Friday, November 25, 2011

Fell on Black Fridays

In trying to figure out what to do with my morning, like many American men the day after Thanksgiving (colloquially known as Black Friday), I have been awake for about an hour and a half and spent almost that entire time watching the cinematic monsterpiece Santa with Muscles. The plot is, essentially, that an evil millionaire (played by Hulk Hogan) gets amnesia, forgets who he, believes himself to be Santa Claus, and then gives a bunch of gifts to people at the end of the movie including a telescope to a young girl who doesn't know how to use it and a lawnmower to a 60-year old black dude. Where are ya on that one, Roger Ebert? That's what I thought...

All that being said, I will not be going shopping today. I am not much of a Christmas gift shopper and prefer to do most of it from the comfort of my underpants and an internet connection. That sounded strange. Yes, I know it's not as personal as going to a store, picking something out, fawning over it, getting excited that you think your older sister or dad or girlfriend or whomever will really like it, and all that jazz. I don't care. Besides, I don't havemuch money right now because some 9 weeks after I stopped working for THIS DUDE (whose website has been redesigned and looks like it is now angelfire ready and is rife with spelling and grammar errors), I still have not received all of the moneys owed to me. It's a disaster. A nightmare. And I am *this* close to dissin' him on the internet, no matter what BigLegs Beyonce tells me I shouldn't do. Maybe I should say his name, say his name. And you probably didn't think you were gonna get two Destiny's Child references in one blog, did you? It's a Black Friday bonanza! Two-for-one on Destiny's Child references! These deals are on FIRE!

So back to my point... I am avoiding shopping as much as I can today. I live close to the Green Hills mall and while I haven't even ventured all the way down my hallway yet, I can only imagine what a disaster Hillsboro Pike is right now. I'm scared. Hold me. One might also think that I would be job searching all day today but let's be honest: who here, outside of the world of retail, is at work today? Not too many folks, I would imagine. And certainly no hiring managers. Which means that no new jobs have been or are being posted these past few days. I'm pretty good at interneting, you guys.

But for you rabid consumers out there and for any big box store marketers (that's a job, right?), I can hear you saying, "Why don't you just put it on your credit card and pay it off later?" Because I don't like credit cards and the only reason I have one is for an emergency. I use it only for an emergency so much so that I picked the most embarrassing design that my bank had so that I would be ashamed to use it.
Yup. Kitten in a field.

So here's my advice to specific groups of people this morning:
  • Former boss: PAY ME.
  • Shoppers: Stay home. Enjoy the day with friends and family.
  • Retail workers: Smile and be nice. Yes, this day sucks more than anything has ever sucked in the history of things sucking but at least you're working.
  • Hiring managers: Hire me.

  • I know I could have succinctly summed that up right at the beginning but that wouldn't have made for much an entry, now would it? And you would have missed out a picture of a kitty kcredit kcard. And some awesome alliteration.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Thanksgiving, Bacon, and Meat Dresses

    Ah, Thanksgiving. What should be the one day of the year where EVERYONE is a Detroit Lions fan, we can all eat as much as we want to, and putting bacon on, well, everything seems like a very good idea. Anyone who says Thanksgiving is all about the turkey is an idiot. Thanksgiving should be all about the bacon. BACON BACON BACON. I just posted a picture of Kevin Bacon appearing in Hollow Man just to prove to everyone that no matter how much you may hate Bacon [sorry, Sue], you still love bacon.

    Good God, I'm good.

    Seeing as that I am not going home (that's Michigan, by the way) for Thanksgiving and haven't except for the year my grandad was sick when I flew first class and enjoyed a complimentary beer, I have very much depended on the kindness of friends for their hospitality and cooking... Except for the one year where Langford and I ate pizza, drank beer, and then realized that the heat in my house was out. You guys should hear me say the last part of that last sentence with a wicked Michigan accent.

    I was going to rundown a list of things that I'm thankful for. Or, happy thoughts. Things that would make Peter Pan fly. Here is where I wanted to insert a picture of all those kids from
    Hook holding up signs that read things like "Candy" and "Birfday" but the internet is being difficult with me this morning and finding that image is exhausting and I just don't want to look any longer. Instead you get the fat kid with the sword (the character's name was Thud, by the way) and there's not a snowball's chance in hell that Pan would have made him leader of the Lost Boys. Where's he gonna lead 'em? To Old Country Buffet? Actually, that sounds pretty good.

    Which leads me to my next point. Because when I think about adventures, Thanksgiving, garish outfits, dudes wearing wigs, and really bad singing, I think of only one thing: Lady Gaga. And wouldn't you know it, she happens to have her own Thanksgiving TV special this week. Yeah, 'cause that's what I want to watch on Thanksgiving. Some chick in a meat dress. Well, maybe if it were made out of bacon. Then we'd have something.

    On a much more serious note, I hope you guys are all thankful for everything you've got. You get to read my blog which means you can read, you probably own a computer, and you have access to the internet. You're probably sitting in your home or at work (which means that, unlike me, you have a job); both of which mean that you have a place to live and the means to afford a place to live. Maybe you're at a coffeehouse which means you've got enough expendable income and time to go to a coffeehouse. You're probably doing something that you're good at or at least would like to be good at and so you may be following your dream or your passion or your whatever motivational word inspires you. Also, you're probably starting to think about getting gifts for friends and family and all of the shopping that you may do Friday. Unless of course you work at Target and in that case, your Black Friday workday starts at 9pm on Thursday night. You're probably getting into the holiday spirit and you may have already put your Christmas tree up. And even though there are plenty of things that suck in life aside from Lady Gaga's Thanksgiving special and the fact that Nickelback is playing the Lions' halftime show (unless a miracle happens, you're still better off than Kevin Bacon was in Hollow Man.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    What kind of jobs I will not do and a $10 billion guarantee*

    It has been 8 weeks since I stopped working full-time. Frankly, I am amazed at how little money I have been able to survive on. And that I am able to end sentences with prepositions. And that I am able to start sentences with the word "and". And that I just started and ended a sentence with a word "and". And I did it twice in a row. Man, communicating is neat.

    Of course, I haven't been doing nothing in these past 8 weeks. I have gone back and forth with my former employer about money that's owed to me; a situation that has offered all of the drama of a WWE (formerly WWF) plot line. I have worked some freelance gigs. I have worked part-time hither and yon. I have interviewed with some great companies and some not so great companies. I have explored some new opportunities outside of the world of human resources. Which leads me to the point of my blog today.

    What kind of jobs I will not do.

    It's easier for me to start with the negative. On Saturday, someone told me that I need to be more optimistic but that can wait a bit. Besides, I'm going to use the proximity effect on this blog. You'll come away feeling all romantic and thinking about how much you love me and would want to hire me. Especially if you're a lady.

    Okay... Number one job I would not do:
    -- Waiter. Seriously. Can any of you guys see me as a waiter? A surly bartender perhaps but no
    t as a waiter. Unless it was at a place like Dick's or Applebee's where the servers are paid to be jackholes to you. I'm not above the food service industry by any stretch of the imagination (I used to work in a pizza joint and at Taco Bell when I was in high school) and I don't think that I was particularly good at either of those jobs.

