Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This Just In - Criss Angel Sucks

First of all, Criss, can I call you Chris? If you're going to take a pseudonym, why don't you not spell it like a jackass? I mean, I understand if you're one of those people whose parents thought they were being original and decided to spell your name with all kinds of crazy extra vowels, misplaced consonants and the letter Y. But you, you CHOSE this name and that's the route you went? Interesting.

Anyway, I don't know if any of you have ever seen the show "Mindfreak" on A&E - but it's terrible. It's got "acting" and a production quality on par with porn and is generally pretty uninspiring. In addition to dressing like a model from the Hot Topic catalog CA's deep self love and constant chest pounding/finger kissing/pointing at the sky routine wears thin pretty

Despite all this, I couldn't turn down the opportunity to see "Believe" the Cirque du Soliel/Criss Angel production at the Luxor in Vegas. It was on my boss' dime, plus, how bad could it be?


This show sucked so badly that even the
remarkably hefty woman occupying 1.5 seats in front of me who nearly swooned when CA walked on stage complained. The slow egress from the theater was like listening to outtakes from Ebert and Roper. I have been to high school plays where the curtain call received a warmer response. As a general tip to any performer - if you have to get on the mic and shout "c'mon, I can't hear you" when the audience is supposed to be going wild following your performance, cut your loses and pull the plug.

Aside from the 15 dick and fart jokes (not a huge hit with the Las Vegas middle America crowd - I even saw a guy "dressed up" in a short sleeve dress shirt and a tie), the lack of an cohesive storyline, the interminable monologues, the poorly edited video (at a stage show, a video?!) there was a near total lack of "magic." The big fella walking out behind me with his NASCAR bedecked buddy said it best:

"Man, there just wadn't hardly any magic! I mean, they could have put just about anyone in there and he could have done what that guy did. Other than escaping a straight jacket, but shit, that's just about as hard for him to do as escaping a leather jacket."

My mind wasn't even close to freaking. The only person who really thought the show was a hit was Criss Angel and trust me, this audience wasn't one with overly high expectations.

So, if you're headed to Vegas or just flipping through the channels and see some guy with a bad haircut, a chain wallet and boots that look like they belong to someone named Elvira, just move on, it's not worth your time.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Is there anyone left out there who doesn't have HD TV? I honestly can't imagine it. Like, seriously, do you mean to tell me there are people out there watching Discovery's Planet Earth in No Def (as Deeks calls it)? I absolutely refuse to believe this. I mean, a girl I work with is still holding out against cell phone technology and doesn't even have internet, but she was sure to lock up a 42 inch Samsung LCD.

Obvi there are some parts of our country (COUGH Ohio) that might have just enough crazies to somehow believe that HD is obviously a terrorist organization aiming to wipe out all the white, Christian Americans, but overall just about everyone has seen the light. Right?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Day of Steve

Last Sunday was one of the most oddly surreal days of my life. It all revolved around the name Steve. 

We all know a Steve or two in our life. We probably know a Steven or a Stephan as well. In fact, I know some people with the surname Stephens. These are all good people that keep to themselves. The Steves of the World tend to generally be unassuming, genuine, law abiding and contributing pillars of society.

Think about it, do you know any bad egg Steves? Didn't think so.

However, something went wrong in the land of Steve last Sunday. Maybe it was the cusp of the full moon and all the werewolf Steves were coming out. Could it be years of oppression and normalcy for the Steves and they united to conspire against my normal day.

Steve Interaction 1. On airplane from Denver to Oakland. I sit down in the last seat on the flight and get placed next to Steve. Steve is huge and seemingly ate the armrest with his forearm. Steve snores, on an afternoon flight. I see his name on his ticket and swear under my breath.

Steve Interaction 2. In Taxi from apartment to friends house.  Taxi Driver introduces himself as Steve. Why would a taxi driver every introduce himself. Weird.

Steve Interaction 3. At Decompression Party in San Francisco and guy comes up to me and pulls off my cowboy hat and says, "hey, I've been looking for you." I reply, "have you?" He says, "oh, yeah, guess that isn't you and that's NOT my hat. "  Anyway, that is how you start talking to someone sometimes and we get to gabbing and he introduces his name as Bear. I say my name is Jeff and then he replies that his earth name is Steve.   

Things are starting to get weird.

Steve Interaction 4. At Mighty for DJ Dan Show. A guy in a purply fur hat and a purple leopard jacket comes up and sits down next to me at a table while I'm trying to enjoy a G&T. His introductory line, "want to go to the worlds greatest party?" His second question, "want to know about the elixir of youth I invented?" His third topic, "did you know I'm a Watsu?"  

This was the most bizarre person of the day. How would I know he's a Watsu? Secondly, why did he need to tell ME about how he's regained 20 years of life from drinking his special potion? This guy was strange. This guy was also named Steve, as I found out upon ejecting myself from the conversation. 

Steve Interaction 5. At Mightly, 3:45AM leaving show. Guy comes up to me in the parking lot and asks me if I think he should drive home. I ask him where his car is and he replies, "Parked right in front of those cops over there." I ask him if he's sober and he replies, "do I look sober?" I say no. He says, "we'll, I'm not." He asks, "do you think the cops would think I'm sober?" I retort, "hey man, If I can tell your not sober, I'm pretty sure the cops can tell your not sober."
I tell him I've got to go, introduce myself as Jeff and he shakes my hand and says "Steve."

I look around for a moment. Look at the people I'm with who remember the last person's name. A friend says, "wasn't that last guy named Steve, too?" 

I look over and say, "you have no idea what Steve has put me through today."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Small Fight of the Day

Say what you will about Chipotle, but I like it and can't stop myself from going about once a month. The parking situation at my local Chipotle leaves a bit to be desired. It's a hopping lunch spot with a large surrounding business community and only offers about 8 spaces in its pull-through lot. Although I rarely get one, it's usually worth driving through just to see if you'll get lucky.

Today, on my first pass I saw that there was a rather crazy looking woman sitting, waiting with her blinker on and staring at a black BMW backed into a parking spot. I pull up and stop, just to see if there's any other potential for spots in the lot. Seeing none, I begin to pull forward and glance at the BMW to see what the crazy woman in the Corolla is waiting for.

Sitting there, calmly reading emails on her BlackBerry and unwrapping a burrito with one hand is a smartly dressed young professoinal woman. Now, I am not sure if you're familiar with the Chipotle burrito, but this is a two handed operation that takes a solid period of time to eat - and that's in an ideal setting (ie: NOT over a BCBG suit and Bavarian leather interior). And, since she's backed into the spot, when she looks out her windshield there is nowhere she can look other than into the intent (and crazy) crazy woman's stare.

