S is for "Scenes From A Motel"

Johnny Avocados adjusted his banana hammock, coughed nervously, mussed his hair and looked at his reflection in the motel mirror. He promised he'd quit after this one, "Cold turkey," he whispered to no one as he affixed the fake mustache he bought off of that off-duty DMV employee with the she-mullet and the embroidered elephants on her pink satin jacket.

His heart beat metronomically, like the wrist of a fly fishing pro or a goiter on a jogger with an enlarged thyroid. He put his hand against the cool surface of the bathroom mirror. "High fives. All around." he whispered.


Margaret studied the "You Are Here" icon on the Emergency Escape Plan mounted on the back of her door. It looked like she felt: like a target. On the TV behind her and to her right, James Carville yammered on about something or other. In the war of the talking heads, we are all losers. She had no idea what he was talking about. It may as well be a diatribe on the dangers of kite flying for all Margaret knew or cared.

Margaret was burdened by the Great Eternal Truth: we're all transitory. We're all going to die someday, somehow, whether it's by accidental lobotomy, getting shivved in a prison shower by Martha Stewart or a long weekend at Neverland Ranch, eyes heavy with wine and opium.

A chewing gum commercial came on with that "Way You Walk" song by that band, Papas Fritas. Margaret had seen them in concert years ago as a student in Quebec, before everything got so scary. Before anthrax in the mail and airplanes used as bombs and removing your shoes at airports. Before now.

She sat down on the end of her bed, sobbing.


"Take that ridiculous hat off. You look like a Rastafarian or something."

"Well, that shirt makes you look like an extra in a high school production of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. And you managed to slop tiramisu all over it. Nice."

"Whatever. Wait, who are you calling? Your mom? It's been what, 10 hours? Geez. Yeah, I guess you're about due. What's the matter, the umbilical cord pulled too tight?"

"Oh go pop a Valium or something. I should have listened to my mother and married Jerry Washington. He wouldn't have brought me to this crappy motel in who-knows-where and insulted by shirt and bored me to tears with details about fungus and whatever!"

"Um, it's called xylan. It's a polysaccharide found in plant cell walls and some algae. Freaking zoology majors."


"I'm sorry. Your hat is nice."

"I'm sorry, too. But your fungus is still boring. And Jerry Washington is a doofus."


And that's the end of the words and the end of April. I'm not doing the "Voices" thing for May, so, business as usual. I'll post the new mix soon.

This list is courtesy of Caitlin. Thanks to everyone who participated. If I didn't use your words, don't take it too hard. You just weren't good enough. (I kid, I kid!)

F is for "Free Comics!"

So this Saturday, May 3, is Free Comic Book Day at your local comic book shop. Yay! If you don't know what FCBD is, it's a day where one can brave the Nerdhive and get comics for free. For free!

Now some of you may have never been in a comic store or haven't been in one in a while. This is understandable. I like comics and most of those places creep me out. So I, being the awesomely nice person I am and sort of a comics evangelist, have put together a handy guide to assist you in your free comic book spree. I know, I know, but you're worth it.

Let's look at some of what's offered (you can view that whole list at the aforementioned link), shall we?

Hellboy/B.P.R.D. - Um yeah, get this. Hellboy is great comicbookery and the B.P.R.D. series is pretty excellent as well. Different beasts entirely as B.P.R.D. reads sort of like a paranormal G.I. Joe (that phrase should have got your nerd blood pumping) and Hellboy is a more thoughtful affair (well, as thoughtful as a book about a demon from hell punching giant Nazi gorillas can be), but man, it's some great stuff. Also, I [heart] Duncan Fegredo.

All Star Superman #1 - Um yeah, get this, too. Probably the best superhero comic book published in the last 10 or so years. Excellent stuff. And the best art is, it's totally, completely accessible to new readers, rather than the nigh impenetrable stuff DC normally spews out. Get it. In fact, get two and give one to some kid or something.

Project Superpowers - I heard Alex Ross was trying a new technique here where he paints the superheroes and makes them look like real people! I know, cool, right? It's like Superman looks like my neighbor! Awesome! I kid, I kid. Ross does what he does very well. Unfortunately, what he does, I'm tired of seeing. I'll pass.

Broken Trinity Preview - I have never read a Top Cow book ( I was born with the defect called "the ability to steer clear of this sort of embarrassing crap") and I'm not going to start now. Sorry! Not even if it's free! Whee!

X-Men - Marvel, being the marketing geniuses have decided to capitalize on the fact that FCBD falls on the opening weekend for what is poised to be a huge box office success, the Iron Man movie by offering ... an X-Men comic. In all fairness, it's silly to try and get people to read the Iron Man monthly because, well, it's most likely horrible stuff, especially since he's the World's Greatest D**chebag since last year's Civil War blockbuster crossover. So, yeah, go with the X-Men.

That said, I'd probably stay away from this as the X-Men universe is totally screwed up and totally not worth your time to decipher, except Mike Carey's writing and he's competent, bordering on good (I really loved what he was doing on Ultimate Fantastic Four before I dropped that title due to low fundage). On the other hand, Greg Land is the artist. Greg Land sucks. Big time. So, yeah. Maybe?

Worlds Of Aspen #3 - Avoid this like the Plague. The art of Michael Turner and his evil clones It will give you cancer in your nether-regions. You have been warned.

Tiny Titans #1 - I'll probably pick this up for Sadie.

Gegika: A Drawn+Quarterly Manga Sampler - Okay, I'll bite. Sure. I mean, it's free, right?

I.G.N.A.T.Z. #1 - I'll pick this up for sure.

Disney's Gyro Gearloose - Carl Banks' Uncle Scrooge stuff is always a good bet, especially for younger readers.

E.C. Comics Sampler - Yeah, this is coming home with me.

Marvel Adventures: Iron Man - Definitely a smart move, as (from what I understand), the Marvel Adventures line is pretty solid. And it's an Iron Man tie-in. With a Hulk story, to boot. And it's written by Jeff "the Interman" Parker.

