Friday Fives – bookish edition

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 How many of you still read books for entertainment?

I do still read, constantly.  However, I just can’t find time to read a book. I still consume books… daily.  These days, I do it all through audiobooks.  I prattle on about that here.  I read something a few years ago that always sticks with me.  The average American household has less than 5 books in it, and one of those is the bible.

What is that one book you just could NOT put down while you were reading it?

Kathy Griffin’s ‘Official Book Club Selection’.  Also gotta mention Springsteen’s autobiography.  Not just a page turner, but incredibly well written.

Btw, I don’t really read books for ‘entertainment’.  More for relaxation.

What book are you currently reading listening to?

Waging Heavy Peace – Neil Young

What book absolutely blew your mind?

 Lamb – the Gospel of Christ according to Biff, his childhood pal.  This book just blew my mind.  So incredibly super really great.  Mind you, I am not just un-religious… but pretty militantly anti-religion.  I was raised Catholic, though. I would also like to tell you about a near ‘religious experience’ I had with this book.  I was alone in a car for many hours on Christmas day reading it (just by chance) on zero sleep for several days.

This book also turned me on to the amazingness that is author Christopher Moore.  Since this book, I have gone on to read many of his.  Again, I prattle on and on about my love for this guy on my books page.  Just hope over here and do a control F on his name.

and….

Probably how well written that Springsteen book was.  You see how he is the voice of a generation.  I can barely think of my favorite writers who write that well.  He spend 7 years on it, and used no ghostwriter.  No ghostwriter is INCREDIBLE.   All rock memoirs are written with ghostwriters, usually the very impressive Anthony Bozza.  Rock stars don’t generally have the time or attention span or literary capability to do that.  The ghostwriter thing is perfect.  A dude hangs out with you for about a year.  He asks you pointed questions, and you tell him anecdotes.  They put it together for you.  Not the Boss.

Generally speaking, every famous person who has written a book uses a ghostwriter.

If you died today and the last text you received was written on your tomb stone, what would it say?

mostly done

 

 

ew… that is actually pretty perfect.  and… kinda creepy out of context of the conversation  Props to the Arizona Monkey Boy for that gem!  In case you don’t remember, we kinda made the Az Monkey Boy famous here.  As a bonus, we have his answers to this week’s five right below.

*** can I point something significant out here?  I just realized I went through an ENTIRE post about books (not my questions, either.  all from my editor) and I never once mentioned Alice in Wonderland.  That is a breakthrough!

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Friday Fives – school yard edition

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Tell us about your first fashion crisis. 

Not something I thought we were going to talk about here.  This question, America, is why it should be abundantly clear I do not write these questions.  I have, of course, but 90% of the time they come from my editor and mentor, Roy.  Sorry, back to our question.  When I was in kindergarten, I remember very little.  BUT, I remember ‘Western Day’.  We were to dress up in fun cowboys ways.  One of my big brother’s (the dumb one, not the ugly one) had some cowboy boots.  Both brothers are about 5 years older, so the boots did not fit.  That had NO bearing on my decision…  I was going to wear those fucking boots!  So, I spent the day at school falling out of my shoes and probably looking dumb.   Obviously, it didn’t go terribly well… as it is literally my only memory from back then.

I smile as I look back, but that is also because I had all my classmates murdered since then.  Well, except the Az Monkey Boy.  He even knows about the library book incident… which assures he will be dead.

What is your earliest memory of recess?

Fun, playing, running, football.  I was an athletic kid, so recess was the best.  I mean, what’s not to love?  You aren’t in class?  Was I supposed to say how lonely I was?  Am I supposed to say this is when I was afraid to go play because of the bullies?  Is this where I tell you about the incident with the PE teacher who got a little handsy?  No sir.  My childhood was AMAZING.

Can I tell you something that no one will even talk about?  In middle school (so I am about 12, and this is about 1984) our favorite game was called ‘smear the queer’.  Note, this had NOTHING to do with anyone’s sexuality.  It also had NOTHING to do with bullying… because everyone who played was self selecting.  We all voluntarily went out to the field and played.  Perhaps you are not familiar with the game.  You have about 10 or 20 boys, and a nerf football.  Whomever has the football, everyone else chases and tries to tackle.  He is, you see, the ‘queer’.  When he could not longer handle the heat, he would throw the ball away.  Now, he is instantly safe and no one cares.  All eyes are on the next fool who grabbed the ball (voluntarily).  It was silly fun, and tons of exercise.  That is it.  I am sure kids were bullied.  I was not bullied (well… much.  I was a spindly as kid with a loud mouth.  I made things kinda tough on myself), nor did I bully… or see bullying.

