Friday, December 31, 2004

New Year's Eve Public Service Announcements

Turkey, Tulips & Teriyaki

This is the last photo collage of the year. Enjoy!

[1] My last supper... at David's BBQ before they closed for the holidays. I'll have to wait until they reopen January 5th.

[2] Tulips. My favorite flower. I took this picture at the fabulicious grocery store called Whole Foods: The "world's leading organic and natural foods supermarket." (insert sarcastic fart noise here). I like to think of Whole Foods as "the premiere over-priced grocery store for the gullible" Having no deficieny in pretentiousness, I'd deliberately never been there before, but Derik needed to pick up a Christmas bouquet for a friend, so he chose Whole Foods.

[3/4] You know it's a fabulicious grocery store when they have a huge saltwater aquarium at the front of the store. Beautiful. I love fish and aquariums.

[5] One of the aisles at Whole Foods. You can only imagine what the patrons looked like. If only we'd had more time, I'd have blog fodder for weeks.

[6] The cover to the water main in front of Galligaskin's Submarine Shop. Beautiful.

[7] Part of the buffet at the Chinese restaurant where Derik and I had lunch on Christmas Eve. I steered clear of the "Ranch" dressing, and everything was fine. The sesame chicken drumettes were terrific!

[8] My dumpling soup and plate. Mental note: stick to lunch here, not dinner. My faith has been restored.

[9] Bottles of bouillon in the Mexican food aisle of the local Kroger. I love the packaging.

[10] Close-up of my Christmas tree. I love bubble lights. They make me happy.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Boxing Movies

*Today's collage is quite large, so please be patient while it loads

I love boxing movies, so I've created a collage of some of my favorite boxing images. I'm not sure what it is about boxing movies, but I've yet to see one that I didn't like something about. I prefer the boxers from the golden age of boxing: Gene Tunney, Rocky Marciano, Jack Dempsey and Billy Conn, though I have to admit I am partial to Marciano and Conn. I'm not that enamored with today's "boxers." They lack that certain je ne sais quoi.

For those interested in some great boxing films, here's my list of favorites in order of preference:

The Milky Way. 1936
Comments: My all-time favorite Harold Lloyd movie. It's now available on DVD, finally!
Rocco and His Brothers. 1960
Comments: Alain Delon looking like an Italian James Dean. Both he and the film are gorgeous.
Somebody Up There Likes Me. 1956
Comments: Paul Newman looking beautiful as ever. Wish this one would be released to DVD.
Rocky Marciano. 1999
Comments: A really great movie. Jon Favreau looks fuckin' AMAZING. Coming to DVD Feb. 8th of 2005! I am SO there.
Gladiator. 1992
Comments: James Marshall is beyond beautiful in this very 90's movie.
Golden Boy. 1939
Police Call. 1933
Body And Soul. 1947
The Boxer. 1997
Comments: Though I am not a big fan of Daniel Day-Lewis, this is a good, underrated film.

And for those who are undoubtedly saying to themselves "What? No Stallone? No Rocky?" Yeeees, I like that one too, but to be honest, it's not one of my favorites. The ones listed above have it beat (no pun intended).

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Movies to Start Off the New Year

Maybe it’s much too early in the game, Ah, but I thought I’d ask you just the same, What are you doing New Year’s, New Year’s Eve?

Well, I know what I'm doing. The same thing I did last Friday night: watching movies. New Year's eve is one of those holidays I used to have such romanticized ideals of when I was growing up. I always envied my parents coming home from a New Year's party, all dressed up, donning party hats and noisemakers. My mom, her fur coat smelling of cigarettes, would bring me back various souvenirs (noise makers, cute cocktail napkins, etc.) and I'd get such a kick out of it. I couldn't wait to grow up and be the one that got kissed at midnight, while enveloped by the sounds of Old Lang Syne. Surrounded by colorful balloons and shimmering confetti. I want to be part of the couple singing "Baby, It's Cold Outside."

Now I know what it's really like to be at one of those parties. Everyone invited is a couple and the ones who aren't will fuck anything that stands still. Closet alcoholics have yet another reason, this time in the guise of a holiday, to "tie one on" all the while acting like a blithering asshole. New Year's parties are not for people who don't like to drink. Namely me. I'll have a couple, but then I'm done for the evening. Look for me at the next New Year's party you go to. I'm the one stalking the Goldfish crackers, twiddling my thumbs, sitting on the couch and ritualistically keeping the garbage level under control, even though it's not my party. I'll be the one embracing the OCD under the mistletoe, all the while keeping one eye on Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve. Whee! Happy New Year! (insert sarcastic fart noise here)

So, if you'll be home as well, here are some movie rentals you may want to check out. They all have a distinctive New Year's flavor. Oh, and don't worry, they're not all as bleak as the previous paragraph.

The Poseidon Adventure. 1972
Hell, Upside Down

Synopsis: A group of passengers struggle to survive and escape, when their ocean liner completely capsizes at sea.
Comments: Big budget disaster flick with a huge cast of familiar faces. My favorite scene: When the boat capsizes. Great special effects.

New Year's Evil. 1981
Don't dare make New Year's resolutions... unless you plan to live!

Synopsis: During a New Year's Eve celebration, hosted by a New Wave radio station, the DJ gets a phone call saying that when New Year's strikes in each time zone, someone will be murdered--and she will be the last one.
Comments: I friggin' LOVE this movie. Elvira used to host it every year and I would watch it religiously. Her commentary was hilarious. Sure, it's got its' bad moments, but it also has its' creepy/freaky moments, too. It stars Roz Kelly (AKA 'Pinky Tuscadero' from Happy Days) and Grant Cramer, who I remember thinking was so fuckin' hot I couldn't stand it! It's the nose... and the mouth... and the eyes.... sigh. One of my all-time favorite horror movie posters, too.

Peter's Friends. 1992
Love, friendship and other natural disasters

Synopsis: Seven friends in an acting troupe graduate from Cambridge University in 1982 and go their separate ways. Ten years later, Peter inherits a large estate from his father, and invites the rest of the gang to spend New Year's holiday with him.
Comments: The fell in love with this movie the first time I saw it. I could so relate to the characters, the humor and the awesome soundtrack is 80's-licious (which I own, of course). It also doesn't hurt that part of the ensemble cast includes Emma Thompson, Rita Rudner and Tony Slattery, who I think is just cute as all get out in this movie! He needs my kisses, dammit!

200 Cigarettes. 1999
It's 11:59 on New Year's Eve. Do you know where your date is?

Synopsis: New Year's Eve, 1981, the Lower East Side. A collection of twentysomethings try to cope with relationships, loneliness, desire and their individual neuroses.
Comments: I know I'm sounding like a broken record, but I really do love this movie, too. If memory serves, it kind of came and went at the theater, but I fell in love with it because it has SO many people I love in it (Martha Plimpton, Paul Rudd, Christina Ricci, Dave Chapelle, Ben Affleck) and the fact that I love that it takes place in the 80's. So, of course, you know it has a great, eclectic soundtrack. If you watch it, I'm the Martha Plimpton character. lol! Love it.

Love Actually. 2003
It's All About Love... Actually.

Synopsis: Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely and interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.
Comments: This is such a great, warm, funny movie. The perfect movie to start off the new year. I'm not generally a big fan of the generic-type "romantic" movies, but this one is right up my alley. It's one of those movies that makes me giddy just watching it, 'cause I can't stand it (in a good way). If you rent the DVD, be sure to watch the 'Deleted Scenes' feature. Some (but not all) great moments, unfortunately (due to time constraints), were left on the cutting room floor. Another great soundtrack.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Quickie Penne Pasta Recipe

Have you O.D.'ed on turkey and dressing? If so, here's a really great little recipe that I recently 'invented.' It requires 3 ingredients: Frozen meatballs ($6), penne pasta (.89¢) and Del Monte's Green Peppers and Mushroom Spaghetti Sauce ($1). I have experimented with various frozen meatballs and Rosina is the winner, hands down. Of course, you're welcome to use another brand or even make your own, I just use the Rosina brand because it's convenient. The same goes for the brand of penne pasta. The only thing that really brings it all together is the Del Monte Spaghetti Sauce. Total estimated cost: $8 and it provides multiple servings, and coming from me, that's pretty good. I can usually get 5-6 servings out of this one recipe, but then it depends on how hungry you are and/or how many people you are trying to feed.

Anyhow, the recipe is simple. I use the one pot method, as it cuts down on dish washing and there's really no need to use multiple pots/skillets. Place about half a cup of water in the pot and add about 20-25 meatballs, frozen or thawed, your choice. Then I add a dash of fresh ground pepper and onion salt and put on a medium heat. Once the meatballs have cooked, place them in a separate dish, keeping the remaining water in the pot and filling within a finger's length from the top. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta. Cook until desired tenderness. Drain.

