Monday, January 31, 2005

Monet For The Third Time... I Decide To Have A Midlife Crisis...

Went to the Monet exhibit for the third time yesterday; he's still dead.

* * *

I actually did have a rather good birthday, though: donned my favorite Mad Hatter Tea Party outfit and trotted over to Sunday brunch with the whole famn damily. Among other delightful things, I received a nice squashy pair of jammies and some lovely hand-stitched antique linens. Later, my friend Cynthia baked a terribly tasty pineapple upside-down cake, and a few others took me to Tokyo Sushi, where the friendly staff fed me a charming little "birthday fish" and admired my hat.

32 isn't quite so bad after all, but I have decided to have a midlife crisis anyway as it Seems The Thing To Do. I have narrowed my crisis down to several popular options, but have yet to make a choice... I am notoriously wishy-washy about these sorts of things.

*** Crisis Options ***

1.) I begin to wear Inappropriate Clothing and frequent seedy establishments where I meet a forty year old unwashed biker named Steve. Steve prominently displays several large prison tattoos, among which are a skull and dagger, a poorly rendered Marilyn Monroe and a rather large heart that spells M-O-M. Steve is wanted by the local police, the F.B.I., the C.I.A. and the Canadian Mounties. Despite his lurid past and his limited fashion sense, I decide to elope with Steve and raise his three children from a previous marriage to a Grateful Dead groupie named Charlene.

2.) I begin to question my spirituality and join a smallish sort of cult that specializes in a rather odd combination of Apocalyptic fundamentalism and nature worship (mainly trees). While I have trouble reconciling the conflicting aspects of the group's doctrine, I continue to be mesmerized by their charismatic cult leader and his views on the spiritual benefits of fruit. I renounce all my wordly possessions, shave my head and begin to wear unfashionable polyester robes that chafe during the summer months. I continue to attend family functions, but spend my time unsuccessfully trying to convert everyone to the "Way of Zoltar".

3.) I spontaneously quit my job, as it doesn't leave me room to Be Free. I then liquidate all my assets and embark on a wild spending and gambling spree in Las Vegas, where I party with a group of drunken Elvis impersonators attending the local convention. Although I win pots of money at blackjack during the first night at Caesar's Palace, I spend most of it on tequila and cocaine, after which I lose the rest during a game of craps at Circus Circus. The remainder of my Vegas trip is spent throwing up and dodging a loan shark enforcer named Rocco.

4.) I embark on an exciting life of crime, beginning with small-time shoplifting and graduating to full blown armed robbery while wearing a fashionable ninja costume. I remain successful for quite some time, until being ratted out by a nervous little stool pigeon named Edgar. While Edgar is responsible for my reaching number 7 on the F.B.I.'s Most Wanted list, I fortunately evade capture and retire to a small villa in Singapore, where I become a model citizen and write a best-selling memoir.

5.) I join a gang and taunt beefy policemen.

*** Additional Suggestions Welcome ***

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Mofro, Hippies... I Tragically Turn 32

Last night I went to see Mofro, a blues-y funky sort of Southern rock band playing at an outdoor venue called Skipper's Smokehouse. They sing an awful lot about grits and women and porches and things. Drank hot cider spiked with rum and largely ignored the band, opting instead to stare at all the redneck liberals, aging hippies, rastafarians, pipe smokers and men with ZZ top beards and overalls. My father charmed the hippies at our picnic table, and they told us all about their bad marriages, henna tattoos, their trip to Kashmir and how the police station near their hotel exploded...

Quite a bit of weed smoke wafted from the crowd, so we vicariously got the munchies and ran to Perkins for pancakes and pie at midnight.

Woke this morning with a non-hangover hangover due solely to the fact that I am now another year older, and therefore another year closer to being Just An Old Fart. I am QUITE miffed at the fact that Skipper's DID NOT CARD ME last night! I am sinking in despair and considering a lawsuit-- or at least a strongly worded letter of complaint.

This morning I lay in bed for a while thinking about how miraculous the human body is, how it's such a complex piece of intricate machinery, and all the amazing things that can go wrong with it. Now I'm afraid to leave the house, because I may get jostled, and then something might fall off. I suppose I shall have to acquire some rheumatism or arthritis as well. My internal organs are sloshing around as I type this; they're arguing over who's going to go first.

*** Signs of Impending Middle Age ***

1. Someone says "weed" and you think of your garden

2. You absolutely, positively cannot stay up past midnight without leaning over on the person next to you.

3. You get a hangover from your antiseptic mouthwash

4. You start talking about the early years of MTV and people don't believe you when you insist that it actually used to play music videos.

5. You remember owning one of the following: parachute pants, a pet rock, flourescent clothing, a Wham!/ Michael Jackson/ Culture Club tape, feathered hair, leg warmers, kickers, acid washed jeans, plastic earrings, gloves without fingers.

6. You once had a crush on a.) Adam Ant b.) Coco from Fame c.) George Michael d.) the Go-Gos

7. You remember who shot J.R.

8. You have more than one prescription medication

9. You can't remember what #10 is

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Hatebeak Rocks!

Egg says: I Love Hatebeak! Squawk!
Napkin says: Beak of Putrefaction is my favorite album of ALL time! Posted by Hello

My Parakeets Listen To Death Metal

My deranged parakeets (Egg and Napkin) made a successful jailbreak last night as I was giving them a new toy. I had to suffer through random buzzings and dive bombings as they attempted to land without getting caught. And of course they kept trying to poop all over my new furniture; they have made it quite clear that they question my taste in living arrangements.

