Saturday, August 31, 2013

Shaquille O’Neal soda has his face on every can.

It was 106° in Mesquite today, people. Holy crap … OUR HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR SO FAR. The good thing is, tomorrow is September, the days are getting shorter and temperatures should be trending lower over the next few weeks with occasional blasts of Arctic air plummeting us into the upper 90s. To tell you the truth, if it had been hot like this back in May or early June I’d be mighty depressed about another unbearably hot summer like last year and the year before. (And the year before that, too.)

Sam and I went to Hong Kong Royal in Carrollton today for dim sum, and I have to admit … they actually had some damn wonderful LOW-CARB DUMPLING OPTIONS made with tofu instead of noodles! Two hours after lunch my blood sugar was only 111, which was excellent.
Show of hands. Do any of you know that Shaquille O’Neal has his own line of soft drinks? With his face on every can?
Despite the fact that Shaq’s signature beverages were originally supposed to be DIET drinks, one 23.5-oz. can contains 72 grams of sugar — equal to 17 teaspoons — which has pissed off a number of health-conscious consumer groups. The Center for Science in the Public Interest issued a press release pointing out Shaq’s previous history of diabetes activism and called his endorsement of a high-sugar soft drink “shameful hypocrisy, presumably motivated by money.” Shaq? Motivated by money? STFU.

Thank you for reading this.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Happy Braunschweiger Day!

Ah, Labor Day weekend ... at last. A chance to hang out with Sam, enjoy an unnatural number of naps and go places to eat things. Don’t you just love holidays?

For those of you who might possibly give a crap, my latest Internet shopping acquisitions include 100 very cheap FreeStyle Lite diabetes test strips from eBay, three little cans of Libby’s corned beef from the bowels of Wal-Mart and last but not least, a DVD of Noah’s Ark (1999) starring John Voight and Mary Steenburgen, which is certifiably the worst film in the history of EVER, and that definitely covers a lot of territory. Of course, the movie’s overall shittiness also makes it unintentionally hilarious, such as the ark being attacked by pirates riding water bicycles, one of Noah’s sons conversing with an orange for the better part of an hour and the voice of God sounding remarkably like George Burns doing stand-up in the Catskills. You can buy this little-seen gem on Amazon CHEAP. (I got mine for $3.67 and it’s worth every penny.)
Mark your calendar. Today was BRAUNSCHWEIGER DAY at Howdygram headquarters! Sam bought me a large slab of the aforementioned tasty mystery meat at the supermarket this morning, which immediately triggered a braunschweiger feast for lunch — on low-carb toast with mayo and sugar-free sweet relish — and a repeat performance tonight for dinner.
Dinner was accompanied by a mug of instant low-carb cream of mushroom soup, a new product that arrived a few days ago from This turned out to be one of those unfortunate investments — ten bucks for eight single-serving packets — since the overall flavor profile resembled salty vomit with teeny rock-hard shards of floating fungus. But hey, if anybody wants to purchase the remaining seven packets at our LABOR DAY CLEARANCE PRICE, please let me know as soon as possible. Thank you very much.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I’m not on Wal-Mart’s payroll. They couldn’t afford me.

Breaking news: I lost another client today. Victoria called at 3:30 and asked me to take down her website because she’s closing her business, of which I approve wholeheartedly because I’m trying to do the exact same thing with mine. It’s actually satisfying to know I’m not the only one who’s fed up with all the day-to-day crapola. I am, in almost every regard, retired now, evidenced by the fact that my Social Security checks will begin arriving on December 11. THIS IS A VERY HUGE DEAL. Let’s all go out for lunch!

Hey. Anybody need some really nice, really inexpensive bedding? The Howdygram would like to recommend Wal-Mart’s microfiber sheets! We put a new set of ivory on our bed yesterday and we sincerely love them.
The average price for a complete king-size set is about $21.97 ... less than you’d usually spend for a pair of PILLOWCASES! Keep in mind that microfiber sheets are lightweight and thin but they’re also amazingly soft and comfortable, and Sam says they weren’t as cold as our others when he got into bed last night. Personally, I think these things are pretty damn fantastic and just ordered another set in bronze. Here are three links to microfiber sheets on Wal-Mart’s website so you can check them out for yourself.


Yes, I think you should buy a set. Try leopard. (No, I’m not on Wal-Mart’s payroll. They couldn’t afford me.) These would also be nice for Hanukkah presents if you know any Jewish people sleeping on a bare mattress.

I have nothing exciting to write about tonight. Nothing. I don’t feel like railing at right-wing politicians, I’m sick of Miley Cyrus and I have no new medical crises to report. To tell you the truth, other than the aforementioned sheets and a box of AA batteries I haven’t even spent any interesting dough online! Therefore I think I’ll just open a can of something tasty for dinner, start a loaf of low-carb bread in the bread machine and watch “Project Runway.” Thank you very much.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

John Boehner is threatening to destroy Social Security and Medicare. Surprised?

