American Idol, Top 13: Unintentional Hilarity.

That’s it.

Fuck it.

I’m gonna do a weekly blog about American Idol. There it is. This is happening.

Let’s go.

First, a few words on what American Idol means to me…

I haven’t always been an avid Idol viewer. I watched season one out of sheer curiosity, but I didn’t really get the appeal. I watched the beginning of season two because one of my classmates had made it decently far into the competition, so the loose association with the show was enough to get me watching. But then I stopped. I had other stuff to do, I guess.

I began watching again just a few seasons ago, during the year that the kid with the monkey face beat out the kid with the terrible screaming.

What I love about American Idol in its current incarnation is that it’s an absolute train wreck of a show, but one that takes itself immensely seriously. What this means for me, the viewer, is a lot of unintentional hilarity. To be quite honest, I can’t even believe that this show isn’t categorized as a comedy in TV listings.

Every now and then I genuinely enjoy someone’s genuinely good genuine singing, genuinely. But most of the time, my viewership is akin to pulling over on the side of the road and taking pictures of an out-of-control tornado that is also on fire. American Idol is bad-good.

So join me, weekly, in reveling in both the triumphs and the schadenfreude of it all. If you’re already a viewer, welcome. If not, perhaps my musings here will convince you to take a peek for yourself at the fiery tornado on the side of the road that you’d otherwise go out of your way to avoid.

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And it begins.

This week marks the first official week of finalist competition.

First up to sing is the early favorite to win this whole damn thing, Lauren Alaina.

Lauren is a perky southern teenager who, in the semifinals, was famously touted as a cross between Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. Seriously. Before the finalists had even been assembled, this kid was already anointed as a mash-up of the only two successful American Idol winners to date. I want to not like her because of this early favoritism, but dammit, she’s been so good so far. But not so much tonight. Tonight, she squeaked out some Shania Twain song with odd country phrasing. I don’t get it. Maybe the middle of the country does, but not me. It’s pretty clear Lauren knows that the contest is her’s to lose, even this early. It didn’t take long for this kid to say, “Yup, we’re good. 13 weeks left, we got it in the bag. Let’s just run out the clock now. Whatevs.” Lauren will be safe of course because Moms are the only ones who vote on this show and your Mom loves her.

Next up to sing is Seth Rogen, who has taken the stage name “Casey Abrams” in order to compete discretely in this contest.

Seth sings that Joe Cocker song that was once the theme song to The Wonder Years and, apparently, that song has a whole bunch of other parts that weren’t included in the credits to The Wonder Years. Seth sang them all — or rather, he growled out a good majority of them, punctuated by short bursts of girlish falsetto “oooh!”s. I love him. He makes me laugh, and I’m still not sure if I’m laughing with him or at him. It’s too early to tell. I hope he wins.

Third singer of the night is some girl named Ashton something.

I wouldn’t go nuts trying to learn her last name because this girl is here simply because the show needed more bodies to put up on stage to round out the top 13, and she was a “Wild Card” pick. For those unfamiliar with Idol procedure, “Wild Card” means: “America didn’t pick them, the judges gave them a second chance because — what the hell, why not?” Ashton’s video intro includes her rejoicing in the praise of an offhanded remark the judges made the previous week comparing her to Diana Ross. Though I have a sneaking suspicion that comparison was aided more than a little bit by this chick’s GIANT HAIR. Oh my God look at that hair. How could you look at her and not be thinking of Diana Ross, regardless of hearing any of her singing?

You might guess how this ends. Ashton makes the ill-advised decision to sing a Diana Ross song, admittedly higher than the range at which she is comfortable singing. It’s no bueno, to say the least. The judges don’t compliment her, but they don’t scorn her either. It’s pretty clear no judge wants to shit on the Judges’ Pick. America said, “NO, THIS IS BAD”, but the judges said, “You don’t know what’s good for you.” And here it is to bite them in the ass. This marks the first time in the season that I have missed Simon Cowell. He would have said something soul-crushing at this point in the competition. It makes me sad that he isn’t here to share this with us. Damn you, Ashton!

Next up is Paul McDonald.

