Thursday, October 30, 2008

Are HUSSEIN enough to Vote?

Ya know, I was supporting Obama in this Election Season, but... recently I saw a video that made me COMPLETELY change my mind!

Did you KNOW that his middle name is HUSSEIN!?!?! HOLY CRAP! Just like that Iraq guy! Remember?!? And she's right! We ARE at war with those people! And, hold the phone! Did she say he's an AY-RAB? I didn't know that! Why isn't the news reporting this!?!?! It's a good thing this woman had the guts to reveal the truth!

And it makes me realize the importance of voting based on a name. You know, you can tell a lot about a person by their name! For example, I used to think that Barack Obama was a Christian African-American Senator from Chicago. But now I realize that he's actually Barack HUSSEIN Obama: Muslim terrorist socialist liberal elite! And now I'm SCARED TO DEATH!

And for another instance, we definitely should never have voted for that George W. Bush guy, because - did you know that there used to be this big evil king over in England named King George? He was as tall as a dinosaur and he would eat children and tax his people like a socialist!
That's why Christopher Columbus left there and founded America. Then he and his wife gave birth to George Washington and appointed him President! (They had to appoint him, cause no one wanted to vote for a George back then, either!)

Now, the reason John Kerry lost back in 2004 is because his middle name is "Forbes" - no kidding! Forbes! - and everybody knows what that means! He's as rich as the day is long! And there's no way that anybody who knows how to earn money, run a campaign, and married the woman whose dad invented Katchup would ever understand how to run a country!

But wait! That means we can't vote for McCain either, because - according to Wikipedia, (where more Americans get their news...) - "
McCain Foods Limited, a privately owned company established in 1957 by the brothers Harrison and Wallace McCain in Florenceville, New Brunswick, Canada, is the largest producer of french fries and other oven-ready frozen food products in the world." And we can't have a greasy, salty French Fry man as the leader of the free world! HE'S FRENCH... AND CANDIAN! I know it also says, "It is not connected with the American presidential candidate John McCain," but I've also been told by the LIBERAL ELITE MEDIA that Barack HUSSEIN Obama isn't really a socialist or a Muslim. But we all know which sounds more entertaining! (Thus: true!)

But that's okay, because he's chosen Sarah Palin as his running mate - and everyone knows that "The Hebrew word sarah indicates a woman of high rank and is sometimes translated as 'princess' or goddess, or 'high holy one'." And, although I - as the average American - am terrified of those Hebrews - I have to think that Jesus would have backed that one up.

And, speaking of names and that guy Jesus - if he was a Jew in the Middle East, why the Spanish name? But I digress.

Anyway, in closing, I'm just saying that Shakespeare was full of crap. The Simpsons discussed this issue in a family meeting once:

Lisa: [A person's] name doesn't matter. "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
Bart: Not if you called them "stench blossoms".
Homer: Or "crapweeds".
Marge: I'd sure hate to get a dozen crapweeds for Valentine's Day. I'd rather have candy.
Homer: Not if they were called "scumdrops".

Brain Leak: Out!

Monday, October 27, 2008

High School Reunion

I got back this evening from a few days up in the good old Bay Area, with my long-time friends, Rob and Reuven, going to our 10-year High School reunion - a decade since our graduation from California High School.

The party itself was held at the Canyon View Dining Hall, overlooking my home town of San Ramon. Tickets were $65 (unless you bought them late - which raised costs an extra $10), and bought ticket-holders entrance, a Chicken Marsala dinner, plus one alcoholic beverage. If you wanted more to drink, it was $7.00! (Good thing I don't drink! Free sodie pop for meee!)

'd say between 70 and 100 actual graduates showed up, many accompanied with a "non-Grizzly" date or spouse, so it was a pretty good-sized party. But, I gotta admit that the D.J. was a bit of a dolt as he played music from eras far and wide away from our high school years (1994-1998), like Bon Jovi, Vanilla Ice, Lynard Skynard, and - of course - "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-A-Lot. Was this a Grade School reunion? No! And on top of that, he would mute the record at key lyrics, hoping those on the dance floor would shout out the popular line of the song, but when there are only 5 people on the dance floor, it's pretty unlikely, pal! Then, he made some comment about someone from the class of 2000 - which didn't make any sense - and he told everyone that the "after-party" was going to unofficially take place down the hill at "El Bolazio" - he meant "El Balazo", but I get the feeling he'd never heard of the place, so... whatever.

