What Next?

Posted by Brandon |

The VC Reporter, Ventura's local entertainment rag, has perhaps the most retarded letter to the editor that I have ever read...

Just when you thought, “What next?” it appears that the pro-war forces have now infiltrated the fashion industry. Apparently the media has brainwashed people to the extent that now many of us think nothing of walking around promoting the military, war, and the senseless killing of human beings.

Just step into your nearest clothing store and you’ll see why. Camouflage sneakers, socks, sandals, pants, shorts, shirts, hats and even underwear are everywhere. Oh, and don’t forget the fashion accessories — dog tags, military boots, and camouflage wallets, belts and backpacks are also all the rage.

It is especially distressing to see military-style clothing on children. What are parents thinking as they dress their young children in Army clothes? Do they want their children to join the military? Do they want their children to be sent to Iraq?

I was in a children’s clothing store the other day when a lady brushed by me and exclaimed “Oh, cute!” as she nabbed a pair of toddler-sized camouflage pants off the rack.


Have our minds gotten so twisted that war is now “cute?”

God help us.

Diana Hirth
Thousand Oaks

Look, I am a big, fat, flaming anti-war liberal and I too am against the glorification of war, but camouflage clothes have nothing to do with it. Camo clothes have been around FOREVER. They were popular when I was young, they were popular during the Clinton peaceful years and they are popular now. They come in all sorts of colors. Pink, blue, purple - you name it. But the one color they don't come in is the color that they are actually wearing in Irag right now, Khaki. You don't walk into Hot Topic and find sandstorm camo anywhere.

Only super sensitive PC'ers who haven't been to the mall since the 60's and are looking for anything to complain about really think that a camouflage wallet is promoting war. Get a grip already and complain about something meaningful. This is why the word liberal is a dirty word. You are bringing us all down.


Hose Me Down

Posted by Brandon |

There are times when I can't figure out how any of you ladies could possibly like guys in any way. I am a guy and I know lots of guys and we are disgusting creatures. it still amazes me to this day that you are attracted to us. How do you do it?

However, today there were a couple of firefighters in front of us in line to get coffee and one of them caught my attention. I'm perfectly secure with my own sexuality so I have no problem saying that goddamn, that was one good looking man. Now I think I understand. Yikes.

It probably helped that they had to rush out before getting their coffee and go on a call complete with sirens and lights. That's pretty hot.

When I mentioned this to my female coworker who was with me at the time, she said she didn't even notice him. I was hoping that she would be like "woo! You're telling me!" How I wish you ladies could have been there to see him so I could have somebody to share my man-crush with.


Fuck the CW!

Posted by Brandon |

I had come to terms with the fact that the search for the next Pussycat Doll slut has replaced Veronica Mars (my favorite television show of all time) until tonight when while flipping the channels I found an encore presentation of last night's episode. Why the fuck do we need two airings of these bitches instead of Kristen Bell? What did the smart people of America ever do to deserve to be shit upon by the skanky and the retarded?


Hand Grenades and Taxes

Posted by Brandon |

I was planning on extolling the virtues of Scott Brand Moist Wipes tonight, how did I go so long without knowing about these? But now all I want to do is curl up in a ball, listen to some sad bastard emo music and cry myself to sleep.

I was in a pretty good mood, all things considered. I had a decent day of work, I went and shot hoops for an hour after I got home, I loaded some more music onto my new iPod (30 GB is a big improvement over a 4 GB Mini), we started discussing a May trip to New York for a wedding and our anniversary. Other than the fact that I saw Death? for maybe ten minutes before she went to her overnight work shift, I was feeling pretty good.

Then I did our taxes. Oh. My. God. It all looked pretty good when after entering my income, I was due a decent refund. But then I had to go and start entering the wife's W2 and the next thing I knew, we owed a shit ton of money.

AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please excuse me while I wipe away the tears.

I'm sure there are some of you who owe more than that this year or have paid more than that in the past. But this is the first time that we have ever owed this kind of money to the IRS. I freaked the fuck out a couple years ago when I owed $150 but this is a whole other animal. This is more than a month's rent, this is more than I make each paycheck, this is more than a trip to New York in May, this is a big, fat, cold slap in the face that says "hey fucker, you're a grownup now!"

There is nothing in this world that bothers me more than money. I hate paying for intangible objects and I hate having to worry about running out of money, so owing money to the IRS is like my worst nightmare. I'm a even keel kind of person, I don't get too high and I rarely get too low. But worrying about money is the one thing that has the ability to make me very depressed...and now I am really worried.

