Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Tweener is dead...Long live the Tweener

Hello everyone,

It is with little regret that I announce the discontinuation of posting on the Tweener, which will occur by the end of this week. This is not a joke. Repeat: This is not another joke. I will be setting up shop at the superior Wordpress in the near future with a new blog, or perhaps multiple ones in different categories. A couple of things you can expect in the new format:

1. A narrower focus.
2. A new name, because 'tweener' now means pre-teen females in popular vernacular. Having the name "the tweener" for a blog about 20-somethings, therefore, is not exactly a triumph of marketing.

We will post at least one retrospective this week of our best/worst posts in case this blog gets shot into space as part of some sort of introduction kit for extra-terrestrials. thetweener.blogspot will remain active so people can continue to read our timeless posts throughout the ages, and also so employers can deny me a fulltime job when they google my full name even though it is nowhere to be found on this site(Attn google: How do I stop this?).

The ETA on the new blog is anywhere from a few weeks to two months (two months is at the absolute most). If I have a new blog that is very topic specific, it will be supplemented with another that is composed of my random musings. As for Amy and Ryan, they might come along to the new blogs, but if they don't, I will keep you informed if they have their own thing going.

To everyone who has enjoyed this "online magazine", please come back and visit every couple of weeks, because I will post the URL of the new blog on this page. Thank you for reading, and to quote Churchill on his own alcohol addiction: "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

Friday, February 22, 2008

Three Cities

Since college, I’ve lived for some time in three cities: New York, Washington, and Philadelphia. I totally failed during my 6 months in New York, ‘made it’ professionally in DC but left after a year and a half, and am now approaching two years living a relatively comfortable existence in Philly. There are a few basic lessons I’ve learned, and these apply to twenty-somethings with 0-50K salaries. If you’re reading this and are older and make more, however, send a big advance to 759 South Jessup St. Philadelphia 19147 and I will write some shit that will blow your mind. Nevertheless, here are the lessons I’ve learned:

-Most people tend to think the grass is greener on the other side. they believe that if they move to another city, their social lives will improve. If said people live in DC, then they are correct. For everyone else who hasn’t lived in their city for at least two years, though, step back and ask yourself what exactly it is that you are running from. Could it be...Yourself? Loser. Oh, excuse me...”Tragic hero.”

-New York is billed as a “city that never sleeps”, but without a lifetime supply of stimulants, how are you going to pull that off?

-To continue on New York, nobody interesting lives in Manhattan anymore outside of Harlem and the lowest of the East Side. Sex in the City was a really popular show that made Manhattan the province of 30-something, affluent, fashion conscious professional white girls. As a consequence, Manhattan is probably more boring than even Dallas these days.

-Philadelphia is a city full of skeptics, but unfortunately, people seem to leave their skepticism at the door when a mediocre guitar band is playing. People are very supportive of each other in the local music scene, so Matt Pond hasn’t been told to quit yet.

-In Washington DC, people get excited about their flip-cup teams.

So, with these lessons in mind, here are the cities compared by category:


New York: Although your neighborhood might be run-down, there is no actual ghetto left in New York, except in the northern parts of the Bronx. Yeah, I know you live in Bushwick or Bed-Stuay. Just because my car window was smashed the last time I visited, however, doesn’t mean there isn’t a brunch place two blocks away and a coffee shop across the street from your apartment.

Washington, DC: DC is so expensive nowadays that you are stuck paying 900 dollars a month for a small room in a Bungalow in Sherlington, where the metro is a mile long walk away. At least the shittiest neighborhoods in New York have Bodegas on the corners where you can improvise some food. Fuck it; I don’t care if your life in danger, living east of North Capital and North of New York Ave is still fucking better than Northern Va. or Maryland.

Philadelphia: Like I’ve said before, people on the outside still think our city is a post-apocalyptic warzone, so you can live in a lot of convenient neighborhoods on the cheap. Unfortunately, the rent has shot up in “next big thing” neighborhoods like Fishtown, but the secret is that Fishtown is actually boring aside from Johnny Brenda's. What’s the point of going to Johnny Brenda’s more than twice a week anyway? so you can tell people “I saw the A-Sides before they became minimally successful”?


Philadelphia: Since there’s little status to be gained in this city that anyone cares about, you don’t really need to take your girl anywhere other than a functional dive bar. If you are in even a below-average band, just point at the girl you want and take it from there. If not you are not in a band, just lie about being in the Future Tips.

Washington, DC: Some casual pre-dinner wine at Tallula’s, Dinner at Marcel’s, post-dinner jazz at Bohemian Caverns ending with drinks at 18th Street Lounge, all accomplished by chartering a fucking limo. This will merit you a shoulder shrug. Your date will go on to bang an aide to Sam Brownback in order to gain an interview for an assistant Press Secretary position.

New York: Nobody dates in New York. People just accidentally fuck each other a bunch of times.

Going Out

Philadelphia: There are generally less douches in Philly. You can go an entire night in Philly douche-free. Since you are basically resigned to walking everywhere, however, your nightlife will slow down in the Winter to the point where you will not walk five blocks to a bar until it is at least 50 degrees out. And yet, no one would think to call you a pussy.

New York: Hop on the L Train! We've got a choice between a strip of bars in Williamsburg, or a strip of bars in the Lower East Side! There's no place like New York!

Washington, DC: Talk about other hotspots all you want, but your night will end up in Adams Morgan...In tears.


Philadelphia: In about two years, 60% of the hipster population will have a nervous breakdown over the tattoos they can't get rid of.

