Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 Recap - Motion Pictures

Theater Viewing

The Dark Knight (IMAX)

Very Good
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Role Models
Burn After Reading
Tropic Thunder

Iron Man
Hamlet 2
Pineapple Express
Quantum of Solace


Home Theater Viewing
in reverse chronological order, with a few brief comments sprinkled about:

The Lady Vanishes
Step Brothers
The Foot Fist Way
It's a Wonderful Life
American Movie
[attempted and abandoned]
Once Upon a Time in the West
[for a western this long, there should have been more murder]
Glengarry Glen Ross
You Can Count on Me
The Sting
Snow Angels
Annie Hall
[attempted and abandoned]
25th Hour
The Apartment
Some Like It Hot
An Affair to Remember
Charlie Bartlett
The Bank Job
In Bruges
[War movie without war. Best Picture? More like Boring Picture.]
The Hammer
Dr. Strangelove
[Wasn't expecting such a funny movie - it delivers the laffs]
Super High Me
Murder on the Orient Express
Shadow of a Doubt
Lars and the Real Girl
Gone Baby Gone
[Great until the improbable final few scenes]
High Noon
All About Eve
The Savages
Double Indemnity
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
[this is not as good as everyone remembers]
Kurt Cobain: About a Son
Michael Clayton
The Darjeeling Limited
To Catch a Thief
How Green Was My Valley
[Best Picture snoozer. Coal miners? Who gives a shit?]
The Third Man
[Really superb. Highly recommended.]
The TV Set
Old Joy
[Fell asleep 10 minutes before the end. Didn't bother to rewind, because fuuuuck that's a boring movie.]
The King of Kong
3:10 to Yuma
Eastern Promises
The Ten
[Please watch this movie so we can quote it. Together.]
The Lookout
You Can't Take It With You
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
It Happened One Night

Sunday, December 21, 2008

2008 Recap - Music - Lyrics

I sought the assistance of Alipete for the '08 lyric recap, because she spent her year paying attention to modern wordsmithery while I passed the time replaying old Soundgarden tunes. Her choices and commentary will be shown in pink.

You will note that rap and most other popular music is not found in our recap. The Village Voice has a funny feature on terrible lyrics that can make up for the shortcomings of Alipete and myself. Feel free to share anything we've missed in the comments.

Worst Lyrics

Jack Johnson - "If I Had Eyes"

If I had eyes in the back of my head
I would have told you that you look good as I walked away

I heard this song on the radio one day on the way to work. Although 2008 had barely begun, I knew this would be the worst opening line I'd hear all year. Jack, you don't need eyes in the back of your head to determine if someone looks good. Your regular, front-facing eyes will do just fine, as your neck allows your head to swivel, identify, and evaluate your target. Technically, you don't need eyes on either side of your head to tell someone (I'm guessing a girl? That likes to surf? And just, like, chill?) they look good. Your mouth, lips, tongue, vocal cords -- all that good stuff -- are used to make the word sounds.

Vampire Weekend, "Oxford Comma"

Why would you lie about how much coal you have?
Why would you lie about something dumb like that?
Why would you lie about anything at all?
First the window, then it's to the wall
Lil' Jon, he always tells the truth
Disclaimer: I like Vampire Weekend. I think their album is fun and catchy, if slightly overrated. But this? A Lil' Jon reference? This is impossible to defend. It’d be better if these lines were taken out of context, but they're not. "Oxford Comma," like many Vampire Weekend songs, sounds like disjointed Mad Libs. I don't even know what to say.

Best Adjective

The Tallest Man on Earth, "Where Do My Bluebird Fly?"

With all this fever in my mind,
I could aim for your kerosene eyes

This guy, Kristian Matsson, is the latest to be named The Next Dylan. Sometimes the title is bestowed laughably inappropriately (I'm looking at you, Oberst) but this time it seems pretty on target.

Worst Adjective

Vampire Weekend - "Bryn"

Eyes like a seagull
no Kansas-born beetle
would ever come close to that free
Beetles elsewhere? They might as well be in prison. Only Kansas-born beetles can freely roam.

