Friday, September 30, 2005

fare thee well, odyssey

note: though it may seem it, this post is not intended to be humerous or inulting to it's subject. i'm honestly a big fan of this show and am sorry to see it go.

since i started listening to npr, one of my favorite shows has been odyssey, hosted by intelectual super-hottie gretchen helfrich. the show was formatted as a conversation between gretchen and her guests, who would often be authors of books on whatever general subject that day's show delt with. one good example of their format was a five part series where they explored the five senses, and talked about their physical and sociological evolutions, their place in our culture, comparitive structures in other animals, and so on. conversations like this help you expand your perception of the world, and as a writer, i find this to be a good thing. sure the show had a tendancy to reveal the more pretentious aspects of being smart, but it also explored lots and lots of otherwise mundane subjects in thuroughly interesting ways, with fun and insightful questions posed to the subject du jour's formost experts.

i think i liked the show because i miss that extraneous intelectualizing that i got at cmu, where any gathering threatened to turn into a brain-bash on anything from nuclear proliferation to sexism in the health care industry. most of the formal education i recieved at cmu (grammar, sentence structure, trying hard) has dissovled over the years, but the curiosity that i brought into cmu was mercilessly encouraged, and that sticks with me to this day. odyssey gave me a similar experience, vicarious though it may have been, and i was moderately saddened to know that chicago public radio decided to cease funding on odyssey effective october 1. that meant that today's show, "ten films to see before you die" was the last, and starting monday, the world will take it's time slot.

on the bright side, they've kept a diligent audio library, with archived episodes dating back to the show's inception. give it a listen if you get a chance, and equally importantly, if you know the name of the theme song they use, let me know. i want something to remember them by.

CORRECTED-US to ban Caspian beluga caviar imports--group

In an earlier story, we reported that the United States moved to barn Caspian beluga caviar imports. The "r" in "barn" was a typo, and the corrected story has been uploaded. we apologize for the confusion.

Comedy tomorrow, improv tonight!*

Two improv shows worth seeing tonight. #1 is "Dynasty", which is actually "The Chorus" which is Ruth and Shane's I.O. harold team at the Oracle Theatre, 10:30 sharp. Then walk down halstead, right on addison , left on clark, up the stairs and see "Warhammer" at IO at midnight. "Warhammer" consists of IO prodigies like Mort Burke (quincy, left at the light, let them ho's fight), Emily Candini (drug test, messing with a friend), Alana Johnston (messing with a friend), Thomas Middleditch (baby wants candy), Mark Ortiz (who i met yesterday and gave me some pot), and some other people who are probably just as good.


* the title of this post comes from a sketch that animal club is not allowed to perform, now that half the group is gainfully employed as respected improvisors. tom and i wrote it in st. louis last year. it's a parody of "comedy tonight" from funny thing happened on the way to the forum. here's some of it:

something that's racist
something that's sexist
something that's homophobic
improv tonight!

something retarded
somebody farted
that's it you're getting it
it's improv tonight!

nothing with wit
nothing with class
nothing but dick, shick, fuck piss and ass

nothing for thinkers
plenty for drinkers
anything that's lazy dumb or trite
comedy tomorrow, improv tonight!


is no doubt behind adam carolla's enviable ability to continue working in entertainment. i can't really explain it any other way. the next short lived adam carolla project, aptly dubbed the adam carolla project, gets started on teusday october 4th on tlc. since it's on tlc, you can rest assured that the show involves home remodeling of some kind. here's a link to adam's imdb profile, where you can create your own adam-carolla-isn't-that-funny punchline.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

French Police Net Nine In Anti-Terror Swoop

This headline from a Reuters Alertnet News Report completely took me by surprise. It caught my eye not because of the startling find of terrorists, but it was the startling lack of swoop usage in our world. Such an amazing word and yet we rarely see or hear it. Perhaps it's the definition that leaves it limited:

1. To move in a sudden sweep
The bird swooped down on its prey.

2. To make a rush or an attack with or as if with a sudden sweeping movement. Often used with down
The children swooped down on the pile of presents.

2. The act or an instance of swooping.

Or maybe it's that it's synonymns are more popular. Whatever the reason, it's an awful shame that we leave a word like swoop sitting on the bench. I propose a new definition:

n, v, adv, adj
1. The only word in the English language with a flexible definition.
It was the best of times. It was the swoop of times.

It was the swoop of times. It was the worst of times.

It was the best of times. It was the swoop of times.

Swoop was the best of times. Swoop was the worst of times.

It was swoop best of times. It was swoop worst of times.

It swoop the best of times. It swoop the worst of times.

It was the best of swoop. It was the worst of swoop.

It was the best swoop times. It was the worst swoop times.

Madonna's New Philosophy

Madonna's latest album should be flying off the shelves when it drops. She just released the track list and the first #1 hit will no doubt be "Let It Will Be".
Look for more hits from Madonna in the future using her newfound hit equation:

Song title from the Beatles Let It Be album + "will" = Gold

Upcoming Hits include:
Two Of Will Us
Dig A Will Pony
Across The Will Universe
I Me Will Mine
Dig Will It
Let It Will Be
Maggie Will Mae
I've Got Will A Feeling
One After Will 909
The Long And Will Winding Road
For You Will Blue
Get Will Back

In other music news, Paul Anka's covering "Smells Like Teen Spirit".
Listen Hear. Skip the intro and at his home page you'll see a sample of songs at the top that you can scroll through. Just find Smells Like Teen Spirit, press play, and be thoroughly confused.

Welcome to the Sketch Blog network

a little shout out/plug for all you devoted sketch comedy group blog fans. john boyle, admin of the awesome sketchcenter website and writer/performer with seattle's train of thought has joined the ranks with the train of thought blog. John is the middle one in the pic on the right, both positionally and sexynessly.

Lil Kim gets all political

I guess she's an official blogger now:

"Guess who's coming to prison with me? Tom DeLay!


time magazine interviews some geeks who say some geeky things like:

Neil Gaiman: I'm not virtual. I'm here.

