Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Guess who won our Summer Giveaway.

I’m pleased to announce a terrific crowd of Howdygram fans who won prizes in our Summer Giveaway. The grand prize goes to Brenda in Northridge, California. Runners-up who will also receive various prizes are Marilyn, Tammy, Leah and Allison. (I’m not printing any last names, so don’t ask. Seriously.)
A million thanks to all of you who entered. We wish everybody could have won something, but we’ll do the next best thing. The Howdygram is planning another giveaway in November, so stay tuned for more details!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The best things in life are free or extremely cheap.

I’m having a really swell Monday. I’ve been very ambitious and very productive. For example, I cleaned the freezer this morning and dumped out a ton of old, unrecognizable, rock-hard whatnots I wouldn’t eat even if I was starving to death. Then I recorded two hours of “People’s Court” to watch later if I get bored because Sam won’t be home from work until daybreak tomorrow, and I’ve got a big bowl of homemade chicken salad waiting for me in the fridge. These are all excellent accomplishments. I also just discovered some good video clips of “Operation Repo” on TruTV’s website and thought I’d share my favorite. If this doesn’t encourage you make your car payment every month, nothing will.

I don’t know if you’re interested or not, but there’s a “Real Housewives of New Jersey” reunion show on Bravo tonight at 9 p.m. Actually, I’ve finally decided this series isn’t worth any more of my time and I won’t be watching after tonight’s finale. These women aren’t real, they aren’t housewives and they’re not even NORMAL. One is a former prostitute and another has the hairline and I.Q. of a Neanderthal ... and four scary little daughters who look exactly like her. But the finale tonight ought to be great because I saw a preview and the housewives try to beat each other up and do a lot of screaming and swearing. It’s a guilty pleasure, like pizza.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Assorted topics on Sunday morning.

Hi. Sam is outside drinking coffee on the patio so I’ve decided to write a quick post on a variety of mundane subjects, none of which is important enough to warrant a post of its own. But that’s just MY opinion.

First, Sam and I drove north to Treeland yesterday to check out the Vitex bush we wanted for our back yard. After taking a closer look and talking to the owner of the nursery we decided against it because the Vitex is a basically a gigantic lilac-scented magnet for BEES, and nobody wants to sit on their own patio being divebombed. So we’re back to square one trying to figure out what to plant.

However, on the way to Treeland we passed a huge mansion facing highway 289 on the outskirts of Prosper, Texas ... which is basically a teeny little town in the middle of nowhere about 30 miles north of Dallas. At first we thought it was a resort but since we didn’t see any signs Sam asked the owner of the nursery if he knew anything about the house. Turns out, it’s owned by Deion Sanders, the sports icon who played for four major league baseball teams and for the NFL, including the Dallas Cowboys.
The house is 40,000 square feet — FORTY THOUSAND SQUARE FEET — with nine bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, a master suite the size of South Dakota with a two-story closet, a home theater, a gym, indoor and outdoor pools, a full-sized basketball court, a bowling alley, a game room and an eight-car garage. Too bad this bozo built it in the middle of a cow pasture that’s visible to the public on all four sides. Maybe he should have economized a little so he could afford to plant a few trees along the fence for a shred of PRIVACY. I’m just saying.

And now I want to recommend some of my favorite TV shows, especially since the second season of “Real Housewives of New Jersey” just wrapped up and I have to fill my time with something else. For the record, I really enjoy “Operation Repo,” which follows the adventures of five truly enormous Hispanic relatives in Los Angeles who repossess cars, vans and SUVs. I especially love it when they drop in at snooty restaurants in Beverly Hills to repo a Lexus or a Porsche from a rich person who’s having a screaming fit in the parking lot. This is television at its best.
Another favorite is “Hardcore Pawn,” a chronicle of nonstop excitement at the biggest pawn shop in Detroit. How could this not be a cool show? The store is owned by a hard-as-nails Jewish family (oy) with a fun-loving dad and a crabby adult daughter who argues with EVERYBODY. You can find “Operation Repo” and “Hardcore Pawn” on TruTV. Thank you.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Remembering Krakatoa.

