Wednesday, November 30, 2005

No single title could cover all this adequately

Sometimes I wonder whether I’m 100% human or whether I might have some weird alien DNA mixed in there somewhere. I don’t think it’s anything dangerous but I sometimes wonder. And the signs I pick up on typically involve regular everyday earthling activity. For example:

  • I get really thirsty after consuming chocolate
  • Eating cake, bread or other baked goods will sometimes result in a bad case of hiccups (which can be stopped only by drinking water)
  • I sunburn way too easily – the GF will testify that it can happen in as little as 15 minutes
  • I’m very uncomfortable in temperatures above 75 degrees

Any of these individually wouldn’t give me much pause, but the fact that I am a combination of all three makes me believe that I’m either part alien or part penguin. Today for example I’ve already had the cake hiccups (someone at work brought in my favorite flavor of cupcakes – yellow cake with chocolate frosting) and had to dash across the office to the drinking fountain to get relief. Thank goodness it’s not sunny outside today.

Continuing the theme of Christmas Trees in the News from yesterday – apparently some people are getting their panties in a bunch over Boston’s erecting of a “holiday tree” this week. The scary thing is that for the first time I find myself on the same side as Jerry Falwell. Come on people – lighten up. Generalizing the erecting of a “Holiday tree” to all year-end holidays is just the west’s way of imposing its views on Jews, Muslims, and African American’s everywhere. It’s like we’re saying “Here Jews – we noticed you don’t ever put up a Hannukah Tree so we’ll do it for you! No need to thank us, we’re happy to help spread Christma…I mean Holiday Cheer!”

What’s next? Does the west co-opt their symbols now since we were so good to share ours? Is everybody ready for the Holiday Menorahs to start showing up at First Baptist? Hey everyone, Target’s got a special this week on Holiday Kinaras!

The worst thing is that this furor has “cast a pall over a long-standing tradition between Boston and Canada”. Heaven help us…what if the Canucks turn off the maple syrup pipelines?!? We’ll have to invade them next – somebody call President Shrub and tell him to put the Canucks on the “To Invade” list…right after Iraq, Iran, China, Cindy Sheehan’s House, and The Land of Dairy Queen.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Would you hang your mom upside down for Mother's Day?

VH1 has recently become the resident expert in pointing out the crazy fads of my youth. Between all the iterations of “I Love The…” tchotchcumentaries I have relived most of the crazy, silly, sometimes stupid but always fun things that I idolized as a kid. And, of course I also relived the stupid things all my friends did. And the one thing they all have in common is that at the time they seemed perfectly normal and even cool. For example:


Big Hair


Leg Warmers


Friendship Pins

The rest I will leave to you to recall.

My point is that rarely are the times when a trend pops up that one immediately knows that it will be featured as something stupid when VH1 does “I Love the 00’s”. But I’m pretty sure this whole thing with the upside down Christmas trees is destined to become one. There are so many things wrong with this concept. Sure, it’s different from the norm, but how does one keep the darn thing watered? People say that “But it’s functional! You can fit more presents under the tree!” to which I respond with “Did you not put presents under the tree as a kid? Or did you surround the tree with presents so as to not violate the tree’s personal space?”

Besides, isn’t anyone else a little turned off by the whole upside down thing? When you take a symbol and turn it upside down it usually means something is wrong. Cases in point: the American flag (upside down = a sign of distress), the pentagram (upside down = devil worship), the cross (upside down = sign of the anti-christ*), the question mark (upside down = someone is writing something in Spanish), and the letter “e” (upside down = someone is spelling phonetically). So if you think you’re being smart and setting up your tree upside down this year, don’t come crying to me because Santa showed up and – offended by your anti-christmas blasphemy – stuffed your stocking full of coal.

*Yes you nitpickers I know it’s also called St. Peter’s cross because he was crucified on an upside down cross, but I’m talking about common uses here.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A whole new appreciation for the holidays

Historically, I’ve never been much of a Thanksgiving person. I think this is because as a child Thanksgiving is one of the most frustrating holidays of the year. You get two days off school, but instead of being able to go outside and play with your friends you get bundled into a car and driven miles and miles away to sit down for dinner with a bunch of extended family that you’d be seeing in a month anyway for Christmas. And on top of that – no presents or candy or anything. These days I don’t mind it so much, having grown to appreciate spending quality time with family more than I did when I took them for granted. But there’s something about being the only member of my family in Chicago that results in me being invited to multiple thanksgiving dinners given by friends. I end up being the token non-family member at these events, so I usually feel a little weird about it.

