Archive for February, 2008

OLD NOTEBOOK TREASURES VOLUME II

Posted in Old Notebook Treasures on February 27, 2008 by butthorn

Here’s a few more of these dandy delights. They were done in pencil like 4 or 5 years ago, at least, so they might not come in too good, which may ultimately be for the best. For some reason I either can’t remember how or it won’t let me show little preview pictures, so I’m stuck posting these alluring titles. Click on them if you want to look at a silly picture.

Larry the Ladder

Living Briefs

Straw Barry

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SUNDAY AFTERNOON SQUALOR: MID-SEASON REPLACEMENT

Posted in Thursday Night Squalor on February 24, 2008 by butthorn

If I’ve learned anything from all this, it’s that one doesn’t always feel like photographing and waxing wise on the state of their apartment on Thursday evenings. At least this way maybe the lighting will be a little better, ensuring that you can all discern the identities of encrusted food with greater ease. Yay for the sun.

By the way, the apartment really looks like shit right now.

KITCHEN TABLE:

It’s not even interestingly gross. It just needs to be cleaned, preferably by sweeping it all onto the floor with ones arm. I swear I’m going to clean something today. Perhaps even my own vile-smelling body. Who knows.

Sadly, that solitary overturned spoon is the most interesting aspect of this vantage point. I ate all the Boo Berry. Sorry. It was good.

Unspeakable disinterest wells up in the pit of my soul. Although that little pile of crumpled receipts to the right of the Ampersand’s mug sort of resembles a little ivory sailboat on a tiny lake of milk. That’s rather nice. Maybe I’ll go out and stare at it today and think fondly nautical thoughts.

Junk mail, Annie’s handbag, a mug, a billfold, and a sealed receipt from our mechanics, from whom we recently purchased the worst automobile known to man, which broke down on the very day I mailed in the final payment. That taped envelope to the left of the flower pot contains the receipt to that very payment. The tape they use to seal it is always yellowed from their grease-and-tobacco-stained fingers, but at least that prevents the envelope itself from being stained by their grease-and-tobacco-stained tongues. I kid our mechanics. They’re good men, all in all. Just not good men from whom to purchase primary automobiles.

All right, I hesitate to post this next picture, but here it is:

SINK:

Fuck, that is awful. Yucks ahoy. Damn. Eecch. I hate it. I have to wash some of these today. This fetid pile of silty dishes would be easier to accept if it had been the result of a week’s worth of well-prepared meals, but that simply isn’t the case. Quite frankly, I don’t have any idea how this happened.

Looks like we had some coffee this week. And crapped in a metal bowl. The dishrack is noticeably bereft of washed flatware, you’ll notice. Blah. Normally I enjoy commenting on these pictures, but I hate this right now. I just feel tired and sad looking at that. Gonna have to pound some David Lynch coffee and attack this mess.

Oh MUG OF THE WEEK, whisk me away from this putrid basin:

Recognize this building, people who grew up or have lived in the greater Bangor area?

That’s right! It’s St. Joseph’s Hospital! And if you actually got that right, sincere congratulations to you! Your prize is my admiration, however mild and brief. This is actually a great mug. You don’t run into too many brown mugs, which is weird, cause coffee’s brown, right? I love the ’70s font, and the way the words are laid out in a pleasing slanty fashion. The handle has an interesting acute-bottom obtuse-top motif going on. Ha! Acute bottom! Ahem. But the best part of this particular Mug of the Week? “We care”. I know it’s most likely in quotes because it must have been their slogan at the time, and no one’s saying it’s bad for a hospital to care, but the quotes somehow lend the statement a latent sarcasm or dishonesty. Like if someone made “finger quotes” while saying “we care”, your instinct would probably be to assume that we, whoever they are, don’t actually care. It strikes me as amusing.

COUNTER TOP:

Pretty typical. Sparsely cluttered, somewhat repellent.

You can’t see it in this picture, but rest assured: the DVD set of “My So-Called Life” is still lying, unmailed, on our counter top. It’s underneath whatever that book is by the jauntily-monikered Pepper Schwartz. A jumbo clip, some near fully-consumed (and probably a bit stale) pretzel rods, a box of Triscuits. All very exciting.

