Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lunch in My Gut

I eat a lot of Smart Ones frozen entrees for lunch.

This was Tuesday.

No, wait. Not all at once. I mean, I frequently have one for lunch. One at a time. Per day. Whatever.

Anyway, I'm not a huge carnivore, so I typically get meatless varieties. And there are a lot of them, fortunately. Beans and rice, broccoli and cheddar potatoes, cheese ravioli - they're all pretty good. Every once in a while I'll get a chicken type (Thai style chicken and rice noodles - yum!). But I don't ever get anything made with beef. I rarely eat beef. Beloved Spouse isn't supposed to have red meat, and I don't really miss it. I cook with ground turkey, and although I'm not supposed to say this in Texas, I'm not a raving fan of either brisket or steak.

You can take the girl out of Milwaukee,
but she'll still crave bratwurst.
 The point is, when I eat frozen lasagna for lunch, I eat Smart Ones lasagna florentine. It's got zucchini and carrots in it, and no meat. It's really quite good.
But last week I went to the freezer to grab the day's lunch to take to work, and I realized that instead of this:

I had bought this:
I put it back in the freezer and I've been ignoring it ever since. But today I had nothing else to bring. (There's a little cafe in my office building that serves killer chicken tenders with mashed potatoes and white gravy, but I'm trying to keep my arteries clear right now, just for kicks.)

White gravy: Texas' greatest contribution to Western culture.
 So today I had lasagna with meat sauce for lunch. Now, I love lasagna with meat sauce when it's done right. But I had my doubts that Smart Ones was going to do it right. Not for $1.99.

Long story short, there's a whole mess of low-quality ground beef sitting in my gut right now. And it's not sitting pretty. All I can think of is Judge Reinhold in Beverly Hills Cop saying, "You know, it says here that by the time the average American is fifty, he's got five pounds of undigested red meat in his bowels."

I love me some Judge Reinhold.
Note to self: Read those packages carefully. The stomach that expects zucchini and gets ground cow is not a happy stomach. I'm making a list of things I can eat to make it up to my tummy. So far I've got brownies, bing cherries, yogurt-covered raisins, and vodka. That should do it. Maybe some ice cream. At least Blue Bell doesn't make any flavors containing meat. On the other hand, they're from Texas, so maybe I'll double-check the label before I dig in.

Texas Legislature Fails to Ground Commercial Flights

So the special legislative session in Austin has finally come to an end, and Gov. Rick "Don't Touch My Junk" Perry's pet anti-groping bill failed to become law.

In case you didn't read my earlier post on the topic, in a nutshell, Gov. Perry hates America. That's possibly over-simplified. Let me say it another way: Dick (damn sticky keyboard) Perry thinks the federal Transportaton Security Administration is overstepping its authority in the states through its controversial pat downs, which are an alternative to its controversial full-body scans. So he reintroduced a previously failed bill that would have made inappropriate touching during a security check a misdemeanor. Also, he couldn't stop giggling at the thought of the Texas Legislature debating a measure that contained the words "anus," "sexual organ," 'buttocks," and "breast."

"I yield the floor to my distinguished colleague, Rep. Beavis."
Never mind that the TSA threatened to shut down commercial air travel in Texas if we were going to start arresting federal agents. Gov. Perry flies by private jet, so neither his naughty bits nor his travel schedule were going to be disrupted.
The conservative majority of the Legislature would like you to know that the anti-groping bill did not fail to pass because of lack of support. It failed because too many of its supporters buggered off and went home early to allow it to come up for a final vote. As the bill's author, Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview), said, "As long as there is tyranny we must never cease to oppose it." Unless it makes you late for happy hour.

American gin is very patriotic.
The New American ran this hilarious article today about the heroic and tragic defeat of the bill, which I totally didn't know some conservatives were calling the Travelers' Dignity bill until I read it here. That's awesome. It's like the Alamo, which Rep. Simpson did not fail to compare to his brave doomed anti-groping measure. Because as all Texas schoolchildren know, just before Davy Crockett perished, he cried out, "Don't touch my anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast, dude!"

