November 12, 2009

The New Moon Preview

This weekend, I had the opportunity to see Zombieland, which was better than I ever could have expected. Fantastic film, I could sing it's praises all day.

However I'm not going to. Filmage that good doesn't need my praise. And besides, loyal readers of this blog are not nearly as intrigued by this as the other thing I do a lot of.....which is scorn. And boy, was there scorn to be had.

Without knowing it beforehand, A preview for the new Twilight film "New Moon" was mixed in with the mishmash of material that's always a precursor for the movie. Now understand good people, I have not read the Twilight series. Anything beyond what the cover of the book looks like is completely foreign to me. I watched Twilight, and hated it, without ever reading a page. And this darkened opinion of the movie only insured that I would not see another one, much less read the damn book. So everything I have to say about this film is going to be based on the two minutes of preview I endured to get to the feature presentation.

Here goes.......

Holy fucking shit!!!!! What kind of sick pulpy teenage filth are they passing off as entertainment here? I mean seriously? An entire genre of film, spawned by talented individuals such as Christopher Lee, Bella Legosi, and Gary Oldman, has evolved into this dribble? Vampires used to be cool for fuck's sake!

Alright, perhaps that last point is moot in this day and age. Clearly there is an allegiance to this film by a much bigger mass of people than yours truly. There are armies of teenagers and young adults out there who think this is the greatest thing since Hilfiger Jeans and the relaunch of Converse. To them, vampires are now identifiable. How so is beyond me, but such is the way of things I suppose.

So I won't get into fads here, or debate what's fashionable or not. I've been outdated for years, so it's not exactly my forte. What I feel does bear mentioning, is the logic of the situation.

Yeah, I know, vampires don't exist, and if they do, we can't prove it scientifically. Fine, whatever. Let's roll on the assumption that they do exist, and that there are in fact immortal beings who have lived on this planet for hundreds of years, never aging, and sustaining their cursed existence on the blood of the living. And let's say that there is someone like big hair Edward about, who continues to interact the living even though he is estranged from it.

Well then let me ask you this: Why in the fuck would a vampire who's hundreds of years old go to high school? Seriously, you have centuries of knowledge and experience, why not go to college? Hell you might actually make some contributions to science or history or something. Wouldn't that kind of be for the betterment of all these mortal cattle you like to frequent? What exactly are you trying to achieve at the high school level? And not even a world-renound school with an outstanding curriculum. No, a small rural school in the middle of nowhere.

You know what else college has? Women of legal fucking age! Did anyone ever actually do the math on this, and realize that Edward is a very old man? Hell, people still find it kind of creepy when an older guy is talking to a teenager at Barnes And Noble. How do you think they'll feel when a guy nearly pushing a century is spouting tales of love to a girl barely old enough to drive? It's disgusting.

But you're okay with that eh? You don't let the huge age gap bother your mood? Fine, then let's consider the following: Edward is a being that is very old. He's wandered the earth for quite some time, experienced a great many thing about life (and unlife I imagine.) He is worldly being who's had time to figure things out.

So, if all of the above is true, then why would he even consider, even for a second, falling for an overly dramatic teenager? I mean seriously, there are teenage boys who don't even want to mess with that bag of crazy. And yet here a being with the wealth of knowledge that is only possessed by some of the oldest living people on the planet, falls into that shit. How fucking stupid do you have to be?

And then you know what he does? He leaves! All the while an audience of people are supposed to be completely surprised that she's blow this completely out of proportion and try to kill herself. "Oh no, the love of my life is leaving me. I can't live without him, so I'd rather die." Holy hell, how many times have we heard that shit? It's practically it's own stereotype right now. Everybody knows this......except apparently big-haired Edward. Who clearly does the one thing in the world you should never do with an overly dramatic teenage girl. And the best I can tell from the preview, is that the entire premise of the movie is based on this: An old man robbing the dramatic cradle, and the wackiness that ensues.

Now, clearly this isn't a review for the sort of people who are excited for the release of this atrocity. Mostly, this is for like minded individuals who abhor everything about this movie, and want nothing more than to read someone else bitch about it. And this is also for those of you who are on the fence about this Twilight business. The sort of people who can't decide if they should be pulled into the tide with everyone else. If this is you, and you're telling yourself, "Well it can't be that bad," let me assure you that yes, yes it can.

October 28, 2009

Why I Left Heavy Metal: Halloween Edition

With All Hallows Eve just around the corner, I felt it was a good time to speak on this matter.

You see, years and years ago, I was a dedicated disciple of all things heavy. In those days, I felt that anything musical that could be defined as pure and honest was required to have high decibels of distorted guitar angst. Primal fury, encapsulated by tormented words screamed at the edge of a singer's limitations, it was the only way to be a sincere artist in my mind. The enemy was easy to see. Acoustic strumming pretty boys who sung of girlfriends and happy meetings in coffee shops,totally glazing over the problems that the world wears. We knew them well and despised them better. We rock guys knew the score, if it wasn't loud and tormented, then it wasn't the real deal.

Then, one day, I simply stopped. Burned out and frustrated with what heavy music had turned into, I walked away. I had lost all interest in distorted guitar fury, and those savage rhythms that were requisite in such music. It had become commercial to me, easily crafted routine that no longer captured my imagination and spoke of the pain in my heart.

Aside from the occassional visit while the MP3 player is on shuffle, I have never gone back. I play in a mellower side of the spectrum, and am pretty happy with it. And I sleep soundly at night knowing that any contributions I might have made in what is rock and/or heavy metal would've only further dilluted down an already bland stew. Occassionally, I get a doubt or two about the path I chose. Understandable really, after near a decade of dedication, It's easy to look at what was and what might have been. But for the most part, ce la vie

Every once in a while, time and nature conspire to remind me of why I left that scene in the first place. Today was one of those days, as a catalog arrived at the homestead. Halloween is close, and as such, there's a lot of pressure out there to invest in costumes. Classic and new, treading new ground or simply modernizing a traditional theme. Vampires and fairies, witches and Spider Man. Power Rangers are still on the scene, and it looks as if the hippies and disco-lytes are now fare for kiddies. As if a failed counter culture movement and Studio 54 weren't depressing enough.

Of course, none of this is as bad as what I was about to encounter.

In the small handful of pages dedicated to the young men, I stumbled across a costume that at once angered and frightened me.

The costume was called "Headbanger." It was an all black number with fingerless driving gloves and an industrial grade mechanic's overalls. A studded neckline and wrist guards let the average observer know this this kid knew nothing about oil changes. The cherry atop this monstrosity was a pale white mask with long, shoulder length horse hair sewn atop it in a stringy, slightly balding fashion. The face was adorned with blood red coloring around the eyes and along the chin, forming a paganistic goatee of sorts. It was disgusting, abhorrent, and very very embarrassing.

Costume makers, traditionally, have been a few step behind the times. The market is flooded with Pirate garb years after Johnny Depp made pirates cool. Halloween is fed by fads, and rubber can only be molded so quickly. So, it surprises me very little when costumes turn up to in this day and age a bit overdue for when people actually would've worn the stuff.

Not so in this case. I need only flip through any heavy metal publication to see that my once proud musical genre still looks like this costume I see before me. This outfit is the direct descendant of bands like Slipknot and Dimmu Borgir, both still very functional entities in the brotherhood of metal. Bands galore, donned in pointy guitars and mad makeup, still look like this. What's worse, is that they look like this without shame. These misguided idiots are still under the impression they cut a terrifying figure on society. That they still put fear and nightmares into the hearts of yuppies everywhere. Never stopping to realize that the kids of those they are trying to frighten, will be dressing up just like them for cheap candy and gum.

I am ashamed for what once were my brothers. Ashamed that what once took nothing more than long hair, black T shirts, and true grit has slowly dissolved into this. An outfit adorned with copious quantities of makeup, excessive jewelery,and enough studded leather to make even Rob Halford question your manhood.

And for all the physical enhancements and theatrics, the music hasn't spun any more a convincing tale. Overly dissonant, relying more on random noise and hoarse frog croaks, the music has lost it's magic. It takes concentration to decipher the message, and having to concentrate while being pummeled with excessive volumes has simply become too trying for an old timer like myself.

So metalheads and rockers alike, take note: The tricks you've been relying on will no longer work. Weird outfits and distortion are simply not enough in this day and age. Things need to grow, expand, get pissed, and all in new and exciting ways. What those ways are, I can't tell you. I've defected from the cause, so it's now all on you. All I can say is, do something new, and do it fast. Before the epitome of your legacy is being glossed on the pages between a ninja and dinosaur.

October 17, 2009

The Knife Thing

I present to you my knife.

This here is a Wusthof Classic 10-inch chef's knife. Standard CrMoV german steel straight outta the heart of Soligen. I found it in a pawn shop several months back along with a knife roll and a few other tools for sixty smackers. Since it's used, I know very little about it's history, other than it's somewhat old (how old I don't know, but the blade says Dreizack, which means it's older since the newer ones say Trident.) She was beaten pretty badly, with scratches up and down the blade, and a big worn out section of the edge where it's last owner had sliced repeatedly. Not pretty, but functional as can be.

