Friday, January 20, 2017

Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 154

The Time Mookie Was Honestly Kind Of Worried About Society

Ok, so.  I am NOT the most socially connected guy in the world. I read the news almost everyday, and I know what is generally going on in the world.  However, one could argue that living in my small town all these years has done little to - as they say - broaden my horizons. I'd argue against their statement and tell them to eff off, but dammit when it comes down to things they might be right. However I feel I'm probably more connected than most people.  I don't read Breitbart  for goodness sakes.

I'll say on record right now, that I am a REGISTERED Republican.  There. I said it.  Sometimes I'm not proud to admit it, but sweet Jesus can you blame me?  Have you seen the drivel that the Republican Party has put up for president the last 3 times?  Goodness.  2004 - Mitt Romney? Bitch please.  That guy is creepy AF.  2008 - John McCain. I'll be the first to say John McCain was semi-legit, but good lord he had that train wreck Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate - and the wheels came off that train in a hurry.  The ONLY thing going for that ticket was that it would have been the nicest set of calves ever to grace the office of the Vice Presidency. Is that sexist?  You bet your ass it is....but again...as I said...it was the ONLY thing going for it.  I have to admit though that I haven't seen Joe Biden's calves. Who knows....his calves might be sexy as hell.  I think that guy is hilariously awesome so I could be totally wrong here.  I'm pointing back-atcha Joe!  You suave mofo.

I'll go on record even further as a registered Republican and say that I have NOT voted for a Republican presidential candidate since George W. Bush.  (I'm sorry, for as much as people make fun of that guy and say how terrible he was...I think he was a good guy.) Yep.  I voted for Obama both times, and for some goddamn reason, I voted for Hillary this most recent time.  You might ask yourself, "Why would a registered Republican vote that way?" Well, I'll tell you.  Donald Trump is an EFFING CRACKPOT.

I know I'm not alone in this thinking, and most staunch Republicans even feel this way, which is SCARY since most staunch Republicans are wicked scary!  I'm what I consider to be a VERY left leaning Republican.  Not quite independent.  Sort of Democrat, but not really.  Why? I don't know. I just am.  Anyway..back to the crackpot.

Back when the caucuses and primaries started, I jokingly hoped that Donald Trump would win a few of the primaries and scare some people.  Mainly it was because the other Republican candidates were AWFUL. These guys were just pure swine and vermin.  Ted Cruz?  Seriously? He had a face that any grandmother would want to punch.  Based on what I heard about the guy and how disliked he was by EVERYONE HE EVER MET....I even have a feeling that his own mother probably didn't like him.

It goes without saying - but I have a twisted way of looking at things.  I sometimes root for the underdog when I REALLY shouldn't.  When I hear about a guy that escaped from jail?  I ROOT for that guy.  I don't want him to hurt anyone, but man!  THE THRILL OF THE CHASE! How long can they hide from the cops? It's so exciting!!!  So Donald Trump running for president? Sure! Secretly root for the guy! Why not?  It will last a month and be a bit of fun for awhile as the media goes berserk over him. Then it kept going. And going. And going. (Insert Harry Caray and Chris Berman in here) HOLY COW! HE! COULD! GO! ALL! THE! WAY!!!!  My wife and I sat on the couch like most of America on election night just waiting for the numbers to swing towards Hillary...because seriously...this is Donald Trump people were voting for.  And I'll be a monkey's motherf---ing uncle......they never did. I get why people don't like Hillary Clinton.  I'm not that stupid. I wouldn't trust her any further than I can throw her (and with my bad knee I shouldn't throw anybody - Ferris Bueller's Day Off), but she has the history and knowledge and the political backbone for this game. Based on that experience ALONE she SHOULD be a no-brainer here.  But apparently America wasn't up for her brand of fun, and they have opened up a can of crazy that is going to be unleashed this week.  Yep. This. Week.

