Tuesday, December 30, 2008

one way to crazyness

i've just had a little too much of the family lately.

there were the christmas family gatherings, and with all of them so close after thanksgiving. on those two holidays, you're practically obligated to be with family -- some of them you probably don't like.

if you feel the same way that i do, here's a reason it might be that way.

as for new year's eve, you're usually with people who want to be with you and you want to be with them. so you are often a lot happier and up for a celebration. you often get drunk or plowed or blasted or whatever you want to call it out of a sense of happiness -- not from a sense of resentment, despair and hate.

tomorrow night i'm staying home alone. i usually don't go out to celebrate because i don't want to do it among strangers and i don't want to travel at night because of possible drunken drivers.

if i get some inexpensive bubbly, i might drink some of it. if i don't, then i'll drink a few good beers. by midnight, i bet i'll be in bed -- asleep.

new year's day plans include doing my laundry and some chores around the home. and watching whatever college football bowls games are on television. i might even post that day. i'm working on some things and they might be ready by then.

if not -- have a happy new year.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

today's slice of cheesecake

since it's still the holiday season -- at least for me until january 6 -- here's a slice of cheesecake that you can enjoy before you start your new year's resolutions.

it's a picture of elizabeth taylor. the sign in the lower left says it's a wardrobe still. i think it's for the movie version of tennessee williams' cat on a hot tin roof. paul newman and burl ives also acted in it.

i found this picture today on the net. when i saw it, my first thought was:


sexy sexy -- even in black and white.

please enjoy. i know i sure do.

the mind is a terrible thing to use

the powers of the human mind are strange and wonderful. here's an example of what i mean.

i don't know when, but this insight came to me: people will tell you and others -- and especially themselves -- the most idealistic reasons to justify things like assault, murder, and other lesser though still immoral acts.

they also will tell you and others -- and especially themselves -- the most idealistc reasons to justify less harmful acts. for example,

take vegitarianism.

earlier this month, as i went through some old clips, i found a review in the january 22, 2007 issue of the new yorker on a book about the history of vegitarianism. the book said benjamin franklin, as a young man, became a vegetarian because of its healthful benefits and sensitivity to the suffering of animals. but he changed his mind after eating some cod when he was hungry during a sea voyage.

the review quoted franklin as saying:

so convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.

see what i mean?

odds and ends about today

the temperature, as i write this, is in the middle 60s. that's way above the average high for this time of year. temperatures are forecast to be in the middle 40s to the high teens for the next few days.

but the winds are heavy. i was out doing some errands this morning and it took some effort to keep my car from drifting, ever so slightly, when i was driving in the country.

however, it's overcast, as it has been for at least the last two weeks. the sun came out a few times this morning, but they were short.

on christmas day, however, the sunlight shone bright and pure. only a few clouds were in the sky.

we had no snow on the ground in central indiana, so even if we didn't have a white christmas, at least it wasn't a gray one. and no snow is forecast to fall until the new year.

early in november, i had posted about gasoline prices. if you want to read what i wrote, click here.

while i was out this morning, i saw that gas was $1.539 per gallon at a station about five miles from where i live.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

something to ponder

something to think about for more than a minute.

posting will be light from now until the end of the year. with that in mind--i hope your holidays are happy.

(picture from shoeboxblog.com)

Friday, December 19, 2008

a change in attitude

the older i get, the less anger i feel about things and the more sorrow i feel about them.

or as virgil wrote -- lacramae rerum.

the term comes from the aeneid. aeneas, the hero of the epic poem, looks at a mural in a temple in carthage. it depicts battles of the trojan war and deaths of his friends and countrymen.

as he looks at the mural, he cries because he is overcome by the futility of warfare and waste of human life. then he says: sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt. translated from latin, it says: these are tears for events and mortal things touch the soul.

as i think about it, i don't know if my feelings come from:
  • a mix of age and experience.
  • a mix of knowledge and wisdom.
  • a drop in testosterone.
  • thoughts that usually come at this time, during the end of the year, when daytime is short and nighttime is long.
right now, i'll say a little bit of everything listed above add to it. but i'll have to think about it.

this applies to the serious things in life. as for the less serious things, the smaller things, the more trivial things and the futility within them ... well, check my posts labeled humor; it's no coincidence that it has the most references in my blog.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

full of dread

full of dread
of goddamn fred
brain of zilch
and neck of red
you know what they say about new york. at 4 in the morning, you can get a steak and an eightball ... not necessary in that order.
joanne decided that dave would be the first person she would sex. so she didn't truly lose her virginity; it was more like she left it behind.
a repository of grotesqueries.
clowns without greasepaint ...
your grandma and her bridge club
your aunt
the sisters at the nunnery
nobody truly expects the circus to stay forever.
there was a superhero named nitelite. his super power: glowing in the dark.
no matter whatever i do, i can't unsee that trainwreck.

and no matter whatever i do, i also can't unsleep with that skank.
"electricity is the divine fire," the mad professor said. "do NOT squander it."
a manifesto for a way out of this mess -- and into another mess?
everywhere and nowhere in particular -- the center of an infinite sphere.
a prosti-wife -- a woman who marries and trades sex for security -- and in the long run, money.
a two-hole -- much lower than an a-hole -- that's just one of them.
jack didn't give the a-hole a look that would've killed, but a look that would've wounded him critically.
silence is golden.
duct tape is silvery.
no one to
park the car, no one to
care about the situation
that is your life
just do it, pruitt!
pardonnez vous mon francais -- but FUCK THAT SHIT!
he thought sluts wore those big hoop or big loop earrings. and the bigger the earring, the more guys they had fucked.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

bookstore days

in the middle 1980s, i worked parttime holiday sales at a bookstore in an indianpolis mall. i won't say which mall it was or which company it was, but it was neither borders nor barnes and noble, which had not reached central indiana by then.

i wrote some notes about that time and that job. after i reviewed them, here are the best vignettes i could've written from my notes.

the agitated crank
i was behind the register when an older man, who i often had seen come into the store before, walked in. a few minutes later, he came to the register with two biographies.

"i only buy true stuff," he said.

i asked him if he had read citizen hughes, which was a recently published biography about howard hughes.

i had not expected the explosion that followed.

"did you know that son of a bitch, for 17 years, never paid any income taxes?" the man said of hughes. he then went on about hughes' fear of germs, his attempts to buy politicians, and his attraction to teenaged girls, among other scandalous actions.

"he should've been shot -- him and the budweiser folks," he said.

the man then told me that he was a pharmacists and that hughes took 30 micrograms of valium a day. "that's a dosage large enough to kill 15 people," he said.

as he was going on about hughes, another customer came to the register. the guy then left.

a beard for a name
i was working the cash register in january, after the christmas rush, when a man used a check to pay for his purchase.

his name was charles a. beard.

now, beard is a hoosier native of which little is said. he was born in knightstown, a small city about 40 miles east of indianapolis. i knew his history. if you want to read more about him, please click here.

