Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cubs clinch division!

Today is all about celebrating this: Cubs going to the playoffs!

It didn't look too promising earlier this year, but it's happened and the Cubs are just three series away from winning it all, thereby breaking the 100-year curse.

On a personal note, you know you’re dating a cool gal when she not only understands you’re a Cubs fan and is cool with the fact that you hate yourself enough to have made this lifelong, lifestyle choice (even though your father and grandfather are passionate White Sox fans), but she can grasp the turmoil that entails as the season winds down and they’re barely leading their division. So, she actually volunteers to pick up dinner so you don’t have to miss a pitch of the game.

Then, while at work, she sends you an e-card with the Wrigley Field marquee (the sign out front, not to be confused with pitcher Jason Marquis) reading "Cubs Win!" Take notes, ladies. Quality stuff here.

The playoffs start next week and I'm all kinds of focused. The momentum is in their favor and the pitching staff looks ready. What could possibly go wrong?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Masters of the Universe

I was finally able to watch the season finale of “The Pick Up Artist” on VH1 Wednesday. This show may be just about the best thing I’ve ever seen.

The finale featured a face-off between the final two contestants, Brady - an attractive yet previously unconfident gentleman, and Kosmo - a Latino version of Brady. I’ve never seen so much crying on a reality TV show. Every time somebody got voted off, all the guys were sobbing their eyes out. It was like they were a brotherhood of socially awkward gentlemen – kind of like when I went to the Libertarian National Convention back in 2002. This was basically a Trekkie convention, just substituting the Vulcan “live long and prosper” signal with the peace sign.

Anyway, the best episode of “The Pick Up Artist” was last week, when Brady hooked up with a stripper. That was seriously the entire goal of the mission – to land an exotic dancer. That he did. He now has oral herpes, but the mission was, in fact, accomplished.

This week, during the finale the two combatants were judged on their abilities to teach another awkward gentleman how to be a pick up artist in just 7 hours. The hilarity was uncontained, although one guy did get a “number close,” and was told, “if you don’t call me and I see you again, I’m gonna be so mad.” That, my friends, is a definite I.O.I. (indicator of interest). The terms alone I’ve gleaned from the show are just magical.

Kosmo eventually won the contest and celebrated by, well, more crying. He now has $50,000 in prize money and will travel the world with his teacher, Mystery, and Mystery’s minions J-Dog and Matador – more than likely all birthnames, I think – picking up women of all nationalities. More power to them; I just hope they remember VD is universal.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wild nights

Good lord, my TV is awesome. Just awesome. Sometimes I kiss it during football games.

Pretty tame week for me here in Indy. Last weekend, I took my lady to English Ivy’s. Definition of class: Taking your girl to a gay bar. But seriously, they have a really delicious restaurant inside and I’d recommend it. I had the chicken fingers and exceptionally wild rice, and she dined on a portabella mushroom sandwich (aka “fungi sammich ‘n tater salad”).

We’re both “Friends” fans so we played a DVD trivia game, Friends Scene-It. The game was a little bit of a letdown, since sometimes the DVD clue had nothing to do with the actual question. It would be something like a scene with Ross and Rachel kissing when they found out they’re having a baby, and then the question would be like, “How many nipples does Chandler have?” So yeah, that was somewhat disappointing. Also disappointing: I’m straight and rather competitive at “Friends” trivia.

Looking forward to “The Office” opener this Thursday. In the meantime, check this out from my favorite character on the show: Creed’s blog

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The sweetest things

The movers brought my new TV this morning. I had to meet them in Brownsburg at 8 a.m. to get into my friend's ex-house, but the deed is done. It was all pretty painless.

One of the guys hinted that he wanted a beer after moving it, so I supplied him with what I have in my fridge - Miller High Life Light in a can. Apparently 8:30 a.m. is what those in the moving biz refer to as "beer thirty." Good to know since they're usually driving enormous trucks around town on the morning rush hour.

The great thing about having a 47-inch TV in a fairly small apartment is that you're totally engulfed in whatever you're watching. Retina-melting power notwithstanding, this is all pretty exciting. For instance, while viewing "Man vs. Wild" on Discovery, you really feel like it's you paralyzing a fish while biting it in the back as its guts come out of its eyes. Glorious.

Today I'm seeing my new belle for a movie. More info on this relationship as it progresses, but she reads this so I probably won't get too detailed. We've been seeing each other for a bit and I've yet to ruin it, so that's always a plus. My friends are kind of mad at her because I haven't been bitter lately, which I guess was a great source of comedy for them. Lovely sentiment.

Have a great weekend, all.

Friday, September 21, 2007

More moving. Neat.

I just bought a TV from a friend of mine who's moving to Chicago. The timing was magical considering mine has a huge scratch on the screen from when it fell over during my move back from Wyoming. This is a 47-inch monster and I only spent $350 for it, so I'm quite pumped.

Only problem is, Mitch and I tried to move it and it's so huge, it wouldn't fit in his dad's construction van. Even worse, it weighs a metric ton, and I don't need to further injure my ailing back. You know I had to quit yoga because it was hurting my back? Now I have to watch those ladies doing it in front of a waterfall in Belgium on Fit TV, drinking on my couch and yelling at the screen: "Lucky, you don't know how good you have it! In your tight pants, doing your glorious half dog poses!"

So I hired this cat who has his own moving company in Indy to move the TV for $150. Not bad, except the dude is cajun, I think, and I had a heck of a time understanding him on the phone. We had an entire conversation and from what I gathered, we're either moving the TV Saturday at 8 a.m. or I've agreed to ride some sort of snake through a field of chocolate hammers. I guess only time will tell.

In nothing related to anything, Tim and I were laughing about this for quite a while the other day: Family Guy

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Silent treatment. Please?

The thing about living in a city is that people tend to be very social. And by that I mean, it seems everyone has something they want to ask you if you’re walking on the street. Last weekend I was walking to the liquor store and a gentleman pulled up beside me and inquired, “Hey man, you know where I could find a barber? You know, for a guy like me?" (He was an African-American, so naturally I seemed like the right person to ask regarding hair care.)

Then I was out with a nice young lady Saturday – that’s right – and a guy asks us, “Hey, how do I get to Martin Luther King, Jr. street?” I considered acting like Michael from “The Office” and reciting a Chris Rock bit, although mine would be the one about MLK streets throughout the country. I refrained, however. The gal I was with is sweet and knows I have some sort of directional vertigo, so she politely told him. He then let us know he just moved “up here from Minnesota.” Yeah, “up” to Indianapolis from Minnesota. I think I see where the confusion lies.

I then wondered aloud, “Do I have a sign on my chest that says, ‘Hey, ask me something?’” It just gets frustrating when you can’t walk down the street in peace. I’m all about helping people, but on my own time. I like to get lost in thought while walking downtown and think about my day, life, or maybe what Coach Lubbock and the cast of "Just the Ten of Us" are up to these days. I love you Indy, but let’s maintain a silent admiration for each other. What do you say?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

On the level

Friday was quite an eventful day at work. My name was drawn out of a bowl to win $50 cash. That means my name has been drawn out of every bowl I've dropped it in during the last two months, totalling four delicious prizes of some sort. It's actually a mathematical phenomenon; I'm not quite sure if it's something I'm doing or if fate just owes me for being a lifelong Cubs fan.

After work we visited the Hyatt's new bar, Level One. It's quite fancy for a hotel bar, but the ambience is quite appealing. Might be a smidge expensive for a Friday Happy Hour - you know this is the case when somebody orders pizza and it comes out on one of those fancy rectangular plates like you see in reality cooking shows. However, it's just not the same when you can't hear people screaming things like "wanker" and "button it!" in the kitchen. If the souz chef's self-esteem wasn't trampled whilst making my food, I'm just not interested.

Tonight I'm heading to Oranje and I've been warned by my friend of a "sensory overload" of lights, art and music. I'm not sure if I'll have a seizure or just a migraine by the end of the night, but you can bet I'm looking forward to it.

In totally unrelated news, look out for these cats. I've been saying it for 10 years, but they're definitely up to something.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Celebrate Laughter, Part II: Mitch Hedberg

In the second installment of our monthly Celebrate Laughter segment, we honor the late Mitch Hedberg. Before he passed away in 2005 at the age of 37, Hedberg perfected the one liner and parlayed an abundance of nervous energy (and some drug use) into one great set after another. View these clips and see how this Minnesota native left his mark on the world of comedy during his abbreviated time on earth. (Warning: Some R-rated language.)

Mitch I

Mitch II

Mitch III

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Property Destruction & Flapjacks: Is this heaven?

This weekend was quite a thrill ride. On Friday night I ended up at Art vs. Art in Fountain Square. This was a delightful event where beatniks judge pieces of art in tournament format, showing their support for each piece by screaming. A decibel meter is used to calculate the winners and the losing art is destroyed on the spot, with a spun wheel determining how it shall pass. Very beautifully bohemian.

