Like the New Yorker, but with less cartoons and overall wit.
T.J. Chambers is a humorist whose greatest career achievement is to have had some of his comedy heroes praise his jokewriting. He began performing in sunny Los Angeles, with a happenstance spot at the Laugh Factory. Though instantly at home on stage, it was only after bombing HARD for some very important people that he truly appreciated the dedication required for the honing of ones’ skills. He resolved to strive for originality, find his voice (hint: in throat), and has since been featured on some of the most exciting independent shows around LA, as well as every single place with fake bricks.
T.J. Chambers is a stand-up comic who loves to make any audience laugh, which is pretty important since that is the entire job description. Also, eating crappy nachos. That’s it, really; 1) make everyone laugh, 2) consume nachos. Bam. Comedy.
Now, I dont want to get off on a Rant©®™ here, but some of your uniforms are filthier than the password-protected videos folder on an Archbishop’s laptop. I’m not saying Frank over there didn’t wash his apron, but those BBQ stains actually form a perfect map of Zambia, if Zambia had maps. You know folks, when our founding fathers peered through the roiling fog of wig-dust to proofread the inky sheafs of chicken scratch we call the Bill of Rights, I’m pretty sure nowhere in there did it mention that you have the right to “keep and bear armpit stains”. Some of you look and smell like you’ve been sweating it out in Apollo 13 mission control for four straight days. If Kelly had a tie clip and a slide rule I would just assume she was trying to communicate with the command module, but instead she’s telling people the people the specials through cigarette breath thicker than unemployment line in inner city Detroit on the day they announced that food stamps are also valid for admission to the newest Tyler Perry movie. Also, don’t forget if you need to request off a shift to give plenty of advance notice.
Alright ya’ll, quit rolling silverware and gather around. We gotta push the Halibut tonight. WE GOTTA PUSH THE HALIBUT TONIGHT. Seriously, it’s about to go bad, and I wanna sell these motherfuckers before my inventory margins drop harder than “Watch the Throne”. We all know white women love halibut, man. White women LOVE halibut. A sister will be happy with a blackened salmon, or even some tilapia, but white bitches LOVE them some halibut, because that shit is LEAN. If you bring a white chick here on a date and order her some lean-ass white fish, and you don’t get at least a handjob, you must be one ugly motherfucker. And, remember to take a break if you work more than six hours.
People, what is this new thing where you make a total mess of the dish pit? Did everyone get together at some top-secret meeting and decide the plates and ramekins needed to commingle? Poor Luis looks like he’s going to have a breakdown, and this is a man who holds three completely DIFFERENT jobs that ALL require him to own a plastic apron! And, for that matter, why is it called the dish pit? It isn’t situated any lower than the rest of the kitchen. Why not just start calling it the dish terrace? That sounds nicer. “Please join me at 3 p.m. for tea and crumpets on the dish terrace, squire.” Also, don’t forget to put candles in the birthday desserts.
The credit card is system is down, so you gotta make impressions on the carbon paper. A manual credit card machine is like the worst comedian ever; the only impressions it knows how to do are numbers and expiration dates.
If a guest tells you they want their steak to be more lean, give it a tiny cane.
A customer handed me a coupon for the lunch special, so I told him “thanks, but I already get a discount at this restaurant!”
“Well done” also sounds like you’re congratulating the chef for knowing how to burn your burger.
Guys, quit complaining about having too many kids sat at your tables, okay? You get to give ‘em some crayons and a lemonade with a lid and be done with it. I do that shit at home but then guess what? They’re STILL THERE when dinner’s over and now I gotta help ‘em pull their little pants up after poopie time. And not just up, they take their pants ALL THE WAY OFF. All the way off, to take a shit, like they know there’s a chance things might not go right aim-wise and they don’t want their My Little Pony leggings to get stained. No matter what the activity, taking your pants all the way off is something only very young or very old people seem to do. Everyone in between just shifts whatever clothes are necessary to access whatever area they’re using, be it shitting or fucking, then they get right back to their day. Also, everyone say hi to Armando, he’s the new broiler cook.
You always know a chick is down for crazy stuff when she takes her pants ALL THE WAY OFF, you know? Like “hey, just so you know, nothing down here is off limits. We’re talking no warning cones, zero caution tape.” If there’s a fire, a blaze, a CONFLAGRATION in the house she’s gonna be running around the neighborhood sans bottoms cause she took one look at the Dane-Train and decided she was all aboard, you know? Huh? What do you guys mean I sound just like your old manager?
