Wednesday, August 30, 2006

4 Dinner!

A touch more signin' for The Man himself from Shane and I (my photo from my younger days)

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Fang Inquistor

See that fang-like thing on the yellow Post-It backdrop? Looks like a broken tooth doesn't it? Well, that's exactly what it is. More specifically, that's a part of my tooth. It fell out of my head today, too corrupt, too morally impure to stay in my head. The teeth that remain are the true Siberian cossacks; tough on top of tough, ready to schvitz in a gallon of Coke Blak if the Holy Mother insists on it and laugh while doing it.
Hell, this is Quisling isn't even the weak part of the same tooth; the other side might as well be wearing a grass skirt and telling the story of my life with its' hands for all the wiggling around it does in there. Where's my Dremel tool?

Although I have been known to fancy myself a Prince Myshkin type, I have no desire to bound up in some Dental Gulag of Despair; I'd LOVE a nice gleaming Autobahn of choppers, choppers I could rip Roger Moore's arm off with! (no chrome though -- maybe stucco!) So before I get the usual blah blah blah scolding: I don't have a dental plan, never have as an adult, and my father 'didn't believe in it' when everything could have been done for free back when Mustangs and Corvettes ruled the earth and I was knee high to an AC Cobra! I also lack money in vast quantites. I try to put a positive spin on things; one missing fanglet is not a 'missing tooth' but a Clitoral Port! But things continue to fall out of my head and soon I'll be an Honorary Pogue.

If I really thought a 'begging' site would work, I have a name for mine. The Fish Fang Fund. A Google map would be overlayed on each tooth, and clicking on it would reveal the state of that tooth. I might even use the Homeland Security Color Coding System with each one; it might be its first sensible use. As donations came in, I would go get the appropriate work done, complete with pictures and a narrative! (I do have a dentist whom I've used in dire situations, who's pretty cool, so a shout-out to Santine!) And when I'm finished? I'd either donate the subsequent funds to a general purpose dental fund, or perhaps pass on The Great Pirate Roberts title to someone else equally deserving...

Ah, well, pass the vodka and blinis...

Rest In Peace, Small Fluffy Bit of Ron

Saturday, August 19, 2006

and did those feet in ancient times?

There was something interesting in the way that Herr Dinners had written a post today, and then I made myself a cheese sandwich, lie down and started a bit of a snooze and started dreaming...

Camie really wanted to go to England to visit Mr. Dinners, and I wanted to give her a gift to celebrate the arrival of Camie 2: The Offspring. I was able to scrounge up a two-seat Me-109 German fighter at a rummage sale, which I only agreed to get if the owner were able to attach an air-to-air refueling probe onto it, which they did. My price? Only a half-pint of blood. Off to England we flew, hitting a US tanker only twice on the way over!

We were the only ones able to land at Heathrow, because we had no hair gel on us. Camie had chosen to style her hair like John Entwhistle circa 1965, and my hairs are individually named, so no gel is required. We were able to park our plane in 'the Nazi terminal.' A policeman came out to meet us; he was the only person we saw. His name? I swear to God -- Dickhead Bobbie.

Dickhead Bobbie wanted to know who we had come to see, and when we said we were looking for FourDinners, who actually works here, he said, "Yessir, you want to head towards the Cotswalds, you do."

"The Cotswalds?"

"Yes sir, by law all airport workers are required to live in the Cotswalds."

"Is that nearby?"

"Oh no, it's quite far. You'll be needing a Range Rover, sir."

"We don't have one, Mr. Bobbie, is it?"

"Just Dickhead will do, sir. I'll fetch one for you, sir, just a minute." He then walked out into busy traffic, found a Range Rover with 6 Arabic men inside, pulled them over, beat the stuffing out of them, gave us their car, and handstamped them 'to France.' SAS men took them out of the country. We thanked Dickhead and drove off.

We headed towards FourDinners place in the Cotswalds, with our own SAS man on the roof of the Range Rover who had a shotgun and a sniper rifle. His job was to pop the occasional Welsh or Scotsman who would randomly appear like grouse, and generally be a distraction from proper tourists such as ourselves.

We finally arrived at what looked like several dozen shipping crates just scattered about in a very lovely country setting. But when we went inside the place seemed huge, complete with Georgian furniture, Copley and Turner paintings, wonderful design throughout. FourDinners appeared, looking like a cross between Shane McGowan and Alistaire Cooke. I asked where the family was, and he said "They wouldn't be caught dead in a dump like this. They live near the airport" He invited us to the local pub.

