Archive for August, 2009

CRAPPIN’ ONE OUT

Posted in Decent Folk, Mundane Events on August 20, 2009 by butthorn

My new downstairs neighbor has evidently just purchased himself a new stereo, and judging from the booming bass notes currently jabbing their way through our floor and funkily fisting us, he appears eager to inform everyone within a 12 mile radius of this uninteresting fact.  This would be more aggravating if he were blaring, say…I don’t know.  I don’t know what loud bands are currently in vogue.  Wow, I have no idea.  I was going to say Slipknot.  I believe Slipknot have not been anywhere near anything approaching a limelight since 1997.  Is loud music still being recorded?  Korn, anyone?  No?  Anyway, in the past hour or so he has treated us to deafening broadcasts of “A Horse With No Name”, “Time After Time”, and “Say You Say Me”.  I don’t know whether to laugh or relocate.  Guy knows how to party.   Right now I find his otherwise benign presence just aggravating enough that I sense that I may soon be mentally thanking him for acting as the impetus to leave the arguable comforts/inarguable thrift of this unremarkable little apartment for at least somewhat greener pastures, perhaps a modest-sized house in a quiet town that smells less like boiled dinner, and that we can afford without having to sell all of our beloved electronics or fellate retired millworkers for pocket change.  I love this cheap little dump, but like the man said, we need a place for our stuff.  At any rate, our new neighbor’s only real missives thus far are smoking smellily outside of our window, blaring the soft hits of the 70’s 80’s and today, and having loud, incomprehensible conversations with friends and passerby, which are kind of fun to eavesdrop on but surprisingly difficult to follow along with.  It doesn’t help that the neighbors he replaced were kind enough to rarely be home, so his constant vocal and olfactory presence suffers mightily by comparison.

As is often the case, I have nothing pressing to share with anyone; just felt like it had been awhile.  It’s extremely hot in this neck of the woods of late, which renders yours truly even more listless than normal.  Now that it no longer heralds a three-month period of blissful if sweltering inactivity, I have very little use for summer and look forward to the three quadrants of the year that don’t find me sprawled in front of an inadequate fan, sun-stunned and sopping with unearned perspiration.  Is there anywhere that’s autumn all the time?  I get as sick of people complaining about the weather as the next guy, so that’s more than enough of this nonsense, but I’m hotter than a hoot n’poot is all I’m trying to get across.  Thank the good Lawd for pink lemonade.  I am busily funneling it into every pore and orifice in the hopes of eventually being able to subsist entirely on fruity sweat.  I’m tired of having to exchange money for flavorful drinks.  It’s time to live off the fat of the land, or, failing that, it’s time to suckle an off-putting amalgam of artificial citrus and dissolved chlorides out of my forearm.

Anything else I can bitch fruitlessly and entertainmentlessly about?  I think that’s all I got.  Shoot, I got a new John Prine DVD to watch, a fresh paycheck trembling in my bank account just itching to be blown on what my father would call “riotous living”, and a nearly full 2-liter bottle of pink lemonade to deplete, not to mention a darling spouse on the couch opposite who allows me the luxury of championing all that is boring and frivilous in the world and a relatively new pair of sweat shorts that can proudly lay claim to being the finest summertime pajamas it has ever been my pleasure to clad my genitals and buttocks with.  I got it made in the shade, were there in fact shade.  I got it made in the ceaseless stultifying radiation.  I got it beat in the heat; how’s that, then?  I can’t carp too much, or oughtn’t.