Those who have some love for cutlery, or spend above average time in Bed, Bath, & Beyond, know this to be a knife of reasonable quality. At the very least, it's pricey and rolls off the tongue real nice. However, I'm not showing it to you fine people because of the name on the blade. I'm showing it to you because of the story that came with it.

You see, I had finally convinced myself to enroll in culinary school. For good or ill, I had decided this was something I had to do. So, I had taken the tours, gotten a feel for the programs, and started getting things together. Part of the culinary school wrap is the acquisition of a knife kit. Knowing this, I had spent a great deal of time researching equipment, hitting countless websites to dig up deals, reading reviews on the benefit of one knife over another, and so on and so on. I assure you, that nowhere in this fact-finding mission, did the name Wusthof even become a consideration to me. That stuff was too rich for my blood.

Then, one cloudy Saturday, I waltzed into a pawn shop looking for treasures, and I found a knife roll in a glass case. I was pretty excited about this, since I needed one for class, and because my obsession with cutlery was starting to build up steam. But, buying a new one is a pricey proposition. One of subpar quality was 25 bucks, a bit more than I wanted to drop. And this one looked better than any of those cheap ass rigs. So I figured, "Hey. Empty knife bag in a pawn shop. I might be able to pick this thing up for 15-16 bucks." So I asked the kid up front go grab it for me, which he promptly did. But when I opened the thing, I was in for quite a shock. Since this was no mere knife case, but a complete kit, loaded with tools, including the aforementioned Wusthof. This was everything I would need for school, at less than half the cost I would have spent had I bought everything new. While poking around the kit, I got my knuckle too close to the edge of that Wusthof, and it slashed it open on contact. I took this as a good sign (yes you read that right, me getting cut by my cutlery is considered a good sign in my sad little world.) So I grabbed the thing as soon as I could, and drove home figuring I had gotten pretty lucky in finding the thing.

I used the thing, finding it to be a well balanced, and competent performer. But the damn thing was big. Big enough to make using it a pain, so for months she sat in the kit while I relied on the knives I was more "comfortable" with. And in the meantime, I kept reading and learning about knives, and I had found out that the longstanding name of Wusthof had fallen out of favor amongst the cutlery minded. Reports of being "too heavy" and "too soft" filled my head, as I became less and less enamored with it. In many ways I began to disdain this knife, figuring that as soon as it got me through school, I'd dump it and move on to bigger and better things.

And then I had a conversation with a friend who changed my perspective on everything. She was telling me about her father's knife kit, which she had left unopened since his passing. And she spoke to me about the sadness she felt using the tools for which she had attached so many great memories to her dad.

It was the first time I had ever considered the notion, that a simple tool like a knife could be an heirloom. It wasn't just a bag devices used to chop through onions, it was a memory. And a cherished one at that. You never think that something as common as a knife in the kitchen could provide the kind of history until it's too late. At least I never did. Wow, if I ever get crazy enough to have children, my knives will probably be that for them as well. In a time where every death I've seen has lead to squables over who gets this amount of money and who gets this property, I hadn't considered that someone might want "dad's ol' cuttin' knife" when I'm gone.

And it made me wonder about the poor soul who had to give up this kit at a pawn shop. Were they a chef somewhere? Or was the person a student just like me? I wondered if they finished the program, and what situation would drive them to get rid of a good quality knife, something you can always use wherever you are. I spent a lot of time staring at that knife, studying the scratches and scrapes that covered it. This knife had scars, a history of being beaten and rough-housed. It had seen some shit before falling into my hands.

Then a realization hit me. I had always counted myself as lucky for finding that knife, but not once did I ever consider that maybe it was the knife who found me. It was only chance that I had walked into that pawn shop with cutlery on my mind. And being fortunate only goes so far when you find a kit that has exactly everything that I would need in this new venture. A venture which I still felt uneasy about. Now I had a kit that not only took care of my worries, but also secured the idea in my thick head that I would be doing this. I had something that clearly knew how to survive. Maybe, just maybe, me and this knife need each other.

Perhaps I'm romanticizing this all too much, but I don't care. It just feels right. I have everything I need to get through school, including the answer to the question, "Should I really be doing this?"

So now, I use this knife every time I set foot in the kitchen. I'm careful to listen to it, and adapting my hands to better work with it. The results have been pretty great. And I reckon the knife's pretty happy with the arrangement too. After a great deal of sharpenings at my unskilled hands, we finally found an edge we can agree on. It's been leveled and buffed, and while I can never get rid of all those scratches and imperfections (not that I'd ever want to,) I think the thing looks better than ever. Any time I use it, it gets washed and dried immediately afterward. And it gets wrapped in a silk handkerchief when I put it away, which I imagine is something it's last owner or owners ever did.

I still wonder what story this knife had before finding me, and will probably never find out. But I figure at the very least, while it's in my hands, it has a story that can now be heard.

October 15, 2009

Boy In The Balloon

Let's play a bit of reality math shall we? The treasured game where we add up real life situations, and calculate the results. Are you ready? Alright then, here we go....

  • Take one 6 year old boy,
  • add in a very big, very dangerous balloon capable of carrying a person,
  • factor in one parent who's apparently far too busy to pay attention to either
What does that equal?

If you responded with, "Stupid stupid, dipshit fucking dumbasses" Then you are clearly a well rounded denizen with some common fucking sense.

I mean seriously, it's strange enough to spend a great deal of time and money to develop a balloon that can carry a person's body weight. That takes a level of commitment to insanity that I can't even begin to fathom. But then to be too cheap to build a garage for the damn thing, and too lazy to deflate it? Holy shit people! Who the fuck says "I just built a big ass balloon, but now I'm tired so I'm just going to lash it to my roof?" It almost seems kind of illegal in general to leave something big and capable of flight unattended. It may well be extremely illegal but I can't verify it (and am too lazy to try.)

And so daddy dearest leaves this big fucking thing on the house, with a curious 6 year old boy. And I guess never once did it cross his mind, to CHECK ON THEM! Holy fuck people, he has been a father for at least 6 years, and I'm almost positive a bit more, does he not know of the child-like tendency to explore shit? Especially when that shit is a big silver globe that glows in the sunlight and moves enticingly in the wind? Why not just lock the kid in a shed with fireworks and give him a lighter?

I feel safe asking these questions because it all turned out for the best. The kid was safe, nobody got hurt, all ended well. But frankly, it shouldn't have even been an issue. This kid shouldn't have even been put in a situation where that could've happened. And a capable fucking parent should have done everything in their power to insure that their child would be safe.

But what do I know? The whole thing might just be a hoax anyways.

October 9, 2009

Billy Ray Urges Miley To Return To Twitter

Ye freaking gods!

There is a bit on my news feed about how Billy Ray Cyrus has made a public appeal to his daughter Miley, to resume updating her fans via Twitter. Apparently, sometime in the last month (I don't care when) She made one final post (tweet? twit?) stating that her costar in an upcoming film suggested she quit using the service for what apparently is "good reason." This has left many fans in disarray, and has caused her father to use the service to plea for her return.

Okay, there is so much wrong with this, that I can't even sum it up in a single point. Let's start with the most obvious.

If Billy Ray Cyrus is urging his daughter to reactivate her Twitter account, and using Twitter to do it, how the fuck is she going to know about it? That's like sending me an email telling me that I need to check my email! It's dumb!

But assuming that word will get around to Miley about this (and with the power of the Associated Press behind it, how could it not?) We really need to ask ourselves on fundamental question: Why the hell didn't Billy ask Miley directly? I mean, it's not like they're RELATED or anything! He could have made a phone call, or said "Hey, what say we have dinner tonight? I need to talk to you about something." Perhaps I'm flawed in my knowledge here, but it seems like he'd have an easier time of having a sit-down conversation with her than most any of us, so why not do it? It's easier, less time consuming, and has the virtue of actual human contact!

But, let's assume that the point was to cause abject humiliation. By making a public statement for all to read, he's sort of "calling his daughter out" and trying to get her back into the game. Fair enough, I can understand that. It's a shitty thing to do, but I can understand it. So, assuming that was the point, my next question is this: Why does it fucking matter? So what if she doesn't use Twitter, she's a celebrity! I can't walk into any store without having that buck-toothed grin stare me in the face. Everyone knows who she is, so why is this so important?
Are you telling me that Miley's fans are falling by the wayside by her unwillingness to tweet (toot? twat?), and rushing to pledge their loyalty to other pre-adolescent celebrities? Has the market share of other Disney acolytes gone up because Miley has better things to do than fire off a 140-word limit thought every little while? Unless someone show's me some solid statistics, I'm going to guess that the answer is no.

And you know why? Because the fans of Miley Cyrus have other avenues to explore. I'm going to guess that she has a Myspace page, and a Facebook page (I'm only guessing because I refuse to confirm this.) And I'm going to guess those still get updated on a regular basis (again, I refuse to confirm this, but big daddy Bill isn't making a fuss about those, so my reasoning has to be sound.) And if not, I can almost guarantee that she has a website. There are plenty of venues for Miley Cyrus fans to ladle praise upon their hero. And people can have as many of these goddamn accounts that they want! If they can't find Miley on twitter, than I guarantee they'll find her someplace else.

