Monday, July 7, 2014

The Elf Who Stole Christmas

(I wrote this a couple years ago as a Facebook note, but I'm putting it on year right now just to make myself feel like I'm getting something done.)

The Elf on the Shelf. Let me be up front about this. I am not a fan of the elf.

We were given the Elf on the Shelf as a gift a few years ago (Thanks Mom. Thanks a lot.) and unfortunately, the little children like it.

The problem with the EOTS is that it puts a little pressure on the parent; I mean, you've got to move it every night, right? I can't be the only person in the world who has other things on his mind than remembering to move the elf. As the season progresses, I find myself less concerned with finding new places to hide the elf, and more concerned with finding new excuses the next day for why the elf is still in the exact same place he was yesterday. "What can I say, kids? The elf is just lazy." Or "The elf had a little too much eggnog last night and fell asleep on the bathroom floor, then woke up and crawled back to where he is now. Technically, he DID move!" Or "Look, how the hell should I know? Eat your breakfast."

This year, we got the goddamn elf out and I forgot to move it the very first day. Kids come down stairs bleary-eyed and grumpy at breakfast time, see the dirty slacker elf sitting on his can right were he was last night. There is some disappointment. Questions are asked. Answers are avoided.

Anyway, later that day, while glaring angrily at the elf's overly self-confident smile, I said to myself, "You know what? Fuck this fucking elf. Fuck him. Fuck him right in his elf-uckin' ear" and packed him right back up in his box and put him away. For a few short moments, all was right with the world. Peace on Earth, that sort of thing. I can't be sure, but I may have heard angels singing.

The next day, the little ones notice that the elf has "moved". After tens of seconds of searching, the kids excitedly ask "Where's the Elf? Where's the Elf?"
"He's gone."
"Did you throw him away?"
"Did you take him to Savers?"
"Where is the elf, Daddy? ...REALLY?"
"The Elf went back up to the attic kids. He's tired of your bullshit. Merry Christmas."

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How To Get Ahead In Advertising

Many years ago, when we lived in Boston, Melissa and I used to go out to dinner occasionally. Most nights, we'd stay home and cook, but now and then, we'd go out.

Melissa had unbelievably bad luck at restaurants when it came to the second time visit. The first time we'd go to an eating establishment, she'd order something, it would come to the table and it would be great. Next time we'd go, she'd say to herself "Well, I should try something else, I don't want to get stuck in a rut." She'd order something that sounded good, but inevitably, it would show up to the table and she'd be disappointed.

She wasn't looking at the menu and saying "Oh, Shit on a Dirty Plate! That sounds good," and then feeling let down when the waiter walked up to our table, holding a dirty plate at arms length with a lump of shit rolling around on it. Or "Oh, Chicken Sushi! I'll try that!" She would order completely reasonable menu items that sounded good, but they would end up being…just…bad. Or at least, not as good as the thing that she'd had on that first visit.

Once, we went to a marginally fancy French restaurant, and Melissa ordered a steak. "Buf a Le Chateau Anglais" or something like that. What she got was, technically, a steak, but mainly a giant piece of gristle with some meat attached here and there. That one was so bad that she actually complained to the waiter, which is something she almost never does. The guy looked at it and said "Oh, that? That's marbling," and gave her a look down his nose like she didn't know what she was talking about.

Well, one night, at The Forest Cafe in Cambridge, Melissa's run of bad luck finally ended.

The Forest was a relatively dumpy restaurant near Harvard Square that served surprisingly above average Mexican food. Really pretty good stuff. We used to go there pretty often, and my dinners were always good, but even at the Forest, Melissa usually ended up a little dissatisfied.

Not that night.

No, that night, Melissa ordered a shredded chicken dish that was sort of half way between a stew and an enchilada, with roasted peppers, cilantro and lime…it smelled AMAZING. It LOOKED amazing! I'm not gonna lie, I snuck a little bit. It was amazing.

So, Melissa had her first mouthful, made a face that said "This is the greatest thing I have ever had in my mouth" (get your mind out of the gutter) and said to me, mouth still half full of ambrosia "My GOD. This is so…so…GOOD!"

