Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Best Whatever Of 2009

Many bloggers are posting lists of their ten favorite movies, music, books or TV shows of the year. For me to come up with ten of anything, I'd be including about 60% filler. In that spirit, we at words...words...words... present to you:

WWW's 10 Best Whatever Of 2009

10. Winning Firecrotch Of The Year at The Pop Eye
Because being handsome, single and charming is not enough for me. I must be told by strangers that I am marginally funnier than other funny bloggers.

9. Attending the NFC Championship Game
Despite such things as driving six hours and spending $200 on a ticket to watch my Eagles lose to the Arizona frickin' Cardinals, spraining my ankle, and getting jumped outside the stadium, it was a know, this probably should be in the "Worst Whatevers of 2009" list.

8. Being Employed For 11 Months
Which is about 9 more months than I was employed in 2008.

7. Eating at Pizzeria Mozza
Mario Batali, if you weren't a man and also constantly handling fish, I would kiss you.

6. Up In The Air and Inglourious Basterds
Don't make me pick. I want a job that keeps me on the road 300 days a year like George Clooney's character has. Unless it gets me captured by Nazis like Brad Pitt's character.

5. Groupon
I'm not getting paid for this. It's just that awesome. Every day you get emailed an offer for a crazy good discount on a restaurant, retail store, attraction or service in your city. If enough people agree to buy it, the deal is on.

4. Texts From Last Night
For when you need to know that other people have lives more depraved and horrific than yours.

3. Taking My Nephew To The Movies
Watching him and a theater full of other kids inexplicably enjoy what I spent the last year working on was very gratifying. And also a reminder that little kids are stupid.

2. Winning My Fantasy Football League (for the third time in six years)
What else earns you bragging rights over nine of your friends, gives you an excuse to watch as much football as you want in the name of "research", and nets you $300?

And the Single Best Thing about 2009 is...

1. This:

I did not laugh at anything harder this year. I want to buy a hamster and name him Rodney Stanger. Enjoy!

Christmas Throwdown!

Scoffers always contend that professional athletes are selfish children who don't care about anyone but themselves and their own egos. As will be amply demonstrated, some athletes have virtually no ego (or self-respect) at all. Let's examine the holiday greetings offered by the Cincinnati Bengals and the Detroit Pistons and see who comes out on top! Are you ready for a throwdown??

Song: "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"
Performed By: Cincinnati Bengals
Musical Skills: Nearly competent
Enthusiasm: Jolly
Best Thing: Orange Santa hats
Worst Thing: They're the Cincinnati Bengals
MVP: #52 and his spine-tingling falsetto
Suggested Album Title: Grab A Tiger By The Tail...And It Will Sound Like This

Song: "Jingle Bells"
Performed By: Detroit Pistons
Musical Skills: Nonexistent
Enthusiasm: Similar to that of people singing at gunpoint
Best Thing: Everything Rasheed Wallace does
Worst Thing: Everything everyone else does
MVP: Rasheed Wallace for breaking it down AND doing the Carlton Banks dance
Suggested Album Title: The Detroit Pistons Listlessly Mumble The Classics

The Verdict
The Bengals put forth a more consistent effort and showed far more teamwork than the Pistons. However, even collectively, they cannot outshine the incandescent talent that is Rasheed Wallace.

WINNER: Pistons!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Many of you have been very kind to me and my blog this year. I wish you all a happy religious holiday, pagan ritual, drunken revelry or appalling consumerist bacchanal. And I hope you all have as much fun as this handsome devil with the new airplane, piano and baseball bat.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Theatre Review: Ho Ho Horrendous

A part of every critic’s job is sitting through the bad as well as the good. It is simply a hazard of the profession. However, enduring “Christmastime Is Here” as staged by Miss Othmar’s class at St. Paul Elementary School is a sacrifice not to be asked of anyone. A class of fourth-graders celebrating Christmas should be a joyous occasion, but last night’s performance is evidence that the legitimate stage is no place for childish revelry.

The problems began with the play’s director, Charlie Brown. Master Brown brought no coherence to the proceedings. A ham-handed retelling of the Nativity story (which inexplicably included a Christmas Queen) was followed by free form jazz music and strange dancing that would be more at home in a production of “Hair” than in a solemn holiday story. Two small twin girls danced in frightening unison like they were trying to remove water from their ears, and one young man bobbed his head in such a manner as to suggest that he had broken his neck! The strange goings on continued as a beagle portrayed all of the animals in the Nativity story. Dada-esque theater has its place, but in Master Brown’s hands it simply seemed like cheap shock tactics. This reviewer, for one, was previously unaware that a penguin was present at the birth of Christ.

