Monday, July 28, 2003

Saturday, July 26, 2003




Not dead yet.

Not me, or Ron, or Rick Springfield. What a great guy and what a great show. Cheers to a guy who taught millions of teenaged Americans a new word: moot. When your town is ravaged by a storm, one that looks just like Godzilla waded through it with a staggering hangover, and you don't have power in the summer in Memphis, then you head off to the casinos of Tunica for some relief. Formerly named Sugarditch, it was once one of the most impoverished areas in the nation, giving third-world desolation a run for its money. But now, it's free drinks, free concerts, and freewill to lose as much money you want in all the recirculated (yet frosty cold) comfort you'll need to survive.

I'll post unfortunate yet interesting pictures of the storm after I dig out from postponed errands and more fun junk. But for now, I wish that I had Jessie's girl, too.


Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Where is my USB cable when I need it?

Probably shoved away with my good attitude, lost under a pile of damp, humid papers, or compacted neatly in the big, red garbage can that stupid Southern Disposal was supposed to have delivered by now, but neee-ooo.

Back up. I'm an extremely tired and perturbed citizen of Grouch Vegas. My roof didn't rip off, my car wasn't smashed by Windzilla, but the Princess and the Pea here flopped around in her own juices last night, trying to sleep with no A/C.

"Something smells like a toasted corn chip..." I thought. It was the dog, heaving a huge sigh and sprawling on his bed next to ours. "Something smells like a taco..." I thought, and then I realized it was me.

I can only imagine how quickly I would die in the event of a Real Emergency. Oh yes, Memphis will be declared a Distaster Area, but me... I went to Costco and have 50 bucks worth of frozen chicken breasts and Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches dying a slow, thawing death in the freezer. Poor me, huh? Then I get mad that I am mad at myself. And then, House Stuff turns House Crap when the windows won't lock for some reason. That's right, looters, bring it.

It's not even a big deal. At all. But haven't you ever gotten just fed up with the most minute and tiniest details of Life's Continuing To Do List?

It may be the lack of sleep talking, or the spirit of DanDan Van Bambino's Taco Stand sleeping in my underarms last night. Or both plus many other bottled up thoughts. But man. If I could twist a baby chick in half, I might think about it. Pull the wings off a moth. Kick a puppy in the butt. Push the aged down an elevator shaft. Ok I'm not that mad. My friend Scott says "they make a pill for that" but sometimes, it's not that easy. Some times, you need something stronger. And that's it, I'm just tired of being piss-scented today. So I'm done. I just need to have a big barbecue tonight and get happy. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by for bird boobies!

Egad.

Ok, so I did find a good product lately. Besides the aforementioned Skinny Cows (yummy vanilla, chocolate that I have yet to try, and the mint is divine), now Triscuit has a cheese version. Oh yes baby. It's like the cheese they spray on rold Gold pretzels and even better, Cheetos, and they are dang dang dang good. Triple Dang Good, new rating. I just know they will go nicely with our barbecued vienna sausages tonight. Mmmmmm. Non-perishable canned goods.


Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Downtown Memphis and Mud Island Gets Its Ass Blown Off.

I'm not trying to be flippant; it's awful. And I'm from Tornado Alley, Mississippi, so that's saying something.

This morning, the Doppler Radar Dog woke me up with his hot pants in my face. And I'm not talking tight, short britches. I'm talking about how he almost hyperventilates himself with fearful panting, directly in my face, or Ron's. Lunchbox the Cat was awfully quiet. I should have taken that as a sign.

I heard thunder to the west, and since we live "none more west" than the rest of Memphis proper, I knew the rain would hit us first. So I figured, best to take the dog out for his P1 and P2 Morning Activities. I stepped out into our massive backyard of 20 squares of grass when I saw it coming. Thick, black clouds with pink edges.

My dad puts it best when he proclaims, "That'll scare yo' mule." And it did. Honestly

On the houses two streets over, I heard what sounded like BBs by the zillion on sheetmetal. It was hard rain across the rooves and bone dry dirt. The wind wasn't even blowing. The atmosphere sucked the door shut after me, like someone knocked the breath out of Mother Nature.

But in retrospect, Mother Nature was about to kick some ass herself.

http://www.gomemphis.com/

http://www.600wrec.com/listen/

This is bizarre. I drove to work and saw that the winds had ripped a second-story house a new one. I felt sick watching the people run around it and try to secure tarps all over it. Limbs, big limbs were everywhere. And then we saw the riverbank. It's littered, absolutely littered with broken branches and uprooted trees.

