Archive for June, 2008

Ooh, ooh, this article is a heaping bag o’ fun. While I can (and sometimes do) get behind a ‘hey, we were here first‘ mentality (see also), on the flip side of this, I’m gonna say… hey, lay off my mom.

Yep. My mom’s a dreaded pink-hatter. It’s Pepto Bismol shaded, with a big red pair of socks on the front. The fatherperson got it for her.

But here’s the other thing. The motherperson is no Johnny-Come-Lately, nossir. She’s a New Englander, Sox fan via her father, the one who got my dad to start watching, and half responsible for raising a wee Brain into a Sox fan.

So who to side with? Some valid points are made courtesy of the pro-pink camp. If you love the Sox, you love the Sox. The Big Brain has a beloved Sox cap that was the product of several stores ravaged to find the right one. It’s black with a black Boston B. Definitely not team colors. But does that diminish my love? The days I spent going from store to store in Boston trying to find “the right one” might suggest otherwise. Just because it’s not red doesn’t mean it doesn’t hold significance.

(Fun fact: while shamefully watching VH1’s I Love the New Millennium: 2004 (don’t look at me that way, it was that or Undercover Brother on Comedy Central), they may or may not have shown clips from the Sox’s astoundingly ass-kicking come-from-behind (-and-then-just-forget-to-stop) victory over the Yankees, and then subsequently the Series win, and I may or may not have wept. But only a little eensy bit.)

Of course, on the other hand, doesn’t it irk you when you see the cute girls prancing about in their tiny t-shirts, professing their love for doe-eyed Jacoby Ellsbury? (On a profound intellectual level, I mean. It’s hard not to fundamentally enjoy cute girls in tiny t-shirts.) As beloved (well, by me) sports columnist Bill Simmons once said,

Things you rarely saw before October 2004: Blondes wearing Red Sox jerseys, and cute girls wearing green J-shirts of Boston center fielders. The bottom line is this: You don’t need to drink between 8-12 beers during a game to talk yourself into making out with a female Red Sox fan anymore.

So here’s the issue. Which is better for the “Nation” as a whole? The cute girls in it for the pretty players? The vehement “let me drop some stats on you” lifers who will gleefully discuss Jacoby Ellsbury’s base-stealing prowess with you, but will bitch-slap you into next week if they think you weren’t there prior to ’04? (That’s two mentions; rest assured, it’s just because I really like saying “Jacoby Ellsbury.”) Can we only be Red Sox fans if we suffer? Because, if we’re suffering, it means they’re not playing well. And frankly, I love it when they play well, particularly if they are rubbing it the Yankees’ faces.

But I think that at the end of the day, it all comes down to how you feel as a fan. I love my black hat. I even love my Johnny Damon t-shirt (purchased on Yawkey Way prior to Game Three of the ’04 ACLS, and even though we got our asses handed to us, I still consider it good luck and a good memento). And this is what my mother had to say after I emailed her the link, wise to the last: “As far as I’m concerned, anyone who doesn’t like my pink hat can shove it.”


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Periodically, things will end up in my work email that were accidentally sent out to the entire system.  With no context provided.  So occasionally I will skim my inbox to find such gems as the following:

login did not work.  Crazy Machines, yes;  Learn to play chess, yes;  Starry Night, yes;  Encarta 2008, yes;  the others, no.  I Spy could be acquired individually, stellaluna is best in schools.  tks

I don’t know what it means.  And you know what?  I don’t care.

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Admittedly, at times I’m like a dog with a bone (or a brain with a banana) when it comes to certain things. Forgive me as I wax poetic once again on this matter, and cap off this trilogy of tropical treats.  I’ll try to make it brief.

I was in the grocery store with my mother, when we stopped for bananas and she revealed a fun factoid to me.  First you must know that my mother and I have extremely different tastes in food.  I won’t eat anything if I can’t remember when I bought it (I may or may not have a thing about funky-looking foodstuffs), and her philosophy is more along the lines of “oh, just scrape the mold off of it.”  (She likes the taste of burnt things.  Need I say more?)

But in spite of these, our vastly different palates, we agree on two things.  One, bananas are good green.  Two, aspartame has a funky aftertaste.  Not funky like it’s going to take you to Funkytown and wear silver spangles and rollerdisco, but funky like it’s going to take you to Funkytown, steal your wallet, and left you bruised and bloodied in a back alley.  (Funkytown is a dangerous place after dark.  The crime rate is through the roof, but man, can those hoodlums dance.)

So the fun factoid she revealed is as thus: it’s a genetic thing.  Apparently there is some chemical or what-have-you that lurks in both sugar-free substitutes and ripened bananas.  Apparently a lot of people can’t taste the aspartame dragging them off and holding them at gunpoint behind a Funkytown disco dumpster.  But through the miracle of birth, and DNA, we both have the ability to taste it, and the predisposition towards preferring greener bananas.  Magic!

(For the record, this is not fact-checked.  What do you expect me to do, discredit my mother?)

