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Friday, May 11, 2007
COMING TO GRIPS
Yes, we are now in the final month of my wife's pregnancy and that means getting rooms ready, moving furniture, painting (we've gone with a gender-neutral moss green that can be highlighted with either pink or blue), and hearing the question "So, are you excited!!!???" 15 times a day by every friend, acquaintance, and store clerk. The short answer is "Sometimes". The more complex answer is "It's hard to get excited over something that is completely foreign to you".

As I've gotten older I've more and more become a person who does not usually welcome big change, which is a fault. Call it a fear of the unknown, but it essentially means I need to be pushed into anything big. When I got the job at 99X radio in Atlanta in 1993 I was unemployed in Chicago and knew it was a huge opportunity but was still hesitant because it meant moving to a new city. My parents and everyone in the business convinced me, however, that I was crazy to not take the offer so I did and it was the best professional move of my life.

I panicked in 1995 when I was buying my first home because I wasn't sure I could handle the responsibility, but again, it was my father who told me it was time to stop renting and financially grow up. And, of course, he was right as owning your own home is awesome and smart.

Engagement and marriage also didn't sound like life changes I wanted to explore but, in the end....er...well let's come back to that one another day. I'm just kidding. While, professionally, this past year has been a roller coaster, my marriage has actually gotten stronger and stronger (which is a little surprising considering a lot of people's marriage couldn't stand being locked in the same house together day after day with no income). In fact, Lisa and I rarely fight these days. My theory is that since we don't have positive cash flow it's harder to fight about how it gets spent. We both understand what the essentials are (i.e. food, bills, mortgage, Thrashers season tickets, etc). But, again, it's an example of something I wasn't sure about getting into that's been a very positive growing experience.

That brings us to kids. I have always loved kids but really never cared if I had my own. I've been perfectly happy without the responsibility of raising a human being. Being an uncle is awesome. I get them all riled up and then hand them back to their moms and dads. Plus, I like spending money on things like ME.

Yeah, you hear people talk about how having children changed their lives and how nobody can describe the feeling of attachment one hands for their child, blah blah blah (even Dahmer's mom still loved him), but that's very hard to conceptualize if you never really cared about that kind of stuff. However, if I was going to stay married I was going to have to give this woman a child, and besides, nobody has ever regretted becoming a parent. So for me, it's been a leap of faith....like so many other major things I've done.

Anyway, the truth is I am sort of getting a teeny tiny bit excited and there have even been times I've felt myself getting a bit emotional. Like when we painted the baby's room last week . There's no real reason a green room should get one choked up but, for some reason, it was even more real than physically seeing my wife pregnant. I mean, CRAP, a freakin' new person that I made that may even look like me is going to live in THIS ROOM for, like, almost two decades!

Another scary realization right now is that, while Lisa technically isn't due for another 3 1/2 weeks, that thing could decide TODAY that it's ready to get the party started and it'd be probably perfectly healthy. Even though it's unlikely, I could very easily be a father by the end of any given day. And to make matters worse, tomorrow I have to go back out to LA for a week.

So let's just hope that thing is in no hurry to make a jail break. Last minute airfares cross country are a bitch.
posted by Jimmy | 4:18 PM | Link | (1) comments
Monday, April 23, 2007
IN DEFENSE OF BALDWIN
I am stunned at the one-sidedness in the media surrounding the much-played Alec Baldwin voicemail. The fact that society is immediate to jump on Baldwin's case as some evil monster is proof that men rarely get a fair shake in this country when it comes to divorce.

First, some background: The Baldwin/Kim Basinger divorce is widely regarded in Hollywood as one of the most bitter and venomous of all time. People in the know routinely label it as tops on the list of bad break-ups. Second, along with that is the commonly held opinion that Kim Basinger is a psycho be-yatch. Very few people will tell you anything other than she's out of her mind.

So that brings us to the Baldwin tape where Baldwin's heard raging on his daughter who obviously blew off a pre-arranged time they had set to speak.
You know what I heard when I listened to that tape? I heard a father who obviously had lost control of his temper and said said a couple of things out of emotion in the heat of the moment. And I'd like to ask every single parent reading this if you can honestly say that's NEVER happened to you......I didn't think so.

