NEW 114

"In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time."
--Edward P. Tryon


      "I am Elmer J. Fudd, thousandaire. I don't own a mansion or a yacht."
      I briefly thought of mailing my winning Lotto ticket, as you can do that. But how would I know when to complain "WHERE MY MONEY?!" I looked at the directions to Lottery Headquarters and saw that it was about the same time it'd take me for a commute to work, a place that doesn't pay me $1,986 for showing up for 15 minutes. Same exit as Dinosaur State Park, in fact. Money and dinosaurs, can't beat that!
      15 years ago, some dipshit asshole shot 4 people at the old headquarters with a high-capacity Glock, which of course meant Gun Control Does Nothing or something to the Second Amendment dipshit assholes. I was expecting metal detectors. But the High Tier Claims Center didn't have that. Bulletproof glass everywhere, sure. Why have background checks when bulletproof glass something something?
      The receptionist said "I'll buzz someone over to help you--oh, here she comes!" I wondered which buttons summoned the police and possibly some on-premises guys with Uzis.
      I wondered if this would be a good job--all your customers are happy--or a bad job--all your customers are getting checks for more than your weekly pay? Especially as Lottery workers can't play the lottery. I mean, they could, but if they won, someone else would have to collect the winnings. I saw a news report in the 80s about the beginning of a state lottery (Georgia, I think) that the workers rigged. They all bought tickets with the same number, then had someone inject water into the ping pong balls used to pick the numbers. The balls stay at the bottom of a big bin with a fan moving them, then capsules at the top are removed, and suction brings the winning numbers to the top. The guy operating it--on live TV--removed the top, and 6 balls flew to the top. The other 50 or so just sat on the bottom, being pushed around lazily by the fan. Injected too much water, guys.
      I guess that it's a good job. The few people I interacted with were upbeat. Unlike most lottery players, they don't see just the stats on how many people win, but how many people lose. I showed a picture ID and credit card, filled out a form, waited a few minutes, got a check for $1,853. The state withholds the taxes I'd pay next year, which is logical for them and practical for me. Once a coworker won $5000, which is the exact threshold that the Federal Gov't doesn't withhold any tax. Being an idiot, she spent all 5 grand--knowing her, immediately and at the casino, rather than paying down her $50,000 in credit card debt. And then tax time came...She's still paying it off, on an IRS installment plan.
      The lottery rep said that my state taxes were now covered, but that the Feds would take 25%. The state took about 6-7%. Even if I'd won that $2.1 million, I'd see a financial advisor before I quit my job. After the 2nd check, sure, Quit City for me. I'm not stupid. If I was stupid, I'd spend all my spare money on the losing game that's the lottery.
      There was a guy with a backpack trying to redeem a ticket. He didn't have a photo ID, the least of the IDs they require. He had his birth certificate! As I've said for years at the liquor store, all that proves is that you were born, and that can be assumed by the fact you're talking. I got my check while it was still going on. Nothing could be worse than wasting the few dollars you have on the lottery, then winning, then not being able to collect.
      On the way to the bank to deposit my check, which will be about $465 less come IRS time, a rock flew from a dump truck and dinged my window. Just my luck, amirite?

      What the State Birds Should Be. Hey, the robin's CT's bird because it means SPRING! You live through 7 months of dead leaves and you'd be glad to see one too!



      You've Got (Snail) Mail:
      A brochure from my vet's office, the cover wraparound personalised for my pleasure (but not enough that the magazine it wraps around isn't filled mainly with articles about dogs, smelly dumb dogs):
      "It's been a year since we've seen Byron!
      "What's Byron's Cattitude? Adventurous? Moody?"
      Happy, when home. At the vet? Homicidally murderous. Hannibal Lecter the day after giving up faces for Lent. Attila the Hun with hemorrhoids made of Hitlers. "Rip-everyone's-throat-outy," is that an attitude?
      So, "Moody."
      I got my property taxes for the year, the car and condo. They work out to $350 more than my lottery "winnings." Just my luck, amirite?


      A couple of young kids came into the liquor store. By "young," I don't mean "just graduated high school." I mean "just graduated daycare." Like ages 11 and 8.
      "Can I buy a lighter?"
      "...Do you have ID?" I said, not adding "beyond a hall pass."
      "Sorry. It's not legal to sell you one."
      "But--we have fireworks!"
      "Oh, why didn't you say so! Here's some duct tape so that you can strap them to your faces! Would you like some napalm with that?"
      "Try a convenience store" I said, although I suppose "Ask your parents" would've been better.
      "We've tried everywhere," he sighed, "Thank you anyway" and then he and his little brother sadly left the building.
      Ever seen a convenience store with cheap fake roses in glass tubes by the register, sometimes inexplicably paired with generic Brillo pads? I was always baffled by that. But throw the rose away, tear a bit off the pad, and you have a crack pipe. If THOSE guys won't sell you a cigarette lighter...


      I used a coupon for 5 rubles off of hot wings at the People's Choice Pizza Soviet. Since I find their "Atomic" hot, but not hot enough, I asked for their hottest setting, "Insanity." And they were Stalinist Show Trial insanely hot. I had to wait 5 minutes after eating only 3. Hot on the lips, hot on the tongue, even hot in the stomach, just the way I like them! Also, hot in my weiner when I pee, which really isn't something I look for. Do they have a style inbetween the 2, like "Chernobyl"?

      There are some good gags in this cartoon, and I say that as a near-Disneyphobe. But I mainly link because--shit, after 20 years, can people stop ripping off Ren & Stimpy already?


      I'm sure you've heard about Wendy Davis' heroic filibuster in Texas, that (temporarily) stopped the Confederacy's vicious "pro-life, until you're born, then FUCK YOU" bill from being passed. Taiwan's CGI news has its own take. Involves fire-breathing T Rex.


      And this I point out just because the only thing more insane than YouTube comments are its bizarre "videos like this" links...


      OK, if those are actual questions, how come no one asked about the vicious animal named poutine, or Moncton being a secret fish mine? (Actually, the inspiration for my old "Fun Facts About Canada!" thing was reading about border crossing workers being repeatedly asked by Americans where the best skiing was--in July)

      I deposited rebate checks from liquor receipts of stuff I didn't buy (I just printed out a duplicate after a customer did, then mailed it in); bought something at the grocery store that didn't ring up on sale, and in CT that means it's free, but they rounded the $6.99 so I was paid a penny to take 2 dinner's worth of delicious Sea Cuisine; saved another buck using my grocery store card points to get gas, cashed in the deposit on the water bottles I get for free at work, then got a mystery check for $8.32 in the mail from some "American Express FX Fee Litigation" settlement, weird as I don't have an AmEx card. It added up to just short of a free $30!
      And also got a medical bill from my arthritis of the spine adventure for $75. I'm starting to think that winning $2K in Lotto reduced my overall luck.

      (But there's no such thing as luck, or fate, or Invisible Sky Santa or any of that crap, just objective reality's random chances, and randomly reducing my bills by $30, or spending $1 to get $2000 just when I get a tax bill for $2350 is a pretty good roll of the dice, and--wow. I totally stepped all over my own punchline there, didn't I? Just my luck!)



      I was looking at Network Awesome for something. I didn't find it. In fact, I forgot what it was. As soon as I saw a link to "The Legend of the Hawaiian Slammers."
      Wait, I said, what? Somebody actually made a TV pilot cartoon about--that?!
      20 years ago, a coworker was convinced that someday he would retire on his collection of the greatest collectable of the 90s. Crappy comic books? No, even crappier!
      He was a little older than me, in his mid 30s, but I had a condo and a car and he lived with his parents in his old bedroom. What would make him rich? Tod McFarlane comics and Beanie Babies?
      Fucking POGs.
      Jessica, who would've been about 12 at the height of POGmania--well, we saw one in an antique store not long ago, and I had to explain to her what the thing was. She didn't know, despite being at the perfect age to have them.
      So, yeah, awful POG cartoon, featuring the Generic White Boy that was in every lame cartoon from 1985 to 1999. Theme song:
      "Slammers of Darkness, Slammers of Light!
      When they get together they FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!"
      Trust me, that's as good as it gets.
      "The Legend of the Hawaiian Slammers." Warning: will autoplay. So, N(POG)SFW.



      Dearest customer: "I left my wallet at home" means that you should go home and get your wallet, not "So give me this free." Try that at KMart, and the only free thing you'll get are handcuffs.
      After getting mad at me for not risking my job, he then was back less than 10 minutes later! Unfortunately, the cashier--who was the first person he asked if she didn't want to work there anymore--didn't say "Sorry, I can't give you your change. I'll give it to you next time."


      I hate everything and everbody right now (except for you, dear LTRotD), especially the Bad Job. However, via Way of Cats, I love a really cool story about a genius kitten: Space-Time for Springers by Fritz Leiber.


      A thunderstorm cheered me up yesterday. A big one, almost on top of the house. Even a tiny rumble in the distance used to send Kill Kill hiding under the bed until exactly 20 minutes had passed. Not 18, not 22, but 20. Even I'm not going to credit the Einstein Girl with knowing the time, so it must be some instinctual inner clock.
      She changed once Byron came into our lives. He doesn't fear what he doesn't hear. She learned that from him. I came into the room at the height of the storm, and she turned a calm eye towards me and gave a little "Hey, what's up?" meow. While lying somewhere she's never been before--on Byron's row of nested sleeping boxes. As if to say "I'm just as brave as the Cat Without Fear!"
      Then tonight I took out a trash bag and she ran as if Paula Deen with a saucepan and a pound of butter was after her. I used to snap the bags open, a sound she hated. Now I warn her and open it gently. Cure one terror a time, I guess.

      Hopefully no downpours tomorrow, when Jessica and I revisit our rut, Sturbridge. We kinda keep doing the same things in the same places. I'm hoping for good news about Pinkie. She's a kitten rescued from her feral mother when tiny, then hand-raised by Jess. Her adorable kitten squeak has been one of her ringtones ever since. She later became her mom's cat.
      And someone left the door open 3 weeks ago, and out Pinkie went to explore. She hasn't been seen since, as of the last I heard a week ago. What have been seen in her mother's neighborhood are fisher cats, which are not at all cats, but really vicious weasels. I'm not expecting good news.
      To cheer her up--this is my job, you know--I've bought her a bag of gummy bears. Because who wouldn't be cheered up by gummy bears? A five pound bag of gummais. Okay, diabetics and people with loose teeth wouldn't be. And if the news is good, she's got something to celebrate with.

      I once linked to an amazing, lush, beautiful ambient tune that lasted 20 minutes. It was Bieber, slowed down 800 times.
      Here's another, one that possibly may be better known to you than Bieber.




      Same old same old with Jess today. Except for the "not" part.


      Her daughter Jacqueline, now a high school graduate and legal adult, was there!
      Also officially taller than her mom, which is not something a baby born at 8 months usually reaches.
      I so shook things up at Cracker Barrel by ordering an omelette, which isn't even on the menu! Yeah, I'm crazy!
      The news about her mom's cat Pinky actually is worse. Her horrible sister, the opposite of Jess in every way (Jennifer kept smoking, drinking and snorting through her pregancy, leaving her son with all sorts of developmental issues. Which is odd--not that doing that wouldn't mess up a fetus, but that she's had a kid in between her five abortions), moved back in with her mother after trying to raise her kid in a storage shelter--I could go on, but Jen hates cats and anything her sister Jess loves, so there's no doubt she's the reason Pinkie "accidentally" got left out, as she bragged about how she'd kick that poor cat everytime she got near her. Why her mom and stepdad just don't throw that trash to the curb, I don't know. Neither does Jess.
      I told them of my good fortune with the Lottery, and like everyone, they asked what I was going to spend it on. I mentioned maybe a battery backup for my computer. Maybe.
      And we went to an antique store that we never go to! YEAH WE CRAZY. It's beautiful and full of wondrous objects that one gasps at and cries "$675 for THAT?!" I call it "the Museum," because you aren't going to the Smithsonian and tearing the Francis Scott Key flag off the wall and taking it to the gift shop and saying "I'll give you fifty bucks. This flag's fulla cannon holes!" Conversation that caught our ears when we walked in: "My cat Sugar saw this dog, and he started barking, and she like turned into a dog, she started barking back, and he was barking, and she was barking, then they were both barking!" which went on so long that we had trouble not laughing. Of course, this store had lots of dog figures, so we'd point at them and say variants on "He was barking, she was barking" the whole time we were there.
      The place was full of entertainment, at least for 3 wiseasses. Also some awesome stuff that we would never buy. Interestingly, almost every booth had a collection of something odd. Pigs, dogs, hurricane lamps, lots of chocolate molds, $675 door knockers, even one of old whistles. It included a salesman's advertising sample, because I guess whistles were once a thing you gave away to push your business. Our fave: "Kids whistle for EX-LAX." "TWEEET! Mom, I'm constipated again!" Another collection was all fancy old tins for condoms. You'd think back in the day, that wouldn't be something you'd want people to know. "Hey, baby, before I pop it out, let me pop this open! I have another tin for my used ones."
      There was so much we laughed over that I can't remember it all. At the end of the maze-like store, we found a collection of very old medical equipment. Like an "electrotherapy" device with a bunch of tools that you plugged in and inserted in people's orifices, I assume. It had a dial that read "HI-FREQUENCY-FARADAIC-GALVANIC" which are words I understand but don't know how they'd make a difference while electrocuting your genitals. We also saw this:


      Nasal Douche! Behind it, Reverse Flow Ear Douche. These will now be the insults I yell at people in traffic.
      Next we went to Yankee Pedlar, the possible store/likely drug money laundering operation. There's never anyone at the registers, but there are a number of workers. They'd actually become less crowded with junk than the last time we went a year ago. Must've had a good couple months of selling heroin. "Don't break anything!" whispered Jess, because half the shit in the store's broken anyway. I said "This probably looked better when the golf club was still there":


      Jess: "'Mom, what are you doing?!' 'I'm teaching you how to aim.'"
      We told Jacques about our favorite thing, the one that's never changed in a dozen years: the personalized Croc keychain rack. Jess found one keychain by itself, then later I found another. It was like following a trail of clues! And then there it was--The Croc Tree! At Cracker Barrel, we told Jacques about it, but the place was so noisy she said "The what? The what?!" Croc keychains, you know, that ugly shoe. "OH!" she said. "I thought you said crotch!" Here's the female one, here's the male one...
      In between the stores, we went to the Bates Motel. Jess and I'd been there a dozen years ago, when it was a creepy single lane gravel driveway, darkened with trees heavy with leaves, that clearly hadn't been used in a long time. We kept walking slower and slower...despite it being a bright summer's day, the "slasher jumps out now" vibe was pretty strong. Then the trees all died off because of a blocked drain pipe flooding them. She wanted Jacques to see it, and now it was all overgrown since the 5 years or so we'd last been. The dead forest had turned to swamp, ripe with bullrushes and lilypads and tiny peeper frogs scurrying by our feet. The driveway was only wide enough for a bicycle, and a bridge had been taken down to make it impassable. But not on foot! We pushed on, Jess, of course, leading. There was a covered motorcycle and an RV parked at the motel, which really didn't look all that bad. And a rusty air conditioner in one window. And a bay window with what looked like a giant spirit catcher. With a big guy dressed in black who looked out at us, then turned into his house. Time to leave!
      That's where the picture of J & J was taken. "This was their last known photo" I intoned. "Did it come out?" asked Jess. "Yeah, but there was this guy running up behind you guys with a machete..."
      I got home just before a thunderstorm, which blinked my power as I was working on the photos. Killed them, in fact, although I was able to retrieve them. Maybe I should splurge on that battery backup...


      And I have SPLURGED!
      I bought an APC BR1000G Back-UPS Pro 1000 Uninterruptible Power Supply! Since both Jess and Lilly insisted, although Lils probably in a less disgusted voice. Jess, to daughter: "Bill isn't like me, he's so practical!"
      Of course, she said that of a guy who gave her a Yellow Pages bag (Me, to Jacques: "You're too young to know what those are--it's like a really slow Google") with a 5-pound bag of Haribo Gummi Bears inside. Since a single bag had Amazon shipping that almost cost as much as the product, I bought a second bag. Free shipping! Then I had 10 pounds of candy on my doorstep, and realized how long it would take me to eat them. Being practical, I gave them to a household that will eat it in 2 weeks.
      Jess: "The trick is to leave them out, so that they get all hard and stale!" Jacques: "Oh, god, mommy, that's gross!" But that's her way of eating them, and even at 18, her kid calls her "mommy."


      I find it interesting that the Stupidest Quote people declined to explain that "Faust" was written by Gounod, and yet still felt the need to add "actual conversation." If the Quotes are imaginary, there's no real need for them to chronicle them.

      I feel like I'm imagining that Amazon says its sending me my UPS backup Monday, despite me using Super Cheapskate Shipping. I'm glad it's on my day off, so I can spend all day hooking it up wrong and yelling actual swears against imaginary computer gods. I'm unclear on how big it will be, not unlike bags of Gummy Bears, and half my floor space is taken up by Old Dead Computers. What do you do with yours? Take out the hard drive and give the rest away on electronics recycling day? (This is an actual question; feel free to leave an actual answer in the Comments)




      In the 4th week of a heat wave with withering humidity, I went out to get my mail. A little cat was startled when I opened the door--but just came up for pets, uttering a voiceless meow. I've seen her from my courtyard window, wondering what idiot leaves a cat out in this weather, with traffic in the front and fisher weasels and coyotes in the back. She was purring fur draped over a skeleton. I could feel not just her ribs, but every vertebrae in her spine. I petted and talked to her for a while, then went to get my mail thinking "You're getting some Friskies and clean water when I get back."
      A woman was calling to her when I got back. "Is that your cat?" "No, she just turned up one day a few weeks ago. I think someone dumped her."
      We ended up having a long conversation about her. The woman volunteers like Jess, giving meds to strays and in shelters. She's been feeding her. She had a notched ear, usually a sign of a TNR neautered cat, but it was the left ear, and V-shaped and with a bit of extra skin, so it may have been from her escaping something trying to bite her ear off. I emailed Jess for clarification, but I'm glad somebody's watching out for the tiny girl. The heat wave's only going to get worse...

