Archive for January, 2008

THURSDAY NIGHT SQUALOR PART 3: BACK IN TRAINING

Posted in Thursday Night Squalor on January 31, 2008 by butthorn

Once again, I’d like to welcome you all to another deeply unattractive episode of TNS. For the .07 of you that viewed it, I know I mentioned that Annie’s mom would be visiting that weekend in that little YouTube doodad I made for the previous installment, and had implied that this might result in an apartment that was cleaner and even less interesting than usual. Well, I’m here to report that apparently Annie’s mom evidently no longer merits upkeep of any sort in our minds, as the apartment is as filthy and poorly orchestrated as ever, although I feel it’s worth mentioning that I did wash and put away the crockpot. Isn’t that fantastic? Mail me five dollars.

Bring on the errant hair ties!

KITCHEN TABLE:

Other than our ever-stunning floral centerpiece, do you remember ANY of these items from last week’s episode? I sure don’t! This is all new, new stuff! New new! I just bought those Munchos about three 1/2 hours ago! They have no idea how lucky they are. Lately I’ve been rekindling my torrid love affair with Munchos. They’re about as delicious as life gets. Like the butteriest packing material an angel ever manufactured. I guess that means I like them. Moving on, doot de doo, I’m retarded…

I got that Powerade at Angelo’s the other night. It was way more delicious and thirst-quenching than I was prepared for, but it provided none of the promised energy. I have never felt like doing anything remotely athletic after drinking stuff like Powerade and Gatorade and Schnooblydooblyade. Isn’t all that crap basically Kool-Aid? Well, ISN’T IT? ANSWER ME! BASTIAN, SAY MY NAME! GODDAMMIT, BASTIAN, THE WORLD IS GOING TO EXPLODE, SAY MY NAME OR I’LL CUT MY FACE OFF WITH THIS KNIFE AND EAT IT! DON’T LOOK AT THE ROCK GUY, HE CAN’T HELP YOU! HE’S A ROCK! WHAT WAS I TALKING ABOUT BEFORE? OH RIGHT, POWERADE, BASTIAN, WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH IT? ARE ELECTROLYTES EVEN A REAL THING OR IS IT ALL JUST A BUNCH OF AD-AGENCY MUMBO-JUMBO? COME ON, BASTIAN, ANSWER ME! I DRINK POWERADE A LOT, I SHOULD KNOW MORE ABOUT IT!

Look at them little muffins, aren’t those somethin’?! Annie’s mom brought those over for us. They came from Annie’s sister’s father-in-law, who evidently has unlimited access to free tiny muffins. We really weren’t given a satisfactory explanation. I know, I’d like to know more about it myself. He’s a weird dude, what can I tell you? Long story short, they’re disgusting. As you can see, however, I’ve eaten most of them. All I ask is that I don’t have to prepare it. It really is that simple and sad.

Apparently that UMaine hat to the lower-left cost Annie $15. The University of Maine: An Unending Knife-Cock Up the Brownie Hatch Since 1865.

I believe all six of the bottles that used to occupy that empty Amstel Light sixer are accounted for somewhere in this blog. Find ’em all!

We bought those periwinkle curtains at Target last Saturday. Don’t they look fabulous on our kitchen table? Look, we’re TRYING, people. We bought the curtains. The curtains are in our house. What do you want from us, a miracle? Are we a couple of Jesuses over here or what? Mr. Jesus and Mrs. Jesus, that make any sense? You think Jesus married himself, bought curtains at Target, and put ’em up the minute he got home? That isn’t how it works. Grow up, how about that?

There’s some roll type things in the background there. Those are also something Lorrie’s father-in-law got free somehow, and they’re even less tasty than the mini muffins, which is actually kind of impressive.