Neil Gaiman: I've been blogging since February of 2001. When I started blogging, it was dinosaur blog. It was me and a handful of tyrannosaurs. We'd be writing blog entries like, 'the tyrannosaurus is getting grumpy.'

joss whedon: But I also think there's a bit of misconception with that. Everybody who labels themselves a nerd isn't some giant person locked in a cubbyhole who's never seen the opposite sex. Especially with the way the Internet is now, I think that definition is getting a little more diffuse.

oh the price of gas

me: hey, i'm almost out of gas.

gasman: okay?

me: how much is regular?

gasman: umm...$2.84, right?

me: yeah. that's the thing. i don't really have any money, so...

gasman: so?

me: how much gas would you give me for this? (hold up pair of jumper cables)

gasman: i don't...i don't think i can do that.

me: what if i throw these in? (holds up jug of washer fluid and stack of mcdonalds napkins from glove compartment)

gasman: no. no no. you can't...get out.

me: alright, alright, i'll give you this map of minnesota, too (holds up jug of anti-freeze)

gasman: get out now.

me: alright. but if i was trying to get water instead of gas, and was really thirsty, like dying of dehydration instead of almost out of gas, and we were on the outskirts of a desert and it was completely obvious that i had just trudged through the desert and was on death's door unless you gave me some water, would you give me some gas?

gasman: i call cops. i call cops.

me: well, take this (holds up jug of water) on me, just remember that next time i come in here.

(i walk to my car, get in and realize i still have half a tank. i walk back in)

me: hey. it's me again. i forgot my water (takes jug of water).

(i walk to my car, get in and start it up. drive off into sunset. cue "stay" by lisa loeb and nine stories. roll credits, fade out)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Derek Jeter News

So, the Yankees shortstop, Derek Jeter, received a piece of mail calling him a "traitor to his race" and threatening his life if he didn't stop dating white women. In reality, he's only half a traitor what with being biracial and all. Racists have never really been known for superb research skills. Shotty racist bookkeeping aside, maybe they've got a point. But, if you're going to "cleanse" the world or even our nation, let's go balls out people. Sure, I'm a white person, but I'm not the same white person as say a German-English white person. Being 1/2 Hungarian, 1/4 English, and 1/4 Irish; I only have a quarter-of-a-human in common with that person, so why should we be hugging each other or kissing each other or living in the same state for that matter (All those in favor of making Pennsyvania HalfHungarianQuarterEnglishQuarterIrishsylvania say "Aye!")? If we lived only with those of our precise heritage we would all have wonderful pedigrees and some of us would have fabulous hair, while others would have fabulous nails, and some of us maybe would have both, but no one could go outside their pedigree to get either (Kind of like dogs and horses, but only more standing uprightish).

What more could you want? Love is pointless, after all, unless someone can love you the same as you love them-for me that would be 50% Hungarian 25% English 25% Irish love. Attraction to anyone of different heritage is fake and unreal. God wouldn't want it that way. Why, you may then ask, would God invent cars, bikes, and boats if he wanted us to stay with our "own people"? And the simple answer is God didn't invent cars, bikes, and boats. Satan did.

God invented leashes.
Happy dating everyone.

Oh, if anyone knows a decent 50% Hungarian 25% English 25% Irish girl, drop me a line. The love of my life is 25% Mexican, 25% Native American, 25% German, 25% Scotch. So, she probably won't be allowed in

Don't Let This Show Die!!!

Tune in and tell all your friends to watch Arrested Development Mondays at 8/7 central on Fox if they are not doing so already!

I have never been so worried as I am for the safety of Arrested Development. This is by far one of the scariest situations in TV right now. It's a ground breaking show and rumors of cancellation have been constantly flying since it first aired-even after it won an Emmy for best comedy. The writing is amazing, the ensemble is ridiculously talented and close, and the guests that appear on the show are of the utmost caliber (Amy Poehler, Bob Odenkirk, Julia Louis Dreyfuss, and Charlize Theron to name a few). It's comedy in it's finest form and should be immune to cancellation. Along with shows like Scrubs, Arrested Development is reinventing television comedy and keeping its head way above the murky waters of cheesy sitcoms. So, do what you can to help keep this show on air. It'd be an American tragedy to lose it. I know it's hard to watch a show religiously nowadays. I, myself, am not always able to watch the show. But, you can at least copy the message I've written below and email it to Fox:
To Whom It May Concern,

Hey dicks!! Don't cancel Arrested Development!

Also, you can watch the entire premiere episode of another great show, Chris Rocks' new series, 'Everybody Hates Chris' at

NYC's Newest BFF

Picture this-
(Setting is an apartment in New York City. It's a beautiful Saturday

Okay, you wake up, rub your eyes, roll out of bed, put on the ol' bathrobe and walk out to the living room to start your weekend off with some football. But, who should you find lying on your couch, eating his third bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats, and watching cartoons? The Dalai Lama. That's right, Mayor Bloomberg just gave him an official key to the
. And if you've got a prime bachelor pad, well, he may just be crashing on your couch indefinitely.

Sure, at first, it'd be great to have the Dalai Lama around. You'd have great conversation and advice at the dinner table and, of course, there's his infamous Lama pranks to keep you laughing. But, how many times can you possibly take someone up the Empire State Building before it gets old? After fourteen or fifteen times it just gets tiresome-I don't care if they are an incarnation of Buddha. Everything gets boring after 86 flights.

But, he has a key. So, get ready for some stair climbing, stock up on Frosted Mini Wheats, and Tivo your football games because the Dalai only watches Cowboy Beebop.