This last weekend I was not able to do dinner with family because I was working on Friday and Saturday. So I reluctantly accepted an invite to dinner with my friend B.Da who happens to be the person who introduced me to the GF. She specifically requested that I bring my homemade chocolate truffles which I usually make for the holidays. They are really good, but they take 3-4 hours to make and I didn’t have any ingredients. So on Wednesday after work I pulled into the Jewel on the way home to pick some up. That’s right – I entered a grocery store on the night before Thanksgiving. Oh…the horror…

Typically, I save a bunch of time at grocery stores by using the self-checkout option. In my experience, most people are afraid of doing the self-checkout because it involves computers and bar codes and most people are not smart enough to figure it out on their own. So I’m usually able to slide right through in a few minutes. However, because it was so busy even the morons were using the self-checkout. I’m the first to admit that I’m a total technology snob – if you can’t figure it out then you shouldn’t use it. Someone might get hurt. I was sitting there watching idiots read every instruction, try and figure out how and where to insert cash instead of using their credit card, and stop to ask the one cashier in charge of all the self-checkout stations how everything worked and where their coupons would go. I was in agony. By the time I left almost an hour had passed and I was in the same bright, chipper, in-love-with-my-fellow-man mood that I usually get dealing with the customer base at Wal-Mart (“Whadyew mean this Dale Earnheart t-shirt is $1.10? The sine sid $1.08! Wheere’s yer manjer? I ain’t pay’n no $1.10 fer dis shert - dat’s false advertisin! Hold on a sec; BESSIE MAE GIT OFFA DAT DISPLAY OR I WILL SMACK YOU INTA NEXT WEEK!!”).

But as I got back on the road home I noticed three helicopters hovering overhead, which was followed by a serious backup in traffic. Turns out that there had been a train meets cars accident along my route home and that if I hadn’t stopped to pick up ingredients I might have been one of the people in the hospital now, because I would have been about at that rail crossing at the time that the incident happened. Little freaky…

Of course now there’s no way I can ever pay B.Da back. First she gets me the world’s greatest girlfriend and now she saves my life. How does one respond properly? In Aztec times this would have demanded a sacrifice – but I don’t think B.Da would appreciate 50 dead slaves on her front step.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Besides, Kim Cattrall's moved onto other things these days

Remember when we were young and the plotlines of movies seemed so fantastical that they could never happen in real life? Sure, there were some movies that could totally happen (e.g. Stand By Me, Revenge of the Nerds, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure), but as children of the 80’s we lived – for the most part – in a world of complete fantasy. Films like Gremlins, SpaceCamp, and Red Dawn held us spellbound and let our imaginations soar. We often lay in bed at night, wondering if we would be brave enough to throw a gremlin in a blender, or whether we were small enough to fit between the struts to retrieve the oxygen tanks from the space station so we could return safely to earth.

I am almost ashamed to say that the first piece of fiction I ever wrote (and never saw light of day) was based entirely on the adventures of me and my friends fighting a guerilla war against communists in the front lines of their invasion. Naturally, this invasion would start in West-Central Minnesota, where I lived. Me and my band of nine fellow fighters wreaked havoc on the commies’ supply lines and foraged for food from friendly farm folk. The team consisted of me, my two best friends N. Ba and N.Ke, my little brother, and the five girls I happened to have huge crushes on at the time. Of course, being a liberated fellow even then, I wrote that the girls all pulled their own weight – serving either as snipers or ninjas. Of course, we totally came out victorious in the end, thanks to my brilliant tactical leadership*, N. Ke's mastery of science**, and N.Ba’s apparently god-given ability to drive the Russian tank we found in a garage***.

But even I knew that the whole idea was not realistic. I knew that unlike in Red Dawn a team of teenagers would get utterly wiped out by any red army commandos. So I never tried to actually put it into practice. But apparently this “fantasy vs. reality” thing is harder to keep straight than I thought, considering the case of this guy, who apparently believes that Mannequin is not only real – but a perfectly logical way to get laid. I bet he was thinking “If I boink her enough times, she’ll turn into Kim Cattrall! I just know it!”.

Only in the upper Midwest…

* Which I ascribe to my regular viewing of A-Team, where I learned to appreciate it when a plan comes together
**No doubt learned from all the episodes of MacGuyver and Mr. Wizard
***Yeah...probably more A-Team here - what *couldn't* B.A. drive?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Oh just kill them already...

I’m beginning to loathe the whole Presidential pardoning of the White House thanksgiving turkey schtick. It’s bad enough that the pardoning has become this glorious White House tradition – but it’s all a lie anyway. Does anyone really believe that the president walks into the rose garden, pardons two turkeys and then goes back in for a Thanksgiving dinner of Lasagna? Please, we all know that some nerdier, less photogenic, and obviously left-leaning turkey got trussed up and eviscerated in the kitchen and is about to be carved up like a…well…like a Thanksgiving Turkey, I suppose. “Compassionate Conservatism” my ass… How many innocent people stuck on death row watch the pardoning and think to themselves “So, he’ll pardon a turkey but I’m stuck in here to rot because my sorry-ass public defender couldn’t get the DNA evidence admitted?”

It makes you wonder what would have happened of Benjamin Franklin had gotten his way and named the Turkey as the national symbol. Would we all be running out to buy our Gold’n Plump Bald Eagles tonight after work? Would Butterball be renamed “Butterbald”? What does Eagle gravy taste like? Do Eagles even have white meat? Would Don Henley have joined a band called “The Turkeys”?

