Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fifteen Celebrities You'd Like To Hang Out With

I made a list some time back, 15 albums I'd take to a dessert (desert? Whichever one means heat and sand, not banana split) island, and I had a lot of fun with it. Thus, I thought I'd do another list.

This particular list is going to be about 15 people of modest to extreme celebrity / fame, with whom I'd like to hang out with and why. Once read, I invite, no, implore you to do the same! A lot can be told about a person by the company he or she keeps!

Here are the rules:

  • These persons can be dead or alive.
  • A candidate doesn't have to be a celebrity meaning, movie or TV star, a public figure is also acceptable. 
  • The reason to hang out with them cannot be of a sexual nature. Sure, we all have our favorite celebs with whom we'd like to get biblical, but that's not what this is about.
  • Doesn't necessarily have to be an actual person, but can be "the guy who..." or "the lady who did..."
  • This list (at least MINE anyway), is not in order of preference. There is no particular rhyme to my reason here. The person I list first is only there because he or she is the first person I thought of, not because I want to hang with he or she more than the others.
That's It. 

SO, without further ad... adieu? Adyoo? ...Delay: 

1 - George Carlin.

I subscribe in very large part to Logic. Without logic, things just don't make sense, right? I love when someone can spin a fine cloth with yarn of logic, and nobody can do that like George Carlin. I also love to laugh, and he makes me laugh very much so. I was very sad when he passed.

I'm not too big on his list of words you can't say, it's not terribly amazing to memorize a list of swears, but to be so funny across such a huge range of topics is real talent.

What would we do though, if we were to hang out? Well, I don't know. I really don't know anything about him personally, such as if he liked beer, or if he watched football, etc. I don't know what we'd talk about, or really even IF we'd get along.

I imagine it would be possible that we'd find ourselves talking about something of which we both had opposing views, and he'd EASILY logic me under the table. There's a solid chance I wouldn't enjoy our day together, I will admit, but by god, it'd be worth a shot!

2 - Richard Feynman.

I love to ask why. I love to learn, and I love to speculate. Science was almost always my favorite subject, even though I failed it in 6th, and 7th grade... Scraped by in High School, and went into Mechanical Engineering in College, only to flunk out of there too... It was homework I didn't like...

Anyway, Richard Feynman's views in the video above echo my own. Beyond being a scientist, he was a fascinating person, I urge you to read more about him, at least here on his wiki page.

He died after developing two rare forms of cancer. He was quoted as saying: "I'd hate to die twice. It's so boring."

3 - Kevin James.

I have a great deal of respect for Kevin James, simply for being a normal guy. He's not hung up on losing weight and he's clearly a large fellow, but doesn't make jokes about it... You know when you see a fat comedian, and you roll your eyes like... "Ok here come some predicable fat jokes...". I always feel like those guys are taking the easy way out... They feel like they're not offending anyone, cause they themselves are also fat, etc...

His comedy show that I linked above is not only pretty much rated PG, but it's a bunch of little things. Anyone who's read much on my blog knows I love to focus on the little things. I've done it here, and here, and here and likely a few other places... 

I'm willing to bet I could eat a couple hot dogs, have a few beers and watch a football game with him, have some good laughs, and a great time.

4 - The Guy Who Drank the First Beer.

Ok, so it's not exactly a celebrity, and no one knows who that person was... But it had to be someone, right?? 

As you may know, I've done some brewing, and some drinking, as detailed here, and I LOVE beer... But seriously, did you watch that video?? The fermentation process is FUNKY! That stuff is ALIVE! And GROSS looking!! 


I can picture me, and Kevin James with whoever that guy was, going "He's not going to drink that." Then Richard Feynman saying "Well, honestly, I don't see a problem. I mean we started with the boiled wort, so no bacteria in there, and added yeast, which creates the alcohol, so it's going to kill any remaining bacteria, I think it's safe!" 

5 - Jim Henson.

Arsenio said it best, with some cloth and some ping pong balls he built a dynasty. I loved the Muppets growing up, and still do. My kids love the Muppets, and Jim Henson's creations. 

