Archive for December, 2007

I forgot to watch that special where the mouse breaks the singing clock, but other than that, no complaints.

Posted in Mundane Events on December 26, 2007 by butthorn

Christmas has come and gone, and despite all the travel and forced fellowship involved, it all went off without a hitch. Each holiday session we attended (4 in all, not including our own at-home gift exchange) was lively and food-filled, and we came away with warmish feelings and items that we previously could not claim to own. A holiday experience that did not feature a surprise live appearance by former “Silver Spoons” star Erin Gray could hardly be described as being more successful than the one we have recently enjoyed.

Our first Christmas jaunt was to Springvale, ME, which is where Annie’s mom and her side of the family calls home. It isn’t a convenient locale to visit for any reason, so chances are better than average that you haven’t been there. It’s right next to Sanford, which, again, you know nothing about. It’s about like any “I’m Not A Town, Not Yet A City” location in Maine. There are people, and there are stores. Annie’s mom has recently sort of gotten back together with her on-again, off-again love interest, and he is a stately older gentleman who is always either completely silent or relaying historical events in great detail at an alarming rate. He spent a lot of the visit trying to access his geneology website, with zero success. Meanwhile, there were plates of raw veggies, shrimp, sandwich stuff, and various desserts. These were consumed while opening inexpensive gifts and making jovially crass conversation with Annie’s aunt, uncle, and cousins, all of whom are fairly rambunctious and enjoy vulgarity and spirited retellings of past childhood trauma. It was a pretty decent time. I discovered that wrapping a piece of pepperoni around a raw string bean and dipping it in ranch dip is something that is very tasty to me. Annie’s mom was particularly entertaining, in that she both A) openly wept at a broadcast of “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” on TBS and B) broke frequent wind of a robust quality that made one entertain the idea of renouncing holidays, family, and food altogether. We took our leave around 9 and made the none-too-exciting 2 1/2 hour interstate sojourn back home, making sure to stop at a skeezy rest stop and court a violent, frenzied cornholing courtesy of Augusta-native transients. This did not occur, and a very merry Christmas to all.

Sunday found me in a vile mood, despite its potential as a relaxed day in which we were to enjoy each other’s company, having already opened our gifts to one another the night before after getting back from Springvale. I woke up upset, and remained that way throughout the day, becoming increasingly and illogically enraged with Annie’s dad, who kept calling to confirm Christmas plans. This is typical behavior from Annie’s dad, who is a big confirming enthusiast, and something I’ve learned to accept, but I wasn’t in a frame of mind to deal with it, for whatever reason. I also found it impossible to play “Super Mario Galaxy”, which incidentally is the first entertainment product in many a moon that actually lives up to all the hype and glowing reviews dedicated to it. It’s just a damn good game. Not too hard, not too easy, and almost as fun to watch as it is to play. If you have a Wii, I would be comfortable advising that you can safely plunk down 50 bucks for it without ever even having played the thing. Despite all that, I was seemingly determined to resist the charms of everything that crossed my path, and I’m afraid I pretty well ruined what could have been a nice, relaxing day by being a fat, retarded baby, devoid of personality and function. I feel badly about it.

Monday was better. I had to work until around noon, after which we eventually went to have Christmas with Annie’s dad and their side of the family, who are helpfully situated in downtown Bangor. They’re a fun bunch: crazy, intimidating, boisterous, cantankerous, and hilarious. They’re also big eaters, and Annie’s two aunts, hereafter referred to as “The Aunties”, are excellent cooks. This night, they decided to mostly get catering from The Coffee Pot, an excellent local sandwich place well known to central Maine, but it was still quite a spread. Following the meal, the Aunties were insistent, to the chagrin of all males present, that potentially humiliating parlor games were played, and as a result of men being the vastly weaker sex, a few rounds of holiday-themed charades became necessary. After that, sheets of paper with shockingly challenging “jumbles” were distributed, followed by fifteen stressful minutes of squinting at scrambled words and flagrant cheating. Lastly, after dessert, we all had to play children’s bingo, featuring cards on which the traditional numbers were replaced by pictures of things such as ice cream sundaes and umbrella-toting ducks. No one wanted to play this either, but I think everyone was secretly surprised by how fun it ended up being, and lucky winners got to pick prizes of dubious quality (including Iparty promotional calendars and rolls of Scotch tape) out of a Hannaford bag. Being that we were glutted and exhausted and required to get up vaguely early the next morning, we departed, then overslept and had to run around the next morning wrapping unwanted household belongings for the stocking exchange we’d agreed to take part in with my parents, who were their usual smiling, nonjudgemental welcoming selves.

