Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Movies We'll Never See

The Christmas Treasure

A rich, jaded entertainment lawyer from California finds himself stranded in rural Kentucky where he is given shelter and solace by a poor but proud backwoods family. Observing their simple honest ways he begins to understand the good Christian values of their life.

A week before Christmas, their young son who, due to a hereditary illness is going blind, falls into a previously forgotten well. The lawyer risks his life and misses an important business meeting in order to save the boy's life. As a result of the rescue efforts, he becomes privy to secret information that this well taps into the waters of the freshest and most abundant spring within a thousand miles.

He conspires with a local, crooked, real estate banker to have them evicted and, two days before Christmas he buys the land for pennies on the dollar. The family becomes homeless; their son loses his sight in a charity hospital; and the lawyer resells the land to Proctor and Gamble for a cool $700 Million profit and retires to South America.
Sponsored by the new bottled water Kentucky Fresh from P&G.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Holiday Alphabet - Drastically Abridged. E is for:

E  is for -

The holidays are like a minefield, chock full of potential embarrassments. As Mark Twain once noted, cryptically "Man is the only animal that blushes -  or needs to."  What a scamp! Mark Twain's real name, of course, was Hal Holbrook who is best known for portraying Samuel Clemmons and seven other characters in the One-Man Spanish language production Y Tu, Tu Twain

One night in the middle of a love scene Twain/Holbrook/Clemmons sprained his tongue and was forced to complete the performance with a pronounced limp. Years later, when asked what was his most embarrassing moment onstage, Twain smiles knowingly but Holbrook blushes and quickly changes the subject. After performing this show for over 45,000 audiences Holbrook is almost as old as Mark Twain would be if he were alive today, yet he doesn't look a day older today than he did the first time he performed in the role.

In a recent phone survey, when asked what they fear more, death or public speaking, 80% of Americans curse and hang up. Of the 20% that answer, 80% choose public speaking. (The other 20% choose to stay with their current long-distance carrier.)  In truth, what people fear the most is being embarrassed. Yet, when reacting to an ugly article of clothing, most people state that they, "Wouldn't be caught dead
wearing that". What they really mean is, "I wouldn't be caught public speaking while wearing that."

So just what was Twain thinking when he quipped that man was the only animal that needed to blush?  In the histories of fashion and torture, no one was ever embarrassed to within an inch of their life. What Twain meant by his comment is that animals don't celebrate the holidays or speak in public. Even when people dress up their pets in silly outfits, they are only embarrassing themselves. To an animal, all things being equal, holidays are no cause for celebration.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Alice doesn't bleed here anymore.

Dear diary: Saw Aallysse today. I hardly recognized her. She was a foot taller, covered from stem to stern in temporary tattoos. Her hair was shaved except on the left side which she rolled up like a fringed window shade that she could adjust depending on the position of the sun. Its amazing how much a person can change in two months. Surprisingly, though, she still had a faint mustache.
She spells her name Alice now. It was on her "Hi may name is ____ tag. She's joined a congregation of snake handlers and was begging for change. She needed enough to get a venom vaccination. I can't remember her looking so happy or so winsome. She also squinted less with her hair that way.
I thought about the days I spent by her side while she practiced grating cheese. Her Mother was a championship cheese grater who held the world record for grating a 5 lb block of Parmesan. Alice had the right technique but her large knuckles proved to be her undoing. I found myself remembering all the hours I spent holding her cheese or bandaging her fingers.
I had a strong impulse to ask her to come back but her asp kept getting between us. It looked to me to be a very angry asp, not large but muscular. There was a time once when I was convinced she was the one. Now I realized it could never work out between us, a snake handler and a reformed Jew with a reptiles allergy.

She gave me a kiss goodbye. It was sweet. I gave her all my loose change. It was 97 cents. Not a lot but I had to skip the bus and hoof the 40 blocks home.
As we wished each other well it started to drizzle. I pretended not to notice but some of Alice's tattoos were beginning to run. I was glad for the rain, though - I didn't want her to see the perspiration stains growing under my arm pits. She was born without sweat glands and didn't see the point. I really didn't want to have that conversation again.

