Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween and other pointless pursuits.

Just in case you haven’t read enough stories this year about sickening excess, you might be interested to know that America’s Queen of Greed — reality TV star KIM KARDASHIAN — filed for divorce today after only two months of marriage. (My skin started to itch just thinking about this.)

At the end of August Kardashian’s $10 million over-the-top “fairytale” wedding to Kris Humphries was taped for broadcast on E! Entertainment Television with an estimated $15 million payout to the bride. She also sold exclusive rights to her wedding photos to “People” magazine for $2.5 million, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she refuses to return her 20-carat engagement ring and wedding gifts because I don’t think this third-rate bimbo has ever demonstrated a shred of decency in her entire life. (I sincerely hope that E! and “People” consider suing her for fraud.)

Kardashian is mostly famous for gigantic fake breasts, a face that looks like wax, her former friendship with Paris Hilton and a widely-circulated sex tape with an ex-boyfriend … all of which she parlayed successfully into THREE concurrent Kardashian-based reality series. And if that’s not obnoxious enough for you, she’s got two sisters and a mother all cut from the same creepy, overpriced cloth.

One final thought. According to TMZ Kardashian filed divorce papers after the couple had an argument — obviously the last straw! — about where to spend Halloween, and as mature, serious adults we all know that a meaningful holiday like Halloween would be a deal-breaker for ANY marriage.

And while I’m on the subject of Halloween …

Anybody who plans to come trick-or-treating here tonight please skip my house because I’m not opening the door, and I didn’t open the door LAST year, either. If your kids really can’t live without stale bubble gum and teeny boxes of Raisinets, please go to Wal-Mart and buy your own.
Tonight I plan to curl up in the family room with lemonade, a couple of Schwan’s tamales and my brand new 630-page Steve Jobs biography — with LOTS OF PICTURES! — that came a few days ago. I can’t wait to get started, so thank you for not annoying me.

Change the channel and pass the hot sauce.

Good news. I’ve finally recovered from the Texas Rangers’ loss to St. Louis in the World Series, and I can thank the Dallas Cowboys for that. Their amateur performance last night against the Philadelphia Eagles was so embarrassing it was like a high school game you hope your relatives forgot to attend … except in this case the Cowboys were on NATIONAL TELEVISION. They lost the game 34 to 7, with quarterback Tony Romo hurling passes into vacant air for the silliest performance of his career. Pictured below are the Cowboys’ highly paid strategists … head coach Jason Garrett (left) and premier doofus Rob Ryan, who needs to lay off the cheeseburgers. Or maybe he’s expecting twins.
Don’t tell anybody, but my birthday is coming up on Tuesday and we decided to celebrate yesterday because Sam works evenings during the week. So we went back to Mariano’s Hacienda for dinner, and it was awesome. And we had our favorite awesome waiter again, too … the entertaining Umberto, who refills water and ice tea with such speed and agility it should be an Olympic event.

And now I’d better wake Sam so we can go to bed. The lucky guy fell asleep during the Cowboys game and hasn’t moved an inch in more than two hours. Thank you for reading this and Happy Halloween. Boo, y’all.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunshine, leftovers and nausea, Texas style.

It’s official. Mom is flying home today, and Sam is driving her to the airport as I write this post. The autumn weather — 70° with sunshine — is perfect, there’s zero traffic and her flight is on time. The only thing that could be better is if mom decided to stay another week because she’s adorable … picture a miniature Sam with lipstick.

I haven’t commented on the World Series for the last couple of days because I’m still recovering from the frustration of it all. I’ve lived in several major cities in my lifetime and not one has ever produced a championship team. I refer mostly to the Chicago Cubs, the saddest story in baseball history. Their last World Series win was in 1908 … the same year that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were killed in Bolivia, Henry Ford manufactured the first Model T and Henri Matisse opened his own art school in France.
And now I’m stuck with the Texas Rangers — our very own Chicago Cubs wannabes — who go down in flames after two consecutive American League pennants. I’m still slightly nauseated by the whole experience but not enough to actually skip lunch, which is at the top of my agenda as soon as I finish typing. I’ve got good leftovers today.

I guess that’s about it for now. I’m glad you stopped by. Next time bring chips.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trick or treat: the worst Halloween candy ever.

With the American Dental Association’s favorite fall holiday less than 48 hours away I think it’s high time for a Howdygram exposé of the worst-ever Halloween candy … the useless, tasteless crap you refused to eat as a kid and nobody — not even your little sister — would trade for. The images below appear in no particular order.
Jawbreakers. Because everybody wants a ball of rock-hard sugar bigger than your actual mouth that takes three hours to eat. They have no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Necco Wafers. They’re brittle disks of chalk that taste like cologne, deodorant, feminine hygiene spray and shoe polish, but health-conscious children everywhere should be happy to know Neccos are FAT FREE. At last count there are maybe four people in Indiana who actually eat these things.
Candy Corn. I definitely run a risk if I insult candy corn because Sam actually LOVES this stuff. Candy corn has the texture of candle wax and tastes like Glade vanilla air freshener and Easter Peeps made a flavor baby. This is very, very bad.

