Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I’m cured. I hate rice!

People, I had an epiphany tonight. Because I’ve had no appetite for the last few days and still hadn’t eaten my first meal today by 6 p.m., I decided to order a sack of extra spicy crapola from China City and — just for the decadent hell of it — a pint of white rice. This was a very large deal, as I haven’t eaten white rice in more than THREE YEARS because it’s a diabetic’s worst nightmare (useless carbs) with no nutritional benefits whatsoever. So China City delivers my sack of crapola and I dump half a pint of white rice onto my plate with a nice scoop of Hunan Shrimp. And you know what? THE RICE WAS TERRIBLE. It tasted like a mouthful of mucilage and I couldn’t even swallow it.

I’m cured. I hate rice! This is really huge.

And now for a news tidbit from our Why Is It Always Texas department. It seems that Georgie Porgie Zimmerman, a frightened fugitive on the run from a nation of vigilantes who don’t understand him, was stopped for speeding a couple of days ago in the town of Forney, Texas, which is maybe 10 minutes east of Howdygram headquarters.
At the time of the traffic stop Zimmerman was wearing a holster strapped to his body with a revolver, which the officer asked him to remove and keep in his glove compartment. We all know how well George follows instructions from the police, right?

According to the dashcam video, when the officer wanted to know where he was headed, Zimmerman replied “nowhere in particular.” “Nowhere in particular, why is that?” the officer asked. So Zimmerman says, “You didn’t see my name on the driver’s license?” I’m amazed the cop didn’t ask for an autograph. GO HOME, GEORGE.
I think I’ll take a nice hot shower now and wait for Sam to get home from work so I can show him a really hilarious movie I watched earlier today. It’s called Peach O’Reno (1931) starring Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey as a pair of shady Reno divorce lawyers who turn their law office into a casino after dark. The whole movie mostly looks and sounds like a gigantic vaudeville routine, but the courtroom scene at the end is beyond belief, right down to Wheeler in drag trying to hide from angry clients, a ballpark peanut hawker in the jury box and the judge cracking walnuts with his gavel. Sam will LOVE this silly thing. It’s the most fun you can have on film that doesn’t include Curly, Moe and Larry.
Thank you for reading this.

In case you’re into vitals, I have blood pressure and a pulse. Also a urinary tract infection.

So here’s the scoop, people! I saw Dr. M this morning and it’s official: I’ve got a urinary tract infection. She started me on an antibiotic called Sulfamethoxazole twice a day and I’m supposed to try real hard to stop peeing all over myself every time I stand up. (Damn. I was just starting to get used to it.) In case you’re into vitals, my blood pressure was 110/68, we found a pulse and I’ve lost 59½ pounds since my last appointment at the end of January. Lab results will be available tomorrow in the event you give a crap.

Now for some news from our Everything’s Better in Texas department. At the end of May a pair of rookie cops in Fort Worth responding to a burglary call accidentally went to the wrong house and ended up killing the homeowner due to “poor lighting.” Despite being sent to investigate a possible break-in at 409 Havenwood Lane, officers Hanlon and Hoeppner began searching across the street at 404 Havenwood instead. The officers’ said there was “no lighting around the home” of 72-year-old Jerry Waller and his wife Kathy, and they only had the use of their flashlights. Which probably explains why Jerry Waller, frightened, grabbed his .38-calibre handgun for protection and encountered the two officers while still standing inside his own garage. He was immediately shot six times in the chest and died at the scene. A police department spokesperson said an internal investigation was underway but the trigger-happy rookies have resumed full-time duty. The adorable Wallers, pictured below, had been married for 46 years.
The following photo should explain why Hanlon and Hoeppner had trouble deciphering those annoying house numbers. It’s just another example of the Lone Star State’s fine system of higher education.
A few days ago I promised you good folks a couple of movie reviews for The High and the Mighty (1956) starring John Wayne and Robert Stack and Station West (1953), a film noir western starring Dick Powell and Jane Greer. Let’s begin with The High and the Mighty, a silly, drecky all-star-cast disaster film that’s genuinely hilarious enough to earn permanent cult status. Sam and I are still surprised that Irwin Allen’s name wasn’t in the credits. (Yes, it’s that bad.)
The plot? John Wayne and Robert Stack are a pair of pilots in the cockpit of a commercial flight from Hawaii to San Francisco. When one of the engines craps out halfway across the ocean Robert Stack becomes unhinged (see above photo), causing John Wayne to punch him in the head and drink a lot of coffee. With fuel leaking from the damaged engine it’s likely that they’ll have to ditch the plane into the ocean and hopefully get their bodies picked up by a coast guard rescue team. The passengers, each a lunatic in his or her own right, naturally get hysterical when they hear the news and start flying off their respective handles. Among them are a pair of floozies, a big shot businessman, newlyweds trying to continue their honeymoon in seat 12, a snotty little kid traveling alone, an inventor with a briefcase full of secret documents, a homicidal maniac with a gun who’s only on board to kill the aforementioned big shot businessman who was horsing around with his wife in Honolulu, a stewardess who can’t stop crying because she’s still single with no immediate prospects and now she’s going to die in a plane crash, and an Italian fisherman who’s traveling with his own salami.

The performances are so hammy and idiotic that much of it wound up in 1980’s disaster parody Airplane. It just doesn’t get much better than this. I won’t tell you how the story ends so you’ll make an effort to buy the DVD or look for the movie on cable. Sam and I plan to watch it again. Often.

As a side note, The High and the Mighty was produced by BatJac, John Wayne’s personal production company. At the time, Wayne — a rabid anti-Communist — was busy “naming names” and ratting out his peers to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. As a result it was damn near impossible to cast this movie except for a handful of right-wing crackpots who could stand being in the same room with him. 