    -- Computer Salesman. I actually interviewed about two and a half years ago for this very position but it turns out that the company wanted me to telemarket ink and toner cartridges. That doesn't sound like fun at all. I know, I know... Work is called "work" and not "super adventure puppy time" for a reason but I don't think I'd be very good at this either. Unless (and this is a BIG unless) Charlton Heston was my boss and I was only pretending to be a computer salesman. Then I'd be willing to listen. If the U.S. government happens to be reading this, give me a call. If Dell happens to be reading this and wants to speak with me about an inside sales role, I must politely decline.

    -- Male Escort. Although, I guess I could parlay my experiences into writing a book. What?! You mean it's already been done?! Okay... Definitely throw that out the window. By the way, when googling "male escort service nashville" you don't get many quality results. I can help with that. I understand search engine optimization a bit.

    Pretty much everything else is fair game.

    I'm finding it hard, though, to fill the days. I spend lots of time networking online, applying for positions, doing phone and in-person interviews but haven't landed just yet. And, let's be honest, there's only so many jobs available and so many jobs posted online. So I've got to fill my days somehow. For instance, I have spent this morning looking for jobs (FIRST THING I DID!!!), blogging, and have progressed regressed to watching Twilight: Vampire Hugs in my underpants:

    If that doesn't get your hearts racing, hiring managers of the world, I don't know what will.

    So, in closing, if you are looking for someone who understands human resources, recruiting, social media as something that is actually useful and (simultaneously) totally ridiculous, search engine optimization (if you guys link to my blog, I guarantee that you will get $10 billion*), content creation, floral delivery, kicking ass at Jeopardy!, and a whole host of other things, get at me. I'm all about engaging. Especially the engaging that's done at the end of this Twilight: Vampire Hugs movie.

    Did I just gave away the ending? Oh, well.

    Job leads are appreciated.

    *10 billion guarantee not guaranteed.

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011


    Holy cow... A whole heap has happened in the past whenever it has been since I updated my blog.
    - That Kardashian (What's her name? Kitty?) got divorced.
    - Ben Gibbard and Zoey Deschacan'tsing got divorced.
    - I got divorced from my job.

    What? I know, I know. I think that if it weren't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all. But at least I'd have burritos.

    So, in mid-September, I lost my job. This is due to the fact that I hadn't been paid by said job in several weeks and had begun looking for new opportunities with companies that were going to, what's it called, pay me on time. This got back to the owner of the company and out I was, lickety split. How many times do you think you're going to read "lickety split" on the internet today? Probably not many. And for those of you wondering, I have still not been paid money owed to me. I know that in the midst of a job search, you're not supposed to speak badly about a former employer and I haven't mentioned that company's name once. But you get the point.

    So, over the course of the past six weeks, I went on tour with my roommates' band (and their new single called">"Better Life" is available on itunes today), I went on some interviews, and I went running most every day. And, frankly, I'm surprised on how
    little money I've been able to survive on.

    I've also ended a few sentences with prepositions. I live on the edge. But
    not like Steven Tyler. That dude lives at the hospital... With all of the falling that he does.

    What? He does.

    So, after interviewing with a few companies thus far, I am asking you, the internet, to help me find a job. What am I looking for? Well, I'm glad you asked:

    - A company that will pay me on time. This means a company that says "We will pay you on the 15th and 30th of every month" and then actually do it. If it's a company that says "I/We promise to pay you just as soon as we can" then they can kiss my Irish backside. I'm 31 years old and I'm, well, too old for that.
    - A non-family owned company. I don't want to meet the owner's/owners' kids. I don't care about their soccer practice. I don't care if they got a new bike for their birthday. I'm happy to chat with you about those things for just a second or two but not much more. The company is paying me to do a job, not talk about Umbros. Those are soccer shorts, by the way.
    - Growth. I don't want a job that wants to move me just to move me. I worked for a company like that once. It wasn't awesome.
    - An open environment. If you want me to just hang out in my office all day, I'm probably going to be bored. If you want me to bounce ideas off of people, we can talk.
    - A non-sales position. I don't want to sell life insurance. What man grows up to think, "Man, I'd really like to get my Series Whateverit'scalled License so I can sell insurance"? No one awesome. Except for that Bill Porter guy (portrayed by William H Macy) in that one TNTBS movie. He was pretty awesome.

    We can talk about salary later.

    So if any of my friends have leads, let me know. I look good in a suit and know how to match my socks. If either of those helps.

    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    The thing about Adele is...

    Quick. Stop and think about the most divisive thing that you can think about. There are likely to be several standard answers:
  • Religion
  • Money
  • Whether or not it's okay to drink alcohol (it is)
  • Politics
  • Politics 2: Obama Bugaloo
  • The list could go on and on. And on. And on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.

    There's a movie that came out years ago called What About Bob?. It's sheer piece of genius and
    was released before we all realized how awesome of an actor Bill Murray really is. In that movie, Bob Wiley (Bill Murray's character) says a line akin to the following:
    "There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who love Neil Diamond and those who don't. My ex-wife loved him."
    Okay, so not akin. That's exactly what he says.

    But it's true. And the more someone hangs out in Nashville (because all I do is hang out everywhere all the time sit at home in my shorts) the more likely they are to get infuriated with someone else's musical tastes. By the way, my musical tastes pretty much suck so I can make claims like this. I mean, at what point in time does genuinely liking Air Supply no longer not count as a guilty pleasure and just become genuinely liking Air Supply? Whatever that point is... that's where I am.

    Bearing all of the above in mind (especially the GIF of the Prez dancing), I submit to the three of you who read this that Bob Wiley was really onto something. But in order to raise my readership from three to perhaps four or even five (*gasp!) people, I'm gonna bring this shit up-to-speed. Ladies and gentlemen (but especially ladies because all of you dames seem to like her), I submit to you the most divisive, polarizing, splitting-uppiest figure in music today:
    Adele. If you don't feel like watching the video, turn on your radio and wait about 20 minutes. You'll hear the song.

    Now before you ladies guys hang me let me say that this broad can WAIL. Seriously. Pipes for days. A voice we haven't heard since... dare I say it? Aretha Franklin.

    But let's dissect this song for a second. Or two. Or however long it takes me to finish writing.
    Chick meets boy, boy dumps chick, chick pines for boy for the next four minutes of the song.
    That's it. Actually, that was pretty quick.

    What pisses me off about this song, and Adele in general, is that every single one of her songs is exactly the same. It's like a remix CD of that "Macaroni" song or whatever it's called... You know... The one with the dancing and shit? But beyond the theme of her latest record I'd like to think that Adele is probably some murderous stalker. I used strikethrough so I can't get in trouble for libel. It's true. Look it up.

    Follow me the analysis of the chorus:
  • "Never mind I'll find someone like you." = "I've done this before."
  • "I wish nothing but the best for you, too." = "I hate you and I'm gonna kill you while you sleep."
  • "Don't forget me, I begged, I remember what you said." = "I recall everything you did, every trip we took, every date we went on, every time we talked about soccer football and even have a doll made out of your hair that I keep in a shrine that I made for you in my closet."
  • "Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead" = "Remember 6 seconds ago when I sang about killing you? I'm still going to do it and it's not going to feel very good... MUCH LIKE WHAT YOU DID TO MY HEART YOU DUMB STUPID MAN!"

  • And that's just her current hit single. Can you imagine what the rest of the album including the deep cuts (see what I did there?) sound like? Yes, you can. Because they all sound like that.

    I don't know anything about the music industry. I don't know how to make money in/off it but I never really tried to in my defense. I don't know anything about writing a hit song except for that the I-VI-IV-V chord progression still sounds really good. Hell, I don't even know if I have clean socks to wear today.

