Monday, September 29, 2008

It's New Because It's Not Old


It's never a good idea to drive through the twisting, narrow roads of the San Bernardino Mountains at night while listening to Jan and Dean's 'Dead Man's Curve'

It's just daring bad mojo to come your way. And by 'mojo' I mean driving off a cliff and stuff...

Thank you for your time.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Weekend Repost: Random Bullets

I swear that I hope to get back to writing sometime very soon. Actually, let me rephrase that because it sounded like I was ducking the question. I swear that I WANT to get back to writing sometime very soon. As ABC has been informing us of the fact that it's Stay At Home week for the last several days, my doctor apparently took notice and has had me at home for the last TWO weeks. I guess she wanted me to get a jump on the holiday. I've missed a lot in the last two weeks, but went outside the other day and actually saw an orangey colored leaf on a tree.

It reminded me that Fall is upon us and and my favorite few months of the year have arrived. Because I'm in So Cal I realize that the orangey leaf was probably just a dead leaf, but I have to take Fall however I can get it. Have a great weekend and enjoy these somewhat dated bullets from way back in a time that I like to call February...

* When your Female Coworker arrives at work with impressions on the skin under her eyes, don’t ask her if she wore goggles on her drive into work. My first clue here was that everyone around me shook their heads as soon as the question left my mouth and began to linger awkwardly in the air. When she puts on her ultra-cool and ultra-hip sunglasses that are all the fashion now to show you how the marks got there, don’t respond by saying ‘your sunglasses look like a damn pair of bug eyes.’ I probably don’t need to explain any of this any further. Just don’t do it.

* Despite the aging and male pattern baldness, does anyone else think that former advisor to 4 Presidents and current CNN analyst David Gergen is one of the coolest and smartest dudes in the country? I think it’s time to go shopping for a ‘Gergen Power’ T-shirt.

* You begin to realize just how much your children watch and emulate you when as a joke you put Tom Jones’ ‘It’s Not Unusual’ on the karaoke machine and your daughters actually can sing the first few verses and chorus. I found myself smiling that sly, Grinchy smile.

* Who is Amy Winehouse and why do we care so much about her rehab? In more important news, Dolly Parton is having to reschedule some tour dates or something like that because of back pain. Just guess what is causing that pain. Now that folks, is entertainment news!

* I thought it would be fun to go someplace like a Presidential Library and ask one of the guides about a miscellaneous fact about that President and have them completely floored and unaware of that fact. Then I did it. What didn’t occur to me was that because the guide gets to wear a fancy jacket and is actually employed by the Presidential Library, everyone will choose to believe the guide; leaving you looking like an idiot…again. But I swear to you, I KNOW that I read once that President Reagan wore sweats at times on Air Force One so that his pants wouldn’t wrinkle. I just know I did!

* When they were hiring for ‘Super Delegates,’ I must have missed the listing on HotJobs and Monster. I tend to zero in on any job listing that contains the word ‘super.’

* I spend way too much time at work thinking of new acronyms for projects in our department by using the letters A, S and S.

* I can’t believe I forgot to take The Carpenters off of my Ipod before bringing it to work today and plugging into my desktop speaker dock. Well, prior to my coworkers giving me grief about it, I HAD been sitting on top of the world. Is it really my fault if Rainy Days and Mondays through Fridays get me down? Funny enough though, they all longed to be close to me a few hours later when Eddie Kendricks’ Keep On Truckin’ came on.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Another Repost: Let’s Be Honest

This is a repost. Please keep that in mind when you read things below like 'today is a holiday,' or 'I should do xxxxxx today because today is xxxxxx Day.' Ok, now I guess we're ready to go.

Thursday (as in Thursday, May 1st - please refer to the paragraph above) is National Honesty Day. No, I’m lying. It’s actually today (as in Wednesday April 30th, but this is beginning to confuse me very quickly). See what I did there? It’s just a little honest humor. Honestly, National Honesty Day is today. What kind of person would I be if I lied to you about National Honesty Day? If you play it straight and honest just one day this year, surely it will be today, right?

As usual, I’m not sure what the best way to celebrate National Honesty Day is. I’m thinking it does involve a measure of oh, telling the truth? Even if the girl in the cubicle across from you asks what you think of her new hairdo inspired by Prince and Tina Turner (that would be purple and sticking out all over the place for anyone currently suffering from Mental Imagery Deficit Disorder), you can’t tell her how good it looks just to avoid hurting her feelings. I realize the moral dilemma with this, but it is National Honesty Day. Perhaps your best response to this should be to tell her to ask you tomorrow. Don’t give her a reason, because most likely it would involve you lying. Just simply ask her to ask you (I realize that’s a lot of asking) about her hair tomorrow, when it isn’t National Honesty Day.

Since today is National Honesty Day, I probably shouldn’t ask you if you like my idea of trying to get the phrase ‘excuse me, but I have to go x-ray my chicken’ to catch on. It was inspired by a real life conversation with some friends of mine and it seems like such a good alternative to saying goodbye or coming up with an excuse for why you have to leave. I’ll pose the question to you again later in the week so I can get your un-honest opinion. I feel like I should insert a winky smiley face after that last sentence for some reason, but saying winky makes me blush, so I won’t.

It seems that a day about honesty would be a good day to come clean about things that I may have been less than honest about. As embarrassing as that may be, I have never come across a holiday I didn’t celebrate, except for any holiday honoring tall people (no offense) or holidays that slander Barry Manilow. That’s just unacceptable. I guess the first thing I should be honest about is that I really, really like The Ray Conniff Orchestra and Chorus. The Conniff love started early and innocently enough as I grew up with their Christmas albums being played in the house. Then, I started seeking out his music on my own so I really can no longer blame the folks. There is just something about a bunch of men and women singing a slightly elevatorized version of the biggest hits of the 50s, 60s and 70s that makes me happy, dare I say, giddy. Don’t knock it until you’ve heard them sing such gems as Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’ or Gordon Lightfoot’s ‘Sundown’ or even Paul McCartney’s ‘Live and Let Die.’ Then, you can knock it, because I know the temptation to do so will be immense. Honestly (again, it seems saying that should be followed by a winky face).

I should also be honest and say that I still wear Hawaiian shirts even though they appear to have gone out of style in about 2002, if you use Target’s clothing racks as an indicator of fashion, which I do. If you are over 50 and drive a PT Cruiser, they MAY still be in vogue, but neither of those criteria fit me. Either do the jeans I had in high school, but that’s really not important to this discussion. I’m just being honest. I wish the Hawaiian shirt would come back into style because I have so many of them. Perhaps if I threw more BBQs I could get to wear them more without feeling the social awkwardness that comes with being a thirty-something wearing a Hawaiian shirt to a cool hang out (which for me is someplace like Chili’s).

