Friday, February 27, 2009

March SuperBowl Champs

I am a Redskins fan... I'll wait for the laughing to stop...

Once again Danny being Danny.

Albert Haynesworth - 7 years/$100 million... $30-42 million in guarantees

DeAngelo Hall - 6years/$54 million deal... $22.5 million in guarantees

Once again the Redskins outbid everone else, including themselves. I'm just surprised we didn't throw in a draft pick.

Players go to the Patriots to win... Players go to the Redskins to get paid.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oscar missed someone

My favorite part of the Oscars® telecast (aside from this unexpected jem this year) is always the memorial portion of the show. It allows me to remember those who passed but also REMINDS me who passed this year.

This year was no exception. Former Oscar nominee Queen Latifah (ugh... That's as weird to type as it is to say) came out looking like Violet Beauregarde before the juicing and sang while images passed behind her.

We lost some entertainers this year - Bernie Mac, Issac Hayes, Roy Scheider, Sydney Pollack, Charlton Heston and of course, Mr. Blue Eyes himself - Paul Newman.

We lost a slew of executives, directors, writers and other actors whose names I cannot remember, but am sure have entertained me.

Yet there were two omissions that frustrated and angered me a bit...

Harvey Korman - I was first exposed to Harvey because my parents and grandparents were fans of 'The Carol Burnett Show.' I don't think I appreciated his comedic genius until I saw what I consider to be the funniest movie ever made - Blazing Saddles. Armed with Mel Brook's brilliant writing, Korman shares the stage with Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickins, Madelin Kahn and Brooks himself. Korman steals the movie as Hedy Lamarr... Sorry... That's Hedley Lamarr. Korman had bit parts in other movies, but this iconic role and contribution should have at least been mentioned by the academy. Oh... By the way... He also voiced 'The Great Gazoo' in the Flintstones...

George Carlin - When George Carlin died, I was devastated. He was the comic that always inspired and astonished me. His brilliant writing, ridiculous stage presence, and commitment to counter culture. The first time I was introduced to George Carlin was in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure as Rufus when I was in the 6th grade. From there my father introduced me to his stand up and the rest, as they say, is history. He was a staple in Kevin Smith's films, most notably the Cardinal introducing Buddy Christ in Dogma (we'll forget about Jersey Girl). George Carlin inspired a generation of comics with his stage and screen work and will be dearly missed.

Also a special good-bye also to Eartha Kitt, the greatest catwoman ever.

I'm sure there are other the academy forgot and that I forgot as well... I just wanted to give my tribute to those I will miss from last year.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I wish I could take credit for this

I realize that most people who read this may also read my brother-in-law's site... but this is too funny not to have a link on my site...


I can think of nobody that will enjoy this more than my friend Jake. (who should start writing his blog again but too busy being smart and getting a doctorate... whatever, dude)

New Toy


Well here's an experiment. I got a new digital camera from my wife for Valentines Day. Finally got all the software hooked up and needed to take it for a whirl.

So this is Sophia. She always has this look on her face that she want to tell us what is going on in her head, but can never get the words out correctly. You can see though why I have such an optimism for the future.

But you can also see that she has a beautiful smile and is a happy child in general. Just wanted you all to be able to put a face with a name. Yes, she is hugging a penguin wearing a tu-tu... Don't ask...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hitler vs Hanson... You Decide

There were two "news" stories that caught my eyes and ears today and I can't tell which I find more disturbing... I'll let you judge:

Story 1:

It was revealed today that Adolph Hitler had bad manners. In documents recently discovered, Hitler had bad dinner manners, a digestive disorder, and very rarely paid attention to conversations. Jeez... if you didn't already have a reason to hate the guy...

