Friday, June 30, 2006

Day One: Sore Dogs.

    My feet hurt.  In fact, I am not sure what they were out doing in the scant few hours I managed to sleep last night, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that my feet had spent the night in a Turkish prison being ritually beaten on an hourly basis.  Unfortunately, that's one of the hazards of Summerfest --sore feet from miles of beer-fueled strutting, and hours of other beer-fueled strutters stomping on them.  I think that's why Milwaukeeans have beer bellies.  A big gut can sometimes act as a shield to keep people from getting close enough to step on your feet.  Clearly, I need to drink more, I think, and I need to do it quickly.  Screw the sit-ups.  I need to be round!  My feet will thank me.
    Anyway, being the fortunate cheesehead that I am, I have some friends who live about a mile and a half away from the festival grounds, and they let me park in their driveway, front yard, backyard, or livingroom rather than pay the ten bucks for the "proximity" parking lot across the street.  That's about two beers at the Fest, and in this day and age, it's important to have a sensible budget for these sorts of things, and if I can cut some corners and make these sacrifices, well golly...  I'm gonna do it.
    After parking in the driveway, I grabbed my camera and hid my keys in the designated "hiding spot" in case either he or his wife had to move my Jeep (I don't know why, really, since he and his wife were among the group I was meeting up with at the bash.  But, I saved ten bucks!  Remember: I'm on a budget.  So, it's best not to question these things).  Then, I hoofed it down the hot, sunny path like a pilgrim destined for Mecca. 
    When I got to the gate, the power was on, and I could hear the music and sounds of the happy people inside doing happy things.  It washed over the fence and dumped a beer-scented load of happy, giddy excitement upon me.  I needed to be in there, and I needed to be in there now!  I just walked a mile and a half, and dammit!  I need a beer!
    What's this? I thought.  Why is this very large man in the Security t-shirt grabbing my shorts?  Please let me get to the fun people inside, mister!
    "What's this?" he asked as he grabbed a lump in one of my pockets.
    "That's my camera," I replied.
    "I can't let you in with that."  He said.  "You can walk to the main gate and leave it there and pick it up when you go home, or you can put it in your car if you drove here."
    "But, it's just a camera," I said as he continued to look at me as though I were an incompetent child who'd just been caught running around with a box of razor blades.  "See?  It's not going to hurt anyone."
    "I'm sorry, sir," he said.  "It's policy."
    As I walked the three mile trek, I called my friends to let them know I was going to be late.
    "Where the hell are you?"  My friend said. 
    "I had to put my camera in my car," I said somewhat angrily.  "The big guy who looks like he's got a package of hot dogs on the back of his neck wouldn't let me in with it."
    "They let Julie in with her camera," he said.
    Of course they let his wife in.  She's an attractive, delicate woman whose cleavage is famous for its ability to hypnotize and render most heterosexual male security guards utterly incompetent.  
    Eventually, I made my way back to the gate for more fondling at the hands of the very large man.  He remembered me and apologized for the inconvenience, and I honestly didn't have a problem with it.  I told him he was doing a great job.  I wasn't going to dwell on the fact that I'd just walked four and a half miles on an empty stomach.  I just wanted to get inside and drink myself silly. 
    Once inside the gate, delirious and exhausted from dehydration, I stumbled the final fifty feet or so to the beer stand where I would meet my friends, and because of my dire predicament, I immediately ordered two Bavarian weiss beers.  I figured it was important to get as many fluids in me as fast as I could.  And, I ordered them with lemon slices in them because after my grueling death march, I probably needed the vitamin C.  Besides, since I wasn't carrying a camera, I had a free hand.  So, why not make good use of it?
    The first beer didn't stand a chance, and after walking five feet, I tossed the empty cup in the trash.  In fact, I think I may have swallowed the wedge of lemon.  It felt good to have something in my stomach, and with my energy restored, I found my friends sitting where they said they were going to be sitting, and Allison the Brit gave me a nice hug and suddenly all was right and wonderful in the world. 
    The weather was outstanding.  And we walked and laughed and had a lot of fun meandering our way through the growing mass of people.  We wandered from stage to stage, stopping to grab something to eat, refill our drinks and catch a handful of songs from the bands playing.  Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint was a really great show (I saw The Gnome there).  However, we couldn't get close enough to the stage to get a good look, but we stood on a picnic table and danced a bit.  Then we wandered to a different stage to catch some of the Zydeco madness of Terrance Simien (Also saw The Gnome there too).  If you ever get a chance to see this guy play, you really should.  It's a party.  But, again, it was pretty crowded at this point, and unless you camp out early, it's tough getting a good seat. 
    Then, since it was opening night, they had a huge fireworks display, so we wandered down to get kind of close to the water to watch.  It was a pretty impressive half-hour show of all sorts of big, beautiful booms. 
    After that, we went and caught some of the Marcia Ball show where we drank and danced a bit more (she's also another must see).  Then, sometime after 11:30, we decided to make our way toward the exit, but not before stopping by to catch some of the BoDeans and have one last beer before the sobering mile and a half walk back to my friends' place.  It's actually a really fun stroll with all sorts of drunk people yelling at each other because they're practically deaf from all the music and exploding fireworks. 
    Anyway, there was some talk about going to see Los Lonely Boys tonight, but I don't think I'll be hitting the Fest today.  I mean, at this rate, it'll be a miracle if I survive the next week and a half. 

Thursday, June 29, 2006

FREE BEER! - News - Lights Go Out At Summerfest

    Ooops...  I'm supposed to be heading down to the Fest shortly, but it seems there is absolutely no electricity throughout the entire festival grounds.  So, there are no live bands other than those who are street performers.  And it's supposed to be powerless for another hour or so. 

    However, and this is the truly beautiful thing, when the power's out, the cash registers don't work.  The beer still pours, and, since it's best to get rid of it before it gets warm, well...  I can only imagine it's going to be pretty insane by the time I roll in.  But, hey!  I may even go early to help get rid of some of that potentially warm beer!  I know...  Community service such as this is a horrible job, but someone's got to do it. 



