Monday, April 11, 2011

Oh Gahd!

Here's a question. Why does Gadhafi get to spell his name so many different ways?? It's so unfair.  What, does he have multiple personalities or something? And c'mon, you have to admit that it's strange that anyone would easily recognize his name not only as Gadhafi, but also as Qaddafi, Ghadafi, Khadafi, and various other letter combinations.

You'd think that if 'ol Moammar was in need of a nickname, he'd go for something a little catchier. Maybe something that's not pronounced exactly like his existing name. I guess living in a place like Libya can limit your creative juices, huh?  Maybe he'd do better with a nickname like Smack Daddy?  How about Dick Tater?! Perhaps a play on his name, such as Daffy?  Too cutesy maybe, but still catchier than the alternate spelling idea.

I'm certainly willing to give him the benefit of the doubt in this situation, even though he's a homicidal maniac and all.  Perhaps being a violent dictator for 40 years can feel redundant after a while. Maybe it drives you to reinvent any way you can. Like Madonna does. Maybe he's like "Yesterday, I was Ghadafi!  However, today, you will call me Qaddafi!  And please remember that the Q is pronounced like a K. If you call me QU-adafi, I will behead you!" (Please imagine this being said forcefully..with a Libyan dictator accent.)  Anyway, luck is certainly on his side given the fact that there are so many letters and combinations of letters that essentially are pronounced identically. What a lucky son-of-a-bitch!

Each time you read about him in the paper, it's like reading about someone brand new.  Yet I stand by the fact that it's a bit unfair.  Do you know how often I've wanted to vary the spelling of my last name? When I sign a credit card receipt, do you know how hard it is to not sign it Jon Phischman?  When I print my name on the doctor's waiting list, can you imagine the restraint it takes to not write my name down as Jhon Fishhmann?  C'mon, just once! How about a little reinvention for yours truly?

Don't worry, I'm a reasonable guy and I will,  after all is said and done, let it go.  However, I thought someone needed to draw attention to it.  The public simply doesn't seem to flinch when Qaddafi is spelled in a new way when reading a newspaper or magazine. It's strangely accepted by..well, everyone! And I honestly doubt they even notice.  Anyway, I just think that I deserve the same flexibility. That's all.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Urine or You're Out!

Random Thought/Question

Why do urinals usually exist in sets of 3? Does the middle one ever even get used? 

At most companies where I’ve worked, these are usually the scenarios that occur:
  • If they’re all empty, you’ll either choose the left urinal or the right urinal.
  • If the left one or right one is occupied, you’ll choose the left one or right one that’s NOT occupied.
  • If BOTH the left one AND right one are occupied, you’ll use the toilet instead.
  • If ONLY the middle one is occupied, then the occupant is an ASSHOLE.

My proposal? Eliminate the middle one. Just a left and right urinal with a space in between!

You know how much porcelain could be preserved??!!  Uh...a lot, probably.  There IS a porcelain shortage, right?  OK, maybe not, but still!!  We could save a lot of those urinal cakes, too!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

T-shirts on the Brain!

In an effort to pursue yet another creative outlet (and possibly make a bit of cash, too), I decided to start an online T-shirt shop, Brain of a Fish Tees and More. makes it pretty easy to do so.  It can be a bit time consuming, but technically, it's quite easy to start your own business. I've decided to mostly sell "message" tees...meaning that, at the moment, there's not too much in the way of designs. Instead, most of the tees are just funny sayings, phrases, and so forth.

I've started by organizing them into categories. So far: Silliness, Babies and Kids, Attitude, Bachelor and Bachelorette Party, Suburbia, Healthy Eating, Pro-Social, Nerd Humor, and Art.  I even created a section that allows the user to submit a custom request.  The possibilities are endless, I tell you!! I can create t-shirts (also mugs, mouse pads, aprons, etc.) for birthday parties, family reunions, retirement parties, etc.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Brain of a Fish Band Pick: The Dead Weather

I was lucky enough to attend the taping of the mtvU Woodie Awards back on 11/18. It's quite an experience to be present at any awards show…especially a music-related one like this. "The Woodies"  is an awards show specifically for mtvU, which is the MTV channel that specifically caters to college students and their favorite indie bands.

While I was there, to some degree, I felt a bit out of touch with some of the music that seems to be capturing the hearts of Generation Y. These groups...Passion Pit and Matt and Kim, to name a couple, were enjoyable, but I just wasn't connecting to it in the same way that this demographic does. However, there was one particular exception...The Dead Weather.

The Dead Weather is Jack White's latest project. For those of you hiding 'neath the covers, Jack White is the singer/guitarist of The White Stripes, as well as his popular side project, The Raconteurs. The Dead Weather was formed by White along with Alison Mosshart, from the Kills. In this band, Jack White exercises his multi-instrumental talents. We were used to his moody vocals and his messy, yet brilliant, distorted guitar in White Stripes. In the Dead Weather, however, White primarily plays drums (and plays them quite well, I might add). During live shows, he'll occasionally step upstage to play guitar, too. Most impressive though, is his ability to successfully take on the daunting task of singing lead vocals while playing drums.

What astounded me most about seeing them live was their raw energy. A powerful, classic-sound. This song particularly has a punkish energy that's almost reminiscent of  Rage Against the Machine.

Check out this video of them performing  Treat Me Like Your Mother  live (not from the Woodies). This song is from their debut album, Horehound. Also, check 'em out when the Woodie Awards airs on Dec. 4th on mtvU.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Brain of a Fish Album Review: Them Crooked Vultures

It's not often that you listen to a new album and it literally (well, almost) blows you away.  With the exception of the latest Mother Hips (my favorite band) release, Pacific Dust, it's been quite a while since new music has had that effect on me...until now, that is. And, if you're interested in having the same mind-blowing experience, I've got three words for you -- Them Crooked Vultures.