Now while the pasta is cooking, I used to slice the meatballs into fourths. Now I just use scissors, which may sound weird, but it's SO much faster. Add them to the drained pasta in the pot and pour in 1 can of Del Monte's Green Peppers and Mushroom Spaghetti Sauce. Stir over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Optional toppings: Parmesan, black olives and/or grated green bell pepper. It's SO good and so easy. If you try it and like it, let me know.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Count 'em if You Got 'em

Well, I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had a good holiday. I know I'll sound like a bummer saying this, but I always get a little blue the day after. Like there was this huge build up to something that never quite came together. I mean, sure, I had an enjoyable Christmas, but afterwards there's a little part of me that's left feeling lonely. I guess, like with most things I look forward to, I put too high of an expectation on "events." I have this mental photo of how I anticipate things turning out that just never seems to develop.

Anyway, my point is this. I love this photo. Whenever I am feeling a little blue or some self-pity, this photo always makes me smile and helps to put things into perspective and realize how blessed, for lack of a better word, I am. I've had a clipping of the photo for years, but not too long ago I found a book at one of the book sales I went to this fall, which had the photo inside as well: The Best of Life (Magazine). It's a really beautiful book (just 75¢ at, which is filled with hundreds of photos ranging from 1936-1972. The caption beneath the photo reads:

A New Possession
A 6-year-old orphan from Austria ecstatically embraces a brand-new pair of shoes just given to him by the Red Cross. (Photo by Gerald Waller)

Think about that next time you think you have problems.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas Everyone!

A Cute Pug Christmas

I just had to share this so cute-I can't stand it e-card my friend Terri sent to me. It's just too sweet! Thank you Terri! Give Waldo a Christmas squeeze for me!

*click on the first hyperlink to view the card

According to the 'What Crappy Gift Are You'-Quiz...

You Are Socks!

Cozy and warm... but easily lost.
You make a good puppet.

Friday, December 24, 2004

All Aboard the Bipolar Express!

Hi everyone! I hope everyone is having a good Christmas Eve. I thought you might get a kick out of some recent holiday-related strips that I found amusing. Strip #3 made me think of Chad over at Stop Touching My Food. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

'Tis The Season(s)

Looking for some last-minute gift ideas? Have a vendetta against a loved one? Then have I got a deal for you! Here's a small sampling of the crapftacular goodies I found at a local craft mall. About the only thing there that I actually liked were the monkeys (see #2) and the votive candles that I buy there on a regular basis. They are amazing! They burn for at least 15 hours and my favorite scents include: White Linen, Clean, Rain, Cucumber and Pomegranate. They smell amazing.

[1] Irony? The sign posted outside the craft mall where these pictures were taken.

[2] Cute Monkeys! The one thing I actually thought was cute, turned out to be manufactured. I luvs monkeys!

[3] Furry purses made from yarn remnants! Just $65!

[4] A prime example of the resin-licious items that abound at the local craft malls.

[5] Don't ask me. I don't know either. All I know is that some "artisan" had a booth full of these clay monstrosities. This one was a mere $35!

[6] Ah, the crafsmanship! Ooh, the detail! This was another example of the above mentioned's booth. I'd like to think this person is mentally-challenged and/or working with just one left foot, but I know deep down inside, that's probably not true.

[7] Ah, the smooth song stylings of the neighborhood-reknown Vance Greek. Labeled "the world's premier independent artist," Vince has brought us such diverse albums as: Piano Favorites, Christmas Piano and the ever-popular, Piano Praise. For those who thought they had to leave the flashy life of motorized scooters and creamed corn back in Branson, Missouri, fear not! Vince brings all the good memories flooding back with more than a dozen albums to choose from. And don't forget to check out his son Steven's albums as well! With diverse titles like Imagine, I Need You and What Daddies Do, you're sure to find that perfect revenge gift for that special co-worker in your life! Visit Vince (and Steve) at

And that's not all! I've done some extensive research to bring you even MORE craptacular shopping ideas!:

• This one is actually something I wouldn't mind owning. It's the one practical gift in this entire post. Check out

• Not content just lighting dog poop in sack and leaving it on a neighbor's doorstep? Then make sure you visit

• Oh no! You'd like to start collecting religious-based resin figurines, but you don't know where to start. Well, you're in luck! Visit

• You say you're lookin' for heap big bargain huh? Well, look no further! Visit The Three Ladies

But wait! There's more! As a special treat I'd like to share with you something I was an eyewitness to yesterday evening, while running a few last minute Christmas shopping errands. I was first tipped off when I passed the register and saw stacks of bags of Conversation Hearts in a display across from the register. I barely managed to stifle a scream. SIGH.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I'm Not Worthy! I'm Not Worthy!

I debated whether or not to mention this, but being that it may never happen again, I thought I'd better. Someone (I say someone because I don't know if they want their name mentioned or not) has nominated my blog for Best LGBT Blog. As far as I can figure out, the 'LGBT' stand for Bacon Lettuce & Tomato-something. I'm not really sure.

Anyhoo, nominations conclude on Dec. 24th, then the nominees will be narrowed down to the 10 worthiest nominees in each category. Then an online voting form will be provided on January 1st and votes will be taken until Jan. 14th.

I've known about the nomination/contest for some time now and I made the attempt to nominate a couple of blogs over the last 3-4 weeks, but every time I have tried to type my information in the "comments" area, they are invisible, so I guess the world will be deprived of my nominations (sorry Gatochy and Genuine). Here's hoping the voting form will be a little more cooperative.

If you're interested you can check out the categories and nominees at: Best of Blog (BoB) Awards, and like I said, you can nominate blogs through tomorrow. As far as I know, I've only been nominated in this one category, but if you know of another, please let me know. In the meantime I'd like to thank the person who nominated me. I appreciate it! Thanks so much!

Holiday Highlights II

[1] This was painted on the window of a pawn shop I went to, on my never ending search for DVDs. I thought it was too cute.

[2] Mmmm! My ham and cheese sandwich (with black olives) from Schlotzsky's. Gotta love their bread!

[3] A ham and provolone sub from my all-time favorite place: Galligaskin's. They have been around since the late 70's and I've been going there for as long as I can remember. There's just something about their taste that is so unique. I think part of it is the fact that they make their own chunky-style dill relish. H-E-A-V-E-N. If you're ever in Fort Worth, Texas, you MUST eat there.

[4] A giant inflatable Santa outside of a car dealership.

[5] A book store that sells books at 80% off the original retail price. I was disappointed in the selection, but managed to find a few interesting things. I'd rather shop at 75% Off Books. I doubt I'll be returning to this store. Even at a supposed 80% off, I still think their prices are too expensive.

[6] Books aplenty!

[7] Dinner at Denny's with Nathan. Believe it or not, their shrimp is scrumdiddliumtious! And it came with THE best sourdough garlic toast! DAMN!

[8] A retro Santa standing in the window of the nearby small town of Handley, at the video store I rent at. I have mixed feelings about him. On the one hand, he's cute and retro... on the other hand, he's a tad creepy. Hey! Look! I think he's after my shrimp!

[9] The freezer section at a nearby Brookshire's grocery store. Very festive! It's nice to see that some places still believe in Christmas and not "the holidays." I can't tell you how tired I am of the PCing of Christmas.

[10] This blood clot with a purse was really pissing me off. She was at the book store I mentioned previously. I was TRYING to look through the children's books, but apparently she had gotten to them first, cause she was leaving a path of mangled/piled books in her wake. She was digging through those motherfuckers like she was trying to bury a goddamn bone, letting them fall where they may. Why do people have to be such inconsiderate imbeciles? I wanted to yank her glasses off her face and spray paint the lenses. Fa la la la la

[11] This is a picture of the interior of one of the dining rooms at the BBQ restaurant that I like to frequent. The dummy sitting in the chair sits there year 'round, they just have him dressed up for Christmas. Notice all the framed photos. They surround all the eating areas and are of local celebrities (some autographed), family members, and even a few big-name celebrities. I especially like the rolls of paper towels on all the tables. LOVE IT, because I use a lot of napkins and this saves me from having to go ask for more only to have them doled out to me in tiny increments. The booth you see in the top right-hand corner is where I usually sit. Their BBQ turkey sandwiches are THE best!

[12] Again, another picture taken in the nearby town of Handley. This Santa stands outside the Christmas tree lot that has been selling Christmas trees for almost 3 decades. I just love the old tyme-looking Santa waving! They have a massive selection and they sell them in the front yard of an old 3 story house. I always wonder what the house looked like in it's heyday. I can just imagine it. I bet it was great. I bet it has a huge attic and built in bookshelves. Sigh... neato.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

My 'T' Zone Resembles The Ozone

Lately my "T zone" has been flakier than Loretta Lynn's pie crust, and I don't know why. Maybe because I don't get all fagalicious about and/or spend an inordinate amount of money/time on a skin care "regime." To quote a scene from my favorite Janeane Garofolo movie, The Truth About Cats & Dogs:

Cosmetics Saleslady: We also have this new face cream which neutralizes the free radicals that attack the skin. Let me ask you: what's your skin regime?
Dr. Abby Barnes: My regime? The regime from which the radicals are trying to get free? Are we selling face cream or staging a coup?

