NYP High fashion never rests.

The comfort shoe of the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a dangerous turn. Balenciaga has unveiled its latest collaboration with Crocs, in the form of a narrow heel, placed precariously on the sole of its trademark rubber clog.

The latest Croc was unveiled at the fashion house’s Spring 2022 “Balenciaga Clones” collection showing and immediately drew the attention of fashion mavens.

No price has been announced for the shoe yet, but previous attempts to elevate Crocs have crossed into the luxury sphere: Balenciaga’s $850 platform clogs reportedly sold out before even being available in stores, Complex reported, so these may approach the $1000 range.

The style comes in green, black and gray.

Whew. Thank the Lord they come in black and gray, because I wouldn’t be caught dead in the green ones. But honestly, by “high fashion” do they mean someone was high when they designed these monstrosities? Have we just given up as a society? Does anyone even care anymore? Because man, this looks to me like more proof that God has abandoned us.

PS- Has “high ankle sprains” ever occurred to these people?

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No words. Simply amazing.

Before we begin, my list will include anything on television, from NBC to CBS to ABC to HBO to Netflix to, well, you get the picture. Let us begin . . .

St. Elsewhere

Quite simply the most shocking ending in television history. For years I’d watched the doctors and nurses of this poor rundown hospital named St. Elsewhere. You really felt like you knew the characters, you know? In the finale, storylines seemed to be closing for everyone – the death of Dr. Auschlander, the return of the beloved Dr. Westphall and his autistic son, the departure of the Craigs, and the decision by Morrison to stay with his wife. it was all being tied up quite nicely. Then, at the very end of the episode, the scene cuts to a small apartment. Dr. Westphall walks in carrying a lunch box and dressed very much like a construction worker and certainly not a doctor. Sitting on the floor is his autistic son, staring into a snow globe. Watch the video below to find out what happened next, but the entire series had taken place inside this young boy’s head. None of it was ever real. Mind blown.

Newhart

This was one of the most innovative and amazing endings ever done. Bob Newhart can claim not one, but two, successful TV series. In “The Bob Newhart Show,” which ran from 1972-1978, he’s psychologist Bob Hartley. In “Newhart” (1982-1990), he’s Vermont innkeeper Dick Loudon. Both series were comedies with lots of crazy characters surrounding the lead. In the latter’s series finale, Dick is hit in the head by a golfball and knocked out. Then, in one of the most brilliant moments in TV history, a light comes on in a bedroom – the bedroom of the Hartleys, with Bob waking up next to his 1970s TV wife, Emily. He then tells her the details of the dream he just had – his life as an innkeeper in a town of eccentric characters, including a hot blonde for a wife. Emily is not too happy with the blonde comment, and the show ends with him suggesting she wear more sweaters (a reference to his “dream” wife Joanna). Just incredible stuff.

Mad Men

From the early 1960s, when the series began, to the 1970s and this final episode, where all the folks from Mad Men are experiencing life-altering events. And none more so than the cynical, brilliant three-piece-suit Don as he opens himself up to a new self-awareness at a hippie commune far from New York in sunny California. The final scene is my guy Don sitting in the lotus position as a smile slowly spreads across his face, indicating that he’s finally found peace with his past. Or, maybe, just maybe he just got another burst of creativity. For at that moment the scene cuts to the famous “Hilltop” Coca-Cola ad from 1971, a commercial Don came up with whilst sitting on that hill. A series about advertising ending with the greatest commercial ever made? That’s genius, man, and it rocked me to my core.

Breaking Bad

I loved this entire series, possibly because the lead character was a teacher who was dying of cancer. He was a lead who committed heinous crimes, including making and distributing meth, yet we rooted for him. In the amazing finale, creator Vince Gilligan managed to satisfy the audience’s need for closure while still leaving room for debate about what really happened. Walt’s original goal was to provide financial security for his family following his death, which he ultimately does at the sake of losing his family. After a series of events that include an emotionally-charged scene with his wife Skyler, freeing his former student and partner in crime Jesse, and taking revenge on the evil Jack in a bloody shootout, Walt spends his last moments with his true love, fondly stroking the equipment that he took so much pride in, before slipping away with a satisfied smile as policemen rush in. Oh, and the music palying as this happened was Baby Blue by Badfinger, a genius choice. Six years later, in the movie Camino we found out what happened to Jesse after his getaway. However, we never did actually see Walt in a body bag. . .

The Office

Taking place a year after the the conclusion of the documentary about everyday life in their office, the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company gang gathers one more time for the wedding of Dwight and Angela, and for a question and answer panel regarding the documentary. Old friends return, including Kelly and Ryan, with the surprise appearance of Michael Scott (who’d left the series a few years earlier) to serve as Dwight’s best man was the ultimate closure. It was kept secret, so everyone was surprised when Michael shows up in this scene. Still gives me goosebumps.

Dexter

A lot of folks didn’t like this finale as much as I did, but I thought it was great. Dexter speeds off with his sister Deb’s body, wrapped in a white hospital sheet. He calls Hannah, his serial killer girlfriend, who has his son Harrison. his message sealed it: “I just wanted to tell you one last time that I love you. I want you to remember that every single day until I see you again. Daddy loves you.” Dexter quite accurately observes once again that he’s a danger to anyone he loves. Deb’s lifeless body sinks into the same waters where he’s dumped untold corpses. The hurricane is coming and Dexter sails his boat directly into it. Later, we see the broken pieces of the Slice of Life floating in the water. No chance of survival, we’re told. And as Dexter said earlier, “I’ve never seen a miracle.” Then there’s Hannah at a café in Buenos Aires, reading her iPad and learning Dexter is presumed dead. Her dreams destroyed, her future in jeopardy, she does what any serial-killing babe who’s now in custody of her dead serial-killer boyfriend’s son would do: suck back the tears and take the kid out for ice cream. End of series . . . except not. The next thing we see is a bearded, flannel-wearing guy in a logging town, so very away from the sunshine of Miami It’s Dexter, who survived a hurricane and made it to the Pacific Northwest or beyond, undetected, to start a new life. Loved it.