Then he demonstrated proper
TSA procedure on a bear.
Anyway, the bad news is the TSA is free to continue its ineffective and intrusive pat downs in Texas airports until the next legislative session begins in January 2013. The good news is the state gets to enjoy a reprieve from being a national laughingstock until January 2013.
By the way, Gov. Perry's other "emergency item" for the special session - the bill that would have outlawed sanctuary cities in Texas - also died from neglect. In a bit of poetic justice, a last-ditch attempt to graft the sanctuary language onto a school finance bill was abandoned out of fear that the finance bill wouldn't pass with the language attached. Those of you who live in Texas may remember the school finance bill: It was the reason the special session was called in the first place.

Bye-bye, 82nd Legislature. 'Til we meet again, fly safe.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Celebri-chimps. Or Maybe Chimp-lebrities.

This is a chimpanzee.

Oh, my gosh, how beautiful is this animal? Look at those expressive eyes! Granted, he may be thinking about nothing more clever than flinging poo at the next photographer who comes along. Or he may be wondering when humans will finally learn to communicate with him so he and his primate brethren can share the wisdom they've accumulated over so many millennia. Or pondering the degrees of separation between him and Cheeta, which I'll bet is a popular chimp pastime.

Whatever he's doing, he's doing it with an intelligence that some say rivals our own. And with a DNA match between chimps and humans of somewhere between 95 and 98 percent, it's no wonder they sometimes act and, yes, look a lot like us. Or vice versa.

That 2-5% genetic difference supposedly accounts for the evolutionary gap between us. I don't think we're too far apart, actually, other than our superior looks and obviously more advanced behavior. In fact, let's take a look at some of the simple behaviors that separate the primitive chimp from the sophisticated human.

The ability to act with CGI anacondas, make bootylicious music videos, and judge bad singing on national television.

The ability to practice Scientology, maintain a wildly erratic Hollywood career, and act like a bouncing lunatic on talk-show couches.

The ability to adopt hundreds of children with a common-law wife and star in incomprehensible Terence Malick films.

The ability to run for President despite not knowing the difference between a cowboy and a serial killer, and having to compete against that other total flake MILF conservative politician.

The ability to indulge in massive quantities of drugs and whores, get fired from a $2 million a week job, and go on a national tour despite having little stage presence and no act.

The ability to somehow manage to be a gay Japanese beloved sci-fi hero talk-show guest spokesperson compulsive Tweeter. (Oh myyyy.)

The ability to star in three increasingly pointless Transformers movies and take up more or less permanent residence in the gossip columns for various exploits not related to acting.

The ability to cause a worldwide sensation by kissing in public on their wedding day and be the young, beautiful faces of an archaic and crumbling monarchy.

The ability to make millions by starring as a wholesome teen on the Disney Channel, then turn 18 and blow the whole wad on slutty stage costumes and fake weed.

You know what? I shouldn't be comparing humans to chimpanzees. It's not nice, it's not true, and it's certainly not fair to the chimps. And if you can't figure out who I used as my homo sapiens models of behavior, scroll past the vociferous chimp for the answers.

Jennifer Lopez, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Michele Bachmann, Charlie Sheen, George Takei, Shia Laboeuf, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Miley Cyrus. Of all these, I think George Takei compares pretty favorably to a chimp. The rest are a bunch of monkeys.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

McNugget Jones

Precocious Daughter and I are in a fix. Or we need a fix. We share a craving that is so easy to satisfy, yet so wrong, that it's almost a moral dilemma. I'm talking about Chicken McNuggets.

I call shenanigans on this picture.
Everyone knows they travel in packs.
Last night we were watching TV together, and a McDonald's commercial came on. A Chicken McNuggets commercial, to be specific, featuring new dipping sauces. And at the same instant, PDaughter looked at each other and said, "I love Chicken McNuggets!"
And then we shouted "Jinx!", punched each other
in the arm, and drooled like this.
I eat at McDonald's maybe once a year. I'm not a huge fan of fast food in general, and McDonald's in particular. When I go, I either have a Sausage Biscuit for breakfast, or Chicken McNuggets for not-breakfast. And since I tend to alternate, that means I have McNuggets roughly once every two years. By this definition, and no other, I consider them a delicacy.

PDaughter was not raised on a McDonald's diet. Yes, I am a red-blooded American mom, yet my child hardly ever ate Mickey D's growing up. I've taken her occasionally, and she goes with friends occasionally, which is fine with me. I'm not one of those nutrition-police mothers who refuse to let junk food into the sacred temple of their child's body. She gets her daily quota of Cheetos and cookie dough along with fruit and yogurt and all that good stuff.

