Tag Archives: Entertainment

Wierded Bunder

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Beard

I can’t afford a Porsche. My home life is good. So what’s a slumping middle aged fart to do?  Grow a beard naturally.  Quickly becoming one of the dumbest moves of my life; one that leaves me scratching my face wondering how countless males over thousands of years indulge in what I am finding to be a facial fiasco.

There is really no serious backstory to my latest indulgence.  I went on vacation for a week, didn’t shave, saw a picture of Michael Stipe online and thought, to myself; man, something like that would drive my mother nuts.  In reality, she could not care less, but clearly I am harboring deep childhood resentments; and while the idea of growing a beard is quite manly, I am finding it quite childlike in oh, so many ways.

Friend: “So, you are growing a beard?”

Me: “Just channeling my inner Hemingway,”  (can’t you tell by the quality of these prose?)

There are many aspects to this new endeavor that leave me scratching my face (including scratching my face).  For starters, my upper lip has become a pulp filter for  my daily glass of OJ.  And I like a little pulp.

Additionally, at my age, I have an ongoing battle with the hair growing out of my nose.  Now I have to contend with it growing up my nose.  To make matters worse, it feels like there are spiders crawling up my nose.  It does kind of tickle but terrifying when it wakes me up in the middle of the night.

And how the heck does anyone manage one of these things come winter and more specifically, cold season?  Are there even enough hankies to deal with the drip?  If mine lasts that long, there might be another article in the offing.

My lower lip is becoming like cactus.  The constant prickling into my upper lip finally drove me to break out the razor on my lower lip.  I was in constant fear of cutting my lower lip in the process.  Just thinking about the pruning makes my flesh crawl.

And what about wild hairs?  Vanity and desire not to be confused with Ted Kaczynski, Charles Manson or white supremacists,  is preventing me from going full Grizzly Adams on this thing.  I thought shaving was a pain in the ass, but pruning is far more dangerous and time consuming.  Shaving around the edges is proving to require the steady hands of a brain surgeon.  I am not a brain surgeon.  I am shaving 1% of the area, yet my cut ratio has gone up 50%.

My face has become the bread basket of the world.  Besides a gathering spot for orange pulp, it’s like fly paper for bread crumbs, hamburger juice, condiments, dressings, and pretty much anything else that does not enter my mouth via a straw.  Domino’s kitchen sink pizza’s got nothing on my face.  And it’s not just food, when I go outside, the thing is like a shrimper’s net, hauling in all kinds of flotsam and jetsam.

When it gets wet, it stays wet.  I suppose I should have anticipated this.  Drying the mop after bathing is not too bad, but as soon as I set foot into the 98% heat and 100% humidity of the sunny south, my empathy for Samoyed’s goes off the charts.  At least Samoyeds are cute.  I have no excuse for the sweat dripping pizza hanging off my face. It is as if my face has sprung a leak.

And what is going on under all this fur?  Is my complexion returning to that nightmarish wreck that was my face from the ages of 15 through 20?  The Horror. The Horror.  And what about nits?  Am I going to have to buy a monkey to pick the critters off my face?

Certainly, there are some reasonable arguments for the beard.  At least, unlike my (regrettable) tatoo,  when I can’t stand it anymore, I can go buy some Proactiv and a new razor and get rid of it.

So how long will my indulgence last?  Hemingway’s beard did not end well.  But that Michael Stipe thing?

Maybe I’ll let my mom decide.

 

 

 

 

Rude Sandwich

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In the waning hours of the holiday season, we decided to squeeze in one last activity by heading out in the pouring rain for a matinee showing of The Accountant.  Perfect rainy day activity but ultimately a bit more interactive than I anticipated.

I drop my wife off in front so she could avoid the rain and get tickets. I then wade off to find a spot in the crowded parking lot to dock my vehicle.  50 yards from the theater, I wedge in between two other U-boats; but before I step into the monsoon I get a txt from my wife advising to skip the line and just find us a seat in the theater.  She notices there are no ticket takers, and with 5 minutes to the show if one of us doesn’t grab seats we may be watching the movie with our necks at a 90 degree angle to our bodies.