Wait, did Marvel do something not catastrophically stupid? Should I be worried?

Anyway, I'll pick this up.

Atomic Robo & Friends - I've heard a lot of good things about this Lucasfilm-backed title (the publishing company is called Red 5, fer cryeye!). I'll check it out.

Amelia Rules! - For Sadie.

The Moth: Greatest Hits - The Moth appeared in a couple of Madman issues back in the day (you know, the one where the guys who looked like Conan O'Brien, Andy Richter and Max Weinberg kidnapped Frank), so I am contractually obligated to be interested in this one.

NASCAR Heroes: All-Star Special - Oh geez. No.

Owly & Friends - This is a good sampler for kids, even if Owly is so cutesy it is physically painful. I'm really excited about the Kolchaka strip in here.

Gumby's Coloring Comic Book Special #1 - I really need to be picking this up when it comes out. Seriously, read this solicitation:

Gumby snaps back! Courtesy of writers Mike Hersh (Rabid Animal Komix) and Bob Burden (Flaming Carrot), along with art from series favorite Rick Geary (Victorian Murder Mysteries) and fellow comic greats Phil Ortiz (The Simpsons), Ken Hooper (Aquaman), and Mel Smith (Dead Ahead) in this spectacular coloring comic edition! Infected by a computer worm our favorite bendable hero seeks help from the Mad Doctor. A mini-Gumby is created and embarks on a hilarious adventure inside his own body searching for the terrible worm. Will Gumby find the worm? What does the inside of a clay boy look like? Find out and join in the fun as you get to be the colorist in the wackiest Gumby tale yet!

Um, yeah, I'm there.

And there it is, FCBD 2008. I'm a little sad that there's no AdHouse offering this year, as I've always been blown away by their output, but there's enough in here to make braving whatever weird stuff may be going on at my local comic shop, so, yeah.

The End.


S is for "Sorry, But..."

I apologize in advance if I come off sounding like a 147-year-old man here but whatever, it needs to be said:

Dear obnoxious kids from The Hills,

Will you please just go away? Like, immediately. I can't take seeing/hearing/reading about you, especially since I have no idea who you are. Seriously, why are you famous (or whatever passes for fame these days)?

Just ... die or something. Please.


PS: Seriously. Go away.


C is for "Corn On the Cob"

Dear Corn On the Cob,

Will you marry me? You are lovely and I adore you. We will be happy forever and ever.

Please Check One (preferrably "Yes"):

[ ] Yes.

[ ] No.



N is for "News: Good, Bad & Other"

Here's the good news: Guilermo del Toro (not to be confused with my friend Guillermo who works at Del Taco) is officially the director of the big screen adaptation of the Hobbit, with Peter Jackson co-writing and producing. I can be very down with this, although I still say that two three-hour movies for the one book is stretching it out a little.

Now, the bad news: Jimmy Fallon is taking over Conan's late-night spot when Conan moves up to the big leagues this year. I predict a drinking game where a person has to drink whenever Fallon cracks himself up and/or fixes his hair. I also predict a lot of alcohol-related fatalities ("FINISH HIM!") due to aforementioned game.

And finally, in other news, Miley Cyrus is reportedly "writing" her autobiography. It is tentatively titled: You Really Will Buy Anything That Has My Large-Toothed Face On It, Won't You? It will be approximately 23 pages long, double-spaced, set in 36 point type and will be 85% exclamation marks and smiley faces. The book will be dedicated to "All you suckers out there."

BRR Goes to the Movies - Speed Racer

I guess I don't get it, the whole Speed Racer thing. I have no connection/nostalgia for the character, so I guess I have to approach this trailer from a purely knee-jerk, visceral reaction. So here goes: This movie looks pretty dumb.

I mean, I know I'm supposed to be dazzled by the gravity-defying races and tracks and whatever, but it looks like a rainbow threw up all over Disneyland and Hot Wheels are being thrown across it. And as far as using the Matrix as a selling point, you're dealing with a guy who tuned out of Matrix Reloaded about ten minutes in, (I think it was the "Okay guys, we're all going to die unless we fight the robots. So, I propose we have a rave!" scene that started the snowball down the hill of hate.) and didn't even bother with Revolutions due to my disgust.

I will say this though, the movie has John Goodman in it, so it won't completely suck. (What's that you say? The Flintstones? Now why did you have to go and bring that up? Why would you do that?) Also, am I the only one who snickers every time Matthew Fox is doing that Will Arnett voice?

Also, there is a chimpanzee in this movie. Maybe they should have added more? If there's one thing life has taught me, it's that you cannot have too many chimpanzees in a movie. I'd definitely see a Speed Racer movie with a cast composed entirely of chimpanzees. (But then again, I own Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp on DVD, so maybe I'm not the best judge.) I mean, getting convincing performances out of a dozen or so chimpanzees can't be any more difficult than getting a convincing performance out of Keanu, right Wachowskis?

Anyway, Speed Racer opens May 9th. I'd Queue it, unless it totally gets savaged online and by critics when it comes out. How about you?

Q is for "Questions?"

Any questions regarding last night's episode of Lost? Now's the time to ask them, especially after the month's break.

In the meantime, for you other Lost nerds, you can busy yourselves with Doc Jensen's newest Entertainment Weekly column. I really thought this episode was super duper keen, even though I had no clue what was happening half of the time. In other words, another excellent Lost episode.


F is for "Forever Lost"

Thanks to this amazing new pharmaceutical, I can now live my life:

But seriously though ... how awesome does tonight's episode look? If you answered "Really Awesome, Dylan." then you are correct.

Oh, and by the way, has anybody else seen this? Also, has anyone else wet themselves in excitement? Because I sure did. I am totally pwned by JJ. And are we excited for this new Joss Whedon show? I'm not all ga-ga over him, but I'll check it out, I guess. Why not, right?

G is for "Google Analytics & Things I Learned From It"

Every one in a while, I check the Google Analytics for the site. You know, just checking stuff out. I learned something interesting: people really want to self-induce seizures.