Baldwin has offered, what I believe to be, a pretty decent apology and explanation on his website. He says, in effect, "Hey, I lost my cool and I'm not proud of it, but how bad is that compared to the behavior of my ex-wife - who has full access to her daughter's voicemail - and has chosen to tape me at my worst moment and release that tape to the world so she can portray me as a monster?" And he couldn't be more right.

Think about what it would look or sound like if any of you with kids were ever taped yelling at them for being a spoiled brat, and then having that video released around the world. What do you think the world would think of you if they saw you during that one moment you were pushed to the edge by your kid and completely lost your cool. Think it'd make you look good?

Basinger is a conniving, selfish, venomous, witch who obviously feels it's more important to make her ex-husband look bad than to keep her family issues involving the custody of her daughter out of the spotlight.

Our system is so incredibly jacked up when it comes to custody and divorce. Ask any divorced man about the equity of his settlement and you'll hear horror stories. It's routine for the woman to end up with the house, cars, and vacation money while the husband is relegated to a one bedroom apartment. The scales are so tipped in the woman's favor when it comes to divorce in our country (which, by the way, is why you're an idiot if you have any net worth and don't think a pre-nup is necessary).

But I digress.

Alec Baldwin is getting raked over the coals because people would rather crucify a guy for doing something every parent has done rather than look at the mean-spirited ugliness of his ex-wife who has made it her life's #1 priority to smear him. She's pathetic, and anybody who saw her gun down Robert Redford in The Natural knows she's bad news.
posted by Jimmy | 1:18 AM | Link | (0) comments
Thursday, April 19, 2007
BRIEFLY ON VA TECH
How predictable is AM talk radio? Not even 12 hours had passed since the massacre earlier this week and all you heard were gun control debates. The idea that every single tragedy has to to be spun into political rhetoric of who's to blame makes me nauseas. To imply that this shooting wouldn't have happened if certain laws were or weren't in place is absolutely assinine. If you think gun control would have stopped this you've got your head in the sand, and if you think it's a good idea to allow students to arm themselves on campus so this couldn't happen you're a complete maniac too.

And then there's Michael Savage who, predictably, was ranting that the guy shouldn't have even been allowed in the country, even though he and his parents were legally here. Great take (although, to be fair, Savage is really more circus act than serious opinion maker).

How about this for a take: Certain crap is gonna always happen that you can't control. Next topic.
posted by Jimmy | 12:37 AM | Link | (0) comments
Monday, April 16, 2007
2 MORE REASONS I HATE LEAVING THE HOUSE
A couple of things that have always ticked me off:

A) Men's room attendant's. WTF is their purpose other than to guilt you into coughing up a buck just to leave the bathroom? What jerk-wad club or bar owner thinks men appreciate a guy in the bathroom trying to sell us crap or give him money because he gave me a rag to dry my hands? I'll tell you right now, as nice as these guys may be, they don't get squat from me. I don't need some dude on a stool pushing shaving cream and dental floss when I go to take a leak at a freakin' bar. I happen to be one who grooms himself BEFORE he leaves the house. And I don't need to be guilted into pulling dough out of my wallet because you provided me with the laborious service of pulling a paper towl out of a dispenser. Get a better gig, dude.

B) Here's what I can be 100% sure of....
1) Robin Williams can not make me laugh under any circumstance, and

2) If a waiter doesn't write down your order, and instead tries the memory method, your meal will come out wrong EVERY DAMN TIME!

I cannot stand when waiters think they're impressing me by trying to memorize an order instead of erring on the side of accuracy. Happened to me again this morning. We met Lisa's cousin for breakfast downtown at the Hilton (a cousin who would later unceremoniously drop a deuce in our guest bathroom and then yell for a toilet paper delivery after discovering the roll was low). And as we started piling on the off-the-menu items (buffets are a rip) to the Rhodes Scholar taking our order, I could tell by his eyes that he was going to screw it up. Now, many times when I see waiters do this I'll humorously suggest that they write it down, but that usually gets them and my wife irritaded with me....until I'm inevitably proven correct when the food comes out wrong. So we start rattling off: breakfast burrito, spanish omelette, grapefruit, bowl of cream of wheat, 2 OJ's, etc. and when he leaves I announce "The Order Will Come Out Wrong Or He'll Forget Something". And lo and behold, in ten minutes I'm looking like The Amazing Kreskin. In fact, even when dude realized he never brought my grapefruit he said he was sorry and that he'd bring it out...which he never did.