But since she was very young, her father and I have had one basic food rule: She eats what we eat. That means no mealtime substitutes (OK, we do let her choose a serving of fruit when we chow down on spinach - more for us!). It also means she doesn't eat what we don't eat. I don't eat a lot of fast food, and Beloved Spouse eats even less because it would kill him, and the last thing we're going to is make a special trip to McDonald's else just so she can fill up on over-processed empty calories while we look on in disgust. Instead we go someplace where we can fill up on over-processed empty calories that we all enjoy.

Thank you, CiCi's Pizza.
 Still, every so often, I start thinking about Chicken McNuggets. And I can't stop. I don't know what they put in them that gives me the McNugget jones, but it's some seductive shit.
Don't nobody escape McNugget Jones, honeymustard-child.

Unfortunately, I know what they do put in McNuggets.
Now, despite what you heard Jamie Oliver tell little kids, McDonald's does not use mechanically separated chicken, a substance so foul it requires specific labeling by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. That doesn't mean that McNuggets are healthy chunks of hand-selected chicken breast from God-fearing pullets. They're still the result of stewing and pressing and binding a lot of meat, corn, and chemicals into more or less nugget-shaped food units that are then breaded and fried.

And dunked! Let's not forget the dunking!

As Lebron did during the NBA Finals.
As if my biennial craving for Chicken McNuggets weren't already enflamed, the commercial PDaughter and I saw last night informed us that there are four new flavors of sauce available to up the sodium and calorie count of the little critters. They are Sweet Chili, Creamy Ranch, Honey Mustard, and Spicy Buffalo.

I like the way this McNugget actually seems to have
perished in a pool of Spicy Buffalo sauce.
I've always loved McDonald's Barbeque sauce on McNuggets. They go together so perfectly, like hipsters and ugly hats.

I could really go for any of these new flavors, though. PDaughter, on the other hand, eschews dunking sauce altogether in favor of ketchup. Which strikes me as a crime against food. Of course, when I was her age I used to put strawberry jelly on bologna, so I suppose it's just another example of my child being doomed by bad genetics. Sorry, kid.

Anyway, it seems to me a trip to McDonald's might be in our future. Since BelSpouse is teaching evening classes this summer, we're having girls' nights. And what's a girls' night without some inappropriate food?

Bad food! That is just inappropriate.
And hey...since I haven't been to Mickey D's in a while, does anyone know if they still have Arctic Orange shakes?

That's good eatin'!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Very Important Question

We're having a difference of opinion in the Baudelaire household. And it's pretty important, so I'd like my faithful readers to weigh in.

It has to do with cookies and cream ice cream.
Three scoops is the minimum recommended serving size.
The first thing you should know about this raging debate is that we're talking specifically about Blue Bell Cookies 'n Cream. Blue Bell is hands-down the best grocery-store ice cream there is. If you live in one of the 20 states where it's sold, you know this. If you don't...plan a trip.

Blue Bell is made in Brenham, Texas, northwest of Houston. It's full of cows...Brenham, that is, not Blue Bell. Blue Bell is full of cow milk. For years it's been said that the reason Blue Bell ice cream tastes so good is that the cows think Brenham is heaven. The company's advertising is full of corny homespun humor like that. But it doesn't affect the flavor of the ice cream, which is awesome.

Blue Bell first popularized cookies and cream as an ice cream flavor in the early 1980s. There's some debate as to who actually invented vanilla ice cream with Oreos (or similar chocolate sandwich cookies) crumbled up in it. But there's no doubt (in my mind) that Blue Bell does it best.

If you don't see this in your local supermarket,
you live in a land of ice cream barbarism. I weep for you.
So here's the hotly debated question that came up over the weekend: Is it poor quality control or awesome good fortune to find a whole or nearly whole cookie in your bowl of Cookies 'n Cream ice cream?

There is a very specific reason the current household debate centers around Blue Bell Cookies 'n Cream. Quite simply, you're not going to find an intact sandwich cookie in any other brand. (Here's what it looks like, as captured on someone's Flickr page.) In other brands, you're lucky to find fingernail-size chunks. Mostly you get crumbs or fragments. With some of the cheaper brands, you get vanilla ice cream that seems to be plagued with black speckles, so pulverized are the "cookies" within. They go farther when you grind 'em up small, and it's cheaper that way.