      While talking about the stray, UPS delivered my UPS. The battery backup came with the least instructive instructions I've ever seen. There was a tape across the box telling me "IF RED STICKER ON TOP, TURN BATTERY OVER. IF GREEN ON TOP, DON'T TURN OVER." Of course, there were red and green stickers and a manual that told me to flip it over, so I was left trying to figure out what constituted "the top" (I went with "the side with writing").
      Most of my cussing involved the vague manual and the fact that I have no idea what plug goes to which thing. Is this the monitor plug? No, that's a pwer strip plugged into a power strip plugged into the wall surge suppressor. Iron Man doesn't have that many levels of surge suppression! And when the monitor's plugged into the recommended outlet, it has no power. And it assumes that all plugs are normal big 3-pronged ones, when some of mine are weirdly shaped. And, most importantly, I took out the old computer, the one Byron uses on his way to sleep on top of the printer. I assume he'll figure it out.
      Did you know that all the ink in your printer can be used up if a bigfoot cat stomps on "ON" enough? Tis true. The printer now has the best of surge suppressors: it's no longer plugged in.



      I awoke early this morning--never a thing I like to do on days off--and found myself thinking about that stray cat. I looked out the courtyard window, and there she was, sprawled asleep on the concrete sidewalk in the endless heat. She's always facing the door across the way. That must've been where the assholes who abandoned her lived. I brought her some Friskies wet food and water, and went back to bed.
      When I went for the mail, she was looking at a door a building down, purring by an empty food bowl with 2 bowls of water, one with ice cubes. That must be where the woman who's been taking care of her lives. On Monday, she tried to follow me in my door as she wanted to be an indoor cat again, but this time, she just sat there, fed and watered and happy. I think that she'll be okay. If the woman follows through on her intentions, this super-friendly little dilute tortie will be adopted very quickly.
      Hopefully, that follow through comes soon, as the heat indices are supposed to hit 105 for the next few days...

      Here's a comic book I loved back in the day! Fatman the Human Flying Saucer! I read it to death until I traded it for another comic, because 8 year olds are stupid. It's good to remember that once upon a time, comic books weren't "dark & gritty," but fun. Even if Lightning Comics was also responsible for the four color excrement that was "Tod Holton, Super Green Beret" (Note that the cover for the upcoming issue is different from the actual first issue cover of "Tod Holton, Gree--" What?! No, I'm not a comics nerd, IT'S COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! In fact, it's better, even if it kinda looks like a setup to a gay porno. "Oh, Super Green Beret! We dogfaces are on our knees in bondage, but let us thank you in OUR way!"
      Yes, his morbid obesity is played for laughs, but he's also shown defeating multiple bad guys by being a combination of the Immovable Object and the Irresistible Force. His exclamations show an overdose of the Batman TV series of the time, as he declaims things like "HOLY HOT DOGS!" because he likes to eat, you know. "I'm Fatman!"
      And, as stated, he becomes the Human Flying Saucer because why not is why. It's hard to hate something that knows it's utterly ridiculous.
      But is there another reason why he's always hungry? It was published in the Summer of Love 1967, and has this sound effect.


      Dude, don't bogart the hot dogs!


      Today DT asked me, in all seriousness: "Are you growing a beard?"
      Yes. Since the day after I graduated high school. Nice observational skilz!

      After feeding the stray yesterday, I went back to sleep. And I dreamed that she had a huge open hole in her side, and I could see her withered internal organs inside her (clearly a metaphor for her starving condition), although she didn't mind me touching it while she ate.
      Later I went for the mail, and she was camped out by the building of the feral cat rescuer who was tending to her, with a newly-emptied bowl of food and a bowl of water with ice cubes. I didn't see the bowl or the cat today, so hopefully, she took her to the vet. Just in time, since the weather's even worse. I sure hope so.


      I'm lazy, so dinner is Gorton's fish filets. The box proclaims Gluten Free! Wow, your fish isn't made of wheat? It wasn't raised on a diet of onion bagels with a shmear of cream cheese? Do you sell bulkie rolls made of fish? Next time I buy a car, I'm going to make sure it isn't made out of breaded fishsticks!

      New item at the Boozeteria: BUZZ BALLZ! (Link to the world's most uninteresting website--but don't worry, I think the site's gluten-free) They're little plastic balls filled with awful flavors no one of actual drinking age would buy, unless they hate correct pluralz. My favorite is "Strawberry Rum Job"! Sure, I'll put something in my mouth named after a rim job. But shouldn't the flavor be Tossed Salad?
      Since we're a college store, the New Owner bought some after rolling his eyes. Two sales reps came in today with some free samples, and he said that one of them wouldn't shut up about how "Buzz Ballz float in water!" That's a big product advantage if you drunk drive and crash your car in the river! Why, if they'd given a dozen to everyone on the Titanic, they'd all be alive today! (Except the ones who died from old age or alcholism)
      We tried one of Tequila-Tina, named after Tila Tequila's sister, which is another reason not to get your mouth near it. It tasted surprisingly good! Compared to a cocktail of gasoline and 3-in-1 Oil, anyway.
      A coworker saw them and said "I thought they were candles!" And someone said that the empty Ballz could be used that way, until I pointed out that a candle in alcohol-soaked plastic might burn a bit brighter than you'd want. I suggested Christmas tree ornaments, so that everyone knew you were alcohlic. Just put a hook on the pop top! Another idea was putting LEDs in them and making tiki lights. I can mainly imagine the day after a frat party: "Bro...whoa...I'm so hung over...I'm just going to drink some dregs from the kegs andGAAAH THERE'S BALLZ ALL OVER THE FLOOR!" slip fall-down crash bang! Human gene pool's quality improved by one!

      "Save the Movie! The 2005 screenwriting book that�s taken over Hollywood�and made every movie feel the same."


      I was writing my beer orders in the store office today, and I saw the business card of the president of Buzz Ballz. I assume she was the woman in the store yesterday, the one who kept mentioning that the things float. Her name: Merrilee Kick. Which sounds like a line from a nursery rhyme. But she totally could have called her personal flotation devices "Kick Ballz."
      And they've been selling! Mainly because they're on a rack at the register, where people say "What the hell is this?" Whether they continue to sell depends on what people think after they find out they taste like corn syrup, Red Dye #5 and turpentine.

      Lilly asked in the Comments: "Any further news/sightings of the stray kitty?" I answered "Nope! As I told Jess, I'd be more worried if I saw her again that I would be if I didn't. The woman told me her intention was to get her tested at the vet, and then take her to her no-kill shelter, then try to adopt her out. She's so friendly and pretty (dilute tortie) that on her first visit to Petco (which Jess also does), I'm sure she'll go to the first person who wants a cat. And that girl, starved of both food and love, would appreciate a loving home like only a rescue can."



      Sorry, Quote of Day, but I find it truly unbelievable that anybody in any nation actually watched BASEketball.

      Speaking of movies: Pacific Rim. One would think "Guillermo del Toro does Ultraman" would be great, but one would be wrong. It cost me only 5 bucks to see it on the big screen, and I think they owe me $4.55.
      The giant robots vs giant monsters fights were cool, but who cares who wins when the characters have no personalities? The movie was so predictable that I even guessed the credit cookie.
      And it contradicted itself continually. The commander says "Don't save that ship! Direct orders!" then orders "Save that ship!" Monsters are clones, but they get pregnant. "keiju parts are incredibly rare!" says the guy we're supposed to like (we didn't), and next scene he's throwing the parts on the fucking floor. Plasma cannons destroy the monsters, so let's not use them. Let's have giant robots punch monsters in the face, not build ships with plasma cannons. Yes, then there would be no movie, but you know what? Maybe there could've been something better that could've been done with $190M this cost. And I don't mean "how many starving people could that feed?" so much as "He could've made 4 or 5 more Hellboy movies for that! Also, you know a monster/robot fight is coming up, because it's raining. Ever since Jurassic Park and that American Godzilla movie I will never watch, that means "Our CGI isn't that great. Cover that up with rain."
      How predictable? Fill in the blank: GUY: "If I pilot a giant robot again, I'll die!" What do you think happens in the very next scene? Do you think that the 2 main characters survive? At the last fucking second, as always? And why do aliens only invade planets with species that can fight back? It's particularly retarded in this movie, when it tells us that the aliens killed the dinosaurs, "Then waited, and waited." They waited 65 FUCKING MILLION FUCKING YEARS?! Oh, something something about the world needing to get more polluted first (YES, it actually rips off Godzilla vs the Smog Monster, like that's a thing you want on your resume). They couldn't have invaded 100 years ago, when the world was just as polluted and we didn't have giant robots, or just invaded 300 years ago, and then made the world polluted?
      Pacific Rim drinking game (use Buzz Ballz Pacific Rum Jobs!): Take a shot every time somehow says a variant of "Give me a second" or has a nose bleed. Actually, both happen enough that you'll die of alcohol poisoning, but at least you won't have to watch the whole movie.
      Okay, I should settle down. My reaction to the movie while watching was "Who cares? Not me." At least it's certain that there'll be no sequel. Did you know that they spent even more on The Lone Ranger? Two guys on horses cost $215M? Those musta been really good horses!


      I guess I caught a stomach bug at the movies yesterday. Monday night I felt weird and either couldn't stay awake or couldn't sleep. I called out of work Tuesday, which happens at most once a year, as I either was on the toilet, asleep in bed, leaning over the toilet, or in bed covered in sweat because I couldn't sleep. Hey, I didn't think that Pacific Rim was thatbad! (pacific rim shot!)


      Two people at work mentioned some new e. coli outbreak in the state and wondered if it had something to do with me being sick. I doubt it; I think I'd be a hell of a lot sicker if it was. And is that contagious any way besides eating contaminated food?
      I was to have dinner at my mother's place tomorrow, but I thought it might be a little to soon to share a meal with an 80 year old. And she said 3 other people she knew complained about being sick since yesterday. So something's going around. I hope my go-around has upped and gone. I felt better after lunch. Maybe because eating's not been a thing for me lately?

      I had my big splurge. The battery backup. Y'know, you buy an iPod, and you can add all this music, and then listen to it in your car without being at the whims of the radio, like it was in my old car (which didn't even have a CD player).
      But a battery backup? I can press a button and see how much battery time I have. Whee! Otherwise, what's to do? Wait for the power to go out?
      So I splurged again. At the Genesee Beer Online Store. That's my beloved cheap beer! I have many Genny paraphenalia--a tap handle, pint glasses, a huge bar mirror (all from Jessica), two pitcher coasters (one in color! "Pure Hemlock Lake Water makes the difference!"), an awesome bar clock...probably forgetting something, but you get the idea. Now, since my old work beer cooler hoodie was starting to fall apart, a stylin' Genny Beer hoodie, a Genny Cream Ale tshirt (a bit flimsy, and 50% poly), a big fridge magnet (also a big surprise to you, I'm sure), packed in a fancy embossed Genny shopping bag. They threw in a mini-frisbee, which will be used just as part of the collection.
      So I splurged 10% of my winnings. I'll stick to "Bill's so practical!" from here on.



      Sad to say, but the highlight of my day--besides getting home from work, which is pretty much everybody's highlight--was witnessing copycat DJ's latest imitation of Byron. It wasn't one he learned years ago, "Cleaning himself while making fart noises with his mouth." Unfortunately, it was him puking.
      Exemplary job, however. He didn't just vomit a half hour after eating, he projectile vomited. Sent a stream a full foot away from his mouth, he did. As I cleaned it up, I saw that he sure had followed Byron Barfer's lead: the food was in the same shape it was when it went from the can to his bowl. Just like his big bro!
      It's called "chewing," boys. Look into it. Here's a brochure from the American Chewing Institute.

      When I got home, I saw from the 2 most instantly cranky clocks that the power had blinked out for a second. When I was AT WORK and the COMPUTER WAS OFF. Thanks for not letting me see my battery backup in action, electric company!


      I had terrible insomnia all my life. It got worse when I started working in retail. A typical retail schedule is 3 days, 2 nights, 2 days off. Once I started working in a liquor store, it went away. I realized that it was because I needed to be at work the same time every day (noon). For once I was going to bed and waking up at the same time.
      Then I made the mistake of catching a coworker stealing and reporting it. Suddenly I was working his hours--except that I wasn't. I had to open every day but close Saturdays, when I'd get home around the same time every other day I'd go to bed.
      Then my hours changed again, and now I had Tuesday as another late day. My sleep patterns have been messed up all year.
      Moreso since I was sick last week. I slept forever yesterday, with a weird dream about Brian Eno giving a bizarre concert in Springfield, MA, in a more bizarre venue--a concert hall made of nested Mandelbrot stages, where I could always see my car in the parking lot but every door led to another nested area. Sleeping 11 hours meant that I didn't get to sleep again until midnight--make that 2AM--make that 4. In the middle, I got up to read my Gmail.
      "Suspicious Activity" had locked my account. I needed to give them my phone number. I groggily did, and nothing happened. I did it again with the same non-result. Then I blearily realized that my answering machine was off. You'd think that their robocaller would just keep dialing until it picked up, but you'd also think that they wouldn't give you only 2 attempts per phone number. I could've given them my cell number, but I'm still trying to find out why Virgin Mobile shut it off--via email. (NOTE: Do not do business with Virgin Mobile) So I guess I have to try it using the store's number tomorrow. After that, I guess I' they still have pay phones?

      After nearly 5 weeks, the heat wave broke last week. I turned off the AC and opened the window.'s really quiet in here.
      On Day Two, I abruptly (and literally) jumped in my chair, aware of an unfamiliar sound. For 3 years, there's someone living across the courtyard who, from noon to bedtime, never shuts the fuck up. I don't understand what language she uses, kind of Asian sounding to me, so I don't know if she's loudly nagging, loudly arguing, or loudly yelling at the voices in her head. But if it's light, she'll bark for a solid 5 minutes, then pause for 15 seconds, then launch into her interminable tirade again. I never hear a response, so she's either on the phone, or berating someone in the room whose response is "grunt." But that day, I finally heard that startling sound.
      It was Silence.
      She finally stopped gibbering. Did she move out at the start of the month, as renters do? Was she murdered by her neighbors? (If I could hear her that far away, I've always wondered what the people on either side of her did. Shut their windows and hold pillows over their ears while groaning? I just turned up the speakers) Who cares! She shut the fuck up finally!
      A week later, the air is still unshattered by her high-pitched whining. Then I realized something: Renters leave around the end/beginning of a month. I saw some people taking a mattress to a U-Haul just this morning. And who appeared right at the beginning of the month and the heat wave?
      Skinny Stray Kitty. And she was always looking across the complex at the door to their building. And I'd seen a dark-furred cat in a window over there...
      Yes, these were the assholes that abandoned her to starve to death.
      The penultimate time I saw Skinny Kitty, she was at my door, staring at theirs. The last time I saw Skinny Kitty, just hours later, she was purring happily, full of fresh wet food and at a bowl of ice water, contentedly staring at the door of the Feral Cat Rescuer, waiting for her to take her to the vet, and then to her No-Kill shelter. If she got a clean bill of health--and she was only out about 3 weeks, long enough to starve, but hopefully not long enough to catch FIV or FeLV--she's probably currently curled up in a happy lap in her new forever home.


      I tried reactivating my Gmail at work. And I guess I wasn't the first, as the store phone number had also "been used too many times," i.e., twice. Great system, Google!
      What was I supposed to do now, borrow a cell phone? And get coworker cooties? Then I noticed a "if that doesn't work..." link I hadn't before, so I followed that. Probably involves juggling chainsaws. With my feet.
      I eventually hit a page where I was instructed to "answer a long series of questions." I hope they're not about advanced math or celebrity rehabs. Here are the questions:
      "What is your password?" The one I've put in repeatedly for the last 2 days.
      "When was the last time you logged in successfully?" What? I've never been a lumberjack! Oh, wait--maybe it's "ever since you stopped me from doing so?"
      "When did you first start using Gmail?" Jesus and Mary Chain, WHY WOULD I REMEMBER THIS?! It's not like it was the birth of my first child! I didn't tattoo it on my forehead! I don't throw it birthday parties or buy it anniversary gifts! It was so long ago, it was when you needed to be invited by someone else who was invited! Here's a random date, assholes!
      And it let me reset my password and that was that.
      Was there a reason Google couldn't have just gone to that first?




      Since the Stupidest Calendar is done so far in advance, it's amusing that it scheduled that one for the same time that the Western World's biggest headline was "WOMAN HAS BABY!" The royals are getting a good look at their little angel's colon right now!
      (Of course they aren't. They have staff for that)
      Did you know that there once was a planet named George? 'Tis true! When English astronomer William Herschel discovered a new planet, that's what he named it, after Britain's then reigning King George III (aka "George The Mad"). So the Royal Pants Pooper's pretty lucky that they didn't change his name to the planet's: Uranus. Although the nannies probably mumble that under their breaths...

      Speaking of loaded diapers (if they named a planet after me, it'd be called Segue), once I was at my parents' home in Vermont, exploring the woods by the lake, and found a huge pile of disgusting garbage, included very, very used dispoasble diapers. Fucking campers! I had dinner with her today (okay, the "diapers to dinner" segue needs work), and I found out that that bears used to drag their trash cans into the woods. Someone heard that "put dirty diapers on top of the trash!" would work, but, well, no. Apparently bears have a different version of the "5 second rule" than humans do.
      What brought it up was her seeing this video, putting a new spin on "Take-Out":


      She said the restaurant plans to chain the dumpsters down, but from her experience, that just means what it did to a neighbor in Vermont: try to smash into people's homes. Just throw the edible stuff on the ground, guys, and no one ends up like the guy in Grizzly Man.

      If Herschel had named Uranus after himself, there could be a planet Bill! My nom du web could be "Bill the Giant Gas Ball"!



      A track came up on my iTunes that was from a CD I own but a movie I've never seen: 1967's The Trip. You know it must be good, as it's directed by Roger Corman! (Script by some kid named Jack Nicholson) I checked Netflix for "the trip corman", and it gave me 2 movies named The Trip, and in third place, Captain America: The First Avenger. Well, obviously, as both titles contain that keyword "the."

      Terms Seattle government has decided are offensive: brown-bagging your lunch, and "citizen." Have they banned reruns of Space Ghost Coast to Coast? "Are you getting enough oxygen, tax-paying resident?"


