Deck the Malls


In the past I’ve railed against the Christmas excess, particularly the consumeristic aspects of it, starting well before Thanksgiving (and even before my beloved Halloween). Seeing as how this year some stores (all of them) are opening on Thanksgiving for their “Black Friday” sales, I’m giving up.

That’s right; I’m throwing in the towel. You win. I even wrote a little song for you heartless bastards, just to show I care. Enjoy.

 

Stores are open, let’s get hopping.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Screw the family, let’s go shopping.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Out into the hurly burly,

Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la

Black Friday is starting early!

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la-la

Save the turkey and the stuffing.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Human contact we’re rebuffing.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

We’ll be loyal Christmas elves

Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la

All those gifts won’t buy themselves!

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la-la

Fast away Thanksgiving passes.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Lines move like frozen molasses.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Looking for that coat of leather

Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la

Instead of being all together.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

 


My Christmas List


My Not So Humble Mother has been pestering me for a while (okay, a couple decades) to give her a Christmas list so she can get ahead on her shopping. I don’t see what the big deal is, since I don’t think I’m that hard of a guy to shop for. Still, in order to make it easier for her and anybody else who might want to get me a little something, I’m getting this up now with plenty of time for the holiday season. Here’s what I’d like this year, in no particular order:

Australia (H/T to Gene Hackman circa Superman II)

Africa

A date with Kathy Ireland

Swedish massage

The Swedish Bikini Team

A new wardrobe

A new house

A new car

The Death Star

An official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle

Three dozen penguins

My virginity (Sorry, no link. I lost that a long time ago.)

World peace (Sorry, no link. We haven’t been able to find that for a long time either.)

World domination

Pizza

A butler

A maid

A gardener

$526,817.83 in unmarked bills (so I can afford to pay the butler, the maid, and the gardener)

Sleep

A map to King Solomon’s mines

Two sturdy goats

Mjolnir

A 9.0 CGC rated Action Comics #1

A time machine

My two front teeth

The heads of all of those who would dare to oppose me

Zombie repellent

Effective zombie repellent

A recount of the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election (I really don’t care who won; I just want people to shut up about it.)

Fame

Fortune

Everything that goes with it

 

And just remember, if you’re still looking for that special gift or virtual stocking stuffer, you can get a copy of my book on Amazon for less than a buck!


My Favorite Movies (That You’ve Never Seen): Beautiful Disasters


Some of my friends accuse me of enjoying shitty movies just because they’re bad. I would like to set the record straight: I love truly awful movies that go above and beyond, that have a certain something special that transcends simply being a bad movie. I’ve already mentioned Flash Gordon and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (in the same post, no less!), which gives you an indication of just how far I’m willing to go to get my bad movie fix. But they’re more than schlocky scripts, bad dialogue, stilted acting (Hayden Christensen, I’m looking in your direction), or bizarre plots. There has to be something extra, something that just calls out to me and says, “this is a beautiful disaster”. I offer you some of my favorites here.

Howard the Duck (1986) – I’m not going to cry “spoiler alert” at this point, because if you haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy by now and bothered to watch the after-credits scene then shame on you (plus as I’ve already established, we’re well outside the “no spoilers” zone). So yeah, the point is I nearly wet myself when I saw that scene, because I LOVED the original Howard the Duck movie. It was such a train wreck, I couldn’t get enough. Really, what’s not to love? Starring a young Lea Thompson and Tim Robbins (yes, that Tim Robbins) and produced by George “I’ll never make another Star Wars… well, maybe just one more” Lucas, this movie is basically the story of a sarcastic, cigar smoking humanoid duck pulled to Earth from an alternate dimension by a laser beam who has to help fight off an intergalactic evil and save the universe with the help of a singer and a lab assistant. No, I am not making that up. I would try to say more, but really there’s nothing else to say. If that’s not enough to entice you, just wait for the remake (coming soon, I hope).

