Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bullfighting with 'No Offense'

My daughter has mostly avoided the teenage ‘catch’ phrases, and ‘Valley Girl’ ‘up-speak’ inflection that is so common today in the culture of our youth. The reason primarily is that my kid deals with the public quite a bit and she is more comfortable with addressing large groups than most of her peers. However, recently I noted when speaking with me, quite often she prefaces her remarks with the ‘two-word’ bomb - ‘No offense’.

‘No offense’?? Now you see, as soon as somebody says that to me, I prepare myself for the obvious – I am ABOUT TO BE OFFENDED! I am pretty sure the kid is not going to compliment me on my clothing or let me know how attractive my ‘bed head’ hair looks today. In fact I am positive that my daughter is prepared to enlighten me with her vast reserves of worldly knowledge, acquired in her 19 years of life. Clearly she believes that much of what I tell her doesn't quite smell right?

Now of course I would never start a sentence with ‘No offense’ with my parents. I ALWAYS listen reverently to everything that my folks say since they are thoughtful, wise, and quite attractive. Everyone knows that attractive people know lots more and their opinion counts for double that of ugly people. Beyond that fact, my parents have been around the block a couple of decades longer, so as an only child, I think I’m on the short list for some sweet inheritance booty? Yeah the last time I saw them, I had my eye on a book of gas station ‘Green Stamps’ from 1970 and a box of plant seed packets from when K-Mart was known as S. S. Kresge.

Even though, my daughter refuses to ‘rubber stamp’ everything that I say, it’s probably a good thing that kids today learn to challenge authority and express their opinions and expectations clearly. I commend my kid for being compassionate enough to NOT offend me, yet still get her SOPHOMORIC points across. Maybe I should send her in to work on my folks and see if she can NOT offend them too, yet still negotiate an ‘early release’ deal for those Green Stamps and seeds? After all they are just geezer SENIORS right? They probably have forgotten everything that my daughter apparently thinks she knows, but I don’t.

Hmmm – ‘NO OFFENSE’ but this post has really taken a confusing turn and has a distinct aroma of manure about it? Looks like I am finally ready to enter the political arena. You’ll recognize me easily … I’ll be the one with the ’banderilles’ in my back and chasing my daughter's red cape – OLE!!

Going BEAR in flannel PAJAMAS!

It suddenly occurred to me after all these months, despite the name plastered all over the masthead, I have never discussed my favorite article of clothing – JAMMIES! Can you think of anything better in the world to lounge around all day in than a brand new pair of comfy flannel ‘jam jams’. I think the younger set is on to me though, because even schools and heaven forbid, the ultimate fashion Mecca - MALLS, are now filled with kids wearing jammies out in public!

Yes, my flannel love affair started fairly early with the advent of the ‘bunny’ pajama. You know the ones with the feet built in and that irritating flap in back. Honestly, if it were not for that airy ‘evacuation hatch’ thing, these jammies would be my standard issue jump-suit even now. I figure if nothing else, at my age, as long as the Velcro holds up, those jams would be a good ice breaker with the other kids at McDonald’s Playland. Within seconds, parents would call for reinforcements on their cells, in an effort to remove the ‘old fat goof’ in ‘feety P.J’s’, whose stuck in a tube and terrorizing their children.

So for the good of my public at large, I limit my P.J. lounging to home and terrorize my own family and occasionally the mail-lady. I tried those silky James Bond, Monte Carlo playboy type of jammies when I was younger. Although they tended to be a tad ‘cold’ when first put on, soon enough, they feel pretty slick (literally). But sadly, it was summer and our bed as it happens, was outfitted with ‘satiny’ sheets made of almost the identical material as my ‘jams’. Getting into bed was as easy as a hot knife in butter, but staying there was another matter. If I moved at all, the sheets would start to slide and gravity would take over. If I propped a leg up on my pillow, it would shoot out the other side like a loose goose. By morning, I would be on the floor in one corner of the room and all of the sheets would be huddled, cowering in another. Needless to say, I have sworn off ‘sexy’ sheets and jammies ever since.

