Saturday, July 30, 2005

Monumental Posting

Not only is this my first post on my brand new Apple iBook (the best little computer out there), but this is also the first international post! Yes, I'm in our friendly neighbor nation to the north, Canada. It's like the U.S. but a little different. For instance, similar to the U.S., Canada often has two Starbucks situated diagonally across from each other on the same street corner. In terms of differences, we heard few gunshots while walking down the street, the temperature is much nicer than D.C., and they have killer cupcake shops. Yes people, the highlight of my day was visiting my version of Mecca....the dreamiest cupcake shop on eath -- Cupcakes (yeah, I know, the Canadians think of some creative names).

More to come tomorrow during my adventures in the great white north...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Ahh, the Vent Line

A favorite piece of West Virginia has been neglected by my co-blogger and myself. We have forgetten to share with you a special snippet of culture from the hills of WV's state capitol. So, without further adieu, this West Virginian blogger presents....

The Vent Line in the Charleston, WV Daily Mail newspaper! This wonderful, afternoon paper gives anyone the chance to call into their "vent line" and say something, and then it gets printed in the newspaper. You get such fine comments like "You people with your scooters, get off the highway."

The vent line was popular in a certain senator's office back in the 90s. A favorite coworker sat at his desk and howled at the funny tidbits his fellow WVians would leave on the vent line. None of us in the office could ever make up anecdotes as funny as the real thoughts expressed by common folks in WV.

Frankly, everyone should bookmark this link. It will provide you minutes and minutes and humor everyday.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Bad credit!

This is awful. Probably enough to turn America back into a cash economy. Scary stuff, man...

Moving Bathrooms

A very funny pal of mine found this extremely entertaining link today that needs to be shared. I literally sat at my desk and HOWLED while reading this fine piece of prose that details the horrors of sitting across from the bathroom on an airplane. This reminded me of a recent conversation with my co-blogger about his painful ride near the bathroom on the Chinatown bus. I know he will pick a better seat next time ;)

So, thank you "goddess" for bringing this to my attention.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Sweet synergy!!!

Too poor to legally pay for songs online? Too afraid of the wrath of Lars Ulrich to steal music from some dodgy Napster imitation? Well here's a free and fun way to fill that iPod of yours with something more wholesome than audio porn!

Thanks to a brilliant collaboration between my favorite central Pennsylvania chocolate company and our current American Idol, free MP3 downloads of Kerry "Rising Country Star" Underwood renditions of candy jingles are now available on the Hershey's website. Genius!

Just think - if Bo had tried just a little harder, he could have become a candy hustler. Poor schmuck...

If only Branson were a little closer...

Do you love Sunday afternoon TV broadcasts of lumberjack competitions as much as I do? Do you also wish someone would cook you a delicious steak to enjoy as you watch all that tree-rific sportsmanship unfold?

Seems someone in Branson, MO (where else?) has answered our prayers! I present to you -- the Tall Timber Lumberjack Show (and dinner theater).

I'm not terribly familiar with the geography of Branson, but I bet this is within driving distance of the Precious Moments Inspiration Park and Yakov Smirnoff Theater. And all just a 2+ hour drive from a personal favorite vacation spot of mine -- Ft. Leonard Wood.

It was only a matter of time...

Is that an iPod mini in your pocket, or are you just listening to a dirty podcast?

Newsweek has done America the favor of letting the rest of us know that there are now smutty, adult-content podcasts floating around out there. The iTunes Music Store even seems to provide convenient links to a number of the shows mentioned in this article. But fear not -- our kids are safe from mistakenly downloading such filth as they are clearly marked as featuring "EXPLICIT" content.

What a country!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I Love Jon Stewart

Yes, I know its silly, but I love Jon Stewart. He's witty, intelligent, funny and handsome. I'm going to go out on a limb and call him America's perfect man. Anyway, while I love his show, I don't dig the show's new set which is missing the blue Jerry Seinfeld couch (like the one Poppy peed on).

While you ponder urine on blue couches, you might find this link about The Daily Show's missing couch amusing. People really have too much time on their hands and need mental help.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The End is Near

Forget Supreme Court nominations (we knew the nomination would be a lame, boring white man anyways), my favorite news anchor of all time, Bill Hemmer, is jumping to the "we-really-don't-do-news-we-do-conservative commentary-yet-don't-admit-it" network according to today's WashPo. This is extremely sad news, and from this point on, Mr. Hemmer is on my banned list.