Paul sings a Ryan Adams song in an affected hipster-whisper voice, and dances around like a baby velociraptor on some pretty powerful sedatives. I know that sounds like a crazy thing to say, but that’s literally the most accurate way I can describe this guy’s movement on stage. If that weren’t enough, he looks like he could, at any point, stop singing and start molesting people in the audience. There’s no way this guy doesn’t have a windowless van in the parking lot. His stage presence was once praised as “charming” and “quirky,” but I’ve been calling it “molestery” this whole time.

Don’t act all surprised in a couple of months when you start seeing this guy on the news every night and police are trying to figure out what he did with the bodies.

The next singer is Pia Toscano, one of the vaguely ethnic contestants to have graced the stage this year.

Tonight, she wears a super shiny dress that, for some reason, has a cape. The cape is never explained. It’s just there. Whatever, sometimes people wear capes, I get that. No biggie. She sings Celine Dion’s “All By Myself.” That song is terrible. Just terrible. But she sings it in a way that makes it not even that terrible. That’s literally the biggest compliment I can give. She might win by surprise. I say by surprise because no one ever remembers the ethnics until the end. Those sneaky ethnics.

I should also point out that Steven Tyler inexplicably chooses to wish Pia Toscano a “Happy International Women’s Day.” Why he chose the third of this evening’s female contestants upon which to receive this greeting is a complete and utter mystery, as is the very nature of “International Women’s Day” itself. But I’m just glad that Pia, the ambassador for all women in the world, ever, was there to receive it on our behalf. Happy International Women’s Day, indeed.

Next is James Durbin.

There are only two facts you need to know about this young man: 1. James has made it very clear that he is going to do his best Adam Lambert impression every week. 2. This week, James sings “Maybe I’m Amazed.” Armed with those two facts, how do you think this went? If you enjoyed Adam Lambert, like America’s Moms did, you probably enjoyed this performance. If you could never understand Adam Lambert’s appeal, like myself, you probably spent these three minutes laughing and saying to your Mom, “Are we even hearing the same singing?!” In conclusion, this guy might win.

This brings us to Haley Reinhart.

Haley is the best performer to watch because she has an amazing voice, sure — but there’s no way to take her seriously because she performs like a spaz. She moves like she’s doing an bad impression of what she thinks a sexy singer looks like. She eye-fucks the camera like crazy, and the hilarity that ensues cannot be matched by any scripted comedy on television. Last week, her performance of “Fallin’” by Alicia Keys was easily one of the funniest things I have ever seen on American Idol. (The song kicks in at around 0:35)

So we have a good news/bad news scenario this week with Haley. The good news is that she sings LeAnn Rimes’ “Blue” about a thousand times better than she sang that Alicia Keys song. The bad news is that she really tones down the spaz dancing, the eye-fucking, and even the growling! But we’ve got 13 weeks to go, and this chick is all kinds of crazy, so I’m pretty confident it’ll be back.

One of the complaints about American Idol is that it’s super cheesy. Here to reinforce that sentiment is Jacob Lusk.


Best. Contestant Facts. Ever.

Jacob’s performance has everything you’d want to include if you were doing a spoof of an American Idol performance on a sketch comedy show, like SNL. Gooey-cheesy pop-ballad from the ‘90s (“I Believe I Can Fly”)? Check. A video background featuring stock footage of clouds in the sky? Check. A gospel choir in shiny robes singing back-up vocals? Check. Lead singer screaming every note he possibly can and stretching out one final over-modulated “glory note,” far beyond its intended use? Triple check. I think Jacob’s a good singer, but like Haley, I laugh far too much during his performances to take him seriously. I might be enjoying this show wrong.

The next singer is a girl who I legitimately forgot was in this competition. Her name is Thia Megia.

She’s 16, but not a fun and carefree 16 like fellow contestant Lauren Alaina. She’s an old 16, singing lounge-act type arrangements with the indifference of a 40-year-old who’s had a steady gig singing on a cruise ship for a few decades. For some reason she was compared to Michael Jackson last week. Yeah, totally — this teenaged Asian girl who sings in a completely different style and tone… totally. I can see that. This week, she sings Michael Jackson’s version of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile,” despite her revelation that she has no idea who Charlie Chaplin was. I’d even go so far as to wager that this girl, born in 1995, has no idea who Michael Jackson was. The performance is just full of bum notes, but don’t expect to hear that from the judges. Right about now, I’m getting sick of this friendly, cuddly puppies and rainbows version of American Idol. Fuck this noise. Someone crush some dreams already.

