Friday Fives > grammarly edition

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 What is one handy spelling tip you were taught that you still use today?

Use spellcheck on whatever device you have!  They say English is the toughest language to learn to master because of all the super obscure rules.  Being a polyglot, I agree. I have a degree in literature. Don’t you think that would make me a spelling wiz?  No sir, not according to spellcheck. Though, I’d say most of my errors come from typing to fast. I am a stunning no look typer, and a hero to many in that regard.

What’s that one thing in the grammar world you’ve never learned to do?

Figure out the difference between its and it’s.  It works against the rules on so many levels. When to use one or the other.  We know that an apostrophe s indicated possession. It it Scott’s sweater. However, we also know that apostrophe s indicates a contraction.   It’s Scott sweater. It is Scott’s sweater. Ok, I am confused already. Let’s move on.

You have a gun held to your head and you have to spell a word correctly to save your life, what is one common word that would get you killed?

I’ll give you two.  Bureaucracy, and yacht.  If you don’t get red squiggly marks when you type those, I just don’t trust you.  Both those have a strong position on phonetics. That position is > phonetics can go phuck itself!  Tee hee hee.

WAIT WAIT WAIT… let’s just roll back and look at that question again.  If I had a gun to my head… and the next scenario is a grammar one?  This is what you fantasize about?  This question alone is proof I am not the author of these questions.  This guy is, my writing mentor.

I’d like  forward this to your therapist, but I am afraid her ahead would explode.  Instead, I’ll just send it to your high school guidance counselor.  You need help, bubba!  There is only one acceptable way to joke about gun violence, and this is it right here.

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Which English grammar rule that has helped you the most in your life?

I guess the old ‘i before e except after c’.  I am pretty good with most things grammar, though.  Stop tittering over there, I see you. I am good!  I can tell you my philosophy, though.  You can’t get grammar or words from a class.  Read as much as you can, and write as much as you can.

 Do you recall a grammar rule you were taught in school is not in fact a grammar rule?

Steven, if you are going to wet yourself again… just go ahead and use the bathroom.  Thank you. And please have your parents sign this for me.  Again.




I’d like to apologize for how boring that was.  What’s more boring than grammar?  Discussing grammar.  and YOU… you are reading about grammar.  Sweet Jesus, man.. get out of the house once and a while!  Tell you what – I owe you a new piece.  Not a lazy ass Friday fives, but some real genius content.  I have had it in my head for years, tonight I will lay it down.  It’s about legal precedent.


Friday Fives – that song edition

From your playlist of choice (iTunes, Spotify, personal collection, or whatever) what are the first five songs that come up on shuffle.  Why is it  on your list?

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Ok.  I see.  It appears my editor has a bit of the ole’ writers block.  Music is my passion, though… so no problem.  He did mention I could call the playlist.  I use Spotify these days, and I have about 12 playlists.  I think this one will be the most fun, though.  I call it ‘1 hit wander’.   These are all just REALLY songs.  Some of these bands are not 1 hit wonders, though.  But they do have this common:  I would never buy the whole album.  A perfect example of this is ‘Come on Eileen’ by Dexys.  It is just a PERFECT song.  But I wouldn’t bother to own the album if you gave it to me free.   That being said, here are the first 5 songs that come up when I hit shuffle on this playlist.

This list is LONG, and certainly not genre specific.  I am not black, but I do identify as Rachel Dolezal.  Here goes

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You Got me – the Roots. Oh man, that hook from Eryka Badu is just heaven.  Oh, and the video is super cool, too.  Some random Roots trivia?  They are the houseband on the Tonight Show.   And, she has a baby with Andre 3000.  You remember ‘Hey YA’?  It’s that guy.   Btw, he made a VERY good Hendrix biopic, which quickly disappeared.  Look at these stills, he killed it.  Let’s just take a quick break and appreciate  out this video, it’s powerful.

I saw these guys live, and had NO idea who they were.  They were like the opener to the opener to the opener.  I was blown away.  Normally, of course, I would embed the original song right here.  That changes today, bubba!  Enjoy this live in studio recording.

