Friday, May 31, 2013

I just ran out of sugar-free barbecue sauce. Other than that, life is perfect.

Ah, Friday. Everything is swell at Howdygram headquarters tonight, not counting my sick toe, another round of monster tornadoes in Oklahoma, stage three emergency water restrictions kick in tomorrow for all of north Texas and I just ran out of sugar-free barbecue sauce. Other than that, life is perfect. I even made low-carb biscuits for dinner!

In case you haven’t seen this adorable wedding photo anywhere else on the Internet I thought I’d post it tonight for your possible interest. The photographer was J. Quinn Miller from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who conspired with the groom who “loves dinosaurs.” They asked the entire bridal party to run towards the camera screaming, after which Miller Photoshopped the Tyrannosaurus into the background. Holy crap, I love this.
Sam just called to let me know he’s on his way home from work. This is excellent news for a variety of reasons, but mostly because Sam is fun and life is always better when he’s hanging out at Howdygram headquarters. To celebrate I just cut up a nice big pineapple for him. Thank you for reading this.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

This is why it’s so damn cool to live in Texas.

Oy. I just got home from an afternoon of errands — no kidding, people, I ran errands! — and I’m tired, bummed out and crabby. My first stop was the podiatrist’s office, where we discovered a very infected toenail. Big toe, right foot. It doesn’t hurt, and for the last couple of months I thought it was just bruised and discolored. Wrong. Dr. Angelier prescribed an antibiotic and gave me a sack full of Naftin samples that I’m supposed to use once a day with a stretchy waterproof bandaid. Naftin is an antifungal creamy thingy.

My next stop was Vince’s Salon in Garland for a swell summer haircut, and I’m pleased to report that I look ADORABLE. Two observations: 1) my stylist cut off so damn much hair I’ll bet I lost five pounds; and 2) my hair is getting curlier as I get older. I don’t understand this but I’m not complaining because at least I’m not GRAY. After Vince’s I dropped off my antibiotic prescription at Wal-Mart’s drive-through pharmacy. I’m supposed to pick it up after 6 but I doubt that anything can motivate me to get dresssed again because the brassiere and shoes came off the minute I walked in the house. (Stop laughing, okay?) The following regional map indicates: A) Howdygram headquarters in Mesquite; B) Dr. Angelier’s office; C) Vince’s Salon; and D) our Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market.
From our This Is Why It’s So Damn Cool To Live In Texas department comes breaking news from Waco, where a jury has sentenced Willie Smith Ward to 50 years in prison for stealing a rack of ribs.
The Waco Tribune-Herald reports that Ward’s theft turned into a robbery when he threatened the grocery store employee who tried to stop him, and the jury recommended sentencing Ward as a habitual criminal after considering his prior convictions for burglary, attempted robbery, assault and leaving the scene of an accident. Ward will have to serve at least 12½ years before he’s eligible for parole. HOLY CRAP. I don’t care what this dude’s “priors” were … who the hell gets a 50-year prison sentence for stealing FOOD?  

Only in Texas, people. Or maybe 18th century France.

I think it’s time for dinner, which will include another round of pickles & biscuits, a wad of Mexican Velveeta and the terrific new Ronald Colman biography that came in the mail today. I can’t wait to read this book because Ronald Colman is one of my all-time favorite actors. Sam’s, too, actually. If you’re not familiar with Ronald Colman’s work I can highly recommend the following excellent films, all shown from time to time on TCM: Her Night of Romance (1924); Beau Geste (1926); Bulldog Drummond (1929); Raffles (1930); A Tale of Two Cities (1935); Lost Horizon and The Prisoner of Zenda (1937); and Talk of the Town and Random Harvest (1942).

Shalom, y’all.

Grumpy Cat hits the big time.

Good morning and a happy Thursday to you and yours from the fine folks at Howdygram headquarters. As I write this post Sam is on his way to the ophthalmologist in Rockwall for a cataract surgery follow-up appointment and then to Costco for a trunk full of excellent whatnots that will include a tub of pistachios, raspberries, Kraft cream cheese, a dozen breakfast burritos, frozen fully-cooked Angus beefburgers that taste exactly like they just came off the grill, a bag of 24 peeled hard-boiled eggs and the biggest damn jar of green olives God ever created. (I’m really into green olives.) For your possible interest the following map indicates: A) Howdygram headquarters; B) Dr. Hurst’s office in Rockwall; and C) Costco.
Here’s some good news for people who think cyberspace is reality. The Internet’s favorite crabby feline, Grumpy Cat — whose real name is Tarder Sauce —has signed a deal to star in a “Garfield-like” family movie about a talking cat. According to Grumpy Cat’s rep (oy ... a cat with representation) the movie will be a live-action blockbuster with a cast of thousands and a musical score to rival Ben-Hur. (Okay, I might be kidding about the cast and score.) The producers think their film will be a huge hit due to the popularity of Grumpy Cat’s picture on the Internet and the fact that it won a Webby award for Meme of the Year.
From Internet meme to Hollywood movie ... what could possibly go wrong? I almost can’t wait to not give a crap about this.

