Saturday, December 27, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
What did Adam say on the day before Christmas?
It's Christmas, Eve.
Why does Scrooge love all the reindeer?
Because every buck is dear to him.
What's red and white and gives presents to gazelles?
What's the first thing elves learn in school?
Where do snowmen go to dance?
Why are Christmas trees like bad knitters?
They both drop their needles.
What happens to you at Christmas?
Yule be happy.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Other faves: "Miracle on 34th Street"... Susan and her sceptical mother believe in Santa Claus. Best line in the movie is by the District Attorney: "The State of New York concedes that Santa Claus exists."
"A Christmas Carol" ... Patrick Stewart is my favorite Scrooge.
"A Christmas Story"...Ralphie obsesses over the Red Ryder BB Gun, but Mom warns, "It'll put your eye out."
"The Homecoming"...a Walton's Christmas; John Boy gets a stack of Big Chief tablets for Christmas. Write on, John Boy!
And of course Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without "Charlie Brown Christmas," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Frosty the Snowman."
Call me corny, but I'm a huge fan of the Christmas movies on the Lifetime and Hallmark channels: "The Christmas Shoes," "Noel," "Secret Santa," "The Timepiece," "Holiday Affair," "The Christmas Gift," etc.
Question of the day: Why can't real life be like the movies? Sigh.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
In honor of Christmas, I wrote a parody of Clement Clarke Moore's poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" and told Neff's story. I call it "Double Indemnity: Twas the Night Before Murder."
'Twas the night before murder; I entered the house.
Phyllis Dietrichson lived there; her spouse was a louse.
I noticed her anklet and started to drool,
I knew she was trouble, I wasn't a fool.
"You move pretty fast, Mr. Neff," she opined,
"How fast was I going?" I asked, then she chimed:
"Ninety miles an hour, you'd better slow down."
"Give me a ticket and I'll get out of town."
"Suppose I let you off with a warning," she joked.
"Suppose it doesn't take, baby, " I choked.
"Suppose I whack you over the knuckles," said she.
"Suppose I bust out crying." This game was quite creepy.
But we kept it going as long as we could.
She knew I was trapped, and that wasn't good.
"Oh, Walter," she said, as she poured the ice tea.
"Insurance I need, double indemnity."
To read the rest of the story go to www.nightsandweekends.com then click Dial M for Movies under Columns.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
You haven't blinked since the last lunar eclipse.
You're the Employee of the Month at the local coffee house and you don't even work there.
Cocaine is a downer.
You go to AA meetings just for the free coffee.
You walk 20 miles on your treadmill before you realize it's not plugged in.
Starbucks owns the mortgage on your house.
You want to be cremated just so you can spend the rest of eternity in a coffee can.
Friday, November 07, 2008
This is the first time in my voting life that I have voted for a Democrat. Whadda ya know! The first time I ever voted was in 1980. I registered as an Independent and voted for John Anderson. After that, it was pretty much Republican all the way. Until this year. Obama was right...it's all about change. I want change. I'm ready for a new America and a new start.
My prayers are with President (elect) Obama and his family.
Monday, November 03, 2008
McCain might have had a fighting chance if he had chosen a different running mate. His choice of Sarah Palin was his downfall. I lost all respect for his ability to make good decisions. And I think many Americans agree with me. Kathleen Parker was right...Sarah Palin should have stepped down. But even if she had, it would have been too late. The choice of Palin in the first place was McCain's biggest mistake in the election.
Personally, I was pro-Obama for several months. I was mesmerized by his speeches. He was, and is, inspiring and brings out the best in our natures. I admire his idealism and optimism for America.
After the primaries, when Obama defeated Hillary and the race was between McCain and Obama, I was undecided. I've been a fan of John McCain since 2000 when he ran against GW Bush in the primary. I admire McCain's courage and respect his military service to our country. I think he's better qualified in terms of foreign policy and the war in Iraq.
I respectfully admire both McCain and Obama. Either one would be a good president. Even now, hours before the election, I'm still "undecided" in many ways. I'm not happy with Obama's economic plan and his stance on Iraq. I'm also nervous about his inexperience in foreign policy. On the other hand, I'm very pleased with his choice for VP and Colin Powell's endorsement nudged me even closer to voting for Obama. I think Obama would be an excellent representative of America in the world and would gain the respect we seem to have lost in the last few years.
As for McCain, I am not happy with his VP choice. I do not want this woman one heart beat away from the presidency. This is the PRIMARY reason I hesitate to vote for McCain. In addition, I don't think he can move the country in a new direction. He's been a senator for decades and not much has changed. His age is also a drawback; he is from the Old School of politics, while Obama represents a younger, more vital world view.
Issues aside, I like the idea of a black president. I like the idea of a family with young children living in the White House. Michelle Obama is brilliant and beautiful.
The "Joe the Plumber" incident really opened my eyes in terms of Obama's economic plan...sharing the wealth, etc. I don't believe that is the way to go. I'm a staunch capitalist. I'm also concerned about Obama's notorious co-horts, Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers. Something else to think about.
