour.
The real world is where it's at. Use dating sites to practice having conversations, but its a sucker's game. Go get scared, screw up, grow some confidence, and meet people in the world.
I wish you the best young man, treat her respectfully and go make the old guard proud.


Today's practical grammar lesson: Y'all.

One person is You.  Two to four people are Y'all.  More than four people are All y'all.

I ain't from this part of the country.  Personally, I find the lack of embracing pop near un-American, but I have picked up a few pieces of dialog to get me through the day. Trust me, this part of Virginia is not the South.  For that I have to drive about an hour or so west where Confederate flags fly on porches next to the discarded bath tubs. But there's a slight tinge of the south in the natives' voices.  It's hard to find considering the transient nature of this Washington DC region, but occasionally some cream rises to the top.

Yes, I'm speaking lovingly of what we northerners refer to as a "Southern accent."  I wish I had one.  Maybe I'll pretend to have one and freak out my Chicagoland family the next time they come visit for a spell.  "Ice tea, Pa?"  My new banjo affections help my cause.  Next: Git some overalls and start referring to everyone as Cousin.

Where do I buy overalls?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Old Man in the Park

An argument often made against time travel is that if some day we somehow figure out how to do it, why haven't we been visited by someone from the future?  And my reply is we have.  Or, How do we know we haven't been visited by future people?  Maybe in the future time travel is controlled by strict international laws prohibiting the divulging of time travel to people in the past.

On Sunday, Lynette and I decided to go on a picnic in the park in our neighborhood.  We laid out a blanket and had lunch.  Mom, Dad, Baby, and Dog. At some point during our lazy Sunday picnic I noticed an old man sitting on a bench looking in our direction.  I remember him because he had with him the exact same grocery cart we use, which is not a typical looking grocery cart.  After about an hour or so he shuffled over to us and said we made quite the "idyllic tableau."  I thanked him and he walked away.  Then I had a quirky thought:  That old man might have been me from the future.  Maybe last Sunday's picnic will grow to be a memory I look back upon fondly.  Fondly enough to want to travel back and see when I become an old man.

Tee Vee

So, the television.  Here's what I've been watching:

Parks and Rec has been on a hiatus (because the people who like Community for some reason cried and cried and cried until NBC finally said, "Fine, here's a few episodes. Now shut your cry holes."  Parks and Rec is a wonderful, funny, charming show that has easily bumped The Office from my favorite Thursday night TV show.  (The Office is nothing without Carrell.)

Game of Thrones is back.  Thank God.  And it's AMAZING!  If you're not watching it then you're a moron and should have your television privileges taken away.  Just sayin.'  You're missing some of the best dramatic performances available today.  Of course, if you don't like swords and castles and dragons, etc. then it might not be for you.  On the other hand, it's got tons of sex and nudity and gore and Peter Dinklage being a bad ass.

Mad Men is back and so far this season has been "meh."  It was Dullsville until the most recent Peter-centric episode.  Nobody wants to see douchebag Don Draper not act like a douchebag.  (I predict a return to douchebaggery for Draper toward the end of the season.)  Because even though Megan is increasingly becoming a pretty cool person, we don't tune in to see happy people.  We want debauchery and deviancy.  It even feels like everyone is smoking less this season. Boo!  It speaks volumes when Pete Campbell is the most interesting character on the show.

I watched the first episode of Lena Dunham's much hyped new show Girls.  I have no idea who Lena Dunham is, but the internet really, really wants me to act like I do.  Judd Apatow produced this show about a bunch a girls (women, actually) living in New York City.  If the Y Generation drives you nuts then do not tune in.  What this show mostly does for me is make me thankful I'm not in my Twenties.  And not because these people have it hard.  On the contrary, it's their perception of the world around them that irritates.  Still, it's got some pretty good writing, and it's probably the first of its kind to center around a core group of female characters that aren't made up of silly caricatures.  It's worth a viewing just for the sake of discussion.

Everything else on TV is garbage. Just kidding.  No I'm not.  Yes I am.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Carlock and Son

Sometimes this happens:

I get upset over [fill in the blank] and yell and/or raise my voice.  James realizes I'm upset and stares at me.  I realize James is staring at me because I was yelling about something.  We share a few moments of staring at each other and then eventually a slow smile emerges and we start laughing.

It's baffling how well this kid sees right through me.  Thank God.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jason Jetset

Dude on the train trying to convince his buddy to go to Russia for a week because the hookers are more attractive there.  Then I started thinking: I have never been out of this country (except for a couple trips into Windsor, Ontario, which doesn't really count because it's basically still Detroit). I don't even have a passport.  Gosh, where should I go?  There's so many places in Europe I'd love to see.  Getting a cup of coffee in Italy is on my list.  And renting a scooter and driving through some French countryside.  And having a beer in Germany and/or Ireland and/or Scotland.  And I heard the hookers in Russia are pretty hot.

