Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thoughts on 2010 ... AND BEYOND

One of my favorite holiday tunes is Auld Lang Syne. It's gotta be the scratchy recording of the warbly saxophones though. I don't mind other versions, but they don't stir up the same black and white images of party-goers of yesteryear wearing cone-hats and popping corks from champagne bottles.

For now, I'm focused on the future. I'm making a 2011 commitment to Josh By Himself. Here are the basics parts of my plan to eventually rule the blogosphere (a term I hate):
1. I'm shortening the brand name to JBH - Merchandise deals are in the works, but keep an eye out for stickers and travel mugs (or fanny packs) in mid February (just in time for Valentine's Day).
2. Regular features - I can't do this every day, but I can do it with more regularity than I currently am (obviously). Hopefully I can establish a routine that people will learn, and then they'll know they can tune into Letterman or Conan that night to see what they have to say about the latest post.
3. A blogger network - I've got a few friends who have something to say, and I want to use them to make myself more popular. Keep checking for updates on the JBH network - details to come.
4. Lectures/party/club appearances - New in 2011 JBH founder, Joshua Myers, will be available to speak at your event or appear at your sweet 16/album release/fashion label release/prison release/wedding reception. Email the webmaster for information on booking (serious inquiries only).
5. Internships - need college credit? JBH is always looking for motivated, self-confident undergrads to fully engage in the exciting world of blogging. As always interns will be considered first for positions opening at JBH.
6. Reader feedback - Got ideas for something you'd like to see in the blog? post it in the comment section and I'll have one of my unpaid monkey-interns read your idea.
7. JBHCON - Anual conventions for JBH readers would allow the diverse community of readers from around the world the opportunity to meet and act like it's the first time they're away from their parents. Details upcoming.
8. Premium content - devoted followers who just can't get enough of JBH will have the option of paying a monthly subscription fee for bonus content including deleted material, NSFW pics of network bloggers, SWAG, sexist jokes, and more.

Here at JBH we are constantly looking for ways to improve the readers' experience. We've turned down purchase offers from major internet conglomerates, and we're committed to maintaining a pure, quality product free from corporate influence.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Review of the 2008 World Magic Awards

One of the things I love about hockey is the fighting. There's something about watching two grown men grab each others' collars in an effort to beat the other bloody that I enjoy. Another thing I enjoy are the two 17-minute intermissions during every tilt (That's another thing I love). This gives you a chance to see what's on UPN.
Tonight it was The 2008 World Magic Awards. In case you missed it, I'd like to share some of my observations and thoughts after watching.
1. Host - Dougie Houser MD. Good choice. He's funny.
2. Acts - mostly weak sauce.
2a. The guy with the lady who is "magically" wearing different clothes every time the guy waves a flag in front of her. I've got a few issues with this act. First - it's tired. It really is. I remember the first time I saw it I was a kid at Dorney Park in Allentown, PA, and I was mildly impressed at the wide-eyed age of 9. Second - It's not magic. Well, the act isn't. A magician getting a girl to take her clothes off is, but that's not what they're going for. The act is just a girl changing clothes really fast. That's it. I can change clothes pretty quickly, and with enough practice and small enough clothes (I know, I know), I could get that good. There's no illusion. She's doing exactly what you think she's doing.
2b. One of the worst acts of the show (that's saying more than it should) was a 15 year old kid. He played up the dry humor thing well. He was dressed in a Young Republican uniform (blue shirt, red tie, navy blazer with brass buttons), and he used "affirmative action" for his magic words. His tricks involved only a set of hankies that changed colors and tied and untied themselves. Meh. All I can say about it is that if you're a 15 year old professional magician making affirmative action jokes, your virginity is going to enjoy the longevity of a sea tortoise.
2c. The winner of the "Classic Magic" award was just a guy who took off probably seven or eight masks while wagging his fingers around like he was trying to air dry them. Part of me wonders if he won the "Classic" award because he wore a tunic, a cape and some knee-high leather boots.

My fellow Americans the state of magic is not strong. I think the problem is that these guys are trying to make it too flashy. I don't want to see a 30 year old man prancing around a stage like he's got a colony of hungry carpetner ants in his dance belt. Put a ball in a cup and make it disappear, guess somebody's card, get back to the basics. Harry Houdini would roll over in his underwater chest.

I'm changing it back to hockey now. The game's going into overtime. I'll always love a game where a guy will take a flying slab of frozen rubber to the face, shake his head and finish his shift because he can go back to the bench a grab the smelling salts when his shift is over. He may be bleeding, his jaw may be broken, but right now he has a job to do. There's something -in my mind - magical about that.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

An Optimist's take on our Current Financial Situation

If you're anything like me, you don't have any money. While, for a long time that has been considered by some a bad thing, now is our time to shine. Our numbers are growing, and our strength is gaining. Broke people, take heart, for soon our day will come, and we will still be broke, but being broke maybe won't suck so bad as it does now, I don't know. Here's how I see it. Life is like a big game of "Sorry," but instead of four pieces to move from "start" to "home" we each just get one. You have to draw that certain special card to get out, which I think would be a particularly positive way to look at what may be a disastrous, unwanted pregnancy. Looking at life in terms of "Sorry" makes this seem much less traumatic.