As long as it is comfortable and not cinched up like a rodeo bull, I can wear just about anything to sleep in, though I am not a huge fan of short sleeve and pants pajamas even in summer. If it’s flannel it really NEEDS to be full length and preferably oversized. You see, once you wear flannel, it progressively shrinks a little with each successive cleaning. Within a couple of months, those once roomy long sleeve and pants ‘Flan-Jams’ fit like a pair of Lederhausen on a jolly German - AFTER Oktoberfest. A couple of months after that and I’ll tear out of the shirt like the Incredible Hulk, and the pants are relegated to serve as a warm n’ fuzzy hat to keep my ears toasty in Winter. Finally by Spring, those dedicated jammie bottoms, must be donated to charity for someone in need but who has a MUCH smaller waistline. Yeah I know just the group who run around ‘Bear’ all the time and are desperately in need of pants – my daughter’s Beanie Babies!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Recipes, Popcorn and Bedspreads

So we’ve all heard the idiomatic phrase “to butter up” someone, which simply means to ‘flatter for the purposes of gaining some sort of favor or consideration’. It’s commonly confused with the similar ‘Idiotic’ phrase, “to batter up” which means to ‘stick-it’ to obnoxious baseball fans and slather them up in a slurry of corn-dog goo.

Nonsense aside, in today’s health-conscious times, is it best to be ‘buttering’ anything up, or should we move beyond the butter to something that will pack our arteries just a wee bit slower? Beyond the verbal difficulties of phrasing margarines into catchy idioms, even the ‘light’ version butter substitutes contain trans-fats which are hard on coronary arteries. Trans-Fats and ‘chemically engineered ‘ hydrogenated oils actually build-up ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and reduce ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. An easy mnemonic to remember the good, bad, and ugly of cholesterol is forget the ‘D’ in the middle and just remember ‘L= Limited Life’ for the bad LDL, and the ‘H= Healthy Life’ for the good in HDL! Go here for a much healthier butter ‘replacer’ recipe if you are committed to living long enough to become a burden on society.

Ok, I know all that healthy talk has probably depressed you and made you fall off the ‘fat wagon’. You’ve clearly earned a treat, so if you are a fan of buttered popcorn then check out this easy recipe I saw in Southwest Airlines’ July 2010 Spirit Magazine. This gem is by sous chef Nate Boer, on how to make ‘Popcorn Butter’ for warm bread, muffins, waffles etc. I’m sure you could melt the stuff and pour it on popcorn too, but that would be kind of creepy in a ‘corny’ cannibalistic way don’t you think?

Simply grind up 2 ½ cups of fresh popcorn in a food processor to a sand texture and then mix in a ½ pound of softened unsalted butter, 1 ½ tablespoons of honey, and salt to taste – THAT’S IT! This popcorn ‘schmear’ is so fast , delicious, and incredibly simple to make. If you are ‘all thumbs’, or have no thumbs at all, even in mixed company, you can now proudly demonstrate your ‘kernal knowledge’. Should the thought of a compote of ‘cornpone cream’ bother you but you still are interested in ‘buttering‘ yourself with something different, then go HERE for a complete list of flavored better than butter recipes. Whew I need a nap - all this alliteration has made me sleepy! Please turn off the light when you leave and REMEMBER – tuck me in tight under my ‘bread spread’!

My phony STRING theory

I honestly don’t get all of these cell phone company commercials. Every week it seems that there are a litany of new cell phones out on the market with catchy one syllable names. Everything now is the fast, succinct, and high-tech sounding DROID, BOLD, or PRE. And yes I am well aware of the two syllable ’I-Phone’ and the up and comer ‘G-phone’ by Google too. It’s just who keeps buying all these phones since I thought literally everyone on the planet had a cell already?

I went into a Radio Shack today looking for a simple, normally-open, alarm contact switch. I’ll give you the first guess as to what I found at ‘the Shack’, and though ‘alarming’, their stock had NOTHING to do with 'ham' or alarm parts! If you guessed ‘more cell phones’ you must be a mind reader, or an inventory analyst for the ghost of Tandy past. I mean half the real estate in this dumpy strip store was dedicated to cell phones, MP3 noise-toys, and their associated clips, cases, batteries, and accessories?

Now honestly I have nothing against cell phones and trendy consumer electronics; in fact they can come in quite handy at times. But at what point do we stand up and call the Center for Disease Control and stop this cellular virus from it’s societal onslaught? You think I’m nuts, but today it’s one of my old favorite haunts, Radio Shack being transformed. But tomorrow it may be YOUR Starbucks, a local hair salon, or heaven forbid, even your Post Office that will be filled with robotic ‘POD’ salespeople!

