Ding Dong, The Macrame Is Dead

Posted by Brandon |

Angela is finally gone! I can't believe that she lasted that long. I hate Jeffrey, but he is right, she isn't a clothes designer. It's like she thought Project Runway was crafts hour at the old folks home.

Yes, I love Project Runway, and I'm not ashamed. Ok, maybe a little bit. Maybe a lot. Ok, please ignore the fact that I am blogging about that show. But I do love it and not just because Heidi Klum is hot.

The only bad thing about the show is having to see the commercials for all of the other Bravo reality shows that follow Project Runway ten times an episode. Like the show with that idiot hairdresser or the gay workout chick or the celebrity realtors or the OC bitch wives club.

Project Runway: good, especially with Angela gone. Project Runway commercials: excruciatingly horrible.


DWP! Fantasy Football 2006

Posted by Brandon |

Am I the only one who thinks it would f-ing awesome to compete head-to-head with your blogging friends during this football season? I would love to see a Kapgar - Chanakin Ricesteamer grudge match. A Chasing Vincenzo - Analog Medium ass beating. A Snackie's World - Dutch Files cat fight.

I don't care if you know anything about football or not, please join my DWP! Fantasy Football League. It's a head-to-head league with standard rosters and scoring. We play 14 regular season games with playoffs in week 15 and week 16 between the top four teams. We will do an Auto-Pick draft, with the option of changing to a Live Draft if we can agree on a date (there were no good times available when I registered).

Did I mention it's also completely free and that there will be a few hard prizes for weekly and season winners? I haven't quite figured out what these will be, but I'm sure I will think of something. I also envision side bets being made between competing blogs, which could prove to be far more valuable than any prizes that I could give out. I already promise that anybody who beats me can write a guest post about anything they want. Anything at all.

So please, sign up. I think it could be a lot of fun. All you have to do is click on this link, sign up for a yahoo account if you don't have one, create your team, get your draft lists together and let me know when you are ready. If you have any problems logging in, please leave me a comment or email me and I will send you an invite that might be easier to navigate.

UPDATE #4!!! - The 2006 bloggers league is set. Twelve teams come and only one can leave as champion. Good luck to everybody! The teams are...

Navelgazing Ramblers
The OC Snackiepoos
Culture Kills Lions
Red Zins
Witty Team Name

I have lined up some coffee or tea from my work as prizes. Wow! Now that's awesome, right?


Snakes In My House

Posted by Brandon |

We saw the Snakes On A Plane Saturday night and thoroughly enjoyed most of it. Did anybody else cheer out loud when they finally released the snakes? I was getting tired of yelling "bring on the motherfucking snakes already!" But why couldn't the death toll have been a little higher? There were a few characters I didn't need to see survive. I would have preferred that Samuel have been the only one to get off of that plane. Oh well.

I am also happy to report that it is a great family film. At least according to the three families, complete with seven to ten year-old boys, who were at the movie with us that night. You know, snakes killing everything in sight, rampant cursing, big ole titties. All the hallmarks of a great family outing. And mom, you did a great job covering the eyes of the boys while the bad parts were on. Just because Snakes On A Plane is now the dirtiest movie ever in the imaginations of those boys, doesn't mean that you shouldn't be candidate for Mommy of the Year.

Seriously, I can't imagine how those boys slept last night or functioned today. Every time I open the fridge or a cupboard or feel something on my foot, I get jumpy. I'm walking around with a bottle of olive oil in my pocket just in case.


Breakfast Humor

Posted by Brandon |

While watching another episode of Veronica Mars tonight, Death? and I somehow ended up on the subject of the name Diego...

Death? - "What does the name Diego translate to?"

Me - "I'm not sure."

Death? - "It was your name in Spanish class, Diego Chispas."

Diego Chispas - "Si, mi amor. Mi pelo es en fuego." (I didn't learn shit)

Death? - "Seriously, it translates to some name that doesn't even start with a D..."

Me - "I think it translates to Of The Waffle."

Death? - "...like James or something."

Me - "Of The Waffle..."

Death? - "......."

Me - "Eggo?"

Death? - "Ha ha, I hate you."