Not that we could by this time fit much of it into our bloated stomachs, but my mom had prepared all manner of delicious brunch platters (including a scrumptious hash brown casserole thing that I wish I were eating right this second) and lots of little appetizer things that were low-maintenance and tasty, inspiring table hovering and low-key munching. My brother, who lives in Michigan but actually called from a friend’s house in Cleveland, telephoned to talk to everyone and regale us with his latest doings and dealings, among them an ultimately good but initially disastrous Lemonheads concert he attended that was presided over by a frighteningly haggard and disoriented Evan Dando. Giftwise, among other things, I received a “Nintendog” for the Nintendo DS, a game that was far more in demand a year or two ago, but I tend to be late to these things. I have named my virtual black lab puppy “Michael Landon”, and thus far he doesn’t seem to be terribly responsive to my increasingly unhinged commands. You can only intone “Michael Landon, sit down!” into a barking electronic device so many times before real worry and unpleasant reflection being to sink in. I wonder how long it will take for Michael Landon to obey to my satisfaction. I did enjoy throwing a tennis ball for him to chase and halfheartedly retrieve, however, and walking him around the virtual neighborhood was somewhat diverting, but though he does occasionally sit on demand, teaching him to shake hands isn’t going well at all. I intend to document my time with Michael Landon extensively, so get ready for some laughs, America!

We concluded Christmas by heading back to Bangor for a rather rollicking visit to the Doughtys, to whom we are not related but were treated like family all the same. Bill and Erin are the Doughtys who we are actually good friends with, and we were able to drop off some things we had borrowed from them as well as a present for their 2-year-old boy, Liam, but the less-encountered-by-us Doughtys, which included Bill’s parents, brother, and sister-in-law, were all friendly and chatty. We got to listen to George Sr, the affable patriarch, regale us with uninterrupted tales of bear encounters and the joys of disregarding maps when traveling by automobile, with his wife, Sandra, helpfully adding necessary interjections and embellishments. We witnessed joy in its purest form when Erin put in a DVD of an Aquabats concert, and Liam began smiling and jumping up and down. We got to have some homemade carrot cake and chocolate cream pie. It really seemed an ideal coda to the yuletide season: light-hearted back-and-forth and kidding around with a good bunch of people, with no potential for family-related stress; not that we particularly ended up experiencing much of that this year, but still, you can let your hair down at other people’s Christmases a lot easier, and we both really enjoyed ourselves.

I spend most of my waking hours trying to avoid sentiment like this, but I really am fortunate to have such a wonderful family – both the one I grew up with and the one I’ve newly acquired – and so many class-act friends that not only put up with my foolishness but actually seem to halfway enjoy it most of the time, and respond in kind with invaluable foolishness of their own. Everyone should be so lucky. Whatever you all did with your day off, I hope you enjoyed it.

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Things that, perhaps inexplicably, made me laugh

Posted in Uncle Nutsy! on December 19, 2007 by butthorn

Some jokes or dumb things I remember that have made me laugh out loud through the years, some completely out of context since I don’t remember what led up to them, others explained as much as possible:

Q: What’s better than farting on the toilet?
A: Buying bologna. (Amos McCannell)

Okay: The “bus administrator” at my school had a beard, and was kind of goofy, so my friends and I named him Beard. I ended up drawing comics about Beard’s adventures, many of which were pretty funny if I do say so myself. The real Beard never really did anything funny that we saw. Anyway, my brother’s best friend at the time (1989-90), Lucas McCannell, really took a liking to Beard, and he and his younger brother, Amos, attempted to draw their own Beard comics for fun. Lucas’ were technically more compentent, but Amos’ were a lot funnier, because you could tell he was putting absolutely no effort into them, as evidenced by the above “joke”, which appeared on a page that featured a huge drawing of Beard’s head, with a completely serious look on his face that didn’t go with his confounding riddle one iota. It really struck me funny, and I laughed until my head hurt so bad.

UPSETTING ADDENDUM: Later in life (2000) I very briefly managed a small video store in Brewer, and one day who should walk in but Beard! And what should he rent but “Chicks With Dicks Vol. 12”! I highly doubt he recognized me, but it was very hard to remain calm throughout the transaction. Beard became a semi-regular renter, and after awhile it got to the point where it was almost old hat. Then one sunny weekend morning, Beard sidled into the store, in a suit no less, and made his usual beeline for the porn closet. A good half hour or so went by, and as such I totally forgot he was in there. At that point he’d probably pretty well exhausted our modest selection. So in walks this nicely dressed, confused-looking woman who asks “Is my husband in here?” Having no clue who she is, and the store otherwise being empty, and me having forgotten the presence in the porn room, I say no. “Well, that’s strange, because his car is parked right outside.” I mention that perhaps he is in the neighboring Subway, and she starts to go outside to check. However, the owner of the store happens to be puttering around the store, and he runs out and very considerately tells the woman that there is someone in the “adult section”, could that be her husband? At which point Beard very unhappily tiptoes out of the naughty nook, and his wife proceeds to completely tear him a new one for getting sidetracked by tranny porn while en route to a funeral. Meanwhile I sat at the counter and quietly had an out-of-body experience.

