Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pre-Teenage Wasteland

For Christmas, Santa Claus gave me one of the greatest CD's I've ever owned. It is The Who's "Then and Now 1964-2004" greatest hits compilation. Since Christmas, it has been in the CD player of my car, and whenever the radio was lacking anything interesting I would hit "play" and listen to the best that Townshend could write and Daltry could sing. Aside from not including "Bargain" and "Baba O'Riley," it is otherwise full of some of the most amazing songs in rock history. Often against their will, I have been exposing my kids to The Who whenever we'd run errands, going to soccer practice, taking them to school, etc.

This week, I was asked a question by Thing 1 that frankly about stunned me. Aside from "Boris The Spider," she never really shared my obsession with The Who, so imagine my shock when she asked me to download the CD onto her iPod Touch.

"Which songs?" I asked.
"The whole thing, I guess," she said.
"All 20 songs?"
"I guess."

So there I sat yesterday, loading the entire CD onto her iTunes account and then downloading it onto her iPod. As each song loaded, I got pleasure knowing there was finally some musical balance to her playlist, with The Who classing up the joint after it was spoiled by the likes of Justin Bieber and other future has-beens.

I don't think I've been this pleased with my ability to shape her mind since the first time I heard her state that the New York Rangers suck.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony Commentary...In Texts!

One week ago, during the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics (the only watchable Olympics), I exchanged a series of text messages with a friend of mine, K. Both of us tuned in to see who would light the flame (we both predicted that assclown Wayne Gretzky, although I was secretly hoping it would be Alan Thicke). The following are the messages we traded. Many of these are random thoughts throughout the evening. Others are obviously part of a larger conversation.

Note: Many of these may sound anti-Canadian. We're not. Although, that will be pretty hard to prove after what you're about to read.

Everything we're writing is after the athletes enter the venue.

K: According to Kevin Smith, it'll be Gretzky.

Me: (upon seeing the Hungarian team enter) There were a lot of Hungarians considering the Winter Games involve almost zero swords. (My friend is Hungarian-American, 1st generation. Magyars are not known for winter sports acumen, or any sport that doesn't involve fencing, wrestling, or circus tricks)
K: Or juggling.
Me: Maybe they are freestyle skiers or snowboarders, those sports require the skills of circuls people.

Me: (upon seeing Sarah MacLachlan) Lip synching?

Me: I saw a cute blonde in the Armenian delegation. 2 eyebrows. I think she's Armenian by marriage.

K: (upon seeing a performance of about 500 fiddlers playing some folk song) Uggh. Too many fiddlers. Where's Charlie Daniels?
Me: In a cardiac care center. I think poutine would be too much for his heart.
Me: Canada hearts flannel.

Me: (upon seeing about 500 tap dancers) The job application:
-Are you white?
-Are you Canadian?
-Can you tap?
-Are you willing to have your feet set on fire?

And then one of Canada's most famous slam poets came out and did a poem about what it means to be Canadian. Transcript here.

K: Snore
Me: Welcome to the Winter Olympiad! We're going to rock you with.....ummm...poetry.
Me: The Uzbek delegation must be SO confused.
K: Most delegations are. Hell, I am.

The chair of the Vancouver Olympic committee then came out to say a few words.

Me: Take a drink each time he says "eh". (note...I would've taken zero drinks)
Me: Pleasepleaseplease finish with "now take off hoser!"
Me: (upon hearing end of speech) Fuck this, I tuned in for stereotypes, not sentiment.
K: Good day, eh?

Me: The world is watching. Or at least those that can comprehend winter. And tv.
K (a volunteer firefighter): That's a dome. Big hazard for a big indoor fire.
Me: If it can handle suckage like poetry, it can handle combustion.

The athletes all seemed to have been given these little drums to beat along to the officials during their speeches.

Me: Those drums will be traded for condoms by Wednesday.

Enter KD Lang. Singing "Hallelujah"

K: Oh God Dammit! Light the stupid thing already!
Me: I thought KD Lang was a chick?
K: And this song is seriously overplayed.
Me: A (my wife) just said she's looking more and more like Alec Baldwin every day.
K: Wait, that's a chick?
K: Looks like Joe Peschi
Me: Halllleeeelluuuuujahhhhhhhhhhhhh
K: Did you just say "youts"?
Me: What is a grit?
K: OK, I see the Baldwin now.
Me: This song was shorter in Shrek
K: Beat me to it.
K: Timberlake did this better for Haiti.
Me: (as the athletes wave their free swag flashlights) Wave these lights or no free condoms for you!!!
Me: I bet 9 out of 10 people commit suicide to this song.
K: On and on and this ever gonna end?
Me: OK, I have a theory. Janet Gretzky lost the flame on a bet. (Janet Jones-Gretzky was alleged to have been involved in a gambling ring)

Announcer on TV: 12 minutes until the flame enters the building.
K: 12 minutes?
Me: Fuck! 12?