We then ended up at a diner, which I remarked was very American – especially since the sign promoted their delicious “hamburgs.” I don’t know why, but I really dig diners. Anyway, at one point I noted that “you won’t find diners in communist Russia.” First of all, Russia is no longer communist (just latently corrupt), and I really have no proof of what sorts of eating establishments they actually have.

Anyway, then I'm pretty sure I asked our waiter if I could have my eggs cooked “medium well” and then inquired as to whether or not I could get sausage for a dollar. The menu clearly indicated it cost $3.15, but I was under the impression that was negotiable for some reason. I ended up eating some outstanding flapjacks and an egg, which was served over-easy in what was clearly an effort to spite me. They were right to do it, however.

I stayed in Saturday and did laundry at Mitch’s while watching “Flight of the Conchords.” Pretty quirky show, but definitely worth the time. Sunday, of course, was dedicated to the NFL, which - after a few brews - I noted to a friend was “my only one true love.” It’s all about perspective, and it’s all about the joys of being in Indy this September. God bless us, every one.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Bank on it

I think my bank teller was hitting on me the other day. She was pretty cute, but naturally I ruined any opportunity by coming off as a curmudgeon.

Teller: Oh, you’re from Wyoming? I know someone from there.
Me: Actually I’m from… wait… really?
Teller: Yeah, I don’t remember what town she’s from though.
Me: Interesting.
Teller: So what are you doing for the concert and big [Colts] game on Thursday?
Me: I’m getting out of downtown as quickly as possible.
Teller: Oh.

Yeah, it’s called momentum, Casanova. Strong work. But look, I love the Colts and I love football. I even love Kelly Clarkson. But I need to be around thousands of drunken Hoosiers at a free concert about as much as I need to be around... well... thousands of sober Hoosiers at a free concert. And that ain’t much. If I hear the phrase “Woooooooo Hooooooo!” one more time, I might actually assault someone. Also, there's only so much feathered hair and acid washed jean shorts a guy can see before he just gets sad inside.

And as far as the bank, the other teller next to this one was pretty cute too and has been kind of flirty with me before. In my head, they had a big fight over me after I left involving mud and pillows and someone had to be fired. Sorry ladies, I can't turn it on and off, you know.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Lord of the rings

The Colts kick off the season tonight against the Saints and the town is abuzz. I don’t want to say it’s a special day, but Kelly Clarkson is here, people.

So, I was sitting at my desk at work Wednesday morning and wondered what it would be like to have my ears pierced. By the end of my lunch hour, I’d found out. For me, this was quite a step forward, I believe. All my life, I’ve been a chronic overthinker and overanalyze every aspect of life’s minutia to the point where nothing has any meaning or – more importantly – any fun (like I'm doing right now). For example, if I find a gal I like, here’s how it usually goes in my head: “Yeah, I like her. But what if we break up and I’m hurt? What if I break up with her and hurt her? What if it actually works out and we get married? She’ll probably die in a fiery car accident and I’ll be worse off than I was before. It’s pretty much a certainty that one of us will die before the other, which will cause some kind of trauma to the other person. Is it really worth it? What’s the point?” (This, folks, is why people go to therapy.)

It’s also impossible to live in the moment when you’re constantly thinking five steps ahead. There is such a thing as being too prepared, especially when you’re not really prepared at all because most things are out of your control anyhow. (I’m so pensive today.) Anyway, because of this, I’m encouraged I was able to do something so impetuously. I thought about it briefly, decided I wanted to do it, and did it. There’s no telling where this can lead, really.

All told, the best part of all this is that I’m that much closer to looking like George Michael – which I think is really the endgame here. In fact, with Halloween coming up, I’m considering growing out my facial stubble, buying a Miami Vice jacket, grabbing a buddy and going as Wham! Or maybe I’ll just go as Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID). Either way, I guess I’ll need to bring a bathroom stall if I’m going to meet anybody.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Labor pains

Hope everyone’s Labor Day weekend was delightful. Mine was kicked off by a festive work picnic on a lake Friday afternoon. There was boating, fishing, volleyball, basketball and delicious catered meats. Only problem is that I got such a bad sunburn, my face is now peeling and I officially look like a freak. “What? What are you staring at? Haven’t you ever seen a freak before?” I’m planning to scream that at random people while out on my lunch hour today – even people who aren’t looking at me, just to see what they do. Now I know how “The Fly” felt. I think being “The Fly” would be about the worst thing ever - having your bodyparts peel off and get all slimy. However, being Jeff Goldblum would rule. That guy owns. I’ll call that a push.

Yeah, being fair-skinned is not cool. Call it the German-Irish curse. Well, on second thought, I guess the German-Irish curse would be if I uncontrollably drank too much, started fights, ran out of potatoes and frantically waived my hand while screaming about insolence and world domination. And that's just not me - I have plenty of potatoes.

The great contradiction of Labor Day is that you feel like you should be doing something, but then, you feel you owe to those who lobbied for this holiday not to. You know? It’s like, I want to volunteer at the local recycling facility, but I feel compelled to watch a “Queer Eye” marathon on Bravo. That reminds me, I don’t have nearly enough gold trim or sweater vests in my wardrobe. (Yeah, I think this is what the union bosses had in mind.)

In unrelated news, I just won 10 tickets to the Comedy Sportz show for the second time in two months, just by dropping my business card into a bowl. Wow, the Baby Jesus must really love me.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

On the real

Suggestion: Block off one full Saturday to do nothing other than watch reality television. I recently put down the book I was reading on the Russian revolution to do this and I can see how this mindless drivel can be addicting. I swear, nothing will make you feel better/worse about your life than reality television. Better because you're likely not one of these people, and worse because you've spent a whole day watching reality television on a beautiful summer day - this is likely why people around the world hate us and they're right to do it.

Here's a summary of what I've learned:

* The Hogan family has problems, but they're a cohesive unit and ultimately embody what it truly means to be a family. I think this is what social conservatives now say about "The Simpsons" since it's been on for nearly two decades, even though when it first came on all you read about was how Homer and Bart were terrible role models, and "eat my shorts" was the '90s equivalent of "I [bleeped] your mother." Goes to show what popularity can do to dictate public perception.

* Spencer is a jerk. He's totally going to break Heidi's heart.

* Bret Michaels has a show dedicated to helping him find a soulmate (aka "personal stripper for life"). Honestly, I think VH1 just recruited these women at a NASCAR race in Bristol, turned a fire hose on them and brought them into a studio. Also of note: Lacey is apparently not well liked by the other girls.

* A man named Mystery hosts a show about becoming a pick-up artist. Mystery has a system that apparently sells well. Not bad for a guy who wears eyeliner and huge, fuzzy tophats. He even has keen little abbreviations for things - that's what makes it a "system" and not just some drunk dude trying to get some (e.g. IOI = indicator of interest, opening a set = starting a conversation with a woman, kiss close = what you can do after three IOIs, etc.)

* Corey Haim and Corey Feldman now live together. Feldman plays the role of big brother while Haim plays the role of recovering addict/invalid shut-in. I think a little part of me died while watching this display.

* Scott Baio is 45... and single. I know this because that's the title of the show. I like when they just lay it right out there for you in the title so you don't have to delve much further. You can really do that about any potential reality exposee. "Bea Arthur is aging... and masculine"; "Republican Senators love the Bible... and bathroom stalls"; "Randy Jackson pathetically still says 'da bomb'... and calls people 'dogs'"; "Kittens & Sunshine creator Matt is dead... on the inside."

That's enough of this post. I need to get back to my book... wait, I think this callgirl might just be Bret's type after all. I need to see this. I guess Lenin will have to wait yet another day.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Society: Making me sad since 1979

Going from living in rural Wyoming to the downtown of a major city has afforded me an interesting dichotomy of life experiences. Just this week alone I’ve been approached on the streets by disheveled, not quite homeless gentlemen and seen a random act of violence. Nice job, people. Real nice.

On Tuesday, while walking to the bank, this conversation occurred:

Guy: Hey man, got a question for you.
Me: Yeah?
Guy: How do you spell 12?
Me: (pause) What?
Guy: How do you spell 12? T…H….?
Me: No. No, man. It’s T-W-E-L-V-E.
Guy: Oh, alright thanks.
Me: (looking skyward) What the ****?

Then Wednesday while waiting for my morning ride outside my apartment, I get this from a guy holding a loosely rolled cigarette:

Guy: Hey, you got any matches?
Me: (patting my pockets) Um, no.
Guy: You got a light?
Me: No, sorry.

The thing is, the guy was so disgusted with me. He just rolled his eyes and walked away with nothing but disappointment in yours truly. Who are you, my dad? Yeah, sorry, I’m a non-smoker – guilty. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t regret it. Well, I guess, other than the days I have to walk anywhere and/or not smell like a wet campfire.

