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Archive for November, 2007

Van Halen Fan Never Learns

I’ve been suckered by these guys before. But it’s kind of like trying to avoid your high school sweetheart if she wants to see you. All those great memories, all those firsts, and remembering how great it was when it was great inevitably leads you to (briefly) think maybe it can happen again.

I’m talking about, of course, Van Halen — the band I worshiped as a lad that has since let me down so many times, I swore to never to buy another record or go back to another show. Unless of course, I got a free ticket, David Lee Roth came back, and Edward Van Halen promised never to get so looped that he completely forgot how to play guitar (like he did last time I saw them).

So, apparently they’ve met all my demands. So I’m going to see them in Sacramento tonight. And, against my better judgment, I’m pretty stoked. The reviews have been outstanding.

I should’ve also made a condition that Eddie doesn’t kick out Michael Anthony and replace him with his 16-year-old kid, which he did. That doesn’t thrill me — it shouldn’t thrill anyone except Ed. It especially shouldn’t thrill Valerie.

Youtube clip featuring part of “Romeo Delight”

But that’s fine — as long as I get to hear “Romeo Delight” live again. As long as I get to watch DLR throw a couple of kicks and make fun of whomever gets in his way. As long as Eddie can stand up straight and play with the brilliance to which we’ve grown accustomed.

He’d better.

This will be my 13th Van Halen show. It should be the 14th. The last time I saw VH with David Lee Roth was on the 1984 tour. I had tickets for all three shows at the Cow Palace, but got rid of one to go to the aforementioned girlfriend’s dance show.

Then she dumped me that afternoon.

No, I’m not kidding.

If anyone sees Lisa Seiber today, tell her she owes me a Van Halen ticket. They’ll be back, playing San Jose (on December 16) and Oakland (on December 20).

She had her chance. So I guess the sucker in me will give VH one more chance as well. Look for my review on the website Wednesday morning.

photo of David Lee Roth by Flickr user kubacheck under Creative Commons license
photo of Eddie Van Halen’s guitar by Flickr user cleverswine under Creative Commons license

Posted on Tuesday, November 27th, 2007
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Kevin DuBrow Found Dead

The first person to use the lyrics to “Thunderbird” in a Kevin DuBrow tribute has to become C.C. Deville’s personal assistant for a year. Or go to jail. Quiet Riot’s Kevin DuBrow was found dead. Love him or hate him, which most people did once they heard him talk for more than three minutes, the man was one of the most memorable figures of 80s metal.

Photo of Quiet Riot fans by Flickr user kylemac under Creative Commons license

Posted on Monday, November 26th, 2007
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In Case You Don’t Want To Eat Much Today…

Some people may not want to spend Thanksgiving eating until their pants explode and they fall into a coma on Aunt Lily’s living room floor.

For folks needing an extra incentive — or something sufficiently disgusting to make them perhaps never want to eat again, I offer you this charming tale of the girl with the bad habit of eating her own hair.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the advertisement appearing on top of the page when I found this lovely little ditty was for bran flakes. It was flashing “CONSTIPATED?”

Have a happy, and digestible, Thanksgiving.

Photo of Thanksgiving search results from Flickr user under Creative Commons license

Posted on Thursday, November 22nd, 2007
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More Suspicious Squirrel Attacks

Go ahead, keep doubting me. But the war is coming, and it won’t be pretty.

More guerilla squirrels — or is it gorilla squirrels — have launched suicide attacks against human infrastructure. The vicious little beasts are just gearing up for something big over the holidays.

Keep your eyes and ears open.

Speaking of keeping alert, I woke up last night wondering if I put out my garbage can. Nothing smells worse than missing garbage day, which prompted me to go outside at 3 a.m. to check. And I saw a man walking up my street.

OK, so I suppose it’s fine to take a walk at 3 a.m.. Except when I walked back up toward my front door, the guy turned around and walked back.

I came back outside a few minutes later, and the guy’s standing in front of my house. This time, with baseball bat in hand, I went out and asked if he needs something. He said nope and resumed walking up the street again. Then, five minutes later, he’s walking back down the street. It was like he was walking guard duty.

If you’re out there, walking-late-at-night guy, stay home after dark. The next homeowner who sees you in front of their house at 3 a.m. may be packing something far more serious than a bat.

You know, now that I think of it, I’m pretty sure the guy had a fuzzy tail protruding from the back of his pants …

Photo of squirrel by Flickr user BinaryApe under Creative Commons license

Posted on Tuesday, November 20th, 2007
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I Hate E.T.

So I walked in the house last night, and my 5-year-old daughter was watching “E.T.”

Oh man.