So who will I vote for tomorrow? I'll let you know.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I will wear my conservative office witch costume: pumpkin-colored mock turtleneck, black pants, black cape and orange & black striped witch hat. In past Halloweens I've been Harpo Marx, a gypsy, a pirate...and a clown. I don't know about you, but clowns are really creepy. My vote for the scariest clown in the history of the world is Ronald McDonald. (Shiver!)
As for the home front, I give out candy to the kids. My preference is anything with chocolate. This year it's Kit Kats and Snickers. Today I went on a baking binge and made some chocolate cookies. Martha Stewart's recipe and very tasty. Tonight at our singing group, one of the ladies brought special treats: Halloween cupcakes with various "objects" stuck in the icing...eyeballs, spiders, bats, a green hand reaching out from the grave. I chose one of the eyeball cupcakes...it was chocolate. Enough said.
Monday, October 27, 2008
I admit that I'm a fan of superhero movies, but I'm selective. Superman, Batman and Spider-Man...YES! Hulk, Hellboy, Hancock...not too crazy about.
At her suggestion, I just finished watching "Iron Man." I didn't know anything about it; I've never read the Iron Man story so my imagination was wide open for whatever Hollywood could throw my way.
My first spine-tingling thrill was realizing that Robert Downey Jr. starred in the movie. I did a double take. WHAT!? I've been a fan of RDJ for years. Loved him best in "Only You" with Marissa Tomei (who wouldn't?) Now he's a SUPERHERO? You've got to be kidding.
His character, Tony Stark, is a wealthy ego-maniac who just happens to be a brilliant scientist. Yes, they're a dime dozen.
I was also pleased that Jeff Bridges was in the movie. Another fave of mine. Loved him best in "The Fabulous Baker Boys" and his hilarious supporting role in "The Muse" with Albert Brooks who just happens to be the funniest man on earth.
I was surprised that Jeff was the bad guy. I hate it when he's the bad guy. Sigh. And why on earth was he BALD?! The bald wig was a big mistake. Looks great on Mike Meyers, but Jeff looked like Daddy Warbucks with a goatee.
RDJ in the cave in Afghanistan creating the Iron Man prototype.
RDJ in his laboratory testing the new Iron Man prototype.
RDJ dancing with Gwenyth Paltrow.
GROSSEST SCENE: RDJ pulling that wire out of his nose. To tell the truth, I didn't even see it all the way through...had to close my eyes and peek through my fingers.
First Runner Up for GROSSEST SCENE: Gwenyth pulling the chest power plug out of RDJ's chest and replacing it with the new and improved one.
Most Satisfying Moment: RDJ is just about to die because Jeff stole his chest power plug. RDJ crawls to his lab to get the spare and can't reach it. He collapses and his robotic arm machine, sensing his need, gives it to him. The robot thingy should be nominated for best supporting actor.
Naturally, the theme song at the end was none other than Black Sabbath's "Iron Man."
In conclusion, I rank this one of the best superhero movies of all time.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
She refuses to let you milk her, saying "Not on the first date."
Your cow takes up painting and cuts off one of its ears.
Your cow gets a silicon implant for her udder.
Your cow appears on Oprah, claiming to be a horse trapped in a cow's body.
Your cow demands to be branded with the 'Golden Archs Logo'.
Your cow insists that all Hindus are sacred.
Your cow insists evaporated milk comes from thirsty cows.
Your cow quits the family dairy business and applies for a job at Burger King.
She starts giving you Milk of Amnesia.
Your cow joins the Hell's Angels because, hey, it already has a cool leather jacket.
Your cow starts smoking its grass rather than eating it.
Your cow spends half the day sitting in the Lotus Position chanting "MOO" backwards.
Your cow insists that it can give you chocolate milk if you started feeding it Hershey bars.
Your cow asks you to brand it again but only if you'll wear something sexy this time.
Your cow purposely blinds itself with a dart and yells "Bullseye"!
Your cow becomes a Muslim and asks to be called "LaCream Abdul Milkbar."
Your cow insists Milk Duds are the result of stupid cows.
Your cow starts laughing hysterically until milk spurts out its nose.
You find your cow hiding secret plans to burn down half of Chicago.
Your cow keeps wanting to chew other cows cuds.
Your cow believes it could really jump over the moon like in the nursery rhyme if it had a really good run at it.
Monday, October 06, 2008
The article riffed on the VP debate that was held last Thursday between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. Like me, Hecox is an undecided voter. The debate didn't sway his vote, nor mine. Although I'm leaning more toward Obama.
Anyway, back to the article. Here's an excerpt:
Literally, anything can happen with a McCain/Palin administration. For example, on January 20, Mr. McCain could become president. The next day, he would bomb Hanoi for obvious reasons and, hours later, he would likely be impeached--leaving Mrs. Palin as America's new president.