They have another song that I dig as well, but its’ no where near this good.  It’s called (I think) ‘How we Operate’.  Spoiler alert > it involves tweezers, and a noisy glowing nose to indicate malpractice

 Our House – Madness. Such a cool and fun song, and I think it has aged very well.  Note, I saw this guys live.  Not just eventually, but I when they were supporting this song.  It was their first US tour.   Man what a show that was.  It was the Police headlining on their farewell tour (1981-ish).   The openers were Madness and Thompson twins.  Even better?  It was my very first concert! Heck, I was only 10 or so.  I remember being puzzled why lighters were out for the ballads.  I dare say that night changed everything.  You know how I feel about music.  That Synchronicity album is just perfection.  Its’ like you could almost rename it ‘Police’s Greatest hits.  I still remember the ticket price, too.  It was $12.50

One of the biggest things that really grabbed me and set me on a lifelong quest and love for music (I am 47 now.  It was how much fun they were having on stage.  Also interesting to note that at that time the band HATED each other at that time.  They had already fallen apart.  I am not going to point fingers, because I have none left to point.  They are all pointing at Sting.   Wait… weren’t we talking about Madness?

PepperButthole Surfers. 

Pepper  Great song, and great band!  I am almost embarrassed to admit I have seen Gibby and co about 10 different times.  Perhaps you think of the Butthole Surfers as just some doped up idiot savants from backwater Texas somewhere.   Sure, they are that.  But their guitarist produced one of the greatest rock records of all time.  Paul Leary is the one who gave us Sublime’s self titled masterpiece right before Bradley died.

 Change – Blind Melon.  Here is the cruel irony of this song.  Its about, very speficicslkly, about a cocaine overdose.  We know now, he did a lot of drugs.  Nearly all of them.  One day, he wakes in a usual stupor and decided to drop it all.  The fabled ‘rock bottom’, or whatever.  Most likely, though, it was probably court required.  It may be the most beautiful and sad and honest and thoughtful song every written about a cocaine overdose.  He takes one one of those fabled ‘rock bottom moments’ and turned it into such perfect poetry.

When you feel your life ain’t worth living
You’ve got to stand up
And take a look around and you look way up to the sky
Yeah, and when your deepest thoughts are broken
Keep on dreaming boy, ’cause when you stop dreamin’ it’s time to die

And then a few years later, he died of a cocaine overdose.

the 27 club claims yet another…

Friday Fives – mungo bungo dingo

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What’s the weirdest place you have ever slept?

Um… interesting question.  Probably under a palapa on a hammock in Tulum on the beach.  All very romantic, right? Perhaps for most. All wifey and I heard all night was creepy crawlies.  BIG ones. You know expression you play as a kid ‘the floor is lava’? It was. There are no walls or floor mind you.  Just a hammock hanging under a palapa) above… that is what a palapa is.

Anyhow, perhaps it wasn’t much, but in the dark our imaginations ran away with us.

Ed note to self – credit to me.  I didn’t make a single joke about your mother above.  I think we are all growing… together.

What song makes you happy whenever you hear it?

‘In the Summertime’, by Mungo Jerry.  It is just super joyful and catchy. Oh, and don’t read the lyrics.  It’s a product of its time, 1970.  They are truly a one hit wonder, but nonetheless are a blessing.  Check out this dude’s mutton chops.  Now, lets take a little break and have a listen.  You’ll recognize the tune, I promise.

What’s the best soft drink/soda flavor of all time?

Vanilla.   Yeah, I really am that boring and white.  My favorite smell is Vanilla, as well.  You know that stuff in your pantry?  It says ‘pure vanilla’, or ‘vanilla extract’? Whatever that stuff is, it’s great.  It is NOT, however, Vanilla.  Real Vanilla only comes from Madagascar.n****

You suddenly have a fully functional tail, what the first thing you do with it?

Figure out if it is prehensile.  Do you know what that means? I mean, before you google.  It means it can support your weight. If you tail is prehensile, you can hang from it.  I think that would be great. So, what would I do with it? Geesh, I don’t know. What kind of fucked up question i that?

What is something your dad told you that you’ll never forget?

There is SO much wisdom in this, you should sit down before you read it.  Note that my father has died, so his words carry more weight with me. He was REALLY big on education.  His greatest fear in life was that we become manual laborers. Seriously… it’s odd. In stressing to me how important education was.  Last note before the great quote – during this era I had very long hair and was traveling to see the Dead on summers off. I looked EXACTLY like this.  My dad sees this and says “you can play now, and pay later.  Or, you can pay now and play later.’

Fuck that is good stuff, and true.  He was right, too. I didn’t apply myself nearly as much as I could have, and I could be doing much better professionally than I am doing.  Heavy huh? Who else speaks that kind of truth to power*** like me?

