Thursday, December 20, 2007

177. Enter the Juggernaut (also: Cesarean Sickness)

So I’m it. That doesn’t mean to me what it used to onaccounta—I’m really, really lazy in writing lately. It started as an “I don’t have time to blog because I have a huge project” thing, and ended up as an “I guess I’m not showering this week” thing. After that, I started to actually feel lazy. So whatever chain-blogger thing you wanted me to pass on MG, that’s just not going to happen, so you’ll have to aguantare.

Anyway, for those of you who are still of the caring-about-stupidramblings’-blog persuasion, my wife Limpy and I delivered the Juggernaut last week. He’s a healthy baby boy, 6 lbs. 14 oz., and 18 ½ inches long. The First Mate celebrated by puking the entire contents of last month’s cumulative meals on the night we brought the Juggernaut home. He puked a lot. Very much. All over dear old dad. That’s me.

I handled it about as well as you could expect from a guy named stupidramblings, which is to say I called in my wife Limpy to clean it all up while I showered. Juxtapose the frantic, frightened crying of the First Mate against the peaceful sleeping of the then two-day-old Juggernaut and I think you’ll arrive at a wonderful mental state. I know I have. The memories of that night are bliss, bliss, bliss in my head.

Shamefully, as the whole event was taking place, I was still looking for ways to be lazy but at the same time try to protect my investments. I mean, you know you’re a homeowner when your child is trying to stain at least half of the carpeting yardage in your home and your first thought is to avoid having to clean up any more than you absolutely have to. I won’t go into too many details, but it turns out the bathtub is a marvelous place for a father and son to share a drink from the fire hose.

Enough of that. My wife Limpy is recovering nicely from her C-section. (BTW, I’m sure many of you will be as surprised as I was to learn the C in C-section refers to the manner in which Julius Caesar was born, not the shape of the incision made in the abdomen. Who knew?) I had saved vacation time all year so I could take time off this Christmas to spend with my family. I’m happy to have done so, because I’m bonding with the Juggernaut fairly rapidly. He doesn’t do much but sleep so far, but I’ve found he likes TV wrastlin' and Pirates. Other than that he just sleeps. That’s why I don’t have much information about him except that he’s healthy and we’re all very happy about that.

The First Mate, however, is just starting to do hilarious stuff that kids do. For example, our favorite song lately is ‘Old MacDonald.’ That’s because here’s how we sing it at our house:

Me: Old MacDonald had a farm,
The First Mate: E-I-E-I-E-I-YAH-YAH-YAH!
Me: And on that farm he had a cow,
The First Mate: E-I-E-I-E-I-YAH-YAH-YAH!
Me: With a MOO here and a MOO there, here a MOO, there a MOO, everywhere a MOO, MOO. Old MacDonald had a farm,
The First Mate: E-I-E-I-E-I-YAH-YAH-YAH... (repeat “YAH” until sleeping or eating.)

We’ve also been learning strategic, spastic shouting in songs about sun-BEAMs. On the entertainment front, we love Word World and Phenomenon. The First Mate gets a real kick out of building words and Voldemort’s dark magic.

And that’s how we’ve been.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

176. The Drop-Off

You may recall when we painted the First Mate's room in anticipation of his arrival. Since he's getting older and we need his room for the Juggernaut, we've decide to move the First Mate upstairs in his brand new room. The Juggernaut gets the original room. Hope you like it.

PS. this is not the huge project I was talking about when I said I wouldn't be writing as much. I'm still not writing as regularly.















Sunday, September 16, 2007

175. Such As!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

174. So Sue Me

So I haven't written in a while. I have a confession to make. Or two. I haven't written because I've been lazy. And we inmates don't get the computer time we used to. And I can't read. So sue me.

Things of note:

The First Mate turned 1.
My wife Limpy is expecting another boy whom we'll call the Juggernaut.
I had knee surgery.
The drugs from knee surgery gave me hallucinations.
I direct the music in our weekly church services which was a real trip while I was high on pain meds three days after surgery.
We are going to Disneyland in a couple of weeks.
In my last post about Trinidad food, I forgot to mention I also ate 'suck a bag.' The name makes me giggle, but it's quite harmless; they load ice cream into baggies and hand them to people for group activities. Instead of using a spoon, you just bite a hole in the bag and eat the ice cream through it.

I may be slow in writing for the next few weeks--I'm working on a huge project--but check back every month or so. I'm sure to start up again in a few.

Monday, July 09, 2007

173. Things I ate.

So for the past couple of weeks, I was in a foreign country, Trinidad to be exact. While I was there I had many memorable memories and saw many tropical visuals that were emotionally emotional. Mostly though, here's a list of things I ate in Trinidad:


Roti
Pizza
Callalou
Coconut water
Coconut jelly
Peanuts
Mangoes in 6 varieties
Sweet potatoes
Yams
Taro root
Macaroni pie
Chick peas
Baby food
Bread fruit
Marshmallows
Jub jub
Mogul frutales
Curry chicken
Curry goat
Agouti
Pineapple Chow--remind me to describe it.
And rain water collected on the roof.
Not eaten this time, but that I've eaten there before: iguana rabbit
Not eaten this time, but I came close: armadillo.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

172. On Account of the Water and of the Air.

So.

It’s here. I’m going to spend a few days in Trinidad, starting tomorrow. Last time I went to Trinidad, I broke out in hives all over. Benadryl was my best friend that week. The quandary: If you get a medical condition in Trinidad, do you go to the foreign doctor’s office to get treated, or do you risk death and wait until you arrive home? I just used the Benadryl like I had the anaphylactic shock and it cleared up before I arrived home.

The bad part is I don’t even know what I was allergic to. Could it be the water? I mean, they do collect rain water FROM OFF THE ROOF and collect it in big barrels, which, yes, are connected directly to the tap. I might have the peanut allergy, since my mom has the peanut allergy, and Trinidad has the bestest peanuts in the whole wide world. They are pan fried in butter and salted and they make me think of heaven. But am I allergic to them? Could be, that’s the first thing I ate when I got off the plane last time.

I might be allergic to…wait for it…humidity. “Yeah right,” you say, “You can’t be allergic to water and air,” and I say, “Why not?” in a defensive tone, “If the New York Knicks can be allergic to success and if the blog nation can be allergic to reality, I can have a humidity allergy.