I just would have like to have seen this scene leaving a Hitler dinner party:

Gunter: Man, can you believe Hitler? He just ignored us though dinner.
Rolf: And he just sat there eating cake... I think I heard his stomach rumbling.
Gunter: If he invites us over again, I'm going to refuse.
Rolf: Well... its just Hitler being Hitler.
Gunter: Kinda hard to say no to Hitler, isn't it?
Rolf: Don't worry, we'll figure out a final solution.
Gunter: Want to get a Lowenbrau?
Rolf: Schnell mein fruend!

Story 2:

There have been "super rock groups" like Velvet Revolver, Temple of the Dog and AudioSlave. Now in that same token (kind of) I give you - Tinted Windows.

What is Tinted Windows you may ask... I submit that it may be the most bizarre collection of musicians forming a band ever. It includes:

Guitarist from Smashing Pumpkins
Bassist from Fountains of Wayne
Drummer from Cheap Trick 
and...
Taylor Hanson (yes, umm bob Hanson)

Even more shocking is that they already have an album in the can and slated for a spring release. 

I literally have no idea what to expect from them. I do know, however, I can't wait for their rival group "Drawn Curtains" featuring guitarist from Toad the Wet Sprocket, bassist from Archers of Loaf, drummer from REO Speedwagon and one of the Nelsons.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Location Crisis

One of my major pet peeves is people who say they're from someplace, but clearly are not. I found the biggest example of this when I was in college. Here is a typical exchange:

"Where are you from?"
"Philadelphia."
"Oh... What part?"
"Cherry Hill"
"Wait... isn't that in New Jersey?"
"Yeah, but I associate myself with Philly."

Guess what? You're not from Philly. You're from Jersey and just have to accept the fact that you live in a state that's shaped and smells like an armpit. DC faces a lot of this as well. Many NoVa or Marylanders like to say their from DC because it sounds a lot cooler than being from Virginia or Maryland... and it is, what sounds better - I grew up on the mean streets of DC or I grew up on the mean streets of McLean, Virginia or Gaithersburg?

So here is my dilemma - When I grew up, I lived in Queens. We were residents of NYC... City Folk... Later, we moved to Nassau County on Long Island. I started saying I was from Long Island because I didn't want to seem all high and mighty trying to pretend I was from the city. I moved to DC from Long Island in 1995 and since then have been a resident of the District of Columbia. I have had various addresses (some good, some bad) but ALWAYS in the city.

Sophia, the wife and I have uprooted from DC and moved (albeit a scan 5 miles from our previous location) to Maryland. We are now residents of Takoma Park, MD... and its driving me nuts. I love our new house, I love the location, I love everything about our home... Except for the fact that its in Maryland. I wore DC like a badge of honor. Now I feel a little empty. I feel like I lost some street cred because we've moved to the 'burbs.

My friend Skippy informed me there is going to be a bill in the house concerning DC voting rights and he was going to try and get gallery seats. I felt bad all of a sudden because I didn't have the right to care anymore. I was no longer a district resident.

I now have to catch myself whenever anyone asks where I am from. I said DC once and immediately took it back because I didn't want to be a douche bag from Cherry Hill.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Big VD

Saturdays are the worst days for my wife and I. She works during the day (9-5:30) and I work at nights (6-1ish). Whenever we see an event on the calendar that's a Saturday (Valentine's, anniversary, birthday) we smile at each other, nod, and realize we won't be spending it together.

Today was no exception as we arose at 7:30 so I could get her to work by 9 and then start Daddy-Daughter Day (hey it brought Homer and Lisa together, don't judge). As my wife worked her fingers to the bone, I was at home watching DragonTales and playing with blocks.

Time rolled around for the exchange and my wife made the offer for me to keep the car to get home quicker at 1:30 and she'd take the bus home. There's only one problem with that - I wouldn't get to see her.

After dropping Sophia at her grandparents, and in keeping in touch with her over text, I met her bus somewhere on Columbia Road. I ran on the bus, gave her some flowers, a kiss, told her I loved her and ran off the bus.

So there the Valentine's day I spent with my wife... 30 seconds on the bus... You know what... I wouldn't give that 30 seconds up for anything...