She’s not kidding.  The lobby is wall to wall-to-wall wet wool and bad breath.  I serpentine through the lobby masses and head for the entrance to our theater.

Somehow on my way in, I get sandwiched between three larger than life characters (husband/wife/child).  The woman in front of me is unaware I have slipped in front of her husband and is narrating her thoughts on seat selection at full volume.  Clearly thinking hubby is right on her heals and having selected her preferred row she barks, “How ’bout this one?”   At the same time she wheels around and finds herself face to face, with me.  Apparently she thinks I am a big white ghost because she lets out a, shriek, then immediately breaks into this humongous HAW HAW HAW when she realizes she has been blabbering absentmindedly to a total stranger.  She and I do this little dance in the aisle, and I step into the row immediately in front of her selected row.  BIG MISTAKE.

Anyway, the woman, her husband, young daughter (I’m guessing about aged 8 – in an R rated movie??), tub of popcorn, large drinks and assorted luggage sit behind me and continue their conversation through the previews.   I put my wet umbrella in the cup holder of the seat next to me and a minute later my wife lands.

A man and woman in front of me are also working through a large vat of popcorn but not 5 minutes into the previews, the man gets up and heads for the snack bar.  He returns as the opening scene appears on the screen and I miss the set up for the movie.  He then proceeds to sit (thankfully), pauses briefly before tearing into a grocery store size bag of something.

Could have been candy.  Could of been Calamari. But whatever it was, it was two hours of crinkly loud.  Like nails on a chalkboard, how someone could occupy themselves with a bag of such volume is unimaginable.

Now this is no spoiler, but The Accountant is about a high functioning man with Autism who is also a trained killer.  As you might surmise, the movie builds around the eccentricities of this unlikely combination of behaviors.   Pretty much every time the Accountant mumbles some inappropriate comment or puts a bullet in some nasty guy’s head, the trifecta behind me bursts forth with hearty HAW HAW HAWS,  MYUCK MYUCK, MYUCKS, and HONK HONK HONKS.  Even the eight year old.  Between the inappropriate comments, head bullets, and GUFFAWS there is the occasional “jump out of the closet/big white ghost” scene met withheld now familiar womanly shriek followed immediatley by a stereophonic MYUCK MYUCK, MYUCK, and HONK HONK HONK.  Oh, and of course there is the ringing cell phone during the final head/bullet scene.  She answers it of course.

Between the the incessant CRINKLE, CRINKLE, CRINKLE and HAW HAW HAW,  MYUCK MYUCK, MYUCK, HONK HONK HONK, I feel a bit like week-old turkey in a rude sandwich.   To say the rain must have driven all the rats out of the sewers would be a huge overstatement, but I have to chuckle at the world in which we live today.

A few additional thoughts:

  1.  The Accountant is worth seeing in the theater or in home.
  2. Next time I choose the long ticket line over seat selection.
  3. “All you had to do was pick a freaking decent seat and you picked the two between the Three Stooges and Willy f’ing Wonka.” (reprimand from my wife)
  4. When I get a little uptight.  I write.
  5. If I put the words, “Donald Trump” in my blog post will I get more views?

Stirring the Pot…A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships

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10 PM Easter Sunday, I’m lying in bed with a book on my chest.  My mind about to punch out for the evening jars when the phone rings.

“Hello”

“Hhhhhhi Daddy”

“What’s the matter kid?”  I know when my daughter says the word “Hi” in just that way, that Mission Control has to come up to high alert; fast.

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“My Toilet is backed up and when I flush the water is coming right to the top of the bowl and I am scared it is going to overflow.”

And all I can think of is the old cliché, “A rising tide lifts all shits.”

Being as she is on the top floor walk up of her building and it is Sunday night, I can’t help but think how I might feel, were I her neighbor in the apartment below and knew a real nasty storm was a brewin’ above.

“You need to get a plunger, NOW.”

“What’s a plunger?”

Whilst never setting the phone down, she finds the plunger.  Plunger in hand and on the ready, I give her the three step plan for maximum impact with minimal splash.

