Monday, March 31, 2014

Happy Birthday Dave

Sunday evening one of Mark's New York friends came to visit. Bette the schnauzer gets super excited when visitors come to see us. It's like somebody gave her a Pixy Stix filled with crack. She runs around with her squeaky toys, jumping up on the visitors laps, nipping at them, and doing her best to get them to play/fight. Sunday evening she went one step further. Bette couldn't contain herself. Literally, she couldn't contain herself and squatted right in front of me and peed on the floor while I was cleaning the kitchen. She shot me a quick look of defiance and ran back out to the living room for more fun with her new human visitor.

            Miss Bette isn't a stupid dog. Cunning, conniving, and clever yes, but not stupid. She knows how to make the skinny man give her treats all day long, and she knows how to make the fat man crazy. I swear she plans her misdeeds to get back at us. It happens every time we leave the house without her. Despite intense pre-planning before we walk out of the house, Miss Bette finds a way to shred something. Last Thursday, when we went to the theater, she managed to find the magazine that Mark sincerely wanted me to read. "It has some good information about real estate in Chicago." he told me. So I took the magazine and laid it next to my big fluffy chair so that I wouldn't forget to read it. The magazine was the first thing we noticed torn apart when we returned home. That was the easy shred. Miss Bette also managed to climb across a chair, hover in midair, and snatch a dollar bill from the stack on a table that I had put aside for my next trip to Johnny's. She never does the shredding thing when we're home, only when we're out. It's sort of a revenge thing I think. Anyway, the article Mark wanted me to read in the magazine is still readable, and the dollar bill is still spendable. With a little Scotch Tape, it will all be fine. So whoever has the next birthday coming up, look for that dollar in your birthday card.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Critic

I like the rock group Green Day well enough. Not enough to buy any of their music, but I like some of the songs they've written and I don't punch the radio button when they come on. However, their Broadway Musical, American Idiot is another story. Mark and I went last night, and I've never seen people streaming out of a live theater in such numbers before. Here is my quick critique of American Idiot. Music and singing; If you like Green Day you will like the music. The actors were top notch on this point. They could sing and the band was an on spot, Green Day tribute band. Costumes; What the costume designer must have done is tell a bunch of young college age slackers, to go home and bring back their favorite pieces of clothing. In other words, there were no real costumes. Choreography; I think this is what made a lot of people leave in the first fifteen minutes. The choreography consisted of what I would call 'arm dancing'. Mostly they stood on stage and pumped their arms in different directions and occasionally bent over as if having stabbing stomach pains. Set design; Did you see the show Rent? I thought that was the worst set design... until last night. American Idiot sucked, it had no coherent story line that I could make out. Near the end I did manage to figure some of it, but a lot of the story was puzzling to me. Maybe I'm just an old fart and just didn't get it. Anyway, if you are a Green Day fanatic and absolutely love every thing they do, go see it. Otherwise save your time and money.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gator Boys

I live one mile from the Atlantic Ocean. I haven't been to the beach in a dozen years nor even seen the ocean in nearly a year. I live thirty miles from one of the most diverse and unique wonders of the world, the Everglades. I haven't set foot out there (until yesterday) since before George W Bush was president. I live forty miles from one of the most interesting architectural areas in America, the Miami Beach Art Deco District. I haven't been down there in many, many years. I live two hundred miles from the biggest tourist area in the entire United States, Disney/Epcot/Universal/MGM/Orlando World. I haven't been up there in over ten years. I live three blocks from a street lined with gay bars. I get over there quite a bit.

            Yesterday my lovely niece, her mother, and her two young boys came to visit. The boys are like seven and five years old and they wanted to see the Gator Boys. It seems that they have introduced the reality show genre on the Animal Planet Channel to little boys in the form of two guys who capture alligators for a living. So off we went out to the Florida Everglades, to the place where the Gator Boys do their thing. For four hours yesterday we were herded around a parking lot like sheep while waiting for our turn on the airboat ride. Then when we were finally loaded onto the airboat, we shot through the everglades piloted by a seemingly bored captain who quickly got us stuck in some weeds while looking for invisible alligators. After the airboat ride we were treated to the official Gator Boys Alligator Show, which consisted of a young man holding an alligator's mouth shut, first with two hands, then one hand, and then with his chin. That was it. This was followed by a photo-op where kids could get their photo taken holding a baby alligator. Mind you, each and every one of these things cost bucks, big bucks, including five for the photo-op and big signs urging you to leave a tip at every turn. I like it when family and friends visit. They force me to take in the great offerings of Florida that I take for granted. It was great fun to see the kids enjoying the Everglades airboat ride and gator show. What seemed like a truly crappy experience to me probably impressed those two little guys. Now that being said, if anybody wants me to go with them to Disney/Epcot/Universal/MGM/Orlando World, forget it. I hate that place. The street with all the gay bars here in our town, no problem.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cabana Boy

