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)."