You know, I don't know a single person who does NOT like Jim Henson or his creations. 

6 - Jason Segel

Speaking of loving Muppets, Jason Segel, in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" (which was a great flick, by the way) said in an interview that he'd always loved puppets, and had this idea for a Dracula musical with puppets, and managed to get them to incorporate it into the movie, so he felt like he tricked them into helping him realize his dream. 

I'd love to meet this guy, and ask him how, when he was already in a movie, which included him doing sex scenes with both Kristen Bell, AND Mila Kunis, yet his "dream" was STILL about puppets... I find this fascinating. 

Beyond that, I find him to be very funny, also in a "Normal guy" kind of way.

7 - Paul Rudd.

I will admit that perhaps that video clip was funny because they had good writers, but I find Paul Rudd's delivery to be hysterical.
I've also had a similar discussion with a Subway employee who once told me that they don't have "small" drinks, only medium and large... I once posted about that particular post, and was dismayed to find that at some point, I'd deleted it... But, if you'd like, here's the post in which I talked about the original post...

8 -  Russle Brand.

So, before watching "Arthur" I found this guy a little creepy, but on the funny side of it. Arthur was funny from start to finish, and frankly his outlook on life and how it should be all about having a good time is awesome, and I agree completely.

9 - Seth Rogen.

If you haven't seen the movie "Paul" I highly recommend it. 

As Seth mentions in the video, he's a pretty chilled out guy. I love humor when it's on such a low key casual level. I think Seth and I could hang out and have a pretty fun time. I like to think my sense of humor is pretty much the same as his, or at least what I have seen in his work.
10 - Richard Simmons.

I realize this is a strange one to have on here, but I figured I could do at least one non-selfish deed with this list, and see if there's any possible way I could get him... For the good of the WORLD... To STOP being so god damned creepy and annoying! 

I mean, sure to each his own and all that, but there's gotta be a way for him to just chill the F out, and still be himself, right?? 

I'm willing to give it a shot. Don't say I never did anything for you.

11 - The Cast of Whose Line is it Anyway?

Ok, so this is kind of a stretch, since it's a whole cast of four regulars, and a handful of inter-changeable semi-regulars, but like I said, I LOVE to laugh, and these are some of the funnies people on the whole damn planet.

I'd hang out with all of them, or just one, or any combination of them... I'll let you pick, they're all great. 

That was one of my favorite skits too, I'm psyched that I found it. How do they do so much of that shit with straight faces...?

12 - John Goodman.

One of the coolest guys ever. Everything I've ever seen him in, he's been believable and genuine. Always pretty chilled out. I've seen him in scenes when he's REALLY angry, and it almost gives you goosebumps.

I also loved him in Monsters Inc, as James Sullivan. (Not THIS James Sullivan, mind you...)

13 - J. R. R. Tolkien. <-- Embedding was disabled by request... But, click the link, if you will.

I, like most of the world, am a HUGE fan of the Lord of the Rings movies, and EAGERLY anticipate the upcoming movie, "The Hobbit".

I don't know, like with George Carlin, what I'd talk to him about, but I bet he'd play one hell of a Dungeons and Dragons game. He can be DM. It'd be a good time, if I could learn to understand him. I can't understand a damned word he says in that video...

14 - Ed Norton.

This guy plays roles on every end of the spectrum, from badass in American History X, to a PRIEST, in "Keeping the Faith", to an evil genius in Primal Fear, to The Incredible Hulk.

Something about his intelligence and honesty and charisma makes him incredibly believable to me, and he's got a very lovable vibe. I'm willing to bet he'd be a riot to hang out with.

15 - Patrick Stuart.


 I'll admit, I was a big Star Trek The Next Generation fan, but even if you never were, you can't deny how cool Patrick Stuart is. His voice is unmistakable, saying things like "Make it so" or "Engage" or "Tea. Earl Grey. Hot."

Clips like the one above, and the fact that he's a voice in "American Dad" proves he's got a really warped sense of humor, which I dig. 

