Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Nights at Tortugas

I have never been to the Outer Banks. And I have never been to the Outer Banks with the dregs that roam this blog. And I have never been to this famous "Tortugas" place, for which the professional alcoholics among the aforementioned dregs profess so much love.

But I bet/hope it looks and sounds something like this.

God bless you, Moldovian sax lovers.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ranking Topps' 1980's Baseball Card Sets: #10 - 1986

Those of you who remain unfamiliar with my less sordid hobbies as a child may be surprised to learn that I was an avid baseball card collector throughout the back half of the 1980's. The passion combined many of my interests and strengths - baseball, money, detailed memory of minutiae and swindling neighbors. I was lucky enough to leverage birthdays and holidays for cards amid a middle-school hospitalization for this (it's okay to click - no nasal polyp photos), a minor malady in which I attracted much sympathy. It was October 1986 and I spent a month in a hospital displaying allergies to multiple antibiotics and cheering for the Mets to stick to the Sox. I parlayed the medical issue into a bonanza of a November birthday and Christmas, where I compiled a pretty kick-ass set of trading cards which I traded up to get a banner collection for a kid my age without wealthy parents. Included among the (now mostly worthless) collection were a Johnny Bench rookie, a 1968 Mickey Mantle, a Ricky Henderson rookie, every Topps, Fleer and Donruss Dave Winfield card made (still working on O-Pee-Chee, though) and several other items that could be called gems at the time.* My interest started building in 1984 and eventually waned by 1990, when I became intrigued by other hobbies, like touching breasts and drinking alcohol.

(*among the non-gems were (7) Mike Greenwell rookie cards, (6) Tood Zeile rookie cards, (6) Ramon Martinez rookie cards and, wait for it, (9) Hensley "Bam Bam" Meulens rookie cards. I still look at these cards on occasion to remind myself that I was an idiot as a child.)

But enough about me, the dim-witted kids in my neighborhood and my love of cold beer and warm breasts. Let's talk about the cards. In the 1980's, Topps baseball cards were king. Fleer was a second-rate competitor and Donruss was an emerging third horse in the race, but not yet a threat. Each January, Topps would release its new issue of cards. And there would be much discussion among my imaginary friends and me about each year's cards - the visual layout, colors, borders, patterns, player omissions, etc. But that discussion would quickly abate as we ripped through cards like kids looking for golden tickets in Wonka Bars. There was nothing like that first shuffle through a newly opened deck of cards. I would get excited by any Yankee, even if it was a lame player, because, all things equal, you'd take Bobby Meacham over an Iorg brother every day of the week. And I would love the gum for every second of the four minutes it took for the gum to turn into something that had the consistency of tire rubber.

So I proffer to lead us down memory lane and offer up a highly scientific ranking of the 1980's Topps baseball cards sets. The rankings grade each year from 1980 through 1989, using a highly scientific proprietary multi-factor model that assesses the following items: aesthetic value of the card layout, prominent rookies, contents of that year's regular and "traded" sets, the steroid era's impact on that year's deck, as well as other subjective factors. We will start the countdown at the bottom. I will highlight the pros and cons for each year, based on the aforementioned metrics, and attempt to enlighten you while fleshing out my thesis. Given my pace with previous multi-post concepts (hi Cauc Hop!), I expect to finish this series in March 2024. Or later. But the goal will be to publish this series once a week, concluding with the final post sometime in October.

So without further ado, let us begin.

#10 - 1986

Coming in last on this list means we will highlight the "cons" first, a fitting word for a set that featured rookie cards for Barry Bonds and Jose Canseco. But the black cloud hanging over many of these players pales in comparison to the detrimental impact of the black border surrounding the cards themselves. In a monster gaffe that repeated the mistake of the 1970 Topps set, Topps designed the 1986 set with a black border around the upper half of the card. This border chipped and frayed at the slightest of touches, rendering many mint-condition cards looking less than 100% after initial handling. It made it difficult to insert/remove them from the plastic pages of your card binder one time without marring them. That design failure would prove challenging for sloppy 11 year-olds like myself.

In addition to the design, the players themselves would prove to be a detriment to the year. There isn't much in the way of marquee players who haven't embarrassed themselves badly. Among the rookie cards in this set are a loathsome lot of men. Vince Coleman was a hot prospect in 1986, as were Lenny Dykstra, Harold Reynolds, Ozzie Guillen and Darren Daulton. And Cecil Fielder, although his rookie card (as a Blue Jay) did not become valuable until 1990. Not a lot of quality dudes there.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Topps put out a seven card sub-set this year to honor Pete Rose for passing Ty Cobb's hit record. So throw in a gambler with the juice heads, the firecracker thrower and the lady toucher and you have a true motley batch of jerk-offs featured in 1986.

One rookie, a tragic hero whose legacy has sadly diminished over time, was featured in the 1986 set. That man was Bo Jackson. I'll spare the recap, but every sports fan should remember the iconic moments of that man's career - his Heisman-winning year at Auburn, his steamrolling performance over Boz and the Seahawks on Monday Night Football, the way he made Gretzky giggle in the Nike commercial and the home run in the 1987 all-star game. These were all iconic moments. But other than Bo, there's just not a lot to like here, unless you're a big fan of Will Clark, Wally Joyner or Pete Incaviglia.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fashion is...Divine?

Who knew the Pope had casual Fridays? I assume he wanted to wear an Angels cap, but was told it would clash?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Top Five Facial Expressions in Film

There are people that take film very seriously.  Film buffs.  Not only do they know the names of all the actors in the movie, but they also know who wrote it, who directed it, and who composed the musical score.  They can actually play the Kevin Bacon game without the use of IMDB.  They talk about lighting and color saturation and visual motifs and Dogma 95.  On Oscar night, they can't wait to see who wins "Best Sound Editing"-- which is not to be confused with "Best Sound Mixing."  They'll tell you which film won "Best Costume Design" seven years go.  They have had serious discussions about make-up.

