Monday, February 23, 2009

Of Lying
Of Favorites

This is a public service announcement.

As it happens, people like to ask people what their favorite things are: favorite books, favorite movies, favorite music, and on and on. To this sort of question there are a few possible responses:

  1. "My favorite movie is Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves."
  2. "Oh, um, I'm not sure, I mean, well, gee, I, uh, never thought about it before but maybe, uh...I don't know."
  3. "Well that depends on what kind of movie we're talking about. If you mean, 'What's my favorite sci-fi?' it's Star Trek IV, unless you count TV movies, in which case it's the special two-hour finale of The Pretender. But if I can count movies and their corresponding TV serieses, I pick Serenity and all of Firefly as pretty much the best thing ever. My favorite Joss Whedon, though, is probably Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog or maybe Season 2 of Buffy. If you mean 'best action movie,' it's definitely Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, which is also my pick for best romantic comedy, best thriller, and best Morgan Freeman movie. But it's actually not the best Robin Hood movie, because I'm actually a big fan of Roger Miller's work with Disney on their version of it, but if you meant 'best overall movie ever' I'd have to go with..."1

The correct answer is answer #1. Let me illustrate why with a short anecdote.

When I lived in Korea I would make several calls every evening to confirm appointments, follow up on new contacts, return missed calls, and be generally bothersome, etc. Every time I called someone the same thing would happen. They'd answer the phone and say, "Yobosaeyo!"

"Yobosaeyo. Is Mr. Kim there?"

"Where are you?"

At this sudden question I would furrow my brow in confusion and say, "I'm, uh, at home. Where...are you?"

"Who is this?"

"It's the missionaries."

Why this fascination with my location all the time? Every person I called asked me the same question; this went on for months. I would ask to speak with someone and they'd want to know where I was. I already knew where they were, since I was doing the calling, but I thought it might be rude not to ask back so I always did.

And then one day it clicked: they weren't asking me where I was; they were asking me who I was. Oh, the word was definitely "where." But it was an idiom, a semantic twist of language. In Korea, on the phone, "Where you at?" means "Who you is?" Just like how in America, "Why don't you close the door?" means "Please close the door, dear." It's semantics, baby.

So how does this apply to you, friends? When someone asks you your favorite anything, they aren't really asking you that. What they are really saying is something like, "Hey, give me a quick opinion in an interesting category and I'll either agree or debate."

What they're really saying is, "This date sucks. Let's talk about something."

So answer #2 is obviously wrong because it gives no opinion at all. Answer #3 is more information than anyone really wants.2 Answer #1 is exactly what is called for, a quick, debatable opinion.4

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "But what if I don't know what my favorite something is?" Friend, in that case, lie. Make something up. Choose at random from your top ten-ish things in that category and get on with your life. Besides, who's to say that you're lying? Who's to say that your favorite color isn't currently lavender and your favorite dish soap is the kind that smells like apples? There's no law saying that you can't change your mind later, one minute later even, if you want to. And if anyone challenges whether you really think something's your favorite, just give'm the old Kip: "Like anyone can even know that, Napoleon."

1 This post is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of any part of this post to real people, living or dead, is unintentional. Unless it sounds like you. In that case, be sure to read footnote 2 when it comes up.
2 No, don't read footnote 2 yet—wait till it comes up. Then skip to footnote 3, since you ruined this one.
3 If you give something akin to answer #3 and the person you are with lights up and enters what becomes a long, soul-searching conversation, get married immediately. You're not likely to do better.
4 Well, it's not really debatable, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bonus Rounds

The first bonus round was a game to keep people busy until everyone showed up. It consisted of designing a new hairdo for yours truly. Click on the thumbnails to see their true glory. The winner was the wrinkly, freaky looking one at the bottom.

