Oct 30 2010

restoring fear

The plan was to attend the rally in person, and I am eternally in CarrieNation’s debt for suggesting the bail.  The telecast was bad enough.  I spent the afternoon enveloped in spite and scorn while watching a smug spectacle and an enormous crowd feeling really fucking pleased with itself.  It should be no surprise, given that background, that I thought of this song for today.  I just wish somebody – anybody – was sporting a mullet as heroic as the one in the video below.

Aug 21 2009

damn, we're good

Well, lookee here: we made the [music is good] page.  Again.  This time it was for our insightful commentary on Weezer and the Replacements' legacy in the annals of rock history.  We're surprised – not to mention honored and flattered – to be featured by the good people at Vox so soon after our last fleeting moment in the sun.  But then, we can hardly blame them for recognizing greatness when they see it.  We should totally become, like, a professional blogger or something.

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Jul 21 2009

word freak

A quick glance to the left-hand column of this page indicates that the "smugness" tag has diminished more than I'd like.  To that end, now seems an appropriate time for an update of the standings in the Vox/Facebook Scrabble Challenge.

I had taken some time off from Facebook Scrabble after Scrabulous fell victim to Hasbro's copyright attorneys because the official Scrabble application was more cumbersome than I liked.  Plus, I was playing too much at work and needed to stop.  So I was at a bit of a disadvantage – I was way behind – when I threw my hat back into the ring a couple of months ago.  It didn't take me too long for my ranking to pass Jodi's, but Dabysan was another story.  He seemingly does little all day but play internet Scrabble against lesser opponents to pad his rating.  I briefly passed him a few weeks ago, but my stay at the top was short-lived.  Not this time, however.  Despite a string of uncharacteristic and unfortunate losses to Jodi, I've been on a pretty good streak against Daby lately.  That – coupled with his ability to maintain the status quo against Jodi – has landed me atop the rankings once again.  Dabysan is a distant second and Jodi remains an even more distant third.  And most importantly, I've been on top for close to two weeks now.  With a one hundred thirty point lead over Jodi and a nail-biter with Daby in my current games, I'm poised to stay there for a while.  As I should be.

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May 1 2009

i win

One hundred and four posts in fifty-two weeks is for the weak.

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Mar 4 2009

no one

I was going to write a lengthy introduction to this song just like all the others, but you know what?  Fuck it.  I think I've earned the right to slack off here.  I'm a three-time KttD champion.  You know who else has won multiple times?  No one.

No One



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Feb 15 2009

to the death….

It's been noted that my Karaoke to the Death related posts leading up to this, the ninth year of competition, have left something to be desired.  That's completely true.  And it's a shame, because it occurred to me today that we have some truly tremendous subplots coming out of last year's return to glory after a down year in 2007.

You'll recall that the Eighth Annual Karaoke to the Death VIII ended with our first international contestant – Aussie Bob – taking home the Ramsey Cup.  You'll also remember that Bob's "victory" was fueled by horse steroids and a relentless propaganda campaign led by Akaijen.  A late "Anyone But Bob" movement developed around Matyas' fourth quarter heroics, but it was too little, too late.  Under the strongarm tactics of his Jengali, Bob had developed an insurmountable lead.  Later review of the tapes revealed that he had been lucky to steal victory; both Matyas and 2007 champ Emma Peel had delivered far worse performances.  All KttD results are final, however, and Bob's name will forever stain the Cup with the reminder of his undeserved glory.

Oh but how things change in a year's time.  Akaijen will not be in attendance at KttD IX, and many wonder (and rightfully so) how Aussie Bob will fare without his enforcer coercing votes from the weak-willed and stuffing the ballot box.  Many question how much of the support Matyas garnered in her powerful debut can be attributed to the ABB factor and whether she can survive the sophomore slump that befell other strong first-timers such as Alison and Cap'n Crunch.  Many are curious to see how Emma responds to a crushing defeat after what should have been KttD's first ever repeat victory and whether she, the odds-on favorite, can muster the resolve to earn her second title in three years.  The story lines practically write themselves.

The conventional wisdom is that I've been basking in the afterglow of the Steelers' sixth Super Bowl victory (and my attendance at the game) and that this is the reason for my substandard KttD posting schedule.  And there's probably something to that.  But I would also add – to my great shame – that I believe my excitement has been tempered to this point somewhat because this is the first year ever that I've approached the competition with some doubt in my ability to win.  I hate to say it, but it's true.  It's a difficult thing to consider that the game really might have passed me by.  But I have just spent the past few hours with Coach Vanna, and I'm more ready now than I've ever been.  I – we – have got a solid strategy mapped out and I believe in the strength of our songs.  The story on Saturday and Sunday may be that of the young turks poised to dominate the next wave of bad karaoketeers.  The story on Monday will be that of the old dog who managed to learn a few new tricks.