Here's a link to Hecox's website:
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Check out the link:
There's something about nanny's. They are very cool. I guess they have to be to deal with various and sundry situations involving bubblegum, poison oak and Flintstone band aids. (Am I talking about nannies or Erma Bombeck?)
In my experience as a middle-class Rocky Mountain denizen, the only official "nanny" I'd ever heard of was Mary Poppins. She had a lovely British accent, a clean, stalwart Nanny uniform, and an amazing soprano that could reach high "C."
As a teen, I didn't enjoy babysitting. Not. One. Bit. But that didn't stop my parents from setting me up to babysit their friends kids so they could all go out. I dug in my heels and refused. And it wasn't about the money. I just didn't like babysitting. Period.
I suppose I could have pretended I was a nanny, like Julie Andrews. Sing to the kids about raindrops and roses and whiskers on kittens. Give them spoonfuls of sugar and watch them bounce off the walls. Sew clothes for them out of draperies. No, I don't think so. The chaos would be my undoing. I'd be tempted to pop open my magic umbrella and escape into a Magritte painting.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
The story: Chicago, 1929. Joe (Curtis) and Jerry (Lemmon), two down-on-their luck musicians, witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and find themselves on the run. They elude Spats Colombo and his mob by skipping town disguised as women in an all-girl band. That’s right, folks. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in drag! ZOWIE!
So what kind of movie is “Some Like It Hot”? A comedy, of course. But more than a comedy. Much more.
It’s a Buddy Film: Joe (aka Josephine) and Jerry (aka Daphne) are best friends. They even share the same blood type (type “O”). But when the omelet hits the fan, they change from guys to gals faster than you can say “Pass the lipstick.”
It’s a Musical: Monroe as Sugar Kane “boop boopy doo’s” herself into Joe’s heart while Jerry and Osgood dance a sizzling tango with such elegance that they make Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers look like a couple of chimpanzees on roller skates.
It’s an Action Movie: Car chases, machine guns and a birthday cake. Danger lurks around every corner as men in skirts and high heels run for their lives on slick linoleum.
It’s a Romance: Flowers, diamond bracelets, booze. Love is in the air. Joe loves Sugar…Sugar loves Junior…Osgood loves Daphne…the bell boy loves Josephine…Spats loves buttermilk.
It’s an Art Film: Shot in black-and-white, it’s a hard-hitting social commentary about the politics of Prohibition, trans-gender issues and the universal truth that blondes really do have more fun.
It’s a Family Movie: Okay, maybe not.
It’s a Drama: Just try to hold back your tears when Sugar tells about her obsession with saxophone players and how she’s always getting the fuzzy end of the lollypop. Not to mention the squeezed-out tube of toothpaste.
It’s a Suspense: Does Jerry’s wig fall off while swimming with the girls? Will too much Sugar put Joe in a diabetic coma? And what’s the significance of the bicycle? Is it derivative of “Citizen Kane” and the mysterious “rosebud”?
Perhaps the genre that best describes “Some Like It Hot” is the Chick Flick. Sig at the talent agency summed it up nicely: “Ya gotta be under 25…ya gotta be blonde…and ya gotta be girls.” SNAP!
There’s Sweet Sue, the hard-nosed career woman who rules her all-girl band, the Society Syncopaters, with a rod of iron…Hillary Clinton of the Jazz Age. On the other side of the spectrum is Sugar, the voluptuous ukulele player who wants to marry a millionaire. Men go ga-ga over her despite the fact that she is so NOT a size four.
One of the fun things about chick flicks is watching the fashions. You won’t be disappointed. Joe’s adorable faux fur collar is to die for, and Jerry’s chic evening gown will make you downright jealous. And while it’s true that Joe has sexier legs, Jerry’s hair style is way cuter.
But it gets better. As women, Joe and Jerry have no trouble attracting the opposite sex (uh…meaning men, not women…I think). Joe is pursued by the bell boy, while Jerry catches the eye of Osgood, who even proposes marriage! If Joe and Jerry can snag a guy, there’s hope for single ladies…and gents…everywhere.
In this movie appearances can be deceiving. Women are men. Men are women. Seams are straight. But one thing is certain. Everybody likes it hot.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
LITTLE BOY: You said I could have whatever I wanted. I want Milk Duds.
MOM: They stick to your teeth. You can have Skittles.
LITTLE BOY: I hate Skittles.
MOM: Then how about Butterfinger?
LITTLE BOY: No.
MOM: Okay, forget it! You get nothing, do you hear me? NOTHING!
LITTLE BOY: You're mean!
MOM: We're going home!
LITTLE BOY: Okay, I'll take the Skittles.
MAN: This movie got great reviews. Two thumbs up.
WOMAN: That’s funny. I read that it was a real snooze fest.
TEEN GIRL ONE: Josh is going to meet us in the balcony.
TEEN GIRL TWO: Omigod! You’re mom is gonna kill you.
TEEN GIRL ONE: Not if she doesn’t find out.
