Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Pills, New Year Thrills, and Dicking around the Holidays

I had planned on steering clear of this blog until the new year. But I've got insomnia and perhaps pounding out a bit of drivel here beats counting sheep. It's been an interesting time thus far with the family in Arizona. Lots of campfire stories haunted by ghosts of familial dysfunction past. But primarily just stuffing my pie hole and vegging. Serious vegging. Which makes up for the lack of vegetables in my diet this week (unless the coco beans from chocolate count).

My sister Lynn is good at pulling on threads of dormant memories I'd thought were lost to me forever, unraveling a tapestry of singular moments in time. An elementary school teacher's name, a neighbor's eccentricity, commercials on TV, jobs held as a kid, the kinds of candy found at our little corner shops.

Each one of these off-hand remembrances lets loose a flood of imagery, at once dated and yet timeless, uniquely local yet universal. Penny candy back when it cost one cent. The lady across the street with the one crazy eye who would peek out her shutters all day. Silly shit like this, one memory tumbling into another like a string of dominoes toppling over.

I've been focused on the personal rather than the political this week; in fact, I haven't much been paying any mind to the goings on in the US or the world.

I'm vaguely aware of a would-be terrorist managing to thwart our vaunted security, almost blowing up a plane coming into Detroit International from the Netherlands and that Jon Gosselin's apartment in NYC got ransacked (whether by evildoers or his own publicity-hungry hand). Both important topics to be sure, but uninteresting to me this particular week.

Dick Cheney continued to make an ass of himself unabated this week, but that's hardly news. I swear the guy would laugh with glee upon learning Santa's sleigh had been hijacked by terrorists, the reindeer booby-trapped with high explosives and the sled filled to overflowing with bags of mustard gas before being crashed into the side of a children's orphanage if he thought it would cause some embarrassment to the Obama Administration. I don't say this in defense of Obama, who has disappointed me in many and varied ways in 2009. Still, as they say, a bad day golfing is still better than the best day at work. Obama/Biden are my "golf" to the Bush/Cheney "work" in this analogy.

Cheney's just plain bad news, the evil ogre under the bridge. And to think I had some vaguely positive things to say about the guy as SecDef during Desert Storm. I guess back then he was still at least partly Anakin Skywalker. He's clearly embraced the dark side since then (perhaps he always had and I just didn't see it). Some might call him Richard but to me he's the ultimate Dick.

Thankfully, I needn't concern myself with things politico right now as Maureen Dowd seems to be taking care of this for me. Dowd's piece today as usual echoes my thoughts from a political perspective to a tee. Though, oddly, she neglects to mention Jon G. But that's okay. Thanks, Mo.

We're off to see some sights in Phoenix this afternoon and evening. Specifically, the Desert Botanical Gardens and then the Zoo Lights. Film at 11. As for New Year's Eve tomorrow, it'll be a low-key affair, I'm sure. Very much unlike the drunken Vegas group hug I stumbled into this decade through. Both have their charms depending on your perspective.

I'm moving on to a new phase of my professional career come the middle of January so I need to start mentally preparing myself for that now. Finally, a New Year's Resolution I can keep! I'm headed out of the safety - and madness - of corporate life back into consulting again. Both have their crisp highs and deep lows - much like the Bose Wave System, according to their commercials - but at least with consulting the lows are transient (of course, so are the highs). So I'm nervous but excited.

I will say that the Christmas pills make this time of year bearable. Just be sure you have a festive container for said pills. Said containers make fantastic gifts. What are Christmas pills? Why they're the pills you put into the Christmas Pill Containers. Little magnetic twist-in-half or head-pops-open Snowmen or Santas or other similar figurines. Containers that some might assume are meant to contain other items (candy, spice, etc.). But they are in fact meant to contain pills. Screamers. Uppers. Downers. Laughers. The pills that get you from Thanksgiving to New Year without going insane. Rush understands this. As a bonus, they double as great Christmas Tree Ornaments.

"... She goes running for the shelter / Of her Santa's Little Helper / And it helps her on her way / Helps her through her busy day ..."