Keys, wine, checks, teas, Cheerios. And the Maine Gazetteer. And envelopes. And scissors.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzounds.

COFFEE TABLE:

It’s so bland and unchanging as to completely obliterate the very concept of the act of commenting on pictures from my brain. With that in mind, you may be wondering how it’s possible for me to even be typing these sentences right now. I don’t know either. It’s freaky, is what it is.

Instead of lingering on that boring coffee table picture – although I sort of like the sunshine on the floor at the bottom there – let’s take a look at part of my VHS collection, cause I wanna.

Those are 16 of the finest films known to man. If you haven’t yet seen “Traxx” starring Shadoe Stevens, you’ve no idea what you’re missing. It’s about a hitman who really wants to be a cookie baker, but his ideas for new cookie recipes are really gross! Like he tries to make cough drop cookies! Ha ha ha! Yucky poo poo, Traxx! Stick to killin’ dudes!

BED AREA:

Annie’s:

Annie wasn’t overly psyched when she discovered me snapping pics for the blog today. That “Year of Living Biblically” book is supposed to be good. Please don’t comment on it, though. Instead, comment on how funny and creative I am. The “Year of Living Biblically” guy is already published and making money, and will not profit from your input nearly as well as myself. I should have photoshopped his book out to prevent unnecessary discussion, but learning computer programs is too hard.

Yum! Yoo-Hoo! And water! They’re like the Lethal Weapon of healthy beverage choices!

Here is my side, bleh:

Pretty unsightly. My side of the bed is a good place to go if you happen to be looking for empty drink containers or books. Otherwise, I’d recommend other areas of the apartment before this one. Perhaps you would enjoy the toilet.

I am not going to include a picture of the toilet.

Well, now that I feeling like puking all over my life, that’s the end of Sunday Afternoon Squalor for February 24th in the year of our Lord 2008. Taking a moment to affect my uncanny Levar Burton impersonation, we’ll see you next time.

OLD NOTEBOOK TREASURES #1

Posted in Uncategorized on February 18, 2008 by butthorn

This appears to be a particularly uncomplicated shopping list that I felt the need to embellish with art. The distinct lack of items leads me to believe that this was written up when we lived in Seattle and had virtually no money to ever buy anything.

bread-red-baron.jpg

Guess what, everyone!

Posted in Upsetting Cartoons on February 18, 2008 by butthorn

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THURSDAY NIGHT LOVING

Posted in Inanimate Objects of Note on February 14, 2008 by butthorn

As a Valentine’s Day present to my wife, I am going to refrain from posting pictures of our messy apartment on the Internet tonight. I know this renders your week essentially pointless, but what can ya do? Why not pay some attention to your spouse/significant other? You’ve been ignoring them for weeks now! It’s like your entire relationship is a sham!

So no TNS for you this week, wanny wanny wah wah, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a look at the…

MUG OF THE WEEK!:

This is it. The mug of the week. Phil. The Colt Peacemaker.

This is a beautiful mug, in both style and function. Perfectly shaped handle. Ideal volume. Handsomely painted gun, with pleasing burnt orange etchings of cowboy and cattle in the background. This mug has no story behind it. I don’t remember where we got it. I will state that it never remains clean for long. Once its apparent that the cup is clean, and coffee has been brewed, one of us will always make an immediate grab for Phil. And there’s never any malice on the part of the grabber, or jealousy on the part of the grabee. We both know that this is an excellent mug, and with Phil washed and ready for action, it would make no sense whatsoever to spurn it in favor of a lesser mug.

Don’t let the Colt Peacemaker pass you by. If Phil’s clean, fill him with bean. Seize the day, to quote Saul Bellow. And Newsies.

Now go give your succulent lover a sensuous smooch!

One of them iTunes games.

Posted in Jiving Ditties on February 10, 2008 by butthorn

I done stole this from my old lady’s blog. I love these kinds of shuffle games. They’re probably more fun to write than they are to read, in the long run, but I find myself with a snowed-in Sunday to kill.