Good & Plenty. I never understood trying to disguise stale licorice bullets with pink and white sugar. My mother is only person I ever knew who ate these. She’s currently confined to a wheelchair and lives in a nursing home, so draw your own conclusions.
Circus Peanuts. I think these inedible monstrosities are already 35 years old when they come off the assembly line. They squeak like styrofoam when you squish them, look like misshapen suppositories and taste like crusty old marshmallows from a bag that somebody forgot to seal in the mid-1960s.

Dum Dums. The wrappers on these irritating little lollipops almost never come off so you usually get stuck eating most of the paper. This is actually more appealing than the candy itself, as Dum Dums come in a dozen flavors and they all taste equally lousy. Incidentally, I don’t think it’s a great idea to ever give these to children because if you fall down with a sucker in your mouth you’ll wind up sounding like Andy DeVine (see video below). My mother told me this when I was six and I still believe her. Seriously.

Spearmints. These belong in a jar at the register when you pay your bill at Denny’s, NOT in a Trick-or-Treat bag. Spearmints taste like toothpaste and most kids would rather eat cat poop.

Pastel Tootsie Rolls. Why would anybody think that non-chocolate, artificially-flavored Tootsie Rolls in Crayola colors would be a great idea for candy. The flavors are like Starbursts for sissies, only infinitely worse. The cherry ones remind me of cough syrup.
Mary Janes. They’re hard little slabs of linoleum with a flavor profile reminiscent of peanut butter spray-painted on a Tonka truck. By the time I was 10 years old Mary Janes had successfully pulled every filling out of my mouth and broken my braces twice. These work better as jawbreakers than actual jawbreakers. I hold the same high regard for Bit-o-Honeys.

Dots. Dots are basically little mounds of industrial-grade mucilage manufactured in attractive colors. Think of them as Jujubes on steroids.
It wasn’t my intention to include Jujubes in this review of Halloween candy, but these little indigestible acrylic nipples are so useless and obnoxious I think they deserve an honorable mention. My sister, a certifiable screwball whose “food issues” started in infancy, lived on Jujubes, white bread and canned shoestring potatoes for at least two decades. I know this for a fact because when she got married in 1974 and moved out of the house my mother discovered two dresser drawers filled with hundreds of empty Jujube boxes. I have no idea what this means. If Dr. Phil is reading this post maybe he could leave a comment.

Happy Halloween from the Howdygram, y’all.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Winners and losers, up close and personal.

Since writing last night’s post I’ve endured a day of monumental ups and downs. Please read on to see for yourself.

Game six of the World Series last night gave all of us extra innings of serious heartburn and I’m not especially enthusiastic about watching game seven, which is currently underway. If the Rangers blow it tonight I might have to beat the crap out of somebody.

After the game at 1 a.m. I sat up to watch the recorded 90-minute nail-biter finale episode of “Project Runway” because otherwise the name of the winner would be all over the Internet and screw up the suspense for me. In case you care, Anya won season nine. She designs idiotic Caribbean clothes for emaciated women with no visible breasts, as pictured below. I think it might be difficult to adapt an outfit like this for a winter in Cleveland, but maybe I’m just being a little picky.
My Freestyle Lite diabetes glucose meter croaked this morning and Sam had to buy a replacement battery at the pharmacy … the same kind of battery you’d buy for a wristwatch, and it cost FIVE DOLLARS. A portrait of my meter appears at right.

We spent most of the day today at the Choctaw Casino in Oklahoma and had another wonderful time. All of us brought home BIG BUCKS, especially mom, who walked away with nearly $48 after a brief but memorable affair with a Dean Martin slot machine that sang to her during a bunch of free spins. We also had a nice lunch at the casino’s buffet and I think the security guards were extra friendly. Sam and mom posed for me in front of a waterfall in the lobby.
Half an hour after we got home this afternoon Treeland showed up to replace the dead autumn blaze maple in our front yard with a lovely Texas ash. I hope all Howdygram fans will feel free to pray for the health of our newest family member. I believe the tree is Jewish but I already told Sam not to count on a bar mitzvah in 2024.

Incidentally, coming up in tomorrow’s post is an exciting Howdygram exclusive … THE TEN WORST HALLOWEEN CANDIES EVER. Thank you for reading this.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rick Perry, man of a thousand stupid viewpoints.