This is why when I become president I’m not going to pardon any ol’ Turkeys. However, I will make a point to kill and eat only Turkeys that have been found guilty of supporting the terrorists in a jury trial. Just think of the message that would send to the evil-doers! “Mess with America and our leader will cut off your head, gut you and munch on your thighs while watching football!” I can see it now – strolling out of the Oval office, I walk up to the scruffy-looking bird in its little head scarf; looking self-important as he expects the traditional pardoning so he can return to his evil ways. Then…I pull out the presidential axe. Oh, the fear in those evil-doing eyes would guarantee instant surrender of all the terrorist secrets that he knew, as well as a sure-thing second term.

The worst part about it is what it does to the turkeys themselves. Think of it – you grow up living a pampered lifestyle, sleeping on Minnesota pine shavings and being hand-fed corn and soybean meal. For 18 weeks you live the lifestyle of the rich and famous. You go to the white house and are received by the president, who praises you for your good work. Then, you go to Disneyland where you are the grand marshal for their parade.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? But then what? You’re immediately put into some sort of retirement home where the staff tells you when to eat and sleep, gives you medications, and never lets you leave the yard. You try calling your friend the president to help clear up the misunderstanding, but he doesn’t answer (or even take) your call. You lose your phone privileges after that little stunt. You bide your time, earning the trust of the guards by helping them with their taxes and personal finances until you can grow your feathers enough to fly over the fence during exercise time. But then you have no job skills, no social security number, and no network. You’re just a bird on the street. You have 10 pound breasts but can’t work in adult films (not in the US at least). So you start dealing crack cocaine.

See? Pardoning the presidential turkey turns terrorists into crack dealers. There, I said it. I’ll say it again.

Monday, November 21, 2005

That's it...I give up.

Relax, I'm not done blogging. This is about a completely different subject. For years now I've been fascinated (some would say "obsessed - but they would be passionless crazypersons who lack vision) with developing the ability to raise one eyebrow. I've always felt that those who had this trait were somehow God's Chosen People - able to express themselves with so much more depth and aplomb than me. A single raised eyebrow means so many things in our society; think of all the signals it can be used to send: skepticism, surprise, puzzlement, sexual interest, distress, challenging repressive authority figures, the list goes on and on! Conversely, raising both eyebrows simultaneously only serves to signal surprise and or fear – neither of which I have much need for.

Friends of mine who have this ability have heard me rant about how jealous I am of their obviously superhuman powers. The truly devilish ones would use my weakness against me and taunt me by using the single-eyebrow in wholly inappropriate situations like asking what my weekend plans were or discussing which dining hall we would go to for lunch. Chuckles would echo all around as I tried to be a good sport but inside I was damning my own inadequacy – cursing my weak genes which made me a chucklestock* to my friends.

So I decided to train myself how to do it. I thought that it is nothing more than a trained muscle action so if I just focused for a few months I would be able to figure out how it works. For years, if I had a few minutes in front of a mirror I’d try to figure out which muscles controlled which parts of my forehead and try to master the art of telling some of them to move while the others stayed put. After a few years, I hadn’t quite succeeded, but I did develop a bizarre substitute, where the left and right sides of my forehead would stay smooth, but the middle part (right above my nose) would pull up – creating a series of ridges in the middle of my forehead that made me look somewhat like a Klingon** from Star Trek.

This last weekend, on the way home from the GF’s (who also can move one eyebrow but has been good enough not to taunt me about it***) I was stuck in traffic so I used the rear view mirror to see if I had made any progress. Naturally, I hadn’t (although the pseudo-Klingon comes quite easily now), which was somewhat frustrating. My frustration was probably quite evident to the couple in the car next to me, who had witnessed my practice session and were trying very hard to maintain their composure. The dog in their backseat was not trying at all.

I am taking this incident as a sign - I’m giving up hope of ever moving just one eyebrow. Obviously this is God’s way of telling me that I have a genetic defect and my eyebrows are not meant to be moved independently. Rather, they are locked in perfect synchronization for the rest of my days – never one without the other. Kind of romantic, actually.

*Like a laughingstock, but not quite as ridiculous.
**No, Microsoft Word auto-spellcheck, this is not supposed to be “Clinton”. Honestly, how is it that a company filled with uber-geeks writes a software application that doesn’t recognize the word “Klingon”?
***That will probably change once she reads this, naturally.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

And GQ's "Tits of the Year 2005" goes to...

So GQ has named Jennifer Aniston as it’s first ever “Woman of the Year” along with more traditional “Men of the Year” Vince Vaughn and 50 Cent. In what is being hailed as the biggest advancement for women since they were liberated from leg irons in the kitchen, Aniston will grace the cover of GQ’s next issue. GQ articles Editor Mark Healy said it best when he said “Sometimes, when you think someone is as deserving as (Aniston), then you make room.”

Let’s look at the picture shall we:



Hmmm…interesting. Apparently GQ is taking a different approach to their Men and Woman of the year photo shoots this year. I guess that shooting them topless exposes their vulnerability somewhat, and might make them more endearing to readers….I wonder what Vince and 50 look like? I bet 50’s got way better abs than Vince:



I see…So Jen is topless and the guys are buttoned up. I guess this is why GQ thought she was so “deserving”. Vince is funny, 50 is the token black guy, and Jen’s got great tits. Nice.

