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The last show of the Bill Janovitz and Crown Victoria
residency at the Lizard Lounge was fan-freakin-tastic. Our boy Tommy Polce slapped those skins like only that glorious bastard can do. It was a loose night of half-learned classic rock covers - just an excellent time.
Of course, the highlight of the evening was the always-enthralling game of "Drunk Guy Argues with Sober Guy." Playing the role of the Sober Guy(s)? Introducing Nate and Mike! (applause) And the Drunk Guy? Well, that would be me. (awkward silence)
The subject of last night's druken debate: whether or not I should jump up on stage and sing harmonies with Bill and the band. Ooh - this one is lining up to be a doozy.
First, Nate and Mike present their well-reasoned "anti-singing" points:
- You just met Bill, so it's not like you're old buddies or he really has any idea who you are.
- It's bad manners to jump up on stage with another band.
- You're drunk. You have no problem making an ass of yourself when you're sober
. Tonight, you might end up accidentally maiming someone.
Okay, so they made a strong case based on unfeeling, watertight logic. But before you decide who won the debate, let me present you with a few bullet points from my strong counterargument:
- Shut up, Nate and Mike. You're not the boss(es) of me.
- I'm Brendan from Scamper. I do what I want.
- Fuck you, Nate and Mike.
As you can see, it was a close call. But eventually, we erred on the side of caution and I elected to sit on my stage jones. I did, however, draw attention to myself by throwing a few choice heckles our producer's way: "Tom Polce is overrated!" and "You suck, you sack of shit!" were a few fan favorites.
That's right, I'm 30 years old, folks. Got to love maturity. Wave goodbye to birthday month today.
Well, it looks like Keith Daddy is taking the whole new "stress-free Scamper" thing a little too literally. Last night, the other three local rock heroes waited patiently in the basement for our brave leader to arrive for another round of Scamphearsal. Twenty minutes passed. Then forty. Then an hour. Finally, Diggity picked up the phone:
Diggity: Hi, where are you?
Daddy: I'm at dinner with my wife. Where are you?
Diggity: We thought we'd have a little band rehearsal.
Daddy: Tonight? Who decided on tonight?
Diggity: That would be you.
The good news is that while Keith rushed over to squeeze in the last 45 minutes of rehearsal time, the three remaining Scamps formed what must be considered the worst three-man cover band of all time. We triple-handedly mutilated the entire canon of popular rock music. The 70's, 80's, 90's and today - there was not a genre or style that we didn't absolutely murder. For reals, if there were any thought of us being actual "musicians," those delusions were soundly dashed within the first few bars of "You Might Think I'm Crazy" by the Cars. You might think we're terrible. And you'd be correct.
Speaking of terrible, I know it's tempting to respond to this little AIDS gnat that has been swarming around these days, but try to resist that urge. We're doing our best to delete his comments, so don't even bother. We did a little research and now know the identity of this self-professed "outlaw." Trust me - he's really not worth getting worked up over. Life has dealt him a seriously fucked-up hand (obviously) and he gets some sort of solace by lashing out at people on message boards. Pity is really the only appropriate response.
Of course, AIDS - I can't say that I'll have such a mature reaction the next time I "see ya at the rock bars!"
You seem concerned. You can try to hide it, but I know you well enough that I can tell. You have that look of consternation etched across your brow. You don't want to say anything, but it's okay to admit it - you're among friends here. You are silently wondering to yourself, "Why is the next Scamper show so far away?"
Chaos is breaking out across the rock and roll globe. The uncertainty of Scamper's future is causing normally rational folks to jump out of airplanes and beat the shit out of their cats. Hell, even David Ortiz is getting hospitalized
for heart palpatations because of his concern for your local rock heroes.
Calm down, Big Papi. And everybody else just cooooooool out. Here's what's going on - after a crazy busy July followed by an August vacation from the rock and occasional roll, we're spending September and October (ta da!) recording new material. Since we're piecing together recording time with several different studios (thanks to the generous sponsors of the WBCN Rumble), scheduling is a bit of a juggle-fest doodle dandy. Add that to our already crazy (sometimes) adult lives and taking any of the offered September and October gigs would probably be a bit much. That's not saying we won't jump on a gig if the timing is right, but for now we're happily working on making the new recordings as kick-ass as possible.
In more general terms, Scamper has reached this whole new comfort zone. It's like we had a collective revelation: from here on in, we're only going to play the shows we want to play, when we want to play them. Not to get all hippie on your ass, but these days, we're all about simplifying, maaaaaaaaan. We've decided to cut out all the crap we don't like about being in a band (hustling to get ahead, money, stupid scene politics, negative nellies) and just getting back to the basics of why we wanted to form this band in the first place: we have a blast playing music together for you guys to enjoy.
So rest your weary hearts, sluggers. Scamper is more rock solid than ever. We're going to be around for a long time. (I just jinxed it, didn't I? Mike is going to die of SIDS tonight, isn't he?)
Our deepest scampologies to the folks up at the Waterman Community Center in North Haven, Maine. We were all geared up to come visit you when our fearless leader Keith Daddy was struck down by some nasty strain of stomach flu/food poisoning/alien egg hatching inside his guts. He has reported feeling better this morning, so keep your cards and bouquets to yourselves. But it always sucks to cancel a show - we've only had to do it twice in Scamper's illustrious five-year history, so we take our commitments very seriously. Sorry, Maine-iacs - we'll try to reschedule and get back up there soon.
