Playing Hooky...

Sorry about no post yesterday. We were in Traverse City for the annual film festival. Unfortunately, we only had time for two movies this year. They were both docs. The first was "Theater Of War", which was about German playwright Bertholt Brecht and his play "Mother Courage And Her Children". It also followed a modern performance of the play starring Meryl Streep. I love behind-the-scenes shit, so it was cool to see the process of preparing for a play mixed in with the history and the anti-war aspects. We got to see it in the beautifully restored State Theater (above). The second one was "Up The Yangtze" about a massive hydroelectric dam that is displacing many poor Chinese living along its banks and how people are coping with it. I liked them both.


My Day Just Keeps Getting Better...

Not only did I get a birthday card from my insurance agent, but reviled senator Ted "Series Of Tubes" Stevens of Alaska is being indicted! What will happen next? Will it rain beer?

I Shall Cherish This Always...

My first birthday card came today! I'm so excited! It's from my insurance agent. I wonder how he knew I was such a big fan of Dalmations! And red pick-up trucks! And distant rolling hills! It shall be displayed with prominence on my refrigerator. Come to think of it, fuck that! This baby needs to be framed!

The front of the card (which is actually a postcard) reads "Wherever the next year takes you..." and the back reads, "Enjoy the ride." Wow. Poignant. Then, in computer-generated faux-handwriting it reads "Have a great birthday!" and is auto-signed by my agent's printer.

I may not have much time for blogging during the next few days. Most of my time will be spent holding back tears of joy and gratitude as I compose a perfectly-worded, heartfelt thank-you note to my agent for his lovely card.


Chocolate-Covered Bacon Review...

So I discovered this weekend that a store in my town carries Vosge's "Mo's Bacon Bar", a combination of two of the greatest things on the planet: pork fat and chocolate.

I'm sad to say that it did not live up to my high expectations. It didn't taste bad, but if I hadn't already known it had bacon in it, I never would've been able to tell. It just tasted kinda salty with a slight crunchiness. I think the bacon was ground up too fine.


Documentary Film Of The Day: Whole...

Yesterday was a post-less day. I don't have many of those. A good remedy for lack of ideas is a challenging documentary film. Those of you who follow my recommendations know I don't shy away from uncomfortable subject matter. In the past I've featured:
  • A film about people who jump off the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • A film about racial division in a Lutheran church in the 60's.
  • A film about the atrocities of the Vietnam War.
  • A film about the tragic life of a convicted child molester.
These are the ones I know I have to watch without Megan. I totally understand, too. There is a lot of disturbing stuff to be found in documentary film. I'm just hyper-curious about everything, so I grit my teeth and watch. In most cases, I am rewarded with a fascinating film. The one I just saw was called "Whole" by Melody Gilbert (Who also made an interesting film called "A Life Without Pain"). It's about a very small group of people who have Body Integrity Identity Disorder. They feel that they would be happier living as an amputee, despite the fact that all of their limbs are fully functional. Some have actually had limbs amputated voluntarily. It sounds gruesome and insane. I'd be interested in what your impression of the people in the film is after you see it. You may be surprised.


Fuckin' Novak...

By now you're probably all aware that media toad Bob Novak hit a guy with his car and then drove away. Knowing Bob as I do, I can tell you that he is a stubborn bastard. He doesn't have time to be yielding to worthless pedestrians. He's got places to be, motherfuckers!

You know what else Bob doesn't have time for? He doesn't have time to learn how to properly throw a fuckin' frisbee. It's infuriating. So I go over to his house the other day (I just happened to be in Washington, D.C.) and I yell into the mail slot on his front door really loud (he can't hear so good), "Yo, Bobby! I got my disc. Get your ass out here!"

He putzed around for what seemed like forever, then came out in a pair of checkered Umbros and NO shirt (gross!). We walked over to the park, found a big open spot, and started to play. I swear the guy can't make a good throw to save his fucking life! He'd either torpedo it right into the ground or do one of those big arching boomerang-type throws that goes fucking NOWHERE! And when he does, he makes me go and get it even though half the time it's totally closer to him. Then he'll occasionally try some fancy sidearm throw that never works, all the while I'm throwing perfect strikes, one after the other. And don't get me started on his drooling problem.

