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Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Another year has come and gone. And I am sure that many of you leave behind a pile of broken resolutions.

There are two words wrong on that hat...

"This is the year," we say! "I'm going to get into shape, and lose weight and write that novel!" All of which last until about 3 PM on New Year's Day because you're so hungover from the night before you eat a breakfast of Doritos and cold pizza

Why set ourselves up for failure? I know myself by now. I've been around a few years. I know by now that dramatic change is not probable.

Yet each year, now is the time! And each year, failure, feeling bad about it, more Doritos, etc.


Maybe next year...


So, guess what? I'm lowering my sights! I am going to shoot for achievable resolutions! Serenity now!


1. Watch more TV 

There are still a few Law & Orders I haven't seen! And I got Breaking Bad for Christmas! Plus there are 63 different marathons on New Year's weekend! I think I'll go with The Walking Dead.



Since this is how I usually feel on New Year's morning.

Prognosis: Achieved by Jan. 2nd!
2. Eat more cheese

And by cheese, I mean real cheese, i.e. has once been inside a cow or a goat. 

Sorry, nacho cheese. You don't qualify.

Prognosis: We have port cheddar and fig goat cheese for breakfast tomorrow! Done and done! 

3. Revel in joy!

Carpe diem! Live life to the fullest! Embrace the now!

But... what will I write about?

Prognosis:


"Now don't be sad, 'cause two out of three ain't bad..."

Happy new year to all! 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A New Christmas Story

As my first year of sporadic blogging draws to a close, I'd like to thank you all for reading and giving me an outlet to share my ramblings.

As a special holiday gift to you all, I would like to share with you some excerpts from a new story that I wrote to help celebrate the magic of Christmas. (We're looking for a publisher, so if you have any contacts let me know!)

It's called "Syndy, The Elf Who Saved Christmas." The alternate title is "The Greatest Gift of All."



One day at the North Pole, Syndy the Elf noticed that everyone was feeling a little down. No one was making toys and everyone was in a right poopy mood.


Syndy walked up to Tinker the Elf. He was Santa's head toymaker, and he was sitting on a rock.


"Tinker, what's wrong? Why is nobody making toys?"


Tinker sighed. "Because Christmas is cancelled."


"What?!?"


"It's pointless. Kids are so greedy. They get something and then they break it or forget about it. All that work, and for what?"


"But... children love Christmas! Even if the gifts get broken, it reminds them that someone loves and cares enough about them to send them one."


"Oh, who cares? Poop on Christmas!"


Syndy thought for a minute. What could she do to change this grumpy elf's mood?


Then it came to her. 


"You know, Tinker, there's something I do that makes people happy even though it can be a lot of work. People love to get it, even though they sometimes forget about it soon afterwards. But I never forget how it makes them feel to receive it."


"What's that?"


"Let me show you."


Syndy led Tinker to a spot behind the reindeer stable. As he leaned against the wall Syndy knelt down and unbuckled his..."


(My Lovely Wife: Wait. You are seriously writing a Christmas story where the heroine saves Christmas by orally servicing the elves? We are going to get hate mail. People don't like sex on Christmas.

Me: What? It's all about the joy of giving! The spirit of the season! And Christmas is all about a birth!

MLW: (Muttering) Another Christmas of this....)


Tinker was re-energized! He could see how selfish he had been. Christmas was all about the joy of giving. Syndy cared enough to give him a precious gift. With her mouth!


Tinker thanked Syndy and ran back to his workshop. The other elves noticed how invigorated he was.


"What happened?" asked Buttontop. "Did you get into Santa's secret cookie stash? Did you empty the candy cane forest again?"


"No! I received a magical gift!" Tinker proceeded to tell all the other elves about the Christmas miracle that Syndy had performed. 


Soon, Syndy was being approached by a lot of depressed elves who, like Tinker, didn't want to make toys for Christmas anymore. 


"Well, don't worry! I have a gift for all of you! Form a line over here..."


(My Lovely Wife: Really? A Christmas whore? An elvin Christmas whore?

Me: She's just trying to save Christmas! By the way, have you done all your Christmas shopping yet? Hint hint...

MLW: I'm going to stuff something in your stocking....)

Soon the North Pole was working at peak capacity. Santa couldn't believe it. When he found out why the elves were so happy and productive, he called Syndy into his office to thank her personally. 


"Syndy, your selfless and generous actions have saved Christmas."


"Oh Santa, thank you!"


"And as a reward, you are now going to be The Spirit of Giving Elf."


Syndy couldn't believe it! She had always wanted to be a special elf.


"I want you to pick some of your elvin friends who feel the same way about giving as you do. Then we're going to set all you up in a special elf house, trimmed with peppermint sticks and red lights, where you and your friends can help give out your special gifts all year long."


"Thank you! Thank you, Santa! How can I ever repay you?"


"Well, sometimes I get a little depressed around the Holidays..."


(My Lovely Wife: No. No no no. Santa is not setting up a brothel at the North Pole. He is not cheating on Mrs. Claus with an elf hooker. You are getting coal.

Me: She is not an elf hooker. She is the living embodiment of the Spirit of Giving!

MLW: I see how you think that sounds good in theory, but people who "embody the spirit of giving" like that don't usually get the credit they deserve for spreading such "happiness".

Me: But that's the moral of the story!

MLW: Well, ho ho ho. Now that I think about it, he must have at least three Syndys.

Me; There are a lot of elves.)

In all the years that followed, Syndy and her friends gave many gifts. And every elf appreciated them. Let this be a lesson that we should all appreciate the gifts we receive, as they are all given in the spirit of love. 


Publishers, email me today and start the bidding war!

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Joyous Yule!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Nog On This!

Blog fight!

So my friend, the Cordon Bleu chef, cheese columnist for the Globe and Mail, and food blogger has decided to tell ME how to make egg nog.

She has a lovely recipie involving eggs, cream, and other natural ingredients. The idea is to make your own so you don't have to buy an overpriced carton that will sit in the back of your fridge until Valentine's Day.

Fah, I say!

If you want homemade nog that will get you through a holiday full of family encounters, let me share the secret creation that has been passed down through the ramblings of hobos the generations.

