Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How can you add more white trash to your truck?

Q: Would you like to proclaim to the world the worst part of your body to all?
A: Maybe if you also own a truck.

Allow me to list the multiple levels that I am offended at the existence of "truck balls," which I saw again this afternoon on the truck stopped ahead of me at the stoplight:

As a car owner-
I was raised by a man who did not believe in car accessorizing. It probably stemmed from his years driving a company car from DuPont across the vast nothingness of Minnesota and North Dakota selling paint. For example, you will never see a political bumper sticker on his car (half because he doesn't believe in that / half because his wife would storm out to remove it herself).

There are four small pieces I've added to my car: A Marquette Alumni license plate holder, the "MU" sports logo, an "Abide" Lebowski sticker, and a World Poker Tour air freshener. All are relatively small and tastefully adorned.

Hanging a pair of testicles, that are neither small or tasteful, does not allign with my rules of car customization. I don't care which model you choose (i.e. Steel, Brass, Titanium, Blue, Flesh-colored, Hairy or right-leaning). I'm not the police of car care, but I'd really like to know the motive behind this purchase... Is it just a simple low brow joke?

As a human living in society-
"Hey Mommy, what's that?"
"Oh Jocelyn, those are an anatomical representation of a human scrotum, jokingly hung from a trailer hitch... Nothing to worry about dear, go back to reading Dora the Explorer"

Well Jocelyn should be worried. She just uncovered a mystery that Dora was going to spare her from for quite a number of years.

As a male-
Does making something male make it better? Of course not. It's that chauvinist sentiment prevalent in the world today that makes that girl (who I shouldn't be buying a drink for anyways, but that's another story) think my gesture is not so much one of a gentleman but one of a Imperialistic Sonnafabitch.

Should I be the first to the market on this product idea:
Giant, magnetic, fallopian tubes with ovaries that span the entire front bumper of a car.

People place decals of the Confederate Flag to show support for "the south" (to use the least offensive choice of words possible) - what does this sack represent? "I support sperm producing anatomy?"

As a available single guy who's looking-
Can we not advertise the existence of balls? Without a doubt, "balls" are the most unattractive element to the sense of vision on the human body. No wonder their first action is to descend from the body - trying to leave the body. I don't think I've ever heard a woman (or a gay man for that matter) make a comment about balls in a positive light. You'll get comments about a cute ass, and you might even get a horny drunk sorority girl-type mention someone's "dick, rod... or johnson" (Lebowski quote) in a disgustingly lusty desire - but you won't hear any of the following comments:

"Oh, I bet Mr. Lipton there's got a nice tea bag offering."
"Stacy, I love that this hot weather brings out the short-shorts - especially in a place with these high bar stools that really give us a great sight - can't wait to take that trip to testicle town."

Please accept my apologies if my language is vulgar or my hypothetical woman dialogue is offensively off base.

You don't see a some girly coupe car with a tramp stamp, do you? Actually, those probably do exist... But there are many people who support trampstampery. I don't think anybody is for a more Public Displays of Balls.


Write to your Congressperson, or very least - corrupt Governor - asking that if they make laws to make Motorcycle riders cover their heads, that truck drivers need to hitch up their shorts. Cars are for highways, not low balls.

(If you saw one of these in a mall parking lot, how could you not kick these? I'm sure it'll hurt but it's gotta be a gratifying feeling.)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Do you believe in the healing power of Jesus Beards?

Q: What is the most memorable non-musical moment at a concert you've had this year?
A: The My Morning Jacket lap dance.
Ryan and I stood up throughout the entire My Morning Jacket two and a half hour set last Sunday at the Chicago Theatre. So did the guy to my right, who flew in from North Carolina (and might I add is one of the better air guitarists working the scene today). If anybody had an excuse to take a breather - it was me (due to the staminia reducing coughing fits afflicting me for the previous 48 hours). My Morning Jacket is just not the kind of band you can take sitting down. They are capable of dropping into an extended jam at nearly any point in any song. Why would you want to be seated during that?

Probably if your girlfriend wants to perform a lap dance.

