Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thundercats Transformers and GI Joe

I realize that just one day after I promised to write every day....I didn't write.  HEY!  Leave me alone!  I am busy, jerks.  I'll do better.  Today's episode is sponsored by the letter "kids TV Shows aren't as good as they used to be". 

Having a child, and just being a cartoon liker in general, I find myself watching more and more kids shows these days.  The point of these shows is to entertain and uplift, but I am depressed watching them.  Where is the violence?  Where are the racial stereotypes??  Where are the damn 75-foot cliff falls???  20 years ago...that's where.

The kids shows today are half-assed at best.  Blues Clues?  The dog can't even talk!  Lassy could tell Timmy that his uncle was on fire in a barn in Russia and the latitude and longitude of said barn just by barking.  Blue has to bark and point at things right in front of this idiot's face just to get him to see the HUMONGOUS blue paw print on something.  Yeah, dummy, go ahead...write it in your notebook...you're a fool.

And then there is the multitude of "politically correct" shows with their themes completely changed to promote child safety and well-fare.  THAT'S THE PARENTS' JOB!  Quit having Cookie Monster tell children to eat fruits and vegetables.  That is the fruit and vegetable puppets' job.  You are not only confusing kids by having the COOKIE monster tell them to only "sometimes" eat cookies, but you are also laying off the fruit and vegetable puppeteers.  Shame on you Sesame Street.  And where has Snuffalufugus and Oscar the Grouch gone?  I hate Elmo.  This little idiot has single-handedly taken over Sesame Street.  Gone are the days of Bert and Ernie, Big Bird, Snuff, and Prarie Dawn and Oscar.  Oh!  And GROVER!  My favorite!  Where have they gone?  Loved Grover.

There are a few shows out there that are mildly entertaining.  Yo Gabba Gabba is ridiculous, but I can't look away.  I'm amazed that drug addicts haven't found this show yet.  There are so many crazy things and colors going on, it surprises me that they don't have a warning their show might cause epileptic seizures.

But where has the good stuff gone?  I'm not claiming my generation had the best children's programming, but....wait....YES I AM.  Mario Bros, Thundercats, He-Man, Gi Joe, Fraggle Rock, the Muppets, Muppet Babies, GOOD Sesame Street, Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, 3-2-1 Contact, Pinwheel, Today's Special.  Then on into the nineties with Salute Your Shorts, Hey Dude, Are You Afraid of the Dark, Ren and Stimpy, Two Stupid Dogs, Power Rangers, X-Men, Spiderman, Batman.  I could go on forever.  The Warner Bros and Jim Henson would simultaneously vomit if they saw what was being done to their creations these days.  Mr. Roger's would keep his cardigan on as he whipped the ass of today's tv execs.  Even classics like the Flintstones, the Jetsons, the Snorks, the Hair Bears, Yogi bear, and the rest of the Hannah Barbara line are being ignored by today's youth.  Boomerang should be channel 1 on your dial.  Or at least in the top twenty. 

There is not one single show I have seen that could hold a candle to the shows of my youth.  I could pick the absolute worse show of the eighties and it would destroy the highest rated kids shows today.  It would be like Carl Lewis racing a blind kid in a wheel chair.  Might have stepped over a line there, BUT IT'S TRUE!  Coincidence that one of the highest rated movies of this summer...and last summer...and the summer before that is based on a cartoon from the eighties???  (transformers).  Go Bots were better anyway.

I guess this is the way of things though.  As bad parents everywhere continue to blame other things for their children being terrible, children's television and video games will continue to take hits.  This ties in with my previous rant about Showbiz pizza and the crappier Chuck E. Cheese.  I feel like I could bring back good television for kids.....but where to start?

Here's a little something for you children of the eighties.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ok. Need a topic. Food maybe? Ok Go!

I am on a thing now where I want to write something new every single day.  I do it like this.  I pretend I have fans on this thing, so I can't let them down!  They need my musings on things in their lives, so I must write something new every day!  They would lead less fulfilled lives if deprived of my stuff.   I feel very self-sacrificing now.  Very unselfish.  And here.....we....go (Joker voice...love Dark Knight).

