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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dear Fox News: Just Give Up Already 

When will Fox News learn that Jon Stewart is smarter than them? The barely fair and completely unbalanced "news" organization has been dicking with Stewart for years and have always come away bruised and stammering. But God love their pointy little crazy heads, they keep drawing first blood.

Clearly they are slow learners.

Behold, the brilliance of the most trusted person on the boob tube.

Take that Mother F***ers!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday, Friday! Getting Down On Friday!!

Friday Video: because it's too funny not to watch again.

Okay, so some wealthy Mom paid a ton of money so her 13 year old daughter could do an inane music video for her birthday. It's horrible, spawned this hilarious parody by Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert. It makes me laugh every time I watch it.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Monday, June 20, 2011

In Which I Realize Something About Myself

Okay, so Geo and I went to a family graduation party up North at his cousin's farm. It's a gorgeous, wide open expanse perched on the crest of a hill under a big sky overlooking a neighboring farm. Ken was an organic farmer long before it became all the rage. He took a leap of faith almost 20 years ago, quit his day job and devoted his life to agriculture. He and Kathy grow gobs of produce and harvest eggs from their gazillion chickens... who really funked up the atmosphere around our Corn Hole challenge.

chicks taking in the Corn Hole contest
while simultaneously "fowling" up
the ozone (I know. groan)

Here's the thing, as much as I appreciate the simplistic beauty of bucolic life and am grateful to those who dedicate their lives to feeding others through their perpetual daily labor, I am and always shall be an urban suburbanite. I like the fact our neighbors are within reach. I like being able to walk to restaurants and shops. I like being ten minutes away from the city and all it's wonderful cultural amenities.

Visiting the family's pastoral homestead or Beets north 40 spread is like taking a welcomed mini respite to commune with nature, but after an afternoon I itch for my urban dwelling. Literally. My head itches from all the bugs and shit.

My name is Murray and I am a city girl through and through.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Late Late Night Shenanigans
or the irresistible silliness of Craig Ferguson

Okay, so let me just say how much I love Craig Ferguson. His sharp wit and completely irreverent sense of humor is right up my proverbial alley. And then there's his delicious Scottish brogue that makes the utterance of any off-color, dihrrrty words charming.

To me, one of the funniest things to watch is a performer succumbing to a completely ridiculous moment, breaking down into uncontrollable laughter. It's contagious and endearing and funny as hell. Mere mortals can't help but get swept up in its tide. My favorite moments in the Carol Burnet show were when Tim Conway finally made Harvey Corman break down in front of that live audience. Genius.
Back in May, Ferguson and his animatron sidekick, Geoff Peterson, had an unscripted encounter that left Ferguson crying from laughter within the first 20 minutes of the show. The first half of his show is some of the funniest, zaniest stuff on the boob tube, but it's on so late for me it may as well be broadcast on Mars. A friend at work shared this clip with me. Enjoy!

Geoff you magnificent mechanical bastard! It almost makes me wish I worked overnights. Almost. C'mon. I'm not that nuts, yo.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Video 
In Which Sometimes The Wisest Words Come From The Funniest People

Okay, so Conan O'Brien was chosen to present the commencement address to this year's graduating class of Dartmouth University. As expected, he dispensed heaps of humor, teased the President of the College by referring to him as "Stinky Pete" and took digs at Jay Leno.

What wasn't expected was the uncharted depth, dignity and profundity by which he concluded his remarks. His retelling of his journey over the last two turbulent years of his life and career is some of the best advice ever bestowed upon any graduates or human beings, for that matter.

"It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It's not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound reinvention."

"Whether you fear it (failure) or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment, you can gain clarity, and through clarity comes conviction and true originality."

"I'd like to end my address by breaking a taboo by quoting myself from 17 months ago. At the end of my final program with NBC, just before signing off I said work hard, be kind and amazing things will happen."

Sound advice for all of us.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Random Crap N'at 
or what the Hell, Eric?

Okay, so today has been a weird yin and yang sort of day. My morning started off with the most welcomed and unexpected of news... then it all went to shit. I went from euphoria to literal bloodshed in a matter of hours. Leading Yang by 3-1, Yin was kicking my bony ass all up and down the GD street.

F*cking bitch.

And for the record, I kinda resent the notion that Yin (negative) is female while Yang (positive) is male. What the hell is that shit about? Just another piece of misogynistic bull from a male dominated, backward society. I'm looking at you, China. You can shove that notion square up your butt while you're playing with your doodle.

Speaking of doodle players...

So long, Schlong!