Then she gave a sort of concerned look and said "Hey, what's wrong with your neck?"

"My neck?"

"Your neck. Right there," she said, pointing to the left side of my neck with a forkful of what was about to be the second mouthful of the single best meal she had ever been served in a restaurant.

So, I reached up to feel my neck, but about 4 inches before I got to where my neck normally starts, my hand bumped into something. Something that was soft. Something puffy. And that something was my neck.

My neck was puffing up like a bullfrog trying to get a date.

Puffing up like a helium filled balloon bought at a carnival, but that was destined to fly away from the toddler whose parent was foolish enough to not tie it to the kid's fucking wrist.

It was huge. Not just a little swollen. And it was getting bigger. Puffier. More Fred Flinstonesque with every passing second.

Melissa tried to eat, but she quickly realized that the best meal that she had ever been served was going to have to get packed up in a doggy bag so that she could escort her husband, the god damn Elephant Man, to the emergency room. The greatest culinary adventure upon which she had ever embarked was going to have to be cut short, to be microwaved at home, long after it had passed it's prime. All because of her husband's fucking puffy neck.

By the time we got to the hospital, my neck had reached maximum puffiness, and was actually starting to feel more hard than squishy. The nurses and doctors could see that I was in distress, and that I was about to pop like a pubescent teenager's whitehead, so they rushed me in to see a doctor right away. It only took about 2 hours.

Then we sat in a hospital room for a couple more hours until a nurse finally came in. She took one look at me, tried not to scream, and slowly backed out of the room. She came back with another nurse. They pointed, and whispered to one another.

"No, I've never seen anything like that either."
"Like a tick on an old hound dog."
"Really breathtakingly hideous, yes."
"I can't believe his wife can sit there and look at him."

Finally, a few doctors came in, looked at me, prodded me, asked me some questions, insulted me, then left.

Meanwhile, Melissa's food was getting cold. Cold and old.

Then one of the doctors, a young, burly and extremely tired looking man with an Eastern European accent came back in and talked to me.

"Open mouth."
"Excuse me?"
"Your mouth. Open it."
"Well, okay but.."

That was all I managed to say before he slid his entire hand into my mouth and, from what I could tell by the way it felt, tried to break my jaw by wiggling his hand in parts of my mouth that I really didn't even know existed.

After he had had his way with me, he removed himself from my mouth, got out a towel and dried off his forearm and bicep. I wistfully wondered if I'd ever see him again. He didn't even buy me flowers.

"Lemon keyandy. You eat."
"Lemon drops. Lemonheads."
"Oh, CANDY."
"Yes. Keyandy."

Apparently, my salivary duct had gotten blocked somehow, and Melissa's food was so amazing that my salivary gland was cranking out the saliva at full speed. Having no way to get out, it was puffing me up like a goiter on the neck of a semi-naked Walmart shopper.

The half baked solution, evidently, was to make me salivate even MORE, so that the blockage would be overcome by the pressure created by the sheer volume of pent up spittle. A slobber Mount Vesuvius, if you will.

I was somewhat doubtful about this.

"Won't I…you know…explode?"
"Did… did you just say 'nyet'?"
"'Cause I thought I heard you say 'nyet'."
"You will probably not explode."

Suitably reassured, off to the Store 24 we went, with Melissa's ice cold doggy bag in tow, to buy some lemon keyandy.

I ate it.

Somewhat disappointingly, there was NOT a spectacular eruption of drool. My neck, which by now had started to look like I had tried, unsuccessfully, to swallow a large grapefruit whole, just sort of deflated. No pop, no nothing. I did nyet explode.

Back home, Melissa microwaved her leftovers, but the magic, like my giant neck ball, was gone.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Black Pyramid - Adversarial

Let me be up front about this. I didn't want to write a review of this cd. I had no choice.

Black Pyramid's latest effort, ADVERSARIAL, straight up kidnapped my dog, took out an advance on my 401K, gave me a stern talking to AND fucked me right in the goddamn ass.

I didn't want to like this album. I didn't even want to listen to it. In fact, I didn't. I tried to throw it out of the car, but it came back, like a Heavy Metal boomarang, and sliced my ears clean off. IT'S THAT GOOD.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Well, this was a surprise. Live Slower footage on the youtubes. And I'm not even all that particularly embarrassed by it.

