Sunday, March 31, 2013

Presenting the secret works of George W. Bush.

Yes, dear readers, it’s been a while since my last Howdygram post. I blame the lapse on a four-day flare-up of diabetic neuropathy, which left me virtually sleepless for several consecutive nights. I managed to catch up (a little) during the day with naps on the chaise in the family room, but at all other times I was crabby, struggling, frustrated by a laundry list of side effects and decidedly unfunny and uninspired. But today — glorioski! — I’m feeling a hell of lot better. Sam and I watched everybody’s favorite Easter movie, Godzilla: King of the Monsters (1956), starring a giant fake lizard, Raymond Burr at his mind-numbing worst (see below) and throngs of screaming Japanese. We also enjoyed a couple of very pleasant Warner Baxter mysteries, Just Before Dawn (1946) and Crime Doctor (1943).
In case you’ve missed this in other places on the Internet — such as and The Huffington Post — the Howdygram Fine Art Museum is pleased to present the secret works of George W. Bush, recently discovered by an enterprising hacker who got into the emails of George’s sister and shared his attachments with the world. Personally, I think these paintings are all rather juvenile but definitely a lot better than anything I could do. George’s grapes, in particular, are excellent.
And now for the latest from North Korea, who yesterday issued its “Ultimate Definite Last Totally Final Warning” to the United States before launching a thermo-nuclear war. While nobody really understands why the devil these idiots are always so angry, I think it’s important to note the primary targets on Supreme Twerp Kim Jong Un’s latest map. These include Guam, Hawaii, Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C. and (of all places) Austin, Texas. Austin, Texas? Holy crap. Maybe bombing Austin wouldn’t be such a bad idea if we could get rid of Rick Perry and the Texas legislature! I’m just saying.
Sam and I would like to wish y’all a Happy Easter if that’s what you’re celebrating today. In the spirit of holiday entertainment I’m pleased to include this hilarious slideshow of Peeps dioramas. Thank you for reading this!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I wish I could still eat popcorn.

Last night was seriously lousy for me. I had a major issue with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage), a condition that flares up at night and feels like somebody set my hands and feet on fire with a blowtorch. I was wide awake and thoroughly miserable until 5:20 this morning, finally managing four hours of sleep on the chaise in the family room because I didn’t want to thrash around in bed and annoy Sam. In case you don’t know much about diabetic neuropathy, the following information is from Symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy can include:
  • Tingling, numbness, tightness, or burning, shooting, and stabbing pain in the feet, hands, or other parts of the body.
  • Sensitive skin that may be painful to the touch; prickling, burning, tingling, or sharp stabbing sensations may occur spontaneously and usually worsen at night.
  • Greatly reduced or greatly increased sensitivity to touch or temperature.
  • Difficulty walking, weakness and loss of balance and coordination.
  • “Foot drop,” a condition in which you can’t lift the front of one or both feet.
For the record, I experience all of the above on a daily basis in addition to the following symptoms of autonomic neuropathy (nerve damage to parts of the body that you can’t control):
  • Unregulated body temperature.
  • Heartburn, indigestion or difficulty swallowing.
  • Difficulty sensing when the bladder is full. (Oy.)
  • Dizziness, weakness, or fainting when you stand or sit up from a reclining position.
  • Difficulty knowing when your blood sugar is too low.
I guess the ones that annoy me most from the second group of symptoms are unregulated body temperature (on Tuesday it was 95.2° ... positively hypothermic!), difficulty swallowing — which doesn’t happen too often, thank God, but always leads to a crazy performance in restaurants — and most recently I can no longer discern when my blood sugar is too low! A year ago I’d get clammy, disoriented and desperately hungry if my blood sugar fell below 60; yesterday it dropped to 46 and I sat at my desk working on a Howdygram post for more than an hour with no adverse symptoms AT ALL.

The point is, DIABETES SUCKS. It’s a never-ending joy ride of needles, doctors, pain, frustration and aggravation. I know I’ve said this before, but if anybody ever gives you a choice of diseases I strongly recommend that you pick something else.

And now, living proof that celebrities age badly just like the rest of us. Actually, it may even be worse when you consider the dough they waste on plastic surgery and stylists who try to make them look half their age, such as Mary Tyler Moore with her orange eye shadow. Holy crap.
I think I’ll pour myself a nice big glass of soy milk and watch one of my favorite movies. This morning I recorded I Know Where I’m Going on TCM, an unusual film from 1945 starring Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesy that’s set in a desolate coastal village in northern Scotland during a gale. I have no idea what time Sam will be home from work tonight so I might be able to watch the whole thing straight through.

I wish I could still eat popcorn. (Too many carbs.)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It’s official. I’m a curmudgeon.

I am an anomaly. I’ve got the technical skill to design blogs and websites but I hate cell phones. ALL cell phones. At present I’ve got a three-year-old “dumb” phone with no data plan that can’t do anything except voice calls. Naturally AT&T is having a cow, expecting me to upgrade to an expensive contraption with a bunch of idiotic apps, but I don’t want an upgrade. I don’t even want a phone. And here’s why.
  1. I can’t operate those stupid teeny buttons because my fingers are numb from diabetic neuropathy.
  2. I don’t want to talk to anybody.
  3. I never leave the house.
So in case you’re wondering by now why the hell I have a cell phone at all, the explanations are brief and simple:
  1. In case I go somewhere alone — such as seven blocks away to the doctor’s office four times a year — I can call Sam from the parking lot to say hi and ask if he’s hungry.
  2. So I don’t have to post our home phone number on my business website even though nobody ever calls and I probably wouldn’t answer the phone even if they did.
Yes, it’s official. I’m a curmudgeon. Holy crap and welcome to my world.