It's Party Time!

    I think a while back, I mentioned a little something about Summerfest on this journal.  It's a huge, huge, 11-day music festival held every year here in Milwaukee, and it's an absolute blast with gobs of great bands from just about every musical genre imaginable. 
    Of course, this being Milwaukee and all, there's also a LOT of beer and food.  Normally, we all meet up in the South at the Water Street Brewery stand, grab a Bavarian Weiss beer, and ramble our way a mile North to the Leinenkugel's tent for a Berry Weiss and a bucket of crispy squid with yummy plum sauce.   Then, we turn around and head South again.  Then back North.  Then South.  Rinse, lather, repeat...  Trust me, do enough laps between these weiss beer checkpoints throughout the day, and you're getting a lot of, um, exercise and putting on a lot of miles.
    So, I apologize in advance if my updates over the next week are slow in coming.  However, don't worry.  I am out getting all sorts of much-needed exercise.  Ya know what they say, "No pain, no gain." 
    Now, it should also be noted that the locals (that's me) have a sort of odd festival-checklist for things to look for during this bash (otherwise, you're just drinking, eating and watching bands play).  The things to look for are:
  • A very tall woman dressed like the Statue of Liberty.  She roams around on stilts, and attends ALL of Milwaukee's festivals in this get-up for some unknown reason.  She's actually a very nice lady, and she's always smiling and waving (or maybe she's just wildly flailing around trying to catch her balance while negotiating her way through the crowd of several hundred thousand people).
  • The Dancing Couple.  The same two senior citizens show up in formal attire and ballroom dance to any band they can find.  I think it's absolutely cool to be so completely eccentric, and their Fox Trot during the Nine Inch Nailsconcert several years ago has become the stuff of legend.  They're both married to other people, and they're just great old buddies who like to dance.  And they are damn good at it.  Perfect.
  • The Gnome.   He's a short, round, little old bald guy who always carries an empty duffle bag, and he wears a different pair of custom-colored Converse high-tops for each day (I love his snakeskin-print ones.  But, his head-banging garden-gnome ones are also pretty slick).  He's just super-cool, and he's not afraid to throw up the heavy metal horns.  I even saw him head-banging during a Weird-Al show.  But, you've got to resist the urge to rub his head.  I hear he doesn't like that. 
    Aside from that, there are the usual party-lunatics.  Sometimes, it's just fun to grab a bench, watch the crowd and see what turns up.  After sunset, well...  you can always find at least one drunk person from Illinois crawling around in what we here in Milwaukee affectionately refer to as "Festival Gravy."  It's a disturbing concoction of spilled beer, dropped food, and god knows what else hits the ground during the crowded day.  Rookies. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Out of Context...

    Paul did an "Out of Context" quote earlier in his journal.  You should all go there because it will make you smarter than your neighbors.  Plus, it's the two-year Anniversary of his "Aurora Walking Vacation," so give the guy some serious love!

    Anyway, earlier today I sat down with the Dutch delight known as the Uitsmeider (I think that's how it's spelled).  It's a sandwich of ham, Gouda cheese and a fried egg (I know...  Dead man blogging).  And, as I was eating I watched a bit of the Wimbledon tourney, and heard the following:

    Announcer One:  "Blake really handled Wang in the first two sets."
    Announcer Two:  "True, but I think Wang really surprised him in the Third Set."
    Announcer One:   "Yes.  But, here in the Forth, Blake is beating Wang mecilessly."
    Announcer Two:   "You know, I expected a lot more out of Wang."

Yeah... It's another meme...

     Here's a meme I swiped from Miss Jackie's journal Waiting to Exhale.  So, rather than chase bits of aluminum foil around the backyard (Ooo.. shiny objects), I figured I'd do this.  Enjoy!
1-What do you want people to say about you when you die?:  I think I would like them to say that I've made more people laugh than I've made cry, that I've made more people feel safe than I've scared, and that I've made more people happy than I've made sad. 
2-How long does it take you to get ready to go out?:    A couple of minutes, usually --more if I have to wear socks.   
3-If you were an animal what would you be?:  That's easy.  I'd be a sloth. 
4-What's your biggest fear?:  Buicks.  I don't really know what happens to people when they get behind the wheels of these cars, but it's pretty damn hazardous.   
5-What’s your most prized possesion?:   My coffee maker.  I'd be dead without it.       
6-What’s the funniest word you can think of:?  Snog.  
7-Do you get along with your parents?:  Definitely.  They're as crazy as I am, so, you know, "like minds" and all that. 
8-What do you look for in the opposite sex?:  Poor handgun skills.  Bad aim is very attractive in a woman.  
9-What was the most difficult thing you had to do?:  It's either: having to stop caring about my ex-girlfriend and her daughter, or the time I had to get shots of Novocain in the arthritic joints of my toes.  Both were pretty painful.
10-If you were given one day to live what would you do?:  Well, I'd probably spend the day getting rowdy with friends and family.  Then, in my final hour, I would go to the White House and kick George Bush and Dick Cheney in the balls several times. 
11-If you could relive any day of your life either for good or to change it what would it be?:  One summer day years ago, I was walking along the Dommel river in Eindhoven, Holland and saw this gorgeous woman, about my age, sitting on a bench reading a book.  She looked up, smiled at me, and my heart exploded.  I could pretty much relive that day over and over again.   
12-What's the worst feeling in the world?:   E-Coli food poisoning.  
The best?:    A hot head on a cold pillow.
13-If you could meet anyone who ever existed who would it be? why?:   See #11. 
14-What was the meanest thing you ever did as a little kid?:  I told all the other kids that every time they piss me off, God kills a kitten. 
15-What have you learned about love?:  It's a lot like a crate of dynamite.  You have to know how to handle it, or there's a pretty good chance you'll be blown to bits. 
16-How have you changed in the past year?:  I've become more consistent and unchanging over the past year. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Fish Fry!

