Friday, September 29, 2006

Veiled world

I love to wake up to a foggy morning. There's something about seeing the world slightly filtered and obscured that makes me feel like I've stepped into a mystery. The gray-whiteness reveals trees, houses, cars slowly and partially as I walk towards them, with those things I've just passed slowly fading into obscurity. Lights take on a grander importance... fog has the ability to magnify a simple stop light--giving it an eerie red halo. Sounds take on a slightly muted tone. The fog creates a kind of "reality-lite" which I wholeheartedly prefer over bright, glaring reality. I wish I could live in "reality-lite" longer, but here in Portland, the fog always lifts by mid-morning and I suddenly find myself in harsh, blinding reality.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Troop Pompous Scouts

I was talking with someone at work yesterday about camping for scouts and it reminded me of what a complete ass I made of myself time and time again as a Boy Scout. And don't get me started on the futile attempt the scoutmasters made in their efforts to turn me into a self-sufficient woodsman, when in reality, I was more of a day-hiker-regular-bed-sleeping-non-blackened-food-eating city-dweller. To this day, I don't mind camping as long as I'm not responsible for gathering and packing the necessities--like a sleeping bag or sensible shoes. I seem to always be able to remember to bring chips and yahtzee, but time and again, Margaret and I will have gotten to a camping location and discovered that I've forgotten to bring something--and not some obscure, we-can-make-do-without-it kind of thing, but a we're-gonna-starve-or-die item, like a knife, or maybe matches, or perhaps, God forbid my iPod! Fortunately all our camping has been car camping, where we fold down the back seat of the Jetta and lay out a bed. I love it because we stay dry, warm, and bears and escaped convicts can't get us in our locked car with the alarm activated. And nothing says the great outdoors like being spooned by the gentle curves of German engineering.

Well, back to the scout memories of me being an ass--or at least a pompous twit. One time (I'm using this story just as an example, as there are unfortuantely MANY more similar to it that I could recount. If I told too many of them, though, the Boy Scouts of America national office would probably revoke my Eagle Scout badge--or at least make me retake my knot-tying exam, which I would miserably FAIL!) Anyway, on one scout trip, my best friend and I thought we'd bring expensive, presumptuous food items to make us feel superior to the kids that brought sandwiches and pop. (We hadn't yet learned that we could feel MUCH more superior by simply destroying other's self-esteem... that discovery came a few months later, but we... uh... never used it... really.) We went to the grocery store prior to the campout and carefully selected melba-style bread crackers, brie, some kind of pepper spread, a cheesecake, and bottles of Perrier! What would have been more appropriate on a picnic in the English countryside packed by faithful servants we were bringing on an arduous hike in the dry, dusty trails of backcountry Idaho! Thinking back, I'm just cringe at what we had to have been thinking. Especially since we were Idahoans--it wasn't like we were so sophisticated ourselves. When it came time to pull out our lunches, we made a big deal about our food. I'm sure that most of the other scouts didn't notice, and the ones who did probably didn't even recognize that what we were eating was out of the ordinary. Although I do remember one scout leader from another group from Kamiah, Idaho--a town of maybe 2,500 people--sitting down next to us. We made a big deal about drinking our Perrier, thinking that he'd be impressed because even though we were from the boondocks, he was from the STICKS! His response was, "When I was in France, I stayed at a hotel where you flushed the toilet with Perrier." Huh? What kind of response was that? And was that supposed to be impressive? We just thought he was an idiot (and conveniently ignored the fact that we were acting like idiots, too).

Nowadays, my palate runs the gamut of social strata. I'm just as happy with a Taco Bell soft taco and Diet Coke as I am with a good cheese or a densely layered tiramisu. Although to this day, every time I drink a Perrier, I think of French toilets--one more reason to stick to Diet Coke!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Have a seat

This morning I saw the following news item, which is in my favorite city in the world--the small southern Norwegian city of Kristiansand. Anyway, here's the article, which definitely speaks for itself:

Urination will go to committee

A local decision that schoolboys must sit on toilet seats when urinating has provoked political debate.