(by the way, in my notes, i went into great details about beard. but with the internet and hyperlinks, i can put this background information in the back room, so to speak.)

i talked with mr. beard because business was slow. i asked him if he was from knightstown. sure enough, he was. he said he grew up there and graduated from high school there in 1935.

a woman behind him then spoke up. she said she had lived in knighstown until she was 10 years old, then moved to new castle -- a city near knightstown.

interesting purchases
an older gentleman -- with white hair and heavy jowls and a solid bulk -- dressed in a business suit -- came up to me when i was working the register with four books.

two of them were crime and punishment and the brothers karamazov, both by dostoyevsky. one of them was surburban souls, an erotic novel written in the victorian area. the fourth one, i can't remember.

at first, i was surprised with his purchases. he didn't look like the type of man who would buy dostoyevsky. if he did buy novels, they probably would be by jack london, robert louis stevenson, or possibly joseph conrad. he also didn't look like the type of man who would've dared to buy an erotic novel in public.

but later i thought: why should you be surprised at this guy's purchases. there are people like him around indianapolis, even though they aren't that plentiful. and the way this guy dresses -- he's moving around without sticking out and being noticed.

it the poem it

(note: this poem is at its best when it's recitied at midnight after several hours of song, chants, dance, and ingestion of intoxicants.)

the situ-
ation that
the cat
as it slept
on the mat
no wait
not that
fat cat
too fat
to do
or it
the situ-
ation that
the BAT
yeah the bat
as it flew
'cross the plains
without trees
without drains
'cross the fields
of very high
soybean yields
it flew without worry
and without fear
tho' it can't see
itself within
the mirr'
'cause bats
have bad eyes
can't see well
and can't eat pies
as it flies
through the skies
finger wings
can't hold things
very well
can't even ring
a dinner bell

so what's the point
of this damn thing
no point to make
no pie to bake
no joint to take
back to your room
so smoke will loom
when you light up
you stoner pup
anyway this thing
doesn't mean
it just is
it just be
just a making
from little old me
dancing 'round
like a flea
on a scruffy
old cat
as it sleeps
and grows fat
on a soft
orange mat
no not the cat
go back
go back
it's the BAT
that did the thing
while on the wing
plopping droppings
without stopping
it's called guano
helps plants grow
when the snow's
not aground
when it's spring
and the bird
is on the wing
and the bat
no not on the mat
but on the wing
blind harry thing
and that damn cat
lies on the mat
gets more fat
and more fat
acts like a spoiled
rotten brat
thrown off a roof
it won't go SPLAT!
lands on its feet
and walks away
not very sweet
for you cat hater
so eat your tasty
baked poe-tater
and don't be
such a

your mother
why don't you
thank her
for bearing you
and raising you
for making sure
you tied your shoes
or even owned
a pair to tie
she could've let you
roll up and die
no lie
no lie
back to the bat
it's the hero
of this thing
though others
hate it for
no good ring
hairy scary
freaks out mary
and sometimes larry
often jerry
sometimes harry
and always barry

a meeting of beauty and brains

there once was a story that marilyn monroe, who always was trying to improve herself, once sought out albert einstein.

the two of them met one fall evening in the 1950s. as einstein was walking to his home in princeton, new jersey, after he had played violin with some of his colleagues at the institute of advance study, he passed by a park. there, sitting on a bench, was monroe.

"oh, professor einstein, it's a pleasure to meet you!" she said.

"likeways mutually, fraulein monroe," einstein said.

"oh, professor einstein, please call me marilyn."

"hokey dokey, marra-leen. und you may call me albert."

"albert, i have a request."

"vott iss itt, mein schoen?"

"we should get together and make a baby!"

einstein is struck mute with this request. what redblooded heterosexual male wouldn't mind making love with the famed sex symbol? but he gathered his wits and said:

"bott vhy, marra-leen?"

"if we did, the baby could have my beauty and your brains!"

einstein sighed deeply and told her, "ah, marra-leen, mein schoen kinder, it's best vee do not do so. becauss if vee vurr to do so, the beh-bee could haff my beauty und your brains!"
that's my version of an old story, told decades ago about george bernard shaw and isadora duncan.

the picture is by quint buchholz. i found it on the net.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

bad news in the workplace

this might be callous because of the bad news -- according to reports, about 533,ooo jobs were lost in november and the unemployment rate that month was 6.7 percent, the highest it's been since 1974.

but i found it funny in a grim way, so i pass it along to you.


thanks for coming in to see me, rich. please, have a seat.

it's nice to stand for a change.

look, i know what they say about me. please don't buy all the hype. contrary to the rumors, i don't just sit here and fire poepole all day long.

that's a relief, dan.

with that said, i called you in because i have some good news and some bad news. which do you want first?

uh -- the good news -- i guess.

the bad news is this. in a few minutes, i'm going to reach into my file cabinet. in there, i have two assault rifles, two sawedoff shotguns and a homemade flame thrower.

first, i'm going to use the rifles to shoot everybody in marketing.

then i'm going to research, where i'm going to use the flame thrower. they'll all burn in agony, and i'm looking forward to that.

and i'll be sure to save some fuel for the ladies in the cafeteria.

finally, i'm going to the executive floor. there, all the directors will get a face full of buckshot -- point blank.

in short, no one in this organization will be spared from my rage.


i'm going to spare you because i like you and i'm going to give you a head start of here. so -- you're fired. pack up your stuff and get the hell out of here.

the genius of 30 rock

i was watching the nbc comedy 30 rock thursday, and two lines especially caught my attention for their wit.

30 rock, was created by tina fay, an alumna of saturday night live and famed impersonator this fall of sarah palin. it's about the trials and tribulations of a writer for a comedy/variety television show.

the first time was when fay's character, liz lemon, bought a lot of christmas gifts for some children in a toys-for-tots program. the kids lived at 245th street and lawrence taylor boulevard.when i heard that address, i thought: way uptown in manhattan -- up in the 'hood, yo. and the genius was naming a street after taylor.

the second time was lemon's boss, jack donaghy, played by alec baldwin, told her about his plans for his harridan of a mother, who came to stay with him for christmas for recuperation after an operation. he told lemon that after the holidays, he planned to send her to a nursing home on an island off the coast of maine, run by the same group that oversaw napoleon's exile.

two throwaway lines -- and i had a nice, long chuckle because of them.

30 rock doesn't have either a laugh track or a live audience laughing -- a sign of maturity by the show's producers and trust that the audience would get the jokes.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

different confessions

the catholic church ought to have separate lines for confession booths, like grocery stores have different checkout lines. one line would be for folks with, say 15 venial sins or less; the other would be for more and greater sins, like the mortal ones.

i can see it in action.

a teenaged girl goes into the shortline confession and says, "forgive me father, for i have sinned. it's been four hours since my last confession. since then i called my little brother a doodyhead and had impure thoughts about justin timberlake's private parts."

these are small potatos, the priest thinks. "my child, say one hail mary, give five dollars to the church's building fund, and go and sin no more," he tells the girl.

in the line for more and bigger sins is a man who -- well, he's done some very sinful and immoral and illegal things -- hell, he's a mobster. he just found out that he has terminal cancer, so he wants to get right with god.

he goes into the confessional booth and says, "forgive me, father, for i have sinned. it's been -- uh -- about 35 years -- maybe 40, i don't know -- since my last confession ..."

then he tells the priest about all the things he's done: the burglaries, the robberies, the extortions and violence that often came with them, the arsons, the adulteries, the illegal drugs, the murders ... and so on ... and so forth.

while he is confessing all this, the priest is thinking: lord, i wish the pope would let us take notes in here. i could use all this stuff to write a heck of a book about organized crime.

after the mobster is finished with his confession, the priest says, "my son, that's quite a list of sins. why did you go so long between confessions?"

the mobster says, "uh, couldn't you tell, father? i've been busy."

i'm going to write pope benedict xvi and the powers that be at the vatican to see if they'll consider my suggestion. it'll be an ecumental suggestion, because i'm a methodist.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

medical opinion of the bailout package

i have a relative who often sends me jokes that others have sent him through the internet.

many of them don't strike my sense of humor, so i delete them. but some i keep.

this one i'm going to keep. i just find it funnier and wittier than average. because of that, i pass it along to you.



the allergists voted to scratch it.

the dermatologists advised people not to make any rash moves.