The next singer is the one Wild Card pick that I actually agreed with.

Stefano Langone might be Spanish, or he might be Italian, but more than anything, he’s probably Mexican as far as America is concerned. So he wasn’t voted into the top 13. I really like him, even though it’s pretty clear he’s trying to channel his inner Justin Bieber, but with more yelling. He sings some Stevie Wonder song that I’ve never heard of, and he did just fine. I hope he makes it through to next week, but I never get what I want so we’ll see how that goes.

And look at this! “MOAR MESSICANS!” (That’s redneck for “More Mexicans!”)

Karen Rodriguez is the next singer, and if you thought Stefano Langone was maybe Mexican, this girl is definitely some kind of Mexican ‘cause she sings in Spanish in an old home movie! “AHHHH!!! THUS IS AMUURRICAN IDOL, NOT MESSICAN IDOL!” some rednecks somewhere just said. She sings a song by Selena, clearly pandering to Jennifer Lopez, who played Selena in a movie 60 years ago [citation needed]. Karen didn’t do very well on this song, but she seems like a very nice girl, so I’m gonna let that slide.

The characters just keep on coming. Next up is Scotty McCreery, but Gawker has dubbed him “BabyLockThemDoors.”

That’s because he sang “Your Man” by Josh Turner at least half a dozen times in the competition so far. It was his audition song, as well as his go-to Hollywood Week song, and it starts out: “Baby lock them doors and turn the lights down low…” (Song starts at about 1:15)

I was honestly surprised that he didn’t sing that song last week for the semifinals. At first, like everyone else I thought BabyLockThemDoors was just a one-trick pony — and, obviously, for good reason. We all got a good laugh at the kid who could only sing one song that allowed him to rest comfortably in his lower register, and also because he bears a striking resemblance to the mascot for Mad Magazine.

But BabyLockThemDoors might be a serious contender in the competition after all because of the all-important middle America vote. And ain’t nothing America loves more than a southern boy with a country voice. So, of course he sings a Garth Brooks song tonight. Of course he does. I’m surprised they didn’t just end this damn contest right here. He’s already sold more hypothetical albums than all these other contestants combined. For God’s sake, he was singing in front of a background of scenic rural American beauty. Scotty McCreery is a dangerous man.

Simon Cowell notoriously badgered country singers because he didn’t understand the genre. Country acts were few and far between in the show’s history and even if you were a country singer who somehow managed to slip into the finals, Simon made damn sure you sang some non-country songs in a non-country way just for his amusement. He shouldn’t have to debase himself to pretend to enjoy this backwater noise, and neither should we! God, I miss Simon so much. He’d make this guy cry on stage. What an abomination this show has become. Simon is probably spinning in his grave.

Now for the piece de resistance. The “pimp slot.” For those unfamiliar, the pimp slot is the final performer of the night. It’s conventional wisdom that the producers assign the pimp slot for two reasons: 1. there is a contestant who is head and shoulders above the rest and would make a spectacular closer, or 2. there is a contestant who is in danger of being voted off, who the producers very much want to keep in the competition. Naima Adedapo belongs in the second category.

She is the last Wild Card pick of the night. She’s a very nice girl with a very nice story so, as a person, you want her to do well in life. But this is a singing competition and Naima would be the clear contestant going home, if not for some TV magic on the part of the producers. Naima’s performance tonight is a prime example of a sub-par performance packaged as something better than it actually is, in a desperate effort to solicit votes for a struggling contestant.

First rule of American Idol is: don’t have a karaoke style performance (which is ironic, as the whole show is one big karaoke contest). The rationale is that anyone can do a Paul McCartney impression or a Stevie Wonder impression, but what do you do to the song that makes it different? The second rule of American Idol is, duh — pick a song that showcases your vocals. Pick a singer’s song. Don’t pick a popular song just because it’s a crowd favorite.

