Thursday, December 30, 2010

Has it really been a year?

I was sitting here, freezing my balls off, when I thought, "Man, it's been a while since a posted. I think I will post something." I had no idea it has been over a year. At least I will have one post in 2010.

Update: My cancer is in remission, my band is kicking ass and taking names, and my kids are not driving me insane. That's the good news. However, this has been a pretty shitty holiday season.

Last Monday, I went over to my lady friend's house. When I got there, she informed me that we are no longer a couple. Well that was fun. Then, as I was driving home pretty pissed off, my car decided to break down. It was only $1200 in damage, and a few days of riding the bus. Yay!

Then on Wednesday, while doing my Christmas baking, I got distracted and managed to set my kitchen on fire. Luckily, damage was minimal. Then, I found out a friend of mine had a heart attack and died on Christmas Eve. So this has pretty much been the worst Christmas ever.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Umbrella's guide to holiday viewing

I'm a little late with this, but in case you've never seen the holiday programming, may I suggest you get a TV? For you frekas, here's a guide to decide what to watch this year. The scale is from one to five egg nogs, with 5 being the best.

It's A Wonderful Life (1946) - The movie that spawned so many imitations. Yeah, it's kind of hokey, but I love this flick. Jimmy Stewart rules, and that is not open for debate. Mary is pretty hot for a 1940's chick. It was the inspiration behind Ernie and Bert. And as a bonus, you get to see the dude who was Alfalfa in this movie (he's the guy that opens the pool so everyone falls in at the dance). Still, I have to dock it some points because it's a proven fact that every kid in old movies has to be annoying as fuck. 4.5/5 egg nogs.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) - Not bad, but I have some problems with the movie. First of all, does anybody really believe that was Santa? I think if a parent let some crazy old dude take care of their kid these days, CPS would get called. Then, the lawyer gets "Santa" off on a technicality, creating more distrust of laywers. Plus, I just can't get over the feeling that this was an early infomercial for Macy's. 2/5 egg nogs.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964) - This one is considered the Rankin/Bass classic, but it's never sat real well with me. First off, Rudolph's parents are assholes for mocking his birth defect. Can you imagine if Corky's parents teased him on "Life Goes On"? People would be losing their minds. Yet with Rudolph, it's OK. I don't get it. And I hate that fucking elf who wants to be a dentist. What a little bitch that guy is. Who wants to go from making kids happy to inflicting pain? Yukon Cornelius is a badass though, and I will give bonus points to the squirt gun that shoots grape jelly. That thing rocks. I wish I had one of those. 2.5/5 egg nogs.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) - Another classic. However, I think this one misses the mark a little bit. Why would Charlie Brown get all discouraged about Snoopy's awesome light display on his doghouse? I mean, which would you rather see, a tricked out doghouse, or an anemic little Christmas tree that dies when you put an ornament on it. No contest. Also, Linus gets a little too preachy for me. Hey Linus, maybe we would pay a little more attention to you if you didn't completely ruin your credibility a couple of months earlier with all that Great Pumpkin nonsense. 1.5/5 egg nogs.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) - OK, the Grinch is pretty awesome. Boris Karloff does his voice, and narrates, which automatically gets bonus points. Plus, whoever that dude who sings about Grinch has the coolest deep voice. Eat your heart out Barry White. And for anyone who thinks cats are cooler than dogs, the dog in Grinch will end that argument. Loyal, hard working, and can see no fault in the Grinch? Yep, sounds like every dog I know. I can't give it 5 egg nogs for two reasons. One, the people in Whoville are a little on the Stepford side for me. Second, it spawned a terrible Jim Carrey flick. 4/5 egg nogs.

A Christmas Story (1983) - Now we're talking. A gun is the focal point in the story. The queen mother of all curse words. A double dog dare. Chinese turkey. Major awards. I OWN this movie, and it is the only must watch on my list every year. Jean Shepard is a terrific writer, and the film is a great adaptation of his work. My lady friend doesn't like this movie. That's because she is a freak. Plus, this movie has life lessons in it. For example, when Ralphie gets busted for cursing, he immediately blames Schwartz. The lesson in this? Blame the Jews. 5/5 egg nogs.

Football (every year) - I realize some of you would argue that this isn't holiday programming. To you people, I say "Move back to France!" It's on in December. Bowl games are on Christmas day. And on the rare occasions when Christmas is on Sunday, it is like the birth of Jesus is being witness by our generation. Plus, December football is either bowl games (college) or playoff pushes (NFL). 5/5 beers (only a pussy drinks egg nog while watching football).

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Back out of my cave, with a shameless plug.