OR… maybe I did, and was, and am… and just repressed it.

I want to clarify another thing.  Growing up, we used the term ‘gay’ a lot.  It had nothing to do with sexuality.  Obviously, it is a mean and unnecessary descriptor, and I no longer use it.  However, then (if not now, I don’t know) it simply meant ‘lame’.  Understandably, I don’t use that term anymore.  That word is off limits, which is (frankly)… gay!  Why do I keep working so hard to point out there that 1) I am not gay, and 2) it’s ok if I sling the homophobic words around because I am of course cool with gays.

Obviously, it’s time to do some self reflecting.  It is’t not fine to yell ‘gay’ or ‘fag’ or ‘queer’.  I didn’t get that when I was young, but that doesn’t make it alright.

So, all this ‘gay’, ‘homo’, and ‘queer’ stuff is innocent fun, right?  Just kids being kids?  No it is not.  How would a young 10 year old kid feel who was gay hearing these words and terms thrown around?  we would have sometimes 30 kids out there running around and terrorizing each other yelling ‘fag’, etc.  Odds are, just by the math, some of those kids were gay.  Think of the cruel shame and confusion they must have felt.  What is a young gay kid’s take away?  That being a ‘queer’ is the worst thing you can be, and to be physically attacked was socially acceptable.

There is a horrible epidemic of young gay men committing suicide.  The great Dan Savage began the campaign of ‘it get’s better‘.  I hope it does, because I can’t imagine the pain and cruelness that must have been for a young gay kid who just wants to hang out and play with his friends.  We (us straight little undersexed terrorists) never meant the game to be a public shaming of gays.  I certainly didn’t.  However, looking at it from the other side, how could a young guy man not take it that way?

He would be terrified, and likely ashamed.  THAT is why we don’t  talk like that anymore. Well… I don’t.  Maybe those little homos in 6th grade still do.  Barbarians!

Tell us about your first driver’s test. 

You won’t like this.  It was SO easy and SO awesome.  In short, I got my license without ever taking the test.  In high school, I got to participate in an after school program called ‘Behind the Wheel’.  It was something my parents wonderfully paid for, so I could learn to drive.  2 or 3 days a week, after school, I got driving lessons.  It was a single adult teacher, and 3 to 4 students.  We would take turns driving.  I don’t remember how long this was for, but when it came time to get my driver’s license… I had a pass.  Literally, I was given a certificate from this program and I handed it in and got my license.  I don’t even remember if I took the written test, but I know I didn’t have to take the driving test.

Funny consequence about that:  I never learned how to parallel park.  Seriously, I STILL can not parallel park.  I haven’t had to.  I didn’t drive back East, where you have to parallel park daily.  Plus, 90% of my driving experience has been in trucks.  You don’t have to parallel park

Tell us about your oddest family relative

Believe it or not, and I understand if you don’t… I can’t think of one.  On top of that, I would not be surprised if anyone else in my family named me.  I am fine with that.

Tell us about the first time you got into trouble in school.

No.

Friday Fives – Sunday Style

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What is better… 120 heat or -20 with 5 feet of snow?

Having intimate knowledge of both, I prefer the latter.  Give me the cold.  I do not have AC, so the heat is unbearable at home.  It is currently 100 out in Denver, which is very unusual.  Combine that with the altitude and it is unthinkable.  Indeed, we kinda get both here: very hot and very cold.  I am not sure if this is the best of both worlds, or the worst?  Only Dickens could tell!

So Anton Yelchin just joined the 27 club. Who’s Anton Yelchin? No googling!

Without having any idea who that is… and not googling… let’s take a wild stab in the dark

Yechin’s death illuminates the gritty and real world of amateur and professional wrestlers in today’s society.  I am not talking about well built muscle machines playing MSG to millions.  I am talking about where Yelchin came from… ‘community center’ wrestling.  This is where each wrestler risks his life nightly for about $40.  There are no trainers here, and no doctors on call.  No health care for these guys, just toothless aholes screaming for ‘eddie van halen and the eddie van halen band’.  Inside joke, there.  Extra points to anyone who can name it.  Miss Virgie knows!

Doctors have recently speculated that Yelchin, like many other tragic wrestling figures, suffered from CTE.  That is the traumatic brain injury the NFL has been famously taken to task for.