A Plug For Bobby D

If you love this guy and/or

this guy.
Then, you must see this!

deep in the heart of texas

hey lone star staters,

one of our short films will be screened at the austin film festival sometime(s) between october 20 and 27th. we're not sure when, how many times or where it will be shown, and i'd tell you which film it is, but the title blows the premise, so...

anyway, if you are
a) from texas
b) going to be in texas
c) both of the above
d) other:_______________

stop by the festival and watch what I guaruntee will be the shortest film of the festival. in fact, if they charge you full ticket price for it, demand a refund. from them. not us.

how strange it is to be anything at all

seven years ago, the neutral milk hotel album "in the aeroplane over the sea" was released, and it has slowly come to be recognized as a monumental record. It's getting a fresh re-release in the UK today, and pitchfork has a nice review of it here. I have no problem saying it's one of the ten best albums of all time, so if you don't have it and value my opinion, go to an actual cd store and buy a copy. you can even find it on vinyl at any record shop worth it's salt.

and while we're on the subject, I hope Jeff Mangum gets around to making more music sometime soon. He was spotted on stage at one of the recent Olivia Tremor Control reunion shows, which sparked quite the murmur among the hipster hopeful. Last I heard he was dabbling in collages and field recording bulgarian folk music. He's almost at that "sketch on a napkin" state, where anything he tries to do will garner a fierce and determined audience, so I say that if he wants to bring people into soundscapes and collages, so much the better.

Anyway, if you're reading this Jeff, thanks for the music and here's hoping there's some more down the road.

Actual names from npr

Being ipod-less for my commute, I've been listening to even more NPR than usual, which is a significant amount. The names of the Chicago NPR station personalities shocks me with their comical sterotypicalness (not a word). If you used these names in NPR sketches, people wouldn't find them believable enough. Names like:

Gretchen Helfrich, host of Odyssey
Michelle Norris (pronounced MEE-shell), anchor of All Things Considered
Melba Lara, host of Local News and All Things Considered
Aurora Aguilar, editor of Eight-Forty-Eight


i find my childhood is often emotionally encapsulated by bizarre bits of media. take my purchase of a hall and oates song as proof thereof. last night, i came across a long lost piece of the nostalgia puzzle- an online video file for the ostentatious HBO identification bumper that ran before feature films in the mid 80's.

i'm a little relieved that i'm not the only one who missed this bumper's driving 70's orchestration, or HBO's unflappable awe of it's own logo. there's something about this bumper that feels almost scary- a giant logo explodes several times in the sky to pulsating trumpets and violent harp glissandos, and as it spins slowly around you get a look inside the O, and it's lasers! it's lasers! it's lasers! and just when you think the end of the world is nigh, brought about by a massive, spacefaring logo, the lasers finally stop, revealing the comforting phrase, "HBO Feature Presentation". oh, it's just a movie. phew!!

i'm not saying you actually think these things (though you might); rather i'm saying this is the rare and likely uninteded effect of music, animation and circumstance coliding violently and working out to a company's advantage. i've seriously been looking for this clip ever since they invented the internet. and now i have it. and so can you by clicking here and scrolling down about half-way. that site is a british page called tv-ark, and you can track down other relics of tv past and present from all over the world.

as old as some sea turtles

this is the 300th post on the animal club group blog. that is all.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Free Speech-With Permit

Today, protesters organized by United For Peace And Justice were arrested in Washington DC (Cindy Sheehan being one of them) and "charged with demonstrating without a permit, which is a misdemeanor". So yeah, remember everyone. Before you speak out, you've got to fill out the proper forms and pay the fee. Then, say what you like. But, please for God's sake don't forget the paper work and the fee. It only makes sense. If everyone just walked around for free saying what they wanted to, we would....


Yeah, so get your permits first.

Jerry! Jerry Jerry!

I decided to do some cardio today and in doing so, inadvertently caught Jerry Springer's show. The TV was set on mute, so I couldn't hear anything, but from what I could make out, it was a show dealing with women whose boyfriends wore only neckties. Typical for a Springer show, sure.

But, what wasn't typical was that about 3/4 of the way through the show, Jerry, the guests, and the audience suddenly got up, crossed their hearts, and sung the Star Spangled Banner. An entire trashy talk show studio mouthing the words to the US anthem, while some IT whiz edited a waving flag behind them. Wha? Wha happened? Was there something about the episode, something about men wearing only neckties, that was particularly Patriotic? Were they sons of Founding Fathers who only wore neckties? What level had Jerry stooped to or what heights had he flown towards? I'll never know. If only the sound were on.

The U.O.G.

what's the U.O.G.? it stands for Universal Office Greeting. i've been giving and recieving the U.O.G. for some time now, and it's symbolic signifigance only just hit me. when you walk the halls of your office building and you see someone else who works there, you:

1) make eye contact
2) close your mouth
3) half-smile/half-grimmace
4) lower your head
5) go about your business

this silent acknowlegment of your (and their) mediocrity casts a gleeful pall on the state of your (and their) life. you smile as if to say, "hey, we're all in this together", and you grimmace as if to say, "not that that makes this any better", then you bow to each other (at least as close to bowing as western society seems comfortable with), and sludge on.

this piece of graceful social interaction reminds me of my days at carnegie-mellon, where the academic competition was fierce, and the most accepted way to interact was to lock your eyes straight ahead and not deviate from the nothing you were looking at/walking towards. contrast this with my "other" "career", that of a sketch comedian, where we hug and sometimes make out with eachother the four of five times we see each other a year.

maybe i should inject a bit of sketch-love to my office complex. maybe it's on my shoulders to lift this place from the depths of corporate disenchantment. maybe a little bit of hugging would reinvigorate this despondant bastion of captialist excess. unfortunately, that would mean hugging a lot of ugly, ugly people, and no ammount of goodwill or positive thought can make shit taste like steak.

that's why tomorrow when i come to work and someone flashes the U.O.G. at me, i'm going to do a jazz square, and smile wide, yelping out "Business!!" in a quasi-musical tone. like mel brooks said, humor is our only defense against the universe.

best website ever

move over cats in sinks, here comes something more homo-erotic!


