Got my Men's Health Magazine in the mail the other day. That's right --- I got a subscription. I love Men's Health because it has the same three articles every month: "Belly Off in 19 Days!"; "How to Manage Your Boss"; and "What She Really Wants From You". "What She Really Wants . . ." contains alleged "quotes" from the beautiful women of America:
I can’t help myself. I’m watching the Grammy’s, and it is such a self-congratulatory clown fest, I gotta blog moment to moment:
8:00 p.m. EST — Undeniable proof that Lady Gaga is a drama club nerd who woke up 4 years ago and thought “I know what will make me famous . .. . I’ll wear a thong and 9″ inch heels and HUUUUGGGGGEEEE shoulder pads.” Yep, we’re all impressed Lady. Oh, by the way, I had to switch the channel when they threw Lady into a cauldron. My daughter was still in the room. When I flipped back, Gaga was doing a “return from the dead” duet with Sir Elton John. They are both covered in soot and, apparently, back from the dead. Elton John covered in soot? Hey, Elton: You’re a Sir, dammit, don’t let some flash in the pan make you agree to any costume change that includes covering yourself in dirt. Take it from Madonna: Dirty = okay. Dirt = desperate. Got it?
8:13 — Beyonce’s “All The Single Ladies” wins Song of the Year. Appropriate coming from a woman dating the most Powerful Man in the Universe. No, not Massachusetts Senator-elect and former centerfold Scott Brown. I mean Jay-Z. He’ll remain the most powerful man in the world until 50-Cent cashes in the rest of his Vitamin Water stock in 3 months. Enjoy the time, Jay. By the way, I love “Crazy in Love” by Jay-Z and Beyonce because they really ARE crazy in love.
8:15 Green Day performs with a broadway cast. Who would have thought 3 chords would last them over 15 years? Enjoy it, Billie Joe, Billie Bob and Billie Bill — there’s no way you’ll see the pearly gates of heaven. You’ve obviously made a deal with the devil to gain any sort of popularity. And, just to set things straight: You’re not British, are you, Billie Joe? You’re from, like, Charlotte, right? Start singing like it. It’s never too late to let that Southern accent shine. Also, this is quite a bold move to perform with Broadway actors who have no money in the bank and 10 times m0re talent than you. Bold move, to say the least.
8:23 Commercial for CBS’s Monday night line-up. Really? 35 year-old nerds and Charlie Sheen are actually funny?
8:25 Josh Duamel presenting. Somebody tell Josh-y that his wife is in the building. That should help him keep his hands to himself.
8:26 Taylor Swift just won her first Grammy of the night. Nice work, Kanye. Before you stepped up to the plate she was only moderately successful. Thanks to you, she is every girl’s hero now. Please, Taylor, please: thank Kanye in your acceptance speech. You owe him big time.
8:27 The Mentalist Simon Baker presenting. Oooohhh — he wears funky glasses and her STILL looks handsome. Shame on you, Austin Powers.
8:28 Beyonce performing. Man, is it windy in there. She’s decked out with the Bomb Squad from Public Enemy. Did she get permission from Chuck D to skip their performance at Northern Lights to do the Grammy’s?
8:30 Beyonce’s gone from screaming her own song to screaming “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morrissette. Proving, once and for all, that Alanis’ music rules the world with an iron fist. The only time I looked up from my computer was when she switched to “You Outghta Know”, and thought: now THIS sounds good. Alanis Morrissette: enlightened, running the marathon, and writing music that kicks ass 15 years after release. Nice.
8:34 They just promised that “Robert Downey, Jr. will be bringing out Jamie Fox, T-Pain and Slash . . .” otherwise known as ’One Big Mess.’” T-Pain. T-Pain? Come on. You should only be allowed to call yourself that if your first album is entitled ”Painful.” I just checked Wikipedia. His first album wasn’t entitled “Painful”, it was called ”Rappa Ternt Sanga.” That means “Rapper Turned Singer.” It took me 5 minutes to figure out the translation. So, in other words, not Painful, but definitely painful.