Other than that, it was good to see a lot of people that I had been friends with (what seems like a lifetime ago), as well as a handful of people I never needed to see again. The Chicken Marsala was decent, the music was okay at times, and hey, it was a party!

But when things moved to El Balazo, I wondered why I had paid $65 to go to the dinner party when I could have gone to a Taqueria/Bar for free and seen all the same people. But that's okay - the music at El Balazo was too loud to converse with anyone, so I guess the initial party was better for that purpose.

I was also saddened to hear that another childhood friend, Chad Straub, died recently. Just a freak medical condition, I heard. It doesn't seem real at all, but I hope his family members - especially his brother and sister - are doing okay; I lost touch with the family years ago. It's these things that make a reunion seem quite surreal.

But it was the day after - the Barbecue party I held at my house on Sunday - which was the real fun. It was more intimate, more of my own friends - even the ones who never came to the reunion - with more and better food! Special thanks to Russ Collinsworth for making the long drive down from Bend, Oregon, and to Brett Robert from Santa Rosa and Emily Welty from Sacramento. Along with Rob, Reuven and myself, they all traveled a long way for one little BBQ! Thanks, guys! The only ones that were really missing were Mark Zabrowski, who is a bit busy with a wife and a few kids down in Palm Springs, CA, and Brad Lytle, who is busy earning a Super-Mega-Ultra-PhD in Chicago, IL. They'll be there for the 25-year reunion, I'm sure. They were missed.

After we ate, we all piled in a couple cars and made a visit to our old high school, which certainly isn't our old high school anymore - they've certainly done a lot of work on the place! Almost all of what we knew is gone. The same can be said for our junior high school down the street - Pine Valley Middle School - which we also visited. Good times!

To everyone involved - especially my dear parents who worked very hard to get the house looking great and feeding everyone, not to mention giving up to 5 extra people a place to sleep last night - thanks for making the entire weekend a huge success! We should have a 10-year High School reunion every year!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


So, there's this jack-ass who keeps reading and hating on my blog, which wouldn't be so bad if he made any sense or had any reason to do so. But he doesn't. And it's just getting annoying.

Sometimes he goes by "ody3" and sometimes, like tonight, he goes by "the Pit Master" - and guess what! He's really getting on my nerves!

I let him have one last bitch session in the comments section of my previous blog (here), to which I responded quite honestly and with a heart-felt condolence. You can find that one directly below his post.

Don't worry - you guys won't ever hear from him again, as I'm simply going to delete every comment he leaves. That's called censorship and I get to censor my own blog as I see fit. But, present a good, honest and sound argument - you get to stay. Decide to be a jack-ass for the sake of being a jack-ass and you're gone. That's what this guy's been doing. And he's gone.

Now, you know me, folks. I'm not the type to get into these meaningless, nerdy little "flame wars". But once in a while, you gotta kick a jack-ass in the ass. So if you feel like contributing to the cause and helping to raise the rail upon which I intend to ride this fool out of town, feel free to visit his blog (here), and leave him some annoying messages, telling him how his opinions on Blues music and BBQ are all wrong, stupid and lame. Be sure to let him know how much you hate his blog, even though you voluntarily clicked your way there, filled the the brim with free will - because that makes as much sense as what he's been doing on the Brain Leak.

Spitefully yours,

P.S. Fuck off, jack-ass!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"NO on Prop 8" Argument

I'm re-posting an email that a buddy of mine sent around to some of his friends. In this email, my friend explains why he's voting "NO on Proposition 8" this November, and I think it pretty well sums up my own feelings about it all, as well.

Here it is:

Hey everyone,

This is mostly to my friends who haven't paid attention to Prop 8. If you have, cool. But I am hoping to open some eyes to those who may decide to "skip" this PROP when you're voting. I'm sorry to be "soliciting" here, but this one I feel VERY, VERY strongly about. I hope maybe you will too.

Voting YES on Prop 8 will take away a gay person's right to marry. Period.

