Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Def Leppard 'High n' Dry'

I’ve been thinking about trying standup comedy again. Doing standup was a dream of mine back some time ago. I tried it once at an open mic night and quickly went down in flames. I couldn’t understand how it happened. I had studied under some of the masters… Comedy masters like George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Bill Cosby, and Cher. Standing on a stage with only the sounds of clinking glass and cigarettes being lit can be a very lonely place. It means that you’re not standing in front of your target audience.

But I gave it a shot. And for some strange reason, I’m feeling the desire to pull that trigger again.

I came up with the ice breaker and that seems to make people laugh. The rest of what I’ve got so far is a little out there. That shouldn’t surprise most of you. I’m always springing the “Operation: Little Dog Urination” on people and that brings a laugh. Or at the very least, a strange look accompanied with a hesitate smile… So I know that’s funny.

Urination stories are always funny because it’s something that we all know about. If you’re breathing with lungs, there’s a good chance that you urinate often. It’s pretty much a universal subject with creatures that understand abstract thoughts. And that’s where the comedy cranks up.

For example… My friend Jon went to a family reunion in the great state of obesity, West Virginia. And I’m not saying that as a put down because I was born in that great state and do what I can to represent, know what I’m saying?

So all jokes aside… The host family had a huge spread for everyone to enjoy. The kids could run free and loose. The adults could hang under trees and around the grill. From what I remember Jon telling me, it was pretty much a hillbilly orgy of gelatin, watermelons, and fatty foods.

The host family had a large, fully enclosed pen on the property. That’s where they kept the pet crow. I don’t remember him saying whether or not it was some sort of rescue deal where they kept the crow because of an injury. Jon found it highly unusual.

When the family gathered around the tables to put on their feedbags, there was a terrible squawking coming from the crow’s pen. All heads turned to see some 6 year-old boy chasing the crow around inside the pen while urinating. Jon said that the crow was flapping its wings and making as much racket as it could. The droplets of urine being flapped off were turned a bright golden color as the sunlight lit them up. Some members of the family found it rather amusing… Especially Jon who couldn’t stop laughing.

Of course, the immediate family members of that 6 year-old were completely mortified.

So… Urination is always funny. It always has been. Why do you think there are so many euphemisms about it?

Draining the lizard
Walking the dog
Going to see a man about a horse
Number one
Feeding the goldfish
Take a leak
Check the creek temperature
Make water
Drain the main vein
Point Percy to the porcelain
Siphon the python
See someone about the plumbing
Shake hands with the unemployed

That last one is a new one for me and I like it. If you’ve got any more to add… Why go right ahead!

If I do get a stage show worked up, I’ll be sure to tell you the where and when.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Black Sabbath 'Born Again'

Lost is coming to a close this evening. While many “losties” are out there partying it up, I’m listening to Lenny Kravitz and writing on a laptop computer.

Should “lostie” be capitalized?

Like Trekker or Trekkie?

Jamie says that I should because it’s a proper noun. Or something like that.

I consider myself a Lostie. I almost gave up on it during the third season until a fellow Lostie told me to hold fast. Everything will have its rhyme and reason.

I’ve been asked if this will be an emotional evening for me. It’s a show that I will watch during a housefire. A fireman would have to drag me out before the next commercial break. That’s the way it is. And soon, it’ll be the way it was.

It’s not a sad event. The show has run its course. The show had a bumpy road that only a select few made it through. Lost tested the viewer. It required thought. And Losties threw theories around the water cooler like Jenna Jameson tosses back sausages.

This is a celebration of a fine show that’s leaving on its own terms. We may tear up… Especially, if they kill off a one or 6 characters… But Losties are having a party, people. Right this second… With 34 minutes until the final episode airs.

I’m kind of glad to see Lost go because it’s ending on a high note. That is, of course, as long as the ending doesn’t suck. But that’s a subjective thing.

I’m sure they’ll give us, the Losties, an open ended departure that will arrive again at a later date. I wouldn’t object to a movie.

What were the greatest series enders for me?

Obviously, Newhart comes to my mind first. Malcolm In The Middle had a great ending that left on a positive note for the main character. I dug the final Battlestar Galactica.

I didn’t care for the last Seinfeld. It left me scratching my head. Although I’m torn on how I feel about the final episode, The Sopranos ended with a sour note on me.

The final episode of The Sopranos had a profound effect on how I hear Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”. Whenever I hear about a small town girl living in a lonely world, I stop and ponder about Tony Soprano. I wonder if he’s still seeing a therapist. I wonder how the rest of the family are getting along. The possibilities are how I see them. And that’s the part that I like. It’s still open for debate. Closure isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show did the same thing with “It’s A Long Way To Tipperary”. I’m sure I’ll never hear the song blasting out of a SUV anytime soon. But if I were to hear that tune in passing, my thoughts about the WJM gang can go to any possibility.

No sadness. Everything and everyone should be lucky enough to conclude on their own terms. It’s not always possible, but either way we carry the memories along for the rest of our journey.

Or buy the whole thing on DVD.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Various Artists 'Various Sh*t Volume 19'

Just a quick update on this busy morning...

Remember my take on the Chevrolet Caprice Classics roaming the streets with product, team, and comic hero logos?

My sister Tina told me about a car that she's seen roaming around Greensboro. She managed to find it in a parking deck. Here are the pictures she snapped with her cell phone.