Take a wild guess where that weird little cake and that tubey-creamy monstrosity came from? Yup, more complimentary pastry whatsits from Lorrie’s pappy-in-law. Maybe these are pranks that somebody who hates Lorrie’s father-in-law constantly leaves on his doorstep. I’m starting to think it’s anything but a perk. The little cake is inoffensive enough, and it’s sort of fun to eat dainty little triangles of it. We’re both pretty scared of that other thing. I had a piece of it, and for the life of me I couldn’t place the flavoring. It’s partly just regular old creme frosting folded into a giant swiss roll, but there’s a glistening amber ingredient that flat-out refused to identify itself, either on the label or in my mouth. But again, free, and already prepared, so I’m sure we’ll be enjoying it as a main course soon enough.

I took several pictures of the strange free cakes.

See? Cakey-wakey doodle all the ding-dong day.

It’s sinkmastime in Hollis, Queens!

SINK:

Gosh all get-out, I love a good sink. Instead of “I Love a Parade”, it should be “I Love a Sink”. Parades are so five minutes ago, as the girls in “Clueless” might say! Sinks are the new parades! And here is ours, still chock full of plop-encrusted plates. I did do a load of dishes at some point in the past six or seven days, but it sure don’t look like it. Oh wait, look, the silverware cup is full of reasonably clean utensils, including the white plastic ladle that was so unthinkably sullied last week! Also I think the stuff to the right is mostly now occupied by recently dirtied dishes, so that could be worse, right? Concur at once.

There’s some more proof that I washed some things. See, on the dish rack back there? A few plates, couple bowls? Those are clean. So fuck you!

In the foreground, the fifth drinking receptacle to the right is a Chippendales mug that we bought at an otherwise disappointing church rummage sale. If you look close enough, you can just make out his purple Speedo. It was a Methodist church sale. They don’t really care about sin too much.

COUNTERTOP:

Wow, look at all this great new stuff! Shazam!

All right, “My So Called Life” is still stinking up the joint, but most everything else is new! There’s a better look at my work nametag! And the can opener! I can’t even imagine what we might have used that for this week. Far as I can remember, we ate nothing but take-out since last Thursday. I find it hard to believe one of us was idly admiring it. Although we did recently downgrade our cable package. Some more crazy school books for Annie there. I’m fairly certain I’d rather write a screenplay on my left eyeball with a pencil than read any of them. And Keebler Club Snack Sticks! Don’t tell us we don’t know how to pamper ourselves! And could that be the tape measure that usually hangs out on the coffee table, so nicely curled and resting atop M.S.C.L.? What an amazing night of potentially heart-stopping discoveries full of irrepressible wonderment!

Jiggers! A little red coffeepot! We got two coffeepots as wedding presents. This is the one that doesn’t get used much, as in “not once”. I think the deal here was Annie dug it out with the intention of maybe making some coffee in it and then relocating it to the computer room, which is where we’ve talked about keeping it (a good idea), but found out that we need to buy smaller coffee filters before we can use it. And thus, here it is, on the kitchen counter, 1/3 full of water, where it is likely to remain for the forseeable future. I don’t know why my bread is on top of it, but I guess it’s as good a place as any. The only better place I could think of might be the bread box, conveniently located directly behind it. That’s usually full of unpaid bills, though.

Seriously, someone call the “Dress My Nest” guy. We need help.

COFFEE TABLE:

We’re running into a lot of snafus with both Time Warner and our landlady regarding the possibility of getting cable set up in our living room, which used to be our bedroom. Since there’s still no working TV in there, we don’t hang out in it much, and as such, not much gets put on the coffee table these days. But what little there is, true to form, is spread out willy-nilly, and in some cases all but falling off the table. And through it all, Arnold Palmer squints with a certain detached confusion at something in the distance to his immediate right.

I guarantee you that no Origami kit in the world has caused more marital strife than this one. I bought it as a somewhat random Christmas present for Annie, since I thought it might be at least passingly diverting and I figured the last thing she expected to get would be an Origami kit. It’s still in the box, so my assumption is that she has no interest in it, so fine, I call Border’s to ensure that returning it without a receipt won’t be a problem, and then announce to her that if she wants to return it to Border’s in exchange for something she wants more, I will take no offense and the store will allow it, no questions asked. She protests, claiming to have had no time to do anything with it yet. I take this to mean “I’m just trying to be nice, but if you repeatedly mention that you don’t mind, I’ll gladly take it to Border’s and return it”. This led to a give and take of “Don’t tell me whether I like a present or not” and “Well, it’s still unwrapped, so you obviously don’t like it” that has mostly resolved itself, but I suspect is still mildly bubbling under the surface. If and when the kit is finally opened, it will probably be used to paper cut our wrists.

