Saturday, July 24, 2010

Weathering Old Age

My brain must be getting really old or my eyesight has become desensitized when it comes to television weather maps. It seems like every other day these weather wienies add yet another band of rainbow color to their already confusing and too complex maps. I mean do I really need to know that if I drive North 500 feet it is going to be a half a degree cooler than whatever jungle zone I’m currently stewing in now?

This phenomena only seems to happen in the summer months because when it is winter, TV weather people just show maps with big bands of blue or white denoting ‘chilly nose-holes cold’ or ‘excruciating, blackened frozen-toes COLDER’ with snow. I never remember having these red dust devil thingys stuck all over a map or that Harry Potter lightning bolt symbol traveling up and down in a little line.

It is not like the TV ‘Weatherettes’ know for sure what is going to happen anyway - it is a ‘guesstimate’ remember? I have never seen a job like this that PAYS you to be wrong most of the time. How about you try your chances with those percentages serving food in a prison chow line? Or worse yet, what if Obstetricians, Proctologists, and Urologists made as equally poor assessments in their jobs as these goofy Weather-betters do? I think particularly for those professions, it is of critical importance to avoid mix-ups and KNOW EXACTLY what sized object is expected out of a which appropriately- sized orifice?

So give me back my plain old simple, understandable TV weather maps with a few curvy bumps in the middle, easy to read temperatures, and maybe a ‘happy sun’ up in the corner. Yes, you can save your rainbow color bands for tubs of cheap sherbet, Gay pride parades, or maybe some hippie mud festival in the rain. All this wacky weather talk and ranting is making me HOT. Gee, assuming my brain’s hypothalamus is happy, then I really am a crotchety old WEATHERED geezer!

Truly a Field of Dreams

While writing, I may have alluded to it a time or TWENTY, that I am kind of a big dude but I was never too handy at most sports. Fortunately my father was not concerned with it at all and my mother appreciated that I remained ‘fracture free’ my entire life. When we first made our trek to California somehow I magically found myself enrolled on a ‘C’ little league team.

Now needless to say since ‘C’ team says it all, I was not very good nor did I eventually blossom into a great baseball player. In fact a couple of years later they had tryouts in 7th grade for a baseball team and I went up to bat and crushed a home run on the first pitch. Yes I got picked FIRST which had never happened before in my life but sadly, I never got a significant hit again for the rest of the games.

Now my wife on the other hand in this same era was a regular softball pitching rock star though I did not know her at the time. If there had been opportunities then as there are today, no doubt my wife would have planned to play ball in college and beyond. So what do I see in the news this week but a 13 year old little league pitcher named Chelsea Baker who has two perfect games and has never lost a start in 4 years. The kid is a genuine ‘phenom’ with a mean knuckleball and a 65 mile per hour fast pitch that humbles all takers in the 'all boys' (save 1) baseball league.

Now I know the road only gets tougher from here on out for this kid regardless of the fact that she is a girl in a ‘guys’ game. Especially for young pitchers, it takes an amazing toll on the shoulder and elbow to throw heat like Baker’s through high school and on into college. But is it not an amazing dream to think that someday a young girl like Chelsea Baker, MAY soon get the opportunity for a second look by a Major League Baseball team? Despite the difficulties and the 'coke bottle thick' glass ceiling, ultimately the game is all about performance and winning. If the kid can keep it up, why wouldn’t a major baseball team give her a shot when she’s ready? I have linked up a story HERE profiling the young hurler’s building fame so you can keep your eye on her progress over the next few years. This is one ‘Baker’ whose skill might make her some tasty 'bread' someday, but it will happen in a field of dreams, far beyond the kitchen!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hot - Cold - Hot - Chile

When the weather turns hot and sticky, most of my energy is dedicated to running between an air conditioned car, house, or place of business. Yes I have perfected the ‘dart and sweat’ method like a seasoned prison escapee on the lamb, with mint jelly and just a hint of rosemary. As a thrifty sort that I am, I generally don’t mind the heat too much as long as I don’t HAVE to pay nature’s gas or fuel oil bill.

Now obviously I DO have to fork out truck loads of cash to try and cool off my family of froot loops and the air inside this cereal box we call home. I do it begrudgingly since I generally believe that suffering is good for the constitution; and moreover for the patriotic ‘green energy’ dweebs, because a cheap electric BILL is always right!

