Archive for January 2010

Blogging For Dummies

January 27, 2010

Well it only took me three weeks, but I am starting to dig into the book I received as my Secret Santa present.  (If you’re unsure of what I am talking about, see the post entitled “Super Secret Santa”).  The first portion of the book is about starting a blog and making the decisions it takes to get rolling.  Well, since I made those decisions almost two years ago, I skipped ahead a little bit.

I stumbled upon a chapter that caught my eye more than the others; Chapter 16: Making Mad Mad Money.   According to the author, making money with your blog is easier than ever.  Well in times like these, who am I to dismiss the possibility of extra income?   I mean, daddy needs a new pair of shoes.  Okay, maybe not shoes, since I just bought a new pair as a result of losing mine in the snow on Christmas Day.  But daddy needs new stuff.  Quiznos subs don’t pay for themselves around here.

The book recommends programs like Google AdSense, Yahoo Publisher Network, and AdBrite.  However, I didn’t want to have the typical cookie-cutter ads that everyone else does, so I challenged myself to find my own sponsor.  I wanted something unique, something that fit with my persona.  And now, ladies and gentlemen, I think I found the perfect sponsor.  Now is a good time to hear from him.

Well, what do you think?  Personally, I like Al.  I get a good vibe from him, and I think he’s got a solid, sustaining business that can definitely last in the long run, even in this economy.  The demand for those things has got to be through the roof already, and I can only hope I’m helping the cause by allowing him to advertise here.

In other news, since the Vikings dropped a big stink bomb in the NFC Championship game, I won the bet made between JK and I before the season started.  Let’s recap in case we have any new readers here.  (And let’s face it, with a sponsor like Al Harrington, how could I NOT have new readers by now?! I mean, did you SEE that commercial?!)

The bet:  If the Vikings make it to the Super Bowl, I have to buy a Brett Favre Vikings jersey, wear it everyday for a week straight and take pictures with the daily newspapers to prove it.  The pictures of me with the newspaper will be posted here.  On top of that, the week the jersey would be worn would be Super Bowl week, with the seventh and final day being Super Bowl Sunday.  And if the Vikes don’t win the NFC, JK has to record a video of himself crying and bemoaning the loss, send it to me, and I will upload it to this very blog  for all to see.

And on that note, it’s time for a word from our sponsor.

Who knew he had so much to offer?  This guy is on point! I for one couldn’t be happier with this new partnership.  Anyway, where were we?  Oh, the bet.  I got word from JK late Sunday that he was going to get cracking on recording himself, and he assured me he would find a way to make it work.  The only thing left in the equation is the tears, which I am sure will come fairly easy once he realizes how many times the Vikings have broken his heart in his lifetime.

In all seriousness, the Vikes might be the hardest team to cheer for in football, only because every year the expectations are so high (and rightfully so in most cases).  I heard on ESPN that over the past 20 years, the Vikes have sent more players to the Pro Bowl than any other franchise in the NFL.  More than the Cowboys, who have won three Super Bowls in that span, more than the 49ers, who have also won three, more than the Broncos, who won back-to-back rings in the 90s, the list goes on.  And yet, they have nothing to show for it.  A lot of people may argue that you can’t put a lot of merit into the Pro Bowl because the fans vote on it.  The fans’ ballots only count for one third of the voting.  The coaches and the players each vote, and each of those makes up a third as well.  And I will argue that the Vikes have a disadvantage when it comes to the ballots, since teams like Dallas and New York surely receive many more votes as they are in significantly larger markets than Minneapolis. So for the Vikings to send seven or eight players to the Pro Bowl every year is legit to me.  They have some of the best talent in the league.

With that being said, when the only major hole in the team (quarterback) was addressed during the offseason when they brought in arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, and they still can’t make it to the big game … At some point, you have to start looking at the coaches.  You have to.  If your team consists of some of the best players in the league year after year, and you can’t seem to get anywhere, start pointing the finger elsewhere.

Granted, coaches aren’t responsible for the turnovers that led to this year’s loss to the Saints in the NFC title game, but I’m talking in a broader sense than just this season.  Maybe I’m way off here, but to me, as an outsider, that’s how I see it.  The talent is there, why isn’t anything being done with it?

I’m getting word that it’s time for one last word from our sponsor.  Time to pay the bills.

Brilliant.  That’s all I can say.

One session with my Blogging For Dummies book and already it has inspired the birth of a beautiful relationship between myself and a sponsor.  Be sure to check out Al Harrington’s Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man Emporium and Warehouse on Route 2 in Weekapaugh!