The extent of my skin regime consists of lathering some liquid soap in my hands, washing my face with said soap, and rinsing. I use Phisoderm sometimes and then sometimes I use a Neutrogena face wash that smells REALLY good. That's about as good as it gets.

I'm wondering if maybe I need to bust out the tube of "Totally Juicy" peel-off masque that I bought because [A] I liked the smell (pink grapefruit!) and [B] It was on clearance, and actually put it to some use. It's pretty embarrassing to have dandruff face, esp. when you're wearing dark colors. You know it's bad when you walk into the public library and as soon as the little kids see you, they run excitedly to the windows, looking skyward, anticipating building their first snowman.

Anybody got any ideas that won't cost a fortune or require me to begin a skin care regime that will rival assembling an assault rifle under water? My face would be much obliged.

Six Month Blogiversary!

Today marks the 6 month anniversary of the day I started my blog. Thanks to everyone who regularly visits/reads my blog. I hope you enjoy it as much I've enjoyed writing it. Here's to more fun times!

To commemorate the occasion I'd like to hold a raffle sometime in January. I say "raffle" because each chance would cost $1 (the money will go towards shipping costs). The prize will include lots of books on pop culture, DVD/VHS movies & cartoons and even some fun toys. The books and movies will be both new and gently used. Once I've gathered everything together, I'll post a picture. In order to gauge interest, either leave a comment saying so or e-mail me at:

Monday, December 20, 2004

The Fossil Files

This weekend I received a really great coupon via a local DVD place's circular: trade in 5 used DVDs, get $50 in store credit. They ran the same coupon during Thanksgiving and I made out like a bandit! So, imagine what I could do with TWO coupons! To do this, it meant I had to call Ms. Fossil and ask for her coupon. Hating anything not directly connected to PBS and/or televangelists, I knew I could count on her coupon, but I had to act fast.

So, I go over, get the circular/coupon, and naturally she begins to complain about SOMETHING. This time it was the reception on her TV set and it's location. She didn't like it where it was and wanted to move it, but she couldn't, 'cause she's so fragile (hint hint ). Naturally, I offered to do it for her (big mistake), but she wasn't sure where she wanted to move it just yet. I suggested various places, all of which were not good ideas. Naturally. So, before it was over with, she asked me to sit down, so I did, and we talked for a while.

On the one hand, I didn't have anything better to do, so I didn't mind sitting down and talking with her for a while. But then on the other hand, it was Ms. Fossil. Whaddya gonna do? So we talked about various things, some of which included:

[1] How she doesn't trust the people who live in the house down the street. The ones with the pickup in their driveway that she never sees coming or going. It must be drugs.

[2] How she's wrangled one of her daughters to come fill her car with gas, "'cause the new gas pumps are so complicated", what with their credit card-swiping technology and all. I told her she could just go inside and pay that way, but she claims "that's too much 'work' and besides she has sore feet, back, _______ <----{insert body part here}, hurts too much." So delicate, yet not feeble enough to stop her from DRIVING, going to luncheons or roaming around the yard 24 hours a day. Gee, it's a Christmas miracle.

[3] How her other daughter, who lives 45 minutes away, has to come pick her up, take her to her house (the daughter's) and then back to her house (Ms. Fossil's) anytime they want her to come over, 'cause Ms. Fossil's "afraid she'll get lost" trying to find her daughter's house. Gee, you'll never know if you don't try. So, because she's afraid to use a map, her daughter's out 3 hours of her life. I told her "If it were me, you'd stay home a lot." *For the record, I don't edit my conversations with Ms. Fossil. I talk to her like I would anyone else I know. She's an adult (physcially), so I'm sure she can handle it. If not, that's not my problem.

[4] I was surprised to find out she was not a Dubyah fan, esp. considering what a religious nut she is, and the fact that she's old and lives in Texas: The three defining characteristics of 90% of the Republicans in Texas. It cracked me up to see her get all flustered just talking about how stupid he looks. I was happy to hear I wasn't the only one who was depressed for a week, at the outcome of the election.

[5] She asked my advice as to what she should get the mailman for Xmas. I suggested a flammable uniform and a lighted match. She was not amused. She went on and on about how wonderfully kind he was, always putting her mail in the mailbox by size and holding her mail when she was going to be gone, etc. Truth be told, he's probably so "nice" because she haunts the goddamn mailbox like a fuckin' geriatric vulture. One false move and I'm sure she has some insight for him on how he can do his job better. He's probably just too nice to tell her 'Get bent, Frosty.

I asked her if it was the same mailman who delivers my mail, 'cause that asshole can barely put the shit in my box. The lid's always half open, like he's in such a big hurry he doesn't have time to make sure it's entirely in the box. I told her in the past I'd given movie gift certificates to the GOOD mail carriers, and one time a thermos, but that'd been my only experiences with gift-giving. She thought a scarf and some homemade candied tuna fish balls would be nice. Okay, she didn't really say tuna fish balls, but knowing her it'll be some form of culinary disaster concocted out of leftovers.

Well, that's about it, really. There was one more topic we discussed, which pissed me off so much, I'm saving it for a future post. A topic not for the easily offended and/or the Geritol generation. You've been warned.

*For those not familiar with my previous adventures with Ms. Fossil, check out these posts:
If A Tree Falls On An Old Lady Does It Make A Sound?
Tree Trauma Trun 'k' ated
With Bitch You Get Eggroll
It's Official. I'm The Family Dog.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Keyword Klatch

Embedded within the template of my blog there is a add-on which contains a feature that keeps track of the keywords people type into various search engines, which bring them to my blog. I thought you might get a kick out of seeing some of them. I've attached 6 of the most recent keyword lists that have taken place over the month of Nov/Dec. I find it amazing (and somewhat disturbing) that the two main keywords that have brought people to my blog are: "overstock woman" and "colonix" Lol! Little did I know when I wrote those posts that it was the beginning of a keyword search that would come to define my blog! *Thanks goes out to The Cunning Linguist for inspiring this post!

Friday, December 17, 2004

My Holiday Film Favorites: Part 2 of 2

The Lemon Drop Kid. © 1951

A con man is forced to plot an elaborate Christmas-time con game to raise $10,000, or the mob will make him pay . VHS/DVD

Miracle On 34th Street. © 1947

When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing. VHS/DVD

Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol. © 1962

Animated version of Dicken's timeless classic "A Christmas Carol." Mr. Magoo is the miserly Scrooge who mends his ways. VHS/DVD

Scrooged. © 1988

A cynically selfish TV executive gets haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve. VHS/DVD

Silent Night, Deadly Night. © 1984

After his parents are murdered, a young tormented teenager goes on a murderous rampage dressed as Santa Claus. VHS/DVD

Since You Went Away. © 1944

While husband Tim is away during World War II, Anne Hilton copes with problems on the homefront by taking in a lodger. VHS/DVD

Tenth Avenue Angel. © 1948

Flavia's been told that her Aunt Susan's fiancé, Steve, has been on a trip around the world, but in truth he's just finished his prison term. OOP, but will be airing on Turner Classic Movies on December 24th.

The Trouble With Angels. © 1966

Hayley Mills and June Harding act up in this affectionate comedy as two juvenile pranksters at the St. Francis Academy for Girls. VHS/DVD

Thursday, December 16, 2004

My Holiday Film Favorites: Part 1 of 2

Everyone has a few perennial film favorites when it comes to the holidays. I, on the other hand, have more than a few. I've narrowed down the list to a mere 15, which I will be posting in a 2-part blog entry.

There's something for just about every taste: Comedy, horror, animation, drama, romance. All, with a distinctive holiday flair. Some traditional. Some not-so-traditional. All good. Accompanying each title and its' brief synopsis, I've also included what format(s) the movie is available in (if any). If you see the abbreviation 'OOP' this means that the film is currently 'Out Of Print' and is therefore not widely available to buy. I hope you enjoy the list and possibly even discover a new favorite.

Bell, Book and Candle. © 1958

A modern-day witch likes her neighbor but despises his fiancee, so on Christmas Eve, she enchants him to love her instead... only to fall in love with him for real. VHS/DVD

Black Christmas. © 1974

A sorority house is terrorized by a stranger who makes frightening phone calls and then murders the sorority sisters during Christmas break. VHS/DVD

A Christmas Story. © 1983

Ralphie has to convince his parents, teachers, and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect gift for the 1940's. VHS/DVD

Christmas Vacation. © 1989

The Griswold family's plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster. VHS/DVD

Desk Set. © 1957

Two extremely strong personalities clash over the computerization of a TV network's research department during the holidays. VHS/DVD

Here Comes Mr. Jordan. © 1941

Boxer Joe Pendleton dies 50 years too soon due to a heavenly mistake, and is given a new life as a millionaire playboy. OOP, but not impossible to find used on VHS

Holiday. © 1938

Free-thinking Johnny Case finds himself betrothed to a millionaire's daughter, but ends up falling in love with her eccentric sister Linda. Instead of settling down to the family's big business, he rebels, wishing instead to spend the early years of his life on "holiday."