From our Disgusting Creeps Behind Bars department comes a new story about convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky, Penn State's former assistant football coach, who’s serving six decades in prison for raping boys.
On the “Today” show this week documentary filmmaker John Ziegler unloaded a fresh pile of crap on the public in his effort to clear disgraced head coach Joe Paterno, who got fired for ignoring reports of Sandusky’s sexual activities in an effort to protect the football program. After lengthy behind-bars interviews with Sandusky, Ziegler has concluded that Paterno should not have been fired because the aforementioned activities were just botched grooming and not actually rape. The premise here is so thoroughly repulsive — what in hell is botched grooming? — that even Paterno’s family thinks this is horseshit.

And now it’s time for pickles & biscuits, a Slim Jim and sugar-free chocolate soy milk ... my new favorite dinner besides Mongolian chicken. I’m also gearing up for the new season of “Hardcore Pawn,” which starts tonight on TruTV. I love my life. Seriously.

Monday, March 25, 2013

See what happens when Bubba gets himself a job?

Sam and I are recovering from a “lost weekend,” during which we found ourselves unconscious for extended periods of time in various rooms of the house. This involved sleeping, napping and dozing off, skipping meals, not watching a thunderstorm and forgetting to fold socks. And for no discernible reason whatsoever, I might add, other than we must have been pretty damn tired. Unfortunately, this resulted in missing a monumental once-in-a-lifetime event nearby in Garland on Sunday afternoon: THE OSCAR MAYER WIENERMOBILE.
I don’t know if Oscar Mayer still employs dwarfs as their Little Oscar mascot — can they still get away with that? — but he was definitely a well-loved little dude back in the 1950s. The wienermobile used to draw huge crowds. For the record, the original Little Oscar was Meinhardt Raabe, who also played the Munchkin coroner in “The Wizard of Oz.” He died in 2010 at the age of 94.

Hey, I’ve got another Einstein award, and it’s definitely a “first” for the Howdygram! This time we’re bestowing our honor on an entire institution — The Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Center — where a team of highly-trained Einsteins apparently lost one of five vials containing the deadly Guanarito virus from Venezuela.
The $174 million facility is designed with the strictest security measures imaginable to house the deadliest viruses in the United States. Yup. See what happens when Bubba gets himself a job? Other killer viruses stored at the laboratory include anthrax, Ebola and the plague. Dr. William Schaffner at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville offered a surprisingly glib apology for the error: “Fortunately, losing a vial of Guanarito is not as threatening as losing a vial of anthrax.”

Thanks, Einsteins. We’ll sleep better tonight knowing it can still get worse.

Our GE gas range (pictured below) was repaired this afternoon, and I’m happy to report that my kitchen is functioning again at maximum capacity. Thank God the technician was able to adjust the oven’s thermostat (total charge, $98) and did NOT have to replace the entire electronic sensor unit, which would have cost at least $395 more and involve dismantling the entire stove. If that were the case I’d probably just ask Sam for a new gas range altogether, since Conn’s and Best Buy always have nice GE ranges on sale for about $549 ... and next time I might even be able to get one with a convection oven. Holy crap!
Sam is extremely swamped at work tonight. It’s 10:45 p.m. and he just called — the first chance he’s had since he left the house at 1:15 this afternoon — to let me know he won’t be home until 1 a.m. This sucks for a number of reasons, but mainly because he should be sitting in the family room right now with a bag of trail mix watching Dial M for Murder starring Grace Kelly and Ray Milland.

I almost forgot to wish y’all a happy Passover! As soon as I finish this post I plan to launch a solo gefilte fish festival with a large quantity of horseradish. My agenda for tomorrow morning includes making matzo ball soup. Thank you for reading this.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Three Fairfax County Einsteins invent “gallon smashing.”

Saturdays are usually wonderful at Howdygram headquarters because we always go places and eat things. Today, however, has been just plain WEIRD. The weirdness started around 6:15 this morning when Sam woke me up to tell me it’s thundering, after which I muttered a heartfelt thankyou and we went back to sleep until 11 a.m. THAT’S NOT A TYPO. We slept until 11. Both of us!

Following a forgettable lunch at noon (I think I had two leftover biscuits and a Slim Jim) we immediately laid down in the family room and — go on, guess! — took an afternoon nap. Mine only lasted about an hour but Sam is still unconscious ... and it’s almost time for dinner! Frankly, I’m a little worried. Either he isn’t feeling well or he has some great drugs he hasn’t told me about.

Need more weirdness? Check out this video of a new fad conceived by a trio of deranged prep school Einsteins in snooty Fairfax County, Virginia. It’s called “gallon smashing,” and they got away with this terrifying horseshit at seven major supermarkets until local authorities finally caught up with them. The Einsteins considered it a “prank” but police completely disagreed and charged them with multiple counts of destruction of property and disorderly conduct. Take a look.

The useless brats in this video are a pair of teenage brothers and their cousin who used cell phones to film each other destroying gallon jugs of milk and orange juice, frightening customers and employees, and frequently pretending to be seriously injured. WTF? I can’t begin to describe how thankful I am that I never had children. Seriously.

I need Mongolian chicken and I need it NOW. Pass the soy sauce.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Socks, biscuits and a baby celebrity extravaganza.

It’s laundry day at Howdygram headquarters! Anybody who’s interested in participating in a sock-folding marathon tonight is welcome to stop by. The festivities start at 6:45 p.m. and include dinner. I’m serving pickles, biscuits and Slim Jims with a low-carb cheesecake for dessert if I actually remember to bake one. Please send an email to reserve your place at the table. Thank you in advance.

