Thursday, March 31, 2005

Sucking ass through a Crazy Straw...

I'm having a really, really, really shitty week at work. It's a culmination of many things including the new computer system. Essentially we're understaffed and I've got a ton of work to do and no one to help. I won't go into detail, but essentially there's this "Wine Club" that picks up their orders 4 times a year. Pick up is this weekend. I've got my regular work, computer work, and the "Wine Club" to work on while my department starts to fall into a state of absolute shite. I do have one employee "helping" me, but I won't go into that as that's a long story that would probably require a psychiatrist (for her, not me). Let's just say that she's about as useful as a codpiece on a blender. Yeah, I know that doesn't make any sense, but neither does her existence. In summation...I'm stressed the fook out. Work is sucking ass through a Crazy Straw right now. I'm getting to that stage where a person may or may not "go postal".

Work was immensely sucking until I had to call one of my sales reps tonight. The rep is a friend and he has the most adorable little girl that you've ever seen. He was at home when I called and we talked for a couple of minutes until the words "I went poops!" were heard in the background. I got a snicker out of that. I love the honesty, pride, and happiness that young children exhude. I often wish that I could be that happy and innocent again, but then I'd have to grow up all over again. It would be really cool if I could be a perpetual kid on summer vacation. No job, free meals, free bed, and lots and lots of playing with friends until the sun comes down. Being a perpetual kid would have drawbacks (ie. no sex), but one could argue that I'm not having sex as an adult either. Adults can legally drink that's nice. I guess I could win the lotto, but I'd have to start playing first. I just wish that I wouldn't have to work to support myself. I guess I could marry into money...anyone interested? I think I may get on the intercom at work tomorrow and proclaim that "I went poops!", and see what happens.


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

15 great song intros and and why asparagus makes your pee stink...

Yesterday I proposed a question as to why asparagus makes your pee smell funny. I didn't get any scientific or nonsensical answers turned in from any I looked it up. To find out why asparagus makes your pee smell click here.

I've only received two responses in the "Which suck the worst poll?" So far I've gotten one vote for candy corn and one for Marshmallow Peeps. Come on people...let your voice be heard! Viva la shitty candy!

Here is a list of 15 songs with great intros. Some songs may start with a great hook, some may build to crescendo, some just start right away with a kidney punch...
I just think that these 15 songs have something special about the intro that makes you pay attention to what's coming...
Here they are in no particular order...

"Swamp Thing" - Chameleons (One of the longest and greatest song intros for the dance floor.)
"Eight Miles High" - Byrds (Just some awesome guitar playing by Roger McGuinn.)
"Over the Hills and Far Away" - Led Zeppelin (Subtle guitar, slow build...WHAM!)
"Teenage Riot" - Sonic Youth (Quiet...quiet...POW!!)
"Gimme Shelter" - Rolling Stones ("Paint It Black" and "Sympathy For the Devil" have awesome intros too.)
"Under Pressure" - David Bowie & Queen (Duh!!!)
"Blue Rondo a La Turk" - Dave Brubeck Quartet (One of the all-time greatest hooks in music!)
"Foxey Lady" - Jimi Hendrix Experience (POW!!! Straight to the point.)
"Where the Streets Have No Name" - U2 (U2 write some of the greatest hooks in rock!)
"Sunday Bloody Sunday" - U2 (U2 write some of the greatest hooks in rock! One of, if not the best drum intro of all time.)
"Baba O'Reilly" - The Who (Just awesome!)
"Cannonball" - The Breeders (Catchy, isn't it?)
"Good Shepherd" - Jefferson Airplane (Makes me wish I did drugs.)
"She's Lost Control" - Joy Divison (Dance! Dance! Dance!)
"Los Angeles" - X (Crunch!!! I love punkabillied punk!)


Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Final Four, Nick Cave, and asparagus pee...

So I drove to my parents today for Easter (about 2.5 hours up and the same back). It was a casual family gathering. Pleasant enough.

I LOVE asparagus! It is perhaps my favorite vegetable. But why, oh why, does asparagus make your pee smell funny? I'd actually like a scientific explanation. If anyone out there knows why please reply with a comment. Sometimes I'll completely forget that I even had asparagus until it's time to use the loo. Maybe I'll have it in a pasta salad or something and it'll completely slip my mind until it's time to release a torrent. Then I think to myself, "When the fook did I eat asparagus today? I didn't have asparagus today...or did I?" It then turns into a detective's investigation and I have to retrace all my gustatory steps that day until I eventually proclaim, "Shit! It was in the soup I had!". I don't have much of a life, as you can probably tell. What's my favorite asparagus preparation, you ask?
With the all the fancy gadgets and shiny stainless-steel pots and pans I have...
I like to rub the raw asparagus with EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and put it in the George Foreman Grill for about 5 minutes. Simply sprinkle with French sea salt (or Kosher) and eat like French fries. It's damn fine stuff!

The new Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds B-Sides & Rarities 3-CD set fookin' rocks!!!

I filled out an NCAA bracket on AOL for poops n' giggles. Turns out that I'm doing pretty well. I'm ranked 1,577 out of lots and lots (I think over 500,000). I picked 3 of the 4 Final Four teams right. I even picked Michigan State to beat Duke. For the record, I had Illinois in the Final Four as well as UNC, Louisville, and Oklahoma. I had Michigan State losing to Oklahoma. Obviously Kentucky beat out Oklahoma earlier. I have Louisville in the finals against UNC with UNC winning the whole thing. I haven't seen a single game except for a few bits today of the Wisconsin/UNC game and the Michigan State/Kentucky game. Not bad for a sports dolt. I just can't believe that I'm doing better in the NCAA pool than I did in the Oscars pool. WTF?!?!?

Hope you found all your eggs today!

Today's wine recommendation- 2002 Kay Brothers McLaren Vale Amery Vineyards Hillside Shiraz $47.99
I absolutely love this Aussie wine, and not just because I had a great experience at the winery (aka "Province Effect"). This ample red boasts rich notes of blackberry jam, melted licorice, violets, and raspberry, as well as subtle notes of vanillin, star anise, creosote, and truffle. It bursts on the palate with gobs of dripping black fruit and the finish is long and wholly satisfying. It's got a substantial, but not noticeable, alcohol level of 15%. All this and it's got a screw-cap (Stelvin) too! Yum!

Until the next bottle...


Saturday, March 26, 2005

The 80's strike again...

You Scored 95% Correct

You are an 80s expert

You never confuse New Order with the Pet Shop Boys

You know which classical musician Falco rocked

When it comes to 80s music, you Just Can't Get Enough!

D'oh! I thought that A-Ha was from Sweden. My bad.

"I gave her my heart...and she gave me a pen."

So I had tonight (Friday) off for a change. I ended up going to Glen's store and picked up the new Nick Cave as well as some other cool stuff (3 Pogues re-issues that I'd been waiting for, the new Sam Prekop, and a new Yo La Tengo collection). I hurried from there to see stop by the house of some of my friends. We went from there to get dinner and a few beers. Then it was off to Caribou Coffee and back to their house where we proceeded to watch Say Anything. Lloyd Dobler is one film's all time great protagonists. John and Joan Cusack should work together more often. I left their house and decided to check out the show at the Magic Stick. The Twilight Babies were wrapping up (it was their CD release party). I ran into my coworker and her sister and said "hi" to a former coworker who was the percussionist for the following band, Innerphonic. It was fairly busy, but I didn't stick around for long. Innerphonic is very good, but I'm really not into the dance/trance/dub/world/bass/whatever scene. The stench of weed was a little strong too. I know that I've mentioned "Creepy Frank" before. I've decided to re-name him "Freaky Frank Fedora". I don't go to too many shows any more, but it seems that he's at EVERY SINGLE SHOW that I go to. He has decent musical taste, but he's there to attempt macking. Bet you a dollar he's at Jacoby's tomorrow night cause that's where I'm headed. He thinks he's a scenester, and it's possible he is...does that make me a part-time scenester or a creep like him?

Happy Easter! I hope you find all your eggs.


Which suck the worst?

Random Poll
Which suck the worst? Marshmallow Peeps, Circus Peanuts, or Candy Corn?

Friday, March 25, 2005

What do I do with a Friday off?

I don't have to work at the restaurant tonight as it's probably going to be very slow (Good Friday). I don't know what the hell to do today. I might (and should) get a haircut at Bob's Hair Salon in Taylor. Don't let the "Salon" fool you. It's a Taylor. I will go to Glen's store to buy the new Nick Cave CD. But what the hell do I do with the rest of the day. I was toying with the idea of going to the Magic Stick tonight for the record release party for The Twilight Babies. They're pretty good and I work with one of their good friends. Another guy I know is playing percussion for one of the opening bands. I don't know if I'll go though. I'm probably going to do something a little more low-key, but hopefully not as low-key as staying home. I'll probably head out to Jacoby's tomorrow for a WDET fundraiser to see a friend play bass for her sister Loretta Lucas.

I just got an invitation to a friend's 40th birthday party next week. That'll be fun.

I was quoted this week in the Detroit News online version. Short, succinct, and embarrassingly simple...but true. I've known Sandra for years. She's very nice and down to earth.

