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Archive for September, 2009


This from my colleague and copy editing goddess Vicki Walker (is goddess supposed to be capitalized, Vicki? And that’s Vicki with an “i”?) Yes, I suppose a picture of George Bush holding a giant chainsaw next to a story about doctors wanting to separate conjoined twins would’ve been a bad idea. But it would’ve been funny, which is why I would’ve let it go. Which us why I’ll never be an editor.

But the bigger question here, I suppose, is: Why would anyone let George Bush anywhere near a chainsaw?

Posted on Wednesday, September 30th, 2009
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Megan Fox needs to disappear

It’s rare that a pig like me – I mean, a guy – would ever come out against one of the most beautiful women on the planet – and maybe I’m late to this party – but Megan Fox needs to go away for about five years.

She can come back when she’s a grown-up and stops saying stupid things. Like in her recent Rolling Stone interview, in which she alternately talks about being miserable and how men are afraid of vaginas.

Which is completely stupid. I mean, wouldn’t it depend on the … Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
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Shots suck

At the risk of again writing about my kids – for which one smart-ass colleague without children recently made fun of me in the office – I have to take off from the office today to get my 15-month-old a shot.

I couldn’t tell you which one it is: polio, rubella, mumps … Legionnaire’s Disease … whatever. I don’t know what any of these things are to begin with. But my other kids got these shots and are pretty healthy, so I’ll go along with it. I just hate when the moment comes, and your kid looks at you. First there’s a bit of surprise, like “Hey, something’s happening here.” Then there’s a bit of alarm, like “Hey, this kind of hurts.” Then there’s the full-on “Hey, this REALLY *%$#?* HURTS” look, followed by crying while looking at you like it’s your fault which, I suppose, is true.

She’ll survive, Which, I guess, is the whole point.

Posted on Thursday, September 24th, 2009
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KISS on rock hall ballot

Finally – KISS gets is on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot.

That was announced today, along with other first-time nominees Red Hot Chili Peppers, L.L. Cool J. and Genesis, joining ballot holdovers Jimmy Cliff, the Hollies, the Chantels, the Stooges, Donna Summer, ABBA, Darlene Love, Laura Nyro, and Cheater.

Ok, that last band wasn’t on there. But they did kick ass at the Danville Vet’s Hall in Jan. ’85.

So here comes the debate. First off, I suppose one has to recognize the legitimacy of the Rock Hall, which to some is no more than Jann Wenner copyrighting the concept of Rock and Roll for Rolling Stone. I’m not sure that’s true, but I’m not sure it’s not either. But for argument’s sake, let’s go with legitimate. Then let’s realize these arguments happen every year, and are driven by fans. So there’s no logic to them. It’s like a music critic trying to decide whether a show was good by interviewing fans. I’m not even sure there are clear requirements for the hall, other than you can’t get inducted until 25 years after your first release.

Anyway, it’s only been a few hours and already the KISS haters are out in full force (thanks Rush fans, for living up to your reputations. I like Rush and all, but get out of the house once in a while). And I get the legitimate anti-KISS arguments. People saw KISS as everything wrong about rock music, from emphasizing style over substance to their merchandising juggernaut (one has to admit that the KISS coffin is pretty over the top). While the band may have started for the right reasons (typically, in my mind, music, girls and money), in its fourth decade it’s largely only about money and has been for quite some time. Members are seemingly arrogant and greedy. The list goes on and on.

But if one of the requirements to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is having a sweeping influence over music and/or pop culture (maybe not a requirement – let’s say its one of the factors that gets a band in), then KISS is a no-brainer.

I would argue that the band’s music was better than most people think – at least the stuff from the 70s. They weren’t Led Zeppelin, but the riffs rocked (please tell me “Parasite” doesn’t rock and I’ll get you checked for a pulse), the choruses were memorable, and it was delivered with real attitude. It didn’t require master musicianship, but they played well enough to get the job done.



But the music was the soundtrack for an attitude that screamed rock and roll. It was confident. It was loud. It was in your face. It was about explosions. It was about being larger-than-life. And KISS fans got that. KISS dared you to tell them they sucked, then they laughed at you. It was the same way with KISS fans. They – OK, we – knew the music snobs, overly-gentle souls, politically serious, punks clinging to phony idealism, and rock puritans, hated KISS. And we gave them the finger. There was no middle ground with KISS – either you loved them or you hated them. And I loved them. No band got my attention the way KISS did the first time I saw the cover of KISS Alive at 10 years old. What? These guys spit fire and blood, shoot lasers from guitars, and fire off explosions on stage? It was like musical Disneyland, becoming my gateway to the teen years. Count me in.