Bask in the glory of us dumbfounding fans of Stompbox with the noisy shenanigans of a group of musicians dead set upon alienating most of their fans.

Rest in peace, Mikey. You were a totally self-centered, hedonistic prick pretty much all of the time, but somehow completely lovable. I miss you.

"Esoteric Song" and "Kick Out The Assholes"

"I Can't Fight This Feeling"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

There Seems To Be Some Confusion

Kids are funny. At least mine are. Yours, not so much. No seriously, your kids need to go to comedy camp. The sooner you face up to the facts, the better.

Lately, the wee 2nd grader been having some difficulty at school with one of her classmates, and I asked her if she thought it would be helpful if she saw the school counselor.

Daddy: Do you think seeing the school counselor might be helpful?

Child: Well, that might be helpful. ...Except I don't have any idea what that is.

Daddy: It's a person at school that you go see if you need help or are having trouble with anything.

Child: OH! Our school does have someone like that. They call her the nurse.

Daddy: No, not the nurse. Here, this person. (gets out her school yearbook and pointing to the picture of the school counselor)

Child: Oh, her. I know who that is. That's the school camp counselor.

Daddy: Who's on first?

Also, she has been learning about compound words at school and she told me that she came up with a triple compound word. "Wow! What is it?" I asked. She answered "Catastrophe. Cat, ass and trophy."

One wonders what she thinks a catastrophe might look like.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Songs More About Food Than Buildings

So, let's say you cook a lot.

Let's also say that sometimes while you're cooking you say to yourself, "I wish I had some songs about food to listen to while I cook."

Then let's further say you are one of the two to three people in the world that actually read this blog.

Come on. Let's say those things all together. En masse, as it were. No? I didn't think so.

So, anyway...

A couple few years ago, I made a "mix tape" of songs about food, or at least songs about food or things that can be made into food. Since I have nothing better to do with my life (I AM writing a blog after all, so you know I've got some spare time), I have uploaded this "combo-lation" into the ether and invite anyone who is interested to have a listen.

Egg Noodles and Ketchup
Angelina - Louis Prima
The Coffee Song -Frank Sinatra
Solid Potato Salad - Nat King Cole Trio
I Like Food - The Descendents
Big Butter and Egg Man - Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five
I'm a Chiquita Banana
Yes, We Have No Bananas - Louis Prima
Roly Poly - Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys
What's On The Menu?
If I Knew You Were Comin' I'da Baked a Cake - Bing & Bob
A Buhthday Cake!
Dos Tacos - Johnny Bush
Eatin' Up All The Food
The Scrapple Song - Robbie Fulks
Save the Bones For Henry Jones - Nat King Cole Trio
Holy Cow! - Think Tree
A Wonderful, Magical Animal
Church - Lyle Lovett
Simcha Time - Mickey Katz
Trust Me For a Hamburger - Washboard Rhythm Kings
Animal Crackers In My Soup - Shirley Temple
The Flavorful Road Runner
The Chicken Song - Ernest Tubb & Red Foley
Proclaimation/Nobody Here But Us Chickens - Louis Jordan
The Land of Chocolate
Hot Chocolate - Shonen Knife
Fried Potatoes - Rose Maddox
Heinz Baked Beans - The Who
Beans and Cornbread - Louis Jordan
Shortnin' Bread - The Andrews Sisters
You Want Bread?

(it's a big file, over 100 mb, so be warned if you're on a crappy connection)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Slower on YouTube

A couple people asked about putting up some Slower on here. I'm still trying to track down a half-way decent copy of the live set we did on WMBR's Pipeline show. It could take some time, I'm not even sure a good copy exists anymore.

In the meantime, here's a home-made video that Jeff put together for the song "Felix".

As a song, it's a pretty good example of the basic idea behind Slower: Abrasive music with ridiculously silly (and poorly sung) lyrics. We had songs about roach motels, songs based on punchlines to jokes (...because they can!) and songs that were about kicking people out of the band and taking over their spot as vocalist (purely fictional, of course). This particular song is all about the pussy.