Pirate Yelpers Rock!

Posted by Brandon |

I know that it is really, really popular to hate on the Pirates of the Caribbean and the new movie has been getting some pretty stinky reviews.

But I don't care one bit, Pirates kicked ass...again. It's just big, dumb, stupid fun and that's all I really ask of it. Sure it's overblown and overstuffed and kind of a mess, but a hallucinating Jack Sparrow and Keira Knightley in all sorts of costumes more than makes up for it.

However, there was a time when I said that I would go gay for Orlando Bloom. What the fuck was I thinking? He sucks sooooo bad. Every moment he is on screen is horrible.

Totally unrelated: Does anyone use Yelp.com? I've started Yelping and I love it. It found us a couple of good restaurants in New York and has given me a lot of new ideas of where to eat in our area. If you do use it, please sign up to be my friend. Currently, I'm a very lonely yelper. Click here to visit my profile and my reviews.


Avenue Q

Posted by Brandon |

We took in three Broadway musicals while in New York starting with Monty Python's Spamalot on Tuesday, The Phantom of the Opera on Thursday and Avenue Q on Saturday. While Spamalot was irreverent and hilarious and Phantom was, well, Phantom - for better or for worse, the clear winner amongst the three was the ridiculously funny Avenue Q, the 2004 Tony winner for Best Musical and now perhaps my new favorite musical.

Avenue Q is the story of a group of New York City residents composed of humans, monsters (puppets) and even Gary Coleman living in a low-rent part of town struggling with finding a job, relationships, whether or not you are gay, porn and finding your purpose in life. The best description I can come up with is that Avenue Q is Sesame Street if Sesame Street were about adult life and R-Rated.

All of the songs are great. In fact, reading the song titles in the Times Square Virgin Megastore after seeing Spamalot on Tuesday convinced us that we had to see this show despite only ever having heard one song from the production. How can you go wrong with "It Sucks To Be Me", "Everyone's A Little Bit Racist", "The Internet is for Porn" or "My Girlfriend, Who Lives in Canada"?

Avenue Q isn't deep by any means, but it isn't just a silly throwaway comedy either. Mostly it's a comedy, and a really good one, but it also has some nice stories about relationships and deals with a few touchy and interesting subjects. It has enough of the silly and the semi-serious worlds to satisfy you in both ways.

It's just a ton of fun and I highly suggest that if you happen to be in New York or London or anywhere that it is on tour (it opens in Seattle on June 10th and makes it's way to LA in September) that you go out and see it. Even if you aren't a fan of musical theater I think you'll like it. It's snarky and funny and worth every penny.

As an Aside: I can't say that I was ever a big fan of musical theater despite (or maybe because of) having to sing numerous medleys while a choir dork in high school. So when my theater geek wife started dragging me to shows, I wasn't all that excited. But now with a whole host of innovative and fun musicals under my belt I don't have any problem with them. Even the big, overblown Andrew Lloyd Webber type musical is OK with me occasionally.

The guy behind me at Avenue Q was talking with his friend about how even though he likes going to shows, he would still probably rather spend the big bucks to go to a ballgame and sit nice and close as opposed to a musical. I used to be just like him, but after going to a rather long and boring Yankees game on Friday night and three really good musicals I don't know anymore. I felt that even though we spent way more money on the musicals I got a lot more entertainment value out of them than the cheaper Yankees tickets.

The difference is that in sports you never know what is going to happen, it's an entertainment gamble. Sometimes the games will be stinkers like the one we went to or sometimes you see something that can never again be replicated. It's a crapshoot in that sense and one of the reasons that sports holds us captive in the way that it does.


Hey, Hey! I'm Back!

Posted by Brandon |

Welcome back to your normal routine Down With Pants! It's both sucks and is great to be back after the longest vacation that we've taken since our honeymoon two years ago. In fact, this ended up being a longer vacation than our honeymoon but two years ago we went to Maui and laid on the beach and relaxed like we had never relaxed before - it was great. This time we went to the clusterfuck that is New York City, not my idea of relaxing. By the end of the trip we were both sick and exhausted and still haven't totally recovered. But it was a blast and a half and I'll share more about our trip soon when I get it all together.

In the meantime, I would like to nominate the mom from the new Cingular Wireless commercial featuring that annoying, text talking little brat (click here to watch) for the first inaugural Down With Pants! Mother-of-the-Year award...