PS – The writers foreshadowed this in an earlier scene when Dexter was trying to sell his boat. As he was showing it he mentions the boat has an life raft with an extra motor.

PPS- Dexter is returning this fall!

The Sopranos

It may be one of the most controversial endings of all time, but love it or hate it, 13-years later people are still talking about it. Several storylines are resolved, including the Soprano children making decisions about their futures, but the mob war rages on and Tony has had to stay in hiding. In the final scene, the Soprano family is meeting for dinner at Holsten’s, and every little detail is followed – the fellow diners, Don’t Stop Believin‘ playing, the man at the counter who gets up to go to the bathroom, Meadow running late and having trouble parallel parking – then when she final enters the cafe the bell above the door rings and then. . . ten seconds of blackout. People actually thought their cable had gone out. What the hell happened? What has followed is over a decade of arguments about whether or not he was killed (and maybe that’s the way the writers intended it), with fans pointing out every detail to support their point of view, and series creator David Chase refusing to to comment one way or another – until a recent interview in which he inadvertently referred to it as “the death scene.” That’s pretty much the way I saw it too.

The Queen’s Gambit

I never dreamed I’d enjoy a movie about chess so much but damned if I didn’t love this one. It’s a series about the rise of chess prodigy Beth Harmon and it’s absolutely mesmerizing. In the final scene, Beth is going up against Russian chess master Vasily Borgov and it is amazing. As a child in her orphanage she used to look at the ceiling and imagine her moves, and she does the same while playing Borgov in his home country of Russia. She looks up, he looks up, and the game ends in breathtaking fashion. Shown then are the reactions back home as her friends find out that she pulled it off. Loved. This. Series.

M*A*S*H

This legendary sitcom signs off with an epic two-hour episode, with advertisers paying an unprecedented $450,000 (over $1 million today) for a 30-second slot and an unprecedented number of viewers eagerly tuning in to see the fates of the beloved characters. Series star Alan Alda directed and cowrote the finale, awarding each character with moments detailing the horrors of war, the sense of kinship unique to those who survive those horrors and those nuggets of comic relief that balance the tragedy of war. After an 11-year run, which is eight years longer than the actual Korean War in which it was set, the series gave viewers the closure they hoped for, with Klinger’s wedding, the camp being dissembled, and each character going their separate ways. Almost 40-years later this finale remains not only the most-watched finale of all time, but the most-watched single TV series episode of all time, with over 100-million viewers – and that doesn’t include the viewers in California who had to watch it a month later due to a power outage the night of the original broadcast. Towards the end of the episode, the war is over and Hawkeye cannot get B.J. to say goodbye. He simply couldn’t do it. Then, as Hawkeye flies away in a chopper, he looks down and . . . well hell, just watch it.

Schitt’s Creek

As could only happen in Schitt’s Creek, David gets more than one “happy ending” in the series finale. The episode is packed with all the things Rose that we’ve come to love – David’s obsessive need for over-the-top perfection, Alexis’s need to be the center of attention, Moira’s over-the-top wardrobe and Johnny’s steadiness in the middle of chaos. But all the lessons that have been learned in those two rooms in that dumpy motel are seen in the final few moments, especially Johnny’s last glance backward. The sign welcoming visitors to Schitt’s Creek had always been a thorn in Johnny Rose’s side, and as a nod to him Mayor Roland Schitt made a change as a going away gift. When Johnny looked back, there wasn’t a dry eye among any self-respecting Schitt’s Creek fan.

Note- You can actually see the genuine sadness in everyone’s eyes in this scene.

Longmire

I absolutely loved this series, and the finale tidied things up nicely. [SPOILER ALERT – Don’t read further if you plan to watch Longmire!] Walt and Vic finally get together, Cady is running to take over as sheriff replacing Walt, Henry takes over the casino, and Ferg proposes to the newfound love of his life. And you really have to watch the series to understand its importance, but Walt finally gets a cell phone. Just a great series with excellent actors that I shall watch again soon.

Cheers

Six years after leaving the series, Shelley Long returned as Diane (Sam Malone’s former girlfriend), leading to so much anticipation that the finale would become the second-highest-rated finale behind M*A*S*H. Would Sam leave his bar for his former love? That was the question. New beginnings are happening for every one of his bar patrons, and Sam is tempted by the lure of a future and family with Diane. But alas, he returns to his true love, his bar, where he realizes he is “the luckiest son of a bitch in the world.” With a “Sorry, we’re closed” to a patron, Sam straightens a picture of Geronimo (a nod to deceased cast member Coach, portraid by Nicholas Colasanto) and retreats to the back of the bar – but we all know he’ll be back tomorrow to the place where everybody knows your name – the bar called Cheers.

So there you go, my 12 favorite finales. What say you?

PS- Seinfeld’s ending was God-awful in my opinion. Lost’s was a confusing mess, as well.

Insider:

A “lethal” weaponized drone “hunted down a human target” without being told to, likely for the first time, according to a UN report seen by the New Scientist. In the March 2020 incident, a Kargu-2 quadcopter autonomously attacked a person during a conflict between Libyan government forces and a breakaway military faction, led by the Libyan National Army’s Khalifa Haftar, the Daily Star reported.

The Turkish-built Kargu-2, a deadly attack drone designed for asymmetric warfare and anti-terrorist operations, targeted one of Haftar’s soldiers while he tried to retreat, according to the paper. The drone, which can be directed to detonate on impact, was operating in a “‘highly effective’ autonomous mode that required no human controller,” the New York Post reported.

This is likely the first time drones have attacked humans without instructions to do so, Zak Kallenborn, a national-security consultant who specializes in unmanned systems and drones, confirmed in the report.

Kallenborn has concerns about the future of autonomous drones. “How brittle is the object recognition system?” he said in the report. “How often does it misidentify targets?” Jack Watling, a researcher on land warfare at the Royal United Services Institute, told the New Scientist that the incident demonstrates the “urgent and important” need to discuss the potential regulation of autonomous weapons.

