Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Top Ten Options For Celebrating Elvis' B-day (As Approved By The King Himself)*

*Although he is living on an island with Marilyn Monroe, JFK and Jim Morrison, Elvis himself did not officially endorse this Top Ten List. Neither did Elvis' estate, for that matter. Ok, they are just 10 crappy ideas I came up with. There. Now are you happy?

10. Sport trucker side burns. Sorry, this one's just for men – which I am sure Elvis would use (I mean the product. Not sure about the sideburns and all since the National Enquirer said one had to be glued back on after his death. D'oh). It drives that lady folk crazy. And if that isn't enough of an enticement guys, check this out: You don't have to shave as much of your face when sporting the trucker burns because they take up most of your cheek and hard to reach just under the jaw places.

9. Make about 36 movies – each one successively worse and each one making “The Love Guru” the “Gone With The Wind” of our generation.

8. Employ your own Mafia and then get your picture taken with the President in the Oval Office while wearing your full mafia regalia (including cape), therefore making the President look like a square. Because we all know that the title of King ALWAYS trumps the title of President. Then, as you are being driven away by your mafia, encourage them to make funny faces at the secret service because you pay them better than the President's protectors. After your visit, send a thank you note to the White House on your new stationary that is emblazoned with the slogan: “Graceland – Memphis Tennessee. Better than the White House because there is no Jungle Room or Purple curtains in the White House.” It seems over the top, but you'll feel so superior after doing it.

7. Give Cadillacs to everyone you come into contact with. Yes, I admit this one will be difficult given the price of the new 2009 Escalade and all. However, just remember it is worth it because you are buying affection AND loyalty.

6. Maintain an effective weight loss regimen by performing concerts in 60 pound, rhinestone studded jumpsuits. And pills. Take lots of pills.

5. Name your 737 after your only daughter. Or, just own a 737 – that's pretty impressive. By the way, the only celebrity I can think of these days who goes the 737 route instead of the Lear Jet route is John Travolta. Not enough celebrities fly around in their own personal airliners anymore. I'm guess this will change when Oprah and the rest of Hollywood see Obama step onto Air Force One for the first time. Yep, time to get stock in Boeing.

4. Take 2 slices of bread, a lot of peanut butter and slice up a few bananas. Then have your own kitchen lady fry it all together. Seriously, do this. It's deliciousness cannot be denied. If you Google “kitchen lady” I'm sure you can find someone.

3. Through the effective use of pills and dark drapes, make the daytime the nighttime and the nighttime the daytime. Then invite your in-laws over for lunch during the 'day.' Wait, this one is confusing even me.

2. When changing channels becomes too laborious, just shoot out the current program with a .45. It has far less buttons than I remote, I can assure you.

1. Fall in love with a severely underage girl, take her and her younger sister skating and stuff for 6 years and then marry her the minute Vegas says it's legal and have your child be born exactly 9-months to that very day.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Parents Across America Rejoice!

You all know what I'm talking about – assuming you are reading this today: Monday, January 5, 2009. Yep, the kids went back to school today. I suppose I could just stop there and let you all back to your relishing of the quiet, peaceful absence of presence that is having the kiddies back in our educational institutions, or sweat factories, where some of our favorite products are made. I'm sure they went back today too, but that's not that funny and I'd rather receive spam than hate mail. Actually, I'd rather receive both the electronic AND ham/pork/beef versions of it instead of hate mail so I won't mention sweat houses again. Sweat houses. It's the annoying side of me that had to say it just one more time. Sorry.

Anywho, I'm sure the morning was a struggle for you all, but looking at the clock as I read this, the only timezone that has yet to send the kids off is Hawaii and if you live in Hawaii, you deserve the battle ahead because you live in Hawaii, which is tropical and I don't don't live there, which is not so tropical. (Yes, people of Hawaii, I am giving you a dirty look with all your tropical weather and nice printed shirts and sand and palm trees and stuff. Oh, and macadamia nuts and pineapples. Actually, now I'm rolling my eyes at you. Deal with it) Besides, no pain, no gain. We woke them up, fed them, dressed them if they were under a certain age and pushed them out the front door or the mini-van or the SUV – perhaps while trying to hide grins. Wide Grinchy grins, only with better teeth. No pain, no gain indeed. But I'm sure you will admit that it was well worth it.