You have no idea how much I don’t want to go to the podiatrist this afternoon. I have nothing against my actual doctor, it’s just that I’m not thrilled about wearing shoes and a brassiere. On the plus side, I’ve just decided to have pickles & biscuits for lunch. Thank you for reading this.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wednesday’s highlights include commotion, fake meat in a can and Nazi tea kettles.

There’s been a lot of commotion at Howdygram headquarters today, and I don’t like commotion. Frankly, I think I’m ALLERGIC to it. At the moment I feel agitated, crabby, annoyed and desperately in need of an afternoon nap, which won’t happen any time soon for the following reasons:
  • Our handyman is still out back installing those solar screens which, after two full days, is obviously becoming his life’s work.
  • The Schwan’s delivery doofus showed up to present us with another load of assorted frozen crapola, including the biggest frozen summer sausage I’ve ever seen. I have no doubt it could kill a person.
  • Our landscapers were here to mow, whack, edge and trim all the green things that surround our home.
  • The mailman pounded on the front door to drop off two packages from Amazon.
  • The phone hasn’t stopped ringing. So far I’ve heard from Sam’s ophthalmologist and my podiatrist, do I want to donate old clothes to the National Kidney Foundation, can I spare 10 minutes to take a poll about my views on immigration, and glorioski ... we’ve just won a FREE ESTIMATE from Metroplex Insulated Windows!
  • I’m running the dishwasher.
To cheer myself up I’ve decided to share the following videos. The first one is a comedy sketch about how to respond to a moron who doesn’t think he’s racist and the second one is just really cute, period.

Show of hands. Has anybody seen the story in the news today about J.C. Penney’s latest headache? Evidently they’re advertising a tea kettle that looks like Adolf Hitler with a stiff-arm salute. A freeway billboard in Los Angeles is creating a huge hoo-hah and Penney’s is getting lots of crap for it, starting with a snide tweet this morning from (of all people) Mia Farrow about why would anybody sell a Nazi kitchen appliance. Seriously, don’t these Einsteins have anything better to do?
It looks like we’ve got some major storms on the way. Our local forecast on just changed to RED TYPE — twisters! Auntie Em! — with an 85% chance of severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall starting by 7 p.m. (Oh swell. More commotion.) In the meantime I think I’ll fix myself an early dinner and watch a few “Hardcore Pawn” reruns. Tonight’s menu options are: 1) pickles & biscuits; 2) gefilte fish with no horseradish because I ran out; 3) egg salad; 4) a BLT minus the “L”; and 5) Loma Linda fake meat in a can poured over low-carb white bread with Chia Seed Pudding for dessert.
If you’d like to cast your vote for one of my five dinner options please send an email immediately because I’m awfully damn hungry right now. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I’m eating wintergreen TicTacs for breakfast.

This promises to be a HUGE WEEK at Howdygram headquarters, and I’m already so damn excited I almost can’t contain myself. The following is a list of anticipated events.
  • I’m eating wintergreen TicTacs for breakfast.
  • Our handyman is coming over to install solar screens today on all the windows on the west side of the house. Solar screens are amazing.
  • My big crate of smoked sausages arrives on Wednesday from FoodyDirect. I’m also expecting a pair of rattan storage bins from The Container Store, our new Delta showerhead from Amazon and, if that’s not enough, is forecasting TORNADOES AND THUNDERSTORMS!
  • Sam has a follow-up appointment with the cataract surgeon on Thursday and I’m going to the podiatrist.
  • I can’t think of anything else. (I tried.)
It’s practically 9 a.m. and Sam is still in bed. I’d love to join him except our handyman will be here soon and somebody has to answer the door. Have a nice day, okay?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sam and I firmly believe that bathing should be elevated to an art form.

It’s after 11 p.m., and I can safely say that Memorial Day was a certifiable dud here at Howdygram headquarters. The high spots included such activities as: 1) watching Behind the Candelabra from last night on HBO; 2) ordering Chinese food; 3) assembling my new Cuisinart Speed Stick immersion blender; and 4) writing this post. I suppose I should also acknowledge my afternoon online shopping spree, during which I purchased two kinds of Dial body wash, vanilla extract, a big bottle of store-brand arthritis-strength imitation Tylenol and Fleischmann’s bread machine yeast from Wal-Mart, plus a really cool high-power Delta showerhead from Amazon because Sam and I firmly believe that bathing should be elevated to an art form. Please stay tuned for a showerhead review. (It arrives on Thursday.)
So by now everybody knows I finally watched that much-anticipated HBO biopic, Behind the Candelabra. Frankly, I agree with Rob Lowe’s early assessment that it’s the gayest movie ever made. I thought Michael Douglas was a little too old, a little too pruny and more than a little frightening as Liberace who, we find out, was a really creepy predator where teenage boys were concerned. Here are a few relevant photos for your possible interest. I loved Debbie Reynolds as Liberace’s mother (if I hadn’t seen her name in the  credits I never would have known it was her) and Rob Lowe was awesome as Liberace’s drunk plastic surgeon doing face lifts with a glass of whiskey in his hand.
I plan to watch Behind the Candelabra a second time because I was so busy laughing I’m pretty positive I missed something important. And it’s worth 90 minutes of my life to see Matt Damon again in a rhinestone Speedo. HOLY CRAP.