I’m not even irritated, really. I love boobs as much as the next guy, but doesn’t GQ realize that much of their readership won’t care? I mean, a men’s magazine with no nudity but a heavy focus on fashion, accessories and “lifestyle”? Hello!? Don’t they understand how many of their readers must be gay? Don’t they think that group might appreciate a little somethin’-somethin’?

I also must admit that my level of respect for Jen has dropped a bit. I mean, sure, exposure is exposure and all publicity is good publicity I know. But when she walked onto the shoot and was told to take her top off while Vince is sitting there in a turtleneck – wouldn’t she figure out what’s going on and say “No, that’s stupid. I’m above this.”? She handled Larry King so well that I figured she must have developed some backbone after surviving the whole divorce thing. Maybe not.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Aren't cheerleaders already slutty by default?



I know that Halloween is a few weeks gone by, but I saw this picture a while back and had to share.

Imagine it’s Halloween weekend and you’re an NFL cheerleader. You spent all day Saturday being embarrassed by your QB boyfriend, making out with other cheerleaders and of course the obligatory tickle fights at the cheerleader house. Suddenly, it’s game day of Halloween weekend and all your cheerleader uniforms are at the cleaners! What do you do? Obviously you wear your slutty non-cheerleader costume to work. As you can see here we have the slutty nurse, slutty Darth Vader, slutty cowgirl, slutty cat, slutty Bo Peep, slutty pirate, and slutty not-quite-sure-what-the-costume-is-but-slutty-regardless.

This got me thinking about how a hot girl can turn any costume idea into a slutty one provided the skirt is short enough. Look at the list above. Who in their right mind would think a cat is promiscuous or even remotely sexual? Yet, one look at the slutty kitty and I’m thinking “Wow, that is pretty hot”. And it works for everything! Think of all the slutty [insert noun here]’s that you saw that weekend. It’s a veritable who’s who of respected figures in society: nuns, teachers, nurses, doctors, prison guards, dental hygenists, babysitters, pizza delivery professionals, the list goes on and on.

So I started thinking about characters that could not be transformed into a slutty derivative of themselves. Who were so non-sexual that even as an ironic statement of parody they would not be sexy. The list was pretty short.

  • Attorney General (Janet Reno ruined it for everyone)
  • The First Lady (admit it, we all know that she boinks the president, but none of us like to think about it)
  • Shari Lewis (Lamb Chop lady)
  • Lunch Lady (nobody believes an attractive one exists)

I almost added the profession of “Mom” to this list, but ever since “American Pie” popularized the stupid term “MILF” I am pretty sure there are some crazy chicks who dressed as a slutty one for Halloween. (Sigh…)

Still, I bet nobody at the football game complained. I bet nobody even noticed.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

6,000 people not reading what I write

I just had my 6,000th visitor*! Hooray! Thanks for stopping by you crazy guy/lady who works or studies at U Wisconsin! Anyone want to take bets on Spice vs J.Bro?

Domain
Name wisc.edu ? (Educational)
IP Address72.33.64.# (University of Wisconsin Madison) 72.33.64.215
ISP University of Wisconsin Madison

Location
Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : Wisconsin
City : Madison
Lat/Long : 43.0778, -89.4133 (Map)
Distance : 121 miles

Time of Visit : Nov 15 2005 2:53:35 pm
Last Page View: Nov 15 2005 2:53:55 pm
Visit Length: 20 seconds
Page Views: 2

*All right, technically it was probably not *the* 6,000th since I didn't install the counter until a month or so after I started blogging. But it's close enough, if anything I've had 6,000 for a few weeks now.

I had way too much fun with this...

Do you love South Park? Sure, we all do! Now you can design a South Park character based on you so you can see what you would look like if you hung out with Stan and Kyle and company!

It's a little tough to save your work - you have to do a screen capture of the page and then trim it down manually in Paint or Photoshop or something. But totally worth the effort.

Here's me!

Monday, November 14, 2005

I feel pretty, oh so pretty

Yesterday I went shopping with the GF at TJ Maxx. I’ve blogged before about how much I hate buying clothes and about my complete inadequacy at figuring out what goes with which. But I now believe I’m starting to get the hang of it. When I first bought clothes on my own I subscribed to the “do no harm” philosophy and ended up with a closet full of beige and brown – most of which was too big for me because I never tried anything on and like to think of myself as a large when I am (at best) a medium. I refer to this as my “Mr. Potato Head” period.

It has been difficult for the GF to get me to trust her on fashion advice, as she would no doubt testify. There have been multiple occasions where she would present me with a shirt that I would laugh at because it had some wacky pattern or because it was pink or because I thought it was the wrong size. Yet, time after time I came out of the store with clothes that I liked. Even weirder is that I get complimented on my fine fashion sense, which I’m never really comfortable with. I always respond to said compliments with a smooth, debonair comment like “I didn’t pick it out” or “It wasn’t my idea” or “Oh my God look over there it’s a pack of hyenas, RUN!”. Anything to avoid having to admit I knew anything about fashion.

