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April 28th, 2006

Its Friday and the air's just right for drinking

Sometimes I hate Fridays. When its 10 in the morning, I'm hungover and I know that the sweet release of happy hour is still 7 hours away, I sometimes want to cry. Yet somehow I muddle through. Perchance its the knowledge that come 5 I'll be surrounded by booze and friends and music and all will be right with the world. Here's some more stuff to help you muddle through the day...

- Bishop Allen will rock you face. In fact they'll rock it 12 times this year. They're in the midst of putting out an EP a month for an entire year. Check em out on - say it with me everybody - MySpace. Be sure to listen to Middle Management.

- Here's what Blender considers to be the 50 Worst Things to Happen to Music. Its interesting fodder. Even I doubt Van Halen needs to be mentioned 4 times though. And I don't care what shit it inspired, Sgt. Pepper's and worst shouldn't even be in the same sentence (ain't no fuckin' ballpark neither). On the bright side, they make fun of Scott Stapp, a fav pastime of mine.

- Neil Young has a new album called Living With War. And oh happy day, he's streaming the whole thing on his website. He's calling it a Metal Folk Protest(?) I'll listen to anything Neil has to say. Doubly so when he's chiding the President.

- I'm headed out tonight to see The Hard Lessons, which is probably way cooler than whatever you're doing (unless you're on your way to Coachella), so get jealous. Listen to 'em on - say it with me - MySpace. Although THL really need to be experienced. Let's all hope that's the most pretentious thing I say today.

- Speaking of Coachella, they're live webcasting from there this weekend. I recommend leaving the house and actually doing something, but it might make a good soundtrack if you're just laying on the couch watching the NFL Draft.

Posted 10:20am
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April 27th, 2006

Deja vu all over again

Last night I got home from the gym (that's right, I go to the gym now) and decided to jump in the shower just in case the bar called later in the evening and had some emergency I needed to attend to. As I am wont to do when I jump in the shower, I pick an album from the ol' iTunes and blare it so I can rock out whilst I get sudsy. I know, enough with the frightening imagery. Anyway, For reasons unknown last night I picked Big Red Letter Day by Buffalo Tom. While this is a classic college era album, its not one I listen to with any frequency anymore.

Which is why I was startled today, at 3:35pm, to hear the first song off Big Red Letter Day being played on my Sirius radio. Let's be honest, its not like Big Red Letter Day was Thriller, and it came out over ten years ago. What are the chances of hearing 'Soda Jerk' twice in 24 hours from independent sources? I'll put myself out on the proverbial limb and say low. I realize this may be a trivial and boring thing to write about, but I got nothing else right now.

But speaking of bad segues, here's a pretty funny essay about them, courtesy of McSweeney's.

Posted 3:40pm
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April 25th, 2006

Let's talk about sex ba-by

Parenting is tricky. When do you tell your kids about this or that, how much freedom do you afford them, how much protection do you provide them? Any honest parent will tell you its a crap shoot. You use what you like or what you think worked about the way you were raised, try to do a little better and then wing the rest. Consult friends and books sure, but at the end of the day you're on your own and let me tell you, its a miracle that every parent doesn't go insane worrying about what they're doing right or wrong.

I could write about this until I'm blue in the face, but I'll try and be brief. My basic rule of thumb for the last 10 (ouch) years has been to always talk to the Buddha like he's an adult and treat him like one whenever possible (big ups to his mom for always backing me up on that). When that doesn't work, you get simpler and simpler until it does, but you start from a position that you're dealing with another human being. Its way more complicated than that obviously (the other big conceit is that if you're not afraid of your father on some level, you're probably a horrible person), but for our story here, that's enough exposition.

Except to say that I've stated openly and publicly for the last several years that there are two rules in my house: You never drink and drive or get in a vehicle with anyone who has AND you always wear a condom. The reason that these are rules are hopefully obvious; why they are the only two is a discussion for another time when we have more space (though some would concede that its a fairly obvious reason too).

So tonight the Buddha and I are watching the show House, M.D., and as is the story every week, a patient is revealed to be difficult to treat because he or she was lying to House. This week it happened to be that a 15 year old couldn't be effectively treated because he lied about not having sex. So the Buddha observes and wonders "Why would somebody lie about something like that?" To which I replied "Some people are really uptight sex <<pause>> Would you tell me if you were having sex when you were 15?" It was kind of a rhetorical question. Not meant to be a test on any level. But the Buddha, without missing a beat or acting like anything about my question was unnatural, replied "Yeah."

Now I dream of a day when my son is a young adult and actually talks to me about those things that are normally fraught with tension for a son and father to discuss. I'm not delusional enough to hold my breath waiting for it to happen, but tonight's transaction did give me hope. Were I ten and heard either of my parents say the word sex, I'm fairly certain I wouldn't have been able to look either in the eye for a week. I'm also pessimistically sure that in five years I'll be throwing the Buddha's statement back in his face (because you know I've got tonight catalogued), but at least we made it this far with some kind of open dialogue. Here's to the Buddha for once again making me look and feel like a parenting genius.

Posted 10:40pm
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April 23rd, 2006

O! Cananada...

There's certain things you do out of necessity when you're young that you usually give up when they loose their necessity-ness. Riding bikes, while still a hobby or form of exercise for some adults, is something most of us lose interest in once we have a drivers license. For those that come of age in SE Michigan, Windsor, Ontario is one of those things. Right across the river from Detroit, Windsor has historically offered two things that this side of the border couldn't: gambling and underage drinking.

Cananada's legal drinking age is 19, so much of Windsor's economy has always been based on 19 and 20 year olds from the States making the short drive through the tunnel to cross the border and get smashed. And now that Detroit has legalized gambling, Windsor trades almost exclusively on young drunk assholes and provides almost no reason for anyone of legal drinking age to visit the depressed socioeconomic community of our neighbors to the North.

So why was I wandering up and down Windsor's infamous Ouellette Avenue Saturday night? The short answer is that I was celebrating a friend's 30th birthday. The answer to the follow up question of why he picked to go there is beyond me. I can tell you this - I had the kind of fun you imagine when you think of partying in another country and I'd be shocked if I ever set foot in that town again. Nothing against Canadians or 19 year olds per say, its just a right of passage that I've already undertaken. Truth is, we could of done everything we did in Windsor last night right here in the good ol' US of A (almost - Cananada does have looser strip club regulations. God bless 'em). And we could have done it without changing currency and dealing with border security and fighting 19 year olds to get a round of $2 well drinks.

So thanks Cananada. Its been a fun ride. I'll always cherish our times together and when I tell some drunken story about boozing it up on your well-trod streets, I'll think of you and smile. But its time for me to grow up and move on. America has its own casinos to get sanded at and scrippers to shake their junk for me And most importantly, all this booze isn't gonna drink itself.

Posted 6:22pm
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April 19th, 2006

You can't swim in a town this shallow...

Last night brought the ultimate in double bills - Death Cab for Cutie and Franz Ferdinand. A few observations:

- You can tell how drunk a musician is by how many times he steps up to the mic to sing backing vocals, and then walks away without actually singing. FF's bass player was very drunk. And he looks like a bloated, drunk Michael Vartan.

- I might be getting to old for all ages shows. I can laugh off the insipid conversations of little kids who have school the next day, but some of them just don't seem to get rock show etiquette. As long as I don't come and stand right in front of you, its not the end of the world if you have to shift your weight for me to get by. Us old drunks need to go to the bar 4 times a set. On the other hand, they are easy to push out of the way and intimidate, which I have no problem with.

- The lead singer of Franz Ferdinand was standing right outside the theater as we left. Only about 10 people seemed to even notice (or they all had to bolt to make curfew, either way)

- Death Cab is phenomenal live. They played a wide selection of old stuff last night, including the two songs I hadn't seen them play live that I was dying to hear ('Why You'd Want to Live Here' and 'We Looked Like Giants') They generally rocked the shit and made me love them all the more. My mancrush on Ben Gibbard was solidified.

- The marquee from last night is, of course, in the marquee section.

Posted 10:34am
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April 13th, 2006

Fool me twice, shame on me

Let me be real honest with you for a minute. The last presidential election nearly killed me. Never before was I so sure I was on the right side of things yet ended up a loser. And now that everything I kicked and screamed about is coming true, I have no energy to kick and scream that I told you so. I'm such a beaten man that I have trouble getting in anyone's face anymore. The truth is that Bush is an idiot. Unless you're a billionaire or REALLY Christian, you can't be happy with the way things have gone. The other part of the equation is that Kerry is/was a turd. I tried really hard to like the guy, but he just didn't have it. So I was stuck with the anti-Bush vote, that despite all conceivable logic, didn't pan out.

