Monday, February 27, 2012

I'll Wait, Because You Really DON'T Got Me!

I was a pretty big Van Halen fan back in the day. I spent hours listening to their albums while trying to draw the perfect VH symbol on my notebooks and book covers - but never on my jean jacket (though I’m not sure if it was because I was too cool, or just too afraid I’d mess it up!)

Speaking of messing things up, I even stuck with them through “5150,” when Sammy Hagar showed up and pussified their sound.  That is until I found Tesla’s “Mechanical Resonance” and realized I didn’t need Van Hagar anymore. Besides, to me, the real Van Halen will always be the David Lee Roth led version. 

But any thoughts I might have had about checking out the recent reunion efforts were quickly quelled when I saw who they would be touring with for their big comeback….

Kool & The Gang

Yes, you heard me right. The mighty Van Halen will have Kool & The Gang as their opening act.  And while I have nothing against the band and their music, and in fact , really like “Jungle Boogie” and “Get Down on It,” they are not a rock band by any means.  For one thing, they have an ampersand in their name! Umlauts are cool. Ampersands, not so much.  And then there's this...

Point is, after seeing such a double bill, I didn’t even have to listen to the “new” VH album to know it was going to suck. So rather than waste my money and taint my fond memories, I’m just going to go back to 1978 (and “1984”) and enjoy some real music.  Seems like everything was cooler back then. Even Kool & the Gang!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I Really AM Color Blind!

About three years ago, I discovered “The Office” (much in the same way Christopher Columbus “discovered” America, meaning after it was already in syndication.) But even though I was late to the party, thanks to constant reruns and DVR marathons, I managed to get through the first six seasons in time to "attend" Jim and Pam’s wedding along with the rest of the world. 

And during those many viewing hours, I came to know each character like a real friend, while developing crushes on both of Jim's love interests on the show, Pam and Karen. And, let's face it, maybe even a little mancrush on Jim himself!

But, getting back to the ladies...from the show's intro, it was clear that Jenna Fischer played Pam Beesley, but since Karen didn't show up until the third season, she was only pictured, not named in the opening credits,  so I didn't know the actress who played her. I did spot the name Rashida Jones in the credits, but never associated her with Karen, although I was curious as to who she was as well, since for years I had been reading about how funny and talented this Rashida Jones was. But I never saw her in anything. Or so I’d thought.

I remember watching  “I Love You, Man” – a decent movie featuring the guy who plays Marshall on “How I Met Your Mother” (another show I didn’t discover until recently) and coincidentally, the girl who played  Karen from “The Office” as the main character’s fiancĂ©. Thinking what a cool (and cute) chick she was, I carefully watched the credits in hopes of finally learning her name, but I couldn’t find it. But I DID see Rashida Jone’s name go scrolling by.  WTF? I thought. How did I miss her again? Who did she play? Who WAS this person? It was driving me crazy!

So crazy I even checked out a few episode of the god-awful “Parks and Recreation” to try and find her after reading that she was in it, but again, no luck. Though, once again, there was Karen from “The Office” this time playing a cool (and cute) nurse.

By now, you all have probably put two and two together enough times to fill an ark, but it took me a little longer to figure it out. In fact, it wasn’t until a few months ago, when I saw “The Social Network”  and spotted Karen from “The Office” as a cool (and cute) lawyer, that I finally put it all together. I waited for the credits, and lo and behold, there was Rashida Jones, and since there was not a single black person in the entire movie, I realized my mistake.

You see, I was assuming an actress named Rashida Jones would be black, which she is, sort of (more on that in a minute) so I was looking for someone that looked more like Wanda Sykes than a classier version of Leah Remini from “King of Queens,”  so I never made the connection. Turns out, Karen, from “The Office” – and all the other movies mentioned here, was Rashida Jones. She was hiding in plain sight!

Duh, right? Well, the funny thing is, Rashida’s dad IS black. And famous. He’s the incomparable producer, Quincy Jones, who “produced” Rashida, and an equally hot sister, with actress Peggy Lipton, from “The Mod Squad” (insert your own Link joke here) So I was right. Though this may be the first time in history where two rights make a wrong.

Which makes me wonder what other well-known things I’ve yet to “discover.”  Based on this, and the fact that I was 30 when I first learned that “The Outsiders” author, S.E. Hinton, was a girl, I’m guessing quite a few!

Monday, February 13, 2012

I Never "Got" VD

Today is Valentine’s Day. Or, as I like to call it, Tuesday. And no, I'm not making some lame pun about it being "Two's Day."  I just mean I tend to treat it like any other day. So if you came here looking for a romantic blog post to celebrate the "holiday," you might want to try somewhere else.  You see, I'm the guy who once gave his girlfriend a loaf of bread as a Valentine’s gift.  Yes, I said a loaf of bread. And I’m not talking about homemade bread baked with love or some expensive artisanal bread brought back from Brooklyn. I’m talking store-bought, shrink-wrapped Pepperidge Farm French Toast Swirl that you can get for $3.29 (with coupon) at any Stop and Shop.