Set design was practically nonexistent save for a tiny, barren Christmas tree that appeared unlikely to prolong its painful life enough to even see Christmas Day. The pathetic little tree was an apt symbol of Brown’s amateurish production and its odd juxtaposition of the sacred with the profane. It's quite apparent that Charlie Brown was hired to direct the play on the recommendation of his psychiatrist.

The evening finally came to a close with an overbearing recitation of a passage from the Gospel of St. Luke by Linus Van Pelt. After hearing Master Van Pelt describe the Nativity with his particular brand of pretentious faux humility, I’m sure he has a bright future as an oncologist, a philosophy professor or Alex Trebek’s replacement on Jeopardy!

All are encouraged to skip this holiday disaster. If you are so unfortunate as to receive tickets to this production for a Christmas present, you can be sure that you were deemed “naughty” this year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mom, Mom, Watch Me Dive!

Actually, it's "Blogland, Blogland, watch me take pictures!" But that doesn't have the same ring. I'm back home in New Jersey, where we are under 23 inches of snow. Here are some cool pictures.

My parents' house. That pine tree on the left was our Christmas tree one year, and then we replanted it. And fed it steroids.

This is the hill I used to go sledding on, and it's right across the street from the house, which was sweet.

Here's a little cove about a block away. We used to play hockey on this perfectly shaped little patch of ice. I really like this picture.

I saw this a few blocks away, and I just love the way the lights shine through the snow.

And last but not least, here is this year's batch of Christmas cookies. Ginger chocolate, hazelnut chocolate chip, cranberry pinwheel, almond roca, and green tea shortbread.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Happy Holidays from everyone at the Virtua Surgical Group! Except for Bob. Bob says you can go fuck yourself.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Actual Conversations With Real People, Vol. 9

Welcome to another installment of Actual Conversations With Real People. Today's real person is my three-year-old nephew.

WWW: Grandmom told me that you got in trouble at school. What happened?

Tot: I hit Shawn.

WWW: Why did you hit Shawn?

Tot: He was being mean at me!

WWW: He was being mean? What did he do?

Tot: He hit me back.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rocking For The Weekend: The Dead Weather

The Dead Weather aren't purveyors of happy fun songs, like most of the ones I've posted. But "Treat Me Like Your Mother" is a perfect Friday song if your weekend plans include kicking ass. The Dead Weather consist of Dean Fertita from Queens of the Stone Age (guitar), Jack Lawrence from The Greenhornes and The Raconteurs (bass), Jack White from The White Stripes and The Raconteurs (drums), and Alison Mosshart from The Kills (lead vocals). You may also enjoy the awesome video, which includes lots of gratuitous violence.

Enjoy the weekend!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Porn Is The Cleanser

Things have been slow here at the blog lately - if it can be said that an anvil falling off a building slows when it hits the pavement. I actually have things to write about but cannot even begin to put words together and describe them. I need something to disrupt my inertia. And what shakes things up better than abject obscenity? Thus, I present you a completely silly and thoroughly appalling list of porn movie titles based on real movie titles. Please enjoy this quality filler comedy.

A really IS filthy. So if you're of a delicate constitution, go read Ziggy or something.

No, really.

Last chance.

I knew you'd still be here. Here you go, perv:

Sperms Of Endearment
Lay Anything

Herpes, The Love Bug

Guess Who's Coming On Dinner

Eat The Parents

Clitty Clitty Bang Bang

Willy Wonked Me In My Chocolate Factory

Grinding Nemo

The French Erection

Monty’s Python In The Holy Grail

Some Like Her Twat

Jack Off My Beanstalk

A Swish Called Wanda

12” Angry Men

Wangs of Desire

Monday, November 30, 2009

The G-Chat Diaries, Vol. 10

Chatter X: Words, I think I'm becoming a hippie.

WWW: Oh no!

Chatter X: I know! I've started becoming CONCERNED about things.

WWW: That is never a good sign.

Chatter X: I KNOW!

WWW: If you ever get the urge to wear Birkenstocks or leave your pits unshaved, please contact me first.

Chatter X: I've already had that urge... I couldn't get past how fugly Birkenstocks are, though.

WWW: Good for you! If there is any medicine or therapy you can use to avoid hippie-ism, I will be happy to donate.

Chatter X: I...I bought a Burt's Bees sampler pack and I...I actually like it...*cries*

WWW: There, there. Words is here. Maybe you should avoid driving past Whole Foods when you are out and about.

Chatter X: *bursts into tears* I DON'T EVEN DRIVVVVEEEEEE!

WWW: THAT'S RIGHT. This is worse than I thought. You are in Stage 3 Hippie-ism.

Chatter X: It was all so subtle that I didn't even notice it sneaking in!! Oh God what have I done...

WWW: It's not too late!

Chatter X: But I...I have opinions about things now! How do I get rid of them?!?!

WWW: You should start watching lots of E!

