Friday Fives – my editor’s obvious concern for zombies

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Are zombies people too?

Well… they certainly were

Should there be an order banning zombies from any immigration? 

Yes, due to their recruiting practices.  Not unlike the gays and blacks, zombies propagate and multiply by the brain eating of the living.  But let’s not use labels.

Should healthcare reform cover undead chain saw wounds? 

Depends on the future earning potential of said ‘zombie’, which my client and I resent the use of.  Going forward, please refer to us a ‘previously living’.  ‘Zombie’ is an unfair pejorative, and frankly a tired stereotype.

Can pets become zombies too?  Are you looking to buy some?

Let’s just say I have proof the answer is yes

Which favorite celebrity would make the best zombie? 

Johnny ‘Rotten’ Lydon.  He is SO already there.  Take a look for yourselves.

ok.  You deserve more here. However, I have to go to bed because the news people told me tomorrow is going to be a blizzard, and I have a long ass drive to work.  Interesting side note, today is exactly 1 year from the last blizzard that was historic to Colorado.  It was the first time they put a chain law in place in the city

Friday Fives – don’t touch that dial!

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What stops being cute after the age of 13?

Birthday parties.  To quote the great Dave Barry – “there is a time and a place when you should stop expecting people to be excited about your birthday.  That is the day you turn 7”.  I say that, interestingly, roughly a week away from my birthday.  As you might imagine, I regard myself as the exception to all of this.  You can send gifts care of the website.

What is something you hilariously misinterpreted as a kid?

I assumed water was free.  Like, I understood we had to pay for electricity (due to my father cautiously over-managing the thermostat in the house… like all dads)…  but I had assumed water was just magically free.  Our right as a taxpayer.  Ironically, we now live on well water… so it is free!

If someone leaves an abandoned baby on your front porch what will you do?

Raise him/her liberal and compassionate and polite.  OR… call the authorities.  Probably should call the authorities… what with what happened last time and all.

What two types of people are there?

Ø  Politicians that pretend to be compassionate, but really don’t give a shit (Democrats) and

Ø  Politicians that at least have the stones to admit they don’t give a shit about anyone else (Republicans).

Me?  I am a liberal, for sure… but I distrust them all.  That being said, I think Obama was a dope ass President, and I am 100% confident history will recognize same.

What is a skill that almost everyone in our grandparents generation had, that almost none of us have today?

Basic self sufficiency – making clothes, baking, working on a car… shit like that.  I work for AAA Colorado, and I can tell you the amount of adult males that have no idea how to change a tire is terrifying.  Good for business, sure… but bad for society.

Not saying I AM super capable.  BUT, I am more so than my Dad was.  Also, I can change the oil, change a tire, can cook, and can play the guitar like a mother f’n riot!

Friday Fives – whether cheeses should be proper nouns edition

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What’s the best “secret sauce”? 

the highest man can achieve in the sauce realm is a good ranch dressing.  I am very very particular about ranch dressing.  I can tell a good ranch just by looking at it.  For one thing, anything that is ‘shelf stable’ (meaning it doesn’t have to be refrigerated) is crap.  Anything that comes in a packet is shit.  in fact, I can’t think of a single ranch dressing you can buy as the kind a like.  Wing places always have the best ranch, as does Village Inn.  It should be kinda runny, and not mayonnaisey at ALL.  It should not have any yellow hue of ANY kind.  It needs to be bright white, fairly runny, and sweet.

Of course, this has nothing at all to do with salad.  I don’t much like ranch on salad.  Too heavy.  A nice vinaigrette will always do the trick for me.  I am talking about using it to dip friend food into.  For the record, in high school, I coined the term ‘Ranch Generation®’***

  I think the use and abuse of everything related to ranch is specifically a Gen X thing.

The last meal you had is what you’re going to eat for the rest of your life, what is it?

Either… a spicy and creamy shrimp and pasta dish… or a lightly seasoned filet mignon.  I mean, that would be my choice.  You are asking what the last thing I ate was?  Mac and Cheese.  There is a LOT of amazing things you can do with mac and cheese.  This was just boxed stuff.

 What are some unforgivable sacrileges regular people do all the time when cooking?