That's right mom! Take away that cell phone! Someone should recut this commercial and use it as a training manual on the right way to parent. It is the exact action that should be taken when little Bethene (I can't tell what her name is supposed to be) goes text crazy with her BFF Jill. Throw in a bitch slap for backsass and possibly a good belt whooping later and it would be the perfect how-to video.

The only thing that will hurt her candidacy for Mother-of-the-Year is the fact that the little pain in the ass has her own cell phone in the first place. Mom should have known that if you give a child a cell phone they are only going to abuse it, it's their nature. Stupid parents have to be punished as well.

But recovering from an initial mistake and passing along the punishment goes a long way with this jury.


Hey, Hey! It's A DWP! Hiatus!

Posted by Brandon |

Tomorrow we are off to New York until Memorial Day. All of Down With Pants! omnimedia will most likely be on hiatus until then. I'm not a high tech traveler, I don't carry a laptop with me everywhere so I will be out of the computer loop for a while unless I find a friendly internet cafe somewhere.

Thanks to Hilly for volunteering to guest post for me while I'm gone but I think I'll just go dark for a little while. It's not like I've been breaking the bank with the amount of posts I've been writing anyway and really, will my three readers be all that upset? It's kind of nice not having a large following, that way there are very few people that will be disappointed if I disappear.

Anyway, have a great week and I'll see y'all on the flip side.


Dear Mims,

Posted by Brandon |

Listen, I have no problem with your personal opinion that you are "hot". Everybody's allowed to brag and boast every once in a while, I'm all for it. And I'm not here to dispute your claim that you are indeed "hot". Perhaps you are, I don't know. It doesn't sound to me like you are but then again, what do I know?

Here's my beef with you though Mims, if you are going to rap over and over and over again "this is why I'm hot" you've got to give me more than "they like the way I dress" and "chicks around the way they call me cream of the crop" to prove that you are, in actuality, "hot".

You see, I'm a fact based person. Before I can say for certain that you are "hot" I need to measure your warmth. But when you say that "I'm into shutting stores down so I can shop" it's very hard to get a reading because I am also into shutting stores down to shop, it would be just so much less stressful. But we can probably both agree that I'm nowhere near hot. I also can claim that "Compton to Hollywood, as soon as I hit L.A., I'm in that Low, Low, I do it the Cali way." I have no idea what the "Low, Low" is, but even if I did it doesn't make me hot so why should it you?

So please, for your next single I want hard proof as to why you are "hot". I'm not asking for the world here, I just need more than unimpressive shit like "ask me what I paid and I say yea I paid a quap" especially since quap is slang for a quarter pound and that isn't much for a car. Again, I can probably come up with that. Even if you ripped someone off, I bet you didn't manage to get much more than a Kia Rio out of it. No offense, but when the "Shorty see the (Kia) drop", I kind of doubt that "hot" is the word that they would use.

Anyway, keep up the good work you lukewarm motherfucker,


I Love To Shop!

Posted by Brandon |

I went clothes shopping today. I don't know why.

That's not true, the reason I went shopping today was simple, I'm not hip enough as is for New York City. Not that the items that I purchased will make me NYC hip, but at least I won't look like a complete slob wandering the streets. Every time that I've been there I felt totally inadequate in my t-shirts and shorts that just screamed TOURIST!!! at the top of their lungs. While being a tourist I prefer to blend in to my surroundings as much as possible. I prefer nobody know that I'm a tourist.

Shopping for me is a harrowing experience. First of all, I'm big. I'm 6 foot 4 and weigh in at nearly 300 pounds. Hip clothes are not made to be worn by me. While most places carry 2XL clothing, I typically require 3XL because the 2XL shirt, while plenty wide, usually isn't long enough. I hate short shirts, they drive me crazy, so finding the perfect balance between width and length is very difficult. Most of the clothes that I find are sports themed, meant for much older men, have a gangsta thing going on or are just plain ugly. I personally prefer an old-school, thrift store look that is nearly unattainable for a larger gentleman like myself.

Secondly, I hate the other people that I have to shop with. I feel silly saying this because it sounds like I'm becoming such a crumudgeon but I can't help it, I hate teenagers. I've hated teenagers since I was little, I hated them when I was a teenager and I especially hate them now. And I hate how so many of the grownups at the mall act like teenagers themselves. Between the teenagers and the wannabe teenagers, the mall is perhaps the single stupidest place in any city. You would think it would be backstage at the local strip club, but at least those girls have figured out how to make themselves some money wearing very little clothing and being slutty.