(You may want to bookmark this for easy access during Christmas.)


  • 1 bottle of Coffee Mate Liquid Egg Nog flavored coffee creamer

  • 1 bottle of dark rum

Mix well. Drink until you feel the holiday spirit or at least you can tolerate your family asking about when you're going to get a real job, find someone nice to settle down with, or go back to school. 

And that is what Christmas is all about. It's in the Bible, right after the part where Mary asks Balthazar for a gift receipt for the myrrh.

UPDATE: My Lovely Wife has her own recipie for holiday cheer:
  • Take one egg nog latte from Starbucks.
  • Add Bourbon.
  • Drink
  • Repeat
UPDATE UPDATE: My Lovely Wife has told me leave her out of my weirdness. Sorry, that ship sailed 12 years ago. Love you!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Most Expensive Cup of Ass Juice in The World

"No. I am not going to drink that. That is disgusting."

That is my lovely wife. She is protesting the gift my parents got for me on their recent tax write off vacation very important conference in Bali:


That is Kopi Luwak, allegedly, the most expensive coffee (per pound) in the world. Why is it so expensive? Why does my lovely wife object to drinking it as vociferously as if I was suggesting we convert to Scientology and send all our money to Tom Cruise?

Go ahead and google "the most expensive coffee in the world." I'll wait...

Please enjoy this video while we wait...

Back? So, as you can see, Kopi Luwak attains its flavor by being eaten, partially digested, and then "processed" (i.e. pooped out) by the Palm Civet of Bali and Indonesia. The beans are then washed and roasted and ground up and sold to tourists as a kind of practical joke.

Seriously, this must have been a joke when it was first invented. Some of the farmhands decided to get revenge on their boss by scooping up the civet poop and making coffee out of the half eaten beans. Still, the joke was on them when the boss man loved it and started selling it for $40 a cup.

But Anthony Bourdain seems to like it, so what say we give it a shot?

MY LOVELY WIFE: No. Not in our house.

ME: Why not?

MLW: I do not want to drink poop!

ME: But they wash all the poop off.

MLW: That is not a compelling argument! Besides, we already have a cat! Why don't we just get some poop out of the cat box and throw that in the coffee press?

ME: I don't think you're getting into the spirit of adventure that this requires.

MLW: Do you expect me to kiss you after you drink that?

ME: The poop is all cleaned off!

MLW: Are you sure? REALLY sure?

ME: Um, yes.... I think so...

Needless to say, she remained unpersuaded. So, in the interests of marital harmony, I decided to brew up a pot at work. After emailing my office and warning/hyping of the pot of civet coffee, I only got two volunteers. (Including one who hadn't drunk any coffee in years.)

Still, game on!

Opening the box revealed a vacuum sealed pouch with about 2 ounces of coffee. The coffee was very earthy and thick, kind of like mud.


(MY LOVELY WIFE: Yeah, because it was POOP! IT WAS POOP!)


This coffee smells all nice and flowery...

Um, anyway, it was very aromatic with an almost chocolate smell. (MLW: POOP!) The taste was a little bitter, meaning it had a high caffeine content. (And you could really feel it after a cup! Shaky!) But after a few sips, it had the taste of a very distinctive dark roast, with notes of fruit. My two coworkers agreed that it had a very unique taste, and one really got into it.

Overall, it was good, but it doesn't compare to my favorite non-digested coffees, like the 100% Kona from Hawaii. Much smoother and richer. (MLW: Yeah, because it's NOT POOP!) And there's still the thought in the back of your head... "They fished this out of mongoose poop."

Still, worth the experience! It's not every day you get jittery by drinking something that a tree cat 6000 miles away passed through its buttocks.

And that's probably for the best.

(Update: My wife has advised me against posting this because "Everyone will know you drink poop! Worse, they'll think I drink poop!" So, I add this disclaimer that even if a shirtless Hugh Jackman approached her with a cup of Kopi Luwat she would refuse. My wife does not drink poop.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sparkle!

I got angry again last week. No, it wasn't ice cream.

Now, I am the last person in the world who should complain about crappy merchandising tie-ins to a popular movie.

After all, I own this. And this. And have this on my Amazon wish list (Hint hint!). And I think this is awesome.

Really, if anyone is ever stuck for a gift for me, they would probably just wander into the nearest store and grab the nearest licensed Star Wars product. I think that's how I got this for Christmas last year. (Yoda's cookies are the tastiest!)

And I own Star Wars video games. And I own Star Wars clothing. And I have all the movies on DVD. (But I am not buying the latest re-edits, BluRay or not. Standards, people.)

But still... really Twilight?


Yes, that is a display for Twilight hair care products I encountered while looking at the LCD TVs at Best Buy. Now you too can look like your favorite Twilight star. Sparkle like Edward!  Mope like Bella! Do... whatever it is the other two in that ad do.

(Note: No Jacob. I guess his hair supplies are at Petco. Zing!)

But that's not the worst thing. No, this is. A white, sparkly dildo you can put in the fridge so it feels like an emo vampire is banging you.

Why does this appall me so? I'll buy any crap with the Star Wars logo on it. (Yes, I know. Obvious joke. So sue me.) So why not let the Twi-people have their own crap?

Because some lines you don't cross! Because space shit is cool! Because I'm annoyed that a Mormon housewife effectively neutered what was once dark and scary. Because I have never seen a Star Wars hair care product...

Vintage Princess Leia Beauty Bag. Oh fuck...

At least there's no Star Wars dildo. (God, there is? Really? Really? I forgot there's no shame anymore)

You know, never mind. I'll just be over here with my vintage My Dinner With Andre action figures. 


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lazy Wear

You're just fucking with me now, aren't you?


Our very first blog post, enshrined forever in the Library of Congress, was about Pajama Jeans.

"Ha ha!" we laughed. "Who would be seen in public in these? Aren't we superior? Yay, us!"

(I'm paraphrasing.)

The point was, how lazy do you have to be to wear pajama jeans in public?

Well, apparently those are Type A Go Getter Alpha males compared to the lumps who wear Forever Lazy.