Then later on Wednesday, I’m downtown walking back from CVS on my lunch hour and these two guys collide with each other right in front of me – one guy on a bike and the other on foot. The pedestrian starts yelling at the biker. The biker then proceeds to walk up to the guy and punch him in the face. He just hits him right in the face, and the guy falls down. Not like a slap, I mean, he just jacks the guy right in the mug. I’m standing there next to them thinking, “What?” Everybody on the street was just staring at them. It’s not like in junior high when everybody cheers; it’s just sort of pathetic when it’s adults. Seriously, what is wrong with you people?

This is a very ugly world, I hate to say. (See, I’m so distraught by this I’m writing like Yoda.) Seriously though, stuff like this is why people like me drink.

Anyway, hope you all have a good weekend here in our fair capital city – enjoy yourselves, do some good, and try not to get jacked in the face by a random stranger on a bicycle.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dating: Who needs it?

Let's speak frankly.

The dating situation just doesn't seem to be happening right now. I'm not really complaining or whining about it, since I don't really care that much, but still. A little feminine companionship might not be the worst thing. It just seems as though the gals (and guys, apparently) who dig me, I'm not real into, and the gals I dig tend to be taken (or lesbians - What can I say? I love flannel).

I was talking with my friends at the Rathskeller the other night and they were saying I should utilize the Internet. But I tell you, I'm a little hesitant. I just hate being in those situations where you go on a date and you've seen a headshot of somebody, but then you get there and you realize that was the absolute best photo that person has ever taken in her life and/or it was orchestrated with backlighting from what had to be the Baby Jesus himself. Then the girl who you thought looked like Mary-Louise Parker turns out looking like, well, like someone else. And you have to sit through the whole dinner and whatever else you're doing thinking, "Man, I'd rather be at home watching Russians jump off of furniture on YouTube."

We then discussed the merits of dating someone with a handicap. It started with the "would you rather have someone who's blind or deaf?" debate. We agreed I should have a blind person because "the funny angle is my thing and I bet I feel hotter than I look." However, Mitch argued that if I had a deaf girl, I'd really have to articulate what I say or sign, which means I'd have to think about it and I might filter out the comments and self-destructive banter that usually aid in my subconscious sabotaging of relationships. All good points.

My boys are saying that if I don't want to do online dating sites, I can go on Myspace and just start looking up random girls in Indy and contacting them. Well, where I'm from, we call that stalking and I'm not super enthused about doing it. At least not in a more discreet manner, as is the normal protocol.

Thing is, I'm not really desperate because I like being single and it's obvious it will take a special lady to hold my interest and tolerate all of my "isms." I just wish the process was easier and you didn't have to approach a woman with some toolish line in a bar like "You come here often?" or "Why do women lie?"

Anyway, back to YouTube - maybe there are some Russians giving dating tips.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

GUEST BLOG: In the Rockies

By TIM BREWER, Guest Blogger/Gen Con Enthusiast

Bachelor parties create countless memories. I spent four days last week in Colorado, as I hosted a bachelor party for my best friend from high school. Of course, the silicone was bouncing from sofa to pole, but this final freedom party was much, much more than your typical buddy’s one last bash.

I went out a day early to mountain bike just outside of Boulder. If I ever get the guts to move from hick land, I’m going to live there. Microbreweries, fabulous healthy and make-up free woman and a great sense of happiness from the locals will keep Boulder one of the best college towns in the country.

After Boulder, I took a bus to Denver to meet up with nine guys ready to punish their livers. We did a couple rounds of bowling, hit a local pub and made our way to Coors Field to watch the Cubs/Rockies game. There was an older guy sitting in front of us by himself with his Rockies doll. He danced with his doll and talked to it like Matt talks to his sock puppet, Luther. There was a reason why this guy was sitting by himself. He danced and talked to a doll the entire night. I even think he disciplined the doll once. Maybe that’s standard behavior in the Denver altitude.

I arranged a drunk bus for us the next morning to take us to Fort Collins to tour New Belgium Brewing Company, Odell Brewing and Coopersmith’s Brewing. Our buddy Mike could barely function since he was so hungover. Naturally, we teased him the entire time with bologna and syrup jokes. New Belgium Brewing’s tour and sampling is the best thing since sliced George Bush.

Later that night we went to another Cubs/Rockies game. And, wait for it… we hit two strip joints - I mean, gentlemen’s clubs, because only classy, well-behaved gentlemen go to these neon-colored, glittery halls of $9 beers. I rarely go to these places, so I see it as a learning experience when I go once every four years. I love the names at the clubs – Bambi, Angel, Destiny, Star, Kitty, Candy, Crystal, Cherry and Gladys. Ok, maybe not Gladys, but I think it’s a requirement to go by one of the first eight. We ended the evening by paying for a shower for our bachelor. He put on board shirts and was "Barbasoled" by two "ladies" in front of the entire club for 10 minutes. Half of my brain’s memory is used up with mind photos from this head-shaking incident.

Colorado, you made quite an impression on me. The ladies of Colorado are quite fine, too. To my pleasure, they refrain from state fair food. But Angel, you can drink all of the fried Pepsi you want, in this cowboy's opinion.

Friday, August 24, 2007

On social norms

Do you ever get involved in a conversation with somebody who stares at you long after your interaction with them is over? Does it creep you out?

I recently had lunch with somebody who did this. He’s like: “Hey, how ‘bout this weather? Pretty hot, huh?” So I’m like “Yeah, it's August, captain.” But then I look down and start eating my pasta dish, and look up and, sure enough, this cat is still looking at me. He kept doing that throughout the meal to the point where I could feel his crazy eyes burning into the top of my skull as I ate. And I’m thinking, “What the hell, man?"

After I looked up, I just quickly looked back down in horror. But I’ve decided if it happens again, I’m just going to start crowing at him like a pterodactyl. (I realize I could have used any flying animal there, but I thought it’d be funnier to use pterodactyl because it’s extinct and is spelled silly… sillily… humorously). I suppose making a loud, shrill donkey noise would work, too: "Eeeeeeaaaaawwwww!"

But why do people do crazy stuff like this? It drives me nuts. I had a friend in college (I don't think he reads this) who gave people weird looks when he drank too much, but at least that was alcohol-induced. Actually, he'd say some pretty raunchy things to women, too. Thing is, we never knew it. We'd hear about it at some party months later:

Girl: "Hey, do you know what (your friend) said to my roomate?"
Me: "No, what?"
Girl: (whisper)
Me: "Oh my Lord! No. No! Oh, sweet Moses. Is that even possible? Can one person physically do that to another person? Oh my heavens! I mean, the sheer physics of that are so daunting! No! I feel so badly that you were exposed to the mental visions that must have invoked (or possibly evoked, I don't know the difference). Can I do your dishes or something? Here, let me give you money..."

Needless to say, we had to do a lot of PR patchwork around our apartment complex. Anywaaaay...

CLASS PARTICIPATION TIME: If you have crazy things you wished people didn’t do (like spit when they talk, use the word “ain’t,” or poison your pets), feel free to post a comment about their actions on this blog and explain why it burns you up.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Your life is now

I'm pretty much a downtown Indy guy now. On any given weekend, I can be found doing my thing at the following places: Old Point Tavern, The Rathskeller, The Chatterbox, English Ivy's (yeah, it's a gay bar, but hey, it's next to my place so that trumps all other factors. It also gives me a chance to get caught up on the latest fashions, hair styles, and Katie Couric gossip).

Anyway, Tim has a friend who's going through a situation so we thought we'd take him out on the town Saturday. I should preface this with this ridiculous anecdote, however: A while back Tim came up with fake names for he and I when we go out. Mind you, I'm not sure what this accomplishes but aliases can be practical and one should always have one. And obviously, they have to be ridiculous, so I'm known as "Steven Tuesday" and his moniker is "Randy Butterscotch." Are we tools? Yes, but in our defense, we were tools long before this. Plus, these names make me laugh every time we discuss them. So I happened to be taking a shower one day and a third name came to me that we can use for anyone else who wants to join our bachelor downtown posse. That name? "Marley Coriander." It's so ridiculous I can't stop thinking about it. Isn't it funny how great ideas seem to hit you in the shower of all places? I think the best one I've ever gotten in there was probably "Hey Matt, you should probably think about cleaning yourself."

Well, our goal of the evening was to cheer up Tim's friend. We had an OK time, but the band at the biergarten was pretty brutal so we just kind of made fun of them the whole time. Oh, and we also looked at attractive women but ultimately decided not to talk to them. So finally, after a few beers and some heartfelt discussion on life, relationships, and my contention that optimism only lets you down, his newly single friend asks, "My God, is this what I have to look forward to?"

After much debate, we decided the answer - sadly - is "yes."