Oh my gosh, I am sorry to be so insensitive and scare you. I admit I have never crossed over to the dark side and become a power cell-phone fanatic. In fact, come to think of it, I am not really much of a land-line fanatic either? It is probably because nobody these days has bothered to come up with a, catchy n’ sexy, one-syllable brand-name for wired phones. I’m thinking of marketing the iconic brand name ‘STRING’ – as the coolest ‘next generation’, wired phone alternative to boring ‘old fashioned ‘ cell technology. If all goes to plan, Google will buy me out before my hot new land-line phones take over the market. Naturally they will re-brand the phones as the ‘G-string’!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Half man – Half Chimp

You know to be a hard-hitting journalist you have to cover the tough stories no matter where they are or what kind of personal sacrifice is required. I’m really lazy and fortunately I don’t know any OCD newsies like that. The level of mental mettle and acuity to write the ‘Monoblogs’ is akin more to the inside of a jelly donut rather than real work. Still, there are those stories that have tested me to the core, and like with any housebound bad puppy, they usually happen when my wife has left me alone for a weekend or similar EXTENDED period of time.

On one such occasion, the wife was spending your tax money aboard an Ohio class Trident SSBN submarine, trying to solve a particularly irritating navigational gyro issue for the Navy. This of course left me to my own devices for more than a week unchecked. At our wedding, when they handed over the keys to my heart (as well as the restraints), my parents sufficiently warned my wife, that this was a bad idea.

Oh sure my wife called me nightly on the phone and along with the obligatory niceties and mundane work re-cap, she would always profess her desire to get home as quickly as possible, but I knew better. I clearly had been abandoned for the uniformed lure of those dapper military swabbies . There was no way a lumbering bulky-hulk of flesh like myself could compete, without resorting to drastic measures to prove my undying spousal devotion. So without hesitation or care for what others might think, I simply STOPPED SHAVING for the entire 10 days my wife was away on assignment.

Hey , I know it was a bit rash and over the top but these were NAVY submariners I was up against, not some ’flighty’ Air Force dudes or those ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ Army grunts. As shocking as my testosterone-driven, primal act might seem, the truth is you don’t know the half of it. My sudden and seemingly rebellious ‘follicle farming’, was in fact only to grow on the ‘right half’ of my face, because I continued to shave diligently on the left. Since my teens, I had sprouted a full mustache as well, so I hacked off the left side of it too - perfectly parting it under the center of my nose.

Beyond the pure enjoyment of shaking up social norms and expectations, for my wife and all who dared to ask, there was a sincere ‘message to my madness’ . Yes, my brainy ‘grey batter’ had blended an explanatory batch of bonafide insanity, with just a palpable hint of smarmy cheese. So at the airport, when my wife asked incredulously “What were you thinking?”, I smiled my brightest half-shaven ‘chimp-squint’ and simply replied “I’m merely HALF a man, when you’re away”.

The art of the SMELL!

Donald Trump has his deal and I have mine. My skill is that I married someone who smells good. Actually my wife ‘T’ technically ’smells well’ but that sounds too close to those Nabisco reduced fat cookies for my taste … or lack thereof. Recently we had some leftover fish in the fridge and the wife could tell instantly without opening the foamy container that it was slightly past its prime. Now I don’t smell so bad myself (I know ‘badly’ – but work with me please) but nobody’s nose, knows more about airborne ‘stinkery’ than my life-long ‘SOLE mater-ly’.

Now while my spouse’s super-sensory sniffer can be helpful in avoiding poisoned leftovers, it can also be a bit of a pain at times in our otherwise perfect marriage. For example, I prefer my toast a little on the darker side but as soon as a whisp of carbonized bread begins surfing a wave of air, my wife’s warning ‘CAW’ sounds off louder than Foghorn Leghorn’s Southern 'BELL'.

Amazingly for the most part, my personal hygiene flies under the wife’s nosey radar. I’m not sure if she has become immune to my effervescent presence or that my manly stench is effectively camouflaged by the guano and wet shag carpet in our bat cave. On occasion however, after a pot of coffee and a particularly robust breakfast ration of asparagus and Sugar Wheat Puffs, Mrs.’ T’ will find it necessary to don a bulky respirator. I digress delicately, but YES those particular foods, when processed through a bloated bladder, oddly maintain their ‘di-STINKED’ pre-digested pungency, though obviously now in a decidedly saturated state.

