Monday, August 30, 2010

Pop Eye's Got A Brand New Bag...

Enjoy the badass changes to my site. I am sure you will find them irresistible....well, sort of.

As you know, if you didn't give up on me during my recent burnout, I've been hinting around about gettin' jiggy with some format changes up in this piece. The thing is, since I do some freelance writing for other entertainment websites, I'm kind of experiencing celeb gossip overload. Not that I'm no longer amused by celebutard antics. Of course I am. I just never wanted this site to get anywhere near Gawker or Perez Hilton (will not link) territory. Mainly because, for that to happen, I'd have to give up sleeping and my day job completely and forget everything I know about PhotoShop, respectively.

Not that The Pop Eye was ever in danger of becoming a full-fledged gossip site. I don't think any of you really come to me to get breaking news, exclusive scoops and real-time updates on Paris Hilton's bowel movements. If you do, you're probably one of those anonymous readers who leave me angry, profanity-laced rants in some language I don't understand. I'm sorry that you misunderstood my mission.

I realize that some of you are, however, very unaware of the pop cultural world around you, and do turn to me for answers to some of your burning questions like, "Who started in last year's Puppy Bowl?" or "Who finished 8th on American Idol's 7th Season?" or "What's Charlie Schlatter up to these days?" or "Who the hell is Charlie Schlatter?" And I will still be here to provide all the useless information you will never need.

I also realize that some of you are just like me. Well, not quite as awesome. Or, in some cases, much more awesome, in which case, eff you. But basically I mean that you're pop culture sponges. You always know what I'm talking about, even if it's nonsense. If I say that my dream is to one day write a Broadway play called Zabka!, you don't look at me like I have three heads; you nod knowingly and offer up casting suggestions. And I will still be here to talk about stupid shit that no one but us cares about.

The thing is, I called this blog The Pop Eye originally because I truly do always have one eye on pop culture...but that means that my other eye is looking at my own life. No, that doesn't mean I'm cross-eyed. (There are many reasons why I'm still single, but that's not one of them.) It just means that I live in both worlds at all times. So, while I may start to talk about more personal stuff on this blog, that personal stuff never comes without a heaping helping of pop culture references—past and present, real and imagined.

Oh, and then there's the music. There will be a lot more music. And, if you're unfamiliar with anything, I expect you to at least try everything I put in front of you. Just a taste. I promise, you'll like more than you don't like. For example, below is one of my favorite songs of the summer. Take a listen. At worst, you'll shut it off after 30 seconds. At best, you'll love it and thank me profusely for bringing it to your attention. And even though I'm not really offering many downloads here anymore (I'm sick of the DMCA taking down my posts), I've been known to share music if asked politely.

"The Sound of Sunshine," Michael Franti & Spearhead

While there will be music sprinkled copiously throughout the blog, I'll probably still keep the regular music feature, Sonic Sunday, as well as some of the other features that you cats seem to dig, like Battle of the Netflix Stars. I think BeckEye's Not-So-Excellent Adventures in Fashion is just begging to be a regular. I will most likely continue recapping that time- and soul-suck, American Idol, because I'm a total whore for the shit-ton of blog traffic it brings. I'll probably keep Eye Boogers around, too, just for those occasional dashes of absurd entertainment news. Not sure what the future of the Forgotten Classic Video and Caption Contest will be. Perhaps I'll leave that up to you. Tell me what your favorite recurring topic is by voting in the poll in the near sidebar. (Edit: Poll has been changed. Apparently, polls powered by Google Friend Connect DO NOT WORK PROPERLY.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

BeckEye's Not-So-Excellent Adventures in Fashion

Ah, neon. This must have been around 1985-1986. It was definitely after the summer of 1984, because that's when Madonna's "Lucky Star" was released, and that's what prompted me to buy (and wear the hell out of) those earrings. I'm actually surprised I'm wearing them both here. I used to like to mix and match them, just like good ol' Madge.