A lot of people voting YES have stated, "It's going to be taught in our schools... It isn't fair that they will teach something I think is 'morally objectionable'." I encourage you to read this article in which Hilary McLean, spokeswoman for Jack O'Connell, the STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION has to really say about that (on both sides):,0,6474352.story

And the frustrating thing is that even if it WERE taught in schools (and yes, you'll hear the Maryland story and the SF "gay wedding field trip" a million times), it's your right to tell your children otherwise if you wish, when they come home. I certainly don't think Columbus founded America, yet some teacher is going to tell my child that, and I will tell them otherwise.

Also, people think a lot of things are "morally objectionable." That doesn't mean it should be hidden. And if someone tells your child one thing, like marriage is between two PEOPLE and you believe it should only be "Man & Woman", then tell your child that. Whatever. It's your right. I don't agree, but it's your right. God forbid we have an open dialogue with our children.

"They can't pro-create." This one kills me. Especially when I see my adopted friends who are now happy and healthy HETEROSEXUAL adults and were raised by gay parents. Even IF their child were to be gay, who cares! It's not YOUR child! I digress. Also, how much more insulting can you be to a heterosexual couple that is unable to have children? They can't technically pro-create, right? I guess they shouldn't get married either.

The bottom line is that YES on 8 people say "We are not taking away anyone's rights. They can still have 'civil unions' blah blah blah". YES, they ARE. They are taking away a gay person's RIGHT to marry in the way that ALL of us have the right to marry. It is basically stating that "we will not put you in our definition of marriage because you are not as moral as we are." It's ridiculous.

"I don't want marriage to be redefined." You'll hear that too.

Well, there was a time when a lot of people didn't want marriage to include BLACKS and would also use bible passages as reasoning. This same fight happened when a white man was unable to marry a black woman because marriage's "definition" did not include whites marrying blacks. And THIS was changed. Imagine if it hadn't been?

And speaking of bible passages, anyone who tells you "It's in the bible that homosexuality is a sin" is HIGHLY ARGUABLE. And there are a lot of things one could use to show the hypocrisy in using the bible as reasoning (like the many sins we should be stoned for that a lot of people have committed for centuries). Anyway, that's a whole other can of worms.

I could go on forever about this. I'll just say this: I am a heterosexual man, happily married to a woman, a believer in God, and I AM VOTING NO ON PROP 8.

Just wanted to throw in my two cents to my friends who haven't thought about it at all.... not that my opinion means anything ;-) But I encourage you to open your minds and really think about it.


Monday, October 20, 2008



The fundamentals of your "free country" have allowed such intellectual insolence as beyond my own wildest nightmares! How can this "freedom" allow such stupidity, ignorance and... STUPID IGNORANCE!?!?! You know what you Americans need? A DICTATOR!

Guten Tag, everyone! And willkommen to another installment of MY FURY! That's right, it is I - The Grammar Nazi - back with a HUGE complaint! (I know, very uncharacteristic... but bear with me.)

So, I'm chillin' in my pad the other day, just downin' a Hefferweizen with my boots up and watching some re-runs of
Hogan's Heroes (God love that wacky Col. Klink!), when - during a commercial break - I see an ad for a major electronics store called Circuit City in which a lovely young fräulein, sitting in a restaurant booth across from some sort of mutant, man-sized digital camera with legs, is heard to utter the words "...and then I see you for a whole nother price".

Yes, as you may have guessed, that TV doesn't work anymore... and my
Hefferweizen is no longer in my hand at this point.


You won't find any morons like this woman destroying the German language, precisely because there are RULES! GRAMMAR RULES! Rules are meant to be followed. And, if they are not, beatings will ensue and continue until morale improves!

Think of this as a warning, citizens:


Also, your Führer is calling for a out-and-out boycott of all Circuit City stores. Don't shop there. They support idiocy! And Best Buy is much more my style.

That is all. Commence diligent labor!

P.S. If anyone's thinking of what to get the Grammar Nazi this Christmas, here are a
few hints!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Day The Music (and Movies and Other Stuff) Died

Okay, folks. That's it! You won't be forced to wade through my boring movie and music reviews anymore!

