This Post Voted #6 in WordPress’ Top 10 Blog Posts for 2011

February 8, 2011

[Update: I wish I could say I’ve just been lazy & that’s why no blog last week. It’s actually because I come home from a long day at work and unwind w/ some vacuuming. Good news: the fleas are out of the basement; bad news: fleas back upstairs (???) (!!!) (%@*$#). I think the theme song for my life right now is Nirvana’s “Rape Me.”]

I recently finished “I Drink for a Reason” by David Cross, a guy I find pretty gosh-darn funny even though most find him annoying, insulting, a combination of both, or just plain ASSHOLE. He has a bit in there about top ten lists, something I have struggled w/ for awhile now, so I’d like to piggyback on a few of his comments of frustration.

There’s been a Tipping Point epidemic in this country since the late ‘90s of lists. At first they were great – I was a big fan. It was a nice way of closing out the last century, even the millennium, summarizing the greatest hits of history in a convenient, concise list. You know what I’m talking about: Time magazine would publish the top 100 greatest novels of the twentieth century; VH1 would show the Top 100 greatest rock & rollers, where you’d hear Scott Ian from Anthrax talk about how much Bad Brains, Dizzy Gillespie, Chopin, & Air Supply influenced his music. The American Film Institute did their top 100 films and everyone was pissed because Citizen Kane got #1 and you’re like “what the hell is Citizen Kane? That’s a movie?”

[Citizen Kane sucks. I said it. Maybe because I’ve only seen it once & need to see it again. The “wow” moment at the end, Rosebud is a sled? BLOW ME.]

But then something happened where the media went on auto-pilot and started doing top 10 lists for everything, EVERY year, and the whole novelty of it lost its flavor. AFI branched out and did top 100 thrillers or romances or comedies, which became redundant because the same movies somehow made it to the top ten in all categories (I didn’t know The Godfather II was a comedy but I’m sure it made the list). You no longer cared who made it to #1 because you knew already, there’s gonna be some disappointment (AFI’s Top Comedy List – Tootsie at #1? Has anyone seen Police Academy IV: Citizens On Patrol?).

Plus, people’s opinions change over the years, so these lists have to reflect the times. Citizen Kane may have been hot ten years ago amongst critics, but since then a new batch has arrived & who knows, maybe they’ll really like Real Men starring Jim Belushi & John Ritter.

Having said all this (and not really going anywhere), here is my list of Top 10 Greatest Songs Featuring an Organ (subject to change):

10. 96 Tears – ? & The Mysterians: This song reminds me of being at a hockey game.

9. Radio Radio – Elvis Costello & the Attractions: This song’s the one from when he was on SNL in the late ‘70s, where he starts off playing one song, abruptly stops, starts playing this one, & was banned from the show for a looooong time. [Side note: I think Lorne Michaels, as a person… probably a prick. Just a hunch]

8. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed – Allman Bros.: You may need the following to fully appreciate & experience this song: one ounce of shrooms, a fifth of Jack Daniels, one severe case of head lice, & one full blown orgy including lots of women w/ au natural body hair.

7. I’ve Seen All Good People – Yes: Let’s face it, this list will have some prog-rock bands on here.

6. Joy – Apollo 100: Prominently featured in Boogie Nights.

5. So What’cha Want – Beastie Boys: See first 10 seconds.

4. Something by The Doors, preferably over 7 mins.

3. A Whiter Shade of Pale – Procol Harum: This song loses some points because it was also in The Big Chill.

2. Root Down – Jimmy Smith: Is this just because it was sampled on a Beastie Boys song of the same name? Possibly…

1. Green Onions – Booker T. & the MGs.: No comments needed.


Fleas Glorious Fleas

January 24, 2011

So I understand from reading the International Blog Guidelines (2007 ed.) that we’re supposed to write about our daily dealings in life, just as much as our random thoughts, so today I want to discuss a problem Robyn & I have been dealing with for quite some time now. Hold on, we’re going to get personal here.

I want to talk about fleas.

If you threw me in a room w/ Hitler, Ted Bundy, Satan’s brother, & Rob Lowe, I MAY have a better time w/ them than dealing w/ this whole flea experience. For starters, I clearly underestimated them. “Chevy has fleas,” Robyn tells me. “They’ll go away,” I say. Like that cricket that lived under the dryer over the summer. An annoying cricket, yes, but a lonely one w/ no food, no friends, no hobbies. I miss that cricket.

Fleas on the other hand were made for survival. These bastards go out fighting. Their last breath is followed by laying fifty thousand eggs, eggs that probably have the ability to screw one another while incubating, so that thousands and thousands of more eggs, invisible eggs I might add, are added to the mix, eggs that if you add water to them, a la Gremlins, will procreate. And so on.

[Speaking of Gremlins, what if Mogwai really existed on earth? We would have a mass infestation in a matter of days, maybe hours. “Don’t get him wet?” On a planet that’s over 70% water? That rains on a regular basis?]

