Friday, December 19, 2008

Maxim loves all my favorite sandwiches

From the department of "Why didn't anyone tell me about this months ago?" (and Ilan) comes this article from the January 2009 UVA Arts & Sciences Online, which looks curiously like a retread of this article from The Hook back in August. I can't understand why The University waited until now to publicize this, but nonetheless I'm feeling a great sense of pride today knowing that the man who used to personally deliver pulled pork barbecue sandwiches to the frat house for dinner every Thursday is now finally being recognized nationally for his boss hog.
This summer James “Jinx” Kern (MA Art History ’84, BA Art History ’76), whose Jinx’s Pit’s Top Barbecue is a Charlottesville landmark, won accolades for his Kentucky-style barbecue from both—you can’t make this stuff up—The Wall Street Journal and the men’s magazine Maxim, which named his the nation’s best pulled-pork sandwich.
The pictures give a small idea, but really don't even begin to illustrate the disaster area that is Jinx's tiny 12-seat barbecue pit stop. They do, however, fairly accurately illustrate the oddball that is Jinx in his apparent signature pose: short shorts with legs crossed and high socks with docksiders. As a very satisfied customer, I can attest to the greatness of this man's pork. I have met him a few times, so I had an idea of how strange a character Jinx is, but I have to say that the article really drove it home. If you've ever had barbecue from Jinx, you'll read choice quotes like these with an uneasy feeling of, "Yea, that sounds about right:"
“Living at home at age 35 without a job is not a good thing to do”
“I had made the mistake of going out to California with a woman I’d met at a wedding to see if we could work it out, but we couldn’t”
And of course, who hasn't felt like this?
Regret: My significant other is a 20-pound cat.
Awwwww, poor Mr. Jinx. He's like Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka, a misunderstood mad scientist, unyieldingly driven to perfect his creation, spiritually unfulfilled in the name of pork progress. Well take heart, master of swine. The world has recognized your greatness. Frame the Maxim article and cram it amongst the rest of the "decor," and keep on living the dream.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

the secret is out, I was right all along

Yesterday, as you may recall, I was left hung out to dry at my first ever office Secret Santa. I was actually really looking forward to coming to work today as a result, mostly because I figured there was a real shot I'd have to shake this guy down for my $15 (or generic gift of equal value). Fortunately, the entire morning went by with no sign of gift-giving, though Santa was clearly in the building. It seemed like an afternoon confrontation was imminent - I'd have to take matters into my own hands officially after lunch.

I took my break, came back and started instant message chatting with my brother to assess the situation. His idea was to email the Secret Santa organizer commending her for such a fun activity, then accept her gratitude before sending a second note saying that Secret Santa in fact sucked ass because I didn't get shit. At this very moment, still chuckling to myself, I felt a tap on my shoulder. My manager handed me a business card-sized red felt pouch. "From Secret Santa," she said. I eagerly tore into the pouch, nearly hyperventilating with excitement, and pulled out... Starbucks!
That's right! Just as I surmised yesterday, my approximate month of basically anonymous half-efforts here earned me $15 worth of coffee at a place I never go into from a person I never met. Not only that, but there was a totally blank "To:/From:/Amount" card alongside the gift card in the little red pouch. Thanks for personalizing my coffee, Dick-a-claus. The blank card bolsters my belief that he literally got his morning coffee, bought the gift card, stuck it in his pocket and continued down the street to the office. And did I mention that he didn't even hand it to me himself? Maybe he's just trying to protect my fragile little mind from the traumatic realization that Santa is made up. Or maybe he wants to remind me that Jews dont get to have Christmas. Well guess what, Secret Santa? I'm done with gifts and all of it. If you need me, I'll be fishing the Festivus pole out of the crawlspace.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hey man, I love you this many dollars worth