I've done a little research and I've discovered that - surprise, surprise - you hate my reviews. You don't only hate them... you loath them! You despise them. You can't even begin to stand them. If you hated them any less, you'd comment to that effect. But you don't even do that! As soon as you see the title of a given blog, telling that the content of that particular blog will be a review of a movie, a new album, a TV show, a play, a book, a concert or a clever news article I found, you just click your way to something more entertaining. Wow. That's hatred!

But, ya know what? That's okay. They're done. You'll never see another album or movie review on this blog. If I ever change my mind, I'll just create a new blog specifically for that. But why bother?

It seems that much of my personal world revolves around music and movies. I'm into that. I watch movies, listen to (or "consume") a lot of music... like, a LOT! I scour iTunes every Monday night after 9 PM so I can see what music available to America now that it's Tuesday on the East Coast. I read music and movie reviews in Rolling Stone, and watch and listen to podcasts on iTunes about movies and music. That's my bag, baby! That's my thing! And now I know... it's almost no one else's. Okay. Fair enough.

So, here's the big question: what will I write about now?

That's mostly up to you folks. I wanna know what you like. I can't draw freakin' amazing cartoons like my hero, Josh Cooley, or write about my awesome new baby boy like my hero, Doug Cox. I can't rant about the ups and downs of dating guys like my cousin, Katie McCarthy, or my love for guns, corporal punishment, and John McCain like my non-cousin, Mike Schwartz. (In all fairness, of those topics listed, Mike has only ever written about guns... once. I just like bustin' his conservative balls.) But then again, I can't write nothing - like my heros Mark Zabrowski and Katherine Gall. (Seriously, guys - get typing, already! Neither of you have written a blog in 3 months!)

So what do you wanna read from me? More political satire and commentary? Personal opinions about popular subjects? Should I go all "Andy Rooney" and go on random rants about crap that drives me nuts? Would you like me to make up tales of adventure and woe that never actually happened to me, but I write as though they had? Would you like for me to write cheesy, sappy poetry as though I were really deep and introspective?... and a total douchbag? Cause I can do that - don't think I can't do that.

Just wanted to take a little census poll, here. Let's hear some feedback.

Thanks, peeps.
Myk Would

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Few Things...

Wow! Five comments in one day on my last post! That's pretty damned good considering my recent track record! I suppose that means you guys missed me. Sorry for the long delay, but I've been working long days lately only to come home, eat something, work for a few more hours from home, sleep, and do it all again in the morning.

So here's a blog of news and reviews.... well, mostly reviews.

First, I want to address that I certainly don't dislike SNL, but I think they could be doing things a bit better. And, sorry Brad, but I'll take several slightly-different/mostly-identical Toonses skits over some of the stuff I've seen lately. But, yes Sean, I do agree that it's still an awesome show. I may never stop liking this show. I'm just complaining about a very small portion of the show's aspects. And Katie, you're right - I forgot to mention Wayne's World - but that's a perfect example of what I mean. But I can't wait to catch their prime-time political specails during the next few weeks' run up to the election. Should be good times.

Now for a few album reviews. Short ones... with letter grades this time!

BEN FOLDS - Way To Normal
This is a good album - short (42:05) and fun. Not too many weighty ballads, and more than a few poppy, happy, good old fashioned "Ben Folds Five"-style tracks. It's not the best thing he's ever done, but it's up there with Rockin' The Suburbs. Folds is still experiemnting a little with his music, but not too much - which is good to hear. Maybe Ben understands that he's famous because he was doing something right, and that deviating too far from that initial sound could be bad.

I gotta give this album a B+
Favorite Tracks:
The Frown Song
You Don't Know Me (feat. Regina Spektor)

TV ON THE RADIO - Dear Science
I don't really know these guys aside from that one single they had out before, "Wolf Like Me", and the fact that I saw them perform live at Street Scene last month. They turned me on enough to download their new album from iTunes, and I was pretty impressed. These guys have a cool sound with lots of drums and horns and guitars and some funky vocals. I hesitate to label it or put it in a genre for fear that, (like Grunge did back in the early 1990s,) this may be the start of some new sound that will someday have a name, but for now is just fresh and unique.

The 12-track album clocks in at close to an hour, with the songs ranging from quick 3-minute ditties to a 7-minute-plus dreary, dramtic, bluesy epic. You really feel like you get something for your money with this band.

