Monday, August 30, 2010

When Neighborhood Boycotts Collide




My big brother Billy lives in a tiny lakeside town 10 miles from Marble Falls, Texas.
The road his house is on is so remote it does not appear on my navigation system.
His neighborhood has a population of maybe 100 people.
Just off the highway before you turn onto my brother's road is a little barbecue place named Capp's. It sat vacant for years, but then one day it reopened.
But I've never seen any cars in their parking lot.
Yesterday, I drove up to see my bro and the rest of the family, and as were eating lunch I asked him if he'd ever tried the newly reopened BBQ shack.
He shook his head and said, "No way. The whole neighborhood has boycotted it."
"Why?" I asked.
"Because the way they reopened it was kinda shitty," he said.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Well, we all remember the Capp's and they were real nice people. Now this new guy, whoever he is, had the nerve to keep the Capp's name on it."
"What's wrong with that? I mean, it might be a great place to eat," I said.
"Nope. We aren't gonna risk the neighbors seeing our car parked there and calling us traitors," he said.
My big sis and I really got a kick out of the idea of a boycott for such a flimsy reason, especially the idea that there was such neighborhood solidarity, since the houses are way far apart and everyone tends to mind their own business, not to mention that there's no place to meet and chat except for one lone convenience store and the ignored BBQ place.
Anyway, when I got home I walked to the corner convenience store to buy something to drink.
I noticed a new restaurant across the street and kitty-corner from the store.
It's a seafood restaurant called, "Tiki Mama's" and the signage is nice and they've spruced up the building's facade.
But like the BBQ shack, their parking lot was totally empty.
It took me a moment to process that, then I realized that two tenants before this restaurant opened was a funeral home.
I live in an urban neighborhood filled with Mexican American Catholics. They are very superstitious about death--they even celebrate death on All Soul's Day, called el dia de los muertos, or the day of the dead.
No way is anyone around here gonna eat fish in an ex-funeral home.
I started laughing at my own neighborhood boycotting the new restaurant, just like Billy's 'hood boycotting Capp's.
I thought about some greedy outsider thinking they'd make a killing selling seafood in our neighborhood, without bothering to check on prior tenants.
The new owner of Capp's might have been stupid to name the new place after the old place and offending the sentimental neighborhood residents, but there is no way these crazy outsiders are gonna convince anyone around here to eat fish in a formaldehyde-smelling former funeral home.
Tambourines Should Be Discontinued.



The last time the sound of a tambourine sounded good was when Janis Joplin was the one shaking it.
The one hit wonder, "Green Tambourine" was simply obnoxious.
I see no reason why anyone would think a tambourine would improve the quality of any song.
Sure, it's the last bastion of unmusical people trying to find a way to perform, but the public should not be subjected to such a tinny racket just to appease a wannabe performer.
Some may argue that a kazoo is in the same category as the tambourine, but that's untrue. Any person who can sing in tune can create some very nice music with a kazoo.
I'd say the bagpipes or a diggerydoo run close seconds to the tambourine, but you rarely hear those instruments being played, so they are slightly more tolerable.
Does anyone reading this agree that the world would be a better place without tambourines? If you actually like the sound, please defend your position in the comments section.
Thank you.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oh, Denny's.



In the race for the most disgusting new fattening food, Denny's new entry is the fried mozzarella cheese stick sandwich, prepared with sourdough bread, American cheese and four large sticks of fried mozzarella. Naturally, it comes with a side of french fries and a bowl of marinara sauce.
Even worse, online food critics rate it an A.
It's part of their new value menu, so you can load up on one of these cheesy beasts for only four bucks, or only one buck per 250 calories.
And be sure to order a Diet Coke to go with it. Gotta watch that waistline!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Heteros: Please Reclaim Lohan



Though we queers are notorious for claiming celebrities are either gay, closeted gay or at least bisexual (Tom Cruise, Lady Gaga, Oprah, Glenn Beck, etc.) I think it's time one of us steps forward and announces that Lindsay Lohan's brief but volatile affair with definite lesbian Samantha Ronson was but a fluke.
What and whom she did during her drug and alcohol fueled era should not count.
I hope she emerges from the psych ward clean, sober and heterosexual.
We've already been stuck with Chaz Bono and Richard Simmons, so I'd say we've taken enough hits.
On behalf of all the queers in America, I hereby announce that you straighties must take her back, find her a good man and marry her off. Mazel tov. Invite us to the wedding.
Really, we are cool with her being totally straight.
Enjoy!
Look at This Adorable Baby!



