Monday, April 28, 2008

The Nightbirds Start To Sing Their Favorite Song

Tonight, whilst on vacay, I will be doing karaoke at one of my former haunts. This place has a stage with several screens and a golconda of props, including hats and boas. This was where I developed my karaoke sense.

So, those of you who've seen me in action, blame this place.

There are a lot more songs at this place than the places where I go currently. I occasionally do karaoke at a VFW post where most of the regulars sing country or western music. My friend and I like to think we're a good kick in the pants for them, because when we walk in, the average age drops to about 55. He'll sing Green Day, Prince and Fresh Prince, and I'll sing J. Geils Band, REO Speedwagon and The Foundations.

Well, the most recent time we went in, he upped his game. He sang "Darling Nikki." Now, if you're not familiar with the Prince song, he meets her while she's in a hotel lobby doing something to herself that you don't see girls doing in public. That will get you an NC-17 rating.

The regulars loved it. The women in the room could not have cackled louder when he got to that part.

Maybe they'd go see my movie about ladies in love at the nursing home.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sometimes We Bring The Rat And The Wolf

As I got ready to go on vacation, all I could think about was someone else breaking into my home in my absence.

It's happened a lot lately.

About three weeks ago, I saw a rat in my apartment. This was the second time in two years I had seen a rat in there. I bought a rat trap and the next night, I came home to see justice served.

The tally was then as follows:
Dead rats this year: 1
Dead rats since moving in two years ago: 2

I had called the landlords and alerted them to the hole where the floor meets the wall. The maintenance men have been trying to fix that (I've heard them below me in the morning), but it's not done yet. Because...

A few weeks later, while watching a movie, I heard another rat trap go off. There had been another rat! It was very unsettling to be in there when it happened. Especially because he tried to limp away while stuck in the trap.

The tally was then as follows:
Dead rats this year: 2
Dead rats since moving in two years ago: 3

Then the very next night, I came home and near the hole in the wall, in another trap....

The tally was then as follows:
Dead rats this year: 3
Dead rats since moving in two years ago: 4

This one was at least dead in the trap and not trying to hobble away. That's just sick.

I know a lot of people like the movie "Ratatouille," but I think seeing that would do to me what "Apocalypse Now" probably does to veterans.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

And The Books She Read And The Books That She Said She Read

Miley Cyrus has signed a seven-figure deal to write her memoirs.

Stories probably not in the book:
Nights on the town with Shannen Doherty and Tara Reid
Paying a hobo outside the venue to get her "medicine"
An Eiffel Tower with the Jonas Brothers

Tori Spelling's recent book had tales of partying hard, sleeping with "everyone" on "90210" and having bitchy fights with her mom. Again, these are topics probably not in Miley Cyrus memoirs.

No, she's a little too squeaky clean for that. The announcement comes the same week that "scandalous" photos of here appeared on the Internet, though, in which she pulls down her shirt to reveal a bra, and of her wearing just a bra and underwear while on the lap of some guy.

That's a little creepy, what with her being 15. I don't have a comment on her, but on all the people who've accosted me about her. Whenever I've said I thought the show was corny or the ticket prices were obnoxious, there's always been some Hannah Montana apologist there to say, "You have to admit, she's a good role model for young girls."

I have some problems with that statement:
1. Whether or not she's good for kids is irrelevant to whether I think the show is corny
2. Overpriced tickets are overpriced tickets whether it's her or someone else
3. "You have to admit*" is not a way to phrase any argument you're about to make

*Unless, of course, you're talking about my idea about a movie in which old ladies turn toward each other when the men are all dead. "Kissing Jessica Stein" for an older set: "Kissing Jessica Tandy."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

When You're Old and Lonely And The Rush of Life is Past

A recent study on life expectancy shows that though some counties are seeing a decline in life expectancy, women are still living longer than men. This study prompted a female friend of mine to say, "We'll get lonely in the nursing home without you!" I, of course, have a plan: "You'll just have to become a lesbian."

This could be the best Farrelly brothers or John Waters movie ever: a nursing home in which the competition for available men becomes a big competition, and the remaining women have no option but to go for each other.

Holy shit, I could have just hit the jackpot. Have any studies been done on this? I've tried to find something, but all I could find was this article that almost reads like an Onion article and I can't find the original, just this version posted on an organization's Web site. But that they quote people advocating this practice is awesome.

Whether or not that article is legit or not is unimportant. I've totally come up with a great idea. Well, at least it's a great idea for a movie. I don't know if I suggest that older women get the hemp necklaces and flannel just yet.