See, a while back I posted a link to someone who had taken every Beatles song and compressed them into something like 22 minutes. I lasted about 8 before I felt all weird inside, like I might die. So I jokingly posted it as the best way to self-induce a seizure. Apparently this is information people want to know about. Why? I have no idea, but look at these figures from my "Keywords" section:

"how to induce a seizure": 8
"induce a seizure": 6
"induce seizure": 5
"how to induce seizure": 2
"best way to have a seizure": 1
"how can i induce seizure in myself": 1
"how do i induce a seizure?": 1
"how easy is it to induce a seizure": 1
"how to induce a seizure in scott": 1 (sorry if it worked, Scott!)
"induce seizure how": 1
"want to induce a seizure": 1

So, 40 people have come to this site seeking advice on self-inducing seizures. That's sort of a lot. Who knew there was this untapped demographic? Certainly not me.

If you know me, you know that I am a man who can sense opportunity like one dog senses another dog's nether-regions. I am an opportunity-hound. Which is why I'm unveiling my new website: uSeizure.com.* We will post clips from those Japanese cartoons and stuff. It'll be awesome. If you're interested in buying banner ads, e-mail me: seizureman@useizure.com. I'm shaking in my boots while I wait. Get it?! Shaking? Har har har.

* I am not really doing this. Seriously, Internet, stop making yourself have seizures. It can't be good for you. Go read a book or something. Run through a meadow. Play a violent video game. Live, dammit! Live!

Image taken from David B.'s incredible Epileptic graphic novel. It's heart-breaking stuff. Seriously incredible.

A is for "Animavore!"

I eat animals. I eat them for breakfast. I eat them for lunch. I eat them for dinner. I eat them for snacks. They are delicious. Every chance I get, I eat some sor tof animal. And I don't care what Courtnee says, dogs taste good. Like a four-legged chicken. Everybody gets a drumstick!

Some people might be offended by my experiments in cuisine. Those people don't know how many funkalicious meals they are missing. They're too wracked by guilt to consider how their gerbil might taste with some horseradish (pretty good!) or how happy they could be gnawing on a seal bone and toast. "Seals: they're not just for tallow to make candles to light igloos anymore!"

Some jack-o-lanterns (this made-up swear word is copyrighted! Do not steal it!) might take umbrage when I look at their kittens and lick my lips as I describe the juiciest portions and perfect side dishes to them on the subway. Well, those people can go fly kites for all I care! (No seriously, it's a great hobby) Life's too short, you know? I want to make sure when I get up to the pearly gates, when Saint What's-His-Name is recounting my life, he's not going to talk about how much money I made or what sorts of noises I made when I watched The Price Is Right alone. (I really get into Plinko) No, he's going to look at me and say, "Did you really eat an ostrobamarich egg? With radish dressing?" To which I will reply proudly, "Yes. It was ostrobama-licious."

I really don't see what the big deal is, I mean, have you smelled pigs? Now that is a disgusting animal. Dogs smell good. (And taste great with a little ketchup!) Cats are known for their cleanliness. Monkeys ... well they're sort of gross. (But tasty!)

The thing I hate the most about all of this is the constant quizzes whenever I describe my eating habits to people. "Have you had turtle?" Yes. Great with relish. "How about kangaroo?" Yep. Most people think I'm joshing when I say it has a little kick to it. "Would you eat reindeer meat?" You betcha. If it's good enough for Santa Claus, it's good enough for me. That's why I wear this furry red suit (One hundred percent red panda fur. They are salty!) and give random people presents. (Okay, so "presents" is more like "advice on how to properly prepare their pets as meals", but well, teach a man to fish...) Ho ho ho!

The biggest problem I face is the media. If only there were more positive portrayals of animavores on TV or in movies, (or radio plays for you old-timers)I don't think I would be faced with such ridiculous treatment. I mean we all eat animals, I just venture out from under the umbrella of "the Norm" every now and then. And do some of my expeditions in to unknown territory end in something besides victory? Or course. I'll never eat pigeon again. Or anything than waves at me. Xcept for those two things, it's fair game. And I do mean game, all you yellow-tailed zig zags out there. You're going to taste great with some spicy mustard and a Bearnaise sauce.



Today's list via Courtnee whose blog is Top Secret. (Not the movie) And no, I didn't misspell her name. Two "E"' s. Weird, right?


Some Things To Consider:

1. I was a lot better at the lists than I am at this letter thing. Maybe I should have written/shared letters like Patti did? I could have written a letter to Neil Armstrong or William Shatner. Is it too late to change? We'll see what next month's NaBloPoMo challenge is and see if I can get behind it.

2. Was that guy on the train seriously sneering at the fact that I was reading Colbert's I Am America (& So Can You!)? Do people not get the joke? To be fair, when I saw him interviewed by Bill O'Reilly, I had a hard time telling them apart.

3. I'm selling my CD collection. I still need to list about 100 of them on Amazon. I saved some: the Flaming Lips' 4-disc masterpiece Zaireeka, The Visible Man - remix album of David Byrne's Feelings album, my Pet Sounds Sessions box set, but it's been a lot easier than I thought it would be. I just don't want to hang on too long and then be that guy with a really awesome laserdisc collection that is, effectively, worthless.

5. You know what an excellent word is? "Colophon."

6. Tomorrow night's TV is going to rockrockrock. 9:00p - 9:30p: The Office. 9:30p - 10:00p: 30 Rock. 10:00p - 11:00p: Lost. Me = In Heaven.

7. Colin Meloy's (of the overly-literary, but still good, the Decemberists) former alt-country (!) band, Tarkio, is really dang good. I think that if I had heard them before the Decemberists, I'd have had an easier time getting into the, uh, Decemberists, if that makes sense. I used "the Decemberists" too many times in that last sentence. If you're curious, I included a track in May's BRRmix. Which leads me to...

8. I finished May's mix. You can preview the album art here. I'm seriously tempted to post it now, but won't no matter how much you clamor for it because that will make May feel that much longer. It's all about the anticipation, right, Jesse? Anyway, this month's mix is (obviously) titled Folk Star. Folky, strumm-y, rock-y, a little goofy? I like it. That's the important part, right? I mean, you get what you pay for, free-loaders!

