Sunday, February 27, 2011

Academy Award Winner, Bobby Tanory

When David Seidler accepted the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the King's Speech, he said that he shares the award with all of the other stutterers in the world.

Therefore, I hereby accept the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. You may now refer to me as "Academy Award Winner, Bobby Tanory", "Bobby Tanory, Academy Award Winner", or "Sir Robert of the Order of the Stuttering Federation of America and Beyond." Your choice.

In accepting this award, I'd first like to thank David Seidler for sharing it. Second, I'd like to thank my family, who have always encouraged me to go above and beyond. Third, I'd like to thank my friends for accepting me as I am. Next, I'd like to thank my speech therapists, Mrs. Pam and Mrs. Sheran. Thank you also to the royal family for letting this story be told.

And last but not least, I'd like to thank my wife, Betty, for always listening. This one's for you!

Even though Betty and my dad tied as winners of our family's Oscar Award throw-down, I'm the only one who came away with an Academy Award. I think I'll use my new Oscar money to take them (and my mom, who came in last - but not by much) out to dinner one night.

What's that? I don't get any prize money for accepting David Seidler's Academy Award? In that case, maybe my dad can take us out for dinner one night. It's Betty's birthday week, after all!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Piano Man

Betty gave me a great gift: piano lessons at Baton Rouge Music Studios!

I've always loved playing the piano. My parents have one at their house, and my dad used to play for us all the time. We used to love (OK, we still love) to dance around and sing while he plays. And when my cousins come in town for holiday dinners, we all love gathering around the piano while they sing and play. (My cousins just recently put out their own album, and my cousin Ben rocks out at Pat O's!)

But although I've always been around a piano, I've never learned to play it. Sure, I can play a couple of songs, like Let It Be by the Beatles, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by Smashing Pumpkins, and 46 and 2 by Tool. But that's where my piano knowledge has ended.

I've only been to one piano lesson, where I was introduced to the notes on the C scale and learned to read the notes for a song called "The Woodchuck." I've been practicing every day, and have also been practicing other songs from some piano books that Betty got me. I plan on celebrating my mastering of the Woodchuck song by drinking a Woodchuck beer.

Even though I've only had one lesson, I've already learned a lot! I'm so excited about playing that I basically do nothing but read up on how chords are constructed. I think my Computer Scientist mind is so used to finding patterns that it's helping me understand the pattern of chord construction. For example, I can now take any chord and make the major, minor, diminished, augmented, flat and sharp... because once you know how to do it for one chord, you basically know how to do it for all the others. And once I learn my scales, I'll figure out the rest. It's so interesting!

So here's to Betty for this great gift!

And a quick note to my music teacher at Baton Rouge Music Studios - get ready to have your mind blown with a couple of my updated renditions of The Woodchuck!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dirty Food Names

My sister found some Spotted Dick at the grocery store. She told me she took a picture of it. I was like, "An old man with liver spots on his dong had his pants down at the grocery store, and you took a picture of it? Awesome! Send it to me and I'll post it on my blog!"

(That's what happens when you need new blog material. You resort to posting Spotted Dick on your blog.)

But alas, it was just a can of Heinz's Spotted Dick sponge pudding. Which sounds even dirtier to me, if you think about it.

My sister really has an eye for finding food with dirty names. She also found some Nutty Nuggets and Grape Nuts.

I was going to write a blog about some other dirty food names, but instead I'll just link to this blog post from Slashfood. Betty and I just read the list out loud and I'm still wiping tears from my eyes.

And while you're reading that list of kinky food names, hum a few lines from The Residude's "Hot Buns" (which you can download here) - a great song with my favorite line of all time, "The only thing better than hot buns is some sticky buns, if you know what I mean."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

McFebruary

Back when corporations started buying the naming rights to professional sports stadiums, I thought the idea was terrible. But despite the outrage at having to attend a ridiculously named stadium like the Superpages.com Center, we've all gotten used to it. "Monster Park" even sort of sounds cool - like it's a park for monsters.

(Just for the record, Quicken Loans Arena is still the worst name for a stadium EVER.)

But with the economy still in the dumps, our nation's budget and debt still being at ridiculous levels, and government programs like Medicare being threatened, I think it's time to turn back to the corporations for help.

McFebruary, anybody?

That's right, I think it's time we started auctioning off the naming rights to the remaining months of 2011. I think corporations should pay our government for the right for us to call a month by their name. Companies can use humor, such as "March to Best Buy", or rename the entire month, like "Walmartember." As long as they help offset the trade deficit with China, then I'm all for it.

I don't want to leave the smaller companies out of the loop, so days of the week could be up for grabs, too. Companies that publish Bibles or leisure activities could sponsor Sunday. "Thursday" is actually named after the Norse god Thor, so since there's a Thor movie coming out, I thought that "Thursday, February 24, sponsored by Thor" has a nice ring to it. And of course, Saturday could be renamed "Trojan Saturday", because, you know, uh... well, if you don't know, this isn't the blog to tell you.