He's lucky to have friends like me that put up with his bullshit.

You Know What We Need More Of In This Country?...

Viagra jokes.

For some reason, no one likes to joke about Viagra. Since it was introduced, people treat it as some sort of comedic sacred cow. "Ooo, no. You can't joke about Viagra. That's serious business!", they say. It is only spoken about in hushed tones and NEVER publicly.

It's odd, too. One would think that a pill that makes old mens' wieners hard for extended periods of time would lend itself to snappy one-liners or the occasional humorous anecdote. Perhaps one day we will get over our societal hang-ups about four-hour wang turgidity and finally learn to laugh.


A Blogwarming Party...

Some of you may remember Megan. She used to write things and put them on her blog, By & By. Her last post was last September. I don't know if she forgot how to type or was intimidated by my blogging superiority, but she hasn't posted anything since.

Until now.

Megan has decided to give blogging another try, although in a different format. She has started a food blog that focuses on meals that will "trick" me into eating healthier stuff. The blog combines two of her passions - cooking and photography. For days she pestered me to come up with a clever title. I told her I exhaust all my creativity on my own blog, but eventually I came up with "When Harry Met Salad". Stop by and say hello. I'm sure she'd like to hear from you!


Architecture Swag...

The folks at Pella Windows are really pulling out all the stops to try and solicit my business. They sent me this handsome set of authentic naugahyde coasters -- impeccably hand-stitched by a nine-year-old Malaysian boy -- with the company name proudly emblazoned on top. The set of four came complete with a handy coaster caddy that will demonstrate to my dinner guests that I am a man of style and distinction. Plus, they're low-maintenance and can be easily cleaned with Muriatic Acid and some tack cloth.

OK, all you Andersen Window people. The ball's in your court. You want my business? Whaddya got for me? And it better not be another rhinestone-encrusted tape measure. I've got four already.


The Ultimate In Stankitude...

Bad smells usually don't bother me. I find skunk-smell rather pleasant. Cow manure is a delight. I live for sewage treatment plants. However, even my forgiving olfactory senses cannot tolerate Liquid Fence.

Megan has a little vegetable garden growing in our yard. She uses this product to keep deer and other animals from eating her crops. Last night I caught a whiff of it for the first time.

OK, imagine eating a casserole made of boiled cabbage and dog shit. Then, puke it up onto a rotting beaver carcass. Let it sit in the hot sun for a few days. That's pretty much the smell. In fact, I'm guessing that is the exact process they use to manufacture it. It must suck to work in their factory, you know, having to eat all that dog shit and puke it up day in and day out. I hope they pay well and offer decent benefits.


Selling Beer...

Lately I've noticed a number of beer ads that boast of their product's "drinkability" as one of its selling points. My question is:

Isn't that setting the bar a little low?

I don't know about you, but when I buy beer I always assume -- at a minimum -- that I will be able to pour it into my face and swallow it no matter how shitty it tastes. I certainly don't expect I'll have to chew it. Aren't they in essence saying, "Buy our Beer! It's a liquid!"?

I mean, fuck, urine is drinkable. That doesn't make it good.


For Those Of You Who Never Saw It....

The 1976 Chicago White Sox played in shorts.


The Cliffhanger...

Ode-ly Oodly Oh
Dee Oodly
Ode-ly Oodly Oh

C'mon, everyone! Sing along!

Ode-ly Oodly Oh
Dee Oodly
Ode-ly Oodly Oh

Ode-ly Oodly Oh
Dee Oodly
Ode-ly Oodly Oh!


Still Up...

I have now been up for 39 hours. I really don't know why I'm doing this. There's nothing preventing me from just going to bed. Actually, when I got home from work, I remembered that the high school steel drum band that I mentioned in this post was performing at the Wednesday night Music In The Park. I'm glad I toughed it out and didn't go to sleep because I go for that sort of small-town quaint quirkiness.

