Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

     Happy Halloween from all of us here at Big Dave and Company.  We hope that you have a wonderful day and enjoy dressing up, throwing candy at one another, and pulling pranks after dark.  I always sort of loathe what Halloween has become, because it long ago lost the spirit of what it is supposed to be.  First the trick or treating was moved to the daytime because it was safer than having the kiddos out and about at night, and then of course it had to be moved to the nearest weekend day so all the parents could watch the kids as they went around.  It was a safety thing, which is fine, but no one has seemed to realize that the holiday essentially promotes taking candy and gifts from strangers.  How come it's okay on Halloween but not any other time.  Then, because trick or treating was on a weekend day and the parents were involved, it suddenly became okay to pile the little bastards into the minivan and drive around.  This is maddening in a two-fold sort of way: 1.) The kids always go to the more affluent neighborhoods or to way to many parts of town and 2.) the parents don't have to walk with the kids, they can just sit on their asses and listen to the radio.  Boo for that idea.  And so Halloween stopped being Halloween a long, long time ago.  Oh well.  To bad, so sad.  Have a Happy Halloween anyway!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Devil's Night

    Tomorrow, something strange is going to happen all across America.  The politically correct, safety-minded-at-all-costs yutzes are actually going to allow trick-or-treating to actually occur on Halloween.  The only reason that is going to happen is because Halloween actually happens to fall on a Sunday, but it is still going to happen and that is neat-o.  So now all the kiddos can have super safe family fun in the daylight like the tools in charge would like them to.  None of that trick or treating at night and causing mischief for them.
      But what it also means is that Devil's Night - in those places that celebrate it - is going to occur on a Saturday. Devil's Night is October 30, and there are all sorts of places where that is the night shit goes down.  Detroit is the best example, and tonight I am sure that vacant houses all over Detroit will be burning gloriously in the night air.  The thing about Devil's Night being on a weekend is this, and it's a twofold thing - more people will be able and willing to participate, and there will be fewer of the official types (police officers, firefighters, medical professionals) on duty to help reign in the chaos.
      I understand that I was just bashing the safety conscious a little bit ago, but there is a fine line here.  There is a difference between allowing the kids to trick or treat at night, and maybe play a few practical jokes or throw a few eggs and repeatedly burning everything in sight and causing major crimes and damage.  The former we can live with, the later, not so much.  That is the difference between Halloween and Devil's Night.  Scope.  And that's what makes Halloween a good thing, and Devil's Night a not-so-good thing. Scope and intent.  So it will be an interesting weekend to be sure.  All death and destruction on Saturday and all candy and costumes on Sunday.  Oh, and throw a little football in there too for good measure.  It's Halloween weekend.  And it's on.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Short Attention Span

     Nothing measures American society more, or better, than television.  Actually, commercials are even better because they combine television and buying things that we don't need.  And what commercials are telling us is that we are becoming more A.D.D. with every passing moment.
     That is right, the 30-second commercial is no longer the industry standard, as it has been for some time.  Apparently 30 seconds has become too long for us to pay attention to the advertisers' message.  Commercials have moved from 30 second stories to quick, 15 second bursts of image and motion and information.
     So why?  There are lots of reasons.  First of all, everyone has a cell phone permanently attached to their ass, and they are on it no matter if there is a commercial on or not.  Second, everybody and their brother has a DVR, so they are fast forwarding though the commercials while they watch their recorded episode of "Survivor."  Third, we are all on Ritalin.  Or Prozac.  Or at least we should be, and we just can't stand to sit still for 30 seconds to watch a commercial unless there is an explosion or a car chase or a car chase that ends in an explosion.  All that put together has made advertisers figure "Why spend the money when people aren't going to watch anyway."
     There certainly are advantages. First of all, you air a lot more commercials in the same amount of time if you are dealing in 15 second spurts than when you are dealing in 30 second increments. Twice as many, actually.  During a recent episode of a major sitcom on a major network, viewers were treated to five (5) ads in a minute and a half, two of which were for the same company.  Plus, repeating that short message over and over and over allows that message to bore itself deep into your brain and lodge itself there.
      So our A.D.D. is playing right into the hands of the "Mad Men" types who probably made us A.D.D. in the first place, and the perpetual cycle is allowed to continue.  And maybe it is a good idea.  We should start doing that here.  Instead of one post of several paragraphs each day, how about thirty one-sentence posts each day.  That would be nutso.  But in the end, the worlds of advertising and television - the left and right hands of the devil working in concert - has told us what we should have been noticing all along.  That we are losing our ability to pay attention to...SQUIRREL!  Sorry, I saw a squirrel for a second there.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Adventures of Randy Quaid