Then there's Asia.  I had a fascination with India after reading Maugham's The Razor's Edge as a young college student.  I thought I'd do that someday, abandon everything and live in India for a spell.  (I did that, but kept it continental.)

Honestly though, I think I'd stick to the more tropical locales.  The Caribbean.  I just want to sit on a beach and do nothing except look out onto the ocean.  I guess I can do that continentally, too. Like Hemingway in the Keys.  Yeah, I think I need to be more like Ernest Hemingway.  Minus moving the Florida keys and committing suicide, I want to be Ernest Hemingway.  I'm gonna start working on that.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Computers, Love

I saw a young Asian woman on the train this morning wearing a surgical mask.  So, was she protecting us from some rare form of fire-breathing bacteria that she somehow contracted in some foreign land? Or was she protecting herself against all of our heathen, deviled breath?  It reminded me of when we were kids and the only true way to protect your dessert (or any other delicious food on your plate) was to lick it.  No one wants your licked food.  I wanted to walk up to that lady, reach out, and say, "I'm not touching you! I'm not touching you!"

Then I got to the snug comforts of my cubicle, open the paper, and read about how pretty soon we won't have drive our own cars anymore.  I'm no expert, but I think we're losing our humanity.  Not that I don't welcome automated roads, but heed my warning: As with cars, so goes the cock!  The car (and our mobility) pretty much has dictated culture in this country since the 40's.  Nowadays we can travel to the far reaches of this planet online without ever having to get up off the couch.  What's next?  Cybersex? Oh, right.

I recently got into listening to bluegrass/roots music and had a sobering thought... These musicians are old.  Who's next in line to pick up their Pa's banjo or fiddle?  I don't have any friends that have a remote interest in this genre of music.  And even fewer who can actually play a musical instrument.  How will these skills survive the coming generations?  Wikipedia will explain to our future children that long ago humans made music on contraptions made of wood and string.  But they won't believe it (as they sink back into the recesses of computerized music of bleeps and bloops).

Yesterday I saw a funny thing online showing the Tweets of several (thousands?) of people who did not know Titanic was a real thing.  Or who Paul McCartney was. I'm not lamenting the evolution of technology (I am writing this on a blog after all), but aren't we supposed to pass down to our heirs some pieces of traditional knowledge? My Granny (bless her saintly soul) made chicken and dumplin's I painfully miss today.  Seriously, I would murder a man to have some right now.  Unfortunately, she did not teach her daughter (my mother) how to make this amazing dish.  And now it's gone.

There are some things we cannot afford to lose.  Automated roads will save lives, but computers will never kiss you goodnight.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Tearing down the hardened shell of boogers covering my son's nostrils is one of those jobs I go into reluctantly. But I know what has to be done.  Like Frodo resigning himself to be the one to carry the ring of power into the depths of Mordor, this is a task fraught with danger and pain, both physical and emotional.  It's an obvious unpleasant experience for James, one that triggers waves of screams and sobbing.  And probably one of the early tests of my parenthood.  Some jobs are hard.  Some jobs are dirty.  Regardless, they must be done.  When a squirrel gets loose in the living room at Christmastime, somebody has to go in there, cover it with a jacket, and whack it with a hammer.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Opening Day

Baseball is back.  It's opening day and my Nationals are in Chicago taking on my former favorite team the Cubs.  I can only imagine the glorious spectacle occurring in Wrigleyville today.  I'd love to be there eating a hot dog, drinking an Old Style, breathing in the ageless, urine soaked air of the Friendly Confines.  This year it's probably warm enough for the Chicago beauties to be wearing their spaghetti strap tank tops in the bleachers.  

Today should be a national holiday.  Opening Day.  Makes a hell of a lot more sense than Columbus Day.  (Y'all know the guy didn't actually "discover" "America," right?)  At least baseball is one of the only two things actually invented in America.  (The other being jazz.)  Opening Day should be a fanfare occasion. With parades and pageants.

Kiss me - I'm a baseball fan (t-shirt idea... patent pending)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

American Son

Rushed home yesterday to watch the end of the Nationals game versus the Boston Red Sox.  It was an exciting loss. It gave me hope for the summer.  James will be walking soon.  He's already dancing and singing along with music.  I will do my best to immerse my son in baseball and music this summer and plant the seed.  I'll wait  a few years before I introduce him to video games.  


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

E'erbody's Buyin' Banjos!

If you're not careful hanging out with me may cause you to run home and buy a banjo.  Or a guitar.  I don't quite fancy myself a musician yet considering I can't quite seem to get out of the beginner stages of these instruments, but after last week's visit from our good friends from Minneapolis it turns out those fine folks got home and quickly obtained one banjo and one guitar.

I never really considered myself an influential character.  I'm more the following type.  But apparently my desire to be a musical person has rubbed off. I suppose it doesn't hurt that Lynette can pick up her guitar and make up an impromptu song about Marcus and his imaginary childhood horse to great aplomb.  

Congratulations to Marx and Elizabeth on their new purchases.