One love,

10

Live From New York, It’s Saturday Night

January 19, 2010

Ask anyone age 25 to 50 to tell you about Saturday Night Live and you’ll easily be treated to a twenty minute conversation about everyone from Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd to Chris Farley and Will Ferrell.  But NOT Jimmy Fallon.  That no-talent ass clown doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the aforementioned.

I digress. To our generation, SNL is an institution that revolutionized the sketch comedy genre of television, and upped the ante by running it live every week in an era where everything was previously recorded in front of a live studio audience.

Though I’ll be the first to tell you that SNL has gone downhill over the past decade, I need to look no further than my DVD case to revel in the good old days again.  No, I’m not talking about the “Best Of” series of DVDs that show a smattering of the best sketches from a certain performer (even though most of those are hilarious in their own right).  I’m talking about the SNL skits that were made into full-fledged motion pictures.

I was able to remember nine movies that were derived from SNL, but since nine is such a stupid, odd number, I hit Wikipedia to make sure I wasn’t missing any.  Sure enough, I had forgotten one, and thus, I am now able to bring you a countdown of the ten movies based on SNL sketches in the order I enjoy them. You’re welcome.

10. Stuart Saves The DayCan I be totally honest?  This was the one I couldn’t remember.  I’ve never even seen it, I had never even heard of it, and I have a sneaking suspicion it’s a big turd.  Has anyone reading this post seen this movie?  Let me know if I’m way off base and I need to get this one on my Netflix list.  Otherwise I’m strangely comfortable never watching it.

9. It’s Pat! Okay, the only reason I’ve seen this waste of film is because I once worked at a video store and got a bjillion free rentals every week.  In reality, the movie is awful and can only be preceded on a list of SNL movies by the only one I haven’t even seen.  For those of you who haven’t seen it, you’re not alone.  The movie opened in only three cities and ended up barely making $60,000 at the box office. TOTAL.  I’m pretty sure I could make a movie with a camcorder on a boring Sunday afternoon, release it in theaters, and make more than sixty grand.  Oh wait, someone already did that, and they called it The Blair Witch Project.

8. Superstar – Maybe I’m being a little unfair to this one, but I cannot stand Molly Shannon.  The movie gets bonus points for having Will Ferrell in it, but he just can’t make up for the steaming pile of vomit that is Molly Shannon’s character.  Okay we get it, you’re clumsy, you fall into stuff, and your armpits get sweaty.  All of those three things can also be said about me, but I’m not trouncing around in a Catholic school girl’s uniform trying to score with Will Ferrell.  I gave up on that phase of my life years ago.  I’m sorry, but if I had it to do over again, I’d ask for my 81 minutes back.

7. The Ladies Man – Alright, we’re starting to gain some momentum with this list.  A black radio host and self-proclaimed sex therapy expert who drinks endless amounts of Courvoisier, sports an afro that would make Don King jealous, and encourages people to “take their lovers by the hand and do it in the butt …”  Now THAT is a movie premise I can get behind.  Though the plot is admittedly ridiculous, and the movie itself probably isn’t good for more than two or three watches, the one-liners propel it to one of those movies that is still kinda funny when it comes up in a random conversations once in a while. “Hey baby, can I buy you a fish sandwich?”

6. Blues Brothers 2000 – This movie pulls me in different directions.  Part of me wishes the folks at SNL would have left well enough alone.  The original had been released nearly 20 years prior, and it wasn’t exactly beckoning for a sequel.  However, part of me likes the idea of paying homage to a classic, especially since Dan Aykroyd was able to star in this one as well.  However, the movie fell a little flat.  Maybe it was because, as I mentioned, fans of the original Blues Brothers movie weren’t seeking a sequel.  Maybe it was the fact that John Belushi couldn’t be a part of it for obvious reasons.  Or maybe it was because they called it Blues Brothers 2000 when in reality it was released in 1998.  Who can say for certain?  What I do know is that I’m completely fine having only seen it once whereas I own the original, and have probably watched it no less than 30 times.

5. Wayne’s World 2 – Again, we probably could have done without the sequel in this instance as well.  Nevertheless, the movie delivers a few good laughs as Wayne and Garth take us on another wacky adventure.  Bonus points are awarded for casting Christopher Walken, and adding Heather Locklear (as herself) was a solid touch since she was worshiped in basically every Wayne’s World skit ever aired.  There are too many other cameos in this one to even begin listing, but overall, it just couldn’t measure up to its predecessor.