“A man who’s feeling kind of blue walking into a room and being sharply harmed!” (Joe Basler)

I don’t even remember what got my friend Joe started on this, but he can get on an increasingly unhinged fantastical tangent like no one I know, stretching something unfunny out so far that it becomes hilarious. I was on the floor trying not to choke to death after he said this, but I have no idea what it meant or what led to it. Joe has said millions of hilarious things over the years that actually make sense, but this made me laugh the most. I wish I could remember why. No doubt we were horrifically inebriated at the time.

“Mr. Mowel!” (Matt Littlefield)

I’m chuckling even now, typing about this one, and it’s NOT FUNNY AT ALL. It’s simply my good friend Matt saying “Mr. Mowel” instead of “Mr. Owl”. From the Tootsie Roll Pop commercial, the how many licks one. Mr. Mowel. I laughed loudly for quite some time over Mr. Mowel, and I STILL think it’s funny, and there is quite simply nothing even approaching humor within it. I think I’m confused about what “funny” means, to be honest.

“We are gaaaaaaaay!” (Matt Littlefield)

Matt again, this time while we were at UMO, 1995 I’d say, walking by the union and hearing the Wilde Stein club singing a rousing tune, and this of course was what Matt imagined they most likely sang. Again, I think it was the complete lack of creativity involved that got me. Not trying is always funny.

“To Willett” (Matthew Clapp)

This is the first thing I can remember really finding funny, to the point where I was helpless with laughter without even really knowing why. I was in kindergarten, and at the time I rode to school with the neighbor’s kids, sometimes in their car and sometimes in ours. Anyway, it was Valentine’s Day, and Matthew, who was a couple years older than me, apparently had neglected to prepare all his valentines the night before, and was in a panic trying to finish them in the car. This was kind of funny in itself, as it involved someone other than myself having a difficult time with something they found important, but eventually I lost interest and stared out the window at whatever happened to be passing by. My daydreaming was interrupted by a hushed, very irritated groan, and I looked over to find that Matthew had addressed a valentine “To Willett”, instead of to “Miss Willett”, the school secretary. The idea of a kid casually addressing our grown-up secretary as “Willett”, coupled with Matthew’s overwrought anger at his mistake, somehow added up to the funniest thing I had ever seen in my entire life, and I unsuccessfully stifled my reaction to avoid angering him further, which of course didn’t work, and the rest of the trip consisted of Matthew repeatedly insisting that it wasn’t THAT funny while I laughed my ass off. And again, this is STILL 100% laugh out loud funny to me.

“I like cunt bread!” (Derrick Cameron)

Me and some friends were sitting around talking about our favorite kinds of bread for some reason, and Derrick (otherwise known as The Food) pipes up with this winning remark.

“When he eats chalk!” (Ted Taylor)

Ha ha ha! In high school, my friend Ken was way, way, way into professional wrestling (and eventually pursued a career in same). His favorite wrestler often changed, as is commonly the case for anyone who follows the shows, but quite often he sung the praises, literally, of Shawn Michaels. Michaels’ deal was that he considered himself a heartthrob, and was rather vain, so his theme song was a little ditty called “Sexy Boy”. One day while not studying in the library, Ken, Ted, and I were sitting at a table, and Ken began singing the song, which went something like “I like his moves/I like his walk/He looks so sexy” and then Ted gleefully interrupts with “When he eats chalk”. Again, that perfect combination of not funny with not trying, plus Ken’s irritation at the not terribly clever intrusion, equalled me totally losing it. So funny.

“Tom Williams the Leprechaun.” (Justin Stover)

This was the name of a story my brother wrote in second or third grade. I don’t know, something about it. I guess maybe I found it funny because ordinarily a kid writing a story for school about a leprechaun might choose to call it “Lucky” or, I don’t know, Greeny, but my brother decides to give him the most normal, inauspicious name ever.

“I know you! You’re the man who pissed in my ass when I was a boy!” (Justin Stover)

I hated my brother half the time when we were growing up, but I always had to admit that he was probably pound for pound the funniest person I knew. This was from a cartoon he drew, where a very happy man is pointing at another very happy man on the street, and saying this. Ridiculous.