And now, Station West. The “film noir western” is a strange genre but perfect for a pair of hard-boiled characters like Dick Powell and Jane Greer. She’s a dame who owns a saloon and sings the same song every seven minutes; he’s a secret government agent sent to investigate who the hell keeps robbing the stage.
Others in the cast include Burl Ives as a musical hotel clerk and Agnes Moorehead as the owner of a gold mine. Everybody else is either meaningless or one of Mister Big’s snarling flunkies at the lumber mill outside of town. For the record, Dick Powell looked pretty good riding a horse.
I’m definitely ready for an afternoon nap but will probably have to hold off at least another half-hour until my maid is through cleaning things. At the moment she’s on the patio scrubbing several dozen silk plants and trees. I told her she didn’t have to bother because it’s 101° out there, but this is a woman who totally loves what she does. Such as the time she announced, “I’d like to clean out your refrigerator today.” Holy crap. How perfect.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Starting next season, tune in for the “Real Housewives of Sing-Sing.”

The hottest news on the Internet today involves a massive federal fraud indictment against Teresa and Joe (Giuseppe) Giudice from “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” my favorite white-trash reality show. The spray-tanned bimbo (with the neanderthal hairline) and her Mafia-wannabe husband have been charged with 39 counts of bank fraud, mortgage fraud, income tax fraud, wire fraud, hiding assets from a bankruptcy court and tax evasion. It’s not likely that either of them will escape prison because the feds used the same kind of charges to finally nail Al Capone. Is this a fantastic story line, or what? Starting next season, tune in for the “Real Housewives of Sing-Sing.” Oh boy!
In case you care about this, Teresa and Joe are currently free on $500,000 bond (each), have had their passports revoked and are not allowed to leave New Joisey or New Yawk. It’s also possible that Joe will be deported to Italy since he’s not even an American citizen. Holy crapanini. Looks like the federal government finally found a way to get these two phony piles of poo off the air!

I honestly thought I was finally feeling better tonight. My fever spiked this morning at 6 a.m. and Sam wrapped me up in a couple of extra blankets to stop the chills, but by lunch time my temperature was normal and stayed there for the rest of the day. UNTIL NOW. It’s back up to 99.8°, which is substantial for moi because my normal temp is 97°. Regardless, after dinner I will force myself to fold a basket of socks and underwear because Sam’s dresser drawers are practically empty and I don’t think he should run around naked for anybody except me.

The optical department at Costco called a few minutes ago ... my new glasses are ready! This is so damn exciting I can hardly stand it. Sam says he’ll take me to pick them up Thursday morning because tomorrow’s already booked (I’ve got a 9 a.m. doctor appointment). I’ll look like a million bucks in these. No autographs, please.
It’s already 7:30 p.m. so I think I’d better haul my butt into the kitchen and seriously ponder a nice plate of grub, a tall beverage and a splash of insulin on the rocks. Thank you, as always, for reading this.

Send chicken soup, people.

I miss writing the Howdygram. Desperately. Except I haven’t had the energy to sit at my desk for more than half an hour at a time since probably Friday, owing to a high fever, a pain in my head, body aches and chills. Plus I pee on myself every time I stand up. Every single time.

I’ve been popping Walmart’s best arthritis-strength Tylenol knockoff every six hours but they’re not doing enough. I’ll finally see Dr. M tomorrow. Since I have no other symptoms besides the high fever and body aches (for instance, this isn’t the flu) I’m scared she’ll tell me that what I’ve got is another form of diabetic neuropathy I can add to my growing list, and I’ll just have to get used to it. I feel seriously crappy with no end in sight. Send chicken soup, people.

Thank you.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I’ve been really, really sick.

In case you’re wondering how come I’ve been silent for the past few days, go ahead and reread the first paragraph of my last Howdygram post. I’VE BEEN SICK. Really, really sick. This morning my fever was so high (see below) that I almost dislocated my jaw from intense chills, and since Friday night I’ve been shaking on the chaise in the family room wrapped in a gigantic 40-pound faux mink blanket with two afghans over my head.

How high, you ask?
It was 102°. But keep in mind ... normal for me is 97°, so when I run a fever of 102° it feels the same as 104° for everybody else. Excruciating. Holy crap. And I’m telling you all this to elicit sympathy, get-well emails, chicken soup, coloring books and cash. I could also use new crayons. Please get in touch immediately for my shipping address.

As soon as I regain my strength I’ll be back to review some of the strange movies I’ve been watching, including: 1) The High and the Mighty (1956) starring John Wayne and Robert Stack; 2) a film noir western called Station West (1948) starring Dick Powell and Jane Greer; and 3) Latin Lovers (1953), a silly dreckfest starring Lana Turner and Ricardo Montalban.

Except I don’t feel well enough to do any of this today, so deal with it and thank you for reading this.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Great Britain, where 14th century Halloween costumes are a way of life.

Sometimes it’s hard to write a Howdygram post. Like today, for instance. I’m not feeling funny or creative and I’m more than a little under the weather — i.e., my right knee hurts, I’ve got chills and I think I’m developing a bladder infection. That being said, however, I do have some newsworthy crap to discuss with you, which I’ll tackle in three parts.

NEWSWORTHY CRAP, PART ONE. First up, an overdressed volunteer loudmouth showed up in front of St. Mary’s Hospital in London a couple of days ago to announce the royal birth at the top of his lungs. Tony Appleton, a town crier from the village of Romford, apparently was photographed and interviewed by American journalists who figured he was an official representative from Buckingham Palace. Although I’m sure the Brits are having a good laugh about this, it’s an easy mistake to make in a country where 14th century Halloween costumes are a way of life. I’m just saying.
NEWSWORTHY CRAP, PART TWO. Last month Sheriff Joe Arpaio, law enforcement’s racist right-wing poster boy from the great state of Arizona, sent a deputy to New York to track down a homicidal maniac named David Lee Simpson, who came to Arpaio’s attention during the Jody Arias trial for tweeting that he wanted to tie CNN’s Nancy Grace to a tree and slit her throat. Frankly, I’m not sure why there was a problem with this since most of America would probably get behind Simpson’s plan.
Simpson was eventually apprehended, however, and a search of his car turned up at least two guns as well as “ammunition, handcuffs, zip-ties, binoculars, a knife and a police radio.” This may be the first time Joe Arpaio has ever been featured in an article and not been the worst person in it.

