Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Decaf coffee is about as necessary and useful as alcohol-free tequila. Or caffeine-free Red Bull. Or the Detroit Lions.

Do people order it because they love the taste of coffee? If so, they should upgrade to Yak urine, which Wikipedia says takes half as many sugar cubes and creamer packets to become palatable.

Monday, January 26, 2009

My talk with Chazz Palminteri

Trent Othick: Chazz, this is Phil, he wrote great things about you in his review.

Chazz Palminteri: I don't read reviews.

Me: Oh, uh...

Chazz: I'm gonna get going.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Three-car garage

Not once in the history of humankind has a homeowner used the bastardized third slot of his three-car garage - the one that's partitioned off, separated from the traditional boundaries of the garage - to park a car. The third slot is used only as a cesspool to stockpile unnecessary garbage the owner deems unworthy of keeping inside the house yet too necessary to expunge to a landfill.

It's not that I fault people for never being able to park their cars in the third slot. Lord knows it's not worth the risk. The walls are so narrow it takes Luke Skywalker ability to navigate your vehicle to safety without sideswiping a wall. I've wondered aloud to just about everyone I've ever met why it is builders can't design three-car garages ultra-wide and partition free, and every time I've gotten the answer "that probably wouldn't be stable enough." I don't buy it. In this world of retractable-roofed football stadiums, Space Needles and Disney Concert Halls, someone out there must know how to sketch up a usable three-car garage.

I'm mystified at those who stack boxes upon boxes of worthless nonsense - Thighmaster atop exercise bike atop worn-out cardboard Costco crates. Most garages I see look exactly the same, crammed with unpacked boxes from three moves ago, beat-up mattresses and the like. They stand as monuments to careless excess.

This is coming from a packrat who still has every comic book he ever purchased when he was 15, more than 100,000 baseball cards and a box of mid-1980s Nintendo Powers. If I can find space enough inside my closets, underneath my bed and inside drawers for all that slop without sacrificing one my two sacred garage parking spots, there's no excuse for anyone to own a three-car garage and not find at least enough space to park two cars.

By the way, if I'm ever elected president of the United States this will be my first state of the union address.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Prince's inspiration

I believe that when Prince penned the song that goes "Could you be the most beautiful girl in the world" he had Google Reader in mind. It's amazing. Like DVR for internet reading. It knows better than you do what it is you'll want to read on the internet and serves it up for you in one long list.

It slashes away the stress that comes from working whether anything cool has been posted. It triples your productivity in all phases of life.

Google Reader, you're the reason that God made a girl.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A reflection on the NFC Championship

The starkest feeling I'll take away from my Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium won't be the jubilant uproar of 70,000 (minus maybe a couple thousand depressed Eagles revelers) fans screaming in disbelief that the team they'd loved for 20 years (or 20 days) had finally tipped the world on its ear and made it to the Super Bowl. "We are the Champions" blared over the speakers as confetti showered from the rafters.

Nor will it be the sting I felt in my ribs when a belligerent giant Cardinals fan elbowed me out of the way as I tried to pull him off of a belligerent giant Eagles fan who had stolen his toilet stall. He gave the same treatment to security guards that followed, and then police officers who slammed his face to the tile and cuffed him. No worse time to be arrested than when you have to drop a deuce.

No, the feeling I'll remember most is the soundwaves reverberating through my stomach for three and a half hours. Place is loud.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My dream

Is to don a half-Cardinals head mask and live inside the bowels of the University of Phoenix Stadium. I will swoop down to block opposing field goals, terrorize enemy fans and pop out of Rambo-like trap doors in the sod to throw blocks downfield for Larry Fitzgerald. I will ensure the Cardinals go to the next 15 Super Bowls.

My only hope is they'll be able to get someone better than Andrew Lloyd Webber to write a rock opera about me.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Arizona Cardinals

Wow, Cardinals, I don't know what's most amazing - the fact that you took an 18 point lead over the Eagles or the fact that you lost that lead in the span of 15 minutes.

Wait, I know what it is - YOU'RE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL!!! This improves the awesomeness of my general life by a factor of 15,000. The air is sweeter, pizza is cheesier and Double Stuff Oreos are now Quadruple Stuff Oreos. The world is better now, because Larry Fitzgerald has grabbed it out of the sky with one hand.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Good things that have happened this week

The Arizona Cardinals are playing in the NFC championship. I'm going. I finished writing my latest book. The newspaper where I work, unlike a couple others I know of, has no plans of folding this month. The Arizona Wildcats have not yet gotten pummeled by UCLA or USC on their Los Angeles trip. My boy turned two. My daughter prepared for her birth in less than a month. My wife threw a birthday party that didn't entirely drain our bank account. I found a way to watch the first three episodes of the new season of "Flight of the Conchords" that doesn't involve piracy.

