Category: Television

Cartoon food


Have you ever made cartoon food?  I have.  Twice.  In one weekend.

Never, ever be stupid enough to let your kids influence your meal decisions.  Especially if their decision tree sprouts from cartoons.

One of the cartoons they watch – Cartoon Network’s Regular Show – had an episode that was centered around something called a “Death Sandwich.”  There’s a whole backstory to this sandwich. It involves a failed dojo – Death Kwon Do – run by a mulleted instructor in cut-off jean shorts (sort of an animated equivalent of Napoleon Dynamite’s Rex Kwon Do).  Thanks to the show’s protagonists, the dojo was shuttered, and then reborn as a pizza and sub takeout joint, because why not.  Like the dojo, everything associated with it bears an “of death” suffix (“punch of death”, “kick of death”, “sandwich of death”, “be back in 5 minutes of death”, etc.).  The Death Sandwich is the sandwich joint’s feature special.  Of course.

So naturally, my elder kid decides that it’d be a brilliant idea to make our own Death Sandwich.  But since the cartoon doesn’t explicitly explain what goes into a Death Sandwich, it was left to my kid’s observation of what needs to go into a Death Sandwich.

“Dad, this weekend, can we please make a Death Sandwich?  We gotta buy a baguette, soy sauce… You know that pink ginger you get with your sushi?  Yeah, that… And meatballs.  It’ll be so cool, Dad.”


I ran through the ingredients in my head.  I mentally hurled a little.  There was absolutely no way on God’s green earth I was going to make a sandwich out of that list because I knew there was absolutely no way on God’s green earth these kids were going to eat such a monstrosity.

My kids and I went to the DVR, huddled around the TV like bunch NFL refs and replayed the Death Sandwich-making sequence over and over again, and negotiated a slightly more palatable make up of the glorious Death Sandwich: Italian rolls, meatballs, marinara sauce, and genoa salami.

And of course, making the sandwich can’t possibly be a simple, straightforward affair.  Oh dear God, no.  Like the cartoon, I was required to make it with all the required Death Kwon Do martial arts gestures, complete with rapid-fire hand movements, hushed breathing, and the occasional “HI-YAHHH!”  Because if you’re not gonna go all the way, why bother, amirite?

Death Sandwich Comparo

Apparently, the cartoon suggests that the Death Sandwich is named so because you need “eat it right, or you die!”  That detail was not lost on my kids.  So how do you “eat it right”?

“We need to get a proper haircut, Dad.  We need to get a mullet.  Then we need cut-off jeans and…”

“Let me stop you right there, bubba.  Nothing you just said is alright by me in any way.”

[blank stares]

“Guys, you are not getting mullets.  And you’re certainly not getting cut-off jeans.  Especially just to eat one sandwich.”

In the end, they ate the Death Sandwiches without much fuss.  In fact, quite the opposite: “This is the greatest sandwich I’ve had my entire life.”  It better well be.

In the end, everybody lived.  No one died.

At least no one came close to dying.  Until the next morning, when my kids decided it was time to make bacon pancakes.  Bacon pancakes – only recently did I find out that they are likely the only breakfast with their own theme song.  Thanks to another cartoon – Adventure Time – there’s a song about bacon pancakes that’ll bore itself into your brain, lodge itself in there for all eternity, and go on infinite loop ‘til you want to shoot yourself in the head.

Bacon Pancakes

Bacon pancakes,

makin’ bacon pancakes,

Take some bacon, put it in a pancake,

Bacon pancakes, that’s what it’s gonna make,

Bacon pancaaaaaaaake![repeat a kajillion times]

You may already know this, but on YouTube, there are tons of remixes of the song, pointless exercises like 10-hour video loop, and mashup versions.  All this over a 12-second video of Jake the dog frying up some bacon in pan while singing.  All the science and engineering in the world to give us unbelievable computing power to let us create and share video content, and it always – ALWAYS! – comes back to dog and cat videos.

That morning, the Bacon Pancakes song soared out of two insane children in my kitchen NON-STOP from the minute the bacon started sizzling in the pan, to chopping up the bacon, to mixing up the pancake batter, to carefully embedding the bacon into each pancake, to scooping them off the griddle, to serving them up at the breakfast table.

Apparently, songs about breakfast can make you want to commit murder.

Bacon Pancake served

Unlike the Death Sandwich, which was practically inhaled with vigor by both kids, these much-celebrated bacon pancakes weren’t an automatic hit.  One kid gobbled up a stack, probably more thrilled that he was being allowed to live out another cartoon episode than he was with the bold flavors of fried pig fat and cooked batter.  The other kid just went, “meh” and walked off.

Like I said, murder.

And just like that, the hoopla was over.  It’s been three days and neither one has brought up either the Death Sandwich or the Bacon Pancakes again.  It’s like neither the cartoons nor the meals ever happened.  They just had to ‘em out of their system, I suppose.  That, or as I suspect to be more of the case, these ingrates have the attention span on a gnat.

But this is the last time I’m eating anything out of a cartoon.  I won’t even drink Duff beer, there’s no reason I should be eating anything that came out of an animation studio in Korea.




It should come as no surprise that my crippling Peter Pan complex has plummeted to new depths.

Several weeks ago, the missus and I went out to a movie with another couple, and when we came home, we found out that our kids had been introduced to a Cartoon Network show called “Regular Show”.  I’d never heard of it.  Mainly because my kids typically don’t watch Cartoon Network – most shows are a bit over their head, and there’s no fucking way they’re getting exposed to the Adult Swim stuff at their age.  And I’m a fucking grown up which means I don’t watch cartoons – society tells me that I ought to bewasting my life on shit like “Homeland” or “Breaking Bad” or some other  TV drama I’ve actively avoided.