One of my conservative buddies said to me after voting for Bush the second time 'I bought the insurance plan (McCain in 2008)'. I made some joke about only if Bush doesn't bring the rapture between now and then. But honestly, I like John McCain. Or I did. I'm not sure yet. I would've voted for McCain over Gore in 2000, because Gore was a turd too (although he's actually been intriguing since then, and I think he generally gets a harder rap than he deserves). But lately McCain is waaaaay too buddy-buddy with evil Republicans. I try not to worry. I read stuff like this to try and assuage my fears. But I think about Bush in 2000 and what he said he was going to be versus what he became and I wonder, how on Earth can I go out and trust a Republican? I really hope that McCain reverts to what he was in the 90's after he sows up the nomination and that the Dems find someone other than Hillary to run, because then we could finally have a debate that isn't necessarily about the lesser of two evils. Wouldn't that be something?

Posted 10:00am
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April 10th, 2006

Always a bridesmaid...

Another one of my high school friends got married Saturday. It was apparent during the evening's festivities how old we are getting. Instead of people passing out, throwing up and hooking up (like the weddings of five years ago), the night was dominated by screaming rambunctious kids between the ages of one week and five years. We always used to wait for the grandparents and teetotalers to leave the reception so we could party without embarrassing ourselves too much. Saturday I longed for everyone under four feet to go to bed so I could stop worrying about getting drunk and stepping on them.

There was also the painful reminder that the number of us that remain single is rapidly diminishing. I said to someone, 'Its getting to be a foot race to see who's the last of us to get married,' to which they replied 'I guarantee you that three of us will be on our second marriage before you are on your first.' Oh, how everyone laughed. But honestly, I don't think he meant it as an insult. This is someone who's known me for 25 years telling me, "who are you kidding, you're not the marryin' kind." And it was very nice not to have to sit there and try to come up with some bullshit to the age old query of 'When are you going to settle down?'

Posted 9:41am
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April 7th, 2006

Your Indie Rock Weekend

Yesterday I saw the 138th story about how MySpace is ruining the youth of America. Depending on what kind of alarmist you are, its either ruining their communication skills, making them prey for sexual predators, or just eating up time that they could be out, I don't know, huffing glue and finger banging. So to do my part to rail against the MySpace backlash, I offer you these tasty indie rock morsels to help kick off your weekend:

- The Thermals - The song you want here is the one that loads up, 'How We Know'. Its angry poppy indie rock at its finest. It'd be great if you had MySpace in your car, because this would be a great song to listen to as you left work at five and drove to the bar.

- The Plastic Constellations - When this page loads up, immediately go to the MySpace standalone player and click 'Sancho Panza'. Love this guitar riff. Its like indie pop Helmet (which is a very good thing).

- Nomo - Saw these guys at this year's Hamtramck Blowout and I haven't been able to get 'Nu Tones' out of my head since. As it was said when I heard it the first time, its 'electro/afrobeat/pop/bebop'. I still think that pretty much sums it up.

- Tapes 'n' Tapes - 'Just Drums' inspires foot tapping and desk chair dancing like few songs in the history of man. While that may or may not be hyperbole, my job is to make you want to listen to this stuff, so hopefully I've accomplished that.

Posted 10:37am
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April 5th, 2006

My head is burninating

- You ever get a headache for apparently no reason in the middle of the day and think 'Damn, I should of gone out and got drunk last night.'? I mean if you're going to feel like shit, you might as well make it worth it. I remember reading somewhere (I think it was in a forwarded email about drinking) about how one should relish hangovers - they're a reminder/price that you must have had a good time. If you could go out and drink and party without consequence, well then every dumbass would be out there doing it.

- More people read the blog last month than the month before. I'd pretend to make a speech about how we're building a grassroots thing here, but I'm honestly shocked that anyone reads this, much less 122 successful requests a day. (I have no idea what that means, but I'm not delusional enough to think 122 distinct people are checking this thing out daily).

- There's a bevy (that's right, I said bevy) of acoustical goodness over at Barsuk records. Some of their finest acts (including Ben Gibbard of Death Cab and Matt Caws of Nada Surf) recorded a bunch of stuff in April 2005 for a songwriters show. You can now hear what went down here.

Posted 3:50pm
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April 4th, 2006

The 'King Shit of Fuck Mountain' Award

We don't give out the 'King Shit of Fuck Mountain' award often around here. Its reserved for those who have elevated their game over time AND have several irons in the fire at the same time. The last recipient was Ben Gibbard, who after years with Death Cab for Cutie, found himself 'King Shit of Fuck Mountain' when everyone was catching on to the Postal Service, Transatlanticism came out and he got name checked on The OC more than Klosterman.

Its time for a new King, and his name is Dangermouse. First he illegally mashed Jay Z's Black Album with the Beatles White Album, creating the internet sensation, The Grey Album. Next he teamed with MF Doom for The Mouse and the Mask, an album based on and featuring Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup. Then on the heels of that, he releases his latest collaboration (this time with Cee-lo), Gnarls Barkley. I dare you to go to MySpace and try to deny 'Crazy'. Can't be done. So get out there and start gobbling up his work, I've only touched the surface. Hail to the King baby.

Posted 3:50pm
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April 3rd, 2006

No beer is worth $9

I was frightened and disappointed when I heard the were making an American version of the BBC show The Office. Turns out, its now officially the funniest show on TV. Why aren't you watching it? For those of you are already in love with the characters, be sure to check out their 'More you know...' segments on NBC.com. They're absolutely hilarious - because $9 is way too much to pay for a beer, just walk away.

Posted 11:59am
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March 31st, 2006

Pay that man his money

Its time for another installment of 'Tales from Sin City'. Those looking for strippers, drugs and illicit behavior will be disappointed. Those looking for proof that I'm a degenerate - seriously, you need more proof?

So its my last day in Vegas. I'm hours away from getting on the Saturday red eye and things haven't gone well. I'm down a few hundred for the trip, but not overly depressed about it. Its Vegas, these things happen. So we're hanging out downtown and we decide to hit an old favorite - The Golden Gate. Its a tiny little casino that caters to low rollers like ourselves. We spot a Texas shootout table with three open spots, so Stov, Kane and I decide to sit down. Twenty minutes later I'm outa hundred bucks. Kane bows out shortly after and we both look at each other in that 'Now what?' fashion that you see about every ten seconds in Sin City. I suggest the magic of nickel video poker. We sit down and I begin to roll. Kane burns through his five bucks and now he's watching me play nickel video poker. We agree that if I get up to $10 (twice my investment) I should cash out. Fifteen minutes and 50 hands later, I hit the magic number and promptly cash out. Now the GG hasn't quite upgraded to 'ticket in, ticket out', so I'm stuck lugging 200 nickels to the cashier.

After I cash out, Kane and I are again stuck staring at each other with nothing to do. He says 'Wheel of Fortune?' I say giddy up. So we sit down at the quarter Wheel of Fortune slots and I again begin to roll. Five minutes in I'm spinning the giant bonus wheel, dancing around the casino like an idiot. Again, Kane burns through five bucks and is stuck watching me spin the retarded wheel. I'm up another five bucks and I cash out again, talking about how I'm ruining this joint's profit margin for the day (conveniently forgetting the hundo I dropped at the start of this fiasco). So Kane and I decide to find the other guys in our party and exit the Double G. On our way out, a nice lady hands us fortune cookies from a giant basket. Not being ones to look gift horses in their mouths, we accept and open our cookies as we walk down Fremont Street. I read my fortune and the hair on my arm stands up. 'Kane, my fortune says I won a free beer at the Golden Gate!' 'Mine says 'One free well drink'!' he responds. And just like that, we're back the Double G.

After five minutes of waving down the crotchety old bartender, we have our free drinks. And when I say free, I mean we didn't even tip the guy. Normally this is something I wouldn't even consider doing, but the dude was extra crotchety. So we start to re-leave the GG and Kane looks at his glass and says "I don't want to leave with this" I say OK and we stop right inside the GG's doors. That's when I notice the penny Star Wars slot machines. Rather than stand around with my thumb up my ass, I stick a dollar bill in the Star Wars slots and spin the wheels.

Wouldn't ya know it, I hit the jackpot. I won $1. That's twice my initial investment people. Kane and I begin to laugh uncontrollably. He says "You know you have to cash out." I'm practically peeing my pants at the thought of heading back to the cashier a third time, this time with 200 pennies. So of course I hit the cashout. That's when this happens:

That's right: Hand pay required. Call Attendant. Kane and I are on the floor. Soon after a much annoyed cashier and a guy writing a receipt visit me and pay me my two dollars. I leave the GG, head held high - wondering how these places stay in business.

Posted 10:50am
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March 30th, 2006

Today's sign of the apocalypse

Ah Time-Life. Two formerly respected magazines now best known for selling you shit you don't need in convenient infomercial form. Even by the time I was a wee lad, I think I associated the brand with Judy the Time-Life operator more than anything else. Who can forget those countless commercials for books about Vietnam from the Time-Life Collection? How about giant crappy music collections endorsed by Casey Kasem? How about old episodes of Hee-Haw on DVD?