"the o.c.: the video game".

equally stupid and much older, "er: the video game".

finally, fake and not real, "empty nest: the video game"

Know when to say when

maybe i should stop with the fake celebrity blogs? alright, one more.

kate moss' coke blog

To: Entertainment Weekly

From: Anne Schecter, Dermot Mulroney's Publicist
Re: The Family Stone, Publicity

To Whom It May Concern:

I wrote repeatedly in support of the release of Dermot's last film, "Must Love Dogs", and made several requests regarding the handling of Dermot's presence which were unmet. In anticipation of his next project, The Family Stone, I'd like to reitertate my previous points of interest in hopes that Dermot's work will presented in a way that falls in accordance with his and our wishes.

1. As with "Must Love Dogs", we're asking that "The Family Stone" be classified as "Mulron-ific" (mul-ROON-i-fik). Phoentic spelling is optional, but recommended.

2. Whereas Dermot is just as talented and respected as Diane Keaton, such should be indicated in any pre-release press. The phrase "Dermot Mulroney, who is just as talented and respected as Diane Keaton..." may seem forward and transparent, but we feel your readership would benefit from recieving this information in an undiluted state.

3. Should the film disapoint, all blame should be shifted from Dermot, and onto Claire Danes, as she is washed up and unattractive. If you could identify Dermot as a bright spot in an overwhelmingly mucky soup of impercision and hackership, we feel that would accurately represent our stance on the issue.

Thanks for your kind attention. If you have any further questions, you have my number.

Anne Schecter

Did You Know
- Dermot Mulroney is good friends with Brad Pitt? Yes, THE Brad Pitt.
- Was born on the same day as Rob Schnieder? Yes, THE Rob Schnieder.
- Played cello on Melissa Ethridge's 1992 Abum "Never Enough"? Yes, THE cello.

formulaic blog post about humerous news story

trained, armed dolphins washed into gulf of mexico by hurricane

shut up. shut up. shut up. shut up. shut up. thats the end of the rhetorical device gag- onto the quotation marks gag.

we trained dolphins. to kill "underwater spies" with "poison darts" and now they're "loose" in the "gulf of" mexico thanks to hurr"icane" katrina. that's the end of the quoatation marks gag- onto the pop culture reference gag.

fans of the 1990's sci-fi drama seaQuest no doubt remember ensign darwin the dolphin, a trained dolphin who could speak to humans with the help of a translator/voice box that sounded a lot like JINX from the lea thompson vehicle space camp. that's the end of the pop culture gag- onto the current events tie-in.

with voices that cute and darts that posionous, i think we can all safely assume that the dolphin assassins will take over an autonymous island nation within two weeks. the early favorite is haiti, followed by cuba and the conch republic. that's the end of the current events tie-in- onto the rhyming couplet wrap up.

it now begins you human fool;
the awful dawn of dolphin rule

golfers share awkward hug

film at 11:00.

related: tiger woods growing hootie-stache? the golfing public speaks out.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

sad football

football season is great. until you lose. or your team loses. like today. my team, the pittsburgh steelers played a sloppy game and lost to the new england patriots 23-20. thus, i'm sad.

whenever the steelers lose, it's like a light goes out in my heart. the possibilities, which once seemed endless, now seem decidedly finite. the hugs of friends seem colder, the taste of beer, bitter. i was going to adopt a cat today, but what kind of a pet owner could i possibly be if the steelers lost? i can't even cheer my team on to victory.

i guess i'll drag the mangled remains of my self-respect to work tomorrow and shove aside any dreams of super bowl glory, taking up my stack of database queries and code with a bit more accuracy than ben roethlisberger showed today. but not much more. i don't think i'm capable of that.

i know, i know. it's just a game. there's always next week. it's a marathon, not a sprint. whatever. try saying that to yourself when your team loses. cheap maxims don't help much when the sun shines only darkness.

i'm going to take some to reflect on my life now. wish me luck. maybe if you're a patriots fan it'll work.

*crying softly*

Whatcha doin' this weekend?

Before you say anything, let me just say two words:

And before I say anything else, let's listen to Bow Wow talk about ROLL BOUNCE (all Bow Wow's excerpts were taken from Chicago Tribune's Redeye Edition of 9/23/05 in an article by Kyla Kyles):

"I think I did a great job in the movie. I stepped up a lot, got into my part, and I'm really maturing as an actor."

What about the actual movie though, Bow Wow? The movie called ROLL BOUNCE?

"When people see this film, they'll see that I'm so diverse and pitch me other things, other scripts."

Huh? You sure we're talking about the same movie? I'm talking about the one that you, Bow Wow, are currently being seen in, ROLL BOUNCE?

"It was a mental challenge to get mad and to cry and be funny, but I definitely pulled it off."

Yeah, it must be hard to get mad, cry, and be funny on roller skates (ROLL BOUNCE). Good for you, Bow Wow. What about the other actors you had the opportunity to work with?

"I don't want anybody to come to the movies just to see Bow Wow."

That's nice, Bow Wow.

"I want them to see me as an actor. I could show everyone how I was discovered, how I got to this point in my life, but I wouldn't get an Oscar for that."

And you will get one for ROLL BOUNCE? Did I mention it's about roller skating?

"I'm going to dominate both movies and music until one of them stops."

What's your movie resume like again, Bow Wow? Oh yeah, Like Mike and Johnson Family Reunion. And next on your road to the Oscar is, what, The Fast and the Furious 3: Tokyo?

"That's $100 million out of the box."

Wow, Bow Wow, you sure have matured since you dropped the L'il (ROLL BOUNCE). Any closing words from you, Oh sage of the screen?

"You won't always have the Number 1 film. But even if I made eight bad movies, it wouldn't stop me because I'm always going to do my thing. I know I have the talent."

Thanks Bow Wow.

How you say...

A definition from Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary:

The leading figure in a small group of men of whom -- and of whom only -- it is positively known that immense numbers of their countrymen did not want any of them for President.