You know what grinds my gears?  Not enough people eat peanut-butter, banana and mayo sandwiches.  This travesty has gone on long enough.  I am tired of being treated like a villain or mad scientist every time I eat one of these phenomenal concoctions of the culinary world.  And making it is so simple!  Peanut butter.  Who doesn't like this?  Maybe people with peanut allergies....you are excused.  Bananas.  Excellent source of Potassium and energy.  Plus, you can make wiener jokes with them.  It's a toy AND food.  Mayo.  Now here's where it gets tricky.

People have been having the mayonnaise debate since the dawn of time.  One of the great arguments left out of the Bible was between Adam and Eve. 

Eve: "Hey honey, could you grab the mayonnaise for me?"

Adam: "All we have is Miracle whip"

Eve: "Yeah, I bought it.  I love it."

Adam: "But God told us not to eat Miracle Whip.  It is a sin."

Eve: "God won't know, you can't even taste the difference."

Adam: "Really?  Cool, make me a sandwich too."

So Eve makes the sandwich, they both eat, and BAM!!!  Kicked out of the garden.  God knows what is best.  He doesn't want us eating that nasty mayonnaise substitute.  Real mayo is fantastic.  YES YOU CAN TASTE THE DIFFERENCE!  YES YOU CAN!  You wouldn't eat a pile of dog poo if Filet Mignon was readily available for the same price would you?  No.  You would not.  And if you would, I don't want you eating my favorite sandwich, because I don't want people thinking I have the same taste in food as the poop-eater.

Anyway, back on track.  With these three fantastic ingredients, how could a sandwich go wrong?  The majority of nay-sayers to this lovely food have never even tried it.  They are so appalled that fruit, mayo and peanut butter would be combined that they turn their nose up at the mere sight of it.  Try it though!  It's so good!  White bread, wheat bread, go your own way.  Experiment!  Maybe throw some potato chips in there.  Go crazy!  I won't judge you for potato chips. I used to do it too!  Just no salt and vinegar.  Gross.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Rise and Fall of Chuck E. Cheese

Chuck E. Cheese.  Where a kid can be a kid.  This line haunts my thoughts after my visit to a birthday party there today, because it is no longer Mecca for every child I don't believe.  I am going to take a little time to explain to you the horrors I witnessed at the hands of a dude in a rat suit today.

First of all, it was originally "Showbiz Pizza".  Best place on Earth by far.  Eiffel Tower?  Nope.  Leaning Tower of Pisa?  Forget about it.  Grand Canyon?  A ditch.  Showbiz was where my brother and I ached every moment of our childhood to return.  An actual playground with a huge ball pit and cargo net used to escape the ball pit.  Slide of course.  Arcade games, ski ball, and tons of stuff to play on.  The pizza was delicious and you had a gorilla, "Fatz", sing to you as you ate.  Shangri-la has nothing on this place for a child in the eighties.  If any of you were alive back then, you can relate.

I walk in to this impostor's palace of lies and what do I see?  Certainly not a ball pit.  No cargo netting.  You used to be able to watch Fatz and his band light up the stage with their antics in a separate room to make it feel like you were actually in a concert.....a gorilla-led concert.  Nope.  The concert area is now joined with the arcade, so now the sounds of the games would drown out Fatz....IF HE EVEN SANG ANYMORE.  Fatz didnt even speak...much less sing.  There was no animatronic variety show.  All that was now replaced by a moron in a rat suit and his "helpers" (Chuck E. Cheese employees who seem a little less than thrilled to be there).  Sure, Fatz is still there, but he just moves silently, kind of like someone had stolen his soul.  He is doomed to forever play the piano without telling jokes, singing or even conversing with his bird friend with pom-pom hair.  For shame Chuck. 

The pizza was mediocre at best.  Poor showmanship by mr. Chuck.  "Animatronic, soulless shells of what they used to be" robots playing along to the new piper, Chuck.  I was appalled.  Not because of the poor show, however.  The kids had a blast.  I was upset, because I knew in my heart how much fun they COULD have been having if they had been born before people cared about child safety.  We used to roll around in that ball pit for hours.  Just swimming in vomit and urine.  We didn't care.  I would hide in wait under the balls, just waiting for my brother or any other unsuspecting child to come wading by, then.......BAM!  I popped out like a ball pit ninja, blasting them in the face with a multi-colored spray of plastic death.  So much fun.