Bill, how could you do this to yourself, and to me? You are worse than a typical media whore now! So, its off to find me a new cable news love. I'm taking suggestions. Feel free to post them.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Roe v. Wade is the least of our problems...

Y'all might want to refrain from super-sizing from now on.

So I just did my "PowerPoint-deep" background check on our Supreme Court nominee, and I'm already scared! It turns out that, during his short tenure as a judge on the DC circuit, the newly announced Supreme Court associate justice nominee, John Roberts, voted to uphold the arrest and detention of that girl who got plexi-cuffed at the Tenleytown Metro for eating a french fry. It's true! For those unfamiliar with this news of the absurd, here's a passable primer I've found on the episode.

So I guess we know how the McDonalds lobby will swing on this one.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Do they stop passing out communion wine in the 4th quarter?

Holy nosebleed pew, Bibleman! I found this story about Lakewood Church in today's NYT and was floored. Apparently they held their first service on Sunday in their new digs -- the former arena that once hosted the Houston Rockets (capacity 16,000). Do you think they now hang banners with the jersey numbers of the twelve apostles where once hung the retired numbers of old hoops stars?

Don't get me wrong...I am totally open to converting existing secular structures into houses of worship. A house around the corner from my childhood home was turned into a Buddhist temple a few years back, and I hear the services they hold in Union Station AMC movie theater are a lot of fun. But when you turn a stadium into a church, how do you decide who gets to sit in the luxury boxes?

Public Access: An Untapped Resource

I watch very little public access TV, but I'm so glad I did last evening since I caught the weekly edition of "Inside the Squared Circle." I hadn't seen this show in a while, and had forgotten the minutes and minutes of amusement it brings me on a late Sunday evening. (For Monkey County readers, check out channel 19 at 10:30pm on Sundays. It's also on DC and Arlington cable, but I don't know when). You may notice a similarity between that show, and this blog's name -- and if so, you're right. This blog was inspired by this fine show and the joy it brings to all.

Where else would you see a show that joins a man wearing an uber-skimpy tank top who calls himself "Massive Mike" sitting next to "Will the Worm," a man who suspiciously looks like an accountant from the 80s decked out in a tie and suspenders. And let us not forget "The Critic" who always has his fishbowl of "generic insults" waiting for callers that he does not like.

This show debates and discusses the latest in wrestling news, sprinkled with a bit of commentary about the DC area. It's not only a wrestling resource (How else would I know there is a new wrestling organization where the ring has 6 sides), but also a bit of hope that there is TV out there for everyone. I mean come on, this is breakthrough stuff.

We need to thank whomever allows this kind of programming to make our airwaves. Its this kind of TV that saves me from another horrid singing reality show (such as that show that searches for the next INXS lead singer -- its just pathetic), and gives me faith in TV's future.

Sidenote for my co-blogger: There was a commercial during the show last night that had Syrus from the "Real World" saying something. I just caught the end of it. And, the Dudley Boys and the Hardy Boys have been released from Vinny Mac's wrestling conglomeration.

Monday, July 11, 2005

IKEA Wants to be a Real Lifestyle Choice

Word on the grocery stores aisles is that IKEA plans to enter into the food business. See link:

Will this food be hard actually eat and come with minimal cooking instructions using no words? Will their Swedish treats be cheaply made of wood-like products? Perhaps only time will tell. However, if ther new line of food is as good as their frozen yogurt cones, we'll be in business. These wonderfully creamy non-fat cones are seriously the bomb, and worth the whole $1 you spend on it. No joke.

War of the Worlds is Dumb

So, I figured I'd give this Spielburg movie a whirl. I mean, Dawson likes him, shouldn't I?

Well, I didn't dig this flick, and it wasn't just because of Tom Cruise's snideness and annoying acting mannerisms. What drove me to the edge were the annoying "conveniences" that Spielburg intertwined into the plot:
-- For instance, a whole subdivision gets totally destroyed, including the house they are hiding in, but their mini-van still stands perfectly untouched? They were driving a mini-van, not a crappy Hummer.
-- And, because the almighty Tom Cruise is a brilliant master mechanic as a hobby, only his car, and no other car on earth, is drivable because he tells a mechanic what to fix to make it operational?
-- Even better, they drive for hundreds of miles and the mini-van still have gas? Come on people, the American-engineered Dodge Caravan isn't the Prius. The US automakers and oil conglomerates wouldn't allow such an earth-friendly vehicle to roam the earth.