Anthony Weiner has decided to beat it. After a lengthy amount of pressure, he released himself...of his duties. Puns most certainly intended. Henceforth some actual quotes from a press release:

Observers noted the decision had to have been extremely hard for Weiner...

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who had been among those trying to push Weiner outdeclined to discuss him at her weekly news conference...

"if Mr. Weiner is resigning I think he ultimately handled it well..."

It's too bad he was such an asshat, because honestly he was a good Congressman. Alas, the hubris of powerful men is their ultimate downfall. Frankly, I shall miss all the Weiner talk.

one of the many suggested Post headlines

I can't wait to see the real headline in tomorrow's Post. Could it be "Weiner OUT!"

Vancouver, what the ef?!?

So the Canucks lose the Stanley Cup last night and Jeesy Creazy, all Holy Hell breaks out. They're looting, flipping cars, burning buildings... 

Who do they think they are, WVU? Who knew this lovely Canadian town could throw down and be so... Detroit. Since when did Canada become all gansta? It's like opposite day north of the border. Next thing you know they'll be wearing their tukes all sideways, blasting Gordon Lightfoot in their cars and jacking people for Molsons. 

When the police show up in full riot gear, you expect people to flee, right? Most do, but not everyone...
this looks like a comfy spot to make out
"I love the way the flickering flames reflect in your eyes..."

Everybody has their own particular aphrodisiac. Clearly this couple's is mayhem, men in uniform and the pungent aroma of gasoline-fueled torchings. "You had me a flaming Volvo..." (that would be a great name for a band, don't ya think?) Thank God that chippie remembered to wear undies. Just sayin'.

I Wonder If She Likes Cats? 

Maybe just a little. I can't imagine why she's still single. File this in the Thank-God-I'm-Married column.

And finally...

The greatest Mother F***in' kid's book written, read by the baddest Mother F***in' actor, Samuel L. Jackson.

That should scare the little bastards to sleep. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

In Which There Is NOTHING Like Seventh Game Stanley Cup Hockey
(even when your team isn't involved)

Tonight is the seventh game of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals between Boston and Vancouver. Boston hasn't won in 39 years, Vancouver has never won in its 41 year history.

I'm a bit torn about who to root for. On the plus side, Boston has 43 year old former Pens legend, Mark Recchi who's already scored six goals in the series, three of them in game six!! I mean, come on! He was a Pen AND he's an old guy who can still score against the youngsters. I love Recchi. All of Pittsburgh loves Mark Recchi, but he plays for Boston, so, you know, no thanks. Besides I'm a ginormous sucker for an underdog, especially one who's never ever felt the pure elation of hoisting that marvelous trophy after a hard fought victory.

So Vancouver it is.

Plus they're so darn nice. Seriously. And they have the BEST national anthem.

I love America, warts and all. Our national anthem...not so much. Don't get me wrong, The Star Spangled Banner chokes me up with pride and emotion every time I hear it, especially when an entire arena of citizens is singing in unison.

But it's about a stupid battle set to an impossible-to-sing tune. O Canada, on the other hand, is a far superior, easily singable anthem about defense, duty and devotion to country. And it sounds amazing when sung en masse.

I can't help but join in. One of these days I'm going to learn it in French.

As I write this bloggity blah blog, the Canucks are down 3-0 with their first power play of evening ending in a shorthanded goal for Boston. They're killing me! Come on, Canucks!! Win this puppy at home.

If not for me, do it for these guys...

They just ain't right.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

You Know You're The Best Of Friends When...

you can't wait to text your buddy with the details of the epic, nine inch long dump you just took because you know she'll totally appreciate it, especially the clean-sweep factor.

Hidey Ho!!!
Besides Geo who has become accustomed to my less-than-genteel behavior (perhaps why he drinks, as an attempt to erase such images), my delightfully twisted pal, Beets is that friend.

She and I belch like men--I'm talking long, Coke-fueled, Elf-movie inspired trailers that drone on forevah, turn everything into a dirty that's-what-she-said reference and howl about flatulence.

We are the Queens of potty humor.

She's literally the only one of my friends who completely appreciates this totally low-ball side of my sense of humor. Hell, she's the one who awakened my love of this trailer-park behavior, much to Geo's chagrin I'm sure. The awkward, slightly disgusted reception I get from my card club gals after I let fly with a exceptional, resonant burp is a far cry from the applause I'm used to from Beets. It's like crickets in a room. Can you imagine if I told them the tale of this tremendous two-pound turd? I love them, but they don't get me.

Beets gets me.

You know, if someone would have told me 30 years ago that someday I'd be so comfortable with another human being that I'd share toilet stories and other intimate topics generally frowned upon in civilized society, I would have stuffed my delicate fingers (pinkies up) in my chaste ears and called you a big, fat, honking liar.

