My oldest brother and I had one goal on our trip to Chicago: See Howlin’ Wolf’s grave.
He had thought of it a few summers back on a drive-through trip with his wife on their way to visit friends in Indiana, but it had never fallen into place for them to stop. This time, with me backing him up and our mom surprisingly also on board, it came as a three-against-two vote against our significant others, and our trip home found us taking a twenty-minute detour due west to Oakridge Cemetery.
Google Maps has us completely passing the entrance to the place, which happens to be about fifteen times larger than any of us anticipated. “Where exactly is his grave?” My brother asks, turning onto the main road and driving slow.
“Fantastic question,” I reply. Continue reading
In the words of Steven Tyler on the Rockin’ Roller Coaster in Disney World, “How to, people?”
It has been a lifetime since I updated this blog, and that is completely on me. Last week, I had a fantastic conversation on Twitter with a follower/friend about my writing because I linked to this year’s Camp NaNoWriMo, reminding people that sometimes I do write fiction things. Sometimes. “You should always be writing,” she told me.
It’s not that I haven’t been writing; it’s just that I’m writing things that are completely different. Continue reading
In the words of Krusty the Klown, “So, have a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, a kwaazy Kwanza, a tip-top Tet, and a solemn, dignified Ramadan.”
But seriously, enjoy the holiday season. 2014 has been an interesting year. So much stuff has happened that I cannot keep straight, and 2015 promises to be just as crazy.
With the FXX marathon of “Every Simpsons Ever” fading from memory and their 24-hours-a-week of Simpsons episodes airing, you could say I have The Simpsons on my brain.
But that’s nothing new.
I could go on about how many episodes I watched during that marathon, how I kept saying I would go to bed a little later, I’ll go a little later, because when one episode ended, another one immediately started. I read many different blog posts about the marathon, I check “Dead Homer Society” on a daily basis solely for their quote of the day; there was a blog post somewhere where a guy wrote about his experiences during the first 24 hours of the marathon. Had I been thinking, I would have done that, but I would have done the Saturday-into-Sunday lineup of Seasons 5-7.
I’ve known for years that The Simpsons are a big part of my life. It’s one of the first cartoons I remember watching as a kid–heck, they’re a year older than me, so I literally have never lived in a world without new Simpsons episodes. My brothers and I constantly quote it to each other. It’s how we hold conversations. Even my mom gets in on the action.
So I am here to document a day in the life of Simpsons quotes. It may seem unbelievable, some of the jumps my brain makes, but I can assure you, none of this is going to be fudged.
All right, let’s keep this train wreck moving.
I currently use, “Yeah, stuff sucks,” quite often. And when my fiancee was in Vegas with his dad in February, I constantly told him to keep gaming.
SEX. Now that I have your attention…It’s hard to go 24 hours without referencing The Simpsons at least once, even if you don’t realize you don’t realize you’re doing it. And it’s going to be damn near impossible once FXX’s Simpsons marathon begins and your life ends. “So I says to Mabel I says I can’t meet you, ‘Homer’s Barbershop Quartet’ is on in an hour.” To prepare for the upcoming quote-pocalypse, let’s look at some of the most referenced Simpsons quotes in everyday conversations. These are 20 I use all the time (I could have picked about 700 more, and I’m already furious at myself for not including “probably misses his old glasses”) — feel free to share your favorites, you cheese-eating surrender monkeys.
1. “I don’t know why; it’s a perfectly cromulent word.”
Everyday use: “Calling LeBron the best basketball player alive is a perfectly cromulent argument.”
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They were feelings I never managed to put down in words. That is–until something pushed me to sort through whatever I was experiencing.
Yesterday, it was a coworker of mine handing me her Entertainment Weekly because I mentioned it to her last week. It’s the one with the main article about Chris Pratt and the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. While I have been seriously anticipating this movie like no other, staring at the cover drove me crazy. So I wrote about my anticipation and why. Have a snippet if you don’t want to read the whole thing:
I remember trying to explain Guardians to my best friend after watching the credits scene in Thor: The Dark World. “Bradley Cooper is the voice of a talking raccoon!” I exclaimed as I laughed like a crazy person, earning a stare from her. How do you explain something like that to someone who isn’t as dedicated to the Marvel movies as you?