In case you’re looking for some cheap entertainment that has nothing whatsoever to do with folding laundry, I’m pleased to post the following really cute photo montage of famous people when they were kids. A few are instantly recognizable because they looked exactly the same when they grew up, such as Barbra Streisand, Antonio Banderas, John F. Kennedy, Elton John, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and Prince Philip. Are these guys adorable, or what? Check out George W. Bush in his Little League uniform and freckle-faced Bill Gates as a Boy Scout.
Time to throw another load in the washing machine and make a nice batch o’ biscuits. Thanks for stopping by!

Maybe I should stop eating Slim Jims after 10 p.m.

I had a dream about this old 1950s Bosco TV commercial a couple of days ago. There’s no good explanation other than maybe I should stop eating Slim Jims after 10 p.m.

For the record, I remembered the entire jingle and sang it for Sam before I played the video clip. This probably means I’m a genius! (Okay, maybe not.)

Before I forget, here’s an important Howdygram public service announcement. Mark your calendar ... Ben & Jerry’s is giving away FREE ICE CREAM CONES on April 9! Click here to find a participating Ben & Jerry’s near you. Tell them Marcy sent you.
I may be writing a lot of Howdygram posts this weekend. Prepare yourself.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mazel tov to Wayne LaPierre, the Howdygram’s latest Putz of the Week.

Forgive me. I skipped two days posting for the Howdygram and I am without excuse. I have, however, been distracted by a number of pressing issues, which include: 1) a design conundrum related to a new client’s website; 2) an ongoing lack of sleep; 3) a few too many swell Tyrone Power movies on TCM; and 4) I can’t think of anything else. I’ve also been eating a lot of Beanit Butter cookies.

Regarding item 3, these were The Eddy Duchin Story, The Mark of Zorro and Witness for the Prosecution. Too bad TCM didn’t show The Luck of the Irish for St. Patrick’s Day; it’s one of Tyrone’s best. (If TCM asks me to help with their programming schedule next year I’ll have to mention this.)

And now for our latest Putz of the Week award! This time we’re honoring Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association and death merchant extraordinaire.
LaPierre’s current claim to fame is a new Republican policy solution for rape, announced at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference: arm all women with guns. LaPierre said, “The one thing a violent rapist deserves is to face a good woman with a gun!”

The right-wing’s view of violence against women is already clear. They’re the party of old white men spouting crap about “legitimate rape” but can barely acknowledge that rape even exists. They pass laws to force non-consensual wanding of pregnant women’s vaginas, rail against abortion and force victims to bear their rapists’ babies. And now the ultimate in absurd extremism ... extending their repulsive gun culture to pretend they’re my friend and the enemy of sexual violence.

This is just what America’s gun-obsessed society needs, isn’t it? MORE WEAPONS. This will prevent rape how? You’d have to assume that the potential victim: 1) is not physically injured or drugged; 2) is not acquainted with or emotionally tied to her attacker; 3) had the foresight and money to buy and license a gun in advance of her attack; 4) has a window of opportunity in a split second of terror to reach for her gun, pull the trigger and shoot accurately; and 5) is lucky enough to not have the gun yanked out of her hand and used to kill her. Worse yet, have you seen what happens to a woman in court for defending herself with a deadly weapon? Most of the time she’s portrayed as deranged tramp who over-reacted. It’s just SEX, lady, what’s the big deal? You were wearing shorts and a tank top, what did you expect? Did you really have to KILL him?

Wow, what a tirade. I need a nice plate of pickles and biscuits for dinner.

On another subject altogether, I’ve got a service technician coming on Monday to calibrate my GE stove because all of a sudden the oven’s a little too hot. For example, there’s no good reason why frozen mozzarella sticks should start melting in nine minutes when they’re supposed to bake in 12, and yesterday our wonderful little Schwan’s Krunchie Potato Wedges turned out like plywood. Holy crap.
From our Awkward Athletes in Love department comes breaking news that Tiger Woods and Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn are dating. The announcement was punctuated last week by professional portraits “leaked” to the world via Tiger’s Facebook page, in which he and Vonn are clearly smiling but never actually touching each other. To me they look more like brother and sister or strangers at a bar mitzvah. WTF?
In case you’re interested, Cindi’s New York Deli is Dallas’ most popular Jewish delicatessen even though it’s actually an overpriced and watered-down effort by a Vietnamese entrepreneur named Anh Vo — who obviously learned to make matzo balls from her bubbe in Hanoi — and whose head chef is a black dude named Jerry, both pictured below. Yesterday on CBS’ local Dallas website Jerry was generous enough to post his “two favorite Passover recipes” … Potato Kugel and Charoset, those beloved African-American standards. I laughed so hard I almost wet my pants. Oy, only in Texas, people.
I have to eat something now. Thank you for reading this!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Katya and her illiterate prose don’t interest me on a number of different levels.

I baked Beanit Butter cookies today. Although I’m not really the “Aunt Bee” type any more, when you’re an insulin-dependent diabetic you eventually figure out the only way to get your hands on a genuine low-carb dessert is to make it yourself. Which explains the Beanit Butter cookies and why there are currently 28 of them cooling on trays in the kitchen. The smell is driving me INSANE. (Or as my father used to say, “That’s not a drive … it’s a short putt.”) Since it’s pretty clear that I must be starving right now, dinner will commence at Howdygram headquarters in 15 minutes. Tonight’s elevated gourmet menu includes gefilte fish, horseradish, one Slim Jim, the last remaining wedge of homemade low-carb bread and a large quantity of the aforementioned cookies with a vanilla soy milk chaser. I’d be glad to set a place for you at the table if you want to come over. We can watch tonight’s episode of “Dallas” together.

