Playing Devil’s Advocate, a Perfect World #656, and My Little Dystopia

red guy buttwalkThe Red Guy from Cow and Chicken

I have to admit I like cartoons a little bit too much, especially the late 80’s-90’s cartoons like Cow and Chicken, Dexter’s Laboratory, Two Stupid Dogs, Ren and Stimpy and Johnny Bravo (you can still catch these late at night on Boomerang from time to time.)  The artwork is simple and mostly computer-generated (as is pretty much all animation these days) but the story lines are blessedly twisted and a little bit unexpected.

I watch TV or go to movies for one of two reasons.  One is to learn something, which is why I enjoy documentaries and nature shows.  I’ve probably spent more time watching documentaries on WWII than the actual war lasted, which is a sort of sad commentary on just how much I live life vicariously.  The other reason I watch TV or go to movies is because I want to laugh.  I enjoy World’s Dumbest and 1000 Ways to Die because they’re not only educational but funny in a twisted way.

I stopped caring a LONG time ago about dippy celebrities (I could care less about the Kardashians and who they’re currently landing in bed with) and drippy lame pop stars.

kardashian_sistersThey may be brunettes, but they’re still no-talent dingbats.  However, their handlers are doing something right.  They’re dingbats with more money than I’ll ever see.

In the 80s we had some good pop (though there was a fair share of really bad pop music then as well) and some really awesome rock and metal.  Rock and metal have been long since been overtaken by rap, which pretty much sucks. Country has always sucked, but today it is a just bit less sucky than it once was.  I can’t understand or get much into techno either.  That stuff sounds like the soundtrack for a cheap porn movie.   Today it pretty much ALL sucks, unless it’s new material from an older artist such as Neal Schon.  Yes I really do enjoy The Callingand most of his other solo stuff too, although if you want to try it out- a caution.   Schon’s solo stuff is nothing like Journey.  The Calling is jazz fusion instrumental music that’s generally only going to appeal to musicians.  Guitar players and anyone trained in any of the disciplines of classical music will appreciate this stuff, but to assume it will be popular with the masses is sort of like expecting Billy Joe Jim Bob to get into La Bohème.  It’s not going to happen.

In a perfect world, all the men would be buff. And they would all be wearing Spandex pants, like these:

pantsMan pants- but ONLY for the buff.

Of course, since most men are not this buff, baggy jeans or sweatpants will have to do.

Jerry so far has actually gone to the Y, but has only checked out the equipment. So far he has not dared to don the sweatpants or to actually use any of the workout equipment.  I’m hoping to get him to that point tonight, now that he’s seen that all the other 50-something men there are wearing plain old dollar store sweatpants and t-shirts and even those awful Velcro tennis shoes.  He will fit right in that fashion parade.

My Playlists are Awesome, and Planned Euthanasia Really Sounds Sucky- When You’re Old

Some people (like me) absolutely adore it, the rest of the world (even some Journey fans) absolutely hates it, but Dream, After Dream isn’t your typical rock album.

I was thinking about it this morning, what an awesome collection I have of music that doesn’t suck on MP3.  Most music (with a few notable exceptions) written after 1985 sucks major ass.  That’s OK because most of the good stuff is readily available on MP3 if you know where to look (Amazon…), which means no farting about with vinyl records, cassette tapes or even CDs.

This morning started off with Don McLean’s “American Pie,” “A Girl Like You,” by the Smithereens, the amazing live version of Journey’s “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin'” from the Greatest Hits Live album, and “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” by Night Ranger.  I’ve got the good stuff.  I  have some choice rarities- all on MP3- such as Journey’s Dream, After Dream, Journey, Look Into the Future, and Next, and Gregg Rolie’s album simply titled Gregg Rolie, (these are sort of obscure) as well as some more recognizable 70’s and 80’s fare such as REO Speedwagon’s Hi InFidelity, Supertramp’s Breakfast in America, Meatloaf’s Bat out of Hell, and Rush’s 2112. 