Chatter X: I want to fix the hippie-ism, not fall asleep from boredom.

WWW: You're not making this easy. Perhaps you could eat at fast food restaurants.

Chatter X: Fast food, okay that's good, I could try that...

WWW: You could also leave all the lights on. And stop recycling.

Chatter X: I...I don't know if I can do that. The recycling can is near the trash can.

WWW: Oh! You could also start buying clothes made by companies who use sweatshop labor.

Chatter X: I already do that! I'm not a total hippie!

WWW: All is not lost!

Chatter X: However...I have been seriously considering...making my own clothing...I'm just lacking time to do it...

WWW: Oh, for fuck's sake. Do you want to beat this or not?

Chatter X: *cries some more*

WWW: You might as well be playing an acoustic guitar under a tree.

Chatter X: Oh god! Why! Why did this have to happen to me?!

WWW: That's not important now. What's important is that you figure a way to get better.

Chatter X: *sniffle* Okay..yes. You're absolutely right. I can do this. I CAN do this.

WWW: You just need baby steps. The next time you go grocery shopping or to a restaurant, I want you to think of only one thing. "How can I most gratuitously harm an animal with my dining choices today?"

Chatter X: Okay. This is good.

WWW: And just remember...I am on your side.

Chatter X: Thank you, Words. You have no idea how much that means to me.

WWW: I'm so glad I can help.

WWW: Mostly because I don't bang hippies.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rocking For The Weekend: Tsar

This is my last Friday of gainful employment for a while, so today's song has to be extra awesome. That's why it's time to pull out Tsar. They're a local LA band that people who know me are constantly asking me to shut up about. So now I'm telling people who don't know me (i.e. you.) Tsar are a mix of power pop and glam rock that any fan of T. Rex or Cheap Trick will find irresistible, and if there were any justice in the world "The Love Explosion" would be a #1 single. It's not my favorite of theirs, but it's sugary sweet bubblegum rock that fits Friday like a glove.

Enjoy your weekend, ignore the 70s cheese-tastic video. Just close your eyes and enjoy the rock.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fun With Camera Phones, Vol. 4

I'm pretty sure this action figure set is the Worst Thing Ever. When God decides the Earth needs another flooding, this will be His Exhibit A.

a play in one act

Happy Birthday, Madison!

ZOMG! Thank you, mommy! Now Taylor can come over and we can play TMZ!

I knew you'd love it.

I can't find the bald Britney doll. MOMMY WHERE IS THE BALD BRITNEY DOLL!!?!

Madison honey, it doesn't come with the bald Britney doll. That's sold separ...

Mommy! This set is USELESS without the bald Britney! How can you do this to me? This is the worst birthday ever!

I'm sorry, sweetie! We'll go out and get it right now.

Never mind! I already texted Daddy and Nikki. THEY'LL get it for me.

- FIN -

Monday, November 16, 2009

At The Movies With WWW: 2012

Directed by Roland Emmerich
Starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oliver Platt, Danny Glover, Tom McCarthy, Woody Harrelson
**** Four stars out of five

Autumn is the time in the movie calendar for thoughtful, serious fare. The bang and clatter of the summer thrill rides has abated, and the cavalcade of holiday family films has yet to hit stride. It's a blessed if short window for quieter, more introspective films that demand more of the moviegoer. Roland Emmerich's 2012 is a fine example.

As the film begins, we meet Jackson Curtis (John Cusack), a failed novelist who drives a limo for a Russian gangster. We soon learn that Jackson is divorced from his wife (Amanda Peet) and has lost custody of his two children. He is the classic example of a man who is more dedicated to his ambition than to those he loves. To make matters worse, he has sold only 500 copies of the novel he sacrificed his family for. Jackson's wife has remarried to Gordon, a successful plastic surgeon (Tom McCarthy) whom his children love.

The story of 2012 is built around a camping trip to Yellowstone National Park. Jackson takes his children away for the weekend to try to rebuild their tattered relationship. It is revealed just how large a task this will be in the heartbreaking moment when his young son texts Gordon that "camping sucks". Jackson starts to gain insight into winning back his children from a wizened old hippie (Woody Harrelson) who lives at Yellowstone. In order not to spoil the film, I'll just say that Harrelson provides some sage advice that proves invaluable to the family.

An interesting subplot involves government geologist Adrian Helmsley (Ejiofor), who has discovered an implausible (but ultimately true) new theory. He is fighting for the approval of his superiors in much the same way Jackson is fighting for the love of his children. Emmerich brilliantly brings these two men together in a chance encounter where Adrian discloses that he is a fan of Jackson's ill-fated novel. Clearly the struggle for acceptance is universal, and Adrian's appreciation for Jackson's novel demonstrates that we can all achieve it.