Thank you, Tina.

Now I love me some Texas Pete, but I just can't see painting up my vehicle with their logos and not receiving some kind of payment.

I've heard rumors that those cars are gang related, but I don't know. Seems kinda weird to me no matter why the reason. But to each their own.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jason Ringenberg 'Day At The Farm With Farmer Jason'

Have you ever wanted to tell a friend something and you didn’t want to hurt their feelings?

I’m dealing with that sort of situation right now.

Back in my younger days, I wouldn’t hesitate to say something. I peed into the wind and didn’t care about any kind of blow-back. It’s not that I intentionally wanted to hurt anyone’s feelings… It’s just that I didn’t feel like taking the time to be concerned about those feelings.

Now that I’ve gotten a bit older, I feel differently about those kinds of things. I don’t want to hurt any of my friends in the slightest. Perhaps it was the arrogance of youth, I don’t know.

Here’s the rub…

I avoided all the stupid “cool” handshakes growing up. There were types of handshakes that required a manual to figure out. If you were naturally coordinated, I wasn’t, it was a breeze to learn some handshake that bordered on sign language. I just thought they were ridiculous and wanted no part of them.

I didn’t even really care for “giving five”. But it seemed quick and painless. So I didn’t really fight that one much. Even though I accepted the “giving of five”, I didn’t really practice it all that often. I didn’t need the slapping of hand flesh to celebrate some event.

Then the “high five” came along and I didn’t care much for it. I didn’t ridicule others that did it… I just left people hanging as I said, “I’m sorry. I don’t high-five.”

It just seemed silly to me. And even as a group of my Washington Redskins calling themselves “The Smurfs” celebrated in the End Zone with arm swinging and a group high-five money shot, I couldn’t get behind it. I resisted.

The trend as of late is the fist bump. And there seems to be more and more “cute” little movements evolving from that one. One especially annoying is the “explosion” of the fists after being bumped. I think they refer to it as the “fist grenade”.

After meeting some friends at a birthday get together, Jamie informed me that I left our new friend’s fist hanging several times. Since I don’t participate in those types of things, I don’t know the tell-tale signs of an oncoming fist bump. I had no idea that the guy was signaling for a bumping of fists.

I made an effort to bump fists the next time we met these friends for dinner. I kept an eye out for extended arms over the plates in case he was initiating a fist bump. I managed to catch a couple of them and Jamie seemed proud that I didn’t leave him hanging. Once we were in the car, I made it known that I didn’t like doing it. It made me feel dirty and untrue to my nature.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I met this friend in downtown Winston-Salem for a few drinks and a bite to eat. We bumped fists a few times and I still couldn’t get mentally behind such an action.

Something has to be said. I can’t go on living in a fist bumping lie. I’m not a fist bumper. I never wanted to be one. It seems silly to me. I should be totally honest with this relatively new friend of mine, right?

I’ll clink glasses. I’ll wink. I’ll give a thumb up. I’ll flash an “okay” sign. I’ll get on a mountaintop and send a smoke signal… I just can’t fist bump anymore.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Lynyrd Skynyrd '1991'

As you can tell, I haven’t updated this thing in over a week. I’ve been in a really bad funk because I’ve had to return my Rams gold and blue Escalade. I lost money buying a one-way, first class ticket to St. Louis. And now I’m stuck with a silver grill that slips over my front teeth. It’s not like I can wear it anytime I want… Since there’s St. Louis Rams all over the thing, it would be an insult to my lifelong following of the Washington Redskins. And I can’t sell it because it was custom fitted for me.

I’m bummed because it wasn’t me that was drafted by the St. Louis Rams. It was some cat from West Texas A&M that is riding high. Again, not me.

Deep down inside, it was too good to be true. To be totally honest… I thought The Secret was finally giving me what I wanted. An ultra-huge mansion complete with cock fighting ring in the basement (people are still too touchy about the dog fighting deal), a gas-sucking SUV with a big screen plasma HD-TV in the back, and strippers, strippers, strippers. Oh, and I forgot to mention firearms. I wanted plenty of firearms and maybe a leopard.

My dreams came crashing down when I finally got someone in the Rams’ front office. The intern that I spoke to was laughing his ass off when I asked about picking up my signing bonus, when training camp starts, and how many tickets I could get for friends and family.

He told me that I was one stupid mother… You get the rest.

I hung up the phone and immediately returned the Escalade and cancelled a few hundred checks. I also had to call off the three strippers that were home shopping in St. Louis for me. It was horrible!

I’m not too happy with The Secret these days. Reality bites, my friends. And she really clamped down on my gonads this time.

But I’m not going to harbor any bad feelings for the Eugene Sims that signed on with the Rams. I’m going to follow the guy’s career simply because he has the same name that I do. I mean, seriously… When will I ever have a more famous namesake?

First of all, just about everyone has a song out there with their name in the title. Eugene is no exception. The only one I know of is Pink Floyd’s “Careful With That Axe, Eugene”. This, of course, gives the general public that Eugene’s aren’t the most decent guys on the planet. Perhaps they’re homicidal maniacs.

And second, Eugene’s are portrayed as some of the geekiest people on Earth. People expect that anyone named Eugene must be socially inept or extremely disturbed.

So I will follow this cat and see if he brings any honor to the name I have. Hell, he can’t hurt it any.