Friday, July 30, 2010

Any thoughts on Jersey Shore's 2nd Season Premiere?

Q: What is a landmine?
A: A skinny version of a grenade.

Season one of Jersey Shore was a fantastic trip of entertainment for yours truly. Not only did it fill the void of "best 'worst' show I watch" created when I stopped watching nip/tuck, but also Jersey Shore took bad TV to unprecedented levels.

The hot tubs, the house music, the unprovoked acts of violence and the fist pumping - oh the fist pumping... All of it resulted in a symphony of filth too wonderful to go unrecognized.

A key aspect to the "purity" (and I realize that is quite the poor choice of words) of the show's quality was how the entire first season was taped before it aired. Taped before it became a smash hit. Now, with all the cast members, "self aware" (yes, the Terminator reference is a much better allusion) I feared the show would change for the worse.

Tonight MTV aired the season two premiere, which left me expectantly ecstatic. I'm still smiling, as I had to run over to spill out my thoughts immediately upon viewing.

I should admit that the majority of the episode was poor. All the lead-up to their reunion in South Beach was understandably necessary, yet tough and at times unwatchable. In my opinion, the show stalls when the cast members are isolated. Vinnie at home with his family is nice and sweet, but this isn't a show on the Hallmark Network. There is zero hope of entertainment watching Angelina by herself getting waxed or at an airport.

Get the crew together and watch the sparks fly - this is the antidote to any threat of the aforementioned "self aware" phenomenon. True, other people will be interacting differently with them - but who wouldn't when there are MTV cameras in a club? When they are all in the house together they will all keep each other honest and in check.

At about the 40 minute mark of the premiere, when everybody was in a cab, the episode hit its stride. The last 20 minutes of the show was classically spot-on for what us watchers tuned in to see. It left me with shear schadenfreude ebullience.
  • Angelina's complete lack of timing or tact
  • The juxtaposition of the silent cab of guys to the near fist fighting girl cab
  • Ronnie close to tears confronting his ex-girlfriend and looking elsewhere for company
  • The Situation reminding us the meaning of "grenade" and introducing us to the term of "landmine"
  • A montage of Ronnie in the background acting crazier than a Baskin Robbin's next to a Jenny Craig
And all of this with a relatively low amount of Snookie. She's going to assume her role as the cleanup hitter. Yeah, you saw her SNOOKIE cowboy hat. Her gorilla boyfriend wants meatballs. Fried pickles are a life changing experience. But pretty soon she's gonna unleash her dance floor cartwheel of blurred glory. She will be lifted off the ground by another in some fashion. All in the house will rally to an unknown to anybody else cause on her behest.

All in all, tonight's episode left me wanting to say one thing to all associated with the production of the show: Come at me, Bro!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Will imagining book titles help me fall asleep?

Q: What is the latest effort you want to support?
A: A friend's new blog.

Not being sure how "public" my friend's new blog is - I won't share its web address here. I'll admit that I was shocked that this friend, an admitted social networking addict (addict at its best - consumed at it's worst), took this long to start blogging.

(For the record - "vlogs" wearing Twilight merchandise while gushing over tween actors does not count)

Nonetheless, I look forward to more posts. I read the first tonight which mentioned a book by the title: Divorced. Catholic. Now What?

Yet again I can't sleep tonight... I've started to think of other potential books that may be out there...

Single. Catholic. Are we there yet?
Married. Parent. Is it over?
Eat. Pray. Love?
Attractive. Clueless. C'mon?
Dude. Man. Dude.
Woman. Traveler. Really?

and let me throw out one more for the Achievers:
Natural. Zesty. Coitus?

Friday, July 23, 2010

How do you kill time at a car dealership?

Q: How does my fancy phone benefit you today?
A: Get ready for a nightmare.

At just after 3 PM I learned it's going to be longer than I expected until I get my car back.

So, let me tell you about a dream I had last Friday night. That's correct sleep fans, this dream had a big effect on me: My memory of it is as clear as it was last Saturday morning.

This is what I remember...

