Thursday, June 30

Jazz Thumbs

Ready yourselves. I'm about to go all Siskel & Ebert on you.

I re-watched the Poseidon Adventure last night.



Great flick, Shelley Winters and Gene Hackman both 'taking one for the team', so that a pesky set of kids, a dumb non-swimming blonde, and the granddad from the Willy Wonka movie can be picked-up by a rescue crew who just happen to be there at the same time they reach the bottom of the boat ... at which point they bundle them into the 'copter and then just fuck off.

Also, I still find it weird that both the Gene Hackman and Red Buttons characters attract much younger girls in the movie.

Watched Dear Zachary this week. Great documentary, bummer ending.

Last weekend we went to see the latest Woody Allen flick. I loved it, Anne not so much, but then again I'm pretentious. I laughed heartily at references to Spanish Cubist cinema, and the jokes told in French.

The Art-House cinema near our house is a trip ... they don't sell Twizzlers. Instead they sell Odwalla health bars to beardy wanker hipsters not a lot unlike myself, postulating about the upcoming depressathon South African movie where to quote South Park, "Everyone Has AIDS".

Good times.

Tuesday, June 28

Deer Me

Another gem from my trip to Cleveland last week.

My dear Father-in-Law was busy 'at it' with the deer repellant when we arrived from the La Quinta on Saturday morning.

Just as he put the industrial spray bottle back on the shelf of his garage after a healthy 15 minutes of spraying, a massive deer strutted it's way across the back yard.

If deers could speak, I imagine this one was saying, "Fuck all of you." Except it would have come out as "Fwuc call achoo", as the mega-sized Bambi had a mouthful of my Mother-in-Law's geraniums in it's mouth.

Deers, they come across as all bouncy and lovely ... and then they fuck you up!

What's better than Pi?

2 Pi of course!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13906169

Monday, June 27

Choo Choo

So Anne announced to me that she wanted to try a 'white noise' app to help her sleep at night.

Last night we fell asleep to the slow rhythmical noise of a cross-country train.

The last time we fell asleep on a train was with two Italian teenagers and a couple of nuns, which sounds like the set up to a 70s porn movie, but was in fact a sleeper train from Paris to Rome in the 90s.

Anyhow. I slept for 9 hours last night. Anne probably scraped 4 hours.

Back to the drawing board.

Sunday, June 26

By the time I get to Phoenix

On my 5 hour flight to Phoenix Friday, the Japanese guy in the window seat had to go pee 3 times. He was as apologetic as hell each time, but really? 3 times?

On-board, the mustached flight attendant (male fortunately), pushed the food cart down the aisle and instead of the usual "Any food purchases?" line he went with the rather obscure, "Any items from the Air Café?"

Air Café? You're selling 1,300 calorie snack boxes not delightful pastries and Italian beverages.

Phoenix was hot, quelle surprise!

The Advantage car rental guy tried in vain to get me to spend more with a collection of insurances and pre-pays, and finished with a reminder to avoid driving into Mexico. To be fair I look like a cartel guy.

My hotel was one of those "Hotels of America", which means it is old yet cool, invariably haunted and decidedly noisy. I had frat boys on one side and family of four with pesky teenagers to the other. I heard every conversation they had, including the one at 1am when the hotel manager came and told the guys to pipe down and go to sleep. Amen.

I got up at 4am on Saturday and made as much noise as possible. Flushed the toilet repeatedly, sang in the shower and put the Weather Channel on ... apparently it was going to be a hot one in Phoenix (shocking).

The valet guy looked like Quentin Tarantino, and coincidentally, much like QT's movie construction style, the valet's directions to the airport where non-linear. That's fine for Pulp Fiction, but in my experience directions need to be in the correct sequence.

Finally, on the flight home I sat patiently to see who I would be sat next to. As I saw 2 cowboy hatted guys enter the plane I instinctively knew. And sure enough they had middle and window. Upon second glance, as one of them put his saddle in the overhead locker, I realized they were the guys from The Amazing Race.

Here's what I liked about them. 5 hour flight. No books, music, food, drink or talking. And best of all, no peeing.

Thursday, June 23

98.6

Both the average body temperature, and often a crappy country station no matter where you live.

Tomorrow I'm off to Phoenix, Arizona, where the current temp is 107.1°F, which happens to be the frequency of one of ten Ranchero stations in Phoenix. What's not to love about accordion driven Spanish folk music?

Back to my original thought. The outside temp will be hotter than my insides. Spooky.

I've never been to Phoenix, but I envisage a city that feels like a sauna. Hopefully there'll be no fat guy with a tiny towel sat in front of me.

Wednesday, June 22

Zzzz Snap



In their seminal hit of the 90s, Snap had "Got the Power". Fans may also remember that later on they were "as serious as cancer" when they said that "rhythm is a dancer".

In one of my most tenuous links yet, I took my car to the garage on Tuesday, and unlike Snap, Audi did not have the power.

A simple check of a valve and a State Inspection took more than 3.5 hours, because every 10 minutes or so, the power would cut out in the garage and front office. The shiny waiting room where I sat all this time did not lose power, so I got to enjoy morning television, and all the Keurig coffee I could slurp.

Strangely the TV didn't capture my imagination, and I managed to read a book, yes a whole book, while the grease monkey fiddled with my piece of German engineering.

I'll start work on a vaguely amusing reference to strawberry preserve and see if I can work in Pump Up the Jam by Technotronic, and keep the 90s alive.

Monday, June 20

Treason Calling ...

I know this breaks the unwritten American law of always respecting the troops, but I've noticed recently that the airlines allow active servicemen to board the plane first.

Do you know how many air-miles you need to get Priority Boarding? I flew first class to Australia last year and I'm still only in the 3rd set of boarders with American Airlines.