That's right, its gone from bad to worse to down right awful at Time-Life, as their best selling DVD collection of 2005 is Hee-Haw. You heard me. Hee-Haw. A celebration of ignorance and shoelessness. (By the way, are you as surprised as me that Hee-Haw ran all the way to 1992?) I'm sure at their corporate offices they have a giant picture of Minnie Pearl right next to JFK jr saluting his father's coffin.

Posted 11:20am
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March 29th, 2006

Headline of the day

A friend last night was describing getting drunk and falling down and waking up the next morning bruised and bloody. She said 'I felt like Tyler when I woke up.' Ha ha. Everyone laughed. Glad people still remember my exploits. I have to say though, it wasn't nearly as funny as this is:

Bonus points for double entendre of 'Big Unit'. Bet he never thought that would come back to bite him on the ass. Also I'd like to take this opportunity to state my preference for the entendre singular. Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time.

Posted 4:06pm
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March 27th, 2006

Look before you're leapt upon

Friday night brought another round of friends turning 30. As you can guess, hijinks ensued. I'll spare those involved in some of the nights more questionable events any embarrassment here. Except to say, a group of drunks hates the guy who breaks up a cat fight. Can't say I blame 'em, but c'mon guys, I shouldn't take abuse for doing the right thing.

Then there was dinner Saturday at the Mongolian BBQ. I'm returning from the bathroom to my table when I come upon a bottleneck and I feel someone hot boxing me from behind. I hear 'I want a piggy back ride, ready?' Without turning around I say 'hop on' and brace for impact. I immediately realize I could have made a huge mistake. I have no idea how much this girl weighs, and I could have easily blown a knee trying to be cute. But I was lucky and could handle the load. She asks where we're going, I say its your dime. We move a way through the restaurant and she says here's good and thanks me. I say 'Anytime' and move on without ever looking back. By the time I get back to the table, everyone's giggling. I recount the details and then ask if my passenger was cute. Stov says 'yeah' and I leave it at that, for the moment. As we pay the bill, curiosity gets the best of me and ask Stov to point her out. 'You don't want to know' he tells me. I tell him it doesn't matter. He says 'Over there, the one that looks like ugly aMANda Peat.' Turns out he was right, I would've been better off not knowing. I guess it could've been worse - it could've been a dude instead of a girl that looked like one.

Posted 8:06pm
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March 24th, 2006

They're always after me lucky charms...

I don't know why, but I saw this and immediately thought of Barlow. Not necessarily because he reminds me of anyone in the video, I just imagine him laughing his ass off to this. Especially the 'amateur sketch'. Barlow, this is for you. If you don't know Barlow, its still funny - and still watch for the 'amateur sketch'. I can barely type right now I'm laughing so hard. "It look like a leprechaun to me!"

Posted 1:39pm
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I'll take 'The Penis Mightier' for $200

Next week provides not one but two opportunities for you to show off the amount of useless knowledge you have tucked away in that noggin of yours.

- Jeopardy! is taking online applications for the first time ever.

- VH1 is hosting the World Series of Pop Culture Bullshit, or some similarly titled game which I would totally dominate but won't be picked for. Fascist bastards.

So bone up kids. Any one wanting practice can contact me and I'll make quick work of you in a game of Trivial Pursuit.

Posted 10:04am
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March 23rd, 2006

Where have I heard that before?

If you glance to your right you will see the terribly awful band Nickelback. If you don't remember, they sang the milquetoast song 'How You Remind Me' a few years back. If you don't remember what it sounded like, we'll get to that in a minute, but again, glance to the right and imagine what a band that looks like that would sound like. Are you there? I have a feeling you're right on the money.

Anyway, it seems that Nickelback is fearing that they will forever be remembered as a terrible Canadian one hit wonder, and honestly, they'd like to have a long spanning terrible career, a la Bryan Adams or Celine Dion. In service of that they've tried to recreate the sound that captivated us all in 2001. Literally. thewebshite.com shows you just how literally. Its the creepiest thing since The Wizard of OZ/Dark Side of the Moon thing.

Posted 11:40am
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March 22nd, 2006

Hello Goodbye There Children

Set your TiVo's kids. South Park returns tonight with a vengeance. It was all over the internets last week that Isaac Hayes had quit the show due to moral and religious obligations. Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone noted that it wasn't until they attacked Haye's religion of Scientology that he got pissed and walked out in a huff. Then there's the fact that a scheduled re-run of the hilarious South Park episode skewering Scientology was pulled last week at the last minute. Its rumored that Tom 'Xenu' Cruise used his clout to get it pulled (Cruise denies it). Well according to this story, Trey and Matt have vowed to pile on. I can only imagine what that will entail. Whatever it is, you'll want to be there to see it. And am I the only one who is wowed by the fact that South Park is 10? Sweet Jesus.

Posted 3:20pm
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More of this and that...

- The NYTimes has a brilliant article on current film animators and why they feel the need for the characters in their films to have diarrhea of the mouth. Have these people never seen a Chuck Jones cartoon? I think any film that's marketed to the public at large has a fear of silence on screen, but its a really powerful tool that these guys are ignoring.

- Death Cab for Cutie were on the Dermot O'Leary show last Saturday. You're can hear the stream here.

- While I wasn't a big winner in Vegas, I was upon my return. I listen to a podcast called Cinecast, and every week they recreate a scene of dialogue from a movie. If you can figure out what movie its from, you send in your answer and one person gets their name drawn out of a hat for a free DVD. Anyway, I've been sending in the right answer for about a month now and I finally won for knowing an obscure bit of dialogue from Leaving Las Vegas. Click here to listen to Cinecast #87. You can hear them butcher my name about 36 minutes into the show (How do you mispronounce Brubaker? I'm hoping it was a joke) I'm still deciding on what DVD to get. Right now I'm leaning towards either The 40-Year-Old Virgin or Good Night and Good Luck.

- Todays sign that I'm getting old: I don't understand the internet's obsession with Chuck Norris (even though I did laugh at this site a couple times)

Posted 10:20am
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March 21st, 2006

Tuesday morning quick hits

- The new Flaming Lips album, At War with the Mystics, is streaming online here. You've gotta do a bullshit registration thing, but c'mon, its new Lips - so you know, like, totally worth it. I think Wayne has finally gone off the deep end. Judge for yourself. Its a beautiful, wonderful thing.

- Time to play 'What's more disappointing?' Is it...
A. The fact that the lovely Audrey Tautou will be criminally underused and marginalized in Das Da Vinci Code.
OR

B. The fact that Tom Cruise will defeat Phillip Seymour Hoffman in MI:3, even though the audience will be rooting for Hoffman?

- NBC's The Office is coming out with some webisodes centered around the freaks in accounting. Something about that profession that harbors the neurotic.

- I hate emoticons. In general, I think they're stupid and juvenile and they make feel like an old curmudgeon for thinking so. Same goes for shit like g2g and l8r. And while I'm up here on the soap box, 95% of TLA's can go too (except for LMK, which I include in about 80% of my emails). All that being said, I'll be waiting for one of these to become standard, because I have much need to e-kick people in the e-balls.

Posted 10:20am
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March 19th, 2006

Excuse me but I have yet to receive a blackjack

There's so many things I'd love to say about the Vegas vacation. But I live by the ad campaign - 'What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.' Sure, there's plenty of amusing things I could regale you with - Mini Bono/Mini Kiss, HonkyTonks, $2 payouts paid by attendants - but these are things best left in Sin City. I will tell you that whatever you imagine 12 guys from Snapoleon are like in Vegas, you're probably pretty close. I got my cock pretty well sanded, but it was worth it. Thanks Vegas, see ya next year.

Posted 11:05pm
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March 14th, 2006

Bright light city gonna set my soul on fire

Vegas, you're such a fickle mistress. Last time we saw each other you hurt me - hurt me bad. I swore I was done. I swore I'd never let you do that to me again. Then you started in with the sweet talk. 'Come on out for March Madness, you don't even have to sit at the tables.' We both know that's a lie, but I can already feel my will bending to yours. 'C'mon, Friday is St. Patty's Day. We'll have so much fun.' I already hear the devil on my shoulder telling me how right you are. Before you know it I'm hooked in with a cheap flight and cheaper hotel room. Maybe it'll be different this time. Maybe it'll be all good times. This time it'll be kept promises and the beer will flow like wine. I've got a whole lot of money that's ready to burn so get those stakes up higher. Vegas baby, here I come.

Posted 10:35am
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March 13th, 2006

Its not the years, its the mileage...

Or so the saying goes. If its true, I should be getting quite long in the tooth. But the fact is that I feel quite spry for my age. Turning 30 didn't really bother me. Sure, muscles pull a little easier, soreness hangs around a little longer and getting hammered on a Tuesday and making it to work on time the next day is harder. But I don't feel like I've slowed down considerably and let's face it, I'm still an immature idiot.