Most of the time nobody complains since I have installed fans in nearly every room of the house along with legions of Japanese Geisha to flap them ‘round the clock’. Obviously by name alone, I would have preferred to use historical Chinese ‘Coolies’ instead, but none were available. Clearly these days, the descendants of Central Asia prefer to knock off DVD’s and designer handbags to help plant a ‘Golden Spike’ in the heart of America’s myopic consumer economy.

Whew, I don’t know if it is all of this fiery commentary or just the weather, but it’s clear I am getting hot under the collar and in need of a jigger of antifreeze. I need to relax and quick. All this frosty talk is making me ‘snappy’ but that may be that I’m getting hungry too? With this weather and mood, I’m not sure if I want to eat something ‘hot’, ‘cold’, or how about a ‘forget all your troubles’ "liquid-lunch" instead? By golly I think I’ve got it; like the oil, I’ll have all '3 in 1' –a cup of “CHILLY”!

I’m Often a Softy

I am actually not much of a word snob though I do try to watch my P’s and Q’s when it comes to spelling and the proper use of language. My folks have always been big readers and have great respect for the written word, so I think it is what you would call a family trait, or CURSE … I’m not sure which? If I send a fast e-mail or scribble out a Post-It note to someone and I inadvertently misspell a word, or make some other grammatical ‘faux pas’, I will literally CRINGE at the thought for days after.

Honestly it is not an ‘ego’ thing since most people who know me, do not have extraordinarily high language expectations from a bonafide ‘Ya Ya’, with the I.Q. of a saltine anyway. You see just there, I am not above making up my own words (actually my father’s word), crafting glorious run-on sentences, or using non-standard English to make a point even if obscure. It’s just that when it comes to communication, I DO CARE to get it right someday, as opposed to my lack of mastery of truly difficult things like ‘loading a dishwasher’, ‘working an ATM’, or ‘setting an alarm clock’.

So what sparked all this verbal dysentery (my 8th grade science teacher’s pithy assessment of my gift for relentless self-expression) was simply the word ‘OFTEN’. When I was young, I was taught to say this word with a silent ‘T’, therefore the pronunciation is the soft-sounding “ AUFF-EN”. As I have aged and dried up, like old cheese and watered-down wine , it appears that more and more people are pronouncing this word with the hard ‘T’ sound as “AUFF – TEN”. Now you may say ‘who cares’, but to a ‘melon-head’ of my ilk – this is of great importance indeed.

I mean for wordsmiths, this is on the level of ‘big deals’ that equates to religious folks, debating that Jesus just knew Mary Magdalene as the ‘Apostles of Apostles’, or the ‘J-man’ ‘KNEW’ Mary after one too many ‘goat-sacks’ of Gallo. Hey I know pronouncing ‘Often’ correctly won’t prove I’m a Saint or a trollop, but it sure will change how I pronounce other verby words like ‘Listen’ ‘Unfasten’, ‘Hasten’, &‘Soften’. Hmmm, suddenly I’m flushed and feeling a little spent. if I smoked, I think I just earned a cigarette? Guess that clears that up – I’m definitely a ‘soft-T’ Trollop.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Dog’s Life Graduation

You know that concept where you need to ‘walk in somebody’s shoes to better understand their situation’ – is that really necessary? On rare occasions (if I can get away with it), whenever I slip on someone else’s shoes at a fine Japanese restaurant, I usually just get blisters. Though I never gain useful insight into the diner’s real problems, I have learned that somebody else's high heels are a not fun to run in.

I was driving home and I noticed a fire hydrant painted in a very attractive shade of yellow with a tad darker reflective yellow caps . Gee no wonder dogs love these things, as that unique hydrant made even me want to pull over and inspect it thoroughly. It looks nothing like your typical street light stanchion, tree, or telephone pole, so naturally all the coolest dogs in town want to hang out at this hip hydrant.

Yep, that fire plug looks like some kind of knobbed alien land mine with its domed shaped exterior and bolt-ridden skin. How many things in nature are domed except for turtles and THAT big hunk of granite in Yosemite, and even it is only half-domed? From a dog’s perspective, nearly everything which helps make your ‘mark’ in society, is either an endlessly tall cylinder, or some un-washed rectangle like a sign, building, or a hobo asleep in a cardboard box.