There isn't enough space here to talk about that mullet.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

BeckEye's Days Off, Part 4

If you're just tuning in, get up to speed with Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Sun. 8/8
On my last day in Chi-Town, The Missus had to work in the morning, so it was up to The Mister to entertain me for most of the afternoon. Despite getting off to a bit of a rainy, chilly start, the day began as any good Sunday should—with a brunch featuring about four Mimosas. The food was pretty good, too, although a change to the menu copy could've saved both of us from an egg yolk bath. I got a fried egg sandwich, with what was described as an "over medium" egg but which, in reality, was more of an "over easy" egg. (OK, real quick: Over easy: runny, over medium: not-so-runny, over hard: not runny at all. Done. Over. Easy.) When I gave The Mister a bite, he promptly got runny egg yolk all over himself. Of course, being master of my sandwich, I laughed at his misfortune. Then about 10 minutes later, I had egg on my face (figuratively and literally) and on my dress. Luckily, there were napkins and soda water handy. Crisis averted. And, hey it could've been worse, right? Those eggs could've actually killed us! Ah, pre-egg recall life. How wonderful it was.

After dragging me away from what could've been a glorious all-day Mimosa binge, The Mister led me to the L, which took us to Wrigley Field. Even though I gave up caring about baseball years ago, Wrigley's just one of those awesome, truly "American" places on the map that begs to be visited. The Cubbies were playing at home all weekend, but none of us really had time to take in a game. Maybe next time. I think there's a good chance that, had I grown up in Chicago, I never would've given up on baseball. No matter what kind of season the Cubs have, and no matter how much residents talk shit on them, the town loves that team. I was right outside the stadium as they were getting clobbered 7-0, and I could still hear the constant, almost deafening cheering inside. It was just a great atmosphere. I loved the way the stadium is really IN the city, and I adored the rooftop seats across the street.

The Cubs an Ohio team. Boo.
Rooftop seats, yo!

Once we made our way out of the baseball-loving throng, we got back on the train and went downtown to walk around in the oppressive heat. Yes, what started off as a rather cool, wet day (so cool that I foolishly grabbed my hoodie when we left the apartment, forcing me to carry it around all day) turned out to be SOLAR MADNESS. We thought strolling around the Navy Pier might be a little cooler, being right on the water and all, but we thought wrong. However, I ignored the burning sensation and just enjoyed the scenery. Basically, if you get me near water, I'm a happy girl. I love water, boats (especially sailboats) and lighthouses, and I got to see all three that day. I also had an excellent strawberry daiquiri. (And for $8, I wouldn't have accepted anything less than excellence.) Then, I forced my adopted baby bro to ride the giant Ferris wheel, which I thought would A) be fun and B) cool us down a know, with the usual breeze that accompanies the spinning motion. And, for at least the third time that day, I thought wrong. The Ferris wheel wasn't so much a ride as it was a giant rotisserie that went once around at negative 3 mph, while the sun broiled us in our little plexiglass oven-cars. So, that was totally worth $6. We should've gone on the Wave Swinger instead.

Beer Garden: always a good sign.Two of my favorite things!

Since my pics suck, here's a nice one I swiped from the Innertubes.

We left the Navy Pier, walked around and melted some more before finally reaching the Riverwalk, where we—appropriately enough—walked along the river. I was kind of struck by how green the river looked (I'm used to a deep, poopy-brown river), and wondered if the green dye from St. Patrick's Day ever fully dissipates.

Lurvely view.A cute nook ideal for dry humps or body dumps.
Never met a water feature I didn't like.
Taken right before my camera ran out of juice.

"Meet Me By The River's Edge," The Gaslight Anthem

Apparently, The Mister wanted to give me a small taste of NYC, as he led me down along Michigan Avenue, aka The Magnificent Mile. So named because there is nothing more magnificent than trying to navigate your way through a sea of slow-moving tourists and large groups of people who will come to a dead stop in front of a store's open doors to stand there and go, "Ahhh, the air conditioning feels good." And, much like what might happen in NYC, we had a celebrity sighting: Mike Dirnt from Green Day, who must have been enjoying a day of shopping with his wife/girlfriend/whoever at Macy's the day after his big headlining set at Lolla.