They finally tired of flying at 1:06 a.m., which is when they started stomping around my apartment. Loudly. Until about 4:00. You wouldn't think that two tiny parakeets can stomp around and make such a horrible racket, but they can.

I know I shouldn't have bought used birds (especially adults) from a pet store, but they were SO cute I couldn't resist them -- and How Could You Go Wrong With Starter Pets?, the friendly salesperson assured me.

Unfortunately, Egg and Napkin loathe me with a virulence unheard of outside Middle Eastern politics. I'm always buying them new toys; I talk to them; I bought them a bird bath; they get Time Outside The Cage; I give them a wide variety of seed, pellets, fruit and treats. Yet they still get an unholy glint in their eyes whenever they see me, because those adorably rotten little fiends are possessed by the Devil. If I come anywhere near, they scream hysterically and give themselves fits.

I've even tried playing soothing music for them (they detest country western), but it is quite obvious that they have been listening to Hatebeak behind my back. For anyone who is so uncool as to be unfamiliar with Hatebeak, it is a death metal band formed of two humans and one African Grey parrot named Waldo. The humans play guitar and drums; Waldo screams very loudly, as all good death-metal singers are wont to do.

Hatebeak has released two albums, for anyone who is interested:
1. Beak of Putrefaction
2. God of Empty Nest

And Coming Soon from Reptilian Records:
1. Bird Seeds of Vengeance
2. Bird Bites, Dog Cries
3. Feral Parrot

I would buy Egg and Napkin a couple of T-shirts that say "Hatebeak" or perhaps "I Heart Satan"-- but no one sells them in exra-extra-extra-extra teeny tiny.

Hatebeak Members

Hatebeak, the world's weirdest death metal band! Photo take from Reptilian Records Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Hot Cookie Love

Beautiful, aren't they? Now imagine them covered in rich dark chocolate, languishing in utter loneliness on the shelf. They want you; they need you; they're desperately pining for your love... Posted by Hello

I Am In Love

I have met the man I want to marry, and he is a quietly attractive box of Chocolate Covered Enrobed Milano Distinctive (Limited Edition) Cookies. Not only is he short, dark and handsome, but he is also Incredibly Rich. I have just received his rather romantic proposal by the azaleas in my front yard, and we are discussing an Elopement. But can we live on my salary alone? What will the neighbors say? And will my family ever accept the fact that he contains ninety calories per serving?

1. He never nags me to take out the garbage.
2. He always listens when I talk about my day.
3. He makes me feel better when I'm sad.
4. He has a nice package.
5. He freezes well.

1. He won't take out the garbage.
2. He isn't a very good communicator.
3. He seems emotionless at times.
4. He may be habit-forming.
5. He only comes in a Limited Edition

Ode To A Box Of Cookies
Whene'er I view this form of thine,
Its chocolate begs a fervent kiss;
Yet I forego that joy divine,
O Cookie, with thy sugared bliss!

Whene'er I dream of riches sweet,
Thy forms in my thoughts gently dance,
Thou art all I wish'd to eat;
I Suffer in a cookie trance.

O Fair Cookie! I knew thee well,
Thy richness surely stole my gaze;
Thy sweetness truly doth compel
Me to eat you all my days.

Well, I'm quite sure that's enough. I'm obviously suffering from some sort of sugar overload; I can feel it coursing through my veins as we speak...

And, I bet no one else can write poetry as terrible as mine-- unless it's a twelve year old angsty version of me.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Fabulous Vicki Leigh

Taken from Posted by Hello

Monday, January 24, 2005

An Obscenely Cold Monday ... I Have My Furniture Delivered By A Female Impersonator

Today was horribly chilly, which is simply poor advertising for a state that prides itself on its tourist industry. I won't even discuss the wind chill factor, because then I will cry. However, I did get to wear a fashionably adorable coat, which is the most important thing.

Another bright spot to an otherwise dreary day: I finally had my bedroom suite furniture delivered: a gorgeous Art Deco set comprised of an intricately inlaid bed, vanity, armoire and nightstand. I shall sleep stylishly and dream of a scantily-clad Jude Law fanning me with peacock feathers as Johnny Depp peels grapes and pops them in my mouth while I read a leather bound Dostoyevsky that smells faintly of chocolate. Not only will they fan and peel, but these lovely specimens of manhood will also vacuum, dust, and massage my feet. I have been admiring my new furniture extensively all evening, and I feel quite sure that both of them will compliment me on my exquisite taste when they visit.

The furniture movers were quite friendly, especially a burly chap named Victor. He and I had a rather fun conversation about lucite purses (we both collect), odd paintings (mine) and performance art (his). What Sort Of Performance Art, I asked after joking about his love of purses.

As it turns out, the friendly Victor is also the Fabulous Vicki Leigh, a female impersonator who occasionally does drag shows when he isn't refinishing or delivering antique furniture. He oohed and aahed over my Fantasy Fest photos from last year (a couple are in my November archives), and showed me his photo with full war paint. He seems very fond of the 1960s Beach Party Look-- a la Annette Funicello.

He also has a photo link on the site of Miss Vicki Rene, who is Now A Lady Ready For The Millenium. I had a wonderful time perusing her Tribute To The Showgirls Of Yesterday

If anyone is searching for a good furniture refinisher, let me know and I will contact Victor. He is apparently quite reasonable.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Monet For the Second Time and a Bit of Texas Hold 'Em Poker

I took my second trip to the Monet exhibit yesterday. You will be glad to know that all the paintings are still there.