Anyhoo, and not like you’ve had to wait 2 weeks since the last post anyway, but if you don’t hear from me in a while it’s because I’m on vacation.

OR

Anyhoo, and not like you’ve had to wait 2 weeks since the last post anyway, but if you don’t hear from me in a while it’s because I died on vacation on account of the water and air.

It’s a choose-your-own-adventure blog post. Only YOU can decide which ending is best (and prevent forest fires).

(Pictures to come.) Thanks, Smokey!

Friday, June 08, 2007

171. Steak You Can Cut with Plastic Utensils.

Marinate 5-6 steaks in:

  • the juice of two limes (with pulp)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (now with extra virgins!)
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • crushed red pepper to taste (use a little more than you think you'll need--it gets cooked off)
  • a palmful of tarragon
  • two drops of orange extract
  • black pepper to taste (use a little more than you think you'll need--it gets cooked off)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • a pinch of crushed dill weed
  • a pinch of crushed coriander
  • 3-4 grains of anise seed
  • and a pinch of cumin

Mix marinade well and pour over the steaks. Marinate overnight.

Cook (BBQ preferably) on very high heat until the inside is slightly pink.

Invite your neighbors over and throw the steaks at them...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

170. Kiss, Click, Giggle.

So here's a fun game my brother and I used to play. Remember we were seven (7) and five (5) respectively:

And before I get into the details, let me also say that this game is still fun--even for adults--and you can play at parties. All you need is a TV, a remote, and some Windex. (My brother and I used to play without Windex.)

What you do is kiss the TV screen, then change the channel. When the channel changes, invariably you will be kissing Richard Simmons, or a televangelist, or somebody else who is really messed up. Keep in mind though, that when my brother and I used to play this game, we were seven (7) and five (5) respectively and it was 1979. So the people we were prone to see on the screen were people like Richard Simmons, or a televangelist, or somebody else who is really messed up.

So next time you have a get-together, try your luck at it.

Kiss, Click, Giggle. The game the whole family can enjoy!

Friday, June 01, 2007

169. Envirolet?


In case you don't get to my site three (3) times per day, my sidebar has randomly assigned ads provided by Ads by Google.

Well, this is my most recent, and current favorite ad.

My question is this: isn't that color bad for the environment? Furthermore, any human waste receptacle that is advertised with the word "Amazing!" is definitely worth the money. I don't know why you all don't already own the envirolet, but it's time to go out and getcherself one.

Hop to!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

168. So...Yeah.

So it turns out (I heard it on the radio yesterday) En Vogue is coming in concert to little old Utah. Not only have I wanted to see their live act for a long time, I have heard they are fantastic performers. I saw them on SNL once (or maybe it was another sketch comedy show) and they really brought the house down. Then, nearing the end of the radio ad, the announcement said the concert is all part of a gay pride festival.

So.

I'm torn. Do I go to the show and possibly communicate the wrong message? or do I stay home and possibly never get a chance to see En Vogue live?

Where I do not have a problem with anyone's orientation, I certainly don't want to mislead anyone as to MY orientation. Showing up to the gay pride rally to see a team of superb vocalists put on a show is not necessarily my idea of a good way to communicate my love of vocal music and harmony. If anything, it would be a good way to falsely out myself. Unfortunately, getting outed is not one of those things I'd be up for since, quite frankly, I'm not even IN in the first place.

So I guess I won't get to see them live--which is sad, because I've been a fan of theirs since at least one thousand nine-hundred ninety-one (1991) or one thousand nine-hundred ninety-two (1992). Maybe Kool and the Gang will make a stop here one day too--I'll go see them. Or Lipps Inc.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

167. Livin' Up To Your Dreams

Do you remember that episode where Jo and Tudy got into a fracas because Jo was a complete killjoy and Tudy was a little naïve? And then Natalie came to try and smooth things over, but no one could hear what she said because her insecurities were so loud. Enter Blair who came in like the Queen of Southern Money and treated the whole lot of them like convicts.

Do you remember how it ended? Mrs. Garrett had a sit-down with every one of them and told each one to grow up and treat everyone with a little respect only to go to the kitchen, down a fifth of Scotch, and hammer out a letter to Mr. Drummond about her girls and their social interpersonal ineptitude.

Yeah, me too. That one was the best.

You take the good, you take the bad
You take them both and there you have
The facts of life. The facts of life.

When the world never seems to be livin’ up to your dreams
And suddenly you’re finding out
The facts of life area all about you. You-oo-oo-oo-oo.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

166. Carpet Swimming, Part II: The Revenge

For those of you who read my last post, here's the video proof.



Right, left, right, left, right, left, right, right, DOH!

Monday, May 07, 2007

165. Carpet Swimming

I think the wisest line I’ve ever uttered came from my recent post, number one-hundred-sixty-three (#163). So I’m going to repeat it here just in case you missed it. th. may have been the only person who saw it. Make this one of your life’s maxims, make a motivational poster of it, and put it on your wall:

“You can be a pro wrestler, or an Olympic wrestler. The difference is college.”

Back to the posting.

You may recall back in post number one-hundred-seven (#107) when I declared my inability to maintain the alive-ness of plants in and around my home. Now that spring has arrived, I’m happy to report the two trees I spoke of planting in that post are halfway alive—a better ratio than I hoped for.

Now, when I say the trees are halfway alive, you might get the impression they are struggling a bit, but you are wrong. There is no struggle. Half (1/2) of the trees are alive and the other half (1/2) are dead—so I took an average. The important thing is leaving the dead tree in the ground for the year to see if we can revive it. I mean, because wintering in our front yard should have been rejuvenating.

More important is that the First Mate is thriving—he’s growing like a weed. (Note “growing like a weed” is a stupid metaphor. I mean, weeds just grow—you don’t have to water, feed, or weed [humor me] them. They just grow there, sitting in the dirt, without regard to the care given them. Children require constant care. They require water, food, and [insert human-related word for weeding] before you can expect them to reach respectable size. In fact, leaving them in the back yard to sit in the dirt is a good way to provide yourself a little MORE work and maintenance. So when I say “growing like a weed,” don’t go thinking child-rearing is easy—the phrase should be changed to “growing like a mullet,” because the care required is precise and there’s a science to getting the end result you want.)