But here at G:TB, we don't take film so seriously.  We are not so discerning, as you can see here.  And there are no foreign films on this list.  And we don't even call them films, we call them movies.  But we do like to look at stuff on screens.  Why?  For a reason film buffs rarely talk about, because it is too obvious.  Actors (and real people, for that matter) are good at making faces.  Forget all that other stuff:  the plot and special effects and music and crane shots . . . none of that matters as much as the ability of an actor to look the right way at the right time.  It barely matters what they are saying, as long as they've got the right look on their face.  But movie buffs think they are beyond this.  They want to talk about all the superficial stuff, when what is important are the people on the screen and the expressions they are making.

And so, without further analysis and in the spirit of the Teej, here are the Top Five Facial Expressions in Film.  You will not find any foreign facial expressions on this list.

1.  In the movie Spinal Tap, when Bobbi Fleckman tells the bands manager, Ian Faith, that "money talks and bullshit walks," Ian Faith makes the greatest facial expression in the history of film.  If you don't remember this, you can watch it here.  It's near the end of the clip, but it's worth watching the entire scene, it's the one with the description of Spinal Tap's album cover for "Smell the Glove."

2.  John Belushi in Animal House.

3.  Fay Wray when she first sees King Kong.

4.  Feathers McGraw in Nick Park's claymation masterpiece The Wrong Trousers.

5.  Jack Nicholson in The Shining.  He says, "Here's Johnny," but did he have to say anything?

This list is not so definitive, so feel free to add to it.  Jim Carrey and Jack Black certainly deserve a mention, although sometimes they ham it up too much.  This is just to get the ball rolling, to start the discussion.  The final goal, of course, is for the Academy Awards to consider The Best Facial Expression in a Feature Film as Oscar worthy. And G:TB will be responsible.

Until then, do this: the next time you're hanging out with some real dyed in the wool film buffs and they're discussing Steadicam shots and the seamless integration of digital effects, try to dumb it down a bit.  Tell them you really liked Heather Graham's sex face in Boogie Nights.  Or you thought Clint Eastwood did a fantastic job of looking tough in Gran Torino.  What can they say?  Nothing.  Nothing at all.  All they can do is look at your smug, shit-eating grin.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Major Coincidence? Or Just Tomfoolery?

This morning over at Sentence of Dave I tried-- unsuccessfully-- to explain a coincidence that happened last night. My excuse is that I stayed up too late last night, watching LeCompt, the best bar band in the universe. My kids did not care. They got up at their usual time (as did my wife, and she went to a yoga class on the beach, so I had to hake the cobwebs off and go skim-boarding . . . a recipe for disaster.) My cognition is still fuzzy, but I'm going to channel T.J. and explain this with clips.

Before I go on vacation, I usually print out some songs to play on guitar. So last week I printed out "Space Oddity" by David Bowie, for no other reason than I thought my kids would like it. They are boys, and they like space ships and death. The song has both. In case you've forgotten:

So last night, while LeCompt was playing Neil Young's "Down by the River," a song my kids like because they find the lyrics intriguing, I told my cousin that I had been playing "Space Oddity" to my kids and they really liked it. Not ten seconds later, LeCompt launched into a fantastic cover of . . . you guessed it . . . "Space Oddity." For a moment, I felt like this:

But then I remembered something I read about coincidences. It was some back of the envelope calculations that illustrated it would be much weirder if coincidences like this did not occur. We encounter stimulus during all our waking moments, and our brains love to seek patterns and find meaning. And the constant bombardment are senses are subjected to guarantees that those one in a million type coincidences will happen quite often. It can't take more than a month or two for a million things to run through our consciousness, so we'll experience one of these wild coincidences once every month or two. Think of all the songs you mention that don't suddenly start playing on the radio or in the bar you are in . . .

But then I remembered this scene:

And so I have decided that this was no coincidence-- that LeCompt playing "Space Oddity" just after I mentioned "Space Oddity" is a profound omen. I am going to die in space. It is my destiny; it is inevitable and unavoidable. "But Dave," you say, "just don't go out into space. Do not ever get into a spaceship and you'll be able to avoid this terrible lonely death in the cold recesses of the universe."

It's not so easy. I will try to avoid spaceships, but for example, something like this will happen. I will be on vacation in Florida, and think I am at DisneyWorld getting on Space Mountain, but in actuality, I won't be at DisneyWorld, I'll be at Cape Canaveral. And I'll get on board a real spaceship instead of a ride and never even know it. And then I'll die in space. Or my friend will pull up in his new mini-van and say, "Get in," and I'll get in, but it won't be a new mini-van, it will be a spaceship. So there's no avoiding it, and I am resigned to my fate. At least it will cure this hangover.

Walking in Produce

OK, well, this is apparently a race to post. David is still on vacation and attempting to steal my brain in some sort of "Inception" let's see who hits PUBLISH POST first.

[Wow. Dave technically beat me by minutes. But, he is on vacation and I am the Doofus Overlord. Enjoy my post for two hours. Dave's will appear at 3:53pm]

Basically, this stems from my visit to Starbucks this morning. I saw them pimping a Marc Cohn CD...and I thought, Marc Cohn, why do I know that-

Mother f'er, that's the "Walking in Memphis" guy. I love that guy. Wait, why do I love that guy?

And then I remembered. My high school/college vacations and summer part-time job was working at a Shop 'n Save (nee Hannaford) supermarket. As any good supermarket does, we had music. One repetitive loop of music. One endlessly repetitive loop of looping music. 95% of it sucked. The one song I actually got a kick out of was Cohn's "Walking in Memphis".

I'm not even lowering myself to a clip. I need to hold out on the clip long enough to make Dave wonder if HE actually wrote this post.

There were two other songs from my Days of Produce (" sands through the mango...") that I (sadly) can never forget. They are nowhere near as good as Memphis...but the do effectively end my typing for this post, for which I am thankful.