The second bonus round was another Grover Family classic, the Drawing Game. And we didn't screw around, either; we went straight for the action—Scrooge McDuck. Some people couldn't even handle the pressure and threw their pens with great force in frustration, demanding we move on to the next round. I think Pat's may have won, but I can't remember.

As a point of reference:

Over all it was a good mix of games. As you can see, everyone humiliated themselves, but they all had a chance to humiliate me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Grover Family Game Night: Chicago Edition

So here's the deal: AWP is fun, but it has lots of flaws. There's a lot of pretension, a lot of backhanded complimenting, a lot of spotlight stealing. I've always wished it was a celebration of writing rather than some kind of seminar, a place to be encouraged and reinvigorated, to enjoy words and the writing of them, rather than a place to enjoy the idea that your own words will be appreciated if you shake enough hands.

I'm not dogging the institution or the people who do it right (the nice girl who talk to Z and I for an hour without even a mention of future favors,1 the guy I met last year in Iowa who still thinks to say hi [we didn't recognize each other at first: we had traded beards]), but the whole thing lends itself to suckiness.

So, in order to counter that just a bit, and in order to promote goodwill and friendship among my several social circles, and perhaps in hopes of there being a future tradition, I called an emergency Grover Family Game Night to be held in my hotel room Friday night. It was an Academic Octathlon with two Bonus Rounds, prizes to be awarded for top team and top solo player. Behold the fun:

Two reps from each team participated in each round of the Grover Family classic, Forest Whitaker. You could get bonus points by naming the year each movie was released.

Sarah looks beatific. (She left early, before discovering her team lost. Bad.)

Mike and Dave, determined to not look dumb.

Beware this tower of Madden power.

Joey is more than likely about to make a terrible pun, and Melissa hasn't figured that out yet.

Pat calls a foul as other contestants look on in...slight boredom.

The Joey Franklin Experience competes in the Creativity Round, each member in turn saying a word that starts with the last letter of the word before and that fits the category "Family Reunion."

Amy is either a ghost or a master of telepathy—Emily considers the options. (Joe, meanwhile, couldn't be any more handsome.)

Pat wins the Bonus Round and graciously shares his Jonas Brothers Valentine's candy.

Teams check their answers in the Geography Round against a map of Africa.

Mike announces the final scores (we only had time for 6 rounds).

The Winning Team: The Eminent Immethodical Disputants STARSHIP.

Dave, MVP and winner of the Solo Performance Prize (a copy of Best American Travel Writing signed by Charles Dickens), shows off the goods.

The Host with the Most (wearing a dapper Cliff Huxtable sweater).

I only wish more Grovers could've been there (three words: Add-on Dance Contest). Tomorrow I'll post the results of the Bonus Rounds—you won't believe it.

1The married girl who talked to us for an hour, I should say, so you know it was real. I mean, our literary clout is nothing compared to our good looks and charm, and she didn't have designs on either.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I spent most of last week in Chicago attending the Association of Writer's and Writing Program's (AWP1) 2009 Conference. It was a blast.

I drove there in a minivan with four of my great friends: Dave, Dave, Mike, and Zach. Well, actually I slept most of the way, but I woke up enough to sing along to a rousing rendition of, uh, well, I forgot. I wasn't all that awake after all.

We stayed at the Palmer House Hilton. Don't ask how that happened—some combination of internet savvy, departmental funding, and sheer luck put us in a gigantic corner room of a four-star hotel with two beds and two extra cots for next to nothing. We went to presentations, flirted with girls at the book fair, ate in posh restaurants, saw the sights, and generally had a good time. On Sunday morning we packed up and drove home (again, I slept most of the way, except when I woke up enough to, well, nevermind). Here are some pictures I didn't take:

Zach and I at some kind of reception. Mom, thanks for
the puffy vest; it gave me Michael-J-Foxlike confidence.

Here's me and Mike and a little sliver of Jackson.

I didn't take this picture and I was never actually here, but it's
a nice shot. I lent Dave my camera for pretty much the whole trip.

