Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy Birthday C.T.

So it is my Hetero-Life Pal C.T.'s birthday today. So I just wanted to take a moment to say Happy Frickin Birthday. I hope you are having fun at Iowa State today. We went to Billy Joe's to watch the movie and hang in the lounge...our normal weekly get together. We don't really need to celebrate because every day is a celebration with us (or something like that). The movie was Wanted and I went in with LOW expectations so thought it was okay and had decent effects...still more realistic action than Transporter 2 (aka probably the worst movie that I have ever seen in the theater)! CT and I have shared in many bad movie experiences together though so we are used to it. I am sure CT will have some interesting lessons that he learned from this movie up in the next day or two (jeez, give him a break it is his Bday and he deserves a day off...even though he has been lazy lately). We had fun hanging out in the lounge and hearing not-horrible karaoke while just shooting the shit, it has been a while since I have had other priorities lately (like getting laid). Anyways glad you got a lot of pussy!
Happy Birthday Cameron! Your present is on the way, I swear!
BTW- Sorry for stealing the picture from your site, I don't know if I actually have any handy.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Middleman

The Middleman is a new (newish - it is on episode 10 or something like that now) show on ABCFamily that I happen to really enjoy. Luckily, I just happened to be watching something like Seventh Heaven reruns or the 700 Club or some equally crappy show that usually makes up the bulk of ABCFamily's usual programing a couple months ago when a commercial for the premier episode came on. I must have thought it looked decent because I set my DVR to record it (had it not been like 4am, I probably would have had more suspicions since it was ABCFamily). I quickly forgot about it. A few weeks later, I am cleaning up my recorded shows and come across the 3 episodes that have taped so far...being bored , I decided to give it a try before deleting. It is a great show - it is very smart and witty, with lots of references to literature, history, and pop culture like movies and comic books (it is based on a comic book after all - but I have never read it although that will probably change soon).
It is about a guy, The Middleman, who fights evil and supernatural things to save the world and keep the world from panicking. The Middleman recruits Wendy Watson (AKA - Dub Dub or Dubby) to be his apprentice to fight evil and set the world to rights...which all sounds pretty boring and lack luster, but the writing is really tongue in cheek, witty, and often makes you think a little to get the jokes. This show has everything (and these are just a few examples from the latest episodes):
  • Vampire Puppets (or Puppet Vampires - I haven't decided which is more correct) - check
  • Bitchy Robot Secretaries - check
  • Evil Succubi posing as fashion models - check
  • Fish Zombies - check
  • Hooters type restaurant with a pirate theme called The Booty Chest - check
  • Inside jokes repeated from episode to episode - check
  • Running jokes throughout the episode - check
  • Off the wall sense of humor - check

It is just a well written show. Some of my favorite bits -

  1. The Middleman and Wendy meet a pancake house, it is called The Batter of the Bulge. Where you can get Panzercakes and Luftwaffles. Plus bulge is just funny because if you eat there too often that is what you will start to do.
  2. Wendy's neighbor, Noser, is a talented musician that supposedly knows every song. During a party they play "Stump the Musician" and the audience yells out song names. Holding his guitar, Noser gives a thoughtful look, nods, and goes "Yep, I know it." and they move on to the next song...which again is a "Yep, I know it." Doesn't play a note the whole night but everyone is impressed with his musical knowledge.
  3. Vlad Tempes soul stuck in a puppet named Little Vladdy.
  4. Every time they go to Wendy's apartment it always says something like "Illegal sublet that Wendy shares with another young photogenic artist"

There are many, many kind of reminds me of The Simpson's when it first came out with all these great inside gags and references to pop culture, as well as, history. It is not the tired and obvious jokes of the likes of Two and Half Men or Will and Grace. It is fun and funny and sometimes makes you think a little before you get the joke. Check it out on Monday nights at 9pm central. I don't think you will be disappointed (unless you have no soul or take everything too seriously - in which case you are beyond my help).

And no, I did not get paid anything or given any kind of kickback for writing this (although a lapdance from Wendy (Natalie Morales) would not be turned down...OK I'd settle for a night of watching a movie and eating mini-corn dogs with her. I just happen to like the show.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Why I Hate You, Iowa State Fair

I am not one of those people that can spend all day, every day at the fair. I went three times this year (a record for me) and although I had fun each day and there were always more things that I wanted to do...I still can't understand how someone would want to do that for a week. The fair tires me out and pisses me off in equal measures to it entertaining and thrilling me. So here is what I hate about the fair:

It's way too expensive - this year I was on a very tight budget, so although I usually don't mind splurging a little...this year every posted price seemed like a twist of the knife in my gut. Seriously? $3 to ride the teacup type rides for a minute? $6 for the Ferris wheel? It is a Ferris wheel. That makes the giant slide look like a bargain at $2.50 (PS - I love the giant slide). $3 each way for the Skyglider that only takes you a quarter of the way across the fairgrounds. $4 for a corn dog (except at that one stand in the midway where they were only a dollar...which made me a little suspicious but hunger won out...and I was able to feed me, the GF-unit, and the Kinda-Kid* for $5), $4 for a soda - refills only $3! Okay refill prices varied but still you are literally spending 4 cents on materials, plus 6 cents labor - 3000% markup seems reasonable. Thank god that I got free admission tickets from work or we wouldn't have been able to do any of those things! Still cheaper than Ribfest!