Meh, nothing to see here. Just an autonomous Kargu-2 Killer Quadcopter killing people without anyone intsructing it to do so. What could possibly go wrong? Maybe the next rogue drone goes after the wrong side? Perhaps an army of killer drones amassing and turning on us? Technology, man. I’m telling you that all those movies about robots taking over someday were dead on the money. It’s only a matter of time before you gaze out your window one peaceful sunny day and see this. Have a great day everyone!

The internet is an interesting/useless/cool place really.

[click, scroll]

Thanks to the folks over at Bored Panda for a lot of these. Some are a little dark. Enjoy.

  1. Whoever created the tradition of not seeing the bride in the wedding dress beforehand saved countless husbands everywhere from hours of dress shopping and will forever be a hero to all men.
  2. People get so focused on their wedding that they forget there’s an actual marriage afterwards.
  3. Marriage licenses should have a expiration date like driver licenses. That way people could just not renew instead of going through a long divorce process.
  4. The fact that the first person they suspect after someone is murdered is the spouse tells me everything I need to know about marriage.
  5. Marriage is one of the few things where we consider someone an expert if they’ve only successfully done it once.
  6. Marriage proposals are weird. The proposer gets to take as long as he/she wants to determine whether they want to spend the rest of their life with someone. The proposee is expected to make a split-second decision.
  7. Having to attend a wedding you don’t want to sucks more than having to attend a funeral. At least at the funeral you don’t have to pretend you’re happy to be there.
  8. A successful marriage ends with watching the other person die.
  9. Weddings are weird because it’s totally socially acceptable to get all your friends and family together, sort them by how much you like them, and place them at tables that shows the ranking based on proximity to you.
  10. Saying yes on your wedding day is saying no to 7.53 billion people.
  11. Marriage is the only endeavor in life where people actively seek a partner with no experience.

That is all.

I shall now present you with 19 controversial food queries, and I’d like you to answer honestly and with the rock-solid integrity I know you all possess. Let’s get right to it . . .

What I learned is that I have drifted even further from the center of pop culture as I once knew it. What follows is a list of nominees, followed by a brief comment by yours truly:

  • Drake – Yes, of course I have heard of Drake. In fact I enjoy some of his music. Toosie Slide comes to mind. See? I’m not completely out of touch.
  • Juice WRLD – Nope. Nuthin’. Sounds like a kiosk is a south Florida mall. And what’s with all the misspellings man?
  • Pop Smoke – Nada.
  • Taylor Swift – Tater! I’m 2 for 4! Woot!
  • Gabby Barrett – Sounds like a kid I may have taught in 5th grade.
  • Doja Cat – I’ve no idea who this is, but Doja Cat & Pop Smoke would make a helluva Saturday morning cartoon show duo.
  • Jack Harlow – Sure. WHATS POPPIN is a banger and is in fact on my workout songlist.
  • Rod Wave – No clue. Sounds like the male lead in a porn movie. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the point.
  • Lil Baby – I’ve heard of Lil Baby. You know, I remember when people asked if the Beach Boys would have to change their name when they got older. Turns out they didn’t, so Lil can breath a sigh of relief.
  • Billie Eilish – Meh. I’ve heard her stuff. Not bad but I wouldn’t buy it.
  • Ariana Grande – I know who she is. I’d recognize her. One of her songs? Not so much. I believe I’m 6 of 11 now, at least on name recognition. Not horrible.
  • Dua Lipa – I know of Dua Lipa only because of a highly inappropriate dance she did on some awards show a few weeks ago. Couldn’t name a song though.
  • Megan Thee Stallion – Oh, we’ve all heard of Mega Thee’s song, now haven’t we? Good God.
  • AC/DC – Wait. What? I honestly thought this was misprint until I heard they’d released a new album last year. I had no idea.
  • AJR – I had no idea, but I looked them up and they’re a an alternative rock trio with a hipster vibe. My hopes are not high but I shall keep an open mind.
  • BTS – I’ve heard of them. They’re from South Korea and there’s like 9 of them. Ok, perhaps 7. Think Asian Backstreet Boys times 2.
  • Dan + Shay – Nope. Sounds like a couple wacky FM radio disk jockeys though.
  • Maroon 5 – Sure I’ve heard of Maroon 5, but can only name one of them. On a related note, their Super Bowl halftime show was God awful.
  • Post Malone – This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I really like Post Malone. A lot.
  • Dababy – Think Dababy and Lil Baby will ever work together as a duo called Tiny Infants or something?
  • Justin Beiber – Beibs is still making music?
  • Lewis Capaldi – I know him and I have a couple of his songs.
  • Harry Styles – I know of him because he was the wild haired guy in One Direction. I think. That said, I’ve never heard anything he’s ever done. I am now 15 for 23 and am depressed I know as many as I do.
  • BLACKPINK – I’ve never heard of them, but apparently they’re an all-girl South Korean group.
  • SB 19 – Never heard of them, but after a quick search I found these guys are a Filipino boy band. Seems boy bands made a comeback and nobody told me.
  • Seventeen – Sigh. Another South Korean boy band sensation.
  • Saweetie – Nope. And whatever happened to cool band names like Atomic Rooster and Strawberry Alarm Clock? I long for a more creativer time.

In conclusion, of the 27 bands given awards I recognized 15 by name and could actually recognize music from 9 of them. Not great percentages, but this somehow eases my mind. I shall now go listen to 60-minutes of The Beatles to cleanse my musical soul.

From the film Out For Justice, starring Steven Seagal, 1991.

Amazing really. Click and scroll for the coolness.

Ripping off someone else’s music is as old as Rock ‘n’ Roll, man. I could name 20 examples of songs I consider rip-offs. For example, I always thought that Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire” was a rip-off of R.E.M.’s “It’s The End of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”, if not in melody at least in style. Anywho, here are WatchMojo.com’s Top 20 Most Infamous Rip-Off Songs. Enjoy.

Columbus? O.K.

[For more cool maps, just type “Map of the Day” into the search box on the left!]