    Randy Quaid has lost his God-damned mind.  And like any good Hollywood type he has found a relatively attractive woman go lose it with him, and he is doing it all in a very public sort of way.
    There weren't a whole lot of people who raised a whole lot of eyebrows when the Quaids - Randy and Evi - were arrested in Santa Barbara for living in and causing approximately $5000 in damage to a guest house that the previously owned yet still claimed was theirs.  So, in other words, they were squatting in their former home, which is a no-no.  They were brought up on felony vandalism charges and a date was set to appear in front of a judge.  That day was last Monday, October 18.  The Quaids didn't show up - which apparently isn't unusual for them - but where they ended up and the reasons they ended up there, now that's a story.
    Local police in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada arrested the couple on Thursday, October 21 because of the warrant that was put out for their arrest because they didn't show up for court, and US and Canadian authorities play nice with one another like that. So they arrest the Quaids and throw them in Canadian jail, where they promptly ask for political asylum.
    Wait, what?  Asylum?  Like, they want to live in Canada now?  Yep, that's right.  They feel that they should be allowed to stay up north not because of all the trouble they are in in America, but because of a group called the "Hollywood Star Whackers" that is going to attempt to kill them.
     I am not making this up, Company.  They even held up a crazy-looking hand written note.  They claim that someone in Hollywood is murdering its celebrities - like David Carradine and Heath Ledger - for ad sales, and for some reason they feel that Randy Quaid is still enough of a celebrity that he needs to "whacked."  So the Canadians, because they are them, are going to hold a hearing on Thursday - like tomorrow - to see if they should be granted asylum or not. 
    Yep, Randy has lost it, and his wife has bought in hook, line, and sinker.  It's a really, really bizarre turn on what has been a really, really bizarre sort of life after film.  I don't even think that the writers down in Hollywood could have made this up.  Squatting. Vandalism. Political Asylum. Canada.  I just can't wrap my sickness addled mind around it.  It just makes me shake my head.  "Star Whackers."  Oh Randy, whatever will we do with you?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Back from The Sickness

     Son of a bitch!  We're back, Company, and apologetic for our lack of, well, being around lately. See, The Sickness still has its icy grips on us in the office, and when you and your staff (read: Unpaid Interns) are spending the better part of your day attempting to stay awake and not projectile vomit while doing it, writing blog posts tends to slip way down the list of important things, you know what I mean?  Because vomit is really, really hard to clean out of a keyboard.
     There is another thing going on here too: that is that once you fall off the proverbial horse, it really is staggeringly difficult to get back on it.  Not get down on it like the Daft Punk song, but get back on it; namely the horse.  It is much easier to lie in the grass on your back staring up into the sun, and just give up on writing blog posts and trying to squeeze fresh, new content out of the world.  But we are here with some sort of bells on, and we are going to get back to providing that fresh, new content to you, or at least back to regurgitating news articles from other sources.  But in any event, we apologize for our extended time away and hope that you can forgive us, Company.  But we all get The Sickness from time to time.  And our time was then.  But your time is now.  Just not for being sick.  For reading new stuff.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cough Syrup

    I do not understand how cough syrup is supposed to work.  Maybe it is because it has rarely, if ever, worked for me - I don't know.  But I do know that I am not sure how it is supposed to get its job done.
    Except for NyQuil, of course.  That gets its job done by knocking you the fuck out.  But the other stuff?  First of all, I pour you down my throat, and the amount that I pour down there I am pretty sure is not enough to coat my throat all the way down to wear a lefty takes you down Bronchial St. and a righty puts you on the Digestive Highway.  So I am not even sure I am getting to coverage I need.  Second, I pour you down my throat and the very next time I cough, all that cough syrup just comes up with it; scoured off the sides of my throat as if by rushing water over time.  Except this is a more violent, one-time thing.  So I guess it's nothing like the rushing water over time.  Nevertheless, it is still gone, rendered ineffective by the almost inhuman volume and strength of my expulsion.
    Okay, let's say that you manage to get in there.  Here is the big point.  Most of the time, I am coughing to try and remove the thick, choking mucus that is covering my tickle spot at the back of my throat.  Now you come along, cough syrup, and propose to help me stop coughing by covering that very same spot with a thick, choking liquid.  Hmmm...bold strategy.  Instead of that, why don't you give me something that will eat away at the mucus that is slowly taking years off my life?
    Now, in all fairness, I understand that there is more than just that going on here.  I understand that there are a bunch of medicines in the syrup and that the stuff must work or else it wouldn't still be on the market, the last holdout of the wild apothecary days of the turn of the last century.  But still I can but help to wonder, every time I open the hatch and throw back that little cup of green or red or orange liquid, how this is going to help me and just make me worse.  And usually it just does nothing.  Unless - like I said - it is NyQuil.  Then it will put me out.  And that always works.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

R.I.P. Tom Bosley

Sunday, Monday - Happy Days
Tuesday, Wednesday - Happy Days
Thursday, Friday - Happy Days