9. There is nothing on TV on Wednesday nights. Nothing!!!

10. I want one of these. Maybe two. They are freaking adorable. Like a kitten riding a unicorn through a field of daisies while eating an ice cram cone made from pink fluffy clouds.

11. Why can't we have a meal where we just eat cake? Don't you think that would make everybody just a little happier? I'm pretty sure that there are no problems in life or the world that cannot be solved with the addition of cake. Or cheesy salsa. ¡Con queso!

12. I think this 33 1/3 book series is pretty cool. I just put Joe Pernice's Meat Is Murder, Colin Meloy's ("More Meloy?", you say? Oh, you betcha.) Let It Be (the Replacements one, not the Beatles one, though they're both excellent) and Douglas Wolk's Live At the Apollo on hold at the library. Wheee!

13. I'm excited for this show. The venue's right down by the Cuyahoga (good thing it's not spontaneously catching on fire anymore!) river on a summer evening. Should be really nice.

14. I'm not superstitious, but I really didn't want this list to end on number 13 so I'll just leave you with this little quiz: "Who would win in a fight and why: a pissed-off grizzly bear protecting her cubs or a pissed-off Iggy Pop protecting his heroin?" Please answer below.

C is for "Claire!"

Happy Birthday, Claire. I'm glad you're in our family and I'm glad I'm your Dad. You're a joy to be around and I love you.

Your Dad

PS: I'm sorry that you sort of look like me. Hopefully you'll dodge the unibrow and bushy eyebrows. I also apologize for your never being able to get a tan. My fault.


M is for "Monsters!"

Is this the raddest thing ever? I think so:


K is for "You're Kidding Me, Right?"

This has to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. And I have watched roughly one million Walker, Texas Ranger episodes. I mean, I can understand Marvel Zombies, that was fun and tapped into the zombie zeitgeist (which has totally passed, entertainment world. Please take note) that was in full swing when it was solicited. This, Marvel Apes (I grimace when I type it, in case you were wondering) thing makes no sense. It's like Marvel is using a random word generator or something. I'm surprised it's not New Marvel Apes. Seriously, this is stupid.

In other news, I have successfully turned my three-year-old daughter into a nerd. We were at Toys R Us Friday night, getting a birthday present for Claire's first birthday (and checking out the new summer blockbuster toys ... no Indy toys? WTH?!) and as Candace was paying, Sadie climbed into one of those coin-op little cars. Spider-Man was driving it. It wasn't the Spider Buggy. Sad, I know. Anyway, she was sitting there, having some sort of conversation with Spidey when I walked over.

"Oh, hi dad. This is Spider-Man." Sadie explains, putting her arm around him. He look smaller in person, BTW.

"Oh yeah? And what's your name?" I ask this because Sadie is almost always someone else. It's cute, except she never lets you know who she is and gets sort of pissed if you don't know which of her lineup of aliases she's using.

"I'm Princess Leia. I'm his wife." she says, matter-of-factly.

This is what happens when nerds are allowed to reproduce. Girls, if a guy can name 15 superheroes and their secret identities/real names off the top of his head and/or seriously considered a career as a Jedi: Just Say "No."


BRR Goes To the Movies - I is for Iron Man

.... Aaaand we're back. With the summer movie season closing in fast, it's time for me to bludgeon you with my opinions on the coming attractions set to smash your nearest movieplex into pieces. Because my opinions are soooo important. This summer has some pretty rad stuff on the docket and some pretty dreadful stuff. I will help you decide which is which. Such is my curse.

Today, let's look at this film, releasing May 2nd:

Oops, sorry. Wrong clip. Here's the trailer:

I will be honest with you, I am very very excited for this. I mean, they're going to have to work pretty hard o screw this one up. John Favreau at the helm, Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark (can you think of a more inspired casting move?), Terence Howard as James "Rhodie" Rhodes, Jeff "the Dude Abides" Bridges as Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger and Gwyneth Paltrow as, uh, Pepper Potts? Yeah, I have no clue who she is either, as I've only read like two issues of an Iron Man comic somewhere back in the 80's (red and white costume, baby!), but hopefully there'll be not a lot of the lovey stuff going on, if only to show that a superhero movie can exist without it. I mean come on, Tony Stark only has time to make sweet love to two things: a bottle of scotch and the future (and, if comics dynamo Joel Priddy is to be believed, Japanese motorcycles).

And while it's nice to include a little romance in an action movie when necessary (for example, a Spider-Man movie should be concerned with romance, as the transformation of Peter Parker from nebbish loser to slightly-less-nebbish loser is part of the story; the Superman/Lois Lane/Clark Kent love triangle makes for an interesting dynamic and speaks to Kal-El's inescapable other-ness/desire to be human; but in a Batman movie, a romance subplot just gets in the way, especially when said romantic interest is played by Katie "I couldn't act when I was on Dawson's Creek so I'm not sure why everybody expects me to be able to act now that I've married Tom Cruise and birthed his alien baby" Holmes. She's to be replaced by Maggie Gyllenhall in The Dark Knight, but well leave that for another episode, shall we?). Am I wrong or am I just behaving like a six-year-old who makes vomit noises when people kiss on television? U-Decide!

Anyway, this one's a Theater. I'll book a sitter and everything. What say you, Beloved Internets?


T is for "A Toilet Story"

Apple Jacks and Banana Pancakes had not spoken to each other since they had a pretty feirce argument one late night over what model of Corellian Freighter the Millennium Falcon was ("uh, duh, Apple Jacks, it's a YT-1300!" Banana Pancakes exclaimed, his mouth a morass of spittle and partially mashed French Onion Sun Chips ... ) of if Delta Force was a commentary on Reagan-era US foreign policy and its pursuant pitfalls or if it was a metaphor for the escape from the prison of one's own elephantitis-ized ego.

