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?!?!?!