I had just arrived at a poker game that was being held at a building that looked my condo building. I know it's not my building because it's surrounded on all sides by a parking lot and has a basement.

Shortly after I entered the basement I realize somehow that I don't have enough money for the buy-in. I walk out with the intention of finding a cash machine.

There are other people mingling outside of the building by now - smoking and what have you.

Then a cop car drives up. People start scattering and running away. The police officer quickly got out in an attempt to detain someone or anyone.

In the melée, the cop finally gets a hold of someone - only to have the guy violently Head Butt him. The cop died. In my dream I saw him die.

Then I ran away.
Later (not knowing how I got there) I answer the door and talk to the investigating detectives.
* * *
I wake up in a sweat.
It takes me longer than normal to realize I was dreaming.
Stuff like, "there's no basement in my building" is said to myself to help me calm down.

Yes, it's a rather lame dream. Also, I HAVE NOT SEEN INCEPTION yet in case you think that's somehow related. On one hand, I'm just happy to have a dream that didn't involve my teeth in another weird way. But, that policeman head butt image seems chiseled into my mind.

I was upset that this dream has been bothering my mind. Now I'm more upset that writing about it only killed a half hour.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What do these pictures have in common?

Q: What's my favorite Facebook notification?
A: [Friend] made your photo [his/her] profile picture.

You can put two more up on the board! That's a total of 8 Facebook profile pictures taken by me. Maybe I should really only count 7 (because one is of course my own and used with my iMac's built in photo booth camera and the help of a website for the "poster effect."). However, I am not counting another profile that is using a TQ photographed picture, but that's tough to prove because it wasn't taken with my small Nikon (thus, no proof in my iPhoto library) - I was handed another's camera to take holiday party pictures... Different camera, similar results.

Some of the below pictures are no longer an "active" profile picture. And I realize some people change profile pictures every week. Regardless, this is a career stat that I'm hoping to keep increasing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Which one's Logjammin'? (My Top 5 Garden Party Pictures)

And a good day to you sir!

I call the Monday after the Annual Lebowski Fest, unofficially of course, "Annual Upload Day." I take this day off of work (Are you employed, sir?) not only because I've spent a long day prior driving and sifting through my own photos, but also I love seeing all the pictures others have to share and finding the various media reports.

There's a lot to mention and share, which will be gotten to in due time. Today I am focusing on my top five pictures from the Garden Party. You are more than welcome to view my entire album (of the whole weekend).

However, to appreciate the following five pictures - know this:
I almost became a Lebowski Fest Cliche.

While waiting in my hotel lobby circa 1:30 AM post Movie Party for a pizza, I realized my camera was not my pocket (Could you slide your shorts down Mr. Lebowski, please?). It didn't take me long to write it off for good. Thankfully, it took longer for the food delivery and decided to walk back to the very vacant and more dark lawn. The feeling was more disappointing than anger. I really didn't take all than many Movie Party pictures.

I can see you're anxious for me to get to the point.
After too many minutes of using my phone as a digital lantern to no avail, a security guy asked what I was looking for [and if it was the camera he had earlier found]!

Rejuvenated, I was able to take harder than it appears timed photographs of the Garden Party Games the following afternoon. I don't have a high speed camera, but it certainly performed like one. Enjoy the following action shots:

Beach Blanket Toss

Valkyrie Ring Toss

Sheriff of Malibu Coffee Mug Throw
Marmot fling

Ringer Toss

Stay tuned to LEBLOGSKI for pictures of costumes, video and what-have-you.[TQ]

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Q: Uh, I think you have something to explain?
A: Nope... I'm just gonna let that picture sit without a caption for a while.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What music will fill an 11 hour solo car trip?

Q: How long is the drive to Louisville?
A: About five and a half hours.

Understatement of the evening: I like The Big Lebowski.
Many adjectives have been used (by others) to describe the above statement.
Just to let you know, I've been blowing up the other blog I write as of late.
The official blog of is viewable here and here.
I try to keep the two separate, because reading the posts here already give you a demented view into my life... Adding my love of Lebowski will only complicate matters.

