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Inspirational Reads

Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Vol. IX, in memorium

January 30, 2009

Hey all, it's me, the Wiz. I've got a pretty heavy heart this week. See, I just zipped back from my cousin Bootsie's funeral where I was asked to speak. I always get asked to speak at funerals because I'm the only one in my family who can talk (except for Hank, but that whole fake French accent has pissed off a bunch of the fam and made Hank a bit of a mouton noir, if you catch my drift). Whenever someone else from my family gets up to talk at a funeral, most of the audience loses interest by the third "mew" and they start licking their tales. You know what I'm talking about, with their feet stuck way up in the air and all; that's just not appropriate behavior for a funeral.

Anyway, poor Bootsie. You know that old mantra about curiosity and it's ceaseless murder streak against the general feline population? Yeah, well, cousin Bootsie wasn't so much curious as he was just unlucky and maybe a little stupid. Frankly, Bootsie was a little simple in the head; I think his mom was hitting the catnip while she was pregnant with him. It makes sense; she did eat three of his brothers and sisters--you tell me she didn't have the munchies!!!

Like I was saying, Bootsie wasn't the swiftest of arrows, and, well, his mama didn't take care of him too well. Basically, she just bought him a bunch of those videos of construction equipment and let him watch those all day. Bootsie loved them--absolutely loved them. He was always going on about backhoes and tractors and steam rollers and the like--it was like Rain Man, but with fewer references to Wapner and K-Mart brand underwear. Well, earlier this week a bunch of guys were out fixing potholes in the street in front of his house, and Bootsie sees this and goes tearing out there to help them, convinced he knows how to drive the steam roller. Thing is, Bootsie mistimed the leap as he was trying clear the front end of the steam roller and, well, this is what the construction workers asked his mama after it all went down:

Estne tibi forte magna feles fulva et planissima?

Pronounced: "Aist-nay tee-bee four-tay mahg-nah fay-laise fool-vah et plahn-eess-ee-mah?"

Translation magically linked to Bootsie's picture

On Golden Memories Pond

January 29, 2009

Holy heapin' helpin's of crap! I heard about this guy on the radio this morning, all the way down here in North By God Carolina!

What's the connection? you might ask, aside from the link taking you to a South Bend television station. Well, the connection is that, for the first thirteen years of my life, my family owned lake cottages on Webster Lake, where the perp was busting into summer homes. I'm sort of wondering if I don't know the guy from Chicago that had his home busted into--and worse, had his beer drunk! Most of the people who lived on my side of the lake, though, were from other places in Indiana. There were only a few folks from out of state, but there was one big cottage that was owned by a guy from Chicago. They also had a couple of other cottages on the same landing. I think that those cottages were all set up for year-round living. The ones we owned weren't. We'd have to close them up by the first weekend in October, but then we'd open them again, usually the first or second weekend of April.

Throughout my childhood, we would go to the lake every weekend. Every effing weekend. We'd also go for at least one week, sometimes two, as a "vacation." I missed a bunch of baseball games and scouting events because we would be at the lake. I missed the championship game one year for my little league division and missed the all-star game two years in a row because we were at the lake. Ah, good times, good times.

Of course, by the time I got old enough that having a lake cottage was practical for some of my more nefarious needs, we had sold them. So there were no episodes of awkwardly making out and heavy petting in a car and me smoothly injecting "Hey, I know, we can drive somewhere and screw. There's a bed there and everything! I have a key!" into the conversation. Or there were some times in college when I wanted to be like "Fuck it all" and get out of there for a weekend, but I didn't want to go home, so I'd go to the lake cottage for a couple of days. This would have been a great place for my buddy The Brewer The Brewing Optometrist and I to escape, drink and fish when we were both home during the summers. Also, Webster was only about 45 minutes from ND's campus. If we had the cottages, it would have saved me some money in grad school. Money I could have put toward more Schlitz Malt Liquor. The Blue Bull, baby.

I realized that the taxes were probably pretty nasty, having a bunch of other properties and such, which is why we sold the places. A couple of times, when my wife and I were first married, we drove down to the old lake cottage and just sort of hung out for a bit because--especially in the fall--it was peaceful and beautiful. The last time we visited, our old cottage had been redone really nicely with a big deck and painted and everything.