Here I am at work, 5 minutes away from home, in my self-contained little world in a 21-story building with electricity and internet, with an 11-story view. Who could ask for better conditions given the circumstances. But cellphones aren't working. BellSouth telephones are running on generators in certain parts of town. Electricity is out in 300K+ businesses and homes (mine being one of them *big sigh*) So many old, beautiful trees combined with the dry soil were toppled, while smaller trees were broken in two. The strangest damage I saw was the railroad guardrails, you know the ones that come down and block traffic while trolleys and trains roll by? The guardrails were folded like twistties around the poles.

As we keep driving downtown, we expected to see the damage line stop. But it didn't. It just kept on going. Popped glass windows and building awnings everywhere. Trees in the parks snapped in half. Supposedly a monument at Tom lee Park is down, too. Think they are talking about the obelisk.

The Gibson Guitar Factory at the far end of Beale Street district looks like Godzilla kicked it in. And so many cool, old neon signs on Beale Street itself were smashed. My favorite was the three dancing forks of Blues City Cafe.

I'm going around to takew more pictures. The sun is out now. Completely eerie. I've been around tornadoes, but this was worse.

Ironically enough, today I was going to write about the guy I met last night as I was watering the grass and the new tree. He was drunk, riding around in his golf cart at 9 o'clock, and stopped by to introduce himself. This is after I heard him speeding by with his radio blasting Led Zeppelin "ohhh let the sun beat down upon my face.... songs caress my earrrr.."' (dun nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nnnnnnnnnnnuhhhhhhhhhh) and I raised my fist, and gave him the redneck salute of WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Hey, I speak the 'neck.

Anyway so he skidded to a stop in front of my house and told me his life story in a matter of minutes. Beer will make you do that. And then, we talked about lawn watering. And he said "Yyyyyyyyyepppp, might as well water that tree ya got thar, even though 'They Say' tomorry, it'll rain.... yeahhhhhh....promisssses, promissssessss! Nite to ya! I'm sure I'll be seeing ya round later awn!"

I'm sure I will see Drunk Paul again, too. And his dog Pooch Pooch. But that's what I like about the south.

I'm off to do an ad real quick, and then go take some pictures.







Friday, July 18, 2003

Incredible and sometimes edible.

Life is a carton of eggs. It's a matter of how many didn't get crushed by the end of the day that counts.

Some days, the handle of my cheap plastic grocery bag rips and I drop the whole damn carton in the parking garage, all before 9 am. Other days, I have enough to make a souffle. Even though I don't like souffles at all. Most days, I want to hardboil a few and frag a couple of people with 'em. Rarely, but often enough, I run across a rotten one. And sometimes, I find a lucky one with two yolks keeping each other company inside.

Now I'm grossing myself out. But you see what I mean. I think it's a nice sentiment. Because most days, I have enough eggs left to make a pretty decent cheese omelet.





And, much like the picture above, life can become completely disgusting when its over-analyzed and broken down into cross-sectioned diagrams and explanations.

Tonight is Game Night. Jacquie Wacq and Daniel are bringing games, and I'm bringing two shades of wine. I always wanted to have a game night. It sounds fun. I don't really know how to play many games at all. Especially card games, but hey. The only games we even played when I was a kid was Monopoly. And even then, it wasn't very fun because my sister would flick my hard earned real estate off the board when I wasn't looking. Most times, she'd just misdirect my attention, and I'd look back to that evil grin, hearing the familiar sound of a plastic house pecking off the dark wood paneling behind me.

"What was that?" I'd ask. "Nothing," she'd grin back with her jaw cocked slightly to the side, her cheeks shining pink with pride. And I sat there helpless as the little sister. And I don't know about you, but for me, Monopoly is really quite challenging when the rules are constantly rewritten as you play.

For example, until sixth grade, I didn't know it was illegal to get loans from the Monopoly town bank. My sister didn't see anything wrong with self-initiated loans with no collateral to back them up. I knew something was up, even if the money was pink and yellow. Even then, I knew it was a harbinger of bad things to come, and long, painful, self-inflicted, dramatic personal rows to hoe. For all players in the game, ages 21 and up. I was always the one to clean up the game board and scattered game pieces after she'd bought both Boardwalk and Park Place, at which time the Rulebook in Her Head stated clearly that the game was officially over when you bought these two properties. And underneath the board, I'd find scores of hidden cash. It was like unearthing a gangsters vault.

We're different in that way, and in many, many more I'm sure I'd rather not uncover. While she doesn't mind landing in jail every now in then with the roll of the dice, I get excited about collecting two hundred dollars and trying my hand at a little urban redevelopment in the slums of Oriental Avenue. I always wanted to build a little park for the kids.

Well tonight, those kids will get their park, dammit. And they may get a little pizza, too. Speaking of which, I'm off to the store.