She hasn’t seen it before (the alien movie, not Mary Hart) and she’s a bit sensitive these days. I tried to steer her away from it, you know, to a show with some wholesome violence or something.

No can do. She was hooked.

Watching “E.T.” with a sensitive little girl is like taking three hormonal women to a screening of that rotten movie with every actress in Hollywood mourning Julia Roberts getting cancer and kicking off. What the hell was that called — Fried Green Endearment or something. Seriously, I don’t remember.

Anyways, it was awful, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. The worst part was that I haven’t seen the thing in something like 20 years. So I started getting into it. Ha Ha, there goes little E.T. drinking beer. Or there goes that little rascal making friends with the family dog. Look, he knows how to talk!

Or what wonderful fun we had — until the wrinkly-faced little bastard had to go and die.

Oh my daughter was beside herself. The tears wouldn’t stop. At one point she was actually wailing. Naturally, I got upset. So I started getting misty-eyed. We’re holding each other like the family car just burst into flames and we were the only ones to get out.

But wait, I told her. Keep watching.

So ET comes back to life, C. Thomas Howell (henceforth known as “Pony Boy”) and the other neighborhood kids whisk him off to the rendezvous with the alien ship … and here come the waterworks again.

E.T.’s saying goodbye to little Timmy, or whatever the kid’s name is, and Drew Barrymore, and the family dog, and my kid is bawling like there’s no tomorrow. So I get upset again. On and on and on this goes. I’m embarrassed, as my girlfriend is sitting there, completely dry-eyed, pretending not to notice that my kid and I are having complete emotional breakdowns right there next to her.

It was awful.

I hate E.T. It’s now banned from my house forever. Stupid little monster.

Photo of unidentified alien by Flickr user shawnzlea under Creative Commons license

Posted on Monday, November 19th, 2007
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Monkeys and Surfers

Just a few observations of the news on a Tuesday morning.

It is Tuesday … right?

In reading a story about the sad demolition of the New Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas — one of the last of the old casinos that happened to be the first place Elvis ever played in Las Vegas — I noticed on the web page, right next to the story and picture of the hotel being destroyed with explosives, travel ads offering great deals to stay at the New Frontier Hotel.

They better be great deals, since you’d be sleeping on a pile of dust.

Also, our front page this morning shows a group of volunteers looking space-agey in their white contamination suits as they clean oil from Ocean Beach in San Francisco from last week’s massively-stupid oil spill in the Bay. Far in the background, among all these people having to wear spacesuits to protect themselves from toxins, is … a surfer. Carrying his board.

I guess when the waves are truly tasty, dude, no amount of spilled crude is going to intrude.

I read a story about monkeys rampaging through India, attacking people, entering homes, and even biting one man’s baby in his home while the man looked on, horrified. Last week, the stinky little beasts caused a deputy mayor to fall to his death from his balcony while trying to fight them off with a stick. At least he had the right idea. Apparently monkeys are looked upon as sacred in India, which is why the story contains all these woesome quotes about how people just don’t know what to do.

Sacred or not, I’d sure as hell know what to do if a foul little creature about ten rungs below me on the evolutionary ladder came into my home and bit my kid. That monkey would get knocked right off that evolutionary ladder into oblivion. With a shovel.

In an even better animal story coming out of India, a man married a dog the other day, to atone for stoning two dogs to death 15 years ago. Apparently they sometimes marry animals over there, which is fine by me. You know, however a pair of adult mammals choose to lead their personal lives is none of my business. They had a ceremony and got dressed up and had a big feast with the families. Which reminds me of the wonderfully-stupid argument put forth by anti- gay marriage conservatives, claiming same-sex marriage is only one step away from humans marrying animals.

It’s already happening, people. Lock your doors and start praying.

Feel free to make your own “marriage is a bitch” joke at any time.

Photo of New Frontier hotel by Flickr user Dan4th under Creative Commons license

Posted on Tuesday, November 13th, 2007
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How CAN’T you miss the Bay Bridge?

kla4067's "City By The Bay"
Flickr user kla4067’s “City by the Bay”

While everyone rushes around to respond to the oil spill in the Bay this week, I’d like to calmly ask a quick question.

How the HELL can you ram your ship into the Bay Bridge?