In the evening, Kathie and Brandt invited a bunch of us over for a thrilling night of Texas Hold 'Em Poker, which I had absolutely no idea how to play. In fact, I have no idea WHY the game is called Texas Hold 'Em, since apparently no one is actually supposed to hold their cards or even look at them for more than 0.2 seconds. After careful and painstaking observation, I have compiled a list of official rules for the game:

1. Keep your cards face down and don't actually look at them unless forced. In fact, don't touch your cards at all until everyone's had a few drinks or decides to go bowling. If someone else looks at their cards before having a drink, demand a reshuffle.

2. Wear sunglasses that are actually too dark to see anything. If you forgot your sunglasses, develop a poker face that makes you look like a constipated accountant or a stuffed frog.

3. Throughout each hand, stare suspiciously at your neighbors and mutter under your breath.

4. Intimidate people with your massive piles of chips. If you don't have massive piles of chips, try cheating.

5. Make sure at least one person spills wine or beer on the felt. This is considered Good Luck.

6. Shuffle badly. When others shuffle, demand that they reshuffle. Shuffle again for good measure.

7. Pepper your conversations with Official Poker Terminology like all-in, belly buster, little blind, big blind, flop, flush, outs and nuts. You don't actually have to know what they mean, and you will sound very impressive when you lose your shirt.
Incorrect usage: "Nuts! I forgot to flush the toilet! I must be a little blind. And now my wife and I are on the outs."
Correct usage: "You are acting a little blind tonight; if you are hoping for a flush, you are absolutely nuts. Hey, let's go outside for a smoke before the next hand!"

8. Make hasty accusations and don't forget to loudly ask people what cards they're holding.

9. Give very bad advice to newer players. Encourage them to fold when they should raise; pressure them to raise when they should fold. If you don't know what a fold or a raise is, then you are a newer player and everyone else is giving you very bad advice.

10. If you win, gloat. If you lose, try whining a bit.

We actually had to start rather late because Hempy was lost for at least an hour and a half. We finally started without him, but he would periodically call to let us know that he was lost: "Hey! I'm on Nebraska now, where do I turn?", "Hey guys, it's me again. Are you near Columbus?", and "Hey! Where's the house again? I'm somewhere north of Hillsborough.."

After Hempy finally arrived, it was his turn to deal-- so we accidentally had an impromptu game of 52 card pick-up after he spazzed out while shuffling and flung the deck all over the floor. At least when I shuffle, I spaz out and fling the cards all over the FELT.

As the hours passed, everyone started pouring progressively weirder cocktails with increasingly ghastly garnishes (salamis and olives, pickles and cheese, olives and cheese and grapes...). This was obviously Bad Luck, because I lost everything; however, I lost very Stylishly as I was wearing a charming little outfit and drinking something quite, quite tiny. Or maybe it's the other way around; I'm too tired to remember.

My best hand of the evening was a pair of aces with a pair of eights, but I LOST to Heath's flush, which made me want to spit out scatalogical jokes of course -- only I didn't (partially because I am a Lady, but mostly because I couldn't remember any good ones, dammit).


I spent most of today waiting for the furniture delivery men to NOT deliver my new furniture. This was after I took all morning to MOVE ALL MY OTHER FURNITURE for them. Because that's how thoughtful I am.

I am QUITE perturbed. I will now watch The Man Who Knew Too Much and Lone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven in Hell, because I absolutely REFUSE to do anything constructive for the remainder of the day.

Canoeing Cat

A relative posted a photo of my family's cat (Koko), who enjoys canoeing, inner tubing, rafting and boating. I thought someone might find it amusing...

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Ugly Art!

For anyone who was bored by my previous post, here is a follow-up of sorts to my posting on the Fountain of Bacchino. This painting is called Le Curieux by Pierre-Antoine Baudoin, and it depicts a woman about to receive an enema from her maid. I dare anyone to find an uglier or more tasteless painting than this. Believe it or not, some toff actually paid oodles of money for this.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Thoughts on Laundry and Art

Today I bought new underwear just so I could go another day or two without having to go to the laundromat. I am now a total bachelor. More posting on that later...

Washing laundry is my Least Favorite Chore. Every time I go, some annoyingly spoiled child is throwing a temper tantrum over why he/she cannot have candy from the machines by the door. Of course I then feel compelled to deliberately and heartlessly buy at least a dollar's worth of candy so I can eat it (very slowly) in front of said child. Whining will not be tolerated!

But I will have to eventually break down and buy my own washer/dryer; my sugar intake is FAR too high these days.


I also accidentally promised three different people that I would go with them to the new Monet exhibit three different times on three different dates. I'm actually not all that fond of Monet, and I am quite sure that I will be less fond of him by next week.

He is very pretty and goes very well with whatever sofa you happen to buy, but I always think of Monet as the visual equivalent to Barry Manilow: smooth, soothing and extraordinarily popular-- but overexposure could make you doze off while driving home from work, which could cause an annoying accident; then your insurance rates go up, there's the inevitable lawsuit, the resulting stress... and before you know it, your marriage is over, you've declared bankruptcy and you're living on the street in a cardboard box. It's not a pretty picture.

Some very cool artists I WISH were in an exhibit here:
1. Gustav Klimt
2. Paul Gauguin
3. Joan Miro
4. Mary Cassatt
5. Marc Chagall

Tonight was the Monet outing with Debbie, Bill and Holly; our flaming friend Carlos would have gone too, but he said that he had plans with his "other Fag Hag". So we made do without him. Later went out for tapas, where I had port with chorizos and figs while listening to a mellow jazz band that didn't actually sound completely Awful. Also oohed and aahed over Bill's very interesting antique swords with ivory handles and scabbards-- neato!