In comes the Olympic flag. Here is my description of the folks carrying it.
Me: Dude, Donald Sutherland, dude, dude, chick, old chick, dude, oh cool, Bobby Orr! And, chick.
K: Bobby Orr, I'm impressed.
Me: I'm impressed he can walk. Bad knees.

Enter some opera singer, singing the Olympic Hymn.

Me: JESUS!!!!
K: My ears started bleeding.
Me: The astronaut (one of the flag bearers) is wondering why she's there.
K: So am I.
Me: Put the camera on Shaun White. I guarantee he's lip synch mocking her.
K: I could have checked the hockey scores waiting for this nonsense to end.
Me: This song was shorter in Shrek.
Me: She's actually sort of hot.
*Song finishes*

K: Did those Mounties just goose step away?
Me: Yes, Mounties are a 50 cent cab ride away from exterminating Jews, Gypsies and Newfies.

In comes the flame. It's being passed around the arena like a joint at a Dead concert.

Me: It'll be Gretzky and he'll do it by pulling a slot machine lever.
K: Here's a surprise! The Hanson Brothers!

Me: Gretzky takes it up the ass....
K: Doo dah, doo dah

Gretzky has the torch, and he's getting ready to light this weird mechanical 4-legged contraption. Only 3 legs some out of the ground.

Me: Shit! The lift broke, eh?
K: Awkward....
Me: Now's a good time for a Twix
Me: Call the MacKenzie bros!

They finally decide to light only 3 of the 4 legs. The 4th one is hopelessly broken. While they're trying to lift it, Gretzky is standing there looking clueless, like he just showed up at a casino and all they have is Bingo. The 4 celebrities go to light the 3-legged flame.

Me: For those about to rock....FIRE!....we salute you!

Me: And I thought Atlanta had a shaky start when Mohammed Ali lit the flame. Boom-tish!
K: Ba-Zing!

Gretzky leaves the building to light an outdoor flame at a nearby park.

K: WTF? Run you lazy shit!
Me: The cab broke down.

Cut back to the arena, to the show going on.

Me: Shaun White is going to look for Danish strange in 3, 2, 1....

Cut to Gretzky, lighting the outdoor flame, an identical version of the one inside the arena. But with 4 legs.

Me: that's what it's supposed to look like.
Me: $20 Canadian says some drunk tries to climb it. Tonight.
K: What's that US? $300?
Me: Aboot $15.
K: (talking about the flame) Just as goofy as the other one. Well, 125% goofier.

K: All right, I'm off. Good night, eh?
Me: Yeah, good night. Take off, eh?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Commuter of the Day 2/15/2010: Deez Nutz

Stereotypes are horrible. Stereotypes are what prevents us as a species from evolving past caring about things like skin color, religion, language, etc.

Unfortunately, there is often a hint of truth behind the evil that are stereotypes.

For example, today's Commuter of the Day:

On the same vehicle (a pickup truck hauling....take my word for it....bedroom furniture) is a Sons of Confederate Veterans commemorative license plate AND a pair of Truck Nutz. Well, I think they're Truck Nutz. They could also be Bulls Balls, Bumper Nuts, or any number of scrotum-related vehicle accessories available online (all of them with rush shipping options available, in the event you want to pay extra for shipping to get these balls on your vehicle quicker).

In summary, while stereotypes are by nature wrong, there tends to be some truth to them. Germans love sausage and accordion music. Canadians love hockey. Confederate History fans love them some balls hanging from their truck.

Anybody have a favorite or least favorite stereotype? Share with the group!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Hills Are Alive....

Thing 1 is in her last year (5th grade) of elementary school. In 5th grade, the school requires all students, as part of the music curriculum, to purchase a recorder (not a huge expense, the one we got is $7). In order to pass music class, they must take tests throughout the last half of the year, playing songs they are learning on the recorder.

Naturally, she practices at home.

While I love my daughter, and I love how she is interested in a variety of subjects and disciplines (music, chorus, sports, etc), the sound of "Hot Cross Buns" played on the recorder is, I'm afraid, beginning to be too much to bear.

I'm starting to wonder if setting myself on fire really would hurt all that much.