Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gefilte fish is an appropriate snack for almost any weather situation.

Oy, yee-haw and glorioski ... it’s here! Direct from Apple’s overseas sweatshop in Chengdu, China, OUR BRAND NEW iPAD ARRIVED TODAY. This thing is truly beautiful, but the touch-screen technology — easily mastered by toddlers, nitwits and just about everybody else on planet earth — has left yours truly somewhat befuddled. Therefore, to help me to figure it all out I set up an appointment on Thursday with a “genius” at the Apple Store in Dallas to show Sam and me the basics. In the meantime I just ordered an excellent yet remarkably inexpensive iPad travel case from Amazon, pictured below.
We had an interesting day around here, weather-wise. Lots of thunderstorms started rolling in before sun-up and continued on and off until late afternoon. Nothing major, but we definitely had some ongoing boomers and nice steady rain. At the moment there’s yet another line of storms moving in, this time more severe with lots of bright red crap on the map (see below) from The red star indicates Howdygram headquarters in Mesquite.
Thought y’all might enjoy the following video clip made by a frightening young woman for an online dating service. You’ll understand why I chose an adjective like “frightening” as soon as she opens her mouth. I’d be willing to bet she’s still single.

And now I think I’ll join Sam in the family room and eat gefilte fish while we watch the storms roll in, because gefilte fish is an appropriate snack for almost any weather situation. Thank you for reading this.

It’s my first-ever all-food Howdygram post!

For all you sugar junkies, on Friday, June 1, Krispy Kreme stores from coast to coast will celebrate National Donut Day by giving away ONE FREE DONUT OF YOUR CHOICE, no purchase necessary! I’m unable to join the celebration due to being diabetic but I’ll definitely tag along if Sam decides to participate. Our closest Krispy Kreme is on Greenville Avenue in Dallas. This may not be worth the trip.
From our Pass the Pepto Bismol department, renowned competitive-eater Kobayashi kicked ass in Chicago last weekend by participating in a stomach-turning Al’s Italian Beef-eating contest against five local Chicago Tribune food bloggers. The challenge? He had to eat five Italian beef sandwiches before the bloggers could eat theirs, and it was no match. Kobayashi rammed all five sandwiches down his throat in 90 seconds and then ate one more just for fun. Check it out below. For the record, I don’t know how he does this. I get the hiccups after two bites of gefilte fish.

In case you’re a fan like me, “Top Chef Masters” season four premiers July 25 on Bravo. I saw the roster of contestants a little while ago in an article on Although I have no idea whatsoever who any of these people are, most typically own upscale restaurants in Manhattan that specialize in teeny overpriced slabs of half-cooked “sustainable” fish with a decorative smear of snooty sauce. I’ll take Loma Linda’s fake meat in a can any day of the week.
And finally, I was experimenting in the Howdygram’s test kitchen the other day and managed to duplicate the exact flavor of original Hawaiian Punch. You know, in those big cans from the 1960s.
I used four squirts of DaVinci sugar-free cherry syrup in 12 ounces of Crystal Light lemonade and it was so wonderful I almost hyperventilated. To me, this discovery might be on par with the invention of cruise control or novocaine.

Thank you for reading this!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Here’s something frightening. I ordered myself a bathing suit today.

I’ll begin this post with breaking news from our Fifteen Minutes of Fame department. Former “child star” actor and reformed drug addict Todd Bridges and his wife have filed for divorce after 14 years of marriage. Just between us, it’s almost impossible to give a crap about this.
In other news, I placed an order today for more Taco TVP (textured vegetable protein) from Shelf Reliance. This stuff is AMAZING AS HELL. It’s really inexpensive, rehydrates in THREE MINUTES and actually tastes like — and is almost as slimy as — the beef filling from Taco Bell! It’s fabulous wrapped in a low-carb flour tortilla with hot sauce and a fistful of shredded cheese. Sam loves it, too, except he prefers normal tortillas. I ordered two four-pound drums to make sure we don’t run out for the rest of our natural lives.
Here’s something frightening. In anticipation of our big road trip next month I ordered myself a BATHING SUIT, pictured below for your possible interest.
It was only $20.99 on sale for 30% off plus an extra 40% discount with a promotion code. I really don’t mind horsing around in a hotel pool when I’m vacationing in another state, the bathing suit is dirt cheap and nobody knows who the hell I am. And not wanting Sam to feel neglected, I ordered him a pair of black trunks so he won’t be tempted just to sit on a deck chair and laugh his ass off.
I just decided to celebrate TVP, new swimwear and Todd Bridges’ lousy marriage by ordering dinner from China City. Thank you for reading this.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Welcome to Dallas ... un-hip, out of shape and smutty.