I was happy to see that my ski ball skills had improved since my last visit, 20 years ago.  Tokens seem to last a lot longer when you don't suck.  Josh and I would blow through tokens like there was no tomorrow.  I was also happy to see that video games no longer require 2-4 tokens per game.  Even Chuck E. knows there is a recession on, and he feels for the kids.  Still 4 tokens for a dollar.....but each game is only 1 token!  Thanks Chuck!  Also, they have this booth kids can get in that shoots tickets around like the car dealerships have for people to grab as much money as they can.  Tickets fly everywhere.  Bless the little kids' hearts.  Their hands are too small to grab more than 10.  In my stupid mind, I developed a strategy, thinking maybe someday I might find myself in that booth and I would have all the tickets to myself. 

In summation, we miss you Fatz.  I want my child to be able to hear him sing.  I want children of all races and creeds and ages to know that big monkey's booming voice.  Alas, it is not to be.  He is forever silent.  That stinking rat has the mic now, and he is blowing it.

Here is what it used to look like!!

And here is a video of the old showbiz show!

Friday, June 24, 2011

BoMilk: Getting Grumpy?

BoMilk: Getting Grumpy?: "**Disclaimer** This post is crude...but funny. If you are appalled or disgusted by bathroom humor, then stop right here. Enjoy my other p..."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Getting Grumpy?

**Disclaimer**  This post is crude...but funny.  If you are appalled or disgusted by bathroom humor, then stop right here.  Enjoy my other posts about music or dining out.  They are nice too. As for the rest of you, enjoy.  **Disclaimer**

Ok.  A couple months ago I heard my brother, Josh, refer to going number 2 as getting "grumpy".  I thought this was the most hilarious reference I had ever heard.  For weeks, I giggled every time I sat down to do my business.  I pictured a grumpy old man's face every time I pooped.  It seems odd to me now that I pictured an old man pooping every time I pooped.  I just made myself feel awkward in a room alone.  Crap.  Pardon the pun.

But now that I think about it, getting "grumpy" is the opposite description of what I would think someone experiences during that time.  Baring constipation, that part of the day is one of the most relieving and peaceful times of my life.  I mean think about it....does this guy describe what you experience on the "throne"?

He looks so mean and perturbed.  This guys says, "I'm not having a good time.  I would rather be doing anything else than taking the browns to the super bowl."  This is not me on the toilet.

Side note:  Speaking of Grumpy, I came across this when I was looking for pictures.  Anyone remember these books??  Maybe I am dating myself here, but I used to read these books all the time as a child.  Once again.....this is not me on the toilet.

THIS IS ME ON THE TOILET.  I realize as I am typing this that this topic might be a little too much for some people.  Maybe I'll put a disclaimer at the top.  Ok.  Done. 

This is me.  Going to the restroom is such a freeing, relaxing, nice experience that Happy Dwarf (or maybe Dopey depending on whether I am giggling on the toilet or not) best describes me I guess.  Look at him.  Remember when you were a kid and the pride you felt when you pooped in the potty instead of crapping your pants?  This is what Happy here has just done.  Look at him.  So Proud. 

Poop is such a time of joy and freedom.  It seems to me that the person who first called it "grumpy" was someone traumatized as a child in a bathroom.  A person who fears the very notion of poop.  Well I challenge that person to look at this picture and try not to smile.  How could something so innocent and happy looking be grumpy?  It can't.  By it's very nature it is a happy time.  Ridding your body of toxins.  And for those lucky and free souls who are fortunate enough to be able to have the door open?  Forget about it!  I like to have the lights off with the afternoon sun coming through the window.  Maybe I'm naked, who knows what the day will bring and what kind of mood I'll be in.  Either way it is a great, very rewarding time.