1I know what you're thinking: Why not AWWP? Hey, we're writers, not, uh, well, aw shoot.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Practical Applications

If I got my three wishes, here is what I would do:

1. I would work as a courier. I'd get some business to pay me big bucks to deliver packages for them, or maybe I'd start my own business, and then I'd transport their mail for them for a few hours a week or something. I could be my own branch of the postal service, or maybe a super special UPS man in brown shorts (yikes!).

2. I'd woo a lady. We'd go on one of those super dates with dinner in New York and dessert in Paris and an evening stroll in the Great Barrier Reef. I'd wow her with exotic locations so as not to draw attention to my flaws. I'd send her love post cards, but I wouldn't actually send them; I'd transport in, leave one on her desk at work, and transport out. All the stamps would be handmade works of art. I'd learn calligraphy too.

3. Our wedding reception would be held on ice—I'd transport anyone in who was coming from out of town. Everyone would be ice skating around a rink completely decked out in awesome, except for old people and ice-haters, who could stand around eating cocktail weenies. I've actually written about this before, but now I can make it a reality:

First we'd have to decorate the place pretty good; ice rinks are notoriously ugly and warehouse-esque. Kate and I discussed the necessity of hanging lots of fabric to eat up the echoes and make the room more amenable to music and stuff. There could also be a thin layer of fog over the ice, giving the whole place a fantasy aspect, very "Night Among the Stars" prom-themed. People could have their pictures taken with the Zamboni. Then there'd have to be a stage erected on one side of the rink, for the band. Can you just imagine a rink full of elegantly dressed skaters semi-dancing to the sounds of a live band? Awesome. My lady and I would've worked hard to choreograph our first dance on ice, probably to something like "Everything I Do I Do It For You" or "More Than Words." (Seriously, can you imagine how much fun it might be to spend the weeks leading up to your wedding working on a figure skating routine with your lover? Just designing the costumes would be worth it.) Then, later on in the evening, I'd get up on stage and play with the band, some monster ballads and stuff. When it got time to play the solo to "Purple Rain" or "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," I'd jump off the stage, with my guitar, in my skates, and play those triumphant notes in all there glory as I skidded and twirled and skated to greatest effect.
(Read the full post.)

4. If I got bored of delivering mail, I'd sell myself to science by offering researchers stats from my book. I'm sure they could do something good with that, cure boredom or something.

5. I'd also fake my death once or twice, and leave clues for my wife (she's in on it, of course) to come find me.

6. I'd visit the moon. It'd be a short visit.

1 What? I said I had faults!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Final Wishes

For my third and final wish, I demand of you, genie, the following:

A book containing every imaginable statistic of my life, constantly updated, and offering various analyses and breakdowns and graphs of the data. Preferably a small book that I could carry around, and with a tasteful cover design—blank leather would be nice, maybe with a little gold tooling on the spine.

I'll leave the details up to you, el genio, but I imagine it would work well if I could just state clearly to the book what information I wished to see—number of breaths taken on a certain day, total number of heartbeats up to the present, number of times I've used the word "shoelaces," etc.—and then I would open the book and find the desired information there. It would be nice if the book could just read my mind ('twould save some embarrassment not to have to speak aloud, say, on an overnight train ride, when I'm likely to while away the hours perusing my own facts1), but I'll understand if you're busy or tired. You've worked hard. Oh, and also, it would be cool if the book kind of had a mind of its own, enough to offer extra stats or graphs or analyses related to what I ask for but that I probably wouldn't think to think of on my own.

Doesn't this lamp match my blog's décor nicely?
(Sorry, Google Readers. You lame.)

Well, them's my three wishes. I want to remind you that I am completely serious about this. I've thought about it for a long long time, and these are what I'd really really wish for.

And now, in keeping with the title of this post, I'd like to bequeath my belovéd lamp to Dave, my roommate and boon companion. Let him wish for good things, and let him decide for himself whether to wish the genie free or pass him on (I vote for passing it on).