For all of you volcano buffs out there, today marks the 127th anniversary of the massive eruption on the island of Krakatoa, one of the largest natural disasters EVER and so loud the explosions were heard 3,000 miles away in Australia. According to Wikipedia (the ultimate source of all knowledge unless you have a library card), the volcanic force on Krakatoa virtually destroyed the entire island and was equivalent to 200 megatons of TNT — about 13,000 times the nuclear yield of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, at the end of World War II. For more on this subject you can always rent the disaster movie Krakatoa, East of Java, which was released in 1969 starring Brian Keith, Sal Mineo, Diane Baker and Maximillian Schell, but I’m not sure I’d trust this Hollywood dud for historical accuracy since Krakatoa is actually WEST of Java, not east, and the movie’s idiotic main theme song is a Beach Boys knockoff called “Java Girl.” (I’m serious.)
In other news, tomorrow Sam and I are taking a drive up north to Treeland, a 30-acre tree nursery in Gunter, Texas, to pick out something wonderful for our back yard. We’ve pretty much decided on the “Shoal Creek Vitex,” also known as the “Texas Lilac” (see below), because it’s the perfect size and the fragrance is fabulous. Sam and I can’t wait to sit on the patio and smell our yard.
I’m going to eat a honeydew melon and watch an Olivia deHavilland movie now. Thank you for reading this.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Schedule your angioplasty in advance.

Even though Sam and I don’t eat any of this weird crap because we’re both old enough to be scared of heart attacks, I always look forward to the annual Big Tex Choice Awards ... winners of the Texas State Fair’s latest batch of deep-fried monstrosities. For those of you with strong stomachs and healthy arteries, here’s what’s in store when the State Fair opens on September 24.

Deep-Fried Pop-Tarts: S’mores flavor Pop-Tart is battered and deep fried, drizzled with chocolate syrup and topped with whipped cream. Fried Beer: Beer-filled pretzel pocket is deep-fried to a golden brown. (Must be 21. And insane.) Fried Lemonade: Flavored pastry is made from Country Time® lemonade, then baked, fried and glazed with lemonade mixed with powdered sugar. (A side order of insulin is 75¢.) Fried Club Salad: Colossal 12" spinach wrap filled with ham, chicken, iceberg lettuce, carrots, cherry tomatoes, shredded cheddar and bacon. Deep fried, topped with deep-fried sour dough croutons on a stick and served with a choice of dressing. (Romaine would be healthier than iceberg. I’m just saying.) Fried Chocolate: A white chocolate mini candy bar and a cherry are stuffed into a brownie, dipped in chocolate cake batter and deep fried. Topped with powdered sugar, cherry sauce and whipped cream. Texas-Fried Frito Pie: Texas chili and sharp cheddar encased in a giant Frito corn chip, battered and deep-fried.

Frankly, none of these sound nearly as exciting as last year’s winning entries, which included Chicken-Fried Bacon and Deep-Fried Oreos, both pictured below for your possible interest.
Personally, my suggestion for a new State Fair treat would be Deep-Fried Infant Formula, because it’s never too early to get our local kids started on the road to heart disease and obesity. Thank you for reading this.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why there's still a housing crisis in America.

According to an AP news article I read this morning, July home sales in the United States plunged 27% ... the largest monthly drop since 1968 when the National Association of Realtors began keeping records. Although sales have weakened steadily since the Federal tax credit expired on April 30, the key reason why home sales are suffering is that most sellers are reluctant to lower their prices and buyers are holding back because they think home prices haven’t bottomed out.

I know this is true in the Los Angeles area because I did a little online real estate research a few minutes ago and came across a typical, ridiculously overpriced southern California listing ... which is exactly why Sam and I bailed out three years ago and moved to Texas! This 55-year-old house in Torrance is listed for $698,000. It’s got 1,105 square feet of space with three teeny crackerbox bedrooms and a one-car detached garage, a “newer” stove (probably from the Nixon era) and carpets that were cleaned back in 2008. No kidding, the walk-in closet in my master bedroom is bigger than this.