When I started this post, it was only going to be 5 people, and I thought I'd have a difficult time... I changed it to 15 so that I could not feel guilty if I don't post for the next two weeks, cause it'd be a real respectable piece, but these folks came fast and easily, and I have more still, who I might make a second list with. 

Re-reading, I'm glad I stipulated the "No sexual nature" thing in the beginning, cause I came up with a list of fifteen guys... That was not intentional, there are definitely women I'd love to hang out with, but I'm afraid they'd just become so overwhelmed by me, I'd have to break their hearts and I just don't like hurting people. 


Anyway, thanks for reading, and PLEASE comment, and PLEASE write your own list, and PLEASE comment back here again when you do, so that I know it's there, and can make it a point to come and read it! 


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry CHRISTMAS Whether You Celebrate it or Not!!!

Image brazenly stolen from
Let me start this post by saying, I'm not a very religious person. Honestly, I'm not even a little religious. I posted about it at the beginning of the year here, if you're interested, and my only other religion-based post, is here. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on either or both.

I usually try to stay clear of religion as a subject, because those who are devout have made up their minds, and will never listen to a thing a secular person has to say. Not only have they made up their minds, but they sometimes want to make up your mind as well. Religion aside, my believes / opinions are my own, and I'll share them if you like, but I'll never force them on another person, thus I expect the same. I get very irritated when someone tells me their beliefs are fact, and that I'm wrong, so I don't do it to others. I make sure to say things like "In my opinion" when saying things, or I just don't say anything.

Christmas: The birthday celebration of Jesus, as least as far as the Christians are concerned. Originally, it had nothing to do with Jesus or Christianity, but it made for a hell of a marketing gimmick, so they changed it.

Now, before you start rolling your eyes at yet another "Christians stole pagan holidays" post (which I HAVE done in the past), I'm not going to bother here... There's enough controversy around the fact (note, I didn't call it an idea though... ;) ) so believe what you will. The fact remains, there was a year end celebration long before Jesus. Jesus came (allegedly) and now there's no year end celebration for the pagans... Coincidence??

ANYWAY. My beef here is that MOST of the world recognizes Christmas at LEAST as a holiday where kids get gifts from a fat guy who spies on us when we're sleeping. Everyone knows what Christmas is, and every one's heard of the Christmas spirit, even if they've never shared in it. It's the spirit if giving, good will, blahblahblah.

My daughter goes to school with a Jehovah's witness, which I have no problem with, whatsoever. To each his or her own. My problem is that if we decide to give greeting cards out, they can't say "Christmas" on them. When the kids get a day to watch a movie, it can't be The Grinch, so they had to watch "Babe". BABE? C'mon. This poor kid couldn't participate in the Thanksgiving play, because of his religion. Thanksgiving?? What does religion have to do with Thanksgiving? Granted I know nothing about Jehovah's witness...ism? but is being thankful against the doctrine? Perhaps they don't celebrate Christmas, but I'm willing to bet they wont be sitting in the classroom on the 25th!

I am not religious, as I've said, but I celebrate Christmas. If there was a Jesus, and it was his birthday, cheers. If there wasn't, then you know what? I've worked my rump (pa pum pum) off all god damned year, I deserve some cologne and candy canes, and so do you. The vast majority is Christian, thus, when in Rome...

But hey! If you're (insert other religion here), and you want to wish me a happy (C)Hanukhah, or Kwanza, or whatever! I'm perfectly fine with that, I will smile happily (I won't even have to fake a smile!) and return the greeting. I don't immediately think you're trying to convert me, I don't believe you're trying to wish me your greeting instead of mine in an attempt to squash mine, etc... I just believe you're wishing me the same peace, love and happiness you feel when you celebrate your holiday, and I thank you.

I am rather upset that because of ONE person's religious views, MY child is denied the observation of perhaps the LEAST religiously precised of Christian holidays. I say that because the religious observe it, and the secular do as well... You don't see crosses hanging in department stores, you see merchandise. You want me to refrain from wishing you a happy Ash Wednesday, that's fine, I won't. But if you can't buy into Christmas because of it's diminished religious ties, leave the people who do, alone, and just let them wish you good will how they know best.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Firsts that I Remember...