My roommate has descended from purgatory to hell this week. Seems he doesn't like to pay the gas bill. It's been shut off. He say's that it's their mistake and it'll be turned back on in a few days. I certainly hope so. This is NOT the first issue we've had with the gas. I pay the electric bill and it's NEVER been late. Nothing like a cold shower in winter. Luckily I don't like the flat too warm.

I'm still working on my "10 Great Song Intros" list.

Have a great Easter if I don't post again.

Today's wine recommendation- 2003 Henry's Drive Padthaway Shiraz $37.99
This sinful stunner is black/deep purple in color and the nose is chock full of blackberry, raspberry, melted licorice, cedar, vanillin, violets, tar, and blueberry pie. Rich, jammy notes of blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, and dark cherry, along with notes of dark chocolate, star anise, and espresso are present on the palate. The wine weighs in at a whopping 16% alcohol, but you'd never know it. The finish is long and lingering. This wine would be fabulous with your Easter leg of lamb.

Until the next bottle...


Holy crap! Suzy posted...

Holy crap! Suzy posted...
Now it's Michael's turn...when genetically modified pigs fly.


For the record...

If I ever wind up in a vegetative state...KILL ME! I don't ever want to live like that (it's not living, anyway). By killing me you'll save lots of money on drool bibs and other medical expenses. Just make sure I'm actually a vegetable and not sleeping or something. My driver's license says that I'm willing to donate my organs...take anything you need. I think I'd like to cremated and have half of my ashes spread in Kalangadoo and the other half at the Rigi in Switzerland. Sorry for the inconvenience, but someone will have to go to Australia and someone to Switzerland. Rough. No fancy services either. A simple closed-casket (as hopefully half or more of my organs would be gone) or closed-urn service would be marvelous. Do you think a fog-machine, strobe lights, and Johnny Cash's version of "Hurt" playing would be to much? Okay, maybe the strobe lights would be a little too much...


Thursday, March 24, 2005

If I were a famous work of art I'd be...

You Are Best Described By...

Impression, Sunrise

By Claude Monet

You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but can you pick your friend's nose?

You Are A Good Friend

You're always willing to listen

Or lend a shoulder to cry on

You're there through thick and thin

Many people consider you their "best friend"!

Normalcy is normal sometimes...

You Are 45% Normal

(Somewhat Normal)

While some of your behavior is quite normal...

Other things you do are downright strange

You've got a little of your freak going on

But you mostly keep your weirdness to yourself

What a relief...

You Are 0% Redneck

I'll slap you so hard, your clothes will be outta style.

You ain't no redneck - you're all Yankee!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Some observations on random shite...

I watched House again on Fox tonight (Tuesdays at 9:00PM). I'm now convinced that it's the best show on TV this season. I still love Law and Order: SVU, but House is edging it out. SVU is actually a late discovery for me and luckily it's pretty easy to find older re-runs that I haven't seen before on cable. Check out House, it's pretty damn good.

I love the new Adidas commercial. Turns out that Spike Jonze directed it and the vocals are done by Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It's nice to Spike doing some commercial work again. I guess he's got more time since he's no longer with Sofia ( who's now with Quentin Tarentino).

I was screwing around in the kitchen last night with the second pork loin that I had bought. I pureed an apple, about 10 garlic cloves, a small onion, and some butter until it was a fairly thick pasted and smeared it all over the loin (which had already been seasoned with S&P and chili powder). I then wrapped it with bacon and roasted it to an internal temperature of 140 degrees (500 degrees for 20 minutes and then reduced to 300 degrees). I had some asparagus and a baked potato to go with it. AWESOME!!!

I can't vote in any City of Detroit elections, but I think (at this point) that I'd vote for Freeman Hendrix for Mayor. He seems pretty forthcoming and honest and he's got a proven track record in city politics. He also seems like the obvious choice against incumbent candidate Kwame Kilpatrick and Sharon McPhail.

Have you been watching CBC lately? It's pretty interesting to see what they've been scheduling since there's no NHL hockey this year. Lot's of "big" American movies, re-runs, and LOTS of curling. Still a great f'in network. It's clearly so much better than American network TV. There was a special last night on teen sex, Canadian style. I watched a lot of it since there was really nothing better on. CBC is not afraid to talk to REAL teens (ie. punks, bisexuals, and others that don't fit into the "norm"). It was very refreshing. American networks would have played it a helluva lot "safer". Canadian parents, as with most Canadians in general, are also so much cooler than their American counterparts. Which proves once again that...I love Canadians!

There was another school shooting yesterday in northern Minnesota on an Indian Reservation. There are not a lot of detail released yet, but the news has alluded to the fact that he's "goth". I'm not defending his actions in any way, but most Americans rally against "goth", "punk", and otherwise "not cookie cutter" kids. Goths for the most part are some of the nicest, smartest, and most honest people around. Most of them are tormented by regular society. They say that this kid was constantly picked on by other kids. This may likely stem from singular personality traits belonging solely to him, but I'm sure there was a fair share of goth-bashing. I think a lot of people need to look at the "goth-bashers" and not the "goths". This kid obviously had other issues that led him to this, but don't blame it on his being different or wearing black. I actually haven't seen Waiting for Columbine yet, so I'm not letting that influence me in any way. Just remember...goths are nice (probably nicer than you).

I was flipping through channels tonight and caught some more of "The 60's Experience" on WTVS (PBS). I love PBS. I called tonight to make my donation. I don't have a lot of money, but I know what's important (actually the 60's CD 4-CD box set and the DVD combo premium is pretty good incentive). I still have to pledge for the WDET Spring fundraiser. I'm still pretty pissed about there change in programming (This American Life with Ira Glass is the best show ever!), but it's still the best radio in town. Do your part and support your local public TV and radio stations.

I was flipping channels and caught Daniel Day-Lewis and his wife Rebecca Miller (Henry's daughter) on Charlie Rose on the OTHER PBS station (Flint). I'm pretty much convinced that Daniel Day-Lewis is the greatest living/active actor on the planet. Check out In the Name of the Father, My Left Foot, Last of the Mohicans, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and My Beautiful Laundrette if you need proof.

I recently read that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead has been released on DVD. I'll certainly have to get that. Great f'in movie. I'm still waiting for Erik the Viking to be released on DVD...

Are "Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procul Harum and "When a Man Loves A Woman" by Percy Sledge the same song? They sound an awful lot alike...

I also caught a bit of Janis Joplin on PBS tonight which got me to thinking...
How different would the music world be if Janis, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Jim Morrison, and Ian Curtis (Joy Division) were still alive. Music could have evolved a lot differently. It would certainly be a cooler world. I often wonder what would have happened in modern music if Ian Curtis hadn't hanged himself. New Order would probably not have formed and dance/techno music as we know it could be completely different. Could Joy Division become the biggest band of all time, if not the most important? They're already arguably one the most important (along with bands like the Velvet Underground), but what impact could Ian have made if he'd stuck around?

I also thought of 5 grossly under-utilized actors...
Matthew Modine
Elias Koteas
Courtney B. Vance
Arliss Howard (He's actually on Medium now with Patricia Arquette.)
Mitch Pileggi (I saw him recently as a US Marshall on Law and Order: SVU)

I'm also working on a list of "10 Great Song Intros", I'm about half way through with that. I'll try to post that soon.

Today's wine recommendation- 1999 Pewsey Vale "The Contours" Riesling $26.99
This sensational DRY riesling from the Eden Vale in Australia is really something else. Notes of lime, lemon, wet stone, and subtle white flowers are evident on the nose as intense notes of lime, lemon, mineral, and subtle paraffin and marzipan are noticeable on the palate. The acid is really in your face and aggressive. It's actually sort of acid-bomb right now. I'd be really curious to see what happens to this wine in 5 or 10 years. Try with scallop ceviche or an Asian influenced salmon dish. This wine is VERY limited and made by the fantabulous Louisa Rose. She's one of the best makers of white wine on the planet right now!

Until the next bottle...


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Where in the world is John C? Part Elf

(The inside joke is finally put to bed. Thank Jeebus!)

Oops! Apparently the real John C is already back home. I figured out that I'd better check out Brian P's blog to see how much longer I'd have to do this. I'll try to do some sort of quick wrap-up.

We left our heroes John and Megan in a shitty hotel somewhere in Bulgaria...

John and Megan woke up to the sounds of knocking on the door. John peeked through the peephole and saw that it was Interpol. They were looking for him for all of the crimes he committed in the past week or so. He would most likely be locked up in some place worse than a Turkish prison. Some place like Neverland Ranch. John couldn't bear the thought of imprisonment. He and Megan grabbed all of their luggage and jumped out the window and made a sprint for the garage. The Renault Le Car had been fixed, but he knew that the authorities would be looking for it. The garage owner had his pimped-out Yugo parked in front. John offered his Renault in exchange for the Yugo. The garage owner had always wanted a Le Car and couldn't pass up the deal of the century...that and the fact that the Yugo is an even bigger piece of crap. It was quite the car. There was a painting of the Bulgarian flag on the hood with a gigantic rear spoiler, spinning 20 inch rims, neon ground-effects, and tinted windows. It was very, very pimp. The Yugo engine runs on a very basic premise...the rubber band.

