Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Madness


It took me a while to get into Muse. The first time I ever heard them was in 2004 during my freshman year in college. Their single "Knights of Cydonia" was really popular on mtvU, the MTV channel made just for colleges. I didn't really get it at the time, and as such, kind of dismissed Muse as a band that I would like.

I started liking Muse around the time my friend Bob introduced them to me around 2009 or so. He introduced me to a lot of shit that I shouldn't have gotten into, but I'm very okay with him showing me that Muse was a great band. Go check them out more if you haven't.

This is their latest single and I think it's pretty good.

Beard

I told a story in a previous blog about growing my first beard when I was 16. You can scan the archives for that if you'd like.

As you can tell from the photo collage above, growing a beard has been something I've been doing in my free time lately. I've joked to my friends that I don't even like this beard anymore, but I've already committed to it.

We're nearing the end of the unofficial "No Shave November" holiday. I guess technically I've been breaking the rules, as I trim the upper cheek area (so it doesn't go up to almost my eyes) and I've been trimming the mustache (so it doesn't grow over my upper lip).

I've had a beard pretty much uninterrupted for the last year. It kind of changes who you are. It becomes a part of who you are. I've lost count of how many times I've been referred to as "that guy with the beard." And lately I've been hearing "Have you ever heard that you look like that guy from 'The Hangover?'"

I never really thought I was much of a rebel. But, I guess the reason I really enjoyed sporting a beard off-and-on over the last few years was because I wasn't allowed to. Per Pizza Hut policy, beards are not allowed. Only goatees and modest sideburns are allowed.

I broke several rules while working at Pizza Hut and was never punished for them. But, the only one that I ever was regularly called out on was the beard rule. Most of the time it was just that I hadn't shaved. To have a completely smooth face, I have to shave every single day. I can usually get by with shaving every couple days, since my stubble isn't that noticeable.

I'm lazy, so I don't like to shave that often. That leads to having beards. And I wasn't allowed to do that, so that led to conflict.

After I left the Pizza Hut corporation, I started working at one of those gambling places. People come in and gamble. I give them their winnings and any snacks that they might like. I worked with all females; I was the only guy there. Within a few days I had a decent stubble going and was very happy to stop shaving and let my beard free.

Then I lost that job. Search the archives for the story there. Now it was time to find another job. I shaved off the beard and started the job search. It took a little while, but I ended up at Outback. I don't enjoy it, but it's about all I'm qualified to do at the moment.

I hadn't shaved for a few days and noticed that nobody said anything about it. I decided to try my luck and grow a beard. It was the first thing I liked about that job. I had the freedom to look the way I wanted to. That felt good and made me happy. And not having a job for a while made me unhappy, so this was a good feeling to have.

I kept it nice and trimmed and enjoyed it. I shaved it off briefly in the summer. Within a couple weeks it was back. I shaved it off again for most of September and some into October. With No Shave November coming up, I decided to then see how far I could take it. That's presently what I'm sporting in that picture at the top.

It's a lot more work than you would think. I have to shampoo it when I'm in the shower. I have to towel dry it afterward. I have to keep it combed down and smoothed out, otherwise it gets messed up and unruly. Like I said, I don't even think I like it anymore. But, I've already gone this far with it.

We'll see where this goes after November is over. I might be ready to give the beard a break for a while. Maybe I'll bring this guy back:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Jim Breuer talks about Chris Farley

I mentioned recently that I re-read the Chris Farley biography "The Chris Farley Show." It's a really sad look at a troubled man whose life was cut short by drug addiction. The book is divided into three parts - his early life, breaking out in SNL and movies, and finally his death.

One of the last high-profile things Chris Farley did before his death was to host Saturday Night Live for the first time. It was a few months before he died. The only memorable skit to come from that show was the "El Nino" bit ("El Nino is Spanish for... the Nino"). Other than that, the show was notable for seeing Farley at his heaviest and possibly his most dependent on drugs. According to the book, he was under the influence during the show and it's one of the few episodes that SNL does not show in syndication.

During an appearance on the Howard Stern Show, Jim Breuer (of "Half Baked" fame) recounted a story about Farley hosting, as Breuer was a cast member at the time. It's embedded below in two YouTube videos. Having a SNL host is a week-long event, with writing the show, rehearsing it, and then finally Saturday night.

Breuer talks about Farley deciding to hang with him early on, then learning the severity of Farley's drug issues and distancing himself, and a depressing phone conversation the two shared. He also reveals that Chris Rock was on set as a backup host, in case things fell through with Farley. It's an interesting story that you should check out. Also, Breuer's Tracy Morgan impression is hilarious. If for nothing else, watch it for that.
 
Part 1

   
Part 2

You Don't Know Me


"You Don't Know Me," Ben Folds feat. Regina Spektor

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gerti's article in Prerogative

For those who have been looking forward to it, the current issue of Prerogative magazine (Princeton's women-oriented periodical) has been released. In it is a story by my girlfriend, Candace Nelson, about the Omelet Spot's favorite server, Gerti.

