Thursday, November 15, 2012

You know what was the best?

As I was walking Max tonight (yes Pat, walking, not running) I decided to listen to a little music. After a block of debating/nearly walking into trees while staring at my phone, I settled on the album "Siamese Dream," by the Smashing Pumpkins. To jog your memory, this is the album with "Today", "Disarm" and of course, "Cherub Rock." So as we are walking and listening, I pondered just how amazing this album is. In middle/high school, it was life-alteringly amazing, and it still stirs up emotions. This got me started thinking about all the other things from before the year 2000 that were just totally fucking awesome. Said list begins here:

1. Toaster Strudel (1994) - Some guy was like you know what, Pop-Tarts? Fuck you. I am done with your super burnt edges, tongue-scalding filling and crappy plastic-y icing. I am going to make a make a new breakfast treat with flaky crust and awesome filling. Then I am going to cover it in fucking icing and call it a strudel. Suck it.

God bless that guy.


2. 90s Alternative and the associated music videos - 90's alt rock has to be one of the greatest music periods of all time. I realize that music videos are still made today, but back in like '95, I think they about peaked. Some classics from that magical time period that jump to mind are below. Feel free to watch or skip. Some music to listen whilst you read, perhaps?

1995 - Bullet with Butterfly Wings - Smashing Pumpkins (yes more)



1997 - Monkey Wrench - Foo Fighters





1997 - Semi Charmed Life - Third Eye Blind






1996 - Don't Speak - No Doubt





1995 - Santa Monica - Everclear




3. 1998 - Wearing khakis and a plain grey t-shirt every day. Correction - Gap Khakis and a plain grey Gap t-shirt. 






4. 1999 - "I know Kung Fu"

Yes the Matrix was probably one of the most influential and dare I say, seminal movies of our generation. Not only did it revolutionize moving making at the time, but it made it totally OK to be a nerd again, and I know there are some legit nerds in this group who know what I am talking about. Keanu Reeves, who already had a special place in all of hearts from the "excellent" combination of Bill and Ted, Point Break, and Speed, totally sealed the deal here. Then for extra insurance, he was the subject of one of the greatest internet trends of all time. 

Sit. Eat. Sad. 

Obviously the list of movies could go on forever, so let's just say this - I would be surprised if your favorite all-time movies are not in this list. 

Matrix. Dumb and Dumber. Home Alone. Usual Suspects. Goldeneye. American Pie. Scream. Point Break. Groundhog Day. Jurassic Park. Something About Mary. Terminator 2. Pulp Fiction. Swingers. Reservoir Dogs. Nightmare Before Christmas. Total Recall. Good Will Hunting. Seven. Braveheart. Mortal Kombat. Forrest Gump. American Beauty. Independence Day. Clueless. From Dusk Til Dawn. Desperado. Speed. Clerks. Fight Club. Titanic. Basic Instinct. Shawshank Redemption. 

5. "...I'm always ready...I won't let you out of my sight....."

Baywatch. The show was thin on plot, heavy of drama, and abounding with breasts. The formula was so simple, and repeated literally every week, but we all watched it anyways. Look what came out of the show...

Nicole Eggert
Yasmine Bleeth
Donna D'Erico
Pamela Anderson
Gina Lee Nolan
Erika Eleniak
Carmen Electra
and...

The Hoff



Other notable TV shows include: Seinfeld (they're real and they're spectacular!), Boy Meets World (Topanga made lips attractive to boys, and we had NO IDEA WHY), Saved by the Bell (Jessie on speed episode is the G.O.A.T.), Captain Planet, Power Rangers (Why was the asian Ranger yellow, and how hot was the Pink Ranger?), GUTS, American Gladiators (Assault anyone?), Home Improvement, Fresh Prince, X-Files, That 70s show (when Mila Kunis was just annoying, not annoying and super-hot), Dawsons Creek, Renegade, Xena/Hercules, ER, 7th Heaven (only cause of Jessica Beal), 


6. CD Burners - These things changed the mix tape game. No more listening to the radio trying to record a song. No more rewinding. Do you need the that list of songs for the case? Nope! just write on the CD with a marker. Nevermind that you could only write at like 2x, and 9 out of 10 times the CD didnt work. It was still amazing. 