John and Megan peeled out of the garage and reached an exhilarating top speed of 32mph. Megan figured out that the neon and the 4 TVs were a big draw on the battery so they turned everything off and they hit 58mph. John found a hidden nitrous-switch and damned if that Yugo didn't hit about 100mph. They sped to Sofia and stopped at the train station. Megan had to go back to Athens. They shared a tearful goodbye and he waved to her as the train lurched southward. He would see her again soon someday.

John gathered his composure and drove off to Frankfurt to catch a flight back home. He drove non-stop for about a day and a half until he reached the Frankfurt. This was his chance to do a little last minute shopping before he flew home. He stopped at a German video store and picked up a few sheisse videos that had been banned in the US as well as a pair of crotchless vinyl lederhosen. He then went to grab some food and a beer. He found a little cafe and ordered a plate of Rindsroulade, Weisswurt, Kraut, Kartoffelsalat, and Pumpernickel. It was quite filling. The long, white sausage was not as satisfying as Spotted Dick in his mouth, but he was enjoying it nonetheless. He quaffed a few lagers, paid his tab, and went looking for a record store.

He found a place called Das Teknohut. It was there where he ran into his friend John K. It's a small world. John K had heard that they had just gotten a new Sheep on Drugs album remixed by Kraftwerk. He just had to make the trip to get it. It wouldn't be out in the US for another 2 weeks. John C took a look around. Most of the people in the shop looked like Dieter from Sprockets. John K fit right in. The record store had a separate room devoted to David Hasselhoff and also quite a nice Detroit techno selection. It was actually bigger than anything found in Detroit. There were posters of Detroit legends Kevin Saunderson, Carl Craig, and Juan Atkins hanging on the walls. John C rummaged through the racks until he found a very rare promo copy of "American Standard" by Mary's Danish. He paid about 100 marks for it...Euros...whatever. He bid his goodbye to John K. John K was going to stay around for a few days and take in the German culture. He was also going to explore the real Castle Wolfenstein. John sauntered of with his rare find and loaded everything up in the Yugo.

He drove to the airport and had has he Yugo checked as luggage...(it is the size of most carry-ons, you know). He found the Northworst counter and bought a direct ticket to Detroit. His flight was rather uneventful other than the fact that he was seated between an incontinent mouthbreather with chronic halitosis and Tourettes, and crying unaccompanied two-year old triplets with wicked gas. John slept through all of this. He had had quite the adventure. He'd have to change his identity when he got back as Interpol, Scotland Yard, and the Greek underworld were looking after him. That's the price you have to pay for love. It was all worth it. Plus he had the pimpinest ride of all of D-Town. All the Escalades, Navigators, and Caprices with gold spinners have nothing on John's new ride. After all, nothing says cool like a Yugo, but you already know that. John C changed his name to Mark Gardener, got a job at the Fairlane Olga's as a tray gatherer, and horded all the Spotted Dick he could get his hands on.



Sunday, March 20, 2005

Where in the world is John C? Part Neun und Zehn

(The inside joke continues...don't worry, it'll be over soon.)

We left off with our intrepid hero, John C, and his girlfriend Megan driving from Istanbul to Bulgaria in a recently acquired Renault Le Car to visit the infamous Chateau Dalina...

John and Megan loaded their belongings and drove east in their recently bartered-for Le Car. Postcards with naked pictures of Peter Gallagher, aka "The Eyebrow", go a long way in Turkey. Why? Who knows? Why is David Hasselhoff huge in Germany and why is Jerry Lewis considered a deiety in France? No one knows. The white demon with "Le Car" emblazened upon the sides purred forward at the whopping speed of 45mph. The 5hp engine was a force to be reckoned with. There was only one radio station available...KRAP. KRAP was a station famous for it's edgy mix of artists such as Ashlee Simpson, Kenny G., John Tesh, Sum 41, My Chemical Romance, the guys that sang "Macarena", Amy Grant, Celine Dion, 98 Degrees, BSB, NKOTB, N'Sync, Captain and Tenille, Jerry Murad and the Harmonicats, and American Idol winners. In other's the coolest station between Istanbul and Sofia. John and Megan rocked out to the hip tunes while driving through eastern Turkey.

They were bopping along as hep cats do, when they were pulled over by the Turkish police. Apparently they had been breaking local noise ordinance and had to spend a day in Turkish prison. Megan was hauled off to a separate women's facility not unlike the one recently used by Ms. Martha Stewart. John, however, was in for a hellish night. John was afraid that his cellmate, Bubba Mustafa, make take advantage of him if he fell asleep. Fortunately John was still energized from that pot of Turkish coffee in Istanbul. John eventually realized that Bubba was really a sweetheart. They snuggled and shared secrets to doing great laundry while painting each other's toenails. The giggled and gossiped into the wee hours. Eventually John fell asleep in Bubba Mustafa's arms and was indeed sodomized 37 different ways. But at least they had that special connection that only two girlfriends can share. John was released that morning at the crack of ass to be joined up with Megan, who had received a facial, manicure, pedicure, and full-body massage with full spa treatment. They both actually enjoyed their Turkish prison experience. John's ass would remember it for a long time to come. A whole day of travel had been wasted with their imprisonment. It was time to get on the road.

John and Megan hurried off with the morning sun behind them as they sped (45mph) to the Bulgarian border. John had always wanted to visit Bulgarian wine country. They had called ahead to Chateau Dalina with a lunch and tasting reservation. Several hours later the Renault's beastly engine had finally called it quits. Luckily they had enough momentum to coast into the valley and were able to reach their destination. They knew that the engine would have to be repaired, but they decided to enjoy themselves first. They hiked their way up the winery's long drive and found their way to the tasting room. John and Megan were first offered the Chateau Dalina Chardonnay. It smelled of wet cigarettes, turpentine, and sweaty monkey balls. Notes of aluminum foil, elephant sweat, hog bile, and armageddon were noticeable on the palate. It was absolutely disgusting. John would rather have licked a roadkill possum's ass during a Mississippi heatwave. The wretched wine was quickly puked a distance of thirty feet. Luckily a representative of the Guinness Book of World Records happened to be at the winery to award him the medal for world's longest projectile vomit. John and Megan ran away from the winery without looking back. It made every bad thing that happened so far on their adventure seem like joyous occasion.

John pushed the Renault into town as Megan steered the tiny French vehicle. Eventually they made it to a local garage, but discovered that it needed a new timing belt. The garage didn't take credit cards, so they had to figure out how to come up with the cash to pay for it. They wandered into the town to discover flyers posted everywhere for the "Duck, Duck, Goose Championship of the World", to be held in town that evening for a prize equivalent of about $10,000. John was quite good at "Red Rover" and "Fetch the Bacon" when he was much younger, but "Duck, Duck, Goose" was never his best game. John knew that it would be the only way to come up with the cash as their are no ATMs in all of Bulgaria. The biggest issue, though, was that John had to come to terms with an incident that happened in his past. Many years ago, John was patted on the head in a heated elementary school game of "Duck, Duck, Goose", and, try as he might he could not catch his nemesis. It was now his time to choose..."Duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, cuck, duck, duck, duck, duck, goose!". He hit his friend Brian P. in the head so hard that all the sense and tact were permanently knocked out of him. John would have to suffer with this for the remainder of his life. Brian P. had the potential to do so many things with his life, but now it looked as his life would be limited to computer systems management. He had the potential to be a great garbage collector, tollbooth attendant, or even the "white" Yao Ming. But Brian, in fact, did go on to become a computer systems manager. What a shame. He could have gone so far. The guilt had always been with John in his subconscious, but now it finally overtaken him. He knew that he had to do it. He had to win...for Brian.

John and Megan enjoyed a meal of beets and yoghurt and strategised for the event. How many "Ducks" before the "Goose"? How many times around the circle? Can he play without damaging someone else's sense of tact? He could only wait and see. John and Megan made their way to the playing field at dusk and sized up the competition. Their were about 200 participants...the largest circle in "Duck, Duck, Goose" history. John still had a can of Spotted Dick left and he would use it like Popeye uses spinach. It would be his secret weapon. John swallowed the Spotted Dick whole. The Spotted Dick slid down his throat and he felt empowered. His forearms were huge (but that's for another reason...). His competition was comprised of many locals, a large Dutch contingent, the Jamaican Bobsled Team, Pia Zadora, Corey Feldman, and many others.

The starter's pistol was fired and the competition was on. The circle was getting smaller and smaller. Finally a member of the Thai contingent patted John on the head. He jumped up and ran as fast as he could and caught the guy. It was a small triumph. He still had to pat someone on the head proceed to the opening to make it to the next round. He summoned his courage and made the walk around the circle..."Duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck...GOOSE!" He slapped Corey Feldman in the head so hard that he could have lost his ability to make good career and life choices. Fortunately, Corey lost that ability shortly after Stand By Me. Corey burst up from the ground as John made his way around the circle like an Olympic athlete. Corey would have caught up with him, but he stopped to tell everyone about his band and how he thinks Corey Haim is a talentless hack. John made it to the opening and quickly sat down. Unfortunately he was eliminated by a steroid-pumping Bulgarian in the next round. It was up to Megan to win now. She made it to the final round by beating out Pia Zadora handily. Miraculously, Megan beat out the guy who played "Cousin Oliver" on The Brady Bunch to win the competition. John and Megan took the money and splurged on the nicest room in town. It would have made a room at the Motel 6 look like a suite at the Ritz. They spent the night on a straw mattress swatting away bugs and vermin. Yeah...they were living large.