R.I.P. Tom Bosley

You probably remember Tom Bosley as the all-American father on "Happy Days," teaching Ritchie and the Fonz about life.  If you are part of the older set, you probably are used to seeing him as the Sheriff on "Murder, She Wrote," opposite Angela Landsbury.  But the place from which I first remember Tom Bosley was from the short-lived series "The Father Dowling Mysteries" where he starred as a priest who solved crimes with the help of a hot nun.  I remember they drove around in a giant Ford LTD wagon with wood panelling and the headlights on the front that had the covers over them that opened.  He also starred on Broadway prior to his television career as Mayor Fiorello La Guardia.  No matter how you knew him, he is now gone, his warm voice and face no longer giving us fatherly advice as we go along.  He will be missed, at least around here.  Rest in peace.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Big Ka-Boom

    The funny thing about science - in this case physics - is that it generally doesn't care about time, place or circumstance.  For instance, if the tree in your back yard stops being able to bear its own weight at 3:00 am, then you are going to wake up with a tree in your back yard in the morning.  It doesn't care that you have to go to work, or that it woke you up, etc.  So, despite the fact that I have not been sleeping well lately due to some lingering sickness and coughing, or that I had just figured out, for that night at least, how to lie so that I didn't almost lose a lung.  Never mind that I was super comfortable and that my brain has been playing tricks on me for a lot of days now and I rarely if ever know what's going on once my head hit the pillow.  Doesn't matter to physics, it doesn't matter to science.  The nail, holding up one side of the foot-long shelf I have over the toilet in the bathroom in my wing of the Worldwide Headquarters was no longer able to hold the shelf up, and what transpired was the loudest but least consequential event I have ever been a part of.
Something like this was falling
through my dreams.

     First of all, it was loud.  Real loud.  It sounded to me, on the edge of sleep, like a million billion empty plastic water jugs - like the clear kind that is made out of a little more rigid plastic with the white spout with red button - falling all over the place in the middle of an empty warehouse.  I woke right up.  One giant bead of terror sweat plopped down next to my pillow.  So I shook out the cobwebs and looked out of the bedroom.
     I installed a shower curtain rod in my hallway at one point, on which I hang my shirts for them to dry.  I fully expected to see this lying in a heap on the hallway floor, freshly hung with wet shirts as it was.  I figured the sound of plastic crashing was all in my head.  But it was still hanging.  And everything was okay in the kitchen.  I almost didn't bother, but at the last minute I stuck my head into the bathroom.
     I laughed for a moment, and then I swore.  Easy enough to fix, but I faced the prospect of cleaning up and throwing away a couple of hundred of prime Q-tips, which are like gold in my house.  I keep them housed in a hard plastic container with a lid, hence the noises.  So I sat down on the edge of the bathtub and started picking up the victims: the Q-tips, mouthwash, lotion, and two - count 'em two - bandages.  Replace the lid on the container.  Pick up the shelf.  Investigate the nail, which had just pulled its way down through the drywall until it lost all holding power, no big deal.
     But it was a big deal.  I hear Ruth, my neighbor, calling my name.  She is asking if I am okay.  At first I thought the was calling through the wall from her bathroom, but then I realized the was outside.  So out of the bathroom I do, turning on lights, finding a shirt.  Poor Ruth, sweet woman that she is, is standing outside in the freezing cold making sure that I am not dead.  She heard the loud falling, then heard me talking to myself (either in my stupor, trying to figure out what was going on, or I was cussing about the Q-tips) and thought that maybe I was trying to get help.  And I probable need help.  But any visions that she had of me lying on the floor with blood seeping from a gaping head wound.  I was glad that she was up and wasn't woken up, and I thanked her repeatedly for checking on me.  Then I finished cleaning up and went to bed.
     Such an unimportant and miniscule event: a shelf falling off the wall.  A shelf that held bathroom products no less, caused to so much commotion.  Woke someone out of a dead sleep.  Brought another person out into the cold night.  Sent fright through multiple people for no good reason.  All for the work of gravity and physics and me not anchoring that nail into a stud.  That is why I said at the beginning that it was such an insignificant event - the shelf will be up by tomorrow - cause all that commotion. "Full of sound an fury, but signifying nothing."  That is a quote out of Shakespeare (don't ask me where) and I think he was applying it to humans in general, but it's a great line and I am pinning it to this event.  Full of sound and fury for sure, but in the end, signifying very little at all.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Unfunded Mandate

