Archive for the ‘Random Thoughts’ Category

As Appropriate As Anything

November 7, 2008

Buck up, crybabies. As for the rest of you, be careful what you wish for.

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Death From Above

August 10, 2008

The squirrels have declared war on the Hu-Mans. Or at least on the ones living in my house. We have some huge hickory trees in our backyard. They provide a much needed canopy of shade over the house. The big one is such a giving tree that I may chop it down and make a canoe. Normally, the nuts fall in the backyard without much fanfare.

Lately, this has taken a more sinister turn. A platoon of squirrels have taken up residence in the trees and have been showering us with half eaten hickory nuts. This morning, I looked out in the backyard and it looked like a hail storm. It’s raining nuts. Hallelujah.

They seem to take particular delight in pelting Mrs. Sarcastro with their half-eaten food source while she’s sneaking a cigarette enjoying the tranquil beauty of suburban living on the patio.

She is not amused. McSquizzy has made himself a powerful enemy.

Cleaning Out The Mental Dustbin

January 30, 2008

**This story makes me tear up just a little. Thanks, Bob.

**Montel Williams going off the air. You would have thought Sylvia Browne might have included this in one of her predictions.

**Do you suppose there are blind people who are interested in going to nudist camps? For fun, you could take him to a church camp and tell him it’s a swinger’s weekend. That would be a pretty good prank to pull on a blind nudist.

**I wonder if Dale Earnhardt’s family have thought about putting a roadside memorial right where he died at Talladega Daytona? Maybe in the infield so the drivers don’t hit it. A cross made of plastic flowers seems to be the standard amongst the white trash around these parts.

**Speaking of tacky hillbilly memorials, when you go out and buy a decal commemorating the tragic death of a family member and place it in the rear window of your Tahoe, are you dedicating your entire car to your dead relative or is just the rear windshield, “in memory of Peepaw”? Are the remaining areas of the car body reserved other family members? Can you get one of those fake Calvin stickers of him pissing on the grave of someone you didn’t care for?

**I’ve seen Cloverfield, I Am Legend, and The Descent this winter. Guess which one is the superior movie? If Big Willie had the creatures from The Descent after him instead of lame-ass CGI, Legend might have been a GREAT film, instead of a “that didn’t suck nearly as much as it could have” film. Cloverfield just made me feel car sick for the rest of the day.

The Naked and the Dead, But Mostly the Naked

November 11, 2007

**Last time I checked, headlines like Skynet Military Launch is Delayed meant the computers were taking over the world. Or, at least it did in the Terminator movies.

**One of the official Mommy Bloggers for the Tennessean is a woman named Emily Hartley? Really? I thought Suzanne Pleshette was too old to have children.

**Norman Mailer died. I may or may not have read Harlot’s Ghost. It is entirely possible that Mailer was just a punch line thanks to my former partner in crime and SPY magazine back in the early nineties. That’s what kind of impact Norman Mailer had on me. Very little. Which is odd, as only in death he strikes me as a kindred spirit. Except for the wife-stabbing and left-wing bullshittery. There are some things that even I cannot countenance.

**My literary taste run more towards Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Because, of course, it has Batman as the main character.

**I don’t know if it was Sarcastro Jr.’s bout with a little virus he brought home from daycare, or the substandard Chile Colorado from La Terraza, but much like certain fine Australian wines, it has opened up the sluices at both ends.

**Kudos to Ken Burns for his 14 hour documentary The War.  If anything will run the pharmaceutical companies out of business, it will be this slumber inducing yawn-fest.   No one ever need to buy prescription sleep aids ever again.  If you drink a gallon of Nyquil, put on some Cowboy Junkies and start reading the Bible, that’s a pretty good approximation of how sleepy you will get after the first hour.

Time to go throw up some more…

Post 9-11 Post

September 12, 2007

Man, I hate the phrase “Post 9-11”. It is used to justify all sorts of bullshit that, frankly, has nothing to do with what happened that day. It’s a pathetic appeal to emotion that shuts down discourse by invoking the memory of the dead and “how every thing has changed”.

What exactly has changed? Other than the New York skyline, of course.