So don’t make our four-legged friends chase their tails any longer. Just spend a few minutes like I did and snoop around to get to know the way doggy’s think, act, and REALLY smell. That way the next time you ‘walk IN their paws’ you’ll know that ‘yelp’ will be one of joy instead of blinding pain. You’ll learn better to trust and appreciate your dog’s nasal prowess, and know when to seat ‘Grammy’ on the plastic covered couch. Yep, when your pup gives you the high-sign that it’s the right-time for a new set of Depends, you’ll know that the ‘dog-bond’ is nearly complete. Once you have successfully mastered your inner-doggy, graduation day always takes place with a ceremonial off-leash walk to your dog’s favorite hydrant watering hole - the famous domed classic, “Old Yeller”.

Lindsay Lohan Lowdown

I have no real ‘stake’ in the Lindsay Lohan hub-bub, though the girl could probably use some precious protein that a tasty T-Bone could provide. Except when she is having a serious heart to heart with a bottle of liquor, Lohan always looks a little gaunt and malnourished. Let me just say right up front I know a little bit about substance abuse, since I use crushed red pepper on nearly everything I consume.

Clearly all of Lindsay’s problems started with those wax lips that are stuck to her face. Hey I understand, because when I was her age I loved all kind of wax candies, but especially those little bottles with colored sugar water in them. Considering Lohan’s DUI arrests, it is pretty clear that she likes her colored bottles too, but much, MUCH bigger. So since Ms. Lindsay loves LOTS of BARS, Los Angeles County decided to set her up with a ‘big girl’s’ bunk and a stainless commode, behind some really good iron ones.

I am not sure if ‘listy’ Lohan is a Mean Girl, but she may become one quick if she starts a full blown de-tox while serving her entire 90 days sentence locked up in the can. Oh who am I kidding, Hollywood folks aren’t expected to spend their valuable time in jail when they do bad things. Those rules, along with ‘shiv’ and soap sculpting class are for OTHER people with REAL skills. Yes, before Lohan’s orange jump-suit was on (with hopefully some skivvies), and her jail door zip tie was pulled taut, a deal on the down-low was surely in the works for reduced jail-time. C’mon, you don’t want to overcrowd jails – stick criminals in downtown urban barrios where they have loads of extra space and little if any crime right?

Oh yeah, I completely agree with that logic. No sense keeping tinsel town abusers locked up when it is so much more fun to read about their exploits and foibles in supermarket tabloids. Yep, it’s my philosophy to put folks like Lohan and those ‘HOT LIPS’ of hers to work off their debt to society, in their local community. I’m thinkin’ given her history, she could weave in and out of traffic piloting one of those Hollywood Boulevard tourist buses, in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the WAX museum.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Never walk in circles

Have you ever had one of those days that you just want to rewind and start over? No harm, no foul – just everybody go back to your marks and let’s try to get it right this time. My daughter’s car would not start right away last night, so I kind of prepared myself mentally for today’s inevitable trials. You know the drill, - make an appointment at the car shop; get the car tucked in with a probe in its tailpipe; and then find a ride back home to wait it out. Then comes the tearful goodbyes as I try to spend some quality time with my money. We try to be brave, but we’ve known each other far too long to try and lie to one another. There is no way to sugar coat it, soon ‘Franklins, Grants, n’ Jacksons’ and I will be parting ways - never to see each other again. Goodbye old friends – I will miss your cocaine-laced embrace.

So today starts out as planned and I give up my car to the kid so she can get to work. After my daughter leaves, I get ready to take her car in and amazingly the beast starts up perfectly without issue. As wonderful as that sounds, I groan, because the only thing WORSE than an electrical problem is an INTERMITTENT electrical problem. I set my negativity aside and already feel a little encouragement however. If I had to have the car towed out of one of the garages, it would have been very hard to get a giant flatbed up on the apron, so since the car was on the road - things were already looking up! I motored happily along for all of 1 mile when the car suddenly shut down. I guided the 4-wheeled paperweight gently to the curb in front of a house that happened to be for sale, on an attractive suburban neighborhood street.