There’s the how-to manual for our cable remote, just the kind of thing I’ll never use but am unaccountably reluctant to discard.

How’s that for artfully rendered surroundings? Them beers are diagonal! Someone call the museum!

The most flattering shot yet of our salt shaker, to be sure, but what I really want to focus on here is the tiny pin between the beer bottle and the ceramic chicken. That’s a Betty White pin! Bet you don’t have one of those! No idea how it got on the coffee table. I don’t remember the last time I even saw that thing. I love how belongings just kind of drift in and out of our lives, like friends, except way better, since belongings don’t call you while you’re watching a movie or try to tell you about their dreams.

What now? Oh yeah, the stupid end table.

END TABLE:

More mugs than usual. Same old big blue binder up there on the top part. And hey, a bra! Well, dog my cats, how about that!

The end table really is the weak link, I apologize again.

BED AREA:

As always, here is Annie’s side first:

Books books books. She really is working like crazy at this whole school thing. Each day I am newly awed by her diligence. That sock looks awesome.

And finally, my side:

Oh good God, that’s a bottle of ketchup back there.

I’ve just been sitting here, chin in hand, trying and fully failing to conjure a suitably disgusted turn of phrase, but I’m sorry, I got nothin’. Ketchup. That’s…yeah, that’s bad. That’s not something you keep in the bedroom, on the floor by the bed. The ketchup doesn’t go there. I don’t even…jesus…

The Entertainment Weeklys continue to pile up. I never get tired of that magazine. My love for it is pure. The bottles and cans don’t seem to be going anywhere with any haste. I don’t know what’s sadder: the fact that the McDonald’s cup from last week is still there, or the fact that I don’t remember if that’s actually a McDonald’s cup from a couple nights ago. Either way, at least it’s not in the trash can. Cause that’d be ridiculous!!!

I ain’t makin’ a movie this week, it’s too hard and I got an Uncle Scrooge graphic novel that I’m excited to resume. Until next week, stay squalid, Old Town!

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Also…this

Posted in Uncle Nutsy! on January 28, 2008 by butthorn

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FRESH FUNNIES!

Posted in Upsetting Cartoons on January 28, 2008 by butthorn

I just made these. Click then click again to focus!

wiicartoon.jpgparty-cartoon.jpg

DANDY DISCOVERIES

Posted in Upsetting Cartoons on January 28, 2008 by butthorn

A couple of masterpieces I found while clicking around in my folders.

Click to “enjoy”. I found that I had to click again to zoom in, focusing thusly to fully appreciate the artistry.

good-cartoon.jpgindiana-jones-crying-1.jpg

THREE I LOVE

Posted in Jiving Ditties on January 27, 2008 by butthorn

You ever try to pin down what your favorite song was? To me, that’s one of the hardest questions I can imagine. I’ve never been able to get a handle on any of my favorites. I only really know what songs I love. I don’t give much of a crap about Nick Hornby, but I like what he does with that “Songbook”. It’s wrong of me to say I don’t give much of a crap about Nick Hornby. I’ve never read any of his books. I just didn’t like the movie “High Fidelity” and assume that because of that I won’t like his books. That’s not very nice. Be that as it may, I probably won’t read any of his books, and its John Cusack’s fault for being a grating protagonist.

Right now, though, I’ve had a few glasses of wine and I have iTunes open and I’m feeling reasonably ready to elaborate on – or, really, try to figure out why I like – the songs in my life, the ones that when they’re on they’re all there is.