I think Panda bears are in the top three percent of adorable baby animals.
Look at his big biscuit paws and his pink spotted belly!
Pandas always look sweet and never seem menacing like other mean, dirty, stinky bears.
They say they are tiny as newborns, "about the size of a stick of butter."
Then they start developing fur and squawking in Panda baby talk and they are almost unbearably cute.
I think life must be easy street for Pandas.
Everyone loves them and they never get any bad press. You never hear of a Panda running amok and scaring the hell out of anyone. They don't even eat meat.
I tell you what...
If I acquired a baby Panda bear as a pet, a lot of you Bloggy friends would fly to San Antonio just to pet the little guy. And I think I'd name him Evan, for reasons many of you will understand.
I would dress him up and take him out for eucalyptus leaves and Smart water. And I'd get him a little red baseball cap to wear.
Puppies and kittens are cute, but they grow up to be dogs and cats. A baby Panda grows up to be an adorable big Panda. They never go through an ugly phase.
Agree?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

When Someone Dies and You Still Have Ambivalence



My father died in late July.
He'd been in a coma for several months, and had indicated beforehand he was more than ready to go.
He had some good sides- he was a decorated WWII hero and he had a great sense of humor.
But as a husband and father, he sucked.
He was mean to my mother and inappropriate with his kids. He said and did a myriad of horrible things to us all, including knocking up his hideous co-worker when he was 58 and she was 27, with a husband and kid of her own.
She hated my sister and me, and vice versa.
The whore wanted my dad to annul his 35-year marriage to my Mom so they could get married in the Catholic church. That's the kind of gall she had.
Later she was arrested for pulling a knife on my father during a brawl. She was that type.
Big Sis and I opted out of attending the funeral, lest it turned into an episode of The Jerry Springer Show.
I hadn't seen my dad in 15 years or so, when he dropped by my house unexpectedly and we had a three hour talk that really cleared the air about everything I held against him. I forgave him and hugged him goodbye, knowing that would likely be the last time I'd see him. And it was true.
My friend Fran from the blog "There Must be Bread" listed to the right, said something very true when I told her he'd died. She said it was harder to mourn the parents we didn't love than the ones we did.
She was so right.
None of the appropriate, expected feelings of loss were present for me.
When my beloved mom died three years ago, my gut was empty and I mourned for years--in fact I'm still mourning for her.
With Dad, not so much. It's hard to feel the loss of a person who abandoned me back in the 70's, when he married that mean, knocked-up whore.
His recent loss is like a scab on my elbow that keeps getting bumped. It's healing slowly but it keeps getting bumped.
I was worried that he'd bother my mom once he went to heaven.
Big Sis calmed my worries when she suggested that heaven was likely not his next destination.
Naturally, dad's estate excluded us entirely.
The only thing he left me was a new Xanax prescription I plan to use during the long transcontinental flight to Paris next month.
So basically, he left me the means to take a nice nap.
Thanks, dad.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Somethin' Ain't Right



It seems actor Laurence Fishburn is having issues with his daughter Montana's new profession. She's become a porn star for Vivid Studios.
He said to her, furiously, "You're an embarrassment to the family!
You used your real last name!
Nobody does that in porn!"
Ay, there's the rub. I guess he's familiar with the genre.
Besides, everyone knows strippers, drag queens and porn actors derive their stage names from combining the name of their first pet and the name of the street they grew up on. I would Kitty Conestoga, for example.
Montana Fishburn obviously has issues with her daddy.
Was he a neglectful or otherwise withdrawn father?
Did he emotionally or physically abuse her?
God forbid, did he sexually abuse her?
I have no beef with porn, but in the hierarchy of sluttiness I give strippers the bronze, the silver goes to hookers and porn actors get the gold.
What they do in porn, no matter how disgusting, is committed to film for all eternity. Even if they make the switch to mainstream acting, they are forever branded as, "former porn star."
Montana Fishburn is coy with the media. She has no regrets, not even about her father's refusal to have anything to do with her "until she straightens up her life."
She seems upbeat and articulate.
I think she could have been a legitimate actor if she had gone that route first.
But now she's doing porn and her father is mortified. He seems pretty grouchy anyway, so maybe he should take a look at his role in Montana's decision.
Fathers, mothers, what would you do if your daughter (or son) became a porn actor?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Oh, No!



I think it's safe to say the Food Network peaked back when they had the two fat ladies cooking all sorts of bacon and lard-based dishes throughout the English countryside.
Now the network's latest bad idea is, "Food Truck Wars," where food truck "chefs" vie for a $50,000 grand prize.
We have food trucks here in San Antonio.
They all serve variations of tacos and other Mexican foods, and they camp out in bar and tavern parking lots hoping to catch inebriated customers as they stagger out of the bar.
I can't say I've ever eaten off a food truck.
The finite supply of running water is a concern, as are the scruffy personnel, who probably learned their culinary skills during a hitch in prison.
I suspect most of these food trucks offer patrons weed, coke and crank in addition to tacos and gorditas.
Wait--I have eaten off a food truck once. It was at a fancy backyard party and the sparkling clean truck was painted orange. The chefs were from the interior of Mexico, and the food was absolutely atrocious. All the meats were rubbery, which was disguised by the red and green sauces, which were spicy enough to eat the paint off a car.
Maybe in other regions of the country food trucks offer delicious foods. But they still have a finite amount of running water, and that to me signals potential gastro-intestinal problems further up the road.
Will you watch the show?
I won't.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Weighing in on the Proposed Ground Zero Mosque