2012 is a wonderful film that will surely spark thoughtful discussion about how we can overcome obstacles by leaning on those around us, strangers and friends alike. One exits the theater reassured that even when things appear bleak, it's not the end of the world.

Tech credits are solid all around.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rocking For The Weekend: R.E.M.

After a year of hard labor, my current job is coming to a close. We have about ten days left to go and things have slowed to a crawl. Today our studio person is taking us to lunch, and then instead of going back to work we're gonna play hooky and go see 2012.

This makes today's Friday-feeling song an obvious choice - R.E.M.'s "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)". This song and the excellent album Document will always remind me of the end of high school, with the subsequent R.E.M. album Green a companion piece heralding the beginning of college. The song won well-deserved Grammys for both Longest Song Title and Happiest Song About The Apocalypse.

Enjoy the jangly exuberance of R.E.M. and enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fun With Camera Phones, Vol. 3

I don't think this business plan was very well thought out.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reality Ices Parody

Sometimes the world takes such an aggressive turn for the ridiculous that it outraces our ability to make fun of it. Parody becomes impossible because reality achieves a level of crazy far beyond anything you can dream up. Like spoofing Kanye West for having a raging ego right before he raised his game at Taylor Swift's expense and launched a classic internet meme.

This, my friends, is one of those times.

Long time readers (both of you) will recall that one of my first entries concerned a haughty blurb on the back of a bag of ice. Here's an excerpt:

Southern California Ice promises us "premium quality packaged ice" and invites us to "taste the difference". Is this artisan food trend so out of hand that ice can now be a premium handcrafted artisan food item? Are we about to be assaulted with "ice tastings" at snooty gourmet stores? Will rich a-holes present their guests with several different varieties of ice? "Oh, Eleanor, you simply MUST try the desalinated Arctic sea ice in your vodka tonic. It's a pairing straight from heaven!

It was funny. In fact, I encourage you to read the whole thing if you haven't. But now, some L.A. ice company has gone and ruined my little parody by actually making this utterly ridiculous scenario come to pass. It could only have happened in Los Angeles. The company sells their "hand-cut ice" to bars and the retarded discerning home mixologist at the low, low price of $25 for a ten pound bag. The following feature from the otherwise excellent website tells the sad tale. I'll give it the final word.

The Ultimate Ice
Elevate your cocktails with custom-made cubes

Neve Ice

To Névé Ice owner Michel Dozios, all cubes are not created equal. Frustrated with the quality of mass-produced ice, the former bartender at Seven Grand, Comme Ça, and Church and State decided to make his own--and the city's top mixologists took note.

And now you can buy it for your home bar.

The inspiration behind this hand-cut ice company was both a matter of taste (the water is double-filtered before freezing) and intensity. "Machine-made ice dilutes your drink by 70 to 85 percent," Dozios explains.

Névé's dense cubes melt more slowly than traditional ice cubes and come in a variety of shapes: perfect cubes, tall cylinders and golf-ball-size spheres. There are even specially designed square cubes that won't crack or explode when worked vigorously in a cocktail shaker, ensuring the purest martini possible.

The Library Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel and the Langham Hotel Bar are among the devout hand-cut ice fans. Bottega Louie uses Névé ice to keep every sip of the Louie Sling (gin, sweet vermouth, lemon and bitters) perfectly flavored.

To get the same bar-quality drinks at home, Bar Keeper and Wally's sell mixed 10-pound bags ($25) of ice--more than enough for a double-fisting holiday cocktail party. You can also custom-order flavored ice cubes, like strawberry spheres or rosemary blocks.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rocking For The Weekend: Gay Dad

This Friday, I bring you "To Earth With Love" from the amusingly named band Gay Dad. I don't think that anyone in the band is either gay or a dad, but that never stopped the Thompson Twins. Gay Dad had one kickass album in 1999 called Leisure Noise and then promptly disappeared off the face of the Earth. This song is happy, poppy and perfect for Friday. Ironically, it's more joyful than the also excellent song "Joy" from the same album.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Tip Of The Cap

Last night the New York Yankees defeated my Phillies to win the World Series, 4 games to 2. Despite my earlier World Series-related post that some have found to be slightly biased, I hold no ill will toward the Yankees. They beat the Phils fairly and soundly. Just to show that I do not carry a grudge, I've taken the time to look up Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez on MyHeritage and I am devoting this post to him. This website matches your photo against its vast database and shows you which celebrities you most resemble.

Alex, I hope you enjoy looking at your matches, and congratulations on a well-earned victory!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Here's a big fat slice of good old rock n' roll from The Pink Spiders called "Nobody Baby". The Pink Spiders are a glam rock/power pop band in the vein of Cheap Trick or T. Rex, but on this song they simply rock out. This is the perfect kind of song to end a rock show, but I hope it starts your weekend off with a bang!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Guide To The World Series

Lo, it is October and the World Series is upon us. This year's Fall Classic begins tonight. It matches the hubristic and morally bankrupt New York Yankees against my own hometown Philadelphia Phillies. Many of you in blogland are not sports fans, and so I have created a guide to help you decide who to throw your support behind. Let's have a look at some of the players, shall we?

