Does Jay Pharoah Play a Good Barack Obama on SNL?

I don’t know why I give it a chance every week, but I still watch Saturday Night Live. I generally don’t watch it live, usually it’s on Sunday, which does give the ability to skip over crappy sketches, but oddly I generally don’t skip over them, somehow hoping they will eventually get funny. They rarely do, and usually I just shake my head wondering how a sketch that had a little promise at the beginning of it could seemingly drag on and on until the sketch turns into utter boredom. Yesterday marked the return of the SNL season with Seth Macfarlane as host, and as a person who likes a good Family Guy episode and finds Seth’s humor on par with mine, I had high hopes. Also, generally liking the impressions Jay Pharoah does, the announcement that he was going to play President Barack Obama had me jointly excited. Hooray, Saturday Night Live was back for a new season!

Then, so much for “Hooray.”

Yup, Jay is up there doing his Obama impression, and I actually longed for Fred Armisen. I don’t know if it was the bad joke writing (and I’m sorry, but SNL writers you’ve had an entire summer to think up funny stuff, and I’m always amazed the first episode of the season usually falls flat, but I digress) or just Jay needs a ton of refinement (again, all summer to get it right – come on!), but the new season was not off to a good start. I’m not going to go into how I only enjoyed two sketches (the commercial bashing Mitt Romney and Bain Capital, as well as the sketch poking fun at Gangnam Style complete with surprise guest Psy), was perplexed by musical guest Frank Ocean singing his, um, hit, “Thinking About You” with disjointed lyrics including “Got a fighter jet, I don’t get fly it though,” and I can generally appreciate any music, but I was lost. Weekend Update was a little flat, and, oh hell, I just wanted the episode to end yet didn’t hit the fast-forward button, in constant hope of “This will be the sketch to bring it back.” It never came back.

And so, as most of the sketches will probably be lost into the oblivion, I have a feeling Jay Pharoah coming back as Obama will be a regular feature, especially in this election season. I’m hoping he gets better, but right now I plight: Does Jay Pharoah play a good Barack Obama on SNL?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Do You Know Someone Who Already Ordered an iPhone 5?

The iPhone 5 went on sale, and unlike last year I wasn’t up trying to order one the minute they went on sale. Had I had some disposable income right now it’s possible I would have been one of the crazy, I mean dedicated, iPhone folks, but after upgrading to the iPhone 4S from my 3GS last year, and a little too lazy to try to sell my 4s, right now I’m opting out of upgrading my iPhone, especially since my AT&T contract isn’t up and the price to buy it is kind of crazy. That’s not to say I wouldn’t like one, nor may change my mind later if I get the gumption to unload my old one, but I do have to say I was a little more well-rested, and a lot less frustrated, than I was when I ordered the 4S. I remember the trying to log on, the delays, the staring at the screen hoping this time I could log in, and praying they wouldn’t sell out and I would find shipping times upped to a couple of weeks, thus delaying my new iPhone gratification and anticipation of the FedEx man coming to my door.

As the day went on, my “need for new” began to wane, especially as I saw the reports of the phone selling out and delivery times slipping, and the contentment with my “old” iPhone began to set in all until I saw two posts. With two sentences, “Why did I wake up at 2 in the morning to pre order a damn iPhone…” and “I actually set my alarm for 2am ( midnight Pacific time) to wake up and order the IPhone 5. Again my wife thinks I’m nuts.”, that itch in me began again, I started checking how much could I really get for my 64gb iPhone 4s, and then came to the decision that “Nope, not right now” again. And so, this morning I actually have two plights, but you only have to answer one. One is “Does anyone want to give me about $550 for my iPhone 4S?” and my actual plight: “Do you someone who already ordered an iPhone 5?”

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!


Would You Go Back Later to Pick Up Your Dog’s Poop?

We have a dog, Milo. He’s a cute little guy, a little overweight with a bad mold allergy, and he also doesn’t like the heat. As such this summer was pretty brutal for him because it’s been one of the worst mold seasons for allergy sufferers and also one of the hottest here in Chicago, and as as such, he really hates going for walks unless I get up at about 4AM to get him outside before the heat comes. I was hanging in there for awhile, but even I was creeped out walking a white fur-ball in the dark when there have been multiple coyote sightings around where we live and it’s bad enough wondering what else might lurk in the bushes (a.k.a. skunks – which I have actually seen) without worrying about my ability to take on a coyote.