The head of The Democrats Party, a splinter group of former Progress Party hardliners, Vidar Kleppe, is outraged that boys at Dvergsnes School in Kristiansand have to sit and pee.

Kleppe accuses the school of fiddling with God's work, and wants the matter discussed at the executive committee level of the local council, newspaper Dagbladet reports.

"When boys are not allowed to pee in the natural way, the way boys have done for generations, it is meddling with God's work," Kleppe told the newspaper.

"It is a human right not to have to sit down like a girl," Kleppe said.

Principal Anne Lise Gjul at Dvergsnes School would not comment on Kleppe's plans to make political waves and regretted if anyone was offended by the ban on standing and passing water.

Gjul told NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting) that the young boys are simply not good enough at aiming, and the point was to have a pleasant toilet that could be used by both boys and girls.

So it wasn't about egalitarianism at all--it was about cleaning up (which, by the way, is why the Mormons have the Word of Wisdom which forbids alcohol, coffe, and tobacco--Joseph Smith's wife was complaining about cleaning up around the spitoons)!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Okay, I'll give you three guesses at what the unbelieveably cool event I was privvy to attend this weekend. Go ahead... guess... Noooooo, it wasn't the Archaeological Ramifications of the Book of Mormon on Navajo Architecture Symposium--that was sold out MONTHS ago... plus I'm of the belief that the Navajos were influenced more by the Greek gods. Okay, guess again... Nooooo, it wasn't the Non-pasteurized Milk Society's Annual Convention--I wouldn't want to be associated with the crazies that attend THOSE meetings (I had a bad experience at the NpMS meeting in Madison, Wisconsin back in 2003 and haven't been able to eat cheese curds or look at someone in a anatomically correct cow outfit ever since!... Don't ask!)

Okay, you give up? Well, I went to the Portland Pirate's Festival--and boy was it more than I could have dreamed! There were classic pirates, wenches, Johnny Depp-style pirates, British Redcoats, Scottish kilt-wearers, goths, vikings, and preppies (yeah, yeah... the last four have NOTHING to do with pirates, but how often to you have a reason to get dressed up as a viking? and okay, you busted me--the guy dressed up as the preppy was yours truly, and it kinda wasn't a costume.)

Getting in to the festival proved to be more of a lesson in queue-standing. I haven't shuffled from line to line that bad since I was at a church potluck! We waited in line for about 30 minutes to get in, after which I made a mad dash to the bathroom line, where I stood for another 5 minutes. After that close-encounter with the briny deep, I made my way to the food line, which was another 20 minutes or so. FINALLY, after all that, I was ready to see the sights of the festival.

My first stop was an amazing collection of handmade leather jerkins, vests, coats, and belts. I tried on the jerkin and felt like I should take up fencing... well, that or learn how to be a human football. I also got to see a pirate battle, the Redcoats capturing and hanging a pirate, a giant schooner, cannons being fired, and lots and lots of buxom maidens almost SPILLING out of their bustiers! Ahh, pirates... ahh, celebrating pirates... ahh, reveling in lawlessness. Could there BE anything more Portland? I don't think so. (Well, maybe if you could have bought marijuana from one of the voodoo vendors, but as it was it was pretty close to perfectly Portland.) Now I can't wait until next year. I'm going to be so into it I'm considering cutting off one of my legs at the knee so I can convincingly wear a peg leg. THAT'S how excited about this event! In fact I'm so excited by it, I'm totally blowing off the Benedictine Monk Silence Festival that's scheduled on the same day.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Eating meme

Here's a list of five questions I shamelessly stole off a friend's blog (thanks, Trace).