I was not too exasperated since I told you that I had steeled myself previously for just such good fortune. I called the Auto Club and they told me a truck would arrive within 45 minutes. I don’t believe them. In the past 45 minutes usually means they will arrive in 35 minutes on the outside. I really need to use the restroom but I am a mile from home in one direction and a mile from a park porta potty in the other. I briefly think about all the diuretics I had for breakfast, then I think about asking to use the restroom of the house that’s for sale. I ultimately decide it is not the best way to meet new neighbors, so I choose to walk instead and try to forget my dilated bladder. I can’t risk trying to get to my house and back before the flatbed truck arrives, so I essentially walk in big circles around my car.

Now despite over 275 blog stories which prove otherwise, I am not an idiot. I know it is not exactly normal behavior for a middle aged geezer to be walking in a race track pattern up and down the street, reversing course and doing it all over again … and again … and … But at the same time, I’m clearly no threat. It’s hot out and I’m sweating like a big warmed over suckling pig. I am careful not to loiter too long in front of anyone’s home so they don’t get concerned that a sweaty yeti is on the loose. My daughter’s car is a conspicuously bright red convertible and therefore a lousy 'get-away' car. It also barely holds people much less contraband or 'ham-Burglar' tools – so what’s to fear?

Well apparently quite a bit because, though I had only been walking in circles for about 15 minutes, I first noted a County police car slowly pass me and then another police car behind him. As they went up about a block they made a ‘U turn’ and headed back my way. By that time, a Paddy Wagon police truck pulled up behind me and in front of my disabled car. I kept walking calmly but knew what was coming. The first two policemen pulled behind my car and made a visit to the ‘house for sale’. By then I had rounded my race track and was walking back towards the whole gaggle of County servants. One policeman crossed the road to intercept me politely but with his right hand clearly resting on his holster.

I have to admit I was none too pleased and less receptive to public interrogation than usual. (One tiny murder spree and the police seem to hold that against you forever) I was polite but obviously curt and disgusted. Jeez, couldn’t you have waited at least 30 minutes into my walk to break up the monotony a little? Now all of the excitement is front loaded and I will be bored until the Auto Club gets here. Apparently I checked out ok because the police quickly determined I was not going to hurt the occupant of that house with the sign in the lawn. I told the cop “The house is for sale – all kinds of unknown people will be hanging around it for the next 3 months”. Thank goodness my daughter did not have some horrible outstanding warrant on the car that she had forgotten to mention. As the police officer started to walk back to his car, I told him to let the worried lady know that ‘I still would be out here skulking around until the truck comes for my car’. He glared at me and said he intended to. I don't think he liked me or he was still suspicious of my intentions. I didn't mean anything by the excessive fidgeting and wild-eyed crazed looks - remember I had to go to the bathroom!

93 minutes I trod the sidewalks until that dumb Auto Club truck came. I cannot tell you how happy I was to get away from that stupid house that was for sale. Part of me wants to take a check over for the full purchase price of that dump and TEAR IT UP in front of the owner’s face and tell her I would have bought the place until she called the cops on me. I have a better idea though. Every day for the next month or so, I am going to tow some kind of registered vehicle I own and park it in front of her house. Who knows, I may even get some illegal aliens and we will sell tacos and schnitzel there too? Surely someone around her needs a big old truckload of manure to fertilize their lawn right? I know where she lives and I know she won’t mind any of it – as long as I don’t walk in circles around her house.

America’s got talent but no time

I stumbled on to this steroidal ‘Gong Show’ redux the other night named America’s Got Talent. I know some of you are watching it because my In-laws seem to enjoy it and they are a good bell-weather for any television programming that involves ‘judges’.

I watched a few minutes of the variety acts and honestly the spirit of Ed Sullivan would be thrilled – if he had the time. Geez, this show takes forever to set-up around 8 different acts for 1 to 2 minute performances. Believe me if Vaudeville would have taken lessons from this type of entertainment, that bygone era would have been remembered as the ‘Snoring 20’s. I mean 10 ACTUAL minutes of performance time is a pretty small ratio out of an hour show of eye-candy staging and endless set-up prattle.