OOP, but not impossible to find used on VHS

*Click here for a great desktop from the movie Bell, Book and Candle!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Books, Cramps & Happy Pants

[1] This is a house down the street from me. I've always thought it was beautiful, esp. since sometimes when I drive by I can see inside and they have a fireplace and built in bookshelves! I also love the 3 little steps that go up into the front yard (shows that the house is quite old) and my favorite part: If you look to the far right there is a circular brick formation. Well, inside there is dirt where you can plant flowers and things! Like a built in terrarium! I just love that. Well, recently the people who used to live there moved away. It's been a few months, but now someone has had all the trees trimmed in the front yard and you can really see just how beautiful the house is now. They also just had a new sidewalk and driveway paved. It's so nice. I'm totally jealous.

[2] This is the salad I had recently at a Chinese buffet that I go to maybe 3X a year. They have a great selection. I would have taken more pictures, but when I went it was nighttime and my digital camera SUCKS at taking nighttime photos or photos in low light. This was the best I could do. Unfortunately, this time around the powers that be cheaped-out and put out some faux Ranch dressing, in lieu of the good stuff. You know what I mean: when the Ranch tastes more like Miracle Whip and a seasoning packet, rather than the real shit. I hate that. I think this is what ended up giving me cramps later on that night. Curse you poor Ranch imitation!

[3] My favorite part of the buffet: The Jell-O cubes! They are so good! I can never get mine the right consistency to cut into cubes. I was a little disappointed this night, though, because instead of the usual cherry flavor they had some other flavor mixed in that I could not tell apart until I tasted it. It was awful!

[4] A rack of great postcards at Barnes & Noble. Just 75¢ apiece. Since I have a postcard collection that is currently collecting dust, this may just be the solution to reviving it. So many great images!

[5] The bag from Barnes & Noble that they put your merchandise in. I thought it was really beautiful. I'm seriously considering cutting it out and framing it. The other side has even more classic book titles/covers.

[6] Some new magazine called Vitals. I bought it because my beautiful boy Jake Gyllenhaal is on the cover. Lots of great images inside, too!

[7] The current issue of Vanity Fair, which I also bought. Now that Leonardo is finally looking more like a man and not jailbait, I feel much more comfortable lusting after him. What a beautiful face.

[8] The new GQ. I HAD to get this. Jude's on the cover! Need I say more? Perfect.

[9] I took this teeny tiny picture just for my friend Sarah who is currently having some ladybug issues of her own. I still think they're cute... until they pinch me, like Sarah says they do. Then, it'll be another story.

[10] These are some hungry cow babies I saw when I was driving to the nearby town of Handley, to return some videos. I thought it was much too pretty to pass up taking a photograph of. Unfortunately it had just rained and while jumping a puddle I got my feet soaked! I hope ya'll appreciate the things I go through for a picture. Lol! ;)

[11] This is Starchy The Happy Shirt (yes, I've named him) painted on the side of the building directly across the street from the video store in Handley. It's a cleaner's, but the name escapes me. Always thought this was kitsch-a-riffic1

[12] This is a picture of a great set of bongos I saw at the pawn shop during my recent DVD expedition. I think it's SO beautiful. I love the colors and the African masks pattern. I really wanted it, but I have absolutely no use for it.

[13] Meet Starchy's pal, Creasey The Happy Pants!

[14] The "Before" photo on my recent haircut outing. I was starting to look like Barry Gibb!

[15] A great little coin-operated Flintstones ride outside the Kroger I shop at.

[16] The "After" photo on my recent haircut outing.

[17] A really great light fixture outside the Burlington Coat Factory, where I was shopping for a new coat recently.

[18] Sigh... I know this will sound strange, but I'm really sentimental about this gas heater. It's one of the main reasons I fell in love with my house. I've always loved these little gas heaters. All my babysitter's had them in their bathrooms, some even in their living rooms. Technically, it's not supposed to be here, since it is against some kind of ordinance, but I never had it taken out. I take it apart each Autumn and give it a good cleaning, before I fire it up in the Winter months. There's something very nostalgic and soothing about it's fiery red glow and the brilliance of the blue gas flames. I especially love the little key that controls the gas flow, turning it off and on. Originally, there was no key, but on one of my famous thrifting expeditions I came across an old junk store that sold all kinds of old gas furnace paraphernalia. One of the best investments I've ever made.

[19] Standee at Big Lots for some "Fuji" brand of batteries. Personally, I don't think it was the REAL Fuji brand, but then that's just my opinion. The logo looks suspiciously different.

[20] The sign at Jo-Ann Fabrics at night time. Pretty!

[21] Two crazy kids who had a blow out in front of my house (I thought I'd been shot! I was looking to the grassy knoll for answers), and rolled into Ms. Fossil's driveway.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Do You Smell What I Smell?

Genuine has blogged in the past about how his household goes through toilet paper by the case... or so it seems. Well, around here, I have a bad habit of not being able to toss products that still have a little bit of usable product left in them. I usually end up pouring like products together, so as to cut down on the clutter.
The reason I am writing this blog entry today is to share with you how I "recycle" those almost-empty sticks of deodorant. I have found it to be a tremendously helpful little project. I normally use Mennen/Speed Stick or Old Spice brand stick deodorant. Over time I have about 2 or 3 of these taking up space in the cabinet, but there is so little deodorant left in them that they're no longer practical. Here's what I do with them:

Take one of the nearly-empty deodorant containers and roll the deodorant down as low as it will go. Now collect those 2-3 nearly-empty deodorant containers and place them in your microwave (I set mine on a paper towel, in case there's leakage, once they get heated) for 10-15 SECONDS (microwave ovens will vary, so experiment with yours first). Take them out and pour them, one at a time, into the deodorant container that you previously rolled down. When the container is as full as you's like, place the lid back on it and place it in the freezer for a few minutes. Remove and voila, you've got a new stick of deodorant! Neat, huh? I do this all the time and it's saved me a trip to the grocery store, and it really works!

*The only stick-style deodorants that aren't compatible with this project is the white deodorants like Arm & Hammer and/or those gel deodorants. You know, that kind that when you roll it up, it comes out through the little holes like Playdoh. Stick with the blue, green, brown deodorants. The colors. Also, be sure you don't put the Mennen/Speed Stick with the metallic-looking wrapper in the microwave. I learned that last night. It was only in there 1/2 a second before I heard the snap crackle pop. I opted to heat the Old Spice containers instead and use the Mennen/Speed Stick container as my receptacle.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Braindead Banking, Texas-Style!

I do 95% of my banking business through the drive-thru, out of sheer convenience, and I really do like the people who work at the bank I use. I can't say the same for the bank and their Fee Sprees, but that's another story. So, needless to say when I go through the drive-thru I've come to expect a certain amount of competency, which I don't think is too much to ask, considering they ARE a bank and what little money I do have is under their care.
Today's transaction: I have a check written for the exact amount of my current credit card payment. Said credit card was issued through the bank. My payment is due this Wednesday the 15th. I want to transfer the entire amount of the check over to my credit card. Simple enough, yes? You'd think so anyway. I've only been doing this for like 5 years.

But today, I get one of the, what I've come to refer to as The Ingall's Girls (think of the adorable moppets from Little House on the Prairie): Pretty, sweet, country crock bullshit clothes that the Texas women around here go ga ga for. These types of girls seem to fuckin' THRIVE at banks around here. They're the epitome of what most people around here expect a "Texas girl" to be: Diminutive, cute, sweet... tack on 'dumb as a rock' to that list. I swear to God, they hire these cute lil' waifs and everyone loves them because they're soooo sweet, but fuck, could they find their ass with both hands? Today it was like talking to a wall, I swear. Sure, she's cute and pert and sounds sweet over the speaker box (I think her name was something precious, like Stephanie or Tiffany), but is anybody home? Now I understand if someone's new and of course there's an adjustment period in which it takes you to become accustomed to your job and it's tasks, but c'mon. If they can't handle a simple transfer, maybe you should put them on the coin counting machine for a while, at least until they're more familiar with how things work. Thanks to Cuddlecakes, I have absolutely no confidence that my transfer was done properly (Even though I have a receipt claiming that it has (Receipts mean nothing in the grand scheme of things and bank fees) and will now have to stalk my fucking account for 2 more days, which completely undermines the "convenience" factor.

The Trials and Tribulations of Ordering a Sandwich

Following in the footsteps of blog topic pioneer, Scheiss Weekly, who blogged (Nov. 9) about self-appointed special people with special orders at fast food places, here's my view on the matter.