It was great! First of all, it's like two blocks away from our house. I had a few beers before hand and we grabbed some chairs, found a spot and enjoyed. So did everyone else. There was a big crowd of all ages. Lots of little kids, but plenty of old farts, too. It's the sort of thing that's perfect for a family. It's free. The music is fun for kids, as you'll see in the video, and the kids can run around like maniacs and not really disturb anything.

Forgive the sappiness, but I'm a little zippy from the lack of sleep. Here's a little sample of the show. I hope most of you recognize the tune.

Let The Hallucinations Begin!...

I pulled an all-nighter last night working on some architecture biz-nass. I haven't done that in a while. It was pretty common in college. I remember the best part about it was when got to the point where you started seeing things.

The building I was working on turned out like this:

Actually, that was a lie. This was done by a guy named Lebbeus Woods. He does some interesting stuff. He's one of those architects who does a bunch a stuff that never gets built. You can check him out HERE.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go chase the Hobbit that keeps peeking his head into my office.


I'm A Renaissance Man...

Many of you probably don't know that, in addition to being a phenomenal writer, woodworker, and vocalist, I am a foremost authority on Scandinavian fashion. I have a subscription to Swedish Vogue. I know my shit.

Like anything, I feel the need to share my knowledge with the rest of you. Here is an introductory guide to what I call "Viking Chic":

Due to the lack of a formally observed Labor day in Scandinavia,
white can be worn year-round, especially with a little dash of color.
Talk about LOL Cats! Me-OW!
Oh, and overalls are ALWAYS fashion-forward.

It's common knowledge that Scandinavians like to look like superheroes.
Capes are prevalent, along with satin-y, form-fitting attire.
And, is it me, but does the guy on the left look vaguely like
a younger Wallace Shawn in a bag wig?

The "Scandies" go gaga for anything military.
Sew an epaulet on anything and these fuckers
eat it up with a spoon.
Just don't skimp on the sequins.

This is what Swedish people wear to weddings.
Ill-fitting tuxedos and platform shoes for the men.
Trampy Halloween costumes for the women.

Remember, there is no such thing as "too tight".
They also like to see LOTS of arm.
And cats, apparently.

Finally, I wanted to include an example of "everyday attire".
This is the kind of thing you're likely to see people
wearing at the hardware store or the lutefisk stand.

So, if you're planning a trip to Oslo or Stockholm, hopefully
now you have an idea of what to pack.
It's important to blend in when you're in foreign lands.



I remember when I was a kid, if I had a candy bar or an ice cream sandwich or something, my dad would sometimes ask me for a bite. I'd kinda sigh and look disappointed until he'd give me a look that said, loud and clear, "Hey, you little shit. You realize who's feeding you and paying for all your toys and clothes and everything, don't you? Don't even THINK about denying me a bite!" So, I'd reluctantly hand it over and he'd proceed to take the biggest fucking bite he possibly could, leaving me with less than half of whatever it was I was eating.

Anyone else's dad do this or was I the only one?


I LIke To Keep Things Formal...

Despite what may have been suggested by the content of this blog, I am not some uncouth slob who doesn't understand proper social etiquette. I am very well-manered. Like, if I lived in Spain, I would use the "Usted" form at all times. In fact, I am always sure to refer to things by their proper names. That's why:

In a restaurant, I order the lamb shenry.

This is rhubarbara.

I know that the Hanson Brothers will never be proper gentlemen...

...until they understand that these are ice skatherines.


I never upchuck.

I upcharles.

Oklahoma B-Ball!...

As some of you may have heard, Oklahoma City is poised to field their first professional sports franchise! Lots of potential team names are being floated around. Here are a few:
  • The Oklahoma City Mariners
  • The Oklahoma City Metropolitans (or "Mets" for short)
  • The Oklahoma City Dolphins
  • The Oklahoma City Penguins
  • The Oklahoma City Texans
  • The Oklahoma City Fighting Irish


This Picture Has Nothing To Do With The Following Post...

I wanted to do a post about political ads, so I did an image search and this picture came up. Since I didn't really want to have a real "political ad" picture cluttering up my screen, BUT I knew I had to have A picture, I figured a laughing dog would do just fine.