But the kids started raging on and on about “Regular Show”.  That, and “Adventure Time”.  I’m savvy to “Adventure Time” and I’d watched a few episodes in the past.  The cult following that show has built up over the past few years didn’t go unnoticed.  But I’d never pushed “Adventure Time” on my kids.  First of all, the only thing I’ve ever pushed on my kids was Star Wars.  Because I’m a responsible parent, damnit.  And even so, I’ve only pushed hard on Episodes IV, V, and VI, because a) they’re the only legitimate Star Wars films as far as I’m concerned, and b) any kid who goes through life without a proper appreciation for the original trilogy means that they have horrible parents who have failed them.

Anyway, “Adventure Time”?  I get it, but I can’t be arsed.  If you watch it, you know it can get pretty fucking dark.  It’s like preschool animation of Hayao Miyazaki films.  I’m not letting my kids watch Studio Ghibli films yet.  So, I’ll let them ask for “Adventure Time” when they think they’re ready for it, and not a minute sooner.

But I didn’t know jack shit about this “Regular Show” that my kids suddenly can’t get enough of.  So before I let them watch any more, I had to watch a few episodes myself to gauge the level of appropriateness.  Responsible parent!  The 8pm time slot for the show suggested that this might not be your average “Phineas & Ferb” fare.  Or maybe it was, I had no fucking clue.

So one evening, after the kids had gone to bed, and the missus was out, I grabbed a couple of brews, sank into my couch, and watched a half-dozen or so episodes of “Regular Show”.  This is how fucking lame I have become, as a parent.  I’ve got the whole joint to myself, and what I do I do?  I sat down and watched fucking cartoons.  Didn’t even occur to me to do other sorts of cool shit I used to get up to when I had the whole place to myself – like fire up the hi-fi, make a mixtape, harass celebs on Twitter, grind out some tunes on the guitars, go wrench my bikes, work on my screenplay…  We all know I made that last one up because I realized the rest of the things I listed were all pretty fucking lame, too.  Shit, I suck so much I want to puke.

Anyway, half a dozen episodes of “Regular Show”.  Which turned out to be no big feat since each episode’s only about 10 minutes long.  But… that’s a quality 10 minutes of show there, people.  As I suspected, it’s got all the adult subtext that’s almost entirely lost on a pair of unwitting kids.

Regular Show

You could google the show, but maybe I can save you the trouble: it’s about two buddies – Mordecai, a bluejay, and Rigby, a raccoon, and their misadventures with their friends (a fat Frankenstein idiot, a ghost with hand on his head, a yeti in skinny jeans, a fancy pants gentleman with a lollipop head) with whom they work at a park run by their boss, Benson, who’s a gumball machine.  Got it?  Good.  Because that’s the completely sane part of the show.  This premise exists with no explanation whatsoever.   And there’s no need.  Every episode, something bat shit insane out-of-this-world happens to Rigby and Mordecai.  Flaming Cadillacs fly out of the sky, space babies rule the outer universe, alternate planes exist where no rules apply, trippy dreams with fanged milky midgets, dodgy smugglers with a gunpowder and salsa side business in Mexico, the list goes on.  Is that part fucked up enough for you yet?

And that’s why I’ve started watching goddamn cartoons again.  I’ve lost count of how many episodes of Regular Show I’ve watched now.  Without my kids.  Seriously, WTF is wrong with me.  But I’ll happily watch it WITH my kids.  It’s one of these nonsensical cartoons that I can watch with my kids – they’ll laugh at the literal silly stuff, and I’ll crack up at all the fucked up subtext that soars over my kids’ heads.

In fact, thanks to “Regular Show”, my younger kid crafted this whole idea on how he wanted to celebrate his sixth birthday – like this:

Nothing made this kid happier than orchestrating his own “Guys’ Night” with he and his brother – and me – spending the evening making overblown nachos and gorging on them in front of the TV, walking around in our underwear, speed-building Legos, stuffing our faces with birthday cupcakes, farting in the bathtub… and of course, watching a shitload of “Regular Show”.  Shit, if they had a palate for soda (which they don’t), they’d probably have wanted to polish off a six-pack of Mountain Dew before crashing at 4 in the morning.

And there you have it: a perfect circle.  I’m now reduced to parenting by way of cartoons.  Idiot.





Bespoke cocktail

The word “bespoke.”  I was in a bar last week that boasted “custom bespoke cocktails.”  First of all, way to be redundant.  Second, what the fuck is a bespoke cocktail?  By definition, that a poncy way of saying “we’ll mix whatever the hell you want.”  In which case, that’s like, you know, EVERY BAR.  Fuuuuuck yooooouuuuu.

“Curate” is another word.  Holy fuck is this word thoroughly misappropriated.  Almost as bad as “diva” was.  Museums and art galleries only, if that.  You don’t get to fucking curate anything else.  A butcher is not a meat curator, a DJ is not a music curator, you don’t curate Twitter feeds, none of you assholes are curators in any capacity.  Please fuck off with the curating.

Occupy Sandy“Occupy” anything.  Here’s a bonus fuck you to the assholes who wasted their meaningless lives about a year ago trying to picket Wall Street.  A lot of good that did, you fuckwads.  No one gave a shit then, and fewer than no one give a shit today.  But what’s worse is somehow this “occupy” term taking on a whole new meaning for which it was never intended.  Don’t believe me?  Look at this shit on the left.