So pull up a stool Marley; it doesn't get much better than this.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Moving day

(Sorry about the lack of postage Thursday, but I didn't have cable access until the nice gentleman hooked it up this morning.)

The move went as well as could be expected Monday; I just need to pick up a few items to make it more livable. Nothing like cooking an entire chicken sausage in the oven and then realizing you don’t have any oven mitts. I won’t lie – there’s been blistering.

Thanks to Mitch for helping me. What a true, special friend he is. And handsome, too.

Here are some key lines from the move:

“I’m going to park in the street. If they honk at me, somebody’s getting cut.” - Matt

“(while lifting a desk up stairs) Watch out, it will go in your face… that’s what she said. (That’s not even funny but we laughed for 1.5 minutes. Oh, thank you comic relief.) - Matt

“Your neighbors are (freaking) weird.” – Mitch

“I’m going to have to boil this couch.” - Matt

“Just leave the van door open. If somebody steals it we won’t have to carry it in.” – Matt

“Goodbye security deposit. (There was some damage to the hallway leading up to my place. But I’m hoping that will be deemed a neutral area and I can blame it on my neighbor.)” – Mitch

“(while trying to maneuver my couch up a narrow stair case) This could not be going worse.” – Matt

Mitch: You’re living in the Aurora?
Matt: No, it’s called the Apollo.
Mitch: It says “Aurora” right above the building.
Matt: No, it’s the Apollo.
Mitch: Are you sure?
Matt: I know where I live, dude.
Mitch: OK
Matt: Why does it say “Aurora” over the door, though?
Mitch: That’s what I’m saying.
Matt: They told me it was the Apollo… lies.

Actually, I’m sure Mitch had more quality comments but I just wasn’t paying that close of attention, since this was mostly about me.

And then Tuesday night I became aware of the world of Costco. First of all, I think if you just bought gas there it would more than make up for the cost of membership. It’s quite a deal. Only problem is I have a very small kitchen and no storage space. Fortunately I’m a fast eater. Still, you have to love a place that allows you to buy meat, beer, a couch and a trampoline all in one visit. It’s beautiful.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Celebrate laughter, Part I: (Zach Galifianakis)

We're going to start a new monthly series here on K & S where we celebrate laughter by featuring some of my favorite stand-up comedians. Since the main point of my blog is to act as some kind of humorist, I'd like to use this segment to celebrate the artform of comedy and mainly to guarantee both of my readers get at least one laugh each month. Let's face it, life blows at least half of the time so some days laughter is all we have. This is also the part of the month where I try not to make this blog about me in an effort to surrender my ego (although telling you that is probably drawing more attention to me, which is counter-productive. It would probably be better just to not mention me at all. So yeah, just disregard this whole diatribe about myself). It's all very Buddhist in nature and I'm told this should cleanse me in some way. Yet I still feel dirty. So very, very dirty.

Anyhow, today we're featuring one of my favorite guys going right now, Zach Galifianakis. You might have seen him in the movie "Out Cold," and... um... quite possibly some other stuff. So without further ado:

On Conan

Give it time, this gets funny in the second half

Versus a reality show heckler (BEWARE: vulgar language)

Stay tuned for the September segment, where we'll feature the stylish, stoned out one-liners of the late, great Mitch Hedberg.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Downtown bound

Just got back from Friday's poker night. I got stopped at a sobriety checkpoint. According to Hamilton County Deputy (I wanna say) Spulchik, I was OK to drive. Anyway, I saw some cats driving around in Noblesville without their shirts on. I wrote a song about them on the way back. Here are the lyrics:

"I've got crazy facial hair
I'm in Noblesville
My name's Jeremy
And I'm not wearing a shiiiiiiiiiiiiirt"

Lots going on, beautiful readers, lots going on. On Monday I’m moving to an apartment in downtown Indianapolis. The building was built around 1919 so I’m hoping to have a constant buzz going from the mold and asbestos. “Ahhhh, breathe it in. It’s sort of like Brill Cream mixed with the souls of dead mice.” That’s what I’ll say; that’s what I’ll say to my guests.

So here’s the issue: My cable isn’t getting set up until next Saturday morning. They wanted to tell me they’d come on Wednesday between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. or something, but I’m like, “Yeah, um, I have a job, soooooo…” I have a feeling I’ll just be sitting around this week watching DVDs, working out on my Gazelle Edge thereby effectively toning my glutes and thighs, and learning to play new songs on my guitar. I’ve been really into the alt country scene lately, so I might try to learn some Ryan Adams (not Bryan Adams, people) or something. His new album, Easy Tiger, is a great listen and reminds me a bit of Neil Young. Adams seems to use many different voices and registers throughout his catalog. They tend to change depending on the mood or even genre of the song itself. It’s almost schizophrenic in a way, which I suppose I can relate to. And so can I. I might also try to get some bluegrass or Emmylou Harris going, as I think she’s the bee’s knees.

I’ll have help moving from Mitch and Tim. I was going to get them a meal or something for helping that night but I don’t think we’ll have time. I will, however, be living a block away from a liquor store so we may have to settle on Guinness for dinner - a fun and healthy snack I've been enjoying since I was a tot.

My interior’s going to be rather hodge podgie. It’s sort of hard to create a constant theme around a Bruce Springsteen TIME magazine cover, tie-dyed Bob Marley tapestry, Colts Super Bowl Championship poster and old Jell-O ads from the 1950s. But that’s what I’m working with here. Frank Lloyd Wright I'm not. (I realize he's an architect and not an interior designer, but I didn't know the names of any famous interior designers, so back off.)

CELEBRATE LAUGHTER: Brace yourselves for a new monthly feature I’ll be debuting on Tuesday, where we see clips from my favorite comedians. I won’t say who I’ll be featuring in the first post, but get ready for hilarity. HINT: He has a Jesus beard. OK, no more, I’ve said too much…

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Let it Rhain

This kid is sick (that's street slang for "outstanding"): New Manchester United recruit Rhain Davis, 9 years old

My issue is, where the hell was YouTube when I was balling in the Whitestown, Indiana Little League? WhenMitch and I were tearing up North Salem and Lizton as the 1 & 2 hitters while donning the American Legion Post 410 jersey, nobody could broadcast our achievements on the Infernets. Now, this little British kid gets signed by Manchester United before he's even off of breast milk. Oh well, I'm pretty happy with my life now so I guess I won't complain. I'm definitely not going to hate on the kid - good for him, he'll be dating Spice Girls' daughters in no time. Just don't knock her up, dude: Woopsy Doodle

I also think it's cool that his name is Rhain and he's not destined to become a stripper in Shelbyville. Rhain is a cool name and shouldn't be relegated to only being sported by people who wear unholy amounts of Aqua Net.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Music at the Vic II (On Drunks et al)

So Saturday I went to see the Counting Crows/Live/Collective Soul show. Here are a few certainties I gleaned from the experience:

1. Live is a great band.
2. Counting Crows is a pretty good band.
3. Collective Soul is still making music.
4. I don't care for people - not at all.

We were down on the field for Live, which I enjoyed. However, they didn't play "Pillar of Davidson," even though I specifically requested it on my blog. Questionable. The set was short but rocked.

We went up in the cheap seats for Counting Crows because we were tired of the idiots down on the field and didn't care that much. Guess what, there were idiots in the stands, too. Some 45-year-old lady stood up behind us during one song to shake her excessive booty. She then tapped me on the back to get me to dance. Here's the conversation verbatim.

Lady: (Backslap) You need to dance, dude.
Me: I'm fine. Don't touch me.

In brighter news, a drunk girl told me she liked my hat and pink shirt. My shirt wasn't pink, but I appreciated the sentiment nonetheless.

To give you a feel for the crowd, here are Timmy's observations:

"If I hear one more double negative, I'm gonna kill somebody" and "Our country's in trouble."

I don't know what it is about American society that dictates when you go out to a public venue, you have to treat it like a NASCAR race and act like a drunken ass. I guess it was probably worse since I was the designated driver so I couldn't partake, but dang. I'm sort of wondering how many of their kids some of these people had to sell to get the $50 for the tickets.

In closing, I'd just say that I enjoyed the music and that was a plus, but for the most part the collective indictment of society was rather alarming. I fear you're right, Timmy. Our country IS in trouble and may be on the verge of a meltdown or idiocy-induced 'splosion. On the upside, at least we can go out listening to "Lightning Crashes."

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Music at the Vic

Exciting times are ahead. Today I’m off to the Counting Crows/Live/Collective Soul concert at Victory Field in downtown Indy. If there’s a heaven on earth, I bet it features 1990s bands rocking out in a minor league baseball stadium. Outstanding.