    So, in closing, I hope we have learned that dating Adele would probably be a bad idea because if you break up with her she may shoot you out of a cannon. She's got money. She can probably afford to do that sort of thing. I heard that she is also moving to Nashville. I'm staying away.

    Man, I want some pancakes.

    Sunday, September 4, 2011

    I used to play music. I don't play music anymore.

    Read this, don't read this. I don't care.

    It's shortly after 10:00pm on a Sunday. I'm sitting in my new home (I moved, everybody!). I won't tell you where, exactly, but let's just say that the house is called "Warfield" (crap) and the word "TRON" is spelled out in big block letters on a wall in our hallway. See? I wasn't lying. It's also a holiday weekend which means that I have tomorrow off of work. I've got plans. But, as someone much more quotable than I once put it, the best way to make God laugh is to make a plan. That may have not been their exact words. I'm bastardizing it, I know. I've also had a beer or two this evening and I'm watching the Detroit Tigers in a blowout right now. I really know how to party. I mean, really.

    Seriously. Super hard.

    In the past four plus years, my musical output has been minimal. I mean, a few guitar parts on friends' recordings here, a few vocal lines there. Nothing, really. I used to play guitar in a band called Death Comesto Matteson. Someone made a video once. This is what the video looks like:
    Some people liked the music we made. I did at the time. I haven't listened to it since my rather unceremonious exit some years ago. I'm not pointing fingers or placing blame. I'm too old to care. I am.

    A few months ago, my computer crashed and died. I swear this all has a point. Trust me. And when it did, I lost pretty much everything I hadn't backed up to my external hard drive. This was years' worth of music, including the stuff that I had from the aforementioned band. My iPod had crashed several months beforehand and thought that all was lost. How wrong I was. Upon cleaning / unpacking part of my room today, I came across my old iPod and, miracle of miracles, it worked. I spent the better part of the afternoon ripping music off of my iPod and putting back onto my computer.

    And with new discoveries of old adventures comes a sense of nostalgia. Do I wish that I was still playing music? Sure, I suppose. Do I wish that I was doing something other than writing in a blog for my creative outlet? Definitely. Do I wish that I was as funny as Animals Being Dicks? Without a doubt. Now, for those few of you who may be holding out for a Death Comesto Matteson show, I wouldn't expect anything anytime soon from a full band. I could be wrong. Peter and I don't hang out very much anymore. I haven't talked to Wayne or Mike since 2006. I see Jozeph about once a year out and about. None of this is really my concern. I was just a guy playing guitar. Mediocre at that. And that's not modesty. Seriously. Did you guys listen to the guitar work on that video? That's me. For better or for worse.

    So, in the past few years I guess I have been searching for a creative outlet. And in the past few years, I have made some videos and have posted them on youtube. Some of them are funny. Some of them are serious. Some of them are a mixture of the two. It's not making music. It's not performing. I'm not going to break a string on stage. I'm not going to have my amp burn out on stage (Rocketown, 2006). I'm not going to throw up before I play Wall Street in Murfreesboro (it happened once). But it's what I've got. One's not better than the other but one's what I've got right now.

    Well, that and a Flip camera.

    My friend Andy and I were hanging out tonight and we were talking about creative outlets. Yes, all of the things mentioned above were covered. And then, as people who are much more creative than I am are seemingly prone to do, he challenged me to come up with a subject for a video. Not to make one just to come up with a subject. No due date. Not for credit. Just whatever I want. Of course, this means that I would have had to find my Flip camera which in my move to Warfield had seemingly disappeared. And given my luck earlier in the day with finding my old iPod, I didn't expect to find my Flip camera this evening. Shows what I know.

    I'm dusting off my Flip camera. I'm dusting off my shitty video skills. I'm just going to start filming. We'll see what happens.

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Best of Nashville

    It's a slow week at work for me. I would be losing my mind due to boredom if itweren't for the fact that I am largely occupied with my move to Warfield (it's in Green Hills where I think I'll really fit in) and watching Six Feet Under (which has made me throw up twice in the past two nights). I also tend to get stoked about the little things. Shiny objects, clean socks, seeing Chewbacca play a harmonica. You know how it is. By the way, I just downloaded that song and will be singing it for the rest of the day. I hope you will, too. Why? Well, because that's what friends are for.

    But back to the little things.

    The Best of Nashville poll-thing-buyyourvoteswithkissesandhugs is now available. And, like any good, decent, red-blooded, American
    male, I went and voted. If you don't vote, you can't complain. That's my theory. And I am one hell of a complainer. Of course, this is also coming from the man who wrote himself in for Sheriff of Wayne County, Michigan, back in 2004. I received exactly one vote. And with me being perpetually 12 years old (I'm the person that couldn't order a Large Banana Shake from Sonic last Monday night without laughing), I decided that in order to cover all of my bases today by blocking out the boredom, voting, and personally amusement, I would make the Nashville Scene my victim. That makes me sound like a serial killer. It shouldn't but it does. English is a tricky language. I know. I've been speaking it for a while now. So, on to my results for this year's Nashville Scene Best of Whatever I felt Like Voting for... In picture form. Because everyone likes pictures. Except for Chewbacca playing the harmonica. Don't be an ass. He's blind.

    And those, friends, are the highlights of this year's Best of Nashville Scene poll.

    Yes, Best Local Men. I am large. I contain multitudes. That's Hemmingway.

    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    The Jean Situation

    I know how pissed you guys get (NICK!) when I don't update my blog on a regular basis. The reason why is that I'm busy. I have things to do. Like update my twitter. And travel across the country.

    At any rate, I got a text yesterday evening from my friend JT. JT is tall and can wear dark jeans. I, however, am short and anytime I try to do the dark jeans look, or the white tennis shoes look (I tried it one time, shut up), or the - God
    forbid - sports look (this would be all encompassing of things related to sports: basketball shirts, football jerseys, baseball jerseys, and the ever douchey MMA apparel), I fail. Miserably. And I don't mean like the internet tells you how things fail. I mean for real fail. And failing at wearing wearing MMA style apparel in the vein of Ed Hardy is saying something. I mean, just look at the shirts to the right here. It looks like the walls of a tattoo parlor vomited cotton that informs us that "LOVE KILLS SLOWLY". As a marketing idea to myself, maybe I should inform Ed Hardy that while love may indeed kill slowly, bullets do not, which is what I think of when I think of MMA dudes. "Oh, I'm big and strong and can kick your ass with an ancient Brazilian fighting technique." Yeah but can you stop a bullet? Nope. Didn't think so.

    What was I talking about here?

    Oh, yeah. Jeans and fashion. That's right.

    Now those of you who know me in real life know that if I were to make a list of my passions and interests, fashion would not be on there. I'm sorry. I'm just not very good at it. So imagine my reaction when JT said that there was this super secret bar called The Citizen that he was going and that I should join him. Something I want The Citizen to know: I'm sorry in advance if you guys get a bunch of calls saying "Hey... I wanna be in on this super awesome secret bar" because of my blog. I get dozens (literally DOZENS) of blog readers. And anytime I have to go to a restaurant or bar that requires that I wear pants, I immediately become skeptical. No, you dummy, I'm not gonna show up in my underpants (not like that's an option anyway) but if it's ten hundred degrees outside, you can bet your ass I'm going to want to wear shorts.