      After my first walk in the state park since the heat wave began, I was looking through Netflix for something to watch next besides "Kid in the Hall" reruns. I went all the way down to "Saved Discs", I was so desperate. Saved Discs is either unreleased DVDS, or "stuff we had 1 disc of and it got stolen and we didn't replace it." Most of the stuff I have hidden in Netflix's basement was added months or years go, then forgotten until I looked again. Like it was in a basement! Good metaphor, Bill!
      I saw there, covered in cobwebs and also old issues of moldy magazines and--hey, I remember this issue of Highlights for Children! It's really good, Gallant actually beats Goofus with a lead pipe--wait, is it--it's covered in mouse poo, EWW! (throws it away)
      Behind the giant pile of empty boxes from computer peripherals that I've thrown away (while keeping the boxes) was The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made. Netflix said that it was 60 minutes long.
      But it's only 50 movies? So it's only a minute a movie? No, of course not, each movie gets less than that time. Like a lot of the old movies it mocks, it's padded. The name, year and countdown number of the movie is said 3 times. There's a bit of CGI made using a budget Ed Wood would think was too small to dry-clean a stain from an angora scarf: The cardboard audience boos and throws clip art food in the air. The popcorn kernels are larger than the drink cups. And I hope you love it, because it gets used after all 50 movies. It's over 3 seconds long, and times 50, it's over 5% of the running time by itself.
      Also weird is how the narrator takes 20 minutes to realize that he's supposed to be reading the movie descriptions sarcastically. Then he gets so sarcastic, he sounds like--well, like the Kids in the Hall:


      So, was this intentional? It happens pretty abruptly, as if the director realized that the narrator was reading the script literally and told him to change it to snarky internet commenting? Because he didn't think A) it wasn't something he should've told the narrator before recording, but B) was also so cheap that he didn't go back and rerecord 20 minutes?
      And since the "movie" is grainy YouTube clips from public domain trailers--yeah, probably. The picture is fuzzy, but you can sure read those Spanish subtitles clearly. Until they abruptly disappear, suggesting that the YouTube uploader didn't know what he was doing either. Also, for bonus fun, read the net name of the uploader.
      Anyway, here's an hour of clips of terrible movies to waste your time with.


      It made me aware of a movie new to me, set in the far distant future year of--2015!! It's set entire months from now! Firebird 2015 AD, which helpfully adds that "AD" so that you don't think it's 2015 BC, and Moses is driving Pontiac Firebirds, doing donuts in the Sinai Desert. MOSES: "WA-HOOO! Eat mah dust and part thet Sea, Ramses!"--excerpt from Pharoah and the Bandit, Part XII BC.
      It begins with an AM radio broadcast--as the super-future cars of 2015 don't have 8 track players yet--and it's the biggest log ever dropped in the exposition toilet. Gas is $500 a gallon! So of course the hero drives a 70s muscle car. A 100 MPG motorcycle might make more sense, but how gay are motorcycles? He gets his gas right from the pump. Of an oil drill, because gas just comes straight out of the ground that way. The theme song's lyrics assure us that "there's plenty of oil still to be drilled!" so the movie's plot is sooo prescient in today's "no suburbanite can drive to the mall in a Humvee in 2013 OBAMAmerica" dystopia. Did Exxon fund this? I'm not being sar-cast-ic!
      Then it's a flashback, or flashforward, or flat-out hallucination. Then the clip ends. Now I'll never know what happens to that guy, that other guy, the unexplained other guy slowly and seductively taking the bra off of a car, or the car! Funny who said today's Worst Quote, as I'll bet Sarah "Drill Baby Drill!" Palin owns a worn-out VHS of this movie.




      I get beer deliveries on Tuesday, and today was Tuesday, thus beer deliveries. One was from HDI, the guys who distribute Bud, Heineken, Sam Adams, so kind of an important company to our sales. I also got their delivery that was supposed to come Monday. And the one that was supposed to come Saturday. I know you don't order beer for a big liquor store, but would you order it for Saturday or Monday if you wanted it to come Tuesday?
      I had 5 invoices for one truck's delivery. Fortunately, I had a driver I've known for a long time, and we got it all done as efficiently as possible. They have a WiFi printer that uses paper about twice as wide as your grocery store uses for receipts. The invoice was four fucking feet long.

      I have a pair of coworkers that get "sick" only after other people call out. One called out the Saturday after I was truly sick 4 days earlier. I don't think she was sick. As a few days later, I heard her in a phone argument with her mother over who used her credit card: "MOM, it wasn't me! On Saturday I was in New Britain!" No doubt at the hospital, and not with her boyfriend who lives there.
      Her counterpart does the same thing. Yesterday she topped all reasons ever for calling out, on what was her first day back from vacation: "I'm stuck on Cape Cod!"
      Wait, what? You're calling out on vacation? How could you not make an Escape From Cape Cod, was Snake Pliskin in the way? Where are you living, on the beach? Or maybe the rental you and your friends had didn't end until Monday?
      DT threatened to fire her if she didn't come into to work on her next scheduled day, Weds. She somehow managed to make it in today to use her employee discount on booze. And acted like she was the aggrieved party. I said "You didn't call out sick, you called out 'on vacation'." and she angrily barked "OH, SO WHAT?!" That's a great attitude in today's economy.
      Of course they won't fire her. She comes in late and takes hour-long 30 minute lunches and just disappears for 20 minutes at a time, spending her "work" time on her phone (she's in her late 50s, BTW) and has done it for 9 years without more than a reprimand that she responds to with an angry "SO?!" She's been fired from her second jobs repeatedly, and they're all minimum wage. But I guess if you can give a job to Drunken Toddler for 30 years...
      Eh. So long as they give a job to me, okay.


      If I could tap into whatever part of my brain activates during dreams, I'd...well, I probably still couldn't write more better than I already do, but at least my dreaming brain comes up with plots. And I could be Hollywood's greatest production designer, based on the sets and costumes it creates.
      The dream started with me at a restaurant in a Salvation Army (whatever; I thought of both subjects before falling asleep). I ordered a slice of strawberry chiffon pie, which the old and rather troll-like waitress served me by throwing a Slim Jim on my plate, picking up the slice with her hand, squishing it between her fingers, and throwing it on the plate of one of the other people I was dining with. "That's supposed to be mine!" I said, and she picked it up, squished it again, and threw it on top of the Slim Jim. When I complained, she, my companions, and everyone else in the diner sided with her, and she left weeping. Thrown out by my companions, I noticed that the sign "We Love to Keep Our Customers Happy!" had been replaced by her with one that read "I'M CRYING, I'M DYING". I should've thought "Go cry, Emo restaraunt," but felt ashamed.
      On the walk home, I morphed into a black-clad, bitter and antisocial loner. That's weird. In RL, I'm not bitter! Then I somehow segued into the actor playing the lead role in a movie about some 1880s steampunk dystopian Wild West, and my name was...Jack Boot. Really, Dream? I thought. But the Dream assured me that the movie was based on a grim & gritty graphic novel, where such a lame and obvious name might happen. Well...okay I thought. Yes, I question my suspension of disbelief in my dreams.
      I was a bitter antisocial loner gunslinging cyborg in black, but given the timeframe, my cyborgy bits were mechanical and clockwork. I joined up with other grotesque patchwork people, all of us victims of strange accidents and tragedies. One had a normal sized (if badly burned) head but with withered fetal limbs, which he used to control his robotic body. Another was an evil clown, redundant I know, with some 19th century laser rifle. There were 2 others that I forget, equally disfigured and transformed, and a cruel guy dressed in red that claimed to be 500 years old, and who someone told "You're like a demon." Later, we added a nervous, skinny guy named Raven Pettigrew, who kept darting his eyes around, claiming he was "mutated by a weird gas to this world." Jack Boot, clockwork cyborg gunfighter with the dumbest name since "Carlos Danger", thought that was hard to believe.
      It was Shootout at the OK Corral starring we antiheroes--or them, I kept being a character and switching back & forth to an audience member watching the movie--blasting people in our hellish world. Then we began seeing fragments of a different world, happening at the same time, but not in the same space. There, I was Professor Boot and invented "fusion in a Mason jar" and limitless, free energy that created a Jules Verne scientific world Utopia. We saw our other world selves, all happy and productive in a world free of disease, war and poverty. We began crossing over to the Light side from our Dark one. As the 2 worlds began to overlap, a weird gas caused Raven Pettigrew to mutate back to his form in the Utopia--all the way back to a...pigeon? He was the canary in the coalmine, very literally. All of the rest of us had mirror versions, except for the Man in Red. At his urging, both Light and Dark, Heaven and Hell, Dream and Nightmare realm versions readied for battle. But we, of the Dark, realized that the other ones were our true selves. We were the perversions, letting our bitterness and violence turn us into what we were now. (What turned me was my wife being killed, and replaced in the Dark world by--the pie-squishing Salvation Army waitress! Whatever, Dream) We saw that the gas was going to be used to kill the Light side, and realized that the "accidents" that created us as monsters were planned. By the Man in Red, who actually was a 500 year old demon. His plan was to replace the Utopia with our Dystopia. What's his motivation for that? I asked the Dream. "Umm...he's like 'Hey, I'm a demon, this is what I do'." Fix that in rewrite, I thought. (Being a lucid dreamer can be odd)
      We banded together with our Light selves to oppose the Demon. We realized that the only way to destroy the Demon and his Dark World was to merge with the Light World--which would destroy both worlds. But it was the only choice. The Demon was defeated as the two worlds merged, and he gave his final soliloquy, about how it would lead to a Merged World that was mainly Light, but with a Darkness in its heart that would let it commit endless horror and atrocities. The Merged World would never know that our worlds ever existed--the act of merger would make them think that they had a history of millions of years, but it would only be a false memory caused by the merger, starting at the shared year it happened in our worlds. "No one in the Merged World will ever think there was any significance to the year it happened--1914!" And, bang, we were all dead.
      And the Merged World is this world, the one we're living in. Our Big Bang was World War One in 1914. Which led to Communism, Nazism, the atom bomb, everything that exists in our current fucked up world.
      Yeah, kinda lame reveal. But you should've seen the production design!



      Killsy has her bowl of dry food, Iams Diet. The Boys have theirs, full of Purina One. I've learned to keep the Boy Food bowls full. If they aren't, somewhere between 4 and 6AM Byron rampages through the house, and over the bed, and the part of the bed that includes my body, making a particular effort to stomp on my softer body parts.
      The boys have 2 bowls. Byron just very dramatically ate the only piece of kibble in one, and knocked the other bowl over with a wave of his massive paw. Now he's giving me a look. Excuse me while I fill the Boy Bowls. I have intestines that I like better when they're untrampled.
      Yeah, well, dogs drag you outside at 4AM in order to make you watch them shit. Eventually shit, when they feel like it. I can tell you which pet behavior I prefer.



      "Cool!" Moment: I thought that I'd eaten all the Andes mints weeks ago, and here's 4 I found!
      Less Cool: Eating one and seeing a panicked tiny fleeing bug in the wrapper. I threw out the other 3.

      I've always been more aware of my surrounding environment than other people seem to be. No one at work noticed that a truck might've pulled up outside the back door? Or, be ready to lock up near closing and not remember that 4 people walked in 10 minutes ago, but only 3 were rung up? Or pick up on other's subtle emotional moods?
      "Highly sensitive people, who comprise about a fifth of the population (equal numbers in men and women), may process sensory data much more deeply and thoroughly due to a biological difference in their nervous systems."
      I wish it extended to Andes mints.
      (And yes, I'm aware of self-diagnosing via the web. Remember 10 years ago, and "Ass-Burger Syndrome"? When every obnoxious, self-centered asshole on the web decided that "No, I have Asperger's, that doesn't just excuse my trollish behaviour, but makes me an unappreciated genius! An internet quiz says I have it!" Well, back then internet quizzes also told you which Muppet you were. "I've decided without medical advice that I'm justified in being an abusive crybaby due to a serious and debilitating mental condition, and I'm also Fozzie! wokka-wokka!" [A certain "most dangerous cartoonist" of past note comes to mind])

      Pacific Rim will likely never make back its cost. The Lone Ranger--oh, hell no. John Carter cost the same quarter-billion to make, and the head of Disney lost his job because he had the misfortune of being in charge when it was released. Will his replacement get the same fate? In his case, it'd be deserved, under the legal precedent of "Sauce for Goose v. Gander."
      There's a bomb movie called Smurfs 2: Electrismurf Boogasmurf that made back its cost before it was even released. How? Endless product placement. It seems to be a movie-long ad for Smurfy Sony. Which would seem to be the wave of the future. Maybe that's why Lone Ranger did so poorly--who would their sponsor be, Wells Fargo stagecoaches? "When it absolutely, positively needs to be there in 4 months." Maybe they could've renamed the state "Arizona Ice Tea."
      If you're thinking "Eventually, movies will be nothing but product placement," it already happened. It was called Foodfight! Heroes Charlie the Tuna, Mr Clean and Twinkie the Kid fight the evil Brand X, which is composed of generic store brands. Brand X dresses like Nazis and calls our beloved Corporate Icons "Ikes," and just throw a "k" at the beginning of that, holy shit WTF.
      The Rise and Fall of the Computer-Animated �Foodfight!� A disaster from the get-go. "A roving Mr. Kasanoff, animators said, would request that things be 'more awesome' or '30 percent better'.�
      I put it in my queue, but then I saw the trailer. Holy shit WTF:


      I might be drinking Mr Clean after watching 90 minutes of that.



      After "splurging" a fraction of my Lotto winnings on an APC battery backup (which was on sale!), I realized that I was Being Practical. So I splurged a bit more on some clothes from the Genesee Beer online store, especially a fine sweatshirt (that was on sale!) . After a week of wearing it, I realized that it was worn only at work, replacing my decomposing old work one (no matter the temperature outside, it's always 38F in the beer cooler). Since the day I got it, the closest it had been to the inside of my house was in the car in the garage. I was being Practical again!
      So I splurged a third time, this time for the kids. A Pawalla box! That...was on sale, 30% off. And this time, they told you what was in it before you bought it. OKAY I'M PRACTICAL.
      It took 9 days after the order to get it. The cats were fascinated by the unopened box, as there was a catnip toy inside. I opened it, and: 4 little cans of Against the Grain wet food; a bag of Greenies treats, a bag of Whole Life dehydrated chicken treats called "Tail Mix" (I groaned too), the catnip toy shaped like a very startled crab, a roller noise-making toy, and--oh, c'mon, I don't remember seeing these 2 in the description! "Catchup", and I groaned more than you did. They sent me "Meowstard" last time, a cat dry food condiment that only Byron sorta liked, and a package of...wetnaps? Portable ones, that come in eco-nonfriendly, single-use little pods that require me to squish them against a hard surface to get them to pop open. How this is an improvement over regular wetnaps, I have no idea.
      I know that they'll love the wet food. They had both treats, and even Byron loved the Greenies (he's not a fan of Temptations, another "crunchy outside, tender inside" treat). The roller toy they ignored, but they were all fans of the catnip crab. Since it wasn't wrapped and had been sitting in the summer heat in the same spot in the box, they were even bigger fans of the box and its packing paper. Kays and Deej battled the crab, then crawled in the box. Bigfoot just wanted to rip and tear the paper it was near. The cat condiments I think I'll give to Jess. They look very healthy and vitamin enriched, so maybe she could pour it on the crappy store brand cat food she and her shelter frequently have donated to them. The wetnaps--sorry, the "PushClean Pet Towelettes"--those I don't know what to do with. On closer inspection, it's actually all recycable or compostable (the wetnaps are made from bamboo), but why I, as a pet owner, need these...shrug. Maybe it's a dog person thing. You know, after you've picked the steaming shit up with a baggie over your hand. Why that couldn't be achieved with a tub of baby wipes, dunno. Also, it's "portable," so you can put it in your car, but it also says "Store at room temperature." So unless you park in your living room...



      I went to RiffTrax Live tonight with Kevin. His official last day of working full time while going to college online part time after--5 years? Six? Jessica's guess was "Like forever," which I'm sure is how it felt to him.
      Good news! He and wife Meg are going on vacation, first to Denver/Boulder, and then Austin! Not so good, at least for his friends and family: they're scouting potential places to find jobs in. But getting a new and better job was the whole reason for going back to school.
      We had a great meal at the brew pub, with a waitress who was the spitting image of Dottie in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, right down to the voice. I gave him 3 big bottles of Unibroue Maudite, his favorite beer, to toast his new found freedom from pencils, books, dirty looks.
      We arrived 30 minutes early at the show, as always. But by this time it was already 2/3s full--it's never been that full, even at showtime. The theater was packed to capacity. Okay, it is the smallest theater, but I don't know why this time was so special. At the start, the Riffers mentioned that stars of the movie being dissected had pushed their twittter followers to see it. Since the biggest star was Neil Patrick Harris...I still don't know why.
      The movie was Starship Troopers. This was the first big budget Hollywood movie they've done. Also, the first R-rated one any MST-related group had done. Were they going to edit it? Since this is the US of A, of course they did! Not the nonstop and utterly gratuitous violence and gore, just the horribly offensive naked nudity with bare people with no clothes on. If they'd cut out the gratuitous stupidity, there would've been no movie.
      It was funny, I guess. I guess because somebody fucked up, and the movie was always louder than the riffing. After 10 minutes, the RT guys just began screaming their lines to be heard. Plus, the movie was long. Over 2 hours, and 90 minutes of that was spaceships exploding and CGI alien bugs being shot at until they were shot some more while characters said dialogue like "AAAARRGGGHH!!!!" while shooting and screaming. The plot defied logic: these bugs are bombarding Earth with asteroids from the opposite side of the galaxy, which means that even if the rocks were going at the speed of light, they'd take 100,000 years to get here as the space-crow flies, and how did they aim so carefully? How did they do it in the first place? Their anti-spaceship missiles are pulled out of their asses, and I mean that literally. Big assed beetles shoot fireworks from their big asses. Into space.
      Heinlein's original novel has been criticized as being fascist, and the genius director of Robocop and Showgirls decided to give some military officers blatantly Nazi uniforms. Why? Who the fuck knows? It's like he had an idea, then went nowhere with it. However, if you've ever wanted to see Doogie Howser, SS, here's your chance.
      Kev liked it better than me. Kevin also loved the source material, while admitting "I saw this when I was 13 or 14! ...Wait, when did this come out?"
      " know how impressionable you are in your late 20s..."
      We had a good time, of course. The next RT Live is Night of the Living Dead, which I have no interest in seeing. But who knows how many more times I'll get to do something with Kev, before he relocates to the Moon or somewhere?



      My-my, Smile at least--You can't say no to the Beauty and the Beast:


      "Remember my friend, past events such as these will affect you in the past! Can you prove I didn't wear that shirt?!"
      A month in the past. Photos taken during the trip to the Bates Motel with Jess and Jacques. Here she took a picture of us and said "Smile!" Then she said "Smile!" because that thing on my face is as smiley as I can get. Hey, for once we both look hot! Because we were. The temperature and humidity were around 85, and we were standing next to a fucking man-made swamp.