     Recently, the Federal government made a decision, which depending on your view could be somewhat surprising, but someone in a non-descript building in Washington D.C. came to the conclusion that all street signs in all the cities in America should be reflective and in both caps and lower case.  This is not a big deal, or at least it should not be.  The government makes these sort of declarations on a semi-regular basis, and in this case they did it for safety, or maybe for some other reason that they just cloaked in the guise of safety, because nobody will ever say no to something that is done in the name of safety.  The safety of the children especially.  So they said that signs made out to their specifications would be easier to read for police and fire and paramedic types, and for general drivers, so they don't have to stop in the middle of the road or make sharp turns to get where they are going, etc.  Fine, great.
      This has been a story that I have seen in more news outlet sources that I ever thought I would have.  I heard it in the first place and thought that would be it.  But there it was again.  And again.  And again.  It came back over and over like it was The Highwayman or something.  See, as it turns out, it is a little expensive to erect (HAHAHAHA! I just said "erect"!) new street signs - somewhere on the order of $40 apiece - and that has all the people in charge of the suddenly very broke town and cities across America a little bit mad.  And they have gotten the attention of the media.
     This, in return, has gotten me a little mad.  See, all these folks - the city managers, the Street Department heads, the aldermen, etc. - all work in government, and the bulk of them have for some time.  So they should know what I already know after working for the government for a short time.  This is what is called an "unfunded mandate" and they happen ALL THE TIME.
     That's right folks, unfunded mandate.  It is really a neat little trick to play, provided of course that you are not at the bottom level of the food chain, which unfortunately most of these poor municipalities are.  It works like this: Some government makes a rule that everyone under its jurisdiction - which for the Feds is everyone, for a state would be everyone in the state, county everyone in the county, and so on - must follow, but then gives them no money with which to implement and enforce the new rule.  For instance, the Federal government decries that everyone must have new street signs by 2018 or whenever, then gives no money to anyone to help get it done.  Wow, I didn't even have to make that example up.
     I know, it sucks balls.  It sucks royal, smell, shit covered monkey balls.  But it happens all the time, all around the nation.  In all sorts of shapes and sizes.  The bottom line is that that is just how the cookie crumbles sometimes.  And in this case one of those times is right the fuck now.  A lot of the larger cities aren't worried, because they have it in their budgets over the, oh EIGHT YEARS that they have to make this happen, to replace all those signs anyway.  So no big deal, just check a different box on the order form.  And for all you tiny little towns, I can't say that I am feeling too bad for you.  You have had the same metal signs that you can't see at 25 mph in the dark since 1928, I think you've gotten your money's worth.  Just suck it up and get something pretty that has a little picture of a waterfall or something on it for added prettiness and effect.  Yeah, that would be nice.
     So just suck it up and do it.  There's an unfunded mandate for ya.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Global Handwashing Day

     Today, October 15, is Global Handwashing Day, a day that was started in order to promote the awareness of the fact that washing your hands with soap and water is a tremendous way to kill disease.  This should make my mother very happy, because she deals in infection control for a living, and she was always big on washing one's hands.
     But not I.  Not that I am not pro-handwashing, I am just not one to go along with the proverbial crowd, and I always have to be a smartass.  So I am going to go ahead and promote Global Handwashing Day as more of a day to just stop dealing with things that you are tired of dealing with.  Wash your hands of them.  It's gonna' be liberating.
     Hate your in-laws?  Wash your hands of them.  Beat up car that is always at the mechanic?  Wash your hands of it.  Thirty-seven year-old boyfriend who won't get a job and can't wash a dish?  Wash your hands of him.  Just be done with it.  I mean, there are things in your life that are problematic all the time that you just have to deal with, that you just have to face and attempt to fix or live with.  Not anymore.  Not today.  It's Global Handwashing Day.  Wash your hands of it.
     And how great is that? It is so simple.  Just walk away.  Now I am not saying that you should leave your kids in a O'Reilly Auto Parts parking lot in Topeka, Kansas because you are just tired of lugging them around, let's make sure that we are smart about this.  But all those little things that have been driving you crazy?  Wash you hands of them.  It will feel so good.  And it will be healthy too, but in a different sort of way.  And all you have to do is wash your hands.  Happy Global Handwashing Day!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Applish

     Sometimes, as I go through my life, and I am not sure how to describe something in a way that those to whom I am speaking will understand, I take a proper noun that is known to them and add the suffix "-ish."  You know, Castro-ish would mean "a lot like Fidel Castro" and Miller High Life-ish means "a lot like Miller High Life."  Fair enough.
     And so it was with Applish.  It was a drink, in like a little one-pint container, that almost sort of resembled apple juice.  It was stuck down hidden below the orange and looked like a nice diversion from the usual.  I thought it would be apple, but when the label said "applish" in a nice, modern font, I was intrigued.  So I poked around and looked at the ingredients on the label and noticed that nowhere was the word "apple" to be found.  Now I was hooked.
     And applish it was.  It tasted exactly like it looked: like watered down apple juice.  There was no nutrition, and probably not much beyond the water and "natural flavors and colors" that was natural, but for eighty cents what more could you want?  It was actually -ish in every way, because it almost approximated everything.  It almost quenched my thirst.  It almost tasted like apple juice.  It almost had some natural stuff in it.  It almost provided nutrition (mostly sugar and carbs).  It almost did everything apples do.  Applish.
     I briefly thought that maybe, just maybe, they were trying to be super cool and mix the words "apple" and "delicious" with slick colors and fonts to make me want to buy.  That seems like the kind of thing a company peddling that crap would do.  And you know, that is probably what it was intended to be, unless of course the FDA wouldn't let them call it apple.  But in the end, it really was applish because it wasn't quite apple.  It was just Applish.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Big Lift