    So as I was getting ready to leave my home yesterday evening and as I was desperately looking for the one pair of blue jeans that I own (I know, Sara, I know...) which I eventually found somewhere near the bottom of a pile of other stuff, I got to thinking, "Man, I really should buy another pair of jeans." But what kind?

    There's the kicker.
    - As we've discussed, dark jeans are a no go.
    - Similarly, I'd say that white jeans are out. Unless, of course, I went back to The Citizen and Lionel Richie were to be there and then I could be like "Lionel! My man! Nice fuckin' pants!" Apparently, he has been known to hang out there. I'm not kidding about any part of this bullet point.
    - Tight jeans are out. I don't want to be re-rackin' all night. Guys, you know what I mean.
    As you can clearly see, I have but a few options. A fashion challenged individual who doesn't like fashion very much and is a big fan of comfort. What to do, what to do. Do I end that sentence with a question mark? Actually, that's not really a sentence. No subject.


    As a result of having worked until almost 7 each night so far this week, which I will not be doing this evening, I haven't had the time to remedy this situation. The jeans situation. Actually, I'm gonna call it The Jean Situation. Throw some capital letters into that sucker. Now it sounds like something that would appear on the nightly news. "Tonight... A young man ignited a furious skirmish in the escalating Jean Situation." Either that or it makesme sound like an idiot from the cast of Jersey Shore who, when you look at them, kinda look like they are a combination of orange, the aforementioned Ed Hardy, and regret. The beauty of having unfettered internet access at work and the boss taking a three-and-a-half day weekend allowed me to make a little headway into The Jean Situation.

    And guess what I came across. That's right. The single greatest idea in the history of mankind. This is better than scotch, better than the designated hitter in baseball, better than the time Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopez burned down Andre Rison's house.

    It's Pajama Jeans. Seriously. Watch this commercial and then after you stop laughing and start thinking objectively you'll realize what a truly brilliant idea this is:
    Stylish? Check.
    Comfy? Check.
    Fits every figure perfectly? Check.
    Two easy payments of $19.95? BIG CHECK.

    If they make these for dudes, I am set for life. C'mon, internet... Don't let me down!

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    Teenage Wizard. *BA-BAH! It's only Teenage Wizard. *BA-BAH!

    You know what I'm really good at? Staying ahead of the curve. Think about it. Who took 2 years to get an iPhone (and only because his other phone died)? THIS DUDE. Who thinks the iPad is still a piece of shit? THIS DUDE. Who has been driving around for the past three months with his brights on because his regular beam passenger side headlight is burned out? THIS DUDE.
    When people think of me, they immediately think "early adopter". See? Despite my best efforts, I did learn something in Marketing 343 in college. Maybe it was a 200 level class. I forget. I wasn't really paying attention.

    In keeping with my lifelong ambition to be the coolest, most badass dude on planet earth, I recently made a promise to a dear friend of mine that I would... Crap... That I would finally get around to reading the first Harry Potter book after years and years and years of saying that these "have GOT to be the biggest pieces of shit ever." That's right, I make judgments of books based on their movies. You do it, too. Don't act like you're some book purist. And after seeing the first four HP (that's what kids call 'em, right?) movies, I vowed never to see any more of the movies. I could never quite figure out what Harry was doing with that yarmulke [spelled that right on the first try, by the way] on his head and I was confused from their on out.

    Now before you start breathing fire down my neck, I have two arguments for you. First, The Lord of the Rings books and movies are awesome. Secondly, The Chronicles of Narnia books are awesome and the movies look like Jerry Bruckheimer took a magical shit. There. I said it.

    So, after 4 years of people telling me how much better the books were in relation to the movies, and after 4 years of seeing the same shitty-magic-broom-field-hockey-dragon-fight-in-the-sky-and-we-can't-talk-about-this-one-dude films on the screen, I vowed never to see another film in the HP universe. And I haven't since. Everyone kept telling me, though, the movies were crap and the books were so much better. I used the "polish a turd" argument and stuck to my guns. The Harry Potter movie I saw? It was called... Uh... Harry Potter 4. I think. It was back in late 2005. It had an obvious and tremendous impact on my life.

    I told people that I needed to borrow the first book to and, as usual, the internet exploded with my relenting to the world of Hogwart's. Then... the comments, text messages, and phone calls started rolling in... All about how things really don't get going until the fourth book.

    Wait just a damn minute.
    Here I am, hanging out in Nashville all by myself, thinking I'm gonna get off easy on this assignment of only having to read the first TeenageWizard [if you're not singing the hook to "Baba O'Riley" you will be soon] book and then I find out that the first half of the series is "kinda boring". You know how to get me hooked on a book series? By telling me that the first 3 of them are "kinda boring". That's the best thing to do.

    See? Soon.

    Lo and behold, the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2 is tomorrow in London. Coupled with the aforementioned promise of reading the first book and how much of an early adopter I am, I decided that now is as good a time as any to read it. So, last night, I sat down. And started reading. And I read the first half of the first TeenageWizard and this is what I've gathered so far:
    - Harry's magic parents are dead and he used to live in a closet then went to a lighthouse where a magic giant told him to go magic school and then bought a bunch of magic supplies and then he got on a magic train and ate some magic candy and then wore a magic hat at magic school.

    There. I just saved you who haven't read it two long, nudity-free hours.

    No dragons, no unicorns, no lightning from fingertips like in Star Wars. This better start getting good soon - I'm gonna try to tough it out for a couple more books. But if it doesn't get better, I'm gonna give you guys a whole heap of "I told you so"s. Is that how you pluralize that? I don't know. And you know what the last thing you guys want from me? Yeah... a whole heap of "I told you so"s. Well, that and you probably don't want nude pictures of me either. But don't worry, 'cause this is Harry Potter and there ain't none of that.

    So far...

    Also, please don't kill me, Colby Pitts.

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    Soccer and pictures of women with short hair. Still interested?

    One of the things they taught me in Blog Writing 101 is to grab attention with a headline. If there's anything that I know about America, which is quite a bit actually, it's that Americans love soccer.

    What not to love?
    You get to run around for like an hour and a half, kick a ball, eat some orange slices at halftime (because that's what gives you energy), drink some pop or soda or Coke or whatever it's called wherever you live, and then fall down and roll on the ground when someone touches you. I know, I used to play the game. No. Not professionally. The only thing that stopped me from getting drafted? Not playing in college. The only thing that stopped me from not playing in college? Not playing in high school. The only thing that stopped me from playing in high school? Being short, fat, and not having much talent. Other than that, I was the next Pele. He played kickball soccer right?

    The older that I get, however, the more I appreciate the sport. I actually went to a(n exhibition) match at LP Field earlier this year. And, yes, I actually paid 60 of my own hard-earned USA
    Fun Bucks to go to the match. The US men's team was playing some other country that had really good Mexican food. What? Don't all countries in Central and South America eat Mexican
    food? What?! C'mon... Tell me how that was insulting. I dare you. Panama? Paraguay? Paris? Is Paris a country? It was one of them there places.

    For as little as I know about men's soccer, I know even less about women's soccer. I can literally sum up what I know about women's soccer in two pieces of information. The first is, obviously, the cinematic tour de force Bend it like Beckham. Shut up. It's good. Shut up, again. I own it on DVD. Also, there was this one time where this chick scored a goal, took her jersey off and ran around the field and had her jubblies all a flubblin' and Queen started to play. Here's proof:
    You know, if more soccer games were like that, I'd probably watch more of them. You would, too. Don't lie.