I should be in the family room right now watching The Music Man on TCM but instead I’m here in the study having another nervous breakdown about Congress. Earlier today, people, Speaker of the House John Boehner promised a “whale of a fight” against President Obama by offering him an outrageous choice: Either dismantle Social Security and Medicare or Congress will refuse to raise the debt ceiling, thereby destroying the credit of the United States government. This, dear readers, is horseshit. The Republicans hate President Obama so much they’d sacrifice the security of senior citizens, disabled Americans and veterans. The general consensus is, as long as millionaires can keep their tax breaks, to hell with everybody else. I’m so sick of this crap I want to pound lumps on Congress with my cane. One at a time. And S-L-O-W-L-Y.
Therefore, please click the link below as soon as possible to make a speedy and much-needed contribution to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in their fight against John Boehner … even if it’s only three measly bucks. Thank you.
In case you’re concerned that it’s almost 8 p.m. and I haven’t eaten dinner yet, tonight’s food agenda will include a can of Kirkland roast beef on top of two low-carb biscuits with a side order of pickles. I briefly considered using the beef juice from the can to make myself a little real gravy, but my blood sugar is starting to drop and I probably won’t have enough time to horse around with that. This is mildly depressing but I’ll get over it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Here’s what’s on the menu at the 2013 Texas State Fair.

The Texas State Fair kicks off one month from today, which means it’s time once again for the Big Tex Choice Award ... an annual hoo-hah that recognizes the year’s most creative fried food monstrosities. The actual taste-test competition will be held on Labor Day, but the Howdygram is pleased to offer a sneak peek at the Fair’s eight finalists for 2013 in case you can’t wait that long to find out what’s on the menu.
  • AWESOME DEEP-FRIED NUTELLA®. Cream cheese and Nutella® are whipped and spread over flaky phyllo dough, rolled and fried. Served with honey and shaved almonds. My blood sugar just careened off the charts.
  • DEEP-FRIED CUBAN ROLL. A filling of slow-cooked pork shoulder, chopped ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and secret sauce is spread onto a slice of Swiss cheese, rolled up in pastry dough and deep-fried. Served with a side of majo sauce. Gahh.
  • FERNIE’S DEEP-FRIED KING RANCH CASSEROLE. Melted cheese dipped in a zesty egg wash, coated in panko bread crumbs and deep-fried golden brown and crunchy. Served with a side of red, white, and blue tortilla chips and your choice of our homemade salsa sour cream or cheesy queso. Each one proudly flies the flag of the Lone Star State. Holy crap.
  • FRIED THANKSGIVING DINNER. Homemade stuffing and diced turkey are rolled in a ball, dipped in southern cream corn and rolled in seasoned corn meal. Fried to a golden brown and served with giblet gravy. WTF. I like this!
  • GOLDEN FRIED MILLIONAIRE PIE. Sweet, fluffy cream cheese filling loaded with golden pineapple and Texas pecans, wrapped in a pie crust and fried golden brown. Topped with whipped cream, toasted coconut and candied pecans. No. Just, no.
  • SPINACH DIP BITES. Creamy spinach artichoke dip bites are coated with crispy tortilla chips and flash-fried. Served with salsa for an additional kick. Meh. Deep-fried artichoke dip?
  • SOUTHERN STYLE CHICKEN-FRIED MEATLOAF. Slices of homemade meatloaf coated in authentic Texas chicken-fried batter and deep-fried. Served with garlic mashed potatoes, real cream gravy and a ketchup/brown sugar glaze dip. You know what? This one actually sounds NOT BAD!
  • TEXAS FRIED FIREBALL. Pimento cheese, pickles, cayenne pepper and bacon rolled into a ball, dipped in buttermilk, covered with a jalapeƱo-infused batter and deep-fried. Served with a chipotle ranch dip. Pure Texas.
Tell your friends ... I’ve got the Howdygram’s latest Putz of the Week award! Our current honoree is none other than Pat Robertson, the jaw-dropping hate-monger, religious right troll and host of the Christian Broadcasting Network’s long-running horseshit prayerfest, “The 700 Club.” (Damn, I love that sentence!)
Robertson made the news today for a comment on television that gays are intentionally infecting heterosexual people with AIDS by cutting their fingers during handshakes using a special AIDS ring. These were his exact words to “The 700 Club” co-host Terry Meeuwsen: “You know what they do in San Francisco, some in the gay community there they want to get people so if they got AIDS they’ll have a ring, you shake hands, and the ring’s got a little thing where you cut your finger. Really. It’s that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder.”

Apparently this was even too shocking for the Christian Broadcasting Network — which Robertson co-founded in 1961 — because his remarks were deleted before the video of today’s episode appeared on the Internet. Note to CBN: It might be time to pull this batshit crazy fossil off the air.

And now for something completely different: THE WORLD’S CUTEST VIDEO THAT ISN’T A KITTEN. Here’s an adorable little toddler named Yerin who goes beserk when she sees her daddy on TV. Wouldn’t this be an awesome commercial for Skype?

Thank you for stopping by. I have to eat a lot of things now because I’m really hungry.

Ah, insomnia. Again.

I have some serious insomnia tonight, people. I tried going to bed around 1 a.m. with Sam but my hands and feet were all weirded-out with neuropathy and I couldn’t get comfortable, so I decided to park myself in the study to eat TicTacs and horse around with Howdygram. Technically I wasted the first two hours reading all the latest posts on and (two of my favorite websites) and watching clips from last night’s Video Music Awards … particularly an outrageous performance by mostly-naked pop slut Miley Cyrus, a rich white girl with marginal talent who pretends she’s “ghetto” to get attention. Miley got what she wanted, except the attention all over the Internet today was NEGATIVE because she looked like such an over-sexed idiot. Holy crap.
From our Yup, Only in Texas department comes this story of poetic justice. It seems that a local outbreak of 21 cases of measles has been linked to Eagle Mountain International Church here in north Texas ... a mega-church affiliated with Kenneth Copeland’s prosperity gospel baloney that preaches against immunizations. All of a sudden, though, the pastor’s daughter is telling everybody to hurry up and get vaccinated ... but “The main thing is to stay in faith. Do it in faith.” Whatever the hell that means. I think it would be smarter to do it in a doctor’s office.