Tune in tomorrow for another exciting installment...or do something worthwhile.


Friday, March 18, 2005

Where in the world is John C? Part Acht

(The inside joke continues...)

We left off with our heroes John and Megan in a hotel room in Athens after thwarting a John Tesh and Yanni double-bill with muffins...

John and Megan slept until about 10:00AM. It was a beautiful spring day in Athens. John and Megan decided to pack their things and move on. They hauled all of their things to the train station and decided to take the long train to Turkey to get a cup of coffee. They purchased their tickets and checked their luggage, but still had about two hours to spare. They wandered around a bit until they settled on a small cafe and ordered a platter of flaming saganiki, stuffed grape leaves, lamb chops, moussaka, marinated octopus, and calamari. They ate everything except for the marinated octopus which they put in their pockets to bring back to the states to throw at a Detroit Red Wings game assuming the NHL ever resumes play. They also ordered some baklava and coffee and enjoyed their last hours in Athens.

They returned to the train station and walked into a gift shop. John found a display of Spotted Dick and started rubbing a can so violently that it exploded. All of a sudden John was really tired and wanted to go to sleep. He bought a few cans of Spotted Dick and an Orangina for the road. He and Megan boarded the train and found their berth and John fell asleep almost immediately as he had just finished handling his Spotted Dick. The train swayed and rocked gently as John slept for about 4 hours. John's eyes began to open and he slowly took in his surroundings. There were two others sharing the berth with he and Megan. They were covering their noses with their shirts as the stench of octopus in pockets started to permeate everything. The smell had wafted all the way to the dining car and people were becoming violently ill. They realized their mistake and threw the octopus out the window, but the windows were closed. The octopi stuck and slowly crawled down the wall as if they were Wacky Wall Walkers. John opened the window somewhere near Mt. Olympus and tossed the octopi out and hit a sheep farmer in the face.

The stench began to dissapate and he introduced himself to his fellow travelers. One of them was a German student named Frederich. He was a prog-rocking stoner with a passion for Beowulf and monkey touching. The other co-traveler was a revolutionary Basque separatist named Carmela. She bided her time by reading a biography of Che Guevara while listening to Rage Against the Machine on her Walkman. They were a little odd, but quiet enough. The train began its approach to the station at Thessaloniki and slowly came to a complete stop. They had about half an hour before the train would continue to Istanbul. John, Megan, Frederich, and Carmela deboarded the train to stretch their legs a bit. They took some pictures of each other and headed back to their train car. John was a little hungry and decided to have a snack. He pulled out his Spotted Dick and offered it to his hungry companions. Megan, Frederich, and Carmela all salivated at the sight of John's Spotted Dick and quickly began to caress it with their tongues. John's Spotted Dick was soon in everybody's mouth and everybody was moaning in extasy. John was happy that everybody was enjoying his Spotted Dick as he loves to share it. Carmela asked if John and Megan if they like to swing, and they both replied that they both loved to play on the swings when they were kids. Carmela shook her head and went back to her book. Frederich fell asleep with his hand on John's Spotted Dick and Megan soon fell asleep on John's shoulder. John gazed into the Greek night sky and eventually nodded off.

All four of the travelers began to wake as the morning sun crept through the window. The surroundings outside looke a little more arid. They all realized that they must be in Turkey. They played "I Spy" for the next three hours until the train finally rolled into the station at Istanbul. The four travelmates said goodbye and parted ways. Frederich was off to find some really good hash and Carmela was off to blow something up. John and Megan wandered through the streets and stumbled upon a grand outdoor market. John traded his nude Peter Gallagher postcards for a Renault and Megan bought some silk scarves. They sat down at a cafe to have a pot of Turkish coffee. They fulfilled their goal of having coffee in Turkey and agreed that it was time to leave the country. Like a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book, they had to decide on one of two options. They can drive to Syria and try to act as mediators between the Syrians and the Lebanese, or they can drive west to Bulgaria to get some really shitty wine. They decided to go west...

Tune in tomorrow for another shitty installment...


Thursday, March 17, 2005

Booze is fun...

Jungle Juice
Congratulations! You're 165 proof, with specific scores in beer (100) , wine (166), and liquor (139).

You are a true alcohol connisseur. You not only know what drinks are
best for parties or dinner or cocktail bars, you can make most of them
as well. You don't mess around with the cheap stuff--only the good
stuff will do.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
You scored higher than 98% on proof
You scored higher than 93% on beer index
You scored higher than 99% on wine index
You scored higher than 99% on liquor index
Link: The Alcohol Knowledge Test written by hoppersplit on Ok Cupid

Where in the world is John C? Part Sieben

(The inside joke continues...sorry)

We left our hero John reunited with his girlfriend, Megan, back at the Athens hotel sharing an evening of hot monkey-loving...

John and Megan woke up at around 11:00AM. They had quite an ordeal the previous night. They were finally together and happy as can be. John got out of bed and brushed his teeth with his Sponge Bob Square Pants electric toothbrush and all was well with the world. He shaved and showered as he looked and smelled like Mickey Rooney after a 3-day crystal meth bender in Tijuana. Feeling and looking refreshed, he called room service and ordered breakfast for he and Megan. He ordered fresh fruit and a croissant for Megan and Spotted Dick for himself. Everybody knows (by now) that John C just loves to swallow Spotted Dick. They lounged about the room and read. Megan was reading the local newspaper (in Greek) and John was reading the local music scene 'zine. John saw something that piqued his interest. Yanni would be performing at the Acropolis that evening WSG John Tesh and the Turd Brigade. They decided to stay in Athens so that they may witness this once in a lifetime opportunity. There was a knock on the door and room service wheeled in their breakfast. They both enjoyed their breakfast and each other's company at a leisurely pace. John was strangely addicted to Spotted Dick and was wondering if it was available at Merchant's (yes...yes it is). John and Megan got dressed and decided to do some of the touristy things. They visited assorted ruins and a museum as well as visiting the spot where the Olympic marathon runner was attacked by the defrocked priest. They also visited the original Olympic grounds and posed for pictures in various athletic poses. John and Megan also went to one those old-tyme black and white picture booths and posed in togas (instead of the traditional western wear). They took a ferry to Santorini and then on to the island where they filmed Summer Lovers. John really wanted to go here as the film provided some of John's earliest masturbatory moments. It is, after all, the film where Darryl Hannah got it one with another chick. Peter Gallagher's eyebrows also starred in the film. John took a bunch of pictures and bought some postcards of a naked Peter Gallagher. You never know when they'll come in handy. They made their way back to the dock and boarded the ferry back to Athens.

They were looking for an Olga's, but surprisingly had difficulty finding one. John noticed a familiar looking gentleman playing euchre at an outdoor table. The gentleman was wearing an Olga's apron and hat and had a stack of Olga's plastic trays at his side. It was Diamond D. He was now working as a tray collector at an Athens Olga's as part of an exchange program. He had wandered off. He was about 2 miles from the Olga's and had been missing for about 3 1/2 hours. It was Diamond D, indeed. John introduced Megan to Diamond D and she was a little creeped out. He walked with them to the Olga's and Diamond D was promptly fired. Diamond D just smiled as if nothing had happened. Diamond D recommended mixing Mountain Dew and Pepsi. He claims that the Greek water makes it taste even better than in the US. John and Megan really wanted to escape from Diamond D, but John remembered his promise to Gustavo. They enjoyed dinner at Olga's with an employee discount and then walked with Diamond D to Gustavo's house. John knocked on Gustavo's door and said hello to his new friend and accomplice. He introduced Diamond D to Gustavo and Gustavo's face lit up. Diamond D mentioned that he was unemployed and asked if he could sleep at his place. Gustavo offered to adopt Diamond D...the greatest DJ of all time! Diamond D quickly accepted the offer and agreed to mooch off of Gustavo for the rest of his life. Everyone was happy.

John and Megan looked at the time and decided to head to the Acropolis for the concert of the century. The crowd was gigantic. There were Yannites and Teshies everywhere. Everyone was abuzz in anticipation of the most boring event of all time. Kenny G, Connie Selleca, America's top smooth jazz performers, and representatives of Muzac were there. John Tesh and the Turd Brigade played first and then Yanni. The Yannites and Teshies were grooving to the sounds of crap, but they went insane when Yanni and John Tesh jammed together on a Phish-like 30 minute jam of "Assclown in F Minor: With Tubular Bells". John's ears were bleeding, but he had an alterior motive for coming to the show. He still had the cement-like muffins from Mrs. C's. He and Megan each grabbed a muffin and took aim. They each each hurled a muffin with all their might at the crotch regions of Yanni and John Tesh. Nothing happened. Apparently Yanni and John Tesh are both Eunuchs. John and Megan took aim again and nailed them both in the forehead and they went down to the ground. John and Megan then stormed the stage and told the crowd that they were free to go. Yanni and John Tesh no longer have control over them. Their mind-control tricks cannot work when they are knocked unconscious. The crowd shook their heads and simultaneously said, "What the hell are we doing here? These guys suck!". The Yannite and Teshie cults stormed the stage and started to kick the shit out of their former leaders and then set them ablaze with ouzo. John and Megan's work here was done.