Besides overcooking a steak… let’s talk about an eating one, instead.  Imagine you made something really good.  Like, a lightly seasoned filet mignon.  And you serve it to your wife.  And then she says the unthinkable… she says something that breaks your heart.  She shits down your throat with these words:

I am leaving you!.  No… these words I am about to share with you are worse!  I am banging your arch enemy!  No sir, I have words even worse than that?  I just got the call, and your father has died.  NO… these words are even worse than that.  She says ‘ketchup, please’

What is the most disturbing thing you’ve ever witnessed in a kitchen/restaurant?

In college, I worked delivering Chinese Food.  It was a dream job.  I got $5 an hour (this was 20 years ago), plus tips.  Plus all the Chinese food I wanted.  Plus… I didn’t even have a car.  I delivered food for a living… with no car.  They gave me their car to use… and a gas card!!!!  Anyhow, that was a great job.  Now, on to the story – the owner worked in the kitchen.  No one worked harder than the Chinese.  That family was there open to close, 7 days a week.  Sorry… the story.  Because he worked in the kitchen, doing the prep… he had eyes on all the food coming and going.

If you ordered a dish that had shrimp… and you did not eat all your shrimp… and you sent your dish back with those shrimp on it.   The owner, Mr Huang, would take those shrimp and recycle them.  This means when you order a shrimp entrée at that restaurant… you may be getting that guy’s shrimp.  Thing is… it didn’t bother me at all.   Most people seem to find it just horrible, though.  I worked in restaurants through my teens.  This means I can’t really be disgusted.  The food business is beyond disgusting.  Being a night person, as I still am, that meant I was always on clean up, as well.  Restaurant kitchens are a vile and dark and horrible place.

It’s why I went to college, truly.  I realized if I didn’t take a sharp turn now towards my future… I could be stuck in industrial kitchens at 3 in the morning cleaning.

What’s the your favorite kind of cheese?

That is an odd question.  Who cares?  Since you asked, I will tell you that I almost always prefer white cheeses over orange cheeses.  Provolone, Swiss, Mozzarella… etc.  Wait… should those have been capitalized?  Does cheese count as a proper noun?  I could google it, but really… who cares?

*** interesting side note about the ‘Ranch Generation’.  I am convinced this is a thing.  Turns out it is not.  I went to google ‘ranch generation’, hoping to find an article I could like to validate my point.  I hit up google, and the only reference I found to ‘ranch generation‘ was me and something I wrote 5 years ago

thoughts on the NFL & national anthem protests

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I want to talk about the NFL protests of the black players taking a knee during the national anthem.  I think it is terrific!

I understand that many people see this as a slap in the face of America, Democracy, and (specifically) the system that allowed them to rich and famous and successful.  How could they shit on the America that created the American dream they are living?

Because even the black folk who are rich and successful still fear the police.  They are still getting bullied, beaten, and shot.  In the last few years, an alarming number of videos have surfaced showing black motorist being shot for absolutely no reason.  Here is the thing, this isn’t new.   Not by a 100 years.  No, what is new is that everyone has a video camera in their hands.

take a look at this.  Motorist gets pulled over.  Runs.  Cop shoots him in the back, running away.  Then, walks up and plants a weapon the deceased.  Can you imagine how terrified the person was who took this video?

When you consider this is happening, OFTEN… and  you are worried about athletes not standing for a song… you are worried about the wrong shit, my friend.

There has been terrible and sick and unacceptable attacks against police in retaliation for this.  Obviously, it is stupid and horrible to go shoot a cop because ‘all cops are racists’.  That is fucked up.  Taking a knee, though?  That is honorable.  That is civil disobedience, and participating in Democracy.  Remember Thoreau taking a stand against the Govt and taxes?  He literally wrote the book on Civil Disobedience.  He became a hero.  It was ok, because he was white.  If any other color tries it, it’s treason, I  guess.

Civil disobedience is a symbolic or ritualistic violation of the law, rather than a rejection of the system as a whole.

Why do you really care if a black athlete doesn’t jump to the flag?  That doesn’t hurt you, or your family.  Perhaps it hurts your white pride.  If no one is getting hurt, and no one is, by taking a knee to highlight their struggle… god bless them.  They are making us have this conversation, which means it has succeeded.  Kudos to Kaepernick for starting the movement, and kudos to him for sneaking off with that extra ‘e’ in his name.  Why aren’t you Hawaiians upset with that?  This guy is running off with your vowels, and your white women.

