Tuesday, February 22, 2005

You just keep thinking, Butch. That's what your good at.

I had an epiphany last night, or maybe it was a reoccurring nightmare. I keep imagining that I am Howard Hessman from Head of the Class and I teach a class full of rejects. Basically, I teach a bunch of Spicolli’s and Pauli Shores for a 3 hour lecture on colonial New Hampshire economics of the 18th Century. How was it that Head of the Class was a show of smart kids who never graduated from high school for like 6 years. The only person to ever graduate from the show was the teacher.

What I really want to do is relive me and my buddies dream of walking out of our jobs one day to sail on an old pirate ship through the Caribbean with nothing but rum and peanut butter snack packs. Then someday settle down on a remote island and open a beach resort/bar. The place would be called “Cocktails and Dreams”. It may have been done before, I don't know. “Coglins Law, Bury the dead when they are stinking up the place.”
What I need is a duo. Sort of like my Robin. Without my duo I can’t do the things I always wanted to do but never had the courage. Such as, watch a marathon of Back to Future I, II, and III on Sunday after on TNT with the commercials when I had a 1,000 word paper due the next day I hadn’t started. By the way, what was up with Back to the Future III? It was the worst thing ever. I can’t believe they made Doc’ fly away in the end in a flying train. If he could make a 1985 Dolorean fly, why couldn’t he try making like a 1978 Pacer fly.

So thinking about duos, I have compiled a list of my top ten duos’s of all time. No need to cry about these, they are mine and not yours.

10. Simon and Simon – Who could forget Gerald McRaney, the guy from Major Dad, and the Vietnam Vet always bailing his preppy brother (Jameson Parker) out of trouble. Nothing gets by these two brothers; they are the best private detectives (dics) in town.

9. Bash Brothers – Now this a pair. Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco. During the late 1988 they both combined to hit 74 homeruns and over 200 RBI’s. The also helped Oaklawn A’s to the World Series 3 times. This is were the fun begins, I remember when Canseco was dating Madonna he had a 1-900 number that played a message stating “This is Jose Canseco, and tonight I went 2-4 with 2 RBI’s. My batting average is .306. And later on I will be getting down with Madonna at the Rainbow Room. Later.” Classic Canseco. As for McGwire he soaked it all up.

8. Doctor Dre’ and Snoop Dog – Classic duo that collaborated on “The Chronic”. It
was an instant classic. Especially for decades later as everyone would reiterate one of the numerous lyrics from the song “with my money on mind and mind on the money.” My favorite line from the Chronic album came whenever my buddies and I would be getting ready for a night on the town. I would come out blasting, “I ain’t comin home til 6 in da morning.” Lord knows Snoop has tried giving up smoking as much as I have tried cutting back on watching Seinfeld reruns.

7. Pesci and DeNiro – These two paired of for some of the greatest mob movies ever. This was the height of mobster period, “Goodfellas, Casino, and Raging Bull”. This goes back to when Martin Scorsesee did good movies without Leo!!! I think if I ever crossed these two guys in a casino I would cash my chips in and get as far away as possible. I really liked DeNiro before all the crap movies he’s done now, i.e. “City by the Sea”. Pesci is Pesci. Typecasted from day 1. His best role was in a movie called “Easy Money”. He was great as a drunk obnoxious plumber friend to Rodney Dangerfield. They both don't get much respect.

6. Waldorf and Statler – I loved these two. They are the two old guys that sit on the balcony in all the muppet movies. You remember, they sat in the Abe Lincoln seats and made fun of everyone during the show. It was the best part of the movie. I remember I couldn’t wait to hear them, they were the ultimate at put-downs. I think they could make a run today in a talent contest of put-downs. They would always make fun of Fozzy Bear. Who didn't. One of them was forever sleeping, until the other would wake him up.

More too come later.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Lately, I've been thinking what am I here for?

So, sorry for the delay. It's been a while and school is definitely cutting into my social life. I can't remember the last time I went out during the week. But than again I think I am required to stay at home since I am on the defense witness list for Michael Jackson. Don't even think about telling me you were the "one" person that didn't like his music when we were growing up. We all thought he was awesome. I have to be honest, my Billie Jean poster of him walking on a sidewalk that lights up as he touches it was my favorite. I was so bad that I even bought the "We are the world" tribute album. Whatever happened to those big name artists collaborating on one song instead of a whole album. It was awful and radical at the same time.

I spent the better part of last night watching the Westminster Dog show. I am also transfused by some of the dogs beauty. Alright, my wife had control of the remote last night and since Valentine's Day was nothing special I was on the list. If you have a significant other you know what I mean by the list. I don't have to explain. What's up with the judge checking out the dog's package. I thought girls don't care about size.