Yummy.     Now, I have an unholy affinity for Swedish Fish.  And, I'm not talking about my desire to gulp down herring or anything silly like that (though that can be good sometimes).  I'm talking about the delightful little red candy fishes that seem to find their way into my mouth everytime they come within reach.  Seriously, I've been known to toss down a school of these little guys for breakfast.  It's madness really.

    To make matters worse, another thing I enjoy is absolutely anything deep fried (I've got the Lipitor prescription to prove this too), and as a result of that, I found myself driving along today thinking about whether or not it would be a good idea to deep-fry my beloved Swedish Fish.  I mean, what's better than a nice crispy shell hiding a sweet, ooey-gooey, molten mass of sugary lava?

    However, I couldn't decide whether I wanted to have them beer-battered, like fried fish is usually prepared here in Milwaukee, or perhaps something lighter and more exotic along the lines of a tasty, crispy tempura.  I mean, I need a change.  I've been going the Sushi-route with these fish ever since I started eating them when I was three years old, and these days, with everybody deep-frying anything they can get their hands on, why shouldn't I investigate a few culinary alternatives? 

    Unfortunately, I don't have a deep fryer.  My friends and family care far too much about me to ever purchase one as a gift for me, and I do have enough self-control not to run out and buy one myself.  They frighten me.  And not because of having a vat of boiling oil perched upon my countertop just waiting to spill all over the place.  No.  They frighten me because I have this overwhelming and suicidal desire to beer-batter and deep-fry a bacon-wrapped Whopper with Cheese with extra mayo and maybe a fried egg on top. 

    Anyway, I know I'm not alone out there with this wicked, food weirdness.  In fact, here's a rather disturbed person in Michigan and his delightful recipe for chocolate-covered bacon (unfortunately, it isn't deep fried).


Law? What Law?

Top News- bush-ignores-laws-he-signs-vexing - AOL News

Bush Ignores Laws He Signs, Vexing Congress
WASHINGTON (June 27) -- . . . . Specter's hearing is about more than the statements. He's been compiling a list of White House practices he bluntly says could amount to abuse of executive power -- from warrantless domestic wiretapping program to sending officials to hearings who refuse to answer lawmakers' questions.
. . . .
"There's less here than meets the eye," [Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas] said. "The president is entitled to express his opinion. It's the courts that determine what the law is."
    I wouldn't say there's less here than meets the eye.  The courts are essentially meaningless on this matter as a result of partisan bench-packing bullshit, and this is a great example of how this country is being run into the ground by a bunch of idiot children who have taken great steps to put themselves in a dictatorial position where they are no longer held accountable to the same laws which we, as everyday citizens, are expected to follow and obey.   It makes me wonder just whose "freedom" they are trying to protect, really.  
    Of course, it's all well and good since we're doing our best to forc...  err.. bring Democracy to the Middle East, right?  And, once we have democracy in Iraq, I'm sure the rest of that area of the planet will also adopt democracy in a sort of...  umm...  "domino effect."  Who cares how many of our own laws our leaders need to ignore in order to "get 'r done." 

Monday, June 26, 2006

Now This is Disturbing..

TV News- solo-anchor-gibson-feels-a-little-bit - AOL News

Solo Anchor Gibson Feels 'a Little Bit Naked'
By Peter Johnson
USA Today
(June 26) -- Charles Gibson says he could have easily lived out his professional days on ABC's Good Morning America, which he leaves Wednesday. "Absolutely," he said during an interview last week off the set of ABC's World News Tonight.
     Now, I don't know about you, but the words "Charles Gibson" and "naked" should never be used in the same sentence --much less a headline. 
     Other than that, I like Charles Gibson (not in the Biblical sense, mind you).  I think he'll be pretty good at World News TonightBut, I'm begging you.  Please don't ever let him talk about feeling naked.  I simply don't drink enough at this point in my life to achieve the necessary level of intoxication needed to make it through the night without waking up screaming in fear after such a statement. 

English Eye Candy...

    A conversation last night went a little like this:
Her:         "What are you watching?"
Me:          "I recorded the England-Ecuador match."
Her:         "But you already watched it earlier today."
Me:          "I know."
Her:         "So, why are you watching it again?"
Me:          "I..."
Her:         "Are you watching Beckham's goal?"
Me:          "Sort of..."
Her:         "Dan?"
Me:          "Yes?"
Her:         "How many times are you going to watch his wife jump up and down?"
Me:          "I'm supposed to order a pizza, aren't I?"
Her:         "Yes."
    What can I say?  So what if I am easily distracted by small, shiny objects like Victoria Beckham? 

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Behold the Power...

    In lieu of Sunday's entry, I give you the noble, yet humble cheese.

Behold the power of cheese.

    Please feel free to talk amongst yourselves.  And, should you have any questions concerning your friendly cheese, please visit this website

    Aside from that, I hope all your weekends were good ones.  Did anyone do anything fun and exciting? 

     On this end, I went to my nephew's surprise birthday party/pig roast Saturday, and then we rambled back here to build a fire in the backyard and drink wine and laugh until the wee itty-bitty hours where the numbers are small.   It was a yummy, fun time (sorry, Holly.  You would have been so disappointed in me, but the face is the best part!). 

     Okay...  See y'all Monday. 


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Why I Don't Go Running.

AOL News - Harriet the Tortoise Dies at 175

    See here?  Now this is why I generally try to move as slowly as possible.  In fact, on more than one occasion, I have been compared to a turtle.  Even better.  People sometimes tell me I move with "glacial slowness," and look at how long those things stick around.  I am going to live for thousands of years! 