4. Coneheads – If this movie was a birdhouse, the glue holding it together came in the form of the slew of SNL alum they casted to fill up the roster.  Farley, Sandler, Spade, Hartman, Nealon, Meadows, and Lovitz all made appearances in it, as did Ellen DeGeneres, Jason Alexander (George from Seinfeld), and a young Drew Carey.  This movie boasts mostly dumb humor, but I can’t help but laugh at it.  Brace yourselves now, because the top three really kick things up a notch.

3. Wayne’s World – I struggled with whether or not Wayne and Garth should land in the third spot or get bumped up to number two.  When it came down to it, I hate Rob Lowe’s character in this movie juuuust enough to hold it back in the three slot.  That not withstanding, this movie is comic gold.  It’s just plan fun to watch a young Mike Myers and realize that he hasn’t changed a bit in the almost 20 years since this movie was released.  Many kudos to the producers of this one for staying true to the original sketch and letting Myers and Dana Carvey shine all on their own.

2. A Night at the Roxbury – If you can watch this movie beginning to end and not laugh one time, check yourself to see if there is a hatch on your chest that opens up, because you are a robot.  Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan are in rare form for a solid hour and a half.  The amount of one-liners that came from this movie are endless.  I dare you to casually mention Emilio Estevez at a party.  You will get an auto-response of “Emiiiillliiooooooooo!” from someone who has seen the movie.  Or play “What Is Love?” and count how many people start bobbing their heads to the side incessantly like crazed idiots.  Bottom line, this movie is still echoing throughout pop culture this very minute, and for good reason.  It’s too damn stupid to not be funny.

1. Blues Brothers – Simply put, the car chase scene at the end of the movie is one of the most exciting, fun scenes in any movie, not to mention one of the best chase scenes I’ve seen in my day.  The subtle, dry humor throughout the movie hits just the right spot, and the Belushi-Aykroyd dynamic is dead on the money.  Those two couldn’t have been more perfect for their respective roles, for this movie, and for each other as co-stars. This movie is simply timeless. I dare you to watch this scene and not want to drive your car through the inside of your local mall.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Okay, did you watch it? Are you ready to get in the car and drive through the mall?  I thought so.  Pick me up on your way there.

I’m going to cap off this top ten list with a tasty bit of info.  For all of you SNL fans out there, there is expected to be a movie based on the MacGruber skit due out in April of this year.  You’re welcome.

One love,

1o

Super Secret Santa

January 15, 2010

Last Saturday, a handful of my closest friends and I gathered for our annual tradition of a Super Secret Santa gift exchange.   It’s fun, festive, and the alliteration in the title whips us all into a frenzy!  Okay, maybe not.  More like … it’s fun, festive, and there’s a 100% chance everyone is going to get drunk before I get there and open basically every present in the house.

In any case, I had zero idea who had drawn my name or what they might get me, but I was pleasantly surprised when I opened my gift to find ….

Sooooo, apparently Sara, my Secret Santa, decided to forgo all ideas of subtlety and go for the win.  Well played, Sara.  Well played.  Now it looks like I’ve got some reading to do.  I think I’ll brush up on the section about maintaining an audience first. (I think I just “boom, roasted” myself).

Well, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go read about what to do when you’ve only written about six times over the past three months and basically all of your readers have forgotten about you and moved on to reading endless amounts of Facebook status updates instead. Thanks again for the great gift, Sara.  I can only hope it didn’t come too late.

One love,

10

Preposterous Statement Of The Year?

January 12, 2010

Over the weekend on ESPN Radio, upon announcing that Pete Carroll was leaving USC to coach the Seattle Seahawks, ESPN’s Amy Lawrence said that Carroll would be a good fit at Seattle because, and I’m quoting:

 “USC’s talent rivaled the level of many NFL teams, surely the Seattle Seahawks.” 

Someone should clue Miss Lawrence in that the Trojans are a college team, and one that lost four games in the Pac-10 this year. For that statement to be even close to being something that resembles a competent thought, the 2009 Trojans had better send each of their 22 starters to the NFL to then become starters or at least players sharing regular time. 

This goes hand in hand with the absurd question that comes almost every year after the BCS Title game.  Could (this year’s undefeated BCS Champion) beat the (crappiest team in the NFL that year)?  No.  Never. Alabama could not beat the Rams.  Florida would not have beaten the Lions last year.   It’s not even close to being the same levels of talent.  Each championship team probably produces between five and ten NFL players, whereas NFL teams have – wait for it – 53 NFL players on their roster.  Fifty three.