Astronomy Humor

Posted by Brandon |

First of all, I wish I wouldn't have been out of the blog loop for the past few days because I would have done a lot more appreciating. Just know that I appreciate you all but I only got around to taking one photo. I'm so glad that Karl reciprocated the appreciation. I'm also glad that my blog looks as shitty on your computer as it does on mine.

If you didn't hear, it's official. In the solar system, one day you are in and next you are out. Auf Wiedersehen Pluto, we barely knew you. You'll always be a planet to me.

My wife didn't have any idea about this travesty until we were watching TV tonight...

11:00 News Teaser - "And astronomers announce that the solar system is now smaller by one planet. We'll explain tonight at 11:00"

Death? - "Huh?"

Me - "You didn't hear?"

Death? - "No..I slept all day" (she was on call last night)

Me - "Yeah, they discovered that Uranus blew up!"

Death? - "Really? Ohhhh....ha ha"

And then we got the giggles really bad. Like five minutes worth of uncontrollable giggling. I think the cupcakes we had for dessert may have been spiked.


Woo Hoo! Veronica Mars Second Season!

Posted by Brandon |

Today is the day that we have been waiting for since we finished watching season one of Veronica Mars a couple months ago. The second season was released today and I picked it up on sale at Best Buy on my way home from work. Now the question is, what will the wife want to watch when she gets home? Little Miss Sunshine, Snakes On A Plane or Veronica Mars. It's totally a toss up.

I realized today that starting in September my Tuesday nights will be shot. The CW will be airing The Gilmore Girls at 8:00 and Veronica Mars at 9:00. I think I'm going to start a Veronica fan club and have people over every Tuesday night to watch the show with us just so I don't feel like such a dork staying home watching TV all night long. Oh wait, that's what I do most nights. I guess I am a dork after all (like it wasn't obvious).

UPDATE!!!! - Death? got home late so we couldn't make the 7:00 showings of either movie, so we watched the first three episodes. Wow. It just keeps getting better and better. We probably won't get to watch anymore until Friday, so nobody say a word about what happens or I will sick Veronica on you. She seems to have a way of ruining everybody's lives.

UPDATE #2!!!! - Is there anything worse than having a cold during the summer? Ok, so this isn't really an update so much as me being a pussy, but I'm sick of sniffling so much I can't hear Veronica's one liners.


Lazy Post-Vegas Blogging

Posted by Brandon |

To answer the inevitable question, I lost about $1,200 in Vegas over the weekend. About $1,160 of that was spent first at the Barstow Towing Casino, a mobile service provided to stranded motorists, and then at Desert Volkswagen where I gambled that they could fix the VW that I just bought two weeks ago. Luckily, I won that gamble, but it still cost me $1,000. Today, back in Ventura, I gambled that Barber Ford/Volkswagen would give a crap and help me out and honor the warranty that expired only 15 miles before it broke down. Unfortunately, I lost. What a mess.

Also, I forgot to mention another great thing about Little Miss Sunshine. The ending was filmed in my adopted hometown of Ventura...

They said that they were going to the Little Miss Sunshine competition in Redondo Beach, but everybody in the theater recognized it to be San Buenaventura State Beach, the Ventura Pier and the adjacent Holiday Inn (the sign was changed to read "Redondo Suites"). So there you go. If you need an excuse to go see this film, just think about how you have always wanted to see where I live.


Lazy Pre-Vegas Blogging

Posted by Brandon |

I wanted to post something before I leave for Las Vegas for the weekend, but it's already almost 11:00 PM and I haven't done a damn thing to get ready. I did get around to clearing off my digital camera and I forgot all about some of the pictures I had on there.

I can't believe that I forgot about this guy. While I was back home in Washington last month, the parents and I went to South Sound Speedway to see some short track stock car racing. There was a lot of great trash in the crowd that night, but none more than Mullet Man here. I wish I would've snapped a better picture.

Oh yeah, and Death?'s 1980's Acura Integra won a race. That might be the first time that the words "1980's Acura Integra" and "won a race" have ever been used together. I'm sure that Mullet Man was so proud.

Anyway, Vegas here we come!


Little Miss Sunshine

Posted by Brandon |

I have about ten different topics for posts running around in my head, a few of which are negative and depressing and probably best saved for another day. Thankfully, my mood isn't negative or depressed or anything, I stay on an amazingly even keel no matter what infuriorating crap is bringing me down.

