Monthly Archives: July 2013

Pandora Does Stand-Up

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It’s been awhile since I updated the Pandora running challenge, and for that I apologize. To give you an idea of what I’ve been running to, here’s an update:

After Tuesday’s ridiculous heat, I decided to take off Wednesday and try to stay cool rather than burn outside again. Thursday’s 5-mile run outside again was crazy hot, and after that I gave up. Friday I ran on the treadmill for 6 miles inside the gym, Saturday was 3-mile outside run that was cut short from a heavy rain shower and Sunday I went back inside for another 6 miles on the treadmill. While I hate the treadmill, it’s becoming the only place where I can run a decent distance without dying.

Those last four runs gave me a third straight 30-mile week and put me at 97 miles for July. I reached 100 with a 3-mile run on Monday in the heat, but it wasn’t bad because all I wanted to do was 3 miles to hit my goal. Huzzah!

During those runs, I listened to one station only — Comedy.

 

D.L. Hughley — “The World Is Different”

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I started listening to this station on Thursday after discovering that Pandora had a comedy station. I figured “What the hell?” and off I went galloping to stand-up comedians doing their bits.

This station is the best thing I’ve heard since I started the Pandora challenge. The Tony Kornheiser Show podcast, my regular go-to entertainment when running, is 100 percent talk radio, so to listen to people talking rather than music actually made the runs feel like normal.

 

Doug Benson — “Boo and Hiss/Drinking”

Comedy Central Live at Gothem 2009

After a run, I go back and review the Pandora playlist and record what I listened to so I can later write these posts. On Thursday, the first day I listened to the comedy station, my phone decided to die multiple times, shutting on and off and thereby resetting my Pandora playlist before I could write down which comedians played on that run.

So everything I have listed today is from Friday’s run. I decided to replay the station as a way to get a comedy playlist and because it felt good to listen to talk on a run. What I didn’t expect was to become addicted to this station even after Friday’s run.

 

Jim Gaffigan — “4 Kids”

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My gym has dozens of treadmills, and it also has a “Cinema Room” with three treadmills, a couple of stationary bikes and some elliptical machines in a dark room with a movie projected onto a wall. Every day a different movie is shown.

Friday’s movie was “Good Will Hunting,” and there was nobody in the Cinema Room, so I ran in there to try it out. With no lights, no sweating people around you and an air vent blowing directly on you, it’s a 10-degree cooler run than a regular treadmill workout. The only issue is that “Good WIll Hunting” was playing, a fine movie for a boring Saturday afternoon TBS broadcast, but not anything I’d watch on my own.

(By the way, the Comedy station plays a TON of Jim Gaffigan, which isn’t a bad thing.)

 

Daniel Tosh — “Two”

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After the “Dem apples” scene, I decided to go back to Pandora and the Comedy station. In the process, I did the one thing that you can’t do on a treadmill, and that’s drift. One step too far to the right side of the machine put my on my ass in a completely dark, completely empty room. Thankfully there wasn’t anyone around to see that happen.

Most of the comedians that are played on the Comedy station I have heard of or seen them perform on a Comedy Central special. In high school, my friends and I would watch the late-night stand-up specials regularly, but that was 10 years ago. These setlists are all from current shows, and it was good to hear new stuff from comedians I watched years ago.

(The Comedy station also plays a lot of Daniel Tosh. While unwatchable on Tosh.0, he’s a lot better on Pandora.)

 

Louis CK — “Suck A Bag Of Dicks”

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I know some readers are huge Louis CK fans and love everything he does. I like him, but I guess I don’t know enough about his stuff to love him like others do. The Bag of Dicks bit, though, could change that.

Maybe it was because I on mile 5 at a 7 minute/mile pace, but I couldn’t stop laughing at this bit. It was by far the funniest one I heard during Friday’s run, and probably through the entire weekend. I’ve never seen Louis and I’ve only watched one of his stand-up specials, but maybe I should find some more of his comedy.

 

Matt Kirshen

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I have this theory that it’s OK for people from New Orleans to joke about Hurricane Katrina, but when other people do, especially people who live in non-hurricane threatened areas like Atlanta or Los Angeles — although California does have its own shit to deal with — it’s offensive.

So when Matt Kirshen, a 50-pound British comedian who starred in NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” in 2007, started going on about Katrina, I was ready to hate it. But I didn’t!

“It’s already New Orleans, so when they rebuild it, what are they going to call it now? They should rename is like a laundry detergent. New Improved Orleans Ultra…Whiter than ever…that’s a lovely reaction. First a boo, then a laugh, then a little clap…like my sex life.”