We have a serious standoff on our hands. Crazy lady is refusing to budge (despite cars stuck behind her) and is apparently planning on waiting for the young professional woman (apparently too anti-social to eat INSIDE the restaurant) to finish eating the entire burrito rather than look for another parking spot.

I laugh, drive around the block and park right in front of the restaurant and forget briefly about the entertaining small fight of the day I've just witnessed. I sit down, read the Willamette Week and savor my burrito (chicken, black, mild, cheese, lettuce) and enjoy NOT being at work. Eventually, though, the time comes that I can not stall any longer and have to head back to work. I get up, throw my trash away and as I walk out the door am forced to squeeze by none other than Crazy Corolla Lady, who had apparently just gotten her parking spot. Chalk one up for team looney!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


With all the bad news in the news today - credit crisis, mortgage meltdown, presidential politics, etc., I understand how you may have missed this item, but HDA is nothing to joke about. Affecting literally hundreds of Americans each year, HDA can lead to yellowing of the skin, sweating, vomiting, gastro-intestinal malaise, and general discomfort.

Hot Dog Addiction (HDA) is characterized by an unchecked need to
continually ingest long, spherically-shaped, encased meats. Hot Dogs, Kielbasas, Sausages, it doesn't matter to the HDA sufferer. Like many addictions, the need to consume Hot Dogs takes precedence over one's own well being - affecting basic common sense and decision making abilities.

This past weekend, I was brought face to face with this sausage scourge. On Saturday morning we all went to breakfast and the soon to be exposed HDA ordered a massive breakfast and then, at the last second, decided to include a side of sausage. We thought nothing of it at the time...

A few hours later we were at an alumni tailgater with two choices for dinner: hamburgers or
hot dogs. But these weren't just any hot dogs. Approximately 14 inches long and 2 inches in diameter, these were some serious swine products. But even 28 square inches of nitrate packed hot dog is not enough for the HDA sufferer. A scant 2 hours later, our friend went running from her seats watching the football game to buy.... You guessed it, an Autzen Stadium gameday polish sausage.

The rest, unfortunately, was fairly predictable - and the fallout was just as bad as one might imagine. It's horrible to see a friend suffer like we did and hopefully you take this blog to heart and watch your family and friends closely, and intervene if you see signs of HDA.

On a side note, The Happening is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. This is relevant because the crazy guy who proposes that plants are causing the problem also has a Hot Dog Addiction and rambles aimlessly at one point for about 3.5 minutes about hot dogs and how much he loves them.

At this point, the list goes:
1. Death Sentence with Kevin Bacon
2. Be Kind, Rewind with Mos Def
3. The Happening with Marky Mark (notice the disrespectful downgrade from Mark Wahlberg)
Stay tuned as I am sure to rent more terrible movies and face ridicule in the near future.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Rules of Being a Man #293

There are only three reasons you, as a man, should have candles in your home. If you do decide to go the candle path, it is imperative that you avoid food-smelling candles.

1. You have a wife. It's inevitable that she will take over the decorating for the abode - as she well should. I can only think of 3 things hanging on the walls in our house (a calendar, a picture of a ski resort and an oil painting by my great aunt) - a feminine touch sure wouldn't hurt. But, I went to a buddy's house recently was stunned by the sheer quantity of: hand towels, pictures from their wedding and candles.

2. Sexy time candles. They work! They cast a "flattering" light on everyone and show that you are not a total schlubb. But the food rule is especially important here - as we learned from George Castanza when he was dating a women with food-scented incense. Next thing you know you're eating a sandwich made of the "sweetest of the cured meats" out of the drawer in the bed side. And you certainly don't need that. Fresh Breeze, Clean Laundry, Ocean Scent and Spring Rain all work well for this application.

3. The bathroom candle. Whether it's frequent (or occasional) female visitors or just a room mate with an undiagnosed sickness inside, a bathroom candle can be the ultimate courtesy and a real odor life saver. Again, the food family of smells may lead to unintended consequences - vanilla scented shit is not necessarily an improvement.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rules of Being a Man #79

There is a big difference between a MANcation and a VAcation and it's a difference you need to understand.

For a good portion of your life, chances are you have been taking Mancations. Road trips to football games, 8 people in hotel rooms, spring break trips, etc. By and large these trips have been about the dudes, the bros, cheap food, light beer and bad smells. Often poorly planned and hard to recover from, Mancations are often characterized by spontanaeity, someone going to jail, and generally bad behavior.
You will often hear trips featuring mostly sausage as "guys weekends." Guys weekends are lame. They are for people who have poker nights, "guys night out" and have relinquished control over their social calendar to the dominant female in the household. There is a big difference between guys weekend: "Sorry guys, I can't go to [insert strip club name here] I have to go call the wife." And the Mancation: "Dude, can I borrow $20? I am going to buy those two random chicks drinks to give Nick a lap dance."

At some point, things started to change. This change is usually brought about by increased earning power and the addition of a female to your life. The mancation starts to take a back seat to your other priorities. You may even get an email like this from one of your Mancation travel buddies:
"Hey guys, I hate to say, I'm out for this year's trip to Costa Rica. I've got to take a vacation with the girlfriend before she'll let me head out with you guys again. But we're going to a totally awesome all-inclusive spot in Mexico together!"
Sad day, right? OK, well, not totally, there is something to be said for a vacation that features clean hotel rooms, "real food" (not eggs dropped in ramen cooked over a camp stove 2 meals a day), everyone (or every couple) with their own sleeping arrangements, and a beautiful woman to share the whole trip with.

It's important to have both in your life, and to know the difference between them. First of all, you don't want to be the Jack O' Lantern who brings a party pooper on an otherwise perfectly good Mancation. If you show up for the rager weekend and one guy (usually a repeat offender) shows up with his girlfriend, that is a serious Mancation faux pas. Another (real) email chain I received recently:

GUY 1: "Alright, the big concert is coming up in a couple months. We're planning on camping out, partying, BBQ-ing and rocking for 3 straight days.

WIFE: "Hey, I have an idea, maybe this year instead of camping there we can all get hotel rooms in the next town over. Comfortable beds, air conditioning, you know, get some good sleep each night!"

HUSBAND: "Nevermind my wife, she doesn't know what she's saying. Please know this will be dealt with when I get home tonight!"

By the same token, you don't want to be the dude who shows up to the Vacation with intentions to throw down mancation style. Examples of this include showing up for a perfectly respectable vacation with: unnessecarily bizzare facial hair, a suitcase devoted to liquor, too few changes of underwear, or an escort.