But, nonetheless, know that I'll be driving to Louisville this weekend for the 9th Annual Lebowski Fest. This will be my 3rd Louisville Fest and 5th overall (the other two, and soon a third in September, were in Chicago). But that's besides the point of this post. The long drive means a new mammoth length mixtape!

My "Lou'a'vul" mixtape consists of 100 tracks and 2 podcasts, for a total running time of 8.8 hours. Not quite enough for the round trip, but it'll do as I'll probably pause it during the LIVE LEBOWSKI LUNCH HOUR.

  • It starts with the entire Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix album. I think the bang-bang opening tracks of "Lisztomania" and "1901" are exactly what I'll need circa 7:30 AM this Friday.
  • "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" by The Sons of the Pioneers. This is the song that opens The Big Lebowski. A no-brainer for Achievers.
  • The entire Funeral album by Arcade Fire. This absolute gem of Mountie Rock is available this month on Amazon for only $5!
  • "The Man in Me" by Bob Dylan. This is arguably, the most iconic song tied to The Big Lebowski.
  • The entire In Ghosts Colours album by Cut Copy. I'll want to listen to something dancey during the first hour of Indiana. Also, and more importantly, I'll be listening to it in anticipation of seeing Cut Copy's Metro show next month.
  • "Hotel California (Spanish Mix)" by Gipsy Kings. Ya kinda need to have seen The Big Lebowski at least twice to know why this song is on there. It don't matter to Jesus!
  • NPR's All Songs Considered podcast from last week called "Summer Music Preview." I've been saving this for the car ride. It'll be a nice change of pace to have a show in this mixtape.
  • NPR's All Songs Considered podcast from this week. It's a normal episode from Bob Boilen and the gang. Hopfully I'll be past Indianapolis by then, it'll be a good halfway point NPR break in my drive.
  • My Morning Jacket's album It Still Moves. There are too many reasons for this album to be included. MMJ was the first band to perform at a Lebowski Fest. They are from Louisville. I've seen them live and will be seeing them again next month at Northerly Island!
  • "Lookin' Out My Back Door" and "Run Through the Jungle" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. CCR is a must for a Lebowski-minded mixtape. These are the two songs heard during the film.
  • My Morning Jacket's album Z. The reasons remain the same. This is my favorite album of theirs.
  • "Just Dropped In - To See What Condition My Condition Was In" by Kenny Rodgers and the First Edition. I'd say you'd need at least 4 viewing of The Big Lebowski to know why this song belongs here.
  • The entire Attack Decay Sustain Release album by Simian Mobile Disco. The first people that I met at a Louisville Fest were Dan and Tara. The two of them are now engaged and won't be attending this year's Fest (they're saving to fund their wedding). I haven't heard any of this album yet, I bought it based on Tara's recommendation. She's been known to have excellent tastes in music.
  • Beach House's 2010 album Teen Dream. I bought this album recently after it appeared on NPR's Listeners Pick 2010's Best Music (So Far). I've only heard it a few times so far and like it.
  • Forgiveness Rock Record by Broken Social Scene. My vote for album of 2010 (so far). Not that you need a reason for anything BSS, but you can file this under 2010 Concert Prep as well.
And there you have it.
Happy listening / happy trip.

This time, without any speeding tickets.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What is giving an innocent children's game a bad name?

Q: So what if you have a stalker that's too lazy for Twitter?
A: I'd suggest you sign up on foursquare.

I really don't remember the rules of the game "Four Square" that I often played as a young schoolkid during recess. It involved one of those super-useful do-anything spheres of physical education that are used for every random sport including dodgeball and kickball. However, I'm pretty sure once I was able to shoot a basketball from more than five feet away Four Square became a permanent afterthought.

Now we have the Internet phenomenon "app" of foursquare. I first heard of it this past March, in anticipation of SXSW (pronounced "south by southwest" for the unhip). Tech minded yahoos, pun not intended, were looking forward to finding out what venue would have more buzz or people or what have you.