NEWSWORTHY CRAP, PART THREE. In case you’re wondering what George Zimmerman’s been doing since getting away with the murder of Trayvon Martin, he’s still lurking at intersections in his beloved community of Sanford, Florida, and still trying to play super-hero. This time Zimmerman and another man pulled Mark and Dana Gerstle and their two children unharmed out of their blue SUV following an accident near the spot where Zimmerman shot and killed Martin. Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman’s lawyer, immediately decided to host a big press conference to congratulate “the quintessential George” but was forced to call it off after the Gerstles backed out. “The family does not want to be associated with George,” O’Mara told reporters, and after thanking Zimmerman for his help the Gerstles declined to make any public statement. I love this story a lot, people. A photo of creepy George and his creepy lawyer appear below. They should go split a large pizza or something.
It’s a few minutes past 6 and I’m contemplating dinner. Although there are are a million tasty possibilities, at the moment I think I’m leaning towards my favorite low-carb CarbQuik biscuits, a couple of nice scrambled eggs and a glass of chocolate Soy Slender soy milk.
If I feel better after dinner — go back and check out the first paragraph, plus I just discovered I’m running a fever — I’ll try to finish the last two loads of laundry, but I’m not promising anything. Right now all I want is food and a blanket. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Oklahoma does not deserve that much rain.

A couple of things. First, retirement is creeping up so damn fast I can hardly stand it! In case you haven’t noticed the countdown in the right sidebar, I’ll be applying for Social Security in a few days so the government can start paying my benefits when I turn 62 on November 1. Yes, I’m collecting early, and no, I don’t want to discuss it. We’ve done the math and there’s no reason not to. Thank you.

Second, we didn’t haul in a single drop of precipitation this morning because for some insane reason that huge weather system (see previous post) vanished after it stopped for breakfast in Oklahoma. VANISHED.


On a happier note — especially for Sam, who practically ran out of socks yesterday — this is laundry day at Howdygram headquarters! I’m currently on my third load with two more to go. Volunteers are now being accepted for a folding extravaganza that begins tonight at 8 followed immediately by the premier episode of “Top Chef Masters.” I also recommend that you set your DVR to record The Twelve Chairs (1970) tonight on TCM. This little-known and thoroughly hilarious Mel Brooks gem stars Ron Moody, Frank Langella and Dom DeLuise as Russians in 1920 desperately searching for treasure hidden in a set of dining room chairs lost during the Revolution.
As long as I’m discussing movies I might as well throw in my thoughts about a dud that we suffered through on Tuesday called Garden of the Moon (1938), probably the lousiest musical ever made. It stars Pat O’Brien as a fast-talking jerk who operates a swanky night club in Hollywood. When John Payne comes on board as the leader (and vocalist) of a second-rate orchestra, he and Pat immediately hate each other’s guts and spend the next 90 minutes fighting, snarling and playing dirty tricks on each other like a couple of obnoxious frat boys.
As for the music, every song was gimmicky and forgettable — i.e., jerky things like “The Lady on the Two-Cent Stamp” and “The Girl Friend of the Whirling Dervish” — and the orchestra was sprinkled with all those typical 1930s-era cartoonish screwballs, such as Johnnie Davis and Jerry Colonna.
Apparently Warner Bros. wanted Dick Powell as the lead (instead of John Payne) but Powell was so disgusted that he refused the part and accepted a layoff. Smart move. Too bad the rest of the cast didn’t join him.

Thank you for reading this.

We’re planning a road trip.

There’s breaking news this morning from our Let’s Get Marcy Out of the House department. WE’RE PLANNING A ROAD TRIP! This time Sam wants to head west to the Rocky Mountains, which is fine with me because mountains are entertaining and attractive, and I’m always excited to go damn near anywhere. Since I don’t have the wherewithal to hike or engage in any mountain-inspired outdoor activities, I promised Sam I’d bring along a sack of crunchy things and a couple of books and hang out near the car so he can shlep up and down various trails as much as he wants. And then we’ll go to a restaurant.

Unexpected storms are heading our way today. They’ve stopped for breakfast in southern Oklahoma and should arrive in the Dallas area within the next couple of hours. So far I have no idea if we’re expecting substantial rain from this event or not, but any amount of free water is welcome around here because Texas is still stuck in a drought. The red star on the following map indicates Howdygram headquarters in Mesquite. If you zoom in, I’m the senior citizen in the blue robe waving her cane. Wave back if you want to, okay?
Sam will be home from the supermarket in a few minutes, which is a good thing because I’ve had an insane craving for a large volume of lunch meat — specifically, Hillshire Farm super-thin chicken breast, pictured below for your possible interest. This is actually one of my tamer cravings, since I usually I go for a crazy explosion of flavor, such as: 1) chocolate soy milk, Mexican Velveeta and green olives; and 2) pickles and biscuits.
Let me know if you want to stop by for a snack today because visitors are welcome with advance reservations. Thank you.

Monday, July 22, 2013

John Boehner is an American embarrassment and our latest Putz of the Week.

I knew it wouldn’t take long to find the Howdygram’s next Putz of the Week, because if you pay attention to politics there’s no shortage of putzes from which to choose. This time our dishonorable recipient is Speaker of the House and national embarrassment John Boehner, who announced yesterday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that Congress “should not be judged on how many new laws we create,” but rather on “how many laws we repeal.”
John Boehner will certainly be remembered as the crappiest House Speaker in American history no matter how hard he tries to spin it otherwise. His idiotic remark on “Face the Nation” made headlines around the world in a matter of hours.