(Email me and I'll explain it. With pictures, probably.)

The great thing about this idea is that there are so many different calendars, so there's lots of room for commercialization and therefore lots of money to be put back into Medicare, Medicaid, or at least keep PBS on the air. There's the Gregorian calendar (which we use), the Julian calendars (Proleptic and Revised), the Chinese calendar... there are even fiscal calendars.

So many calendars to choose from... so little companies with the billions needed to get our nation back up to snuff.

Since I came up with this brilliant idea, I'll only charge the government a finder's fee of 10% per month for the remaining 2011 months, then just 2% for every month after. Don't worry, the government will get most of it back when it's time to do my taxes - on "April 15th, sponsored by H&R Block".

Saturday, February 19, 2011

You Kiss Your Mother With That Self-Cleaning Mouth?

In my quest to be as lazy as possible, I have an idea to improve the health of our teeth and gums: Genetically-modified dental plaque.

If you think about it, humans genetically modify stuff all the time. It doesn't matter what that "stuff" actually is. If it's got DNA, we can modify it.

We have genetically-modified crops, genetically-modified mosquitoes... so why not genetically-modified dental plaque?

According to Discovery Health, Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacillus casei and acidophilus, and Actinomyces naeslundii are types of bacteria that eat carbs left in our mouth. But the more they eat, the more they... uh... you know, Number 2. In our mouths. They excrete acid, which melts our enamel, which then creates cavities.

So these bacteria are our enemies. But what if we could make them our allies? We could, by genetically modifying these bacteria to excrete Fluoride instead of acid. I'd want mine to be mint flavored.

This could spawn a whole side business: flavored plaque bacteria. Instead of eating real food, you could buy different flavors of plaque-causing bacteria at the convenient store while you gas up. Tear open the pack, dip a finger into the helpful yet tasty bacteria solution, then rub it over your teeth and gums. The bacteria will eat all the leftover carbs in your mouth while excreting pizza-flavored Fluoride.

Instead of hearing your mom ask, "Did you brush your teeth?" your mom would now yell at you for brushing, because you'd be brushing away all those cavity-fighting bacteria.

Sure, I know you only need to brush twice a day, for two minutes each. But it's not about the brushing aspect of it... it's about the repercussions for doing a crappy job of brushing. Plus, there's that whole flossing thing, too.

This is 2011. We should have flying cars by now. I think having a brilliantly white and clean smile while never having to brush again is doable.

Get to it, scientists!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tramp Stamps

A lot of girls my age have what we like to call Tramp Stamps. Tramp Stamps are tattoos that girls get on their lower backs.

It took me a while to figure out why so many girls my age have these tramp stamps, but why many older women and most younger ladies do not. But I finally have the answer:

I blame "My Little Pony."

The My Little Pony toys hit their peak of popularity when I was a kid. Therefore most girls my age are familiar with them. And according to Wikipedia, the My Little Pony ponies can be identified by "a unique symbol or series of symbols on one or both sides of their haunches." Thus, the inception of tattooing something unique on your lower back.

Wikipedia goes onto say, "Accordingly, the ponies are named after the symbols on their haunches." Likewise, life imitates art, and we've dubbed these tattoos "Tramp Stamps".

Think that Hasbro's marketing didn't really ingrain the idea of a tramp stamp in little girls' minds? Then how do you explain the fact that most guys my age grew up with Hasbro's other popular toy line, Battle Beasts, and that most men my age are half-human, half-animal hybrids who wear armor, wield weapons and have a sticker on our chests that change color when you apply body heat? (Or is that just me?!?)

Beardheads

There comes a time in every man's life when he sees something so incredible, so awesome, that time seems to stand still, and he knows what he wants to do with the rest of his life.

That didn't happen to me today, but I did find something called Beardheads on the Snorg Tees website.

Check them out here!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Heart-Shaped Pizza

I was doing my daily scan of the Huffington Post while on my favorite ride when I came across an article titled Heart-Shaped Pizza & Other Terrible Valentine's Day Gifts.

And I have to say, I was a little offended, because Betty actually gave me a heart-shaped pizza for Valentine's Day. Here's the proof:

[Picture: Me and my heart-shaped pizza!]

Pizza is my favorite food. And if you prepare your pizza with a low-fat cheese, pizza can actually be pretty good for you. If you think about it, pizza has all the food groups: Dairy (cheese), meats / proteins (pepperoni), grains and wheat (crust), and fruits and vegetables (tomato sauce + toppings). It's a wonder-food!

And so it was special to me that my most favorite person in the whole world gave me my most favorite food. Can there be a better Valentine gift than that?