I received a comical email today — obviously spam — from a bogus Russian girl looking for her soul mate. Apparently she thinks I’m a man named Marcy desperate enough to be swayed by the following stab at illiterate prose:

Hello my name is Katya, I am from small city in center of Russia. I am 24 years. I am very friendly and romantic person. I saw your structure and decided to do record in you as I search for the friend on the Internets. I want to have serious relationship and true. My dream is search for the man which will appreciate me and to respect. I like to acquaint with unknown people. I like to spend my free time on the nature. There are a real beautiful places near my town! All my friend say that I cherful. I hope soon to see the message!

Obviously Katya doesn’t interest me on a number of different levels, the most obvious being I’m a happily-married female heterosexual who’s practically old enough to be her grandmother, but if any of this sounds good to you please let me know and I’ll be glad to provide her email address. Incidentally, you have my sympathy.

Thank you for reading this. Seriously.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I need servants.

Life sure can suck sometimes. I woke up half an hour ago with congestion and an irritating, raspy cough ... something I haven’t experienced since I quit smoking a couple of centuries ago. (I might be kidding about this. It’s more like six years.) I’ll bet my voice is sounding deeper, too, but it’s hard to know for sure because Sam is still asleep and there’s nobody around to talk to so I’ll have to get back to you on this. In the meantime I shlepped into the kitchen to make tea but couldn’t find any tea bags, so I made a huge mug of instant coffee instead and then spilled half of it all over the kitchen counter.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I need SERVANTS.

Any exciting activities on your agenda this week? Mine will be jam-packed with projects that include laundry, making Beanit Butter cookies, printing and assembling my new teeny recipe binder, eating things, plus all of the following deliveries:
  1. A two-pound breast of smoked turkey from
  2. Teeny sheet protectors and teeny tabs from for the aforementioned teeny recipe binder. (It’s 8½" x 5½".)
  3. Cans of beef textured vegetable protein and whole egg powder from Shelf Reliance. I absolutely LOVE this crap!
  4. A set of ivory microfiber sheets from Wal-Mart. Seriously, people, there’s nowhere else on earth you can buy nice king-size sheets for $22.97 except possibly Angola.
  5. Slim Jims, Miracle Rice, six cartons of chicken stock, Fixodent and a couple of twin-pack refill thingies for my Febreze Noticeables electric air fresheners ... all on subscription from Amazon.
I just looked at and apparently there’s some seriously crappy winter weather underway right now in Chicago and all over the Great Lakes, such as snow, wind and freezing rain. This is one more reason why I love Texas! Winter here lasts about 10 days at the beginning of January and rarely, if ever, includes snow. This week Howdygram headquarters is expecting steady temperatures around 70° with a 40% chance of rain on Tuesday and there’s nothing whatsoever to shovel unless we’re discussing manure.

Thanks for stopping by. I think I’ll try going back to bed for a while.

To cheer myself up I stayed home and ate Beanit Butter and Slim Jims.

Inquiring minds want to know … how did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? The Howdygram hosted its annual ritual, which included: 1) a brand new bar of Irish Spring in the shower; and 2) watching The Quiet Man on TCM. This was the extent of our observance owing to the fact that we’re Jewish and don’t really give a crap.
As I write this post Sam is unconscious in the family room with The Prisoner of Zenda on TV. Actually, it’s the silent version from 1922 starring Lewis Stone and a bunch of people I’ve never heard of except for Ramon Novarro in the role of Rupert. Personally, I prefer the 1937 version with Ronald Colman, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and David Niven.
I’m seriously hoping I can get some sleep tonight. And in bed for a change. Last night I mostly slept on the chaise in the family room because I had neuropathy pain in both feet and couldn’t get comfortable under a blanket. Technically, though, I’ve got a double whammy going on with electric shocks on the sides and tops of my feet plus plantar fasciitis in both heels, so when Sam asked if I wanted to go for a nice drive yesterday afternoon I had to turn him down because I didn’t want to wear shoes!

To cheer myself up I stayed home and ate Beanit Butter and Slim Jims. Holy crap... IT WORKED! Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

There’s a definite advantage to insomnia.

All’s well at Howdygram headquarters at this hour, where Sam and I are unwinding from an 18-hour napfest highlighted by frequent breaks for large quantities of food. Welcome to our world.

We just finished watching a rerun of Game Change on HBO. You know, that TV movie about the McCain/Palin campaign where everybody finally figured out that Sarah Palin was a vacuous, moose-hunting bimbo who wound up scaring the crap out of everybody in the United States and losing the election for the GOP, although they never really had a chance with or without her. I’m just saying.
In case you give a crap about this, the 2013 Texas Bigfoot Conference is currently underway at the Convention Center in Forth Worth. This is an annual hoo-hah sponsored by the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy (TBRC) for an eager throng of local whack-jobs willing to spend $75 for a variety of events celebrating all things Sasquatch, including seminars, a celebrity meet & greet and a fur-optional cocktail reception. This year’s keynote speaker is Harry Knucklesucker, pictured at right, a representative of the greater Bigfoot community who’s also a middle school P.E. teacher and weekend greeter at Wal-Mart on Highway 84 in Lubbock.
Jeff Meldrum, a professor of Anthropology and a leading Bigfoot researcher, recounted a close encounter of his own. He said, “We’ve had things rifling through backpacks. We’ve had things throwing rocks at us. I’ve found fresh footprints.” Holy crap. If all this sounds too good to miss, please take a minute or two to check out this website and get yourself on the mailing list for 2014, God willing. Thank you.