Meet Yankees starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia. C.C. was suspended this year for hiding that giant hamburger under his hat. He also tried to eat teammate Joba Chamberlain.

Most people know this fellow, shortstop Derek Jeter. Derek enjoys visiting strip clubs and hanging baby kittens upside down until they cry.

Here is noted philanderer and Yankee Alex Rodriguez. Alex has dated Madonna and Kate Hudson, and apparently longs to make love to himself. Sadly, this photo is not manipulated in any way. Oh, and he also shot a dude.

Shown here is the Phillies' Gold Glove centerfielder Shane Victorino during a game this season in which he spied a baby falling from the stands. As usual, Shane made the catch with aplomb.

Relief pitcher and good neighbor Brad Lidge spent his offseason helping fans move. Lift with your legs, Brad!

Finally, as everyone knows by now, MVP slugger Ryan Howard singlehandedly apprehended Osama bin Laden while on a trip to Afghanistan to give food and medicine to orphans.

I hope this simple (and entirely objective) guide has helped you familiarize yourself with the teams and decide your rooting interests for this year's World Series. Play ball!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rocking For The Weekend: U2

This week, I wanted to post a U2 song because I'm going to see them on Sunday. However, their catalog is not exactly full of fun, exuberant, bust-out-of-work-early-on-Friday tunes. I was going to give up until I remembered this little gem, "Lady With The Spinning Head". It's a B-side, but definitely an "A" song. It seems to foreshadow Pop, their foray into dance music, but the song was recorded during the sessions that led to Achtung Baby. It was ultimately broken up for parts like an old car and pieces of it wound up in other songs. The astute ear can hear parts of what became "The Fly" and "Ultraviolet". Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The G-Chat Diaries, Vol. 9

Chatter X: I got nothing.

WWW: I win!

Chatter X: you get a cookie!

WWW: Woo hoo! What kind?

Chatter X: Chocolate chip.

WWW: Mmmm. A classic.

Chatter X: It's the doggy style of cookies.

WWW: No, I think it's the missionary position of cookies.

Chatter X: Sugar cookies are the missionary.

WWW: Sandwich cookies are doggy style.

WWW: No, vanilla wafers are the missionary. Or maybe vanilla wafers are twin beds and frustrated masturbation.

Chatter X: Sandwich cookies aren't that satisfying. They're the quick hand job of cookies.

WWW: The doggy cookies should be fairly common but yet with a rep for being fancy and unusual. Maybe Fig Newtons.

Chatter X: Shortbread?

WWW: Oh, that's not bad. But with the English connotation, maybe they should be the London Bridge of cookies.

WWW: I’ve got it…doggy is Pepperidge Farm cookies.

Chatter X: MILANO!!!

Chatter X: Is a London Bridge like an Eiffel Tower?

WWW: I don't know what an Eiffel Tower is.

Chatter X: To the Urban Dictionary!

WWW: A London Bridge is two girls straddling a dude, one on his cock and one on his face, while they make out.

WWW: I bet an Eiffel Tower is the same thing but with three dudes.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Rocking For The Weekend: Tinted Windows

Today I bring you "Kind Of A Girl" by Tinted Windows. The band is a power pop supergroup made up of Taylor Hanson (Hanson), Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne), James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins), and Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick).

Adam Schlesinger is one of the best pop/rock songwriters of the last 20 years, and this is right up there with his best. If you don't hear this song and want to pull off your tie and run out the door into the Friday sunshine, I don't want to know you.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Never Trust Anyone Over 30 Pounds Overweight

Ben & Jerry's will not leave me the hell alone. You may recall this entry, in which I related the tale of how Ben and Jerry stole my idea for an ice cream flavor. To recap for those of you too lazy to follow the link, I entered a Ben & Jerry's contest to invent a new holiday flavor. I didn't win, but my exact flavor showed up on store shelves that Christmas under the name "Festivus". Well, they're up to their old hippie tricks again.

Now they have
re-released MY flavor under a new name, Gingersnap. Apparently the strongly-worded letter I detailed in the previous entry had no effect. The problem is, I cannot think of a way to word my distaste any more strongly. What should I say to them this time? I know some of you people have even filthier mouths than I do. It is your time to shine.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The G-Chat Diaries, Vol. 9

Chatter X: Fun fact: I just had to correct the spelling of “Boyz II Men” in someone's essay.

WWW: Awesome. Did you have to correct it because they spelled it...correctly?

Chatter X: Hee, you guessed it!

WWW: I hope they even used the word "to" instead of II.