I want my ashes scattered on the moon, except for my heart. That I leave to Texas, literally.

1 What the hell am I doing on a train? I can transport! (Pardon my French, SVP.)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Three Updates, Not Third Wishes

These three updates come from the three fronts on which I seem to be fighting.

Concerning Wishes:

The following is from the "Legacy and Influences" section of Steve Perry's Wikipedia page. It proves something about Wikipedia, though I'll let you decide what that is.

Steve Perry is frequently considered one of the best male rock vocalists of all time. He consistently ranks among the top ten rock vocalists of all time in many music polls. His signature style of using real emotion in every performance, along with his unmistakable tenor voice, makes him a rarity in music. With Perry's wide range of vocal abilities, he was able to invent the power ballad and take it to a new level of emotion and feeling. It was said that Jon Bon Jovi gave him the name "The Voice". Queen guitarist Brian May said in a 2007 interview "Perry is a truly luminous singer, in my opinion — a voice in a million".

Many artists have cited Steve Perry as being an influence including: Josh Groban, Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, Chris Daughtry, Garth Brooks, Jon Bon Jovi, Barney Greenway of Napalm Death, and Sebastian Bach.

Concerning Snacks

To illustrate further just how far gone the American Snacking Crisis is, allow me to relate an anecdote. Tonight, Zach and I went to see the very last showing of Frost/Nixon in Athens (Fantastic—I recommend it). At the Athena Grand, they sell their tickets directly out of the concessions line, which is a shrewd business move because it removes the pain of taking out your wallet twice. You may have decided about what to see before you came, but you've only begun to consider things like Sour Patch Kids and Junior Mints.

Those aren't so much of a temptation for me, but fountain drinks are. I'm in a pact not to drink soda except for the last day of the month, so when I stepped to the front of the line I knew it would only be a ticket for me. But then, just above the cashier's shoulder, I saw the swirling frosty goodness of a generic slushy machine. "Those aren't carbonated, Zach!" I reveled, and then said, "One ticket and one slushy."

The boy glanced over his shoulder at the machine and asked, "What color would you like, red or blue?"

Did that kid just ask me what color of slushy I wanted? "Don't you mean, 'What flavor?'"

"Uh, yeah. Red or blue?"

I took the red-flavored slushy. Mr. President, what we need is a taskforce.

Concerning Trivial Pursuit:1

My last post's instigating adventure occurred en route to Rollerbowl, Athens' only bowling alley.2 When we arrived, we found the place beleaguered by—what else?—leaguers, so we couldn't play.3 Instead we went to my house to drown our Combined sorrows over Newtons and Trivial Pursuit. We were playing a beautifully preserved Genus edition with the original 1982 questions. Some of the questions were for things that have now become so esoteric that they are virtually unanswerable, and others that may once have been trivial are now so obvious as to be laughable. Among them were these gems:
  • Who puts you in the driver's seat?
  • Who tells it like it is?
  • What does I.Q. stand for?
  • What is a pyrotechnic display?4
At one point I answered a green one correctly for a pie and reached over to fit a green piece in my token. I wasn't really paying attention to the simple operation, and when I couldn't fit the piece in after a few seconds I looked to see what the problem was.

It was a Monopoly house.

1 If wishes are my Afghanistan and Combos are my Iraq, Trivial Pursuit is my War on Drugs.
2 But not, as one may guess, Athens' only roller rink. In fact, it's not a roller rink at all.
3 That was for you, Zach.
4 They are Hertz, Howard Cosell, "intelligence quotient," and a fireworks show.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Something of Such Importance That It Demands to be Told

Hey, you read the title. I can't tell you about wish #3 today because I have to tell you something so important that it can't wait.