Plus I'm a get in, get out kind of guy (quit snickering). I know where I'm going, I don't dawdle and I usually walk very fast. So getting stuck behind the wandering extended families that populate the malls in this area drives me insane. Mexicans do everything as a family. They go to church, they go to dinner, they go to the movies and they go to the malls. And usually it's grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, a bunch of kids and two or three cousins all spread neatly across a walkway with no hope of ever getting around them.

But today wasn't so bad. Sure there were the stupid teenage masses and the humongous families clogging the walkways, but after walking into the Adidas outlet and finding a new pair of shoes right away and then finding out that Eddie Bauer's 2XL shirts fit me pretty well, I was in a much better mood. I also manged to find a shirt and a belt to clip my Olympia Beer belt buckle to at the Levi's store, bought a black Spiderman t-shirt at Hot Topic and enjoyed a limeade and a cheese on a stick at Hot Dog On a Stick for lunch. Overall, I felt pretty good about my day of shopping when I was finished.

Sadly though I got home and found out why some things look so good when I'm trying them on but when I wear them for the first time look awful. I never realized that I lean forward when I'm trying things on instead of standing up straight. So when I do stand up straight at home things look and fit 100% different. Now I have to go back and return two shirts that looked good in the store but looked horrible at home.

I also have to return the Spiderman shirt because I failed to notice that the logo stretches from shoulder to shoulder and all the way down to the bottom of the shirt. It would look completely ridiculous on anyone let along me. I thought it would just be a normal logo on the chest but that's what I get for not looking close enough.

What's worse in the long run? Not looking presentable in New York City or the frustration for me that is going shopping. I don't know the answer but what I do know is that I went shopping and will still probably not look presentable in the city. Plus, because of my poor dressing room posture, I have to go back again. Whoopee!


I Love New York - The Place...Not The Skank

Posted by Brandon |

I'm starting to get psyched about our trip to New York next Thursday. We are spending the first weekend upstate in Ithaca for Narnarnarnar's wedding and then we will be in the city from Monday to the Sunday before Memorial Day.

I love Ithaca, it's such a great little town. It is so beautiful and so fun and it brings back a ton of memories from my trips there while Death? was going to school at Cornell and the summer that I spent living there while working for the Elmira Pioneers. The restaurants alone get me excited for the trip. I can't wait to get a Wegmans sub sandwich or some creole cooking at Maxie's Supper Club or some fried tofu at Thai Cuisine. I never went to the world famous Moosewood, but now that I'm not afraid of vegetables, I hope we get a chance to eat there too. Oh yeah, don't forget the Shortstop Deli, The Chapter House, Collegetown Bagels and DP Dough. Not to mention the fact that I'm really excited to see some good friends get married in gorgeous Sage Chapel on Saturday.

As if all of that wasn't enough, we head into New York City on Monday. I haven't been to the city since a quick trip into town for a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman in 2000 and the only substantial time that I have spent there was Thanksgiving weekend in 1999. We are staying right in the middle of midtown near Grand Central Station so we will be right in the heart of it all. I'm going solely as a tourist, I have nothing on my plate. Death? however has a conference to go to for work so I'll get to wander around on my own for a couple days.

We already have a pretty good slate of fun lined up. For our anniversary I bought Death? tickets to see the Phantom of the Opera on Thursday night (excellent seats too!), we have tickets to the Yankees/Angels game on Friday night (who do I root for? I hate both teams), I have a reservation to see Mike Birbiglia in some crazy sounding show at the Upright Citizen's Brigade theater on Wednesday and I'm planning on seeing a New York Liberty WNBA game on Thursday afternoon because I really want to see Madison Square Garden.

We are hoping to get half-price tickets to see Monty Python's Spamalot on Tuesday night. We want to go out to Coney Island one day and we want to do Central Park another (we missed it the first time). Maybe MOMA, maybe the Museum of Natural History, maybe the Empire State Building or the Top of the Rock. I might, if I have a chance, visit Williamsburg and then walk back over the Brooklyn Bridge.

One of the big questions is do I want to see the World Trade Center memorial? I might have to head down there on one of the afternoons that Death? is in her conference and pay my respects. There are a few things I wouldn't mind doing down in that area like the Brooklyn Bridge and the Staten Island Ferry and Wall Street so despite the dread and sadness that I feel just thinking about going there, I think I'll probably go anyway. It's hard not to.

Anything else we should do while we are there? We have excellent guidebooks and we are really thorough tourists, but there is so much to do in New York that is hard to find if you haven't been there often. I know some of you have been there a lot and probably have some good tips. Please feel free to share any that you might have. We would really appreciate it.