Other than it’s kind of fun, I’ve never understood why people argue about what music they like. You’re smart for liking this song, you’re dumb for liking this song — it’s flat out senseless. All it comes down to is a song is on, and either you want to turn it off or you don’t. It’s no different from food. Trying to make yourself like The Cure to impress someone you want to be better friends with is like trying to make yourself like olives if you don’t. That’s not to say you won’t eventually appreciate The Cure, or finally come across a song by them that piques your interest. All I’m saying is people don’t get in your face if you don’t like olives, so what is it about music that inspires fights? The Cure is just an example, I’m only using them as an example of an unliked band because I really, really, hate them.

So here I go, pontificating on the songs that keep me company. The ones I never skip under any circumstances. Probably what I’ll do is put the song on, write the title down, and hit buttons. Here are three I love.

BULLDOG SKIN – GUIDED BY VOICES

All right, get wild.

I can’t claim to be a rabid GBV fan, but boy do I love this song. I love how the vocals, guitar, and drums all sound slightly behind one another, like three big guys in a race that don’t care who wins. The internet tells me it’s about how much what’s-his-face likes British music, and good for him, but it’s a great song to listen to if you wanna sit back and think about all the terrible things that ever happened to you, and about how none of it matters now. The part of you that’s always kind of wanted to get in a fistfight will love this song. In high school I used to get these VHS tapes in the mail that had “alternative” videos on them, and one of them had the video for this song on it. It was this dorky kid getting knocked around, and being basically all right with it. As a guy who has actually experienced a real honest-to-goodness “swirly”, I very much appreciated it. The delight “Larky Parka” takes in his own senseless punishment is the very core of heroism. Good video, fantastic song.

Robert Pollard is the king of ridiculous lyrics that somehow make some kind of perfect sense. He made a table out of clay. Awesome. Some part of me thinks of him as Michael Stipe’s cruel older brother, who has a room in the attic, and listens to scary music loudly and their parents have stopped bothering asking him to turn it down, because frankly they’re kind of scared of him, and every now and then he barges into Mike’s room and breaks his stuff for no reason, which initially makes Michael really angry and sad but before long he thinks it’s funny.

I love this song. I want to play it on the jukebox and be the hero of the bar.

THE CLASS OF ’57 – THE STATLER BROTHERS

The Statler Brothers were a favorite at my grandparents’ home in Monson, Maine. Some of my favorite kid memories were in Monson. The ’50s came and went, but thankfully no one ever told Monson, and it was as apparent in my grandparents’ musical taste as it was in the overall aura of the town. They had one of those old, plastic, fake wood-paneled cassette storage things with three little drawers that you could pull out to see all the tapes, and among those tapes, which included Jim Nabors, Nana Mouskouri (sp? I’m not googling her, I’m sorry), Perry Como, and Lawrence Welk, were The Statler Brothers. I didn’t understand it then or now, but somehow “Hee Haw” always seemed to be on TV whenever we were in Monson, yet I don’t remember ever encountering it on the dial when we were at our own house. Then again, we never watched TV on Saturday much at our place, and it was always Saturday when we were in Monson, and eventually me and the cousins would get tired of running around and would need to watch TV to calm down, and we had to watch whatever Grammie and Grampy wanted to watch, which was always either ICW wrestling, “Golden Girls” “Wheel of Fortune”, “Murder, She Wrote”, Lawrence Welk, or “Hee Haw”. The Statler Brothers were a pretty frequent musical guest on good ol’ “Hee Haw”, and even though at the time I would have happily changed the channel if the remote had been mine to control, their perfect harmonies and rock-solid melodies, coupled with the genially goofy appearance of this never terribly hip quartet, could usually rouse me out of my indignant “hey, this isn’t Def Leppard!” attitude.

I never heard “The Class of ’57” until much later in life. All I remember is that it was probably seven or eight years ago, and I was driving through Veazie, and I cried. Essentially you could pretty safely call it a novelty song, and I highly doubt the Statlers intended on bringing its listeners to tears with it, but I don’t know, it really got to me. For all its goofy couplets, there are some desperate, pitch-black moments in this jaunty rundown of what a typical small town high school class ended up doing with their life, and they come at you out of nowhere. There’s a dark undercurrent to even the most benign-seeming Statler Brothers tunes. They’ll sucker-punch you with a depressing lyric against a jarringly upbeat accompaniment, and I adore them for it.