Now I've seen gratituous displays of public affection at concerts before... It's as common as being offered illlegal substances and as fun as the Officer Friendly pre-show pat-down. The last concert Ryan and I attended (Radiohead in Indy), a couple were streched out on the lawn in front of us trying to find a paranoid android in each others' pants during the Grizzly Bear opening act.

During the song "I Will Sing You Songs" (Off MMJ's "It Still Moves" album) nearly everybody in the five rows ahead of Ryan and I sat down. It's one of their slower grooves. One concert goer that didn't sit was the tramped-stamped mamma who provided me with one of my most vivid non-music related concert memories... She was not an amatuer (or at the very least must be a proud owner and disciple of the Carmen Electra Stripperobic DVD series):
-locking her wrists together at the top of her head pose
-over the shoulder pouting with the arched back pose
-mime quality imaginary pole with which to slide down

This wasn't anything significantly spectacular. But the volume got turned way up when she reached back to grab the chair arms and conmenced Champaigne Room intensity grinding. She could have at least rode that pony to the beat of the song, but she needed to gallop instead of trot.

Unsurprizingly, diffrent motives appearant to all, they left shortly after the exhibition - with more than an hour left in the show.

I'm done confronting others at concerts. I'm finally understanding people pay their ticket and want to control their own experience. A sad lesson learned after an awkward moment at last March's Feist show. You can also take a step back if you think I'm jealous (or at least, a half step back).

Music, more than ever, is becoming a personal experience. NPR's All Songs Considered year end wrap-up made a remarkable comment about the end of the Boombox Era. More music is listened to on earphones then ever before. Music for the Masses is taking a step back in favor of more personal introspective fare.

Bon Iver, not Bon Jovi.

One day movie theatres may have to install personal headphones due to cell phone and movie talker ettiquite. Will concert halls have personal headphones availible if the artists prefer to recreate the iPod experience? Does that really sound unrealisitc? I don't think that's what anybody wants.

Lost in this tale is my cough, which thankfully was as intracned with Jim James as I was - allowing me to go the entire set without having to excuse myself to hack or regain my breath.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Would you like a copy of my Best of 2008 Mixtape?

Query: What did I do tonight when I couldn't sleep?
Answer: Compiled a quick "Best of 2008" playlist.

Earlier tonight (well, technically it was yesterday) I saw My Morning Jacket perform the song of the year for 2008: Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Pt. 2.

Truth be told, when I heard this song debuted at SXSW (thanks to NPR's podcast) I instantly awarded it the title. Even though that was back in March or April, no song to make waves past my ear drums was able to top it. The album was released in June and it hasn't left my car's CD changer since:

Fast forwarding to this morning at 2:30 am - when I did a quick scroll though my "purchased" list on my iTunes and came up with a quick Best of 2008 list. Please note that this list is what I currently think - and is subject to change. Thankfully I received a nice amount of iTunes money, which I plan to spend after I'm done researching the various year ending lists. So before you start calling the indie police - you should know that I haven't yet bought The Fleet Foxes yet... From what I've been reading, they probably would have been on this list if I had jumped on the bandwagon earlier.

Please let me know if you'd like a copy of this mixtape:

1. "We Walk" (Live version) by The Ting Tings
2. "Still Here" by Girl Talk
3. "Tesseliate" by Toyko Police Club
4. "Out There On the Ice" by Cut Copy
5. "Touch Too Much" by Hot Chip
6. "Yuppy Flu" by Land of Talk
7. "Churches Under the Stairs" by Broken Social Scene Presents Brendan Canning
8. "Geraldine" by Glasvegas
9. "Cemeteries of London" by Coldplay
10. "Sit and Wonder" by The Verve
11. "Worrisome Heart" by Melody Gardot
12. "Flume" by Bon Iver
13. "Touch Me I'm Going to Scream, Pt. 2" by My Morning Jacket

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Can anybody be decadent in this economy?

Query: Can anybody enjoy Las Vegas in this economy?
Answer: Yes, if you fit the critria.

The biggest event of my annual Las Vegas Trip occurred at 8 pm local time on Monday December 22.