This girl is going to be seriously fucked up by the time she hits adulthood. If I read in a few years that she was arrested sucker-punching midgets in the nude, it would not even remotely surprise me. We're talking a build up of psychological issues that make Britney Spears look like Julie Andrews. I certainly don't wish it upon her, but with nonsense like this going on, I don't know how you could avoid it.

Marge Bares All (No Seriously She Does.)

Playboy magazine, source of much palm-based material for many an underage boy, is about to make history by placing Marge Simpson of the animated series "The Simpsons" on the November cover of the magazine. Details about this can be found at this website.

So, assuming you went to the link (which really, how could you not?) were you as confused as I was upon learning that the new CEO of Playboy just happens to be named "Flanders?"

October 6, 2009

Jon Gosselin On The Insider

Much as I absolutely hate devoting time and space on my precious blog to the likes of Jon and Kate, I just had to throw one more thing in the pile. Is it wrong that I found this absolutely hilarious?

Oh man, it's like someone turned me into a feisty older white woman who looks smashing in yellow! Mad kudos to the staff at the Insider for making my day.

October 5, 2009

University Of Utah Researchers See Through Walls

Just once people, just once I would like to write about my beloved state of Utah on this blog, and not have it be about a bunch of weird bastards doing abnormally weird things. It's not too much to ask to have at least one bit of news on Utah that isn't strange or creepy, and I swear one of these days, something will turn up that I can actually write about.

Today however, is not that day. Observe.

For those fearful of the link, I'll sum it up for you: Researchers at my alma mater have devised a way to detect movement through solid objects using wireless internet signals. In a nutshell, relying on the signal strength of the wireless network, one is able to detect motion as a result of interference with the signal.

Sounds harmless? Consider that any person can now get your basic pattern while you sit in your room changing your underwear. And while the technology can't do much more than show a pattern, and not do the x-ray vision thing at this juncture, it's still creepy. Damned creepy. And it comes out of my fucking state no less.

October 1, 2009

Jon And Kate Plus Eight Minus One Multiplied By Nonsense

Alas, over yonder appears to be more Jon and Kate bullshit to fuck with my news feeds.

First there was the announcement that TLC was giving ol' Jon Gosselin the boot, creating a program entitled "Kate Plus 8" focusing solely on Ms. Kate doing the whole single mother rap with a buttload of kids. And now, there's Jon's response to this news. Apparently, he isn't happy.

Aside from talking his usual nonsense, he's also brought a lawyer into the picture. The claim is that part of the conditions of the divorce is that he has joint custody over the children, thus has a voice in what decisions are made regarding their welfare. He's gone so far as to post signs on his home forbidding TLC camera crews from entering the premises, or risk having the authorities notified.

You know, despite seriously disliking both of them, I can't dispute that this is a smart move on TLC's part. Kate, while a dramatic control-happy bitch, still seems like the lesser of two evils. And she has managed to keep her hormones (assuming of course that she has hormones, I personally have my doubts) in check, which is more then we can say for Jon. Besides, America loves the story of a scrappy woman picking herself up after the love of her life dumps her. And while she's a snotty, whiny, hose-beast, I think scrappy applies quite well to Kate Gosselin.

Of course, I'm not going to watch this shit! Frankly, nothing would make me happier than to log onto my browser and find nary a trace of these stupid people. Just because I understand the marketing logistics doesn't mean I hold any love for either of these people. It's just I smell the funk of stupidity, and I had to comment.

And the funk of the matter is this: If Jon Gosselin was so concerned with the welfare of his kids, then why the hell did he subject them to numerous seasons of this goddamned television show? Reality TV is notoriously the most invasive thing since proctology, and he sure didn't seem to mind airing every last shred of dirty laundry on the tube back then. All of a sudden now that he's no longer welcome, suddenly this is an unfit situation for the kids? Bullshit man!

You good people can already see how this is going to play out right? TLC will probably spring for a new pad for Kate that will be joyously free of legal detritus, and the brunt of this legal claim will dissolve into thin air. Anywhere between three to six months from now, Jon will appear on a new TV network (my money is either on Spike or MTV) with a problem detailing the woes of his life. It'll be dubbed Jon plus several unnamed girls too young for his dumb-ass, and will feature the douche who owns the Girls Gone Wild franchise as his wingman. Every show will be a contest between the two, trying to determine who can say "ummm" the most, and will feature a plethora of attention-starved barely legals to embarrass themselves on camera with some of the most disgusting sugar-daddies ever to occupy my cable.

I weep for us all.

September 28, 2009

And I Quote

Today's post sounds a little deeper than usual, especially considering it's source is me. Rather than the usual barrel of cynicism and fuckupedness I typically generate, this one could almost sit real nice on a coffee mug.

To answer your question, No I'm not getting soft. I'm still bitchy as can be, and don't see a future where it'll cease. As to why I sound so damned philosophical today, well there's a reasonable explanation: I was in the middle of an argument.

Well, probably not an argument, more of a debate really. Some discussions on morality and the like. And while I'm probably not the best example of clean-spirited living, I do quietly support it. And when people start getting all speak-happy about what they consider to be right, and passing unnecessary judgment upon those who lead a different, but decent life, I tend to start talking. And during one of these "discussions," I let some words slip that I thought sounded pretty darn sharp. So, I leave them with you, the world, to care for. And my apologies for writing stuff with actual meaning, it'll never happen again.

"It's only a sin if you don't learn from it."

-Boogie Man Montoya-

September 21, 2009

And I Quote

"I spend a great deal of my life running on the assumption that God has a sense of humor. Here's hoping I'm right."

-Boogie Man Montoya-

September 14, 2009

Kanye West Did What?

I'm pretty sure everyone in the world and their conservative aunts knows about this...

I'm at a complete and total loss for words here people. I mean, there are things in this universe which are smug, and things which are pure stupid. Occasionally, there are those things that happen to be equal parts of both. But this? This is on a whole new level of it's own. Some parallel plane of batshit crazy that isn't even visible in this spectrum.

I can't really yell about it, because I'm not 100% sure that West even realizes his true caliber of douche. I seriously thing that somewhere in that cloudy, neon-colored brain of his, that he really thinks he's inspiring us little-folk into awe. In the face of that sort of insanity, I just can't be angry. I can really only stare dumbly, and feel troubled about. This is the sort of thing that one muses over with a stiff tumbler of rum, wondering what the hell happened to the world. Because people like this have been given license to be this strange. There's a group of people out there who made this guy into enough of a hero that he can actually get away with this.

I'm lacking in venom over this little incident, but I did walk away with one revelation:

Beyonce disgusts the living hell out of me, and I'm no fan of Taylor Swift either. And yet, all it takes for me to sympathize with both of them apparently, is Kanye West.

September 4, 2009

A Moment Of Philosophy

Wanting to attain the "perfect week," and get off at least one post every single day here on TBMS, I was searching for some topic to fill this bad boy out. I've got a few more extensive bits of nonsense on the line, but it's Friday for fuck's sake. I'm not capable of a full load of dribble pre-weekend.

So, I needed something brief to pull of this personal best. But what? So many things to discuss. So many new items to bitch about. And I had no clue with where to start. So I pondered this greatly, and thank god for the potential of anaphylaxis to inspire this sharp bit of philosophy:

"There is nothing like the potential for painful death by explosive swelling to make you appreciate how good Cheetos can be."

September 3, 2009

Shirts, Shorts, And Social Standing

It's embarrassing enough to go wandering about town in a tight T-shirt that you haven't worn in four years. People more often than not assume that you're in need of clean laundry. Things get harder however, when you couple that T-shirt with a too-snug pair of slacker-approved shorts. However, if you're quick and walk with a confident strut, people might just figure you're having an off day, cleaning out the closet, or if you're lucky, you can get a bit more mileage out of the whole laundry thing.

However, when you've commited all of the above offenses, and also have orange Cheetos stains on the legs of those shorts, you can pretty much pack it in Bubba. You are fucked, completely and totally. And for the duration of your day, it will not matter how intelligent you are, or how well you carry yourself, you are dead weight as far as the world is concerned.

My advice? Roll with it. Embrace being low on the totem pole. Humility builds character, I think I read that somewhere. Shoot, you might even get to roll the pity card. Many happy marriages have been started that way. Might turn out to be the best day of your life.

September 2, 2009

Crime And Punishing For Text Infractions: Utah Style

In the what must be the most miraculous of news items, my twisted state actually passed a law I agree with.

In March of this year, (yeah, it's pretty obvious that I need to expand where I get my news from,) former Governor Jon Huntsman passed a law that banned sending text messages while driving. As it stands now, getting caught texting while behind the wheel will be considered a Class C misdemeanor. Do it again, or even worse, hurt someone while doing it, and it goes up to Class B with no questions asked. If you actually kill someone because you were getting your text on, it is considered automobile homicide, which is anywhere from a second to third degree felony. Don't bother requesting vehicular manslaughter, you won't get it.

Utah is notorious for throwing around bills that go completely over the top, and tend to be ridiculously excessive. And usually, I'm the guy standing on the sidelines screaming, "Come the fuck on!!" But on this I must admit, that tendency towards excess is actually a useful asset in this case.