Obviously we will be OK. I'll just mope around the house for the next few days and convince myself that there is no way that we can go anywhere fun this summer on vacation, but I'm sure that we'll figure out a way to pay this and do what we want to do. I'll just have to go on an extended diet of ramen and water.

Now if you will excuse me, I think I'm going to go eat a bowl of cereal, lie on the couch, wrap myself up in a blanket and fall asleep to the trashiest television I can find.

UPDATE - I should say that I didn't mean to make it sound like I am blaming Death? for screwing up. She didn't screw up at all, we just simply didn't know. We figured that we might owe a little bit, but nothing like this. Basically it just comes down to both of us earning more money than we ever have in our lives and not realizing that we needed to make a change. Chalk it up as a lesson learned and we both have taken steps to make sure that it doesn't happen again this year.



Posted by Brandon |

This email has been in my work inbox for a while now and every time I read it, it makes me laugh out loud snicker like a middle schooler watching Beavis and Butthead for the first time...

Hi Brandon,

Sorry for incontinence, the order form requires you to order in eaches however when we input the order into the system we have to input by the case. We made the appropriate changes on the coffees but forgot the tea. We will make sure that we are changing the tea as well. We will have S. transfer them out and back to the warehouse



Did you catch it? It took my co-workers a few reads before they got it but now it's a "running" joke in the office. Although now I'm afraid that it's in my head and sooner or later I'm going to use it in an email to one of our customers.


Sequestered/Lawrence Help

Posted by Brandon |

Oh boy, what a weekend! Here's just a little taste of how my Saturday night was spent (originally posted on my MySpace page)...

"It's Saturday might and what an (sic, damn Tabc thingy) I doing? I'm stuck in my bedroom surfing the internet on my cell phone. Boy, I sure know how to party. I also have no idea how to do a carriage return on a phone so bear with me, this is going to be one long ass paragraph. The reason I'm stuck in my bedroom is because my mother in law and her friend are staying the weekend here. They wore themselves out being tourists so one of them is asleep in the computer room and the other is knocked out on the couch leaving me with only one television and computer-less room to occupy. I suppose I should do some reading, but I really wanted to do some writing so here I am. If only I could get blogger to work on my phone, but that would be too much to ask of my Helio."

Oh well, at least I got to watch a ton of basketball while they were out being tourists, I wasn't dragged along.

Death? starts another crazy two week shift tomorrow in which she will be working 6PM to 6AM, so I won't be seeing her much in the near future. Bad for me, but good for you. I'll be free all night long to do some writing, so look for Down With Pants! to be in full gear after what has been a very exciting and fun, yet interruptive month.

In the meantime, has anybody seen the movie Lawrence of Arabia? We got it from Netflix last week and we have slowly been working our way through it in 30 minute chunks. So far we have seen a lot of camels...and that's pretty much it. Does anyone have a compelling reason for me to not send it back and get something a little more interesting? At this point, I really don't care what happens, but at the same time I have to think that SOMETHING happens at some point that makes it one of the all time classics. I'm keeping it at least one more day just in case somebody convinces me to continue watching. Anybody?


The Return of Ponch

Posted by Brandon |

I am happy and proud to announce that while flipping through the channels the other day, I ran across this....

Motherfucking Erik "Ponch Poncharello" Estrada is back hawking property!!! WOO HOO!!! Ponch IS the first name in tricking Californians to purchase crappy, cheap property. Chuck Woolery, you can suck my balls.

And they have finally wised up and rewarded Erik for all of his hard work scamming people by letting him do a little bit of fishing...

And playing a couple rounds of golf...

He has even made friends with the Tellico townies who I'm sure are just ecstatic to welcome all of these Hollywood types to town.

Yes, for only $29,900 you too could own a little slice of heaven in Tellico Village, Tennesee. You too could live the good life golfing and fishing and making friends with the locals, just like our old buddy Erik here. Everything seems so perfect. Who could resist cheap, lakefront property in a beautiful part of Tennessee?

But late in the program I figured out what is really going on here. I've been wondering why you never actually meet anybody from any of these communities. You have to look very closely because it happens quickly and to the untrained eye is probably unnoticeable. But I think I was able to capture this horrible, horrible secret...

Holy shit! It's a Poncharello zombie! Noooooooo!!! He's attracting naive Californians to these communities and is slowly turning them into an unholy army of CHiPs that will eventually spread across this nation and feast upon the brains of the townies they took advantage of.

It all adds up. Ocean Shores? Beach zombies! Pagosa Lakes? Rugged zombies! Bella Vista? Wal-Mart zombies! Estrada must be stopped before his army of yuppified cheapasses invade yet another raging down home craphole.