So be a man, know the difference and enjoy that spirit of youth while you've got it and plan yourself a mancation.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Front Fell Off

Here are the QLE we are always looking for new and different comedians, routines and skits from which to abstract comedy and manipulate it into our own catalogue of verbal ha ha. Anyone who knows us realizes that we have been knows to pass off Mitch Hedberg, Bill Burr and Patton Oswalt pieces into everyday conversation. 

Here are two comedians from Australia, John Clark and Brian Dawe, making a mockery of the Australian Parliament Re: 1991 when an oil tanker off the coast of Australia split in two, dumping 200,000 tons of crude oil. Total environmental and political mess.

For your viewing pleasure: this preposterous Monty Python style mock interview.
Thx to A. Fisher for the lead on this blogworthy Internet silliness. 

Monday, October 6, 2008

There's No Such Thing as a Platonic Friendship

I have been visiting other blogs over the past couple of days - mostly to see what else is going on out there. Call it (un)professional curiosity. I've found some terrible stuff and some comedic brilliance. You'll notice that we're now keeping track of some of our favorites over there on the right side of the page. Lots of folks call it a blog roll. We'll try to think of something better.

I stumbled across a pretty funny post about people hooking up with or even dating their friends on the best named sites I've found: Burt Reynold's Mustache. This reminded me of a point I have long held and vigorously defended in many an argument: there's no such thing as a purely platonic friendship - pause for gasps of righteous female indignation.

I've gotten into some pretty big rows over this - all with women vehemently claiming that they've had "lots of platonic guy friends." Unfortunately, that's just not the case. With two exceptions, in ALL long running friendships between men and women, at least one of the two parties has wanted to, wants to or will want to hook up with the other one. This can manifest itself in a variety of ways from long pining, hidden love to a drunken "let's not let this make things weird" moment.

As I mentioned, there are two exceptions to the rule. First off is the "we used to take baths together" rule. In my case, this would by my Mom's BFF's daughter. We were raised essentially like siblings thus precluding us from the rule. Exception number two is the "you've had sex with my best friend" rule, which should speak for itself.

Outside of those two exceptions though, ALL male/female relationships have been influenced by sex at some point, and if you think they haven't, chances are you're the one giving the "we're just friends" stiff arm.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hyped For Hypercolor, Maybe Not So Much

For those of you who dorked out through your grade school years and missed out on the Hypercolor t-shirt fad, I feel for you.

The Hypercolor shirt, purchasable only at Nordstrom and Lads and Lassies in Portland for the first year of distribution, was a clothing line that changed color with heat. For all you physicists (Bvarv) out there, they contained thermochromic pigment which chameleons between two colors when exposed to either warm or cold temps.

These shirts were it. There were cooler than Stussy and Mossimo (now selling at Target). They're more unique and less risque than Big Johnson and not as idiotic as No Fear (He who dies w/ the most toys still Dies!!!!!).

Recent reflection on some of the little things that made my childhood rock (Muscle Men, Battle Beasts, Hot Wheels, Moon Boots) led me to recall the Hypercolor and drove me to investigate and see if they are still around in any capacity.

And they are! Kind of...

The Hypercolor website says under construction, but upon harnessing my inner Zetetic and contacting their corporate umbrella, I found that nothing is imminent. No new clothes. So we're f'd. What I mean is I'm f'd, or at least my vision on showing up at the next party with the hypercolor nostalgia dream is shot.

Mind you, there is no way I'm buying one off ebay for $50 and running the risk of purchasing a twenty year old shirt that some guys mom put in the dryer at HIGH and toasted all the thermochromatic pigments.

However, coincidence of all coincidence, there I find myself at American Apparel later on in the same afternoon and Im looking for a Gold one-piece for a poiformance and I overhear the clerk remark, "Zain, I can't, I mean, I CAAAAAAN'T wait for the hypercolor line to show up.

Hold the Phone!! That guys name is Zain!?!? And, AA is getting a hypercolor line! My lord, by the time those show up, they are already going to be passe. Every single hipster doofus in the world is going to be hyped from day one. I can just see it now, after the AA hypercolor line, next we'll see the slap bracelets.

So, the question begs answering, "will it be cool to rock the nowtro '08 Hypercolor line from American Apparel?" What about if you don't don an (un)ironic moustache?!?!?!

Chick Blogger Representin' - A Ross

A little while back we felt compelled to comment on the ubiquitous chick blogger who dominates the blogosphere with posts about Gossip Girl the new "Nine-Oh," drinking wine, hapless hubbys and BF's, crying, wine drinking, shoes, potty humor and a deep love for red wine. One we mentioned, A-Ross from Tales From LaLa Land has since done a little QLE reading and was gracious enough to answer a few questions - hopefully bringing a little balance to our frat-esque 20-something dude blogging. After all, no one wants to be a stereotype.

QLE: Introduce yourself - tell us about your blog and why you do it. Specifically, how does your little black book contain the email address of every legendary Duck football player for the past decade or so? Is there a Latin Berry interview anywhere on the horizon?

A-Ross: My name is Allison, but everyone calls me A-Ross. Except my mom. My blog is essentially a mirror of who I am. I have always loved writing. I attended the University of Oregon where I got my journalism degree. But, frankly, the confines of newspaper and PR writing didn't fit my style. I basically write whatever comes to my mind and what I enjoy most - sports, cooking, my family, my friends and my cat. As far as the Q&As go, well, it helps to sleep with as many Oregon football players as you can to get what you need from them down the road.

QLE: We called you a chick blogger - you're not a mommy blogger, or a girly girl blogger... Can you guide us through the twisted web of female bloggers and where you fit in?

A-Ross: Only recently did I become aware of the world of mommy bloggers. Funny thing is, most of them are moms, but I wouldn't categorize their blogs as "mommy" blogs. BTW, I'm not a girly girl blogger? How have you guys figured this out so quickly? Don't I come across as somewhat girly? No? Damn. I figured. I don't know where I fit in and that's one thing I'd like to continue to not know. I don't want to start changing what I write or how I write to try and fit into a certain group. As usual with everything else in my life, I kind of just do what feels right to me. And I do it with confidence so people will respect it and have confidence in me. If you can respect a blog in which I call my cat a Dirty Sanchez.

QLE: We've been debating. Is there a certain age at which all women suddenly freak out and decide they want to get married, have a giant wedding where everyone looks at them and tells them they're "soooo beautiful" and then start having kids like crazy?