After all these successful trips to the Maxx (and Marshall’s) my closet is rapidly transforming from a laughable collection of aspiring rags to that of someone who knows their way around designer apparel. As the good stuff goes in, the GF takes unusual pleasure in playing her new favorite game – “Pick What Gets Tossed”. For every item of clothing that I acquire, she gets to pick what it’s replacing*. This ensures that I still have enough clothes to rotate over a long enough period. If I didn’t enforce this rule, she would have tossed everything in my closet after the first shopping trip, leaving me with three shirts and two pairs of pants which is not enough considering we didn’t buy socks that time.

With the transformation of my closet I’m now worrying that people will begin to think I know something about how to dress myself. So I’m actually working hard to learn as much as I can. As a sign of my success I picked out three shirts on my own yesterday which met with the GF’s approval. I was very proud of myself. Soon I’ll be the male equivalent of Sarah Jessica Parker - except without the hair, the legs, and the Matthew Broderick.

*This last round has her very excited to phase out my last beige shirt. It was a little frightening because in addition to just getting rid of it she was talking about torturing it. She was uttering phrases like "permanent marker", "lighter fluid" and "exposed sparks". I attribute this sudden vigor to her new hair color, which she just got yesterday and is totally hot - but that's a whole other posting.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Quickie

Making up for all the missed posts earlier this week: I hearken now to the days of my youth, spent growing up in small-town america surrounded by rednecks.



Happy F-ing holidays evvybuddy! Yee-haw!

That's gonna look great mounted up on the wall of the den. Too bad these things are such a b*tch to field-dress.

In vino veritas

In case you haven’t heard about this yet – apparently two cheerleaders from the Carolina Panthers were arrested this weekend for disorderly conduct in a bar in Tampa. You can read the details for yourself, but I want to discount the alleged “they were boinking in the bathroom” side story that’s come out recently.

Let’s face it – there is no way that these two were having sex in the bathroom. Well, it’s not impossible, but let’s look at this logically. They were in a bar in Tampa so they were probably drunk. Okay, everybody in the bar was probably drunk because the only way anyone can live in Florida (considering the Floridian culture of ever-pervasive fear due to the possibility of future hurricanes, feral pythons, and/or the potential that someday the elderly might rise up and riot like the youths of the Paris suburbs) is to be drunk as much as possible. This explains a lot, like why they voted for Bush in two straight elections despite explicit messages from god telling them not to (remember the hurricanes last year?).

Anyway, if these two had actually had sex in the bathroom, and then told everyone in the bar about it, they would not have been arrested, they would have been instant heroes to every man under the age of 120 in the building. I mean, come on – lesbian cheerleaders going at each other like wild animals? What (straight) man wouldn’t buy them a drink just for telling them about it and single-handedly proving that the storylines of skinflicks can actually happen in real life?

Suddenly, every pizza delivery guy would know that some day one of their stops would be for a sorority house full of college girls in lingerie – none of whom had $10, instead wanted to make “alternative payment arrangements”. Every plumber would be inspired by the hope that their next call would be to a hospital where the night nurses would immediately ask him to “check their pipes”. And every off-duty cop could take solace that the next blonde he pulled over would flash the goods to get out of a speeding ticket. Any actual cops trying to break in and arrest them would have been swarmed by a horde of alch-emboldened ex-frat boys out to save their new heroines and preserve their deluded dreams.

Since none of that happened we must conclude that the sex didn’t either. More likely was that one of them was throwing up like Buckingham fountain in the summer while the other one was holding her purse, when one of the other women in line got tired of waiting and decided to start a rumor. Women can be vicious like that. Guys, not so much. We’d just go and pee in the alley behind the building.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Catching up on world events while I've been gone, I discovered the world's gone nutzoid

Oh, this is a fantastic idea:



So, the best way that you can think of to entertain the drug-addled poverty-stricken homeless kids of the barrios is to put on a show of hot women in their skivvies?

Here’s what Reuters has to say about the whole thing:

A model parades in front of street children, some of whom are sniffing glue, in the drug-infested 'Barrio Triste' (Sad Neighborhood) in downtown Medellin in Colombia November 7, 2005. The event was organised to entertain the children by a member of a local charity that helps children in Barrio Triste by providing food, clothes and cleaning facilities. REUTERS/Albeiro Lopera

I am in awe of the level of stupidity here. Sure, the kids look happy, but is this doing anything to help their situation? Why not just get them all hookers? Or buy them more glue?

This is what I love about Latin America though. Do you think that any non-profit in the states would get away with this? Probably not. But think if they could…

[Scene opens on a back alley in any “Big City, USA”. Sound of cats fighting. A child in his early teens is seen digging in a dumpster. Charlie Sheen enters]

SHEEN: Sure, you’ve seen them. Kids running in the streets with no place to go. You think you’ve done your part; you volunteer at homeless shelters, you donate your childrens’ old clothes to goodwill, you’re a big brother for an at risk teen, you tutor Reggie at the middle school three days a week. But have you addressed their greatest need?