Walking away towards home I kept telling myself 'Don't look back. Don't look back.' I just couldn't shake the feeling that her asp was following me.
Diary, life is so cruel.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Vince, We Hardly Knew Ye

I was thinking about Fred. You probably know him better as Vince. But when I met him he was Fred. I was wondering what ever happened to him? And why did he always walk with a limp? He ran without any trouble - but he always limped when he walked. Sometimes it was his right leg, sometimes his left, but always a limp.
I only saw him run once. It was summer in Venezuela. But we were in Idaho and it was 20 freakin' below. Bored out of our beanies - I bet him a twenty he wouldn't run around the outside of the house naked . Fred said that he didn't believe I really even HAD $20 dollars. When I pulled the bill out of my pocket he sucker - punched me.  I woke up god-knows-how-much-later lying outside in the snow -- sans my $20, sans my pants (they were Sansabelts - very chic in the 70's) and sans any feeling in my extremities. But I had a new found respect for Fred's gamesmanship.
I loved Fred like a brother until the fateful day I spotted him limping down the street with my best girl on his arm. I don't know what came over me but I must have snapped. Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the beer, or the Jack Daniels, or the Harvey's Bristol Crème. Maybe it was the smack or crack or hash, the meth or the H. Maybe it was the memories stirred up by the scent of Canoe in the air. (Fred always smelled of Canoe, he was two fifths Iroquois) or maybe it was just the last straw and you know how much I hate drinking from the can.
I don't remember what happened next. It's probably for the best, cause somehow I ended up in the Merchant Marines on a freighter in the south pacific. But that's another story for another day and right now, I'm thinking about Fred. Sorry, I don't mean to bore you. To hell with Fred - know what I mean? Hey, leave the bottle, okay? Inside the cap it says I won a free download on itunes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving 101 Part 2 - Selecting The Perfect Turkey

In all honesty, if you plan to buy a frozen (heaven fore fend) or even a freshly butchered and dressed bird, you might as well be blindfolded. They are all the same. Naturally, weight is a consideration; (about 5 pounds for each adult and 3 for each child.) To be cautious, if you will be serving any teenage boys plan on 7 lbs for each; Slightly less in California, more in New Jersey.
Besides weight, if you will need 30 pounds or more, you will want to have more than one bird. For example, you could have 3 fifteen pound birds – 2 for eating and one more to hold extra stuffing.  This is also helpful when you plan to make a more sophisticated stuffing recipe. There will always be one or two guest who prefer the basic version. Better still buy a box of Stove Top and let the heathen slobs have at it.
Then there is color. A pale pinkish hue indicates freshness but the bird may be dry and require excessive basting. A yellowish tinge indicates high fat content or, in some cases jaundice. In either instance I strongly suggest you throw away the liver, kidneys, gall bladder, etc. Just take that disgusting package they stuff inside the cavity like a Cracker Jack prize and chuck it. Don’t even feed it to your dog, unless you were planning to get rid of it anyway. (The dog, that is.)
If you really want a turkey worth eating, however, there is no substitute for choosing the Gobbler while he can still gobble.  There is more to be gleaned from looking them square in their dark little beady eyes, watching the swagger in their step, the feel and form of their feathers  and the wiggle in their waddle.
Everything I know about selecting fowl I learned from “Turkey” Tom Nexwinger, “The Turkey Whisperer”.
“Turk”, as his friend called him, was my Grandfather.  In the interest of time and space I can best pass along his wisdom in terms of what you don’t want to see in your live bird:
1.       You don’t want a smart bird. You will be cutting off the head anyway, so brains are of little importance.
2.       You don’t want an athletic bird. muscle makes a lousy sandwich.
3.       You don’t want an angry, sullen or crazy bird. All of these are caused by hormones which tend to detract from flavor.
In short, you want a fat stupid lazy mild-tempered bird.  As Grandpa Turk used to say …well, actually I couldn’t really understand anything the old fool used to say. He didn’t so much whisper; he wheezed, slurred and had an unusually strong sibilant “S”.  My cousins and I would get him to sing Miss The Mississippi And You , and then pee ourselves laughing behind his back.

Now that you have selected your perfect Thanksgiving turkey we can move on to Part 3 – preparing to roast. Hold on tight you inglorious basters, things are about to start heating up!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm Beginning To See A Lot Less Excess

I'm Beginning To See A Lot Less Excess (to the tune of  Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.)
With apologies to Meredith Wilson
I'm beginning to see a lot less excess
everywhere I go
The economy’s in the tank,
no money left in the bank

with bills unpaid and income getting low.
Still at Christmas we see a lot of excess;
Ads from every store
But the scariest sight to see is a foreclosure notice
hanging on your old front door.

I’m beginning to see a lot less excess
Hear the sales folk beg
go to shop for a children's book, they’ll convince you to buy a Nook
or a Kindle that will cost an arm and leg

Ostrich cowboy boots (full quill)
and a Cadillac De Ville
used to be
 for Britnee and Sven
Botox to puff and implants to stuff
was the hope of Baxter and G’wen ;
And Mom and Dad once wished they had a new spa and den.