      The sign up front. Note the lovely broken light with wires hanging off it. No "serial killer lives here" vibe off of that!
      Is that the motel in the back? Of course not. Here's the road that led to it


      It's already well on its way to "There was a road here once?"-ness. That brown patch at the center was where they tore out the little bridge across the clogged culvert.


      That bay window is where Creepy Man in Black was when he spotted us, and we left before he released the inbred cousins locked in the attic. The last window on the left shows that the sign was right: Air Conditioned! One Rusty Old Air Conditioned. Helped cover up the smell of the last guests before he threw them in the swamp.




      You know how sometimes you get a NetFlix disc and you're all "How did this get to the top of my queue? I knew it was in there, but how did it float to the top like a dead fish? Or that one turd that doesn't know what 'flush' means?"
      TIME FOR DINNER! Indeed, the timer on the oven just went off. My chicken is done!, that was good. But now IT'S--Pink Lady and Jeff!
      If the name doesn't bring up old TV memories or your lunch, some supergenius in 1980 got the idea of making a TV variety show in the USA that starred 2 young girls who were big in Japan. Just not very big in speaking English. In their first episode, they began the show by proving that they couldn't lip-synch in English.
      This is the only DVD I've ever seen that doesn't give you a "Play All" choice. You get a menu that lists one season's eps, then lists them by scene, without telling you "Just click on the first one." Meaning the DVD was made for people to jump to and go "LOOK AT THIS SHIT! Okay, don't look at the next shit..."
      It begins with modern day Jeff Altman, who introduces himself as "Jeff Altman--yes, that Jeff Altman!" because he's JEFF ALTMAN, what other doughy old wet fart could this be?! EVERYONE KNOWS MODERN DAY JEFF! He sneaks up to you in the night and hisses "I'm Altman!" He tells us that when he first met Pink Lady, from Japan, they are you know, they said "Hello" then "ARRGH FAKE JAP-NOISES! AND SOUND LIKE A SAMURAI SWORD IS MY GUT! The gut of THAT JET ALLMAN!" Maybe it means...Pink Lady destroyed his career? He committed seppuku by appearing in...? Maybe just racism?
      I'll just watch the DVD and
      Sweet Mother of Gourd. Jeff does his terrible standup act to a fake audience--they give him a standing O when he walks on the stage. Then it's ladies, pink as can be, failing to lipsync "Boogie Wonderland." Really failing. They can't remember the words, they can't remember when they're singing the chorus (and they aren't supposed to be--when they do, they clearly get signals from offstage to switch back). To massive applause, here's JEFF THE ALTEREDMAN, Superhero of 1980, to fake converse with the Ladies. You can tell them apart because they're Pink! OK, one's slightly taller, one's the sassy one! Which only works if can do the nuances of a language. mai and kei can only speak English phonetically. So they're acting off of a guy who can't speak their language at all.
      If you're expecting me to say "And that's awesome!" shit, it is not. This is like watching a school play by 3rd graders. You can cheer at the terrible everything on stage like the parents do, or just feel bad about the baffled kids that just fall down on the stage and begin crying.
      You know the phrase "It was like watching a train wreck/car crash!" I actually don't like watching car crashes. I still have empathy left. Empathy enough that "Holy shit, it really is like a terrible school play! But they MUST know that this is happening, they're adults. JEFF KING VITAMAN sure knows he's there! Watch him point at himself!" And imagine how comfortable this must feel to two 20 year old Japanese girls who've never set foot in the USA until a month ago, and have never left a sound stage since.
      And in his first few minutes on stage with Pink Lady, he did an "honorable ancestors" non-joke. Sadly, Pink Lady do not whip out their katanas and send him to his.
      I have watched only 8 minutes of this shit. Wait--that's why they made it scene-by-scene! It IS this bad!
      I think I'll stop now, and just watch it.
      In front of a shittily-matted blue screen, M & K sing about the news? I think? Anyway, one speaker chromakeys into THAT JEFF as a fundamentalist Xtian. Then, it pans out, we get the same un-lipsynched song from MK, then it's DISCO RICHARD NIXON! With the Temptations, who sure look proud about this paycheck.
      DISCO NIXON! Because disco wasn't half in its grave in 1980. Oh believe me, I was keeping track. DIE, Disco, DIE
      THAT JEFF promised to introduce PL to a Hollywood Star, like Marlon Brando. But PL has found--SHERMAN HELMSEY!!! (sp?) Wait, it's over?
      Instant segue to "Woman in the Army." I KNOW, AMIRITE?! They talk like they were written by a guy who was in the army during WWII, or more likely just watched an old movie. M: "Sushi on a Shingle!" IS SHE RITE?! Oh, there's gonna be a USO show--want to bet IT'S MEN IN SCANTY CLOTHES? no, that's too obvious even for this show. I'll just watch it, and...okay.It's going to be men, the horrible flab of TEH JEF will be there, they will prly do the can-can. Or a "the Disco." I now press play.
      I'm wrong! It's "Bobby Hope," y'see, female Bob Hope. This was done by old people. And she introduces Sexy Super Hunk--TEH JEF!! Do you think that the Lady GIs all make sexist comments about his hunky hunk of gut cheese? Of course they do! From WWII! Then he says to the horny babes "Go back to your stables!" and George Helmsley and the Temptations come out a do a humiliating dance number. How hilarious that Women and Negroes may someday see themselves as our equals! Equals of We, the ALTMEN!
      Our Very Special Guest Star (said 3 times) is BURT (sp?) PARKS! He was fired from Miss America. Normally I'd say "WHO CARES?!" but...I forgot my objection already, it would involve caring. His painfully-not-him stunt "double" does a Gymkata to the stage. He is gone, TEH J does a lame local ad skit mixed with a Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom joke (TOPICAL!) and then "It's the fabulous Blondie!"
      Kevin, a week ago: "The first album I bought with my own money was 'Parallel Lines' by Blondie. My mom saw her on MTV doing 'Heart of Glass' and said 'Junkie!' I yelled, 'SHE'S NOT A JUNKIE!' I didn't even know what 'junkie' meant!" He will when he sees this.
      I should point out that DJ No-Way-Jazzy TEH JEF said in his intro that "you should stick your fingers down your throat for this." Apparently, The Blondie is so much worse than his show. Keep living in your amazing Utopia, That Jeff.
      JEF is now doing a terrible impression of Bogart. This is his 3rd terrible impression that drives the audience to instant raving applause. OH GOURD! Now it's JOHNNY CARSON! They show an ad PL did in Japan for some weird thing. WTF is that weird thang?! Apparently, that's the joke. Now, it's a Japanese comedian, "Shecky Nakamoto," who "was discovered at the Comedy Pagoda!" Was he eating...FLIED LICE?! gong sound! BAH HA HA HA fuck you assholes who made this. He's a big Asian dude who tells his jokes in Japanese! He's a Japanese comic OMFG LOL! Wait, he...apparently says Japanese the same way PL says English? Is this a metajoke from a show that can't even do "joke," or did they just hire some Asian-looking guy because "what's the diff?"
      Closest thing to a joke in the entire show: Asian comic dabs his brow and says in some language something, and PL yells "HOW-HOT-WAS-IT?!" I hope you enjoyed the closest thing to an actual fucking joke. There will be no more.
      There will be Burt Parks singing about 1930s movies. Because people who like old movies and 1980s guys who like hot Japanese girls and also love Disco but listen to the Blondie--pretty big overlap in those groups, I'm sure. OK, one. Me, if you switch that to "also fucking hate Disco." GREAT, a disco chorus line singing "Hooray for Hollywood!' THIS WILL BE FIRST GOOD PART I'M SURE.
      "Henry Honda" is introduced by "Liza Spinelli" at the Academy Awards. He screams about politics, woman comes up and does fake American Sign Language because fuck the disabled, HAW HAW
      Ow--is this supposed to be Howard Cosell? TJ doing another non-impression, while surrounded by hot bouncy babes and apparently the show's budget didn't include bras, hubba hubba. And he's interviewing "Jennifer Nola", apparently a 1955 Marilyn Monroe. TOPICAL! Now Bert is directing a crowd scene, they act as a CROWD it so TOO qualifies as a joke!
      End of First Ep: TJ: "You know, girls, I think that we'll make a terrific team!" K: "FUCK YOU! YOU DIE NOW, JOE!" (haha, she says "Don't bet on it!" and sounds like she meant what I said) And they have an invitation to Neil Diamond's house! K asks, not kidding, "How do you get his house?" and they left it in. Hey, she has an excuse, she doesn't speak English. What language are you speaking where the phrase "PL & J is AWESOME" ever occurs? Probably not an Earth one.
      PL sings "You've Got a Friend" while TJ! looks uncomfortable and blinks a lot. Then it's Disco Steely Dan! "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow! WOOOO!" Then they say "WOO!" and it's "Knock On Wood! WOOO!"
      And it's still not over! PL wants TJ to go into a hot tub with them, and like any heteronormal man, OF COURSE he doesn't want to bathe with 2 smokin' hot babes in their early 20s semi-wearing microbikinis! And then their sumo-like bodyguard jumps in! IT HILARIOUS
      And then there it is: "PRODUCED BY SID & MARTY KROFFT" End first episode.
      That Jeff the Greatest Example of Humanity EVAR assures us that Ep 2 stars "Rarry Hagman!" because what's funnier than someone who speaks our native language BETTER than you can speak one word of theirs? Who is this THAT Jeff Altman anyway? Pink Lady was big in Japan. Is he big in trailer parks?


      So, this is THAT Jeff Altman? Wow. He sure doesn't have a lot of "that" to go with himself.
      "He also has been the (uncredited) host of the defensive driving course available through Blockbuster Video. In the 1990s, Altman was on the NBC series Nurses during its first season (1991�1992). He was written out as the show was re-worked for its second season. A regular feature of his stand-up act has typically included a comical impression of his father, and he continued to find his Nixon impression humorous well into the 1980s."
      That's one impressive resume. It sounds like it was written by the most self-deprecating comedian ever, or his bitter ex-wife. Longer version possibly includes "Rarely soils his underwear in public. When he does, notices within hours. Also, hates the dirty Japs, mumbles about them and his father. Is frequently asked 'Is that a cigarette butt in your pocket, or are you happy to see me?'"



      I couldn't find an online copy of "TV Guide's 50 Worst TV Shows of All Time," which of course includes Pink Lady & That Jeff. But I did come across the melodiously titled List of television series notable for negative reception. Clearly a product of many hands, it's overly long and UK/US-centric (with a few mentions of other nations), and despite its length, sometimes skimps on details, such as when the show ran or even what was so bad about it. Still interesting. "Obviously Hare is not going well. It was a huge risk we took � it�s co-hosted by an animatronic hare."

      The 2013 Bulwer-Lytton Awards. I would totally and unironically read any story that began with: "It was such a beautiful night; the bright moonlight illuminated the sky, the thick clouds floated leisurely by just above the silhouette of tall, majestic trees, and I was viewing it all from the front row seat of the bullet hole in my car trunk."


      Once more into the breech, my friends! Who wants to live forever anyway? And as the Quote of the Day says--"LET'S--GET--INSCRUTABLE!!"
      With PINK LADY AND JEFF! Because Asians! They're inscrutable, I've heard. I hope Pink Lady aren't. Because when I was 20, I would've totally scrutabled them!
      According to that Wiki article yesterday, episode 1 was so well received that number 2 was delegated to the "Friday night death slot", where bad shows get wished to the cornfield of no ratings, giving the network an excuse to kill them. Sort of like the Elephant's Graveyard, except insted of being full of ivory, it's all elephant dung. Jeff begins with a joke where all the reviews hate him, including one from "the Tokyo Sun" which is him making loud fake Jap-noises. Betcha won over any Nisei that were watching this now, That Jeff!
      He makes a joke about wet tshirts on Dukes of Hazzard, and then It's Mai and Kei, singing in Japanese and dressed in kimonos. Just like the beginning of the only other episode! Then they rip off the--yes, it's just like that only other episode again. "Ease on Down the Road!" they fail to lipsync, just like...Okay, the only difference is that I kept staring and wondering "Did they really give them costumes with camel toe?" Frustratingly, I cannot be sure. Then the PL Dancers come out and they all dance in front of stallions while holding long knobbed sticks that look like giant Instagrams from Anthony Weiner. So...possible camel toe kinda redundant.
      Notably, a key lyric of the song is "There are days that you wish that you were never born!" Drinking game: Guess how many are having that day during the making and airing of this and take a shot. Keep the stomach pump handy.
      Oh great, now Jeff's back, wearing a tux. PL say that in Japan, everyone wears robes. M, the nice one, asks if he ever wears one. Yes, "When I'm relaxing, at home, not working." K, the sassy one, says "That's often!" This is said innocently, unlike the last show, where she would've said it in a tone of "My knee is about to initiate a hostile takeover of your crotch." Also, it's her delivery that makes it funny, so enjoy what's likely to be this ep's Closest Thing to an Actual Joke. Because then TJ is given a samurai robe, and a samurai chases him. Oh god, my sides are aching! Oh, wait, that's just because I'm committing seppuku!
      "Our guests," says M, "are Donny Osmond, Sid Caesar (insert "mighty have fallen" comment here), and--LARRY HAGMAN!" Yes, not as TJ sneered in the intro last time, "Rarry Hagman." One begins to sense that the intros have an unreliable narrator. "And our musical guest, TEDDY PENDERGRASS!" Not, as one would think Jeffy might say, "TELLY PENDALGLASSAH, ching chong!" Then they Move on Down the aforementioned Road again, to thunderous applause from an audience that can do this without moving any part of their bodies. What is the sound of no hands clapping? THUNDEROUS!
      Mr Hagman comes out, threatens repeatedly to kill TJ, blows up TJ's car offscreen. But he really likes Pink Lady! A true man of taste.
      That News of the Thing again, with PL looking hot while dancing and not even getting close while lipsynching. TJ reprises his faith healin' Christian minister bit again, fixing a toaster and a microwave by laying his hands on them. Today if this aired, white fundamentalist Christian men would scream about how they were being persecuted, exactly as was JAY-ZUS!
      Now, it's "The Bland Ole Opry," a name even MAD magazine wouldn't stoop to. Hosted by--WTF, "Hey Vern, it's Ernest!" No, really, Jim Varney. Apparently to compensate for the fundie joke of the last skit, now it's the Carter Family. YES, Jimmy Carter! TOPICAL! They're portrayed as morons--especially Amy, because it's okay to mock 11 year olds. They then make jokes indecipherable to modern humans. Too topical! Today, liberals would just shrug and say "We hear worse than that every day from Fox."
      Next, Emo Jeff cries. PL doesn't need him any more, they have Donny Osmond! (umm...Topical? Mescaline??) They say a Japanese phrase that means they really like him, or possibly their version of "Well, bless his heart." Then they air-kiss and K pulls the lever on the oubliette and he falls screaming into the Gelatinous Blob.
      Fuuucccc--It's Sid Ceasar, as their "Japanese father" with a wig and kimono and katana and doing some loud Jap-noises that might've been considered humorous when Mad Men was daily life. It's really awful, goes on forever.
      In 1980, I was listening to Eno, Devo, Wire, Talking Heads, the Residents, Sex Pistols, non-disco by the Blondie, and those are the ones you've possibly heard of. Know what I hated almost as much as disco? Shit like Donny Osmond. Next, sexy Donny Osmond does a trio with M & K, emasculating TJ in the process. You know who I hate a little less right now? It also seems like they might not be lipsynching here.
      Oh, haha, it's "Art Nuvo's Culture City," another nonjoke from ep 1. He sells fine art like a local used car salesman! Then, it's Sid and the Bolshoi Ballet who want to defect from Soviet Union to America. In Soviet Russia, skit laughs at you! By not being funny.
      Teddy Pendergrass really wishes that he was not here. He sings like he means it, but his face says "I have an agent who will hear about this booking." Then he sings (or lipsyncs the best) "Do Me" and a big chunk of the audience's women rush on stage and throw themselves at his feet. They were obviously paid, but Teddy seems to enjoy it. Maybe because his song ends, after him being on stage less than 3 minutes. Maybe he was paid upfront.
      Next, they go to New York, New York, and if you think that they use that song...congratulations on OH GOD THIS SUCKS WHY AM I WRITING ABOUT IT
      We open on Jeff, doing his latest bad impression (a NY cabbie), and says "Yeah, believable in the 9th grade, maybe 7th." I think. It's hard to tell. If he meant "people of that age group might think these were believable as jokes at that age," sure. Oh, wait, not grade, "race". Horse racing. I wouldn't bet 2 bucks on this nag winning, buddy. As now Donny sings "42nd Street." I need to pee. Need to get some Pink Lady-watchin' meds.
      gurgle gurgle, cough!
      pop, phsssh

      Okay. Daddy got his medicine. Now I'm really kinda hoping to just stare blankly until it's all over. As there's another ep after this.
      Still in fake NYC! Teddy P is a street performer, performing for loose change and dressed as a pimp. Last ep's Negroes, Sherman & the Temptations, performed a brief minstrel show. So...progress?
      Larry (who does an excellent job as straight man, nonstop talking for 5 minutes while the laugh track ignores him for Sid) takes Sid to a fine restaraunt that's actually a strip club! Where all the viewer can see are legs. Comedy value depends on how funny you think Sid having a grand mal is. Or anybody's seizure, ever. He eats salad made of only lettuce, getting more and more hungry and horny, and he justs stuffs it into his spazzing chew-maw, just like this really wowed them on My Show of Shows in 1958 in a slapstick sketch about the Sputniks. Update: When the strippers throw their panties in his face, in 1980 he sniffs them, makes a happy face, then uses them to help shovel lettuce into his filthy anus dentata like they're spoons made of herpes. I remembered that I have a screencap device, but also forgot where the files go. So I apologize that I can't show you decrepit old Sid Ceaser eating with used panties. Haha, I typed it Sid CEASER! Maybe because, dunno, WANT CEASE THIS THING NOOOW
      And now, it's the end. Good! That means hot young Japanese babes in tiny bikinis! And TJ refusing to get in a hot tub with them. A hot tub filled with
      GAH! HAGMAN AND PENDERGRASS AND CAESER AND...ERNEST P WORREL! Then Jeff slimes in and begins marinating. Imagine the taste of that soup
.      Wait, that's it? Only 2 episodes on 1 DVD?! Normally, I would scream "RIPOFF!" Now, I sigh "relief."
      The extras aren't much. Includes a bit of that article on the long-gone and epic 2001 article about them, focusing entirely on Mai and Kei. Hey, they actually did pretty well in Japan after the end of the show! No mention of THAT Jeff.
      Remember? Jeff? The famous one?
      No, you're thinking of Ernest! THAT--JEFF!!


