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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Oh When The Suits, Coming Marching In 
or the Mother Ship pays a visit

Okay, so last week the latest Corporate suit came to town to "assess" the Special K. Naturally his pending arrival got our management's knickers in a major twist. The flurry of be-perfect-for-once-in-your-petty-life-or-face-penalty-of-death-and-for-God's-sake-wear-some-pants emails were so effective at setting us all straight, because, you know, we dunderheaded union types are blithering idiots with no work ethic who just sit on our collective-bargaining fat asses, shoving coffee and cake down our gullets while we phone it in every day.

Okay, we do eat a lot of cake. Whatever.

Anywho, we techies were kinda excited about Senor Suit's arrival. Clearly he will see the sorry state of our sub-broadcast quality equipment affairs as well as the wretched condition of our physical plant and put in a call for added funds. As luck would have it, a key piece of equipment used for every single newscast that hasn't worked properly since it was forced upon us four years ago, crapped out in magnificent fashion.


Timing is everything, right? Surely he'll be horrified to witness the impossible hoops we jump through daily due to the lack of professional-grade resources provided us by short-sighted budgetary cut backs. His visit could be the answer to some of our prayers. He'll be outraged.

Oh, he was outraged alright. Outraged that there was, wait for it...

NO WI-FI!!!???!!!!!!!!!!

No Wi-Fi in our offices? Good God, Man!! What are we, Cavemen?!? That's madness, I say. Utter Madness.

While we, the worker bees continue to languish and limp along with antiquated, circa 1995 technology, rest assured, The Great and Powerful Ozzie shall have his Wi-Fi the next time he visits.

Because CBS cares, dammit!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

In Which Weirdness Rules The Week

Okay, so this week was filled with weird... both good weird and bad, scary, crap-your-pants weird. First the let's-curl-up-in-a-fetal-position weird.

An F-2 tornado touched down in the area. :-O

You read correctly. A tornado. We don't get those around here. Microbursts, yeah. But a full-fledged tornado? Holy CRAP!! The offending funnel cloud(s) landed a county over, but still...

A farging 120mph F-2 tornado touched the EFF DOWN!!?!

This misguided child managed to film the twister right before it settled in on his street.

Can you imagine how freaked his Mother was listening to him on the other end of the phone? I believe he's fine, short of having the BeJesus scared out of him. Oh and being ridiculed mercilessly on YouTube for his self-publicized freak out. This one is priceless for all my Burgher friends who speak Yinzer.

YouTube giveth. YouTube taketh away.

I don't know what's more frightening, watching a twister form across the highway on which you're driving or the fact that this Cat's operating a camera while cruising along the interstate at a healthy 60mph clip.

The tornado's erratic path ripped through the High School grounds and randomly demolished homes in nearby neighborhoods causing roughtly 4 million dollars in damage. You said it, YouTube Dude...we aren't in Kansas anymore.

Me? I was trapped in my car, in the driveway when the skies turned an unholy shade of green and Mother Nature opened up a world of hurt in the shape of quarter-sized hail, pelting the earth along with my poor little Rita. Not wishing to incur a concussion, I stayed put for the duration of the outburst.

Man, that was LOUD! Like ear splitting loud. So loud you couldn't hear me screaming inside the red candy shell of a car like a little girl being chased by wolves...and not the yummy, Alcide kind either.


 I thought for sure there'd be pock marks all over our Vibe(rator).


Moving on...

The good weird of the week came at the hand of our goalie, Marc Andre Fleury. My beloved Pens won the match against the aptly named NJ Devils in dramatic, shoot out fashion when our newly acquired Dallas Star, James Neal bounced one in off the post to score the lone point of the game.

Dear Dallas Stars: Thanks for Mr Neal. He's becoming
the King of the Shoot Outs

I don't know how they're doing it, but the boys are holding their own despite the fact our star players, including the one and only dreamboat, Sid are all limping along on the disabled list.
Mmmmiss you, Dahlink!

