Monday, September 30, 2013

I’ve already got separation anxiety and Sam hasn’t started packing yet.

In this post: The essential Hildegarde Withers.

Because Congress makes me so sick I can’t even anything tonight I’ve decided to just hang out and ignore the news as much as humanly possible. For starters, a few minutes ago I splurged on another DVD collection from Amazon, this time the entire series of six Hildegarde Withers mysteries from the early 1930s (most of them starring Edna May Oliver with James Gleason). Hildegarde Withers is an old maid schoolteacher and amateur sleuth, and these are all excellent whodunits and superior afternoon nap movies. I can’t wait to get my hands on them!

I consider 1950s science fiction the best way EVER to escape the frustrations of reality.

In this post: Investing in cheesy 1950s science fiction.

After a mystifying weekend of nonstop sleep — not counting an additional three-hour nap that ended about 30 minutes ago — I’m pleased to report that I feel mostly swell yet slightly hungover at 4:30 on a Monday afternoon. I also would like to add that I’ve posted your next mystery celebrity for the Howdygram’s ongoing Name the Celebrity Contest (see right sidebar) and I recommend that you and all your friends and relatives give this a shot as soon as possible because prizes will be awarded. PRIZES ARE GOOD.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

There is no brunette writhing on the floor in a low-cut red bathrobe at any time during this film.

In this post: Atomic zombies to the rescue.

I think somebody drugged me this morning because I’ve been asleep almost ALL DAY. For example, I woke up at 7:30 after seven hours of sleep and felt mostly swell, although by 9:45 — just about the time I finished my previous Howdygram post — I could barely keep my eyes open and went back to bed, presumably for another hour of sleep. Unfortunately I didn’t actually wake up until 1:15 in the afternoon, at which time Sam and I immediately ate lunch, watched Creature with the Atom Brain on TCM (details follow), and then I sprawled out on the chaise and fell asleep AGAIN, waking up about 10 minutes ago at 6:25. I’m told I missed two huge rounds of thunderstorms this afternoon. (Crap.)

Corn dogs, funnel cakes and pig races. It’s the Texas State Fair!

In this post: Everything you need to know about the Texas State Fair.

Come on down, y’all! The Texas State Fair opened yesterday here in Dallas and runs through October 20. While this technically means nothing much to Sam and me because we have no plans to go, the rest of Texas is having a collective cow about the state’s annual homage to corn dogs, funnel cakes and pig races.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Meet Barry Smitherman: A putz for all seasons.

In this post: Deadbeat clients, butt pudding, another Putz of the Week, shopping Walter Drake.

2:38 P.M. I’m sitting at my desk watching CNN live on my computer because President Obama is scheduled to make a late-breaking statement momentarily about this looming (and totally disgusting) government shutdown thing. While I stare at an empty podium in the middle of my screen I’m entertaining myself with some sugar-free marshmallows, a nice little game of video poker and considering creative new ways to torment my remaining website clients … particularly the ones who can’t figure out HOW TO MAIL A QUARTERLY HOSTING PAYMENT ON TIME EVEN AFTER THREE STINKING EMAIL REMINDERS. (Complete details to follow.)

3:01 P.M. I am pleased to provide a brief summary of President Obama’s remarks to Congress: “CUT THE CRAP, YOU CLOWNS.”

Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Punctuation Day has always been one of my favorite religious holidays.

In this post: Watch those commas, understanding the Affordable Care Act.

Please forgive me for a serious omission from last night’s Howdygram post: I neglected to acknowledge that yesterday was NATIONAL PUNCTUATION DAY, which has always been one of my favorite religious holidays.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nobody won our first Name the Celebrity Contest so I get to keep the prizes for myself.

In this post: A mystery celebrity, telepathic rape, lunar cavesluts.

I’m squeezing in this last-minute Howdygram post after a hectic evening at home with Sam, during which we: 1) ate some really wonderful Costco chicken sausages for dinner stuffed with habanero peppers and spicy cheese; and 2) watched the finale of “Top Chef Masters.” However Sam was mostly asleep during item two because we ate a lot of item one. For dessert I had two sugar-free Russell Stover chocolate marshmallow pumpkins.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I need to ponder wearing shoes and a brassiere for my trip to the airport.

In this post: Sam goes to Seattle, mail-order chocolate.

I’ve been trying to write a Howdygram post almost all day but can’t come up with many substantial topics of interest. Lack of material hasn’t stopped me before, though, so grab a couple of cookies and relax. Here’s what I’ve got so far.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hey, foodies. Too bad we don’t live in Great Britain.