Knowing what we know about Yelchin’s background, can we be surprised or upset that he was using drugs?  Wouldn’t you?  A recent study showed 83% of current Americans who describe amateur wrestling as a full time job… live UNDER the Federal poverty level.

Frankly, America, I put his death on YOU.  Just like those of you who abhor government hand outs that only shop at Wal Mart.  Knowing full well that 38% of Wal Mart employees are so poorly paid that they have to receive govt subisidies.  6.2 BILLION in subsidies from your check have to go to Wal Mart employees.  How good are those deals, now, righties?

How come you didn’t like my first question? I thought it was brilliant!! I mean how can you say you didn’t know there were gators in Florida? They’re the Florida Gators!

Editors note:  the first question he submitted was terrible and confusing.  I nixed it.  However, I am so amused by this response from my guest editor (separate person, though most are just me.   Today the fearless AZ Monkey Boy stepped in to offer our questions.  Astute, non stoned, readers will remember him from this amazing and 100% true story) that I had to leave it in.  Especially out of context.

Will the Broncos go from first to worst this year?

We will be fine.  Maybe not great, but at least very good.  We have the same defense, who did ALL the heavy lifting last year.  Remember, we all love a good Manning story… but he didn’t do dick-all last year.

Plus… look at our division?  San Diego & Oakland remain just a tragicomedy.  The only threat in the AFC West is the Chefs.  We have always had their number, so that is clearly not a threat.  Great googly moogely indeed!

What famous athlete, actor, singer do you think would make a good pet sitter?

Sarah McLaclan.  She would keep them alive.  Prolly bore them to death, though.  She would sing them all those sad songs, and remind them that most of their family and friends will die a sad neglected death on the streets.

Who would be bad?

Sarah McLaclan, for the reasons stated above.  She could even bum out my Golden

 

 

 

Friday Fives – He’s a Juicy Fire!

A mondegreen is a mis-heard lyric. What is your favorite misheard lyric? 

A boy, I got a good one. I recently bought the remastered box set of U2’s ‘Unforgettable Fire’. It is such an amazing album, and is mixed so poorly, I had great hopes. In the HUGE hit song ‘Pride in the name of Love’, in the first verse there is a sentence that goes ‘one comes here to justify’. I never knew that lyric until I got the box set last week. In the original CD, they only print the lyrics to one song, which is the first song.

Now, I was always pretty sure what I was hearing was incorrect, but listen to the song. Right now. Here, I will embed if for you. Now, go to that first verse. The exact moment is 57 seconds. I always heard ‘one man come, he a juicy fire’. Go ahead, sing that with that line. He a juicy fire. That isn’t the heart of this story.  Not anymore. Don’t worry, this story gets WAY worse.

As with all things, I was discussing this with my pal Jamie. I asked him what he heard. This is no lie. He said “I always thought he was saying ‘one man come, he set Jews on fire…’. Wow. That is brilliant, and fucked up. Obviously, it’s not brilliant to set jews on fire. It’s brilliant that that is what Jamie thought all these years, and gleefully sang along. Kinda puts my ‘juicy fire’ into perspective, doesn’t it?

A spoonerism is a deliberate (or accidental ) error in speech or words. Do you have a favorite? 

I found this to be too kitschy to interest me. So, how about another mondegreen. In ‘Every Breath you Take’ from the Police. There is a line that says ‘how my poor heart aches’. Makes sense. That is not what I heard, and I listened to this song thousands of times. This album was incredibly influential for me. Really, it changed my life more than any other album. I was such a fan of this record that my brother took me to see the Police live. It was on this tour, Synchronicity. It was their farewell tour, and they were firing on all cylinders. It was incredible. I knew that night that rock and roll was all I ever wanted. It’s what I wanted to do, to think about, to talk about, to be my job, to be my nights and weekends… all from that Police show. I was 10, I think.

FOCUS, man! What I heard was ‘how my pool hall aches’. Go ahead, watch. Its at the 50 second mark. Tell me he is not saying ‘how my pool hall aches’.


A malapropism is an incorrect word in place of another.  Can you remember one used?

This one also does not interest me. It’s strange, I am a word guy. I am super passionate about words. I got a degree in literature, that is how much I love words. Yet, I am not inspired. I think it’s because I need to just get to bed.