So all of a sudden, the three non-vomiting members of Scamper had a weekend off. So Diggity and I decided to visit Mikey for a tour of his ancestral home of Revere Massachusetts. Some highlights:
- Every building that had anything remotely to do with Mike's childhood has burned to the ground. It's eerie.
- During a quick trip to KFC, we saw in a furious three-minute span:
a) the hairiest bald guy in America wearing the world's least flattering tank top...
b) a woman with pendulous breasts in a white sweater and no bra whose brown nipples were actually poking through her sweater into the faces of the KFC patrons. And the coup de grace...
c) a man holding a paper bag-covered 40-ouncer in one hand, pushing a baby stroller in another and wearing a full-length Laurence-Fishburne-in-the-Matrix black trenchcoat.
I don't know if I could possibly do this visual justice. After seeing him, Diggity turns to us and says "What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to make sense of that image?"
- Apparently, Mikey is the crown prince of Revere. Everywhere we went, we were greeted like warriors returning from battle. Free drinks, special treatment - it was like going into the briny deep with Aquaman or something. On land, he's just some dude with limited powers that hangs out with the real superheroes, telling stories like "Oh man - if we were in Atlantis, we'd be getting so much mermaid poon right now." Sure we would, Aquaman. Sure we would.
But then you get to Atlantis and it turns out everything he said was totally true. Oh my God, you actually do
have a handjob-loving girlfriend that lives in Canada. Good on ya, Aquaman.
Speaking of mermaid poon, happy belated birthday to frequent contributor Hogg, who grew one year drunker and despair-tastic on Saturday. And another happy big one to friend of Scamper Christine, who's off celebrating her big b-day (oops, this one might end in a zero) like a rock star by trashing Vegas. Beat up a hooker and steal her gold grill for me, baby doll.
Time once again for Ye Olde Fridaye Ripoffeee. First off, upon seeing Madden's excellent rendition of the Scamper Doo gang in yesterday's journal, Diggity responded with "Fuck that Scooby shit - I want to be the A-Team:"
Speaking of Mr. T, I managed to catch the Norm MacDonald movie Dirty Work
on cable the other night - pretty funny little movie. I think one of my favorite exchanges is between MacDonald and Chevy Chase as a gambling addict doctor:Chase:
I know there's really nobody to blame for this but myself, well, I don't know, maybe the Buffalo Bills, the Boston Red Sox, or Mr. T or the Jets...MacDonald:
Wait a minute, Mr T.? Are you telling me that you bet on the fight in Rocky III
, and that you bet against
Hindsight is twenty-twenty, my friend.
Speaking of funny, if you haven't checked out hollywoodphony.com
, please do yourself a favor. Very funny, sick stuff. It's amazing how prolific the guy is - I wouldn't be surprised if very big things come from that twisted mind. Well worth the time.
Speaking of douchebags, overheard at last night's Scamper rehearsal:Mike:
Can you grab me a beer from the fridge?Brendan:
Well, there's only one left down here, so I'd have to go upstairs to get myself a beer.Mike:
I didn't ask for a book report, just give me the fucking beer.
See you all in the woods in Maine tomorrow! Watch out for bears and CHUDs and bear shit and CHUD shit!
As a follow-up to yesterday's story about Scamper out in the woods, loyal Scamp Madden
brought up a good point: Scamper on an island? There will definitely
be a mystery to be solved. So he created this image:
Now, clearly we were having some fun yesterday in the comments section. Our new friend AIDS provided us with hours upon hours of incoherent entertainment. If it were solely up to me, this journal would be the AIDS show 24/7, but people have started to complain about getting confused by who's who and getting bored by the whole thing. What can I say, AIDS? You blew your wad way too early.
So here's what I'm going to do for you - I'm going to start deleting boring douchebaggy comments. Please feel free to keep commenting. If something is particularly funny or I feel this space needs an injection of your particular brand of nonsensical vitriol, I'll let you be heard. But it's going to have to actually be funny. You've got to earn it. So the gauntlet is laid down.
"But Brendo," you may be asking, "Aren't you a big 'free speech' guy? How can you censor this moron?"
You cats know I'm all for free speech. I gave this troglodyte free rein (or is it free reign? Both versions make sense to me. Diggity?) on the comments for at least a week or so. If AIDS really wants to continue his oh-so-logical quest against bands who aren't interested in major label deals, he's free to start his own blog. Blogs are like assholes these days: everyone's got one.
But warning - you've got to beat this guy. I just found out about him - too bad he quit. I was really enjoying him. Maybe he'll be back with a little encouragement.
So AIDS, thanks for the memories. Be funny and creative and you can come back, deal? (I'm only saying "deal?" as a formality - you actually don't have any choice in the matter.)
You may have noticed that Scamper has a show on Saturday up in North Haven, Maine (State motto: "37 Days Without A Moose-Related Political Assassination") and I haven't been pimping all that hard as is my usual wont. There are a few very good reasons for this: a) it's on some island somewhere and I know that none of you are going to be there and b) I'm s-s-scared.
