Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Birthday Wish

On this, the eve of my old-dom, I have one simple birthday wish -- for DFW-area drivers to LOOK BEFORE THEY CHANGE LANES. I've spent about 6 hours driving on this trip, and I had my fourth near-wreck (including one collision with a side mirror that left no damage) -- all while morons tried to come into my lane without signaling OR even looking. Just adjust your mirrors, check your blind spots or take your head out of your rather copious asses. Ugh.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Where Does PETA Stand On This?

American racehorses that are sent to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered for European sales as meat are, apparently, too filled with injections to pass as food. Of course, this is a) pretty patently illegal and b) probably Lance Armstrong's fault. But from an animal rights point-of-view*, if the horses are given enough steroids, they can't be sold for meat and so will end up sent out to pasture**. So, IF horse-doping would prevent them from being butchered, would it be ethical for radical PETA guerrillas to go around surreptitiously injecting racehorses? Discuss.

* Do I need hyphens there?
** In my rose-colored world. Though the pasture is more likely to be the waiting room to the glue factory.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

A Stimulus Plan We Can All Agree On

A lot of politicians have claimed that they have stimulus targets that everyone can agree on -- education, infrastructure, health care for children, etc. But we all know that these are just government waste*. What is government for?

 To create peace by fear. And that's why each of you needs to sign this petition to the White House to give funding to a create a Death Star. Now, I know what you're thinking. You're asking (at least) one of these questions:
  • Why do we need this? Won't the Imperial Senate/Congress keep control of individual systems/countries? No, fear of this Death Star will***.
  •  Won't this just be outdated by better technology next year? No, this station is now the ultimate power in the universe
  • Shouldn't we cover those exhaust ports? No need, hitting a 2 meter target is impossible, even for a computer
  • Why should I vote for a stimulus package without a decent theme song? No need to worry -- we have THIS
* Seriously, when was the last time a healthy child gave you a job**?
** Get your mind out of the gutter, Jacko.
*** Also, who's afraid of Congress? Wouldn't that imply competence?

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

What Carrier Does This Idiot Use?

While at the Florence + The Machine concert on Friday (it was AWESOME!), I noticed lots of people holding up smartphones to capture snapshots or video. Not this inventive young moron.

No, this Brainiac is just holding his hands to make it APPEAR that he has a smartphone -- and he did this for about half the concert. Feel free to weep for our future.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Portugal 2012 Food Porn

If there's One thing I love while traveling, it's the food. From street food to swanky dining, I love it all. And the Algarve didn't disappoint -- fresh seafood, local cheese and wine, even a great burger and Indian food! So, enjoy living vicariously through my photos!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Portugal 2012 Photos

So, I decided to learn to surf. Unfortunately, I made this decision in October, which really narrows down one's options (in Europe). It came down to: Portugal or the Canary Islands. Since I've never been to Portugal, I figured, what the hell? Also, it was much cheaper.

What an awesome trip! The Algarve (the southwestern corner of the country) is beautiful -- pretty arid, but lots of great beaches with waves and warm water even in mid-November. And the food? Sooooooo tasty (but in another post). First? The photos. Enjoy!

I'm Back!

JT in Germany will (at least temporarily) resume! Hopefully for a few posts, at least.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Lock Is To Keep Your Junk Out

Most German apartments come with a spot in the cellar for all your junk. I assume that there are some theoretical people that use them for something other than storing crap they're not ready to throw away, but that's what I use mine for. I actually started going through the mountain of stuff, and what did I find? Some jackasses had actually been using my cellar to store their old empty boxes! When I first moved in, I didn't have a lock on the door (I was hoping someone would steal my crap). So, in Germany, the locks aren't there to keep my junk in -- they're to keep yours out.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

When Half-Assed Is Just Too Much - Art History Edition

Let's say you're the priest at a church in a small Spanish town. The frescoes (especially one by Borja, a 19th c. artist from the town) in your church are damaged, and they need to be cleaned and repaired.  Do you:
  • Call a university with a restoration department and ask for help
  • Call the Center for Borja Studies and ask for suggestions
  • Call the Catholic frickin' Church and ask them to spend some of their ill-gotten* funds on restoring or preserving the art
  • Have an elderly parishioner with no experience "fix things up" with absolutely no supervision
Obviously, you choose the final option.  The result?
 The article compares it to a scene from the movie "Bean", but I think it's closer to the Seinfeld episode where George has to have his boss re-added a photo.  Either way, strong work, Spain!

* If you argue with this term, I suggest you read some history on the Church's activities between, say, 400 AD/CE and today. Then we can talk.  By "we can talk", i mean "you can admit the Church is as shady as shady gets".

Thursday, August 23, 2012

You Stay Classy, Lubbock

A lot of things have been said about will happen after the election in November.  If Obama wins, one Texas judge has the answer: civil war.  How was this discovered?  Because he needs more experienced cops FOR WHEN THE CIVIL WAR COMES.

In case you couldn't listen to his shtick, here's the juiciest bit:
"He's going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N., and what is going to happen when that happens?  I'm thinking the worst. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. And we're not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations, we're talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy."

Now, before you say the guy is crazy, let me say something. This guy is batshit crazy.  Ok, your turn. 

I forgot the best part -- he wants a tax hike to get the cops.  I guess Republicans support tax increases to fight Obama?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bootleggers Perpetuate Stereotypes

I thought we, as a culture, had grown past the stereotype of Chinese people being unable to correctly differentiate between "L" and "R". Apparently those writing the subtitles for bootleg copies of "The Avengers" beg to differ.
 As you can see, "Loki" becomes "Rocky"*, and Thor is apparently uncertain** of his relationship to Loki/Rocky.

To be honest, now I want the bootleg subtitles.  You stay classy, bootleggers!

Thanks to Geek Tyrant for the photo & article.  Their full article is HERE.

* Adriannnnnnnn!
** I know this is just a bad translation of a great line, but it's funnier to

Sunday, August 12, 2012

You Stay Classy, Luisao

You can say one thing about Düsseldorf Fortuna -- their games end with style. After the promotion-relegation game ended with drunken fans storming the field, what could the 'dorf do for an encore? How about cold-cocking (based on the footage at the end of the clip, I think he Zidane-ed him) a ref?

To be fair, it was the visiting team's captain -- in a FRIENDLY match. And I think the ref flopped, which was brilliant. After all, how can a Portuguese player complain about someone else flopping? It's part of their soccer culture, after all.

For some reason, the ref wasn't in the mood to continue, and the game was called.  Fortuna officials, knowing that trying to send the 'dorf fans home without full game would likely lead to a riot, split their side into two and played a scrimmage.  Fortunately, this appeased the fans, led by chief hooligan Tobias H*.  They opted not to riot, saving it for the first game of the season and those bastards from Mönchengladbach.

Rumors that the Oakland/LA/Anaheim Raiders have offered him a spot on their team are currently unconfirmed. Though the Jets' and Eagles' official fan clubs have both contacted the jackhole in question to run a training seminar during their preseason training camps (that's what they call binge drinking in shitty bars).

* Name abbreviated so that he doesn't kick my ass

Friday, August 10, 2012

It's 3am - Do You Know Where Your Kitty Is?