1. Given a choice, and imagining that money and time were no object, would you rather cook dinner, eat out or order in?
This on is a no-brainer. I'm the kind of person who could eat the exact same thing every day--which is largely what I do: bagel with peanut butter washed down with Diet Coke for breakfast, a soft and a crunchy taco (fresco style) from Taco Bell...washed down with Diet Pepsi for lunch, and then some variety for dinner...washed down with Diet Pepsi. So I guess I'd rather eat out, because I can get the exact same thing every day but don't have to clean up after myself--and who's got the energy these days?

2. What is the most elaborate meal you've ever prepared yourself or purchased at a restaurant?
I (with copious help from Margaret) hosted Thanksgiving dinner last year. It was excellent (aside from having to make a new batch of stuffing because we'd left it out the night before and didn't want to poison anyone.) And this time, our stove didn't even electrocute my mom (which it did several Thanksgivings ago!

3. What food do you find yourself making and/or eating way too much?
See answer to Question 1 above.

4. What was your most disastrous cooking/eating out experience?
One time, my six-year-old sister and I were making brownies from a microwave cookbook. We didn't have any chicken eggs, but we did have some turkey eggs. Also, I didn't know that Quik and baking chocolate were two different things. Needless to say, the pan had to be thrown out because we couldn't get the dark brown chocolate brick out of it.

5. Would you rather cook for someone else or have them cook for you?
If I could get away with only having to bake the occasional snickerdoodle and pop microwave popcorn, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Friday, September 22, 2006

New levels of naiveté

Geesh--how could I have been so stupid to trust what an insurance adjuster was telling us about how to settle the accident. I'm off right now to get some last-minute stuff done which I'll elaborate on after it's finished. Needless to say, we evidently have to be as cutthroat as the insurance company is!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Too... much... tv...

Last night, needing to turn our overworked brains off, Margaret and I plopped ourselves down in front of the tv and didn't roll away from it for THREE HOURS! And it wasn't even great tv. We watched the new CBS show "Jericho" about a rural Kansas town that is trying to survive after nuclear attacks hit America's large cities. The only reason we watched it was because the only other viable option was "America's Next Top Model." And our "Work and the Glory: American Zion" DVD is scratched so we couldn't watch it. Dang! After "Jericho" we slothfully sat through the next show, which was laughably ridiculous--and we wouldn't have sit through it had "CSI: New York" not been on right after. And the only reason that was a draw was because we love watching stuff set in New York. Of course the naked couple having sex while bungee jumping pushed the limits of believability a little TOO far!

Once again, we'll have to make a promise to ourselves to not watch as much tv--starting tomorrow, since the "CSI" season premiere is on tonight. Oh, wait, we'll start on Saturday, because Friday has a new show that looks interesting. Oh, scratch that--Simpsons is on Sunday and I can't miss that. Umm, maybe I'll start on Monday...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Loaves and fishes

Yesterday, my work hosted a salmon feed at a local rally and I was responsible for feeding an estimated 400 people! Well, the morning was very rainy, so I assumed that we wouldn't have any problems with the quantity of salmon we had to distribute. Little did I know the event would be so popular--evidently people like salmon! The menu consisted of salmon, potato salad, and bread. The bakery that donated the bread gave us BAGS full--and not bread bags, but those yard debris bags! Well, everything was going fine during set up, but when people actually started lining up for their food, it was quickly evident that there were WAY more than 400 people there. We were frantically serving the salmon as soon as it was cooked. About halfway through we ran out of salad, so all we had to offer was salmon and bread. As the salmon started to run low, someone remarked that we should have invited Jesus, as we were serving fish and bread and he had a history of making do with only that. Alas, after over 500 people had been served we ran out of salmon, and ended up running to a nearby grocery store for hot dogs. Ahh, nothing like going to a salmon rally and getting a free HOT DOG!