[Street child looks up as a stripper enters]

SHEEN: What about those crazy hormones running wild through his system? Sure, you remember those days don’t you? You remember how hard they were. But you had USA Up All Night, you had Phoebe Cates in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”, you had “Revenge of the Nerds” and “Porkys”. You…were one of the fortunate ones. Kids on the streets today are not as lucky as we were. But now that can all change.

[Stripper takes off her trench coat and parades around in front of the kid]

SHEEN: Yes now for only $20 a day you too can sponsor a teen in trouble. Strippers Linked to Underpriviledged Teens on the Street (or SLUTS) – a new non-profit organization aims to help these kids realize their dreams. Just look at the joy in little Billy’s eyes…

[Cut to closeup of teen’s face. It’s alive with wonder and joy. Then a bra lands on his head.]
SHEEN: You too, can bring that joy to the youth who need it most. Just call 1-800-MY-SLUTS and we’ll pair you up with a teen who needs your help. Each month, you’ll receive a letter from your teen expressing how your gift has helped him become a happier person…

[Cut to piece of spiral-bound notebook paper upon which the words “THANK YOU!!!” are written over and over several hundred times. Followed by “Thanxs agin, Billy”]

SHEEN: So won’t you call today? There are thousands of kids who need your help.

[Street behind CHARLIE SHEEN fills with teens, as well as some Amish kids who obviously need the same help. All of them look at you pleadingly. A few drop to their knees and mouth the words “Please, please, oh man I’ll give anything.” One kid sees the stripper with Billy and faints]

SHEEN: So call today and help them live a better life, just like I did.

[SHEEN tousles Billy's hair. Billy is still staring with joy at the stripper. SHEEN smiles at the camera as a pair of panties land on his head]

Zoom, zoom, bazoombas!

Congrats to TOWWAS, who correctly guessed that the private plane people have way more booth babes than the hand tool folks. But Kim totally scored “just like grrrbear” points for thinking exactly what I did when I signed up for these things. But apparently, the hand tool guys have started listening to their HR consultants, and cleaned up their acts appropriately.

The jet folks on the other hand, are still living in the 1960s apparently. I attribute this to the following pieces of evidence I witnessed personally at the show:

  • Everyone in attendance was either a 50+ year old white male; or an attractive, young woman who worked somewhere like sales or marketing but who was wearing “butt pants” (ladies, you know what these are – those special pants you own for no other reason than they show off your butt really well).
  • In addition to the hot employees, several companies had hired honest-to-god booth babes. One company hired to Hooters Girls to hang around and talk to folks (in full Hooters regalia) while another one hired three very tall, extremely hot* models and dressed them up as 1960’s stewardesses – not “flight attendants”…stewardesses (think “Catch Me If You Can” but with shorter skirts”).
  • In addition to company-hired booth babes, the first person you met as you walked in was likely a hot chick working for a trade magazine company offering you a free copy. I got one copy even before I got inside, and was assaulted by at least three others once I got inside the convention center.
  • I personally saw two men smoking in their booth. No, it wasn’t weed.

It was weird. I guess I expected more from this show because these were companies that cater to professionals. But I guess just because someone’s "professional" doesn’t mean a hot piece of tail won’t get their attention.

At least the freebies were good at the jet show. I got an automatically folding booklight and a bunch of cool stuff for the GF (and you too TOWWAS – but nobody had T-shirts, you’ll have to settle for what you’ll be receiving as soon as you email me your snail mail address).

*Note: not nearly as sexy as the GF. Judging from their giggles and assorted "Oh my gawd!" squeals as someone took their picture together in front of a "Welcome to Paris" greenscreen I think they fall more into the "Math is Hard" Barbie class rather than the "Particle Physicist" Barbie.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Glad I got out before the next hurricane comes along...

Well I have returned from my whirlwind tour of industrial trade shows in the southeast and I can conclusively say the following things:
  • Baltimore is nicer than I thought it would be
  • Orlando - not so much
  • I'm probably too tall to be in the navy; or at least I was from the civil war through WWII
  • In the battle between old-time hand tool manufacturers vs modern, hi-tech, we-all-dress-in-suits private jet manufacturers; the reality of which group uses more booth babes may surprise you
  • But they make up for it with awesome tcotchke
  • I should be allowed to give one good smack to any kid who kicks my chair for the entirety of any flight over 15 minutes; and two smacks to both of said kid's parents.
I'll have more to share about my adventures lated, but I just got back in and I need to unpack before I hit the hay

Friday, November 04, 2005

America's thirst for revenge gluings

What is with all the weirdos using crazy glue as instruments for evil? First we had the guy getting glued to the toilet seat at Home Depot and now this guy.