If you like vodka and you don’t mind and perhaps welcome a quick-to-judge cashier thinking you’re Liberace in a pink tutu and a George Michael tee-shirt with a penis in your ass, you should try Smirnoff Passion Fruit flavored vodka, or perhaps a more expensive and well-made variation thereof put out by a more reputable company if you’re one of them uppity money-havers.  I for one was surprised, as I have long turned to the Smirnoff line of vodkas on the numerous occasions where I have not wanted or been able to cough up for Ketel One but can’t bring myself to stoop (literally) to Popov or Five O’Clock or any number of brands of substandard, medicinally delicious swill, but I’ve never been one to cry “Merciful heavens, this Smirnoff is at once ambrosial and thirst-quenching!  Pour all of it into my mouth at once!”  Smirnoff is decent bee-minus hooch; will neither rock your world nor ruin your evening; the Mary Higgins Clark of vodka.  Wanting to drink a few nights ago but not wanting the usual, I opted for the unknown and risked a foofy fifth of Smirnoff Passion Fruit vodka, came home and half-and-halfed it with my old friend pink lemonade, and was more than pleased at the agreeable fusion.  If you like pink lemonade and unmanly tipsiness, you’ll find the above concoction to be time and money well spent.  I’m finding that to be the case this very minute, as a fatter of mact!  Hic!  Working on a second-rate Foster Brooks routine; how ya likin’ it so far?

THINGS YOU MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN ABOUT FOSTER BROOKS:

– Who he is.

– He gave up drinking in 1964 to win a ten-dollar bet.

– He did not become famous until the age of 57, living (well, dead actually) proof that one needn’t hurry anything.

Speaking of Foster Brooks and others of his era and ilk, we’ve been deriving a considerable amount of enjoyment these days watching episodes of “The Dean Martin Show”, which my wife was smart enough to purchase directly from Guthy-Renker in commemoration of our 2nd anniversary.  Low-rent comedy has fast, through no conscious planning or intent on our part, become a staple of our anniversary rituals.  For our first anniversary we went to see “Step Brothers” in the theater; for our second we got “Cops and Robbersons” from our local library and viewed it at home.  Wow, seeing that in print makes it seem a lot sadder.  Anyway!  Now we have ten DVDs chockablock with slapdash skits, woozily crooned numbers fresh from the mothballs, and more harmlessly rambunctious yuksters from a bygone era than you can shake a stick at.  Such timeworn icons as Jimmy Stewart, Bob Newhart, Dom Deluise, Lucille Ball, Orson Welles, Victor Borge, Ruth Buzzi…the list goes on and on.  Furthermore, it would seem that every couple of months we’ll get a new one in the mail, which we can keep or send back or more likely misplace or forget we have it and buy it whether we like it or not, just like the good old days of BMG and Columbia House.  It’s a throwback from several angles, that much is certain.  As is to be expected and hoped for, there’s plenty of Rat Pack action on display.  Just watch these natty professionals swing on this snappy tune!

Ring a ding dang barnacle doodilybop jubblycats!  That’s how you do it!  I love this clip and these guys.  Snappin’ away in their suits, with the good-natured ribbing and spot-on harmonies most of us couldn’t find with a floodlight but they can belt out in their sleep.  I know you’re always hearing about how cool Frank and Dean and those guys were, but dammit!  Look at them!  So relaxed, effortless, funny, eager to entertain but not letting you see them sweat.

Here’s another one I like from the Dean Martin Show with Jimmy Stewart showcasing his cache of piss-poor impersonations:

Well, now that you got me posting videos here, let’s end it on a horribly depressing note with this clip of Jimmy S. reading a poem about his late dog, Beau, on the “Tonight Show” with good ol’ Johnny Carson.  It’s something you may have seen on a clip show or talk show retrospective of some sort on the Biography channel or whatever, but it’s worth revisiting.  Stewart’s poetry is as aw-shucks simplistic as you would imagine, with subject matter and a rhyme scheme that wouldn’t be out of place in a third grade classroom, but it’s remarkable how the air in the room changes as the poem progresses.  At the outset, it’s clear that the audience believes it’s being treated to a humorous little poem a la Shel Silverstein or Ogden Nash, but right around the 2:12 mark things start to get heavy.  An old man reading a poem about his dog…why yes, I’ve cried at this…

You’re unlikely to encounter this sort of thing on television anymore without the effect being marred by pretension or irony.  Say what you will about the Internet, but it’s keeping a lot of the good stuff alive.

Fare thee well.

SLUMBER CONCERNS

Posted in Inanimate Objects of Note on August 7, 2009 by butthorn

Boy, I have absolutely nothing to write about right now.  It’s never a good idea for me to just hit “New Post” and start typing whatever, but what good did a good idea ever do anybody?  You still die penniless and alone.  That’s the bottom line. 

