Monday, I will be back with the review of my pre-season playoff picks. (Hint: I wouldn't be bringing it up if it weren't to show how fucking awesome I am.)
Have a nice weekend, sports fans..
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Friday, September 28, 2007
Shhhh. You know who's quietly having a monster September? J.D. Drew. Don't say anything to him. Just ignore him.
Monday, I will be back with the review of my pre-season playoff picks. (Hint: I wouldn't be bringing it up if it weren't to show how fucking awesome I am.)
Have a nice weekend, sports fans..
Thursday, September 27, 2007
I will now attempt to recreate yesterday's ill-fated journal entry about (shockingly) television.
In recent years, my schedule hasn't permitted me to watch television with much regularity, so I haven't gotten "into" a show while it's actually happening in a long time. Usually, I catch up with shows I like years later (I just recently found out that Hawkeye dies during the big musical number in the last episode of M*A*S*H. Spoiler alert!).
This week, I had the unusual luxury of watching two new shows on their very first airings: the action comedies Chuck and Reaper. Unfortunately, they were the exact same show. It was almost eerie.
In both shows, the main character is a schlubby guy that works in a Best Buy-type superstore. He has a wacky bearded comic relief sidekick (neither of which is terribly funny, by the by) and has a new life of heroism thrust upon him.
Oh, and neither of the shows is very good.
Don't get me wrong - neither of the shows is all that bad per se. They just both reek of the death of creativity: notes from the network. "How do we cram a love story in here? You know, for that teenage girl demo that enjoys tacked-on love stories and myspace and binging/purging."
If left alone, either of these shows may develop into something mildly interesting. Of the two, I'd say Reaper has the most potential, as it seems to have some sort of creative voice trying to creep out from under the mediocrity. It's got an obvious Buffy the Vampire Slayer thing going, which definitely isn't a bad thing. The main character is a big ol' pile of boring, but it has Ray Wise as the Devil which is sort of fun.
But let's be honest - I'm not going to know how this show turns for a few years. So someone let me know if Reaper makes it. I'll rent the DVD some time around August '09.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Ugh. I just wrote a big long thing and then it got lost in posting.
Sorry, no rewrites! I'm like Hemingway in that regard.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I woke up in a terrible mood this morning. My dreams had illustrated an uncomfortable reality.
In my REM state, I was anticipating some playoff baseball when the announcers informed me of some loophole caused by the international play enabling teams to claim players from opposing teams for the league championship series. Much to my chagrin, I looked on in horror while my beloved Red Sox third baseman George Clooney was suiting up for the Yankees. (I can only assume I find some subconscious connection between Clooney and fellow grey-haired handsomite Mike Lowell).
I walk up to him (because I'm on the Red Sox at this point in the dream maybe?) and put it out there: "What's the deal, Clooney?"
He just shrugged and said, "I go where they pay me."
Ultimately, we're cheering for laundry. Happy playoffs. (Although it did feel pretty good moments later to see a crushed Derek Jeter forced by the loophole to wear a Tampa Bay Devil Rays uniform).
Monday, September 24, 2007
It's time once again to play America's new favorite game show: the Baby Brother Boogie Fame Game. You think you're famous? Not unless my little brother knows who you are.
Patton Oswalt: "Nope. Not famous."
Joe Rogan: "Guy from Fear Factor, right?"
Elvis Costello: "Yeah, he's very famous."
Billy West: "I know him from Howard Stern."
David Sedaris: "Nope."
Chuck Lidell: "Ultimate fighter, right?"
Shia LeBouf: "No idea."
Michael Imperioli: "Christopher from The Sopranos. Know him."
Ann Coulter: "Yup, unfortunately."
Ronan Tynan: "No." (I explain he's the guy who sings "God Bless America" during the 7th inning of the Yankee games). "I might know him by face, but there's no way I've heard his name."
Arsenio Hall: "Of course."
Dan Savage: "No idea. Related to 'Macho Man' Randy Savage?"
Heath Ledger: "Yes. Famous."
Wes Anderson: "No."
Wes Craven: "Yes."