Why are servers such putzes with this? Why do they think we're impressed if they don't write down your order? To me it doesn't say "experienced waiter", it says "guy-who-will-get-small-tip-because-order-came-out-wrong".
If you're a server and don't write down orders please be advised: Your ability to memorize my food has absolutely no positive bearing on your tip, only a potential negative one. If, by chance, you get it right it's not like I'm going to sit there and say "Hey, Paul the Waiter from Minneapolis has a great memory. I think I'll give him five extra dollars!"

You wanna memorize something? Join community theatre.
posted by Jimmy | 9:09 AM | Link | (0) comments
2 MORE REASONS I HATE LEAVING THE HOUSE
A couple of things that have always ticked me off:

A) Men's room attendant's. WTF is their purpose other than to guilt you into coughing up a buck just to leave the bathroom? What jerk-wad club or bar owner thinks men appreciate a guy in the bathroom trying to sell us crap or give him money because he gave me a rag to dry my hands? I'll tell you right now, as nice as these guys may be, they don't get squat from me. I don't need some dude on a stool pushing shaving cream and dental floss when I go to take a leak at a freakin' bar. I happen to be one who grooms himself BEFORE he leaves the house. And I don't need to be guilted into pulling dough out of my wallet because you provided me with the laborious service of pulling a paper towl out of a dispenser. Get a better gig, dude.

B) Here's what I can be 100% sure of....
1) Robin Williams can not make me laugh under any circumstance, and

2) If a waiter doesn't write down your order, and instead tries the memory method, your meal will come out wrong EVERY DAMN TIME!

I cannot stand when waiters think they're impressing me by trying to memorize an order instead of erring on the side of accuracy. Happened to me again this morning. We met Lisa's cousin for breakfast downtown at the Hilton (a cousin who would later unceremoniously drop a deuce in our guest bathroom and then yell for a toilet paper delivery after discovering the roll was low). And as we started piling on the off-the-menu items (buffets are a rip) to the Rhodes Scholar taking our order, I could tell by his eyes that he was going to screw it up. Now, many times when I see waiters do this I'll humorously suggest that they write it down, but that usually gets them and my wife irritaded with me....until I'm inevitably proven correct when the food comes out wrong. So we start rattling off: breakfast burrito, spanish omelette, grapefruit, bowl of cream of wheat, 2 OJ's, etc. and when he leaves I announce "The Order Will Come Out Wrong Or He'll Forget Something". And lo and behold, in ten minutes I'm looking like The Amazing Kreskin. In fact, even when dude realized he never brought my grapefruit he said he was sorry and that he'd bring it out...which he never did.

Why are servers such putzes with this? Why do they think we're impressed if they don't write down your order? To me it doesn't say "experienced waiter", it says "guy-who-will-get-small-tip-because-order-came-out-wrong".
If you're a server and don't write down orders please be advised: Your ability to memorize my food has absolutely no positive bearing on your tip, only a potential negative one. If, by chance, you get it right it's not like I'm going to sit there and say "Hey, Paul the Waiter from Minneapolis has a great memory. I think I'll give him five extra dollars!"

You wanna memorize something? Join community theatre.
posted by Jimmy | 9:09 AM | Link | (0) comments
2 MORE REASONS I HATE LEAVING THE HOUSE
A couple of things that have always ticked me off:

A) Men's room attendant's. WTF is their purpose other than to guilt you into coughing up a buck just to leave the bathroom? What jerk-wad club or bar owner thinks men appreciate a guy in the bathroom trying to sell us crap or give him money because he gave me a rag to dry my hands? I'll tell you right now, as nice as these guys may be, they don't get squat from me. I don't need some dude on a stool pushing shaving cream and dental floss when I go to take a leak at a freakin' bar. I happen to be one who grooms himself BEFORE he leaves the house. And I don't need to be guilted into pulling dough out of my wallet because you provided me with the laborious service of pulling a paper towl out of a dispenser. Get a better gig, dude.