Yeah I know by now you clearly are wondering how this magic marriage has lasted. Well I won’t lie to you, it involves a lot of hard work and some serious overtime in the Olfactory department. We go through pallets of Aqua Velva, light a lot of matches, and both ‘Vicks’ and his twin brother ‘ Vaporub’ are frequent donors to our nasal relief charity. Mrs. T and I don’t have all the answers to an effective, and odor-free union, but anyone who ‘NOSE’ us well will surely say the same thing - “They just are so STINKING lucky!”

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shoot me!

No don’t worry I have not fallen off the wagon so far as to wish harm to myself – I'm sure there are plenty of other people with better aim that can hold down that job. I am referring to the fine art of photography and my genuine lack of skill in the same subject. I have always had an interest in trying to record images for posterity, but the problem is, even if I get a great shot, I shoot 40 bad pictures along with it, and I’ll never find the good one again.

Thank goodness for the advent of digital cameras. I always felt kind of guilty going to the store to develop literally dozens of horrid photos which at the time were costing close to 30 cents each to process. My wife was tolerant because usually we would get a couple of ‘album worthy’ pictures of the kid for the trouble. Now with digital, I may take hundreds of pictures and guess what – still only a couple are decent? The real irritation now is, though I don’t waste money printing pictures I don’t want, it still feels wrong to delete bad digital prints because it feels like I am deleting memories too? Regardless of format, good shots or not, it all just gets filed away on some hard drive or dumped in a memory box somewhere anyway.

I always thought it would be easier with film and then later video tape. But no, I have had the same problem as I will record endless amounts of data but have no concept of what is on various tapes and how to organize all that stuff. Oh yes, I know I still pan too quickly, the audio is atrocious, and the lighting is bad but that’s ok because I admit it, I’m a rank amateur ( as opposed to a good smelling professional).

So eventually when I stop blowing into straws to make milk bubbles, and start blowing in them to drive a wheelchair around, I hopefully will find some time to organize all of these images. By then, if I’m lucky, I might have a service monkey to help me sort through the endless boxes of memorabilia, or at least pick out my ties, fleas, and bellybutton lint. Oh wait I forgot, I had a kid quite awhile back. That means, if I time things just right, by then my daughter may let me borrow her ‘disobedient chimp’ to help old ‘Grumpy Grampy’ organize photos. But of course I will need to capture ‘THAT’ moment too on film so naturally it will lead to even more crates of disorganized pictures … you know what I've changed my mind – go ahead ... JUST SHOOT ME!

‘Mr. ED’ & TV that no one should have to see

I understand that we live in the media age and almost nothing is off the table when it comes to TV reporting, news and advertising these days. But honestly shouldn’t there be at least a few limits that normal ‘sane’ folks can agree on? Ok now once those two people have agreed, the rest of us need to put our foot down and demand removal of ‘offensive’ material from television. Sadly that will make most sporting events somewhat ‘one-sided’, but in my defense, the games will only take half as long to play and watch.

Hey I am not a prude-dude. I am just tired of sitting quietly, minding my own business watching television, when all of a sudden I’m visually assaulted by very disturbing images. I don’t complain just for myself but for those innocent young people around me as well. After all I am getting up there in age, so repeated shock and awe from any source, can have a detrimental effect on my sphincter and Santa’s lap.

So lest you think I am being overly dramatic, let’s start with an easy one – Viagra, Cialis, and the whole term ‘E.D.‘ PLEASE – I never EVER want to hear about that talking horse again. I don’t want to see ‘geezer lovers’ sharing a ‘knowing’ moment, or looking at a sunset in side by side tubs or ANY of it. I’m thrilled for you if this stuff has changed your life but why should it change my life too? Please just bring back liquor and cigarette ads if I have to keep seeing amorous old people holding hands. Because I am going to need something to dull the pain and help kill myself much quicker than my current health regimen of saturated fats and NO exercise.

I also am done with all forms of ‘nekkid’ babies. The only three groups who like nude babies are naïve ‘first time’ mothers , old wrinkly Grandmothers who have forgotten what a naked baby looks like, and farm ‘sows’ who eat their young. The rest of us, especially guys, HATE naked babies so put some clothes on those kids if you are going to put them on TV.