Kerrie Anne Loyd, a researcher in Athens, Georgia*, had the brilliant idea to slap a small video camera on housecats to see what the hell they actually do all day (spoiler alert: it's 99% napping). This was mainly to assess their affect on the environment, especially songbirds. Shockingly (listen up, Franzen), birds were a minority of their kills. What did the kitties really like? Reptiles.  You can watch a presentation of her research HERE. It's worth watching the first minute just to see how excited she gets when she says "kittycams!" Even better, her enthusiasm for the word extends throughout the presentation!

Most shocking (not to dog lovers) is that ~10% of the cats "cheated" on their owners and sought food and affection from other households**. Other activities included fighting off opossums and dogs, eating road kill***, and drinking sewer water! I was especially excited to see the "Playing with a Skank" video, until I looked more closely and saw that it was a skink, not a skank. Sigh.

You can see the photos (like the one I borrowed above) and videos HERE. Personally, I really enjoyed the following videos:
As usual, I was alerted to this by the Grey Lady, specifically, this article.
* Or "Jaw-ja", to the locals
** For those of you who like to say that women are like cats, feel free to keep this in mind
*** You stay classy, Mittens
**** Anthropomorphism alert!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

There's Tough, Then There's...

Finishing an Olympic 4x400 relay on A BROKEN-FRICKIN' LEG. Manteo Mitchell heard it pop with half a lap to go (200m) but still finished well enough to give the USA a tie in the heat. He clearly was in shock as he said, "I figured it's what almost any person would've done in that situation." I hate to sound lame, but not me. I would've opted for the rolling-around-in-pain-on-the-track option.

I think after this show of toughness, the IOC should let him dope all he wants til the next Olympics. 

Book Review: Seed

SeedSeed by Ania Ahlborn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Spoiler-free -- some of the other reviews had spoilers in them!

A quick, gripping read. It'll appeal to fans of The Exorcist, Omen, etc. Jack Winter was haunted by a presence when he was young. Now it's back and after his youngest daughter. He wants to fight it, but how do you fight something you can't see?

I plowed through this in a day and would have given it 4 stars, but Jack's character never really rang true for me. As I read, it began to make more sense, but his (in)actions never really clicked. Hence, I enjoyed it and was compelled to keep reading, in spite of the annoyances. I think if I'd slowed down and read it over a week, Jack would've really annoyed me.

Fun, quick read!

View all my reviews Body

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Badminton -- Even I'm Not THIS Bad

Like everyone else, I was shocked to hear that players were tossed out of the Olympics for tanking. I figured, so they had an off game -- this seems a bit harsh. Oh, no. Check out the video for yourself. There's tanking, NBA-style, where you half-ass it. Then there's this. The two teams are BOTH trying to lose, and so blatantly that the crowd is whistling and the ref pulls them aside to tell them that both teams can be disqualified. Sufficiently cowed, they give a semi-believable effort -- FOR ONE POINT. Then it's back to hitting it deliberately into the net (or far long).

So, since they were warned and STILL decided to mail it in, I'm totally ok with kicking their lame asses out.  Not because they didn't live up to the Olympics ideals,  but because they were too lazy to make it at least seem like they were trying.

Adios, losers!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Germany's Olympic Gymnastics Mom

So I'm watching the Olympics, and it's a big change from NBC's normal presentation of the good Americans vs the evil (if successful) or plucky (if not) foreign competition. And in "women's" gymnastics, I was surprised when what appeared to be one of the coaches started competing for Germany. She wasn't the usual 19-20 year-old prepubescent you see in Olympic gymnastics -- this woman appeared to be an actual adult. So I did some checking, and she is. She just turned 37 and she's in Olympic gymnastics. That's the equivalent of a 55 year-old playing Olympic hoops. Nice work, Oksana Chusovitina

According to the Sacramento Bee, this is her fourth Olympics, after 2008, 1996 and 1992! She's also competed for 3 countries -- the united post-Soviet team, Uzbekistan and Germany.

Good Morning, Sunshine

It's really a shame that I woke up at 5am and couldn't go back to sleep. Otherwise I would have had the pleasure of being awoken at 10:35am to a beautiful sunny day with a neighbor saying loudly, but calmly, "Go away. The police are on their way." Repeatedly. And in British-accented* English.

Unfortunately, due to the acoustics of my apartment's courtyard, I wasn't able to see either the source or the target of the yelling, so I don't know why the police were on their way, but I'm reasonably sure that they were.

Now back to my coffee and Kindle!

* It wasn't Scottish- or Northern Irish-accented English, but it might've been Welsh.  Or, to be fair, South African.  Or Dutch. I should just be honest and say that the man definitely was not sporting a North American accent.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

You Stay Classy, GOP

All the news that's fit to print -- who would be thorough enough in their coverage of the upcoming GOP convention in Tampa to consider the effect on local strippers? The Grey Lady, that's who. And what did Angelina Spencer, the executive director of the trade association* for strip clubs, have to say on the comparative tipping habits of the two parties?  The GOP makes it rain -- $150 on average instead of the stingy Dems' measly $50 average.

Other snarkable tidbits:
  • When the Promise Keepers were in town, they would come to the clubs wearing their badges.  Clearly these guys were keeping their sexual purity promise.
  • One of the clubs is bringing in a dancer who looks exactly like an unnamed "certain ex-governor from a wilderness state, known for her strong jaw and devotion to guns and God." I need to channel my inner Sherlock Holmes to solve this riddle. 
  • One of the dancers only does it because she was laid off from her job and she needs to save money for nursing school.  I'm assuming the reporter wants you to make air quotes around "nursing school".

* I always thought it was Tasselers Anonymous.  It's not.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Why Charles Barkley Is Awesome

He's just like a big, lovable teddy bear with no filter -- that likes to drink and gamble. In an interview with, he drops these nuggets:

  • When offered truffle cauliflower soup at a restaurant: "I don't know what a damn truffle is, and I sure as hell don't want no damn cauliflower"
  • On sports announcers: "You all suck. You guys don't have any fun. You're not curing cancer, you're not policemen. Have some damn fun."
  • When the interviewer says that he only knows how to be a sports reporter: "And I'm not sure you can do that." 

The Chuckster may be retired, but he's still in form.  He even does a good Shaq impression:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tony Parker -- Nerd Don Juan

Sure, he's a sleazy French asshat -- he cheats on Eva-fing-Longoria with his teammate's wife, but he's also proving that nerds can not only play hoops but also get with the ladies.
 He keeps his nerd credentials with his glasses and by having a German kids' candy (nerds love their foreign candy) sponsor his team.  Kareem and Kurt Rambis both tried to cash in on their nerd credentials, but neither had sufficient mojo. Can Parker become the prophesied Nerd Lothario*?  Only the Olympics can tell -- but if I were Lolo Jones, I'd pass on dinner with the smoooooooth-talking French nerd.

After all, if cartoons taught me anything about French men, it's that they are smooth-talking, smelly date rapists.