If you're like me you can walk past all the news programs and headlines warning of the "FINANCIAL MELTDOWN," whistling a happy tune. You're still out on the board. It's those other suckers who thought they had made it most of the way around with their "investments" and their "retirement plans" who are now drawing the 4's, or worse yet, being sent all the way back to start.

Some people may call us poor. I prefer to call it frugal. Why, we would never spend $12.oo on a pitcher of beer, when we could just bring our own cans of Natural Ice in our pockets. Room-temperature, "pocket beer" builds character. Any more "bear markets" (whatever the hell that means), and we'll all be drinking pocket beer. The only difference is, those sissy boys with the now-worthless trust funds have gotten used to their "cold beer" and won't be able to enjoy the subtleties of pocket beer the way you and I, now connoisseurs of pocket beer, can.

Another advantage you and I have over the "middle class" is that we know which cardboard works best for shoe-sole repair. We also already know how to treat the frostbite we get from walking through the snow with nothing but the cardboard from our pocket beer boxes under our feet.

So take heart, we soon will be laughing together at those smug bastards throwing around their 5-dollar bills like they grow on trees. I've seen a 5-dollar bill, and I didn't really care for it all that much - way too Lincoln-y. At this rate though, we'll all be able to have five-dollar bills, and when we've stocked up enough of them in our mattresses, we'll be able to maybe shop at Jewel, and get us some milk that hasn't passed the date printed on the carton or some meat, meat that hasn't been put on clearance.

This day is coming, and when it does we can all crack open a warm one and celebrate!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Obama's Doing It

I have to admit: I did NOT watch Barack Obama's speech last night. I was out on the town having a good time with some friends. I meant to tivo it, but I forgot. Since I missed the speech itself, I've been looking into reactions. I haven't read the speech, because I want to hear it delivered. I want to hear the crowd reactions. I want to hear what words are emphasized, and where Obama gets on a roll.

From what I've seen, it looks like Obama gave a speech for the ages. I'm not one for hyperbole. It usually seems desperate to me, but from what I've seen, this speech was nothing short of amazing. For Bill Kristol and Pat Buchanan to say the things they said about the speech, for Alex Castellanos to make the comment he made at the end of this clip, it must have been a truly remarkable speech.

Andrew Sullivan, a conservative I admire - not a talk-radio windbag, not a conservative who invokes the name "Hussein" to scare people who believe that it simply must indicate some level of terrorist tendencies - said something that I found inspirational in its own right. He's a small-government conservative who talks about issues instead of Britney Spears' set designer. I would encourage you to check out his site, but more specifically what he had to say about last night's speech:

Look: I'm biased at this point. I'm one of those people, deeply distressed at what has happened to America, deeply ashamed of my own misjudgments, who has shifted out of my ideological comfort zone because this man seems different to me, and this moment in history seems different to me. I'm not sure we have many more chances to get off the addiction to foreign oil, to prevent a calamitous terrorist attack, to restore constitutional balance in the hurricane of a terror war.

I've said it before - months and months ago. I should say it again tonight. This is a remarkable man at a vital moment. America would be crazy to throw this opportunity away. America must not throw this opportunity away.

Love Obama or hate him, I think that should be enough to encourage those of us who haven't heard the speech to at least check it out.

I'm not going to say anything else. I don't feel like I need to, but I will add a song to my Desert Island Jukebox. I think I will add "Please Forgive Me" by David Gray. It's a mellow counterpart to the more lively song I added yesterday. I'll need a relaxing evening song to enjoy by the beach while sipping on margaritas from the Desert Island Margarita Machine that came as a free gift with the Desert Island Jukebox.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Press Release 8-28-08

In the spirit of full disclosure, in order to maintain an air of openness and transparency in my campaign, I feel it important for you to know that I own exactly zero homes. After some research into the matter, with some help from my closest staffers, I came up with this figure. It is the most current figure and has remained unchanged since I was born.

In this day of the 24-hour news cycle and the blogoshpere, I know that had I not produced this figure myself, at this time, I would have been lampooned for making an errant estimation. While, in my day to day affairs, it is sometimes easy to lose track of my nonexistent properties, I assure you that I am in touch with the American voter, as I have never been able to afford more than zero homes, and I will remain in this financial stratum for the foreseeable future.

There were those in my high school band who accused me of being out of touch, because my trumpet was silver. My friends, let me assure you that that was a gift that counted for both Christmas and birthday that year. And, if you'll allow me, when you're good, you're good.