Needless to say, they did not leave that apartment on the best of terms. After their little verbal fandango, Apple Jacks packed up his collection of Garbage Pail Kids cards, gruesomely decapitated action figure heads and all 27 volumes of The Complete Annotated William Shatner's Tekworld and move out their shared hovel of an apartment and onto the dark and lonely streets.

"Better to sleep on a park bench that smells vaguely like boiled cabbage and vinegar than spend another minute in an apartment with a nincompoop!" Apple Jack yelled at noone in particular, his voice a mixture of indignation, sadness and Milk Duds.

That was two years ago.

Since then, Banana Pancake had embarked on a career as a hip-hop mogul, rising through the ranks as the hot new MC, Hostile Apostle, known for his venomous lyrics packed full of cheeky references to discarded pop culture and how badly his back hurt. Dude was huge in Denmark and Hungary.

Apple Jack, on the other hand still worked in the produce section of a rather disreputable supermarket owned by a Spaniard who bore an uncanny resemblance to Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride. The faux-Montoya even wore a sword, knee-high boots and a puffy shirt around in public. Needless to say, the man was hell with the ladies.

So you can imagine the ill-feeling that hung in the air as they glanced at each other at opposite ends of the urinal tract in a public restroom at a certain Major League Baseball park on May 27, 2006. It was obviously palpable to the man between them, a 50-something man who looked a little like Jack White/Black/Palance mated with a cougar who flew through space to have her abominable offspring birthed on the mystical planet Kobol, whose king was the great-grandson of one Lorenzo Llamas, you know, the dirtbag guy from Renegade. With the mullet. That guy. All of that was a roundabout way of saying that the 50-something man's ears were too big for his head.

Big Ears tried to clear the obvious tension that hung like a hanging thing over the entire urinal row by talking about muscle cars and how he'd once seen 14 ninjas piled into a Shelby Cobra, but after one-and-a-half sentences, he fell silent, finished up, and ran out of the lavatory. And no, he didn't wash his hands. I know, gross right?

Both parties tried to optimize the silence to come up with a killer opening line that even pirates or Jason Quinones* would blush at. They stood there, no longer "taking care of business," just glaring beams of purest hatred across the aisle of urinals like missiles or turkey legs, locked an intricate dance of hatred, bitterness and non-urination.

Then something happened.

Someone started humming Kiss' "Rock And Roll All Nite" in one of the stalls. Some guy with Star Wars boxer shorts and jeans down around his ankles, hearing no noise and thinking he was alone in the restroom began singing, as in "like really singing"-type singing. Guitar solos and everything. Improvising, even.

By the time he finished up, the tension had melted like cheese into tortilla soup. After Apple Jacks and the hip-hop mogul formerly known as Banana Pancakes washed their hands (like everyone should do, especially after using a public restroom), but before the guy in he stall started in on humming the entirety of Dave Matthews frat-friendly jam-band classic Under The Table And Dreaming, Apple Jack and Banana Pancake did the unthinkable, they smiled at each other and shook hands. Then they hugged. Then they started arguing about the merits of bass sensationVictor Lemonte Wooten and whether there is a Wilhelm Scream snuck into Xanadu. But they were smiling. For the first time in years, they were smiling. Unlike most other people, they left the restroom with more than they went in with. I don't care which god you pray to or what you believe politically or if you once met Adam West at a classic car show in lovely downotwn Burbank in the fall of 1976, but that right there is a beautiful thing.

So, why am I writing this on the wall of a men's room stall in Yankee Stadium? Well, the fact of the matter is that I got bored sitting here singing the theme song to The Fall Guy over and over and sometimes you see something while you're sitting on the toilet that is so life-affirming and beautiful that you just have to share it. "Pay it forward" and all that.

Also, I'm sort of hoping the people from the Zagat Survey see this and give me a job or something. A guy can only sit on toilets singing loudly to himself and whoever else is "taking care of business" before he starts to get bored and wish he had a "real" job.

I'm sure you know exactly what I mean.


Today's list comes from Ben, so it's his fault if it's too weird for you and your fragile sensibilities to handle.

* Jason, I mean no harm. You know that, right? Well, just in case you don't, I don't. Mean any harm, that is. You were the "Q" in the list. I did what I had to do. I am not sorry.

Okay, I am sorry. Sorry.

P is for "Promise" as in, "I Promise to Update With Relevant Content Sometime Today But I Saw This and Promptly Freaked Out So I Had To Share It*"

This, my friends, is really excellent news. Like, "I seriously can't believe this is actually real and not just some weird/amazing dream that I will wake from with a overwhelming sense of loss once I realize it was a dream and will probably be inconsolably morose all day long, like some part of me had shriveled up and died in the corner of my heart and it's starting to stink a little, while the whole day I just wish and wish that I could have slept long enough to at least have heard this sadly imaginary, but undoubtedly brilliant album by two of my favorite recording artists ever. Ever."

This is like if the ghosts of Abraham Lincoln and Isaac Newton, after they defeated that first wave of Martians intent on invading the Earth in 1965, decided to re-team and fight those Mole-Men who swarmed out of a crack in the Earth near the North Pole back in 1987 instead of leaving that mess for Cyborg George Washington and Martha Stewart to take care of. This news is at least that cool.

Probably cooler.

* PS: I misspelled "Promise" twice - in two different ways - when typing the title of this post. Such is my excitement over this announcement. Also, if you're not subscribing to David Byrne's journal well, then I don't know why we're keeping up this charade of an internet friendship. Maybe we should just see other people's' blogs. You know, make a clean break of it.


D is for "Dang It!"


Let's review, shall we?:

David Byrne (!!!!!)
The Raconteurs
Gnarls Barkley
Iron & Wine
Neko Case
Band Of Horses
Silversun Pickups
The Black Keys
Okkervil River
Hot Chip
Vampire Weekend
Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
Drive-By Truckers
Jose Gonzales
Del the Funky Homosapien
What Made Milwaukee Famous
M. Ward
Octopus Project
Mates Of State
{ and }
Langhorne Slim

[ sigh ] Right about now, I'm really wishing I'd been able to find a job in Austin a year ago. Not that I hate the Cleve, but ... man. I mean, look at that list. Look at it!