Friday, September 23, 2005

corporate gifts

being gainfully employed by corporate america for some time, it seems hypocritical of me to mock the masters who make me make money (i reached for that alliteration and I GOT IT!), but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

while looking for pictures of oil derricks for my below post, i came across a corporate gift site with the stupidest gift i've ever seen.

the black gold oil derrick award.

i'm assuming that the gift is intended for people who work for oil companies. most likely companies that actually work in the drilling of oil, which seems like a small number to me. far too small to warrant a company that specializes in gifts for that theme. right? anyway, if i come across, say $11,450.00 this week, i'll blow most of it on video games, then buy six or seven of these and send them to the following people with the following inscriptions:

1. my boss, wendy. "you likes pigs, and oil is made out of dead pigs, right?"
2. my favorite nurse at northwestern, who's name escapes me right now. "you are the best cardiac nurse in the world" because nothing says, "you are the best cardiac nurse in the world" better than a gold plated oil derrick.
3. dusty warren in seattle. "this is a metaphor for sexual intercourse". if you've seen flaming box's show, you know what i'm talking about.
4. jakob dylan. "quit trading in on your dad's name, you hack!" actually, i'm a big fan. no i'm not.
5. my mom. "if oil fields were great mothering, you would be the middle east." i love my mom.
6. "fast" willie parker", starting running back for the steelers. "the jimbo mickleson award: awarded to the nfl player most likely to purchase an oil derrick based on week 1 rushing statistics"
7. myself, me. "this statuette is an award for your continued excellence in the field of blogging. please accept this check for $11,450.00 as a token of our appreciation."

green thumb, black gold

i've just decided that when i grow up and buy my own house, i'm putting an oil derrick in the front yard. it will be fully functional, and i will not map out natural gas or sewage pipes before i place it. i just got this feeling that if i buy a house and put an oil derrick in the front yard, i'll actually strike, then pump and sell, oil. i'll also turn my garage into a refinery, and my refrigerator will have a gasoline pump instead of a water/ice dispenser.

i am an american. the above is my right.

unfortunately, the picture above is of a "nodding donkey". oil derricks are verticle. and awesome.

so...this is a good thing, right?

down's syndrome recreated in mice

also: a picture of a mouse fucking a mouse:

story courtesy of daily mail uk, gross picture courtesy of dribbleglass

caption contest

comment with your best caption for this picture of usc quarterback matt leinart and two attractive women at the collesium. the winner maybe gets a candy bar if they leave their address with their comment.

Without You...

i didn't realize just how much an ipod had effected my life (predicatably) until it was gone. it's been two weeks now since my ipod bit it, and not having every song i own at my disposal is proving to be very, very upsetting.

this morning, for instance, i had the uncontrollable urge to hear "fanstay" by earth, wind, and fire. when i couldn't call it up on the ipod, i became angry. like car-accident-angry, or roommate didn't do the dishes angry. two things about this bother me-

1) i had a disproportionately strong emotional reaction to the situation
2) i had an urge to hear "fantasy" by earth, wind, and fire.

the first one could be explained satisfactorally by armchair psychiatry- i'd become adapted to the calming effect of calling the perfect song up any time i wanted. makes sense, and i can live with that.

the second one has me worried. i love earth, wind, and fire. but there's a time and place, you know what i mean? and when i say urge, i mean URGE. like, "where the fuck is that earth, wind, and fire song? GODDAMNIT!" considering the number of awful songs on my ipod, i'm very worried that i'll soon develop an anne murray jones, or go through lisa loeb withdrawl, neither of which would help the hipster image i've been carefully cultivating for the past eleven years.

basically i've decided that if having an ipod means the occasional dion & the belmonts craving, i'm not sure it's worth it.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

10 For Felix

10 Questions For Felix Fermin:

1.) How much do you love playing shortstop?

2.) Have you ever wanted to play first base?

3.) Second base?

4.) Third base?

5.) Catcher?

6.) Wow. That's a home-run for shortstop lovers! How about pitcher?

7.) Right Field?

8.) Center Field?

9.) Left Field?

10.) Damn. You really do love your position! This last question's a two-parter.

a.) If a cannibalistic race of robot aliens took over the world and methodically hunted down and assasinated every shortstop, would you put on a batting helmet and say you're a designated hitter or would you make a stand and perhaps start an underground rebel shortstop army (If so, give Robin Yount, Tony Fernandez, and Alfredo Griffin a call. I've a hunch they'd be interested)?

b.) How many baseball cards do you have of yourself?

Speaking of drinking...

Let's all raise one for former president, Jimmy Carter. At a panel discussion in DC at American University, Carter talked of the Federal Emergency Management Agency that he founded back in 1979 saying, "we put it together with three specific commitments," Carter remarked. "One, that it would be led [by] highly trained professionals in dealing with disasters. Secondly, that it would be completely independent and not under another agency that would submerge it. And third, that it would be adequately funded." But, said, "I think that now is the best time not to look back on blaming about Katrina, but to try to correct the defects that have evolved in recent years and make sure it is not repeated."

Also, one last tid from Carter. On Bush's election:

"Well I would say that in the year 2000 the country failed abysmally in the presidential election process. There’s no doubt in my mind that Al Gore was elected president. He received the most votes nationwide, and in my opinion, he also received the most votes in Florida. And the decision was made as you know on a 5-4 vote on a highly partisan basis by the U.S. Supreme Court, so I would say in 2000, there was a failure."

Story courtesy of The Raw Story

Drinking Game

By now, it's pretty common knowledge that 57% of Americans disapprove of President Bush's handling of our nation at this time-both in war and at home. I know, for me, I've had a hard time watching/listening to him for some time now. It's incredibly frustrating that the leader of our country is an arrogant, ignorant prick. Oops. See, this anger. It's damaging to one's soul. So...

Here's a new drinking game to help get through President Bush's speeches and public appearances in general. It's a sibling of the already popular drinking game, 'Asshole' (if only in name).