New York: Nobody even knows what's cool here anymore.

Washington, DC: You can't even get Chinese food without boat shoes.



Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rejected ideas for Tweener posts, today’s edition

Today, we look inside the mind of Chief Editor Scott’s attempt to come up with an idea for a post before his lunch break reaches two hours, meaning that writing the actual post would extend the break to three and a half hours. Even he feels bad about doing that.

This is a previously taped live blog that examines the creative genius behind the Tweener.

1:25: Come back with shrimp tempura lunch, and the first idea materializes: “The Tweener has run out of things to hate, please provides us with ideas in the comments”

1:28: Next idea: “Due to lack of ideas, The Tweener calls it quits”. Hmmm, this sounds suspiciously like “The Tweener surrenders to terrorism”. What’s the shortest amount of time someone has taken to plagiarize themselves? *breaks out spacemen 3 album* Oh yeah, the one second between songs.

1:40: Finish lunch. Read Anthony Bourdain’s blog. This has nothing to do with anything.

1:45: Third idea: “Documenting hate: a chronology of what Scott’s hated over the years”

1:52: Have to abandon timeline. It would’ve been 4 o’clock by the time I finished my rant on “Crazy Game of Poker” and that’s just the year 2000.

2:01: “The People’s Revolutionary Tweener Proclamation!” This one would’ve featured a soviet propaganda poster with my photo shopped face pointing directly at you, announcing glorious news that the “Twin Monster Movies: Cloverfield and London” post never existed, and the link would instead direct you to a post detailing the Tweener’s RSS subscription premium increase of the chocolate ration to 20 grams.

2:15: Read Andrew Sullivan’s blog. This is the most popular fucking blog on the net? Are you serious?! There’s like 20 words per post!

2:21: “Bad news and skiffle band blues: The greatest hits of Scott Cumberland’s MySpace bulletins and comments” I’m actually serious about this one. MySpace was like Greenwich Village circa 1960 back in 06.

2:30: Finally, “A note of concern to my friends: Adam’s Morgan Disease” and “Top Five Adams Morgan Fight Scenarios”. This is the post where I finally get to criticize my DC friends for still going to Adams Morgan. Unfortunately, I ran out of time, but you all are not off the hook.

That’s it. Oh and by the way, I fucking quit. Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

So, You’ve Decided to Quit Weed, cont.

5. Dissociating from stoner-types (a.k.a. entire social circle)

Pros: New friends! Not having to watch another episode of Wonder Showzen, ever.

Cons: Jonathan Richman's unlisted. Ian MacKaye is boring. Everyone else smokes weed.

6. Drinking

Pros: Costs less, alleged better method of socialization, increased confidence, improved dancing abilities.

Cons: Can't do it before work, hangovers.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

So, You’ve Decided to Quit Weed

Hey! What a coincidence! I’ve decided to quit weed too. That is, until I broke down and unsuccessfully tried to acquire some this past weekend. The worst part of not succeeding? Not being high to dull the feeling of failure.

It’s ok, however, because we’re gonna get through this quitting thing together. First, let’s dispel a bullshit myth: You will not suddenly have more energy. You know what they mean by ‘having more energy’? Not being high. Your normal state will not be enhanced because you aren’t smoking. You will just be in your normal state more often. What they mean to say, therefore, is that you will finally break even on energy after 8 years.

Now; step back and feel that normal energy. Kinda blows, doesn’t it? What you are going through is minor discontent. This happens 2-4 weeks after quitting. You have been burying your minor quibbles and major concerns under the green haze for some time now, and since the initial novelty of being sober has worn off, you are worrying that you should’ve put better use to your ‘down time’ in the past. At the same time, however, you have no clue where to start with the down time that you have presently.

It also doesn’t help that mid-end Winter is the worst time to quit. You are sick of the cold, and the weekends are at their most boring. During this time, all you want is a nice bowl and the New York Times Sunday Travel section, followed by a little Real Madrid and whatever other socialist activities you can partake in. Unfortunately, you don’t have weed for the bowl, you can’t enjoy yet another article on Portland, OR unless you are high, and Real Madrid have a tradition of fascism. This post, then, is to provide an introductory pro and con guide to steer your mind away from simply throwing more pot at the boredom problem. Disclaimer: Haven’t tried about half of this shit.

1. Throwing money at the problem

Pros: Xbox 360s, furniture/clothes shopping, prostitutes, yoga, non-gateway drugs, weekend getaways, visiting a therapist. They say money can’t buy you happiness, I say bullshit...3-6 months happiness guranteed. At that point, you can simply go back to smoking at smugly tell people, “hey, I quit successfully for half a year. It wasn’t for me.”

Cons: You don’t have the money.

2. Dating

Pro: The “thrill of the chase”. Finally being able to eat at nice restaurants.

Cons: Impossible to achieve balance. Suddenly, the girl you are having sex with becomes your girlfriend and starts throwing words like ‘ambition’ around, so you think to yourself, “I’ll serial date or work on two/three girls at a time”. Sorry buddy, but you are a serial monogamist. You will be involved with 5-8s until you are married. I’m not saying you will never date multiple girls at a time, but the only people who have the ability or drive to *consistently* do this are highly unlikable upper crust douchebags or dorky Mystery “pick-up artist” Ron Paultard voters who are lying about 75% of their conquests. Become really good at what you do or hope you land on that 8.

3. Cooking

Pros: A craft that is rewarding on many levels. Cooking an elaborate dish can take up to 2 hours of that exceedingly boring after-work downtime.