*** In my case, I am clearly the power.  Ergo… I am talking about speaking truth to myself.  Most people pay therapists for this kind of insight.  You, dear reader, are my therapist..

**** – Vanilla Ice, Ice Cube, Ice T > what is the ‘ice’ about it?  It is an homage to the greatest pimp So ever tell his story.  Iceberg Slim. His book is absolutely amazing, the audio book being even better.  I am sure I had a lot to say to it over here, but you can skip my review and just get the book.

Friday Fives – donkey sauce edition

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What would be the worst thing to put in a piñata?

Pudding.  This is not theoretical, either.  Don’t ask me how I know, but just don’t do it.   Look, I made it myself!

What would be the worst “buy one get one free” sale of all time?

Pregnancy test?  Dr Jack Kevorkian’s services?  I am just spitballing here, folks. Heart transplant?  a subpoena?  a divorce?  Coffin? Abortion? Hmmn… let’s go for abortion. 

What is your go-to cry song?

Samba pa ti

What is that song that is currently stuck in your head?

Ramble on, by the mighty Zepp.

What’s your spirit vegetable?

Green Onions…. If ya know what I mean.  I am hoping you do. Then, you can esplain to me!

Massages, happy endings, and my #metoo moment

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Well, it finally happened.  I began to think long ago it never would. I didn’t want it to happen, honest.  But, I did kinda wonder how come I was never propositioned. Sort of like this – I was an Catholic Church alter boy when I was young. I was a VERY adorable child.  I am obviously  happy I was never molested. I can’t help but feel a little rejected in retrospect, though. This is sorta like that.

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When you hear ‘massage parlor’, what comes to mind?  Massage Envy? A nice and well deserved 60 minutes of pampering?  Or… do you think ‘rub & tug’… or ‘happy ending’? I have been getting massages very often for the last decade or so.  My upper spine (C3, C4, & C5) is all fucked up. Massages are a blessing.

Most of my life, though, I was afraid to get a message.  Not because I am bothered by a stranger touching me. I don’t even mind if its a dude.  Sure, it’s a little weird to have a dude working over my body… but they have way stronger hands.  The reason I was afraid to get a message is the same reason every guy is, but they won’t admit it.   We are terrified we will fart, or get a boner. In… let’s say… about 40 messages over the years – I have never got an erection.  Thank god! I have probably farted once or twice, but nothing I even remember.

If you go to any massage place that isn’t a chain, it will be Asian women.  Always.  I have never asked for, or been asked for, a handjob happy ending. Lots of massage places have signs everywhere saying ‘no sex’… in a thousand different ways.  It really must be an issue. How come it has never happened to me? Obviously, they don’t offer it. There has got to a lot of legal concerns by the businesses.  By process of elimination, I have always assumed you have to ask for a ‘happy ending’. I have never tried it, because I genuinely don’t want one. I am curious, though.

But let’s say I did.

How, exactly, does one request a handjob full release happy ending?  What is the going rate? Can you negotiate?  I didn’t do it, and here is why. I have too much love and respect for my wifey.  She was the first one I told about this. I can’t say I am disgusted by the idea of a handy from a stranger, though.  I am not worried about disease. BUT, the one thing I also super worry about… what if that was a bust? Is that entrapment?  If I got busted doing that (or… er… having that done) would I have to register as a sex offender? That would ruin my life, and likely my marriage.

Lastly, she had pretty bony hands.  I mean, she was a tiny little Asian thing.  I wouldn’t have been a great handy massage. I mean, if I am going to accept handjobs from virtual strangers… can I order Chris Hemsworth?

Friday Fives – odds & sods from a drunk editor

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When someone tells you a ‘man walks into a bar’ joke, you picture the same bar each time- what does your bar look like?

It’s dark.  As you walk in the front door, the bar is basically the length of the room, to your right.  To the left are the tables… maybe about 10. Once you step in, the jukebox is right behind you.  Straight ahead at the end of the room there are bathrooms on the right. On the left is what the call the kitchen, but I am being generous.  I also prefer these jokes to have a rabbi, a reverend, and a Buddhist.

You walk to your street and see FBI, CDC, ARNG, CIA, APHIS, DEA, USFWS, NTSB, EPA, PETA, NOAA, FAA, ATF, FDA, MORS and NSA raiding your house. What do you do and what are your thoughts?