These are adult sized onesies. They even have a pee flap so you don't have to exert calories to take them off. Alternately, you could just crap your pants.

I was gonna just poop my pants but then I found this zipper...

The ad shows people wearing these in public! People are wearing them at a tailgate party! People give us Eagles fans a bad rap for being rowdy - they booed Santa! - but I hope to god that if anyone showed up at the Linc wearing one of these blob-suits, they'd be beaten with bottles of Yuengling.

C'mon man. Have some self respect.

Horrible as the adult footie is, it did bring back memories, When I was a lad, there was a French cartoon called the Barbapapas that the CBC would play on weekends. They were a family of shape-shifting blobs, and they were charming and European.

Barbapapa, Barbamama, Barba-something...

Watching the Forever Lazy ad and then the cartoon, I realized where they got their inspiration from:

Forever Lazy...


Barbapapa & Barbamama.... Hmmm...

While the lazywear is neither charming nor European, I can see an IP violation a mile away. I think someone better be sending a check to some French animators...

Or at least some themed footie jammies.

And don't get us started on the Snuggie.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Marriage vs Kim Kardashian

In case you missed it while you were Trick-or-Treating,  Kim Kardashian decided to go out dressed as a divorce proceeding for Halloween.

After months of buildup on their various E! Network shows, a 4 hour wedding special, a new spin off series about their life in New York, a wedding that reportedly cost $10 million but also generated $18 million through photo sales, the whole wedding is going to last a total of 72 days, leading to speculation that the whole thing was a publicity stunt.

I mean, holy hell, my broken elbow is going to last longer than the Humphries-Kardashian wedding. That's what you get for putting your faith in the New Jersey Nets.

 I suck at marriage like I suck at basketball.

I only watch E! so I can see Joel McHale on The Soup. The best part is the cross promotion segment called "Let's Take Some E!" where he rips into the horrible celebrity programming on the channel. Whenever he talked about the Kardashians, he would always call them gypsies.  And he's right. they scammed millions of dollars of photo fees and free wedding swag.

The always delightful Kathy Griffin gave her opinion of the wedding. "The phrase that drives me crazy is when people say "They're as close as we have to American royalty." Because I would say they're as close as we have to a family of dirty whores."

The first nine minutes are all Kardashian. You can have Dorothy Parker.

I don't want to get into why the daughter of OJ's late defense attorney has become a household name. I don't want to get into how this gypsy parlayed a boring sex tape into about 15 different reality TV shows. (I mean, have you actually seen that thing? Andy Warhol's Empire has more action. Er... so I've heard.) The search string "Kim Kardashian Divorce" generates 85,100,000 results in 0.14 seconds.  I am loathe to add to the feeding frenzy.

I just want to say one thing.

The evangelicals in this country complain and fear monger about gay marriage constantly. The sanctity of marriage is their battle cry.

Never once heard them complain about awful game shows like Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? or The Bachelor where marriage is the prize and the women are pimping themselves out.

I never hear them complain when two sixteen year old kids get pregnant and then "have to get married." (To quote Tina Fey's Sarah Palin, "Marriage is a holy sacrament between two unwilling teenagers.")

I don't hear them tut-tutting trophy marriages between 65 year old bankers and 25 year old escorts.

And you won't hear them talk about Kim Kardashian's $28 million dollar publicity stunt wedding debasing the institution of marriage, either.

But you will hear them complain about two lesbians in Omaha who have been together for 30 years trying to get married so they can have hospital visitation rights.

Because that's what's really hurting marriage. Right.

But really, this Kardashi-sham of a marriage is an insult to everyone out there, gay or straight, who just wants to get married and have a nice reception with their friends. Treating marriage as a way to promote your name brand recognition or a way to launch a new line of handbags is repulsive.

(But you did have to put up with Justin Bieber at your wedding. So, there's that.)

And don't worry about E! I'm sure they'll retcon the wedding footage into "E!'s Divorce Spectacular: The Prequel!"

Can't wait for part two.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

In defense of Snooki

While enjoying an evening of books and coffee at the Barnes and Noble, we noticed a banner over the door of upcoming author appearances. At the end of October, just in time for Halloween, the store would be graced with the presence of Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi of Jersey Shore fame to promote her autobiography.

Someone tried to tell me a ghost wrote this book! That's crazy! No such thing as ghosts!

If you are at all like me, the your reaction was a combination of eye rolling and groaning "Why?????"

You probably thought of a few jokes, too:

"Defining "author" down, aren't they?"
"I didnt know oompa-loompas could write!"
"Autobiography? How do you stretch out 'I drank, I passed out, I woke up naked, I ate a pickle' to 200 pages?"

Feel free to add your own!

All true, though. Hundreds of great novels get print runs of 3000, get no publicity, and fall into obscurity. And for Snooki, who most likely dictated her memoirs to some poor ghost writer who had to decipher her ramblings, the place will probably be packed. Legions of fans in Snooki wigs will be there, along with the haters. (One time I saw Isabel "House of the Spirits"  Allende at a Manhattan B&N. She is the perhaps the most widely read Spanish language author in the world and could very well win a Nobel prize one day. She had 20 people.)

Snooki really seems to bring out the hater in everyone. While there are certainly more distasteful cast members of Jersey Shore (like roid rager Ronnie), the short, busty, orange muppet with the poofy hair has been the target of the most scorn.

The CW debuted a show called H8R this fall. The show tried to get internet haters together with the object of their hatred and show them, hey, D-list reality show stars have feelings too, ya big bully! If you prick us, do we not bleed? The very first celeb guest was Snooki. The show was cancelled after three episodes and massive ridicule. If you can't make fun of celebrities on the web, all you have left is LOLcats and porn. (Hey, LOLcat porn! There's an idea! I wonder if we can trademark it. Let's check!) (Update: Yeah, don't Google that. Things once seen...)

As well, local blowhard govenor and Great White Hope of the Republican Party, Chris Christie, won huzzahs when he pulled the Jersey Shore's production tax credit. The show, sniffed Christie, "does nothing more than perpetuate misconceptions about the state and its citizens."  