But were seeing the end to all this excess
Everyone will know;
There's a guy washing out his socks, living in a cardboard box ,
The sturdy kind that doesn't mind the snow.
Yes, there’s bound to be an end to excess;
when the market dives
And the thing that will really be stinging
is the new tune you'll be singing for
your supper just to stay alive

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thanksgiving Tips 101 for Holiday 2011

Hi Pilgrims and welcome to Thanksgiving Tips 101 for Holiday 2011. The feature for singles and others whose familiarity with their kitchen may be just slightly lower than their familiarity with the International Space Station.

So you've decided, for reasons known only to yourself, to cook dinner at home this Thanksgiving? Over the next few short weeks we will guide you, step by step, through the bare essentials you will need to make this happen.

Realizing that you are probably still dazed and somewhat confused over arriving at this milestone in life we will begin ever so slowly, gently easing you into the full magnitude of your undertaking. And so, without further ado, (and I suggest you take copious notes):

Step 1 - Find your oven.
a.This is usually a large metallic box with dials, buttons and some kind of clock or timing device. Advanced readers may already suspect we are not talking about the microwave. The rest of you - DON"T PANIC! In a worst case scenario we can help you find your oven
b. Use the process of elimination* (ie; it's not your refrigerator; it's not your dishwasher, etc). which, though time consuming, is usually fool proof.
c. As a last resort call 911 and report your oven has been stolen. Your local police will be more than happy to serve and protect as well as point out if you have overlooked it.

Next up: Turning the oven on! (warning - please don't start with out us; turning the oven off is equally as important.)

*we call this POE and will be referring to it often throughout the month.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

soup to nuts

Commercials get me so confused. I just switched my car insurance to Progresso. It's a high deductible, low sodium policy. It has PIP but no MSG.

Keeping it real.

I'm trying to keep it real.

If you want me to keep it interesting, I'm going to have to embellish a little bit.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Active culture

Hiding in plain sight.

I tried hiding in plain yogurt but it left my hair with a sour smell.

So You Think You Can Dance - The Cha Cha.

There were many failed attempts before dance giant, Hugh 'Cha Cha' Rodriguez, hit upon the right combination of steps and created the dance sensation known as the Cha Cha Cha. New biographical details have emerged revealing that Hugh almost gave up after his earlier "Cha cha, One? / Cha cha, Two!" was met with ridicule, disdain and indifference. He was even dropped from Arthur and Katherine Murray's Christmas list. So, what happened to spark his creativity? Here's the story as told by dance aficionado, Plase Holder.
Hugh went into seclusion with his family. No one was near them to see them or hear them. No friends or relations on weekend vacations. They were quite alone - in fact, it wasn't even known if they owned a telephone.
The story goes that his wife, Penny arouse at daybreak, wide awake and decided to bake a sugar cake for Hugh to take for all the boys to see. Hugh finally got up and the two of them were having a cup of tea - Orange pekoe, I believe. Now picture: she was sitting upon his knee. Their children were playing close by - a girl for her, a boy for him. It was plain to see how happy they could be. Suddenly, Hugh jumped up and ran to the piano. His wife, Penny fell to the floor, spraining her coccyx and traumatizing the children.
At the piano, Hugh instinctively pounded out the first few bars of the magic beat which had eluded him for so long - One, two, Cha Cha Cha / One, two, Cha Cha Cha.
Later, when asked what had inspired him, Hugh claimed he had no idea. "I have no idea" he joked. Sadly, the Cha Cha King died a few short years later, alone and penniless. Penny had charged him with domestic violence, changed her name to Alice and filed for divorce. The Cha Cha Cha dance craze peaked in the 1950s and spawned several hit songs including Everybody Cha Cha and Everybody Cha Cha In Chinatown. Asked if she ever Cha Cha'd, Alice responded, "Sure, I'll Cha Cha Cha on his [expletive deleted] grave."
Now you know.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Can't you hear the whistle blowin'?

Researchers have identified Jack The Ripper. Egyptologists have connected Pharaohs to ancient artifacts. Genealogists have traced family trees back to Adam and Eve. But still nobody knows who the hell was in the kitchen with Dinah, strummin' on the ol' banjo.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Identity Theft

My identity has been stolen. Or, maybe I just left it somewhere. Either way it's okay because someone is calling my Mom more often than I ever did.

But my imaginary friend is getting lonely.