The other day, however, we ventured out in the afternoon. He wasn’t that happy about it, so we just went around the walking path. Now normally I’m pretty diligent about checking his poop bag holder before we leave, and maybe it’s just because our housing association had these nice dog stations put up with a poop bag supply and garbage can, or maybe it’s just because I wanted to get him outside before he used his dog littler box, but in any case there we were, miles from home (okay, more like feet), and Milo starts doing the poopy dance. He gets ready to his business, I go to grab a poop bag, and wouldn’t you know it – No poop bags! Ugh! There it is, in sight though, the doggie station, but my concerns now are that A) It will be out of poop bags, and B) Milo won’t want to walk back to collect his dootie as once he’s set on going home there is no turning back.

Well, low and behold, the poop bag holder at the doggie station was empty, Milo just wanted to go home, and I’m worried someone saw Milo take a dump, me not pick it up, and think I’m one of “those” dog owners who doesn’t clean up after his pet. So yes, I get Milo home, walk back to Milo’s no-longer-steaming-pile-of-dung, clean it up, drop his droppings in the garbage can, and just hope that if someone saw me not pick up his meadow muffin that they also saw me come back to get it and have a better image of us. As I was walking back I wondered about other people and plighted: Would you go back later to pick up your dog’s poop?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Do You Like Airports?

I believe I’m a weird person because I generally like airports. Maybe it’s because I like to walk around a lot, maybe it’s because I also like to just sit back and watch people go by, or maybe it’s because I generally like to get to an airport early enough that I’m not rushed to try to get to the gate, but I like airports. And give me the big airports, your O’Hare’s or Philly’s, someplace where there is a lot of different places to walk around, a lot to look at, and maybe even a good ending terminal where I can watch the airplanes head to the taxiways and see the runways as the planes are coming and going. Yup, don’t give me those small airports, with one terminal and maybe a little food stand, although I can even find myself enjoying those once in a while.

Fine, I suppose I should clarify my airport liking a bit by stating that mostly I like airports after the security area. Why? There is more to do. Also, what does bug me about airports is the inability to meet people I’m picking up at the gate. Sure, I know we haven’t been able to do this for years, all in the name of security, but there is something anti-climactic about greeting someone at the baggage claim, and also, in general, the fun things to do and see are all after the security line, however, there is still lots of good people watching by the baggage claim, although it’s sometimes tough to find a good place to sit.

So, it’s because I have the opportunity to go to an airport, although not in the manner I generally prefer (It’s just a drop off and a quick pick-up), and I plight: Do you like airports?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Do You Talk to “Dead” People at the Cemetery?

This past weekend I went back to the old homestead in Lorain, OH, hence the earlier plight about knowing someone 90 years old. I also used it as a time to visit my parents in their final resting place, Calvary Cemetery, and leave some flowers. I got them some carnations, as they were some of my Mom’s favorites, and apologized to my Dad as he generally found putting flowers on a grave kind of silly, usually saying things like he’d rather see them while he was living. As I cleaned up the headstone a bit, I filled them in with some of the goings on with

my life, I suppose just in case as they are now floating around in the ether somewhere, or up in Heaven, or whatever happens when you die, and they haven’t had a chance to keep tabs on me, maybe focusing more on my sister as her family life is a little more, hmm, interesting than mine for the most part.

They didn’t answer back.

That’s okay, it was kind of nice, therapeutic even, having a little chat with them, then I told them “I love them,” to be well, and I would check in with them again, later. While roaming the cemeteries, I also chatted a tad with my Aunt Marce and Uncle John Mattey, as their graves were near my parents, made a quick stop by my Great, Great Granparents Lopatkovich to say “Hello,” (they have a cool gravestone, although it needs some sandblasting), and went to visit my Grandma and Aunt Lily, and a quick stop by my Uncle Ed and his wife Emma. Each time I said “Hello,” wished them well, and also wondered “If you die, and can “fly” around this world, why would hang out near your grave waiting for visitors? Oh well, the experience did lead to today’s plight: Do you talk to “dead” people at the cemetery?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Do You Regularly Fly Your Flag?