Like that we're all a bunch of loudmouths who like to fix problems by yelling at them. 


So lots of people hate Snooki. And lots of people tune in to watch her and either laugh with her or at her. And she laughs all the way to the bank.

It may surprise you, given the nature of this blog and my generally sunny disposition on life, but I come to praise Snooki, not to bury her.

Even to a curmudgeon like me, the Snooki hatred seems outsized. Snooki did not invade Iraq, give Michael Jackson Propofol, crash the world economy, give Steve Jobs cancer, or lay off thousands of workers. She's an orange clown on a TV show. Granted, an awful, terrible one that makes you dumber for watching, but still.

While I am aware that Jersey Shore represents the nadir of civilization, ask yourself this. Say you were young, fresh out of college, had nice abs or boobs, and liked to party. Some one said they'd pay you lots of cash to hang out at a beach house for a summer, and not only would you not have to work, they insisted you drink and party and hook up. In fact, they'll be disappointed if you don't. Would you take that offer? Given today's awful job market, could you blame anyone if they did? Hey, I was recently a "free agent" for a few weeks and the idea of getting paid to lie on a beach has great appeal. (Now, if I could wrangle a paycheck for watching Law & Order reruns...)

Look, Snooki and The Situation may not be smart, but they ain't dumb. They both made about 50-100 times what I did last year, and they made it by drinking margaritas and tanning. They got hangovers, not broken elbows (Holla!) or black lung from digging in a coal mine. Good for them! I'm sure they'll kill the Golden Goose eventually, but for now they can enjoy the fruits of their "labors."

Me, I'll be working on my abs. Or getting breast implants. And a Bump-It.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Well...

It appears from the web traffic that you really like it when I get angry or hurt myself.

I have no desire to hurt myself again (especially when Google Ads is auto generating "Spinal Surgery" and "Disk Replacement" notices). Still, you are free to leave suggestions of things I could get mad at in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Salvage!

I am a calm person. I am always the Good Cop, the gentle yin to the raging yang.


But not last week.


"My god," said my wife. "I've never seen you so angry."


And I was quite angry. Angrier than I have been since I made myself stop caring about the stupid Eagles so my blood pressure would not blow off the top of my skull when they mismanaged the clock or blew another lead with stupid interceptions. (See, it's working!)


(UPDATE: I wrote that on Thursday. Well before the Eagles blew another fourth quarter lead with bad clock management and stupid turnovers. No, Andy Reid, it was not a bad idea at all to have an offensive line coach run your defense.)


And what made me so angry? Did someone besmirch my wife's honor? Did someone spit on the flag? Did someone tell a young child that Santa Claus was a spiteful drunk and that Christmas was to be cancelled? Did Andy Reid waddle into my line of sight?


Sadly, no.

No. It was ice cream. More to the point, it was Target not letting me buy ice cream. 

As you may have heard, Ben & Jerry's released a brand new flavor based on the SNL "Delicious Dish" sketch. In case you've forgotten, Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon play the milquetoast hosts of an NPR food show. Alec Baldwin is their guest, Pete Schweddy. He makes a popular dessert for the holidays, his chocolate rum balls, which he calls Schweddy Balls.  Five minutes of ball-related humor ensues, and 13 year olds of all ages giggle uncontrollably.


I like SNL. I like ice cream. Game on!


I was delighted to see the flavor in Target last week. There were a dozen in the freezer case! (Hey, broken bones need calcium.)


But, when I went to buy one, it did not ring up. No big deal, right?




But, apparently, it was a big deal. The ice cream was not in the system! It did not exist! 

"But I am holding it. In my hand."

"I'm sorry, but we cannot sell you that ice cream. It's not in the system."

"All your Ben & Jerry's costs $3.99. Just scan a different flavor in."

"I can't do that. This isn't supposed to be here."

"You have a dozen in the freezer case! I didn't sneak into the store room to get them."

"I'm not allowed to sell them to you. The system has designated them as salvage."

"Salvage?"

"We have to throw it out. It's not supposed to be in the store."

"Fine. Give it to me and I'll throw it out for you!"

And on it went for five minutes. After yelling at two different cashiers and their supervisors a manager was finally brought over. After being told repeatedly that there was absolutely, positively, no way they could sell me the ice cream, the manager keyed in $3.99 and sold me the ice cream.

As we left the store with my trophy, my wife told me that security guards had been gathering nearby, since I had become a problem.

Do not fuck with my ice cream.



So after all of that rage and screaming and yelling, was it worth it? I mean, it has to be the best ice cream in recorded history after all of that, right?


Eh.


It's Ben & Jerry's, so it's not going to be bad. But compared to the other comedy inspired flavors, like Jimmy Fallon's Late Night Snack (with chocolate covered potato chips) and Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream (with chocolate covered waffle cone bits), it lacks a certain pizazz. The rum balls are good, but my wife complained that some of the balls were too hard. I told her that I thought she liked hard balls, and then I started giggling again and then she threw the ice cream carton at me.


So, time to get more ice cream! Though probably not at Target.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Death of a Dream

As you know, my love of Wipeout is matched only by my love of my wife and Cool Ranch Doritos.

Sorry Country, Mom, and apple pie...

So you can imagine my happiness when Tru TV started showing old episodes of Wipeout on Friday nights. As I sat, happily watching the chaos with my Tylenol margarita, I felt a twinge. My broken elbow was sore and I had to readjust the pillow it was resting on. Then, after watching a geeky dude faceplant on a platform off a rope swing and a professional stunt lady bounce off the big red balls, I felt another twinge. 

In your spine, right? You felt the twinge in your spine! NOPE!

This time in my heart. :( Sigh....

You see, I have always dreamed of being on a game show. In high school, I was on Reach for the Top on local TV. This is a Canadian general knowledge quiz show for students, which probably should have been called Virgin Nerd Alert. I've taken the online test for Jeopardy a few times, even getting to an interview, but I haven't made it to the show. I tried out for ESPN's Stump the Schwab,as well as a science game show, and no luck on those.

But Wipeout... You have to be enthusiastic, say "Wooo!" and fall down in a dynamic way. I can do this! 