So I've been thinking, what am I here for? And I know for sure what I am not here for. Anything that deals with noodling, biting my lip, and trying to over assert myself. I always thought of myself as an disproportionate average slightly built moronic self-deprecating unassuming opportunistic well-thought of man. So I've got that going for me, which is good. I guess what it all comes down to is that I would be a great philosopher if I could think more about others and the universe and less about what Cheers episode will be coming on tonight. Will it be pre-Woody or post-Woody. Or will tonight be a night Knight Rider goes bezerk on Michael and ejects his no-talent singing ass right out the car or do I want to watch T.C. serve up some sweet Mai Tai's to a couple of fine brown asians on Magnum P.I. By the way they need to bring back some of the old t.v. shows from the 80's. Everything now is just too flashy and dashy. They all try to outdo each other with special effects, please let's go back to the classic cliff hangers from the Dukes of Hazzard. General Lee frozen as it tries to jump over another construction site in Hazzard County. I know one thing for sure, I was definitely put here to try and figure out how does Hazzard County still have dirt roads if in every episode there is construction going on. I know government workers work slow but not 6 television seasons slow. That's all for now.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Commercials are for old school

While sitting here typing up this useless and mostly inane blog, somewhere out there are millions of people suffering through another harmless but horrible commercial. Here's my one wish, that there become a channel that is devoted to nothing but old school commercials. That way when someone wants to subject themselves to the endless repetition of commercials they have some place to go for atleast a good laugh.

Have you noticed how everything is all about being old school. Taking it back to when everything was hippty and hoppty. We have old school jerseys for sports athletes, old school music from new school artists (K.D. Lang) old school cars remodeled for the new age playa', and even old school dance moves (break dancing is back). So why can't we go old school on t.v. commercials.

I mentioned before that I loved the Old Milwaukee commercials, "It doesn't get any better than this." Unless it's a scene from Deliverance. Let's bring back old school Wendy's, "Where's the beef?" old school grandma serving up burgers at the local fast food restaurant. Nothing more imaginable than an 80 year old woman sweating over my quarter pounder. One of my all time favorites was Dunkin Donuts, "Gotta make the donuts." That guy was the poster child for I hate my freakin job because everybody eats donuts 24/7. I really liked the old school beer commercials for Schlitz, " Grab the bull by the horns." By the way, wasn't the guy who was the official spokesman for Schlitz commercials in Stars Wars, damn you Lando Calrissan for betraying Han Solo. How back bringing back Bob Uecker for those old school Miller Lite commercials, he is alot funnier than Cedric the Non-entertianer. Or better yet the singing and dancing California Raisins, "I heard it through the grapevine." What's better than claymation, is really bad claymation. Bring back the cereal commercial in which we have a big brother force feeding his little brother cereal. Oh, the family ties that bond, "Mikey likes it, he really likes it." How about the gum commercial from Big Red in which every guy gets lambasted with a big wet one from the girl of his dreams all he has to do is by a 45 cent pack of gum. "Make your kiss last a little longer, with Big Red." Or Juicy Fruit with their hip song and always dare deviling activities of people skydiving or waterskiing with no hands because "The Taste is gonna move ya." Bring back the Hawaiian Frunch Punch bowl man that breaks through walls with the might of the Hulk because he's all hopped up on delicious colored sugar water. He scares the kids with his tights and huge kool-aid ass screaming "Oh, Yeah!" Better yet, thousands of people ceremoniously raising their arm pits to the world to show they don't smell and have used Sure, "Raise your hand if your Sure." One last one, I remember the old AT&T commercial where the guy picks up the pay phone and says "Welcome Alkabayside." Man was that a great commercial. I love these old school commercials. There's plenty more and maybe my next blog will have some more great old school commercials. For now, we suffer with Glady's Knight and not the Pimps running down a field of Rugby players to promote, wait a minute who cares.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Eternal Sunshine

" How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd;
Labour and rest, that equal periods keep;
'Obedient slumbers that can wake and weep;'
Desires compos'd, affections ever ev'n,
Tears that delight, and sighs that waft to Heav'n. "

-Alexander Pope, Eloisa to Abelard, 1717

It wouldn't be right to dream,
while Forgetting to live, it seems;
Nor would it be right to dwell on life
And yet forget our dreams.

I watched the movie "Eternal Sunshine on the spotless mind" the other night and I was blown away. I have watched movies written by Charlie Kaufman. This was a pleasant surprise and I was really into the existential meaning of the film. I am not one for giving away movies, but in a time when people seem more driven by movies that have millions of special effects with little plot this movie gave me hope that people are making movies that have meaning. I am a real sucker for poems and more importantly quotes that come from poems. Alexander Pope's quote provides one of the great principles of life. Sometimes it is hard to readily except the mundaness of our lives, but that doesn't mean that their is nothing special about the experiences we have.

By the way, I didn't catch the Superbowl this year and I am half-heartedly sorry for missing out on the 4 and half hours of Bud Bowl XII. Still, I enjoyed my day sitting along a parade route having a few beers with my brothers and my wife. It was like an Old Milwaukee commercial. We were sitting around a small barbeque pit, grilling some burgers. The sun started to set on our day. The parade was about an hour from starting, when I looked around at the smiling faces around me. I turned to my brothers and my wife and said "It doesn't get any better than this." All we needed was a river with fish jumping out of it, a five story high bonfire, and a can of Skoal and it would have been a great commercial for the Superbowl. Sorry, Pats fans for missing out on your celebration. Lastly, I don't ever want to hear from a Masshole fan about their sports teams sucking. They have envoked the 10 year obligatory no complaining rule. As for me, a true New Orleans Saints fan and Red Sox fan. I have to wallow here in purgatory until someone mentions to me that a new stage has been added to Dante's Inferno. It includes being born and raised as a self-obliging Saints fan with no hope or no reason why they are so bad.

