Humor from on High

Friday, March 31, 2006

Reorganization, Biyatches

Heya kids! As you have no doubt (not) noticed, I have just recently reorganized the sidebar a skosh, since my semi-OCD alarm bells were ritually going off everytime I scrolled down the page. They are now organzied, as Rob Gordon would say..."autobiographically". I have never quite understood what that means, but I suspect it is something to the effect of "whatever the hell you want it to mean". More accurately, it probably refers to those items' relative importance and order in your mind, for whatever reason. They are arranged now in a way that has quieted the demons in my head, those same demons that caused my H&R-Block-working, eyebrow-pierced, NASCAR-jacket-wearing, chain-smoking (assumption) tax advisor to coo soothingly about the relative tidiness of my 2005 tax documents the other night. She didn't know that they were arranged in their vanilla folders with headings that made sense only to me. Doesn't everyone file pornography receipts under "Fuel"? Incidentally, I highly advise being an independent contractor or running your own business from home. Can you say "entertainment expenses"!?

A few new additions have been made to the blogroll and to the links section, including Eternal Freshman (a hilarious 80's obsessed, chain dating, super woman with the mouth of a dirty sailor -- take notice Frankie and Diablo, you have competition), Bad News Hughes (I can't even explain this one past "random" and "hilarious"-- go check it out yourself and definitely hit the archives), the famous Dooce (an ex-Mormon mom who was fired for blogging about work and coined the term "dooced" meaning "fired for blogging about work" -- what are the odds?), and something a little of the beaten (humor) path, Freedarko (an existential NBA love covenant with an emphasis on style, hip-hop/jazz, and the Slovenian Farm League). A little something for everybody.

In addition, I've recently decided to take my vanity up a notch, and make this blog a bit more personal. I do reserve the right, of course, to post non-sensical random tripe, celebrity worship, and links bonanzas still from time to time. Feel free to wipe the sweat from your brow at this point. In addition to the content of posts, this change may or may not also include such random items in the sidebar as the Top 5 Celebrities Boom-Boom List. That's the one where you make a deal with your significant other that if you ever randomly run into any of those A-listers you are allowed to make with the fist-fist-wink-wink, and absolutely consequence free. Right. The caveat is that the list cannot change once said agreement has been made. Seeing as how I'm currently unattached, I will feel free to make changes as the situation dictates. And by "situation", I mean hormonal surges.

So enjoy, and hopefully the 23 post ideas I have percolating will coalesce in the form of legible words in a cogent string soon.

Until then.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Shut up, shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!

Pooh mentioned this blog the other day, but I thought I would call attention to it too, since it provides a very valuable service. It's the Up Yours Billy Packer Blog. That's quality marketing.

And since I'm doing recommendations, here's a musical one. Lucinda Williams (sample below). Been listening to her a lot lately, and she is delightful. Very twangy. Very soothing. Very country. Ish. Check it out for yourself...

"Fruits of My Labor", by Lucinda Williams -- off of World Without Tears, which is a fantastic, fantastic album

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

In the Beginning...

A gem from McSweeney's (www.mcsweeneys.net)..

Let There Be Lite.

- - - -

In the beginning was the void. Then She came along.

And naturally She could not be expected to abide even one day in such an infinite vacancy, devoid of form, dimension, or décor elements.

So She cast out the Dark.

(By dividing the Dark from the Light. With curtains.)

And so there was Light, and the Light was good.

And then She added Color, and the Colors were good, too: Soft Apricot, Amber Wave, Electric Lime, Mellow Coral with Relaxed Mint accents ...

The ground She made green. And the firmament She touched up with hues neutral but complementary. And the air She scented with the perfume of flowers.

But first, of course, She disinfected.

And it was all good. Even if some couldn't see what was wrong with the old carpet.

And at the end of the first day, She looked upon all She had created and saw that it was good. But then She said, "Actually, I think that would go better over there ..."