Friday, February 13, 2009

What Happend to the Day Dream?

Is it wrong that I want my daughter to be a day dreamer?

I was listening to the radio and heard an ad for an electronics liquidation sale this weekend. One of the items that caught my ear was personal DVD players - $49. I feel like these are marketed to parents to distract their kids... Especially in cars.

I used to sell cars. We'll say this car company rhymes with Shmonda. One of the selling points we would hammer home (for just 2 grand more) was the DVD players in mini-vans and SUVs "to keep those little whipper snappers in line and distracted."

I'll admit one of the worst things on the world is sitting in traffic with an unhappy baby... But there's a flip side to that coin... I love peaking in my rear view mirror watching Sophia watching the world go by when we're moving. Sure, the wiggles are playing on radio but you make sacrifices for you kids.

The point is that I want Sophia to see the world go by, question what it is, and be interested and dream about being out there.... Besides... There's plenty of time for Bob the Builder at home...

John & Kate plus 8 minus John plus 6

I've been following this woman with 8 babies thing on an outside level. But the more and more I hear the more and more ridiculous it gets.

Ok here's the timeline for details for me:

A woman gives birth to 8 kids - wow medical miracle. Hope that dad knows what he's in for. Wakka wakka.

She's not married - well... That'll be a hardship, but with right support, she can do it.

She lives with her mother and father who works (right now) in Iraq - Hope the have a big house. Wakka.

She has 6 other kids aged 2 - 8 - Wakka whaaaa? Wait a sec... 14 kids?

She's unemployed, on disability and did this through Invetro fertilization - What doctor on earth would do this? How can you honestly go into a fertility doctor and say I have 6 kids, but its not enough, let's go for another, and while your there put the rest of the eggs in to make sure at least one sticks and I get ANOTHER kid. By the way... Where did you get the cash?

She decided to have all 7 (they didn't know it would be 8 until delivery) because she though she would get free stuff from companies, Oprah, and a show from TLC - I hope you get nothing. This is not a blessing anymore, this is a monstrosity. This is one greedy bitch making it all about herself and hoping to get someone else to pay for it.

She is obsessed with Angelina Jolie, got plastic surgery to look like her and rather than adopt kids, she's going to have them - Andy Worhol needs to be shot. People have begun to assume that their 15 minutes of fame is a right. This is getting weird. Side note: she looks like Angelina Jolie if Jolie was beaten with a rubber hose. Brad Pitt isn't breaking down that door... Brad Garrett maybe... Or big brain Brad from Pulp Fiction... after Julius shot him.

3 of those 6 previous kids she had are LEGALLY disabled - no! No! NO!

Ann Curry is interviewing her on Dateline. Revelations include that her 'grand plan' is to live off the rest of her disability, get student loans, and GO BACK TO SCHOOL - ok, so if you go back to school, who's watching the kids? While you're being interviewed, who's watching the kids? Where are you getting money? Oh that's right... The government.

I guess Hillary Clinton was right... It does take a village to raise a child.

My Blog, My Dumb Opinion:

Give them to gay couples. I could probably throw a rock and find 14 gay couples that a) want kids b) aren't broke c) love each other d) would give them better life opportunities e) wouldn't make it about them-self and their need for attention.

The horse-shitty thing about this is that there is no legal recourse against this woman. Let's say the state tries to take them away... Have fun in that legal battle. You though it was a circus now... Get yo popcorn ready...

Latest development I heard (and not confirmed, that would be reasonable and proper) is that she's filing a lawsuit against big companies like Johnson and Johnson because they DIDN'T give her all the free stuff they gave all the other 6+ moms. If its true or not, its just an example of people trying to get paid through their kids.

And the thing is... I feel bad for these kids... All 14 of them... And I don't know how to make it better for them.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Some Discoveries Can Wait

Well she's not Christopher Columbus, but the age of exploration is upon us...

video

Some can wait I think... but we'll take what we can get...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Simple Pleasures of a Thirty-Nothing Daddy

Being a father is one of the most nerve racking, but wonderful experiences. Much like the rest of my life, 9 times out of 10, I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to be doing and I'm making it up as I go along.