The memory is a funny thing, or at least mine is. It "works", which I say in quotations because some might argue whether or not it works at all, in funny ways. There are things that stick in my mind so vividly that I could recall the event in perfect detail, even two and a half decades removed (which would mean the event happened when I was 7.)

I remember a great deal of my childhood, or at least a good deal more than most people seem to, yet you can tell me on my way out the door not to forget to remove something from the car before I leave, and in the twenty paces between the house and the car, it will completely remove itself from my attention. (This happened last week).

For the technology geeks in the audience, I liken this to having a large hard drive, but not a whole lot of ram...

I remember being in diapers, and running around an apartment that we moved away from when I was two years old. My most vivid memory in this place was that one of my brothers (who at the time would have been 15 years old, or so) had Reeses Pieces, which I discovered in his room, and began to eat. I remember wanting to share them with him, but he ran. I remember chasing him down the hall, and thinking that if he ducked into the bathroom, the chase would be over, he'd be gone. Sure enough, he did, and I thought he disappeared.

Some years later, when I was perhaps five or so, we'd moved out of there, but only across the park to another apartment. I was laying in bed, on my side. You know when you're laying on your side, and your pillow is pressed against your ear, and you can hear your heartbeat? I remember that happening for the first time (or at least, noticing it for the first time) and thinking it was the sound of a man in the basement with a gigantic wrench, and he was unscrewing the cap on a large brown pipe... Obviously, because I had my head to the surface, the sound was coming from below. I was clearly too young to realize the basement was two floors away. Hey, it made sense to me, and that's all that matters when you're five.

I imagined once he got the cap off, a large snake would emerge from the pipe... I remember that thought in great clarity, the man wore overalls, and large yellow boots, and a denim hat, like a train engineer would have worn. The wrench was a ridiculously over-sized adjustable wrench. The snake would have been green.

As I grew older, I realized the pipe I was thinking of, would have had to have been the cast iron soil pipe, and the wrench would have been opening the clean out. The wrench probably wouldn't have been adjustable, and the snake would definitely have been brown...

I remember once around the same time that my mother had left me alone for about forty minutes, while she ran up to the video store. Times were different then, I wouldn't leave my six year old alone for four minutes, let alone forty, but I had TV, and honestly would have been fine...

Except that this particular time, I had to go to the bathroom. I was old enough to handle this on my own, of course, so no big deal. Though, I was very interested in the show I was watching. So much so, that I waited a little too long, and by the point of no return, I was only half way up the stairs, and I messed myself.

I was mortified. I remember thinking "That was my last pair of undies, I haven't done laundry yet!" ...Oh yes, I was doing laundry at the age of 5. Believe it, it's true. I don't have the first time I did laundry as part of this post, because I don't remember it... I must have been pretty young! Anyway, by the time my mother got home, I was crying. She asked what was wrong, and I told her. What I remember most about this, was that when I told her I really had to go, and I just couldn't make it, she didn't buy it... "No, I don't believe that!" she said. I still remember the look on her face, as she shook her head when she said that. "Now tell me the truth!" I knew that if I continued to tell the truth, she'd get madder... So I told her "I felt like it." Now, THAT she believed! I got in lots of trouble, but at least the discussion was over.

I remember my first time seeing a "floater"... You know, those funny shapes floating around, caused by the proteins on your eye?  I was around five or six, and I thought it was Wonder Woman's invisible air plane, flying by.

I remember my first prank call... The girl a couple apartments down and I were possibly six or seven, and we decided to prank the only phone number we knew... "0". We called the operator. I don't remember what it was that I said, when it was my turn, but after I hung up, the girl I was with said "There's a strange man in my house and he won't leave!" to which the operator said "Uh huh.". We hung up and called back a couple times, and eventually, we hung up... and the phone rang. We looked at each other, and she answered. The operator called us back! She knew who we were, and threatened to send the police!