Different generations, I think, have their “date that will live in infamy” moment, that moment as a country when the horrific happens and everyone agrees that we will never forget, but the truth is that slowly, over the years, it gets forgotten, or maybe left behind would be a better term. I know this may not be the most popular of things to post on this September 11th anniversary, but I still think it’s true. The thing is that time does move on, and for many people living now, that horrific day for the many rest of us that occurred some 11 years ago is a only vague childhood memory, or not even a recollection. They don’t really remember where they were on that day, they may not have even been born, but that doesn’t mean that in the history of America it will be any less of a horrific day than many that have come before and were imbedded in the memories of those that remember it , with the easiest example being The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, but even though it is now listed as “Patriot Day” on the calendar, eventually the anniversary of September 11th will slowly change to just a date on the calendar.

Maybe it will stick around a little longer than Pearl Harbor Day because we watched it play out on TV, but as I related to someone on September 11, 2002, and she asked if we will always treat the day with the same respect as that first anniversary, I told her I saw the projection as this: That first year anniversary will be a solemn day for many, and for the next few years after there will be a little less about it every year. The 5th anniversary will get a decent bump in remembrance, but the big one will be the ten year. After that you’ll see the tributes fade as it becomes a story we will tell our children and grandchildren, reminding them to never forget, but they don’t remember. In fact, it’s the 11th Anniversary of “Never forget,” and granted it’s only 5AM, but in my quick look on the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, and Drudge Report websites, the Sun-Times has a little blurb about about Memorial Services that are planned, and the Tribune and Drudge have forgotten. The WGN morning news had the story after 3 minutes talking about the Chicago Teacher’s strike.

Me, I’ll try to remember to put my flag out before I leave for work, but like many times I post on Facebook trying to remind people to fly their flag, I’ll run out the door, get half-way to work, and blurt out “Shit, I forgot to put out my flag.” Sometimes life gets in the way of remembering. And so, on this anniversary of September 11th, my plight is this: Do you regularly fly your flag?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Do You Personally Know Someone at Least 90 Years Old?

My Aunt Ang turns 90 today, and she’s the first person I can personally say that I know who has achieved the milestone of making it to 90 years old on this Earth. She’s a spry lady who likes to still mow her own lawn, do the yard work, say “My lands!” a lot, and although her eyesight could be better, if you were to meet her I doubt you would peg her at 90.

I went back to the old homestead in Ohio where her kids celebrated her birthday this weekend, and although a low-key kind of party, there was still a limo involved where she waved to her throngs of fans, or at least the people at the gas station, was able to do a little jig, and did the Polka with my cousin in the kitchen. There weren’t too many story of the old days, just a little recollection of how she met the love of her life, my Uncle John, how the family used to get together for Christmas every year, and some talk of the folks in Chicago my family used to know, but mostly there was talk of things going on in our lives today.

Aunt Ang can still Polka!

It was the talk of those Christmas parties that I kind of felt a little melancholy because like many families after they develop their own clan of children, and as members spread a little bit further from each other, most of our family get-togethers now focus either around weddings or funerals, and even those are hard to justify to attend with the travel involved to get there. Understandable in these times I guess, but back in the day when everyone lived pretty much about 30 minutes from each other, and were still alive I suppose, it was just a little easier to hold a family party and have everyone attend. Now, though, on the Aunt and Uncle front, the numbers are dwindling and looking forward it will be even a little more challenging to have a get-together. It’s easy to say we, as the cousins, should just plan a family reunion, but like many plans talked about at a party, they don’t always come to fruition. The thing is that in the past, and getting back to the folks we knew in Chicago, they used to treat any reason as a time for good party, rent the VFW, and celebrate getting a new dog, but even they don’t seem to do those parties any longer, and instead of using a good party to find out all of the goings-on of the family, now we know everything thanks to Facebook.There was something nice about the little get-together we had, and somehow this plight that was going to be a celebration of my Aunt turning 90 has turned a little to “dreaming of the old days,” but I have to say that I almost didn’t go, coming up with a lame excuse like money, time, or who-knows-what, but I’m so glad I made it and got to see her dance with my cousin in the kitchen. Now I’m just looking forward to the birthday when she can tell us “My lands, that Willard Scott called me on my birthday. I don’t even know who he is, but he wished me a ‘Happy Birthday!'” So, Happy Birthday to my Aunt Ang, 90 years young and still Polka-ing! And so my plight today is: Do you personally know someone who is at least 90 years old?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Are You Planning on Getting a Flu Shot This Year?

