Thursday, February 28, 2008

Invented by Terrorists: Don't blame me, I voted for Amanda

My mom called me tonight and demanded that I give American Idol a chance tonight. Apparently there is a lovable little guy who sang "Imagine" that blew the doors off the place. As it turns out, that would have been good information to have a few days ago, based on how this show's schedule runs. It's on more often than SportsCenter, but all American Idols are not created equal. I know this is breaking news, since this show has been on the air in this format for like 70 years by now. This is, in fact, the first time I have seen an episode in its entirety.

I can't say that I really got it. I don't watch it normally. I know people who do, and they seem to enjoy it. Each year, you get maybe two or three people who can perform the songs they sing better than the people who made them famous, so it seems like a lot of musical vomit from wannabes to watch before you get to the good stuff. I am not ashamed to concede that the Katharine McPhee "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was one of those performances. But you see how I avoided committing to a tv show for like 90 hours each week?

Well, I watched tonight and I think I figured out the appeal. I have figured out what the magic formula is that keeps people coming back. The singing is part of it, sure, but the trick is the voting. It's the same thing that you get when you watch Family Feud -- you get to yell at the retards who voted the wrong way and feel superior. Also, watching a chick breakdown and cry after being told she sucks by 30 million Americans is pretty compelling television. Hillary Clinton won't get told she sucks by that many people when she inevitably loses the nomination to Obama. And quite frankly, I thought the girl who got voted off who sang "If You Leave Me Now" was way better than the girl with the comically ostrich-like hair who sang "Carry On My Wayward Son."

And you know what? After it's over, I'm probably going to call my mom and tell her that. Which means I am turning into a gossipy old woman and the terrorists have won.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Inspired by a webcomic

In a short amount of time (19 days), my fourth favorite holiday will be upon us. St Patrick's Day is awesome. Or should I say, Tá sé uamhnach lá Fhéile Pádraig. There will be food, spirits, shamrocks and music. I might say a few words i nGaeilge and try to impress people who don't really seem to care that much. But more on that closer to the day. (Also, the best part about the Irish language is that you can have capitals as the second letter of words. How weird looking is that?)

After reading a particularly clever and nerdy webcomic today, I was considering inserting into my play list filled largely of The Pogues, Flogging Molly, the Dropkick Murphys and Gaelic Storm (I have left out a few other Irish bands as well) inserting a certain number one hit song from the late 80s into the mix.

I just wonder if there would be a single person in attendance who would even understand. Your thoughts?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Never forget

I was washing my hands today in the men's restroom at work and noticed something amusing. No, it doesn't have anything to do with the awkward guy who will go descriptionless (awkward doesn't give you any hints among an office populated by engineers!) who neglected to wash his hans after a visit to the urinal. (Actually happened, by the way.) I noticed something startling about the soap.

Aside form the container being transparent, which lets us see that it is pink, which is only amusing because it kind of makes me feel like I am washing my hands with Pepto-Bismal (what do those words even mean? I'm both a sciencey and wordy guy, and I'm pretty sure I've never seen those roots anywhere else), it has directions on it. Directions. For soap. It would have been ok, had it read something along the lines of:

"Directions: Rinse hands, dispense soap, ha ha, are you really reading this! It's soap! You learn how to use soap before you learn how to read! Even the slow kid in your first grade class knew how to wash his hands!"

But it doesn't. It has real directions. It's absurd! Like on a Dasani water bottle where it says Ingredients: water. Thank you for that. It also has separate instructions for particularly soiled hands (you put the soap on before you rinse your hands in that case). I do like the use of "soiled" in place of dirty, it does add an air of classiness to the plastic, transparent container of industrial soap. The best part, thought, is towards the end when it says "for external use only," just in case someone really does think it's Pepto-Bismal.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's a shame, really

I was bored at work and came up with an idea that I wish I could make happen. I think we're probably still a few hundred years away, technology wise, but when it happens, people will look back on this blog entry and realize my genius. It'll be like Leonardo da Vinci and the helicopter. Oddly enough, the train of thought started with a joke involving seeing Tommy Tutone on MTV's Unplugged before it formed into this piece of majesty you're about to read. The path from that one hit wonder to animal sitcoms is a long and tortuous one, so I really don't know how to explain how I got here.

If we could make animal sitcoms, these are a few that I think I would watch. I think I'll stop at five, because I could probably go on all day. Feel free to add one of your own.