And my editor informed me yesterday that it was one of the hottest articles at the site. Good, people like my feelings! That or everyone is as crazy as me. I’m leaning towards the latter…
Today, different feelings threatened to burst. It’s free agency/the off-season for the National Hockey League and the Detroit Red Wings have done very little. As in, they have landed no one save two of their own free agents that fans didn’t want them to re-sign. Oh, and we lost both our assistant coaches and just signed a new one.
I did what I do best: I used The Simpsons to express myself. I basically told the hockey blogging world that I can’t bring myself to care anymore.
So I’m tired. I’m tired of the anger and the rage. I’m tired of attempting to explain this team and their faults and their decisions. I’m tired of being one of the few who tries to spin it in a positive light. You guys know me and my writing by now: I’m non-confrontational to a fault. I’m the one who tries to make you feel good after a tremendously horrible loss.
But I’m losing my will to do so.
Two very different sets of emotions, though both are lined with some amount of impatience. Do I feel better writing this down and airing my grievances to the Internet? I don’t know, maybe a little.
Keeping all my emotions bottled up is a little tiring.
On the positive side, I will be seeing the Rifftrax of Sharknado this evening, and laughter is the third greatest gift ever. (And if you don’t know Rifftrax, it’s basically Mystery Science Theater 3000, except with the actual people who voice Tom Servo and Crow, not the robots themselves).
It has been three months since I have been able to go to channel 4 on my presets for SiriusXM and hear big band and swing pulse through my car’s speakers. Three long, painful months where the replacement for the soothing orchestral sounds and crooners from the “golden era” has been Billy Joel.
40s on 4 returned at 3am Thursday, June 26, 2014. I have never been happier for a drive into work in my life.
Maybe that sounds weird coming from a 24-year-old. Maybe you anticipated me being well into my fifties or sixties (I get that quite often).
I love Johnny Mercer to death. My favorite song of all time (which I have on an LP) is “Yes Indeed” by Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra from 1941. I listen to the 40s on my way home from work because it keeps me calm in rush hour traffic. And it’s awesome, let’s be honest.
So when SiriusXM announced a week beforehand in March that Channel 4 would become the “Billy Joel Channel” until June 25, I was livid and then heartbroken. I wanted to write complaint letters. I wanted to scream from the tops of buildings how unjust this was. I went through a phase of wanting to take a picture of my radio display every time I heard a Billy Joel song on a different channel and email them all to SiriusXM’s support email.
Scroll through the channels and you will hear Billy Joel on 70s on 7, 80s on 8, Classic Vinyl, Classic Rewind, and The Bridge, and that’s just on my personal presets. Scroll through the channels and you’ll hear big band and swing on… Siriusly Sinatra on channel 71, but it’s the more polished sounding songs and not the instrumental big band songs. And it’s not on my presets.
Look, I understand that there are people out there who love Billy Joel (my sister-in-law among them). I understand that SiriusXM has to do little things like this to spice up their lineup. But when they’ve done it in the past, they’ve picked an empty channel up in the 100s and done it for a weekend (Pink Floyd Channel at first, now that’s Sunday nights on Deep Tracks), several weeks (Tom Petty Channel), or a month (Led Zeppelin). But they never took away another channel for that long. I think that’s what’s infuriating about it.
And I won’t lie, if they had replaced 40s on 4 with something like the Led Zeppelin channel (which I still want back), I probably wouldn’t have been so adamant in my anger. Billy Joel to me is just okay. He has five or six good songs, but they are overplayed everywhere else.
I’m not a complainer. I’m that customer that tries to be agreeable with everything. Everyone has their own battles in life and heck if I want to make someone’s life harder for the few minutes I’m in their life over something that doesn’t even matter ten minutes from now. It’s not worth it. So I never wrote an angry letter, though I may have made a few angry tweets.
So instead of writing a complaint letter about losing my favorite channel for a quarter of the year on a radio I pay a fair amount of money to subscribe to, I just sent off a “thank you” email to 40s on 4 for returning and making my day a little bit brighter:
This is just a quick email to tell you guys how happy I am that 40s on 4 is back on my radio. I refused to go to channel 4 for the last three months and I can’t tell you how happy I was this morning when I could scroll down to it on my presets and hear Glenn Miller first thing in the morning.
I’m afraid to change the radio away because I feel like it will disappear.
So thank you for returning. And if you wanted to play “Yes Indeed” by Tommy Dorsey on loop for several hours, I would have no problem with that.