How about we talk about my shitty bed?  Yes, the riotously uncomfortable rectangle of agony that my wife and I find ourselves struggling to balance our bodies upon each and every evening.  Our bed sucks maggot-riddled dung out of the weathered rectum of William S. Burroughs’ putrid corpse.  This doesn’t make trying to sleep on it any easier, believe you me.  How our bed managed to rob William S. Burroughs’ grave is mind-boggling in and of itself, but you try relaxing on a rickety boxspring that’s constantly in the act of administering analingus to a decaying beatnik.  I’m trying to tell you that I don’t have a nice bed. 

Buying a bed is a big deal, and we’ve been putting it off for a long time.  We actually slept on the floor for upwards of two years before “lucking” into the ramshackle nightmare we currently retire to when hay-hitting time draws nigh, and part of me would like to throw our current bed out the window and go back to that stage of life.  I don’t wanna go to the bed store.  I don’t wanna talk to a bed salesman.  I don’t wanna pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for something that doesn’t emit interactive computerized images.  Plus what do we do with the old bed when the bed store guys bring the new bed?  Are the bed store guys gonna take it for us?  And what of these bed store guys?  Do I have to say stuff to them?  Do I have to give them ten dollars?  Is that enough?  Will they want twenty dollars?  I don’t want them to have twenty dollars.  I want that money for me.  Are they gonna say bad stuff about our apartment when they get back in the truck?   I don’t want them to do that.  That hurts my feelings.  And what if we spend eight googolplex dollars on a bed that turns out to suck even grosser shit out of an even deader person’s asshole?  At least when you sleep on the floor you don’t have all these frightening quandries to deal with.  No money needs to change hands, no strangers need to be contacted.  It’s just you and the floor. 

Why do so many facets of life improvement require that you speak and surrender income to people you’ve never met before and have no reason to trust?  The bed salesman only wants to take my money.  Whether or not I get a good night’s sleep is immaterial to the expansion of his bank account.  I worked hard for that money.  All the bed salesman did was happen to gain access to a building with a bunch of beds in it.  I would be comfortable paying twenty-five dollars for a bed, and iffy but begrudgingly agreeable about forking over fifty.  I understand that beds cost more than twenty-five dollars and this is befuddling and unacceptable to me. 

I am also worried about having to dispose of our current bed once and if we get a new one.  If the terrifying bed laborers don’t elect to carry it out of our apartment, what then?  We cannot have two beds; that is insane.  We cannot lift the mattress and boxspring ourselves and carry them downstairs to the car, then transport them to a suitable disposal site; that is hard.  The only thing I can think of to do is make some kind of art out of it, like chop it up with an axe and maybe pour some paint all over it and call it “Consumerism” or something.  That could take up space in that area of the room in front of the closet currently occupied by dirty clothes, and then we could squash all the dirty clothes under the new bed, which is nice because then you just wake up, reach your arm underneath the bed, and pull out your outfit for the day.  All right, now that I have a plan, it’s probably time to take the bed-buying plunge.  After all, beds don’t buy themselves.  They don’t have any money because no one will hire them in this economy. 

Well, what beds are there for me to buy?  Let’s Google some beds!

rolly bed

Say, that’s a pip of a bed!  And if you get thirsty for orange juice in the middle of the night as I tend to do, you can just convince your partner to help you rock the thing back and forth until you’re rolling down the hall into the kitchen, slick as you please!  That featureless endtable isn’t doing anyone any favors, though.  Also plants don’t belong in the bedroom, or for that matter in the house.  They require assistance to continue living.  You think I need that shit on my conscience 24-7?  I’m trying to relax on my bed!

burger-bed-2

Oh jeez!  Oh, ah ha haaah!  Oh no!  This guy’s bed is a cheeseburger!  That’s certifiable.  Makes you wonder if he goes to McDonald’s and orders tiny beds to eat!  That thing is probably pretty cozy for people who don’t have any women.  Like being eaten by a giant bottom with cheese in it every night.  Can you take the pickle slice out and use that for a pillow, I’m wondering right now?  It’s a little fun to think about the day this guy moved into his new apartment, and one of his new roommates walks by his room on the way to the bathroom and happens to see through the slightly ajar door that the new guy is setting up a giant cheeseburger bed, whistling with homey contentment.  I bet that guy peed really fast so he could run back to the living room and tell the other roomie about the cheeseburger bed.  And that was only the beginning!  Man, that Andy certainly was a character.  Whatever happened to him? 