MIDDLE AGED WOMAN ONE: I don’t care what they say. The Musical is not dead. Explain “Chicago,” “High School Musical,” “Hairspray.”
MIDDLE AGE WOMAN TWO: I can’t. But don’t tell me John Travolta in drag is a box office draw.
BOY ONE: I’ve seen this movie six times.
BOY TWO: Don’t tell me how it ends.
BOY ONE: The guy dies.
BOY TWO: Shut Up!
OLD MAN: Twenty dollars for popcorn and soda. What’s the world coming to?
OLD WOMAN: Nobody said you had to buy snacks.
OLD MAN: Are you crazy? You can’t go to the movies without popcorn. It’s sacrilegious.
OLD WOMAN: Well, at least we got the senior discount.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
His meeting with Vincenzo hadn’t gone well. Jerry had borrowed some money from Mr. “V” to pay off a gambling debt. Four thousand dollars to be exact. “Borrowed” wasn’t really the right word…it was more of a “loan.” A loan with strings attached.
Jerry figured he could pay it back after Saturday’s horse race. He had gotten a tip that Placebo’s Dream was a shoo-in to place in the third. Well, Placebo’s Dream became Jerry’s nightmare. The horse didn’t keep up his end of the bargain and now Jerry had to ask Vincenzo for more time.
Alone in the elevator, Jerry recalled what had transpired just moments before in Vincenzo’s suite on the 19th floor. As Jerry offered his explanation in a calm, albeit panic-stricken manner, Vincenzo sat quietly in an oversized plush chair, his fat round belly extended to his knees. A Buddha statue in an Armani suit. Cigar smoke swirled around his head and his beady snake-eyes never blinked.
Vincenzo’s silence made Jerry even more nervous and he just kept rambling. Finally, the fat man spoke. “Good day, Mr. Milligan. You may leave now.”Jerry started to speak again, but changed his mind as Vincenzo pointed toward the door with a stubby, ruby-ringed finger. He left the room in a hurry and figured he was getting off easy. If Vincenzo was going to kill him, he wouldn’t have let him go, right? He would have called in one of his goons to escort him into another room where they would “discuss” the situation. A friendly little meeting that might involve brass knuckles, a blowtorch, blenders, bullets, boards, bed knobs, broomsticks … or any number of torture devises that begin with the letter “B” and end with Jerry bleeding all over his Birkenstocks.
Jerry had vowed to quit gambling over and over again, but every attempt had failed. The longest he had gone without playing the horses was six weeks … the worst six weeks in his life. He couldn’t eat. He couldn’t sleep. He got headaches and night sweats. Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore and went to the track. Standing at the betting window and sliding his cash to the clerk, he salivated like a beagle in a meat market. That was when he realized the truth about himself … he was a compulsive gambler, and he always would be.
Consequently, his gaming lifestyle put him the company of some pretty shady characters. Guys like Vincenzo who hung around casinos and racetracks, using their “patsy” radar to zero in on poor suckers who lost all their dough and needed some quick cash for a sure thing. Jerry didn’t like dealing with those bums. But two weeks ago, he had run into some bad luck at the track and Vincenzo was more than happy to help out.
Jerry’s worrisome thoughts were interrupted as the elevator stopped and the doors slid open. A man walked in wearing a black suit, his long hair tied in a ponytail. He was well over six feet tall and looked like he could lift a Buick with one hand and not even break a sweat. Jerry caught a glimpse of a gold front tooth as the man glanced his way.
The man positioned himself in the middle of the elevator, arms folded, looking at the numbers above the door. Jerry retreated to the corner. The only sound was Jerry’s raspy breathing and the muffled swoosh as the elevator made its descent. The piercing sound of a cell phone shattered the silence. Mr. Ponytail flipped open the phone and spoke with a pronounced lisp: “Yeah...I’ll take care of it, bosth…don’t worry…I’m on my way.”
Jerry tried to keep from wetting his pants. This was Vincenzo’s goon sent to give him the “business.” But did he know that Jerry was in the elevator just an arm’s length away? Mr. Ponytail seemed oblivious. Of course, he could just be pretending, acting like everything was kosher. And then when they got outside…a shiny black sedan and a couple of gorillas ready to shove him into the backseat for a ride “downtown.”
But maybe the man didn’t know it was Jerry. Maybe Vincenzo gave orders to nab Jerry at his apartment. Yeah, that had to be it. Hope flinched in Jerry’s gut as he planned his escape. As soon as the doors opened, he’d make a run for it. He figured he could out-run the goon, if it came to that. But what if Mr. Ponytail pulled a gun and started shooting?
Jerry couldn’t think that far ahead. He had to get out of here! His eyes focused on the doors and sweat broke out on his forehead. His tongue swirled around his dry lips in anticipation. Suddenly, the elevator lurched to a complete stop, slamming Jerry and the man against the rear wall. The lights near the doors lit up like the control panel in a nuclear power plant at melt down. Jerry’s fingers shook as he randomly pushed the buttons, but nothing happened.
Jerry looked at the man and stammered, “I…I think the elevator is stuck!”