The fonts’ll be all messed up since that seems to be what happens when you cut and paste. At least I got to use the contraction “fonts’ll”. Also, I accidentally listed mine in descending order, since I’m used to seeing music lists done in that order. I decided to just leave it that way to be exciting, unique, and impossibly sexy.
Like Annie, I opted to link the songs to YouTube videos whenever possible. By the way, whether you like the song or not, I highly recommend watching the “Kitty” video, especially if like me you enjoy watching cats do stupid things.
INSTRUCTIONS:

Put your music player on shuffle.Post the first 40 songs that come up. You can repeat artists if you want. If you have any repeats, skip to the next track. (From there, answer 38 questions about your 40 songs).

THE SONGS:

40) “Train in Vain (Stand By Me)” – The Clash
39) “Kitty” – The Presidents of the United States of America
38) “Cause I Can Do It Right” – Big Daddy Kane
37) “Your Genius Hands” – Everclear
36) “Trees Lounge” – Hayden
35) “Blue” – The Jayhawks
34) “Roll the Old Chariots” – Wood’s Tea Co.
33) “Shotgun” – Junior Walker and the All Stars
32) “Last Stop This Town” – Eels
31) “Wonderful” – The Beta Band
30) “Subterranean Homesick Blues” – Bob Dylan
29) “The Girls Want to Be With the Girls”– Talking Heads
28) “Daddy’s Little Pumpkin” – John Prine
27) “We Want a Rock” – They Might Be Giants
26) “Pablo Picasso” – The Modern Lovers
25) “Burn On” – Randy Newman
24) “I Can’t Wait to Get Off Work” – Tom Waits
23) “This is a Call” – Foo Fighters
22) “Who Do You Love?” – George Thorogood
21) “You Really Got a Hold On Me” – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
20) “Indianapolis” – Bottle Rockets
19) “The Legend of Xanadu” – Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
18) “Happy Organ” – Dave “Baby” Cortez
17) “Stars” – Hum
16) “Disorder in the House” – Warren Zevon
15) “Know Your Onion!” – The Shins
14) “Glory of True Love” – John Prine
13) “Crazy” – Gnarls Barkley
12) “Furnace Room Lullaby” – Neko Case & Her Boyfriends
11) “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” – Elton John
10) “Down Along the Cove” – Bob Dylan
09) “Vanessa From Queens” – Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
08) “One Big Holiday” – My Morning Jacket
07) “Graceland” – Paul Simon
06) “Lowdown” – My Morning Jacket
05) “Tired of Sex” – Weezer
04) “’74-”75″ – The Connells
03) “Anticipation” – Delta 5
02) “I’ve Got a Feeling” – The Beatles
01) “You Better You Bet” – The Who

QUESTIONS:

1. Which song do you prefer, #1 or #40?
Those are both good songs, but I’ll take “Train in Vain” (#40) over “You Better You Bet” (#1), though not by an enormous margin. Neither of these songs represents the best work of either The Clash or The Who, but they’re both catchy and fun. I used to think “You Better You Bet” was really stupid as a child, because my brother and I found the vocals ridiculous (which they are, but in a way I can now appreciate rather than mock) and we thought it was about a girl named Betty Bettybet.

2. Have you ever listened to #12 continuously on repeat?
I have never even listened to “Furnace Room Lullaby” on non-repeat until it came up while playing this game, but I liked what I heard. Neko Case is more Annie’s thing than mine, but I keep meaning to listen to more of her stuff.

3. What album is #26 from?
“Pablo Picasso” is from The Modern Lovers by The Modern Lovers. It’s a good time for everyone.

4. What do you think about the artist who did #15?
Actually I was just discussing The Shins with Annie. Some unfair part of me wants to dislike them, simply because they’re inescapable and too many people want to yak about them. In this case, it turns out the yakkers have solid reasons behind their ceaseless prattle. The Shins are a good band. They don’t do anything particularly daring instrumentation-wise, but they’re practically melody scientists. If you can write a catchy tune, like “Know Your Onion!” for example, you’re all right in my book.

5. Is #19 one of your favorite songs?

“The Legend of Xanadu” by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich is not one of my favorite songs. It is not even one of my favorite Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich songs. But I like it fine.