I gotta give this album an A-
Favorite Tracks:
Dancing Choose
Golden Age
Dogs of Light

OASIS - Dig Out Your Soul
I just got this album today, so I've only listened to it once, but upon first impression I'm left a bit unsatisfied. It's a good album, but it's only about 45-minutes long and only a few tracks really rock out, while the others offer a heavy, bluesy, mid-tempo, swaggary kind of thing. The production of this album is classic Oasis - crunchy and imperfect, a bit echoed and very psychedelic (much like the album's cover - I dig it). But, overall, it's missing a few real epic rockers or something. I'm not sure, I'll have to give it a few more spins and, of course, the essential "road test". I'm currently seeking out, via the Inter-Webs, a couple more bonus tracks that were only on the Japanese retail release of this album, so maybe those will help me enjoy the album more.

I dig Noel's vocal contributions, as always. And Liam sounds as good as ever. The first single, "The Shock Of The Lighting", is the best thing the band has done in years. I just wish there were a few sibling songs to that one on here, and so far, I don't hear one.

So, for now, the album gets a B.
Favorite Tracks:
Bag It Up
The Shock Of The Lightning

(Get Off Your) High Horse Lady

Falling Down

THE PRETENDERS - Break Up The Concrete
It's been about 6 years since their last release. But what's the verdict on "Concrete"?

It's pretty good (that is, if you're into The Pretenders). That Chrissie Hynde sounds exactly like she did 30 years ago, and although the band isn't made up of all the original members, they sure sound great on this album. There's some great guitar-work on here that never sounds over-produced or anything. The album's got a timeless, classic kind of sound about it. There's a lot of acoustic guitar in the mix which gives it a nice, organic feeling. And with founding member Martin Chambers' competent percussion and Hynde's unique voice, the rest of the band is lifted to a level greater than the sum of its parts. Basically, The Pretenders hit it out of the park on this one. I can tell I'm gonna enjoy this album for a long time.

Grade: A
Favorite Tracks:
Boots Of Chinese Plastic
Don't Lose Faith In Me

Break Up The Concrete

Okay, there's your quick and dirty album reviews. Now, how about a few movies?

I saw Burn After Reading and Eagle Eye last weekend. I was rather let down by Burn, as it was one of the more subdued Coen Brothers comedies ever made - on par with Intolerable Cruelty (2003), meaning it was good, but not "Coen Brothers good". It certainly was no Raising Arizona (1987) or The Big Lebowski (1998). The star-studded ensemble cast was enjoyable and the story held my attention, but in the end, as you'll see if you watch it, all is for naught. I just wanted to jump into another theater and see a movie with an actual ending... so I did.

Eagle Eye was a really good Sunday afternoon action/thriller/sci-fi flick.
It wasn't dumb or cheesy at all, even if it was a little far-fetched. I'm really enjoying this young superstar, Shia LeBoueff, and I have really come to be a fan of Michelle Monaghan in her ever-expanding list of films. (She was great in Gone Baby Gone (2007), Mission: Impossible III (2006) and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005).) If you just wanna eat some popcorn and watch a good action flick with some great acting (also from Michael Chiklis and Billy Bob Thorton), go check out Eagle Eye.

Then, this weekend, I rented The Onion Movie and Black Snake Moan.

The Onion Movie (made by the people who bring you the fake news at, is basically an updated version of John Landis's Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)... which is awesome. It's just a bunch of random spoofs and goofy skits, some pretty risque or downright dirty, all intertwined into a little story about a newscaster being forced out of his own journalistic integrity. If you haven't seen it, all I'm going to say is.... "COCKPUNCHER!" Now go rent it.

Black Snake Moan - starring Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake and Samuel L. Jackson in one of his more enjoyable roles. This film is about an aging, divorced, heart-broken, ex-bluesman and farmer, Lazarus (Jackson), and a young, drug-addled, sexually-victimized nymphomaniac, Rae (Ricci), crossing paths in the rural South. When Lazarus decides to "cure" Rae of her "wickedness", he chains her to his radiator to keep her from getting out of his house and into more trouble. In classic Hollywood screenwriting tradition, both characters learn and grow from each other (without any kind of sexual/romantic relationship), and both characters are able to move on.