Sonic-Bed

Hey, I like this!  Putting aside the yucky fake wood look of the exterior, I could sleep nicely in a shallow padded box with a staircase.  Plus apparently there’s speakers in this thing so you can mellow out to soothing tunes which course through your prone body while you set about taking the A-train to Snoozetown.  That “Tonight I Need Your Sweet Caress” song would feel sexily relaxing in this bed, I bet.  (Jesus, I think about that song all the time.  Why?  It doesn’t benefit me.)  Dude, you could totally get baked and put some Pink Floyd in this bed and lie down and be like awwwwwwwwwww shit dude. 

boysbedsparker

I’m not even completely sure what’s happening in this picture, but I laugh every time I look at it.  The look on that gentleman’s face tells me that is exactly what he’s always wanted in a bed, and now that he finally has it he will live out the remainder of his days in pure, unkillable bliss.  We can learn a lot from this man if only we could open our hearts, souls, minds, and other openable things we probably have that only this guy with the fucked up tree bed seems to know about.

bed-up-strange-bed

This is a snazzy, space-saving concept in theory, but what happens when you’re tippity-typing away at your laptop, putting the finishing touches on a “tweet” that succintly manages to both inform and entertain, and something unhooks on your fancy ceiling bed and crashes down and FUCKING KILLS YOU?  What then, Mr. Bed Version of Frank Lloyd Wright?  I still think this is pretty cool, but I couldn’t get any real computing done under that thing while in such constant awareness of my own mortality. 

death bed

Heh.  I guess I can understand the desire to want to make a badass bed, but that is the most approachable skull and crossbones I’ve ever seen.  That skull is genuinely happy to make your acquaintance.  “How are you doing today?” asks that skull.  “I hope your day is going as swimmingly as my own.  Would you like to come to my house and play a fun board game and have some good-tasting snacks?”  That’s the skull of someone who just found out that a package they’ve been waiting for from Amazon came in the mail.  There is no death or danger in that emblem, just contentment and goodwill, and those are superb qualities to have in a bed, I should think.  Yes, I think this is the bed for me.  Wrap it up, bed peddler (beddler?), I’ll take it. 

There you go.  Six pictures and 15-20 lame bed jokes.  Don’t ever say I never gave you nothin’.

I KNOW VERY FEW THINGS.

Posted in Thought-Provoking Political Insight, Up-to-the-minute Scientific Breakthroughs on August 1, 2009 by butthorn

I have few concrete opinions, and it bothers me a little bit sometimes.  Not that I really want opinions; it just makes it easier to have conversations with those people you occasionally come across who seem to want to talk about smart stuff.  Man, what’s the deal with those pricks, anyway?

My guts squash themselves into a tubey, spluttering fist whenever anyone starts talking about politics, because it basically means that unless I can get away with remaining completely silent, I am going to have to reveal to everyone present that I am an unintelligent person.  I do not know what any of the people in the White House do.  Here, let me try to figure it out just relying on the knowledge I have in my brain.

POLITICS FACTS:

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Goes on TV and tries to calm everybody down.

VICE PRESIDENT: Gets made fun of.

SECRETARY OF STATE: Answers phone and types up documents for PRESIDENT.

CONSTITUTION: Old bossy paper.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN: Had a beard and a jaunty top hat.  Freed the slaves.  Said that “fourscore and seven years ago” thing.  Is the only statue that gets to sit down.  Got his head blown off when he was out trying to have a nice time at a show.  Had a wife that freaked everybody out for some reason.  Is on a crappy coin and an okay bill.