I really have to go to bed now. It’s after 5 a.m. and I look AWFUL. Thank you.

Monday, August 26, 2013

I love tasty gravy. I hate Congress.

I am unwell. Not sick, really, but unwell. I’ve got achy knees, a stiff right elbow, a drippy eye that’s not open all the way, a thumb lump, a smashed baby toe, chills and a body temperature of 95.4°. Put them all together and they spell C-R-A-P-P-Y. There’s not much I can do about it, though, aside from extra-strength Tylenol and whining at Sam when he’s around to listen. However, on the plus side ... I haven’t finished watching all my Clark Gable movies from yesterday and I just ordered a bunch of chia seeds and some juicy Kirkland roast beef in a can from Amazon.
Two important items of note:
  1. This time I’m trying a different brand of chia seeds. They’re super cheap, they come in convenient jar with a FREE SCOOP, and you even get an extra half-pound of seeds just for fun. Yay, right? 
  2. Kirkland (Costco’s store brand) is probably the best canned roast beef on the market if enjoy this kind of shit and it even comes with its own TASTY GRAVY. (I love tasty gravy.)
I’ve got another horror story from the annals of modern medicine. We found out yesterday that my adorable little mother-in-law is in the hospital, severely anemic and receiving blood transfusions due to an ulcer caused by SIDE EFFECTS FROM A PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION. These damn wonder drugs could kill you! Below is a nice photo taken a couple of months ago when Sam was in California. He’s going back for another visit in October and I already miss him.
Some breaking news from our Holy Crap, They’re At It Again department. In case you missed this, here’s the latest brainstorm being pushed by Einstein teabaggers in the House of Representatives: CUT FUNDING FOR OBAMACARE OR WE’LL SHUT DOWN THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. Congress has until September 30 to pass a budget, and they think this is the best time to wage another fight — for the 41st time! — against a law that’s already helping millions of Americans, including plenty of Republicans, qualify for affordable health insurance coverage.
It’s up to Speaker John Boehner, pictured above with his signature orange spray tan, to decide if he’s going to let the useless dolts in Congress continue to play games with the federal budget. Here at the Howdygram, we’re fed up and ready to kick ass. Therefore … click the link below right now to sign a petition and LET JOHN BOEHNER KNOW THAT SHUTTING DOWN THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT A VALID ECONOMIC PLAN. Thank you.
Hey. Ever wondered what Wallace Beery would look like in drag? It’s your lucky day! Apparently Beery made a bunch of silent comedies in 1914 dressed up as a character called “Sweedie.” Feast your eyes.
Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

It’s Clark Gable day.

This might be a first for me, but I’m having eyeball issues today. Both of them are kind of drippy, both of them itch and my right eye isn’t open all the way. It feels like I’m developing conjunctivitis — horrors! — but Sam says it’s not visible yet because my eyes aren’t rimmed in red and they’re not glued shut. (So far.)

Stay tuned for up-to-the-minute developments. In the meantime I plan to spend all day Sunday doing laundry and watching Clark Gable movies on TCM. (It’s Clark Gable day.)
What’s on your agenda today? You don’t have to go into too much detail. A brief outline will be more than enough. Thank you.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Meet another terrified, hate-filled little jackass.

You know what? It’s been an awfully long time since the Howdygram’s last Einstein Award so I thought I’d feature anti-LGBT* hate-monger David R. Usher, who’s president of the Center for Marriage Policy (CMP), a division of Renew America PAC, a right-wing Einstein club.

In a frantic 37-paragraph column on Friday in Right Wing Watch, Usher warns that if same-sex marriage ever becomes legal in all 50 states lesbians will trick gay and straight men into fathering their children and turn them into economic slaves. The column was titled “Our Last Chance to Save Traditional Marriage.”
Usher describes a world in which women marry women but keep the fathers of their children around to “combine incomes, double-up on tax-free child support and welfare benefits ... and double the resources available to raise children and run their household,” managing, supposedly, to sponge off of a lesbian wife, a cohabitating boyfriend and the government all at the same time. With lesbians ruling the country, he says, “Men will be forced to labor for the economic benefit of marriages between women ... schools will be aggressively promoting lifestyles that kill or disable children and infect innocent women and babies with HIV.” He also believes that “to dismantle marriage – the most important equal rights institution framed by the Founding Fathers – is to dismantle the Constitution, freedom, and the United States of America.” Holy crap.

Usher is definitely one terrified, hate-filled little jackass, isn’t he? Technically I think he also qualifies to win our Putz of the Week award. Maybe next time, okay?

Sam is on his way to Costco as I write this post to pick up our new prescription glasses. He’s getting his very first pair — progressive bifcocals — and I’m getting the progressives Costco had to re-do because they screwed them up the first time around. We are both unnaturally excited about this and can’t wait to see our dinner tonight clearly for the very first time. Glorioski! Mongolian chicken, up close and personal!

I’d like to send a great big pile of Howdygram love to Sam’s sister Marian, who’s hospitalized in Seattle undergoing procedures to reinflate a collapsed lung. We think Marian’s been through more than enough and deserves to go home and be healthy for the rest of her life.
Thank you for reading this.

*LGBT = Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender. Information source: David Ferguson,

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Senator Vicki Marble thinks blacks and Hispanics are poor because of fried chicken.

I wanted to write a Howdygram post yesterday but didn’t set aside enough time. Actually, that’s not totally true. I had enough time but I preferred instead to take a really long nap and eat things. I’ll do my best to make up for it tonight, okay?