To help you compare the value, here’s a home in suburban Dallas (actually, Sunnyvale) less than a mile from where Sam and I live. It’s three years old, lists for $655,000 ($43,000 less than the house in Torrance), and has 5,785 square feet of space on two acres of land with five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a media room, three fireplaces, a five-car garage, a guest house and a built-in pool, spa, cabanas and outdoor kitchen.

Out of curiosity ... how would YOU rather spend your money?

I should probably add that Sam and I did NOT buy a 5,785 square foot home when we moved to Texas, and we also didn’t spend $655,000 or anything remotely close to that. We didn’t have to, because normal-size houses (even brand new) are amazingly affordable, especially after you relocate from a city like Los Angeles. And I should also tell you that Texas has NO STATE INCOME TAX, just in case you need another incentive to start packing your dishes.

And now I’m waiting for thunderstorms to materialize. The sky is getting darker, the clouds look a little “iffy,” and Weather.com says we’ve got a 60% chance of storms through 10 p.m. tonight. After receiving no measurable precipitation in Mesquite since the first week of August we’re definitely ready for RAIN around here. As a matter of fact, I’m even doing my world-famous Tuesday afternoon rain dance, which involves a Clif bar, some raisins, watching a Spencer Tracy movie and ordering Chinese food for dinner. (Okay, none of this has anything to do with rain. I lied.)

Y’all have a nice day. Thank you.

Friday, August 20, 2010

How to prep for the perfect weekend.

Take care of the necessities. The first thing you need to do is make sure the fridge is stocked with essentials in case you decide to be slugs and not leave the house, so this morning I shipped Sam off to Wal-Mart for coffee, a honeydew melon, Coke Zero, a jar of Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Equal packets and a gallon of nonfat milk. We’re totally ready for ANYTHING now. And because it’s also important to have plenty of clean socks, bath towels and underpants, I did a big tub of laundry this afternoon that also included oven mitts and my favorite caftan. The dryer is spinning as I write this, and with any luck everything should be folded and put away before Sam gets home from work. I don’t expect him until midnight, however, so I won’t have to break my neck. (Incidentally, there’s also an outside chance I might let everything sit in the dryer until tomorrow morning. But don’t tell anybody.)

Plan for the possibilities. I just finished reading pages 44 through 55 in the current issue of “D” — Dallas’ snooty, glossy magazine with lots of ads for luxury real estate and brocade furniture. The 11 pages in question, however, are the magazine’s top 20 picks for the Best Breakfasts in Dallas, and that’s a list worth studying because Sam and I really love breakfast. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t bet money that we’ll ever try any of the magazine’s favorite spots because they’re way too trendy, a lot of them are in ritzy hotels, and you actually have to call for reservations. That’s a lot of pretentious crap-a-roo. Nobody should have to put on mascara and drive 45 minutes for a plate of scrambled eggs.

One more thing. “D” Magazine also listed the winners of the Best Doctors in Dallas readers’ poll. I’m pleased to report that my podiatrist’s partner was named Best Podiatrist in Dallas for the fifth year in a row. Although this makes me wonder why my doctor is satisfied with obscurity and what kind of mysterious, god-like podiatry skills his partner may possess, it’s still comforting to know I’m in the vicinity of greatness whenever I show up to get my toenails trimmed.

Thank you for reading this and have a swell weekend.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Practically the same as being in L.A.

Before Sam and I moved to Texas in 2007 we lived in Los Angeles, a city that’s famous for three things: 1) smog; 2) breast implants; and 3) wild police chases. And today I had a chance to remember L.A. fondly when a breaking news story interrupted “People’s Court” and I spent 45 minutes watching a truly worthwhile police chase on live TV, with four squad cards trailing an imbecile in a silver Chevy pickup (which he carjacked at knifepoint) on the streets and freeways of Dallas.