    Well Company, let me begin by offering our deepest apologies for the lack of new material over the last four or five days.  We here at the Worldwide Headquarters have been struck down by the sickness, a sort of form of bronchitis that our resident doctor assured us "is notable only for the length of time it seems to stick around."  Great.  Some of us were laid low by a nasty fever that - combined with regular doses of NyQuil - made for some pretty messed up delusions in the middle of the night.  But that's neither here nor there.  There have been a lot of things going on in the last few days that we should be talking about, but I suppose the most pertinent and important is the miners.
     That is right, folks.  As I type this, the 33 trapped mines in the north of Chile are being pulled from the depths of the Earth.  In fact, roughly half of them have been brought up as I type this.  That's pretty good I would have to say, and be all accounts there has been little if any in the way of problems.  And, all that being, said, I couldn't be more impressed with the Chileans.
     I am not talking about the miners themselves, although I could and should be.  Because I am super impressed with the 32 Chileans and 1 Bolivian who have been stuck UNDERGROUND for 69 days.  That is beneath the surface of the Earth, people.  I can tell you that I probably wouldn't have had the health, mind, or resolve to last that long under those conditions.  So I am completely impressed by what they have done and are currently doing.  But I am also amazed by how the Chilean authorities have handled this situation.  See, since about, oh, 16 minutes after the mine shaft collapsed, the private company that owned the mine has been bankrupt and Codelco, the state-owned mining company, has been in charge, which essentially means that the Chilean government has been running the show.
     And they have done a stupendous job of it.  First thing the did was pure, unadulterated genius: they consistently gave the worst-case time estimates: oh it might take months, it might take another eleventy billion weeks, so on and so forth, and then they consistently have come in ahead of schedule.  Aside from making them look super great, this also keeps the guys in the shaft, and their loved ones on the surface, and the millions watching on TV, in good spirits.  And keeping that mental part upbeat is one of the most important things of all.
     Not that the folks in charge hadn't thought about that.  They have meticulously calculated and planned the entire operation from day one, and have not spared an expense, which is no small feat for a country still reeling from a devastating earthquake in February.  They have brought in the best equipment and minds to make sure that the men get exactly what they need, and a little bit extra to keep them upbeat.  So very good.  They are making them spend 48 hours in a friendly local hospital - two floor of which have been reserved exclusively for them - just to make sure that they are in good shape.  They have all manner of psychologists and sociologists and other -ologists waiting to help the re-adjust to daily life.  They are wearing sweaters on their way up because although it is 90ยบ down there, it is around freezing in the real world at night.  They have to wear sunglasses to shield themselves from the light.  The guys are monitored on the way up with cameras to see if they are becoming panicked or anything.  Just about everything has been accounted for.
     And so it is rapidly becoming a shining day for the nation of Chile, triumphantly bringing its men back from the brink of death.  It is a great and resounding success.  And it should be applauded and celebrated as such.  Oftentimes things like this are spun for political reasons into great events to show how great the government is.  But not this time. There is no spin here.  This is a great event showing how great the government is because the government has succeeded fantastically.  Congratulations miners, we are glad you are out safe.  And congratulations Chile, you deserve every accolade you get.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Crappy Cell Phone