I try not to be a hater, but mainstream Islamics are hard to love when they refuse to condemn the words and actions of the fundamentalist hatemongers and terrorists in their midst.
Sometimes it's hard to embrace my beloved U.S. Constitution when it creates freedom and liberty for all, and a first amendment that is the cornerstone of a free press.
As such, I cannot in good conscience condemn the construction of a mosque in the shadows of Ground Zero.
I cannot in good conscience condone any damage done to the mosque or to its Islamic worshippers once it's built.
It's an odious aspect of living in a free society, much like Fox News is on the soiled hind end of the first amendment.
Advocates say it will be a center for peace and reconciliation.
They will no doubt recoil if protests against the location become violent, or even too aggressive. But they had the freedom to choose the location, and they must face the consequences of their decision.
Part of American freedom is making a bad decision and getting your ass kicked because of it. I won't be one of the ones kicking any Muslim asses, but I will sort of understand the outrage.
Here We Go Again



A few years ago, I had some next door neighbors whom I'll call The Renters. They were a young Hispanic couple and they used to have huge screaming matches, which usually would result in the male roaring off on his muffler-less motorcycle at all hours of the day and night.
When they were getting along, they were very social. In fact one night they managed to hire a disc jockey with several refrigerator sized Marshall amps and squeeze approximately 300 drunk people into their back yard.
The bass from the speakers literally shook the windows of my office, which is in back of my house with windows facing their back yard.
Around 1 a.m. the police arrived and told them to shut down the DJ and break up the party. They pretended to oblige, but the moment the cops left the party began again with renewed vigor. The cops showed up three times total, and finally stuck around to make sure everyone got in their cars and left around 3 a.m.
The Renters moved out because Pete the owner of the house (aka Scrotum face)always raises the rent after one year and all his tenants move out when he pulls that.
Then came The New Renters, another Hispanic couple who've been very civilized until last night.
I went to see comedian Ron White last night, and money has definitely civilized the former redneck. He really was funny and tons more sophisticated than anyone would imagine. I got home around 11, kind of buzzing due to the post-concert coffee I had.
So there I was pecking on my computer in my office that abuts their back yard and around midnight I heard loud male voices.
Then came the boompa boompa of the bass and the music began to blare as people started arriving in droves. There were maybe 75-100 drunk men and women making a lot of noise because the music was too loud to use normal conversational tones.
Who has a party that starts at midnight?!
I cranked up the volume of my TV to drown out the noise, but that bass pounding was enough to loosen my teeth fillings. It was making me very cranky.
At 12:30 I called the cops.
At 1:30 I called them again and they said a squad car was en route.
Around 1:45 a.m. three squad cars showed up and they promptly squelched the music and started carding younger looking people. Some of the males got belligerent, but I'm not sure if anyone was arrested.
I was like Mrs. Kravitz from "Bewitched," peering through the mini blinds and hoping not to be noticed.
By 2:15 a.m. the party was over and The Renters finally went inside.
I'm hoping the shame of having the police break up their party will be enough to caution The Renters not to throw any more huge backyard parties, but I fear they've developed a taste for loud music and mass obnoxiousness with their bummy friends.
It's 8:14 a.m. as I write this.
I imagine The Renters are sound asleep from their late night drunken revelry.
Their bedroom is next to my very loud stereo speakers in the living room.
I just hope they like to awaken to opera. German opera, to be specific.
Oh wait.
I think this is a job for Carmina Burana.
heh heh heh

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Mmmm. I stumbled across this just today.




**UPDATE**
Some commenters liken Lady Gaga to Bubble from Absolutely Fabulous. I think it might be because of Gaga's bubble dress. Do you think they're alike?
OMG So Cute It Hurts

Iron Chef: More Signs the Economy Sucks



Oh, brother.
When I first started watching Iron Chef back when it was shot in Japan, I recall the exotic, expensive secret ingredients. Nothing was too expensive or rare.
Now that it's an American production, I've noticed the secret ingredients have started getting a little chintzy. The meats and fish have gotten cheaper and the weird stuff nobody wants to eat like fish bladders and sea urchin testicles are more plentiful.
But last night's challenge took the cake.
Bananas.
And another thing...I realize the Iron Chefs have a home court advantage, but do they always have to win?
Why don't they just call it Iron Bobby Flay or Iron Mario Battali?
And why is there just one female Iron Chef? What, Cat Cora is the only female chef in America?
And another thing, the Food Network is clearly running out of ideas.
The newish cupcake competition is just ridiculous, and so are all the other rip-offs of Top Chef.
And Guy Fieri is just obnoxious with his 80's hair and obvious conceit. So he likes to eat copious amounts of greasy diner food, is that really such a big deal?
Now there's another food network called the Food Channel, owned by the same company.
Do we really need another channel devoted to food?
I know a good new show concept: The Real Housewives of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
It sounds to me a lot more entertaining than a banana challenge.