Welcome! (I guess...)

For those of you who by some extremely unlikely set of circumstances happened to stumble upon this page, I apologize to you. For those of you who intentionally came to this page - yikes! As the title of the weblog indicates, these are my Ramblings About Whatever. There is a chance that I will ramble about just about anything (as I am in this introduction), but only a select few topics will actually make this site. Enjoy! (I guess...)

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Super Bowl Week is Here!!!

I guess it’s Super Bowl Week officially now (which calls into question exactly what last week was – the Super Bowl Week Preview Week?), and that can only mean that it is now time for incessant talk about anything marginally related to the game. And so basically, this week when you turn on any of the roughly sixteen ESPN networks you’ll get a slightly different take on what’s going on as the big game approaches. Obviously there will be one channel following around Peyton Manning. You’ll probably have a twenty-four hour locker camera in each team’s locker room. There will be one camera dedicated to following around Michael Irvin (and this one will certainly be the main camera of focus for the Miami Beach police). And then of course we can hopefully get at least one camera dedicated to following Lee Corso as he attempts to play pranks on Phil Simms and Jim Nantz. That leaves about eleven ESPN television channels left, and so I’m guessing that about six of them will be dedicated to broadcasting NFL football players playing poker at the site of the Super Bowl, Miami, FL.

But in addition to the endless hype about the game itself, there has come to be an endless amount of hype about the commercials that will be broadcast during the game. What I have never been able to understand is that there are actually people out there who will watch the Super Bowl only to see the commercials. Seriously people, each year at least 90% of these commercials suck. There is no other way of putting it. And if you really want to see the commercials that badly, you only have to wait a few hours after the game and you can probably find them all on the internet. Those businesses that actually purchase advertisement time during the Super Bowl must know that they are wasting an incredible amount of money.

Ironically, as I discuss my misgivings with the whole fanaticism concerning Super Bowl commercials, I will discuss which commercials I’m hoping to see during the Super Bowl. (Actually, that was a bit of a joke as I’m not really hoping to see any Super Bowl commercials. If it is up to me, and I can make things happen, I will be in control of the television remote and I’ll be constantly flipping channels during the commercials.) Well, if it were up to me, every single one of the Super Bowl commercials would be a Nutrisystem commercial. I’m sure you have seen the ones about which I’m speaking: the ones where Football Hall of Fame former quarterback Dan Marino talks about how much weight he’s lost with Nutrisystem. (“I’m at my playing weight!”) Well, years ago I noticed something; whenever former football players are on television programs and they are talking about football, it’s almost as they are contractually obligated (and by “contractually obligated” in this case I mean contractually obligated to the devil) to talk really tough and mean and let everyone know, “Hey, I did play professional football.” And this is regardless of whether the person was a defensive lineman or a backup punter. Well, in the newest variation of the Nutrisystem commercial, Dan Marino has a bunch of former football friends with him and they all seem to be feeling the sharp points of the devil’s pitchfork at their backsides. They really are talking tough. It’s like, “I’m tough. I used to play football. But guess what; I got fat. But I was still tough. But now I’ve lost all that weight now. And I’m still tough. My toughness was never diminished.” It’s almost like they are forgetting that in the female version of the Nutrisystem commercial the lady keeps exclaiming happily how she’s wearing a size two. It’s almost as if the former football players are forgetting that they are following in Monica Lewinsky’s footsteps and essentially doing a Jenny Craig commercial. But it doesn’t matter because they still sound tough…

So, my wish is for more football player Nutrisystem commercials during the Super Bowl…

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

People Whose Careers Are Over

Apparently, I've read today, Jennifer Lopez is defending Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (or TomKat as we true fans love to call them...it) for the whole Scientology thing. It seems that J-Lo's father is a member of this super duper religion. Clearly J-Lo is unaware that there are like three things that will invariably lead to the collapse of one's career. These things are: voicing support for/converting to Scientology, marrying Kevin Federline, and (the very much improbable) divorcing Kevin Federline. I'm sure J-Lo's "people" (publicists, agents, etc.) would be horrified that she made such a public announcement if J-Lo were ever in the news these days...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Awards Show Season

Well everyone, it’s awards season again! And no one enjoys awards season as much as I do. And why might I enjoy awards season so much? Is it to look on in fascination to see what the stars are wearing when they arrive at the red carpet? Is it to see what kind of performance the awards show host will put on? Is it to see the looks and reactions of surprise that first time winners display? Is it to watch as those first time winners stumble through unwritten acceptance speeches? No, I’m afraid my reason is none of these, for I would almost never waste my time watching these events as they are almost never entertaining. I enjoy awards season (and awards shows in general) because of the misplaced importance I feel that people give to them.