Then we all lived happily ever after.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I Need Cherry Jello

My car has begun ticking at me again; it must be that damn Flux Capacitor! I was stuck driving this ticking time bomb of a car all the way from my mother's house to my apartment this evening-- almost squashed an opossum.

I can't really post anything right now. I need cherry jello badly, so I am driving to a really disgusting 24 hour place called the Egg Platter, where they serve cherry jello and blueberry pie and ice cream and waffles.

I am bringing a new book with me: History of the Donner Party (a Tragedy of the Sierra). So, I will be reading a tasteless (yet scholarly) bit about cannibalism while choosing a meal from their tragic all-night lunch and breakfast menu. There's always an interesting late-night crowd there, so perhaps I will prominently display my tasteless book and stare at people.

I have the day off tomorrow, so I will keep all you worker bees in my thoughts.... bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Frederick Visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Motivation and Inspiration!

Various things are occurring where I work, which means that a.) we meet for explanatory pep talks, b.) we receive motivational speeches and c.) we hear inspirational anecdotes.

Someone assured us that "we all need to get on the bus to make it work!" (only he made a Freudian slip and said "worse" instead of "work"). Of course everyone is now going around saying things like "yeah! we make it worse!" and "gosh, I hope I don't get run over by the bus" and "what if we try to hang on to the bus, but we get dragged under?" and "you been hit by the bus yet?"

We've been told inspirational anecdotes about moving our cheese, donkeys falling into wells to be rescued by farmers, and prodigal sons holding bundles of sticks and things. We've also learned that geese fly in formation only because they are supported by the wind made by other geese, which obviously means that geese fart a lot.

My favorite one has been the motivational and mathematically creative story about the three blind men who argue about fondling an elephant; one grabs an ear, another grabs a leg, another grabs the tusk, another grabs the tail... Surreptitious giggles around the room indicated that everyone was trying very hard not to think of what might be grabbed next.

*** An Inspirational and Motivational Fable ***
(brought to you by the letter L)

Once upon a time, there was a wee grey mouse, a cheerful tabby cat and a rather large can of baked beans.

The wee grey mouse, whose name was Richard, worked industriously to correctly process all forms and documents that daily came across his desk. He read his Employee Handbook, took night classes, never missed a meeting, always went the extra mile, dotted all his i's and crossed all his t's. Richard never took a sick day.

The tabby cat, whose name was Wilma, was cheerful but slightly lazy. She barely finished coding her programs in a timely manner, neglected to pursue additional professional training and occasionally arrived late for meetings. Wilma always procrastinated.

The rather large can of baked beans, whose name was Frederick, was an unethical liar. He stole office supplies, arrived at work with a hangover, backstabbed, cut corners, smoked crack and generally made a nuisance of himself. Frederick always took three hour lunches with extra martinis to go.

After years of hard work and self-improvement, Richard the wee gray mouse won "Employee of the Year", was promoted to middle management and later retired to Topeka, Kansas.

Wilma the cheerful but lazy tabby never made it to a management position, but was always considered a well-liked employee. She received a very tasteful 40 Years plaque when she retired.

Frederick, the rather large can of baked beans, was notorious for insubordination, immorality and gross incompetence -- so he was promoted to upper management and given stock options worth thirty five million dollars. After retiring at the age of 35, he took a glamorous trip around the world and bought a fabulous mansion in Barbados, where he now lives with a bevy of blonde flight attendants and a former Miss Universe from Brazil.

*** The End ***

Let this be a lesson to us all.

Monday, January 17, 2005

The Borders Evil Tractor Beam of Doom

Posted by Hello

Newlyweds, Tractor Beams, Books and Bundt Cakes

After sweatin' with the oldies and very skinny blondies at my prissy little gym, I ran into my my newly married friend Joan; luckily, she was unhurt. However, she is suffering from a drastic case of Newlyweditis, which may be characterized by the following symptoms:

1. A pronounced inability to to discuss anything other than houses and children
2. A glazed look
3. A nervous tic that causes her left hand to fly out at any given moment
4. An obsessive need to shop for tasseled pillows and decorative hand towels that no one may actually use
5. An intense compulsion to find husbands for all single friends, who are intensely miserable and wallowing in abject misery

I am hoping that she has not actually transformed into a Pod Person.

However, her alarming personality change did not prevent her from being inevitably pulled along with me into the Borders Bookstore Evil Tractor Beam of Doom. I am such a weak, weak person. I am physically unable to drive past the Borders Death Star without being sucked into the vortex. Their storm trooper sales force knows this, so they bombard me with 2 for 1 coupons and friendly sales reminders.

No matter how much I try to use the Force, I am compelled to buy their books, their music and their gooey chocolate bundt cakes, which have overcome all my years of intense Jedi training.

Darth Vader and his minions have won; I was completely overcome by the Dark Side and purchased the following:
1. Switch Bitch (Roald Dahl)
2. Calendar Girl: Sweet and Sexy Pin-Ups of the Postwar Era (Max Allan Collins)
3. The Theory of the Leisure Class (Thorstein Veblen)
4. t zero (Italo Calvino)

Obi-wan: you're my only hope.


After slicing open my big toe and gushing blood like a stuck pig, I decided to wear highly uncomfortable shoes and pop on over to BayWalk in St. Petersburg; they were showing The House of Flying Daggers, which was very fun and starred the incredibly foxy Ziyi Zhang.