    Apparently this happened at something called the World Cup. From what I understand this is a very big deal in the kickball soccer world. Like the Olympics and like that time I went on a date, it happens about every 4 years and everyone acts like they care. Quick, without cheating, when was the last time you watched a women's soccer game? That's what I thought.

    And that brings us to the present. As I type, the US women's soccer team is up on everybody's favorite underdogs, the North Koreans 2-nil. "Nil" means zero. Maybe in that crazy Parisian language. I don't like being a translator. Since it's shaping up to be a rather slow afternoon at work and I have ESPN in my office, I've got the game on. I'm also (*plug) listening to David Comes to Life by Fucked Up. Sometimes my job is pretty sweet. The only thing that I can think of, however, is how much the North Korean women all look like North Korean men:
    Good luck sorting 'em out.

    So that got me to thinking: "Why do all the North Korean soccer playing women have short hair?" Does Kim Jong Il hate ponytails and freedom? The answer, as it turns out, is YES. To both. North Koreans of both sexes [hey! that's a palindrome!] are encouraged to cut their hair short "in accordance to the socialist lifestyle." I can't make this shit up. Actually, I probably could. But this time I'm not.

    I'm in my office, wearing my freedom shoes, drinking my freedom water, and typing on my freedom MacBook, and all I can think about is these women with short hair. Some people call that a fetish. I call it normal. I mean, it's like if someone tells you not to think about your parents having sex, what's the first thing you're gonna think of? If you said anything else other than "my parents having sex", you're a lying commie bastard. Also, if your parents are dead and you were thinking that, that makes you either disgusting or a big BIG BIG fan of zombie love.

    And this all started out with soccer.

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    Craigslist and career searchers

    You know what's sexy about my job? Everything. Really. Stop and think about it. I have my own office. I work half days on Fridays. I get emails in the middle of the night that I am expected to respond to first thing in the morning when I wake up and I steal my neighbor's internet signal while sitting in my underpants (today my underpants are Homer Simpson with a Duff beer) and watching Scarface. I don't think I'm allowed to 'get' this movie because I'm not a hiphop artist and it is no longer 1983. By the way, when I did a google image search for Scarface, I came across a piece of fan-art that was the Scarface movie poster but it had Homer Simpson on it instead. I think that might have been a bit too on the nose for this entry.

    One of the tenfinity projects that I am working on right now is a temp-to-perm telemarketing position. See, I told you my job was sexy. Recruiting and hiring telemarketers? You bet! If you've ever tried to hire a high volume position, you know that if you can get the applicant to show up for the interview and they don't drive their car through the front of your office building then chances are they are going to get the job. That's not a knock on the applicant, just a knock on the job. I wouldn't want to do telemarketing. You probably wouldn't either. I am going to let you in on a little secret: the best way to get applicants for a high volume position is to run an ad on craigslist. And, oh, the emails you will get.

    And get.
    And get.
    And get.

    I've been emailing back and forth with one candidate over the past two days; most of the time it has been while I'm wearing clothes. This morning, however, that was not the case. And what kind of email would prompt a response from me in pure underpantsian bliss? One that read the following:
    "Stephen, I don't have a resume. I'd probably just quit the job anyway. Thank you, Miranda."

    The first part doesn't bother me too much. Not as much as, say, Cher sitting on a battleship. I've talked to plenty of executives who don't have a resume. The second part [remember when she wrote "I'd probably just quit the job anyway."?!?!?!?!?!?!] probably won't inspire me to reach out to this candidate any further. And to think that she was merely a didn't-crash-her-car-through-our-front-office away from getting hired.

    By the way, what the hell is Robert Loggia doing in Scarface anyway? His real name is Salvatore and he's Italian-American. He's about as Hispanic as I am. Repeat that previous statement and insert just about anyone else's name: F. Murray Abraham, Al Pacino, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, etc... and the effect remains the same. It's like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves with the lack of British actors. Screw you, Sean Connery is Scottish.

    I know that times are tough. The economy has been swirling the toilet for a few years now. I know that people are having a hard time finding a job. I also know that if the only requirement for getting a job was not crashing a car through an office window, which in the case of finding a few telemarketers to work on the north side of Nashville it pretty much is, it should be pretty easy to find a job. As a professional recruiter (and judging from the tone of this entry, you can tell how fuckin' profesh I am), I would recommend not communicating to a recruiter or hiring manager that you would probably just quit. Not the smartest move. The only thing it's going to make them want to do is just roll over and go back to sleep in their underpants. Trust me. I'm an expert on these things.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Desert Eyeland

    My friend JT came up with an idea to list your 10 Desert Island Albums. I'm almost amazed at how many of these have remained constant on a similar list for me for as long as they have.

    I was originally going to post a picture of the album cover with every entry. That being said, is shitty for coding and it gets to be a nightmare, so I am posting a link to purchase the records on iTunes instead. There, I just told you to go buy songs instead of steal them. I'm not a total jerk. Here they are... In no particular order.

    Thin Lizzy - Dedication. I know, it's a greatest hits album and all. I would have picked Jailbreak over this if, and only if, the track "Dedication" was not assembled by former members of the band from one of Phil Lynnot's demos after he died and if one could find it anywhere else. It's easily the most badass riff I have ever heard. And I'm a man who knows his riffs.

    Jimmy Eat World - Clarity. This album came out 12 years ago and it's the only thing that my generation has released that my generation still gushes about all the time.

    Portishead - Roseland, NYC Live. The best live album ever made.

    Explosions in the Sky - The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place. These guys and this record makes every other band in their genre (the post-rock instrumental whatever) look like total amateurs. I filled in on bass for a band about 10 years ago that opened for these guys and after the show I wanted sell all of my gear.

    Pearl Jam - Vitalogy. The best collection of songs that they ever wrote. Eddie Vedder can tell one hell of a story in under 4 minutes.

    Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On. People always talk about the title track being the one that they... well... you know. Best track on this record? "Please Stay". And for everyone who hates motown, I don't know if I can talk to you.

    Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary. Jeremy Enigk can't sing. These guys couldn't really play. Most of the lyrics read like Robert Smith-throwaways. But it came out 17 years ago and everyone who is making rock music these days has this band to thank for having the balls to release something this unique. This is one hell of a ringing endorsement.

    Tom Waits - The Heart of Saturday Night. If you're under the age of 25, I wouldn't even recommend trying to listen to this. I know that everyone that loves Tom Waits and who reads this blog (all 4 of you) will say "What about Small Change, or Mule Variations, or Rain Dogs?" All great in their own respect but the stories in these songs make sense to me.

    The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds. Paul McCartney once said that Sgt. Pepper's... was his band's attempt to answer this record. Think about what Brian Wilson could do if he had two good ears.