the gastroenterologists had a gut feeling about it.

the neurologists thought the administration had a not of nerve.

the obstetricians thought everyone was laboring under a misconception.

the opthamologists thought the idea was shortsighted.

the pathologists yelled, "over my dead body!"

the pediatricians said, "oh, grow up!"

the psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness.

the radiologists could see right through it.

the surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing.

the internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow.

the plastic surgeons said, "this puts a whole new face on the matter."

the podiatrists thought it was a step forward.

the urologists, though, said the scheme wouldn't hold water.

the anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas.

the cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no to it.

but in the end, the proctologists left the decision up to some assholes in washington.

at the edge of the egg

have you ever been to the edge of an egg -- and a fried one, at that?

i have -- at least in one of my dreams.

i was out walking and came upon it, looming over me. i gave it a quick measurement by eyesight and determined it was as tall as a threestory building.

when i got to the edge, i poked the eggwhite with a stick. it looked rubbery and was a little burned at the edges.

i tore off a handful and put it in my mouth. it tasted just like the white of a fried egg would taste. and it was still warm.

i wished i had some salt and pepper to season it.

i saw the yoke of the egg before me like a big yellow pile. i walked away from it because i was afraid the yoke would break and drown me.

the most interesting thing about the dream is that i don't like fried eggs. now scrambled eggs and hardboiled eggs -- yes, definitely. but not fried eggs.

the smartest talking dog in the world

most of my life, i've enjoyed a good shaggy dog story. wikipedia has a great explanation of what one is. to read it, click here.

this is my most favorite shaggy dog tale. in the future, i'll post others.


a man and a dog walk into a tavern and sit at the bar.

the man says, "bartender, please bring me a beer and a cheeseburger. and as for my dog here, please bring him a halfpound of raw ground beef and a bowl of water."

the bartender says, "look, fella, we don't allow animals in here. the board of health was in here last week and we got written up for health violations. we don't need any more grief."

the man says, "oh, but sir, this not just any old dog. this is a talking dog. and he's as smart and as civilized as any human being. if i prove this to you, will you let him stay?"

the bartender says, "ok. show me. and if it's true, your eats and drinks are on the house."

the man turns to the dog and says, "rover, what is the texture of the bark on a tree?"

the dog says, "rough."

the man says, "rover, what is the name of the thing that is at the top of a building?"

the dog says, "roof."

the man says, "rover, who was the greatest player to wear the pinstripes of the new york yankees?"

the dog says, "ruth."

the bartender is NOT impressed. he grabs the man and the dog by their respective collars and throw them out of the tavern.

the man stands up and brushes the dust off his clothes. the dog shakes himself to get ride of the dust in his coat of hair.

the dog then turns to the man and says, "do you think i should've said dimaggio?"

the man says, "or mantle ... or gehrig ... or jeter ..."

grannie panties

i want to post about a subject that concerns many of you ladies at christmastime:

grannie panties.

they're the ones that go up to your navel and give you lots of coverage in the back and front and along the sides.

they're the ones made of nylon and come in wonderful pastel colors, like those pictured above. other colors include peach, light green, and cocoa.

they're the ones some of your relatives give you at christmas because they don't know what you truly want.

you open a package and see them. you say, "thanks, grandma" or "thanks, aunt mary." all the time, a sarcastic voice in your mind is telling you how clueless your relatives are.

ladies, i say cut your relatives some slack! getting grannie panties from them at christmas means that your relatives love you. or at the least, they care for you.

because if you get thong underwear from them, that more or less says, "honey, we decided you just don't slutty enough. so merry christmas, you tramp!"

crystal meth -- a winner?

while i was surfing the net last night, i found this story at gawker.com. it lists what it calls the winners and losers in this economic setback, or recession. or whatever you want to call it. if you want to read the whole story, click here.

i haven't posted about the recession because i can't get a handle on writing about it, and no one will get a handle on the situation until barack obama becomes president next month, since the cheney-bush administration has been awol on it.

however, it had an interesting quote about crystal meth dealers. supposedly, they'll be one of the winners in the recession, because crystal meth is, as gawker said:

a perfect drug for this new american era: cheap, powerful, and terrifying.

that phrase caught my attention, because a big part of the american mentality -- or soul, if you will -- is cheap, powerful, and terrifying. i'll try to figure what exactly that is, and will post about it later.

addenum, december 11: crystal meth has the nickname of tina. at first i thought it came from a transformation of words -- from crystal to cristina to tina. but tina is short for one-sixteenth of an ounce.

i found this out at rotten. com, a website that i knew better as a place for eccentric items often in very bad taste, like autopsy pictures of tupac shakur. for those of you who are curious, it has more details about crystal meth here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

holiday talk

ace: 'twas the night before christmas,
and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse ...
because a psychopathic killer broke in
and slaughtered every living creature as they slept.

deuce: nice one, you crazy bastard.

ace: well, too many goddamn people are full of too much goddamn holiday cheer. i thought i would bring them back down to earth.

deuce: and not get their hopes up? or knock them down if they are up? do you do that because your hopes have been shattered too many times into too many pieces too numerous to count? just because you're bitter and broken, don't bring down other people during a time when a lot of people are nicer than usual. and that includes us.

ace: yeah. maybe. ok. but i will say this: during christmas time, retailers see you as a wallet with legs.

deuce: yeah, that's true. but i won't let that get me down. that is their attitude. i have a different one. i'm trying not to let the outside attitudes overly influence me.

ace: there's one thing i like about christmas. it's a time when people don't care if you eat, drink and be merry; especially if they're cross dresser.

deuce: good one.

ace: yeah. i see that you've indulged a bit.

deuce: i'll admit i have a gut. it's not a six pack -- it's more like a pony keg. but at least it's not a 55 gallon drum.

ace: they say the lord helps those who help themselves. and lord knows you're going to take second and third helpings of those holiday goodies -- like gingerbreak cookies, rum cakes, candy canes, and whatever else out there that is sweet and fattening.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

a couple of figs for you

and here they are:

you're the one

pretty young women, dressed real nicely -- formal dresses, white gloves and all -- walk shadow street at night and give out diamonds.

they say to those who received them:

"you're the one."

when that happens, just say thanks. then take the diamonds and bury them in your back yard.

they're good investments -- nice things to own for bad times coming.

one night last week, i went to shadow street to get some diamonds.

i saw the women, dressed real nicely -- formal dresses, white gloves and all -- but none of them came up to give me diamonds.

even though they looked right at me, i know now it was more like that they looked right through me.

guess i'm not the one.

Friday, December 5, 2008

special today -- TWO pieces of cheesecake

hey, it's the weekend. so for you, i serve this piece of cheesecake:

i might've faked out some of you with this picture of a fine piece of dessert. i found it on flickr.

this is more like it:

it took me a while to find a picture of a pretty lady posting as one of santa's helper elves -- at least one who wasn't topless.

so here are two pieces of cheesecake for you. go ahead and take them both. indulge yourself for once.

if they make you fatter -- well, you can always start losing weight as part of your new year's resolutions.

in the meantime, i'll be working on some things off the net. i plan to post them here later this month

(by the way, i found the picture of santa's helper at lollipoplingerie.com.)

simpson sentenced

earlier, i had posted about the verdict in o.j. simpson's trial for robbery in las vegas. if you want to read about it, click here.

he was sentenced today. the details are here.

simpson is 61 years old. if he gets out at the earliest time possible, he would be 70 years old. and if he serves the full term, which is 33 years, well ... it's a life sentence.

it's good to see justice served.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

crazy christmas clothes guy

christmas is atime for peace on earth and good will toward men -- and i wish you would especially give some good will to one man:

the guy at work who wears those crazy christmas clothes to the office during the holidays.

yeah -- THAT GUY.

sometimes, he'll wear a tie with either santa claus, a reindeer, or a snowman on it.

also, he'll often wear a vest -- one side green, the other side red -- with either santa claus, a reindeer, or a snowman on it. and sometimes, his vest will have all three of them on it; that's the hat trick of crazy christmas clothes.

and if he's really styling, he'll wear one red sock and one green sock.