VMAs, Part 1

Well, I finally got around to watching the Video Music Awards last night, and as a gift to my faithful followers I documented the entire 2-hours.

Seriously, I really did.

You see, I’m retired and can’t start subbing until Friday so I’m really, really bored. REALLY bored. So, rather than start mainlining heroin I’m doing insane things like this. Deal with it.

I recorded the time as I made notes to enhance the process. That’s precisely what separates me from your average blogger, kids. Here we go . . .

:10 – Ten seconds in and I’m confused. Lady Gaga is singing with her head stuck out of a box. She reminds me of Sally Field in The Flying Nun. Nobody? Never mind.

Lady Gaga naked outfits flash at MTV VMA awards - Mirror Online

1:38  – OK, I know Gaga’s gonna rip that nun suit off, it’s just a matter of time.

1:55 – Nun suit off. Partially. She’s now wearing a 1920’s style bathing suit, complete with bathing cap.

2:42 – Random thought: Why do backup dancers have to look so mean and unhappy? Constant sneering, man.

4:28 – Holy moly. Gaga just went off stage and returned wearing . . . uh . . . hold on . . .

4:33 – . . . a seashell bra and some sort of flowered thong. Somewhere, Madonna is nodding approvingly.

6:06 – One Direction has taken the stage! My 5th graders loved them!. Wait . . . that one dude’s hair looks like a marmoset exploded on his head.

6:43 – Random thought: If I had seats behind that giant spaceman I’d be pissed.

2013 MTV Video Music Awards Unveiled 60-Foot Moonman Statue by KAWS - 4

6:56 – Quick shot of Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez. I’m predicting 17 of these. I’ll try and keep track.

7:56 – Confession. I like that song “Carry On” by the group Fun. Contrary to many of the songs nominated for Best Pop Video, it actually has a melody.

9:12 – Selena Gomez just won something, and her acceptance speech had all the nuance and depth of a gerbil nibbling a carrot. On a related note, Taylor Swift looks like a gerbil nibbling a carrot.

9:48 – Just showed a shot of Katy Perry walking backstage and she snarled at the camera. What’s everybody so mad about?

18:31 – Miley Cyrus is about to take the stage. Can’t wait to see how the lovable little scamp from Hannah Montana has grown up.

18:32 – WHAT THE HELL?

19:00 – Hey Miley, Gene Simmons just called. He wants his tongue back.

19:21 – Hey Miley, Michael Jackson just called. He wants his crotch-grab back.

19:33 – Hannah Montana just twerked all up in a huge teddy bear. It’s a confusing world, kids.

20:07 – There’s a giant black woman throwing something to the audience. I can only hope she’s giving them their money back.

20:17 – Miley just kissed the giant black woman’s butt and slapped it. The dancers all have teddy bears on their backs. Nothing makes sense anymore.

Eew. Billy Ray must be so proud.

21:02 – Random thought: You’re a professional dancer. You make the cut to dance on the VMA’s on national TV. Then you find out you’ll be dancing with a giant teddy bear on your back. Still happy? I have no idea.

21:38 – Uh-oh. Here comes Alan Thicke, who used to be the dad on Growing Pains. He’ll straighten these young punks out. Wait . . .

21:45 – Hannah Montana just molested a giant foam finger. Plus she took off more clothes.

21:50 – What is it with the tongue, Miley? Jeez, keep it in your mouth.

22:00 – Hannah Montana just molested Alan Thicke with a giant foam finger. Wait. Apparently that’s Robin, Alan’s son. Anyway, molested.

22:23 – Robin Thicke just got twerked by Hannah Montana. It’s a world gone mad.

23:00 – Somebody named 2 Chains has taken the stage. I got nuthin’ here.

25:00 – The Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke number has concluded. Rihanna is not impressed.

25:01 – Hey Miley, Madonna called. She wants her act back.

25:12 – Lil’ Kim’s still alive?

25:46 – Random thought: I never thought I’d see the day when women would start wearing things to make their butt look bigger.

34:00  – Taylor/Selena screenshot #2. They’re very excited.

35:00 – Jared Leto just introduced Kanye West by calling him a “rock star.”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1q2.gif

40:00 – Kanye just completed his entire song in shadow, which I approve of wholeheartedly. He also did the whole song in auto-tune, another solid choice. That way we didn’t have to actually see or hear him. Kudos to Yeezus.

45:00 – Taylor Swift just won best female video for the song “Trouble.” Did you know Sparky hates Taylor Swift? By the way, Taylor looks like her face has been squashed together, like some cosmic pixie. I have no idea what that means.

45:01 – Taylor/Selena screenshot #3 and #4. They’re still very happy.

51:27 – Justin Timberlake has taken the stage. I happen to like Justin Timberlake and find him to be self-effacing, self-aware and extremely talented. Just thought some positivity was in order..

52:40 – Timberlake is killin’ it.

53:00 – I wish I could pull off wearing a hat like JT. Too bad I wear a size 7 5/8 and when I try I look like a grizzly bear wearing a beanie.

54:30 – Gaga, Miley, Kanye, take note. This is talent.

59:33 – Taylor/Selena screenshot #5. Timberlake has them all sorts of worked-up.

1:00:31 – Taylor/Selena screenshot #6. Selena stoic, Taylor appears to be doing The Watusi.

1:00:47 – Taylor/Selena screenshot #7. Selena smiling, Taylor has switched to The Twist and she’s watching herself dance on the big screen.

101:49 – OMG! N’SYNC REUNION! N’SYNC REUNION!

Electric.

102:22 – Apparently Gaga has chosen to watch the rest of the show from the audience. In her seashell bra and thong. Gotta respect that.

103:28 – Wait. N’Sync is done? That was fast. Guess Chris Kirkpatrick had to get back to the Sack ‘n Save.

105:08 – Taylor/Selena . . . ah, screw this. It’s getting repetitive.

1:07:41 – Timberlake was on for over 16-minutes. Gaga seems to like him, as did Rihanna. However, the person who appeared to be most smitten was Jimmy Fallon. Seriously.