Lena Dunham.  Holy shit, you are SUCH a bore.  If Lena Dunham is to be cultural milestone, then 2012 is the year of celebrating mediocrity.  You’re not funny, you’re not interesting, how the fuck you finagled million dollar deals out of tepid, borings ideas that no one gives a shit about is beyond me.  And frankly, I’m jealous as fuck.  Because no one’s giving me million dollar deals for any my stupid ideas.  Oh, that’s right, I don’t have hyperartistic celebrity parents like you, you charlatan.  Ugh, enough with this dummy.

Instagram is all its faux filtered tilt-shift bullshit glory.  If someone took away Instagram tomorrow, would you miss it?  Would you?  I know if someone took away my Facebook or Twitter, I’d be fucking pissed.  But Instagram?  Who gives a shit.  Instagram did one thing only – they ability to share filtered, tilt-shifted photos.  Sharing?  Any number of other platforms can do that.  Shitty filters and fake tild-shift effects?  Every other camera app can do that now.  So what’s the value of keeping Instagram around?  And they’ve now got some new policy where they can sell my photos?  Fuck that.  I just deleted my account.

Vinyl SkateboardPlastic mini skateboards.  I got my elder kid a skateboard last year.  It was brilliant – a proper skateboard with a maple deck, trucks, big bearing wheels, the lot.  Then these stupid vinyl mini-skateboards show up all over the city. All commandeered by some hipster douchebag with a gnarly beard.  It takes every fiber of my being not to throw an empty Starbucks cup in front of one of these douchebags just so see him fly and eat some curb.  Fuck off with these little skateboards, you look ridiculous.

Homeland.  If there’s one thing I can reliably count on each Monday, it’s that my Twitter feed and my Facebook page will be completely inundated with comments about fucking Homeland.  “ZOMG!!  Homeland is the greeaaatest!!!!”  “WTF!  Homeland jumped the shark!!”  I have never seen the show and at this point, I never want to.  It may be a good show, but I’ll never know for real because you fuckers have ruined it by being completely incapable of not yammering about it all day and night.

Dubstep.  Thank you all for already killing this off.  Skrillex can now go back to pumping gas in the Valley.

That Gangnam guy.  Please, PLEASE, PLEASE go away.  I hope someone takes him across the border and straps him to one of Kim Jong Un’s “weather rockets.”

YOLO.  A few years ago, when I was in the market for my first paddleboard, I nearly bought one that was Yolo brand.  Thank fuck I didn’t or I’d have to set on fire, gather up the ashes, then set it on fire again just to be sure.  If anyone ever uses the phrase YOLO to you, verbally or in writing, no judge would ever convict if you decided to stab ‘em with a rusty spoon.

Camera phone self-portraits in the mirror.  It’s the holding of the phone that’s so, so stupid.  If you must use your camera phone to take pictures of yourself, make sure it’s dick shots only (Brett Favre can help if you’re not sure).  No more self-portraits.  And I’m not even going to get into doing with iPads.

Moustache FingerMoustaches.  I don’t just mean in November (although that can fuck off, too, because all that Movember bullshit is prejudiced against those of us who can refrain from shaving for two months and still look like cantaloupes).  I mean year-round.  Hipster moustaches, moustache ink on index fingers, glue-on stashes, all of it.  A follicle tuft positioned between your upper lip and your nostrils is hardly a thing that needs to be celebrated, so please fuck off.  Moustaches on Instagram are the fucking worst.


Dear Jets fans

Why do you do it?

I’m writing this to you on Black Friday. Or as it should now forever be known within your circle, “The Day After The Hilarious Thanksgiving Day Massacre.” Part of me does feel bad that your beloved Jets had to play a game on Thanksgiving Day when they didn’t really need to – Thanksgiving is traditionally reserved for annual losses for the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys. Detroit and Dallas Ls are as American as a turducken. Thanksgiving is THEIR time.

But the greedy fucks at the NFL just HAD to squeeze in one more game. Probably based on enough market research that show that by the late afternoon/early evening, the American public are so fat and bloated from gorging on Thanksgiving dinner (America, fuck yeah!), closely resembling the humans in Wall-E, that they’d be too ossified to do anything other than dissolve into the couch with football on TV. Can’t even be arsed to tap the remote to change the channel.

By know, you already know that you support the single-most comical team in the history of time. A team whose entire heritage, relevance, and foreseeable future can be summed up in one play.

Why do you continue to be a Jets fan?

In my 20 years or so of following the NFL, I can think of no other team that has had more seasons of pure hilarity and humiliation as the Jets. Of course there are other awful teams in the NFL, but none of them are so completely devoid of saving graces as the Jets. You can try and call out the Cleveland Browns, but you’d be wrong. You see, the Browns are lovable losers. And you can thank dead asshole Art Modell for that. Art Modell martyred the team, and committed the Browns to football sainthood when he packed up and moved his business to Baltimore. You don’t fuck with NFL legacy like that. So as horrible as the hapless Browns will be in the foreseeable future, it’ll always be OK to root for the Browns because they got fucked by an owner.

No such compassion for the Jets, I’m afraid. Your Jets haven’t had anything catastrophic happen to them. Everything the Jets have fucked up, they’ve done to themselves. No mercy, no sympathy. And they’ve not earned anything in their past to be able to lean your adoration on. Please do fuck off with Super Bowl 3 – you look up “fluke” in the dictionary, and Joe Namath’s whisky-marinated douche face is what you’ll find. Is that the crock of shit what you fuckers are pinning our fandom on? That’s fucking pathetic.

Face it, there hasn’t been a single memorable thing – I’m talking about a good memorable thing here, not your unintentional hilarious performance on the field each week – the Jets can boast of in the past 20 years. Shit, even the pathetic Browns managed to get Peyton Hillis on the cover of Madden one year. (By the way, that Madden curse? TOTALLY REAL.) The Jets? Anything memorable? Some distinct event that rises above the rest? NOTHING.

