Saturday, February 26, 2011

Trying To Be Catchy Blog Title

Why do people like a parody? Humorous looks at something we already know are safe zones for us.  Movies like Naked Gun, Scary Movie and Not Another Teen Movie are literally telling a mashed up version of the same movies we all dished out cash for one year prior.  And we dish it out too, then and now. 

Meta humor works because our reaction of "I knew that was coming and it only made me laugh more" is our reality.  I see this in both my children (a 2 year old and an 8 month old) when I'm repeating something silly to get a laugh.  They anticipate a reaction/laugh to the point they begin laughing before I've done "The (fill in the blank)" again.

I enjoy this brand of comedy.  Maybe that makes me a little dull.  Personally I can't stand most modern comedies.  They always explain the punchline as soon as it's delivered.  You don't have to tell someone it's funny to make it funny.  This might be another reason they are so easily parodied. 

These two clips are awesome examples of meta parody. 

The first is a video I grabbed from cracked.com  It's "A Trailer for Every Academy Award Winning Movie Ever."


This is the same concept but for the lyrics and music of a love song. I love Axis of Awesome.  "How to Write a Love Song."



The end of the song where they talk about how this is a totally generic love song that could really be about anyone is all I can think of every time I hear a Melissa Ethridge or George Michael song.  Stay away from those pronouns if you want to keep it mass marketable!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Can a Fire Extinguisher be Reused?

Parents are eternally kept on their toes by their children.  I know as they get older things get easier until they're teenagers then comes a whole slew of other problems.  But that's my point.  It never ends.  Until I was married I know my parents thought I'd kill myself by way of stupidity or worse, someone else.  OK, well, they are MY parents, so the or worse would be reversed for them.  Then again, they are MY parents, so maybe that statement stands.

You're of course asking what my child did now.  I know you are, because you know otherwise, the word fire wouldn't appear in my title.  And this is my blog where I get to vent about my curse offspring.  You already know.

Yes, my daughter nearly burned down the house.  No it was not successful but an admirable attempt nonetheless.  Oh and don't think my wife and I weren't accomplices via neglectful parenting either.  

How am I responsible?  I didn't reinstall the gate my daughter ripped out of the wall.  Technically I did, I just didn't buy the right stuff and had to go back to Home Depot "the next day" (read that as: a week later) to repair the damage and properly reinforce our barrier between our living room and kitchen/dining room area.

Note the child is still ultimately responsible.  She plotted this, I know it.  Step 1:  Destroy gate and eliminate all obstacles.  (Should be read with a two year old's inner voice) 

How is my wife responsible?  I'll spare you all the "She's your child arguments."  My wonderful wife surprised me (the primary cook in the house  ---- read that however you want as long as you know I cook ALL non-take out meals that I eat at home) by cooking dinner.  She was making Arroz Con Pollo (Spanish for Rice with Chicken --- we're all fancy and shit 'roun' here).  Step 2:  Recognize opportunity's knock.  The guards are disoriented by a change of venue, weakness in the ranks is evident.  (again with the toddler inner voice

How else is my wife responsible?  You didn't think I was letting her off that easy, huh?  Hell, some might misconstrue her act as kind and considerate.  Some I said.  My wife is notorious for not putting things back in their place in the kitchen.  I don't mean she puts plates and silverware in the bread box and ice cream in the drawer.  I mean, she doesn't put pantry products back in the pantry.  EVER.  I put the peanut butter back weekly.  I put the bag of chips back weekly.  (I'm being generous with the weekly bit, don't take me so literal people!).  What did she leave out this time you ask?  If you didn't, I'm obviously losing you and I'll try to speed this up from here on out.  She left our son's teething crackers out.  Where is the important piece of info and will be revealed in a sec.  Step 3: Strike while the fire --- pun intended --- is hot! (I'm gonna have to find out who her inner voice is so we can give him/her credit in the future.  Maybe Kathryn can help.  She seems to be very in tune with the secret lives of our superegos.)

Let's get to it shall we.  What did she do?  My wife went to pull dinner from the oven.  I was chillin' in the living room with the little guy.  I hear a shriek and a shrill "DORN I NEED SOME HELP IN HERE!"

I smelled fire.  Instantly I assumed she'd caught her oven mitt on fire or something.  It is rare that she gets this in depth with food.  Mac & Cheese might be the most complicated thing I see her make.  (Before guilt gets me, I have to admit she will make the occasional breakfast, so I can't claim ALL food is prepared by me, but most is highly accurate)

As I rushed to my feet, I asked "is something on fire?"  "YES," was her reply.  I rounded the corner to see flames two feet high coming from the toaster! A box of teething crackers my wife left on the toaster has ignited.  I scrambled.  The sink had a mountain of arroz con pollo prep dishes in it (one pot meal my ass).  Knocking it into the sink is a no go.