So between my illness, the band, and a freaking month long business trip, I've been too tired to post. Mostly because I've been using my creative juices to make mashups. My daughter has been trying to get me to try and make one, so I decided what would be the most ridiculous pair of artists to try and mash. Mission accomplished.

Hope you enjoyed it!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Where have all the bass players gone?

It lives. Yes, I'm still around. I've been concentrating on getting healthy, my paying job, and my low paying job (the band). That sucks all of my energy I have.

The new band is kicking ass. We've played a few gigs, and are starting to build a little following. Unfortunately, we are doing it without a bassist. I have never been in a band having this much trouble getting a bass player to stick. It's pissing me off. They are like the drummers in Spinal Tap.

So if you're a bass player in the Tucson area, and want to play in a kickass punk/jazz/hardcore hybrid that is made for moshing, let me know.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Kickass toys, and how poor kids played back in the 70's

As part of my ongoing childhood memories tour, here is a list of toys from my youth. Some of these I owned, some of them I didn't. But just because we were poor, didn't mean we couldn't have fun. Here is a list of shit we used to do.

1. Caps - I never owned a cap gun. However, we could go down to TG&Y's and get a giant roll of caps for about a dime. Who needed a cap gun when you had a rock? We would sit and bash the pockets of gunpowder all day. Yeah, the sidewalk would be covered with scorch marks, but who cares? Cheap explosives rule!

2. Evil Knievil motorcycle - To a boy in the 70's, Evil Knievil was the baddest man on the planet. For you whippersnappers out there, it might be hard to believe that some dude jumping over shit on a motorcycle was prime time TV, but his stunts were a ratings bonanza. I never got to own this toy, but one of my friends did. We would jump over everything with it. We tried to jump his dog (eww, that sounds gross) but the damn mutt would never stay still (and that sounds even grosser). To this day, this is still the toy I'm bitter about never owning.

3. Stretch Armstrong - I got this for Christmas one year. We need to start a poll. How long did you own this toy before you cut it open to see what was inside? I think I made it about a month. As an added bonus, this toy made a great weapon. I knocked my brother into near unconsciousness by hitting him in the head with it.

4. Slime - What the hell was this stuff? According to wiki, it's made of guar gum. I still don't know what it is. All I know is that it was pretty cool for a little while. Then eventually you would forget to put the lid on tight, and it would dry out and be useless. Everyone I know pretended it was snot to gross out our moms.

5. Army Men - Another TG&Y classic. You could get a giant bag of these dudes for about a buck. The dude with the bazooka was badass. My brother would get pissed at me because I would always give him the pussy that was talking on the radio. We would set up these big elaborate battles, and then throw rocks at them to try and "kill" them by knocking them over. I never really liked the guy who was lying down with his gun. You couldn't knock him over. In the provided link, it looks like he's standing up. I think that is photography magic. One time a buddy of mine came back from Mexico with a bunch of bottle rockets, so we shot a bunch of them into space. The other thing we used to do is throw them in a fire, and pretend they were torched by a flamethrower.

6. Slip N Slide - Do they still make these? I never owned one proper, but never underestimate the ingenuity of a poor kid. One time we were wandering around the back of some industrial complex, and came across a roll of thick plastic. Being the little shitheads we were, we made off with the roll. Add garden hose, and presto, instant Slip N Slide. We would play pickle with it, where we would have spectacular slides to avoid the tags. One of the worst times I got in trouble as a young kid was because of this. We set it up at my buddy's house, and played for about 8 hours. The hose was running the whole time, turning his front yard into a marsh. Plus, with all the sliding and everything, we tore up most of the grass as well. When his folks got home, they lost their minds. They ended up having to tear out and redo the entire yard.

7. Star Trek gun - I didn't watch Star Trek, but I liked guns. This was another cheap TG&Y toy you could get for a couple of bucks. They shot these little plastic discs that kinda hurt when you got hit with them. However, you would lose the discs pretty quickly as you can imagine. We discovered they shoot pennies pretty well, and the ammo packed more of a wallop.

8. Big Wheel - Best. Gift. Ever. I finally got one for Christmas one year, which probably extended my belief in Santa for another good three years. Fuck I loved that thing. We would go around trying to see who could do the baddest skids. The problem is, I was growing so fast at that time that I couldn't fit in it anymore. Yeah, it had an adjustable seat, but that would only get you so far. However, I was a problem solver. Just grab onto the handle bars, put one foot in the seat, and treat it like a scooter. No wonder I have back problems now. Unfortunately, that method would usually result in cracking the middle of it, rendering it useless. That is, if the plastic tires weren't flat already. I'm pretty sure I cried when my mom finally got rid of its broken, faded shell.