Today is office Secret Santa day, which is humorous and awkward for several reasons. I had to miss about a week of work to get some minor surgery done, so I didn't even know about plans for Secret Santa until after I got back. All the deadlines referenced in the Secret Santa emails (and there were many more than necessary) had passed, so I just figured I had missed out on picking a person and having my name in the pot and everything else. Not so. My managers decided - and I just can't thank them enough for this - to pick a person on my behalf. Lets backtrack here for a second and note that I started this job 2 weeks prior to my surgery, which is just enough time to meet roughly seven people at a new office. This means that I have no idea who my gift recipient is (he's been pointed out to me, but we've never been introduced), and unless whoever got me is one of those seven people (unlikely), then somebody is in the same unfortunate, awkward situation as I was. "Hey man, I've never met you, but here's a small, generic token worth a maximum of $15. I picked it out for you based solely on your gender and what Bob in sales told me you look like. Happy Holidays." I really hope there is no bro hug involved.

Office Secret Santa is also awkward because I was hired exactly 3 days before my company's major round of layoffs, which means that as everyone is exchanging gifts with coworkers they've known for some time, I'll be standing there looking around like a lost puppy while people try to figure out who I am and why I deserve their holiday cheer. This is roughly the work equivalent of your cousin bringing her rebound boyfriend to Christmas dinner 2 weeks after breaking up with the long-term guy everyone loved, him taking the head seat at the table and asking your family what you got for him this year while Nana struggles to discern whether there's a new guy at the table or she's wandered into the wrong house again.
"Who the eff is that guy?"
"Oh hey everyone, I'm Steve. I started when all your friends got fired, really excited to be here. Happy Secret Santa!"
Also, I don't even celebrate Christmas, so I don't really feel comfortable being referred to as a Santa. Nor have I ever gotten a gift from Santa, as I have known for some time that he is made up. Oh shit, was that the secret?
I'm definitely curious to see who picked my name and what they got for me. I got my person a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble. I figured this was a good gift on the assumption that all of my coworkers can read. I'd be perfectly happy with a generic gift like that, or my backup choice for my person, a bottle of wine. At least I didn't go the Creed route.
Less than one hour until the big secret is revealed - can you feel the excitement? I've never participated in a Secret Santa at the office, so my only frame of reference is Secret Santa at The Office. I feel like the real life version could be just as awkward, but not nearly as hilarious. I'll let you know how it goes.

Update (11:30) Agnes from HR just walked by and said, "Lets go get our booty!"

Update (12:10) Secret Santa over, phenomenal letdown even for my basement-low expectations. No awful gifts, no awkward moments, and oh yea, no present for this guy. According to my sources, my Secret Santa didn't show up to work today and obviously didn't drop his gift in the pile on Monday (considering he probably was going to pick up a Starbucks gift card during his morning coffee run on his way to the office today anyway). Also, the guy I bought the gift card for emailed me to say thanks, so we've still never officially met. Work is so awesome.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Phish Happens? [Rumors, Speculation and Hearsay]

You get a few hippies playing drums and next thing you know, you got yourself a colony.

Too early to speculate, but never to early to circulate unconfirmed, fact-free rumors. Thanks, Rolling Stone!
Bonnaroo, the East Coast’s premiere multi-day, multi-stage gathering of the vibes (held in Manchester, Tennessee from June 11th to 14th) usually doesn’t release its lineup until early February — but hears from reliable sources close to Phish that the band will top the bill for two nights, restoring the fest to its jam-friendly roots ... Also being buzzed about with some legitimacy: Bruce Springsteen as Sunday night’s closer.
If true, this would definitively mean 2 things:

1. Let Cartman explain:

If we are to assume Cartman's theory is true (and when has little Eric ever been wrong?), the biggest jam band ever headlining 2 nights at the biggest jam band festival ever could truly be a hippie gathering the size of which we've never seen. It goes without saying that every hippie out there would reroute his tour-following convoy to descend upon Manchester, TN next June. If ever there were a chance for Cartman to round up all the hippies in the world and lock them in the proverbial basement, this would be it.