Chatter X: They did! "Boys To Men".

WWW: That makes it even better.

Chatter X: It's fun to be the 30-something teacher correcting the whacked-out spelling of an R&B artist's name.

WWW: Oh, the irony. I think you just made it into the G-Chat Diaries.

Chatter X: w00t!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Counterfactual Football

It is a well-established fact that Blogland is deserted on the weekends, so I am going to take this opportunity to slip a football-related post under the radar. Not only a football-related post, but a post that requires you to be insanely into football to appreciate. In other words, I should have just emailed it to MJenks.

I was talking with a friend about the recent signing of Michael Crabtree by the San Francisco 49ers. Crabtree was the last draft pick to sign, waiting until four games into the season to realize that he can't make any money until he signs a contract. I said that I thought Crabtree's attitude and long holdout would make him a bust. My friend, who is a Raider fan (poor guy) agreed and hilariously added that the Raiders would find a way to give the New England Patriots their first round pick for him. I decided to try to figure out a way that this could be possible, despite the fact that the Patriots are not involved in these events at all. This is what I came up with:

1. Crabtree is a bust and the 49ers cut him after the 2011 season because they can't find a trade partner.

2. Several teams show mild interest, but a humbled Crabtree chooses the Patriots and their offer of the league minimum for the chance to be Bill Belichick's next reclamation project and to catch passes from Tom Brady in the twilight of his career.

3. The Patriots showcase Crabtree in several preseason games, forcing him the ball in the second half against soon-to-be-unemployed defenders. "Unnamed sources" whisper that the team is high on him and he is expected to start.

4. Hearing the rumor, the Raiders offer their first round pick in 2013 and undrafted rookie wide receiver Alan Smithee for Crabtree. The Patriots "grudgingly" accept.

5. The cryogenically frozen head of Al Davis declares a new age of vertical offense in Oakland, built around the talents of Crabtree and rookie QB Ken Stabler, Jr. Davis' head refers to the Raiders as "an elite NFL franchise" six times in the four-minute press conference.

6. The Raiders start the 2012 season 0-6. Crabtree and offensive coordinator Art Shell (on his fourth tour of duty) get into a shoving match on the sideline during a 37-6 loss to the Chiefs.

7. The Raiders collapse and finish 3-13, securing the first pick in the 2013 draft...for the Patriots. Meanwhile, in New England, Alan Smithee catches 89 passes and wins the Offensive Rookie Of The Year award.

8. The Patriots make 17 trades on draft day, eventually parlaying the #1 pick and some spare parts into the entire third round of the draft.

Go on, tell me it's that unreasonable.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Rocking For The Weekend: Bobby Patterson

Bobby Patterson will kick your ass. I'm a big soul fan, and "T.C.B. Or T.Y.A." is one of my favorite soul songs of all time. Listen to this song and you'll be ready to mix it up on Friday night. You also won't take any guff from your man or woman, as the case may be. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fun With Camera Phones, Vol. 2

After ten years of using, watching and dodging golf carts at work, I finally encountered the Holy Grail of cart-related buffoonery - a car vs. golf cart accident!

Someone I work with was pulling into their parking spot on the lot when a golf cart screamed around a corner like it was 11:58 and they were trying to return a movie to Blockbuster.1 The path of the cart was perpendicular to the car, so the cart had to swerve to avoid T-boning it. Swerve it did...right into a concrete wall. We heard it immediately from our office, and rushed out expecting to see two crumpled cars. Instead we saw a golf cart against the wall with the windshield in pieces on the ground and the driver looking spooked and sheepish, which is a really difficult combination of looks to pull off. Curiously, he didn't drive off in the cart. He put the broken pieces of windshield in the bed and wandered off without it. I hope he didn't think he was going to get away with it, because eventually someone was going to wonder where the golf cart went.

The silver car in the foreground is the car that almost got hit.
In the bed you can see the broken windshield, and in the
back you can see building 732, where I work.

I'm actually surprised I haven't seen this before. Golf carts at movie studios are used about 50% for legitimate work and 50% for tomfoolery. Kind of like the cop car in Superbad. People take corners on two wheels, people race them2, and if you happen to work at Universal people drive up to the road used for the studio tour and buzz trams full of tourists. It's pretty fun - if you wave at one of the trams, everyone will whisper, point and take photos while trying to figure out if you're famous. Unless you crash while they're watching. Then they probably just point and laugh.

On the wall you can see the mark the tire made
when the cart slammed into it.

1. I used to be a Blockbuster manager, and I saw more reckless driving there between 11:55 and midnight than I've seen the whole rest of my life combined.