One more thing I would like to be honest about is that I recently used what I believe is an ‘imitation’ cheese product instead of the real (and delicious) deal when I was making a quesadilla at home. I know, I know. The horror, the humanity, the absolute degradation of my morals and values. I am a cheap, slimy rat-like creature that hangs out in the bottom of portable toilets at county fairs and other public places where extra temporary rest rooms are a necessity. Before you judge me though, I want you to stop and realize two things. 1: I had the guts to be honest about it and 2: I have a very nice smile and am good with old people and little kids. Well, let’s make it three things. 3: I was with Ms. I Want To Go To Mime School and we were at the local 99 cent store and thought that a dollar was a great price for pre-shredded bagged cheese.

Honestly, it never occurred to us to look at the package to see if it actually was a cheese product. In fact, had it not been for the fact that IT WOULDN’T MELT, I never would have had a reason to look at the package. Apparently, she experienced the same thing when she cooked with it. Seriously people, who the heck makes a heat resistant cheese-like product? Having cheese and not melting it is like having an entire container of new Play-Doh and not sniffing it. Well there ya go, I just honestly shared another thing. Yep, I am a Play-Doh sniffer. I can’t get enough of its doughy, salty aroma. Yes Lucy and Ethel have caught me PD sniffing twice, but I don’t care because the aroma is so dang intoxicating!

Well, I’ve run out of things to come clean about, honestly. No if you’ll excuse me, I have to go x-ray my chicken. See, it works almost anywhere!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Holiday Repost: ARRRRRR, Or Whatever Matey

I am fully aware that I owe you a Randomocity day or at the very least, a new post. Spoiler Alert: That won't be happening today, but today's annual holiday HAD to be observed and fortunately I can steal from a past holiday post. So, hoist your mainsails and giddy up. Wait a minute, that's not right. I'll try it again. Yo yo yo, lemme show ya how to roll. There's no way that's correct. Set your reactions on stun, because today is...Ok, that's not even close and now I'll be branded a nerd.

I'll give it one last chance. Ya better be gettin' yer eye patch on because today be Talk Like A Pirate Day.....arrrrrrrr. So hoist your colors you bloomin' cockroaches. Don't forget to show 'em your "larboard" side. Use your best ole salty pirate phrases me hearties or ye be walkin' the plank. There, I think that did it. And to think they all laughed when I told them we'd learn something one day from all those rides on Pirates of the Caribbean! Yep, that is what I learned. Nonsensical dialogue that I get to use every September 19th. Matey. I forgot to talk like a pirate there.

It's too bad I wasn't able to be at work today because this really would have gone over well with my coworkers! I would have the entire staff talking like pirates within minutes of arriving in the office. I could even have worn an eye patch and cut off jean shorts with a tattered white dress shirt. And I could put my neck tie around my head like a cool seafaring sweat band. For the record, I mean Dr. J basketball type sweat band not Metallica or Aerosmith sweating while on stage. Heck, I wouldn't even have had to shower before going into the office. Then I would have been able to take me an office wench (no offense intended to any of the ladies I work with) and drink rum Diet Coke with extra added Splenda all day (you know, to make it all sugary and sweet and rummy like).

Wow, because it's an official holiday, I could've gotten away with challenging Female Coworker to a 'mailing tube' sword duel to the death (even though I'd still make the woo woo light saber sound every time I'd wave it around - TWSS). Did I just say duel to the death? If you HR guys are still reading my blog, I meant duel to determine who will pay for lunch. Sorry, I got a little carried away. I know, I know, it's 'talk like a pirate day' not 'be a pirate day.' I guess this means I couldn't hoist anything in my office (why does that sound worse than it is??) or 'seize' things from the office supply closet. Good thing there is still next year. Yes, for the record, I would have played the music from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride all day long too. Yep folks, I have it on CD. This not only makes me awesomely special, it makes me a loser. See, you can't call it bragging when I both praise and degrade myself in the same sentence. Now what I just wrote made it harder to find people who want to be around me. Again, not bragging.

Oh well. Perhaps I'll still talk like a pirate around my family today. Or even better, I can extend the celebration into tomorrow and talk like a pirate during the twins' birthday party. That's sure to get me lots of free time upstairs watching all the bonus features of Baby Mama and my new 2 DVD combo set containing both Wayne's Worlds on one disc (yes folks, that's right, both Wayne's Worlds on one disc - call now!). Pirating should be a fun thing to do all day. It'll be interesting to see how long it takes for my family swabbies to get sick of me.

Arrrrrrr, shiver me timbers, I'm already annoying myself!! Dead men tell no tales, especially when they talk like pirates all day. Ok, I promise I'm done. I don't even know what that last phrase means...

Monday, September 15, 2008

This Is One Mission That Will Not Go Down The Drain (Also Known As Poo In Space)

I have been put out of commission for a little while, which is why I haven't visited too many of your blogs lately, for which I am very sorry. I'm not sure when I'll get the urge to put a new post up again, though it shouldn't be too long (that's what she said). And speaking of urges, enjoy this repost about non-working toilets. I got all flushed just writing about it...

Space travel can be pretty serious and life threatening stuff. After all, if we had been meant to be space dwellers, we would have been born there. Wow, that may have been the dumbest thing I have ever written. Well, not counting the proposal I turned in at work once that had errors I put in it just to see if they would be found, because that was a whole different kind of dumb, as in I really thought I’d get away with it but didn’t and am lucky to still have a job.

It seems that our interstellar gamble with space travel has come back to bite us (in the rear) again. Yep, while taking Lucy and Ethel to school this morning, the radio reported that the toilet on the international space station has stopped working. I was immediately touched by how difficult dealing with this will be for the unlucky astronauts aboard the space station. Then I realized I could blog about their bodily relievement challenges and felt much better. Seriously though, what a hard time they now face. As anyone who has ever witnessed the failure of public restrooms on a NASCAR race weekend can tell you, non-operational toilets can make things messy real fast.

Not to worry though. As we showed in Apollo 13, nothing is beyond our ability to solve or overcome, even when it is in orbit. In other words, we can flush wipe away fix any problem. And the international space station’s toilet is no different. NASA has a contingency plan and that plan is…(I’m stalling here to let the excitement build, hum the 2001 Space Odyssey Theme or Star Wars or Star Trek or the original Battlestar Gallactica theme, if it helps) plastic bags with sticky openings. While I cannot 100% confirm this, it is my assumption (and remember, an assumption is making a brave speculation with too little information to actually make a speculation with) that the sticky opening of the bags are to help the bag affix to the ass-tronaut so it doesn’t detach while the bag’s user is well, using the bag. Because of that fun, but annoying because it’s not there when you really need it thing called gravity, the space station’s toilet has a fan and sucking type device so that the bodily relievement is drawn toward the appropriate storage device (Cosmic Relievement Assistance Procurer – CRAP. I was literally giddy in bed in the middle of the night last night when I finally thought of that) instead of being released into the space station.