On the surface, I may not appear be the best source regarding matters of the heart, since, as any of my friends will surely tell you, I am the least romantic person they know. Just ask and they’ll be more than happy to cite numerous examples of my supposed cheap and insensitive behaviors, like how I have never bought a girl flowers, perfume, or even a single piece of jewelry (unless they count the engagement ring - which they will, but only so they can then tell you how small it was and how I ridiculousy presented it to my wife-to-be in that most romantic of settings…a nursing home parking lot!)

But ask my wife (the recipient of said bread and ring) and you’ll get an entirely different story. For her, that parking lot was the perfect place to pop the question, as it forever connected us to her beloved grandmother, who passed away a month before our wedding. And she thought that bread was a very romantic gesture – seriously, she loved it!  And the thing is, I knew she would, and that’s what makes me a romantic.

I may not be your “traditional” romantic, but I know enough about love to know that it’s the little things that count.  If your significant other needs expensive things to make them feel loved and appreciated, it’s only because they aren’t getting enough of your actual love and appreciation. My wife may not be adorned with jewels, but not a day goes by that she isn’t adored by me! And I don’t wait until February 14th to show and share how much I care, I greet her with a heart on every day!

Sure, every so often I’ll succumb to the pressure and do something “special” on the day. One inspired year, I cut out about 100 paper hearts and wrote little love messages on them. Valentine’s morning, I secretly placed them on the blades of the ceiling fan above our bed while my wife was in the shower. I turned the fan “on” but only after making sure the light switch that controlled it was off, and then went to work. Later, when my wife came into the room and switched the light on, she was showered with dozens of little hearts. Cute, right? And the best part is, it cost me less than a buck!

The point is, The Beatles were right all along. Money can’t buy you love.  But on the other hand, if you’re lucky enough to have love, you can’t afford not to show it. 360 days a year (hey, everyone’s entitled to an off-day every now and then.) As for how you do that, it’s entirely up to you. So long as you don’t wait just for the holidays.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the Grand Gesture (and in all honesty, if I had a couple extra grand, I’d be all about hiring airplanes and elephants to carry my messages of love.) But at the moment, I’m broke, so Honey, if you’re reading this, I Love You!  And Happy Tuesday!


Monday, February 6, 2012

About face

Last year I was surprised at how much resistance and outright resentment I received for my annual “Facebook Free in February” campaign. Traditionally, these little stunts of mine had been were met with some good-natured ribbing and questions of doubt from my friends and family. But last year, some people seemed actually mad.

I couldn’t figure it out at first. I thought they’d be happy to be free of my constant self-promotions and sarcastic comments for a month. And they probably were. But there was also an almost angry undercurrent to some of their responses. I wasn’t sure what to make of it and wound up (wrongly) deciding that they must have been feeling defensive, as if I were claiming to be somehow superior to them for not “needing” facebook. 

But once March rolled around, and I had a chance to “talk” to several of them again, I realized that my silly posts and comments were serving as sort of a hub for others. I don’t know how so say this without sounding like an arrogant jerk, but apparently some people had come to rely on me to act as their ice-breaker. It seems my ridiculous status updates (commonly jokes at my own expense) and snarky comments were just enough to get the party started, and then others would pick up and take it from there.  I’m not saying there was anything so amazing or amusing about what I was saying, only that for whatever reason, it got the ball rolling, much in the same way a yawn is contagious.

And while we're only one week in, so far, this year has been a little different. For one thing, I’m no longer the only jester in the king’s court, so my absence is not leaving as much of a void. Plus, I’ve not been as active on facebook this year as in years past, so most people probably don’t even notice I’m gone.  Then there’s the whole “Timeline” thing, which has apparently pushed some people right over the edge.  But whatever the reason, I’m not picking up as much flak as last year. Except for the accusations of cheating!

This year, an unprecedented number of people have been calling me and confronting me about catching me on facebook, using this very blog as their “proof.” You see, whenever I post a new topic, I hit the share to facebook button, and a box pops up allowing me to type a message and post the link on my wall. Which I do. But I do so without ever going on facebook! Go ahead, try it for yourself if you don’t believe me. Scroll down and click on the little “f” (though you might want to pick a more interesting entry than this one!) and see what happens. 

See? You never left the page, right? So stop harassing me and just accept the fact that I am NOT on facebook.  But if I were, here's what I would have posted the past few days:

1. It's 50 degrees on February 2nd, does the groundhog even need to bother?

2. Is it wrong that I'm more entertained by the men on "New Girl" rather than my one-time crush, Zoey Deschanel?

3. Isn't it sadly ironic that people died during a protest over the people that died during the soccer riot in Egypt? 

4. I drive a Ford F-150, but that Chevy commercial was hilarious. Between the Barry Manilow song, the dog in the backseat, and the Twinkie reference, it was spot on and deserves a Clio

5. Deja Blue! Congrats to the Giants! All's Welker that ends Welker!

See you in March. Or, you know, here!