B is for "Buffalo", as in "Use Every Bit of the Buffalo"

What follows is an attempt to use every word in Patti's list, in order, in a blog post. It is totally based on a true story, which is to say that it's all fake:

So I was sitting down to watch the Apple Dumpling Gang, starring the indomitable Tim Conway and Don Knotts and I'm struck by a perilous conundrum: should I eat a brownie or a piece of carrot cake while I watch this cinematic masterpiece? It's always a touchy decision, dessert. If you choose wrong, man, you're screwed.

Anyway, so when faced with a "zig" or "zag" situation, I always choose "zug", so I opted for a delightful elixir known colloquially as a "French Taunt", made from raw eggs, baby seal tears and ennui. Its name derives from ancient times when a gaggle of Gallic peoples would mix up a big old cup of the stuff and pour it on French peasants while saying horrible things about their aunts, uncles and pet chinchillas. It's true what they say, "Happiness is a taunted Frenchman."

Anyway, so as I was mixing up this brew and listening to the distant lilt of the ice cream truck as it ambled down the avenue, selling joy and bomb pops, an interesting thought got all up on my jock. What if Kleenex were made from sandpaper? That would be horrible! Oh how I laughed and laughed at this thought, so much so that I cried tears of pure limeade into my newly-baked batch of spaghetti sauce muffins.

"Nuts!" I exclaimed as I threw them out the window, accidentally hitting my flamboyantly heterosexual neighbor, Mister Darryl Oats, formerly of the 80's blue-eyed soul duo Pancakes & Oats. You may remember their hit single, "Que Onda Radish?", which was a sensation in Portugal, where it dominated the charts until Señor Sexy released the mega-smash, "Salsa Tomatillo", which I don't need to tell you, really gets your ulnar nerve a-shakin'. Why Spanish disco was so popular in a country that speaks Portugese is anybody's guess. Novelty, maybe? Aaaah, the 1780's. To be 13 again ...

It was at the exact moment as I sat there, humming Señor Sexy's other smash hit, "Forget the Alamo (And Remember To Get Funky!)", watching Mr. Oats pick bits of muffin out of his white-man Afro (Euro?) as he cursed me in twelve different languages (including Esperanto! Impressive!) and threatened to report me to the Vice Squad regarding a rather hilarious - though admittedly "mature" - Dilbert cartoon I had shown him which he found highly offensive (seriously, you Americans and your fear of the nude male form! Talk about your hangups!) that I realized something of cosmic importance: Wheat Chex are not that good! Like, at all! Not to get all xenobiotic on you, but have you tasted these things? Yuck! Like for serious! They're like sticks held together by mulch and bailing wire. Seriously!

Anyway I gotta go and wash this Yorkshire Pudding out of my mustache before it sets like it did last winter. It took twelve firemen equipped with blowtorches and rubber cement 17 hours to remove it. I almost had to lose the mustache and we can't have that!

Talk to you later! Ziti!

Martin P. Wiggumbottom, Esq.
AKA: "Your Boyfriend"


Today's post courtesy of Patti, though Ben threw down the gauntlet as far as using all the words in a list as the basis of a post. Ziti!


Y is for "WHYYYYY?!?!?"

So I was looking through my latest issue of Rolling Stone, you know, the one with Jack White and those two skeletons on the cover. And I'm flipping through to see the "Spring Album Preview", which is sort of exciting stuff. It's like the JC Penney's catalog for music nreds.

So I'm looking through: That new My Morning Jacket album sounds sort of good. New Death Cab album (guess who got tickets to see them and Rogue Wave in June?), which I may or may not have already heard. Jakob Dylan's doing a solo album? Were there other people in the Wallflowers? Another Weezer album? Oh man, that's just sad. Dr. Dog has a new one. Their last album We All Belong was pretty good. Have to check this new one out. The Hold Steady and the Walkmen in July and August, respectively. Love's Forever Changes is getting re-released. Again. And Pacific Ocean Blue, which, yeah, I'm pretty excited about is finally getting pressed to CD.

Oh yeah, and Coldplay's got a new one. Man, those guys are like wallpaper, aren't they? They're just sort of there, y'know? Not that great, not horrible. We'll see if this new one blows my mind. If nothing else, it'll be decent.

Anyway, so I'm feeling pretty good about spring/summer music-wise and then I see this:

Which caused me to yell at the universe, "KHAAAAN!"-style, "WHY!?!?!?" Seriously, who is going to buy this and why are we allowing them to roam free? These guys are not cool, their music is not good. They're disgusting, decrepit old punch lines in search of a joke that turns out to not be funny so much as abysmally depressing. They're just horrible people who make horrible music and they must be stopped.

Have I explained my Behind the Music Paradox to you yet? No? Well, the BTMParadox states that any band, no matter if you like their music or not, benefits from a variable exponent (which we will refer to as "x") of repect when the episode is finished. So if you went into the No Doubt BTM with a negative opinion (which we will designate as "n") of the band, once you watch the BTM, [ (x)(n) = (r), with "r" designating some modicum of respect ... don't ask, it's math ] you will leave the episode with a slight amount of respect for a band you thought dumb or whose music you found loathsome before viewing.

The Crüe holds the distinction - along fellow hair metal band, Poison - of being the only band whose Behind the Music episode actually made me actively hate them. And I sat through the Vanilla Ice one. But the Crüe? No way, man. I went in neutral, like Switzerland and emerged the roiling pit of rage that stands before you. Like North Korea.

And then, to add insult to injury, I saw this gem:

Johnny Freaking Cougar will you please die already. "All I can do is keep on writing songs" ... that sell cars. Whatevs, you big fat phony. Just shut up and retire or something, okay? Thanks.

Anyway, what albums are you looking forward to? What albums have rocked your world lately? Anybody going to any shows?