We need just one point to clinch a playoff berth. Love those guys!! P.S.: Sid has started skating again. A present from the hockey Gods... and the good rehab folks at UPMC.

But I digress. The weird component to this long, rambling, assinine story isn't that our battered boys keep beating healthy teams, it's that this is the fourth consecutive year that Fleury has had a shut out on March 25th. Four shut outs... four years in a row... on March 25th.
The Flower says, "NON!"


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Raul To The Rescue
or a much needed distraction of the Tex-Mex variety

Okay, so Friday was an incredibly horrible day. Between worrying about Regi's safety, watching horrifying videos of unfathomable devastation and crying for a good portion of the day, I definitely needed to wash my brain of the prior 24 hours' events, even if it was for only an evening.

What better way to push the pause button and escape reality than through effervescent live music. Enter Raul Malo.

crammed in a comfy corner with my buds

Three friends and I had planned to see Raul (I call him Raul. We're tight now since Sheila and I accosted him after the show.) for months now. Even though I felt a little guilty enjoying myself while halfway around the world my niece was unsure whether she had a home to return to, I knew I had to go for my own sanity. He and his irresistible Tex-Mex mariachi music could not have come to town at a better time.

accosting mr. malo and his oh-so-soft beard
p.s.:all charges were dropped

When Raul took the stage accompanied by a young man with an accordion, I knew it was going to be a festive night. There's something about an accordian properly played that just screams FUN, especially when there're cocktails involved.

He started off slowly with a couple of 40s classics. After the second song, he quipped about preparing for his next career singing in ethnic restaurants in his later years before crooning Le Vie En Rose and O Solo Mio.

Then he busted out the Tex-Mex and it was a PARTAY!!

Everyone was hooting, clapping and singing along, because honestly, who can possibly sit still when that child is wailing on that accordion with an infectious Latin beat. Go ahead. I dare you to sit still.


I'm bopping in my seat just listening to the above video as I write this drivel. The rest of the evening continued on a light, bouyant note with the crowd having more and more fun with each offering. At one point a lovely middle-aged woman dressed to the nines in her slinky black dress stepped on stage to give him a big ole kiss of appreciation which he graciously accepted. And why wouldn't he? She was kinda hot for a middle-ager.

After a rousing encore, Raul stuck around to chat, sign whatever and take photos, thus enabling us to, you know, invade his personal space. A fun time was definitely had by all involved.

I will be forever grateful to him and his musical gift for giving me the opportunity to push the madness of the day's events into the back corner of my mind for those few precious hours.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

I'm Rich, BiYatch!!!
or Mrs. Chang Ming is my new BF Effin' F

Okay, So the other day I got the following email:

Dear Friend,
I have decided to donate what i inherited from my late husband to you to help 
the poor and needy. I am Mrs Chang Ming from Hong Kong. I am 63 years old 
woman. I was diagnosed with Esophageal cancer for about 2 years ago and i have 
few months to live according to medical experts. 

I want you to help me collect and use my US$9,000,000.00(Nine million United 
States Dollars) in the bank to help the poor and needy before i die. 20% of the

funds should be taken by you for your work and time.
Get back to me so that i can give you more details
Mrs Chang Ming

That's right, losers. My new best bud, Mrs. Chang Ming is GIVING ME 20% of $9mil, which is like 18 or 1.8 something something... Oh Hell, I don't know. Do the math yourself. Alls I know is it's got a ton of zeros at the end and that means...  

Woo Hoo! So long, Suckers!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Photo
the horrifying power of nature

How's this for irony. Yesterday I wrote a silly, fluff piece that I contemplated posting for today, when the thought flashed through my mind to wait in case there was an image I wanted to publish for Friday Photo instead.

Sometimes my subconscious scares the crap out of me. Is it intuition? I don't know, but this is the last image I wanted to have to share.