8:40 Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and now Pink. I’m sensing a pattern. Yes, they’re all women. But I’m looking slightly beyond the obvious. Every song is this: “I’m strong. I’m confident. I’m passionate about the fact that I can’t forgive you. And I’m singing soulfully about it. And even more soulfully about it. Now I’m screaming. Look at me! Now I’m really screaming!! [A guitar solo and some awkward high-heeled dancing] I’m soulful. The End.”
Wait — that’s not Pink! It’s the Virgin Mary in a long white robe and hood. Wait again. Plunging neckline. That can’t be the Virgin Mary. Maybe it’s Princess Lea. But, Carrie Fisher can’t sing. Wait — sher just de-robed. Definitely NOT the Virgin Mary. Looks like Pink with Blonde hair and the body of an East German swimmer. Pink’s now she’s spinning in the air, basically naked. Sopping wet. With three naked gold people hanging over her. Is this a song or a gold medal performance in trapeze?
8:46 Keith Urban presenting. For the un-initiated: Urban is Australian. He’s an Australian Country Western singer. Read that again. Confused yet? Me too.
8:47 Best New Artist: The Zach Brown Band. Who? Oh . . . . . that guy. Zach, right? I didn’t know the pudgy guy from The Hangover even had a band. Good for him, because the “I’m disgusting and yet you gotta love me anyway” act was getting old. Good for you, Zach — way to have a back-up plan.
8:54 AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! The Black Eyed Peas are performing. Or, as I call them, “”The Hooker, the B-Grade Wyclef Jean, the c-Grade Jermain Dupree and the Realllly Scary Guy With Long Straight Hair.” This music is hilarious. Every single BEP song sounds like it was written and recorded by two high school kids messing around on their Garage Band program on their Apple computer for 10 minutes. The only difference is that, when the high school kids throw the crap away, the BEP’s send it to Sony Records.
The Black Eyed Peas. Everyone treats them with such reverence, like they’re music royalty. Listen up: the Black Eyed Peas are the Village People of the 2k10. Everyone’s got that, right? Guaranteed: they’ll be the best punchline at every wedding starting in 2021. You know how you danced your face off when YMCA came on at your buddy’s wedding in 2001? That’s how the kids will react to the BEP’s in ten years.
9:07 Someone else is performing. I honestly don’t know who it is. I looked down, and I missed who these people are. It looks like Lance Bass singing with one of the finalists from American Idol. Sounds good.
9:09 Best Comedy Album category. The one I’ve been waiting for. Come on Punch In The Face. Come on. I can feel it. This is my year. My video has 139 hits on www.funnyordie.com/chriscurtin. Surely that’s enough momentum to put me over the top. And the winner is . . . Stephen Colbert!! Corporate America’s answer to the question “hey, do you have a sense of humor?” Great.
9:18 Record of the Year Category. Note: Ringo Starr looks fantastic. The winner is: The Kings of Leon. Finally, some dudes on stage. And the song is killer.
9:20 Robert Downey, Jr is presenting. How is this guy not dead or really, really old? He looks great. Hold on . . . RD, Jr is making a theatrical funny. He’s announcing an opera. Oh wait — it’s funny-man turned waaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy too serious actor Jamie Foxx. He’s has dramatic Kanye-level voice effects on, and their’s only one problem with that: Foxx can really sing. The effects are supposed to be reserved for guys who can’t sing. Wait another minute — now I know why he has the effects on the mic: it’s because the lyrics are awful. It’s just several 40 year-old men screaming “Blame it on the alcohol.” Maybe the Black Eyed Peas should be more comfortable than I previously thought.
9:26 Just a few minutes left to vote for the song Bon Jovi will play later in the show. Can we all agree to have them play “Cherry Pie”? Oh wait — that was Warrant. Actually, that’d be great. Let’s all write in for “Cherry Pie.”
9:32 Best Rock Album. Nominees include Dave Matthews. He’s considered rock? I thought he was folksy bluegrass. And the winner is . . . Green Day. They look very normal. Too normal. So normal that Billie Joe starts to panic at the end (“Oh no. Everyone’s gonna know I’m just a regular guy”), so he blurts out: “and I’m gonna go have shots with the Kings of Leon!!” No you won’t. You’ll be tucking your kids into bed while the Kings of Leon are doing . . . what really cool rock dudes do. I have no idea what that would be. But it will definitely be things that neither I nor Billie Joe can witness or relate to.