Naima violates both those rules in her performance of Rhianna’s “Umbrella.” First, she acknowledges the fact that she doesn’t want her performance to sound exactly like Rhianna’s version. But she then proceeds to sing Rhianna’s version exactly the same as the original, with the exception of an awkward 10 second reggae-rap break thrown in there to disrupt the flow of the song. A song that no person in their right mind would ever pick as a way to show off of their vocal skills. This is a dance song. And sure, she dances all over the place, I guess. And man, do the producers amp up the production value on her performance — lightning bolts and thunder that booms in sync with her dance breaks, and other things that trick you into thinking there’s more to the performance than there actually is. The truth is, it was, “meh” at best, and confusing at worst. Naima’s a fine enough singer, but she is marketable in a very specific way. If she were picked up by a label on her own, she would likely have more success. But I don’t think she knows how to play the Idol game.

Because it is, after all, a game. It’s like chess. But all of the chess pieces are complete lunatics.

See you next week.

-Desiree

Who says L.A. needs to more observant?

You see that title up there?  Something’s missing.  A word that might make that sentence grammatically correct.

It’s cool if that stuff happens on a blog, because seriously, who cares about blogs?  Plus, there’s only one person steering this ship, and that’s me.  If some error happens to slip through, the only person to blame is the usually-infallible yours truly.  This may surprise you, but I don’t employ a staff of subordinates that might catch my mistakes, should I miss one.

But you know where they might have a staff of people whose primary function is to catch such errors?  Television.  Specifically, the Los Angeles broadcast television market, one of the top markets in the country.  Especially when they’re working with, say, the most successful syndicated talk show in the history of mankind.

I’ll cut to the chase.  Someone in the control room done fucked up during Oprah.

If anyone from ABC 7 is reading this, listen carefully: by hiring me, you’ll be getting a fully literate adult, with eyeballs, who will make sure no one sullies Oprah’s good name with grammatical oversights that make it to air.

And for what it’s worth, I say L.A. needs to more friendly.

Douchebag Customer Spectrum: The Idiot.

I’ve worked in many retail electronics jobs in the past.   The tradeoff for working a job where the stakes are so low (e.g. who gives a shit if I end up selling a computer to this rube or not?) is that one must be adept at the most universally despised skill around: dealing with irate and/or mind-numbingly stupid customers.

I am awful at this.  I find it very difficult to hide my disdain for people, especially strangers, who fall under the “Douchebag Customer Spectrum.”  I’m working on compling my research in order to illustrate the entire range of retail customer assholery in a clinical Douchebag Customer Spectrum chart.  My hope is that one day, the D.C.S. chart might be recognized by all major councils on health and disease, and that one day we might use this as a unit of measurement for determining the exact severity of the fuckfaces in our lives.

This will be an ongoing feature on my blog.  For consistency’s sake, I’ve devised a ratings system which measures the douchiness of each customer archetype called the “Punch to the Face” system.  Each type of customer, based on their dickish tendencies, can get anywhere from zero to five Punches to the Face.

I’ll begin the series with a common simpleton.

The Idiot

The Idiot is a fairly benign creature who rarely crosses over into real douchebag territory.  This is a person who just lacks common sense or book smarts or street smarts or the ability to use Google.  The Idiot generally means no harm, but instead is a walking testament to the need for American public schools to improve dramatically.  I don’t usually feel the need to punch The Idiot in the face, but do feel the need to retreat to a corner and rub my temples for a bit.

The Idiot: “Hi, I bought this iPad yesterday and when I took it home and opened the box, there were already scratches on it!!!  I want a new one!”

Me: “Oh really?  Let’s take a look at it.”

I open the box and the customer points out the scratches to me.

The default background photo on every iPad is a picture of a mountain range on a lake, with long-exposure shots of stars.  This is an important detail because the long-exposure photography method used here makes the star trails visible, so it looks like the sky is full of a bunch of shooting stars.  The only pertinent piece of information you need to know is: it’s a picture.  Here is the image below, with the “shooting” stars pointed out.

Some (stupid) people gaze upon their iPads for the first time when they get home, assume the shooting stars are scratches and, in a fit of rage, get in their vehicles, drive back to the store, and demand a refund.  Here’s where I come in.