But for 18 months, my daughter Sophia has grown unto a little person. While preparing dinner, I let Sophia run around the kitchen. It was rewarding to know that she is at the age when I can trust her to explore, but at the same time keep my eyes on her. Maybe its the fact that I've had thirty-something years to take this life for granted that I get sheer joy watching her discover the world for the first time.

To be honest, I envy her at times... How cool would it be to not know and discover a fire truck for the first time or to have that wonderment of seeing and feeling snow for the first time? Its the moments of our children that bring us back to our own past and make us appreciate the lives we have and hope they are not doomed to make the same mistakes we made.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Michael Phelps LOVES A-Rod

The big topic over the week was Michael Phelps' picture of him taking a bong hit at a party in South Carolina. As a result, he had to apologize, act the fool, received a 3 month suspension from US Swimming and was dropped from his Kellogg's endorsement. I've heard talking heads say apologize, let it go, and get back in the pool. In this media cycle (as the Playful Librarian might tell you) he WAS the hot topic of now.

Michael Phelps is about to be blown off the pages of everything by the (alleged) revelation that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003. Phelps should send A-Rod a gift basket.

Here's the deal. Steroids in baseball will trump everything else sports related... And I think its unfortunate.

Phelps' misfortune can (by some) be attributed to his youthful hubris. Keep in mind he's 23. But the fact remains this "kid" has been in the national spotlight for over almost 6 years. The 8 golds just propelled him into the mythical status. Let us not forget that he got arrested and pled no contest to a DWI at age 19 in Maryland... Gee last time I checked, you weren't supposed to drink before 21, let alone get a DWI. He already had a indiscretion, apologized for it and promised it wouldn't happen again... Whoops...

But Phelps' last dance with Mary Jane (thanks Tom Petty) pales in comparison to the shit storm that will ensue in the coming days for A-Rod.

A-Rod is the best player in baseball. Period. End of story. He has been vilified because of his massive contracts, living in Derek Jeter's shadow and he hasn't brought a ring to the Yankees. This will be like pouring gasoline on a grease fire.

While most of the roid rage has been directed at Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, we can now add A-Rod to that category and I think its bullshit.

These people are entertainers. I want to see 600' home runs. If these athletes want to take the chance that their balls will shrivel to the size of snow peas... Knock yourself out. But don't come crying to me when you die at age 52 because your heart exploded (cough, cough Reggie White)

I harken back to the classic Saturday Night Live sketch for the All Drug Olympics where Phil Hartman (R.I.P) pulls his arms off trying to triple the world record in weightlifting. Let them take their steroids, it doesn't affect me and let's me enjoy the distraction that sports is in our everyday life.

So enjoy the break Mikey Phelps, A-Roid just did you a favor.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Obama/Lauer Super Bowl Interview (Finally)

So, as promised, I just went back my DVR and re-watched the Matt Lauer/Barack Obama interview... I have to say that I think Frost and Nixon both rolled over in their graves... But holy crap was it entertaining. I know this will be a long post, but bear with me please.

First of all, am I the only one who noticed the chompers on Obama? We haven't had pearly whites like that in the White House since the Carter administration. Up until this point I had only had noticed his Wil Smith-esque ears.

The interview starts with Matt Lauer asking about living with his mother-in-law. All I can picture, for some ungodly reason, is Martin Lawrence in Big Momma's White House. I can only hope that Michelle's mom is running around the White House in a house coat putting plastic covers on the furniture.

Obama does a nice job of convincing us he's a regular guy with an extraordinary job. In describing adjusting to living in the White House, he comments that he, "has a great home office." If you or I had a home office, we'd have a computer, a desk, maybe a filing cabinet... He's got the Oval Office... That's a pretty freaking cool home office.