But, cruel irony, my ability to fall spectacularly has now cost me a chance to be on the show. Even after my elbow heals all the way, I can't imagine slamming it off of the platforms and obstacles of the Wipeout Zone. I can't even roll over on it in bed to hit the snooze button. How am I going to get past the sweeper arms? The time has now come to put away childish things, etc.

This is exactly what Martin Luther King was talking about when he wrote about a dream deferred! (Because I am just like MLK. Aside from being white. And never discriminated against . And never getting arrested for my beliefs. And never being spied on by the government and assassinated. Aside from all that, not getting to be on Wipeout is EXACTLY like the March on Washington. Exactly.)

Like the former little league star, sitting on his porch and sipping a beer while thinking about what might have been had the scouts only seen his game winning double in high school, I will watch each face plant and think...what if?

What if? Wipeout. What if?  SIGH..... :(   Oh , Wipeout, what we could have done.
I would bounce off those balls and laugh my ass off at home watching myself later. But it's not meant to be.

That could have been me!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Eating Healthy

It was my birthday last week. I LIVED through this year! Yay me! (And you know from reading about my accident it made things a lot  harder than I would have liked.)

To celebrate my birthday, ( it's not far from my Doctor's appointment- because remember I broke my arm in Massachussetts) my lovely wife and I made the trip out to West Springfield, MA and made a pilgrimage to The Big E. The Eastern States Exposition is like a state fair, but it's for six states. Each state has an exhibition hall to show off native products, exhibits , native drinks and foods.  All of New England converges on Central Massachusetts to show off their giant pumpkins, apples, horses, and new ways to fry things.

And there's a Parade, with Clydesdales- the BUDWISER Clydesdales.

Corn dogs! Bacon CANDY! bacon bits. 

Now, I have not been to the Texas State Fair to see the legendary Fried Food Capital of Texas, if not the world, but I would have to say that The Big E compares favorably. And by "favorably," I mean "will favorably increase your cholesterol count by 50 points."

At a state fair, or similar gustatory extravaganza, you need to pace yourself. A bite here, a bite there. Tell yourself that you're walking a lot so the calories don't count, or all the fried food will just slide right on through. You know, lie. Don't even pretend like you're going to be healthy about it. Just sit back and enjoy.


Here is a list of everything we (shared -1/2 the calories) ate on that glorious day:

  • Fried Jelly Beans Awesome! Like zeppoli with little jelly pockets inside.
  • Pierogi Just like Mom used to make, only with kielbasa in them. 
  • Root Beer Float w/ Black Raspberry Ice Cream Delectable!
  • Clam Fritters From Rhode Island! Clams coated in a corn meal batter and fried. Kind of like corn dogs, but nautical!
  • Del's Frozen Lemonade  The Pride of Rhode Island!
  • Loaded Baked Potato  The Pride of Maine! Loaded here means butter, sour cream, cheese, chives, and bacon bits. 
  • Cabot Cheddar & Horseradish Cheese The Pride of Vermont!( ok we sampled some of their cheese - but we bought some to take home)FREE
  • Cranberry Wine Tart and tasty!(also tiny sample cups for FREE)
  • Kettle Corn
  • MAPLE Kettle Corn (FREE Samples)
  • MAPLE Cream Candy( a great bargain at 1$ and we shared a tiny cone that's all you need to be satisfied with Mapley goodness for an hour or two.   
  • MAPLE Cotton Candy (Did you know that New England makes a lot of maple syrup? They do!) This smiley man who looked like Santa kept shoving big samples at us when we walked by- go to the New Hampshire building- he was super nice! the other houses were a big stingy with theirs. :( So reward NH's generous and good attitude :) Yay New Hampshire!
  • Watermelon Beer (From Opa Opa Brewery) Very refresshing and served with a wedge of watermelon floating in the beer.( we are lightweights when it comes to consuming beer- but they should just sell beer covered watermelon- we could have eaten lots of that!)
  • Frozen Apple Cider
  • Apple Cider Donut  (Did you know that New England grows a lot of apples? They do!)
These are the things we were tempted to eat, but were either too full, too nervous, or lacking in cash to try so we did not try:
Mmmm...Fried Cheese....
  • Fried Kool-Aid  The wife hates Cherry flavoring (artificial), which was the flavor they had. People at the fair said it tasted like a fruit punch donut. 
  • Fried Cheese Curds Having spent my college years in Canada, I have a soft (pudgy) spot for poutine. This is a concoction of french fries and cheese curds smothered in gravy. If you are very drunk, then this is very tasty and helps defeat the alcohol in your system by making you focus more on your indigestion. In New Jersey, they serve a variant called Disco Fries replacing the curds with shredded mozzeralla. The curds are denser and chewier and provide a more pleasing mouth feel, in my opinion. The fried curds were tempting, but I feared something like an acid flashback were I to eat them.
  • Wild Game Burgers  One stand offered gator burgers, deer, ostrich, and other kinds of game. We didn't see these till after we had gorged ourselves, or might have tried one. Remember, turkey burgers and bison burgers are fairly common these days, but once upon a time those who ate them were looked at with scorn and derision. Will gator snake burgers come to Mickey D's one day?
  • Deep Fried Vegetables  The loneliest stand at the fair. You'll never hear this exchange: "Mommy, can we have some fried broccoli?" "No dear. Now eat your fried dough."
  • Red Velvet Funnel Cake  Looked delicious, but it was a massive disc of dough and I was too strung out on sugar to consider it.
  • Fried Butter  Not just a joke Oprah invented. It's real. 
  • The Pork Sandwich at the Pork Palace- looked awesome but, just too full!
  • WICKED WHOOPIE pies- my wife said we should get one for my birthday cake but we will get one next time- they make hand sized and birthday cake size- they had every flavor you could think of and one confetti swirl psychedelic colored manhole cover sized one that looked a little frightening, but beautifully so. 
  • Fry bread of many kinds.
  • Apple pie with cheese- so many appley things to try- we shouldn't have missed this one. They also had a apple pie with a cheddar crust!
  • Lobster Rolls- too expensive but they looked outstanding!
  • 40 donuts for 5.00 -  fresh off the belt. Just too full.
Many hours and calories later,after walking 80 miles or so, we headed home. Because of the broken elbow, I can't drive our stick shift car. (I wear this fancy sling during the day, and at night I am in a hard cast.) The only time I have been glad of not being able to drive, was the ride home. My lovely wife drove while I settled into a lovely food coma. I dreamt of happy, healthy singing fruits dancing in the woods, and then being lowered into a deep fryer and covered with cheese and sugar. 