"Having A Blast," Green Day

We met up with The Missus at the Signature Lounge in the John Hancock Building. On the 96th floor, the bar had a great view of the city and, unlike the Sears Tower, there was no entry fee, no long wait and no crushing crowds. We managed to get a little table right by the window (which less lucky people kept eyeing up the entire time) and downed a few $8 domestic beers. (See, now the $8 strawberry daiquiri doesn't sound so extravagant, does it?) The Missus and I also got to check out the view from the ladies room, which might have been even better than the one in the main bar area. Sadly for The Mister, the little boys' room had no windows. That's some weird kind of sightseeing sexism right there.

After heading back home, we realized we probably wouldn't have time to get the grill and the brats to the beach (as was the plan we came up with on Saturday), so we just chowed down at their place and then went to hang out on the beach after the sun went down. It was lovely and peaceful. Dammit, why can't I live closer to the shore??

Mon. 8/9
Time for me to fly. After having a wonderful weekend with my friends, I had to say goodbye and get back on the road. Almost right out of the gate, I made a bit of a wrong turn and ended up near the beach again. I'm pretty sure it was beckoning me. (It wasn't as dreary as it looks in this pic. Blame that on my crappy cell phone cam.)

I originally had this big plan to drive up to Wisconsin (just so I could say I'd been to Wisconsin) and then head down through Indianapolis (another big city I wanted to check out), stay overnight there and drive the rest of the way back to Pittsburgh on Tuesday. But I scrapped that because I was tired of driving and wanted to have all day Tuesday to just hang out and do nothing at home. I must have been in a big hurry to get home, because I got nabbed for a speeding ticket in Akron. But I know I wasn't in as much of a hurry as that cop said I was. *sigh* First speeding ticket in my 21 years of driving. (I'm driving to Akron on Friday to try to fight the damn thing.) And this brings me to an opinion that was bred into me as a Steelers fan and solidified during this road trip: If Ohio were to suddenly get sucked into a black hole, I would not miss it.* Seriously, aside from getting a ticket there, it's just...well, it's actually already kind of like a black hole. Driving through it is so depressing. The only time it rained while I was on the road was when I was in Ohio. I kid you not. It's like something out of a sci-fi movie. As soon as you cross the border into Ohio, you're thrust into a bleak, post-apocalyptic looking wasteland that just makes you feel sad and itchy all over.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Hopefully, you've enjoyed this little travelogue because I'm about to get a little more personal up in this piece. Don't worry, I'm not giving up celebrity smack-talk, American Idol and general pop culture nonsense, but I'm not interested in turning into Perez Hilton. Not that I was ever in danger of that. Anyway...I'll have more info on the revamped format later.

For now, I'll leave you with my favorite picture from my Chicago trip. It's like, all artistic 'n shit.

*Sorry to my Ohioan blog pals, Flannery and Doc. Love you. Hate your state.

Monday, August 23, 2010

BeckEye's Days Off, Part 3

If you're just tuning in, get up to speed with Part 1 and Part 2.

Sat. 8/7
The Missus, The Mister and I got off to a bit of a late start on Saturday (blame that on The Mister and me, as usual) so we didn't actually hit the streets of Chi-town until around 1 in the afternoon. First stop: The Art of Pizza for a slice of deep dish. And by slice I mean slab. I've had so-called "Chicago style" or "deep dish" pizza in other cities before and always thought it was good, but it was not the real deal. I've discovered that if you can eat it with your hands and you can eat more than one piece, then it's not true deep dish, or "stuffed" (a more fitting term) pizza. As for The Art of Pizza, it looked like a crappy little hole in the wall place that you'd only go to at 3 in the morning when you're drunk and starving. But what they lacked in atmosphere, they more than made up for in their pizza. It was fantastic. My friends said it's currently their favorite deep dish in Chicago, and I've seen it on several "Best of" lists. Highly recommended!