We told her we understood, and wouldn't do it anymore. We went about our business for the rest of the day, and by bed time the guilt was gnawing at me. I told my mother "I feel guilty. I don't know why, but I feel like I prank called the operator, and she said she'd call the police." (you know, for example...) She asked if I just felt that way, or if I really did it... I told her I just felt like that. She told me that she'd talked to the neighbor, and my partner in crime had a similar story... only she confessed. Busted.

The funny part about remembering these things, is I see my daughter having some similar experiences, and thinking no one knows what she's thinking... But I do.

Do you remember anything like this from your early years?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Things People Say - Part Two

I have a nephew who, at a very young age used to ask constantly "Cuz why?" and it drove me nucking futs.

Cause, it just is! Jeez!

I guess, it's a pretty common question among children, and rightly so. There's a lot to learn in this word, and how does one learn if not by asking questions? 

It's kind of sad though, that the "Because it is!" answer is so accepted. I think it leads to things being stupid for no apparent reason, yet accepted. I think adults do not ask the question "Cuz why?" enough. If we did, I'd have less shit to complain about, and this blog post wouldn't exist, I suppose, but the world would make more sense. 
For example... (you knew it was coming, didn't you?) Why do people say these things?

Have you ever had someone looking for a recommendation ask you "Hey, do you have a good {insert noun here} you would recommend?" Why is that such an acceptable question?? First, if it's something like a restaurant, then no, I do not HAVE one, good or bad, that'd I'd recommend. If it's something like a recipe, then yeah, I have good ones... Why would I have bad ones? What kind of person collects bad recipes? And why do you feel the need to specify that I should only recommend the good ones, did you think I'd recommend the bad ones, even if I kept bad recipes? 

Hot water heater... If the water is already hot, why do you need to heat it? Isn't it a cold (or at least ground-temperature) water heater? 

I really hate it when people tell me to be careful. My poor wife says it to me all the time when I'm doing something like going out in a rain storm, or using power tools or juggling knives, and I get so aggrivated. I know she's only concerned for my well being.

Still though, I can't help but feel like saying "Oooh, yeah... Good thing you said that, I might have forgotten to be careful..." I try not to though, especially when she says it...

Manners are very important, but I find it interesting sometimes. Saying "Please" for example... It's just a word, right? I mean, you convey that you want something... and you're by default being rude, until saying please. But why? Why is the default negative, and how is it negated by that word?

Feel free not to say God bless you when I sneeze. It's just a sneeze, and I'm allergic to dust, which I have, and cats...which I also have. It's not a demon, I just sneezed. God's busy. I can handle a sneeze without divine intervention. In fact, I'm happier when people don't say anything at all. Especially if I have a cold, and I could be blowing mucas all over my face, I don't need other people calling attention to the fact that I just sneezed. (snoze?)

Don't say "same difference"... If something is similar to something else, then "same thing" would be the proper phrase to convey the idea you're aiming for. It's not the differences you're trying to point out when you're inferring that the thing you said and the other thing are the same. And if there's a difference, then it, by definition, cannot be the same. If it's the same, then there is no difference.

What sayings that people use give you an eye twitch like me?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rant: Events Poorly Planned, and the Gender Wars

I'm in rare form today. If I could sum up the last couple days in an illustration, it would be something like a very angry person, teeth clenched, face red, veins bulging. If I had to sum it up in a gesture, it'd only take one finger. If I had to sum it up as a lead roll in a movie it'd be "Falling Down". If I had to sum it up using only an acronym, it'd be WTF.

I feel like I'm in a Ben Stiller movie. You know, where everything is stupid and ridiculous and a real ironic pain in the ass.

In reality, things aren't all that bad, but I feel like ranting.

Friday was the "Lighting of the Green" here in Taunton MA. "The Green" is the city center, where a half-dozen or so major routes converge. It's said "all roads lead to Taunton". They decorate the bajeezus out of the city center, and shut down all the roads, so people can go and watch as they give speeches and what not, and then light the lights on the green.