Boy: We are going to die someday, father!
Dad: That’s right, son! (Justin Stover)

Another cartoon of Justin’s, with the above characters having that exchange. Again, both of them look extremely happy about their rather unsettling conversation. I still have these somewhere, I think.

“Once there was a little boy who learned how to say Christ.” (Justin Stover)

Ha ha haaaaa! Oh man. All right, so there was this one Christmas (1986?) where my dad was completely pissed off about everything. He probably didn’t have a job (the ’80s were not kind to my father, employmentwise), and he was grouchy all the time, and we never did anything he asked us to, which didn’t help. Anyway, being religious types, they always used to insist that we read the Christmas story, which we hated doing because we already knew the stupid story and as far as we were concerned, Jesus had nothing to do with Christmas, flush the damn Bible down the toilet and give us our presents already. But Dad kept blearily but angrily insisting, and then made the unwise move of forcing Justin to tell the Christmas story, and of course he wouldn’t cooperate. Eventually Dad and Justin come to some sort of agreement (I had a terrible cold so I was thankfully exempt from the narrative duties) where Justin could just tell a Bible story of some kind, not necessarily Christmas-related. So Justin very demurely sits down, prepares his thoughts, and announces the above title of his tale, and somehow it was so funny you wouldn’t even believe it. Dad gets mad because that’s not a real Bible story, Justin gets mad because Dad isn’t letting him make up his own story…somehow everyone calmed down and we actually got to open our presents. I got an awesome boom box, I think Justin might’ve gotten a cool ventriloquist dummy, and Dad got a job at a calculator store of some sort a few months later, so it all worked out for the best.

“You gotta go POT-TAAAAYYY?!?!” (Tony Cyrus)

Oh man, Mr. Cyrus. He was our band director. That year (1989, when all the funniest stuff happened) he was new, and we quickly learned that he had anger management problems, both due to a short fuse and a dorky, high-pitched voice that was impossible to fear or heed with any seriousness. So one day we’re all in band, apparently not paying attention to his liking, and then he yells at us that we’re all babies and unwisely angrily demands to know if we have to go to the bathroom using toddler vernacular, certainly not the best method of ensuring that your students stop laughing at you. There’s really no joy quite like endlessly baiting a clearly powerless teacher. He stuck it out and got to be pretty cool, but it was a rocky beginning.

“You wasted ten cents!” (Bart Stover)

Oh God, my dad. This was during another altercation with Justin, one of many. So it’s the 80’s, thus no job for Pappy, and we’re at the dinner table, where most problems tended to occur, and Dad is being cross with us for such mealtime missives as taking too much food, not eating everything on our plates, etc., and while he’s regaling us with this uninteresting information Justin, inadvertently I think, dumps 2/3 of the bottle of salad dressing onto his salad, causing Dad, with sincere anger and disappointment, yell “You wasted ten cents!”. The idea that our father could on sight mentally calculate the net worth of salad dressing amounts, much less be so passionate about so paltry a loss, was mind-bogglingly amusing. Even at the tender age of eight or nine, Justin’s cackling scoff of disbelief belied a sense of humor that made me very happy in times such as those. He wasted TEN CENTS!

“I’m gonna wipe my bottom with a nail!” (Bart Stover)

This was in the mid-late 90s, right before my dad decided to quit teaching school. As you may have guessed, he’d about had it with his occupation of choice, and he stated the above with utmost seriousness, as though it were the only logical solution to his woes. I was quite relieved when he instead opted for early retirement.

“Sorry kids: I do drugs!” (Matt Littlefield)

One day in our little hovel in York Village, Matt came out with Bill’s Kermit the Frog puppet and out of nowhere put on a hilarious impromptu performance of Kermit basically having an amphetamine-fueled nervous breakdown, at one point offering the simple but effective explanation above as an excuse for his behavior, which include speaking in a deafening high-pitched rasp that in no way sounded like Kermit the Frog then knocking a box of cereal off the shelf and emitting blood-curdling shrieks by way of apology. It was somewhat out of character for Matt (and Kermit) and one of the funniest things I ever saw him do, out of many.

“Foo! No relish for me!” (Anne Stover)

We were at the Portland Mall in 1990 and there was a hot dog stand outside, and my mom bought a hot dog but forgot to get relish and very heatedly made the above complaint. Again, condiment mishaps + beleaguered parents = uncontrollable hilarity.