Our creepy governor, Rick “The Joker” Perry, has been making news again. Speaking on a political TV program in St. Petersburg, Florida, a couple of days ago, Perry now says he was “just kidding” when he questioned the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate … obviously a retreat following the mainstream GOP’s rebuke. This is in spite of the fact that Perry has been hanging out with the nutjob birther movement since 2008 and as recently as last week referred to Obama’s “forged birth certificate” in a conversation with Donald Trump.
Perry also wants us to believe he “wasn’t serious” about a state program to offer the Confederate flag on Texas license plates even though he provided full support to the Department of Public Safety (all Perry appointees) when they presented their proposal to the legislature. Apparently Perry flip-flopped after massive voter backlash and a petition with 22,000 signatures demanding withdrawal of the program.
Apparently there’s no end to this yahoo’s sense of humor, and Perry’s wife isn’t much better … she emphatically believes he was “annointed by God” to run for President. We’re sure a lucky bunch here in Texas!

In case you’re interested, we’re getting ready for game six of the World Series (postponed last night due to crappy weather in St. Louis) and just ordered a small mountain of food from China City, which should be here in about half an hour. Because nothing says post-season baseball like a bucket of chicken chow mein.

Thanks for stopping by.

Discovering the best Tex-Mex in Dallas.

It’s been a long time since my last restaurant review because Sam and I tend to eat at the same favorite spots over and over and there really hasn’t been anything exciting to write about … until NOW.

Yesterday we decided to try something new and took my mother-in-law to Mariano’s Hacienda for lunch, a highly-recommended Tex-Mex mecca in Dallas since 1971 with six locations all over town. We had such a great time I almost don’t know where to start.
The decor was adorable, the menu was impressive, and our waiter — Umberto — was a treasure with an infectious sense of fun. The food was seriously terrific, too. We loved the house special queso dip with our chips and salsa — TWO KINDS OF SALSA! — and Sam and mom ordered lunch-size portions of chicken flautas. I kept it simple with three beef tacos. Everything was so outrageously good that we can’t wait to go back and order the rest of their menu … especially the noisy fajitas that sizzled up the entire dining room. (I wish somebody would make perfume smell that good.)

Sam, who considers himself a Tex-Mex aficionado, was so damn impressed with the entire experience that he hunted down the manager when we finished eating to tell him we’re planning to move in and adopt Umberto. I’d even consider sending him to college. RATING: A.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dining, dancing and here comes the cold front.

In case you’ve been looking for a reason to shoot off fireworks the week before Halloween, today is CHICKEN FRIED STEAK DAY, as big a deal in Texas as concealed handguns and remembering the Alamo. A chicken-fried steak — in case you don’t know — is a slab of cheap pounded round steak dredged in batter, deep-fried and slathered with a dense white gravy that’s frequently mistaken for wallpaper paste. This is the cornerstone of a fine, nutritious Texas meal when accompanied by a couple of canned vegetables and instant mashed potatoes, as illustrated below.
Incidentally, since chicken-fried steak doesn’t usually appear on restaurant menus outside the Lone Star State you’ll find 108 recipe variations of this Texas classic on guaranteed to delight your family and unsuspecting friends. A Lipitor parfait is recommended for dessert.

Last night Sam and I kept mom company while she watched three consecutive hours of “Dancing with the Stars.” This included a two-hour episode that I recorded for her on Monday plus Tuesday’s BIG ELIMINATION SHOCKER.

While I realize this is an intensely popular program, in whose delusional fantasyland are D-listers like Rob Kardashian, Nancy Grace and Chaz Bono considered STARS?

This is all such ghastly, mind-numbing crap that it makes “Operation Repo” look like “Masterpiece Theater.” When Chaz Bono was eliminated last night she he whined that the judges were being “too judgmental” — what a concept! — by referring to her him as a penguin and kicking him off the show. They were, in fact, just being kind to the viewers at home because Chaz Bono dances like a CLYDESDALE.
And NOTHING could have ever prepared me for the sight of Nancy Grace — CNN’s insufferable legal Rottweiler — decked out in sequins. This woman may be built for crucifying defendants on national television before they have their day in court, but she’s NOT built for dancing the jive in a push-up bra.
In weather news, we’ve got a cold front on the way! says the temperature is supposed to dip into the upper 40s overnight and stay there for about 24 hours, and steady rain is in the forecast all day tomorrow. This is actually extremely good news for drought-stricken Texas, and a day of rain doesn’t bother me whatsoever. I’ve got a pile of excellent movies stored in my DVR — including Earth vs. the Flying Saucers and The Gamma People — and more than enough material for a variety of additional meaningless Howdygram posts.
Don’t forget game six of the World Series tonight and thank you for reading this.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Significant changes in Howdygramland.

I’m not sure whether or not you’ve noticed, but I just made some REALLY HUGE CHANGES to the Howdygram! Okay, they may not be huge to YOU, but they’re definitely huge to ME because it took more than an hour to tweak the HTML coding and I missed my opportunity for an after-lunch nap. Today’s modifications included downsizing from three columns to two, adding a pink divider between the two remaining columns and reducing the overall width of the blog and the header graphic.