Me: “Sir, those aren’t scratches.  That’s a picture.”

The Idiot: “What?  No, no, they’re scratches!”

Me: “Let’s do a little experiment.  I’m going to change the background image.  Now do you see any scratches?”

The Idiot: “Well this picture is brighter than the other one!  You just can’t see them as easily!  You’re only hiding them!”

Me: “Very well.  Let’s shut the iPad off so that the screen is black and you can inspect the surface of the glass without being backlit.  See.  There are no scratches.”

The Idiot: “Well isn’t it possible that they’re underneath the glass?  Can’t you just get me a new one?”

Me: “…”

The Idiot: “…”

Me: “…”

The Idiot: “…”

Me: “That’s the default photo.  They will all look like that.  All I can really tell you is that they’re not scratches.  It’s just a photograph.  Photographs are not real.  They are used to visually document things that have happened in the past, but are not currently happening at the moment. I… I just don’t know any way to make myself clearer.   I’d suggest changing the background image if you find the photograph of shooting stars too distracting to your iPad enjoyment.”

If you think this is just a lone nutjob, just know: I have this same interaction at least once a week.  Sometimes in person.  Sometimes on the phone.  Always bewildering.

As a cherry on top, there is even a message board on Apple’s official website where dullards from far and wide can rant about the confusion they experienced when they first noticed the “scratches” on the iPad.  It can be seen here.

Again, just to be clear: in this online community, these commenters are willingly sharing the fact that a picture of some stars worked them into a fury.  America: fuck yeah.

Assessment


The Idiot warrants just one (out of five) punch to the face.  Just to knock some goddamn sense into him.

The Build-Your-Own-Frozen-Yogurt Experience.

Part of the benefit of having a blog that doesn’t subscribe to any one theme in particular is that I’m free to experiment with different blogging styles.  This right here is my foray into cartoon blogging.

Before you say anything, yes I am a fan of Allie Brosh and The Oatmeal, and of course this post was very much influenced by their work.  (Incidentally, you too should check out their work.  They are phenomenal comedy writers and artists.)

But again, this is me testing the waters.  Enjoy.

LIVE Blogging the 2010 Emmy Awards

Alright, folks.  This is a little last-minute, but I figured — what the hell?  Let’s live blog the Emmys, shall we?

5:04 P.M.  Let’s see — The cast of Glee, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Kate Gosselin, John Hamm, Betty White, Jane Lynch… I should like this.  In theory, I should like this.  It’s got all my favorite people, and Kate Gosselin, but… shit.  It’s the first 4 minutes of the Emmys and it’s already painfully unfunny.  Kudos, Emmys.  The fact that you are able to pass judgement on the art of others while being the worst thing on television tonight is the sweetest of ironies.

5:07  Hey Fallon, how about instead of doing a breathless Bruce Springsteen impersonation, how about let the fucking kids from Glee sing?  They’re the talented ones.  That’s literally the only reason I tuned in.  I’m changing the channel.  Oh, look, a Party of Five episode from 1997 is on over on Channel 8.  Looks like Bailey’s drinking is getting worse.

5:10  It’s been three minutes and doughey Jimmy Fallon still has not caught his breath from the opening act.  NBC better have one hell of a health insurance plan, cause this motherfucker ain’t gonna make it.

5:15  Literally, just the 3-second camera shots of each of the nominees for best supporting actor in a comedy have been the funniest thing on the show so far.  Someone check on Fallon.  His blood pressure’s not gonna watch itself.

5:16 First commercial break.  The mistake I’ve made in choosing to watch the Emmys is already more than evident.  From this point forward, this is going to be a test of my own personal endurance and stamina.  Thank you for joining me on this journey of self-discovery.

5:19  Jimmy Fallon is looking more like Desi Arnaz every day.  I’m guessing the only reason he was selected to host is because the ancient, out-of-touch dinosaurs still running NBC have, in fact, mistaken him for Desi Arnaz.  Or, as will be more accurate as the night progresses and Fallon’s condition deteriorates, the corpse of Desi Arnaz.