As she is attempting to thread the gauntlet I hear sounds of howling laughter, utter horror, and  reflexive gagging.  After a minute or so of running commentary, it becomes clear she’s accomplishing little but stirring the pot.  I should have realized earlier that trying to plunge a toilet while talking with a phone to one’s ear increases drag and reduces the plunging coefficient by at least 50%.

In my calmest voice I say, “Kid, hang up the phone, use both hands, and txt. me after the deal goes down.  We hang up.

Problem solved within 30 seconds.

Upon receipt of the txt three things occurred to me

  1. Funny how the phone always seems to get in the way of getting things done.
  2. The greatest gifts a father can give to his children are, time, knowledge, and a sturdy plunger.
  3. For once I wasn’t the guy with the plunger.

God, thank you for your son, my children and for letting me be a dad.

Sorry, But This Food Tastes Like Shitaki

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Tooth extraction, prescription meds, and a generally twisted sense of humor will do strange things to a blog.

Whilst sitting here half gorked out, not working, and generally feeling sorry for myself, I remembered when I was a kid how they used to sell fake Do Do at Six Flags. It was supposed to look like dog poop, but candidly looked about like what they were serving on cones in their “Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlors” back in the day.

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And then I got to thinking about how the Japanese have this thing for fake food; and how, when I was in Japan many years ago, I couldn’t get over the fact how it looked like crap.  In fact, the plastic displays were often pretty indicative of how the food actually tasted in the restaurants.  The display food was probably no worse than much of the stuff I choked down on my visit there.

Yuuuuuum! You know what on a stick.

Gag Reflex!  Insert your own sound effects here.

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Who the hell put the flash drive in my crab claw?  Now that’s taking a good idea and making it Tony the Tiger, GREAAAAT!.

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Excuse me…waiter…there’s hair in my spaghetti.

Yes, I’d like to order the eight piece bucket.  I don’t care if it’s chicken or not, just make sure it’s fried.

Where in the world did I put my necklace?  I can’t seem to find it anywhere.  Now let me think…I was making breakfast…

One tall stack please.  Butter and extra syrup.  Maple if you have it.

Anyone have a hankie?

Sir, will that be cash or American Express?

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Given the fact I am pretty much ewedsrcrayed in the food department for the next few days, all of these photos are serving as a good appetite suppressant.  It all pretty much looks like shitaki to me.  But maybe it’s the meds.

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The Top 7 Strangest Things About Living in NYC That No One Ever Mentions

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Dear friends, I have been living in New York City for quite some time now. And as you can probably guess, it is a strange and wonderful place. What I personally find most amusing are the daily occurrences that nobody ever seems to talk, write, smoke signal, carrier pigeon, or otherwise let you know about. My dear friends, I would like to share them with you now.

1. I’m going to try to say this as delicately as I possibly can. When walking around the streets of New York, occasionally (read: all the freaking time) one’s undergarments choose to slowly (or sometimes swiftly) shift themselves from their comfortable and well-adjusted positions and decide to enthusiastically lodge themselves in places they should never EVER be. In a normal situation, you would be able to find a discrete location in order to quickly and assertively put them in their place. NOT IN NEW YORK. Here, everyone can see everyone else during seemingly ALL moments of one’s walk to the subway/work/food/home, and there is NERE a moment to adjust, leaving instead a bunch of people who all look as though they’re about to murder someone. New Yorkers are not mean, they just have colossal wedgies.

2. People handing out flyers have all made it their PASSIONATE life’s mission for YOU PERSONALLY to take their flyer. I’m talking about physically blocking you from progressing on your journey, following you several feet while manically waving their flyer about, and putting said flyer RIGHT in your line of vision so you are quite literally blinded and can walk no further. Sir, if I did not care to take your flyer for the creepy Chinese massage parlor of terror in the past 93 days, I most certainly will NOT be taking one now!

3. People stare at you. All the time. Not in a “Oh wow, look at that beautiful (or HIDEOUS) girl walking by!” kind of way. No no, dear friends, they stare at you as though they have never in their lives seen a blonde-haired creature before in their lives. It’s as though you are a fairy or unicorn or perhaps extinct dodo bird strutting down the street like it ain’t no thang. People look at you in shock and amazement.