Today I ate the single grossest thing I've ever tasted. It was foul and funky and completely repulsive; it defies my vocabulary and analogical ability to do justice. I was in a car with some friends when I stuck this thing in my mouth, and at first I thought I hadn't gotten quite a good enough taste, since I had just been stuffing my mouth with some Chex Mix-ish arrangement I'd found in a tupperware in the back seat ("nuts and bolts," they called it). So I quickly put another one or two of these things in my mouth to make sure I could really taste it.

Suddenly I wanted to retch. Often when you eat something gross among friends it's a laughable experience—you say, "Ewww, gross—hey, eat some of this!" and offer it around to perpetuate the joke. But this was beyond being a laughing matter. It wasn't that the thing itself tasted like dirt or like what [we imagine] poo tastes like; this food item was bad because it presumed to taste like something delicious, one of my favorite things, in fact. But rather than merely fail to recreate the desired taste (as orange soda does, with inscrutably delicious results), it made an unholy mockery of it. I immediately stuffed my face with nuts and bolts and thought longingly and urgently of the sharp, cleansing acidity of carbonation, or possibly the straightforward burn of rubbing alcohol.

I want you to realize this is coming from a guy who enjoys eating things he hates. Who says, "I hate olives on pizza," just before smiling widely and cramming an olive-covered slice in his pizza hole. Who has eaten every known variant of kimchi. Who has sampled raw octopus, candied jellyfish, and some sort of sea vegetable that I could never figure out a name for but that was, until today, the single most disgusting thing ever to grace my tongue.

What was this unutterably sickening food?



and Cheese.


I do not want to live in a country that willfully produces such things. I don't want to live in a country that accepts such things as legal imports. I've said it for years and I'll say it again: the man who eats Combos is a man who obviously has little left to live for. They are what hollow-eyed truckers and slump-shouldered fisherman reach for when they don't expect to actually come back this trip, what college bachelors eat only after the freezer-burned chimichangas, the rancid milk, and the couch crumbs have all been devoured. When a person reaches for comfort and finds himself reaching for Combos, their mortal coil has become unwound: Combos are murder, murder most foul in the mouth.

Why, then, did I even eat these Combos in the first place, you ask? It wasn't because I didn't know or didn't believe. It was because I honestly didn't believe they could be that terrible.

A few months ago I was explaining with vitriol my theory to a friend—the same friend whose car this was—who then accused me of prejudice. He claimed that I hadn't had Combos in some time, and that I was probably misremembering how bad they were. I was taken aback—he was right, of course, that I hadn't eaten a Combo in years. Maybe he was right.

I immediately found a CVS and made my way to the snack foods aisle. I found the blasted things huddled together near an endcap; I should've taken it as an omen that their foil bags seemed to have grown brittle and old from their long lonely sojourn under the fluorescents. How many bags of Combos does a CVS sell in a week? How often will a delivery truck bring a fresh supply of this, the most haggard and beggarly snack food? They were almost pitiable, like the off-brand Sno Balls my brother used to buy out of compassion, their pink coconut dusting having faded to a ghostly paleness from long neglect.

I chose Pizzeria Pretzel, thinking that (a) pretzels are good and (b) pizza is good, thus (c) pretzels and pizza together must be better. Herein lies the fundamental flaw of the American snack food ideology, a flaw aptly pointed out by the very name of this flagship item. I paid for the surprisingly weighty bag little buggers (is there any such thing as a small bag of Combos?), walked outside, cracked it open, and tossed a few in my mouth, daring to hope that I had indeed been mistaken. One crunch, nay, one roll of slightly salted pretzel-themed cracker filled with pizza-infused cheese product across my tongue erased all doubt from the world: Combos are worthless.

What's worse, I knew in that moment that I would eat the whole bag anyway. As with all popcorn that isn't part of the first two fistfuls, I would eat it in the simple despair that if I didn't eat it, it would still be there. I would eat it so it wouldn't be there anymore, even though the last place I wanted it to be was inside me.