Thank you for reading this.

Today’s featured special: Gefilte Fish Fluff with Horseradish Mousse.

Ah, Memorial Day. It’s just before dawn at Howdygram headquarters. For the past 45 minutes I’ve been sitting here fantasizing about my new Cuisinart Smart Stick immersion blender and all the exciting crap I can make with it. The recipe booklet that came with the appliance was seriously uninspiring — Curried Cauliflower Soup? — so I’m thinking I’ll just adapt a few of my own world-famous creations, such as Cream of Pickles & Biscuits, Pureed Stupid Soup and Gefilte Fish Fluff with Horseradish Mousse. Am I making you hungry, or what?

Yesterday between naps Sam and I had a chance to watch Hell Below (1933), an amazing World War I submarine drama starring Robert Montgomery, Madge Evans, Walter Huston and Robert Young.
We had seen this movie once before but were impressed all over again by the great cast and first-rate performances. And considering this was made half a century before the dawn of computer-generated ANYTHING, you also get some unexpected special effects. Hell Below is a Howdygram all-time favorite, people. You should keep an eye out for it on TCM.

Maybe I’ll go back to bed. I’m cold, it’s too early to eat things and I think it might be fun to annoy Sam for a while. Shalom, y’all.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Why do so many maladjusted idiots want to blow up their schools?

I can’t sleep. This time it’s a collection of annoying aches and pains, such as: 1) a stiff neck; 2) neuropathy crap in both feet; 3) my left elbow hurts like hell; and 4) hangnails. Under the circumstances I guess I’ll sit here and stare at my computer monitor until I’m too tired to keep my eyes open. Lucky you! says we’re expecting thunderstorms with heavy rain to roll through here around lunch-time. Believe it or not, I might have to retire my favorite description of their staff meteorologists — i.e., “those lying sacks of poo” — because lately they’re getting a little better at predicting rain. This is the first month in more than two years that we’ve actually had some substantial and accurately-forecast rainfall.

I’m seriously hoping our drought is over. It would sure be swell to water our poor lawns more than once a week again.

Sam and I have a jam-packed agenda of fun on tap at Howdygram headquarters today! As I write this post I’m recording a dozen really old John Wayne movies on the Encore Western channel, all of them simultaneously shitty, awkward and hilarious co-starring Gabby Hayes and the same stupid background music. During his first decade in the business Wayne’s performances were so atrocious that it makes a person wonder how the hell he ever sustained a career in films. Below is an official poster from Randy Rides Alone (1934).
On a more sombre note, I wish somebody would explain to me why so many maladjusted idiots want to blow up their schools. I just read that a 17-year-old boy in Oregon named Grant Acord was arrested with written plans, a checklist and a timeline for a “Columbine-style” attack on West Albany High School that also included pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, a Drano bomb and a napalm bomb. WTF! Don’t these twisted sociopaths realize that life is not a video game? Back in the 1960s when I got fed up with school I’d cut a couple of afternoon classes with a girlfriend and take a bus to Wrigley Field! Holy crap.

I think I need some pickles & biscuits. Thank you for reading this.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

David Vitter needs to crawl back under that rock he came from.

Sam is stretched out and unresponsive in the family room with a Gary Cooper movie on TV, thereby providing a swell opportunity to horse around with the Howdygram for a little while. I certainly hope you’re having a fine Saturday, people.

It’s been a while since our last Putz of the Week award but I’m hoping tonight’s honoree will make up for lost time. Tonight the Howdygram is pleased to introduce you to Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, another Republican nutcase whose main political focus is to make sure the poor underclass in America remains hungry, sick and desperate.
Vitter, who managed to survive a scandal in 2011 that linked him to the infamous “D.C. Madam” call girl ring, has proposed an amendment to the Farm Bill that would make ex-convicts ineligible for food stamps for the rest of their lives. The amendment bans convicted murderers, rapists, and pedophiles from ever receiving the ability to buy food for themselves even after they’re released from prison, making life virtually impossible for people who have legally paid their debt to society.

While I have no soft spot for murderers, rapists and pedophiles, I think denying any human being the most basic necessity of life is OUTRAGEOUS. We feed them when they’re in prison ... what the hell do we expect ex-cons to do after they’re released? Anybody ever heard of RECIDIVISM? David Vitter needs to crawl back under that rock he came from.

As long as I’m on a roll I’d also like to share my thoughts on the cowardly, right-wing governors of Texas, Florida, Kansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia, all of whom refuse to expand Medicaid to the poorest residents in their states even though the federal government is willing to pick up 90% of the tab under Obama’s Affordable Care Act. How people so spiteful and heartless can pretend to be “public servants” is beyond my comprehension. They serve nobody but THEMSELVES. I’d really, really like to kick the crap out of somebody.

One final thought. Don’t forget to watch Behind the Candelabra tomorrow night! There’s still time to call your cable company to sign up for HBO if you don’t already have it. Thank you.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Photogenic sausages in the spotlight.