They took a cab back to the hotel. They had done a great thing and they knew it. They returned to their room and had the best sleep of their lives. The kind of sleep one only gets when a great feat is accomplished. They are at peace. But what will tomorrow bring?

Tune in tomorrow for another craptastic installment of "Where in the world is John C?".


Happy St. Patrick's Day!- The end of the world is nigh and tales of brisket braising...

Happy St. Patrick's Day y'all! Unfortunately I've got to work this year. Last year was the first year since I turned 21 that I didn't go to the Gaelic League to celebrate. Forget the Old Shillelagh, Nemo's, and the rest...the Gaelic League is the best party in town. Where else can one see 8 year olds and 80 year olds alike quaffing pints of Guinness...with no green beer in sight? Through the years the number of my friends attending the fete to end all fetes has dwindled to essentially myself. I certainly save a lot of money by not going...maybe next year.

However, I did braise myself a lovely brisket this evening (corned beef). It came out quite nice. I'll enjoy that tomorrow with a pint or two of Guinness when I get home from work. While I'm on the subject of food I must mention the great sale that Farmer Jack had on pork loin last week. They had pork loins on sale for $1.69/lb (4 1/2lb loins on average). Awesome! I bought one and roasted it to perfection. It was so good that I went back and bought another one before I was half way through eating the first one. It's flavorful, tender, moist, and pretty dang lean. "I love pork!" You can quote me on that. I actually have a t-shirt from that professes my love of porcine flesh. Go to the site and check out the truly awesome "Bacon of the Month" club. Dan Philips, the owner, is a hero of mine. Not only is he a guru of smoked and cured pork, he also imports some of the greatest wines in the world (all Australian).

My favorite new TV show of the season is House on Fox (Tuesdays at 9:00PM). The main character, Dr. House, looks a lot like a British actor that I've seen in lots of random things. Hugh Laurie, who plays the role of Dr. House, looks a lot like this guy I've seen in British films and Masterpiece Theatre. I was flipping channels tonight to find Hugh Laurie being interviewed by Dennis Miller. Turns out Hugh Laurie is the British actor that I've seen in just about everything. He pulls off the most perfect American accent in the show that I'm truly floored. He said that the accent is by far the hardest part of the job. Great f'in show. Check it out!

The horsemen are getting closer...once again...
The Senate approved oil drilling in Alaska by a vote of 51-49.
The snow cap on Mt. Kilimanjaro has melted.
Robert Blake has been acquitted.
Ashlee Simpson is still sucks.

...we're fucked.

At least Condoleeza Rice has denied that she's going to run for President in 2008. I'd love to see a black woman in the Presidency, but I'd sooner carve my eyes out with a spork than have Condoleeza as Prez. That girl ain't right.

Today's wine recommendation- A pint or more of Guinness and a shot of Redbreast (or Jameson's, or Bushmill's, or Tullamore Dew, or...).


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Where in the world is John C? Part Sechs...Ha Ha! You said "Sechs".

(The inside joke continues...)

We left our intrepid hero at Gustavo's house after his girlfriend, Megan, had been kidnapped by the evil Tau, Kappa, and Epsilon of the Greek underworld...

Morning had finally arrived and it was time for John and Gustavo to figure out how to infiltrate the evil lair of Tau, Kappa, and Epsilon...the Fratus Housicus. John and Gus decided to talk it over for breakfast. Gustavo recommended a place called Mrs. C's, but John had a premonition that something horrible would happen there. They did, however, buy some muffins to go, as they might have some use for them later. He thought that it would be safer to eat at a place called Randoni's. The menu was much bigger and the chances of vomiting were much diminished. A very old, matronly, and competent waitress named Lou would be their server that day as they hatched their plans to break into the evil Fratus Housicus. John really wanted to snarf on some Spotted Dick, as he developed quite a taste for the canned goodness, but he settled for the corned beef hash with 2 eggs over easy and rye toast with coffee and OJ. John and Gustavo determined that it would actually be pretty easy to sneak into the Fratus Housicus at this time of day as they would still be passed out drunk from the night before. They would simply try to walk in and rescue Megan without waking the evil members of the Greek Underworld using the cement-like muffins from Mrs. C's as weapons if necessary.

They made their way from Randoni's and walked through the outdoor University Mallus as they were spotted by the occasional underworld allies of Tau, Kappa, and Epsilon...Delta, Sigma, and Phi. They had been sitting at one of three tables allotted to them at the Mallus. The Mallus was a gathering place for all the evil Greek underworlders and uchre urchins. Delta called his evil allies at the Fratus Housicus on his cell to warn them of the arrival of John and Gustavo. By the time John and Gustavo arrived at the Fratus Housicus they knew that something was up. Tau, Kappa, and Epsilon were waiting outside for them. They stated that if John wanted to get Megan back he'd have to beat them in the Greek Games. The Greek Games are not entirely dissimilar to the ones portrayed in Revenge of the Nerds, but much gayer. The challenges would include a belching contest, a tug of war, wrestling, and a beer drinking contest.

The games were to be held at the almost-built Olympic grounds in Athens. The Olympics had already taken place several months prior, but the construction was still not completed. They were to meet at 7:00PM inside the main stadium. John knew that he would need to approach a Zen-like state if he was going to take on the evil underworlders. He decided to return to the Acropolis as he felt a certain spiritual awareness there. He and Gustavo arrived at the Acropolis and began the training regimen...meditation, power-belching, alphabet-belching, wrestling, weight training, and a few shots of ouzo to prime the stomach for the beer drinking contest. Brian was Sly and Gustavo was Burgess Merideth. It was that kind of training session.

The valiant men left the Acropolis as the sun started to fall from the sky. They made their way to the Olympic Stadium and walked onto the field. Tau, Kappa, and Epsilon were there...naked. The ancient Greek athletes used to participate in the nude. John asked if had to take his clothes off, but they said that it would not be necessary. They just like to wrastle naked and let their dicks flop about. John noticed that it must have been cold that night (insert ba-dum-bum here). John handily beat Kappa in belching contest. It was a profound, guttoral belch that was loud enough to summon the gods. John lost the tug of war as he was a single "radio fag" against a trio of jocks. Wrestling was a draw as the three oiled-up underworlders just seemed to wrestle and forgot about John. They were just having too much fun with their slippery naked bodies. John was pacing himself during the beer competition as the three gooch-lickers just kept slamming beer after beer. The Fratus guys were winning the competition, but proceeded to drink so much that they all passed out naked in each other's arms. John scratched his head and walked away with Gustavo in tow.

John and Gustavo proceeded to the Fratus Housicus and entered with caution. It was absolutely disgusting. Their was an inch of beer on the floor and it stank of vomit, poo, and other nasties. John walked carefully down the basement steps and found Megan, tied to a ping-pong table. She was unharmed. Just a little shaken. They torched the place on the way out. No one should ever have to be subjected to the Fratus Housicus. John and Megan thanked Gustavo for everything. John promised to someday introduce Gustavo to his hero, Diamond D. They shared a hug and waved goodbye to Gustavo as they made their way back to the hotel to have share a night of passionate monkey-love...

Tune in tomorrow for another nonsensical, rambling installment of this shite (I think I must have mental problems to write this stuff)...


Monday, March 14, 2005

Where in the world is John C? Part Funf

(The inside joke continues...)

We left off with our protagonist opening his hotel room door only to find his girlfriend and his luggage...

"Holy shit!", said John, "I can't believe you're here! How did you find me?"

"Hi John! It's great to see you. I haven't been completely honest with you. There's something I have to tell you...I used to be in a sorority (Delta Delta Delta - "Try Delta! Everyone else has."). I have connections in the Greek underworld. I heard from my friend Leonidas that you were in town...also there was TV footage of you running naked around the Acropolis. As for your luggage...the police bomb squad was called out to investigate a humming suitcase that had been abandoned on a bus. Turns out that it was just your Sponge Bob Square Pants electric toothbrush. That made the news too... I've missed you...".

Kiss...kiss..."Why do you have Spotted Dick on your breath?"...kiss...hug...hug...kiss...pat...kiss...rub...rub...rub,...rub...kiss...



John and his girlfriend fell asleep spooning and he woke up hours later. It was about midnight. They decided to take a walk around Athens and maybe get in a little dancing at a local club. They stopped at four discos but John refused to go in as they were all playing Euro-trash dance music. A doorman at the fourth club recommended a club called Telly's Bang Bang Club. There was a Greek version of the Postal Service opening for a Greek Suddenly Tammy! cover-band. This was John's style. He and his girlfriend danced the night away while eating plates of spanokapita and pounding bottles Athenian Lager. They staggered out of the club at around 3:00AM and made their way, holding hands, to the Mediterranean. They were holding hands walking down the beach when three stupid guys named Tau, Kappa, and Epsilon and jumped out of nowhere and snatched John's girlfriend while acting obnoxiously. They sprayed beer into John's face, temporarily blinding him as they disappeared into the night and stole her away to their secret lair. John went to the one person in Athens he could trust for help...Gustavo. Gustavo knew of Tau, Kappa, and Epsilon. They were the biggest assholes in all of the Greek underworld, although three dress-wearing guys named Delta, Sigma, and Phi were pretty big competition. John knew that he could trust Gustavo, be he wasn't sure about his daughters Delta, Phi, and Epsilon. They were rumored to have underworld ties. John agreed to introduce Gustavo to the infamous Diamond D if he would help him get his lover back. They would have to devise a plan to break into the Fratus Housicus...a task they may require the help of the Greek gods. They would start planning early the next morning...