A-Ross: I don't want to speak for all women here, but I'll speak for myself. It is not something I have ever dreamt about or longed for. However, I'm engaged now and I'm very happy to have someone who I enjoy being with and is compatible to me. But I tell you this - I would also be content just being with this person forever and not getting married. Marriage is scary and I just want to make sure we're together forever. All I hear about is "not having sex anymore" or "mortgages" or "settling down." Basically, I'm all for it, but I want ME to stay the same. And, I want to still have sex and spontaneous moments like the ones you have when you first start dating. It's easy to see why those moments are harder to come by. Just today, the fiance and I had to take my car to the shop. 1. We got lost for over an hour trying to find the place and 2. It will cost $1100 to fix. So, immediately there's stress brought into your world. Whereas in month two of dating you're wondering if you've tried every position in the Joys of Sex book.

QLE: When does the drama stop?

A-Ross: NEVER. It doesn't matter if your 15 fighting over Matt Jones or 34 fighting over who's your maid of honor and who's not in the wedding. It. Never. Stops. I have a few quality girl friends, but a lot of my friends are guys. And we fight also. Over the fact that they cheat at Fantasy Football or whether or not Eva Longoria is actually hot. Fun stuff.

QLE: Why do girls wear the shirts like these?
Unflattering is putting it mildly. Pregnant-looking is a bit more like it. Are they just emulating and practicing for pregnancy, as mentioned in question #3?

My friend Erin is going to LOVE this question. She was recently shopping for a dress and lamenting this new style. It's disgusting. Let's be honest. Girls wear these shirts so they don't have to work on their abs.

QLE: Do women believe girly workouts are effective? See: power walking, Pilates and those chicks who get on the stair stepper and take the worlds tiniest steps until the first bead of sweat appears then pack up their US Weekly and waterbottle and go talk about their "big workout" and decide to "splurge." Also how old should a woman be before she stops wearing her sorority letters/pants with writing on the ass?

A-Ross: Skinny women do. I did Yoga once. I wasn't sweating and my mind doesn't like it when I tell it to be quiet. Again, you're asking me girly questions, and I'm not that girly. My workout of choice is running. And, I will say that spinning is a killer. It might seem girly, but it's not for the faint of heart. Go try it sometime. For one hour. And, lastly. At no age, under no circumstances should anyone wear the word "juicy" on their ass. Why would you want your ass juicy?

Dear ESPN.com

Please stop with the automatically loading video that plays when I go to ESPN.com. First of all, I'm literate. That's why I subscribe to your magazine and visit your website 263 times per day. I want to read the content. If I want video, I will go to one of the 5 ultra convenient ESPN family of TV channels.

Secondly, I would estimate 82% of your sites visitors are at work while visiting. Does auto loading video blasting out sports commentary really seem like the best way to sneakily waste time? Why don't you just have an arrow and a sign pop up out of my computer that says TIME WASTER and points to me for everyone in the office to see. This is both rude and thoughtless. Great, you captured the ability to post video on your website. Can't we just have it load on "PAUSE" so I can choose to watch it or not?

PS - If you must show video, please stop showing John Clayton's face. His voice and obnoxious opinions are enough, but when his elfish, bespectacled face pops up on the obnoxious video player it's almost too much for me to handle.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

You Oughta Know - Card Games

We've promised a weekly "You Oughta Know" post, so here we are, and with week 2 we decided to lighten it up a bit after being called out for being a bit pretentious kicking off with the greatest pieces of literature in the history of the world. Point taken - although I still consider that post a success as it evoked plenty of conversation and a classic argument between the two skinniest people we know.

This week, 10 card games you ought to know. Whether you're headed to Vegas, a party featuring chicks in denim skirts and light beer, or even just a relaxing vacation, you should know how to play these games. No one wants to be the jackalope who says, "Sorry, could you explain the rules one more time?" while everyone else is sitting there and ready to play. Here is a website with all game rules organized alphabetically.

1. Poker - including at least 3 variations: Stud, Hold 'Em, 3, 5, 7, etc.
2. Blackjack
3. Presidents and Assholes
4. Kings
5. Rummy
6. Speed
7. Cribbage
8. Hearts
9. Pitch
10. Solitaire

As usual, feel free to question, ridicule, add or discuss in the comments section. We look forward to your feedback.

Also, a weird bonus Youtube video to help get you through your Wednesday - but you've got to watch to the end to see the full amount of awesome - (Thx to Cross).

Random Question of the Week - Meat

In an effort to learn a little more about our readers, we are going to begin to offer up questions to you all that will hopefully shed a little bit more light upon your temperaments, convictions and habits.

This weeks question:

Would you eat off of this pig roast if you were at a luau?

Do any of you eat meat anymore? 

If you do still love meat, would you dine off this swine?

People we know, the floor is yours!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Small Fight of the Day

Although I'm a bit concerned about what it may say about my sanity if this becomes a regular feature on the blog, I just can't help myself.

Fall is a special time of year. New cars, new TV shows, fun new consumer electronics and, everyone's favorite, new phone books???

That's right, for the past week, various sources have been foisting their antiquated ad laden giant pain in the ass phone books on me. Yellow Book, Verizon, Qwest, all equally useless, all dumping approximately 25 lbs of useless "books" on my doorstep, in my front lawn or in my driveway. Seriously, have you heard of a smart phone? Goog-text? Goog-411? Yahoo Yellow Pages? All are more efficient, right at my finger tips and do not require sifting 5 inch thick tomes to find out the number for Papa Johns so I can order the Canadian Bacon/Pineappe/American Bacon Pizza.

Last week, the smashed up, no window all white panel van slowed in front of my house, and the sliding door came open. Drive by? Child abduction? No, just a dude throwing a big pile of books/trash on to my front lawn. Qwest. 3 days later, I'm backing out of the driveway, and the same white van with the same dudes throw a bundle onto the driveway (forcing me to get out and move them before backing out). Verizon. This is getting ridiculous.

So I'm sitting at my desk this afternoon, working hard, when an extrodinarily sweaty woman and her daughter (I'm assuming) walk into the office and, in a cheery and singsong (if breathless from the couple flights of stairs) voice:

Sweaty Woman: "Helloooo! We have your new phooonnne booooks!"

Me: "No thanks."

SW: "What?"

Me: "Don't need them, I'll just recycle them, so why don't you keep them and you can make sure they get to a deserving phonebook customer who might use them."

SW: [long uncomfortable pause, looks at daughter, both stare at me as if to say: "Um, hello, we're offering you a lifetime supply of free steak here, and you're saying no thank you? What are you crazy, these are PHONE BOOKS."]

Me: "Sorry."


Me: "Bye!"

A Weird Sighting in San Francisco

The 25th year Anniversary of The Folsom Street Fair was not the weirdest thing I witnessed yesterday in San Francisco.

Group flogging and whipping sessions at the fair were weird, but not weirdest.

Orgy and massage oil wrestling ring. Quite weird, but not the weirdest.