Rude People - I know it is packed and it sucks waiting in line but what makes you think that you can cut right in front of me to see the baby pigs? If you had asked, I might have let you in but no you had to shove your way past and then act all indignant when I mention that the end of the line is about 5 minutes back. Unfortunately, this seemed to happen in just about every line I stood in - entrance, food, drink, viewing, rides, etc... the whole fair experience would be much better if certain people could understand the concept of a line (and the lines themselves would probably move faster too).

Butter Sculptures - Admittedly, I am always a little impressed at how intricacies of the butter cow sculpture. But that is where I draw the line. I do not need butter Harry Potters or butter portraits of whoever is hot at the moment. I don't think the fair needs to cater to all the latest trends. For me, the butter Shawn Johnson was the tipping point this year. A) it seemed rushed and it looked crappy - yes better than I could do, but not up to my butter sculpting standards - I definitely did not want to fuck the butter Johnson like Larry commented on CT's blog, B) it seemed too contrived, and C) where is butter Lolo Jones - she is an Iowan Olympian this year, is she not. Anyhow, let's stick with the buttercow and drop all the's too much butter and takes away the uniqueness of the cow.

Seriously look at this weak shit.

The Varied Industry Building - you know the building where all these companies set up booths and try to sell you products or even worse hand out free crap? To me, this building and the sweaty gross people scrambling to get free pencils or a sample of vinyl siding is a special kind of hell. It makes my skin crawl and I want to find the nearest exit if I have been in there longer than 5 minutes.

"Souvenir" Shops - Okay, there are a couple official Iowa State Fair souvenir shops that I don't mind. You know the ones that actually sell stuff that says "Iowa State Fair 2008" on it...I'm not sure why you would want a t-shirt that says that but hey I understand that to be a souvenir and people other than myself would be interested. The "Souvenir" shops that I hate are the ones that just sell cheap plastic crap. Plastic swords, inflatable Spongebobs, toy guns, light up necklaces, etc... CRAP. All of it is crap and I can guarantee it will be broken before you get out the gate of the fairgrounds. How is any of this stuff a souvenir - there is nothing to connect it to the fair besides the outrages prices. And why does there have to be one of these crap shops every 20 feet? They have to make a ton of cash on weak willed people. While sitting on a bench taking a break, one crap-merchant went about hard selling the Kinda-Kid telling him that he had to have this toy gun to remember his visit to the fair...oh and what a great deal, she was going to cut the price in half...she wouldn't even be making a profit! I mean it is a $40 gun and I could buy it for the Kinda-Kid for only $20! Yay! First of all, it was a toy gun...he already has tons or those. Secondly, it lit up and made noise...not really something I want to encourage when he can't sit still as it is. And Finally, maybe...just maybe if you hadn't picked the most expensive thing in your crap-shack to try to hard sell, maybe I would have been more willing to listen. So when I say no the Kinda-Kid starts crying because she convinced him that he needed this gun as a souvenir - she was way worse than any Carnie that we had run into in the midway. Thanks lady, you just turned a wonderful night I had with the Kinda-Kid where we saw exotic animals, watched a rock show, rode some rides, and had good food into "The night I wouldn't buy him a souvenir." That's the memory I wanted him to have. Crap-Seller - you have no idea how bad I wanted to punch you in the face.

Only 357 days till the next fair! I can't wait to see the Big Pig's Testicles!

*Kinda-Kid: is a term I coined a few years ago when my brother was dating a girl with a child. I got tired of explaining "My Brother's Girlfriend's Kid" Kinda-Kid was born because it was "kinda his kid, but not really."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lack Thereof Will Leave Me Empty Inside

So, I've been unemployed for the past couple weeks and possible for a couple weeks more. It is nice not having to work but the stress about money makes it not worth it. But I do know that it is just temporary due to a slow truck market.

So having no money, I thought I would go hang out with all the other white trash at the Iowa State Fair. Luckily, I got free tickets from work before I was laid off. I've gone twice so far...and will probably go again on Friday - yep I am white trash.

Things I have liked about the fair:
  • Eve 6 - I've always liked these guys and thought they had a good solid sound. I know some people think a lot of their songs sound the same and I won't deny that many of their songs have a similar cadence or syncopation...but that is just their sound. It was at one of the free stages and I wasn't sure how many people would show up since their biggest hit "Inside Out" was 10 years ago and although they have had some minor hits since, I didn't know if there was a following. It was packed. Lots of teenagers showed up to rock with the band and that made me happy. It was a good show, I had a great time.

  • Tattoo Sleeves - A bunch of places where giving out temporary tattoos to all the kids, so many young kids went all out and basically had full sleeves of temporary tattoos. It was pretty funny seeing 8 year old girls all tatted up.

  • Corn Dogs - who doesn't love them. I often eat the mini-version while at Billy Joe's, but when at the fair you have to try it's big brother. I am a big fan of all foods on a ordering them always reminds me of the hilarious but short lived TV show "Life on a Stick."

  • We're Here, We're Queer... - Gay and lesbian couples don't bother me. I figure that you have to do what makes you happy and while you are at it why not be proud? Anyhow, I spotted a lesbian couple (mullets and all) and one had a t-shirt of the postal stamp of Dike, IA really big on the shoulder. I thought that was pretty funny. I am sure Dike's chamber of commerce would be proud.

  • Animals - Although I am from Iowa, I am not really a farm kid. I have seen sheep, cows, goats, etc... but don't get to spend a lot of up close time with them. So I think it is cool seeing them all up close. The exotic breeds are cool too...especially the mini-zebu cows.

Of course, there are also many things that I don't like about the fair...I will get to those in a later. post.