Maybe things do get better than this, but not by much.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Perez Hilton

I titled this post "Perez Hilton" to see if Perez Hilton is narcissistic enough to spot and click on this Perez Hilton Link when it pops up if he googles Perez Hilton or has Perez Hilton as a keyword on his google reader. We'll see if Perez Hilton clicks on Perez Hilton. I'll report back on the results later. Perez Hilton.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hammer Time

When did Hammer Time begin and when did it end? Or does it still go on in an alternate dimension? Perhaps in that alternate dimension Hammer Time is indeed 2 legit 2 quit. But my suspicions is although legit, Hammer Time was not 2 much so 2 necessitate quitting. There's only one truth we can count on - we got to pray just to make it today. This sort of truth is one you cannot touch.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

$138.50 buys a trip to heaven

Bought a ticket for the Arizona Cardinals' once-in-a-lifetime appearance in the NFC title game Sunday. Lucky enough to get the ticket on Ticketmaster because the game was sold out in minutes. Going with my dad, who is probably the only other 20-year fan (including the Cardinals' pathetic owners, who for so long made decisions that revealed their inert hatred of the franchise) of the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals.

I believe they will win, just as I have believed the Cardinals would win going into every other game they've played since I was 10. If Arizona maintains its newfound hot streak, it's on to the Super Bowl. And my heart will explode into a billion pieces of confetti, covering the land in bliss and dreams.

The tickets were expensive - $138.50, in case you forgot to read the headline - but given their intrinsic worth I believe I underpaid by about $10 million dollars. On Sunday University of Phoenix Stadium will become a cathedral to the league's most defeat-ridden franchise. Believers will gather and shout the forces of good to victory, with the shared faith that just once Lucy will not pull the football away from Charlie Brown as he runs in to kick it.

The Cardinals represent the impossible and the besieged. The marginalized and the moribund. If Arizona can win than anyone can. And that is why they must.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Hulk men

I was watching "Hulk Vs." with my 1-year-old boy Luke. Hulk was battling Wolverine, chasing him around, beating him into a bloody mess and wrecking countless trees in the forest.

I asked Luke who he wanted to win, Hulk or Wolverine. Without hesitation he replied "Hulk," which I found funny because he was so obviously the bad guy in the situation. Then I realized that I had been rooting for the Hulk all along as well, but was so sure Wolverine would escape that I hadn't acknowledged my yearning. Wolverine is annoying and whiny, and the Hulk was doing his best to eradicate the problem. We Villarreals, we're Hulk men.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Beware the beerwolf

You may have heard of wolves, beer and werewolves. But one thing you haven't heard of is the beerwolf. These mythical beasts are invisible and live inside cans of beer.

It's they, not alcohol, that make you drunk. Beerwolves accomplish the task by sinking their invisible teeth into the sector of your brain that handles inhibition, infecting the sector with the ancient beerwolf curse that renders it null and void.

When multiple beers are chugged, the beerwolves band together inside your head, forming a vicious beerwolf pack from which escape is impossible. They tend to colonize inside the heads of alcoholics and can generate effective settlements that lead to entire societies and eventually civilizations, complete with elected government officials and scandal-ridden senate appointments.

If you can capture beerwolves they make pretty good pets, though. You don't trip over them because not only are they invisible, they have no mass and in fact are imaginary. This also helps cut down on food costs and tick spray.

Monday, January 05, 2009

My favorite part of the newscast

Is the last segment, on the waterskiing squirrels. They're so cheerful and innocent, never contesting elections, selling senate appointments or asking for bailouts. And they don't even get involved in sex scandals very often.

Those little guys are just amazing.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Businesses I hope the recession will destroy

Exxon - Revenge for the oil spill.

Chase - So the Diamondbacks' home field has to change its name again.

The University of Phoenix - Same reason as Chase, only for the Cardinals' stadium.

McDonald's - So Burger King an finally ascend from princedom to the throne.

Michael's - So my wife is no longer tempted to blow our bank account in its aisles.

The Dallas Cowboys - Because I hate them.

Apple - Because I can't afford an iPhone and am jealous of those that can.

The Big Three - Because the journalism industry isn't getting a bailout and I'm bitter.

Twitter, Facebook and MySpace - Because social networking is annoying and needs to go. The presence of MySpace here is redundant because it would be toast even in a boom economy.

Arizona State University - Without ASU NAU and U of A could split the state funds and grow stronger.

Toyota - The Saved By Zero commercials. I realize Toyota heard the criticism and ditched the ad campaign, but it was a mortal sin. No absolution.

Geico - So I stop getting all their junk mail.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Turtles aren't green

Being a father of a 1-year-old, I often find myself forced to lie in order to hold up social conventions. Chief among them is the fallacy that turtles are green. Maybe one out of every 200 turtles you see are actually green. All the rest are grayish brown. Yet children's books and TV shows declare them universally green, and saps like me go along with the fraud.

My New Year's Resolution

Is for the Cardinals to win the Super Bowl.