I am a texter. I text openly, and often. In some ways, I feel it has further handicapped me in my antisocial ways, but I don't care. Sometimes, all I need to say is one sentence (though you'd never figure that out from reading this junk.) But I also realize there is a time to do it, and a time to put it away. Texting while talking to someone is flat out rude, doing it while people are asking you questions is incredibly unprofessional, and doing it while driving is ridiculously stupid. And I for one refuse to die on my half exhausted drives home because some dipshit couldn't wait 10 extra minutes to send out their "OMG's!" and "LOL's!" There isn't a damn urgent thing in this world you need to text. If its' an emergency, then you probably should just bite the bullet and make an actual fucking phone call. There was a time when cell phones didn't have extensive keyboards and you still managed to contact people, an emergency situation might be a good time to be old fashioned y'know? And if for some strange reason you can't make a call, but you can text......well pull the fuck over then. We'll wait for you to get done.

Bear in mind that this bill came about because people have already died. A couple of rocket scientists in fact (I shit you not.) All because someone couldn't wait to fire off that oh-so hilarious off color forward until they got home. Decent people who have no business suffering always pay the ultimate price when other people get careless. And while I have no idea how this will actually affect things in my twisted state, I'm optimistic that this may scare the pee out of a few texters out there.

At the very least, it'll keep me from doing it. Despite knowing better, I'll occasionally fire off a text at the stop light. I reckon it's high time for me to take my own advice.

September 1, 2009

Baby Pole Dancer

Courtesy of Gizmodo

What. The. Fuck?

And I Quote

"I have a heart, I swear to God I do. And as soon as I can find the bastard, I'll happily show it to you."

-Boogie Man Montoya-

August 31, 2009

At Some Point, They're Just Best Described As Dumb

I'm a man of pretty even temper.

Though these pages may never reveal it, I do try hard to think critically before I speak. I'm someone who puts a lot of emphasis into observing the world, and tries very hard to maintain perspective. People take a lot of interesting paths to become who they are, and it's that willingness to walk the journey that defines someone, not where they end up. And I know full well that money, job title, or education can never define a person as good or bad. You are what you make yourself, and how you choose to let the world view you. So, I do my best to avoid judgment, and always make an effort to hear the folks of the world out. I really don't want to dislike anybody.

Still, there are those things that I simply cannot abide by. The clear point where education and experience are no longer a factor, and you are making a purposeful attempt at being an idiot. We've all seen these things, quirky marks of jackassery caused by grungy, overly hormonal people with something to prove. And you sit there watching them do these things, and the whole time you think to yourself "C'mon! There's no way in hell you don't know any better!" Perhaps they smoke cigarettes on their porches while their kids run amok, or blast their way too loud car stereos at inappropriate know the little things. Those annoying acts that the dumb-fucks and dipshits of the world do, despite being completely pointless and somewhat dense. It's unforgivable in this day and age to be so dumb.

Witnessing such acts gets me in a bit of a rage. And I tend to fall into a pattern of retribution when I do them. Most of the time, my violent tendencies don't go too overboard. I've never set a house on fire, nor have I ever taken hostages. But they definitely are within a legal gray zone, and the world would probably be all the better if no one drove me to this point to begin with.

I'm speaking to you good people of this, because I just so happen to have one of the aforementioned idiots commiting one of these unforgivable sins outside of my home. And it's got me in a revenge-minded state, so I figured I'd use this time to issue a polite PSA on the matter:

People of the world, be warned: If you are the type of person who sits in their driveways and revs their ridiculously loud engine for more than five seconds, I will pee in your tailpipe.

August 28, 2009

PS3's, GB's, And The Generation Gap

These are surreal times my friends. The quick advance of technology has changed our landscape for good or ill, and even things like the generation gap aren't readily as apparent as they used to be. My mother texts, and does it well enough to know the appropriate slang. Most people I know "Google" with wild abandon and have a working knowledge of certain Apple products. And interesting thing when you consider that these same people couldn't tell the difference between He-Man and Thundercats not so many years ago.

I've watched these changes with only bemused interest, since I know that this is just how time works. These people still need to function in the world, and have to adapt to these new ways as a result. Life cannot be done successfully if you don't have a working knowledge of web browsing, GPS, and the more interesting functions of cell phones any more. It's hard to expect people to stay old fashioned when knowing that doing so means getting torn to shreds by the tides.

And I'm okay with it, since I know full well that those who do not have to function in the world will continue to remain as antiquated as ever. The grandmas and grandpas of the world, who spend the twilight of their lives in simple pursuits, have no need to understand this crap. Life is all about the basics at their age. And it's comforting to know that the fogeys and geriatrics of the world will continue to be mystified by all this newfangled gadgetry. Those old fashioned home fires will continue to burn for yet another season.

Or so I thought.

I found myself wandering the aisles of a local Wal-Mart, glancing at flatscreen TV's, when a young lad noticed the new PS3 slim display behind me. He was your usual adolescent, dirty blond hair, pimply in all the right places, and armed with a pair of thick rimmed glasses that could make ants shudder. To his right, was his grandmother, who I was able to recognize by her stature, personality, and the fact that he kept calling her "Grandma."

The conversation went as all these conversations tend to go when a young person wants the latest and greatest thing, and tries to appeal his case to the elder with all the cash. "Wow, look Grandma! It's the new PS3 slim! That's so cool!"

What threw me for a loop wasn't his enthusiasm, but by Grandma's response:

"Wow 120 Gigabytes. That isn't too bad."

Holy shit, grandma knows about gigabytes? How is this even possible? I mean, If I told my Grandma that I was packing 120 GB, she's have probably tried to offer me some crab shampoo and a fine toothed comb.

It's like I don't even know the world anymore.

August 27, 2009

A Profound Question

Life is all about limits. How far our character will drive us, and what the tipping point is before we snap like a twig. In light of this, we must all analyze our own tolerances in life. And one of the questions I feel we must all ask ourselves at some point in our lives is;

What situation could be so profound, that it makes an otherwise rational person scream, "If I had a fuckin' bazooka, I'd pound your ass with it!" at someone else?

I now know that to reach this point, all it takes for me is a crusty-haired woman driving a powder blue Dodge Caravan with handicapped plates who won't let me merge into the lane of traffic.

What's yours?

August 26, 2009

The Student Is The Teacher Is The Student...

...or something to that effect.

Today was my first day of school. I haven't had a first day of school in over ten years, so this is quite a bizarre experience for me. One would think that after a ridiculous amount of grade school, and a substatiantial amount of time to get a bachelor's degree, that one would be used to the heightened state of panic that accompanies a first day. Not so my friends. I found myself just as apprehensive as I remember being back in Kindergarten. Possibly even more so.

And while I could go into great detail over my first day as a student, I think I'll save the brunt of the experience for another time. For you see, there was an even greater experience I had today that rivaled all others: being an educator, and being taught by another educator.

When you spend a lot of time in a trade, it becomes a habit to study how your colleagues perform. Musicians for example, are always keen to watch the hands of other musicians during a performance. are always watching the hands of other musicians, studying how they play. In fact I would suggest to never watch a music-based movie with a musician in the room. We can spot it when the actor with the guitar is just "faking it" and make a habit of calling it out every single time. Then there is conversing with other musicians, where dangerous questions often linger. Things will be asked, like your preferences between single coils or humbucklers, or where you sit on the issue of vacuum tubes over solid state equipment, and god help you should you answer wrong.

Writers tend to do the same thing when reading the prose of another fellow writer, and I'm pretty sure cooks do it to other cooks as well. So of course, being someone who does all of these things anyways, I'm naturally going to be in study mode when another teacher walks in a room.

The downside to this mentality is that any mistakes that happen are going to attract your attention the way a park and a pile of drums attracts the hippies. From the moment my teacher presented themselves, Every slip of the tongue, every stutter and mumble, every second that class got slowed down by unnecessary crap, I saw. And I'm not the type of person who lets things like this slide easily either. There were a few moments where I wanted to jump up, grab the dry marker from her hand and say "YOU SHUT UP!! THESE PEOPLE PAID A LOT OF MONEY TO LEARN THIS SHIT, AND YOU'RE CONFUSING THE PISS OUT OF ALL OF US!! NOW SIT DOWN AND WATCH HOW THIS WORKS!" And I would've taught the class. Despite not knowing anything about the subject matter, I would have found a way to get a point across. I'm not sure it would've been the right point, but it would be a point nonetheless.

Now, I'm not going to dare say I'm Mr. Teacher extraordinaire. Chances are good I do a lot of very bad things when I conduct a class, and there is probably an aircraft hanger's worth of room available for improvement. But I feel good about the folks I teach. I manage to keep a group of people interested in the subject matter for several hours, and they walk out looking pretty confident about things. So, I'm not the best by any means, but I do alright.

Plus, this is new subject matter to me. I'm already walking into this kind of nervous. I want a teacher who's gonna strut into the room, talk her shit like she's fucking god, and pump me up so high with adrenaline, that I'll sucker punch the door if asked. I want someone who's gonna stand in front of me and say, "YOU WILL LEARN THIS AND LOVE EVERY SECOND OF IT!" So I can sit there all wide-eyed and sparkly, screaming "FUCK YEAH I WILL!" And to my disappointment, I didn't have that moment today.