The best memory, though, was when we first bought the place. We already owned one of the bigger cottages on the landing, but it was kind of tough trying to cram my mom and dad, me, my brother, my sister, my aunt and uncle, my two cousins and then my grandmother and sometimes my other grandfather into one place. In fact, it really sucked. Perish the thought that my other aunt and uncle and cousin would show up for a visit. So, my family bought a smaller two bedroom cottage with a front porch that was converted into a third bedroom. The great thing about the front-porch-turned-bedroom was that it was across the lane from the Dietz cottage and the bedroom had lots of windows. The Dietzes were a family from Indianapolis with about seventy four slutty teenage daughters who always sunbathed in very little bikinis--it was as if they were allergic to tan lines and were hellbent on not having any on their bodies. And the girls would always have equally as slutty and allergic to tan lines friends up for the weekends. As someone beginning the great adventure of puberty whose entire thought process surrounded trying to penetrate something, this was like St. Peter throwing the gates of heaven wide open. Good times, good times.
I digress. The best part of the buying process was that we walked through the cottage and my parents said, "Hey, looks nice. Smells kinda musty, but we'll clean that up." We bought the place, got the keys and went in. Still smelled kind of bad. The first thing we wanted to do was get out all the beds that the previous owners had left because, well, we really didn't want to sleep on someone else's mattresses that we really didn't know. Plus, they all kind of smelled raunchy. So, in the small bedroom, I helped my dad move the bed out, and when we finally tipped it up, my view of the room was blocked, but my dad suddenly screamed, "Ah, shit!"

"What is it?" I inquire, peeking around the mattress, only to see my dad standing amidst several piles of dogshit that had been cleverly hidden beneath the bed. Very calmly I looked up at my dad, whose head had turned purple with an unholy mixture of anger and gouts of unspoken profanities, and said, "Well, I guess that explains the smell."
My dad looked at me, the color drained from his face, and then he started laughing so hard tears streamed down his cheeks. He staggered while laughing and almost stepped in one of the piles. "Dad, watch out!" I yelled, almost reflexively, "Don't step in the dogshit!"

Again, my dad paused and looked at me, the color once more draining from his face. For a second, a pregnant silence hung in the air as I thought my tongue was about to be ripped from my head. Once more, gales of laughter followed the pause and my father carefully stepped around the doggy nuggets and held himself steady against the wall while he collected himself. Finally, calmly, he said, "Go get me a broom and dustpan. And don't say that word in front of your mother."
That was the first time I ever swore in front of one of my parents. To this day, it's one of my fondest memories of my formative years.

Edit: Changed the name of the post, because I didn't like the original one and this one, I thought, reflected the overall nature of the post more.

That Was Just A Dream, Just a Dream...

January 28, 2009

Breaking news: North By God Carolina blogger had a dream last night...and feels the need to share it.

So, I was transported back in time. I was 16, and for some reason, I lived in a house that we shared with another family. The family had three daughters. The oldest daughter had great legs--fantastic legs, long, shapely, tan, smooth, silky, shiny...I know this because this is the only thing I ever saw of her. She stayed in her room all the time and draped them over the arm of her couch while she watched television. The youngest girl was like ten or twelve or something, but the middle girl was my age.
For some reason, I went in their half of the house, I think to ask the middle girl a question. It was an actual serious question, but I ended up forgetting what it was I was going to ask, and then, shrugging, I asked her if she wanted to go to my school dance with me. She agreed readily, and then that's when I threw in the hook: it was a costume party dance. She still agreed, and so I went back to my half of the house to get ready.

I dressed up as Darth Vader. Except, it wasn't really Darth Vader...more like "albino" Darth Vader. Yeah, my costume was all white. Cape. Pants. T-shirt. Helmet. Oh, I was stylin'.

I got in the car and drove to the other side of the house to pick the girl up. I don't remember much about her costume other than she was wearing red flip flops, but I do know that she had beautiful, long, blonde hair and I have no idea what her name was. So, you know, it was like a perfect date. Nothing like sharing a house with someone and not knowing their name, but dating them nonetheless. Awesome.