Okay, I know what you guys ALL think I’m gonna do, just because we got a huge produce delivery today. But I’m not, okay? We need those watermelons for the summer salad. You know what, fuck you. I’m a person too, dammit. You all get extra sidework tonight.
Apologies in advance for any mild dips into over-hipsterism that might be contained in the following.
10. The Book of Mormon, Original Cast Recording
Delightfuly, inspirational, subversive, funny, and plain ol’ sing-along-able, I listened to this enough throughout the year that it vaults onto this list despite not being a rock album by a band, or whatever. What’s surprising about this show/record is that despite some of the horrible, shocking things they sing about god and how crazy-ass Mormons can be, it’s also really kind of a love letter to belief, faith, friendship, and yes, even Mormon-ism. A song like “I Believe” can simultaneously poke fun at some of the messed up shit Mormons believe in (“And I believe/that the Garden of Eden/was in Jackson County, Missouri!”) while still being a stand up and cheer affirmation of the power of buying into something greater and going full-speed ahead. That shows the talent of Parker and Stone, and how much they care about their subject. That, and some of the most catchy musical numbers since Rent.
Best Song- “Hasa Diga Ebowai” and “I Believe”
Seen live by me this year?- Yes, miraculously saw the last week of previews on Broadway before demand sent ticket prices way, way out of my range.
9. Childish Gambino, Camp
For a year or two now, through self-released side project songs with surprisingly good beats, Donald Glover had been giving Talib Kweli and Das Racist some competition for the T.J. Chambers awarded title of “Best Analogy Rapper” (“cause you think that I’m dope/like a mound of chalk…” Awesome). With this first full-length project for a label, Camp saw him add enough raw grit to his flow to match some of the boasts he was making about women, money, and other typical rap trappings and provide an interesting enough dichotomy with his nerd references to make this my favorite straight hip hop release of the year. The production has a few opportunities to take center stage as well, most notably with the grimy electronic dubstep-ish line that runs over the simple beat of “Heartbeat”. A clear example of a shockingly multi-talented guy (sorry, James Franco) Glover doesn’t seem like he’s spreading himself thin by acting and making music at the same time (although I can’t say the same for his stand-up, which kinda seems like an after-thought). Looking forward to what the future holds.
Best Song- “Bonfire”
Seen Live By Me This Year- Nope, missed a show in San Diego during Comic-Con due to, well, partying elsewhere.
8. Drive, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
There will definitely be more about the film itself in my year-end top films list, but for now suffice to say that the music in Drive, both the existing songs and score, perfectly complimented the combination of 80s style sheen and grit of Los Angeles locations that most movies never show. (The bridge and nondescript downtown industrial loft neighborhood around Villain’s Tavern that provides the backdrop for the opening chase was perfect. I know, because I’ve driven around that area lost more than once). Some instant earworm tracks like “Nightcall” and “A Real Hero” made me want to literally walk out of the theater and directly into a music store to find the soundtrack, and I can tell you exactly how many times that has happened before; Trainspotting, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Once, Garden State. Fine company indeed.
7. Youth Lagoon, The Year of Hibernation
I’m not sure what it is that causes some artists and albums to be inexorably linked to their hometown (have you EVER read a review of Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago that didn’t mention a cabin in Wisconsin? Conversely, do you have any earthly idea where Maroon 5 are from? I don’t) but Trevor Powers and his bedroom project Youth Lagoon are straight outta Idaho. I’m not qualified to parse what this means about small town ennui, or loneliness, or whatever, but I can say that if there are kids making albums like this on their own all throughout the flyover states, I may have to stop calling them the flyover states. I love the humming organ of this album, the fuzzy production, the “is he in the other room, or singing through a phonograph?” quality of the hushed and non-typical vocals. Someone somewhere on the interwebs said this guy sounds just like the creepy old man pedophile character on Family Guy, and you know what, that person was fucking right, and it’s still not an insult. Great album, and deserving of one of my highest notes of praise/advice; turn of the lights, put it on, and lay on your floor. Enjoy.
Best Song- “17”
Seen Live By Me This Year?-Nope. Missed a show at the Echo, can’t remember why. Gonna cite hangover as likely reason.