The point is, Americans elect Congress to work on important issues ... not to collect a paycheck, obstruct the President and wind back the clock. The House of Representatives has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than three dozen times and Boehner promises the attempts are not over ... even though Congress has yet to pass a useful jobs bill, overhaul our immigration system, fight climate change, find ways to reduce gun violence and fix the budget sequester. On an immediate level, sequestration is hammering resources for America’s neediest citizens, including schools for Native American children and funding for cancer clinics.

Since 85% of Americans — Democrats AND Republicans — disapprove of Congress, who, exactly, do these assclowns represent? If you’re fed up like everybody else please consider joining Organizing for Action. Click here right now, before you forget.

Here’s some late-breaking news from our Why We All Hate Dentists department. We get a bill in the mail today from DentalWorks, the mysterious parent corporation that owns our nice neighborhood dental professional. In barely legible four-point type — on a 50% gray background — the statement shows a balance for Marcy of $60.12 for relining dentures. Sam hands me the bill and asks when did I ever have my dentures relined, so I say, holy crap, that was at least two years ago. Looking at the bill a little more carefully actually reveals that we don’t owe anybody $60.12 because the number has a teeny tiny minus sign in front of it, which means WE OVERPAID. This is the first time anybody’s ever acknowledged it, and two and half years after the date of service (my dentures were relined in April 2011) DentalWorks still hasn’t refunded the overpayment. Tomorrow I will kill them dead. Please stay tuned for additional developments and thank you for reading this.

Gary Player, naked.

It’s 4:30 a.m. and I’ve got two important things to share in the middle of the night. First, a royal heir is about to spring forth from the gilded uterus of the Duchess of Cambridge, and second, I totally forgot to include the following gem in last night’s Howdygram post after the paragraph about golf. This is a photo of legendary golfer Gary Player posing naked for ESPN.
I should also mention that I’m not feeling well again. Actually, still. It’s that low body temperature horseshit (a form of diabetic neuropathy), with symptoms that feel like you’re running a high fever with body aches, joint pain, chills and an overwhelming craving for lemon jello and a new box of crayons. And if hypothermia isn’t bad enough, I’ve developed yet another neuropathy symptom: a constant and immediate urge to pee. (Even though Sam will probably freak out when he reads this paragraph, it should be common knowledge by now that TMI is the hallmark of every responsible blogger. Deal with it.) Therefore, I wake up three or four times every night for mostly-unproductive trips to the bathroom, and during the day I can barely get down the hall fast enough ... and that’s NOT an easy thing to do with a cane when you’re already shlepping like Quasimoto from the pain of plantar fasciitis and arthritic knees. Sometimes, when I’m really feeling miserable, like this morning, I start crying en route, which technically makes it even WORSE. If that’s possible. Holy crap, right?

In case you were wondering about those new orthopedic shoes for diabetics that I just bought from FootSmart ... they came a couple of days ago and feel like PUFFY FLUFFY CLOUDS! I’ve had very large, very sensitive, hard-to-fit feet my entire life, and these are the first shoes I’ve ever owned that didn’t start out feeling like crap.
They’re very deep, very soft and very padded, and right now this creaky old kvetch is a very happy senior citizen. I should make an effort to leave the house once in a while so I can try them out in public. Maybe today if Sam’s interested. Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday night at Howdygram headquarters. Yee-haw.

It’s been mighty weird around here this weekend watching Sam try to recharge from the longest work-week in recorded history ... 135 hours over 12 consecutive days. The poor old cowpoke is beyond exhausted and struggling to cope with even the most routine tasks, such as basic motor skills and sentence construction. The road to recovery started yesterday morning with an emergency trip to Costco for a pile of our favorite crapola, including: 1) rotisserie chicken salad; 2) a five-pound sack of pistachios; 3) frozen fully-cooked Angus burgers; 4) sushi; 5) breakfast burritos; 6) fabulous salsa; 7) “loaded” potato salad; 8) blackberries; and 9) a tub of fresh pineapple. We’ve been eating all weekend, mostly nonstop except for naps, which was our plan in its entirety from the get-go.

Breaking news from the Howdygram Sports Desk! Phil Mickelson won the British Open today at Muirfield Golf Course in Scotland after a brilliant fourth round of birdies. The weather was a blustery nightmare of crazy wind from the North Sea and golf balls flying backwards, and Phil was the only player on Sunday to finish under par. Here he is, looking happy. Tiger’s fans, not so much. (Tiger finished sixth.)
We’ve got some wonderful entertainment on tap for tonight. First up, we have to finish watching The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962), a one-star dreckfest featuring mad scientists and a woman’s severed head (with lipstick and perfect eyeliner) being kept alive in a puddle of electrified Kool-Aid. In the tradition of Ed Wood’s putridly hilarious Plan 9 from Outer Space, just about everything in this film is really lousy, including the sets, script, acting, props, sound and story. Frankly, Sam and I love this crap. It’s exactly what we need. Too bad I can’t eat popcorn any more.
Thank y’all for reading this.

Friday, July 19, 2013

I either need a hug or Chinese food.

I wonder if anybody ever notices all the teeny tweaks I make to the Howdygram on a regular basis. Today, in case you’re not paying attention, I reduced the size of the banner and lightened the color of my headlines and links from black to charcoal. Try not to get used to it, though, because I’ll probably change it back one of these days.

We did it! We sold our 2001 Saturn this morning! A really pleasant car buyer dude from showed up right on time at 10, jumped the battery, drove the car onto a flatbed truck and handed Sam a wad of cash. We didn’t even have time to get nostalgic about our road trip to Sedona in 2002 (the best vacation EVER) or wave goodbye. I think this is called separation anxiety. I either need a hug or Chinese food.

This morning I was unusually excited about a promotion from advertising some new products ... specifically three new low-carb bread mixes from Dixie Diner that you can bake in your bread machine. Except thank God I read the fine print on Netrition’s website before I ordered them because you have to add a lot of insane ingredients to these things, such as five extra-large eggs and half a pound of butter. For bread? WTF! This crap may be low-carb, but THE FAT AND CHOLESTEROL WILL KILL YOU. The only time I ever added five eggs and half a pound of butter to anything was a lifetime ago when I baked a decadent recipe for BROWNIES.