      Via Lilly, Nietzche Family Circus, random Family Circus cartoons captioned with some German guy's quotes.
      I wonder exactly how random it is, as many line up better than you'd think.. Dolly in church, pointing at a stained glass window: "Against boredom even gods struggle in vain."



      20 years ago I was bored and taking a poop, and then a funny thing happened...
      It was recounted in this InExOb. The one in which I mailed a barely coherent letter of complaint about toilet paper to Georgia Pacific. Thesis: "ANGEL SOFT TP--IS MADE OF ANGELS!!"
      Kid's stuff compared to Paul Krassner�s Stereophonic Hoax, 1960:      A hundred of his magazine's readers wrote to the blandest TV show on the air, complaining about its offensive content. Not like today, when it's just a matter of wiping the potato chip crumbs off your greasy mitts and type-shrieking about every-and-anything online. They physically wrote and mailed physical letters about...nothing, really. My imaginary angels on toilet paper were more real. (The manufacturer claimed that they were bows, but they got rid of that design by the time I wrote that InExOb, only 8 years later) The article's a bit long, but quite funny and well worth reading.


      I went to the mailbox and met the woman who rescued that skinny little stray cat last month. She's been adopted! Of course, given her sweet personality. However, "she has issues with the litterbox--big issues!" Maybe because she was thrown outside for a couple of weeks? I'm just happy to know that she has a loving family. Unlike her last one.



      Stupid Comics has a particularly stupid comic this week.


      Just an ad for a radio play--too bad; I'd see this movie:




      On the drive to work today, I thought "I never know what I'm walking into in that place."
      Thursday the lazy, irresponsible cashier who works 2 jobs but never has money because A) she always calls out for bullshit reasons, and B) will be mentioned below.
      She was limping dramatically and I didn't ask why. Because I knew that she'd give the story to every customer that came in. And she'd fallen in a pothole getting off the bus. (She's 27 and still doesn't have a driver's license, and her teacher mom who she lives with can't drive her when school's in, and for some reason she can't walk the literal mile the store is from her house) She hurt her ankle bad! It could be a fracture! Then how could she walk on it? I had a fractured rib and couldn't turn my body at the hip. Her ankle barely looked swollen.
      She'd taken a photo of the pothole, then walked to town hall to find out who she could sue. Apparently, it's a state road (or that's what they told her to make her go away). Sue for what? For walking lopsided? She out-of-the-blued to me "I heard that [owner] is going to fire me if I take any more time off! Well, I'll hit them with a surprise attack!"
      Do you know what means? I don't. I thought "I'll get another job and quit!" but if the pizza place she works part-time at for tips won't give her any extra hours...What's wrong with a job that pays you to sit down all day, doing nothing but ringing up customers inbetween playing with your phone? (And pays very well for retail--over $12.50, or 150% of minimum wage)
      She'd gone the day before to her doctor, but didn't have the $75 copay. Works 2 jobs, hasn't $75? That brings us to B): the boyfriend. He has no job. He just gets money from her. All her relationships are like that. She basically pays for sex. Her money is gone as soon as she gets it. Because he gets it.
      He came in with her other deadbeat friend (who was fired from being a waitress--that's actually hard work, one the friend couldn't do, despite being a single mom. HEY: my best friends? One was an unwed single mom, one is the son of one. Both moms and both kids turned out awesome, because the moms buckled down to support 2 people) Right after they came in, she left. Without asking anybody. And she did the same thing the day before. Hmm, "surprise attack," is she planning on getting fired and collecting unemployment? Well, "Surprise on YOU! On your HEAD! With your OWN FOOT! That's in your MOUTH!" Because she'd left the day before without asking anyone. Unless the labor laws have changed, that's called "job abandonment," about the only non-criminal thing you can do once that can get you immediately fired and ineligible to collect unemployment.
      She came in with a doctor's note from the ER. Despite the doctor describing her hideous injury as a "swollen ankle." The note just says "5 days off work" or something, and nothing more. Like the doc gave it to her to get her out the door and deal with the people bleeding in the waiting room.
      "She has a doctor's note!" said the other lazy, worthless cashier. I said "She left work twice! They can fire her with no warning, and she won't collect!" But the schedule for the month was put up, and there she was, scheduled to work, after her doctor prescribed 5 days of using up 5 sick days. Did I mention she'd already used up her vacation days?
      So I ventured back to work after 2 days off. Yeah, she's toast, they've had enough. They'd had enough a long time ago. Which I found out when another coworker's wife started work today.
      I can only wonder what's next. Are they going to let her have unemployment, just to get rid of her? She'll get it, for about 3 months, and then they could challenge it, and then she'll have to pay every penny back. But if she couldn't support herself and mainly her B)oyfriend on 2 jobs, how will she do it with no-and-a-half jobs? Wanna bet her bf bails on her when the money stream runs dry?
      Tune in Thursday for more on As The Job Turns!


      It's a good thing that the coworker's wife started yesterday, and also that the New Owner's Friend did. I cringed when I heard "New Owner's Friend." His last friend worked exactly as often as he wanted, which was "not fucking much." He'd announce "I'm leaving now" 2 hours before he was scheduled to. He once called up and said "I'm in at 4...can I leave at 5?" He was disappointed that he didn't get New Owner Friend, but instead Manager who Writes the Schedule. "You're on till 9" he said. New Owner's Friend left at 7. Just walked out the door, like the world's least skilled ninja. Use at least one smoke bomb, damn lazy millennial!
      New Owner txted his Latest Friend yesterday "You're coming in tonight, right?" although I suppose it was spelled "UR CMN IN 2NITE LOL QWERTYUIOP" No, he was just about to txt that he couldn't. 90 minutes before he was scheduled. Yes, he called out on his very first day. Except that he didn't; he had to be asked.
      These kids today! No work ethic, wear their funny pants too low, their smart phone music is too loud, and they won't even sacrifice goats to Ba'al! Back in MY day, we were all about the goats! And the Stonehenges. I blame Obama, and the smelting of bronze.


      No actual drama at work. Ankle-Owie Coworker apparently didn't seem to care when they fired her yesterday, so I guess collecting unemployment really was her whole plan. She'll find out pretty quickly that it's really no fun. I know that 20 years ago, I sure didn't like spending 18 months unemployed and wondering when I'd have to decide between eating or being homeless.
      OTOH, she still lives with mommy. A mommy who's worked her ass off all her life, being the family's sole source of income for a decade on a teacher's salary, so I can imagine that the "lazy life of living on the couch stoned, eating chips" phase of her unemployment will end quickly. Especially as her brother is such a slacker that he's a fucking state trooper. I have a niece dating a recent graduate of the police academy, and you don't get that by "sitting on your ass playing with your phone, then sighing when you have to stand up & ring someone up."
      I think reality won't really kick in until her mooching friends realize that their free revenue stream just dried up, and they move on to greener pastures suckers.


      Apparently, Fired Ex-Coworker (FExCow for brvty) maybe was calm as a clam when fired because she knew it was coming. She told me on her last day of work "I know that [owner] is going to fire me if I take any more time off!" before then taking 5 days off. But now she wants rrrrrREEEEVENGE!! She wants to fuck up the store over her slights and things the store has done, straight to the labor board "even if it makes you guys lose your jobs!" Crimeny, I'd just take unemployment and put "Laid Off" on my resume. The coworker she still talks to said that she could hear her boyfriend egging her on in the background, so, yeah, Panic in "BF Might Have to Get a Job" City.
      I have more opinions, but I think I'll just keep 'em to myself until things happen.


      Radio news just told me that there's "a new faith-based version of the Boy Scouts." HMM, let us's because the Scouts allow openly gay members now, so these new guys are homophobic? Hey, I was right on the first guess! Before they even finished the sentence! They were also described as "Christian."
      If they'd banned blacks, would they be called "faith-based" or "hate-based"? "Christian" or "Bigots"? Of course not! If you self-describe your xenophobic insanity as "Christian" in this country, that means you get a free pass. Why doesn't that work when the news reports women in Muslim or Hindu countries getting acid thrown in their faces for going to school or wearing "revealing" clothing as "faith-based", rather than pure evil? Oh, riiight...

      Oh man, do NOT get Virgin Mobile as your cell phone provider. After a month with no service, followed by a phone dead of old age, they cut my account off again. Why don't they want my fucking money?!
      I wrote them again, and then again again, because if a job's worth doing right, it's worth doing repeatedly and have it not be done at all. Email from them:
      The last payment made on your account was on 07/22/04/2013
      What the hell is that number, a StarDate? Then why am I not Kirking a hot green alien chick who was also Batgirl?
      Due to our system upgrades you will need to top up $20 to extend your plan for 90 days, if you top up $15 or $10 your account will be extended only for $45 days.
      Yeah, well, your "upgrades" seem to be the reason that I can't top up my account by any number of dollars, no matter how many $45 days it takes.
      You have a credit debit/card registered on your account ending in xxxx, but it is not enroll on automatic payments, please reply this e-mail if you authorizes us to top up your account using this card
      ...Yes, that fill me with a confidences. Here is$ for to done. Epoxy, Margaret?
      More like Virgin Immobile, amirite?


      "Comix with Too Many Words" is Subnormality's self-description, and "photo" uses a lot, but also just enough. There are built in page breaks, like in a comic book, but his stuff is really illustrated short stories. Give it a read; take a break if you have my modern internet-fragmented gnat-like attention span, then check your gmail or Facebook again like that's what matters, and then go back. You've got time.


      Re: Tossing of Cookies.
      As you may remember, Byron is a big fan of puking. Like it was his sideline, as if he was running BLARRGGH!! "All cat barfs, all the time!" But let's forget about that, and focus on his siblings.
      Killsy, you may remember, will attempt to to make it to the bathtub before hosing out her stomach. If that's too far, she'll regurge on the bathroom tile.
      You may also remember that DJ was foster-raised in a bathroom, and thus sees the bathroom floor as a place to get loves on. While rolling around on it.
      Combine the Killsy and DJ scenarios in that order, and tell me what you get...And you can keep what you get.

      Vacation next week! I asked Jess & Kev seperately when they wanted to get together, and Jess said "Thursday!" A few days later Kev said "Thursday!" Really, I have 9 days off, and you both pick the same one. Well, she picked first. And if you're thinking "Oh, sure, blow Kev off for the hot babe!" her first choice was Tuesday. But I only get to hear my favorite radio program in full on vacation! So, yeah, I blew off the hot babe for a radio show.

      Also on the agenda: A vet visit. With...
      BYRON. (thunderclap; lights go out; wolf howls in distance)
      VET: "Is it just the vaccines, or is there a problem?"
      "There'll be a problem giving him the vaccines, believe me!"
      Here he is, as peaceful as he most certainly won't be in a week:



      Yes, once again he is sleeping with his mouth open. And his eyes open. Don't worry. There's nothing unsettling about having a cat stare at you with zombie eyes. Staring. Staring...STARING WITH THOSE UNDEAD EYES


      Okay, nevermind, that totally looks comfortable.



      Those are probably what our "My ankle has an owie; I need to use up exactly the 5 sick days I'm legally entitled to" ex-coworker is putting on her resume. Except that she's too busy threatening that "Revenge is a dish best served stupid!" and trying to shut the company down because something something that won't get her another job.
      I was illegally fired from Sam Goody, and had no job until a month left before my savings ran out and I'd be living out of my car. Because I had a mortgage. She lives with mommy, and can't live out of her car because she doesn't have a driver's license. At age 28.
      Me, I'd just collect the unemployment that the job says it won't contest, put "Laid Off" as the reason for leaving the last job, and get another one. But, as everyone assumes/knows, her reverse-sugar daddy thinks she's going to get one last paycheck from the company, and he can leech off of that until he's drained her money dry, and then move onto the next sucker. But that would require her to get her fat ass off the couch and do something. As would "suing the company." I'm sure her older brother, the state trooper, is totally encouraging her to be a lazy slob. (That was sarcasm; I'm sure she's getting as much moral support as she gets from her schoolteacher mother)

      My mortgage was paid off years ago. Via Kirk, The Worst Room, some wonderful closets you can rent for hundreds of dollars a month in NYC. And I mean closets--attractive taglines for the real hellholes include "Looking for two roommates.--Top bunk is $500 per month, bottom bunk is $600 per month" and "comfy L shaped sofa� just for you!" Yes, your room is a tier of a bunk bed, or a sofa in someone's living room.
      I'm pretty sure that the thing hanging down is an extension cord, but I think that I'd repurpose it within a month of living there.


      Fired coworker--who's vowed "If I lost my job, so I'll make sure that everyone else is going to lose their jobs!"--texted 2 of the ex-coworkers she wants fired today to ask a customer who works for the state to get her "2 forms for getting food stamps." Yes, she wants us all unemployed, but she still wants us to run errands for her. Should we also give her a lift to the lawyer she's threatening to sue us with, and then maybe we could all chip in for his fee?
      The fact that she wants us to do the busy work kinda makes me think that her big legal action will never happen. At least until her boyfriend the lamprey gets his stoned ass off of the couch. But then, who'd pay for his gas? Him? hahaha!


      Silly name but important mission: the Ugly Animal Preservation Society."It's the most depressing type of science to be involved with," he said. "It's basically working out: What died today?"


      The second sweetest sounding word in the English language: "VACATION!" (First sweetest is "RETIREMENT!") Yes, 230 consecutive hours between walking in my front door at the end of today's commute and woefully trudging out again to commute back. 9 and a half days away from that wretched hive of scum and villainy!
      The second to last vacay day will mark my 10th anniversary of working there, which is a testament to either my perseverance or my laziness in job hunting. But it's a lot better than it used to be, now that I get 3 days off a week and spend only 2 or so hours a week with Drunken Toddler, who's actually pleasant to deal with now. A combination of not overworrying about his job, and the fact that he almost died a few months ago from a bad reaction to new meds. That can give you perspective.
      Beginning "Will Not Think About Work" Mode--now!!


      I had the good idea that, for once, I could post a photo a day from my vacation! If nothing else, it would decrease the percentage of my photos that are of Jessica smiling or Byron's feet.
      I went to the Coventry Farmers Market and proceeded to take no photos. It's all flat; no vantage points. It's also a nightmare if you're an agoraphobe or a claustrophobe--outside, but with hundreds of people cramped in, dodging errant toddlers and dogs looking to hook up with butts.
      I went in with $40.75 and left with 10. Let's see...Cato Farms cheese, Beltane wasabi goat cheese, some penuchi fudge, a bacon/cheddar/potato pie or pastie or whatever it was called, and some Italian pastries. They were out of my favorite strawberry cheese danish, so I bought a scone-roll-bun thing that I forgot the ingredients of as soon as I reached my car, and 2 raspberry sticks. Well, paid for 2, got home and found that I had been given one. Not worth the $2 to back and complain about, and their slogan is "Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli" from The Godfather, so I'd end up at the bottom of the Connecticut River if I did complain, so I guess I'll just check my bags from them from now on. Although I prly won't go back until next June. Then I bought one of those delicious veggie samosas, so I couldn't take a picture anyway, as my hands were full and also my mouth. And as usual, a band was playing. This time bluegrass music, I guess. The only lyrics I caught were "I wish I'd never been born, or had died very young." BlueGoth music? Blackgrass?

      Since I'm not being annoyed by work, let's celebrate by me getting annoyed by--Pink Lady and THAT Jeff!
      Jeff Altman clearly wishes he was Jeff Deadman.
      "Well, we've survived to 3 shows," he said, sounding like he was looking directly into the basket at the bottom of the guillotine. And he was. The show was put in a sucide time slot. Jeff's jokes are about his miserable life as a stand up comic, especially in his birthplace, Schenectady NY, named after "an old Indian word that meant 'cold and boring'." He had a boss at a bar tell him "You're gonna go far! Get in that trunk!" Then, for the 2nd or possibly 3rd time, he punches a padded stool and falls down, except this time, he prefaces it with "This is what they thought was funny in Schenectady!" All his jokes are met with loud laughter and equally faked tumultuous applause, and also some weird noises from a male member of the audience, possibly a lost moose or an angry badger. Or a heckler. Oh, wait, I fogot: his 1st joke was that he changed his name to go into show business because his birth name was already taken: "It was Sex Pistols." No future, no future for JEFF!
      It's Pink Lady! Still doing the kabuki of starting each in kimonos, and then they rip them off to sex-aaay disco garb! And it's like Star Wars, with the blue screen cuz the song's called UFO! And did you know that you can't buy Pink Lady songs on iTunes? Because this is actually good--old 70s J-pop and not the bland USA/NBC disco they've been doing in every show. Among the Vegas-clothed girlie dancers is a guy with an afro shaped like a top hat, and I mean guy because I'm pretty sure he is one. Fine by me, but his inclusion in a "family" show makes me wonder exactly how sinking everyone knew this ship was. Some, like Jeff, groused. The choreographer said "Everybody have fun tonight" and wanged some chung! And why wouldn't it be on Youtube?