(admit it -- you and your office buddies would bet on what days he would wear what combination of clothes.)

you know his wife made those clothes for him; you can't buy them at any store. that means she's a very devoted and loving wife -- and just as crazy as he is.

granted, the crazy christmas clothes guy is annoying -- but he's harmless. he's been working there for 40 years and is nearing retirement.

but let his actions be a warning to you. they show that if you work there as long as he did, you'll go crazy, too.

so right after the new year, i'd recommend that you start looking for a new job -- if you haven't been laid off.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

accessorizing nativity scenes

unlike a lot of people, i don't get up in arms about nativity scenes on public or government property. i doubt they truly get a person to convert to christianity.

but whenver i see one on public or government property, i have the desire to add a little extra to it:

  • a bottle of schnappes for the shepherds and wise men, because it gets cold at nights.
  • cigars for joseph, so he can hand them out as the proud papa.
  • diapers for mary, because she's going to need them.
  • and one of those rental signs with a picture of a stork on it and a caption that says: IT'S A BOY.

seven deadly social sins

here, according to mohandes gandhi, are the seven deadly social sins:

  • politics without principle;
  • wealth without work;
  • commerce without morality;
  • pleasure without conscience;
  • education without character;
  • science without humanity;
  • worship without sacrifice.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

recommended holiday gifts

it's hard to comprehend that the holiday season is here.

it's harder to comprehend that christmas will be only three weeks and five weeks from today.

i plan to post some things about the holidays as the season progresses. this is the first one; it's about a few recommended holidays gifts.

i strongly believe every household should that these two things.

the first is a good dictionary, preferably clothbound (or hardback, if you prefer). i use merriam-webster's collegiate dictionary, 11th edition, and personally recommend it because i've used it and appreciated it since i was in college.

the second is an almanac. i recommend the world almanac to be used as a smaller and alternate encyclopedia and history book. i used to buy a new one every year, but this year i'll keep the 2008 edition that i have now.

the third is optional. it's the book junk english by ken smith. read it and use it to clean and clear your writing. i bought my copy in 2002 or 2003. i don't know if it's still in print; if it isn't, you can probably buy it through a bookselling service on the internet. if it is, then i bet you can get it at a nearby barnes and noble or borders.

a scene in southern california

a highway patrolman pulled over a car.

"is there a problem, officer?" the driver said.

"no, there isn't," the patrolman said. "but -- congratulations."

"what for?" the driver said.

"because you're wearing your seat belt as required by law, you've just won $1,000 in a statewide safety competition," the patrolman said.

"great!" the driver said.

"by the way, sir -- what do you plan to do with the money?" the patrolman asked.

"well, i guess i'm going to get a driver's license," the driver said.

then a woman in the passenger seat said, "oh, don't listen to him -- he's a smart ass when he's drunk."

this woke up a man who was in the back seat. he took one look at the patrolman and said, "i knew we wouldn't get far in a stolen car."

at that moment, there was a knock from the trunk. a voice said, "ey, senor -- como nosotos salto la frontera?"*
*in english: "uh, sir -- are we over the border yet?"

a new term for shoplifting

last night, i was thinking of the phrase five-finger discount, a slang term for shoplifting.

then i realized you can't truly call it that, because the thumb is not a finger. it's a digit.

so you ought to call shoplifting a five-digit discount. it's short and pithy -- five syllables -- and has some nice alliteration.

zionist foxes

i've discovered that israel has many websites that focus on ... let me say ... erotica.

according to news reports, 10 to 15 percent of the people who view those sites live in the middle east, where islam is the majority religion.

as we well know, israel and most countries in the middle east are NOT bff. there are too many issues on which they strongly agree.

with that in mind, i can see an militant islamicist, late at night, in front of his computer.

he truly hates those zionist pigs.

but he truly loves those zionist foxes.

taking it -- passively or actively

if you just take it
(usually in silence),
then you're getting fucked.
but if you move with it
and tell them you like it,
don't call it making love.
you lie. it's still an assault.

a matter of taste

i've been reading for about 48 years, and i've found that, after reading good literature, i can't read crap.

for example, one time i tried to read valley of the dolls by jacqueline susann. it was sopoorly written that it grated on my sensibilities. i couldn't get past, if i remember correctly, the first 30 pages. thankfully i bought it at a used book store; i took it back then with some other books there and got store credit.

that's not true for movies. i could sit through a bad one as well as i could sit through a good one. i wouldn't walk out of a bad movie if i was in a theater or turn it off if it was playing on my video player, but i probably wouldn't watch it again.

Friday, November 28, 2008

a big difference

this is the big difference between a dick and a prick.

a dick is a fool. when he does something harmful, he doesn't know that it is harmful.

a prick is a knave. he knows that an action he'll do will be harmful, but does it anyway.

toby cat

since it's the holiday season, i'll give everything on earth some brotherly love.

but there was one creature for which i never did. it was toby, my mother's cat. there was no lost love between he and me.

now if curiosity killed the cat, then stupidity definitely got toby stuck in a tree. at least one year, he was stuck in the same tree at three different times.

that was how he spent some of his nine lives. the other lives he spent either eating, sleeping, or giving off a bad attitude.

i was at my parents' house one december many years ago when i came across toby sleeping on a couch. he woke, saw me, and yawned widely. then he closed his eyes into slits and gave me a very dirty look.

he did that because i had interrupted a very important nap in his day. it was his fifth nap. that was the one where he got his beauty rest.

then he got up, hissed and arched his back. if i remember correctly, he started to scratch at the air with one of his front paws.

he was acting like he was some badass lion on the serenghetti plains of africa trying to scare me away. but i wasn't impressed with his pisspoor imitation.

"hey, toby," i said, "i want to find out of cats really land on their feet after a fall. you wanna go up on the roof and help me find out?"

he heard me. i know he did because he jumped off the couch and walked out of the room.

but before he left, he lifted his tail to show me what to kiss and where it was.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

some comments about thanksgiving

posting has been light yesterday and will be today because of the thanksgiving holiday.

earlier this week, i posted a thanksgiving prayer for the cynical at heart. if you want to read it, click here.

i'll be eating thanksgiving dinner this afternoon with four generations of my immediate family: my parents, my brothers, their children and two of their grandchildren -- my grandnieces. one of my sisters in law invited her sister, husband, and two children. and a nephew make bring along his girlfriend. that's anywhere from 14 to 17 people.

if i know my family, many kinds of carbohydrates will be served: mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, noodles, and rolls, to name a few.

i'm not that great of a cook, so i'm not bringing macaroni and cheese from a box, fried chicken i bought from a store, or any other dish that was easy to make or easy to buy. i'm bringing relishes: sweet and dill pickles, green and black olives, celery sticks and carrots. you could call them side dishes to a salad.

i'm thankful for many things: that i have people i know with whom i can eat dinner today.

i have great empathy for many people who are away from home, whatever it may be, for thanksgiving. two groups come to mind:

  • the first is those who are on duty -- u.s. military overseas, especially in the middle east, along with police officers and firefighters. and i'm thankful for them doing their duties for the rest of the populace.
  • the second group is people who couldn't get back home because it was too far to travel or they're going through hard economic times or any other reason.