The pub was an ingenious place; all beer was brewed on the roof, and feed down below via plastic tubes, which were everywhere, so you just had to open the tap and get your own beer, including a brew that expectant mothers could get sloshed on without negative consequences to the baby! No matter where I turned I was able to find a plastic tube with The Exact Beer I Wanted, and in the right quantities. We were quite happy, but the food wasn't something I would feed to hogs! Camie was able to explain the glories of The Bloomin' Onion, and I showed off my fajita making skills. We even taught them to make a deliberately bad kind of fish and chips, just so Camie's husbands' brother would show up on his birthday! We strung little chili lights throughout the bar.

And then...when we were about to phone rang, ending my reverie...but perhaps I will return to it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Wendy Story, Part 8

A bit of love from the kids...

Feldspar's grandson, Thomas Jefferson Airplane "Stinky" Mjolner, came back from his first year at Yale with a profound insight: that the Oedipal origin of the family's wealth was a plot "worthy of Aaron Spelling." This was completely lost on Feldspar, whose reaction was to monitor the college fund a bit more carefully. His granddaughter, Flora June "JuneBug" Mjolner, spent years in a Cervantes-like struggle to, simultaneously turn The Mill on the Floss into a screenplay and rid herself of a nasty Crystal Meth addiction. Neither of these Augean Tasks would prevent Flora June from becoming one of New York's most successful criminal attorneys in the early 21 century, but Feldspar was not to see this.

Feldspar spent years in an attempt to find the right recipe for familial contentment. Why pot roast and "Dragnet" would make anyone get along with anyone else was lost on the grandkids, and his clumsy attempts to please them were their only point of gleeful connection. As puberty occurred, they each took increased pleasure in confounding Feldspar with some sort of intellectual activity that Meant A Great Deal to Them. Never knowing when he was being made fun of, Feldspar would strike back, seemingly randomly, which left everyone confused and afraid.

The stakes were raised when Flora June arranged T.J.A.'s 21th birthday party. Calling upon Feldspar to apply some pressure through his control of the Mjolner Chair for Olflatory Study, a platoon of the prettiest cheerleaders of the Ivy League, in their uniforms, led T.J.A. from his bedroom through the house to the main garden where Feldspar and Flora June were seated on cartoony thrones, a breastwork of presents making it hard for him to approach them. While being oblivious to the dozens of highly educated bosoms bouncing around him, he stammered his teary approval, almost happy for, well, the first time ever. But Flora June was not done; from the back of the garden came Egyptian-style litter bearers, led by the most heavily-muscled men Flora June could find, each carrying an incense brazier with a giant size version of the "Pretty Kitty" Mjolner Incense Burner #16A at the top. The Kiwi-Strawberry smell crushed the more delicate scent of the new June roses. Playing against type, a drag queen with a face terrifyingly like Dietrich stepped out of the litter in a Wagnerian horned helmet and breastplate that would have done Kirstin Flagstead proud. Producing a huge hammer with a large stone head out of a rough hewn wooden box carried out of the litter by two of the brazier bearers, the drag queen met his eyes as he passed it to T.J.A. intoning in his best Dietrich rasp, "Now you are a man." T.J.A.'s blushing, shocked face turned to meet Feldspar's now-clued-in glare and he burst into tears while he ran back into the house parting the cheerleaders like the Red Sea. Days of childish shouting matches were followed by weeks of silence during The Price is Right, which were, in turn, followed by years of generating Caribbean vacations for family counselors throughout Manhattan, all of which produced nothing. Nothing at all.

Flora June did not escape unscathed. Smugly technophobic, occasionally Neo-Gothic, her grand writing project taking the place of joyous human interaction, Flora June's final push was crafted in T.J.A.'s mind and heart for years. On her 25th birthday, a 25 layer cake 12 feet tall. dominated the dining hall. It was an elaborate thing this cake; each layer had candles that ignited from a remote in T.J.A's hand, the color of each layer of flame inching its way up the spectrum. When it was time to ignite the very large candle at the top, the "one to grow on" in T.J.A.'s words, a series of whirs and clicks dropped the outer shell to reveal Flora June's handwritten copy of her screenplay. It was, of course, the only copy; for her art's sake alone it couldn't be any other way. With the highest-pitched scream anyone in the room had ever heard, Flora June made a major tactical error in bolting for the cake and not T.J.A. He had anticipated this and calmly waited while she comically tried to climb the cake, her body-wracking sobs and pleas destroying her electric blue Valentino gown in a sea of Banana and Oreo flavored frosting. He timed it perfectly; the blowtorch descending from the nether regions of the Norman Mailer piƱata directly over the cake (he knew how much she hated him, and she positively squealed with delight earlier in the evening at the prospect of beating him with a stick.) igniting the white phosphorus surrounding the rolled parchment so quickly, not even ashes remained. It would be the 8th and next-to-last time that Feldspar would physically beat T.J.A., but it was far from the last time Flora June would hide in the Bowery for days. The dealers were always delighted when she arrived; plenty of money, no hassles, always wanting the best. And she got it.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Wendy Story, Part 7

...and we come back from the distant past, to Feldspar in the present...