I give you the two other songs that haunted my part-time work life from 1994-1997:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Heat Brain Damage Sock Puppet Hip Hop: I Have Become T.J.

I am on vacation in Sea Isle City and it is nearly 100 degrees on the beach, which is retarded.  Yesterday, during the hottest part of the day, I carried several thousand pounds of luggage up the stairs to our second floor condominium and it did something to my brain.  I no longer have the desire to write long-winded posts full of meta-analysis and bad jokes.  I have no desire to accompany said posts with funny pictures and bad garage rock. Instead I just want to post a link to a funny song.

Now I know what it's like to live inside T.J.'s brain.  It is a happy, simple place.  The heat gave me brain damage.  The brain damage made me understand T.J.  I'm sure it will wear off when the heat wave passes, but while I am on vacation, I am going to channel the spirit of T.J.

I am assuming that everyone has heard the song "Pizza Hut & Taco Bell" by Das Racist, but I am also assuming that no one has seen all the videos for the song, because there are thousands.  The band decided not to make an official video and instead let their fans generate loads of unofficial videos.  This one is particularly Gheorghe.  Why is it particularly G:TB

Because of previous posts of this ilk.  And this.  And who could forget this?

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I doubt (hope?) many of G:TB's regular readers have paid attention to the various racial conflagrations inflaming what passes for our media in the last few weeks. In a nutshell, right-wing partisans got into an online spat with the NAACP and posted a conveniently edited video claiming reverse racism, and left-wing hand-wringers predictably and completely overreacted in any number of dimensions. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the White House staff earned a special commendation for outstanding achievement in spineless capitulation.

We really don't care about any of that. Or at least we really aren't interested in debating race relations in this space. The silver lining in this entirely, predictably, depressing episode was the reminder from the gifted Ta-Nehisi Coates of Dave Chappelle's genius.

I miss Dave Chappelle. What might have been.

Friday, July 23, 2010

And now a word from our sponsors...

G:TB is brought to you today by the letter F, the number 69, and our sponsors:

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Winnebago Man (NSFW at all unless you have earphones)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ask the Oil Spill . . . More Advice from Lesser Known Sages




ME: Mr. Spill? Is that what you liked to be called? Or should I stick with Mr. Gulf Spill?

THE SPILL: I prefer Mr. BP.

ME: Is that so people know who is to blame? So they recognize who created you?

THE SPILL: No. It is an acronym for Big Penis. I'm hung like a derrick.

ME: Okay, let's get serious. Who is more to blame for the current financial crisis? Is it the banking industry, with their deleterious lending practices? Is it the Bush and Clinton administrations, which pushed the banking industry to provide a wide variety of unregulated mortgage products? Or is it the Wall Street bond market wonks who designed synthetic CDO's and never realized that the "diversification" in these bond funds was not really diverse at all?

THE SPILL: Those are good questions, but, honestly, I don't give give a flying fuck. You're talking about abstract, digital money. Boo hoo. Have you seen my handiwork? Look at this oil-soaked otter! How can you think about property values while beholding this otter! Behold the otter! I will light this oil soaked otter on fire! Fuck yeah! The sub-prime mortgage crisis bows down to me! I am the greater crisis! Me! The sub-prime mortgage crisis pales comparison to me. Pales! Get it? It is pale in comparison to my dark and oily complexion. I am the new black!

ME: Have you finally stopped spewing oil?

THE SPILL: Maybe. But it's building up in my shaft! You can shove as much mud and concrete as you want down there, but I still might ejaculate another load onto your clean blue ocean! Ha ha ha! Get it! Like your ex-leader ejaculating on that blue dress! But I stain better than him. You'll remember me long after you've forgotten his stain. You'll remember me every time your child steps into a sludge ball at the beach. You'll remember me every time you bite into a tuna salad sandwich and it's not tuna salad . . . it's a sludge ball! Fuck yeah! You will remember me! I am a match for even the great tsunami! Do you remember the tsunami? The tsunami bows down before me! I stain the tsunami! Ha ha ha!

ME: People seem devastated by the environmental damage you have wreaked, but I don't see anyone proposing drastic measures about curtailing our oil consumption. What do you make of this paradox?

THE SPILL: The paradox is beautiful! People have shifted their blame and anger to BP, but they need to look at me. They need to look in the mirror, the mirror-like blue waters of the Gulf and see their reflection. I am their reflection! The Gulf is not mirror-like and blue any longer! They will see black and grained spots. Out, damned spot, out! But the spot is on their soul. Two Shakespeare allusions! Oh yeah! The tsunami bows down to me. The tsunami was an act of God, but I am an act of you! Oh yeah! Who is more bad ass? I am more bad ass! Oh yeah! What was the question?

ME: Will humans curtail their energy consumption as a result of you?

THE SPILL: Right. Here is the beautiful thing. Oh yeah! I thought about this. It's so sweet. Because of global warming, it's too hot to walk! You see it? You want to save energy, you want to stop driving, but it's so fucking hot that you can't! You can't stop! It's too hot to walk around out there! Your fat-ass kids need an air conditioned mini-van to make it to the ice cream parlor. You're trapped! So it's all your fault. Oh yeah! Do you remember the earthquake that hit Turkey in 1999?

ME: Not exactly. Why?

THE SPILL: Oh yeah! You don't remember that, but you'll remember me. Every time an oily smoldering osprey flies by your house, you'll remember me! Every time an oil soaked whale beaches itself on your drive way, you'll remember me. I am an indelible stain on your soul! Oh yeah!

ME: On a lighter note . . . what bands do you listen to? Midnight Oil? Gaslight Anthem? Built to Spill?

THE SPILL: Ha ha! Very funny, but also very predictable. But I prefer Greasetruck.

ME: Where do you plan on vacationing this summer now that you've ruined the Gulf?