Lastly, there was this even worse sentiment.  He could not speak for the black experience, as he is apparently only half black.  Now that is some bullshit.  I am guessing he is black enough to get hassled by cops, pulled over randomly, and ignored by taxis.

Plus, look at this ‘fro.  He is certainly ‘black enough’ to get shot anywhere in the bible belt for loitering.  Good on ya, Kaep!  Power to the people!  All power to the people!

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They say the best things in life are the little things, what are some of those things?

Pebbles, stones, pins.  Those are small things.

When did you realize you were getting old?

I can tell you the second I realized it happened, not sure how long ago it was.  Probably about 10 to 15 years ago, wife and I were driving through Northern AZ.  It was desolate, and we were sick of our CDs… so we went to radio.  Very little choice… country and jesus stations.  BUT THEN

We are saved!  Rock and roll comes on the radio.  We loved all the songs, and I remember one of them was Prince.  We were congratulating ourselves for finding good radio when the announcer said ‘oldies’.  Yeah… he dropped the O bomb!  And we had known every song.  It was humbling, and I swear I was probably about 30.  That isn’t old.  Maybe I am old, now… but not then.

What did you learn about a friend when they were drunk?

Had abusive parents.  Very, very sad.  We were SO close, and that never came out until he was faced.  Probably never remembered having the conversation.  Heavy stuff!

What things do you do every day that you wish were automated?

Driving to work.  I don’t even mind the time, but it would be better to be on a train or something, where I could read and listen to music.

What was your “holy shit this is actually happening” moment?’

First time I had sex.   Can’t wait to try it again!

Friday Fives – toofless

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The last thing you posted on Facebook is the first thing you must say in a speech in the UN, how screwed are you?

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It’s not good news for me.  Here is my last post, verbatim… from about 3 or 4 days ago: Just read that Toad is touring on the 25th anniversary of their masterpiece ‘Fear’. Time flies! I saw them play a bar on that tour… with a fake ID (of course).

What is a classic “old person name”? 

       Harold

What trait do you most resent your parents for passing onto you?

Being short

What is the prettiest word in a foreign language?

schadenfruede (likely mis-spelled)

The zombie apocalypse is breaking out and the only thing you have to defend yourself with is the last thing you purchased. What are you using to defend yourself?

Oh, it’s on.  I am loaded up, and down, with 5 containers of yogurt.  Eat that, zombie bitches!   You are eating too much brains, and it’s time for some probiotics, motherfuckers!

Just had a toof pulled, been on yogurt for a week now.  You been warned, zombies.  Prepare for a delightful, somewhat healthy, and low calorie snack.

Ok, that feels empty.  You deserve more.  How about a silly bonus?  We’ll do this just like we used to.  the first song that comes up on my phone on random, and what it means to me:

Times of Trouble – Temple of the Dog

first things first, maybe I should introduce you.  Temple of the Dog is a supergroup composed of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.  Even better, this band pre-dates Times of Trouble.  Temple of the Dog was a small songwriting side project for Chris Cornell after his roommate died of a heroin overdose.  Sorry, too long of a story.  It is an amazing song, and you should find it’s twin.  Mike McCready from Pearl Jam wrote the music for the song.  He not only gave it to Chris Cornell, he put it on a demo tape.  Mother Love Bone was looking for a singer, since Andrew Wood died. The band put 3 songs on a demo tape, now famously known as the ‘mamason trilogy‘, and this song was one of them.  the Pearl Jam song is called Footsteps, and it may be the most powerful and intimate vocal Eddie has ever done.

This specific cut is from the Temple of the Dog re-issue.  Here is the Cornell version from Temple of the Dog.  Now… here is the Pearl Jam version.  To further complicate things… the backing band is exactly the same on both.  Scratch that, I am not just going to link it, I am going to embed it.  If you can, I strongly encourage you to listen to this with headphones to get the full effect.

 Which version is better?  Now, I could give you a chickenshit answer.  I could say “each is terrific, and has it’s own value.  You can’t just compare art to art.  You can not, and should not- qualify OR quantify art.  Let each thing stand on it’s own merit.  Chickenshit!  There is a better version of the two, and Pearl Jam wins.  Listen to Vedder’s voice, there are tears.

Friday Fives – how Lost ruined my love of everything

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If there could be a sequel to any movie which doesn’t have one, what would you choose?