I’m not sure if the astronauts have ever had training time with the sticky bags, but it certainly gives new meaning to the phrase ‘to boldly GO where no man has GONE before.’ Oh come on, you saw that coming the minute you knew this was a potty post. Let’s just hope it all goes smoothly because if the sticky bags prove difficult to master, the interior of the international space station is going to be the exact type of place where we’d see Mike Rowe say ‘and this…is a dirty job.’ Every time something goes wrong aboard the station or an astronaut gets flustered and yells ‘crap,’ all the other astronauts are going to instinctively duck to avoid undesirable floating objects (yes, UFO) aboard the station. Get comfortable, because I’m probably just going to sit here and make bathroom jokes at the poor astronauts’ expense for the rest of this post…

I guess there will be no splash landings aboard the station until the toilet gets fixed. Do you think Mission Control keeps radioing the astronauts to tell them ‘oh boy, urine trouble.’ Perhaps the astronauts are reciting the septic tank owners’ mantra of ‘if it’s brown flush it down, if it’s yellow let it mellow.’ At least I think that’s the septic users’ mantra. I really only know one family that has a septic tank, my aunt and uncle in Maine, and they have that saying needle pointed and framed over their toilet, which makes me think it’s the septic tank owners’ mantra. And let’s face it; if it isn’t then it really deserves to be.

Since Apollo 13 was such a huge hit, do you think this space challenge will be made into a movie if everything ends well? I bet the astronauts involved hope it doesn’t. I seriously doubt that they want to be the butt of a poop load of bathroom jokes. Do they really want all the difficult moments they encountered, like getting the sticky bags stuck to their fingers when trying to open them as they flail their hands around trying to get the bag off? Or how about when they had to use the ‘force’ to overcome the inevitable zero gravity induced constipation? Honestly, I have no idea if zero gravity induces that. I just couldn’t find any other way to work ‘the force’ into this post. Heck, zero gravity probably works on the body in the exact opposite way and makes the digestive system work at warp speed.

All right, I’ve got it all out of my system (that’s what the astronaut said). I’m done now. Thanks for indulging me. Do you think they use stools to reach things in zero gravity? How anal would that be? It’s pretty ass-inine, if you ask me. Ok, now I’m done.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Is It Really Random If I Repost It?

I've wondered all weekend if it could really be a random post if I reposted it. Since I did randomly select this random post (at random, mind you) I feel comfortable in having this post maintain it's randomocity. Or randomicity, if you prefer. I have also wondered all weekend how to get out of going to work on Monday and then my truck died a thousands deaths over Saturday night. Its alternator or starter just stopped beating, to mix mechanical metaphors. Perhaps fate has handed me an answer for avoiding work on Monday. Yes, I shall call in and say I smashed my thumb.

Now, onto the random goodness. What better way to ease into the work week than to slowly drain the extraneous thoughts from our mind in the same manner that you’d wring out a rag after using it to wash your car. For some reason that doesn’t sound like a very desirable thing to do though, does it? That however is my cross to bear. Let the randomness begin…

* If Joe Cocker had a seizure while performing, how would you be able to tell?

* I like to hum while eating hummus. It just feels right. I do not, however, like being smashed between two objects when eating a sandwich.

* Want to feel like a complete failure? Get up early, get dressed to go walking, go downstairs, put your walking shoes on and then go back upstairs and get back into bed. You could try to be cool and call it a run-through, but you’d just be denying your laziness. Though, I did go up and down the stairs twice…

* Isn’t Rory Calhoun a great name? Would it surprise you if I told you that he starred in Westerns? These aren’t rhetorical questions. I really do expect an answer.

* ‘Midnight Train To Georgia’ has the BEST BACKGROUND VOCALS OF ANY SONG, ALL TIME, EVER. This is not a random thought. This should be made into law. In all 52 states. Wait, that doesn’t sound right…

* How to succeed in the office tip: no matter how slow your computer is, don’t spend the time waiting for it by spinning around doing full circles in your desk chair. Your boss will walk by. If you are prone to dizziness and vertigo like I am, then you’ve actually got TWO reasons why you should not engage in this activity.

* Tina Fey spoke directly to me last week. In one episode of 30 Rock, she made reference to not knowing about the latest news because the Food Network doesn’t have a news show and that she feels pocket-sized deep fryers would sell well. It’s like our minds melded or something. She cut to the very heart of my soul, which I think is anatomically impossible.

* I was reminded how tragically unhip I am earlier in the week when I was having a conversation with a coworker. She was telling me that she got bit by a mosquito and feared having the Nile West virus. I told her that wasn’t right and that Nile West was a rap singer. She laughed rather loudly in my face and told me that’s Kanye West. I later realized she meant West Nile, but was not around to vindicate myself for the Kanye/Nile West faux pas I committed.

* I spent almost 20 minutes explaining the difference between sautéed, grilled and BBQ’d to Ms. I Want To Go To Mime School the other day, but I ended up looking like the jerk. I’m thinking this might be related to the fact that she was having a conversation about cooking with another coworker that I happened to overhear and she never really did ask for my opinion on the matter. You are aware that grilled is different from sautéed, right? I’m mean it’s not just me, right?

* Do you think Barack has ever slept in a barrack?

* When any female member of your extended family tells you that she has to have surgery on her mouth, do not ever, under any circumstances, respond by saying ‘is that because you use it too much?’

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Weekend Repost: When Duck Doesn’t Really Cover It

It has come to my attention that I haven't posted in a few days. I am shocked. Actually, now I am worried. I THOUGHT I had posted the last few days, but now I can't seem to find where I posted them. Did they end up on your blog? Oh no, what if I somehow posted it to a server at work? No wait, I think that was a memo. Unless I confused the two (because it wouldn't be the first time). Did I mention I am currently heavily medicated? Wait, did I mention I am currently heavily medicated?

My friends, ‘technically’ I am writing this from the great beyond. There is a belief at the moment that I am dead. Like right now, while I type this. I know, it’s all spooky and stuff, huh? It sounds shocking, but I apparently perished in an unfortunate emergency of some sort or another that was very nondescript in its nature but ‘should’ have involved ducking under my desk.

I say ‘should’ have involved ducking under my desk because well, I didn’t duck or cover or even cower for that matter. For the record, I did squat but apparently in the case of this emergency ‘drill’ squatting doesn’t amount to, yes you guessed it, diddly. You see, I was caught during this untimely and unfortunate emergency of some sort or another that was very nondescript in its nature but ‘should’ have involved ducking under my desk (I guess I could have just said ‘drill’) in the hall speaking with another coworker. Well, that’s what I hope people think. In reality, I was doing a dance from the 60s called ‘the pony’ while waiting for a fax to go through to try and break up the morning monotony. Ok, I was trying to do ‘the pony,’ but I fear it came off more like ‘the donkey’ or more to the point, ‘the drunken jack ass.’ Sadly, I did not make it back to my desk in the allotted 30-seconds that work believes is long enough to reenact the unfortunate emergency of some sort or another that was very nondescript in its nature but ‘should’ have involved ducking… drill. The closest I got was squatting in front of my desk, which made me feel kinda weird because squatting just doesn’t seem right in public.

So, long story short, my safety warden told me I was dead. As the drill occurred at the end of the week, I am wondering if I should not bother reporting to work on Monday. Or, perhaps I should go to work to see what they are saying about me. Since I’m dead, no one will see me, recognize me or have anything to do with me. I guess it truly is ‘A Wonderful Life,’ except whenever I hear a bell ring; another HR rep is getting their wings…at my expense.