Wow. I’ve been sitting at the computer reading all of my favorite news websites — ABC, MSNBC, CNN, Yahoo, the Chicago Tribune, the Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Observer and the Fort Worth Star Telegram — and realized it’s already 4 a.m. and I have no desire whatsoever to go to bed even though Sam’s been unconscious for at least three hours.

What the hell. Happy Memorial Day.

Y’all might be interested to know I’ve discovered a new website — — an “Ikealike” marketplace for clever yet reasonably-priced crapola including gifts, gadgets, housewares, artwork, peculiar lamps and furniture. The photo at right features “Beardo,” the knit beanie with a built-in beard designed to keep your face warm. It’s a steal at $28 and available in several go-with-everything colors. I’m considering this for the Howdygram’s official headgear.

I did some online shopping last night to prepare for our road trip next month. Just between us, it used to be a lot more fun to plan for a vacation. In decades past this usually meant researching the nightlife and buying a pile of new clothes and shoes. Now it means wheelchair gloves, an insulin travel cooler and how the hell am I supposed to fit all these pills in my purse. Here’s what I ordered ...
I’m especially excited about the wheelchair push bar (stop laughing) from that’s designed for tall people, fits over the handles of a wheelchair and adds about seven inches of height. (We don’t want Sam to wind up with a creaky back.) The insulin cooling pouch is really swell, too. It keeps medication “refrigerated” without ice! Apparently you just soak the pouch in water for a few minutes and it keeps the contents cold for up to three days even in extremely hot temperatures. I think this was a great buy at $26.50 from Amazon. I ordered a blue one. I actually wanted red but it cost $2 more for no apparent reason.

You may have noticed that online magazines love to publish bullshit lists that rank cities across the United States on a variety of meaningless and unsubstantiated criteria. Even worse, they all hate Dallas. In recent weeks we ranked #15 on Men’s Health’s 100 Smuttiest Cities in America, the results of which were calculated by the number of adult DVD rentals, dildo sales and strip clubs. And according to Travel+Leisure we just came in dead last on their list of America’s Top 35 Hipster-Friendly Cities due to a shortage of snooty boutiques, dog parks, free wi-fi and Tweet volume. This is actually kind of amusing, however, since the median age of a Travel+Leisure subscriber is 49.5 years. They don’t exactly know how to attract hipsters, either.

But GLORIOSKI ... all is not lost! Dallas just landed in first place on’s study of dining out in America, since we apparently spend 91% more doing this than any other major city in the United States. (It’s not that our restaurants are so terrific; we’re just too busy roping cattle to defrost a chicken for dinner.)
And finally, the data presented above might explain our placement last week at #47 on the American College of Sports Medicine’s Fitness Index, where they point out that Dallas has too many fat diabetics and not enough golf courses, farmer’s markets and baseball diamonds. Also, almost nobody here rides a bicycle to work. Although we do rank high on tennis courts, we don’t use them because it’s 110° outside and we’re probably standing in a buffet line.

Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The South shall rise again. No kidding.

It’s early Sunday morning and I woke up an hour ago with a stuffed nose and a craving for TicTacs. While I’m blowing one and feeding the other I thought I’d write a post because Sam and I did a few amazing things on Saturday.

First, we ate Senior Scrambled Eggs for lunch at a BRAND NEW DENNY’S (new to us, anyway) on I-20 during a lovely drive to Fort Worth. I don’t remember our waitress’ name but she was extremely energetic. (I think I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be 18 years old.) Afterwards we continued heading west and discovered the Texas Civil War Museum, a hidden gem in a town called White Settlement — I’m not making this up — about 10 miles past Fort Worth.
This is a TRULY COOL MUSEUM, and it gave us an opportunity to test my new wheelchair while checking out their exhibits of uniforms — mostly Confederate, of course — plus high tech “medical” instruments (hacksaws, pliers and butcher knives), antique photos, shredded flags, cannon shells, guns and a lot of Civil War-era ball gowns worthy of Gone with the Wind. They also had LIVE MUSIC yesterday featuring Buttermilk Junction, an excellent group of costumed and adorable local yahoos who use authentic 19th century instruments and sing authentic 19th century songs, such as “Dixie” and “Shenandoah.”
I’m pleased to include the following Buttermilk Junction video from YouTube. They’re playing a tune called “The Colored Aristocracy.”