I will have a difficult time explaining Foursquare to you if you haven't heard of it yet, or seen it crawling on your News Feeds. You're better off asking someone who actively uses it, not someone who is taking a disdainful look at something he doesn't completely understand. Essentially, Foursquare asks its users to "check in" to wherever they are at / doing now.

For example, "Sally McImportantpants has checked into the Art Institute of Chicago with 27 others" I'm not exactly sure if that "Sally" actually wants to connect with the other people who have checked in or not? Also, you might see "Peter Loudmouthski is the Mayer of the Burger King in Niles, IL." I have zero clue what these "Mayors" of Four Square mean. It looks like it's some kind of a competition?

Call me old fashioned, but if I'm someplace of note I'll take a picture of where I'm at with my iPhone - which I will then either post as a mobile upload to Facebook or use it as a start to a blog that I can also write remotely. Emailing said post directly to Blogger for instant publishing. Yes, I'm fully aware how illogical and hypocritical it is to make fun of and denounce another new nugget of the 21st century on a blog. But let's not let that stop me.

Foursquare is taking this "look at me" culture to a next level. It's a perfect venue for us ordinary people because you won't see famous people clogging it up. Why not? Because foursquare conveniently inserts a Google map of wherever the foursquare user checks in.

At first, it almost looks like an invite (and I've seen some foursquare users specifically use it as such). But I think the circumstances to take someone up on that kind of invite are rare. Upon second look, the posts can be somewhat mocking - especially when people check in to sold out events. But manly, they are are advertisement in the mundane - but that's just me and my boring life.

If you happen to read this, and use foursquare - please tell me why I should think differently.

Some sites, like Twitter, have turned themselves around and validated themselves to me. I'm still enjoying roaming random Twitter feeds. Which leads me to close this post with another slice of Twitter, from Nick Kroll (a comedian many first saw on those random VH-1 culture commentary shows like I Love Whatever, but is now on the FX series "The League"):

In my next life I'm coming back as a vuvuzela so I can be really annoying and still get blown constantly

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Where are Cheerleaders Wanted?

Q: What got me disturbed this afternoon?
A: An odd beckoning for cheerleaders and the good news for slutty moms-to-be.

I saw an odd sign today at the T-intersection where Central Road ends at Howard Street in Skokie:
A white poster board, stencil painted, sign was affixed to the base of Stop sign.
Hanging only 3 feet from the ground, the sign had two words and a 10 digit phone number:
CHEERLEADING TRYOUTS 630-…” (I can’t remember the last seven digits)

The following are the questions that flooded my mind upon seeing this sign:
-Is Dateline NBC just not trying as hard as they used to?
-Who exactly is that desperate to cheer for unknown causes?
-Because “630” is an area code away by a solid forty minutes, how far reaching is this campaign?
-Does this work? Because maybe I should cease all Craigslist operations in favor of this?

Which reminds me:
(UPDATE: They're sold! In an amazing sequence that took less than 8 hours from CL post to cash in hand!)

Yeah, sad news concert fans. I sold selling another pair of concert tickets – the biggest of them all so far: a pair of tickets to the 3rd ( final) day of the Pitchfork Music Festival (July 18th at Union Park). For those of you scoring at home, that’s now the fourth bought pair of concert tickets that I have had to sell. So far in 2010, I’ve only been to 3 shows (The xx, Tortoise and Machine Gun Mojo). Thankfully I have three more concerts with tickets already acquired that I am very much looking forward to: Cut Copy (their postapalooza show), My Morning Jacket (at the scenic Northerly Island) and Broken Social Scene (road trip to the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee).

In other unsettling news: a coworker told me that Forever 21 now sells maternity clothes. Thank you MTV. I believe that “16 and Pregnant” is as an effective deterrent as Capital Punishment (read: not very effective). So are these expectant moms out clubbing? Are they trying to line up Baby Daddy #2? Ah hell, who am I to prevent women from wanting to look like sluts? Maybe I should give credit to Forever 21 for finding an untapped niche in the market.

Can that last question qualify as a pun joke?

Here is today's TQ's Tweet of the Day:
I hope Kanye West doesn't interrupt Lebons decision reminding that Jordan was the best basketball player ever (@Dinorah_Pena)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Are you Social Networking Monogamous?