AH HA!  I just got a new fire extinguisher a couple months ago!  It's in the child proof cabinet!

I've never used a fire extinguisher!  Oh shit!

I pulled the pin and gave it a burst.  Gave it a goofy gawk necked, wide eyed look.  One more burst for good measure.  Daddy's a hero!

Smokey house had to be aired out and we decided to eat in the living room to avoid the disaster we knew we had to tackle soon.

There's really a Step 0.5: Know your enemy's stupidity level weaknesses.  (I'm pretty sure that Map from Dora the Explorer would be my daughter's inner voice right now.  So yeah, all of these probably should have been read with an excited parchment's inflections.) Mom & Dad don't unplug appliances after they are done using them.  Should they know better?  Absolutely.  Weekly (there I go again) she turns the microwave, the dishwasher and the toaster on.  Lesson learned kid!

 The Scene of the Crime

Toddler Arson will get you 20 years or more of family ridicule once you're old enough to understand it or at least show visible discomfort while being the butt of a joke. 

So this is the second shelf inside the cabinet above the toaster.  I was amazed how far those two little half second bursts sent this crap.  We did two full loads of dishes straight from the cupboards and drawers plus the coffee pot.  The wine glasses and pans that were drying were covered.  Clean up wasn't fun but it forced a bit of spring cleaning in the kitchen and now we have SOOO much room in all the drawers and cabinets.  Good time for a garage sale I think.

What I want to know is what I'm supposed to do with the fire extinguisher.  I know I didn't use even a tenth of that container.  Does it have to be recharged?  Can it be recharged? Do I have to replace the whole thing?  This wasn't one of those little BS ones.  I bought a big 'ol boy!  I don't want to replace it!  I just bought it.  Granted, it came in handy and I am eternally grateful that I had it available.  Though in retrospect the hose from the sink sprayer would have probably made less of a mess.  Then again, we are talking about a toaster fire.  Daddy could have electrocuted the whole family that night.  Eh, why dwell on the what ifs.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Good Day Watson



 
Way to go Watson.


Just Sayin'.

I'm sad that I didn't get to watch this.  Back in the day (when I was a waiter and afternoons were spent sleeping, smoking, and watching TV) me and Jeopardy had a date every day at 4pm. Judge away, at least it wasn't Jerry Springer or Days of our Lives.

IBM's Watson has been talked about forever now.  I wasn't sure how he'd do considering the way the game show plays around with their "Answers" to get you to phrase your perfect question.  All the knowledge in the world can't help you figure out some of those puns within a question read by Alex in his best befitted accent.  

The local morning radio jocks were discussing how a.) Watson was fed the questions, not listening to them like Mr. Jennings was.  b.) He would wager the most insanely non-round figures.  c.) got a question/answer wrong that shouldn't have computed at all.  

Final Jeopardy Category is "U.S. Cities"

Answer:
"Its largest airport is named for a World War II hero, its second largest for a World War II battle."

Watson's Response:
"What is Toronto."

I'm not going to try to figure out the logic.  BUT, I have a little hand held device called 20 questions.  The concept is that you think of something and it asks 20 questions to guess it correctly.  It has a startling 95% accuracy rate.  (Mirror is the first think that comes to mind that I stumped it with) Basically it eliminates answers based on your responses to the questions.  So shouldn't a Canadian city be ruled out by default?  Again, just sayin'. 

I heard they were implementing a new computer monitoring program in the Space Station.  The first thing I though was, "Hello, Hal."  Someone create the Hollodeck for Christsake!  Quit chasing the robot villains of SciFi movies! Cyberdyne knew what it was doing and produced intelligent killing machines.  So what, now I'm going to be slaughtered by a retarded Terminator?  Mechanical cackling as it pokes my entrails and chases it's own shadow.  Probably karma really. 

Oh yeah, the answer...er question is "What is Chicago."  O'hare and Midway, ya know?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Over Promise and Under Deliver

I do not have the greatest follow through when it comes down to it.  So I probably shouldn't be so hard on people when they fail to deliver on there promises. Making me look even worse, I'm talking about Twitter here.  My life on Twitter is fairly blah.  For me it's something that I started to just check it out and now I'm like a toddler who refuses to go to bed for fear of missing out on something, I can't quit.

So P. Diddy tweeted that will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas was going to live tweet the half time performance I was like, sure.  I didn't expect much, but thought we'd at least get some craziness if he tried to pause his performance to play with his phone.

Prior to the performance, mid game, here are a couple Will.i.am tweets.