But Blue Bell has a magical ratio of small bits of cookie that pleasantly flavor the ice cream to large pieces that you actually have to chew and swallow separately. Digging the scoop into a carton of Blue Bell Cookies 'n Cream and coming up against a solid chunk of cookie is akin to what treasure hunters must have felt when their shovel finally fetched up against a pirate's chest after a long day of digging.

Yar, there be Moose Tracks here!
Beloved Spouse had the good fortune to turn up a significant portion of a cookie as he helped himself to the last bowl of ice cream. Only he didn't see it that way. He took the position that it was a failure of quality control that would allow such an unwieldy hunk of creme-filled cookie to make it through the production line. Precocious Daughter and I disagreed vehemently. Finding big cookie in your Cookies 'n Cream is like matching the third number on your lottery scratch-off ticket: It's payday.

Winner winner cookie dinner.
So what do you think? Hunka hunka cookie = magic or tragic? You know where I stand. While I'm at it, let me weigh in on the subject of spouses who take the last bowl of ice cream without even offering you a taste...

(Oh, and if you know of some other brand of c and c that is generous with its chunkage, let me know that, too!)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Night Out

Last night Beloved Spouse and I went to the theatre. The thea-TAH, baby! It was wonderful, for all kinds of reasons. Other than a few quick jaunts to grab a bite to eat, it was the first time BelSpouse and I had gone out since before his surgery. An evening out is a rare enough occasion for us, but even more so since he's been recovering, and it was badly needed before our our relationship dynamic permanently changed to nurse-patient. You know, instead of bickering-spouses-who-have-been-together-for-a-ridiculously-long-time.They appear similar on the surface, but in the former I have to pretend I don't want to smother him with his own pillow. It felt good to shed that artifice.

So. We went to see Spamalot, which we'd both been wanting to see forever. It was fabulous. We laughed, we sang along, we said "Ni!" Bliss for Monty Python fans, possibly not so much for those who don't know or don't like the famed British comedy troupe. And there seemed to be a surprising number of those types in attendance. But more on that in a moment.

For me, the best part about a real date - as opposed to the normal longtime-marrieds dates that involve window shopping at the mall or browsing in a favorite bookstore - is that the actual event is only one part of the overall experience. You get to see things and do things and be exposed to things that are sheer novelty. When you have an office job and a kid and a very predictable routine, sheer novelty takes on the stature of high art. It's almost as if the whole world is putting on a show just for you, and you actually get to enjoy it instead of popping up every time the oven timer sounds or the dryer cycle stops or the cat herks up a hairball. On date night, thankfully there is no pause button to accommodate distractions; the only way to experience everything is to stay in the moment. And if I'm rhapsodzing a bit here, then perhaps you can understand what a rare and exhilarating treat last night was.

If your life is going to be a Van Gogh painting, which would you prefer?

To preserve my memories of my date night for posterity - after all, I may not have another one for a while - I've compiled a list of Impressions from a Night Out. Cue appropriate music (I'm thinking either "Ein Kleine Nachtmusik" or "Yakety Sax.")

1. Dallas is renowned for having a downtown that dries up and blows away outside of bankers' hours. Yet somehow the main freeway through the downtown area can still have a paralyzing traffic jam at 7:30 on a Saturday night. Do they hire stunt cars to create the illusion there's something happening there?

This photo of a traffic-free I-30 was taken during some kind of zombie apocalypse, apparently.

2. Our destination for the evening was the beautiful Music Hall at Fair Park. Fair Park is located in what might delicately be called not one of the better parts of Dallas. Still, I'm shocked at the number of people who have never gone there even once because they're afraid, in the words of one of BelSpouse's friends, "the black people will get you."


In well over 20 years of attending the State Fair of Texas and other events at Fair Park, I've never so much as been given the stink eye, let alone fallen victim to the kind of rampant crime and general lawlessness that supposedly runs amok there. I have no doubt those problems exist in the area. But I've seen worse things happen in my own suburban neighborhood than I've ever personally witnessed in and around Fair Park.

3. People have interesting ideas of what "dressing for the theatre" means. I mean, no one expects black tie and evening gowns at Spamalot. But why don't people enjoy dressing up? Do they attend so many formal galas that they see a night at the theatre as an excuse to let their hair down? For me, practically the best part about the entire night was that I got to evening bag!

With beads and everything!

Plus I got to wear my purple peep-toe pumps and lots of makeup and an extra layer of hairspray. I felt like Barbie (in a good way, and without the bizarre body measurements).