For the rest of this brilliance, click here.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

March Madness, Friday Badness, and Sunday Evening Sadness

Well the weekend that was is slowly winding down here Sunday evening, and the last three games of Round 2 are just reaching the halfway point. And I am filled with a tremendous sadness. It's going to be a full year before I get to experience the marathon joy-orgy that is the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament again. Sure there are four more days of basketball next weekend, and two more the weekend after, but there is just no substitute for the experience of the first 96 hours of The Tourney. Unfortunately, I didn't get the the chamber pot or the IV McDonald's drip set up this year, so I was forced to leave the comfort of my basement, 51" HDTV, and dueling laptops featuring March Madness On Demand at least twice during that time.

the set-up

The morning started with the world famous Yosemite Sandwich, first created in our very own kitchen (Yosemite is the name of the street we live on) in response to the treacherous lack of fried meat products, eggs, butter, and garlic we had recently experienced at that time. It was a veritable Atkins Famine around our house, actually. The first version featured bacon, fried prosciutto, onion rings, sauted mushrooms and onions, fried egg, and melted american cheese ("mmmm...64 slices of american cheese...mmmm...63 slices of american cheese") interred between two slices of garlic buttered Texas Toast. First Friday's version was slightly more amiable, starring chorizo, onion and pepper, and egg, topped with machego cheese, and delicately draped across slices of garlic clove flushed french bread. It was atherosclor-iscious.

chef hops cooking

ummm, hello?...can you say yum?

13,450 calories = priceless

As I mentioned before, the main goal of the day is to attain a state of Buddist-like oneness with one's uninhibited self. And what better way to achieve that than by drinking a beer every 30ish minutes for as long as possible? I'll tell you how -- with a special Sam Adams sherry-like brew concotion called Utopia -- 25% alcohol by volume.

evil, thy name is Utopia

It was delicious. Nutritous too. So, if you haven't been keeping track, the recipe for Disaster (Food & Wine magazine, April issue, 2006) is 24 12oz beers, several shots of Utopia, a million calorie sandwich, 16 hours of sitting on a couch, a White Castle Crave case, and a dash of bowling for good measure. All in all, I deemed it all a roaring success, and I have done a LOT of deeming in my day.

So anyway, we kept stats for the day, and here are the final numbers:
Number of Guiness consumed by me on Friday in honor of the kismetic coincidence of St. Pat's and Case Day occuring together: 24
Hours it took me to complete said idiocy: 13
Placement of finish: 1 (not that there's anything wrong with that)
Other finishers of the Case Race: 2
Other attemptors of the Case Race: Countless millions, but maybe 5 serious ones that were in our basement
Number of times that Big Bucking Chicken commercial is funny: All of them
Number of innane Billy Packer comments: Infinity plus two
Size of my hangover headache on an arbitrary headache scale that I've just created called The Headache Scale where 1 is normal and 10 is Dick Cheney please shoot me in the gut with a shotgun so I can feel something yes anything but this right now: 1, bitches -- that's right, I didn't even learn my lesson the hard way

But the moment of the day had to be Chicks trying to tell a joke that he's told a million times. Quite unsucessfully, I might add. He had a bit to drink. First of all, here's the joke as it's supposed to be told, although usually by Chicks and not by me:

I'm working on embedding this shizz, so click here in the meantime per favore.

But what happens when you try to tell this joke after 20-odd beers? This, my friends, is your brain on beer:

Chicks, ladies and gentlemen.

I can't wait for next year.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

No, not NFL free agency silly.

In three minutes the best 96 hour period of the year begins...the MADNESS begins. Typically, I attempt to be "working" somewhere with convenient T.V. access every first Thursday of the NCAA tournament. This is generally my own bed or couch, with an article from the scientific literature carefully draped over my legs, so that I can quickly scan the same opening sentence from the abstract during each commercial break and soothe my conscious. By the end of the day, I have a VERY firm understanding of what that sentence means. It's usually something about pick and roll defense or beer, as I recall.

And on the first Friday of March Madness, several of my friends and I have a long-standing tradition of contracting the same strain of flu and missing an entire day of work. It's amazing really. The CDC should really look into it.

Well, since my current job permits me to work at home a good deal of the time, and with the feats (and feets) of snow outside today, and my car's stubborn refusal to work normally, I have been forced against my will to sit at home and watch 8 hours of the greatest sports spectacle there is. You can send sympathy e-cards to the email address to the right.

But the purpose of this post is not to gloat. That's just an unexpected benefit. The real purpose is to inform you of what is to come. Several years ago, someone (I suspect this person was wearing horns, a bifurcated tail, and held a pitchfork -- no, not Pooh dressed up for work (he's a lawyer)) decided it would be a fabulous idea to try and drink a case of beer EACH on the First Friday. It has hence become known as Case Day, which I find less appealing as an event name, because of the lack of alliteration for which I have a disturbing preference for.

This would be the part of the post where I would typically regale you with stories of past Case Days, but sadly, they are fuzzy navel and purple haze-y. Maybe Hops, Chicks, or Pooh can share a few with us. I have a vague recollection of them being oh so slightly less shit-canned those days. However, I WILL relate one basketball-related tale that is somewhat UNrelated here, after I tell you that this year I will be attempting to record First Friday for posterity with my trusty notepad and Fujifilm Finepix 7000. I expect hilarity to ensue.