6. Beirut, The Rip Tide
Like another band that will appear on my list, this was the album for which Zach Condon and his Beirut were lauded for toning down the eccentricity a bit and going for more simple, straightforward songcraft. After two albums of large band, quirky instrument, European gypsy music (which I was toootally all for, by the way) The Rip Tide simplifies things and lets the vocals and aching horn take center stage. Honestly, I preferred it a bit when Beirut was banging away at outmoded instruments and singing in French, but this album still contains enough lovely musicality to earn a significant spot on playlists and this list.
Best Song(s)- “Goshen”, “East Harlem”
Seen Live By Me This Year?- Not this year. Caught them last year in Prague, in a heatbox of a basement so sweaty that fingers kept slipping off instruments. Cheap Czech beer, though.
5. Holy Ghost!, Holy Ghost!
Fucking Brooklyn. Yes, it angers me that these dudes so effortlessly inhabit a word of deep v-neck t-shirts, perfectly scuffed boots, and buzzed about DJ sets in Williamsburg (entirely out of personal jealousy, of course). This record is one of my favorite of the year because it is fun, danceable, catchy, well-crafted, and because they’ve captured a decent amount of sometime-collaborators LCD Soundsytem’s sense of not taking yourself too seriously. One of my favorite vocal hooks has singer Alex Frankel speedily repeating “I took some money from the joint account/I know, I know, I know I’m running out but…”. That’s the kind of low-stakes lyrics that a dance record probably should strive for. Leave the heartbreaking pain to the Mumfords and the Florences of the world. Holy Ghost! (I mean, exclamation point?) are happy to leave you with sweaty memories of a great night with friends.
Best Song(s)- “Do It Again” or “Hold My Breath”
Seen Live By Me This Year?- Yes, opening for aforementioned LCD Soundsystem, a wonderful pairing and a chance for me to marvel in person at how musicians can pull off skinny pants while I *never* can.
4. The Decemberists, The King is Dead
“Here we come to a turning of the season…” And how, Colin Meloy, and how. Much like Beirut’s taming, a lot of people saw this album from The Decemberists as an intentional about-face from their previous flirtations with prog-rock-iness that started with The Tain, grew with The Crane Wife, and took full-fledged complete damn hold with 2009 “concept” album The Hazards of Love. So much did the public (at least those aware of a band like this) seem relieved with the more straight Americana rock of The King is Dead that this album debuted at #1 on the charts. Yes, that’s right. The nerdy-ass hyperliterate band who writes lyrics like “Heddy Green, queen of supply-side bonhomie bone drab” straight up owned the Billboard Top 200. A lot was made of the early R.E.M. inspiration, which couldn’t have been helped by the fact that Peter Buck added guitar to a lot of the tracks. But astute observers will note that this album shares a lot of musical DNA with folk outfit Tarkio, which makes sense, because Colin Meloy was the head of that band before forming this one and going down the road of sea shanties and song after song about the weird jobs people did in the 1800s. (“I am a Mariner”, “I’m an engine driver”, “I am a chimbley sweep”, “I’m a Legionnaire”, “Here I dreamt I was an architect”, “My name is Leslie Anne Levine”. These are all lyrics from different songs, people). Interestingly, like Beirut, I *slightly* prefer this band when they’re just going balls out drama class theatrical. But The King is Dead deserves a lot of credit for showcasing Meloy’s yelping croon and amazing lyrics in a much more personal way. Listen to him sing to his autistic son (“Hey Henry/Can you hear me?/Let me see those eyes”) on “Rise to Me” and even a die-hard nerd like me will forgive a detour away from the pirate songs. And maybe turn off the lights and lay on the floor a little.
Best Song(s)- “Don’t Carry it All”, “Rise to Me”
Seen Live By Me This Year?- Once at the Greek, I think maybe once at the Wiltern, once at a taping of The Tonight Show, once at a mini-concert for Jimmy Kimmel Live (hence that’s me in the picture up there with them, acting as Meloy stand-in).
3. James Blake, James Blake
Fucking Britain. Again, I am jealous of their weird mastery of dubsteppy audio production, the fact that they get to call their friends “mate” and not sound weird, tell childhood stories about hiding behind the couch when the Daleks would come on episodes of Doctor Who (I mean, who was really afraid of the Daleks? They’re robotic shuttlecocks with plunger weapons. Goddamn charming), and shamelessly root for no-luck Premiere League Football teams with names like Tottenham Hotspur (mascot; rooster standing on a soccer ball. Slogan; “Yid Army!”, a probably socially inconsiderate nod to some Jewish connection that I don’t understand). I had heard of James Blake for a year previous, as an up-and-coming dubstep producer. Then, he dropped this album of aching saloon-singer pain over the top of deceptively complex stop-and-start bleeps and bloops. It came out in way back in January, and I immediately took to my army of loyal Twitter followers and Facebook pals (and by army I mean “could maybe fill a single Cheesecake Factory”) and declared that I would be shocked if it didn’t top my year-end list. That it didn’t isn’t a knock on it but a testament to the glory that was still to come. Get this album.