Is Estrada a Scientologist? That could also be an explanation.


Sure Enough, I'm 30

Posted by Brandon |

The scene: Las Vegas Boulevard. The Date: March 18th - my birthday. The Time: 4:30 AM after a long St. Patty's Day. The Age: 30.

Yep, I'm really worried about growing all serious and changing now that I'm a year older.


Turning 30

Posted by Brandon |

Tonight is both sadly and excitingly my last blog post as a member of the 20-something club. We are heading to Vegas for the weekend to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the NCAA Tournament and my birthday on Sunday. I'll be back on Monday as a 30 year-old dude.

30 years-old? How the hell did that happen? Until this past week, I didn't think that turning 30 was going to be a big deal in the least bit. Just another birthday, that's all. But as the day grows closer and closer, I've been thinking about what it means and it's starting to freak me out a bit.

When you are in your twenties, you are much closer to college and you think about the future in hypothetical terms. Even when I was 28 or 29, I thought of myself as closer to my straight out of college days of internships and crappy jobs and how it would affect me when I grew up. Now that I am grown up at 30, I realize that it's time to be a full-fledged adult with steady employment who plans for a concrete future. Quite honestly, that's kind of scary. My twenties were so easy that, no matter what, my thirties are going to be much more difficult.

I'm scared to death about raising children. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to be a great dad and I will definitely do my best (which is more than most fathers). But let's be honest, It's a total crapshoot. You can be the best dad in the world, but things can unravel for so many reasons. I really don't want to raise rude idiots and I don't think I will, but the uncertainty of the whole experience is so scary.

Not that I'm not ready for kids. I've been growing ready for a little one for a few years now. At some point recently I switched from thinking that babies were fat, ugly, stinky things to making oohing and awing sounds whenever I see them. I keep seeing guys around my age with kids and I get so excited about having my own. And quite honestly, sometimes I get teary eyed thinking about it. My biological clock is ticking loudly and now that I am almost 30, I know that it is time.

I don't have many regrets, but thinking back, I'm worried that I wasted the best years of my physical life by not being active. I didn't work out and I didn't play much in the way of sports and now I'm starting to pay the price. My body broke down the last three weeks of the Mormon basketball season and I was embarrassed by the way that I played. I felt like I was 40 rather than just turning 30.

But I have become addicted to playing basketball. I love to play like no other time in my life but my body isn't letting me do it at a high level. I'm going to start a pretty intense strength and conditioning program that I found on a college basketball website so that I can make my 30's a much more active and healthy time of my life.

I don't know what kind of point I'm trying to make. I've got such mixed feelings about turning 30 that I haven't totally been able to wrap my head around it. I don't think that I am going to change, I will still be the laid back goofball that you know and love today, but things are going to be harder and much more serious. I think that I'm OK with that, but it does kind of freak me out.


Tonight on the TV

Posted by Brandon |

1. The highlight of the night was The Riches premier. First of all, I am a huge Eddie Izzard fan so it's always great to see him in anything. I just hope he figures out his accent sooner or later. But that's just about the only criticism I have of the first show. I can't wait for next week so they can get into the meat of the plot.

2. But I hate FX, especially when they let Grindhouse Double Feature buy all the commercial breaks. The breaks took forever and they played the preview over and over again in addition to the behind the scenes and interviews with Tarantino and Rodriguez. During the first commercial break I thought Grindhouse looked awesome. By the end, I was pretty much sick of it. It didn't help that there were two to three minute long previews for other shows like The Shield and whatever the Courtney Cox show is called. By the time we finally got back to "The Riches", we nearly forgot that we were watching it.

3. Am I the only one that thinks that the movie Pride looks like a parody of every other movie featuring an all-black team struggling against their white counterparts? I thought Glory Road was that movie, but apparently they had to make another one, and this time it stars Bernie Mac. Woo Hoo!!!

4. Before "The Riches" (and after) we watched Chinatown, one of those classic films that we have never seen. I didn't expect it to be a really happy movie or anything but I never expected it to be so, so messed up. Can that movie end in a less satisfying way? I guess there isn't any other way to end it, but damn, what a downer. That being said, it is a great film (that I never have to see again) and it 's no wonder that Jack Nicholson is such a huge star, he is incredible in one of his first big film roles.

5. Finally, on The Colbert Report tonight, Stephen had a statistic from an article that came out sometime last week that said that 50% of high school students believe that Sodom and Gomorrah were married. Look, I admittedly don't know the bible very well, but even I know how wrong that statement is. Do you?