7.  Umbros - These shorts allowed so much freedom it was ridiculous. Combined with a pair of boxers and basically you were just floating in the breeze. Movement was amazing. Any color you wanted, and bonus! chicks looked great in them too. 



8. A complete lack of Facebook. 

9. Drew Barrymore Playboy Spread -  pre-Never Been Kissed

Back in the day, Drew Barrymore was exactly the crazy wild child you would expect considering her family and all that. Now she is tamed it down a bit, minus that marriage to Tom Green, and is cranking out one or two rom-coms a year to pay the bills. But old Drew....super hot. I distinctly recall stealing this playboy from my Dad (If you're reading this Dad, sorry)


Kristy Swanson (OG Buffy) would have made the list, but that was 2002. 

10. When you dressed like a nerd, you were just a nerd. Now you're an edgy hipster...






Monday, November 5, 2012

WARNING! THIS BLOG MAY CONTAIN POLITICAL DISCUSSION

The views are that of the author and in no way represent the view of University City FAC.

Yes this is going to be a full fledged rant and I don't even know where it's going, but I will try to put some laughs in. If you do not want to hear my thoughts, then skip this week. Hopefully I will be back with a fantasy football related entry by Sunday.

So why am I stepping up onto my soapbox? Because I can. So in no particular order...these things make me angry.

1. I am so sick of political commercials. Stupid debate delayed Grey's Anatomy a whole week...

I have been assaulted with debates, political commercials, newspaper endorsements, and Union-purchased signs on the side of the road for this candidate or that. People are constantly complaining about being subjected to all this propaganda. Facebook, G+, and Twitter are all a buzz about how intrusive these things are into our lives.

Sorry Josh. It was the best example. Now on with my ranting via social media...


I agree, these commercials and 24/7 coverage are the worst. Commercials for competing candidates generally directly contradict each other while scary statistics and grainy, unflattering pictures warn us against putting our faith in the dark (aka other) side.

Someone has to be lying, maybe both.

The mistake is that we assume the purpose of a political commercial is relay information that may sway us in our decisions. In my opinion this is only true in the context that many, many people are single issue voters, and if they associate a name with a person who agrees with them on this issue, then that is a vote won.

Otherwise, I feel the purpose of political commercials is to plant the tiniest seed of familiarity in our brains, so that when we go into the voting booth, maybe we don't vote party line because we saw that commercial with an intelligent looking Bob Menendez talking to children in an elementary school and he looked like a nice guy. If that wasn't the case, then why wouldn't candidates list their party affiliation in their commercials? I cannot think of one commercial I have seen where a guy was like "Yo I am a republican and I am fucking proud of it!" or vice versa.

So of course these commercials annoy us. We are reasonably intelligent humans who innately dislike being pandered to and being equated with those who would be easily swayed. Be proud you are annoyed, and pray that the people you believe will be the best for your state and your country picked the right heartstrings to tug...

No reason to talk about it. Give us more instagrammed food pics!



2. People who say "Both candidates are so bad...I am just not going to vote." or alternatively, "I just don't know enough to make an informed decision, so I am not going to vote."



With the exception of the presidential election, I have to believe the general level of complete ignorance among voters is absolutely staggering. I can only speak for myself, but I know little beyond the presidential election this year. There is so much going on and I just cannot find the time to sit down and educate myself about the candidates I will be deciding between. The scary thing is that I consider myself to be on the more responsible end of the citizenship scale.

Luckily my guilt, or my civic duty, is forcing me to stay up tonight and finish this blog post, then immediately do the research required to make an informed decision at least regarding the Senate and House elections. Meh - it's getting late. Maybe tomorrow morning...

So yeah, please don't vote. That totally helps. Although, I cannot say I like the idea of people blindly voting any better (ala the old MTV Rock the Vote Campaign).

Yeah Man! Rock the Vote! We don't even care who for...just vote man! It's fucking awesome!

I guess a shirt that says "Learn about the candidates and then make an informed voting decision, or suffer the consequences for the foreseeable future in total and utter silence" 
doesn't have the same appeal. 