You alt-rock snobs don’t really think the Replacements were being ironic when they covered “Black Diamond,” do you?

Even if KISS’s whole act was manufactured – no one ever said it wasn’t. KISS simply did things bigger than anyone did before them. And they were HUGE. How many bands were influenced by KISS? And, maybe even more importantly, how many bands did KISS push the exact other way? Like I said, you loved them or you hated them. But you knew who they were and, if you wanted to be in a band, they influenced which way you went. Maybe more so than any other band in history. And for that, they deserve to be honored. Even if they have become aged financial whores who haven’t made a good record in 30 years and never made a classic record. They deserve it.

And, since we’re here, the Chili Peppers should also be in, for some great (early) music and a groundbreaking, influential sound. I’m on the fence about Genesis (quantity doesn’t necessarily equate quality or influence) and L.L. Cool J. (don’t know enough about his career on the whole, though I never disliked his music. I just don’t know that he did enough). I’d probably vote for the Stooges on influence alone (in my mind, they were the first successful punk rock band). ABBA and Donna Summer wouldn’t be here without the period of 70s nostalgia that made people take them seriously, and I don’t know enough about the others – though I suspect some are just there because people’s memories of certain artists get rosier as they get older.

Posted on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
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Technology is frightening

I’m back from vacation. Sorry I didn’t blog more – at all, actually – but, after all, I was on vacation. I wrote 1,700 words for a travel story while my wife spent three hours at the pool and beach. Poor woman. So I figured that was enough writing.

I just found this story on CNN about the kinds of things scientists are developing that the rest of us can’t even imagine. Well, I can imagine some weird stuff, but it’s nothing I can share with rational humans.

But a spray-on battery? Inventions that are only one-billionth of a meter in size? Walking to charge things? Dogs and cats living together … it’s all so incredible.

Posted on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009
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One of world’s dumbest husbands

So this guy, who calls himself “Conflicted,” writes to Slate’s advice columnist that he has the hots for his sister-in-law.

OK, well that happens. Can’t necessarily control where our foul minds wander sometimes. We’re men, and, generally speaking, we’re filthy animals. But this guy also can’t help but slice off a big piece of dumb and ingest it as fast as possible. I couldn’t help but find the whole thing pretty funny.

“Conflicted” admits to loving his wife, who just had a baby. They have a great life, etc. But he says she doesn’t pull off “sexy” like her sister. When his wife was pregnant, he and the sister-in-law cashed a bottle of vodka and he now thinks she’s been making eyes at him ever since (apparently someone never heard of beer goggles. Or, in this case, vodka goggles). He says she parades around in a bikini, making him tempted

OK. Again, it happens. Women know it takes almost nothing to get our attention. Men are beasts, etc.  But here’s where reality ends and real stupidity begins.

Because they share everything, Conflicted told his wife his sordid little tale. And was surprised he hurt her feelings and thinks he should clear the air with her sister.

Whoa. Does this guy not have any friends to explain women? Did he not have a father? Even if not, there’s a genetic component to a man’s brain that automatically knows things, like bean dip always tastes good, you should always stop changing the channel when you find a Burt Reynolds movie, and that you should never, ever, tell a woman her sister is hot.

Has he suffered a traumatic brain injury? Because that’s the only explanation I can think of. 

Dude – shut the hell up, as fast as possible. Shut up shut up shut up. Your wife just had a baby. That means, for at least a year, she’s legally insane. No jury on earth would convict her if she killed you on the spot. You can’t even look at another woman in front of her right now. You’re supposed to tell her how sexy she is, how nice it is to see her losing that pregnancy weight (even when she’s not), and you appreciate her, etc. Yes, of course you’ll lust after other women. But you can’t ADMIT IT!

Instead, you blurt out you’re thinking about the last person she wants to hear that about: the person she probably spent her life competing with.

Then, as if he hadn’t demonstrated enough dumbness for one lifetime, he summarizes it, sends it to a published advice columnist, and gets the story out on the Internet for millions of people to read. Why not just sign your name? Because someone will recognize the story, share it with your wife, and make her feel even worse and/or more homocidal. You will sleep on the couch until she gets into the gym, gets back the bod, and finds someone less stupid than you.