Also, I don't anticipate having much of an internet connection while I'm gone so if anybody would like to write a couple of guest posts for either Down With Pants! or The Sports Logo Pundit during that week please let me know.


Spreading Myself Too Thin

Posted by Brandon |

Sports Logo Pundit post up? - Check

Snackie TeeVee post up? - Check

Down With Pants! post? - Mother fucker! I got nothing.




Happy Anniversary To Us!

Posted by Brandon |

Two years ago today, surrounded by our best friends and cherished family, Death? and I were married. It was a beautiful ceremony followed by a great party and it, without a doubt, goes down as one of the best nights of my life.

In fact, this is our anniversary weekend. It was May 6th, 1995 when I took Death? on our first "official" date to my senior prom, or as my high school called it, May Dance. We went to dinner at the E.R. Rogers mansion in Steilacoom, danced a little bit at South Sound Mall in what is now the returns department of Target, sat and talked at the capitol building afterwards and then I gave her a piggyback ride back to the car because her feet hurt, tore her dress in the process and the rest, as the say, is history. It was the best night of my life up to that point.

Three years ago tomorrow I asked Death? to marry me. She never expected for a minute that I had saved up enough money for an engagement ring but after dinner and dancing I gave her the surprise of a life when we "stumbled" upon a candlelight desert at Kerry Viewpoint Park in Seattle. Before she even sat down she was balling her eyes out and moments later, so was I. I'm still not sure how I got the words out, but eventually I did and thankfully, so did she. It was one of the best nights ever and one that I will remember clearly for the rest of my life.

To celebrate our anniversary tonight we went to Chipotle for dinner. Every Monday in May hospital employees eat for free so we couldn't pass that up no matter the occasion. Then we went to my softball game (my work team for the Corporate Games tournament) where I hit a homerun and made a bunch of good defensive plays en route to a birth in the championship game tomorrow. Finally, we watched The Riches and had Rice Krispie treats and milk for desert.

It may not sound like a prom or an engagement or a wedding, but every day that I get to spend with my wonderful and beautiful wife is the best day of my life. Knowing that she is always there for me and knowing that she knows that I will always be there for her and the anticipation of what is yet to come in our lives makes every day fun, exciting and worth every minute.

Death?: thank you for all of the great times that we have had and here's to another great year that promises to be the scariest, most exhilarating, life changing and fun years so far. I couldn't be more excited that I will get to share it all with you.


No More Carlos

Posted by Brandon |

I watch Comedy Central's The Daily Show and The Colbert Report nearly every night and I'm starting to get sick and tired of having Carlos Mencia shoved down my throat during the commercial breaks. His show isn't even the least bit funny anymore. There was a five minute window during the first season when both me and the wife thought he was hilarious, but there are only so many times that you can hear the same racial joke especially if it's stolen from another comic.

Speaking of TV, I signed on to write about some of the crap that I watch over at Snackie TeeVee. My area of expertise is late night television and religious programming. I don't know how that's going to work out.


Maybe the most confused business in Southern California.


So Sleepy, Must Write Some Crap

Posted by Brandon |

Over the past three weeks my Wednesday night pickup basketball games have been intense. I have bruises on my back from last week that are shaped like a hand where somebody must have shoved or hit me and tonight I have a bruise and a lump on my forearm and I still can't totally feel my nose after basically getting punched while bringing down a rebound. I've been coming home completely wiped out, battered and bruised and ready for bed.

But I had a good idea for a post tonight and I didn't want to forget it so I made every attempt I could to write it down. Unfortunately, I am dozing off as we speak and even The Colbert Report isn't keeping me awake.

So instead I bring you a couple of pictures that will kick off my "Picture of the Day" feature. From here on out I plan on keeping my camera with me at all times and taking at least one picture a day to share. After each post (or as a standalone post on days I don't have time or interesting in blogging) you can find my "Picture of the Day". I saw this on somebody else's blog and enjoyed seeing just a little glimpse into what they did that day. Unfortunately, it wasn't one of my regular reads and I totally forgot who it was, so I am stealing the idea without giving due credit.

Anyway, here are a few pictures from the last couple days to get things started....

Diet Coke with vitamins? The Dude would not abide.

He had an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dotted peeny.

Why do my office toys have more fun at work than I do?


Veronica is Back!

Posted by Brandon |

Can I get three cheers for the return of Veronica Mars tonight? Ready? Here we go....

Hip-Hip Hooray!
Hip-Hip Hooray!!

While it wasn't the greatest VM episode ever, at least it's back for a little while before it probably disappears into oblivion. Something is better nothing.