Close Encounters of the Perv Kind

Perhaps you’ve seen Stan Romanek, the delusional idiot guy with the video of an “extra-terrestrial” peering in his bedroom window.

I have, and I fail to see what’s so special. You can’t look out my window at night and not catch an extra-terrestrial looking back. Goddamned interstellar-illegal-alien-peeping-tom-pervert-sons-of-bitches!
I really don’t get why they’d travel millions of miles just to look at me in my underwear, but whatever….

On a side-note, am I alone in thinking that at one time Larry King was actually a respected journalist, or has he always been an opportunistic crackpot?

Every Silver Lining Has a Touch of Gray

The other day I wrote about my excitement vis-à-vis my Cameo Mention in the Wahoo Gazette. As luck would have it, I now seem to have angered the Wahoo Gazetteer through no real fault of my own. Here’s what he had to say in today’s Wahoo:

So I give this “Greg Evans” guy a cameo mention the other day. I often see his name in the newsgroup commenting on the show so I decided to give him a mention. This usually results in a cheap Wahoo Gazette plug in the discussion group. Unfortunately, it barely got a blip.

And then I find out that Greg Evans has a website. I checked it out. He spouts how proud he is to have received a cameo mention in the Wahoo Gazette. I was happy to read the shout out. I peruse some more. Down along the right side is a list entitled “Blogs and Such Which I Frequent.” It is a list of 50 blogs and websites Greg Evans likes to read. The Wahoo Gazette is not one of them. Can you believe it? Greg Evans claims to be a fan of David Letterman since his daytime show back in 1980, so how can he not frequent the Wahoo Gazette? It makes no sense. He mentions Dave Yoder’s Letterman website. He does not mention the Wahoo Gazette. Misdirected energy, I say.
And what hurts even more . . . . . Greg Evans writes about his Cameo Mention in the Wahoo Gazette . . . and it receives no comments from his readers . . . if he HAS any readers!
The Wahoo Cameo Committee is presently considering rescinding Mr. Evans’ Cameo Mention.

And here is a snippet of my response, as posted to AFL:

In all honesty, I tried quite some time ago to add a link to the Wahoo, but couldn’t figure out a way to link to it directly since the URL’s are dynamically generated. I did figure it out though.

I’ve added it to my links, I sure hope they don’t rescind
my Cameo Mention!

I can’t believe MikeMack went here:

Greg Evans writes about his Cameo Mention in the Wahoo Gazette . . . and it receives no comments from his readers . . . if he HAS any readers!

Sure I have readers! They’re called web-crawlers, bots and

Why must you build me up, only to tear me down, MikeMack, why?

DaveCon 2008

For years I’ve jealously read others’ DaveCon reports, vicariously sharing their excitement and dreaming that one day I too might be invited to attend. When that day came and I got the invitation from Traci, I was stunned. My shock was so great that I was convinced that there had been some sort of a mistake (that could happen with a bulk mailing) or (though I couldn’t really imagine) it was some sort of cruel joke.

After emailing Traci and getting her assurance that there was no mistake, I was really invited, I felt, as I told Traci, like a kid at Christmas. I really did; I don’t know the last time I was so excited.

Immediately, I made arrangements to stay with my sister and BIL in Connecticut, booked my flight, and put in for the time off from work. As the days passed, my excitement waned somewhat, then, as DaveCon approached it again built to a fever pitch.

Other than discovering, a few days before I was supposed to leave, that one of my connecting flights had been canceled (Travelocity did a fine job taking care of this), my flight from Dayton to White Plains was uneventful. I did enjoy chatting with my seat mate on the second leg of my flight, Adrianna, who was quite lovely and friendly. Alas, she’s married, but she was nice enough to pose for a picture.

On the day of the show I took the Metro North from Waterbury CT to Grand Central Station. From the moment I stepped into the main terminal at Grand Central I was in complete sensory overload, a state in which I would remain for the rest of the day. I was totally overwhelmed by Grand Central and couldn’t make heads or tails of the subway map, so I wound up getting off of the subway on 42nd street at Times Square. Feeling much more confident in my ability to navigate above ground, I started walking up Broadway toward the Ed.