Unrelated basketball tale
A friend of mine (CL) sent out this email the other day to a bunch of us that went to college together, played basketball together, and engaged in impassioned yet borderline-non-sensical arguments for the sake of arguing together....

"speaking of nostalgia, have you guys seen the new gatorade commercial where
they show the [micheal] jordan over [craig] ehlo but jordan misses the shot? it reminded me of the argument about which was a harder shot, jordan over ehlo or some random
reggie miller 3 that I can't even remember anymore, and then we went down to
west gym and [EF] tried the jordan shot while i tried to block it and [Pooh]
tried the miller shot. and then at the end when it was "proven" that
jordan's shot was easier, [JM] refused to believe it and said "all we proved
here is that [EF] is better than [Pooh]". that still cracks me up. and the
jordan shot was harder, for the record. or at least better."

The Reggie Miller shot, for the record, is the three he hit against the Chicago Bulls in 1998 in Game 4, where he pushes off of Michael Jordan, is moving away from the basket towards the baseline, catches the inbounds pass and drains a three for the win (video here). The Jordan one is the one you've probably seen a million times -- click here for a million plus one). First of all, how reasonable people can argue about which of two shots is "harder" is suspect enough, but the fact that these same "reasonable" people decided to "prove" which one is tougher by actually going to a gym and reenacting them is downright comical. I wish we had video of THAT.

Pray for me.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Too Good Not to Share

Prank of the year.

Carmelized Minions

I don't know if it will help the Birthday Girl out, but I offer up our cat Oscar's minion services. Here we have Oscar, who is attempting to hunt his own shadow:

Unfortunately, he failed this time, but I still have faith in him. Well actually no I don't. Keep in mind that this is a cat who very closely resembles a hook 'n ladder truck with no one driving the back end. His butt is somehow not connected to his central nervous system, and therefore flails about from side to side, often crashing into chair legs, cabinets, people legs, and occassionally nothing at all. We've often been acused of beating him but I assure you we don't do any more than our parents did to us.

He is happiest while chasing laser dots or in front of heating vents, which I assume is like huffing gas or glue for cats. Oscar is not the best hunter in the world, although probably not the worst either. I saw a few very slow moving, slightly flattened cats on the road one time, and they didn't look like they could catch much. I did witness Oscar sucessfully stalking a dead leaf one time, but it was only because he was running awkwardly and fell over on it. If he does ever catch a living creature, it will be purely due to collision.

The best Oscar story though (besides when Hillary Swank totally dissed that Lowe dude), happened a couple years ago when he was probably two years old. We lived near the large university here, and Oscar went missing for several weeks when it was really cold out...Minnesota cold, we're talking about here...not pansy Iowa or Missouri cold. Anywho, we thought he had been scooped up by a neighbor with a nice meat cellar, or tried to lick a car radio antenna and got stuck, and we would never see him again. Fortunately, he is bionic. And by that, I mean he has one of those microchip doohickies in his neck. Someone had turned him in at the animal humane society 20 MILES AWAY (!). We still aren't sure how he got there, although we suspect he constructed some kind of cat-sized raft and went down the Mississippi Huck Finn style. But we got him back. The only damage done was that the woman who had found him in her garage (20 MILES AWAY !) intended to keep him before realizing her husband was allergic to cats, and had him spade or neutered (the man one -- thanks Bob Barker!), and his front claws removed (pet-icure). I guess you could say he learned his lesson....running away = you lose important parts of your body.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Say You, Say Meme

Freaking Sebby. Myself, Frankie, and Pooh have been tagged.

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18 and find line 4.
“…with her hoo-hah and I yelled 'It's time to play hide the produce!'” My roommate's diary, by Chicks

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can, what do you find?
That I need to remember to buy tickets to the gun show.

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
There's a candle up there.

4. Without looking, guess what time it is.
What? Do I look like I work at the county fair?

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?
11:19pm. Holy crap, it's past my bed time!

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
Um...the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain? (if you get that one sans Google, I'll be impressed)

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
(Editor's Note: Special Guest Answerer for this question is iGod.)
"It was at time index 357241. I was minding my own business."

8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at?
(Editor's Note: Special Guest Answerer: a random guy who wandered in off the street. I think he was high.)
The computer screen? Is this a trick question? It feels like a trick question. What was that sound? Sirens? Sounded like sirens. Have you ever noticed that sirens are beautiful? What if you had a CHORUS of sirens...all going off together? That would be SO beautiful. That is such a good idea! I HAVE to remember that later. That is like the BEST idea ever. Like Salsa Verde Doritos. That was a good idea too. Hmmm...wonder if there are any in the cupboard...