Now, Nate Diggity has been suspiciously non-forthcoming with the details of this gig but from what I've gleaned so far, getting to this island requires a ferry. And after the gig, the next ferry off the island isn't until the morning. So quite literally, I'll be stuck on an island with Scamper overnight. And if that's not a recipe for a horror movie-style bludgeoning, I don't know what is. I repeat... I'm s-s-scared. I may be paranoid, but here's how I see the whole thing playing out:[On a deserted island, Scamper sits around the campfire, enjoying some post-show relaxation. Nate blows on a harmonica while Mike toasts marshmallows. Keith writes furiously on a piece of paper while Brendan shivers.]Nate:
You okay, Brendan?Brendan:
Yes, Brendan - we know you're scared. You said it between every song tonight.Mike:
He actually got more laughs than usual, though.Nate:
What are you writing, Keith?Keith:
I'm sorry, but during the sand bag challenge, you just didn't carry your weight. I vote for...[Keith holds up a piece of paper that says "MIKE."]Nate:
Um... Keith, this isn't Survivor
. You don't get to vote anyone off.Keith:
Sure, you're all cocky now that you won the immunity challenge and you're wearing your immunity pants. The tribe has spoken.Mike:
These aren't immunity pants. They're just pants.Keith:
The tribe has spoken!Brendan:
Stop yelling! You're s-s-scaring me.[There's a rustling in a nearby bush.]Mike:
I don't know. Probably a bear or something.Mike:
And that doesn't scare you?Nate:
Nah. I'm wearing my immunity pants.Mike:
But Nate - immunity pants aren't real!Nate: (dramatic pause)
Nooooooooo![From out of the bushes springs the scariest monster of all - Anonymous Internet Douchebag, Sr. (AIDS).]AIDS:
You guys suck SOOOO much. Your music is really bad. No label would ever give a first thought to you. PLEASE! quit playing. Your formula is extremely flawed. Married, angry guitarist, annoying bassist etc...time to get "real world". Brendan, the suck blog is a clue to get focused and move on.Nate:
He's... breaking... our... spirit...Brendan:
you are a fucking idiot. and before you post a wiseass reply, let me say that your lead singer is married so you are all going nowhere. touring is not an opiton and therefore, stick with school.Mike:
He's so right. Everything he says is right on the money.Nate:
And the spelling and grammar are impeccable. Clearly he's going to outsmart us all.AIDS:
Your band is really bad. A reminder is always helpful. Also, when are you guys inevitably breaking up?Mike:
His powerful logic is too much for us. What can we do to fight him?Nate:
Nothing. We really shouldn't go on living.Keith:
The tribe truly has spoken.[Scamper joins hands and jumps off a cliff to their inevitable death, much to the cheers and happiness of local Boston music community.]
Yup, that's pretty much how I see it going down.
Just when I lose my faith in baseball's ability to entertain me, something like this
happens. A pitcher arguing with a manager about being taken out of a game, leading to a nose-bloodying brawl in the dugout corridor. And they wonder why after all these years, baseball is still America's pasttime. Outstanding.
I've always enjoyed the pitcher-manager conversations on the mound. My dad makes the same joke every time a manager comes to the mound, imitating the manager: "So, have you got kids in private school? Want to keep them there?" Not a bad joke... the first 1,248 times you hear it. Still, it's nice to finally have a conference on the mound break out in a fight. Very satisfying.
Manager John Gibbons has really become quite the asset to the entertainment value of an otherwise unwatchable Blue Jays team. Earlier in the season, he challenged former Red Sox grumpy-puss Shea Hillenbrand to a fight. And now this - if I'm a Blue Jays fan, I've got reason to watch now. I only hope that this trend will spread a little further up the AL East ladder and we can watch Terry Francona throw a few right crosses upside Julian Tavares' pock-marked countenance. I don't know about you, but I'm tuning in for that shit, especially since we don't have a playoff hunt to worry our pretty little heads about anymore.
To me, the funniest part of the encounter (check it out on ESPN pretty much 24/7 at this stage) is that as Ted Lilly is walking off the mound, you can lip-read him shooting the final insult at Gibbons: "You're a fucking asshole."
Really, Ted? You're angry enough to punch your boss in the nose and the most extreme insult you can come up with is "fucking asshole"? Wow. You got him. I used to overhear my mom calling Ronald Reagan a "fucking asshole" when I was around eight or so and she wouldn't even bother lowering her voice to a whisper. That's how innoculous "fucking asshole" is. I'm pretty sure you can say "fucking asshole" in a rated PG movie now. Not exactly cutting to the bone, are we Ted? Ah well - you never had much of a fastball anyway, did you?
I guess what I'm saying is if I'm ready to get traded, show up the manager on national TV and basically throw my season away, I'd like to hope I could do a little better than "You're a fucking asshole." How about...
"Your scrotum appears to look like the scrotum of a much older man!" or...
"You're taking me out? Kind of like I took your wife out last night! Aw shoot! For dinner and then a movie! That's right, you heard me. We saw Little Miss Sunshine
! Greg Kinnear was a delight!" or...
"Dude, what are we getting so worked up about? We're the fucking Blue Jays. The Special Olympics softball team has a more intimidating bullpen." or...
"Your finger smells like dude ass."
What about you guys? What would you say if the manager was pulling you out of the game? Huh?