I gotta tell you, I never got to see that bright light at the end of the tunnel that everyone talks about. I did hear Don Pardo introduce me, but since it was neither a Saturday night or 11:30PM and I could plainly see Liberace pointing at me and laughing while holding up a salmon colored, diamond studded fur coat for me to try on, I’m assuming I missed heaven by a couple of exits. Oh wait, that was the dream I had last night after eating at that ‘B’ rated Chinese take-out place. Mental note: Female Coworker was right; only eat at places that get an ‘A’ rating. The after life looked a lot like my office cubicle. No light, no tunnel, just cubicle walls. Friends, I must’ve ended up in hell and to make matters worse, the heater is on.

There was so much I didn’t get to do in my life. Yep, I had a list and yes, I am going to share it with you. I was going to take out the trash, call the doctor about that thing on my eyelid, get more Englebert Humperdink on my Ipod, edge the back yard, wait, sorry, wrong list.

There were several bloggers I wanted to finally meet, get picked to feed Shamu during the Killer Whale show at Sea World, overtake Oprah or Rachael Ray as the Queen of All Media (wait, that didn't sound the way I wanted it to), get the gopher that has tormented me for 4 straight summers, finally beat Lucy and Ethel at a board game, write a sitcom that involves the ghost of Cub's broadcaster Harry Carey, open a restaurant, rent a karaoke bar out for just me, my friends and family one night and get to read the Top 10 List on Letterman. I also wanted to do the weather for the local news show dressed in a plaid sport coat and Bermuda shorts, establish a professional BBQ Team (called the Midnight Smokers), cook an egg on the sidewalk in the middle of the summer, be mistaken in public just once for John Wayne, get through work one day without causing a 'situation' or 'HR reportable event' and play ATV Polo. I really wanted to legally change my name to Calhoun C. Callahan, but I’d have settled for the other stuff on the list.

Now all those wishes have been dashed. And for what? A silly dance in front of the fax machine because I was bored and whomever I was faxing had a busy signal. Damn that unfortunate emergency of some sort or another that was very nondescript in its nature but ‘should’ have involved ducking under my desk.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

As Precious As The Colonel Constitution

I read online this morning that the famous KFC recipe of 11 peaches and herbs and spices (yeah, I added peaches because I just can’t have my herbs without my peaches – it just doesn’t sound right) was being moved for the first time in a long while. Of course, I also saw a headline saying that biologists are closing in on a way to create a new form of life, so it was important not to confuse the two. The recipe is being temporarily moved because the security around the single piece of paper containing the recipe needs to be upgraded. This is apparently some pretty serious stuff. Cops, security guards, security firms, the EPA, the FDIC, the TGIF – everybody’s involved with this thing. You would think this recipe ranks right up there with our country’s major documents like The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the cocktail napkin containing the original lyrics for Louie Louie.

The story said that only 2 ‘anonymous’ executives have access to the original recipe. The companies that mix the recipe only know parts of it. And, the thing is filed away in a vault. Ok, let’s recap. Fort Knox can be broken into by several good-looking female pilots in too tight to be comfortable flying suits with names that include parts of the female anatomy (if you remember Goldfinger ‘do you expect me to talk Goldinger?’ ‘No Mr. Bond, I expect you to dieeeee.’) and a chicken recipe is in a vault with access more restricted than the perm formula for Richard Simmons.

We can only hope that the people in charge of Graceland and Elvis’ estate are taking heed of KFC’s recipe safety procurement policy. What a national tragedy it would be if the original recipe for Elvis’ Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich were ever to be lost or destroyed. I know the recipe sounds like it would be kinda obvious, but we just can’t take that chance. Ok, I can’t take that chance.

I know in other families and even some restaurants that they have the secret, passed down from one generation to the next recipes that only stay in the family. Recipes in my family are shared liberally, though I don’t share the rub I created for grilling, but that’s only because I can’t remember everything I put into it. Actually, now that I am thinking about it, I’m not even sure I remember where I put the little container of rub that I made. Well, that’s going to bother me until I find it.

If anyone in my extended family wishes to make a Lebanese recipe handed down from my Great Grandmother (who bears a striking resemblance to Ms. Sees, by the way), all they have to do is ask for it. At any time, I can get one of about 4 recipes for hummus, not to mention many other foods. (Editor’s note: when rereading this quickly, it appeared as though I wrote ‘4 recipes for humans.’ Obviously that is not what I wrote, but please read slowly anyway. Thanks). When it comes to hummus, the problem isn’t in getting the recipe, it’s in getting my grandfather to accept someone else’s hummus instead of his. I swear at our last family get together I heard him say ‘hmm, Michael never wipes the bowl clean with his fingers when we run out of Pita bread at my house.’

After my aunt’s hummus was declared to be inferior because of both flavor and consistency (well, it was my grandfather making the declaration, so there were a few color expletives added), she and I decided to put a little taste test together. While no one was looking, we emptied her bowl (but kept it on the table so it appeared as though hers had been finished first) into his and mixed thoroughly. It seemed as though no one noticed for at least 30 minutes. And then came the mumbling of ‘who the (expletive) (expletived) with my (expletiving) hummus?!’ That was followed by ‘it doesn’t taste (expletiving) right and the consistency is too (expletiving) thick. I know I didn’t put this much (expletiving) tahini into my hummus.’ At that point my aunt and I just chose to agree that a taste test with 10-1 results was all the proof we needed.

I have always wanted to create a salsa that becomes so popular I can give it a name like ‘Poncho and Lefty’s Tomato and Garlic Based Chip Accompaniment’ and then be offered the chance to market it nationwide. That would let me write down the recipe and then do crazy things like make an unjustified big deal out of the recipe and closely guard it until I die, at which point it would be burned in a BBQ (charcoal) only when the wind is blowing north by northwest at 16 mph to the dulcet tones of ‘Blowing in the Wind.’

I also have the same fantasy about creating a BBQ sauce. Yes, I realize that ‘fantasy’ seems a little too dramatic, but we’re talking about BBQ and its accoutrements, so ‘fantasy’ is appropriate. Then there’s my hope for developing a root beer in my garage. I think I’m so focused on making recipes, because when I follow them, they tend not to work very well. If recipes were a map and the food being made was a car, then my final product would end up going over a cliff. Is there a special magic touch that people have that allows them to follow recipes to perfection or to alter the recipe to make it their own delicious creation? Is it a gene passed down from generation to generation like nose hair or excessive sweating? I do feel like I should tell you that I have neither of those things, they are just what popped into my head first.