Before I jump into the main focus of this post — my recommendations for the last few days of TCM’s Summer Under the Stars festival — I’m pleased to present our latest Putz of the Week award to Vicki Marble, a deranged GOP state senator in Colorado who implied at a hearing on Wednesday that blacks and Hispanics are poor because of fried chicken.
Marble, who made her remarks while the legislature’s task force was discussing statistics for racial disparity in the poverty rate, said: “When you look at life expectancy, there are problems in the black race: sickle-cell anemia is something that comes up, diabetes is something that’s prevalent in the genetic makeup and you just can’t help it. Although I’ve got to say, I’ve never had better barbecue and better chicken in my life than when you go down south. I love it.”

She also went on to mention “alcoholics, rageoholics, drug addicts, you have people, they say, who are addicted to porn.”

Apparently there was an audible gasp throughout the room, which triggered an immediate response from Democratic state representative Rhonda Fields, who is black. She said to Marble: “The title for this committee is the Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force; and I will not tolerate racist and insensitive comments about African Americans. I was highly offended by your remarks. I will not engage in a dialogue where you are using stereotype references about African Americans and chicken. This is not what this committee is about. We’re trying to come up with solutions and it’s not about eating chicken.”

If we want to thin out the number of moron Republicans in government I think there should be an IQ test for anybody who wants to run for elected office. Holy mother of crap.

Tomorrow morning at the crack of 8 a.m. we’ve got a handyman — actually, a handywoman — coming over to re-grout the shower tile in our master bathroom. This is both thrilling and inconvenient on a number of levels, including: 1) new grout will look really swell; 2) how the hell am I supposed to take a shower in the meantime; and 3) I can’t think of anything else. While we wait for the grout to dry Sam can use the shower in our guest bath for a couple of days, but my mobility issues prevent me from doing the same so I’ll have to hang out in the study and be gross until Sunday. (Shut up.)

And now, as promised ... here are my favorite movie picks through the end of August for TCM’s Summer Under the Stars festival.
  • ELIZABETH TAYLOR, 8/23. My favorites are: Life with Father (1947) with William Powell and Irene Dunne; Father of the Bride (1950) with Spencer Tracy; Giant (1956) with Rock Hudson; and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) with Paul Newman and Burl Ives, one of Tennessee Williams’ very best sweaty soap operas set in the deep South. 
  • CHARLES COBURN, 8/24. Vivacious Lady (1938) with Ginger Rogers and James Stewart (this one’s a favorite of mine); Bachelor Mother (1939) with Ginger Rogers and David Niven; The More the Merrier (1943) with Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea; and Lured (1947), a whodunit with Lucille Ball and George Sanders. Boris Karloff co-stars as a deranged fashion designer. (Seriously.)
  • CLARK GABLE, 8/25. Please check out four really early Gable films co-starring Joan Crawford: Dance, Fools, Dance (1931), Laughing Sinners (1931), Possessed (1931) and Chained (1934). My other favorites today include: Cain and Mabel (1936) with Marion Davies; Test Pilot (1938) with Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy; Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) with Charles Laughton; and It Happened One Night (1934) with Claudette Colbert.
  • JEANNE CRAIN, 8/26. Margie (1946); Apartment for Peggy (1948) with William Holden and Edmund Gwenn; and Pinky (1949) with Ethel Barrymore and Ethel Waters.
  • MARTIN BALSAM, 8/27. He was never really a leading man but co-starred in some terrific movies: Seven Days in May (1964) with Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas; The Anderson Tapes (1971) with Sean Connery; The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) with Robert Shaw and Walter Matthau; and Little Big Man (1970) with Dustin Hoffman.
  • SHIRLEY JONES, 8/28. Try not to miss: A Ticklish Affair (1963) with Gig Young; Elmer Gantry (1960) with Burt Lancaster and Jean Simmons; The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1963) with Glenn Ford; and The Music Man (1962) with Robert Preston. I love The Music Man!
  • GLENDA FARRELL, 8/29. Glenda was the original fast-talking dame. Check her out in Little Caesar (1930) with Edward G. Robinson; Gold Diggers of 1935 and Gold Diggers of 1937; six of her best Torchy Blaine movies; and Talk of the Town (1942) with Cary Grant, Jean Arthur and Ronald Colman.
  • KIRK DOUGLAS, 8/30. Kirk is usually a little too intense and over-the-top for me, but I always enjoy his performance in these films: Out of the Past (1947), a film noir classic with Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer; and Paths of Glory (1957) with Adolphe Menjou.
  • REX HARRISON, 8/31. Great stuff! Don’t miss: Storm in a Teacup (1937) with Vivien Leigh and Cecil Parker; Over the Moon (1940) with Merle Oberon; Unfaithfully Yours (1948), an unforgettable Preston Sturges comedy with Linda Darnell and Rudy Vallee; and My Fair Lady (1964) with Audrey Hepburn.
I’m waiting for some delicious deliveries this week, including that collection of Greek olive tapenades I mentioned in Tuesday’s post, a shitload of sugar-free Russell Stover chocolates and four frozen deep-dish pizzas packed in dry ice from Lou Malnati’s in Chicago. One is a deep-dish pepperoni for Sam, the other three are Malnati’s amazing crustless pizzas, pictured below, which contain NO CARBS because the entire pizza is built on a half-inch thick layer of lean Italian sausage. In case you don’t know why this is such a huge deal, crustless pizza is a diabetic’s dream: I can eat the whole damn thing without raising my blood sugar.
It was nice of you to stop by. I think I’ll take a shower now and wait for Sam to get home from work. I also need food.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Lone Star State is America’s largest third-world country.