Popeye (1980) – I was as saddened as anyone by the passing of Robin Williams, and I do not intend to speak ill of the dead. Just getting that out there now, because the truth is I really do like this movie. I just have no idea why it ever got made. What makes this movie fascinating for me is the production value. This really is a great movie. The acting is superb, the make-up is fantastic, the sets are gorgeous. Williams absolutely nails his character, and Shelley Duvall is outstanding as Olive Oyl. Everything looks and feels like a fully realized real-life rendition of a Popeye comic strip.  The only question is “why?” There are a few stand out things that make this movie such a beautiful disaster. First, I have no idea who was crying out in 1980 for a film adaptation of Popeye. Second, I have no idea who thought to themselves, “You know what the world really needs? A Popeye musical.” (You read that right.) Third, I have no idea how this movie ever managed to get made, considering how truly bizarre it is when you get down to it. The only answer I can seem to find to any of those questions seems to be director Robert Altman, who had the vision and skill to pull it all off. If you’re into quirky or surreal movies, you need to see this one.

License to Drive (1988) – Ah, the Coreys. Heartthrobs of the 80s, who peaked far too soon, and in my book forever known for their much better roles (a relative statement to be sure) in The Lost Boys. That having been said, this slightly off-beat teen rom-com is still enjoyable, if for no other reason than the shear slow-motion train wreck factor. It’s almost as if you can watch their careers coming to a screeching halt as the movie progresses. The chance to see a very young Heather Graham in her first big movie role (and a painfully awkward one at that) is a special bonus. Come for the flashback, stay for the travesty.


Bobapalooza 2014: Clash of the Titans – The Final Bobapalooza


First I want to thank all of my wonderful contributors: Janet Currie Konigsberg, Matt Foster, Scott Soper, Yillah Natalia, and Marek Swiderski. You gave me a wide range of talent to choose from, and you make it worth it every year.

But that’s not what you came for. You came to see –

THE FINAL BOBAPALOOZA LINEUP!!!

That’s right, folks. You heard it here first: the Clash of the Titans is the ultimate and final Bobapalooza. As the Kurgan once said, “it’s better to burn out than to fade away.” But let us not dwell in sadness; let us instead revel in THE GREATEST BOBAPALOOZA EVER.

First we have the band that needs no introduction, but is going to get one anyway. The winner of the Clash of the Titans, and the headliner of Bobapalooza 2014: Pink Floyd! This was a hard-fought victory against some of the greatest artists of all time, and as a long time Floyd fan myself, I can’t deny being quite pleased to see them win. Their catalogue of legendary songs is extensive, and Dark Side of the Moon spent over 11 years on the Biilboard Top 200… consecutively. (It was on even longer if you tally the total time it spent there, and Billboard actually changed the rules to prevent albums setting records like that again.) Titans indeed.

And then we have the STAGE OF LEGENDS. This year I offer you a blend of old and new, heavy and soft, sweet and sour and what the hell? Bands that have undoubtedly left their mark on music, one way or another. They are:

Jefferson Airplane (Nominated by Scott Soper) – From Scott: “Go big or go home. When it comes to the one band you’d break your leg to go see in their prime it has to be Jefferson Airplane. Maybe they’re so compelling because they broke up so tragically and never got a chance to perform for so many of their fans. So many songs were at peak power when those artists were just starting out; you can only imagine what they might have done with more time.”

AC/DC (Nominated by Matt Foster) – You have to love AC/DC. Angus Young himself said “I’m sick to death of people saying we’ve made 11 albums that sound exactly the same. In fact, we’ve made 12 albums that sound exactly the same.” And we still keep coming back for more. The stage show is even better: “When I’m on stage the savage in me is released. It’s like going back to being a cave man. It takes me six hours to come down after a show.” – Angus Young