But wait, there's more. That wasn't all that was offensive about that Huffington Post article. The article also said that Fundies were a terrible gift.

Now I had never heard about Fundies at the time, but basically, Fundies are underwear that two people can wear at the same time. And for the life of me, I can't figure out why this is a terrible gift idea. The only thing that I can think of that is a better gift than Fundies is for two people to not be wearing any underwear at all!

The article goes onto say that mock magazine covers are a bad gift. But I got one for Betty for Mother's Day where she's on the cover of Parenting Magazine, and she claims to like it. Now I have my doubts.

The Huffington Post thinks that a Pajamagram is a terrible Valentine's Day idea. But when Betty and I saw that, our heads turned towards each other, our eyes locked, and now it's a race to see who can get one for the other person the fastest.

Candy bras and edible underwear are also apparently bad Valentine's Day gifts. Well I'm here to tell the Huffington Post that any underwear is edible if you want it bad enough.

Basically, Betty and I have given each other the cheesiest gifts imaginable, and yet we've loved them. So... take that, Huffington Post!

(Also, thanks for "exposing" me to Fundies! I know what I'm getting Betty for Valentine's Day next year!)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Rancho Deluxe

Every family knows of an event where a family member saw or did something that was completely horrendous, and the mention of that event will either bring lots of laughter or lots of tears.

Rancho Deluxe is that event for my family.

What is Rancho Deluxe? It's a movie. But it's not just any movie. It's the movie that is known in my family as being the standard of bad movies.

When my grandfather could still make it out to the movies with us, if we happened to see a real stinker, he'd always say, "Well, at least that was better than Rancho Deluxe."

Went to a bad play or a terrible concert? Inevitably we were asked, "Was it better than Rancho Deluxe?"

Had a bad day at school or work? "Was it worse than sitting through Rancho Deluxe?"

This movie is so bad that we thought it was called "Ranchero Deluxe" for about 20 years, because we never bothered to look it up.

And after several decades of hearing about how terrible this movie is, I came across it on NetFlix while browsing the On Demand movie titles. Since I needed material for the blog, I had no choice but to attempt to watch it.

The movie is only an hour and a half long, but not a single person in my family made it past the 30 minute mark. My mom watched 0 minutes of it - her excuse was that seeing it once was enough for her. (She and my dad walked out of the theater when they saw it for the first time.) My dad fell asleep about 15 minutes in. And Betty probably saw 5 minutes of it before checking Facebook on her phone then curling up on the couch.

As for me, I watched 30 minutes of it, then zoned out for another 15. I guess that makes me the champ of our Rancho Deluxe night.

So what makes this movie so bad? Here are a few terrible things that I saw in the first 30 minutes of the movie:

1. The movie starts out with two drifters going to a ranch, shooting a cow, then using a chain saw to cut the cow up. They give the meat to their landlord as a good faith payment on their rent. (Or something like that. It was hard to concentrate, it being such a crappy movie and all.)

2. There's a sex scene where Jeff Bridges (of Big Lebowski, Crazy Heart and Tron fame) puts on a red dog mask while making love out in the woods, then (while still naked and wearing his mask) gets chased by the girl through the woods after she freaks out once she sees it. This was the only highlight of the movie since there's boobage.

3. There's a scene where a female landowner shoots a gun in the air, yells at two guys in suits, then puts on a record and starts to slow dance with both guys.

4. Jeff Bridges wears a polka dotted hat that looks like my wife's travel kit.

5. Sam Waterston is in it, and they keep calling him an Indian or something. Again, it was hard to concentrate.

If you have a NetFlix subscription, some extra time this weekend, and maybe a few extra beers in the fridge, I suggest that you create your own Rancho Deluxe drinking game. Invite a bunch of friends to your house, stream the movie on NetFlix, and every time one of your friends falls asleep, take a sip. Then draw a wang on your friend's face with a marker and write "Rancho Deluxe" in it.

Just remind whatever person wakes up with 10 dirty images inked on their face: at least getting drunk, passing out and getting marker-tattooed with dongs is better than actually sitting through Rancho Deluxe.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How to Fix Medicare and Social Security, Tantrum-style

We have two government programs with similar problems: Medicare and Social Security.

Both are basically pyramid schemes, as they rely on paying for the top of the pyramid with the work and money of the rest. And in both cases, we're running out of money for the programs because we're going to be paying out more than what we're taking in.

One solution is to allow more immigrants into America.

But the Tantrum has a better solution: Make more babies!

It seems so obvious! If we all start getting it on with each other, we'll make more babies, who will then grow up and work. And the byproduct of working? You guessed it - funding the Medicare and Social Security programs.

Of course, there's some danger in getting it on too much, as that could burn off extra calories as well as count for some cardio. Although those sound like good things - and they are, as they would cut back on the rate of obese people, people with diabetes, etc - it also means that we would have longer lifespans, which means we'll be on Medicare and Social Security longer, and so we would have to actually make more babies to take our longer lifespans into account.