Lots of crazy things are happening around here! First, I was reminded once again about the Howdygram’s broad outreach when I received an email from the marketing director at Apparently lots of my readers have been clicking FoodyDirect’s link in the right sidebar of the Howdygram — in the “Let’s Spend Some Dough” section — so the company is offering all of us a 15% DISCOUNT. This is terrific on a number of different levels, but mostly because the food they sell is incredible. I’ve ordered from FoodyDirect in the past and placed another order this afternoon for a gigantic box of spicy smoked sausages from Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Texas. For your possible interest Kreuz’s photogenic sausages appear below (left).
I think you should all check out and order some fabulous crap to eat. On a personal note, aside from Kreuz Market for barbecue I’m especially excited by Kenny & Ziggy’s Deli in Houston (above, right) and think I’ll probably have to try their corned beef next time. Eileen’s Special Cheesecake from New York is mighty thrilling, too, except I’m diabetic and I’ve been trying really hard not to look at that damn picture. (It’s the one in the middle.) God help me.

Which brings me to my next issue: DIABETES, and the scary hypoglycemic “low” episode I experienced a couple of hours ago. No kidding, people, this was the worst one I’ve had so far. At 8 p.m. I’m sitting at my desk writing this post for the Howdygram, and about 15 minutes after my mealtime insulin injection I start to feel clammy, shaky, lightheaded, disoriented, intoxicated and altogether lousy and panicky. I keep little jars of glucose chewables in every room of the house and a big jar in the top drawer of my desk, so I eat two glucose chewables (fruit punch flavor ... my favorite!) and nothing happens so I eat four more. By now, maybe 8:15, I’m also feeling nauseated and faint, so I put my head down on my desk and wake up maybe half an hour later sweaty and soaked to the skin. I eat two more glucose thingies and sit here for another 45 minutes until I feel steady enough to shlep myself into the kitchen for some actual food. By the time I finally eat dinner — two nice pieces of low-carb toast, a wad of Mexican Velveeta and green olives — it’s 10 p.m. and Sam is already on his way home from work. Holy crap! In case you care, I had chocolate Soy Slender soy milk with a bunch of chia seeds for dessert. (I love chia seeds.)

Hope y’all are planning a wild and crazy Memorial Day holiday. We’ve got nothing whatsoever on the agenda here because Sam is on call this weekend and says he’s expecting a number of projects to come in, which means he’ll be working from home. As for me, I’ll be glued to HBO Sunday night to watch Behind the Candelabra starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. Check your local listings.
Behind the Candelabra also stars Rob Lowe at Liberace’s gay plastic surgeon. In an interview a few days ago Lowe said he expected the movie to be gay but didn’t realize it would be THE GAYEST MOVIE EVER MADE. I have no idea what (aside from the money, of course) ever enticed all these heterosexual A-listers to appear in risky horseshit like this, but I absolutely can’t wait to see it and think you should see it, too. Thank you.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Let’s talk chia seeds!

Chia seeds are an ancient Aztec “superfood” with a ton of soluble fiber and more protein than any other grain, more omega-3 fatty acids than any other plant food (including flax) and contain three times the calcium of milk, twice the potassium of bananas, three times the iron of spinach and three times the antioxidants of blueberries. They’re great for hydration and absorb 10 times their weight in water, they slow how the body converts carbs into simple sugars (fantastic for diabetics like yours truly), they lower your blood pressure and they contain a complete amino acid chain on par with meat or eggs. Holy crap, right?

As a bonus, chia seeds are adorable and look like poppy seeds (see inset, below). They poof up in liquid and turn into a gel that’s similar to mucilage.
My favorite way (so far) to eat these little treasures is in an easy homemade pudding that reminds me of tapioca. Here, for your possible interest, are several different chia seed recipes, but all of them use the same basic directions, which appear at the end.

Pudding for One
Moosh together 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, your favorite sweetener and 
1 cup of liquid. You can use any kind of plain or flavored milk (soy, almond, cow), lemonade or fruit juice.

Nice Fake Tapioca
Use 2½ cups of plain soy or almond milk, ½ cup of chia seeds, your favorite sweetener, 
½ teaspoon of cinnamon 
and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
. Try very hard not to eat this all at the same time. Trust me.

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam
Thaw and drain 12 oz. of frozen raspberries and mix with 2 tablespoons of honey and 3 tablespoons of chia seeds. Refrigerate for at least half an hour. As a diabetic I don’t eat fresh fruit (too many carbs) or honey, but this recipe sounded so damn good I thought I’d include it, anyway, in case you’re interested. 
As promised, here are the basic directions:

Whisk everything together in a bowl or jar and then repeat the process after about 15 minutes so the seeds don’t clump at the bottom. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

And now ... a word of caution. From everything I’ve read about chia seeds the recommended daily portion is about two tablespoons. As you might expect with an undisciplined food addict like yours truly, on day one I made a huge quantity of chia seed pudding (3 cups of Soy Slender chocolate soy milk with ¾ cup of chia seeds) and ate the whole damn bowl watching “People’s Court.” Two hours later this resulted in a weird hypoglycemic episode — VERY low blood sugar — and severe joint pain, although I eventually determined that my joint pain was due to weather conditions that included tornado warnings and thunderstorms.

Chia seeds are relatively cheap and you can buy them online at Thank you for reading this.

The only things a Smart Stick can’t do? Shmear cream cheese on a bagel and turn on the dishwasher.