So, how about this? The funniest mondegreen of all time comes from Dave Barry. There was a classic great soul song called ‘ain’t no woman like the one I got’ Makes sense. Touching, and sweet. What Dave Barry brings us is this – Ain’t no woman like the one eyed Gott’.

Lastly, no conversation about mondegreens can be complete without this. My favorite band, and someone trying to figure out just exactly what the hell Eddie is singing.  In fact, there is not even an official studio version of this.  The recording we all know was done on the fly at a radio station that Ed and Mike were visiting.  Mike brought an acoustic and they knocked out two songs that day.  Both were largely improvised on the spot.  The other song was Bee Girl.

To be fair, this song never had official lyrics, and I am about 90% confident that he changes the words night to night a bit to fit his mood.

An earworm  is a snippet of catchy tune that gets stuck in your head. Do you have a common one? 

Goodwill Halloween, goodwill Halloween, goodwill halloween

Btw, I… and I alone, have pioneered a way to fix them. It will sound dumb and obvious… but it works. Your mind needs closure when this is happening. To fix the earworm, you need to listen to the song in its entirety. I have had to actually reach over to my phone in the middle of the night and download a song online and listen to it with headphones while wifey is sleeping to get closure. It works.

The Tetris effect occurs when so much time and attention is devoted to an activity it affects other parts of your life.  Do you do this? 

Really? I disagree. For me, the tetris effect is all about organization. It could be packing the back of a moving van with everything you own. Every spot counts. It could be about time management… trying to fit in all the shit you need to fit into your day. My wife is the master of tetris in real life. Need stuff packed? You just sit back, keep your hands and feet away, and watch the art.

Christopher Lloyd – still alive

I want you to stop what you are doing and take a few minutes to appreciate the greatest character actor in history – Christopher Lloyd.

What if I told you I recently read that Christopher Lloyd’s movies are collectively the most profitable of all time?  Technically, that makes him the most financially successful actor of all time.  Sam Jackson and Tom Cruise can suck it.  Now, to be fair… none of that is true.  When I said above ‘I recently read’… it was true.  However, I was referring to what I had recently written.  Isn’t the internet fun?  I wrote it out, and then I read it back.  This means my statement was not dishonest.  Factually inaccurate… but I simply said that I had read that fact. Now, you too can say “I recently read that Christopher Lloyd is the most profitable actor or all time.”  I love this guy so much, I am absolutely willing to sully my good name.

Ever since I watched Taxi as a kid, I knew great acting. Jim Ignatowski is still a role model to me. Sure, he is cooked and gone. Still, though, there is a sweetness and genius to the character that Lloyd brought. All you need to know about Rev Jim was his answer to who he would be if he could be anyone in history.

Myself

(the others) but why?

So I wouldn’t have to buy new clothes

Sure, there is hair, wardrobe, and make up that go into a character. There is also dialogue written far away by witty young Jewish hipsters in conference rooms. Look at this still shot, though. That is fucking method acting. You don’t see an actor there, or even a ‘character’. You see goddamn Rev Jim Ignatowski.

Technically, credit here should go to the screenwriters, but this is all Christopher Lloyd in the deliver. He is filling out at drivers license application, and comes to this (forward to minute 19):

Bobby: (reading from the test) narcotic addition or mental illness?

Jim: Boy, that’s a tough choice!

So does a few years as the C storyline (at best) define a career? Generally, no. Not even of the rest of the cast, who all were cast to play exaggerated versions of themselves. Well, there is Kauffman… but to me he comes off as an attention whore playing nuts. Christopher Lloyd, though? Yup, lifetime acting mastered. Like Terrell Davis, who can’t make it into the Hall of Fame because his career was shorter than Taxi’s tv run. Yet… he knocked out two 1,000 yard seasons… which few of the hundreds that came before him have done.

He has a long body of work. I just want to point out some of the landmark highlights that make him my absolute favorite actor.

What else has he done? I love all his characters, and so you do. He is also Dr Emmit Smith from Back to the Future – embed this

And Dr Doom from Roger Rabbit.

There simply wasn’t ever a better Uncle Fester.

He is still working, and thankfully still alive. I love this man. He is the tv equivalent o Bill Corgan and Siamese Dream. Just want to meet the guy and say ‘thanks’. That’s it. No gushing, or sharing of favorite moments. Don’t need an autograph or a celeb selfie. Just want to smile and say ‘thanks’.