The battle here this morning was fierce. It took an extra 10 minutes to wake the twins up. We got them a CD alarm clock for Christmas, but knew this morning would not be the best time to debut it. We feared the backfireage and will grant them the rest of the week before the soft parental nudging to get them up gives way to the music of Hannah Montana or High School Musical or the Jonas Brothers or whatever devilish Disney offering the girls choose to put in said alarm clock.

Once we finally had them up, I had to not only get them to tell me what they wanted for breakfast, but I had to make it for them. See, I was not prepared for the return of the 6:30am wake up call either (perhaps due to the fact that I was up until 2am playing our Wii – though I am still choosing to blame our education system with its strict schedules and other freedom oppressing decrees like tardy slips and tater tots). Once breakfast was served, I stood across from them while they sat at the kitchen bar moaning and complaining and just generally giving me the look one might receive after killing the family cow to provide eggnong milk for the family. Let's just say it was awkward. In fact, I am not happy to admit this, but I had to resort to a song and dance number of Hello Kitty (to the tune of Hello Dolly – oldest twins' lunch box character) with my toy replica lightsaber and jazz hands. Please, don't ask. Just know that it actually worked and the mood improved enough for them to acknowledge me as their father. But what a price to have to pay!

After standing with them outside of the car for about a minute and a half wondering why the doors would not unlock, I came back into the house, got the CORRECT set of keys and we were off. You know that anxiety you get that builds second by second when you wonder if something is going to work? Well that's the feeling I had after I kissed them goodbye and watched them inch towards the school gate. I won't go so far as to say that I ran back to the car after they had gone through the gate and became the property of the Corona/Norco Unified School District for the next 8 hours, but there may have been some evil hand wringing accompanied by a little BWAHAHAHAHA.

As this is also my first real day of unemployment, I have no idea what to do in our now eerily quiet home. I mean other than the job searching and Guitar Heroing and coffee drinking and Sinatra listening and napping. Not necessarily in that order, of course. There may also be some singing and dancing. And a few happy tears. At least until 11am or so when I realize how much I actually do miss them being here. I suppose after that some form of guilt will set in, but by then they'll be back home and I'll remember why I wrote this in the first place...

Saturday, January 03, 2009

No Mr. Bond, I Expect You To Fly (In A Car I Stole From TV's Rob Petrie)

Now you may have realized the title above is the bastardized version of a great James Bond quote, but you probably have no idea why I stooped so low. That's what I will be spending the rest of this 'essay' explaining.

I should first preface all of this by stating that I am a simple person, a simple minded person to be more exact. But lest you confuse my simple mindedness for stupidity, let me remind you that I came up with the idea (after a little inspiration from my Facebook and real life friend Beau) of one of this year's soon to be biggest clothing fads – The GoodHood®. It's an attachable jacket or sweater hood that is waterproof and lined with my new eco-friendly multi-fiber blend called Flaneece, which is a wonderful flannel/fleece blend. (GoodHood® - Because if you aren't keeping your head warm, you might as well be naked) See, no simple minded idiot could come up with that. Right? Wait, let me rephrase that. I mean: NO, a simple minded idiot could NEVER come up with that.

Ok, now that I've got that painful preface out of the way, I can get down to the real reason of my writing today. I took a nap a little earlier, a semi-long winter's nap, if you will. And what to my wondering eyes did appear? Sorry, it's hard to get Christmas out of my system sometimes. What appeared was the twins watching “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” Now I have never watched this movie, partly because the name makes me feel embarrassed when I say it, the original novel was written by James Bond creator Ian Fleming and I feel it is a rip-off of one of the things I hold most dear – Mary Poppins. Yes, I am comfortable enough with my maleness to admit that. Don't worry, before you get angry with me, I shall explain all of this in more detail... this paragraph here. See, Ian Fleming is like a hero to me as a writer. Or even just as a guy with a really good imagination. Ian Fleming created James Bond. That pretty much indebts me to him for life. The idea that the same typewriter (it was a typewriter because I have seen pictures of it) that created such masterpieces as “From Russia With Love,” “Goldfinger,” “Dr. No” and “Casino Royale” could also have been responsible for a children's tale about a flying car is tough for me to stomach. Don't get me wrong, if the flying car was a silver Aston Martin DB5, I'd be ok with that, but that isn't the case.