The album art was a lot more interesting when record companies had all that surface area to work with and actual artists designing the covers.  I must say Journey’s Departure album is the greatest cover art ever:

Multi-colored motifs are not just for gay pride.  Remember that.

I have to say my favorite pic of Steve Perry on a Journey album cover is the one from Evolution:

It was 1979.  Steve Perry was wearing Spandex.  All  was pretty much right with the world.

It disturbs me at times just how archaic I am becoming.  It’s pretty bad when half the population can’t get most of my reference points.  I was thinking about the whole idea of how our society views older people.  I’m not a total fossil yet- at 43 I have not quite made it to the “ancient” category, but I’ve lived a year longer than Elvis.   (If you don’t know who Elvis was, click on the previous link.)  Elvis died in 1977.  I remember that.  A lot of my friends’ mothers were brought to tears over that one.  I wasn’t really much of an Elvis fan (I was only 8) so I wasn’t as devastated by his death as some other people were.  Of course, there are those who speculate that Elvis is still alive- but then Jimmy Hoffa might be alive somewhere too.

In 1975 there was a movie released called Logan’s RunI am generally not a fan of science fiction, (in fact, normally I rather loathe the genre) but I remember watching this movie back in the 80’s and thinking that it wouldn’t be so bad to be spared the indignity of living past age 30 and being “old.”  From today’s perspective (and having passed that milestone over a decade ago) that’s some scary shit.

Guess what?  Your time’s expired!

Humans have a little something called a self-preservation instinct, and it’s a pretty intense drive.  If not for this instinct, suicide would probably be so rampant that nobody would make it past puberty.  All those people who tell you that “man, if I had to live like that just shoot me,” have a totally different perspective after the open heart surgery or colonoscopy or course of chemo.  People hang on just as tenaciously- if not more so- to life at age 80 with a laundry list of catastrophic health issues than do healthy young people.  They have looked death in the face and it scares the hell out of them.

 Yeah, you’re old, but just not quite ready to die right now.

In Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail, we get to see a wonderful example of the self-preservation instinct in action.   “I don’t want to go on the cart!”  No shit.  Nobody does, and I don’t care if you’re 8 or 80.

Steve-o is always telling me if he had to give himself shots he would rather die.  Yeah, right. He might say that now but if it’s a choice between shots or death, I’m pretty sure he will acclimate himself to the shots.  I’m diabetic and on insulin.  Believe me, I am the first one to go and fill that insulin script.  Needles?  Who gives a royal hang?  Once you get used to giving yourself the shots- which really doesn’t take long- it’s just something you do, like brushing your teeth or putting on shoes.

Get used to it, you wuss.  I can think of much worse things- like being subjected to bad country music at 11 PM.

Of course, because I’m diabetic and have a nice little list of chronic illnesses I’ll probably be targeted for Obama’s death list sooner or later.  I can see it now: This one is just too expensive to maintain.  What scares me about the whole idea of rationed health care is that necessarily some people are going to simply be denied the treatments and medications they need to live.  As the program costs more and more,  fewer people will be deemed “sustainable,”  and those with expensive chronic illnesses will be the first to be assigned to die- first by neglect (hell, just make sure the diabetics can’t afford their insulin!) and eventually by force.  Maybe I’m being paranoid, (and I should never watch science fiction anyway) but I see Logan’s Run as an eventuality should socialism be played out to its objectives.

On the bright side, the old people have all the money, at least right now.  As the population ages, perhaps we won’t have such a negative view of the elderly and/or infirm.  Hell, we are almost hip. Notice that Lawrence Welk is not included in my playlists.  I’m not that ancient- yet.

Lawrence Welk, not so much.

But Ozzy’s cool.

Duct Tape, Bad Body Work and More Unsolicited Parenting Advice

Oh, how I love examples of creative body work.  It seems the Kroger parking lot has yet again yielded me rich comedic fodder.  I wonder if the duct tape is simply holding the front fascia on or if the unfortunate owner of this POS is asking duct tape to do more than it was ever intended to do.  I don’t think the celebrated silver strapping would be terribly effective as a weatherstrip, so whoever is sitting in the driver’s seat better be prepared for a wet butt on rainy days. 