B) Here's what I can be 100% sure of....
1) Robin Williams can not make me laugh under any circumstance, and

2) If a waiter doesn't write down your order, and instead tries the memory method, your meal will come out wrong EVERY DAMN TIME!

I cannot stand when waiters think they're impressing me by trying to memorize an order instead of erring on the side of accuracy. Happened to me again this morning. We met Lisa's cousin for breakfast downtown at the Hilton (a cousin who would later unceremoniously drop a deuce in our guest bathroom and then yell for a toilet paper delivery after discovering the roll was low). And as we started piling on the off-the-menu items (buffets are a rip) to the Rhodes Scholar taking our order, I could tell by his eyes that he was going to screw it up. Now, many times when I see waiters do this I'll humorously suggest that they write it down, but that usually gets them and my wife irritaded with me....until I'm inevitably proven correct when the food comes out wrong. So we start rattling off: breakfast burrito, spanish omelette, grapefruit, bowl of cream of wheat, 2 OJ's, etc. and when he leaves I announce "The Order Will Come Out Wrong Or He'll Forget Something". And lo and behold, in ten minutes I'm looking like The Amazing Kreskin. In fact, even when dude realized he never brought my grapefruit he said he was sorry and that he'd bring it out...which he never did.

Why are servers such putzes with this? Why do they think we're impressed if they don't write down your order? To me it doesn't say "experienced waiter", it says "guy-who-will-get-small-tip-because-order-came-out-wrong".
If you're a server and don't write down orders please be advised: Your ability to memorize my food has absolutely no positive bearing on your tip, only a potential negative one. If, by chance, you get it right it's not like I'm going to sit there and say "Hey, Paul the Waiter from Minneapolis has a great memory. I think I'll give him five extra dollars!"

You wanna memorize something? Join community theatre.
posted by Jimmy | 9:09 AM | Link | (0) comments
Thursday, April 12, 2007
QUICK THOUGHT ON IMUS
As the pansy-ass advertising community continues to give in to the extortion-like threats of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, it's important to keep one thing in mind: these two jerk-wads do NOT represent more than a tiny sliver of the black community. In fact, I believe they represent fewer than Cynthia McKinney did and she's about as fringe as they get. They are, however, a complete embarrassment to the people they claim to represent and make their community look vindictive, petty, and malicious.

As I've stated, I can't stand Don Imus. But what I do is choose not to listen. The fact that he will most likely also lose his CBS gig in addition to his MSNBC job is sickening to me and we will look back at this whole episode and be embarrassed as a nation for the manufactured rage and corporate overreaction. It's Janet Jackson all over again.
posted by Jimmy | 12:06 AM | Link | (0) comments
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
CAN SUPERCUTS GIVE ME A NAPPY HAIRCUT? I WANT TO BE TRENDY.
I watched some morning TV today and was literally nauseated at what the Don Imus story has become. First, let me say that I can't stand Imus. He's absolutely one of the most unlistenable things on the air. His show is simply horrible and he's been living on the edge with some of his remarks for a while. I mean, even I've been offended by some of his remarks.

But that said, this whole thing has turned into nothing but PR bonanza for Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and now the coach of the Rutgers women's basketball team. This chick blabbed endlessly and endlessly this morning about freedom, equality, civil rights, etc. Yeah, let's turn Don Imus' remarks into a civil rights issue. That's what it is. And by the way, the white chick on the team doesn't even have nappy hair.

Ya know, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton should be THANKING Don Imus. They should be kissing his wrinkly white ass! If it wasn't for him these two clowns wouldn't be masturbating each other all over CNN and Fox for the past three days, and that's all they really care about anyhow.

Should Imus be fired for this? Absolutely not. As I've said many times, the only time I believe an air personality should be fired for saying something is if he costs the station money, calls for physical violence or injury to someone (which obviously he didn't do here), or puts the station's license in jeopardy. So let's see how it plays out with advertisers. Remember, the only minority group here that matters is the one called CBS Stockholders. If the black community can put enough pressure on advertisers to pull money from CBS/NBC he could be gone. If, however, it doesn't cost the network money he'll be back.