Sam called from work a couple of hours ago to let me know he might be home really, really late tonight. I’m so bored. I’m also still feeling under the weather (like last night) with that hypothermic body temperature crapola, chills, joint and muscle pain and so on. I want somebody to come over and bring me something wonderful to eat. Like cookies, grilled cheese or Mongolian chicken. And chocolate milk! While I wait for all these good things to happen I’ll probably watch a couple of cute baseball movies from 1933 starring Joe E. Brown: Alibi Ike with Olivia de Havilland and Elmer the Great with Preston Foster and Claire Dodd.
Earlier today I watched another good baseball movie called Death on the Diamond (1934), a damn clever whodunit starring Robert Young and Madge Evans in which a homicidal maniac is murdering the St. Louis Cardinals one at a time ... during baseball games!
The useless Republicans in Congress are at it again. Check out this video clip from Stephen Colbert regarding typical obstructionist GOP horseshit ... this time it’s food stamp funding and the Farm Bill. No kidding, I’d like to whack some of these dickheads unconscious with my cane. TONIGHT.

I need something entertaining to do so maybe I’ll just inject insulin and eat a nice bowl of chia seed pudding. It’s a full life. Thank you for reading this.

I wish somebody would come over and make me a low-carb chocolate chip loaf cake.

I’m writing this post with a middle-of-the-night fever. Technically, I’m writing it with a keyboard, but I’ve got a middle-of-the-night fever and I feel like TOTAL CRAP. I went to bed at midnight with Sam and woke up three hours later sick. My joints hurt, I’ve got the chills, my head is throbbing and I wish somebody would come over and make me a low-carb chocolate chip loaf cake. I wouldn’t joke about this.

The fever thing, incidentally, is a form of autonomic diabetic neuropathy. For me, it’s usually a hypothermic temperature, such as 95.6°, which feels exactly like 102° except your skin isn’t hot, it’s cold. Welcome to the wonderful world of Diabetesland.

Before I try going back to sleep I’d like to offer my insights into last night’s premier episode of “Project Runway” season 12. I don’t know where they find these lunatic designers, but this season promises to be a doozy. The four dooziest appear below for your possible interest.
  1. Sandro is an extremely loud and opinionated Russian (is that an oxymoron?) with no taste whatsoever. Try to picture Boris Yeltsin designing clothes for the Mafia.
  2. Miranda spent eight years in the military obeying orders but refuses to follow instructions on “Project Runway.” She makes up her own rules for the first challenge and practically gets eliminated. I dislike Miranda’s face and teeth.
  3. I’m not crazy about, Helen either. 
  4. Worse than ALL of them, however, is Timothy, a self-appointed sustainable fabric artist (WTF?) whose clothes are made from trash, crap and leftovers. Timothy’s motto: “We have to save the forest to keep the unicorns alive.”
Timothy expands this sustainability horseshit to the point of absurdity. He refuses to use electricity, which means he won’t touch a sewing machine or allow the L’Oreal stylists to use a blow dryer or curling iron on his model’s hair for runway shows. He also won’t let her wear shoes, makeup or hair products of any kind ... yet HE shows up in four-inch gold pumps and apparently has no problem working in a building with overhead lights and elevators. The judges think he’s full of crap and rip him a new one. That was my favorite part.

The Tylenol is kicking in so I should probably go back to bed now. Nice of you to drop in.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The only real “plus” on Detroit’s pitiful balance sheet seems to be Howdy Doody.

I apologize for not writing a Howdygram post yesterday, but I’ve had a couple of tumultuous days, emotionally-speaking, and there are several valid and compelling reasons for this statement, as itemized below:

VALID REASON #1: VEHICLES. Since we really only have one driver in the family now because I have mobility issues and never go anywhere by myself, on Tuesday Sam and I figured out that we no longer need two cars and decided to get rid of our 2001 Saturn. This is our first experience with those “we buy any car for cash” outfits, but there aren’t too many options right now since the battery’s dead and we need somebody to come over and drag the Saturn out of our garage. In addition, the A/C is inoperable and can’t be repaired (the parts are no longer available) and it needs a wheel alignment, several gallons of power steering fluid and five or six tires. Okay, maybe just four tires. The cup holders, however, are still good as new. The car buyer dude will be here tomorrow morning at 10:30 with a tow truck, a fistful of money and a sense of humor.
VALID REASON #2: APPENDAGES. The little toe on my left foot looks shitty. If you have diabetes like moi, a shitty toe can make a person lose a lot of sleep.

VALID REASON #3: VERMIN. When our maid was here yesterday she found a tiny dead snake under the table in our foyer. That’s right — A SNAKE. Thank God she had no problem throwing it in the garbage because I almost had a HEART ATTACK and will probably have nightmares about this for the rest of my life. Holy crap.

Late breaking news from ... the entire city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy today with $18 billion of debt and mountains of urbay decay, unemployment and crime. As a matter of fact, the only real “plus” on Detroit’s pitiful balance sheet seems to be Howdy Doody, the original marionette puppet from the insanely weird but popular 1950s children’s TV show. Apparently Howdy Doody is owned by the Detroit Institute of Art and could bring up to $500,000 at auction.
I don’t know about you, but I find it frightening that this freckled goon could be the face of Detroit’s salvation. I’d be much happier if it was Soupy Sales instead, whose “Lunch with Soupy” show was broadcast from Detroit throughout the 1950s and included a lot of pie-throwing and hilarious Catskill-era Jewish comedy — i.e., the Adventures of Philo Kvetch, private eye — plus some of the best puppet critters EVER.
And now I think I’ll bake a nice loaf of low-carb bread and park myself in front of the TV with some American cheese and green olives. Yesterday I recorded a couple of cute Tony Randall comedies — The Mating Game (1959) with Debbie Reynolds and Our Man in Marrakesh (1966) with Herbert Lom and Terry-Thomas — and the new season of “Project Runway” premiers tonight on Lifetime. I’m always a a sucker for fresh bread and “Project Runway.”