6. Who does #38 remind you of?
“Cause I Can Do It Right” by Big Daddy Kane doesn’t remind of a solitary soul. I’ve racked my brain, and really it only reminds me of Big Daddy Kane. Who rules, by the way.

7. Does #20 have better lyrics or music?
Not that they can’t play, but The Bottle Rockets are pretty lyric-oriented songwriters, and that’s certainly true of “Indianapolis”: “Can’t go west, can’t go east/I’m stuck in Indianapolis with a fuel pump that’s deceased”. Good tune.

8. Do any of your friends like #3?
I have no idea if anyone I know likes “Anticipation” by Delta 5. It’s possibly. I’ve been friends with an angry broad or two in my day.

9. Is #33 from a movie soundtrack?
As a matter of fact, I seem to recall (and a quick internet search confirms) that “Shotgun” by Junior Walker and the All-Stars plays over the opening scene of the movie “Misery”, while James Caan is getting into his fateful car accident. It’s impossible not to make unattractive pelvis-undulating motions in your computer chair while listening to “Shotgun”, by the way.

10. Is #18 overplayed on the radio?
Unfortunately, “Happy Organ” by Dave “Baby” Cortez is sadly underplayed on the radio. It’s just great. I love anything with organs in it, including “Happy Organ”, “96 Tears”, my wife, and hot dogs.

11. What does #21 remind you of?
“You Really Got a Hold On Me” reminds me of what a fantastic singer Smokey Robinson is, but most of all it reminds me of this.

12. Which song do you prefer, #5 or #22?
Let’s see, “Tired of Sex” by Weezer against “Who Do You Love” by George Thorogood. Both songs are big loud messes, so it’s a close race, but “Tired of Sex” has grown on me steadily over the years, while “Who Do You Love?” just kind of is what it is, although I’ve always liked the line “I got a cobra snake for a necktie”. That’s pretty badass, but as usual George (who I’ve always had a certain fondness for, even that ridiculous “Get a Haircut” song) didn’t write it. That’s a Bo Diddley original, and while it’s possible that Bo’s version might beat the Weezer song, George’s doesn’t quite.

13. What album is #17 from?
“Stars” is from Hum’s 1995 album “You’d Prefer an Astronaut”. I think it was on a car commercial recently, which wrecks it somewhat, but I imagine Hum was pretty thankful for the paycheck.

14. When did you first hear #39?
I first heard “Kitty” by P.O.T.U.S.A. upon purchasing their debut album on the basis of the then-ubiquitous single “Lump”, and putting it in the CD player. It’s the first track on the CD. It was the first of many spins of this particular disc. They had that perfect mix of catchy and retarded that rarely fails to engage me, for a few months anyway, whereupon I never want to hear it again, and then six years later I’ll put it on for shits and giggles and love it all over again from a nostalgic standpoint.

15. When did you first hear #7?
I honestly couldn’t say when I first heard the song “Graceland” by Paul Simon. I almost think my friend Ted put it on a mix tape, and I heard it in his car, perhaps en route to the Bangor Mall or the movies or something. That’s just a guess. It’s a good song that I don’t often get the urge to play.

16. What genre is #8?
I think My Morning Jacket would be considered a jam band. Let me check. I never know what anything is. Well, the internet isn’t telling me anything helpful. They get mentioned in that magazine Paste a lot, if that helps.

17. Do any of your friends like #14?
I’m willing to bet that absolutely zero of my friends (excluding my wife, who would probably recognize it but not be able to identify it by title) have heard “Glory of True Love” by John Prine, and my uneducated guess is that none of them would really give a crap about it either way. This is off his most recent album, which I’m just starting to appreciate. But if you’re curious about him, listen to his older stuff. Anything off “John Prine” or “Sweet Revenge” would be a good place to start. His live stuff is also usually a good introduction. I’m going to shut up now before this gets out of hand.

18. What color does #4 remind you of?
“’74-’75” by The Connells instantly conjures up a very pale green in my mind, and what a pretty song this is, incidentally.