P is for "Pictures"

Okay, so I'll admit it: I'm addicted to Flickr. It started as a place to post my polaroids (I'm still more than a little pissed they're discontinuing the film. I mean, what am I going to do without fresh prints from Grant Hamilton? Seriously, depriving the world of one of the greatest artists in the medium is a crime in and of itself. It's like they decided to stop making paints in the middle of Da Vinci painting the Sistine Chapel. Or they stopped making food halfway through the Swedish Chef's meal or something ... ), but soon spiraled out of control (as things usually do).

I've gone Flickr-mad, like some cow that should be put down but whose strength makes it nigh unstoppable and finally they have to just shoot it, quickly and cleanly, from across the field where it drops immediately, lowing insanely as it bleeds out under a thankless sky.

Wait, I took that metaphor a little too far, huh?

Anyway, I'm now posting old (and some current) design work, ephemera (more than a little inspired by Tony Carpenter's excellent blog), and, well, trash.

Yeah, you read that right.

You can now add "Trash Picking" to my list of hobbies (right there beside "Playing Dr. Mario, watching Lost, mixtapery and fighting evil through benevolent bloggery) because man, I loves it. Do you have any idea how much cool garbage you pass every day? Well, I don't either, but I'm pretty sure it's a lot. Roughly a ton, give or take a few hundred pounds. At first I was all shy about it, checking to see if anybody was watching me basically do what hobos do to stay alive, but I have lost all compunction about stopping my walk to pick up and examine some misguided piece of detritus. Like an awesome Bob's Big Boy paper cup I'll be scanning in later tonight. Or the security envelope that has seen better days. Or the "Found Bird" poster that I pulled off of a garbage can.

And I'm getting good at spotting the primo stuff, too. I am like a Rare Albino Garbage Hawk, swooping down at insane speeds on my unsuspecting prey, clutching it tightly in my talons as it struggles to get free. And then I eat it, taring the flesh, ignoring its cries as my primal hunger is finally satiated ...

Too far again? Sorry. I'll work on that.

Anyway, I [hearts] my Flick account. It is awesome.

The end.


Today's post submitted by Rose, who is also my Flickr buddy. Yay!


B is for "Brains" as in, "Brains! Melting!! Aaaagh!!!"

I talk a lot about stuff that is awesome/rad beyond belief. One of the main thrusts of this blog is to spread love for things I love. Also, for the posting of pictures of kittens.

But that is beside the point.

The point is this: these two videos below (which are parts 1 & 2 of the masterpiece known as Kings Of Power 4 Billion %) constitute the ultimate, the very nadir, the complete zenith, the absolute acme of Capital "R" Radness. It's like Western civilization in the broadest sense existed solely to draw this magnum opus out of the ether and onto the Internets. It's like looking into the eyes of a newborn kitten and seeing the future and it's something terrifying and awe-inspiring and dreadful and hilarious and glorious. And also looks sort of like the coolest Sega Genesis game ever made.

But, as Sir LeVar Burton, Esq. reminds us, you don't have to take my word for it:

WARNING! Your face might just melt off while viewing these videos, so be careful. Take precautions. Wear goggles and protective gloves. Don't sit too close to your monitor. Do not operate heavy machinery or watch while sleeping. Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after viewing. If you get dizzy, lie down immediately and call your local poison control hotline. Lift with your legs, not your back. Contents may be hot. Eat your vegetables. Stay in school. Have you been injured in a car wreck? Call the Heavy Hitter.

You have been warned.

Has your face melted off due to the extreme radness of what you just witnessed? Because if it didn't you should see a doctor. And have him look at that mole while he's at it. That thing sort of scares me.

C is for "Cold Turkey"

I have a confession to make: I am struggling to get over a fairly serious coke habit. It's just that, well, I was tired and needed a lift and it was really easy to get it and I just felt so good, y'know? Like I could take on the world. At it's height, I was scoring like, three times a day and I knew I had a problem, but I just couldn't stop.

Wait, I forgot to capitalize. Here: I am trying to get over a Coke habit. There. That's better.

So yeah, no more Coke for me. So far, it's four days and I'm doing okay. I have this vague ghost of a headache just on the periphery of feeling, but that's to be expected, right?

I'd love to say that the decision was based on some deep-seated life change, that I realized that these chemicals and stimulants were damaging my fragile aura or some such New Age nonsense, but the sad fact is this: I'm getting a little chubby. I like to refer to it as "winter weight" but, well, it isn't. I just got lazy lately. So, no caffeine, no soda, walk to the train and back every day, no more popcorn after 9 pm. (Well, we'll see about that last one, because I love popcorn like nobody's business. Seriously, it's disturbing.)

Vanity is a heckuva motivator, innit?

So, I'm off the soda. I'm quitting cold turkey. (Which is a weird saying, isn't it? Seriously, where did that come from? Is it referring to the bird or the meal? Because I've had cold turkey like, you know, the day after Thanksgiving. It's pretty good. On a roll? Oh heck yeah. Do turkeys get cold? I figured their feathers would insulate them pretty well. I mean, they're sort of indigenous to the Northeast, aren't they? I mean, Pilgrims ate them, so they must have been close by. They didn't import them special for the holiday or anything, right? And it gets cold up there, in New England. I am so confused.)

So we'll see how this shakes out. Like I said, so far, so good. But I will say this: I want a Dr. Pepper something fierce. And as long as I'm confessing, I'll throw this out, too: If I can find somewhere that dispenses that glorious, heavenly elixir known as Mr. Pibb, well, I can't be held responsible for my actions.

I'm just sayin'.


Today's post courtesy Caitlin.


P is for "... Previously On Lost"

What? What is the what-what?


D is for "Dragons"

A report on them by an 11-year-old kid who is overly obsessed with them.

Dragons are probably the most awesome creatures that ever existed. I am so sad that dragons no longer exist, but a big lizard that breathes fire is so cool an it's sad they are gone and we don't have them around any more. Scientists still don't know where the dragons went but the most popular theory is that they evolved into chickens. I think this is why we love to eat chicken, to get back at the dragons for cooking so many humans and then eating them. Take that, former dragons! I am eating you! You taste like irony!