Friday, June 23, 2006


Me not thinking good.    Today, it kind of seems like my brain started the weekend a little early.  In fact, I think it showed up and started Happy Hour sometime shortly after breakfast this morning.  Fortunately, I didn't deal with too much today or the conversations I may have had would probably have been something like this:

    "Hi, how are you?"
    "What would you like?"
    "Ooo...  Shiny things."
    "Excuse me?"
    "Sir?  You're in the shoe section."
    "Hehehe..  Underpants!"
    "Please go away."
    That's pretty much all I've been capable of today as far as getting a sparkle along a random dendrite.  My brain feels like oatmeal.  And not good oatmeal, either.  It's like the oatmeal my grandfather used to make whenever my grandmother got fed up with him and his nonsense and refused to cook. 

Thursday, June 22, 2006

An Example of Perfect Advertising...

Read the bottom.    I love this.

    I grabbed this picture from the website:

    It's a great place to go and see some absolutely hilarious examples of mangled English at the hands of the great people of Japan. 

    Personally, I think $3.99 is quite a steal for a CD case that so easily becomes portable, don't you? 

     I wish we could have something like this here in the States, but leave it to the inventive Japanese to come up with something so unbelievably simple with regards to "ease of use." 

     On the other hand, it IS written in perfect English, and there's probably a pretty good chance that someone somewhere needed this explained to them.  It's probably the same person who needs the "this is not a toy" warning on plastic grocery bags or "spinning blades can cut off fingers, toes and limbs" sticker on lawn mowers.  But really, if you have trouble figuring out how to make your CD case portable, and should you find yourself actually needing this sort of thing explained to you, could you please do us a favor and try the blowfish.  Try LOTS of blowfish. 


A Penny Saved....

    Sometimes I have to stop and just smack myself on the head when I am reading the news --especially celebrity news.   It's like watching people try to swim in a pool that has no water.  It's funny, but kind of pathetic. 
    In an attempt to somehow remain noteworthy and relevant, Mr. Britney Spears (aka: Kevin Federline) has taken up a "controversial" cause and joined the fight to save the penny.  Yes.  You read that right.  The penny --the one-cent coin that crowds our pockets and costs more to make than it's actually worth. 
    Oh.  Don't worry.  I see the parallels between the poor penny and "K-Fed."  Neither can support a family, and pennies have a way of winding up flat on the floors of bars, bus stations and strip clubs.  
    On the other hand, pennies are fun to collect for kids and those who are attracted to small, shiny objects.  For example, put Anna Nicole Smith in a room, and toss in a handful of pennies.  Once she's finished scrambling around collecting them all, toss in a handful of K-Feds, and I think you'd get the same response. 
    Then again, pennies ARE money, after all.  And, if Mr. Britney Spears wants to save pennies, who am I to argue?  Maybe his wife will buy him a big, pink piggy bank to help him save for his children's college funds (or at least buy a piece of gum for his wife to show her how much he appreciates the Mercedes she bought him). 

Wednesday, June 21, 2006



    We are so getting spanked around by some pretty nifty thunderstorms.  In fact, on the Wrath of God Scale, I'll give this one about a 5.  Toss in some locusts before lunchtime, and maybe it might jump up to a 6.  Right now, though, aside from some pretty hefty 70 mph wind gusts and being pelted with some small hail as I stepped outside to swipe my neighbor's morning paper (mine blew away --FAR away), these storms seem to be much more show than go. 

    The good news is that I will probably get to play with Mr. Chainsaw and go all zombie-killing Ninja maniac on the downed limbs and branches in the yards of my poor family members.  After all, I seem to be the only member of this gene-pool who owns a chainsaw (which is probably a good thing). 

     Anyway, the power's out and my laptop's battery is slowly dwindling.  So, I should probably wrap this up before I blink out of existence. 


*UPDATE*  --Well, my power's back on, so that's a nice thing.  However, after taking a drive through the park down to the beach here, I am going to downgrade this storm on the WoG scale and give it a meager 3, at most.  But, we're supposed to get more this afternoon, so it might jump up.  I'd like to see a 9 (like Sodom and Gomorra), but we'll probably just wind up with a 4 (raining toads or something harmless like that). 

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Another meme...

I swiped this meme from a Mad Woman named Barb

43 of the MOST random questions...

1. Where were you 1 hour ago?
      I walked down to the beach to watch the sailboats and seagulls while drinking my morning cup of coffee. 

2. Who will be your next kiss?
I'm saving myself for marriage.  Besides, girl-germs and cooties are worse than the Ebola virus.   

3. Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you?

       My tongue. 

4. When is the last time you went to the mall?

        I think it was sometime during the Reagan Administration

5. Are you wearing socks right now?

        I pretty much don't plan on wearing socks until October.  I think they're Fascist.

6. When was the last time you went out of town?


7. Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days?


8. What was the last thing you had to drink?

        Coffee...  Alterra coffee.  Yummy stuff.

9. What are you wearing right now?

        Jeans and t-shirt (no socks).

10. Have you been in a car wash?

        Not lately, but yes.  I have been in a car-wash. 

11. Last fast food you ate?

         A Big Mac with meat. 

12. Where were you last week on Saturday?

        My niece's house (fixing things)

13. Have you bought any clothing items in the last week?


14. When was the last time you ran?

        Gym class: 1983 (I really haven't been in that much of a hurry since then).

15. What's the last sporting event you watched?

        Right now, I'm watching the World Cup match between Germany and Ecuador.

16. What is your favorite class?


17. Your dream vacation?

        I'd like to spend a week in Katmandu enjoying the exquisite delicacies of Bobo's House of Boiled Yak. 

18. Last 3 people's houses you were in?

        That's a toughie.  I didn't really get their names, but they had nice stuff.  Oddly, most people don't let me into their houses. 

19. How old are your parents?

        Mid-to-upper 70's with a chance of being partly cloudy.

21. Do you miss anyone?

        Sometimes.  I don't miss the person, but I do miss the feelings. 

22. Last play you saw?

        Man of La Mancha

23. What are your plans for today?

        Work, work, work...  And then I plan to experiment with a microwave and a Quarter Pounder with Cheese this afternoon. 