THE SPILL: I don't vacation in the Gulf anyway. That's where I work. You don't eat where you shit. I'm thinking of hijacking a plane and going to Alaska. I've got an old friend there. Plus, I'd love to stain some sweet white snow. And I've never engulfed and smothered a polar bear. It's always been a dream of mine to engulf and smother a polar bear.

ME: It's good to have goals. One last question: what do you think of Matthew Clemmens?

THE SPILL: I LOVE that guy. He's strictly small potatoes, but still, spewing up toxic liquid onto a sweet pure unblemished eleven year old girl . . . you can see how I admire that sort of thing. But who are you going to remember in ten years, Matthew Clemmens or me? It's me, baby! It is so ME! Every time you bite into a piece of crispy calamari at your favorite restaurant, and your face gets sprayed with burning hot oil sludge, you'll think of me! Not that mining disaster in West Virginia or that unpronounceable volcano in Iceland or the Hanta virus! Even though I don't have legs, I've got legs, baby! Oh yeah!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On the ninth day of Strasmas...

...young Stephen will face the NL Central-leading Reds (kid just turned 22 yesterday). I know, I know - you hate baseball. Baseball is dumb and boring. Blah blah blah...the whole point of this post is to get that damn fucked up hand picture pushed further down the brain and out of our consciousness. Plus I found this cute Strasmas pic and dammit I want to use it.

Anyway, if you've perhaps been living under a rock or maybe devoting all your summer sports down time to the WNBA (Seattle is 18-2? WTF?) then you don't know about Nationals pithcing phenom/Jesus Stephen Strasburg. Well, for those that do or do not know about him, a few Stras-nuggets before tonight's game (nuggets that further push grotesque hand down page):

He's made 8 starts, lasting no less than 5 and no more than 7 innings out each time.

He's 4-2 with a 2.03 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. These are good things people.

He has struck out 68 batters in only 48.2 innings of work. He's only walked 14 guys in those 8 starts as well.

Some final interesting Stras-splits (maybe only to me):
- He's even more unstoppable at night. 1.95 ERA and .188 opponents batting average against.
- Right handed batters might as well go to the plate with a vuvuzela. Righties' slash line against Strasburg (batting average/on base percentage/slugging percentage): .175/.223./.186
- There have been 32 ABs with runners in scoring position. Stras has allowed only 6 hits in those 32 ABs (4 walks).
- Finally, if the boy gets you down 0-2, just give up. He owns you like a rented mule at 0-2. That even means you Joey Votto.

Seriously, Enough with that Picture

I have no idea what to post here...but seriously, that picture? Dude...that is awful. Let's's Wednesday...Hump Day...let's go with this:

All right!
Stop whatcha doin'
'cause I'm about to ruin
the image of bloody hands that ya used to.
I look funny
but yo I'm makin' money see
so yo world I hope you're ready for teej.

Peace and Humptiness Forever

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Open Caption

Greasetruck Gets a Peaceful Ramblin' Easygoing Feeling

We all know (except for teenagers) that the advice and wisdom rock stars dispense is not particularly beneficial or wise.  You know the drill: drink, do drugs, bang everything from a gong to your teacher to a fat-bottomed girl.  Fight the power.  Fight the law.  Shoot someone in Nevada.

Whit, Igor, Dave, and I, plus fifteen session musicians explored this idea in a Random Idiots song called "Dear Ozzy (Thanks for Nothing)." You can read those lyrics and the story of the song here.   If you haven't heard it, give it a shot.  It's long, but it's pretty comprehensive.  See how many lyrics you can identify.  If you have heard it, you might want to listen to it again anyway.  I just re-mixed it and it sounds a lot better.

Dear Ozzy (Thanks for Nothing) by Greasetruck

I don't think anyone has a problem with rock stars doling out terrible advice.  It is expected.  It is what rock music is all about.  And if rock stars are dumb enough to follow their own advice and live the life, then they die young.  This has been professionally documented here, but it's much more fun to read about here.

I think in a sick way everyone appreciates when rock stars burn out, rather than fade away.  Artists like Kurt Cobain and Keith Moon and John Bonham and Jimi Hendrix and Robert Pilatus.  We all have our favorites. It is far more annoying when these hotel room smashing, drug abusing, hedonistic, groupie banging, thrill seeking ego-maniacs become hypocritical.  When they suddenly become Zen masters.  When they advise you, as you face life's myriad problems and dilemmas (most of which they don't have to face, because they're sleeping it off on the tour bus) to slow down.  Listen to the music.  Be cool.  Relax.  Take a long ride on a motorbike.  Take a load off, Fanny.  Take it easy.  Get that peaceful easy feeling.  Ramble around some, maybe have a child in back of a Greyhound bus (preferably while comfortably numb).  Just come on by Cripple Creek and we'll win some money at the track and then I'll tear it up and throw it into the air . . . because love is all you need.  Don't worry, be happy.  Don't let it get to you.  Live in a yellow submarine.  Or on a magic bus.  Take a slow ride.

Normal rock lyrics are often melodramatic and hyperbolic.  I guess that comes with the territory.Those type of lyrics-- the Highway to Hell and For Those About to Rock variety-- are not nearly as annoying as lyrics of the self-help, chill out variety.  There's a reason why The Dude hates the fucking Eagles (although this guy thinks he's wrong).  

And this premise is what inspired the new Greasetruck song.  It's called "Peaceful Easygoing Guy."  I think it's one of my best vocal performances ever.

Peaceful Easygoing Guy by Greasetruck

I'm a peaceful, easy going guy.
Some people might even say I come off as shy,
but if you touch my stereo, I'll poke your fucking eye.
Take my parking spot and you'll die.
I'm a peaceful easygoing guy.

I'm a peaceful easygoing man.
The kind of guy that likes to lend a hand.
But if you're on the beach, don't kick up fucking sand.
Can't you see I'm working on my tan?
Don't make me hatch an evil plan.
I'll kidnap you in my van.
Just like Silence of the Lambs.

