Friday, January 18, 2019

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

I'm sensing it's that old toxic masculinity bubbling to the surface.  How else do you explain my abandonment of a season long boycott of the NFL?  Perhaps it was an overwhelming desire to see the Los Angeles (Ne San Diego) Chargers get their collective asses handed to them by the Patriots.  Whatever the case, before I knew it,  I had returned to the realm of wasted Sundays with the NFL.

This weekend, with the Chargers easily dispatched and limping back to the L.A. cesspool, the AFC conference championship game will feature the mostly hated yet talented New England Patriots and the exciting Kansas City Chiefs and their stellar young quarterback.  The early Sunday NFC contest should be an excellent opening act as it features the suddenly pretty good Los Angeles (Ne St. Louis) Rams as chum for the "Who Dat?" nation's Drew Brees and his Saints.  The Superdome is where teams like the Rams are fed to the lions and I don't plan to miss a minute of the slaughter.

Slaughter??  There's that toxic masculinity again!  My brothers and I would like to thank the American Psychological Association for coming up with this handy excuse for our testosterone fueled bad behavior.  We can't help it!  Please understand that we really would like to be better people but, damn it, our genes won't let us.  A denial of biology would be a blow to the mental health nerds who seem determined to crush masculinity and the cult of manhood whenever and wherever it seeps into modern society.  Face it guys, we're just plain abnormal!  Embrace your feminine side and prepare to calm WAY down.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to cave in on this and hope many of my fellow Y chromosome carriers will join me this weekend as we forget we own razors (thanks Gillette!), gorge on  pork rinds, Cheetos, potato chips and beer while reveling in the coming pigskin orgy.  Heck, we may not even shower until the Super Bowl is over!  (Perhaps a bridge too far?  Just asking for a friend.)

Now, toss me that bag of Fritos and a cold one and prepare to watch some football my posse.  In just a couple of weeks we enter the sports dark side of the moon that is the seemingly endless weeks to  be endure between the end of the football season and pitchers and catchers reporting for Spring training.

Well, there is soccer.
Yeah, right.  Ha!  Beer me, I'm running low on toxic masculinity.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Family Reunion

Not that there was ever any doubt, your kids are your kids no matter what their age as those of us who've attained senior status will attest.  For the past few days it has been impossible for me to ignore that simple truth as my daughters, now 47 and 45 years old respectively, have joined me for the first time since the celebration of their mother's life in the summer of 2017.  Naturally it's a somewhat bittersweet reunion but therapeutic nonetheless.  Kelly,  the oldest, lives in New York City and travels extensively in Europe while her sister, Katie, works as an attorney in San Diego.  Obviously the opportunities for getting together are few and we make the most of them when we can.

Both girls are married now to guys I actually like and Katie has provided me with my one and only grandson, Dan, who is now 9 years-old and due to surpass me in mental and social maturity somewhere between the day after tomorrow and a week from next Thursday.  In the meantime we have fun playing with his Christmas toys while his mom and sister catch up on all that is important in their active lives.  It's good to see them laughing again in spite of the very large void that remains and will continue to ache for the rest of their lives.  They're dealing.

With each passing year it becomes emphatically clear that family solidarity is imperative to happiness.  I can't imagine life without these two wonderful daughters who remain eternally stuck at about 10 and 8 years-old in my eyes.  I'm glad we did this.  It's a wonderful reminder of just how lucky my life has been.

I have the pictures to prove it...

"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."--  F. Scott Fitzgerald

Friday, January 4, 2019

New Year, New Resolutions

This year will be different.  Changes will be made and "new and improved" will be affixed to my persona!

In the past I would laugh at those who promised to change their behavior for the better via some foolish resolutions, a mistake of epic proportions.  However, as one who has evolved from "fair-haired boy" to "bald-headed brother-in-law", I now see that there is real possible improvement in store for me in 2019 and after much consideration I have composed a list:

In 2019 I resolve ...

1. To never deprive myself of the cathartic pleasure of yelling at my TV.

2.  To never served watered down drinks to my friends.  (Don't ask for ice.)

3. To never feed soup to a harelip horse.

4. To never invite a live gopher into my home.  (unless it looks like fun)

5. To never get in touch with my feelings.

6.  To resist everything but temptation.

7. To never take a dog's temperature in church.

8.  To never give up a chance to ignore political correctness.

9.  To never go ice skating in my underwear...or, ice skating AT ALL.

10.  To give up swearing.

Damn!  That stupid b@##$% Pelosi is on my TV!!
Oops, I do believe my resolutions are shot to hell.

I  feel very positive about my chances for next year.  I'm sure to nail it in 2020!
Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2018

This Should Work! Pass the foie gras...

"No idea too dumb, no stunt too stupid!"
DAMN!  Why didn't I think of this?!
Jean-Jacques Savin set sail two days ago from Spain's Canary Islands fulfilling his crack brained idea of making it to the Caribbean, a mere 3,000 miles away, in a bright orange barrel.  Was Niagara Falls booked?