Best Overall Verse
Okkervil River, "Calling and Not Calling My Ex"

Here, on another quiet night,
I will wait until another indistinguishable day arrives outside,
where the light's even and bright,
where my life's sweet as it's (slightly disappointingly) just gliding softly by.
When it comes to lyrics (at least this year), I think everyone is vying for second place behind Will Sheff. This is probably my favorite song of 2008, lyrically speaking. The entire song is pretty stellar, but this excerpt I thought was especially lovely.

Gary Louris - "Omaha Nights"

All the days are numbered
Are they slipping through my fingers?
Am I singing melodies all meant for other singers?
Occupying spaces that were clearly meant for others?
Am I growing old in the arms of the wrong lover?
Am I ready to put a gun in my mouth? Almost. It's that wistful, Gary. Well done.

Land of Talk, "Got a Call"

Darkness dares to the dial tone
As I sing myself to sleep
The most beauty I've seen
Lives in a dream
Where we laugh and want to live for the little things
Once you get past the mumbling of Land of Talk, you will discover some other amazing lines, like: "You can't keep down the girl who loves music." I don't know whether that's true, but I can appreciate the sentiment.

Best Rhyming Couplet

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - "Cold Son"

Who is it that said the world is my oyster
I feel like a nympho stuck in a cloister

Soul Asylum Funeral/Urinal Memorial Award: Best Half-Rhyming Couplet

Aimee Mann - "Phoenix"

Got out of Phoenix
just in time
A box of Kleenex
for the ride

Best Repetition

Okkervil River "Singer Songwriter"

You've got taste, you've got taste,
What a waste that that's all that you have

It's one of my favorite lines of the year.

It's all in your hand, it's all in your hand,
Like a gun, like a globe, like a grand.

This song is such a treasure trove of lyrical brilliance, it's hard to pin down what I love most about it. I hope those repetitive couplets do it justice.

Worst Metaphor or Simile

Jenny Lewis - "Trying My Best to Love You"

Our love is sweeter than strings
Our love is thicker than angel wings

Sorry, Ms. Lewis. You are adorable, but you can't compare a metaphysical attribute of an emotion to a physical attribute of a nonexistent (or unmeasurable) being.

Best Metaphor
Cloud Cult "Journey of the Featherless"

And my fingers, they are blisters
And my eyes, they are bullet holes

Liz Phair - "Ant in Alaska"

I'm just an ant in Alaska to you.

Fleet Foxes, "He Doesn't Know Why"

Memory is a fickle siren song

Best Simile

Death Cab for Cutie - "Long Division"

They carried on like long division

The Hold Steady, "Constructive Summer"

Me and my friends are like
the drums on "Lust for Life"

Most Puzzling Simile

Death Cab for Cutie - "Cath"

She holds a smile like someone would hold a crying child
I appreciate the thought, Mr. Gibbard. I want to know how she's holding the smile, and I also like your twist on the verb "hold". I fault your execution. She holds a smile like SOMEONE would hold a crying child. Who? Whom? If a bachelor like myself is holding the crying child, she's smiling in a particular way, and if a mother of five is holding HER OWN crying child, that smile looks completely different. Why is the child crying? If baby hit his bottom and made a boo boo, I'd hold him much differently than if he were crying because of, say, dehydration sparked by cholera.

Best Use of a Non-Word

Bon Iver, "Blindsided"

I'm not really like this... I'm probably plightless

Worst Couplet

Coldplay - "42"

Those who are dead are not dead
They're just livin' in my head

Best Alliteration

The Submarines, "1940"

But curious shapes shift in the dark,
They vanish with the sunrise spark

Okkervil River, "Pop Lie"

Sweetly sung and succinctly stated

Vampire Weekend, "Oxford Comma"

All your diction dripping with disdain

Best Assonance

Okkervil River - "Lost Coastlines"

Is that marionette
real enough yet
to step off of that set

Best Imagery

Fleet Foxes, "White Winter Hymnal"

And, Michael, you would fall
and turn the white snow red as strawberries
in the summertime.