“Don’t worry, Misther Milligan,” the man replied. “You’ll be on your way down in no time.” He smiled at Jerry and his gold tooth glimmered in the fluorescent light.
Friday, June 20, 2008
5) Allow your dog the freedom to follow his natural instincts: barking, jumping, running, scratching, licking, crotch-sniffing. Don't worry about offending your coworkers. Many people who work in offices practice these behaviors as well. Photographs taken at the last office Christmas party attest to the fact.
6) Remember, just because your dog is at the workplace doesn't mean that there will be less productivity. To avoid encounters with your dog, your coworkers may choose to lock themselves in their offices, refusing to come out until quitting time. The result? Your boss will encourage more "Take Your Dog to Work" days.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Marvin Gardner was a 64-year-old banker, who always wore a gray felt fedora, even though they had been out of style for thirty years. In fact, his entire wardrobe was acquired from a second-hand store that sold “authentic” clothing from the 1950s.
As was his custom, he arrived at DaVinci’s Deli on 63rd Street in Chicago promptly at 1 p.m. He’d eaten lunch at DaVinci’s every day for the past 24 years and he always ordered the same thing: corned beef on pumpernickel and a cup of black coffee. He sat in his favorite spot at a table near the window where he liked to watch people pass by. Rich ladies in their mink coats. Winos begging for coins. Punks with purple hair and safety pins in their noses.
But that afternoon something unusual happened. Something totally unexpected. Something that parents would tell their children about for generations to come. Something unprecedented since the dawn of time.
On November 16, 1984, at 1:13 p.m at DaVinci’s Deli, while eating his corned beef on pumpernickel, Marvin Gardner transformed into an ape.
Thick, coarse hair started to grow on his hands and face. He began to slouch and his visage favored King Kong’s younger brother. His first clue that something was amiss was the looks on the faces of the other patrons in the deli. Looks of fear and confusion. Looks of surprise and dread. Marvin tapped the shoulder of a woman who was seated at the next table to inquire what was wrong. She looked at Marvin and ran shrieking from the deli.
At that signal, everyone screamed and dashed out the door as fast as they could, occasionally looking back at Marvin in utmost terror.
Marvin suspected that he was the cause of the chaos. As he reached up to adjust his glasses, he noticed his hairy hands. Panic-stricken, he charged into the men’s room to investigate. Staring wide-eyed into the mirror, he discovered to his horror that he, indeed, had become an ape.
He took off his clothes and examined his body. He was ape all over. It took a while for Marvin to recover from the shock. How did this happen? What could it mean? How would he function day to day? What would his friends and family think? Should he go to a hospital? What kind of warped disease was this? Was it even a disease? Who ever heard of a man turning into an ape? Would he gain celebrity status and become rich and famous? But what good is money and fame if you’re an ape? And what about his sex life?
Marvin was going through a terrible time thinking about his future as a primate. They could send him to a zoo. Perform experiments on him. Quarantine him for fear that he might contaminate others. They could even kill him.
These thoughts raced through Marvin’s mind, rendering him incapable of action. Every few minutes DaVinci, the deli owner, would peek into the men’s room to get a look at Marvin, and then quickly shut the door when Marvin made eye contact. Marvin grew more and more uneasy. He knew he couldn’t spend the rest of his life in the men’s room at DaVinci’s Deli. But he was afraid to leave. He feared the humiliation of exposing himself to the public. The leering glances. The questioning eyes.
When he finally summoned the courage to open the door and walk out, he saw that the deli was empty. But not for long. The cops stormed the deli and soon reporters arrived with their cameras and microphones. Outside, crowds of people pushed and shoved to get a better look at Marvin … a 224-pound gorilla in a sixty-dollar suit.
So it was that man became ape. The significance of this phenomenon was unsurpassed in human history. Marvin was soon caught up in a frenzied media blitz. His face was plastered on the cover of newspapers and magazines. He was featured on “Sixty Minutes,” and even made a guest appearance on “Cheers.” Writers bombarded him with offers to publish his story. He was probed and analyzed under the cynical eyes of doctors and scientists. There was no explanation. The greatest minds in the world could not comprehend how a man could metamorphose into an ape. Marvin was an enigma.
Immediately after the event, authorities closed down DaVinci’s Deli. It was thought that the food caused this freakish transformation and DaVinci was losing money. But savvy businessman that he was, he turned the deli into a tourist attraction and grew rich. Everyone wanted to see the place where Marvin Gardner went ape.
Marvin longed for the good old days when he could walk down the street unnoticed. How he wished he could sit at his favorite table at DaVinci’s and eat his corned beef on pumpernickel. But it was not to be. Marvin was an ape and there was nothing he could do about it.
Marvin’s metamorphosis caused a dramatic change in his way of life. He used to read the newspaper in the morning while sipping his coffee; now he just wanted to swing from the branches of the sycamore in the front yard. He used to listen to Bach and Mozart on his stereo; now he could amuse himself for hours playing with a jack-in-the-box.