The pickup was actually only riding on three tires; one blew out right after the chase began and left the truck with a naked rim to throw highly entertaining sparks and smoke. The driver, an O.J. Simpson wannabe who apparently was waving at vehicles and pedestrians, snaked around the service roads on Central Expressway going south, then north, then south again, connected to the Woodall Rogers Freeway westbound and exited downtown at Pearl Street, circled around Crescent Court (where Sam works), headed back north on Harry Hines to Mockingbird Lane and finally entered Love Field airport, where he plowed through a huge security gate and onto the RUNWAYS. All flight activity was immediately brought to a halt as ten million police vehicles chased him back and forth for a few minutes like the Keystone Cops until they spun him out on the grassy center median.
All in all, this was an excellent L.A.-quality police chase with plenty of continuous coverage from Chopper 11, our local CBS station, although the female reporter doing the voiceover was an escaped mental patient who could never quite figure out which direction they were headed. I found myself shrieking at the TV, “No! They're on the NORTHBOUND service road, not the SOUTHBOUND service road!” and “They just exited at MOCKINGBIRD, you idiot, not INWOOD!” But in all other respects she did a pleasant job. Anybody know how “People’s Court” turned out?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Too bad Gary Cooper will never know the truth.

The worlds of baseball and medicine collided on the infield this week when it was revealed that New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig probably didn’t die from Lou Gehrig’s Disease after all. This certainly must be a shock and disappointment to the ghost of egomaniac actor Gary Cooper (who starred in the 1942 Lou Gehrig biopic “Pride of the Yankees”) and the tens of thousands of people who died from — and currently have — what they thought was a famous disease named for a famous first baseman. Now everybody has to learn to pronounce amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Good luck with THAT.
According to the article I read on the Los Angeles Times’ website, only 5% of patients diagnosed with ALS actually have the distinctive gene mutation known to cause the disease. New medical evidence suggests that Lou Gehrig’s symptoms most likely resulted from his long-standing record of 2,130 consecutive games, during which he frequently played with injuries and concussions. The neurodegenerative disease related to this kind of brain trauma can mimic the symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other brain diseases as well, such as depression, dementia and Parkinson’s.

Since there’s really no clever way to sum this up, I’ll swing around to a whole new subject and let everybody know that we finally got six minutes of light rain this morning — our first rain in THREE WEEKS — just in time for my Schwan’s delivery guy to track sloppy footprints all over the stone floor my maids just finished mopping. I wanted to slap him. Thank you for reading this.

Things you should never stuff in your nose.

According to a King Features Syndicate news item I read last night on the Chicago Tribune’s website, one of the ingredients in Vicks VapoRub, petrolatum, can get into the lungs and cause chronic inflammation.
Apparently a 41-year-old man went to the hospital with a breathing problem, and during a CT scan the doctor discovered “five nodules” in the patient’s lungs. After admitting to the doctor that he’d been shoveling Vicks VapoRub up his nose every night for 10 years, the nodules were diagnosed as lipoid pneumonia. As a result, the authors of the article (Joe and Teresa Graedon) and leading pulmonologists warn NEVER CRAM VICKS VAPORUB UP YOUR NOSE. However, they’re getting lots of flack from skeptical readers, such as: “I read your warning not to put Vicks up your nose. That’s stupid. I’ve been stuffing my nose with Vicks for years, and I have never once come down with pneumonia.”

It’s possible, of course, that the skeptical reader quoted above is referring to something else entirely besides VapoRub, such as the Philadelphia Eagles’ slime-bag quarterback who’s a convicted felon and spent almost two years in prison for running an illegal dogfighting ring. I have no idea if this athlete would fit in anybody’s nose, but I’m positive that Michael Vick will make you sick.

In other news, I had a scary nightmare and woke up about an hour ago with a pounding headache. From what I can remember, I was on a ship in dense fog with John Garfield (the actor) and I had huge bizarre antennas growing out of my right foot that I was desperately trying to remove with a cuticle scissors. Upon further reflection, however, I realize that seeing this weird crap in print is actually slightly worse than the nightmare itself. I apologize. I mean it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Marie Osmond is trapped in a time warp.