Rest assured, I remain firmly in the middle class. And, if I ever do win the lotery, I will not forget the plight of the rest of you suckers.


There's this music snob show on NPR called "Sound Opinions." During the show one of the hosts always gets to add a song to their "Desert Island Jukebox." I'm going to copy this idea, because I like it and so the first song that goes on my Desert Island Jukebox is Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes, by Paul Simon. I'm not saying this is the best song in the history of songs, but it does feature two of my favorite musical artists in one song (Ladysmith Black Mambazo & Simon), it is upbeat (if I'm only getting one song to start with), and I could probably kill a good number of hours making up a great dance to the horn break.

I'd like to hear your recommendations too. I'll add to my jukebox next time I post.

Thanks for humoring me.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Travelogue: Beantown

Greetings from Boston. The spirit of true patriotism has captured my heart yet again, as I've spent the evening walking the same cobblestone streets once trodden by such American heroes as Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, and Paul Revere's horse, just to name a few. I didn't get to spend much time downtown yet, as I'm spending most of my days in class at Boston University, alma mater of the right reverend Nathan Robinson, yet another true American hero in my book.

I haven't yet been able to enjoy the dulcet tones of the New England accent, as I spent two consecutive hours with my head a mere 16 inches from a live jet engine. I've heard that these engines produce about 140 decibels at a distance of 100'. Now I'm no acoustical scientist, but I'm guessing that since my head was a mere foot-and-a-half from said jet engine, and, given the nominal amount of sound insulation in the wall of the fuselage, I was probably subjected to about 10,000 db of continuous noise (rounding down). I also was forced to watch an episode of "The Wire" (S4E5), to distract myself from my discomfort with the notion that I'm in a 20 ton tube of steel that uses "lift" to get itself and its passengers (more on that later) about 7.5 miles from the ground. Given my proximity to the engine and the fact that I can't understand a word the black characters on "The Wire" say, I was forced to listen to it at full volume. I would assume that this added another 1,300 or so decibels to the equation, but only for 1 of the two hours. For those of you following along at home, that's 11,300 decibels for a full hour and another hour at 10,000. To put this into perspective, according to most sources I've found, permanent hearing loss is probable at a sustained 90-95 decibels. I may never get to hear anyone say "che-owdah."

I do have to commend the airplane that brought me here. I would say that it had to work about 15-20% harder than other planes its size, given the enormity of many of its passengers. My flight left Chicago at 8:45am, and I got to the gate around 7:30. In the hour that I sat and waited a 20-something couple arrived, with a combined weight of about 550-600 lbs. Upon arrival the husband (I saw rings of gold) consumed two Starbucks muffins. "Hmm... eating healthy," I thought to myself. That is, until I wandered off, only to come back with a couple Egg McMuffins. (If you think I'm kidding, I will punch you next time I see you.) In the course of about 45 minutes, I would estimate that this man consumed about 1200 calories. UGH! Let me be clear: I am NOT making fun of fat people. I'm not the slimmest dude myself. But I am commenting on the sheer number of obese people that were on my flight. One lady had to take about three wind-up attempts before completing a stand-up out of her seat. So congratulations are in order for American Airlines flight 1718 from O'Hare to Boston Aug. 3rd. You really did an excellent job lifting us off of the earth.

Note: I did bring my camera, and I DO have some pictures, but I don't have the proper cable-age to transfer my pics to my sweet Apple iBook. So patience will certainly pay off when you do finlly get to see my travel photos.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Summer Evening (a modern poem for modern readers)

Mother Nature has given me
two of her furloughed sentries,
standing proud a mere nine feet apart
with branches and roots akimbo
for me to climb if I so choose

I say, "No thanks, Big Momma
I'll take a pass this time.
See, I have this bunch of interlaced twine,
and when I tie it between your soldiers
it will suspend my grateful gluts."

And there in the gentle twilight breeze
I lie slowly swinging
birds and bugs winging,
singing and zinging
their soothing songs putting me more and more at ease

Then, as I descend ever lower
who fires up his damned lawn mower
but my next door neighbor Arne Marsh
and I don't want to come across harsh,
but this guy has a way of making
even the best days a little worse

His eyes are too close and so very little
when he talks it's too loud
and it always involves spittle
He let my kid taste beer
without ever even asking
I've seen him do the unthinkable
but am too kind to go into detail

Then, as I'm about to go inside
I hear a strange noise and Arne's muffled cry
It looks like just below his right knee
old Arne's been cropped
and I'd get up to help...
if the mower hadn't stopped

I hear birds again, and the peepers were calling
the peace and the quiet were nearly appalling
that is if old Arne would quit bellyaching
but I'm in my hammock and I can't be bothered

I'm drifting off to sleep now and Arne seems to be too
his whimpering stopped within a minute or two
he's probably fine but I'll find out when I wake
if I'm feeling real nice I'll help him with the rake
and figure out some way to fashion the handle
into a peg leg or something