Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Politics Schmolitics

No matter what question each of the republican candidates are asked, or what subject they are giving a speech on, their thoughts can be crystallized with an interpretive sentence or two. So you don’t actually have to watch and listen to them. No matter what comes out of their mouths, this is what they mean:

Rick PerryTexas: we elect idiots.

Mitt Romney—I don’t like or agree with the tea party but I will pander to them to get their votes.

Ron Paul—I can’t win but I won’t shut up.

Herman Cain—Yeah, I sold pizza, now I’m running for president. Can you believe this shit?

Michelle Bachmann—I’m paranoid! Who said that?

Newt Gingrich—Yes! I’m still running. How many times do I have to say it?

On to the democrats who are still as spineless as jellyfish. President Obama this week has been giving a series of fiery speeches, being more animated and self-assured as well as smack talking some republicans. Now what could have caused this sudden surge of machismo? Why now, at this particular time, after he’s been president for 2 and ¾ years? Has his wife started giving him Flintstone vitamins? Unlikely. Maybe he’s been drinking 200 year old scotch found in Thomas Jefferson’s basement and he’s hammered when he’s giving these speeches? Possible. Hmm. You don’t suppose . . . no, it couldn’t be. You don’t think he’s like every other politician and he’s just trying to get re-elected? Crap.

Let’s check in with the Tea Party. Yep, still racist narcissists.

Did you know Fred Karger is still running for the republican nomination for president? Me neither. When I found out you could have knocked me over by hitting me with a heavy farm implement.

Tim Pawlenty tried to get a job with Fox News as a political commentator. Yeah, that’s who you want analyzing politics, someone who wasn’t self-aware enough to know no one wanted him to run for president. Someone whose only claim to fame is being so boring, viewers would rather watch an awards show telecast. Someone so dull it’s not worth my time to think of a third joke about him.

This was the week in politics schmolitics.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I'm Late, I'm Late, to a Very Impor . . . Nah, it's Just Work

I was late to work yesterday because of a minor car accident. A car decided to rear end an SUV right at the intersection of Springwood Road that I wanted to turn left onto. The line of traffic behind them stretched west to the continental shelf in the Atlantic Ocean. There were tug boats pulling cars out into the water to their place in line. A mermaid was selling breakfast kippers to businessmen and a 92’ Dodge was boarded by pirates.

I made the sanity-saving decision to turn right instead. Rush Limbaugh congratulated me on his radio show and my cell phone was immediately robo-called by Michelle Bachmann, Mitt Romney and local candidate for garbage commissioner Earl “Mud Skipper” Delaney.

I had avoided the long line of stationery cars but now had to drive in a wide circle to get back onto Springwood Road about a mile east of the accident. At the first traffic light I was accosted by teenagers waiting for the school bus. A boy with dyed black hair thrust a geometry book through my open window and screamed:

a 2 + b 2 = c 2! What does it mean? Is it the meaning of life? Is it a secret code? Help me!”

Luckily I had won 5th place in a high school talent show with my impersonation of Pythagoras. I was able to calm him down and finish problems 12-15 and show my work. Then a short, angry-looking girl swore at me for being an adult on general principle. Finally the light turned green.

I turned left at the light and was welcomed back by a hearty “Huzzah” from Al Franken, Michael Moore and Alec Baldwin. I had to go up a very steep hill, like driving up the side of the Matterhorn. Halfway up I passed three Sherpas burying a dead hiker. My car engine whined like a Republican asking for tax cuts but made it up the hill.

I came to another traffic light and turned left again receiving a “Well done” from the Huffington Post. I drove about a half mile to the next traffic light and turned left again and received nothing from anyone because that joke has run its course.

I was now on a winding country lane which would lead me to the promised land of Springwood Road. As I drove past a wide open field I glanced over when I saw movement. A hawk the size of a passenger bus was swooping down over the field coming straight for my car. I watched as he rose in the air again and then dove at the hood of my Chevy Cavalier, wrapping his talons around my windshield wipers. Flapping his wings with the authority John Boehner only believes he has, I felt my car being lifted off the ground. I squeezed the lever for the wiper fluid and watched as a stream of the bluish liquid hit the bird in the eyes. He squawked loudly, shaking his head and finally loosened his grip. My car fell to earth twenty feet farther down the road. I accelerated leaving the dazed hawk flying in circles around a weather vane trying to pick a fight.