I have vacuumed our basement so many times, it actually makes me angry typing about it. We have no carpet downstairs, so I’m really just vacuuming a concrete floor. Granted, a floor that needed vacuuming, what w/ all the dust, dirt, cat hair & pubes everywhere, but after the 120th day in a row of vacuuming, there’s REALLY nothing left to pick up. Except for fleas apparently, although I can’t see them. Fleas that hibernate for two weeks after the exterminator’s treatment, so you think “maybe they’re gone! Get the champagne!”

Then you see one slowly crawling up your leg, slightly dazed, not the sharpest flea in the bunch… and he bites. Tears swell up your eyes. Not because of the pain. It’s the mental anguish.

So we’ve had five treatments from the exterminator (the salesman initially told us it would take two & fleas be-gone!) and now he’s baffled. Robyn & I are prisoners in our own home. I’m at the point of solving the problem w/ packing the car, sprinkling gasoline throughout the basement, lighting a match, & heading to Pittsburgh.

A few quick thoughts on rap

January 19, 2011

Probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that, if given the opportunity, I would choose to hang out with the more “goofy” MCs in the rap business (in imaginary fun-land). Hanging with the Beasties is a given; OutKast of course; Mighty Mos Def – pretty much anyone who’s appeared on Chappelle’s Show. But then I think, I like Ice Cube, maybe I should hang out with him too… some cool people might stop by, like Snoop Dogg, Chris Tucker, the cast of Three Kings. I feel like we would have a good time for the first half hour, then something weird would happen & he’d get pissed. Maybe even yell at me. Awkwardness follows. “Listen, Ice Cube… can I call you Ice Cube? I’m sorry. Please don’t write a diss track about me on your next album.”

If you’re friends with Ice Cube, do you still refer to him as Ice Cube? Like when you call him up & his wife answers, do you say “Hey this is John, is Ice Cube there?” Shouldn’t you be on a more solid level of camaraderie to call him by his Christian name?

I wonder about this when I read interviews with rap stars, musicians, Hollywood-ers. Like Jay-Z saying, “So I called up Bono & Edge & said let’s do this track…” What? You call Bono “Bono” in real life? His parents did not christen him (I’m assuming some sort of christening was involved because he’s Irish) as Bono, okay Jay? As in Jay-Z. P.S. Call me.

On a sort of unrelated note, Young MC’s “Bust a Move” has an incredibly long shelf life. I see commercials during football (the only time I watch commercials now that I’m a DVR snob) with a slight remix of the song, but the heart of it is still there AND still ill. Children will listen to this song & bob their heads. You can’t say that about “You Can’t Touch This” or “Ice Ice Baby.” Children hear that & either laugh or cry.

Chevy – Quick Tribute

January 16, 2011

My pug Chevy (as in Chase, not car) likes to eat his own feces. I’m completely disgusted yet oddly fascinated by this at the same time. Why does shit taste so good to him? Does it taste like steak? If I pooped steak, would I share in this habit? I think I would…

Of course my wife & I are trying to put an end to this coprophagy (yes folks, there is a technical term for “dogs eating crap”). I’ve done my fair share of research – more than I’d like to spend my time doing. My favorite site so far is “20 Reasons Why Your Dog Eats Poop.” Twenty reasons? And I need to narrow this down to one or two reasons from this all-encompassing list? Thanks Interweb!

My wife & I have tried everything. Vigilantly scooping his deuces is a must. Taking him outside on a leash is also essential (we have a fenced-in backyard so we originally just let him roam free until it turned into poop paradise). We even tried some magical powder that came in little white packets & you were supposed to sprinkle ¼ of the packet into his food – but why, magical powder company, if you’re going the individual packet route, didn’t you just distribute the 1/4th measurement into said packets to save us all some headache? But that’s for another time…

The problem now is I think Chevy’s too deep into his addiction. It’s like crack now. I try to pull him away from it & he gives me a FUCK YOU look & just keeps going for it. Or maybe he gives me a shit-eating grin? [BA-DA-BOOM CHING!]

Right now he’s lying next to me. The fridge just buzzed, so this noise that he hears SEVERAL TIMES A DAY startles him & he barks. But this one is what I call his lazy man’s bark. The effort he puts into it is severely lacking because hey, he’s taking a nap. He follows it with a look at me that says DON’T JUDGE.

Sometimes, particularly in the summer, the neighborhood riff-raff lights fireworks late at night. Since our windows are of the highest quality, i.e. you could replace them with construction paper and get better protection from the outdoors, the BANG is loud. I either a) don’t wake up or b) sort of wake up, mumble something half asleep & roll over. So Chevy, I kind of understand the lazy man’s bark. And maybe, to an extent, I understand eating a nice steamy pile of feces if indeed it tastes like a rib-eye.

Holy crap – I have the perfect dog.