There’s a definite advantage to insomnia. It gives you an opportunity to stay up all night ordering weird crap from where you can buy amazing shitsky from restaurants all over the United States, such as two pounds of smoked turkey that’s scheduled to arrive on Tuesday packed in a crate of dry ice.
In my case, the smoked turkey is from Black’s Barbecue (pictured below), an iconic dining establishment located just south of Austin in Lockhart, Texas. I love smoked turkey. Please let me know if you want to come for dinner.
It’s almost 2 a.m. and I’m still wide awake, so this might be a good time to continue working on a new website project for a client in Los Angeles and finish typing my growing collection of low-carb recipes. I’m putting together a large-print edition for the kitchen in a three-ring binder with tabs and sheet protectors. I need a life, right?

Thank you for reading this.

Friday, March 15, 2013

If you’re ever given a choice of diseases, just say “no” to diabetes.

Me again. It’s 4 a.m., and I’ve got another whine list — just like last night (see post) — except this time my blood sugar is fine and the electric shocks have moved to my left ankle. I took a pain reliever (Wal-Mart’s version of arthritis-strength Tylenol) and as soon as I’m feeling a little less miserable I’ll move my carcass to the chaise in the family room, where I can sleep without any pressure on my feet. Neuropathy sucks, people. If you’re ever given a choice of diseases, JUST SAY “NO” TO DIABETES.

From our Asian News Desk comes a story from Japan, where their pop culture-obsessed youth are trending towards the Führer and a line of “Nazi chic” clothing and accessories. Enter Ronald McHitler, the Ronald McDonald knockoff complete with mustache and a stiff-arm salute “because he’s cute and looks really funny.” Apparently McHitler is the new Hello Kitty, but the concept is so mind-numbingly repulsive I almost can’t type this paragraph. Holy crap.
I need sleep. Please send some as soon as possible if you’ve got any to spare. Thank you.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Today is a pickles & biscuits kind of day!

The sun is shining, it’s 78° and today is a pickles & biscuits kind of day! I’m actually leaning towards Five-Minute Stupid Soup for dinner, but what the hell ... I can do pickles & biscuits tomorrow instead.

A brief thought from today’s “whine list.” I got up again in the middle of the night feeling weird and wobbly, this time with symptoms that included: 1) low blood sugar; 2) a runny nose; 3) dizziness; 4) electric shocks in my right ankle; 5) tingly hands; and 6) a craving for Velveeta. I researched for almost an hour and regret to report that these six symptoms apparently appear together nowhere in the annals of medical science. Items 1, 3, 4 and 5 clearly are linked to my diabetes; it’s 2 and 6 that baffle me. If you have any insight into this situation please send me an email and offer as much free advice as possible. Thank you in advance.

Next, for your possible interest ... a Wednesday recap! There were a number of huge hoo-hahs going on here and I thought you might like to know how they all turned out. Or not.

Huge hoo-hah #1. I was still in bed yesterday morning when Macy’s showed up to swap the saggy sectional in our family room. The new sofa looks beautiful and we’re happy as hell to have a free do-over. Sam briefly mentioned why don’t we get a gigantic plastic slipcover but I doubt if he’s ever tried to take a nap on plastic.

Huge hoo-hah #2. Our maid was here in the afternoon, and once again Howdygram headquarters is spotless and adorable. Let me know if you want her phone number because she does a terrific job and even cleans baseboards, silk plants and the inside of your refrigerator. She’s also really cheap.

Huge hoo-hah #3. My big Gefilte Fish Excursion was a resounding success (see previous post). The entire procedure was efficient and nicely organized, with dozens of adorable little bar mitzvah boys running up and down the street distributing crates of kosher food to a line of waiting vehicles. I was home by 6:15 and eating gefilte fish by 6:30. I will definitely buy from the KC Kosher Co-Op again! Their next Dallas delivery is April 23 and I’m ordering cases of Ba-tampte Half-Sour Pickles (six jars) and Carmel Kosher Chicken Soup Mix (12 canisters). Let me know if you want to come for dinner.
Huge hoo-hah #4. Last night Sam and I finally tore into the two gigantic cartons from that arrived on Tuesday and spread the bounty all over the kitchen table, which currently resembles a Kroger warehouse (see below). So much fabulous crap, and it’s all for me!
My next project involves trying to put everything away, although I might have to wait for Sam to get home from work because it’s not easy to shelp armloads of groceries when you’re a senior citizen with a cane and only have one available hand. Servants would be helpful except I don’t know any.

And now it’s time for dinner. I’m having a big pot of Stupid Soup (mentioned at the beginning of this post) and a beautiful slab of the low-carb bread I made last night. I’ll enjoy dessert during “Project Runway” ... a low-carb milk chocolate bar dunked into Walden Farms zero-calorie marshmallow dip. I’m hyperventilating. Thank you for reading this.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Do not get out of your car under any circumstances.

At last … the Howdygram’s Gefilte Fish Festival starts on Wednesday! I just got a final email update from the KC Kosher Co-Op with directions for picking up my order. It reads like a spy novel and corresponds to the map that follows below.
  • Bring a copy of your paid invoice, folded in thirds.
  • Follow Churchill Way westbound (figure 1) to Hughes Lane and turn north (figure 2).
  • Turn east on Dykes Way (figure 3) to Gramercy.
  • Turn south on Gramercy (figure 4) and park along the right curb. 
  • The delivery truck will be parked facing west on Turner Way (figure 5) and the driver will wave each car forward one at a time. Dallas police will be on hand to prevent a kosher chicken riot.
Apparently they’re expecting an enormous mob ... every grocery-loving Jewish person in the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area will be there to collect the essential crapola they ordered for Passover, such as crates of grape juice, matzo meal, brisket, coloring books, frozen blintzes, nosh, beet borscht, pickles and those all-important Manischewitz Tam-Tams (the kind that taste like onion rolls). Oy, I’m so excited I can hardly stand it! It’s almost as good as a Star Trek convention except everybody’s Jewish!