  • We are about to get dressed now for the show. "Uh oh" here comes the nervousness I never get nervous...what are these butterflys doing here?
  •  I played 1mil people in brazil, the world cup for 1bil. And I'm so nervous for the superbowl. "I feel like crying" this is so special for us 

  • I'm in the back getting ready and I can't see the game :(
  • Here we go...a few more minutes and we go live
In case you flipped it to the Puppy Bowl or had to make a beer run, here is the Halftime Show.



So did you see him reach for his phone at all during the performance?  No. You know why?  Because that's just insane.  You cannot perform AND tweet!  People die while texting a driving.  Did you see all that neon and shrapnel dancing around that stage.  Tweet once and that's the end of the Peas.
So, what happened?  Why no Tweets?  He could have said, "sorry guys, to excited and performance focused.  How was it?"  Way to classy.  Here is what we got.

  • Att crashed...ahhhh!!!! The worse
  • At&t??? Wow...no service during halftime...unbelievable
He continued on about how great that felt and thanked people for liking it and bragged about MC Hammer diggin' the show and whatnot.  Why make up BS?  AT&T didn't crash.  Hell, they've probably got 40 towers surrounding Jerryworld!  Just sad and pathetic.  
But like I said earlier, this is Twitter, so why am I really taking it so seriously?  Then yesterday a local radio DJ that I listen to daily tweeted this.

  • T-minus 45 minutes till blind date. Preparing to live tweet.
 OK, this is going to be great!  Dude is a narcissistic jack ass.  Tweeting a Blind Date was genius.  So here's what we got.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

No, you're not missing something.  We got bupkis.   

Fine, it's Twitter.  I shouldn't give a crap.  It's still a bummer.  Kinda like Mubarak claiming he'll step down.  Claiming he'll not run.  Hold a press conference then make the people wait.  Then say maybe I'll think about the possibility of someday stepping down.  OK not really delusional enough to believe these two jack asses Twitter premature ejaculations equate in any way shape or form to a Tyrant in Egypt lording his power over his people.  Still, Social Media let downs are this decade's lip syncing on TV.  Maybe not, but that's how I feel! 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Europe is Just Creepier

I watched two versions of the same movie within the same month.  I thought that it wouldn't matter as one was the original foreign concept and the other is the American Redux. Surprisingly, the American version was scene for scene the same as the other.  To be honest, watched might be an overstatement.  I'll explain in a minute.

The movie was "Let Me In"



The foreign version was "Let the Right One In" from Sweden



They call it a Romantic Horror Film!

We watched the Swedish version on Netflix streaming.  It was a phenomenal movie.  Minimal special effects, it was all about the characters.  So while the film is about a vampire and thus has a creep factor anyway, the real creepiness comes from the silence.  There wasn't a soundtrack to the Swedish original.  The silence added to the coldness and discomfort.  Truly a great enhancement to the normal gut wrench.

We received the DVD of "Let Me In" much sooner than expected.  We popped it in expecting to see an American retake with considerable flair.  It wasn't there.  The story was nearly identical.  Music on the other hand was present.  I'm not going to say it took away from the movie, because it didn't.  It's just evident that as Americans, we have a need to fill every inch of film with noise. 

Back to that part about watching being an overstatement.  We finally stopped the movie about 25 minutes in.  It wasn't enticing at all.  I asked my wife why they remade it at all?  Is it so hard to read subtitles?  The obvious answer is yes.  I'm not going to claim I enjoy reading subtitles, but I'm certainly not unable to enjoy a subtitled movie.  I get that they were impressed by the original and probably the book (I didn't read it) so why not capitalize on it?  It wasn't my cup of tea.

I wonder if my reaction would have been as harsh had a year passed between viewings.  I'm sure there would be considerable slack.  Alas, I was just bored and couldn't get through it.  I'd recommend watching one or the other.  The story itself is compelling and definitely worth a view. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Sunday

I kinda feel sorry for Christina Aguilera.  Only a little though.  The pressure has got to be massive.  Your voice singing the one song you CANNOT mess up.  I mean within reason.  Every woman who sings the National Anthem jacks it to hell in an effort prove she's got the pipes to back up her Divadom.  That said, the words are off limits regarding artistic license.
 Though this look she's rockin' inspires such funeral outbursts as
"That whore ain't gettin' none of Daddy's money!"

How was your Super Bowl experience?  Mine was low key.  At home with the wife and kids.  Burgers on the grill.  Beer from the fridge.

The game was great.  Without a true dog in the fight, I wasn't whole heartedly cheering for either side.  I picked the Steelers because tons of my family are from PA but even still there were a few times that Green Bay got a cheer out of me.  Yep, that means the loss didn't hurt very much.  Way to go Packers. 