Matt Lauer decides to turn the table and start getting serious. They talk about the sobering war in Iraq. But here is where Lauer does something I hate. Here is the direct quote:

"10s of millions of people watching you right now, if they were to have access to the same information you have on a daily basis... How much less sleep would we all be getting?"

Go back and read it again... I'll wait...

Under the Bush administration, the American people were spoon fed that we were constantly to live in fear from terrorists and the boogeyman. The media propagated this constantly - foiled terror plots, anthrax, how vulnerable are we, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11... And here's Matt Lauer... RIGHT BEFORE THE MOST WATCHED EVENT YEARLY, DOING THE SAME THING... Hey America, don't forget, you should be scared shitless at what the President knows, but you don't.

While answering the question and rightfully praising out troops, they flash to a group of soldiers watching in a war zone. (God Bless 'em, they're doing something I never could) I hate this because its so blatantly staged. They show 13 soldiers (5 sitting, 8 standing) in a room just chillin in front of a 27" bubble TV. It honestly looks like the worst way possible to watch the Super Bowl... Gee sarge can I stand here for 4 hours watching the game? Show me a mess hall full of drunk marines watching a 78" HDTV and playing with knives. Those are the guys and gals I want protecting my freedoms.

They then shifted to the economy. I like the fact that Obama at least tries to be a straight shooter. He said we're going to be in for a tough couple months before it starts to get better. W's administration always tried to put off what we all knew was going on. The war - making progress, the economy - not to bad, wire tapping - not that expansive. Obama at least tries to let us know stuff is going to suck for a while.

While during economy talk, NBC lost audio for about 15 seconds. My favorite part was hearing all 4'2" of Bob Costas panicly saying, "Did we lose it? Did we lost it?" I could hear the NBC tech staff collectively pooping their pants. Nothing makes me happier than impromptu pandemonium. God I miss George Carlin.

After asking the "tough" questions, Lauer switches back to a fluff piece.
I won't bore you with the BCS College Football Champion talk or the fact the Barack got a sweet dig on Kurt Warner saying they were about the same age. The Prez did make the wise and accurate prediction that it'll be a close one that the Steelers will "eek out it the end."

Here's where Matt Lauer loses all credibility with me because he turns into a 15 year old girl.

First thing: Lauer has the balls to "rub it in" that Barack picked the New England Patriots last year over HIS New York Giants... Gee Matt, what jersey number were you wearing? I think someone running for leader of the free world gets a pass on picking an 18-0 team (like the rest of America did)...

Numero dòs: They talk about the Barack-berry. Aside from making lame-ass James Bond jokes about security associated with it, Lauer asks who's in his phone and if he can have the number. It was like watching a high school nerd asking the football star if he wants help with his biology homework to get in with the cool kids.

Third: Matt Lauer says stupid things... Again, a direct quote:
"So, you've been elected President, and there is a certain amount of fame that comes along with that."
Ugh... In other breaking news Mr. Lauer, water is wet, China is in Asia and my brain hurts.

Last but not least... The coup de gracé... Matt Lauer pulls out an US weekly and shows Obama the lovely family photo inside with Barack, Michelle and the kids all smiling. He praises the photo but then shows the cover where the photo of him has been removed leaving Michelle and the girls and the following ensues:

ML: They took you off the cover.
BO: Yeah... It's a little hurtful.
ML: You got replaced by Jessica Simpson.
BO: Yeah, who's in a weight battle apparently... Yeah... Oh well...

I lost my shit. I laughed and laughed and laughed. The President just called Jessica Simpson fat. You know who I feel bad for - Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboy's quarterback. Every football fan in America just saw the President of the United States say your girlfriend is apparently in a weight battle.

The interview then wraps up with Obama giving a "special shout out" to our armed forces. Well at least Obama didn't raise the roof... They then go back to the shot of army guys in a room and since its on a minute satellite delay, THEY'RE STILL LAUGHING AT OBAMA'S JESSICA SIMPSON COMMENT. I think we can all agree they need a good laugh every once in a while.