When I reached the intersection with Springwood Road I turned right receiving a congratulatory email from Fox News. Yes, I went there again. It’s referred to as a “callback”.

I reached work 10 minutes late. After telling my tale to my boss, exactly as I have recounted it for you here, she said she only believed a few words of it. She thought I was exaggerating. Me! I haven’t been so insulted since the ghost of Ernest Hemingway told me I use too many adjectives.

Anyway I had to stay an extra ten minutes to make up the time, but I got the last laugh. I didn’t do a lick of work; instead I played cards with a troll, a spider monkey and a Jimmy Stewart impersonator. Me exaggerate? Please.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Natto? No, No

There is a cartoon in my local paper that I glance at a few times a week. I’m not sure why I bother because it’s not funny and can be rather condescending but I guess that’s a topic for me and my therapist, Large Pepperoni and Mushroom Pizza. Anyway, the other day they mentioned a food called “natto”. The cartoon alluded to the fact that natto was pungent in smell and an “acquired taste” even for the most ardent lover of food. I had never heard of it so I Googled it. It’s Japanese and is one of those foods that I would have loved to been there when the inventor came up with his brilliant idea.

Scene: inside Shinjo’s Saki Palace and Tofu Emporium,

The breakfast rush of one customer.

Cook: So, how are you enjoying the soybeans?
Customer: Meh. Plain beans just aren’t doing it for me anymore. They’re not bad, but something’s missing.
Cook: Like what? More seasoning? Sprinkle on some ginger or spread a little wasabi.
Customer: No, they’re not going to help.
Cook: A sauce perhaps.
Customer: No. Think differently. Something wild.
Cook: Fish oil?
Customer: Bleh, no.
Cook: A whale blubber reduction?
Customer: Interesting . . . but . . . no.
Cook: What then?
Customer: I’m thinking bacteria. Yeah, what these beans need is to be fermented in bacteria.
Cook: Hmm. What kind of bacteria?
Customer: Give me your hand towel.

The cook hands the dirty, wet towel to the customer who proceeds to bite down on one end of it and suck on the moisture. He swallows, retches and vomits.

Customer: That’s not it.

The customer then gets on his knees and licks the floor.

Customer: Oh crap. Doesn’t anyone ever wear shoes when they come in here? My tongue tastes like a foot now.
Cook: I didn’t tell you to lick the floor.

The customer walks outside and shoves a handful of dirt into his mouth. He swishes it around, chews a few times and swallows.

Customer: Oh yeah, this is it. This is what would make those beans sing. Bacteria straight from the bug-infested, radiated, sewage-soaked ground.
Cook: And what do you think the bacteria will do for the beans?
Customer: What will it do? It will cover them in sticky goo. They will be repulsive to look at, smell and eat!
Cook: I‘ve been looking for a signature dish to pull people in.
Customer: Oh no. This will drive people miles away. But you’ll be famous!
Cook: I’ll do it!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

3 Things I Didn’t Understand Last Week

Why does your body attack you with a sudden pain? Then by the time the hypochondriac in you is convinced you’ve somehow picked up a fang-toothed, tape worm-like parasite from the Amazonian rain forest that’s eating your nerve fibers like cotton candy and carrying diseases heretofore only found in science fiction novels, it just as suddenly goes away. On my way to work the other day the inside of my right ear began to throb as if the Norse god Thor were in there pounding on my eardrum with his hammer Mjolnir. I’m pretty sure he was playing the solo from Zeppelin’s Moby Dick and much like Robert Plant I was about ready to shriek in a high-pitched voice. And then it was gone. I have no idea why the pain started, what caused it or why it stopped. Do our bodies contain gremlins? Are their little green creatures slithering through our veins, popping out occasionally to pinch a muscle or punch a kidney? This needs to be studied. I propose a telethon to raise money for research, hosted by Rob Schneider and Kathy Griffin and shown on cable access channels the world over. Wait, that would actually CAUSE pain. Forget it