And then the whole judging component ala ‘American Idol’ – does anyone in Hollywood have a single original idea? Why can’t we toss water balloons at the marginal acts we don’t like or let the judges shoot fireworks at the really bad ones. Better yet, narrow down a face-off between similar acts and then after their performance, let them beat the stuffing out of each other with downy-soft pillows. I think that, is a smack-down television entertainment, win-win for the ages – Jerry Springer meets Major Bowes.

Hey now don’t accuse me of being an uppity Broadway snob as I have liked my share of sophisticated TV variety shows in the past, like that high-brow cornpone known as ‘Hee Haw’. And do you remember the ‘Nick and Jessica Variety Hour’ – now that was quality programming. HEY, don’t judge me! Yeah I admit it, I mostly watched to see what kind of ‘HOT’ revealing dresses that ‘she’ wore on stage. Oooh why that Diva, Minnie Pearl drove me so WILD I’ll never know? Maybe it was the straw hat or her unhurried yet sultry pig-call 'Howdeeee!' that sealed the deal? Regardless, to go from hillbilly to headliner - now that REALLY does take some time and serious American talent!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cussing for Mummies

Cursing is a timeless art which traces its mummified Egyptian origins back around 2 million years as a part of early man’s most primitive utterances. The earliest recorded uses of four letter words has been credited to ‘Homo Sabilis’ a primitive yet not so distant ancestor of modern day actor Mel Gibson. Prior to this time only three letter expressions existed in language (and Mad Max movies) like ‘Ugh’ and ‘Ooo’ therefore making expletives impossible for the earliest sub-species of ‘Gibsonian’ Neanderthals.

Many scholars debate the exact time line of this incredible explosion of vile verbal expression. Some researchers believe cussing directly correlates with the advent of marriage. Others aren’t so sure and point specifically to primitive man’s most distasteful chores. Typically these might include unclogging bones caught in the tar pits, or cleaning the cave after a spirited blood–letting and peyote ‘par-tay’ with the clan.

It is unclear if the prevalence of dirty words and graphic references in modern rap music has roots in the protests of early primitives. Clearly around the ‘Dawn of Man’ but definitely before he brushed his teeth, some form of ‘Cave-ster Rap’ violently appeared in response to the pastel rock-stylings of the well known and coifed ‘Homo Manilow’ man.

Over time cussing became so prevalent in cave society that in many ways it has lost all meaning. In fact, currently there is a push in Hollywood to evolve ALL communication among hormonal and vulnerable Homo Erectus teens, into one continuous sentence of dirty ‘gutterances’ and inuendo. Modern Cro-Magnon women too have become so empowered, that they willingly debase themselves to the lowest common verbal denominator of unintelligent mouthy man (Umm?). That’s too bad,‘cause if can't trust your ‘Mummy’ to wash out your prehistoric mouth, who can you '#?$%&*' trust?

Rubber Stamp Reminiscing

In today’s new age of media we literally have EVERYTHING at the tip of our fingers. If I am writing and can’t spell a word or need a synonym, no book work required, I just look it up on-line. If I want to try out a new style of artwork or crop a photo with a heart around it - that too is as fast as graphics editor on my computer. While I love the convenience of all this stuff, I miss a few things too.

Namely I miss my address RUBBER STAMPS. Yes I know you crafty types have moved into a whole new world with custom card-making and scrapbooking that often incorporates rubber stamp graphics. When I was young, you could buy small rubber stamp graphics kits of ‘lips’, ‘interlocked hearts’, and ‘daisies’ too. However, even now as it was then, I doubt that, it is healthy for boys to go around stamping male friend’s papers and forearms with little lip-prints and pictures of flowers.

Though large fancy graphics in rubber stamps are everywhere now, they were not so common in my youth. Most of my interactions with rubber stamps were limited to words. I had a rubber stamp that said ‘VOID’, and one that said ‘Received’. I almost always had a date stamp but strangely it never got me one date? However, the most cherished mechanical marvel was my rubber stamp which would not only stamp the date, but it would automatically number documents sequentially as well. When you held this chromed stamp-stallion in your palm, you felt as if GOD himself was clicking and clacking, moving levers and ink to produce an amazingly PERFECT imprint.