I : Movie Fan

I prefer to think of myself as a movie fan rather than a critic. One who is willing to share my vast knowledge of film with those who only know what they like. I don't accept any financial rewards for my reviews, but I'm flexible. Make me an offer  I also pay regular admission unless I happen to get a gift card for a birthday or something. Occasionally, after I watch one movie I will sneak into another instead of leaving the theater. I feel that, based on the ridiculous salaries people in the movie industry earn, it is my right to do this. I will remain objective and true to my own subjectivity. I'd like to begin by stating some of my rules:
  1. I believe that movies are an American innovation, despite evidence to the contrary. 
  2. I believe I only have to see a film in order to give it a good review. I can give a bad review to any piece of crap without the annoyance of having to actually sit through it.
  3. Whether a film is in 2-D or 3-D I will only give it a 1-D review.
  4.  I reserve the right to review every film, even G Rated, in the nude.
  5. Foreign films with sub titles will be reviewed in English.
  6. I can make up the rest of the rules as I go along.
I do not believe I have any obligation to the reader to accurately describe the plot, characters, scenery, dialogue, music, sound or special effects. If you want any of that see the movie yourself. My purpose is to render my opinion so that you may reap the rewards of my singular and unique insights. You're all most welcome.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Film Review Spotlight: Harry Potter

From what I gather as a keen observer of Pop Coutre', The Harry Potter phenomenon began about 14 years ago as a series of gatherings for young people at bookstores. They were mostly at risk and delinquent children who were too wrapped up in fantasy games to attend their classes and were generally wandering the streets all hours of the night trading something known at the time as Pokemon cards for food and M rated video games. They came to recognize each other by their characteristic outfits: wizard robes, large round spectacles, magic wands and special dice with way too many dots. The idea behind the bookstore events was to attract them to a safe location where they could be weened off fantasy with coffee, tea, biscotti and People Magazine.  
The Deathly Hallows Part Two is the 20th or so film in the series which began at the turn of the Century as low budget, Bollywood productions. The cast changed with each film and, eventually all the original Bollywood cast was replaced with English speaking actors except the guy Tran, who plays the Cowardly Lion, is Thai. I may have that name wrong; I got a bunch of my review notes mixed up. Originally I chose to see this because I thought it was all about The Colonel from M.A.S.H.. Boy, was I disappointed.  Supposedly this will be the last film in the series until the reboot and if you haven't seen any of them I suggest you start here. There doesn't seem to be any real connection between the plot lines of each film so it is fairly easy to understand what is going on.
One Spoiler alert: I didn't stay for the end of the film so I really don't know how it ends. The theater was crowded with a lot of noisy, unruly people and their children so I wanted to get out of the parking lot quickly. Besides, there was a really good show on The History Channel that night. Anyway, it doesn't really matter because I heard that a Prequel to the Harry Potter series is filming as we speak. It is tentatively called The Hobbit: There and Back Again.
Incidentally, DO NOT be fooled by the Harry Potter books by JRR Rolking; I'm told they are weak novelizations that miss all the details and sub plots found in the original films and were written only to cash in on their success. Instead, wait for the graphic novels which will no doubt be awesome.See you at the snack bar!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

perspective redux

I wasn't on the outside looking in after all. I just had my glasses on backwards.


Voyeurism can be a tricky thing. My suggestion is to watch someone else for a while until you get the hang of it.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

One size fits all

Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach him to fish and he'll eat until
he decides he wants a cheeseburger.

That's why I prefer gift cards.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Qouth the Maven

Let the chips fall where they may.
I find this expression unnecessarily ambiguous. Don't most of them fall behind the couch cushions?

Saturday, July 30, 2011


What if - I mean, hypothetically, imagine for just a second; what if, all things being equal and 'in a perfect a world' so to speak; suppose, just suppose now, suspending all disbelief and so forth; (just for instance) but what IF it ISN'T what it IS?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Let me check my Dayrunner

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Sonofabitch! A person could use a little WARNING. I'm already so far behind I can't breathe.
I've never been to Europe; I've only read the first chapter of War and Peace and that was so long ago I'll have to start over. Shit. How about next week is the first day of the rest of my life? - no, wait. I've got a dental appointment. I've never even had a colonoscopy.

Kilroy was here

Yes, I can read the writing on the wall.
And the drawings, too.