9. What are you wearing?
A G-string over tidy whities over boxers. It's Minnesota and it's cold and you've GOT to layer your clothing people. I can't stress that enough.

10. Did you dream last night?
Always. At least, that's what the people in my head tell me.

11. When did you last laugh?
At John Stewart's line last night while hosting the Oscar's:

Editor's Note: quotation is approximate.
"For those of you keeping score at home....it is now Martin Scorsese...zero...Three 6 Mafia...one."

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Paint. I think it's called Frankly Scarlet.

13. Seen anything weird lately?
No, not really. Just a river of blood out in the hallway and my son keeps saying "Red Rum. Red Rum." for some reason. That was kind of weird. But I think it's just a phase.

14. What do you think of this quiz?
I try not to.

15. What is the last film you saw?
Jurassic Pork starring Buck Naked. I thought it was an expose on the meat industry. I was wrong.

16. If you turned into a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
More lottery tickets. It's called "investing" stupid.

17. Tell me something about you that I don’t know.
I'm not much of a talker, but I love to listen. I also like to design and build furniture and then to have a discussion about where it could be placed in a room.

18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt and politics, what would you do?
Mandatory nudity. I get to choose who. And when. I guess I'm saying that I get to be Emperor of the World.

19. Do you like to Dance?
Have you ever seen a 6'2" guy dance?

20. George Bush.
If you don't watch your mouth missy, I 'm going to pull this car over.

21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
Not dating til you're 19.

22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what would you call him?
P. So if he's ever in an NCAA basketball office pool, the other people in the office can say they have P in their pool.

23. Would you ever consider living abroad?

24. What would you want God to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
"Wow, you're really tall! Do you play basketball?"

25. 4 people who must also do this theme in their journal.
I think, like Frankie, I'm going to have to do some buck-stopping here. And NOT the kind of buck-stopping they do in Northern Wisconsin...the shotgun or pickup truck kind.

Friday, March 03, 2006

First Annual Tall Quiz!!

Props to Sebby on this one. It's his baby and he should recieve all the glory. And all the ridicule.

He's used to that.

Welcome to The Tall Quiz, or How to Tell if You Are Really a Tall Person. Please take a couple of minutes and think about your answers to the following questions, and then tally your score to find out how tall you really are.

The Quiz

  1. Who hits their head more on low-hanging objects, someone who is over 6'4" or someone who is under?

  1. The tall person
  2. The short person

  1. If you are exactly 6'10 3/8", how tall do you say that you are when asked?

  1. Six foot, ten and three eighths inches.
  2. 6'2"
  3. Bigger than a breadbox
  4. About 7-ish
  5. It depends on what gas station I am entering or exiting at the time

  1. After you tell someone how tall you are, the next question they ask is if you have ever played basketball. Your answer is:

  1. What is this "basketball" that you speak of?
  2. Yes (and then give them a detailed history)
  3. No, it got in the way of my career as a jockey
  4. I wanted a bigger challenge, so I took up miniature golfing instead

  1. Who is taller, Mugsy Bogues (5'3") or Spud Webb (5'7")?

  1. Spudd Webb, obviously
  2. Mugsy Bogues plays so much taller despite his smaller stature
  3. Who? or who?
  4. Does it matter? They are both chihuahuas

  1. When someone on the street that you have never seen before comes up to you and says: "Hey, you're really tall", your response is:

  1. And you're really smart
  2. What!? Holy shit, that must have just happened overnight!
  3. Well thank you. You're quite...medium-sized, I would say. Extra-medium even
  4. Ah shucks. Hey, if you ever want the first word on the weather, come talk to me

Ok, now that you have had time to think about your answers and write them down, it's time for the answers. After this, you will be able to tell everyone you know what your personal Tall Quotient is...

Question 1: despite the obvious theory that tall people will invariably find more things that are head height to them, and that they could possibly run into, the answer is the shorter person. Tall people learn very quickly that they are tall, and thus they are inevitably bound to find things to run their heads into. Let me rephrase that, tall people learn very quickly, or suffer from multiple concussions and are required to wear padded helmets everywhere they go. Tall people always have their "headar" on (thats 'head radar' for all the pormanteauly challenged people out there), because they don't like hitting their head on the multitude of low-hanging objects (on a totally different subject, has anyone else noticed that most cities trim the trees along sidewalks to a constant height of 6'2"? So, if you are taller, you're on your own). Shorter people don't learn this at the early age necessary for it to become second nature, and are thus more likely to smack into things that hang down that low. If you chose answer A, you get 0 points. If you picked answer B, give yourself 2 points.