Weezer (Nominated by Matt Foster, seconded by Janet Currie Konigsberg) – Weezer has long been one of those bands I love to hate, right up until one of their songs comes on and I find myself singing along. How long? Oh, only about twenty years or so. Janet Currie Konigsberg finally convinced me they deserve a place among the Legends: “Twenty years ago Weezer came on the scene with Undone (The Sweater Song), and immediately filled the gap between Nirvana and Pearl Jam perfecting Nerd Rock. As each single was released, Weezer’s fan base grew by leaps and bounds. The crunchy chords and heart-wrenching vocals spoke to post teenage-angst 20-something slackers. I’ve always referred to Weezer as “My Beatles”; they are pop and punk and bubblegum and crunch, they are raw emotion and ADHD. The songs range from kick-ass-psych-you-up (Hash Pipe), to how-did-you-know-how-broke-my-heart-was?? (Say It Ain’t So), to romantic-but-the-world-doesn’t-understand-us (Island In The Sun), to I’m-not-really-sure-what-the-purpose-is-but-dammit-I’m-ME! (Pork and Beans). On top of great music, catchy lyrics, and a beat you can dance to, Weezer has made some of the best music videos of all time and managed to do so in an era where music videos have almost completely lost their importance in pop culture. Weezer: No self-respecting Stage of Legends (or Main Stage, for that matter!) would be complete without them.”

So…. Yeah. You can argue with her if you want. Not me.

Black Sabbath (Nominated by Scott Soper) – Scott nails it once again: “When it comes to Legends, there is one who has retained his title as the Prince of Darkness unchallenged across decades of American Popular Rock. The one, the only: Black Sabbath! Ozzy Osborne by himself would be a worthy contender for the Stage of Legends, but reunited with the original Black Sabbath for the new album 13 he seems completely at home, a master having traveled full circle. I would NOT go back in time to see Black Sabbath at their prime, and maybe that’s another test passed for a true Legendary band.

Simon & Garfunkel (Nominated by Matt Foster) – Everybody knows a Simon & Garfunkel song. Start whistling “The Sound of Silence” at a punk rock show and everybody around you will be singing along inside of a minute (if they don’t curbstomp you first; they’re still punks). From hippies to metal heads, there’s nobody who doesn’t like Simon & Garfunkel; they have a gentle, insistent sound that insinuates itself into your soul and makes you a better person for it.

Now you’re probably expecting the Main Stage, but there’s so much more this year! For the first time ever, I present to you THE BOBAPALOOZA MIDWAY!

When you get the urge to dance, slip in to the ALL NIGHT RAVE TENT, with special guest DJ RUST-RYU (http://www.mixcloud.com/rustryu/bangers-and-mashups/)! He’ll be spinning all night long, and of course he’s super request-friendly!

And don’t forget to stop by Uncle Scott’s Concession Stand, where you can pick up fresh kabobs, veggie treats, and of course all your favorite Bobapalooza swag (http://www.printfection.com/bobapalooza)! Uncle Scott will also be running his favorite (exceptionally weird) videos on his Jumbo-Tron monitor right over the concession stand! Here’s just some of the “fun” in store for you:

Disturbed – Land of Confusion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6KXgjLqSTg)
Capital Cities – Safe and Sound (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX54fWP-os4)
Imagine Dragons – Radioactive (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktvTqknDobU)
AWOLNation – Not Your Fault (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jm9-yVdxbSs)
Gorillaz – Clint Eastwood (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoQYw49saqc)
Ludo – Love Me Dead (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XH3oMNKApI#t=92)
Muse – Knights of Cydonia (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3Yc3HhSl1Q#t=87)
Primus – Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYDfwUJzYQg&feature=kp)
Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghb6eDopW8I#t=71)
El Guincho – Bombay (NSFW) (http://vimeo.com/15247292)
DYE – Fantasy (http://vimeo.com/30798517)

And now, the MAIN STAGE! There’s plenty of variety and flavor this year, and many thanks to everyone who contributed.