I can’t sleep. I woke up at 4:45 for my old-lady-middle-of-the-night shlep to the bathroom and never went back to bed because I’m really excited about FOUR MAJOR EVENTS. These are: 1) the Howdygram’s makeover; 2) discovering chia seeds; 3) an appraiser is coming over this morning regarding our re-fi; and 4) you don’t want to miss Behind the Candelabra this Sunday on HBO.

To celebrate all of the above I just ordered a stainless steel Cuisinart Smart Stick immersion blender from Amazon. Glorioski! The Smart Stick does practically EVERYTHING and includes a chopping attachment and a whisk attachment. The only things it can’t do are shmear cream cheese on a bagel and turn on the dishwasher, but how much can a person expect for $39.95?
I watched one of my all-time favorite movies yesterday. It’s Night Must Fall, a thriller from 1937 starring Robert Montgomery, Rosalind Russell and Dame May Whitty. Holy crap, people, it’s FANTASTIC. Every time I watch this film I get so sucked into the suspense that I can’t even finish my gefilte fish. I think this was probably the best performance of Robert Montgomery’s career. Dame May Whitty was really swell, too.
It’s after 7 a.m. and I’m officially hungry and thirsty, a clear indication that it’s the perfect time for a sightseeing trip to the kitchen. Thank you for reading this. In the meantime, stay tuned for the whole scoop about chia seeds in another post later today. (With pictures.)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Today’s big hoo-hah: The Howdygram gets a makeover!

Holy crap, people … check out the Howdygram’s FACE LIFT! Today’s changes include a redesigned banner, a resurrected cow face from last year, eliminating the background pattern and wider columns overall. I’m so damn happy I’d do a cartwheel if I wasn’t a useless senior citizen with lousy knees and a cane! (Also because I’d probably pass out and end up on the floor for five hours without pickles & biscuits or the remote, waiting for Sam to get home from work.) In any event, enjoy our makeover. Personally, I love it.

For those of you who expressed your concern (thank you) and even if you didn’t, Howdygram headquarters survived some big, noisy weather on Tuesday afternoon. Fortunately, the Dallas metro area didn’t get anything nearly as bad as Oklahoma the day before, i.e., no tornadoes, no Buick-size hail and nobody screaming “Auntie Em.” We just got a series of very large thunderstorms with plenty of desperately-needed rain. Our lawn looks gorgeous. I’d post a picture but it’s almost 8:30 p.m. and I’m running out of daylight. Maybe tomorrow.

I have to eat something now because my blood sugar is 56 and I feel like crap. I’ll try to post again after dinner, although I also plan to finish watching Her Night of Romance (1924), a terrific silent romantic comedy with Ronald Colman and Constance Talmadge.
I’m not usually a big fan of silent movies but this one turned out to be entertaining and adorable. Plus I’m crazy about Ronald Colman and I’d probably enjoy him in damn near ANYTHING. Thank you for reading this.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tornadoes, mucilage pudding and weirdos on parade.

Hi, people. Howdy from Oz! The tornado threat just north of us in Oklahoma is so frightening today that you can’t even access the maps on I’ve been trying for more than an hour. Although Dallas isn’t under the gun at the present time I’m definitely scared to death for the Choctaw Casino and our favorite senior citizen buffet with pea salad and excellent sugar-free pie. The map below indicates: A) Moore, Oklahoma, just south of Oklahoma City, which was obliterated by a two-mile wide tornado about two hours ago; B) the Choctaw Casino in Durant with big fat twisters headed in their direction; and C) Howdygram headquarters in Mesquite, Texas.
If you care, we’ve got a 40% chance of severe weather later on tonight and a 60% chance tomorrow. In advance of the rain and hail I’ve been trying to shlep today’s UPS deliveries into the house, but there’s a 35-pound crate from Netrition on the front step that I can’t lift to save my soul. (It may get wet, but at least it sure as hell won’t blow away.)

Breaking news from our Weirdos on Parade department! Apparently Dallas Comic Con 2013 was a huge freakin’ hit at the Irving Convention Center this past weekend, attracting 20,000 costumed nerds, several of whom appear below, all willing to stand in endless lines and blow big bucks for autographs. Celebrities — mostly D-listers — on hand to sell their signatures included William Shatner ($80), LeVar Burton ($40) and Andrew McCarthy ($30), plus a crowd of highly-regarded comic book artists signing their work for free. (Personally, I’d be far more impressed by the artists than a bunch of greedy, out-of-work actors.)
A successful online shopping exursion to The Container Store resulted in a brilliant purchase this afternoon: RATTAN STORAGE BINS.
I bought two identical bins measuring 13¼" x 9" x 6" for the middle shelf of my new kitchen island cart that came last week from HSN (see earlier post). These were a damn good bargain at $9.99 each, especially when you consider I found practically identical baskets on at least a dozen other websites (including Amazon) priced at $20 or more. I love my new bins and can’t wait to stuff them full of useful whatnots and attractive crap.

And now it’s time for dinner! I think I’ll do some gefilte fish with horseradish and a nice big bowl of Chia Seed Chocolate Mucilage Pudding (see previous post). I’ll share my recipe if the pudding is a success. Stay tuned, okay? Thank you for reading this.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Don’t judge a quilt by its price tag.