I'm a peaceful, easy-going chap.
But ogle my wife and I'll give your face a slap.
I'm not going to take your concupiscent crap.
I'm a peaceful easygoing chap.
Unless you interrupt my nap.

I'm a peaceful easygoing dude.
The kind of guy who sleeps in the nude.
But I swear, if you touch my fucking food,
I'll stick my fist somewhere rude.
The place your wife and I screwed.
Maybe you'd like it there too.

I like . . . I like to relax.
He likes . . . he likes to relax.

I'm a peaceful easygoing mate.
The kind of guy you'd want your girl to date.
But you better warn her not to show up late--
I really really hate to wait.
You can bend down and lick my taint,
if you dare to make me wait.

I'm a peaceful easygoing gent.
Unless it turns out that you stiffed me on the rent
Then, my friend, they'll never know where you went.
You'll be wearing shoes of cement.
Yeah, wearing shoes of cement.

I'm peaceful and easy, it is known.
I like to drink a cup of coffee on my own.
You can tell my parking spot from the orange cone.
Don't ever ask me for a loan.
Like Russell Crowe, I'll hit you with a phone.
Like Joe Pesci, I'll beat you with a phone.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Homage to a Tiny Dictator

rob asked me yesterday what I planned to post as our Monday filler, and I gave him some shenanigoats story about sucky teams in baseball, but really I just planned to post this phenomenal video by one of the more underrated rappers of his time (his applying to said rapper, not rob's time, or Mr. Hand's time). Mondays suck a little less if you pretend you're in this video.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cultural Exchange

For your amusement, we present the following image captured from a shipping container on the back of a truck in Boston traffic last week. It was a bit difficult to tell the kids why my wife and I enjoyed it so.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

This commercial was way better than the ESPYs

I actually have something a bit more substantive coming later, but for now, I need to share what seems like the only commercial aired during the ESPYs last night...

Well, dammit, they don't have the actual commercial, but as it turns out, this trailer is a good substitute:

So yeah, I kept flipping back to see how Seth Myers could fuck it up, but really I just kept flipping back hoping for another "Piranha 3D" commercial. Think I'm joking? Take a look at my hackneyed "Piranha 3D" tweets from last evening. The movie has take over my subconscious.

"Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfucking piranhas in this motherfucking lake!!"

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Welcome, Friends

We've been variously described as eclectic, 'bugfuck crazy', and 'dozens of clowns' by media outlets reviewing our collective efforts. Each appellation is true to a large extent and celebrated by our editorial staff. As an unabashed supporter of our continued effort to diversify our interests and expand our readership (and earn enough Googlebucks to pay for at least one happy hour, which is the ultimate goal of Gheorghe: the Blog), I was pleased to see that we added a link to a cooking blog last week.

I don't know which of our editors, stringers, or hangers-on found our new friends at Bacon, Baking and Everything, but after reading about this weekend's Dr. Pepper-based marinade, I'm glad he or she did. Our only quibble: the G:TB stylebook abbreviates refrigerator as 'fridge', as opposed to 'frig'. Chicago may beg to differ. Welcome to the bloggy linklist, Bacon, and may you continue to expand our culinary horizons.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dennis and the Teej go to the 9:30 Club

Tonight. To see the Dead Weather. If like me you have no idea who they are, here:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Battle of the Beaches Round One: Chatham vs. Sea Isle City . . . The Jersey Shore vs. Cape Cod

This Recurring Feature Destined to Stop Recurring may not be as well organized as The Caucasian Hip-Hop Artist Invitational, and it may not be nearly as important as Know Your Minor League Mascot but it is timely and topical, as it's summer and it's hot as Beelzebub's armpit out there. I also realize that when I was brought on as the Official G:TB Travel Correspondent, it was because of my extensive journeys to exotic locales around the globe. A decade ago I'd be advising you on what islands to visit in the Galapagos, the best places to snorkel in the Andaman Sea, and where to buy reefer in Dahab (not that I ever bought any reefer in Dahab . . . hypothetical reefer). So you might be disappointed by the content of this post-- it's pretty mundane. But I have accepted it and so can you: my globetrotting days are long gone; now I have two young boys who like to dig, so when we go to the beach, it's somewhere that is a day's drive from central New Jersey. I also realize in these difficult economic times, that ANY vacation is a good one: there are people out of work who aren't heading anywhere this summer, but still, judgments must be made and opinions-- absurdly subjective opinions-- must be aired.

Round One of the Battle of the Beaches is an archetypal battle, The Jersey Shore versus Cape Cod. A clash of cultures, values, morality, philosophy, scenery, and breast size. To tattoo or not to tattoo? For these two spots, that is the question. These two seaside towns make me think deeply and metaphysically: how could two places with sand be so different? I'll break it down and then give you an unequivocal winner.


Between beers, some people like to look at stuff when they go on vacation. This category is for them.


Chatham is scenic. Quaint houses tucked away on wooded lots. Quaint houses without air-conditioning, which is usually not necessary on the Cape . . . except for last week. And some quaint mansions. Harry Connick Jr. and Johnny Depp both have houses in Chatham. Why Chatham? The winding roads and twisted pines and live oaks, dunes covered with sea grass and beach plum and spartina. Water everywhere. You can't drive a half mile in Chatham without running into water, whether it is the Oyster River or the Nantucket Sound or Mill Pond or the harbor or the ocean itself. There are seals in the ocean. Seals are scenic (although rumor has it that you shouldn't pet them, as they are carrying some sort of debilitating virus). There are also terns and sand dollars and moon snails and hermit crabs and lots of other fun things to watch and collect. There are even freshwater ponds (and a bike trail alongside them). You can drive up the coast to the exceedingly scenic Cape Cod National Seashore. The town of Chatham itself is so cute and scenic it borders on fey (which rhymes with gay . . . which reminds me, you could also drive on up to Provincetown which is also exceedingly scenic and has a great gay scene . . . there's some sort of a correlation here).