I finally make it to the Ed, snap a couple of quick photos of the marquee and make my way into Angelo’s. I knew everyone was meeting upstairs, but upon arriving upstairs I started to feel a bit panicked, not spotting a familiar face anywhere. After a few tense moments I recognized Micah, Helen, David Yoder and Traci (then others, quickly) and wandered over to introduce myself and say hi. Various folks asked about my cat, reaffirming my suspicion that I’ve unwittingly cast myself in the role of “idiot with cat on his head”. I suppose there are worse things to be known for. Traci gave me a DaveCon button and a kazoo (compliments of Pat Fleet, who, sadly, couldn’t be here), Donz gave me DVD’s, Bob (Nek) offered me a delicious chocolate, and before I knew it, it was time to line up at the theater.

We got our tickets (I got #17), received some instructions from the pages, were informed that the theater’s restrooms would close at 2:00 and told to be back at 2:30. I went to the CBS store and bought a sack full of t-shirts and coffee mugs, then to Rupert’s for more shirts and mugs and a quick photo of Rupert. When I saw a group of AFLers chatting with Mike McIntee I wanted to introduce myself and say something clever about him mocking me in the Wahoo a few weeks back but only managed to grab a couple of photos before he disappeared back into the theater. About this time I realized that I had miscalculated my bladder capacity / nervousness ratio and asked Donz where I might find a restroom. He directed me to some sort of salad-bar/restaurant/store about a block north, saying that if I bought something they might let me use their facilities. I quickly made my way there, bought a Coke, left some coffee, and rushed back to the Ed where I found that we were already lining up. I assumed my place in line next to the lovely Shirlee.

We were herded into the lobby, instructed as to the dos and don’ts and ‘warmed up’ (as if that were necessary!) by a page who was quite engaging and funny and who seemed to really enjoy being there. After waiting around for a bit, Marilyn passed out the ceremonial Altoids and we were let into the theater.

Entering the theater was like walking into a dream. I’ve seen it so many times on TV that it was familiar, but it’s so much more impressive in person. The background cityscape/diorama, in particular, is so much lovelier than it appears on TV. The whole thing was so surreal, it was (at the risk of sounding cliche) like a dream.

I found myself in the third row right in the center, sitting between the lovely Shirlee (who was flanked on the other side by Mark) and two nice non-afl ladies.

Eddie Brill came out and greeted us, even specifically mentioning the ‘alt letterman people’, which almost caused me to, in my excitement, utter one of the ‘forbidden sounds’. They showed the classic “Dave works at Taco Bell” video then Eddie told a few jokes.

Then the excitement really starts to build. The band starts to play as they take the stage one by one, introduced by Eddie B. The band sounds absolutely amazing, I could listen to them play all night. Finally the big moment arrives and Dave comes bounding out onto the stage. I was literally misty-eyed and covered with goosebumps, I was so excited. Dave tells a couple of jokes and chats with us (the audience) a bit, then asks if anyone has any questions. Shirlee does! With ninja-quickness her hand shoots up and Dave calls on her. Dave and Shirlee chatted for a moment and Dave asked if either of the guys beside her (myself and Mark) is her husband. “No”, she replies. “Who are they?”, she shrugs and says she doesn’t know. Gee, thanks, Shirlee. She asks why there isn’t a statue of him in the wax museum, Dave makes a joke about appearing in person and then it’s time for the show!

Dave heads backstage, the band begins to play and when Alan Kalter announces Dave, it’s another goose bump moment for me.

After the show we found out that thanks to my new archnemesis Kevin Spacey’s Jamba Juice escapade on May 19, the crew was replacing the carpet and thus there would be no tour nor photo-ops at Dave’s desk. A bit of a bummer, but I was riding far too high for it to, as Intern Lyle might say, ‘harsh my mellow’. It’s really a shame. Kevin Spacey was one of my favorite actors but now he will remain ‘on my list’ until I get my picture taken at Dave’s desk. I just pray that his relegation is only temporary.

We taped our Tony Mendez show, which was great fun, though I did find myself self-consciously hiding from the camera. Everyone else was great with their acting. I don’t know if they’re all naturals in front of the camera or if it’s born of familiarity, but it really seems to come quite easily to them.

Dinner was fantastic and I really enjoyed chatting with Renee and her two friends (I’m not sure they’d want to be named, so I won’t). Tony Mendez stopped in and I was thrilled that he sat at my table, chatting happily and even sharing some behind-the-scenes gossip! He had forgotten to bring me a cue-card like we’d discussed earlier at the theater, but he took my address and assured me that he’d mail me one. He is such a nice guy, so personable and generous with his time.