* Nerdthario?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

NASA Finds Cave on Mars, Possibly Trolls

NASA, in their usual understated fashion, has found a cave on Mars which may support life. 
 According to NASA, "Holes such as this are of particular interest because their interior caves are relatively protected from the harsh surface of Mars, making them relatively good candidates to contain Martian life." The post goes on to say, "Whether this life is in the form of cave trolls, dwarves or even a Martian Batman, we can't say. But the office pool currently is giving the best odds on the life being rabid Martian bats. And trust us, you don't want Martian rabies."

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Flybe: When Half-Assed Is Too Competent

I booked a Flybe flight from Edinburgh to the 'dorf via Manchester a few months back, and I never received my confirmation. There was a charge on my credit card* with a ticket number (roughly 200 digits) but no reference code.

A few weeks later, I get a call at work about "a slight schedule change" that they said would only make me leave a few minutes earlier than my original 3:15pm departure.  I said sure, and they claimed they would send a confirmation.  They did not.

So I get to Edinburgh after searching all my email accounts** to no avail.  I arrive at the Flybe desk at 1:30pm and present my passport.  They claim I have no flight.  I find my ticket number and they say that the check-in desk staff can't deal with it, but the ticket desk can.  They point me in the right direction.

As I walk, I hear this chunk of an announcement: ... FLYBE flight XXX to Southhampton is canceled. I think, "poor bastards" and keep walking.

I get to the desk, give them my ticket number, and they say, "Oh, yes.  You WERE on the flight to Manchester, but now you're on the flight to Southhampton." They pause and give each other a weighted look. "But you've... missed that.  We'll see if we can put you on the original one."  They mutter to each other about how they don't know why i was changed, then print out my ticket and send me on my way.

I board the flight to Manchester, then disembark only to find there is no gate for my next flight. I head to the "lounge" which is populated almost entirely by young (and wish-they-were-still-young) women that look like they're about to head to the club.  When my gate is announced, I trek back in the same direction I came.  As I look out the windows, there's only 1 Flybe plane on the tarmac, and it looks pretty damn familiar.

I get to the gate, MY gate, and board the plane.  The morons at Flybe not only changed my flight, but they rescheduled me to arrive later and to disembark on a layover.  Ugh.  Dolts.  To top it off, neither of the flight attendants even vaguely recognized me.  In their defense, it had been 20 minutes since they last saw me.

* Name: JT Richardson. Number: 12345678999999999 Expires: 9/2099 CCV: GFY
** Yes, I have too many.  I know.

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Yahoo Was Hacked

So, Yahoo!* had their customer data hacked, and I'm one of them.  They not only stole my Yahoo!** mail password, but somehow the scammers seem to have gotten into my Facebook AND have the ability to send texts from my phone.

So if any of you receive text messages/emails/Facebook updates from me that seem inappropriate, inebriated or poorly written, they're not just some drunken idiotry by me, they're the work of scammers, who have notoriously bad typing/grammar skill and don't have the filters that you would expect from me.  I apologize in advance***!  Also, any incriminating photos of me are probably being doctored by these guys.  They're quite diabolical and thorough.

* They should drop the exclamation mark, now that it's indicative of just how shitty their management was for so long, since no one has been excited about the company in years.
** Also, it's just annoying to type.  So I'm going to stop.
*** Also in retrospect for those of you who received some this weekend.

Friday, July 13, 2012

You Stay Classy, Fitty

So, 50 Cent ("Fitty" to you kids who think you're cool, but aren't), declared on Twitter (motto: Giving morons a global platform since 2006) that he, "don't want no special ed kids on my time line follow some body else".

First, let's give a shoutout to Fifty Cent for his bold decision to be not just politically incorrect but also grammatically incorrect.  Way to stick it to The Man, Fitty!

Second, doesn't this smack of desperation?  A rapper whose success has lagged and then insults large portions of the population? There's no such thing as bad publicity and all that.

Third, why didn't he just grab the insensitivity by the horns and say "I don't want no retards..."?  In for a penny, in for a pound?*

Finally, rather than do my little snark thing, this time I'm taking a stand.  That's why I tweeted this to Fitty: @50 Cent I don't want any grammatically-challenged jackholes on my time line. Thanks for not following me!

* I managed to avoid the obvious currency joke here.  I'm growing!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Personal Trainer/Mohel

I always thought my personal trainer was too nice to be real. And tonight I found out I was right. Tonight she was taking measurements*, and talking about what she would do. "I'll take your blood pressure, measure your body fat, circumsize you..." I rudely interrupted to say, "no, you won't be doing that."

Sure, she claims that she meant "measure my waist circumference", but I'm not sure. However, her new get-tough attitude has me resolved to a) work out more regularly and eat right and b) be sure to carefully check out her workout tights to make sure there's no scalpel hidden. At least that's what I'll tell her.

* Spoiler alert: I'm getting fatter. It's quite depressing

Friday, June 29, 2012

Nice Try, Spammy

I received this email from "":
Dear Customer,

ELECTRONIC TICKET NUMBER / 3 722 2429288243 3
DATE / TIME 09 JULY, 2012, 10:51 PM
ARRIVING / Fort Worth
REF / EK4690 ST / OK

Your bought ticket is attached.
You can print your ticket.

Thank you
Delta Air Lines.

There was, of course, an attachment. I have a few critiques for the spammer who tried to get me:
* I'm allowed to be first world-arrogant towards spammers
  1. Airline tickets usually involve both a departure and a destination.  At least in the first world*.
  2. There is no "Fort Worth" as an airport
  3.  Airline emails are wordier than this
  4. No one in the USA would say "bought ticket"
  5. "Delta Air Lines" is a) two words and b) not a sentence needing a period
Otherwise, excellent try!  You keep trying, Spammy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kudos to Ukraine!

Ukraine decided (in November 2011) to stop killing stray dogs and instead would put them in shelters. Personally, I think this is one of the good side effects of a major sporting event -- cosmetic changes to appease foreign rights groups. Of course, usually all those changes disappear after the fans go home, but the chance that there might be lingering, permanent change is a one of the few positives to hosting a major tournament*.  Usually it's just billions into corrupt investments in stadia and public works that aren't really needed**.

So, rather than be outraged that Ukraine WAS killing these animals, shouldn't activists in the wealthy West (the average GROSS salary in 2011 was under $4000) applaud them for the changes -- AND then send money to continue funding the shelters?

* Unless you're a pimp 
** How's that Cube Swim Arena, Beijing?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Soccer Fans "Too Busy" to Visit Prostitutes

Ukrainian Interior Ministry official Oleh Matveitsov apparently sees this scenario recurring often during the EM 2012

Fan 1:  I sure could go for a prostitute, what do you think?
Fan 2:  Are you crazy?  We don't have enough time!  We have lots of beer to drink and football to watch!
Fan 1:  Good point.  I had forgotten that I only have time for 2 activities while in (the) Ukraine!
Fan 2:  I can't imagine anyone would have time, with two 90-minute games per day to watch.  The remaining 21 hours will need to be filled with beer!
Fan 1:  That's right!  The Prime Minister promised that the women would take off their clothes when it warmed up, but I'm too busy to notice!

So, you can see, denying the problem exists is the best solution. The next-best solution is, of course, ignoring the problem. After all, it mostly affects young, poor women, and they're not really important*.  And everyone knows that underage prostitutes are the culprits, not the victims**.