And don’t give me your Bill Parcells years. The only thing Bill Parcells did right with your team was redesign your uniforms from looking like ‘80s mall chic to something barely resembling a highs school football team. And even so, your uniform blows. I mean, it seriously fucking blows chunks. I see that shitty emerald green and I wanna puke my eyes out. I stand by my argument that teams in the shitty uniforms don’t win shit. The Jets have massively shitty uniforms.

Which I suppose is befitting the caliber of players the team will rush out to sign each year. It’s like some otherworldly system designed to help the rest of us easily pick out which are worst players in the NFL – no need to look to hard, they all wear Jets green. At some point, I think the entire Kansas City Chiefs team will be absorbed into the Jets.

Who else but the Jets would do the Jetsiest thing ever and sign a quarterback who isn’t allowed to throw a football? What other team would you expect to have a player declare a jihad on the press after a win? What other team has its own meme – LOLJETS – on Deadspin? Any other team got a loudmouth coach (well-publicized foot fetish aside) that tries to pull a Namath guarantee each week only to have to eat shit the Monday after?

Why do you continue to be a Jets fan, after all this? I just don’t get it.

Yes, part of me is trolling here, because let’s face it, this is easier to do than betting if Lindsay Lohan gets arrested again before the year is out. The other part of me is genuinely fascinated by this willingness to put a stranglehold on hopelessness and humiliation? Seriously, why the fuck do you put up with it?

I pose that question with some ethical dilemma because I think switching teams is bullshit (I have first-hand experience with this, but more on that at another time, I promise). That said, if there is one market in which you’re allowed to switch teams with little recourse, it’s New York. No one would blame you for burning your green paraphernalia and treating yourself to some fresh gear in blue. (At this point, I need to clarify that I hate the Giants as well; these fucking guys and their herpy-derpy-derp-derp-doo Eli – fuck the Giants). My point is, you fucking guys have a legitimate out and you won’t take it.

What the fuck?


[EDIT – November 26, 2012]: It appears that your annoying-as-fuck human bullhorn, Fireman Ed (what a wanky nickname), has decided to call it quits. This fucker, arguably the most delusional human being associated with the Jets who is not on the Jets’ payroll, has decided to come to his senses. If even this douchetard can see the futility of it all, what the hell is wrong with you? More importantly, when a bonehead fan can make the news off the field, doesn’t it speak volumes for the ineptitude of the team on the field? For fuck’s sake, you people.



It’s time to watch F1, you guys!

I’ll just come right out and say it: if you don’t watch F1 this weekend, you’re an asshole.

I can hear it already, “Blah blah blah, F1, cars driving round in circles, who gives a shit about NASCAR, whatever, boring, blah blah blah.”  And you’d be a millionth-and-one person who’s given me shit for spending far too much time with this fucking sport.

And that’s because you conveniently dismiss this sport because you have not even a vague idea of how brilliant it is.  Let’s change that, shall we.  Have an open mind, for fuck’s sake.

The thing is, F1 is for everyone.  (Hey, that rhymes, I should copyright that shit.)  Man, woman, child, dog, whomever, it’s for you.  If you have a fucking pulse, no matter how cloddish, you need to take a look at F1.

Jalopnik tried to pull together a helpful guide for F1 noobs, but I found it uninspiring and tedious.  The whole thing felt like a lot of fucking work and it told you NOTHING about F1.  So fuck it, I figure I’d give it a go.

Here’s the gist of the sport.  I’ll give you the meat-and-potatoes, and then I’ll throw in some garnish afterwards.

F1 is car racing.  All the cars look like winged rockets with wheels.  They’re not steel tanks like NASCAR because they have open wheels and open cockpits – neither is covered.  They’re also made largely of featherweight carbon fiber.  And they have big fuck-off wings that create downforce that keep the cars pressed onto the track.  They also have massive fuck-off tires.

In F1, every team has to build their own cars.  If you’re a car racing noob, it might surprise you to know that most other car racing series have teams buying their cars from suppliers, and all they need to do is tweak the car and go racing with it.  Not F1: each team needs to design and build their own chassis.  That’s part of why some of the top F1 teams have annual budgets in excess of $300 million.  In comparison, you can run a shitty NASCAR team for about $10 million.

These cars are the single-most sophisticated machines for sport, and are probably the closest thing to having a NASA space rocket mate with one of James Bond’s Q gadgets.  They’re the coolest fucking thing in the world, alright.

Inside each car is a V8 engine that generates something like 800hp and revs up to 18,000rpm.  Your average 4-door sedan probably sports a 4-cylinder engine that generates 200hp and you’d never rev it higher than 3,500rpm.  Do the math.  These engines can take these cars to over 200mph.  Try that in your shitwagon.  These engines sound like a dragon being put through a paper shredder.

Each team runs two cars – the two cars will look identical; easiest way to tell the two drivers apart is to by their helmets.  But TV commentators do that for you.

Enough about the cars.  Let’s talk about the race itself.  The race starts at 2pm Austin time.  In fact, with a few exceptions, all F1 races start at 2pm local time no matter they race in the world.  You can use that in your dinner conversation this Thanksgiving, you’re welcome.  Each race lasts between 1.5 hours (often) to 2 hours (rarely).

This is the track in which they’ll be racing in Austin: the Circuit Of The Americas.


As you can see, it’s not a goddamn oval.  Because these drivers actually need to have two key skills lacking in NASCAR drivers – knowing how to brake for corners, and turning right.