As Michael Madsen’s “Budd” said in “Kill Bill:” “That woman deserves her revenge and we deserve to die.”

Well, maybe not death.

I know someone who isn’t the brightest bulb. He once called into a radio advice show in a small town and denigraded his wife in so many embarrassing ways, it was disgusting. He also described her well enough that everyone in town knew who he was talking about. It took about seven minutes for it to get back to her. And he did this knowing she owned a gun.

For all our bluster – and I’ve been guilty of blustering with the best of them – men should generally, as a rule, keep quiet about their wives. And TO their wives when they don’t want a divorce and know it’ll just cause them pain. Just shut up. It’s one of the best things a man can learn as he gets older.

Posted on Thursday, September 10th, 2009
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Great response to the worst Jaycee Dugard column ever

The Stupid Sports Blog has published an appropriate response to Mark Whicker’s not-very-hilarious, column in the Orange County Register, making light of Jaycee Dugard, who spent 18 years in a shed an Antioch backyard, basically being raped by a lunatic.

Read the response right here.

Posted on Thursday, September 10th, 2009
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Sleep deprivation sucks

For the second time in three nights, I woke up between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. and can’t go back to sleep. Tonight (this morning?) I didn’t get up for a sick kid. Which means I have no excuse. I’m a freak.

You know the drill: You wake up, go to the bathroom, try not to turn on any lights to wake you up further, then end up doing it anyway. Then you go back to bed, lay there for a second, have one coherant (well, for me) thought … and it’s all over. You’re awake and not very happy about it.

One thought becomes three thoughts becomes 150. Pretty soon you’re up, doing the dishes and cleaning the fish tank. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before my wife wakes up, walks out here, and asks me what the hell I’m doing.

I’m not sleeping. That’s what I’m doing.

I can’t wait for the rest of the day. Especially about 2 p.m. when I’m at my desk and sleep, suddenly, doesn’t seem like such an unreachable goal.

Posted on Thursday, September 10th, 2009
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Worst Jaycee Dugard column ever

Or, as my colleague Karim Amara puts it “The Jaycee Dugard column from hell.”

Usually we journalist types don’t pick on each other, especially me, since there’s so much to pick on in my work. But, really, what kind of stupid crap is this?

Basically, Orange County Register sports columnist Mark Whicker wrote a cute little column, talking about what Jaycee Dugard missed in sports for 18 years while she was held captive in an Antioch backyard. Maybe he missed that first day of journalism school, where they taught us not to make light of rape victims and/or child abductees.

He points out Jaycee never got to read a box score, go to the park for “beach towel night,” and hasn’t “high-fived in a while.” After talking about how she hasn’t spiked a volleyball, etc., he says “Now that’s deprivation.”

Ha ha ha. Yeah, either that or deprivation is being without your family, your friends, school, doctors and your freedom for 18 years, while some nut rapes you until you bear two children in said scumbag’s backyard while still in your teens.

Oh, sorry – I went to journalism school. I should know this part: ALLEGED scumbag.

At one point, Whicker writes “So, Jaycee, whenever you’re ready, here’s what you’ve missed:” Then he goes on to make supposedly-funny remarks about Barry Bonds and steroids, domed stadiums, beach balls, and L.A. high school football.” He winds it up by saying “Congratulations Jaycee, you left the yard.”

Yeah, funny stuff. Congratulations Mark Whicker. You’ve set the standard for journalistic insensitivity.

Posted on Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
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Pole dancing doll

Sorry I haven’t been on the blog much – I’ve instead been busy answering readers accusations that I killed my cat.

But, as I plan on not having any more pets get flattened in front of my house for a while, I can return to writing about things that matter. Like pole-dancing dolls.

Yes, someone had actually produced a cute little doll that comes with a pole accessory. Now don’t get me wrong. I believe that women who pole dance are a tremendous benefit to society. I’d encourage all women – unless they happen to be one of my daughters – to install a pole at home and surprise their man for his birthday. If there was more pole-dancing in the Middle East, there’d be much less violence. Pole dancing=world peace. as far as I’m concerned. If John Lennon was alive today, he’d be singing songs about giving pole dancing a chance.

However … if one of my daughters comes home with a pole-dancing doll, I’m going to have to hold someone responsible. And it’s not going to end well.

I realize this is probably an adult gag-gift deal, but still … you know someone out there won’t get the joke, and buy one for their kids. At least wait until they’re 18. These young, vital careers have to start somewhere.

Posted on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
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