Cons: Some recipes you just can’t trust. Par exemplar: Chicken Curry. I had a simple formula:

-4 tablespoons Thai Yellow Curry past

-13.5 Ounces Coconut milk

-2 tablespoons soy sauce

-a sprinkling of sugar

-Chicken thigh meat, along with onions and mushrooms

Suddenly, I come across this online recipe that recommended that I forego the curry paste and instead coat the chicken in the following spices:




-Ground Cloves



-Chili Powder

I mean, is all this junk really necessary? “It’s just how it was traditionally done, man”. Well, I’m sure that’s how it was traditionally done 150 years ago when the chicken was exposed for 13 days in room temperature and had to be covered in spices to mask the rot. It’s 2008, however, and I don’t my dark meat to taste like someone’s garden.

4. Exercise

Pros: Absolutely the simplest and easiest way of dealing with post pothead stress disorder. No matter what the mood, exercise will improve it. I hate to say it, but it’s true. It’s what the government doesn’t want you to know; that’s why every baseball player is an alleged steroid user, NBA players are portrayed as not giving a fuck, and NFL teams are stupid enough to draft players like Kyle Boller in the first round. Indeed, the government is interested in continuing America’s time-honored tradition of indifference to all sports and physical fitness.

Cons: Gym membership costs money. If you don’t have a gym membership, you can work out at home, but that means you have do your cardio in either the freezing cold or boiling heat in a city full of drunken Irishmen. Dieting and exercise trends shift so often, the healthy workout you are doing today could suddenly be a cause of prostate cancer tomorrow.

To be continued tomorrow.

Monday, February 18, 2008

In Honor of President's Day, Ranking the Fictional Presidents

1. President Bennett - Clear and Present and Danger

Makes a deal with the Columbian drug lords he was previously trying to fight, cutting off his illegal black ops army in the process and getting them slaughtered. A true American hero.

2. President Andrew Shepherd - The American President

Before he had a big hit with "The West Wing", Aaron Sorkin made his mark with this movie about the West Wing. In The American President, Michael Douglas falls in love with Annette Bening (really? Annette Bening?). Douglas' presidential qualities are exaggerated due to the fact that no one would ever vote for Richard Dreyfuss.

3. Fake President Bill Mitchell - Dave

Kevin Kline undergoes a metamorphosis in this movie from goofy impersonator of the incapicitated president to someone with real ideas. What are these real ideas? Getting every American a job. With that type of insight, You might as well promise free sandcastles as well.

4. President Tom Beck - Deep Impact

When everyone goes crazy for Obama, they forget that Morgan Freeman was the first Black President in "everyone in this cast seems to be taking a nap" Deep Impact. Like Obama, Freeman got saddled with an America in crisis for his presidential term. Instead of a recession, however, Freeman had to deal with a humanity destroying meteor. Luckily, only part of the asteroid hits, landing on the East Coast and building a tidal wave that reaches as far as Missouri. You know what that means? Lots of crucial red states, including Florida, were obliterated. That undoubtably left California's electoral votes to aide a victorious second term for Freeman.

5. Stock footage of Bill Clinton - Contact

Stock footage of Bill Clinton oversees the first successful contact with extra-terrestrials; is there anything the Clinton's couldn't do in the 90s? Indeed, The Clinton machine was so successful, they could campaign leftover footage of Bill for president. The problem was that Stock Footage's speeches seemed a little vague, like he was trying to leave out all nouns to fit any situation: "we must know about the facts to make a decision on this particular subject. Without the facts, we might rush to judgment on the issues in question. It is the most important issue of our time, one that demands that we know the facts."

Not listed: A shitload of movies starring Chris Cooper.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

It's Valentine's Day!.....leave me alone.

As the lone XX in the Tweener office, I thought I would offer my wisdom for our boy-readers on what to NOT get your little girlfriends on this, the holiest of all fake/depressing holidays.

1. Undergarments

The last thing I need is a[nother] black thong with Sexy, Cutie, or Baby written across the front in rhinestones. In fact, no one should own a thong with Baby written on it.

2. Vibrator

Leave it to a dude to buy a girl the vibrator that most resembles his own penis. Great! Just what I wanted! A veiny, three-inch dick that leans to the right and runs out of batteries after 1.5 minutes.

3. Ecstasy Pills

You might think Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to let your guard down, swallow a Hello Kitty and tell your lover how you really feel. WRONG. You will end up drooling all over yourself and, through gritted teeth, repeating “you’re just so…beautiful” over and over. Save the pills for President’s Day.

4. Any makeover/beauty/bath/health product/sporting equipment

Translation: You’re ugly, you smell bad and you’re fat.

5. Engagement Ring

Scratch that—this is a brilliant idea. Propose marriage to your girlfriend today. Go ahead and sign your life away. Enjoy not having sex, getting fatter, spending time with someone else’s parents, the nagging, the arguing, the divorce proceedings, and the eventual return to bachelorhood.

6. Three-Way

This one’s complicated. If you’ve been going out with a girl for 3-5 months and she’s a bit of a freak, it might be ok. Otherwise, you might have to deal with tears, a slap across the face, and the end of the road. Bonus: the other girl still might fuck you.

7. Flowers, chocolates, etc.

Who are you, my dad?