This Friday.  January 20, 2017 - Donald John Trump - The guy who coined the goddamned phrase "You're Fired" on a reality TV show - is going to be President Of The United States of God Damned America.  At first I thought it wouldn't be that bad.  I told myself that I didn't think he could do THAT much damage and ruin things as much as people feared.  Most of the stuff he would have to do would need to go through the House and the Senate, and as I said before - most of the people in the House and Senate think he's looney tunes too.  But wow.  He's not even in office yet and he's ALREADY trying.  Worse yet....I don't know if the Republicans will stop him. I even get the idea that the people he's asking to be in his Cabinet think he is talking out of his ass too.  They have more than once tried to re-clarify something Big Don has tweeted and said "that wasn't what he meant," but then Big Don tweets back "No I mean the crazy shit I said.  Like, YOOOGELY. We're taking over GINA!"

Even worse, there is evidence to show he has totally been in cahoots with the Russians this whole time - before, during, and AFTER the election.  He may even have the head of the FBI hiding his shadiness too.  Tell me that shit isn't GD scary.

So, am I concerned?  Sure. Am I worried.  A little bit.  Is he going to nuke the world? No.  Will we be drinking vodka and kissing the ring on Vladimir Putin's hand in 4 years?  Wow. Maybe.  I do like vodka though.  It's too bad Jack Daniel's isn't their national drink though, because that would be pretty awesome.  Will our health care and financial standings be in shambles? Who knows.  I've seen people on Facebook who are counting the days until the NEXT presidential election, and think that they will be able to get Trump out of there quick, fast, and in a hurry.  Time will tell.

All I know is that we are definitely living through historical time period my friends, and we may witness some of the most craziest shit our country has ever seen in at least the next four years.  It will definitely be a dose of reality TV....that's for sure.  If/When we survive it all, I can't wait for the day when I can tell my grand kids that YES, I was alive during the most bat-shit time during our country's history and survived it all.  That will be quite the bedtime story for sure.

Buckle up kids. It will be a ride.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Workaholics Season 7 Premiere TONIGHT!!


Adam, Blake, and Ders are back for one last season of Workaholics, starting tonight on Comedy Central 10/9c.  I'm sure Karl, Montez, Alice, Jillian, Waymond, and Bill will be along for the ride as well.  Let's hope everyone gets weird.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 153

The Time Mookie Saw Bryan Adams In Concert

Bryan Adams
Date:  September 18, 2016
Place:  U.S. Cellular Center - Cedar Rapids, IA
Time: 7:30pm

Let me start by saying right now:  If you say Bryan Adams is awful: I will fight you.
This guy is AWESOME and EASILY one of the best things to have ever came from Canada. I mean he is better than maple syrup.  He's that good.  Bryan Fn Adams is the real deal.

I had heard over the summer that Bryan was coming to the area, and I got excited because this guy has contributed heavily to the unofficial Soundtrack To My Life (everyone has one). Unfortunately when I saw how much the tickets were going for, I was immediately discouraged.  I don't drop big dollars anymore for concert tickets like I did back in the day, and while these weren't crazy expensive - they were definitely more than I wanted to spend. So....I accepted I probably wouldn't be able to go and more or less forgot about it.

Fast forward to September 17th, and I was perusing Facebook on a boring Saturday evening when I saw post from an old high school friend that said: "I have Bryan Adams concert tickets to give away if anyone is interested.  PM me."  HOLY SANTA CLAUS SHIT. A few traded messages later (one of which said something like "Are you serious? Free free?) and BOOM- I had a pair of FREE tickets to see Bryan Adams. WOW.  You want to know the worst part?  I couldn't find anyone to go with me!  I spent all Sunday afternoon asking everyone I knew (that I would consider going with):

My Wife - She wanted to, but had oodles of work to do.  
My pal Rick* - Who I totally thought would go - Couldn't go. 
My pal Junior* - A common concert companion - Couldn't go.
Both my sisters - Couldn't go due to church group. C'mon! WWJD?  Jesus would totally go.
My MOM - She said no thanks because she was afraid she wouldn't know any songs.
Not bad seats for free!

GAHH!  Finally my wife suggested I take my oldest son who has NEVER been to such a thing.  He was apprehensive as he isn't much for loud things and he wasn't sure if he'd even like the music.  After letting him borrow my Bryan Adams CD's for a little while and saying he could use some noise-cancelling earmuffs, he agreed and we were off to the show.