9. Tennis Ball - Probably the most versatile toy on this list. You could find one of those lying around by the high school most of the time. I can't even begin to count the number of games that we could play with a tennis ball. See #6, the pickle was done with a tennis ball. Probably our favorite game to play was "Butt's Up". All you need is a tennis ball, a wall, and some kids. The linked version I've listed is actually pretty close to how we would play, except we would try to hit the runner instead of the wall. We'd play for hours. Heck, I'd still play that today if I could find any takers.

10. Water Rocket - This thing was pretty cool. You'd fill it full of water, and then pump it with air pressure to get it to launch. The trick was to see how much pressure you could get. Since we were kids, we weren't that strong, so we would all gang up to get that thing pumped up. Eventually, we broke the pump. Apparently, it's all educational as well. Whatever, we just wanted to see how high we could get that fucker to go. Surprisingly, we never actually shot it at each other. Even with our violent tendencies, we knew that would probably fuck someone up pretty bad.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A somewhat serious post

I'm sure all 6 of my loyal readers have been noticing the severe lack of posts lately. I somewhat addressed it in my last post, but I guess I should come clean. I have been diagnosed with cancer.

I have debated back and forth whether I should mention it on my blog. Hell, I debated whether or not to keep it from my friends and family. However, the chemotherapy is kinda kicking my ass, so I figured I better tell people since they would notice I wasn't myself. Plus, if someone I cared about kept it secret from me, I'd be pretty pissed off about it.

However, on a blog, you can't see me or my actions, so I could have kept it a secret. What I don't want is for this to become a mopey, woe-is-me type of thing. Life can be shitty enough without another depressing blog out there. Plus, my chances for a full recovery are good, so this isn't going to get all morbid or anything like that.

So why come clean? Well, if you haven't noticed by now, a lot of my posts are me ranting about things that piss me off. And this definitely pisses me off. So I may decide to rant about it in the future. I really want to keep a sense of humor about all of this, so I may look at this from a different angle.

Plus, I am being forced to face issues that most of us don't like to think about. I'm sure this is leading to some of my reminiscing posts. Those posts are kind of fun to do anyways, so chances are good that I'll keep doing those.

And finally, my energy is absolutely shit these days. By the time I get home from work, I just want to sleep. This means I don't feel like posting, for all of you mensas out there.

So there it is. Don't feel sorry for me, because that will just piss me off. I like challenges, so this is how I'm approaching things. And because I'm me, we started a pool at work for what date I will shave my head when I start losing my hair. I don't know the dates anyone picked, and the only way we decided I could be eligible for the pool was for me to pick that I won't lose my hair at all. Nothing like gambling on your own body.

OK, enough of that crap. Your regularly scheduled immature posts will return shortly.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Celebrity death match

No, the Feds didn't get me. Life gets complicated, and then I don't blog. Simple as that.

But of course, while I was in hiatus, famous people started dieing left and right. First, we had Ed McMahon. Most people remember him as Johnny's sidekick, but I remember him as a man ahead of his time. Remember Star Search? That's America's Got Talent, but 20 years earlier. Dude was a visionary, and nowhere near as annoying as David Hasselhoff.

Then Farrah. Yeah, I knew she was really sick, but she was my first pinup, so I was bummed out. You know the poster. I won it at the state fair by popping balloons. I think I was 10. My mom wasn't too thrilled, but I was. Several years later, I was working graveyard shifts at a 7-11. I was working there when she appeared in Playboy. That's when I discovered the truth behind the most famous part of the poster.

And then Michael Jackson. I was in high school when he became really big. Let's face it, he made MTV what it is today. Well, aside from the fact that they don't show music videos anymore. I wasn't the biggest fan, but I respect his talent, at least before he went completely insane. So I'm not really that emotionally involved with his death like a lot of people are.

At least I wasn't, until I heard his dad talk. For those that don't know, Joe Jackson is a piece of shit who did God knows what to his kids. It's no coincidence that every one of those kids is fucked up. So what does he do when addressing the public after Michael's death? He pimps out his new business ventures. I don't know why this pissed me off so bad, but it did. I just can't imagine losing one of your kids, and taking the opportunity to promote yourself. I just don't see how someone could put their own financial gain over the well being of their kids.

It's like the whole John and Kate fiasco, but at least those kids aren't dead yet. Although with Kate parading those kids around at every opportunity, I'm predicting that one of the girls will end up in porn. You heard it here first. It will be called John and Kate Plus Eight Dicks in Her Mouth, or something clever like that. End the fucking show, and take care of your kids. I've been through a divorce, and had young kids when it happened. It's a messed up situation, and I don't need a camera in my face while it's happening. Those kids don't either.

Sheez, with all the celebrity talk, this is turning into a gossip blog. I think I'm about two posts away from drawing dicks on celebrity pictures in Paint.