Hey Jealousy

Posted by Brandon |

Can I just say how jealous I am of everybody who is attending Tequila-Con this weekend? All of the bloggers that I have wanted to meet over the years are there, I love to visit Portland anytime I can, The Kennedy School - one of my bars/hotels/elementary schools - is hosting the event, and my wife is out of town leaving me alone to do basically nothing all weekend. Tequila-Con would have been a blast.

As much as I would've liked to go to Tequila-Con, missing it is a price that I was willing to pay to go to Mexico last weekend and to Vegas for the first two rounds of the tournament and my birthday next week. It was just bad timing, maybe next year.


Cantina Y Parrilla De la Vecindad

Posted by Brandon |

You know what makes a trip to Mexico, a trip to Mexico? Five words: Eatin', Good, In, The and Neighborhood. Applebee's!

After soaking up the local culture, eating the delicious fresh fish and shrimp in the taco shacks at the Mercado de Mariscos and driving the pothole ridden streets through the squalor filled neighborhoods that make up one of Baja California's nicest cities, Ensenada, we couldn't help but be horrified when we noticed the words "Neighborhood Bar & Grill" on the window of a building being built in the parking lot of a brand new Wal-Mart and Home Depot.

Ensenada is full of American franchises. The aformentioned Wal-Mart has staked their claim and are competing with a humongous Commercial Mexicana (think Fred Meyer) right across the street. McDonald's has a handful of restaurants in town as does Carl's Jr. and KFC. Domino's employs a fleet of motorcycles to deliver pizza to the city. And perhaps with a Home Depot in town, the family that is using a stolen billboard for their roof might be able to shingle it too.

But I draw the line at Applebee's. It represents everything bad about American franchises today. I hate the forced, standardized "uniqueness" and the developed in a lab and tested on focus groups food that has been perfected by Applebee's.

It's too weird for me to look in the distance and see broken down trucks and trash strewn about the hillside, a house that appears to be made completely out of used doors, road workers dressed in flak-jackets carrying AK-47's and cars seemingly held together with matchsticks behind the familiar red and green neon of an Applebee's.

In a city that has both so much unique and exciting local flavor and so many serious problems, it just seems like the last thing that Ensenada needs is a Neighborhood Bar & Grill.

By the way, can you believe that there isn't a Starbucks anywhere in Baja California? There are 36 Applebee's in Mexico including one in war torn Chiapas, but other than the 65 locations in Mexico City, there are only 32 Starbucks. I thought they were everywhere.


Oh Lord! The Hoff is in The Producers

Posted by Brandon |

It sure does suck to be back even after a very short vacation, but what are you going to do? More about Mexico sometime soon.

But first, while driving home last night we were blown away by a billboard that read "David Hasselhoff in - The Producers - Paris Las Vegas".

What? How did I miss this news? So many questions raced through out heads. Who could The Hoff possibly be playing? Max? No way. Leo? Couldn't be. Ulla? Perhaps. Franz Liebkind? You can't be serious, he wouldn't risk his popularity in Germany.

Turns out, Hasselhoff is doing the entire show - By! Him! Self! - It's the greatest one man show in the history of Broadway musicals. Max, Leo, Ulla, Carmen Ghia, the chorus girls...he plays them all. Every single one! Can you believe it?

Unfortunately, it isn't true. He is playing the flamboyant director Roger DeBris, who eventually ends up playing the role of Hitler in Springtime For Hitler. It isn't a humongous part but if there was a role that I can deal with Hasselhoff playing, it would be DeBris. I'm sure he's horrific in the part, but imagining him as Hitler, considering his previously mentioned popularity in Germany, is just too perfect.

By the way, he says that he turned down the role of Franz Liebkind, the crazy Nazi, because he didn't want to play a Nazi. Does that make even a lick of sense? Did he even bother reading the script?


San Diego, Tijuana, Ensenada

Posted by Brandon |

Down With Pants! is going international with a quick four day weekend spent first in San Diego where we are going to go to Sea World to see us some Shamus. Did you know that Shamu is the stage name for all of the Killer Whales at Sea World? Then it's on to Tijuana and Ensenada for some fish tacos, some bartering, some beach and some La Bufadora.

I've never been to Baja so I'm excited and interested to see what it's like. I've been to Matamoros and Reynosa across the border from where I lived in Texas, but those are hardcore industrial cities in a weird area. I know TJ is supposed to be grimy, but I bet that it will be a hundred times nicer than Matamoros. And Ensenada will be a whole other world from somewhere like Reynosa whose greatest tourist destination is an area called "Boys Town" - I doubt I need to tell you what goes on there.

Anyway, the point is that DWP! will be on hiatus until Wednesday. I can tell that you are heartbroken.