In closing, I have zero ideas as to what a good Valentine’s Day present might be. I’d appreciate a good lay and a joint. Then again, I suppose you never asked for my advice. So, we’re all square here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hope and Change

When people ask me my political affiliation, I tell them I'm a Schwarzenegger Republican. Partly because I like Arnold Schwarzenegger, particularly the films Predator, Terminator, Twins, True Lies, Last Action Hero, Eraser, Conan the Barbarian, Red Heat, Commando, Terminator 2, Total Recall, The Running Man, Conan the Destroyer, and Kindergarten Cop (I'm not crazy about Raw Deal). But also, and more importantly, because it's a stupid fucking question. I'm twenty-five, live in center-city Philadelphia, and am most likely wearing a purple shirt. Figure it out.

Now just because I'm a Democrat doesn't mean I'm going to be watching any Obama speeches outside the comfort of my living room (or until their conclusion, for that matter). It doesn't mean I'm giving him 10 bucks. It doesn't even mean I'm going to vote. But I can't stave off the infectious interest of leap-year politics; it just grabs a hold of you! And I know I'm not the only one. Seriously, whose twee-pop message board doesn't have an "I <3 Obama (OT)" thread on it right now? You bunch a liars.

So anyway, I'm pumped. At first I was kind of going for Hillary, cause I like experienced ladies with some fire in their belly. And I would have liked Biden, but for some reason, the whole United States of America was all Fuck This Guy. Now I'm sort of settling in with ole blue eyes: Barack Hussein Goebbels Pol Obama. He's got a four point plan that's pretty tough to beat: overrated speaking ability, novelty, hope, and change. Just the kind of bullshit I like. So I hope you're pumped, too. Mix it up out there; have fun. Get out the vote and tell me how it was.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

President's Day Weekend is Slept On

Your place of employment typically offers you 5-6 three day weekends per year. MLK, President's Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day are provided by nearly everyone. Some people get Columbus Day. Christmas weekend sometimes runs for three days, but people usually take more time off. Out of all of them, President's Day is the most underrated.

Nobody plans for President's Day. Hell; nobody even knows it's coming. Over the course of November, December, and January, you are bombarded with so many holidays and vacations that you forget that there's one extra holiday tacked on in the third weekend of February. You typically only become conscious of it within 1-2 weeks of its arrival. Furthermore, you realize that it is the last holiday you get before a three month trudge to Memorial Day.

On President's Day, travel is usually out of the question; you are typically exhausted from all the traveling you've had to do in the previous three months. Expectations for big parties are usually low, too, as you are effectively in party "dead season" (post X-Mas/New Years, pre-spring) and no one in history has ever thought of putting on a blowout President's Day party. If you have a significant other, you just busted your romantic wad a couple of nights ago on whatever that made-up holiday is called, so you don't have to go all out to cater to them. Finally, you have more energy than you did on MLK weekend a month ago, but just as little to do.

With all of these factors coalescing, President's Day weekend should always be an exercise in creative debauchery: "We've got three days and no plans, so how and where do we get fucked up in this city?", and sure as the sun rises each morning until it is blocked by the ash covered sky from the 2015 Yellowstone volcanic eruption, you will find a way to get memorably fucked up. Now is not the time to worry about appearances or dignity. Have you smoked crack before? No?? Well, I don't see any reason why you're not sitting around smoking some crack, or possibly selling it. You'll need muscle, however, so got out there and recruit...It's President's Day weekend, dawg!

Have you ever been to an Asian wishy washy? Sixty dollars upfront for the body wash and massage, another two-hundred or so for the full service. Do it in the morning after you wake up, too. Save that drunken pussy "it's 3 am, let's get asian prostitutes!" shit for the regular weekends.

Don't forget the NBA All-Star game!

Ahh, President's Day. In 2005, our slogan was "rrrrrooooaaaarrrrr" due to the amount of adderral we were on the whole weekend. In 2006, in the span of 36 hours, I went from DC to Philly, then back to DC, then from DC to Atlantic City, then back to DC. I am still not sure why. On the other hand, 2007 sucked...I guess you can't win em' all. Let's compare the greatness of President's Day to the other three day weekends:

MLK: People are too partied out for this one and are usually just looking for a bag of weed.

Memorial Day: By far the most overrated holiday weekend and a budding disaster each year. Let's review the negatives:

1.) You've been inflating expectations for this weekend for at least a month before it even arrived.

2.) For some reason, nobody ever has a fucking clue on when to throw or coordinate the cookouts/parties. Sometimes it's Monday, but that means you have to reign yourself in because you work the next day. Is it Saturday, then? It is Sunday? Nobody knows anything! There should be a commission studying this! Sometimes people throw all the parties on one day, leaving you with nothing for the rest of the weekend, and sometimes nobody does anything at all because everyone went to the beach. The beach?! I'm sorry, unless you are 45 with two kids, memorial day should be a city weekend. I mean, you've been waiting three months for this and your whole plan is to drive an hour and a half in traffic to sit by the ocean and finally get around to reading Freakonomics? Holiday pass revoked.

Furthermore, people can't pace Memorial Day parties for shit. Drinking should start either before two or after five. Before two o'clock at least lets people know that they are in for a long haul and should prepare accordingly. After five allows people to dig in and push hard to make it to late night. Anywhere in-between, and people are passed out or home by 12:00, leaving all the asshole 10 o'clock-arrival carpetbaggers to make out with each other. That's illegal.

3.) Because there's never a set plan (ie 4th of July is THE day where everyone parties) , you always end up feeling like you are perpetually missing out on some superior party that nobody told you about, or that you eschewed for something else. On 4th of July, for better or worse, you've made a decision on where to go and you can make peace with it. On Memorial Day, you miss one night, and then suddenly over the next week, people are talking about this amazing party where Black Thought of the Roots showed up and was a dick to everyone, and you were completely in the dark.