19. Have you ever blasted #11 on your stereo?
I do most of my blasting directly into my eardrums through the headphones plugged into my computer, as it has no external speakers. But if I had a blasting-capable stereo, I would have no qualms whatsoever about blasting “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Elton John. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t like to hear this song at maximum volume, and I refuse to believe anyone who states otherwise. Elton John rocks the party that rocks the body, in case anyone asks you who does that. It’s a question that comes up from time to time.

20. What genre is #37?
I would call Everclear rock. Nothing too fancy about it. “Your Genius Hands” is from “World of Noise”, their first album, which never got much attention, and they crib heavily from Pixies on it, but I’ve always liked the annoyingly repetitive one-note riff on this song. Not sure why.

21. Can you play #13 on any instrument?
I imagine I could figure out “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley on guitar if I sat down and worked with it. I don’t detect a multitude of different chords in there. It might not sound that great but I could do it.

22. What is your favorite lyric from #30?
Quite a few lyrics in “Subterranean Homesick Blues” to select from, but the only one that ever stands out is the last one, when “the pump don’t work cuz the vandals took the handle”. Pump vandalizing: unforgivable!

23. What is your favorite lyric from #23?
“This is a Call” by Foo Fighters has some pretty inane lyrics. I don’t think meaningful poesy was foremost in Dave Grohl’s mind when he slapped this debut album together, but I always thought it had some catchy stuff on it. I guess I’d have to go with “Them balloons are pretty big”. Emily Dickinson eat your heart out.

24. Would you recommend #24 to your friends?
I doubt I’d think to recommend “I Can’t Wait to Get Off Work” by Tom Waits to anyone. Nothing against it, it’s just not a song that’s ever foremost in my mind. I just found out my mom likes Tom Waits. I don’t even know what’s real anymore.

25. Is #2 a good song to dance to?
I like most everything off “Let it Be”, this song especially, but “I’ve Got a Feeling” by The Beatles is not a good song to dance to. Maybe compared to, say, “Revolution 9”, but otherwise, not really.

26. Do you ever hear #16 on the radio?
I’ve not heard “Disorder in the House” by Warren Zevon on the radio. Barring XM or Sirius or whatever, I doubt I ever will.

27. Is #32 more of a “nighttime” or “daytime” song?
“Last Stop This Town” by Eels strikes me as a nighttime song.

28. Does #36 have any special meaning to you?
I love “Trees Lounge”, but I wouldn’t say there’s any special meaning involved.

29. Do any of your friends like #31?
I associate each of my friends with no more than one or two musicians, none of which are The Beta Band, so I wouldn’t know if any of them like “Wonderful” or not. “Dry the Rain” is a lot more fun.

30. Is #25 a fast or slow song?
“Burn On” is on the slow side. Randy Newman isn’t exactly known for writing barn-burners, although he did write one called “Let’s Burn Down the Cornfield”. So crops yes, barns no. This is the song they play over the beginning credits of “Major League”, and it’s one of my favorite songs of all time.

31. Is #35 a happy or sad song?
“Blue” is unquestionably a sad song. It’s called “Blue”, for God’s sake. It’s one of the most raggedly beautiful songs I’ve ever heard, and for that reason I don’t find myself playing it too often. It’s like listening to your dad sob softly in the next room.

32. What is one of your favorite lyrics from #9?
The one that sticks out is “Won’t you let me let me let me love you?”. I like “Vanessa from Queens” quite a bit, but more for the tune than for the words.

33. Is #34 better to listen to alone or with friends?
I really don’t like listening to music with friends. The shitty thing about friends is they tend to feel they need to express their opinions. “Roll the Old Chariots” is by Woods Tea Co., a little-known band that covers a lot of Irish standards, and it’s short, sweet, and a bit sad. Annie turned me on to them, and we used to play card games while listening to a live CD of theirs when we lived in Jay, so I have fond feelings towards them.

34. When did you first hear #27?
A pen pal from media camp (yes, I attended something called media camp, please don’t judge) sent me “Flood” by They Might Be Giants back in 1992 or 93. Not because she liked them, but rather because she despised them and wanted the tape out of her house. I gladly accepted it, since I only knew a couple songs and really liked what little I’d heard. I played that tape to death, and “We Want a Rock” was one of my favorites.