The world we live in isn’t very different from how it was on September 10, 2001. A lot of good people have died between then and now. Not just in the attacks, but in the far off fields of Afghanistan and the Fertile Crescent. Good people were dying before then. The folks in our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania didn’t have to wait until the World Trade Center crumbled into dust to know that the world is full of bad people. The soldiers who survived Khobar Towers weren’t shocked by terrorists interrupting their lives that day six years ago. The world hadn’t changed a bit for them.

Nothing has changed for any of us either. We still spend way too much energy discussing pathetic celebrity gossip. Not only did a Shattered Nation Long To Care About Stupid Bullshit Again, it is without a doubt, much of the same bullshit from six years ago. Hey, our wish came true!

Here we are six years later with a nation of self-involved navel-gazers churning out treacly tributes full of trite and vapid sentiment like it was the last episode of M*A*S*H*. What a sad commentary that most personal recollections of the event center on how this momentous historical event affected us while we watched it on the television.

In the days following the attacks, I observed some behavior that on the surface showed a growing feeling of national unity, but really betrayed the shallow and self-serving nature of our “Post 9-11” world.
Born in the USA

There was this girl I was madly in love with. She liked to drink. So did I. What could go wrong? Sadly, she drank to kill inner demons, mask the pain of being alive, or numb her soul to the reality that she wouldn’t be a big country star. I forget which. My liquor intake was strictly confined to the “enjoy having a buzz” category.

I was in the liquor store on the afternoon (or was it morning?) September 12 or 13, 2001 getting a couple of airline bottles of vodka for this girl I was enabling. The Asian guy behind the counter and I exchanged pleasantries and I headed out with my purchases.

Out in the parking lot was a guy and his kid setting up a table in the parking lot. He had a trunk full of American flag decals and magnets. He wasn’t wasting any time trying to make a buck off of the suffering of others. He had this air of desperation about him that said, “Here’s your chance to strike it rich, don’t blow it.” Maybe all two thousand dollars of this guy’s life savings was tied up in the flag magnets.

The little Asian guy comes outside and asks the guy to clear off. Now it gets interesting. We have a clash of cultures. At this point, I’m wishing that the liquor store owner was Middle Eastern so we can have one of them, whatchamacallit, microcosms.

Mr. Flag Decal looks over to me for back-up while invoking the tragedy of yesterday. I offer no support. I’m not sure if the liquor store owner objected to the guy on grounds that he didn’t ask permission to sell in his parking lot or that he was trying to make a quick buck by selling tacky patriotism. Either way, he was in the right.

As I passed the kid gathering up their stuff, I looked close at the bottom of the box of magnets he was loading back in the car. It read, “Made in China”.

The Junior League Goes To War

Some friends and I had planned a camping/canoe/kayak trip down the Buffalo River for the weekend of the 14th of September. Thursday, I went over to my local Army/Navy Surplus Emporium, located near Vanderbilt, for some supplies.

As I’m making my purchases, some well-preserved, suburbanite tennis moms come bouncing in. They interrupt my purchase to ask the clerk if they have, “some American flags. You know, like the kind you put on your car for a Titans game?”

The clerk informed them that they had recently sold out of flags. What with the recent surge in patriotic sentiment and all, there was nary a flag to be found. Especially one that can be attached to the car, like for a Titans game.

When I got out in the parking lot, the two MILFs were trying to figure out their next move. I approached them and told them that I had some American flags in the trunk of my car. Due to a poorly thought out marketing gimmick from a previous career, I had about two hundred 8″x12″ American flags attached to little wood poles in the trunk of my car. At first, they acted like I wanted them to get in my van. When I produced the flags, they squealed like sorority sisters on initiation night.

“How much do you want for them?”

“You can have them for free.”

“Please, I’ll pay you for them.”

“No thanks, I’m not going to make a dollar off of a national tragedy.”

“Well, can I have two more.”

“Sure.”

“Do you have anything to mount them with?”

“Sorry. No.”

“I guess these will have to do then.”

As I pulled out of the parking lot, I heard them talking as they got in their Saab/Volvo/BMW/Lexus SUV, “These will be fun! I bet the other girls haven’t been able to find any.”

Fuck it Dude, Let’s Go Camping

On Friday, one of my camping buddies and our Guatemalan sidekick went to Kroger to buy the food for our camping trip. We were heading out that morning.