5:23  Is “Bang” a synonym for some kind of adult activity?  If so, I sure do hope these writers know what kind of entendres they’ve got their presenters saying.  I’ll give you a hint — it’s double.  Double entendres.  Still funny in 2010.  Here’s a presenter with giant titties just to drive that point home.

5:25  FUCK YEAH, Jane Lynch won.  This is the only act of justice that will happen here tonight.  Mark my words.

5:30  Oh my gosh.  Over on Party of Five, Bailey showed up drunk to the construction site.  I already know what’s gonna happen because I’ve seen this episode before, but my feigned surprise at the outcome of this episode is just about equal to my feigned interest in Emmy banter.   I wish I was drunk.

5:32  Jimmy Fallon, I know this isn’t your fault.  But you’re really making it hard for me to not want to kick you in the scrote.

5:33  Alright, Betty White and NPH winning — that’s legit.  But no speeches?  THIS SHOW IS 6 FUCKING HOURS LONG.  ARE YOU SAVING MORE TIME FOR JIMMY FALLON’S BANTER?  WWWWWTTTTTTTFFFF?

5:35  I think Ryan Murphy drove here in that bow-tie.

5:37 When I was in Jr. High, I saw LL Cool J at Sea World.  My Dad thinks I was mistaken.  But he had the goddamn one-pant leg up on the pants and everything!  He was wearing diamond chains around his neck!  He had a kangol hat on!  I guess what I’m trying to say is, what the fuck is “The Big Bang Theory”?

5:43  Kyle just called.  He wanted me to go with him to buy a laptop.  I said, “Ummm… this is gonna sound kinda silly.  And I’m not proud of this, but I’m sort of live-blogging the Emmy’s right now.  And well… now that I’ve started, I might as well finish it.”  I hope you’re happy, Emmys.  I’ve forsaken my friends for this shit.  There’s no turning back now.

5:48  Take that goddamn guitar away from Fallon.  If you think I won’t drive up to the Nokia to hide all of his ill-advised props from him, you’ve got another thing coming, Emmys.

5:52  Wow, it hasn’t even been a full hour yet.  But it feels like five lifetimes.  I sure am glad I didn’t host an Emmy party at my house.  It would have cost me all of my friends.

5:58  John Hodgman has all the features of an owl.  So I don’t like him.

6:00  Oh my God!  “Grey’s Anatomy” is still on the air?????  Does Obama know about this?

6:04 Detectives Stabler and Benson are here to investigate the rape of my precious time.  The prime suspect has already been identified as: The Emmys.

6:08  You guys, I just checked — there’s no alcohol in my house.  This night just keeps getting worse and worse.

6:13  Did Jimmy Fallon have his lungs removed?  His heavy breathing is making me very uneasy.  Every word out of his mouth is met with very audible struggle.  I’m gonna call an ambulence over there, just in case.

6:15  Hey, do you guys wanna start taking bets on how many snubs “Friday Night Lights” will get this year?  Is your guess “all of them”?  Because that’s my guess too.  “Friday Night Lights” is the greatest thing on T.V. and has been the greatest thing on T.V. for the past four years, depite being royally fucked by the network.  You can keep your “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” and “Softcore Vampire Pornography,” but “Friday Night Lights” is — oh, Kyle Chandler just lost an Emmy to Bryan Cranston.  Right on schedule.

6:25  Wow, an Elton John impersonation.  Timely.

6:26  Someone pays Jimmy Fallon to show up someplace everyday.  I just want you to think about that when the Chinese finally take over.

6:34  “The Closer”?  What is that?  Is that, like, on TNT or something?  You know what, Emmys, just admit it — you’ve never even bothered to watch an episode of “Friday Night Lights,” have you?

6:35  Hey, has anyone ever made a joke about Betty White being a bawdy old gal?  Maybe something where she says a line that’s a little risque for a woman of her age?  Or maybe having some fun by implying that she gets it on with hot younger men?  I can’t believe that joke has gone overlooked all these years.  Someone get Jeff Zucker on the phone.  I’m gonna fix this show for him.

6:40  That fat guy from the Tony awards just ran over the camera-man.  There’s no joke here, I just wanted to make sure we all saw that.

6:45  Ricky Gervais is actually auditioning for “True Blood” right now.  Because look at them fangs.  Wow!  Scary stuff, guys!

