How a wedding DJ is like a Toyota Camry

Photo credit: Wikipedia

I have never been to a wedding and said the words, “That DJ was great!” Never. I may have said they were fine or okay or even good, but they have never been Tony the Tiger great.

When throwing a wedding, most couples want to make sure they are covering their bases. They want a certain atmosphere and the ability to have slow songs along with the greatest hits from the 80’s. A DJ seems like a sound choice in this regard, as they can do this very request by the power of techno wizardry known as an MP3.

You make a playlist with them, tell them to do some slow songs, and we’re off to the races, right?

I can count on one hand the number of times a DJ did what they were told. I’ve witnessed the flat out rejection of the playlist as they begin to spin their beats to the horror of the audience as they witness the murder of music right before their ears. I have bared witness to an empty dance floor, crying out in pain, as people leave the dining hall to get away from the loud music.

The reason behind why Jack the Rapper does this is because most wedding DJs think they are club DJs. They think they’re either Dead Mouse or Daft Punk as they get that spinning globe thing out and find out that the reverb slider exists.

How does a wedding DJ have anything to do with a Toyota Camry?

The Toyota Camry is the right of passage of many a new driver in the U.S. as they are safe, reliable, and safe. It’s a formula that cannot go wrong, until someone throws a body kit on it or they give the car 20″ rims. When the vanilla beige flavor that is the Camry is violated is when you begin to take note of it. The Camry looks like it’s trying to keep a very short skirt on without flashing anyone. It just looks like it’s in pain.

That unnecessary styling on top of the Camry is the DJ at a wedding.

Most weddings are rather plain. They are safe in their design and reliable venues are typically chosen along with your choice of beef, chicken, or fish because vegans can eat a bug and die, right? Well, no, they can’t… have to think of a new analogy, wait for it… They could not eat a B12 vitamin and die, right?

Getting back on track, the wedding is usually a safe, vanilla experience, which is fine as there is nothing wrong with vanilla; I mean it is the most popular flavor in the world. When you throw a wedding DJ into the mix, it’s like seeing a Toyota Camry in candy apple red, it could possibly be okay or it could be a train wreck.

When planning a wedding, make sure you do two things:

-Test the DJ prior to hiring them, make them say the names of the wedding party before the wedding day (because they will screw that up), and then don’t hire them

-Instead hire a live musician who has an iPod, the live music will make your wedding better and you will have the 80’s playlist you wanted to boot without the bullshit light show.

On House Hunting

Homebuying

Am I in the market for a house? Not yet, but after watching enough HGTV shows, and seeing my brother jump into the fray, I have some notes to give to those who are looking for a place to live. You can take or leave this as you may, but this is a home buying survival guide of sorts… and those who do not heed my warnings will die homeless among the pages and pages of house ads on Zillow.

HEAR ME!

1. Know the verbiage… and be wary

Seeing homes is great, but more than likely you will see a bunch of them before you finally find one you like; and even then you might go for two dozen and still not find one. While touring these homes, your realtor will say words. These words will mean something to you. They will build a picture in your mind of rustic interior design, a DIY paradise, but know that what these warm words actually mean:

  • Charming– Many an old house will be tied to this word. They usually haven’t touched since the Hoover administration and know that it means: Hope you don’t like weekends of doing nothing, because you’ll be renovating
  • Easy– When this word is applied to a feature in the house you do not like, know it isn’t easy, know you cannot (and let’s be honest, will not) actually upgrade the master bathroom and it’s liberal use of pink… everywhere. Why? Because you bought this house at the top of your price range and it was charming! If you attempt DYI plumbing, you will wind up an actual shits creek as your toilet backs up into your hallway
  • Open Floor plan– Okay, now this can be a good or bad thing.
    • Good- If it’s a newer home and the builders added some elements of division in the architecture so the space feels nice without having walls.
    • Bad- If previous owners saw an HGTV renovation show and went “Hey, we can knock down walls too” and now the first floor of the house looks more like a warehouse from the 1920’s; complete with Union scabs, just trying to eek out a living

2. Hope you like the lottery, and if you don’t, too damn bad

If you’re leaning toward newer construction, then get ready to put your name in the Harry Potter Sorting Hat and seeing where you and your loved ones are going to live; and these options include:

  • The smallest house in the track
  • The model home that the realtor’s office once occupied and probably held illicit affairs in due to some of them having very sad lives
  • A cardboard box, because you were number 68 in line and there were 10 houses left in this phase of building and the realtor’s office didn’t care who showed up when and goes down the list numerically rather than who signed in first

If you think I am exaggerating, I am not, in California the housing marketing for new homes is nuts. My brother and his wife have gone through rounds of emotional hell that is “Hey, you like this? Too bad.”