It was not my play in the 7 pm poker tournament at The Wynn. (certainly not when you figure I finished 5th out of 20: two spots AWAY from the money). Nor was it the action on the Monday Night Football game between the Bears and the Packers. (I told anybody I liked that there was no way the Bears would win by more than four points, but also admitting that I refused to bet against them and will not lay any action on the contest)

The event that grabbed the headlines on the following morning's paper was the Grand Opening of Steve Wynn's newest Casino Resort. Aptly named "Encore," the new building mirrors its predecessor. The Wynn and Encore are connected to each other on the ground floor. It only takes a couple steps on the plush red carpet to get from one to the other.

Playing in that aforementioned poker tournament gave me a great view of the incoming throng of visitors (since the exit to the Self Park is down the hall from the Poker Room). And it was funny to see just as many of them walk back to their cars less than an hour later. Personally, I think it was just an excuse for people to see others and be seen.

Being about 50 degrees that night, I'll allow the locals to complain about it being cold. You were in your right to wear a jacket outside. But what happens is that when the temperature dips that low, it gives everybody the excuse to bust out the expensive furs. I never saw more beautiful people so happy to be cold.

By the time I busted out of that tournament, to some guy who proclaimed to have been a pro ("They call me Sammy the Clown on TV - i'm serious.") I went to walk over to the Encore, but the line was about 200 people deep. After a nice 6 hour detour that took me to the new Palazzo, Venitian and Mirage - I found myself back at the Encore without having to wait in a line.

And I decided that there are only 3 and a half types of people who can really enjoy Las Vegas.

1. People who love to gamble (of which I fall into)
2. People who love the "party life" as Jay-Z would say (i.e. Nightclubbing or pool bathing)
3. People who have loads upon loads of money
3b. People who are significantly attached to loads and loads of money

I'll note here that many people enjoy Vegas for "the shows," or golf. I'll also note that I believe to see the best shows, or play the best courses, you must fall into category 3 of being filthy rich.

Looking around the Encore, even at 4 am, brought this to the forefront of my mind. I saw people placing $1,000 minimum bets at a blackjack table out in the open (not in a closed off High Limit Lounge) and saw Craps tables too rich to even advertise the limits. (all I needed to see was "reserved" to know enough). And then there were the half clothed plastic Barbies with boobs over their drinks and asses into their sponsors just a dice throw away at the bar. I was unable to see what the clientele at the super expensive restaurants were like... One of them is called "Sinatra" in which Frank's Oscar and Emmy are on display. Supposedly Steve Wynn's family is tight with the Sinatra family - and this is the first restaurant to ever have the Sinatra name bestowed. One of the dealers told me that the Sinatra restaurant is the "cheaper" of the Encore restaurants. Supposedly there is one that features a crystal sculpture nearly 80 feet in diameter.

Although Encore makes me like the Wynn less, due to it's gaudy red chandeliers, I still like what the Wynn offers. I was able to find a $15 blackjack table and a $10 Craps game at Wynn. People can also play penny slots at that place! Most importantly, my fear of the smallest poker game being $2-$5 was unrealized. I was able to buy in modestly at the $1-$3 game. A game that would've been highly profitable for me if my set of Aces didn't get flushed out long after all our money was in the pot... But that's another sad story for another sadder time.

My flight home was delayed two hours trying to get out of Las Vegas, then an extra 90 minutes at O'Hare trying to find a gate after we landed. United has offered me $100 for my troubles. Money I will use for my next trip to Las Vegas.

Tentative Dates Monday November 23 - Wednesday November 25

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Have you ever selfishly infected others?

Query: When have you been too sick to go to an event for which you had tickets for?
Answer: Last January, for the MU vs. ND basketball game - hopefully NOT this Sunday.I came down with a bad (redundancy alert) case of Bronchitis last January. It prevented me from going to the Marquette versus Notre Dame basketball game for which I had tickets and planned to take my Dad.

Currently, I'm coughing up a storm. The illness first presented itself last Friday night, got progressively worse during my vacation in Las Vegas, and hit it's (hopefully) peak in the last 24 hours - nearly ruining my family's trip to visit a set of relatives in the process.

But I have tickets to see My Morning Jacket perform at the Chicago Theatre this Sunday. I am working with the best private label cold medicines available to me (for free) to get me in shape for this much anticipated event.