So, we're driving to the dance, and I'm headed down the street that goes past Notre Dame stadium. At this moment, there's a pep rally going for a football game. Only problem was, there were some fans from other schools. Like, there was a small cadre of Boston College fans there (Candy, I blame you for this unsightly smear on my otherwise unsullied dream) and there were some people from the University of Pittsburgh. It was an older man and woman, and they had one of those huge, fake, plastic bullhorns and they're lobbing insults on the Irish. I know they're from Pittsburgh because they have the blue and yellow outfits on, but the kicker is they have "Pitt" scrawled across their chest. I'm still wearing my white Darth Vader suit. My date is still in the car.
How dare they! I think and I stop the car, get out, rip the bullhorn from the man's grasp and I decide, then and there, that these two need a lesson taught to them. I go into full crowd-incitement mode, using the bullhorn to call attention down on these people and to get the crowd to turn against them. All while wearing my white Darth Vader outfit. With the voice modulator in my mouth so that, when roaring into the bullhorn, my voice is threatening to deafen people for miles around.
It works wonders. I whip the crowd into a frenzy, telling them that our space has been invaded by these plebes and that we should do something about it. Even the football team is fired up and ready to crack some skulls, so everyone starts chasing after these two people. I keep inciting the riot until the crowd has chased the people away, and I open up the door to my car, toss the bullhorn in the back seat, and slide into the drivers seat and get ready to go.

That's when my date turns to me and says, in as flat and cold a tone as possible, "You know that was my mom and dad with the bullhorn, right?"

I actually woke up laughing. I laughed so hard, I had to get up and pee for fear of wetting the bed. It took a while to fall back asleep since I kept giggling.

I had another dream after this one and it was about as exceptional as the first, but I've forgotten most of the details and I don't want to tell only half a story. However, this one goes down in the annals of dreams so fabulous they must be told to others.

Uh, Whoops...

January 26, 2009

So, I remembered a book that I forgot to add to my list late last year. Turns out, I read 14 books last year, which isn't a lot, but at the same time, for someone who likes to rot his brain playing video games as much as I do, that's probably pretty good.

Since I overlooked the book, I thought I'd throw out a little bit about it, you know, sort of like when you forget your kid at school and then bring him a sundae to try and make up for your complete lack of parenting skills? Yeah, something like that. *shifty-eyed*

The one I overlooked was Gene Wilder's memoir Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art. I had mentioned it here about getting back on the writing bandwagon and working on some of my stuff again.

Now, I've read a few memoirs before, including the "memoir" that was just Kevin Smith's blog shoved into book format, but I can't remember ever enjoying a memoir like Wilder's. It's not that it was uproariously funny nor was it deeply touching--it was both at times. It also gave some insights to the movies that he's been in which you can then use at parties to impress the panties off the ladies. Like, did you know that the whole scene where Willy Wonka comes strolling down the carpet and his cane gets stuck and then Wonka goes tumbling onto the ground only to pop up to the delight of those gathered was all Wilder's idea? In fact, if the director had not agreed to that scene, Wilder would not have done the movie and then we'd probably never know just how fucking lousy Tim Burton's version of the movie would be because the original would have been lost in some deep dark hole somewhere?

While the book does revolve around his life on the stage, the best parts of the book were to be found in Wilder's everyday life. His candor about his earlier marriages as well as watching Gilda Radner slowly die from cancer was amazing and never came off as being bitter or self-centered. They simply were moments from his life. While the scenes where he dealt with Radner's disease were sad and touching, reading about Wilder's own battle against sickness was even moreso. Reading about the procedures he went through in order to stave off a disease that would most certainly kill him was inspirational and left me feeling as warm-hearted as any piece of fiction where the protagonist slogs through countless hardships to arrive triumphant at the end of the story.

The book was easy to read and the chapters were short--though I did often want to squeeze just one more in before I had to go and see to some duty or task. It was a fun romp through Wilder's life and I would definitely recommend the read. It's well worth your while.

Reading is Fun, Kids

January 24, 2009

I went through and looked at my little sidebar thing about the books I read last year. In all, I finished 13 books. How the Irish Saved Civilization fell behind my bed and I'm too lazy to fish it out, so that one remains unfinished. Y: The Last Man is a very well-written and thought-provoking graphic novel series, and I only bought the first five books and read them, thus leaving me in the middle of that story, as well. I'll (hopefully) finish those up this year.

Of the 13 books I read, I reviewed some of them here. Others I was--again, shocker--too lazy to review. The two best books I read last year, however, I didn't review. So, I'll give you a quick run down now.