My friend who’s a DJ at 99.5 FM told me a while back that he heard the Gin Blossoms would also be there, but I fear time has proven him to be a filthy liar. Even so, word on the street is these concerts have gone on for 4.5 hours so I’ll need to bring my fanny pack full of water and possibly good cheer. Yeah, I’m kidding, I’ve never worn a fanny pack. Maybe I should; maybe that could be my thing. I’ll carry really obscure items in it like tweezers and 1997 Topps baseball cards. So then when people ask me for something practical like gum or something, I’ll give them a really put-off look and be like, “Um, nooooo, I’m only carrying sporks and jelly bracelets today, thank you very much.”

The seating for this concert is first-come first-served, I believe. So it would behoove us to get there early so we can sit in the field near the stage. I want to be close enough to see the mice in Adam Duritz’s dreadlocks.

We’re hitting Weber Grill with some gals beforehand, but with my freakish hunger I’m betting I’ll be dying for a ballpark hotdog by “I Alone.” I really hope Live plays “Pillar of Davidson” (now with David Duchovny thanks to YouTube!) from Throwing Copper. That song has some odd lyrics but it’s quite remarkable, in this reporter’s opinion. Here’s the chorus as I know it:

"Old, bad eyes
Old, bad eyes
Old, bad eyes, almighty fear

The shepherd won't leave me alone
He's in my face and I
The shepherd of my days
And I want you here by my heart and my head,
I can starve till I'm dead"

Hey whatever man, it works. I think I read it’s about a Harley Davidson motorcycle factory in their hometown and how people had to be slaves for the Man. Either that or it’s an introspective piece written from the perspective of a blind sheep. I don’t know, maybe I’ll ask a roadie about that one. Anyway, should be some good times.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Running with the bowls in Barcelona

I visited downtown Indy’s new tapas bar, Barcelona, on Tuesday. I must admit, I’d never heard of the word “tapas” before I went – we ain’t got them fancy places in Boone County. So when I heard people say this, I thought they were saying “topless bar.” In that sense, I guess I was obviously disappointed.

Basically the way it works is your entire group orders about 2 dishes each and everybody shares. Being an only child, I’m normally not one to share food, so I was mildly tempted to slap people’s hands away and yell “Mine!” or "No!" or "You wanna get cut, gringo? 'Cause I'll cutcha!" I refrained, however.

The food tastes great, but it’s quite expensive. If I ever meet anybody worth dating, I’ll probably take them there for the atmosphere and the intimacy of (sigh) sharing food. However, I just didn’t get full. Being a Spain-themed venue, I think they understandably serve European-sized portions. That’s probably ideal for the abundance of obese Hoosiers, but what about cats like me who exercise frequently and deserve to be fed like a lumberjack when I go out?

All told, I’ll give Barcelona a 3.7 out of 5 stars for delightful dishes and attractive waitresses (sadly wearing shirts). Again, I’d recommend it for a date, but if you’re looking to get your grub on, I’d stick with Qdoba (or if you're dating someone really cool, just take her there in the first place).

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Dogfather

After 28 years, I’m officially a godfather.

Tim and I have agreed that I shall be the godfather of his new Beagle, named “Dunston” after my suggestion to give him the moniker of my favorite Chicago Cub (rocket-armed shortstop Shawon Dunston) of all-time. Dunston arrived Sunday afternoon and seemed a little nervous, but eventually fell asleep after touring Tim’s house and yard in Broad Ripple. It’s a pretty nice little situation.

I’m not totally sure what being a godfather entails, but I think it mainly means I’ll be in charge of, um, finding the dog's new owner if Tim dies. Just kidding, as I’m sure I’ll take him in and raise him as I would my own dog. Together, we’ll become the first father/son team to accomplish some feat – I’m just not sure what yet. I’m betting it will involve eating though, as I can eat a freakish amount for my weight and I can train Dunston to expand his stomach like Kobayashi. Look at me, already dreaming of the future.

In the ancient debate of dogs vs. cats, I’m a total dog guy. I won’t get into the theory of why guys are like dogs and women are like cats, mainly because I’m not in the mood to read angry comments from women. However, I will contend that, by and large, dogs tend to be loyal and apt to please others with love - and by sacrificing their own pride - while cats are traditionally self-important and oblivious to the considerations of others. That’s all I’m saying. Also, like men, dogs have the decency to urinate outdoors instead of going in a make-shift gravel pit in somebody’s kitchen. It's simply a matter of courtesy, folks.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


So here's the big news thing yesterday on Lindsay Lohan: CNN is struggling

I haven't followed this really closely, mainly because I don't care and I can't believe CNN covers this with the fervor that it does, but I saw Lohan's mug all over the TV. So now, is she a whackjob or just a callgirl? I'm trying to catch up here so stay with me.

All things being equal, here's the moral of the story, ladies: If you have red hair - KEEP IT. Red hair - especially auburn - is a gift from God. To me, it's so beautiful. If that was your natural hair color, why would you dip your head in peroxide? Just so you can look like you can't do math? What a waste!

I've had a serious thing for red heads for quite a while and I'm not even ashamed. Be proud ladies, celebrate it, and don't act like some coked-out actress du jour and turn it blonde and echo the latest platitudes of the day like "That's hot" or "Fer sure" or "I'll **** you for $150."

Maintain your pride, and be a lady. Good day.

Friday, July 27, 2007

"Stick with Rick" - needs work

After the recent property tax debacle (although it shouldn't be that suprising if you'd have read a paper in the last 3 years), I'm trying to get my man Ricky to run for city council or some other office. I'd like to be his campaign manager. Mitch will handle the media marketing junk, and maybe Tim could help with fundraising.

Rick does improv for Comedy Sportz and Fun Dumpster downtown so I'm thinking he'd be a great candidate. I would most aptly describe his political affiliation as "angry."

Here's some advice I gave him over e-mail this week:

"I want you to run for city council. However, I plan for you to attend all events in a wizard’s hat, holding a crystal ball and a hairless cat. You’ll also be referring to your volunteers as “my minions." I suppose you could also run for sheriff. Your strength will be that you’re not a law enforcement insider, but you’re well-versed in first-person shooting games.”

Indianapolis, get ready to be turned upside down. All we need is a clever slogan - but that hairless cat can't hurt.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Saturday's Microbrew Festival was officially a blast. Basically, you pay $30 to drink as much beer as you can in four hours. It's sort of a challenge. Granted, some people were there to actually taste the beer, but for most of us, after about number six they all sort of taste the same.

The only problem, aside from the fact that it's outside in July and you're drinking, is that it's such a hodge-podge of different brews. You end up drinking light, dark, porter, stout, I think there was something with blueberry - bottom line: the human stomach doesn't care for it. So, then we went out to a Mexican place in Broad Ripple. Another tremendous decision.

I won't go into details, but I basically had to go Kate Moss on it after all was said and done and gag myself to clear my situation. It worked and I slept rather well, albeit after watching David Beckham's LA Galaxy debut.

And, if you've ever read this blog before, you can bet that after a long day of drinking I got into a disagreement with a random girl in our group regarding why our friend's girlfriend was acting crazy. Basically, she thought she was justified in over-reacting to nothing and walking home, whereas my contention was, "What? Oh my God - you've got to be kidding me. Shut up."

She then informed our friend that he shouldn't take advice from me because I don't have a girlfriend, so then I proclaimed to everyone: "Yeah, I'm a bad guy; I don't have a girlfriend (because that's some sort of meritorious accomplishment). Look at all the joy relationships are bringing to my friends."

Anywaaaaaaay, it was a joyous time and I recommend the festival to anyone interested in beer, and women.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Microbrew Fest

I'm going to this today: Broad Ripple Microbrew Festival

Therefore, conjugating sentences is probably out of the question for most of the day. Will let you know how it goes.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Call me superficial

One of the beautiful things about MySpace is that it allows you to look up old friends, enemies, and especially people you've dated. What I find frustrating is when I look up someone I used to date, see photos of their new beau, and their new beau is clearly unattractive (usually fat).

Now, I take this as a slap in the face. Mainly because I felt like I had accomplished something by getting a particular gal to date me. But then, it seems she really has no standards at all - thereby negating my achievements. I might as well have dated a nasty myself. What's the point? Let's face it, the only reason we really date people is to show them off. If we didn't, the world would simply revolve around random hook-ups and friends with benefits.

By dating someone, I have a trophy, so to speak. But when the trophy dates somebody who's sub-par, that trophy is relegated to becoming one of those certificates of participation we used to get in school when we played sports or entered the Science Fair; it's worthless. Am I wrong?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Biggest game in town

I'm a poker freak, so I've been tuned in to the streaming final table blog of the World Series of Poker. A field of nearly 6,000 has been trimmed down to 9: World Series final table

Mind you, I haven't been reading this from work, since I'm busy doing work things at work... because I'm a model employee.

