Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Annual performance review

I just received my annual spousal performance appraisal for 2007. There was plenty of room for improvement.

Here are some highlights:

Q- Does the employee introduce useful ideas, concepts and techniques?

A- Only if channel surfing, passing gas and spending money are useful techniques.

Q- Does the employee set proper priorities, manage time effectively and meet goals?

A- The employee is highly effective in avoiding dishes, laundry and general housekeeping. His time is generally spent watching Gonzaga and Washington State basketball, or trying to decide if Number Six on Battlestar Galactica is hotter than Seven of Nine on Star Trek Voyager. He also spends many hours weighing which ``Desperate Housewife'' he would most like ``to do.''

Q-Does the employee choose the most appropriate procedures to follow in situations?

A-Faced with a kitchen full of food, and the need to feed the children, the employee will often head to Subway or Taco Bell in order to avoid making a mess that he will inevitably avoid cleaning up. His solution to normal fiscal limitations is to buy something, anything.

Q-Does the employee perform job duties without constant supervision?

A-The employee likes to initiate ambitious home improvement projects, and then abandon them when half completed. He does not fold or put away laundry, empty the dishwasher or wipe off counter tops. He spends much of his time in the bathroom, where supervision is not physically possible.

Q-Does the employee work well with others and express thoughts clearly?

A-The employee expresses himself very clearly, although it is unclear if any actual ``thoughts'' are involved. He believes that he has a monopoly on using public roadways, refers to other motorists as ``The Roman Emperor Dickheadicus Rex,'' and draws philosophic inspiration from reruns of ``Beavis and Butt-head.''

Q-Does the employee motivate co-workers and subordinates and foster positive morale?

A-At youth sports events, the employee is often heard denigrating the referees as felons. He's been observed hiding in his vehicle to smoke cigars during games. He likes to rent violent zombie videos for family night viewing, and taught his sons the lyrics to ``Baby Got Back'' when they were in grade school.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

This. Is. Spokaaaaaaane!

I was just watching the movie ``300'' for the second time last night and it struck me: While many Americans who watch the movie would identify our nation with the tough Spartans who sacrifice everything for freedom, we are actually the Persians. We are the rich, decadent invaders with the massive military and the thirst to convert people to our way of life. That's discouraging, especially since the Spartans have better abs.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rock On

I've been thinking recently about the crucial place that hard-driving rock and roll songs play in our lives. What is the ultimate party mix tape? Everyone has a different one, but I assume most of yours are lame. Here are my choices for songs that prove you are not a member of the living dead.

1, ``Super Freak,'' by Rick James. This a very special song, the kind you don't bring home to mother. You can substitute MC Hammer's ``Can't Touch This,'' if you must. Either one gets you off the couch.
2, ``My Sharona,'' the Knack, glandular rock at its best. I can also appreciate those souls who prefer the less refined ``Good Girls Don't.''
3, ``Secret Agent Man,'' the old rocker is funny and slightly cool at the same time.
4, ``One Way or Another,'' by Blondie. I stand ready at all times for Debbie Harry to ``getcha, getcha, getcha, getcha'' me.
5, ``Born To Run, the Boss,. a song meant to be screamed at the top of your lungs during the drive down Highway 195 between Spokane and Pullman. Collectors of oddities might prefer the faux-Richard Nixon version, as performed on ``Saturday Night Live.''
6, ``Twist and Shout,'' the Beatles version. Listening to John Lennon's exuberant singing, and the lads' playing, brings tears to your eyes. Baby, we are gonna work it all out.
7, ``Rock and Roll,'' Led Zeppelin, one of the most straight-ahead rock chargers of all time, a mix of guitar, drums and vocals that we should shoot off into deep space to warn any alien cultures that they better not mess with us.
8, ``I Want You to Want Me,'' Cheap Trick. Guitar warrior Rick Neilsen launched a million air-guitar acolytes with his riffs, and the overwrought chorus of fans on the record is a perfect illustration of how rock moves us.
9, ``You Really Got Me,'' Van Halen. Proof that your front man can be a blissful idiot and a genius at the same time.
10, ``Start Me Up,'' Rolling Stones. I saw the Rolling Stones perform in Missoula last year, and they opened the concert, as they do most shows, with this anthem. Enuf said.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Reality show idea

With the writer's strike dragging on, I have plenty of time to come up with foolproof reality TV show ideas. This morning, I had a real brainstorm: ``Would You Kill For A Night With Jessica Alba?''
In this competition, contestants would provide detailed scenarios of how they would commit the perfect homicide in order to win a night with the comely vixen. The plans would be judged by a team of homicide detectives, along with Jessica, and the winner would get just what the title says.

On a related note, I've been thinking of putting together a band. If it's heavy metal, we'll call it ``Pistolwhip.'' If it's rap, it will be ``Pstulwip.'' Alt-rock will be ``pistol.whip.'' Country will be ``Pistol Whip''

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Year's Party

There has been a request for information about our annual New Year's Party. There's not much to tell. There was lots of beer, wine and blue martinis. Of course, I wore the Vegas Jacket. Or to be more precise, the Vegas Jacket wore me.

Any man who wears the Jacket is a complete dancing machine, and we all danced a lot. I played my new favorite song, Rick James' ``Superfreak,'' over and over again on a pathetic excuse for a stereo. We also played some disco and soul music that I bought for the party after the selection of 70s classics that i played last year was roundly criticized. Who doesn't love ``My Sharona,'' I ask you?

Being Greek, I got a little carried away and was doing the bump with many of the ladies in the room. Our hyper-competitive friend Min decided that she had to give me a bigger bump than I gave her, and I was nearly thrown against the wall.

There was pogo sticking in the gym (John is the champ). We also had a beer pong table up, and Ann and I beat the Lorenz's in a tight match.

There was lots of excellent food that people brought. We had champagne at midnight, and also set off those popper things that fill the air with the smell of gunpowder.

Some of the kids played ``Guiter Hero,'' and we danced to their version of ``You Really Got Me.'' That got me so nostalgic for Van Halen that I ran out and bought their greatest hits shortly after and have been rocking to ``Hot for Teacher'' all week.

Unfortunately, I did not have time to put up the portable stripper pole that we used last year. That was all for the best, as there really isn't enough clearance for a person to do a full 360 around the pole without hitting a wall, and I hate it when the guests bleed on my floors.

I have a strict ``no cameras'' policy at all parties, so there are no photos of the festivities. But this is an excellent opportunity for another file photo of the Vegas Jacket.