In 1942, Feldspar Mjolner surprised the entire family by announcing his intention to enter the service. His intense desire to see the Pacific theater was surpassed only by the Army's bureaucratic will to keep him a file clerk, first in Texas, than in 1944, in England. When he was caught trying to rape the daughter of a Welsh longshoreman, he was exiled to Scapa Flow as a liaison officer. Howling to his Congressman got him sent to France, where he got the clap within a week. When he went into a black unit and demanded the ranking sergeant shine his boots while he went on about how ugly Eleanor Roosevelt was, Feldspar thought he was proving how tough he was to his Southern peers. The near-riot that ensued got him cashiered and sent back to the East Coast until the war ended. Still, The War gave Feldspar a great gift; being the object of envy for everyone who longed for an event in their own lives so profound that it excused every form of self-centered behavior in perpetuum.

Feldspar's son, Jonathan Martial "Binky" Mjolner, checked into the Hanoi Hilton during the Summer of Love because he spent too long listening to the lock-on growl of his Sidewinder and a Mig-15 "Fagot" attacked from the rear with the sun in Binky's eyes. He checked out for a more protracted stay in Arlington during the time in the Paris Peace Talks when they were debating whether the negotiating table should be square or round. When Feldspar finally received word of his son's death, he was secretly relieved that his position of warrior/patriarch would remain unchallenged by someone who had really seen combat. This was unspoken but understood through the family; the years of self-fortification had begun.

By the time of college for his two grandchildren, Feldspar had become a Vauban fortress of ill-temper; calculated, precise, expensive and overwhelming. Raising his two grandchildren was a difficult task made more difficult by virtue of the two kids being considerably smarter than Feldspar before they reached puberty, and made impossible by the kids intense dislike of each other. This troika of problems had made the Mjolner "family" non-existent; but, as in all such families, no one was willing to say as much.

The Wendy Story, Part 6

We go even further back in time, from Feldspar to the Original Owner of the Maxty Building, which was posted here...

Ransom Waldo Maxty

Saturday, August 12, 2006

But what about in the coaches poll?

The other day I looked up "stuffin" on Google, and this blog came in at #4! There was much huzzahing in the house of Fluffy! But now I just did it, and I've done slud down to #16! Most of them are Food Network thingies, but I'm now behind "Stuffin Young Muffins", both 3 and 4! Disgraceful! At least I'm ahead of #1 and #2...

I will work on "Stuffin Young Muffins #5" for scale, and will perhaps blog about it!

Tip O' The Cap!

One of my last college acquaintances has a blog, OldPanther, and on it she had a cool list to reply to, so here goes! Original question in plaintext, her reply in Bold, and my reply to her reply in Italics:

Comment to this post and:

1. I'll respond with something random about you
You are one of the most intelligent men I know.

Needless to say -- you need to get out more.

2. I'll challenge you to try something
Read The Celestine Prophesies
Crapper book, check! I'll have to retire my Best of Screw collection for awhile then!

3. I'll pick a color that I associate with you
A deep olive green. I don't really know why, but it feels right
The association of myself and Sgt. Rock of Easy Company is a natural one, but in this case I think you're channeling my eerie resemblance to Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull...

4. I'll tell you something I like about you
See number one
You do? I've missed the bowl again! Good thing I AM retiring the Best of Screw...

5. I'll tell you my first/clearest memory of you
Sitting around my kitchen table playing strategic/statistical war games with Gordon, Ed,
I still own most of them! I remember T.H.E. Football a lot...ask Gordo about it!

6. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of
A blood hound, al la Duke from the Beverly Hillbillies
That's your spouse talkin' there! A blood hound only dreams of having my jowls someday...

7. I'll ask you something I've always wanted to ask you
I can't really thing of anything. I've always asked you anything I've wanted to know.
Cop out! Cop out! C'mon OP, there must be SOMETHING! I have many questions that could be asked of me, which you don't know the answers to, which you might even like to know! Ask me anything! Although I reserve the right to only answer privately, I will answer you truthfully!

8. If I do this for you, you must post this in your journal
This is done. Would you post mine now that you are doubly won? -- slight twist on "Kill" Bill Shakespeare, Alls Well That Ends Well

Friday, August 11, 2006

I take Cammie's Challenge -- Again!

Here be my list!

10 Years Ago: August 1996
When my heart was sore, I started hanging with Camie at her then-place of work...and havin' a blast!