And what happened, then? Well, in Baton Rouge they say – that Brian’s Katrina tolerance grew three sizes that day.

I like to think I’m progressing.

 

So that was Friday’s Comedy channel. Like I said, I also listened to the station on Saturday and Sunday, and those playlists featured a lot of the same comedians like Jim Gaffigan and Daniel Tosh. I’m going to resume listening to other stations from now on, but it was good to hear something funny for a few days.

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Douche of the Week: The Name’s Danger, Carlos Danger

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Being a douche isn’t a 100 percent bad thing. These terrible people bring a lot of good into this world, either by people making fun of them or by their own stupidity. So this week Briantology recognizes this week’s douches who helped make the world a better place somehow. Take a bow.

Third Place: Robin #Thicke

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I don’t know much, if anything, about Robin Thicke, so I can’t really say for certain if he is a douche or not. Though the uncensored version of his “Blurred Lines” video has blogs like Jezebel declaring him guilty of douche accusations, and I tend not to argue with those evil, spiteful bitches on Jezebel.

thirdBut “Blurred Lines,” the edited version or not, has spawned some fantastic spoofs that are arguably better than the original (except for the boobies part). I watched 10 spoof videos the other night back-to-back, and while Katie maybe was going deaf, maybe was going blind by hearing 20 minutes of the same song, we both cracked up at some of the videos, especially the Jimmy Kimmell version.

Kimmel is no stranger to great music video spoofs as his classic “I’m Fucking Ben Affleck” still is one of my favorite late night TV moments.

A close second is The Pet Collective’s parody “Furred Lines.” LOOK AT THE PUPPIES!!!!

I literally could watch these all day, but there are two more awards to hand out.

 Second Place: The Royal Baby

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Is it wrong to proclaim a 5-day-old as Douche of the Week runner-up? Maybe there should be an age requirement for this prestigious award. Plus it’s not like Prince George has done anything to earn any sort of recognition. But that’s where the Internet comes in.second

I’m no reddit expert or even seasoned veteran. I go on there occasionally when I’m bored at work and browse through the r/aww pictures. But with the Royal Baby’s birth this week, redditors powered up their Photoshop and got to work on some great baby farks.

Obvious to those who know my love of the “Lion King,” my favorite is clearly this one:

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but there are other great ones around, too.

So while the Royal Baby created a media frenzy, he also put some good Photoshop skills to work.

First Place: Anthony Weiner 

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Anthony Weiner is no stranger to Briantology’s Douche of the Week award. In fact, he was in the inaugural class back in 2011 after his first sexting scandal. After he resigned from Congress, we declared victory over the disgraced Representative, but like a phoenix rising from the ashes, dick pics couldn’t keep Weiner down the first time.

firstBut the current New York City mayoral candidate got caught with his pants down and with iMessage up as more sexting scandals surfaced. Yes, only Weiner could make America forget about Geraldo’s disgusting selfie. But Briantology comes not to bury Weiner, but to praise him. The evil that men do is remembered after their deaths, but the good is often buried with him. And awesome names like Carlos Danger will live in infamy.

Carlos Danger is the pseudonym Weiner used in his latest sexting scandal, and that name has generated a buzz around the Internet as everyone is generating their own sexting alias (if you get a pic from Ernesto Calamity, that’s from me. You’re welcome).

People are sharing their names on Facebook and Twitter, which sort of ruins the anonymity of a pseudonym. But it brought some humor to the week, so thank you, Anthony Weiner Carlos Danger. You are the first repeat Douche of the Week. Keep your head up and smile for the camera!

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Pandora Goes To Bollywood

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You know you’re in the bowels of summer in the South’s hell when you suffer your first heat-related problem. That happened Tuesday after the afternoon run.

I’m working on an internal employee video at work and spend a few hours Tuesday afternoon outside shooting B-roll in temperatures that hovered in the mid-90s. Couple that with a 5-mile run a few hours later, and I was left spinning and exhausted the rest of the night.

My savior!

My savior!

A couple of hours under the ceiling fan and about five Flavor-Ices — next to sno-balls, the greatest flavored ice supplement on the market — later and I was feeling fine.

Still, heat strokes, even if they’re mild, suck. So stay safe, stay hydrated and file a complaint with HR for your bosses forcing you to work outside in mid-90s heat all afternoon.

As for the soundtrack to that run, Pandora played Bollywood, and it was amazing.

Love Aaj Kal — “Twist”

Full disclosure: I know nothing about Bollywood entertainment — music, movies or otherwise. I saw “Slumdog Millionaire,” and that’s where my Indian culture knowledge ends.