We’re cruising through the aisles, cutting up and joking while making our purchases of meats and snacks to be consumed in the wild. I notice that it is deathly quiet in the store, but it doesn’t register with me why. I figured it was just slow that morning.

We get up to the counter and the pale, 17 year-old mother of two who is ringing us up is giving me the stink-eye. As I pay for the food, she says, “You know it isn’t very respectful to be talking while we were having our moment of silence.”

“Huh?”

“We were having a moment of silence for the Victims of the World Trade Center. It was announced over the P.A.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize. I thought this was a grocery store. I come here to buy groceries. If I wanted a moment of silence, I’d go to church.”

It was time to leave before things got ugly. It was time to get out in the woods.

There was no one on the river that weekend. There were no planes in the sky. The only sounds were the birds and the rushing water.

It was beautiful.

Get Me A Bottle Of Naive

July 7, 2007

Here’s the deal Hollywood, I’ll stop idling my car at intersections when you stop making Fast and the Furious movies. Other than appealing to the booger-eating moron and Asian kid demographic, they have no reason to exist. I’ll compare my carbon footprint with one of your $100 million crapfests any day of the damn week.

Does this tunic make me look fat?Speaking of Hollywood crapfests, Jor-El is having his idiotic concertapalooza today. Never mind the hypocrisy and pointlessness of the entire affair. What intrigues me is his handling of Jor-El III’s arrest and subsequent entry into rehab.

What’s more important to you? Your kid got pinched for winding a Prius up to its theoretical limit or a dumb concert that you are putting on? John Ridley (who, by the way, is making MSNBC watchable in the a.m. again) brings up an inconvenient truth about Jor-El’s priorities. Short version, if you can’t save your kid, how can you save the world? What are you saving the world for, if not for your kids?

There will be plenty of bottled water on hand, I’m sure. What is a celebrity without a ubiquitous bottle of Evian. Oops, bottled water is bad for the planet. Hey, don’t throw away that bottle of water! That’s even worse. Buy some carbon offsets and I’m sure it will all come out in the wash. Remember, Evian spelled backwards is “Naive”.

As far as this heat wave and drought this summer across our nation, why is it that the drumbeat is about how Global Warming  is to blame? When it was cold and a blizzard shut down a Climate Change conference, the same know-it-alls said, “Don’t confuse weather with climate.”

Well, right back-atcha, sport.

Now excuse me, I have to go fill my pick-up with evil gasoline.

Still Waters Run Deep

June 11, 2007

Let me just remind you dear reader, that no matter how idiotic the level of discourse is on the inter-tube, it is much worse in public. Three examples, no real lessons:

Act I

I stupidly ate lunch the other day at Bar-B-Cutie. The Mothership was just out of range, so I settled. My trainee, Newbie, was with me. We were eating our meals and minding our own business.

Those of you from the South know quite well about a certain personality type. It is the woman who says whatever is on her mind to no one in particular in a loud voice. She inevitably resides on the lowest rung on the socio-economic ladder. Her preferred habitat is usually Waffle House. Nine times out of ten she is my waitress at the Waffle House. This time she was “working” the counter at Bar-B-Cutie.

“Man, everyone must be downtown.”

Newbie and I look at each other. We realize that she isn’t really talking to anyone in particular, but is trying to lure some poor, unsuspecting idiot into a pointless conversation. Naturally, I take the bait.

“Why would everyone be downtown?”

She looked at me with her beady, yellow eyes like I was one of her missing husbands who left her with all these durn kids.

“Well, Fan Fair, of course!”

“I’m sure all of the tourists are downtown.”

“Nah, anyone who ain’t workin’ today has got to be downtown for this thing.”

“Hey Newbie, if you weren’t working would you be downtown?”

“Dude, please leave me out of this.”

There’s no punchline other than the woman turned on her pudgy ankles and went back to bothering the cooks.

Act II

Newbie is in the van with me this morning. In front of us, getting on the interstate, is a car with a bumper sticker that read “Draft The Bush Twins”.

Newbie turns to me all confused like.

“What’s that say?”

“Draft the Bush Twins.”

“Bush Twins?”

“The president’s twin daughters.”

“Oh, yeah. (Long pause). I heard they were gay and shit.”

Act III

This evening I took the nine year old swimming in our community’s pool. On the walk down there was an oddly dressed elderly woman out in front of the club house. She was there to listen to a presentation extolling the benefits of snake oil. Nine turns to me and says,

“What’s up with that freak?”