Now if we’re talking big babies, we have to group in those TV liability lawyers of mid-day and late night television too. I will never need one of these odd-ball attorneys and neither will you. Locally, we actually have a lawyer who advertises on daytime TV that wears an eye-patch and has the voice inflection of a stale donut. If you require the assistance of a wooden pirate lawyer then you had better kiss your booty goodbye, because you’d get better representation from a stuffed parrot.

Ok, that’s enough gripe-writing for now. I need to get back and watch more television because I have fallen short in my regular afternoon diet of car, fast food, insurance, cell phone, and trade school advertising. Maybe if I am lucky, the idiot box will show me something that EVERYONE wants to see – A naked baby liability lawyer, who can’t get enough of those little blue pills and endless re-runs of Mr. ED!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tape me as I am

Did you ever notice how much tape (red and otherwise) that life tangles you up in? I actually cannot believe how many rolls of the stuff that are laying around here in bins, drawers, and toolboxes throughout the garages. I guess we obviously must be still worried about the possibility of another tear gas assault on the compound? It doesn’t make sense however because ever since we ran out of that sheet plastic, all we have left to fill in the gaps around the doors and windows is used Frito bags.

Anyway, I don’t think we are that extreme as tape fanatics go but it sure seems that way. I set out to inventory all of these rolls of tape and see why I am apparently ‘stuck’ on the stuff. I have 2 rolls of 'blue' tape for painting when I'm sad, because it pulls away from the walls easier but of course it won’t prevent paint bleeding, so for that you need a roll of ‘Frog Tape’. It’s maddening that this stuff is so expensive, so I think it’s real BULL frog or some other type actual tadpole mash that gives it the green color.

I have what looks like a Lego color wheel of 5 small rolls of electrical tape for covering up pointy things or stuff that tries to electrocute me. The Lone Ranger would be proud because in a bin I found 3 rolls of duct tape in various shades of ‘silver’. Next to that was 6 rolls of masking tape in various widths. Sadly I don’t know what color you call masking tape since its not quite beige but markedly more tan than my one pasty white foot in the grave.

Inside the hovel is where you start finding all the ‘crafty’ type tape. I have a half-used roll of ‘foam’ tape. That’s a kind of funny name when you think about it - akin to ‘whipped cream’ tape when you ‘tear into’ a hot cherry pie. Of course we have a roll of double-sided tape whenever I want to wrap gifts for my two-faced friends. For ordinary wrapping of cheap gifts that I give, I found 4 rolls of ‘Scotch’ tape. Do the math and you’ll see that I have two dozen rolls of tape sticking in my craw. Oh I know I actually only listed 23 rolls, but that’s because I’m sure there is a large roll of ‘Invisible’ clear tape around here too – it’s just that I currently don’t SEE it!

Mock ME but not my country or crackers

I was kind of amused the other day when on late night television, a comedian with a distinctly ‘foreign’ dialect did a stand-up bit referring to the U.S.A as the land of “American cheese CRACKERS’. Oh yes I get that in modern slang, the term is thought of as a pejorative for Caucasians. But honestly folks, does anyone really think this term would get a true American’s blood boiling in real life? I love cheese and crackers anyway, so if somebody said to me “Hey - Cracker!”, I would say “WHERE?”

The thing is around here that Saltines and other types of crackers are so popular, they have their own zip code. I have at least 3 or 4 boxes in reserve at all times in case of cracker supply issues at Wal Mart, or if, on an off chance we meet up with a dozen or so rabid parrots. I can’t help it really, because crackers are so versatile. You can eat ‘em raw or in soup, sail them like Ninja weapons, build little towers out of them, or in a pinch, use them as a decent set of checkers – ovals vs. squares.

As you might expect, I am the practical one of the house and prefer the simple conservative square saltines, also known by their military designator as P.B.D.S. (Peanut Butter Delivery System). My kid has to have those ‘reduced fat’ Triscuts and ultra thin crackers with ‘vegetable’ flavored seasoning. Does all that multicolored powder and the extra long names of these products make them healthier and worth 3 times the price of my ‘plain jane’ saltines? My wife of course only loves those fancy ‘shapely’ girly crackers with the wheat, rye, and butter flavorings. I am not sure but when fermented that mash sounds like the fixin’s for a batch of ‘Hillbilly Hooch’ to me – I’m going to have to keep my ‘pink-eye’ on her.