I am sort of wishing this was my phone right about now.
     My cell phone is a piece of shit.  That is all there is to it.  And I couldn't be more irritated.
     Yep, irritated is the word, because I am not really angry about it.  I am not mad.  I knew that the reviews were mixed on this model when I bought it, and I was simply gambling that I would be one of the ones who seemed to be on the good side of things, not one of the people who is bitching about the bad qualities.  But here I am.
     Not that you care, Company, but would you like to hear the list of complaints?  First of all, it has a tendency to turn off at times when I did not tell it to and when it has plenty of battery left.  I have yet to figure out a rhyme or reason to it, but it always seems to be that I pull it out of my pants pocket (left front, always left front) and it is off, when I distinctly remember asking it to be on.  It is almost like it thinks it is solar powered or something and so it shuts down when it is in my pocket for lack of light, unless of course it is in the pants that have the holes for pocket pool, but that's neither here nor there.
     I sort of wish sometimes that the damn thing WAS solar powered, because it has an awfully short life when you use it.  I mean, if it were solar powered then at least it would be charged every time I took it outside, or used it near a window on a sunny day.  As it is it is (when was the last time you saw that combo of words in a grammatically correct usage?) battery powered and the battery just doesn't last long enough.  My former phone had a critically short battery life but I always chalked that up to a variety of reasons, such as the times that I dropped it in boiling water, the age of the phone (it was ancient), or the fact that I never did what you are supposed to do with a battery when charging it for the first time.
     But that was my old phone, and I think that was the problem.  See, aside from the battery thing I loved my old phone.  I had a man crush on it.  I did a lot of research when I bought it, and I strode in and told them what I wanted and that was what I got and I was happy as a clam.  It was tough.  It was durable.  It was red.  It got great reception.  And it was every inch my personality.  The one I have now was more forced on me because I wanted certain features without having to fork over for a data plan.  Get what I am saying?
     So here I am now, bitching and complaining to you when you don't care.  And as well you shouldn't.  I guess I just sort of half need to vent and half need to mourn the loss of my old companion, which I can't reactivate anymore.  I was lured into the supposedly greener grass by the evil temptress of technology, and I am stuck with a phone that is a piece of crap.  By the way, my phone is my only means of communication with the outside world, short of shouting at people from the street corner, which the police told me I can't do anymore.  Oh well.  Only 18 more months until I can get a new one.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Magic Hour

    Here is the question of the day, Company: When was the last time you saw a good magician?  I mean, I know that they are out there.  It is not like I am lamenting the lack of quality practitioners of magic in our society, I am just asking when was the last time you actually went out and saw one?
     Yeah, that's what I thought.  I racked through the memory banks as well and couldn't come up with the last time I saw one.  In fact, I am seriously beginning to consider the fact that maybe I have never seen a real, live magician perform in person.  I mean the whole nine yards, with the girl in the glittery outfit that he is always cutting in half and a Mary Poppins-like black top hat.  That is what I am looking for.  I know that it is much more politically correct to call them "illusionists" these days, but we all know that I don't go for that shit.  I am talking about an old school magician with bunnies and the scarves that come our of your sleeve for like sixteen feet.
     I wonder where I could find one.  I am sure that using the power of the Internet I could discover if and when one will be performing near me.  That thing is great - that Internet.  You can find out all sorts of useful information on that thing.  And there is a lot of porn.  It is sort of like magic itself, it stands to reason that would be a good way to procure the services of a magician for my next party, social, or gala event.  I wonder if I could just open the Yellow Pages, you know, let my fingers do the walking, in order to summon up a magician for say my kid's birthday party.  Or maybe for my bachelor party - now that would be cool.  And he could make an exotic dancer appear.  And a keg!  Now that's what I am talking about.
     So that is the great mystery of the day, Company.  Where have all the magicians gone?  The next time I see that one is nearby, probably at the friendly local Native American casino or maybe at the theatre that is a scant 90 mile drive away, I am definitely going to go see him or her.  Because you are never, ever too old for that kind of business.  I mean, who doesn't like seeing a person being cut in half with a giant-toothed saw?  I know I do.  But only when they are put back together again.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Misplaced Anger

     So I was really anger the other day, Company.  I was really angry about something; something in particular.  And I mean really angry - super angry.  I had my feathers all in an uproar and was set to get up on my soapbox and pontificate about some subject that had me all upset.  But at the time, I didn't do anything about it.  I thought to myself "Self, you can write about it in a day or two.  You will still be angry in a day or two."  And I would assume that I am still angry about that particular subject.  I just wish that I could remember what it was.
     Yeah, that's right.  Brain fart.  Senior moment.  I guess that I don't care what you call it but I had one.  I don't remember what I was angry about.  I don't remember what had me all in an uproar for like two days.  I seem to think that vaguely it had to do with cheerleaders and their uniforms, but I am not sure that it is.  See, I read an article about some cheerleaders in Connecticut who stormed into a Bridgeport School Board meeting and demanded that they have less revealing uniforms.  Now that's cool.  Then the article went on to say that a study among college cheerleaders showed that the more revealing the uniform they have to wear the higher the incidences of eating disorders among the squad.  I can't say that I am surprised.  But anyway, that is for another time, and that is not the point.  The point is that I read the article, so as I type that might be what I am thinking about, and there might not really be a connection.  So even the little bit of memory that I have might not even be for real.
     So what am I to do?  I briefly considered pretending to be outraged about the cheerleading thing but I am not because I actually think what those girls did was cool, and I liked the response by the school board and district.  So no outrage there, and it just isn't the same when it is faked, you know?  I was sort of hoping that I would see whatever it was that triggered my outrage in the first place and it would, you know, trigger it some more.  But nope, no such luck.  So what's a boy to do?
     Hence the post about the lost post.  Sort of like Garrison Keillor did when he wrote about his greatest story that he lost in a bus depot bathroom in Portland, Oregon.  And I know that I have written on this same subject before - probably more than once - but I am not going to go back and surf through the pages and pages of posts to find it.  You probably aren't interested anyway.  So I am just giving it to you again, in a new and different wrapper.  And I am also offering a big fat apology, for this pile of crap.  And I am sorry for my lost outrage, now suppressed somewhere in some shallow well under my surface, probably never to resurface.  And since I forget about it, even if it does return I won't know that I ever had it before.  And then it will be totally new.  To you and me.  And won't that be neat?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Lazy Day Haikus