Tune in tomorrow for the continuation...


Logical as Spock?

You Are Incredibly Logical

(You got 100% of the questions right)

Move over Spock - you're the new master of logic

You think rationally, clearly, and quickly.

A seasoned problem solver, your mind is like a computer!

I don't know if I'd agree, but that's what the quiz says...

Where in the world is John C? Part Vier

(The inside joke continues...)

We left off with our intrepid explorer passed out from doing 101 shots of ouzo with Carmen Sandiego and Waldo at the Acropolis...

John C starts to come to as he feels the warm Greek sun beating on his forehead. It's about noon a day and a half later. His head feels like a conga and he has the worst case of cotton-mouth known to man. He has the taste of Spotted Dick and anise in his mouth. It's really unbelievable that no tourists tried to wake him the previous day and that they all took pictures of him passed out at the Acropolis. There's no sign of Carmen or Waldo except for Waldo's hat which is tucked into John's front pocket with a note attached. "Thanks for last night. Call me. TTFN, Waldo", it says. Luckily, John's last memory was leaving the airport in search of his love. He had to continue his quest, but he needed food and water first. He really wanted a breakfast burrito and a Super Big Gulp, but surprisingly there is no 7-11 at the Acropolis...just a Starbucks.

He ventured down the hill and stopped at the first cafe he came upon. The friendly and matronly waitress offered him retsina and ouzo, but John thought the hair of the dog may not be such a good idea. He ordered an Olga, but she had no idea what it was. He decided on the lamb chops, a side of cucumber salad, and a pitcher of water instead. John's body started to get back to normal and it was time for him to move on. He was getting a little tired of the The Sun Also Rises lifestyle. He realized that he lost his luggage somewhere between the airport and the Acropolis. He can't live without his Sponge Bob Squarepants electric toothbrush or his autographed copy of Conrad Bain's autobiography. He also stinks worse than a Bangkok whorehouse hosting a hobo convention in the summer. He needs to find his luggage and get a proper hotel room. Luckily he still has some cash and a credit card in his wallet. He walks the streets asking people if they have any memory of meeting him or if they've seen any stray luggage. A few people run away and scream. What the hell did he do the other day? He spots a man in the distance wearing a vintage WUMD T-shirt and approaches him. John, in fluent Greek, asks where he got the T-shirt. The man said that he bought it on eBay several months ago for 3 cents. The shirt wasn't John's, but used to belong to Punk Rock Forklift. The man explains that the shirt stank like guinea pig and hot armpit when he received it. John explains to the man that he in fact DJ'ed at WUMD for several years and the man's face lit up as if he had seen Hooters girl. The man, whose name is Gustavo, invites John into his home and offers him a room, clothing, and a shower. Turns out that the guy did an internship at a Detroit Coney island restaurant and happened to live in an apartment in Dearborn Heights and used to listen to WUMD on public access cable, and still listens to it this day via the web. Gustavo asks John C if he knows Diamond D and the guys from Polyester Pop. "Hells yeah", he says. What a small world! John takes advantage of Gustavo's generosity and shaves and showers and makes himself comfortable. Gustavo's three daughters- Delta, Phi, and Epsilon come home at around dusk. They are the most beautiful girls John has ever seen...except for his love. John decides not to play with temptation and thanks Gustavo for his hospitality and leaves. John knows that it'll be hard to find his luggage or his girlfriend at night so he checks into a hotel and asks the concierge to ask around town about any missing luggage that may have been found. He heads to his room and collapses on the bed. He raids the mini-bar and calls for room service. About half an hour later there is a knock on the's John's girlfriend and his luggage...

To be continued...


25 songs that soothe my soul...

I was singing "Today" by Jefferson Airplane to myself the other day and I got to thinking what a beautiful and soothing song it is. Soothing is different things to different people. I think that "Thieves" by Ministry can be theraputic and even soothing, but this list is a little more laid back than that. A lot of the songs that I find soothing have great harmonies. I'm a sucker for great harmonies...Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, Crowded House, Byrds, Beatles, CSN, etc. I also love great female soloists. Some of these songs are more upbeat than others and some may actually have depressing lyrics, but all these songs have a richness that draws me into them. I just thought of another are 25 songs that I could fall asleep to as I'm singing along (in no particular order)...

God Only Knows - Beach Boys
The Seeming and the Meaning - Stereolab
Today - Jefferson Airplane
Atmosphere - Joy Division
Drink Before the War - Sinead O'Connor
Both Sides Now - Joni Mitchell
Hallelujah - John Cale
The Man With a Child in His Eyes - Kate Bush
It's All Over Now Baby Blue - Them
The Bells of Rhymney - Byrds
Pink Moon - Nick Drake
Vox - Sarah McLachlan
So This is Goodbye - Stina Nordenstam
The Boxer - Simon & Garfunkel
Bonnie and Clyde - Luna
My Favorite Things - John Coltrane
At Last - Etta Jones (Not Etta James)
She - That Dog
Birthday - Sugarcubes
I Don't Know Where it Comes From - Ride
Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
She is Dancing - Brian Kelly
Into Temptation - Crowded House
Can't Stop Killing You - Kirsty MacColl
Tom Traubert's Blues - Tom Waits


Sunday, March 13, 2005

Where in the world is John C? Part Drei

Apparently I've been playing this game wrong. Whoops! But I'm going to continue on doing it the same way...

I also didn't get a chance to post yesterday so that means that I have I have to account for his being missing for 24 hours...

Yesterday John C was passed out/blacked out all day from doing 101 shots of ouzo.

Tune in later today for the next riveting installation...


Saturday, March 12, 2005

Where in the world is John C? Part Zwei

...when we left off John C was passed out drunk in the luggage-hold on a plane headed for Djibouti.

John groggily wakes up about an hour out of Djibouti, somewhere over Eritrea. John C doesn't know where he is or why he smells of malt vinegar, but somehow knows that he's not headed to Greece. About an hour later the plane lands and John is violently thrown about the luggage compartment. The door opens shortly thereafter and he makes his escape. He knows that he must figure out where he is quickly if he's ever going to make it to Greece to meet his love. Luckily, John quickly picked up on a little-known northern Djibouti dialect as well as doing a quick geological analysis of the soil and quickly ascertained that he was indeed in the northern African nation of Djibouti. John discovered another can of Spotted Dick in his coat pocket and quickly devoured it for the energy that he would need to swim to Greece. He smelled the salt air in the distance and headed for the coast. Upon discovering the Red Sea, John C quickly dove in and swam north to the Suez Canal. John reached the canal, and then the Mediterranian in record time. To John C's amazement he was picked up by a giant yacht in the Mediterranian that agreed to take him to Greece. Turns out that the yacht was being rented by Jay-Z and Beyonce, and when they heard about his quest to meet his love they were brought to tears. John enjoyed some Crystal while he played shuffleboard with Beyonce. He was sure to compliment her on her four dress-changes at the Oscars and how she made everyone else on the red carpet look like ass in a glass. They stopped in Crete for a quick Slurpee and then went on to dock near Athens. He made it. He was in Greece. But where is his love?

John C thanked Beyonce and Jay-Z for their kindness and gave them "big props". They both were so struck by John that they agreed to each call their next albums "The John Album: Big Pimpin'". John made his way into town and bought a really cool shirt at a tourist trap that said "It's Greek to Me" on the front and a picture of a gyro on the back. Geeked by his find he had the proper motivation to find his way to the airport to find his luggage. He was surprised that there weren't any Coney Islands anywhere. He had a hankerin' for some chili-mac, chicken lemon rice soup, and a Coney with extra onions, but had to settle for some marinated octopus salad instead and a bottle of Mavrodaphne of Patras. John took a cab to the airport and luckily his luggage was waiting for him. Now it's time for John C to conquer Greece...

Where in the world is John C now? He's at the Acropolis with Carmen Sandiego and Waldo. Tune in tomorrow to find out...
"Where in the world is John C?"


The freaks come out at night and other observations...

I just got home from my Friday night restaurant job and let me tell you that the freaks were out in abundance this evening. The bartenders had been complaining about a creepy guy sitting at the bar. Apparently he was refilling his Zippo lighter at the bar and spilling his fluid everywhere while all the while being a creepy asshole. There was a wait for tables but there were at least 4 barstools empty because no one wanted to sit near him. Eventually he started screaming "Excuse me! Where's my drink?" at the top of his lungs. The band even stopped playing. He was escorted out by a manager with the chef and one of the line-cooks in tow. He threatened to come back and kick the line-cook's ass at midnight. The cops showed up before he could do anything else. We also had a dine-and-dash this evening. The poor waitress, who is one of my favorite people on the planet, had to pay out of her own pocket. It's a damn shame.