(Interesting note: At the time I wrote post one-hundred-seven (107), the doctor had told us the First Mate weighed about four (4) pounds, nine (9) ounces. He was born two weeks later at four (4) pounds, six (6) ounces—a difference I hadn't thought of when he was born. What kind of witch-doctory is Doctor Feel Good practicing, anyway?)

Anyway. Recently, the First Mate has begun communicating intelligently. Every time we feed him, we show him the sign-language version of the word and also the English version. That way he’ll always have two ways of communicating an idea if he chooses to talk to us. Well this past week or so, the First Mate started mimicking our signs back to us to tell us when he is hungry, or tired, or thirsty. Slowly, deliberately, he showed us the sign for food the other day—which is putting your hands behind your head and moving your hips around in a circle—and we made sure to reinforce his learning by giving him beginner’s snacks. We haven’t told him yet that they don’t really count as food because they are made of styrofoam, but he eats them just the same because he still trusts us.

The First Mate has also begun moving. I don’t mean moving in the waving-the-arms sense, I mean transporting himself across a room if he sees something he wants. I wouldn’t exactly call what he does ‘crawling,’ because ‘crawling’ would indicate some sort of normal-looking movement. More accurately, I would call it ‘Carpet Swimming’ because that’s what it is complete with turning the head up for breathing. My swimming teacher used to set a chair on the side of the pool and lie down on the chair to show us the correct swimming strokes. Well, my kid can do it right at ground level. Take that, you over-tanned, self-important swimming instructor!

Friday, April 20, 2007

164. If You're a Mormon, You'll Love This Post.

Back in the good ol’ day when Miss Nemesis and I worked at the same location, I once had the opportunity to tell her and some of the other yay-hoos I worked with why I boycott Mormon* movies. (Stay with me—this is not a post about Mormonism. . I am a Mormon, though telling people I am Mormon is not the purpose of this blog—It’s important to know only for this post.)

Part of the reason I don’t watch Mormon movies is because they suck. Another part of the reason I don’t watch them is because I find it offensive that someone will tell me I will love a Movie and that I should spend my money on it because I have something in common with the film-maker. Using that logic, one could say, “Because you are human, you will love Beetle Juice—a film made by other humans, and that makes them just like you. And that makes the film a smash hit—especially among humans.” No, it doesn’t. What it means is the film’s marketing efforts have backfired and the film-makers are forced to make ever-increasing claims of the film’s potential greatness so a wider and wider audience may come and see it.

I fall into many demographics, but if you have to resort to ‘faith’ as a marketing demographic; if you’ve exhausted your options for placing me in a demographic like adult male, intelligent movie-goer, childish adult male, chubby guy, bald guy, enlightened idiot etc. and you can’t figure out any other way to reach me demographically than by my faith, that’s where I tune out. I’ve also been approached by friends and acquaintances who tell me I should tap into the Mormon market for my art. I’ve been a stage performer for a number of years, and people sometimes encourage me to tap into the Mormon market. Somehow I have never felt right about selling faith for money. At its root, that’s what would be for me—selling faith for money. What else could it be when I make lesser-quality art (I'm not very good) and sell it to people saying, “This is made strictly for you because you’re of the ‘my faith’ demographic”?

Also, I don’t think I could go into that market and sell faith for money without the money ultimately becoming my faith. In other words, I could never make faith my job, because jobs aren’t typically the kind of things I could feel a deep passion for—not at the same level as faith anyway. And making faith my job would prove to be disastrous for me in that I couldn’t separate the two and faith would ultimately be ‘my paycheck.’ I work for money. I ‘faith’ for personal reasons. I don’t think I could combine the two without ultimately falling prey to money=faith. And I’m not saying others will automatically fall into the trap, I’m just saying I can’t do commercial faith-based art because I will have trouble distinguishing between faith and work. In the end, that’s where the conversation with Miss Nemesis and others went. And at the time, I spoke of a few examples of those who have left the church after years of producing Mormon-focused art.

Anyway, it’s astonishing to me to see how many of the popular Mormon artists leave the church at some point—the latest of whom is Richard Dutcher**, director and actor in God’s Army. Much has been made of late of the situation involving Richard Dutcher and another Mormon film-maker having a little spat about artistic merit and who’s better at making movies. To clarify, much has been made of late in Utah about said film-makers, especially since Mr. Dutcher has recently announced he has left the church for reasons of his own. I’m not here to judge him or tell you why he’s leaving—his reasons are his own and I respect them. I’m just pointing out another of our ‘acclaimed’ Mormon artists is leaving the church, and I don’t get it. I'm not surprised, but I don't get it. I’ve seen it happen a few times and I’m only guessing at the reasons, but it happens more often than I would have suspected years ago.

I don’t know Dutcher's reasons for leaving, I just know he is leaving. What I can’t understand is why someone would be surprised when a prominent Mormon artist leaves the church. . It’s not like it hasn’t happened before.

* Mormon movie-making became popular in Utah a few years ago with the advent of a movie called God’s Army—which was made for non-Mormons about Mormons and the only people who made it profitable (I think it was profitable) were Mormons themselves. God’s Army was pretty well done, but not something I would want to put money down for. Because of the moderate success of God’s Army, a whole slew of increasingly bad films has since popped up, and they’re all horrible. But they’re clean, which makes them (in the minds of some) worthy of spending money on. I am not of that opinion. I am a Mormon, though being Mormon is not a strong enough cause to throw my hard-earned entertainment dollars away for. And I rarely take the opportunity here to state that fact, but I think it’s necessary because this post may not have the broad appeal of my usual posts.

**NOTE: Richard Dutcher is not guilty of marketing based on faith. Not that I know of. I met him in 2001 and asked him face to face what he hopes his audience will be and he said he’s making movies about Mormons for the masses (I paraphrase). That Mormons are the demographic that picked up his movies and put money on them was not his aim—although I don’t think he minded the profits—he was trying to reach a broader audience. I’m okay with that. Dutcher himself states some of my thoughts quite well in his recent article printed in the Provo Daily Herald (the thoughts about Mormon film-making not being worth the dollars people pay for it, NOT the part about leaving the church.) (FYI: I had not read the article until AFTER I wrote this post—so any similarity between my thoughts and Dutcher’s are coincidental.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

163. Was Your Mother a Baker?

‘Cause your belly has the general feel of bread dough. That’s what I’ve observed about babies, anyway. The First Mate feels just like he’s full of yeast and he’s been rising on the counter for about an hour. The difference is the first mate couldn’t make a batch of root beer alcoholic in your grandma’s cellar.