Last year I visited my doctor for what I thought was gout but turned out to be a partially torn ligament as well as Osteochondral Injury of the Talus (a.k.a. Ankle OCD), but while there, she also convinced me to get a flu shot. I had read, and she reiterated, that it was supposed to be a horrible flu season and sometimes it’s better safe than sorry. The thing is that I had never gotten a flu shot before, never really had the flu (I’m told you know if you have the flu, rather than a cold, although most people say they have the flu and only have a cold), and as I’m in okay shape and not old, yet, I always skipped getting one mostly out of fear because I would hear of people who had reactions to the flu vaccines. As my doctor and I discussed it, I decided “What the hell?”, rolled up my sleeve, tossed the “bad reaction” dice, and got the shot. All was well, I didn’t have any strange reactions nor get some kind of “phantom” flu, but wouldn’t you know it, it turned out to be a not-so-horrible flu season, there were no stories of a massive flu outbreak, and when all was said and done I questioned my decision and wondered why I got a flu shot.

As flu season is started to creep upon us I’m starting to see commercials for flu shots, or at least I just saw a commercial for a flu shot with this tiny needle so that it doesn’t hurt, and the thoughts of “Should I get a flu shot?” are starting to creep back again. I mean, maybe I didn’t get the flu last year because I had the vaccine, or maybe it’s just because I didn’t get near the influenza virus. Also, I didn’t have a reaction, so I suppose getting the vaccine wouldn’t hurt, especially if I get one with that new shot that’s out there, and maybe I’ll feel a little safer shaking hands with people this winter. And so I plight: Are you planning on getting a flu shot this year?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Are You Interested in the iPhone 5?

As I have developed some apps for the iPhone it’s easy to admit that I am an Apple guy and love my iPhone. I eagerly await their media events, loved it when they webcast one a few years ago, and yes, there I am trying to find the best live-blog feed so as to find out the truth about all of the Apple rumors that have been swirling around for weeks so I can dream of owning the hottest, new product. As Apple is having their next media event on Wednesday, September 12th, I will find myself trying to find some quiet time by myself to diligently follow Mr. Cook and his helpers as they tell the people in the hall about the products, and they in turn relate his announcements to me, all about the latest and greatest in the Appleverse, including what is supposed to be the iPhone 5 but also supposedly won’t be about a smaller iPad, an announcement the rumors say will happen in October. The thing is that most of the excitement of the events are going away, what with the abundance of leaks that are prevalent prior to the actual event with pictures of parts, specs, and computer mock-ups so that when the version that is announced, it just can’t live up to the pre-event hype that is generated. Personally I was hoping that the iPhone 5 will have 128 gig of memory, and flexible screen that won’t break, it will be waterproof, and you can set Siri to “mean” so that she will yell at you when you say stupid stuff to her, but I have a feeling I’m just going to see a redesign to make the phone “taller” and iOS 6 will become a reality instead of a Beta.

Alas, it doesn’t matter much anyway, as even if this phone is waterproof, can turn dog poop into gold, and will Make Me Smile (Oh, wait, it will Make Me Smile), in any case, as I bought an iPhone 4s a year ago, the AT&T contract budget won’t let me upgrade my phone to the new one for a year. That’s not to say I’m not interested in the iPhone, because I am. I’m curious to hear the presentation on why the phone is “taller” instead of just proportionally larger; I’m curious to hear about the new iPods (although I’m not really sure why); and I’m hoping to hear about new iMacs coming down the pike, but I suppose that one might wait for an October event. And I plight: Are you interested in the iPhone 5?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Did You Know the VMA’s Were Last Night?

The VMA’s were last night. Yes, you might remember them, the MTV Video Music Awards, those awards still on MTV for those things, music videos, that they really don’t play any longer. I forgot about them, and I’m supposed to be “entertainment.” With my line-up of the results show for America’s Got Talent (I think Howard Stern made the right decision letting the painter dude and his cronies, David Garibaldi and His CMYKs, go through), watching Dan manipulate the masses and slowly securing his place as the best player ever on Big Brother, and then having to sit through President Obama’s speech because I was too lazy to change the channel when I was going to bed (It was a good speech, but that’s sort of what he is known for), remembering the VMA’s just slipped my mind.

I guess Rihanna won the big award and shocked everyone with her short hair and long dress, or so read a quick headline when I Googled “video music awards” this morning, and I also guess there wasn’t anything crazy that happened because, well, there also weren’t any headlines of “Craziness Engulfs the VMA’s,” so in terms of news I’m guessing within about 6 hours, no one will really care, but I care. Okay, I really don’t care about what happened at the VMA’s, but I care, and I plight today: Did you know the VMA’s were last night?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!