5 Years Ago: August 2001
Was in a deep fog of emotional pain...

1 Year Ago: August 2005
Was/am in worse financial shape than Camie, which has been lobotomizing me one neuron at a time.

5 Songs I know all the words to:
"I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket" -- Irving Berlin
"It's Been A Hard Days Night" -- The Beatles
"Kiss Me, Son of God" -- They Might Be Giants
"Freddie's Dead" -- Curtis Mayfield
"Jeepster" -- T.Rex

5 Snacks:
Reduced Fat Ruffles Potato Chips (not NO FAT!)
Lightly Salted Peanuts
Zingerman's Corned Beef
Caprese Salad

5 Things I would do with $100,000:
Massive down payment for a house in Ann Arbor -- like Camie!
Get a new car (haven't had one since 1984) -- like Camie!
Get a good education for The Little Man.
Set up The Fabulous Fluffy Travel Fund for me those I deem FluffyWorthy.
Pay back my friends! -- like Camie!

5 Places I would run away to:
Midtown Manhattan
Greenwich Village
Under my covers
Northern Italy
The Old West Side of Ann Arbor

5 Things I would NEVER wear:
My dignity with pride.
Any outfit wore by The Villiage People
A business suit, if I could help it
Clown Shoes with A Tux
A club tie

5 favorite T.V. shows:
Veronica Mars
Gilmore Girls
Washington Journal on Fridays with Brian Lamb
So You Want To Dance and Blow Up Every Reality Show On TV
(written, directed, produced and starring me!)

5(+1) Greatest joys:
My best friend Camie (Vog)
The Little Man, who I bought a Hummer for. ("For us to DRIVE?")
Sandy Bullock
Fred and Ginger
My Novel (which still electrifies me from time to time)
plus a special shout-out to Art Gurl too!

5 Favorite toys:
My digital camera
My Board Games
My Music
My DVD collection
My Maxfield Parrish repro

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Wendy Story, Part 5

We leave Wendy and Ramon for just a tic, as we explore the history of the present owner of the Maxty Building...

Feldspar Mjolner owned the Maxty Building since the late '30's when Old Man Maxty died. Despite several attempts to rename it over the decades, ( Liberty Building, FM Towers, Hammer INC., etc. ) the only name anyone would use was "The Maxty Building." Feldspar liked to say that the Mjolners' made their fortune in the fur trade; there was some truth to this. Third level 17th century bureaucrats, the Mjolner family wound up on the wrong side of the Bourbons just in time to help Canada rid itself of its excess beaver population. Quite a lot of money was made, enough to keep the family in booze and political chicanery for almost 200 years, but by the early 20th century Mjolner arrogance and family size had pretty much sluiced off the revenue stream.
The Mjolner family fortunes were saved, oddly enough, by a 15-year old Feldspar and Prohibition. Feldspar stumbled onto a flavorful, strong, bathtub gin mixture that quickly became THE bootleg hooch for sophisticated alkies for blocks around. As the fame of "Mjolner's Hammer" spread, a disturbing side effect was noticed; some people would go blind, others would die. The first to go blind was Feldspar's abusive father; three days after this sad event, he stepped in front of traffic and was killed. It was noted that a black shoeshine boy was the first person to him after he was hit and he passed away before help could arrive. It was then made known that a reward was there for the taking if the young buck would come forward and tell the family of any Last Words of Import. Robert Cletus Johnston, later referred to as "Uncle Robby", wide-eyed, anxious, and frightened that this might be some kind of cruel trick, told the Mjolners, in trembling voice, that the old blind man just said "On purpose." As the white people paused to take this in, Robert snatched the $100 bill from Feldspar's hand and fled, never to be heard from again, despite his having won a Silver Star at Tarawa. The rest of the family consoled themselves by assuming that Grandpa, out of sheer grief, took his own life, but if there was another interpretation of "On purpose", only Feldspar knew it , and he kept his own counsel.
Normally, blindness and death would not constitute a good product recommendation, but Feldspar and his family were able to turn the truth into what would later be called Urban Legend. Instinctively, Feldspar's exploiting of these events made the noxious brew even more popular. Using an artist whose half-Munch, half-Frazetta style would be revived in the mid-2010's, the "Are You Man Enough to Pick Up Thor's Hammer?" ads sucked in the stupidly macho and Feldspar's way of combining colorings and bizarre flavorings from Chinatown, drew in the ladies, especially after he cut it with water. When Prohibition ended, the Mjolner's decided to clean the stuff up and go legit. Not content with just alcohol, they expanded into flavored tobaccos, multi-colored rolling papers for those still making cigarettes at home, and Hummel-like ceramic incense burners with their catch-phrase, "It smells good!" molded along the base. By 1938, the sales of all these products allowed the Mjolners' to save enough cash to purchase the Maxty Building.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Half Naked Thursday!

That's what I'm talkin' about!