1:16:24 –  Some guy named McLemore is rapping with some girl I don’t recognize. His lyrics seem almost, dare I say, enlightened? I sort of like this cat.

1:26:00 – Drake is on stage. Not impressed.

1:34:19 – Bruno Mars just won something and sang a song. Bruno Mars is a tiny little man.

Born to Love Gray Fedora Baby and Boy's Hat w/Black Band
Bruno pre-show.

1:51:47 – That kid from Third Rock from the Sun is announcing the big “Video of the Year” award. Why is he doing it? Apparently he’s a big-time actor or something now. His name is Joseph Gordon-Levitt? I could not care less, I’m getting a headache.

1:52:58 – Timberlake won the big award. Big shocker there. The best part is he just crushed Taylor Swift’s soul.

1:55:00 – The BIG FINALE. Katy Perry, who I sorta like because her songs are catchy and she’s cute, is singing in front of the Brooklyn Bridge. In a boxing ring. Wearing boxing attire. And she’s jumping rope. In addition, I wore those very socks in 1974.

Katy Perry Performs 'Roar' at VMAs | Rap-Up
Bengals bra?

2:00 – Thankfully, it’s all over.

Well, that’s 2-hours of my life that I can never, ever, get back. I would have preferred 2-hours of R.E.M., The Eels, The Avett Brothers, Carbon Leaf, Blue October, Teenage Fanclub, Paul Westerberg, and Breaking Benjamin. But what the hell, that’s never gonna happen.

The cold hard truth is that my musical tastes are in no way in line with that of today’s music consumer.

Thank you God.

But seriously, what the hell happened to Hannah Montana?

That tongue again. Ugh.

VMAs, Part 2

dfdbs

As many of you may remember, my review of last year’s VMA Awards was a blockbuster blog of epic proportions. You can review that review, along with my observations on Miley Cyrus and her ilk, by clicking here. You won’t regret it.

So due to popular demand and public outcry, I felt I must review this year’s VMA Awards. Trust me, I’m doing this as a service to you, my loyal followers, and for no other reason. As always, I shall maintain my blogging integrity throughout, giving you my honest impressions of the goings-on and shenanigans I witness.

As I did last year, I’ll give a minute-by-minute breakdown of the proceedings. After a deep breath, let us begin . . .

8:00pm – To open the show, somebody has walked onto the stage in a sparkly bikini, although the bottoms look like grandma panties. There are dancers in heavy make-up, many apparently dressed as plants of some sort.

8:01pm – They just showed a shot of Kim Kardashian in the audience, sitting with her two younger sisters. Too bad these kids can’t get any publicity.

Asses sell. End of story.

8:02pm – The person in the sparkly bikini (Nicki Minaj?), just laid down on the stage and simulated intercourse with one of her female dancers. The crowd seems to like this. This is followed by the entire dance troupe, and Nicki, dry-humping the stage. Artsy.

Sigh,

8:03pm – Twerking. Lots of twerking. On a related note, my laptop must be way out of touch. It’s not recognizing twerking as an actual word.

8:04pm – 4-minutes in, and already I long for a simpler time.

8:05pm – Two women have taken the stage and I promise you I have zero idea who they are. The crowd is going wild. Nicki has joined them. The only thing I know for certain is that there is no melody to be heard.

8:06pm – Woop! I recognize somebody! The Dogfather, Snoop Dogg, is on the stage! SNOOP! I love Snoop. Gwen Stefani is with him. I feel redeemed. Somewhat. By the way, Snoop is making a white t-shirt, cardigan and jeans look cool.

8:07pm – Snoop just referred to Gwen Stefani as the Queen of Punk Rock. W-h-a-a-a-t? Somewhere, Patti Smith* is shaking her head in disgust. As am I.

*Google her, ya idjuts.

8:09pm – Katy Perry just won something. I must say she looks rather fetching. I like Katy Perry.

8:09pm – People keep yelling “Jeah!” Or Jey-uh!” I can’t be sure.

8:15pm – Taylor Swift has been introduced. Thank God. At least I can watch an innocent country girl sing a tune now.

Taylor. What happened?

8:15pm – WHAT THE HELL? Oh, for the love of God. I take it Taylor has ditched the country scene, as it were?

8:18pm – Miley Cyrus audience shot. She appears to be on heroin. Or appalled by Taylor like the rest of us.

8:20pm – To further prove that I’m completely out of touch with modern music, somebody named Ed Sheeran just won an award. He looks like what Opie would have looked like had he grown up, left Mayberry, become addicted to crystal meth, and turned into a male prostitute. That is all.

8:26pm – Hey-O! Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels have taken the stage! Two guys in my age group! They look sort of lost, possibly because nobody in the crowd knows who they are.

8:29pm – A tiny little person named Ariana Grande won a big award, and this is literally the first time I’ve heard her name uttered by a human being. Jim Carrey handed her the award, and I’d bet my last dollar he’s never heard of her either.

8:31pm – Sam Smith is singing. Yeah, me either. Let’s move along.

8:45pm – Some comedian named Jay Pharoah has bombed repeatedly throughout the show. Just awful.

8:47pm – Usher has been introduced, and apparently he’s reached icon status behind my back. I had no idea. He did a nice robot on stage, however. Well played Ush.

8:59pm – Lorde just won something. I’m not familiar, but she’s very pasty looking and seemed very fidgety. I saw Keith Richards acting the same way in 1973, which was later explained in his autobiography and by the Albuquerque Police Department in their arrest report.

Not awful.

9:05pm – 5 Seconds of Summer has taken the stage, and I must admit they’re not horrible. They’re four kids from Australia clearly influenced by Green Day and other 90’s punk-pop bands. Tolerable.

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9:14pm – Fifth Harmony just won something. They seem thrilled. I swear I never heard of them until 30-seconds ago, although they apparently have fans called “Harmonizers.” Seriously. In addition, I have lost all touch with modern music, and I am in no way saddened by this revelation. On a positive note, the cameras cut to 5 Seconds of Summer in the audience and they seemed disgusted. Perhaps there’s hope after all.