In this game it is important to drink profusely beforehand. In fact, come to the game (from this sentence on, the term 'game' will refer to the viewing of a Bushian moment) hammered. Not too hammered, though. You're going to need two of your five senses. So, drink only to the point of losing smell, taste, and feeling.

Drinking should cease when our President graces your television. This is where the game begins. Wait for him to say something ignorant and call him an 'Asshole' as loudly as possible. Shout it! And just keep shouting it! Because odds are he's just going to keep saying ignorant things! Other insults and obscenities are also welcome. Feel free to be creative. If you're frustrated with Bush's smirking cock-of-a-face, let him know it. No need to be shy. He can't hear you. Let it out. It's part of the game. This is therapeutic drinking, folks.

The yelling remains continuous until you lose your voice or conscious. At that point, when you can sling insults no more, you may drink again (unconscious participants may be exempt from this portion). But, while drinking you must hold out one hand and extend the second finger from the thumb high into the air. Hold it there for as long as you can before passing out or severe muscle fatigue claims your finger. This could be for as long as the conference or speech lasts or go even further. The ultimate winner is the one that has remained drinking, middle finger extended, right up until the Bush is removed or leaves office.

Happy Drinking Everyone.

emusic DREI!

every 22nd is christmas for me. new music! woo!

devandra banhart: cripple crow- freak folk is where it's at nowadays. this album, being a freak folk album, is also where it's at.
danielson famile: brother is to son- he's an über-christian folk music experiment wrapped up in a bizarre presentation (his band, indeed his family, dress up like nurses for their shows), but the music hits what i'm looking for nowadays. interesting stuff.
iron & wine/calexico: in the reins- when i was in the deepest trough of my recent and still ongoing depression, i thought i would really like listening to iron & wine. strangely, it doens't work if you're actually depressed. now that i'm on the mend, i find his music much more palitable.
tv on the radio: young liars ep- brooklyn! "desperate youths, bloodthirsty babes" was awesome, so i figured what the hell?
sufjan stevens: greetings from michigan; the great lakes state- also brooklyn! "illinoise" was awesome, so i figured what the hell?

A Banner Day

WHOOPEEE For Cleveland Sports!!

What a wonderful past few days it's been for all us Cleveland fans out there! The Browns won this weekend! The Indians shrunk their rode to the Central Division Crown to 2 1/2 games by beating the Chi-Sox in 2 out of 3 games! And the Cavaliers still have Lebron James!!
Can I get another whoopeee, Tom Candiotti?

That'll do, Tom. That'll do.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

RE: Spam


From: "Cathryn Wang"
Date: Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:20:17 AM America/Chicago
To: "Barooo99"
Subject: You need a new watch
Reply-To: "Cathryn Wang"

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From: admin
Date: Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:40:32 PM America/Chicago
To: "Cathryn Wang"
Subject: Re: You need a new watch

No. You need a new watch.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

To the moon

NASA is planning on sending a 4-man crew back to the moon by 2018. The $104 billion budget includes the price of constructing a new spacecraft-part shuttle, part rocket. With that kind of a budget, why not send the best?

Tom Hanks,

Ed Harris,

Michael Dorn,

Sigourney Weaver.

Simple. Easy. Awesome.

hey skinny! get real job!

keeping with today's theme of depressing news about small, attractive celebrities, kate moss' totally awesome coke habit has cost her a contract with H&M worth about 480 kg of cocaine (or $7.2 million in people dollars.)(via bloomberg u.k.

dare i suggest another leno-off?. oh, i dare. ready. set. JOKE!

Lil Kim

well, lil' kim's off to prison. i didn't know she was going to jail- i really must watch entertainment tonight more often. anyway, ladies and gentlemen, lil' kim's prison blog

hey you hurricanes

Cut us some F'ing slack already!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Root Beer No Good

Not for the maker of KidsBeer. A Japanese company, Tomumasu, is now making a soft drink that looks like beer, froths like beer, but tastes like Coke! Whoop!!

"Children always copy adults," Tomumasu head Satoshi Tomoda says. "If you have this drink at events attended by kids, it would make the occasions even more entertaining." Because first graders can now not only pretend to be drunk, but look like they're really drunk while pretending to be drunk! Think of the sleepover fun! Who's got a funnel? Timmy? Lisa? No problem, I'll bring mine! Scary movies and fake beer anyone?
What will they think of next for our children to more accurately pretend to be deviant with? Fake heroin? Fake crack? Fake butterfly knives? As it should be, the sky's the limit when it comes to our children!!

We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start drinking

There’s a choice we’re making
We’ve been sober all our lives

It’s true we’re only five or six
But let's pretend

We are the world, we are the children
It makes sense that we should get drunk
If we're just faking

Our hands are way too small
Could you open our bottles

Let's all raise our beers up high
And toast for KidsBeer!!

Baby Got What?


Tears For The Pigskin

Off the top of my head, these two; Any Given Sunday and Little Giants; are the only football films I can think of that I did not shed a tear for. Don't ask me why. My list of teary-eyed football watching stretches from Rudy (the true story of one man's dream to play football at Notre Dame) to Gus (the fake story of a mule who becomes the place kicker for the California Atoms) and everything in between. That includes Friday Night Lights, Remember the Titans, and The Waterboy. I have yet to see Necessary Roughness, The Wildcats, The Replacements, either of The Longest Yards, and have only seen part of The Program and just thinking about the possibilites in these six films makes me a little misty.

So, it should come as no surprise that when I woke up early on Saturday morning I spent my time lying on the couch and watching back to back episodes of ESPN's Sportscentury featuring the legendary running backs Walter Payton and Barry Sanders-and cried at the end of both. Now, Walter Payton was an amazing humanitarian and athlete who passed away too early. So, tears are understandable. But, on the other hand, Barry Sanders was a phenomenal running back, but was missing those tear jerking moments. And I realized it was quite simple. I just missed Barry Sanders. I missed seeing Barry Sanders run. So, I cried. I cried because I missed seeing a guy run. Ah, football.