i'm thankful that i have my health. many people of my age, including a couple of friends, along with their parents, are dead and gone.

and i'm thankful that i have my sanity, although at times i'm not the most chipper and upbeat man you would know. but i'm working on that.

i know one man who's not thankful for today. he's a native american who's half iroquois. for him, i'm sure today is like january 27 -- the international day of rememberance for the holocaust -- for the jews. i bet he would agree with this quote from malcolm x:

"we didn't land on plymouth rock; plymouth rock landed on us!"

i don't want to end on a down note, so here's a slice of cheescake for dessert. go ahead -- it's thanksgiving -- gorge yourself with it along with pumpkin pie and other tasty desserts:

she is karolina kurkova, a czech supermodel who's one of victoria's secret angels.

by the way, at 10 p.m. wednesday, december 3, cbs will broadcast a special victoria's secret fashion show. so that's one thing, readers, you can be thankful for -- if you're a heterosexual male.

goodbye for now. posting will resume probably on friday and no later than sunday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

the hundred in the warehouse

the hundred in the warehouse.
tuesday is duesday ... so pay up, motherfucker!
monday is a stern taskmaster and boss. get to work, he emphasizes, because he talks gruffly before he acts.

for some, action isn't needed. they go to work or feel guilty.
the smell of the place was in my nose. it smelled of decomposing garbage. i wish i could blow it out; it permeates my mucus. i want to blow it out but i can't.
"ah, you're from a small town. and many people leave them; that's one reason why they remain small."
we left behind only tombstones and graves.
b. always looked petulant, about ready to cry, now that i think of it.
whirley twirly through the air.
whirley twirly -- you don't care.
one difference between europeans and americans:
for a european, 100 miles is a long distance.
for an american, 100 years is a long time.
mudd and pudd -- twin brothers.
"if i want your shit, you goddamn redneck, i'll squeeze your head -- which is on top of your goddamn redneck."
love is blind.
but is hate blind, too?
they licked the asses that shat upon them and kissed the asscheeks that smothered them.
why are so many old fuckers around? because god doesn't want them and the devil won't take them.
you've heard of farfetched. is there such a thing as nearfetched?
it's a chicken coop and a rabbit hutch, but not the other way around.
vanity is woman. conceit is man.

(not original to me -- i read it somewhere but i didn't note where and don't remember now.)
when a man -- and it's usually a man -- says, "my friend" to you, he isn't your friend.
if he says that, ask him if can borrow, say, at least $100 for the weekend because you're going to be a little short for the weekend. watch his reaction.
things change.
friends leave.
life stops for no one.
time flies like an arrow.

fruit flies like a banana.

and every so often, blow flies like a good hand job.
i got up one morning and seized the day. but in the afternoon, i dropped it.
someone asked me if i believed in free will. i said that i did -- i had no choice but to do that.
you've heard of artists finding their voices. i wonder if the same thing happens with mimes.
you always hear of people dying from complications, but you never hear about people dying from simplifications.
when you pound the hell out of a man, you don't pound the heavens into him.
power is taken. control is given.
active vs. passive.
"that's the way the ball crumbles."
"that's the way the cookie bounces."
she said, "i don't know if you're evil or just wicked."
he said, "baby, i'm just naughty."
a restaurant's name -- the garden of eatin'.
the union of onions.
men who name their sons junior don't want sons. they want clones.
putting together the pieces of an invisible crossword puzzle.
free speech is NOT a godgiven right. it's a manmade right. so don't let other men take it away from you.
phileros -- a mix of philia and eros -- the best love between spouses.
the building was in the awkward middle phase. it was too new for people to consider it fresh and too old for people to consider it a landmark.
say you're in the doghouse. there are worse places to be -- like the outhouse behind it.
you will know me before i know the world.

some things we hate, and some we don't even like

once i was talking with one of my friends. one of the topics what things that we hated.

when i got back home, i thought more about it and wrote down some things that i did hate.

for me, hate is a strong word. it means die yesterday -- and painfully -- you motherfucking son of a bitch.

nevertheless, there are some actions that lead to some situations -- another way of saying you are what you do -- and these came quickly to us: willful and agressive ignorance; injustice; and most of all, cruelty.

when someone does those things, he or she makes an effort to be that way.

to me, then are the quivalent of felony crimes.

there are certain states of being that we dislike strongly. some of them are ineptitute and incompetence. they are like misdemeanors. they are mostly done by habit and not by will.

dianne, the sun worshiper

dianne turned down the sheets and blankets of her bed. the sun shone upon all of it.

she lay on the mattress and undressed. she was fully naked as the sunlight fell upon her.

she was ready to welcome her lover --

the sun

she lifted her knees up from the mattress and opened her legs. she opened her arms with the palms facing up.

she recited this poem to herself:

o come my lover come
into me sex me
love&sex mixed together
come my lover come

she lay that way for a few minutes. then she strummed herself to a climax.

it was the most erotic and sexual thing she had ever done and thought and felt because she had fully opened herself physically and mentally to some one -- any one -- even a distant star.

fall-durr-all and fiddle-dee-dee

sunday night, off and on, i was watching the american music awards on abc when nbc was showing commercials during the colts-chargers game.

now a lot of the music they played isn't to my taste. i thought: it's pop for today's kids. let them listen to whatever they want; i'm not going to harsh on it.

but -- and there's always a but --

many of the acts had a lot of big lights flashing and moving around. it reminded me of rock and roll groups that have big light shows -- like, for two examples, motley crue and nickleback.

such light shows don't impress me. they distracts from the quality of the music.

then this thought came to me: maybe those light shows are substitutes for and masks overs the quality of the music. and it wasn't all that good.

then i thought of the book eats, shoots, and leaves by lynne truss, which was a strong criticism of the state of punctuation these days.

i picked up the book in a bookstore and glanced through it. i remember the sentences for which she tried to improve their punctuation. many of them were what's called complex sentences -- overly complex sentences. it would've been better if most of those sentences had just been rewritten.

or where those sentences written that way because the author wanted to impress the reader? whatever the intent, they didn't impress me.

big light shows at concerts and overtly complex sentences are signs of pretentiousness. as an elder relative, now gone, once said: "that's a case of fall-durr-all and fiddle-dee-dee."

the older i get, the more i agree.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

today's slice of cheescake

damn, it's noontime on a sunday.

it's also the start of a week with thanksgiving in the middle of it. because of that, a lot of people will be starting their mental vacation on tuesday at the earliest.

because it's near the start of a holiday, you ought to have a slice of cheesecake.

it's jessical biel. i've pictured her before. please click here if you want to see it.

now for your enjoyment is another picture of her.

the egoless i

i had earlier blogs on blogger before this one. in some of them i used the royal we to describe myself. i did that because i thought that using the word i would've sounded narcissistic; that was one thing i didn't want to do to further pollute the internet.

but i've gotten over that. now use i to describe myself. one way i got around it is what i call the egoless i.

for example, if you were going to write about your vacation on pike's peak, you might write:

since i was a little kid, i've always been fascinated with pike's peak. it's a mountain in colorado named after zebulon pike, the leader of the first expedition of white men to see it.

it's also the site of the annual pike's peak international hill climb, a motor race to its top that was dominated at one time by the unser racing family.

this summer, i went on vacation to pike's peak. i hiked up it and down it and had a great time.

if you substitute my name (harrison, by the way) or someone else's name for i, and the sentences make just as much sense, then it's a situation where the i -- you, that is -- is egoless.

the most important thing in the essay is not the subject, but the object -- not you, but the mountain and the potential to have a good time there.

for the opposite of that i give this example:

if you write an essay where you have a sentence like i suffered a great indignity, then it's a look-at-me sentence, close to narcissism and selfpity.

a new word for your vocabulary

ace: i have a new word for the world -- and especially for your -- because i know how much you like them.

deuce: oh, great. well then -- what is it?

ace: angzi.

deuce: what does that mean?

ace: anxious, a state of anxiousness, anxiety or angst. it's a noun that way. it also can be used as an adjective and as a verb.

deuce: please demonstrate.

ace: damn -- that wait for my medical report made me angzied.

deuce: it's better as a noun.

ac: you're right there. but that's one of the glories of the english language -- you can noun verbs and verb nouns.

deuce: HUHN???

ace: think about it.

deuce: okay.