I’ve got nothing against this woman personally, you understand, but I’m suffering from Marie Osmond overkill.
First, you can’t turn on the TV without seeing Marie Osmond’s face. If she’s not promoting NutriSystem or her latest book, she’s on “Dancing with the Stars,” appearing on “Oprah, “Today,” “The View,” “Good Morning America,” “Ellen” and “Letterman” to talk about post-partum depression, her weight loss or her son’s suicide (and — what a coincidence! — also to plug her show at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas) then she’s taking up space on QVC selling Marie Osmond makeup, Marie Osmond costume jewelry and her overpriced line of Marie Osmond dolls.

Second, maybe it’s just me, but Marie looks like she recently graduated with honors from the Drag Queen Institute of Fashion and Design, which is I believe is headquartered in Provo, Utah. I’d also comment on the fact that her teeth are too big, but big teeth run in her family. (The Osmonds ALL have big teeth.)

In other news, we’re suffocating here in Dallas this summer, and today is our 18th consecutive day with triple-digit temperates and a heat/humidity index near 110. You absolutely, positively do NOT want to go outside for any reason unless you run out of Coke Zero or your dog has to pee. Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

When it rains, it pours ... even in a drought.

Let’s talk about irony for a minute. In my last post I was whining that August 2010 will definitely go down in history as my most expensive month EVER for dental work, figuring about $1,800 out-of-pocket after my annual dental insurance benefit covers the first $1,000. Except to almost paraphrase a famous pig, th-th-that’s NOT all, folks! Because Sam tells me he has a toothache and totally expects to need root canal and a crown ... and he already used up his annual dental benefit several months ago for the same procedures on another tooth. We’ll know what’s what after his appointment on the 18th, but we’re probably looking at another $1,200 out-of-pocket. (And Sam’s the one with GOOD teeth in our house.)

But just in case you think this couldn’t get much worse, you’d be WRONG. Our garage started to smell like a Shell station a few days ago so Sam dropped off our Saturn at Pep Boys this morning. Manny, Moe and Jack (pictured at right) discovered a leak in the fuel pump and had to remove the entire gas tank in order to replace it ... parts and labor added up to more than $600. We briefly considered buying a new car but decided against it, because Sam really loves his little Saturn and a new car would cost us a whole lot more than $600. Considering the overall economy this is NOT a good time to blow a ton of money on something we don’t need ... unless it’s a large quantity of Chinese food.

To help matters a little I’ve decided to sign up tomorrow for my senior discount at Kroger. As an old person I qualify for 10% off Kroger’s store brand and private label merchandise, which is pretty cool. This includes a lot of packaged deli things like potato salad and pimento cheese (pimento cheese is intensely popular here), milk and dairy products, stuff in cans, spices, frozen vegetables, cleaning doodads and so on. This should save us $10 a week at the very least. You might not think $10 sounds like a lot of money, but it adds up to $26,000 over the next 50 years, and I might even learn to like pimento cheese by then. Thank you for reading this.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Some of us are aging better than others.

I don’t necessarily include myself in this group, but I’ll bet I probably look a little better than ordinary mortals because nobody can ever guess how old I am ... even when I’m clunking around with my cane. Seriously. To prove my point, here’s a recent photo of decrepit pop singer Tom Jones, who still manages to scrape out a living wailing 1970s hits for grateful retirees around the world:
If you’re interested in some background trivia, I actually saw Tom Jones in concert at the Fontainbleau Hotel in Miami Beach in 1971 when I was on a spring break trip with a couple of girlfriends from college. He was extremely loud and sweaty. Most of the women in the audience were throwing room keys and underpants at him, but I decided not to participate in this activity for two reasons: 1) Leslie had our room key; and 2) my underpants were ugly. (No girl in her right mind would EVER throw white full-cut underpants at a pop star.)