9:34 Zach from the Hangover is on stage singing America the Beautiful. I didn’t know he wrote that. Incredible.
9:35 Zach’s playing with Moses from the Bible!!! Cool . . . but I always thought Moses was more of a jazz guy.
9:36 Whoa! Zach from the Hangover is really going at it on the Gui- tar to a stunned audience. Hey, Zach, don’t feel bad if the audience isn’t feeling you. This isn’t the Milwaukee Waterfront Festival. It’s the Grammy’s.
9:48 A washed-up Stevie Nicks sounding much better than Taylor Swift in another painful duet. Taylor: Text Kanye and have him jump on stage to stop this train wreck before it costs you another 3 Grammy’s tonight.
9:52 Lionel Richie!! He’s only won 4 Grammy’s? That Cannot Be Right. Lionel rules! Plus, he officially looks younger and better than he ever did in the Dancing on the Ceiling years.
9:53 Get your 3-D glasses out. We’re gonna see Michael Jackson in 3-D!! Here to sing an MJ tribute are . . . . A Whole Bunch of Random People!! Where were we supposed to get the glasses? The Optometrist’s office? Our local 7-11? I didn’t get the memo. Why doesn’t anyone every tell me anything? Did they come in a bottle of Pepsi? Dammit. I’m never gonna enjoy this without my 3-D specs. And who has 3-D specs just lying around? Sure, Potsy and Ralph Malph, but that’s about it.
10:08 Sheryl Crow is on stage. Eat your heart out, Lance Armstrong.
10:09 Bon Jovi!!! Forget Jon. I see Tico. Go Tico! Drum your little heart out, Tico! Go Tico Go!!
10:10 First time I laughed out loud tonight: Just look at Sambora’s hair. No wonder it didn’t work out with Heather Locklear. No self-respecting Pantene spokeswoman can hang with a dude with hair like that. With the bangs, he looks like a date to the Junior Prom.
10:13 Menage-a-mic! Gretchen, Jon and Ritchie just shared the mic. I thought only Springsteen, his new wife and the guy from the Soprano’s could pull the menage-a-mic! But — No.
10:14 The fans want Bon Jovi to play Living on a Prayer! Of course we do. It’s called music. We used to hear it all the time in the ’90′s. It was an incredible.
10:16 Mos Def is the coolest man in the world. Period. I’m going out to buy the jacket and the tie to try to be more Mos-Def-ish.
10:17 Rap Collaboration category. In other words the “Big Old Mess” category. And the Winner is . . . Kanye West. That was easy. He performed in every song nominated, so it was kind of a lock.
10:18 The show will continue . . . but I’m going to bed. Tell me how the rest of it went tomorrow.
I’ve always thought of myself as someone whose gone through life seeing the funnier side of things. Whether it’s the fact that early 90′s crooner Richard Marx is still popular in southern Ohio or the fact that some people don’t watch TV solely because they can’t stand the commercials (Isn’t that like saying that you won’t drive because of the annoying traffic lights? I mean, just wait a minute . . . the good stuff — the TV show, the wonderful experience of driving — will get back to the action in a minute), I’ve always had time for the funny. But . . . I gotta to admit, it’s getting harder and harder to be so gosh darn silly. The more “adult” decisions I have to make and deal with, the more I feel the silly being carved out. Mortgage refinancing. Career decisions. Family concerns. None of which make me feel like the next Yakoff Smirnoff. But — no more. Like a funnyman’s Justin Timberlake, I’m bringing the SillyBack in the 2 K 10. Here’s why: the more “serious” I have to be/ am turning out to be, the more I’m convinced that humor is the silver lining of every experience. Pretty profound, huh? “Humor is the silver lining of every experience.” Nice. That, or my large coffee intake just makes me feel like everything is funnier than it really is. Whatever — I’m sticking with the claim that my giggles are not chemically enhanced by caffeine. So here’s my challenge to you, fellow GEN X’ers — try to find the humor in every experience, no matter how challenging, frightening or sad. If we can do that, we’ll experience heaven on earth every day. Not a bad New Years’ Resolution, huh? Keep it silly in the 2 K 10.