In any case, "talk to you" in 2010 ...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Some Festivus Vitriol (The Airing of Grievances)

The beginning of another year is bearing down on us while most of this one sits in the rear view mirror. Large numbers of those who put pen to paper (bits to disk? words to the web?) are cranking out their lists of the best and worst (and best of the worst or worst of the best). Cliched for sure, an easy dodge. Being a cliched dodgy sort, I might be tempted to follow suit. But I'll resist the urge. This may be my last post of the year after all and if it is, I'd like to go out on a higher note than that.

Maybe just some good ol' Festivus Airing of Grievances. Who am I pissed off at this year?

  • The Philadelphia Eagles leadership, for hiring a serial sadist onto their team as a role model to all the football loving children the world over and now the Eagles players too, for voting him the 2009 recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award. Isn't that what the Wizard bestowed upon the Cowardly Lion? I only wish this squad very bad things in the weeks and months ahead.
  • Congress, for dessimating the healthcare legislation and then jerking themselves off in self congratulation over it. I can't stand either side of the aisle (or the aisle itself these days). I can't very well blame them - it's the system, which might be the best in the world but still blows pretty bad these days.
  • The lunatic fringe, who ultimately twisted the admittedly already very rubbery spines of the aforementioned legislators through their flames of bombastic hysteria. I can't really be all that mad at them, though, since they're only doing what they think is right, however misguided I might believe it to be. It's the cynical, money-grubbing swine who trumpet this kind of message for the sake of publicity and profit, pretending like they actually believe it. The ones who turn their high-powered fans on the flames. They're the ones I've got a bone to pick with. Clowns like Glenn Beck. That's way too easy. I'm lazy, so easy is good.
  • Oprah, for the imminent destruction of my beloved Discovery Health Channel. Why, oh, why OWN, Oprah? And why does its introduction mean the end of Discovery Health? What do they have to do with one another? Do you really hate discussions of incontinence that much?
  • Barack Obama, for being way too compromising - stand up for your core beliefs, man! Intelligent compromise in matters of foreign affairs can be good, but fuck 'em when it comes to domestic matters. You're being accused of being a Kenyan-born communist dictator already so it's high time you acted more like one! You know what I mean ... talk to Oprah, will ya? Order a cease and desist on the Discovery Health dissolution. I don't want Dr. G performing an autopsy on the very network that airs her show (I think the universe would explode).
  • Saturday Night Live, for being consistently not funny (I'm assuming this is unintentional but I could be wrong: they seem so good at it).
  • My neighbors, for being snow blowing bullies (see My Neighbors Blow for details).
  • Walmart. 'nuff said. Except the online caskets. I think those are pretty neat, as anyone who's slogged through this drivel knows all too well.
That's enough vitriol (and I'm fresh out of Geritol).

I've got an early flight tomorrow so it's off to bed soon. After catching Heathers for the umpteenth time on IFC. Gotta love such a sentimental tale during this joyous holiday season.

Happy Holidays and a Grand New Year to all. I can't wait to kick 2009 to the curb. Christ, did somebody on TV just say "Sarah Palin is the Greta Garbo of American Politics" or are my ears malfunctioning!?! Nope, I just hit rewind and there it is. Huh? Apparently because she grants so few interviews. Still, I don't see it. I guess if Garbo was a batshit loon and had a terminal case of Twitter Tourette Syndrome. Kick it to the curb indeed.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The many Faces of Kringle and Murphy

Perhaps Santa does Slay ...

One of my friends clued me into an interesting article on the variations different countries have weaved into the Santa Claus mythology over the years, particularly on Kris Kringle's dark side. It seems Santa is not nearly so benevolent in some parts abroad as he is in the states; in fact he is downright diabolical, at least in the helpers he employs and what they have in store for naughty children. Hint? Those kids'll be begging for the lump of coal that constitutes the Claus domestic capital punishment after catching a whiff of what his foreign alter ego is dishing out.

Ahh, yes - now this fills me with the spirit of the holidays!

Flu-like Symptoms

The catch-all ailment of the stars. But it's not just for the Hollywood elite: you and I have surely used it too. And technically it's not a fib. The symptoms are "flu-like" after all. Flu-like as in "man, I'm so hung over I feel like I have the flu." Or maybe "shit, thinking about going into that office today is making me nauseous - perhaps it's the flu!" Is it such a leap from there to "man, I've been strung out on uppers, downers, screamers, coke, smack, and Jack for the past week and haven't slept in four days - coincidentally, I think I feel the flu coming on!"? It's all relative.