Everyone's talking about Super Bowl Ads.  A couple made me laugh.  The Doritos raising the fish, the plant and Grandpa from the dead got the best response.  Budweiser's "Tiny Dancer" had me glued to the screen and it ultimately made me smile.  My wife loved the Gilded Cage Audi commercial.  How bout you?  Here's a link in case you want to relive any of them.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Love - The Game

Thank you Kottke.org for the lazy blog today. 

Attention Flash Happy Gamers!  Here is Love. 

Get your box to spin by flirting with other boxes.  Don't get too close though, your love will die. 

I never got all six boxes to love me at once, but five felt pretty damn good!

Care to play? Find your love here.

What's Wrong With Blogger?

I just hopped on her to write today and noticed my Groundhog's day post didn't ever post.  Last week I had a scheduled post that didn't hit either.  I had to post it live too.  I am not blog savvy enough to be jacked with Blogspot!  Play nice. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

One Pill Makes You Gay, One Pill Makes You Shake

I don't care if that rodent sees his shadow.  His prediction is a scam.  "Six more weeks of winter or spring is just around the corner."  He's right either way!  This time last year I waited outside at four in the morning with 4* weather for Phil to predict the future.  I am happy I can say I did the Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania Ground Hog's Day trip.  I will never torture myself or my family that way again.  Cold will come with skis.

Moving on to more pressing issues. I read an article about a man suing Glaxo Smith Kline because his Parkinson's drug made him addicted to gay sex.  The drug is called Requip.  It's the same one those "Restless Leg Syndrome" commercials talk about.  The commercials even talk about the compulsive addictions that people experience as a side effect.  My assumption  is that I saw those commercials after this guys problem occurred. 

This guy worked for the French Ministry of Defense.  The experiences he had on the drug caused him to be demoted from his position.  He's suing GSK and his neurologist for $610K for failing to warn him of the dangers.

Supposedly he tried to commit suicide, became addicted to gambling and flashing himself on the internet.  He also became addicted to gay sex which later caused him to be raped.

So the link between gay sex and rape is a bit unclear to me, but I guess if you dive in to risky behavior (his compulsions, not the gay sex), you might put yourself in a situation that doesn't work out so hot.

What I want to know is how he's claiming the drug made him gay.  I'm fairly positive the drug made him lose inhibitions and would lead to compulsive behavior.  That accounts for the suicide and gambling and flashing.  But being gay is obviously something he was trying to hide or not acknowledge.  With lowered inhibitions, I guess it just stepped him right out of the closet. 

Granted this story wasn't on the front page of the New York Times or anything, but still.  Sensationalizing the lawsuit by claiming the drug made him gay was poor reporting at best.  Though, without it, I wouldn't have even paused while scanning my Fluent News feed.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Piecemeal Post

Time to piecemeal a blog post together.  I don't want to dwell on any of these topics long enough to really have a post but I'd like to get the thoughts out there none the less.

Hitting Close to Home:
Found out my Brother-In-Law is being deployed to Afghanistan next month for a year.  He joined the National Guard last year and we all knew it was a high probability.  My Cousins and Aunt have been over their multiple times.  This one just seems rough because his wife is due in July with their second baby and he won't get to meet he/she until they are seven or eight months old.  His wife and four year old daughter will be miserable without him.  That said, this was his decision.  I don't know.  I'm just not diggin' it.

Here I Whine About the Weather:
This weekend was beautiful 70* weather and gorgeous.  Made me ever so grateful to live in Texas. Apparently the weather gods caught wind of my happiness and decided to knock me down a peg or two.  It's 34* currently with a 17* windchill.  I know that's nothing compared to my family in Oklahoma with a foot on the ground and a blizzard hitting at noon.  And you guys on the East Coast have me beat hands down...I'm not cut out for true winter weather!  Honestly, I'd rather have a foot of snow to account for this crippling north wind that keeps slicing me like a knife.

Here I Bitch About Losers:
I was at the store the other day when a girl buying diapers was in front of me and her mother was in the lane to my right.  (I know this because daughter called out for her mid transaction).  She couldn't get her welfare card to work.  The guy behind the cash register was Indian and spoke crappy English trying to explain that the machine wouldn't read the card.  She and her mother were Mexican and spoke no English.  We weren't making progress.  She had the card upside down.  Mother had used WIC for all the food she had in her cart and daughter used what I assume are food stamps for the diapers.  WTF? I am going broke paying for my brood.  I pay taxes every year.  I hear on commercials for law offices offering to fight the IRS for you to get your tax settlement slashed to 10% of what you owe.  If you're being foreclosed they'll work with you so you don't loose your home.  If you have credit card debt, they'll help you get everything reduced.  What about people like me?  I haven't fucked the world over.  I don't owe a half a million to random people.  I'm paying my bills.  Who is out there to help me?  Why do the screw ups get assistance and not normal, hard working, law abiding citizens?

Lay it on me folks.  Tell me what I need to know.