I just remembered, I never reported in on the Tomato Festival. Well, Ron summed it up nicely, as we drove 45 minutes to get to a park with not much going on except a travelling petting zoo with a penned llama behind a sign that said "Watch Out: Spitting Zone". I said, "Maybe we're early..." and to that he said, "Or maybe it's just small and lame."

But we bought three bags of tomatoes from an old man in a pickup truck on the side of the road, and they were smashing. I'll bet they were from either Arkansas or China and not the Ripley variety we had travelled for. So like almost every road trip story I can tell, we ended up at a small winery on the other side of the road and bought some muscadine-ish wine named Ripley Ripple.

In the spirit of Fred Sandford, we're going to mix it with champagne and make ChamPipple.

Only other observation: Everyone in Lauderdale County smokes. Even the kids and the dogs. And eventually, even the llamas.






Wednesday, July 16, 2003



http://www.deeprivermedia.com/terror.htm

I really need to figure out how to include a Comments feature in here so we can discuss things like this.

Go take a look. But apply SPF 45 on your eyes first. While I do admire his confidence, I don't want to see many more people doing this. Or maybe I do. Hmm.



Tuesday, July 15, 2003



Middle management. That's what killed my cable and internet service. Adding in three useless guys who just ended up confusing the matter supports the theory that the cable bill is too high because some redundant salaries are way out of proportion. "Welcome to satellite" is all I gotta say. If I think about it too much more, my left eye will pop out from the tension headache.

But I have internet again. Ahhhh. Soon it will be through another provider, just to prove one point making 0.00000000001% of a difference. But internet, I missed you.

Forget about that, let's make a pie.

Lemonade Pie IV
Submitted by: Spring
from allrecipes.com  

Makes 1 pie

Ingredients:  

1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust,
3/4 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed*
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 (approx. 4 ounce) container of Cool Whip, thawed


Directions:
In a blender, combine lemonade concentrate, cream cheese, and condensed milk. Blend on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl and fold in whipped topping. Pour mixture into graham cracker crust. Chill before serving.

*my mom uses Pink Lemonade. Mmmmmm.

Best advice my mother ever gave me was "Screw middle management, hun. Eat pie instead."

She didn't say that. But she would, I bet.



Monday, July 14, 2003

brb.

While we were away at the Tomato Festival, some hideous mutated spawn of Lucifer crossed with a drunk baboon *accidentally* turned off my digital cable and my internet. Instead of venting here an now, I am off to channel my rage in the correct direction and properly lose my shoes up some people's asses. Since I'm right-handed and therefore probably more deft with my right foot, I'll let the digital cable get the left shoe, saving the Good Foot for the internet people.

Take my 200+ digital channels, I don't care. But don't ever mess with my internet.

Can I have a witness?

Be back later. Oh yes, I'll be back.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Hey thanks, God.





Boy, I wish I knew how to make a dang link that you could just click on, but hey. Cut-n-paste, it's good for the circulation in the end. http://www.xs4all.nl/~mayke/weblog/

I am not sure what language this is, but I can almost read it and almost had a religious experience close to snake-handling and speaking tongues. Refreshing. Netherlands, I think? Make sure you check out the three QuickTime film clips, and "Click to Tune". On that last one, in a word, squeamish.

Damn, I wish I could understand what the woman with the annoying voice was saying! This may be the only time anyone found her conversation this fascinating. All I can figure out is that somewhere in the Netherlands, somebody named Barbara has mixed alcohol with opinions.



This kid has more talent and motivation than the last five creative directors I have worked around. Go see more, I ganked this image from his site at http://www.havesomehats.com/

Love this kid. Love love love. Not the "against the law in some states including Tennessee" type of love. But the kind of love that others might call extreme admiration.

"Kid." Jebus. I sound like freakin' geezer. Well, he is a kid. He's in high school, I think. My brain tumor I've named Hairy is telling me that's right. I have a bad habit of not reading all the way to the end sometimes. It's Hairy's fault, we'll talk about it some other time. But he is extremely talented. Not Hairy. This kid. He writes stories, too. Much more creativity than any of us around here have been exposed to in the last five or so years. Carry on, kid.

And it's official. I'm think I'm getting... old. It wasn't the blogging about watering the yard that did it. Or about my feet hurting versus the expected blown vertebra. Or that I have a bad knee that hurts when it rains, and that Demi Moore is the Older Woman with that Aforementioned Type of Love for Young Men. It wasn't those things that made me feel old.

It was the desire I had this morning to visit Ripley, Tennessee, tomorrow for the 20th Annual Tomato Fest.