I don't know why I love poker so much, but I do. I love it so much that I've read many books on the subject, including "Harrington On Hold 'em I & II," "Small Stakes Hold 'em," "The Biggest Game in Town," "Mike Caro's Book of Tells," "Playing Professional Poker: The Essential Guide to Playing for a Living" (yeah, I thought about it), and several more that I can't think of right now. It's paid off though, because it's allowed me to make a great deal of money. We even had a poker club going in Indy before it got shut down by the cops, even though there were cops playing there. Mind you, I didn't play there... because I'm a model citizen.

I guess what I love about poker is that it's a pseudo-sport where cerebral guys like myself have an advantage over meatheads (I realize it's not a real sport, but a card game). However, it's treated the same as a major sport by the mass media, even being the featured presentation of ESPN these days. After all, meatheads hit all the homeruns, score most of the touchdowns, and God knows they usually get the girls.

So poker is my way of getting back at the ogres. Oh yeah, and I like taking money from people. That's pretty cool, too.

And for what it's worth, I coined this piece of poker wisdom (to my knowledge): "Middle pairs are like promiscuous women; never get married to them or they'll break your heart."

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sanctity my foot

Here's a question: Why is it the only attractive women in Indy who are into me have to be married? Seriously, I was at a bar on Mass Ave. last night and I notice this beautiful gal giving me the naughty eyes. She wasn't even subtle about it. Then, a friend of mine walked in and she hugged him. Turns out she works at the school where he used to teach. Even better, her husband was sitting just two feet from her when she was vibing me and telling her friends.

I don't really want to be a homewrecker, so I won't pursue this, but I'm going to need Indy to go ahead and step up in the single lady department. And to be honest, a devil's advocate would say that most marriages will end within 5 years anyway, so what real harm would I be causing by letting a married woman pursue me? I'm not saying I'll do it, I'm just saying the argument could be made by someone with less moral fortitude.

I haven't been relegated to online matching websites yet, but something needs to happen soon. In the meantime, if you're married ladies, please stop vibing me in public. It's not good for anybody.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I'll take the cake, but hold the singing

I absolutely dread my birthday. Not because I'm scared of getting older, because my life seems to get better each year. See, the problem is, I absolutely hate having large groups of people singing to me. Seriously, what is your reaction supposed to be during this whole debacle? Should I smile? I don't think so, because I'm certainly not happy.

And since Chi-Chi's went under, you don't even get fried ice cream for enduring this whole thing anymore.

I think I'm going to be like my little cousin, who just starts laughing and screaming hysterically when people sing the birthday song to him. It's cute when he does it, but trust me, if a grown person did this, it'd be scary. Like, horror movie scary.

Whatever. If you're a Cancer like me, then Happy F-ing Berfday. And this is for you.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mighty mighty '97 (Part II)

So for starters, apparently Tiki Bob's forbids gentlemen from dancing in the cages. Am I wrong, or should there be an outcry of angst from ladies who were denied my sweet dance moves in a public forum? It seems suspect, and I'm thinking there have to be some sexism/OSHA compliance issues at stake here. I have people on it.

My friend Seth flew in from Manhattan for this thing and it did not disappoint. He's one of these guys who's so pretty he gets all the girls he wants. Just for sociology's sake, I told a girl at Tiki Bob's he had herpes just to see what she'd do. She still kissed him; I love it. God bless him. Seth, Mitch and I got the most out of our weekend, touring both Indy and Lebanon. We even hooped it up at our boy Turley's folks' house on Saturday. I won't lie, the game was tough to watch and we have definitely aged and somehow gotten even slower, but the spirit was there. Seth and I owned the competition during the round robin tournament due to some clutch shooting by me on the perimeter and some post domination by him in the paint. We were outsized and outquicked by the two other squads, but we're both very crafty, cerebral players. That's code for saying "We cheat when we can."

Considering my class was somewhat notorious for being ne'er-do-wells back in the day (present company probably included), I was pleasantly surprised to see what everybody's up to at the reunion. Some have focused primarily on procreation, which is fine I guess, but most of us have become reasonably productive members of society. Pretty cool. I even got back in touch with some folks in Indy and in places I'd like to visit, so that was beneficial.

The weird part is, you see people you may have never even spoken to in high school, but you see them and just start talking because you have something in common - you shared the same experience during the same timeframe in your life. Some of us enjoyed high school, some of us didn't, most of us just loathed basking in suburbia, always looking for a way to entertain ourselves. But it's a connection, and you find out that a lot of us are pretty much the same - just skating by one day at a time.

I've now discovered my class has its own MySpace page, so I look forward to keeping tabs on everybody. Maybe there's hope for all of us yet.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Mighty mighty '97

Lebanon High's Class of '97 had its 10-year reunion at Jillian's and, sadly, Tiki Bob's in downtown Indy on Saturday. Let me just tell you, fun was had by many, although I regretfully was not afforded an opportunity to tase NBA player Michael Olawakandi at Tiki Bob's with a stun gun as the IPD was able to a couple years ago (frowny face).

The weekend's been a blur and I need to collect my thoughts for a more in-depth posting on Tuesday, but I had a lot more fun than I thought I would. It's always great to see who's married, who's fat, and who's hot that you never even talked to in high school - and wished you had to establish a better line of credit for your late twenties with that person.

See more on this later, as I need to get some sleep and rest after a long weekend of basketball playing, Skeeball rolling, drinking and flirting with former classmates. Go Tigers!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

On a downtown train

Like many people, music is a big part of my life. I minored in music studies at Indiana University, which is a world-renowned school. I didn't play an instrument, but I did gain a tremendous appreciation for music and had the opportunity to watch some phenomenal students perform.

Anyway, Tim and I are considering forming a cover band, mainly just to play at our own parties and develop our interpretations of songs. If we get some chicks out of it, so be it - I'll be honest, it's something we've discussed. He's planning to get some hand drums (he's a rather accomplished percussionist), and I'll play guitar and do some vocals. I can sing really well some days, and other days I sound like crap. I think a lot of it depends on what I eat, time of day, my mood, etc. Needless to say, I'm trying to recruit a talented young lady I know to join us.

While studying some great songs that might suit our abilities and desires, I came across this tremendous dichotomy that I think illustrates the difference between what I consider soul music (which is anything "real," ergo, it comes from the soul, and crap).

Here it is:

Real, soulful, beautiful because of its origin: Tom Waits' "Downtown Train"

Crap: Rod Stewart's "Downtown Train"

I don't mean to be negative. I don't know why I loathe Rod Stewart's music so much; he seems like a decent guy. But can you see the discrepancy here? Can you feel one person's angst in wanting to see this Brooklyn girl on a train under a yellow moon, the very moon that punches a hole in the night sky? She's beautiful in his eyes, although maybe not to the world. But that doesn't matter, because he feels he's found something special in her; screw what everybody else thinks. Conversely, can you feel the other person's - I don't know - desire to hook up with a groupie or the model/actress in the video after the shoot? Seems obvious to me. It seems obvious to me, Rod.

To me, music is beautiful because it comes from the guts. Anything else is just noise.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Going nuclear

I went back to the Vogue Friday night, this time to see Margot & the Nuclear So & So's.

It was pretty interesting. They have an eight-piece band and this is their story. They have a unique sound and I dig the exaggerated ensemble; seems like when bands crowd the stage with members it begets more of a party atmosphere. I just feel sort of bad for the band, however, since it's probably tough to make much cash when you're splitting the door eight ways.

Anyway, I can see them building sort of a cult following, although I didn't hear anything that screamed hit single in their catalog. But as I or any music aficianado will tell you, the best music out there rarely hits mainstream radio airwaves. Most noteworthy was that their keyboardist and singer is a chick - a very hot chick. A very hot chick who uses the f-bomb. Normally I find that to be a bit of a turnoff with the ladies, since it usually means they're not the type of gal you can take home to mom. But in this case, I might make an exception.

"Mom, this is my f-ing girlfriend... she's a f-ing ballbuster. I f-ing love her."

She was really hot.

After a nightcap at the Wellington and my usual hangover preventative (a naked burrito at Q-Doba), Tim and I retired. But not before meeting up with two attractive sisters, one of whom was married (naturally) and the other was just visiting from San Francisco (sure).

All told, it was a pretty nice little Saturday.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Riding coach

We lost our first round game of Wednesday's end of the season kickball tournament. It was very disheartening and a little suspect. We played in a co-ed league, yet the team we played only had 2 girls. Granted, we had them outnumbered in the field 11 to 9, but it seems askew. But since we're so dang nice, we let them count the victory. Perhaps karma will make us champions in life for this. Probably not.

Speaking of coaching, one of my pals is trying to get a friend and I to coach a little league basketball team with him. We would then film the whole season and make an independent picture out of it, which would probably look something like this. However, I'm not willing to ruin someone's childhood just so I can be featured at Sundance. And knowing my patience, or lack there of, with children, it could not possibly end well.