It's just one those games filled with hard hits, miraculous runs and leaps, and high fives and ass pats. A game that if played right and/or scripted well and given to talented and believable actors and/or mules brings me to tears.

use of simile in sports press

"They're about as frequent as locust plagues, but much more fun." - Rick Telander, Chicago Sun-Times, speaking on the issue of lopsided Chicago Bears victories

tech update

looks like blogger just added a "word verification" system to the comments sections. this should help keep the comments spam free for a while. sorry if this is inconvenient, and that it's not funny.

going once, going twice...

i spent the past half hour putting "common word".com into the url bar on firefox. things like,,, and all have websites with varying degrees of worthlessness. i wanted to branch out and put some quasi-nonsensical into the bar, just to see what happened. my first try landed this gem:
honestly, i'd completely forgotten the crocodile hunter existed. such is the case with oz/kiwi fads i suppose. still, someone, somewhere believes is worth at least $45,000.00, as this is the starting bid for the rights to now, let's consider the market valuation of this domain.

possible content for
1. crocodile hunter fansites
2. personal website for cameron rikey
3. sometimes funny but mostly racist website about odd japanese paraphanalia, a la

potential windfall for each market in reverse-numerical order.

3. racist japanese site: i included this because 95% of the results google gave me for "rikey" were stupid americans trying to say "me likey very much" in a condescending, stereotypical japanese dialect. since assholes don't have money, let's assume the total valuation of this market to be at $465.35. since the internet accounts for about 8% of global economic transactions (link to a reputable source), we can safely say that, your home for asianic-racist humor, has an estimated annual revenue of $37.23. after you factor in hosting costs (about $108/yr), will recoup it's $45,000.00 investment in infinity years.

2. cameron rikey's personal website: since cameron rikey doesn't exist, the projected annual revenue is $0.00. however, the reduced bandwidth means you could use a free hosting service, such as doteasy, for $0.00 annual. this is slightly better than the racist, as you don't add to your debt, but it's also no better, since it still takes infinity years to recoup the initial $45,000.

1. crocodile hunter site: despite it's obvious upsides (brand recognition, maybe something else), this option is fraught with pitfalls. just buying doesn't entitle you to use of the crocodile hunter's name or likeness (which is most likely the property of animal planet [maybe the crocodile hunter himself, but i doubt that- he hugs alligators for a living. i can't imagine he's too business savvy]). then there's the possibility they might make "crocodile hunter: collision course 2", which would futher dilute the crocodile hunter brand. once you factor in hospital bills for the beatings you recieve for running a crocodile hunter fan site, all potential profits are sucked dry. once again, tell your investors they can expect an infinitely negative return on investment.

summary and reccomendation
well, it is a website, and we are living in the information age, so i say float a second mortgage and go for it.


i plead the fifth.


as all of cleveland gets pumped up for the world's first face transplant, i feel like a kid in a candy store, or maybe a kid in a face store. who's face do i want? easy. former milwaukee brewers relief pitcher dan plesac's.

oh, i could have gone for a more famous face, like a david lynch, or a more striking face like a clint eastwood, but dan plesac's got the face for me. think about all the good i could do with those boyish cheekbones. i'd take that chin, and do with it what dan plesac couldn't- score endorsement deals. just for men hair coloring, maaco car painting places, paintball arenas throughout the midwest, you name it. "hi, i'm mike balzer with dan plesac's face. if you like fishing, you'll love myrtle mcgrath's tackle and bait, located just minutes off of I-90. so take it from dan plesac's face- if you need parachute adams or a disco midge, mcgrath's got it!"

with my pinnache and dan plesac's face, who knows what i could accomplish? and what if the genes for being a decent relief pitcher are in the face? i could be the baseball player i never dreamed about being, but wouldn't mind if it happened! Oh, the possibilities are endless. Of course, dan plesac is still alive, which means I'll have to kill him, but it's not like there's a shortage of reasons or anything.

i'm getting a cat

not that i'm one to announce things before they happen only to not follow through or anything, but i decided to adopt a cat. my apartment building allows them, and i miss having a cat.

what brought this about, you ask? well, two things. one, jane and rachael, our gracious hosts for the first two nights of our seattle trip, had an awesome cat. he was really vocal and really bitey. bitiness may not be what you are looking for in a cat, but i like it; shows they've got spirit. two, i came across two websites that i guarantee will make you want to have a cat. one, cats in sinks, i told you about friday. the other, kittenwar, is, if this is possible, even cuter. i challenge you to go to, and not want to adopt a cat.

anyway, the only downside of adopting a cat is you can't name it. but in my case, that's probably a good thing. why? well, here's the list of possible cat names i put together when i was hopped up on sleeping pills, and i'm pretty committed to using one of them.

1. the remainder
2. mister pufflesnuggle sissytooth
3. bumblenugget
4. horse
5. 3-times super fun cat
6. indifference
7. lionel
8. dishrag
9. man
10. jessica alba

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Last Day for Sketchfest Seattle

So, tonight ends Seattle's Sketchfest '05. Last week was a giddy, drunken (alcohol and sleep induced), and just down-right fun weekend for us in Seattle. The shows went well. And we got to hang out with just some ridiculously funny people who, like us, were also drunk from alcohol and/or sleep. How can we even sing enough to praise all the great groups-Ten West, Flaming Box of Stuff, Elephant Larry, Champagne, Becky and Noelle, The Cody Rivers Show, Prank the Dean. And the people-Heidi Tripple, Val Bush, all of our host families/people. If only we could afford to take another 36 hours to drive back for the closing weekend. So, if you're in the Pacific Northwest tonight, put down those Supersonics tickets (their season hasn't even started, after all) and go see some great sketch!

We've got an entire log of our experiences on the road coming soon to our blog near you-stories of joy, desperation, and possible tornado and/or UFO sightings.

