Friday, February 29, 2008

Zzzzzzzzzzz

To anyone who still stops by these pages, I promise I'll be better about writing stuff. Between work being a little zany lately, home life not being ideal (if you remember my landscaping issues) and it hasn't left a lot of comedy in the tanks for you cats.

But it's getting better in several ways so rest up, gentle readers. If nothing else, Texas goes to the polls Tuesday so I'm sure I'll have something to say by then.

Word.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Seen on itunes

From someone's personal review of the new album by the band the Grand archives:

"Great harmonies, bittersweet lyrics and fine musicianship. The perfect package—gift it to a loved one, don't waste it on yourself."

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Men’s Wearhouse called….


Is it just me or does John McCain have the worst suits? The guy’s a goddamn US Senator and now a nominee for President of the United States and it looks like he’s buying his suits on Canal Street or from one of those places advertised by homeless guys in sandwich boards. I’m a lowly advertising copywriter and even I own like three suits that each put his to shame. Of course I’m not 90 years old and did win “best-dressed” in high school, but still. I think we can agree I’m not rich or powerful or certainly presidential material.

McCain’s suits are all puckered up in the shoulders and way too big and so they hang on him all jacked-up and when he raises his arms (I know, I know, he was in some sort of war or something a while back and something happened to his arms) the shoulders look like he’s got about 4 vertical inches of padding in there. Check out his right shoulder (our left) sometime and see what I mean. Is this some sort of republican thing to try to look all beefy and bad-assed? Like when our current shithead-in-chief stands like a gunslinger with his arms all out like 5 inches from his body?

Whatever it is, it ain’t working.

McCain is the Bob Dole of the 2000’s. Give him a year or two and he’ll be hawking Cialis or Retstasin or that restless leg drug or that one that keeps old guys from peeing a lot. Just watch.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

If it’s a fight you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place

Someone pointed this out to me recently and now it’s all I seem to notice: Hillary needs a fight. She has to have something to push against. Without it, she’s woefully lost. Be it Newt Gingrich and the republican-controlled congress, the press, or her fellow presidential hopefuls, she has to be up against something. Or create the impression that something is against her.

That being said, do I think she would be “more experienced” on “day one”? Absolutely. Do I think she's wicked smart? Absolutely. Do I think she’s a tired, hacky, old-school, partisan politician who only knows how to solve things by making sure her side gets what they want and if not convinces you the other side is to blame. Abso-frikkin-lutely.

And that, my friends, is the problem. More importantly, that’s why she’s gonna lose.

Because no one wants to hear that shit. Not for 8 years, not for 4 years, not on March 5th. Constant complaining and attacking everyone else? When was the last time you applied for (and got) a job for which you spent the interview bashing the other applicants rather than presenting the case for why hiring you will make the company a better place? No one wants to hire the bitter person who A. feels like they deserve the job and B. spends the majority of the interview taking shots at the other guy who’s also interviewing.

I’m less concerned about “day one”—I’m pretty sure that involves a parade and a speech and then attending a concert by some has-been band. Hell, I can do that.

I’m more concerned about day two when someone’s gonna have to rally 301,000,000 Americans to bite the bullet, get together and each grab a mop and start cleaning up this god awful mess that shit-for-brains has put us in. It’s gonna be a multi-day job from what I can tell.

And 150,000,000 people ain’t gonna get it done, if you know what I’m saying.

Welcome to Austin, honey. Hope you picked out a good pant suit for the long ride home.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New Mexico, Old California


Many of you may remember the dreadful flight out to LA I took on US Air last spring that resulted in them trying to buy my business back in the form of a $200 travel voucher. I scoffed at it at the time but then recently that, coupled with some excess airline miles, resulted in Whitney and I jetting off to New Mexico for the long weekend on the US Air. Aside from an almost altercation with a severely attitude-laden flight attendant on the flight home, it was tolerable. Still the worst airline in the sky, wheels down, but it got us there and back without any major snafus so we'll call it a success. A mild success.

But the time we spent in New Mexico was stellar and we had beautiful weather the whole time despite constant reports of rain and snow. We spent Friday night in Santa Fe which was as cool as ever and then the next couple of days in Albuquerque with Whitney's friends Alison and Don who couldn't have been better hosts.