Phillip Seymour Hoffman: "Yeah. I hate that guy."
David Beckham: "Yes."
Brice Beckham: "No." (Hogg will be so disappointed).
David Byrne: "No. Who's that?" (I tell him) "Oh, I know the band, but I don't know anyone's name. In any band, really."
Joe Welsh: "Unfortunately, yes."
I'm officially running out of borderline celebrities to test. Once again, I open the floor for suggestions. I mean, besides Cleavon Little.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Yesterday, I was at the local college library looking up swear words in the encyclopedia when a girl appeared in the stacks wearing sunglasses. In the library.
I couldn't resist.
Me: It's bright in here.
Me: It's really bright in here. I can see why you would need to wear sunglasses.
Her: What are you talking about?
Me: The glare off the spines of these reference books. Positively blinding. The shades were the right accessory choice.
Her: Are you being sarcastic?
Me: Seriously, what's with the sunglasses indoors?
Her: How do you know I don't have a black eye that I'm hiding from my abusive boyfriend or something?
Me: I'm guessing if you did, you wouldn't be bringing it up in the first minute of our conversation.
Her: Whatever. (storms off)
Me: (looking in encyclopedia) Titmouse. Hee hee.
But seriously - let's wrap it up with the sunglasses indoors, shall we?
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I realized this morning that I never gave you greedy maws any closure on my whole weight loss endeavor. So let's wrap this ill-conceived trainwreck up in a nice pink bow, shall weeeeeee?
This morning, I weighed in at a slim, trim 210 lbs. I feel absolutely fantastic. I'm sleeping better and my muscles have that healthy "just worked out" ache going. And let's not even get into how fantastic the guns look. Two shining pipes of oily power. Bada bing.
Now, the target weight that I set for myself back in August for today's date was 199 lbs. Viewed just on that criteria, this whole experiment could be viewed as a collosal, embarrasing failure. But here's the thing: I had dropped roughly 10 lbs in the weeks leading up to this "Fit Club" experiment, so my total weight loss for July through September was around 15 lbs. Not too shabby.
Plus, I'm actually at the lowest weight of my adult life. When I joined Scamper, I weighed 285 lbs. Hard to imagine? Check this shit out from my very first Scamper show in September 2004:
There are two lessons in this, the first of which is that I like to talk about how awesome I am. But more importantly, it shows that it is possible for you to make major changes in your health and your life. It's an intimidating task. Also, a lot of annoying skinny people will give you advice. They mean well, but they don't really get how hard it is, how it's not just a matter of eating better and exercising. Doi! Why doesn't the alcoholic just stop drinking?
The thing I really like about Celebrity Fit Club is that beneath the rubbernecking and pity for Dustin Diamond factor, there's a real message of hope. Changing your health can have drastic effects on your life. It's not just about being attractive, but improving your sleep patterns, your mood, and your general attitude about life. I have never been happier than I have in the last few years and having good physical health is a big part of that.
So take it from a former fat ass that struggles daily with the seductive allure of General Gao's chicken - it's worth every drop of sweat. No matter what your condition, you can start slow and make progress. Forget the scale for now. Forget the goals and the diets and the skinny marathon-running assholes all around you. Just walk around the block today. And tomorrow, do a little more than you did yesterday.
Trust me - you'll be amazed at what you can do.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Two and a half games. If the Yankees overtake the Sox for the division, I might actually laugh my ass off. That's how ridiculous it would be. I'll actually laugh until I have no ass.
Oh, and Eric Gagne is really starting to fill you with confidence for those 8th inning playoff games, huh?
Late September is so tense.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
While I was playing the Baby Brother Boogie Fame Game this weekend, my 73-year old memory-impaired Pop decided he wanted to get in on the fun and try to test our pop culture knowledge.
"How about Mr. Walker?" he shouted. My brother and I were completely stumped. We had no idea who Mr. Walker was. Happy with his victory, my dad smiled, "He was your teacher in high school."