Big Fish – maybe the greatest movie ever made.  Imagine this:  imagine if once, just once, Tim Burton took his crazy vision and made a happy and bright movie?  Well, he did it… just once.  Don’t worry, it has a tiny bit of Tim Burton trademark darkness… and of course stars his ex wife… but for a brief shining moment we saw a joyful and Tim Burton… and it is amazing!

We need the sequel for, if nothing else, Steve Buscemi’s poet laureate character to finish his poem.

Which TV Show or Movie’s title totally contradicts with its plot?

The Sopranos.  They can’t sing for shit.  Of course, ain’t like anyone is going to say that to their face.

 What’s the laziest and most over-used sitcom trope?

The hot wife who holds it all together for the family, and the dopey husband who barely manages to not kill himself every waking moment.  the wife is always an 8.5 of hotness, and they guy is a 4.

Every movie is re-named to be as obvious as “Snakes on a Plane”. What are the best alterations?

i don’t know.  this question is weird.  like your face.

 From start to finish, what’s the best binge-able TV series?

Breaking Bad.  Best arc, best storytelling.  Everything gets resolved, too.  Not in a good way, or maybe even in a satisfying way… but everything is addressed and ties together.

To make Walt a protagonist through all this is no easy feat.  With Tony Soprano, he is easy to root for.  He’s in the mafia, and everyone knows what they signed up for.   and if he wasn’t pulling the springs, someone else would be.  Same outcome.  With Walt, though, you see his evolution.  It is done so masterfully, through both Vince Gilligan’s genius vision, and Brian Cranston’s untouchable acting.

I am thinking of Lost here.  Did you watch that?  8 years of my life in the shitter.  NOTHING WAS EXPLAINED.  Nothing.  All we get are the protagonist, and the antagonist (smoke monster) were/are brothers.  It’s all very Cain and Abel.  At the end, everyone is dead, I guess.  Spoiler alert.  After 7 or 8 or 9 years of INCREDIBLE storytelling… here is what we get.  The last scene is Jack walks into a church.  He was dead.  They were all dead.  I guess they all were.  Always.   For many people, myself included, Lost ruined ALL television.  Seriously, I am afraid to love again after burning that much time and energy.

Breaking Bad doesn’t do that.  They were also, I am sure, WELL aware of Lost’s failure to connect with a single viewer or storyline.  With Breaking Bad, we had just come off to VERY big finales.  The Sopranos, and Lost.  I think the Soprano’s ending was brilliant… but most did not.

People didn’t like the ambiguity, but I think it was perfect.  I wrote about that here.

entering into lengthy and angry Lost rant

Ok, one cool thing that Lost did.  JJ Abrams invented the ‘flash forward’, and the ‘sideways flash’ to layer the complexities of the story.  Not  that any of that ever  pays off.  EVER.  Even worse?  As the ending of the show approached, fans worried they could not possibly pay off about 30 to 45 of the key questions that had come up.  They assured us all will be answered.  Lost had this brilliant way of each time they answered a question to your satisfaction, it would ask 3 new ones.

Don’t worry, Abrams and Lindeloff told us.  They have had this whole thing sketched out for years.. and it will all make sense.    IT DIDN’T.   nothing was resolved.  I guess we learned Hurley was the real prophet (as I had long suspected).  What about why women couldn’t have babies on the island?  What about the others?   What about  Jack seeing his father everywhere?  What was the smoke monster after?  Why were their polar bears?  What did Penny and Desmond and her rich and evil dad have to do with all of this?  What were the lottery numbers about?  Why could they move through time and space?  What was Mr Ecco about?  What about his dead brother in the plane?  Why was there a ship filled with dynamite?  Who cares, you will NEVER EVER EVER KNOW, did that homemade jumbo jet ever make it off the island?  What are Jack’s tattoos’ about?  Was John Locke handicapped from the big fall?  Did the island heal him?

 

 All you need to know is in the very end all the main characters are together in a church.  They are all waiting for Jack, and it is Kate who let’s us know that.  It would appear this is some kind of  funerary service.  Were they all dead?  Were they always dead?  Was this just a dream?  We will never know.  The only thing we’ll know is my heartbreak and confusion when the show ended.  It was like how the last presidential campaign ended.  I kept thinking ‘well, I know Hillary was a terrible candidate, but they aren’t really going to let him be president, are they?’