If you think this was easy you’d be wrong. I definitely suffer for my art.

In case you’re interested we had an excellent lunch today at Royal China that ended with well-written fortune cookies and enough leftover food to keep us off the street tonight for dinner. I ordered Szechwan string beans with shrimp, Sam had sweet & sour something and mom’s entree was stir-fried tilapia with vegetables. (I think I’m hungry again.) Mom’s tilapia looked so good I might order it next time we go. Or maybe I’ll get noodles.

More later. Hope you’re enjoying Tuesday as much as I am.

Passing the Buck.

Howdy. The house is quiet, Sam and mom are playing cards in the dining room and I might go back to bed after I write this post.

They did it. The Texas Rangers won game five of the World Series last night 4 to 2, but it was a nail-biter until the very last pitch — a situation made even worse by FOX-TV’s dull-as-mud announcer Joe Buck spewing an exhausting litany of nonstop crap stats, such as “He has the biggest feet in the American League West and since 2004 has never successfully stolen a base in any post-season game where the national anthem was sung by a brunette.” And just between us, I think Joe Buck was Gumby’s twin separated at birth. It’s something about their necks.
Game six is in St. Louis on Wednesday. GO RANGERS!

We’ll be taking mom somewhere wonderful for lunch today — I vote for Royal China — but our activities for the rest of the week will depend on an incoming weather system. Today will still be perfect with a high of 85° and lots of sun. Starting tomorrow, though, we’ve got thunderstorms coming in the afternoon followed by a genuine cold front and a full day of RAIN AND WIND on Thursday with a high in the 50s. (Rain! Yay!) On Friday after all the hoo-hah dies down mom wants to go back to the Choctaw Casino because yesterday was definitely BIG FUN for all of us even though nobody had much luck at the slots except yours truly. I won enough to pay Sam back the $40 he gave me for gambling with a swell little profit for myself.

I suppose I should go back to sleep for a while. I’m done writing, I don’t feel like playing cards and it’s way too early to get motivated about anything else, such as laundry, making the bed or eating breakfast. Wake me at 9. Thank you for reading this.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Go Rangers!

Everybody around here went to bed early last night — immediately after the Rangers nailed game four of the World Series — but I hung out a little longer to watch an essential program I’d recorded a couple of hours earlier … part two of the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” reunion special on Bravo now that season three has come to an end.

For those of you who avoid this crap poop pop culture phenomenon, the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” is a reality show about five dysfunctional sequin addicts married to illiterate mafia wannabes. You can tell they’re all related by the way they talk to — and about — each other, and the reunion was a vicious, profanity-laced hate-fest that would make Jerry Springer proud. The “housewives” all wore glitter eye shadow and three quarts of lip gloss, made fake gagging sounds when they discussed each other’s husbands, and then everybody ganged up on Teresa, who deserved it, at least twice. This is truly excellent television.
Teresa is a Neanderthal and she has four equally-Neanderthalish daughters. She and her husband, Giuseppe Neanderthal, are $11 million in debt because sequins are expensive. Plus he’s facing 10 years in prison for defrauding his former business partner and for driving drunk with a fake ID.

If bimbos like this were involved in MY life I’d be first in line for the witness protection program and move to another continent. However, the reunion was so damn good I might have to watch it again. 

In other news, we’re taking mom to the Choctaw Casino today for a few hours at the penny slots and a swell buffet lunch. The buffet part is particularly important because they have a SUGAR-FREE DESSERT BAR with banana cream pie that’s so good I might even skip the entrees. The only reason we can’t leave RIGHT NOW is because there’s a dense fog event going on in north Texas. says it’s supposed to lift by 10 a.m. but it’s awfully hard to believe them. (They lie.)

For your possible interest, below is a photo of George W. Bush throwing out the first pitch at last night’s World Series game.
Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Enjoying reality.

In a word, last night’s weather event was a real DOOZY that rocked us out of bed at 1:55 in the morning and included torrential rain, 70 m.p.h. wind gusts and extremely loud HAIL, key ingredients of every self-respecting thunderstorm that wants to call itself “severe.” This one definitely fit the bill. I don’t know the total rainfall yet, but remind me to send a thankyou note to somebody because we need all the rain we can get.

At 9 this morning we drove to north Dallas for brunch at Blue Mesa, which was — as always — outstanding. Al was his typical tip-worthy self, fawning all over us, dripping with charm and fulfilling Sam’s grapefruit juice fantasies with at least two gallons of fresh-squeezed. My favorite southwestern corn relish, however, was a little disappointing. Mom said it was “nice and crunchy” (I’m assuming that’s a compliment); to me it just tasted like smelly feet. At first I was afraid my taste disorder (see earlier post) had come back, but since everything else on my plate was absolutely yum I have to stick to the smelly feet critique. Mom loved the teeny flans and the guacamole was crazy good. God bless avocados.