You could always just become a cougar.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Crazy For You (But Not That Crazy)

I am no Nostradamus, but I have a good idea as to how the next nine months could play out:

I. The Democratic candidate won't be decided until the convention
A. Clinton and Obama will continue to campaign
B. They will continue to give speeches great for sound bites
C. They will deride the other's speeches and split hairs about their comments
D. We will forever hear about Obama's pastor, his comments about "bitter" voters and Clinton's embellished story about being in Bosnia with Sinbad

II. It will become McCain's game to fuck up
A. He can get votes from those who genuinely like him
B. He can get from people who want to socially active like his wife
C. He can get votes from people who want to be sexually active with his wife
D. He can get votes from people sick of Clinton and Obama

III. Third party candidates have everything to gain
A. See II.D.

IV. Michael Moore will deflect blame from the Democrats
A. If the Republican wins, he won't bring up anything the Democrats did or failed to do
B. If the Republican wins, it will be the fault of any candidate in the race who isn't Obama or Clinton (see past blames on Monica Moorehead and Ralph Nader)

V. Michael Moore will not be alone
A. Susan Sarandon
B. Bill Maher
C. Al Gore

What I'd rather have, though, is this:

I. Obama and Hilary agree to one last debate, the winner of whom takes the nomination
A. And by "debate," they actually compete against each other on "American Gladiators"
B. Instead of garnering points, they collect delegates
C. Instead of Hulk Hogan and Laila Ali, you can have John McCain, dressed like Hulk Hogan

II. Third party candidates to make this interesting
A. David Lee Roth
B. Billy Dee Williams
C. Pedro

III. A sound-bite quota, similar to limited minutes on a cell phone plan

IV. A panda
A. Pandas make everything better
B. He could eat the losers

Again, I am no Nostradamus, but I tend to be pretty good at predicting the twists on soap operas.

Monday, April 21, 2008

How Cool to be Cold, With the Dreaming Moon, I'll Begin Again

Today, I am getting a new fridge. The old one wasn't freezing, and after a while, it wasn't fridge-ing, either.

The maintenance guy called around 8 this morning saying he had a new fridge for me. He had been here a week ago and I guess I was on the waiting list. That's the thing about renting an apartment: you don't have to pay for the stuff but you're not in control of when you get it. Now I know how "Make A Wish" kids feel. Except they're probably not in the middle of a good dream when they get the call. If "Chappelle's Show" or "The Kids In The Hall" have taught me anything it's that those kids are always awake.

So, I had to clear all the pictures and magnets from the fridge, and then had to take out all the food. Rather than putting it on the counter, I guess I could have just thrown it a good bit of it away, as it's barely cool. The beer is just cool enough to have not gotten skunked.

Now, the guys moving my old fridge remind me of the brothers Daryl from Bob Newhart's show. They're a friendly duo, chatting about Ramen noodles. I was intrigued, because though I never got on the Ramen train, I do love me some noodles. So, I thought to myself, "These guys are allright." When it came to having to move said fridge, they realized they couldn't get the fridge out of the kitchen door, which would have been easiest, as that's the one that leads to the back near the garage. Neigh, the back door was not wide enough, so they were going to have to take it the front door, out the main hallway of the building and down some steps. To do this, however, they were going to have to take the front door of its hinges. Luckily, I still have my friend's tool box in my bedroom, so when I produced her impressive plethora of tools, they said, "Shit, he's more prepared than we are!"

I imagine a good bit of that food has to be pitched, and so I'm thinking after they leave, I'll go to the Panera with a Monday New York Times. It's not the same as a Sunday Times, that's for sure, and the ritual won't feel the same, but it's the least I can do for myself. I think I've earned it.

But first, a moment of appreciation for the old fridge:

O, departed friend, how I apologize for not having given you a name. You will now retroactively be known as "Fridge I," and all the stories involving you shall include that fine moniker.

For two years, you valiantly served, chilling cheese, milk, eggs and beer. Lots and lots of beer: porters, lagers, ales and whatever other beverages passed through your sturdy doors. Yes, you were a halfway house for many a brew, and for that, I thank you.

You died, like so many young men of your generation, you died before your time. In your wisdom, Lord, you took him, as you took so many bright flowering young men at Khe Sanh, at Langdok, at Hill 364. These young men gave their lives, as did this fridge.

Good night, sweet prince.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Evil Twin Would Lie and Steal

To the douche biscuit who stole my Sunday New York Times,

Shame on you. You deprived me of one of my favorite rituals of the week: reading The Sunday Times at Panera. I had already read a good chunk of it online, but that is not the point.