Thank you for reading this.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I feel fantastic today. If I could only figure out why, I’d try to do this more often.

Know what’s scarier than agonizing joint pain and diabetic neuropathy? A day when you’re so inexplicably pain-free that you reorganize the pantry, put away all the crap that’s been piling up on the kitchen table for the last eight days and still have enough energy leftover to stand at the stove making low-carb pancakes for dinner. No kidding, people, I feel FANTASTIC today. If I could only figure out why, I’d try to do this more often.

To celebrate my unanticipated good fortune I decided to treat myself to an Internet spending spree of sorts, which included: 1) a dozen pads of lined note paper and two pounds of chia seeds from Amazon; 2) a dozen bags of zero-carb shirataki macaroni from the Asian Food Grocer; and 3) ugly but therapeutic orthopedic shoes for diabetics from They’re specially designed for sensitive feet and padded to prevent blisters, abrasions and alleviate the pain of neuropathy. They’re also expensive. (Please don’t tell Sam.) A photo appears below for your possible interest.
Now that I’ll have comfortable new shoes I should seriously consider leaving house once in a while, such as a weekend lunch junket to Cafe Greek or breakfast at Alfredo’s.

A thunderstorm is rolling through here as I write this post! It’s not a big thunderstorm, really, just a nice summery storm about the size of my thumb on’s map with a decent dose of rain and a little wind. Too bad I’m not taking a nap right now. I love the sound of rain when I nap.

Just in case enough hasn’t been said yet about George Zimmerman — you know, the vigilante neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida who got away with murder — I’d like to share the following commentary from Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show,” which offers up the perfect blend of outrage, pathos and disbelief. Frankly, we at the Howdygram think it’s a certifiable jaw-dropper.

Thank you for reading this.

People are so quick to assume you’re intoxicated just because you tip over.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another. My plantar fasciitis is almost gone (thank God), but now I’m back to an assortment of other peripheral neuropathy issues, such as: 1) burning hot hands and feet, especially late at night (i.e., right now); 2) finger spasms on my left hand; and 3) I get dizzy every time I stand up.

That last item only poses a problem if I’m out in public. People are so quick to assume you’re intoxicated just because you tip over.

The time right now is 2:30 a.m. and I can’t sleep. I tried. My hands and feet feel like they’re on fire (see item one, first paragraph) so I’m having a snack break with a low-carb chocolate bar and a tall Marcytini with extra ice. As soon as the chocolate’s gone and my feet cool off I’ll go back to bed. I wouldn’t want Sam to get lonely.

Here’s a cute video clip for your possible interest. It’s a scene from the movie Deep in My Heart (1954), the biography of composer/songwriter Sigmund Romberg. I actually mentioned this movie in a post back on July 11 but didn’t run across the video until just a few hours ago. It’s José Ferrer (as Romberg) and opera star Helen Traubel singing and dancing to a cute number called “Leg of Mutton Rag.” I apologize if the melody gets stuck in your head. That’s life, folks.

I think I’ll try heading back to bed now. Thank you for putting up with me.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Fox News assclown wins our Putz of the Week award.

I didn’t plan to write a second post today. I wanted a nice quiet dinner in front of the TV with a little bowl of chia seed pudding for dessert and a couple of good movies. Instead, I see an article on about a right-wing, pro-life assclown named Erick Erickson who does on-the-air commentary for Fox News and knew I’d found the perfect candidate for the Howdygram’s latest Putz of the Week award. Behold the assclown:
Yesterday Erickson tweeted (and later deleted) a link to a WHOLESALE COAT HANGER WEBSITE as a nasty crack at pro-choice women. He calls them “kid killers.”
When his tweet caused massive outrage Erickson offered an insulting non-apology: “I must offer up my sincerest apologies to the kid-killing caucus that took it on the chin or other body parts in Texas* last night. I am so sorry. I forget that feminists and other pro-abortion activists really are as humorless as they are stereotyped to be.”

So ... apparently Erickson is okay with abortion as long as the woman and the baby are both killed or mutilated by a coat hanger? What a comfort to know where these misogynist pro-lifers really stand! He has downgraded the fight for women’s reproductive rights into an outrageous and insensitive 140-character JOKE. Therefore, I think the rest of us should donate money to Planned Parenthood and as many pro-choice political candidates as we can afford so we can make sure these neanderthals lose their war against women.

I no longer have a uterus but this issue still means a lot to me. Thank you.

*Referring to the Texas legislature passing their draconian new anti-abortion laws. 

Sam would never sit through any of these for any reason whatsoever.

This is the story of Sam and his 90-hour work-week. After four consecutive days last week stuck in the office until 5 a.m., he’s been working from home almost nonstop yesterday and today. Tonight around 7 he’ll drive downtown to the office and stay until 7 a.m., after which he hopes to take some time off to unscramble and recharge his sleep-deprived brain. He also needs a large quantity of healthy food because he’s eaten practically NOTHING since Friday, not counting a couple of ice cream sandwiches and a sack of bird food. (Actually, it was trail mix.) Sam looks generally pasty, unshaven, pooped and not especially happy. If you want to send him a present or a greeting card, please write to request our mailing address as soon as possible Thank you.

As for moi, my plantar fasciitis is on the mend and my feet are feeling moderately okay today! Therefore, I celebrated by making CarbQuik biscuits for lunch, and for dinner tonight I’m considering a BLT on low-carb toast minus the L and T because I don’t have any. So I guess that means it’s just a B. With mayo. Yee-haw.