2008 has easily been my "year of ticketed events" and I can't think of a better way to close it out with this group. Yes, I have been VERY late to their bandwagon, but everyone who is already on this wagon has said that their live show is amazing. A good friend is driving down from nearly an hour north of here to go to the show with me.

A show, mind you, that was postponed for nearly two months after it's lead singer servery hurt himself performing in Iowa City less than one week before our originally scheduled show.

So now I'm on the mend. Spent all day today in bed, drinking fluids, what have you, getting ready for this show.

Do yourself a favor, go to YouTube or whatever insta-music device your prefer and type in "Touch Me I'm Going To Scream Part 2"
In my estimation, that is the song of the year for 2008.
Any best songs list that doesn't include that is a bogus list.
Create your mixtapes accordingly.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Can you digitally delete a person from your memory?

Query: How tough is it to delete an unfavorable memory?
Answer: Harder than you think.

I have suffered some collateral damage in this technological move away from MySpace. Mainly, the dredging up of past "acquaintances" that I had previously believed would never make their way into my mind again.

It reminds me of when I got my newer cell phone, and while waiting in the customer service coral or Abt Electronics, thought it would be best to "purge" some of the contacts stored into my phone over the previous years. It's very easy to delete a phone number. It's usually a great "goodbye for good" gesture - especially when you realize the phone was inputted into that device for romantic reasons. They've even made cell phone commercials about the empowerment of answering "yes" to "Are you sure you want to delete..." question.

But when I recently joined Facebook, and allowed them to pillage my Hotmail contacts searching for "Friends" already on Facebook - I was met with too many ghosts of dates gone wrong. It's one thing to delete a phone number from the parking lot of a brew pub, having just invested $50 in a date that went nowhere - it's another thing entirely to go home and delete all the digital footprints these people created on your hard drive.

My emotions ran the spectum as I had to answer if any of these women from my past are "Friends." Of course, some are still friends. Most famously, my first date of my life was engaged last weekend. Sure, the date was the Disney movie Bambi, and we were accompanied by her Mom (and that the date was somewhere in the time frame of 1986). But nonetheless we are still friends.

However, then there were the girls who I would have liked to never have been reminded ever again...

For example, that girl who I bought flowers for last Valentine's Day or the girl who I stupidly bought a NASCAR themed teddy bear. (As I write this I still realize how easily I spend money on girls - however it is getting better. I spent exactly $3 on the last gift for a girl on a date: temporary tattoos that were probably more successful as the flowers and bear combined, however... well, that's another story)

Memories of how stupid I could act under these contexts. All in time for one of the worst twenty minute stretches of the year (11:45 pm 12/31 to 12:05 am 1/1).

But then there were images of girls who had clearly found love after meeting me (for their last names where now happily affixed with new monikers). And the girls who I honestly don't remember dating at all. These left me with pangs of melancholy.

The moral of this story is to remember how much technical discipline is needed to get someone out of your life in the 21st century. Delete them from your cell phone, remove them a friend on MySpace/Facebook, DOUBLE-Delete her e-mails (oh yeah, you know you'll be scrounging in that deleted items bin sooner than later), make sure your iPod doesn't have a hidden playlist - maybe a mixtape you made featuring stupid songs from romantic comedies that were viewed.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What makes you upset about MySpace?

Query: Why am I now blogging here?
Answer: I am unable to ignore the flaws of MySpace.

A few months ago a close friend (who has an opinion I greatly respect) noted that MySpace looked like a porn site. I didn't understand what he meant. He was referring to the companies that choose to advertise on MySpace.

This is an example of the MySpace "home" screen. It sounds unbelievable now, but I never really noticed this negative characteristic of this site until this friend clued me into it. Now that my selective blindness has ended, it's unavoidable.

And here are more examples of how their advertising was making "View de TQ" look to others!

It's one thing to have MySpace know that I have identified myself as being a male, heterosexual, and single - and for them to advertise to me based on those traits.

However, when other people are going to my blog, I don't want them to see all these horrible "lonely men" advertisements. I don't think anybody reading my blog thought that I was intentionally choosing these banners, but I really don't want that to be the first thing someone notices when they want to read what I'm writing. Especially when I was writing about a bad first date - the whole story gets painted in a connotation out of my control.