I miss my ‘name’ rubber stamp that my parents gave to me for my school work. It was required that all my work must be claimed by its maker. Since my Father was a graphics artist at the time, he presented me with a handsome rubber stamp in an italic script of around 16 points. I was so proud and excited to stamp all of my FRIEND’S homework - there was no way I wanted to take credit for MY substandard work.

As time has passed, I now rarely have need to stamp anything or anyone. I still greedily hang on to any rubber stamps from my former addresses. I don’t know why, but they still work perfectly so they must be too good to throw away right? Oh well I know I can find a good use for these things since tattoos are in fashion now. Some night when my kid is deep asleep, I’m going to sneak in and stamp her face with all the different addresses that she has lived in with colored inks. I’m sure she won’t mind, as you know it will be an ‘EASY A’ in both ‘art graphics’, AND her ‘ABNORMAL psychology’ college classes.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Turkeys in straw and ice cream trucks

Though bulky, I'm not generally what you would call a ‘bulk’ ice cream fan. Don’t get me wrong, those frozen tubs of fat and sugar do taste great and I am nothing if not a receptive and charitable host for homeless, empty calories. It’s just that if all things are even in poor health choices, I prefer to die a salty, hospice assisted death with true friends at my side – salted peanuts in the shell and a ‘family-size’ bag of cheesy, crunchy Doritos.

Now individually wrapped, frozen confections on the other hand , if the weather is steamy and my undergarments are the same, then ‘heck yeah’- I’m there! Just point me toward any garish musical van, driven by a down and out, unshaven nut in a paper hat. I’ll never get tired of staring at those colorful circus posters of icy creamy treats with their endless taunting caloric possibilities.

So to jog your memory a bit (since after ice cream you’ll need the exercise), I have linked HERE a site that has collected 15 pictures of some unusual ice cream trucks. If any of these beauties fits seamlessly into your neighborhood, then I would suggest you buy ice cream ONLY in front of the police station. If that doesn’t scare you away then I’ve linked HERE the ‘Eat This Not That’ guy’s nutritional assessment of many ice cream truck favorites. I think, as expected, he pretty much ‘hits the nail on the coffin’ for most of these calorie bombs. From my personal experience however, even if you know you’ll never earn enough ‘brownie’ points to ‘die and go to heaven’ – risk a ‘Choco Taco’ at least once, and give it a try anyway.

I have linked HERE a guy who wrote and sells a WHOLE ALBUM centered around original, ice cream truck inspired music with audio clips to boot. I honestly feel a bit sorry for this guy because except for pedophiles and other unicycle enthusiasts, who is going to listen to this stuff? Truly I want to encourage online commerce, because who knows someday, I may want to sell some of my old black n’ white striped prison P.J.'s and Snuggies on this blog? Finally, I have linked HERE the sad result from believing that ice cream is a food group all unto itself. On the positive side, our disheveled dancing Shrek friend proves that everyone loves ‘Turkey in the straw’ and it’s never too late to start on a fitness and exercise plan. Enjoy!

The stinky 'tail' of a gassy raccoon

I love Sunday mornings because invariably when I finally release my dagger’s clutch on my pillow at a quarter to 8AM, my wife ‘T’ has cleaned and fixed everything that I did not get to during the week. I don’t think she feels abused actually, as it is her ‘busy bee, ME time’. For a couple of hours each week, ‘T’ enjoys the incredible luxury of ditching the computer, cell, and OTHER people’s needs, to choose priorities that please her and her alone.

Often I too am the direct beneficiary of my wife’s motivated and focused fervor. It is not unusual to awake at week’s end to bear witness to a perfectly polished galley and the intoxicating lure of fresh brewed coffee. However this morning, wafting intermittently, between the delightful aroma of java and industrial lemon-scented bleach, was something quite new – an unsettling and distinct whisp of odious outhouse.

‘My gawd’, it’s barely daybreak and my senses are being assaulted by sulfur and ‘eau de methane’ – was I magically transported overnight into the middle of a cow pasture? No, ‘T’ had decided to ‘clean out’ the refrigerator and found some broccoli and cauliflower that, though old, seemed ‘savable’ if steamed and aspirated into the house’s interior air. Oh goody, I get to breathe in my fiber and carbs for the day rather than suck down bold n’ moldy broccoli stalks and cauliflower.