Let’s be honest here, watching these programs is a waste of time. Those of you who watch them from red carpet arrival until the last speech is made, do you realize that you have watched the program for like four or more hours only to see like fifteen awards actually presented? Oh, and by the way, you can probably spend those four hours doing something productive, or watching something that is actually entertaining, and then look online ten minutes after the awards show is over and find out all of the winners. But in the extremely rare case that there is actually something that is entertaining and worth watching that occurs on one of these programs, like when Faith Hill threw her hissy fit at the CMA awards in 2006 when Carrie Underwood won the award for Female Vocalist of the Year, we now have things like youtube that allow us to watch these lovely moments over and over and over again. And I do suggest that you go to youtube and watch that moment over and over and over again. Watch it as many times as it makes you laugh. Seriously, do it. Now, I know that some of you may counter by saying that a moment like the immortal Faith Hill CMAs Hissy Fit would never have appeared on youtube if someone wasn’t watching. And I counter back by saying that I know that regrettably not everyone is going to follow my advice, and in some cases (like in this case of the Immortal Faith Hill CMAs Hissy Fit) it’s a good thing when not everyone follows my advice. (As an aside, in some circumstances Faith Hill would have had a legitimate point in being upset since no one who appears on American Idol – judges included – really has any singing talent, but this fact is negated by the fact that this event was the CMA awards and all country music is crap.)

As is often the case, I have digressed a bit from where I intended to go with this post. Though it is fun to attack people for wasting their time watching these silly shows, ultimately I wanted to provide a ranking of the uselessness of the individual shows. (And before you say anything, I’m well aware that there cannot truly be degrees of uselessness. Since anything that is useless by definition has no use, some other useless thing cannot be any more or less useless than the first. But I think that you know what I’m saying.) I will now that essentially the only one of these programs that I will consider watching each year is the Academy Awards (Oscars). What happens most years is that I consider watching, but end up only watching about five minutes tops because this awards show is still ultimately a waste of time. But I think that the Academy Awards program is perhaps the only one that I would hesitate to call useless. I would say that the Emmys are more useless than the Oscars and the Grammys are more useless than the Emmys. But these are the major awards shows and so they should be expected to be less useless. However, the Golden Globes are a joke. We know this because in many cases it is framed as a preview to the Oscars. Why should we take the Golden Globes seriously if the subject most talked about following the Golden Globes is how the winners are well positioned as front runners for the Oscars? The Golden Globes seem by their very nature to function as a preview of the Academy Awards. In other words, the Golden Globes are useless. (I mean the very fact that there are different categories for dramas and then musicals/comedies makes these awards ridiculous. I still have no idea how they define a musical.)