Behold the result of a middle-of-the-night low blood sugar episode. In my glucose-starved delirium I bought a complete set of Greek olive tapenades from and then wasted an hour fantasizing about how many fluffy home-made biscuits will be required to consume the contents of each jar.
I also placed a substantial order yesterday for a variety of Russell Stover’s outstanding sugar-free chocolates, mostly marshmallows, assorted buttercreams, little round caramel thingies and a bag of damn good knockoff York peppermint patties. I’m hoping, of course, that Russell Stover has the good sense to use well-insulated packaging at this time of year or I’ll end up with a carton of expensive brown soup. I wonder which puddle I’d want to eat first.

And now ... some breaking news from the Lone Star State, America’s largest third-world country. Apparently the oil and natural gas boom here has produced some unexpected results. Not only has fracking depleted the state’s dwindling water supply (see yesterday’s post), the oversized vehicles used by energy companies have destroyed our highways. And, since the Einsteins in Austin haven’t appropriated any money for repairs, they’re replacing more than 80 miles of major paved roadways with gravel.

That’s right, people ... GRAVEL ROADS.

On August 19 the Texas Department of Transportation began converting more than 80 miles of paved highways to gravel with a reduced posted speed limit of 30 m.p.h. The funds required for repaving won’t be available until sometime in 2014 providing our elected teabillies in Austin decide to approve a $1 billion appropriation. I won’t hold my breath in the meantime.
Texas is such an embarrassment I want to whack Rick Perry with my cane until he’s unconscious. Except I doubt that anybody would even notice.

This might be an excellent time for an afternoon nap since Sam is on his way to work and I can’t think of anything else to write about. Thank you for reading this!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Please donate if you’re feeling generous. We need all the help we can get.

So here’s the extra post I promised to write after dinner, this time focusing on the stupid yet pathetic high-ranking Republican teabillies of the Lone Star State, Governor Rick “Einstein” Perry and his faithful attorney general and governor-wannabe, Greg Abbott. Both have earned recognition tonight as the Howdygram’s Putz of the Week and Putz In Training, respectively. First up, Tricky Rick.
More than 30 towns in Rick Perry’s beloved west Texas will soon be out of water due to diversion of their underground water supply for UNREGULATED HYDRAULIC FRACKING that poisons the ground with arsenic as it extracts the water. Arsenic! And this is exactly what Texas’ idiot Republicans voted for. In spite of the vast agreement of climate scientists, the well-known destructive effects of fracking on dwindling water supplies, the seismic impact, and the visible evidence of drought and record heat, the clueless teabaggers in Texas continue to elect politicians who believe climate change is bogus and think the only answer for our devastating drought is organized prayer. Seriously, Rick Perry holds PRAYER MEETINGS. Let’s hope he can pray up some fresh drinking water for the poor, parched slobs who voted for him.

Next up: Texas’ Attorney General Greg Abbott, who’s clearly got his eye on the statehouse when the governor steps down in 2014. Yesterday an extreme Republican posted a comment on Twitter attacking Wendy Davis — the courageous Democratic state senator from Fort Worth who filibustered the legislature a few weeks ago to fight for women’s reproductive rights — and referred to her as an “idiot” and “retard Barbie” who “needs to be taught a life lesson.” In response, Greg Abbott tweeted back, “Thanks for your support!”

I immediately made a donation to the Texas Democratic Party so we can put an end to this sickening crap as soon as possible. Please click here if you’re feeling generous, okay? We need all the help we can get. Thank you.

I enjoy nausea and exotic turds as much as the next guy, but this is insane.

First, don’t miss this exciting, limited-time offer! Howdygramsters … let me know if you want to try a free sample of Wal-Mart’s excellent store-brand Great Value toilet paper and I’ll send you a nice, unused piece to enjoy in the privacy of your own home!
Great Value is the best toilet paper EVER, people. It’s half the price of name brands, stronger, softer, TWO-PLY, and only $6.47 for a dozen big rolls. However, according to online reviews it’s usually hard to find in Wal-Mart’s retail stores because it sells out really fast so you should probably just think about ordering it online like I do. And you’ll even get FREE SHIPPING if you spend $45 or more, which is easy to do if you throw in some Ziploc bags, a couple cans of coffee, socks, Velveeta and a big tub of Tide Pods. (I love Tide Pods.)
And now for the latest from Club Meds, my never-ending struggle with prescription medications and their killer side effects. A couple of days ago I posted about Trilipix, a cholesterol medication that Dr. M prescribed after my checkup a couple of weeks ago. I found so many negative patient reviews online — thank God — that I wouldn’t even let Sam pick it up from the pharmacy. So what’s next? This morning I find out that Dr. M wants me to take Cholestyramine instead, a cholesterol medication with none of the same side effects as Trilipix or the statin drugs. (Statins tried to murder me.) So Sam stopped at CVS today and picked up my Cholestyramine prescription.

Unfortunately, here’s the thing. Cholestyramine is a DISGUSTING POWDER, like from the 19th century. Not a pill, not a capsule: A POWDER. It’s orange-flavored and comes in little individual-dose packets that are loaded with sugar. SUGAR! You’re supposed to stir this horseshit into juice or applesauce twice a day to try and disguise the texture and flavor, but the big snag is that I’m DIABETIC and I don’t — actually, can’t — consume juice or applesauce because it’s loaded with carbs. Holy mother of crap.