(Note: As expected, Ricky Gervais is the one saving grace of this entire debacle.)

6:54  Did Bill Maher steal that “punch a baby” “joke” from Dane Cook?  Whoa.  Holy shit.  I think I’m gonna go make some sweet potato fries for dinner.

7:00  AHA!  Finally, blame can be placed where blame is due — The Chairman and C.E.O. of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, John Shaffner.  You got a lot of nerve showing your face out in public after those Jimmy Fallon musical numbers, pal.

7:09  Poor Tom Hanks.  He deserves better than being hassled by a frantically-breathing hack like this Fallon guy.  He just wants to sit there and endure the show like everyone else, ‘kay bro?  Shit dude.

7:10  How much money would it have taken to get John Krasinski to host this show instead?  Because there currently exists no number high enough to numerate how much I would pay to have Krasinski host instead of Fallon.

7:15  Claire Danes looks like a composite sketch of every actress who was ever on the show “Dawson’s Creek” all superimposed on top of one another.  Is she here to pick up her Emmy for “Dawson’s Creek”?  I don’t know who Claire Danes is.

7:25  Mini-Series stuff.  I’m gonna choke myself until I pass out or something.  Be right back.

7:35  This just in — Al Pacino orange.  Other attendees remain regular flesh colored.  More on this story as it unfolds.

7:40  Uhhh… sooooo…. are we liking Dr. Kevorkian now, or something?  I thought they were joking.  I even laughed.  “Hahaha, Dr. Kevorkian!”  I said.  “That Al Pacino is a real stitch!”  And then this old guy stood up.  I think that was him.  I don’t think they were joking.  I’m so out of touch.  I guess I need to get waaay more liberal if I’m gonna make it in this town.

7:45  “Alright, Lawrence Fishburne is presenting tonight.  Don’t mention that stuff about his daughter doing-you-know-what.  You know.  No, don’t act like you don’t know.  I’m talking about the porno.  His daughter was in a porno!  You really didn’t know?  Like a week ago!  No, it was like, real hardcore stuff.  But don’t say anything about it to him.  Oh shit — he’s standing right behind me, isn’t he?”  — Director, Tonight’s Emmy’s Telecast

7:50  Okay, good.  Good.  I think Fallon forgot that he came here with a guitar.  I think we’re gonna be okay from here on out.

7:55  If anyone has the DVD’s of “Mad Men,” I’d like to borrow them.  Because I’ve seen a few episodes and I just… don’t… get it.  Not at all.  Should I have been watching from the very beginning?  Is this one of those shows where if you miss a single episode, you can’t continue on with the season?  Is it like “Gossip Girl”?  I guess that’s what I’m asking.

8:00 Well, I think my dignity has been sufficiently insulted, lo these past 3 hours.  Jimmy Fallon, if I ever see you walking down the street, I can’t guarantee that I won’t punch you right in your shallow lungs.

Thank you for joining me.  And sorry for joining me.

A WTF Gallery.

This entry is a long time coming.

You may already be aware that I’m a notorious procrastinator.

I take a lot of pictures of random shit that makes me laugh or go “Hmmmm….” always with the intention of uploading them to this blog immediately, but again — I’m a procrastinator.

This is me dumping six months worth of “WTF Pictures” (patent pending) into one elegant gallery.

So, please, instruct your eyeballs to savor these pictures now.  Because who knows when I’ll post something like this again.

First and foremost, Nordstrom should really reconsider changing the design of the bags they give out in the “Brass Plum” department.

Is that… is that “bp.” logo on top of an oil spill?  You ain’t got no class, Nordstrom.

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I found this next product while looking in the Gatorade aisle at the store.  These are, I shit you not, Jelly Belly brand “Sport Beans.”

I really wish the camera on my cell phone was better so you could make out the text.  These magic beans, as it were, promise to give you the energy you need to compete and perform in your athletic, active lifestyle.  By “energy,” of course, they mean sugar.  Which would make them regular jelly beans.

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Another store find, I walked down the “ethnic foods” aisle and found this convenient placement of goods.