I like happy dreams. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Giuliana Rancic



Quit Whining! YOU have MONEY- do something with it besides whining. These are not unsolvable problems! DO SOMETHING with your life besides complain!

Being home from the wilds of the the Berkshires (and while nursing my elbow) I get to watch a lot of TV. (It's funny how quiet the country gets at night without the hum of the TV in the background.)

Somehow I found myself watching Giuliana & Bill. My wife FORCED me. She taped my eyeballs open and FORCED ME!  It is the most boring " show" I have ever seen. I watched a chunk of Andy Warhol's Empire in college. For those unfamiliar, it is a 24 hour single shot of the Empire State Building. This is more interesting and shows more personality than the nattering of Giuliana and Bill.

To the blissfuly unaware : Giuliana Rancic is an ubiquitous E! channel personality. She is an E! news anchor. In practice, this means her job requires her to be stick thin like a coathanger and look like a cross between a pretty frog and an afghan hound and read teleprompter copy in a pleasant voice.
She wears silly outfits and complains a lot on her show. She pops up on other E! shows and collects a fat paycheck for being her oddly thin and frog/hound self.

Somehow that equates to giving her and her annoying husband who can't stop travelling or constructing things a reality TV show. We are sometimes actually watching paint dry on the show. Sometimes his extreme homemakeover tribute shows are so boring , even the other people working on the house can't wait for them to finish and they are getting paid for it.

See, Giuliana's really busy! She's trying to keep her career going by being on 12 TV shows! And her husband doesn't always understand! And they're trying to have a baby! But they can't stay in the same city at the same time . Andzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz......

I'm working on my anger. But damn! I have never seen anyone complain more about less. An actual episode was all about her and her husband bickering about his 40th birthday party. ("I don't want one!" "I'm going to throw you one!") Then they had a marriage crippling fight about whether they should open their new restaurant in Chicago (husband's choice after he just decided he wanted to move to LA and then changed his mind after he sold their house out from under then during their YEAR OF FUN- whatever the hell that is) or LA (Where they live).

When people talk about "White People Problems," this is what they mean.
These people are too rich to be this boring. Entitled people who are worried about trivial things that have easy solutions. You work too much? Do one less TV show!  You don't like living in LA, stay in Fucking Chicago!
You want a baby? Go adopt one! You have money! Just stop @^#*()&# whining!

I know there are hundreds of channels to fill with programming.
Why give these people or the Kardashians any more money. They aren't going to do anything worthwhile with it except annoy us some more! Can't we just put another Law & Order on in their place?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Elbow - Part III

After the fall and the surgery, I am back and ensconsed in my Manhattan lair. We now come to What We Have Learned. It's a very special blog today.

- If you want more drugs in the ER, be nice! Don't yell. I got lots of morphine and percosets by politely asking. The woman next to me had a panic attack and then got verbally abusive to the nurses, so you could see why they were less than enthusiastic about giving her more meds.
But you asked so nicely! 

- It is very hard to brush your teeth with your left hand. Not that it's just difficult, but it just feels wrong. Try it! Brush your teeth left handed and it feels like the dentist in Marathon Man is poking around in there. The same goes for just about every other bathroom task you can imagine. And buttoning your pants! Between the one hand and the pain killer constipation, you will feel very bloated. Can't... button... these... jeans!

- Hospital remotes don't go backwards. They are designed to be simple, so the weak and frail can handle them. There is one button, so if you want to change channels during commercials, you'd better be fast on the trigger. (Tip: In order to go back quickly, turn the tv off and then back on. You'll usually reset back to channel 2)

- Human flesh starts to turn zombie grey after not washing for a few days. I haven't had a full shower since the accident, and I've had to resort to sponge baths. When I suggested showering the nurse ( one of the boy ones) cringed like I had suggested pouring hot oil on myself. There are places on my arms that were hard to reach on my one handed sponge baths, and after a few days, my wife was worried that I was becoming undead .

I am independant and while it's nice to be sponged, it also feels WRONG to have my wife do it. I was raised in Canada, I don't like to be a bother. My wife is making me write that I didn't ASK to be bathed I just did it myself - like a big boy. Because I wasn't washing my hand (which is actually because I'm not using it and washing both hands is hard since the surgery), I was turning grey.

I washed my hands and I was back to the land of the living. No more zombie husband. (Sigh)

- On the bright side, I can get caught up on all that TV I've been missing. Seriously, do you know how hard I've worked to avoid Lost for the last seven years? Now I can get disappointed in one long weekend!

- There really is a limit to how much Law & Order/CSI/NCIS/Closer/Burn Notice the human body can tolerate before it starts to reject it like a bad kidney transplant. (And that makes Jerry Orbachs the equivalent of the AB blood type. He's the universal donor.)

- I can also see how easy it could be to allow yourself to slide all the way into sloth.  I've only been doing this a week - I am usually a very active person.
It's hard to get washed and dressed with one arm, so eventually you don't bother. Besides, you aren't going anywhere, so why worry? There are DVDs and reality TV shows to be watched. Food can be delivered. Before you know it, they have to knock out a wall of your apartment to airlift you out of a mound of peanut butter jars.( my wife is not going to let this happen so don't worry about me).

- On the plus side, people are more willing to help you move things. And I don't even own a van! But I wouldn't be able to do what Buffalo bill does- I REALLY only CAN use one arm.

(Unfortunately, the landlord wouldn't install the pit like I asked. We have plenty of room for one!)

- And, finally, it's wonderful to be married to someone who genuinely loves you, in spite of you basically just taking up space for the last week. We've spent the whole week in close quarters with no problems. So, if you get hurt and are housebound and you and your spouse share a small apartment, you will know that you love each other, really love each other.