I first thought he was singing "And what's so red as strawberries in the summertime?" As someone who loves strawberries, especially in the summertime, I thought that was delightful. Turns out it's not.
Bon Iver, "Skinny Love"

Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer
Gruesome! There's a blood theme here, which is not intentional and completely uncharacteristic.

Most Obscure Rhyme

Vampire Weekend - “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa”

As a young girl
Louis Vuitton
With your mother
on a sandy lawn

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2008 Recap - Music - Albums

Last year's music recap covered a bit of everything. This time around, I'm splitting the categories. Today, I'm only reviewing albums.

It should be noted, preferably by a notary public, that I did not buy many albums this year. I made an effort to shift the money normally spent on CDs toward buying my best gal all the Sonic corndogs she could want. Really, though, I still spent money, but a lot of the budget went into new and used CDs released years ago. No one wants to discuss the $1.99 copy of Soundgarden's "Superunknown" I picked up this summer (except Jeff), so here are the 2008 albums I purchased or heard completely, or heard almost completely**

Death Cab for Cutie – “Narrow Stairs”

When your first radio single (“I Will Possess Your Heart”) sounds better as an instrumental, you know you’re in trouble. The album was flat, lacking the expertly crafted phrases I expect from Ben Gibbard. Similes like “They carried on like long division” were too rare, replaced by on-the-nose clichés about caged birds, thin ice, and a particularly gruesome song titled “Your New Twin Sized Bed”. Worth hearing: Long Division, Cath, Bixby Canyon Bridge

Jenny Lewis – “Acid Tongue”

Jenny made my favorite CD of 2006, but not of 2008. It’s passable when rollicking, and – with the exception of the pretty title track – clumsy when the tempo is slowed. Worth hearing: Acid Tongue, The Next Messiah

Coldplay – “Viva la Vida (or blah blah blah)”
Coldplay – “Prospekt’s March” (EP)

I tried to get into “Viva la Vida” many times with little success, and didn’t enjoy it much until I bought the EP. (Wondering why I’d buy the EP if I didn’t like the LP? It was $.99 via Amazon’s mp3 store, and I can’t pass up a bargain. In ’08, I SHOPPED until I DROPPED.) The EP gives lyrics to the LP’s instrumental opener, adds Jay-Z to “Lost!”, remixes “Lovers in Japan”, and somehow makes you appreciate its mother. Worth hearing: Violet Hill, Lovers in Japan, Viva la Vida

Paul Westerberg – “49:00”

This received a positive review by the Onion’s AV Club, a trusted source, and sold for $.49 via Amazon. I overpaid. It’s a bunch of unrealized songs merged together into one track. Call me a reactionary, but I like my albums to be broken up into units, and each unit to contain both a beginning and an end. Worth hearing? No.

Mates of State – “Re-Arrange Us”

Breaking precedent, MoS exchanged their signature organ for a piano. The effect was minimal; they were very good with the original instrumentation, and they are still very good. Worth hearing? Yes. From top to bottom, this was my favorite album of ’08.

Tilly and the Wall – “O”

Thirty-two minutes long, my only real problem with it is the two-and-a-half minutes (and title) of "Poor Man's Ice Cream". This album had a punk flavor, and it fit them well, but I prefer the less aggressive tones of their previous releases. Worth hearing: Chandelier Lake, Cacophony, Dust Me Off

**Vampire Weekend – s/t

Vampire Weekend made a fun pop record. The songs -- the majority, anyway -- are good. When I read about how their African-infused music is the Next Big Thing, I frown. Sure, when Paul Simon did it, it was mostly good. And it was mostly good when The Police dabbled with reggae. But there were A LOT of clunkers mixed in with that success, so let's not start essing each other's dee's just yet. Worth hearing: Campus, Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, A-Punk