An open letter to people who patronize fast food restaurants:

First off, I realize that at a place like Subway one of the main attractions about getting a sandwich there is the fact that you can tell them what you want (or don't want) on your sandwich according to your individual tastes. That's groovy. Personally, I don't like tomatoes. However, ordering a goddamn sandwich shouldn't rival learning to conjugate Japanese verbs. In other words, Keep It Simple, Stupid (AKA: KISS).

First off, you're not at Tavern On The Green, so don't let the options blow your mind. You're ordering a sandwich, not disarming a time bomb. Pick a bread, pick a meat, pick your toppings, then pick up your happy-ass and take it to the register. In other words, move on and let the next person order their food. Oh, and here's a concept: know what the fuck it is you want, before you get in line! If you can't decide, feel free to stand back and evaluate the menu. It's okay. Trust me, they're not gonna pull the feedbag away before you get there. There's plenty for everyone.

In addition, don't change your mind midway through the choice of toppings process. And if you do, keep it to a minimum. It's a sandwich, not Sophie's Choice. If you change you're mind, you can always pick it off later. And don't get all bent out of shape if the server didn't hear you mumble that you wanted it toasted. Take a deep breath. It'll be alright.

And last, but not least, don't go somewhere you don't have time for and expect them to jump through hoops because you can't manage your fuckin' time, okay Speed Racer? If you're in that big of a hurry, then you shouldn't be out in a public place at lunchtime. Save yourself and the employees who are getting paid minimum wage to deal with your ignorant ass, some grief, pack a lunch.

There you have it. The accompanying picture is some jackass who I, and 6 other people, got stuck behind at Subway recently. She didn't like waiting in line. She didn't like the choice of toppings. She didn't like having to wait, period. People like this really piss me off. Waiting's a part of life, get used to it or die, bitch. It reminds me of one of my favorite sayings: "Being patient isn't waiting, it's how you act while you're waiting."

Saturday, December 11, 2004

According To The 'What Decade Does Your Personality Live In?' Quiz...

What decade does your personality live in?

Quiz brought to you by Lady Interference, Ltd

Thanks goes out to Shelly over at Cyber Chocolate for inspiring me to take this quiz!

Friday, December 10, 2004

Holiday Highlights

[1] A festive trio of holiday headgear, courtesy of the local Card & Party Factory.

[2] One of the bushes in the flower bed in the front yard. Très holiday, non?

[3] The normally foofalicious Decorator's Warehouse down the street from where I live. Though 10 months out of the year the store is stacked with enough silk plants and sweatshop-produced flummery to choke a horse, 2 months out of the year it is really pretty to behold.

[4] While being extorted paying for gas at the local Diamond Shamrock gas station, I noticed these new speaker boxes with accompanying sign and I had to take a picture of it. Is it just me or does the little elf look an awful lot like George Dubyah?

[5] Hooray! I'm up next! (that's my sandwich in the middle). I've always liked Subway, and there are 2 near me. The one to the north of me has a lot less traffic and is considerably more clean, modern and all-around nicer, so I have been going there for lunch for the last few days or so. On this day I ordered the meatball sub on the parmesan bread with black olives and bell pepper. Mmmm! And just so you know, their chicken noodle soup is quite delicious (and the temperature of piping-hot lava). I also enjoy their veggie sub: lettuce, black olives, bell pepper, light onion, pickles and creamy Italian.

Anyhoo, while waiting in line I (and 6 other people) got stuck behind a real winner. She single-handedly turned ordering a goddamn sandwich into astro physics. Tune in Monday for the story.

[6] My empty P.O. box. I think I heard an echo.

[7] The beautiful tile adorning the counter at Subway. I don't know if this qualifies as a mosaic, but I think it's pretty.

[8] This is a picture of a place down the street that creates and sells lighted displays for the holidays. It's been a staple around here for at least 5 years. Really beautiful when lit up at night.

[9] For some reason, I associate the liquor store with the holidays. And, no, not because my parents stress me out so much. That's what the 'ludes are for. But seriously, I think it's because my parents were forever giving and receiving liquor for the holidays back in the 80's. For me, there's something nostalgic about the liquor store, not necessarily because of particular instances during my formative years, but because the liquor store is one of the few places that has, in my opinion, not really changed all that much over the years. There's something refreshing about receiving your merchandise in a paper sack (remember those?) or a cardboard box. And you can't help but get a kick out of the perpetually cool displays. I was unable to get photos of some of them this time, but they had a couple that were motorized and were REALLY great-looking. I really get a kick out of all the packaging, not to mention the endless variety of shapes, sizes and flavors of liquor.

Though, I'm not a big drinker, I do like the occasional mix drink. I even picked up a few little stocking stuffers. Get a load of this: They had a stand loaded with little bags, each filled with 2 mini bottles each filled with the ingredients for a particular cocktail. i.e. Bloody Mary, Margarita, etc. I got a few that contained ingredients for apple martinis (AKA "tartinis"): 1 mini bottle of Vox Vodka and 1 mini bottle of Dekuyper Sour Apple Pucker Sweet 'n Sour Schnapps. Just $2! How cool is THAT? I also bought some weirdo bottle of buckwheat beer, simply because the bottle was so great. When I have time I'll photograph it and post the picture in a later collage.

This picture is of some Patron Tequila. I love the whole citrus-colored line of packaging. Very beautiful.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Teen Slasher Spoofs

Here are my 3 favorite teen slasher spoofs. And, in case you're wondering, I actually own their inferior successors, Scary Movie and Scary Movie 2, which have their moments, but in the immortal words of M.C. Hammer: 'Can't Touch This'.

Pandemonium. © 1982
Synopsis: A serious of grisly cheerleader deaths leads to a race against time to track down a killer at a nearby co-ed cheerleading camp.
Comments: I love this movie. It has such a great before-they-were-stars cast: Carol Kane, Judge Reinhold, Paul Reubens, Kay Ballard, Tab Hunter, Phil Hartman, David L. Lander (AKA "Squiggy"), Eileen Brennan, Tom Smothers, Eve Arden and so many more familiar faces! Sure, I know some of these people were already stars, but it's still fun to see them in a wacky comedy like this one. And, if you have a keen eye and look closely during the diner scene, you'll see a very young Weird Al Yankovic. He's not listed in the credits, but I'd stake my reputation that it's him.

The movie has a great ongoing spoof of Carrie (Carol Kane's character has telekinesis), while referencing other horror films like Godzilla, Friday The 13th and an array of other popular teen slasher movies of the time.

I have so many favorite scenes, but my personal favorite is when Candy (played by Carol Kane), a sheltered girl with telekinesis and an overbearing zealot of a mother (played by Eileen Brennan), piles in the car with the rest of the kids from cheerleader camp, to go out to eat. While bouncing up and down excitedly exclaims:

Candy: I'm having so much fun!
Andy: Really enjoying the camp, huh?
Candy: No, I've never been in a car with three people before!

Student Bodies. © 1981
Synopsis: A killer named The Breather is terrorizing the local high school class of 1981. The Breather seeks out students having sex and kills them. Can our heroine, Toby escape with her virginity intact?
Comments: Again (yes again!), I really do love this movie. This movie was (I think) the most successful of the three. I remember reading reviews for it in the newspaper and even remember seeing the advertisements in the movie section. I always thought it had SUCH great poster artwork.
First off, I love the characters in this movie: The stereotypical "creepy school caretaker", Malvert. The sinister shop teacher with a penchant for horse head bookends. The "I said NO!" button-wearing heroine, Toby. The Breather, who has a penchant for making prank phone calls while talking through a rubber chicken. They all come together to make a hilarious ensemble.
The movie references Halloween, Grease, Prom Night, Porky's, Friday The 13th and many more. I'm tempted to include Graduation Day, but it came out the same year.

Wacko. © 1981
Synopsis: The infamous "Lawnmower Killer" has escaped the local asylum and must be stopped before he slices and dices his way through the senior class at Alfred Hitchcock High's annual Halloween Pumpkin Prom.
Comments: Okay, admittedly this is the least of my 3 favorites, simply because a lot of the laughs fall kinda flat. However, I can't resist a movie that spoofs Grease, Alien, Saturday Night Fever, The Omen, The Exorcist, Halloween, Prom Night and more. Plus, I love the fact that there are so many familiar faces in this one, not unlike Pandemonium. You've got Joe Don Baker (AKA "Mitchell"), Stella Stevens, George Kennedy, Julia Duffy, E.G. Daly (always LOVE her) and even Andrew Dice Clay!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Recent DVD Purchases

Well, I finally got off my ass and gathered together the covers of my DVD purchases for the month of November. My collection just keeps on growing. What can I say? I love movies.