Marvin’s future was uncertain. Scientists wanted to keep him in their laboratories for observation. Hollywood offered him a movie deal. Barnum & Bailey insisted he become their main attraction. None of these options appealed to Marvin. He needed solitude and a place where he could reflect on his predicament. When animal rights activists suggested that he be sent to a pristine rainforest where he could live out the rest of his years in his natural habitat, Marvin agreed wholeheartedly. He was on a plane to Brazil before he could say “monkey’s uncle.”
Months passed. Marvin enjoyed the jungle. Squawking parrots in their colorful plumage. Lazy anacondas basking in the sun. Stealthy jaguars prowling the forest. He liked sitting in a high branch of his favorite tree where he could watch the action while he ate a banana.
And to Marvin’s delight, his banana always tasted like corned beef on pumpernickel.
Friday, June 06, 2008
One of the most well-known aspects of bubblegum voodoo is astrology, inspiring the famous pick-up line "What's your sign?" I'm a Taurus, which, according to the charts, proclaims that I'm a stubborn, bull-headed rose-sniffer who overeats and listens to Mozart.
Despite my affinity for flowers and Wolfgang, I wasn't too happy with this analysis, so I found out what the Chinese have to say. According to the Chinese Zodiac, I was born in the Year of the Rooster, which means I like to primp in front of mirrors, go shopping and tell everyone else what to do with their lives. That's more like it.
I also get a kick out of those personality quizzes in magazines and online. There's something intriguing about answering a few multiple choice questions and discovering that because you prefer mashed potatoes over French fries, you're a fiery extrovert with anal tendencies who would do equally well as a blackjack dealer or a marine biologist.
A few years back, color analysis was the big thing. To succeed in life you needed to know which "season" you were: Spring, Summer, Autumn, or Winter. According to the experts, each person looked best in the colors that matched his or her skin tone and hair. As a "Winter," my colors were, among others, red, white and blue. I couldn't wear an orange pant suit, but drape me in an American flag and I was good to go.
And let's not forget numerology. This ancient art determines your Life Path by assigning you a number between one and nine. By calculating the numbers in my birthday, I learned that I am a nine. This means I'm generous, artistic, passionate and spiritual. Cool. But it also means that I have the managerial skills of a cockroach.
As a psych major, I studied handwriting analysis. Loopy letters meant the writer was friendly and creative. Angular letters depicted someone who was methodical and exacting. My handwriting varied between perfect penmanship and psychotic scribbling. To this day I'm still trying to figure out whether I'm more like Martha Stewart or Britney Spears.
"To sleep, perchance to dream." The first time I read a book on dream analysis I was hooked. The interpretations were so correct it was eerie. My dream of a polar bear storming through my kitchen looking for scrambled eggs obviously meant that my purchase of plaid Bermuda shorts was a huge mistake. You better believe I took them back the next day for a full refund!
And just when you thought a coffee table was just a coffee table, along comes Feng Shui. Who would have guessed that the arrangement of the furniture in your home effects your success and well-being? According to followers of Feng Shui, your front door is the portal of positive energy, also known as "chi." The chi must be allowed to flow around your home unhindered. Mirrors will deflect the chi. A heavy sofa will stop the chi. A chipped plate will anger the chi. Best advice: hang wind chimes to soothe the chi. Afterward, make the chi a cup of hot cocoa and tell it a bedtime story.
Don't worry, the chi is polite. It won't stick its bubblegum on the bedpost before it goes to sleep.
Friday, May 23, 2008
“That’s right, boy. We’re going sailing. Just you and me.”
“Wow, Gramps, this is really a…surprise.”
He took a swig of his Michelob, which dripped down the gray stubble of his chin onto the front of his stained Hawaiian shirt.
“You’re twenty-one years old and it’s time to party! And what better place to raise hell?”
When we got to Nassau, we didn’t stay in a hotel. Gramps had chartered a sailboat called the Sloop John B. I was surprised to see that the crew were not native islanders, but Americans. Weird hippie-types in their 60s, like Gramps. In fact, Gramps told me they were buddies of his from “back in the day.” These guys lived in the Bahamas and made their living taking tourists on sightseeing trips around the islands.
I have to admit, those dudes looked scary. They all wore stained Hawaiian shirts like Gramps and spent most of the day passed out on the deck or walking around in a drunken stupor. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear I was in a Dennis Hopper version of “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
The first night we made port on one of the islands and went to a local tavern. I had more than a few beers and started feeling loopy, but Gramps and the crew were drinking tequila. The next thing I knew, some humongous dude with a skull-and-crossbones tattoo started arguing with Cheech, the first mate. Soon everybody in the place was fighting, just like in the movies. I ducked as a bottle of beer barely missed my head. This was not my idea of a fun vacation.
The only guy I got along with was the cook. They called him the Egg Man. His specialty was corn and grits, which weren’t bad. But one day he sort of went crazy. I was eating breakfast and suddenly he grabbed my plate and dumped the grits into the garbage. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he ate all of my corn. I couldn’t believe it.
