Monthly Archives: October 2011

Bob Potatosalad Cartoons

Few people have probably noticed but I’ve started creating little ironic cartoons and have begun posting them on Facebook. Yeah, I know. Big deal, right? I’m no comedic genius by any sort, and by and far most of them haven’t really been even what I consider funny. More often than not, I write little things that are drenched in irony. I take something I’ve heard or seen, twist it just a little, and put it out there for the world to see. Sometimes I do come up with a gem that I’m really proud of and those are usually the ones that get ignored the most. True, my sense of humor and my take of things are a little off center from everyone else, so it really shouldn’t surprise me much.

Anyway, the reason I’m blogging about this now is that my real intention is for anyone who may happen to read this blog will take a look at what I’ve created and perhaps can send me some suggestions for new cartoons in the future. I’m always willing to steal someone else’s ideas, ha! I need to do that sometimes, because if left to my own devices my little prose usually becomes more mean spirited. I suppose carrying around so much regret and bitterness with you will lead to having a bad attitude once in a while.

So, to save the world from my ridiculous sense of humor—which, I find captivating, bwahahahaha—I invite you to send me as many ideas as you can. Just submit them to my Facebook page. In the writing class that I’m taking now the professor stresses how important it is to receive feedback from others. When you’re the only one writing something you often look at it with biased eyes and it’s hard to find the mistakes or to see the piece’s weaknesses. Please offer me your critiques as well, as they are always welcomed and helpful. I will thank you for them after I calm down and call of the hit I’ve put out on you for daring to say my work isn’t perfect. If, I remember to call off the hit, that is. I have a hard time remembering to do those things so if you get nailed by a sniper on your way to Wal-Mart, you have my deepest apologies. I’ll be sniped next when the assassin learns I don’t have any money to pay them. HA!

Okay, goofiness aside, please look at my cartoons, let me know what you think, and embrace the insanity—it’s the only way to get on its good side.

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Bush – Chevelle – Filter Show October 19, 2011

Let me begin by saying that I usually go out of my way to avoid any type of moshing environment. I’ve never been a fan of idiots throwing themselves against each other for some unknown insane reason.

Good, now that that’s off my chest, I’d like to say that the concert at the House of Blues on October 19 was AMAZING! The atmosphere was great, the music was fantastic, and the bands really put on an awesome show. The really great thing was that under normal circumstances I never would have been able to attend but my good friend Kelsey, the magical contest winning superstar, managed to snag a couple of free tickets from WJRR on top of the pair she pilfered from Craigslist and I was able to go! Woo to the hoo! Of course, Kelsey and her sister and mom went early in the day while I had to work and managed to get a spot right on the rail in front of the stage. I had to work, unfortunately, and by the time I go there I only managed to get in the center of the room about fifteen people back. But it was right in the center of the stage and I had a great view.

Now, let me tell you about my fun experience. Normally I am very uncomfortable being by myself in large crowds. I know, big fat guy frightened by large crowds. Anyway, there I was in the middle of this sea of strangers looking for my friends. So, I’m pushing my way through as best I could without upsetting one of the giant body builders. Did they ALL have to come to same show together. What? Is there some kind of odd body builder’s newsletter that tells them that they all have to show up at the same show or something? Anyway, I’m snaking through the crowd and I step between these really beautiful girls and that’s as far as I can get. So one of the girls looks at me like I’ve got no business being there, which I didn’t since obviously I wasn’t a body builder and this was their convention or something. So she says, “what are you doing? You’re right in the middle of my group and we’re short!” Okay, so now I’m not a body builder, I’m fat, and now I’m too tall. Tell me I’m old and the grand prize for lame will go to me! Ha. SO, I excuse myself and move back to the other side of them. The show is about to start and I was done fighting the mob so I figured, hey, I have a great view of the stage so I’m going to stay put.