There are more reasons why I'm leaving MySpace. I will get to those in due time, but I have a lot of heavy lifting in this move...

Please stay tuned - I hope you come back to read more.

Friday, December 12, 2008

January 24, 2009 (30 years later)

All right sports fans.
There it is:
The official birthday party invitation.

If you're reading this, feel free to partake in the celebration.
I'm not exaggerating here, I've not been big on birthday parties.
The last one was a bowling themed deal back in the 5th grade.
(yes, that means I did not make a big deal of my 21st mainly because almost everyone I knew was still 20, and most of those didn't drink at the time)

My 30th birthday isn't the only milestone I want to mention now.
Although, the other mentions aren't as significant:

This was my 300th blog post at 'View de TQ.'
It also marked the 3 year anniversary from when I started emptying my mind into this media/format/time waster.

It will also be known as it's final post.

I thank everybody for reading.
See you Saturday, January 24
(feel free to contact me if you want more info/specifics about the event)

The night has all the potential of being a 'Worlds Collide' situation... worthy of a George Costanza tirade.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Mind is a Bully (disconnected thoughts in an early December)

Greetings from the aftermath of winter anarchy

Every year, on the morning following the first significant snow fall of the season, people get to work late because everyone reteaches themselves how to winter drive simultaneously.

For me, the tardiness is more a function of the below:

I was woken up this morning to the sound of frenetic windshield ice scraping.
The man was on a mission, quite a remarkable effort.
Watching it through my window, I was impressed.
Which was the wrong response - it should've made me hurry my ass into the shower and try to shave some time off my routine that I needed to de-ice Chick Magnet 2.0

By the way, I should have allowed the initial name given by my friend for my newer car: "pony"
(Being short-sighted, I didn't want it linked to a poorly written short story from our Northwestern writing class)

I haven't worn my winter jacket this season yet.
If it dips below 30 tomorrow, I think I'll finally cave.
It's not because I have an undue amount of self-gratification derived from my tolerance to cold weather.

I just know it will get colder, very much so.
Logic is probably being taken to illogical levels here, but follow me:
You first put on a jacket when it gets - what - below 50?
So if you upgrade to your winter jacket at below 30 - what do you do when it gets to single digits?
Makes me feel like I've painted myself into an outerwear corner.
So I've been wearing my "fall" jacket with ample scarf and under layering.


I think I bowled a new personal best last Friday

Still debating between buying a couch or buying "the HD lifestyle"

'Tis the season for free couches - actually... They're readily availability, easily acquirable, yet it's usually a plan painfully executed.

My two week hiatus has officially ended.
Here's the girl I'm now spending money on:

My dad had a great line this weekend, "I don't trust a skinny chef."

I'll give any show on FX a fighting chance:

I'd really like to see them take a crack at that 90210 genre.
They should base a show on that Amish tradition of letting the kids run-a-mok.
I'd watch that, wouldn't you?

On the drive home, I had a disturbing thought.
An extended metaphor - but of very poor quality.
It was was the personification of my mind, specifically my inner monologue, as a bully.
But not the classical bully (for example, the one from A Christmas Story)

More like a low level - high school burnout bully.
The kind that just below the mean in overall popularity.
One that can't pick on the lower strata (the chosen prey for the larger predators).
Picking on just one level down on the caste system.
That's how I think of my mind at times.
I picture it licking it's finger and holding it it a hair's length from my face.
Annoying me.
Baiting me.
Forcing me to pay attention to fruitless topics.
For example: the idea of me eloping with a stranger in Las Vegas in three weeks.

Yeah, I'll admit that I've spent at least one full hour contemplating this.
What if I get married in three weeks?
Seriously, could it be that bad?
Your reading this from someone who has:
-gone to speed dating
-dated strangers (and strange women)
-sold out my soul for a laugh
-dated in the confines of the politic
-dated trying to be more than honest

I've said it before, and it won't be the last time I say it - it's exhausting.

Why not skip about 12 to 15 steps and elope.
I find someone in Vegas, we hit it off, we've got something in common
hitch it up
Get into the quagmire together - let's work it out.