I'm just glad it's all over. As it was, I had to rush home afterward for dinner, because the only thing I got to eat the whole time was Diet Pepsi and a crust of bread. Which is pretty much what happened when Margaret and I got married. At the reception, to which we'd invited about 150 people, we ended up with almost 300 guests! The kitchen was frantically bringing out spare food from other events in an effort to feed them all. We were in the greeting line the whole time talking with all the people and, once again, the only thing we had to eat was bread and water. When we went up to our hotel, they'd given us a fruit basket as part of our honeymoon package and we both made a made dash to stuff our faces. Ahh, those memories of our first few hours of marriage!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Dream workplace

I could TOTALLY use this desk at work... you know, so I could watch Simpson's DVDs work-related videos. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Blast from the past

I was just looking for an old file and found my mission journal that I'd transferred to an electronic format. Curious, I looked up today's date to see what I was up to fifteen (FIFTEEN!!!!! Aiieeee!) years ago. Here's the entry:

Today I got a package from mom and a letter from B (my grandmother). Both B and mom cussed me out for asking for a Gameboy, so I guess I'm not getting one for Christmas. Evidently they thought I should using my time more productively. Can you imagine?

I'm just glad that I've learned my lesson in the subsequent 15 years and now would NEVER use my time inappropriately.

Monday, September 18, 2006


The Pendleton Roundup was great, and I'll post details this week, but right now, I'm swamped with prepping a salmon dinner for 400 tomorrow. I was worried about not having enough salmon, but when I saw the weather forcast for tomorrow (Rain! Surprise, we're in Portland!) I don't think we'll have to worry about hordes of people showing up. Anyway, until I write the Roundup post, I'll tide you over by including this convenient new product from our friends in England. It's perfect for those loooooong fast and testimony meetings where you need to look pious but could use a little something to dull the senses.

You can buy your own here.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Signature quote

For several years now, my signature catchphrase has been the title of this blog: "It's just a service I provide." I could use it to explain my every action. Inappropriate humor? It's just a service I provide. Telling you that awkward truth that I rub in your face that everyone else tries to ignore? It's just a service I provide. Crushing your childhood dream of becoming an astronaut by reminding you that you aren't terribly bright? It's just a service I provide. Accidentally destroying your belief in God? It's just a service I provide. Well, you get the picture. Well, today I was reading a blog written by someone in my neighborhood (although I have no idea who he is--just that he lives in Hawthorne--he could be the bagel guy, my neighbor, or even the homeless guy who is always on his laptop stealing an internet signal from the bookstore--who knows?) The blog is called Sublethal, and I love the writer's vocabulary and writing stye. He uses the most arcane language sometimes. How often do you see "ungent" or "raconteur?" The phrase that he came up with recently that is now vying for the JeremyCorp© corporate catchphrase is "I could never be born again because I'm extremely claustrophobic." Tis true, tis true.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Just a little something to dull the pain

I tried to be brave. I really, really tried. But I failed at the last hurdle. I'm not talking about the Olympic curling try-outs... I had to go to the dentist yesterday! And because my appointment was at 11:00, I didn't want any novocaine, not because I was trying to be brave or macho, but because I wanted to be able to eat my lunch without drooling my pop down the front of my shirt. (I can't bear to spill a single drop of that nectar of the gods.) I asked the dentist if the stainless steel pain-bringer she called a "drill" would come close to any nerves and she said that she didn't think so. So, I steeled myself to go sans anasthetic. And I probably would have chickened out as soon as I heard that banshee-like scream when she turned on the drill had I not been focusing on a soft taco. And I made it almost to the end, too, when she finally hit a nerve that made me jump enough for her to say that she'd just give me a little something to deaden the area. Dang! After the shot, she only had to drill a little bit more before she was done. At least she didn't give me so much that my lips felt as big as Angelina Jolie's--it wore off within a half hour, so I guess it all worked out, because I was still able to have lunch at Taco Bell AND drink my pop through a straw! Ah, life's little pleasures.