(five seconds pass.)

deuce: okay, i've thought about it. can i think about something else now?

ace: if you want to.

deuce: i've heard of the word angsty. means about the same thing.

ace: right. but angzi -- i made that up myself.

deuce: keep it up. someday, you'll get one that everybody can use.

a prayer for the somewhat cynical

today is sunday. thursday will be thanksgiving day.

since they are usually days of religious reflection, also know as prayer, i have a special one for my readers and everyone else on the internet.

it's aimed at for the more cynical among you -- maybe even the more nihilistic.
lord, i have so much to be thankful for ...

i thank you for:

pain -- without it, i would've gone numb years ago.

hate -- it drove me this far, despite how many people said it would never happen.

love -- so we can have our hearts broken and our spirits shattered.

birth -- without it, we could never learn the good graces of death.

childhood -- so we could learn repression to help us with the rest of our lives.

television, movies and magazines -- so they can live our lives for us.

elementary school and high school -- it put us in our place and stripped away our identities.

college -- it 's the only way degenerates, lowlifes and idiots can buy respect and authority over the more talented and less fortunate social classes.

church -- so people too illerate to read the bible for themselves can be told what it says. also, they can be told there they will never ever be good enough.

perverts -- so we could have priests, teachers, roomates, various managers and endless failed relationships.

friends -- to help us lie to ourselves.

enemies -- to tell us who we really are.

youth -- to tell us how much we will need to learn.

adultdhood -- to remind us how little we truly know.

old age -- to forget all that we once knew.

family -- to making you fee like a failure every single day of every month and every year.
this is not mine. i found it in too much coffee man magazine. i tore out the page but didn't write the date of the publication on it. information about it can be found here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

a look back at jfk's assassination

today is the 45th anniversary of the assassinatin of john f. kennedy. that got me to thinking ...

in my post of november 5 about barack obama's election, i said that the great interest and excitement he brought to people reminded me of the great interest and excitement people felt about kennedy. i even noticed it at my young age -- i was a gradeschool student during his administration.

the day kennedy was shot, i was 10 years old and in the fourth grade. it happened on a friday; just before 3 p.m., when school was to be dismissed, the school's principal came to my classroom and told us the news.

rain was falling, and i imagined that the angels in heaven were crying about the sad news. (i was much more religious then, so please give me a break.)

then came the long weekend. lyndon johnson, the new president, declared monday, november 25 as a national day of mourning.

it seemed like nothing much happened. most of that time i was watching television, like most of the country. and i was shocked, like most of the country, when i saw jack ruby shoot lee harvey oswald.

when i wasn't inside i was riding my bicycle, especially in the neighborhood of a girl on whom i had a crush. i won't tell you her name, but the first letter of her first name was t. she and i were in third grade together, but she was transferred to a new school for fourth grade.

i especially remember riding my bike on sunday, november 24, 1963. the day was sunny in that way it sometimes is during the fall and winter; the light was white and bright but not warming in any way.

i stopped a couple eof houses from where t. lived, but i went no further. i was paralyzed -- from fear of rejection or of the unknown, i don't remember -- so i didn't go by her house, or even up to her door and ask for her.

yes, i'll admit it now -- i was a gradeschool stalker.

politically, you could say that november 22, 1963, was the day the music died. it was the first of several tramatic events -- such as the vietnam war and the protests against it, the assassinations of malcolm x and martin luther king (with its attendant riots) and robert kennedy -- which made it seem for many people that a lot of hopes and dreams went into the toilet and were flushed away.

also --
i have no way to prove this point, but it seemed that american society started to change in another way. it started scheduling holidays on mondays so people could take a threeday weekend. they weren't that prevalent in the 1960s, but became more so in the 1970s and beyond.
addenum, november 23: the website gawker has several pictures of the day and place of jfk's shooting. please click here to see them.
addenum, november 26: by coincidence, i came across some notes this weekend about the assassination. i was going through some old notebooks to find things i can use in this blog or elsewhere.

i wrote them on november 22, 1993 -- exactly 30 years after the shooting.

in the notes, i wondered how reckless he was and if the open air car he rode in dallas was an invitation for assault. i think kennedy might've had a death wish because he was suffering from addison's disease and under severe pressure from his father.

i also wondered how committed he was to the advancement of civil rights for blacks and for withdrawl from the vietnam conflict.

but i was thankful that he was elected in 1960, because that meant richard nixon didn't become president -- then. that had to wait until 1968.

nixon was a convenient symbol of the lowermiddleclass wing of the republican party -- vindictive, smallminded, angry and resentful. it's an attitude that has run through the party for as long as i've been watching it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

jesus is watching you!

once upon a night, a burglar broke into a house. he shined his flashlight around as he looked for valuables to steal,

just as he saw a cd player, a voice in the dark said:

"jesus is watching you!"

the burglar clicked off his flashlight and froze. but after he didn't hear a sound, he clicked it back on and walked toward the cd player.

just as he was going to disconnect it, he heard the same voice say:

"jesus is watching you!"

this freaked out the burglar. he shined his flashlight around the room, looking for the source of the voice. the beam of light fell on a bird cage. in it was a parrot.

he said, "did you say that?"

the parrot said, "yes. i'm just trying to warn you."

the burglar said, "warn me, huh? who the fuck are you?"

the parrot said, "moses."

the burglar said, "moses! what the fuck! what kind of idiots would give the name moses to a fucking parrot?"

the parrot said, "the kind of people who would give the name jesus to a rottweiler."

styles of pneumonia

while i was going through my notes, i found this. i post it here because it reminds me of my recent illness.
there's the rockin' pneumonia and the boogie-woogie flu. that phrase comes from a song of the same name. the version i know was sung by johnny rivers.

it's a play of words off this lyric by chuck berry from the song roll over beethoven: i got the rockin' pnenmonia/i need a shot of rhythm and blues

now, rockin' pneumonia and boogie-woogie flu go together like crabs and sexually transmitted diseases.

i've heard of walking pneumonia. a friend of mine who's a mailman once had it and struggled through it while he was walking his route.

some people call it the fucking pneumonia. but i find it hard to imagine two people having sex while they have pneumonia.

face it -- pneumonia is rarely fun. it's never, for example, the laughing pneumonia or the hitting-a-hole-in-one-in-golf pneumonia or hitting-the-last-second-shot-to-win-the-basketball-game pneumonia.

it's lousy, like the it's-april-14th-and-your-taxes-are-due-the-next-day pneumonia or the cleaning-out-the-raingutters-of-your-house pneumonia.

it often feels like the lying-there-and-feeling-like-hell pneumonia.

sometimes, pneumonia is just blah, like the shopping-at-the-grocery-store pneumonia. that's somewhat similiar to the shopping-at-the-mall pneumonia.

percentage of soul

last saturday, the movie the wedding crashers was on television. i watched parts of it off and on, especially for the scene where john beckworth, owen wilson's character in the movie, tells a woman:

"people say we only use 10 percent of our brains, but i believe we only use 10 percent of our hearts."