The way I see it, the Red Sox did me a favor this weekend. By absolutely shitting the bed and losing four straight to the Yankees, they gave me the remainder of my summer back. No more playoff run, no more close games you think they have a shot at winning - I can go to bed early for the rest of the season. Think how well rested I'll be.
Last night, it was 3-3 in the 5th and you know what I did? I watched Venture Brothers
and then went to sleep. Why stay up? The bullpen wasn't going to hold together. That's just a fact. I suppose I haven't utterly given up on the idea of the playoffs, but even if they get in with the wild card, it's not like they can win close games against good teams with this pitching. It's just depressing.
Ah well - at least one of my anti-prescient division predictions
from back in April will come true. Unfortunately, it's the one that I didn't want to come true. Still, there's some solace in me being right and Keith being wrong. So at least the greater Boston sportsfan community has that little factoid to salve the weekend wounds.
In other news, the loooooong Scamper layoff is coming to a close at the end of this week as your local rock heroes return to action this Saturday night up in Maine. Apparently, we're playing on an island with a bunch of brown bears that are going to devour us or something. We really should have read the small print of the contract.
Old grey mare, she ain't what she used to be...
Since the advent of "Brendo Birthday Month," I have done my best to shift focus from my actual birthday onto spreading the love throughout the entirety of August. Still, now that the day has actually arrived, I can be forgiven a whiff of introspection. Here, on my 30th birthday, I present a list of things I did in my first 30 years of life that I will NOT do in my second 30 years:
- Hold a "Dukakis 88" sign outside my high school. I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm guessing I'll never do that again.
- Sprout my first pube.
- Look when Pete 'The Applesauce Master' Galea of Fooled By April
points out his erection. For some reason, he occasionally likes to point out to the room that yes in fact he's flying at full mast. When I ask him why he feels the need to draw my eye to his engorged crotch, he says "I feel it would be rude not to." No more!
- Write an angry letter to the editor of Cat Fancy
magazine. Lesson learned.
- Pay money to see Hootie and the Blowfish in concert. You read that correctly. I was therrrrrre, maaaaaaan! It was like Woodstock for kids in white baseball caps. In my defense, H and the B (that's what insiders used to call them) were an absolutely balls-out HUGE band back in the day. They sold out Great Woods (now the Tweeter Center). Unfortunately, they did nothing to deserve that kind of acclaim - such a shitty-ass vanilla show. I still regret it. I'm secretly glad Darius Rucker has been reduced to making confusing fast food commercials. Speaking of which...
- Eat McDonald's in the morning for breakfast, Taco Bell for lunch and McDonald's AGAIN for dinner. The same woman rung me up in the McDonald's drive-thru. She looked at me as if to say "What? You're back? What the hell is wrong with you?" Honestly, some days I'm amazed I made it to 30.
- Break my arm helping my brother Colum climb up on a rock. From now on, you can climb your own damn rocks, jerk! (Ahhhh - that one was 23 years in the making. Felt good.)
- Have my appendix removed again. That would just be odd.
- Peg my pants. I know fashion is cyclical and there's an outside chance this shit might come back. Ain't gonna happen. Ridiculous.
- Peg my drummer. Again, lesson learned.
- Take this great ride that is my life for granted. I'm a very lucky man. Thank you all for your kindness and love, on my birthday and on every other day.
See? I told
you guys that I didn't kill JonBenet Ramsey. It was totally this dude
. I think a few of you owe me an apology. Enough with the nasty phone calls and emails, already! I've murdered a lot of underage beauty queens in my day, but JonBenet was not one of them. So back off! (What - too soon?)
Man - take a look at that guy. He really looks
like he killed JonBenet Ramsey, doesn't he? I mean, if I met that guy at a bar, I think my third or fourth question would be "Dude... did you kill JonBenet Ramsey?" In fact, that interaction might go a little sumtin like dis:[We open on a bar in Bangcock, Thailand. A creepy looking stranger (John Mark Karr) sits down next to Brendan.]John:
How's it going?Brendan:
Nice night, huh?Brendan:
Yeah - a little humid.John:
So what are you doing in Bangcock?Brendan:
Who me? Oh, I just like doing that joke where you say "What's the capital of Thailand? BangCOCK!" and then slap the guy in the balls. It's very funny to me.John:
You flew all the way to Bangcock to do that joke?Brendan:
Yeah. Spent $1400 on a flight. Totally worth it. By the way, what's the capital of Thailand?John:
You just told me you were going to slap me in the balls.Brendan:
Yeah, but... just say it.John:
Come on. I won't do it this time.John:
Yes, you will.Brendan:
No, I won't. I legitimately want to know what the capital of Thailand is. I figure I'm visiting the country and I should know something about its history. Just... say it.John:
Not going to happen.Brendan:
I'm sorry, buddy. I just don't want to get hit in the nuts.Brendan:
No, it's fine. It's just... I traveled a long way and...John:
I understand. I've traveled a long way too. (The room suddenly gets darker)Brendan:
Wait a minute - dude... did you kill JonBenet Ramsey?John:
What? Why do you say that?Brendan:
I don't know - you just look like you might have killed JonBenet Ramsey.John:
I... I... it was an accident![SWAT teams swarm the bar and arrest John. The SWAT leader approaches Brendan.]SWAT Leader:
Thanks for your fine work, Brendo. You're an American hero. I hereby present you with the Congressional Medal of Honor and this assortment of Thai cheeses. Is there anything else your country can do for you?Brendan:
I just have one question: what's the capital of Thailand?SWAT Leader:
Why, that's easy, silly. It's Bangcock!Brendan:
YAY! USA! USA!