If I never hear this question again, I’ll be completely fine with it.  Good day sir.

One love,

10

All I Want For Christmas Is Shoe

January 7, 2010

You know, you’d think I would be more eager to leap into blogging in the year that bears my pen name.  I mean, if there is going to be a year for me, a guy who signs off of every post by calling himself 10, it would be 2010 right? (Quick sidebar: after a small amount of deliberation about what to call this year when referring to it out loud – two thousand ten, or twenty-ten – I have decided that twenty-ten is the way to go.  Tell your friends).  In any case, now that the steam from the holiday season has cooled, I can work on getting back into more of a routine with my writing again.

First and foremost, I hope the holidays were good to everyone.  Christmas in my area was a little interesting since we were fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of 25 inches of snow between the 24th and 26th.  Lucky us, right?  With that in mind, my fam decided it was best to postpone the festivities a couple of days so no one had to drive anywhere with two feet of snow on the ground.  Nevertheless, I was bound and determined to make it to my Mom’s house across town to see her on Christmas day.  So, Jess and I borrowed her cousin’s SUV and braved the roads that had yet to see a snow plow.

Getting there was a piece of cake.  Getting back home was another story.  As we drove though downtown, there was a car stuck in the middle of the road.  And when I say “middle,” I mean it was equidistant from the buildings on either side of it.  Tough to gauge exactly where the road started and stopped from side to side since it was all basically one big pile of snow. My only reference points were buildings.  That’s just how much snow there was. Anyway, since the genius in the Chevy Cavalier tried to cut through about 16 inches of snow (and clearly failed miserably), and since there was a miscommunication between Jess and I as to which side of the car looked like the better route to use when going around it, we also got stuck.  Not a huge deal, being from northern Minnesota, people get acclimated to being stuck once in a while.  It’s just part of life around here.  Probably much in the way that chewing tobacco, NASCAR, and incest weddings are a way of life in the south.

In a tag team effort, I tried to push while Jess rocked the car back and forth.  Useless.  I may as well have been trying to push Madison Square Garden out of quicksand.  Not only did we not gain any ground in the five minutes I spent in knee deep snow, but I managed to lose a shoe in the process as well.  When that happened, I did what any rational person would do.  I hopped on one foot and thrashed around in two feet of snow looking for my right shoe like a homeless guy who accidentally threw away the winning lottery ticket.  It was around this time someone came and was able to hook up a chain and pull the car out.  Thank God for that because I don’t know how much longer I could have gone on pushing with only one foot.

After we were pulled to safety, I decided it was time to go back into the battlezone and search for the shoe that had eluded me the first time.  So, I took off the glove I was using to keep my foot warm, stepped out of the car, hopped on one foot back to the snowbank that had claimed one half of the K-Swiss dynasty I had so adored for the past three years, and I got back to business digging.  Watching me, you would have sworn I was trying to get to China.  When suddenly, as I moved down the snowbank to continue my search, two very distinct things happened.

Almost simultaneously, I found my right shoe and lost my left shoe.  While I was walking, I spotted my right shoe and, in my excitement, I took a quick step in the deep snow, and came out sans a left shoe.  I grabbed the right shoe, the one I had originally lost, and quickly put it on my foot.  Since I was about one step away from full-on frost bite on my feet, I decided to make my search for my newly lost left shoe a quick one.  I spent about 30 seconds digging in the area I lost my left shoe, and much to my dismay, I emerged without it.  It was time to cut my losses (or else a doctor would have had to cut my feet off) so I hopped back to the car, took my shoe and both of my soaking wet socks off, and put gloves on my feet.

Thankfully, I’m about half metrosexual, so I have about 4 other pairs of shoes to wear despite the loss of the number one pair in my rotation.  They were so comfy, so perfect for my everyday needs.  They will be missed.  There was a short grieving period, but they have since been replaced in the form of a trip to Finish Line last week resulting in a pair of brand new Nikes.  I expect these to last another three years until another freak natural weather occurrence results in the loss of one or both of them which subsequently results in me trying to put Jess’ mittens over my feet to keep them from turning blue.  Merry Christmas to me.

On a totally separate note, yet another Christmas has gone by, and Erin Andrews was not waiting under the tree for me on Christmas morning.  I’m beginning to think this Santa Claus guy everyone talks about is either completely incompetent or just a total jerk.  Oh well, there’s always next year.

One love,

10