Best Song(s)- “The Wilhelm Scream”, “Limit to Your Love”
Seen Live By Me This Year?- No, and I’m kinda glad. I don’t feel like his kinda broken falsetto and jerky rhythm translate as well live.
2. Bon Iver, Bon Iver
You knew it had to be on here. Justin Vernon and Bon Iver seemed to blow the hell up this year. Kanye West collaborations, appearances on Colbert and Fallon and everywhere else. Like an asshole, I resisted this album initially, because, dammit, I was there first! I know, what a horrible douchebag hipster mentality, but I loved Bon Iver’s first record from the moment it was self-released, must have been late 2007? Then a label released it the next year, and while a metric shitload of people caught on, it still wasn’t ubiquitous. I caught their set while standing in the pouring rain at ACL 2009, and drank up the falsetto and the awkwardly tuned resonater acoustic (I also drank up, like, all the Tito’s Vodka in the VIP tent and almost peed myself somewhere between Grizzly Bear and Andrew Bird, but I digress). So when this album came out, with it’s bigger, robust production, actual electric guitar rock n’ roll moments, and even more unintelligible lyrics, I wanted so badly to yearn for the simpler times, sitting in front of a fire in a lonely Wisconsin cabin (there, I mentioned it, universe balanced) and pouring your heart out about the Skinny Love and the “go find another lover/to bring a/to string along…” But then I listened to this album again. And again. And some more, and, wow. It’s one of the more perfect records I can remember, and now one of my favorite of all time, and I somehow feel that over the run time it captures every emotion I’ve ever had, even if I cannot for the life of me understand what homeboy is saying. The only reason it doesn’t top this list is because, as you will see, I cheated a bit. If you don’t have this record, hit me up and I will buy it for all of you until I go broke (spoiler; won’t take long!).
Best Song(s)- “Holocene”, “Minnesota, WI”, and yes, even the divisive Phil Collins-esque “Beth/Rest”
Seen Live By Me This Year?- Yes, at the Shrine Auditorium, during which I enjoyed every note but lamented the fact that they would never again play a small venue. Note; they attempted to play “Beth/Rest”, got about 45 seconds in, after which Justin Vernon signaled his 8 or so bandmates to stop, and just said into the microphone “Eh, we’re not going to play that, we kinda started it all fucked up.” And it was awesome.
1. The Weeknd, House of Balloons/Thursday/Echoes of Silence
Okay, I mentioned that I cheated. The Weeknd released three completely free mixtapes in 2011, but for the sake of this list I’m counting them as one piece of work (even though such an album would be 2.4 hours long. Thanks, iTunes!). He/they apparently plan to release all three as one unit this year, so I don’t feel entirely bad about engaging in this chicanery, but admittedly, no individual mixtape would’ve knocked Bon Iver down a peg, but taken as a whole, this was the most fresh, unique, dirty, badass, drug-and-party-and-sex-hazed thing I heard this year. I guess it’s R&B, I don’t really know, I struggled and tried and finally gave up attempting to label it. Like the cover image you see above, The Weeknd’s Abel Tesfaye sings about the empty feeling of a hangover; not physically but emotionally, after a party or a one-night stand or a binge or a whatever. On my hands favorite track, “Wicked Games”, he goes from callous misogynist (“I left my girl back home/I don’t love her know more/and she’ll never fuckin’ know that/these fuckin’ eyes that I’m staring at”) to seeming to have a heart and a wounded soul (“Bring your love baby I can bring my shame/ Bring the drugs baby I can bring my pain/ I got my heart right here/ I got my scars right here”) and right back to being a total rotten bastard again (“Bring the cups baby, I can bring the drink/ Bring your body baby, I can bring you fame”). It’s pretty chilling stuff to find yourself unabashedly singing along to. That they have never to my knowledge performed live, at least certainly not in America (they’re Canadian, for pete’s sake. CANADIAN) only adds to the mystery. Then, on the third mixtape, they drop a badass re-imagining of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana”. So, there’s that. I don’t know if these songs are an honest celebration or a cautionary tale, I just know that they’re almost perfect songs.