You stay classy, Ukrainian government officials!

* For those of you unfamiliar with my blog, this is sarcasm.
** Seriously, read the article.  Ugh.

Italy Criticizes Spain for Unfair Bailout

Rome (BS) Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti angrily reacted to the $100 billion euro "backstop" of Spanish banks by saying, "This is completely irresponsible. We Italians have worked hard to have the most incompetent economy among the large European states, and now the Eurogroup has given that title to Spain. We will do whatever it takes, including bringing Berlusconi back, to regain the title. As we speak we are lifting all capital requirements for our banks. As soon as we finish paying off the referee in today's match against Spain, we will get back to the important business of doing nothing at all. Wait, please don't quote me on that referee bit. If he sees this in print, he will double his price. Negotiating has been hell since our most recent scandal broke."

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Euro 2012 Live Blogging - Denmark Netherlands

Here we are! In a contest of faceless scandinavians vs dirty, cheating MFers (GFY, De Jong). Which of the DDs* do I cheer for? Duh. Go Denmark!

0:12 - The Dutch showcase their "Total Football" by immediately letting their keeper play with the ball.
0:45 - De Jong wastes no time in getting warmed up, with his first foul. No chance of injury, though, so it seems like his focus is off.
10:12 - For those of you that are curious, the Dutch ditched their ugly light blue socks from the World Cup. I assume it's because opponents' blood showed up too clearly.
15:00 - The Danish** seem content to just let the dutch do their version of Spain's tika-taka and occasionally counter.
22:45 - The Danish players are complaining to the ref, and the Dutch coach looks resigned to the fact that his players are about to do something shady. Or maybe he's just worried about the survival prospects of the Euro.
23:30 - But not before Danish #9 blows past 3 Danish defenders and goes 5-hole*** on the Dutch keeper. Goooooooaallllllllllll!
28:30 - I thought the Danish were just defending before, but now the box looks like a clown car.
32:30 - I can't tell if the orange paint the Dutch fans are wearing has gotten into their eyes, or if they're just baked. Thoughts?
34:30 - I don't think the Dutch spent much time in practice on getting the ball from the defense to the offense. They're just hitting it into space, and then the offensive players don't move.
35:30 - And I don't think the Danish keeper practiced his passing, either. He was about 1 inch of post away from paying for that lazy pass.
37:30 - Robben spends more time with one arm in the air than an actor in a deodorant commercial****
45:30 - The players have clearly stopped playing, so the ref doesn't bother with the final 30 seconds of stoppage time.  I don't blame him.
* Dutch-Danish. Get your head out of the gutter.
** Try to get this out of your head. Hint: Try humming this instead.
*** Hockey term!
**** You thought I was going to make a Nazi joke, didn't you?

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Istanbul 2012 -- Food

One of my favorite parts of traveling is the food. And Istanbul did not disappoint. From döner and fish sandwiches on the streets to ornate Ottoman meals, it was all good. The highlights:
  • The aforementioned street food, especially the fish sandwiches
  • Sofyali 9, a great meyhane (tavern) where we had a huge number of mezze (basically, Turkish tapas) and a mixed grill.  Kudos to Jason for getting, and holding, a table for 9
  • The exquisite food at Asitane, which was well worth the haul out to the city walls (half the photos are from there)
  • The turkish white wine and raki -- I wasn't a fan until I was on my second or third glass of milky-white goodness. And Efes?  Not a bad pilsner.
So, enjoy the photos and don't hold your breath for more posts!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

30 Rock Facebook Status Updates - Returns!

It's a light week for appropriate lines, but that's what I'm here for!

- is tired, because nunchuk-ing can wear a guy out
- thinks a wedding is a beautiful ceremony where an old man and a crying girl get pushed into the coupling shed
- knows what people don't want to talk about: soccer, jazz and infidelity

- is not killing hobos at night anymore
- sex, money, power, fire, choking, being dragged behind a speedboat -- it's all the same thing
- is still furious with Al Gore for stealing George Bush's idea to have an internet
- gets in fistfights at waterparks -- and lost his virginity to a bait saleswoman on a waterbed
- wants to throw a Natty Lite at a cop car
- has the brain of a man and the ass of a French teenager

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Whisky Tasting Dos and Don'ts

My good friend T graciously hosted another whisk(e)y* tasting last night. Having now attended 3 (2 guided, 1 not), I have some tips to share.

DO: Be the first to make the "Smells/tastes like whiskey" joke
DON'T:   Be the second/third/etc. to make the joke. Just because you're drinking doesn't mean you can steal jokes

DO: Cleanse your palate between tastings.  Bread and water are perfect.
DON'T:   Use vodka to cleanse your palate.
DO: Use appropriate glasses for the tasting
DON'T:   Use Big Gulp cups.
DO: Make appropriate age jokes, such as "Oooh, this one can legally drink itself!"
DON'T:   Make jokes along the lines of "This is the best 18 year-old I've tasted this week!" Rule of thumb: If you have to think if it's appropriate or not, it's not.
DO: Be honest about what you taste and smell
DON'TBe TOO honest. No one wants to know that this tastes exactly like what you drank the night you lost your virginity
DO Use These Adjectives to Describe the Tastes/Aromas
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla
  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Salt
  • Smoke
DON'T Use These Adjectives:   
  • Skank
  • Bodily Fluids of Any Kind, especially if asparagus is involved**
  • Homelessness
  • Uncle Freddie
  • Department Store Santa Claus
  • Turpentine/Paint Thinner (unless you're the professional leading the tasting)

In case you're wondering, my favorite whisky was:
The Balvenie Portwood 21 Year Old. Of course, at $140+ a bottle, it damn well better be good.
My favorite whiskEy (and second favorite overall) was:
The Tullamore Dew Single Malt 10 Year Old was completely different from the standard Tullamore Dew.  And at $40 a bottle, it's far more reasonably priced.  Unless you're buying a gift for the blogger of your choice, then the Balvenie is the way to go.

* Whisky is Scottish, Whiskey is Irish.  You're welcome!
** Though quoting Robert Parker, "Tastes like the urine of Satan after a hefty portion of asparagus" is always appropriate.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Rochelle Rochelle Part 4: Taking it to Tallinn

When I left Milan, it was sunny and in the 70s (low 20s for you Celsius types). When the plane landed in Tallinn, it was raining and damn near freezing. An hour later, and the rain was snow, melting as soon as it landed. Two hours later and the snow was heavy but beginning to stick. And that's where the erotic journey began. OK, not really. But I get bored writing about weather.

What really happened was that I went on a bit of a bar crawl. Not the original intention, but it took me 4 bars (with a tasty dinner in between) before I found one that wasn't stag central. As an American woman on the walking tour said, "it was the best guy-girl ratio I've ever had." My mileage varied. Considerably.

But the national art gallery was cool, fulfilling my personal criteria: lots of good local artists I've never seen and one contemporary artist that was total crap. Of course, it wouldn't be a travel post without lots of photos!

Next Up: I learn that Latvians are sure as shit not working on Easter. Or any days vaguely close to Easter.