I landed on the station because I hit the wrong button twice when trying to find the station and this is what came up. It was hot and I was ready to go, so instead of messing around with my iPhone more, I just went with it.

This was my introduction to Bollywood music and OH MY GOD BOLLYWOOD MUSIC KICKS ASS!!!! No, seriously, listen to the song. It’s got arguably the highest energy levels out of any song that has been on the Pandora challenge. Plus, about half of the lyrics are in English (which I wasn’t expecting), creating the awesome “We’ll be singing dancing hot romancing/Sone mone, mallo malli kar gaye talli” transition.

Song Energy: 9/10
Run Motivation: 8/10
Overall: A

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi — “Dance Pe Chance”

Hopefully I have this right because I’m no Bollywood expert, but these songs all come from soundtracks to Bollywood movies. Bollywood artists don’t make singles like Eminem or Justin Bieber. I found this interesting.

A.R. Rahman — “Jai Ho”

I’m one mile in and starting to feel like shit. This probably would have been a good time to turn around, but nothing about this run was smart.

Billu Barber — “Love Mera Hit Hit”

At least the playlist seemed fitting. The crazy hot temperatures and Hindi beat make you feel like you’re in India.

Akon — “Chammak Challo”

Wait, seriously? Akon? The guy who sang “Smack That?”

In the song info, Pandora included that Akon was born in St. Louis but grew up in Senegal before his family moved back to the United States when he was seven. He’s best known for his rap music (Konvicted is one of my favorite rap albums that I own), but he started doing Bollywood music in 2011.

Like every other song in this playlist, the energy is ridiculous, the lyrics you presume are great because you only understand 50 percent of them and it makes you want to keep moving. But it’s by Akon, which just puts this song above all the others.

Song Energy: 9/10
Run Motivation: 9/10
Overall: A

Panjabi MC — “Beware of the Boys”

One mile left, and it would be the slowest mile I’ve run in more than seven months since moving to Baton Rouge.

Sonu Nigam, Javed Ali — “Nagada Nagada”

I wasn’t in any danger of passing out or needing medical attention (in case my mom is reading this and freaking out) but it just sucked out there. You want to stop, but then you realize you’re still a half mile from the house and you have to get home someway. You might as well keep running and get out of the heat as soon as possible.

Robert Uhlmann — “Say Na, Say Na”

Like other Pandora stations have done, I was halfway expecting Bollywood to play high energy songs throughout the run and then end on a slow ballad — if there are even any Bollywood ballads. But that was not the case. The energy stayed consistent throughout the entire 40-plus minute run, even during the final 9:23 mile.

Unlike the other songs, this one has almost no English, save for a couple of lines in the chorus. More English would have been nice, but this isn’t music sung for English-only speaking people. I’m a guest in their cultural realm, so I can adapt to it.

And why the hell didn’t I get married in a white suit and pink floral shirt?!?

Song Energy: 8/10
Run Motivation: 7/10
Overall: A-

Bollywood music rocks! It’s not something I’m going to put on at work, but my first experience with it was eye-opening and exciting. This weekend I might have to browse Netflix and see what movies I’m missing out on.

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Pandora Goes British

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Welcome back to the Pandora challenge! It’s been a few days since I updated the challenge, not because I wasn’t running, but because of the weather. Rain threatened Friday’s run, so I went sans delicate little iPhone that dies every time a drop of water comes near it. That doesn’t mean I had no music as “Blurred Lines” got stuck in my head and wouldn’t leave.

Speaking of “Blurred Lines,” check out Vampire Weekend’s cover of it. I saw it this weekend and figured I’d share it with you all.

Sunday’s run was also without my iPhone because of a threat of rain, and that threat turned into full-on airstrikes as storms forced me to turn around after one mile.

But we were back on the challenge on Monday.

England has owned this summer, especially this past month. It started with a Brit — Justin Rose — winning the U.S. Open, America’s golf title, in June. For those who aren’t big golf fans, a non-American, especially a smelly European, winning the U.S. Open is a huge deal. Then Andy Murray won Wimbledon, giving the kingdom its first Wimbledon winner since 1936. This weekend was the British Open golf tournament. And now the royal baby has finally arrived, ending nine months of speculation over whether it’s a boy or girl but not yet ending what the prince will be named. (If God cares about royalty, they’ll name it Prince Marmaduke.)

So it only seemed fitting that Monday’s Pandora playlist be devoted to the kingdom across the pond. For the first time since 1812, the British invade Louisiana.

 

The Kinks — “You Really Got Me”

Previously on the Pandora challenge, the Judas Priest station played Van Halen’s version of “You Really Got Me.” Now I get The Kinks’ original recording of the song. So which do I prefer?