Maybe I'm just overreacting. Maybe I'm just going for the material. Maybe that's what I'll just tell everybody. But if I do have a good time, then someone send me a link on how to build an ancient funeral raft, and push me out onto the River down by the Pyramid so I can die with some dignity.

Nevermind, I found one myself: http://www.kingtutshop.com/freeinfo/egyptian-boats.htm. And I thought I was boring. Yee-awn.

Oh what the hell am I worried about. People go to festivals all the time and have fun, and they aren't old... maybe I'm just a nerd. No, not a nerd. Geek maybe? Spaz, most definitely yes; nerd or geek, no.

I've been to the Belzoni Catfish Festival. I've been to Strawberry Fests, Big Loud Music Fests. Stinky Spinning Hippie Fests. Almost went to the Possum Town Pigfest. I've even been to two or three Mule Fests. I've been to many, many Crawfish Boils and Sudsfests. And a Barbecue Fest where no one could eat the barbecue. All before the age of 21.

I'm not old. I'm just weird. Yes. Screw old, embrace weird. Victory. I'll let you know what happens at the Tomato Festival. Maybe it's the absence of alcohol that makes this festival experience seem geriatric.

Hairy says I have to go now. He also says I'm right; I'm not old. He says I'm just weird and insufferable when my knee hurts.

Hairy is beginning to scare me. I think I'll douse him with a nice white merlot tonight. Mmmm. Cheers to Hairold, ol' boy.



Wednesday, July 09, 2003




Great news, everybody!

If this is news, then apparently nothing bad or relevant happened anywhere in the world today. What a relief.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003



Some things are just funnier out of context.

I found this on a nice site that sells parrots. Actually, I was searching for photos of self-plucked parrots. Yep, parrots pluck out their own feathers after being driven to madness from boredom. Who can't relate to that except maybe a newborn. We watched a program the other day listing the Top 10 Smartest Animals. I can't remember them all because I'm not a pig, a chimp, dolphin or even a squirrel skidding in at number 10. Cats weren't in the list, but Ron made a good point by saying "I'm betting they don't test very well" as I watched my pudding-assed, lunchbox of a cat shred the bottom of the curtains.



Sunday, July 06, 2003

Lost day, found target.

When you work for ten or twelve years, I think you get used to the regularly maintained Torture Schedule of working five days on, Monday to Friday, and two days off, the hallowed Saturday and Sunday. (This happens once you've become mundane, so try not to do that, kids.) So when I get a Long Weekend Holiday, a Friday Holiday versus a Monday Holiday, I get disoriented. Today, I've been lost in a tesseract, a wrinkle in time. Some of it was Brownie Time: A time which, as long as I don't know what to do with myself, I might as well eat a brownie. And I might as well figure out how to take care of a lawn.

I stand out in the street looking at my new lawn. A little yellowed here and there from the run-by dog poopings. A bit moth-eaten around the street light. And I don't care how much I water two of those bushes out there, they are pushing up the daisies. The oak stick trying to pass for a tree is feeling the pain, too. I stop to count the days til fall... "Maybe it thinks it's fall..." I'm hoping. Deciduous versus dead. Ashes to ashes, funk to funky. So I look to the internet for suggestions, and I come across some lawn tool that you step on, repeatedly, all around your yard to aerate it. It was about 35$. So I figure over-sized golf shoes will do nicely instead, if I can find some at, ironically enough, a yard sale for 1/35th of the price.

Besides, it'll go better with my Swatting Dog Poop Out of My Yard Golf Game I devised yesterday. And then I can spend my money on something else more valuable to me now:



Target practice. Gnome Sweet Gnome.

Saturday, July 05, 2003

What is better than the Fourth of July?

The day after the Fourth of July, especially if it falls on a Saturday. Oh yes.

Hope you had a good celebration of independence. Me? I went to Home Depot, the only store open on the Fourth, thronged with mall ordinaries like me in the rattiest t-shirts and tightest congo shorts that aren't supposed to be tight. But the Memphis heat has set in here, and we're all swelling like dough rising for the first proofing.

Speaking of baking, I love my new oven. It's gas. It's great. It's the best thing since bourbon and coke. Lemme see if I can find a picture of it...*

*Stop. I am not turning into "complete everyday boring". Even though my friend Scott claims I've been boring since we first met. "All you do is talk about cooking and cleaning." Ok, but who taught you how to use your George Foreman grill? And who cleaned your bathroom once... correction: who killed the living, breathing organism created in the bathtub that was once Your Bathroom? The bathroom actually fought me back. Anyway, back to a stove worthy of laud.