Unfortunately, though, the luck didn't hold. I had failed to put my tongue into the filling right after getting it. I saved that pleasure until I got back to my office, when I noticed that the filling didn't completely fill the gap in my tooth--some of the filling had already fallen out!!! I called the dentist and they had me come back in. Since I was a walk-in at that point, I had to sit in the waiting room for about 30 minutes before I was seen by the dentist. When I finally got in, I told her what had happened, and so she looked and said, "No, this is right--I sculpted the filling to have a natural indent like its counterpart on the other side of your mouth." Argg. (Although props to the dentist for sculpting my tooth. You don't find people taking that kind of pride in their work very often nowadays, and then it's primarily Congressmen, doctors, postal workers, prostitutes, bike messengers, IRS auditors.) Anyway, what a waste of an afternoon!

That reminds me of when I got my wisdom teeth out. My oral surgeon had a philosphy that he never wanted his patients to experience pain from his procedures. When I went in, he put me under a general anasthetic, then performed the procedure (and possibly more, since my shirt was untucked and buttoned up one button off when I woke up and I wondered if I'd been molested while I was asleep--but that's for another post) anyway, before they woke me up, the surgeon shot me full of novocaine. They then woke me and had me take some vicodin as soon as I was coherent. I practically floated home. I had enough vicodins to last me almost a week--enough that I was almost completely healed by the time I had to check into the Betty Ford Clinic.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Lord of the mortgage

In the paper this morning there was an article about a new housing development in Bend, Oregon called "The Shire," named obviously after the buccolic hobbit village from Lord of the Rings. The landscaping is very English countryside-looking. The houses have thatched roofs (only thatched with a PVC material instead of real twigs, which are sooo mid-fourteenth century and have that pesky inflammability problem. And they even have hobbit holes! (Only they are really garden sheds, so instead of finding Frodo Baggins in one, you're more likely to find a lawn mower--or a pot-smoking teen. The look of the place seems so charming, until you see the price tag: $550,000 to $850,000!!! Wha? (WARNING: Extreme nerd alert following in!) That's more than it cost to create the Ring of Power© worn by Sauron himself! A decent condo in the elven enclave of Rivendell only costs around $200,000--and that comes with running water--LOTS of it. Jeesh! (END NERD MOMENT)

I hope this is a sign of things to come in terms of housing developments, though. Because I can't wait for the Mad Max-themed development (also known as Detroit).

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

It's derby time!

Remember those halcyon days of your dad making a pinewood car for the annual cub scout pinewood derby. Carefully designing, cutting, glueing back together, cutting out again, taping on a bit that fell off, calling it good enough, painting, then trying to get the wheels to actually spin? I know, I was a master at it! I thought of those days this weekend when we went to a classically Portland event: the adult soap box derby. The derby took place in a park near our house, so we met some friends for breakfast and headed up for a day at the races. Well, one look at the audience told us we weren't at the Ascot! I swear, the crowd was just as entertaining to watch than the actual races. Portland is undergoing a rennaissance of seventies sleaze, and it really showed with the lambchop sideburns, mini skirts, polyester clothing, and rock and roll t-shirts. There is something so crazy about seeing a couple looking like they could be a truck driver and a prostitute that works truck stops arriving at an event and pull their hi-tech baby stroller out of their car and wheel their little one around. People won't be able to tell if the baby's baby pictures are from the 1970's or from the Deep South.

Anyway, back to the derby. The cars ran the gamut of precision-engineered speed demons that flew down the hillside at breakneck speeds to lumbering art cars that were more for show than doing anything--kinda like Paris Hilton. One such car was the Office Cubicle." This car was literally an office cubicle, complete with desk, computer, water fountain, book shelf with books, a plant, and an office worker at the desk--all on wheels! The driver sat below the desk and steered the thing while the guy on the computer put his feet up on the guy's back--I guess the computer guy was middle management. That car didn't go very fast, but it got a HUGE cheer from the audience the entire way down. (Which had NOTHING to do with the free cupcakes they were giving away--I promise.) In another one, some girls had made a car shaped like a bathtub and they wore towels wrapped around then under their arms. Well, unfortunately for that car, one of the wheels seized as they went around a sharp turn and the whole thing tipped onto its side and skidded off the track--skidding the flesh off their shoulders along with it. Of all the cars to have had an accident, it just HAD to be the one with the team wearing towels, didn't it?