All that being said, last week I attended a junior high orientation meeting (and as you may have guessed, bailed after five minutes and walked home) and today the Buddha gets braces. The combination has a creepiness factor of about 8.5. At least I'm not as bad off as his mother, who turns 30 next week. I think its all coming a little too close together for her. Go up to her and tell her you saw some special on TV about junior high kids having sex, then watch her head explode.

I swear to god the 'before' pic was not posed by me. This is the Buddha being funny. Save us all, he's like his old man. Click on the pics, they get big.

Posted 1:30pm
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March 11th, 2006

Making this house a home

There's a common blog feature that we've yet to institute here at tbaggervance.com - the comments section. This is mainly because I don't do MySQL or PHP very well - and I'm pretty sure you need both. Well that all changes now. Sort of. I'll be adding comments section for every post. It'll be a very low-tech solution involving a cgi script that emails shit to me and then I post it. I know, blah blah blah. If anyone wants to volunteer to do the php shit for me, I'm listening.

I'll also be adding a permalink option, so if anyone wants to link to a specific post, now you can. I'm sure all of this will lead to me realizing how few people actually read this shit. It all kicks off below.

Posted 4:50pm

Rounding third and heading for home

So there was a discussion a few weeks ago amongst some friends of mine about first date sex. Last night it reared its ugly head again and has become my impetus for including a comment section on the blog.

The question is a simple one: how often do first dates end in sex? The answers have varied wildly - from under 10% to 40%. They got more cohesive when we restricted the definitions. We are NOT including meeting someone at a bar, getting drunk and then having sex with them. That's not a date. We're talking about a prearranged meeting for the first time where the night ends in sex. So what's the answer? I'm going with somewhere in the 10% or less range. Now I don't go on a lot of dates so I may not be the best judge. I know there's some of you out there who've done it. Let's hear some guesses people.

Posted 4:21pm
permalink - comments

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March 10th, 2006

Check out my logo (and I don't mean my gay themed cable channel)

OK, so I was critiquing a web page a friend was working on and my biggest complaint was that he had a generic plain text logo across the top. And then I thought, 'Wait a minute, I have a stupid plain text logo on my site.' So I fired up Photoshop and whipped this up. Its not much, but hopefully we can agree it beats plaintext. Unfortunately I didn't come up with a better name/slogan, but the one we have seems to fit. Of course feel free to give me your suggestions - on the name, the blog, anything. I'll listen and then likely immediately dismiss you.

Posted 4:21pm

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March 9th, 2006

Its the one that says 'Bad Mutha Fucka'

I love when I find stuff from the Moe Man's column that translates to my blog. Its some indescribable synergy that gives me a warm feeling in my belly - not unlike the booze does. Anyway, Moeman (via Stuff Magazine) reports:

Samuel L. Jackson's films have made $3,813,766,044, pushing him past Harrison Ford as the highest-grossing actor of all time...

Now I love Sam Jackson. If the only thing he was ever in was Pulp Fiction he'd still hold a place in heart. But doesn't this seem wrong? I mean Harrison Ford makes sense. John Wayne, Clint Eastwood would make sense. Sam Jackson? I mean, let's be honest here people - this is a participation achievement. Harrison Ford was Han Solo AND Indiana Jones. He should get his own holiday and never have to pay taxes again - I don't even care how much Six Days, Seven Nights sucked. Sam Jackson has taken the Gene Hackman/Michael Cain route to financial success. Does anyone even remember that Samuel L. was in Jurassic Park? Yet he still gets to count those box office receipts. No offense, but not one person EVER went to see that movie because of Sam Jackson, where as every movie Harrison Ford has been in people go to see because Harrison Ford is in it. I hope they get going on Indiana Jones 4, then we can put this argument to bed until Sam picks up his next 10 paychecks.

Posted 10:06pm

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March 6th, 2006

Oscar Hangover

Let's see, an abundance of montages? Check. A really funny host coming off as not nearly as funny as you'd expect? Check. Hollywood patting itself on its back waaaaay more than it deserves? Check. The best movie of the year loses best picture? Check.

In what has become Oscar tradition, a really stupid movie that seems good and maybe important in the moment wins best picture, only to have everyone wake up the next morning and immediately regret their decision. OK, probably won't happen that fast. But seriously, have you people seen this pandering, finger waving, manipulative piece of shit? OK again, its pry not as bad as all that but this movie is a sentimental piece of garbage. Go watch Titanic and tell me that's a best picture. Go back and watch Forest Gump and tell me its better than Pulp Fiction. And let us not forget that Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan. The whole thing's a joke - and yet I still watch, so who's the sucker? At least that Pimp song won. And Larry McMurtury wore jeans. Suck on that Oscar.

Posted 10:06am

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March 5th, 2006

Blown Out

Its over. I miss you already. Me and you Blowout, BFF. Don't ever, ever change. Friday's coverage is here. Saturday's is here. The whole thing lives on in perpetuity in the essay section.

Posted 2:00pm

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March 3rd, 2006

Thursday Night Blowout

Vini Vidi Vici. Thursday night was a success. You can read about it and the rest of the nights in the essay essays section, or by clicking here.

Posted 3:33pm

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March 2nd, 2006

Its the most wonderful time of the year...

My ears will be bleeding
And I will be feeding
My belly much beer!
Its the most wonderful time, yes the most wonderful time,
Its the most wonderful time... of the year!

Ladies and gentlemen, boy and girls, pimps and hos, it is time. Its the biggest local music festival in the country. Its Christmas, Halloween and St. Patricks Day all rolled into one. Its your yearly chance to see Nick Pivot's Cocktail Shake. I'm talking, of course, about the MetroTimes Hamtramck Blowout. We have 200 bands to choose from the next three nights. With luck, we'll get to see at least 12.

I'm not sure how this will be blogged. I have aspirations for a giant essay complete with photos that's suitable for archiving. Whether or not that comes to fruition depends on a lot of things, including but not exclusive to: alcohol consumption levels, willingness to take pictures whilst rocking, hangover intensity and the amount of random bloggable experience.

So wish me luck. This afternoon is like waking up Christmas morning and not being able to open your presents till 9pm. The only consolation is knowing that your parents are rich and your presents will fucking rock. At least that's what I imagine...

Posted 1:55pm

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March 1st, 2006

Educational Television

Things I learned watching TV last night:

- The erection that doesn't go away now has a name. We've all heard the warnings on the commercials that erections lasting more than four hours require medical attention. Well the voiceover guy is now calling that painful condition prioprism. I'm having trouble finding info on this, so I can only assume that this word has been recently introduce to describe a condition that's never really been a problem in the past, thanks to things like masturbating.

- Match Game was not only great because the celebs were drunk half the time, but I think there may have been some hanky panky involved as well. Last night I was watching an episode of Match Game '74 where host Gene Rayburn was so drunk (everyone: How drunk was he?) he was clueless as to what was going on. It was also pretty obvious to me that he had sex - that day - with the hot blonde on the bottom row. Unfortunately I didn't bother to note her name, but I'd bet ya a hundred bucks and give odds that he banged her. It was awesome to watch. What I thought I learned was that Gene was still alive. They showed what looked like a current clip where he was talking about the show. I was shocked. No way would I have guessed he was still kicking. Turns out he's not. Ah well, I'm sure Gene lived life to the _________.

Posted 10:20am

Long live the King

I'm not much of a fan of the pant suit wearing/cadillac givin'/pelvis gyrating Elvis, but the nerd glasses wearin'/big guitar playin'/new wave icon Elvis is near and dear to my heart. You certainly have to admire the longevity and idiocyncracy of his career. His latest experiment is My Flame Turns Blue, a collection of live big band arrangements of some of his old songs. Yeah right? I know. But check this mp3 of Watchin' the Detectives and tell me you aren't intrigued.

Posted 10:10am

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February 27th, 2006

Tonsil hockey

"I don't think we want to sleep with you, just make out."

"Who's we?"

"All of us. At least that's what I think. Sex would be going too far, but making out on the couch for a while sounds about right."

The preceding is a snippet of paraphrased conversation I had with a girl Saturday night. The question is, is this a compliment? I guess someone wanting to kiss you is overwhelmingly positive, but not wanting to have sex with you? Is there something in my personality that says I'd be great to make out with but not so much with the sex? Because if there was, it would explain a lot. All I'd have to explain then is why no one is making out with me.

And while we're on the subject, Stov and I have decided that all of our female friends need to stop telling us how great we are if you're not going to help us get laid. If you're being honest and think we're so wonderful, find another girl and tell them. We've heard it all before. As of now the only women I talk to are waitresses. And let's be honest, the only reason they talk to me is because they have to. This liver's not going to ruin itself people.

Posted 1:55pm

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February 24th, 2006

Your soundtrack for the weekend

While the heady days of Napster are long gone, free music on the internets is not. And I'm not just talking about how you steal your favorite tunes via bittorrent. The latest phenomenon is the live streaming of new/upcoming/unreleased tracks. (OK, not the 'latest' per say, but its good shit. Shut up.) So whilst you sit and peruse porn or whatever else you use the internet for, here's some musical goodness to keep you company:

- The Lashes may or may not be the next big thing, but their single "Sometimes the Sun" is fairly undeniable in a grab-your-crotch, catchy sort of way. They're on MySpace (of course)

- Speaking of MySpace, Maritime (featuring former Promise Ring buddies) has some stuff from their upcoming We, the Vehicles on their page.