A Moral Quandary

While I was in Dallas, I had 10 or so CDs stolen out of my car. I'm pretty sure the thief was disappointed with his haul, as it included very little pop music. At the time I was annoyed and told myself I'd get the CDs from friends and burn them. I didn't. A few I realize now that I've been missing: "In C" on traditional Chinese instruments (see video below), Pearl Jam's Vs., a signed CD by Mike Doughty (I'm still pissed about this) and a few others. I bought all these at one point, so it's ok to download them, right? I'm going with "Yes".

Another fun tidbit -- did you know that has some listings for audio cassettes? That seems so quaint now.

Regardless of your answer, enjoy the mesmerizing tones of one of my lost tracks:

Monday, April 30, 2012

Rochelle, Rochelle Part 3: Milan

Sure, the average person doesn't take a BB (Baltics + Belarus) trip via Milan. Some would argue that Milan is in the exact opposite direction from the 'dorf. Those people are wrong*. It's a great intro to the trip -- the long bus rides (to/from the airports), the imposing architecture of the Duomo and the train station, the tasty food and cheap booze (wine in Italy, beer and vodka elsewhere) -- all these were to be key ingredients in the trip.

We never learn what Rochelle does in life (other than have an erotic journey), so I will have to guess.  Based on the number of expensive (and hence, fashionable) shops in Milan, I'm betting she was either a failed model or shoe designer. Seeing this inspired me to bloogling**, and so, I found this chart from the Italian Ministry of Finance**

After a tasty meal, I rode the sugar and caffeine rush to power through a trip to see the newly-cleaned duomo illuminated for the evening.

I woke up, went for a run in the sun (in shorts!), then headed for Bergamo and my cheap Ryan Air flight to Tallinn. Milan was done, the journey had begun in earnest. Sadly, the journey was still adjective-less.

Up next: An evening bar crawl in snain. Will I survive the second-hand douchebaggery of a night out in stag-heavy Tallinn?

* Tallinn is NE of the 'dorf (Minsk is ENE), Milan is South-by-Southeast. So not at all opposite.

**Bloogling: faking information claimed to be from the Internet, for the purposes of a blog

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Welcome to Basketball in a Soccer World

This guy is pretty clearly not as clueless as he acts, but it captures nicely the average European soccer fan's* grasp of hoops. But they did predict both Champions League semis correctly, so maybe this whole computer vs. computer thing could work.

As always, all credit for the video goes to the people who made it. Go to the YouTubes for that information.

* T and Robin, this doesn't include you.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Avengers -- Spoiler-Free Review

Tonight was an extremely rare event -- the 'dorf got a Hollywood blockbuster, not just in English, but in 3D AND before it came out in the States! Of course, since I'm basically a 12-year-old boy with a steady income, I had to rush out and see the first showing. Here're my spoiler-free thoughts:
  • It was my favorite of the recent Marvel movies*
  • It was funny, really funny at parts.  But not so much that I thought it was slapstick (a la Spiderman 3), but various characters had good lines, mostly within character.  Thor's big laugh didn't seem like something he'd say, but it WAS hilarious, so I give it a pass
  • I was worried all the cool stuff was in the trailers.  This was not a problem.  And some of the trailer stuff popped up in places I didn't expect. And it's less cheesy
  • The Chrysler Building is basically the 7th Avenger.  It gets as much screen time as Hawkeye.  It doesn't come alive or have super powers, other than its real-life superpower of being the coolest skyscraper on the planet.
  • Speaking of which, he gets the short end of the screentime stick.  He's basically just a hardass, which is cool.  For a guy with a bow and arrow in a movie, being a hardass is punching wayyyy above his weight.  Now, for being a guy with a bow and arrow in an epic poem form the oral tradition, being a hardass is pretty par for the course
  • The Black Widow is way cooler than in Iron Man 2.  There, she was just eye candy.  Here she's a surprisingly valuable member of the team.  Note to Jon Favreau: hot women are not just there for latex placement.
  • Nick Fury is cool, but is shadier than previous flicks, which is good.  The chief spy shouldn't be trustworthy**
  • I didn't see many easter eggs, which is a blow to my nerd ego. I would guess there are some, but I couldn't pick any out
  • Stan Lee has a good cameo
  • The post-credits scene IS pretty blatant sequel material, as well as proving that director Joss Whedon is also a fan of 80s Marvel Comics. Hint: it's not Dazzler.
  • OK, fine.  If you want to know, follow the LINK for the identity of the spoiler.  I have to admit, the line that precedes him is a perfect summation of his character. I also have to admit that I don't think he'll be a good sequel villain
  • So, it was worth my "hard-earned" money.  I highly recommend it and give it a solid 8 out of 10.  I'd go higher, but I was hoping to see Spidey, the FF or Wolverine somewhere in the background
  • Finally, the trailer, in case you haven't seen it:

 * Previously I ranked these: Iron Man, X-Men: First Class, Thor, Iron Man 2, Hulk (the newer one), Captain America
** Or, if you ask George Tenet, competent

Rochelle, Rochelle Part 2: The Visa

On the DVD version of "Rochelle, Rochelle: A Young Girl's Erotic Journey From Milan to Minsk" there is a deleted scene entitled "Rochelle Gets Her Visa".  With no money and lacking the proper documents, she has to convince the stern Belarusian embassy functionary to issue the visa, with erotic results!

In what was a harbinger for the trip as a whole, I had the opposite result -- I had the money, documents I needed but, sadly, no erotic displays to get my visa.  Just an exorbitant fee for the visa and a very reasonable 30€* fee for the visa agency.

So, I took my passport with the spiffy new visa for a spin:

Impressive, right?  I love the cyrillic -- way cooler than the Latin alphabet.
Next up:  The trip proper starts in Milan!

* I consider it reasonable as it saved me two trips to Bonn, either of which would've cost 20€

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

30 Rock Facebook Status Updates - Murphy Brown Lied To Us

It's late this week because I was trying to give a friend a bachelor party that didn't involve hot women with no other marketable job skills, alcohol-induced vomiting, or travel.  I originally proposed that we all watch 30 Rock and make note of the jokes that could be Facebook status updates, but the guys felt that this fell short of maximizing our fun.  So, you know, it's their fault it's late.  I also blame the communists*.
- is tired, because nunchuk-ing can wear a guy out
- is in cryogenic hibernation, waiting for 2016
- is busy burning down a Panda Express he fell in love with
- is building to the big breakdown -- like C&C Music Factory
- sent from one of my 4 iPads
- is selling discomfort
- life is happening!

- wants you to do your housework, you little crackers
- has never been with a man before
- is making coffee my bitch
- can see the veins behind my eyes
- sent this via Twitter, a media-savvy crackhead I know
- is being soooo trans-vaginal right now

* Or, if you're a Rush Limbaugh listener**, "Democrats"
** Or, if you're NOT a Rush Limbaugh listener, "dipshits"***
*** Isn't the current state of political discourse in America awesome? We've basically reached a cowardly version of Jacksonian politics -- name-calling without fear of being called out for a duel.