So what was her reaction when I texted her this morning with the astounding accomplishment of my most recent bodily function? One word: "Classic"

I'll belch to that.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Attack Of The Killer Hot Dog Bun 
or Dude...we nearly killed a guy
diabolical hot dog
he's a mean mother
(courtesy of threadless tees)

Okay, so yesterday we had two hot dog eating contestants on our little morning dog and pony show, Pittsburgh Today Live, aka PTL (Jesus loves you). Anywho, one guy was a so-called professional eater, the other a mere novice at the delicate art of gorging oneself for money. There also was an EMT responder in the wings.

An EMT guy? Really? A bit of overkill, right.

So the stage was set with a plate of two hot dogs with buns and a large glass of water for each participant. The idea was each chomping champion would demonstrate his winning method of shoveling an entire hot dog and accompanying bun in his gullet at the speed of light.

First of all... EWWWWwwww.

Few things are as disgusting as watching some numb nut gorge himself on tubes of processed horse hooves, mystery-meat by-product and ground earthworms. Okay, listening to someone inhale copious amounts of this crap is worse. Trust me.

But I digress...

The "Pro" steps up first, showing off his break-in-two-shove-down-piehole method of weiner consumption, followed by a healthy dipping of the bun in water, expertly reducing the girth of the bread from its original inch to a meager quarter inch, thus enabling him to swallow the thing whole.

Again, EWwwwwwwww.

Not to be outdone, the novice nibbler grabbed both hot dogs and wolfed them down. I cannot even convey to you how disgusting that audio was. When he dipped his bun (hot dog, that is), however, it didn't look much smaller than its original undipped form.

This is a key point here.

He proceeded to scarf that puppy down, and....

Clearly something didn't go quite as he'd planned.

He started to gag (as I'm sure you're doing now just thinking about this spectacle) and stepped off the set with a look of sheer panic in his eyes. It was apparent he was having trouble breathing. Someone needed to dislodge that bastard bread ball from his throat. Someone like, oh I don't know, maybe the EMT guy. Remember him? Standing in the wings just in case something untoward occurred.

Yeah, well the urgency of the situation wasn't registering to this health professional until this choking cat started wildly gesturing towards is throat in a kind of macabre charades.

Um... two words. First word sounds like "yelp".  Belt, melt, felt... HELP!
Second word, sounds like "get your ass over here and help me, you stupid bastard before I clock you in the nards"

EMT guy finally strolls up, so I'm thinking great, he'll give him the Heimlich and this hideous spectacle will all be behind us, right?

(for all the Eddie Izzard fans)
is it me, or are you getting a
distinct homo-erotic German vibe
from this image, too?


Instead he puts his arm around him, chats him up, asks about the family, starts to discuss the fate of the much-maligned Pirates management, all the while weiner man is shoving his entire fist down his throat in a desperate attempt to, you know, SURVIVE. Keep in mind our guest hurler is still hooked to the mic, which is on a short cable, which is tethered to the set.

One word: Holy CRAP!! (okay, two words)

To recap: the guest is literally choking in front of the set, the EMT guy is taking his good ole time to perform the hug of life and I'm running to get a trash can while yelling into the headset for the director to end the segment, which she doesn't because no one in the booth has any idea about the graphic expectorating that is about to unfold.

By the time I run back to the set, the deed is done, so to speak, the evidence of said act present on both the floor and the shoes of our now completely humiliated guest.

And yet, the segment is still going on. Live. Over the air. Complete with off-stage sound effects of a non-appetising fashion.

Here's the best part. As I reached over to unplug the mic from the cable so he could take his sorry ass to the men's room and clean up, I realized the entire gruesome pantomime was played out in direct eye line of our host.

No shit. She couldn't NOT look at it. How the hell she didn't lose her cookies, I'll never know. A chain reaction ralph. Now that would have been a first.

And how's this for irony, the cooking segment dogs wrapped in crescent rolls. I kid you not. Who says the Universe doesn't have a sense of humor.

it sho' does

Death by weiner bun. Not exactly the way you'd want to meet your maker.

Local television is getting so gangsta, Yo.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Triple Bypass of Concert Viewing, Y'all!
or lumping all the goodies in one basket

Artery #1:

Okay, so since I've been back from Beachfest, I've had a steady diet of live musical events. First was the evening I flew back. I literally stepped off the plane, hopped in the car and headed to the Avett Brothers/Nicole Atkins show.

How magnificently Jetsetter-y of me.