Behold my master:





Every day is like a cooking show now. I have always used electric. I might as well have learned to cook in an EasyBake. Can I have a witness? How lame is electricity compared to a gas oven with Speed Bake convection? Plus, if one day I decide to end it all, I can just blow out the pilot light and stick my head in. Can't do that with an electric oven, now can you. You have to be a thinker to get ahead in this world, and you have to stay one step ahead of the creditors, even if it may involve the hereafter to do so.

And now, I'd like to take a moment to gush over my whirlpool tub.

TubSmacked: The Story of a Girl and Her Luxurious Bath

That fairly well sums it up. Yesterday was the first time I had used it. Mostly because I hadn't the strength to unearth it as it was being used as a giant laundry basket since we moved in last weekend. But that tub is better than a valium. Not only because it costs less (about $4.95/month of the mortgage payment), but also because it made me feel like Steve Martin in "The Jerk". The part where in a letter to his mom, he began listing off things he'd gotten since he struck it rich with the Opti-Grab:

"Remember that giant pool with the S-shaped hedges that I always wanted? And the bathroom with the red shag carpet and the big, golden tub shaped like a clamshell? Well I got that, too."

Not word-for-word, but sentiment-for-sentiment. Damn good movie. I love Steve Martin. And to all those bad fast food tv scripts I've been forced to write for pay, I'd like to thank you for not killing anything more than a creative little plot in my head and for affording me this little Liquid Paradise. Which the rotten part of my brain just reminded me that I could drown myself in happily if ever the need should present itself. Nyah.

For a minute there, i just had an Amityville Horror moment with all the subliminal suggestions from the house of How to Kill Yourself Around the House. In black and white, apparently it's hard being me. But at least we can all find it funny for the time being.

Another thing I love about this whole home-owning experience is that my yard is so incredibly small ("HOW SMALL IS IT?")... well, it's so small that I finished all the yardwork in less than 30 minutes. It involved (1) watering the spongey-looking, half-toasted Oak Stick posing as an Oak Tree, and (2) kicking all the dog poop out of my yard and into the street. I've decided that I need a golf club, like a driver I guess you'd call it, so I can make swatting dried-up dog poop more of a game of skill and flair for the neighbors to enjoy. I can strike rakish poses with my golf club as I ponder the best trajectory for the poop birdie.

Yes, I think I am going to enjoy this new home-owning thing a lot. Until things break, and then it will turn into "house-crap." So stayed tuned, as I know my odds.



Wednesday, July 02, 2003



I think the question is more "why"?

For me, this all started at Not Martha (you'll find her in my links line-up to the left). For more info on Octodogs, go to http://octodog.net/ and see how to make an Octodog. I'll wait here for you.

You back? Ok. So tell me that doesn't look like a medieval torture for men who blasphemed or were caught in a homosexual act. Past that observation and similar to a car wreck, I can't stop looking, wondering what's my exact fascination with this.

Much like some of David Bowie's albums, I'm repelled and attracted at the same time to the oddity. Also, I'm impressed that someone has gone this far with something like this. It's not your typical gadget. And the web site is a rather nice, hi-end simple one.

So today, I go back to Not Martha for another hotdog link worth the cut-and-paste at http://www.nipponham.co.jp/winny/kazari/index.html

Even more impressive, the simplicity of the bunnies. And the complexity of the koala.

Why am I fascinated with hotdog sculpting. Besides the fact that they would look lovely in my bento box. Porkigami.

I'll think about it. Oh yes, I will have to think about it.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003



Costco, you have betrayed me.


This is what I found in my $5.96 worth of grapes last night. A black widow. What a bargain: Buy 5 pounds of white seedless grapes and get one dangerous spider, absolutely free. Nice.

Now I'm off grapes, the only fruit convenient enough for a lazy fruit consumer such as myself. No peeling, no slicing, no pitting or removing seeds. Just wash, pluck, eat. And even washing has been optional in the past because I'm sure I'm full of plenty of pesticides from a lifetime of unintentional exposure.

So bonus question: If the spider would've bitten me, who would've been more toxic to whom?

Luckily, Ron assumed his marital duties of flattening the beast outside on the new front stoop and disposed of the spider's All-U-Can-Eat-and-Hide-In-All-the-Way-From-Arizona-til-U-Bite-Someone-in-Memphis vessel. I'm not gonna let Chile take the hit on this one; these grapes were from Arizona. Who knew. If you can't trust Arizona... well... I would've made wine out of those grapes if it'd been me smooshing the beast. Either that or set a new world's record for distance-tossing grapes like a girl.

Any recommendations for a new, easy-access fruit would be greatly appreciated.

Costco, Costco, Costco... I thought me and you were real, dawg.