      Looking at the DVD again...maybe more than one man in drag? Three?
      Jeff & PL have the opening dirge--err, monologue. J does his Nixon impersonation again, but rolls his eyes back into his head and it's rather creepy. Now, time for some 1980-specific jokes! Not the 1980S. Just 1980. Wait--it ISN'T?! A loop I have been thrown! No, sassy-ass Kei has Jeff's running mate for president--Ca-Razy Sumo Man again! Jeff thought that nice-girl Mie said "He'll help you throw your hat in the ring!" when she really said "Head in the ring!" I really thought that Mie's phonetically-read English line was "He'll help you with your head injury!"
      Guest stars: Greg Evigan! Hugh Hefner! His bevy of boobs!
      Oh, here it is, 1980! President Carter and Hey Vern, It's Ernest Guy. And Charo, or a man dressed up as her. In gold lame, she sexily-not says that people are "gold WHOREDING!" and the "gold is a solid ASSet!" while not shoving her pancreas at the camera. And now it's "Bare Midriff"! Umm--Bette Midler, I guess? With cleavage and shrieking, is that who? And fuck kill me, it's an energy crisis skit, "We Have No Unleaded Today," sung no shit to the 1920s tune "We Have No Bananas Today." Guess the average age of a scriptwriter on this show, and how much of its budget went to hip replacements.
      Guest star: Greg Evigan! From BJ AND THE BEAR! It was an NBC show about a man who slept with a chimp & not named Michael Jackson. He displays his monkey-lovin' skills by playing pathetic soft rock. He sings "I wish I'd never been born, or had died very young." Wait, no, his song is literally about how "I Want to be Around People I Like to be Around." Wow. A daring sentiment from a show that invoked the name Sex Pistols. B-side: "I Don't Like Being Around People That I..." oh, you got that already. But do you have a chimp? When his sax solo is finished--did you know before now that Greg Evigan played sax? Did you know before now that he even existed? PL & J; a joke about working with a performing monkey, butt of: Jeff. And now--SCREECHING MONKEY! Wow, the chimp on NBC's show involving a chimp is on an NBC show! It's BJ and TWO chimps! Ahh...ha...ha...ha.
      The chimp could've written better than this: It's a tabloid parody called "Cheapshot Magazine." Jokes about Family Feud! A man marries a goldfish! Orson Welles is fat, I tell you, he's FAT!!
      Guest star: Hugh Hefner! His bevy of boobs! And...ALTMAN NIXON IMPERSONATION! Sure, why not, Dana Carvey's prly doing stand up in a Denny's parking lot saying over and over "It wouldn't be prudent!" with an upturned hat at his feet. And Nixon wants a job from Hefner. Jeff rolls his eyes into his head creepily again, showing just the whites. Hilarious punchline from Hef: "I wonder if Kissinger is looking for a job."
      Guest star: Greg Evigan! With PL! PL sings "You Needed Me." You're boring me, kids. Then Guest star: Greg Evigan! joins them in that Elton/Kiki song, then "Last Dance" because disco. Audience claps along, possibly as men with guns walked up behind them. Let me point out that Guest star: Greg Evigan! lipsyncs far worse than the women who don't speak English. He's used to chimp karaoke.
      Guest star: Greg Evigan Hugh Hefner! PL is going to a Hef party dressed in kimonos--certainly they will not violently rip them off their bodies at the first chance revealing sexxxxy glittering disco Underoos, because we've seen that every time they've worn a kimono, that would be like 5 times in 3 shows--BUT JEFF DON'T GET IN! The humor has gone from self-deprecating to self-defecating. He does a terrible Raymond Burr impression, in which he threatens to EAT the DOOR! If you don't know who Raymond Burr is, like Orson Welles he's dead and was also once FAT. He's gonna eat the door down! He's--FAT!!
      At the party, Playboy centerfolds can't act any better than women who can't speak English. Or Hefner. And Reverend Jeff mind-controls Hef to leave and the Playmates to stay, and then we assume there is a massive Jeff Sex Orgy vomit
      Oh no, it's Jeff's "Boxer with the brain of an ice cube" Guy again. And now--Guest star: Cheap Trick! Music video of Cheap Trick's Dream Police. By show 3, the guests weren't phoning it in, they were mailing it in. As a guy who spent a lot of time in the cut-out bins of record stores in 1980, I can tell you that I saw a lot of $3.99 copies of that LP.
      Series of Jokes involving the Chicago. It's windy, and everyone's on strike, that's it. Hugh Hefner sings! You wanted to see that, right? Playboy centerfolds can't dance. Hef introduces Bunny wannabes Pink Lady to their average customer: Jeff, drunken redneck who smashes his table to scraps. KEI: "Yet's become--stewahdesses!" MIE: "Yes!" Because Bunny and stewardess and pop stars and chorus line dancers are the only jobs for girls. Chorus jobs also available to men who can tuck their junk in a leotard. Finale: Everyone dances with inside-out umbrellas because It's Windy There! Lyric: "I saw a lady dance with the Pope!" And then the front rows of the audience all twirl their umbrellas because I guess they were all on the payroll. They're also the only people you ever see clapping...
      PL: "Ready, Jeff? Hot tub time!" Jeff says, literally: "eww." In a hot tub with smokin' Japanese bikini babes? How about FIVE Playmates of the Month?! How about a chimp chewing a cigar? How about Greg Evigan? EWW! Greg and his Bear leave, and Jeff professes his first interest in bathing with babes. Apparently, he's just not into Asians. His excuse to bathe fully dressed is that "there's a small stain on my jacket" EWWW! What about the ones in your shorts? Hef leers over the action like a bathrobed horny old gargoyle. Yeah, typecasting.


      Yeah, I dropped the ball on the "Photo Every Day of Vacay" thing on day one. So, here's a picture of


      MY LUNCH! Tomorrow, I'll show you another picture of it, after it has left my body.
      Note the side of a pickle and a DJ, wondering if it's his lunch, too. It's from Rein's Deli, famous as far south as New Jersey. $6.75, which may sound expensive for a chicken salad sandwich on wheat (because it is), but they pack these things with a lot of meat. There's an "overpacked" version with even more--I forget the Yiddish name for it on the menu--which I've never ordered. I've seen other people get them, and they look like you'd have to unhinge your lower jaw like a cottonmouth snake to eat them. The pickles I recently described as "the best pickles I'd never eat." (I don't like pickles), so I bought 2 buckets of them, because I'll see Jess and then Kev soon, and they love them. And this is their birthday month. Also, maybe it'll jog Kev's memory as to why Connecticut ain't so bad after all, before he moves to Austin and can't find a NY-style deli to save his sole. (Shoe sole; he'd have to walk really, really far)
      They also have Sky Bars, the world's best candy! The cashier agreed with me so much that she forgot to ring one up. So I guess that makes up for not getting my 2nd raspberry stick yesterday.
      I also went to Rock & Smoke, which sells rock memorabilia and mumble smoke supplies mumble. "For tobacco use ONLY" say 3 signs by the door, because if you say "weed" they could be shut down...Yes, in CT pot is decriminalized, but bongs aren't. The "War on Drugs" is also the "War on Logic." The memorabilia is a few rows of tshirts, a quarter of which are of Bob Marley. They had hundreds of tobacco delivery systems, but only a tiny fraction of them were priced. Any experienced antique/thrift store shopper knows that "no pricing" means "don't ask, or instant markup." Guess I'll stick with my leaky old single hitter. For Marlboros.
      There was a thrift store in the plaza, now with a book/music/video room, every item very clearly priced. I believe I will go back tmw and buy some, now that I'm sure that I don't already own them (which is a disadvantage of owning too many CDs and not owning a smart phone)
      Before I went into Rein's, I saw that there was a smoke store there, too. Instead of memorabilia, they had spring-loaded knives and Rush Limbaugh on the radio. If I owned a store, I'd keep the radio as bland as could be. Maybe his display of "tobacco only" pipes were for smoking oxycontin. Rash Dimbulb was ranting against Obamacare, because it would make the 1% richer, because apparently he isn't in the 1% or this is the latest talking point. Keep tokin' that oxy pipe, Rush!
      More pics:


      DJ wondering if the leftover lettuce is something he'd like.


      DJ deciding that it isn't, just before batting it to the floor.

      Now that I'm settled in with a Genny Cream Ale, a Sky Bar, and something that can only be used for tobacco products, it's--PINK LADY AND JERK!

      Jeff's DVD intro: he mimes shooting a dog. "No PETA stuff, please." He then says that the show was finally "coming into its groove", but going "down, down, down in the ratings," the first bit of empathy he's shown. Oh, wait, is it empathy for himself? Again? He immediately goes "Right, my brothers!" and throws a rap pose. Jerk.

      Guest: Florence Henderson! "Special" Appearances by Lorne Greene! Sid Ceasar! Boomer, the dog Jeff wants to kill! The headless reanimated corpse of Robespierre! (Just making that up to be sure you were paying attention) Musical Guest: Blondie! Wait--what? I like Blondie! Oh, wait, it's 1980. Either a video of "Hearts of Glass" or "The Tide is High". I'm guessing that "The Attack of the Giant Ants" is a long shot.
      Announcer: "Ladies and gentlemen--JEFF ALTMAN! Also, FUCK YOU ALL IN THE NOSE!" Audience responds with thunderous applause from the seeds in the front row. Every other inert audience member was either bussed in from Sedative Testing Labs up the road, or is grumbling "I thought they were showing Manimal!"
      Then that guy says "Why is the Manimal guy wearing a kimono?" because he hasn't seen every opening to the show. Strip, sexually defined Japanese female objects Pink Lady, STRI-I-IP! Also, sing.
      "You Keep Me Hangin' On," disco version. The spotlights pan over a couple of guys in the front row. They look about 80. They are so enthralled by the dance number, that they talk to each other. "Are they Lorne Greene and Sid Caesar? Why are they women? And dirty Japs?!"
      The underclothed sex-ay PL Dancers come out, no doubt shorting out every pacemaker of every geezer the senior center brought out for Free TV Show Night. All dancers appear to be women this week. Then--wait, did they just teleport over to PL? Now, everyone's in different outfits, and the baffled seniors suddenly take notice that they're on the stage. Oh man, they...stopped the opening dance number, had everyone redress, then started it again on its second minute? How long did that take? No wonder the seniors are baffled. Okay, that dancer that just appeared out of nowhere? Drag queen.
      The seniors applaud as they are clearly seeing themselves on the monitors as the cameras pan over their heads. "Hey, Jane! That's me, Dick! On the magic box!"
      Painful opening skit about K & M not understanding real estate ad abbreviations, amirite? "Man with parrot wishes to meet women with grapefruit!" I think K says. This is a joke, perhaps one previously unknown to science.
      Lorne Greene's applause is tumultuous! Lorne of the "Galactica: 1980" period. The couple that think they're named "Desi and Lucy" because they can't afford their meds applaud. He's old and white! "Wasn't he on the show, Jane? That show?" "No, Dick, that's the other show you're thinking of. No, the other other show--Yes, that's the one. 'I Married Joan'."
      Lorne explains how when he talks, another man's voice comes out. No, really. K asks him "How does that man fit in there?" A man coming in Lorne's mouth. Jeff says that "The girls still don't understand television technology!" Since this makes no sense (they were talking about Lorne speaking 3 words in Japanese, if that makes it any more sense), Jeff, is this a dig at their terrible lipsynching? If so--Nice! Makin'a joke about how bad Pink Lady is! Hey, you just got to plug "Galactica 80, coming soon!" starring Lorne Greene! "I'm sure that it will run a long time!" Not really, but longer than your show, Jeff. And the skit ends with...Lorne crying about how horny he is, having had no women on the Ponderosa. And then hitting on Pink Lady, but they're "MY women!" according to Jeff. Then Lorne's...trying to buy Pink Lady from Jeff? Threatening to rape them? He wanders off, defeated and dick-limping, mumbling "Back to rockets and robots!" Galactica 80! Watch it!
      Then Skit Time! DJ Spazzy Jeff is a DJ! In prison! With Hey Vern Guy! This is kind of funny. They do "Morning Zoo Radio Show" type voices. "And the lead story today is, of course--this morning's execution of my co-host! He's goin' to the chair!" And the co-host is next to him, making "Oh, don't make a fuss over me!" gestures. Jeff asks him to hold a bunch of TV dinners in his lap when he's electrocuted. Then the lights dim, and he yells "Dinner's ready, boys!" Okay, maybe not that funny.
      Next, a lampoon of government over-regulation, complete with riot police busting up a girl's lemonade stand like it was an Occupied rally. Since it's really mocking the idea that the FDA can require corporations to not tell you what's in your food...I'm guessing this is another Old Writer Written Sketch. Stupid Hippies, get offta my lawn and into Viet Nam!
      Jeff asks M if she's heard of "sleight of hand"--asshole, NO, she doesn't know English! Do you also ask this question of deaf children, while pointing at your ears and laughing? "Slight of hand?" she asks. "No, Mie, that's something else!" Get it? "slight" vs "sleight"? Pun that only works when you read it?
      Jeff does a card trick. This is the show coming into its groove, I guess. "Pick a card, don't let me look at it!" says Jeff twice before looking at it. And then he actually shows you the trick--2 cards were glued together! Mythbusters '80!
      It's a cheap wedding to 2 Japanese girls! I wonder who they are? And it's "Special" Guest Sid Caesar doing his Jap impression. Again. "No, no-a picture! Steal-a soul from body!" No, Sid, that's your Redskin impression! His whole "joke" is that he says gibberish like a WWII cartoon Jap, then translates it into--Jew! There is a costly wedding cake, he has to pay for it, and he has a samurai sword. I have no idea what will happen next! Will it involve the punchline "Now it's half off!"? Jeff & Hey Vern agree that they have to get rid of Sid Caesar, and Ernest says "No joke!" like he's describing Sid's routine. Then--Sid bisects the cake with his sword! And says "I only eat small piece, you pay for the rest!" because the half-off joke must've been old even to him.
      Who's the big star after the guy on NBC's new fall lineup, after Galactica '80? A new show on Friday nights; Jeff sez "Sounds like us!" He's Boomer! He is a dog. Sounds like PL & J's show! Amirite? Boomer sucks. Or the cameraman does. He's a fucking trained dog, do you think he's going to look at the camera, or his TRAINER? He leaves with Jeff's personal check, that he had in his pocket, apparently made out to "Some Dog." Skit: End.
      PL sings "Yesterday." No, you wish it was 5 weeks of yesterdays ago. Yesterday, when this show was still unplayed, now NBC has us on Fridays, oh I believe in yesterday. Suddenly, we're scheduled opposite Dynasty, and why is Lorne Greene here? Oh, he creeps us out, when he hits on girls like Pink Lady, Pink Lady...
      "Listenin' to 'em is a pleasure," lies Jeff. "They're one in a million, they're dynamite!" Which is exactly how he introduces PL. Passive-Aggressive a lot, Jeff? "They're--BLONDIE!" Okay, so video of the Muzak version of "Heart of Gla--"EAT TO THE BEAT"? With Debbie taking big bites out of an imaginary schlong?! Showing to the seniors who only came for the Sid Caesar, God forbid? And now, for the fans of the Blondie, a parody of silent films. Who did they think their audience was? Me?
      Which do you think is funnier: this silent movie skit, or a boot, stamping on a human face? Which do you think feels more like forever?
      Florence Henderson! She sings. You wanted that, right? About Indiana crop harvests. And America, the amber waves are purple with fruit--slow down, Florence--America, America, God shed his waste on me? WTF? SLOW DOWN Brothers in the hood, from sea to shining--what happened to Indiana corn? Why was she singing about purple mountains like a hippie on acid? What a WEIRD SONG.
      "Holy Christmas, it's BOOMER!" Direct quote. He has money from Jeff's check! He has not spent it on "Not looking at your trainer" lessons. Now, Pink Lady, who we are carefully assured is dynamite. They perform this track:


      Ha ha. They sing a Muzak version of the Bee Gees. How deep, indeed, how deep is my love? SHAME! Oh, it's a medley. Something called "SHAME!" Does it rhyme at 1 point with "insane"? Blame, Pain, come on! Song switch--"le Freak"? "LE FREAK"?! Fuck, disco was dead in 1980! You had Blondie on! On TWO SHOWS! Okay, dance with people holding decapitated death masks, sure, symbolic of disco, really. My inner English major accepts the interpretation I have forced onto the text. The masks are on both sides of the faces, like Janus, looking to the dead past (TV variety shows), the dying present (disco), and the doomed future (New Wave). The audience does not clap, although thunderous clapping is heard. This is the sound of no hands clapping: False thunder, a silence that still insists that it exists. A baffled middle America of 1980, clinging to Bonanza's mythical tribe leader, now forced to work with rockets and robots. The silent films and 1950s mores they've forgotten in Sid, the disco that made them feel dated and then 3 years later, instantly dated. Blondie, of the soon-to-commodified New Wave, a future outmoded by the never-ending needs of a consumer society for more "This One is New" trends. "Ahh, FREAK OUT! Le Chic, so chic!" indeed. Multiple explosions appear at the end of this play acting--dare I say "Kabuki theater"?--Do they repesent a foreshadowing of today? Explosions on TV, and the audience reacts with boredom, much as they do to drone strikes or climate change. When a reaction is required, the controllers dub in applause from the faceless audience, applause as tumultuous as the anger over any raising of taxes on the Job Creators or gun control laws would see.
      Why does Jeff avoid "Hot Tub Time!' with such toothsome lasses as the geishas of Pink Lady? "You wouldn't go in the hot tub if you had tuxedos on!" And yet, there they are, two nubile young Asians, dressed in tuxedos as sexy men. I mean men! Men aren't sexy! I mean, to very young Asian girls they should be. But now Jeff goes in willingly, with women dressed as young men, in tuxedos, the very symbol of their oppression. Kai doesn't want to go in the water, as it's "too black" from their cheap tuxedos. What does this mean? Does this not represent both the forbidden secret appeal of miscegenation, and society's ban on it? Does PL & J wish us to endorse the casual racism of Greene and Caesar, in its current bland example of Henderson's flag waving self-worship? Or does Boomer represent what he is in human society, a mindless pack follower who is lost without his trainer's commands? And Blondie, what are we to think of this? Do they represent a spirit of rebellion simmering below the tie-wearing old men in tuxedos who wrote the show, vs an unknown progressive faction? That would then become just a different flavor of corporate rock? New Wave was "Eat to the Beat" cocaine-era Blondie--when did heroin-era Blondie come, before or after? Before? [citation needed] BTW, did you know that gay marriage is impossibles because of magnets, how do they work?
      Much to think about. Much. Very much. I may get tenure from this paper.
      I will now eat a Rein's pickle.


      "Why am I even looking at CDs in a thrift store?" I thought yesterday, "there's never anything good, just music tweeners liked 5 years ago that embarassed them in high sch--" And among the first I saw were from that box set of rare Cocteau Twins EPs from 20 years ago. I bought those 2 and 3 more, 2 of Indian music, one of which was made in Calcutta, and a Verese Sarabande CD. They're noted for their perfect reissues of music no one remembers, usually old soundtracks. This was "25 All-Time Best Novelty Records," the thing K-Tel sold on late-nite TV in the 80s. $1.75, and 10 tracks made it into my iTunes. All were half-priced, although they'd only been in the store for 5 weeks (I like decoding store price tags). I guess that consignment stores are different than thrift stores--"I don't want this, here it is for free" vs "I need that dollar-fifty NOW!" Guess I'll be going there every other month.
      Then I bought some hot wings from People's Choice Pizza Soviet, but they were like a dollar a wing and they put the wrong sauce on them, so I don't think I'll be going there for many months.
      Bought CDs and wings, ate one of the two. It's vacation; I can do boring stuff.
      Tmw: Byron goes to the vet. I will enjoy my boring stuff before my upcoming visit to the emergency room.