The first band up was Filter. Now, Filter only had one song I could remember and that was “Picture” that came out a few years ago. So, while I did enjoy the set the only song I knew and could sing along to was that one. Let me comment on Filter themselves for a moment. While I completely understand that production in the music industry is everything, the lead singer’s voice just doesn’t sound that great live. He’s okay, but clearly not the greatest. The guitarist looked like he had been exiled from a late 80’s punk band and was totally lost out in the real world with his crazy spiked hair and numerous facial piercings. The bassist, on the other hand, was one of the body builders here for the convention and to prove it he had to parade around the stage sans shirt like he was Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers or something.

It was during Filter that the group of middle-aged while boys directly–I mean the guys were bumping right into me the whole set–decided it was a great time to light up a joint and pass it amongst them. I can see how cops recognize the stink of that stuff. It stank horribly and made me want to gag a few times. It’s not very easy to sing and hold your breath at the same time. And . . . right about then they started jumping around and trying to dance. Body builders should never try to dance around while taking hits off of a joint and two fisting beer. It’s just not a pretty site. It’s also not very coordinated, which led them into almost knocking the girls over. One of them, who I swear looked exactly like Prince minus the mustache, tried to get up into this big bald dude’s face and while he apologized, she just never got over it and had a sour face the rest of the time she was there. Of course, I didn’t know her from Eve so that could very well have been her normal face.

Right after this, a mosh pit began right next to me. Again, let me reiterate. I HATE MOSHING. I think it’s stupid, childish, careless, and has no regard for anyone else. So, right away, I’m using my arms to protect myself. So now, these girls are being slammed from both sides and they’re tiny little things so, being a gentleman I tried to put myself kind of between them and the pit. Thankfully there was this other guy there, who had already been talking to the girls, who was also trying to put himself between them and the pit and we were both able to keep them from being squished.

For the rest of Filter and then for most of Chevelle, once they came on–which was awesome by the way!–one of the girls, was smashed up against my chest. I could not move. I was smashed up against the chest of a 400 pound Islander who looked like he at Sumo wrestlers for breakfast so I had nowhere to go. Hands up, eyes forward, listening to awesome music, protecting myself from idiot moshers, and the occasional crowd surfer. Thankfully, only one of them came across our part of the floor.

When Chevelle was on, the one song I really wanted to hear was “Sleep Apnea.” And, as you would expect, when they did play it the pit started up again and I was so distracted keeping the idiots back that I missed the whole song. Idiots! D’oh!

Between Chevelle and Bush I attempted once more to find my friends only to get within 4 people of them and was forced to turn back. Thankfully, I was able to get back to basically where I had started, but this time I was behind another body builder and his four-foot wide shoulders. Great, now, not only am I getting smashed but I can’t see past this guy. 

When Bush came on they started their set with my favorite song of their’s “Machinehead.” The opening guitar rift is so awesome that I still can’t get it out of my head. It was the perfect opening song, just like “Heavy” when Collective Soul used it to open during the Bash. After that, they played some songs I didn’t immediately recognize and then played “Sounds Like Winter” off of their new album, which is a very good song in my opinion. It was funny, during one of the songs the lead singer started singing a song from the Talking Heads, and with his hair pulled back he looked exactly like the guy. It was hilarious. Wish I had had a better camera to have taken his picture up close then I could have done a real comparison. Ha.

All in all, the concert was a fantastic experience. I loved the music, I met some very interesting people, was able to use my size to help some people not get smashed by idiots, and had a grand old-time. Being on my own in the middle of that crowd would have made me so uncomfortable just a year ago. I’ve grown a little this past few months after everything I’ve been put through. I’m not exactly sure which way I’ve grown but I can see a big difference in myself.

Truth be told, I think I kind of like it.

 

The Big Year Review

If you’re looking for a clean, decent movie to take your family to see that has big stars and awesome cameos, then take your family to see “The Big Year.”

“The Big Year” stars Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson. Three strangers who begin a quest known to bird watchers, or “Birding” as The Big Year. This quest is to find and see the most bird species in North America in one year. Owen Wilson’s character holds the record for seeing 732 species and is determined to keep his record standing. Steve Martin is a very successful businessman who is retiring and is dreaming of completing his own Big Year, while Jack Black is a young computer programmer working for a nuclear facility who wants to have a Big Year so that he can finally do something big with his life after his failed marriage.