"BayWalk" is one of those outdoor mall architectural clones that appear to be constructed with chewing gum, spackle and particle board in a vaguely mediterranean style conceived by someone who has never, in fact, been to the Mediterranean. This weekend, I was amused to see no less than THREE news channel vans there-- each crammed with journalists foaming at the mouth over the possibility of yet another BayWalk fight, or better yet-- a RIOT! Angsty middle-class teens are always milling around there, but I really don't know what they have to riot over-- the latest Abercrombie & Fitch sale? Running out of Clearasil?

I also ate yummy tapas and ogled waiters with Debbie before going to see Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, which really should be the title of my blog; because my life is quite frequently a series of Unfortunate Events, Somewhat Annoying Events, Terribly Stupid Events That Drive Me Crazy, or just Random And Upsetting Events.

At least I get tomorrow off; I plan on watching movies until my brains ooze out my ears.

Friday, January 14, 2005

"Moving Out"

I accidentally went to a musical last night-- and I absolutely LOATHE musicals! All those perky people scampering, singing, skipping, dancing and hopping around onstage make me want to move to Guam, where I am quite sure they do not have musicals of any kind.

My lovely friend Jeanna invited me, but I misunderstood and thought that "Moving Out" would be an interesting PLAY. But no, "Moving Out" is not a play. "Moving Out" is a big perky Billy Joel extravaganza filled with singing, scampering, skipping and perky love scenes. The actors all gaze meaningfully into each other's eyes while other actors start melodramatic dance-fights and slide across the stage in blue jeans.

My legs fell asleep for two hours.

I just don't "get" musicals. They're horribly annoying and not nearly as cool as operas, which are basically trashy Jerry Springer episodes set to classical music. (Perhaps the exception to that is Wagner-- which is just a bit too Wagnerian for me. I can't stand all those big beefy German women singing about what frail and delicate flowers they are)

Let's just run a little comparison, shall we?

* * * * Musicals VS. Operas * * * *

Musical: Cats
(perky felines sing, dance, skip and scamper around onstage)
Opera: Faust
(sex, poison, Satan, murder, Evil spirits, prison)
Winner: Faust

Musical: Les Miserables
(perky poor people sing, dance, skip and scamper around onstage)
Opera: Tosca
(sex, politics, torture, betrayal, murder, suicide)
Winner : Tosca

Musical: Hairspray
(perky teenagers sing, dance, skip and scamper around onstage)
Opera: The Ring of the Nibelung
(sex, treasure, sex, magic curses, monstrous serpents, murder, adultery, betrayal, suicide)
Winner: The Ring of the Nibelung

Musical: Jesus Christ Superstar
(perky Biblical characters sing, dance, skip and scamper around onstage)
Opera: Don Giovanni
(sex, kidnapping, murder, a walking statue that kills people, damnation)
Winner: Don Giovanni

Musical: Oklahoma!
(perky Westerners sing, dance, skip and scamper around onstage)
Opera: Aida
(sex, warfare, slavery, treason, a couple who are buried alive)
Winner: Aida

Even if you take handicapping into consideration, opera takes down musical every time. The sex and violence factor is just so much higher. And you can really only watch so many perky skipping people without seriously becoming a danger to society.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Robinson's Racing Pigs!

Racing Pigs!!! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Dinner With Auntie... Racing Pigs

My Aunt the Golf Fiend invited me to have dinner with her at her club in St. Petersburg tonight. Typically this involves cocktails, strawberries and crowds of ladies with canes and capris. The view and the food were lovely, and our melodramatically British non-British waitress served us red wine in basketball-sized glasses that made me want to dribble. I was quite keen on all the model ships and antique sextants and things they had lying around, but I was somewhat less keen on seeing old guys wearing Unfortunate jackets...

We had a marvelous time with an old school friend of hers and discussed an upcoming outing to the Plant City Strawberry Festival, which is a veritable smorgasbord of fried twinkies, strawberry shortcake, fried Snickers bars, strawberry pie, fried Oreos, strawberry ice cream, fried funnel cakes, chocolate covered strawberries and fried (!) strawberries.

Additional fair attractions are generally the Chinese acrobats, the 4H cow costume contest, the dog obstacle course and Robinson's Racing Pigs. The Robinson's Racing Pigs are the best fair show of all time, however. They all have names like "Zsa Zsa Gaboar" and "Hillary Rodham Clintham", and they run laps and steeplechases for Oreo cookies. They even have their own Robinson's Racing Pigs theme song, banners, calendars, mugs and bumper stickers.

When I first saw them, I really wanted one of my own -- they're SO cute! But then I remembered what happened when a college friend named Stacy bought a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig named Fred....

Stacy: "And this is Fred..."

L and Kim: "Oh my GAWD! He is SO cute!"

Fred: (snorts)

Kim: "Ooh, ooh -- can I hold him?"

Fred: (belches)

Stacey: "Sure, just make sure you hold him firmly"

Kim: (picks up Fred) "Oh, he is so..."

(completely hysterical, legs flailing, ear-piercing screams)

Kim and Stacey: "OH NO!"

(voiding a spectacular shower of excrement ALL OVER the dining room floor)

L: Yuck

Strong Bad!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I Sparkle in the Glow of Fried Food and Sports Knowledge

After work yesterday I was supposed to A) do laundry and B) go to the gym. Once I realized this, I immediately ran over to a tacky sports bar with co-workers and drank beer. We also ate deep fried fries, fried onion fries, some fried food, fried cheese and cheese fries with a fried fry sauce.