Colonel Sanders was one of the lucky ones who got it right (with his wee beady eyes and that smug look on his face. ‘Oh, you're gonna buy my chicken! Ohhhhh!’ He puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes ya crave it fortnightly, smartass!’ – bonus points redeemable for KFC bowls of death if you can correctly guess where that is from. For legal reasons I do need to say that you know I’m not really giving away KFC bowls of death, right). He created something so good that it deserves its own vault. Granted, we all could throw something in a vault, but that doesn’t make it special and ageless. Perhaps what it all comes down to is not what is written on that time worn piece of paper, it’s those (expletive) 11 herbs and spices. Unless it’s just the marketing. Or the transfat.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Most Interesting Man In The World (And No, It’s Not Mo Roca Or Alan Greenspan)

I’ve been wanting to write about this topic for awhile now but just didn’t have enough info to do so. I know what you are thinking this is about, but no, it’s not about Thomas Crapper, inventor of the toilet. That being said however, we kind of owe that guy a lot. Sometimes I get flush just thinking about it. Nor is it about Gene Rayburn, host of Match Game AND Match Game 76, which was like getting to hang out with your grandparents when they were drinking and cool. Without him, we would never have been able to end our sentences with the word ‘blank,’ as in ‘Jimmy and Judy want to have another child, but Jimmy keeps shooting blank.’ Wait, that’s not the best example to feature the whole ‘blank’ thing. Let’s try this one, ‘Sally forgot to tell Willy that he blanked her the other day at the park.’ You know what, I might be better at answering those than actually writing them. Ah, but I did like cocktail hour with the seniors. Charles Nelson Reilly, Betty White, Richard Dawson and more. Either my perception of the 70s is way off, or those were some real swinging cats. Mental note: strike the phrase ‘real swinging cats’ from my daily list of approved words, immediately. Also, remember to take that Diet Mountain Dew out of the freezer that I put there to make it cold super quick yesterday.

The individual I meant to discuss today is the somewhat mysterious, but equally cool ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’ from those Dos Equis commercials where he gives us his thoughts on various topics. You know who I’m talking about, right? The middle-aged bearded man with the suave Latin accent who always ends the commercials with ‘stay thirsty my friends.’ I haven’t seen a lot of his commercials, but I dig them. Mental Note 2.0 – never, ever use ‘dig’ again unless you are holding a shovel, or possibly a spoon.

Provided I clicked the right thing yesterday, I have become his fan on Facebook, because we all know that the sign of legitimacy in our pop culture is governed by the ads we see on the left or right border of Facebook. Heck, I’ve been offered Huey Lewis and Billy Joel tickets in some of those ads (though curiously, no Barry Manilow). It’s almost eerie, like they know me or possibly have some really nice software coding that takes my interests and panders to them with ticket offers, groups and discount meats. Yes, I’m making the meat part up, but if any Facebook programmer happens to be reading this, let me say 2 things. 1: Please don’t sue me, and 2: If you happen to offer discount meats on your amazing and fantabulous site, I would not mind.

Now back to the Most Interesting Man In The World, or MIMITW because I know I am going to get tired of writing out his name and that will just lead me to eventually loathe him, which is in direct contrast to why I started writing all of this in the first place. MIMITW is so cool. I think he needs a sit-com or at the very least, a comic book about him. It always seems like he is sitting around a gaming table (possibly playing baccarat like James Bond) in a tropical, smoke filled bar. And of course he is always surrounded by the ladies (for full effect, please say that in a low and slow manner stretching the ‘a’ sound, not high-pitched and exuberant like Jerry Lewis).

What makes this man so interesting, well other than Dos Equis’ advertising agency? Is it his accent? Is it his beard, or is it the ladies (again, read above for proper utterance of ‘the ladies’) that are always surrounding him? You can just picture this guy globe trotting the world to a slow latin beat version of Ricky Nelson’s ‘Traveling Man,’ because this guy WOULD NEVER listen to Rock and Roll. He’s got himself a lady in every port and probably gambles on house credit. I’m also thinking he has hideaways, but not those under the water kinds that only the world’s most evil criminals all seem to have. Those are pre-fabricated and can be purchased at Home Depot and Lowes, by the way.

You get the feeling that people just want to be near this guy to hear him speak of his feelings on too tight trousers or maybe why you can’t be cool with a parrot on your shoulder because they cannot warn you when they need to make the stinky. And as close as people want to be to him to increase their cool quotient, he keeps them at arm’s length and never reveals too much about himself, thus perpetuating his myth. This was actually a tactic I used to employ heavily, until I got a blog and became so desperate for material that I almost referred to myself in third person once.

I can think off the top of my head of at least a dozen songs written and sung by Jimmy Buffett that could be about some aspects of MIMITW. Ok, for some reason I always feel compelled to be honest with you. So in that spirit, I must tell you that I can think of only one song, and now I’m not even sure it was by Jimmy Buffett. No, it’s not Copacabana, but only because his name is not Tony and he doesn’t always tend the bar. Nor is his name Rico and he probably doesn’t wear a diamond.

Right about now, you may be asking yourself if I, the author of this blog, would want to be the MIMITW, or possibly you are asking yourself what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks is that idiot writing about now. Well, you’re in luck. I have an answer for those questions. I would not want to be the MIMITW because I do not want to wear tuxedos, or shoes for that matter, nor do I know how to play Baccarat and every time I say that word, it makes me think of Burt Bacharach and that leads me to singing songs like ‘The Look of Love.’ And let’s face it, doing that is instant disqualification from the Most Interesting Man In The World sweepstakes. Also, I too have no idea what I am trying to write about here. This is possibly due to the fact that I have that Muppets song stuck in my head where they all sing and say nothing but ‘menomena.’ Damn that’s catchy. Like dysentery in the south pacific catchy. I also can’t keep my internal monologue from doing the ‘do, do, do, do, do’ part of the chorus in Elton John and Kiki Dee’s ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.’ Don’t worry about that one though, I’m under treatment for it and things seem to be proceeding well.

I guess there is nothing left to do now but raise a glass and toast The Most Interesting Man In The World. Besides, I have run out of things to write about.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Unavoidable Repost: If Only Don Pardo Was My Tag Along Friend…

Ok friends, here's the excuse deal.  Due to TS Hanna (wow, imagine when we get to a tropical storm named 'Elliott.'  Yanno, TS Elliott- the author.  It's still not funny when I have to explain it, is it) making her way up the Eastern Sea Board, the NASCAR races for both Friday night and Saturday night had to be postponed until Sunday.  Obviously you could care less, though you will discover below why I felt I needed to mention that.

What it essentially means is that I will be far too busy today (which is defined in this case as completely unproductive and catatonic on the couch watching almost 700 miles of racing, except for the part where we take the twins to their friend's B-Day party.  There will be a clown there, so I'm actually looking forward to it.  I'm hoping the clown will make me a balloon animal shaped like a big normal round balloon  - even though that is more of a wish than a definition).  The anticipated state of busyness will prevent me from putting together my normal Q & A.  It will return next week.  I am however offering up this juicy little nugget from March, though I have no idea what form of mini-stroke I just suffered that caused me to refer to my post, let alone anything, as a juicy nugget.  Please enjoy nonetheless...

