Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Overheard on Weird Al's path to success


COMMENT OF THE DAY: "True story. I'm 10 and at my best friend's house. We are in his bedroom listening to a Weird Al album. Suddenly it sounds as though his cat is singing along with the music. My friend and I look at each other. Next thing I know my friend is yelling "Don't throw up, don't throw up" at the cat. The cat barfs up a furball all over the rug. To this day I can't hear Weird Al without thinking of that day." --ScholarCat


What happened when Weird Al grew up


Lots of awesome comments came in on this story, ranging from memories to musings on the path to success or what might have been. What can Weird Al teach us about success?


vonspoo said, "I saw Weird Al in concert when I was 13 and he rocked the place! It was a tiny, tiny venue but he gave it his all! He used to sing in the bathroom at Cal-Poly too, I've been told. It was one near the campus radio station ... the acoustics in there were indeed incredible."


HGrumpford wrote, "...I had a guidance counselor talk me out of my dream of being a cartoonist for MAD Magazine. NEVER TRUST GUIDANCE COUNSELORS!" depo136 said, "Now a 51-year-old application developer. Been working at IBM since I was 18, but always wanted to do what Al does. It's a darn shame. Trying to bridge the gap keeping track of my 'humorq' at a website I made."


adamante82 says, "People should be cautiously encouraged to follow their dreams. Al, congrats, you made it! But when every kid tries to be Michael Jordan or Barry Sanders or a voice over for Sponge Bill Circle Foot and only 0.001 percent succeed ... well, maybe being a coach or a teacher, or something else related to your dream isn't such a bad idea." blueparadise replied, "People who 'cautiously' follow their dreams, don't get their dreams. In fact, people who 'cautiously' do anything in life, don't go very far. apstar said, "Weird Al is a very smart individual -- the article neglects to mention he skipped two grades in high school. Comparable in some ways to Alice Cooper, who is also an intelligent individual, the image is very carefully crafted and executed, only showing what talent is really behind it all."


'Big Lebowski 2' in the works?


Some speculation is in the air about a "Big Lebowski 2," especially on the heels of actor Jeff Bridges' acclaimed appearance in the Coen brothers' latest film, "True Grit." We got lots of spirited commentary: back-and-forth about whether a sequel should be made, and colorful references to bowling and peeing on rugs and White Russians and tying a room together.


Thomas in Vancouver wrote, "You can't be serious. A sequel to Big Lebowski will probably go over as well as Blues Brothers 2000 did. Classics should be left alone. George Lucas proved this beyond all doubt." Thomas also posted a list of what he called "hideous sequels": "The Sting II; Highlander II; Basic Instinct II; Both Matrix sequels; Clerks II; Caddyshack II; Grease II; Speed II; Dirty Dancing II (for those who liked the first one - I did not); The Godfather III; Heavy Metal II; The Next Karate Kid; Conan the Destroyer; Jaws: The Revenge. ... Most of these films had the same creative forces behind them as the originals and they failed miserably. And don't think for a second that the Coen Brothers are infallible. Remember 'The Ladykillers' with Tom Hanks and 'Intolerable Cruelty' with Clooney? They're hoping you don't."


Thomas' multiple comments got equally passionate replies. Beth said, "Oh, Thomas, Thomas, Thomas -- You CANNOT compare the Coen Brothers and Jeff Bridges to the Wachowskis and Keanu Reeves. Yes, there are lots of terrible sequels out there, but not all sequels are bad. So the Coens' made two bad movies out of 18. Hardly cause to pan the possibility of a new Lebowski movie. THE DUDE MUST ABIDE. Besides, Jeff Bridges is good even in a terrible movie. Case in point: 'Tron' and 'Tron: Legacy.' Really just terrible movies, but he's so good in them you kinda like them anyway."


the_dude said, "Please don't destroy the legacy of the Big Lebowski. There is no way you could possibly top the original. No way in hell." Hmmm... said, "Agreed that you can't top the original, but as long as the Coens are writing/directing and you can at least get Bridges and Goodman back, I think you can make a solid flick out of it.


And, well, drap said, "Great news ... I feel like peeing on rug..."


Lunchtime poll: Where do you get your recipes? (and a bacon meatloaf bonus)


We're always impressed with the comments that come in on these lunchtime polls. Eatocracy has a wonderful community. There was a memo circulating that bacon is all the rage these days, but we were a little surprised at the passionate responses about bacon meatloaf. Commenters took this post and ran with it, expressing their love for bacon and waxing nostalgic for old bacon meatloaf recipes or food-making techniques.


Me was one of the bacon lovers. "Love anything with bacon. Love the rich, smoky flavor it gives it's 'host' food. Plus, it's a great way to keep other meats tender and moist -- self basting!" SMA suggests, "Try frying sliced bacon, drain the grease, and then add to your meat mixture." Lian said, "I have made the bacon meatloaf many times in the past and it's always a big hit around here. I have changed it a bit by flattening out the hamburg on parchment paper and layering ham, cheese and spinach and then rolling it and sealing the ends. Delish!" Susan wrote, "I tend to read cookbooks like novels -- then go create my own version. I often use or sometimes I google a particular ethnic specialty. I LOVE old cookbooks, and have a ton of them, plus family recipes. I like to cook from scratch, so I usually make up my own version when a recipe calls for canned or processed stuff. LOVED the bacon meatloaf! I'm pretty sure I ate this at my grandmother's house when I was growing up. We ate fried Spam for breakfast there, too!"


Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video


Compiled by the moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

February 2, 2011
Click to view ricstir's profile

do a search for bacon explosion and your mouth and stomach will love you forever!!!

February 3, 2011
Click to view Andharp's profile

I love Weird Al. But, didn't we all hear about his rise to stardom back in the late 90's? I was young, but I recall right around when Bad Hair Day was coming out, his story was all over the place. But why are we hearing this now? Does he have a new album out? Did he get diagnosed with something? Why are we hearing this now? I mean, he was on Tim and Eric a couple seasons ago, and he did that drive-thru song, but why do we need to care? 

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