“Egg Man, what are you doing?”
He ignored me and stumbled over to the side of the boat where he barfed into the ocean. That’s it. I was ready to go home.
I found Gramps playing poker with some of the crew.
“Gramps, I’d really like to go home now.”
“Sure thing,” he slurred. “But we have a little problem. Sheriff John Stone took Cheech to the jailhouse.”
“He broke into the captain’s trunk and stole his tiki doll.”
Cheech was released the next day and we set sail back to Nassau. I was so glad when Gramps and I finally got on the plane for home. This was the worst trip I’d ever been on.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Monday, May 05, 2008
Did you ever notice that the first piece of luggage on the carousel never belongs to anyone?
Housework, if you do it right, will kill you.
I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.
Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Okay, let me start at the beginning. I was already late to the Philosophy Club meeting when I decided to stop off for a caramel macchiato. Heavy doses of sugar and caffeine were essential as I would be participating in lively discourse on Existentialism, Rationalism and “Which Came First – The Chicken Or The Egg?” It was going to be a long night.
Coffee and scone in hand, I jumped in the car and raced to the community center. I enjoy these weekly discussions with other armchair philosophers. We understand each other. No one even raised an eyebrow when I confessed that I own a full-color poster of Aristotle in a “beefcake” pose.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I'll provide you a chain, and I'll do what I can to get you a pair of horns.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
She says, "No."
He says, "Do you have a brother?"
He says, "If you had a brother, do you think he'd like philosophy?"
(from A Prairie Home Companion Pretty Good Joke Book)
Saturday, April 05, 2008
I’m a jogger. I don’t consider myself a “runner,” though technically jogging and running are the same, the only difference being that runners are faster than joggers. I don’t know at what point a jog turns into a run. Maybe it’s when you realize that you’re actually faster than that 85-year-old lady walking her Pekinese.
Being a runner might have something to do with the clothes, too. Fashion attire for the runner includes spandex leggings, a skin-tight tank top and designer socks. The jogger, on the other hand, prefers sweat pants, a baseball cap and the “I’m The Jogger Your Mama Warned You About ” t-shirt. And while runners carry MP3 players or ipods for their favorite tunes, joggers enjoy vintage Sony Walkman cassette players and can be found bobbing along to “Help Me Rhonda.”
But there’s one thing runners and joggers have in common: shoes. When I first started jogging in the early 1980s, it didn’t take long for me to realize that it was not a good idea to go on a three-mile run wearing my K-Mart “Dennis the Menace” canvas sneakers. Not only did they cause painful blisters, the soles were so thin that I could feel the cracks in the sidewalk. I still remember the shocked stares of passers-by as I found myself maneuvering down a gravel path, waving my arms and screaming in agony every step of the way. Children clung to their mothers in fear and loathing. Young lovers ran for their lives. Even stray dogs ran whimpering with their tails between their legs. Oh, the humanity!
Needless to say, I was forced to journey into a strange new world called “Shopping For Running Shoes.” I discovered that there are hundreds of brands, and each brand had hundreds of features. “Running Shoe” terminology was foreign to me: multi-piece heeling system, stability, pronation, lug patterns, gel pods, forward propulsion, shoestring theory. I needed a Ph.D. in physics to figure it out.
After finding the perfect shoe, I was ready to explore the training rituals of the die-hard runner. One of these is a delightful little secret called “carbo-loading.” This takes place the night before a marathon when a runner will feast on huge amounts of carbohydrates such as pasta, bread and potatoes to improve his performance. I won’t tell you what happened when I did this the night before my three-miler. Let’s just say between the stomach cramps and the feeling that I was wearing cement shoes, my typical 35-minute jog took four hours.
I’ve come to the realization that I will never be a “runner.” I have no interest in marathons, training journals and stopwatches. I’m happy to just jog down the road, smell the lilacs and try to outrun the lady with the Pekinese.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Giuliani built his campaign on Blue-Haired Floridians. He proclaimed that if every child in America doesn’t get an “A” in algebra, the terrorists win.
One day, Big Bad McCain knocked on Giuliani’s door and spoke in a high-pitched whine, “Open the door and let me in.”
Giuliani scurried under the bed and cried out, “9-11! 9-11!”
“Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your campaign in!”
So Big Bad McCain huffed and he puffed and he blew Giuliani’s campaign in, then gobbled him up in one bite.
Romney built his campaign on the Soft Housing Market. He vowed that Holy Underwear would have no place in his administration.
Big Bad McCain knocked on Romney’s door and whimpered, “Open the door and let me in.”
Romney hid in the closet and cried out, “Reagan Conservative! Reagan Conservative!”
“Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your campaign in!”
So Big Bad McCain huffed and he puffed and he blew Romney’s campaign in, then gobbled him up in one bite.
Huckabee built his campaign on God and Rock ‘n’ Roll. He promised to make Elvis’ birthday a National Holiday.