The map below indicates: A) The Texas Civil War Museum; and B) Denny’s with the energetic waitress.
From our Tea and Crumpets department, if you’re a big fan of the British royals like yours truly I think you should try your skill at a fun match-up game that’s posted on ABC’s news website. I played and won three times — perfect scores! — which obviously makes me a nerd of astonishing proportion. (I’m actually fine with this.)
I have to go back to bed now. I’m out of TicTacs.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lunch in Greece and other Friday news briefs.

Before I haul myself into the kitchen to make a late dinner I thought I’d spend a few minutes here with the Howdygram, touching briefly on the biggest news stories of the day.

First, it seems that Facebook’s week-old “dream IPO” turned out to be a genuine nightmare, with its stock already down 16½% at the close of business today. Seriously, what did anybody really expect from a meaningless product created to help teenagers find out what their friends had for lunch? Everybody is already suing everybody else — especially Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs — prompting the SEC to ask who the hell thought all these juvenile Einsteins could launch a public corporation. Schmucks.

Second, Sam and I went to Greece for lunch today! Okay, not really. We actually went to Cafe Greek in north Dallas for their excellent buffet, which turned out to be WONDERFUL, EXTREMELY GREEK and VERY AFFORDABLE at $9.99. The aforementioned excellent buffet included: 1) a pile of Greek salads and dips; 2) lots of olives; 3) two kinds of hummos (smooth hummos and lumpy hummos); 4) stuffed grape leaves; 5) gyros; 6) two kinds of Greek chicken; 7) hot pita bread made in a stone oven; and 8) trays of lovely Greek desserts that I couldn’t eat because I have diabetes.
We’re definitely going back, probably very soon. I’m thinking tomorrow. The map below indicates: A) Howdygram headquarters in Mesquite; and B) Cafe Greek on Preston Road in north Dallas, about a block south of I-635. There’s a lot of parking if you want to come, too.
I’d like to recommend a couple of fabulous movies that Sam and I enjoyed last night ... Stars in My Crown (1950) with Joel McCrea, Ellen Drew and Dean Stockwell and The More the Merrier (1942) with Joel McCrea, Jean Arthur and adorable Charles Coburn. (I’m a big Joel McCrea fan.)
Stars in My Crown is a heartwarming story set in middle America just after the Civil War and The More the Merrier is a priceless screwball comedy about overcrowded housing in Washington, D.C. during World War II. If you’ve never seen these two movies I strongly suggest you buy them soon on DVD from Amazon. (Go ahead. I’ll wait.)

And now, since it’s already 9 p.m. I think I’d better make dinner before Sam and I get too weak from starvation. I’m hungrier, however, because Sam’s been eating hors d’oeuvres for the last couple of hours, including a large quantity of Mother’s English Tea cookies (pictured below), cashews and a banana.
Thank you for reading this.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Smoke plumes, Mongolian chicken and an abundance of Mickeys.

Good afternoon, how’s the family and howdy from Texas! While Sam is at a doctor appointment I’ve decided to hang out with the Howdygram until I’m hungry enough to make lunch.

First order of business, a couple of new pictures of my great-nephew Tyler (age four) taken on a recent trip to California with his mom and dad. I’m assuming the first shot is Disneyland but Sam thinks it’s Disney’s California Adventure. I really wouldn’t know the difference from the snapshots I saw because Disney obviously hires a sufficient quantity of Mickeys to cover both theme parks. Also Minnies.
I screwed up a substantial detail in yesterday’s Howdygram post. I mentioned that our new iPad was being delivered today ... but it’s NOT. What’s being delivered today is the fold-up iPad cover that I ordered — an Apple accessory — and not the actual iPad itself, which shipped yesterday from Chengdu, China, and won’t get here until June 1. As a result I’m irked, morose, frustrated, despondent and altogether miserable enough to order a pile of Mongolian chicken.
From our Not Really Weather department, I was starting to get very excited about the possibility of rain today judging from the lack of sunshine and heavy overcast clouds, but I just read that we’re actually experiencing a smoke plume drifting east from that huge wildfire in New Mexico’s Gila National Forest. Just between us, I’d rather have rain. If anybody has an email address where I can send a complaint, please let me know.