Following this lighting, there are rides and activities and vendors, etc. I'm not sure how long the whole things is from start to finish, but we stuck around a couple hours; long enough to have a hot dog or two and blow ten bucks on a fricken balloon shaped like a gigantic microphone.

The frustration though, comes from the Pin... You can buy a pin that allows you to go on the rides and what not. They're eight bucks a piece. The price isn't that big a deal, but FINDING the god damned things took us about forty minutes. You would think there'd be signs or something like "Get your pins over here", right? Nope.

Turns out they were being sold in a couple establishments, and more than likely there were fliyers or something prior to the festivities. I know there was one sent home with my daughter from school, but whoever planned this thing dropped the freakin ball, in my opinion. The info about where to get the god damned pass, if you will, should have been all over the place. Dumbasses.

Next, today is the "Christmas Parade" where they also use the center of town. Guess what they do?

... so you'd think that all the local papers and such would have what time the damned thing starts? Nope. I went to the local papers' websites, and even the city's god damned parks and rec websites. I found the line ups for the parade, who will be where in the parade... But not when! C'MON. Kind of an important thing, right?

I'm sure it was overlooked as something that everyone who cares already knew, but the kids (or the oldest anyway) is only just now old enough to enjoy these things, and we need the details.

I kinda miss old telephones. Who hasn't had a really infuriating phone call? Think back ten years or so, before everything was electronic, when you had to "hang the phone up" to end a call, instead of pushing the "off" button. What's more satisfying than slamming the receiver down after a call that's totally pissed you off. You get the satisfying smash on your end, and you know the person on the other end caught some of if before the line disconnected.

You can't do that anymore! It's so dissatisfying to angrily poke the "off button" when you know the enjoyment of slamming the receiver down. Even if you did have a phone that "hangs up" you're likely to shatter it, or break the circuit boards or something.

I'm tired of commercials where men are stupid, and the woman is totally smug. The only one that comes to mind right now is the McDonald's one where she says "So-and-so's boyfriend things Sundays are just for watching football. What do you think about that", and he panics, but talks himself through it "You're smart, you ordered McDonald's food, you can handle this" and he says "The guy's a jerk".

In my version of that commercial, that guy says "stop playing mind games, you pain in the ass." 

Then there's the one where the mom comes home and the plumber was there just finishing up and says "You're all set" as he sets the wet, dripping plunger down on the counter top. Of course, that makes sense, that must happen all the time, some profession plumber doesn't understand that a web plunger doesn't go on the kitchen counter, but we pardon that fact because A) he's a guy, and B) super-mom has Clorox wipes, and can deal with the stupidity.

How about the one where the guy attempts home improvements, and ends up screwing everything up, and the wife saves the day by calling a professional, and shaking her head at the failure husband, looking piteously at him like "You know you can't do anything right, why would you even try?"

Just now, I saw one for the show "The League" where the woman tells the guy "Go to your yoga class and get less fat." Really? Let's reverse those roles... I don't think I need to say much more about that.

I'm not contesting the fact that the football boyfriend may be a jerk, or that there are men out there who attempt home improvements and foul things up... But think about these as a commercials, and tell me if they would go over as "well"...

A guy and a girl are out to dinner, and the guy is watching the baseball game on the TV. The woman starts talking about feelings, and the guy get pissy. "You know, you're always trying to work on this relationship when I'm busy."

No? How about:

Woman: "I'm attempting to fix the stairs, but things aren't going as well as I thought they would... I'll get it though!" cut to scene: woman accidentally sets a small fire on the stairs, and awkwardly slaps it out with something expensive or something like that. Luckily the guy's there. "Honey, just call the carpenter. You're so stupid sometimes!"

I am all for equal treatment... when it's equal.

How about a commercial where NEITHER of them know what they're doing, and call the professional? Or "So and so thinks Sundays are just for football." "Yeah, I like watching the games, but there's lots of other things that can take precedence." "Well, we can watch the games, but let's do something else fun too."

Do these things drive you nuts too?