10/31/11

Happy Halloween, Ladies.

I'm afraid WhirlyBird will have to wait. I took a look at my Google Analytics yesterday and got a little swept up in the search terms people used to get here. I haven't looked in quite a while and I was beginning to forget how sick and twisted and generally confused by the internet people are. So with that as an introduction, I'm going to let Google entertain me today. And maybe you, too. I guess that's always an added bonus. So here you go:

Fantastic Google Searches that Somehow Led People to My Site

بنات تركيات -- Unfortunately, I don't know what you're asking. Or even what you want of me. I tried a few translation programs on the web, and the only hit I could find was this video for someone or something called Turkey Blocks. So I think it has something to do with chicks in tight pants coming out of some sort of genie teapot and then dancing to the music of someone who looks like a 12-year-old middle-eastern pimp. And there might be invisible turkeys. At least that's my interpretation.

!z!zz!zzzz!,!!zzzzzzz!!zz,zzz -- I'm not exactly sure how you found my blog while electrocuting yourself, but I hope you enjoyed your brief time here. In your next life, remember the hot wire is black. Usually. Unless you're wiring a 4-way switch and then it's too complicated for me. On second thought, don't pay attention to anything I say and hire an electrician.

Animals Humping -- Way to be non-specific. You don't care what sort of animals, you just want to see them doing it. I'm going to have to break it to you gently -- you were led astray by the Great Google. There are no animals humping here. There are animals, and there may be a small amount of humping, but there are no animals humping.

baking soda and lemon for vagina -- I've heard of the baking soda thing, but the lemon is new to me. My advice to you is to skip the lemon. At that point, it's starting to sound a little too much like a recipe. I'm half tempted to tell you to just dip it in egg whites and then roll it in breadcrumbs, but I'm pretty sure that would be bad advice.

Belly mold -- I'm not sure what you're looking for here. A way to make a mold of your belly or a solution to a disgusting medical problem. Just in case it's the latter, there's this amazing stuff called Mold Armor that I recently discovered. I sprayed a little on my moldy black porch railing and it was like a small miracle. I'm not sure if it's safe for your belly or not, but I can guarantee that if you have anything even slightly discolored up in there, it wont be for long. You'll probably get a free bleaching in the bargain just from the run-off.

Dear Scrotum -- I had to do some research on this one. Turns out, it's one of the oldest McCartney/Lennon feuds on record. Ultimately, even though the song was written by Lennon and credited to Lennon/McCartney, Lennon did finally relent and go with McCartney's suggestion that he use the name "Prudence" instead.

Geddy Lee in the swimming pool! -- I am still laughing at the exclamation point. It makes it sound like Geddy snuck into Bernie Mac's back yard one night at 2 am and made a little too much noise. When Bernie's wife yelled downstairs to find out what was going on, Bernie yelled back "Geddy Lee in the swimmin' pool! Call the po-lice!"

how to keep your cat's butt from smelling -- I think you might have the front of your cat and the back of your cat mixed up. Usually it's the nose that does the smelling. I drew a little diagram to help you out:
Keep that picture handy and do me a favor. Make sure you refer to it before you kiss your cat's nose again.

octopus in a bikini melting an ice cube -- I am at a loss here, since I have no idea how this search brought you to my blog; yet I cannot get this image out of my mind. It haunts me. Octopus. Bikini. Ice. There's only one thing that can get my mind off this bizarre combination of oddities. And that is:

things made with human skin -- That's pretty horrifying, and I supposed it's appropriate for someone prepping for Halloween. I guess that search turned up a few too many links because the next search was a little more specific:

human skin britches -- There ya go. Now you're getting the idea behind Google. Next time add in your waist size and inseam and I think you'll be all set. You may also want to rethink the "britches" part, grandpa. Try "pants" or "trousers" or "chaps," if you really want to get kinky. You'll eventually end up at The Gap like everyone else but at least you tried.

Happy Halloween, everyone! (Save me a Reese's. )

10/21/11

Opposites don't always attract.

Last weekend I am pretty sure I experienced the absolute opposite ends of the musical spectrum, and it may have temporarily broken my music bone. On Friday, I got a call from Yort and he said his friend was playing at a place in Saratoga and asked if I wanted to go. I asked him where, and he said "Caffe Lena's." I said, "HELL YEAH!" and made the devil signs with my hands and then went and told my wife to not wait up because I was going to go out with Yort and get all folked up.