The guy getting head from the girl with the Captain America fighting Ironman tattooed on her back- both totally naked while being videoed by the Japanese tourist in studded g-string who was being pulled along by a dog collar chain held by his two foot taller German girlfriend dressed in full red latex body paint.

Pretty bizarre, but not the winner.

That was all within the first and only five minutes I was at the Street Fair.

Next Stop. Vertigo bar for an afternoon birthday party house/trance/breaks music event for some guy I have never met.

Weird that there were black lights and neon posters set up for a party during the day and there was sage burning everywhere. Strange, but not the apex of weird yesterday.

Signing Thai karaoke at the restaurant next door in a foreign language and getting a round of applause after picking what evidently was the song that everyone wanted to hear. Pretty normal, compared to the what happened next.

At that point it was 700PM and time to go home and get life together. I traversed back to North Beach and was on my block when I witnessed one of the more strange things I've ever seen. There was this bum clad in a blue plaid flannel shirt, short Prefontaine shorts, a Popeye hat and barefoot. He was bent over an unassuming green sidewalk bush. You know, one of those little shrubs that are everywhere that just seem to take up the pathway space where you always have to stand behind and wait for the lady with the stroller to pass by.

So this degenerate, safe to say bum, was in another dimension, universe, some altered state of Claritin-D byproduct Crystal Meth or just was the hungriest muther-f'er in town. He was face down, mouth open chopping at said shrub like it was the last consumable on earth. This man was straight up eating one of the cities bush's in public. Munch, Munch, Munch.

Thats weird. But not as strange as the fact that nobody else seemed to think this was abnormal or worthly enough of a second glance. People, couples, families would walk by, take a look and move on. I watched this goatman for about 5 mins from a half block away and during that spell or time, not a soul stopped to look at this act of craziness.

Who are the people that live in this city and are so desensitized that a man eating a bush like a goat, is just an everyday occurance?!?!?!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday Night

Didn't watch SNL this week? Oh, that's not surprising. Maybe it's because it sucks, or you weren't home at 11:30 on a Saturday night. But, since you missed SNL, then you missed the latest Tina Fey as Sarah Palin skit. And that would just be a shame.

If you missed this one, you might have missed the first one (I know it's a long shot) but it's still some good stuff, so enjoy.

Oh, and my Saturday night - I saw Choke - the latest movie based off a Chuck Palahniuk novel. Sex addicts, anal beads, crazy chicks, and dark twisted cleverness throughout - all par for the course. It's pretty out there, but since we know I love to laugh loudly at the most uncomfortable moments of the movie, this one was right up my alley.

Also, on a side note, I'd like to just send a brief open Letter to Regal Cinemas theaters:

Dear Regal,

Thank you for raising your prices again. That extra $.50 was an awesome surprise when I went to the movie last night. It was kind of like getting a tittie twister as I walked in the door. I mean really? An extra $.50 did you think that $10 wasn't enough for a movie? Maybe it's some sort of fuel surcharge? To.... Deliver the movie? Assholes. At least you're delivering a superior product. Oh, wait, no you're not. Most of the movies that have come out in the past 6 months have been terrible. Oh, and the bathroom smells like a homeless person's house. In a NYC subway station. In a porta potty. It's seriously astoundingly foul. There's piss all over the ground, and some on the walls. In a room I had to pay $10 (make that $10.50, you cheap greedy pieces of shit) to get into. Taylor's bathroom is cleaner and people piss all over the place in there on purpose.

Go to hell,
All of Us

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fred Willard Eats Cheese

There I was at Whole Foods earlier today. Minding my own business. In fact, I was literally going about some work business, when I was gently tapped across the right shoulder by a man holding a rolled up newspaper.

"Do you know where the CHEEESSEE is?"

That is what Fred Willard asked me today.

What made him think I was the one to ask? Did he not see the 20+ people or so wearing forest green Whole Foods aprons meandering throughout the aisles? How did he pick me over the dread locked, goatee donning, long sleeve tie-dye shirt wearing employee in which I was having a conversation?

Ira was the one with the Green Apron and name tag. I had on a polo shirt, sunglasses on my head and was chewing on a toothpick.

Yet he still picked me.

Best part about it, I DID know where the cheese was and had just been there. Thats where I got the toothpick, from the gouda sample squares three aisles over. Could Fred Willard really be that astute. Maybe. He did come up with the blind prostitute joke impromptu.

"The cheese is located three aisles down, near the produce."

That was my best effort. My one opportunity to impress one of the world's foremost improv comedians of Christopher Guest movie fame. One of my favorite actors. The guy stars in my second favorite comedy of all time and I left the conversation thinking to myself, "Whaaa Haappened....??!?!!"

Some skin for your mornin'

This week Sarah Palin, the GOP Veep candidate has been taking advantage of the UN General Assembly in NYC to brush up on her foreign policy credentials. Much like a few former Presidents (Reagan, Clinton, Bush) who came from roles as Governor, she has taken the opportunity to hone her chops ahead of important debates and as the election nears (she's only had her Passport since 2007).

She has met with a variety of world leaders, including a h
andful from the Middle East, for obvious reasons. She's taking a bit of a different approach, the sexy approach...

Meeting with the President of a Muslim nation and there she is, showing off those beauty queen legs! Now, it's all a matter of standards, and Karzai certainly isn't demanding she wear a burka, but seriously, that seems a little racy! That would be kind of like walking into a job interview wearing shorts instead of a suit. No, a suit isn't required, but it certainly does send a message.

And apparently Palin's message is being received, loud and clear by these heads of state. According to one blogger - "Pakistan's president tells Palin she's 'gorgeous' and 'Hotter Than the Kalahari in July." Although clearly that's winner for the headline of the day, the actual wording is a bit more subtle, but equally as outrageous. According to CNN.com, Zardari and his entourage made numerous comments about the Veep candidate's looks and Zardari even mentioned that instead of the long handshake for photographers he'd be willing to hug. Nice.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Northwest Holiday

I'm a day late, but that's only because I went RUNNING out yesterday to get me some frosty delicious goodness. That's right, yesterday Deschutes Brewery tapped the first kegs of Jubelale. ("Tapped" is obviously a bit of a misnomer as I was able to buy some the same day at Fred Meyer, but hey, I've exaggerated a time or two).

A few years ago, I had no idea what Jubelale was. I was working in the beer business and having a "meeting" with one of my co-workers in town from Nebraska when he got a text message that made him jump out of his chair, grab his keys and all but shout, "DUDE, let's go, they just tapped the Jubel," and run out the door. Seriously.