You took something that was not yours, you twaffle. At a newsstand price of $5, the Sunday Times is a bit steep, but now you've transferred that cost onto me. And as an addict, I might have to cross the river to go to my favorite news stand to get it. I hope you're happy, though I think someone so low as to steal another person's NYT is incapable of ever feeling true happiness. Where evil lurks, good cannot thrive.

What's your favorite section, thief? Do you start with the A section? Sunday Styles? Arts & Leisure? Or do you do what I do, and go straight to Week In Review? I don't know what would strike me as more appalling: a stranger defiling the Week In Review section I should be reading, or that stranger passing by that section, unaware of its goodness. Well, either way, fuck nut, you're on my list.

My fervent hope and prayer is that like St. Paul, you will become struck with the regret and horror of your actions, and dedicate yourself to righting the wrongs you've inflicted upon the world. I am probably not your only victim. Newspaper theft is likely but one of many crimes you have committed. I am saddened by your plight, but not so jaded that I feel you cannot reform. If H.I. McDunnough can escape the clutches of recidivism, then maybe you, too, can find the righteous path.

Of course, maybe it was not a douche biscuit who took my beloved paper, but rather an error on the part of my carrier. If that's the case:

To my fellow human to whose life-strength depends on The New York Times,

Good morning. I hope you are having a good morning, despite the fact that you were probably up way too early. You are a brave soul, with more discipline than me. May you find solace in knowing that you are charged with a sacred task: delivering the news to the thirsty masses. You are entrusted with delivering not just any news, but the Cadillac of newspapers, the Hendrix of guitarists, the "Fear of A Black Planet" of rap albums. You, my friend, are entrusted with the holy grail.

Several obstacles must besiege you each week as you embark on your journey to unite hungry reader with the everso satisfying Sunday Times. I'm sure you have several tales of dodging hobos, dogs and watchful rednecks wary of this person delivering light to the ignorant ones content with the shadows.

It is because I am aware of your burdens that I regret to inform you that a horrible blow has been dealt to justice this morning. Cruel fate has it that I was not united with my Times this morning. I know, I, too, was devastated.

It is not my intent to cause you guilt or ignominy. Neigh, my friend, I would like to use this incident of letting you know the joy I derive on the days you complete your task as charged. I time it such that I leave my front door, grab the Times in its blue sheath and make way to the local Panera just before they stop serving breakfast. I order either a spinach, bacon and egg souffle or a breakfast sammie with either bacon or sausage. I have a very methodical and well-rehearsed routine that plays out over the next hour and a half, and it is this routine that is one of the most cherished parts of my week.

Now, I do not cast blame in your direction. Perhaps it was thieves, dogs or sand people who caused me this pain on this otherwise beautiful April morn. Whatever the case may be, I wanted you to know that your life's work is one that is greatly appreciated, and so much joy can be enjoyed -- or lost -- depending on your success. My future children and/or non-existent dog could even bear your name one day.

Unless, of course, your name is Binyamin.


Whew. That was therapeutic.

Survey question
Did YOU take my Sunday Times? And if so, how does it make you feel to know you have caused a poor soul such anguish?

Found Peace of Mind in Playing On Your Fears

"We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq," Ma'ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events "swung American public opinion in our favor."
Report: Netanyahu says 9/11 terror attacks good for Israel []

I was pretty shocked to read that, and equally shocked that no one else was covering it. A search on Google News showed that The Jerusalem Post and The Jewish Chronicle were touching on it, but for different reasons:

Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu was treated respectfully by the 100 members of the foreign press who attended his Israel Project briefing Wednesday. The same day, the Hebrew press was not as kind... The people who had heard him speak at Bar-Ilan University Tuesday were shocked by the headline, which Netanyahu did not say, and which was taken out of context from an answer to a question about the US-Israel relationship.
Netanyahu to 'Post': Iran must be stopped [Jerusalem Post]


Next step: tracking down a transcript of what he actually said. From a trustworthy source.

I was sent the link the Haaretz/Reuters story from a friend who's in grad school studying history. He said the comment aligns with what he's read about Netanyahu, and I felt inclined to trust that. "He's read books about him! I've only read articles!"

But now I don't know what to think. It's like last week's "Desperate Housewives" episode, where they led you to think Dana Delaney murdered her husband, but you're not sure if you should accept that. Yes, deciding the veracity of articles read in the international press, and online, no less, is just like deciding to trust a curve ball Mark Cherry has thrown at you.

Side note: I like the name Binyamin. I would not name a kid that, nor would I name my non-existent dog that, but I do like the name.