Here's another one from this evening...
A customer ordered the 16oz. Veal Porterhouse special this evening. It was very clearly marked on the "Special Sheet". He ate over half of it and then told the waitress that he didn't know that it would be veal. He assumed it would be "red meat"...a beef porterhouse. Veal is baby red meat. He said that he'd like a filet mignon instead. The waitress explained this to one of the managers and although the guy was clearly in the wrong he okayed the filet to be fired (cooked). The manager proceeded to the table to simply and politely tell the patron that they would cook the filet for him even though he ate over half of his veal porterhouse. The patron went insane and told the manager to "Go to hell! I only ate two bites! I don't want the f'in filet!". I saw the remainder of the veal porterhouse...there was barely anything left except the damn bone. Later in the evening the manager had discovered that the same patron left a nasty note on his bill. What an asshole! This sort of behavior isn't acceptable anywhere...not even the Olive Garden or PJ McFucknuggets Fun Tyme Grille & Sportsatorium. People think that it's socially acceptable to be an asshole in a restaurant. They're f'in wrong! Remember to tip your waitperson/bartender generously...

Just a few other things in the news today...

I hope they find the guy in Atlanta that killed the judge, court reporter, and deputy sheriff and hang him by the balls with chicken wire. I've always thought that I believed in capital punishment although I'm fairly liberal, but I think capital punishment may be the "easy way out". I think people should have to suffer for their crimes. I'm not whole-heartedly endorsing torture, but it has its merits. Death by injection is painless and death by electric chair is moderately quick. I don't think that convicted murderers, rapists, child molestors, etc. should have this option, because "death" isn't enough. Let them live a long, tortured life full of suffering. Don't give them an easy way out.

Michael Jackson showed up in court in pajamas. WTF?!?!? I don't know if there's any illegality in this, but I think the nutjob should be arrested for contempt of court. Turns out his accuser said that Michael would pour wine into a Coke can and call it "Jesus Juice" and make him drink it. Jesus! Arrest this guy already...

Speaking of court...
The very same building (Frank Murphy Hall of Justice) where I reported for jury duty on Monday was evacuated on Tuesday for a false anthrax scare. The Coleman Young building was evacuated today for the same reason. The only white powder I'd associate with Coleman Young would be cocaine.

I heard on WDET today that the famed CBGB & Omfug in the Bowery (Manhattan's Lower East Side) may close for not being able to pay the rent. The district is getting trendy and the rents are going up. I've been to the CBGB and it's a disgusting armpit...but it's cool as hell. Bands such as the Ramones, Blondie, Television, the Talking Heads, and Richard Hell and the Voidoids got their start there. It would be really sad to see it go. It'll probably be replaced by a Starbuck's. They say the owner made over $2 million dollars in T-shirt sales last year. Where in the hell is he putting his money. It's certainly not in beautification or maintenance. Did you know that "CBGB & Omfug" stands for "Country, Blue Grass, Blues & Other Music For Uplifting Gourmandize"? I just can't believe that they interviewed Richard Hell for the piece and that he's lived in the same walk-up apartment near the CBGB for 30+ years. Hopefully it'll be able to stay open for a long, long time. The only reason CBGB should ever close is if they ever allow Ashlee Simpson to perform there. It is the American breeding ground for "punk", you know.


Thursday, March 10, 2005

Where in the world is John C?

(This is an inside joke inspired by my friend Brian.)

John's day began when he deboarded in London for a three hour layover on his trip to Greece. John knows that England is the home of kidney pie, non-fluoridated sugar-toothpaste, legal royal inbreeding, and unabashed politeness...time is of the essence. It's time for John C's own "British Invasion". John is a very bright young man and quickly rationalized that he did not have time to go to Manchester, create a shoegazer band by the name of Hair in the Face Feedback and the Dark Melancholy Abyss, record two albums that are well-received in the UK and Japan but flop in the U.S., tour Europe and every city in America except for Detroit, be on the cover of NME and Mojo 4 times each, headline the Isle of Wight Festival, break-up, go solo as DJ Purple Nurple, turn to huffing paint and scoring meth from a one-legged tranny named Georgia, reunite with HITFFATDMA for one record and one tour for the cash, and then go on to produce Ashlee Simpson and Aaron Carter albums.

No...just not enough time. He realized that he didn't have time to go Stonehenge (that place they talk about in This is Spinal Tap). Thinking quickly John decided that he would challenge the Queen to an arm-wrestling match Over the Top style. But to take on such a task John knew that he would need sustenance. John rented a car to take into the city, but immediately crashed it as he was not used to the "other side of the road" thing. John hitched a ride in the back of a lorry instead. John found a purveyor of fine foods and bought a can of Spotted Dick, a Pot Noodle, a can of mushy peas, a steak and kidney pie, a jar of treacle, a dozen smoked eels, some fried haddock, and mixed-case of ales. Mr. C then took his loot to have a picnic style lunch at the side of the Thames. John quickly swallowed the Spotted Dick and drank the entire case of ale realizing that all the other stuff was shite. A pissed (drunk) John climbed to the top of Big Ben and peed off it while offering all the "birds" a "shag". Somehow he fell from the top of Big Ben without being hurt (as often happens with the exceptionally drunk). He forgot about his arm-wrestling match with the queen, but did remember to start a fight with a Palace guard. It's the first time in British history that one of those guards flinched, but it's not every day that someone says "You mum is a lousy shag, but your father gives bloody good head...and he smells of elderberries.". John got the crap kicked out of him by the guard and some local punks wearing some Doc Martin "kicker" boots. "Bollocks", he said, "you're all a bunch of bloody wankers! Toss off!". They proceeded to kick his arse "football crowd style" (soccer) until he was out cold.

John woke up in a puddle of his own vomit with malt vinegar, a bag of onion-flavored crisps, and what he hoped was sticky pudding poured on him. John looked at his watch and saw that he only 45 minutes to catch his flight to Greece. He ran as fast as he could while singing the "Lumberjack Song" and the "Penis Song" for inspiration (usually the Chariots of Fire theme by Vangelis is used in such situations). Our special drunken boy ran and ran and made it to Heathrow with about 15 minutes to spare. Unfortunately, John was still so piss-drunk that he somehow wandered onto the tarmack and loaded himself onto a luggage conveyor. John made it onto the plane...just the wrong one.

John C. has boarded the luggage hold area of a flight to...


Tune in tomorrow to find out "Where in the world is John C?"


Good news, again...

I just want to congratulate Glen, Brian, John, and Mark of Switched On CDs for once again winning the "Best Place to Find Knowledgeable Record Store Employees" in the 2005 Real Detroit Weekly "Best of Detroit" poll. Great job guys! You won because 'tis true.

My store won "Best Retail Wine Selection" for the umpteenth time in a row also.

Random Poll- Who is more pathetic? Carrot Top or Gallagher II?


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

10 frickin' great war movies...

Here are 10 of my favorite war movies (of many) in no particular order...

1. The Longest Day (One of the greatest
ensemble casts ever gathered. There are 3
scenes that always stand out in my memory.)
2. Full Metal Jacket (Vincent D'onofrio is
an intensely genius actor. Matthew Modine
is one of the most unerrated/underused actors in Hollywood.)
3. Das Boot (Just an intense film.
Outstanding filmmaking! A real nailbiter.)
4. Tora! Tora! Tora! (I've seen it many
times and I also know how history plays out,
but I'm always anxious to see what happens.)
5. Bridge on the River Kwai (Sir Alec
Guinness was one of the all-time greats!)
6. Stalag 17 (One of my all time faves!
Keep your eye on the light cord and the chess piece.
7. The Guns of Navarone (That's a damn big gun!)
8. Run Silent, Run Deep (A suspenseful classic.)
9. Apocalypse Now- Redux (Intense, insane,
and one of Robert Duvall's greatest roles.)
10. Kelly's Heroes (Sometimes you've got to laugh at a war movie.)

Honorable Mentions- The Dirty Dozen, Glory, The Great Escape
and countless others...

However, I think the greatest war story ever committed to film is the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers. It's based on the true story of Easy Company, following them from training to the end of World War II. Absolutely brilliantly done! A masterpiece!


Monday, March 07, 2005

Ass Marathon- A Tale of Jury Doody...

I reported to the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice at approximately 7:20AM this morning for my civic duty...jury duty. There was already a considerable queue of pissed-off people by the time I arrived. I was quite excited, however, by the potential prospect of me serving on a jury for a criminal case. I'm 32 years old and this is the first time I've been summoned for jury selection. I have a friend who's 24 that's already had jury duty 4 times. What's up with that? I studied political science in college and have a moderate interest in how the legal/judicial system works. I think it could be really interesting to be on a jury. The others standing in line with me did not share my excitement, apparently. I followed all the rules and didn't bring the lighter I always carry but don't use. I didn't wear my rings or my Qantas duty-free business card holder. I even took the tiny little Swiss Army knife off my keychain. I even wore the recommended "business attire". I even wore a tie. I was ready.

I was herded into a "men only" line for the security-check. No problem. I was then directed to the shearing/branding room (aka the Jury Selection Room). A very friendly clerk directed me to fill out the appropriate paperwork and take an information sheet and a juror tag. So far so good...until I make my way into the room. It's bloody frickin' hot in the room. The heat was on full blast (it was about 45 degrees outside)! I look around for empty seats and there are still quite a few this early on. I made my way to a hidden corner (the taint, or gooch of the room) in the back and find an available aisle seat. I read the information sheet and hunkered in for the long haul. I decided to take a gander around the room. Holy shit! It looked like Taylor threw up (For any of you out-of-Michigan readers- Taylor is a city in the Downriver area of the Detroit suburbs also known as "Taylortucky". I also believe it has the highest "mullett to decent hair" ratio this side of the Manson-Nixon Line (Mason-Dixon Line)). Actually these people were probably kicked out of Taylor for being "too white trash". Maybe they're from New Boston.