Best Song(s)- “D.D.”, “Life of the Party”, “House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls”, “Wicked Games”
Seen Live By Me This Year?- Not seen live by anyone this year.
Other random awesome music things from this year- The Civil Wars’ Barton Hollow, a lot of the Black Keys’ El Camino, Cass McCombs’ track “County Line”, Aziz Ansari clowning with Kanye and Jay-Z all over, British singer ladies, the weirdly inexplicable inclusion of the little girl who played Brad Pitt’s daughter in Moneyball doing an amazing, purportedly original but really not, acoustic version of a song that also happens to be the tune for the new freecreditreport.com commercials.
Band whose second albums I am HIGHLY anticipating in 2012- Passion Pit, Local Natives, Mumford and Sons, The xx, Sleigh Bells
I’m not sure there actually is all that much drama in the LBC, but often I’m just driving through on my way to Del Mar.
I come up with “funky-ass shit” on a bi-weekly basis at best.
I don’t make my “bitches” leave at “6 in the (6 in the) mornin’”. That is just an awkward time to be on the road. I would offer the ladies a spot on the couch at very least, then put out scones around 9:30.
Let’s be honest, if we turn off the lights and close the doors, visibility is going to be crap. None of us have that kind of carrot intake.
Fact; Sadie is a Hebrew derivation of the name Sarah. Every time I’ve been “macking on a bitch” so-named, I’ve definitely been in the Fairfax district. It’s actually a good bit up the 405 from Long Beach, or due west of Compton if catching a ride with the bitches your homie Dre got. Try the pickles at Canter’s!
Speaking of; if she used to be the homeboy’s lady, I find it best to avoid romantic entanglements altogether. My friend Will swears to this day that he saw me and Charlotte Moskowicz holding hands at the cast party for our Calabasas High production of “The Odd Couple”, and he still carries a grudge, which I think is why he BARELY gave me a break off sticker for the 2009 CTS I purchased from his Cadillac dealership.
Seagram’s? Try Hendrick’s; it is infused with just a touch of cucumber. Yummy!
Alright, my mind is often on my money (as well as my money on my mind). You’ve got me there, but sue me, I’m an accountant! (Don’t sue me, it won’t go well for you).
Wherein I review totally random places I’ve never been, using only information gleaned from location-based social network Gowalla.
Travel, like boar hunting, is an activity most often engaged in by the very rich or very poor. The wealthy of our society jet-set around the world in first class cabins where every passenger receives their own adorable, trained ocelot (I’ve never sat up there. Can anyone confirm that this is what happens?). The hobos of our society train-set about the nation in dusty cabins where as many as 10 men are forced to share a single, BARELY HOUSEBROKEN ocelot (again, corrections welcome).
Side note; I had a brief flirtation with hobory, until my admission to the International Brotherhood of Nomadic Transients was denied after it was discovered that the stick to which I had tied the large kerchief containing my belongings was made of light-weight titanium; a big no-no in the hobo community.
In any case, both rich folk and hobo alike get to enjoy the benefits of travel far more often than those of us in the middle classes, as it is difficult for us to get away from our cubicle jobs and overflowing DVRs.
I recently came to the realization that just because I couldn’t actually afford to travel around and see new places, that didn’t have to stop me from making up a bunch of bullshit about spots all around the world based on limited information. So here it is! I will endeavor to provide you with wildly inaccurate but entertaining surmisings about completely random places using my favorite location-based tool, Gowalla. As a service that encourages you to go out, see the world, and share your findings with your friends, it’s the perfect vehicle for me to steal other people’s findings and fill in the blanks with crap I make up. So here we go!
This week’s spot is located in picturesque (although isn’t anything picturesque if you take a picture of it?) Seattle, WA. It’s called Fado Pub. Let’s find out a little more about it!
As you can see from the map, Fado is located just off 1st avenue, a few blocks from where the giant word “SEATTLE” bifurcates the I-5 freeway. While I think the middle of a feeway is a weird place to write the name of your town in giant letters, I assume that this was done by Seattle’s founding fathers to make the city easier to spot for passing zeppelin pilots (the Pacific Northwest being a renowned hotbed of zepplinry). Fado, as such, is in a prime location to benefit from traffic generated by people who are forced to exit the freeway to drive around the giant letters.