The Thermals (Nominated by Janet Currie Konigsberg)
Boney M (Nominated by Marek Swiderski)
The Cult (Nominated by Matt Foster)
George Thorogood (Nominated by Scott Soper)
Kae Sun (Nominated by Yillah Natalie)
Metric (Nominated by Janet Currie Konigsberg)
Disturbed (Nominated by Matt Foster)
Al Green (Nominated by Scott Soper)
Sitali (Nominated by Yillah Natalie)
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (Nominated by Janet Currie Konigsberg)
The Black Keys (Nominated by Matt Foster)
Soundgarden (Nominated by Scott Soper)
Petite Noir (Nominated by Yillah Natalie)
James (Nominated by Matt Foster)
DJ Kool (Nominated by Scott Soper)

Be sure to check out all these artists and support their endeavors. The Official Bobapalooza 2014 Playlist™ is still to come, so stay tuned!

Once again, I’d like to thank all of my wonderful contributors from Bobapalooza past and present. You’ve made this entire endeavor worthwhile, and it’s been a blast. I hope you’ve all enjoyed it as much as I have.


Bobapalooza 2014: Clash of the Titans!


The time has come at last for the next installment of the greatest music festival that never was: Bobapalooza 2014! This year we’re taking it to a whole new level. It’s not just legendary; it’s TITANIC.

BobapaloozaClash_of_the_Titans (1)

So here’s the deal: I’ve been sharing my musical past with all of you for a while now, and it’s time to broaden my horizons. I’m looking for new music, and I’m hoping you, yes, YOU will provide it. Specifically, I’m giving ANYONE the chance to get me to listen to the music you love.

Here’s how it works: imagine you’ve heard about a music festival coming to town, and on the list of bands is THE band. The one that makes you say, “I don’t care what the ticket price is, I will sell my own children if I have to, I MUST BE THERE.” Any band, any era, living or dead, still together or not. Pick your favorite song and post it to the Facebook event page for Bobapalooza 2014.

But wait, there’s more! Some of you may remember the Stage of Legends from past Bobapaloozas (2011, 2012, 2013). It’s back once again, and there are five brand-spanking new Legend spots up for grabs! That’s right, not only can you nominate your favorite garage band for the main stage, you can nominate your favorite garage band to be a Bobapalooza Legend!

BUT WE’RE NOT STOPPING THERE. Even among the Legends, there are a rare few who have changed the face of music as we know it. They’re not just Legends, they’re Titans. And this time, they’re going to go head to head to see who is the one true greatest music act of all time, to secure the honor of headlining this year’s Bobapalooza! What’s more, you nominated them, so YOU decide who wins!

Now the rules:

MAIN STAGE

1. You have to pick a band you would sit through the entire set. Not “I love this song!” I want “I love this band!”
2. Yes, you can post as many as you like, but really, how many bands are THAT good?
3. If you intend to post more than one, please don’t spam the feed (more than 10 bands a day from one person is a bit much. I do have a life. And see 1 & 2.)
4. If you post it I will listen to it, so please, be gentle.
5. Please note that this is a Main Stage entry.
6. Any band that made it to the show in 2011, 2012, or 2013 (main stage or Stage of Legends) will not be considered for the main stage this year.

STAGE OF LEGENDS

1. All of the rules for Main Stage apply, only even more. I mean, think about 1 & 2 especially. These guys are supposed to be LEGENDS.
2. Testify! Tell me (and the world!) why you think this band deserves to be named a Legend. For an idea of the sort of thing I have in mind look at the write up from Bobapaloozas Past.
3. Any band that made it to the Stage of Legends in 2011, 2012, or 2013 will not be considered this year, however Main Stage acts may still be nominated.
4. Just as Master Yoda told us, “Do, or do not; there is no try.” Once a band has been nominated for the Stage of Legends, they are no longer in the running for the main stage. The whole point of the SoL is to give a fair shot to lesser known bands. If you think your favorite band has what it takes to compete with the big boys, put ‘em in, but don’t hedge your bets. Go big or stay home.