Sea Isle City

Sea Isle City is not so scenic. The quaint houses have been knocked down and replaced by giant multi-bedroom boxes with multiple decks. But these giant boxes are air-conditioned and roomy. Since I live year round in a quaint house that doesn't have air-conditioning, I don't mind vacationing in a giant air-conditioned characterless box. There aren't many trees left in Sea Isle City, in fact, there's not much greenery at all. A thin swath of grass and nettles on the small dunes before the wide beaches is about all you get. There is less wild-life than on the Cape, although you may spot dolphins and I once stumbled on a scene I'll never forget . . . a baby whale beached itself on a sandbar and fifty people got into the water and pushed it free. I was wearing Ian in the Baby Bjorn, and I waded out into the ocean with him so he could see the whale.

Shell collecting isn't as good as on the Cape, as the shells are usually smashed by the waves, and the one time I found a perfect conch shell, everyone claimed I stole it off someone's porch. You might get lucky if there's dredging going on-- we once found hundreds of conch shells washed up with the bottom sand the dredger sucked toward shore to expand the beach . . . but dredging is kind of gross and smelly, they don't dredge up at the Cape because they don't need the beaches to be as huge as in Jersey. Population density. Once in Sea Isle City in August they installed a giant pipe which you had to climb over to get to the beach each day-- they were sucking sand all the way down the beach. Not very scenic. Front yards in Sea Isle City are usually stone, maybe you'll get a shrub or two, but that's it. The sand and the ocean look the same as anywhere else, so you need a place with a deck facing the water, unless you like to watch people, but that's a different category.

Advantage: Chatham. But this advantage might actually be a disadvantage, Chatham is so scenic that it makes me a little sick to my stomach.



When I was younger, I couldn't last very long on the beach. I don't like the heat and I don't like the sun. But now I know how to survive if I'm bored (this also works at the circus). You look at the girls. Normally, strange women don't hang out near me in their underwear, but these rules are abandoned (for better or worse) at the beach. In Chatham it is often for the worse. Generally, Chatham attracts an older, well to do crowd. People that have the finer things in life and also tend to eat a lot. And grandparents with their grandchildren. Grandparents are not fun to ogle.

Chatham is also full of white people, REALLY white people. Last week, I saw a girl who was significantly whiter than T.J. Painfully white. I couldn't stop looking at her, but not in that good, stalker way. More like the way I can't stop looking at T.J.'s pink belly during the OBFT. And for whatever reason, these very white people of Chatham never tend to have much in the cleavage department. Someone smarter than me can figure out this correlation.

You are also running the risk on the Cape that the weather will be typical: cold and foggy. Girls will be wearing sweatshirts and sweat pants on the beach, but you won't even be able to see that far because visibility will be less than ten feet. You'll be able to watch your kids dig or read a book, but that's it. I will say this, though, last week was one of the hottest on record at the Cape and if you make the trek out to South Beach, which is below the Chatham Light, you will be pleasantly surprised. I saw more cute women (but still no cleavage) here than every other beach combined. Perhaps it is because you have to navigate a lot of steps and hike a bit, which weeds out anyone who's not in shape.

Sea Isle City.

Density. In August, the Jersey Shore is packed . . . and Sea Isle City may be less packed than Belmar, but you're still talking about a LOT of people, and while this can be annoying, it is great for scoping out hot women. Proximity and the law of averages guarantee you will be near someone worth ogling. And people are tan here, and often curvaceous, and generally fit. The surf is much stronger here than on the Cape, so there is also the chance that's someone's bikini top might get ripped off by a huge wave.

Sea Isle City also has a number of bars, which attracts the young folk, and it has a relatively inexpensive bay-side, where the young folks can rent houses. So you get a wide range of ages to look at as well (although if you get to the beach at 8 AM because your kids get up at 6 AM and by 7 AM you are ready to kill them, you're probably not going to see any cute college girls). There is also a well used running path along the beach . . . Cape Cod is good for a lonely run or bike ride on shady lanes and trails . . . you will have more titillating scenery when you go for a jog in Sea Isle City.

Advantage: Sea Isle City

Night Life


In Chatham you might find yourself at a cocktail party drinking beer and chatting with a little man wearing pink shorts (he'll call them Nantucket Red but they are PINK). And this man might be G:TB founding father Rob. Give him directions to Provincetown.

You might find yourself talking to your jovial host and notice that he has lobsters sewn into his shorts. Or pandas. Or armadillos. You might find yourself in The Squire, a rustic and quaint Chatham bar that serves great seafood, and you might be settling in for a long night's drinking, but to your surprise, you and all your friends will be herded out at 12:45 because closing time on the Cape is 1 AM. And there are no grease trucks if you're hungry for a late night sandwich. On the Cape, like in Williamsburg, you have to make your own fun-- perhaps Igor will write a post on that topic . . .

Sea Isle City

I am more of an afternoon partier-- it really takes something special to get me to stay up late-- but there are certain magical places that make me want to give up sleep: Bangkok, New Orleans, Memphis, Prague, and Madrid come to mind. Sea Isle City is one of these places. The bar scene is fantastic-- it's not so huge that it's overwhelming, but there is plenty of variety. There are bands everywhere and they play at various times so you don't have to stay up until eleven to hear live music. They range from Bon Jovi cover bands to cheesy bands with awful names like "Burnt Sienna" to the inimitable LeCompt. You might also run into The Juliano Brothers, an obese trio that does a fantastic cover of Baba O'Riley.

Just be careful that your wife doesn't run off with the band.

If music is not your thing, then watch for mechanical bull night at the Springfield. The five dollar cover gives you unlimited rides. Apparently, no one takes advantage of the "unlimited" clause-- they ride once, get spun to the point of puking, and then chucked from the bull and go and sit and drink beer, but the night we went we were so inebriated that we rode the bull all night, until the Russian operator had pretty much had it with us, and started genuinely trying to kill us. We did get better (until we got worse) and the DJ gave us t-shirts for our perseverance.