We had such a great time it was a shame we had to leave. We secretly hoped to get to witness an accident firsthand, (we only saw the bathtub accident aftermath). Like I said in my post about going to the drag pageant--seeing people being so creative and enjoying the moment is just the kind of thing I've been needing. It's so easy to get caught up in the al Qaida/Iraq/Bush/Global Warming/energy crisis/Lindsay Lohan scandal/election year negativity that it seems like there's nothing we can do to make the world a better place. Well, seeing a big bearded guy with aviator goggles sitting in a kiddy wading pool on wheels speed down the side of a hill with the kind of smile that is impossible to remove from your face and you know that the world has hope after all.

Monday, September 11, 2006


As a former Norwegian missionary, I have access to a super-secure website where former Norwegian missionaries can post photos, list contact information, offer cheap prescription drugs, and tell innappropriate spiritual stories. Over the weekend, someone who served in the 1960's posted several photos, including this one of him in the coolest missionary vehicle of all time. Can you imagine seeing two young Americans lumbering around your little Scandinavian village in this thing? Plus, from the state it looks like it's in, they spent more time keeping it running than actually doing missionary work (which maybe was the point...) I nearly got to use a car twice while I was in Norway. The first time, I was moving to a new area and my new companion totalled the car the morning I was set to arrive. Evidently he'd stayed up all night cleaning an apartment for a transition from elder's apartment to a sister's apartment (which, as you could imagine, is next to impossible to achieve--much like Hercules cleaning the Augean stables--only I'm sure the Augean stables smelled better.) Anyway, Elder Salsa (name changed, but vaguely similar to real name so people will know who I'm talking about) was one to never, EVER break a rule (and to this day, I don't know why the mission president put us together. Was it to whip me into shape or loosen up my companion? As it was, we were both so stubborn that we both got worse in our own respective way--it was in that era I founded an underground mission gossip paper--yes, yes, I'm probably going to Hell, but the paper was REALLY funny!) Anyway, back to Elder Salsa. Despite going to bed at 4:00 am, he woke up at 6:30, since that's the mission rule. Later during the day, he fell asleep at the wheel and ran into a sign in the road (ironically a "stay in the right lane" sign) totalling the car. I never did get to drive in that area, but every time we rode the bus, I did it with seething resentment--which really helped me spread the word of God, I'm sure!

Another time I had an "almost" car was when my companion backed into a cement mixer and we had to take the car in for some body work and our loaner was a Skoda. I mean, who has ever even HEARD of this brand? It was a Czechoslovakian car whose name translates as "Sardine can death trap." The Skoda was tiny, didn't have any interior carpeting so was really loud, the seats were just visibly bolted to the metal floor, you had to stick your feet through the floor and run to get the car started, and you could see the road whizzing by if you looked at the opening where the gearshift was. It felt like an accident waiting to happen, although I guess the only accident it caused was having to be seen in it.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Pets as child-surrogates

Here in Portland, we have a few quirks. One of those we quickly learned upon moving here is that a pet is a child-surrogate for many, MANY residents. That was evident from the number of vetrinarians, pet hospitals, pet acupuncturists, pet dermantologists, pet aromatherapists, pet psychologists, pet psychics, pet day cares, and organic pet food stores. In fact, just down the street there is a bar called the Lucky Lab that has an outdoor seating area where people bring their pets to play while they enjoy a pint. It's crazy! A few years ago, someone was lacing pieces of meat with pesticide and throwing it into bushes where off-leash dogs would find them, eat them, then suffer horrible deaths. Extreme, I know, but I'm pretty sure it was someone who was fed up with all the people conveniently not seeing the "Dogs on leash only" signs plastering the parks. Well the furor over that and the cry to find the perpetrator and bring him to justice was deafening. I don't think there was that much outrage over the Green River killings or the Vietnam War! I guess growing up on a farm really jaded me to animals--they come and go with too much regularity to ever think that they were anything more than a pet.