This is another flaw with our snack food system: the obsession with quantity. We go to parties with and plan guys- and girls-nights-in and -out around the idea that we will gorge ourselves on the very thing we know will make us feel like garbage. "Oh man, I'm going to eat so many buffalo wings Saturday night!" "We're going to have like 40 pizzas!" "I just ate an entire box of Chips Ahoy!"1 I might as well eat a sheet of ketchupéd cardboard and spin in circles until I'm too sick to enjoy anything ever again—it's the same thinking, essentially. We are all familiar with that line of satiety that, once crossed, signals the end of our ability to derive pleasure from an activity, the point at which the diminishing returns are less than the negative consequences. We also all know that once you cross that line—once you've eaten enough Gardetto's to make your tongue tingle disgustedly and make it uncomfortable to do anything but sit very still—the only way to postpone feeling bad is to keep eating, to finish the tub of popcorn so it can no longer torment. (And that's when you get outrageously thirsty, though I don't know what's worse: being outrageously thirsty or soaking 2 pounds of pretzelly cheese product in a gut-busting amount of water?)

And it's not just quantity of product we love, but quantity of taste. Pringles are no longer enough; we need Pringles EXTREME Screamin' Dill Pickle flavored crisps.2 We need our Doritos to have more and more chic adjectives on the label, or, if a new flavor isn't on the docket, we'll just take our chips dusted with twice the flavor powder as normal.3 We want our bacon to taste like maple syrup and our cream cheese to taste like sun-dried tomatoes, and it won't be long before we want our bagels to taste like sun-dried tomato-flavored cream cheese. Just look at the variations on the saltine—Ritz, Wheat Thin, Triscuit, Club, etc.—and the newer, more chemically charged permutations of those variations. We want an explosion of flavor in our mouths. I predict the day when Cheeto dust is sold like Fun Dip and the dregs of the Cinnamon Toast Crunch box becomes the main attraction. That's a world I don't want to live in.

But I digress. The real point here is that although Combos partake in the quantity of product fallacy, by having such big bags, and the quantity of flavor fallacy, by combo-ing crackers and cheese (both of which may be combo-ed, the whole then tossed in a flavored powder, possibly), they fail to do either of these things even passably well. A big bag of Cool Ranch Doritos is still a tasty, if dangerous, thing. Bagel Bites and Taquitos are, though essentially utter failures as food, pretty good for the first hour of that Parcheesi tournament. But Combos are never good. They taste like nothing—not salty, not savory, not spicy, not anything. They look like dog food.

And today they crossed a line that I doubt I'll be able to forgive them for. In attempting to imitate the taste of a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit they nearly destroyed one of the holy breakfast combinations. It was particularly the egg flavor that was nauseating. I imagine the scientists in a secret underground vault somewhere creating their flavor molecules—the orange soda molecule now an old standard, the newer breed of Italian herb molecules making a splash in the frozen pasta arena of Bertolli and Stouffer's, and the newest compound, fried egg, ready for testing. But times are tough, budgets are being cut, and the suits upstairs are demanding new flavors now. "Sir, it's not ready; it hasn't been tested!"

"Aww, who cares? We'll give it a street test. Throw in a little bacon and send it over to the Combos people. They'll know what to do with it. They have nothing to lose, after all."

I still have things to lose, though. It's been hours since those things were in my mouth—hours including at least a handful of Cheez-its, several Strawberry Newtons, a slice or two Boston Creme Pie Cake (the kind of oddity made only by a local bakery), and a healthy dose of toothpaste—and I can still taste the sickness in my mouth. Someday I'm going to be kissing a beautiful woman or drinking at the fountain of youth and suddenly the memory of this taste will strike, forever combo-ing a perfect moment with the taint of the most repulsive thing I've ever experienced.

That day I will seek my revenge.