But the real star of the film is the blues music that is featured and even performed by Jackson himself. The opening sequence plays to The Black Keys' "When The Lights Go Out", a heavy, rhythmic, almost Zeppelin-style blues groove (think "When The Levee Breaks"), and then Jackson plays a very dramatic rendition of Blind Lemon Jefferson's "Black Snake Moan", accompanied by thunder, lightning and heavy rain on a tin roof, as Rae clings to his leg in great fear of the storm (among other things) - it's a great little scene. And finally, you gotta hear Jackson's version of the blues standard "Stack-O-Lee" - it's pretty unlike all the other versions; very contemporary, abridged and cinematic. A good little blues rocker. I picked up these three tracks off the soundtrack, availible for download on iTunes. Check 'em out.

Okay, that's enough outta me for now.
Bloopitty-bloop-bloop-bloop! Laterz!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

SNL - Still Barely Hangin' In There

Saturday Night Live is struggling lately.

It seems that new head writer, Seth Myers, and his team have done away with recurring characters this season, like Kristin Wiig's "Target Lady" or the "Two A-Holes" sketches that all run in the vein of the successfully time-tested strategy of SNL's formula. Instead, after they do a (usually very good) cold open sketch, always based on the current political drama, the show invariably goes on to showcase one-off sketches about nobody in particular where nothing very creative is happening. It's mostly just shocking lines or goofy actions, but there seem to be an ousting of memerable charcters or recurring set-ups.

Where's Toonses The Driving Cat, for God's sake? Where is Mr. Bill, or The Spartan Cheerleaders? Where's Mango or Mr. Peepers? The Ladies' Man? CAROL? Those kinds of sketches were repeatable and always exciting to see pop up again and again. Now, the writers have backed themselves into a corner where they have to introduce new, nameless, featureless characters to each and every skit, and therefore give us - the viewer - no expectations to play off of. And it's getting old... FAST!

Thankfully, they're still pulling off some decent shows, even without the traditional style, (which I still would recommend they get back to... and fast!) This week's episode had me cracking up a few times, even sitting there watching it all by myself.

Anne Hathaway hosted and did a very good job. Her skills as an actress really worked well and her comedic timing was superb. Here are a few clips of the sketches I rather enjoyed.

The Cold Open - VP Debate: Biden/Palin

Tina is riding this wave to it's peak, which hopefully will end around November 5th. Props to Queen Latifa as debate moderator Gwen Eifel - she was great. And I'm noticing Bill Hader's ability to be hilarious by shouting ridiculous things in his unique voice. The Cold Open sketch is proving to be the longest of the evening, so it's always important to tune in on time - 11:29 PM, people! ELEVEN-TWENTY-NINE!
(10:29 PM, central)

Then, there was a good sketch which was based around characters we already know. It was a revealing Mary Poppins sketch about the true meaning of that famous word; "Supercalafragalisticexpialadocious". (And why men should avoid Ms. Poppins at all costs.)

(This sketch reminded me of another great sketch from earlier this season, featuring my cousin Sean's best childhood friend, James Franco, and new featured cast member, Bobby Moynaghan, based on characters from John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men. Have a look.)

There was a pretty good SNL Digital Short, from the brilliantly-twisted mind of Andy Samberg and his "Lonely Island" gang. Featuring Mr. Samberg, Will Forte and the lovely Kristin Wiig, (and a quick appearance by Kenan Thompson,) this one is called: Extreme Activities Competition.

My favorite sketch of the night simply featured an unexpected, yet amazing impression of actor Mark Whalburg by Andy Samberg. This kid is a genius.

All in all, it was a decent show, with a great Weekend Update segment (thanks to Will Forte and four separate, but equally-funny jokes about the world's heaviest man getting married,) but I sure hope Producer Lorne Michaels, head writer Seth Meyers and the rest of the team can learn something from the amazing past of this great show - this Saturday Night Live - and not try to reinvent the wheel. Plus, The Killers sucked.

Here's one last sketch - just good ol' goofy, live, nationally-televised, comedic theater. The Lawrence Welk Show. God bless that Kristin Wiig.