Sadly, the last time I can remember really enjoying and enduring a genuine prolonged belly laugh was at something in the movie “Another Stakeout”. I wish I were lying about that. Someone do something funny! Well, until that happens, I can think of any of the above little moments and for one reason or another they all still crack me up.

The Grand-Dad of All Hangovers

Posted in The Drink Dranther on December 15, 2007 by butthorn

My stomach is making offensive noises, my temples are pulsating painfully, my mouth tastes likes Lincoln, ME, and none of the objects in the immediate area are making much sense to me. In short, I finally got to try “Old Grand-Dad” whiskey last night. I’ve been wondering about it ever since I was old enough to drink, and I finally had both the funds and the gumption simultaneously last night at Hannaford. I personally don’t ever really detect much difference between bottom shelf and top shelf liquor. I’m just gonna mix it with root beer or Dr. Pepper or some other ridiculous thing, so it always tastes about the same: like soda with a band-aid in it. I’m not in it for the taste treat of the century, a good thing since as it happens this is a not a claim made on the bottle anywhere that I can see by the good manufacturers of “Old Grand-Dad”. granddad86.jpg
Look at Old Grand-Dad. He’s trashed. And not the fun-loving, party-hearty kind of trashed. He’s past all that. The laughter has ceased, the stage where everyone suddenly wants to run around outside is over, the people who went off to have sex are probably awkwardly pulling on their socks about now, the begrudging game of Up and Down the River has fizzled out, and now it’s just Old Grand-Dad and his somber, sepia-tone plowing recollections.

Let’s be honest, he probably didn’t even go to a party. He’s just slumped in a rocking chair, scowling and soused, yearning for the sweet release that slapping a loved one brings. Unfortunately, his loved ones all either wisely moved far away, where they speak of him only in the most hateful terms, or he slapped them all to death. Now he’s got no one to slap but himself, and he does, again and again. “This hurts,” thinks Old Grand-Dad. “No wonder everyone hates me. Waaaaaaah haaaaaaaaaaahh hhhaaaaaaaaaahhh! Oh aaaahhhhhhhh! COUGH HACK HACK HACK! COUGH COUGH HACK! HOOLEH! HOOOLLLLLLEEEEEEEEGGGGHHHH!!!”

Old Grand-Dad. Since 1882.

Before adventuring with Old Grand-Dad, Annie had dragged me along to an uncomfortable Christmas party at this moderately swanky old place called the Heritage House at UMO, where people from her work-study job were eating food and exchanging presents. Annie has not been working there very long, and only knew a couple people. Most of the people there were old and had known each other for a good long time. As such, we ate in silence and snuck out the back door. The food was good, though. All home-made foodstuffs. Comfort food like homemade mac and cheese, chicken pot pie, and Swedish meatballs. Even a crock pot full of L’il Smokies!

Then we ran screaming from the boisterous yet uninspiring houseful of conversation to Hannaford, and from there to home, where we unsuccessfully tried to watch several things, including a Dr. Who I’d borrowed from Bill, “Fortune Dane” starring Carl Weathers, and “C.H.O.M.P.S.”. Only the latter had any hope of holding our half-crocked interest, and that only because there was a big furry mean black dog in it that could talk and had a bad attitude. Basically they would just show a close-up of the dog’s face and a voice that sounded like a cross between Isaac Hayes and Pat Buttram would say something gruff and sassy, one of the best examples of which would be “Up your poop, Granny!” Needless to say, this got repeated numerous times over the course of the evening.

I don’t know what the hell we’re gonna do with our weekend. We’re not remotely done with our Christmas shopping, so we’ll probably have to go to a store at some point, the mere thought of which makes me want to chug the rest of the Old Grand-Dad.

I need to go take eleven Motrin. Goodbye.

Disappointing cake and little-known director Larry Cohen.

Posted in Marvy Movies on December 13, 2007 by butthorn

I left work a little early yesterday in fear of a “flash freeze” that Kevin Mannix insisted was going to occur. I don’t fully know what that is, but it sounded terrible, and certainly nothing that our car would be willing to deal effectively with, so I went home, where I sort of halfheartedly picked up a little, made Annie’s birthday cake finally (it became unnecessary once the Friendly’s Party Log was introduced and made us all full/sick) (the birthday cake incidentally was kind of dry and tasteless despite being completely chocolate, and the sprinkles hurt our teeth), and watched “It’s Alive” from Netflix. I watched it twice in a row! I liked it! The second time I watched it with commentary. It’s from 1973 or 4 and is about a woman who gives birth to a mutant baby who runs around killing everyone. Given all of that, it was fairly subtle and thought-provoking.