ALL NEW! CLASH OF THE TITANS

1. The match-ups were determined by hacking into the NCAA’s computers and using the same secret algorithms they use for ranking college sports teams. (My lawyer insisted I add the following discalimer: This is a total lie, but it sounds a lot cooler than the truth, so go with me on this one.)
2. Vote by visiting http://tinyurl.com/lwm79nw.
3. The polls open June 2nd (that’s today!). Each round will last for three days, with a day break in between to update the results.
4. Visit http://tinyurl.com/ktevstr to see the current state of the contest at any time!
5. Just like high school, this is a popularity contest, so vote early and vote often!

Starting June 18 I will decide who the winners are, and I will post my fifteen favorite bands for the main stage and the five act Stage of Legends, as well as The Titan of Bobapalooza 2014 by June 25 (Flying Spaghetti Monster willing). I will also give credit to the first person who suggested them, so get in early for your shot at fame!

If you still have questions, please feel free to comment on this blog post or on the Facebook event page. Insightful questions will receive careful, well-thought out answers. Off-hand questions will get off-hand answers. Questions that prove you didn’t bother to read everything I already wrote will be met with shame and ridicule, not necessarily in that order.

For those about to rock: we salute you!


My Not So Humble Opinion Presents: Real Men of Genius – Tabletop Role-Playing Gamer


My Not So Humble Opinion Presents: Real Men of Genius

♫♪♫ (Real Men of Genius.) ♫♪♫

Today we salute you, Mr. Tabletop Role-Playing Gamer.

♫♪♫ (Mr. Tabletop Role-Playing Gamer!) ♫♪♫

You’re the greatest tactician of your generation, but you still wheeze when you walk more than twenty feet.

♫♪♫ (Give me an endurance check!) ♫♪♫

You can conquer a gargantuan white great wyrm, but you can’t seem to conquer a shower.

♫♪♫ (What IS that smell?) ♫♪♫

The only time you’ve seen a real woman is when that one lady accidentally wandered into your favorite gaming store that night.

♫♪♫ (A hush fell over the room!) ♫♪♫

So crack open an ice cold beverage, Mr. Tabletop Role-Playing Gamer. Because Saturday night’s all right for imaginary fights.

♫♪♫ (Mr. Tabletop Role-Playing Gamer!) ♫♪♫


Instant Excuse Generator


After the long, hard winter we had, it’s nice to finally get some good weather. So nice, in fact, that it would be a shame to have to spend the whole day inside slaving away for The Man. We here at My Not So Humble Opinion understand your pain, and to help you out, we have created our patent-pending Instant Excuse Generator™.

Just select (or randomly choose!) one option from each list, and string together an excuse that any boss will buy! We guarantee that if you tell them one of these whoppers, not only will you not have to come in today, chances are good you’ll never have to worry about coming in ever again.

I was…

  • Accosted
  • Assaulted
  • Impregnated
  • Interrogated
  • Confused
  • Harassed
  • Tickled
  • Investigated
  • Detained
  • Mislead
  • Mugged
  • Teased
  • Yelled at

By…

  • Police
  • Soldiers
  • The NSA
  • Circus folk
  • Homeless people
  • Illegal aliens
  • Missionaries
  • Elvis impersonators
  • Intergalactic aliens
  • A sympathetic Jesus-like figure
  • Milli Vanilli
  • An international conglomerate of discount grocery store owners
  • Godzilla

As a result, I am…

  • Terrified
  • Injured
  • Befuddled
  • Delighted
  • Pregnant
  • Under arrest
  • Being punished
  • Mutating
  • Signing up for their newsletter
  • Their new leader
  • Joining the Hair Club for Men

As such, I will not be able to come in to work today, because I will be busy…

  • Filing a police report
  • Fleeing for my life
  • Ruling over my kingdom with an iron fist
  • Making peace in the Middle East
  • Suing for damages
  • Doing something unspeakable
  • Bathing in the warm, sweet glow of radiation
  • Writing a best-seller about the experience

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