We drove around a bit to let our stomachs settle before stopping in Wicker Park to walk around and check out some cool stores, including Reckless Records and The Boring Store. I'm not sure why The Boring Store was the only place I took pics of, because I adored The Worm Hole, a little coffee shop full of '80s junk, most notably a DeLorean in the front window. I didn't check to see if the flux capacitor was functional, but since I didn't see a lightning rod or anything on the roof of the building, I'm assuming that they'd never be able to generate the 1.21 jigowatts of power needed to make it work. They also had a talking E.T. doll on the front counter that said some questionable things. I mean, it said, "I'll be back." And then at one point, it just groaned. That's when I got the hell out of there.

"Chicago At Night," Spoon

After a brief stop at the meat market (the plan was to grill some brats at the beach on Sunday), we took the train down to the Sears Tower (yeah, yeah, Willis, but I'm still calling it Sears) to catch the sunset. Well, that was the plan. After waiting forever in a line that never seemed to end, but rather just spilled out into different holding areas, and then being forced to watch a movie about the building's history, we made it up to the top just in time to be blanketed in darkness. It was still pretty cool walking out onto the ledge (although The Missus would have none of that madness) and feeling like I was floating above the city. It was kind of like when Wile E. Coyote runs off a cliff and just hangs out there for a while before looking down and realizing he's screwed. Luckily, in this case, looking down had no serious repercussions.

That's Chicago beneath my feet, but you can't see it.Chicago from inside the Sears Tower. Not a great pic, but I kind of love the creepy shadow people on the glass.

Probably the most exciting (to no one but me) part about visiting the Sears Tower was getting to see the little courtyard area across the street where Michael (as in John Travolta, the archangel) got to view the tallest building in the U.S....right before he shuffled off his mortal coil and returned to the heavens. *single tear*

Goodbye, world's biggest angel!

It was also a primo spot to lie down in the grass (after first lying down on the curb like an idiot and realizing it wasn't too comfortable) to get some nice, dramatic shots.

Afterward, we had a late dinner at an awesome restaurant called The Piggery. As you can imagine, we pigged out on plenty of pork-related products. I had the ribs because, when you're on vacation, you have to have ribs. Isn't that a rule? Anyway, they were delicious. As were the pork nachos. If you're in the area, I highly recommend it. And I highly recommend going to Pork-a-Palooza next Sunday, which I was very sad to learn I'd be missing. Admittedly, I only wanted to go because there was a picture of a cute pig playing guitar on the flyer. Yes, I'm a marketer's wet dream. So what.

In the next last day in Chicago before getting back on the road.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BeckEye's Days Off, Part 2 (The Lollapalooza Edition)

If you're just tuning in, you can get up to speed with Part 1 (the Things To Do in Detroit When You Think You Might Soon End Up Dead Edition) here.

Fri. 8/6

Since my Chicago friends, The Mister and The Missus, are just as poor as I am, we couldn't justify buying 3-day passes to Lollapalooza, and The Missus decided to completely skip the festival. So, The Mister and I made the big decision to spend our one day at Lolla with Lady Gaga. Although I thought Sunday's lineup sounded the best overall (Hockey! Yeasayer! The National! MGMT! Arcade Fire! Soundgarden!), The Mister had already seen most of those bands, and we both realized that the odds of ever getting to see Gaga again for a reasonable price were pretty slim. I'm sure plenty of others thought the same thing, as there were a lot of people showing up at the Monster Ball who looked more like they belonged on The Strokes' side of the park.

The Mister had to work in the morning, so we didn't get to Grant Park until around 2:30. We managed to catch the second half of Mavis Staples' set, which just made us wish we had seen the whole thing. Partly because we missed a special appearance by Jeff Tweedy (who produced her new album). But mostly because that lady is the real damn deal.

"You Are Not Alone," Mavis Staples

For the most part, we just went back and forth between the Budweiser and Playstation stages, which were right across the way from each other. So, after Mavis, we walked over to check out Drive By Truckers. I like several of their songs and assumed they would be a good live band. I was wrong. They sounded OK, but were not at all interesting to watch. As the band's complete lack of energy threatened to put us into a coma, we decided to make a run for the beer tent and go claim our spot for the next band's set.