**Fleet Foxes – s/t

"Baroque Pop". That's the phrase they use to describe themselves, which doubles as the phrase they use to scare away potential fans. Aside from "White Winter Hymnal" (which I do not recommend due to a particularly irritating day or two when I could not eject its repetitive structure from my brain), I don't hear the baroque influence -- AND I TOOK MUSIC LISTENING IN COLLEGE, SO I WOULD KNOW. I hear folk rock; it's pretty, and it's pretty good. Worth hearing: He Doesn't Know Why, Blue Ridge Mountains, Tiger Mountain Peasant Song

**Bon Iver – “For Emma, Forever Ago”

I will pay $5 American to the first journalist/blogger than can write about this album without using the words "Wisconsin", "Cabin", or "Woods". It's like when you read an article about The Shins and they can't bring up the "Garden State" connection quick enough. You know how Hollywood (or whoever) claims it's much harder to make someone cry than to make them laugh? I assume this album's placement on year-end best-of lists is partially due to that bias. As I said in my 2008 soundtrack post, I like the music quite a bit and I am less receptive to his voice. Worth hearing: Skinny Love, For Emma

Okkervil River – “The Stand-Ins”

It's getting harder and harder for me to find straightforward rock bands, bands without extraneous members or superfluous woodwind instruments, bands with DRUMS and GUITARS that sound best when LOUD. And aren't NICKELBACK. Foo Fighters was one of those bands. Spoon is one of these bands. Okkervil River is another. This is my second-favorite album of the year. Worth hearing: Calling and Not Calling My Ex, Singer Songwriter, Bruce Wayne Campbell Interviewed on the Roof of the Chelsea Hotel, 1979, Lost Coastlines

Monday, December 15, 2008

Stella's Birthday

I know a couple of you asshole readers already saw this at the live show, but for those of us mortals who didn't...

For the record, the hilarious 1980s prop calendar had the following notes written on it: Wine Cooler Night, Party, REM, The Cure!!, Synth Pop, Finals, Ronald Reagan, and one illegible item written in red ink.

A live Stella DVD and The State DVD will be available next year. When that State DVD drops, I'm going to take the day off to consume it. Literally!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2008 Soundtrack

EXCITING UPDATE 12/15: Thanks to an old pal and new technologies, I have acquired Blitzen Trapper's impossible-to-buy studio version of "Silver Moon", which will now replace "Stolen Shoes" on the playlist. If you'd still like to hear "Stolen Shoes", get it for free at Daytrotter.

[NOTE: Readers expecting or desiring a copy should specify their preferred format -- an audio CD or CD of mp3 files -- in by leaving a comment below.]

I’ve been compiling an annual 80-minute compendium of songs for the last few years. In past years, I’ve followed strict criteria for inclusion on the playlist. I’ve simplified things this year, because the rules were interfering with my musical decisions. For example, the main rule used to be "Each song must evoke a snapshot of my year". Bearing that in mind, I was overly conscious of the impact of which CD I grabbed for a road trip, because if something interesting happened on the journey, that artist would likely end up in the end-of-the-year playlist. That insanity was sucking the fun out of this annual project, hence the revised 2008 Soundtrack Rules:

1.> The compilation should represent songs I first discovered during 2008, songs in heavy rotation during 2008, or songs I associate with a 2008 event.

2.> I must enjoy each song.

3.> More than one song per artist is discouraged.

4.> All songs must fit on a standard 80-minute CD.

5.> Songs should be placed in a pleasant sequence.

See? Simple. The soundtrack to my year is as follows:

The Zombies – “Care of Cell 44”

I loved Elliott Smith’s live cover of the song, despite the lackluster audio quality, and was similarly wowed by the original. You’d expect nothing less from the band that introduced the world to sparkling lyrics like, “What’s your name? Who’s your daddy? Is he rich like me?” I’ll be searching for more of their greatest hits in 2009.

Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová – “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” (Bob Dylan cover)

I really liked this Dylan cover the first time I heard it, enough so that I contemplated purchasing the “I’m Not There” soundtrack. I saw it had two Mason Jennings tracks and promptly dismissed it. Weeks later, watching the Oscars, it finally clicked that Glen Hansard was the guy from The Frames, who I’d never listened to, and “Once”, which I hadn’t seen.