Yup, that's pretty much how I think it would go down.
I had no idea I was such a trendsetter. Apparently, every jagoff and his cousin Balki wants in on my birthday month. My boy Pedro just turned the old Larry Christ (33) this week. I swear - it's like they'll let anyone
have an August birthday these days. The standards have really gotten low. I blame the Jews. But happy happy, Pedro.
Speaking of Jews, did anyone happen to catch Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke doing commentary during the Sox game last night? When they found out that Kevin Youkilis was Jewish, they'd yell "What do you think of that, Mel Gibson?" every time he made a great play. It was very funny stuff. Remy and Orsillo were absolutely dying.
Don't get me wrong - I'm by no means a Denis Leary fan. As regular readers may know, I'm a bit of a stand-up comedy nerd - I've probably been to more comedy shows than rock shows in my illustrious life. In the comedy world, Leary is the worst criminal of all: an unabashed ripoff artist. If you liked "No Cure for Cancer," check out any Bill Hicks album - if your jaw doesn't hit the floor from Leary's absolute shameless thievery, I don't want to know you. He didn't just lift material, but pretty much hijacked Hicks' entire on-stage persona. Leary is a total scumbag.
In the comedy world, there are a few other well-known joke thieves who have (of course) gone on to success. People that have worked with Carlos Mencia say he's been known to steal jokes he likes from his opener's first set and use them in his second set. Dane Cook has a few bits that sound eerily like the far superior Louis CK's early material.
Word around the comedy water cooler is that there's a new thief in town: Josh Blue. Blue is the cerebral-palsy-inflicted winner of the show Last Comic Standing
. As a standup fan, I wasn't really into that show for the same reason that as a music fan, I don't watch American Idol
. Why waste an evening watching a bunch of amateurs doing hacky, pandering material when there are plenty of good artists plying their craft in my own back yard?
From what I saw, Blue was my least favorite of the comics, mostly because I marked him as the winner from the first show - American TV audiences have never met a disability or affliction they didn't immediately fall in love with. But what I was interested to learn was that Blue is not only a panderer, but may have some sticky fingers: check out this post
from a few months ago from my friend/the funniest man in Boston Tim McIntire's site
. Go ahead - I'll wait.
With all the ideas of integrity in art and commerce, the most compelling possiblity of this whole little feud is that it could end in a fist fight between two guys with cerebral palsy. And that, my friends, is good comedy.
Speaking of good comedy, said Tim McIntire will be hosting late night comedy shows this weekend at Jimmy Tingle's Off Broadway in Davis Square, Somerville. Get off the couch and get down there, kids. There are laughs to be had right next door.
I must have been still reeling from the big surprise party, because yesterday I forgot to mention who was the biggest hero of the weekend: this douchebag
drove ten hours on a motorcycle each way
from Rochester just to be here for my party.
Think about that. Ten hours each way. Can you think of anything for which you'd sit on a motorcycle for twenty hours? I mean, anything
? I'm racking my brain and I've got nothing. Maybe if I were being awarded the Nobel prize in "Blowjob Receiving" or something, but still - twenty hours? Absurd.
(Warning: things are about to get a mite gay in here.)
I've had a lot of luck in my life the past 29 years and 362 days. I have a great family, terrific friends, a great group of guys in my band, a few hilarious internet stalkers who hate said band for some batshit insane reason - I'm not sure what's happened the last few years, but it's like some sort joy bomb went off in my life. Even the bad days are just a pleasure to live. But with all that, I don't know what I did to deserve a friend like Joe Welsh.
This guy has had my back since some asshole named "Nudge" decided it would be fun to turn all the popular kids against me in 8th grade science class. He's was there (Joe, not Nudge) for every humiliation and triumph of my adolescence. He's been there for the trials and victories of adulthood. And sure, he has his flaws (he's a terribly inconsistent blogger and his farts smell like the inside of a fat person) but he's just always there. Even when we spent time on coasts 3000 miles away, I knew he was there.
And this weekend, he did it again. He rode ten hours to come to downtown Boston, chat with my mom, eat some room-temperature nachos and cheese sticks, sleep on a crappy spare bed at my house and then got back
on his bike to drive another ten hours home. Just because it was my birthday.
Words escape me. Thanks, buddy.
I am still in shock, friends. This weekend, I was surprise-partied. My sister-in-law set it all up, snookered me into thinking that I was just meeting her and my bro for dinner and, in the words of Champ Kind, WHAMMY! Surprise party.
Being surprised with a birthday party is a very cool experience. It's very flattering to have a bunch of people sneaking around and doing all this planning, just so you don't find out about it. Luckily, I'm an utterly self-centered person who has no ability to pay any attention to the social cues of others, so I was completely clueless. I think the key to keeping the surprise was my brother - he and I traditionally communicate in a caveman-like code of grunts and guttural noises. Seriously, I've known the kid almost 28 years and I literally think I've said a total of seven words to him. So our utter lack of verbal interaction was a key component in the non-spoiled surprise.
So big thanks to all my friends and family who came out to celebrate the big me. Extra special thanks to my sis-in-law Katie for organizing the whole thing. You are a rock star.