They're referred to as a supergroup since the band is comprised of Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) on vocals and guitar, John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) on bass guitar and keyboards, and Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) on drums.  In this case, the word super certainly applies in more ways than one. 

This self-titled debut album of theirs is chock full of aural pleasures reminiscent of each members' current and former bands….as well as some pretty obvious influences.  The album opener, "No One Loves Me & Neither Do I" is a sexy, badass tune that starts as pure Queens of the Stone Age, yet turns into a heavy, pounding Led Zeppelin-ish tune. "Elephants" has the raw, angry, tempo-changing riffs remindful of Led Zeppelin, as well.  "Scumbag Blues" sounds like a modern-day Cream. (Josh Homme's falsetto, Jack Bruce-ish vocals…the bone-crunching distorted guitar solo supported by Jones' solid bassline)..  "Warsaw, Or The First Breath You Take After You Give Up"  would be completely at home on a Doors album.  "Bandoliers" has some Foo Fighters-esque chorus melodies interwoven with some exotic guitar sounds.

At times, it seems that Grohl is channeling John Bonham. Grohl and Jones are so in sync, it sounds like they've been playing together for years. Jones' ripping bass lines along with Grohl's heavy-hitting, yet ultra-tasteful dynamic beats provide the stiff backbone for these tunes.

Aside from superb songwriting and top-notch musicianship, something that sets this album apart from others is the production. The album was self-produced by the band…and trust me, that's a good thing.  The production on most current albums make it difficult to assess the talent of these musicians since we're virtually unable to isolate each instrument. The overproduced tunes with layers upon candy-coated layers of guitar tracks almost making the whole band sound as if it's just a single sound.

In contrast, on  Them Crooked Vultures,nothing is overproduced. To the listener, it sounds like a band in a rehearsal studio simply playing their asses off and having a great time doing it. The listener can easily focus in on any one instrument at any time and be dumbstruck by the raw talent.  The best part though is when you listen to the band as a whole and how each instrument works with the other to produce a tight, ultra-collaborative album. 

Homme, Grohl, and Jones each shine at any given moment in any song.  Grohl, who played drums in Nirvana, pleasantly surprised us when he started Foo Fighters as not only a frontman, but a guitar player.  In Them Crooked Vultures, we're able to see him go back to his original instrument and showcase his talents like never before.  John Paul Jones, who we all know from Led Zeppelin, shows that he's still got it.  We're now able to realize how distinctive his bass lines are by hearing him play with yet another top-notch set of musicians.  Josh Homme is a fantastic vocalist and a kick-ass guitarist. I've only listened to the Lullabies to Paralyzealbum by Queens of the Stone Age thus far.  However, you can bet that I'll be checking out their other albums after hearing him in TCV.

I could go on and dissect each song separately, but I won't.  What I will do is tell you that, if you like good, smart, instantly-classic music, run to the store (or your computer)…don't walk…and buy this album! Oh yeah, and listen to it loud!

Monday, November 16, 2009

All-Swimupclusiveness = Happiness

Just yesterday, I returned from a fantastic vacation at a resort in the Dominican Republic. Spectacular beach, crystal clear ocean, fantastic pools of all shapes and sizes, and constant sunshine....what more could I ask for. Ironically though, the best part about this vacation was the fact that it was at an all-inclusive resort. I'm not sure how many of you have experienced a vacation at an all-inclusive resort...but you should know, it's nothing short of heaven right here on Earth.

I typically use vacations as a time to re-assess my life...pinpointing areas that I'd like to change...and also just simply thinking about what makes me happy. Well, I've decided that what makes me happy is....all-inclusiveness!  I mean, sure these vacations still cost money. After all, nothing's free in this world. But, the mere fact that I was able to lock up my wallet in my hotel room's safe for the week, yet still have unlimited food and drinks...I could barely comprehend it. I couldn't put it into words the joy that I felt. A stress-free week without worrying about money...ahhhh.

It led me to could I bring this feeling of pure satisfaction back to my everyday life? Well..hmmm..I guess I probably can't. Just imagine it though...what if we just paid a lump sum of money every year and were always able to go into any restaurant we chose...whenever we wanted...and ate and drank to our hearts' content? Not very realistic, I guess, but quite appealing.  I guess I just like the feeling of something being included. Makes me feel nice inside.

So, I began thinking about yet another facet of my vacation that made me happy....the swim-up bar! This too just might be difficult to take home with me. It does beg the question, however, why is it that things are more fun when you swim up to them? Laugh if you must. If you don't believe me, then try this...walk into a bar and order a drink. Now, go to that same bar, but instead of walking in, swim up to it and order your drink. Which was more fun? See what I mean?  Perhaps we could instate that pleasure-inducing mode of transportation somewhere in society. Swim-up banks maybe? Swim-up supermarkets? Maybe going to the dentist would be a more palatable experience if you could just swim up to the dentist chair.

These may be dreams for now, but at least I now know that I will ensure that my next vacation destination will be an all-inclusive, swim-up bar-inhabited resort. As for you...well you can read my all-inclusive blog. You navigate to the blog and can read all of these! Now, I just need to figure out how I can get you to swim up to it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Brain of a Fish Video Pick: Hot Video from Death Cab for Cutie

This is the second video that I've posted from Death Cab for they must be good. This is the new video for their single Meet Me on the Equinox, from The Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack. Great song...great video. Enjoy!

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