I'm jealous.  In a lifetime devoted to ill considered ideas and embarrassing stunts usually conceived by either a radio station promotion department or an extended evening at a saloon, I've never managed to come up with something this dumb.  Oh sure, there was the crashing of the hot air balloon, a poorly thought out bathtub race and that unfortunate fishing trip where I returned with no fish, no equipment and no clothes (a story for another time), but nothing as nuts as this dude's flirtation with insanity.

To be fair it has been reported that Jean-Jacques has equipped his giant sized bobber with a bunk,  a kitchen,  storage areas and a porthole in the floor which will enable him to watch fish.  I see no mention of plumbing but he did stash a few bottles of good wine and a block of foie gras aboard.  Those wacky French!  He also claims to have fortified this resin-coated plywood suicide tub sufficiently enough to make it possible to withstand attacks from orca whales.  I can't help wondering how that plywood holds up against a 100,000 ton oil tanker or a Navy destroyer.  Just asking.

Mr. Savin is hoping to reach Barbados in about three months but would prefer a French island like Martinique to make paperwork easier and "for bringing the barrel back".  Perhaps washing up on the shores of an island with a good mental hospital?

Whatever the case it's good to know that the world, especially France, still has a prodigious output of wackjobs.  I only hope America can keep up.

Hmm...  Mt. Rainier is only a couple of hundred miles from my current location.  I can't help wondering if anybody has ever scaled that majestic peak in their underwear?

Ain't No Mountain High Enough!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Some Christmas Leer?

When I was a boy disc jockey in the late 1960's the introduction of Christmas music shortly after Thanksgiving was a welcome reprieve from the steady diet of pop pap that comprised the playlist at most radio stations.  We jocks would sooner take a beating than to listen to one more clunker from the Archies, the DeFranco Family or Mungo Jerry and don't get me started on the Poppy Family and the 1910 Fruitgum Company.  The Christmas tunes were a fine respite for two or three weeks and then at high noon on Christmas day it was time to return to the wasteland of heavy hits.

For my money one of the best holiday hits was Dean Martin's rendition of "Baby It's Cold Outside."  Old Deano gave that chestnut just enough sizzle and sex to put a smile on your face no matter what team you suit up for in the gender war.  It was, and still is, a harmless and decidedly upscale take on wintertime seduction.   I'm more than a little bit surprised by all the PC nonsense that put this holiday classic in the penalty box at many major broadcast outlets.  What gives?!  There were and ARE plenty of yuletide tone poems guaranteed to fire up the PC police.  I know because I played them.

"Santa Claus Is Back In Town" by Elvis is a jewel which features lines such as:

"Got no sleigh with reindeer, no pack on my back
your gonna see me comin' in a big black Cadillac
Hang up your pretty stockings
Turn off the light
Santa Claus is comin' down your chimney tonight"

Chuck Berry's "Run Run Rudolph" from 1958 still gets plenty of airplay in spite of being loaded with enough references to "girl child" and "boy child" to get progressive panties and boxers in a twist.  Rudolph "whizzing like a Saber jet" should set their hair on fire too.

Don Cornell and Teresa Brewer had a dandy, "You'll Never Get Away", featuring Teresa singing "I'll become a train and choo choo out of sight" to Don's melodic reply of, "Then I'll become a red caboose and trail you day and night."  Stalking? Hmmm.

Depending on who's singing, "Santa Baby" can be a bit on the sleazy side but "Back Door Santa" rendered by both Clarence Carter and B.B. King must certainly be the heavyweight champion of all randy Christmas offerings.  Naturally, it's my favorite.

How can "Baby It's Cold Outside" compare to lines such as:

"They call me back door Santa
I make my runs about the break of day
I make all the little girls happy
While the boys are out to play"

"I keep some change in my pocket, in case the children are home
I give them a few pennies so that we can be alone
I leave the back door open so if anybody smells a mouse
And wouldn't old Santa be in trouble if there ain't no chimney in the house"
"They call me back door Santa."
"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause" begs the question, was mommy a willing tonsil hockey participant underneath the mistletoe last night?  Did she give her consent, or was she merely angling for a new fur coat or tennis bracelet from North Pole Fats?  Where was dad???  It's all so sordid.

It's hard to imagine why the snowflake posse of the PC police have devoted all their energy to squelch a harmless ditty like "Baby It's Cold Outside" when there are so many targets of opportunity for these humorless humps.  With luck they'll tire of getting their mad on over nothing, but don't bet on it.  Wait until they find out about Albert King's "Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin" or "It's So Chic to be Pregnant at Christmas" by Nancy White.  Let me cue those up for you.  They're sure to get your Christmas started with a bang.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Don't Call Me "The Wrapper!"