Neutral Milk Hotel – “Holland, 1945”

When “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” was released, I was still happy with mainstream music. That’s why I didn’t hear “Holland, 1945” until ten years later, when I read this blog post:
Last week, Stephanie went to see The Colbert Report live. What follows is an instant-message re-enactment of our real-life conversation after the show:

Me: How was Colbert?
Me: What?? (Beatlemania screaming face, actual screaming, etc)

Here are the facts as we know them. Between segments, the Neutral Milk Hotel song "Holland 1945" came on (as, apparently, it often does) and Stephanie began absentmindedly lip-synching along to it. A few seconds into the song, she realized Stephen was pointing at her and singing along. According to witnesses, Stephen and Stephanie continued to sing along to the song while making eye contact for over a minute until their reverie was interrupted by the end of the commercial break. During this time, Stephen:

- Appeared to know all of the words to the song.

- Moved his head to look around a producer when his eye contact with Stephanie was briefly blocked.

- Acknowledged his and Stephanie's mutual understanding of the sad nature of the song, which is about Anne Frank, by making a "sad face" and tracing the motion of an invisible tear down his cheek. Stephanie, in kind, mimicked this motion back to Stephen.

In Stephanie's words: "I can die now."

Maybe I should be accustomed to the internet by now, but coming to love this song in such a roundabout way feels strangely but certainly rewarding.

The Dodos – “Fools”

Gavin gets credit for this suggestion. I’d downloaded the song, but didn’t pay too much attention until he underscored it. It’s taken me all year to finally attempt to decipher the lyrics, because I always get wrapped up in the beat.

Bon Iver – “For Emma”

I see Bon Iver’s album is ranked in many year-end best-of lists, but I’m not as excited by what I’ve heard. His music and production are beautiful – “For Emma”’s horns are expertly mixed with its acoustic guitar – but his falsetto is less appealing. I looked up the lyrics to this song a few days ago and read words that I’d have never guessed. And at 3:40, this isn’t a short song, but it feels like it fades out too soon.

Okkervil River – “Lost Coastlines”

This is my favorite song of 2008 -- nice rhymes and good assonance (“Is that marionette / real enough yet / to step off of that set”), a driving beat, duetting unorthodox vocal melodies, and more la las than you can shake a stick at.

Sebadoh – “Soul and Fire”

This song represents my mindset toward music in 2008. Instead of trying to find the new artists I liked, I sought “new to me” music, looking back for classics, like that famous novel you’ve never read. I owned and loved one 1997 Sebadoh album, so I dug deeper. The same approach was taken with the Pixies, Sleater-Kinney, The Jayhawks, The Lemonheads, and Yo La Tengo.

The Ting Tings – “Great DJ”

I’d seen things written about The Ting Tings, and I saw the photos that accompanied that text, and figured I had them pegged. One morning as I drove to work, a local radio station played a song that sounded like an Americanized version of The Prototypes. “This must be The Ting Tings,” I thought. I had them pegged.

The Jayhawks – “Bottomless Cup”

I used Love Garden’s used CD sale and the need to break a Christmas $50 as excuses to splurge on The Jayhawks’ back catalog. I bought “Tomorrow the Green Grass” and “Sound of Lies” during that first sale, and “Hollywood Town Hall” and “Smile” at a subsequent event. I already owned two great live albums, but it’s hard to settle for live recordings when the studio versions are so lush. The word “lush” makes me sound like a homosexual. Maybe you are all homosexuals, too.

Vampire Weekend – “A-Punk”

2008 was the year I started to fall asleep during “Saturday Night Live” rather than afterward, and I’d usually wake up when the musical guest was on stage, such as Vampire Weekend’s string-quartet-accented performance of “A-Punk”. I stand by my January assessment of how to enjoy the band:
1. Completely ignore their name.