Q: Am I on twitter?
A: No... not really.

Hey, do you remember MySpace?
Actually, let me go back a little further.
Did you know there was something called Friendster?

A girl known to a select few of my friends under the codename "Teriyaki Box" convinced me to join Friendster as a way to stay in touch after we met on a plane to Reno. Friendster didn't add anything to anybody's life, and it quickly fizzled and took it's rightful irrelevant place in the world.

Then there was another girl who convinced me to join MySpace. Sorry if there's a pattern developing here... To give you an idea of how much I liked that girl, she was never given a nickname. And I still, many years later, can't begin to write about what happened with that - even though the sleepless nights she caused me BEGAN MY BLOGGING in an effort to get my mind elsewhere.

That "View de TQ" blog on MySpace kept me tied to MySpace long since that social networking site overstayed its welcome. Finally, I grew tired of its retina shattering profiles and endless banner advertisements trotting out webcam girl after webcam girl. My excuse for not joining facebook was that I could only handle one social network site at a time - and that facebook didn't have blogging capabilities. Then, once I realized I could move the blog to bloggger/blogspot and import said posts into "notes" on facebook I finally moved my official home of Internet time wasting to facebook.

I put up a similar aversion to Twitter, citing that I didn't want to maintain another online profile. More importantly, Twitter didn't seem to add anything that couldn't be executed in a well typed facebook status update. However, a few weeks ago, as the integration between Twitter and facebook looked a lot smoother than it did during its boom I ventured to sign up on Twitter.

Twitter is more appealing to me as a place to follow other personalities of note. And facebook can't compete with the "trending" phenomenon. You can thank major media outlets for constantly reporting on celeb-tweets for my growing interest in those celebrities not making it to the evening news (the ones I personally care about).

Thankfully, the most obvious names of accounts for me were taken - and not wanting to be something like "@TQ3000" kept me from finalizing my setup. Still, I kinda made the decision that Twitter was going to be worth my while and felt like I had unfinished business.

A few moments ago I downloaded the Twitter app for my phone and was instantly validated to the point I had to immediately write about it. I don't need an account on Twitter to view my Twitter app. Not to mention, I have access to the aforementioned coveted Trending Now screen.

Here's my favorite tweet I read in my first run through the Twitterverse:
"After Inception was over, I grabbed the film reel and fucked it. That's how much I loved this movie." #PredictingMyInceptionReview
That tweet is courtesy Aziz Ansari (azizansari). For the record, he hasn't even seen the movie.yet.

Monday, July 5, 2010

How the hell do I fix this?

Q: Are you standing in water?
A: No, that's just how my feet look.

Ladies and Gentleman,

I have something embarrassing to admit / reveal / confess...
About my feet:

The same activity that has caused such a massive "sock tan" (golfing) has left me with a killer farmer's tan. However, that's not much of a problem because I don't venture into the world sleeveless.

But I do like to wear sandals... sometimes... when I'm with friends... but I can't wear sandals when I'm going out into the real world where strangers exist and first impressions may be made.

A friend this evening suggested I go out tanning with a blanket over my legs - only exposing my feet. This was after I jokingly asked if I should buy fake tanning lotion for my feet. This is going to only get worse, and I fear will never get better. I can't exactly go venturing into sand bunkers wearing open toed sandals.

I'm reminded of the great scene from The Shawshank Redemption in which Andy walked back to his cell from the Warden's office wearing nicely polished wingtips. Nobody looked down and noticed his shoes. The last time I was able to get away with it since I was going out at night, able to hide my foot shame under the cover of darkness. If anybody has a somewhat reasonable solution, I'd love to hear it.

This Saturday I'm going to Barrington Brew Fest. It could be a good opportunity for me to make my feet not look as pale as an episode of Seinfeld. Yeah, there'll probably still be a sad distinctive line around my ankle - but progress is progress?

For the record, if this post doesn't illustrate that I've been having a somewhat normal summer without crazy misadventures - I don't know what will.