In this post: Outer space pizza, adorable little Sam feet.

I almost didn’t write a Howdygram post tonight because I got caught up watching a special on TCM — The Story of Film: An Odyssey — and today’s episode of “People’s Court.” I also ate a lot of food, finished off yesterday’s accidental pound cake pudding (see previous post) and took a lovely pair of naps two hours apart. I’m proud of my productivity. No kidding.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I don’t mind eating cake with a soup spoon.

In this post: Edible baking disasters, Emmys, Real Housewives.

Now that I’ve successfully dodged the FBI (see previous post) it’s time to get y’all up-to-date with the rest of my Sunday activities, all conveniently listed for you below.

The road to redemption.

In this post: Irrational panic at Howdygram headquarters.

It’s 10:45 Sunday morning and I am compelled to report that I had a wild yet strangely crappy night. It began around 2 a.m. when I wound up with a freaky, spammy web page on my Mac bearing the FBI’s logo and announcing “we have seized your browser and your browsing history” — seriously, I couldn’t close the window or quit Firefox! — with “enough proof to convict” that I’d been dowloading music illegally and/or accessing child porn.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Our new Name the Celebrity contest starts today!

In this post: Sam in Seattle, favorite musicals, “Moses Supposes,” a mystery celebrity.

I’m having an unexpected solitary weekend. Sam traveled to Seattle this afternoon for a sad, last-minute trip to visit his older sister Marian, who’s hospitalized and seriously ill. On Thursday she asked all of her siblings to come as soon as possible so they can be together this weekend, at which time Sam wedged himself into seat 5D on U.S. Airways flight 652 and flew to the Pacific Northwest with an umbrella, two sweatshirts and a couple of granola bars.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Lots of rain and a new shade of red.

In this post: A Howdygram face lift, glorious rain.

Before I get sidetracked, has anybody noticed that the Howdygram is sporting a “new look” these days? This is really HUGE CRAPOLA, people! I changed the banner logo to antique wood, all the sidebar titles are a different shade of red, and starting with this post I’ll be trying out a new font for my photo captions. For instance:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chocolate marshmallow pumpkins!

In this post: A mail-order food orgy, fashions from hell, understanding the Second Amendment.

It’s another peculiar day at Howdygram headquarters. After being awake most of the night with electric shocks in my hands and feet (damn neuropathy) I succumbed to a luxurious two-hour nap commencing at noon followed by a late lunch that featured braunschweiger on low-carb toast and half a glass of sugar-free vanilla soy milk with an ice cube in it. So far so good, right?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hearing voices.

In this post: The slobs next door.

Holy crap. I’m hearing voices. About an hour ago I’m sitting here at my desk in the study and I hear a couple of men talking. At first I can’t figure out where the sounds are coming from ... did I leave the TV on? Are there two really stupid burglars in the garage? WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING HERE? And then I realize the voices are right outside my window and a there’s a realtor dude showing the house next door because our neighbor is in foreclosure (oy) and they’ll be moving out any day now.

There’s never a shortage of stupid here in the great state of Texas.

In this post: Tasty frozen food, meet Louie Gohmert, it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Good morning, people. I’ve been up since 5:15 for no important reason whatsoever, not counting the fact that my feet were annoying me (diabetic peripheral neuropathy), both knees hurt and I just didn’t want to sleep any more. Lucky you … here I am, typing through the pain. (Cue the violins.)

So what’s on today’s agenda around here? Many, many fun things! Our Schwan’s delivery doofus will be here at 11 to drop off a load of tasty frozen whatnots, Pest Management is coming at 3:30 to make sure that Howdygram headquarters remains perpetually sterile and free of all creepy things inside and out, and I’ve got a bulging basket of socks to fold. And I think I’m feeling spunky enough right now to surprise Sam and fold them before he wakes up! Sam loves surprises!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Part with some dough to fight the idiots.

In this post: Stop the Tea Party.

It’s Tuesday, September 17. Since 8:45 this morning I’ve received no less than 13 fundraising requests from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Organizing for Action (President Obama’s fundraising group), Annie’s List, Emily’s List and the Texas Democratic Party. While I think it would be swell to have a mountain of unlimited cash for every worthy progressive cause, today I chose to contribute to the DCCC and the OFA. For the moment, however, the more important of the two is the OFA because they’re battling Speaker of the House John Boehner (a frequent and worthy Howdygram Putz of the Week award winner) for choosing to side with the Republican Tea Party in its never-ending smear campaign to destroy Obamacare.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Miscellaneous baloney, a movie review and another font meltdown.

