Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Acronyms and Coffee

OK, so what's the common thread in the title of this post? The Final Jeopardy category is, "Things That Are Annoying Me at the Moment."

The "answer" is - Jeremy is annoyed by people who don't know THIS.

The correct Jeopardy response would be, "What is...what is the definition of an acronym and also that you're supposed to ask someone before refilling their coffee cup?"

Give yourself $10,000 if you had the correct response written down.

To clarify...I've been noticing A LOT lately, that no freakin body knows what an acronym is. Even people I consider to be extremely intelligent regarding grammar don't know. Let me enlighten you (and by "you" I mean the zero people who read this blog). "FBI" is not an acronym. "NYPD" is not an acronym. HTML is not an acronym. These are ABBREVIATIONS, people! An acronym is an abbreviation formed by intials that is regularly pronounced as a word. Auto Immune Deficiency Syndrome forms the acronym, AIDS. Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus forms SCUBA. These are acronyms.

Now, the coffee thing. Let it be said that I am not much of a coffee drinker. That is to say, I am not eagerly anticipating the day when Starbucks is commercially available for dispensation via a personal IV drip. I drink it once in a while...and never at home. So it is usually a waiter or waitress who is bringing said coffee to me. These service people seem to think that the onus is upon them to follow up my initial cup with enough of the caffeinated drink to drown all of Columbia. Here's a tip...if there is still brown liquid in my cup, do not pour any more into it. If I have not asked you for a refill, do not pour any more into my cup. And under no circumstances should you transform yourself into a coffee-serving ninja who can pour coffee into my cup from 20 yards away without me ever knowing you're there. I rarely drink more than one cup of coffee at a time, and when you pour additional coffee into my cup, it ruins the meticulously calculated ratio of liquid to sugar that I had perfected.

And while we're at it, if I order dessert and coffee, this means that I desire to enjoy these treats TOGETHER. Do not bring my coffee 15 minutes prior to the dessert, as it will be ice cold by the time my final course arrives.

That folks...are the things that are annoying me right now.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bon Jovi

Concert Review: Bon Jovi and Daughtry - MGM Grand Garden Arena 4/12/08

So it only took me 22 years to get around to seeing Bon Jovi live in concert. It was worth the wait, if not the $76 I spent on the ticket (way past what I would normally consider spending for a concert). I made an exception since this was one of those bands that I felt I should see once before I die (or more accurately, before THEY die). I was actually looking forward to seeing Daughtry - what I thought was a solid opening act. They were very disappointing. But the Jovis made up for that misstep. Read below for more:


First off, I missed the first song...not Mr. Daughtry's fault. MGM has the entry to the arena set up extremely poorly, so it takes like 10 minutes for the herd of fans to get inside. And of course, this was the only concert in freaking history that started exactly at the posted time. When I entered, they were starting "Breakdown" - not even one of my favorite tracks from their CD, but it sounded great.

Grade through most of first two songs: A-

Things started to go south towards the end of the next song, "What About Now" - my favorite song of theirs. It started off amazing, with a build from piano to a hard chorus. Then Mr. Daughtry inexplicably inserted a piece of Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line" in the middle of the song. Note to everyone involved in the music industry in any way: DON'T DO THIS! If you're doing a cover song, do it. If you're not, then don't

Annoying habit of inserting pieces of cover tunes into other songs: F (done twice by both Daughtry AND Bon Jovi...ugh!)

Annoying habit of recording versions of songs containing high notes that you can't hit in real life: F

Mr. Daughtry relied heavily on his backing vocalists for the high parts...which I guess is OK if you can HEAR the backing vocals. But it's just annoying when you realize that singers can't really sing like they do on CD. More annoying was that Chris' voice was otherwise really strong, and the band sounded great, but this detracted from the overall performance.

Finale: F-

The last two songs were ones I had never heard of...or at least I couldn't recognize them through the ear-shattering screaming vocals. This was one of the worst endings to a concert set I've ever seen and completely ruined the entire thing for me. I'm really hoping we hear better from these guys in the future.

Overall grade: C

Bon Jovi

They played for 2h 13m...longer than I've seen an act do in quite some time. When you're charging what they are, that is a very good thing. It's amazing to see the wealth of great songs these guys have amassed. When you can play "Born to Be My Baby" the second song in and then go right into "You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Raise Your Hands," you know your set list is stacked. I guess there was a brief segment of the show where things got a little less than exciting, but for the most part, it rocked all the way through. JBJ exclaimed at about the 1 hour mark, "Let's kick this thing into high gear now!" Usually when a rock singer makes a declaration like this, it's followed by about 3 more songs. Not this time. They pretty much played everything you'd expect them to. No glaring omissions. They subsituted a couple deeper tracks like "Just Older" and "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night" for hits such as "Always" and "Runaway" - but this didn't really detract from the performance. Surprisingly, a couple songs that were not my favorites, like "It's My Life" and "Blaze of Glory" sounded really good live. Daughtry coming out to help on the latter actually added a lot to it...better than he did on any of his own songs! The one sore spot for me was an awful arrangement of one of my favorite songs of all time by anyone, "Bed of Roses." I'd seen them do it this way on TV, so it wasn't a complete shock, but still a little disappointing. But then they end with "Keep the Faith," "Livin' on a Prayer," "In These Arms" (a nice surprise in the encore) and "Wanted Dead or Alive." Some finish! See how it's done, Mr. Daughtry! WDOA is actually not the best choice of song to wrap up a concert because it's a little slower, but it was the obvious selection.

I first discovered Bon Jovi, as did most people, in 1986 with the release of "Slippery When Wet." 22 years later, my first BJ concert experience (that didn't come out right) gets an A-. And their latest CD, "Lost Highway" was a surprisingly great purchase for me last year after several years of not caring too much for their stuff. "You Want to Make a Memory" was one of the best songs from 2007.

Oh and by the way, MGM Grand Garden Arena is a great venue other than the aforementioned entryway snafu. The sound was great...something you don't always find at concerts.

Peace out and keep rocking them all! (OK that was cheesy)