August 2010 will definitely go down in history as my most expensive month ever for dental work. Since this is my blog and I’m entitled to write damn near anything I want, here’s the bombshell: I’m getting upper dentures. I had impressions done this morning at the dentist’s office and also had a chance to pick out the color of my new teeth, which was mildly entertaining. I need a few extractions, too, and I’ll see the oral surgeon to have that done under general anesthesia. We’re trying to coordinate everything for the week of August 23. The sooner the better, to tell you the truth. After spending my entire life drifting from one dental emergency to another I’m relieved that it’s almost over and I’ll finally have MOVIE STAR TEETH. (Now all I need are Botox, balloon boobs and a screen test.)

Weather bulletin! This is our 15th consecutive day with temperatures in the triple digits. Send watermelon.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Take time to enjoy Norma Shearer Day.

I don’t know if you’re a fan of classic movies or not, but today is officially Norma Shearer Day on TCM and I think you should stop whatever you’re doing and watch a few of her films.
There’s still a chance to see any or all of the following Norma Shearer movies (times listed are Central):
  • Escape (1940) at 3:15 p.m. with Robert Taylor and Conrad Veidt.
  • Idiot’s Delight (1939) at 5 p.m. with Clark Gable and Edward Arnold. (This one actually sucks, so you might want to read my review before giving up two hours of your life.)
  • The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (1927) at 7:00 p.m. with Ramon Novarro and Jean Hersholt. (Silent.) Directed by Ernst Lubitsch. (Silent movies get on my nerves. If you look away from the screen for five minutes to eat an egg roll you have no idea what’s going on.)
  • Private Lives (1931) 9:00 p.m. with Robert Montgomery.
  • Romeo and Juliet (1936) 10:30 p.m. with Leslie Howard and John Barrymore. (Norma was at least 20 years too old for the part of Juliet.)
  • Marie Antoinette (1938) 12:45 a.m. with Tyrone Power and Robert Morley. (One of my favorites. Robert Morley is terrific, too.)
  • Strangers May Kiss (1931) 3:30 a.m. with Robert Montgomery and Neil Hamilton.
And now, as a brief update to my recent restaurant review, I need to report that Zinsky’s Deli in Dallas is out of business, although Sam and I are not surprised whatsoever. Unfortunately, now I have to start another quest for chopped liver in a town that specializes in chicken fried steak. It’s not an easy life.

Thank you for reading this. I mean it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'm having a really swell Wednesday. Seriously.

Let me tell you why this is turning out to be the best Wednesday I can remember for a long, long time. First, while Sam is sitting here in the study this morning slugging down his daily pot of coffee he decides to call up Wells Fargo (the bank that holds our mortgage) to inquire about refinancing our house. Half an hour later the deal is done and we’re saving a million dollars a month. Okay, maybe not a million. But it’s really good. I get so excited I send Sam to Wal-Mart for oven cleaner, paper towels and cheese.

And then a few minutes later I’m reading the news on msnbc.com and there’s yet another story about America’s most persistent fame whore, Levi Johnston. Further to my August 4 post about his second canceled engagement to Bristol Palin, now we learn the whole thing was a hoax so he could sell the story to Us Magazine for $100,000 and grab a few headlines for a potential reality show called “Loving Levi: The Road to the Mayor’s Office.” Apparently this 20-year-old unemployed high school dropout intends to run for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, the same job that launched his ex-fiancĂ©e’s mother, bimbo extraordinaire and mental giant Sarah Palin, who spent six years trying to land a four-year degree from a third-rate college in Idaho. Levi’s qualifications, however, include playing hockey, getting everybody pregnant and posing nude for Playgirl Magazine. Maybe I’m crazy, but he sure sounds like mayor material to ME.

There’s also one more swell thing about today ... I unloaded the client from hell who wanted me to create a website for his local contracting business. This dude has all the charm of a pit bull and was tying me in knots even before we started his project. After freelancing as a graphic artist and web designer for 23 years, this is only the THIRD TIME I’ve been motivated to dump a client. The relief is so amazing I think I’ll go reheat some Chinese food and celebrate with a fork. Pass the soy sauce.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Quiznos kittens need a voice coach.