Shit… again?  Keep driving, slowly.  Like, I am a curious neighbor but nothing more.  Being a liberal on a dirt road, and the only liberal for 30 miles in every direction… who knows?  They might be checking my guns, make sure I have tons of them. I only have 1, so that is suspect.

You’re given $1500, but it must be used toward your hobby. What do you buy, and how does it help you progress?

Easy, as I have been thinking about this a lot recently.  Am going to skip over my first hobby, which is guitars. I already have far too many (about 12 different kinds).  So we will go to truck. I need about $600 to buy new wheels. Something menacing looking for sure. I need $350 to get steps for the truck.  The truck is tall and I am short. BUT… unlike most of you mouthbreathers, I am getting ‘wheel to wheel’ steps. This means they don’t only cover the passenger compartments… but go all the way back so you can use them to get into the truck bed.  Lastly, I need about $300 for a lock box. Check this out, not just black diamond plate, but this thing has tie downs on top. Fuck yeah, baby!

What’s your “once a year” thing that you can’t miss?


You are given unlimited money to produce a TV series adaptation of any movie/movie saga/video game/book. Which one would you choose and what would be your production decisions?

Jack Kerouac’s ‘Desolation Angels’.  Starring? Um… Giovanni Ribisi and Ryan Reynolds.  Directed by I don’t care, but we’ll have Terry Gilliam there doing something for sure.  Brendan O’Brien will be handling all musical everything.  From scoring to foley work to song choices.

Its not your average Keroauc book, which is why you have never heard of it.  It is fantastic, though. Keroac and Neil Cassady spend a summer on top of a mountain as a forest fire lookout.  They aren’t together, each post is a solitary one. But, they are a couple mountain peaks apart, and pass their time over walkie talkies.  Oh, and ALL female roles will be played by either Kate McKinnon or Margo Martindale.  My two favorite character actresses.  Of course, this being Hollywood, there will be no key female roles.  I am just sayin if there were to be… those would be my gals.

Friday Fives – junk drawer

Go ahead and head to your junk drawer.  Don’t clean… just observe. Now its time to answer some tough questions… so get your affairs in order.

Is it in the kitchen?  If not, where? If so, anywhere you would move it if starting over?

Kitchen is perfect.  Here is why, the kitchen is THE solo hub of the house.  Notice how houses now all design a combination of the kitchen and kind of integrate it with the family room?  This is often called a ‘great room’ design. In the days before the 90s, kitchens were put away. They were basically hidden, like a dirty secret.  My guess is its a remnant of women staying home while the male worked. The kitchen was her turf, and the family and dining room was the man’s lair.  That is just an educated guess… but a fucking great one!

Now… when you go to a party… note how everyone migrates to the kitchen.  And why wouldn’t you? Its where the food and booze comes from. Let’s get closed to the source, eh?

Do you have any CR2032’s in there?  Before you google it, just know you need some, stat.  Everything small runs on them. Including your sister.

Shit yeah, I do.  And some CR2016s.  Know that 2016s are primary used for assholes, though.  If you don’t have some CR2032s… get thee to a Kroegers before you need them.  I can count as many things in my house that use that size battery as that use a traditional AA or AAA.

What’s your favorite thing in there?

Rubber bands!  I have few, though.  They get put to work as soon as I acquire them.  LOVE rubber bands. Mostly, they are used to close up food in fridge or freezer.  The best? The kind that come around broccoli!  That shit is some rubber band porn!   Remember how we all joked that duct tape and bailing wire held the world together?  In my house, its zip ties and rubber bands. Lastly, I actually have (and use) bailing wire.  You don’t even know what that shit is, do you?  Anyway, you can never have enough rubber bands.  And if you do… give some to me.

What’s the dumbest thing?

Random AA batteries.  Here is why. It’s not that they aren’t wonderful… its that I don’t remember or mark which ones are good and which ones are bad.  Why would I put bad or spent batteries back in the junk drawer? Because you can’t throw batteries out.  Know those people who come to your house and check your mattress tags?  Yeah, they have branched out to being battery Nazis.

I need a system, stat. Please help.

Let’s say I were breaking in, what would I steal?

I also keep the car keys there.  Why? I have been driving for over 20 years, and I have never once lost my keys.  I do that by keeping them in the exact same place. Always. On my person, they are on a hook on my side, even in an office environment.  At home, in the junk drawer.