24. Who is the last person you commented on myspace?

        I'm banned from MySpace after some comments I made about Britney Spears. 

25. Ever go to camp?

        No.  But I have been camping. 

26. Were you an honor roll student in school?


27. What do you want to know about the future?

        I'd like to know how much hair I'm going to lose before all is said and done.

28. Are you wearing any perfume or cologne

        No.  But, I did spray some Oust air-freshener in my face this morning by accident.  Does that count?  Everything smells like lemons.

30. Where is your best friend located?

        Right now?  Hmmm...  He's probably drowning in the pool in his backyard.

31. Do you have a tan?

        Very much so. 

32. How old do you want to be when you have kids?

        I'd like to be somewhere between 78 and 83 years old when I have children.  I think that's the perfect age where I can still be an effective parent without having to shoulder a whole lot of the burden or responsibility.

33. Do you collect anything?


34. Last time you got stopped by a cop or pulled over?

        Ten years ago.  I got pulled over for not having a front license plate.  However, they didn't give me a ticket because I DID have the plate.  It was just attached to the front bumper that was in the back seat. 

35. Have you ever drank your soda from a straw?

        Yes.  Did you ever drink a two-story beer-bong?

36. How do you like your drinks?


37. Do you like hot sauce? 

        Sure.  I'm just not one of those lunatics who douses their food in that freakishly, blisteringly hot nonsense.  I like to taste what I'm eating.

38. Last time you took a shower?

        After running (see #14).

39. Who do you have a crush on?

        Her name's Lucy, and she's a nice FBI agent I met while trolling for Pakistani boys on MySpace.

40. What is your mood?

        Wretchedly ambivalent.

41. Are you someone's best friend?

        I don't know.  You'll have to ask them.

42.Are you rich?

        My name is Elmer J. Fudd: Millionaire.  I own a mansion and a yacht.

43. What do you think of the person who took this survey before you?

        I think she's a Communist. 

Big Mac Attack!

This is not a salad!
    Say it with me:
    Two all-beef patties,
    lettuce, cheese,
    special sauce,
    pickles, onions,
    all on a sesame-seed bun (or something like that).
    Everyone knows what's on a Big Mac, right?  I mean, even if you can't quite remember all of the the "Big Seven" ingredients of your garden-variety Big Mac, they've got pictures smattered across the walls of every McDonald's on the planet where you can look and visibly SEE what's on the damn thing.  The borders are set, and there simply is no room for culinary whimsy at the hands of those who construct this sandwich. 
    Last night, I hit the McDonald's drive-thru in my town to pick up a Big Mac and some fries.  It's not something I usually do, but considering that the population of my fridge consists of a piece of cheese, half a lemon, a bowl of filberts and an unopened forty-ounce bottle of malt liquor, a Big Mac seemed like a healthy dinner. 
    So, I get home with my foodstuffs, open the little cardboard carton, pick up my Big Mac and immediately realize, Hey?  This thing seems pretty light for a Big Mac.  Why doesn't it weigh as much as it used to?  Have I been taking steroids?  Is this how it feels for Barry Bonds when he eats a Big Mac?
    I begin to investigate by pulling the sesame-seed bun apart.  Well...  There's the special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions...  wait a minute.  Where's the beef? 
    After poking around the Big Mac's innards a bit with my finger for a bit and finding no sign of anything resembling its cardinal ingredient, I hopped in my Jeep and drove BACK to McDonald's to confront those responsible for my NO all-beef patty Big Mac.
    I stormed into the store with the bag in my hand and approached the smiley-faced teenager oozing perkiness all over the counter.
    "Can I help you?" She asked. 
    "Yes," I said.  "I was just in your drive-thru, and I ordered a Big mac, and I drove home, and I opened it up, and you guys forgot to put meat on my Big Mac."
    "Let me see," she asked. 
    I thought that was an odd question, but I yanked the carton from the bag, opened it up, pulled the sandwich apart and showed her my lack of beef. 
    "See?" I said. "Where's the beef?  I have no beef.  Why did you not put two all-beef patties on this?"
    "I thought you ordered it 'meatless,'" she said.
    "Meatless?!?" I said incredulously.  "What kind of molar-grinding freak orders a meatless Big Mac?!?"
    "Some people do, sir," she replied.  "Vegetarians sometimes order them."
    "Trust me," I said.  "Rather than cough up two-and-a-half bucks for a meatless Big Mac, I think most vegetarians would choose from one of your many available salad options."
    "No, sir," she said oozing perkiness, "it's kind of like a salad you can eat while driving." 
    I spent some time trying to wrap my mind around this as she wandered into the back to get me a not-so-meatless Big Mac.  A salad sandwich...  just...  doesn't...  add... up... 
    "Here you go, sir," she said as she handed me a bag that felt like it had about twenty pounds of beef in it. 
    I'm so weak, I thought as I hefted the heavy bag.  I'm so feeble.  I'm so... HOLY CRAP!  What the hell's in this bag?
    As I was walking out, I opened the bag and saw a Big Mac carton, two Quarter Pounders with Cheese and a big, red bucket of fries. 
    "Have a nice night, sir," the girl said.  "Sorry about the mix-up."
    "Thanks," I said as I lugged my big bag of meat out to my car thinking that McDonald's customer compensation program seems a lot like attempted murder by plugging up the arteries of anyone foolish enough to voice a complaint. 

Monday, June 19, 2006

Scotch Madness...