35. Name 3 other songs by the artist who did #29
Okay, if you say so. “Psycho Killer”, “Stay Up Late”, and “(Nothing But) Flowers” are three more good Talking Heads songs.

36. Do you know all the words to #6?
I find that I know really none of the lyrics to “Lowdown” by My Morning Jacket, other than “baa, baa, baa”.

37. Does #28 have better lyrics or music?
This is interesting, because although I rather like “Daddy’s Little Pumpkin” by John Prine, I’m not terribly impressed by either the lyrics or the music. I guess it’s a “whole package” kind of deal here.

38. What album is #10 from?
No clue, give me a second. All right, Amazon tells me that “Down Along the Cove” is from Bob Dylan’s album “John Wesley Harding”. I’m pretty green when it comes to Bob Dylan. I find either I like his songs a lot or I never want to hear them ever again.

There, that’s it for that. Thanks for bringing me three hours closer to death, iTunes game!

 

THURSDAY NIGHT SQUALOR 4: INANE REFERENCE TO 4TH SEQUEL IN 80’S MOVIE FRANCHISE

Posted in Thursday Night Squalor on February 7, 2008 by butthorn

First of all, to the person who reached my blog yesterday by entering “tommy lee jones naked” into a search engine, I’d like to extend my sincerest apologies. I know how disappointed you must have been.

And now, on with the filth!

KITCHEN TABLE:

I happened to stop at the Walmart near my workplace on my way home tonight, with the intention of purchasing a USB cable for our new printer/scanner, and of course leaving with 87 other things of dubious necessity. I have a secret shameful fondness for Walmart. Rarget is probably a…Rarget? Where’s that store? Is that a new store? Rarget? It sure sounds a lot like “Target”. They’re gonna get sued if they’re not careful. Anyway, TARGET is probably a better store overall, but I’m more inclined to find products of interest at Walmart, and I love looking at all the weird off-brand cookies and fumbling through the huge bin of $5 DVDs. I could look through that bin all day. In fact, I nearly purchased “Married to the Mob” and “Radio”, but somehow resisted. I swear I didn’t go to Walmart simply to buy more interesting things to take pictures of for TNS. In fact, I really don’t feel like doing this blog at all right now. How do you like THAT? Thursday’s paycheck day, and is consequently the day of the week I’d be most likely to buy, say, a box of Boo Berry. I’ve never had it! I’ve always been curious about it, but tonight is the first time in ages that I could recall encountering it in a store, and it was only $1.99, so I pounced on it. Then I got up, brushed myself off, calmly took another non-decimated box of Boo Berry, apologized to the nearby weeping child, and made my way to the registers.

Again, the Boo Berry really stands out here, doesn’t it? Man alive, that Boo Berry is one elated son of a bitch. Yet vaguely apologetic in the eyebrow region. Like he’s saying “YUM….right?” I haven’t had an honest-to-goodness bowl of the stuff yet, but I got impatient and tried a handful. It’s tasty! As is that salsa in front of him. It’s pineapple-peach salsa. It’s not quite spicy enough for our sadistic palates, but I like it better with each glop. I got that Maine Gazetteer for Annie, as wasting money on her makes me feel less guilty about wasting money on me. And yet that really only results in further wasted money. But a happier spouse! Atlases and maps and the like are very compelling to her. Never a dull moment in the Stover household.

There’s the USB cable, amid a Netflix (Boston Legal Season 2, Disc 1), some of Annie’s school junk, a ream of paper I absconded from work with, a scarf…this really isn’t a very interesting picture. Just looking at it is depressing me. I think it’s because it doesn’t feature an enormous picture of Boo Berry’s face. I may need to carry a picture of Boo Berry in my wallet with me at all times from now on, just to maintain a reasonably upbeat disposition.