GEORGE WASHINGTON: The first president there ever was.  Had white Princess Leia hair and was always very serious; a real party pooper.  Stood up on a boat and got painted, which is very American, if vain and unsafe.  Chopped down a cherry tree and invented accountability shortly thereafter.  Is on an okay coin and a crappy bill.  Had an ass that wouldn’t quit.

BEN FRANKLIN: Said a bunch of smart stuff.  Wrote with a fancy pen made out of a bird feather.  Had cool John Lennon glasses and invented lightning.  Smelled like spoiled generic whipped topping after a few days without a bath.  Is on a way better bill than those other two guys despite the fact that he gleefully employed slaves and remained seated on unpainted boat trips.

DEMOCRACY: Find out who your wife wants you to vote for and try not to forget before going into the booth.  Good opportunity to reacquaint oneself with the folksy activity of pencil-using.  Ideal occasion to practice your “smug satisfaction” face.  Enjoy free sticker.

You get the picture.  You better, anyway.  Because those are all the political terms I know.  I cannot talk to you about the war in Iraq, or at least not in such a manner that it results in an enlightening or even coherent discussion.  My rule about the Iraq War is I talk disparagingly of it when in the company of people my age and younger, and reverently, if at all, with anyone who looks to have been born before 1965.  Under no circumstances do I myself introduce the topic.  I don’t have any answers; I’m just trying to maintain a workable level of comfort.  It feels like discussions concerning current events are often one step away from people just angrily jerking off in each other’s faces.  That made a lot more sense in my head before I typed it out.  Here is my impression of every discussion involving important matters that anyone has ever had:

PERSON ONE: I think this!

PERSON TWO: I think this!

PERSON ONE: Well, I think this!

PERSON TWO: But I think this!

PERSON ONE: Well, you’re stupid!

PERSON TWO: No, you’re stupid!

PERSON ONE: You’re ignoring facts!

PERSON TWO: Well, you’re hurting my feelings!

PERSON ONE: I’m upset!

PERSON TWO: Me, too!

PERSON ONE:  Aaauggh!

PERSON TWO: Blaaaaaugghh!

PERSON ONE: HOOOOLARRGRGRGGAGGAH!

PERSON TWO: PLARGARGGARGAAAGAGGUAGAGGGUH!

PERSON THREE: Hey, I’m trying to watch “The Wraith” over here!

PERSON ONE AND TWO: HOOLARGARUGUHUGUGUHBUHPUHGUHUGUHGUUUUHHHH!

A good way to make sure that no one’s feelings get hurt and that people can hear “The Wraith” is to only ever talk about pizza.  Everybody likes pizza.  Anyone who says they don’t like pizza is probably a congressman and they get paid to disagree.  They’re just trying to do their job, but you should stop being friends with them because they’re going to ruin all of your nice times.  And for heaven’s sake, don’t talk about toppings; that’s asking for trouble.  Just say “Pizza, mmmmmm!” and allow several seconds for everyone else in the room to say “Mmmmm!” as well.  You have now had a nice friendly chat with friends and you should feel good about that.

I also don’t know much about science:

THE SUN: Hot thing that hurts my eyes.  Probably killing everyone.  Coming here, doot’n doo-doo.

BIOLOGY: Hard thing that I failed.  Involves frogs.

GEOLOGY: Looking at rocks tells you that things are old.

PLANTS: Green things all over the place that don’t do much.  Good with dip.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Smartest guy who ever lived, but comparisons to him directed at you are somehow rarely complimentary.  Had a silly hairdo.  Said that “e=mc squared” thing, whatever good that does anybody.

NOVA: Show about science that is good to watch because maybe they’ll show the sex one where they go up the guy’s dink.  Just make sure you shut it off before the baby part at the end.  Vaginas aren’t supposed to look like that, doot’n doo-doo.

TEST TUBES: Glass things that hold science waters.  Test tubes are as science as it gets.

FULCRUMS: Thing that the seesaw seesaws on.  Not sure what it has to do with science, but I remember it being an answer on a science test once.  Good with dip.