Again, maybe the standards are too high. Maybe years of doing this sort of thing have set a pair of horse blinders over these aging eyes. Maybe I'm even a little biased, I don't know. But if anything, I suppose this will teach me to take other forms of educating into consideration. This teacher may eventually knock my socks of and drop a ton of fantastic knowledge, so long as I keep my mind open to the prospect.

And if not? Oh well. At least I can go to bed at night knowing I'm a fucktastic educator, even if I'm the only one who believes it.

August 14, 2009

Jon & Kate: Part 2

Apparently the breeders aplenty had a bit of a legal scuffle yesterday. Best as I can tell based on the information I took from lazily browsing one article, Kate Gosselin appeared at the home of estranged husband Jon, where she was denied access. She contacted the police, who informed her that this was a civil matter, and she had no legal jurisdiction to enter the Jon's home, nor have contact with their multitudes of children.

Frankly I don't know or care about what took place. Whatever drama is occurring between that family is none of my business and holds even less of my interest. The only thing that remotely caught my eye to even comment on was this video.

For those smart enough to avoid the link, here's a summary: It's Jon Gosselin, discussing what took place, and sounding like the world's biggest douche while he does it.

Seriously, watching this guy talk is pure hell. He has the face of someone who you just want to punch repeatedly, just because. It's a constant self righteous deer in the headlights gaze. I have few doubts that this man would stand in the middle of traffic because he's too stupid to move, but would think he's still better than you when you smacked him with your car.

I was drawn by my sheer annoyance of the photo, I stayed for the commentary.

I have never heard anyone use the phrases "I mean...," and "...and stuff," more than this prick. He's like a frat boy who likes to talk about how cool mountain biking is. And this guy's popular no less! And I don't think the fame offends me nearly as much as the fact that this bastard reared a shitload of kids who are now going to develop into adults based on the example of either an overbearing drama-queen or a horny dumbass.

I really have nothing else to say about this, other than how badly I want to smack him around. Seriously.

August 11, 2009

Miley Cyrus......Yet Again!

Some people juggle, others play with fire......Miley Cyrus seems to like hitting hungry lions on the snout with a newspaper.

Last night she performed at the Teen Choice awards, where she unveiled a new single, and won herself a smattering of awards. But it was the performance that has my otherwise peaceful interweb all a'chatter, since it appears that Miley was a wee bit racy.

Racy you say? From Miss Miley Cyrus? Where have we heard that before?

So this is how last night's programming went down apparently. Miley strutted out on stage in what refers to as "extra small booty shorts" and spent a little time performing a kid-friendly pole dance (if there is such a thing.)

So I watched the video at the above link, which was agonizing but thankfully short, and took a few notes. Here's what I came up with:

First, the shorts. Booty shorts, extra small....whatever. I don't deny that they're a bit skimpy, but they're not something all that shocking either. Frankly, I found the cover of Elle with Miley on it this month to be a bit more icky than this (oh, and thank you very much Barnes & Noble for putting that at eye-level. I'll be back later to burn your magazine racks to the ground.) To me, these are the kinds of shorts I associate with gymnasts or dancers. So, the most offensive thing I can see is that she's wearing dancer clothes, dressed similarly to the pro dancers behind her, and still can't dance worth a shit.

As for the pole dance thing, well here's where it gets problematic. You see even a child of great innocence can only think of three people whose occupation involves a giant pole: firemen, strippers, and Batman. And it's pretty damn clear she's not representing public service or masked vigilantes, which only leaves the one option.

I haven't seen it, doesn't have a video of this event, and I'm certainly not going to go scouring the bowels of Youtube to find it. But I can do the math:

Teen showing ample skin + pole = suggestive behavior.

There's really no two ways about that.

And I can already hear the aftermath of this little incident. People will be talking like it's the darkest scandal in years (which it isn't......but that's people for you,) and Miley's camp will take a huge step back and pull some ridiculous fucking PR that will probably read off like this:

"I had no idea that my performance that night would happen that way. I was supposed to walk out in a fitted Amish skirt that was designed to show no more than 3 millimeters of ankle. And for some reason, for which I do not yet understand, they made me wear those tight skimpy clothes. And while I was trying to dance and sing about Britney Spears, those awful mean dancers threw me on that pole! I kept trying to stand up, but my boots were slippery, which is probably why it looked like I was gyrating on the thing. That mean nasty pole! It took away my innocence and made my fans think I was a whore! I protest the pole!!!"

Yup, and big daddy Bill will stomp around and yell at everyone for making his baby girl look cheap. It'll be a tween clusterfuck the likes of which you've never seen.

I warn you people, this is only the beginning. Disney breeds this kind of insanity, and once their clean-cut, buzz word chirping stars discover their hormonal dark sides, they unleash it on the public with a fury usually reserved for hurricanes. The nutfuck tendencies of Spears will be nothing compared to what this child will unleash. The bomb will fall big and loud on this one.

You have been warned.

August 10, 2009

A Poem Of Inadequacy At 4am

You ever sit back and think about the people you know, the people you read about, and the people you link to? Ever notice how their lives are taking off, and they're making great personal discoveries about themselves that are leading to successful places? Promotions, new careers, awards and rewards aplenty. Things are going well for these people.

And yet here you are, sitting at home staring at a screen, watching the world go by. Seated firmly in the middle of a self-imposed purgatory, wanting to reap some of the successes of these people, but lacking the motivation to try. Maybe you've sampled a few endeavors, but got unsure of the results, or where that inner fury is supposed to come from that makes you do this and nothing but. And now, here are people who know you. Shit some of them may even like you. And they're out there, kicking a bit of ass in the big game of life. And here you are, watching them. Envious of their bright future. Hell, you even find yourself hating them a little bit don't you? You do, despite the fact that they've worked hard and deserve all the rewards that are coming to them, it bugs the shit out of you knowing they're sitting alright while you continue to do jack. It doesn't make any sense to hate on these good folks, for doing what they're supposed to do. Hell, the smart thing to do would be to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and start doing something productive. Anything productive would do really, so long as it wasn't burning property or injuring people. You might just find that slice of pie you were looking for.

But you don't. You continue to sit there, staring. And feeling real pissed off.

Does that sound like you? Well no, it probably doesn't. You're probably one of those people who's on the high road to the promise land.

And I fucking hate you for it.

August 3, 2009


I will never go so far as to say that I am worthy of a biography. Great people get biographies written about them, as do witty celebrities and I am well aware I fall under neither category. I suppose anything is still possible, and that I may, someday in the near future, stumble into my local B&N and see my ugly mug staring back at me, underneath some well chosen font. And I know that should that day come, it'll be surreal as all hell. But if it doesn't, c'est la vie. I'm a pretty content guy, even without the knowledge that somewhere out there, some die hard fan is writing books about little ol' me.

That said, I am fairly convinced that if I ever became worthy of a biography written about my existence, that it absolutely must contain the following phrase:

"Learned a lot of his philosophies on life from an animated turtle."

July 30, 2009

The Many Faces Of Rachael Ray

One of my new favorite games is to randomly hit PAUSE on my DVR while I'm watching bad Food Network programming (hey, I have to find some way of enduring that nonsense.) The results proved amusing enough for an entire post.

Today's target is Rachael Ray. An easy mark admittedly, but sometimes you don't screw with the classics

Now mind you, this all came from one episode!

July 15, 2009

How To Score A Woman (And A Ride) In Utah

Apparently, there's a woman here in Salt Lake City who put up a classified ad on KSL advertising the sale of her body, morals, and dignity along with her 1992 Jeep Wrangler. The ad reads as follows:

Free '92 Jeep Wrangler...
Midvale, UT 84047 - Jul 1, 2009
...with proposal and wedding ring.

That's right! Act now on this one-time offer. All you have to do is date and marry me and you can be the proud owner of a 1992 Jeep Wrangler (along with a 1970 woman). Jeep has a lift, safari top for the summer/hard top for the winter, rear locker, 33" tires and (new this year) an 8000 lb winch.

Not only do you get the Jeep, but you get me. And boys, I don't come stock. I am FULLY LOADED! My add-ons include: a great sense of humor, an affection for "garage nights" (that means working on stuff in the garage), an amazing work ethic, temple-worthiness, an appreciation for sports, the ability to live well within my means, logical reasoning skills, a "work hard so you can play hard" mentality, and I'm great with kids, too!

Terms and Conditions:
1. Marriage must last a minimum of 5 years.

2. Jeep cannot feel neglected - trips to Moab required - but it's a package deal. You take the Jeep, you take me!

3. Honda 400EX included in lifetime package.

4. Honeymoon required.

Contact me at

Men only, please. I am ALL woman!

Only in my fucking state does this sort of shit happen.

July 9, 2009

Concessions To Age

Believe it or not, I just had my first concession to age.

As I've said and somewhat firmly believe, I am not old. 30 is still an age filled with great vitality, and not the end of the line. I acknowledge that, but it's also a turning point. One where the consequences of how you live start to make themselves apparent. Wild nights of hedonism and sex-crazed madness now leave you feeling a little sore in the morning, hangovers carry a little more weight, the back makes more noises when you stand up. And while you may not be on the verge of falling to pieces, your body makes a point of letting you know where your limits currently are.