Anyway, I’ve decided the First Mate has reached the general intelligence of your typical canine companion. Which is a pretty good growth curve for an eight-(8)-month-old. That’s not to say he won’t get smarter, because he might, but right now he’s as smart as a dog. And I’m not talking about one of those debutante teenager dogs that accompanies unintelligent, gum-chewing, daddy’s girls, I’m talking police dogs (sans the addiction to crack).

When I get home from work, the First Mate lights up with a big, bright smile and rushes toward me. Okay, so he doesn’t rush toward me because he can’t crawl yet, but you catch my meaning. When he sees me, his neck disappears as he draws his shoulders up to his ears and he kicks his feet wildly. If he had a tail, it would be wagging. (As soon as his hair grows in, he’s going to have a tail, but that’s a different story for a different post.) He even salivates when I ring a little bell. I seriously think he’s smart enough to work with cops one day.

Anyway, the point of all this is to relate the following story as told by My brother Chewy:

My brother Chewy was telling me about one of his children, my nephew, who got an electronics kit for Christmas and has become quite the electronic erudite. My nephew Erudite had been telling my brother Chewy he wants to be an electrical engineer—not too far of a stretch for such a smart kid. My brother Chewy told him if he doesn’t do better at school, he’s going to be an electrician instead (not that there’s anything wrong with that, I mean, if that’s your profession).

That’s when I confessed I’d been telling the First Mate a similar thing: You can be a pro wrestler, or an Olympic wrestler. The difference is college.

Let that be a lesson to you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

162. Why the Long Face, Audrey?

Dear reader(s):

I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while, but I’ve just been too caught up in this jail lifestyle to have much time for anything else*. They only let us outside every day for a couple of hours which they say is for exercise, but they took away the basketballs because of violent basketball beatings. Now all we have for exercise is running around the courts.

The other reason I've not been writing, for those of you I haven’t told yet, is because I’ve been maintaining internet silence until 24 (Twenty-Four) brought down Abu Fayed and revealed that Audrey Raines is still alive. Well last night, Jack Bauer brought Fayed down (lifted him up by the noggin’ actually) and MOMENTS LATER Jack received a call from, who else? Audrey Raines herself.

You see, Audrey has been captured and is currently being beat up regularly by the (fictional)** Chinese Consul. Now we know why she has such a long face—but now the long face is full of scarring and bruises from the brutal (fictional)** Chinese torture.

Anyway, not speaking was my little way of sending a message to the producers of 24 (Twenty-Four) . Message received. Apology accepted.

I have a new job.

**Dear China: please don’t cry to me about your PR problems related to Jack Bauer and Audrey Raines. The producers of 24 (Twenty-Four) are the ones you want to send your censors after.

* I’d like to say I made up the wording of my ‘letter from jail,’ but I can’t because I lifted the words directly from a letter from an inmate to his girlfriend—intercepted by me. MG can verify the veracity of the letter as he has seen the original. Other details of the letter that don’t fit this context include an expression of sorrow to the girlfriend for her brother getting sent to jail for his third (3rd) DUI, and a plea to the girlfriend for her to send him some photos of her AND HER FRIENDS. (Yeah, that kind of pictures.) I swear I’m not making this up. Who could?

P.S. re: my last post: there was no change in policy, the First Mate's video was too adorable, precious, and savory to hold back. You'll notice--no more vid.

Pic courtesy here.

Friday, March 23, 2007

161. The Buddy

[Video of the First Mate and me ommitted]

If you're not a father yet, you should go out and become one.

That is all.

Monday, February 26, 2007

160. Rule On!

So, depending on the angle from which you look, big Rulon is either the luckiest man on the planet or he is one boat trip away from going over the falls in a barrel only to survive the fall and then get 'done in' by a Niagara strain of the West Nile Virus and SARS.

If you haven't heard, Rulon Gardner has cheated death for the third time. THIRD. As in thrice. In 2000 Rulon was the oversized darling of the Sydney Olympic Games when he became the first heavy-weight wrestler to beat Alexander Karelin--the latter having won every match he EVER competed in. Well, until Rulon.

Unfortunately, RG tried to turn tragic on us and in 2001 he had some digits amputated after wrecking his snowmobile and spending the night in the snowy mountains. Then in 2004 he was blessed to have a motorcycle accident. I'm pretty sure it wasn't his fault though, because he doesn't have enough toes left to go real fast anymore (refer to 2001 time line).

And just yesterday, RG and a couple of friends survived a plane crash in Lake Powell only to have to swim nearly a mile and a half (1.5 miles) in forty five degree (45˚) water. The pilot was flying very, very low when he caught the wheel on the surface of the water and they wrecked at one hundred fifty (150) mph in the cold water. They had just enough time to swim to shore, dry out their scant clothing, build a wind shelter, and huddle together to retain warmth until the morning when a fisherman decided to veer from his normal course because he had a 'feeling.'

Rulon, buddy, I respect the heck outta ya especially for the class and dignity with which you handled yourself in both Sydney and Athens, but ya gotta stay down for a while man. Aron Ralston thinks you've got thrill issues. Cats are jealous of your ability to land on your feet and keep plugging away. Me? I think you're very lucky.

If I were you, I'd find a bathtub, curl up in it, suck my thumb and pray the grim reaper forgets he missed three times. Either that or go Howard Hughes and lock myself in a movie theatre (theater) and save all my trash and waste so no one can use it to prove I'm still alive. Either way, it's time to find a new set of hobbies.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

159. Because I'm Admirable

What I'm giving up for Lent:

leeches
crying
Eddie Murphy
danger
magic
rabies
robots
The Hague
additives and preservatives
sky diving
hay fever
armadillos
ointment
and harpsichords.

Have I forgotten any items you could remind me about?

Friday, February 16, 2007

158. Oh, Crap!

Was it Valentine's Day yesterday?

That's what I would have been saying if my wife Limpy gave a rat's patoot about stupid holidays. And then I would have been sorry for telling her sorry about missing Valentine's Day yesterday, because Valentine's Day was, in fact, two days ago.