Waxworks. © 1924
Comments: I've been wanting this one for some time now. However, since it's on the King Video label, it's normally quite expensive ($26-$30). Naturally, as soon as I buy it for what I perceive as a "steal" I find out the price has gone down. A great creepy silent film.

The Ren & Stimpy Show: Uncut. © 1991
Comments: I love the original episodes of this show. I had a coupon, AND this boxset was on sale so I got it for a really good price.

After School Specials 1974-1976: Volume 1. © 1974/1976
Comments: Before there was The O.C. Before Beverly Hills 90210. There was the ABC After School Specials,. If you grew up in the late 70's, early 80's, then you know what I am talking about. The packaging on volumes 1 and 2 is dynamite, made to look like the "old school" Trapper Keeper. A brilliant marketing concept! Volumes 3 and 4 are packaged to look like school lockers. A real bargain at a mere $10 each. Buy one and relive your formative years. Personally, I'm waiting for the one that I remember best, 1987's "What If I'm Gay?" Sigh... good times.

Grand Theft Parsons. © 2003
Comments: Johnny Knoxville looking scruffalicious. Need I say more? A mandatory purchase.

Someone To Watch Over Me. © 1987
Comments: Being a big fan of suspense/thrillers, I remember seeing this one in the theater. I remember loving the version of Someone To Watch Over Me, the movies title song.

Terror Train. © 1980
Comments: I've been waiting for this one to be released to DVD for as long as I can remember. One of my favorite 80's slashers. The killer's costumes creep me out, as well as the cage scene. Stress with a capital 'S!' Plus, Hart Bochner is beautiful to behold. More shitball cover art.

Happy Birthday To Me. © 1981
Comments: SIGH. This one was a mixed blessing. On the one hand, I LOVE this movie. Again, another 80's slasher favorite. And again, another I have wanted on DVD for a long, long time. Great transfer... BUT...some assface completely replaced the original discolicious soundtrack and creepy score! I am SO pissed. And don't even get me started on the shitball new cover art. The original movie poster art is one of my all-time favorite horror movie posters ever. When will the powers that be realize that if it ain't broke, don't fix it? They should take a cue from the people who released Black Christmas with the two-sided cover art: The new cover "art" on one side and the original movie poster art work on the other. VERY cool. If you think I'm just being overly sensitive about the soundtrack being completely replaced, trust me, I'm not the only one. Check out the other 68 people who were pissed off about it, over at customer reviews..

He Knows You're Alone. © 1980
Comments: Love this movie. The headphone scene is the equivalent to the shower scene in Psycho. The reason I still get nervous wearing my headphones while home alone.

The Chronicles of Riddick. © 2004
Comments: Eyecandy, pure and simple. Vin Diesel sweats a lot in this movie. It's a good thing.

Since You Went Away. © 1944
Comments: Love this movie. It's a great one to watch at Christmas time and sadly poignant considering we are currently at war.

Foul Play. © 1978
Comments: One of my all-time favorites.

Jersey Girl. © 2004
Comments: Ben Affleck. 'Nuff said.

The Rules of Attraction. © 2002
Comments: Love Bret Easton Ellis' books. Read this one when I was in junior high. Pretty racey stuff for a pre-teen. Hate Van Der Beek, or as I call him "memo board forehead." Sexy movie, though. Nicely compliments my copy of American Psycho.

May. © 2002
Comments: This movie is great, but it REALLY stresses me out. It's an eye thing.

Foolproof. © 2003
Comments: Ryan Reynolds is friggin' hot. 'Nuff said.

The Crow. © 1994
Comments: Been meaning to buy this one forever. Found the 2 disc special-edition at the local pawn shop for just $5. Mint condition. Can't beat that!

*For those who may be wondering why I don't have the Dodgeball DVD included in this post, it's because I've yet to actually acquire it. That's right, as of 8:30PM yesterday, Game Stop has still not received their supposed shipment of this DVD.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

BBQ CEOs are Making Me GAG

After a long debate on where to go for lunch today, and after carefully weighing the pros and cons (food selection, price ranges, portion size, crowding, etc.), I finally decided on a tried and true destination: David's BBQ. I was in the mood for their delectable turkey sandwich with lotsa pickles. And for $6.49 (that includes drink), you just can't go wrong!
So, I get my tray, my sandwich (with mandatory extra bun, because they give you SO much meat!), gather my pile-o-pickles from the condiment bar and head for the corner booth.

While doing my high maintenance ritual of arranging/preparing everything for maximum practicality, I overhear the conversation at the table to my right. Here's a list of words and/or phrases I overheard:

• Assets
• Establish
• Acquisition
• Convoluted
• Facilitate
• Notarized
• Corporate
• Campaign
• Sidebar
• Strategy
• Scout
• Potential
• Efficiency
• Americon™ (the name of come bullshit corporation) "Americon™" Gimme a fuckin' break with that patriotastic name, already. For a glimpse at the more realistic ameriCON™, click here.
• Name recognition
• Operational oversight
• Transitional phase
• Short term goals
• Long term goals
• Let's sit down and map those out.
• It's not going to be the key to our success, but it's a start.
• We're on the same page.
• Customer service rep.
• He wants it in a certain graphical structure.
• What I hear you saying is, New Mexico can take care of itself.
• Performance improvement plan
• We want to accelerate sales.
• Bounce some ideas off you
• We need to figure out the mechanics on that, to make it happen.
• There's got to be a safe harbor out there somewhere.
• I'll run it by Ed.
• See where we are on that.

I guess the term "brainstorm" has been outmoded. Goddamn. And I thought I was full of shit. These people are cocooned in it. Especially the woman pictured. She was the one doing 95% of the talking. Her and the the golf-playing WASP at the end of the table (whose identity was concealed by the roll of paper towels on the far right.) These are the kind if people who eat at places like this because they're "so quaint." This is precisely why I will never be the CEO of a large corporation. The whole "big business" bullshit lingo and the dehumanization that inevitably accompanies it, leaves me cold.

Sure, I may have an extensive vocabulary, but I'd never be pretentious enough to try and exhaust it on one conversation. Accompanied by Miss Cobb's constant taking of cell phone calls (it's an 'off' switch bitch, use it!), each ending with a dramatic slap of the flip phone. And get this, to compound the fabulousness, the ring tone was the song they play during the scene in A Charlie Brown Christmas, where all the kids are dancing on stage. Under normal circumstances, cute. Under this circumstance, it made me want to shove it up her highfalutin' ass, not to mention her frequent interjections of how her 14 year old was "very respectful of women," (insert eye rolling here) and her spiel about how "You have to set limits with them" was enough to give me diarrhea. Needless to say, I quickly finished my lunch and got the fuck outta there. At this rate I'll never be fabulous.

Game Stop Can Lick My Crack

Let me elucidate. Last weekend, looking for something to do, I dropped by the local Barnes & Noble to do some browsing. There is a video game chain store connected with B&N, called Game Stop. I noticed that they had a lot of used DVDs, so I decided to take a look. While browsing, I noticed a promotion where if you trade in 3 used DVD titles and reserve a copy of the (then) upcoming release of Dodgeball, you get it FREE. A good deal I thought, so I returned the next day and did just that. I was told that they would give me a call when the movie had arrived on Tuesday.

So, Monday evening I'm sitting in the living room watching TV when the phone rings. It's some automated bullshit message from Game Stop letting me know that the movie I reserved would be ready to be picked up tomorrow morning. So, today around 2:00PM (I assumed that was plenty of time for the shipment to have arrived and/or been inventoried), I get in the car, with the sole purpose of going to go pick up the DVD. I get to Game Stop, claim receipt in hand, only to find out from the pencilneck behind the counter that it "hasn't arrived yet." I told him I received a phone call that it had. He went into some song and dance about how he didn't know what was going on, but the shipment still hadn't arrived yet, and he was disappointed because he'd heard it was really good. I asked if he had any idea when it might be arriving and he naturally said 'no.' Being that there was surveillance equipment around and the fact that I had left my kerosene and lighter at home, I left. Now I have to make another trip up there whenever it arrives. What a load of crap.

And that's why Game Stop can lick my crack. The End.

The 4th Man

Recenly while making room for some new DVDs (I store them alphabetically), I rediscovered an old favorite: The 4th Man. Directed in 1983 by Paul Verhoeven, the director of Basic Instinct, The 4th Man is one of my all-time favorite thrillers.

The plot revolves around a bisexual author named Gerard who is asked to deliver a speech to a group of writers. Gerard ends up falling in lust with a mysterious woman, named Christine, who owns the local beauty parlor. They end up going back to her place, where he learns that the woman's boyfriend, Herman is actually someone he was cruising earlier at the train station. Seeing this as a golden opportunity to meet the object of his affection, he decides to stay a while. He convinces the widow that he can cure her boyfriend's sexual problems, but first she must invite him over. What he doesn't realize though, is Christine has a few secrets of her own...