But wait ... there’s more! I did some research online this afternoon and apparently Cholestyramine is most commonly prescribed for uncontrollable diarrhea, NOT high cholesterol. The most common side effects include constipation, gas, bloating, black tarry stools, abdominal pain and vomiting.

Look, I enjoy nausea and exotic turds as much as the next guy, but THIS IS INSANE.

So I guess I’m back at square one again. I refuse to take Cholestyramine just like I refused to take Trilipix, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin and Lopid. The point is, if you don’t advocate for yourself, nobody will. I sincerely hope Dr. M isn’t getting sick of me because I’m still extremely fond of her.

I’ve got a lot more fascinating material waiting in the wings — including a double-whammy Putz of the Week award — but I think I’ll publish this post for now and start another one after dinner because all of a sudden I’m really hungry. Thank you.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Calm down, people. It’s a rash!

I thought it might be nice to squeeze in a quick Howdygram post before I hit the sack tonight in case you were starting to worry that I forgot about you. (I didn’t.)

The hot story from Dallas tonight is MEASLES. Yes, friends, there’s a SHOCKING MEASLES OUTBREAK here with 14 new cases reported in the past week. State health officials are having a cow about this and issued a statewide alert urging immediate immunization against this “highly dangerous and contagious disease.”

Although measles were thought to have been eradicated a number of years ago, I really have no idea why an outbreak is such a big damn deal. When I was kid EVERYBODY had the measles. They were a rite of passage like chickenpox, skinned knees and strep throat. I had ’em. My sister had ’em. We all had ’em. But the Texas Department of State Health Services is making it sound like measles are in the same category as leprosy, typhoid fever or the bubonic plague. CALM DOWN, PEOPLE. It’s a rash!

Thank you.

In other news, behold the most frightening face of a criminal I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Those beady eyes, that 30-inch neck ... HOLY CRAP, is this dude creepy, or what? His name is Jared Remy and he stabbed his girlfriend to death. I vote we should do the same thing to him. As soon as possible.
Sam and I have no plans for Sunday if y’all would like to come over and watch a few movies with us. Any time after 1 p.m. is just fine. You can bring a coffee cake if you want, or a couple of sweet rolls. Shalom.

Friday, August 16, 2013

In case you care, I still hate George Zimmerman.

I almost forgot ... it’s time for another update on TCM’s Summer Under the Stars festival! Here are the Howdygram’s top picks for the next few days.
  • WALLACE BEERY, 8/17. You shouldn’t miss: The Champ (1931) with Jackie Cooper; A Date with Judy (1948), a silly semi-musical thing with Jane Powell and Carmen Miranda; Grand Hotel (1932) with Greta Garbo, John Barrymore and Joan Crawford; and Dinner at Eight (1933), one of my all-time favorite movies with Marie Dressler, Jean Harlow, Billie Burke and Lionel Barrymore. No kidding, Dinner at Eight is absolutely unforgettable.
  • NATALIE WOOD, 8/18. West Side Story (1961) with Richard Beymer and Russ Tamblyn; The Searchers (1956) with John Wayne; Splendor in the Grass (1961) with Warren Beatty; and The Great Race (1965), a Blake Edwards masterpiece with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. You should also try to catch Gypsy (1962), but mostly to watch Rosalind Russell. (She steals the show.)
  • RANDOLPH SCOTT, 8/19. I’m not a huge fan of Randolph Scott’s westerns, and that’s pretty much all you get to see on August 19 with the exception of My Favorite Wife (1940) with Irene Dunne and Cary Grant, which is pretty damn adorable.
  • HATTIE McDANIEL, 8/20. Check out Hollywood’s highest-paid maid in the following films: Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) with Eddie Cantor; George Washington Slept Here (1942) with Jack Benny and Ann Sheridan; and Gone with the Wind (1939) with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.
  • WILLIAM HOLDEN, 8/21. My favorite actor for sure. Be sure to watch: Executive Suite (1954) with June Allyson; Picnic (1956) with Kim Novak; Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) with Alec Guinness; and Born Yesterday (1950) with Judy Holliday and Broderick Crawford.
  • MAGGIE SMITH, 8/22. The V.I.P.s (1963) with Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Margaret Rutherford; The Honey Pot (1967) with Rex Harrison; Travels with My Aunt (1972); The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) with Robert Stephens and Pamela Franklin; and California Suite (1978) with Michael Caine. FYI, those last two films were Oscar-winning performances.
I guess that’s probably a wrap for today. It’s almost 9 p.m. and I’m feeling a little antsy and bored, craving green olives and wishing Sam was home from work. Tomorrow at noon I’ve got a follow-up appointment with my optometrist to figure out how Costco can fix the mess they made of my new progressive trifocals, and afterwards Sam and I will go out for lunch, most likely to Alfredo’s in Forney because they have really nice cheap food with lots of parking. The map below indicates: A) Howdygram headquarters; B) Dr. Field’s office next door to Costco in Rockwall; and C) Alfredo’s restaurant. This also happens to be the exact same location (State Highway 80 and Pinson Road) where the police stopped George Zimmerman for speeding two weeks ago and found a loaded gun in his car. In case you care, I still hate George Zimmerman. A lot.
Thank you for reading this.

Dodging bullets, eating cheesecake.