(At least until the zombie apocalypse, then you are on your own if the other decides your brains are tasty.)

Till next time.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Elbow - Part II

When last we parted, my wife and I had had our bedside reunion, late at night. Awww...


And the next day Bryan Cranston cut into my elbow.

Well, more Malcolm in the Middle Bryan Cranston.

In between, I was introduced to The Block.

That's what it felt like.

Let's continue!

My surgery was scheduled for about 11 AM. I didn't know this until I was wheeled away to surgery while my wife was getting breakfast. I was rolled into the pre-op room and was poked and ekg'd and otherwise prepped. The anesthesiologist came by and said he was going to give me a block. A block is where the nerves in a part of your body are deadened. I got an ultrasound on my shoulder and got to see the little nerve ganglions on the monitor as a needle dove towards them. 

In a few minutes, it felt like I had slept on my arm for about four days. I kept expecting the wake up tingle, but that never came. It was a dead weight from the shoulder down. 

My wife had finally been told how to get to me, and arrive just as my doctor did.  He looked an awful lot like Bryan Cranston, especially from season 4 of Malcolm in the Middle. For some reason, I found this very reassuring. 

Relax. I got this.

He explained the procedure. A metal band was going to be wrapped around the ulna to keep the pieces in place. All the loose shards would be taken out. If the radial head was too badly damaged, it would be replaced with an artificial one that resembled a spool. They had a whole kit - like a ratchet set - of the different sized joints. He went off to prep and said he would see me soon and my wife went off to the waiting room.

After about an hour, I was wheeled back to my bedroom.

Apparently, the ratchet set was missing a few sockets. Rather than open me up and discover the piece he needed was the one that was missing, he postponed operating until the missing pieces could be couriered in from Boston. (Yay planning ahead!) 

So, back to my room for an afternoon of percoset and Law & Order: SVU. (And an irritated wife, since no one had told her( two hours of worrying for nothing) the operation had been delayed .)

After a day of morphine and fentanyl, I was put on the less intense and less addictive percoset. Two pills every 4-6 hours was enough to take the edge off, but not enough to put me on a floating cloud of liquid gold. It was enough to make me stop pooping.

"Feed me!"
"No! I have nothing to give you!"

Apparently, constipation is a common side effect of pain killers. Despite a breakfast of raisin bran and coffee, five minutes of grunting and sweating  would produce only a small ploop.


While percoset did not knock me out, it would make me drowsy. Which made the 4 hour block of L&O:SVU perfect viewing. I could nod off during one scene, wake up during a different show, and dive right back into it.

I will dramatize:


"You're just gonna let that freak walk out?"
"We can't hold him on a hunch, Stabler!"
Zzzzzzz.....
"The suspect removed all of his pubic hair with electrolysis."
Zzzzzzz....
"We found three different semen types in his rectum."
Zzzzzzz....
"She was your daughter! She trusted you!"
"I love my daughter, detective. In my own way."
Zzzzzzz... Hun? Time for surgery?

Does it say something about me and the American Media Complex that I consume gritty crime dramas like comfort food. Maybe that CHUN-CHUN sound is relaxing. I could try and think of something, but I'm too busy watching the 48 hr 2 day SVU marathon on the USA & cloo networks. (UPDATE: It would appear that even I have reached my limit at around hour 16, and approximately 10,000 angry glowers from Chris Meloni.)

Back to surgery, where I was prepped. (Again.) This time, I was wheeled into surgery promptly. After joking with the anesthesiologist about using Jack Daniels or Screech (Newfies represent!) instead of drugs, I promptly fell asleep...

...and woke up in recovery. I tried to get up because I had to pee, but the mean nurse wouldn't let me and told me to lie down. She gave me a pee bottle, but it is HARD to pee uphill and not make a mess. I tried to release the bed guard so I could at least stand up, but the mean nurse was not having any of it. Finally, I peed and presented the trophy to the nurse. Enjoy it!

Bryan Cranston came by to tell me about the surgery. It had gone very well, and he had replaced my radial head since the original bones were too damaged. I am now a cyborg. Kill all humans...


My lovely wife was waiting for me in the room, giggling. When Bryan Cranston talked to her, he told her that I had tried to run away when I woke up.( I do not remember this but they say it's true) I explained that I was trying to pee. I had some more percoset and went to sleep. Where I dreamed of the cast of Malcolm in the middle being interrogated by Ice-T and Mariska Hargitay.

You think we're joking? This is no joking matter.

We conclude tomorrow, with the things we've learned.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ancestry.com



Hey Ancestry.com.

You seem to be doing pretty good, so I don't want to tell you how to run your business.

But... Maybe you don't want to run ads during an episode of Law & Order where the big reveal is "incest baby?"

Just sayin'.

Sadly this was the case on an episode of L&O: Criminal Intent yesterday. Vincent D'Onofrio had just realized that a child's birth date had meant the husband was out of town and that the stepmom had seduced the stepson, who was the real father.

Fade out:

"This episode is brought to you by Ancestry.com. Discover your family's story today!"

I can jut see that testimonial.

"I had always wondered why our family had receding hairlines and close set eyes. So I went on Ancestry.com and I found court records showing that Grammy and Grampy had been arrested for incest! Now I spend my days in the attic drinking and crying. Thanks, Ancestry.com!"

Sunday, September 4, 2011

My Elbow

I'm writing this one handed.

No, that is not a euphemism for masturbation. My Mom reads this.

No, I mean this:



Yes, my elbow decided I was working too hard and took an unscheduled break by catching the brunt of the impact when a scaffold I was on tipped over and dropped me to the ground.

The best thing about working with teens? Being the calm voice of reason while others are freaking out. "I think my elbow is broken. Call 911 and get me some ice. From the office. First, call the ambulance. Calm down, I'm going to be OK."

The best thing about working in a rural area? Volunteer first responders! The first guy on the scene said I looked familiar. "Wait, I know! I changed your oil last year!"