We’re an hour away from game four of the World Series but I honestly don’t know if I can stand another evening with the Rangers and Cardinals after last night’s catastrophe. I might have to crawl under a rock with an old movie and the “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” But never mind where I’ll be an hour from now … first I have to figure out what’s for dinner around here. Mom and Sam, who are walking around the block, both requested lox and bagels; I’m considering a pile of steamed veggies and leftover meatballs from last night.

Life is swell. Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

There’s always tomorrow.

A few final thoughts from Howdygramland before I drift off to bed.

Mom arrived safe and sound from Los Angeles this afternoon. I cooked a really nice dinner at home followed by some raisins, and then we decide to watch game three of the World Series, which is being played at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. This is actually a HUGE MISTAKE for after-dinner entertainment. Within an hour the Rangers are already drowning 5 to 0, Nolan Ryan looks like he passed a kidney stone and Sam and I are shrieking obscenities at the TV. I start to feel nauseated and suggest we’d better consider a cute movie instead before everybody has a stroke. We watched The Great Race on DVD.

By now, of course, everybody knows the Rangers lost 16 to 7, a score that must have shattered some kind of moronic World Series record for Most Humiliating Loss By a Team With a Home Field Advantage.
On a happier note, we’re taking mom to Blue Mesa in the morning for brunch, where a person can load up on all-you-can-eat fajitas, street tacos, guacamole, sweet potato chips, waffles, adobe pie, designer omelets and teeny tiny flans. They also have the best southwestern corn relish on the planet and Al, our favorite waiter. This glorious food fest will be preceded by a large herd of thunderstorms, which are heading south from Oklahoma as I write this post.

Night-night. Thank you for reading this.

It was remotely possible.

Alas, it was the batteries after all. For the lack of two ordinary AAs I almost murdered an essential but helpless little device that never hurt anybody in its entire life. I am so ashamed.

Please see last night’s post in case you don’t know what the devil I’m talking about.

In other news, Sam just left to buy himself a couple of Saturday morning doughnuts and I’m trying to figure out if I should go back to bed since I’ve only had four hours of sleep. It’s a dilemma, to be sure, but one that I need to solve on my own. At the moment I’m leaning towards actual sleep rather than just writing about it.

Turn out the light when you’re done and thank you for your concern.

Frustration, tea bags and napkin rings.

Yo. I have practically nothing to say at this hour of the morning, but that’s never stopped me before so I decided to write a post anyway.

Sam is already asleep. I feel compelled to sit up for a while because our AT&T U-Verse remote (see right) tried to give me a brain hemhorrage when it REFUSED to let me turn off the cable box and TV. Every time I pressed the power button both units would shut down and then pop right back on again … over and over and over and over. After 15 minutes of this crazy crap I just turned off the TV manually so I wouldn’t have to ram the stupid remote into the garbage disposer.

I’m thinking maybe the batteries are low. (This sounds like a nice Saturday activity for Sam.)

Before I head off to bed I’ve got one final project — a quick grocery list. We’ll be stocking up on essentials this morning for my mother-in-law’s visit — raisin bran, fruit, extra bagels, a box of tea bags and the good potato salad from Tom Thumb. Her flight gets in at 4:05. Sam will meet her at the airport and I’ll stay home to make dinner. Y’all are welcome to come, too, but please send an email to request a reservation so I’ll have enough napkin rings. I’m serving at 6:30 sharp. Thank you for reading this.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Introducing the Shatnerian School of Acting.

I’m positive this has to be the best Captain Kirk video I’ve ever seen … a brilliantly-edited montage of William Shatner’s most outrageously theatrical moments from “Star Trek.” I strongly recommend watching with an empty bladder or you’ll regret it. Trust me.

I wanted to share this with you before I get too involved with microwave popcorn and “Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares” on Fox. I also have a teeny brick of sugar-free chocolate fudge, some grapes and additional leftover Chinese food if the spirit moves me. There’s no end to the joy of retirement, y’all.

Thank you for reading this.

Gone but not forgotten.

This just in from the Howdygram’s World News Desk — MOAMMAR GADDAFI IS STILL DEAD. The latest report indicates his body is stuffed in a commercial freezer in a Libyan shopping mall. I’d be willing to bet it’s a Dairy Queen (just a hunch) but I can’t be positive about this.