So in a year where the movie Frost/Nixon is nominated for numerous oscars, I think we'll all look back at Lauer/Obama and nominate it for several Razzies...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Blah XLIII

Like every other red blooded American male in their 30s, I love football. And every (now) 1st weekend in February I bow down to my corporate master, consume my share of the 49.5 million pounds of guacamole and watch the final game in an NFL season that began 9 months ago with the draft - The Super Bowl.

One of the conundrums I face is that while I love football and would watch a Sunday afternoon game between Random Team A and Random Team B, my lovely bride does not share the same enthusiasm as I do for the NFL. She tolerates me watching the Redskins (sometimes), but can't understand why I enjoy watching random games. On top of that, Sunday is the one day a week that neither of us work, so we have to get things done and watching 12 hours of football (pre-game shows, 1 PM game, 4 PM game, highlights and the 8 PM game) for 18 weeks in the fall isn't condusive to that environment... Unless I want to sleep on the futon and start seaching for divorce lawyers.

The Super Bowl is a different animal though. Its not a game, its an event and even my beautiful bride knows that.

This, however, is the first time I didn't follow the hype leading up to the game. I knew who was playing but a) I didn't have a dog in the fight, b) I didn't have time to follow slightest detail as I have in years past and c) the Redskins sucked 90% of my joy of football this season.

Before I get to the game itself... Here are a few random thoughts:

Matt Lauer's interview with President Obama: I'm letting you know this will be a post in and of itself because I was so flabbergasted by it. I immediatly hit the record button on my DVR and will need to go back and watch it again. Two things that stick out in my mind though - Matt Lauer tried to put the fear of God in the American People and President Obama called Jessica Simpson fat... Both instances made my jaw drop and laugh uncontrolably.

Best Marketing Placement: Jennifer Hudson sang (very well by the way) the National Anthem. I am still one of those corny Americans who still feel a swell of pride and fight back the tears when I hear a GREAT version of the National Anthem (even if it was prerecorded). After she finishes and they go to commercial, what is the 1st commercial? Its a movie trailer the opens with the Eiffel Tower melting (sweet), explosions (awesome), hand to hand combat (getting awesomer) and end with Dennis Quaid... The G.I. Joe (A Real American Hero) movie trailer following the National Anthem... BRILLIANT!

HalfTime show:
After Janet's boob ruined MTV's stake in the halftime, we've had a retread of old time rockers including U2, Rolling Stones and Tom Petty. This year we got Bruce Springstien, who did an admirable job until the end... Am I the only one that CRINGED when the "ref" came out and threw the flag, but they didn't care they were going to ROCK OUT... Ugh... Secondary boo to his slide crotch first into the camera.

Best Commercial: Bridgestone Tire with Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head... There is no man in America that hasn't wished his wife's lips would fall off... Sorry honey, I love you, but commercial was best of a weak set this year.

Worst Commercial:
I love Bob Dylan. He was the voice of a generation in change. But apparently if you throw enough money at a generation they'll sell out. The thing that I hated most about this... Am I supposed to believe that Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas is going to be the voice of the next generation?

Secondary Commercial boos to crotch shots, budweiser horses and GoDaddy.com.

As for the game... I was entertained. The game had a great back and forth, some surprises along the way and one of the most amazing 4th quarters I've ever seen.

Kudos to the Steelers, heartbreak for the Cards. I'm still confused why they didn't review the last play of the game.

But here's the greatest play of the game... After the game, my wife turned to me and said, "Well, I enjoyed that very much." I almost dropped the remote and said explain.

"Well there was that guy who caught the ball and ran it the whole field at the end of the 1st half. Those guys with the pretty uniforms came back on that pass to the femenine looking guy with the dreadlocks and the last catch to the black and gold guy was on his tippy-toes."

Well... It's a start... My wife enjoyed the game, not the Super Bowl, the game itself... The draft is in 3 months... I'll keep you posted.