There were two problems with this little wrinkle in the game:
1. Mr. Walker wouldn't really strictly be considered a "celebrity," mostly because...
2. There was no Mr. Walker. No such person.
Try as we could, we could not convince my dad that yes, we did in fact remember all the teachers we had in high school and there wasn't a "Mr. Walker" in the bunch. Rather than shame the old coot by pulling out the yearbook, we decided to move on with the game.
About fifteen minutes later, Pop shouts out "Henry Doherty!" In this case, he was referring to the extremely famous Father Doherty, priest at the local Catholic Church. Yet another well-known celeb from the pages of Us Weekly.
Games are always more fun when my dad's involved.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Last week, I discussed that annoying, itching sensation of being able to recognize Perez Hilton against my will. It got me thinking about who really is famous enough to warrant my knowledge of their existence. For this type of question, there's only one man to go to: Baby Brother Boogie.
Baby Brother Boogie is a 28-year old contractor, married with a 5-month old baby girl. He doesn't have time to surf the internet all day like his douchebag older brother because he's busy doing actual work and dealing with adorable little diapers filled with adorable poop. What little TV he watches is generally sports- or news-related, although he does spend a lot of time on the road in his satelite radio-enhanced truck.
Most importantly, BBB puts no effort whatsoever into celebrity culture. He just doesn't give a shit. While he enjoys plenty of movies, music, and TV, he doesn't actively seek anything out. If he likes a movie, he doesn't care the names of the actors in it. They're all just "that guy from that thing" to him. Suffice to say: if a celebrity name has actually cracked into the walnut of his consciousness, they must be truly famous.
I asked BBB if he knows who Perez Hilton is. He scratched his head for a second and said, "I think I heard him on Howard Stern. Doesn't he have a blog or something?" So while there is a reasonable amount of name recognition, BBB admitted that he definitely had no idea what Hilton looked like and wouldn't be able to pick him out of a line-up.
While I felt slightly better about myself knowing that Hilton apparently has an insidious ability to creep even into my little bro's murky consciousness, I decided to further test the limits of fame by trying a few more names to check who is actually famous enough to pass the Baby Brother Boogie Fame Test:
David Cross: "The name is vaguely familiar, but I guess I don't know who he is."
Steve Carell: "Yes. He's famous."
Jeff Tweedy: "Nope. Not famous."
Anderson Cooper: "He's famous."
George Stephanopolous: "Yes, know him."
Dave Foley: "No idea." (Note: this one was followed by me yelling at him for 20 minutes for never having seen Kids in the Hall OR Newsradio.)
Chris Kirkpatrick: "Not famous."
Matt Groening: "Simpsons. Know him."
Ricky Gervais: "Nope."
Michael Ian Black: "No idea."
Chris Robinson: "Black Crowes. Know him."
Garrison Keillor: "Whoever he is, he certainly isn't famous."
Henry Rollins: "Yes. He's famous."
Sam Kinison: "Absolutely."
Joss Whedon: "No idea."
Tony Danza: "Yes. The most famous."
Chuck D: "Definitely. Public Enemy."
John C. Reilly: "Yup, know him."
Seth Rogen: "Sounds really familiar, but I don't know if I'd say I know exactly who he is."
Sarah Silverman: "Yes. She's funny."
Mike Mirabella: "Hmm... rings a bell..."
Take heed, Hollywood. You are officially not that famous until my brother knows who you are. Anyone have any more borderline celebs they want to try for the next round?
Friday, September 14, 2007
I appreciate you replaying games and all. But it's really confusing my dad.
Last night, my dad couldn't contain his excitement that Clay Buchholz pitched another no-hitter. I had to tell him that it was actually a replay. Thanks for forcing me to break the heart of a 73-year old man, NESN.
Oh, and the dating show? Ridiculous. You're making it more and more embarrassing to be a Red Sox fan by the day.
Thumbs up on Hazel Mae, though.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
You know what pisses me off? The fact that I know who Perez Hilton is.