Here’s the deal, Gen X: You gotta see the documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil. The movie was released nationally last Friday (June 19, 2009), and it’s the story of the Canadian ’80′s metal band Anvil – a band that, according to the experts in this field, came this close to making it big, and influenced many of the ’80′s metal bands that came along right after and alongside them (Slayer, Scorpions, etc.). All of the other bands went on to sell millions of records . . . and Anvil did not. Fast forward twenty years, and the documentary finds the primary members (lead singer Steve “Lips” Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner) still trying to become rock gods while balancing families, jobs (Lips works delivering school lunches, Reiner works as a home contractor) and their own mental health and stability as they follow thier dreams into their 50′s.
Now . . . don’t get me wrong. I’m not telling you to see this movie because I’m a huge metal head from way back. I couldn’t tell the difference between Slayer and Scorpions if my life depended on it. I was always more of a Brit Rock kid in the ’80′s (Duran Duran, The Alarm, etc. . . . okay The Alarm was from Wales, but you get my point . . .). I’m telling you to see this movie, Gen X, because it is a gift from the generation before us about what we should expect from ourselves and from life over the next twenty years. This isn’t a movie about metal music. It’s about what is important in life: friendship, passion, love, fear, doubt, commitment, experience, expression, kindness and faith. These are the words we swore we’d live by when we were kids. Real kids — like when we were 12 — before the high school peer pressure and hormones kicked in, before the self-obsession of our college existences and the cluelessness and greed of our early twenties.
Don’t worry. I’m not telling you to quit your job or leave your spouse or (for heaven’s sake) go join a metal rock band. What I am telling you is that Anvil! The Story of Anvil will remind you of what really matters in your life, and should help you think about what cards you’re going to play before time’s up. For Lips and Robb from Anvil, they decided put all of thier cards on the table for the chance for fame and fortune of being heavy metal gods. For you — and for all of Gen X, I’m only asking that we have to at least put some of our cards on the table. If we continue to hold back, I’m concerned that we’ll stop taking any chances at all — in the name of security, our personal obligations and, yes, granite countertops. See Anvil! The Story of Anvil and think about the calculated risks you can take (however small) to pursue your dreams and face your fears and doubts. If you don’t, how will you really make your mark? The irony in Anvil! is, in the midst of the anguish, pa and pursuit . . . Lips and Robb are participating in the fullfillment of their dream because the documentary itself is becoming the vehicle for their ultimate success. And therein lies the true lesson for Gen X: we’ll only achieve our goals if we’re willing to participate (indeed, cherish) the struggle.
I had such great expectations for me. I really did. Me was a great guy. Full of spunk and verve, and a bod to match. Maybe not so much the bod part . . . but you get the point. But then I see those guys in the ITT Technical Institute commercials, and I realize that I’ve gone wrong somewhere. These guys get a 9-month certificate in computer diagonostics, and they’re living the dream. You’ve seen the commercials. These guys are winning stuffed animals at carnivals. They’re riding 4-wheelers through the woods and flying remote controlled airplanes with their sons. Most impressively, their wives make grand and sweeping statements about them that can’t possibly be true:
ITT TECH GRADUATE’S WIFE: “After attending ITT Tech, Gerald has become the kindest, most compassionate and — at the same time — most driven and successful man that ever walked the planet.”
Why didn’t anyone ever tell me about the life oasis that is ITT Tech? I’d love to win a prize at a carnival. Dirt biking in the woods looks like a blast. I could fly a remote airplane, I think . . .
Oh, what’s the point? Why should I even dare to dream an impossible dream? Some people got it, and some don’t. I guess me . . . just . . . . don’t . . . got . . . it. Wait a minute, I just connected my Wii to the television. Maybe I do have the elusive “it” factor. Somebody get me an ITT Tech application. I’ll be living the dream in no time.