Frankly, I don't feel all that sorry for him. Know why? Let's think about what happened between "going over to his ex-girlfriends" and "getting his man-bits glued to uncomfortable places"
  • First, he must have been naked when he fell asleep because there's no way that she could get *access* to those places unless he was. I mean, am I expected to believe she took off his pants and shirt without waking him up? I don't *think* so...
  • So if we assume he was naked we can logically conclude the reason he was naked was because he and the ex-girlfriend had just "had relations".
  • He had gone over to his ex's house the year after they had broke up, and he was seeing another woman at the time.

So here's my theory. Guy gets a late night booty call from the ex. Instead of hanging up on the crazy woman, he decides to head on over (I mean the current girlfriend is out of town and a man has needs, right?). He stops in, has a beer or five, and engages in some enthusiastic "partnered cardio". When the ex suggests they get back together, he tells her that he's currently seeing some other broad and promptly rolls over and passes out.

I can't say I blame her.

Who'da thunk there's be so many ways to screw?

Next week may be quiet for a few days as I'll be out of town on business much of the week and don't know how much 'net access I'll have. Sunday, I fly to Baltimore for a convention of companies that make and sell fastening equipment (screwdrivers, wrenches, etc) on Monday and Tuesday (Hey TOWWAS - how far is Baltimore from you? Wanna meet up for dinner?) and then Tuesday I leave from the convention to fly to Orlando for another convention on Wednesday (I think this one is for companies that make stuff for private planes).

The fastener show is HUGE, allegedly - hundreds of companies all there to show off their different screwing devices. No doubt, I'll be pulled into all sorts of top secret meetings to discuss new ways to screw. The schedule though is pretty much only in the afternoon, so I'm not quite sure what I'll do with myself in the mornings. I've never been to Baltimore, nor have I ever been to Orlando (or Florida for that matter). Any ideas? I hear that the crab cakes are good in Baltimore...

And no, I'm not going to have time to go to Disney World.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Quickie

Holy crap this is powerfully cute stuff.

Still, one wonders if this isn't making for some sort of brother vs brother story a la a civil war documentary. I can see the Lifetime movie now...Finnegan returns to the woods and lives his happy life until one of his brothers spots him and starts chasing him around the yard - finally catching him behind the dumpster. The dog mauls Finnegan, but he holds on long enough for the dog to recognize him and start freaking out. Finnegan forgives the dog and then dies amid a swelling of heart-rending orchestral music.

The dog cries out "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!".

Yup. Just like Disney's "The Fox and the Hound".

Halloween Adventures

A brief overview of my halloween adventures from this past weekend. All of which were planned by the GF because she is a ginormous halloween super-freak.

Clubbing as Pirates
Ordinarily I'm not much for the Club scene. It's loud and usually smokey, but the GF introduced me to this little hole-in-the wall club downtown that is usually frequented by the goth crowd. But every now and again they do fun theme nights - such as this past thursday when they did "dress like a pirate pay no cover" night. It's fun there because these nights usually attract a bizarre cross-section of Chicago people. Some folks *really* go all out and dressed like they were extras from Pirates of the Carribbean, one guy went the ironic route and wore a bandolier of CD’s (presumably a “music pirate”). Then there was the preppy pirate from Lincoln park – button down shirt, sweater, khakis, and an eye patch. Not sure if they allowed that but maybe he had a wedding to go to later and so he had to go minimalist.

Trails of Terror
On Friday the adventures continued with a trip to a haunted trails-type thing set up in a park on the northwest side. Designed as a fund-raiser for the park they apparently recruit dozens of junior high kids, dress them as monsters and then groups of about 10-20 people go through one group at a time – being a spooked by said junior-high monsters. The GF and I, through a twist of fate, ended up being in line right behind the “guides” assigned to our group – with the rest of our group straggling behind us. Because we were so close to the front, none of the monsters attacked us because they all wanted to wait until the manority of the group arrived. So on multiple occasions we would watch as the monsters walked right past us on their way to scare the group. It was kind of hokey and fun through, if for nothing more than getting to watch 11 year old kids growling and being scary.

Costume Party
We also met up with some friends of the GF’s and went to a super-cool Halloween party at a local old mansion that is serving as artist loft space. Everyone was in costume, some more successful than others. For example:

Overheard at said party:

Girl (as Smurfette): "That's a neat costume - what are you supposed to be?"

Guy (as...well...who knows?): "I dunno, an Alien?"

For the most part however it was a party full of fun and smart people. How smart, you ask? Well the GF and I were dressed as super-cheezy tourists (Hawaiian shirts, adventure hats, sunscreen on noses, socks and sandals, and light-up American flag pins) but I had at least three people ask me if I was Hunter S. Thompson. And I got my ass grabbed by a pretty drunk and very gay man. He said he was sorry, but the GF totally picked up on it and said “No he wasn’t.” She didn’t seem jealous at all – so much for my visions of her defending my honor.

Dog Parade
Since the GF is a big fan of Halloween and a bigger fan of dogs, we went and watched a little doggy costume parade on Saturday. It was cute and fun. I was amazed that the dogs seemed to be perfectly content wearing costumes. I mean, they can’t find it natural to dress up as Elvis or a hot dog with mustard (both of which were present in the parade) can they? While we watched dog after dog pass buy, I thought the best costume for a dog would be to dress up as another breed. For example a Chihuahua dressed up as a bulldog would be funny and that maybe the dogs would enjoy it more, because they probably dream of being different breeds more than they do a caveman or a lion.