With my freakish lifestyle, such things have not been uncommon. Aches and pains have occurred so often, that percocet is starting to feel like an old friend to me. And it's nothing I ever shy away from, after all pain is supposed to build character right? And even if that character comes in the form of me being a whiny bitch, I suppose it's better than nothing.

But while at Guitar Center, burning a wee bit of time on overpriced instruments, I noticed my first true concession to age. It all started with a Classic series '72 telecaster. An instrument that I found positively disgusting in my youth, but somehow more attractive in my maturity. The thing sounded good too, and I was making some pretty pleasant, enjoyable noise. After a few minutes of playing, I noticed how easily I was jumping across the fretboard, hitting notes and bending strings. It was no-strain easy going music, and I wasn't investing a lot of time thinking about how hard to hit the string or how much force I'd need to pull off the next lick. It was all perfectly fluid.

At first, I attributed this ease of play to the instrument's hefty price tag. The thing did ring in at 900 bucks, the price of a moderate budget scooter. And you'd figure that things would play a little easier for that kind of money. But, it was more than that. Clearly, the instrument had a bit more finesse than anything I played at home, but my gear was perfectly functional. There was no reason I couldn't have a moderately close experience to what I was having here.

And then it hit me, it wasn't the was the strings. You see, this guitar was equipped with gauge .oo9 strings, and that is what made all the difference.

For those of you who don't speak musician, allow me to elaborate: Guitar strings are gauged by thickness, ranging from .008 to about .013. The number refers to the high E string (the thin one at the bottom) and all the other strings follow suit at an equal thickness for proper tuning.

Now, I have been an avid user of gauge .010 strings for years. There was that period when I was about 17 where I moved up into .011's, but that was mostly because of testosterone, and the extensive amount of tendinitis I have in my hands is strong testament to the fact that I am not designed to play strings that thick. So it's been .010's, for most of my musical career. And it's been that way so long, that I don't even bother to peruse the selection at my local music shop. I know the brand I like, the gauge I like, and the price I'm willing to pay. I walk up to the case, make my selection and walk out the door, simple as that.

So, I never stopped to notice that I was having difficulty playing guitar at home. Things had been the same way for so long, that I didn't even consider that a change might be necessary. That was, until I got my hands on that damned telecaster. And it's become clear as day to me now, I just don't have the strength anymore to push the thick stuff.

Now, many have tried to humor me by telling me that it's not the effects of age. "You've just got a lighter touch, that's all" they've said, trying hard not to make me sound pitiful. But, we all know the truth, my hands have changed. And asking them to work the way they used to when I was younger just won't float. And to be honest, I'm quite okay with that. I've got very little to prove on this front anymore. I certainly don't need to showboat with brighter guitars, louder amps, and bigger strings. I'm just here to play. Make a little joyful noise, and enjoy the process, that's what it's all about.

Still, it annoys me that there are things I can't do anymore. I'm just hoping the next little concession that comes up won't be for a long long time.

July 6, 2009

Megan Fox Gets It, Michael Bay Doesn't

Much to my dismay and general irritation, the second Transformers movie has laid waste to the box office this week. The tag team of Bay and Lebeouf have managed to molest segments of my childhood yet least I can only assume since I have successfully fought the forces that want me to actually watch this nonsense.

But that's not what this post is about. I'm not here to complain yet again about how Mr. Mullet and the Pimple managed to suck even more money out of something pitiful, I think everyone's pretty comfortable with where I stand on the matter. What I did decide to speak on briefly, was Megan Fox.

Here's someone that was utterly forgettable in the last movie, and fulfilled her role of female interest/damsel-in-distress with reasonable expectation. Not mind-blowing great, but not absolutely dreadful either. However, I am apparently a minority in my gender, as most of the male population of the world has gone positively apeshit over her. Articles of her everywhere, photos on iPhones, and a bunch of lonely men talking about "gettin' wit' her." No matter where you looked, there she was, and for me it had gotten to the point where I was getting pretty annoyed with it.

Surprisingly, my opinion has changed a bit. Over the last couple months, I've stumbled across a few articles of her responding to questions ranging from comparisons to Angelina Jolie to her acting abilities, and in all those interviews she proved her self to be a very capable kind of people.

Recently she made this particular statement, which I consider pretty damn brilliant:

"I mean, I can't shit on this movie because it did give me a career and open all these doors for me. But I don't want to blow smoke up people's ass. People are well aware that this is not a movie about acting."

Holy shit, she gets it! She is intelligent enough to comprehend that a movie entitled "Transformers" would probably be primarily focused on big fucking robots! This tickles me greatly, since the other dipshit who stars in this clearly didn't get the memo.

And apparently, neither did the guy who made this movie.

You know, I would have been totally cool if Michael Bay had just owned up to his creation. Admit to the world that he made a movie that was designed to do nothing more than occupy a couple hours of time in a very entertaining and popcorn-munching fashion. I would have had respected the guy if he had just said "Yeah, I made a goofy movie just to have fun with." But he didn't say that, no he responded with this bullshit.

"Nick Cage wasn't a big actor when I cast him, nor was Ben Affleck before I put him in 'Armageddon.' Shia LaBeouf wasn't a big movie star before he did 'Transformers' -- and then he exploded. Not to mention Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, from 'Bad Boys.' Nobody in the world knew about Megan Fox until I found her and put her in Transformers," I like to think that I've had some luck in building actors' careers with my films."

Sooooo.....apparently what you're saying is, your ability to hire a good casting director is what makes you an awesome director? Because I was under the impression that your job was to create a visually appealing movie that actually makes sense. But hey, maybe you don't have casting people, maybe you do everything by hand, I'll play along.

Let's go through your list. Nick Cage wasn't a big actor when you cast him you say? Do you mean the same Nick Cage who won a fucking academy award a year before starring in your dreck? Is that the same guy? How about that Ben Affleck fellow you mentioned? Didn't he also get an academy award? And coincidentally enough, one year before starring in a movie you made? Because if these are the same guys, you're basically saying you're able to hire guys who were recently received accolades for being talented, and that's not anything to write home about.

My personal favorites on this list are Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Umm.....Michael? These guys had television shows before being in your movies. Which sort of means they were already well known before you involved.

In fact, it seems that everyone was off to a pretty good start before you started hiring them, which compels me to leave this small, miniscule tidbit of knowledge with your Mr. Bay, should you read this:

Ahem.....Michael? Hiring popular actors and putting big explodeys around them DOES NOT MAKE YOU FUCKING BRILLIANT!!!!!! It may be a successful formula for getting people into theaters but it does not "make" anyone's career. In fact, before you Nick Cage was a pretty decent dramatic actor. You had to go and give him the notion that he could cut it as an action star. You should be pretty ashamed of yourself.

As for Megan, she's found a minor fan in me. She's cynical, blunt, and doesn't take herself too seriously. I can dig on that. And, starring as a killer zombie thing in some campy horror film doesn't hurt your appeal. Rock on sister.

July 1, 2009

Michael Jackson R.I.P

I fee like I should say something about Michael Jackson. I'm sure everyone knows about his passing last week, and there is a ton of commentary already out here on the interweb covering everything from bad jokes to discussions on whether or not his children are in fact biologically tied to Mr. MJ. I'm certainly not about to fuel any fires, or try to start a pissing contest between one faction or another. I just wanted to say my little piece about the man.

It may surprise many (and others not so much) that I was quite a big fan of Michael in my formative years. My mom was a big fan, and as such MJ was an artist played often in the Montoya home. In fact, he was probably one of the artists along with Phil Collin who got me on the path to being a musician (Quit your giggling! I had to start somewhere didn't I?) I'm even reasonably unashamed to admit that for a while there, I was looking forward to one day attaining enough fame that I might join the man on stage (granted, this was before the reports of child molestation started to hit the fan, but it was still a goal.) In time, I went my own way and kind of forgot those things, but the man's work has always had a special place in my heart. There are days I still remember sitting with a walkman, listening to Dangerous over and over again until the cassette finally snapped.

And when I heard the sad news, I found myself strangely indifferent.

Don't get me wrong, I feel great sympathy for his children (biological or otherwise) and for his family. Losing a loved one is never easy, and I understand the pain they must be going through. I've wished a lot of evil things to many a celebrity, but never the big end. And I wouldn't want it in this case either. So, I know there are some very sad and hurting people out there for whom Michael was a big part of their lives, and my condolences go out to them.

But, clearly me an Michael Jackson were never tight. And my feelings come from nothing more than being a fan of his work. And that's where I feel it's strange to be so indifferent about it. When Bo Diddley and John Lee Hooker passed on, I was crushed. Even when Dimebag Darrell met his unfortunate end, despite not being a big fan of his music, I was pretty bummed. And I felt this way because I knew there would be no more magic. There wouldn't be one more inspired song or well played lick. It was over, and any creation that one could possibly make would be left with the rest of us.

Not so with Michael. While he did generate a huge catalog of amazing music (and yes it was amazing, even you cynics must agree) those were his glory days. And they were very much behind him. He wasn't revolutionizing anything anymore, and despite the fact that he did put out a decent amount of tunage between now and Dangerous, none of it was amazing. In fact, most of it was utterly forgettable.