There’s breaking news tonight from our Holy Crap, He Can’t Be Serious department. Fresh from his diplomatic success in North Korea, after which Kim Jong Un immediately threatened the United States with thermonuclear war, embarrassing pea-brain Dennis Rodman is on now his way to Rome to meet with the new Pope, anxious to spread his international NBA gospel of love through nose rings, tattoos and basketball. I hope cameras are rolling when he tries to weasel his way into the Vatican because the world can always use fresh material for late-night comedy.
And now it’s time for a nice hot shower followed by my third-favorite snack: strawberry jello and sugar-free Cool Whip. In case you give a crap, my second-favorite snack is Slim Jims with American cheese singles, and the top spot is held by cheap dill pickles, low-carb biscuits and sugar-free chocolate soy milk. I love my life!

Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman deserve each other.

Here we go again. I’m wide awake at 4 a.m., the neuropathy in my hands and feet is making me nuts, and North Korea’s child dictator, Kim Jong Un (pictured at right), is still threatening to start a nuclear war and annihilate the United States. Making the situation even worse is that horse’s ass Dennis Rodman, who announced plans to return to North Korea in August to vacation with Kim. These two stupid turds deserve each other. Holy crap.
I do have some good news to report, however. The Howdygram’s spring Gefilte Fish Festival will finally get underway on Wednesday — one day later than originally expected — after I pick up my incoming order from the KC Kosher Co-Op. The truck will pull up at 5 p.m. in front of a snooty house in Preston Hollow that’s not far too from George and Laura Bush’s armed compound. Apparently the entire Jewish community shows up for this event because there’s nowhere else in Dallas to buy kosher food and this is the last delivery before Passover. The map below indicates: A) Howdygram headquarters; B) the Kosher Co-Op’s drop-off point; and C) Dubya’s 7,500 square foot mansion with a fence so high you can’t shoot spitballs over the top. (Actually, I’ve never tried. This sounds like a fun project for a Saturday afternoon.)
I’m hoping somebody will be kind enough on Wednesday to help load my gefilte fish into the back seat of my car because I can’t walk with a cane and lift a crate of two-pound glass jars all by myself. Fortunately I think I still have enough time to practice looking pathetic. (This won’t be much of a stretch, believe me.) 

If I don’t get some sleep I’ll be a zombie today. Try not to make any noise for a few hours, okay?

Monday, March 11, 2013

I wouldn’t mind a couple of nice low-carb biscuits.

Hi, people. It’s 7:30 Monday morning, there’s an enormous truck idling on the street in front of our house, and I’m wide awake with a Marcytini and the finest low-carb chocolate bar God ever created.

Great opening sentence, isn’t it?

Incidentally, the aforementioned low-carb chocolate bar is ChocoPerfection, and if you’re diabetic (like me) or just watching your carbs you really should buy yourself a box from Netrition and give these babies a shot. Zero sugar, high fiber, and they taste like the best European chocolate. If you decide you don’t like them just send the leftovers to me. (Thank you in advance.)

From our Gotta Love Those Wacky Japanese department comes the following Domino’s Pizza TV commercial starring Scott Oellkers, the unappealing president of Domino’s Japan, introducing a bizarre new Domino’s Pizza iPhone app featuring a singing little animated slut with blue hair. (Watch Oellkers’ face. I seriously think this dude has a crush on her.) Is Domino’s really this hard up to sell pizza in Japan? Holy crap.

All of a sudden I’m cold, tired and hungry. I can’t do much at the moment about the cold and tired part, but nuking a Schwan’s teeny Garden Vegetable Omelet would probably address the hunger issue. It cooks in 90 seconds and tastes delicious even if you don’t own blue dinnerware. I also wouldn’t mind a couple of nice low-carb biscuits but sometimes you can’t have everything.
Thank you for putting up with me. Shalom.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Tiger, tax returns and waiting for gefilte fish.

Despite a seriously crappy start to the weekend (see previous post) it all ended on a positive note and included a number of enjoyable activities. They were, in no particular order whatsoever: 1) e-filing our Federal tax return; 2) eating mozzarella sticks; 3) viewing a weak yet mildly entertaining Saturday night thundershower; 4) Sunday lunch at Cafe Greek because a girl can never get too much baked fish with crunchy sesame seeds; and 5) watching Tiger Woods win the Cadillac Championship and toasting his victory with soy milk and American cheese singles.
I don’t know what’s on your agenda, but for me the week ahead is filled with anticipation and promise. Sam is getting his hair cut tomorrow, on Wednesday morning Macy’s is replacing our saggy sectional sofa, my maid will be here to clean toilets around noon and I’m expecting a number of exciting UPS deliveries sometime before dinner ... an insanely huge order of low-carb crap from, Ziploc freezer bags from Amazon and a bunch of insulated socks from Wal-Mart because Sam’s toes are too damn cold. On Thursday I watch “Project Runway.”
Tuesday, by the way, was supposed to be opening day of the Howdygram’s spring Gefilte Fish Festival, but it’s been postponed due to a delayed shipment from the KC Kosher Co-Op and no gefilte fish. We’re hoping there won’t be any problems with crowd control. Stay tuned for further developments and thank you for reading this.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

I hope to hell you’re having a pleasant weekend, and I mean this sincerely.

I absolutely, positively CANNOT SLEEP. I’ve been back and forth to bed since 1:30 this morning but finally gave up and shlepped myself permanently into the study about an hour ago. My head hurts, the peripheral neuropathy in my hands and feet is driving me insane and I want to punch my fist through a wall. As a last resort I might attempt a nap on the chaise in the family room when I finish this post because I’m so tired I can’t see straight. In the meantime I hope to hell you’re having a pleasant weekend, and I mean this sincerely.

I just noticed a little boxed blurb on one of the news websites that Daylight Savings Time starts tomorrow! Oy, already?