To be sure, there were plenty of folks who were dressed nicely. But there were also, um, other folks. For example, a surprising number of middle-aged men seem to believe that no evening ensemble is complete without a Hawaiian shirt.  Also, I noted that tucking in shirt tails is considered optional for many. Hint: there are shirts that are meant to be worn "out," and shirts that are not. Even BelSpouse, hardly a sartorial genius, knows the difference.

If the shirttail's not flat, tuck it in, stat!
Among the women, it was good to see that dressing as if your entire existence revolved around bedding a professional athlete is still going strong as a look.

Dressing like a hoochie-mama helps, but it's the
sash that gets you to the altar. Ask Mrs. Romo.
4. The ladies' room at the Music Hall is the most efficient high-volume restroom I've ever seen. A staff of five uniformed attendants kept us moving briskly from line to stall to sink to door. It was choreography to rival anything I saw onstage. The speed with which we moved was almost a pity in one way: It limited the time I got to spend with my new friend, Extremely Drunk Nurse Who Talked Like Fran Drescher and Hated the Show But Desperately Wanted to Score with One of the Nice Doctors Who Brought Her. She was a hoot, and she loved my dress. I wish we had had time to exchange e-mail addresses before we were whisked to toilets on opposite sides of the room.

5. The season-ticket holders in the audience were easy to spot. They were the ones who were visibly horrified by the show they were watching. Like the couple sitting next to us, who never once spoke, laughed, or applauded the entire evening, then bolted toward the exit before the curtain calls were over. I'm not sure what kind of musical they were expecting. Perhaps not one featuring songs about gay knights and Jews on Broadway, or jokes involving decapitation by a vicious rabbit. Spamalot won the Tony for Best Musical in 2005; it's not a new show that no one's ever heard of. Still, it's pretty easy to Google "Monty Python," "Eric Idle," or "huge tracts of land" and know what you're in for. No complaints, though; the shock and awe among some of the patrons was at least as entertaining as the production itself.

6. In addition to the cast CDs and souvenir T-shirts available for purchase in the lobby, you could buy your very own set of fake coconut shells. I found this fascinating, as you can buy a real coconut for a few bucks, enjoy the tasty coconut meat, and have authentic shell halves for making horse noises instead of some tacky overpriced piece of crap that wasn't even marked with the show name or logo. And now I think a Mounds bar is in my future. Mmmm...coconut.

7. Before the show, BelSpouse and I ate at our current favorite Italian restaurant. I feel a bit guilty about eating here. We have a long history of shutting down Italian restaurants. Seriously, for a while every new place we tried closed down after the first or second time we tried it. I'll never forget the shrimp parmagiana at Napoli's in Addison, which is a good thing because no sooner had we named it "our place" than it closed. But oh man, the manicotti at Alfredo's in Carrollton is good. If you live nearby, please patronize it, because we'd feel awfully guilty if we destroyed yet another family's livelihood.

8. And what about the show itself? Awesome. Eric Idle is a genius. The songs were amazing (especially "Find Your Grail," which managed to be hilarious and heartfelt at the same time). The actor who played Patsy managed to steal the show. And who doesn't love can-can-dancing French Legionnaires?

So...two thumbs up for Spamalot, and for date night. I hope to do it again soon. According to the poster at the Music Hall, The Addams Family is part of next season's schedule. Creepy, kooky, altogether ooky...sounds like the perfect night out.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thanks, I Needed That

I am in sore need of cheering up today.

Beloved Spouse is feeling down about his continuing recovery from surgery. He's in glass-half-empty mode; instead of seeing that he was promptly diagnosed, had an excellent surgeon who performed a flawless operation, and has received caring support from a wife and daughter who love him very much, he sees a cruel world that afflicted him with a medical condition that has left him with lingering (albeit temporary) discomfort and disability. And what possible use is stupid love against intermittent mild pain?

The turkey's a little dry! Whyyyyyyy?
Also, I keep bumping up against reminders that the Web is full of writers who are far more talented and creative than I. Like Allie Brosh. And Jenny Lawson. And Robert Brockway. Just to name three whose brilliant work has slapped me in the face yet again this week. Go click on those links and check out their stuff, as millions of other people do. Go ahead, I'll wait. I always wait.

See? They're wonderfully, depressingly entertaining. And so I'm having a bit of a wallow in the self-pity pool right now.