Guys, here's how you avoid screwing up Valentine's Day every year for the rest of your life:

Don't marry an American. They have too many presuppositions of what's supposed to be and what you have to do. Just marry a foreign girl and she'll love you regardless of what day it is. You have to treat her right and all that junk, but you won't be forced to live up to any expectations that have been lodged in her brain like Mercury from the fish her mom ate during pregnancy.

Then, when it's not Valentine's Day and you give flowers or cards or chocolates, she won't compare it to anything. She'll just say thank you in her own way--hopefully in a way that doesn't involve listening to Celine Dion.

Monday, February 12, 2007

157. I Make Myself Sick

Today I got carsick.

On a chair.

That wasn't moving.

I was sitting on an adjustable chair and it was a bit too tall, so I decided to lower it. I pulled the lever expecting to be lowered a few inches, and when the chair didn't descend, my head started swimming.

I've come to grips with the fact that I'm going to get motion sickness in some few given instances, but to get motion sickness for the anticipation of movement that never comes to fruition is absurd. And stupid.

And some housekeeping: Until recently, my blog had a sidebar feature that included Asteroids--one of my favs from childhood. What I didn't know about it was that it included a little chime every time you reloaded the blog. I wouldn't have known this, because I usually don't have the sound turned up on my computer. So to all those who hated the chiming sound on my blog, I apologize. To the rest of you I might as well apologize anyway and get it over with.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

156. I [Heart] The Soccer.

Right now, I’m watching the USA men’s national soccer team play Mexico’s team. USA is about to seal an eighth (8th) straight shutout of Club Mexico on US soil. Not only can’t Mexico win here, they just gave up a breakaway goal by Landon Donovan to put USA ahead 2-0.

And the Mexican players HATE the American players. Case in point: just after USA scored the goal, the keeper tried to trip the US player while he was running across the box to celebrate with Donovan. A couple of years ago, Colby Jones was kneed in the ribs at the end of a 2-0 shutout in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Every time I watch the matchup I see it, and to top it off, the game just finished and the Mexican national team is refusing to shake the hands of the American players.

And I ask, why the hate? It seems to be one sided—and I’m not just being a nationalist; the American side continues to receive slight after slight at the hands (or feet, if you will) of our southern neighbors.

I look at it this way (and I’m speaking in broad population terms): They love soccer; it’s by far their most popular sport. We are indifferent about soccer; we pay our pro players peanuts. (In some cases, peanuts would be an upgrade for players whose minimum is twenty four thousand dollars ($24,000)). They hate that we are indifferent toward soccer yet we win. They hate that our players have to live in mom’s basement just to afford to play soccer, yet our players are still competitive.

I can understand that chafes them, but I just smile a wry smile and point to the scoreboard. Don’t try to injure our best. Don’t try to wring fake foul calls from the referee. Don’t disrespect us by not shaking our players’ hands. Beat us and be gracious about it. Kick the soccer ball down our keeper’s throat for all I care. Soccer’s cool by me, but I wouldn’t care too much if our team got beat. Make our team pay, and then make them pay the next time. But don’t cry about losing, and don’t be poor sports about it. This rivalry, which could have all the makings of a great rivalry, will be nothing if the Mexican national team can’t back the poor sportsmanship up with good play.

And call me when your team finds a shred of dignity.

Monday, February 05, 2007

155. Who We Thought They Were

"The Bears are who we thought they were! What - who we thought they were. We played them in the preseason - everybody played three quarters. Who the [heck] treats the 3rd game of the preseason like it's BEEEEEEEP? BEEEEEEEP! Everybody played three quarters; the Bears are who we thought they were! That's why we took the [dang] field! Now, if you want to crown them, then crown their BEEEEEEEP! But they are who they thought they were! AND THEY LETUSOFFTHEHOOK!"

Sincerely, Peyton Manning.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

154. Does This Look Leprous?

So yesterday, I was playing basketball with friends, playing defense, minding my own business when my teeth came out of nowhere and attacked my tongue. It was like hard-calcium-deposit-on-strongest-muscle-in-the-body-pound-for-pound violence. The Gaza strip thought my teeth were a little too over-the-top as they went OJ on my tongue. My tongue has never been so humiliated.

It all happened when the opponent decided to throw a fake. Now because I’m a chubby kid, I don’t go for fakes anymore. I’m not quick enough anymore to recover if it’s only a fake and I’m too lazy to take the chance of actually moving. Anyway, said fake was designed to make me move right so the ball-handler could pass by on the left for an easy basket. Since I didn’t bite on the fake, the opponent decided I should try to take a bite out of his shoulder which he promptly jammed up under my chin.

What’d my chin ever do to his shoulder? Pretty rude I say.

I won’t go into any other details because of my more sensitive readers who cringed at my lost toenail story, but let’s say I could have bitten my tongue right off if I hadn’t gotten so much of it caught between my Chiclets. Unfortunately, because I bit on so much of it, now it’s sore all over (and leprous) and I have to speak like Rocky to protect my mouth from pain—not good for my customers. I also have to mention (without getting too graphic) that my teeth hurt too because of the blow they took from my tongue. I haven’t had facial trauma like that since I was a freshman in college and I got my nose broken.

Stupid went to college you ask? No. Being a freshman is not the same as ‘going to college.’

Monday, January 29, 2007

153 ...And They Were Lentils Too.

A lentil met a lentil
And they were lentils two (2).
Two (2) lentils met two (2) lentils
And they were lentils too.
Four (4) lentils met

(The rest of the bag of lentils
Four (4) quarts water
Three (3) chicken bouillon cubes
The hambone from the Christmas ham
Four (4) chorizo** sausages
One (1) can stewed tomatoes
One (1) can tomato Paste
Three (3) medium potatoes--diced
Carrots to taste (three to five (3-5) large carrots)
Chervil to taste (two (2) tsp.)
Teaspoon of salt
Pepper to taste
One (1) Tbsp parsley flakes
Celery seed to taste (one (1) tsp.)
Tarragon to taste (one (1) tsp.)