Saturday night we even hit the Route 66 Casino to see the LA band Ozomatli. But for me the highlight of that little jaunt was hitting the casino. I don't gamble at all but talk about some world-class people watching! I love a good desert casino. To me it's like the Star Wars bar scene, only without laser guns. Fantastic.

I'd say it's nice to be back home but I've got yet another housing situation to deal with. I'll no doubt write more about it but, long story short, the woman who rents me my guest house tore up the fucking yard way back in September with promises to spiff the the whole thing up. I thought, "great—what's that take, about 2 weeks?" But then I didn't take into account that she didn't realize those kinds of things cost money. Easy to overlook, you know? Seems to me you wouldn't tear it all up if you didn't have the money to go ahead and finish the job. But then again, I'm a goddamn certified genius, not the woman who lives in the front house.

And so there the yard sits. A fucking dirt lot. Six months later. Still all tore the fuck up and uglier than Fallujah during a garbage strike. I've thrown the whole renter's arsenal at her to no avail: a little begging, a little pleading, a little rent withholding, a little threatening to leave, a little more begging. It's all fallen on deaf ears. And I'm talking like Helen Keller deaf ears 'cause apparently the sight of it doesn't bother her at all either. It's fucking amazing.

So while it sucks, I gotta go.

Soon.

Soon as I find a place.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Rock noir


If you do one thing on Tuesday, make it buying the new Raveonettes album, "Lust, Lust, Lust." And with a name like that, how could it be bad? It's been out for like two months overseas but finally comes to our shores this week. In my opinion it's easily the best album so far this year.

I still don’t know how Sun Rose Wagner tunes his geetar to sound like it does but it sounds fantastic. And personally, if a six-foot tall Danish chick is playing bass, I’m listening.

Theirs is the music I imagine people in the late fifties and early sixties would have listened to up in the Hollywood Hills. Or people in February 2008 for that matter.

Check out the video for “Dead Sound.” Even their video is a little noir-ish.


Also of serious, serious note are the songs “Lust”, “Black Satin” and the amazing “With my eyes closed.” Here's the song at least, if not a proper video.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Coming up, Liza Minnelli and the Jonas Brothers!


I gotta say, the Grammy’s were a weird one last night. I understand it was the 50th anniversary but some of those parings were kinda off. Take for instance the painful mash-up of Kid Rock and that old lady who I’m still not really sure who she was. Wow. Not sure what to say. Throw in some awkward sexual tension and, well, it wasn’t good. I’ll just leave it at that.

Of the performances, I thought Amy Winehouse was the only one who really kicked ass and wasn’t blatantly lip-synched (I'm looking at you, Underwood). And she couldn’t have chosen two better songs in “You know I’m no good” and, of course, “Rehab.” Thank god she finally got that busted/missing tooth fixed too.

Kanye and Daft Punk was pretty dope but I gotta say, there’s no sense trotting out the ‘Punk unless you’re gonna let them bring it. I mean, like roof-off-the-place bring it. Still good, just not great. And did something happen to Kanye’s mom? ‘Cause I felt like he mentioned something...

Some other random thoughts:

Alicia Key’s duet with Sinatra was cool I guess if you like duets with dead people.

Morris Day and the Time’s performance was just odd. Anyone wondering what happened to them? Me either.

The Fergie and John Legend song would have been cooler if it wasn’t Fergie and she wasn’t doing some song well outside her repertoire.

Aretha Franklin's big as a house, huh? All three of her.

You know who’s a big fan of Kanye? Kanye. He was kind of a dick, really. The only reason he got cut off talking about his mom is he started off by trashing Common and Nas and how he was going to win album of the year. Priorities, priorities.

Vince Gill, nice one. I always liked that guy.

I can’t believe Brad Paisley has a song let alone a hit about wanting to “check someone for ticks.” Gross. Is this what they’re doing for fun out in the country now? Jesus. Probably the worst thing I saw all night. No wonder Huckabee is still in the race.