Rochelle, Rochelle Part 1: The Explanation

So, I've only been telling people that know of Seinfeld that my trip was actually Milan to Minsk.  My Euro friends (and American friends with less-than-ideal taste in TV) only hear about the BB (Baltics and Belarus) bit.  A few have found out the true itinerary, and the question invariably is, "why are you going to Milan if you're going to the Baltics & Belarus".  The answer, of course, is that I have too much free time on my hands.

The more complete answer is that the TV show Seinfeld referenced a fake movie, "Rochelle, Rochelle: A Young Girl's Erotic Journey From Milan to Minsk" in a few episodes.  We never see it, and only hear a few lines of dialogue and a bit of a song from the Broadway musical adaptation (starring Bette Midler!).  It's a cheesy Skinemax-style flick that enthralls the men and mystifies Elaine.  Obviously, this is a strong basis for a vacation.  Maybe next time I'll retrace Indy's trip in "The Last Crusade"*.

Next up: What will JT have to do to get a visa?

* Venice-Berlin-Petra. I'd skip the USA bit because it's never mentioned where he's a professor

Thursday, April 19, 2012

30 Rock Facebook Status Updates - Episodes 16 & 17

The post-Rochelle catch-up continues!
- was mugged by two five-year-olds in a trenchcoat
- caused that Italian cruise ship to crash
- is the 4th-worst person he knows
- is wearing last year's sweatshirt to his cousin's wedding
- is sobbing like Bill Belichick listening to Adele
- is a little skittish about lady pilots, ever since Amelia Earhart
- wants you to shut your cabbage hole
- will love you even if you become a doctor, lawyer or even a philanthropist

- popo popped Dookie down by the vacants
- knows what else is from the 70s -- women staying quiet
- is laughing like a Jew watching the Daily Show*
- is going to the store for milk and heroin
- could be six feet under... in the subterranean paradise we built to escape the poor
- sold your photos to mü
- loves watching carriage horses get whipped

* Yes, I know, this is more offensive than normal for me - and that's saying something!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Let's Get Some Perspective On This Secret Service Thing

Some balancing opinions on the latest scandal:
  • "Other than hire overage prostitutes, I think they did nothing wrong" Silvio Berlusconi, former Prime Minister of Italy
  • "They weren't dudes, right?  So, what's the problem?" Ronaldo, former Brazilian soccer great
  • "Who hasn't hired a hooker on the government's dime?" Eliot Spitzer, former Governor of New York
  • "At least they didn't let Obama ride in a convertible" JFK, former US President
  • "Banging a few hookers?  Don't start whining until they're shooting at you. Also, a free tip: don't have bodyguards from a group you just sent the army after.  They hate that." Indira Gandhi, former Prime Minister of Italy
  • "I've been disappointed in our scandal-driven media's obsession with the story of 11 Secret Service agents who outsourced their sexual needs to cheaper foreign labor. Isn't that the point of free trade?  Even so, they should just ask forgiveness for their sin.  Works every time!" David Vitter, US Senator, R-Lousiana
  • "Good to see the Secret Service knows how to party! #winning" Charlie Sheen, jackhole at large

30 Rock Facebook Status Updates - Season 6 Episode 15

Two in a row! I just forgot to publish this one. And find the episode title. But whatever.

- is wearing medicated hospice shoes
- is in a permanent rut
- got a Jeers in "Corporate Blimp Monthly"
- is reading "Buffett on Buffets"
- is outsourcing the American Dream

- saw Lou Dobbs step on his own testicles
- thinks meditation is a waste of time, like learning French or kissing after sex
- is bathed in the aroma of Summer Horse Grave
- once pantsed Deepak Chopra while Craig T. Nelson taped it
- won the crotch jackpot

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

30 Rock Facebook Status Updates - Grandmentor

Two in a row!

- is a big shot, with his suits and a desk lamp he controls
- is dressing as Mitt Zombie for Halloween
- believes in two things -- fast money and fast curves

- is home -- and he brought back some oriental sex powders
- definitely has a penis
- is playing a Korean party whore
- is making every room a bathroom
- turned down intercourse with Harvey Weinstein on no less than three occasions -- out of five
- sees the endgame of feminism as women dressing like Dennis the Menace at work
- thinks rosé wine pairs well with failed suicide

Saturday, March 24, 2012

30 Rock Facebook Status Updates - St. Patrick's Day

Kenneth is now The Man? Shocking! But also not good for status updates.  So, even though it's a week late, here it is!

- is honoring Ireland's great accomplishments, like Michael Lohan and vomiting into a bagpipe
- is riding out Hurricane Shamrock laughing at excerpts "Angela's Ashes"
- reminds you that St. Patrick's only worldly possession was "no snakes"
- is giving you two minutes to fill a sock with quarters before we go outside
- Solo'ed you

- is writing a meandering play about how awesome the Irish are at not overcoming adversity
- can't wait til the Asians take over
- is praying to Michael Jackson's ghost/the Great Kabbalah monster
- is wearing glass beads to the Pirates' Ball
- is a virgin... with white guys

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

30 Rock Facebook Status Updates - Standards and Practices

Kenneth is now The Man? Shocking! But also not good for status updates!

- is not your usual sitcom crap full of vulgarity and pratfalls
- is being a real... dingbat
- hired a Cato to attack me at random -- like Inspector Clouseau
- once took a log with googly eyes to a father-son picnic

- learned this from Glenn Beck's prostitute
- could be a pirate, or a warlord's concubine
- had Fruit Roll-Ups for dinner -- at a strip club

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I'm Running The Long Con

The Game: Spend 3 years convincing my friends Rumpy & Pumpy that I'm a "nice guy". Then, after lulling them into complacency with food and wine, swap a stuffed animal for the swag and Bob's your uncle. By the time they realize it, I'm long gone*.

The Problem: How to convince them that my new dog that looks suspiciously like their missing dog is not, in fact, their dog.

Any suggestions?

* By "gone" I mean "asleep"

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Everyday is Narcisscism Day!

Well, every Saturday. Tasty Zin*, meh bubbly (room for improvement!), steak, roasted garlic*-rosemary mash and broccoli with shaved*** cheddah****. As you can see:

Not shown: first strawberries of the season and dark chocolate for dessert. One must keep the food porn to reasonable levels, after all. Also not shown: the Moscow Mule for a post-dinner drink.