Pressure cook the lentils and salt and a quart and a half (1 ½ qt) of water. Throw everything else in a six-(6)-quart pot and simmer until the potatoes and carrots are done. Remove hambone and chorizos from the pot. Add the lentils (undrained). Remove the ham from the bone and return to the stew (the ham, not the bone). Cut the chorizos into desired-sized pieces and return to the stew. Simmer for another hour on very, very low heat. Serves 12-15.)

And they were lentil stew.

And if you’re planning on providing food for your Superbowl party this weekend or if you have a potluck, volunteer for the buffalo wings; here’s how to make them:

Buy the wings (or tenders, or drumettes) raw and unseasoned. Ten (10) lbs. should be just enough for two cookie sheets full of wings.

Wash the wings with lime juice and salt water (if you don’t prefer lime, at least wash them; it’s always a good idea to wash chicken.) Rinse the wings in cold water. In a separate container, mix half (½) cup olive oil, half (½) cup lime juice, parsley flakes (about 1 ½ tbsp), two (2) medium cloves minced (or crushed in a garlic press). Add the oil/juice to the chicken and mix well. Marinate overnight. Bake at 425 until brown and crispy. Ten (10) lbs takes about an hour and ten (10) minutes. Make sure you rotate the cookie sheets and rearrange them after cooking for a half (½) hour.

And for the sauce:

A bottle of Franks® Red Hot sauce to a cube of butter. Simmer until mixed.

If you want HOT hot sauce use Tabasco® instead of Franks®.

If you want it fiery, add cayenne pepper to the Tabasco® blend and simmer a little longer...

(photos to follow)

**Be sure to use Spanish style chorizo. You can get good mexican chorizo in most mexican food stores, but the flavor is dramatically different. In Utah, Colosimo's is the only brand that is authentic spanish. The difference between the two (2) is dramatic--the recipe looks the same, but they don't taste the same. Vinegar, peppers, pork can be very varied in style and quality. Mexican Chorizo is great for mexican omelettes, burritos and other foods, but not lentils. (Not Spanish style lentils anyway.)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

152. When Worlds Collide.

Yesterday, I was treated to one of the awkward social encounters of the century. Luckily I was not one of the parties involved, so I got to just watch the events unfold.

It all happened in the sporting complex at the local college where many, many people were using the indoor facilities to gain some much needed exercise. (The ‘much needed’ was my own addition.) I, of course, was not exercising, because I’m trying to maintain my girthish figure, but many other people were either walking or jogging or otherwise engaging the building in gravitational punishment.

Since it was free-play time, I assumed no one really belonged there, just as I assumed no one was prohibited from being there. I was standing in the open area in the middle of the track when some Byll and Svarnik* look-a-likes entered the free play area carrying plastic cases. I also noticed some hotties congregating across the way talking about gum and hair extensions.

It turns out the hotties were a legitimate team of cheerleaders from said college gathering for practice and the Byll and Svarnik look-a-likes were the sword fighting club gathering for what I assume is a weekly gathering of Guinevere-loving dreamers. There’s only one problem with dreaming about Guinevere: she doesn’t exist—not for the sword fighters’ club anyway.

So, a bunch of sword fighters had gathered and a bunch of cheerleaders had gathered. I envisioned the sword fighters running headlong into the crowd of cheerleaders, chopping heads and screaming battle cries in the Black Speech (language of Mordor) and Ye Olde Englishe. What I got was not as exciting, but more funny.

The Cheerleaders all went for a warm-up jog and then came back with a huge, rolled up gymnastics mat which they promptly began unrolling in the middle of the open area. Clearly not thinking about the sword club (or anything for that matter), they just went in like a bunch of space hogs. Then I looked at the wannabe swordsmen who were visibly shaken as they noticed their swordplay area shrinking. I could also see the worry start to build as the sword guys realized they were actually going to have to approach the women AND talk to them if they wanted to get enough space to…hmmm…do whatever the sword club does.

So the sword fighters had a little huddle and they chose one person to approach the cheerleaders and ask them to move the mat to the side and create enough space for all. I was not near enough to hear the conversation, but I could tell by the looks on their faces what was said. I bring you my interpretation of the conversation.

“Hi, excuse me.”

[chews gum]

[clears throat] “Excuse me.”

“Hi?”

“Hi. I was just wondering if you and your friends could move over there a bit so we can…wow! You are small. I bet I could fit two (2) of you in my belly.”

“Hi? No, we don’t have bellies. We work out.” [chews gum]

“Anyway, can you move over a few paces m’lady?”

“We can move in unison! Moving is fun! Ready! Okay! Five (5) six (6) seven (7) eight (8)…”

“Uh, thanks.”

“I like gum.”

Then the sword guy went over to the other sword fighters and pert-near collapsed. The other sword fighters were incapacitated and confused by the collapse of their leader, but soon everyone in the room was practicing swordfightery and cheerery. Happiness ensued. Later in the chat room, the message appeared:

Medieval Knievel: i almost dated a cheerleader i turned her down because she didnt have red hair

*Byll and Svarnik appear in anti-smoking television ads dressed in tunics and long boots. They are not very socially aware, but they don’t smoke and that’s what’s important. I’d bet $500 Bill and Svarnik’s characters have posters of Darth Vader in their bedrooms.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

151. iCool

And I really mean it this time. i (am) Cool.

Inventors are very forward thinking and develop new technologies at rates that make credit card interest rates embarrassed.

Early adopters grab new technologies in their infancy and ride the wave that is 'cool' while all their other friends are jealous enough to covet.

Regular folk buy new products when they become affordable enough to own, but not affordable enough to show off.

Laggers wait until it's impossible to avoid purchasing the new technology, such as vulcanized rubber and the cotton gin.

I am a lagger. I refuse to buy anything unless it is absolutely necessary for living. If 'the man' was going to make us pay for air, I would hold my breath for at least twenty (20) seconds before giving in. I would also pause every third breath (breath/3) to save on air costs. I would also boycott any air supplier who insists on having a company name like Aero Supply, Just Aire and Air Limited.

So being a lagger, I have recently purchased an iPod after carefully saving money and begging my wife Limpy for the right. And like buying air, it has become impossible for me to live without an iPod and so I had to get the biggest one. Unlike early adopters though, I have not had to purchase various models every time the latest has become available. I have also paid a relatively low price for a super-sized product that has a gigantic hard drive and is time tested and proven to launch one into coolness circles almost immediately. It's kind of like the forbidden city--and now I have the key.