9:24pm – Iggy Azalea has arrived. On the all-time list of Iggys, she ranks a distant third behind Iggy Pop and that comic strip dude. Wait. That’s Ziggy. Never mind. On a related note, I swear she’s had butt implants. I ask you seriously, who likes booties that fat? When I was young ladies tried to avoid that sort of chunkiness. Just an observation. Perhaps my time has passed.

9:32pm – Maroon 5 was just introduced and praised for their “catchy hooks” and “soaring vocals.” Really? And by the way, I guarantee you that not one person reading this can name another Maroon 5 member besides Adam Levine. Go ahead. Name one. You can’t.

9:37pm – Jimmy Fallon has arrived and is yammering on about something. I like Jimmy, but at 40-years old he’s hopelessly out of his element here. As am I.

9:38pm – Audience shot of that Grande chick. She has no idea who Jimmy Fallon is.

9:40pm – The Video of the Year (videos still exist?) goes to Miley Cyrus for “Wrecking Ball” and she has brought a so-called homeless dude to the stage to accept. This is in no way a gratuitous and self-serving act on Miley’s part. Then again, it probably beats dry-humping Robin Thicke, which is what she did last year. Keep being you, Hanna Montana.

Note: Somebody did some research. Not homeless.

9:46pm – Beyoncé (or “Bey” as the kids call her) is on stage! OMIGOD! And there’s flames and fog and all sorts of things! Is it just me or do her songs have no melody? I swear they don’t. It’s all twerking and humping and whatnot. Just imagine how good Bob Dylan would have been had he twerked and grinded and stuff. He could’ve been way better. Anyway, have I mentioned I’m not a Bey fan? And ladies and gentlemen, that is the finale. Sigh.

10:00pm – And it’s over. Jay-Z has taken the stage to join Beyoncé, and he has pronounced her to be “The Greatest Living Entertainer.” Sorry Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Eminem, Justin Timberlake, Elton John, and the rest of you living has-beens.

Good God. I need a nap.

Words, man. Everyone knows I’m a big word guy. Hey. I even wrote about some of them in the acclaimed blogs Cool Beans! Words and Phrases That Need To Make A Comeback, Once Again, Here Are Some Words That Need To Make A Comeback, Here Are 7 Words That Are Older Than You Think, William Shakespeare, Rad Bro Of Avon And Inventor Of Words, and last but not least Word Up: Snorkel, Curds and Uranus. I’m sure there are others but I’m too lazy to search ’em up on my site.

Aaaand there’s a chicken involved somehow.

Anyway, as I was sitting around contemplating life the other day it occurred to me that the English language has several words for almost anything, and the one that came to mind was all the words we use for fighting. And although they all seem to have slightly different meanings, they’re basically the same. Understand? No? Well hell, just read on . . .

Kerfuffle is a cool one, amirite? A kerfuffle, to me, just sounds like a small fight, nothing to get all worked up about. After all, it was just a kerfuffle.

On the other hand, a brouhaha sounds like an all-out, 20-person battle royale does it not? Whatever you do, don’t get yourself caught up in the middle of a brouhaha.

What about a fracas though? That has to be less than a brouhaha but a little more serious than a kerfuffle, right? Right?

But oh, what about fisticuffs? That indicates an all-out fist fight, no? Nobody wins when fisticuffs break out. That’s an all-out throwing of hands, man.

A fray seems like something somebody would leap into, right? As in, “Hank walked into the bar and immediately joined the fray.” Gotta join a fray at some point in your life, man. You can’t start a fray, bit it seems like you can certainly join one.

However, a scuffle seems like a lesser confrontation, doesn’t it? Nothing serious, just a minor scuffle. Nothing to see here.

Doesn’t it seem like getting into a skirmish often refers to a war? “There was a minor skirmish near the border.” Right?

A melee seems like something that would break out in a crowded nightclub or something. “Hank was flirting with a girl, her boyfriend didn’t like it, and a full-blown melee soon ensued.” On a related note, Hank causes a lot of trouble.

Is a ruckus an actual fight? I mean, you can cause a ruckus without punching, can you not? Couldn’t you cause a ruckus by flipping over a table or something?

Ah, a rumble. This one was popular back when I was in high school. A couple guys would get into it and someone would inevitably yell, “R-R-R-U-U-U-U-M-M-M-B-B-B-L-L-L-E!” Rumble is a great word.

Nothing serious here. I just had a little run-in with some moron.

If multiple people are involved, people just throwing punches everywhere, what you have is a good old fashioned donnybrook.

Almost identical to a donnybrook would be a brawl. It seems like major league baseball has had many a brawl. On a related note, why is it when hockey or baseball players fight everyone loves it but when basketball players fight they’re called thugs? H-m-m-m-m-m-m . . .

Getting into a small fight might sometimes be referred to as a scrap. “Nah, they’re fine. They just got into a little scrap.”

So there ya go. Apropos of nothing, some words regarding fighting. What can I say, sometimes something gets into my head and I must get it out via this site. Sorry not sorry. Have a good evening, kids, and don’t get into any tussles.

I’m not talking about just misunderstood lyrics. I mean songs that, for whatever reason, people have misinterpreted. In no particular order, here are my Top 9 . . .

The One I Love – R.E.M.

I was at a wedding once where the bride actually had this played and dedicated it to the groom. Did she even listen to the lyrics?

This one goes out to the one I love,
This one goes out to the one I left behind,
A simple prop, to occupy my time,
This one goes out to the one I love.

Good grief.

Born in the U.S.A. – Bruce Springsteen

This song is STILL played at political functions, and was first used by none other than Ronald Reagan and, briefly, Donald Trump. Apparently people just don’t listen, because this is not a flag-waving anthem proclaiming Bruce’s love of the USA. It’s the story of an disillusioned Vietnam vet who was “sent off to fight the yellow man” and returned one hell of mess, only to be forgotten by the country that sent him off to fight and die. Bruce is saying, “Hey, I was born in the USA, this is not supposed to be happening!” Geesh.

Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams

Uh, not about the year 1969. That is all.

Fortunate Son – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Again, this is not a patriotic celebration of the good old Red, White and Blue. It’s a protest song. It’s all about being against the war in Vietnam and how mostly poor kids were sent off to fight while rich kids got to stay home. I have no earthly idea why people fail to understand this song.

Some folks are born made to wave the flag
They’re red, white and blue
And when the band plays “Hail to the Chief”
They point the cannon at you, LordIt ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no senator’s son, son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me
I ain’t no fortunate one
.

Yummy Yummy Yummy – Ohio Express

You realized what this song was about, right? Right?

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy
I got love in my tummy,
And I feel like a-lovin you:
Love, you’re such a sweet thing,
Good enough to eat thing
And that’s just a-what I’m gonna do.

Any doubts now?

Who Let The Dogs Out? – Baha Men

No, it’s not about actually letting dogs out. It’s about men who make inappropriate comments to women.

When the party was nice, the party was bumpin’
Hey, Yippie, Yi, Yo
And everybody havin’ a ball
Hey, Yippie, Yi, Yo
I tell the fellas stop the name callin’
Hey, Yippie, Yi, Yo
Then them girls respond to the call
I hear a woman shout out, “Who let the dogs out?

Every Breath You Take – The Police

Not a love song, folks. For the love of all that is holy, do NOT play this at your wedding. The song is about a stalker, and it’s creepy as hell.

Every breath you take
And every move you make
Every bond you break, every step you take
I’ll be watching you.

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – Green Day

This song has turned into a graduation anthem, but it’s actually a sarcastic song Billy Jo wrote about the breakup he had with a woman. Didn’t “good riddance” in the title give you enough of a hint?

I Want Candy – The Strangeloves (1965) and Bow Wow Wow (1982)

The thing that makes this one interesting is the fact that it’s been featured in several children’s TV commercials. But hey, guess what? It’s a song about sex. Oops I guess?

Candy on the beach, there’s nothing better
But I like candy when it’s wrapped in a sweater
Some day soon I’ll make you mine,
Then I’ll have candy all the time.

That ain’t a reference about Junior Mints, kids.

So take my advice before playing that song at your wedding, kid’s birthday party, bar mitzvah or political rally – listen to the lyrics.

Officials are tracking a section of a Chinese rocket expected to plunge down to Earth as early as Saturday — but they aren’t sure where it will land.

“It’s too soon to know exactly where it’s going to come down,” Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said in a briefing Wednesday.

The section is part of a rocket called Chinese Long March 5B, which launched a module of the country’s first permanent space station into orbit last week.

“We’re tracking it, we’re following it as closely as we can,” Kirby said. “It’s just a little too soon right now to know where it’s going to go or what, if anything, can be done about that.”MORE: SpaceX launches 4 astronauts to ISS on recycled rocket and capsule

“Tactical decisions, if needed, will be made based on real-time information,” the FAA said.

Typically, rockets that plunge back to Earth are brought back in a controlled way into the ocean. One expert said it’s unclear why this rocket’s return to Earth is uncontrolled.

“I heard speculation that that they intended it to be controlled and something broke. Stuff goes wrong in space. Space is hard,” Ted Muelhaupt, principal director of Aerospace’s Center for Orbital Reentry and Debris Studies, said in an interview with ABC News.

“If something’s going to reenter and there’s a risk of more than one in 10,000, then it could cause injury to a person,” Muelhaupt said. “Then you take steps to mitigate that. And the most common way to do it is to control where the vehicle lands. Essentially, you bring the vehicle down where people are not.”

Well, I guess I’m glad they’re giving us a heads-up, huh? And they didn’t mention it in the article but this rocket booster weighs 21-tons. Listen, I’m no rocker scientist but that seems big enough to do a little damage. Might even put a little ding on your car hood if it hit it just right. Still, you can’t really blame anyone. After all, like Ted Muelhaupt, Principal Director of Aerospace’s Center for Orbital Reentry and Debris Studies said, something broke because stuff goes wrong in space. He also said it’s preferable to bring the vehicle down where people are not. Makes perfect sense to me. Anywho, might want to stay on high alert today, kids.

UPDATE: Well, that was disappointing. It crashed into the Indian Ocean. BOOOO! Boooring. Way to be a pansy Chinese Rocket.

The Spark.

You’ve read my tales about the world renowned Sparky, the loveable little Jack Russell Terrier I adopted 9-years ago this coming June 27th. If you want to read about him and his adventures, simply type “Sparky” into the search box there on the left or click on “Sparky Tales” up top. The Spark has become quite well known, as exhibited by one of my stories called Popularity Score: Sparky 3, Me 1. It’s not uncommon for me to be in a supermarket or in a restaurant and have a complete stranger ask, “Hey where’s Sparky? Is he out on your car? Can I meet him?” Seriously, it happens all the time. I swear it seems like almost everyone knows The Spark, which leads to a few recent events that involved this phenonenom.

Awhile back I was stopped at a light in Chillicothe. It was a nice day so I had the windows down. Sparky and Lilly were with me, Sparky relaxing in front and Lilly chillin’ in the back. I was in the turn lane, waiting for the light to change, when it happened. A car pulled up beside me and I suddenly hear, “Hey look! It’s Sparky’s dad!” And to me: “Is he in there?” I look over to see a woman I don’t know staring at me, with one kid leaning over from the driver’s side and two more peering out the back window. Then, right on cue Sparky hops up, looks right at them, and gives them a little yip. At that point the kids in the car go wild, yelling and clapping. Then the light changed and we all moved on. I’m telling you that seeing Sparky made those kid’s day.

Another day I had Sparky over to Ross Lake, where he enjoys running around and chasing the occasional goose. There was a small family out on the jetty, and suddenly the woman points at me, says something to the man and two kids, and kids then come jogging toward me. As they drew closer the older kid, a girl around 8-years old, says, “Mom says she thinks this is Sparky. She reads us your stories about him all the time. Can we pet him?” Of course they did, and the mom even came over and took a photo of the three of them, Spark in the middle. Me they wanted nothing from, other than permission to touch my famous little Jack Russell.