The movie has a fantastic look throughout, with some jaw-dropping dream sequences and ingenious cinematography. A sensual psychosexual hybrid of Hitchcock and DePalma, the film is loaded with surreal images, red herrings and plenty of violence. Originally shot in Dutch, the DVD offers subtitles and/or dubbing, while the VHS is subtitled in English. Personally, I prefer subtitles when given an option, since I find bad dubbing much more distracting than reading subtitles. BUT, having worked at video stores for years, I know 95% of the populous (at least where I live) consider subtitles grueling work. But then those people wouldn't be renting this movie anyway. Foreign films are like kryptonite to these people. But for those of you out there who enjoy a good, stylish-looking thriller, you're in for a treat.

I have so many favorite scenes, but 2 in particular come to mind immediately:

[1] The crucifixion dream sequence involving Herman in a Speedo (say what?!) and [2] The scene where Gerard and Herman get caught in the rain while in the cemetery. They both retreat to a nearby mausoleum, where they both learn a little something about themselves and Christine. Very sexy.

So, if you enjoy nudity (both male and female), surrealism, violence and suspense, please consider checking out The 4th Man. You'll never look at a pair of scissors the same way again.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Funky Mystery Solved

For the last week or so I have, on occasion, when entering the house, smelled something foul. I'm not talking stale-foul or kitchen garbage-foul, more like decomposing corpse-foul. Being unable to locate the source, I wrote it off as possibly the aftermath of the mouse poison I have in the garage. Perhaps Mr. Mousie, Mister Rat (he's a bachelor for life) and/or possibly even Mr. Possum and/or Mr. Mole had somehow gone a dyin' in the attic, under the house or even between the walls. Now, I don't even know if I have any of these guys around, but I had to think of something. I mean, after all, this stench was FOUL.

Well, 'lo and behold, I discovered the source yesterday while in the kitchen, standing at the counter, cleaning DVDs (yes, my kitchen is an all-purpose kinda space). While standing there, polishing finger-smudged DVDs I'd bought used, I smelled it! It was close. It was stinky. It was... a sack of red potatoes I had forgotten about under the counter in a grocery bin! I lifted the sack up, out of the bin and geez, Louise, it almost made me yak. I tossed it into the trash can, but have since relocated that trash bag to the garage, until trash day on Wednesday. I can't believe my liquor of choice, vodka, is made from fermented potatoes! Ack! My Bloody Marys never smelled like this!

Nobody Loves This Pig

No, silly! That's not the new title of my autobiography! It's the caption for the first little photo in today's collage. It's a lonely lil' ceramic pig that I saw on the top shelf of one of the many racks at the local thrift store.

As promised in Saturday's blog, entitled "Aaaaah Humbug!," here are various photos from my last quest for a decent winter coat. Sorry there aren't more, but I only take pictures of things I think are interesting, and sometimes this results in less photos. Remember, it's quality not quantity.

[2] Thrift Town. The premiere local thrift store chain.

[3] Promotional Dodge Ball window cling of Vince Vaughn looking like perfection in the window of the Lackluster Blockbuster near my house.

[4] A lonely doll amongst a pile of dolls in a bin at Thrift Town. Very cute.

[5] My favorite Furr's Cafeteria location. The building's great, no? It's been around since the 70's.

[6] My cafeteria choices: Fried cod w/tartar sauce, jalapeno cornbread, pumpkin pie, cherry Jell-O and iced tea. If I'd remembered to photograph my entire meal BEFORE starting to eat, you could have also seen my bowl of macaroni n' cheese. Sorry about that. I was hungry.

[7] This is where Meg Ryan's flat-chested doppelganger let Doofus, Jr. sign the electronic keypad, when she paid using her credit card at the local Office Depot. 'Cause "he likes it." (insert gleeful giggle) The check out girl just kinda forced a half laugh and I rolled my eyes for the 4th time that day (it was early, there were many more eye rolls to come). So Pokèmoron goes to sign it... once... twice... three times a moron. Yes, he tried three soulsucking times and finally gave up and handed the electronic pen over to mom. As it turns out he wasn't pressing hard enough. How precious. This act of retardery cost me 8 minutes of my life that I will never see again. Not that I was really in a hurry, I just had something else I needed to get back to. Oh yeah, MY LIFE! Jesus Christ! Having children really DOES lower you're I.Q. Damn!

[8] A bust of everyone's favorite anorexic, Barbie, as seen at the local Thrift Town. I fought the urge to give her Afro Puffs.

[9] I'll give you 3 guesses which superstore's foyer this hillbillylicious machine was in. No fair! You got it in just one guess! I find it more than a little ironic that this, of all things, was at Walmart. Notice how full it is. Why pay for something you already have? Walmart customers ain't no idjits!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

My So-Called Christmas Card List

I've finally done it! I finally found some Christmas cards that I like. As shocking as this may sound, I'm actually quite picky... about my choice of Christmas cards. Last year I sent out some really great ones that I found on eBay. It was a full box of vintage Christmas cards from 1954!

Anyway, enough reminiscing. The reason I am writing this blog entry is to let you know that if you would like to receive a Christmas card from moi, please e-mail me with the address you would like it sent to.

My e-mail address is: Be sure and put "Christmas Card List" in the subject head!

I'm aiming to get them addressed and sent out so that you can receive it before Christmas, but if I don't, Happy New Year! And for those who would like to send ME one, you can send it to: Kirk/P.O. Box/Arlington, Texas. WARNING: All suspicious packages will be submerged in water before opening, so please no busts of Jermaine Jackson. Thank you.

Thank You!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who responded to my December 2nd blog entitled "Huh?" I really do appreciate the input as well as all the kind words. It helped me to get some perspective on something that has been vexing me for some time. I'm relieved to find that my embittered insight that I like to call "humor" isn't turning you off (yet) and that you're not threatened by opinions, no matter how unpopular, convoluted and/or off beat they may sometimes seem. You have rejuvenated my enthusiasm for blogging. Thank you. :)

Aaaaah Humbug!

My vibrator saved my life! Wait, that came out wrong. My massager saved my life. You see, it all started yesterday afternoon around 2:00PM. I had to run a lot of errands yesterday, and had to get them ALL done for various reasons.

Here's where the day took me:

Office Depot- Buy boxes for shipping eBay items, so that the people at the shipping establishment I use don't try to fuck me over by charging me $8 for a $2 box.

Sprawlmart- Jesus Christ, I fuckin' DREAD going here. Unfortunately, I MUST, since a few weeks ago while getting the car's oil changed I bought a can of Oops! If you've never tried Oops! I highly recommend it. It's friggin' awesome! You know that nerve-racking sticky residue left by price stickers, 9X outta 10? This stuff removes it like magic. There's nothing it can't do. It even removes permanent marker from stuff. It's great. The only thing I've discovered that you CAN'T use it on, is CD cases. It tends to leave them looking "frosted," which is no big surprise really, considering it's mostly made of paint remover-type stuff.

Anyway, I bought a can a few weeks ago, 'cause I finally ran out (after a year and a half). Well, the damn lid is welded shut! And yes, I know how to press down and turn those childproof-style caps. This one wouldn't budge. So, I get there and Matlock puts a hot pink sticker on my can (ahem) so that the nice folk at Walmart don't think I went a' stealin, and I go get in line at customer service with the rest of the flotsam. It was a Spanish-speaking, baby-screaming, b.o.-whiffing, mullet-swingin' nightmare of at least 20 people, so I said 'fuck this!' and went back to the paint department where I originally bought the stuff, with the master plan to remove the sticker (thank God I didn't bite my nails this week), find a can that opens, put a sticker on that and get the fuck OUTTA THERE! Turns out... all the cans' lids are welded shut. Twenty five minutes I'll never see again. Now all I need is a can opener and a funnel...

• Post Office- Ship 2 small eBay items that I can trust myself to package without having a nervous breakdown. One of which I MUST ship, since it was paid for back on October 25. A mere 4 weeks AFTER the auction ended and 3 payment reminders, invoices and 2 eBay threats later. Gee, I hope they didn't mind waiting. When I say "payment must be received in 7 days," I MEAN 7 days. It's not a suggestion, you asshole! Call me old-fashioned, but I enjoy things like electricity, water and food.

We Stick it 2 U Shipping Center- Ship 4 large, fragile eBay items.

Home- Where I left one of the addresses for one of the goddamn packages I need to ship today!