There are lots of good reasons to hate commercial television, but the best one yet has to be the latest offering from the idiots at Quiznos ... the fast-food chain that gave us those horrible, hideous singing rats in 2007.

This time, for whatever reason, the Einsteins in Quiznos’ advertising department decided to go with KITTENS. Stupid, screeching, off-key, tone-deaf kittens pounding their background music on garbage can lids and a Fisher-Price piano. No kidding, this is the most painful 30-second commercial I’ve ever seen in my life — even worse than the J. G. Wentworth opera singers, if that’s possible — AND I HATE IT. Watch this video clip for yourself and let me know what you think.

This is probably the best excuse yet to buy your sandwiches at Subway. Thank you for reading this, have a nice day and bon appetit.

Monday, August 9, 2010

And the hits just keep on coming.

Before I go off on one of my usual tangents please let me apologize for an obvious lack of new posts during the last several days. I guess my latest round of dental issues has me feeling subdued and unfunny. I’m in the process of scheduling oral surgery to remove what’s left of two broken teeth; afterwards my partial will be rebuilt and refitted. This represents my entire 2010 dental insurance benefit (and then some).

See what happens when you complain about too many doctor appointments? YOUR TEETH FALL APART AND YOU WAKE UP IN THE MIDDLE OF A DENTAL NIGHTMARE. Frankly, I find this to be exceptionally crappy. It would be really nice if a few Howdygram readers would send me some decent teeth. Maybe you can attach them to an email. I especially need upper molars. Thank you.

Know what? One of the best things about having your own blog and website is reviewing visitor statistics. Lately the Howdygram and its sister blog, Hot Picks Movie Reviews, have been deluged with new visitors from all over the planet. No kidding, we’re getting repeat visits from everywhere in the United States plus the Philippines, Australia, France, central Europe, a number of cities in Canada and once in a while from Mexico. So whoever you are, thank you very much. Post a comment sometime, okay?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rejection, stupidity and the death of Cheez Doodles.

The most devastating news first. Morrie Yohai, 90, the inventor of Cheez Doodles, died of cancer on July 27 at his home in Long Island, New York. Yohai (pictured below) created his iconic snack in the 1950s while employed at Old London Foods in the Bronx. In a flash of unforetold brilliance, he borrowed the factory’s equipment to manufacture puffy little tubes of liquefied corn meal and then suffocated them in fluorescent orange powdered cheese, paving the way for a generation of wannabe knockoffs like Cheetos and Bugles. Yohai’s son says his father also was involved in other less-important pursuits, including Hebrew mysticism, environmental conservation and a stint as associate dean of business at the New York Institute of Technology.
In case you haven’t heard the latest dysfunctional dirt from Wasilla, Alaska, Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston have called off their second engagement after he admitted he may have fathered a baby with another teenage girl and also has been sleeping with others. As snarky as that may be, Bristol said the final straw was when he pretended to go to Los Angeles to attend a hunting show but was actually there to star in a music video mocking the Palin family. She says Levi is obsessed with fame and only wanted to marry her to stay in the public eye.
Judging from Levi’s Playgirl photo shoot last year, the public eye is a damn good spot for him and he sure seems to be having a lot more fun than Bristol, who just moved back home to live with mom and dad and her assorted siblings ... Pooper, Peeper and Troll and Brillo.

And finally, I returned that handbag I ordered last week from HSN. It was absolutely ENORMOUS ... almost two feet wide and a foot high with thick braided handles and a separate shoulder strap. And the silly thing was covered with all kinds of hardware, tassels, doodads and huge gold and silver studs front and back. It weighed a ton and looked more like luggage for hookers. Seriously.

Incidentally, please don’t forget to enter our summer giveaway contest to win a bunch of terrific Texas-themed prizes! Click here to enter now. Good luck and thank you for reading this.