There’s no suitable word for how good these guys sound together. When all four of them go in on a chord, they’re overweight angels with shitty haircuts. It’s beautiful, is what it is, and to me so is this song. When they all come in on “The Class of ’57 had its dreams”, they more than give that heartbreaking, wonderful, sad lyric its due. Seriously, they’re probably one of my favorite groups. If you like what you hear in the YouTube clip (which unfortunately doesn’t actually show them), I would also recommend tracking down “Do You Remember These” and “The Official Historian on Shirley Jean Berrell”, just to name a couple.

I love anything that sounds anything like this. I hate the idea of putting together a “Top Ten” list, but if there’s one song I’m sure would go on mine, it’s this one.

WHERE EAGLES DARE – MISFITS

I’m a verse-chorus-verse man. Much as I’d love to (and occasionally, in spite of my general preferences, do) appreciate a meandering, structureless tune with more to recommend it than simple catchiness, I want to be able to hum songs, to dance terribly to them in my pajamas, to pump my fists semi-sarcastically to them, to rock out in some way to them, however small or big.

I am in AWE of the chorus to “Where Eagles Dare” by Misfits. I have no real connection to the band. I have never owned a tape or CD by them. I have seen many people wearing shirts with their logo on them. I myself do not have one. I am aware of Danzig, and find him somewhat amusing. I remember when “Mother” used to be on the radio a lot, and I did find things to like in it, whether in jest or not. But on the whole, once again, I can’t claim to be a “fan”. I know maybe 3 or 4 of their songs, and this is the only one I’d be able to sing along to.

But man, if this is the only song that ever catches on in my brain, it’s enough to make me like this band. I love a good chorus like a good burger, and “Where Eagles Dare”, stupid little ditty that it is, is the best dollar menu double cheeseburger anyone ever crammed down their gullet. Anyone looking to write a catchy song needs to be tied up and subjected to “Where Eagles Dare” for a week straight. It’s dumb, it’s awesome, it hits something perfectly, it’s insane, and it’s my favorite chorus ever in any song, until tomorrow night when I remember one I like better. And I suspect the chords are G-C-D, so all the more perfect. The verses are nothing to call your brother about, but that chorus…

It’s a crappy boombox you bought from Ames blaring on top of a mountain.

Fun! I’ll do that again one of these days!

THURSDAY NIGHT SQUALOR: 01.24.08 (EPISODE 2)

Posted in Thursday Night Squalor on January 25, 2008 by butthorn

One of the many weird things about making a weekly blog examining your filthy apartment in minute detail is an omnipresent awareness of change. Every magazine we toss aside, every cup we set down, hell, every piece of bread we eat out of a loaf forever alters the potential artifacts that will eventually appear in the following Thursday’s TNS. In a sense, TNS has transformed our apartment into one big sculpture, to be thoughtlessly slapped together at our leisure over the period of a week. I wouldn’t call this new perspective “exciting” exactly, but it’s an eye-opening flip of an odd little switch.

Whaddaya say we get right down to it?

KITCHEN TABLE:

All right, Mr. Table is kinda similarly cluttered this week. I see that Annie’s purse has found a new place to be. That Hannaford mag is nowhere to be found. Actually, where the hell did that go? That was there this morning! I’m calling the police! Looks like quite a bit more mail. No Netflixes to be seen. It doesn’t look that much different from last week, yet I’m pretty sure that most everything on the table wasn’t there last week, barring the flowers and the cow. Let’s delve further!

Those are some pretty snazzy socks! And what better storage facility for them than the kitchen table? Outstanding! Looks like a Geico bill over there by the ice tea, good times. That green pen makes me want a lime Runt! Oh THERE’s the Hannaford mag, under what would appear to be a W-2. Oh thank God.

Cruisin’ countah-clockwise around the table, we come across yet another repellent book from Annie’s classes: “Sex Camp”. Can’t say I’m not intrigued. That furry thing down there is a hat of mine, I’m ashamed to report. Good old yellow lined notebook there. Once again, our cow pepper shaker’s ass, everyone. Drink it in.