This menu is mandatory when visiting any sports bar, as stated in the Hillsborough County Statute 100-A201; a later amendment (section 2B) to this also requires that each available wall is to be covered in no less than two (2) hugely plasmatic big screen televisions running continuous sports coverage at maximum volume. The following additional amendments had also been proposed, but were discarded as unnecessary since they are universally followed:

1. All waitresses must prominently display a tattoo of one of the following: a.) a happy butterfly b.) a happy sun or c.) a happy dolphin

2. All non domestic beer must be poured wrongly

3. Only drunks and aliens are allowed to play pool.

4. The higher the number of beers consumed, the more each male must lie extravagantly about a.) his work b.) his car c.) his celebrity connections

5. Bathroom graffiti is required to contain at least one of the following phrases:
"Mark is SO hot!!!"
"You GO girl!!!"
"Tammy is a HO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"Class of '89 ROCKS!!!!"

On a serious note, though, it was really a wonderful opportunity to exchange precious sports knowledge with other fans. Not a day goes by without my checkin' out the old stats on things like cricket fighting and ancient Peruvian games....

* The Incas, in fact, played quite a deadly form of primitive basketball. The object of the game was to shoot a solid rubber ball through a stone ring placed high on a wall. Winners were awarded the clothing of all spectators present; Losers were executed.

* Best unicyclist ever: Steve McPeak, who rode one thirty-two feet high

* The combat sport of cricket fighting is now illegal in Hong Kong

* The BEST football team ever? The Plainfield Teachers College team

* King Edward VII owned a golf bag made from an elephant's penis.

* Soccer players are better looking than football players

Monday, January 10, 2005

Hello. My name is Willie the Wonder Dachsund. I will come to your house and eat all your kleenex.  Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Ear Trumpet

I am posting a picture of an ear trumpet because I don't have a picture of Willie the Wonder Dachsund. Sorry. Posted by Hello

A Few Notes on Aging and Willie the Wonder Dachsund

I am trying to figure out if it is Oil of Olay or perhaps some sort of pact with the Devil-- but my grandmother looks far too young to have turned 80 (er, I mean 79) this weekend. After quizzing her to discover the secret, I have firmly resolved to have even more butter, red wine, garlic, tea and rich sauces whenever possible. You just can't be too careful these days.

Aging has it's drawbacks I know; for one thing, you're required to complain about sciataca and arthritis a bit. But there are senior citizen discounts and Early Bird Specials and relaxed garden puttering to recommend it as well. It's really too bad that we've gone overboard on some of the modern conveniences, however. You just don't see anyone with an ear trumpet anymore; it's always those boring little hearing aids now...

To help us celebrate, my great aunt Elaine brought Willie The Wonder Dachsund, who is quite mad. Willie enjoys Brandy Alexanders, kleenex nibbling, jumping hysterically, sticking his tongue in people's ears and peeing like a girl dog because there are no trees in North Dakota. He also enjoys biting her oxygen tank hose, which initially worried me a bit; I read News Of The Weird, and it always seems that people are blowing themselves up with these things.

Hopefully I have convinced Willie to visit with my grandmother and aunt. I plan on cooking my famous pesto lasagna and taking them all to the Florida Aquarium to see the jellyfish display. I think the Aquarium has those little motorized scooter things available, which might make it easier for my aunt. Actually, I'd use one myself too. She can bring her oxygen tank, and I could buy an ear trumpet. We could whiz around the place scaring the old people and popping wheelies on our way to the Aquarium cafe, which serves seafood of course.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Chinese Ghost Story II Posted by Hello

We Are Surrounded By All Our Toes!

After having very odd sushi and fried bananas with Matt the BrainBox, we decided to hang out and watch South Park and Chinese Ghost Story II until 2 am. While not as wonderful and deranged as Chinese Ghost Story or The Bride With White Hair, it remains a classic example of the bizarre Hong Kong supernatural love story genre-- filled with a ton of wire-fu, sexy female stars, and hideous demons.

My favorite line: "We are surrounded by all our toes!"

Runners up:
"No! We only killed the cute evil body!"
"Quick! Kiss her before she becomes a giant corpse monster!"
"Justine for all!"

Of course you then have to wonder-- just who IS Justine, anyway, and how does one go about meeting her? She was obviously a shy little thing, because we never saw her...

*** Guidelines for Hong Kong Supernatural Cinema ***
1. The director MUST provide at least one action scene with a flying head.

2. All women must be nubile twenty-year olds with incredibly long hair and names like "Moon" or "Wind"

3. There must be at least one Taoist monk who is perpetually tempted by said maidens, who must periodically bathe, tear their clothing and look perplexed

4. The film is required to contain one or more of the following: a godzilla-like monster with flying ectoplasm; an Evil Buddha; a hopping vampire (alternately: a "mischevious corpse") with long green fingernails; a gorgeous ghost with powerful and creepy hair; or a demon with a huge tongue

5. No fewer than three giant swords are to be displayed in every fight scene, and all fight scenes must involve flying, swinging or explosions

I really wanted to have a costume one of the warrior characters wore: dramatic cape, giant swords sticking out of his back and hundreds of pointy darts hidden under his armor. Think of how USEFUL an outfit like that would be! I could cut in lines, taunt policemen, intimidate people at work...

Plus, the next time that the Evil SecretaryBeast gives me a dirty look or steals my mugs, I could whip my cape around and shoot darts at her, after which she will explode. I will then ride heroically off into the sunset with my magic sword, my trusty sidekick and cheesy rock music playing tenderly in the background. Yeah!