I apologize for not writing a Howdygram post yesterday, but there were two excellent reasons for my absence: 1) I was taking care of Sam (he had a cataract removed); and 2) I didn’t feel like it. Fine, sue me.

For all of you Sam fans out there, Mister Adorable is recovering nicely from yesterday’s eyeball surgery. The patch came off at 6 p.m., and within a couple of hours his vision was already greatly improved. Sam’s right eye had been kablooey for more than six months, and it’s really swell that everything is getting back to normal at last. His follow-up appointment with the surgeon this morning went very well and there’s another one scheduled in a couple of weeks.

Anybody besides us bother to watch The Preakness today? It was 90 thrilling seconds of joy when teeny cutie Gary Stevens, a 50-year-old Hall of Fame jockey, rode Oxbow to a surprise win after 65% of practically everybody had bet on Orb. I love karma, don’t you?
Conversely, Pimlico was also the scene of some atrocious crap today, such as a drunken orgy for 65,000 on the infield that resembled Woodstock with beer kegs. The festivities began this morning at 8 and included pitching Moutain Dew from port-a-potty rooftops, passing out en masse and vomiting into buckets.
For fun, here’s a nice shot of Sam — Photoshopped by yours truly — posing with a row of assorted jockeys.
I haven’t posted about my pet peeves for a while but thought I’d take this opportunity to catch up a little. Today’s pet peeve is BEDDING. Seriously … how come nothing I buy from a bedding catalog ever looks that good in my house? Comforters arrive so wrinkled you’d swear they were pulled out of Methuselah’s butt, pillow shams don’t fit your pillows and sheets are never the color you’re expecting unless, of course, you ordered white. But who the hell orders white? The only bedding I’ve ever purchased that arrived in perfect bed-ready condition was the quilt set I ordered two years ago from (of all places) Wal-Mart. This certainly gives new credence to an old adage ... don’t judge a quilt by its price tag.
It’s already after 9 p.m. and I think I need some food. Sam is outside on the patio enjoying the night air and I think I’ll heat a Schwan’s five-star pot roast in the microwave. This thing gets fantastic reviews online and I’ve been dying to try it.
I’m pretty sure there should be enough leftovers to feed a small army if you’re interested, so just send an email. Thank you.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I love my life of mind-numbing leisure.

My right knee is screaming at me today in 20-second intervals. This was the first time EVER that I couldn’t fall asleep on the chaise in the family room, which definitely sucks because I wanted an afternoon nap. So instead I baked a no-carb cheesecake — a highly regarded and medically-acceptable substitute for sleep — and plan to consume as much of it as possible tonight for dinner.

Yes, people, I eat cheesecake for dinner. Also Slim Jims, soy milk and cheap dill pickles as the spirit moves me, but in no particular order whatsoever.

It’s probably common knowledge that I almost never have anything to do. I’m not complaining, of course, because I love my life of mind-numbing leisure. I nap, watch old movies, eat weird crap, do laundry if I feel like it and blog once a day (or try to) about baloney, medical horseshit and screwy news. Which is why it’s so peculiar to announce that May and June are turning into a couple of wild and crazy months here at Howdygram headquarters due to TEN MAJOR PROJECTS AND ACTIVITIES. They are:
  1. Our re-fi will close on June 4. We’re still waiting for the appraisal.
  2. We ordered solar screens for all the windows at the back of the house. (We did the front a couple of years ago.)
  3. We’ve decided to get estimates for rain gutters.
  4. Sam has cataract surgery tomorrow morning at Eyeballs-R-Us in Greenville.
  5. It’s time to pay for car insurance again.
  6. Sam leaves for California on June 8.
  7. We had our lawn fertilized this morning.
  8. I’m running out of gefilte fish.
  9. I’ve got a podiatrist appointment on May 30.
  10. Behind the Candelabra premiers on HBO on May 26.
For your possible interest, Behind the Candelabra is HBO’s Liberace biopic starring Michael Douglas in the title role and Matt Damon as his boy-toy and occasional chauffeur, Scott Thorson. Michael and Matt get to make out a lot. Tune in and bring the Pepto Bismol, okay?

And now for a quick recap of last night’s weather in north Texas! In addition to five hours of monster thunderstorms and driving rain there was a twister outbreak in towns surrounding Fort Worth with 13 tornadoes that killed six and injured more than 150. Half the town of Granbury was flattened by an EF-4 with winds at 200 mph; seven people are still missing. Actual cell phone photos appear below.
Breaking news from our Money Can Buy You Happiness department! The oil painting titled “Bea Arthur Naked” by artist John Currin was purchased for $1.9 million — by an anonymous bidder — at auction Wednesday night at Christie’s in New York. Wouldn’t you love to meet the lucky slob who bought this?
And that, dear readers, brings me to another perfect segue ... IT’S TIME FOR CHEESECAKE! Thank you for reading this.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fonts, twisters and corrective shoes.