Well, the reason I got on this topic in the first place was stumbling upon this new product that is going to take the Portland market by storm: Premium Pet Water! Before you sprain your eyes rolling them, read this product description:

Mollibrands offers bottled "premium waters for healthy cats and dogs." As hokey as it sounds, the product claims to have a few appealing benefits including teeth damage prevention, aids in digestion, savory flavors that encourage a picky pet to eat and drink more, and freshens up bad breath. For all of us who love/spoil our furballs (I bought mine a fur-hooded parka for the wintertime) this may actually be a viable beverage option. For doggies, try Original (Unflavored), Beef Tenderloin, Bacon Delight, Roasted Turkey, and Roasted Chicken flavors. For kitty-kats, all the same flavors are available except for Bacon Delight. Evidently some cat saw that slug bacon movie from my post yesterday and it turned all cats against pork products.

Ok, now you can roll your eyes.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Blast from the past

Do you remember those Wednesday nights of your youth, laying on the living room carpet, neck craned at an impossible angle to stare at the tv? Watching the 8:30 show knowing that as soon as it's over, you have to go to bed, and hoping that your parents don't notice that it's getting later and later? Of course they knew EXACTLY what time it was--at the stroke of 9:00, they'd get the rest of the evening to themselves. Well, in the spirit of those days, Margaret and I rented the first season of Doogie Howser, M.D. last night. How could we forget the cool show where a sixteen year-old genius is a doctor?!? What could be cooler than THAT? (Other than the old guy on Matlock, the four old ladies living in Florida on Golden Girls, or the old lady who solved mysteries on Murder, She Wrote, of course!) Anyway, after watching a couple of episodes, we couldn't believe how terrible it was. Sure it brought back memories, but I can't believe what a difference watching the show as an adult was compared to watching it through innocent, youthful eyes. One of the episodes was about a hot female doctor whose biological clock was ticking pretty loudly who wanted Doogie to father a child with her because of his superior genetics. It later turned out she had artificial insemination in mind, but STILL--he was sixteen frickin' years old!! I wonder if, as a kid, I thought, "wow, what a dilemma!" Now, all I think of is "wouldn't that be considered sexual abuse or statutory rape?" I guess age has a way ruining youthful wonder. First Knight Rider was ruined by a recent viewing, then Remington Steele, now even Doogie has forsaken me--that's why I haven't reread the scriptures lately.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Going kosher

Yikes! After seeing this, you'll want to swear off eating any pork product again. Unless, of course it's the delightful pork cold cut shown below--the happiest cold cut in the world! Actually, I hope that it's a pork product--I would hate to find out that that's what clown meat looks like. I hate clowns with a passion/fear (compliments of stupid Steven King's book "It") and wouldn't mind them dying--only give them a proper burial, don't process them!
Speaking of which, I wonder if they taste like chicken...

Which reminds me of one time in Norway, someone gave us some sausages for dinner. There were some we recognized, and some we didn't (which should have been a warning sign), but being starving 19-year-olds, they disappeared faster than Ted Kennedy's martini. Afterward, the person who gave us the sausages asked us what we thought of the HORSE sausage!!! (shudder) I ate Trigger!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Is she a he?