That’s only part of my Halloween adventures this weekend. We also went to see Nosferatu (with live organ accompaniment) and toured Graceland Cemetery (where all the famous people of early Chicago are buried – almost every headstone is also a street name in the city somewhere, or a character in Devil and the White City). Both of which were totally fun but this post is already too long and I’ve got other stuff to do today.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Only in the midwest

Many people ask why I love reading the Minneapolis paper (Star-Tribune) instead of any Chicago papers. the answer is simple - they publish stories the Tribune and Sun-Times would never even think about printing. For example, the Strib recently published a list of things to do when you hit a deer with your car.

  • Pull off the road, well onto the shoulder, stop and put on your four-way flashers.

Seems simple enough. Although they forgot another important one - stop screaming.

  • Call 911. Officers will come to the scene and write a report. Failing to report a deer crash is a common and often costly mistake. If authorities aren't notified, no report is filed. Without that report, insurance companies often will not cover the damage to your car.

No wonder COPS never films in the country. Imagine how dull it would be to follow the Pope County Sheriff around all day answering calls for road kill.

  • If the deer is dead and you want the carcass, ask the officer for a possession permit. It is illegal to take a dead deer without a permit. If you do not want the carcass, the DNR will dispose of it.

Well, if they published it it must be a commonly asked question. Yes everyone, apparently people do eat road kill - but only if they kill it personally. My parents had friends where the husband was a big hunter and had a den full of stuffed deer, moose head, bear, antelope, a musk ox, muskrats, squirrels, and various other vicious man-eaters (cue Hall and Oates). Now I kind of wonder if he used his '84 Bronco instead of his rifle on any of those...

  • If the deer is injured and takes off, any information you can give to police and DNR officials will be helpful.

I have no idea what the point of this is. What, are they going to tail it? Why? Are they planning on writing the deer a ticket for jaywalking? Will I be expected to pick said deer out of a lineup in a few days? "Yes officer it's that one right there, with the broken antler - the one that's bleeding all over the floor. No, not the one in the hat...second from the left. Yeah, *that* one."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Quickie

Here's what makes me nervous about this picture:



While I can appreciate the desire to stimulate zoo animals by exposing them to new smells and tastes every now and again, why does the pumpkin have to be carved to look like a face? Won't this make the lion believe that all heads are soft and fun and taste like pumpkins? Isn't anyone else worried that the next time I go to the zoo Mr. Lion will look up and say "Hey, there's another one of those fun toys on the shoulders of that guy over there with no hair!"

This is just another sign of the right's hidden agenda to kill off sexy bald guys because we're getting all the hot chicks.

I wonder if we're on the verge of a big-band Jazz resurgence?

Took some time off for a bit to re-charge. I'm back.

On the way into work this morning I was listening to NPR’s discussion of the Alito nomination. My jaw dropped to hear Republicans trying to spin this nomination as “promoting diversity” on the court because Alito is a first generation Italian. To me this highlights the entire problem with the Republican Party – they believe it is still 1916. Back then Italians could maybe be considered a minority, but by now we’ve realized that they are just another bunch of white guys – but with better tans. Besides, doesn’t Scalia already represent the token Italian minority? What’s next? When Stevens retires are they going to nominate an Irishman to appease that giant minority group?

So let’s see…assuming that the right thinks 1916 is the place to be, let’s predict the rest of Shrubbie’s term:

2006 (1917 YRB*):

  1. A telegram from Iran to Canada is intercepted offering Canada Minnesota and most of New England in return for joining the Jihad against America.
  2. Said telegram prompts US to declare war on Iran and Canada. World War III begins but lasts only two years because we don’t have any troops left outside of Iraq and can’t recruit any rich kids.
  3. Bolsheviks revolt against Czar Putin in Russia

2007 (1918 YRB):

  1. Republican Congress passes the 28th Amendment re-banning the sale of “intoxicating liquors”.
  2. Avian Flu Pandemic sweeps through the world – White House blames “an inbalance of humors and unclean living" and recommends "cinnamon oil or powder with milk" and "salts of quinine"** for treatment

2008 (1919 YRB):

  1. Congress demands hearings into baseball when it is discovered that the White Sox threw the 2008 World Series. Everyone in America becomes a Cubs fan.
  2. Congress approves the 29th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Nobody feels like telling them that women have already had this right since the 1920’s.
  3. Passage of the 29th Amendment convinces America that the Republican party has Alzheimer’s and Congress is carted off to an assisted living facility created for it where they can pass pretend bills to deal with the rise of organized crime.
  4. Democrats are elected in droves and set about “cleaning up the mess”. World peace and an age of enlightenment and good times ensues – the 1920’s.

Whoopee! Where’s them flappers!? Everybody do the Charleston!

* “Year of Republican Belief”

**Both of which were advocated as treatments for the 1918 pandemic