Then, yesterday it happened again. I’m getting a procedure done on my hand so I called the doctor to check on the scheduled date. This is a hand doctor, not my regular doctor, so I’d only been in for one appointment. The point is that these people don’t know me like the folks at my regular doctor’s office would. I call, tell them what I’m inquiring about, and they ask for my name and birthdate. The woman goes away for a few seconds, comes back, and asks, “Is this Sparky’s dad?” I was so stunned I wasn’t sure I heard her correctly. Again, this sort of stuff happens on the regular. It’s wild.

Bottom line, it’s pretty cool hanging out with a celebrity all the time. Never a dull moment, man.

PS- On a related note, I really need to write a book about the little guy.

PPS- The lady at the doctor’s office was Dayna, a regular reader of my site and all things Sparky.

So I was reading a website today where teachers were talking about their worst experiences on Field Trips. I recounted the time I took my Junior High kids to the zoo and halfway home I found out we were returning with an extra kid. Good times. Anyway, mine was pretty tame compared to many, but this one took the cake. Read on . . .

I once took my Fifth graders on a field trip to a zoo. During a tour of the primate exhibits a notoriously ill-behaved student hurled a stick down into the gorilla habitat and it landed near an adult gorilla. Without hesitation, the now angry gorilla armed himself with the same stick and sends it back like a tomahawk to the boy with terrifying velocity and wildly impressive precision. The stick shattered after landing on the boys face and he goes down. Commotion ensues. More gorillas make an appearance and begin to scream at the group of horrified children. Zoo staff began piling in out of the woodwork to see whats going on. The orangutans on the other side of the trail got wind of the situation and began mobilizing to assist their gorilla comrades. It’s a war on two fronts now. Gorillas and orangutans began launching volleys of feces as the student’s scatter. Througout the entire exibit all manner of primates began their intimidating chatter and howling. An army of zoo staff has swarmed the primate exibits and managed to stop war of the planet of the apes. 30-minutes after it started, the zoo indefinitely banned the school from returning and the boy was on the way to the hospital where he received 5-stitches in his chin.

Classic.

Pretoria, South AfricaBulletproof windows, great driving skills and a very strong Toyota Landcruiser bakkie are the reason why two escort guards in an cash-in-transit vehicle survived a horrific attack last week.

The two were on the road when armed robbers opened fire on their cruiser which fortunately for them, was bulletproof.

National Police spokesman, BrigadierVish Naidoo said: “On Thursday, 22 April, a group of men tried to rob a CIT vehicle on the N4 in Pretoria. The suspects fired several shots at the CIT vehicle in an attempt to stop it during a high speed chase.

The driver of the CIT vehicle managed to evade the robbers after ramming their car and later stopped in wait for them. The robbers fled without taking any money. No arrests have yet been made.

First off, I saw the photos and those guys are driving a Toyota Land Cruiser. Nice vehicle, but good God man. They don’t have big armored trucks like we have in the US of A? Sweet Jesus. But anyway, what about that driver? Dude is James Bond, Jason Bourne, Chuck Norris and John Wick all rolled into one person. He evaded the would-be robbers, turned around, rammed their car, and sent them running for their freakin’ lives. Then he waited for them to return until help arrived. Bad. Ass.

PS- Thank God for bulletproof windows, amirite?

The Orlando Sentinel- Floridians have waited decades for White Castle to come to the state. Compared to that, standing in line overnight for a pack of sliders is nothing. That’s exactly what many Orlandoans did, lining up outside their new White Castle ahead of its grand opening on May 3. Lines stretched around the building and the drive-thru wait became a matter of miles.

Who’s hungry?

Even with the considerable space inside the 4,000+ square foot restaurant, photos from opening day made the fast food chain look mobbed, and that was merely the scene inside the building. Anticipating demand, White Castle set up tents and cordons to contain the line that promised an hours-long wait. To get a jump on their Crave cases, several people began lining up the night before.

Not gonna lie. If I lived in Florida and hadn’t had a few tasty Jalapeno Burgers with Pepperjack Cheese in my life I’d be right there in line with ’em. Can’t put a price on an Ohio Slider,* man. Oh, and you have to have a side of Fish Nibblers too. That’s tasty goodness right there.

Anyway, welcome to Craver Nation, Orlando. Enjoy.

*I know, it was founded in Witchita, Kansas but it’s headquarters is in Columbus so shut it.

PS- My late buddy Andy Anderson lived in Venice and oh how he loved him some White Castle. It’s a shame they didn’t arrive a few years earlier.

PPS- The record for number of sliders consumed by my friends is 23 by the great Rick Allen at the Ludlow Avenue location in The Natti. I believe it was around 3:30am after an evening of revelry. Legendary.

Very well done.

[For more amazing maps, simply type “Map of the Day” into the search box on the left!]

Dude, this cat can do it all. Prayer meetings, uprisings quelled, mercenary piloting, soft shoe dancing, singer of sentimental ballads, my man has all the bases covered. Hell, he can even arrange a damn Bacchanal* if you so desire. Best business card ever.

*A bacchanal is an occasion of wild and drunken revelry, but you knew that.

It’s crazy what rich people will spend money on, man. My crack staff here at Shoe: Untied got online to check out some of the high-end shopping sites (like Nordstrum) and here’s what we found. It’s cray. Check ’em out:

[click and scroll for the ridiculousness]

I mean, this pooch was just toying with that runner. This little pup’s name is Holly and she came storming from behind, hounding her competition, and then turning on the jets at the end to win by a nose whilst rarely straying from her lane. Incredible really. Good girl, Holly. Good girl.

PS – Get it? Hounding? Winning by a nose? Straying? Nothing?

PPS- Holly had to be dog tired at the end, amirite?

PPPS- Holly really came on like a bitch, man.

PPPPS – I’ll stop now.

David first appeared in the Top 10 in 1931 and had a nice run. Howzabout you?