     Since you asked for more, and since I have exactly no desire to write anything on such a beautiful day and just want something that can be done quick and counts as a post, here are some lazy day haikus:

No desire to write
A new post for the reader
So I write haikus

Five syllables here
And seven on the next one
Then five on the last

Ten minutes' effort
To make something, Company
That's how much I care

Just today that is
For tomorrow I will care
And write for real.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Show Some Skin

     Yesterday - if you were listening, Company - we talked about purple and why it was suddenly a Halloween color.  While we are on the subject of Halloween, I want to know more about when every costume had to become something super slutty or perverted.
     During all that time we were wandering around looking for costumes, it because painfully obvious that all the costumes - with the exception of the ones for little kids - were basically super slutty.  Or at least extremely perverted in the case of the men's costumes.  For all the women, it was always super tight or short skits with high boots and all sorts of cleavage, and for the guys it was all foam penis' and innuendo, and every package had the word "sexy" or a synonym on it.  Even the costumes for the teenagers were the same thing: all short skirts and heels but with words like "flirty" or "mischievous" but which really should be read as "slutty."
     So what's the deal with that?  Why all the ho-ish-ness all the sudden?  And who can I complain about for forcing this upon us?  Personally, I actually blame the bars for this one.  You know, the bars, pubs, saloons, etc.  Yeah.  Hear me out.  Somewhere along the way, the bars decided that Halloween would make a nice theme, with costume contests and drink specials, etc. to get the youth of America in to consume alcohol.  See, going to the bar gets a little old after awhile, so you have to have all sorts of promotions to sort of break up the monotony.  The thing about it is that the youth of America goes to the bar to get laid, so all the ladies who wanted to look good, get some free drinks, and get a piece, started tarting up their outfits. And it spread like wildfire.
     And we are all whores, even the boys, because we are wearing giant foam penises on ourselves.  So that is that.  I mean, it is one thing to dress provocatively, but it is another to be all out trampy.  You can be a police officer without having to be a sexy police officer.  You can be a vampire without being a sexy vampire.  You can be a beer wench without being a sexy beer wench.  Okay, bad example.  But you get the point here people.  The idea of a costume has long since been lost on the people who manufacture our costumes.  No longer can you just get a Frankenstein, no longer can you just get a devil.  It's all sexy crap.  And you know what?  I am all about sexy, I am all about short skits with boobs hanging out, but sometimes it just doesn't belong.  And sometimes it's just not needed.  And it is not needed in Halloween, unless you are going as a skank.  Then, by all means skank out.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Purple Headed Monster

     So anyway, Company, if you haven't been paying attention to the date at the top of all my posts, then you probably wouldn't realize that we have turned the calendar page to October.  And as such, people have begun to look forwards to Halloween.  As for those of us here at the Worldwide Headquarters, we have been looking for Halloween costumes.  And as you could imagine that means that I have been picking through an awful lot of those Halloween-themed stored that spring up in every major and mid-major city in the country.  Now, as one could imagine, there are lots of the same costumes from one place to the next, so there wasn't a whole lot out of there.  But it was looking through all of those things added to looking through the decorations at the big box retailers that made me wonder, when the hell did purple become a Halloween color?
     Yeah, somebody explain that shit to me.  It always used to be orange and black, because pumpkins are orange, and black is supposedly evil, and totally looks good on me.  So anyway, those were always the traditional Halloween colors, but somewhere along the way purple got added into that.  I don't know if it was because like Dracula had purple in his cape, or because chicks dig purple and chicks dig Halloween because it gives them a reason to dress sort of provocatively and not be a slut, or whatever.  But purple got added in there and I am not too happy about the whole thing.
     Why purple?  Someone explain it to me.  That is the first thing.  I can sit around and speculate all you want about it = like I did in the last paragraph - but that doesn't mean that I am barking up the correct proverbial tree.  So how did it happen?  Why did it happen?  What does purple have anything to do with harvesting or evil or anything?  I have yet to understand why big box retailers are hawking purple Christmas lights for me to hang out front for Devil's Night?
     So what am I supposed to do?  Am I supposed to decorate my bushes with purple crepe paper and people will understand what I am going for?  I am guessing that people will look at me like I need to wear a fucking helmet.  They will get the picture if I cover their maple tree with orange and black.  Am I supposed to put a purple pumpkin out in front of the Worldwide Headquarters?  One year some kids threw an orange pumpkin at my door and I didn't pick it up for like six months and by late March when the sun angle went up a little bit it became purple, but it wasn't really Halloween then anymore.  So rotting pumpkins then?  No?  I am just so confused, and I want someone to help me out.  Anybody please.  I need to buy some Christmas lights...excuse me, Halloween lights...and I just can't decide what color to get.  I just can't wrap my head around the purple.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