Friday, January 07, 2005

A Short Post About I.H.O.P.

Tonight I experienced the wholesome sticky goodness of I.H.O.P. (International House of Pancakes!) while hanging out with a Colorado/drummer/web geek/bike boy acquaintance with fun hair. And my stomach still functions! After three cups of something that almost, but not quite, resembles coffee in a general sort of way.

While this particular I.H.O.P. did not attract quite the same caliber of weirdness I USED to see, I still noted the mandatory Old Guy waving his hands and arguing with himself (he resembled Gollum with a large toupee). No drag queens, though. When I used to go to I.H.O.P. at 2 a.m., I would see drag queens....

The waitresses were very time-warpy, trotting about with highly feathered hair.

The food I ordered was un-delicious; OH WHY did I not order the lovely chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream blobs? They beckoned to me seductively, displaying their chocolately chipness quite wantonly. I am a loser for ordering a normal breakfast.

And that's really it. We looked at cool classic car pics, discussed how we are such media whores, briefly touched on the topic of Why Tampa Is Not So Cool and How The Strip Clubs Are Running Amok...

I'm sorry; I can't really bother to be even remotely entertaining right now. I'm tired. It's 1:33 am. I ate half a loaf of bread, I'm cranky, and I'm going to bed now.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Eau d' Sunshine and a Very Short Romance Novel

Nothing memorable happened today. I didn't win the lottery that I never actually play; No one sent me love letters; my two slightly-used parakeets (Egg and Napkin) still hate me; I still haven't received a Nobel Prize; and Jude Law STILL refuses to dump his girlfriend and answer my calls. I am wallowing in utter despair.

However, due to the intoxicating effects of my new asthma drug, I did decide to go trotting around the especially smelly "Sunshine Thrift" store near my apartment. I think that eau d'Sunshine (a weird combination of rancid butter and body odor) is still wafting about my charming young person...

I managed to hold my breath long enough to purchase some cheap wooden boxes on which to paint (yes, I've been procrastinating for the upcoming erotic art show)-- as well as peruse the somewhat alarming and amusingly terrible romance novel section. I'm sadly addicted to collecting Awful sentences and paragraphs from these things; someone's always turgid and breathing heavily down someone else's neck. They also say things like "whilst" and "smelling salts" rather a lot, I'm afraid.

*** A Very Short Romance Novel ***

Another monotonous day at work was in the offing, but L took little notice of the gloomily morose countenances that surrounded her, as billowy gray clouds will sometimes surround the sparkling sun in merry spring. She was stepping daintily about in her silken blue suit and heaving bosom whilst arranging the blushing pink roses that graced her cubicle and plucking sweet strains from a golden lyre. And what darkly handsome suitor was there to listen? No one. No one but the Evil and villainously turgid programmer, who had, for quite some time, had designs on the stunningly gorgeous brunette, whose hair glinted red, then gold, then red again under the soothing flourescent lighting.

But L was petulant. "J'en suis au regret" she said, then frowned daintily, for she really didn't know a single word of French. "Please bring me my smelling salts", the tempestuous beauty ordered, hoping beyond hope that the Evil programmer would return to his sumptuously dank and dreary basement, from which he had flown like a darkly wing'ed night creature with horn-rimmed glasses.

For L, once a common waif and now a passionate tigress of countless databases, was suffering from an unrequited and fiery hunger for strawberries, cheese-- and the wickedly handsome and barbaric Duke, whose masterfully bold claim of ownership and feverishly turgid manliness were nowhere to be seen on the 6th floor. She had found herself desiring this tawny-maned Adonis with a hunger beyond her understanding, for hers was a fever that fed upon itself, carrying her irrevocably toward a final surrender to the power of undeniable love, a joint checking account, 1.8 children and a small terrier.

The elevator door slid silently open, as the throbbing manhood of barbarian Dukeness stepped out to greet the charming young princess of I.T.

"Hello. Can you look at this stored procedure for me?", he whispered tantalizingly, breathing heavily down her daintily scented neck.

"Certainly", breathed L, who then accidentally walked into a wall.

*** The End ***

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The Fountain of Bacchino

For anyone who was bored by my previous post, here is a picture of the world's ugliest statue, The Fountain of Bacchino (behind the Pitti Palace in Florence). It shows Bacchino, the court dwarf of Cosimo I (a very obscure ruler), sitting on top of a large turtle.

I dare anyone to find another statue as ugly as this one.

*Update! You can now purchase your very own replica of this beautiful statue here!

Monday, January 03, 2005

I Visit My Appendixless Friend... Also a Few Notes About Farting.

I went to visit my newly appendixless friend again; she is trapped in the hospital, far away from fashionable clothing and a decent latte. They won't let her leave until she has another bowel movement, or at least farts a bit. For some reason, hospital personnel are absolutely OBSESSED with bowel movements and flatulence. Nurses and doctors rotate in and out of her room, anxiously whispering queries on the state of her plumbing.

Goateed Keith, CrazySkateboardFilm Josh and I sat there for at least an hour; WE could have told them that there would be no flatulence. Ladies NEVER fart. We just let it build up until we explode. However, we did discuss fitting her with some sort of valve or something... quiet, discreet, and eminently ladylike.