4.) In my opinion, having a bad Memorial Day weekend is an omen for how the rest of Summer will go. Do you understand that I'm generally spooked by this weekend? Only a brilliant stretch in mid to late August this past year saved me from continued mediocrity. For fuck's sake, I'm spending this May/June driving across the country in hopes of ending the Memorial Day hex.

Or maybe all Summers just suck because of the soul-punishing heat.

4th of July: Hyped to oblivion, but always delivering, 4th of July is the best holiday weekend of the year. Because the 4th is sandwiched between Memorial Day and Labor Day, your expectations are tempered a little bit. Furthermore, no matter what day the 4th lies on, you always know there will be something happening on that day. This allows you to build party momentum accordingly. There is one exception, however: Wednesday. WOW that was awful last year. One measly day?! Please never let it happen again, US government. I fully expect you to temporarily change the date of independence the next time it falls on a Wednesday.

Labor Day: Second only to Memorial Day weekend in disaster potential. Everyone's kind of knackered and depressed around Labor Day. Vacation season is over, school is starting for certain people, there isn't another holiday for months, and everyone is sick and tired of the heat. I actually haven't encountered people our age really celebrating Labor Day, and for good reason: It's a fucking a glum holiday. "Here: Take one day before everything around you dies."

In conclusion, please enjoy this most underrated of holiday weekends. Remember, however, that you pretty much do the same shit on a holiday Monday that you do at work: Surf the internet and recover from the previous two days. In that spirit, make please every Monday your President's Day for eternity.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Tweener announces surrender to terrorism

Hello my friends and colleagues,

Last week, I wrote a post that was overtly critical of Mitt Romney. In that post, I sought to contrast what I believed to be his rather weak attempt at call-and-response interaction during his campaign speeches with some of our favorite call-and-response songs.

Although the Tweener has not made an official presidential endorsement, early polling shows that at lease two of our staff members will vote for a Democrat, provided they are not too high to register.

During Romney's concession speech, we learned that voting for a Democrat would mean a surrender to terrorism. Due to our criticism of Romney, coupled with our early polling results, I have decided to make a preemptive surrender to terrorism on behalf on everyone on the Tweener. It was a tough decision; I won't deny that. As a leader, however, I have to make the hard decisions, like when I should turn my entire organization over to radical jihadists. That time is now.

The terms of surrender are being negotiated as we speak. At first, I offered to turn the Tweener headquarters over for occupation by the men of Middle Eastern descent who operate the food truck in the garage below us. They were confused, as they stated that they already owned the building in which were operating out of. Woe be the humiliation that engulfed me at that very moment, for they had defeated us long before we mustered the courage to lay down our arms!

I asked the occupiers to transfer me to the P.O.W. camps in their homeland, giving up Amy's address in the process. They did not understand what I was talking about, and instead smiled and gave me a watermelon.

Indeed, negotiating surrender has proven to be difficult. The first task, locating the 147 armed terrorists throughout the world, is challenging enough. After that, there are so many different sects. Al-Qaeda was the safest bet, but which one? After much deliberation, Ryan will go to Al-Qaeda Iraq, and Amy to Al-Qaeda Pakistan/Afghanistan. To my horror, however, Al-Qaeda claimed that they didn't have the money to fly Amy or Ryan over to their respective bases. Osama has spent all of their money on weed and Whitney Houston albums. You will have to pay for your own tickets.

As for me? I have surrendered myself to the terrorists of France. There, I will suffer under the oppressive conditions of a spacious chatteau near the South Coast, enduring the strong Euro, cream-based cooking, Scott Walker albums, and beautiful artistic brunettes who will listen for hours to my anectdotes about Miles Davis. Go on, Ryan and Amy, but remember that I have sacrificed myself to the greatest torment out of all three of us so that one day, you two might see an America free of terrorist occupation.

If by miracle, I escape incarceration today, expect a post by the afternoon of tomorrow, or perhaps wednesday. Until then, this is the Tweener signing off forever.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Seven Songurai: Seven Call-and-Response Classics

I have just one thing to say before we proceed: You see this middle finger, music of the 1960s and 70s? That's the non-proverbial 'fuck you' to the songs from your era that we completely left out of this list, except for Steely Dan, who we only included to fulfill our Caucasian quota. I could've just as easily chosen Should I Stay or Should I Go from the 80s, too, but I'm only having mercy on your overrated past. Go watch the Big Chill and seriously think about what you've done by making us pay for your imminent retirement.

Now to the list, in no particular order:

Amy: Night Time is the Right Time - (as performed by the Huxtables)
Before she was starring in Chingy videos and topping 'Most Well-Adjusted Child Stars' lists, Keisha Knight Pulliam (aka Rudy Huxtable) put on an unforgettable performance in this piece of 80s sitcom call-and-response magic. If this video doesn't warm your heart, you're made of stone....or you're one of the women alleging that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted you in the past 40 years.

Ryan: D'Angelo - Chicken Grease

Ever been hanging out in the shitty Chinese store around the corner (you know Lee's, too?!) waiting for the safest meal you could possibly order, most likely chicken and broccoli or General Tso's or whatever, and some crazy guy orders Turkey Livers or some $#%^? D'Angelo wrote a song about that called Chicken Grease. I think he meant it to be about hard times growing up or something but to me and all the people who bought D'Angelo's record (instead of Sho'Nuff Killa or whoever was 'hot' that week), this song is about wondering why the hell anyone would ever be talking about chicken grease. If this blog were popular, we'd get tons of e-mails telling us all the great uses of chicken grease; good thing I don't want to talk to their broke ass anyway.