The best fiction book was, by far, The Children of Húrin, which is another one of those "prequel" stories that Christopher Tolkien found in his dad's basement or something. I'm a big J.R.R. Tolkien fan, but I've always struggled trying to make it through The Silmarillion, which is supposed to be the history behind the making of the world and the rise of the dark lords and the coming of Sauron to Middle Earth and all that. Maybe someday I'll read it, but I've always found it terribly boring, too boring to slog through. Happily, though, The Children of Húrin is more like The Lord of the Rings and less like The Silmarillion. In fact, I would actually think it would make a better movie than The Hobbit, but that's just my opinion. I won't go into the details here, but most of the story follows the life of Húrin's son, Túrin, as he battles against the forces of evil trying to overtake the land. Typical stuff, but there's a twist at the end. Ultimately, Túrin fails in this endeavor, but that's not the bad part. This is less like some of Tolkien's other works and more like a classical Greek tragedy. It started out slow, but at the end became a real page turner...or as much a page-turner as any Tolkien story can be. If you're a fan of Tolkien or just enjoy a beautifully-written story that ends in tragedy, I highly recommend this one.

My favorite non-fiction book was The Mother Tongue, which is Bill Bryson's exploration of the English language. As is typical with Bryson, he takes a bit of a sarcastic angle toward the history of the English language and how it has become what it is today (or what it was ten years ago, when the book was originally published). Essentially, our language is a whore, willing to spread it's legs for any other interesting word that we find and can use; we take that word in and make it ours. All of the awesome, less of the syph, none of the guilt. No other language is as quick to adopt new words as is English. Also, no other language is built in such a way that it makes it possible to just create words but, at the same time, have their meanings inherently understood by the audience. The awesomality of that has a certain difficultitude about it when trying to explainerate it.

As someone who prides himself on having a pretty good grasp on the English language, usage, grammar and vocabulary, I still learned a lot from this book. Like the fact that, despite our language not being a Romance language, asshats throughout the centuries have tried to turned it into a Romance language. Not like the Normans when they invaded England and brought all of their "qu" words to the language (though we don't really use many of their "qu" words, without the Normans, we would spell "queen" as "kwene" and "quiet" as "kwyet" and "q" would probably serve the purpose of "ck", and that would just be kwere). I'm talking about asshats who arbitrarily decided "well, there's no split infinitives in Latin, so you can't have a split infinitive in English!" Never mind the fact that, in Latin, the infinitive form of the the word is one fucking word!

I could go on, but I'm trying to keep this post short. If you're a fan of Bryson's...well, you've probably already read it. If you're a casual fan of his, maybe you haven't, but you should (how's that for a glowing recommendation?). If you're just a fan of language and how it has developed over the years--like how someone just decided we didn't need all these extra letters, so let's start dropping them, thus creating judgment, acknowledgment, ax and adz, as opposed to their more traditional forms--I'd say read it. Or, if you'd just like another reason to laugh at the French--they actually have laws governing the "purity" of their language--this is another must read.

I've already finished two books this year (well, I started one late in 2008, but still...) and I'll be writing up reviews for them shortly. Until then, go peruse the local bookstand or, if you want to help me out in a cosmic sort of way, head over the Ampersand and buy a copy of one or both (they're both available in paperback) and enjoy away. Next time my wife gets a direct deposit slip, I'll pretend you had something to do with it.

Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Volume VIII

January 23, 2009

You guys know there's a couple of things in life I really like: purdy girls and booze. Granted, more of the latter makes more of the former, so it's obvious from this casual observer's eye that purdy girls and booze go hand in hand.

In case any of you haven't been reading the fabulous Kellie's blog, then you're missing out on some fantastic stories, some great humor and lots of the aforementioned purdy girls and booze. In other words, go over there and give her some blogly love...right after you finish reading this, of course.

I also like guns...which Kellie also provides on her blog! Who knew that Minnesota was paradise? Oh right, this guy.

In the wake of Dr. Zibbs offering up ad space for other bloggers on his internet sensation blog, I thought I'd offer Kellie an appearance in the weekly Latin Lesson. She jumped at the opportunity--which was a sight to behold, believe you me--and eagerly agreed to let me steal her picture off the header of her blog. And, before she swings in and bursts the bubble of my lies right here and/or sues me for sexual harassment and/or stealing her picture, let's get on with the Latin learning.

Also, if you look closely in her picture, you'll notice an extra special special guest.

Cervesia pota, pulchritudo cernitur.