“Son, you have to stop talking like me or your mom will go ape shit.”

Random Saturday

May 5, 2007

I didn’t see any of the KY Derby.  Heh, “KY”.  Nope, today was chock-full of kid activities.

After the rained out Little League action, we went to one of the local houses of worship.  Seems that 9 and 12 decided they wanted to be baptized.  As this is the tradition among their mother’s people, it seemed like the thing to do in order to save their immortal souls from the eternal fires of damnation, or something.  I couldn’t help but think during the service that if we were Italian, a certain Moe Green would be taking one in the eye.  Or, if we were Jewish, people would be handing us envelopes full of money in recognition of the boys reaching manhood.  Instead, it’s Cinco de Mayo and I’m mostly sober and sitting quietly in a church.  There’s some irony to choke on.

As a present, I’ll give the boys a copy each of Christopher Hitchens’ latest work.  To them I’m an atheist; to God, I’m the Loyal Opposition.

Speaking of books that will make you lose faith in what ever deity you subscribe to, try out a dose of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.  Oprah’s endorsement nonwithstanding, this was a helluva a book.  By “helluva”, I mean depressing.  Like listening to Leonard Cohen while reading Sylvia Plath in the garage with the car running depressing.  Say what you want about the tenets of National Oprahism, but at least its an ethos.  Fucking nihilist book.  I recommend it highly, but you may want to up your Zoloft intake prior to reading it.   Where men cant live gods fare no better.

Wally Schirra died the other day.  That leaves only two of the Mercury 7 astronauts still alive.  Arch and Jughead.  John Glenn and Scott Carpenter.  Strangely, Wally died the same day I got my DVD set of From the Earth to the Moon back from my parents.  Weird.

I would rather watch either that miniseries or The Right Stuff a hundred times in a row that watch The Black Dahlia ever again.   I’ve seen better movies in the Army warning about the dangers of syphilis.  The acting in a syphilis prevention film is more nuanced and subtle.  The characters in syphilis prevention films tend to be more developed and believable.  Were it not for Scarlett Johansson‘s ample sweater meat straining against the delicate material of her wardrobe, there would be no reason whatsoever for this film to exist.  I would totally do Scarlett Johansson, but I’m afraid of getting syphilis.

Rust Never Sleeps

January 8, 2007

There is this disturbing tendency in Blogland to hop on whatever cattle car is heading East. Some dope will proclaim it NaNaBooBooBloMe month and every frustrated author with a dial-up connection and a burning desire to write the Great American Novel will try to complete a manuscript along with all the other followers within the given thirty days. How many of you actually completed anything after committing to that time-waster?

I know we’ve all been able to sketch out an outline for our literary masterwork on a cocktail napkin before. Remember that one time you and a buddy wrote a complete three act summary with important plot points on some coasters at the local Tipsy McStagger’s? Yeah, that one was gonna knock JD Salinger on his ass, wasn’t it?

Yeah. Whatever happened to that?

Either in your mom’s attic or on the hard drive of some computer that stopped working during the Clinton Administration, right? Along with composing the Christmas thank-you letter to Grandma, these little “projects” are the latest thing for people to feel guilty about not finishing.

The latest bandwagon to jump on is Let’s Take A Picture Every Day. Lots of folks are on this. They are putting up some cool pics. There amazing things you can do with Photoshop. Except, apparently, wash the THC out of your eyes.

I’m going to post random photos throughout the year just to be spiteful. As part of my own Random Blog Post Month (RaBloPoMo), here is a picture of my grill in the rain.

rust-never-sleeps2.jpg

I’d post another photo tomorrow, but that would ruin the whole point of RaBloPoMo.

Laugh It Up

November 5, 2006

*The funniest guy on the web is Worker #3116.  Check his rant on vegans.

*Some people don’t appreciate a funny Halloween costume.

*A brilliant take on The Book of Job in under four minutes.  This same plot was later used in the Eddie Murphy/Dan Aykroyd movie, Trading Places for all you movie buffs out there.

*Aaron Sorkin visits the dental hygenist.

*This dude from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy doesn’t think the Ted Haggard scandal is funny.  What?  He isn’t the dude from Queer Eye? Oh. My bad.