It helps to have the happy memory of seeing the amazing film Little Miss Sunshine on Sunday afternoon. It's a film that has immediately shot up into my top ten favorite movies of all time because of how overjoyed and affirmed (what a cliche!) it made me feel. And it's arguably the funniest movie I have seen all year without even trying, Ricky Bobby included.

My favorite movie is Amelie, although I tell guys that my favorite movie is The Big Lebowski. I left the movie theater on Sunday after seeing Little Miss Sunshine with the same satisfied feeling that I had when I first saw Amelie. No other movie since Amelie has made me feel that same way except maybe Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Secretary.

I'm such a terrible movie reviewer because I can't describe the connections between these movies. All I can say is that they all end perfectly in the most satisfying way that made me happy for everybody involved without being forced or contrived. They all are, for lack of a better term, affirming despite or maybe because of, all the messed up stuff that leads to the end, which is actually not the end but the promise of better days to come. That's what I like in a film and Little Miss Sunshine is nearly perfect in this respect.

Anyway, if I haven't scared you off with all of this life affirming garbage, please go see Little Miss Sunshine as soon as you can. It's one of my favorites and I dare say that it will probably become one of yours.


Tell It To Me Tuesday (On a Monday)

Posted by Brandon |

Since it is Tuesday already where Janet lives, I'll have to do my Tell It To Me Tuesday on Monday so I can be the first to take her awesome Tuesday series blogworldwide. Today's topic is "What are some songs you can listen to over and over and what do you think it is about these songs that makes them so special?"

Great question, here are ten (or so) songs that I never grow tired of in no particular order. There are many more, but this is a start....

  1. Common People - William Shatner featuring Joe Jackson - I know, Shatner? There is something about his dry delivery and Jackson's impassioned singing that just make this song work and whenever it comes on, I belt it out like I was doing the duet with Shatner myself.

  2. Pressure Drop - The Specials - Happy, poppy and fun. An instant pick-me-up.

  3. Johnny Appleseed - Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros - There is something so beautiful about this simple, political song. Near perfection.

  4. Bring The Noise - Unholy Trinity - Country cover of Public Enemy classic. I can't even explain why I like this so much.

  5. Ana Ng, Birdhouse In Your Soul, Don't Let's Start - They Might Be Giants - The holy trinity of music geekiness. Each one has the ability to instantly cheer me up.

  6. The Good Life - Weezer - Jokingly referred to as my theme song.

  7. Hot For Teacher - Van Halen - "I brought my pencil..."

  8. The Irony Of It All - The Streets - Hilarious and true. He poses no threat to your city.

  9. Talking Shit About a Pretty Sunset - Modest Mouse - Takes me back to my short time as a DJ in college doing the 2-6 AM shift. About 4:30 I would put on one of these six, seven minute Modest Mouse songs and just space out. This is the best of them.

  10. The Commander Thinks Aloud - The Long Winters - This song sucks, big time. But that's why I love it. The lyrics are ridiculous but he sings them with such feeling that I can't help but sing at the top of my lungs along with him every time it comes on.

  11. Anything by Hot Hot Heat - New album coming out later this year, I for one cannot wait.


It's Showtime

Posted by Brandon |

The worst thing about staying up late and watching Saturday Night Live while surfing (besides the mess that is SNL) is that I always forget to turn the channel before Showtime at the Apollo comes on. Goddamn, Mo'Nique has to be the most irritating woman in the world.


Last Call

Posted by Brandon |

The worst thing about staying up late and watching Conan while surfing is that I always forget to turn the channel before Carson Daly comes on. Goddamn, I have a hard time believing that he was even talented enough to host TRL.


OK Hoboes

Posted by Brandon |

I've got nothing of great importance tonight. I've been pondering why George W. believes that America is safer today than before 9/11. It's making my brain hurt. I guess in many ways he is right because under his idiotic leadership it had slipped so far as to allow something like 9/11 to happen. He no longer is ignoring intelligence, so in all fairness, we have come a long way.

At least I have a few outlets to cheer me up. I just downloaded OK Go's album Oh No to reward them for all of their outstanding music videos. Even if the album ends up sucking, I feel like I should at least give them a tip in the form of a royalty check for my enjoyment of those videos.