Last night I went to bed with the usual stupid criticisms, concerns and complaints. This morning as I was scrolling through the interweb while doing my "morning business" and waiting for the shower to warm up, (okay. ewwww, but I know for a fact I'm not the only one who scans the web while performing my own personal download. And I totally wash my hands afterward which is more than can be said for a lot of sales women. Trust me. You do not want to shake hands with most of those ladies. Where was I? Oh yeah...) I found a flurry of tweets from my niece, Regi who lives in Hokkaido Japan telling of the huge 8.9 magnitude earthquake and aftershocks she was currently living through.

My heart sank like an anchor.

I read in increasing horror the links she shared to news reports regarding the wide-spread devastation, worrying for her safety. When she posted news of a pending tsunami with upwards of 23 foot waves, I felt sick.

She's a brave soul, my niece. She lives alone in a completely foreign country, literally halfway across the world and she's not even 24 years old yet. This is a terrifying ordeal to go through surrounded by family and friends, let alone all by yourself. I can only imagine how frightened she was.

Reg wisely hopped on a bus and fled inland to Sapporo. She finally met up with a friend with whom she is staying. Together they'll figure out how best to proceed. At this point she hasn't heard from her English friend, Reggie who also lives in Hokkaido or another friend who is living in Miyagi just north of Sendai which got the direct hit from the tsunami.

I don't know what's next for her. Whether she has a home or workplace to go back to is unknown at this time. She lives on a low-lying river bed on the east coast of Hokkaido. As of this writing, she's been unable to contact anyone in the region. Chances are a tsunami storm surge has flooded or worse yet, toppled the buildings there. All we know is part of it is on fire.

I have cried so many tears today, I think my eyes are permanently red. I just want her to come home. What do you think, Reg? I'll buy you a pony.

You know Twitter is usually full of lots of frivolous, narcissistic bullshit, but from this day forth it will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Thank you Twitter for existing. Without you I would not have been able to converse with my precious Regi, to know she is alive, to know she's safely inland, to know she's not alone. And for that alone, I will be forever grateful. and me, we're family now.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

That Honey Badger Is A Baaaaad Mutha... Shut Yo Mouth
or another gem from the vaults of YouTube

Okay, so one of the many great things about knowing a young, hip, Internet savvy chap is his ability to scrounge through the interwebs for funny fodder. Case in point, this video about Honey Badgers.

Does this thing ever stop eating? Holy Crap!! Moderation, Dude. Look it up.

Who knew these furry curs were the nasty, ruthless, soulless Gary Buseys of the animal world. Maybe that crazy Mother F**ker Charlie Sheen should start mainlining Honey Badger blood. Or better yet, let's start a reality show where Charlie gets in a life-or-death struggle with a Badger over the carcass of a venomous Asp in a desert far, far away. Yeah. That's the ticket.

Thanks again to Jimmy McParkway for uncovering this gem.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In Which We Chillax With The Spring Standards On A School Night No Less 

Okay, so I've been so undisciplined of late, read the last six months, that it comes as no surprise this event of which I'm about to blog all over is already a week old.

Blergh. Oh and sorry about the mess on your shoes.

Anywho, Geo and I ventured out to our favorite hole in the wall, Club Cafe, on his school night to indulge our senses with an evening of Spring Standards' charming pop musings. We've met Heather Rob and the two James once before at New York's City Winery when they were the opening act for my fantasy husband, the lovely blue-eyed one, Rhett Miller.

see that look? he's lost his place in the song
wondering when he'll see me again.

See how I worked him in there? I know, it's a gift.

But this is about Heather and James-squared. These young folks are amazingly talented, playing two and three instruments each throughout several songs. Heather's voice is unbelievably clear, haunting and gorgeous. Hers is a lovely compliment to either James' crooning. And they could not be any sweeter, taking time to chat up everyone milling around afterwards. They've recorded an EP (produced by Mr. Miller), a full length CD and are working on a new collection of works funded by fans through Kickstarter.

With the continuing demise of traditional music industry practices, Kickstarter and PledgeMusic are terrific ways for established and up and coming bands to obtain the seed money needed to produce their next effort. Plus it allows fans to become a part of the process and support their favorite musicians in a small or large way. Both are an indie Godsend. If you're a music lover, check it out. It's a great way to feel a part of the team and you'll feel good about yourself, for a little while anyway.

