Thursday, June 26, 2008

Guys named Todd

Yes, George Carlin was a hilarious and hugely influential stand-up comedian, yadda yadda yadda. But you know what, I've got a bone to pick with that little weasel. For most of my adult life I've had a complex about my name, all thanks to the following bit:

You're probably laughing now, but try spending your prime adult years attempting to make a good first impression on people when every time you introduce yourself you hear George Carlin going "Taaaahhd" in the back of your head. Yeah, it's not that funny anymore. It kind of takes you down a notch.

Todd. Taaaahhd.

The Mrs., bless her heart, never fails to remind me how ridiculous my name is. There are really only two kinds of Todds in the world, she tells me, ice skaters and the villains from '80s teen comedies, who are typically blond and chiseled. For the record, I don't happen to fall into either category.

But George was right: Todd is a goofy fucking name.

Is it too late to start going by my middle name?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My life is now complete

How did I manage to go so far in my life without ever having seen this before?

Friday, June 06, 2008

I don't even know where to begin

What's been going on at the Well Respected Blog? Only one post per month, and the last post was just a comic? Christ, I'm slipping. Okay, I'll try to bring the WRB back up to speed with a quick list of what I've been distracted by recently:

1. Moving.

2. Blogging about moving elsewhere.

3. Making sweet muzak:

3a. Band 1 is off to a slow start, but the tunage is promising. After two months I think we've finally found a drummer, which has really helped because rhythm guitar and bass can only hold your interest for so long. We still need another body or two to help flesh out the sound: lead guitarist, pedal steel guitarist, musical saw-er, something. I think our original goal of having an album recorded by the end of the summer is out of reach, but when the time comes (next summer?) it'll be something glorious.

3b. Band 2 started off with a bang. Nearly a month after being together we played our first show (without a name even). Here's a summation of the experience taken from an e-mail to a friend:

Well, I randomly played my first gig on Friday. So fucking weird. The drummer's other band was supposed to play, but the singer had to pull out, so... we filled in instead. And, surprisingly, it went pretty well. We played 10 songs in about 16 minutes. But what was really strange, and Blanks-esque, was the line-up of other bands playing. Upstairs there was this reggae show going on, and the club had this huge, dreadlocked rasta bouncer. So all the while as we were loading our equipment into the club (we had to park like a block down the street) we had to maneuver past these slow-moving reggae dancers and the strong scent of patchouli. Downstairs, where we played, the first act was this 40+ guy doing a soft acoustic set. We dubbed him "Esteban," but it turns out his name was actually Ken. After Esteban, this Rage Against the Machine-meets-Metallica-meets-dogshit metal band plays (you know the kind, the lead singer has a huge spike through his lower lip and screams into the microphone like an angry Daughtry; the lead guitarist has shaved eyebrows and crazy eyes; the drummer has an insanely huge drumset; the bassist has a Rancid shirt on). After this awesome metal set is... another acoustic set. This time by a sensitive type guy doing covers of songs like "Wonderwall" by Oasis. And then we went on. And then this band that started with a cover of "Kick Out the Jams" by the MC5 and ended with a cover of the Stooges' "TV Eye," during which the lead singer/guitarist, who looks exactly like Mr. Rosso from Freaks & Geeks, tries to solo out in the audience in front of a bunch of horrified women. I mean, wow, you had to be there.

After the strange success of that night, we managed to land another gig at a much more reputable venue, albeit with another confusing line-up. Us, a ska band, and a group that could only be described as Wine Bar music: earthy, groovy noodling on the guitar; lite funk on the bass; and bongo drums. Yyyyeah. The bar owner liked us, however, and asked us to come back a few weeks later. We were going to but... we decided to can our drummer. Bottom line: he had a double-bass pedal. And he used it. Buh-bye. So now we've got a new drummer, and it makes all the difference in the world. We no longer sound like a post-hardcore band, now it's more like a jangly, lo-fi sound, which I think is what we were hoping for from the beginning. The only problem? The new drummer went out and joined a traveling circus, so we'll only have access to her for random weeks throughout the summer.

Let's see... what else have I been up to? Oh yes...

4. Mowing the lawn, or attempting to.

5. Working.

6. Playing with all sorts of neat political statistical toys, like this one.

7. Celebrating Obama's primary victory!

8. Watching the Sex and the City movie. Dan, you must be getting a lot of lead paint chips falling into your salads if you thought this piece of garbage was any good. Atrocious doesn't even begin to describe it. It's like the producers gathered together a focus group of devoted 13-year-old fans with a combined IQ of 87 and asked them to write a script that was as predictable, self-indulgent, and superficial as possible. Oh, and to please throw in a crap-your-pants joke for good measure, because that always gets people laughing. Christ on a stick! I wanted to gouge my eyes out and vomit out my eye sockets. And I'm not ashamed to admit that there were parts of the TV program that I enjoyed, but the movie was just plain bad. And do you want to know the worst part? I got ID'ed. I haven't been ID'ed to buy beer at bars for years now, and yet I supposedly don't look over 17 in order to get into an R-rated movie? Come on!

Okay, that's it for now. Thanks for checking in, and don't do acid.