It appears that Michael Jackson is dead...which is apparently enough to bring this blog back to life.
If Michael is dead. I don't really know how I feel about it. Obviously I don't know the man, but it certainly seems like in recent years he took the story-line of his most famous video to heart and turned into some sort of monster.
I mean if his guy was out there using his celebrity to terrorize little kids, the world is probably better off without him.
On the other hand, it's hard to look back on my own childhood and NOT have fond memories of Michael Jackson. His talent was as legendary as his eccentric behavior. I feel like the Michael Jackson I new as a kid probably died in the 90s.
My favorite memory of MJ was watching him premier his "moonwalk" move on a Motown Special on television. We recorded it on VHS not knowing what we were about to see. Make no mistake. People went crazy for this fuckin moonwalk. For a year or so people who would visit us in our home, would ask to see this VHS recording of the moonwalk. This whole performance of Billy Jean was totally electric:
Last Week I had a pretty bonkers dream and since I woke up and actually remembered it, I wrote it down. So now I can share with you whatever it is that's wrong with me.
Before I can begin to describe this dream I should make one important announcement. I have become a huge fan of Heidi Montag. I am aware that she's not all that popular. Girls in particular seem to despise her. But me? I'm a big fan.
A couple of things for the record. I agree with what appears to be the common consensus: When compared to other beautiful celebrities, HM is not all that pretty. However I suspect that if she walked into my office right now she'd be pretty darn popular. Yes I know she's all plastic and fake, but I'm not ashamed to admit that I think she's got a hot body. So there's that, I'm a terrible person.
Also I have never seen the Hills ("The City" however is a different matter and I am quite partial to Olivia). Supposedly my new favorite singer doesn't come off so well on "reality" television. Whatever. I'm not into her for her looks, or her personality. I'm attracted to the artist.
She makes bad music (and bad music videos) in a way that I don't think I've ever seen before. As far as I can tell it's a revolution. There have been plenty of videos lampooning her masterpiece "Higher" so I'm not going to go into too much detail about how much I adore this video (I've watched it hundreds of times now). Let me just give you a few quick highlights.
1) Count how many times she raises her hands out dramatically to her sides. It's almost her only move...almost.
2) at about 1:40 in this video you will see the sexiest booty move ever to be ruined by a lack of co-ordination. Ever. Period. This has to be on purpose. Michael Scott can't be this awkward.
3) My other favorite moments are parts of the final cut of the video that were obviously meant for the "behind-the-scenes-bloopers reel" and yet somehow snuck their way into the actual video:
At 1:00 Heidi actually falls (while attempting her "raise your hands" move).
At 1:57 Heidi actually stops performing to respond to something that happens off-camera. I dunno...some fan shouting hello? A whale washing up on shore? Something. We don't get to see it. That's the genius of it. The director leaves it up to US and our imagination. Brilliant.
Anyway, back to my dream.
The dream began with me doing something very normal. I was watching the Heidi Montag video "Higher". As you can tell, I know this video pretty much backwards and forwards, and it quickly became obvious that I was not watching the standard version of the video. It was some "special edition" with actual film cameras and crane shots. Heidi was climbing a grassy hill instead of frolicking on the beach and the centerpiece of the video is some man being raised on a platform high(er) above the water on a nearby lake.
Than I was the man on the platform. I am so high(er) above the water that it's positively terrifying. I can see a boat down below and I know that there is some sort of film crew there and maybe a party. Why am I up so high(er)? I can't even remember. I know I have to jump though and so I do.
I plummet towards the lake and fall for a long time. I close my eyes and stiffen my body...bracing for an impact that takes forever to come. But it finally does and the next moment I'm being helped onto the boat. For someone who has just jumped into a lake I'm surprisingly dry (and in street clothes). I also realize that the boat isn't just some normal utility vehicle. It's actually more like a historical cruise ship. Maybe an old steamboat? It's filled with rooms that are made to look like scenes from the 1870's or something.
It's also filled with beautiful party people. More specifically beautiful party ladies. College ladies. It's basically girls gone wild on a floating museum but not quite so topless. I think some of my friends might be on the boat. I'm pretty sure my cousin Eric is, but I don't see any of them. I end up talking to a stunning young woman while wandering through all the different rooms on the steamer.
We pass through bars and a comedy club. We walk along the deck (which now looks more like a modern cruise ship...holy crap I think I'm on the love boat all of a sudden). Anyway at some point it becomes clear that what we are doing is looking for some privacy. However, unlike a "normal" dream (where there are no real rules or consequences), I don't seem to hanging out on Fantasy Porn Island.