Let’s get to the drivers.  There are 24 of them.  You don’t need to know all of them.  There are dipshit drivers in the back of the pack that if you got hit by a bus tomorrow and never knew their names, you’d still have lived a full life.  Don’t waste your time trying to learn everyone’s name.  Just the ones who are worth keeping an eye out for:

  • Fernando Alonso.  Drives a Ferrari (the only all-red car in the pack).  He is, by leaps and bounds, the best all-round driver of the lot.  Even if the Ferrari is not even close to being the best car out there.
  • Sebastian Vettel.  Drives a Red Bull (blue car with a yellow tip – yes, the energy drink company own an F1 team).  One of the best drivers driving arguably the best car of them all – that’s a hell of a combination.
  • Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.  Both drive McLaren cars (silver cars with red wings).  Both a brilliant drivers.  Hamilton is the Barack Obama of F1.  Unfortunately, however, is a colossal douchenozzle, and you should totally watch him to hate him.  Seriously, he’s a tool.
  • Kimi Raikkonen.  Drives a Lotus (black car with gold trimmings).  He’s Finnish and a raging boozehound!  And he’s fast!  That’s pretty much all you need to know.

Other drivers who might put in good showings are Kamui Kobayashi, Sergio Perez, and Nico Hulkenberg.  Fuck everyone else.  Oh, you’ll also hear Michael Schumacher’s name.  That’s because he’s old, he’s been racing forever, he’s the winningest driver, and he’s a smug, dirty, cheating bastard.

And really, those are the essentials.  There are other nuances, but if you don’t know them, it won’t make the sport unwatchable.  But just in case, here are some of them:

  • Pitstops.  These cars come into the pits at least once to change tires.  That’s because a) the tires don’t last the duration of the race, and b) the rules state that they must race on two different types of tires (two compounds: one harder, one softer)
  • KERS.  This is a F1’s equivalent of a hybrid.  It stands for Kinetic Energy Return System.  The cars use braking forces to charge an onboard battery.   The battery sends and extra boost of 80hp to the engine – it’s a bit like Knight Rider’s turbo boost mode without the turbo.  It’s stupid but it’s in play.
  • DRS. Talk about an even stupider system.  It stands for Drag Reduction System.  When a car is trailing the car in front by 1 second or less, the trailing driver can push a button on his steering wheel that levels out the rear wing (reducing downforce) to help the car go faster to help overtake the car in front.  I have many reasons to hate this stupid system that I’m not going to go into here, but it’s in play, so fuck me.

Now, let’s talk briefly about the racing.  This isn’t like NASCAR, where you see a traffic jam going around in a circle for 4 hours, with cars overtaking each other ever 3 miliseconds.  Fuck that pointless bullshit.  No, what you’ll see mostly is a single-file of cars going around the track.  There’s definitely overtaking in F1, but because F1 racing is both an art and a science, this will happen mostly when cars dive into corners at the end of a long straight, trying to outbrake the other car.  The KERS and DRS systems help, too.

And that’s it.  That’s all you really need to know to watch F1 on Sunday.  That, and the fact that it’s on at 2pm ET (work that shit out in your own timezone), it’s on Speed Channel in the U.S. (better go find that channel now), and even though you’ll probably miss the early NFL games, you’ll have a shit ton more football the rest of Sunday to watch so stop being a pussy about it.

Now, don’t be a dick by blowing this off.  This is F1’s first race back in the U.S. after a 5-year absence.  This is F1’s only stop in the U.S.  It’s a big fucking deal.  You can afford to forgo football for a couple of hours on Sunday (your dipshit team will probably lose anyway).  You really can.

Just watch some F1 this Sunday.  Don’t be an asshole.



Every time “Rudy” is on TV, I drop everything and I have to watch it.  Even though I’ve watched it about a hundred times by now.  And every fucking time, it makes me cry, right at the end.  I’m an enormous pussy like that.  But then again, I understand that this movie has the same effect on a lot of dudes.  Even some die-hard life-long Notre Dame haters.

“Rudy” is one of the greatest films ever made.  Shut up, ‘cause I’m not taking any argument about this.

So Game 1 of the 2012 World Series rolls around, we cut to a commercial break and I hear the “Rudy” theme.  It’s quick cut footage of kids and grown-ups, all doing every manner of sport.  90-seconds later, the end frame reveals that it’s a spot for Dick’s Sporting Goods.  90-seconds of growing aural exhilaration and it’s a giant cock tease for a shitty sporting goods chain store.

Fuck. That.

You can’t fucking do that.  The “Rudy” theme carries meaning.  It has a certain quality to it.  In fact, it’s got lots of qualities to it because of the film: tenacity, redemption, grit, glory.  NONE of which apply to a sporting goods chain store.  So, fuck Dick’s (that sounds weird).

There are very limited occasions in which you’re allowed to use the “Rudy” theme.  Here are the very few occasions the “Rudy” theme is be allowed.