Of course the other awards programs (and awards themselves for that matter) get ever worse (e.g., MTV Movie Awards, CMA Awards, Daytime Emmy Awards), but there is a category of awards that easily trumps all others in sheer uselessness. And you guessed it; these are the “Choice” awards. These are the Kids’ Choice Awards, Teen Choice Awards, and People’s Choice Awards. I list the awards in that order for a reason; I list them in order of increasing uselessness. The Kids’ Choice Awards can almost be forgiven their uselessness. They are created for the children, and the children cannot faulted for watching such nonsense. It is not their fault that such trash is created for the purposes of entertaining them. And to the extent that the children are allowed to vote for winners themselves, what does this even signify? What does a poll taking of a bunch of eight year olds really mean? Of course we now move on to the Teen Choice Awards. Yes, the Teen Choice Awards are a joke, but contrary to what some might believe, these awards do not become less of a joke than the Kids’ Choice Awards because of an older voting populace. These awards become more of a joke because why do I get the feeling that would the nominees in any particular category be those individuals vying against one another for some office in a high school student council election, the results would be exactly the same? The Teen Choice Awards is a popularity contest, no more. And finally we come to the People’s Choice Awards. There is nothing that I can say that can truly overestimate how useless these awards are. However, I’m going to try anyway. It’s almost as if several years ago someone decided that adults needed their very own student council like popularity contest. Some of the categories that are used in these awards are among the stupidest things imaginable. Let’s see they have had categories such as these: Favorite Movie Actor and World’s Favorite Movie Actor in the same year, Favorite On-Screen Match-Up, Favorite Leading Lady, Favorite Tour, and Nice ‘n Easy Fans Favorite Hair. I mean why not just have a category called Favorite Movie Pimp, or Favorite Movie Pimp/Ho Match-Up? The possibilities are endless, and I truly believe that as long as these awards exist there is at least 75% chance that those awards categories that I have named will actually be chosen. I’m pretty much done with this but here are a few more categories that I think the People’s Choice Awards should use: Least Crappy Performance by a Soap Opera Star in a Made for Television Movie, Best Movie Facial Hair, Best Use of a Fanny Pack in a Movie or Television Program, Best Use of Rob Schneider as a Movie Prop, the Faith Hill Award for Most Embarrassing Moment at an Awards Program. There are so many possibilities, and I’ll tell you what, why don’t you tell me your crappy People’s Choice Awards category suggestions.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

American Idol Update for January 24, 2007

I figured that it is only right that I provide you with an American Idol update as often as I can. But since of course I would never be bothered to actually watch this program since I really don't believe any of the contestants have any real talent, I can only update you on what I was doing when American Idol was on.

Again, obviously I was not watching American Idol, but as I view myself to be a person who cares about all the poor creatures out there in the world, I was (as I usually am) thinking about ways that I could help protect some of those creatures yesterday. It so happened that it rained fairly heavily in the Houston area last evening. And when I saw and heard this rain, I immediately thought about the poor stray cats out there and how cats hate water. Now it wouldn't do to just let these poor defenseless animals get all wet in the rain so I thought about going outside and breaking some car windows so that the stray cats would have a warm, dry place to sleep. But I also realized that the cats would probably need something to munch on so that they would not go hungry while sheltering from the rain. And so I thought to myself, what do stray cats love best? Food from trash receptacles. So I thought that it would be best to rummage through the trash and retrieve some choice bags that the stray cats would enjoy, and toss them into the cars through the broken windows.

I was all set to put my plan into action when I realized that in order to do this, I would have to walk outside into the cold rain and I would have to rummage through trash. Neither of these things are among my favorite things to do. So instead I stayed inside and watched Bambi.

This has been your American Idol update for January 24, 2007 (that is, for the January 23 episode).

Monday, January 22, 2007

Be Careful, Your Kids Are Watching This

I will preface this by saying that I do not have any kids. As such is the case, I clearly have no business telling you how to raise your own kids. However, I'm going to go ahead and tell you how to raise your kids anyway, or at the very least give you some helpful hints that might make your life with your kids slightly more tolerable.

Now, this thought that I can be of use in advising people about proper child rearing did not come to me until rather recently. As it so happens, in the great city of Houston, TX an annual rodeo takes place. And what happens at this annual rodeo? Well obviously, the usual sort of things that you might imagine take place at a rodeo: calf branding, sheep shearing, cow tipping, and my favorite, the fox in the hen house extravaganza. Okay, I admit that the aforementioned events are best guesses on my part since you would be very hard pressed to get me into the arena while this stupid stuff is going on. However, this is what I envision happens during these rodeo events, so do not ruin this for me. Well, a couple of years ago, some of my friends convinced me to attend an awful Maroon 5 concert at the rodeo. I say awful because (1) it's Maroon 5, (2) they were playing then the same like five songs that they had been playing up to that point the previous two years or so and at this point the last four years or so, and (3) I had to deal with an intolerable number of screaming teenage girls who seemed not to realize, or perhaps not to care, that they were screaming for the same five songs that they had been screaming for at that point about two years and would very likely be screaming for the same five songs two years later.