  1. Pelican Barbershop Quartet - A story about four lovable pelicans, each with their own quirks, who formed a barbershop quartet and travel the coast entertaining sea birds in exchange for fish and love. There really are not that many things which are more amusing than a barbershop quartet, and one of those is a pelican. Combine them? Instant success. For those of you who don't know what a pelican looks like, here is a picture I found on Google of a pelican trying to eat a bear.
  2. Loi et ordre: Unité Spécial du Paon (Law and Order: Special Peacock Unit) - By the time this becomes a realistic television option, every other Law and Order possibility will have been taken. It ties in with the NBC network, which I'm sure would have been overtaken by CSI and American Idol if not for Dick Wolf and Sam Waterston. For some reason, I think this concept of having peacocks in a courtroom works better if they have French accents and berets while they are arguing about Man 1.
  3. Dog Ross - A public access program where a German Shepherd shows us how to paint things like fire hydrants, cats, and other dogs' butts. I would imagine his hair to be a little frizzy, like an aging pothead's would be, if he were a dog. You know?
  4. Panda Gladiators - The resurgence of American Gladiators really opened up a lot of possibilities. But thinking of how lazy Americans tend to be and how lazy pandas are, this really seemed like a pretty good match. Also, I know of at least one reader out there who rather enjoys pandas, and this picture is really funny. The panda gladiators would need names a lot more hardcore than Ling-Ling, though. Like 1000 Golden Pandas of Fury. I guess that they would be named a lot like Chinese restaurants.
  5. Dr. Rocky - A talk show for raccoons, where they try to break stereotypes of things like looking like burglars and eating garbage. They are just like me; they have to eat and can't help what they look like. And, really, who hasn't looked at a mostly eaten chicken bone and thought, "There's still another good two or three bites of meat on that"? Also, they would discuss the fashion merits of coonskin caps.
Ideally, we'd be able to watch some of these shows before the end of my life. Frankly, watching pandas shoot tennis balls at each other is better than like 85% of whats on tv now. And if you say that you wouldn't be interested in hearing a pelican sing the bass line of "Hello My Baby," I'm basically calling you out as a liar right here on these internets in front of God and everyone.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Week!

Hey, I heard there's a football game on today. It's supposed to be super. Every single person I've spoken to has said that they aren't particularly excited about the game, because at this point everyone hates the Patriots and nobody liked the Giants before anyway. I knew a guy at Clemson who liked Eli, though, which always amused me; it was like wishing that Rambo would have starred Frank Stallone instead. Frankly, I think that the Pats are unstoppable, but I can't say I'm terribly happy about it. Also, I hope the commercials are a little better this year than they have in the past years.

Tuesday is also a super day. Super Tuesday, in fact. I think it's also Mardi Gras, but I'm neither Catholic nor Cajun, so it really doesn't have a huge impact on me. I did make gumbo for the game tonight, though. But I think I'm looking forward to Tuesday than I am about the game. You see, this is the first time I get to go to the polls to vote for President of the United States. (I had to do it by absentee ballot before. As far as civic satisfaction goes, you don't get quite the same feeling as pulling a lever, or in my case, using a touch screen to identify my candidate in the same way that you make reservations at Epcot.) Afterwards, I get to come home and drink martinis while watching the returns come in. Election day is too class a day to drink anything other than martinis. I want to have a small party for it. I already know that I am taking off Nov 4.

Here's a little way to make Super Tuesday more fun (as if it could be any more fun!):
-Every time somebody says "Too close to call," you drink.
-Every time a future press conference by a candidate is referenced, you drink.
-Every time Keith Olbermann takes a gratuitous shot at Bush, you drink. (Be careful if watch MSNBC with this one...)
-Every time Keith Olbermann does something unnecessarily smug while trying to make a joke that isn't funny, you drink. (This will be the last Keith one, because this game could be dangerous. I don't want to be a case study for a Law & Order episode where somebody dies from reading a blog entry. Actually, that would be pretty awesome.)
-Every time Chris Matthews throws in an unnecessary compliment to some guest on his show that you've never heard of, you drink.
-Every time Chris Matthews's smile reminds you of the smile of your five year old nephew (not to mention haircut), you drink.
-Every time Brit Hume looks disgusted by the lack of professionalism by someone on his panel, you drink.
-Every time a pundit is confused by a disagreement between polling data and actual election returns, you drink.
-Every time a candidate who lost a state makes it sound like they really won it, you drink. (You may have to stay up late for this one.)
-Every time someone says "Billary," you drink.
-Every time someone compares Obama to JFK, you drink.
-Every time someone talks about Mitt Romney's hair, you drink.
-Every time someone talks about how conservatives don't like McCain, you drink.
-Every time we are reminded by a commentator how relevant Huckabee still is, you drink.

If you aren't laughing at all of Romney's and Olbermann's jokes after an hour with this game, then I don't know what to tell you. Sláinte!