"Carl Perkins' Cadillac," Drive By Truckers

That next band was The New Pornographers, whose set I'd most been looking forward to (aside from Gaga, of course). They didn't disappoint, turning in an upbeat set full of some of their best and most recognizable songs, beginning with "Sing Me Spanish Techno" and ending with possibly one of the best set-enders of all time, "The Bleeding Heart Show." Happily, the whole porno gang made it for Lolla, including Dan Bejar and indie rock goddess Neko Case. Throughout the set, I coveted Neko's floppy black and white hat, which made me wish that I didn't look like a complete, uh, asshat in hats.

"All The Old Showstoppers," The New Pornographers

After that, we took in about as much of Dirty Projectors as I could stomach. The only enjoyment I got out of that set was watching the lone creeper who was just sort of hanging out off to the side in the bushes and sticking out like a sore thumb. But soon, sensing that I might start pelting the stage with rocks, The Mister suggested we get out of our little corner of the Lolla world by taking a walk. But not before getting another beer.

Grant Park was quite lovely, and I imagine it's even nicer when there aren't 80,000 people swarming it. We checked out the grounds for a bit, popped in on Neon Trees (who put out a nice, retro vibe) and stayed as far away from Dirty Projectors as we could until they finally vacated.

We got back to our area shortly after The Black Keys had started their set. And that, my friends, was when I fell in love.

Here's kind of an embarrassing admission. I had always avoided listening to The Black Keys because I was under the impression that they were an electronica band. The Mister said perhaps I had them confused with Black Lips, which made sense to me at the time, but then I looked up Black Lips and discovered that they weren't electronica either. So I have no idea where I came up with this misinformation.

Anyhoo....before Lolla, I'd heard a few tracks from the new Black Keys album, Brothers, and really liked them. But if you've heard that album (it's one of the best of the year, so you should have by now), you know that it neither sounds electronic nor like the band's previous albums. So, I went into their set completely ignorant of who they truly were and with no idea of what to expect. Therefore, I wasn't at all prepared for the face-melting, ovary-exploding sonic blast that hit me. Although they were joined by a keyboardist and bassist on a few of the newer songs, much of the set was just the two core guys: singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney. And those two guys were about five times more compelling during their song breaks (which were often almost awkwardly silent) than the six members of Drive-By Truckers were during their best moments.

"Stack Shot Billy," The Black Keys

For a bit of a cool down, we checked out a little bit of Jimmy Cliff's set, which I wish we could have seen in its entirety. (Partially because he was the one artist who we could actually SEE quite well.) Jimmy's still got the pipes and some pretty sweet dance moves. Unfortunately, his set overlapped with Lady Gaga's, so we trekked over to the big stage after about 4-5 songs.

It was my first time at one of the big festivals, and I was astounded by how many people were there. I'd never seen anything like it. Lady Gaga might as well have been playing on the other side of Lake Michigan for how well we could see her. Thankfully, two big screens helped us get a gander at the elaborate set designs, her bizarre wardrobe choices (including a "Monster" outfit that made her look like one of the McDonald's Fry Kids) and arsenal of dramatic, "I'm really serious about this shit" faces. And although we couldn't see much, the sound was surprisingly good.

"Alejandro," Lady Gaga

The Monster Ball was equal parts fabulous and ridiculous. Gaga was in fine voice, and the show was very entertaining—when songs were actually being performed, that is. There was just too much other nonsense going on that sometimes I got impatient or bored (especially during the frequent costume/set changes) or downright irritated. The latter emotion was dredged up on the countless occasions Gaga pulled out the "I got picked on in high school" sob story, followed by a lot of Afterschool Special cliches like "be yourself," "reach for your dreams" and "don't let anyone bring you down." Of course, she peppered all that motivational jibberish with a near-James Hetfield level of F-bombery, just so we wouldn't think she'd gone soft. And then right at the point where I would throw up my hands and think, "Jesus, is this over yet?," she'd win me back with one of her endless supply of dancetastic, hooky songs. She also won me over with a new song, "You and I," something of a '70s glam power ballad. And that piano-centric portion of the show (which also included "Speechless") was probably the best part, not only because Gaga got to show off the true vocal and musical talent that all of her detractors try to ignore, but also because while she was just sitting there, banging on the keys and loosely chit-chatting with the audience, she seemed the most real. Don't get me wrong; I love her over-the-top theatrics, but it's also nice to see that there's an actual person in there every once in a while.