    Milwaukee, WI. -- In an amazing and somewhat bizarre turn of traditional gift-giving, a childless, unmarried man was recently given two bottles of single malt scotch this past Father's Day from none other than his very own father. 
    "I know, it's odd," the father, identified simply as Old Bob, said when asked about his family's strange tradition.  "I have seven kids, and ever since I retired several years ago, my children have been giving me bottles of scotch rather than the usual ugly-ass tie or shoe polishing kit.  But, I really don't like scotch."  So, every year, he gives the bottles to his son Dan. 
    "He's a musician and a writer," Old Bob said, "and everyone knows how much they enjoy drinking scotch."
    "Oh, I absolutely hate scotch," Dan said when asked about the unusual hand-me-downs that he's been forced to stockpile in his basement for the last several years.  "Sure, I'm a musician and a writer, but there are many musicians and writers out there who prefer whiskey, gin or something other than scotch.  In fact, doesn't P-Diddy like Courvossier?" 
    It's clear Old Bob has no use for scotch, shoe polish or ties since the majority of his wardrobe is now comprised of several pairs of flip-flops and sandals, as well as a great many colorful Hawaiian shirts.  "I really just enjoy drinking bourbon and following my wife's orders in the garden.  Drinking scotch would just throw a money wrench into my entire day."
    "What do you mean he doesn't like scotch?"  Young Bob, Old Bob's oldest son said when asked about this year's Father's Day gift.  "[Old Bob] goes through scotch like Rosie O'Donell goes through chocolate cake.  He freakin' loves the stuff.  In fact, show up there tomorrow.  I bet you won't find a single bottle anywhere."
    Unfortunately, this dillema is not solely limited to Father's Day.  Last Christmas, for example, Old Bob received three bottles of single malt and a bottle of crappy blended scotch from various family members, and those four bottles were immediately passed off to his son.
    A quick tour of Dan's basement, shows the devastating impact of this confusion.
    "I think 2001 was the worst," Dan says while shaking his head at the myriad of bottles.  "That was the year he retired.  I think he received about ten bottles that year.  Since then, this place has turned into a fire hazard, and I've had the urge to wear a kilt when I come down here.  It's madness, really." 
    One possible explanation for this "madness" may be found in the family's combination of French and German genetic heritages:
    "Sometimes I wonder if it's just those crappy, German genes these kids get from my wife's side of the family," Old Bob suggests.  "There are no Scots anywhere in our family, and my people have been drinking bourbon for years.  I just wish my idiot children knew more about booze.  That would be the best Father's Day gift."

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Please Try to Keep Up, AOL...

    Hey! Look what I saw in checking the AOL news this morning:

    AOL News - 'Screech' Actor Turns to Fans for Help

   Now, not to beat my chest or anything, but this is why you must read my journal.  I tell you the news you need WHEN you need it most!  And, you obviously needed this story three days ago (if nothing else, you totally beat the rush in ordering your t-shirts and were able to receive them in time for Father's Day). 

    Then again, AOL managed to get a picture of Screech signing an autograph for Leif Garret, and that just kills me. 


P.S.  If AOL does a piece about James Woods and his "girlfriend," I am SO going to demand compensation (maybe a coffee cup or something). 

Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Fun Friday Night...

   Well, at least it isn't Schaumburg.  Oh look!  Brake lights.  So pretty. 
    Those were the thoughts dribbling through my head last night as I was making the trek from Milwaukee (the land of the super-cool) to sit down, have a weiss beer and do a bit of catching up in the Golden Ghetto of Chicago's Northwest burbs with my wicked slick friend, Jenn, of Jenn's World
    It's been a while since I'd driven in Illinois, and not only did I seem to seriously overestimate the driving skills of Chicago drivers, I'd also forgotten that the Illinois tollway has been in a perpetual state of reconstruction since the end of the Civil War.  In short, it's absolute madness with exact change required. 
    Fortunately, my crazy mad hockey playing skills prepared me for this, and I was able to anticipate more than one approching automotive body-check which would have left my poor little, Jeep a crumpled, red wreck of mangled Dan with twelve bucks' worth of loose change spilling out.  But, I will say it's quite an adrenaline-rush tooling along at 80 mph with a chugging Freightliner heaving a hot breath down the back of my neck behind me.
    "HEY JENN!  I'M GOING TO BE FASHIONABLY LATE!"  I shouted into my cell.
    "Where are you?"
    "You're an idiot."
    The cool thing is, even after being reduced to a spastic, chattering mess at the hands of the Illinois Department of Transportation, it was definitely worth it.  Jenn's the kind of friend who not only eats lettuce sandwiches, but after ten minutes of talking to her, your sides are either hurting from laughing so hard, or she stuck a six-inch shiv into your ribs because you weren't paying attention. 
    Anyway, I hope everyone is having a wonderful and wild weekend.  Be safe out there, and if you should see a Freightliner with half-a-pack of cigarette butts stuck in its radiator, do me a favor and flip him off. 


    Here are some conversations I've had over the past couple of days:
    "Don't call me 'KSG' in your journal."
    "Why not?"
    "It makes me sound like a radio station."
    "So what should I call you?"
    "I don't know."
    "Can I call you Hildico?"
    "Atilla the Hun's wife."
    Then, there came Thursday night's surprise dinner:
    "I made your favorite." She said.
    "You know?  I don't really have a favorite."
    "I made meatloaf."
    "I like meatloaf."
    "I know.  It's your favorite."
    "Who told you that?"
    "I called your brother, and he said that meatloaf was your favorite."
    "Why are there raisins in this?"
    "Do you like it?"
    "I don't think you should talk to my family anymore."
    "You're an idiot."
    "Why can't I call you Hildico?"
    "It's so ugly."
    "It's Hunnish."
    "My name's Allison."
    "You said you didn't want me to use  that name in my journal."
    "I know.  But, I really don't like being called KSG.  Just don't tell people where I work.  They are fussy about that sort of thing." 
    "Okay, Allison the Brit."
    "You're an idiot."
    "I know."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I Wish I Was Cool Like James Woods.