Invest in Viagra, people. The future of our society depends on its success.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Safety First

I've thought of a couple of safety ideas for car manufacturers, that I'm giving away free. All that I ask is that one of these ideas become known as "The Bob."

First, we have technology that will stop a car from starting if the driver fails a breathalyzer test. That's fine and all, but why don't we have cars that won't start unless the driver is wearing a seat belt? That sounds like a no brainer.

My wife's van can tell if something is in the passenger seat, and while it can't tell if it's a person or not, it knows whether or not to arm the passenger-side air bag based on the weight in the seat. (By the way, small children should not ride in the passenger seat, because the air bag can severely injure them.) So we obviously have the technology to make seat belts mandatory.

My second idea is to make car engines that can't go past 70. If 70 if the speed limit in most areas, why even have cars that can go higher? Speed limit signs could wirelessly transmit the speed limits as they change, causing your car to slow down or allow to be sped up.

Think of all the money that could be saved by not having to deploy cops on the side of the Interstate every five miles to catch speeders, or the money that could be spent on better things than paying for cops and ambulances to go assist some a-hole going 30 miles over the speed limit who crashed on the side of the road.

Cars could have an emergency override in case the driver needs to go past 70. Let's say someone is injured, or a woman is pregnant, etc - push the button and override your car's speed limit. But that could also alert the cops, who could assist the driver in getting to wherever he or she needs to go.

My last idea is a "green" idea. It's to make car seats that have toilets built into them, and the refuge that goes down the toilet can help fuel the car.

Long trip with the kids? No problem! No more stopping every hour to let them pee. Just fuel your own car with the help of a 64 oz Big Gulp!

If any of these ideas get implemented, I'm sure it would be the last one, and I'm sure it would be called "The Bob." But so be it! Or if I were pitching The Bob, I'd say, "So pee it!"

Monday, February 07, 2011

DINKs

My brother introduced me to a new term this weekend: DINKs. It stands for "Dual Income, No Kids."

Use it in a sentence, you say? OK. "My sister and her husband are DINKs." I know this because my brother told me so.

Betty and I used to be DINKs once. It seems like a long, long time ago. But once upon a time, Betty and I could do anything we wanted without having to worry about anyone else. I guess that makes us ex-DINKs.

Now, only I can live a worry-free life. Betty still has to worry about the kids. And about me, of course. The kids and I are all helpless without her. Actually, Anne could probably forage for food, and would probably make herself leader of a wild pack of children if she had her way. And I'm sure that if Peter flashed his smile (with his four new teeth), someone would take care of him.

But I'd definitely starve to death without Betty. Although my extra layers of fat would sustain me for a few weeks.

I thought my brother had just made up the term DINK, but apparently there's a huge DINK subculture. There are blogs for and about DINKs, a formal definition of DINKs, and even a Wikipedia page on DINKs.

But the more I read about DINKs, the more I'm happy to not be one. I wouldn't trade my kids for anything. I'm much happier now with children than I was without them. They've given me a sense of purpose in life, and every day is a new adventure with them.

So instead of being DINKs, Betty and I have been upgraded to a new term:

SITCOM: Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Alien Abduction

There are so many movies, TV shows, books and stories about alien abductions, and most of them are so corny, that it's hard to take any new idea about aliens seriously.

Most of the people that you see on TV that say they've been abducted by aliens are crazy rednecks. They're also all male. And in most cases, all of the stories end with "probing."

But there's a strong possibility that life exists on other planets. And there's also a strong possibility that alien life, if it has not already contacted us yet, will one day contact us. And if those aliens are anything like humans, they will be unstoppable, bloodthirsty maniacs set out to pillage our planet's natural resources.

Thanks for nothing, SETI!

That's why you have to be prepared. You don't want to seem like a crazy "probed" redneck when you're released back into the wild after being taken up into the mother ship.

You need a plan. And you're in luck, because the Tantrum has one for you.

If you're abducted by aliens, and if you are a man, your plan should be pretty easy: tell the aliens that you'll teach them how humans mate. For your experiment you'll require a hot female human from each continent, large city or zip code - your choice. You'll also need to stay hydrated. You'll have to count on the aliens not having visited pretty much any site on the Internet, otherwise you're screwed.

If you're a woman, you should be prepared for the aliens to have already abducted a man who has read this blog post and has already told the aliens that he needs to have sex with as many women as possible. So you have two options: you can either tell the aliens that you need a weapon to fend off the male, and only if the male wins your love in combat can he mate with you; or just try to get to the end of the mating line, and hope that the male dies of dehydration and/or a crushed pelvis before it's your turn.

And if for some reason the aliens are really cool and just want to learn from you, then put in a good word for me! I'm sure the aliens can use a good blogger on their alien starship.