Now there are times when "grumpy" can be applied.  Here is a list of times that Happy Dwarf or the smiling, cute poop does not show up:

Mexican Food
Thai Food
Gas Station/Rest Stop bathrooms
Places with 1-ply toilet paper (Nothing like multi-ply toilet paper.  It's like wiping with a quilt)

There you have it.  My poop rant.  Thank you Josh for the material.  Now go out there, be the best person you can be, and eat plenty of fiber.....but not too much.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Diner's License

Ok, being a restaurant manager, I feel like I have an obligation to the entire world to make this post.  This will be a very informative read.  Take it.  Learn it.  Apply it.  You will get better service from happier servers.  It might not make your food taste any better, but you will be enriching the lives of people in the food service industry.  You don't like when idiots mess with you at your job right?  Right.  Here we go.

#1.  When you enter a restaurant, please stop at the hostess stand.  Do not pass the hostess stand, ignore the girls (or guys sometimes) at the door and then wander aimlessly around the restaurant like no one will help you.  Your help is behind you....you passed it on the way in.  Do you enter a hospital and pass reception and wander around looking for doctors?  No?  Then don't do it here.

#2.  When speaking to your hostess, correctly quote how many people WILL be coming.  Not how many people you hope will come....not how many people you think might come.  We need an accurate head count.  Don't say 11 when you know it will be 6.  That steals space from the restaurant and in my opinion, we should charge for unused seats.  Only makes sense.

#3.  Don't order a water with another beverage unless you really intend on drinking the water.  Too many times waters are left FULL on the table after you have drank 7 diet cokes.  You are wasting your server's time he/she could be spending serving you.  You aren't going to drink the water too.  Don't order it.

#4.  READ THE MENU.  If you order something that has something you don't like on it, and you don't say to leave that off, then it is your fault that it comes on there.  Read the menu...it is very helpful.  The restaurant is in no way obligated to give you ANOTHER dish because you didn't read that pecans come in your chicken salad.  Whether you eat it or not, you should have to pay for it.

#5.  Say you get your entree, and you don't like it.  SORRY!  My obligation with your food ends when it hits the table if it was made correctly.  You don't like the way your chicken parmesian tastes?  TOO BAD!  If you would like something else, you must pay for something else.  Want to try everything on the menu?  Ryans is right down the road.  They encourage that kind of retarded behavior.  We do not.

#6.  If you order an alcoholic drink you have never tried before, don't get upset when I make you pay for it when you don't quite like it.  You ordered it, my bartender made it to spec....DRINK IT.  Or don't, I don't care....you are paying for it anyway.  Whoever came up with this idea that if you don't like something, you shouldn't have to pay for it is insane.  I had to pay for the product, pay someone to make it, pay someone to serve it to you, and pay someone to wash the dish or glass.  Why on earth should I take it off your bill if you don't like it????  Try that at McDonald's and see if they don't laugh at you.  Oh, you'll not be returning to my establishment?  OH NO!  We won't miss your business.  Learn how to eat out before returning here, please.

#7.  If you need something from your server and someone else also needs something, please ask for it at the same time.  Don't wait until the server returns from one task to ask him/her to do another one.  This equals an aggravated server.

#8.  Extra condiments cost money.  Sorry.

#9.  If you are in a party of more than six, expect gratuity to be added.  Simple as that.

#10.  So you have finished your meal, and your server has done very well.  15% is not a good tip.  Ever.  In any situation.  15% should be given in cases where you have received the bare minimum in service.  If your server has done a great job, then 20-25% is not only prudent but it is expected.  These kids, and sometimes adults, only make $2 an hour.  $2 AN HOUR!  Do you understand this?  Not only that, but they have to put up with rude, mean, obnoxious people on a nightly basis.  Reward them for a job well done, because 15% says to a server that they did not do a good job.