Larry Cohen is a good director (and a genuinely interesting commentary-deliverer; I usually get instantly bored with audio commentaries but his was engaging and informative) of B-movies. Most directors would be like “Okay, this is about a monster baby, so we don’t really have to put much thought into plot or character development. Let’s just show the baby ripping everyone’s throats out and we’ll make 8 zillion dollars and then we can go stick hookers and cocaine up our butts, yay!” But Larry Cohen is like “Okay, this couple had a monster baby. How does that make them feel? How does that make their friends and co-workers feel? How does this affect their home life/marriage/relationship with their other, non-mutant children? What does this do to their community?” and on and on. Despite the low-budget and the occasional gross-out effects, which you need to have at least a little of in a movie like this, “It’s Alive” actually attempts to be a realistic horror movie about a monster/baby/serial killer, and as such is far more interesting and worthwhile than your average “something gross is running around killing everything, help” movie.

I have seen several of Cohen’s movies, and while campy, they all take a refreshingly even-handed approach to their unapologetically schlocky material. 1982’s “Q the Winged Serpent”, for example, is about a prehistoric vulture-like creature terrorizing New York, but for the most part the film deals with a two-bit con man whose hand-to-mouth existence could sustain a movie on its own, and now he’s got Q the Winged Serpent to deal with on top of it. 1985’s “The Stuff” is about a delicious dessert that actually eats people, but much of the film deals with things like marketing concerns.

Cohen’s movies take their time, and many horror/B-movie fans might, somewhat understandably, find them to be boring, but the idea of such care and thought being put into a product that is ultimately kind of silly is very satisfying to me. His movies know exactly what they are, and make no excuses for their disrespected genre, but neither do they skimp on thing like pacing or character development, and furthermore, while there are always flashes of subtle humor and in-jokes, they don’t feel the need to nudge you in the ribs with a lot of stupid, self-aware, jokey shit . The characters onscreen are in a situation that, while entertaining on film, would be unthinkably horrific in real life, and for the most part they behave accordingly.

Larry Cohen may not be a filmmaker with legions of fans, but he is officially one of my favorite directors, and I hope he’ll come out of retirement one of these days and make something new, as he hasn’t really done anything since the early ’90s short of a few screenplays for other directors.

There is a pot luck breakfast/Yankee swap taking place at work tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more terrified.

Deli for Tardo

Posted in Food Where's My Car on December 12, 2007 by butthorn

We have decided to eat Hannaford salads for supper every night for an indeterminate period of time, just to, you know, see what that does. The logic is that it’s a form of diet, they’re not very expensive, we like them, it eliminates the never exciting “what do we feel like eating tonight?” conversation, and they’re unquestionably healthier than the double cheeseburgers and steak and cheese subs we normally opt for, even with dressing, meat hunks, cheese, and whatever other shit we elect to dollop on top. Nearly any change is an improvement, in this case. We eat fried lard, and are turning into fat hogs. With shockingly little facial manipulation on my part, I can boast four chins. Time to nip this in the bud, with a little help from Hannaford Hank. The Hannaford salad bar has recently added cold peas to their salad bar lineup. I’m going to tell everyone I know about this.

The idea of nightly salads pleases me. It’s easy, and even if it’s just an illusion, I feel as though I’m doing my body a service. My farts are every bit as frequent, however, and at least 1.75 times as bad-smelling. I break wind a lot and there is nothing that I or anyone else can do about it. Perhaps the vegetables are helping to cleanse my body of old food that has been fermenting in my colon since The Cosby Show was #1 in the Nielsens. That ghastly odor I just flatulated a moment ago was probably part of a McDLT.

I have been eating a lot of bologna sandwiches lately. I really like bologna a lot. It’s like hot dog meat but thin and round and big and flappy. I have always cared for bologna. In youth I fondly recall biting eye holes in it and making a fun bologna mask. Nothing aids the complexion more than pressing a cross-section of a pressed conglomerate of thousands of hog browneyes against your face. And delicious? Brother, you don’t know the half of it.

I’m finding that in dealing with bologna, it’s best to get it straight from the deli. Oscar Meyer can go fly a kite, far as I’m concerned. A kite made out of gross, crappy bologna, that birds can eat and destroy, which ruins Oscar Meyers fun outdoor outing, and he gets very sad, and then the birds die from the terrible bologna and fall on his head, and the beaks stick in his skull, and he has to run out into the street to try and flag down someone who can drive him to the hospital, not necessarily an easy task for an old man with dead birds stuck in his head, not to mention dragging a giant mangled diamond-shaped piece of bologna on a string behind him. Even the kindliest of good samaritans is going to want at least a perfunctory explanation. Meanwhile, I’m getting bologna that is freshly sliced according to my politely requested and gladly proffered thickness preference. Delectably spiced and reasonably priced. That’s Hannaford bologna.