Once we got to the venue and obtained our tickets from the will-call window, we were set.  I was totally expecting nose-bleed seats as the tickets were free, but lo and behold - they were actually pretty damn good seats on the left side of the stage! The stage was actually set up in the middle of the arena, instead of at one far end.  This created a smaller but more intimate and engaging seating arrangement. Finally at about 7:35, the lights went down and Bryan Adams and his band took the stage.

The entire band walked onto the stage all wearing dark jeans, black suit coats, and white dress shirts.  He kicked off the show with Do What You Gotta Do from his newest album - Get Up! and the band sounded AWESOME.  His lead guitarist Keith Scott and drummer Mickey Curry have been with him for decades, so they sound tight as hell.  Then he started ticking off song after song that spanned his career: Can't Stop This Thing We Started, Run To You, Heaven, Kids Wanna Rock, and of course Summer of '69 - just to name a few.  Whenever he did a song from his new album during the show (he did 3 or 4), it often would be accompanied by a video playing on the screen behind the stage, which definitely added to the show because it made the unknown song more entertaining.  

What I found enjoyable was his playful banter with the audience between each song.  It was entertaining, and made him come across as warm and genuinely happy to be performing. One funny moment was prior to playing the song Somebody, he told about how they had made a new video for the song to show during this tour, and had encouraged fans to submit "head shots" to the website to be shown in the video.  He jokingly admitted that there were some head shots submitted that were definitely "adult" in nature and were definitely "not what they asked for." But thanked them for their contribution anyway.

During several songs he would encourage the audience to sing certain parts of the song and it got the crowd fired up big time.  During Summer of '69, the audience pretty much sang the entire first verse, which it seemed like Bryan enjoyed (see sample video).  It gives me goosebumps when that sort of stuff happens because it seems amazing to me that everyone knows the words to these songs, and THIS GUY is standing there directing it, listening to it, and singing it as well.  That has to be an overwhelming feeling for a performer the first time it happens.

As the show was coming to a close, he FINALLY played Cuts Like a Knife and the crowd ate it up.  For me, that song and the song Somebody were the highlights of the whole show. I'd listen to those two songs every day for the rest of my life if I had to.

When he came back for an encore, he did six more songs - the last three were him alone doing an amazing solo acoustic performance.  The closing song was All For Love -  which he hilariously introduced by saying how he had originally sang it with Sting and Rod Stewart. He then proceeded to gesture towards the wings of the stage and said "I'd like to introduce Sting and Rod Stewart.... but they aren't here tonight."  It should go without saying he handled the song just fine all by himself.


All in all, it was an amazing show.  The next time he comes to town, I will definitely be buying tickets.  I also highly recommend his newest album Get Up!  It's quite good and a fun listen.  What am I saying?  All of his stuff is good. 

SET LIST
1.  Do What Ya Gotta Do
2.  Can't Stop This Thing We Started
3.  Don't Even Try
4.  Run to You
5.  Go Down Rockin'
6.  Heaven
7.  Kids Wanna Rock
8.  It's Only Love
9.  This Time
10.  You Belong to Me
11.  Summer of '69
12.  Thought I'd Died and Gone to Heaven (acoustic with Keith Scott)
13.  When You're Gone (acoustic with Keith Scott)
14.  (Everything I Do) I Do It for You
15.  If Ya Wanna Be Bad Ya Gotta Be Good
16.  Back to You
17.  We Did It All
18.  Somebody
19.  I'll Always Be Right There
20.  Please Forgive Me
21.  Cuts Like a Knife
22.  18 Til I Die
23.  The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You

Encore:
24.  Brand New Day
25.  C'mon Everybody (Eddie Cochran cover)
26.  All Shook Up  (Elvis Presley cover)
27.  She Knows Me (acoustic)
28.  Straight From the Heart  (acoustic)
29.  All for Love (acoustic)

*- Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent
Video excerpts from YouTube - Bryan Adams Rocks Big Ben Live
Photo Credits: Mookie5150