In general, I try to spend as little time as possible learning about celebrities in their everyday lives. I find no pleasure in watching Entertainment Tonight, Extra, or really anything E! network except for programs featuring the very funny Joel McHale and the delicious Chelsea Handler. It's just a personal taste thing - I have many very intelligent friends (mostly women and Joe Welsh) who read Us Weekly and watch celebrity gossip shows, viewing the whole thing as harmless distraction. I can't say I really "get it," but then again a lot of people don't get my 20-year infatuation with roided-up supermen in tights hitting each other with steel chairs and then going crazy and murdering their wives and seven-year old sons. To each her own.
And while I find the whole celebrity culture mostly boring, I don't get resent the celebrities themselves. I mean, it's not Jessica Alba's fault that someone in power decided to make her the "Really Famous Girl of the Moment" and stick her on every magazine cover and television show until I'm sick of fucking looking at her. Sure, given the choice I would be completely unaffected by the marketing of stupid people about whom I'm supposed to care. But really, I would have to be pretty g'darn curmudgeonly to resent the fact that I know who Jessica Alba is.
But here's who I shouldn't know: Perez Hilton. This is a person who's entire existence is commenting on famous people. And now he's famous. And, despite all my efforts to block vacuous douchebags like him out of my life, he's now officially famous enough for me to recognize him. Granted, I'm not entirely sure what he "does," but I'm going to take a shot in the dark and guess it's NOTHING! He has not earned my attention in one single tangible way. And yet there he is, causing a few of my precious brain neurons to fire in recognition of his chubby blue-haired useless face.
Am I the only one that gets absolutely batguana insane about this shit?
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
You know how I like to turn you people on. Or at least turn you on to cool shit.
A few weeks ago, I was listening to This American Life on ze ol' iPod nano when they played an excerpt from this really cool public radio show called Radio Lab. It's a very entertaining exploration of the Big Issues (mortality, memory, morality, other m words) through the prism of science. As Ira Glass has turned me on, so I shall pass the savings on to you. Check it out, my little human genomes.
Speaking of science, any reports from Nate's solo show last night? I heard that guy invented science.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I always feel a little weird being jokey jokey on this particular date, especially since my instinct is always to make the most tasteless joke possible, so why don't I just link you and gently encourage you to give life today and call it an early one, eh?
Monday, September 10, 2007
While I didn't watch much of the MTV Video Music Awards, I did manage to catch the replay of Britney "Anna Nicole" Spears "Smith" zombie-walking her way through a big production number wearing nothing but a glittery bra and panties set and a glazed-over look in her eyes.
Usually with Britney, it can be a sort of fun game to play "Guess the Pharmaceutical Combo" based on which particular poor motor skills and erratic behavior she happens to be displaying that day. But this time, I was surprised to find myself feeling vaguely sad and a little creeped out witnessing this poor used-up real doll trying to recapture her formerly energetic sex symbol image.
The whole pathetic scene sort of reminded me of that episode of The Sopranos when Tony visits the woman who had an affair with his father that claimed she fucked JFK. When Britney was grabbing that male dancer's crotch, she might as well have been putting on a wig and singing "Happy Birthday, Mr. President." Yuck.
As for the rest of the show, I tuned out. I'm still boycotting until they ask Arsenio to host again.
Friday, September 07, 2007
On the traffic-congested roads of our fair berg, I try to be an innovator of rage.
For me, it's not just enough to express my anger at another driver's or pedestrian's bonehead maneuver. I must use my superior intellect and driving savvy to educate them of their vehicular wrongdoings. Every time I get cut off in traffic is an opportunity to inform someone else that they are, in fact, wrong wrong wrong.
I never use the middle finger or swear at someone. Not only is it cliche and expected, but it doesn't serve any purpose whatsoever. What do you do when someone flips you off on the road? Assume they're an asshole, right? For me, I usually respond by laughing hysterically and either waving or blowing kisses.
On the city streets during the summer, it's actually quite easy to yell things at people. Drivers have their windows down and the stop-and-go nature of the sad sack urban planning around here usually means the person you just cut off is likely going to sit right next to you for the next five to ten minutes. Flipping someone the bird or swearing in this situation is wholly uneffective without an escape route. You might as well be playing 18 holes of golf with a guy after punching him in the nuts.