Caffe Lena, if you don't know, is an historic musical venue in Saratoga, NY. I've been there a few times, and while I'm not generally a fan of folk music, it doesn't hurt my insides as much as rap or country so sometimes I've been known to sit through a set or two when asked. This place is famous and the list of people who have played in this room is staggering, considering it's about the size of my living room and kitchen area combined, and has a low, dingy drop ceiling and no ventilation. And did I mention that they don't serve alcohol of any kind? Not even an Irish coffee to be had. This place is strictly sandwiches, pastries, coffee and tea. So you have to either really enjoy this sort of music or be there at the behest of a friend to voluntarily sit through it while stone cold sober.

The trio we were there to see is called Bread and Bones, and even though it's folk, they are really good musicians. The harmonies were spot on, and the lyrics were pretty cool from a story-telling perspective. At the very least, I could certainly appreciate the craftsmanship. At one point the ukulele came out, and the singer said, "You can't play an unhappy song on the ukulele." I leaned over to Yort and said "Hey, it's just like a wave runner!"


So the other bad thing about this place is that it's soooo small you can't really make comments or jokes because you have 15 people in the audience paying rapt attention, and if you even try to sneak a fart out in the middle of a song everyone in the room instantly knows it. So I kept further comments to myself and we cooled it on the jokes after a while and just listened to the songs because people were starting to get a little pissed off, I think.

Bread and Bones were the opener and I wanted to leave afterward but I guess that's not really good form since the four of us were about 1/3 of the audience. So we stayed through the break and caught up with Yort's friend for a bit. At that point the coffee was going right through me so I hit the bathroom. There wasn't an inch of the wall not covered by graffiti -- it was crazy. And they were really, really adamant about not peeing on the floor:


I especially appreciated the fact that, rather than just saying "DON'T PEE ON THE FLOOR" they gave you several possible alternatives, each of which were pre-approved and management sanctioned. The fact that the sign itself looked like it had been pissed on many times in its history was a standing testament to the passive-aggressive behavior that apparently runs rampant in hardcore folk circles.

Next up, we had Sally Spring. Sally and her husband are a duo, and he plays a pretty decent guitar. Not a fan of his backup singing style but Sally had a pretty good voice. Sally also played guitar and it was friggin' amazing to watch her because she is at a slight disadvantage:



As Yort said, "I'll never complain about how hard it is to play guitar with my short, stubby fingers ever again." It was kind of mesmerizing at first, but after a while you sort of got used to it. OK, no you didn't. But it was still pretty amazing and an incredible example of not letting a handicap stop you from accomplishing your dreams.

So I'm all good on the Folk music for a while. For me, it's sort of like that piece of fruitcake your great-aunt gives you when you visit her on Christmas. When you're eating it with your coffee you're thinking, "Hmm, this isn't so bad. I can choke this down to make her happy." but after about the 3rd bite you're ready to wad it into a ball and stick it to the underside of the table and hope nobody notices. Then when she gives you the leftovers, you politely thank her and throw it out of your car window on the way home.

The next night, we headed to the Palace in Albany for a concert by Dream Theater, a band that Yort is a huge fan of. I can appreciate that they're all complete masters of their respective instruments and I like some of the music but unfortunately I'm not a huge fan of the singer's voice. He's got great pipes, but he's a little too Queensryche-ish for me. My friend happens to be their tour manager so he generally gets us in for free and it's always good to catch up with him. It was a really great show, and I was glad I went because they recently got a new drummer named Mike Mangini, and I had been wanting to hear him play. He's ex-Extreme and ex-Steve Vai, and he's an incredible player. The funniest thing about this band is that they make me feel tall. On stage, they look like giants, but when you meet them in person, they're all like five six. The new drummer is about 5' 3" I think. His set is pretty crazy, and takes about two and a half hours to set up. I sent this video to Yort and after viewing it he said, "So I assume you're heating your house tonight with the remnants of your destroyed drum set?"

All great guys though. This was the first time we got to meet all the members of the band. Normally, one or two will show up for the after-show, but I think there may have been radio station involved or something because they all came down. It was the first time we had met John Myung, the bass player, and when I shook his hand it felt like I grabbed onto the root of a tree. I looked down at our hands and I immediately saw what a lifetime of playing 6-string bass for hours a day could do to you. His fingers looked like they were the transplanted toes of an albino chimpanzee. They were all bulbous on the ends and formed entirely of hard, yellow callouses, with a thick, half-inch long fingernail on each. His fingers could have punched through a steel door. The shit we do for our art, I guess. Amazing bass player even though he doesn't have human hands.