What's more, having served as a sports editor and editor in chief of a newspaper, I know firsthand what it's like to deal with parents. They are absolutely ridiculous. The only thing worse than dealing with people is dealing with people who are living vicariously through other people, which is what many parents do via their children's competitive activities. It's absolutely horrifying to watch from a distance.

However, I wonder what it would be like to coach a team of elderly folks. I bet it would be interesting. I'm betting I would get more out of it because I wouldn't have to deal with parents, and my team could teach me things - things like historical facts, antiquated technology, Ensure. But maybe there would be similar frustrations considering the team wouldn't always be able to physically do what's necessary to win: "Come on, Phyllis! Dick Butkus didn't need oxygen! You're better than that."

All told, I think my coaching will be limited to young and middle-aged grown-ups on the kickball field. Perhaps my rule of thumb will be: If I can't drink with my team after the game, I shouldn't be coaching them.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The games people play

So Tim and I have this game we play (and by "game," I mean "pathetic indictment of our lives") where we walk around Indy's Monument Circle during our lunch hour and evaluate the ladies. If a woman is pretty enough to date, we assign her one point. We also give half points, but my mom reads this so I won't comment on what those are for. Once we've reached 10 points, we can head back to the office. To Indy's credit, it doesn't really take that long.

The question is: How sad is this? Answer: Pretty sad.

I think we're both pretty frustrated with our dating situations, but we're making strides to improve our respective predicaments. We're both pretty decent looking and smart, so one would think we're on the verge of acquiring a couple lovely ladies. However, some might argue we're not fat enough; see my previous post. I'm finding a lot of it is just getting the nerve to talk to beautiful women. All my pretty friends say regular guys rarely approach them; it's usually just drunken wanna-be's wearing crooked visors and coffee-stained wife beaters.

So, in lieu of this information, I've made a mid-year resolution to talk to beautiful women. I'll keep you posted on how it goes, and who knows, perhaps I'll find a one-pointer to call my own.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Surrounded by sharks

If you're young and live in Indianapolis and you haven't been to an IndyHub event, you're missing out.

Tuesday featured an event at the zoo where we could actually touch sharks swimming around in this huge tank. I opted not to, noting the proximity of my fingers to my primary arteries, but many took advantage. Apparently, the sharks felt like mushrooms - little angry, man-eating mushrooms. We were also privy to sea lions, penguins with punk rock hairdos (all named Johnny Rotten I through XXXIV), and a ginormous walrus who, despite his rotund appearance, was quite agile in the water. An interesting dichotomy, sort of reminded me of what it would have been like had John Goodman starred in "Splash."

Friday, June 22, 2007

GUEST BLOG: Beers & Jeers

By: TIM BREWER, Guest Blogger/Mean Drunk

I recently returned from a vacation to Maine, New Hampshire and New Brunswick, Canada. I joined my college buddies, one living in Canada and the other living in Washington D.C., to catch up on old times and act irresponsibly for five days, just like our president.

We visited seven breweries during our road trip, took in some hiking and were blown away by the amazing views from Mt. Washington. All seven breweries were interesting, as Moosehead Breweries gave us the cute public relations tour woman and Oak Pond Brewing in Maine used a backwoods chicken farm building to craft their beers. Oak Pond’s dunkel beer was my favorite sample. Yes, I had many samples. The chicken farm set up still blows me away. Apparently, Foghorn Leghorn is quite the brew master.

Trip highlights:

* Dave constantly quoting Buddy from Elf each time he belched by saying, "did you hear that?"
* My love for lunchtime wraps reached out of control status.
* All of us at a Canadian bar cheering for the American team against the Canadian team during the Stanley Cup Finals. We hate hockey, but we wanted to irritate the locals. Mission accomplished. Good lord, they truly have nothing else up there.
* Me regularly asking myself why I live in Indiana instead of the mountains.
* Dave and I asking Drew (he is half Japanese and half German) what the Chinese symbols meant each time we drove by a Chinese buffet.
* Spotting a running moose in the wild and naming him "Chad."
* Dave skipping a rock in the Salmon River so far that I labeled it the "Jesus Rock," as it walked on water.

The vacation was fun, refreshing and as always, a learning experience. Thanks to Northwest Airlines and my cancelled flight from Detroit to Indianapolis, I had to downgrade my overall vacation from A to A-. I’ll travel by stinky donkey to my next destination before I ever step foot in Detroit or fly Northworst again. Sorry Eminem – we ain’t that tight, dawg.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Enjoy local music, jazz

Had a great night out on the town Saturday and we ended back at one of my favorite bars - The Chatterbox on Mass Ave. They have myriad jazz talents come through their doors throughout the year and I strongly suggest, if you have any interest in that type of music, you should check it out.

If memory serves from my music studies minor at Indiana University, jazz is really the only truly American form of music. To me, that makes sense because it's sort of a microcosm of the organized chaos that makes this country the best in the world. It's usually structured, but there's an element of devil-may-care improvisation that I find exciting. And to me, the beauty of instrumental jazz is that the lyrics are whatever you want them to be. Instead of literal or figuritive descriptions of love and social revolutions, jazz communicates to you with a collection of beats, sounds and feelings. It's quite something, but I think it's something you may not pick up on until you've had at least 3 beers.

After living in Wyoming and Iowa for 3.5 years, things like this really make me appreciate the culture that Indy provides. It's a scene that is constantly growing, and I ask that you join me in attempting to keep it that way by getting involved on local boards and organizations. Or maybe just buy that "Celebrate the Arts" license plate the BMV offers - that should do it.

At any rate, I strongly recommend grabbing a few friends and getting lost in the beats of our fair Chatterbox. Kick back, have a few Jamaican beef patties (no matter how much you've had to drink or how hungry you are, don't eat them right out of the oven or your tongue will blister), down a few brews, and celebrate some serious virtuosos at work.

Just don't take my seat, cats.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Vote America!

Political discourse has hit the proverbial fan: 'Crushing' the system

At any rate, Barack Obama is currently perceived as the "sexy" candidate, so novelty videos such as this probably won't do anything to help or hurt his image, most likely. Don't let Hillary's early lead in the Democratic polls fool you, this will be a tight race as people get to know him and it becomes a run-off. And I actually like Obama, but I'm not yet sure who I'm going to vote for in 2008. It could be the Democrat; it could be the Republican. To be honest, I could very well be voting Libertarian for my third presidential election in a row. (I'm hoping Starchild clears the primary this year.)

I see videos like this and I wonder if we should be proud of ourselves because of all that we've accomplished in terms of cultivating technology, the fact that we're afforded freedoms to be so cavalier about the process, or even the fact that this wonderful country can produce women as hot as the one on the screen. Or would our founding fathers be spinning in their respective graves that this is how our young people approach politics? Is this an indictment of our collective society as a whole?

I really don't know, but I'm waiting for the pro-Hillary retort video. Perhaps a rap tribute featuring the lyric:

I produce left wing votes
like a vote distillery
Just please dear God
let me get a date with Hillary

Alright, Hillary's a tough rhyme, people. Cut me some slack.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Kickball: A celebration

My coworkers have formed a kickball squad that competes in a five-team league on the city's north side. It's really quite something, as I never thought I'd see grown-ups playing kickball in an organized competition. I played a couple weeks ago, but due to recurring knee problems (coupled with the fact that my health insurance has yet to kick in) I've had to be relegated to the disabled list. In related news, I'm apparently a worthless, worthless cripple. On the upside, I'm now the team's full-time third base coach. Wednesday was my first night in this role, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The duties of a kickball third base coach essentially entail proclaiming to everyone how many outs there are, telling people when to run, and in my case, checking out the cute gal on the other team in the pink shorts with the powerful thighs. It's what I do.

Our squad lost a tight contest to the best team in the league Wednesday, but I think we're sandbagging for the tournament, which is slated to be held in a couple of weeks. And I'll tell you, I like it. Much like the Russians over the last two decades, we're playing possum and are ready to strike. I can tell it's going to be a cutthroat battle for domination, but I wouldn't bet against us.

What's funny is seeing the different levels of competitiveness from the combatants. Since it's a co-ed league, you have a lot of women who don't care, guys who apparently believe the outcome will dictate their manhood, and people like myself who are more focused on women in pink shorts.

All told, I'd say it's an enjoyable activity and reason number 437 why I'm glad I moved back to Indy. For those interested, you can find out more about future leagues here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Spirits in the sky

I finally dragged my pal Mitch to the liberal, young church on Sunday. It was interesting for me. I consider myself to be sort of a Christian Buddhist. I won't get into the semantics of this, but Buddhism is really more of a philosophy than a religion, so this is feasible, and I can really justify attending either type of service.

Either way, the church was interesting and yes, there were quite a few attractive women there. However, I don't quite think that's a genuine motivation to keep attending, but it doesn't hurt. It's what Jesus would want, people.