What I find especially outrageous is why the United Nations is demanding to know exactly how Gaddafi died. They say he was filmed badly injured but still alive, and then all of sudden — HOLY COW — he’s dead in the next scene with a bullet hole in his head! Frankly, the U.N. shouldn’t waste its time with baloney like this because the answer is pretty obvious. It was an executive decision by one of the ten thousand armed rebels who captured the Libyan dictator, figuring we’re all way too pissed off to put this jerk on trial so let’s just end it now — and BLAM. Then they tie his body to the hood of a car and do a drive-by show & tell all over the city of Misrata. This was a smart move that also sends a clear message to Gaddafi’s whack-job sons in exile (see below) so nobody makes plans to pick up where dad left off.
Incidentally, I just read a fascinating article about Gaddafi from ABC News that revealed a few of his weirdest quirks. For instance: 1) he had a private team of 40 huge female bodyguards called “The Amazons” — all virgins — who wore heavy makeup and combat boots with stiletto heels; 2) he was in love with former U.S. secretary of state Condoleeza Rice and when rebels stormed his compound in Tripoli they found an exceptionally neat photo album filled with pictures of her; and 3) he was scared of elevators.

And now it’s time for a late lunch or a very early dinner. In either case it’ll be leftover Chinese accompanied by last night’s episode of “Project Runway,” which is one of my favorite meals when Sam isn’t home. Thank you for reading this.

In defense of baseball.

Sam always tells me that he likes football better than baseball because baseball is TOO SLOW. Since he’s sound asleep and not here to defend his position, I’ll go out on a limb and tell you he’s DEAD WRONG.

Aside from the fact that baseball’s rules are easier to understand, the umpires wear great little outfits, the weather’s always better and who doesn’t love a sing-along during the seventh inning stretch, please consider the following:
  • A baseball game never stops unless somebody runs out to the mound for half a minute to find out if the pitcher has to pee or wants a stick of gum.
  • You don’t see a couple hundred yahoos with clip boards, bandages, head phones and Gatorade hanging out along the first base line.
  • Every movement on the field doesn’t require an instant replay on the Jumbotron or a 20-minute review by the commissioner of baseball, six announcers, the general managers of both teams and a committee of fans from the right field bleachers.
  • When a player hits a line drive, four umpires don’t crawl around with tape measures to make sure he actually ran 90 feet to first base.
In addition:
  • Baseball is an all-American sport featuring the finest athletes from Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
  • If it rains everybody can run inside to buy a hotdog.
  • You don’t have to be the CEO of General Motors to afford a couple of box seats.
I would also like to add GO RANGERS because they won game two of the World Series last night. The next three games will be played here in north Texas.
Thank you for reading this.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mazel tov to Libya.

It’s official. I’ve seen enough video clips of Moammar Gaddafi’s battered body being dragged through the streets of Libya to last a lifetime. I’m nauseated and relieved — but not surprised — since this is what a person can expect during his golden years if he’s a delusional, narcissistic despot who annoints himself “King of Kings.” Lest we forget Italy’s Fascist “clown prince,” Benito Mussolini.
Mussolini and his cohorts were executed by a firing squad on April 27, 1945. Two days later, after being shot and kicked repeatedly by happy, liberated Italians, the bodies were driven to Milan (reportedly without seat belts) and hung upside down from the roof of an Esso gas station, where additional happy Italians pelted them with rocks from the street below. Whatever was left of Mussolini’s body was finally buried in an unmarked grave. Nobody was sitting shiva.

If this is all a little too graphic and disturbing maybe you shouldn’t watch the weird William Shatner video in my previous post.

And now, let’s recap last night’s episode of Bravo TV’s “Work of Art,” where the artists/contestants were divided into two teams and asked to create a gallery show suggesting movement.

One team decided to call itself “Poop” and proceeded to focus on bowels and intestines until the show’s mentor (Simon) told them to start over because this was so stupid he almost couldn’t verbalize his horror. He also commented that the process of excretion was “too slow” to be artistically interesting, so they switched their theme to “Play with Me” and created equally stupid playground art out of plywood. Two of these included Dusty’s life-size photo of himself stapled to the end of a see-saw and Sucklord’s “flip the rat” arcade game where you fling plastic rats into buckets with a catapult.
The other team’s theme was “Loop,” although none of the judges could figure out what this had to do with movement. Lola drizzled hot-glue onto a mountain of shredded medical documents from a dumpster. Tewz wrapped a spray-painted garden hose around a bucket and pasted a tiny yellow hand to a circle on the wall. Kathryn, staying true to her obsession with internal organs, videotaped wads of blood and gore landing on a plastic tarp. Shockingly, she lost last night’s challenge and got sent home, crying hysterically.

The winner, believe it or not, was a dude from the “Play with Me” team named Bayete who — get this — videotaped himself from the neck up spinning around on the roof. No kidding. Judge Jerry Saltz found Bayete’s art “strangely mesmerizing” and judge Bill Powers was “impressed with the simplicity.” Everybody else was just outraged that running in a circle and shouting “whee” qualified as art.

Monet is throwing up in his grave. Thank you for reading this.

Where no man has gone before.

For your middle-of-the-night viewing enjoyment please take a look at this transcendental, unexpected and completely off-the-wall music video of William Shatner performing Queen’s bizarre “Bohemian Rhapsody.” There is absolutely NO END to this man’s talent. I even want to wake Sam so he can watch this video with me but I think he’d probably appreciate sleeping a little later than 5 a.m.