I'm struck with an actual moral dilemma. The me in the dream is the same person as the me doing the dreaming in one important respect: we both have a girlfriend. The temptation this opportunity is presenting me is so powerful, and I am very conflicted.
This is the "tossing and turning" portion of the dream. I know that if I submit, no one will ever know that I've done something wrong...but I still don't want to be the guy who does something mean and shallow. I want to be the good guy.
Anyway I come pretty close to being the bad guy but in the end decide not to (hooray...probably). Instead I go to the fancy restaurant and have dinner with some strangers.
We are all sitting around the table talking when this cartoon waiter, with a huge mustache comes by. He goes around the table unfolding napkins and laying them on our laps, then he slips something into my coat. It's bulky and heavy like a glass of some kind. It slips down the side of my chest and falls onto the floor.
The waiter looks at me like I've done something wrong, picks up the item and gives it to me again. I look at it and realize it's some kind of plastic urinal and bed pan. It's a contraption that will allow me to sit there and eat without having to get up to use the restroom. I assure the waiter that I am quite comfortable leaving the table and that I won't be needing those things. (Again...another moral dilemma solved by me)
I decide to exit the restaurant and return to the party. I step outside into the backyard of the house that I grew up in. There are people at the barbecue, people swimming, people in the hot tub. My friend Danika is there and she tells me that there is one crucial ingredient missing from this party -- Giant balloons shaped like tits, and filled with chili. Seriously...this is something that my waking mind would never have come up with. Never in a million years.
"They are so awesome!" She gushes. She is so excited about these...these things that she finally convinces me to go find some. They are clearly a "must have".
Strangely enough I discover that we actually have some of these in the house. I go across the street to borrow some chili and get to work assembling the titty-balloons.
My last memory of this dream as a view of my old backyard, drenched in sunshine and filled with happy people. Happy people who are bouncing giant inflatable boobs (filled with chili) around like beach balls.
I believe it was Oscar Wilde who said that the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.
I use this blog to talk about a lot of things (when I actually post of course), among them are some of the important people in my life. A few of my readers have spoken to me about their desire to become a part of the magic that is "blogitude", and have been hoping for a mention here for years.
On the whole I try to avoid making this just a personal diary, and when I do talk about the details of my life here I try to be as open as possible. So sometimes people who "deserve" mention get lost in the shuffle.
So now, in no particular order I give you:
Here he is wearing a bandanna:
I have been working with Phipps for a long time now. Our relationship has really changed over the years. As you may know, I am something of a "button-pusher", and soon after meeting Brian I took it upon myself to become the annoying brother that he never had.
At some point I remember deciding that things had gone too far and that it was time for us to be friends. It was time to cast aside the small-minded pranks and petty insults and embrace a more supportive and encouraging environment in the office.
It sorta worked out.
Anyway Phipps is a great guy, who faithfully reads my blog mostly so that he can tell me how disappointed he is with it every time.
Here's to Phipps. Hurray!
James is a heavy metal, rock n roller, drummer:
James is a solid guy. A good listener. Probably the one person here in the office who truly appreciates the fine art of Thor and his "muscle rock". James is a trusted confidant and a consistent source of sage advice. He's a good friend. He'd be a great friend but he's also something of a shut-in who never wants to hang out outside of work.
James recently cut his hair short. He's been a long hair degenerate for the entire 9 years I've known him. It was a bit of a shock, but probably for the best.
Last but not least I should talk about Trisha. Here she is:
For the past few years I've been clogging up this blog with many sad and frustrating posts about my stumbles in love. With Trisha I have taken a great leap forward. Trisha and I have been dating for about 9 months now. We met at work (which I know your not supposed to do but I mean come on. Where else do you meet people these days?)
Trisha is a sweet(and sassy) woman who has had a hugely positive impact on my life. She's soft spoken but will surprise you with some feisty fast talk when you least expect it (like I said...sassy). She's also quite artistic and especially crafty. She also really seems to understand me (which is cheesy but true) and that's pretty darn important.
Also. She plays complicated war games like Paths of Glory with me. I mean come on. Path's of Glory! You have no idea how impressive this is. Look at how awesome she is:
Trisha moved in with me at the end of December and I couldn't be happier about it.
Well rather than clog up this space with a long-winded recap of everything I missed in the last year or so. I'll just pretend like there's been no break and write about something pointless and mundane.