It’s not like anyone in the remote vicinity (1,000 miles, give or take) doesn’t know exactly where the thing is. It hasn’t moved in the past 70 years or so. And, I’d also like to point out, it’s one of the biggest bridges in the world. The thing is frickin’ HUGE. And it’s RIGHT THERE. You know, it’s not like the thing suddenly pops up once you race around Dead Man’s Curve. It’s not a little kid suddenly running into the street chasing a basketball (I don’t think the Bay Bridge even likes basketball). This isn’t like driving a motorcyle on Crow Canyon Road in the rain at midnight. It’s the BAY BRIDGE.

ah zut's "San Francisco #2"
Flickr user ah zut’s “San Francisco #2″

I’ve seen these ships plod through the bay. It’s not like they’re going so fast, the pilot looks up and suddenly there’s just a big bridge in the way. Yeah, yeah, so it was foggy. It’s San Francisco in November. It’s ALWAYS foggy. If they can’t see the thing, don’t they have radar or something to tell them where it is? If they can’t see it, can’t they, like, stop or something and send a guy out in a rowboat to find it. Can’t they call the Coast Guard and ask where it is? Don’t they have a guy wearing an eyepatch and a bandanna in the crow’s nest with a parrot on his shoulder, ready to shout out “Giant bridge, ahoy!”

And, this is a logistical question, but this was a cargo ship that dumped 58,000 gallons into our bay. Do all ships have that much raw, sticky crude hanging around the waterline? That’s kind of frightening. I hope this captain doesn’t moonlight piloting tankers, or we’d really be screwed.

And the captain and crew passed their alcohol tests, which almost makes it worse. At least then they’d have an excuse. They weren’t drunk, just incompetent.

Today’s story says the Coast Guard is investigating the cause. Did the steering wheel get stuck? Did the pilot accidentally step on the gas when he meant to hit the brakes? Did he spill coffee on his lap, momentarily distracting him from that HUGE BRIDGE DEAD AHEAD?

Sorry, but this has to rank up there as one of the all-time maritime blunders. I just don’t see how it’s possible to miss that big gap between bridge pillars. It’s just a good thing it wasn’t worse. Nothing worse than someone coming into your backyard and making a huge, stinking mess and leaving the homeowners stuck cleaning it up.

Posted on Friday, November 9th, 2007
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J-Lo Fesses Up

Finally. J-Lo fessed up last night at a Miami concert that she is with child.

Us Weekly called the crowd “stunned.”

What? This is about as stunning as the revelation that David Lee Roth may or may not be the most masculine fellow on the planet.

Have the folks in Miami been under the assumption that J-Lo has changed her backstage foodtray from Perrier and veggies to Ding-Dongs and Hawaiian Punch?

Which, by the way, is a great breakfast combo.

This new trend of celebrity women not admitting to being pregnant until the baby’s head is halfway out while mommy strolls the red carpet is pretty irritating. Sure, OK — so hardly anyone admits it during the first trimester. We’ll give them that long. I myself have been accused of hiding my pregnancy, until someone sits down for lunch with me and ends up losing a finger.

But let’s get it out there. If the folks at Entertainmet Tonight were responsible journalists, they’d somehow fool Angelina Jolie into peeing into one of those little popsicle stick thingies, and reveal the results on national TV. We need to know, so we can be diverted from things that really matter. Or, better yet, civic-minded celebrities should sell their pregnancy test to the highest-bidding TV show, with proceeds going to charity. Angelina Jolie wants to save the world. She can pee on a stick on cable TV. We’ll all be better for it.

Posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2007
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Beaver Fever

I’m really glad they decided not to whack the Martinez Beavers, as I was fully prepared to take my children and plunge into the creek and chain us all to the beaver house … enclosure … village … whatever.

We were prepared to do whatever it took to save those darling little creatures from the evil, gun-toting, uniformed men … until it got cold and/or dark out. Or I got hungry. I think anyone could understand that. Unless they live in a tree in Berkeley or something.

Seriously, did the city of Martinez really think they were going to get away with this? You can’t have classrooms full of children adopting furry little creatures acting as downtown tourist attractions, then suddenly decide they have to go.

It’s not like beavers are squirrels. Which is another matter entirely.

Posted on Wednesday, November 7th, 2007
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Frozen Pizza ALERT!!

Holy Cow. A national crisis is brewing. This isn’t funny at all.

It’s one thing when they’re talking about minor inconveniences, like infected cows, or lead paint in toys. Or exploding Pintos. But the ramifications of a national recall of 5 million frozen pizza because of a potential E. coli contamination are staggering. It has the potential of being a real disaster, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the bageldog crisis of 1989.

Especially for me.

My mind is spinning and I’m breaking into a sweat, trying to remember how many of these things I’ve eaten lately. I’ve never had to keep track of how many frozen pizzas I’ve eaten. Eating frozen pizza comes as naturally as breathing, sleeping, or turning the radio off when a Billy Joel song comes on.

This particular brand of E. coli has the potential of shutting down a guy’s kidneys. It’s already done it to four people, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Great. As if my kidneys don’t have enough to worry about.

Posted on Thursday, November 1st, 2007
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