I have a problem. It’s a big one (I’m really, really resisting saying TWSS here, by the way) and I need to discuss it. My problem: I seem to enjoy and actually have the biological need to quote memorable lines from Saturday Night Live in almost every conversation I have. I actually cannot stop myself from doing it. I won’t say that I get a tick in my face or anything like that when an SNL quoting opportunity presents itself, but I do get a little giddy. To help you understand, I can only say it’s very similar to that pure rush of joy you get when someone around you blurts out ‘That’s What She Said’ for the first time and then says something like ‘Dammit Michael (or your name), now you’ve got me doing it,’ to which you HAVE to reply ‘I know, that’s what she said.’ Getting the final TWSS in helps assert your mastery of the art over them and prevents them from getting too big headed too early in their TWSS career, but that's really, really besides the point here.

Sometimes, SNL things happen at work that just seem to fall into my lap. Take last week for instance when I was asked to return a call to someone with the same name as an original SNL cast member. Due to client confidentiality and all that overly legal, I need to keep my job mumbo jumbo, I’ll just say she was very short and very funny and married Gene Wilder and sadly died of cancer. I know what you’re thinking; that was so descriptive that I might as well just have told you her name. But, that description was offered to throw you off. This client’s name is the same as the original cast member who was really tall and really skinny and played the Coneheads’ daughter. I’m sorry, but that’s really the only hint I can give you. When I received the message to call this client I could not stop saying her name in my best Don Pardo impersonation, which for some reason sounded a lot more like the late Don Adams from ‘Get Smart.’ Perhaps this is why no one in the office knew why I kept going around saying her name in the voice that I used, no matter HOW MANY TIMES I kept saying it. I joked with my boss that when I called her and she answered the phone that instead of saying hello and identifying myself, I would just say her name in my 'Don Pardo but really closer to Don Adams, at least they both have the first name of Don' impersonation. As you might have already figured, he asked me not to. Well, it was more like he TOLD me not to.

I was also cursed blessed with having the LAST cubicle before the office’s copy machine. I know I don’t need to tell those of you who are SNL fans what comes next, but for the sake of the rest of you, I will. Yep, everyone who heads to the copier in our office is…wait for it…wait for it…ok, here it comes: ‘makin’ copies!’ Most of the work mates are numb to it as if beaten into submission pretty accepting and good humored about it. The lone exception is of course Female Coworker. I don’t care how many times she threatens to kick me in the ankles, flip me off or flash me with the big ‘loser’ L with her fingers on her forehead, I will ALWAYS say ‘Femalus Coworkerino makin’ copies’ each and every time she passes by with documents needing to be mimeographed (while I don’t play Scrabble, that has to be a major point word).

Then are the times we go to In ‘N Out Burgers for cheese burgers (cheese burger, cheese burger, cheese burger, cheese burger…), the times someone says they don’t feel well (time for blood letting from Steve Martin’s ‘Medieval Doctor’) and the times when I find myself doing Dan Akyroyd’s Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute (don’t ask, although I will say that I only do the voice and HR has not had to be called). I have lost track of the times I have told Female Coworker that ‘she looks marvelous,’ regardless of how she looks. Our office is next to a gym, so when we are in the parking lot and happen to see the men who spend a little too much time at the weights, I can’t stop myself from uttering ‘we’re here to pump…you up.’ And who can hear a bit of bad news and not respond by saying ‘well, isn’t that special.’ Paul Simon’s ‘Still Crazy After All These Years’ played on my Ipod the other day and I started saying ‘I’m dressed like a turkey’ and flapping my arms up and down. Sadly, no one remembered this sketch and the whole thing was made worse by the fact that I was indeed NOT dressed like a Turkey. Also, no one seems to get what I’m saying when I blurt out ‘I guess he smells my dog’ from the Dana Carvey head trauma sketch, or my Frozen Caveman Lawyer references or my Bill Murray lounge singer act.

I also routinely find myself talking like Linda Richmond in ‘Coffee Talk,’ Christopher Walken saying ‘champagne and caviar’ in my favorite recurring sketch ‘The Continental,’ and Wayne Myers and Garth Algar (no way, way). At least once a day, I find myself quoting motivational speaker Matt Foley, played by Chris Farley. I cannot begin to tell you how many people I have accused of ‘living in a van, down by the river.’ There are countless other sketch’s characters and sayings I quote often that I don’t have time to include here (it’s scary how many times in a week one can find himself working the phrase ‘this just goes to prove my theory that Germans love David Hasselhoff’ into a random workplace conversation). And I MIGHT have let the occasional 'Jane (or insert any coworker's name), you ingorant slut' slip out, but only once or twice, by which I mean as often as I can get away with it.

The worst part of my affliction special talent is that I think and believe with all my heart that I am being clever. I actually get great joy from quoting SNL over and over and over again, despite how my coworkers feel about it. Yes, it’s true that they once enjoyed it. Yes, they used to sing along when we went to lunch and I would start singing ‘Lunch Lady Land’ or say ‘come let us consume mass quantities.’ Of course they were familiar with the theme song for ‘the ambiguously gay duo’ every time I’d sing it, which our HR will no longer allow me to do. And they all knew what I meant when I said that I just met a ‘Pat’ because I was slightly unsure of the person’s gender. Those days are over now. These days, it just feels like I’m that freak in the corner cubicle who keeps unnecessarily quoting from Saturday Night Live. Wow, that description was hauntingly accurate...

It’s ok though, I still manage to entertain myself and keep my spirits high and isn’t that what’s important here. After all, I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me. See, I can’t stop doing it…

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Random As The Week Goes By

I’m trying for the philosophic angle with my title this week. And as I have been doing the last few weeks on Random Fridays, I would like to introduce you to Paul Simon. I reference him below and I find it shocking, appalling and just downright unnerving that most of my coworkers are not familiar with his music. Oh sure, they’ve HEARD of Simon and Garfunkel, but then Garfunkel is as distinct and memorable a name as Butts, Hasselhoff, Obama and Smith. Let’s face it; once you’ve heard it, you are not going to forget Garfunkel. And, it’s fun to say. A lot of fun to say. It’s Garfunkally or Garfunkalicious, if you will, or won’t. It’s your choice.

Simon however? Not as memorable. Perhaps this is Paul’s problem. At any rate, I wanted to introduce him to you, just in case you are in the same boat (The USS Unawareness) as my coworkers. If it makes you feel better while reading this, you can ‘call me Al.’ But then it is readily apparent that I am ‘still crazy after all these years.’ Crazy yes, but not as secluded as the ‘boy in the bubble.’ Perhaps I come off that way because I wrote some of this so ‘late in the evening.’ So, take a gander at the photo on the left. It might even have been photographed on ‘Kodachrome.’ I also wish to go to ‘Graceland,’ which I realize has nothing to do with anything I am writing about, but I’d feel very guilty if I didn’t manage to work that title in somehow.