In this post: Fighting font corruption, appreciating “Brazil,” Rooster’s Roadhouse.

Oy, people, what a day. Howdygram headquarters had another major FONT MELTDOWN this morning! I was seeing way too many “out of memory” warning messages on my Mac last night even during the simplest procedures, and since this was basically the same horseshit as last time (see post) I got up at the crack of dawn to figure out what I had to do. You know, like 4:15 in the morning. It took FIVE HOURS to validate and delete 974 corrupt and semi-corrupt fonts — merely a fraction of my current font library, in case you’re interested — and by the time I finished my Mac was back to normal and I was ready for an asylum.

FYI, I finally concluded what started all this baloney ... and it actually had nothing whatsoever to do with fonts! The culprit was a large and apparently-damaged graphic file I’d transferred from Adobe Illustrator to InDesign, at which time InDesign froze solid and Photoshop crashed. My Macintosh technical guru told me months ago always to check my font library after issues like this, and sure enough ... there were scary little warning icons all over the place instructing me to begin deleting IMMEDIATELY or face eternal damnation.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Glucose tablets. I need glucose tablets!

In this post: Desperately Seeking Szechuan, the fashions of Thom Browne.

Howdy, foodies! In case you’re curious, last night’s dessert got derailed temporarily. I didn’t have a chance to bake that low-carb cake with the mountain of white fluffy frosting (see previous post) because first I had to: 1) make biscuits and chicken salad for dinner; 2) eat biscuits and chicken salad for dinner; 3) clean up the kitchen; 4) take a nice hot shower; and 5) complete all previous items within a specific time frame in order to participate in a Marks family conference call at 9 to talk about Sam’s mom considering a move to assisted living. (Looks like she’s definitely going to do it. Smart decision!)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Retirement, healthy toes and low-carb chocolate cake.

In this post: A retirement milestone, podiatry, assorted nonsense.

Holy mackerel, everybody … I JUST HIT A WHOLE NEW MILESTONE! About half an hour ago I unpublished my Ovation Creative website and launched a simple splash page in its place, announcing to the entire world that I’m no longer accepting new clients or any major projects and everybody should just GO AWAY and LEAVE ME ALONE. (Okay, maybe not exactly that, but you get my drift.) This brings me even closer to complete retirement, marking the first time in more than 25 years that I haven’t operated a business venture of one kind or another. It actually feels good to just STOP, finally. My goal for the next 25 years includes a daily afternoon nap, frightening quantities of Chinese food and fun with Sam ... but not necessarily in that order.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mazel tov. I just won my own Einstein Award.

In this post: Creatures in the night, a shopping spree, models on the runway.

Here’s a new twist, people. I get up at 5:15 this morning for a routine bathroom junket but don’t quite realize I’m in the middle of a low blood sugar episode when I squint down the hall in the dark (well, except for a night-light) and think I see a muskrat hiding under the area rug outside the laundry room door. (Actually, I’m guessing it’s either a muskrat or a very young hyena.) In a panic I manage to wake Sam and convince him to go on safari with me, but by the time we get halfway there I figure out that the rug is a bunched up and casting a lumpy shadow on the wall, so the whole stupid hoo-hah is just a pathetic hypoglycemic hallucination. Oy, right? Looks like I officially win my own Howdygram Einstein Award!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Don’t worry ... I’m safe and sound here at Howdygram headquarters.

In this post: Kvetch report, arming the blind in Iowa.

Can we talk?

First of all, call off the detectives. I know it’s been four days since my last post but I’m safe and sound here at Howdygram headquarters, eating pickles and raising hell. Well, sort of. I’ve had a few health issues again — actually, still — and they’re all related to diabetic autonomic neuropathy. After several days feeling like crap I finally sent an email to Dr. M yesterday afternoon to let her know what’s going on, and I’ll probably hear back from her shortly.

Friday, September 6, 2013

My left hand is cramped up like a claw and I refuse to fold the sheets in the dryer.

In this post: Kvetch report, a twerking Einstein, another Putz of the Week.

I’m having one of those days. You know, with a growing list of irritating crap that I can’t do anything about. So far I’m dealing with my typical diabetic autonomic neuropathy issues — lousy bladder control, I can’t taste my food, I’m lightheaded every time I stand up and low body temperature — in addition to way too much sneezing, my right eye is dripping, my head hurts, my left hand is cramped up like a claw and I refuse to fold the sheets in the dryer.

Please take a guess what’s for lunch today. (No, really. Guess.)

In this post: Tasty meat in a can, exploding electronics, “The Late George Apley.”

There’s so much amazing news this morning I almost don’t know where to start.