My days of prepackaged bologna and roses are behind me, I’m here to report. I also like looking at the huge tubes of meat in the display case while I wait for whichever asshole’s taking eight years to figure out what they want for cold cuts. Taking advantage of the deli is a new thing for me. My few grocery shopping excursions in the past have generally gone: shaped spaghetti in cans, crunchy things in bags, frozen things that look interesting, Little Debbies, Slim Jims, beer, register. Now I can crowbar a deli stop somewhere in there, and my life is all the better for it.

So bologna afternoons and salad nights! Already I feel a revolution coming on, and I’ll tell you, I’m ready for it.

I am name-dropping Zac Efron and Hannah Montana in my blog title in a misguided attempt to attract a fresher demographic to my blog.

Posted in Mundane Events on December 8, 2007 by butthorn

Welcome to my blog, youths! Cell phones! Low-rise jeans! WHOOOOOOOO!!!! That’s all I got for ya. Thanks for stopping by!

I wish I had an exciting update re: the supposed landlord-sanctioned inspection of our apartment, but nothing substantial seems to have come of it. No angry notes or helpful tips or passive-aggressive phone messages. Nothing. It’s impossible to even tell if an inspection was in fact carried out. So now I have to decide whether to kick back and bask in an apparent job well or at least satisfactorily done as far as cleaning goes, or maintain a jumpy unease as I wait for the landlord to show up when we least expect her since she obviously hasn’t found the time to pay us a visit this week. Or I could simply get drunk and play Animal Crossing. I guess technically I should be referring to the female co-owner of our building as a “landlady”, but how often do you get to refer to someone as a “lord” in this day and age? It lends an enthrallingly feudal air to an otherwise dismaying relationship.

We have been watching a lot of Muppet Show DVDs of late, having borrowed the first season from our friends, The Doughtys. (Incidentally, The Doughtys, we just mailed back the insurance cards that your child inserted into the Muppets Show DVD case today, so that should be coming along soon.) There are few things more relaxing and satisfying than watching old Muppet Show episodes while you eat supper. We also drank a good deal of wine last night and watched a movie called “The Namesake”, starring Kal Penn and a bunch of Indian people. It was quite touching. We wept repeatedly at the emotions. That’s two exceptional movies in a row from Netflix, which is a nice change of pace considering the stuff we’ve gotten lately has been pretty ploppy. Do not view “Hot Rod”, by the way.

Today we have already accomplished much. We went to the P.O. and mailed things of importance, including 5 (5!) books that Annie had to send out for Bookmooch (a site where you mail books to people and then that gives you points to be able to force other people to mail books to you that you want. it’s kind of hard to explain. well, not hard really, I just don’t want to do it. i’d link to it but I don’t know how to use this site very well and I’m unwilling to learn. it’s at http://www.bookmooch.com. maybe that will automatically create a link. who knows? i don’t know how to type in code and my brain no longer accepts new information.) as well as the aforementioned Doughty ID cards and the thoroughly viewed Netflix. I then, just minutes ago in fact, purchased Luxor 2 from RealArcade as one of my wife’s birthday (tomorrow) presents. I worried that this might be kind of a lame present, but the INSTANT I announced its purchase, she exclaimed “I want to play that right now!” and disappeared. It appears likely that I won’t see her at all for the rest of the day. Presents: you just never know. I realize there is a Luxor 3 now, but it runs a little choppy on our starting-to-suck 3-year-old computey, and we’ve been playing the original Luxor for so long now that any improvement seems amazing, and Luxor 2 is both a marked step up and runs like smooth jazz on our antiquated system. I may go shopping for holiday gifts while Annie shoots colored balls at other colored balls. Some cleaning should also take place. I slept late due to wine and thus did not allot myself much time to make use of the day. Crust.

I am chewing the remaining four pieces of a pack of gum that we didn’t end up liking but couldn’t bring myself to simply throw out, despite the fact that, with the benefit of hindsight, it actually would have been more enjoyable to place the unchewed gum into a wastebasket than to put it all into my mouth and deal with its flavors of crappiness. I am consequently abuzz with Nutrasweet. Yes, item-mailing and the chewing of gum. Is it any wonder I dashed to the laptop to share the details with potentially everyone who owns a computer? Willikers!

Sorry this is all one big glob of words. I typed it in with breaks between paragraphs, but this apparently means nothing to WordPress. I even tried using that HTML gobbledygook, but that also did nothing. I guess I should just fucking shoot myself right the fucking head for being such a fucking idiot! Laterz!!!! (It’s fixed now. Annie helped. You have to type the carat br thing twice, it turns out.)