The Smoking Hot Cincinnati Reds

     Oh, the Cincinnati Reds.  I don't like to talk sports here, because I understand that the vast majority of you out there, Company, don't give a rat's ass.  But this is a little bit different.  This is a story about life, using your head, and taking some consideration into things before you act.  And it is told through sports.  So let's get back to those Cincinnati Reds.
    The Reds recently locked up the championship of the National League Central Division, which mean that they are assured of being in the playoffs.  That's a pretty neat little feat for a team that hasn't been to the playoffs in 15 years or so.  Anyway, they win this game and, as sports teams do, they retreat to the clubhouse to celebrate, where they proceed to spray one another with beer, chug gallons of champagne, and smoke fat stogies. You know, celebration stuff.  In fact, owner Bob Castellini passed out some victory cigars for players and staff alike.  This being said, the Cinicinnati Reds are a sports team, and so there was a bunch of media in the locker room covering the celebration, including a television crew beaming out live images to the people of Cincinnati and - assuming you have the right TV package - the world.  It was when this TV crew flashed a picture of Mr. Castellini smoking that victory cigar in the clubhouse that things because to get a little, well, fucking retarded.
Apparently Reds owner Bob Castellini is engaging in
a criminal act.  AP Photo/Tom Uhlman
      Immediately, five people called the Cincinnati health department to report that the Reds were smoking inside a public building, which, like everywhere else, is banned in Ohio. The Great American Ballpark is indeed a public building, despite the fact that the clubhouse is by invitation only.  They never stopped to consider that, or to revel in the fact that their baseball team (I would suspect the people were fans, seeing as they were bothering to watch on the television) had just essentially gone to the playoffs, or that nobody in the room seemed to be upset about the smoke wafting from the victory cigars.  Nope, all they cared about was the fact that they were in the ballpark and that they were smoking.
     And why bother?  Perhaps it was the principle of the whole thing: that they shouldn't be smoking inside.  Maybe it was because the five people are super anti-smokers.  Who knows.  But all these complaints are sort of almost for naught, thanks to the way that the Ohio laws are worded.  First of all, for the first offence there is a warning letter.  Then a $100 fine.  Then $500.  Eventually the fines work their way up to $2500 by the fifth violation.  Hmmm...I think that the owner of a Major League Baseball team would be able to afford a couple of hundred bucks, don't you?  Secondly, it is not exactly easy to get to the level of where you are being fined.  The Cincinnati Enquirer asked Cincinnati Health Department spokesman Rocky Merz about how they would go about enforcing these violations.  Rocky told them that a warning letter will be sent out, then a health inspector has to go down to the Great American Ballpark at approximately the same time that the violation occurred on a different day and actually catch someone smoking.  With his or her own eyes.  Then it's on with the letter.  Then if the same daisy chain of events occurs again, it will be a fine.  And so on and so forth.
     Needless to say the county and the team declines to comment.  In some situations the health inspector can interview witnesses but since all the complaints were anonymous, that isn't going to happen.  So in the end, essentially nothing is going to happen to Bob Castellini or his division champion Cincinnati Reds.  Nor should anything.  Even if this is strictly against the letter of the law, which is it, the health department officials should use their better discretion to allow this one to slide, especially since enforcement of it will be so difficult anyway, and because the fines would be so small.  And to all those overly uptight Ohioans who took the time to call in and complain, please take a moment to get your heads out your asses.  Think about what you are doing, because you are wasting a lot of time, money, and goodwill with your pig headed-ness.  Or at least conform, and I want you calling in every violation of every law and ordinance that you see for the rest of your life.  And God forbid you ever roll through a stop sign or jaywalk across a street or go anything over the posted speed limit anywhere from Conneaut to Harrison, because I will be watching you and your hypocrisy and you will never live it down.  P.S, Congratulations Bob and all the Reds.  Best of luck in the postseason.  Light one up for me.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Writer's Block Haikus

Lack of interest
Lacking the will to proceed
I just want to rest

Writer's Block is here
Lack of imagination
I can not create

What to do for them?
Company will get restless
They will go away

Hopefully there will
Be inspiration Friday
Or I will be screwed