Here is the worst of it....#dontvote

Prove YOU'RE not an idiot, Jeremiah, and put your face under an operating lawnmower



3. Associating things like the Presidential election with entertainment personalities, like Jay-Z and Springsteen. 




Honestly, I bet Bruce and HOV can carry on one of the most intelligent political debates you would hear. But should a picture of Obama with them really get tagged as #Election2012? Stick to pictures of your cat napping...just as relevant to the election.

Better...



4. Guy on train 1: "Obama did not fix any of the problems in this country when we was president. In fact they got worse!"
Guy on train 2 "That's because congress couldn't work together because no one would risk their re-election campaign by reaching across the aisle to make the good ideas happen."


This is a real conversation I was subjected to on the train today (hence the blog). It went on for 20 minutes or so, but this is the best part. Both parts of this annoy me, but Guy #2 is the worst. First, regarding Guy #1...where is the great impartial problem status reporter who gives us a ruling on the trends of our problems? We only know what we are told, what we see or hear, and this is selectively given to us, and we selectively hear it. We are not privy to all the details regarding everything in this country, so how the hell do we know whether things got worse or better or what? The American economy and social structure are complex living things that are constantly changing. They are subject to influences from all directions and in all forms, and to associate one effect with one cause while ignoring the rest is generally folly. (There are notable exceptions)

Now, regarding Guy #2, this is where I just get pissed off. What are the good ideas? Are you the good idea judge? Do you have better ideas than those stupid Senators? Can you perfectly distinguish with absolute certainty what is a good idea and what isn't? Not talking opinions here. I mean FACT. 

Well if so, get off your fucking ass, quit your minimum wage job as a barista or a bank teller or whatever and go run for the Senate. They are waiting for you. Yeah, most of these guys and gals have dedicated their lives to politics. They are highly intelligent people who have way more on their plate than we realize, but they are betting you're the solution...

Let's use the Affordable Care Act as an example. Republicans felt strongly that at least some parts of Obamacare were bad ideas so they fought it for years.  Do you expect me to believe that deep down, all of Congress really thinks its a great idea, but the republican congressman just need to please their moronic constituency? Or is it maybe possible that there were some things about Obamacare that were in fact NOT good ideas. 

Here you go Guy #2 - Read the bill and just highlight the good ideas for me, and circle the bad ones in red please. Yeah, I know it is 974 pages long. Get that back to me by Wednesday morning...


The point is that it is not a simple reach across the aisle and it's not black and white. There is nothing clear cut about our legislative process. But it is a fuckload better than a dictatorship. 

And speaking of our system of government...

5. #SeparationOfChurchAndState


So Mitt Romney is a Morman. That means he is totally batshit crazy right? There are entire websites about this. 

Did you know that Obama subscribes the "Jesus, take the wheel" mindset? In the end of the day God is in control, and his main responsibility is to love God.


Do I really believe that Mitt believes every part of the book of Morman is totally literal? No. Do I believe that Obama really believes his chief responsibility is to just sit around and love God? No. Do I believe that both of these guys are good men who love their family and their country? Yes. 



In conclusion...

The big thing that drives me nuts about elections is that we are faced with one of the most difficult decisions people ever have to make. Ourselves versus others. I think that every election comes down to this at the core. The candidates will be pushing policies that you feel either benefit, harm or at least directly influence you or your immediate family, and in the end, it drives the choice about your vote. 

I am talking about people. Human beings. Human beings are imperfect. We are often soft, weak-willed, selfish, stubborn and myopic. Obviously there are exceptions, but these traits are common throughout our species. We take the easy road. We weigh everything considering our own situation. What have you done for us lately? Why does this matter to me?

This is the human condition, and it is a reality of which I know I am guilty. So is this guy...


I honestly cannot decide if I find the above post offensive or annoying or just so honest and close to home that it makes me uncomfortable. Either way I am voting tomorrow for the guy that I think will be best for this country, its people, and for me. If you're lucky, there might be a live election coverage blog - dependent on Comcast finally restoring service.



#WillMcAvoy2012

Diversity. Freedom and Freedom. Yosemite. 


#MittRomneyStyle



no Obama video even compares to that one for laughs...so that'll be it. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

CunningLinguists gets hitched...


No blog this week. Congrats to Nate and Kim! Have fun in Costa Rica...

If anyone wanted to trade with Nate, talk to me. I have control while he is gone. FIRESALE!!!!!!!