The evening's crowd was sparse, feeling more like a house concert than club atmosphere, but that didn't prevent them from playing as if the room was packed to the gills. From the start, it was clear they intended to enjoy themselves on stage. They joked with each other and the audience all throughout their 12-song set.

Did you see how many instruments Heather plays at once? Amazing. And how about that voice. Again, amazing.

The evening began with two openers. The first a local musician, Justin Andrew who just happened to be a temp several years ago at the Special K. I had no idea he was this talented.

You can't tell from this video, but I swear his thighs were only as wide as my upper arms. Decent songwriter and performer, but he's in dire need of a hoagie or three. Seriously. Eat Papa. Eat!!

The second act was a solo performer out of LA, Joey Ryan. His stage presence was reminiscent of Steven Wright reincarnated as a musician--wry, understated delivery and humorous anecdotes.

It was well after 11pm when we exited the club.

*Gasp!* Scandalous!! We're such bad asses.

All in all, a terrific way to spend a school night.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

"New Orleans Ain't A City, It's A Scar..."
or my boys blow up Tipitina's. literally.

Okay, so I have to share this because I think it's kinda awesome, but then again, I am a little biased about the parties involved.

Friday night Old 97's rolled into Nawlins for a Mardi Gras gig at the legendary Tipitina's. I've always wanted to go to Mardi Gras and experience that unique brand of debauchery first hand. Just ask Geo. I've been harping about this journey for years and he's mighty damn sick of hearing it. And now my favorite live band in the entire universe was going to mingle their off-the-charts energy with the craziness of New Orleans' hedonism.

And me stuck in the North.

Jealous, much? You bet your ass!

Fortunately there's this thing called the Internet in which others can gloat share their experiences with us less fortunate fans who are geographically challenged. One of these folks is Jeff Neely, chief administrator from the Old 97's website whose family vacation to New Orleans just happened to coincide with the 97's Tipitina's appearance. Serendipitous, indeed. You can read his full account here.

For this leg of the tour, the guys have been touring with an energetic, in-your-face, punk girl band out of Tennessee known as Those Darlins. These brazen babes are in their 20s and have been teasing the 97's all week about being old men, going so far as posting this good-hearted slam on their Facebook page, "Thanks Grandpas for embarrassing us last night in front of all of our friends in New Orleans! Happy Mardi Gras."

HaHa! Grandpas! I think I like these chicks. HaHaHa!

A fun time not to be missed, for sure, but the enviable experience of this particular show came at the encore break. The normal set up is the band kicks it through 22-25 songs, ending in a clear-out-your-sinuses, string busting, break-neck performance of either Four Leaf Clover or If My Heart Was a Car, after which Rhett returns to the stage for an acoustic two-song set before the rest of the band hits the stage for a 4-5 song explosive encore, finishing the evening with a sweat-soaked Time Bomb.

Everything was going according to plan... and then the bottom literally dropped out.

They ain't afraid of no power outage. Again, how cool and infinitely fulfilling is it to stand on a unexpectedly darkened stage, completely unplugged and listen to a packed house take the reins and sing your words back to you.

The evening didn't end there. Seemingly bewildered as to how to proceed, the lovely blue-eyed one had a brainstorm. Why not, in the midst of the land of unbridled hedonistic drunken debauchery, do a 180 and serve up a Salvation Army song of redemption.

Not the expected send off, but somehow poetically fitting.

My eyes are even more green from envy.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Give Her WHAT?!?
or Happy Valentine's Day from your friends at CBS

Okay, so our Mother Ship, CBS decided to be all warm and fuzzy this Valentine's season by showing how much they are concerned for the well-being of its viewers. After putting their collective thinking caps on, they produced this heart-tugging public service announcement. Better grab for the tissues now.

Wouldn't you have killed to be in that brainstorming meeting?

Clearly, CBS cares... about your "junk" jewelry.