The Black Keys may have won Best Set of the Day (and my heart), but Lady Gaga won Best Line of the Day with this absurd gem, yelled out while writhing around under her giant, animatronic Fame Monster: "Don't rape me, you evil monster! Just eat me, you motherfucker!" I was kind of hoping that Eddie the Head would show up to vanquish the Fame Monster, but no such luck.

If I came away from Lollapalooza with anything, it's this: never wear flip-flops when you're going to be on your feet for 7+ hours. Or at least don't wear cheap-ass ones from New York & Company that give you the oh-so-delightful sensation of having flat feet.

In the next friends show me around their toddling town.

Monday, August 16, 2010

BeckEye's Days Off, Part 1

While I realize that I took some time off from this blog due to plain ol' burnout, I did have a valid excuse for not writing for at least six of those days. (Unless my being the last living blogger without a laptop is unacceptable.) Near the beginning of this month, I spent a few days visiting my old NYC roommates in Chicago. My original plan to make an exciting road trip out of it didn't exactly work out, although I did return home feeling like I'd been on the road forever.

Wed. 8/4
After leaving work around 2-ish, I drove to Detroit. Now, if you're geo-savvy, you may realize that the quickest way to Chicago is NOT through Detroit. However, I'd never been there and thought it would be awesome to check it out while I had the opportunity. Any time I told someone that I was going to Detroit, they would always reply with a disgusted "Eeew...WHY?" The more of these responses I got (often from people who'd never even been there), the more determined I was to get to the maligned city, see some wonderful sites and report back that Detroit had been given a bad rap from know-nothings, much like my beloved Harlem had.

"Detroit Rock City," KISS

Unlike Harlem though, I quickly found out that Detroit deserved every insult hurled its way. I parked my car downtown near the riverwalk and thought it looked OK from there, but my opinion quickly changed when I walked up to the main street. About a minute after I took a picture of "historic" Hart Plaza, a woman approached me and asked where I was from. I don't think she really cared where I came from; she just wanted to issue me this warning: "Be careful around here. Most of the people in this park are homeless...and probably desperate." Yay! My blissful ignorance had suddenly become gripping fear. Especially when I started to notice people looking at me (the unaccompanied girl with the deceptively large purse) like I was a giant, delicious rock of crack. Making it all worse was that I really had to, you know, go. When I asked (rather foolishly, considering the previous warning) the unofficial Welcome Wagon if the public bathrooms there were safe to use, she looked at me like I just asked if it was safe to share a needle with the skeeziest guy I could find. My brain took my bladder aside for a little chat and, once it realized the seriousness of the situation, it promised to behave. So, I took a few more pictures of lame landmarks and got the hell out of there. Luckily, my hotel was about 20 minutes north of the shitty in Roseville, MI, so I was actually able to sleep through the night.

"Shit Towne," Live (This song was actually written about York, PA. However, I've been to York and, while it may not have been very exciting, I never felt like an assault was waiting around every corner.)

Hart Plaza's historic murder section.Hart Plaza's historic rape section.
The Joe Louis sculpture. Because all this city needs is a monument to violence.The "Spirit of Detroit," which depicts a junkie holding a crack rock in one hand and his shattered soul in the other.