By the time I parked and met up with Mary Ann-ski (AKA Betty from SXSW), Nicole Atkins was a quarter way through her set. This was the maiden voyage of the new Stage AE's outdoor venue. Same building, they just pressed the Genie garage door opener, flipped the stage around to face the fenced-in back forty, put up a back curtain and VOILA!! Instant outdoor venue in the heart of downtown.
where the beers are literally
bigger than yo' face

The only SNAFU was the security issue. Only one way in made for a very long line. But wait...the line for the ladies' you-touch-me-like-you-know-me frisking frenzy was non-existent, while the men's side backed up to Youngstown.

Can you believe it? A situation where the men's line is waaaaay longer than the girls'. Bizarro world. But, hey, you can't be too careful when it comes to checking the contents of someone's package.

This is my second time seeing Nicole Atkins. She held the crowd really well for an opener, but I must admit she doesn't really do it for me. I like several of her new songs and her voice has an interesting power to it, but on the whole...meh.

Conversely, never saw the Avett Brothers live before and was blown away by their energy. They had the packed house of 7,000 up on their feet from the first note, pogo-sticking and singing along with practically every tune. It's difficult not to enjoy yourself when the performers are having such a great time themselves.

The cellist, Joe Kwon, was a hoot to watch, constantly bouncing, whipping his lustrous locks and wielding his cello around like it was a wee bass.

I can see why people follow them from venue to venue. At one point Papa Avett who himself was booked at Club Cafe the following evening joined in on the penultimate song of the set.

Loads of fun and a great welcome back to the Burgh, Baby!

Artery #2:

Friday night found me searching my posse for a willing subject to join me for a night with the Irish band, Bell X1. Geo was on his annual Billy Hawk golf weekend rendering him unavailable.

See, I'm not the only one who gets to go away with buddies. In fact, whilst I was recharging in the South Carolina sunshine, Geo was spending the weekend with our other musical love, Francis Dunnery. The guys went to the Pirates game, hung out and went to a Francis' house concert where Geo worked the merch table. Über cool!
Geo, John and Francis
at the ball park without moi :-(

In case you were wondering, yes, I was very jealous. The perfect opportunity to utilize cloning. Get on that science nerds. My social life depends on you.

But I digress...

My buddy Howard finally stepped up to the plate as my proxy husband for the evening. We hung out at the front corner of the bar for a change. Everything was going swimmingly, great vantage point, easy access to alcohol, somewhere to lean... until this couple of asswipes stood in front of us and decided to have an in depth conversation at the top of their lungs.

Beyond rude.

It was bad enough their melon heads completely blocked my view of lead singer, Dave Geraghty, but I seriously could not hear the band over their incessant din. I am not kidding. They were that loud.

Where's a Honey Badger when you need one? Or Mike Doughty for that matter.
don't make me come over there.
i'll rip you a new sphincter.
i don't give a shit

After stewing for a while, I finally grew some stones and gently sent these dudes packing. Hey. I said please, dammit! No sooner had the Chatty Cathy Y-chromosomes moved on, an obnoxiously loud drunk chick and her equally lubed, tooth-challenged beau picked up the ignorant baton and ran with it. So I screamed at her, "Shut the F**k up before I kick you in the balls!" Or so went the conversation in my head.

Sheesh! Some people's kids.

Anywho, the show was fantastic. They played lots of favorites likes these two.

I don't know what the Hell was going on, but the crowd was unusually aggro that night. The incessant chattering went on and on and the point where someone just snapped a twig during a particularly quiet musical moment, reared back and bellowed SHUT UP!!! into the crowd, startling Geraghty mid verse. As an attempt to lighten the room, Mr. G offered this witty tale regarding the back stage area:

Apparently rudely drawn images of the male appendage are prevalent graffiti on dressing room walls. Notice how his lovely Irish brogue makes even the crudest of words sound eloquent and classy. I swear you could get away with anything in America as long as you said it with a brogue.

Artery #3:

The Three Rivers Arts Festival is one of my favorite times of the year in the Burgh. Lots of artists, craftsmen and musicians swarm the lower downtown area, livening up our streets for ten days. The best part is it all takes place literally right outside of my work door.

Sunday's free musical offering was the legendary Talking Heads splinter group, The Tom Tom Club. I wasn't sure I'd enjoy their entire set, but Tina Weymouth, Chris Franz and company kicked it, old-school, 90s dance style.

They were great fun. Much better than I anticipated. The cross-cultural crowd was with them from the beginning, busting their moves on the great lawn. After 30 years (30 years?!?!), they can still bring it in their uniquely peculiar way.

Plus it was the return of the mysterious Hoola Hoop Girl!! Bonus, of sorts.