We talked to James Labrie about his performance and how good his voice sounded and he said he's been taking better care of it lately. I asked him about a technique I read about once where you can dunk the top half of your head in a sink full of warm salt water and actually breathe in through your nose a little and suck the water into your nasal cavity. It's sort of like a full metal jacket neti pot. He just looked at me strangely for a second and then Yort said, "Are you asking him if he drowns himself?" Then James said, "I have to go stand over here now," and edged away from us. Not really, but that's what it felt like. Anyway, a fantastic show as always.

This weekend I'm depressing myself doing winter-prep yard work. I don't know what the hell I'm doing -- I sat down to write about whirlyball, and this came out instead and I decided to post it anyway. What can I say. I'm a mess. I need some blue sky autumn weather. This rainy stuff is sucking the life out of me.


10/18/11

Today is a day like any other day. Except with Angels.

My buddy Rob's new book comes out today. I read an advance copy and it was a ton of fun. It is the best sequel to Mercury Falls ever written and if you haven't read the first one, I would totally recommend getting both books and reading them together. Well, maybe sequentially would be better. I suggest starting with Mercury Falls, in other words. Not that you couldn't read this one first and then back-track but then you'd be all kinds of Star-Wars messed up and you wouldn't care about Anakin at all. No wait, I'm getting confused.

At any rate, if you like Douglas Adams and quick humor, get this book. I'm already looking forward to the third in the series, because the 2nd book is setting up the dominos for some big stuff to come. You can get it here.

I'll let Rob tell you about it in his own words:

This has been a wild ride, starting with self-publishing Mercury Falls in 2009, getting picked up by AmazonEncore in 2010, and now having them publish the sequel. During that time Amazon Publishing went from being a notion floating around in Jeff Bezos' head to being the worst nightmare of the big publishing houses - the same publishing houses that wouldn't give me the time of day three years ago, by the way. Pardon me a moment while I shed one very small tear.

Fortunately, I've never written with agents or publishers in mind. I've never tried to write something that was "marketable" or that fit into any defined niche. I just write books that are interesting and fun. And guess what? When you give readers the opportunity to buy reasonably priced books that are interesting and fun, people buy them! I've been absolutely thrilled and humbled at the success of Mercury Falls, and I'm especially thankful to those of you who have supported me from way back in my Mattress Police days. Thanks, guys. You made my dream come true.

I hope you enjoy the new book. I worked hard on it.

Rob

10/17/11

Sick. In more ways than one.

So I'm some kind of sick. Not sure what it is, but I feel like I got bit by some tropical insect that sucks the life out of you and makes it so all you want to do is sleep. I'm not sure if it's allergies or what, but I feel like my head is a balloon on a string floating slightly above my neck. So my Cleveland trip story will need to wait a few days until I hopefully don't feel like a steaming pile. In the meantime, I saw this on the way home:



I know what you're thinking. So what? They're all excited and happy about having an open apartment for rent and wanted to share the news. I can certainly understand that.

A little too happy, I think. I don't think smiley faces and balloons are really appropriate, given the, um, circumstances:


I'll be back in a day or two, I promise. Assuming I don't succumb to what I can only assume is a tsetse fly bite. If so,



10/11/11

Robo Nurse. For the guy who has everything.

Now put your elbows on the table and relax, as my doctor says.



I finally got my blackberry service back, so I was able to transfer a few pictures from my trip to the old home office last week. We flew out to meet with the team and also to play whirlyball, the most ridiculous game in the world. In case you don't know, it's sort of like a combination of basketball and lacrosse, except you're riding around in a bumper car with no steering wheel. And yes, it's about as absurd as it sounds. I hope to tell you this tale of adventure in the next day or so.

Until then, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the sky. Although I wouldn't recommend that position if Robo Nurse is standing behind you. She looks like she means business.

10/4/11

Book your stay now!

Don't pass this up! Book your romantic getaway weekend today at Shady Pines B&B, a quaint Bed and Breakfast nestled in the woods of upstate New York.


Two cute cottages and one master suite available for rent by the day or week (3-day minimum).

Master suite features a fully-equipped kitchen, Master bedroom and adjoining full bath. Cottages have shared bathroom and outside dining area, both only a short walk from your sleeping quarters. The smaller cottage sleeps two, the larger, four. All three are heated by a centrally located fire pit. Please call 518-893-0545 for reservations.

In other news, Yort and I built these last weekend.


Yes, it sucked. We made a stack of kindling trying to get the wedges cut right. I wish I took a "before" picture because those old stairs were built out of 2x12's and blocks of wood 15 years ago by monkeys with hammers who needed a quick way to get from one floor to the other without climbing a rope ladder or installing a Bat-pole.* (Although if they did the Bat-pole, I probably would have left it.)


*I never noticed before today that Batman's pole was fatter than Robin's, although I guess it stands to reason.