“OH WHAT, JUST BECAUSE I’M PICKING UP SOME ETHNIC (term used loosely) TACO BELL FIESTA STEAK BOWLZ, SUDDENLY YOU THINK I ALSO WANT SOME CATHOLIC CANDLES WITH JESUS CRISTO AND WHAT APPEAR TO BE SPANISH CONQUISTADORS ON THEM?!!!  Oh actually, those look pretty nice, ese.”

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I took this next picture at my friend Kelly’s college graduation.  I was playing games on my iPod when I looked over and saw everyone around me doing the same.  Then I realized, “Wow.  Just think — even as little as four years ago, we would have had to pay attention to this shit, instead of ignoring the entire ceremony with the help of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.”

Offenders circled in red.  You people should all be ashamed of yourselves.  (Not pictured: Desiree, playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.)

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I’ll just let you go ahead and read the text of this photo I took of a catalog.

I think this might be for the elderly?  Or some kind of bed-ridden recent surgery patient?  So, part of me doesn’t want to make fun of it.  But on the other hand… there’s a female adapter so you can piss in a gas-can.

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Teenage girl: “Hey Mom, while you’re at the store, could you pick me up a copy of the latest VAMPIRES MAGAZINE?  I hear there’s new vampires in it this month.  Oh wait, there’s not?  Just the same two as always?  Okay, well pick it up anyway.”

By the way, don’t think for a second that the two headlines “Taylor takes it off” and “Rob — Who really turns him on” are mutually exclusive from one another.

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“Hey teen girls!  Finished that latest copy of Vampires Magazine?  You could probably use something new to read.  Don’t bother developing your own literary tastes, though, because we know you like peer pressure to do all your thinking for you!  That’s why, here at Barnes & Noble, we installed our latest addition — Peer Pressure Corner!”

“We’re serious.  Read what your friends are reading.  What, are you just gonna let that bitch Becky walk around like her shit don’t stink just ’cause she read the latest vampire novel that’s a thinly veiled allegory for abstinence, and you didn’t?  No one’s gonna ask you to homecoming with that attitude.  Have fun dying alone.” — Barnes & Noble Teen Marketing Division, 2010

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No, thank YOU for not having spell-check on your receipt printers.

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For the record, knowing that life is crap inspires ME.

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YOUREDOUCHEY.

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“Look, we’re the San Diego Zoo.  We don’t have time to beat around the bush here.  If you stand too close to this fucking lion, you will get lion butt spray all over you.”

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And, finally.  The  piéce de résistance, I give you: Double Spoon Rest.

Or, as it more commonly known at Bed, Bath, and Beyond — “Giant Robot Scrotum” (patent pending).

Conversations with Summer.

Summer is my Dog.  She is a yellow lab.  She is just motherfucking delightful.

But sometimes I have to leave the house.  Sometimes I go to other people’s houses.  Sometimes those other people, too, have dogs.  These dogs very often carelessly rub themselves all over me.

Am I cheating on my dog?  We’ll let Summer be the judge of that.

Please enjoy this dramatization of what happens when I return home from a night out on the town with other dogs.

Me:  “Oh!  Hello, puppy!”

Summer: “Just where in the holy hell have you been?  Come here.  Let me smell your pants.”

Me:  “Uh….”

Summer:  “What… what the fuck is this?  What THE FUCK is this?  I smell… [sniff sniff] yup, I smell cocker spaniel… [sniff sniff] I smell beagle, I smell… [sniff sniff]… I don’t even know what the fuck that last one is.  Some kind of mutt probably, knowing you.”

Me:  “I don’t know what you’re talking about.  I haven’t been around any other dogs today.  Now why don’t we forget about this whole mess with a delicious Snausage?”

Summer:  “Don’t try to ply me with processed meat of questionable biological origin.  You may have thumbs and the ability to move around bipedally, but my nose is far more evolved then yours, you glorified orangutan.”

Me:  “ALRIGHT!  I pet a couple of other dogs today.  But it meant nothing!  It’s not like we played fetch or anything!”

Me:  “Okay, we played fetch.  Just once, though!  He wasn’t even very good.”

Summer:  “…”

Me: “…”

Summer:  “You common whore.

THE END.

P.S. Summer is the best.