To be honest, they’re both pretty much the same. I didn’t realize before how similar the sound is in both songs. I’m not even sure why Van Halen remade the song if they didn’t change any of the sound with the electric guitar, drum beat or anything. Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” sounds different from Nine Inch Nails, Limp Bizkit’s “Faith” sounds nothing like George Michael and the above Vampire Weekend’s “Blurred Lines” is a different song than Robin Thicke’s version.

In this instance, you can’t beat the original, though.

Song Energy: 6/10
Run Motivation: 7/10
God Saved the Queen?: Yes
Overall: A

 

The Beatles — “All My Loving”

I was kind of surprised the British Invasion station didn’t start with the Beatles, but I guess No. 2 isn’t a bad spot.

 

Dave Clark Five — “Glad All Over”

 

The Zombies — “She’s Not There”

I got excited at first that the song was “Zombie” by the Cranberries, but nope, it wasn’t.

 

Peter & Gordon — “A World Without Love”

I’m starting to doze off now. I thought invasions had more energy than this.

 

The Beatles — “I’m Only Sleeping”

Beatles song No. 2.

 

The Beach Boys — “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”

Oh, Britain. You try so hard to be in the spotlight. Your one good tennis player wins his home tournament, a British golfer has the lead after three rounds of the British Open and your royal family grabs all the headlines for the future king’s birth. And then just like 237 years ago, America takes everything away from you.

American Phil Mickelson comes from behind to steal the British Open from Englishman Lee Westwood, the latest worst American alive George Zimmerman saves a family in a car wreck and steals the nation’s attention and the Beach Boys come from nowhere to assert their American music in your Pandora playlist.

I have no idea why Pandora decided to play The Beach Boys in this playlist because, as you would expect from a British Invasion station, every song was by a British group or musician. Like our Founding Fathers breaking out of King George III’s shackles, Pandora revolts against the tyranny of British music.

Song Energy: 5/10
Run Motivation: 6/10
God Saved the Queen?: THE QUEEN IS DEAD! MWAHAHAHA
Overall: A+++++++++

 

George Harrison — “Here Comes The Sun”

Another repeat song as The Beatles version was featured on the Old Guy Radio station. But this one is live and just George Harrison.

 

The Who — “My Generation”

I’m really glad this station got out of the British pop soundtrack and included some rock music. I was hoping the Rolling Stones would get on this playlist, but alas, they were left off. So I’ll settle with The Who, which isn’t a huge sacrifice considering I own a few Who CDs.

During the run, I caught myself wondering what original Who fans, fans who started listening to the band in the ‘60s and ‘70s and are now in their 50s and 60s, think of this song. Do you still hope you die before you get old? What is your opinion of your generation? Because by all accounts, your generation is sort of ruining this country.

But that’s way more political than I want to be on this blog. The song, like I said, is great. It’s nice to get a more rock vibe and higher energy involved in the run.

Song Energy: 7/10
Run Motivation: 7/10
God Saved the Queen?: Bloody yes
Overall: A

 

Eric Burdon — “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”

From The Who’s energy to this. Sigh. Pandora doubts my soul’s good intentions, I suppose.

 

 

The Yardbirds — “For Your Love”

 

The Beatles — “It Won’t Be Long”

Beatles song No. 3. Run almost done. It won’t be long.

 

Manfred Mann — “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”

And this is the final song of the British Invasion run. Remember when I said I was getting tired of the pop sound in this playlist? Well, there isn’t a more poppy song than “Do Wah Diddy Diddy.”

This was a perfect way to end a bad run. For some reason, Pandora can’t keep the pace to the end. This is another prime example.

The energy is fine, but this could be one of the worst songs to listen to when you’re struggling to finish a bad run. It has absolutely no motivation whatsoever.

Song Energy: 5/10
Run Motivation: 2/10
God Saved the Queen?: Nope. Congrats, Charles. You’re finally king.
Overall: D

 

***BONUS TRACK***

Queen — “Bicycle Race”

I couldn’t leave on “Do Wah Diddy Diddy,” so when I got in, I opened iTunes and played my favorite Queen song. And finally, all is good again.

 

Overall, I was pretty disappointed with the playlist. I figured by British Invasion, there would be a lot of songs from the 1960s, but there’s so much good British rock music from the ‘70s and ‘80s that I figured any British station would play at least one or two of them. Nope.

During the July 4 playlist, I got American rock, country, blues and pop music.That didn’t happen with the British Invasion. The highest moment of the station was when Pandora played an American band’s song. Another point for America. USA! USA! USA!