* 2008 Artezin Zin, if you're wondering. And why do all California Zin producers feel the need to pun? They know it makes us want to, um, punch them, right? Ugh, now the jackholes have me doing it.
** It may be overdone in restaurants, but it's damned tasty
*** Not waxed!
**** Thanks, Margaret/Meg/Mags/M'Lou & Dan!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Get It Together, Drinkify

Someone had the brilliant/insane idea to mix Spotify with a drink catalog. Type in a band name, it gives you a drink "appropriate" for the music. Sadly, it seems to be based on names, not music or the artists' personalities. Some examples:
  • Snoop Dogg - "The Snoop Dogg" (10 oz. each gin, wheatgrass juice, lemon juice) -- Nice call!
  • Amy Winehouse - "The Amy Winehouse" (1 bottle cabernet) -- Good call, if you make it a case instead of a bottle
  • Rolling Stones - "The Rolling Stones" (10 oz. rum with a garnish of cocktail onions) -- Not really going to give you the satisfaction you need
  • U2 - "The U2" (10 oz. vodka with a garnish of nutmeg) -- TEN ounces? Really? EIGHT shots? For the Stones, sure, but U2?
  • Whitney Houston - "The Whitney Houston" (4 oz. vodka with a garnish of cocktail onions) -- Whitney gets less than half the booze that Bono does?
  • Michael Jackson - "The Michael Jackson" (8 oz. Red Bull with a garnish of nutmeg*) -- no booze, so he can share it with his date?
  • Toby Keith - "The Toby Keith" (8 oz. Maker's Mark with a garnish of shrimp) -- Shrimp? Pork Rinds, I could understand, but shrimp?
  • Meatloaf - "The Meatloaf" (8 oz. each bourbon and cough syrup**, 10 oz. wheatgrass -- stir quickly) -- probably the only veggies Meatloaf will have this month
  • Nickelback - "The Nickelback" (2 oz. each Rip Van Winkle bourbon, worcestershire sauce, 10 oz. Laphroig scotch with a garnish of nutmeg) -- seriously? More nutmeg? I do think the top-shelf brands are appropriate in a drink you won't be able to appreciate either.

But JTinGermany is nothing if not helpful***, so here are my suggestions for the less-than-satisfying

  • Snoop Dogg - "The Snoop Dogg" -- No change needed, except you should drink it out of a paper bag
  • Amy Winehouse - "The Amy Winehouse" -- Again, just a matter of quantity
  • Rolling Stones - "The Rolling Stones" (Vodka, rum, and gin with lime juice and plenty of brown sugar) -- Lots of booze and it tastes so good
  • U2 - "The U2" (A shot of St. Brendan's dropped into a pint of Guinness. Drink it in one go!) -- We're taking back the Irish Car Bomb for a more peaceful world. I would also accept a Bloody Sunday -- tequila in a Bloody Mary
  • Whitney Houston - "The Whitney Houston" (4 oz. of the most expensive gin available, lime wedge and a dash of tonic water, garnish with mint/celery dipped in powdered sugar) -- The mint should garnish one's nose with sugar and the drinker should constantly complain that the drink isn't strong enough****
  • Michael Jackson - "The Michael Jackson" (Kool-Aid and rohypnol) -- Also known as a Father Murphy*****
  • Toby Keith - "The Toby Keith" (Domestic American macrobrew, Coors Light or cheaper, in a Red Solo Cup) -- Feel free to spread the rumor that you came up with this drink on your own
  • Meatloaf - "The Meatloaf" (Large Chocolate Fudge Brownie milkshake with 2 shots of vodka, garnish with a donut) -- Also known as the Breakfast of Champions******
  • Nickelback - "The Nickelback" (5 oz. white vinegar, 5 oz. Fiji water, dash of lemon juice, garnish with bottled oxygen and serve in a striped shirt) -- God, I hate these guys

* What's the obsession with nutmeg?
** Sounds like Meatloaf was trying to make a Flaming Homer
*** So, I guess it's nothing
**** Too soon?
***** Taking this drink off the menu is called a Pope Benedict
****** I have this feeling Meatloaf is sober, but googling's a lot of work

Friday, March 02, 2012

30 Rock Facebook Status Updates - Alexis Goodlooking and the Case of the Missing Whisky

Can I make a small request of the 30 Rock writers/producers/overlords? How about short titles? "Leap Day" was not only a great episode, but an all-time great episode title. "Alexis Goodlooking and the Case of the Missing goddamned Whisky"? Really? Why not make the booze Irish to throw in an extra 'e'

- will defrost an ox for you
- Balloon!
- is beside some sort of pizza demon
- has never crushed anyone... except accused witches*
- is 4 credits shy of a degree in bro studies

- prefers the term "adultophobe"
- barely made it through the 80s without having sex with Belinda Carlisle
- has a sofa made from Seabiscuit
- is sick from the sight of you -- and the crayons he ate earlier
- doesn't know much about worldly things, like taco meat or having all your fingers

* Damn you for beating me to this one, Steve

Sunday, February 26, 2012

30 Rock Facebook Status Updates - Leap Day

30 Rock was here for me, now I'm here for you. Well, my "here", not your "here", but I guess you figured that. Unless you're hiding in my apartment, then I guess it's both. If you are, can you do the dishes? I just can't be bothered. As always, I'm here to sort the various potential Facebook status updates into Appropriate and Inappropriate -- because that's how I roll. Mildly amusing, unoriginal and pretty lazy: that's my rollery*, all right.

- wrote lyrics to the Cantina Song from Star Wars
- has a bet with his business school roommates as to who can make the most money on Leap Day
- is starting to think that Leap Day William isn't even real

- thinks the Young Nazi Boy is the star of "The Sound of Music"
- is on a Sexual Walkabout
- thinks we have a slut-off on our hands
- is... Awwww, dammit, hot bitches
- can't have candy and cigarettes without a few tears
- started experimenting... with liberalism
- reminds you that a gym teacher on a sex tour of Indonesia called -- he wants his shirt back

* Get THEE to a rollery, Shakespeare

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Definition - Drinker's Pocket

After another long day/night of Karneval festivities, I woke up the next morning to a HUGE pile of coins -- 20 Euro worth. Which led Jason to define "drinker's pocket" -- a pocketful of change the morning after a night out. Since our rounds always left 1 or 2* Euro over, we slowly accumulated a large amount of change. This is a phenomenon unknown in the USA, as the custom is to a) use credit cards and b) tip. Neither applies in the Dorf!

* I don't believe in spelling out "one" or "two"

Friday, February 24, 2012

I'm Sleeping Wrong!

So, apparently, this whole "sleep 8 hours straight" stuff is modern BS*. An isolation study has shown that given enough continuous darkness, people settle into a sleep pattern of 4 hours, then an hour or two of awake time, then 4 more hours. Which is actually refreshing to me, as I've done this more than a few times over the last year**. This is backed up by more than 500 historical references to "first sleep", "second sleep", etc. These references disappear around the time of round-the-clock lighting in cities and disappear completely in the 1920s.
So don't fret the next time you wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble going to sleep -- you're just getting in touch with your roots.

* If you're a conservative, feel free to insert your own "liberal media" rant here. But be careful -- this has been happening for hundreds of years.
** I thought I had trouble sleeping, apparently I was just kickin' it old school.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

30 Rock Facebook Status Updates - The Tuxedo Begins

30 Rock is back! As always, I'm here to sort the various potential Facebook status updates into Appropriate and Inappropriate -- because everyone loves arbitrary binary distinctions.

- thinks New York is the world capitol of culture, finance and King Kong attacks
- is on the verge of class war
- does his hair by sticking his head in a cotton candy machine
- is running for mayor -- slogan to come
- has a Chewbacca costume made from used hair extensions

- wonders where a young prostitute gets started in this town
- only plays blondes, non-Irish redheads and sex robots
- is a selfish filth monster
- has a criminal skull shape
- is pregnant with a kitty cat
- is unpacking the sex monkey he bought in Jakarta

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Narcissism Day!