A few thoughts upon hearing about David Carradine’s death. For the uninitiated, Carradine starred in the 70′s television series Kung Fu and more recently as “Bill” in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Billmovie series. Carradine’s body was found hanging from the closet of a hotel room in a luxury hotel in Bangkok with a yellow rope tied around his neck and a black rope around his (ahem) genitals:
- Didn’t that already happen, like, 5 years ago? I could’ve sworn Carradine died from autoerotic asphyxiation in a hotel in Thailand in 2004. Are the news reports certain this just happened? Is it possible the media is recycling the tragic deaths of low-profile actors?
- Even if his death did just happen this past week, everyone who heard the news had the same first reaction: “The scary, creepy guy from Kung Fu was found dead by autoerotic asphyxiation in a Bangkok luxury hotel? [thoughtful pause] That sounds about right.”
- Everyone’s second reaction: “So that’s why they call it Bangkok.”
- Apparently, Carradine was 72 years old. 72? That’s it? He looked like he was 72 in ’72. This guy always looked old enough to be Yoda’s uncle.
- Finally, what is it about quality entertainers and autoerotic asphyxiation? First, it was INXS’ Michael Hutchense. Then, it was the guy who played Mikey from the Life Cereal commercials. Now, its David Carradine. (Okay, the kid from the Life Cereal commercial did not have an autoerotic asphyxiation issue. But he was a quality entertainer, wasn’t he?) What is the possible connection between Hutchense, an Australian heartthrob rock star, and Carradine, a reclusive sometimes Hollywood star of the martial arts genre? Let’s see: INXS’ most popular album was ”Kick” and Carradine starred in movies that featured a lot of kicking . . . Wait — I got the connection! When they both tried getting their kicks, they ended up kicking the bucket.
America’s greatest Gen X mommy and daddy, Jon & Kate Gosselin from TLC’s “Jon & Kate Plus 8″, are having trouble with their marriage. Apparently, Jon has a girlfriend. And not just any type of girlfriend, a young girlfriend. You know, the type that likes to go dancing. And shopping. Not to mention all the talking. How does a guy with a wife and 8 kids have the personal energy for that kind of action? I have 2 kids, and it takes every ounce of my personal energy to get the vacuum out of the closet. As for Kate, she’s supposedly having an affair with her bodyguard, a silver-haired hunk who looks like the dad in every Just for Men Hair Coloring commercial . . . like these guys REALLY need jet black hair to live the good life.
Who could have predicted this? Isn’t it completely normal for a couple with a set of twins and a newborn set of sextuplets to think “hey, in order to ensure we can live a loving life together as a family, let’s bring 15 TV cameras into the house 24 hours a day.” Yes, it is. As every good Gen-X’er knows, you aren’t normal unless you’re on TV. And — even if you’re kinda freaky, attention-starved, simpletons from the middle of Pennsylvania, TV will make it all better, with its fancy editing and mood lighting.
Just think how crazy this Jon & Kate Plus 8 “life on TV” premise is. When Gen X was growing up in the ’70′s, it was ridiculous to think that a family with 8 kids would actually let cameras into their house. The only family that did that in the ’70′s was fictional (Eight is Enough reference). Thinking of Eight is Enough, Dick Van Patten was an uber-dad and even that family wasn’t completely normal. Need proof? Willie Ames flunked Celebrity Fit Club 3 times. And when did Ames get all the crazy tattoos?
Look, 1 was 1 of 5 kids. And my mom wouldn’t have let TV cameras into the house — even if it was on fire. In fact, we didn’t even own a Polaroid camera. As far as my parents were concerned, the last thing they wanted . . . was evidence of the chaos. Sure, there are a couple pictures of me as a kid, but it was for historical purposes — like the photos of immigrants at Ellis Island or pioneers on the Oregon Trail. You know, so if the IRS ever came around looking for proof, my parents could grab the photo and say, “Here is Chris. He is one of our kids.” That’s pretty different from Jon & Kate’s 24-hour access to their family for free diapers, Nintendo Wii, and 50 grand an episode, isn’t it? Sure, the 70′s had the bell-bottoms and ABBA, but the family privacy and humility weren’t so bad.