Reading Group Discussion Questions:

  1. In this essay, Grover bemoans the current state of the snack food industry. It is unclear whether he means that the producers of snack food are driving American tastes into the gutter or that American taste is creating a demand that suppliers are happy to fill. Which do you think it is, and what should be done about it?
  2. Grover seems to be advocating a return to a responsible snack food morality, but he doesn't say exactly what that should be. What do you think it should be? He invokes the term "quantity" but says nothing about its correlate, "quality." In your opinion, is quality a virtue or a vice when it comes to snack foods?
  3. Is Grover's tone about truckers and fishermen unwarranted or offensive to you? How do you feel about his failure to include women (or at least gender-neutral pronouns and job titles) in his description of those who eat Combos?
  4. You eat Combos, don't you? It's okay; admit it. Then politely excuse yourself from the room and fill out an application as either a trucker or a fisherman (or fisherwoman).

Further Reading
  • Isaac Asimov's short story "Good Taste," about a cooking contest in the distant future where all food is designed in labs and grown in tanks and where gourmets are of a whole new breed. The story can be found in the collection The Winds of Change and Other Stories and probably elsewhere.
  • "Inside the Food Labs," an article from Time several years ago by Jeffrey Kluger. It includes the phrase "pancake matrix."
  • I'm interested in reading Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food, in which he argues for a return to eating things your grandmother knew how to eat. Not Gogurt.

1 Don't let the exclamation mark fool you—it's part of the spelling of "Chips Ahoy!" not an indication of exclamation. That sentence ought to somehow be punctuated with a comma, a period, an ellipsis, a question mark, and and an open parenthesis since it is invariably uttered with a priceless mix of surprise and dread.
2 Proctor and Gamble was recently successful in convincing a British court that Pringles are not subject to a value-added tax for potato chips because they are less than 50% potato. The company also "insisted that their best-selling product was not similar to potato crisps, because of their 'mouth melt' taste, 'uniform colour' and 'regular shape' which 'is not found in nature.'" Full story here.
3 "Nacho Cheese" is a flavor, yes, but "Nacho Cheesier"? Completely unbelievable list of available Doritos' flavors here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Wish 2 [Special Edition]

Before I tell you what wish #2 is I want to assure you that I only intend to use this wish for good. Wish #1 has some inherent temptations, but I'm sure I can handle them—with wish #2 I'm a little shaky in my resolve. I'm telling you so that you can hold me to it on the off chance that I come into any lamps.

Okay, we ready? Wish #2:

The ability to sing any note that these guys can hit:

Steve Perry1


Bryan Adams3

I have two very nice talents that, when paired as they are in me, actually act as a curse. They are (1) the ability to sing all the time without ever being even remotely embarrassed and (2) a nice baritone. I'm doomed to have the heart of a power-ballad lion but only the pipes of a medium-sized walrus. It's a falsetto world, and all my favorites seem to be sung by super tenors. Thus my second wish.

I know, I know: I should've wished for Roy Orbison and Harry Nilsson's skills, but I'm not greedy. Besides, it's only the range I need—I'll rely on my own hard work to fill that range with more raw emotion and croonitude than you can shake a tambourine at.

Because this is a special edition post, I've loaded it with bonus content. Feel free to click on any of the names above to hear a sample of what I'm talking about.

1 The linked video above is the only logical choice for a Steve Perry tribute, but, in case you were interested, my recent favorite is this one. It starts slow, but by the end it really gets romping, especially when the piano cuts into the mix. Also, click the picture itself to see one of the best things ever created.
2 I can't tell you how much I love Sting. It only makes it better that all his songs are awesome and all his music videos are total garbage. I'm usually too embarrassed to even watch them. However, nothing is as awesomely embarrassing as what you'll see if you click his picture. Dune, anyone?
3 Highlight of my entire summer. For the highlight of my whole life (and certainly the most oft-linked video on this entire blog), click Mr. Adam's beautiful face (what is Sting wearing!?).