In short, I have an iPod.

Neener.

(Now if only I owned any music...)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

150. Death and Taxes

There are two(2) absolutes:

  • Death
  • Taxes
  • The Office will be HI-larious every week
    • [quote michael] "Fool me once: strike one. Fool me twice...strike three."
    • "Hi." "Hi." "Hi." "Hi."
    • [quote the robot] "You are hot!"
  • Blog Patrol has been shorting me on the visits since August, 2004. (see my 'counters' section)
  • Driving in LA is never as bad as they tell you...well, except for when you really, really need to get somewhere and you left the domicile just a few minutes late because of a really huge zit that would have distracted the potential client.
  • Animals in sunglasses are funny.
  • 24 (Twenty Four) has the longest lasting cell phone batteries.
  • Doughnut holes make me gassy.
  • Quemby is a cruel name to give a child. (Don't even try to argue, you will lose.)
  • Ideas are only good if you write them down. (Excuse me while I go write down my idea about recycling moon boots as centerpieces.)
  • The Colts will never win a Superbowl unless I decide not to be a fan anymore.
  • My car Space Lord may not recover from her escapades with a lamp post.
  • Hulk will always grace my top seventeen (17) movies.
  • Child stars always grow up normal.
  • The BCS is bull pucky.
  • If you name your kid Quemby I will call DCFS and then make fun of you.
  • Leaving your heart in San Fransisco is a horrible idea; you can get twice as much in other countries.
  • Crying lives here.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

149. Washing Machines: The Big Lie.

Many of you may think washing machines clean your clothes and conveniently flush the extracted dirt and lint down into the sewer. You couldn’t be more wrong.

This week our washing machine went on the fritz (not Fritz from the Swiss Family Robinson—it’s just an expression; roll with it.) The culprit of our washing woes was due to a broken lid switch—the most crucial part of the washing machine. Let me explain the gravity of the broken lid switch:

Without a lid switch, the agitator is unagitatable.
Without a lid switch, you get no calypso action.
Without a lid switch, the washer just quits and goes off to cry alone in the back of the closet—behind the clothes I mean.

So I, being the strong minded do-it-yourself fixer-upper I am, decided I could fix the washing machine myself with only a few tools and a little bit of common sense. That’s when I found it: the accumulated dirt and lint living scared within the washing machine waiting for a chance to rear up and maim someone.

See, I took the washer apart to get to the switch, and found out all the dirt it’s been extracting from the clothes was not going down the drain, but was being stored in the netherworkings of the washer. Not only was the washer not transporting waste out of my home, the washer was storing it for a future act of revenge or perhaps blackmail for when my book goes multiplatinum.

Anyway, I cleaned the washing machine inside and out; I replaced the switch (pictured), put the machine back together and washed a test batch of knits and delicates just to make sure everything was in working condition. Everything was perfect.

So what happened to the dirty lintbeast, you ask? I’m keeping it in a box for a future act of blackmail against a certain few of you.

Monday, January 08, 2007

148. Tube Socks are Classy

Are you tired of those other socks, the kind that make your feet frown?
Are you upset that all your socks seem to have turned on you?
Are you tired of all those brands of socks that pull guns on your grandma and tell her they will cut her up real bad?

Well you’re not the only one.

I don’t know about you, but when I put on a brand new pair of socks, I want them fresh as a dewy Yellowstone morning and warm as a California vacation. I want them whiter than the virgin snows of Vermont and softer than the cotton from the fluffy fields of the American south. That’s why I buy Hanes® brand tube socks—the only socks that don’t suck.

I mean, what’s the use of buying new tube socks if they don’t caress the toes and heel bones in the supple warmth only the freshest socks could provide. That’s why Hanes® brand tube socks are the only socks that come in a re-sealable bag. Only Hanes’s® proprietary Sock Re-seal Self Re-sealer Freshness Seal Re-sealer Seal® can keep your socks as fresh as the first day they were manufactured. Let’s step over to the lab and see what the unique Sock Re-seal Self Re-sealer Freshness Seal Re-sealer Seal® re-sealable bag can do for you.

As you can see, socks packaged in the Hanes® Sock Re-seal Self Re-sealer Freshness Seal Re-sealer Seal® re-sealable bag are one hundred fifty percent (150%) more fluffier than those other brands—and an astonishing fifty percent (50%) more fluffier than Hanes’s® non-Sock Re-seal Self Re-sealer Freshness Seal Re-sealer Seal® packaged socks.

Listen to these actual customers

“When I tried those other tube socks, I felt like I was being held hostage by the footwear and the thug-like non-comfortable sock surface so typical of those other brands”
-Beyoncé

“The freshness of Hanes® tube socks are incredible; I feel like my feet have been given the youth and vitality I lost during the ‘70’s.”
-Donald Trump P.S. I hate Rosie.

My toenails don’t even fall off when I wear Hanes® tube socks. With those other socks, I heard voices telling me how to fashion a shiv out of a toothbrush and some rolled up newspaper.”
-stupidramblings

“Don’t even worry about those hater brands. Hanes® tube socks keep my skin silky smooth, my face young and vital looking, and my vision just keeps improving. Thanks Hanes®.”
-Halle Berry

So get your Hanes® brand tube socks today! Remember, they’re the only socks with the proprietary Sock Re-seal Self Re-sealer Freshness Seal Re-sealer Seal® built right in to the packaging! You’ll never buy another pair of socks, or my name isn’t Michael Jordan. Buy today and we’ll throw in this complimentary pair of red pumps to go with your tube socks.