Wow it’s getting late and this cracker-chat has made me feel a bit ‘HUNGARY’, so it’s times like these that I am thankful I don’t live in North Poland. Those European countries don’t have convenient 24 hour access to bricks of Velveeta and P.B.D.S. on demand like my proud but portly homeland. Yes we Americans are a patriotic, ‘cracker-lovin’ people that believe in God, Country, and a high-caliber double crust, MOCK Apple pie!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ridin’ my Soapbox

This last weekend was the 73rd annual Soapbox Derby championships in Akron, Ohio. For those of you that have never seen an ‘Our Gang ‘ movie matinee, this is an amateur race competition for kids that began in the 1930’s. The young drivers and their 4 wheeled race cars compete around the country on straight local roads with a continual downhill grade. The cars are built by the kids and their race teams to best take advantage of gravity, aerodynamics, and a driver’s course prowess. Every summer, winners of local races around the world, meet up at ‘Derby Downs’ in Akron, Ohio U.S.A. for a week-long extravaganza of events, media hoopla, and eventually elimination matches to ultimately crown the world champions.

In my father’s day, participating in the Soapbox Derby meant literally finding crates, random skate wheels and parts, to fabricate and point a rolling ‘thrift store’ down a hill with limited braking, steering control, and safety requirements. In modern times, the Derby race cars are strictly regulated to use the ‘exact’ same specifications among all racers. This includes weight restrictions, uniform wheels, car size, brakes, steering, and obviously great precautions for the driver’s general safety.

What reminded me of all this was that I noted they are now filming a movie called ’25 Hill’, a drama depicting a kid’s heroic struggle to fulfill his deceased father’s dream to race in the Soapbox Derby. In the last three out of five years, the real life National Soapbox Derby organization has been in the red and is struggling to survive hard economic times and loss of corporate sponsorship. Actor Corbin Bernsen has made it his mission to produce this movie to try and revitalize the public’s awareness of the Soapbox Derby with it’s rich and storied past. With a little luck, if the family movie hits a chord with the general public, it could help bootstrap the Derby’s reputation as well as its meager bank account.

You see I have a tiny vested part of my emotional past in this organization. My daughter competed in the St. Louis Regional Soapbox Derby in the Super Stock and Master’s class cars for three years and won the St. Louis Championship in 2002. She went on to compete in Akron too, however lost her race that year and was eliminated. Still, It was an amazing experience and the town treated every one of those racing kids like celebrities everywhere they went.

So, if you ever get the opportunity to go watch or support one of these local racing events, your family would surely benefit from the experience. Though the cars may not look as unique or comical as their 1930’s ancestors, the kids’ determination to succeed is the same. That’s good enough reason for me to at least buy a movie ticket when ’25 Hill’ comes to town. The only thing is that I hope the ‘drive-in’ movie theater is DOWNtown – with no motor, Soapbox Derby cars only ‘do’ hills in ONE direction!

The hair and music bond

When I was in 8th grade I was honored with a very prestigious award. No I didn’t run faster, or jump higher than my peers – I simply unfurled my Rapunzel length hair – ON MY LEGS! Yes eat your heart out people, while so many of you spend hours on end trying to reign in the mane , I got rewarded for my ‘preceding’ leggy hairline.

Don’t worry, this was not some odd-ball ‘Hairy’ Potter private school full of nerdy outcasts – it was a summer camp full of musicians obviously battling fatigue and a bit of healthy pre-teen follicle fascination. Somehow I was ‘volunteered’ to enter this competition and with ruler in hand the arbiters of 'all things furry' sampled my curly leg locks. When pulled taut, at nearly an inch long, the hair on my calf outdistanced all comers by at least a 1/8 inch. I received a bottle of Nair and a handsome certificate suitable for framing.

Now it is hard to imagine that this was my first experience away from home. As an only child, my favorite companion ordinarily was ‘Privacy’. I was none too happy to be dropped off in the woods by my parents to face hundreds of these weirdo, kinetic ‘music geeks’. Most musicians (excluding myself of course) are already a bit maladjusted, so a genuine ‘Deliverance-induced’, chill ran down my spine, at the thought of being abandoned in the woods without silver bullets, garlic, or even a kazoo. However after my camp-mates shared gruel, chores, and our passion for music; inevitable friendships formed, and soon I was willing to whip my unshaven leg out and show anyone who dared a gander.