Let’s take a deeper look at what Gowalla can teach us about this place, and draw wildly inaccurate conclusions.
Fado is located on a Gowalla trip entitled “Sounders FC Pub Crawl”. The Seattle Sounders are a tremendously popular Major League Soccer team owned by comedian and television host Drew Carey, a figure long associated with the aerobic rigor of soccer. Fado is therefore, in my estimation, a place where Sounders fans can go get liquored up with the intention of heckling David Beckham when the LA Galaxy are in town, only to end up respectfully clapping for him after they realize that Seattle-ites are a kindhearted people and his physical attractiveness renders him unhecklable.
What else happens at Fado?
John C. checked in and wrote “2nd place at quiz night Fado.” From this information, I assume that either a) Fado hosts a lighthearted pub trivia night of the type that has become popular recently, or b) forces it’s customers to endure rigorous intellectual testing in exchange for drinks, creating some sort of Academic Decathlon pub where Scantron sheets replace cocktail napkins and #2 pencils are stir sticks. Don’t worry, they’re all made of relatively harmless graphite these days and won’t poison your drinks.
From here, things take a turn for the strange.
Tammy K. checked in at Fado and writes “there is definitely a gargoyle next to my table.” Tammy seems unfazed that she has been seated on the roof of a stone building next to a carved animal designed to spout rainwater away from the sides and prevent damage to the mortar.
Furthermore, her use of the word “definitely” leads me to believe she has some architecural expertise. Fado, therefore, should be considered a pub that caters almost exclusively to an educated class of people with no discernible fear of heights.
Erik M. checked in a Fado and posted the following picture.
Fado clearly hosts some sort of “Rock, Paper, Scissors” tournament, and this guy is calling his shot Babe Ruth-style. Calling your shot has a dubious success rate as an R.P.S. strategy, being that the entire point of the game is to NOT call your shot, but that hasn’t stopped our friend here. I admire your confidence, sir!
All in all, Fado boasts almost 300 Gowalla check-ins, proving that it is the type of place that cool people want to share with their friends. One day I hope to visit this oasis of multiple-choice testing and soccer hooligan-ity in person, but until then, keep going out with Gowalla! Take pictures, leave comments, and maybe one day I will use those pictures and comments to create for myself a charmingly flawed portrait of one of your favorite spots.
Dictated April 24, 2011, from the desk of the Associate Director of Inter-Flesh-Eating Affairs/Publicity.
Hang in there!
Dear Nosferati, (is that the plural?);
Firstly, before we get down to some awkward business, let me express the deep respect that my colleagues and I have for your achievements in our collective chosen field; biting. The toothly arts are varied and ancient disciplines, and some of the advances you guys made in the area of the neck alone are still in practice on a daily basis over here. Although, while I have you, what’s with the neck thing? I don’t mean to tell you how to do your jobs, but you really are missing out on so many other tasty areas that are just begging to be gnawed upon. You’ve never really died until you’ve rended a nicely marbled calf muscle or fleshy buttock free of its plump host (all the more reason to operate in the U.S., I say. Tasty fatties). Your single-minded devotion to neck bites really smacks of a fetish, and if I’m being honest it kind of creeps some of us ou….BRAAIINS!!!!…ahem. Sorry. I’d also like to thank you for filling the human’s heads with so many ridiculous cures and protections (crosses? that’s just hilarious). You vampires have so many different supposed weaknesses their poor little BR…uh, minds can’t keep any of them straight. I still have fond memories of the first six or seven morons who stabbed me through the heart with a wooden stake thinking I was one of you. I just laughed (well, coughed up some black sludge, as we zombies often do) and proceeded with the face-eating, a favorite of mine. If you’ve never had warm nose, it’s sort of a delicacy, even if you’re not particularly hungry and just kind of gnashing. One guy in Cleveland was even kind enough to toss some garlic my way right before the staking, and if you’ve never eaten a Clevelander, trust me when I say tht they could use the flavor.
Let me get to the point at hand; we were totally cool sharing this giant smorgasbord of a planet with you guys back when it was all badass Eastern European accents and silken capes with sweet-ass red trim on your end. Up til now we’ve been fans of your representation in pop culture, and we certainly know what it is to be misunderstood by the media. But recently, we’ve noticed your entire species going through a kind of..well…how do I put this delicately? Pussification. A couple years back a few of us were on a team-building retreat, just kind of sitting around chewing the fat, when a postman we’d been enjoying reanimated with a few Netflix DVDs in his bag. Curious, we popped one in to check it out. It was apparently based on a book, and most of us are eager devourers of filmed literary adaptions (and BRAAIINS!!). What we found, though, was some flick about a sullen-faced emo hairdo and his heroin chic girlfriend striking poses in what appeared to us to be the forest moon of Endor.