    Original Cast Recording (London) - The Phantom of the Opera. My parents went and saw this in Toronto in the early-90s and I swear my mom played this tape for two years straight. A few years later, my parents took us to see it as a family across the border. I stood and applauded at the end.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    I'm not going to reference that R.E.M song

    Ever since I saw Roland Emmerich's disaster film (that description works on multiple levels) 2012 about this time last year, I have been afraid of three things:
    #1.) Horses. If there's anything scarier to me in the world than horses, I don't want to meet it. If someone discovers dragons living underneath a caldera in Yellowstone, I bet that would be scarier. But we're talkin' real life here, folks.
    #2.) Clowns. I don't know why anyone thinks clowns are great. Think about it. When I was you're the class clown, I you always got get in trouble. When you go to the circus, people don't want to see clowns, they want to see some chick get shot out of a cannon. When you see clowns piled into a Volkswagon Beetle, I'm willing to bet that I'm not the only one who hopes that the doors have the child safety lock engaged. I know, car nuts, that VW Beetles don't have a child safety lock, but it's my fantasy where clowns get stuck and those Germans engineers can figure out how to do pretty much anything. If you look directly to
    the right you will see a picture of me if I went back in time and how scared I was. I'm willing to bet that if that picture was actually me, I would need to have my diaper changed. I look cute in overalls, though.
    #3.) The end of the world.

    Many of you who, God only knows why, read this blog know that I don't have much fear of anything; death and the apocalypse being way down on the list. Somewhere in the mid-triple
    digits for inquiring minds. Way past "asking a girl out". Way past "cleaning my room". Way past "the first 90% of Signs." So it is with much bemusement that I find myself writing about the apocalypse today.

    Living in the buckle of the Bible belt - hey! it looks like a belt buckle and it's in the Bible belt. I totally get that now! - I have seen several billboards in Nashville informing me that this coming Saturday is the end of the world. I'll save you the time of reading their really long article (I know you won't anyway) and just tell you that it's just based on some really crazy, fanatical Christian math. Or something. Christian math is cool. I won an award in sixth grade for it. It wasn't Christian math. Like, the questions weren't "If you have 7 paintings of Jesus and I have 9 paintings of Jesus and Joey has 12 paintings of Jesus, how many Jesus paintings do the three of us have altogether?" There are two answers to the question:
    #1.) The mathematical answer: 28
    #2.) Beat up Joey, split up the 12 Jesus paintings between us and sell them outside of a gas station. What makes him think he's so good, anyway?
    No... not that kind of Christian math. I meant Christian math in the way that I went to math contests with students from other Christian schools and then beat their brains out in algebra competitions.

    You know what that got me in the end? It got me into a really hard math class my freshman year of high school. It didn't get me chicks, which was hard enough to do given that I went to an all-boys prep school. It didn't earn me the respect of anyone in college. All it dead did was let me make a reference to Dead Man on Campus when I'm in my 30s.

    So, ladies... What have you got going on later? If you believe in this weekend's upcoming apocalypse, I hope it's every worldly indulgence and I hope it's with me. A man can dream...

    But, before you (dear hot single lady reader type) and I cover ourselves in green Jello and run naked through the streets because that would be both fun and sexy, we'd have to go do one thing on Fridate Friday afternoon. And that one thing? That's right... Go see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. That's right, this blog was just a crummy commercial. Just kidding. You know what... Scratch that idea. No afternoon matinee. It's on me. That's right: PRIME TIME. You, me, and a full price movie - my treat. Well, you'll think I've paid full price, when in reality I'll buy the tickets in advance on, indicate that they're for children and pay half price. Apparently, fandango is more about ticket sales then they are worrying about what kids are doing with their parents credit card and shopping online. And, out of the 20 or so times that I have done this very trick, it has only backfired on me once. The lady at Opry Mills called me out on it once. Her reprimand to me: "Don't do that again."

    Yeah, I really learned my lesson.

    Anyway, when Friday rolls around, what else would you rather do than go see that movie or worrying about what you're going to wear when Jesus shows up the next day? If you paid attention and have an adventurous spirit, you and I will be adorned in the aforementioned green Jello.

    So here's the trailer of the new P.O.T.C. film. Michael Bolton is in it. Or something. And I guess it's got some Jewish dudes in it, too.

    See ya on Friday. And the day after that. And the day after that.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Ryan Rado

    Most of the blogs that I post are about fart jokes. Sometimes, they are about wiener [hmmm... "i before e", indeed] jokes. Or about alcohol. Or things that I hate. When I'm really on it, I'll throw in a joke about Michael Bolton. It's days when I manage to get all of those things in their together that I flirt with triple digit blog views in a day. As a matter of fact, you're contributing to it right now. Hello, advertising dollars! Crap, I should install something that allows me to make some sweet cash from this here blog. How does the internet work?

    This particular entry, however, is not one of my typical blog entries.

    Ryan Rado and I met each other in 1994. To give you an idea of what that was like, chatrooms were just becoming popular, Sunny Day Real Estate (you know, that band, that all those other bands that got kinda popular 8 years ago were really into) had just released their FIRST record, and Taylor Swift was in kindergarten. 17 years later, he and I are still friends. I was in his wedding. I am roommates with him and his wife, Christina, and apparently, there's another dude who has lived in our house for the past month or so and I'm pretty sure his name is John Williams but I haven't ever had a conversation with him. At any rate, Ryan and I have a friendship that has lasted (according to a study that I just made up) about as long as most marriages. It's a good thing we're still friends and roommates because I borrowed a sweater from him a long-ass time ago and still have it. And he has my Telecaster. I want that back, eventually.
    The point is, I know this dude. He and I connect on lots of things, despite our very different personalities. One thing that he and I have always seemingly connected on is our desire to make the world a better place. I'm finally in a position to do a bit of financial good in the world. If any of you makes a crack about my New Zealand trip last year costing a bunch of money, I'll talk to you after you've done 40 weekend midnight wedding cleanups, logged thousands of miles in a van, and written 3500 trivia questions in addition to working 45 hours a week, Monday through Friday. I'm blessed (through grace, hard work, talent, and ability) to have a job that allows me to live the kind of life that I want to live. Yes, this includes my new pre-owned scooter (thanks, Patrick and Amanda). And, thankfully, I'm able to do something for someone else.

    That someone else is Ryan Rado. For those of you [hang on, I'm listening to Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" - I'll be right back] who know me or have ever stepped in Nashville, you probably know him. He has, for the majority of his life, worked through (I refuse to use the word "suffered" because what's that even mean, anyway?) several different afflictions: the most notable is Tourette Syndrome. It's real and the dude isn't faking it.

    The same night that I agreed to buy the above scooter from Patrick and Amanda at RCC3's birthday, Ryan was talking with musician/artist/videographer Ethan Luck about making a video to help him out to raise funds for his Neuro Treatment Training. Ryan has asked a few people to be in the video that they are working on: myself included. At any rate, here is the trailer that they shot a few days ago at our house:

    Go donate. That's it.

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Dear Kate Middleton,

    Dear Kate Middleton,

    About 4 mornings a week, I wake up earlier than I have to. It's just about sunrise when I do. I roll out of bed, put on my wicked awesome biking attire including my compression shirt that really does nothing to compress the excess weight just above my waist but I guess the point of that compression shirt is to shame me into working out more so that I lose the excess weight just above my waist thereby having to buy a smaller compression shirt to repeat the cycle. If that's not turning you (and any otherladies who happen to be reading this) on, I give up because I won't know what will. That's how smooth I am. "Oh, you're such a good writer!" they all say. You know what all of my wonderful writing skills have gotten me in terms of ladies? One girl read a blog entry of mine about this time lastyear, stalked me on facebook and then asked me out. When I saw about 30 pictures of her walking her cat on a leash, I nixed the idea.