2. It's especially fun to race them at the studio I work for now. Most places put something called a "governor" on the carts to restrict their speed, but my current place of employment does not. So it's likely that the moron in this case was going upwards of 20 miles per hour.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Rocking For The Weekend: The Hold Steady

I'm going to send you off this Friday with a truly rocking song from The Hold Steady, "Constructive Summer". If you ever thought Springsteen was cool but wished he cranked it up to 11, this is the band for you. They're phenomenal live, so go see them and then buy all their records. No pressure. Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gonna Sigh Now

A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to get fit and lose approximately six hundred pounds. Despite encouraging reports that the world’s fattest man had become engaged to be married1, I reckoned that a fitter, thinner me would enjoy improved confidence and quality of life.

Displaying a level of both fiscal responsibility and pragmatism that most gym-belonging humans never reach, I quit the gym a year ago because I never went. Not eager to pay the exorbitant fee required to sign up yet again, I recalled that my apartment building has a fitness room. In advance of my first workout, I went down to see what kind of equipment was there.

To my dismay, I found a graveyard of broken equipment that would look very much at home in Miss Havisham’s decaying mansion. There was a Nautilus weight machine with a broken cable and a missing pull-down bar. There was a stationary bike that worked in the sense that the pedals turned, but the electronics were ripped out. There was a step machine with steps that sank straight to the floor and exhaled with a “thoooop” as soon as you stepped on them. There was a trampoline that was intact, but rather inadvisable for use in a room with an eight-foot ceiling. And there was a treadmill that sort of worked. The treadmill runs, but that’s a very generous description. The destroyed plastic overlay makes the control panel nearly impossible to read, the machine has a habit of shutting off by itself when you raise the speed past 3.5 mph, and it also arbitrarily raises the incline by as much as 15 degrees in a matter of seconds entirely on a whim.

I briefly considered living out my remaining years as a fat man, reasoning that at this rate at least there wouldn’t be many of them. I also toyed with the idea of performing an exorcism on the treadmill. But as always, we find our redemption in the movies.

I had recently watched one of the gems of American cinema, Rocky IV. As you surely recall, this is the one where Apollo Creed is beaten to death in the ring by a steroid-gobbling Russian meathead, prompting Rocky to travel to the Soviet Union to train and then avenge his fallen friend by fighting the commie cyborg in Moscow.2 In an attempt to prevent Rocky from properly preparing for the fight, his Russian hosts put him up in a log cabin in the middle of Siberia with no modern amenities or training facilities. However, in a stirring montage to the strains of a Survivor song that is not “Eye Of The Tiger”3, Rocky trains with what is available to him. He chops wood, rolls logs, runs in the snow and pulls a donkey cart. The clear implication is that Rocky has been toughened by his experience and is better prepared for the bout than his Soviet counterpart, who is shown in very antiseptic environments getting shot up with needles and working out amid enough technological machinery to launch a Space Shuttle.

Of course, this leads to Rocky not only winning the fight but getting an arena full of commies, soldiers and KGB stooges to chant his name, much to the consternation of an actor portraying Mikhail Gorbachev. I decided that much like Rocky, I would use the sad state of the fitness room as motivation. No fancy chichi gym with plasma TVs and safe, operational equipment for me! I’m getting down in the muck and slugging it out with both my flabby body and that broken down crap!

It’s been three weeks. The stationary bike is somewhat usable but frustrating. I’ve managed to work around the treadmill’s quirks to a degree. I’ve even added “Gonna Fly Now” to my workout mix.

But on the whole, I’d rather pull a donkey cart.

1. Where does he even meet girls? Honestly. Unless his wang is the fattest one in the world too, I don’t get it.

2. If Rocky had only realized that this was no fearsome warrior, but merely Dolph Lundgren, I imagine a lot of this nonsense could have been avoided.

3. I didn’t know there were any others, either.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Rocking For The Weekend: Matthew Sweet

Welcome to a new feature at Words, Words, Words...Rocking For The Weekend! Every Friday I'll post a fun song I love that is perfect for flying out the door at 5pm on Friday (or 8pm if you're me) and cranking the stereo on the way home.

Well, maybe not every Friday. But at least until I am sick of it. (See "Seven Word Sunday" food posts.)

Today's song is "Girlfriend" by Matthew Sweet. It rocks. It's one of my ten favorite songs of all time, and the drum break is sick. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This Is My Rifle, This Is My Gun...

...books are for learning, TV's for fun!

When I watch television, I watch pure entertainment. Sitcoms, sports, even the occasional reality show. I promise I don't learn anything. This both perplexes and on occasion infuriates some who know me. They say things like "You're too smart for that." I assure you, I am not. I also like to read, but very rarely read novels or frivolous books. I read a lot of nonfiction...essays, biographies, science, sociology, etcetera. Reading a novel makes me feel like I'm slacking or wasting time. I've always operated under the tenets of this clear delineation - TV is fun, books are work. But it always infuriated me that I didn't have a ready answer why.