MITOCHONDRIA: The only word I remember from high school science class.  I don’t know what it is but I bet you my nonexistent life savings that I don’t wanna hear about it.  A helpful term to keep handy if someone is looking at you expectantly after having said a string of nonsense words and you want them to know that you understand that they are attempting to talk to you about science but you don’t necessarily want to continue the conversation.

CHEMICALS: The number two most scientific thing after test tubes.  Chemicals are science waters that burn your skin and kill you if you drink them.  You’re better off just pouring them into test tubes and pretending to find them interesting while thinking about boobs and what’s on TV tonight.  Not sure why Albert Einstein invented these.

MICROSCOPES: Oh wait, microscopes are the number two most scientific things.  Chemicals are number three.  Microscopes are really the only good thing about science, because they turn everything into a huge monster.  Only problem with microscopes is they’re kind of a lie, because if you look at salt under a microscopes, it’s a bunch of squares, and that isn’t true.  Salt isn’t squares, microscopes; you’re thinking of ice cubes.

EMERGENCY EYEWASH STATION: Where you should go when you get science in your eyes.

NEWTON: A guy who sat under a tree and an apple fell on his head and for some reason that made him realize that people can’t fly off into space.  I like to think that before that seemingly unrelated realization he yelled something fancy and old-timey like “Ow!  What in the blasted devil donnigans?!” and stood up and tried to throw the apple at the tree trunk in anger, but missed and chucked it several feet into the grass, which wasn’t nearly as satisfying, and he got up to go get the apple and try again, but couldn’t find it.  Then his pants fell down and he tripped and hit his head on a rock and he farted but it was really a poop.  Then a bunny peed on his face and a stag had sex with him then puked on his back.

GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER: The black guy you learn about in school that isn’t Martin Luther King.  You don’t get a day off on his birthday, but he invented peanut butter, so it almost evens out.

THE KREBS CYCLE: Water falls out of the clouds, then you drink it, pee it, it goes down into the sewer, back up into tree trunks where it gets sucked out through the leaves and shot back up into the clouds again.  The ocean doesn’t get to be part of the Krebs Cycle because you can’t drink the ocean.  God just made the ocean to be weird.  Thankfully this cycle only applies to water and not food.  The world is gross enough as it is, am I right?

ANIMALS: Cute furry things that either want to kill you or entreat you to try and pull a disgusting, drool-drenched stick out of their mouth.  Good with barbecue sauce.

CARL SAGAN: Science guy who liked making stuff up about space in a relaxing voice.  If you’re gonna hang out with a science  guy, you could do worse.  Probably dead, or, failing that, wicked baked.

NASA: Tons of science guys who somehow know how to build huge rockets and shoot them up into space with guys in them.  NASA is interesting because they float around and eat food that is different from the food you or I eat.  If you want a job at NASA you should ask for the job where you get to ride cool rides, not the one where you sit around looking at computers.

DIARRHEA: A type of crapping that is very scientific.  Hard to spell.

That’s it for science.  And I don’t even want to get into math; fuck that shit in the ass with a dick.  Throw it into the trash can.  I do math all day at work, and it never gets any more interesting.  The only math I like is the math I use to buy McDonald’s with.  Greenbacks, baby.  Mucho dinero.  Wallet math, that’s what I call it.  Otherwise, math can hit the road.  I don’t even wanna do a silly list about it.

The point of this blog is I don’t know anything, but neither does anyone else.  Religion is stories from old books that make people less scared of dying and science is people looking real closely at the weird stuff going on around us and concocting an uncertain if brilliant narrative to try and pretend like humankind has any control over any of this shit.  I still haven’t figured out what politics is, other than three or four more channels that aren’t showing cartoons.  In any event, nobody has any idea what they’re talking about, so why not either settle down and enjoy one another’s company or at the very least admit that “intelligent discussions” are little more than an opportunity to impress bystanders and/or make someone else feel stupid.  Virtually nothing else has ever been accomplished through the act of speaking.  I say get out of bed, make some pals and be good to them, and enjoy the nonsensical, potentially devastating ride.  And if you figure something profound out along the way, well, you’re probably drunk.  Lay off the sauce, Plato.

That’s all for today, dummies!  Ciao!