My favorite piece of chicken is either the thigh or the drumstick. They are so juicy! You could even say I'm cuckoo for chicken! I am definitely a chicken fan. Yumyumyum!

I bet if dragons were still around that hippie Al gore would totally be having a fit right now and making charts showing how dragons are ruining the world but we all know that dragons are the best and Al Gore should just go invent the internet or Hot Pockets or the George Foreman Grill or something and stop bumming everybody out! For serious!

For dragons being the awesomest there ever was, there sure aren't a lot of good movies featuring dragons in them. I can think of three: Reign Of Fire (starring that guy Matthew McConaughey who is always really sweaty and looks like he smells like dirty socks and those funny cigarettes and also Batman is in it, too), Dragonslayer with the guy from that Allie McBeal lawyer show with the skinny scarecrow lady and the dancing baby and Pete's Dragon, starring the drunk midget guy.

That last one is very scary as it features a bunch of hillbilly types. Hillbillies are frightening. More frightening than dragons. I think a hillbilly dragon would probably kill people with its scariness. People would look at it and get so scared they would explode. KA-BOOM!

I think a great name for a dragon movie would be Dragonkillers about a bunch of people who go around killing dragons and stuff and getting treasure and one guy has a big sword and another guy has a like a spear or something and they have a robot. Who has a big sword, too. Or a laser cannon. In his eyeballs. That would be sweet.

If I had a pet dragon I'd name him Peppers because peppers are hot and so are dragons! Hot temperature-wise as well as the other kind of hot! J/K! Dragons are sort of gross-looking, like big lizards or something. Ew! Also, Peppers is a cute name.

In conclusion, dragons are cool and you should love them because they are awesome and cool. I love dragons! Yay!

The End.


Today's post via Chanel (whose blog is invite-only, suckas!). And yes, I am sort of scared of her.

W is for "Well, That Sucks..."

It looks like the entire creative team that is making Immortal Iron Fist such a joy to read each and every month is leaving with issue #17.

Friggin' comic books. Why must you do everything in your power to get me to not read you?

Other than that, today's excellent. Best. Monday. Ever. How's yours?


C is fof "Cat’s Pajamas, The"

Things that are "the Cat's Pajamas":

* Vespas. I so need one of these.

* The new R.E.M. album, Accelerate as well as this week's A-OK! - I'm From Barcelona's Let Me Introduce My Friends. I have been rocking both with a singleminded determination bordering on psychosis.

* This lady is the Cat's Pajamas:

Fun, smart, creative and dang cute, too. Also, and you may not know this, she is a bona fide internet sensation. It's true, she is.

* Also, my newly upgraded Flickr Pro account, a gift from my lady. See above item.

* I ate like 25 Ikea meatballs last night.

* Did you know that Woody Allen's Zelig was originally supposed to be titled The Cats Pyjamas? Well, it was.

* Muxtape. Anybody else on there?

* This new Björk video.

* Battlestar Galactica season four tonight. Now if only I had seen season three yet.

* I know I've flagged his blog before, but Tony Carpenter's Scans, Images & Emphemera is Off. The. Hook. Go! Check it out!

* Tomorrow is Saturday. Best. Day. Ever. Am I right or am I right?

What do you guys think? What would yo uclassify unde rthe banner or "The Cat's Pajamas" right now? I must know!


Today's word courtesy the indomitable Jason.


I Know A Place Where No Cars Go

Here's the tracklist for this month's mix, a savory mix of drums and epicness. Good music for a long drive.


1. Andrew Bird - “Fake Palindromes”
2. The Maccabees - “Happy Faces”
3. The Futureheads - “Favours For Favours”
4. The Dismemberment Plan - “The Other Side”
5. Elefant - “Make Up”
6. Death Cab For Cutie - “We Laugh Indoors”
7. The Flaming Lips - “Are You A Hypnotist?”
8. No Kids - “For Halloween”
9. The Helio Sequence - “Don’t Look Away”
10. The Sea And Cake - “Crossing Line”
11. Robert Pollard - “Dancing Girls And Dancing Men”
12. Elvis Costello & the Attractions - “Lipstick Vogue”
13. Menomena - “Wet And Rusting”
14. The National - “Brainy”
15. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - “Way Out”
16. The Arcade Fire - “No Cars Go”
17. Minus The Bear - “Michio’s Death Drive”
18. LCD Soundsystem - “All My Friends”
19. Cornelius - “New Music Machine”
20. R.E.M. - “9 - 9”

Download the mix here. Leave your comments below. Namaste.

Y Is For "Yesterday's News"

What follows is a series of news items that I must comment on or the internet will break itself in two. Here goes:

ITEM! This whole Woody Allen/American Apparel thing is bizarro, innit? I mean, "sex sells" but not that kind of sex, pervy American Apparel guy.

ITEM! I like me some Cusack. John, Joan, whoever, but this is a little overboard. But then again, sometimes you do crazy things for love, right? Am I the only one who thought that Cusack's character in Say Anything was a little too, I dunno, aggressive there at the end? Like at any moment it could turn real ugly real fast with restraining orders and whatnot? I'm just sayin'.

ITEM! I have started an ephemera/work dump over on Flickr. I'm gonna try and upload something every day, but don't hold me to that. I'll do what I can. If you're on there, feel free to add me as a contact, kay?

ITEM! Did you see who's hosting SNL this week? I will definitely have to take measures to make sure I don't fall asleep a half-hour into the episode only to wake up all confused sometime around 4am.

ITEM! I'm pretty psyched for the new Islands album. And you should be, too.

ITEM! The New York Post is my new favorite newspaper. Okay, so not really, but still.

ITEM! This initially was a fairly lengthy post about the Whiskeytown album Strangers Almanac, the Deluxe Edition I recently obtained. But it was long and rambling and didn't really have an ending or make a whole lot of sense so I'll just say that you really should own it we'll leave it at that.

ITEM! I'll be posting the April (titled No Cars Go, btw) mix later today so chill out, Ben!

Today's post was submitted by Dave. Who will it be tomorrow? Tune in to find out. Same Bat-time, same Bat-weblog!