yeah, it's one cheesy pickup line. i got a chuckle out of it. but it got me to think:

what of our souls? what percentage of them do we use?

what of the people who have no souls, who would commit evil like coldblooded murder like i would take out the garbage?

and what of the people with small souls, like most materialists and conformists -- that is, many business people in the u.s.?

maybe people like mohandes gandhi or st. francis -- have great souls, or use more than 10 percent of theirs.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

portrait of life

this is a piece of art i made earlier this year. it's supposed to be a picture of life.

i call it the seeker, the maze, and the prize.

at the left is the seeker -- in this case, me. or maybe you. or anyone. the seeker has a lot of passion; that's why he has a big heart. he also has many ways to get the prize; that's represented by his many arms.

in the center is the maze -- what i or you or whoever has to go through to get through life and all of its complications.

at the right is the prize -- it's supposed to be a pile of gold.

suggestions about goodness

i have this to suggest for your readers:

don't do good for the sake of your own soul. that's selfish and selfcentered.

instead, do good for the sake of the other person or thing or whatever it is that is outside you.

and do good to make the world a better place.

second puberty

i'm middle aged, whether i like to admit it or not -- and for the record, i don't.

and i admit i'm going through what i call second puberty.

i'm growing hair in places where i didn't have it before -- my ears, my toes, my fingers, the tip of my nose, and elsewhere.

if i don't keep it trimmed up, i look like an overlooked potato that's been left in the cellar for a few months.

as for my eyebrows -- if i don't keep them trimmed, i can give andy rooney a run for his money.

i must keep this new and extra hair trimmed. women don't consider it an attractive look -- unless they're into werewolves.

now when i was going through my first puberty, i was glad -- because i was becoming a man.

now that i'm going through my second puberty, i'm sad -- because i'm becoming an old man.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

winterlike weather for now

snow fell late sunday night/early monday morning. it also fell late last night/early this morning.

not enough snow fell to cover the ground -- i don't expect that much to fall until december -- but it covered the tops of cars and buildings.

the temperatures aren't forecast to rise above 40 degrees this week. if i remember rightly, it's in the mid20s as i write this.

thanksgiving is a week and two days away. and christmas is exactly four weeks from thanksgiving.

folks, bundle up when you go outside. and get out the heavy blankets; i have.

addenum, november 19: thinking about the weather, for some reason, reminds me of what friedrich nietzsche said: "what does not destroy me makes me stronger."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

whims usually don't pay off

al once had a lover. her name, for the sake of this story, will be anna.

one time after they had swived, anna was walking around her place topless. that was all right with al, but some of the shades of her windows were up and he didn't want her to display her charms to the world.

(by the way, she wore a 34c bra.)

"sweetheart, do you like showing off the twins when the shades aren't down?" he said.

"i used to do it a lot more," she said as she got back into bed and snuggled against al. "let me tell you a story.

"one friday evening afterwork -- it was in late april or early may when i was in my 20s and had just gotten fulltime work -- as soon as i walked into my apartment, i took off my blouse. then i took off my bra. then i went onto the balcony of my apartment -- i was on the third floor of that apartment complex -- and stood there for a while before i waved my boobs for all the world to see.

"i did it because i could sense that life was returning. winter was gone for now. the grass was newly green and the air was fresh. and i was frustrated by things -- work, my weight, lack of a boyfriend -- i could go into more details but i won't -- now.

"i waved them freely and with no shame.

"now on saturday morning, the day after i shook my boobs, i was taking my laundry room to the laundromat at the apartment. while i was going there, my path crossed with an older man who lived in the same complex.

"as we passed, he gave me a steady look. he was definitely measuring me.

"then i thought -- he must've seen me waving my boobs! because i remembered that he usually walked his dog about the same time that i got home from work.

"damn -- was i embarassed!"

fallinter is here

ace: man, the weather's been nasty this week.

deuce: it's been overcast, cold winds've been blowing, and rain's been falling for the last two or three days. you had a cold lately; the last two days haven't helped you. in fact, i think your cold's come back.

ace: it did. but it's retreating now.

deuce: that's good to hear.

ace: you know what? in the fall and winter and spring, whenever it rains around here, the temperatures drop between 10 to 20 degrees.

deuce: right. the weather usually gets cold after halloween and lasts that way until ... hm ... usually around midmarch, or at the latest by saint patrick's day.

ace: we're supposed to get snow flurries tonight. it'll be the first snow of the season.

deuce: yeah. damn. i was watching college football highlights and big flakes were falling in michigan.

ace: hey -- it's fall going into winter. it's fallinter!

deuce: what?

ace: fallinter. i combined fall and winter.

deuce: well, ain't you creative!

ace: hey, people used to make up words all the time. i heard that william shakespeare did.

deuce: are you trying to be shakespeare?

ace: i'm trying to be creative. don't be pressin me with your oppression, suppression, and repression.

deuce: is pressin another word you made up?

ace: yep. i thought of it about two years ago, if i remember correctly. fallinter i just thought of now.

deuce: well, when i think about it ... it IS original.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

english versus latin

some folks in england want to use the english versions for some terms in latin that are in everyday speech and writing. a story with the details is here.

as for using some of those terms, i could take or leave them. but some i don't want to see again because i don't use them. they are e.g., i.e., and especially inter alia and nota bene. if someone uses them when he writes, and especially when he speaks, i consider them pretentious. if he's trying to impress me, he doesn't and he won't.

courage definitely above and beyond

first, i hope all you veterans had a good veterans' day. i've never been in the service, but i appreciate everything you've done.

i know a man in his early 40s, a little overweight and 5 feet 4 inches tall. he has done two -- yes, two -- tours of duty in iraq as a member of the army reserves.

second, i want to mention army major general david blacklidge, who showed courage definitely above and beyond the call of duty. please click here for the story.

this is one thing that military men -- hell, a lot of men -- won't admit, because it goes against their sense of machismo. that is to their detriment. at least blackledge didn't do it and i thank him for that.

Monday, November 10, 2008

much better, thank you

i had posted earlier today about the cold that had bothered me since last thursday. i hoped to start feeling better on tuesday, but after nappping off and on this morning and early this afternoon, i'm back to my regular condition.

so to celebrate, i'll have a little slice of cheesecake. you can have one, too.

it's actress sandra bullock, with a comehither look and a falling bra strap. i believe the publicity picture was taken sometime before the movie speed was released in 1994. it featured her with keanu reeves, dennis hopper, and a speeding bus. and it made her a star.

the buffalo theory

a herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest one. when the herd is hunted, the slowest and weakest buffaloes in the back of the herd are killed first. this natural selection is good for the herd, because the speed and health of the group improves by the death of its weakest members.

in much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as its slowest brain cells. as we know, an excesssive intake of alcohol kills brain cells, but it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. in this way, a regular regimen of drinking beer eliminates the weaker brain cells. that makes the brain faster and more efficient.

and that is why you always feel smarter after a few beers.
attributed to cliff clavin, postal worker from boston and one of the main characters of the television sitcom cheers.

when i first read it on the net, i tried to find out who wrote it but i couldn't. maybe one of you readers can tell me.

limited action lately

postings have been limited the last few days because i've had a nasty cold. i was sneezing my lungs out last thursday. chills alternating with fevers, sweating, muscle aches, and a runny or stoppedup nose have bothered me since then.

i usually have a bad cold at least once between november 1 and march 17. this one came probably because i didn't get enough sleep a couple of nights last week and i didn't dress warmly enough when i was out and about.

this was the same time central indiana went through a few days of lousy weather. heavy (and cold) winds blew through here and temperatures were in the 40s and 30s. many days of overcast skies didn't help my attitude, either.

i'm up early today because i went to bed around 8:15 p.m. sunday; when i'm awake, it's hard for me to go right back to sleep.

i feel better this morning than i have during the last few days. i plan to take things easy today, then get back at life -- and blogging -- tomorrow.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

orange juice love

the orange
is sweet.
the floor
is cold
my feet.
but soon
to bed
i will
with you
for love --
a morning
i wrote this poem, along with aces in the bank, during the middle 1980. i don't know if it's a song or poem or lyric. if you have any suggestions, then please leave them.

where babies come from

"mommy," said the little girl, "where do babies come from?"