So the point is, it's good. Really good. And I've got to say that this year's blows last years out of the water. I recommend you grab six and grub and settle in to watch USC beat the sad, sad piss out of OSU tomorrow (while somehow wishing both teams could lose/settle in for a nice 10 year span of irrelevancy a la UW).

On a side note, I am glad the Jubelale is good. I had a bit of a falling out with the folks at Deschutes the week before. My GF recently brought over a couple bottles of this year's reserve, "the dissident." Although I don't want to get into a big beer snob love note for this beer, I must say, it is a treat. It's a Flanders style brown brewed with wild yeast and then aged separately for 18 months. It's some serious fancypants shit but boy oh boy does it come out well.

So, I ran not walked down to Deschutes to grab more just a couple days later only to find they had COMPLETELY SOLD OUT. I was disappointed to say the least, until I walked into Thriftway the next day to find an ample supply sitting untouched on their shelves. Anyway, do yourself a favor, if you can, get your hands on a bottle of this before it's gone. It's not like anything you've had before and is 100% worth it. Get it at Thriftway on Olson and Garden Home in SW Portland.

You Oughta Know - Literature

This is the first piece in what will become a weekly post entitled "You Oughta Know."

We will highlight a category and relay the our view of the 10 most important facts or works of art within said category so that we can all be a little more in tune and dialed in to what is what. 
Endeavoring to highlight events, places, persons, ideas and thoughts that revolutionized the world, or our world, this section of the QLE should provide for some good fodder.

The topic for this week is Literature. Imaginative and creative writing that resonates throughout the years as having ascertained supreme artistic value and contribution to the overall greater good of the art. These bodies of work stand along among others as having endured the test of time. 

1. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
2. Iliad - Homer
3. Moby Dick - Melville
4. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
5. Paradise Lost - John Milton
6. 1984 - George Orwell
7. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
8. A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemmingway
9. Call of the Wild - Jack London
10. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

These works certainly speak for themselves. Please send in your comments, concerns, critique and glaring omissions. And get to readying ya'll. 

Snoozing is a sign of weakness

When I was in 8th grade my best friend moved from the next block to the deep suburbs. Disappointing to say the least to now have to hang out with the second tier local friends.

His new place afforded us many opportunities our old one didn't. We didn't have to climb down a giant hedge-like bush to sneak out. The neighborhood was on
hills that afforded death defying (and moronic) speed runs on our bikes. There was also lots of new construction around which allowed plenty of 14 year old mischief, which I will not detail as I am not sure if what the statue of limitations is on this one... Even the cops were nice. We got picked up for curfew at the Zupans market (after buying a 3 liter of pop. Seriously, a 3 liter, how am I not diabetic?) and they just told us to be good and go home. Ask my brother how that differs from the Portland Police approach...

My buddy has always been quite industrious and so had a job early on. So, when I'd stay out there on weekends he'd get up in the morning to go to work and I'd sleep in (I was a lazy teenager). Let's say he had to be up at 7:30 to be to work at 8. He'd set his alarm for... 5:45. That's ONE AND A HALF HOURS before he had to be up. He would then proceed to snooze every 12 minutes for the next hour and a half. That alarm buzzer would go off 8 times before he finally hauled it out of bed. God forbid I should have to listen to that buzzer 8 times in a week, much less a day. He swore it was the only way he could wake up!

Let's break this down: that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. First off, it takes about 15 minutes for you to fall into REM or restful sleep (or so my 7th grade science teacher the smartest woman I've ever met told me). So by adding snooze into your sleeping repertoire, y
ou are effectively stealing that sleep from your night. So let's say you snooze for an hour each morning, you are just giving up an hour of your sleep. If someone said - hey, get up an hour early, you'd tell them to go to hell because you'd be losing sleep. But for some reason people have no problem waking up and going back to sleep repeatedly. Seriously, it's dumb.

So of course, my first "real" college girlfriend was... a snoozer! We would often do sleep overs with one another which would lead to the snooze fights. She scheduled all her classes at ungodly hours and then would want to start the snooze process hours beforehand which, coincidentally was many hours before I even had to be up (I was also a lazy college student). Needless to say, this led to strife.

There are two exceptions that I feel obligated to note:
1. Setting the alarm early deliberately to allow for sexytime with significant other. Obviously not snoozing, though, as the notable absence of the raucous, nightmarish alarm clock beeping.
2. The iHome. An alarm clock that plays your iPod. It's pure genius. It wakes you up and lets you listen to good music. It even fades in. I broke down and got one and suddently found myself drifting slowly into wakefulness over a 20 minute period. I quickly realized this was the same as snoozing (oh, and was late for work) and have now had to place a strict 2-song limit on my morning iHome listening.

Over the years, I have worked to refine (aka mellow a bit) my theory on snoozing (among other things). Following a lengthy discussion with a freind's GF, I have softened my stance. All snoozers are not weak. Some are just lazy but OK with it... Seriously, though, the amended stance is: one snooze allows for proper passing of the shock of another day/burying oneself deep underneath the covers to generate necessary warmth/strength of character to get up and do it all again. That seems reasonable, but more than that, and we're in ridiuclous/weak/lazy land. Set your alarm, get your ass up, deal.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dating Advice

The QLE does our best to keep you up to date on etiquette and general advice to avoid life's social foibles. With school getting back in session and lots of fresh faces out there for all the young people, a bit of dating advice might be in order.

We'll start with Mike Leach, coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. We've had to paraphrase in places...

1. Take her to a steak house because it's informal and there's not a lot of salad on the menu. Then she'll have to eat in front of you, which she (she being all women) hates, and as far as making women do things they don't want, the earlier the better.

2. After the movies, be sure to end at some "cool coffee shop ... where there's bizarre looking characters going in and out." That way if conversation flags you can just make fun of freaks!

3. If things go well (after making her do things she doesn't want to and making fun of weirdos), then you can "Trade computer schemes and emails and all that mischief that people are up to on that nowadays which I know nothing about."

Boom, in a nutshell, the ingredients for a successful relationship, or a Presidential campaign.

Slow Tuesday?

This one popped up in the "breaking news" section of our local paper's online site. Local liberal with a love of lawn signs (and gnomes, tackily enough) had a couple of her Obama/Biden '08 signs stolen from her yard. If you'll recall, the Obama fundraiser machine is charging for signs this year. With the economic times such as they are, she decided to set up a webcam to protect her investment (although the latest sign is handmade, which could also explain the lack of theft). Turns out, the idea is wildly popular as the "channel" the video is streaming on shot near the top of the views chart quickly and apparently has a huge following. Since I know you don't want to be the only one missing out...