So, for the second night in a row, while watching "Jeopardy!", I noticed multiple airings of the same Obama AND McCain ads during the course of the half-hour. I'm in a battleground state, so I've got this to look forward to until November. Fuckin' yay.

Allow me a second to be the guy who complains about political ads.

What the fuck? This is uncalled for. It makes no sense. If someone is watching a half-hour show and they are shown the same fucking ads during each commercial break, isn't that counterproductive? Aren't you just pissing off people like me who are too behind the times to get a DVR-type contraption? Every day with these ads is bad enough, but the SAME FUCKING ADS every ten minutes? That'd be fine if they were different every time. Actually, no, fuck that, it would still suck.

I say one political ad per candidate per hour of television. That's plenty.

I think the bottom line is that these two men love themselves so much that they can't go five minutes without seeing their face somewhere on something. That's why they spend so much on TV ads.




Make it stop! Make it STOP!

Disclaimer: This was grabbed off the Fox News website. Go fucking figure.

Documentary Film Of The Day: Summercamp!

It's been a while since I've done one of these. This is a film whose DVD release I have been anxiously awaiting. It was made by two of my favorite documentarians, Bradley Beesley (Okie Noodling, The Fearless Freaks) and Sarah Price (American Movie, The Yes Men).

The film follows a handful of young kids attending a summer camp in Wisconsin. What I liked about it was its non-formulaic approach. Rather than making it like a promotional video for summer camp and focusing on activities, it concentrated more on the kids and the various social aspects of camp and the fact that camp isn't always a joyful, idyllic experience for everyone. There is conflict. There is loneliness. Kids don't always get along. In fact, some of them can be a real pain in the ass. People can get burnt out towards the end of the summer. They talk about things like how many of the kids are on ADD/ADHD meds. Some kids discuss how camp is the one place where they feel accepted, unlike at home where they are considered outcasts. We also see the contrast in male/female behavior at that age. From what I remember, we don't hear anything out of the filmmakers, which is the documentary format I prefer. The kids do most of the talking. I thought it was a lot of fun.

Netflix Link


Part Of Why I Like Where I Live...

Nights like this...
Megan also took a pretty picture of it.

Elvin Magic...

Or is it "Elfin Magic"? I guess it doesn't "elfin" matter. Get it? "Elfin" sounds like "effin'", which is a common substitute for "fuckin'". Nevermind...

Anyway, when I was growing up, my hometown's claim to fame was that it was the headquarters for Keebler, the popular cookie/cracker company famous for its beloved elves. I'm not just making this up for the sake of a lame blog post. It really was. It has probably relocated to China since then, but, dammit, they were there back in the meaty part of the eighties.

So, as a result, a lot of my high school classmates were elves. And let me tell you, man, these little motherfuckers could DRINK! There was this one party where I chipped in five bucks towards the purchase of a Bud Light Party Ball and didn't drink a drop because two of these bastards polished the thing off before I could finish writing my name on my plastic cup. It's not like you could call them on that shit, either. I was always too afraid they'd use their magic and turn me into a Town House cracker or something. Plus, they were ruthless. You'd go to use the bathroom and by the time you got back one of 'em had stolen your girlfriend with the promise of unlimited Pecan Sandies.

Uncommonly good, my ass...



So I got one of these blogging awards from my pal, Dr. Monkey V.M., the other day. It was quite an honor coming from him. I rarely get awards like this, especially not ones that are exact replicas of the hood ornament on my Ford pick-up. Apparently there are rules:

1) Pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.
2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y Pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award which is here: Arte y Pico.

Dr. M already gave one of his to Splotchy, who I would say is one of the most creative and contributory(?) of all bloggers. Vikki also got one already. She gets my vote for best writing. But this isn't about them, after all. This is about five other people. Let's see...
  1. I'm giving my first one to the latest addition to my blogroll, Dr. Zibbs at That Blue Yak. He has been doing some truly hilarious stuff over there lately. Give him a look.
  2. I must also honor the one who directed me to my #1 pick, Falwless at Lots Better Then Your Blog. She's sassy AND saucy. A winning combination.
See, this is why I hate stuff like this. I'm only up to two. I have to award three more of these bitches and I'd love to give it to a whole bunch more. Besides, I know painful it is to be snubbed. The hurt runs deep and it never really goes away. Therefore, I am going to throw the remaining three up in the air and the first of y'all to grab them, get them. Ready? Set? Go!