And it probably didn't help matters that he was also becoming a talk of great gossip around this time. Child abuse, molestation charges, and more off-the-cuff weirdness than usual. The music was lax, so who and what he was became of much greater interest in the world. And sadly, who and what he was, was pretty strange. I'm not blasting the guy for it, frankly most people who revolutionize the arts tend to be some weird bastards, Michael just happened to be a bit more bizarre than most. More than most of us could stand.

At the time of his death, people talked more about what a bad father he was and how you should keep him away from kids more than any music he created. And while he spoke of comeback tours, it's doubtful any of them would have won us back.

And this, my friends is the sad thing: In order to be remembered as a legendary artist, and truly appreciated for his work, the only thing he could do was die. No new album would've done it, no world tour, his life needed to end for his legacy to be appreciated. I'm not sure what that says about him, but it says something pretty damned dark about us.

So, while I regret the pain his dear friends and family must be feeling at this time, I am at least glad that he is getting his dues as an artist. It's all people can talk about, is what an important singer/songwriter he was, and how much of an impact his work had on us all. People will, as people often do, let all that nasty business about his personal life slide under the rug. And in that way, what has happened was truly for the best.

So, rest in peace Michael Jackson. We never got to tour together, but I appreciate the small contribution you made into making me the fella I am today. May your legend continue to be remembered for artistry and dance, and may everything else fall by the wayside.

That is all.

June 23, 2009

Jon And Kate Divorce

Hey America, did you know that Jon and Kate of "Jon And Kate Plus 8" are getting divorced? Did ya? Huh? Did ya? All I can say about this matter is THANK FUCKING GOD!

Up until last week I didn't know who these people where, and I was happy not knowing. My life was good people. Then all of a sudden, everyone has to go on talking about the dark sinister lives of these reality superstars that I never heard of. "He's a whore, she's a piss-poor mother, they fight all the time, it's all gone to their head....blah blah blah." Never in my life have I had something so inconsequential rammed down my throat. I couldn't turn anywhere to escape it. It was on the radio, in magazines, on every news feed I hit up, commercials were rampant about this whole thing. Commercials! On stations that don't even show the fucking program! Even if I just read the headlines, I was learning too much. I got the entire history of the program from countless headlines and half an article, that's how bad this was.

Who won American Idol wasn't blown up into this scale, and neither was Susan Boyle. Both people who actually have talent! And by talent, I mean something greater than dropping a high quantity of children out of an over-fertilized uterus. If you find this to be a pinnacle of human achievement, then more power to you. Me? I find it amazing at the potency of modern drugs and the ease at which one can get them. And yet, this simple act of basic biology and advanced pharmaceuticals is the talk of town. Apparently even Iran isnt' as important to the masses.

I don't know, did the brunt of this country really idolize this family as America's Sweethearts or something? Was this the family that "spoke to the heart of middle class America?" I'm not being smug, it's an honest question. I never watched the program, and have even less of an interest in doing so now, so I have no idea what even made these people likable to begin with. But with all the shock and awe that has been thrust upon these souls, I can't help but thing that many out there saw them as some cultural ideal. And I guess, if I just look at the black and white of the matter, I can see why. Big family struggling to make ends meet in a tough time, we've all been there. Hell, many of us are still there trying to dig our way out.

And the sad reality is, that by divorcing, they probably are more real than we give them credit for. In a time when the majority of marriages fail, it only makes sense that the darlings of the state follow suit. Celebrity status is harsh, and dangling shiny things in front of people who are struggling is always a sure-fire recipe for collapse. These things have happened to many, and it will continue to happen long after these people stop being a gleaming light in the public's eye.

For me, I'm just glad the whole thing's over and done with. Everyone can quit holding their breaths and get on with shit. Maybe now I can get back on track, having pointless news tidbits that I can easily ignore, shoved in my face.

June 22, 2009

A Different Breed Of Cook.

I had a revelation of sorts today. For one brief second, in my typical meanderings around the interweb, I had the famed moment of clarity. In that moment, browsing from blog to blog, I realized that I would probably never be a line cook.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not abandoning my recent leap into cooking, because I still very much enjoy the work and the fruits of my labor. And I'm certainly going to continue my efforts to get into culinary school here in the next few months, despite what many a pro may think of it. It is something I still crave higher knowledge of, and am fully committed to getting. It's just that while reading the great many blogs written by talented (and equally entertaining) professional cooks from around the country, I realize that I just don't fit into that clique.

Strange as it may seem to you, it's definitely something I wanted to be apart of. Many of the things I have done in my life were to attain some degree of community with the people in that field. I crave "talking shop," with like-minded individuals, and have tried over the years to develop enough of a wealth of knowledge to speak well of the topic. Lately, this craving has included the world of professional kitchens. I've been jumping up and down like an anxious child, trying to gain some acceptance in the realm, but I've never actually been apart of it, so how can I truly fit in? I can't, and the harsh reality is, I probably never will.

At my advanced age, standing the line is certainly not something I'll be able to do long-term. And yeah, I know 30 is still pretty damn young in all aspects of the world. But, when it comes to cooking, hitting that age is pretty much the equivalent of applying to the AARP. That shit takes stamina baby, being on the feet for hours at a time. And while I've done some fairly incredible feats of stamina in my day (at least, I considered them impressive,) there is still that lingering doubt that says I can do it that consistently.

What's worse is that it's hard to get the opportunity to find out. You'd figure that getting to work in a kitchen would be one of the easiest things to do. You may not be able to handle advanced mathmatical computations or sit in a cubicle processing numbers all day, but surely someone will let you flip fries right? Well, apparently not so much. Not when you've spent a good third of your life in other pursuits. And having a degree, several certifications, and years of experience in other fields, doesn't speak well for me.

And I'm not blaming the kitchens of the world, they're operating under sound logic. Why take in someone who's older, burned a lot of calories in other endeavors, and can probably get a job as a bank manager when you can hire some young kid fresh out of high school who's loaded with stamina, and will do exactly what you tell them without question? Especially considering the old guy spent many years of his life trying to be a rock star. That can't bode well for me either. But, assuming that they've never heard of my musical endeavors (which, is pretty darn likely,) the sad reality is that I'm too smart for my own good.

Scratch that........I appear too smart for my own good on paper. Face to face, I'm still the charming idiot you've come to know and love.

In some ways, it's sad, because I truly wanted to be apart of the war stories that collective tend to share. But, on the other hand, it's pretty liberating. I don't have to fear my fuck ups, and my body's weaknesses so much. I can go to culinary school excited to just learn stuff.....which is probably what I should have been doing in the first place.

So, you may be asking, "If you're probably not going to be a line cook, what the hell are you going to cooking school for?" That's easy: because I like it, and because I want to know more. And it's not like having more skill is a bad thing either. Perhaps I'll look more appealing to a restaurant once I got the degree. And perhaps, I'll actually find myself being a line cook a few years down the road, and enjoying the hell out of it. But if it doesn't happen, no big deal. There's tons of other stuff I can do.

Like, maybe write a food blog?

June 12, 2009

Sarah Palin Vs. David Letterman (Egads!)

Anyone hear any good jokes about Sarah Palin recently?

If you haven't heard this by now, and frankly it'd be near impossible not to, Mr funny-pants David Letterman made a few relatively minor jokes earlier this week which implied that Sarah Palin's daughter (who's names I really haven't found worthwhile to research,) was impregnated during a few social events with family. The crux of the material was based on Palin's 18-year old daughter whom is pregnant and unwed. However the events discussed in those jokes had Palin's 14 year old daughter present. A seemingly small matter one would think, and I'm guessing one that should be minor, since most of the population could figure out exactly who Letterman was referring to.

Well, not everyone apparently. It appears that Sarah Palin couldn't. And as a result, we're all forced to ride a media shitstorm.

Ye gods, this whole situation is so comically bad, that it should only be coming from the mouth of some pampered celebrity, not someone who's supposed to be a functional member of the United States government. Palin has taken a relatively minor joke (and I know he has gone far lower than that in his distinguished career for a chuckle,) and suddenly made it an attack on family values. She's even gone so far as to accuse Letterman of things like "rape," and "contribution to the abuse of young women," and "erodes a young girl's self esteem." To sum up, she basically called him a dirty perverted old man. How dare he say such horrible things about a 14 year old girl and so forth?

I'm not sure about you world, but I'm inclined to believe Letterman. Material like that is right up his alley, and I don't think he spends huge amounts of time researching every little detail of a situation just to make sure he's got his facts straight for what equals eight seconds of joke. Best I can tell, the guy's got more than enough workload on his plate to consider the logistics of what daughter went where.

Was it in poor taste? Probably so but hey, the man admits it. What more do you want?

And that's the thing, Sarah Palin doesn't seem to want anything. She seems pretty content just sitting around screaming "atrocity!" Public apologies (though admittedly, and hilariously tongue in cheek) didn't work, invites to be a guest didn't work. I'm not even sure burning at the stake would work in this case.

So Governor Sarah Palin, if you are reading this, (natch!) let us go over a few things. Firstly, you are not so important that someone like Letterman is going to invest huge heaps of time tracking down every movement of your family. Sorry, but you're not. You are a crutch, a topic that still has some comical value and can be used at any time to fill up space. That is your current role in the grand scheme of things.