Monday, September 22, 2008

We Need More Excuses

People seem to travel far and wide for one of two things: funerals or weddings. I believe we need to all collectively work on prioritizing mass movements to see the one's we care about and love.

I've been to two phenomenal weddings the last two weeks and it's easy to realize and recognize why your best friends, family and confidants are who they are.

The problem, is that their are only a select few who take the initiative to get together en mass on a regular occurrence. Frankly, that is just not OK and we cannot count on people to throw weddings every year or to pass along. We need to facilitate these relationships with the friends we make and the friends we keep.

All it takes in an excuse to get together. For me, I've utilized Coachella, Euro Vacation, Ducks football, Burning Man and holidays to make this happen. But, I find that the older people get, the priority level of congregating together dwindles.

Maybe we just need to come up with more arbitrary excuses to get together. 

So, here is an idea. The Harbin Ice Festival.

Its an annual event every January in the Heilongjiang Province in China. It is the worlds great ice artwork festival.  Ice sculptures are decorated with lasers and traditional ice lanterns. There is even an interactive ice lantern park and a luge to ride. 

So, who is with me?!?!!?!?

From the major duh file

Entourage is soooo effing good. OK, I know this is seriously old news and I know that you'd have to be a fool to not be watching, but last night was so damn funny that I just thought I'd point it out yet again: pony up and pay the extra $15 per month for HBO. I know it seems like a lot, but that is less than $4 an episode. God, I sound like one of those commercials asking for small contributions to solve big problems (Hello Wilford Brimley).

But seriously, a prank war with Davies? Johnny Drama. Lloyd, freaking Lloyd.

Just think of it as 26 minutes of escapism/therapy before you have to go to work for another 5 days. You work hard, you deserve it.

Why Aren't You Listening to Beck Right Now?

94 was a crazy one. Lorena Bobbit copped to insanity, Jeff Gillooly and Tonya Harding both pleaded guilty. Schindler's List swept at the Oscars and Kurt Cobain ended it all. Oh, and don't forget about OJ. The climate was perfect for Beck's hit, Loser, off his first album Mellow Gold. Moody, melodic and completely insane, Beck was strange, dark, and twisted, but tons of fun to listen to. The whole album was filled with bizarre ranting gems like Fuckin' With My Head and Truck Driving Neighbors Downstairs so catchy you'd find yourself singing along.

Most people go through an evolution as a music listener. You grew up on heavy doses of educational/non-threatening happy music - Raffi, School House Rock, etc. Also, if you were lucky, your parents had good taste. The Doors, Stones, Moody Blues, Clapton, and of course, the greatest song in the history of Rock N' Roll: AQUALUNG.

Eventually you start to branch out and find that you have your own opinion. This usually involves some sort of rebellion, no matter how small. The big eye opener for me was Dr. Dre's The Chronic. I remember sitting on the train to Seattle with my Babe Ruth baseball team listening to a borrowed tape of the album and having a major eye-opening experience. I wouldn't say I was sheltered, just tragically naive (oh, and I had a mullet - that's right, sitting on the train, rocking my mullet and mesh backed baseball cap about 12 years pre-Kutcher, bumping Nothin' But a G Thang). But that album did it for me and I realized there was a lot more out there than my parent's music collection. Granted, much of my early exploration was fairly clandestine as the black and white PARENTAL ADVISORY sticker was a death sentence for a disc in our house, but my growth as a music fan was on.

As usual, I have strayed from the original point of this post, which is to proclaim that Beck is among the best, most prolific and creative artists of the 15 or so years that I can claim to be a music lover. With each new album, Beck has continued to grow and reinvent himself - staying relevant, but also intensely creative, diverse and ambitous. He's strayed in and out of pop genres and had the obligatory celeb meltdowns and obsessions (hello Scientology). He also avoided becoming Dave Matthews (15 years, 9 studio albums completely indistinguishable from one another) or Smashing Pumpkins (reinvented themselves right out of mega stardom and their fan base) or REM (still cranking out albums but who cares?).

This year's release Modern Guilt not only lives up to expectations, but is immediately in the running for the QLE's annual top-10 albums of the year (a prestigious award I am sure he had in mind while in the studio). MG is 10 songs of pure pleasure. It's weird, varying in mood, blusey and and trés modérn. Danger Mouse's production is a phenomenal contribution and plays perfectly into the feel of the album as a whole. My personal fav, Youthless features a catchy, repetitive bass
"There's a bottomless pit that we've been climbing from
Just to get on level ground
Shake your seasick legs around
Dead of winter in a logo town
Signs of life are soft and flickering"
It all works swimmingly and the Beck/Danger Mouse pairing reveals itself to be the obvious answer to a question only too recently asked. Get it, rock it, and continue your evolution as a music fan.

Apocalypse Now

I like music.

I have been know to be frugal.

Add those two up and you get an admiration for free/cheap music.

You are either the type of person who adheres to a strict policy of iTunes and CD purchases, or you fall on the other side of the fence of fence and loot and pillage the web for whatever you can find.

I know that there are a handful of friends that find pleasure in having an album months before release, before anyone else in the circle. 

Frankly, being able to say "that album sucks" and to hear the response "wait, its not out for two month" and retort "i know" is the goal of a couple of people I know.

One of the best spots on the net to find downloads is Pop Apocalypse. Within the last month I've got the new Of Montrael, Bloc Party, Mogwai and Peter Bjorn and John pre release date.

Whatever your justification (mine is supporting artist by going to 5-8 shows a month) utilize Anna Apocalypse's hard work and diligence digging up all the material so you can spend less time searching for music and more time reading the QLE.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion

Despite a bit of a lag during summer, we are happy to say the QLE is back in action. We will continue to do our best to post regularly and strive ever to be entertaining (or at least pass on the work of others who are entertaining).

I must also point out that we LOVE the 5 of you who religiously check the blog. I know it's hard to spell and occasionally a bit obtuse but hopefully still fun. The goal, however, is to continue to pass it on! With Applesauce and @TweeterCarrie at the Web 2.0 conference, we've been pointed toward some new tools to make sure that you can keep up to date with us (and pass us on to your friends - share the love!).

You can sign up with Feedburner using the form on the right. It will send you an email (one a day) when we have new content. If we're slacking, no email, so send Meeps a text and bust his balls. If you don't, you could miss something REALLY funny, like Charles Barkley's 50 most famous quotes. You can also use your RSS feed right in your Outlook to receive updates when new posts go up.

Other ways of sharing - Twitter, Delicious, Facebook, "Follow" the blog (also a link on the R side), or just email it to people. Any other suggestions, feel free to pass them on.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

She Blogs She Blogs

Over the past few months I've come to grips with the fact that I'm a "blogger." At first I think it bore a sort of stigma, and I'm still a little embarrassed when revealing it to people for the first time. It's like a guilty pleasure. It's also my room mate's favorite comeback for this move, usually used when I've had a couple drinks and find the conversation has slowed.