Scott: Naughty By Nature – Hip-Hop Hooray

Naughty by Nature were masters of the call-and-response hit. In addition to this song, they produced the classic O.P.P., as well as the lesser-known Uptown Anthem from the Juice soundtrack (a movie that featured a young Tupac and Omar Epps!). Hip-Hop Hooray wins solely based on the fact that its commercial release coincided with Treach's near MVP level performance in Rock 'n' Jock B-ball 4. This song also has the distinction of being the last hip-hop mainstream crossover hit before Nothing but a G Thing kicked off the Dre/Snoop era.; aka the moment Hip-Hop found its weed.

We’ve also embedded Uptown Anthem for you.

Ryan: ONYX - Slam

Maybe the main reason for call and response is that random syllables seem much more reasonable when a mob is yelling them than when sung alone. While 'SLAM!' could maybe be pulled off by a charismatic vocalist not named Fredro Starr or Sticky Fingaz, 'Dunh dunh nuh, dunh dunh nuh,' just doesn't sound right spoken alone by anyone. Still, this song was a lot of fun in grade school, and I bet their duet with Biohazard on the Judgment Night soundtrack is just great. Plus, even if their other album Shut 'Em Down wasn't a pinnacle of the mid-1990s bullshit-rap genre, they get a pass on whatever they do because Starr is on The Wire.

Scott: A Tribe Called Quest – Scenario

Another song from the early 90s! What’s next? Cameos from Horace Grant and Paul Reiser?

Long before Tribe were considered to be the predecessors to backpacker, coffee shop bohemian alternative hip-hop, they were known for this throw-down track. This song is what used to be called a “posse” cut, where one popular group tries to give attention to an up-and-coming group by featuring them on the track (ie the Homicide/NYPD Blue crossover episode). On this particular track, the Leaders of the New School play The Critic to Tribe’s Simpsons, and this song is heavy on the call-and-response verses between the emcees. There’s no rhyme or reason to where the call-and-response appears, which contributes to the random awesomeness (my personal favorite: “Layback on the payback, evolve rotate the gates...CONTACT!”). Bonus points for Scenario featuring one of the first appearances on wax for Busta Rhymes...You know, before his star really shined with his performance in Higher Learning.

Note: Before the Black Eyed Peas were embarrassing hit-makers, they were embarrassing Tribe imitators on their first album, “Behind the Front”. Nobody listened to it, yet somehow their career survived.

Amy: Ray Parker, Jr. - Ghostbusters
In college there was this pointless building called The Depot that I went to for a Halloween party one year. By the grace of god, it was a BYOB affair...which was necessary because the entertainment was a jam band. I drank three 40s and eventually blacked out. Regardless, I still knew what to say when those dirty hippies on stage asked me who I was going to call.

Scott: Steely Dan – Black Cow

Steely Dan loved cocaine and jazz, a combination you just don't see enough of these days.

Honorable mention: Gwen Stefani: Hollaback Girl. TLC: I Ain't Too Proud to Beg. Outkast: Hey Ya. The Clash: Should I Stay or Should I Go.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mitt Romney has inspired us to create a list

I'm sure you've been watching the primary coverage on the news like the diligent, informed citizen that you are. Along the way, you might've witnessed one of Mitt Romney's many concession speeches. In these speeches, he weaves a tale of inspiration for all Americans: The son of a George W. Romney, a filthy rich Mormon businessman who served as governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, Mitt Romney overcame all odds to get a dual JD/MBA from Harvard. He was highly successful as CEO of the management consulting firm Bain Capital, and then effectively managed to 2002 Winter olympics. He later became governor of MA and then ran for president on a platform of "change" involving the building of a 1,000 extra guatanamo bays, de-regulating everything involving businesses and taxes, and endlessly talking about how he was once a CEO.

It's no surprise, then, that every American hates his fucking guts except a bunch of Northeastern investment bankers and real estate speculators, who America equally hates. Still; even they didn't vote for him. In the end, only the Mormons and states where Romney lived gave him any love.

If you were to list three things that America despises, I would bet that the following three things would appear on the majority of people's lists:

1. Management consultants
2. Mormons
3. Winter Olympics

This is not even considering the fact that if you were to ask anyone who's ever met anybody from Massachusetts who their least favorite person was in life, it would be a competition between all the people that person met from Massachusetts.

Oh yeah, American's also hate their bosses, especially right now. You'd have to be an idiot to run on your CEO credentials. You might object to me and say, "bbbbbbut George Bush ran as a CEO!". It was a baseball team. People like baseball. And besides, Bush has that southern good ole' boy CEO persona, which is distinct from Northeastern corporate CEO. Nobody, I mean NOBODY, likes a big Northeastern corporate CEO, especially one who did management consulting.

Mitt Romney spent millions of dollars to lose over and over again, and despite the super tuesday massacre, he will stay in the race to lose another day. UPDATE: MITT QUIT. He's kind of like Rudy, the Notre Dame football player, except if Rudy had all of the talent, none of the likability, and got cut from the team repeatedly.

In honor of Mitt's loserdom, we'd like to make a list. This list is inspired by Mitt's campaign speeches, in which he initiates a call-and-response part with his audience that revives the worst boring cliches about white people and stiffness. Romney says something about how we asked Washington to fix something (funny, I never asked anything. Did you ask anything?) and the audience responds THEY HAVEN'T Here's how it usually goes:

We look to Washington for leadership, but Washington has failed us.