So the next time you prepare to use a machete to hack back all of your precious peach fuzz, you may want to think twice. You never know when that Amazon jungle on your legs may come in handy to help you bond and win some well-deserved recognition among your peers. Of course for the full effect, you may want to hire a couple of toothless musicians to play ‘Dueling Banjos’ to set the mood. That’s sure to ‘win friends and influence people’, or at the very least, raise those teensy ‘little hairs’ on the back of your neck!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

‘Prime 9’ Fruit that pose as veggies

Who knows exactly when, but by the time you are old enough to understand ‘you could HATE V-8’ juice you have learned that tomatoes are classed botanically as fruit rather than vegetables. I guess sometimes, fresh grown tomatoes can be very sweet so in a way I freely accept them as fruit. But some things on my ‘Poser’ list are just too hard to choke down as fruity-foods both LITERALLY and figuratively.

So two of my least favorites include Cucumbers and Eggplant. Yes I can enjoy an occasional ‘Zesty Dill’ or a crisp sweet pickle chip, but please keep all other forms of Cucumbers away from me. They pollute all that they touch with their stinky green skin. Eggplants taste dull and just look too shiny and ‘purpley’ to trust. They remind me of some kind of ‘bruise gone wild’ or my foot after I stub my big toe.

Pumpkin and Squash I tolerate for two entirely different reasons. Once when I was younger my wife grew an enormous 115 pound pumpkin. I carved it out from the bottom and with the help of two highly paid illegal aliens wore it around my head like Darth Vader with a spray-on tan. Let’s just say I was popular with the kid in the day, but not so much with my wife later when those pumpkin innards glued themselves to my hair. I will always have a soft spot in my hair for Pumpkins. Squash is not bad cut up and stir-fried with some kind of meat grease. But its real value to me is to dry them out and fill them with BB’s to make maracas. I love squash maracas – until they break.

Finally the last 4 botanically classed fruit that most of us consume as veggies are the hardest to accept. Yes perennial ‘flavorites’ like corn, beans, peas, and sweet peppers are all actually fruity by nature. I know I know, it shakes your faith to the ‘apple-core’ that you have been deceived by public education and worse - the supermarket. Up to now, other than church, the grocery produce aisle was the last bastion of honesty and organic purity left in America. Who knows what’s real anymore or what to believe? The next thing you will be telling me is that potatoes have ‘eyes’ and lettuce has ‘heads’. Yeah right – what do you think I just fell off a turnip trike?

5 out of 7 continents recommend this blog

I try not to take too many things personally especially when it comes to my writing. Yeah it is great when somebody ‘gets it’ but honestly half the time after I finish a paragraph, I don’t understand what I just wrote so it is unrealistic to expect ‘outsiders’ to willingly decipher my insanity.

Now like any ‘blah blah blogger’ wanna-be, I have tried to keep up with some general statistics to analyze reader growth, where and what types of posts are most popular, and how long folks stick around to read and stomach my tripe. After 4 months of exhaustive research and literally thousands of data points, I can honestly tell you that I have learned ‘NOTHING’, except that South Americans and the occupants of Antarctica HATE ME?

Hey I am not being over-sensitive here and I know I don’t have mirror site for the Monoblogs in the Spanish language or native Penguin. But you would think after closing in on my 5th month of posts, some ex-patriot drug dealer, retired in the Costa Rican jungle would have the decency to stop by and say ‘Buenos Dias’ Duuude? I even recently took a trip to the zoo to visit their “Penguin Cove” exhibit and have a stern ‘beak to beak’ with the ‘Emperor’ about this unacceptable penguin disrespect. Despite my generous offering of sardines, crackers, and krill, the zoo-keepers still refused to let me see the ‘King’ and marched him away. Can I help it that when unshaven and donning my dapper spotted jacket, I bear a strong resemblance to a fat leopard seal?

In any case, it is obvious that I have my bloggy work cut out for me. I am going to have to step it up a notch if I ever hope to be read (uh ok – maybe black n’ blue) on every continent. I believe there are well over a dozen species of Penguin in the world and untold dialects of Espanol. I could dominate the Antarctic demographic, If only I could get Batman to take care of those pesky ‘snow birds’ and Robin to lay on their eggs. Then South America is a sure-fire snap for satisfying stats, if I simply snag that ‘She Wolf’ Shakira, to seductively guest-blog - or at least ‘SHAKE’ up my readership a bit.