What I remember about blogging is that most of it seems to be about complaining about something. With that in mind, here is a short list of things I am sick of:
1) "Got Anything"
We all loved the got milk ad campaign. It was effective because it communicated a simple truth that most of us can relate to, in a clever and humorous way. Namely that the average American finds milk to be a perfect and almost vital compliment to a wide variety of tasty (and typically rich) treats.
Interesting side note: that original "Aaron Burr" milk ad was directed by Michael Bay.
Anyway. About a million other people with zero creativity jumped on the milk bandwagon and attempted to peddle their products by placing the word "got" in front of whatever-the-fuck they were selling.
The day I realized I had had enough of this bullshit was when I was following some soccer-mom/private-tutor's Ford Escort and saw these words (in that all-too-familiar font) on her tinted rear window: "GOT GOOD GRADES?"
"GOT GOOD GRADES?" *smirk*
excuse me? Wipe that god damned smile off your face. If you're not smart enough to come up with a better slogan your certainly not qualified to teach anyone anything. Ever. The only thing that slogan tells me is that this tutor excels at ripping something off badly. I'm sure all his/her student's excel at plagiarism.
On August 9, 1974 President Richard Nixon resigned as president of the United States of America. Nixon ended an unpopular war in Vietnam, made friends with China and helped foster a spirit of cooperation with the Soviets -- easing Cold War tensions. However because he was something of an arrogant shyster he wound up abandoning his office in disgrace, with a dismal approval rating of around 20%.
It was discovered that the Nixon administration was up to all sorts of no-good when some of his goons where found breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee. Offices that were located in a group of buildings called the Watergate Complex.
The "Watergate Scandal" as it came to be known ended up sinking the Nixon Administration and tainted his entire legacy.
The worst consequence of this whole thing was that lazy news-people had a secret meeting somewhere to decide that from now on every scandal or disagreement or point of controversy should from then on have the word "gate" as it's suffix.
This means if you go to a restaurant and order a hamburger and the service was slow you should refer to this incident as "burger-gate".
If your neighbor crashes his car into the door attached to your fence and refuses to pay for the damages, you should refer to this incident as "gate-gate"
I hate this short-hand for "scandal" for a number of reasons. Mostly because it's trite and tired. But also because it obscures and confuses the actual history of the original "gate" and makes "Watergate" sound like some infamous aquatic crime.
3) "Carol of Hells"
Again I have to harp on advertisers. I know it's an easy target because there are SO many bad commercials out there but I just can't help myself. I know I only have like 10 readers here and I don't think any of them are in advertising but if you KNOW someone who is, please tell them to stop making holiday themed ads with Christmas carol parodies.
For the love of the Jesus who you claim to be celebrating. STOP IT!
It's not that I hate holiday music (though by December 10th or so it does get a little old). I just find these to be unbelievably lame. The song that gets raped most often seems to be Carol of Bells. Which is a rather charming tune actually (though I prefer it as an instrumental). It feels very "wintery". It sounds like snow.
However when someone like Garmin comes in a takes a dump all over it sounds like shit and makes me want pour acid in my ears.
Oh and lest you think I'm some sort of Scrooge. I do have a favorite Christmas song:
While I was planning this trip to Europe (predominantly the trip to Croatia), Mike mentioned to me that Judas Priest (an old high school favorite) would be playing a show in Luxembourg.
I'm not really sure why, but for some reason this seemed like a perfect combination and I was pretty sure I did NOT want to miss this.
Even though the boys in JP are a little old, they still put on quite a show. Rob Halford (the singer) seemed to have been hit the hardest by years of heavy metal touring. Every phrase that he belted out seemed to leave him exhausted -- leaving him leaning over on his mic stand about to pass out.
He never did succumb tho. In fact he really seemed to give it his all.
The Euro-metal crowd did NOT dissapoint either. A popular look for these aging rockers was the "all-over-denim" look. Super tight denim pants, black tee, and denim vest. The vest typically covered in "flair" (sewn on patches for various bands).
Another interesting part of the Euro-crowd was their tendency to sing along to melodies and guitar riffs. They can turn any song into a soccer chant. Check this part of Breakin the Law at 1:37 for an especially good example.
(One more reason to love the internet. I mean...I was at that concert and there is it on Youtube.)
The icing on the cake was the venue itself (the appropriately named "ROCKHAL"), which rests in the shadows of an imposing, abandoned steel mill.
I also spent some time that day in the city of Luxembourg just cruisin around and seeing the sites. It's probably not a "must-see" area of Europe but it's a charming town and a pleasant place to spend an afternoon.