If you'll recall, I posted a blog in late August asking people for help with the article. Since Candace lives in Morgantown, she was unable to speak to a lot of Princeton residents and get their perspective of why they like Gerti. So, I asked people to give me some quotes to give her. I received several comments on the blog post itself and also on Facebook.

If you posted a comment on my Facebook or last blog, odds are you are featured in the article. Here's how you can read it:

Go to http://www.candacerosenelson.com/writing.html and scroll down until you find "Prerogative Magazine | Meals and Memories (part 1) (part 2)." Part 1 is the title page and part 2 is the story. Prerogative doesn't have a strong online presence, so Candace made it a PDF and put it on her own website.

There you go. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Remember all that snow?

That "Frankenstorm" thing from a week or so ago really sucked. Remember that? My power was out for 2 days and I had to stay at my mom's house.

What sucks about it the most, probably, was that things looked good for me at first. It had started snowing the first day of the storm and everybody was saying to expect the worst. Well, I got home and saw that my electricity was still on. I breathed a sigh of relief and went inside to prepare for the cold.

Fifteen minutes later, my power went out.

Honestly, I wish I had gotten home 20 minutes later than I did and just walked into a cold, dark apartment. I didn't like getting my hopes up that everything would be fine and then have the power out after I got settled in.

It snowed quite a bit. Here's a picture that I posted on twitter. I don't know the exact measurement, but that's a lot of snow:

That was the morning after the first night. The first night, it was still coming down. I didn't think the power would be out for too long, so I tried to rough it.

I lit a candle and played around on my phone for a few hours until the battery died. Then I went out to my car to warm up and charge my phone.

I sat in my car for probably close to 3 hours. I re-read "The Chris Farley Show," a great look at the life and career of one of my favorite actors.

Tommy Boy is my favorite movie ever. If you go through old posts here in my blog you'll notice (maybe...) that I try to sprinkle Tommy Boy references in here and there.

The book is broken into three parts - his early life, his big break in SNL and movies, and finally his death. It's told in several interviews by people closest to him - his brothers, David Spade, Norm Macdonald, Chris Rock, Lorne Michaels, Jay Mohr, Conan O'Brien, and other SNL cast mates and other actors.

It's a great book. Tommy Boy was a great movie. Some of his other movies were very hit & miss, but the book goes into his bouts of depression caused by his typecasting he couldn't avoid and his efforts to break out of it. He was also the original voice of Shrek and had recorded most of the dialogue before his death. There wasn't enough to finish it, so they re-wrote it and cast Mike Myers. It goes into detail with that, too.

So, after finishing the book I went to bed. It was probably around 5 a.m. by this point. I woke up around 1 p.m. extremely cold and hungry. I didn't have to work, so I didn't have a nice, warm place to go to since the power was still out in my apartment. So, I went to my mom's.

I got through that night. I had to work at 4 p.m. the next day. So, I stayed at my mom's until 3 p.m. and got ready for work. I had left my work clothes at my apartment, so the idea was to stay at my mom's as long as possible and then go to my place and change, since I still didn't know if the power was out. Luckily, it was back on when I got there to change.

Snow in October is weird. Luckily everything with my apartment is back to normal. All I had to endure was two days without electricity and I at least had a warm place to go. There were a lot of areas, especially the New York area, that were affected a lot worse and are still feeling the residual effects.

One thing I always try to do when I'm feeling down is to remember that it could always be worse. Yeah, my apartment was cold, but at least I still had an apartment and it's warm now.

One thing that does kind of suck is that things are starting to go back to normal and the melting of the snow has created this sort of "false happiness" for me. Winter is my least-favorite season and I hate snow. So, seeing all of this snow melting makes me happy. But, then I remember that this was early snow and it will just be back in a month or so. Then my happiness is gone.

Hopefully that's the worst of it and this winter will be a peaceful one.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Stellar


One of my favorites from Incubus. What I especially like about this song is the ambiguity of it. This can either be a positive love song or it could be about a broken relationship. "How do you do it? Make me feel like I do?" That's the power of words right there.

Latest Tricycle Offense posts

Like with most things in my life, I've gotten lazy and neglected something I like. This time it is the multimedia blog Tricycle Offense. I'm throwing them an article every now and then, but not nearly as often as I'd like. Below are my two latest posts:

Breaking Down the Best in the World ... My review of the WWE-produced 3-disk documentary looking at the career of current WWE Champion CM Punk. This is probably the best documentary that WWE has ever released on somebody. It doesn't have "We're the only major company left, so we're telling our version of history" stench that a lot of previous WWE titles have had. Read the review and find out why I like it.

A Look Inside Ring of Honor ... I attended a ROH card over the summer. I give my thoughts on the atmosphere of that show. I also look at the current state of the organization. For years, it used to be the breeding ground for future TNA and WWE stars. Right now, it just looks like it has the "Best of ROH," the ones that likely won't be future stars anywhere else. That's my take. See if you agree.

As I send more stuff in over there, I'll continue to let you guys see them here.

I Could Have Lied


Nice acoustic-driven piece from the Red Hot Chili Peppers' groundbreaking "BloodSugarSexMagik" album from the early '90s.