4. No matter what you do, you will inadvertantly touch approximately 6.7 people’s butts on the subway whilst you ride to work. There’s nothing to be done. All the car jostling and people moving and ranges of human size make it physically impossible to avoid them. It does not matter how diligently you attempt to keep your hands away from butts of all shapes and sizes-as SOON as you step into a subway car, your hand becomes a magnet for random strangers’ rear ends.

5. Similarly, if you manage to get a coveted seat on the subway where your innocent hands are FAR away from anyone else’s butts, you are suddenly struck by the horrifying view of a stranger’s crotch. Or even worse, you find yourself sitting underneath someone’s outstretched arm. This person thinks they are merely holding on to a pole above your head. Not so. All of a sudden you are in the splash zone of an exposed armpit, begging yourself not to think of what lurks above.

6. Gym snobbery. What’s up with that? It seems as though 90% of Manhattan goes to a mind-blowingly fancy gym where they “work out” with other perfect looking people in their fancy lulu lemon yoga pants. Why does your hair look perfect AT THE GYM?! This is not a runway show! What are you doing in there?! A photo shoot for the rich and fabulous?! And why do you come out looking even more put together and perfect than you did when you went in?! When I go to the gym, I immediately turn into the most horribly awkward and unattractive version of myself, embarrassingly trying to use machines and muscles I’ve never even heard of. Go away, gym snobs! I’m no match for you. You somehow look like a majestic and graceful stallion while working out, and I look like disgruntled platypus trying to waddle her way over a block of slick ice!

7. Buildings without air conditioning EXIST here. Honey baby sugar child, I am from the SOUTH. When I walk out out of the humid, horrible, hair-deflating heat, I want to feel like I’ve found my own personal igloo oasis, a place where I can sit down, have a nice tall glass of iced tea, and freshen up my lipstick y’all. I most certainly do NOT want to walk out of the humid, horrible, hair-deflating heat into a fiery sauna building from HELL in which the air is somehow MORE dense and MORE mind-meltingly hot than it was outside! I don’t care how you do it, New York, but get that AC going.

While there are many glorious and wonderful things about living in this great city, those, my friends, are the most horribly (albeit amusingly) terrible occurrences and quirks about residing here.

Gimme a lot of hair, long beautiful hair

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My friends, it is high time we talk about hair. I’m talking the hair on the tippy top of your head: that silky, lovely, wonderful substance that we so meticulously care for. The stuff that, on a good day, makes you walk around doing something a little like this:

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Now, several months ago I purchased a brand new, spiffy, top-of-the-line rug from…where? You guessed it. Where broke people of all ages and nationalities buy their apartment items: Ikea.

My new rug, while cheap, is a wonderful and glorious addition to my room. However, after a few months, it had retained many dark spots of (what I assumed to be) dirt and dust, and I decided to get off my laurels and vacuum the damn thing. If only I had been mentally prepared for the horrors I was about to unearth.

My friends, as I began to vacuum, I noticed the spots of dirt were refusing to be sucked up into the vast caverns of the vacuum. After several puzzling minutes, I was forced to get down on my hands and knees and attempt to solve the mystery of the obstinate dirt.

What I found, to my appall, was that the dark clumps were not, in fact, merely dirt. They were ACTUALLY sneaky, stringy strands of hair, covered in dirt and dust, and mired into the fibers of my rug. Thus causing a reaction very similar to this:

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It was as though these lovely, wavy golden strands of hair had executed a suicide leap from my scalp and made it their ultimate final mission to cling to my rug (and anything else they could find) with all the strength they could muster. They had failed their previous master in the task of hanging on to my poor little head and were therefore determined to be dutiful and most dedicated disciples to my rug.

It was truly shocking. These knotted, nasty clumps bore no recognizable resemblance to my healthy locks. It was the transformation of a lifetime, somewhat akin to Mulan. In case you are unfamiliar, in said film, the title character cuts off her hair, disguises herself as a male solider, and saves China. Comparably, my hair had forcibly removed itself from my head, disguised itself as innocent flecks of dust, and saved my rug from coming in contact with, you know, actual feet by becoming a protective LAYER over the exposed weave.