    Hello, God.  Now, you probably know I don't really believe in you, but on the odd chance that you DO exist, can you do me a favor?  And, no, I don't want world peace or billions of dollars or anything like that.  My request is actually pretty simple.
    Can you make me cool like James Woods?
    My UsMagazine came in the mail today (before you judge me, you should know it's been getting sent here by accident for the past four years), and I opened it to see a picture of James Woods and his girlfriend --his TWENTY-year old girlfriend. 
    God?  I want a twenty-year old girlfriend.  I want to be able to pull up in front of a bar and say, "Honey?  I'm going to go drink a big glass of scotch.  Wait here until I come out.  And, if you turn twenty one while you're waiting for me, then come in.  I'll buy you a drink for your birthday, and then replace you with one of the Olsen Twins.  Kiss-kiss-dahling.  Keep the engine running."  
    I mean, how awesome would it be to be in a relationship with someone who isn't old enough to drink?  That pretty much turns every single bar into an instant "Fortress of Solitude," where I can hide, drink scotch, play pool and watch sports without having to listen to my girlfriend discuss the global importance of Britney's impending meltdown.  If we get in a fight over directions while driving somewhere, all I have to do is pull over in front of some watering hole and give myself a much-needed time-out.  After all, it's probably in both our best interests that I get out and drink before I say something I'll eventually regret. 
    One thing, God?  She's got to be twenty; because, I think if she's nineteen, that might just be a little too creepy. 

Hellooooo, Gas Station!

    "Good morning, honey!"
    "Good morning, Gas Station Lady," I said.  "I have three million dollars in gas, and I need a pack of smokes."
    "Do you have a rewards card?"
    "No, Gas Station Lady.  I don't."
    "Do you need a bag?" 
    "For a pack of cigarettes, Gas Station Lady?"
    "Sorry," She said.
    "Don't worry, Gas Station Lady," I said.  "Have a nice day."
    "You too," she said.  "Don't work too hard."
    Thanks to you, Gas Station Lady, I am most certainly not going to work too hard today.  You are wise, and your advice is to be trusted.  If you tell me not to work too hard, who am I to argue? 
    It's not that I am lazy or weak, Gas Station Lady.  It just takes very little to unmotivate me, and I thank you for reminding me that I do need a day off.  You know me so well, and I wish I could see you every morning, Gas Station Lady. 
    Someday, I am going to buy you one of your store's stale jelly doughnuts that you seem to love so much, Gas Station Lady.  You are always eating them and wiping away the crumbs when I come in.  Or, perhaps you'd like one of your delicious breakfast burritos which look as though they have been slowly rotating on the hot-dog conveyor for the past seven hours?  I almost bought one once, Gas Station Lady, but it sort of smelled like old fish, and I don't eat fish for breakfast.  Maybe I'll come back for brunch and enjoy one.  Save one for me.
    Gas Station Lady?  Did you know that there is a hobo sleeping behind your store?  Did you tell him not to work too hard too?  He seems much more serious about not working than I do.  I wonder if he'd like a fish buritto.
    Anyway, thanks again, Gas Station Lady. 

Whatever Happened To...

Save his damn house!    If it wasn't for this man, you probably would have spent a lot more of your Saturday mornings NOT wrestling with the urge to throttle the life out of some poor, dim-witted teenager for no good reason.

    Yes.  It's Dustin Diamond --former child Über-geek "Screech" from the smash-hit television show, Saved by the Bell (the show that launched the film careers of...  umm..  well...  nobody). 

    How about this?

    It's Dustin Diamond --the deliverer of the most holy and ultra-righteous, geek-beating smackdown of Ron Pallilo (aka: Arnold Horshack) in the history of televised former child-star exploitation. 

    Anyway, earlier this morning, I was watching the local news, and I damn near spit out my coffee when I learned that Screech had apparently escaped the relentless, hounding, Hollywood paparazzi to settle for a much simpler life in the sleepy, lakeshore village of Port Washington, WI.  Yes, my friends, it seems Screech has become a Cheesehead

    How amazing?  I'm like almost famous.  Screech's house is just up the road from me.  Unfortunately, thanks to the efforts of The Man, the bank has since foreclosed on Casa Screech, and now Mr. Diamond is scrambling to raise the neccessary $250,000 so as to not become a homeless, imported Cheesehead.  However, rather than bitch-slap Ron Palillo into insanity, Dustin Diamond has resorted to selling t-shirts for $15 ($20 if you'd like one autographed) in an effort to Save Screech's House

    Now, all laughing aside for the moment, Dustin Diamond's story is a bit of a bummer, actually.  And in this day and age of our country's current health care state, the Hollywood residuals of a mediocre Saturday morning television show wouldn't support most former child-actors' Vicodin and transvestite prosititute habits, much less cover the hospital bills resulting from any sort of medical crisis.  Indeed, it's out there for a Screech. 

    The thing is, as lousy of an actor as I think he is, during the interview, he seemed like a genuinely normal and decent human being, and a nice guy who's in a pretty hefty world of panic.  Most child actors seem to eventually wind up on some police blotter somewhere, but Dustin Diamond's kept his nose clean, and he's just doing his best to play the crappy hand dealt to him.     

    Now, as for me, I'll probably buy a shirt.  I'd like to keep him in Wisconsin for the sheer selfish reason that, so long as he's living here, there's a chance --albeit slim-- that I will walk into a strip club and actually see Screech getting a lap dance.  How cool would THAT be? 


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Can I Get Fries With That?

    Right now, I am finishing up my daily tasks, and I decided to have a little pizza and watch a bit of the World Cup match between Croatia and Brazil.  However, as the game started, my mind seemed to be focused on the red and white uniforms of the Croatian players. 
    Now, I'm not trying to start anything that could possibly be described as an "International Incident," but, when I see this:
    The first thing that comes to my mind, of course, is this:
    Needless to say, I'm finding it really quite hard concentrating on this game.  I NEED a burger...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Flawed Photo Assignment...

    This is for John Sclazi's Monday Photo Shoot in which he would like to see our camera-related screw ups.  So, here's mine:

    This picture was taken at the wedding I went to a couple of weeks ago, and I'm not entirely sure what went wrong with my camera.  It's just a fussy, little cheap Olympus.  But, if you look close, you'll see that my nephew, Joe, does have two heads.  One head's kind of angry looking, and the other head is smiling.  Weird, huh?