Since my guessing contest yesterday was ruined by none other than me, I am again awarding major bonus points to be redeemed at truck stop travel centers everywhere if you can name the song being sung and where it was sung at the time of this photo. I rolled over yesterday’s unclaimed bonus points into today people, so let’s get this one! Aww dangit, I saved the photo with the name of where it was taken. This is just getting ridiculous…

* Isn’t it amazing how one family member’s recollection that you used to love doing Fonzie impersonations can ruin what was otherwise a great family get together for you? This is even more emphasized when the rest of your family starts doing their impersonations of you as a little boy doing a Fonzie impersonation. Are you still with me there? That was a lot of impersonating I just described.

* I know I am always going on about the need to turn the Ipod off while away from your workspace, but seriously, heed my warning. I returned from lunch yesterday to the sounds of Karen Carpenter singing ‘Touch Me When We’re Dancing.’ The kicker is that the song that was playing before leaving for lunch had a really low volume level that I had to turn up considerably to hear and enjoy and (yep, you guessed it) the Carpenters song was very loud. EVERYBODY heard the sultry sounds of Karen Carpenter beckoning them to dance closely with her to a disco beat. While the choice of song selection may not reflect poorly on the late Ms. Carpenter, it did NOTHING to help my standing in the office. Can anyone else tell from that last sentence that I have been watching way too much ‘CNN On Politics?’

* The minute I saw Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin, I immediately thought of Tina Fey. Then, it seemed like no one else was mentioning what I saw as being so obvious. The great Meleah finally turned me on to several other people and places that made the same connection. Half of me was relieved that someone else saw the same obviousities (yes, I made that one up too) as I did, but the other 25% of me was very sad that this meant I did not have special powers. Wait, that’s only 75%. Man, I hate math. I guess the other 25% of me was sitting in a corner somewhere doing a happy dance to MC Hammer’s U Can’t Touch this or something. I blame that on the fact that I don’t get a lot of down time and rarely know how to spend it when I do.

* I was helping our ‘not so digitally, electronically and high techically aware’ coworker pair his company issued phone with our new company issued Bluetooth headsets. You can imagine my grand moment of oops when I realized I had accidentally paired his Bluetooth with a complete stranger’s phone on the other side of the office where the public comes in and out. Now, how to apply this knowledge to high jinx, pranks and tomfoolery? Just think of the possibilities.

* Here’s a tip for ya: when you come across a juicy musical trivia factoid (a Clavenism, if you will) about who some of the famous background singers were on Elton John’s “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” (including Carl Wilson and Toni Tenille of The Captain and Tenille, as if I had to remind you of the group she was from), don’t play the song loudly in your cubicle 4 times in a row to try to hear said famous background singers. Although you might be focused on hearing the music, your coworkers get a VERY different impression when you are hunkered down in your work cube playing such a depressing song over and over. Then people have to start approaching you asking uncomfortable questions like ‘are you ok,’ ‘can we get you anything’ and the best one, ‘you know, there’s a number you can call anonymously to get some help with whatever you are dealing with.’ Actually, that reminds me, here’s another tip: don’t try to defend your actions by saying something like ‘oh, don’t worry about me, I’m fine. I am just trying to hear the background singers. You know, as in really hear them, not just hear them.’

* I took what I thought were great ingredients: Me, a coworker named Julio and a drive by a local schoolyard on our lunch break. Then I started singing Paul Simon’s ‘Me and Julio Down By The School Yard.’ It didn’t work. Not to get all Agent Smart on you, but ‘would you believe’ not a single person in the car had a clue as to what I was singing. Seriously, you wait YEARS to befriend a Julio, position him within a reasonable proximity of a school yard and then the whole thing backfires. Well, hopefully the first cat (not a feline - I’m trying to be cool) I meet named Kotter will want to be welcomed back…

Have a great Friday and weekend everybody! Remember, it’s still summer, if you really want it to be. Unless you want it to be Fall. You could probably make that happen. Or should it be Autumn? You know what, never mind...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Uh, Finally!

It has finally happened. The wait is finally over. As I finally prepared to write about this, I couldn’t help but think that I use the word finally too much and how weird the word finally sounds when you say it over and over. Finally. Fine-uhlly? Fine-alley?

More importantly, I also thought about how the time is way overdue for the eventuality of which I am about to speak. And the beauty of this for you, the reader, is that you get to guess what I am talking about and I will award more bonus points to be redeemed at fine truck stop travel centers everywhere to the blogger with the correct guess. Aww crap, you just looked at the picture, didn’t you. Well so much for the contest…

The fine city of Milwaukee, which is Algonquin for ‘Beautiful Land’ as Alice Cooper taught us all in Wayne’s World, has honored its television heritage. The city recently unveiled a bronze statue of the coolest leather clad motorcycle riding thumb sticking upping ayyying jukebox punching ruffian ever (gee, I hope I didn’t over do it there)- Fonzie!

The cool thing is that most of the Happy Days cast attended, except for Pinky Tuscadero or Mork or the mean Police Officer Kirk. I swear next time Lucy and Ethel misbehave I am going to make them watch Officer Kirk, Darth Vader, The Grinch, Dwight Schrute and the Sleestax from ‘Land of the Lost’ on a continuous loop to ‘scare them straight.’ Unless that makes me a bad parent, though I don’t think that could be possible with such a great viewing lineup as the one I just listed.

Besides, the twins deserve payback. They made me watch ALL of High School Musical 2 with them and would not let me ‘get up for a minute.’ Perhaps that is because they know that’s code for ‘I’m slipping away and will coincidentally return when the credits roll, unless the credits contain more HSM songs, in which case I will not be returning.’ I couldn’t see straight for 3 days after that viewing. And what’s even scarier than that, I actually found one of Ashley Tisdale’s songs enjoyable. Oh no, I just said Ashley Tisdale. In public. And there goes the chill up my spine…

Returning to a more comfortable topic, I also don’t think Arnold (quite possibly due to his current status being listed as ‘dead’) attended the Fonzie statue unveiling, nor did Richie’s long time girlfriend and eventual wife Lori Beth or Jenny Piccolo. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure David and Ricky didn’t attend either. Wait, that was Ozzie and Harriet, wasn’t it. I had a little TV hemorrhage there for a moment, sorry. But you have to admit that you were impressed with my ‘Happy Days’ knowledge WITHOUT the aid of Wikipedia, thankyouverymuch. Ok, I guess you don’t have to admit that and yes, I did have to confer, if ever so briefly, with Wiki (it’s cool, we’re on a first name basis because of the frequency of our, uh, relationship) on what Lori Beth’s name was. But at least I remembered her. And no, I did not forget Chachi, it’s just that bringing him up reopens all those old ‘Joanie Loves Chachi’ wounds that are better left untouched for me. By the way, does anyone else think that statue bears a striking resemblance to a young Bob Eubanks?

Normally this would be the part of the story where I would go on and on about all the cities that should have statues because of whatever TV show took place there. Not this time though, because I did my homework. Chicago already has a Bob Newhart statue because Newhart’s first show took place there. Although, nowhere in Vermont is there a statue from his second show ‘Newhart’ of him or Larry, his brother Darrell or even his other brother Darrell. But then again, the show never said what town the Stratford Inn was in or inn. There is also a statue of Mary Tyler Moore in Minneapolis because that is where Mary Richards worked for Mr. Grant at WJM TV. The statue even depicts her throwing her hat up in the air, which I do whenever I am near a plaza with tall buildings. I think I am going to curtail the singing of ‘we’re gonna make it after all’ though. It’s not quite in my vocal range and people look at me funny when I kick the back of my leg up.