Hey. If you’re as disappointed by — and pissed off about — the George Zimmerman verdict as I am, please take a minute to sign the petition on encouraging Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice to file civil rights charges. The petition actually started on the NAACP’s website but there’s so much traffic that it’s been impossible to access the page.
Doing anything delightful tonight? After Sam leaves for the office I’m hosting a TV festival for an audience of one (you know, just me), which includes: 1) this week’s exciting episode of “Real Housewives of New Jersey”; 2) The Birdcage (1996) starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane; and 3) The Rains Came (1939) starring Myrna Loy, Tyrone Power and George Brent. Yes, I have eccentric tastes. Sue me. Also, Sam would never sit through any of these for any reason whatsoever.
For the record, The Birdcage is one of my all-time favorite movies and I chose The Rains Came in honor of tonight’s weather. Thank you for reading this.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

This has been a night of frightening food cravings.

That movie I watched last night — Sincerely Yours (1955) starring Liberace and Dorothy Malone — was FABULOUS. Maybe I’m just a sucker for Liberace, but I’ve always thought he was hilarious, genuine and entertaining as hell. I saw him in concert at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1980, back when he dressed in pink fox fur and arrived on stage in a glittered Rolls Royce. Here’s a clip of Liberace from Sincerely Yours for your possible interest. (He was still pretending to be “straight” in those days.)

This has been a night of frightening food cravings. My dinner, which lasted almost two hours, included (in this exact order): 1) hot & sour soup; 2) chia seed pudding; 3) jalapeño shrimp from China City; and 4) Beanit Butter and apricot jelly on low-carb toast smothered with Splenda. I’ll consider it a miracle if I’m not throwing up by midnight.

WTF? George Zimmerman was found NOT GUILTY. American justice is insane.

I don’t think I can write any more tonight. My head hurts, my feet hurt, I’m having a spasm in my left hand and I think I need to watch something funny on TV. Maybe White Cargo (1942), a hilarious drama about hateful men working at a sweaty African rubber plantation at the turn of the 20th century starring Walter Pidgeon, Richard Carlson and — last but not least — Hedy Lamarr as a spray-painted, sex-starved native tart named Tondelayo. Cinema at its finest.
We’re expecting a lot of weather over the next few days! Apparently there’s a dumbass storm front moving across the United States in the wrong direction — i.e., east to west — that’s expected to bring thunderstorms and heavy rain to the Dallas area. Glorioski, people ... rain in Texas! The stormy crap is expected to start Sunday (along with much cooler temperatures) and continue through the end of the week. A screen shot of our forecast from appears below in case you think I’m making this up.
Thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to turn out the lights when you’re done here, okay?

Friday, July 12, 2013

I took too many pain pills today. I should accidentally do that more often.

Good news. I’m having less pain today than yesterday! There are two possible explanations. Either: 1) my feet are improving; or 2) I accidentally took a double dose of pain reliever about two hours ago when I wasn’t paying attention. (I think it’s number two. I should accidentally do that more often.)

As I write this post I’ve got a gorgeous loaf of homemade low-carb bread cooling on the counter and another gorgeous homemade meatloaf cooling on top of the stove. Try and guess what’s for dinner tonight!

Incidentally, I think I’ve probably mentioned this before, but if you make meatloaf you have to buy yourself a Perfect Meatloaf Pan like mine. This thing is completely nonstick, has a lift-out tray so you never screw up the finished product wrestling it out of the pan, measures 13" x 7½" x 4" and makes a beautiful two-pound meatloaf. The lowest price I’ve seen on the Internet is from Amazon (click here) for about nine bucks. Go for it, okay?
I was expecting a nice big order today from, but when I checked UPS online tracking a few minutes ago to find out why it hasn’t been delivered I see a strange notation: “LATE TRAIN.” Late train? What train? The top of the tracking screen just says EXCEPTION in giant gold letters with no new delivery date. Where’s my stuff, people? I NEED MY STUFF!
And now for something completely different and 100% weird. Apparently there’s an annual convention called BronyCon … a big hoo-hah for adult Internet nerds of the male gender who are addicted to the “My Little Pony” TV series. They call themselves Bronies. I’m not joking. Their female counterparts, who are outnumbered by the men in this club by more than four to one, are referred to as Pegasisters. A semi-pathetic and thoroughly hilarious video mashup of convention highlights appears below for your possible interest. The Winter 2012 BronyCon in Manhattan drew a crowd of 700 (many wearing costumes) to a sweltering ballroom to network, swap stories about their favorite characters and buy My Little Pony toys. Organizers alerted attendees before the conference that “You’ll be in a room with many other people, so please be courteous by practicing good personal hygiene.” I have no idea what qualifies as good personal hygiene for a Brony. Regardless ... enjoy the show:

It’s time for food and a movie. This afternoon I started watching Sincerely Yours (1955) starring Liberace, Joanne Dru and Dorothy Malone, a bizarre story about a concert pianist who goes deaf and gets involved in a love triangle with TWO WOMEN. Talk about lousy casting, right? I’ll let you know how it ends. In the meantime, feast your eyes on THIS.
Thank you for reading this. It’s meatloaf  time at Howdygram headquarters.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Gene Kelly had a brother named Fred.

I don’t want to knock on wood or anything, but … my miserable feet are a little better tonight. This is the first time in more than two weeks that I can walk through the house without bitching or crying, and I almost feel good enough to make biscuits! To speed my recovery I just ordered a couple of wonder products from Amazon to help with pain management: 1) a Thera-Band Foot Roller (it stretches the plantar fascia); and 2) a jar of Topricin Cream, which is highly recommended for pain from nerve damage, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, plantar fasciitis and general crappiness. I initially found both of these products on but thought they were a seriously overpriced. Amazon, as usual, saved me a FORTUNE.
In case you’re interested, the National Library of Medicine offers the following definition for plantar fasciitis:

Inflammation of the thick tissue, known as the plantar fascia, on the bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. This condition is so painful you want to kill people.

That last sentence is mine. (As if you couldn’t guess, right?)

So ... let’s all hold a good thought for my new Thera-Band thing and that jar of Topricin Cream. I can’t wait to start tap dancing again! (Actually, I’d be happy just to walk across a room without swearing.)