Thank you for reading this.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Free Slurpees, an exciting new gadget and gefilte fish investments.

Let’s start with the biggest news story first, okay? Until 7 p.m. today you can get FREE SLURPEES AT 7-ELEVEN! And this even includes their new SUGAR-FREE Slurpees! Giveaways are genuinely wonderful and you shouldn’t miss this opportunity to save money while ingesting a large pile of dyed, artificially-flavored and chemically-altered slush.
I also want to include another edition of the Howdygram’s popular Holy Crap Gallery, this time featuring a trio of iconic female celebrities: Dolly Parton, Lauren Hutton and Marlo Thomas. Just between us, Lauren Hutton scares the hell out of me.
Here’s something cool. Sam and I visited the Apple Store online yesterday and ordered ourselves an iPad that will be here TOMORROW. This is our first real wireless device — we don’t even own smartphones — not counting my cordless mouse and it’s partially an investment for the road trip we’re planning next month so we won’t go insane without the Internet and email. Holy crap, is this exciting or what? I can’t wait to start shopping for apps. This might be more fun than hunting for gefilte fish discounts on Amazon.
Please note. The aforementioned Amazon gefilte fish discounts apparently have dried up since Passover ended and there are no current deals available anywhere unless you decide to shop at the KC Kosher Co-op, where you can get 24 oz. jars of Manischewitz for $6.86 each when you buy a case of 12, shipping included. However I don’t know if I’m ready to invest $82.30 in gefilte fish at the present time, particularly since our pantry is already stuffed with 36 cans of assorted Loma Linda fake meat and the world’s largest bag of tortilla chips from Costco.

Thank you for reading this.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Comic Con. A bunch of delusional middle-aged dudes in masks, capes and tights.

I probably should have included this in my last post, but here’s a perfect reason why NOT to attend Comic Con in Dallas or anywhere else: it’s overrun with middle-aged Einsteins in masks, capes and tights. Gouge my eyes out.
In other local news, Christi Erpillo has announced that her booth at the Texas State Fair this year will feature — get ready — DEEP-FRIED SAMOA COOKIES in honor of the Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary.
Miss Erpillo says she experimented with the recipe for months until she hit on the perfect way to deep-fry the Samoa between two wonton wrappers. (I don’t know why she’s smiling. It sounds disgusting.)

I think I’d like gefilte fish and horseradish before I go to bed tonight. I love this stuff. Thank you for putting up with me.

Vegetables, chair caning and Civil War battlefields in historic Vicksburg.

Sam’s flight home from L.A. on Sunday was uneventful, thank God, and exactly on time. I had to leave a little earlier than usual to pick him up, however, because my route to the airport took me through Irving, Texas, where round four of the Byron Nelson Championship was underway at the TPC Four Seasons Country Club, and the final day of Dallas Comic Con was wrapping up directly across the street at the Irving Convention Center. I managed to avoid all the traffic. I am a genius.

Breaking news. WE’RE PLANNING A ROAD TRIP! Sometime in June we’ll be heading east to Vicksburg, Mississippi, home of Civil War battlefields, the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum, Mississippi River sunset cruises, the Cedar Grove Mansion and a bunch of large riverfront casinos.  The map below indicates: A) Howdygram headquarters in Mesquite; and B) Vicksburg.
At first we were thinking we’d need one overnight on the way but I just figured out that Vicksburg is only 5½ hours from Dallas so there’s no reason we can’t do that in one day. Pictured below are sweaty people buying vegetables at the Vicksburg Farmer’s Market. I have no idea whatsoever why the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau thought this would be an asset to their home page.
Sam and I may also consider a number of exciting scheduled June events recommended by the Vicksburg CVB, including: 1) the Mississippi Outstanding Teen Pageant; 2) the Dexter Allen Blues Band concert on Clay Street; 3) an Intro to Microsoft Excel workshop at Mississippi State University; 4) the Seven Step Method of Chair Caning hosted by the Southern Cultural Heritage Center; and 5) the Milt Hinton Memorial Jazz Festival. The aforementioned Milt Hinton appears below.
Although Vicksburg appears to have a little of everything where dining options are concerned, the only restaurants right now that interest me are the Panda Buffet on Iowa Boulevard next to Wal-Mart and China King on the I-20 Frontage Road. I’m probably not joking about this. Please don’t tell Sam, okay?

Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Thank you for flying Howdygram Airlines.

Happy Sunday, y’all. I’ve got big news from Howdygramland! I just read an article that Trader Joe’s has announced a third location for a new store in north Texas, this one at the northwest corner of Walnut Hill and Central Expressway (see artist’s rendering below). That makes two Trader Joe’s stores in Dallas — both scheduled to open in 2013 — and one that’s opening in Plano by late summer. These are our first-ever Trader Joe’s stores and I’m so excited I could slap somebody! 
The map below indicates: A) Howdygram headquarters in Mesquite; B) the Trader Joe’s store coming to Lower Greenville Avenue next year; and C) the new store at Walnut Hill and Central Expressway. Never mind about the store in Plano because I won’t ever shop there. Plano is too far and too snooty.
Here are a few of my favorite Trader Joe’s products for your possible interest. Missing from this montage are: 1) frozen mango chunks; 2) couscous salad with real raisins; 3) stuffed peppers; 4) great big cashews; 5) the best cottage cheese on earth; and 6) “eggless” tofu egg salad. (Stop laughing. It’s really good.)
It’s time at last for a quick lunch and a hot shower, then I’ll be on my way to pick up Sam at the airport. The weather in Dallas today is 90° with sunshine and a light breeze from the south. Please remain seated until we arrive at the gate and thank you for flying Howdygram Airlines.

“The Hours” is a moody and intriguing chick-flick. Sam would definitely hate it.

Everybody knows I’m a TCM addict. And because I love classic films so much it sometimes takes me a while to get interested in a “current” movie, mostly because I’m not into chainsaws, middle school humor, computer-generated special effects, guts, gore, meaningless costume dramas or the gratuitous violence of war. However, Sam and I discovered The King’s Speech (2010) a few months ago and love it so much that we watch it religiously now at least once every couple of weeks. (We can even recite it.) Tonight I’m discovering The Hours, an amazing drama from 2002 with Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman. I’m here at my desk taking an “intermission” because it’s time for insulin and my nightly pile of pills, but I can’t wait to get back into the family room. The Hours is a moody and intriguing chick-flick that touches on the tragedy of suicide. (Sam would definitely hate this one.)
Speaking of Sam, about 16 hours from now I’ll be picking him up at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Terminal C, and according to American Airlines’ website his flight is on time. All together now ... yay!

Thank you for reading this.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I wonder if aging superheroes wear corrective tights.

The big event in Dallas this weekend — not counting the fact that Sam comes home tomorrow from his trip to California! — is Comic Con 2012 at the Irving Convention Center. Although I have zero interest in this crazy comic book obsession, I’m intrigued by some of the D-list “celebrities” who show up to sign autographs ... including Adam West and Burt Ward, TV’s Batman and Robin, respectively, who apparently earn a living with this horseshit. According to the Dallas Comic Con website, West charges $60 for an autograph and Ward charges $50 ... payable in cash directly into their sweaty palms at the autograph table. Holy rip-off, Batman!

And so, in honor of Comic Con 2012, I’m pleased to present the superhero edition of the Howdygram’s Holy Crap Gallery.
Also included above are Julie Newmar, who played Catwoman on the “Batman” TV series, and Van Williams, TV’s “Green Hornet.” I wonder if all these aging superheroes have to wear corrective tights.

In case you’re interested, after I fold a few bath towels and empty the dishwasher I have no plans for tonight whatsoever. I’m considering a bucket of homemade soup for dinner followed by sugar-free pudding — provided the milk in the fridge is still any good — and then a couple of old movies. Please send an email if you’d like to come over, okay? Thank you for reading this.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Out-of-control Tennessee idiot has 30 children by 11 different women.

There’s breaking news today about pathetic Desmond Hatchett, age 33, an out-of-control idiot from Tennessee who’s fathered an army of 30 children by 11 different stupid women and wants the state to “give him a break” on child support. The court already takes 50% of his paycheck — the maximum allowed by law — but Hatchett only earns minimum wage so some of the moms receive as little as $1.49 a month. Hatchett says he’s had four kids in the same year. Twice.
The video clip below was shot in 2009 when Hatchett was in court to respond to charges that many of the mothers were receiving no support. At the time he already had 21 children and promised the judge not to father any more but ultimately ended up with an additional nine in the three years that followed. The state of Tennessee says they can’t order Hatchett to stop making babies. Maybe not, but the Howdygram thinks they should do society a big fat favor and cut off his pee-pee instead. And holy crap ... WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ALL THESE MOTHERS? Hasn’t anybody ever heard of birth control?