I only spotted two other ties in the room. Practically everyone was wearing jeans...baggy-ass jeans. I'd say that the room was pretty well racially mixed. It was like a cross-section of the UN, but the most of the whiteys were definitely in the NASCAR Cult. Luckily I brought a book (on the recommendation of several friends). Half of the people in the room didn't bring anything to read, but they're probably the half that haven't finished listening to their "Hooked on Phonics" tapes yet. I was making pretty good progress in my book when a video at an overhead moniter came on. It was a cheaply produced video about jurys and how things work. The video started out well enough with a clip from the fantastic, original Twelve Angry Men. But then a judge appeared and said that that's not a way for a proper jury to behave. Damn!

Somewhere around 8:30AM a kindly woman named Gina welcomed us and went over the information sheet and how the day would work. Wayne County Court works on a "one trial or one day" term of service. Anyone who does not get selected for a jury by the end of the day can go home and may not be called back for another year. Fair system, methinks. Gina is empathatic to all of the potential jurors and is pretty cool. She also advises everyone not to go in to work if you finish early. She says that you're legally excused until at least 4:30PM. Why go in to work and ruin your day? I dig that. She said that they'd start calling people at around 9:00AM.

I got back into my book when all of a sudden the moniters came back on. They'd be showing movies all day. How nice, I thought...until I saw the opening credits for Miss Congeniality. Kvetch!!! Gina apologized that some of the moniters were not working. Mine was working just fine. Damnit!!! Luckily I was saved by the bell, but not before I noticed a few of the individuals in the room. There was...
"Four Mountain Dews and Two Bags of Chips Girl"
"Cheap Suit and Feathered Hair Guy"
"Jokey Guy"
"Sleepy in All Denim Ensemble Guy"
"Gangbanger Guy 1"
"Gangbanger Guy 2"
"Doesn't Want to Sit Guy"
"Nervous Middle-Aged Lady 1"
"Nervous Middle-Aged Lady 2"
"Smelly Guy"
"The Ferret"
"The Gigglers"
"Really Bad Toupee Guy"
"Really Bad Comb-Over Guy"
"Moves His Lips While He Reads Guy"
"Crossword Puzzle Girl"
"No Sense of Personal Space Guy"
"Doesn't Listen Well Lady"

I was in the first group called. We were to report to the 4th floor and wait outside of Courtroom 402. As soon as they get off the elevator "Doesn't Listen Well Lady" and "Cheap Suit and Feathered Hair Guy" walk into the courtroom...only to be politely dismissed. We sat there for over two hours watching some very interesting people walk in and out of Courtrooms 401 and 402. I was really hoping to get called for this jury because there were some really fascinating (in a train-wreck sorta way) folks. There was the demonic-looking white-trash guy with the shaved head and uber-long Satan beard. There was the 5-foot-tall-sixty-something-cheap-Sears suit-and bolo tie-wearing-cigarette-yellowed feathered grey hair-having-talks with a Kentucky accent-although I haven't heard him speak guy. He was a hoot. There were assorted white-trash folk wearing inappropriate things coming and going. There was the crying lady. Other than watching the casting rejects from The Dukes of Hazzard mostly read my book. Finally after over two hours of waiting we were told that a jury would not be needed for this case. Damn.

We were sent back down to the Jury Selection Room and the room was still mostly full. I found a seat near where I was sitting originally and plunked my ass down for the long haul. This time Men in Black was on the
moniter. Slightly better. I was half watching the movie/half reading when they started to call the names of our same group again. This time, however, they were calling us in groups of about 10 at a time to report to the office. My name was called, so I grabbed my stuff anticipating to be assigned to wait outside another courtroom. The people in front of me are all smiling. They let us go. We were done. It wasn't quite noon yet. I took Gina's recommendation and didn't go in to work (Hi Tina, please don't tell anyone if you read this). I drove off and tried to figure out what I'd do for the day. My roommate had the day off and we work together. He's really snitchy so I figured I'd better lay low until late afternoon.

I decided to stop by Glen's store and picked up some cool stuff including an out-of-print Madeleine Peyroux CD, a Straight to Hell Returns soundtrack, and a cool Slowdive compilation. I still had lots of time to kill so I decided to go see a movie by myself. I've only seen a few movies by myself before. It's kind of eerie during a matinee. The only movie that hadn't already started was The Aviator. And it's 3 hours long...perfect! The movie was good, not great. Leonardo Dicaprio did a pretty good job considering I think he's mostly talentless (expect for his great role in What's Eating Gilbert Grape?). I love Alan Alda and I think M*A*S*H is the greatest show in TV history, but he certainly did not deserve an Oscar nod for his role in this film as Senator Brewster. I think he played it kind of clumsily. Sorry Alan. Cate Blanchett did a great job as Katherine Hepburn, but I still think Kate Winslet should have won for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I think that the character development could certainly have been better considering the 3+ hours they had to work with. I left the theater and got home around 6:00PM. Perfect! I played hooky from work and it felt great.

Although my experience wasn't what I had hoped it would be. I was overall very impressed with the operation at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice. The employees are surprisingly nice and helpful. The dregs of society are a little scary, but I'm used to them by now (I did once work at the Gibraltar Trade Center in Taylor, after all). I look forward to being summoned again and I hope I actually get selected to serve on a jury. Call me crazy...


Sunday, March 06, 2005

My pornstar name is...

Your Porn Star Name is: Michael J. Cox

No surprises here...

You scored as Democrat. <'Imunimaginative's Deviantart Page'>

















What Political Party Do Your Beliefs Put You In?
created with

I'm just embarrassed that I affiliated myself with the dark side for as long as I did. I had always been a liberal Republican, but it took GW for me to realize that I was so utterly and completely wrong about party affiliation. I'll never get those years back. Although I affiliated myself with the wrong people, luckily I never voted straight-ticket and always voted from the heart. Unfortunately, none of the Democratic candidates in the past did much to excite me. I guess that's something the Democrats really need to work on. Let's find ourselves some exciting leaders and look to a brighter future. It can't be much dimmer.


A few observations...

I was just flipping through channels and saw that John Tesh: Worship at Red Rocks was on. He was as close to "rocking out" as he ever could be...not. Red Rocks is famous for performances by bands such as U2...what happened? Seeing John Tesh got me to thinking, though. Where's Connie Sellecca? I think she's missing. I think the last time I remember seeing her alive was for some sort of cosmetics infomercial. Hmmm... I wonder if foul-play is involved? Apparently marrying John Tesh not only destroys your career, but it also causes you to disappear. Was she sacrificed to the Cult of Tesh? Did a crazed Teshie (my new word for a John Tesh cultist) murder her out of jealousy? Is she locked up in a secret compound propagating a new super-race of blonde-haired, blue-eyed, boring-as-lint, talented-as-wood little Teshies? Did she run away and flee to Guatemala in order to avoid the smooth, smooth sounds of Mr. Tesh? Did she stay with him because of the great Tesh sex? Maybe we'll never know. Connie Sellecca, where are you?

Last week I was flipping channels and saw sort of a curiousity. I saw Lara Spencer (host of Antiques Roadshow) on network TV as a correspondent for one of those cheesy entertainment shows like Access or something. Lara, how could you?

I was reading the Oscars edition of Entertainment Weekly and found out a few things.
1. Do you remember when the camera kept panning to the "big boobage in the balcony" during Sidney Lumet's Honorary Award speech? Turns out that the three ladies were his wife, and two daughters from his previous marriage to Lena Horne's daughter, Gail Jones. Interesting.
2. The longest acceptance speech was from Jamie Foxx (3:09)
3. The shortest acceptance speech was from Costume Design winner Sandy Powell (0:16)
4. Apparently I wasn't listening closely because Live Action Short Film winner
Andrea Arnold called her win "the dog's bollocks".
5. I'm not the only one that thinks "raccoon eyes" look like crap.
6. There were 6 speeches interrupted by music.
7. The stars of The Shawshank Redemption won Best Supporting Actor two years in a
8. 32 minutes into the show Drew Barrymore was introduced as "multitalented".
9. Tim Robbins flipped off Chris Rock and I didn't notice it.
10. Marlon Brando won the death-montage applause-o-meter, beating out Christopher
Reeve, Ronald Reagan, and Rodney Dangerfield.

Kate Winslet was robbed...that's my observation.

I have to go into work today on my day off to do inventory. Ouch. I called the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice phone to find out if I still have to report. Yup. Tomorrow I have jury duty and I've got to report at 7:45 AM. Wish me luck and the murder trial of the century...

Today's wine recommendation- 2002 Salentein Mendoza Malbec $17.99
This delicious, rich, full-bodied malbec from Argentina is a real winner. Fourteen months of French oak aging imparts a subtle vanilla character on the nose, further complimented by notes of plum and blackberry. Notes of plum, blueberry, dark chocolate, and subtle loam make this the perfect compliment to a garlic-studded leg of lamb.

Until the next bottle...