Pronounced: "Care-waise-ee-uh poh-tah, pool-cree-too-doh cairn-ee-tour."

Hovertext reveals my clever pun.

Don't Laugh at My Shame!

January 21, 2009

Since it got cold last night...cold enough to counteract the colligative affect imparted by the brine/salt mixture thrown on the roads yesterday...everything froze up nice and solid. Therefore, the roads and such were too hazardous during the usual morning crush and my employer delayed opening by two hours.

Have I mentioned how much I fricking love my job?

It was so effing nice to by able to lay in bed this morning until 8:30 with the sultry breath of a half-naked redhead on the back of my neck. Yes, even when she's sighing at me over a lousy pun or pissed because I ate the last chocolate cookie, it's sultry. Most everything a redhead does is inherently sultry.

Still, when I finally rolled out of the house this morning at 9:15, it was 24 degrees F. And I shivered.

There used to be a time in my life when I would look 24 in the eye, whip my junk out, and wave it tauntingly at Old Man Winter. Six years of living in the South (just the South...not the Deep South) has softened me to marshmallow consistency. Much below 30 and I'm a quivering mass of jelly that doesn't want a thing to do with the outdoors. Unless there's nekkid chicks, but since most of them are marshmallow soft, too, that doesn't happen too often.

The first winter that we were married, back around the turn of the century, my wife and I came down to Charlotte to spend a week with her parents around the Christmas holiday. We had just left behind 48 inches of snow in South Bend from the blizzard that had hit us about two weeks prior (I think the blizzard dumped 24-28 inches on us, but that particular December had seen 48 inches of snow) and while it was cold in Charlotte, it wasn't as cold as it was in South Bend.

One day during the break, we went to one of the malls in Charlotte, and I was decked out in my winter attire. However, that day it got up to almost 40, and I was dying. I finally stripped down to just a t-shirt and my jeans and was finally comfortable. I remember steam coming off my head when I took my sock-cap off. It was sweet relief. Besides that, a steaming head is badass.

Now, the thought of a t-shirt in 40 degree weather sends chills throughout my body. I think my feet got colder just thinking about it.

That, however, was not the least I've ever worn on a winter's day. When I was in my first semester at ND, I was living alone in an apartment about two miles from campus. It was pleasant enough, though my neighbors were say the least. One night, though, I decided I was going to do some laundry, so I spent the afternoon carting my stuff back and forth from my place to the community laundry room. It was mildly annoying, but I figured the walking was good for me. As I was putting my last load of clothes in, the washer wasn't completely full, so I figured I'd man-worn my jeans enough and stripped them off right there and tossed them in the wash. I gathered up my stuff and walked back to my apartment to find that I had thrown the lock on the way out.

With my keys still in the apartment.

And my pants in the wash.

I tried my best to kick or bash the door in but--remember the neighborhood was sketchy--the lock was pretty strong. While I felt safer that I wasn't going to be murdered in my sleep anytime soon, I was not looking forward to weathering the night on the floor in front of my door until the maintenance guys came to work the next morning. It was $20 if you had to call them after hours to let you in. I had no cash in my wallet, which was also inside the apartment.

I realized that there was one thing I would have to do. Some of my friends were having a little dinner party at a friend's apartment near campus. I opted for laundry and watching the Indiana/Ohio State game that night instead of the party, but I was planning on showing up for movie time. However, I knew that my only hope now rested in crashing the party.

I did have my shoes on, which was a damned good thing since there was 8 inches of snow on the ground. So, I set down my laundry basket (which was full of towels and other non-pants items) and, in my underwear, started walking to campus. From time to time, I would get cold enough that I would start running, but running in the cold night air when you're an asthmatic is not conducive to breathing. I would run as far as I could until I had to stop and walk. My lungs burned with inflammation; my skin burned with the cold; my humility just burned.

Now, I've never had a problem with being less than fully-clad, we'll say, much to the chagrin of most everyone in the world. However, I do take issue with being in just my undies while it's somewhere around 15-20 degrees.

I learned that night that South Bend cops could give a fuck less about your needs when they have their sights set on Nick's Patio, the local greasy spoon. What, stop and help the guy who is running in his underwear and waving his arms and gesticulating madly for me to help him, when there's biscuits and gravy that I could be shoving in my gob? You're on your own, fatboy. You could probably use the exercise, anyway.
So, I showed up at the party in my underwear and a t-shirt. I'll just toss in here that the dinner party-goers...all women. Except for my friend Jeff, one of the few Red Sox fans not named Karp that I can stand.