Thur. 8/5
I checked out of my hotel around 10:30 and headed to a little area called the Nautical Mile in St. Clair Shores. I took a bunch of pictures of this tiny little patch of land called Wahby Park just because it was pretty. It had been a while since I'd seen anything pretty. I really don't think the area was much of a tourist attraction though. I was kind of expecting it to be like an outdoor market/mall sort of thing, so I was kind of disappointed that it was literally just a mile-long stretch of road with the park, a bunch of stores, restaurants and a marina. I get very excited around boats though, so it wasn't a complete waste of time.

"Six Months in a Leaky Boat," Split Enz

The Nautical Mile, obvs.BOATS!!
Wahby Park. I should really be a photographer.More Wahby Park.

After that rather pointless pit stop, I got back in the car and headed for Chicago. At some point, I noticed that my cell phone time was an hour behind my car time, which confused the hell out of me. It didn't dawn on me until much later that Chicago was in a different time zone. Up until then, I was worried that I'd actually checked out of my hotel late and was marveling at how the traffic heading into the city wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting. DUH.

Route 69. Huhhuhuhuhuhuh.

That extra hour ended up presenting a bit of a problem. I was supposed to meet some bloggers at a local bar, Hopleaf, around 6:30. I was planning on getting into town at 5:30 and figured by the time I found a parking spot near my friends' place (who weren't going to be home from work until around 6:00) and meandered up to the bar (about a mile walk), it would be right around that time. But with an extra hour and nowhere to go, I basically had to walk around Andersonville, which was a cute area (and apparently a hotbed of Swedish activity), but it was as friggin' hot as a crotch outside. I figured that I would make a great impression on my bloggy friends by showing up looking like a sweathog. (Epstein, not Barbarino.) However, I managed to get to Hopleaf a bit early and do a few touch-ups. As always, my hair decided to do whatever the hell it wanted anyway.

"Change of Time," Josh Ritter

As it turned out, I didn't have as many folks to impress as I'd expected. Although there were supposed to be five bloggers joining me, only two showed up: Scope and Dr. Kenneth Noisewater. (To protect the anonymity of the three blowoff artists, let's just call them Donny Zen, Blotchy and Tenacious F.) Scope arrived first, sans new wife Cora, who hadn't yet moved from Seattle. I did get to talk to her on the phone though, and she sounded lovely. We almost missed Dr. Ken because I was confused by some hair color inconsistencies in his Facebook pics. Luckily, we caught him just as he was about to walk out of the bar and probably swear off blogger meet-ups for good. Unfortunately, I forgot to get pictorial evidence of his presence, but he was there, I swear.

When BeckEye met Scope (and Dr. Ken, not pictured)

At some point (and I was drinking Belgian beers on a fairly empty stomach, so things got hazy early on), my friends joined us and the bloggers soon dispersed. I got drunker, my pals took me out for some late night tacos and then I slept like a baby on their reasonably comfortable pull-out couch.

"Chicago," Sufjan Stevens

In the next installment...Lollapalooza!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Caption Crotch-test Contest #37

Once again, Paris is caught on film going down.

Although Paris just quenched the flames of her boiling crab nest, when one firecrotch ends, another begins. And this time the torch has been passed to Ed, the Firecrotch of the hot-hot-hottest month of the year!
And now the runners-up:

"Oh great. We finally get a handle on the Gulf oil thing, and someone starts dumping more toxic sludge in the water." - Scope

"In the event of a water landing your fake boobs can be used as flotation devices. We hope you enjoyed your flight with us on Skank Air." - Skyler's Dad (I think that JetBlue flight attendant is working for Skank Air now.)

Next up on the Discovery Channel's Shark Week: The Great White Skank. - Jon (Hey, I like the word "skank," what can I say?)

A special shout-out goes to Cora for "And they said pigs couldn't fly." Funny, but I couldn't use it because it was pretty much the same as a past winning entry. Sorry. I never said life was fair.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

And The Winner of the Li-Lo Prison Pool Is...

...uh, I'm not sure.

Lindsay served 14 days of her 90-day sentence. Out of the contest's entrants who gave me hard numbers, Heather was the closest without going over with 11 days. However, Skyler's Dad said, "I will be amazed if she does longer than 2 weeks," which I'm not sure is a prediction or just talking typing out loud. But 2 weeks does equal 14 days, so that seems like a winning answer to me.