More later. Have a nice day.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Overpriced but worth the money.

If I’ve learned anything during the last decade of my life it’s that a lot of overpriced crap is sold on the Internet. For instance, the BedBathStore expects nitwits to pay $38.99 for an 18" throw pillow that everybody can buy two for $9.99 at Kirklands. (This is why I love Kirklands.)
Another major rip-off is just about ANYTHING you’ll find at Brookstone. They sell a cheesy red LED flameless candle for $49.99 when you can get six for $18 from Wal-Mart. And they even smell like vanilla at no extra charge.
I think that Yankee Candle products are seriously overpriced, too, but since I’m addicted to their stupid electric home fragrance thingies I’ve decided that I’m willing to pay their ridiculous prices so I can pretend I’m living in a garden. My two favorite fragrances are Lilac Blossoms and Midnight Jasmine, which are far better than some of Yankee Candle’s more bizarre options like North Pole, Beach Walk and Farmer’s Market. Seriously, who wants a house that smells like reindeer turds, dead fish or produce!
Yankee Candle sells two teeny refill bottles in a package (see above) for $14.99. The instructions say each bottle lasts “four to six weeks” but that’s a lot of crapola because mine never last longer than THREE. I just did the math, and with fragrances plugged into five different rooms this baloney is costing me more than $645 a year. (I sincerely hope that Sam isn’t reading this post.)

Thanks for visiting. Tell your friends.

Fried rice and the seventh-inning stretch.

Before I forget, here’s a brief message for my brother-in-law David:
Hey, sports fans — the World Series starts tonight! As if we couldn’t be more excited here because the Rangers won the American League pennant, all my favorite Chinese restaurants are offering WORLD SERIES CARRY-OUT DISCOUNTS so a person can eat Mongolian Chicken in her bathrobe and watch TV at the SAME TIME. Seriously, this is so exciting I almost can’t stand it.

Tonight’s game starts at 7. I’m opening the soy sauce at 6:45.

In other news, my very cute mother-in-law (see photo below with Sam) arrives Saturday for an eight-day visit and we’ve been busy trying to put together a fun-packed itinerary for her. So far we’ve got excursions to our new patio, the Choctaw Casino, the Dallas Arboretum and maybe a museum. Our restaurant choices are The Black-eyed Pea, Sunday brunch at Blue Mesa Grill, Smoke, Mariano’s Hacienda, Royal China (home of the original “noodle dude”) and Sammy’s Barbecue in Uptown. Don’t tell anybody, but all of a sudden I’m exceptionally hungry.
We won’t need to do a driving tour of Dallas because this is mom’s third visit and she’s already seen all the high spots — including the famous Book Depository and the ever-popular “grassy knoll.”

Thanks for stopping by.

An ode to the soaker hose.

It’s 4 a.m. and I’m sitting here with warm lemonade because I didn’t want to wake Sam with a lot of noisy ice dispenser hoo-hah. Other than that, however, everything is just peachy unless you want to talk about DROUGHT. I just found out that most of north Texas is implementing immediate stage 3 water restrictions. This means you can only water your lawn or landscape once every two weeks from November 1 to March 31 and never between the hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. New plantings (shrubs, trees) and foundations can be watered for up to two hours daily with a slow soaker hose or by hand.

In case you have no idea why anybody would water their foundation, we do this because: 1) houses here are all built on concrete slabs with no basements; 2) the soil under the slab is typically Texas clay; and 3) clay shrinks in a drought and your house could tip, crack or warp. So we all learn to run a couple of $10 soaker hoses around the perimeter of the house to keep the foundation level. This definitely beats the alternative, such as spending $25,000 to replace a bunch of warped floors, cockeyed doors and bulging window frames. I’m just saying.

Here’s some late-breaking news from our Holy Crap department. As if the drought couldn’t get any worse, please take a look at this DUST STORM two days ago in Lubbock.

And now for your possible interest I want to share the following recent photos of Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. Paul is typical and moderately wrinkly for an extremely rich dude at 69, but Ringo at 71 looks AMAZING, ageless and not much different than he did 25 years ago. He even has NICE TEETH and an EARRING!
I’m going back to bed now. Thank you for reading this.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Deflated, pooped and crabby.

I’ve been really annoyed since I got up this morning and would appreciate everybody being quiet for a few minutes so I can get some crapola off my chest.

First, we found today that our new family room furniture won’t be here until the end of October. The store had semi-promised that everything would be in stock and delivered this week in time for my mother-in-law’s visit (she arrives on Saturday) but apparently they’re comfortable being a herd of pathological liars and it just isn’t going to happen.


Second, I had a list of projects for our handyman that I wanted him to tackle before mom gets here but Gary says he won’t have any time for us until the week after she goes home. (I hope he isn’t playing hard-to-get.)