I don’t know what’s going on with Boo Berry and that “Haunted Rooom” of his. I’ll have to investigate that further. It’s easy to forget that Boo Berry is actually a dead person, and as such is probably prone to doing some weird stuff, like spelling “room” with three o’s, for example.  So there’s some orange tropical Trident. I’m really into Trident these days. It’s a really solid gum, and you get a lot in a pack. I’m trying out all the flavors. In the back there is a thing of Little Debbie snack cakes, called “Be My Valentine”, which now that I look at it, what kind of name for a snack is that? “Mmm, these Be My Valentines are fantastic!” I guarantee you no one wants to say that. “Holiday Themed Snack Cake: Valentine’s Day Edition” would have been catchier. “Frosted Aortas” would have been a better name. I grabbed these at the last minute, because I realized I hadn’t picked out anything for dessert, and these were right near the cash registers, and I’d already been at the store for 45 minutes, and that’s about the breaking point, even for people who actually enjoy being in Walmart, so going all the way back to the food area wasn’t happening. I like Little Debbies a lot, actually, but if I had it all to do over again, I’d get some brownie mix, just between you and me.

But most exciting of all in this picture is, quite obviously, those Star Wars Heroes & Villains playing cards! It looks like a cassette in the picture, but it’s cards! What say we take a closer look at those?

Being a fan of Star Wars, card games, and things that cost $4.99, I couldn’t afford to pass up this purchasing opportunity. You get two full decks of cards: one with pictures of all good guys, and one with all bad guys. Positively ideal for a fun night of Star Wars canasta. Probably not very good for poker, though. One little outcry of “Oh sweet! Admiral Ackbar!” and next thing you know you’re broke.

Here’s a look at a few of my favorite cards:

Every card has a nice big colorful picture on it, and I was pleased to see that there were no repeats. You get 104 different Star Wars characters on these cards. Actually a few more than that, counting jokers. From what I could tell, in each deck they dedicate two suits to the old wonderful Star Wars movies and two suits to the new shitty Star Wars movies, which I GUESS is only fair. I suppose it’s too much to ask that George Lucas completely disregard parts one through three in terms of merchandise. Most everyone you’d want to see on a Star Wars playing card is present and accounted for, and I could only think of a few glaring (to me, anyway) omissions (no Zuckuss? no representatives from the Max Rebo Band?). Overall, though, there were enough pleasant surprises to make this totally worth buying. I mean, they gave Nien Numb his own card, for Pete’s sake. That alone earns this set a solid recommendation.

Above are four of my favorites from each deck. I know everybody always gets all excited over “slave” Leia, but I’m rather partial to her sassy Hoth outfit myself, and I was happy and surprised to find that particular ensemble showcased here. Half the fun for raging geeks in buying something like this is finding out which characters got a card and which didn’t, so I won’t reveal any more, but suffice it to say that the 8 year old in me was quite content. Now bring on the GI Joe Heroes & Villains deck!

I can’t believe I’ve only finished the kitchen table section so far. I’m going to shoot myself.

SINK:

Same sink, different day. There are actually not as many dishes in the sink as it looks. Most of that room is being taken up by a giant wok cover. You’ll notice I finally washed the colander. No applause, please, no applause, thank you, thank you. Speaking of that, someone also reached my blog by searching for “washing colanders”. Someone actually spent a part of their day searching for “washing colanders” on the internet. I wanna party with that guy. The mixing bowl is about the only item here that’s any different from usual. That’s a really good mixing bowl, by the way. It has that grippy stuff on the bottom of it. I believe they call it “rubber”.

Again, I’ve washed many dishes this week, as I am a fine, fine man. The siding of the counter is peeling very unattractively in the foreground there. Someone good at fixing things should come here and fix that. Right above that peeling siding, kicking off a brand new TNS feature, is this week’s…

MUG OF THE WEEK!

What better way to commemorate a rarely-discussed war effort than a nondescript coffee mug? This isn’t one of our favorites, but it was right there, so I took a picture of it. We got it at a Salvation Army or a Goodwill, but I can’t help but wonder where it was originally purchased. Did they hand these out at boot camp? It kind of looks like a tiny plane has just flown out of this soldier’s ass and is about to crash into his head. No reports would indicate that anything even approaching this level of intensity actually occurred during Operation Desert Storm. Despite its bland, all-one-color art, it’s a pretty good mug as it goes. It holds the perfect amount of coffee, and the handle is nicely sized. I have fat fingers, so I like a big, roomy handle. It’s not a mug I typically seek out, but I’m never upset to have to use it. It does the job, and it’s just interesting and odd enough to avoid being returned to the secondhand shop from whence it came. Could be the start of a war subgenre within our burgeoning mug collection. Here’s hopin’!