- Loose Fur, featuring Wilco-ers Jeff Tweady and Glen Kotche as well as the uber-everywhere Jim O'Rourke, have new stuff being leaked right over here.

- And of course not everyone is into free publicity. Perrenial douche bag Axl Rose saw some early mixes of the new Guns 'n' Roses album Chinese Democracy leak this week. Seriously, this album's gestation period is so long there's no way it won't disappoint. I can't link to the new stuff, but if your internet IQ is average or better you can find 'em and hear what an aging (and apparently gaying) Axl sounds like.

As for me, I'll be checking out Spun @ TC's this Saturday. I may also be taking in a performance by a band called Anal Pudding. I'll let you know how it goes...

Posted 2:37pm

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February 23rd, 2006

I'm not being completely honest with you

Let me start by saying that I'm just happy to be here. When I started the bloggy blog a little over a year ago, I had no idea what it was going to be. OK, I had some idea. I meant to showcase things I found across the internet and in pop culture that needed to be seen, heard or commented on. At some point things from my life started to creep in more and more. Hopefully you've at least partially enjoyed a little of all of the above.

But I've been holding back. There are two areas of my life that I've failed to really address here in cyberspace, for similar yet different reasons. The first is work.. The j-o-b. First off, it just so happens that the place I work hosts the blog. Second of all, I've known people who have run into trouble at work for things they've blogged. This is, in a manner of speaking, the public record. So far, I've yet to find anything worth posting that I'd be willing to lose my job over.

The second is my love life, or lack thereof. What little there is of it begs, nay screams to be commented on. If you know me well, I've probably commented on it to you. However, I'd hate to go out with someone, say something disparaging about them in this forum, and then have them read it. There's also a few people out there that I'm sure don't want to hear about these things, good or bad.

So while I'd love, hypothetically, to make a statement like 'I'm sure a coworker is on drugs,' or 'You won't believe how I got the bait-and-switch pulled on me last night', for the aforementioned reasons, I can't. I can hypothetically make them because they happened to a friend of mine. A cousin actually. In the Niagara Falls area. Maybe someday enough time will pass and my cousin will feel comfortable telling the whole story. Until then, get me alone and buy me a drink. My arm look at the top 10, you can see that these cock asses don't have a clue. Revolver, London Calling and Never Mind the Bollocks, sure. But I have that Libertines album. It sucks. And there should be a special concentric circle of hell for ANYONE who EVER puts ANYTHING Oasis did over ANYTHING the Beatles did. How these people sleep at night I'll never know.

Posted 4:44am

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February 20th, 2006

This indecision's anticipation's bugging killing me.

So March is shaking up to be a month for the ages. It kicks off with what Markie C and I refer to as Christmas, Halloween and St. Patty's Day all rolled into one - The Hamtramck Blowout. You can take South by Southwest and shove it up your ass. That's right, I said it. For those who don't know about the Blowout, stay tuned, next week will be deluged with entries about it. For now, let's just say this: 200 bands in 3 days. Christ on a bike I may have a boner.

If the Blowout doesn't give you one, take a look at the these X-Men 3 posters. I've been sure for a while that uber-hack Brett Ratner would fuck this up and leave me in tears, but damnit if all the promo stuff isn't pretty f'ing good. I guess for a Marvel nerd like me, how bad can it get? I even liked Fantastic Four. OK I know it sucked, but still Ienjoyed it. Hell I even watch Daredevil when its on FX - and I'll never forgive those assholes for ruining my favorite comic book character.

And of course March also brings us a return trip to Las Vegas. This year, we'll be going out the weekend that March Madness opens up. Oh yeah, and did I mention that the Friday is also St. Patrick's Day? And there's also a little matter of a bachelor party to tend to while we're there. Yes kids, its the perfect storm. Concentration levels will be at a minimum until this is all over.

Posted 9:01am

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February 16th, 2006

Top Ten Movies of 2005

All right already. Usually my excuse is that so many of the year's best movies come out in December that it takes me a while to catch up. We'll recycle it for this year, but honestly, laziness was the biggest contributing factor. And there were a lot of great movies this year. See for yourself:

10. King Kong
Nothing works as well here as it did in The Lord of the Rings, but that's setting the bar pretty damn high. This is still top o' the heap escapist filmmaking. ILWho?

9. The Aristocrats
People may not want to see how laws and sausages are made, but this dissection of the dirty joke is both hilarious and insightful. Oh yeah, and did I mention the filthiest thing you've ever heard.

8. Batman Begins
I loved the Tim Burton Batman when it came out. Of course I was like 13 at the time. How appropriate that Chris Nolan go out and make a Batman perfect for the 30 year old me. Almost everything is note perfect here for the Batman living in a post-Frank Miller world.

7. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
The kid who gave us Lethal Weapon and thus two decades of formulaic buddy cop movies turns that genre and film noir on its ear for the snarkiest good time of the year.

6. Syriana
Yes, we stretch the boundaries of multithreaded plots and nonlinear storytelling here, but god damn it if it still didn't end up holding together at the end for me. Plus for your price of admission: Fat George Clooney.

5. Brokeback Mountain
The saddest thing about this impossibly sad movie is how few people will never know anything about this movie other than the line "I wish I knew how to quit you." Like Harold and Maude, its a love story that says more about love than most 'typical' love stories ever could.

4. Sin City
Fear not, only two comic book movies on the list this year. And this isn't your typical comic book movie. Robert Rodriguez continues to further guerilla filmmaking, this time producing a faithful re-creation of Frank Miller's seminal comic book that would have came out as complete shit under normal circumstances.

3. The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Hands down the funniest movie of the year AND it actually has a heart to it, thus trumping every other funny movie of the last 10 years. Remember, its not about butthole pleasures.

2. 2046
OK, so I'm a huge Wong Kar-Wai nerd. This psuedo-sequel to In the Mood For Love is probably the most-beautiful movie of the year. Any movie that can grab your attention for two hours with this thread bare of a plot obviously has something going for it.

1. Good Night and Good Luck
Whether its the current political climate, the black and white photography or my George Clooney man crush, this movie hit me like a ton of bricks. I can't imagine this movie not being viewed in high school classrooms for the next 100 years, which is greatness in my book.

Posted 4:40pm

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February 14th, 2006

If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

Valentines Day. Who gives a shit? Its either a 'test' for your relationship or a reminder that you don't have one. Sounds like lose/lose to me. Here's some distractions:

- I wasn't going to even mention this, because its too easy. HOWEVER, this is too good to pass up: Dick Hunt

- Again, entertainment companies look for new ways to piss you off. This time, HBO resurrects the broadcast flag in an attempt to prevent you from TiVoing the Sopranos.

- Hopefully you can read this and be less depressed. Or you can just continue to wonder if she was lying when she said it was a good size.

- For those who insist on celebrating, at least have fun with it. (Image from somethingaweful.com They've got more goodness there. Check it out.)

Posted 10:30am

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February 13th, 2006

You gotta get me over that mountain!

Kevin Bacon... Susan Sarandon... There's no place higher than - Mountain High. Rated R..

OK now that we're past that arcane reference, I finally went to see Broback Mountain this weekend. I can confirm two things. Yes, if you're a straight guy, this is where boners go to die. And more importantly, its every bit as good as everyone has been saying. To quote my Uncle Shark (via Truffaut), the scenery is "Bierstadt at 24 frames per second" and the story is quite literally heartbreaking. You'd have to be made of stone not to be moved by what these two guys go through (and consequently their wives).

So I guess its time for the year end top ten list. The chances of getting to see Capote or Munich are pretty nill at this point, so we'll go with what we have. Keep your eyes peeled, it'll be up in a day or two.

Posted 9:01am

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February 10th, 2006

I said retired, not retarded

Me being the lazy and selfish person that I am, I completely forgot that my old man joined the ranks of the semi-retired last week. I doubt golf is in his eminent future, nor a move to Florida, but he is moving into a condo, so he's at least following the semi-retired script a bit.

The Moeman has ostensibly had the same job for almost 50 years. I've known the man for over 30 and his identity is so intrinsic with that of the Northwest Signal (the newspaper he's written for that entire time) I have no idea what he'll do with himself now. Thankfully for everyone involved, he'll continue to write his 'Opinion' columns and maintain his desk at the office. (thus the 'semi' retired bit).

Two things: First, stay strong Tandy. My sister has the unenviable job of keeping an eye on our dad. As the sibling who stayed in Napoleon and cares enough to be a bitch, she gets to keep the Moeman busy and out of trouble. Hopefully he'll spend some time visiting Ann Arbor and Chicago so he can relax with his sons who didn't stick around and their kids who love their Paw-paw.