Bill Hicks On Jesse Helms...

Warning: Lot's o' bad language and very graphic and offensive! (but really fucking funny!)

This includes bonus Rush Limbaugh material.

While remembering the life of George Carlin, I couldn't help but remember another comic genius, Bill Hicks, who died way too young. Plus, the Jesse Helms and Limbaugh bits are all-time faves.

Happy Birthday, America...

I know what you're thinking.
Wouldn't this picture be more appropriate for, say, an Easter post?
Well, Dubya is sad. This is the last Fourth Of July he will celebrate as president.
He needs his friends to comfort him.

Fuckin' dummy...


Nerd Cred...

OK, I admit I have a book in which I am collecting the 50 state quarters, actually double that because the book I have has slots for both mints, Denver and Philadelphia. I've been pretty lax about paying attention to what I need and what I have. I just went through the change jar and separated the ones I needed from the ones I already have. So, if by chance there are visitors to this site who are fellow nerdliks that do this, I am going to publish what I have and what I still need in case anyone wants to exchange:
(The annoying thing is that the book I have has them in order chronologically rather than alphabetically. Bear with me.)
I need:
  • Pennsylvania D
  • New Jersey D
  • Georgia P AND D!
  • North Carolina D
  • Vermont P
  • Kentucky P
  • Tennessee D
  • Louisiana P
  • Indiana P
  • Mississippi PAND D!
  • Alabama P
  • Missouri P
  • Arkansas D
  • Michigan D
  • Florida D
  • Texas D
  • Iowa P
  • Wisconsin P
  • California P
  • Oregon D
  • West Virginia D
  • Nevada P
  • Nebraska D
  • Colorado D
  • North Dakota D
  • Montana D
  • Idaho D
  • Utah P AND D!
  • Oklahoma D
  • New Mexico D
  • Arizona P AND D!
  • Alaska P AND D!
  • Hawaii P AND D!
What I have to offer:
  • Idaho P
  • Maryland D
  • Nebraska P (2!)
  • New Mexico P
  • New York D (2!)
  • Ohio P
  • Oklahoma P
  • South Carolina P
  • Vermont D (2!)
  • Washington P
  • Wyoming P
As you can see, I have a lot of holes. I am also willing to exchange non-state quarters for those who have duplicates.

I Rarely Go See Movies In The Theater...

However, based on the recommendations of a number of trusted bloggers and the fact that the animation looked fucking amazing and the fact that the weather was shit yesterday, I decided to go to a 5:00 PM showing of "WALL-E", the new Pixar robot movie. You can watch the trailer HERE.

I don't think I've seen a Rated-G movie in a theater since I was a little kid. Consequently, this is the first time I can remember, as an adult, being part of an audience that was so dominated by young kids. Just before the movie started, as a young girl in the row behind us started screaming because she wanted HER OWN bucket of popcorn, I worried that I had made a terrible mistake. I figured I was in for one of those nightmare movie experiences full of kicked seats and lots of talking.

Then the movie started.

And the kids shut up.

Sure, there were a few audible questions for mommy that could be heard, but not enough to ruin it. I thought it was really good and the animation was phenomenal. Hats off to the filmmakers. It has to be incredibly difficult to make a film that will appeal to both young and old while offering a pretty bleak (yet ultimately hopeful) assessment of humankind. It's worth checking out.


They Should Offer To Apply It, Too...

I've noticed that, when they have free sample tables at the supermarket, there's never one for Preparation H. What gives?

Book Review: Poop: A Natural History Of The Unmentionable...

This was Megan's Valentine's gift to me this year.

Let me start by saying that there is a lot of really good shit in this book. However, there are certain parts where the author sounds like he's full of crap.


In Your FACE!...