Thanks for the comment

In response to my Songs in a Blender post two posts back, Anonymous had this to say...

8:17 pm
It's really nice to find blogs like yours. I hope more and more people like you write a lot of stuffs you are talking about.
Sarbanes is a topic that is also nice to discuss. I hope you can do some Sarbanes related stuff.
More power to you!

While it is necessary to thank Mr/s Anonymous for the nice comment and the wish for more power to us, I suppose it is also necessary to call attention to this Sarbanes stuff that they're spamming us about.
But also, more importantly, it is necessary to point out the "I hope more and more people like you write a lot of stuffs you are talking about" portion of their comment. Because it is my sincere hope that more people write stuffs like we do, too. It would just be nice to know there are others out there that care about the stuffs we care about. It's what we all want, in the end-A world united.


On the topic of...

Speaking of oral sex, apparently the teens love it!!! The Center of Disease Control just released a new report. Who'd have have thought? Anyone who went to high school, I suppose.

Like this guy:

Friday, September 16, 2005

Songs in a Blender

Blender Magazine will release in their October issue the Top 500 Songs Since You Were Born List which means since 1980 (so if you were born before 1980 'you' is not applicable). Here's their top 10:

1. "Billie Jean," Michael Jackson
2. "B.O.B.," Outkast
3. "Sweet Child O' Mine," Guns N' Roses
4. "One," U2
5. "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Nirvana
6. "Like a Prayer," Madonna
7. "Love Will Tear Us Apart," Joy Division
8. "Sucker MCs," Run-D.M.C.
9. "... Baby One More Time," Britney Spears
10. "In Da Club," 50 Cent

Missing from these 500 songs are some of the first CDs that ever graced my CD rack. Where's the Ace of Base? Where's the Ahmad? Where's the Green Jelly? I guess that's to be expected when anyone rates anything and really, since I've only seen these 10, it's possible that those three are somewhere in the list and maybe multiple times even. So, anyway, I've decided to go ahead and make a list of my own. So here it is:

The Best Songs Involving Whistling:
(In No Particular Order)

Winds of Change-Scorpions

The Theme From The Andy Griffith Show-Andy Griffith

Rockin' Robin-Bobby Day

Daydream-Lovin' Spoonful

Sitting On The Dock of The Bay-Otis Redding

Don't Worry Be Happy-Bobby McFerrin

So yeah, there's that. And don't even get me started on hand cooing.

Sex joke!

The upsides of having Dalla move in are already showing. Last night, for instance, I found out that eating crunchy cereal before practicing oral sex increases your risk of contracting herpes. I couldn't verify this online, but the armchair science behind it seems logical enough; crunchy cereal can create microscopic cuts in your mouth, and if your partner has a tainted wang or cooch, it's hello valtrex.

Anyway, since I'm taking this unscientific rumor as gospel, I'll be adjusting my pre-oral sex breakfast habits starting tomorrow (which is the morning before the next time I plan to perform oral sex on a woman). Here's where I run into problems- what constitutes a crunchy cereal? I figure grape nuts, cracklin' oat bran, and kashi are out. Same for froot loops, shredded wheat and smart start. Chances are corn flakes and raisin bran are okay, but what about stuff like fruity/cocoa pebbles? They're pretty crunchy at first, but by the time you finish the bowl, they're practically gelatinous. Or rice krispies? What about other breakfast food? Eggs aren't crunchy, but english muffins are essentially glass shards with butter on them. And since I plan on eating two other meals before performing oral sex on a woman, does that mean I should measure the crunchiness of my other foods as well?

I could just play it safe and eat oatmeal three times a day, or not perform oral sex on women, but frankly I'd rather have herpes.

For actual statistics on american sex habits, check out this article

hug attack

seattlest has an interview with the funniest person ever to live, champagne and flaming box of stuff's dusty warren. he hugged me, like, forty times last week.

the picture to the right is the #1 result on google images for "dusty warren", as was pointed out by FBoS's cory neely.

andy dick's shoes update

you may remember that at the IO 25th anniversary show, shane "thunderbelly" portman and andy dick swapped shoes. andy ended up leaving chicago with shane's shoes on his feet, and unlike andy dick, shane is poor, so he's been wearing andy dick's shoes for three weeks. anyway, charna talked to andy yesterday, and he wants his shoes back and is willing to return shane's to him. so we're going to send him one. if he ever wants to see the other shoe, he'll answer our demands.

1) make another season of "the assistant". probably the best show he's ever done.
2) autograph shane's shoes so we can still have a pair of andy dick related shoes in the house.

if either demand goes unmet, the remaining andy dick shoe goes on ebay. andy, you have 24 hours to respond.

we're #1!

when you use google's bitchin' new blog search, and type in sketch comedy, we're the top listed related blog!. i expect this to last less than one day, unless we make with the ha-ha on a more regular and impressive basis. woot.

greatest website of all time

cats in sinks

via and


What could this photo possibly be an ad for? Does it link to:

a) something about skiing
b) something about makeup
c) something else about skiing
d) something equally frustratingly abstract and non-representational

(answer: d)

Click on that link to visit, which apparently is some kind of website. It's a deft blend of some of the internet, with in-depth subcategories like "shopping & fashion", and "fetish", and "eat". If only setting up a brick and mortar store was as easy as setting up a shitty web portal. I imagine a stroll down main street would then be almost as ironically arbitrary as getting online, and frankly that's the kind of world I'd like to live in. Anyway, i would recommend, only i can't figure out exactly what it's there for.

PS- you might want to disable cookies before visiting just a thought.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Oh, these forward thinkers...

"In 1900, American women did not have the right to vote. If Iraqis could
develop a democracy that resembled America in the 1900s, I think
we'd all be thrilled. I mean, women's social rights are not critical to
the evolution of democracy."
-Reuel Marc Gerecht, former Middle East specialist for the CIA, on the
reported lack of protection for women in drafts of Iraq's new