AMAZING NEWS ITEM NUMBER ONE: Last night FedEx delivered my Libby’s corned beef in a can from Wal-Mart except it arrived too late for dinner. Therefore, please take a guess what’s for lunch today. (No, really. Guess.)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Once again we’re honoring the Lone Star State’s resident putz-in-chief, Governor Rick Perry.

In this post: Rick Perry does it again, dog stories.

I almost didn’t have a chance to write a Howdygram post tonight until Sam called from the office a few minutes ago to let me know he’ll be a couple of hours late getting home from work, probably sometime after midnight. Therefore, here I am. Lucky you!

First on my agenda is our latest Putz of the Week award, once again honoring the Lone Star State’s resident putz-in-chief, Governor Rick Perry, for encouraging the Texas National Guard to refuse to process requests from same-sex couples for spousal benefits despite the Pentagon’s explicit directive to do so. Texas was the only state that turned away gay and lesbian couples on Tuesday, the first working day that gays in the military were eligible to apply for benefits. Texas, again. What a shock.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I love canned crap.

It’s just past 7 p.m. and time once again for the ultimate senior citizen condundrum: I can’t decide what the hell to make for dinner tonight. Therefore I think I’ll go gourmet with a sack of zero-carb pork rinds and some nice onion dip. If I’m still hungry afterwards I’ll probably open a can of whatever. I love canned crap.

Never in a million years will you ever guess where Sam wanted to shop this morning. Give up? The 99¢ Store! And he went VOLUNTARILY! Because I haven’t been able to visit fun stores like this for years due to a variety of mobility issues like lousy feet, lousy knees and getting dizzy a lot, I told Sam to call me from inside to describe their current collection of crap. And he did, eventually coming home with two bags of the aforementioned zero-carb pork rinds and a tube of braunschweiger. Holy crap, people! BRAUNSCHWEIGER! Sam said they also had a lot of great deals on toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant and umbrellas except we didn’t need any today. Especially umbrellas, as it hasn’t rained in Texas since October 2011. (This might be an exaggeration, but not by much.)
Since Rosh Hashanah begins tomorrow at sundown I’d like to take this opportunity to wish my Jewish readers a sweet and happy new year. Happy 5774!
I’ve got another Putz of the Week award to share with y’all but it’ll have to wait for my next Howdygram post because I need to eat dinner now. Thank you for reading this.

Being a senior citizen has a few clear advantages.

Happy day after Labor Day. I hope yours was swell.

I’ve been having some insomnia issues again. Mostly the problem is pain in my hands and feet (from peripheral neuropathy) and I just can’t get comfortable when I lie down in bed at night. So I get up and hang out in the study for a while eating TicTacs — like I’m doing right now — until the crappy spasms and electric shocks die down. I manage to catch up on my sleep during the day, thank God, and usually wind up unconscious in the family room for three or four hours watching William Powell movies. Welcome to my world.

Know what? I’ve decided that being a senior citizen has a few clear advantages aside from handicapped parking and a breakfast discount at Denny’s. For instance, yesterday afternoon during a moment of reflection I reached a new plateau of self-awareness: I’M LOW MAINTENANCE AND EASY TO PLEASE. I don’t need fancy or expensive shit to be happy. I don’t need a LOT of shit, either. I just need my favorite shit: FOOD and a COUCH. (Stop laughing.)

Before I forget, I’ve got a couple of terrific new pictures of Cooper to share with you tonight. Cooper is my niece Allison’s little boy. Look at the sweet face on this munchkin!
This might be a little unorthodox, but what the hell. I’d like to present a Howdygram Brainstorm Award to myself for dreaming up a brilliant new health care product ... a customizable digital thermometer called “iTemp” with downloadable amplified ring tones! This would especially helpful for old people like yours truly who take their temperature a lot but never hear the stupid beep. Sam is usually two rooms away yelling “YOUR THERMOMETER IS BEEPING!” when I can’t hear the damn thing less than four inches from my own ears. For starters I believe we should offer a variety of recognizable everyday noises — such as a fog horn, the chimes from Westminster Abbey, a barking golden retriever and a city bus — plus the complete Beatles catalog, some Peter, Paul & Mary, Bachman Turner Overdrive, everything by the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean singing “Dead Man’s Curve.” Please send an email if you think this is a good idea and approximately how much money you’d be willing to invest. Thank you.

And now, a favorite Herman cartoon for your possible interest. (I’ll be sharing three of them this week.)
This might be a fine time to shlep myself back to bed. It’s already after 3 a.m. and I’m not getting any younger.