I must say, the music was better than most services I grew up with as a baptized Catholic who later attended Methodist services, since it was guitar-laden Christian rock instead of the typical hymnal action. But I don't know, I'm not really a sing-along, wave your hand in the air kind of Christian, and there was a lot of that. It reminded me of those commercials advertising Michael W. Smith or DC Talk music. It wasn't this bad, but I'm still not sure it's for me. I'm not judging, but I'm wondering if the Buddhist thing might be more in my wheelhouse, since it's all about learning and introspection. One tremendous upside about this church is that they shove the kids into their own little daycare so everybody doesn't have to deal with their screaming when you're trying to listen to the preacher, which I greatly appreciated. You know there were times back in the day, perhaps during the Sermon on the Mount, when even J.C. would have been like, "Would somebody put a muzzle on that little s**t? I'm trying to do some things up here!"

Maybe I'll go back; I'm not sure. I guess it didn't help that Mitch is a little too much like me and opted to sneak out the back following the service instead of going out the entrance where the greeters were.

"You don't want to go out the friendly door?" I asked as we sheepishly bolted.

We're planning to attend a Buddhist function in a couple weeks, so I'll post on that to let you know how it goes.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Paris' ugliness lies within... us

I previously had a Paris Hilton boycott on my blog, as I'm sick of hearing about or discussing this social enigma. However, I felt it necessary to make a point after society's collective rejoicing when she was sent back to jail yesterday.

It seems there is no greater source of hatred in this world than Paris Hilton. Hatred we should be feeling for things like war, world hunger, and crime in our inner cities is all bottled, shaken up, and now directed toward one wayward socialite in Los Angeles, whose contribution to this world is minimal at best.

But that's just it; why do we care so much? See, I don't hate Paris. I don't like Paris. I feel nothing for Paris. And I do hate things. I hate the fact that there are kids getting molested in this world. I hate cooked apples. I hate commercials made promoting my alma mater, Indiana University, that look like they were produced by a fifth grade production class depicting it as "red hot" and then displaying a Chili's logo. I don't get it. All the tuition/donation money the largest university in the state receives and these are your promotions? Explain yourselves.

I just think the vitriolic spew directed at Paris is more of a reflection of ourselves, and more of an indictment of our collective perspective. Why hate her so much? If I feel anything for her, it's pity. She has never had to work, so she will never know the joys of achievement to the level that most everyone else does. Believe it or not, partying every night is not as rewarding as it sounds. She will live an entire life and have nothing to show for it except a legacy of idiocy and a corroded liver. Why be jealous? Why hate her out of envy?

So Paris is rotting in jail. Whether she does, whether she doesn't, it makes no difference to me. I have to go mow the yard.

And let the boycott begin again, startiiiiiiiiing NOW!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Mother bleeping falcons and such

Here are some links to random things that have struck my proverbial fancy over the past few days:

* In Indy, we have falcons. I think our city government had them imported quite a few years ago. I'm not totally sure why, but I find it amusing. I think they might be here to control the pigeon population on Monument Circle. I've actually been told that sometimes they'll divebomb the pigeons during lunch, and then disembowl them whilst people eat outside of our various dining establishments. It's beautiful. Anyway, our city paper has an entire blog dedicated to these beautiful creatures of flight... who poop and disembowl at our pleasure. NOW with webcam!:Celebrate our Falcons

* Budweiser Swear Jar: This is a commercial that's either on now or will be or something. It's pretty funny, but I guess it's not that creative since the bleeping out cursing formula is a little cliche. However, I still find it amusing. You mother bleepers: Budweiser Swear Jar

* The funny thing here is I really enjoy this song, yet the words I've been singing most of my life aren't far off from this guy's interpretation. Although, I guess what I've been singing aren't really lyrics so much as a compilation of sounds and noises: Yellow Fed Cheddar (that's my own title)

* When he's not yelling at his daughter, he's pretty dang funny. I love this guy. (She had it coming, anyway.):The Talented Baldwin

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

GUEST BLOG: Of Love & Tacos

By RICK RANDJELOVIC, Guest Blogger/Six Sigma Black Belt

First of all, yes, this is a blog about Qdoba. Well, sort of... If you want to stop reading now, I totally understand. Just know that you'll miss the surprise ending. Just kidding. It isn't really a surprise, or an ending, for that matter. What lies ahead for you, our loyal readers, is a troubling look at a young, single man's world.

Today for lunch we went to Qdoba. Looking at my, um, leavings, one could find that I eat a lot of Mexican food. Not real Mexican, but burrito-chain Mexican. Last night I had Moe's. Today I had Qdoba. On Friday, lunch is being catered in from Qdoba. I don't know if I should be proud or shameful. Perhaps we should make up a word right now that could describe the combination. How about "shamprod?"

Feeling shamprod isn't that rare of an occurrence for me. I'm very shamprod that I drank three bottles of champaign and threw up for 6 hours afterwards. Or, you must be very shamprod; you have the entire "Welcome Back Kotter" commemorative plate set. It took a lot of hard work (pride), to collect something that ridiculously dorky (shame).

One thing that I'm actually shamprod of (other than the throw up thing) is that I now drink mostly Diet Coke. The thing is, I mix a little regular Coke in with it. Sometimes I even Cherry Coke it up. You still get the caffeine, but not the 600 calories. Now, I told you that story to tell you this one:

There is a reason why I enjoy going to Qdoba. I'm a gambler. Three weeks ago, we went to Qdoba and this woman walks in. She was very attractive but older. Not Skeletor old, rather she is probably 4 years older than me.

Well, as fate would have it, we were both at the drink station thingy at the same time. Then it happened. I watched her combine both Coke and Diet Coke. I knew then and there I had to at least talk to her. So I mustered up all my nerve and said, "So, you're a mixer."

Of course, I knew what being a mixer meant. So do you after reading the last few paragraphs. Here's the thing: It turns out she didn't have a chance to read any of this ahead of time. It must astound you to know that her reply was, "What?" Then I explained about the Coke and Diet Coke thing. She said that she was trying to kick her Coke habit. I laughed because when a stranger tells you she's trying to kick a coke habit - well, that's just funny.

So, that's all that really happened. I know, big deal, right? Wrong (or right, I don't know).

Last week, when we went to Qdoba, she came in. She didn't look at me or acknowledge my presence, but I felt a connection. I thought that my clever banter and acquisitions of hard-core drug use would have earned me a place in her heart. Apparently they did not.

Like I said, we went back today - and who walks in but "The Mixer."

Isn't that kind of weird? Wait, is it weird or is it destiny? If it was random chance, then yes. I'm going with destiny. However, here's where the gambler in me takes over. What are the odds that three weeks in a row I would see the same girl in Qdoba? Probably pretty small. So, that must mean she eats there EVERY DAY. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Let us form a bulleted list.

Massive points on Q-card
Smells like warm tortillas
Enjoys chips

Not Atkins friendly
Possibly obsessive compulsive

So naturally, Good wins. How creepy would it be if she was stalking me? I have to admit, thinking that I eat at Qdoba so much that a girl who wants to stalk me goes there every day for lunch has got to make a guy feel just a little shamprod.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

For Ned

As someone who attempts (sometimes successfully, sometimes not) to be a humor writer, nothing is more offensive to me in the world of comedy than people who aren't original. Usually I hold that contempt for people who make generic jokes (e.g. "white people do this, black people do this, Bill Clinton was the first black president, etc."). However, when you blatantly steal jokes from people you've worked with, that's just unthinkable to me.

Here's a couple videos about the ongoing feud between Joe Rogan and Carlos Mencia (aka Ned Holness) and another example of Ned's plagiarism:


*Stealing from Cosby

The worst part is, before I even saw this I couldn't stand Mencia and could never understand how America could be dumb enough to find him amusing enough to support his show on Comedy Central. It's not that his humor was offensive, because that doesn't bother me as long as it's funny, but I've just never found it funny. None of it. He just tries to be the angry venting guy but he never had an ounce of originality, wit or pinache. Lewis Black he's not. So when I saw this clip, I thought, "Yeah, that seems about right."

Mind you, I normally don't like to use this blog for negativity (cynicism sure, but not negativity directed towards anyone... well, negativity directed towards certain people sure, but not... wait, what was my point?). The crux of the matter is that to me, there are few sacred things in this world, but comedy is one of them. So when you disgrace it by showing a blatant irreverence for the people who have worked tirelessly over many years to hone this craft, I get a little fired up. And there are myriad videos/proof of his joke stealing on YouTube.

So Ned, as the comedy world crashes down around you, take solace in the fact that you've made those millions of dollars. Sure they've come via your disingenuous theft of the wit of your fellow comedians, many of whom live in rat-infested studio apartments in New York City waiting for their big breaks. But keep living that luxurious lifestyle and perpetuating your fraudulent identity.

And the next time I happen to come across your God awful show on Comedy Central, just know I'll respond in kind by saying: "White people do this - (click)."