Who am I kidding? I'll never be able to
wallow like a black rhino. That bastard's good.
To combat these feelings of inadequacy, I've turned to my usual therapy: Eating and drinking too much. Which is not actually as therapeutic as you might think. Oh sure, chugging Bacardi Silver Sangria and chasing it with cookie dough blots out the pain of inadequacy. But under the law of Conservation of Negativity, it seems that self-destructive emotions cannot be created or destroyed but only transformed from one state to another. So instead of feeling hopelessly untalented, after a night of malt beverages and raw eggs I wake up feeling pathetically weak-spirited. Also a couple of pounds heavier, which really bolsters that old self-esteem.

Bacchus may have been a god, but he was still fat,
immature, and had baste in headgear.
Don't worry: I have decades of experience dealing with feeling f'd up. And a standing prescription for Prozac. So I know this will sort itself out and all those negative emotions will go back into the small windowless cells they call home and I'll be back to my normal blissful state of denial in no time.

But still, right now, today, I'm feeling a little mopey.

Or I was, until I found something that cheered me right the crap up. Had me laughing out loud, in fact. And it felt so good I had to share it.

Oh, Fox News. I should have known I could count on you to make me spit coffee out my nose.

Now, I know that as you're looking at that headline, you're having one of two thoughts: "That's not funny, it's incredibly depressing" or "Yeeeeeeee-haw! Dayum straight!" followed by several celebratory gunshots being fired randomly into the air as is our God-given right. Either way, where is the humor in that?

To which I say: Are you kidding? It's oozing out of every line of this story by Kevin McCullough, who is some kind of conservative pundit. I never heard of him; the only conservative pundit I follow is Stephen Colbert, but this guy is just as funny. For example, the title of his article is "Five Reasons Why I Believe Texas Governor Rick Perry Will Be Our President in 2013" (hilarious enough by itself), but the actual topic is...Kevin McCullough.  Specifically, his "new best selling book, No He Can't: How Barack Obama is Dismantling Hope and Change," which he mentions way before he ever gets around to talking about, uh, that dude in Texas and oh by the way did you hear my appearance on the nationally syndicated Mancow Radio Experience?

But when he does get around to discussing the guy the headline writer named as the actual star of the piece (who I'm sure will be fired for his error), McCullough just lays on the comedy gold. Like when he says that Gov. Dick Perry (as I call him because we's tight) has created a ton of jobs in Texas. And if you don't live in Texas or have access to U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics data, that sounds pretty good and not at all chucke-worthy. If you didn't know that in the last three years Texas's labor force has grown by 660,000 people, while the number of employed people has grown by only 240,000, you wouldn't get the humor in McCullough's assertion that the man who oversaw that "growth" should become our next President.

He could do this for America!
Also hilarious: McCullough says Gov. Perry "understands...state sovereignty." The understatement alone made me laugh. See, the joke is that Gov. Perry hates the federal government. Now, he never, as has been attributed to him at length, actually said he wanted Texas to secede from America. But he's made it clear that he thinks Texas law should supercede federal law in the matter of airport security, and karmic law in the matter of just about everything else.

I actually had a chance to hear Gov. Perry speak in person a few months ago. His allotted topic was green energy technology, but the substance of his remarks was "The government is so retarded, hey?" According to Dick, Texas is too bitchin' to have to meet clean air standards, achieve educational targets, contribute to federal transportation programs, or pledge allegiance to the flag it grudgingly displays alongside the flag of the Once and Future Republic of Texas. So when McCullough says Gov. Perry should run for President of the United States, and thereby head a federal government for which he expresses nothing but contempt on a regular basis, it's a laff riot.

That's the same thing as a laff riot, right?
McCullough also cracks me up by touting Gov. Perry's conservative values. These include, as far as I was able to make out through the tears of mirth, shooting thingstrampling women's rights, gutting the judicial process, and solving problems that don't exist. On a completely unrelated topic, did you know that the Governor didn't actually oppose the conservative hot-button topic of immigration law "sanctuary cities" until a few months ago? Or that he supported Al Gore in the 1988 Presidential election because he thought Gore was a conservative? That right there is the funniest freaking thing I've heard this week, so I'll say it again: Rick Perry thought Al Gore was a conservative and was disappointed to learn otherwise. That's awesome.

