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 jmiller@ocregister.com.


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'.