Overall, unless you like aliens, or like to suspend your disbelief, this may not be a flick for you. Then again, I walked out of "Spiderman 2" so maybe you shouldn't be taking movie advice from me.

The movie did have one redeemable line...when Mr. Smarmy Scientologist informs his daughter that the world/country is under attack, she says in a naively honest voice "Is is the terrorists?". I couldn't help but giggle. Give that a little thought. It shows where we are as a nation, and how we look at the world of terror.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Live 8 coverage continued

And now for some analysis on the sights and sounds of Live 8, done “Big Bruiser Style”:
  • Black Eyed Peas – Fergie looked hot on the jumbo-tron. But I think their set would have been much more poignant if they had done a cover of “Toy Soldiers” by fellow Kids Incorporated alum, Martika.
  • Concession stands – I was a little surprised by how unprofessional many of the food stalls looked. There were a few trucks/carts, but a good number of people were just selling hot dogs and burgers right off a Weber grill. The Inquirer ran a story saying that Mayor John Street’s brother managed to get a large portion of the rights to the stalls reserved for minorities. Ahhh, Philly…
  • Destiny’s Child – Could Beyonce’s skirt have been any shorter? From where I stood she just looked like a pair of naked legs. Wow! Too bad they had to perform that insipid “Girl” song. All I wanted to hear was “Bootylicious”.
  • Def Leppard – Who invited these jokers? I mean, why not Warrant or Winger? Or Queensryche?
  • Will Smith – Major props for the local boy and his mute pal, DJ Jazzy Jeff. They’re really the Penn & Teller of bubblegum rap. I could have gone home satisfied after they coaxed the crowd to sing along to the theme song to “Fresh Prince from Bell Air”. If only Alfonso Riberto had been there to break into a Carlton dance…then life would be good. On my way back to the subway, I bumped into a woman who had written “Big Willie Style” on her arm with a Sharpie. Oh my!!!
  • Toby Keith – Most of us went for water ice during this set.
  • Angry lady – As I was walking toward my viewing spot of choice, I was yelled at by a nasty lady who barked at me (and others) for blocking her view. Hey lady, from 19th Street you ain’t gonna see nuttin’ anyway, so get off my case and have another Tasykake. Jeez…
  • Linkin Park/Jay-Z – I thought there might be a riot when these Linkin Park clowns went into their 4th song. We were promised a collaboration with H-O-V-A, but I couldn’t help but wonder if a 4th song for a so-so band might mean that that the CEO of Rockawhatever might not show. But my concern was for naught. Out came Jigga, and the crowd went wild. Big pimp this, G8 politician dudes!
  • Kanye West – Pretty darn good. This is the first time I shook my groove thing to a religion-themed rap since Hammer told me to “Pray” so I could make it today.
  • MTV coverage – From my perch on the Parkway, I was way out of earshot of the probing interviews and insightful commentary of VJs like Sway and John Norris. I guess I'll never figure out what this concert was all about.
So there it is. Live 8. They could have raised money, but instead they raised awareness. For a few hours anyway…

Monday, July 04, 2005

Live 8 coverage teaser

Just back from MotownPhilly -- what a town! And did they ever do it up for awareness on Saturday. Although I doubt most of the million+ crowd even knows how many countries are in the G8, they do love them some Jay-Z. Do they ever!

Detailed analysis to come tomorrow...

Friday, July 01, 2005

Caught in the 80s...Again!

Sure, I'd like to sit here and talk about the important issues of our day...the first woman on the Supreme Court retiring today, George W lying AGAIN in his speech the otherday that 9/11 and Iraq are linked, a good ole WV girl marrying Ben Affleck...

But really, I just wanted to offer brief comments on a fine tv program I caught last night -- "Hit Me Baby One More Time." I'm almost embarrassed to say that I hadn't caught this show earlier in the season, as this is something right up my alley. Anyway, this was a fun show that really did throw me back to my leg warmers and jelly bracelets. I felt like I was watching a slightly updated version of "Solid Gold." There were the 80s-influenced graphics, the British host who had little to say, and crappy pop music as the cheesy topping. However, it should be noted that washed up 80s pop wonders are not better singers 20 years later.