I dodged a bullet today, people. After I got a call from CVS pharmacy this morning that my new cholesterol medication was ready for pickup I decided to research Fenofibric Acid (Trilipix) online ... AND I REFUSE TO TAKE IT. I won’t even let Sam pick up the prescription. The side effects listed are worse than the miserable statins that almost killed me, and 75 pages of patient reviews on include terrifying comments like “intolerable muscle fatigue,” “developed gall stones and cysts on my kidneys, liver and thyroid,” “take this lousy drug off the market,” “don’t take Trilipix, it will ruin your life,” “my husband’s legs are so weak he had to quit working” and “muscle pain so severe I don’t want to live.”
Sorry, but I’ve been through enough. I’m done. After my miserable experiences with Atorvastatin and Pravastatin I refuse to go through this crap again. I already have enough challenges staying mobile with arthritic knees, plantar fasciitis and neuropathy … why should I deal with exhaustion, paralysis, permanent muscle damage, uncontrollable urination, acid reflux, gall stones, kidney failure, itching, dizziness and debilitating back pain on top of that?

I sent an email to Dr. M a couple of hours ago with my discoveries and decision. I haven’t heard back from her office yet but I’ve got the cordless phone on my lap and I’m waiting. As always, stay tuned for further developments but please feel free to continue your normal routine in the meantime.

I need cheesecake. Thank you.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thank you in advance from Babs and me.

Wow, everybody ... I just received an email from BARBRA STREISAND. Barbra Streisand! My new best friend — you know, Babs — asked if I would please consider contributing a little dough to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in their ongoing effort to rout the obstructionist Republicans, whose approval rating currently hovers at 16% ... the lowest approval rating EVER. So I’m thinking, holy crap, if Barbra can take a few minutes from her busy schedule of manicures, being amazing and staring at James Brolin to check in with Marcy at Howdygram headquarters, I can donate three stinking dollars to elect more Democrats to Congress. And you can, too! There’s a direct link to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the right sidebar of the Howdygram, or just click here. Thank you in advance from Babs and me.
For your possible interest, with the exception of last-minute electoral emergencies my typical political donation is $3, and I’ll give you three excellent reasons why: 1) three bucks is enough to make a difference; 2) I can contribute to a bunch of worthwhile causes all at the same time; and 3) I don’t want Sam to have a stroke. Although we share the same political viewpoint, Sam isn’t much of an activist and doesn’t get nuts about email from Barbra Streisand. So that’s that.

In other news, I ordered some cool crapola today from Amazon ... a big box of See Clear wipey things for my glasses and a hardcover copy of “The Astaires,” the best-selling biography of Fred and Adele Astaire.
FYI, most people don’t know that Fred and his sister Adele had a hugely successful 30-year dance career together before Fred got to Hollywood in 1933. Thirty years! They started as children and wound up as headliners on Broadway with the Gershwins writing musicals just for them. I can’t wait to read this book. Seriously.

Wow, it’s already after 6 p.m. and I haven’t spent nearly enough time obsessing about dinner! At the moment I’m considering low-carb biscuits, bacon, green olives and chia seed pudding. And soon, because I’m awfully hungry. Thank you.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Buy your prescription eyeglasses at a real optical store run by full-time people who actually give a crap.

I’ve got a late-breaking news flash from Club Meds here at Howdygram headquarters: I HATE STATIN DRUGS. Actually, it’s possible that “hate” isn’t a strong enough word, so let’s also throw in LOATHE, DESPISE, DETEST and ABHOR. Everybody should invest in a thesaurus.

Some of you may recall that I stopped taking Lipitor (actually, the generic Atorvastatin) in February for high cholesterol when the side effects attempted to murder me. (See previous post.) When my routine lab results a couple of weeks ago indicated that my cholesterol and triglycerides were creeping higher, Dr. M put me back on a different statin (Pravastatin, pictured here) at a lower dose. Sadly — just like the last time with Lipitor — I immediately descended into a nightmare of side effects that included: 1) severe muscle and joint pain in my legs; 2) pain and weakness in my arms and lower back; 3) difficulty standing or walking for more than a couple of minutes; 4) dizziness; 5) nausea; 6) difficulty breathing; and 6) chills. I sent Dr. M an email a couple of minutes ago to let her know that Pravastatin is destroying my life and I officially stopped taking it yesterday when I tossed Tuesday’s pill into the kitchen garbage. And you know what? I ALREADY FEEL WONDERFUL TODAY. I just stripped the sheets off our bed and threw them in the laundry, something I never could have done two days ago, and I’ve just decided to bake myself a low-carb cheesecake this afternoon. Maybe low-carb brownies, too! Glorioski!

Here’s a follow-up to my post from a couple of weeks ago about my new progressive trifocals from Costco. I was positive something was wrong with my glasses because I couldn’t read anything smaller than 12-point type, and I was right. Sam had an eye exam this morning and took my new glasses along so Dr. Field could check them against my prescription, and sure enough ... she said Costco screwed up!
Bottom line: although I love Costco as much as the next guy for cheap bagels, giant cans of tuna and toilet paper, we all might be better off buying prescription eyeglasses at a real optical store. You know, run by full-time people who actually give a crap and know what they’re doing. I’m just saying.

I’ve got a really adorable YouTube video for you. Entertainer Christina Bianco takes a hit song from the 1980s — Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” — and sings it as 18 different divas, from Adele to Julie Andrews to Barbra Streisand to Celine Dion to Britney Spears. And she really NAILS it. I especially love her imitations of Cher and Bernadette Peters. Enjoy!

And finally, please click the link below as soon as possible and add your name to this petition to protect Social Security from the Republican thugs in Congress. Speaking as a senior citizen with lousy knees who will begin receiving Social Security checks in less than 90 days, thank you a million times.
Have yourself a really swell day, okay?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Grilled cheese and very loud thunderstorms.