Brittany Murphy apparently had "flu-like symptoms" this past week prior to her untimely death from cardiac arrest yesterday at 32 years of age. Sadly, I wasn't all that surprised. Maybe it was the flu, but probably not. Generally influenza doesn't bring on a heart attack. It might well be something else entirely but my spidey sense is telling me it was an illness far too prevalent in Hollywoodland. Her skeleton-thin appearance has been been particularly concerning of late and there were those rampant rumors of having recently been given the boot from The Caller for "being extremely difficult" (rumors she vehemently denied). She was one of those living dichotomies, at once so full of life and yet with a strong tinge of "fuck it all" that seemed to envelop her like a mist she couldn't escape. Maybe this last was simply a reflection of my darker inclinations off the mirror of a kindred spirit. Or perhaps just a case of too much Behind the True Hollywood TMZ Music Story for this TV pop-culture junky.

Brittany represented one of my more potent Hollywood crushes over the years, from the time I first saw her in Bongwater. Thought I was gonna say Clueless, eh? Nope, I didn't catch that until many years later. Bongwater, though, is a great little flick that sadly never found much of an audience.

Now this Murphy attraction might not have been up in my pantheon with the likes of Mary-Louise Parker, Neve Campbell and Scarlett Johansson; however, it was nonetheless worthy of being included in the discussion. The thing with Brittany was the slightly naughty glint in her eyes and a personality bursting-to-pop with goofy, giddy life. Not necessarily a "classic beauty" - though she could clean up real nice - she did it for me far more than most of those who fit that bill. She also seemed extraordinarily vulnerable and slightly emotionally disturbed in a way I couldn't quite put my finger on. Perhaps that lent itself to the attraction - we shared a connection there possibly.

At the end of the day, though, Ms. Murphy's just another casualty caught in the cross hairs of the hills above Sunset. Regardless of the circumstances, 32's just too young to die of "natural causes." That strip sits in the shadow of the demise of countless stars and wannabes before her and it'll no doubt bear witness to a truckload yet to come. But it's just the tip of the iceberg next to the fade-to-black deaths of the great unwashed who never made it above street level there, never made it onto a movie set (well, not the sort with distribution to your local mall cineplex at any rate).

Tom Petty's cranked out more than his share of fatalistic hick-succumbs-to-Hollywood fare but the one that sticks in my mind whenever this sort of thing happens is a bit less obvious. It's also my personal favorite of his: Free Fallin'. The imagery of snaking around Mulholland and free falling from its heights in the hills to the valley below always struck a cord with me, especially after having driven it a few times. Whenever anyone meets an untimely demise up near its twisting and turning apex, I think of the roller coaster-like terrain and Free Fallin'.

Soon will come the E! True Hollywood Story and countless exposes from 20/20, 48 Hours, TMZ, etc. Time will tell as to the specifics surrounding her passing but it won't change the end result.

I hope the mist has cleared for you, Brittany. But you're dead, so how would you know? As Stanley Kubrick once wrote, "The dead only know one thing: It is better to be alive."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My Neighbors Blow

Now I admit I'm not the most neighborly guy.  I haven't taken the time to meet, greet and glad hand the denizens of my particular neck of the woods all that much, couldn't tell you their names or really much else about them.

When their kids were of stick ball and street hockey age I put up with their projectiles flying over the fence from the church parking lot into the side of my house, only occasionally chasing them away when they came within inches of my windows one too many times.  I never caught the fuckers in the act of breaking those windows since it always seemed to happen when I was away, but I knew well enough who they were.  Hell, I even retrieved the balls that landed up onto my second floor deck in the spirit of neighborly fun.  They've since grown up and graduated to drugs and petty crime, I'm guessing.

Still, I'll confess: I'm not a touchy-feely, chat-it-up stalwart member of the community.

Now I feel vindicated as to why: they're all vicious swine, the lot of them.

Each one apparently has a state of the art snow-blower, one fancier than the next. With all the bells and whistles. Vibrating, heated recliner seats, 20000 PSI, 12 cylinder gas-guzzling, power-mad electronic beauties that could clear a path up Everest while serving you breakfast and clipping your toenails.

I'll admit it was hard to see clearly all the way up to the end of the block this morning through the 50 foot high plumps of pressurized snow emanating from the parade of humongous blowers but I swear the particularly evil white-haired Nazi encamped at the corner had a machine that was simultaneously clearing his walk, shampooing his scalp, and giving him a reach around. I squinted a bit harder and am sure I saw Dustin Hoffman strapped to the back of the thing with some diabolical dental instrument cutting into a fresh nerve at the root of one of his teeth.  Is it Safe?

The noise was deafening this morning, sort of like pit row at the Indy 500.  My head is still exploding from the sounds and the fumes while the taste of gasoline-laced snow consumes my tongue and throat after getting sprayed in the face with it over a sustained period of time.

Yes indeed, every Who in Whoville was out with their shiny Snow Blow Job 3000s save for one poor muck - me - hunched over in pain with his $5.00 plastic shovel, friend to the environment and procrastinating masochist, making about a foot of progress for every hundred yards the spit shine push button industrial complex all around him cleared.

And not one of these shitheads offered to come to his aid.

No, quite the contrary.  They took particular delight in spraying huge mounds of icy white stuff all around this Who's property line, spilling deep into his hard-won hand-shoveled walk, erasing his back breaking handiwork and forcing him to endure the Bataan Death March Redux.  And all the while these beasts were cackling with glee high atop their gleaming weapons of snow-mass destruction, rubbing their hands together C. Montgomery Burns-style.


I plan to break into each garage in the days ahead, filling the tanks of their Snow Suck-n-Spray 9000s with nitroglycerin. The next storm will be a real blast, my good neighbors.

A plague on all your houses!!

Oh, and Happy Holidays!

Black and Blue and White all Over

I'm snow blind and buried to my gonads in the putrid shit, shoveling my way into back spasms and strained muscles the likes of which I haven't felt in years. I doubt even Rush Limbaugh's medicine cabinet could spell relief for my aching bod tonight.  Anyone who said snow is beautiful lives in an apartment or condo.  Bah Humbug.

Come Christmas Eve I'll be winging my way to sunny climes (Phoenix to be specific) and away from Bing Crosby's dreaming.  Fuck him anyway. He was nothing but a mediocre singer, a lousy actor and a serial child abuser.  So, Christmas (and New Year) in Arizona away from where the huskies go with temptations to eat the yellow snow (I'm paraphrasing). Anyway, it's something I'm looking forward to.  Meanwhile I've got more of the same to look forward to in my more immediate future that is Sunday.  Glancing out the window, the shit just keeps on coming down.

Christ.  I think it's time for Tylenol and bed.

Or not.  I see on IFC we've got both Kill Bills playing and Pulp Fiction to boot.  I just might be up all night.  Ya see, I played my new Inglorious Basterds Blu Ray earlier and am still on a bit of a Tarantino high.  And I didn't even like Basterds all that much; in fact, I enjoyed more the first flick of today's little double feature, the latest Star Trek. (BTW, Give this a go even if you never liked the Trek TV shows. It's pretty good on its own merits and as a bonus, Shatner isn't anywhere to be found.)  But getting back to Tarantino, even if Basterds largely didn't work for me it was never boring.  That's Quinton.

Why is it that I can get all exited about movies on TV that I own and can throw into the DVD player any time I want?  Rhetorical question: it's because I'm Lazy with a capital L.

Perhaps I'll compromise and watch the rest of Kill Bill Vol 2 in bed.  If I can get out of this chair.  I should shovel one last time or tomorrow'll be that much worse.  But I can't seem to get out of this chair.

[Postscript: Out of the chair, into bed, and up early - okay, 10:00am - to shovel my way into traction.  Now at least it won't be so painful tomorrow morning digging my car the rest of the way out. At least I think that's my car under the especially large pile of snow in the driveway.  Rush, I need your Oxy!  Does your maid have relatives in Philly?] 

[Kellogsscript: Dug out my car.  Think I'm ready to surf to and order up my casket now.  This one looks comfortable and should be gentle to my aching back!]

Friday, December 18, 2009

"I got Silence on the Radio with a Driveway full of Snow" - Moonlight Mile '09 (Apologies to Jagger/Richards)

I really wish I liked shoveling snow as much I as do shoveling shit. I'm speaking metaphorically about the latter, of course; I do in fact like shoveling actual snow more than shoveling actual shit. If the weathermen (and women) are right, we should get socked pretty good by old man winter tomorrow here in the Philly area. Dylan might have been right that you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, but apparently you need them to tell you ad naseum as to when and where the white stuff will be falling. More Al Roker than Bill Ayers, though they're both equally likely to be accurate in their predictions.

Should the weatherguessers beat the odds and the white stuff does arrive in force, I'll at least need to make an appearance on sidewalk patrol to avoid becoming even more of a neighborhood pariah than I already am. Whatever happened to enterprising teenagers looking to make a buck mowing lawns and shoveling driveways? Not that I ever did it as a kid but I just thought that was because I was lazy. The kids were always helping out us harried adults doing these kinds of chores for loose change on TV shows, after all. And television doesn't lie.

My God! As I'm writing this and flipping channels, I come across my fav, Dr. G, and hear immediately from the voice over that she is "cutting into the scrotum sack." #?@?! Like Pavlov's dog, these words cause my male reflexes to kick in, hands moving down to protectively shield the groin area from the Medical Examiner's blade.

There's a big close up of the good doctor's face as she's hacking away with relish - I'm just glad they don't actually show you what her hands are busy doing, apart from a couple of crude courthouse sketch-artist grade diagrams. The doctor is whish, whish, whish with the scalpel, the grand maestro conducting her cadaver orchestra. And all the while she's babbling away happily about the specific and putrid odor of a dissected bowel. Apparently she'd carved that up just prior to her current Bobbitsque act on this poor, dead dude's genitalia.

I have no idea what the context of all this is having arrived late to the party (and I'm surprised to say I've not seen this particular episode). That said, I do know I feel a helluva lot better about my lot in life suddenly. Things can always be worse. Except for that guy on Jan Garavaglia's slab with his ball sack sliced-n-diced and his bowels emptied into a bowl. I bet he'd kill to shovel snow given a choice between that and a guest appearance on Dr. G (it's not quite the same as doing Letterman). Three words you don't want to hear applied to you: standard Y incision.

And the next thing you know, Dr. G is out of this dude's bowels, out of the morgue and on the road to shop for supplies at a big ol' medical supply "mall" (sort of the Walmart of forensic sundries). Great segue, guys - I'm still gagging from the gross-out of the last examination and now Dr. G is trying a new pair of jumbo rib cutters on for size and checking out overhead exam lights on this little "lighter side" field trip. She seems out of her element among the living, outside the confines of that ghostly crypt that is her domain to me.

One quick Activia / Jamie Lee break and we're back in the exam room again, with more slicing and dicing and blood-filled silver bowls, followed by a good hose-down. The doc is back where she belongs!

"She turns her attention to the chest cavity."

Look, Ma! No more cavities! Cavities in teeth: bad. Cavities in chests: generally pretty good. It's a place for the heart to go - pretty much all of us have one of ample size, except for the Grinch and Dick Cheney. But they're special. And I hear they have machines that pick up the slack. And besides, the Grinch had that problem fixed by one Cindy Lou Who. Perhaps one day Dick will find his too. Meanwhile the machines will suffice.

The rest of us, we need our cavities and can do without Dr. G-types poking around in there.

Well, time to prepare for the snow. I'm all loaded up with Inglourious Basterds and Star Trek on Blu Ray now so I'm prepared for the weather.

Of course I forgot to buy rock salt earlier and it seems now that the public has drained the local supply (damn hoarders). Perhaps I'll be a pariah after all. I could always just nail a cardboard sign onto the telephone pole next to the sidewalk: Ice. Don't slip. After all, it's the thought that counts and that is at least as thoughtful as actually shoveling and salting the thing down. In my mind anyway.

Personally, I think the people doing the walking should be doing the shoveling (they've already out there in that shit and they're the ones that need to get somewhere). Meanwhile, I'm going nowhere pretty fast.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

To Slur with Love

Ahh, Courtney - my favorite human train wreck is in the news again with word that her daughter's finally had enough of the babbling head-on collisions, opting to live out the waning months of her life as a minor with her paternal grandma. Better known as Amy Winehouse's AA sponsor (she wishes!), Ms. Love has lately taken up roost on Facebook, hammering out head scratching non-sequitur-laced status post/rants from her computer keyboard like Cecil Taylor pounding free jazz from the ivories. Well ... perhaps not so much. More like what I would imagine Captain Beefheart might write were he to put pen to paper immediately after being beaten senseless with a baseball bat. Or maybe Allen Ginsberg shot through Andrew "Dice" Clay suffering from advanced dementia with a touch of LA Law's Benny Stulwicz. You get my point: batshit lunacy and scatterbrained linguistic scats.

But I say all this with love in my heart for the gal. I'm serious about that. She just seems so little-girl-lost that it's hard to get pissed at her antics. But I imagine it's a different story from the vantage point inside the eye of her particular storm. And she's certainly managed to marginalize what could be a considerable artistic career, were she to shake off the shakes long enough to want that.

I'm serious when I say I think Courtney Love's got mad skills. She did more than a fine job as an actress when she put her mind to it (see The People vs. Larry Flynt and Man on the Moon). And I think Hole's Live Through This is a great fucking album. One of my absolute favorites. And that's largely her doing. She's no "Yoko Ono", for sure. Of course, Yoko Ono wasn't really a "Yoko Ono" either - after all, the B-52s are indebted to her innovations. Now Linda McCartney - she was most definitely a "Yoko Ono."

Of course, what's Courtney done in the decade of the "00"s? I'm not sure even (or perhaps especially) she knows the answer to that.

Good luck, Frances. I hope you make it out of childhood in repairable shape - I feel a kinship with you. In an odd way, we had a similar set of parental units. Now, to be clear, my Chuck and Ruth were hardly Kurt and Courtney. But they did share a surprisingly similar brand of addiction and dysfunction. And, I imagine, myriad ways to embarrass.

It could always be worse. Sounds like your granny's got your back and just think: your name could be Lohan - now that would be a bitch, eh?

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I just had to comment briefly on a strange chat William Shatner had back in August with Rush Limbaugh, to air on the biography channel this Saturday. Shatner, I'm sure you all know, is a master thespian, free love musician and acclaimed beat poet. But you might not be aware that he also hosts his own talk show on basic cable. It's called "Raw Nerve" and often lives up to that title (though perhaps "Weird Non-Sequitur" would be more apt). If you can't wait until Saturday, I've included it below.

As I've recounted in these pages, Shatner recently interpreted Sarah Palin's Twitter Tweets, enhancing her words with a crazy beatnik beat. He also gave equal treatment to Levi Johnson's twitter verbage. Yah, daddy-o. It was, like, way out. Much like his music. But taking on the Rush is something else again, sort of My Dinner with Andre with a healthy side of psilocybin mushrooms. Rush all strung out on Oxy-fueled Ego and Shatner all strung out on - well, Shatner. (I trip just watching him so I can only imagine what it's like being him, his heart pumping lysergic acid through his bloodstream 24/7.)

The actual content of the Shatner/Limbaugh summit is almost beside the point. It's the idea of these two yakking - the concept of it all - that's most interesting.

Anyway, children, put on Jefferson Airplane's Surrealistic Pillow - or Shatner's own Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - dim the lights, plug in the lava lamps and groove ...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Philanthropic Philanderer and other Random Nonsense

I'm taken aback by the public's surprise over the recent Tiger Woods revelations. It doesn't turn my head, even if all the allegations are true. The guy's a super type-A personality (type AAA?) and I've known enough of them that I'm wise to their tendencies. Like the others I'd fit into this category, Woods has never come off as a "good guy" to me; in fact, I always thought he at least occasionally shops at the Jerk Store and might well be a regular customer. Personally, I'll take John Daly any day - he at least keeps his skeletons out on parade for all to see (even takes them on tour). John doesn't lock them up in a closet - they can develop a particularly concentrated rare trapped in there, as Tiger is discovering now.

On top of - and I'm sure enhancing - the driving type-A+ dickdom, Woods is one of the most famous and praised people on the planet, always the center of attention where ever he goes. Mix those ingredients all together in a (fish) bowl and bake it in the oven of the 24/7 media circus for a dozen or so years, you shouldn't be surprised if you don't end up with at least a couple of cookies on the tray fucking around on their partners. Sure, he gives back some healthy coin to charitable causes and donates time in that regard every now and then. That's just good business. The business of nurturing the Tiger Brand. And he'd been pretty savvy at that or so it seemed.

If some of the more outlandish behavior does turn out to be true (and we may never know), I am a bit surprised that he went about it so seemingly carelessly. Especially given all he has to lose. You may have noticed that he doesn't like to lose. It just seems very out-of-character for a guy who takes calculation and strategy to a level very few people reach. But it's not all that uncommon for those who are grappling in the depths of addiction to forgo the disciplines that come second nature in all other aspects of their lives, especially when they are in the midst of feeding their compulsion. Believe me, I know from where I speak. I'm not suggesting that's what's at work here with Tiger, but it's possible.

Okay, that's about three paragraphs more than I promised myself I'd devote to this particular fallen idol. After all, it's not the typical hard news I like to cover on these pages. You know me - always and only important topics like ...
  • Paris Hilton Tweets. Maybe I've got the vowels wrong there.
  • Dead Jacko. Is he still entombed? Or did they pull him out of the mausoleum for the holidays? As a sort of Christmas Tree replacement.
  • The War in Afghanietnam. Apocalypse Now II - Colonel Kurtz Jr. Conquers Tora Bora. "I love the smell of Heroin Poppies in the morning." I'm sure our Prez Barack O'Johnson .. er, I mean Obama wouldn't miss the premiere of this one. Just kidding, Mr. Prez. I hope. What's that I hear? "One two three, what are we fighting for? I don't know, I don't give a damn, next stop's Afghanistan ..." Country Joe, time for a second act?
  • The Endless Healthcare Roundabout. It appears our intrepid lawmakers are determined to debate the already-compromised-beyond-use legislation into literal nothingness - in fact, approaching anti-matter - perhaps agreeing simply to mail two aspirin out to every citizen and be done with it. I only wish Mr. Smith goes to Washington was real. And by that, I mean the remake envisioned by Homer Simpson and realized by Mel Gibson, Lethal Weapon-style:

Or something to that effect. Perhaps Maureen put it best here so I'll leave her with the last word on the Tiger and his Tail, at least from my corner of the world. Unless Woods goes bonkers and decides the best way to redeem his public image is an appearance on Dancing with the Stars with his new dance partner, Boy George. Should that happen I'm sure I'll have something to say, if only "I told you so." Because I did. Here.

It's the first real day of my vacation this week and I've thus far resisted logging into work email. I can tell my inbox is filling to burst, though. I can feel it. Cries from the great unwashed. Well, they'll just have to learn to clean themselves or stay dirty until Monday 'cause I've got more important things to do. Hawaii Five-0 is on, after all. The best ham and cheese to ever grace the small screen. Jack "The" Lord doesn't just chew the scenery, he lays out the silverware, slaps on the ketchup and wolfs it down with gusto. A great one today. Some disgraced ex-cop McGarrett had thrown off the force way back when for rampant corruption is now exacting his revenge, tormenting Steve-O, leaving anonymous threats and crazy non-clues and ultimately pinning a death sentence on the Governor (the Gov's assassination would ruin McGarrett's career apparently "because I'm responsible for his safety").

Five-0 commercials find me alternating between the beginnings of the pages of Third and Indiana and the rest of the HBO Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert resting out on my DVR. Springsteen and Rage against the Machine's Tom Morello doing Ghost of Tom Joad is incendiary (apologies to William Miller).

And the beat goes on ...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Channel Surfing with Dr G and Mary Louise

How come Dr. G doesn't have a Christmas Special?

Our intrepid forensics pathologist could be decked out in candy striped scrubs, perhaps a dead-but-decorated tree in the corner of the morgue (one of last year's models).  And holiday-themed corpses rolling in on twinkling-lighted gurneys, all set for their holly jolly standard Y incision.

A little eggnog with your Yuletide autopsies?  Why thank you!

And who're we wheeling under the mistletoe for the good doctor?  Perhaps a department store Santa who drops dead of a heart attack right in the middle of some little tyke sitting on his lap rattling off his Christmas wish list?  Or a guy who electrocutes himself while attempting to string up his outdoor Xmas Lights?  A man impaled when one of his roof-top reindeer decorations comes crashing down onto him, antlers first?  For the kids, how about a baby mauled to death by a barnyard goat during the manager scene of a church Christmas pageant?  Ho-ho-ho!  I think if anyone could make this work, our Dr. G could.  Medical Examiners celebrate the holidays too, I'm sure.  In their own special way.

Switching from Dr. G ...

I ended up watching a great Mary Louise Parker flick from 1994, Naked In New York.  I'm always thrilled when I stumble across a Mary Louise movie I haven't yet seen.  It's the next best thing to being there, as an AT&T commercial once explained.  Eric Stoltz and the Karate Kid are also featured in this b-movie and they're both likable enough.  Eric's been in some great movies over the years (Mask, The Waterdance, Some Kind of Wonderful, Pulp Fiction, Hi-Life), and of course Ralph Macchio had his one-two punch of Outsider Johnny and Karate Kid that cemented his place in the pantheon of 80's schlock greatness. (By the way, you can neatly tie together Ralph's work through references made by Matt Dillon characters.  As Dallas Winston in the Outsiders: "Let's do it for Johnny, Man!" - through to his role as Pat Healy in Something About Mary: "You know the classics - like Harold and Maude and the Karate Kid?".  But I digress.  And my Member's Only Jacket is clearly showing.)

These clowns are merely fodder, though; props to give my gal something to do, someone to interact with.  But Mary Louise ... man.  She continues to slay me.  I would kill for her.  Christ ... I sound like John Hinkley. (Jodie Foster?  Really, John?  Maybe 1990 Silence of the Lambs edition but certainly not the 1976 Taxi Driver model.  And as it turned out, you didn't stand a chance, even if she had been into insane loner killers.  She'd probably pass you by for Aileen Woornos.)  

Of course, my devotion is just good old fashioned healthy lust.  And I wouldn't literally kill for her.  After all, I don't own a gun and don't much care for knives.  So I speak of course only metaphorically.  But I would totally give somebody a real piece of my mind for her.  A real tongue lashing.  For sure.

Proactive Procrastination

Ahh, December.  The month of lists - the best and worst of the year ending and predictions for the year to begin.  It's also the month where many of us begin to take stock of personal accomplishments (or lack thereof) and to devise goals for the new year.  And of course many come in the form of the dreaded New Year's Resolutions.  As for me, there are definitely some things I need to get straight in my mind and then translate to action come 2010.

For instance ...

Cherry Coke Zero is not water, despite containing it.  It is not nearly as good for me, especially when consumed by the gallon on a daily basis.  Though probably much better than gin or beer or rat poison, certainly at the volume we're talking about here.  So I'm getting closer but have some work to do still.

Watching A&E's Sell This House does not constitute actually going about selling my house.

Vitamins provide no nutritional value unless I actually ingest them (glancing at the bottle sitting on the windowsill of the bathroom each morning doesn't qualify).  Vitamins are generally overrated but given my piss poor diet, they certainly can't hurt.

Though technically "exercise", traversing the "treacherous" staircase connecting the first and second floors of my house is not exactly scaling Everest.  Though to be fair, I have no Sherpa to guide me and generally make the journey without aid of supplemental oxygen (thus far).  Still, I need to develop and stick to a regular - and more importantly, real - exercise regiment.

Really I'm just being proactive in devising my list of New Year's resolutions I plan on subsequently ignoring, rather than waiting until the last minute to do so, as is my normal M.O.

Anyway, I usually throw up my Chinese New Year dodge when January 1st arrives, giving myself another several weeks of guilt-free procrastination.  Sort of like the groundhog seeing his shadow - it means ~six more weeks of last year.  Then the dragons dance down Arch Street in Chinatown here in Philly, the firecrackers explode, The Year of the Something turns the page to The Year of the Something Else and the guilt kicks in full stride: the gym not joined, the junk food not trimmed down, the house not repaired/cleaned/sold (or repaired and cleaned so that it might be sold).

But I will get a haircut today.  So there's that.  And I did go for a run yesterday (well, more a trot).  Baby steps.

And the upcoming year will be different!  After all, Chinese New Year 2010 is the Year of the Tiger and so was 1962, the year I was born.  That surely means something (it only happens every 12 years, according to the last menu I read).  Plus it falls on Valentines Day and that's gotta be some sort of sign too (besides the introduction of the Vermont Teddy Dragon - or Teddy Tiger - to complement their Teddy Bear).

The end of this god awful "00s" decade means it's time to start fresh.
Who knows?  I might just go crazy and get a hair cut and go for a run every month next year.