This weekend, Margaret and I went to a drag queen pageant here in Portland that pitted the reigning queens from Portland, Seattle, Honolulu, Denver, etc. for the coveted title of "La Femme Internationale." It was amazing--and some of the contestants were extremely convincing. It reminded me of someone from my hometown, whom my siblings and I always said looks like a drag queen. Well after seeing some of the contestants, that's an insult to drag queens--some of these contestants could have fooled an OB/GYN (as long as they didn't give them a pelvic--that'd probably ruin the illusion). Anyway, after the pageant, I compiled this handy list in case you ever find yourself at a pageant and don't know if the contestants are men or women:

Top 10 ways you know you're at a drag queen pageant instead of the Miss America Pageant
  1. The old drag queens wearing 6" spike heels navigate in them better than the young women
  2. Next to the ticket sales booth is a vendor selling falsies.
  3. Your emcee is a 70-year-old drag queen who forgets his wig during one of the numbers.
  4. One of the competions is the "Showgirl" competition
  5. The talent competion consists entirely of lip synching to women-empowerment rock
  6. Talents consist of tear-away outfit changes mid-performance culminating in a skimpy two-piece bathing suit.
  7. The interlude performances by other drag queens bring people to the stage to give them dollar bills
  8. Compared to some of the other audience members, a guy wearing jeans and a corset seems a little tame
  9. Before the crowning ceremony, the emcee calls his partner (of THIRTY-NINE YEARS!) to the stage, and gives a warbly rendition of The Rose
  10. There are as many men in the ladies room as women

All in all, it was a very enjoyable, very positive, and very Portland event. It actually made me pretty happy to be living right now, as opposed to a time when men doing this type of thing were beaten up or worse--like in the Reagan years. Here's to more barriers being broken and more Christian right-wing nut jobs intolerant jerks being up in arms!

Friday, September 01, 2006

College freshmen

This year's Beloit College "mindset list" for the incoming college freshmen was just released. YIKES! Here are a few of the items for this year's crop-born in 1988...yes, 1988! Which means that next year's batch will have been born the year I was a college freshman myself!

  1. The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union.
    Actually, I can't remember much previous to Gorbachev, but I do remember mention of the USSR in that Billy Joel song "We didn't start the fire."...and that Gorbachev had that giant birthmark on his forehead. Yes, it's the important things one remembers.

  2. They have known only two presidents.
    Okay, this one is so crazy. Imagine having been cognizant of only Clinton and W! What kind of worldview do these kids have? The first president I can remember was Carter, mainly because kids in the schoolyard sang a song to the Oscar Meier song that went: "My bologna has a first name, it's J-I-M-M-Y, my bologna has a second name, it's C-A-R-T-E-R. And if you ask me, why, I'll say (something, something, something, something), 'cause Jimmy Carter has a way, of messing up the USA." I had no idea how he'd messed up the USA--probably his policies toward energy conservation as a means of reducing our reliance on Middle Eastern, what a WACKO! Good thing Reagan reversed those! Imagine what kind of crazy, mixed up world we'd live in if he hadn't!

  3. They grew up pushing their own miniature shopping carts in the supermarket.
    This one amazed me. I remember riding around sitting under the shopping cart, in constant danger of getting a hand run over by the wheels--and we liked it!

  4. Reality shows have always been on television.
    Ah, I can remember those naive first seasons of MTV's Real World. That show was a college staple. I remember telling my roommate once, who was a senior dating a much younger freshman, "You two have nothing in common. You keep talking about Real World:New York and she can only remember as far back as Real World:London. Now they're probably on to Real World:Omaha. Speaking of which, when we were in Philidephia a few years back, we asked our server how to get to the Liberty Bell. She didn't know (it ended up being a couple blocks away--on the same STREET as the restaurant) but she could tell us where all the bars, hang-outs, and apartment were from Real World:Philadelphia. At least she had her priorities!

  5. The U.S. has always been studying global warming to confirm its existence.
    This one is just sad. Especially since the government just finished up with its Economic Impact Study on the economic impacts of abolishing slavery. Fortunately Lincoln didn't wait until they were done with the study before he made a decision. Hopefully we won't be completing the study after all the oceans are flooded and we live in Waterworld.

You can read the entire list here.