Y chromosome at work.
My rapping skills are nonexistent and my gift wrapping talents, in need of improvement. 
As anyone who has ever received a present from me will attest, my packaging suffers from the four "P's".  Piss poor product presentation.  This comes just as naturally to me as D minuses did in high school geometry.  Any item wrapped by yours truly and placed under the Christmas tree is easily identifiable by its insane lack of any understanding of spacial concepts or planning.  My work is so laughable that I am convinced the trend toward fancy bags with even fancier paper spilling out their tops was inspired by designers who checked out my product.  I go for the bag thing whenever it's available.  It's so damn festive looking and there is no noisy ripping and tearing necessary.  Classy by proxy.

When my kids were little they could always spot the gifts from daddy and were understandably concerned if said gift contained a present that had been put together by their old man.  The Barbie doll house, a perfect case in point, practically classified as a tear down by the time I completed the "easy to assemble" miniature real estate nightmare.  The elevator was perpetually stuck between floors and some of the walls, I later discovered, were upside down.  Barbie scowled at me as I struggled to complete construction in the wee hours of Christmas morning.  This Ken she was ready to divorce! It was a welcome relief when the kids became old enough to request only some long green for Christmas.  They'd seen quite enough of my handiwork.

Maybe it's the Y chromosome that's the problem.  I'm fairly certain many of my brothers are similarly challenged when it comes to wrapping presents.  Take a look under your own tree.  You can take it to the bank any poorly wrapped gift is almost certainly the product of a male member of the household. Women, on the other hand, know how to have just enough paper and ribbon.  They also know how to make the corners of a package look neat with sharp creases and just a touch of scotch tape.  Do they take night classes for that stuff when we guys aren't looking?

This gift suffers from the four P's
Just thinking about all of this causes me a great deal of anxiety and I haven't yet begun to shop.  (Another scary experience that women seem to have under control.)  Maybe I'll lie down for awhile just to make sure I'm rested enough for the ordeal.  Let's see...I'll need to pick up some wrapping paper and scotch tape...Wait, maybe just some scotch?  A capital Christmas idea!  I'll do some one stop shopping at the liquor store.  Adult beverages for my adult friends!  It's perfect,  sloth, envy, greed and delusions of grandeur (the four essential food groups) all in a container that needs no wrapping.

You'll be able to spot your gift from me under the tree.
 It'll be the one that's leaking. 

Makes a lot of sense.

Friday, December 7, 2018

"Large and IN CHARGE"...Kramden for President!

The following is a re-post from October of 2011 as things were heating up for the coming presidential election.  Little did I know my dream would come close to fruition in 2016...

Now that the portly gentleman from New Jersey, Governor Christie, has officially expressed no interest in saving the country from the current empty suit hiding behind the curtain at land of OZ headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue, it's time for action.  We have gone far too long without a leader who knows how to wear big boy pants and pick up a spare when the team needs one on league bowling night.

The man for the job?  I give you Ralph Kramden of 328 Chauncey Street in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn New York.  A loyal husband, dedicated friend, hard working driver for his boss, Mr. Cunningham at the MTA, and longtime officer in the Loyal Order of Raccoons (where an emergency meeting is an emergency meeting and never a poker game).  Ralph Kramden knows how to live large on a salary of $62 per week.  (He hasn't had a raise in more than fifty years!)  Mr. Kramden is a man of BIG ideas as well as a man of size XXXL Sansabelt pants.  He is just what America needs to get back on track.  Unlike the current occupant of the White House, whose poll numbers are dropping like a melon off an overpass, Ralph Kramden is literally the 500 pound lowland gorilla we need to tackle the nation's problems.  He will embrace our travails with vigor and will not quit until they are vanquished.  (As you know, when a gorilla decides to embrace someone or something, it ain't over until the gorilla thinks it's over.)

Kramden meets with his cabinet
After his nomination and most certain election in 2012 Mr. Kramden can begin to implement his ideas starting with the selection of his cabinet members.  Outside of mandatory bowling leagues and ten cent beer nights, there will be no requirements regarding Raccoon headgear.  Raccoon lodge membership will be enforced for adult males with compensatory time off guaranteed for attendance at bi-monthly executive meetings.  Coonskin caps will be provided.

Candidate Kramden has asked upstairs neighbor and best friend, Ed Norton, to be his running mate and Mr. Norton has accepted on the condition that he will still be able to maintain his day job with the City of New York department of sanitation.  "Sometimes a man has gotta follow the smell of his dream," remarked Mr. Norton.  Norton's wife Trixie has been tapped as secretary of snacks and prizes.  All other cabinet and idiotic czar positions will be abolished with operational funds returned to the taxpayers.  As expected, Alice Kramden, the future president's wife of many years, is slated to head NASA.  If you don't know why, you're too young to be reading this blog.
Headed for D.C. in big pants with BIG ideas