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I’ve got a headache.  Anyone else?  Not a migraine, exactly, but more of a lingering ache.  A zit under the surface, threatening to pop but refusing to actually do so, just making you itchy and painful to the touch all day.  I’m mixing my metaphors.  (And grossing myself out.)  But I can’t be expected to be coherent when I’m boiling over with rage, can I?  (Again with the boils!)  See, more and more, when I go to the mall, which admittedly is something I do very rarely, I see today’s youths wandering around sporting relics from my childhood.  “Aged” Power Rangers t-shirts, things bearing the face of Red or Wembley Fraggle, and other such things adorn both the walls of the stores and the kids who shop there.  And it’s tearin’ up my heart, *NSYNC-style, because on the one hand, these are things I genuinely love, and I love being able to spend my hard-earned cash on the toys and merch my parents never would’ve let me have as a kid.  On the other hand, these are things I genuinely love, being tossed about by people who are just in it for the retro factor.  I know what this makes me sound like, that obnoxious kid who only listens to underground music and drops the band when they “sell out” by achieving a dream and getting actual radio play.  But, I mean, for a solid decade the Big Brain was receiving the mockery of its lesser-brained peers for its love of spandexed heroes kicking ass and taking names (names like Trakeena and Frax, and if you don’t realize I’m not making this up, then you’re kind of missing the whole point).  And now, that thing which has been much-loved since the Brain was twelve has come to rest on the ungrateful backs of the scorners themselves.  Where is the fairness in that?

I’ve never been in the habit of liking things ironically.  Go whole-hog or don’t bother, I say.  Even if the things in question are shameful.  This is a philosophy I live by, because trying to be cool is time-consuming and often insincere.  At the end of the day, it’s not cool to buy morphers at Toys ‘R’ Us, but it’s fun (especially when they make sounds!).  I think the point I’m trying to make is that I never stopped being twelve years old.

Then again, maybe I’m being terribly unfair.  Maybe that girl wearing Doozers on her chest (there’s a disturbing euphemism for you) is just like me, torn between wanting to be a consumer whore for all the right reasons, and not wanting to appear like a consumer whore for all the wrong reasons.  Maybe they’re twelve at heart, too.

So how does one retaliate against something like this?  It’s not like I can stop buying merch, it goes against my very nature.  (Someday they will finish the set with a Mokey plush, and my life collection will be complete!)  I guess my only course of action is to wait ten years, get a distressed Grey’s Anatomy t-shirt at Hot Topic, and wait for the fallout.

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In watching I want to say it was the Daily Show, it was commented that people don’t read as much anymore. (In fairness, it’s commented in a lot of places that people don’t read as much anymore.) “Not true,” said I, “I read 74 books last year.”

“You did not,” said my father. “Really? Seventy-four?”

“You don’t believe me? I have a list.”

As it turns out, I was lying. It was only 73. But the list was true. I leave it for you now; books read in 2007.


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(Important preface that you’d be wise to not forget: I am not a music blogger.  At all.  What I know about music is limited to correctly guessing the band name of a song I’ve heard only two and a half times.  Lectures from those more knowledgeable than myself should be checked at the door.  And take off your shoes; I don’t want mud all over my new carpet.)

This week the Big Brain’s favorite get-this-on-repeat song is perplexingly-spelled Wreckx-N-Effect’s opus, “Rump Shaker”.  We’re going to ignore other hot topics for a moment (my guilty pleasure for songs focusing on ladies’ rears; the themed lyrics in reference to the female body that bring a new meaning to the phrase “sexual exploration” and leave me unable to look at a raised-relief map without giggling), since I realized that this timeless tribute to the booty features a trend I’ve been noticing lately in the retro songs of which I just can’t get enough.  A horn section.

Now, if memory serves, the opening to this video features a bikinied woman strutting across the beach, playing a saxophone.  My musical prowess is unfortunately nonexistent, and I can’t distinguish between horn accompaniments (plebe), so I couldn’t safely say that the actual track actually features actual sax.  But regardless, there are some songs I’ve been enjoying lately that feature this trend, like Hall & Oates’s “Maneater”, or Duran Duran’s “Rio”.  (At a recent concert, while the audience was pleading for the song in encore, my East Coast BFF wisely pointed out, “They brought a sax player.  If they brought a sax player… they’re gonna do ‘Rio’.”)

What is it about the eighties and the early nineties that so appreciates a good horn?  Where did that trend go?  I think there’s a band or two these days that incorporates a violinist, and there’s of course ska and there was that whole swing thing (et tu, Brian Setzer?), but it’s not exactly radio mainstay material (unless you’re an insomniatic college radio DJ).  Where’s the synth/bass/horn that only exists in Simon LeBon’s feverish dreams?  Where’s the old school/new school urban crossover appeal (did that even make sense?) of W-N-E?  Wherefore art thou, mustache/horn combo of Hall & Oates?  We miss you.  (Well, I do.)  Jay-Z sampling for “Show Me What You Got” just doesn’t cut it.  Not once does he ask me to shake it baby, shake it down, shake it like that.  I would have, Jay-Z.  I would have.

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Apparently my pleas to the great gods of fruit were actually heard.  For the next bunch filling the fruit basket was indeed the sort of unconventionally picturesque fruit I conjure in my mind when I think of delicious, delicious bananas.  Enormous, firm, and capable of being separated from the herd without discoloration or godawful bruising.  And just slightly greenish, the way I like them (don’t look at me like that).

The purpose of this post, in case you were wondering, is twofold.  Firstly, it is a classic illustration of one of my life philosophies, in that you can only truly appreciate the good once you’ve experienced the bad.  Yes, I know they’re just bananas, but one can only truly appreciate an analogy when it’s at its most bizarre.  And secondly, it is a soapbox where I can stand tall and declare that so-called “ripe” bananas are only good if you’re going to mash them into some sort of delicious bread (or perhaps waffle).  This is not a solitary opinion, either.  Both a coworker and my mother agree with this assessment.  The revolution will come someday, slowly to be sure, but our unripe bananas will hold firm and ultimately make better weapons than those mushy messes you peons so enjoy.

(Rest assured, I am concerned with things other than fruit.  But seriously, y’all, eat more fruit.  It’s awesome for you.)

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