What's interesting to note, by the way, is that Imus' 2 week suspension starts NEXT WEEK. Hmm, why not start it immediately, you might ask? I don't know. Do you think it's because CBS/NBC knows that the tune-in to Imus' shows this week will be MASSIVE?

I'd also like to mention that when I grow up I sure hope to age as gracefully as Don Imus. Talk about looks!

LIKE YOU DON'T WATCH TOO!

My current obsession is the morbidly obese. I don't care what I'm looking for on tv, if I come across any of those Discovery Channel shows on the super obese I'm locked. Last night I saw a woman who I think had that elephantitis disease of her leg and there was so much fat on it it completely folded over her foot like a bellbottom.

JESUS CHRIST, I'M OLD!

I've never been a vitamin or supplement taker. It's too boring and I'd always forget, anyhow. But over the years I've slowly accumulated a healthy regimen of daily or weekly meds/pills for one reason or another.

Here's what I'm currently on:

Prilosec - Daily - Acid reflux
Fosomax - Weekly - Low bone density
Calcium - Daily - Low bone density
Vitamin D - Daily - Low bone density
Something My Father-In-Law prescribed - Daily - cholesterol

So a couple of weekends ago, while we were visiting my wife's family in Baltimore, I realized what a hassle it was to have to take five bottle of pills with me every time I go out of town. So I went to Walgreens and actually purchased a freakin' pillbox! Yeah, just like your grandmother has. I now have to have a separate case just for my medications! The only time I see those is when I'm with my parents (who are 70) or when I'm at the Breman Nursing Home.

Shouldn't there be some kind of cool pillbox for hip, young, 45 year old Gen X'ers like me? Ya know, like a pillbox that has fresh cool punk bands on it, like Maroon 5? Or maybe Tony Hawk could design a line or something. I could even have a sweet hi tech Tron logo emblazened near the safety latch. AAAAOOOOOWWWWW!!!!!

posted by Jimmy | 12:29 AM | Link | (0) comments
Monday, January 29, 2007
KNEE DEEP IN HYPOCRISY
The case of the girl in Sacramento who died holding her pee for a Wii is certainly shocking and tragic, but I'm getting tired of the Holier Than Thou attitude we're starting to hear from many of my radio brethren who are using this incident to make themselves look like saints.

The worst is clearly Mancow Mueller, who for years has been regarded as one of the most low-brow and tasteless jocks on the air. Mancow issued a press release last week chastising the industry and "calling an end to voyeuristic radio". In fact, he's even started an organization called the "Foundation For Responsible Radio" which, he says, will help raise funds for the family of the deceased Sacramento woman. He also wants us to know in this press release that last week he appeared on "Inside Edition", "Entertainment Tonight", and "The O'Reilly Factor" in case you care. Kinda sucks that Jennifer Strange died, but at least it's working out well for Mancow. Any guesses as to how much effort Cow puts into his organization when he's not getting TV time out of it anymore?

Mueller also tells the world in his press release that he's "angry and frustrated that these types of things are still going on", and that "small markets feel the need to do this to get ratings and it is wrong."

The Cow adds, "Voyeuristic radio has died or gone to satellite."

Really? Well that's interesting coming from him because just a couple of clicks on his website will produce a video of someone on Mancow's Morning Madhouse getting tasered as part of an on-air stunt! We see the guy get shot in the back in studio with a police stun gun and then writhe around in agony as 100,000 volts of electricity surge through his body while laughs galore ensue.

Do a Google search and find out how many people a year accidentally die of water intoxication and you'll actually find very few hard statistics on the number of fatalities its caused, but do the same search on the number of people who've died as a result of a stun gun encounter and you'll get pages and pages. But I guess when Mancow tasers people it's in the name of science and not entertainment, huh? Note to Cow: There but for the grace of you-know-who, my friend.
Do you think it's too strong a statement to say that Mancow is exploiting this woman's death for his own benefit? I don't. Do you think it's fair to say that he's no better than the "wacky" dj's in Sacramento? I do.