Big Bad McCain knocked on Huckabee’s door and meowed, “Open the door and let me in.”
Huckabee grabbed his guitar, cranked up the amplifier and began to sing, “One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready now go, McCain, go!”
“Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your campaign in!”
So he huffed and he puffed and he puffed and he huffed, but Huckabee’s campaign wouldn’t budge. The sound of Rock ‘n’ Roll blared through the walls.
Big Bad McCain called for reinforcements, and with the help of two Dwarfs named Limbaugh and O’Reilly, managed to bust out a few windows and jimmy open the back door. McCain gobbled up Huckabee in one bite.
But Huckabee still had a death-grip on his guitar, which was plugged into the amplifier, which was plugged into the wall. Zapped with a lightning bolt from God, Big Bad McCain fell to the floor unconscious.
Suddenly, the whole campaign shook on its foundation. Obama the Giant approached with a deep, rumbling bellow, “Fee Fie Fo Fum, I smell the blood of a Republican!” Limbaugh and O’Reilly ran for their lives.
Obama the Giant gobbled up McCain in one bite. He began a rampage through the Land of the Free, destroying everything in his path, including Billary, the two-headed Cyclops. He didn’t stop until he reached the White House.
As President, Obama the Giant ended Poverty, established World Peace and gave every citizen a Cadillac.
And they all lived happily ever after.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Actually, we do the "dinner and a movie" on a fairly regular basis. It's our big "date" night and we have a blast. He suggested a romantic comedy for the occasion. I, on the other hand, wanted to see "There Will Be Blood."
HUBBY: "There Will Be Blood"? Are you crazy? That's not very romantic.
ME: I know, but the previews were amazing! And it's nominated for an Academy Award. I want to see what the fuss is about.
HUBBY: Wouldn't you rather see "Fool's Gold"?
ME: I want to see "There Will Be Blood." Please, honey?
Despite Hubby's adamant statement that he would hate the movie, he agreed. I was so glad when Daniel Day-Lewis proved him wrong.
At the theatre, the opening sequence took us by surprise. There was no music and no opening credits. In fact, there was no dialog for several minutes. Just a man (Day-Lewis) mining for silver. An infant appeared on the scene. A train ride to the future as the infant became a boy. Then all hell broke loose as we saw Day-Lewis take the movie by the horns and wrest it to his will. I've never seen a character portrayed so well. We were mesmerized.
Don't even get me started on themes and motifs: God, Satan, Lies, Greed, Despair and Loneliness, as well as Life, Love and Hope.
The cinematography was superb. Every frame a work of art...light, color, contrast, shape, form. It was like I was at an art museum and every time I turned a corner, the beauty of the next scene took my breath away.
The music in the film was a character as well. For example, the boy becomes deaf due to an oil well explosion. When we are viewing the world from the boy's perspective --- music (cello, violin, viola) reveals the lonely, silent world of the deaf child. A stark contrast to the death and destruction that takes place throughout the story.
The powerful final scene resolves the conflict between Day-Lewis' character and his nemesis: Eli Sunday, the false prophet. Day-Lewis is not a hero in this film. He is evil. He is alone. He hates Man and he hates God. It is not a Hollywood ending where the protagonist changes his stripes and realizes the true meaning of life. He ends the way he began.
After the film, Hubby admitted that he enjoyed the movie, saying it wasn't at all what he expected. It wasn't what I had expected, either. But as far as I was concerned, this film would go down in history as one of the greatest of all time.
Later, at our favorite Mexican restaurant over margaritas, we raised our glasses, looked in each others' eyes and made a Valentine's Day toast: "There Will Be Blood."
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
This year it's different. I have become an Obamaniac! Listening to his speeches and reading his books, I've come to the conclusion that Obama should be our next president. I have never in my entire life been as inspired by a political candidate. He has a certain quality that draws you in and makes you think that anything is possible.
For the record, I also admire John McCain. I like the fact the conservative base despises him. It shows that he doesn't tow the party line but has the courage to stand up for what he believes in, repercussions be damned.
If Obama and McCain are the nominees for their respective parties, I will be in the delightful position of having to choose between two candidates I would like to see in office. This has never happened before. In the past, I've been forced to choose the lesser of two evils.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
The words of a jealous husband, Leontes, King of Sicilia, spoken of his innocent wife Hermione and Polixenes, King of Bohemia:
ACT I, scene ii:
LEONTES: (to Camillo, a lord of Sicilia) Is whispering nothing? Is leaning cheek to cheek? Is meeting noses? Kissing with inside lip? Stopping the career of laughter with a sigh -- a note infallible of breaking honesty? -- Horsing foot on foot? Skulking in corners? Wishing clocks more swift? Hours, minutes? Noon, midnight? And all eyes blind with the pin and web but theirs? theirs only, that would unseen be wicked? Is this nothing? Why, then the world and all that's in't is nothing, the covering sky is nothing, Bohemia nothing, my wife nothing, nor nothing have these nothings if this be nothing.