      "Good morning!" chirped the receptionist.
      "Yeah, we'll see about that," I said as I put down the cat carrier full of utter rage. "Call the SWAT Team."
      Byron's visit to the vet didn't go as bad as the last few times! And if you guessed "It was a thousand times worse," congratulations, here's your LTRotD award, and a cookie.
      Howling, growling, and now snorting like an angry bull or a goaded wild pig or boar. It took 10 minutes just to get the cage open enough to innoculate him with vaccines. Hey, Fake Doctor Jenny McCarthy may be on to something about vaccines being bad for your health after all! As Byron even thinking he could get one was bad for the health of everyone in the room! He stabbed his claws at the tech in her heavy gloves as they tried to get the carrier open. "Strikers are the worst!" she said, so maybe she was also an exec at Wal-Mart. He got poked, shrieking as if we'd removed his very heart, although he'd been howling the entire time, so this was just a crescendo. Wait, "crescendo" implies that the caterwauling went down after that. Now came getting the carrier back together, which was so unsuccessful that I did it. Possibly in his terror-stricken Hulk/Taz mind he understood that I was just trying to get him home.
      Then we went home, and all was peace and calm and of course it fucking wasn't! Killsy said "Whoa, let me stay away from Mr Angry!" because she's so smart. DJ...let's leave it at "he's DJ." Just would not let the guy alone, but then again, all DJ had to be was in Byron's field of vision yards away and hissing would start. I put DJ in the bedroom for half an hour. Byron calmed. I let DJ out, he immediately went to see Bigfoot, after another half an hour, he was locked in the bedroom again, now for an hour. All Byron needs is to be left alone long enough to sleep for a couple of hours. Upon release, bail paid by me, DJ wisely stayed in my lap in the room B wasn't in. Deej is in here, Byron is sleeping off his stress in a sunny window. When he awakes, I hope all will be back to what passes for normal around here. And all this drama came while the Feliway's been in since yesterday. I can only imagine what it'd be like if it wasn't, and I don't feel like being imaginative right now.

      After all that, I needed a drink! And some cats going "Om nom nom":




      Once again to see Jessie and do that other of the only 2 things we do. This time, the antiques part of Putnam, a big departure of our going to the antiques part of Sturbridge.
      She was 25 minutes late, because Jess. Actually, it was the 1st time she'd tried to get there from her new house and there was a construction detour that never said where she was supposed to go after the first sign, and she ended up in "The Highest Point of Rhode Island." She was in half of the states of New England today.
      It was the 1st day of my vacation that the weather could have been described as beautiful. I gave her her birthday bucket of Rein's pickles and some cat stuff, some of which had been imported from the other side of the continent (Lilly, some feral kittens thank you in advance for their treats!).
      As I was looking at some toy ray guns (it seems impossible to buy real ray guns), some Creepy Guy said something to us. We're creepy guy magnets, and I'm not sure which of us is the magnet. We gave the very sincere-seeming smiles and seemingly-appreciative fake laughs that retail workers learn as defense mechanisms, and he went away. I said "Look, that one's from Mars Attacks, and--" "MARS ATTACKS IS ON THE CABLE A LOT LATELY!" said Mr Creepy, who apparently could teleport. We responded with (see above actions). After he turned a corner, I whispered "I was about to say 'that's the worst Tim Burton movie ever.' Good thing I didn't, or it would've started a whole debate."
      A lot of merchandise had changed in the store since we were last there. A bunch of 1965 toys from the 007 movie Thunderball, right next to similar set of All the American Presidents. I knew which I woulda played with as a kid: Bond vs the POTUSes! "Don't try to shtop me, Eishenhower!" There was an unidentifiable rusty old thing for sale, and the tag actually described it as a "Rusty Old Thing."
      Jess spotted the $4.50 "Stormtrooper on Dewback" mini-diecast before I did, so it was hers. She bought a nice sleek 60s statue of a green-eyed black cat and DisneyWorld salt shaker cheap, too. We saw a lot of Elvis junk, and made a lot of "Elvis dying on the toilet" jokes, before we saw a racist darkie kid standing on a toilet labeled "YOU GO NEXT" and on the shelf above, a very happy Elvis bust was pointing right at it. "Thanks, MOMMA! Just let th' KING take the next dump!"
      We went to the big store. She took a picture of a HUGE piece of $4000 furntiture and sent it to her husband. He emailed back "You can buy it if you fit it in your Jeep." By "huge" I mean "about a story tall"
      I bought that "wanking alien puppet" that was there last time. There was a bar mirror of "Two Champions!" for Kessler Whiskey. Was it Han Solo bragging "I can do the Kessler run in 20 shots...whoa...oh shit...baaarff!! Shut up, Chewie, just shower it off!" No, Some Guy with a bowling trophy. Celebrity endorsements must've been cheap back then! I would've bought it if the trophy wasn't for bowling, but horseshoes.
      She bought some more cat-themed items and a nutcracker. We had lunch at a place called "Something Special," although for years we've called it "small cheese pizza" because that's what she always orders. She told me a story about feral cat rescue that's so awesome, I can't tell you about it.
      "Should I go to the bathroom before I leave?" I thought. "Nah, it's only a 45 minute drive." 2 miles from home, there was a traffic jam. It took me 10 minutes to cover what I'd normally do in 90 seconds. Thank Gourd I didn't have to go potty in the opposite direction--there was a 2 mile backup. At 4:15, on a residential road that no one has a reason to be on who doesn't live on it. Unless you want to get to the highway, but you can get to the highway the opposite way--hmm. I wish I'd thought to look at the online traffic cameras when I got home. Maybe there was an accident on the highway, and stupid people decided that the quickest way to skip it was having their GPS find another way. Because a traffic jam on a residential road so narrow that it has a "NO THROUGH TRUCKS" sign on it will certainly be faster than the highway. Who cares, I need to peeee!!! Outta my way, Elvis!


      15 Toylines from the '80s That Will Never Ever Be Coming Back. I recognize 10 of these, and have at least 2, from my Kay Bee Toy days. They all went on clearance really quickly.

      Byron still is blaming DJ for me taking him to the vet. The Feliway was doing nothing, until I realized that while it hadn't been plugged in, it was prly evaporating from the diffuser over its 18 months of nonuse, and maybe no longer had any juice left. I put an unopened one in, moving it from room to room, depending on which one B was currently hiding in. He's at the top of the cat tree right now, where he's been all day. Hissing at DJ whenever he comes into view. Enjoyment for all!


      The 50 Cutest Things That Ever Happened



      It must be my September vacation, because I was sisk the second half!
      Not as horribly so as previous years, as I finally admitted that it was a seasonal allergy and took generic Zyrtec. Still, I sure slept a hell of a lot from Friday to today.
      Not helping: Byron's hate of DJ since he went to the vet. Even the Feliway didn't help, but I just realized that yesterday was the first day that I shut the windows, so maybe the Feliway diffuser was a little too diffuse. Byron has been better since I got home after work. At least, until DJ decides to become Dumb Jerk and ambush him.


      Forgot to mention: remember that co-non-worker who was fired for excessive absences, then vengefully shrieked to the skies above that she would sue the company into bankruptcy and we'd all lose our jobs?
      She called up and asked for her job back. There's burning your bridges before you've crossed them, and then there's dropping atom bombs on them. "Umm, sorry about what I did, Hiroshima, but can I be your roomie again? I think it's fair that I pay 10% of the rent, as that's how much of your city I left standing."

      Well, I must've been sick, because Foodfight! made it to the top of my queue. CGI previews: Top Cat (plot, as given in trailer: Cats are stupid and also horny), Fish and Chips, (cats are stupid, eat french fries, and are horny; fish can breathe out of water), Back to the Sea (fish are stupid, so don't eat fish, also they are the blockiest looking CGI since 1980s wireframe on a green monitor; rated PG for "minor peril"), Tales of the Riverbank, performed by puppets in a remake of the most calm-inducing--nay, downright soporific--thing they showed on TV in the 60s. On Captain Kangaroo, maybe? I liked it as a kid because nothing happened, so of course: vicious ferrets want to eat hamsters (which are stupid and also scream a lot).
      So. Top Cat and Riverbank, 2 jewels from my childhood punched in the throat (did I mention that TC gets life imprisonment?). How can Foodfight! be any worse? Just minor peril after watching 2/3s of Pink Lady, I'm sure!
      Okay, the menu started just as I began to eat dinner, so boy have I heard the theme song now. "Dont' back up, don't back down!" we are implored, and that's pretty good advice if you've somehow parked your car at the top of a Douglas fir overlooking a cliff.
      It begins with a shopkeeper turning off the lights in his store, aisle after aisle. Every fucking aisle. This leads to him leaving, leading to all the lights going back on aisle after aisle (I guess the shop guy never looks at his store at night or his electric bill), and then all the product placement comes to magical, shitty-CGI-ed not-life!. Here are the jokes on the displays:
      "MELON ROUGE singing in the drain" "EXPLODA SODA Singing in the Drain--Requiem for a Whip Cream" A Chinese looking building, "Foo Man Chewy." Then a blimp made of a loaf of bread moos, despite its cowlessness. A bat gets hit by some vague flying things, and a Frenchman falls to his death from the blimp (I guess; it's not shown where he came from) screaming "Sacre Bleu Cheese!" Then a dancing elephant says "I'm gonna barf!" and then a frog farts.
      OHHHH KAY.
      Our nominal hero, Dex Dog Detective, fights some gremlins on top of a balloon, against a guy named "Fat Cat," who is a giant rat. The gremlins chase some cheese off of the balloon because they're "hairless hamsters" and fall to their deaths. Dex punctures the balloon with a cocktail olive on martini sword, and the rat falls to his death! "I just wanted to be loved!" he quips on his way to the pavement, "Is that so wrong?!" I should note that Dex is a Great Dane, and the rats and HHs are about his size, and so is the olive sword.
      OHHH KAY.
      Our Sweet Yam Who Art in Heaven, that's only the first 4 minutes.
      Wow...Dex gets interviewed for 10 seconds while HHs die behind him, then his "hilarious" ethnic sidekick Tweakin' Fetchit shows up, and man is that bastard spazzing on meth. Dex is going to propose marriage with a 4-carrot ring, get it?! Of course you don't, because the entirety of the joke is told backwards. "Karats, sidekick, tiny pic of ring, carrots, best man because wedding." WOW. I don't think I have the time to review this thing too closely. I was on vacation last week.
      Some kids with a hot woman--hot, if you're into blondes with cat ears and County Fair face painting, otherwise totally human except apparently animated while the ambulance gurney with the programmer on it rolled down a large hill--the kids throw a melon into the face of the black character. HA. HA. The evil kids are "Ikes," and Ikes are the heroes. They represent product placement and all that is good! Negroes like being hit in the face with melons, they're so silly!
      First named: Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee and Red Baron pizza. Now, if the Baron and the Italian joined Chun-King and formed a food Axis, and strafed the kids, we might OH GOD THIS SUCKS Also, stickball with Mr Clean.
      Do you know that there's about 15 people who read this drivel? "What I do for you 15 people!" is all I'm saying.
      Apparently, his cat-GF is the Sun Maid raisins girl except blonde and a motion-capped idiot, maybe? He loves raisins! Good thing this movie sucks so bad, because giving dogs & cats raisins could kill them. Sort of like when all those kids "freed" their goldfish down the sewers because of Finding Nemo. Nice fucking public service, movie.
      Repeated panty shots of cat girl. OHHH KAY. She has cat fangs, but where wisdom teeth go.
      Dog doesn't get engaged, because of a stupid plot. Now, the REAL plot! Judge Doom from Roger Rabbit appears, now incapable of walking a single step without a full-body seizure THAT ISN'T A JOKE. He wants to put Brand X into the store, and stomps a bag of chips. A bag on the shelf threatens revenge.
      Dex has a psychedelic "nightmaking" according to his ethnic sidekick. Sunshine Raisin is gone! Gone from the movie she was in for 8 minutes! But where's Jeff? From Pink Lady and Jeff?! Suddenly I miss him!
      This is the 13 minute mark of a 90 minute not-film. Now there's a movie poster called "B is For BURGER" starring "Ray Mincemeat" and "Grape Jelly." There's so much bad in this that I need to cut down on the comments.
      Sexual innuendo from the sidekick Dan to hot, entirely human woman: "How about I give your buns some CHOCOLATE FROSTING?!" Because he's voiced by a Negro! Then Dex meets a weasel pimp who offers him whores. This is a movie for what audience?
      Night club full of Ikes (ad icons--Mrs Butterworth smears syrup on Mr Clean), and people doing that new dance, The Full-Body Seizure. That got popular quick! Dex gets drunk on Farmland brand milk. Dex is voiced by Charlie Sheen, make your own jokes from here on.
      Hot Brand X chick comes in. Horniness ensues! Then, FOOD FIGHT! And unidentifiable Ikes punch each other as fragments from unfinished scenes briefly play out. She leaves with sidekick, because "Chicks dig chocolate." Dex gets drunk on Farmland brand milk. Hottie appears dressed as a Catholic schoolgirl (?!) and wraps her leg around his neck, leans way back and wants to f--oh, we can't have that! This is rated PG! She can only want to want to fuck him! She then falls and rubs her pointy boobies on his dick. What a great kids movie!
      Back at the market, I guess, a bunch of Ikes got killed, I guess? I think I'll just sit back and watch this incoherency for a long while.
      Brand X Leader has somehow murdered all the Ikes, and is forcibly replacing them with his products. a retail worker, I have to say "How the fuck does that happen?" Brand X are THE NAZIS! No, really, they dress in SS uniforms and have German accents and want to exterminate the "Ikes" (sorta like "KIKES," GEDDIT?! Store brands replacing name brands is as bad as the Holocaust!), and blame the Chinese Ike "Kung Tofu," who says in super ching-chong accent "But I, KUNG TOFU, am innocent!" Yeah, the people who made this aren't racist. Also, one of the fat Nazis has Mickey Mouse ears on her Hitler hat. Slutty X-babe says "Don't cry for me, Charlie Tuna!" AHH HA HA HA wtf.
      Weasel guy who you don't remember falls to his death. Oh, he got better. "Tricks are for kids!" quips our hero, then Weasel dies again.
      X-Slut & Dex tango. Literally. Every kid loves cartoons with tangos and Nazis! "I want to scrub your bubbles, Dex!" she purrs while birds put on hats. Good guys are put in giant dryer, use sock to escape. Because funny is!
      Hey, did you miss the part where Brand X is Nazis? Because now they goosestep through the streets dressed like the SS, Sieg-Heiling with both arms. Subtle. And the screaming Ike they run into--is a giant Jew nose! Like a cross of a panicked Woody Allen and a cartoon from "The Elders of Zion"! SUBTLE! He sprays snot everywhere. Meanwhile, Nazis torture the elephant from the 1st 2 minutes, because I guess he's toothpaste?
      Ike Holocaust continues off screen. Typical quips: "He'll jive your chives!" "Let's strawberry jam outta here!" These are basically every 4th line: puns that aren't puns because they make no sense. I mean, "no scents," because perfume! I'll bet that joke was in there.
      Market, in fatal daytime: Dex rides a soda bottle that hovers, rockets, soars, hovers, then rockets away again. Then it's now night, an entire "day" took 4 minutes, too many humans to animate I guess, so it didn't happen. Sidekick makes a joke about "chipslapping" a girl. Bat thing from minute ONE! of this turns up. And he's gay for chocolate! I mean, he's gay for the black guy. This is the whole problem when I review these movies. You think I'm making it up. GAY BAT wants SEX with NEGRO SQUIRREL in a KIDS MOVIE. Nazi glues the door shut--trapping black sidekick in with SEX-CRAZED HOMO RAPIST BAT! A PG rating can mean "mild peril" or "fake swears and unending sexual puns, total gay rape jokes."
      New Ike: Blue, a computer thing, Intel maybe. Brand X, we discover--is bad! Blue sends an email just as the Nazi chips--did I say they weren't just Nazis, but also "steamed potato chips"?--turns the power off. Did the email get through? Golly! I guess it was too bad they forgot to get Verizon as a sponsor and just txt him!
      Brand X lives in a skyscraper that's so insanely Nazi, Albert Speer would've said "Vell, zis design iz a bit over der top!" X-Slut declares that all "undesirables" must be sent to--"THE EXPIRATION STATION!" which I'm sure is not a concentration cam MOVIE! WTF?! BUYING STORE BRANDS IS NOT LIKE AUSCHWITZ! How is it remotely like BUCHENWALD?! "Hey, KIDS, better buy ONLY the brands we have in our evil movie, or otherwise you're buying--TREBLINKA! Of course, half the brands we made up because we couldn't get such lucrative brands like Count Chocula! Maybe it was because we made him a gay rapist in a kids movie? Don't know. If he still has a store-brand knockoff cereal, why don't you little fascists just buy it and pour yourself a big bowl of BERGEN-BELSEN!"
      From rereading that paragraph, it appears something about this movie bothers me.
      Fat Ugly Girl Nazi burps forever, blames an Ike, sends him off to Adorable Cartoon Dachau! Meanwhile, as you don't care, the Ikes--wait, none of them are ever recognizable as icons unless they're on for seconds! The HEROES are the generic brand! The Hairless Hamsters reappear, and in fake Asian accents say "AH SO!" No. Really. Ah fuckin So, in 2013.
      Pervo Nazi (he likes S&M), now swans into to the room, and--WTF, is he supposed to be "gay" too?! Christ, movie. Yes, the only way you don't go to the Expiration Center is to do a show tune. Oh wait, it's fucking Casablanca, the "Nazis sing a gloating song of triumph, the French defiantly sing their banned national anthem" scene, fuck you more. Then there is a fart. Then they actually sing the Marseillaise, except the lyrics are "We are the USDA, We fight for freedom every day!...We proudly serve ourselves!" Are they Libertarian comment trolls?
      Tearfully, Dex says "We've all lost some friends [advertising mascots, most of which are never seen], but..." and there is a long pause, either so Dex can choke back a tear or Charlie Sheen snort back a line.
      Nazi Slut--I should make a point as obvious as her pointy breasts, her dominatrix whore design would make Lara Croft decide to wear an ankle-length parka every day--screams all Hitlery, "BRAND X, BRAND X! NO BAN, NO CHEX!" But--but party mix deodorant is what I use to kill my manly swamp crotch stank! WE NEED BAN DEODORANT AND CHEX MIX AND BETTER RHYMES! "No panty liners, no monkey shiners!" Are those brands? I think this movie is making me brain crazy the now.
      Wait, what? Nazi Empire State Nazi Building is an actual structure? In the supermarket?! How the fuck did Market Man run this fucking place? I ran the music/video department at Lechmere! Sony wants an endcap? Sony better give me something back! Oh, sorry, Warner offered better. And I'm just talking promo CDs (and I got all I wanted, because I was never an asshole about it. I treated all the reps fairly, to make sure they kept me in mind when I wanted something). Okay, talking food and tiny humans, but you know, "I WILL put up this blatantly Nazi penis display in your store"--When did THAT ever build sales? Maybe it comes with a contest, "WIN a trip to Berchtesgaden and be allowed to BLOWJOB HIMMLER!"
      Now it's Food. Fight. The whole reason for the movie. After about a full minute--a long time to watch poorly animated CG throw randomly rendered gibberish at anything--let's see, who are the mascots? Swiss Miss hot chocolate pouring goop? No, giant chocolate beavers, maybe bears or yetis. More goop. Some other goop. Twinkie the Kid! More goop, more nonentities, Jew Nose Guy blowing snot is as funny the first time as it never was, Mrs Butterworth! Left to right at the 0:55:31 mark, we have Purple Gargoyle, Pineapple Thing, Tin Can Headed Robot holding Giant Swiss Cheese Wedge colored like cheddar, Juan Valdez in his starring role in Scarface introducing us to his little friend the squashed basketball, a rabbi with a big carrot, Mr Clean with bald melon huger than his head which says something about both melons, Twinkie the Kid and a big peanut sure why not, and an odd blob throwing a smaller odd blob. Oh, fuck this. This is the big finale, and the "Icons" have briefer cameos than I can follow. I'm not continuing to view this frame by frame, just seeing which quarter-second of icon I recognize. Brawny paper towels--or is that other guy Brawny paper towels? Goose with a funnel on its head holding a spatula. What, did Hieronymous Bosch draw this? Now, a Viking & a moose from Brooklyn? The Minotaur? Was there a candy named "Mint-otaur"? "A taste so great you'll be bull-headed about it!" Fuck off, that's better than any pun in this tripe. Is there tripe in this movie? It should've been called "TRIPEFIGHT!" Lots of goo splats. They sure got their money out of those goo splat animations.
      Movie's over! Wait, it's not? Oh, Slut Nazi needs to be punished, so she does that crazy dance every mocapped person does in this thing. Did the director say "Imagine your arms are like Jell-O, tasty name-brand Jell-O, ask for it by name, and your muscles are made out of...I don't know, spasms maybe. While on fire. Flaming Jell-O shots. Wait, did someone say Jell-O shots?! I'll be in my trailer!"
      The movie-like thing can't get any weirder, at least. Then the crack Nazi troops--they have really big cracks, because haw-haw they're really fat, march up with peppermint sticks and whipped cream shooting tanks and oh gourd
      And giant hands slap ketchup bottles and squirt catsup 57 ways over such totally famous icons as Mushroom Headed He-Man and Satan Kid. Then X Slut says that soon Dex Dogtective will soon be begging for mercy, as he's a dog geddit, and raises her fishnetted sexy leg up so wide that it looks like the Nazi food planes are flying out of her vagina. "Mommy?" "Yes, little Johhny?" "This movie makes me feel funny in between my legs!" "Err...I'm sure that your father can explain that to you in a few years--" "No, I mean it makes me want to never have sex ever!" DAD: "I'm sure your mother can explain that one, too."
      Vagina planes attack! Vagina dentata? More like a vagina armada! Vlasic pickle stork and non-brand name characters blow chewing gum bubbles; hilarity now inevitable. Negro sidekick takes a bath in his plane, reads a book, zens out to some candles, blows a bubble, bad vagina birds get stuck in gum because of goo, end movie. "SCRAMBLE THEIR EGGS!" shouts Hitler Slut, and cannons fire...eggs? Penises? Watermelons? Who knows? Everything looks different in every shot, and the shots are like 2 seconds long.
      Movie's apparent moral, via Sheen: "Doing fun things like eating donuts is what we're fighting for!" Give me liberty, or give me a Boston Creme! Actually, give me a Boston creme, as an American, I really don't care about liberty. The NSA liked me on FaceBook!
      Umm, speaking of tinfoil...everyone starts putting tinfoil hats on their houses. Gay Bat's one is shaped like the guy he wants to fuck, ha ha! Kids love the gay fucking jibes! HH's build one like a little parasol, then punch each other till they fall to their deaths. Sure why not.
      What, the war's on again? It stopped for a speech where X Slut screamed that she will kill everyone. On the top of a rooftop so that everyone will hear, now drum majoretter Nazis pound drums made of...who knows, they spurt goo like everything else in this movie. They goo 3 people, as apparently everyone else in the city knows to not walk around where they can be gooped on, or the budget's low. The male short fat Nazi gets taped up with "MARKED DOWN" stickers from Dex's gun (it's a pricing gun, hee-YUK!), screams inexplicably that he always wanted to be tall and thin, just as a giant can of Dinty Moore beef stew rolls over like a steamroller hey guess the "joke".
      Dead Ike corpses are presented. Why the fuck not. It's a kid's movie! Hey, why not the stereotyped Jew nose again! We fought the Nazis to crush those guys, right? WWII something Jews, right? He says "SNOT HAPPENS!" because Jew Nose. Also, the Nazis are killing Ikes with poison gas, because Zyklon-B refs are hilarious!
      There is a "nder Bred" logo, because even Wonder Bread decided to not have their full logo in this, and they were going bankrupt at the time.
      Ugh. I need to be asleep soon, I'll proof this tmw.
      "Once more into the bleach, my friends!" says Dex, apropos nada. Tin foil is to stop lightning attacks, good guy buildings shown blowing up anyway. Hey, remember Raisin Girl? From the first 10 minutes? Why would you?! HERE SHE IS. Dex's princess is not in another castle, she's in Super-Nazi Skyscraper. Why not? At this point, why the fuck not anything? Christ, to think that I once made fun of the bread blimp! Hey, did Dex just call the "breasts are pointier in every scene" Nazi Slut "a cold-farted itch"? He did! And here I thought that the wit of the Algonquin Round Table was long gone! Can you lead her to culture, but not make her think?
      Wow, mocap of Hilary Duff, didn't they mocap more than one fucking frame of your face? "Nazis are about to murder me" should look different than "I like this cologne. Have you any other cologne? I like many colognes. Also, I like several eaus."
      Dex swallows something Duff throws, he spits it into the Nazi's throat, Nazi steamed potato chip man dies saying "I just wet myself! I think it feels rather nice." OHH KAY. I'm used to everything now, Movie.
      Duffbot constantly looks into Dex's eyes, which are either on the ceiling or orbiting Alpha Centauri B, because she looks never into his eyes. Hey, I've had to look in them all movie. Her smell is goodness, now it's VILE! They said that, not me. She--who is all human, except for kawaii Japanese cat ears and eyeballs that can't point where they're supposed to be looking--is about to french kiss the dog EWWW! Seriously, both their tongues are out, be glad I've forgotten how to do screencaps. I am, because who do you think would have to make that?!
      Oh, it's Stampy Spasmo the Fake Judge Doom ripoff Brand X guy. Apparently, now he's a tiny guy amongst store brands and not a human being. Wait, he is a giant human again. Sure. Whevs. Mocap Duff makes the universal wavy-punch to no one in the sky, which is sign language for "I'm so on drugs, DERP" in agreement.
      "Mi comprendo BIG TIME, Pepe!" says Hispanic stereotype woman--oh, I forgot to mention her before? I think she's what they settled for when Chiquita Banana decided she didn't want to be a fat old caricature of an angry Latina.
      Fake Judge Doom's rampage goes on for 10 seconds, then he crashes and he's a robot and Slut X was piloting him. SORT OF LIKE HE WAS A TOON ALL ALONG, SHOCK TWIST ROGER RABBIT! Evil Foxy Nazi Slut was really once--Evil UGLY Nazi Slut but she had surgery the fuck, movie. How many endings are there? Is there one that's not "I'm written by Mr Insane Man" and just kinda meh? No, because she says "No one ever bought my genetically altered giant prunes!" was that line in Casablanca? Wasn't this movie the Casablanca of your Nightmares like 4 paragraphs ago?
      "Size only counts for men!" says guess who (hint: SLUT!) Gay Bat wiggles his junk at sidekick. (hint: HATE KIDS MOVIE) "Are those melons real?" asks sassy black sidekick, as she--sigh--literally holds melons in front of her giant pointy...what, you guessed? Now, CHICK FIGHT! Duff vs (checks Netflix sleeve) Longoria! Like a broken Street Fighter console game, Duff punches with the exact same face and eyes that never focus on where she's looking. WHAT A GREAT MOVIES! Duff punches Hottie Nazi Slut right back to--FAT OLD AND UGLY! Nice message, movie. Dex, ever the wit, says "Frankly my dear, I don't give a SPAM!" The pork product. Why, is there a different meaning to SPAM now? Duff wraps her legs around Dex's neck and grinds her crotch on him, not a fetish of the director's at all.
      Hey, guess where Ugly Nazi Slut and all of the Brand X survivors are going! The EXPIRATION STATION. You know, the boncentration bamps. Kids movie! They get a drug from Jew Nose, and then ALL THE DEAD IKES COME BACK TO LIFE just like Anne Frank did!
      Okay, I'm just being weird, making fun of the explicit Nazi imagery in a movie about the evils of buying off-brand. Then, Duff accepts Dex's proposal (from the first 5 minutes of the movie) and we cut to his wedding, and Dex smashes a carton of Farmbrand Milk with his foot. Giant Jew Nose Character: "DEX is JEWISH?!" Sidekick: "YEAH, KOSHER!" Kung Tofu: "SOY VEY!"
      Credit cookies: Penguin man wants sex with penguin girl with boobs, but he's impotent. Cheesy Frenchman flirts with fat old banana girl about his farts; she goes off to have sex with him because farts turn her on. Gay bat who is a fag hits on chocolate hippo men. Hairless hamsters who are also Chinks or Japs do the hora; are idiots. 3 human babes look everywhere but where they're supposed to, talking to sidekick because they want to sex him. FIFTEEN PEOPLE OWE ME LIKE FIVE DOLLARS EACH FOR ME WATCHING THIS
      So what's the true moral of whatever the fuck I just watched, besides "DON'T WATCH IT?"?