This one is about the men’s room so if you are faint of heart, step away from the computer now. For those of you who remain, what is wrong with you? You like reading stories about the men’s room? I didn’t even like writing it. Anyway, on with the story! I was in stall #1 the other day at work, taking care of business and wondering what a cheese puff is exactly. I mean, it’s light and crunchy and cheesy and delicious, but WHAT is it? My important work was interrupted by whoever was in stall #2 tearing off what sounded like a full yard of paper. A few seconds passed and again I could hear the roll being maneuvered and A LOT more toilet paper being torn off. Another few seconds passed and MORE paper was unfurled. What in the hell was he doing with all that paper? Finally the toilet flushed and I thought all was well so I went back to pondering the provenance of cheese-based snacks. To my horror the roll of toilet paper began moving again: Foot after foot of thin, cheap paper being gathered for some nefarious purpose. There were sounds I couldn’t place which made me queasy, and then . . . more paper was unrolled. I audibly gasped. Did this man pass a ground hog? Was his rectum being used to test experimental suppositories? Did he clean out his cupboards over the weekend and find a 20 year old bag of olestra chips and figure ‘what the hell’? I put my head in my hands and wept as I knew I was going to die that day. I just wanted it to stop. I prayed and asked God what punishment he had wrought on this man. I was answered with spin after spin of the toilet paper roll. I watched the paper spool on the floor like a coiling snake. Then I heard the tear and saw the top of the paper mound peeking over the walls of the stall. Thirty seconds passed and the paper slowly disappeared, accompanied by sounds NASA scientists have yet to identify, followed by a second flush. When the man exited the stall I averted my eyes so as not to catch a glimpse between the stall door for fear I would turn to stone or worse yet, into a roll of Quilted Northern.

I work in a casual business environment. My department was recently moved to another of the company’s office buildings and we are now in the middle of a “cubicle farm” with members of another department. What I don’t understand is why they believe a cubicle provides privacy. They put up three metal and cloth “walls” and you’re supposed to be comfortable talking to your doctor to get the results of that test you drove three states away to get. There is someone in my office whose niece got married the other weekend. How do I know this? Because on Monday morning it was the first topic of conversation in every phone call she had and I can HEAR EVERY WORD SHE SAYS. I’m waiting for the day I get to hear about someone’s goiter or their step-son’s arrest for urinating on a cow. I think we should all get our own personal “hamster ball”. The plastic could be tinted so no one can see inside, it would be soundproofed so no one can hear your phone conversations and you could roll your way around the office in comfort.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Recommended Reading

I was never really a blog reader, but since I started writing one a few years ago, I decided I needed to become one. Over the past months I’ve searched the internet high and low using hi-tech government tracking equipment, chain gang blood hounds and a private investigator named Lou who charges $50 a day plus meals. My intrepid methods have uncovered hundreds of blogs, written on different subjects and in varied tones. Politics is a popular subject and there is no middle ground. They are either liberal in view point or conservative or bat shit crazy. There are also numerous “humor” blogs such as mine. I dearly hope mine is funnier than most of the ones I’ve found because otherwise I’m deluding myself. There are a lot of really unfunny people out in the world who believe themselves to the height of hilarity.

Another popular motif is the “confessional” blog where the writer bares their life, every blessed square inch of it, in the posts. Every daily event and emotion that goes along with it is transcribed for an audience of voyeurs to either commiserate or pass judgment in the comment section.

The one type of blog I’ve never understood is the one that just re-posts news items and pictures from other sites. Its no wonder the internet resembles a house on Hoarders. The same objects are getting posted a hundred times, many times by people who seem to need the recognition as the one who brought it to their segment of the internet.

Enough rambling by me. The whole point of this post was to let you know about a few blogs I’ve been reading that I like and maybe you would like them to:

Mental Poo -- http://www.midgetmanofsteel.com/

You can get a feeling for the tone of this humor blog just from the title. The writer’s name is Rodney, or you can refer to him by his nickname The Midget Man of Steel. The humor is adult oriented—swearing and sexual jokes abound—but Rodney is a very funny guy. He likes to Google odd word combination to see what it returns, he’s very fond of drawing crude pictures to get his point across, and he really enjoys screwing with people and posting the results on his blog.