Do you really think the Gate Attendant would have the balls to ask for my credentials if I showed up in camouflage fatigues, and dog tags?

This also reminds me of a trip to Canada many years ago, when I saw a guy dressed as Napoleon walking through security. He placed his triangular hat and big leather boots on the belt and walked through the machine. He set the machine off, but the magic wand guy just waved the buzzer over his ornate metal buttons and then sent him on his way.

Nobody questioned why he was dressed from the 19th Century (or one of the twats from Coldplay)

I'm heading off to the Army & Navy store ...

Sunday, June 19

Positivity?

I always try to set off for a sunny weekend in Cleveland with a jump in my stride and the positive lyrics of Patti LaBelle's song "I got a new attitude" playing in my tiny brain.

Sadly, yet invariably by the time the plane touches down in OH, a tuba is playing 4 descending notes denoting the total pisser/bummer combo that air travel in the US has become.

On route to Logan, Anne had to test the quality of her new car brakes, when the world's first considerate pick-up truck driver decided to stop, without warning, for a blind woman who was still making her mind up whether to cross 30 feet away.

Next on the car test checklist was the horn, which Anne administered to the slow moving moron edging towards the ticket machine at the pace of a fat rambler on a humid day. As usual my quasi-audition for backing vocals in the James Brown band was denied, but I repeatedly muttered "Gimme some horn" for the next few minutes.

In the line for security the TSA greeter (how fucked up must you be to not get the WalMart version of this job?) stood in the middle of the lane, oblivious to the growing throng of travelers stood behind him. From throng, to thong ... yep, as ever there was someone digging shit out of their bag who should be wearing larger underwear.

Actual security was done by a woman with tight pants, a highlighter pen and nails probably done at place called "Nails by Simone". Post scrutiny we chose the line for X-Ray that did NOT contain the smug stroller-pushing water-bottle carrying, North Face dressed Mom. Sadly the dude in front of us was the equally smug Dad, and they were hedging their security line bets.

With the trays in sight there was a 5 minute delay ... for God knows what. Looks like I picked a bad life to be an atheist.

And then with all of our Glad-bagged toiletries laid bare and just one more push required to send the stuff onto the game-show style conveyor belt. Stop.

Bag check required. 5 TSA guys all doing fuck-all while someone presumably from another terminal waddled over. Even more annoying the smug parents beat us through the checkpoint. Curses!

While Anne bemoaned the complete lack of quality magazines sold in Hudson News, I pondered why it's impossible to buy anything less than 20oz of soda these days. Meanwhile I finally saw the woman who buys her travel gifts in the airport. Some lucky family are dividing up 20 fluffy lobster toys and a dozen Boston pencil sharpeners.

Continental in their wisdom chose to display the wrong destination and status on the board by the gate. When questioned about this, they decided piss poor attitude to their customers was the best course of action.

The plane was relatively trouble free. 4 Japanese kids each carried on their round-the-world backpacks, plus a carry-on bag, plus an oversized supermarket bag filled with snacks.

Meanwhile I tried to watch Jackass 3 on my iPad without anyone else seeing the parade of depravity and male nudity that runs throughout the whole movie.

And that's why when I get to Cleveland all I want to do is swear, sulk and moan.

The rest of the trip? Awesome!!

Thursday, June 16

Fuckin' Bruins

With my outlaws in tow last Friday we went to local 1920's throwback and vageuly rude sounding Cuchi Cuchi for dinner. The evening got off to a good start when Anne called to tell me that nobody in her taxicab had any money to pay the driver.

Later, after a few Side Cars and a belly full of international cuisine that we must not call tapas, we again bundled the ladies into the first cab, this time with money.

When the 2nd cab arrived, I jumped in with my Cleveland based B-in-law Ron, and Brandon the husband of Anne's niece Mandy, who live in big old Chicago.

Turns out our cab driver was applying for the role of '3rd stereotypical Boston guy' in an imaginary gritty new drama coming from an imaginary new TV network (that is probably a 3-letter acronym).

"What abawt those fuckin' Broooins", he asked, oblivious to our geographic representation and the fact that we'd been holed up in a restaurant resembling old Hollywood for the past 3 hours.

The next 5 minutes was an exercise in shoeing in the word fuck, fuckin, fuckhole, fuckwad plus some new derivations even I had not thought of. Hugely entertaining. In fact way more entertaining than the foghorns going off last night as I tried to get my much needed beauty sleep.

I'm glad our town won the cup for America's 4th biggest sport, but add the cacophony of noise to the whoops and hollahs of the local jail whenever an NBA game is on, and you'll understand why I just need some sleep. Some fuckin' sleep.

Thank you.

Wednesday, June 15

Lacking Content?

Sometimes it's just easier to post other people's creative masterpieces.

Tuesday, June 14

Friday, June 10

Catch Up!

We've been inundated with crazy storms the past week. The night that Springfield got the tornado we had a 2 hour thunderstorm with lightning that lit up the sky every 5 seconds. We turned off all the lights, pulled the shades except for one small window at the top of the house, and watched as the clichéd horror movie style bursts of yellow light blinked in and out.

Last night at work the sky went dark, and the wind got up. Half expected to see Dorothy and her pervy uncles flying around.

In other news Anne got herself a VW, making us an all-German car family. Those Germans have done well for themselves haven't they? She has a touch-screen audio system. I'm quite envious.

My latest forearm diagnosis is that I've busted my neck, so I've had 2 sessions of neck cracking from 'Joe, the neck cracker'. His nom de plume (italicised for pretentiousness) is unfair, because yesterday, without warning, he also cracked my whole back. 0.25 seconds afterwards I screamed "Shit", which didn't go down well in the open plan PT office.