Sam’s smiley Aunt Adie (see right) just emailed a bunch of photos taken today when she went with Sam and my mother-in-law to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. I love the Getty because that’s where Sam and I went on our first date! Back then our favorite displays were breathtaking antique French furniture (imagine the Palace of Versailles, times ten) and rooms full of illuminated manuscripts from the middle ages. They also had a swell outdoor cafe.
It’s finally time to haul myself into the family room for an English muffin and a couple of “Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares” reruns. Thanks so much for stopping by tonight. Next time maybe you could bring a coffee cake.

Introducing Chicago’s preferred prostitution payment plan, with or without fries.

Get ready to rumble, Howdygramsters, because I’ve got a pile of fabulous crap for you! For starters, you may recall an earlier post in which I charged that Charo lies about her age. She may want the world to think she’s 61 years old, but the Howdygram can promise you she’s NOT. I hunted around online for the real scoop — which was a no-brainer — and found that: 1) official documents in Spain and the U.S. indicate Charo was born in 1941, not 1951; 2) press reports gave her age as 20 in the early 1960s when she became engaged to Xavier Cugat; and 3) she was 36 when she divorced him in 1977. If you do the math, she was clearly born in 1941 but petitioned the courts to shave off 10 years when she applied for citizenship in the 1970s. Also see her biography on Wikipedia. (Just between us, I don’t really know why I’m so damn happy about this.)
Breaking news from the city of Forth Worth, where the MedStar ambulance service has introduced a new program that will send you a taxi cab if the Einstein 911 operator decides your call doesn’t require a paramedic. Holy crap. Fort Worth’s unsuspecting cab drivers are definitely in for a surprise when they start picking up fares in labor or various stages of cardiac arrest. I’m just saying.

Please bear with me while I show off a few new fonts, okay? Fonts have been my #1 addiction since I bought my first Mac in 1986 and I even love them more than Loma Linda fake meat in a can and old movies.
I recently discovered Lost Type, a terrific website that gives away very high quality fonts. Actually, they ask for a donation but you can download fonts for free if you type “$0” in the little box. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never donated a dime. (Okay, I’m not really embarrassed.)

From our Do You Want Fries With That department, here’s a hot story from the Windy City. Police in Chicago have arrested a pimp named DaJuan Brown, currently being held in lieu of $1 million bond, who pays his prostitutes — all very young girls — with drugs, cell phones and food from the dollar menu at McDonald’s. He would also beat the girls regularly and withhold hamburgers as punishment. The advertising departments at Burger King and Arby’s are probably working overtime trying to figure out an advantage ... but don’t hold your breath.
I was flipping channels yesterday and ran across a painfully horrible movie on TCM. I refer to Spy Chasers, a disastrous 1955 whodunit starring Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall — both 40+ years old — still pretending to be the “Dead End Kids” from the 1930s. Worse yet, they’re hunting German spies 10 years after the end of World War II. This was so thoroughly lousy I had to turn off the TV. And I almost NEVER turn off the TV.
And finally, a movie recommendation! Sam and I both enjoyed Ace of Aces (1932) with Richard Dix, Elizabeth Allan and Ralph Bellamy. This is a well-done story about the morality of war despite the fact that Dix is a former silent film star who’s frequently a little too “hammy” with the facial expressions. (You know, a male version of Norma Shearer.)
So here’s the basic plot. It’s 1918 and Dix is a pacifist sculptor who gets pushed into enlisting by his girlfriend (Elizabeth Allan) who thinks he’s a coward. Now stationed in France, the air force turns Dix into a bloodthirsty flying ace with no conscience or remorse until — SPOILER ALERT — he’s eventually responsible for the death of an enemy cadet he actually knew. Ralph Bellamy plays Dix’s cranky superior officer and there are lots of dogfight scenes with miniature airplanes, sweaty pilots, stupid helmets and fake bullets. My only complaint would be Elizabeth Allan’s 1930s hair and wardrobe, which made her look like she got dropped off in the middle of World War I by a time machine. If you can get beyond that, Ace of Aces is a winner.

Thank you for reading this.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

An ode to podiatry, soup and Joel McCrea.