    But at least I have a sweet bike. Yeah, it's a Diamondback. I've got it up to about 30 miles per hour - that's about 48 kph for you, Kate. Sure, it was downhill and wind-aided but you get the idea. It was fast.

    Yup, still single.

    Strangely enough you and my bike have something in common. I was out for my ride this morning and for some strange reason, you popped into my head. Aside from the fact that I know you're marrying the most important man in all of the United Kingdom in a week or so,
    Harry Potter Prince William, I don't know anything about you. Hell, if it wasn't for the news going absolutely apeshit [which I am surprised to find out is not a misspelled word according to the internet squiggly red line] of your impending nuptials, you'd probably be just another girl living across the ocean who has no interest in me whatsoever. Much like most of the girls here in America who don't walk their cats (she could have had more, I don't know) for recreation.

    As I was reading through my news feed, I came across this article that according to some poll or something has you listed as the 'third most beautiful royal in history'. Let me tell you why this is bullshit.

    Oh, and just be glad I'm doing this a week and a half in advance - it'll give you plenty of time to recover before your big day. And double Oh, I wouldn't kick you out of bed, either. It's just that it's my job to bring people down a notch or two.

    To my knowledge, Bill has never started a war based on your beauty, a la Helen of Troy. You know, the face that launched a thousand ships? Secondly, if the picture to the left is any indication of what you're like, Bill is (apparently) marrying some sort of metallic green fembot (it's from Austin Powers who is sorta British) with robot wheel legs. Name one thing that's attractive about that. You probably won't find a guy that's into machine gun jubblies, either. I mean, aside from King BuckTooth Prince William. Thirdly, Cleopatra VII was a babe. And unless another
    famous Bill from your rain-soaked island (I'm talkin' Shakespeare, here, sweetheart) becomes a zombie, grabs a pen and writes a play about you, I'm really not going to be impressed. As an alternative to this, if some Italian Renaissance painters reanimate and start painting pictures of you in the nude, I would be okay with this as well. Of course if either Shakespeare or Bellini or Titian or whomever comes back to life, we've obviously got bigger problems on our hands. In which case, I'm gonna go all Army of Darkness on the world. Maybe we could even have a "gimme some sugar, baby" moment. What? Too forward?

    I hope that things with you and Prince William work out, my sweet... uhh... what is a British term for "cute girl"? My... uhh... my sweet bag of Bassets Licorice Allsorts [SCORE!]. If they don't, I'm just a flight away. What? Your parents are loaded. They can afford it. And, I must decline your invitation (that you didn't send) to your wedding next weekend. I have to run around the Virginia Highlands and punch some ponies in the face with a couple of dudes after drinking too much Scotch. Mmmm... Scotch... Okay, so your island isn't a total bummer.

    You know how to reach me,

    Stephen P Bohn

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    An open letter to Jeff Miller of the OC Register

    I love hockey. I love watching it. I love playing it (even though I'm pretty bad). I figure out ways to get to friend's homes or to the pub to watch it. I'm fairly resourceful. That being said I am not, nor will I likely ever be, a Predators fan. I just have a hard time rooting for 'em. They're in the same division as my beloved Detroit Red Wings. I do love the city of Nashville and when I came across this article which was 'written' by some asshat named Jeff Miller who, apparently, gets paid to be a jerk, I was upset. While as delightful as that sounds and if someone would pay me to do it, I would, too, I can't let things slide.

    In defense of the city in which I live, I fired a slapshot right on back. If you feel so inclined, his email address is


    I'm going to preface my email with this: I'm a Detroit Red Wings fan. Born and raised in Detroit. Why is this important? You'll see...

    I don't spend much time on the internet. I know I'm way late on this whole "Trashville" article that has quite a few of my fellow Nashvillians up in arms, even a week later. In 2005, I decided that I wanted to move to Nashville, TN. As a relatively recent college graduate, Michigan's struggling economy (which, let's face it, everyone knows to be a euphemism), and the infatuation that I had developed for this fine Middle Tennessee town over the course of visiting it for the previous few years, I up and moved. I put everything I owned in the back of a Ryder truck, hitched my Ford Escort to the back of it and drove 550 miles south to Nashville. I'm not married, never have been, and was young and impetuous enough to agree to live in a friends' already full apartment. I could've moved anywhere in the world and I willingly picked Nashville. Willingly.

    I'm not much of a musician and I know almost nothing about the record industry. I'm not slinging pints of lager in the hopes that I might meet a record label guy that is going to get a copy of my demos in his head and hands and sign me to a huge deal. I'm not an athlete and didn't move here in the hopes of pulling a Vince Papale and scoring a random tryout with the Titans. I know that's a Philadelphia Eagles thing but you get the idea. I'm not a doctor and didn't move here to work for one of the many healthcare organizations in the area. I'm not a typical Nashvillian other than, like so many other young professionals who live here, I wasn't born and raised here. But you know something, Jim? I choose to stay here. And it's not because I love "Hee Haw" (I've seen it) and it's not because I love The Grand Ole Opry (I don't even like country music).

    In coming across your terribly degrading piece on this fair city which I call "home" I can say that my jaw hit the floor when I read it. The proverbial "Athens of the South" and "Music City, USA" is more than the "Trashville" you tried to portray it as. It's a place home to such learning institutions as Vanderbilt, Belmont, Lipscomb, Meharry, and Tennessee State; a place where the world's first piece of airmail was delivered; a place devastated by the Civil War only to rebuild itself; a place devastated by a major flood last year only to be in the process of rebuilding itself once again; a place that after last year's flood didn't get mad because it took several days for the federal government to respond -- the royal we took time off of work to cleanup the city, to hike to neighbor's homes to make sure that they were okay, to put on benefit after benefit after benefit to raise what money we could to get our friends and neighbors back on their feet. It's a place of education, renaissance, arts and entertainment. And your article is a desecration of all of it.

    I'm still relatively young. I'm still full of far too much piss and vinegar. I'm still in love with living in Nashville. And I'm still a Detroit Red Wings fan. It's hard to turn your back on a team that you watched grow from the days of Paul Ysabaert, Petr Kilma, and Bob Probert that couldn't make the playoffs to an organization that prides itself on winning. Sure, the Predators probably won't ever be a storied franchise like my beloved Red Wings. The Ducks probably won't either. But there's something special about this town. It's got a vitality and a spirit to it. You should check it out sometime. Sure, the accent may take some getting used to. Sure, all the honky tonks on lower Broadway make us locals roll our eyes because we only go there when our friends and family come to visit and want the 'authentic' Nashville experience. But there's so much more to explore than what CMT (that's Country Music Television, by the way) would lead you to believe.

    Preds in 6,

    Stephen P Bohn

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Twitter. What is it good for? Not music. Definitely.

    I know I said I was weening myself off of the internet. Aside from my addiction to checking for cheap flights around the world all the time, freaking outabout the first production video of The Hobbit (and everything else on that site), and posting pictures of me doing backflips into a lake in the month of April (you can find that one for yourself), I'm doing a pretty good job.

    And then there's my twitter. I still think twitter is ridiculous for the most part. I very rarely have anything interesting to say on it but find myself posting things about how awesome Rambo: First Blood still is or about zombies or how conference calls can be the death of someone. Isn't that great information?! Aren't you glad you're following me on that?! Hell, I'd hate my twitter feed if I were you.

    And there's always a "however..."