Anyway, when McCullough says that Gov. Perry will "bring together the conservatives," it's very ironic. The irony is that Gov. Perry will spout a bewidlering array of random and poorly-thought-out positions, and that theoretically will convince the diverse and fractured conservative constituency of the United States that he stands on a solid conservative platform. If that platform was strewn with banana peels and whoopee cushions it couldn't be any funnier.

All in all, I'm grateful to Kevin "Hey, I Wrote a Book" McCullough for penning this piece for Fox News. I so needed a good laugh. I also needed to feel better about myself as a writer, and it certainly has done that. I wonder if McCullough ever writes about whiny husbands or booze? Man, that would make my day.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Five Random Bits of Wisdom

Here are some pieces of information I find worthy of passing along to you, my wonderful readers, on this fine day. Don't worry, you won't learn anything.

1. Krazy Glue warnings are not exaggerating. When they say "Don't get this shit on you because it sticks like ugly to ape," they mean it. I just noticed that my right-hand pinky nail is shiny. I haven't put on nail polish in ages, so I know it's not remnants of an old manicure. But I did use some Krazy Glue last weekend to fix a piece of laminate countertop that had come loose. Apparently, a drop got on my pinky nail, and despite showering every day and washing my hands and doing dishes and laundry and other soap-and-watery things since then, it's still there. In fact, I just tried scraping it off, and the top layer sort of flaked off, but only a little. I think it's there until the nail grows out, unless I want to soak my finger in Goo Gone. And I do not. Conclusion: Krazy Glue does not mess around, folks.

Imagine if he had put this on his butt.
2. My stage name has been taken. On the Nickelodeon show "iCarly," there is recurring character called T-Bo. He works at a smoothie shop, where he sells various food items (including tacos) on a stick. Funny guy. He's played by an actor who is listed in the show's credits as BooG!e. Which is perhaps the most awesome stage name ever, and I'm sad that my long-held dream of using it as my own alias will now never come true due to SAG regulations.

His real name is Bobby Bowman.
Wouldn't you go by BooG!e instead?
3. The people who make U.S. drug laws must be on drugs. Anti-drug crusaders and the United States government oppose the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana on the grounds that it has no medical uses and is a "gateway drug." I think these people mostly still believe the damn hippies are going to take over America unless something is done to stop them, or else are offering their opinion under the influence of completely safe and legal Everclear. I'm not going to argue whether pot should be legal, but it's interesting to look at the reasons why it isn't.

It's estimated that a million people or so use marijuana for medicinal purposes. While I'm sure some of those "patients" suffer primarily from acute "I really like getting high," there's compelling evidence that pot can stimulate appetite, suppress nausea, and ease pain. All of which sound pretty medically useful to me. By comparison, PCP is considered "medically useful" because a long time ago it was used an anesthetic, before people started calling it "angel dust" and dying of overdoses in cheap motels.

Also, anti-pot evangelists really push the idea that using marijuana leads directly to hard drug use, moral turpitude, and promotions within the vice squad. The truth is, although pot is widely considered a "gateway drug," many of the drugs it's supposed to be a gateway to are classified as less dangerous substances than pot itself. Cocaine, morphine, PCP, and methamphetamine are all considered "Schedule II" drugs, while marijuana is a "Schedule I" drug. In other words, to paraphrase from the really thought-provoking documentary "A Chronic History," weed is allegedly a gateway to less-harmful drugs than itself. Which is sort of like outlawing chocolate because it makes people crave broccoli.

Pretty soon you'd have people mainlining salads and whatnot.
Forgive me for believing that if the government is going to spend billions of dollars harassing college students and glaucoma patients, it should at least sit down and come up with some better reasons.

4. Georgia has the coolest State Capitol building in America. The Capitol building in Atlanta has its own museum showcasing various items from the state's rich and varied history. About 50,000 schoolchildren tour the Capitol every year, and the museum is their favorite part. Why? Because along with exhibits about the state's geography, archaeology, and culture, it features a stuffed and mounted two-headed calf. For a time I traveled to Atlanta quite a lot for business, and I feel like an idiot for never making a pilgrimage to this shrine to polycephaly.

It would be even cooler if the heads
were named Scarlett and Rhett.
5. Leslie Nielsen's epitaph is a fart joke. I don't know what more to say, except I hope he's in Heaven asking St. Peter to pull his finger every single day. 
Who knew that "RIP" wasn't actually an acronym?
Now go do something productive. You've wasted enough time. Or you could try to decipher the secret code I've embedded in today's post. Hint: It's probably easier to see if you have a little weed first.