Monday, February 07, 2005

It's Carnival Time

Yeah, it is Carnival time. I can't even describe the feel of this city as we plunge into the depths of all-time low debauchery and foulness during the Mardi Gras season. Growing up in New Orleans is quite an experience. I am used to the constant intercession of questions whenever I travel. "You from New Orleans, that place must be fun during Mardi Gras?" or "Is it as crazy as it looks on t.v. you know on the show COPS?" Nothing brings tears to my eyes faster. What other way can I explain over a million people traveling into your city for a week to drink, piss, puke and trash the city I love so much for the sake to say, "I went to Mardi Gras and boy was I drunk." I love my hometown, but there is nothing I can't stand more than the image most people outside of New Orleans imagine that our great city is like this all the time.

When I think back on my younger memories of Mardi Gras I remember a peaceful setting, but then again my parents decided to take us away from the city that care forget for the week to see the world outside of Louisiana. Places like, Washington D.C., Navarre Beach Florida, Gatlinburg Tennessee, Los Angeles California, and my favorite as a child Orlando Florida. It was fun to see different places, and watch my pops turn into Clark Griswold from National Lampoons Vacation. Oh, the great stories I would have when I returned back to school. While my friends would revert to the ever so redundant story of how they caught so many beads that are worthless but seem so precious at the moment of reception, I would indulge them with tales of skiing down the Rocky Mountains or riding all the cool rides at Disney World with no lines. Is there anything better as a kid that going to an amusement park and there are no lines for the rides. It was like having an unlimited supply of floppy disks for your commodore 64.

This past Saturday, I spent the entire afternoon on the "median" as my friend refers to what we call a neutral ground, waiting incessantly for a parade to come by. In particular, Endymion, which is the largest, overrated parade in the city of New Orleans. When the parade got near we saw our whole world crumble by an onslaught of people making a mad rush to the get in front of where we had been sitting all day. We were pushed back until we were behind everyone else. Then we saw our things get trampled as people saw fit to fight for beads and cups in the spot we had been sitting in. Sunday was a little better as we set up on St. Charles and Louisiana for what the locals call the best day of Mardi Gras. There are 4 parades on the Sunday before Mardi Gras and it all culminates with the oldest and best parade in the city "Bacchus." We didn't get trampled as much as it was hard to find a place to go to the bathroom. I paid 5 bucks to use a restaurant a block away just because they had small lines. There it is again, that reference back to lines. What a world we could live in if there were no lines for the things we wanted to do. Only after I was standing in line at the Port-o-lets did I witness a guy and girl squeeze into the porto johns together. They remerged about 10 minutes later with scurvy and bile and other random diseases that come from being captive in those things for more than 5 minutes. My brothers and I spent the entire day out there, roughly from 9am until 9pm. We ate, we laughed at others parading, we danced to the beat of high school marching bands, and we even caught a few beads. I have to say it wasn't that bad of day considering the previous day.

After much deliberation I have made one conscious decision, next year we are going some place else. Thanks in part to my Jacques Costeau father who instilled in me the passion to travel and see other worlds. Mardi Gras seems like fun the first few times around, and then it becomes something so bothersome like taking out the trash every Sunday night. I hope Mardi Gras never goes away, it gives me a chance to do the thing I love while others get to deface the city I call home for a chance to say the went to Mardi Gras.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Have you ever taken one of those tests to figure out what you are suppose to do for work when you get older? This past week, a couple of students told me they had to take these vocational aptitude tests. It basically asks you a lot of random questions, such as; "Do you like art?, "Do you enjoy traveling", or "Do you enjoy sports?" Basically, a lot of questions you probably will end up answering yes to. I think when I filled out one of those vocational aptitude tests it registered that I would be an overachiever.

Really, what's the right job for you when you are in high school. Most kids think if I could be that guy who tests video games for X-box that would be perfect. But as Judge Smails put it so politely, "the world needs ditch-diggers, too."

Understandably, most high school seniors don't rationalize the fact that whatever they go to college for, they may not even be working in that field once they graduate. I heard some statistic like 30 percent of students that graduate actually work in their field they studying for in college. So what's up with the 70 percent? Are they teaching at some local high school?

Well, I am for them trying to narrow down some better job classifications such as; sewage tank stirer, envelope licker, water tester, and human canonballer. I ever wonder if kids really think that the carnival is a career waiting to happen or if the bearded lady routine will soon be out of fashion. It's important to tell our next generation to try and excel in whatever they want to do. Just remember, that besides millioniares the world also needs overachievers. The next time someone asks you want you to do when you grow up, just tell them that growing up is overrated and their are more important things to do. Like wait for the next, Van Damme movie to come out or crave for the Oingo Bongo reunion tour.