Of course these are mainly fantasies that involve some celebrity.
For example: Erika Christensen

Could I have enough small town charm to get someone into a bad decision?
I'd be lying if I said I've never done it in my disastrous past (never on that large of a scale admittedly)

It's not a coincidence that these thoughts are running concurrently with release of the new Britney Spears album. We all know I'm a fan of her's.

Not so much musically (although I'll defend her song "Toxic" and and to a lesser extend "Stronger" vehemently)

That kid named Jason Alexander married her in Las Vegas.
That kid signed the annulment.
That kid is nowhere to be found today.
That kid, I have to think, knew what he gave up.

How much would Erika Christensen's PR team pay me to dissolve our marriage?
Could they even produce a sum large enough?

But it doesn't need to be a Hollywood D-lister.
Normal people could benefit.
Just in time for the DVD release:

"Okay, I'll be the tall dopey guy - you've got blonde hair - where's the chapel"
"We've got less than one month before the Inauguration - there's a gap in the news cycle - we'll be in the clear before you know it"

So my heart tries to fight back this bully mindwave.
I won't be clubbing at Pure.
I'll have to find my future ex-wife at the In-N-Out.
That ultra sexy poker playing female
That one that also flew out by herself
That one that's single (not rebounded)
That one that only exists in the figment of my imagination.
(The dream involves knowingly lay down threes full to her quad deuces)

I do have two plane rides ahead of me.
I once picked up a girl on the way to Reno.
Sounds like a Johnny Cash lyric, but it's the truth.
Going out to a family wedding in Lake Tahoe, our Aunt picked the same flight out.
I volunteered to switch seats - so she could talk to her brother (my father) on the way.
That's when I met that girl who made me set up an account on Friendster.
We traded e-mails over the course of a year or two.
Saw her again when she interviewed for an internship at a Midwestern University.
It was rather romantic... Meeting on a plane and all...
The mind bully will attempt to use that as precedent.
It's most successful attempt at coaxing me into thinking I'm romantic beyond logic.

What if my mind could devote this energy to solving the national economic crisis instead of my personal dating "slowdown." I think I'd sleep easier - It would certainly benefit you more.

Monday, December 1, 2008

How I Won my Summer Trophy

A few months ago I posted this picture with the promise that I'd tell the backing story once I received the other pictures:

Well, thanks to my friend - I have the rest of the pictures, and can now tell you how I earned the above majestic piece of hardware.

Early in the week of this story's occurrence, a big mass e-mail was sent out informing us of a couple festivals happening in this upcoming weekend. One of them was Guinness Oyster Fest. Not being a fan of that beer from Ireland (and a lesser fan of oysters) I had not planned on joining these friends.

Then, on the day these pictures were taken, my friend calls me to see if I'm going to the Fest. I told him no. He then told me that one of the events was a trivia contest for a favorite show of ours: It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. He holds up the phone to allow me to hear the show's theme song being pumped over the speaker system. Lastly, he informs me that the top prize is a golden dumpster baby trophy.

(Fast forward about five or so hours. I've arrived at the block party, and have taken my place on the stage)

Fans of the show will recognize how this stage is a very close replica to the show. Specifically, the interior of "Paddy's Pub" where the majority of the show's scenes are set.

We receive a few instructions from the host of the game show:

Here I would like to note why I'm wearing sunglasses in all these pictures:

There was a video screen used to show clips, and present the multiple choice options for the questions that needed them. My sunglasses are prescription, and I needed to make sure I could see everything clearly.

Against what popular opinion may say, they were not for stealing glances at the show's host:

I got off to a quick lead, buzzing in quickly:

I was feeling very confident in my knowledge in the show.

There were penalties for incorrect answers, so I decided to take my foot off the gas a little.

The competition inched closer, and I started to wonder if I was going to lose it.

But thankfully, I prevailed. In the below picture I celebrated by dancing "the elbow dance" made famous in the show's season 3 "Dance Off" finale:

I don't remember any of the specific questions anymore, but I doubt anybody reading this would want to hear those anyways if I did remember. The main thing is that I won this trophy. I bought the sucker home, where it still is today.

Displayed in a highly visible location in my condo.
However, it gains more creepy looks than respect.
But it makes me happy.
And getting the above pictures made my day.