***A Few Educational Notes About Farting***

Literary figures who have written about the subject of flatulence:
1. Swift
2. Aristophenes
3. Chaucer
4. Rabelais
5. Franklin
6. Twain
7. Swinburne
8. Erasmus
9. Johnson

An educational entry from Samual Johnson's famous Dictionary Of The English Language:
"Fart: wind from behind
Love is the fart
Of every heart;
It pains a man when 'tis kept close;
And others doth offend, when 'tis let loose.

To fart: To break wind from behind.
As when we a gun discharge,
Although the bore be ne'er so large,
Before the flame from muzzle burst,
Just at the breech it flashes first;
So from my lord his passion broke,
He farted first, and then he spoke" -- Swift

The famous Joseph Pujol ("Le Petomane", or "The Manic Farter") performed throughout Paris in the late 1800s, becoming a huge success with his flatulence act. He could imitate a variety of sounds (thunder, cannons, little girls), smoke a cigarette from his anus and lead the audience in a "sing-along".

Brad Pitt's fart may be purchased exclusively on Ebay

Fun Fart Facts

Books on Farting

More Fart Poetry

December 30
"At 1:30 in the morning a fart
smells like a marriage between
an avocado and a fish head.

I have to get out of bed
to write this down without
my glasses on." -- Richard Brautigan

"There once was a lady named Cager,
Who as the result of a wager,
Consented to fart
The entire oboe part
Of Mozart's quartet in F-major" -- Anonymous

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Tampa Theatre

Tampa Theatre Posted by Hello

Photo Stolen from

Resolutions, Predictions and Other Uselss Drivel

I just read that January is "National Get Organized Month". Fat chance of that happening here! I STILL haven't done my 2004 spring cleaning...

I'm on drugs right now, so I'll just shovel out some useless drivel before I retire for the evening. It probably won't make much sense.

***Five Predictions for 2005 ***
1. Reporters will foam at the mouth when we have our very first "Trial of the Century!" -- you know, like the Linbergh baby kidnapping trial, the Sacco and Vanzetti trial, the Rosenburg trial, the O.J. Simpson trial...

2. Cheney will receive a standing ovation for his speech on why "War is Peace" and "Slavery is Freedom"

3. There will be turmoil in the Middle East. This will involve a lot of oil. And sand, lots of sand

4. Congress will legislate changes to Social Security, which will now be based solely on pork futures.

5. Bush will urge the Muslims and Jews to resolve their differences "like good Christians"

***My New Year's Resolutions***
1. Spend at least 1/2 hour at the gym every day
2. Stop drinking caffeine
3. Complete at least 4 paintings every month
4. Complete my MCDBA certification and take another programming class at the university
5. Finally get around to reading Proust's Remembrance Of Things Past

***Ok, I Was Just Kidding. Here Are My Real Resolutions***
1. Think very firmly about going to the gym 4 or 5 times a week. Actually go for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, then complain about it a bit. Eat more cheese.

2. Drink caffeine every day. Drink even more if I have to deal with my archnemesis, the incompetent programmer with fat ankles (code named "Satan")

3. Putter around with paints a bit. Turn out 1 or 2 halfway decent paintings a month. Irrevocably ruin three pairs of pants and one sock while doing so.

4. Study a bit for MCDBA. Possibly take an exam, unless I decide to go to Key West instead. Screw the programming class; take a fun art class instead!

5. Purchase Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. Shelve it and unshelve it several times. Stare at it a bit. Re-read The History of Brothels instead. Shelve and unshelve Proust again. Stare at it a bit. Re-read Tropic of Cancer and A Confederacy of Dunces. Stare at Proust. Save Proust for next year.

On a side note, I just returned from watching Kinsey at the beautiful old Tampa Theatre. It was interesting and occasionally amusing. However, the real attraction was, of course, the theatre itself; it originally opened in 1926 and is a riot of wildly different architectural styles that seem to meld into charmingly schizophrenic "Florida Mediterranean". Before each film, an elderly organist rises up out of the stage floor -- a vast improvement over the half hour of dancing, singing sodas and fries at regular theaters. On Halloween, the organist wears a long black cape and fangs and plays Bach's fugue to rousing applause :)

(I pinched a couple of photos from their site here)

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Another New Year's Eve Disaster

Last night was such a waste of a terribly exciting outfit; I dressed SPECIALLY to show off cleavage, and I prepared early for a glamorous evening of flirting, champagne and yummy tidbits...

But I received a phone call from Goateed Keith, the new boyfriend of my now appendixless friend Maelyn. She was convalescing at St. Joseph's hospital, so I ran over to visit and give her presents. After accidentally trying to visit her at the WRONG St. Joseph's (who knew there were two?), I arrived to find her looking pale and tragic with a pair of vintage cat's eye glasses perched precariously on her nose. We chatted for a bit about her morpine button and all the beer that Keith kept trying to smuggle into her room; he kept accidentally dropping and smashing them outside, which was obviously the curse of St. Joseph. We also gossiped about the doctors and nurses, who all seemed to have multiple piercings, tattoos and gold teeth; it's like they all just came back from a rave...

After saying good night I drove across town for my first party of the evening, promptly had an asthma attack, then was admitted to Tampa General Hospital. Not only did I miss the ball drop, I had absolutely NO champagne! I didn't even see any cute single doctors! They were almost all cranky pregnant women! The only hot guy I saw walked in with blood gushing all over from a severed ear!

I did get to meet an interesting bald cancer patient though. He showed me his weird foot-long surgery scar and walked (um, wheelchaired) me back to my car at 2 a.m. Despite the oozing sores on his face, he still managed to smoke like a chimney, take covert gulps from a hidden flask and make a passable attempt at flirtation.

And that was my New Year's Eve.