Secondly, don't you have a state to run or something? Maybe it's because my governor has a fancy new post, but I've never heard him make time to bitch about shit like this. Frankly, I've never heard any governor bitch about shit like this. And the reason why, I'm guessing, is that they're pretty busy people. So, Letterman's busy, governors in other states are busy, what the hell are you doing?

Thirdly, if we break down the linguistics of Letterman's joke, we shall see that never once implied your daughter (either of them) was raped. What he did imply, was that your daughter is a slut. And it's an implication that everyone in the world pretty much agrees with. These men mentioned in the jokes were not suggested to have taken advantage of your daughter so much as having your daughter thrust upon them in the throws of passion. See the difference?

And finally, considering how you managed to be a guest on all sorts of comedy programming and poke fun at yourselves when you running for vice president of this country, it looks really childish that you'd whine about being the butt of a joke now that you're a loser. Seriously, you stood there with Tina Fey and bobbled your head around like you were one of the team. You sure seemed prone to laugh it off when you thought you might get promoted. But now that you find yourself still being a governor, you can't handle the heat? Sorry lady, that doesn't fly with me. If you wanted to run a serious campaign and be taken seriously, then great. But you didn't, you took the lighthearted approach and went pop culture. That shit comes with consequences.

So Mr. Letterman, if you're reading this, I'd like to offer a suggestion: Make no more jokes about Sarah Palin. Not because this controversy is important, and not because the topic material isn't rife with parody, but because she's basically a big baby. And while babies tend to make easy targets, the fact that you're picking on them always feels kind of cheap. And I know you're better than that.


Unbeknownst to me, Sarah Palin had also referred to Letterman's jokes as being about "about the statutory rape of my 14 year-old daughter." As I learned many years ago, in high school no less, there is no legal term called statutory rape in the articles of law. You'd kind of figure someone who holds a high office like Governor would know that.

June 9, 2009

Newt Gingrich Claims Obama Already Failed

One of the many reasons I try very hard to avoid politics on this blog is that, put simply, politicians are dumb. The whole lot can be a bunch of hypocritical swine, spending more effort into saving face than doing the jobs we've hired them to do. And they have no qualms about stabbing a fellow politician in the back, claiming it's in my best interests, despite the fact that I've never once asked them to do it. I don't like people speaking on behalf of me, and really hate it when they say things I completely disagree with.

Of recent note is Mr. Newt Gingrich. At a recent Republican party fundraiser, the man fired off his mouth about the people currently in charge. And all of it as illogical and biased as we've come to expect from this man. The big quotable statement of the evening from New is that Obama's "already failed." That the ball has been dropped and the next three or so years are pretty much pointless since we're all screwed anyways.

This makes no damn sense to me, love him or hate him, the guy's only been in office since January. Exactly how much did you expect would get done in six months? Hell, it took your boy Bush two years before he claimed "Mission Accomplished," and even then nobody got to come home. Is Mr. Gingrich saying he can see into the future? And if so, why the hell didn't he warn anybody about the pickle this country finds ourselves in?

Other notable quotes include "Bureaucrats managing companies does not work, politicians dominating the economy does not work."

Okay, fair enough. I'm not sure I can argue with that. But I am curious Newt, exactly how is this different from when your boy was in office? Seems to me that bailout money had already been tossed to some pretty undeserving banks, and to a bunch of automakers who still couldn't get their act together to properly utilize those funds. That's my money tubbo, And watching a bunch of elitist capitalists take it and figure they get to keep their fancy suits and private jets is quite a sore spot for me.

As for politicians dominating the economy, exactly how many of your friend's companies were over in Iraq, spending huge amounts of our money? I don't have specific figures here, but I do remember hearing that it was quite a bit. Wouldn't that technically be politicians dominating the economy?

And if you're in doubt Mr. Gingrich, let me just ask you this........what economy? Your boy pretty much bankrupted everything, so really there is no true economy to speak of. So, what you're basically telling me is that people the people in your little clubhouse handed a broken-down pinto to the new administration, and are now pissing and moaning because it doesn't yet drive like a Ferrari. And frankly, that's not really anything worth giving you money for.

Like I said, I try very hard to avoid the political scene for source material, but when the lardy tend to sound this stupid, I just can't help myself. Forgive the break from the norm.

Don't Piss Off A Musician

Recently, I rediscovered one of my favorite bands Type O Negative. After a long estrangement from their wonderfully morose stylings, the gods at YouTube saw fit to reacquaint me with a group that so exemplified my childhood.

I must admit, it's been a pretty happy reunion. I had forgotten just how epic that band can be. Those guys sure know how to use the same damn chord progressions over and over again, and continually make it sound fantastic. And, the older fella in me found some new appreciation in lead singer Pete Steele, who barely managed to hit his musical stride in his early 30's. And here the guy is, approaching 50, and still working a great deal of magic. Who can't dig on that?

While getting reacquainted with the catalog, I happened to be listening to one of their newer songs entitled September Sun, when out of a fit of boredom, I decided to do a bit of research on the song via my friendly interweb. You see, being a new song and one I really hadn't listened to until recently, I didn't know the lyrics by heart. This is rare people, since I usually tend to listen to a song so many times, that if I wasn't allowed to hear it until several years later, I could probably remember every single word within the song. So, in an effort to "catch up" and to answer a few things about what the song is about (since it's a little vague,) I hit up Google.

One of the things that caught my eye was that there is a point in the song where my buddy Pete yells out the name of an ex-girlfriend. Even more interesting was that this was the same girlfriend he was complaining about when I was still in high school. And anyone who knows the work of Type O knows that nobody on this green earth knows how to poetically bitch about a woman whom has caused scorn quite like Pete Steele. So here it is, some eleven or twelve years later and the guy is still tearing into her, and doing it brilliantly.

As someone who's own body of work has spoken harshly about my ill encounters with women, I find this absolutely fascinating. Being tortured sells, and nothing tortures more than bad blood with the women-folk. Sorry gals, I love each and every one of you, but your gender does a hell of a lot of damage on our fragile male psyches (and yes, I know most of the time it's our fault.) And, we tend to immortalize it....and by proxy you, in one of our angst ridden tales.

So be warned people of the world, especially those of you who deal with musical types, that if you cross us in any way, we will retaliate in the most melodic ways possible. And 10-20 years later, you'll probably still be in the cross hairs when we need another single.

Hug a musician. Only you can prevent having your name shouted angrily in songs.

June 1, 2009

It Was Supposed To Be Dinner

It was just supposed to be dinner. Nothing magical, or life changing. I wasn't curing cancer or liberating a condemned people. It was dinner........proteins, starch, and a veggie.

I had a London Broil in the broiler (natch,) some potatoes boiling in a pot, and carrots steaming in another pan. In exactly two minutes, I would need to flip the Broil, dump the potatoes into a colander, and pull the carrots of the heat, all at the same time. I don't have much space to be dumping pans all over the place, and most of my work station's being used up for my mashed potato manufacturing line. Add to that the fact that my kitchen's been running handicapped with only two functional burners, and the end result was I would have to move damn quick to avoid overcooking anything.

But not just yet. I stared intensely at the digital clock on the microwave, waiting for everything to come together. Essentially, I was in the eye of the storm, just waiting for things to get crazy. Most folks would probably have done something with their two minutes. Maybe looked at what was on TV, or flipped through the paper. But not me, I never let my eyes leave that clock. I stood there with my arms crossed, waiting for the numbers to flip. In the back of my head, I was processing everything. Did I have everything I need to do this? Was my cream, Parmesan, and seasoning on hand in an easy to reach location? Was there a colander placed in the sink for easy draining? What would I need to do first? I stood there and processed this information, making sure I had accounted for everything. That I was truly ready.

The digital clock flipped, and now I had one minute left. There was no doubt I was about to pounce into the thick of it. And for some reason, I felt......jittery. I was actually nervous, nervous about dropping the ball, about screwing up my meal. It was just supposed to be dinner after all, and yet I couldn't shake that unmistakable sense of worry.

But it wasn't just worry. No, it was also excitement. A rush of adrenaline, giddiness I dare say. I was thrilled to go screaming into this crazy situation I had made for myself. In a few moments, I would be tested. I would have to prove to myself and anyone I fed that I could handle all these elements at once, that I could process this scenario effectively, and respond with great speed. That one guy with a bunch of malfunctioning appliances could deliver something great.

The clock flipped again, it was time.

I had outlined my priorities, and hit everything that I knew needed to be done. I moved as gracefully as I could muster without wasting time. I wish I could tell you step by step how everything was handled, how I moved and what got done when. But to tell you the truth, I just don't remember. My mind went blank for those few moments in time, I didn't think about much, just tried to stay on task. The only thing I remember clearly, was the humming. Ye gods, I was humming the whole time.

The one thing I remember was the end result. Two plates, clean and well laid out with food that was still plenty warm. I still had plenty of adrenaline in my bones and was darting, looking for things to do. I needed to do more, but alas, I had done it all.

And the meal turned out pretty fantastic. Everything turned out just the way I had hoped. Cooked to the right temperature, and seasoned perfectly. Of course, maybe it wasn't perfect, maybe it just looked perfect because of the work I put in to get it right. Maybe I was a bit too biased, and not willing to see the imperfections. Who knows? All I can say was, it tasted great to me.

I suppose sometimes, some things just go beyond "dinner."