Secondly, I think I can safely say its no coincidence that Moeman has his columns and I have my little blog. Being around my dad all those years has at least something to do with me being compelled to do this. The tone and medium are obviously very different, but I don't need Dr. Freud to tell me there's more than a correlational relationship here. I'll always be in your shadow Moeman. I'll never have your impact, your wisdom or your class, but hopefully you can appreciate that for whatever reason, I'll continue to try.

Posted 3:33pm

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February 9th, 2006

Make like a circus seal...

Every once in a while my older brother and I (after a few cocktails) get in an argument about what purpose film serves. OK, that's vastly overstating what happens. It usually starts by me making fun of some Jerry Bruckheimer produced turd that he likes (e.g. Armageddon) and I loathe. He then goes on a diatribe about how he watches movies to be entertained, not to be preached to. I then spew something about films that entertain and are thought provoking, or that I like entertaining movies too - when they're well done and don't pander to the lowest common denominator. This eventually devolves into him telling me that I'd suck Steven Soderbergh's dick.
"You would, wouldn't you? Just say it, you want to suck Steven Soderbergh's dick."
I thought about this as I watched Soderbergh's latest opus, Bubble. I'm going to ignore all the hub bub about it coming out on TV, DVD and in theaters at the same time, just because its a different discussion that I don't feel like I have anything new to contribute to right now. Lets talk about the actual movie. Its shot on HD video with available light, uses non actors on a largely improvised script - all things I'm sure my brother finds both gay and boring. But all of these ingredients combine to form something very real and visceral. The video technology is miles from where it was when Soderbergh shot Full Frontal. Its shot in a psuedo-documentary style that immerses you in the rural small town setting and lets you quickly forget that your watching a movie, much less video. As for the actors and the plot - its frighteningly real. The moments feel unforced and natural, and not in the trompe l'oeil fashion of Hollywood, but in the grind it out fashion of a mid west factory worker. Bottom line, if you like independent cinema, low-fi filmmaking and Steven Soderbergh, you'll probably find something to like in Bubble - regardless of how you feel about Steven Soderbergh's dick.

Posted 4:40pm

Today's WTF? moment

So I stopped watching the Grammys years ago. They really don't have anything to do with the music I listen to. Or so I thought. Last night while I was enjoying my Vodka Soda and reading my Neil Gaiman, I turned on the Grammys (because there ain't shit on Wednesdays other than Lost and Veronica Mars, both of which are on from 9-10) So it was mostly ho-hum. I saw Kelly Clarkson win for that don't-call-me-gay-because-I-like-it song 'Since You Been Gone.' (shut up, its really good). Green Day beat a bunch of big names in a category that wasn't 'hard rock'. Kanye won something and U2 won everything else. You can't expect them to honor DangerDoom, so not a bad list of winners. But the real WTF? moment had to be this:

For those still trying to decipher it, that's Jay-Z, Paul McCartney and Linkin Park, singing Yesterday. OK, so Jay-Z wasn't so much singing as going 'Yeah, Yeah', but you get the idea. And yes, that's a picture of John Lennon on his shirt. WTF?

Posted 10:19am

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February 8th, 2006

Let us never speak of this again

Two things from TV that REALLY bugged me last night to the point of obsession, which means I'm sharing them with you here. First of all, I sat through another episode of Love Monkey last night. This is a show I really want to like (and thusly be of a certain quality) I have Jason Priestly nostalgia and I was totally addicted to Ed reruns on TBS for a year (they were on during my lunch hour. A match made in heaven). So that was enough to peak my interest for the show. But wait, there's more. Its about the indie music industry. Holy testicle Tuesday! Nods to bands nobody's heard of? Snarky in-jokes? Figuring out who's song is playing in the background? I've a hard-on the size of Delaware. But alas, so far the show pretty much sucks. They've totally dumbed things down and made it completely bland. Case in point: last night's episode centered around a video shoot for the artist that the main character is repping. The tension comes from the director of the video, who's supposed to be some big shot but is an obvious no talent hack. His idea for the video? A remake of Rebel Without a Cause. So half of the episode is about how bad of an idea this is, yet no one mentions or even eludes to the fact that Paula Abdul had the SAME FUCKING IDEA in 1991. Anyone remember Rush, Rush? It was like, her biggest fucking single? The video had her aping Natalie Wood and KEANU FUCKING REEVES as James Dean? Hmm, seems someone who is supposed to have an encyclopedic knowledge of music might remember that.

And secondly, after being thoroughly frustrated by the Love Monkey, I watched my TiVoed episode of Boston Legal, David Kelly's latest show to have a fast start and then quickly roll down hill towards the unwatchable. The episode was about a woman arrested for protesting redistricting voting precincts, and not once was the word gerry mandering used. C'mon people, let's pretend people went to high school and actually remembered a thing or two. I swear to god this is all part of the culture of stupidity that we promote in America. Its not OK to be ignorant. Please remember that.

Posted 10:10am

Nacho Libre

This is now my most hotly anticipated movie of the year.

Posted 9:15am

Chimpanzee that, Monkey News...

I saw the following still over at Pulp Culture (a great blog) and figured I'd remind those of you who love The Office on NBC to check out the original BBC version. I can give you no better advice than to Netflix these bitches (series 1, series 2, The Christmas Special) and spend a hungover Saturday watching them. For the already initiated or those wishing for more, the show's star (Ricky Gervais) has a hilarious podcast as well.

Posted 9:02am

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February 7th, 2006

Friendster 2.0

As someone who's old (and geeky) enough to remember IRC chats, myspace.com has never really blown my doors off. Honestly, what is the main purpose of this? And seriously, the automatic music when you load a page is fairly annoying. But as my level of boredom at work today rose from "I wonder if there's actual work I should be doing" to "I wonder what Pat Robertson's website looks like?" I decided to fill out out my profile. Before you run over there, its nothing exciting. You get way more info here. But I did find it interesting that you could view people based on where and when they graduated high school/college. I frantically searched, hoping to find some long lost acquaintance. So far, no dice. But I now have another site to peruse during "downtime". Some interesting someone from my past is bound to show up at some point...

Posted 3:26pm

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February 6th, 2006

Getting over a mild case of Super Bowl Fever

Vini Vidi Vici. The Super Bowl came and went. Pretty ho hum game. Seemed more like a coronation. The Steelers had a manifest destiny thing happening that they tried their best to fuck up, but in the end put a nice little bow on the Bus's career for him. The most important thing is that for the third straight year, I did quite nicely for myself during the game, hitting yet another all-prop-bet parlay. The Super Bowl has turned into a license to print money for me.

Of course the ads ran from funny to tedious, but seemed to be overall not as funny this year. Detroit came out looking pretty good from most accounts. I guess I don't know why this didn't seem better than it does right now. Maybe it was because ABC censored the Stones. Twice. Ah well, hopefully next year my #1 man crush (Tom Brady) will be back and I can enjoy things more.

Posted 2:07pm

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February 3rd, 2006

Hey little icon buddy

Well after months of telling myself I would figure out how to do it, the deed is finally done. If you're using a cool browser like Firefox you can see it in the address bar, if you're a sucker who still uses Internet Explorer, you'll have to save this page to your favorites (I know, again) to get a taste. Or you can see the biggie size version directly to the right of the words you're reading now. Its the semi-official-for-now logo of tbaggervance.com. We're confident that our new logo will increase our visibility not only amongst your web favorites, but in the marketplace as a whole. Keep an eye out for t-shirts, bumper stickers, coffee mugs and other assorted worthless crap. We hope you enjoy it.

Posted 10:25am

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February 2nd, 2006

If drinking alone is wrong, I don't wanna be right

I admittedly don't know whether to be furious at this guy for semi-co-opting my idea or irate at myself for not taking my original idea to this obvious conclusion.

First, some background. Back in college I came up with what was a sure fire idea that would have made me famous and lots of people rich (or probably more richer). This was back in the heyday of Must-See-TV, when it was anchored by Seinfeld and Friends. ANYWAY, one of the unwritten tenets of Must-See-TV is that you have two really popular shows (that also usually had the stink of quality on them) and two giant turds in between that people sat through, because for some reason even in the age of remote controls, we tend to watch what's already on rather than go looking. Should one of these giant turds become popular or receive any critical acclaim, it would immediately be shipped to some desolate night of the week when no one watches TV.

So during one of these giant turds I proposed that NBC produce a show that basically consisted of me sitting in my favorite chair, drinking. This idea had many incarnations and suggested plotlines. Some will remember that the idea was for me to be in my boxers, sitting in the chair. This may or may not have been the original idea, as all of this took place while I was in college and pretty much drunk the entire time, so the memory is hazy. It was once suggested that the show consist of me in the chair drinking AND watching the giant turd show that I had replaced, the entertainment being me making fun of the giant turd show. There was also a version where I had celebrity guests come and sit in a chair next to me and I'd get tanked with the celebrity. In any case, it was basically a show of me doing next to nothing, sitting in my favorite chair - because that was at least as entertaining as Must-See-Giant-Turd-TV.