COUNTER TOP:

Things.

At this point I think it’s likely that ABC will produce a second season of “My So-Called Life” before Annie ever sends those DVDs to her poor sister. Wilson Cruz, if you’re reading this, please call my wife and tell her to get off her duff and give her sister the gift of angst! Seriously, Wilson Cruz, my wife would be psyched if you called her on the phone, whether you’re giving her a mild tongue-lashing or simply calling to discuss your delightful supporting turn on “Noah’s Arc”.

I don’t think that cow cookie jar in the back there has ever really poked its head into any of these pictures, so that’s kind of nice. It’s currently filled with Oreos that are probably the consistency of cloth at the moment, but that shouldn’t be a reflection on our opinion of the cookie jar. We just don’t buy cookies that often, and when we do, we don’t tend to store them in a ceramic jar. It’s nice to have a personable-looking cow on ones counter top, though.

Man, I couldn’t turn around without bumping into a terrific bargain last night. Annie wanted me to go out and buy some wine last night, which I didn’t want to do at all, but we needed gas and I knew I’d probably be late to work if I stopped the following morning, so I went out to take care of both tasks. First of all, at Irving they were giving away free Reese’s peanut butter cups with every fill-up, so you better believe I took advantage of that deal. Noted wine specialists Rite Aid didn’t have the exact wine Annie was hoping for (“Il Bastardo”, a delicious and potent red) , but they did have bottles of something called “Five Corners” wine, and for $2.99 each! That meant I could theoretically get three bottles for the price I would have paid for one bottle of Il Bastardo! I only got two, though, since three bottles of wine would have been cumbersome to carry. It turned out to be perfectly good wine, especially for the price. Isn’t wine just the best? Nothing beats it. I then thought popcorn might be good to have, so I went over to the appropriate aisle, and lo and behold, Orville Redenbacher microwave popcorn was buy one get one free! Everything I wanted to buy had an excellent bargain associated with it! What an splendid week of commerce I’ve had.

COFFEE TABLE:

Nothin’ much goin’ on here. Fiddle-dee-doo. I’m so sick of looking at that Wiimote I could puke.

I did some tidying up this week during a caffeine-fueled meltdown on Tuesday, and this nice neat stack of books was a result.

I never show you guys what’s under the coffee table. This is it. I need to return that Super Mario Galaxy to my cousin. I recently found my old Matt Groening cartoon books while going through some stuff on Tuesday. Those are still just as funny as they were back in seventh grade when I first looked at them. “The Simpsons” are great and everything, but I’ll take “Life in Hell” anyday.

These socks were balled up on the couch, and for some reason they called out to me to photograph them. It kind of looks like a big gross satellite of some sort, stinking its way through space. I think this would make for an outstanding desktop wallpaper.

Let’s get the bedroom area over with.

END TABLE:

So that’s where the aforementioned empty bottle of Il Bastardo ended up, and I would imagine those two glasses once held that very liquid. Remotes, binder, candy canes, sock. The usual.

BED AREA:

Annie’s:

Educational debris. I notice that pink sock is still in town. Wow, she bought a Time magazine! I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone in my life who’s ever done that! My wife is interested in current events!

And now my side:

Nice to see that the ketchup found its way back into the refrigerator. A few new paperbacks. I just finished “Rabbit, Run” and that Uncle Scrooge comic, and they were both excellent. Under Scrooge is a Guns N Roses biography that isn’t nearly as sleazy as it ought to be. Wires and Entertainment Weeklys round out the night.

Well, that’s your TNS for this week, February seventh, 2008, and until next Thursday, this is Jeremy Stover wishing you a restful evening, a squalid weekend, and Danny Glover naked.