There.  10 simple rules to use when dining out.  There are more nuances to the dining ritual, but these should get you started.  I have always thought a person should be made to obtain a "Diner's License" before being allowed to eat out.  There would be a written and practical test a person would have to pass in order to obtain one.  And your license would have to be shown to hostesses before being allowed entrance into the establishment.  If you don't pass?  Sorry, enjoy Burger King for the next 30 days before you are able to retake the test.  Drive-thru's don't require the license.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bonnaroo 2011 Rundown

Well, Bonnaroo 2011 is over, and I had a blast.  This was my first year going, but my brother had been before.  So I was warned of the wall of smelly, dirty hippies I would most certainly encounter.  And I did encounter them.  All eighty thousand of them.  That's right.....eighty thousand people at this thing.  It was fantastic though, and I thoroughly enjoyed becoming one of them for 4 days.

The first day we didn't see many bands, because there weren't many big bands playing.   We went into Centeroo and walked around through this huge welcoming entrance. 
We watched the Walkmen that night, but not much else was going on.  So we wandered around and listened to some bands we didn't really know and turned in for the night.

Day 2 was MUCH better after we got into Centeroo.  We stood in line for 2 hours to get in.....  The first band we saw was Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.  They were great.  Downside to 95 degree heat?  HUGE line at the water station.  So half of the concert was spent with my back to it filling water bottles.  Grace has a great voice though, so my back enjoyed the show.  Upset that I missed Matt and Kim, we walked over to "This Tent" (the dustiest stage on earth) to see Atmosphere.  It was a great show.  Everyone wasn't a fan of hip hop though, so some stood in the back out of the dust storm's way. 

The highlight of my day, though, was Ray LaMontagne.  He was absolutely amazing.  He played every song I wanted to hear, as well as a Pink Floyd cover that was very good.  The only downside was the geniuses who scheduled the acts for the week scheduled Ray and Florence and the Machine at the same time.  Here's a little bit of Ray for everyone
After Ray, we caught Florence and the Machine's last two songs: Heavy in Your Arms and Dog Days.  Both fantastic.  Everyone was tired and hungry so we walked back to the tents (about a ten minute walk) to eat.  We listened to My Morning Jacket from the tents and readied for the show of the night, Arcade Fire!  They were amazing.  My favorite performance of the weekend.  It was ridiculous how many people were there.  They walked off stage before playing "Wake Up", so I knew they had to play an encore.  We got as close as we could to hear this.......
I got chills.  It was a great show.  The rest of the night was Bassnectar and Pretty Lights.  I ended up not going to either.....but I heard they were amazing.

Day 3....Old Crow Medicine Show started at two, so I listened to them from the tent haha.  Too hot to stand in line again for an hour. Amos Lee and a couple other bands played as well, but the big show of the day for me was Mumford and Sons.  We got pretty close and they put on a fantastic show.  We didn't realize how many people were there until about half way through when we looked behind us.  It was nuts.  GREAT show.  They played a few news songs too that sounded great.  Can't wait for their new album. 
The Black Keys got a HUGE crowd....but not because they are awesome.  Eminem played after them, so everyone wanted to get there early to get close for Eminem.  For that very reason, we listened to half of the Black Keys set and went back to the tents.  I REGRET THIS DECISION.  We listened to Eminem from the tents and the show was the best of the entire weekend.  We really missed a great show.  After Eminem, we headed back into Centeroo for Scissor Sisters, Girl Talk and STS9.  All amazing shows. 

Final Day...I missed the Head and the Heart because of how late we were out the night before.  Disappointing.  The first show we caught was Neon Trees and they weren't as good as I expected.  Next was either Iron and Wine or Cold War Kids, we caught a little of both.  Cold War Kids were much better.  The big decision of the day was Strokes or Explosions in the Sky.  I made the wrong choice.  We went to the Strokes.  I'm sure if the sound crew hadn't messed them up, they would have been great, but the sound was terrible.  So terrible, in fact, that we moved over to Explosions.....FANTASTIC.  They were great.  Absolutely phenomenal.  We ended the weekend back at the tents listening to Widespread do their usual thing.

Now that I have said my peace about the music.....IT WAS SO HOT.  I was shirtless the entire time and sweated to death.  High 90's every day, dust everywhere and I mean everywhere.  It was a great weekend, though and I can not wait for next year.  It was one of the best experiences of my life.  Lollapalooza is coming up in August and it looks pretty good.....
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