As Yoda would say, break me a fucking give.
Where has your self-respect gone, vampires? Back in the day you guys used to suck the necks of lusty Balkan wenches who looked like the St. Pauli Girl. You’d render them near-bloodless slaves beneath whose heaving bosoms beat hearts that lived only to serve you flagons of ale. AND YOU DON’T EVEN DRINK ALE (although more stuff should come in flagons, IMHO). You just did it cause it was freaking cool. Now you have your people walking around sparkling. SPARKLING. Do you know the last time a zombie sparkled? A couple years back, Fraaaank was chasing a little girl (kind of a young Kirsten Dunst type, but you guys would know all about that) when he shuffled his fool self through a sliding glass door. He had like three panes worth of glass shards sticking all through his mottled gray flesh, and we laughed at his sparkly ass for weeks until he eventually died of a staph infection. Kidding. Someone shot him, like, *right* between the eyes. But that’s neither here nor there.
Look, we all know how hard it is to resist a fat paycheck these days. I know you bloodsuckers have had a rough go of it recently, what with your real estate holdings and Bing not working out the way anyone had hoped (we all know you own Microsoft; worst-kept secret in business). So we realize that it’s tempting to run around scooping up barrels of cash filming every kid with alabaster skin who can get a Vancouver work visa. But maybe follow our example; we have a very respectable show on AMC (classy network. HBO passed, but fuck them) that does nicely for us, and no one cries because a 186 year old immortal with high cheekbones didn’t take them to prom or whatever. After this Dawn Breaking New Moon stuff dies down, please just turn into some bats, freak people out with your red eyes, get a giant castle somewhere in former Yugoslavia, and suck some blood. We implore you, for the sake of ghouls everywhere. Also; BRAAAINS.
This list is to be printed, laminated, and carried with you at all times for emergency reference if and when you wake up in an unfamiliar locale, invariably next to a person you cannot identify (as they are ALWAYS sleeping with their back to you, causing you to worry that they might not be attractive). There are a few pressing concerns for you at this moment. These steps must be followed in order.
1. Print and laminate this list. See what I mean about doing the steps in order? If you had skipped ahead now you’d be fucked, attempting to use a list that you either didn’t have a printed copy of or remained hopelessly un-laminated, all sad and not plasticy. I really can’t stress the lamination part enough, since most activities that you might engage in which would cause you to wake up in a strange place with no memory usually involve liquids of all manner. Liquids are the mortal enemies of un-laminated lists.
Here is a nice, portable laminating device that I recommend
2. The next most important step, after printing/laminating, is to begin to establish your location geographically. Depending on your situation, it may not be important to establish actual longitudinal coordinates, but under specific circumstances that I will address soon, that might come into play. And this point, DO NOT try to identify the person who is sleeping next to you. While this may seem like a crucial nugget of information, it is actually far less important than determining where on planet Earth you are, and in any case they may be having a super-fantastic dream so let’s not wake them up just yet. Here are some subcategorized hints which may help you determine your location.
a. Is the room moving? Note that I don’t not mean this in a figurative, hungover, room-spinning kind of way. I mean, quite literally moving. If it is, this might mean that your location is nautical, which is a rare case that brings into play the aforementioned longitudinal coordinates. If you determine your location to be a ship at sea, find the nearest sextant and begin your calculations. (Note; if you don’t know how to use a sextant, please see my previously published “Quick Guide to Emergency Sextant Use”, which you should have printed out and LAMINATED, for god’s sake.) If you determine your location to be at sea, but the room you are in is NOT moving, you are on an oil derrick of some sort. Throw out this list, it cannot help you.
b. Are you on land? If so, it’s important to immediately begin determining where this land may be, i.e. which part of the world. Under normal circumstances, you won’t end up too terribly far from wherever you began your adventures last night, but since you are consulting a list of steps that you downloaded off the internet and covered in a hot, shimmering layer of gloriously protective plastic, these aren’t exactly normal circumstances, now are they?