Some neatly piled clothing. Mail atop a calzone take-out box from oft-patronized Angelo’s Pizzeria. Little to discuss here. The price tag on that ice tea bottle is really vibrant.

In closing, this is an aerial shot of the kitchen table. I decided to include one this time, and may well get into the habit of beginning every “Kitchen Table” section with an overhead shot like this. I feel it gives you a better overview than my usual opening shot from the hallway. In hindsight, I don’t know why I didn’t just do that this time. It would have been a lot easier, frankly. Much, much easier. Would have saved a lot of time. A lot of time. And time doesn’t grow on trees. It does not. No sirree, no time trees out there. Just a lot of darkness. Cold, cold darkness. Cold, cold heart. Undone by yoooooou. Some things look better, baby. Just passin’ throooooooough. And it’s no sac-ri-fi-yi-ice. Just a simple wooorrrrd. It’s two hearts liiiii-vin’. In two separate woooorrrrrlds.

Hey, let’s look at a sink!

SINK:

Now this area has noticeably worsened. Looks like we just piled a bunch of coffee cups and dainty Oriental-themed bowls on top of the crap that was in there last week. And I’ll tell you, there’s a very, very good reason it looks that way. The junk on the sideboard to the right looks dismayingly unchanged. You’ll note (well, you will once I point it out) that I took the silverware out of the little mug by the faucet. I bust my ass for this stinking place! And for what? For WHAT?!?!?

Here’s the always impressive side shot of this misery. I took it upon myself to put away most of the things that were drying on the dishrack last week, except, for whatever reason, one glass and a portable coffee cup. To the left, by the microwave, the crock pot and a cake pan have begun their interminable wait for cleansing. They’re new to TNS. Say hello, fellas! Ha ha ha! They can’t talk. But the various fungi growing in them probably can by this point.

Hey, look who’s here! It’s my dear, sweet wife, Annie! Why, Annie, whatever brings you to this particular area of the…wait a second! What are you doing? Are those cups? Are you…CLEANING? How DARE you make these last minute changes?! You know full well what day it is! This completely goes against everything that TNS stands for! I won’t put up with this! I won’t!

Now what are you doing? Why are you standing near the garbage can in an ungainly fashion with a guilty look on your face? You didn’t put anything INTO that garbage can, did you?DID you?!

Get out of the way! Let go of the trash can! Now you’re humiliating BOTH of us! Yuck, what’s that shit on the stove? Come on, let go! You have no right to keep this information from me

!

Aha! A McDonald’s cup! I might have known! From the bedroom, no doubt! And that Victoria’s Secret catalog was on the table this morning! I was looking forward to making snide comments about that! Look at her! Mocking! Laughing victoriously! Even from the bottom of a garbage can, her tanned, glistening disdain knows no bounds.Women! They’ll drive ya bonky-bazookers!

COUNTERTOP:

Anything funky fresh happening’ on the ol’ countertop?

Hmm, really not seeing a lot of change here. Maybe a closer look will uncover hidden treasure!

Hey look, it’s the “My So-Called Life” DVD box set. So nice to still have it with us. Lorrie did give Annie her address over the phone recently, though, so we’re halfway there. The credit cards, hair ties, and handled floral gross-candy container are still doin’ the do. I’m halfway through that loaf of Country Kitchen Lite. I have a new slogan for Country Kitchen Lite, if anyone from that company is reading this. Ready? Here it is. “Country Kitchen Lite Bread: It Tastes Like You’re Eating a Fucking Washcloth”. A few coins have joined the par-tay. What up, coins?

I got a new keychain for my keys! It’s green and long and says “Bangor Public Library” on it! Hmm, I wonder what the story is with those two orange dots about a foot and a half apart? What orange things have we eaten this past week? Well, nothing to gain but severe depression from making a list like THAT. Looks like the Snyder tortilla chips raped the Tostitos into nothingness over the course of the week. Nice work, guys. My checks are still keepin’ it real, and looks like the Ziplock bags have come out of the cupboard to see what’s what. No strangers here, Ziplock bags. Only friends we haven’t met.