See, because I did my research, this will now be the part of the story where I only go on about all the TV shows that need statues (instead of going on and on in case you forgot the joke I tried to start laying the groundwork for about 5 sentences ago. Of course now it won’t seem as funny because I had to ‘splain it). First up on the TV statutorium list for me HAS to be Cincinnati. That city needs a Les Nessman, Herb Tarlick or Dr. Johnny Fever statue from WKRP in Cincinnati. I would have said Loni Anderson, but if you remember that show, a statue in her likeness could be seen as lewd. Nice mind you, but lewd.

I also don’t think Cheers has a statue in Boston, or would that be Boston has a statue of Cheers? I have an idea. How about a statue of Norm on his bar stool? I think Queens, NY should have an Archie Bunker statue. While the obvious statue design should probably be him with a cigar sitting in his chair, I propose a different approach. How about Archie Bunker with a cigar sitting in his chair – with his middle finger up for all to see. I think that would capture his spirit. Unless of course you want to go with a statue of Sammy Davis Jr. kissing him on the cheek.

And let us not forget a statue dedicated to one of every child’s favorite TV time heroes, Barney. But alas, questions arise. I’m flairing with the dramatic there, though I don’t think that came out right. Do we make the statue purple or metallic and more importantly, where do we place the statue? I have an idea; let’s put Barney’s likeness in a coastal community, preferably near a pier. Have you seen what seagulls can do to a statue? They like to crap on its head. That might not sound like the best sentence to use when ending a post, but try saying it with a Scottish accent, especially with the emphasis on both ‘crap’ and ‘head.’ Ah-ha, see what I mean.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Wait, You Mean It’s Over?

Well friends, the Beach Boys and the Buffett have been put away. I better clarify that. The Buffett as in Jimmy, not buffet as in I’m going to go back 5 times and only put one item on each new plate just because I can, has been packed away. The flags have been stored, the pool has been covered and the last wonderful BBQ has been conducted under the summer sun (blue cheese burgers, in case you were wondering). Ok, none of those things has actually happened yet, I mean I live in Southern California for Mother Nature’s sake. Weather wise we have about another month of summer out here. The kids are in school though, but they started July 28th, so summer in the ‘no school’ sense started over a month ago for us. At least Lucy and Ethel have October left so that they can be out of school for summer. Our summer. The So Cal summer. If I haven’t lost you yet, please feel free to read on. Then you can explain to me what I was trying to write in my clouded head, summer is over, what the heck happened to my Olympics and back to work funk.

And speaking of Brian Wilson. I have to take issue with Capitol Records. Not because their old building that is supposed to represent a record stack on a needle has aged about as badly as Connie Stevens (go ahead and Google both of them, I can wait), but because of the release date they chose for Brian’s new album. The creative genius of the Beach Boys records an album (CD, if you want to be all mid-90s on me) all about Southern California called ‘That Lucky Old Sun’ and they release it AFTER Labor Day Weekend? Isn’t that just as sinful (using sinful makes it sound really evil, as in the fruits of the devil evil – bonus readership points if you can correctly guess where that line is from) as releasing Bing Crosby’s Christmas Gold on December 26th? The answer is yes. I’m helping you answer because I know that I always appreciated someone giving me the answers when I was being tested. You honestly didn’t think I possessed the necessary skills to graduate from high school or college or even kindergarten on my own, did you? Obviously I am kidding - except for the kindergarten part. I was a big fan of naptime. Turns out you miss a lot of that fancy book learnin’ when you abuse naptime…

Well looky there, I strayed off topic. I really have to stop doing that because every time I do, I have to stop writing, go back and reread what I already wrote to figure out what my point was for the day and then usually can’t even tell. Then I get upset and frustrated because I’ve written half a post and reread half a post and still can’t figure out where I need to pick up next. And all of that just makes me go all Gustav (I know, it’s probably still too early to use it) on the first family member or phone solicitor that interrupts me. Of course spending an entire paragraph detailing all of this is pretty pointless too, I just wanted you to know. Let’s carry on.

What I wanted to discuss was the unofficial end of summer, I think. It’s odd because I look outside and it still looks the same as it did Monday. It still feels like it did Monday or July 17th or June 30th or August 23rd - basically every day this past summer. Except for Tuesday July 9th. That day was unusually cool. It even rained for a couple of minutes that night. You know what; the unofficial end of summer isn’t really that exciting.

Ok, writing about the end of summer wasn’t that exciting but the actual end of summer was very exciting. Let’s review. I burned myself while lifting my new hinged Weber BBQ cooking grid, with my bare hands. Then on Sunday, the hinged part got bumped and it slammed down on my index finger’s knuckle. I was tempted to turn my hand in the other direction and intentionally touch the hot cooking grids again so I could get those cool crisscross grill marks on the top of my hand that are all the rage in the nicer steak joints like Sizzler and Bob’s Big Boy. All those gas and propane jockeys out there may not have the same problem, but us charcoal guys face danger at every turn, or every flip of the burger.

Then there was the shocking political development that started the last weekend of summer with a bang or bangs, as in lady-bangs. Yes, the pun was intended, if you got it, which you probably didn’t because it was poorly executed. Even though I just mentioned execution, I intentionally do not discuss touchy subjects like politics or Clay Aiken on this blog, so I am mentioning what follows in a nonpolitical context.

I kind of tuned out of the real world over the weekend so I could enjoy summer’s last fleeting cornucopia of pleasure, so you can imagine my surprise when I started watching the news this morning and discovered that Tom McCain picked Tina Fey to be his running mate. Wow! I’m a huge Tina Fey fan so this is a very neat development for me. I’m sure it will energize his campaign and all, but in a very selfish way, I am a little worried about the future of one of my absolute favorite shows, 30 Rock. Tina stars in and writes that show and balancing a presidential campaign and a popular network sitcom is going to be tough, though I’m sure the one-liners in the debate will be very quote worthy. Hilariosity will ensue baby!!!!

And how did the summer weekend holiday end, you ask? Well here’s the deal. I was on the treadmill running 185 kilometers an hour Monday night; at least I think I was. I’m still having trouble with the whole metric conversion thing since I mentioned it to you last week. My wife was watching her soaps, or as I call them – her stories, when I heard a familiar voice over the 6 Million Dollar Man bionic sound effects that I always hear when running. I turned my head in time to see none other than Jan Brady acting on one of NBC’s midday stories, Dames of Our Lives, or something like that. Jan Brady! First Tina Fey jumps into politics and then Jan Brady ends up on a soap opera. I think I need to lie down, on my hammock, in the sun, with an iced tea and 3 packets of Splenda. Oh crap, I can’t. Summer is over now, remember?