3. Look out the window. If there’s not a window, you are in a rape dungeon of some sort. Throw out this list, it cannot help you.
4. You’ve located a window and looked out of it. Do you see a flag of any sort? If you see a flag with any sort of a crescent moon, like this
your location is most likely Algeria, or somewhere else you very much don’t want to be. If this is the case; throw out this list, it cannot help you.
5. If you’ve followed the steps thus far, and have found yourself NOT in an oil derrick, a rape dungeon, or a Middle eastern autocracy, CONGRATULATIONS! You are halfway to safely determining just what happened to you last night, collecting your pants, and if you are very, very lucky, giving a morning breath-y smooch to some chick who is sweating out vodka and cranberry, but might offer you a bowl of Fruit Loops before you take your leave. To that end, let’s begin the process of determining just who that mystery person next to you might be.
6. Glance furtively at the form sleeping next to you. Firstly, are they actually sleeping, or pretending to be sleeping? If they are pretending to be sleeping, can you assume they had already awoken and looked at you, and if so, why are they now feigning slumber? What is so horrifying about you to cause them to do this? NOTE; these feelings of panic may cause you to want to roll over and feign sleep yourself. DO NOT FALL FOR THIS TRAP. Two people lying next to each other faking sleep can cause a temporal loop that could destroy the fabric of reality. Also, it’s weird, because you can each hear the other breathing, and it starts to get freakishly in sync no matter how hard you try to avoid it, and that’s just fucked up.
7. Let’s say that evidence has assured you that the person sleeping next to you is a lady. If you yourself are a lady, that’s awesome. You never needed this list in the first place. Throw it out, and go on about your nights of cavorting with other ladies. You don’t even need to tell me about it, it’s enough to just know that it’s happening somewhere out there in the universe.
8. If you are a guy, and the person next to you is a lady, do yo have any reason to believe that this particular lady is Julie Swift of Tampa, FL? If so, she is a heartless succubus who will suck your life force from you and break your NES copy of “Excitebike”, and then not even understand WHY THAT IS SO FUCKING INFURIATING. Throw out this list, it cannot help you.
9. Check the mystery lady’s hand for nightclub stamps. If you see a bunch, you are a douchebag who got bottle service and met some skank and probably didn’t even listen to me about how important it is to laminate, you fuck. Throw this list away, although it probably already disintegrated, unprotected, in a cloud of Axe body spray and regret.
10. If you are very lucky and have thus far navigated the minefield of Waking Up in Unknown Surroundings, take a look at the lady next to you and determine if she is now awake and consulting her own list of steps. If she is, it is likely my previously published “Guide to Waking Up at Your Apartment Next to a Dude Consulting a Laminated List; Lady Edition.” Assuming she followed her own list correctly, she will have, days ago, completed “Step Three; Acquire Fruit Loops to offer nice young man who woke up in your bed and looks confused.”
Both lists, put together, work as a coupon for a free Bloomin’ Onion at your neighborhood Outback Steakhouse. Take that nice young girl out on a proper date now! If you don’t live near an Outback Steakhouse, throw this list away. It cannot help you.
I can smell the gently wafting scents of voting booths and paper ballots on the air. Soon I will ensconce myself in some corner of an elementary school and pass judgement on a raft of ballot proposals I cannot possibly understand. The one I do grasp, however, is California’s Prop 8. Defense of marriage blah blah blah, and without even going into my deep reservoir of opinions about the need for said instituion to be defensed in the first place…come on people. I get that social conservatives need things to be up in arms about, and I get that dudes kissing is icky. And if you want to mount a reasoned argument in favor of your (crazy-ass) views, fine. But at least make a better freakin’ commercial.
A soccer mom asks her daughter how school was, and the little girl (I’m paraphrasing here) tells her “today I learned that a prince can marry a prince, and one day I could marry a princess!” Gasp! Shock! Mouth agape! It not just that I disagree with the right-wingers on this one (vehemently, in fact) but it’s one of the worst commercials I have ever seen. The top Republican political convservative mines in the tiny little insignificant state of, oh, CALIFORNIA put their balding pates together andcame up with thier argument against gay marriage, and it’s that it would invalidate fairy tales?! Seriously. Seriously? “The democrats want to allow wolves to dress up like grandmothers!” “Welfare takes the bread out of Hansel and Gretel’s hands and puts it into single mothers’” Paid for by total assholes.
As a great man once said; “you Republicans want small government. Just small enough to fit in my bedroom.”