I have driven things worse than this, but not by much, and that was a very long time ago.  When the air was dirty, sex was clean, and Steve Perry looked awesome in Spandex.

Last night I was treated to an impromptu road trip to Cincinnati to pick up Steve-o.  I was also reminded why I don’t buy used cars with the exception (and I wouldn’t do it now because leasing is not a good option for me any more) of my own lease returns.  He bought that tasty Audi he was eyeballing forever back in September, and it appeared to be well-maintained.  He did his research and inspections and for all intents and purposes it seemed to be a good solid ride.   For what mysterious reason I have absolutely no clue, he decided to have the ECM flashed to change the presets- the things that motorheads will do in the name of performance- only to have the clutch plate fall apart on it as they were pulling back into the shop.  It was an interesting failure- the pressure plate springs were bent, the disc itself was warped and missing pieces of lining, and the rear main seal was leaking to top it all off.  Then again anyone who replaces a clutch without doing a rear main and input shaft seal is a bloody fool.

Pity be on those technicians, as putting a clutch in an all wheel drive car (worse than a 4X4 truck by all accounts) with a longitudinal engine (longitudinal: the crankshaft runs from the front of the car to the back, rather than transverse which is side to side- most front wheel drive cars have transverse engines) is no easy task.  I really pity them if Steve-o doesn’t get his car back tomorrow after paying the extra freight to get his clutch goodies overnight. 

I figure after 20 years I might not get stuck being his deus ex machina every time he gets in a spot, but at least I’m not paying for this repair work. I got off easy just having to get him and Spencer and cart them back as far as Columbus.

As the return roadtrip progressed and I treated the boys to dinner at Taco Bell (I am still paying for that 5 layer beefy burrito, but where else can three people eat for $17?) the conversation somehow turned to creepy things. 

Dad and Spencer had the misfortune of meeting up with the male biological contributor of Steve-o’s DNA at a car show last summer.  He thinks Spencer is Steve-o.  That’s fine with me.  It’s also fine with me that I didn’t have to witness his transformation into Jabba the Hut.  Jerry has his faults, but he would never be mistaken for livestock or for a beached whale.  Apparently my illustrious ex has gotten a tad bit portly in the past 16 years.  However, the way Spencer described him, it sounds as if he’s munched and pieced and gorged himself into the “morbidly obese” category.  Sad thing, that, especially because I can remember a time when he was not only thin, but obsessed with remaining so.  I wonder what the hell happened – for a minute- but in the grand scheme of things, since I don’t have to pay for his chow, replace the furniture, smell him, or clean up after him, I could pretty much care less.

Any dude with a swinging johnson (one that works anyway… but I really don’t want to go into my musings on the sad and deprived world of ED) can be the male contributor of a child’s DNA.  That doesn’t take brains.  I am sure that if one were to investigate the number of convicted felons, chronic government moochers, correctional institute inmates, and so on that it could be proven that some of these low lifes have sired many offspring.  There are plenty of “baby daddies” out there who have done absolutely nothing to contribute to the physical, emotional or spiritual maintenance and growth of their offspring.  For these types of scrounge puppies I have nothing but contempt. 

Granted, it can also be said that it is in a woman’s best interest to scope out and screen any potential breeding partners so that only the gainfully employed and nominally vertical and breathing get through, but it doesn’t always work out that way.  Sometimes decent women for whatever reason end up procreating with the scum of the earth.  It happens, especially for those naive enough to “listen to the heart” instead of being like my oldest sister and examining the dude’s bank statement and earning potential before getting emotionally involved.  Then again some of us can pick and choose while others of us don’t have that kind of luxury.  Hindsight being what it is I should have simply gone to the “lives alone with cats (and dogs)” step, but life is to be lived and learned.  The difference between ignorance and stupidity is in learning from one’s mistakes.

I have confidence that Steve-o will be more than just a sperm donor.  He better be.  Or I will kick his ass.