I also found a great site dedicated to the 700 Hoboes Names chapter of John Hodgman's amazing historical text The Areas of My Expertise. The 700 Hoboes Project is collecting artwork depicting people's interpretations of all 700 Hoboes from the book. I'm kind of sad that Jonas Tugboy, Professional Masturbator hasn't been visualized yet, but Manny Stillwaggon, the Man with the Handlebar Eyebrows is a pretty good substitute.


Am I About To Get A Promotion?

Posted by Brandon |

It's been a roller coaster of a week what with all of the ups and down involved with a dead car and a new car. But I was unprepared for yet another shocker today that has far reaching implications for my career.

My boss, the head of our department, resigned today. She leaves in two weeks. She will continue to work in a transition role once a week for an undetermined amount of time, but basically, my job is becoming her job until they can fill it permanently. Knowing my place of employment, this could be months, maybe even years.

I'm going to throw my hat into the ring for the job. I don't know if I am actually qualified, but nobody else knows that department better than I do. I'm sure that I could do the job, I could do just about any job if need be. I just don't know if I want to do the job. She basically left the company because she was burned out and she had an opportunity to take a job that wouldn't burn her out. I'm not one who is interested in doing a job that has major potential to burn me out. I don't stay late. I value my free time too much. But for a major pay raise and huge step forward in my career, maybe it would be worth it.

I don't know. I kind of doubt I would be hired, it wouldn't surprise me if they wanted someone with a proven track record to take over. I know that my co-workers want me to take over, but that's just because I'll be easy to get along with. We'll just have to see how it all plays out.

Would you want me as a manager?


Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Posted by Brandon |

Today I left work a little early and ran home to grab the title to my broken down 1996 Ford Escort Wagon, a couple of boxes and some tools. It was time to break up with the poor old car and donate it to a worthy charity, the Boys and Girls Club of Ventura through their Kars 4 Kidz program.

I love the Boys and Girls Club and I'm glad that they will get some money off of something that was worth nothing to me or the dealership. But why can't the money from my car be earmarked for literacy training for non-profit marketing directors? Someone please explain to me why every program that benefits kids also has to screw up their spelling. The church down the street has banners up for their Kidz Kamp summer program. I sure hope that they are teaching kids that fossils were placed by God to test our faith and not teaching them grammar.

Anyway, like a victorious soldier stealing a dead enemy's boots, I pried my CD player out and rescued it from the Kidz. I also discovered four years worth of crazy shit in the back of the wagon. Why I brought my snow chains to Southern California, I'll never know. I also found a Tiki God stuffed in the spare tire well, which explains a lot.

When I finished gathering my belongings and tearing my blasphemous car art off the truck door, I got a little nostalgic. It was a love-hate relationship to be sure, but that car did have character. It started as my badass family wagon complete with skull license plate bolts. It carried us all the way from Seattle to San Francisco and back on a great vacation and to the Combine Demolition Derby on another fun weekend. It eventually pissed off California drivers by not being able to go over 70 MPH without nearly falling apart. Giving it up turned out to be kind of tough.

But then I jumped in the leather seats of my Jetta, opened up the sunroof, bumped some tunes on the kickass stock stereo and sped away, a single tear running down my cheek.


I Feel Weird

Posted by Brandon |

I spent this beautiful Sunday afternoon grocery shopping, doing laundry and cleaning. I went crazy on our dirty, ugly carpet (who puts nearly white carpet in a rental anyway?) scrubbing the shit out of it with Resolve. I have been inhaling the fumes all day and as a result, I now feel really weird. I'm not sure if the Resolve is what's making me feel this way, but the smell is so disgusting and I used so much that it wouldn't surprise me one bit if I am OD'ing on it.

On another topic, all of this talk of the rudeness of Southern Californians reminds me of a behavioral decision that I made years ago to myself. I was appalled at the lack of basic politeness that people my age, and people of all ages, display to workers in the service industry. Rarely do you hear please or thank you at restaurants or the store anymore. So now I say please and thank you like it was my job, no matter what. It's a small step and probably doesn't change a thing, but at least I can live with myself.

On yet another topic, how did I miss out on Eels until now? Of course I knew Novocaine For The Soul and a few years ago I bought Souljacker, but I rarely listened to the album and basically forgot all about them. I'm not sure when I caught this bug, but I now own all but one of their albums. They have everything I like in a band: great melodies, dark lyrics disguised as happy pop songs, a raspy voiced singer, songs I can sing at the top of my lungs. Where have I been?