It's going to be tough to top a surprise party, but the birthday month continues to roll as we are officially in the midst of... birthday week.
Honestly, people - I should have thought this whole "Brendo Birthday Month" thing through. It's starting to get exhausting. But I will soldier on, for you - the heroes who want to buy me drinks.
Since I'm so exhausted from all my birthday drinkin', it's time for the feature of the Journal for which no one has any opinion whatsoever: the Friday Ripoff! Yup yup!
For today's edition of the Ripoff, I once again dip into the misery of others, as my boys Madden
and Hogg were complaining about their lives, much to my unending amusement. So I share:Madden:
Man, I've just been so edgy lately. The only thing that makes me feel any better is to come home and beat the shit out of my cats.Me:
That's a reasonable solution.Madden:
I mean, look at them - meowing and pawing around the house like they're better than me.Me:
They are better than you, Madden.Madden:
Sorry, but someone had to tell you.Madden:
Well... it softens the blow coming from a good friend, but it still hurts.Hogg:
So... my boss messed up our annual raises. Again.Me:
That sucks. She sounds pretty incompetent.Hogg:
Yeah, but on the bright side - if it weren't for her, I'd probably drink less and be happier.
Have a good weekend, all. Next week of Brendo Birthday Month is already starting to fill up, so be sure to book your time to buy me booze. It's quickly becoming America's pasttime.
There are some things in life that are just undeniably funny. And I think we're all in agreement that one of those things is a dog that looks like Hitler. From Patton Oswalt's site
How is that not funny? Can someone explain it to me? Because I don't understand. It's a dog
that looks like Hitler
. Come on - grow up, people.
You know who's not doing their part in making my birthday month enjoyable? The fucking Red Sox. Dropping series to the Devil Rays and the Royals? Three games back from the Yankees? WTF? Stop being such jerks - it's birthday month, you jerky jerks. I just showed you a dog that looks like Hitler. That's not enough for you jerks?
Ah well - Patriots season is around the corner... and Tedy Bruschi has a broken wrist. Duuuudes! A dog that looks like Hitler! Come ooooooon!
I'm sure some of you read The Scene
this week and checked out Nate Diggity's recommendations for a few videos to watch from some of our favorite bands. I must implore you: check out the Harris video
. It's pretty amazing and original - kudos to the filmmaker. Really excellent stuff and worth checking out for six minutes. Harris are still a bunch of douchebags. Talented douchebags, but douchebags nonetheless.
The next logical question: when's Scamper going to do a video? Well, there have always been complications with any film shoot plans we make. Mikey Mike isn't comfortable with cameras ever since that "private" video of him, Crystal Gayle and the koala bear leaked out on the internet. That was embarrassing for all involved, believe you me. For his part, Keith Daddy is such a diva that his lighting and make-up demands (he insists on being covered head-to-toe with authentic Cape Verdean marmalade) are just too costly for our meager Scampbudget. And film doesn't pick up Nate because he's a vampire.So sorry - no Scamper videos in the near future.
In other news, the Brendo Birthday Month streak of eating/drinking on someone else's dime every day in August sadly came to an end last night. My girl Christine did offer to buy me some curly fries at Spike's Junkyard Dogs, but like the Philadelphia Phillies' legendary Mike Schmidt, I have too much respect for the game to artificially pad my stats. So as one streak ends, another begins - I'm still fielding all offers, no matter how filthy they may be.
Speaking of birthdays, happy birthday to our girl Maura. Hip hip! Someone give that girl a spanking!
I know I've been a little bit hippie-obsessed lately, but it's not my fault. Apparently, it's hippie season. They must like the heat or something because hippies are everywhere. No matter what I do, I can't seem to get away from the hippie infestation. They're in my closet, gnawing on my sweaters.
Yesterday on the Toucher and Rich
show on WBCN (which is actually a funnier and more creative show than the usual crap on the radio), one of the guys went to a protest and tried to interview hippies about grammatical and spelling errors on their signs (of which there were plenty). Cute bit, right?
Well, the hippies were sooooooo offended. How dare someone have some harmless fun at their oh-so-serious protest? It was just too much for their fragile self-righteousness to handle. The catch phrase of the day was "That's so offensive."
Dear Hippie: just because something hurts your sensitive little feelings doesn't mean it's "offensive." Most people in the world don't have the luxury of sitting around and being "offended" by jokes. Unlike you, they didn't have a trust fund and a six-figure liberal arts education. The only people that are allowed to get "offended" and say things like "But... that's not fair!" are children and teenagers who haven't yet learned the truth: that life primarily consists of bending over and taking another injustice up the heinie. You're not a teenager anymore, hippie! You have a gross beard. Stop being offended!
Then, MORE hippie interaction last night when Spenco, Maura and I stopped by the Lizard Lounge for open mic night. Now, we weren't so much interested in the performances as a few comped drinks from our buddy Jordan
behind the bar. We were chatting quietly during most of the performances - not paying rapt attention, but not being loud or rude or anything.
Until the hippie came on the stage. He wasn't a musician, but a "storyteller." So he starts his lame-ass story and we're at the back of the room, talking to each other at a very respectful level when the guy stops his story and yells at Maura to be quiet. Mind you, Maura was
being quiet - she was having a private conversation that wasn't disturbing anyone who wanted to listen to this douchebag talk. He wasn't really saying "Be quiet so other people can hear" (reasonable request). He was saying "Be quiet and pay attention to me" (unreasonable request).