I don’t care how health conscious you are, sane people shouldn’t eat food that literally STINKS. So I held my breath, stole a cup of ‘joe’ and retreated for the sanctuary of double sealed doors in the office. About an hour later, my wife wandered in to see me, unbelievably disillusioned. She was justifiably complaining that she was not feeling so ‘hot’ after consuming a putrid pile of that steaming vegan stink. Hmmm, my two word query consoled her like that of ANY loving spouse who was cowering in a far off corner of their house – “YOU THINK?”

Needless to say, my wife’s own invention of this broccoli and cauliflower stink-bomb, refuses to die and still has one more chance to be a RIP-roaring success. You see we set a pan of this delicacy out for the raccoons and other wildlife to sample and enjoy. Tonight should be a real GAS around the ol’ den when those wacky bandits start feeling a bit bloated and bubbly should they dare a hearty meal. Don’t worry though, we never feed our guests anything that we won’t eat ourselves – including a double dose from our blimp-sized bottle of BEANO!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

ICE ICE . . . maybe?

One of the few simple yet memorable pleasures in life, aside from a prison romance, is an ice cold drink. Flavorings are inconsequential and can vary according to temporary taste preferences and caloric content. But it is critical that as long as the stuff can induce ‘brain freeze’ convulsions just by looking at it, then THAT beverage is so far ‘up my alley’ that a colonoscopy might be required.

Even with our modern conveniences like ice makers and self-defrosting freezers, we never seem to have enough ice around this dump. Except for the lack of ‘self-importance’ and my rampant rejection of ‘an entitled culture’, you would think I’m living in ‘ice-free’ Europe here. Oh sure we have those frozen ‘blue’ things for picnic coolers and cases of frozen peas, but most people I know will pass on a glass of just about anything with frozen pea in it, no matter how cold it is.

Personally I prefer those diminutive ice balls in my drinks as opposed to the shattered, slivered chips or half-moon wedges produced by most home ice makers. Invariably those frozen ‘moonies’ and shards will dive out of the refrigerator dispenser, like little translucent, slippery spawning salmon. They flop, fly, and slide all over the countertop, floor, in my shoes, and just about anywhere EXCEPT for the intended glass of tepid spittle.

Despite these icy patches in my relationship with frozen water, even if I was an illegal alien out in the cold, I would love my ICE. So keep your luke-warm ways and pretentious Euro-drinks to yourself, because all I want on a hot day, is a big cold ‘AmeriCAN’ of liquid nitrogen. Yes, to appeal to my refreshing ‘frigidity’ and glacial-sized thirst, bring me my beverages ‘frosty and unapologetically cold’ - just like our County tax assessor.

I Peeve Freely

Since it is the weekend and nobody with a social life is reading anyway, I am going to reveal a peeve of mine. Now you know that this is a special problem because it is not just a peeve, but a PET peeve. People presumably actually care about their pets or they would not have them right? Therefore, you must assume that I really care about this complaint to call it a ‘Pet Peeve’.

Maybe I’m slow but I think I need help understanding this ‘peevishness scale’ or P.S. for short. If I am concerned enough about this ‘fret’ to call it my pet, why is it a peeve at all? Maybe it should actually be downgraded to around the level of a ‘snipe’ or a ‘squawk’, but probably not quite as low as a ‘beef’ or a ‘bother’.

Clearly I have a ‘bone to pick’ with whoever decided that a ‘Pet Peeve’ is a higher level grievance on the P.S. than just your average everyday ‘abomination’. Why, I would think even a run of the mill ‘extreme annoyance’ or ‘abhorrence’ is far more peevish than any ol’ plain vanilla peeve - pet or otherwise.

Ok, it is not my intention to pester or ‘pick on’ people who huff, puff, and grouse about their pet peeves but never actually define their gripe precisely. Rather, it is my mission to ‘crow’ about my complaint clearly, but at an accurate level of petulance. So NOW I understand - my ‘bellyache’ is more accurately representative of a ‘miff’ that I care about deeply – or in layman’s terms a ‘PET miff’.

P.S. Oh yeah, I almost forgot - my ‘pet miff’ is misplacing or losing tools and things that I need like a Thesaurus or obviously ... my MIND!