The Hubby Diaries -- http://thehubbydiaries.wordpress.com

This is another humor blog written by a woman who got married sort of late in life (32 I believe) and has now been en matrimony for about 8 years. For some odd reason she finds the things her husband does and says worthy of writing about in a humorous way. It’s all done with respect and love even if she is a bit confused by his behavior. I don’t find his behavior odd at all, but then I’m a guy.

Personal blog for Christian Larsen -- http://exlibrislarsen.com

Christian Larsen is a writer like me toiling in the obscure underworld of online zines and small presses. His blog is pretty new. He’s written some about his experiences writing (like dreaming the first page of a short story), done some movie reviews and also advertised a few of his stories with links to where they have been published. He’s a good writer in the speculative arena.

Brutalism -- http://kcanedo.blogspot.com

Don’t let the title scare you (it’s named after a style of architecture), this is a humor blog. Written by a woman named Kathleen who also writes a column for a website with news and information about the town in Virginia she lives in and works in marketing. The posts are about her family and things that happen in daily life and she writes with a healthy dose of sarcasm and cynicism which I identify with.

Paranormal Utopia -- http://paranormalutopia.com/

This one is obviously not going to be interesting to everyone, but I’m a fan. I love reading about UFOs, paranormal experiences and conspiracy theories. This site has all kinds of articles and links for UFO sightings, alien abductions, odd photographs, movie trailers and lots of conspiracy theories including one I read last week that had Bill Clinton’s clone refusing to sign a bill that would dismantle the IRS and give every citizen in the U.S $10 million to pay off their debts and start over. I love this stuff.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Too Old to Exercise

Last year I did the exercise program P90x for about 4 months. I lost 20 pounds and felt really good. But then on my way to losing another 20 pounds I started getting minor muscle strains which hindered my workouts: First my calf, then my forearm, then my back. The medical reason for these muscle strains is that I am old.

There’s a lot of warming up and stretching before each routine in P90x and I followed them and still hurt myself. I was thinking back to when I was a kid and there was no “warming up” or “stretching”. We rolled out of bed, got dressed in yesterday’s clothes, ran down the stairs like we were on fire, slammed the door open to leave the house and then proceeded to run around the neighborhood like maniacs on methamphetamines for approximately 23 hours before coming home to devour the contents of the refrigerator and fall into bed to go to sleep.

Fast forward to today at 46 years old and if I roll over in bed in middle of the night I pop a hamstring. Having to go to the bathroom at 2 a.m. is like maneuvering through a minefield. If, and it’s a BIG if, I manage not to stub a toe on the bed frame unleashing new and creative expletives that Webster’s is considering adding to their dictionary, I have to avoid the clothes hamper while making a sharp right turn to make it past the bedroom door without cracking a knee into it or raking my knuckles while reaching for the light switch. With eyes still glued shut as if I was sleeping in a bed of tree sap there is a narrow strip of wall in the hallway I have to avoid walking directly into then have the presence of mind to turn right again to enter the bathroom. I almost never run this gauntlet without free-flowing blood or a new, shiny bruise.

When I was 9 we were playing football 18 seconds after waking up. Tackle football. Without any protection. I never pulled a muscle. Yesterday I stood up at my desk at work and my kneecap popped so loud I thought I had been shot.

Eventually last year I stopped exercising. Not because of the never-ending muscle strains but because I got lazy. My couch made a persuasive argument as to why I should sit on it and watch Justified and Burn Notice on TV. I’m telling you my futon must have been on the debate team in college. I regained the 20 pounds plus a few more because that’s how I roll. Literally, I roll across the floor to the kitchen for another corn dog.

This week I re-started P90x. In some ways it feels good to be exercising again, in others, not so much. I am so sore every movement is like someone sticking a lit match under my skin. Friday’s workout contained a lot of lunges and squats and now my gluteus maximus is sore. Did you know there were muscles back there? I didn’t, and now they hurt. Apparently I am too old for exercise.