That sound you hear in the background? THUNDER and TORRENTIAL RAIN! We’ve got a huge weather system grinding across the Dallas metro area tonight with a tornado watch until 1 a.m. This is an exciting development since there hasn’t been any measurable rainfall around here for months. As a matter of fact, I might stand outside on the driveway for a while and do Marcy’s famous Welcome Dance, which includes cane-waving, complicated footwork in corrective shoes and an original song. Also snacks.

Sam just called from work to tell me that downtown Dallas is in the middle of an imminent tornado threat and he’s evacuating the office. His preferred safety hangout during weather emergencies is the underground parking garage with a bottle of Perrier. On the following map you’ll note the big red scary blob over downtown Dallas and the fact that it’s all moving straight for Howdygram headquarters in Mesquite. Oy!
On Friday we’ll be heading 40 miles northeast to a medical center in Greenville, Texas, called Eyeballs-R-Us, where Sam is scheduled for cataract surgery at noon. On the way back I figure we can stop in Rockwall for a late lunch if Sam feels like eating something because there are lots of nice restaurants on I-30. The map below indicates: A) Howdygram headquarters; and B) Eyeballs-R-Us in Greenville.
To cheer myself up during this current weather crisis I decided to help myself to an additional supply of new fonts because two billion is never enough. Here they are in case you give a crap. I’m especially excited about all those cute smiley-faces plus the “catchwords” font at the bottom of the left column with all the fancy-schmancy articles and prepositions. Isn’t life wonderful sometimes?
I should unplug my computer now in case there’s a twister on the way. Thanks for stopping by tonight and don’t forget to turn out the light when you’re done here.

Diabetics jump through all kinds of stupid hoops to satisfy a craving.

Sam will be home from work late tonight. Actually, that’s an understatement ... he’s already late. He’s usually home by 10:30 and it’s a few minutes past midnight. While I wait I’m seriously considering a big glass of vanilla Soy Slender soy milk and a plate of Bogus Doughnuts, which technically are a couple of low-carb biscuits with low-carb fruit spread and granulated Splenda sprinkled on top so I can pretend they’re bismarcks. Photos appear below for your possible interest.
Incidentally, please don’t laugh at me. Diabetics jump through all kinds of stupid hoops to satisfy a craving.

There was a thrilling breakthrough today in the O.J. Simpson hearing in Las Vegas, where the judge allowed court officers to unchain one of O.J.’s hands so he could eat mints and drink water. Nothing else appears to be going very well for The Juice, however, so please check in with the Howdygram for additional updates as they become available.
Know what? I just figured out you’re never too old to learn something new. I get a postcard in the mail this afternoon from AT&T inviting me to “expand my experience with,” an activity that would typically draw an unpleasant response — i.e., WTF, I’d rather inject insulin — except today, for reasons unknown, I decide to read the ad. Or try to, because it’s badly designed, barely legible (20% gray type on a 15% gray background) and almost impossible to read. The news, however, was stunning. After three years as a U-Verse customer I find out today there’s a special U-Verse website that lets me PROGRAM THE DVR FROM MY COMPUTER while I sit in the study writing Howdygram posts!

Holy crap, people, THIS IS ABSOLUTELY HUGE! Without getting up from my desk I just scanned ahead to program movies and TV shows through the middle of next week, cancelled a movie I’d scheduled earlier and erased a couple that I didn’t want any more. Even better, I can search the entire U-Verse channel lineup for program titles, set up and manage series recordings, filter all the listings for HD only and arrange for somebody to make popocorn! (Just kidding about the popcorn.) I’m so damn excited I’ve decided to take back all the nasty crap I’ve written about AT&T during the last couple of years. I love these guys.

Thank you for reading this!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A tale of advanced insomnia, Newt Gingrich and well-fed convicts.

Welcome to Marcy’s continuing adventures in Diabetesland. Last night’s program featured ADVANCED INSOMNIA, as I sat up until 3:30 in the morning with my feet kablooey from neuropathy spasms and my hands on fire from the inside out. There’s not much I can do until everything calms down so I started writing this post in the meantime. Eventually I slept five hours on the chaise in the family room.

I’ve got a couple of excellent video clips for you courtesy of YouTube! The first is a segment from Family Guy. No kidding, people, I almost wet my pants when I saw this.

Next up is Newt Gingrich, the GOP’s self-appointed authority on just about every subject known to man — including dinosaurs and moon colonies! — doing his best Andy Rooney imitation as he attempts to reason out a better name for cell phones. Apparently Newt didn’t get the memo back in 2007 that cell phones are called SMART PHONES now, because he’s really stuck in a rut here.

In case you’re wondering, I’m totally in love with the new kitchen island cart I bought last week (see post) from HSN. Sam set it up for me on Sunday, and it’s probably one of the smartest purchases I’ve ever made online. For a mobility-challenged senior citizen like moi, a movable island in the middle of the kitchen is a tremendous step-saver and definitely makes it easier to prep and shlep. It’s also very cute. And it has shelves.