Dear Hippie: you're not entitled
to have people pay attention to you. While you may think the yarn you're spinning about the old whaling couple that lived in the lighthouse in Maine is just fascinating, you have to earn
my attention. You are a performer - it's your job. We've all been on stage and had to win an audience over - it's part of the performance. You've had too many people lying to you and telling you how fascinating you are. You want people to pay attention? Be a better storyteller. And shave your gross beard!
Anyone else have any messages for the hippies?
What does it say about me as a person that more than one friend contacts me to alert me that the new season of Flavor of Love
on VH1 has started? Nothing good about my character, I'm guessing.
I actually missed most of the premiere episode, which I justify by the rare phenomena of actual good television on Sunday nights for a change. The new Lucky Louie
episode airs on HBO and we're smack dab in the middle of the second season of The Venture Brothers
on Adult Swim (highly recommended). So I've got some tough decisions to make on Sunday nights is what I'm saying. Flavor of Love
will be replayed extensively, so sadly it has to bat third in the clicker rotation.
But I did manage to catch bits and pieces of the Flavor of Love
premiere during commercials of other shows and was absolutely blessed to witness a) a ghetto-ass fistfight for no apparent reason and b) one of the girls dropping a deuce on the floor. You didn't read that wrong - a grown woman defecated on the floor in front of about 20 other people. On television. And I saw all of this just by flipping during the commercials! I watched a collective 4 minutes of the show and was rewarded with all this action. For once, words fail me.
I know a lot of people like to look at shows such as these as some sort of barometer for the decline of our culture or cluck their self-righteous tongues at how low we've gotten that we consider this entertainment. To those people, I say this: a grown woman was pooping on the floor! On television! How is that anything but awesome? Come oooooooooon!
Happy Friday, compatriots. The first week of Brendo Birthday Month has gone just swimmingly so far. I haven't had a night where I wasn't either cooked a meal or boughten (not a real word, but it's my birthday month, jagoffs) a drink. And I deserve it - I'm a pretty pretty girl.
The trend promises to continue this weekend, although I'm taking a break from the selfish pursuit of alcohol and adulation by celebrating the birthday of the Moms on Sunday. To celebrate the occasion, we're all swinging by the Bro's and Sis-in-Law's place for... wait for it... lobsters.
God goshy Milwaukee. Lobsters. There is nothing in this world I like more in my mouth than lobsters. Sometimes I like to play the "What would I like more than a lobster right now?" game. In my whole life, I've come up with nothing. I don't desire a single thing, concept or idea more than I desire lobster. Not world peace, not the devoted love of a good woman, not a sloppy blowjob from Hillary Swank - nothing. I have yet to come up with a scenario in which lobster is the less appealing option.
My favorite lobster story (which I may have told before on this space, but it's my birthday month so fuck you) was in high school when I stopped by my good friend David's house to find he and his mother finishing a lobster dinner. There was lobster left over - an unheard-of occurence in the Boogie household. I couldn't believe it - there was just lobster, sitting there in the fridge with no one eating it. It ate at my soul all night. I couldn't sleep. There was lobster uneaten. It felt wrong all the way to my very core.
The next day, I went over to his house to commence begging. When I arrived at the house, no one was home... but the kitchen door was open. Without even hesitating for a moment, I walked into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator and devoured the lobster. When I saw David the next day at school, I walked up to him and told him point blank: "David, I went to your house and ate the lobster out of your refrigerator."
He was understandably shocked. "You did what?"
"That's right, I did it," I continued, "And if that means the end of our friendship, I'll accept those consequences. But I'd do it again. Lobster is more important than friendship."
Luckily, David forgave my weakness and we're still friends to this day. But rest assured - many of you readers are close friends, some of with whom I've grown up (eat that sentence construction, Diggity). But really - I love many of you very much. But if ANY one of you stood between me and a lobster, I swear to what you call God I will straight-up murder each and every one of you without a pang of conscience.
Have a great weekend everyone! Fa!
I'm meeeeeeeeltiiiiiiiiing. It's heat waves such as this one that make me regret the fact that I was born made of 85% refined sugar. I guess it's just the price I pay for being so sweet. Wa-wink!
But listen, hippies - a heat wave is not irrefutable proof of global warming. I'm not denying the existence of global warming or anything insane or Fox News-ish like that. My point is that whenever it's a hot day and people shrug and say, "That's global warming for you" - it's irritating.
Every bit of (the admittedly incomplete) reading I've done on the subject leads me to believe that global warming is an insanely complicated scientific issue. Most scientists (the ones who aren't employed by political parties to push an agenda, that is) just don't have an accurate read on how the earth is changing and what's going to happen. My general understanding is that if we're going to feel an effect on global warming in this day and age, it will actually be not in the form of a summer heat wave, but milder winter days. Again - I don't know shit about shit. But I'm reasonably sure that it's not as simple as "hot day in August = global warming."