Today Was a Much Better Day

Posted by Brandon |

I bought myself this...

As I predicted as soon as I heard the noise that my car made when it died on Thursday afternoon, the motor was toast. The estimate: $4,000 for a new motor or $2,000 to make repairs with the possibility of that not working and if it didn't work, another $4,000 for that new motor anyway. I bought the piece of junk for $4,000 originally and I never have liked it that much.

Naturally, I went looking for a different ride. And boy did I find a good one. The mileage was a little higher than I wanted, but everything else is great. I have power everything, a CD player, air-conditioning, leather interior, butt-warmers (because we need them in California) and a cool switchblade key. And the price was right, maybe a little more than I had hoped to spend, but I think it will be worth every penny.

It's official, I am now a yuppie. Yippee!


At Least I Had CPK For Dinner

Posted by Brandon |

My car broke down in the middle of an intersection this afternoon. I pulled up to make a left hand turn but had to wait for oncoming traffic to clear. As soon as I stopped, my car lurched, made a terrible grinding noise and died a very painful death. I put my emergency flashers on and tried to restart my car, but all I got was more heartbreaking moans and wails. So there I am, partially blocking traffic with my broke ass car, expecting to have someone stop and give me a push soon.

But the cross traffic on Daily Drive weaved around me to go straight or pulled past me and made a hard turn to take a left. Cars behind me ventured into oncoming traffic to get around me and take the turn that I wasn't able to take. Pedestrians looked at me like I was crazy and walked away.

Virtually everybody who went by shot me a dirty look. Quite a few people honked their horn at me like it would help. Some fucker pulled up on my ass and proceeded to honk at me, really laying on it when the light turned yellow and he realized he was going to miss his turn. Some other dickfaces went past me once and then came back the other way pointing and laughing. Everybody went out of their way to go around me, but nobody went out of their way to help me.

One person finally stopped, ten, maybe fifteen minutes later. He was nice enough to not only give me a push to the side of the road, but he also let me use his cell phone to call AAA so I could get a tow. I was very grateful and thanked him probably twenty times. But one decent person in nearly an hour of me either stuck in the middle of an intersection or sitting on the side of the road doesn't make up for the hundreds of butt-munches who zoomed by me.

I'm not really that upset about my car dying, although my bank account will be in the next couple of days. I'm more troubled by the lack of decency and concern that was displayed at that intersection today. Whenever I see someone broken down like that I do what I can to help, always have, it's the right thing to do. In Washington, people always stop, most of the time there are too many people helping. Here in California, not so much.

Since coming back to Cali after a week in the South Sound, I have been pretty homesick, not so much because of the weather or the scenery or whatever. Mainly I've been homesick becuase of the residents. The majority of Southern Californians don't have a selfless bone in their bodies. It's easily the rudest place I have ever been to and it makes living here almost unbearable. This incident has driven that feeling home and makes me long even more for the overly polite Pacific Northwest.

Camarillo, California: you are dead to me.


Have You Been Witnessed To By Kirk Cameron?

Posted by Brandon |

Have you been witnessed to by roaming evangelists Kirk Cameron or Ray Comfort while out and about one day? If you have, I would love to hear your story. Where were you? Why were you stopped? Why did you stop? What did they say? Did they make you question or even change your beliefs?

If you have been witnessed to by The Way of the Master guys, please email me at downwithpants@gmail.com with your story. Even if you have just seen them preaching around town, I would love to know when and where you saw them. Drop me a line and let me know. Thanks in advance!



Posted by Brandon |

Hours and hours of celebrity news coverage (and sadly, real news coverage) was devoted to Mel Gibson today. You would think that after all of that, I would be sick of it by now. Not so, I love it. I would like people to be reminded daily of this douchebag's douchebaggery until every single movie that he has done is ruined because people can't get over what a douchebag he is.

Did you know that he was working with ABC on a mini-series about the Holocaust? I nearly shit my pants when I heard that. What a douchebag. Although, whoever green lighted that project at ABC should be crowned His Majesty, King of the Douchebags until Mel stages a bloody coup to reclaim his throne.