But it doesn't stop with Mancow. All over the country we're hearing from "squeaky clean" dj's who are using this Sacramento story to make themselves look so above-the-fray. We're hearing things like "lowest common denomenator radio", "entertainment for morons", and "America doesn't want this stuff". Well guess what? America does want this stuff. America loves Jackass, America loves Punk'd, America loves voyeuristic television like Cops and Intervention and America loves radio stunts. And if they don't then maybe you can tell me why shows that do them are often the most successful ones on the dial (and who'd know better than me?). They're definitely not for everyone but they're for a significant number according to Arbitron.

Would I want to do another radio show again that features crazy stunts? No, because I'm 45 and would like to think I've outgrown them. But I recognize that there's an audience for it and people of a certain demographic like it, and other radio personalities who are all of a sudden "shocked and offended" by the crass carlessness of these dudes in Sacto are hypocrites.

Not everyone wants to listen to NPR just like not everyone wants to watch the National Geographic channel. Some people like Flavor of Love and America's Funniest Videos. People who criticize one type of radio show because it doesn't appeal to them are no better than adults who criticize heavy metal or hip hop for the same reasons.
posted by JIMMY BARON | 1:17 AM | Link | (0) comments
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
THAT'S IT. I'VE DECIDED NEVER TO HAVE CHILDREN.
I watched perhaps the most terrifying thing I've ever seen on TV last night. It literally (not figuratively) made me queezy and feel nauseous. I've never seen something on the tube that had such a profoundly uncomfortable effect on me, and I'm not leading up to a Prison Break joke either.

I'm referring to the show "Supernanny", upon which Lisa and I happened to have stumbled. It's that reality show where this child behavior and parenting expert named Jo Frost visits the home of people with out of control children each week and then works with the vermin and their parents to make them each better domestic citizens.

It's certainly possible that the brats on this show are simply the worst of the worst (because it makes good tv) and possibly might not represent most children, but I don't know that I want to take the chance that mine wouldn't come out the same. And while I'm sure these parents did a lot of things wrong, it wasn't clearly apparent to me what exactly those things were. I mean, I don't know jack about parenting (and discipline isn't exactly my wife's strong suit either) so what's to say an offspring of ours is going to be any better than the wild beasts on that show?
I can honestly say after seeing the kids on Supernanny that juries should look at mothers who kill their children with the same compassion they look at abused women who kill their husbands after one-too-many beatings.

Supernanny was my Scared Straight...unfortunately my wife is five months pregnant. Boy, does my timing suck.
posted by JIMMY BARON | 1:22 AM | Link | (0) comments
Sunday, January 21, 2007
S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT!
Last night originally looked good on paper but that's usually a precurser to things becoming the exact opposite.

Lisa and I were supposed to go to a movie with our neighbors Mike and Sarah but four adults couldn't agree on a movie. For the record, I didn't say no to any of the suggestions. I orginally thought Children of Men was a bad choice because it was sci-fi, but agreed to it anyhow if that's what everyone wanted to see. As it turned out, though, they didn't. Mike refused to see The Queen (even though its gotten nothing but superior reviews), Lisa refused to see Freedom Writers, neither Mike nor Sarah wanted to see Letters From Iwa Jima and nobody except me would see the 9:30 showing of Blood Diamond (we were too late for the earlier show). For some reason, however, when it was apparent we wouldn't be seeing a movie, Lisa told Sarah it was because I, repeat I, was being difficult about it. So instead, we went to dinner at a very trendy Japanese restaurant near our house.

I wasn't really crazy about this idea from the start because A) I had a splitting headache all day and didn't really feel like talking for two hours, and B) my headache would be worsened by the fact that there's nothing but smokin' hot single women that go to that restaurant while my pregnant wife, in the meantime, is becoming ginormous. (She actually looks cute but our garbage disposal is on a better diet than she is right now, and she's only at 21 weeks and not supposed to gain "real" weight till the last trimester. Yikes!)

Anyway, it was an unmitigated disaster. I was actually fine for the first half hour until the point where the conversation turned to having a baby. Then for the next hour and half I heard a thousand stories of neverending inconvenience, no travel, no sleep, expensive baby clothes, non-stop medical costs, and complete loss of freedom....and this is from people who LOVE children. With every minute that went by my head pounded louder and harder. This was exactly why I just wanted to go to a movie. I just wasn't in the mood to pile all this on top of the nuclear bomb in my head which my wife refuses to believe is due to stress.