But regardless of scientific accuracy, a bunch of hippies clucking their tongues about global warming is quite simply blood-boiling. Come to think of it, listening to hippies talk about anything
sets my bile-o-meter to "throat punch". Man, do I have a seething shiny black ball of hate in my heart for the hippies. And it's not that I disagree with all of their politics - I lean left on a lot of issues. But the smugness, the lack of humor, the closed-mindedness, the white-guy dreadlocks... sorry, guys - you know I try to keep it positive around here. But good gawd do I hate hippies.
Am I the only one that read this article
in the Globe
about the Someday Cafe in Davis Square being closed and laughed his ass off? Accosting the new owner, telling him that it's "morally wrong" to put a new business in that location? Can you believe the planet on which these people think they are living?
Hooray for the hippies being banished from my neighborhood. Hopefully they won't linger around too much, as then I may finally have cause to start the "sport hippie-hunting tours" I've been noodling on. It's a sure money-maker, don't you think?
As Scamper makes its plans for fall and winter shows, we're starting to get some really cool events lined up. Everything's hush hush at the moment, but no worries - all will be revealed as soon as the ink on the contracts dries. Let's just say that come autumn 2006, there are going to be some Scamper shenanigans. Perhaps even involving a filthy panda or two. That's all I'm at liberty to reveal at this time.
I will let you in a little bit of insider fun - we're very close to signing for a show at a college in the area and they're offering us our first hospitality rider. For all y'all who don't know, check it out - a hospitality rider is the part of the contract where we request certain specific things to be backstage. Food, beverages, etc. In the biz of show, the hospitality rider ranks right above "herpes-infected groupie" in the pantheon of rock star perks.
I'm sure you've all heard those "green M&M's" stories which highlight the indulgent, infantile side of the rock star life. But really, there's a practical reason for it all - artists will usually include something unusual in their rider to ensure that their contract is carefully read by the other party. Even the anti-rock John Tesh requests an action figure of the WWE's The Undertaker in his dressing room, just to make sure everything else is being followed to the letter. And there's the more practical side of it - when our producer Tom Polce was touring with Letters to Cleo, he detested doing laundry (as you would if you smelled like him), so he'd order white socks and black t-shirts be there backstage for him before every show. So it's not just about being bitchy, spoiled and/or fucking with people.
Of course in our case, Scamper is primarily interested in being bitchy, spoiled and/or fucking with people. This is our first rider and quite possibly our last, so we want to make the most of the opportunity. We've got all the practical food/beer/Vitamin Water stuff covered, but if we only played it that way, we would really be pissing away a great chance. I'm thinking about getting something for my mom for Christmas or possibly those Elvis commemorative water wings I've had my eye on since my trip to Graceland.
Any ideas, Scamps? For what should we ask?
Brendo Birthday Month officially begins... NOW! I'll give you time to adjust your watches.
You know who knows how to kick off Brendo Birthday Month with a bang? Big Game Dave. Jeepers holy Christmas on a cracker. Another walk-off homerun
? I mean, another
one? Now there's a man who cares about my birthday month. You could all stand to learn a lot from our boy BGD.
You know who I'm a little jealous of right now? Ten-year olds. When I was ten, we had our own version of Ortiz: Larry Bird. He came through in the clutch with a game-winning three-pointer every single time. I mean, I guess I know intellectually that he didn't hit a game-winner in every
game, but that's sure what it felt like at the time. It got to the point where you were surprised when he didn't win the game in the final seconds. Failure was a surprise.
Things would just sort of happen when Bird was on the floor. The game would be rolling along and all of a sudden it was like he willed himself from being a regular old guy from Indiana into Superman. Seriously, it was like he had a superhero switch. I had complete and utter faith that he would come through in the clutch. Larry Bird was my religion. After every game, I'd go out in my driveway and shoot 3-pointers, pretending I was Larry Bird, winning the game for the Celtics in the last second.
Even now, there's still something almost mythic about Bird's presence when I see him. When he was coaching the Pacers, my eyes couldn't help but dart to the bench during the game. Part of me kept expecting him to pull off the suit, under which he'd be wearing old number 33. Then, he'd step on the floor and drain 7 3-pointers in a row to clinch a game 7 victory. After all, anything could happen. That was Larry F'n Bird.
Sadly, it's that sort of faith that you lose when you become an adult. As much as I love Ortiz, I just don't feel that way about him. I can't - I'm an adult now (and according to the always-reliable wikipedia
, Ortiz is only about a year older than me). I realize that as great a baseball player as he is, he's just that - a baseball player. As I watch him rake game-winner after game-winner, of course I enjoy it. I cheer for him and feel the "wow" every time he does it again.
But I also think about whether he's juicing. I think about whether they paid too much on his contract and how long he's going to continue to perform on this level. I think about how ugly it's going to be when the lovefest finally ends and he is either sold to another team or leaves for more money in free agency. I think about how the Red Sox organization will use their vicious pitbull media to turn people on their hero, the way they did with Nomar and Pedro.
I can't help thinking about these things. I'm an adult now and I know how the world works. I know that people cheat. I know that great athletes inevitably deteriorate and that really, people value money over all else. Every wonderful, amazing thing that's a joy to witness must end. And it usually doesn't end well. Over the years, I've learned this lesson very well, over and over again. Because I'm an adult.
As my 30th birthday approaches, maybe it's only natural that I feel a twinge of jealousy for all those little boys and girls who haven't learned those lessons yet. They have the privelege of going to sleep tonight dreaming of David Ortiz with a big red cape around his neck.