And now for something completely different.

Don’t be jealous, but I just spent an hour and a half hunched over the bed steaming a million wrinkles out of our lovely new microsuede king-size comforter, which appears to have spent the last three weeks stuffed into the glove compartment of a VW Beetle.
This steam marathon produced fine results (see above) but still turned out to be way more work than I ever expected. I’m clammy, crabby and my back is officially killing me. I deserve something incredible for dinner but will probably wind up with a can of Campbell’s Bean with Bacon soup because it’s fast. Also easy.
Incidentally, if you’ve never tried Campbell’s Bean with Bacon you’re missing a treat that’s extremely above-average for a canned soup. Just be sure to use one-third less water than they recommend.

Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A brief peanut butter postscript.

As an addendum to last night’s post you should know that has more than DOUBLED its price for the six-jar pack of Skippy reduced fat creamy peanut butter that I ordered yesterday — from $12.29 to $29.99 — obviously responding to that pending national tragedy about the skyrocketing cost of wholesale peanuts and Kraft’s plan to raise the price of peanut butter by 40% at the end of this month.

This, dear readers, is a lot of crapola.

There may be other peanut butter possibilities on Amazon that haven’t raised their prices yet so this is an excellent time to stockpile. You heard it here first.

Thank you for reading this.

Mazel tov to our local baseball stars.

The big hoo-hah around here a couple of hours ago was the Texas Rangers’ stupendous 15 to 5 win over the Detroit Tigers, earning them a second consecutive American League pennant and another trip to the World Series. Slugger Nelson Cruz, pictured below, easily won MVP for hitting several thousand home runs.
The only thing that could make me happier would be the Chicago Cubs in a World Series against ANYBODY, but I’m pretty sure I’ll never live long enough to see it. The Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908 or a National League pennant since 1945 — the longest drought of any professional sports team EVER. It’s enough to make a person kick the crap out of her Cracker Jack.

Thank you for reading this.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Breaking news from Texas, part 2.

Even worse than Ashton Kutcher cheating on Demi Moore or who got kicked off “Dancing with the Stars,” I just read a frightening article that Kraft plans to raise the price of peanut butter by 40% on October 31. Apparently this is because the price for a ton of runner peanuts, the kind used to make peanut butter, hit nearly $1,200 this week — that’s an increase of $450 per ton from a year ago.

What this means is, you should immediately visit and buy yourself a pile of peanut butter CHEAP. I just ordered a six-jar pack of Skippy reduced fat creamy peanut butter for $12.29 — that’s only $2.04 each and a LOT cheaper than a supermarket. Amazon sells other brands, too, but I’m really into Skippy. Click here to buy Skippy as illustrated below or here to check out Amazon’s other peanut butter options.
If the price of jelly goes up, we’re screwed. Thank you for reading this.

Breaking news from Texas.

I know everybody’s been dying to read the latest chapter of Marcy’s Adventures in Diabetesland, so I’m pleased to report that my most recent medication change to injectable Victoza is working out nicely and my blood sugar numbers are in the normal range now. Feel free to applaud if you want to. Thank you.

Guess what Sam and I did yesterday. WE WENT BACK TO THE CHOCTAW CASINO AND WON BIG MONEY AGAIN. As a matter of fact, I walked into the main entrance, sat down at the first penny slot machine I saw and won $11.90 on a 15¢ investment just waiting for Sam to park the car. Then I collected $42.50 from a screwy penny slot called Cash Wizard that kept awarding bonus rounds. At one point I’d won 45 CONSECUTIVE FREE SPINS while the speaker blasted several hundred choruses of the 1970s hit “It’s Magic” by Pilot. By the time we left Sam had cashed in more than $110 in vouchers and my ear drums had exploded.
In case you’re interested, the casino’s buffet was exceptionally good yesterday, too. We even pay half-price because we’ve got Players Club cards — which the casino gives out for free. I love free things.

For those of you wondering whatever happened to our new family room furniture, we’re still hoping for delivery sometime next week. The only piece missing is the right half of our sectional; the left half, Sam’s leather arm chair and the matching ottoman are already in stock. I CAN’T WAIT TO TAKE A NAP ON MY NEW SOFA. Stay tuned for more details as well as a comprehensive nap update.

October 15 is a date to remember for the following excellent reasons: 
  • 1863. The Confederate spy submarine C.S.S. Hunley sinks during a test run, killing its inventor and a crew of seven idiots.
  • 1917. World War I’s floozy spy Mata Hari is executed by a French firing squad. She was actually a Dutch citizen named Margaretha Geertruida Zelle who traveled around Europe disguised as an Asian stripper. It was an excellent disguise (see below).
  • 1965. First Viet Nam war draft card is burned. 
  • 2007. Drew Carey becomes host of “The Price Is Right.”
Thank you for reading this.