Me: Hey (person who is most likely to make a big deal about the factoid I'm about to unload), did you know my friend Nick is the lead singer in a Band?

Them: Really? That's sooo cool! What kind of band?

Me: A rock band.

Nick: Fuck you. Did you know B has a blog?

I digress. One of the things that being a blogger entails is reading other blogs. I read my friend's blogs, I read sports blogs and I will occasionally peruse my way through the 6 degrees of blog separation. Think Myspace/Facebook stalking but with blogs. Here's Lizzie's blog, she reads these blogs. Whose blogs do they read, etc. etc.

A couple different times I have found myself stuck in the descending spiral of the "chick blog." I can't think of a better term for these saucy, salty self-publishers. They have that spice girl/girl power/I've got attitude and I'm funny, irreverent and sarcastic and KNOW IT. They all seem to drink wine, I think it's a code word or something. They also are overflowing with overshare. Pooping, peeing, infections, fat jokes, sex anecdotes, pooping, and insanely embarrassing stories are all par for the course:

The CLEAR winner on this one belongs to a blog spiral that went like this:
Rob Mosely Oregon Ducks Blog>Tales from LaLa Land (a mix of interviews with ex UO players, bad words and chick blogging)>Musings of a Barefoot Foodie. I am still not sure how I got there but all of a sudden I found myself
[side note - I was actually reprimanded by Jenna on Saturday night that this was almost too gross to point people to. So, again, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...] reading this post. Prepare yourself because even I found the punchline quite shocking. Anyway, there's plenty more where that come from.

These blogs are generally quite amusing, which explains how I've gotten sucked in.
I am split on whether I want to read more, though... On the one hand, I feel kind of like Screech and Zach when they eavesdropped on Kelly's slumber party to figure out who she was going to ask to the dance. It's like being let in on a whole different world, kind of fascinating, totally weird. On the other hand, I feel like Mel Gibson in What Women Want - suddenly granted access to the insane mind and world of women and faced with a whole bunch of information which, frankly, I'd rather leave shrouded in the mystique of the fairer sex.

Obama's Two Fathers

In case you missed the bombshell dropped during the DNC a few weeks back
Check out this clip from Terry Moran. A moment for the history books

Monday, September 15, 2008

Leaf Blowers

Fall is here, leaves are falling, and Jackasses everywhere are using the loudest, least efficient tool possible to blow them (along with dust, trash, and anything else on the ground) out of their yard.

It's an interesting mindset: I want these leaves out of my yard. I think I'll blow them all over the sidewalk, into the street and into your yard instead. And I'll do it by running the most obnoxiously loud device I can get my hands on.

And what lazy bastard thinks this leaf blowing device is actually a good idea? The only reason leaf blowers work is because there's only about one real Jacknife per block who actually thinks it's socially acceptable to take the mess that's in his yard and blow it out into the neighborhood. If everyone did it, it would be an awesome battle royale with leaves flying, dust in the air and gum wrapper projectiles aplenty.

As Mitch Hedberg pointed out, just about everything should have two names - such as a "cheese grater" could also be called a "sponge ruiner." I'll work for the next few days coming up with alternative names for the leaf blower, I think I'll go with the Not My Problem Machine (narrowly lost out to the Jackass Jetpack).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

If you're reading this, chances are, everything is fine.

If you're reading this, that means that the world has not ended, the moon has not disappeared (that I can tell) and no destructive dark matter or universe devouring black holes have been created... Yet. If you need any further proof, you can click on the following site from a particle collider watchdog (seriously click on it, it's funny) www.hasthelhcdestroyedtheearth.com.

What is the LCH? It's a 17 mile underground tunnel that scientists are going to use to smash particles into each other in an attempt to re-create the beginning of the universe. OK, so that doesn't make a ton of sense, maybe we'll turn to Wikipedia to explain what it is. That doesn't help a ton either. Well, regardless, it's a huge machine and it does something big and potentially scary (to some people).

From my understanding we're not out of the woods yet. Today they sent a particle one way around the 17 mile loop - soon they will be sending one each way to make them crash into each other for the real "subatomic fireworks."

I listened to a clip from the countdown, it went something like this: "3... 2... 1... LAUNCH WAHOO IT WORKED!" It didn't take very long for the subatomic particle to go 17 miles at near the speed of light. Pretty anticlimactic to me, but the scientists were stoked (after 25 years and $80 Billion who can blame them).

So anyway, breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate a little today that our universe wasn't whiped out while you slept, or, if you like to worry, just wait for the next big bang...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Goji Berry. En Vogue In 2009

Recently, it seems that we as consumers have been bombarded with a hot new berry or fruit every year. Theses berries tote health benefits galore and social superiority aplenty.

In 2006 it was the campaign for the Blackberry (not the mobile device). 2007 we saw the rise of the Pomegranate . In '08 it was Acai (AH-SA-EEE). Be sure not to get that wrong phonetically at whole food or else risk a verbal lashing by the dude with spacers in his ears in the produce department.

I've been hearing rumblings within the health conscious community, Diageo, Jamba Juice cashier and grocery network that next year we are going to see a full court press for the Goji berry.

What really kills me about this is that its seemingly arbitrary and every yearly winner seems to burst on the scene as the best antioxidant, along with the highest amount of physically allowable daily recommended vitamins in the world. There are nutrients in these berries that haven't even been invented yet.

WTF is a BJD?

Have you ever said to yourself, "Hmm, I sure wish dolls looked more lifelike. I think I'd really like a two foot tall DOLL that more accurately mimics a human being, including realistic, movable joints." Well, if you have, here's what you've been looking for, the Ball Jointed Doll.

Oh, I'm sorry, you'd like something far creepier? Well, we've got the answer for you - google BJD Doll and you'll see numerous sites of people who photograph BJDs in provocative poses.

I love NPR because you never know what you'll hear. Sure, you can find some predictable left-leaning political coverage and endless discussion of the Israel/Palestine conflict, but every once in a while they will drop a pop culture story on you that just should not be missed (they also have great music).

Today, I was lucky enough to be listening to NPR's story on BJDs and boy oh boy did it make my drive home better. Click through to NPR.org and listen to or read the story about BJDs. Of course, I strongly recommend listening so you can hear the women who collect these dolls say crazy shit like:

"I have one 15-year-old girl who is my love," she says. "I have ordered for her a boyfriend who is a boxer and a physicist who will take good care of her. I've also ordered a vampire for her ... I couldn't resist."