  • Football games.  Of course, part of it is the theme’s pedigree – it’s football music for a football film.  But it can only be used with football.  Not hockey, not basketball, not baseball, not any other sporting event – despite what Dick’s wants to sell you.  A lot of that has to do with the late, great Steve Sabol, who with his dad, perfected the art of overdramatic football film.  The Sabols had this remarkable talent to slow down film and make even the derpiest football action look like a Wachowski action sequence.  And not to get all band geek here, but mostly because the “Rudy” theme is a bit of a march.  No other sport has in-game action that mimics a march like football does.  No other sport has such military-esque assembly in which such attention is paid to orchestration and timing.  No football, no “Rudy”.
  • Weddings.  Specifically as the bride walks down the aisle.  Shut up and stop being so selfish, girls, let the groom have this one.  The whole fucking day’s already all about you chicks.  For some reason, dudes always are nervous as shit on their wedding day (I have no idea why – I got married in my mid-20s and it was a fucking breeze).  So the least the guy can have is a cool-ass theme song as his bride walks down the aisle.  It’s a fucking kick ass piece of music, it’ll pump up the dude and get rid of his nerves, and it’ll be the one thing – the one fucking thing – that’s about him on that day.
  • Pre-school graduations.  This is mostly for the dads who have to go to these stupid things.  As a rule, kids get too many graduation ceremonies growing up.  Pre-school graduations, kindergarten graduations, first grade ceremonies, the list goes on.  Stop making a big deal out of something the kids are SUPPOSED to do – finish the grade and move the hell on.  So for something as goddamn gratuitous as a pre-school graduation, you might as well make it kick ass for the attendees.  No “Pomp and Circumstance” – that’s college material, and you 5 years-old ingrates haven’t earned it.  No, put on the “Rudy” theme, the kids won’t know any better and every fucking dad is going to be high-fiving each other.  Everybody wins.
  • After an In-N-Out Double-Double, Animal-style French fries, and a milkshake.  Because you know that meal is fucking epic.  Which means it needs to be celebrated.

So, just for good measure, here’s the ending of “Rudy”.  The bit that always makes me cry.  That’s what the “Rudy” theme means.

Goddamnit, I just cried again.



Well of course this has bloody spoilers in it.  So don’t say I didn’t warn you.  But it’s fun to judge an entire season of a show – heck, a whole show – based on just one episode.  So, let’s do it: here are the top 5 reasons the latest season of Downton Abbey will suck ass.



1.  O’Brien’s bangs are no longer menacing.  There’s no denying that the coiled springs over her forehead were the prime source of her devious power.  She’s Medusa in a maid dress.  Which was awesome.  But nooooo, now they’ve gone and fashioned her bangs differently.  They’ve gone from evil windings to what looks like the spider from Cut The Rope.   That is so not awesome anymore.   That’s like changing up Darrin on “Bewitched” and hoping no one notices.  Or that girl from the Fresh Beat Band.  Bullshit.

2.  No mention of Pamuk (yet).  He’s been the most recurring unseen character since Vera and Maris.  In season 2, it seemed like whatever Lady Mary did had some direct correlation to that dead git.  This first episode in the third season?  Nothing.  Not one whisper.  It’s like the dead Turk never existed.  What a letdown.  The least they could do was something like what Simon Pegg suggested in his tweet.

3.  Are they trying to make Thomas more likable?  Shit, I found myself agreeing with him not once but twice.  TWICE!  After the second time, I punched myself in the face to make sure a third time wouldn’t happen.

4.  They’ve taken the zingers off the boil.   It’s like the writing has been dumbed down to something worthy of Home Improvement.  When the Countess Dowager says that Shirley MacLaine’s character reminds her of “the virtues of the English”,  Matthew Crawley walks right into it and asks, “But isn’t she American?” “Exactly.” So, so awful.  For God’s sake, Julian, stop cribbing dialogue from awful shows like How I Met Your Mother or hackey shit like that.  Honestly, I half-expected a laugh track to erupt after that exchange.

5.  Oh shit, here come the Americans.  Clearly creating a program that is uniquely British is a limiting proposition.  I mean, why not dilute a clever formula?  About 8 million people tuned into ITV on Sunday to watch the show.  That’s chump change compared to what you could get in America.  Sooooooo… if you wanna appeal to ‘Murrrcans, hell, you’ve got to make sure you include loads more Americans in it!  That’s why Yanks have no patience for sports like Formula 1 or soccer – a glaring absence of formidable Yank talent.  No way Downton’s gonna fall into that trap (not when the estate’s going broker than broke!).  So, cue the new Yank cast, and cue all the lame “pompous English vs. brutish American” jokes!  Ugh.


Downton Abbey’s broken the golden rule of quality British television: two seasons and you’re out.  You quit while you’re still ahead.  Good shows are only good for two seasons.   Don’t believe me?  I present exhibits A, B, and C:  The Office, Spaced, and Fawlty Towers.   I rest my case.


Earlier this week, I saw some web video featuring Tina Fey.  Actually, I lie – I didn’t watch the video itself because I tire of Tina Fey.  OK, maybe not Tina Fey entirely but the whole “30 Rock” thing.  I stopped watching “30 Rock” in its second season because it became an exercise in watching jokes coming a mile away down Fifth Avenue in a cab for 30 minutes.  One day we’re going to look back at “30 Rock” with an overwhelming amount of scorn.  Sort of the same we look at “Friends” today.

But I digress.  The Tiny Fey video.  I didn’t watch it.  But that’s not important.  Because what’s important is a comment I read that was posted at the bottom of this video.  It read, “Tina Fey is everything I hope my daughter becomes…”  I took a minute to consider if I agreed with this sentiment, given my loathing of “30 Rock”, which has become pretty much my only benchmark of Tina Fey these days.  Apparently, a lifetime on SNL and that “Baby Mama” mean nothing anymore.

And you know what – I agree with that comment.

I know I said before that I tire of Tina Fey.  I probably don’t (remember, I’m pinning all of this on the shit that “30 Rock” has become) because she really does seem a like an admirable human being.  She seems totally normal, probably rocks just the right amount of geek to be lovable (I’m looking at you, Zooey Deschanel – it’s time to learn from the queen), seems to have a healthy work ethic (books, movies, TV show, you name it), has an enviable amount of wit.  She really does embody the perfect cocktail of hard work, talent, and luck.  With seemingly little to no ill side effects for it.  I suppose Tina Fey is effectively what we can envision as “a good person”.  I mean, how the fuck can anyone not get on board that train?