I truly didn’t know it was even possible to lose such a revolting amount of hair in such a ridiculously short time. You would think I had gone completely bald by the amount of hair that was (ultimately) in that vacuum. Or perhaps you would think I was attempting to fashion some sort of disgusting, caveman-esque costume wig that would cover my ENTIRE HEAD. Gross, friends. Gross.

The moral of the story is two-fold: one, vacuum often. Two, be kind to your hair. Otherwise it will abandon you, betray you, and pledge its allegiance to your Ikea rug.

One Runny Toilet and Three Bathroom Renovations Later…Almost

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About six years ago….on Mothers’ Day, I was at Costco and on impulse (not really, but sort of ) I bought thee low flow toilets for about a hundred bucks a piece.  I went into to Costco to buy a loaf of cheese and came out with said loaf, plus what may ultimately prove to be a lifetime of bathroom renovations.

The toilets were the incendiary device that got this lifetime project going, but it had been gurgling below the surface for pretty much the entire time we have lived in our house.  With an old house and multiple toilets, it seems that runny toilets are pretty much a constant problem.  They run, you change out the guts, they are good for a few years, they start running again, rinse, lather repeat.  Unlike the women in remote Amazonian villages or on the Ole Miss Freshman hall, Toilets’ cycles do not synchronize and thus, it seemed as though our runny toilets were pretty much a constant problem.  Well, to the Queen anyway.

So, standing in front of the rack ‘o toilets at the Costco on that fateful Mothers Day, yours truly decided to put an end to the problem and put a lid on both the runny toilets and the seemingly infernal whining.

Now swapping out toilets is really not that big of a deal.  The greatest risks are cracking the porcelain and getting the old fittings to attach the new.  The problem is when your bathrooms haven’t been remodeled since the house was built, and each introduces itself like a spilled bottle of Hi Karate or BOD mens’ cologne.  By that I mean they have all the subtleties of the 1970’s; Harvest Gold, glittering Formica counter tops, teardrop shaped tiles, and wall-paper…..lots of wall-paper.

There was no way I was going to install these toilets without first renovating the bathrooms.  And the fact I procured the toilets myself should be a pretty good indicator as to who was going to undertake these projects.

So my wife and I carried ourselves over to Home Depot, took a course on how to lay tile and we were off to the races.  Except with us, projects are no race.  Over the course of the next several years we were able to knock out the first two bathrooms.  Then about a year ago, after a long recovery from the more recent bathroom, I started demo on the final one.  We saved our most public bathroom for last, because we wanted to hone our skills on #s 1 and 2 before dumping our final energies into what clearly needed to be our crowning achievement.

This last bathroom was and is a little trickier than the first two.  Because its location and subsequent loads it has to accommodate, its functional parts need to be out of commission for as brief a time as possible.  After happily tearing out the walls surrounding the tub and all of the floor tiles I showed up at work one day and discovered they had wiped out my division, and ‘POOF,’ just like that, I found myself collecting unemployment and complaining about Obamacare.  Hold that flush on #3 boys and girls.

But here is where it gets funny…at least to me.  Our son is graduating from high school in a few weeks, and we are hosting a family gathering afterwards to celebrate.  One might think this would cause my wife to start raising Hell to get the project done.  But, funds are still tight, and we need the cash to pay for the pigs in a blanket, salsa and Kool-Aid for my kid’s graduation party.

My wife, pragmatic, if not sane, rather than leave the CLEARLY disrupted lavatory in it’s present state, wants me to further demo it.  She seems to think, short of exploding a bomb in there, there might be some confusion amongst our guests as to what exactly is going on there.  So now, in preparation for the party, I have to rip out more walls, shred wall paper, and leave light fixtures dangling, lest there be any doubt.

So I’m wondering, should I go ahead and yank the toilet and sink too?

We could simply close the door, call the Port-‘O-Pot folks and have them set one of their blue units up on the deck.  After all, they are #1 in the #2 business.