I think I’d better try sleeping again, except this time I’ll start with two extra-strength Tylenols, sugar-free chocolate soy milk and a couple of Slim Jims. I love Slim Jims.

Thank you for reading this.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Dennis Rodman is the Howdygram’s Putz of the Week.

Important things first. You may or may not be aware that the Howdygram’s spring Gefilte Fish Festival was slated to begin on March 12. Unfortunately, I regret to report that it’s being postponed due to snow in New England and a wimpy driver for the KC Kosher Co-Op who can’t make it to the warehouse this weekend to load his truck. In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, an earlier post from February 1 will provide a little background. At this point all I can say is, I’m stuck with three big jars of horseradish and ZERO GEFILTE FISH. Please stay tuned for late-breaking updates. Thank you.
Behind the Candelabra premieres on HBO May 26, a biopic about Liberace and the attractive live-in chauffeur half his age who famously sued him for palimony. I have no idea what the hell lured a couple of A-listers like Michael Douglas and Matt Damon into a screwy made-for-TV project like this unless HBO offered them each $15 million and a free lifetime supply of hair gel.
Frankly, I think this magazine cover is frightening because Michael Douglas’ face is so grotesquely over-Photoshopped that he’s turned into a completely different person, as the image below clearly illustrates. WTF.
And now I’m pleased to announce the Howdygram’s latest Putz of the Week! It’s former basketball celebrity Dennis Rodman, who just returned from a good will tour of North Korea, the garden spot of Asia, planned in its entirety without approval from the U.S. State Department because nobody in their right mind would ever willingly set foot in North Korea. How the hell do you even get there?
North Korea is a famine-ridden slab of utter misery ruled by Kim Jong Un, the well-fed twentysomething son of a deceased cult leader. The aforementioned well-fed son threatens at least once a week to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States even though North Korea does not, technically, have the skill or wherewithal to tie a nuclear bomb onto a ballistic missile. It is commonly believed that he continues to make these imbecilic threats in order to justify starving his citizens to pay for military expansion and lots of uniforms. North Koreans LOVE uniforms. They also love to inform on their friends and relatives in exchange for food and face life in forced labor camps for refusing to do so.
Rodman, a weird, pierced, card-carrying putz who’s never been the sharpest knife in the drawer, might want to be a little more discriminating in his choice of buddies. During his visit to North Korea he forged a bond with the little tinpot dictator — calling him a “terrific kid” who’s “loved by his people” — that’s already gotten him kicked out of a fancy hotel for refusing to shut the hell up about it, particularly since the aforementioned terrific kid continues to threaten a nuclear holocaust. In case you haven’t seen it, check out Rodman’s appalling interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. Holy crap.

There’s rain in the forecast here this weekend. The lying sacks of poo at are predicting a 70% chance for tomorrow — including thunder — but I’ll believe it when I see it. We haven’t had rain in such a long time I almost don’t remember what it looks like. Thank you for reading this.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Howdygram is officially 15 pixels wider today.

I’m just full of excuses lately. I didn’t make time to write a Howdygram post yesterday because my world was jam-packed with other important projects. These included eating lunch, thinking about laundry, finishing up two client projects and placing my biggest order EVER with for more than $200 worth of incredible low-carb crapola. In my cart were: 1) Soy Slender soy chocolate milk; 2) unsweetened Almond Breeze almond milk; 3) three jars of Carb Not Beanit Butter; 4) Carb Counters pancake mix; 5) MimicCreme Almond & Cashew Cream; 6) Thick’n Saucy for making sludgy soup; 7) erythritol powdered sweetener; 8) a three-pound box of CarbQuik because I can’t live without my low-carb biscuits; 9) Atkins snack bars; 10) four packages of white bread mix; 11) Just the Cheese chips and “popped cheese” (seriously) in assorted awesome flavors like pizza, barbecue and jalapeño; 12) LorAnn blackberry and lemon custard milk shake flavorings; 13) four jars of Bella Vita pasta sauce; 14) a tin of Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa; and 15) various Walden Farms zero-calorie whatnots, such as fruit spreads, pancake syrup and marshmallow dip. Oy! A number of the aforementioned products have agreed to pose for the group photo posted below.
Quite a few of these products are listed and described on the Howdygram’s Shop for My Favorite Crapola page; others will get there eventually once I’ve had a chance to try them. This time I’m especially excited about MimicCreme (no fat! no carbs!) and Walden Farms Marshmallow Dip (no calories!). Since words really can’t do these products justice I’ll simply scream GLORIOSKI and move on.

Before I forget, below are my latest new font acquisitions, all of them free. Enjoy.
Please let me know if you ever flip for any fonts posted on the Howdygram and I’ll be glad to email copies to you. I may be addicted but I’m always willing to share! Many of them include lots of different styles and weights such as light, book, medium, semi-bold, bold, black, italics and so on. My general belief has always been that a girl can never have too many fonts, shoes or low-carb biscuits.

And now for the latest breaking news from our God Bless Texas department! The long-awaited George W. Bush Presidential Center on the campus of Southern Methodist University here in Dallas will be christened at a private ceremony on April 25. Dubya and Laura will be in attendance along with assorted losers from the Bush/Cheney administration. The Center includes a comic book library, museum, rose garden and a “think tank,” the latter of which is pictured below.
The Center’s website has posted the following statement: “With world leaders invited to join President and Mrs. Bush for this historic day, the event is expected to enjoy internationally-televised coverage.” Yup. Along with a few thousand protesters from a coalition of human rights organizations called “The People’s Response” (see below), who will be on hand to make a huge hoo-hah about the Bush administration’s policies and a belated demand for a war crimes trial. Many also have been fighting the location of the Bush Center at SMU since the very beginning because it “casts a veneer of legitimacy” on policies that run opposite to the university’s teachings and philosophy, such as torture, the invasion of a sovereign nation (Iraq) and crushing stupidity. Protests will include teach-ins, art, speakers and a dance party for peace. Rock on, Dallas!
On a more somber note, our regular Schwan’s delivery doofus, Gary, was involved in a work-related truck accident last week and BROKE HIS BACK. Apparently the situation is fixable (i.e., he’s not paralyzed) but please hold a good thought for him, okay? We’re hoping Gary will be back on the job shlepping frozen food as soon as possible. Our order yesterday was delivered by a friendly substitute doofus named Mark.