I know you can’t hear it, but we’ve got some VERY LOUD THUNDERSTORMS rolling through here right now! This is our first real rainfall in months and I hope we get drenched. I love it. For your possible interest here’s what’s happening courtesy of The bright red star denotes Howdygram headquarters, and if you zoom in a little I’ll be glad to wave.
I’m baking a loaf of homemade low-carb bread as I write this post and pondering a nice grilled cheese sandwich for dinner, although I’d be willing to bet nobody except me really gives a crap.

Some breaking political news from San Diego! Apparently Bob Filner, who serves as the city’s mayor and highest-ranking serial sex offender, has completed two weeks of “intensive therapy” to cure him of the need to harrass, grope and assault women.
Unfortunately, when Filner got back to the office he discovered that his chief of staff had changed the locks, the entire city council has called for his immediate resignation and a recall effort was underway to collect 100,000 signatures and force a new election. I think it’s safe to assume that just about everybody thinks this assclown is greasier than a $2 hamburger. And that brings me to one final point of interest. It seems that the fine people at Hooters can’t stand this jerk, either, because Filner has been banned from all of their San Diego restaurants for disrespecting women. Check it out!
Thank you for reading this. I need that grilled cheese sandwich now.

Dollar Tree’s website carries all the same weird no-name crap as their retail stores.

One of the sad outcomes of being a senior citizen such as moi with mobility issues is the fact that I don’t get to go shopping any more in stores. And I miss them all. You know ... discount stores, snooty stores, cheesy stores, Apple stores, warehouse clubs, hardware stores, lawn and garden departments, shoe stores, drug stores and supermarkets. I’ve managed to find occasional solace online with Amazon and Wal-Mart, but yesterday I finally climbed another rung when I discovered People … please give this a shot. Although most of their products online are sold only by the case, Dollar Tree’s website carries all the same weird no-name crap as their retail stores with the added bonus of cheap flat-fee shipping. I got so excited I almost couldn’t stand it.
Pictured above is a sampling of Dollar Tree’s cybershit, including hard-to-find wax fruit, canned briny mackerel, gas pills, organic chicken broth, hemorrhoid goo, salad dressing and pop-up foil sandwich wrappers. I ordered a case of chicken broth and eight boxes of the Reynolds foil whatnots. FYI, the foil whatnots were only $1 each; Amazon sells the same product for $4.99. These are the big foil sheets, too ... 14" x 10¼". Wow, am I right?

There’s a new toy on the way for Sam! He chose an Earthwise PWO1650 electric pressure washer last week as a thank you gift from Wells Fargo for refinancing our mortgage. As soon as it arrives he plans to attack the patio, the floor of the garage and damn near anything else he can get his hands on. We both think this is a really cool freebie when you consider that pressure washers sell for about $125 and up. If you come over he might let you play with it.
I think I need to eat something now and watch TV with Sam. I’ve got leftover Chinese from last night and a couple of decent Humphrey Bogart movies saved on our DVR: In a Lonely Place (1950) with Gloria Grahame and The Left Hand of God (1955) with Gene Tierney. I know I say this a lot, but I love my life.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Introducing braised camel turds in tomato sauce.

I don’t know if any of you care or not, but here’s what I did today.
  1. Discovered at 4:30 a.m. why it’s never a good idea to eat an entire bowl of low-carb chocolate frosting as a TV snack (please refer News Flash #4 in last night’s post). Thank God for Imodium.
  2. Enjoyed a nice buffet lunch at Cafe Greek with Sam. Today’s memorable entrees included a lot of tasty gyros meat, baked fish with teeny sesame seeds, marinated cabbage and braised camel turds in tomato sauce. Sam says they were the best camel turds EVER.
  3. Slept through round four of the PGA Championship because I really didn’t give a crap who won. (It was eventually Jason Dufner by two strokes. BFD.)
In addition to all of the above, I also downloaded a few more new fonts, which brings my total collection to somewhere around 19,850.
Incidentally, if any of you ever covet the fonts I post here on the Howdygram please don’t hesitate to let me know. They’re mostly all available online for free and I’d be glad to send them to you. Yes! You, too, can own the world’s largest font collection! Operators are standing by to take your call!

And now it’s finally time for dinner. Because it’s already after 7 p.m. and time’s flying, Sam and I are leaning towards a bunch of leftovers for the sake of expediency. Also because we love leftovers. With a side order of green olives.

Thank you for reading this.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I ate a bowl of chocolate frosting tonight.

I’ve got six important news flashes for a hot Saturday night in Texas. They are:

NEWS FLASH #1. I just finished taking 10 days of antibiotics for the urinary tract infection that tried to murder me. No kidding, people … it was E.coli. Holy crap!

NEWS FLASH #2. Sam bought me two gigantic jars of green olives this morning at Costco. There’s almost nothing I love better than green olives except for cheesecake and Mongolian chicken.

NEWS FLASH #3. I slept through Sunset Boulevard today.

NEWS FLASH #4. After dinner tonight I did something so decadent I’m almost afraid to tell you, but what the hell. I had a serious craving for something fudgy so I made low-carb chocolate frosting and ate the whole damn bowl with a soup spoon while I watched The Bad and the Beautiful starring Lana Turner and Kirk Douglas.

NEWS FLASH #5. I’d like to start a Ramon Novarro appreciation club. I never realized how adorable he was until I saw him this morning in The Cat and the Fiddle (1934) co-starring Jeanette MacDonald. Not only was he wonderful as Jeanette’s love interest, in the span of 90 minutes he was also hilarious, sweet, serious and touching. Ramon could even play the piano and had a really nice head of hair.
NEWS FLASH #6. I can’t think of anything else and thank you for reading this.