Thursdays are always significant. To prove my point, today I woke at 8:45, dragged two neatly-tied sacks of trash to the curb for pickup, shlepped myself to the podiatrist at 11 for a routine quarterly appointment, got home at 11:25 and here I am, horsing around with the Howdygram!

Incidentally, that was NOT a typo in the previous paragraph. I live 60 seconds away from my podiatrist and was finished today in less than 20 minutes. For your possible interest the map below indicates: A) Howdygram headquarters; and B) Dr. Angelier’s office, which also happens to be across the street from our dentist and less than three blocks from our favorite Denny’s, where Sam and I enjoy Senior Scrambled Eggs.
For lunch today I’m making a large pot of Bear Creek hot & sour soup with several fabulous yet healthy additions: 1) a container of cubed tofu; 2) shirataki zero-calorie “rice”; and 3) half a cup of beef textured vegetable protein. And there’s no point procrastinating because it’s almost 1 p.m., I’m starving, and I need to get started watching all those Joel McCrea movies I recorded last night, including The Great Man’s Lady (1942), Stars in My Crown (1950), Come and Get It (1936) and The Common Law (1932).

Thank you for reading this.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Great Eyebrow Incident and other news.

Holy crap, I just woke up from the nap of a lifetime! Seriously, I conked out on the chaise in our family room around 4:45 and slept like somebody drugged me until around 7 p.m. I feel like a million bucks now. Let’s get a pizza! (Okay, not really.)

The aforementioned nap of a lifetime notwithstanding, my entire day has been extremely strange, come to think of it. At noon I decided to drive to Gio’s New York Deli in Dallas — yes, I realize how weird that sounds — to buy the chopped liver I’ve been craving for the last few weeks, except when I was practically there I realized I didn’t want chopped liver after all, turned around at the Park Central exit on I-635 and headed back to Mesquite, where I pulled into Slab’s, less than three minutes from home, for some good ol’ TEXAS BARBECUE. I got me a box of chopped brisket and a little bucket of sauce. (Slab’s has great sauce.) Yee-haw!
The map below indicates: A) Howdygram headquarters in Mesquite; B) Gio’s New York Deli in Dallas; C) the exit where I turned around on I-635; and D) Slab’s Barbecue on Galloway Avenue. In case you care, Slab’s has two parking spots and there’s a tailor shop next door.
Continuing with my “extremely strange day” theme, I accidentally ELIMINATED MY EYEBROWS this morning. Trust me ... do NOT buy Veet unless you’re planning to rip the hair off your legs or another very large area of real estate!
It’s the classic conundrum. I can’t do my eyebrows when I’m wearing my glasses, but if I take them off I’m blind as a bat. I didn’t let that stop me. I went ahead and used Veet wax strips on the “unibrow” region — or so I thought — and essentially tore off both eyebrows in the process. Sam asked if it hurt and I said no, on a general pain scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being plantar fasciitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, eyebrow removal is slightly less than 1. I’m not sure the answer made either of us very happy, however.

Octomom is in the news again. Nadya Suleman’s bankruptcy case was thrown out of court yesterday after she neglected to file all the required paperwork. This means the bank can move forward with foreclosure proceedings on her house in La Habra and the rest of her creditors can resume pursuing her for money. Suleman claims she has zero assets to pay her water and electric bills, her mortgage or her children’s school costs and estimates that she owes at least $500,000 and maybe as much as $1 million.
A few of Octomom’s creditors include her father, Kaiser Permanente Hospital, Sparkletts Water, all of her public utilities, cable TV, wireless service, a Christian school, a pre-school in Whittier and Sylvan Learning Center. In addition, she’s also being investigated by Children and Family Services that her house is unfit for habitation. Investigators found filth and chaos, holes punched in the walls, graffiti everywhere, a broken and barricaded bathroom and toddlers using a port-a-potty that’s located on the patio. It should be noted, however, that Octomom finds money for hair extensions — which cost about $1,000 — and a personal trainer. She is currently looking for work as a porn star.

I think I’ll go eat some gefilte fish, make myself a pineapple soda and watch five “Hardcore Pawn” reruns plus a strange movie I recorded yesterday on TCM ... The Hatchet Man (1932) starring Edward G. Robinson as a Chinese hit man and Loretta Young as his wife. This could turn out to be much worse than my eyebrows.
Have a nice day and say hi to the family for me.