Sam has a follow-up appointment this morning with his retina specialist, Dr. Choi. You may recall that Sam had surgery on February 22 to repair a “macular pucker” (see previous post) behind the retina in his right eye. I suppose his recovery has been fine, although he still can’t see very well and says there’s a bubble of water rattling around in there. Holy crap.

In case you care, the main column of the Howdygram is officially 15 pixels wider today to bring you even more of the horseshit you’ve come to know and love. I have no idea why I did it or, more importantly, why I felt compelled to report it. Thank you for reading this.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Welcome to my world.

Holy crap. My knees are absolutely KILLING me, people! I don’t know how I dragged myself out of bed this morning except my tub of arthritis-strength Tylenol was in another room so I didn’t have much choice. I went back to sleep for a couple of hours afterwards but still feel pretty lousy and I’m stiff as a board. This includes my knees, elbows, shoulders, fingers, but I think that’s all because my toes don’t hurt. (My toes are technically numb due to diabetic neuropathy, but that’s a topic for another whine list.)

All of this pain is clearly related to the fact that I’ve been under the weather for the last few days, which also might explain why I haven’t been motivated to write a Howdygram post since Saturday. My symptoms include a strangely hypothermic “un-fever” under 96° with chills and body aches, a floater in my right eye, a huge lump on the knuckle of my right thumb and a craving for a lot of cheese. You know it has to be serious when you get up in the middle of the night and order a two-pound brick of imitation Velveeta from Wal-Mart. I checked with but apparently the medical profession doesn’t give a crap about cheese, floaters and thumb lumps. Welcome to my world.
OMG, I just fell in love with all over again. I’m using “one-click ordering” now and it’s so fast it could give you a freaking nosebleed. You go straight from the product page to “thank you for your order” ... NO MORE SHOPPING CART! This means I can order mountains of crap even when Sam is in the room and he’ll have no clue what I’m doing! I just purchased four 45-oz. jars of Chunky Ragu for $18.09, which Sam enjoys with his favorite Schwan’s mozzarella sticks. This will provide enough Ragu to last through Thanksgiving.
And now for an essential product review! I’m pleased to introduce you to Carb Not Beanit Butter, a peanut butter knockoff made from roasted soybeans that’s so damn good you can eat it plain with a soup spoon. I received my first jar from a few days ago and I’ve been blown away. It tastes exactly like peanut butter except it has NO SUGAR, ZERO CARBS and FIVE GRAMS OF FIBER per serving! I’m a deliriously happy diabetic!
If my knees hold up I want to make a batch of Emergency Beanit Butter Cookies this afternoon and eat the entire tray for dinner with half a quart of vanilla Soy Slender, a couple of Slim Jims and a nice green vegetable. My cookie recipe follows in case you’re interested.
  • 1 cup Beanit Butter
  • 1⅓ cups granulated Splenda with fiber
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 375°. Moosh everything together in a bowl until it comes together into a perfect soft ball. Pull off small chunks to roll into smaller balls. Flatten them in both directions with the tines of a fork dipped in Splenda and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

God bless Beanit Butter and thank you for reading this.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Euless rhymes with clueless.

It’s been two whole days since my last post, and so much time has elapsed that I almost don’t know where to start! I’m guessing the best solution would be a chronological list of activities, so here goes.

Thursday. Sam and I had a swell breakfast at Denny’s with Senior Scrambled Eggs followed by a visit to the Dallas Museum of Art, where we viewed lots of ancient South Seas tiki statues with big penises, Renaissance paintings, 2,000-year-old earrings and a gallery of modern art that included chairs, dinnerware from Macy’s and a plastic wall unit. Our car alarm went off in the underground garage.
Friday. We wanted to eat lunch at Main Street BBQ in Euless — they have a brisket buffet and all-you-can-eat pickles! — but our plans turned to crapola when their lot was so packed we couldn’t find anywhere to park. So we used our GPS to zoom in on a Chinese restaurant about two miles away, a hole-in-the-wall called Uncle Chen’s in a nondescript strip mall that probably didn’t serve more than half a dozen walk-in customers a week because their business is almost 100% delivery. Our meal included mediocre hot & sour soup with plastic spoons and no napkins, shrimp with snow peas for Sam and shrimp egg foo young for me that was amazingly reminiscent of the Cantonese-style egg foo young I used order at Nankin Restaurant in Skokie in the mid-1960s. Uncle Chen’s was extremely clean and they have good parking and free egg rolls. We’d probably go back if it wasn’t so damn far.

A photo of Uncle Chen’s appears below followed by a map that indicates: A) Howdygram headquarters in Mesquite; and B) Uncle Chen’s in Euless. Euless rhymes with clueless.
We’ve also been enjoying some classic old movies this week, such as Charles Laughton’s cartoonish performance in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) and wonderful Walter Huston in Dodsworth (1936), which is one of our all-time favorites. Dodsworth is right up there with Ben-Hur minus the lepers and chariots.
And now, at last, it’s time to hit the sack. Please look out for sinkholes and thank you for reading this!