Hey, who wants a lifetime achievement award? Was it just me or were they throwing them out like promotional t-shirts last night? Burt Bacharach, where are you? Here, catch! The Band? Here, catch! A lifetime of work, frikkin’ two or three seconds of mention on the air! Sounds about right.

Will.i.am. Not sure what to say, bro. But it wasn’t good. In fact, it was bad. You’re not going to Hollywood.

Natalie Cole. What bitter, twisted logic led her to make those post-show comments about Amy Winehouse not being deserving of awards because she’s got personal problems? Oh I’m sorry. Whose daughter are you again? Maybe you can dig up some of his old tunes and sing along to them again rather than make original music. And just out of curiosity, do you take your bitter with one scoop or two of “shut the fuck up?”

And god bless Herbie Hancock and all that but I didn’t even know the guy made music this year, let alone a whole album of it. So that only makes sense that it would be the album of the frikkin’ year. After all, jazz was huge this year! I can’t remember listening to much else. Can you?

Austin must have been left out of the voting

In 1993, there was a relatively famous experiment in which two guys asked 1,001 Americans to decide what the perfect painting might look like. A "focus-group" painting, if you will. As might be expected, the end result was a glowing example of why design-by-committee rarely if ever produces good results. The painting they collectively “painted” featured a lakeside landscape, some deer, some frolicking people and, naturally, George Washington. Oh yeah, and it was the size of a dishwasher, as that was the size most people said they preferred. I ask you, is this the kind of thing you’d hang anywhere near your house?

Fast forward to recently when I guess Texas decided the “space-shuttle/oil derrick/skyline/shooting stars/moon” design they’re currently rolling with perhaps didn’t fully encapsulate the state’s riches and so they’ve apparently decided to redesign it.

Leave it in the hands of design professionals, you say? Surely you jest. Naturally, they let the people decide! And what do people want? Photography, stars and paint splashes! Ladies and gentleman, I give you the frontrunner as well as the other nominees for the new Texas plates.

It’s hard to say exactly how much your car will devalue upon popping one of these bad boys on but I’d say $1000 minimum, depending on make and model. On the plus side, there’s no web address like some states I know. Because really, do you want people who are unable to google a frikkin’ state to come pay a visit? Neither do I.

On a kinda-related note, I did see a Maine license plate this weekend out here that looked like this.

A little see-say, don’t you think? One or the other would have served just fine.

The moral of the story here is I think I may open a license-plate design shop. Lord knows I could do better for Idaho than “famous potatoes.”

Thursday, February 07, 2008

In case you were undecided


I believe.

I'm decided.

I believe I'm decided.

I believe I'm decidedly decided.

Now.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Debate club


On the heels of last night’s less than stellar performance by Billary and a rapidly depleting bank account, her camp proposed a series of weekly debates with Barack Obama.

Weekly.

Yeah, you read that right.

Considering we’re all pretty clear about who thinks they’ll be “ready on Day One” and who voted for or against the war, the Clinton camp tossed up a few potential debate topics.

Let’s have a look shall we?


• Painter’s pants vs. rugby shirts

• Rollerblades vs. Reebok pumps

• Hootie vs. Dave Matthews

• Beanie Babies vs. Furbies

• Napster vs. Kazzaa

• Pokemon vs. Tickle Me Elmo

• Hunter green vs. hunter green

• Doing the Macarena vs. saying “Wasssssssssup?”

• Exposed brick vs. hardwood floors

• David Lee Roth vs. Sammy Hagar

• Crunchy vs. creamy

Should be riveting! Only 7 more months 'til the convention! How will we decide?

Monday, February 04, 2008

How's that work again?

So let me get this straight. We're mired in not one but two wars with no end in sight for either and Bush's proposed military budget in this year's ballooning budget is officially the largest since WWII (adjusted for inflation) yet he's still holding out for keeping these ridiculous tax cuts for the wealthy?

Seriously?

Someone will have to explain to me how that works some time because it seems to me if I ran my life that way I'd be all shades of broke. Kind of like our country is come to think of it. I feel like I read some stories about the sacrifices people made during WWII and if I remember correctly they weren't merely "going shopping."

The worst president ever? Or the worst president ever?