Order yours today.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

147. Unclean! Unclean!

Doctor: So what exactly is the problem?
Us: Well, he’s crying.
Doctor: Um…babies cry sometimes…
Us: Not our baby. He’s an angel. He’s been sleeping through the night since two months and he
rarely cries except if you drop sand in his eyes.
Doctor: Well, babies change and grow and when they reach a certain age, they learn they have appetites and they learn not to just be content with current circumstances.
Us: Our baby doesn’t change. He’s cherubic.
Doctor: Has he grown at all since his birth five (5) months ago?
Us: [confused] I don’t see where you’re going with this.
Doctor: Growing hurts. How much taller is he than when he was born?
Us: Well…[still confused], he’s grown seven (7) inches. He’s going to be a quarterback and throw for two thousand (2000) yards.
Doctor: [confused] I don’t see where you’re going with this.
Us: Can’t you see he’s got potential?
Doctor: For what?
Us: Football.
Doctor: [awkward pause] Anyway, growing hurts. If you grew seven (7) inches in the next five (5) months, you’d hurt a little too.
Us: Oh. Well, it doesn’t seem like he’s in pain, it seems more like he’s panicked or like he just witnessed O’Donnell vs. Trump 2006.
Doctor: Oh, that. Why didn’t you say so?
Us: We did; we told you he was crying.
Doctor: Well, let’s check him out.
Us: It’s about time.
Doctor: [tries to turn the first mate into a circus worker] Seems like all his joints work properly. Putting weight on his belly doesn’t seem to hurt him.
Us: Excuse me, is “belly” a medical term?
Doctor: Yes, it’s Latin for “gut.”
Us: I always wondered where the term came from.
Doctor: Germany.
Us: Huh.
Doctor: His ears look normal.
Us: Inside or out?
Doctor: Both.
Us: Can I get a woot woot?
Doctor: Woot woot?
Us: Does he have a torn ACL?
Doctor: What?
Us: A boo boo on his knee.
Doctor: No, he seems perfectly normal to me.
Us: Then why was he crying?
Doctor: Because he’s a baby.
Us: You got that right.
Doctor: Whatever.
Us: Does this rash look normal? [exposes shoulder]
Doctor: [hurls] That’s leprosy. Try to mix in a shower and some hygiene once in a while.
Us: You’re not the boss of us.
Doctor: That’ll be two hundred fifty dollars ($250).
Us: Why.
Doctor: Malpractice insurance.
Us: Oh no. No no no no NO NO NO. You are not a doctor, you’re a physicians assistant. That’s gotta be less expensive.
Doctor: More malpractice insurance.
Us: Oh. Can’t you give us a break?
Doctor: See all those secretaries wearing scrubs? They’re not going to eat tonight unless you pay me.
Us: Oh. Okay. Why do secretaries wear scrubs?
Doctor: I don’t know. Dismissed.
Us: Okay. Bye then.
Doctor: Bye.
Us: Wanna meet at Sizzler later?
Doctor: No.
Us: Red Lobster?
Doctor: Yeah. Yeah, Red Lobster sounds good.
Us: [rings bell] Unclean! Unclean! [wanders off into the distance]

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

146. No Blood for Energon!

For those of you who plan on missing TRANSFORMERS this next July, let me be the first to tell you you are a moron. I mean, Hello! Decepticons? Autobots? Does none of this stir your inner eight-(8)-year-old? Why would you miss what’s sure to be the blockbuster hit of the summer? This is going to be the next big thing in Sci-Fi since Eragon and The Hulk.

Let me try to change your mind:

[cue music] Transformers: More than meets the eye.
Transformers: Robots in disguise.
Autobots wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons.

If that doesn’t do it, let’s try my new tactic: persuasion by plot summary.

The movie will start out with a look back at NASA’s Mars rover. Why? Because the Mars rover was the first real-world (well, not our world) Transformer to see specific use in scientific missions. So, the Mars rover landed safely on Mars only to have been destroyed by…I don’t know what--the teaser doesn’t show it. What I do know is that the teaser says that it was the only warning we would ever have received. Then they display the Autobots logo.

Well, when the Decepticons learn there is sentient life on other planets, they have but one choice--go to said planet and steal all the Energon cubes. Besides the stupid dictator Autobots have control of the Mars House and Mars Senate and they have a bungling president (Megabush Electricybertron, played by Patrick Warburton). It’s tough for an honest Decepticon to get anything done with that pile-o-crap Megabush Electricybertron in the Oval Volcano.

So they invade earth. Little do they know the sentient life forms on planet Earth have no energon to speak of. They don’t have any robot sense either for that matter. Decepticons that they are, they find they are powerless to cut through the red tape involved in Earth’s energy exploration application process, but they decide to patiently importune country governments for rights to explore for Energon.

Unfortunately, Energon is made unavailable to Decepticons despite expert predictions of vast stores of it underneath Alaska. (Side note: Alaska seems to have been blessed with an inordinate amount of unreachable valuables: gold, oil, Energon, heat. The list goes on and on.) Dejected, the Decepticons decide to leave planet Earth with plans to secretly come back later if nothing else works out.

Just then the Autobots show up and war is waged on planet Earth between two enemy alien factions. People are reminded quickly of the Rosie O’Donnell/Donald Trump spat of late ’06. The Alien robots destroy Earth in a ballet-beautiful dance of robot-war destruction. Earth’s citizens are heard gasping in horror and some lucky few (see: stupidramblings, Penny Hardaway, Lance Bass) are seen curled up in the fetal position sucking their thumbs. Then all the robots are destroyed by organics and the movie ends. But during the credits, one of the dead robots shows signs of life but hasn’t enough Energon left to power up and escape. Fortunately, having an undead robot leaves room for a sequel--pending box-office success.

I predict the sequel doesn’t happen. “No blood for Energon!” I say.

145. "I Don't Believe in You"

Over the Hedge (2006 Bruce Willis, Gary Shandling, Steve Carell)

(Ultra short review:) This movie was as mediocre as its predecessor, New York Minute.

(Thoughtful Review:) I can’t help thinking there’s nothing real positive about this movie. It was just OK all the way around. The short in the special features was the highlight of the movie. When Steve Carell’s character ** SPOILER ALERT** denies the existence of a boomerang by saying “I don’t believe in you” even though the boomerang is taunting him, I spit Hawaiian Punch all over the first mate.

(Standard rating:) Eight (8) out of seventeen (17) stars
(Non-standard rating:) This movie is good enough if someone lends it to you. In other words, don't pay to see this one.

Ice Age 2: The Meltdown (2006 Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Dennis Leary)

(Ultra short review:) They made a sequel? Yes, they did. And it’s like Ashley Simpson’s nose job; it’s better, but you still want to boo it.

(Thoughtful Review:) I liked the sequel to Ice Age (2002). In fact I liked it more than the original. And that’s one to grow on.

(Standard rating:) Ten (10) stars out of seventeen (17)
(Non-standard rating:) It’s worth owning, but only if you still own the original.