While not a laugh a minute comedy, it is still very light-hearted and manages to show you just enough of each character’s life to make you want to care about them. Steve Martin is charming throughout, making this one of his better performances of the last few years. And the normally crazy antics and jumping around behavior that can make Jack Black annoying disappears in this film almost entirely making Jack look and sound like a normal human being. For that fact alone, I found this film to be one of Jack Black’s better roles. Owen Wilson, on the other hand, plays predictable. You’ve seen this character out of him before and done better. While, I liked the character, he wasn’t my favorite by a long shot and made some really bad decisions that cost him a whole lot during the film.

I won’t give away any spoilers to the film itself but be on the look out for cameos by Joel McHale (NBC’s Community), Paul Campbell (Battlestar Galactica), Brian Dennehy, Jim Parsons (Sheldon from Big Bang Theory), and Corbin Bernsen (Psych).

I give the film 4 out of 5 Blackbirds. Go see the film. You’ll enjoy it and your family will too!

Key West Impressions

I will admit that I, like many I assume, had so many preconceived notions about exactly what Key West was all about. Happily, none of those ideas actually came true. At least not in my direct line of sight.

You always grow up hearing stories or seeing something on television that leads you to believe that the whole town is draped in rainbow flags and banana hammocks. The reality, at least in my personal experience, was a quaint tourist trap town filled with historic flavor and a beautiful harbor area filled with street performers where whole families were having a great time out for an evening stroll.

The atmosphere itself was peaceful and warm and the couples walking around the crowded shopping areas seemed happy and enjoying themselves. The town really held a rustic charm that I found so alluring. The old sailing boat on display, which was the remains of a shipwreck, reminded me that Key West indeed did have a herritage far better to dwell on that what the media liked to spin. Here was a town built on hopes and dreams. Just ask Hemmingway or Jimmy Buffett what it means to dream in Key West. This was a place far removed from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the country. After all, you have to be individuals chasing dreams to have built a highway through all the different keys, through the ocean water, only to reach the alleged southern most point of the Continental US.

Yes, the charm of Key West for me was the laid back atmosphere, the soft music playing from some local restaurant, and the beautiful lights and smells that drifted through the evening twilight.

Would I go back? Absolutely. Do I believe my next experience will be as good as the first? I think it would, but my great experience this time had everything to do with the people I was with. Having the right companions is always so important to how much you enjoy an experience. I’m glad I went with the people I did because together we disspelled mypreconceived notions and for that I very thankful.

Weird Al Yankovic – The Awesome Live Show

Okay, let me start by saying that seeing Weird Al Yankovic is an experience that everyone should have. Not only is the man extremely talented when it comes to writing parodies, but he is a consummate showman! I saw him Wednesday night at the Hard Rock Live in Orlando and I will have to say that it was by far one of the most enjoyable live shows I have been to in a long time. The atmosphere of the venue was just fabulous. The crowd was excited but kept to their seats as they listened to Al’s classics “Fat”, “Amish Paradise” and “Smells Like Nirvana.” While not everyone knew all the words to his latest compositions like “Party in the CIA” and “TMZ” the crowd stayed pumped and excited throughout the show.

Keeping us entertained is a craft that Weird Al’s stage team has down to a science. Al had numerous costume changes during the show and while he was off stage a series of large television screens played amusing “interviews” that Al conducted with celebrities. Of course it was obvious that he was taking actual interviews and manipulating them but they were classic comedy bits that I wish I had a copy of. Starting with Eminem and including snippets from over the years with Keith Richards, Madonna, and Celine Dion, the spots were hilarious and had me rolling in the aisle. Snuck in between these mock interviews were TV and movie spots that Al had either had a cameo or was mentioned by name. One of the funniest was a clip from the TV show “’Til Death.” In it Brad Garrett’s character is talking to the wife, played by Joely Fisher and she is complaining that he had said she looked like Weird Al Yankovic from behind. Garrett’s character responds: “The man has great hair and a tiny butt, you should learn to take a compliment.” That was by far one of the funniest lines from a TV show I’d had heard and had me bursting out with laughter. What makes this even funnier is that Al has learned to take such comedic lines as a compliment and incorporates it into his show.