Which got me thinking – who’s the male equivalent of Tina Fey?  That’s not to say that Tina Fey as a role model because she’s a girl.  Or that she’s only a role model for girls and isn’t good enough for the male populace.  What I’m doing is reacting to the comment in that video – “Tina Fey is everything I hope my daughter becomes…” – there’s clearly a gender qualification in that sentiment.

I think about that line and I think about my two sons.  Who the hell can they look up to?  Who can I, as their dad, suggest so-and-so is everything I hope my sons become?  I look to the people I admire(d) – Freddie Mercury, Joe Strummer, Eddie Izzard, and Jimmy Page  – not one of them is good enough for my kids.  They’re brilliant, highly influential, but they’re also fairly flawed in their individual ways.  And half those guys are dead.

Is there anyone alive and kicking that can be a role model in the same vein as Tina Fey?  Someone who matches her ability to be smart, creative, accomplished, virtually free of retarded celebrity behavior, and chilled out.  A good person.

The last time I used the phrase “a good person” was in reference to Adam Yauch.  I was relaying to the missus how much gutted I was that he had died.  Poor, dear Adam Yauch.  I don’t know every detail about him, but the bits that I know were enough to make me cry when he died.  Between the Tibet thing, his persistence with the Beasties and other music ventures, his film company, and generally being known as just as pretty chilled out guy, I suppose Adam Yauch was someone to look up to.

I’m quite fond of Jack White.  He’s got this creative drive and some rare talent that allows him to create some amazing shit.  He’s got the music, he’s done films, he’s got this whole thing with his record company and his mission for the revival of vinyl, and most of all, he’s actively shunned most of the trappings of celeb life (you can’t call that eccentric existence in Nashville a trapping, can you).  But could I say about Jack White that he’s “is everything I hope my son becomes”?  Maybe, I dunno.  He does take himself way too fucking seriously, but it’s hard to hold that against him when you look at what he’s stood for.

I know I just wrote what probably seemed like a love letter to Jack White.  But this isn’t about Jack White.  This is about Tina Fey and whether or not she has a worthy penis-bearing counterpart.  Maybe Jack White’s as good as it gets right now.  If it has to be Jack White, it has to be Jack White, I suppose.

[UPDATE, June 5, 2012]  You know what, fuck Jack White.  Tonight, while I was packing for a quick trip to L.A., I fired up my DVR and found a David Gilmour concert – the one he played at the Royal Albert Hall (I believe it’s the one where David Bowie mangled “Comfortably Numb” because he’s David fucking Bowie).  And I remembered how brilliant David Gilmour is.  How brilliant Gilmour’s always been.  From his slightly defiant youth to chart his own course as a kid when his parents decided to move to the U.S. and he decided to remain in the U.K, to his move to London from Cambridge to try new shit, to joining Pink Floyd, to the rest that is well-known history.  Gilmour is brilliant.  He’s a fucking genius, and I fucking love that guy.  I didn’t even realize what a massive influence he’d been on me, despite the fact that I actually painstakingly took several months to recreate his signature black Strat (no, I didn’t buy the off-the-shelf version from Fender for five grand).  That’s the fucking guy.  That’s guy I think I would probably say with little hesitation, “David Gilmour is everything I hope my son(s) become…”

Let’s face it – Mad Men’s return hasn’t got off to a great start.  Quite the opposite, really.  I took a quick poll around the office the day after the show’s two-hour season debut and I think I got more thumbs-downs than I did thumbs-ups.  Which was weird considering how the interwebs seemed to explode with delight at Megan’s “Zou Bisou Bisou” performance (totally thumbs-up, amirite?)

Then two lazy, rather inconsequential episodes snoozed by.  Draper dreaming about banging the girl from Twin Peaks – really?  Betty (puke) getting fat and having a tumor scare – who gives a shit?  The show was starting to look pretty fucking grim.  Not the sort of series I was looking forward to.  This was turning into a downward spiral of pointless bullshit.

But then again, each season starts with a massive amount of hype, and it’s damn near impossible for any show to live up to that type of hype.  Which means each season I go through the same roller coaster ride – I’m pumped for the show, then I feel let down, which leads me to contemplate walking away from it, and before you know it, I’ve gobbled up another season.

Part of the reason I stick with the show is because it is so entirely self-indulgent for me.  I work in advertising.  With TV being completely overrun by cop shows and/or medical dramas, I like having one show that puts a spotlight on what I do for a living and what I love doing.  Not that Mad Men has any real sense of accurate representation of what I do on a daily basis.  It doesn’t really dive too deeply into the advertising side.  Like any good series on TV, it’s a show about flawed people behaving badly and making poor decisions.  This one just happens to use an agency as its canvas.

But self-indulgence aside, the true magnet of the show for me is the one character who is persistently under-appreciated in favor of Dapper Don.  Everyone – EVERYONE – loves Draper.  They love Jon Hamm.  Most people can’t pull the two apart.  They love Draper, they love his hair, his big arms, his chest fur, his swagger, his gaze, everything.  Fuck that.  Sure, he’s become the quintessential anti-hero in today’s TV, but four seasons in, we’re left with a hollow shell of what Draper used to be, and frankly, I’m tired of his shit.  I can hear the objections to this allegation already.  “He’s so dreamy” is no basis to worship a character on TV – that were the case, Draper’s become the Maroon 5 of Mad Men.

I’d be perfectly fine if Draper was written off the show.  Honestly, I would.

(from: LostInMyOwnAtmosphere)

Instead, I think most people are missing out on the genius of ROGER STERLING.  That guy fucking MAKES the show.  Sure, my fandom may have a generous slice of vicarious living involved, given that Sterling is an account guy and all, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that he is easily one of the two best characters on TV today (the Dowager Countess of Downton Abbey is the other, duh – and no sooner had I written that had I discovered that the Huffington Post drew a deserving comparison between the two).