I love when family visits us. Either Mark's family or my family, it's always good to see them. This past weekend it was some of Mark's family that came by. As usual I spent the week before their arrival cleaning and preparing the house, while Mark made plans for his usual extravagant meal for the visitors. Our first understanding was that his sister in-law would stay in our guest room (aka, my office), while the rest of the party would stay at a hotel. This we found, was not the plan. Instead Sister In-Law had made reservations for everybody at the only "hotel" here in our little town.
            "Yes Mark, don't worry about us. We'll be staying at the Cabanas Hotel." She informed us.
            "The Cabanas? The Cabanas on Twenty Sixth Street?"
            "Yes, that's the one. It's a nice place, isn't it?"
It is a nice enough place for what it is, but there is one problem with The Cabanas. The party that was going to check into that hotel was not only Mark's sister in-law, but her aunt and two nephews. One thirteen years old, the other seventeen. The Cabanas Hotel is a clothing optional hotel. A gay, clothing optional hotel. It took a while but they finally did find a nice hotel to stay in where everybody was clothed, which is a good thing because my guest room/office is also clothing optional.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Blue Balls

Mark thinks I should eat more fruit so he buys fruit when he's out shopping, lots of fruit. The problem is that I never get around to eating it. So much of that fruit sits and rots. The other day I was cleaning the house and I came to the big bowl we have in the dining room. There was an odor, so I started digging down through the bananas, apples, and oranges in that bowl. Sure enough, at the bottom was a fuzzy blue ball, a rotting orange. The smell immediately transported me back to my youth, back to Saint George grammar school. It was the aroma of my book bag. Often times my mom would think she was packing little Alan a healthy lunch. Besides the peanut butter and lettuce, or the brown sugar and margarine sandwiches, she would stick an orange in the brown bag that I schlepped to school. Knowing that the nuns frowned upon us kids throwing food away, I would take the unwanted orange out of the brown bag and drop it down into the bottom of my book bag. There it would lay and fester for weeks until the nun or my mom couldn't stand the stench anymore and investigated the source. Besides the rotting fruit at the bottom of my book bag, I'd also stuff unwanted fruit far back into my little wooden school desk. The swarms of fruit flies and other vermin eventually gave me away. When I left Saint George and started going to the public school I was able to purchase my lunch, so I had no need to squirrel away rotting produce anymore. That didn't mean the smelly haze of laziness didn't follow me. Public schools required us to take gym class, and in that gym class we all wore our little shorts, tee-shirt, gym socks, and of course our jock straps. I think the record for not taking my gym clothes home to wash was one entire school year. By January the gym locker room would gag most people, and when I opened my gym locker for the last time in June of that year, my socks stood up and walked out on their own. It was so bad that when we divided up the gym class into two teams, skins and shirts, I always volunteered to be on the skins team just so I wouldn't have to wear my tee-shirt. Not because it smelled so bad, but because it was so stiff from months of sweat that it chaffed. I can't even describe to you how bad the jock strap felt.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

In Honor of Fred Phelps

A special tribute to Fred Phelps, his church, and his family (One in the same I think) on the Christian sabbath, Sunday.
I love Philip Huang. Check out more of his insane videos here. Beware, not for the faint of heart.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fuzzy Math Test

1)  Two men need to go to the Home Depot. The first man drives a car there averaging 20 miles per hour, a total of 2.3 miles. The second man does not drive, and must wait for a ride. He also gets there averaging 20 miles per hour, a total of 2.3 miles. Which man arrives first?

2)  The same two men need the same product from Home Depot. The second man walks directly to the aisle containing the product he needs. The first man stops to look at the clearance table, then goes on to the aisle containing the product he needs but not before touching every shiny object he sees on the way. Which man gets to the checkout line first?

3)  Man number two is at the self-service checkout counter. He swipes his debit card, presses the buttons to get a fifty dollar cash advance from the machine, takes his receipt, and leaves the store. Man number one has let man number two pay for everything. Which man makes his way back out to the car first?
Answers Below


1) They both arrive at the same time because man number two has to depend upon man number one to drive him there. However, man number two is completely cranky and his nerves are shot by the time they get there because of man number one's horrific driving abilities.

2)  Obviously man number two gets to the checkout line first followed closely by man number one screaming at him for walking too fast.

3)  In this scenario man number one almost made it to the car before man number two, but man number two can move faster. However, man number two had to stop and return to the self-service checkout to retrieve the fifty dollars he left laying in the change bin.