Then there's the fact that another favorite of mine, TV's Rob Petrie is playing someone similar to Burt the chimney sweep from Mary Poppins, which is also hard to stomach. Not even a spoon full of sugar would make that one easier to go down. Yes, that was reaching a little bit, I know. I am a Dick Van Dyke fan (and not just because his name is as fun to say as Bishop Desmond Tutu's or Thomas Crapper's are), but I'd rather see him as Rob Petrie (oh Rob) or Burt, or maybe even any of the characters he played during his brief stint on the Carol Burnett show after Lyle Wagner left, presumably to do Wonder Woman, but I really haven't researched any of that and could be very, very wrong on all accounts there, except for the fact that TV's Rob Petrie was a cast member on The Carol Burnett show. Gee I hope you are still following along.

Lastly, what shocked me most was seeing German actor Gert Frobe in The Chitty Movie. You may not know who ole Gerty is, so I will tell you. He is Auric Goldfinger. Yep, he's the man, the man with the Midas touch. A spider's touch. Such a cold finger. Beckons you to enter his web of sin. But don't go in. Then comes the part where the James Bond theme slowly builds in the background, but you get the idea. Watching the man who told Sean Connery “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die” with that great accent dancing and prancing around while singing in this 'other movie' was more than I was prepared to handle after waking from my nap. Let us remember that Goldfinger painted a pretty lady in all gold and it killed her. I realize I am typecasting here, but the same man who employed Odd Job with the deadly bowler's hat and Pussy Galore and her Flying Circus to raid Fort Knox has no place in the Disney world of Chitty.

In fact, I may need to go watch “Goldfinger” or “Mary Poppins” tonight just to restore my simple minded, typecasted memory of Ian Fleming, Gert Frobe and yes, TV's Rob Petrie. Or maybe I'll watch “Cannonball Run” instead. Wait, Roger Moore, Frank Sinatra AND Dean Martin were sullying their good typecasted names in that one? Oh boy. I think I need to lay down now...

Friday, January 02, 2009

2009, Where Have You Been All Of My Life?

Well friends, 2009 is upon us. It's yet another reminder, other than my watch, at how fast time flies. Why it seems like just yesterday I was hammering the last nail into my Y2K bunker and ravaging local Rite Aides for their last cans of Spam. This could be the last year of our lives where we actually identify the year by saying 'two thousand....' Next year, just 563 days from now (wait, that doesn't seem right - perhaps I mixed the numbers up) we can start referring to the year as 'twenty-ten.' That will probably be a lot of fun and sounds kinda hip, but it's still a way off, so lets focus on this new year.

Perhaps it's my past employment experience in marketing, advertising and PR (I'm outta work by the way, so no, mentioning my previous experience was not a random gesture), but I think everything needs a slogan or catchy phrase. Just ask my twins. I've sloganized (some might call it 'branded') everything from their bodily functions to their 1,008 pairs of shoes. I feel that the new year is no different.I've been mulling over a few slogans for 2009, but have been limited somewhat by what '9' rhymes with. The first obvious choice was "Things Will Be Fine In 2009," but it's a little flat. Sure it's good when things are fine, but why can't they be "spectacular" or "more amazing than that time when you discovered that Shirley Bassey, who sang the 3 best James Bond themes ever, did a cover version of Barry Manilow's Copacabana." That's the type of enthusiasm we need to have for this new year we've been given.

I also gave thought to 'Things Will Shine In 2009," but saying that makes me feel like it's necessary to use jazz hands while doing so and I don't think jazz hands are as hip with the kids of today in their skinny jeans and unkempt hair. Oh man, when did I become my grandfather? We could go the "2009 - The Year of Awesomeness" route, but saying "the year of" is the same way Disney promotes its theme parks and I'm pretty sure that's just inviting litigation. I try to avoid litigation, even on TV. Well, except for Night Court. They made litigation fun and Harry Anderson always had a good line or two. Plus Markie Post was kinda cute, in that 80s bad business dress sort of way.

So here we are, 2 days into 2009 and we haven't given it a slogan yet. I fear that the pressure of branding this new year might make me settle for a slogan that I normally might have passed by, but am going to try really hard not to settle, like my wife did with me. (Seriously folks, these are the jokes. I'll be here all week and don't forget to tip your waitress...) Ok, I've come up with something and held true to my goals of making the new year sound exciting and inviting and not just settling on the first thing I come up with so that I can get the naming done and start printing it on napkins, toilet paper and business cards.

Are you ready? My slogan for 2009 is: "2009 - It's Newer Than Last Year, So It Has To Be Better...Right?" I like it. It's growing on me already.