Whenever the opportunity presents itself, I like to calmly but loudly point out what they did wrong. More than one Boston city driver has heard a few caterwaulings from an irate indie rocker in a Saturn, such as "Actually, I have the right of way there, sir!" and "You're not following the rules of the road!" If I'm really ubermiffed, I'll say "You're a bad driver!"
As a rule, people are very confused by this and not sure how to respond. I'm not casting aspersions on their character, as is de rigeur on the streets of our angry city. People are always prepared to defend their personality quirks. But their driving skills are subpar and they must be made aware of this deficiency!
Most of the time, there's no time for an actual exchange of ideas, so I have devised the most elegant solution: the thumbs down. It works in almost every driving situation. If someone does the "nice" thing by letting someone take a left in front of them thus having the decidedly "not nice" effect of three people behind them missing a green light, they get a stern thumbs down.
The thumbs down works best because of its simplicity. It can be seen from any angle, including the rear view mirror, making it perfect for communicating your feelings about the dillhead that just cut you off. And it can be interpreted in several ways, from "I don't approve of your recent driving gambit" to "You as a human are worthy of a stranger's scorn."
Thumbs down fever. Catch it!
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Time for the Celebrity Fit Club weight loss weigh-in blah blah blah...
Okay, I was at 212 lbs again this morning. My body seems to want to pretty much stay around this weight, give or take a pound or two. I haven't been sticking to a strict weight loss diet, but I have been exercising every day and eating pretty well, with the exception of Labor Day during which I single-mouthedly created an East Coast hot dog shortage.
See, the mistake I made was losing some weight and then deciding to do this Celebrity Fit Club thing. I was at about 230 this spring. I tightened up the diet and lost 15 lbs over June and July and then thought, "Hey, maybe I'll track my weight loss on the ol' journal. That'll motivate me and (more importantly) fill some space once a week!"
And so I started recording just as my body plateau'd (definitely not a real word) and I've hovered around the 212 mark. This week, I start kicking up the weight training portion of my regimen, so I wouldn't be surprised if my weight actually went up because of adding muscle mass. Still, you won't mess with the guns if you know what the F is good for you, hoss.
So the long and short of it is, I will continue to waste your time writing about the minutae of my diet and exercise habits, despite the fact that there is not likely to be any significant progress either way. Sound good?
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Hope everyone had a nice long weekend. As for me, I ate like a total asshole all weekend, consuming enough hot dogs at Hogg's barbecue to qualify my ass as an alternative energy source.
But wow oh wow - did we have fun at the Tufts show on Friday night? Yes. Yes, we did. The often imitated but never fondled highlights:
- After a rousing pre-show game of Upwords, Keith decided to use the board to make himself a set list (PS - there are two cover songs in there, if you want to play the guessing game at home):
Once again, proof that Keith is a complete psychopath. Of course, I had to ruin it during the show by spilling the letters all over the stage. Once again, proof that I am an insufferable jerk. We are what we are, friends. Ain't no changing us now.
- We realized that we had run out of rehearsed material about one hour into our two-hour show. This resulted in several unrehearsed impromptu cover songs, including Kelly Clarkson's "Since You've Been Gone," Venga Boys' classic "Boom Boom Boom Boom," and Nate's improvised version of "Snakes on a Plane." Brought the house down.
- It was one of those nights when anything seemed possible. Late in the evening, we even managed to use the power of our rock to disprove the necessity of capitalism. People asked about buying CDs and we told them of the bargain $5 price tag. Later in the set, we realized - these were poor college kids. They were generous enough to spend their time on our ridiculously bloated unrehearsed set, so Keith made a decision: one night only, all CDs are free.
Then, something amazing happened. After the show, kids who had just gotten a free CD and a free show came up and gave us $5. They wanted to thank us for the good show and the free CD. We actually made more money than we normally do on CD sales. It just goes to show - if we get rid of this capitalist thing, maybe we'll all figure out another way to take care of each other.
Thanks, Tufts! You restored our heretofore shaken faith in Kelly Clarkson covers.