After regaling the happy horde with their hits including Genius of Love as well as a right-proper rendition of You Sexy Thang, they broke out Talking Heads classics, Take Me to the River and Psycho Killer (Qu'est Que C'est) for the encore.

Score one for the old farts.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Girl's Week At the Beach
or celebrating 20 years of friendship with sun, sand and several spiked Slurpee's

Okay, so my card club gal pals and I have been convening monthly to dish, drink and ... a third thing that begins with a "d" meaning nosh... for 20 years.

I know, right? That's a long time. Most marriages don't last that long.

Anywho, we went round and round as how to mark this momentous milestone before finally settling on a week at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We procured an uber decked out, spectacularly swanky three bedroom oceanfront condo with 12...count 'em 12 pools.
excessive pools from our 18th floor perch
Overkill much? Maybe, but Dude, one of them was a swim-up pool bar!


We seven ladies have seen each other through births, deaths, debilitating illness, marital strifes (big and not so big) and career changes all with love, laughter and ludicrous behavior inspired by alcohol and infantile shenanigans that only a group of "sistas" can understand. We've earned our reward in the sun.

It's been a very good 20 years.

Henceforth a listing of observations from Beachfest 2011:

I am embroiled in an ongoing love affair with the Southern Sunshine, not to mention the lilty drawl tripping off a charming Southern boy's tongue.

Swim-up pool bars are the bomb, Yo! Except when they're manned by a balding, grumpy douche determined to squash our vacation Nirvana by not having coconut rum. What the ef, Fool?!? Did you not see the memo that we were coming?
Senor Douche Bag manning the blender

just a bunch of chicks drinkin' in the pool

Phillip's Seafood House makes The. BEST. Steaks. I know. Ironic, right?

Flip Flop clicks are the true first sounds of Summer.

Sometimes you see something that makes you scratch your head and say, What the ef?

Coconut Rum and Diet Coke after 11pm WILL indeed turn one into a wide awake, giggling asshat Energizer Bunny until 4am. Seriously...

Cornhole is a super addictive game. It's also super funny to say and makes me want to wear my t-shirt over my head like Beavis and proclaim "I want TP for my bunghole".

Who knew tossing corn filled bags at a gaping hole while swilling a cocktail in the afternoon sun could produce a high level of low brow Flintstone fun? Most of Pittsburgh, apparently.

tossing stuff into a hole...
you'd think guys would be really good at this

Three girls in a shower...not as erotic as you might think. Don't ask.

Dude, I sooooo wanted to unplug this beauty and tear off at a blistering... 25 mph.
Temptation, thy name is golf cart

Even in the most packed suitcase, miraculously there's always room for a new pair of fabulous shoes.

Continuing my streak of public humiliation, the big-ole, fist-sized, ugly-ass bruise on my thigh (not to mention the ginormous pounding to my delicate-as-a-flower ego) confirms why there's no running on the pool deck. Hola! Me llamo, Grace.

Margaritaville is sooo... Jimmy Buffet
Fins to the left...

an adorable animal balloon gal
adding to the atmosphere

that should almost cover the afternoon

Sometimes you can't help but get a little Cap'n in ya.
once an idiot, always an idiot
And finally, there is some funny-ass shit printed on t-shirts that even I don't have the balls to wear.
i'd like to show you a couple of things i'm very proud of

why thank you

And thus ends the Reader's Digest version of Girlie Beach Week 2011. It's been a fantastic 20 year run. Hears to another 20 or more. Love you ladies! Cheers!!

P.S.: the world didn't end as planned, so I guess I'm going to have to pay that humongous Visa bill now. Damn...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Video Funny
Jon Stewart + Anthony Weiner + Fake R Kelly = Comedy Brilliance

Okay, so it's no secret how much I loveloveLOVE Jon Stewart and his irreverent band of merry men. I don't just love him, as Woody Allen would say, I LURVE him.

Case in point, the ill-conceived antic by political idiot Anthony Weiner to send a picture of his junk bulging from his jockeys to an intern via Twitter has been getting the right-royal Daily Show spanking.

Pun intended.

The word "weiner" and all it's accompanying hysterical euphemisms have been flying off the little screen so fast and furious, my inner 12 year old has been having a difficult time keeping his pre-pubescent sides from splitting.

The pinnacle, the pies de resistance, if you will, occurred last night with another appearance by the transplendant one and only, Fake R Kelly. I cannot stop watching this. It just doesn't get old. Seriously.

I present to you, The Big Wang Theory. Prepare to be entertained...

Fake R Kelly speaks the truth, Yo.