Monday, February 14, 2011

It's Called Pay It "FORWARD"

Recently I spent some time in a coffee-house drive-thru.  See, I quit drinking coffee a while back, but still "indulge" in green tea frequently for the 0.000001% of caffeine that resides in a leaf.  Even though that amount of caffeine surely does nothing to me, it's the possibility and the principle that gets me excited.  It's like a new Prince album - I should know better.  (Seriously, Prince, either start singing about weird stuff again like humping ostriches or just stop.  No one wants to hear about Jehovah's Witnesses in a funk song.)  

So on this particular day, I had this exchange with the "barista" or "teenage window kid": 

BARISTA WINDOW KID:  Your drink is free of charge today.  The person in front of you paid your tab. 

ME: Really?  Why?  

BARISTA WINDOW KID: It's just a thing people do sometimes.  One person will pay someone behind them's tab and then the next person will do it for the person behind them and it just becomes a thing. 

ME:  Oh.  Okay.  Well how much is the guy's tab behind me?


ME:  STREAK BROKEN!  *screeches away*

WTF?  How many frapaccinos do you need?  You got greedy man.  YOU GOT GREEDY!!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

One Little Snake, One Major Difference

Everybody should recognize these snakes.  This is an ancient Greek symbol that thousands of hospitals across the globe use as their logo and beacon of hope.  Originally said to be carried by Asclepius, son of Apollo and Greek god of Medicine, it's supposed to make you feel as though you're in the good, caring hands of professionals.  "Safe haven, weary spirits.  Enter these doors and you shall be healed".

There's just one problem:  That's not Asclepius' staff.  It's a common mistake that many hospitals make.  This is Asclepius' staff:

Big deal, you say.  So there's one snake instead of two.  Close enough.  I see what you're saying there, except that the staff with one snake represents healing and medicine and the other is what Hermes carried while transporting dead souls to Hell.

OOPSY!  Don't go to that hospital, they don't pay attention to detail!  

"Scapel.  Wait, this a toaster.  Ah, close enough."  

I've been a mythology nerd since I was a little kid.  People say there's no use for mythology in real life and that I'm wasting my time reading about it.  Not useful?!  I can think of one use: Not dying!  Holy crap, which one would you rather see while getting gurneyed to your heart transplant?

"Sonny, why are you putting gold coins on my eyes?"    
If there are any mythology dorks that want to explain to me that I'm wrong about this (yes, I know that Hell and Hades are two different places), please send me an email to  BOOM!  Nerd on nerd aggression!)

Ascelpius staff from:
Hermes staff from:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Kindergarten Ruined My Life/Marriage Pizza

Remember how in kindergarten they split the grade up between morning classes and afternoon classes?  One group of kids went to school in the morning and then went home and then another group of kids came in during the afternoon and finished off the day.

I blame my entire slacker existence on the fact that I was an afternoon student.  What does this teach you?  "Oh, it's okay kids.  You can sleep in until noon.  Give up on success right now!"  All the afternoon kids were haggard from staying up late and over-sensitized from watching The Price Is Right.  Meanwhile all the morning students became NASA scientists and Nobel Prize winners.  All because of the toss of the dice. 

I was an afternoon student.  I am currently sitting in a Red Roof Inn in Lansing, MI, after doing a comedy show for 20 people in a room that looks like an old roller-skating rink.  Screw you, afternoon classes!  I coulda been a contender! 

Morning classes
Afternoon classes

Happy kindergarten picture from:
Scary kindergarten picture from:


On a brighter note: 

I really love being married.  It's the best thing to ever happen to me and I'm enjoying every minute of it.  The problem is that there's a lot of people that are just dying to squash your happiness, especially when it's new like mine. 

"Are you married?"  

"Why yes, I just got married four months ago!" 

"Oh.  SORRY.  I was married before.  I got divorced." 

Oh, well, I'm sure it had nothing to do with your glimmering attitude there, Tony Robbins. 

It's like I had a piece of pizza and then had this exchange:

"I really love this pizza!" 

"I had a pizza once.  I dropped it.  And someday you'll drop yours too!"  *ominous finger point*    

Well, no.  I've got it right here.  Totally holding onto my pizza.  See, here it is.  I'm sorry that mine's made out of sunshine and kickass and yours was apparently black tar and skunks.  But I guess an inability to accept happiness in others is something you were never really good at.  Now if you'd excuse me, I have an episode of Fraggle Rock to watch with my wife.

Unrelated but awesome pizza

 Pizza photo from:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Music Blog #2 - Hair "Metal"

Normally I'm against labeling music.  Well, to a degree, at least.  I think that labels are necessary on a rudimentary level.  I love punk rock.  It has to have a name, otherwise I'd have to say "I love the music where the guys with the spikes go 'arghhh' with the bopping and booping."  And that would make me sound like Bill Cosby.  No good!

My problem is with the micro-managing of genres.  It is rampant in the age of the internet.  I started reading about some kind of music called "dream pop", which lead me to an article on Wikipedia about "shoegaze", which then lead me to "space rock".  If you let yourself get sucked in, you'll follow a never-ending rabbit hole of ridiculous names for music.  "Cybergrind", "powerviolence", "twee pop" and "donk" (otherwise known as "bouncy house").  These are all real genres and it seems to be super hip to come up with the most confusing variations.  If someone were to dangle me over the Grand Canyon and say "Explain the difference between 'thrashcore', 'crossover thrash' and 'bandana thrash' or you're dead" then I guess I'm going out Wile E. Coyote style.  "One's the thrashiest?  Noooooooooooooooooooo!"  *SPLAT*

Which leads me to the dumbest and most inaccurate genre label of them all: "Hair metal."  Warrant, Poison, Bon Jovi.  These bands are not heavy metal.  What's metal about poofy hair and blush?  Metal is supposed to be scary and it's supposed to be gross.  You're supposed to wonder if they're satanic, not if they're your baby sitter.  No sir, hair bands don't get to be called metal anymore.  From now on, they will be called "emo".  Think about it, it's really what they've been all along.  It's the exact same people, just 25 years removed.  They both wear make-up, have horrible hair and sing schmaltzy high-school grade lyrics. What's the difference?  One shopped at Claire's and one at Hot Topic.

1986 - Poison
Today - Davey Havok from AFI

I feel like there still might be some resistance to my "hair bands are not metal" statement.  So allow me to hammer home the point in pictures: 

This is a metal band:

Immortal -

This is your sister:

Unknown band

These people will eat your liver: 

Celtic Frost -

This man will teach you Tae Bo: 

Unknown band

This is a human skull: 

Satyricon -

This is a fire extinguisher:

Unknown band

Here's the final say in whether or not a band is metal:  Would you take them to fight an orc?  Black Sabbath?  Yes.  Iron Maiden?  Yes.  Motorhead?  Lemmy actually is an orc, so absolutely.  Motley Crue would hide and feather their hair.  Cinderella would suffocate on their own spandex.  Stryper might convince the orc they're bees for a second and then he'd eat them.  So stop calling yourself "metal", hair bands.  Metal bands are Lord of the Rings.  You're Legally Blonde.