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Douche of the Week: From Johnny Football to Un-grumpy Angela

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Douche of the Week was a crowd favorite a few years back, and with the blog’s resurrection, I wanted to bring back this weekly column as well. In times like these, a weekly recap of the world’s worst people is something that brings people together.

Although it’s been a long time since I recognized the biggest douches in the news, but there couldn’t have been a better time to bring back the award than this week. We’ve had the Zimmerman verdict, the Rolling Stone cover, Johnny Manziel-gate, RGIII sexts and Texas capital tampon searches. All of these deserve to have some douche notoriety – and some were recognized – but these three are the biggest douches of the week.

Third Place: Johnny Manziel

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I liked Johnny Manziel last year. I rooted for him to beat Alabama, laughed at the Scooby Doo costume, pulled for him to win the Heisman and chuckled at the douche bag pictures he posted on Instagram throughout the summer. I’m done with him now, though.

thirdManziel was kicked out of the Manning Passing Academy last weekend for missing a required meeting. Reasons for the absence have not been confirmed but they range from a cellphone dying in the middle of the night, general fatigue from a busy summer, shacking up with a Nicholls State girl the night before and, the likeliest reason, drinking so much that he had a crazy hangover the next day.

I don’t care why he missed it. He’s a DOW nominee because of this: On Wednesday at SEC Media Days, Thursday at SEC Media Days, Manziel took the “I’m 20 in college, I’m allowed to do this” stance. On Thursday, A.J. McCarron, Manziel’s roommate at the Manning Passing Academy, gave his 2 cents, and I agreed with everything he said:

Wait? I agree with and respect an Alabama player’s stance?!?! DAMN YOU, MANZIEL!!!!!!

Later Wednesday, Manziel, who blamed his missing the meeting on fatigue from a busy month, flew from Alabama to L.A. to go to the athlete suckoff known as the ESPYs. McCarron, meanwhile, scoreboards him with:

Point McCarron. That’s twice you put me on McCarron’s side, Johnny. Douche!

Second Place: ABC Executives

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Elisabeth Hasselbeck was a controversial figure on The View for her politics, but at least her political opinions never caused crazy people to nearly kill others (Though official numbers are not in yet). Replacing her with Jenny McCarthy, though, is a disaster waiting to happen.

secondSure, McCarthy’s resume proves she’s a natural on reality TV. Who could forget her epic performances on MTV’s “Singled Out?” But giving her a national stage to spew her unreasoned, non-medically based opinions on whether children should be vaccinated will create more problems than good.

McCarthy has waged a long campaign against vaccination and in favor of the theory that vaccines can lead to autism in children. The theory has been widely discredited, and its critics say that it endangers children by leaving them vulnerable to disease.

So why is this bad? Can’t people voice their own opinions? Sure, but ABC execs also must be mindful that idiots watch their shows — and every other show on TV; it’s not limited to “The View’s” audience — and those idiots will follow McCarthy’s horrible advice and put their children in danger.

The LA Times sums it up best:

This is quackery begotten of fraudulence, exacerbated by mistrust of science and panic over a disorder that upends parents’ lives and their hopes for their children. Add celebrity to that already combustible mix, and you get a fiasco that has already opened the door to the resurgence of preventable childhood diseases such as measles and pertussis.

Is it too late to bring Elisabeth Hasselbeck back?

First Place: Angela Corey’s Smile

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This was the most obvious winner for the Douche of the Week. If this was horse racing, she’d be Secretariat. If this was golf, she’d be Tiger Woods in the 2000 U.S. Open. If this was the BCS championship, she’d be Alabama. ***Tear***

firstAngela Corey is not the DOW because she lost the case against George Zimmerman. I won’t voice my opinion because I won’t litter the Internet with more uneducated thoughts on the case. It’s not even Corey who is being recognized here, it’s that bullshit smile.

When the verdict was announced Saturday, Katie and I were watching the latest Dexter episode, so by the time it was over, the press conferences had started. As the seemingly happy lady prattled on, I asked Katie if she was the one who started the trial with the “Knock, Knock” joke.

Her response: Uh, that’s not the defense. That’s the prosecution.

WHAT!?!?! You mean that woman who’s grinning ear to ear is the one who LOST?

I don’t like it when players on LSU don’t look sad enough after losing a game. Or when they go up and shake the other team’s hand. Her job, though, isn’t as trivial as sports. Her job actually makes a difference to the world, and when she fails at her job, the last thing she should be doing is smiling. At least show some fake sadness, or get him to fill in…

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But don’t smile like that after a big loss, please.

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