Thanks be to the Arizona Monkey Boy for the reminder.  Lloyd was in a little indie vehicle called ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest‘.  Watch this clip if you wanna see some goddamn acting.  Script says ‘character laughs triumphantly‘.  Astute viewers will note another future Taxi veteran in the film.  That’s correct, Tony Danza!

At 76, he is more than just working, and getting by. I had this great ending about how he is the guy who invented and produces Modern Family. Goddamn I love this show. In researching for this piece, I just learned that Christopher Lloyd is a different one. Stupid internet!

Also found researching this piece** was a perfectly ChristopherLLoydian character*** from 90s movie flop ‘Dennis the Menace’. Go ahead and watch this clip, and you will have instantly tripled the amount of people who have seen the movie.

Also, he was excellent in Clue. Clue is like Woodstock. Everyone claims they loved it, and they were there. A study (yes, people studied this) showed that 5 million people claimed to have been at Woodstock. The actual number was 500,000, and since it was 40 years ago a good chunk of them are dead. Well, only 8 people went to see Clue in the theaters, which is why we never got a sequel. The cast is beyond amazing. Punk crazed mastermind Lee Ving, David St Hubbins, Private Benjamin,

This is the second in a series I meant to do much more. I am still cooking one about the great Richard Simmons. I have had it in my head for years about him… but now it actually seems he might die. No one has seen him in at least a year, and I have already put him (sadly) on my 2016 Dead Pool list.

** researching – sitting around powering down coffee and finding awesome Christopher Lloyd clips. Nice life!

*** is this a term yet? It is now. ChristopherLLoydian character®

Lawrence Taylor wants to kick your ass – another great true story

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This is an email my buddy sent me. It is not any different from a thousand emails we exchange. earlier this week, the Baseball Hall of Fame results were announced (with no entries due to the steroid scandals) so we started talking sports.  He got wind of a Lawrence Taylor signing event.  This is what they sent him.  He is on some email distro for such things:

Lawrence Taylor Update: Autograph Time 12pm – 2pm
Just under 70 tickets have been Sold so far for L.T.
We Are Taking Mail – in Items and Orders for L.T.
Those Items sent in will receive the Free Inscription and Free L.T. – 56 Hologram. All our items Mailed out will have the HOF Inscription and Hologram on the Item.
Note: The Signing is for 250 items only
Lawrence Taylor will be Signing his Full Name at the Show
Autograph Tickets are only on sale by Phone {623} 587-****
Autograph Fees are Listed on our website www.phoenixcardshows.com
Sports Card Collectors Show
Saturday March 30
North Phoenix Baptist Church – Central & Bethany Home
10am – 3pm / 60 Tables / Admission $1

So, this is what he sent me.

Lawrence Taylor is doing an autograph show here soon. He’s charging $80-$135 depending on what you want signed. I think he has blown ALL of his money thru drugs and lawyers… But he can still “eat” thru auto-signings. Let Schilling do the same thing.

I’ll give Taylor $80 for an auto… As long as he comes over and washes my jeep and pulls my weeds.

Classic, right?  He and I are firing back emails right in the middle of all of this.  If you are a good reader, you already know how this turns out from the couch story.  He hits send.  To me.  Like he does five times a day.  This is just two dudes talking about sports, and how we hate almost all sports stars.  Here is the catch, though.  We’ll call my friend ‘Jamie’ here, since that is his real name.  He didn’t send this to me.  Nope.  He thought he had sent it to me.  Until… this happened; He had been corresponding with LT’s publicity agent about details of the event.  and… he… uh… accidentally sent that email above which was meant for me to Lawrence Taylor’s agent.

Dude was not nearly amused as you were.  Nope.  This is what he sent back to Jamie verbatim:

From: Jeff **** <**********@msn.com>
Date: January 9, 2013, 7:31:38 PM MST
To: <az********@hotmail.com>
Subject: RE: Lawrence Taylor Update / Store Now Closed @ PV Mall

I Will Give you a ticket if you tell this to his face and I can watch you get the Shit beat out of you
Do you have life Insurance – Medical insurance

Yeah, true story.  How you doin?

**** update – holy crap.  I am a prophet!  If you read here often, you know that I often reference older posts of mine as I write.  Why?  Because I was correct 4 years ago and no one listened (is usually the gist).  This is another case of that.  Back in 2005 I wrote about the idea of ‘Microsoft Spite Block’ which was an app in your Outlook that warned you before sending regrettable emails.  Seriously, 8 years ago.  Too bad Jamie wasn’t reading back then, I guess.