"oh ... ah ..." her mother hemmed and hawed, until she thought of a good answer.

"well, honey," she replied, "a man and a woman fall in love and they get married. then one night, they go into their bedroom and hug and kiss and take off their clothes and, uh, make love. that's where the man puts his thingee into the woman's cooter. nine months later, a baby comes out of her cooter and they become a mommy and a daddy.

"and that's where babies come from, honey."

"oh, okay," the little girl said. "but the other night, i went into your bedroom and saw that daddy's thingee was in your mouth. when you do that, what do you get?"

the mother was silent for a few moments. then she said:


aces in the bank

aces in the bank,
and you have
the calm confidence
of a christian with
in hand.

at the table,
smoke hangs over,
darkness surrounds,
but with a light
over your head,

you show 'em.

no contest.

you win.

lucky dog.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

the day after obama's win

(this will be my only post for today. jokes, offbeat observations, poems, and other items can wait until later. if it seems disjointed, it's because i wanted to post many things about the election that i had kept aside until now.

(for the record, althought the time stamp on this post is 5:20 a.m., it took about eight hours, off and on between other projects, to put it into the form you see here.)

in the september 13, 2004 issue of the new yorker, hendrick hertzberg wrote:

when barack obama spoke at the democratic convention in boston, a lot of people thought -- and hoped -- that they were seeing the future. half kansan and half kenyan, half black and half white, yet all-american in a novel and exhilarating way that seemed to transcend the usual categories, obama, who on november 2nd will be elected to the united states senate from illinois, embodied and expressed a fresh synthesis of the american civic religion -- one that fused not only black and white, and immigrant and native-born, but also self-reliance and social solidarity. "he represents the future of the (democratic) party," stephanie cutter, the communications director for john kerry's campaign, said by way of explanation why obama had been chosen to deliver the keynote speech. and it is not hard to imagine circumstances under which, a decade or two hence, he might represent the future of the country as well.

well, that decade or two came yesterday, when obama was elected to become the fortyfourth president of the united states.

as of this afternoon, obama had 62,605,000plus votes, or 52 percent of the popular vote. more importantly, he had 349 electoral votes. john mccain, on the other hand, had 55,512,000plus votes, or 46 percent of the popular vote and 147 electoral votes.

the most amazing thing i saw yesterday was the the eyes of many black people. those eyes were wet with tears.

some of them were among the multitudes gathered at grant park in chicago, minutes after the announcement came that obama had been elected.

some of them had very good reasons to cry. i was reminded of some of them after i read this story on the web. they were things i never had to suffer because i'm white, so i plead ignorance -- with a willingness to learn. i knew the generalities, but not the specifics.

i also saw this quote attributed to richard belzer, the actor on law and order: special victims unit, and ascerbic and brilliant-at-times comic: every black kid in america has grown an inch taller.

at 11 p.m. tuesday, after the polls in the west coast had closed, i was watching wrtv, the abc affiliate for indianapolis, when charles gibson projected that obama would be the next president.

at that time, his electoral vote count was 207; california, oregon and washington state gave him 73 more. that put the total at 280 electoral votes -- and 270 were needed for a win.

but it was all over around 10:20 p.m., when it was announced that ohio had chosen obama. from then on, mccain would need a miracle to win.

during the evening, indiana was still too close to call. that was a big difference in past years, when the republican candidate was announced as the winner about an hour after the polls closed. but this time, obama got 50 percent of the vote in indiana to 49 percent for john mccain, and that victory was only by 23,000 votes.

yesterday, i wrote that mccain would take the state. that shows how much i know.

obama's election is one big change in direction-- the biggest since ronald reagan was elected in 1980.
don't take this as just my word. i cite this story.

i can't say specifically why people voted for him or against mccain. to do that, i would need the ability to read minds. that's one power i don't have.

but this is an educated guess: people wanted the united states to go in a different direction than the one it now travels.

(nice legacy there, george w. bush. and you too, dick cheney. it would be nice to think those two men won't sleep soundly for the rest of their lives because of the ills, intended or not, they and their associates in this administration put on this country. but i bet those two will sleep soundly, although there are no reasons why they should do so.

according to reports, 64.1 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots in the race. that's the highest percentage since 1908, when 65.7 percent of the eligible voters chose william howard taft over william jennings bryan. and remember: back then, women and most blacks in this country, especially those living in the south, couldn't vote.

the percentage was also higher than the 63.8 percent who voted in 1960, when john f. kennedy defeated richard nixon.

for the record, about 136.6 million people voted. that's out of a population of about 300 million, give or take 10 million illegal aliens.

i believe the big turnout happened because,
as i said before, people wanted a change in direction for this country.

also, since the results of the last two presidential elections were close and stained with allegations of voter fraud, people wanted to make sure that the candidates they wanted to be president would be elected without question.

and it could have been a possible rejection of the last two presidents, who were baby boomers, and their failures in office: bill clinton because he wasn't as good as president as he could've been; and bush, who probably did the best that he could. and that's a freightening thought.

last saturday, i spent two and a half hours in line to vote. if you want to read the details, click here.

some of my relatives are in their 80s older ones and not in the best of health. but they didn't have to wait long on tuesday. they went right in and voted, and i'm thankful for that.

i watched obama's victory speech. oh, that man is one smooth speaker -- comforting the audience and rallying it at the same time with a great baritone voice. he's not like bush, who comes across as a braindamanged fool -- another reason why i'm thankful i didn't do the heavy drugs or drinking when i was younger.

as for his wife, michelle -- well, this will be the most stylish president and first lady in the white house since jack and jackie kennedy. i was a mere gradeschool student when it was camelot time and vaguely remember his administration, although i remember the glamor around them.

and, when you think of it, obama is a black yuppie -- or buppie, if you will. change his race to white and his name to barry banner and you have the same man.

so many people have put their hopes and desires for change upon obama. so -- good luck, mr. president. i wish you the best and hope like hell you don't fuck up like jimmy carter or bush.

i also hope you accomplish a lot more than kennedy, who didn't push that much for civil rights and was a little too much of a warmonger for my taste. accomplishments were left to lyndon johnson, who i respect much more than jfk. he pushed the civil rights act of 1964 through congress.

(note: some historians say that kennedy didn't get a lot done through congress because many of the senators who served with him thought he was a lightweight and didn't apply himself seriously to his duties in the senate, concentrating more on running for president. johnson, who was senate majority leader before he became vice president, was very influential in getting the civil rights act passed.)

i also think that kennedy, although he was assassinated, was lucky. if he had been saddled with vietnam and all its controversities, would all the hopes projected upon him have turned into anger and a sense of betrayal over his conduct of the war?

one wag emailed this comment to me after last night's results:

just imagine -- there'll be a black man in the white house -- and he won't be a valet.

just imagine -- there'll be a black man in the oval office -- and he won't be a custodian.

yeah, imagine that.

you may say i'm a dreamer, but i'm not the only one. i hope some day you join us, and the world will be as one.

one last word, though -- this is the first time in my life that the president is younger that i am. for that, i paraphrase j. alfred prufrock:

i feel old. i feel old. shall i wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled?