Monday, April 26, 2010

"Oh, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now."

Raquel Welch turns 70 this year. Damn I feel old. She turned 22 the day after I was born. I looked it up after seeing her in a Foster Grant ad campaign on TV and not believing my eyes (yes, that's the 69 year old to the left in the aforementioned commercial). She looks pretty darn good for 70 (actually, looks pretty good for 40). I imagine that she deserves a lot of credit; however, the lion's share is probably owed to Hollywood's best FX magicians (medically licensed and otherwise).

I'll say this: she looks younger and healthier than 23 year old Lindsay Lohan. And that can't be attributed to make up or plastic surgery. But in both cases, chemistry is definitely involved ...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The magnetic attraction of dicks and bellingham

Ahh, Bellingham, Washington. My dad was born and spent his early years there before his family moved down south to Seattle.  His stepfather was but one of a plethora of Buzzards concentrated in the vicinity, many associated with the venerable Buzzard Iron Works, an icon of sorts for a time there.  The aforementioned Robert Buzzard, Jr. was a miserable SOB by all accounts, someone who cursed us with the vulture moniker by adopting my dad after marrying his widowed mother.  I have no Buzzard blood and would otherwise have been Steve Finnegan.  Fuck wad.  (Grammar question: is fuck wad one word or two?)

Ironically,  ol' man Bob apparently acted like he resented having adopted my dad (or perhaps he was just disappointed in the mess Chuck later made of his life).  I wish he'd have gone with his instincts.  I personally remember little to nothing about the guy (we didn't visit all that often and when we did, I don't recall him there).   There's a little burb at the end of this obit page that lists several notable dead Buzzards from Bellingham, including my step-gramps (and his father).

Anyway, there was a story online today that got me thinking of Bellingham.  Some guy in a store reeked of a foul odor and when a worker there tried to tell him so in as tactful a manner as one could muster under the circumstances, the guy threw batteries at him and punched him in the face.  Somehow the story had, for me, Bellingham written all over it.

Speaking of dicks, it's simply amazing the percentage of ads (and spam) across all spectrum of media related to the core issue of erectile dysfunction (now universally known as ED; I think even young kids are taught this in school).  I feel sorry for those afflicted who also "take nitrates for chest pain," since they apparently can't avail themselves of Viagra, Cialis, et. al.  Presumably if they take nitrates for other reasons, they're golden.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

The Tea Party movement really has me baffled. Especially when taxes have gone down for the vast majority of those who identify with the cause. It's just one perspective but I'm of a mind that there's more going on here than simple righteous indignation over Wall Street excesses and horror over the health care legislation.

It's funny that the same folks bemoaning government involvement in health care are also up in arms over the decision to have less government involvement in space exploration. It's like a bunch of 7 year old boys who can't get enough of bombs and astronauts but have no use for playing nurse (that's for "girl" countries). Christ. No wonder we've had so many presidents who either resembled, played or actually were soldiers and cowboys. We haven't elected an astronaut president yet (but we have put a few into congress). Something so basic and necessary as health care already has government involvement that we pay too much for in taxes, footing the tab for what becomes of that portion of our society that didn't and don't have health and have become a chronic long term drain on the system. Or for the people who use the emergency room as their primary care facility. We end up having to subsidize all this indirectly but no less costly. It's cheaper by far in the long run to ensure folks have preventative care in the first place. Health care is even more essential than education, to my mind (it's tough to educate someone who's sick and even tougher when they're dead). Space exploration is important, sure (and I'm as big a space nut as anyone). But in comparison our more basic needs, there's no contest. Just one bum's opinion.

"We want our country back" seems to be the battle cry. Where did it go? There isn't any more government involvement or control now than there had been over the previous eight years of the Bush administration. In fact, it can be argued that there is less involvement (at least of the more insidious variety). I always had the feeling with Bush/Cheney that if they could, they'd round up all of us who didn't share their vision of a blue-eyed gun-toting America-first Jesus due back to earth any time to strike down all those who didn't fit the mold and send us all to re-education camp until we saw the light. It seemed that so many of their decisions were made with this joyous end-game dancing in their heads.

Obama's making his share of missteps for sure, mainly I think in terms of communication and often in trying to bite off more than he can chew. But, man, I've never heard so much outrage about so little. I can see and appreciate and share in the colossal uproar about our financial institutions excesses that resulted in its collapse, a global depression, real estate crisis, and the government bailout that followed. But that happened before Obama came into office. The decision to bail them out was made by the Bush administration (though Obama agreed with and ultimately instituted it). I'd have personally let the institutions die and the chips fall where they may. Likely it would have been disastrous and probably it's good I'm not in charge. More than a few have postulated that there's a bit of "give me back my (white) country" going on here. Maybe not on a conscious level. But it's definitely there.

But enough about the sorry state of our political discord and other such mindless drivel. I wanted to talk about important things. Like television commercials.

I find commercials provide a good framework for articulating the ups and downs of life. They can also inspire hatred and love in my heart. Truly. Charles Schwab and the Chase Sapphire Visa couple bring out the vitriol in me like nothing else on this planet. I want to kill them and their families. Same with the Progressive Insurance gal. Conversely, I love the Old Spice ads and feel the same regarding the Most Interesting Man in the World.

Stay thirsty, my friends.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I figured Tiny Fey on SNL last night deserved a mention: there were actually a couple of funny moments on a show that doesn't often have them these days.  Brownie Husband might have been the best, and Fey's Palin hawking her own network was pretty great as well.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saudi Sorcery and Middle Eastern Country Western Remembrances

So the Saudis are on the brink of sawing a guy's head off for practicing "black magic" (i.e., fortune telling). Gotta love it. Granted, "Uncle Arthur" was pretty stupid for flying to Saudi Arabia in the first place, but it turns out he's a devout Shiite Muslim and was on a Hajj pilgrimage from his home country of Lebanon when he was arrested in 2008. Apparently Crockett and Tubbs from Medina Vice recognized this master criminal from the fortune telling TV show he does back in Lebanon and nabbed his ass to protect the faithful. Guess they don't burn their witches in SA and drowning is likewise too rock and roll. No faddish post-modern Salem stuff for them - beheadings are ever classic (they never seem to go out of style). Global outrage has succeeded in one stay of execution for our intrepid warlock but it's just a matter of time before they take a little too much off the top and that ol' black magic hasn't afforded him a means of escape (they must have his nose immobilized or else he'd have twinkled himself free by now, Samantha-style, though perhaps that only works for witches). Through it all, we American's just seem to go right on loving the Saudi government. What's a little human rights violation here, the number #1 breeding ground of terrorism there, when you're sitting on the lion's share of the world's oil reserves.

I had a chance to spent several weeks in Bahrain a little over 19 years ago and had a chance to witness the surreal on a nightly basis courtesy of the country western bar attached to my hotel. The Saudi Arabian government puts alcohol on similar footing with sorcery, so many of their citizens would make the drive over the causeway into Bahrain to get hammered at this shit kicker bar, in full out middle eastern garb save for the cowboy boots sticking out from under their robes. They'd be "ye-hawing" and two stepping it on the dance floor all evening and then presumably drive blind drunk over the causeway back to the land of no-no-no. They seemed to be good guys mostly - hopefully they didn't kill themselves or somebody else (or lose their head at a DWI checkpoint). "I'm sorry, sir - have you been drinking? Yes? Could you please keep your chin up? You won't feel a thing ..." I'm not condoning drunk driving, certainly. Nor do I think much of fortune tellers - most of them are con artists and the rest simply fools, in my eyes. I don't think decapitation is the answer, though.

Personally, all this is just more affirmation of my passionate belief in non-belief. History is littered with such acts and far worse in the name of God; no religion is immune from this - certainly not those dealing in absolutes, which includes all the major ones.

So the Saudis are on my list. As are the Chase Sapphire couple who've seemingly amassed an endless supply of points having never actually used their credit card to earn them. I hope they ski off a mountain. And as always, "Chuck" Schwab. May everyone associated with these two advertising campaigns fry in their own special hell, forced to watch their insipid commercials endlessly for all eternity.

Happy Easter, Ester, Passover, Pass out, or whatever other reason you find to be happy. Just try not to be happy at the expense of another person's head ...

As Mr. Zimmerman said, "When you're lost in the rain in Juarez and it's Easter time too ..."