2. Assume they all went to Columbia on well-deserved scholarships.

3. Pretend they live somewhere less hip than Brooklyn. (I suggest Sacramento, CA or Harrisburg, PA.)

4. Convince yourself you didn't first hear of them through a music blog, but instead from an off-the-cuff, onstage comment made by Bono during the 1992 Zoo TV tour.

5. Imagine all of their material is actually cover versions of never-before-released Paul Simon songs.

Mates of State – “Help Help”

“Re-Arrange Us” was the only 2008 CD purchase that fully satisfied me; granted, though, I didn’t pay for much music these past 12 months. It put me in good spirits while on the road, particularly when my destination was the airport.

Yo La Tengo – “You Can Have It All”

Another internet-inspired acquisition, this song was #73 on an “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” writer’s list of favorite songs:
Yo La Tengo makes some of the prettiest music there is, music that makes you want to crawl inside it and float around for a while. This is their prettiest, and certainly on a short list for prettiest songs of all time. That Bom-ba-bom-BA-ba-bom-bom loop in the background will burrow its way into your head. Seriously, like sititng on a cloud, this song.

This is on my "Romantic Fucking" iTunes playlist. Works every time.

Coldplay – “Viva la Vida”

I like to include at least one song you could have heard on mainstream radio in my yearly soundtracks. With time, I upgraded the new Coldplay album from “terribly boring” to “meh”. Still, “Violet Hill” and “Viva la Vida” are hard to hate, especially when you’re listening to the latter on the way home from the late “Role Models” viewing and you change all references of “king” to “Kim”.

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “Baltimore”

I heard “Elmo Delmo”, “Cold Son”, “Real Emotional Trash”, and “Baltimore” off of his new album. They all have good moments, and they all outlast their welcome. Still, the world could use more guitar work like this. Bring back the solos, please.

Pixies – “Here Comes Your Man”

I burned a discful of free Pixies songs prior to departing for the Elk River. The first listen came on the return drive through southeast Kansas, and I came away unimpressed. “I don’t see what the big deal is,” I said to Floyd. I discovered my error a few days later, when I listened at a much higher volume. Everything was excellent. I bought a greatest hits compilation. “Here Comes Your Man” was my favorite song to perform, singing in the car or participating in some Playstation 3 Rock Band.

Fleet Foxes – “Mykonos”

I was unsure where to stand on Fleet Foxes after hearing several offerings. Then I found myself in a used bookstore when “Sun Giant” started to play, and I thought, “Yeah, that’s about right.” “Sun Giant” is a song you’d want to hear while spending a quiet Sunday hour in a quaint bookstore. “Blue Ridge Mountains” helped me relax on the flight to New York City, where I saw their impressively harmonious live show. They’re good. Still, with lyrics like “I was waiting down at the ancient gate”, they often leave me cold.

Throw Me the Statue – “Lolita”

I don’t have anything to say about this except that it’s catchy, and that’s why it ended up in a commercial for Rhapsody or something.

Blitzen Trapper – “Stolen Shoes” (live @ Daytrotter)

Before Muxtape became a blocked site at work (and before the site was shut down for questionable treatment of copyrights), I played The Muxtape Game. I’d try to guess if I would like a playlist based on the composer’s username. The correlation between awful handles and terrible music was fairly strong. Carrie Brownstein, former Sleater-Kinneyist and current NPR blogger, created a Muxtape with a killer one-two punch: The Band’s “Up on Cripple Creek” followed by Blitzen Trapper’s “Silver Moon”. Sadly, that BT song can only be found on an EP distributed during their previous tour, or streaming at their MySpace page or NPR. Since I’m not allowed to purchase that song, SINCE THE LABEL APPARENTLY DOESN’T WANT MY MONEY, I’m left with “Stolen Shoes”, free from

Immaculate Machine – “Dear Confessor”

They were technically a 2007 discovery – the female lead is also a member of The New Pornographers, who breezed through town last fall – but were in my listening rotation through early 2008. Immaculate Machine is a three-piece that sounds like a band assembled by plucky movie characters to win the climactic talent show.