• Back to the Shipping Center- Kiss $118 goodbye. Don't even get a 'thank you, come again!' (sorry, they're Indian)

Thrift Town- Since I was just at a Thrift Town 1 day earlier, and noticed that they would be having a 30% sale on all clothing, I naturally assumed our local Thrift Town would be doing the same, since they are a chain. Au contraire! That would be much too convenient for Kirk. I REALLY hate shopping for clothes, and do it MAYBE 3 times a year. However, since I haven't had a decent winter coat in like 7 years, I'm trying to locate one, since my coats pretty much consist of hooded/zip front sweatshirts, 1 nylon rain jacket and 3 80's-licious coats that would guarantee me a spot in the Special Olympics (and don't fit anyway). Well, finding a decent coat that fits me is turning out to be much harder than I thought. And since my affinity for puffy-sleeved acid-washed denim jackets died in 1983, there's not a whole lot of choices at the thrift stores, so far. I'll be continuing my quest to 2 more thrift stores next week, once I've gathered my strength and recouped. I did find a nice, non-polyester, non Teflon/ultra suede (the texture of that shit freaks me the fuck OUT) jacket at Burlington Coat Factory (a local discount coat place), but it was $99.99. :( Me no can afford. Damn me and my good taste! I'll keep you posted on any future developments.

Ross (in a nearby town)- I SO don't wanna drive this far, but I must, since I bought a box of notecards there yesterday, only to get home and discover some motherfucker had stolen 5 of the 15! Yet, all the envelopes were accounted for. WTF? I know someone stole them because I (like a moron) neglected to notice that the little plastic seal that runs along both ends had been removed. So, I called when I got home yesterday to make sure I could exchange them before I drove all the way back there. I got the exchanged with no hassles.

Big Lots- I had to make a pit stop at Big Lots, which was next door to Ross, because I was about to vomit from a really bad migraine. You know it's bad if I went and spent money on a bottle of aspirin (and 3 rolls of grape mentos). I chewed 2 tablets right then and there. Gah! They were awful! I normally just chew up my aspirin, but these were some cheapo brand that had some kind of plastic coating. MAN! They were so bitter. Anyone want a slightly used bottle of aspirin?

Furr's Cafeteria- I thought MAYBE, just maybe I had a headache because I hadn't eaten all day. I've had some oh-so-delicate drama queens friends in the past who practically got the vapors when they didn't eat when they got ready, so I thought maybe that would help. And, since the only cafeteria we have in Arlington is Luby's (aptly-named, since they really stick it up your ass when it comes to prices), I decided to shoot down the freeway a few exits (5 to be exact) and swing by Furr's, whose prices (All you can eat $6.89) and food can't be beat. Besides, I've ALWAYS loved cafeterias. I don't care if they are considered the realm of the Geritol crowd. I find them very comforting and peaceful. So, I get there and eat, but to no avail. I still have a pounding headache when I leave.

By now the traffic is BANANAS and all you can see for miles is taillights. Thank goodness for the access roads, or I might still be there right now.

• Home (again)- Jiggity jog, I'm finally home. I immediately take 2 more aspirins (the good kind in my medicine cabinet), and lay down. I can't get comfortable and any position seems to make my head pound even more. I feel like I'm going to throw up the pain is so bad, so I get up and go to the bathroom. I decide to run myself a very hot bath, which usually tends to help, since I can emerge my head underneath the hot water.

It doesn't work. I take an Alka Seltzer and an Advil gel cap. At this point I have had this headache for 6 hours now. It's 8 o'clock. I try to lay down again, but the pain is so intense I still feel like I'm going to vomit, so I go to the bathroom and search for ANYTHING that could bring some relief. Naturally, the one time I actually NEED the fuckin' Tiger Balm that one of my new-age friends recommended, I can't find it. In case you're unfamiliar with what Tiger Balm is, it comes in a hockey puck-sized tin, kinda like shoe polish. It looks like a big tin of Carmex. Well, if you put some on your temples (it's got a spicy smell to it) it heats up and actually makes the pain subside, esp. when you have REALLY bad headaches. It may all be psychosomatic, but it's worked in the past.

So, no Tiger Balm. Desperate, I put some muscle ache cream (Leftover from when I broke my foot playing racquetball AGES ago) on my left temple. Nothing. Then I flashed on when I was a little kid and I got REALLY bad headaches, my dad would apply an "ancient Indian headache remedy." This consisted of me going into his dresser drawer and getting out a clean handkerchief, which he would roll up and tie, very tightly, around my head. Sure, I looked like Olivia Newton John with a thyroid condition, but I didn't care. It always worked. At the time I thought it was some real magic shit, but now I know it was just counteracting the pressure of my headache. So, looking around I spy the belt of my bathrobe hanging on the hook on the bathroom door. I tie it around my head. Looking like a scene right out of Better Off Dead, where John Cusack tries to kill himself in the garage, I notice that the back of my neck is really, really tight. I get the brainstorm to try and locate my Humbug™* that I bought, like 12 years ago, and actually put it to use to massage the tension out of my neck. I know I've seen it around here somewhere... the dining room closet! Salvation resides on the top shelf!

And that, my friends, is how my vibrator (and an ancient Indian headache remedy) saved my life. The End.

*For those who aren't familiar with the Humbug™, it's a small, handheld personal massager that looks like a bug. You press his nose to turn him on and his little feet are what you use to massage with.
*Coming next week: Pictures from my migraine-inducing adventures in shopping!

Friday, December 03, 2004

Not-So-Deep Thoughts

I think a lot. Too much. Sometimes all this thinking gets me down in the dumps. Sometimes it gives me something to blog about. I rarely use my cell phone, but use the "record memo" feature ALL the time. This way I won't forget things I see, wanna buy and/or things that make me laugh. Here's the accumulation of some questions, voice memos, general observations and/or questions I've deliberated over in the last week.

• I can turn just about anything into an hors doeuvre, providing I have plenty of toothpicks : Cheeto Puffs, popcorn chicken, shrimp. Fun fact: I almost choked to death on a piece of popcorn chicken yesterday. I coughed so hard, I think I ruptured my spleen.

• I'd love to get my hands on some of these sappy television commercials I see all the time. For example: You know that peanut butter commercial where the little girl comes into the living room where her dad is sitting on the couch having just put peanut butter on a piece of bread, makes her one, then he proceeeds to fold his piece in half before he takes a bite? Then she says "Why do you do that?" and he says "Because my dad used to do that and I always wanted to do everything like him," to which she quips "That's silly!" Then you see her turn away and fold hers in half. Insert tender moment. I'd edit this right after she says "That's silly!" and have him shoot back defensively "Oh yeah? Well, you're adopted, you smug lil' bitch!" Then show her running away crying, pigtails flying, clutching a fistful of bread and peanut butter. I have a real nurturing nature. It just comes natural to me, I guess.

• It is wasteful to wipe when you know you're taking a shower right after you're done (pssst! I'm talking 'bout poopin')?

• Okay, I can accept the pumpkin/jack o'lantern bags that you fill with leaves and leave on your front lawn during Halloween. I CAN'T accept that now they are making Christmas ornaments and decorative Christmas ones, not to mention the people who actually think this is considered "decorating." What a shitball idea.

• It must be Christmastime. I've seen red & green candies, cookies, cereals, donuts and Rice Krispies treats. Red & green means Christmas... or Freddy Krueger.

• Driving past the cemetery yesterday, I noticed some day-glo bitch attending a funeral wearing a so-short-only my gynecologist knows for sure-type skirt, some blindingly bright hot pink blouse and heels that scream "Are you a cop? 'Cause you have to tell me if you're a cop." Um, you know what? There's no cover charge or two drink minimum at this funeral, so let's see if we can put out fashionista personna on pause and show a little more respect and common sense, you fuckrag.

• Thanks to the mere theory of Michelle Trachtenberg's boobs, during my recent viewing of the cineturd Eurotrip, my gayness has never been more secure.

• What kind of hot dogs have I been eating? As I was driving the other day I initially thought I smelled hot dogs. As I got closer to the source, it was definitely skunk. Great. Now my sense of smell is going too.

• I get bored. I found myself trying to come up with new lyrics to that Folger's commercial. Here's what I came up with: "The best part of makin' up is the fuzzy wrist handcuffs" and "The best part of breakin' up is kickin' him in the nuts."

• I love that the bitch in front of me keeps tapping her goddamn breaks while she oozes around the slightest suggestion of a curve in the road, traveling the break-neck speed of 25mph, yet she didn't break when some asshole driving a pickup just pulled out in front of her. WTF?

• Spoiled bitches piss me off. Some fabulicious mom with bratty kid in tow just had the bag boy at the grocery store carry her groceries to her car (she was in the first parking space right outside the front door, btw). As I sat there with my door open, pretending to hunt for my keys, watching him load the last of her 6 bags of groceries in her Miata, I heard her say "Oh thank you. That cat food is so heavy. I don't know how I would've gotten it in the car." How about the same way you got it in the cart, bitch? Lord only knows how she managed to load it into her fuckin' shopping cart with the help of it's medieval torture device called a "HANDLE!" Goddamn!

• The local Sav-A-Lot has some of the cutest doggone names and packaging for their generic sodas: Crisp (apple soda), Patch (strawberry soda), Mountain Holler (Mountain Dew), Dr. Pop (Dr. Pepper). I really do think the generic brand's marketing department tries harder. Their ideas/concepts are consistantly more colorful/fun than any of the "brand name" stuff.

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