After dinner, many of us headed to a local watering hole called Smith’s to continue the festivities. Some of us were so overwhelmed by the day’s events that we opened up and shared far too much, much to everyone’s embarrassment. (OK, actually, it was just me).

All good things must come to an end and eventually it was time to go. Walking with Nick and Marilyn who had so generously offered me a ride back to my sister’s, thus sparing me from having to catch the last train to Waterbury at 9:07 I saw something that stopped me dead in my tracks. A man with a cat on his head! A kindred spirit! I pointed and said something brilliant like “Look! A man with a cat on his head!” and he said something mildly confrontational about us both having the same ‘biker beard’. As I stood there dumbstruck he asked if I had a couple of dollars for a man with a cat on his head. “Yes, I certainly do”, I said, reaching for my wallet. I happily handed him all the singles I had on me (3? 4?) as Nick and Marilyn warily edged away, their expressions telling me “We’ll leave you here if we have to, bumpkin. Come on.” Not wishing to be left for dead in the big city, I followed.

We made it to the parking garage where I was astounded to discover that a month’s parking in New York costs more than the rent on my 2-bedroom apartment with a view of the park back home in Ohio.

Traffic was a bit of a nightmare for some reason, so it took quite awhile to get out of the city. I was thankful that I wasn’t driving. We did come upon some sort of motorcycle “Fast and the Furious” type gathering which was interesting, if a bit unnnerving. Try as I might I couldn’t seem to keep my eyes open for the ride home and spent a good bit of it nodding off. Thanks to the wonders of GPS and Nick’s impeccable driving skills we made it safely to my sister and brother-in-law’s. I again thanked them for the ride, said good-bye and wearily trudged up the steps, through the door, up the stairs, and collapsed into bed.

Weird-Ass Dream

David Letterman had as his guest Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Strangely, instead of the typical interview, they were playing a game that was a cross between miniature golf and soccer, which involved them scooting about on desk chairs while avoiding various obstacles and trying to kick golf balls (they each had their own) into sequentially numbered hole/basket/goals. This game was created by Jerry Lewis, who had appeared earlier to (somewhat comically, somewhat disturbingly) explain it.

As the two of them played the game Paul and the band accompanied the action with calliope “clown music” (I wish I knew the name of the tune; it’s instantly recognizable). They were neck and neck coming down toward the final goal when Dave grabbed the arm of CT’s chair with one hand then with his other hand reached into CT’s suit jacket pocket where there was an asthma inhaler which he discharged 6 or 7 times (as a diversion?)

This allowed Dave to kick the winning goal, whereupon he shouted “35 points!! In your face, Thomas!” (No, I have no idea how he arrived at the 35 point figure.)

What does this all mean?

It could just mean that I’m nuts; or it could simply indicate that when a medication cautions it may cause “vivid dreams” what they really mean is “weird-ass dreams”.

That’s not so much a side-effect as it is a ‘bonus’ in my book. I mean seriously, if you gotta have side effects, that’s not a bad one to get.

Stripping language of meaning in the name of “correctness”

Let me just say from the start, I’m irritated. There are so many things going on in the world that irritate (and sicken) me right now I don’t even know where to begin. What the media tries to convince us is (and isn’t) “news”, irritates the piss out of me, but more on that later.

Society’s asinine, lemming-like allegiance to “political-correctness” irritates me. I’m all in favor of inclusive language, up to a point, but that point is a rapidly vanishing dot on the horizon behind us. Allow me to illustrate. I was accidentally watching the Fox “News” channel earlier. You know how they run the crawl across the bottom of the screen with news headlines and snippets of news? Well, one particular item caught my attention. Something about a “homicide” bomber blowing up a car and killing 10 people in Baghdad.

What they mean, of course, is a “suicide bomber”, but because some group (I vaguely recall this discussion a few years back) took umbrage at the use of that term, some in the media have adopted the phrase “homicide bomber”. Here’s what’s wrong with that:

Isn’t anyone who uses explosives to blow people the fuck up, thereby killing them, a “homicide bomber”. Yes, of course s/he is. What makes a suicide bomber different is that they go along for the ride, not unlike (well not really like, either) Slim Pickens’ character, Major T.J. ‘King’ Kong, in Dr. Strangelove. The point here is that they blow up too; on purpose!

When someone says “suicide bomber”, everyone knows what they mean. “Homicide bomber”, on the other hand, doesn’t really carry much more meaning than the word “bomber” and leaves the listener/reader to guess at the meaning.