The good news was that it didn't turn into a huge fight. Plus, I was so stuffed with rice and edamame at the end of the meal that luckily I was too full to even put the end of a shotgun in my mouth.
posted by JIMMY BARON | 9:50 PM | Link | (0) comments
Saturday, January 06, 2007
TALK ABOUT NOT BEING ABLE TO COMMIT!
I take my office calendar very seriously. People tend to rush into the hanging of their annual calendar on the wall without realizing they're going to have to live with that theme for an entire year. In the past I've had Springsteen calendars, tropical fish calendars, Thrashers callendars, golf calendars, animal shit calendars, and this past year was a bassett hound calendar (Buster is probably the only thing in my life currently that it is guaranteed to keep me happy every day). Obviously I try to choose my yearly calendar based on things that are near and dear to my heart.

I usually wait till after the first of the year to get my calendar because that's when the stores practically give them away. Still, the theme I choose is something that must make a statement (even though it hangs in a room that only I frequent) so I can only make the purchase if I am in a decent frame of mind.

Anyway, yesterday I went down to Borders and stared at the cornucopia of available calendars on sale. Was this year going to be a NASCAR year, a sleeping cats year, an American quilts year, a Spiderman year, a great composers year, a "24" year, a Greek architecture year, a military vehicles year, a legends of WWF year, a Nelly Fertado year, a heroes of the bible year, or a rare coins year? My head was starting to ache.

I literally stood in front of the rack for 20 minutes trying to decide what would define my year - fortunately they don't make a calendar featuring "unemployment checks from around the world". And I'm so freakin' indecisive (my worst trait by far) that I eventually left emptyhanded. I just couldn't commit to a theme that I'd have to look at on my wall for the next 360 days. I'll try again today. Somebody shoot me.
posted by JIMMY BARON | 6:24 PM | Link | (0) comments
Saturday, December 30, 2006
FULFILLING A CULINARY DREAM
You know how you'll buy anything in a grocery store when you're hungry? Yesterday I was at Kroger and saw a box of Shake 'N Bake. I've never eaten Shake N Bake because, as a kid, neither my mom nor any of my friends' moms ever made it, but I always thought it looked great from the TV commercials. Crispy breading on the oustide, juicy chicken on the inside. That's exactly what I love! And the picture on the box looks succulent! Way to deprive me of mouth-watering elation, mom.

So I bought it knowing Lisa was going to make chicken for dinner last night and demanded that she not just MAKE the chicken, but that she do a little shaking and baking as well. Her response was an emphatic "No. I can't believe you bought that stuff". So I put my foot down as the man of the house and issued a direct order for "Shake N' Bake chicken for my Friday night Shabbat dinner. This is America and Americans eat Shake N Bake"!

She, naturally, had no recourse when it became a direct order and followed said order dutifully. (By the way, I checked with the people from Kraft foods and it turns out last night's meal was the first time Shake N' Bake has been served outside a double wide).

Anyway, here's my official MEAL REVIEW: Shake 'N Bake tastes like crap.
posted by JIMMY BARON | 7:18 PM | Link | (0) comments
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
I DON'T FEEL TOO GOOD
It never ceases to amaze me how cheaply Americans are willing to sell out their values and priorities. Am I the only one who finds it odd that Michael Jackson, who has never been found guilty of one charge filed against him, is still considered a social pariah yet James Brown, who was convicted on numerous occasions of spousal abuse, battery, wielding a firearm, illegal drug possession and a host of other similar charges, is being heralded as a hero?

Yeah, I know we all "struggle with our demons" but, in the end, Brown's penchant for violence and drugs far outweigh the fact he recorded "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag.". I would agree that he was one of the most influential artists of our time, but this guy didn't just have a bunch of unpaid parking tickets. He was a wife-beating felon. He'd get jacked up on coke, beat the crap out of her or anyone else, and then be forgiven by the rest of us because he was fun to watch on stage. We really are whores.