And if you’re going for the used market, because that seems a bit more realistic than the new market and you find the home you love! Then get ready for:

  • 16 bids being in on it already
  • 14 of those bids are going to be from investment groups that will never see the house and possibly shit money and kick puppies
  • The last 2 are from slobs like you who, hilariously enough, want to actually live in the house; and they are pre-approved. Are you pre-approved? No? Then why the hell are you even here!?

3. You got a house! Now you must make it a home

Congrats! You are now homeowners, and depending on what you got, hurrah/hurrah? No matter the condition of the home or wherever it resides, you now have three homes:

2008-6-17-ikea
Your weekend home
HomeGoods
And your lunch break home

P.S. I love eating at Ikea.

Controlled chaos

When it comes to writing you’ll find that it’s much like a science experiment. You try to get a certain result, but you will probably wind up with something else all together awesome; like Silly Putty.

You have to play around with words. Try them in a certain order, fashion, or style. Writing is playing, but it isn’t like going outside and playing on the swings, it’s more like sitting in a dank basement with a really dull blade and a grinding wheel. No, there isn’t a Gimp in a box nearby or anything (of course I can’t vouch for your mind basement to confirm this), and while that may sound like a terrible place to work, it’s probably the best environment for myself.

This is something you’ll hear from every writer out there: Writing is hard work. There are reasons why we are the most creative procrastinators out there and that’s because we like to do other things, but we must write. I know for myself if I haven’t written in a week I become very pedantic, like a madman wandering a manor overlooking a lake, I ponder my existence with a glass of brandy in a room full of mounted heads.

It is a controlled chaos, a mild form of insanity that is treated when we plug our asses to the chair and inject our fingers into the keys to form the words you are now reading.

To sum this up, I’m back, I have a schedule, and you will have something to read, hear, and sometimes watch.

Stay tuned!

Morning jolt: Why are dolls creepy?

Dolls, they are collectible, loved, and terrifying.

When I was a kid my grandmother had a guest room that had a line of dolls sitting on a rail along all four walls of the room. They sat there, smiling, staring at me while I kept watch on them to make sure they didn’t come alive to eat me.

Ah, memories.

This is something that is shared with many people around the country and the world. Dolls are either loved or hated for a number of reasons. Those who hate dolls, especially the ones with the blinky eyes, are totally healthy people who do not have any psychological problems. The ones that love them are made of pure evil. They are, in fact, so full of evil that they even make more dolls in order to terrorize us all. You get them as a gift, and are forced to keep it in your room. It tries to sit there, innocuously, but the damn little sentinel of the old gods is simply waiting.

Waiting for the perfect time to strike.

I AM NOT PARANOID!

Which begs the question, why are they so creepy?

In my honest opinion, I think it has to deal with horror movies. I grew up in a post Child’s Play world, where dolls are freaking evil, but what also reinforces that imagery is their use in horror films; to the point of nauseum today. Regardless of their use, they often do the job, and that’s to creep us out. They creep us out because dolls typically look like us but are simplified and made for kids.

What else have horror movies done? They’ve made us fear the laughter of children, specifically, the laughter of British children. This might be symbolic of colonial times, the echoes of the future rulers of your lands striking fear in the heart of the bravest man, woman, and even child.

Or it’s just a simple trick that gets anyone.

Horror films have used these tricks for a very long time. Today’s horror films don’t really try to do anything else interesting or scary. They just go for dolls and kids laughter, maybe they have them reciting a childhood song so maybe the kid actor learns how to read, but really it’s out of laziness. This is at least true for American horror films as very few are coming out that entertain or frighten us, because most of the time they go for straight terrifying and never letting go of the button.

They go for dolls, and until we, I, get over these creepy things, they will never let go.

Book Trailer!

I usually find book trailers to be rather, well… bad. Typically they are really boring and take themselves too seriously. You’ll find that many a book trailer is just a series of images with text flashing by the screen or filled with terrible acting. No matter what, they all appear to have been made by a film school student trying to ape their favorite director’s look.

 

Seriously, college students these days.
Seriously, college students these days.

I decided to take a different approach and tried out some stop motion. It’s a form that I’ve loved for a long time and it was a blast to make. Lots of mistakes made and lessons learned, and insert further platitudes here. Point is, I hope it made people laugh, because that’s the whole point of the damned thing.

And to sell books, yes.

I wanted you, the viewer, to be entertained rather than spoken to about a product. I find this kind of marketing to be the better kind because it sticks with you and is memorable. I’ve received a bump in sales due to the trailer, so it appears to be working!

Till next time!