We've asked them to fix illegal immigration. They haven't.

We've asked them to get the tax burden off our families and businesses. They haven't.

We asked them to end our dependence on foreign oil. They haven't.

We asked them to maintain high ethical standards. They haven't.

We asked them to fix Social Security. They haven't.

We asked them to stop spending money on pork barrel projects. We asked them to balance our budget. They haven't.

The problem is that there is never any energy or rhythm in Romney's voice, and the audience never responds with "THEY HAVEN'T" in unison. They are always painfully jumping his sentences. A far cry from that dude who's running for the Democrats.

Here is a link to a video of this: www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=80c5d5a2d2693dd6f188

The list for tomorrow will be the top seven songs featuring call-and-response vocals, in honor of the number of states Romney won on Super Tuesday (I guess he won eight, but I don't care).

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: The Parker-Spruce Hotel was on Fire!

Where there's smoke, err...Nevermind.

In an amazing development that has little importance to anyone, even for the people who live there, The Parker-Spruce Hotel was on fire last night.

This particular reporter happened to be first on the scene, and The Tweener is proud to break this news to you a mere 14 hours after we stumbled upon it on the way back from class. We also took live pictures, but the work computer won't let us upload them. We a had chance to put them on the computer at home last night, but there was a 104 state primary going on for god's sake!

You'll get the pictures this evening*. I surely have a great career in journalism ahead of me.


The mainstream Philly news won't mention this fire, and in all honesty, we wouldn't have even bothered to tell you about this if we hadn't written an ode to the Parker-Spruce a couple of months ago. While we certainly appreciate the Parker Hotel, let's get something straight: We can't go around covering the "issues" that the real news won't notify you about. That requires that I get paid, or at least am unemployed with a monthly stipend coming in. So; while we have pictures, we gurantee you not a single damn interview or react quote from any person who was evacuated from the building. Let's just tell you that they were all grimy, sad, probably evicted from somewhere else, and they all used to work at a mill. The non-destructive fire of the Parker Hotel was the least of their problems.

BTW, I've still never seen a huge fire up close. This was just one of those pussy fires. In all honestly, then, this wasn't even an issue anyway. Basically, a run-down hotel with substandard wiring caught a minor fire. I would've said that some condo developer was trying to commit arson to eliminate an ugly building that clashed with an otherwise gentrified neighborhood, but condo developers are all broke losers these days, and they probably just checked into the Parker-Spruce anyway?

I hope that some day, this inspiring story will live on through the rise of the global Chinese empire of 2014 to the end of history (2031).

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Travel Plans

I’ve got reading to catch up on this afternoon, so I got only a minute here.

I’ve made tentative plans to drive across the country and back at the conclusion of my semester in early May. This will also coincide with the quitting of my job, of which I’ve already given notice.

I have to get back by early June for whatever internship/freelance work/independent project I conjure up for the Summer. The plan is to read On the Road, then do everything the opposite of Kerouac because I can’t stand that novel. I probably won’t get past thirty pages of Sal Paradise’s tiresome journey, however, so here is the real plan:

May 9th: Columbus, OH (to that get that adderall connect, Lauren! Hahaha jk, it’s simply for the “value of your time”).

May 11th: Leave Columbus, arrive at Nashville, TN

May 13th: Leave Nashville, arrive at Memphis

May 15th: Leave Memphis

May 16th: Arrive at Austin, TX (maybe stop in New Orleans on the 17th)

May 18th: Leave Austin. Stop in random desert town, or El Paso, on night of 18th.

May 19th: Arrive at Tucson/Bisbee, Arizona (home of Calexico, Giant Sand, and Howe Gelb for those you who are scratching your heads right now).

May 21st: Leave Tucson

May 24th: Arrive at Portland, OR. (maybe stop in LA or San Fran on the way. I’m not terribly interested in visiting either city, so maybe stop in podunk towns along the way).

May 26th: Leave Portland, arrive Seattle.

May 29th: Leave Seattle

June 1st: Arrive Chicago, with random stops on the way there.

June 3rd: Leave Chicago

June 4th: Arrive Philly.

That’s the plan. I’ve been to Portland and Seattle before, But I want to go to Portland again, and the plan is the west coast trip by visiting friends in Seattle. Obviously, I planned to spend much more time on the way there than back. I have someone who is committed to tagging along, but there’s a 50% chance that will fall through, so for any friends who read this, if you can ever free up thirty days, consider it. I probably would not go it alone, but traveling alone has its merits.

Any recommendations for the people who have done this before? I think the lurkers should speak up and let their voices be heard. Break free of the Lindsay, Brandon, Lauren and Ryan tyranny!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Eli, The Absurd Hero

Last night, an important football game was played. The game cemented what we already knew: Advertising executives are pathetic. Nice job, Planters Peanuts...A commercial where an extremely ugly woman becomes sexy by rubbing peanuts on herself? Truly one for the ages.

It must be such a backhanded accomplishment to land the role of the ugly Planters girl. Seriously, It’s not as if that role is going to catapult you to a career, unless you count playing Justin Long’s haggish blind date in “Epic Move 3” a career. I hope that particular actress really needed the money.

Ok; the game. I am a huge New York Giants fan. Last night’s victory was the best game I ever witnessed. Due to the diverse readership of this publication, however, we tend to be light on the sports commentary. It’s probably for the best, too. You know the saying: Every seven seconds, someone dies, every four seconds, someone is born, every three seconds, some asshole starts a sports blog, and every time you mention Ron Paul on the internet, a thousand commentators will flood your message board with a bunch of rambling about abolishing the IRS and re-instating the gold standard. If you don’t know who Ron Paul is by now, then go fuck yourself. Also; please don’t vote for him.