Food and Drink


The seafood is excellent on Cape Cod. I recommend the cod. But the restaurants can be a bit pricey, and they are usually pretty reserved. And Christian's has closed and Mongo the bartender is no longer employed in Chatham, so things are a bit bleak. Still, it's worth getting a lobster roll at John's in Provincetown and the local oysters at the Squire are delicious. And, ironically, New England Pizza's hamburger pie rivals anything you can get at the Jersey shore (except Pete and Elda's, but that is a different beach).

Sea Isle City

The reason you live in New Jersey is for the food. Sea Isle City has it all. Great seafood at Mike's Dock and an excellent system-- you order when you walk in and then go sit at a picnic table and drink the beer you brought with you. That's right: THE BEER YOU BROUGHT WITH YOU. For those of you who don't live in Jersey, a lot of restaurants (especially in Sea Isle) let you Bring Your Own Beer. No restaurant prices, no waiting for the waitress, no charge, no funny looks when you crack your sixth Corona (because they go down awfully fast) and no exorbitant bar bill. The tiny steamed clams, the oysters, the stone crabs, the calamari, the fried fish, and the crab cakes are equal to anywhere (except perhaps the Outer Banks, but that is a different battle). The only downside is you might not be able to get cod.

You don't have to like seafood to like the food in Sea Isle City. But it's South Jersey, so you have to like sandwiches. My cousins actually base their week around the sandwiches they will eat for lunch. Philly cheese steaks, chicken cheese steaks, massive Dagwoods, broccoli-rabe and sausage, blackened fish, fried fish, and, of course, Welshie's specialty . . . the barnyard . . . a cheese steak concoction with bacon, chicken and beef. You can also get a late night sandwich in Sea Isle, and the WaWa is open twenty four hours.

Advantage: Sea Isle City. You don't fuck with New Jersey when it comes to food.

Beach Sports (including but not limited to Digging)


Chatham is great for kayaking and boating-- lots of winding waterways and quiet places to explore. My cousins have a boat and so we always take a couple of trips with them. We do NOT have a boat, nor do I ever plan on getting one, because boating seems to require way to much preparation for me. We also don't have a kayak. The swimming is good at Oyster Pond, if you like to swim laps. Judging by my kids, the digging is just okay on the Cape. The surf isn't very big and sometimes there can be a lot of seaweed and/or mung. The collecting is fantastic, but for more action packed beach sports you need bigger surf. There can also be giant green-head flies which will take a chunk out of any part of your exposed body.

Sea Isle City

Sea Isle City has fantastic flat beaches with fine sand and rolling surf. It's great for skim-boarding (although my skim-boarding days are probably numbered . . . I am the oldest, fattest, and hairiest skim-boarder on the beach these days). You can also rent a sea kayak or surf. The beach itself is good for soccer, washers (a South Jersey beach version of horse-shoes) and boccie. And the digging is phenomenal: because of the fine packing sand and gentle slope of the beach, you can really create some large holes and piles and channels. And we've never had a problem with green-head flies . . . they must need beautiful scenery to breed.

Advantage: Sea Isle City

And the winner is . . . Sea Isle City! The Jersey Shore defeats its first challenger handily-- unless you require a lot of scenery and high end shopping and a thriving gay scene up the road. But if you like good food and cute women and live music and air-conditioning, and don't mind a little cheese, then Sea Isle City is the place for you.

In a few weeks, Sea Isle City will take on the Outer Banks, since I will be leaving my Sea Isle City vacation a few days early in order to get down to the Outer Banks Fishing Trip. This should be a fantastic head to head match up, only made better by the proximity of the two trips. Until then, I hope that some of the other Official G:TB Travel Correspondents continue The Battle of the Beaches, as I will be sweating my ass off in central New Jersey. And I will leave you with the most important scenery of all, because really, it's not about where you go, it's about who you are with . . .

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My Definitive World Cup Predictions Come True!

Unbelievable. I am so fucking clairvoyant. One month ago, I made some World Cup Predictions. Check them out if you don't believe me.

I predicted Spain would beat the Netherlands in overtime in the World Cup Final. And they did.

I predicted I would tie Jerry in the Yahoo World Cup Fantasy League. And I did. Pay up.

And I predicted that a clairvoyant squid would make some fantastic predictions. That one isn't exactly right, but it's damned close. I didn't hear anyone else claiming the Nostradamus of cephalopods would manifest itself.

So I don't have to cut off my left testicle. I got a bit nervous, but Castilla's boot saved my nut.

G:TB. We have the answers one month in advance.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Aloe Blacc Listens to the Velvet Underground

I'm tired of looking at, hearing, and reading about LeBron's decision to get a new job. Even when a photo of rob is involved. I am accordingly bumping yesterday's post. Maybe this will get me fired.

Here's Aloe Blacc's soulful take (in 3/4 waltz time?!) on the Velvet Underground's "Femme Fatale."

Aloe Blacc - Femme Fatale by stonesthrow

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Gheorghe: The Decision

As noted in the comments below, shortly after 9pm this evening a member of the G:TB editorial staff will be terminated. Live post-termination interview with esteemed blog journalist Alf to follow. And don't try to read anything into the picture...seriously. Why would we fire rob?

It's a really slow day...

...and this made me laugh. A lot. Mark too.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

My Favorite Team's Likely Small Forward This Year Looks Like a Serial Killer. Sweet.