Last Night's Dinner...

    Hotel bars are fascinating places, sometimes.  Trust me, I've spent enough time in them to spot the genuine, worn out travellers and the thirsty locals who swing in to get cheap drinks from their friends who happen to be working.  It's pretty easy, actually, since the non-locals tend to either complain or rave on about the price of drinks.
    "My god!" One businessman says, contemplating the bottle before him with an awestruck look upon his unshaven face.
    "It's huge, huh?"  His companion responds.
    For a while, they sit there gaping like Neanderthals in some bizarre scene out of a Stanley Kubrick film as they admire the wonders before them.
    "It's full of bubbles," one says.
    "And only two bucks!"
    "I love Milwaukee,"  they say in unison before descending into an alcohol-induced, frat-boy frenzy eventualy ending in extremely off-key rendition of Barry Manilow's "Mandy," sung in a sort of Quasimodo-esque hunched-over state since they've yet to realize they've inadvertently gotten their ties tangled into the zippers of their trousers.  Last night wasn't much different.  But, this isn't about that.
    Earlier in the day, the Kinda-Sorta-Girlfriend (KSG) brought over a six-pack to help me fill my new fridge, and --get this-- watch the Formula One British Grand Prix on TV.  I know.  It's baffling that a woman would actually want to watch that sort of thing, but not only did she sit glued to the TV, but she also knew the names of every, single driver out there, who they drove for, and apparently their sexual orientation.  Even better, she moved to The States from Birmingham, England, 22 years ago, and still has a slight accent and an adorable way of referring to Michael Schumacher as a "ponce."  Now, I don't quite know what a ponce is, but even with my Teutonic heritage, I found myself giggling.
    Anyway, after the race and a ten minute discussion on David Coulthard's complete lack of tescticular fortitude, KSG and I headed out to meet my parents for a nice dinner at the restaurant in the Radisson Hotel, and she didn't seem the slightest bit nervous (take that Mr. Coulthard!). 
    "I would like a bourbon manhattan with lots of cherries," KSG said to the bartener as we took our seats at the bar and waited for my tardy folks.  And, when the bartender looked at me, I nodded and said I'd like the same. 
    When the drinks arrived a short time later, KSG took a sip, made a funny face and said something that sounded a lot like "woof."
    Curious, I took a drink of mine, and though it was somewhat strong, I didn't think it required any sort of face-pinching or woofing. 
    "Ooo...  Tough guy," she said.  "Likes his liquor strong."
    "And my women easy," I replied.
    "Ha!"  She laughed. 
    Stretched along the bar were two drunk businessmen, hitting on three girls who were eyeballing five beer-drinking construction workers who all looked too tired to notice.  Around the end of the bar were two men in Hawaiian shirts, and at a table behind them was a woman who looked to be waiting for someone as she kept looking from her watch to the TV and back to her watch again and again.  It was a typically eccentric hotel crowd, I guess.
    Eventually, my parents arrived.  And, after the introductions, KSG ordered a manhattan sans cherries for my father and a vodka gimlet for my mother.  And, when my father took a sip of his drink, he grunted something along the lines of "hmph," to which she and I shared a little laugh. 
    "I have something for you," KSG said to my mother, before rummaging around inside her back-pack/purse.  "It's in here somehwere.  Dammit!  I just put it in here."
    My father and I just sipped our drinks and my mother watched as KSG unloaded her cargo of "neccessities" onto the bar.  My mother looked at me with a glare as if to say, See?  She's British, and it's the scurvy that's made her mad.  She needs an orange.
    "Ah-ha!" KSG exclaimed shortly into the excavation, and she poudly held up a somewhat crumpled brown, paper bag as an offering to my mother.  "I hope you like it."
    Now, when my mother receives any sort of gift, she first issues an endless stream of protests ranging from "you don't have to get me anything," to a sort of surprised laughter.   Then, eventually, she opens the gift and issues a gasping sort of exclamation as if she'd just been handed the Hope Diamond or something.  I'm serious.  You could slap a ribbon on a Bic lighter and hand it to her, and her response would be the same. 
    However, this time, my mother's surprise was truly genuine.  "Oh my," she exclaimed.  "Look," she said handing her gift to my ambivalent father who simply looked at me and shrugged.  Then, she hugged KSG, and explained how perfect her gift was.  Yep.  KSG could have taken out a knife at that moment and stabbed me in the face, and my mom probably wouldn't have given it any thought. 
    When the Matre de came to collect us and guide us to our table, my mother, still beaming from her wonderful gift, excitedly showed it to him.  And, in a patronizing tone, he voiced his appreciation. 
    As my folks walked in front of us, KSG leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Sheesh.  She really likes it, huh?"
    "You don't understand," I said.  "You pretty much just gave my mother a huge rock of crystal meth." 
    "It's just cheese," KSG said with a giggle. 
    "No," I said.  "It's Stilton blue cheese.  She once sent my claustrophobic father through the Chunnel when they were in France in order to satisfy her fix.  She's a Stilton junkie." 
    Needless to say, it was a very pleasant dinner.  My mom put some of her gift on her salad and anything else she could find.  KSG and my father discussed the Renault F1 turbo-charger (yeah...  weird), and I munched on enough deep-fried, panko-breaded appetizers to incite a panic in the Japanese bread-crumb industry.  All in all, it was a pretty nice day. 
     Now, I know you're all wondering why I call her the "Kinda-Sorta-Girlfriend," huh?  Well, it started out as a sort of game; however, now it's a total challenge.  She is SO going to call me her "boyfriend" first.  In fact, I've already emailed some of her friends demanding that they tell me if she ever lets it slip.  There's even money involved, people!   Yes.  It's childish and dumb.  But, that's what she gets for dating an idiot like me.