The other best thing? The nearest ambulance is 8 miles away. When the paramedics arrived, they had to figure out a path for the stretcher to get to the stage. The floor was crowded with equipment during the load out. I said I could walk, but they didn't want me to since I could have had back or head injuries. After sliding me onto a back board and neck collar, they dragged me over to the stretcher by the edge of the stage. (While commenting about how I needed to lose weight. Thanks guys!) They got me on the gurney, when I said it felt like I was sliding off. Just then, the gurney dropped down about a foot, because it wasn't locked in place.


Another crack first response squad.

Once I was loaded on to the ambulance, things were a lot smoother. Especially once I got some Fentanyl! Wheee! The 30 mile drive went by quite fast.

The hospital ER was extremely busy for a Tuesday afternoon. I had bed 18H. H is for hallway, meaning I got parked in the hall outside of a bedspace. Which meant I got moved around everytime someone got moved in or out of a bedspace. 

You know those parking puzzles? Where you have to move twenty cars around in a parking lot to free a taxi from the back of the lot. Kind of like that. 

But with me.

Still, the staff here were great to me. I was brought in at 1 pm, given a once over by the ER head, got two sets of x-rays, a CT scan, and a splint, and I was admitted to a room by 6 pm. Lisa & Lee, my ER nurses, were great. They kept me good and doped up (Morphine! Whee!) and relatively comfortable.

The ER orthopedics took a look at my x-rays and congratulated me on how well I had shattered it. I have learned a lot more about my elbow than I had ever cared to know. Your elbow has three bones. The humerus is the bone that goes from your shoulder to you elbow. (Mine was fine.) The ulna in the cap bone in the elbow. (Shattered!) The radia goes from the wrist to the elbow, and my radia head was badly broken, to the point where I might need an artificial one. Time for an operation!

Once I found this out, it was time to call my lovely, saint of a wife.

Oops. Half a bar of cell service in the ER. I could text though. Told her a 140 character version of my condition. After several frantic texts and attempted phone calls, she got a hold of someone at the hospital who told her I broke a collarbone. (What?) After more frantic texts and attempted phone calls, she had got a hold of my parents and was then on her way to see me. 

Now, a sidebar about my wife's travels. She got my text in Staten Island, NY. Our car was in the Berkshires. I was in Springfield, MA. She got my news at 2:30 pm, and headed right for Amtrak at Penn Station. 

This was in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, so there were a lot of trees and power lines down throughout the area. Especially around the train tracks. Amtrak knew this, and knew that there was no train service to Springfield. Did they tell this to my wife? No. Instead, they sent her to Yonkers, where she was told to go back to Penn Station and wait till Wednesday.

Let's all pause to give a hearty "Fuck You" to Amtrak. You owe us at least $50 in cab fares and tickets.

Hey Amtrak! Ride this rail!

And let's give a big thanks to Greyhound Peter Pan for getting my wife out to Springfield without any problems. 

So, finally, at 1 am, after over 10 hours of travel in a state of panic about my arm, she got to the hospital. Where I gave her a one armed hug.

(UPDATE: My wife would like me to add that she was on a film set as an extra when I called her. She had to leave and the production company refused to pay her for the 6 hours she had already spent on set. So, again, a hearty fuck you to the "Untitled Drake Doremus Project.")

This post has gotten much longer than I thought it would, so I'll stop here for tonight. Tune in tomorrow for tales of hospital life, Law & Order, and an unexpected side effect of pain killers.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wow! You've got a lot of kids! You should have a TV show!

Raise your child-proof lighters. Spill some pablum on the ground. An era is ending:
 At last, it’s over. Kate Gosselin’s reality show Kate Plus 8 is not being renewed by the network.
TLC issued this statement: “TLC has decided not to renew another season of Kate Plus 8. By the end of this season Kate Plus 8 will have hit the 150 episode mark (including Jon & Kate Plus 8); an exceptional milestone. TLC hopes to check in with Kate and the family periodically with specials in the future.” A milestone, indeed. I think we will all remember where we were at when this news came down.


Yes, I must admit to catching some of these episodes with kind of a train wreck fascination. My lovely wife would watch occasionally, and I would get drawn into what I would call The Adventures of Douchey and Whiny. Half the episode was Kate yelling at Jon about how lazy he was and Jon mumbling to himself with a thousand yard stare of resentment.


I mean, when Ed Hardy says you're giving his clothing a bad name...

Between the cuteness of the kids and the awfulness of the parents, the show became a ratings hit. And you know what that means!

Copycat programming! Here's a partial list of all the TV shows this potential orphanage inspired:
  • 19 Kids and Counting (God told them to keep having kids!)
  • Quints by Surprise (My penis ejaculated! Surprise!)
  • Table for 12
  • Sextuplets take New York
  • The Octomom Show! (Just like Gwyneth Paltrow proved you can be too rich or too thin, Octomom proves you can have too many babies.)
Honestly, TLC should have changed their name to Kids 'n' Dwarfs, 'cause that's all they had on the air for a while. 

Maybe it is my Canadian upbringing and the cultural memory of the shameful sideshow treatment of the Dionne Quints, but I find these shows repulsive. The children are paraded around by the worst kind of stage parents. Kids are young so briefly, let them enjoy themselves without worrying about hitting their mark for the camera. 

And these parents are all uninteresting. I wouldn't spend five minutes talking to them on a bus, let alone 13 TV episodes. "Wow, so you had a lot of kids, huh? Maybe you should wear jockeys. Oh! Here's my stop."

The only interesting ones are the Duggars on 19 Kids, and they are fascinating in an end of days sort of way. God apparently wants more Christian soldiers and they have taken it upon themselves to produce them. All of them are smiling Children of the Corn extras. (Except for one. In the credits montage of happy faces, there is one smack in the middle scowling. Guess who the future Goth is going to be?)

Check out Jason at 0:20. You've just met a future Cure fan. 

But, at least the original inspiration has now gone for a permanent time out, and soon the rest will follow. TLC promises they'll check in on them in the future. Hopefully, they will check in on Thanksgiving dinner when the kids are all 16 and we can bathe in the screams of "Mother! You ruined my life!"