Just so no one complains, you're both winners, mmmkay?

And as promised, I really don't have a good prize for you guys. If either of you lived in Chicago, I could have made that Win-a-Date-with-BeckEye idea come true, because I'll be there this weekend. But you don't, so I can't.

So, how about this? You both get to choose a theme for an upcoming "Sonic Sunday" post. (Just email me your ideas.) Oh, and here. Have this hastily thrown together award.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Ding Dong, The Bitch Is Back and The Witch Is Dead

Just like a good case of the herp, I've returned!

And what, you may ask, could pull me out of my mini-blogger retirement? Outrage over Li-Lo's lack of a proper prison cot pillow? No. Chelsea Clinton's wedding? Get serious. Speidi's on-again off-again staged divorce? What the eff ever.

Well then, it must be all of the shake-ups going on over at American Idol, right? Correct!

But more specifically, it's the chance to point at laugh at America's Most Hated Know-Nothing Harpy, Kara DioGuardi!

Apparently, Kara was "blindsided" by her recent firing and is "horrified" that she's been "tossed away" like some kind of garbage. Or like someone who writes garbage.

*insert Nelson Muntz laugh here*

Really? Blindsided? Kara, did you not realize that everyone who watches the show has been calling for your removal since day one? Have you never watched yourself on TV? Do people actually tell you that you're likable? Well, don't worry, sweetie. I'm sure there are plenty of other opportunities for you out there. Judging's just not your thing. Maybe you could get a job at—what's the name of that place? Studio 57?


Filling the awfully big shoes of Lord Cowell is going to be Steven Tyler, whose career I haven't bothered to try to understand ever since he sang that love song to an asteroid. So, beyond the whole issue of her suckage, it only made sense for AI to dump Kara just as they're bringing on Steven. I mean, it would be a little awkward to have him and Kara at the same table, considering that she doesn't know the difference between early and latter-day Aerosmith songs.

Luckily, there will be no replacement for Kara, as Idol is going back to its original three-judge format. Ellen DeGeneres, who just joined last season, supposedly quit because the show wasn't "the right fit" for her. Which probably means that she got canned too, but the producers let her say she left on her own because she's so nice.

Filling the Ellen/Paula slot is a rather big name: Jennifer Lopez. I'm not really a J.Lo fan and don't think she' s any more qualified than Paula was to dish out singing advice, but she was rather charming (acting!) during her stint as a mentor in Season 6. However, getting Jen as a judge isn't a completely done deal, as it's recently been reported that she's already being a diva and trying to squeeze more "perks" out of FOX. If it all falls apart, maybe they could get Katy Perry? And if that's a no-go, I'm still available.

Surviving the firings is lone original judge, Randy Jackson, because...why? I guess AI just wouldn't be the same show without all of his hot lava bombs and blown-out boxes. And really, I'm fine with the decision to leave Randy in his chair. The guy's critiques don't always work for me, dawgs, but he's aight. And, dude, HE'S 54!!! I mean, yo! WHAT?

Nigel Lythgoe, who left the show in 2008, is returning as Executive Producer, and the master judge cleanse is all part of his plan to boost ratings for a season that many people have preemptively decided not to watch.

So what do you think? Can big-name judges bring Idol back from the brink of death? Or should someone put it out of its misery already?


Who Does This Broad Think She Is?

My photo
I am a winsome muse who was sent to Earth to inspire an artist to turn a vacant building into the world's coolest disco roller rink. We fell in love along the way, and I foolishly gave up my immortality. When the disco craze ended and all the roller rinks were shut down, that lazy bum wouldn't get a job. We broke up and I was stuck on Earth with nothing to do and no one to inspire. So, now I write a blog.

What Do Others Think of BeckEye?

"You're like an idiot savant of terrible garbage entertainment." - Falwless

"You're my hero." - Candy

"Get yourself a life. Better yet.....eff off." - Ann Onymous

"There's no one like you." - Klaus Meine