Liz Phair – “Ant in Alaska”

A B-side from the remastered “Exile in Guyville”, with lyrics that are technically nonsensical and immature... but they are expressed so perfectly that it sounds like Shakespeare... if Shakespeare was a chick with relationship issues. Some people could never love this song, its imprecise strumming, its off-key notes, but I listen to it and wish I was a rejected 16 year-old spending a lonely night in my bedroom.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Small Ball

I'm still progressing in a EA Sports' NCAA Football 2006 dynasty, as Coach Chester Reboulet. The year is 2047, and the Idaho Vandals just won the MPC Computers Bowl!

More interestingly, I discovered a glitch in the game I hadn't seen in my previous 41 seasons of play. The left guard on my offensive line is listed at 0'8", but he plays like he's a full foot tall.

I tried putting him at tight end, but passes sailed over his head. I handed off to him in some short yardage situations, even though the ball dwarfed him, but he couldn't bust through the line, or sneak underneath it.

Laugh all you want, but that little bastard made first team all-WAC. Seriously.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


I peeked at Anastasia's blog the other night and read the entries, which are (almost?) exclusively funny and/or embarrassing anecdotes. I thought about my little website here, and wondered why it's been so long since I've written my own true yet funny story. Was I in a happenstance drought?

Well friends, the very next day something amazing happened. I drove east on 9th street in unusually dense traffic; after some lane shuffling, a vanity license plate was revealed: JKLIVIN.

Indecipherable to many fortunate souls, I knew its true meaning. A few years back, for reasons unknown, I watched Oprah interview Matthew McConaughey. Matthew related a tale about insomnia. He couldn't get to sleep in his master bedroom, so he decided to go into one of his mansions many other bedrooms and give sleep a shot there. Oprah reacted as if he were transcendental. Sleeping in a different room! She'd never thought of that!

She was similarly impressed by his mantra, "JKL", "Just Keep Livin'", because she's retarded, and didn't know it was simply a line given to McConaughey's character Wooderson in 1993's "Dazed and Confused":
"Let me tell you this, the older you do get, the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You gotta just keep livin' man, L-I-V-I-N."
Mr. McC parlayed the success of the film and his rockin' upper bod into riches, and used those riches to start a "lifestyle" website, which we commoners refer to as a "clothing" store. If you have some time (you're on the internet reading a blog -- you've got the time), you should check out their wares. There's a visor ("j.k. livin visors are for those who need a little shade on their face but want a little sun on their hairline. It's camo colored for the troops."), a thermal onesie ("'Cause it's never too soon for kids to start livin."), and even places to share what J.K. Livin' means to you:
The beauty of j.k. livin is that it’s more than just a saying or a slogan. It’s a way of being…a positive outlook on life that extends across all cultures…it has no boundaries. Each individual, no matter where you’re coming from or where you’re going, has an opportunity to own the j.k. livin mantra.
-Leslie Gialamas
or stories of how you swapped J.K. Livin' gear:

Australian outback 2007 - Swapped an aboriginal my jkl t-shirt for taking the time to tell me a story about his ancestry.
-Matthew McConaughey
So it turns out that funny things do still happen to me, because I saw the JKLIVIN tag on the car driven by a chick delivering Domino's pizza. Just keep livin', baby! For the troops! Keep up that positive outlook, citizen, and pretty soon you'll find yourself in the Australian outback, swapping sweat shop products for history lessons. Or maybe just delivering slightly better pizza at Papa John's Pizza Hut Little Caesar's literally any other pizza chain.

(P.S. folks - you could have been aware of back in October if you regularly checked my Shared Items site. Bookmark it.)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Contest Is Over

I know I said the contest would run until Friday, but it won't. It's over. Shawn won, because his relative asked if he wanted a helping of dark meat because he supported Obama. That's the only offensive or ignorant comment I heard about. Good job, everybody. Wait, no, it was not a good job. It was a job that no one applied for. For which no one applied. And now that goddamn "I tried to do handstands for you" song is playing over the iPod Nano commercial. Fuck it all.