But, mostly I'm just in there to use the toilet.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

self help

Often we are clinging to emotions generated from memories of past indiscretions. Things we may have done or said out of ignorance, lack of forethought, or simply being oblivious to a situation or the feelings or well being of others. Such emotional baggage as it were can weigh us down, making it harder to advance to a higher level of personal success or understanding; creating a stumbling block or a pitfall in the pathway to our own Center.
If you are interested in overcoming such a pitfall, here is a simple mental exercise you can do alone:
  1. Find a place free from distractions, sounds, and interruptions.
  2. Close your eyes and think back on an act you committed in the past for which you continue to feel guilty. This may take sometime so be patient. The more you plumb the depths of your psyche to identify the true episodes which fester within your subconscious, the better chance you have of exorcising your demons and cleansing yourself of the stifling fustian which clogs your wiring and separates you from your goals.
  3. Once you have identified the perceived offense and acknowledged the guilt which you have been suppressing, open your eyes.
  4. Would you like to lessen those feelings? 
  5. Of course you would, you miserable selfish bastard! It's always about you, isn't it? Your feelings, your guilt. How's about apologizing or making amends, ANYTHING constructive instead of licking your own pathetic wounds? You truly disgust me.
There. Feel better? If so then you probably did not think of something serious enough which only means, not only are you a miserable, self-serving, piece of human garbage, but you are also a narcissist or worse. 

Check back for my next post: Self-Flagellation - Religion or Recreation?


If you're not part of the SOLUTION, you're a part of the PROBLEM!
So, I guess at least you've got that feather to put in your cap.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Finding yourself

You are HERE

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

those were the days

Dear diary,

I was fine all day until just a short while ago when I was reminded of  what day it is. Tuesday. But, more significantly it is July 26th, Mick Jaggar's Birthday. I mean no slight to Mick  (or, as I knew him: Mik) that he most likely would not remember the first time I saw him. It was on my parent's old Sylvania TV with Halo Vision.
I forget what program he was on with his band of musicians who called themselves The Rolling Stones. You  may be surprised to know that the first thing that struck me about Mick was his lips. He had two of them and he would purse them as he postured and sang one of their electrified versions of an American Rhythm and Blues song. I wonder now as my mind drifts back to those seminal days of cultural awakening: what ever happened to that TV?

Daily quote of the de jour

If you can't stand the heat - get out of the kitchen.

Or you could open a window, turn on a big fan and change into some shorts and a tee shirt.
I also find that using the microwave instead of heating up the oven can help. of course frozen pizza never comes out as good in the microwave so kill two birds* and just order delivery.
( I don't intend for the part about killing birds to be taken literally. Unless you are making really fresh chicken, turkey, squab, duck etc and doing your own butchering. otherwise, killing two birds is gratuitous and beyond the scope of staying cool in the kitchen. pour yourself a tall glass of iced beverage, however, might be helpful..)

Personal ads

I do not pussyfoot around. I just have furry toes.
 [insert link to picture of toes]

FYI - a PSA 4 U

This weekend only. Save big!

Don't buy anything.

After all is said and done


FYI: a PSA 4 U:

Warning - despite the similarity in names, shih tzu and shiatsu are NOT the same.
I paid $60 to have a dog walk around on my back for 20 minutes.

Latest studies of airline safety reveal:

Flying is safer than driving.

Statistically, you are 99% more likely to die from getting sucked into a jet engine than a car engine.

pea soup?

Possession is nine tenths of the law

and 100% of an exorcism.

Daily quote of the de jour:

Don't shoot the messenger.
Well, I mean it depends on the message. 'Cos like if it happens to be, 'hi I just robbed a convenience store and now I'm going to take your car' or 'the person holding this message is an interplanetary alien and a danger to all life as we know it, but he can't read so shoot him.'
Then I suppose your best course of action IS to shoot the messenger.

Use your own best judgement.

Humor me

why don't garbage trucks play music like an ice cream truck?
it would really brighten up the day.                        

just a thought.

Ice, Ice baby

When the next ice age comes I'm chopping up a whole bunch and saving it. 
You know, for picnics and stuff.

alphabet zoop

What tight ass, megalomaniacal control freak decided the order of the letters in the alphabet anyway?

Why start with A? Why end with Z? Why not put all the vowels together?
Wouldn't that make them easier to remember?
Or put all the ones with the ee sound in order: b,c,d,e,g,p,t,v,z.
Maybe even use some of those letter sentences we learned as kids: u, r, a, q, t, i, n, v, u.

                                 Now THAT would be easy to learn!
(look, I know I repeated the letter u. that's a minor flaw that can be corrected with a minimal amount of effort.)

Daily quote of the de jour:

 "I can really be a very nice person if anyone would take the time and get to know me."
                                                                                               - Anonymous

Listen, Mac:

Stop.... and smell the Roses.

Now,  get the hell out of my garden !

Fiddling on the roof.

Sunrise, sunset. Sunrise, sunset.

  (I'm beginning to detect a pattern.)