The costumes that Al wore were classic Yankovic fun. From the “grunge” look he wore in “Smells Like Nirvana” to the crazy lounge suit he donned in “Wanna Be Ur Lovr” each look was unique and inspired by the song itself. This was highlighted by the famous fat suit from the “Fat” video. To watch him dancing around on stage in that fat suit was the clear definition of having your cake and eating it too. And yes, that pun was intentional!

To end the show, Al’s encore consisted of “The Saga Begins” and “Yoda,” both Star Wars parodies. During the awesome rendition of  “The Saga Begins” a whole troop of Stormtroopers marched out along with Darth Vader. Watching them dance around, including the one doing the Macarena, was priceless. And the two minute speed chant that Al, Steve Jay, and Jim West participated in was concert gold. It was one of the oddest most insane things I have seen in a long time.

So, long story short. I hated the concert —NOT! Ha, it was awesome! Now if only I could join a caravan of “Weird-Heads” and follow him around on tour! That would be awesome!  (And for those of you who don’t know—that was a reference to the “Dead Heads” that used to follow the Grateful Dead around on tour. I don’t think there is anything like the “Weird Heads” in existence but I think it’s about time there was!)

BC

Hard Rock Bash

Imagine one of the sickest, coolest, most awesome block parties ever! That was the Hard Rock Bash in Orlando on Saturday night. Orange Ave was closed off and filled with music from some of the best 90s groups ever! The headliner was Collective Soul, a bad that I remember jamming out at a friend’s house once at 4AM back in 1994!

It was Collective Soul’s second album and we were having the time of our lives. And one of my fondest memories was that air guitar jam session to a band that helped to define my early twenties right along with groups like Hootie and the Blowfish and Toad the Wet Sprocket. Three of my favorite bands from the 90s. Cool thing is, I’ve seen two out of the three in concert, which is awesome in itself.

Anyway, back to the block party from this past Saturday night, October 1, 2011. For two city blocks you were surrounded by nothing by music fans and families enjoying themselves, listening to some talented people, and making life long memories.

One of the first places we went to was a nice restaurant with a gorgeous waitress. With all of the beautiful women there, I will still have to voice my opinion that she was by far the prettiest girl at the ball–or bash if you will. Of course, the very pretty girl who talked to me at the taco place comes in a close second, ha! Go Bazinga shirt!

We heard several great bands like John Frank who played a mix of rock and roll that was fresh and inviting. It was cool that we later met him on the street and the guys were able to have their picture taken with him. I also got to fist bump the lead singer from Plain Jane Automobile while we were all listening to Everclear – another great 90s band! He was weaving through the massive crowd and you could not mistake his “Elvis” hair anywhere. So that was cool!

The evening ended with Collective Soul. They started out with “Heavy” which is by far one of my favorite songs from this band. It has unmistakable guitar licks that make you want to start head banging the moment those notes hit your eardrums. It was a fantastic show! My only regret is that we had to leave before it was completely over to get someone back home before curfew. Over all, I will have to say that the evening was a great success! Another one of my great ideas I will never get the credit for, ha. Like all the other places I’ve taken people too that they enjoyed and had a good time and yet they forget that if it wasn’t for me they never would have experienced it in the first place. But, then again, I’m a place mat — only here until something better comes along.

And the chocolate Vodka was to die for too!

BC

Excited!

Woo-hoo! I cannot wait! Going to the free concert in downtown Orlando this afternoon! Some of my favorite bands from the 90s will be there. Collective Soul, Everclear, and Tonic. This is going to be a blast and I have been getting excited about this all week.

This is something new for me. In the past I never would have dreamed of going to such an event but now I can’t wait to get there. AND Wednesday night I get to see Weird Al in concert! Woot! I haven’t seen him in concert since 1996 at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana! This is going to be a great week for music and rock ‘n’ roll!  I’ll blog more about the experience when I get home!

One more time I say: Woo-Hoo!!!!!

BC