So whilst surfing the internet today you can see why I was understandably upset at this. Some guy tapes himself sitting on a couch, drinking and smoking and sells it for $15 a pop. His 'premise' is that now you'll never have to drink alone, 'cause he's your drinking buddy. Well I say to you sir shame! for copyright infringement of my ten year old idea. And I also say kudos! for taking my idea and making money on it. And look for Boozing with T, due out second quarter '06.

Posted 1:46pm

Rototiller knows how to party

The penultimate reason to root for the Steelers on Sunday: their QB gets it done.

Posted 1:10pm

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January 30th, 2006

Real Quick Hits...

- Big basketball weekend - Saturday the Wolverines defeat their second top 25 team in 4 days, Sunday I watch the Pistons take out Kobe and the Lakers. The biggest lesson learned - The parking lot at the Palace is a fucking train wreck.

- Here's a list of the most loathsome people in America. You probably won't like it if you lean to the right (but then, why would you be here?)

- The Super Bowl really does bring the eyes of the world. Here's a blog about everything going on in SE Michigan this week. We didn't see any out of town celebs at the Palace last night, but lots of Super Bowl related signage along the way.

Posted 2:35pm

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January 27th, 2006

Words, words, words...

While the Photo Essay has long been a staple here on the ol' bloggy blog, The Internet Has Come to This? would like to introduce its newest feature, the Essay Essay. (Not to be confused with ese ese, a chicano rap star). Yes most of my posts are short - a link, a little criticism - short and sweet. Some are longer (movie reviews, weekend recaps) but still have short shelf life. Every once in a while though a post is too good (or admittedly, just too long) for normal inclusion in the run-of-the-mill every day blog. So we created the Essay Essay. It'll be a section on the side (see, right over there) And we'll always be sure to alert ya when we put a new one up. Today's inaugural essay is My Very Own Stalker. Its a harrowing tale of crazy old ladies, The O.C. and booze. We hope you enjoy it.

Posted 3:26pm

You can ride my tail anytime...

Everybody knows that Quentin Taratino's best (if not the only good) performance in a film he didn't direct was his cameo in 1994's Sleep With Me. In it he deconstructs the homosexual themes of the Tom Cruise vehicle Top Gun. One of the other ten people who saw this movie and Quentin's diatribe has put those thoughts into movin' pictures with Top Gun 2: Brokback Squadron. How priceless would it be to hear Tom say "I wish I knew how to quit you"?

Posted 9:39am

No more chewing ice cubes...

This just in: water is wet, the sky is blue and sex is better than masterbation.

Posted 9:31am

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January 25th, 2006

Real Quick Hits...

- Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer dead! Chris Penn dead!

- I doubt we'll get Michigan J. Frog in blackface, but it'd probably be the best thing to come from this.

- You never have to worry again about watching TiVo while your drunk and accidentally deleting something (not that it EVER happened to me).

- I can't get the Arctic Monkey's "I Bet That You Look Good on the Dance Floor" out of my head, even though I got the whole album today and I'm not blown away. Avoid this song. Its more infectious than the avian flu.

Posted 2:35pm

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January 24th, 2006

Looking for a way to circumvent Sting's giant ego

I've told just about anyone who I've ever discussed music with that I'd pay just about anything for a Police reunion. Its number one on my 'to see before I die' list that's still actually possible. Apparently Stuart, Andy and Gordon were hanging out at Sundance, but the less famous two couldn't get Sting drunk enough to agree to going out on the road one more time. C'mon man! We need to hear Roxanne as a reggae song again, not that gay ass acoustic version you've been doing since you split the Police.

Markie C has a theory that Rock 'n' Roll officially sold out (or made it OK to) when Sting did that Jaguar commercial a few years back. Its an interesting theory, but then why doesn't he reform the Police for a summer, make a bazillion dollars and then go back to snubbing Andy and Stuart? Let's encourage the sell-out that benefits those of us who were 8 when Sychronicity came out.

Posted 11:16am

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January 20th, 2006

At least his last name's not MeHoffer

Everyone's favorite money grubbing felon has a family with balls. Or maybe they're just old kooks. Jack Abramoff's dad was a tad upset at George Clooney making fun of Jack's name at the Golden Globes Monday. As reported here in the bloggy-blog, the Cloon-ster said "Who would name their kid Jack with the last words 'off' at the end of your last name? No wonder that guy is screwed up," which, c'mon people, is a pretty good line (for those of us not to stuck up to laugh at juvenile humor).

Well Jack's dad wrote an open letter calling G-money's remarks "glib and ridiculous..." he also called the former world's sexiest man an "idiot" and his actions "pure, unadulterated stupidity". What I don't get is how do you defend your son and what he did? Sure, I bet you want to be left alone and wish this would go away, but guess what? You fucked around and got caught. Big time. Time to pay the piper. And this marks twice in a year that "glib" is the word of choice for those with misplaced righteous indignation (see Tom Cruise v. Matt Lauer). As someone who is frequently glib, that makes me laugh. Jack Off. Ha Ha.

Posted 3:20pm

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January 19th, 2006

Hail! To the Drinkers Valiant!

Not since January 1st, 1998 have I been so proud.
It appears that two fellow alumni have won the First World Series of Beer Pong. I'd like to congratulate my fellow Wolverines, and should they ever want to run some kind of celebrity drinking game tournament, feel free to contact any member of the Ann Arbor Tippy Cup All-Stars ©.
Its great... to be.. a Michigan Wolverine.

Posted 3:20pm

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January 18th, 2006

Celebrities are people too

Everybody knows that eveything you see in every magazine is airbrushed. I'm not giving away trade secrets here. But how would you like to see what those pics looked like before the airbrushing? Go here for a look at the seedy underbelly of celebs (click on portfolio). Be sure to see how they cut Nicole Ritchie in half (before she tried to do it herself, that is).

Posted 3:53pm

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January 17th, 2006

Fat Jack and the Return of Larry

It was a rock star caliber weekend. It usually is when Larry comes to town. I've known Larry for about 20 years, and he's been getting me in trouble for every one of them. Well, that's unfair. I should say that when you hang with Larry, all bets are off and you'll probably utter 'Can't believe we did that' once you're time together is over.

So Larry came up Saturday (after a Friday night where the specific events of the evening will remain unsaid, other than to say wow, alcohol). I quickly learned that both Larry and Stov are obsessed with the Discovery Health Channel. This phenomenon came to a head Sunday afternoon on the couch where we watched 'Fat Jack' (actually called 'Big John'), 'Face Eating Tumor' and the be-all end-all - 'Half Ton Man'.

'Half Ton Man' quickly became our mascot for the afternoon. We spent the afternoon rhetorically asking the Half Ton Man questions, such as "Half Ton Man, is it more impressive to be a Half Ton Man or a Ten Pound Mouse?" You probably had to be there to find this as hilarious as we did.

So back to Saturday though, which involved football watching, football gambling, basketball watching, basketball gambling, lots of vodka, live music and of course, a culmination at the 'sino. Pretty much a normal Saturday, perhaps a little more tightly packed than others. Thanks for coming Larry, its always interesting and remember, it's not about butthole pleasures.

Posted 9:48pm

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January 13th, 2006

Burninating 3 candles

Yes, today is Trogdor's 3rd birthday. As far as internet phenomenons go, Strongbad is one of my favs, especially his creation of Trogdor the Burninator. You can see his tribute here. Happy Trogday.

Posted 9:59am

It doesn't just seem like Sam Jackson's in everything...

Moeman reports via the Town Crier:
Since Pulp Fiction in 1993, Smauel L. Jackson has made 46 films, an average of one every 90 days, reports Maxim magazine.
OK, so I'm posting something on my my 'Blog that I got from my dad's column (which is kind of a an old-school 'blog) which he got from Maxim (which is a blending of Playboy, Victoria's Secret and Mad Magazine.) I don't know what I expect you to do with that info or even how I interpret it, but its my happening and it freaks me out.

Posted 9:41am

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January 12th, 2006

King Shit of Fuck Mountain

So I finally got around to seeing King Kong last night. I love me some Peter Jackson, but I'd put this off a month because, King Kong? I mean seriously people, its obviously a vanity project so Pete can fulfill some long lost hard-on.

OK, so its visually pretty brilliant. Jackson's effects company (WETA workshop) obviously has bitch slapped ILM a few times now. I honestly would have paid my $8 (student-discounted ticket) just to see Kong take on 3 T-rex's at once (all of which were quite a bit more fearsome than Marc Bolan).

But the elephant (or giant Monkey, as it were) in the room is the 3-fucking-hour run time. I was conscious of it going in, but I honestly only looked at my watch 45 minutes in and 30 minutes from the end. Still though, after seeing it, you couldn't get 45 minutes trimmed out of that bitch? It all goes back to it being a vanity project. It was nice to see Jackson get back to his roots a bit by putting in some of the most gruesome shit I've seen in a blockbuster in years though.