Barring a miracle on ESPN tomorrow night, it appears my Knicks will be shut out of the Big Three free agents in the market. I'll save the argument that Bosh should not be lumped in with Wade and Bron Bron for another day. But this news means that the Knicks are increasingly likely to add some overpaid turds to their roster in a half-baked effort to win fans over and convince them that these pieces were worth tanking the last two years and giving away Jordan Hill so the Rockets would take Jared Jeffries' gankly corpse with him. The names being thrown around include Raymond Felton, Luke Ridnour and Jason Williams (the white-trash one, not the murderer or the bad motorcycle rider). And Mike Miller. The same Mike Miller who, like Danilo Galinari, plays small forward, doesn't rebound and lives behind the arc. The same Mike Miller who wears his hair like a woman. Like one specific abused prostitute turned murderer, to be exact. Ugh.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Tuesdays with Maury

I am 100% certain I've posted the classic Cartman/Maury clip, so I went a different way today for our filler. A simple search of YouTube provided real-life classics from the Povich program, and I figured we should see see society at it's worst. Enjoy the circus:

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy Birthday America [F**k Yeah]

This gentleman:

sent an urgent requst from the Cape that Gheorghe get a July 4th post up. Well, I just so happened to be on a PC getting tickets to today's Nats/Mets game, so I thought I would oblige.

Warning: This is the most independiest post ever.

The standard, because I'm running the show. (and sang this in chorus in 6th grade. People, I'm tone deaf, always have been. Just picture that.)

When I told patriotic tree rodent about Mr. Greenwood's appearance, he also suggested this gem:

So, you've already got a picture of rob, two YouTubes...what am I forgetting? Ah yes, hot chicks wearing patriotism and litle else:

And ladies, I didn't forget you - here's a hot American patrtiot to make you (keith) sweat:

Happy 4th of July All. And remember, AMERICA FUCK YEAH!

Friday, July 02, 2010

The Triumphant Return of the Ghoogles

And now ladies and gentlemen, it is the distinct pleasure of the management to present to you, the afternoon's star attraction. Here they are back after their exclusive three year tour of Europe, Scandinavia and the sub continent...

  • sadler pi lam
  • tiny dictator
  • gheorghe blog it is what it is
  • gheorghe: the blog vince neil
  • greasetruck prius
  • how tall is dru joyce iii
  • hurricane igor
  • stan kasten email
  • we got some canes over here
  • world cup analysis
  • gheorghe blog synergy
  • nfl blog spot
  • world cup for idiots
  • 8 worst inventions gheorghe
  • bea hamel porn
  • cousinsfuckingcousins
  • game on wayne
  • gheorghe circus peanut
  • italian soccer team 2010
  • john staluppi biography
  • kevin youkilis summer catch
  • soccer cheers in portuguese
  • us fans
  • wiz khalifa blogspot
  • world cup preview
  • worst rock songs of all time
  • a rod is a jerk
  • baxter hogan
  • celebrity video archive blogspot
  • culture of excellence in sport
  • dru joyce iii height
  • eli manning looks good gheorghe
  • first day of summer
  • garth ato games
  • hemophilia
  • jernavis draughn
  • kevin kline italian flatulence
  • kevin youkilis in summer catch
  • ladieshavingsex
  • living in compton
  • montreal expos blog
  • my little yellow friend
  • rachel glandorf
  • rudy gay
  • ryan atwood fluffer
  • scumbag millionaire
  • seasick steve blogspot
  • usa soccer
  • vajazzling
  • worst rock songs ever
  • a man through the desert letras
  • are we not men deluxe
  • bama of the week
  • basketball blogspot post a comment
  • battle of cheetos
  • best chicken wings outer banks
  • billie dee williams cleveland
  • brooke shields ex- husband agassi
  • citizen kihn blogspot
  • cocaine cowboys groh
  • concerts for the people of kampuchea pol pot
  • dave terry baseball
  • david silva
  • dean tsamouras
  • fake double d
  • fastest tennis player
  • flux capacitor... fluxing status
  • fuck a shoe
  • funky chimes elements theme sesame street
  • georgia state university smelly
  • hi jack, i'm annette, you're doing it wrong
  • hot rod lincoln
  • i'm not mad, just disappointed
  • italian flatulence snl clip
  • jed hill blog
  • jessee vasold
  • kim mcganty
  • kiss on my list worst
  • ned's younger brother william and mary
  • russ parr's wrong songs
  • ryohei shimabukuro
  • sam the eagle kendrick perkins
  • she remembered my joke
  • thomas the train + rube goldberg
  • what do you charge for fags
  • sexy soccer cup 2010
  • 1980's gymnastics movie
  • 80's new kids on the block
  • a picture speaks for itself
That is one helluva list.

Dave Bait

The leviathans of the deepest ocean have held a special place in the imagination of artists, authors, and poets since the beginning of time. No less than Herman Melville, Jules Verne, Alfred Tennyson, and Sid and Marty Krofft chronicled the chilling terrors of the mysterious masters of the blackest depths. Peter Benchley scared the ever-loving bejesus out of millions, including a 12 year-old who spent a vacation on Cape Cod anywhere but in the water.

Wired brings us news of the discovery of a creature that renders these fictional frights so many guppies. Described as a cross between ancient whale and killer shark, leviathan melvillei combined 14-inch shearing teeth with a 44 - 57 foot-long fuselage, eating whales just for sport, among other things. According to Erich Fitzgerald, a paleontologist at Museum Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, “If you’re big enough,” Fitzgerald notes, “you can bloody well eat what you want.” Like a Fat Bitch and a cheesesteak and egg in one sitting.

At least one G:TB staff member is reconsidering his future tattoo plans. Another still can't believe he ate the whole thing.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

A Thursday Special

It's Caption This meets Fashion is Dumb: Special "Brah" Edition (Or is it "Bro"?)

The only thing missing in this picture is the Smirnoff Ice. I am 100% convinced this "brah" modeled his look after Marty McFly's kid in "Back to the Future 2: The Futurer". Just to clarify, in case the picture doesn't sell it, that vest abomination he is wearing is need for an undershirt I guess. Those shorts...well, actually, Geoff might wear those on the golf course. The $2 pair of flip flops he bought for $45 at Vineyard Vines and that ridiculous dayglow hat top off the look.

Have at them...please.