I think I have a workable theory. When most people go to work, they have to dress up a little. A tie, maybe a suit. But no one complains because a tie and a suit are the uniform for work. Sure, you'd probably rather not, but you just do it without complaint because you understand that that's the way it is. But imagine that you went on vacation to Hawaii and at the airport you were greeted not with a lei, but with a tie and suit. You'd say "Screw that, I'm on vacation! That's what I'm getting away from!" You feel comfortable rejecting the tie because you've come to expect that vacation is for shorts and t shirts.

I think TV and books are like that. In school, we find that books are for learning. Almost everything we read as a child is related to school. But when we get home, we turn to TV for cartoons (or if you were me, The McLaughlin Group.) If we got home from school, turned on the TV, and found someone doing math problems, we'd throw a tantrum. I guess along the way I determined that TV was for my entertainment and books were for my enrichment. This would explain why I don't want to learn anything from TV, and why I feel guilty getting frivolous entertainment from books. I'm not sure I need to change anything, or that it's bad to operate like this. But it's nice to have figured it out.

I'm aware this might be really banal, and if that's the case, I am prepared to blame it on novels.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Springfield Rock City

It occured to me the other day while watching The Simpsons that Krusty the Clown is the Gene Simmons of comedy. After thinking about it some more, it only followed that Gene Simmons is the Krusty the Clown of rock and roll. These two men, while probably not acquainted, have similar attitudes, values and foibles. I'm certain they'd get along like least long enough to have a debauched weekend in Vegas. Come, won't you, and let's examine the startling parallels between these two titans of the entertainment industry!

Gene SimmonsKrusty the Clown
HairstyleThree-pronged afro (black)Three-pronged afro (green)
MakeupEvil clownSad clown
Abandoned CareerImparter of knowledge (schoolteacher)Imparter of knowledge (rabbi)
AddictionPoultry-related (chicks)Poultry-related (dodo egg omelettes)
SidekickHairy ape (Paul Stanley)Hairy ape (Mr. Teeny)
Secret ShameJudaismJudaism
Ill-Advised EndorsementsKISS coffin/beverage cooler, KISS wine, KISS Mr. Potato Head dollsKrusty Brand Imitation Gruel, Krusty Brand Home Pregnancy Test, Lady Krusty Mustache Removal System
Skill At Chosen CareerQuestionableVery Questionable
Eventual Cause Of DeathShot by hookerShot by bookie

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kanye West To Pick Winners At MTV Awards

NEW YORK (AP) - In a shocking turn of events, music channel MTV announced today that beginning next year, all winners at the MTV Music Video Awards will be chosen by rap music star and noted tastemaker Kanye West.

Sunday’s broadcast of the network’s annual flagship event was marred when West interrupted “Best Female Video” winner Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech. West stormed onstage and shouted over a stunned Swift, asserting that singer Beyonce should have won for her video “Single Ladies”, calling it “one of the best videos ever”. The incident was only the latest in a string of awards show shenanigans by West, whose hijinks frequently include interrupting speeches to issue pronouncements that he was wrongly denied a meaningless award. Curiously, West did not interrupt host Russell Brand at any point in the proceedings, a move that would likely have put him back in the good graces of those in attendance and a television audience of millions.

The decision to appoint West to such a powerful post would seem unlikely considering the embarrassment he caused the network on the one night each year that people actually consider watching MTV. Not so, says MTV Networks president Doug Herzog. “At first we were angry at Kanye,” Herzog said. “But when we were honest with ourselves, we had to admit that he really does know best. His opinions, even on topics as disparate as music videos and 19th century pre-Raphaelite art, are invariably correct.” Herzog also noted that convenience was a factor in the decision. “We realized that having one person decide all the winners was much easier than actually conducting a vote of the general public. Besides, what are we really losing here? This is a group of people who have bestowed the coveted (sic) Moonman on the likes of Paula Abdul, Kylie Minogue and the Pussycat Dolls. Frankly, I think I should receive some kind of award myself.”


At press time, it was rumored that officials of the Oscars, Grammys and Emmys were contemplating offers for West to choose the winners of their awards shows as well. In related news, 20th Century Fox this afternoon greenlit the lavish biopic Kanye West: A Man For All Seasons.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Mildly Amusing List

Phrases I Have Read This Week In Other Blogs That Would Make Good Band Names

The Stingy Vaginas

Cobra Kai

Frequently Naked Neighbors

Heels Or Flats

The Dutch Rubs

Superior Brew

The French Style

Chinese Five Spice

Looming Manhood

The Ginormous Zucchinis

Black Life Forms

Glorious Tooting

Lexicon of Love (more of an album title, really)

The Chupa Chups


Great Aunt Helga

The Blogging Tools

Sexy Menz

Sullen Teens