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Jul 17 2008

get. out.

Once upon I time, I made coffee for a living.  It was the best job I've ever had, and I was really fucking good at it.  I knew most of my regular customers by name, and those few I didn't could at least count on me to get their order right without being asked.  Many of them waited until I was free to order.  "Hotrod's got it," they would say to my co-worker.  I could tell you the difference between a Full City roast and a French roast and why the people who really take their coffee seriously prefer the Full City.  I could go on about the subtle differences between the Tanzania Peaberry and the Ethiopia Yrgacheffe.  I could describe in detail exactly why Starbucks is utter shit.  Still can, as a matter of fact.

But the very best thing about that job was that I basically had carte blanche to be an asshole.  We took our coffee seriously, and we didn't suffer fools lightly.  My favorite question was when people asked me "what flavors we serve."  My response was always:  "We serve coffee-flavored coffee."  They'd protest, of course.  They always did.  "That's not what I meant."  I was unflappable.  "Oh, I know.  We serve coffee-flavored coffee."  We dumped our drip coffee if it sat too long, we timed our espresso shots, and we didn't offer flavored syrups.  Our regular – our tipping – customers knew not to ask for a blueberry latte.  As for everyone else…. well, there was a Starbucks just a few blocks away.  I gave directions on numerous occasions.  If they protested, I was authorized to invite them never to return.  It was bliss.

So it may be easy to guess where I come down on the issue of iced espresso.  It's an abomination.  The customer is not always right.  In fact, the customer is often wrong.  And in this case the customer is too stupid to realize that the barista in question is doing him a favor in trying to educate him about civilized coffee etiquette.  This is the level to which our society has devolved: a dedication to craft and quality will get you nowhere because some yuppie jackass will scream more loudly.  I just wish I had thought back then to threaten to punch my more belligerent customers in the dick.

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Jul 12 2008

what the holy hell?

The punchline here is that this…. whatever this is…. is better than the latest Superman movie and the latest Spiderman movie put together.  Meanwhile, The Dark Knight continues to garner rave reviews and generally capture the collective imagination of the populace.  It's safe to say once and for all (as if there was still any doubt) that the great superhero debate is officially over.

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Jun 22 2008

well, that happened

Three days later, we are still a little dazed after a solid week of memes.  We have no idea – none at all – why memes were selected over the Question of the Day.  The lone dissenter Mariser said it best.  "Some QotD's are clever, others interesting, but memes are neither."  The responsibility for last weeks debacle lies squarely in our court, by which we mean: we should have known better than to trust the ignorant littles with a vote.  There's a reason hotrod.vox.com has been run historically with an iron fist.  The littles can't be trusted to mind the goddamn store.  Seriously, we give yinz an inch and look what happens.  It's bedlam.  As we return to our regularly scheduled programming starting tomorrow, it's safe to say we have effectively closed the book on any future gestures toward democracy.  Rejoice, for the oligarchy has been restored.  L'État, c'est nous.

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Jun 4 2008

when i'm sixty-four

So let’s recap.  Over
the past few days, I’ve mentioned how much I enjoy Grand Theft Auto IV, Prince
and the Coen Brothers
, the bike ride around Lake Tahoe, chicken schnitzel, and
the Old 97’s.  I’ll be honest – I’m a
little disappointed this latest challenge is drawing to a close.  I enjoy challenges.  But all things must pass, and shortly we will
all be treated to another thing I enjoy: posts extolling my many virtues.

And since I’ve already listed two things I enjoy for today,
I may as well go for the hat trick.  My
first inkling was to suggest that I enjoy being sneaky and underhanded, but
that’s not really accurate.  I was
completely above board.  I took a gamble
that my challenger wouldn’t read the fine print and my gamble paid off.  Tomorrow I shall compose my final post in the
“my favorite things challenge.”  Per the
conditions of our agreement, Jodi is required to compose a post extolling my many
virtues on Friday.  And per the nature of
our agreement, that post is the only one permitted on her blog for the entirety of that
day.  Fortunately for Jodi, Friday is
just an ordinary average day and is nothing special at all.  I mean, yeah it’s the anniversary of the
D-Day invasion, but the only person who cares about turning sixty-four is Paul

I enjoy outsmarting people. 
It’s one of my many virtues.  You will
read all about it on Friday, I am sure.

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