Imminent eviction is pretty much a lock at this point.

Posted in Mr. Bitch Goes to Bitchtown on December 6, 2007 by butthorn

So our landlord is currently, as far as I know, wandering around our sty of an apartment, holding a clipboard and clucking her tongue at things like the gaping hole where the 9-volt in our smoke alarm probably ought to be, and the power strip plugged into another power strip situation that facilitates our televised entertainment. Not to mention the ramshackle redemption center we’ve set up on the top of the fridge, the various laundry islands dotting the landscape, the unspeakably soiled baby doll head we’ve appropriated for the star atop our fire hazard of a Christmas tree, the framed photo of Crocodile Dundee…there’s a lot in there for a building owner to wonder at.

It wasn’t like we weren’t notified well in advance. Our landlord (a nice enough seeming lady who embarks on a lot of tropical vacations, dyes and tans, and calls everyone “my dear”) called us on Tuesday, and let us know that she was coming in to do a routine inspection, tossing it off as a formality that her insurance company makes her do, no big deal, in and out. Due to the (blessedly) unobtrusive nature of this landlord (especially in comparison to the crap we had to put up with at our previous apartment [don’t share a duplex with your landlord, it’s unwise]), her heads-up wasn’t perceived as a terrifying impetus to run around our living space, making it look like clean people who care about life live there, as would have been the case if we had a big mean scary landlord. So we of course did nothing, the place is a mess, and we might as well have decorated by hanging dead flaming child corpses from the ceiling, so irresponsibly-maintained is our quarters. In our defense, we did just recently move most everything that used to be in the living room into the bedroom, and vice-versa, and that has led to various little piles (containing, say, two copies of Women’s Health magazine, a rubber Hulk Hogan action figure, three hair ties, a VHS copy of “Return of the Living Dead”, and a bra) of clutter clutter clutter.

What might have been an intelligent way of using last night’s time would have been to tidy up a bit. Stack similarly-shaped items in an ostensibly attractive manner. Find homes for sandwich remnants. Wipe whatever that orange crusty shit is off the bathroom wall. Instead, we went to my parents’ place to do laundry. My parents, as many of you know, live in the middle of the forest. Large horned animals habitually parade across their lawn, and some of their neighbors are mystical beings. Seriously, these people, my parents, they totally live in the woods. The expense of carting all of our clothing to my folks’ place most likely equals, if not exceeds, the price of simply driving a mile to our neighborhood laundromat and taking care of business there, but it’s always a nice chance to catch up with Mammy n’ Pappy and wangle a free meal out of the deal. Sadly, were it not for these laundry trips, I’d probably only ever see them on holidays, even though they’re only like 20 miles away. Maintaining relationships with people with whom I do not share toothpaste has never been a strong suit of mine. Anyway, we washed clothes in Maxfield, having actually forgotten entirely about next day’s landlord inspection, or whatever the hell it is she thinks she has to do, and we had the pleasure of watching “Superbad”, which much to our delight turned out to be every bit worthy of the brimming vat of critic ejaculate (crijaculate? no.) drizzled liberally over its makers and stars over the past few months. Just a funny, likable little movie. Fun as the dickens to watch. Reflecting on Judd Apatow’s output, it’s really the only movie of his so far that comes close to capturing the “Freaks and Geeks” essence. Go ahead and watch it, you’ll have a good time.

So the clothes got cleaned, chicken got eaten, lots of DVD episodes of “Criminal Minds” got watched (my Dad got it from Netflix and insisted on viewing it. it was just entertaining enough. mandy patinkin may be better at glowering than anyone in the world.), and then we went home and came back to our comfortable mess and remembered our landlord would be breaking in to “inspect”, and crap shit fuck fart piss. We resolved the situation by dumping our laundry on the floor and passing out.

Today I scrawled a note attempting to explain both the mess (rearranging furniture takes time and effort) and the supposed missing smoke alarm battery (no idea where it is, though the smoke alarm still goes off whenever we take a shower longer than ten minutes or make kitchen mistakes, so ?!?!?), and left it on the countertop. Feeling generally exasperated with our failure to gussy up for the people who house us in exchange for the majority of our meager funds, the realization that I could not seem to locate the car/house keys was an unwelcome one, at best. The fact that they eventually turned up still stuck in the front door from last night, dangling helpfully in the brisk night air for hoodlums to pocket or make immediately use of, lent a sour note to an otherwise beneficial discovery.

In short, everything in the world is hard and it all makes me tired. Updates on the inspection results to follow.