The granola bars are no longer with us, I’m devastated to report, and it looks like the vitamins have found better things to do this week, but the hot chocolate knows a quality powwow when he sees one! He ain’t goin’ nowhere. Pen cup and the camera/Jolly Rancher chalice still hangin’ in there, and who’s this? Welcome to the chalice, orange-handled scissors! And perhaps the flashiest addition to the countertop, our very own fingernail clippers. For no intelligent reason that I can readily provide, I took quite a few pictures of the fingernail clippers. Here are a couple of my favorites:

That looked better earlier. I really have a hard time posting vertical pictures. Dimensions piss me off. They’re so uppity.

Mysterious, yet sleek. Mysterious + sleek = blurry, by the way.

COFFEE TABLE:

Blenbvansbui4hsnl;askglj! I’m sick of typing!

I love taking pictures of the top of our coffee table. It always looks fantastic. And hey, there’s part of my coat down there, sneaking into the shot. I just love all the inanimate objects in my life.I don’t think the Wiimotes have moved at all from last week’s position. Guess we haven’t been playing video games much lately. Well, what else is crack-a-lackin’?!

A couple examples from our vast and colorful coffee mug collection. The one with the guy with tree legs watching TV is a mug that my friend and Videoport co-worker “Bald Matt” got for us when he was in some foreign country somewhere. The Northern Exposure mug was actually purchased in a gift shop in Rosalyn, WA, where the show was actually filmed. Rob Morrow made it especially for us in a kiln, and told us lots of funny anecdotes about the cast while we waited for it to dry. A vibrant tumbler stands proud. I believe I spy Virginia Madsen skulking about back there, and the tape measure is still out and about.

That’s a Billy Idol pin and a hair tie there.

And now for everybody’s favorite TNS character: Future Interventions with Battered Women and Their Families! Yaaaaaaaaaaaay! It sojourned to the opposite end of the coffee table, and is for some reason stacked atop all of our Wii games. I don’t know how or why this happened. I really feel helpless sometimes, writing this.

Wiimote, hair tie, notebooks, cup. Fire burn and cauldron…bup?

What’s on that loopy end table of ours?

END TABLE:

Let’s see if I can post the stupid thing correctly this time.

Somehow still not quite perfect, but most definitely better. Okay, looks like we got a new L.L. Bean catalog making the rounds. The remote moved over. Looks like quite a few things were cleared off of this thing. Candy canes are still kicking around, though. Why don’t we take a closer look at those candy canes?

Gee, I’m glad we did that, aren’t you?

And now it’s time for Annie’s side of the…

BED AREA:

…which is, of course, tidy and neatly arranged.

Yes, laugh it up, loving spouse. I’m sure that had NOTHING to do with the twelve cups you whisked into the kitchen just minutes ago. Really, you’ve done just a wonderful job maintaining your side of the bed.

Here, God help me, is my side:

A good number of new additions. The Gap bag and the Mountain Dew bottle with the stylish Reese’s Pieces box hat have flown the coop, and in their place are some library books, a McDon-Don’s cup, an empty can of the new Vitamin Water energy drink (I liked it), and some comfy white socks that were just purchased this week! And, as ever, wires up the poop-pipe. Oh wait, there’s the Mountain Dew bottle. I guess we just threw his hat out. Sorry, dude. We’ll get you a new one.

What I’m going to do now, in closing, is pull back a little from this area and give you a little quiz of sorts. Take a look at this picture:

So here’s our little bedroom shelf, which looks like it must have been a fireplace once, and is now a boarded-up cream nightmare. We put pictures and such on it, not to mention plenty of clutter, as is our wont, but there’s an object here that has no business in the bedroom, particularly just lying around on a shelf. Can anyone find that object?