Now, I know that some of you are wondering how this could possibly have anything to do with my tips for you as to how to raise your kids. Trust me, I have not forgotten where I was going with this. It so happened that a coworker asked me one day if I would be able to do her a favor and purchase tickets for a particular rodeo act because her younger cousins were dying to attend this performance. And what might this performance be? Well, it is none other than Hannah Montana! For those unaware, Hannah Montana is a program that comes on the Disney Channel and the character Hannah Montana is played by the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus. This fact alone should discourage parents from letting their kids see the program because of "Achy Breaky Heart" and the mullet. Despite these understandable misgivings, I woke up early on a Saturday morning and attempted to purchase Hannah Montana tickets. I ended up arriving no more than twenty-five minutes after the tickets were to go on sale only to find that there were already close to fifty people who had arrived before me to purchase rodeo tickets. I overheard one of the people ahead of me in line saying that there was a guy who had been in line who originally said that he only wanted ten Hannah Montana tickets, but ended up getting twenty. I did a little quick math in my head and figured that this would be a lost cause in terms of me actually getting these tickets.

Obviously I was quite disappointed - not because a couple of little girls would be saddened about not seeing Hannah Montana, but because I had woken up early on a Saturday morning for what turned out to be no reason. And this is precisely why I have decided that I am qualified to help people raise their kids. I completely unburdened with having to love your kids. Be honest, those of you with kids; you essentially hate all of the programming that your kids watch. However, since you love your kids, and you see that your kids do like these programs, you bite your tongue and reluctantly watch these programs. Here is my advice; you use your parental controls on your televisions and you block the Disney Channel. The Disney Channel is one of the most dangerous channels ever created. The reason why this channel is so dangerous is because it produces programs like Hannah Montana, That's So Raven, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Cheetah Girls. Now these programs might seem completely harmless other than the fact that they cannot be remotely entertaining if you are over the age of ten, but they are dangerous because they utilize live actors. Live actors means the potential of the actors performing musical acts and thus appearing in concerts like this series of concerts at the Houston Rodeo. Now, little kids have, shall we say, imperfect concepts of what money and limited ticket numbers mean. When a young child falls in love with a show like Hannah Montana and learns that Hannah Montana will be performing in the very same city in which the child lives, guess what, you're screwed. There is nothing you are going to be able to say to this child to overcome the disappointment the child will have at learning that he or she will not be able to see Hannah Montana. And if you are "fortunate" enough to obtain tickets, it could cost you quite a bit since you will likely have to pay an unbelievably inflated price to buy them on eBay, and then you will also be forced to sit through an atrocious show.

So let give you my advice. Block the Disney Channel (don't even allow them to watch cartoons on the station since commercials for these shows will inevitably be shown during the cartoon programming), and steer your kids toward watching either Cartoon Network (and perhaps its sister station Boomerang) since other than when they have made such unforgivable decisions as to include Saved by the Bell and Pee Wee's Playhouse as part of the [adult swim] lineup, they have tended to stick exclusively with cartoon programming (and really, I would hope that your kids wouldn't be watching these shows anyway since it is called [adult swim] your kids should be in bed and even if they are awake, one would hope that they are smart enough to realize that these shows are total crap), and C-SPAN since no one can get enough of watching Congressional sessions, and there is almost no chance that you will be dragged by your child to a concert being performed by one of the C-SPAN stars. So to summarize: (1) block the Disney Channel and (2) let your kids watch Cartoon Network or C-SPAN.

You are quite welcome, and if you need any other advice in raising your kids, don't hesitate to ask.

Beginning: What to Expect

"What can I expect from this?" You might be asking yourself this question. Those who are not unfamiliar with me should have at least some idea of things to come. However, I will endeavor as I have in the past to try to surprise. For those of you who have nothing better going on in your lives and have arbitrarily stumbled upon this weblog written by someone who likewise clearly has nothing better going on in his life (and that would be me), I say, welcome aboard. That is, welcome aboard for however long you feel you can take this ride without feeling the inexorable need to abandon ship.