On FMNC (the Foul-Mouthed News Channel), we’re going to call them “Blew themselves and some other people right the fuck on up bombers”. Kinda catchy, don’t you think?

RIP Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. 1922-2007

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., photo dated April 8, 1992.
Doug Elbinger, Elbinger Studios.

Another of the great ones has left us. Kurt Vonnegut has been a favorite (and hero) of mine since I first saw (but didn’t really understand) the movie “Slaughterhouse-Five” on late-night television as a kid. I’ve been reading and enjoying his books for over 25 years. I had resigned myself to the fact that there would be no “new” Vonnegut books back when he retired ~10 years ago. However, seeing him recently on The Daily Show (promoting a new book!) rekindled my hopes that there might yet be one more great Vonnegut masterpiece. Sadly that hope too is now gone.
The list of Mr. Vonnegut’s titles is a long one, here in no particular order (and by no means complete):

A Man without a Country (His latest, and one would presume, last)
Breakfast of Champions
Cat’s Cradle
Deadeye Dick
Welcome to the Monkey House
Mother Night
God Bless You, Dr. Kervorkian
Fates Worse Than Death
Slapstick: Or Lonesome No More!
Player Piano
Bagombo Snuff Box
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
Hocus Focus
Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons
Vonnegut Omnibus
Sun, Moon, Star
The Sirens of Titan
Canary in a Cat House
This last one isn’t a Vonnegut book, per se, but a book about Mr. Vonnegut.
Kurt Vonnegut’s Crusade Or, How a Postmodern Harlequin Preached a New Kind of Humanism

I’ve read all but a couple of these. I suppose I need to fill in those blanks. Of course, several old favorites I don’t mind re-reading, time and again. Do us both a favor, click one of the links and buy the book from Amazon, thereby helping to feed my book/CD/DVD addiction while fueling your own.

Fare thee well, Mr. Vonnegut, fare thee well.

Speaking of Amazing Acoustic Music

Do yourself a favor, buy or download Rodrigo y Gabriela‘s eponymous CD. When I saw them on “The Late Show with David Letterman” back in December, I immediately went to eMusic to see if it was available there. It was, I downloaded it, burned a disc, and it’s been in heavy rotation in the car CD player since. If you don’t like this CD there’s something wrong with you!

Just to tie things together, here’s a (tenuous) Tom Morello connection. On April 29th they’re playing the Coachella Festival; also playing Coachella this year? The reunited Rage Against the Machine!

Here’s the aforementioned Letterman appearance. The song they’re playing is “Diablo Rojo”; enjoy.

More Infomercial Idiocy

Mr. Klee says:
Klee Irwin: Weasel?
“Yo feces be bein’ pitiful, fool!”

O.K., he doesn’t say that, exactly. But infomercial huckster Klee Irwin does assure me that if I take his product, Dual Action Cleanse; I will “have excellent bowel movements with increased length and girth.”
Go ahead, take a few moments to think about that.

In the same infomercial he also details being “frightened” the first time he saw his four year old daughter’s bowel movement in the toilet and states that compared to hers, his “bowel movements were inadequate, to say the least.”
Sounds like Klee has a case of dookie-envy.

First of all, I can’t imagine anyone actually wanting their bowel movements to have “increased length and girth”.
Secondly, I can’t imagine anyone buying anything this guy is selling. I mean seriously, just look at him!

Apparently there is a sucker born every minute, some of whom are willing to fork over their hard earned dollars in order to have bigger turds; you know, for health reasons.

I know, I know; “Enough with the bodily function posts, Greg! Get back to the obscenity-laced tirades and bicycling tales that we all enjoy.”

I’ll work on that.

Infomercial Idiocy

Working third shift and being kept company by the television affords me the opportunity to familiarize myself with the late night TV wasteland and all of its wonderful infomercials. The other night as they extolled the virtues of the fabulous “Sonic Blade” electric knife, one phrase in particular caught my attention; “even if you’ve never used a knife before”. Never used a knife before? Exactly what demographic are they hoping to reach, insomniac pre-schoolers and unfrozen cave men?

    “Put away those rounded scissors, little Johnny. Put away your stone scraper, Homo habilis. It’s the amazing new ‘Sonic Blade’! Just look how easy it is! Even if you’ve never used a knife before, you’ll be sawing tin cans in two and filleting tomatoes in no time! But wait, there’s more!”

Oh no there’s not… click!