O.J. Simpson is making headlines again. This time he’s back in a Las Vegas courtroom trying to overturn his 2008 conviction for robbery and kidnapping, which carries a 33-year sentence. I’m not sure why O.J. is so anxious to get out of prison, because this photo sure seems to indicate that he has no problem whatsoever with the food. (I’m just saying.)
And finally, breaking news from our I Guess You Can’t Trust Anybody department concerning that brewing brou-ha-ha at the Internal Revenue Service. I know everybody’s having a cow that the IRS “targeted” right-wing tea party groups, but I don’t get the outrage. The tea party promotes a rabid anti-tax, anti-government philosophy ... wouldn’t you take a closer look before granting them tax-exempt status?

I need a pile of pickles & biscuits. Thank you for reading this.

Monday, May 13, 2013

If I could figure out how to sleep and eat at the same time life would be perfect.

I decided not to write a Howdygram post yesterday to wish you a happy Mother’s Day because I’m not your mother. I’m not anybody’s mother. Basically, I spent the entire day involved in one of the following fulfilling activities: 1) sleeping; 2) eating things; and 3) watching Tiger Woods win the Players Championship on TV. Tiger appears below, holding a wad of crystal that’s either an ugly trophy or a pretty good vase. You pick.
After Tiger’s big payday — $1.7 million for four rounds of golf — Sam and I watched Tormented (1960), a shlocky one-star movie starring Richard Carlson and a supporting cast of nobodies. The plot involves an island with a few decent beach houses and a ghost named Vi who was once a sleazy nightclub singer with big pointy boobs. Vi comes back to haunt her “ex,” a jazz pianist played by Richard Carlson (inset, below), by leaving a trail of seaweed, her wristwatch and wet footprints everywhere she goes. (I’m serious.) None of this falls into the “horror” category by any stretch of the imagination and is frightening in no way whatsoever. Tormented should have been named Holy Crap, This Is Unbelievably Stupid.
It’s 10:45 Monday morning and Sam is on his way to Costco to buy a cartload of our biweekly favorites. These include a gigantic tub of pistachios, fresh raspberries, sushi, havarti cheese, peeled hard-boiled eggs and a dozen breakfast burritos. Our Howdygram food-fest is scheduled to commence as soon as Sam gets home although I’m almost too tired to eat right now and might have to choose sleep before food. If I could figure out how to sleep and eat at the same time life would be perfect.

As long as I’m discussing food, please allow me to utter two words that can change your life: CHIA SEEDS. Chia seeds are a high-fiber (and almost zero-carb) “superfood” loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids that lower your blood glucose and blood pressure, optimize your digestive system and stimulate the growth of kinky green hair. (I’m probably kidding about that last part.)
You can sprinkle chia seeds on cereal, yogurt, muffins and oatmeal, but the number one best way to eat them is to make your own CHIA SEED PUDDING because they expand in liquid and poof up like huge, gluey tapioca pearls. The best recipe I’ve found involves two cups of chocolate Soy Slender soy milk, ¾-cup of chia seeds and a few squirts of liquid Splenda all mooshed up in a jar and left in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning you get a pile of fluffy chocolate mucilage, and I LOVE FLUFFY CHOCOLATE MUCILAGE! 
Thank you for reading this.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

If you ever see these miserable things on a shelf in the supermarket, run like hell.

Before I begin blogging about other less-important subjects I’d like to report that my adorable hero Sam successfully unclogged the kitchen sink when he got home from work Thursday night (see previous post) and the 2013 Kelp Noodle Disaster is now a distant memory.

Do yourself a favor. If you ever see these miserable things on a shelf in the supermarket, RUN LIKE HELL.

Friday was an up and down day around here, a description that refers specifically to my blood glucose numbers and ongoing whacked-out body temperature issues. I’ll try to keep it brief because you’re probably getting as bored with this crap as I am.

At 5 a.m. I wake up to go to the bathroom, which happens at least once every night to female senior citizens like yours truly, but on my way down the hall I’m disoriented, intoxicated and clammy — typical symptoms of hypoglycemia — so I end up in the study testing my blood sugar and find out I’ve hit an all-new low at 42. I chomp a couple of Wal-Mart glucose tablets (tasty!) and download a few new fonts until I feel steady enough to go back to bed. Later in the morning during a period of general achy crappiness I check my temperature: another personal best at 95.3°. Sam gets all panicky and decides our thermometer has to be broken because people who are not cadavers should have a body temperature considerably higher than that, so he goes to the drug store and comes home with a new one. Five minutes later I prove the old one wasn’t broken at all. Oy.

The aforementioned new fonts appear below. I love the arrows!
Saturday got off to a much better start, thank God, due to a couple of quick yet thorough Internet shopping excursions that included: 1) six cans of Folger’s hazelnut coffee from; and 2) laundry essentials and two boxes of Mexican Velveeta from Wal-Mart. Incidentally, I’m trying Tide Pods for the very first time. The fact that I can’t wait is starting to scare me.
Since the Republican party has already launched its 2016 race to the White House, as evidenced by Rand Paul’s futile quote on MSNBC this morning that “Benghazi should stop Hillary Clinton from ever holding higher office” and the announcement of yet another round of desperate GOP-fueled Congressional Benghazi hearings, the Howdygram would like to set the record straight. Sure, four Americans were killed last fall in the attack on our embassy in Benghazi, Libya, but the GOP’s anger is a smoke screen and a bunch of BALONEY HORSESHIT as illustrated by the graphic below.
Thank you for reading this.