    In my attempt to step further and further away from the digital world - I'm an analog boy at heart - I've found myself wondering if I'm the only one who looks themselves up on the internet? I know I'm not. I also know that I'm fairly narcissistic and have been known to google myself from time to time. Just to see what's out there. We've all done it. But I don't think I've ever done a twitter search on myself. I don't really have time for that and the beers at the pub aren't gonna drink themselves. That little thought got me to, well, thinking. Who twitter searches their own name? And it turns out that LOTS of people do.

    "Who? What stories do you have?!" I can hear the dozen of you asking. I have two stories. That's right. Two. I'm like the buy-one-get-one-FREE of blog stories. I'm a value meal*. I'm a veritable bouquet of goodness dispersement.

    The first one happened about two months ago. I was watching TV (something I very rarely do these days, sports not withstanding) with Karen and Meg and the show Don't Forget the Lyrics was on. This show is hosted by Mark McGrath of the band Sugar Ray known for being the other really shitty band on the SugarRaySmashMouth Musical Abortion Duo Tour (if it were to exist and I'm betting that it did at some point in the mid to late 90s) and it had some dame singing along to songs. At one point in the song, all of the music and word prompts cut out and the contestant is forced to sing the next line from memory. For example, let's say "Dancing Queen" by ABBA was the song being sung by our contestant. This is sort of how the game goes... She's singing along... Laladadada...
    "You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your time of your life /
    See that girl, ___ ___ ___, ___ ___, ___ ___ ___"
    If you are much of an ABBA fan as I am or you saw that Mamma Mia!, you know that in order to continue the lyrics, advance to the next round and win the adoration of housewives across America and the momentary approval of Mark McGrath, the words you would sing would be "watch that scene, dig it, the dancing queen." I imagine you get bonus dollars or points or whatever if you do the "ba-ba-BA-BA-BAH-BAH" hits on an imaginary keyboard at the end of that line. If I were the producer of that show that's what I'd do. But I'm not. I'm just a dude with a twitter account.

    And so I took to said twitter account posting my displeasure which is a euphemism as you shall soon see with not just the show Don't Forget the Lyrics but with Mark McGrath's career in general. It was fairly innocuous, especially considering the relatively small number of followers I have in the twittersphere. Even further innocuoslying [totally should be a word], is the fact that I posted Mark McGrath's name in said tweet. Twitter has the worst words. Twitter. Tweet. Tweeted. Twatted?

    The first thing I thought was "Well, some dude on the Twitter is just messing with me." So what did I do? I found Mark McGrath's website and it turns out that it's his real account. This leads me to believe three things:
    1.) Mark McGrath actually spends time on Twitter searching his name (notice how there was no "@" symbol indicating that my twat tweet was sent directly to him.
    2.) Mark McGrath actually has no good way to follow up that hit single about traveling or sunshine or whatever-the-fuck-else-he-wrote-about 15 years ago.
    3.) Don't Forget the Lyrics has an awful lot of downtime.

    Thinking that this was just a one off fluke and remembering the end of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back where the titular (hehehe) characters get a whole bunch of money and then go beat the asses of everyone who besmirched their reputation online and was imagining Mark McGrath coming to my home and doing that very thing. I've got a reputation to uphold and, worst case scenario, getting my ass beat in by the guy who sang "Every Morning" and who starred in Father's Day would do nothing for that. Maybe make me look like more of a wimp but that's about it. Okay... So I let that one slide. Good on ya, McGrath.

    I'm not very good at learning my lesson. Never have been. Which leads us to the second story. See? I told you there was another one.

    At work, we have one radio station pumped in throughout the office. It's some country music station. 95.5? 207.3? I don't know what it's called. It's pretty terrible though. Not a day goes by where I don't hear the super sexy Leann Rimes' "Westbound Train". I've already heard it this morning. But like every other successful radio station, it's focused on hits. Hits, hits, hits, hits, hits. H-I-T-S. That's an anagram, too. You figure it out. The latest hit on the radio is this little ditty by a 'band' called Thompson Square. Trust me, if I can make it through this song 3 or 4 times a day, you can at least make it to the chorus, which for all intents and purposes is a far as you need to go to get to the point of this story. Here's the video:

    In my frustration yesterday ('cause, honestly, when am I not frustrated?), I twatted tweeted a very honest review of Thompson Square's "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?" and I managed to do it in under 140 characters. My review? Very simple: "This Thompson Square song is some bullshit." And then look what happened:
    That's right! I fired back. I figured that if I've been called out by one goatee sporting, terrible sounding singer on twitter in my life, that that was enough. I'm standing up for my rights. My right to be a jerk. My right to not telegraph choruses. My right not go get beat up by pretty dudes. My right to, if I may, party.

    So that's what twitter has done for me. Well, that and given me many a good laugh over Josh Orr getting kicked out of Paramore about 4 times. I'm still looking for some other value. Maybe that value meal* I was talking about beforehand...

    *I haven't had a value meal in a long time. Why? 'Cause all the good ones have meat in them and I (stupidly) gave up meat for Lent. Superheaven, I'm a-comin'.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Nickleblack? Kickstarkmusicfactory? Sure.

    It's been almost a full month since I've updated you, dear blog. I know that if I don't meet my at-least-one-a-month-entry quote, Nick will get mad, make fun of me that I rarely get to a second date with any girl, and call me out. Since he has a much larger blog readership and has the attention of the Christian rock market in his corner, I better do what he says. He can be dangerous when he wants to.

    Speaking of massive musical forces, in addition to Nick Baumhardt, I'm writing about two of them today. I guess that makes that three of 'em don'it?

    #1.) Kickstarter. I think kickstarter is the worst thing to
    happen to music since Chad Kroeger. And that is saying quite a bit. The sonovabitch knows song structure, though. That's no excuse for sucking. It's like when Mother Nature said to Michael Bay, "Hey, why don't you go direct Japan... Let me know how it goes."

    Okay, that was a dick move. With that in mind, I implore you to all donate to Japan. I think that brings me back up to the 4th circle of Hell. Limbo, here I come!

    But back to kickstarter. When I was fatter younger, I used to bounce around in a van from state to state and sling merch for bands. I was am a pretty mediocre musician and have largely given most of that up in my life - the slightest, tiniest, occasional bit of playing not withstanding. None of the bands that I played in or sold shirts for ever begged for money.

    Now here we are, some years later when you can set up a kickstarter account, tell people to donate to your band so that you can record with that one guy who used to play drums in These Arms are Snakes (wait, a second...), and on you go; talent, execution, and following be damned.

    #2.) Ark Music Factory. This shit is just as bad as kickstarter. Only worse. You heard me. Essentially, teen girls whose parents have a bunch of money hire this company to make a professional song and video that makes the Black Eyed Peas SuperBowl halftime show sound like Hendrix at Woodstock or that time Dylan went electric. Don't believe me (I know you do)? I'm giving you my jam of the week, anyway:

    For those of you that know me, and I'm assuming that that's most of you, save for my healthy bunch of stalkers, which could be far too many and if that's the case, I'm going into hiding and using commas far too frequently, you know I like a challenge. And I like taking things that I hate and making them into things that I love. So here's the plan: I'm gonna start a kickstarter campaign to raise funds to cover the entire Ark Music Factory catalog.

    If I can figure out how to get Chad Kroeger involved, even better. Who wants to do donate? I fuckin' swear, it's gonna be awesome. Had to edit myself there. Working my way back up to Limbo, like I said.