If you're like me*, you're probably not a huge fan of Valentine's Day. If you're single, it's a ginormous reminder that you're alone. If you're not single, it's a minefield.
Personally, the V-Days that I spent with significant others have been almost universally underwhelming**. But what do to instead?
Narcissism Day. That's right -- love yourself. Spa day? Mani/pedi? Good workout at the gym? Whatever works for you. For me, on the inaugural Narcissism Day, I went with GSW: Gym, Steak, Wine.

It was quite nice, and the company was impeccable***. So, tell Hallmark to shove it, and take time today to celebrate... yourself. You deserve it****.

* If you're lucky, you're not
** If you're an ex and wondering, "was I one of the positives?" Sure, why not?
*** OK, fine. Mildly peccable, at most.
**** Shit, if I deserve it, you definitely do.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lighten Up, Picasso

So, the annual Düsseldorf Kunstakademie Rundgang (the Art Academy Open House) was this weekend. A separate post will follow, but by far the most memorable was the woman above doing a performance art piece. She was just standing and reading under a fake bus stop sign. When I asked her when the next bus was due (in German), she replied with a long-winded spiel about how she was doing a piece to cause us to reflect on the cost of modern economy on our daily lives. She did not mention if waiting until the night before her annual project was due* was a comment on modern arts education and the dehumanization it causes. But I think it was implied.

But I pride myself on my kind, generous** nature, so I have a few follow-up ideas she can use:

  • Stand in her lingerie behind a pane of glass to comment on the dehumanizing nature of prostitution
  • Stand with an umbrella to comment on the dehumanizing nature of rain
  • Stand while texting to comment on the dehumanizing nature of text messaging
  • Stand while looking at a painting to comment on the dehumanizing nature of art
  • Stand while watching a video of a previous performance of her own to comment on the dehumanizing nature of performance art
  • Stand while looking at this webpage to comment on the dehumanizing nature of jackass bloggers

* Yes, I'm assuming, but I feel pretty confident in my assumption.
** Several of my friends choked on their drinks when I said this. Crazy timing, right?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

30 Rock Facebook Status Updates: Hey, Baby, What's Wrong

30 Rock is back! As always, I'm here to sort the various potential Facebook status updates into Appropriate and Inappropriate -- it's how I give back to the little people*. This week was a double episode**, so lots to enjoy. And did IKEA pay for product placement when half the episode was mocking the experience of shopping there?

- is 0-for-40*** on Valentine's Day
- moved to this country to avoid an embarrassing regifting incident
- thinks of Valentine's Day as the burning of a Catholic loudmouth
- is almost listening
- looks like a Far Side drawing
- has organized several dog-and-pony shows and is offended by what you're implying
- is not a vampire, just a night-owl with a terrible garlic allergy
- is going to be up all night stabbing gators
- has to go walk around the park, maybe forever
- wonders if our ape overlords will let us celebrate Valentine's 100 years from now

- has never Mommy-Daddy-sheet-monstered himself
- is living at a 24-Hour Fitness
- is powerless as long as they stay in international waters
- thinks Valentine's is scumbag Christmas
- loves baseball -- the hard bats, Jeter's thighs in those pants...

* Like, say, you
** So was the night I went off my seizure meds then went clubbing. Rim shot!
*** Or will be -- next year

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Lost Posts: FIFA Is Warning You

So, FIFA isn't just about pissing off fans by not showing replays in the stadiums* and awarding World Cups to oil-rich nations with no compunctions or laws against bribes -- they're about safety. And as this list of items prohibited from the stadiums** shows, they leave no stone unturned. Actually the one thing they do leave off the list is stones. I guess not many Palestinian/Israeli*** kids go to World Cup matches. So, Left to Right****, Top to Bottom****, here's the list:

  • No Weapons, including nunchuks. Don't want any ninjas starting shit at games!
  • No Pyrotechnics. Though Germans have FIVE different variations of fireworks.
  • No Gas aerosols. Other aerosols are apparently ok.
  • No Paper rolls. I have to say, it looks like toilet paper. God forbid people bring their own.
  • No Glassware or bottles. Though Germans aren't allowed to bring cans. Suckers.
  • No face coverings. Do you think they intentionally made the person look more like a ninja than someone in a burqa?
  • No banners. Well, no big ones.
  • No animals. Also no exceptions for seeing eye dogs. The blind -- another group for Sepp to give the finger to.
  • No mechanical/electric devices to make noise. Also, vuvuzuelas.
  • No umbrellas. "FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 -- Let's All Get Wet Together!" Probably not their slogan of choice.
  • No cameras for commercial purposes. FIFA will let this one slide, unless they think they can get a cut.
* or even in the stadia
** ditto
*** sure it's racist, but who else throws rocks?
**** I feel that randomly capitalizing words is helping me with my German

Monday, February 06, 2012

Live Blogging: Super Bowl XLVI 2012 1st Quarter

Here I am again! My tentative plans to watch the game from Germany's largest Super Bowl party (at a bar/club here in the 'dorf) or the most fun (at my friend T's) were kiboshed by the bitterly cold weather and me having to be at work early tomorrow, respectively. So instead I'm going to live blog from my couch. I'll give real time stamps to emphasize how late it is.

12:26 am - What was the deal with how angry the Pats captains were with Tuck?
12:28 am - One advantage of German TV coverage -- constant sideline shots of Sebastian Vollmer.
12:29 am - Did you know that "Madonna: Die Haltimeshow" premieres tonight? I do, thanks to the infographic.
12:30 am - Yeah, "gute lauf" apparently doesn't mean "good run", since getting the kickoff to the 23 isn't a good run in most books.
12:32 am - People are CONSTANTLY telling me to watch German TV to improve my deutsch skills. Like tonight I learned that "der Go-To-Guy" means "the go-to guy"
12:35 am - Wow. The announcer just went completely bat-shit crazy over a first-down catch. He might have an aneurysm if there's a game-winning TD catch
12:38 am - First Super Bowl commercial break! And we get... shitty ads for internet service and a big box store. And the Mach 3 razor!
12:39 am - And this live blog is brought to you by Budvar Dark, so very tasty!
12:41 am - So, who gets credit for first points scored on a prop bet? Brady? Field? And, to be fair, Brady's ego was probably outside the tackle box
12:44 am - Several shots of Vollmer, but they kind of gloss over the fact that it was his man that hurried Brady
12:49 am - Is anyone else amazed at how sloppy the Pats are so far?
12:51 am - Cruuuuuuuuz! Yet the announcers were far happier with a Bradshaw run earlier in the drive. Very odd. Not as odd as the half-hearted swipe by the DB while Cruz was still juggling the catch. You'd think they didn't survive two weeks ago by a last-ditch swipe.
12:53 am - Germans are not big fans of humorous commercials with football.
12:58 am - Does anyone else think that Belichick is killing a series of homeless men to make a mannequin to model his hoodies?
1:00 am - The announcer is pretty clearly a Giants fan, based on his lack of excitement over this drive. Or his pregame drugs are wearing off.
1:01 am - Can someone tell Ross on the Giants that strutting after the Pats get a first down makes him look like a self-centered douche? And that Ray Lewis patented that move?
1:08 am - OK, the first quarter is done. And I'm going to stop blogging as my shitty new internet isn't working. Ugh.