Without digressing into excessive analysis of the game, I want to write a few words about Eli Manning, and by extension, little brothers across the universe. Eli happens to have grown up in an atmosphere where his older brother is so extremely accomplished to the point where competing with him is almost pointless. I have an older brother who is like that, and maybe some of you have grown up in a situation like that as well.

I sometimes mention hipsters on this blog. My brother probably has no idea what a hipster is. He will never need to know what a hipster is. Furthermore, he will never need to complain about ‘fratboys’ or preppies or any shit like that. He has the gift of extreme competence, which renders 98% of other people pretty much irrelevant.

My brother deferred enrollment to a top med school to successfully qualify for two Iron Man championships. He then decided to attend a top law school while switching his focus to bike racing, and is now racing at a professional level, while editing Law Review at the same time.

You think I want anything to do with that? Fuck no. After witnessing first-hand how hard certain levels of accomplishment are to attain, you might well kick back and become the swashbuckling, erratic, mystifying brother who people believe to be both a retard and a genius within the span of five minutes. That’s Eli Manning, as well as the little brothers of accomplished older siblings everywhere. I’m not sure exactly how Eli’s life went, but I assume Peyton often criticized him for the following things:

1.) Smoking too much weed.

2.) Spending too much time talking on the phone with his first high school girlfriend, despite that fact that Peyton was guilty of the exact same thing when he was younger.

3.) Driving drunk.

I’m willing to also guess that Eli beat Peyton in a one on one basketball game when he was 13, finishing Peyton off with a barrage of two handed three-pointers to complete a stunning comeback. Nevertheless, Eli will never produce the passer rating that his brother has, but the bloodline isn’t thin, it just got accidentally injected with a small amount of liquid LSD. You may wonder where the hell his head is 60% of the time, but that other %40 will produce some brilliant moment out of nowhere.

And you know what? It’s entirely appropriate. Who wants to be exactly like someone else? When Eli throws an interception, he does that angry-at-himself, ‘aw shucks’ routine, but I bet you that deep down, he doesn’t give a shit. He’s thinking to himself, “thank god, now people will stop comparing me to my fucking brother”. When he won the Superbowl MVP yesterday, you could tell he was thinking, “yeah; this is cool, whatever. Brother did it a year ago”.

Growing up around extreme competence makes fucking up a lot of fun. It also results in some crazy things happening that your older brother probably never experienced. I bet my brother never stumbled into a Ritz Carlton hotel room featuring lesbians on ecstasy, only to have absolutely nothing of note happen (insane!). I bet he never eluded two stalking muggers in the Amsterdam Red Light district to stroll back into the hostel for a casual Heineken. I bet he never got really drunk in England, and then went to a dance party, grinding with every girl on the floor until one of them eventually took him home (I hope he didn’t get to see what she actually looked like). And for all of his athletic accomplishments, I know for certain he never launched himself in the air with a fiber glass pole.

I bet this stuff never happened to Peyton either.

Before you try and accuse me of making excuses for little brothers across the world for having less talent, just remember that we can write award winning essays on obscure Milton poems on a last minute adderral binge, we can blossom into fine actors (uh, Casey Affleck), and we can certainly lead a team of pass dropping, fumbling, 12 men-on-the-field penalty committing enigmas to a superbowl victory against an undefeated team. It’s the little brother way, and it’s never very attractive.

To symbolize what I’m saying, take a look at the picture below. Eli may look like a drunk dufus, but the girl on his arm is HOT. Judging by those eyes, however, she may be a demon.

Friday, February 1, 2008

I see you, Metro...

Low and behold, I opened up my Philadelphia Metro yesterday, and admist the fifteen word articles, I noticed a column by some guy named "Johnny Goodtimes", titled "Never Say Never". His column begins with this paragraph:

"While logging into MSN on Monday, I noticed a column titled "10 Things a Man Should Never Say to a Woman." Being someone who has a rich and voluminous history of saying dumb things to women, I thought I might be just the demographic such an article was aiming for. But alas, most of them were common sense ("are you expecting?") or things no man has ever said to a woman without being stabbed with a meat thermometer ("You are acting like my ex-girlfriend!"). Dumb."

Hmm...Sounds familiar, doesn't it? A mere three weeks ago, I wrote and directed a little one-act called "out of nowhere, a dating advice post". The post started with this paragraph:

"For any of you who have ever had a hotmail account, you are probably aware of the various dating advice lists that MSN posts on its homepage seemingly everyday: "10 first date no-nos", "14 pitfalls in bed", "8 signs she's cheating on you with a short guy". These lists are about as useful as dick-flavored ice cream. They're filled obvious pointers such as "don't punch her in the face when you say hello", as well as empty platitudes like "just be confident". Even worse, they insult your common sense by bringing in some "expert" psychologist to tell you why talking incessantly about your ex-girlfriend on the first date is a bad thing...No really??"

Yes; I conceed that Johnny Goodtimes probably never "read" my "puny" little "blog". Furthermore, I'm willing to admit that hating on the MSN dating lists should be de rigueur among those who have to frequent the site. Nonetheless, HAHAHAHA GOT THERE FIRST, METRO! PWNED! YOU GOT NOTHIN' ON "DICK-FLAVORED ICE CREAM"! ENJOY THE MASSIVE STAFF CUTS!

Have a good weekend.