So yes, James Brown was, to be sure, a great entertainer. But he was, more significantly, also a career criminal who laughed at society's laws because he was a celebrity. Perhaps the reason he was known as the "hardest working man in show business" was, quite simply, because he was holding down two jobs.
posted by JIMMY BARON | 1:52 AM | Link | (1) comments
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
WEEKLY JEW/GENTILE RANT
For the record, that Chassidic rabbi in Seattle who threatened to sue the city if they didn't allow him to light an 8 foot menorah next to the Christmas trees inside SeaTac airport is a tool. Unfortunately, as a result of his kvetching, the airport took down all their Christmas trees and now the whole city is pissed at this well-meaning but misguided black-hatter.

The festival of Channukah does require a Jew to light his menorah in a public manner so as to "publicize the 8 day miracle" of the holiday. All this technically means, though, is that you can fulfill your Jewish obligation by placing your menorah in the window of your home so others can see it. Some, however, like to turn the "publicizing" up a notch.. And this is okay EXCEPT when it causes a situation like in Seattle.

Let me drop a little Hebrew on ya. One of the most important tennets of Judaism is what's known as a "Chillul Hashem". Translated, it means "Desecration of G-d", and says it is forbidden for a Jew to do anything that would reflect poorly on Him OR on the Jewish people, in general . So while Rabbi Whateverhisnameis is busy pissing off Seattle so he can light his menorah in the airport, he's also violating a very important piece of Jewish halacha as he's embarrassing most of the rest of us. And I'm gonna guess that by now he's learned that lesson as he's been the subject of every single talk radio show in the country. And you're not forgiven in the US and A until the talk radio shows have decided you are.

But while we're on the subject, a message for my Goyim brothers and sisters: STOP TELLING ME A CHRISTMAS TREE IS SECULAR!!! It's NOT. Any way you slice it, it is a symbol of a particular Christian holiday. You cannot decide it's secular just to support your argument in the Happy Holiday/Merry Christmas Debate. Christmas is not a secular holiday either. Just because there are confused Jews who don't realize that doesn't change it's very definition.

You can't have it both ways. You can't tell me Christmas and Christmas trees are secular but then go apeshit when the cashier at Wal-Mart says Happy Holidays.

We live in a Christian country, and anybody of another faith who doesn't want to acknoledge that is just kidding themselves. Let's call it what it is. A Christmas tree may not be a religious object (like a menorah) but it certainly symbolizes a religious celebration. That's why they're put up at Christmas and not in the middle of June.

I, personally, don't mind Christmas trees put up in public places because we live in a Christian country. What I mind is when you insult my intelligence by trying to convince me that they do not have religious connotation.
posted by JIMMY BARON | 3:22 AM | Link | (2) comments
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Where Mel Gibson Will Be Spending His Christmas Vacation?
A friend of mine sent me the story running today in the New York Times about Iran announcing a "conference" of "scholars" to discuss the legitimacy of the Holocaust. Naturally, my friend, who is not Jewish, assumed I'd want to write about it to express my OUTRAGE. I think he was surprised, though, when all I could give him was a tepid "Feh."

It's not that I don't care about anti-Semitism or am convinced that a pre-emptive strike on Iran will be necessary in the near future for the sake of Israel. It's just that I'm not phased by the notion that there are people who hate Jews. There always have been and there always will be. In fact, I'm kind of looking forward to seeing who'll show up at this "conference". It's actually good for these people to be exposed as the imbeciles they are, like when Geraldo used to do his shows with members of the Klan.

Being a Holocaust denier at this point in history, to me, isn't dangerous because I don't think anybody really takes them seriously. It's kind of like being a member of the Flat Earth Society. Ahmadenijad isn't a threat because he tries to goad us with his Holocaust nonsense. He's a threat because he calls for the current destruction of Jews and the State of Israel. I'm more concerned about that.

In addtion, we need to recognize that it's the daily grass-roots anti-Semitism that is the most serious. Like European synagogues being vandalized, or tiresome radio host Don Imus recently referring to CBS' "Jewish managment" as "moneygrubbing", or the Mel Gibson tirade, or some redneck yelling obscenities at Jews from his pickup truck as they walk to shul on a Friday night. To me, THAT stuff is far worse than a handful of idiots who think the Holocaust was one of Aesop's Fables.
posted by JIMMY BARON | 11:22 AM | Link | (0) comments
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