That’s right: It’s a toilet paper roll. An empty, cardboard toilet paper roll. But what’s it doing on the bedroom shelf, you might logically inquire? Well, my guess is, someone (and it could easily have been either of us, I honestly don’t remember if I did this or not), after using the toilet, found themselves in the unenviable position of having to replace the toilet paper roll. To their credit, they did so, but instead of walking all the way into the kitchen to discard it properly, they simply sauntered into the bedroom, which is in far closer proximity to the bathroom, and plunked it down on the unoccupied surface closest to the door. Hence, the above picture. It’s doing its best to fit in, I’ll give it that. Not making a spectacle of itself, but not hiding, either. Just playing it cool, pretending to be a tchochtke.

Why don’t we ever have company?!?! I just don’t understand it!!!

Finally, as a recap, here’s a video overview of this week’s TNS in comparison to last week’s, edited and scored by yours truly. For Thursday Night Squalor, I’m Jeremy Stover. Stay squalid, Old Town!

OBLIGATORY DEATH ENTRY, PT. 1

Posted in Mr. Bitch Goes to Bitchtown on January 23, 2008 by butthorn

It’s too bad about Heath Ledger. I’m positive the last thing anybody expected to hear on the news yesterday evening was that Heath Ledger had died. I can’t even say I was an especially big fan of his, or ever gave him a whole lot of thought, but I certainly didn’t want or expect him to die, at least not right away. One could lament the fact that the viewing public will be deprived of future Ledger performances (speaking of which, I look forward, somewhat queasily, to seeing his take on The Joker), but far, far more tragic than that is the fact that his baby daughter will never really get to know her dad, outside of watching his movies, which I guess is a lot more than most children in similar situations get. Still, horribly, horribly sad.

That’s all I really have to say concerning that particular bit of news. A human being has died. It happens every day, from what I understand. Of late, it has also happened to Suzanne Pleshette, Brad Renfro, and Bobby Fischer, all of whom, unlike Ledger, failed to die at the height of their popularity, so it isn’t as sad. It feels like celebrities are dropping left and right, and I find myself unaccountably worried about which beloved, monetarily overcompensated person who plays make-believe in front of cameras is going to die next. Yet daily there are reams of newsprint detailing the demises of decent folk, young and old, from around the globe, not to mention people being shot and tortured to death for no good reason, but how could I possibly bring myself to care about any of them when the guy from “10 Things I Hate About You” has passed away, due to an apparently self-inflicted pill overdose brought on by the malaise that evidently accompanies things like mountains of disposable income and universal critical acclaim.

Now I have no idea what Heath Ledger was dealing with, externally or internally, that led him to wherever he is now, wherever one goes when that happens, and I know that money and fame don’t exactly equal happiness, or at least that’s what rich people tell me when they’re trying to make me feel better about being piss broke, and I don’t proudly make light of a terrible situation; it’s simply the only way I know how to deal with them. I’m just trying to figure out why it’s so sad when celebrities die. We don’t know them, and in many cases probably wouldn’t like them if we encountered them. Following their deaths, our lives are not markedly changed. Often we’re only reminded of their passing months later, when a clip of them smiling wistfully into the distance in one of their movies shows up on the People Who Died Oscar Reel. Speaking of which, do you think they’ll show Heath Ledger last, in the coveted Dead Actor Everyone Liked Best Position? The Walter Matthau position, if you will? It’s always sickly exciting for me to see who goes last on that reel, and to see who gets applause and who doesn’t. And how terrible is that, that not everyone shown on the dead Oscar reel gets a positive reaction? It’s like back in middle school, when they’re giving out various certificates for whatever doofy bullshit everyone did during the year, and the popular kid with perfect attendance practically gets a standing o, and the poor bastard who got a 100 average in chemistry gets silence and muffled insults. Good job showing up, handsome athlete! Fuck you for working hard, awkward dork! Why even bother with the measly applause when the clip of the silent-film era actress who nobody but Leonard Maltin remembers anymore flashes onscreen? Why don’t they just yell out “We don’t care that you’re dead!” and be done with it?

What was I talking about? My head is spinning, I’m gonna have to get back to this.

R.I.P. Suzanne Pleshette.