I think I’ll take a nice shower now, eat some chia seed pudding and watch TV for a while. I started a semi-drippy musical earlier tonight called Deep in My Heart (1954), a biopic about composer Sigmund Romberg starring José Ferrer and Merle Oberson. The movie is actually pretty dull except for the songs by Helen Traubel (remember Mrs. Wellenmellon from that hilarious Jerry Lewis movie?) and Gene Kelly dancing to “Swimmin’ with Women” with his brother Fred. I didn’t know he had a brother named Fred. Did you?
 That’s about it for tonight, people. Thank you for reading this.

Six mozzarella sticks and an ice cream sandwich is not a nutritious lunch.

I’m worried about Sam. There’s a big, important in-house client hoo-hah going on at work this week, and he’s been pulling an impossible 12-hour shift from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. This morning he didn’t actually get home until 5. Sam managed to sleep (in bed) until the landscapers showed up at 10 to wake the dead with their mowing, whacking and leaf blowing, after which he drank a vanilla phosphate and napped on the couch almost nonstop until 3, waking up once for a really measly lunch (six lukewarm mozzarella sticks and an ice cream sandwich) and once more to shower. He’s exhausted. And it’s about to get worse.

Just before he walked out the door this afternoon Sam had to login to the U.S. District Court website in Dallas … and he found out he’s supposed to report tomorrow for JURY DUTY at 7:45 a.m. Holy crap, people, how the hell is he supposed to do that if he doesn’t get home from work until 5 in the morning?

From where I sit, Sam has a couple of options. He can either: 1) try to finagle a postponement with the U.S. District Court; or 2) tell his boss that somebody has to relieve him at midnight so he can come home and go to bed. Personally, I vote for door number two, because Sam could use a good night’s sleep and I know he was looking forward to jury duty. He’s checked the court website every day for two solid weeks and this is the first time he’s been asked to show up. Tomorrow is the last day.

Again, holy crap.

In other news ... I HEAR THUNDER! Thunder! After weeks and weeks of nothing but really hot, humid weather (upper 90s) and sunshine, all of sudden it’s overcast and THUNDERING with a bunch of interesting little storms in the area! Whether or not we’ll actually get any genuine rainfall remains to be seen, but it sure is nice to imagine the possibilities. (We’ve been stuck in a drought here in north Texas for almost three years. Yee-haw.) In case you’re interested, the red star on the following map denotes Howdygram headquarters in Mesquite.
My feet hurt again and I think I should lie down for a while and treat myself to a lousy movie, such as  X: The Unknown (1956) starring Dean Jagger as a scientist who’s chasing a wad of radioactive pancake batter all over Scotland. That’s Dean on the right (below), the one in the cool scientific hat.
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Haitian fashion, busted olives and Wednesday night comedies.

I must be schizophrenic. I love AT&T again but now I hate Wal-Mart. Try to put up with me while I explain. Thank you.

WHY I LOVE AT&T. A multi-talented AT&T indoor repair dude named Robert showed up today — on time! and wearing a hat! — to fix the problems with our fiber optic TV, Internet and home phone service. Turns out it wasn’t the modem/router at all … it was an outdated coaxial connection that had to be upgraded to a high-speed telephone line. I observed from a comfortable chair with a box of TicTacs while Robert ran up and down to the attic, dismantled and moved five tons of furniture in our study (no small feat, believe me) to access the phone jack, replaced and spliced a bunch of wires, moved all the furniture back into place and reprogrammed our U-Verse equipment. He also found a missing pencil that was hiding between my desk and a cabinet. It was like a miracle!

WHY I HATE WAL-MART. Wal-Mart’s shipping geniuses did it again. The big delivery I was expecting today via FedEx was cancelled and sent back to the warehouse due to (according to FedEx’s website) “damage in transit.” In other words, MY OLIVES GOT BUSTED AGAIN. Three beautiful jars of Mezzetta super-colossal Spanish queen olives. This is the same damn thing that happened in the middle of June! Now everything’s all screwy and I’ll end up on the phone for an hour with customer service tomorrow trying to get them to reship my order WITH FIVE POUNDS OF BUBBLE WRAP. I don’t understand why Wal-Mart has such a hard time with this. Holy crap.
While I’m on the subject, this afternoon I got into some obsessive/compulsive horseshit and decided to find and replace (manually!) every instance of “Walmart” with “Wal-Mart” in all of my Howdygram posts. Although I frequently see the name spelled both ways in the news and in ads — even on Wal-Mart’s own website — apparently “Wal-Mart” (with the hyphen) is their legal corporate name. So the Howdygram is now correct and legal, Wal-Mart-wise.

For the record, the word “Walmart” appeared in more than 173 different posts since December 2009. I seriously considered blowing my brains out after changing the first 50.

My plantar fasciitis is spreading. As of yesterday I’ve got it in BOTH FEET, which makes it practically impossible even to walk around the house. I’m a mess, people. This is maybe the worst form of diabetic neuropathy because it’s excruciatingly painful and you don’t want to wear shoes, make biscuits or do laundry! Sam, as always, is being Mr. Wonderful, but he’s gone at least 10 hours a day and I’m on my own to whine alone at Howdygram headquarters.

For my final thought of the day, here’s the latest in Haitian fashion courtesy of Apparently a couple of amused photojournalists turned in the following portraits of ordinary Haitians who don’t speak or read English wearing insane and inappropriate tee shirts. I love this, mostly because it makes me stop thinking about my feet for a few minutes.
Sam won’t be home until 4 a.m. so I think I’ll rummage around for food and watch a few old movies. On tonight’s agenda are a couple of comedies: 1) The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956) starring Glenn Ford and Marlon Brando; and 2) an idiotic surfer thing called For Those Who Think Young (1964) starring James Darren, Paul Lynde and Pamela Tiffin. You know it’s a stinkeroo when the official tagline is: “You have to think young to feel real sprung!”
Thank you for reading this.