All in all, its worth seeing if you at all like Peter Jackson or giant monkeys. Naomi Watts is hot, Adrian Brody is annoying, dinosaurs fighting monkeys are cool - you knew all of this before you paid for your ticket, so enjoy the ride. You certainly won't get many $100 million+ budgeted movies that are this idiosyncratic and risk taking.

Posted 9:35am

I will not eat that cat poop!

I have a fairly adventurous spirit and will try most things after a half dozen drinks (often to my detriment). The one area where I border on ultraconservative is the consumption of the disgusting. I have a very short gag reflex when it comes to the vile tasting. I know you're worried about me, but I'll survive. And besides, now that I have this guy, its almost like being there anyway. Read it and laugh your ass off.

Posted 9:16am

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January 10th, 2006

Getting in on the ground floor

When I first heard about satellite radio I scoffed at it. 'Who would ever pay for radio?' I asked. Well it turns out I would. Sunday I went out and became a Sirius satellite radio subscriber. My reasons were three fold:
1. The departure of Howard Stern from regular radio left me with nothing to listen to in the AM.
2. The preponderance of clear channel radio stations left SE Michigan with no ESPN Radio.

3. I found a station while traveling in ELansing that reminded me how great a really good radio station could be.
Now I can listen to Howard Stern in mornings, ESPN radio when traveling on football Sundays, and I can find new music thanks to Sirius's AltNation and Left of Center channels (the best part of that is, when an artist comes on that I dig and don't know the name of, Sirius flashes it up right on the display).

So far, only two problems. One is that it doesn't want to pick up a signal at my house OR my office at work, and two, it freaks out in the morning cold if you leave it in the car overnight. I'm sure I'll figure out ways around these things. Right now I'm crushing so hard none of it matters.

Posted 10:31am

Heat Vision and Jack

This is way old news, but its something that I just happened on by chance, and in case there's anyone else out there in the same boat, I felt I should pass the savings on to you (so to speak).

Apparently in 1999, Ben Stiller produced a pilot for Fox called Heat Vision and Jack about a super intelligent former astronaut and his talking motorcycle. As you can imagine, its one of the more bizarre thing you've ever seen. And it just happens to star Jack Black and Owen Wilson (as the voice of the motorcycle).

After seeing it its easy to see why the network would pass (hell, Fox can't even keep Arrested Development on the air) but oh what could have been. Those in my demo who ever watched the A-Team or Manimal or any other late 70's early 80's sci-fi/action/adventure show should definitely look up the show. Its out there in the ether if you want to see it.

Posted 10:24am

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January 9th, 2006

Still not even supposed to be here...

The teaser trailer for Clerks 2 is up on their website. Of course I'm a fairly large Kevin Smith nerd so it got me excited. I wasn't initially overwhelmed at the prospect of this flick, but the more I think about, the more potential I see. Kevin has also been posting extensive video journal entries from the set and beyond. The one with Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez is especially surreal to me.

Posted 10:17am

More Clooney action - Black and White Style

I somehow ended up going to back to back George Clooney political movies. And the second was better than the first. Friday I saw Good Night & Good Luck, about Sen. McCarthy and Ed Murrow in the 1950's. I'll save the diatribe about those who'll never see this beautiful poingnent film. (since we recently discussed those issues). And let's forgoe the similarities to the themes in the movie to the current political and media climate - because those are obvious and best left to high school government classes.

Let's instead talk for a second about someone that I've been personally championing ever since Out of Sight - George Clooney. For someone like GC (who can basically sit on his ass and make one movie every year that hits the female demographic and then go out and fuck anything that moves) to go out and make a movie like this is staggering. Its a little black and white art film. Its about something that happened 50 years ago. And it just so happens that its one of the most beautifully shot, well-acted and well-written movies of the year.

I often talk about movies like Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List and Bowling for Columbine as being mandatory viewings for high school age kids. This movie definitely gets added to the list. This is important stuff that too often gets glossed over or forgotten all together - privacy rights and freedom from persecution are the bedrock of liberty. But we won't go into that for reasons stated earlier. Just take the time to go out and see the movie - brought to you by one of People's sexiest men alive.

Posted 9:30am

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January 6th, 2006

The TiVolution marches onward

Finally! I can go back to using my TiVo full-on 24-7. Ever since I got my HDTV, the TiVo has become a second class citizen. I can't get certain digital cable chanels easily and watching anything in HD is right out. I find myself staying home to watch certain shows in HD, which completely defeats the purpose of the TiVo. But those backwards days will soon be over. TiVo announces the series 3 DVR - completely ready to rock your face HD style. Line forms behind me people.

Posted 11:35am

Breakin' me off a piece of that fat Clooney action

Now I know most people (especially people I know who live or are from where I grew up) who have little patience for movies that require actual thinking. Sprawling ensemble pieces that are nonlinear or require following multiple plot lines simultaneously are pretty much verboten. These people probably don't know who Robert Altman is, but they hate him nonetheless. Thank God they went ahead and made Syriana despite these people.

Yes, there's little actual plot to follow. Yes, you will be confused from time to time. Yes things are at times convoluted and obviously, the ending of the movie doesn't tie everything together or explain everything with a deus ex machina. But I implore you to see and enjoy this movie despite all that.

Roger Ebert once pointed out that in Fargo, Frances McDormand's character has a scene where she has dinner with a creepy guy she knew from high school that has nothing to do with the rest of the movie. Its just a funny scene where you get to spend some time with these really enjoyable characters. It doesn't advance the plot and is a complete sidebar to the rest of the film. Ebert went on to argue that the scene was one of the reasons Fargo is a great film. It shows off the ability of confident, talented filmmakers to take you on a detour without removing you from the thrust of the film. To me, Syriana is kind of an entire film of those moments. Fat Clooney is great. Tim Blake Nelson is great. Matt Damon and Christopher Plummer are great.

Watching a movie of this ilk is like seeing Shakespeare. At first it can be intimidating, trying to wrap your brain around something that is both foreign and familiar. But once you acclimate yourself, its well worth the effort. You'll spend the first half hour or so of Syriana orienting yourself, trying to figure out where you are and which story line your supposed to be following and trying to figure out how they tie together. But just like Shakespeare, its worth the effort.

I've always hated the SUV. Never saw the point for about 90% of those who drove 'em. Gas guzzling status symbols for soccer moms (for the most part). And this was before I saw Syriana. After seeing its dramatization of global oil politics and their effects on social change (saying nothing of its effects on domestic policies) I wanted to trade in my 30mpg Mazda for a 60mpg hybrid.

There's nothing new here. No drastic mind-blowing ideas that an intelligent person couldn't imagine. But like he did with his screenplay for Traffic, Gaghan creates a visceral portrait of how something that effects all of us goes so unnoticed. Perhaps if more people saw his movies, that wouldn't be the case.

Posted 10:20am

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January 5th, 2006

Quick hits for the New Year...

- The new Strokes album, First Impressions of Earth, is out now. I'm not in love with it yet, but its undeniably good. Exponentially slicker than where they started, but the guitar sound on the first track will let you immediately forgive them

- USC losing last night was all the more sweet given the crap performances by Leinart and Bush. I'm sure they're nice guys and SC had a great run, but I'm so glad I don't have to hear about them anymore. And is it just me, or is Vince Young semi-retarded - or just goofily happy?

- John Stewart hosts the Oscars, Reno 911 becomes a movie and Futurama fights for a comeback. Kudos to 3 moves from the entertainment community that make sense.

- Finally, not only do Pants, Pants Pants have one of the coolest band names I've ever heard, they made a video that makes me insanely jealous that I never thought to do it. Seriously, watch it - its surreal.

Posted 4:40pm

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December 30th, 2005

The ol' switcheroo

The year that all your friends turn 30, you attend quite a few surprise parties. And as with anything you do on a regular basis, after a while desensitization sets in and you come to think you'll know what happens next. Last night I went to a 'surprise' engagement party where expectations got switched around and crammed up my ass. The build up to the evening was mostly normal - a phone call, a few evites. The volume was a little much, but hey, some people are pushy. When we showed up and found an open bar, we were a little surprised (and happy) but again hey, some people are loaded. When the guests of honor showed up and we moved into the auditorium, we all said 'hey, this will be funny - I bet they have no idea'. Then George stepped from behind the curtain and announced that while we were there for an engagement party, how about a wedding instead. Cold Cock! The surprise wasn't on the newly engaged, but everyone else. Ten minutes later, with everyone's head's still reeling, they were married. (Side note - given the circumstances, we all ended up witnessing the ceremony with drinks in our hand - a tradition I am now fully on board with.) So congrats George and Patty - I've never been so pleased to be duped.

Posted 10:20pm


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This page is written and maintained by Tyler Brubaker. All content is spewed forth from the author's brain, unless otherwise credited. He views his opinion as much more valid than yours, but welcomes all thoughts and comments.