2. A dramatic sea change in the Bonnaroo crowd would occur. Bonnaroo is generally the one time of year when hippies and rednecks coexist, but Springsteen's northeast contingent would probably drive away a good portion of the jorts-wearers and mullet-heads who usually abound. The Bonnaroo crowd has changed as the band lineups have become more varied over the years, but a Phish/Springsteen headlining combo would create a completely different atmosphere than any 'Roo before. Both Phish and The Boss attract a vehement band of loyal followers, and each could command their own 100,000 person, 3-night festival (10 straight sold-out nights at Giants Stadium, anyone?). The battles between the noodlers and the fist-pumpers could truly be epic.

So, how do you guys feel about a Bruce Phishsteen Bonnaroo? Personally, I can't wait to see the look on those little Eichmann's faces when they get a taste of those crunchy grooves. (If you like music festivals, hippies, or things that are funny, do yourself a favor and watch this South Park. Just do it. Like right now.)

Assume the rumors are true and get your presale and VIP packages [Rolling Stone]
and your primo weed for the reunion [Stereogum]

"We believe the request ... to inscribe a birthday wish to Adolf Hitler is inappropriate"

I know I said last night that I only wanted one tchotchkke for Hanukkah this year, but f it, that's why we get 8 crazy nights, right?
That's why this year I am also wishing for a slice of Adolf Hitler's birthday cake.
Courtesy of Lindsay Robertson, here's the sad story of poor little Adolf Hitler Campbell, who is being denied every child's dream of seeing his name written in frosting.

Young Adolf Hitler Campbell will be getting a cake from Wal-Mart this year.

Come on, people! It's Hanukkah for crying out loud! I really do feel for these kids, because it's not their fault that their parents are such epic douchenozzles. At least he'll have his campaign commercial all set if he ever decides to run for office.


Butterfly... gimme a fluttah! Gimme a flut-tah!

Greg the Bunny goes to Vegas and illustrates what happens to me at the blackjack table.

Bust a cap(tion)

Tired, hungry and outnumbered, the nannies of London form the legendary Umbrella Phalanx in a final, desperate attempt to rid the city of Mary Poppins and her expialidocious voodoo witchcraft.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The only gift I want this Hanukkah

Have you been a good little mensch this year, or have you been a miserable kvetching noodnik? The Festival of Lights is fast approaching, and you're not doubt looking to get your grubby little mitts on all this year's hottest holiday chazzerai. But this year, the only tchotchkke I want is a Rally Rabbi bobblehead.

Call me a schmendrik schlemiel shmeggegie, but the thought of an ex-Deadhead, baseball superfan Rabbi spreading the good word from a motorcycle known as the "Mitzvah mo-bike" just gets me all farklempt.

A great article and a great find by Deadspin.

Mullet Monday!

Sorry if you missed me during a busy weekend and portion of a Monday, but here's a little something to put a quittin' time smile on your face (if the fact that it's quittin' time doesn't make you happy enough).

"If you ladies continue your unruly behavior I will be forced to use my baton."

Species: Rent-a-mullet, Mull Security
Spotted: Scott Staium North End Hillside, Charlottesville, VA
Notes and Conclusion: Potentially a frat boy volunteer, but more likely a jobless degenerate, the Rent-A-Mullet is hired by a stadium, concert hall or strip mall to patrol the premises and appear as a symbol of authority for 8 bucks an hour. The mullet is kept tight, as is the Event Staff polo, for purposes of intimidation, but the Rent-a-Mullet is known to be mostly harmless. This species is fairly common because the job appeals to the mullet's aggressive predisposition to activities requiring potential physical force or use of weapons. Ironically, most Mull Security are slow-witted, overweight and out of shape, so streaking drunks are likely to blow right past him while his gaze remains firmly fixed on the scantily clad, likely underage female fans in the distance.