      A new Feliway disruptor arrived today, so both sides of our 660 sq. ft. are now blanketed with pheromones. Will it work on Byron's psychosis? We shall see.
      He devoured half a can of wet food so quickly that--when is he eating, anyway? When DJ is in bed with me? Or drinking? I guess he's using the litter box then, or gourd knows how much the house would stink by now.
      Since he's decided to live on the highest tier of the cat tree, I put a weighted bowl of food there, and he had some. I gave him a big cup of water to drink, and he lapped at it for 5 solid minutes. I moved both to the second highest level, which has much more room. He leapt from the top to touch toes on the second and then land his full body weight of 16 lbs on my arm and shoulder, claws out. Ripped a couple of gashes in the arm, ripped another right through the sleeve of the tshirt on my shoulder. Hey, that shirt cost me 50 cents at the Salvation Army! I tried again, showing him the bowls and repeatedly moving them lower, and I think maybe he's got it. He seems calmer, but I don't if it's because of the dual Feliway or because he thinks "Now I NEVER have to come down!"

      Kirk in the Comments writes:

      Back before the InExOb was discovered by Yahoo, I had here 10 readers, most of whom were from the Space Ghost Mailing List, the thing that got me to go online and then inspired me to collect stuff I'd written there on a Geocities site. After Yahoo, I think I had something like 250 regular readers, which dwindled over the months to 100 and over a couple of years to 50, then 25, then 15 right around the time FaceBook became the means of communication. As a guy who has only 2 RL close friends (Jess & Kev, and for life), 15 seems like a lot. Especially as J & K never even read my damn page.
      When the Ob was a Biggish Thing, I'd get emails encouraging me to get ads or a tip jar and monetize it. Since, to me, work is something you get money for doing because you don't want to do it, I found it kind of baffling. Work is the thing I have to do, this is the thing I like to do. I'd quit my job if it wanted me to work until 2AM, but I can do that when I'm watching incredibly awful movies, and then at Job the next day think, "I got so wired joking about Foodfight! that I barely had 4 hours sleep--and it was worth it." I feel like I've been paid every time I get a visitor, even if I have no clue who half of you are besides a referrer on the hit counter. Thanks, LTRotD! Thanks just for being Long Time Readers of this Drivel.

      I once saw a late-nite TV ad for the "Salad Washer." These were always on late at night because stations that ran them got a cut from every sale. I spent years searching like Diogenes with his ShamWow lantern for someone who had seen Salad Washer, most likely made by Ronco. They were most famous for the Pocket Fisherman, a rod in your pocket that you could land giant and dead fish with, despite it being about the length of the average buyer's penis. And held around the same place, so be glad that your "fresh from the dock it was gasping on 10 minutes ago" largemouthed bass didn't get confused about what "flyfishing" meant and went straight for the fly on your pants. Vagina dentata, how about vagina pirahna! (I've now officially used up every dentata joke anyone should be allowed to use) Finally, I was talking to a guy in a record store who said "I SAW THAT AD TOO!" and felt as vindicated as I would when I found ultimate proof that the "movie" Monster-A-Go-Go really wasn't a fever dream.
      What was it? An attachment to your electric hand blender, a piece of metal shaped like a bent piece of metal. Then you'd fill your sink with water, shred your lettuce and throw it in, and the Salad Washer pushed it around. I suppose that one could achieve the same results using a bowl and a fork, but "BUY BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT AND RECEIVE (fill in blank with an even more useless item we couldn't sell)!" I forget what it was. Maybe a Pocket Fisherman to retrieve your lettuce.
      6 Completely Unnecessary Gadgets as Advertised on TV. I was aware of 2 of these before, like "The Slobstopper," a giant bib that catches the fast food that drools down your work shirt into its big pockets, because you just know that you'll lose the big account if you have a catchup stain, but be guaranteed to wow the client when he sees you in the parking lot forcing a Baconator down your gullet wearing a bib full of food that dripped out of your maw, and then you picking out the still edible bits of cheese and okay what is this, bacon or a dead bug? There's only one way to find out, is it crispy or crunchy--
      Oh, wait, that was a different adult bib. Slobstopper must've not stopped food slop from getting on your pants--note that the ad only talks about your shirt. Meaning that the pocketless Slobstopper sold enough to fund a sequel for people with Big Mac pickles and Special Sauce stuck in their belt loops that it described itself as "For ROAD WARRIORS!" Which made me think of Mad Max battling for survival wearing a knee-length muu-muu's vest pocket's full of day-old Dinky Di Dog Food rotting in his car. And also the chest-hugging "Tiddy Bear" because who forgets that name? However...the "Happy Hot Dog Man" ad has to seen to be believed, and then disbelieved that anyone bought it, because kids hate hot dogs, at least in black & white with sad trombone music going wah-wah, but love them when they...dress up the now-anthropomorphic meat-blobs in costumes and eat them cold, so cold, so looking like sad dolls, awaiting their digestion in your hell-stomach. "But wait, there's more! Your kids can also blow mustard snot on their food, and almost certainly on each other!"
      Kirk, you can pay me with an antique Salad Washer.


      Jessica is the only person I've ever known who would snail-mail a Thank You card after getting a bucket of pickles.

      Speaking of food, or items vaguely resembling it: Yesterday Papa John's Pizza turned up at the store with a free pizza! They just opened a location by the store, so I assume that they were giving a few away to local big businesses to get customers. (By "big business," in our case I mean the building is big--only 3 of us were working at the time) Since my opinion of Papa John's is "I would only eat it if it was free," I opened the box and gasped in amazement "Pineapple and jalapenos?! With garlic?! What the hell?" So maybe it was a case of "What? Umm...I only ordered that by mistake when I was stoned! And I'm not stoned enough to eat that." (Not really; a sticker on the box said the total was $51, so my first guess was prly correct) Since almost any pizza tastes good when you're hungry, I ate some, and discovered that my second experience with Papa John was the same as the first one 16 years earlier: The first slice tastes good, but halfway through the second, your stomach asks "Why are you doing this to me?" The other guys ate a slice each, passed on a second.
      The 2 part timers came in, and I think the college student had a slice. The other guy refused to touch it, given that it was Papa John's. "That shit's '3 in the morning, I'm drunk and no place else is open' type pizza!"
      When we had it for free 16 years ago, even I wouldn't take an entire free uneaten large pizza home. Halfway through 2nd slice then: "Is this meat even cooked? Is this ham raw?!" So, Papa, thanks for the free food, half of which was eaten by the dumpster. Your pizza is no doubt now being eaten by some very satisfied bacteria.



      World War Cat Two continues. Byron freaks when he sees DJ, even at a far distance. DJ, of course, decides to keep pestering Byron into being friends again. "Hiss snarl snort!" followed by running behind the bookcase.
      B was on the Tower (an upended wooden crate on the park bench in the living room, oh like you don't have one too) when I woke up from a night of sleep, there because DJ rarely leaves the bed when I'm in it. He had some food, then went exactly where I want him: atop the 6+ foot cat tree by my computer chair. Where I can give him food and water and stop any DJ attacks. So DJ immediately went after him, and back to behind the bookcase.
      This is depressing. I want my happy family back. But what can I do? There are now 2 Feliway dispersers going, and Byron's still a hostile neurotic, and DJ still won't follow Killsy's lead and just leave the guy alone and wait for him to come to you. What can I do? There's nothing left besides--VIOLENCE. A squirt gun, anyway. DJ is terrified of it, despite it being more of a squirt derringer, a promo thing for a 1990s Sega CD game called "Solar Eclipse." Remember that game? Remember Sega CD? I barely do, because Lechmere sold them when I ran the music/video dept. Byron was behind the bookcase, DJ lurking at the base of the Tower when I left for work, heartbroken.
      When I got home, Byron was on the Tower. Because DJ slept all day under the bed, I assumed. I gave him some wet food, he ran to the cat tree, and--DJ kept his distance. And has done so all night. I heard only one hiss. Perhaps there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I sure hope so; this isn't any fun for anyone. I notice that even Killsy has gone back to obsessively licking her belly, a thing she only does to extreme when stressed.
      And she's placed herself between the boys all night, passively keeping them apart. Like she did during World War Cat One. I think I may be giving more credit to a squirt gun than I should to the mother cat...


10/3      Very short slideshow of inexplicable kids' toys, but be careful! The site warns that viewing them may cause "a brain annurism." I guess that those come annually.



      I wonder how many other people today got a receipt from iTunes saying that they'd purchased music from Ed Ames, Stevie Wonder, and the Dead Kennedys.

      The first time The Simpsons looks watchable since, what, Season 8? Directed by Senor del Toro, possibly to atone for Pacific Rim.


      I meant the opening. I'm not watching more Simpsons than that.





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