Question 2: I'll let you in on a secret, this was a bit of a trick question. The only wrong answer is option A. A tall person never tells someone to the exact 1/8th of an inch how tall they are. More than likely, they don't even know. After you reach six feet tall when you are still in middle school, you start to think of height in relative terms. Like bigger than a breadbox (it's true, you are). Only when you are short do you strain for every little piece of the pie that you can reach, and the shorter you are the less pie you get. So if you answered A, give yourself -2. If you answered B, give yourself 5 points. If you picked E, give yourself 3 points because I like Ron White. If you chose C or D, you get 2 points.

Question 3: Sorry, but another trick question. Everyone who has ever been considered tall at some point in their life has heard this question: "So, have you ever played ball?" Or, if the person is old and trying to be hip: "Hey there sonny boy, do you ever hoop it up?" Honestly, this is the most ridiculous question to ask someone. Tall people don't walk up to women who are more than normally endowed (ie, big breasted) and ask "How's life at the strip club?" or "Man, I bet you get a lot of milk out of those puppies!" even though we may really want to ask those very questions. Just because someone is tall doesn't necessarily mean that they are in any way physically competent enough to play basketball. So, if you answered B, sorry but you
get another -2 points. If you answered A, give yourself 1 point for sidestepping the question, but a lack of creativity. If you answered C you get 3 points, and if you chose D you get 4 points (any time you can add "miniature" into a conversation about tall people, you get bonus points).

Question 4: Lo and behold! Yet another trick question. These are mostly tricks because it is easy to lie on the internet and say you are tall. This quiz could have consisted of one question (How tall are you?), but it's too easy to lie to boost your fragile height-based ego when you are short. Anywho, if you are female and chose answer C, give yourself 1 bonus point for having a good sense of humor. If you are a guy and chose answer C, you get another -2 points. Even short guys should know and revere these two guys for having beat the NBA system, and having pretty good careers despite the obvious fact. If you picked A, you get 1 point. Because technically it is true, 5'7" is taller than 5'3". If you picked B or D, you get 2 points (I hope you are keeping track).

Question 5: The trickiest of the tricky questions, because it requires that you have read 6'2" before now, specifically the beginnings of 6'2". Basically, since all tall people run into this situation multiple times that they are out in public, they get tired of it. Honestly, it is a statement, so there is no response required. But obviously the person that walks up to you wants to start a conversation, otherwise they wouldn't have said anything at all. So the taller the person, the more creative the responses are to this invasiveness (again, tall people don't walk up to fat people and yell out things like "350! No wait, 375!" It's just rude). If you answered B or D, give yourself 1 point for coming up with something (although not that creative. The "how's the weather up there" is just about as old and tired as the "ever played ball" question). If you picked A, you get 2 points for the sheer pluck of it. And if you answered C, you get 4 points for not only the most creative (extra-medium is genius), but the bonus points of being a 6'2" faithful.
Ok, tally up your score, and here are the results.

  • 0 or below to 5: you are obviously well under 6 feet tall. More than likely, you are so short that you would have looked up to Napoleon.

  • 6 to 10: your Tall Quotient is 6'1" to 6'5". You're tall, but not that tall.

  • 11 to 15: now we are getting somewhere. Your TQ is 6'6" to 6'10" (Hey, did you ever play any college ball?).

  • 16 to 17: your TQ is 6'11" and above (because the sky is the limit tall guy). Or, you have the option of saying that you are 6'2" and proud of it.
Hopefully this answered some questions about how tall you really are.

Editor's Note: I have a new one for when someone comes up to you and says, "Wow, you're really tall." My response (in perfect English with heavy midwest acdcent): "What? Oh! You mean 'alto'. Sorry, I only speak Spanish."

Editor's Note #2: This past weekend at a local Golf Show (you haven't lived until you've jacked a bucket full of range balls into the upper deck of a domed stadium) I had the following conversation with, yes, that's right....a certain Ms. Minnesota (didn't catch her first name).
Her: "Wow, you're really tall."
Me (thinking): ("Crap. She's hot. AND Ms. Minnesota. Should I try any of my usual smart ass lines? Will she even get them? She's hot.")
Me: "Thank you very much! I'll take that as a compliment."
Me: "You're very medium."
(long pause)
Her (with confused look): "Hunh?"
Her (same confused look, or worse): "What do you mean?"

You win some, you lose some.