Don’t get me wrong: Sterling is every bit as fucked up as everyone else on that show.  His sense of entitlement – having inherited the original Sterling Cooper from his father – matched with his brazen cockiness make for many, many cringetastic moments.  He’s put blackface on, had a heart attack, fathered Joan’s baby (we guess), wrote a memoir, married then quickly grew tired of his secretary, the list goes on and on.  And then there’s his dreading of age and irrelevance.

But as much as Sterling’s adventures are brilliant, his electric tongue is what makes him pure fucking gold.  Face it, Sterling’s lines are among the best on TV.  In last week’s episode, Signal 30, the absolute highlight of what was easily the best episode of Mad Men in ages was when Sterling advised Pryce on how to romance a client as they prepare to respond to an RFP for Jaguar.  It was mesmerizing.  The thought, the lines, the attitude, the delivery.  By the time Sterling walked out of Pryce’s office, I literally shot up and exclaimed to the missus, “ROGER STERLING IS A KILLER ACCOUNT GUY!!”  Whether or not that’s true is immaterial, Sterling’s scene was masterful.

Roger Sterling is single-handedly the most exciting personality on TV.  At the moment, he is the ONLY reason I watch Mad Men.  So if you haven’t been paying enough attention to him – and you know you haven’t  – it’s high time you became a Roger Sterling slut like me.


Last week, as I was doing my daily persuing of Gawker, I came across this article.  While the conclusion (the Gawker one, not the incredibly douchey quote they used) was most apt, I started to make an assessment of what I do that makes me a “New Yorker”.  By the way, I fucking hate the term “New Yorker”.  “New Yorker” is a goddamn magazine.  More so I don’t want to be a “New Yorker”, like it defines me or something.  The same way people with diabetes or asthma don’t want to be called “diabetics” or “asthmatics.”

I prefer to say “I’m from New York”.  Except I’m not.  Like a kabillion other people in NY, I moved here from a far, far away.  Halfway ‘round the world, in fact – Kuala Lumpur.  But that was a long time ago, and NY is now my home.  It has been close to 20 years.  Which means, as the Gawker article suggests, I am for all intents and purposes, a goddamn “New Yorker.”

Which also means that it is my God-given right to get massively fucked off with clueless tourists.  But worse than tourists are people who live in NY but continue to act like tourists.  If the “living in New York for 10 years” rule is pretty spot on, then most of these offending residents are often kids recently out of the school who are now working in the city.  Or folks transferred to NY for work.  Either way, you know who you are.

For fuck’s sake, start acting like you belong here.  Stop being so visibly enchanted by all the cool and crazy shit you see around you.  Stop going to your Facebook account and saying how much you love this city.  You sound and look like a retarded cat chasing around a laser pointer.  In fact, stop using Facebook to show off to your family and high school friends back in Ohio or Virginia or wherever you’re from, what a good time you’re having here in New York.  I’m sure your mom is sufficiently impressed, but that’s no reason to broadcast this past weekend’s exploits at the Frying Pan to everyone you know.  Why are you friends with mom on Facebook anyway?  That’s just weird.

For fuck’s sake, DO NOT call the city “Gotham”, “The Big Apple”, “City That Never Sleeps”.  No self-respecting New Yorker (ugh!) says shit like that.  I know people from northern New Jersey – NEW JERSEY!! – who refer to the city like that.  Those people need to be restricted from ever leaving the state of New Jersey.

As with not calling New York stupid names like “Gotham,” if you live here, you also need to stop acting like the whole city is one big “Sex & The City” episode.  That fucking show – besides being braindrainingly retarded – also set the city back by several decades by portraying city women has annoying, devastatingly insecure harpies.  Even so, it’s a stupid TV show.  That’s like moving out to L.A. and trying to live like Brandon Walsh.  Knock it off.

Also, stop eating at places like Olive Garden or Crapplebee’s.  No self-respecting New Yorker eats in shitholes like that.   Richard Christy, one of the writers from Howard Stern’s show, is a hilarious yokel shithead from Kansas, who’s been part of the show for the better part of 10 years now, and he’s been living in NY the whole time.  The hilarity stops when he goes in the air and talks about how he orders from Papa John’s when he wants to treat himself.  WTF.  New York has a minimum of ten proper pizza joints on every block, and pizza here is without question the best pizza in the country.  Yet, this shithead can’t see beyond the greasy manhole covers they sell at Papa John’s?  Richard Christy clearly no interest whatsoever of “being from New York.”

And for God’s sake, move around a little.  If you live in the Upper West Side, get out of the Upper West Side as often as you can.  Go hang out in Red Hook (yes, go look it up, I’ll wait).  Go see Staten Island (the ferry is free, for fuck’s sake).  If you insist making your New York existence as some hipster douchebag living in Brooklyn, go venture to the Upper East Side or something, even if you don’t think you’re gonna find anything you like.  Not everything is a cosmo bar or some trendy BBQ joint.

But avoid places like the top of the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty. What are you, insane?  They’re loaded to the gills with tourists and you’re trying to avoid being associated with tourists, remember?  Only go if you have family in town and if you go, make sure grumble the entire time.

I’d like to think I’m New York enough.  But I live in the ‘burbs, just north of the city – still New York state, not New Jersey or Connecticut.  I like my front yard, my backyard, I like not sharing walls with potential axe murderer.  That may cause me to lose some major cred with my New Yorkness.  But close to 20 years in, I think I’ve got what being from New York mostly figured out.  Mostly.