Here's my soliloquy that I gave when I got to the door, somewhat sweaty and panting:

"I locked myself out while doing laundry." *pant pant* "Don't ask." *pant pant* "Can I borrow $20 from someone?" *pant pant wheeze* "I'll pay you back." *pant pant wheeze wheeze* "If you're not watching anything, can I watch the Indiana game?" *wheeze*


Fortunately, after they ate and before we started the movie, Jeff lent me the cash and drove my sorry ass back to my apartment and hung out while I waited for the maintenance guy to show up...who lived in the next apartment building over. Fuck him. Having secured some pants and a warmer shirt, I returned to the party and watched Office Space. A couple of the ladies felt sorry for me and huddled/cuddled up to me to keep me warm.

That was the night I triumphed over Old Man Winter, not only successfully braving the cold and snow, but also I got cuddled on by a couple of reasonably attractive ladies to help "warm me up."

These days, though, I'll just take the ladies.

French Toast Holiday!

January 20, 2009

One disadvantage of living in the South is that we rarely get snow. See, I like snow. I daresay I love it. Which is why it's sometimes with a bitter, envious eye that I watch the weather channel and see that Indiana and the Great Lakes States are getting dumped on again and again. I know, I'm kind of freaky, but I love snow, I like the cold, and I love winter.

One advantage of living in the South is that we get snow so rarely that, when we do, everything shuts down. Schools. Churches. Research labs. That's right. I rolled out of bed this morning at 7:45, saw we had a two hour delay, and then watched more weather. At 8:45, I found out that the roads were too hazardous for people to be on and that we should all stay home, thus securing a French Toast Holiday.
The other phenomenon that happens when you hear that a major snow storm is a-brewin' is that people rush to the store to stock up on staple supplies, which usually turn out to be bread, milk and eggs. The only thing I can think of that these mix to is French Toast, which is why free days off from work are French Toast Holidays.

Perhaps my favorite thing about winter weather down here is the number of snow plows littering the sides of the road. Apparently, we in North Carolina, despite having an ocean to our right (left, if you're looking at the Moon), have yet to master the modern technology of evaporating dishes and thus don't have enough salt to go around. You'd think that if the Venetians could do it in the Dark Ages, that technology would have made it here by now. I guess not; I'm not complaining, because I like the free day off. I just marvel at how ill-prepared North Carolina always seems for winter.
Unfortunately, I didn't make French Toast. Instead, I made Pancakes (American Pancakes at that...suck it, Pierre) with some bacon on the side. The Buxom and Comely and Easily Terrified Boudicca whipped up some cheesy grits to go along with the breakfast, and we feasted and watched as snow filtered down through the trees of our woodsy backyard. It was perfect.

After breakfast, we all went outside to play until we got cold (so about 30 minutes...we are Southerners, after all) and then retreated into the warm, bacony-smelling interior of the house. Now lunch has passed and, frankly, I'm feeling a bit like a nap. Awesome.

Also...someone should tell Aretha Franklin not to hesitate and pause after saying the first syllable of "country". Especially when the word preceding it is "my".

Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Volume VII

January 15, 2009

Ah, lucky number seven. Lots of things come in sevens: dwarves, sins, isomers of heptane, factors of seven. I'm sure there's other things that are fabulous and heptanoic, but I'm too lazy to either look them up or remember them.

You know what else is fantastic? Massive pork logs, and since everyone loved the Massive Pork Log from earlier in the week, I figured it was a good time to bring this bad mofo back. Think of it this way: the Romans were famous for their overindulgences at feasts. These are the people who invented the vomitoriums, places to go to throw up when you've eaten too much...just so you can eat some more. The Romans also liked to feast on handfuls of peacock tongues and brains, pulped up gills, blood and intestines of mackeral (I assume smeared on crackers), and stuffed doormice. No wonder they were puking all over the place.

Suddenly, bacon wrapped in sausage wrapped in bacon doesn't sound so bad, does it?

With that in mind, the Massive Pork Log/Bacon Explosion is here to teach us yet another useful Latin phrase. Next time the hippies are protesting your carnivorous lifestyle, throw this sucker right in their self-righteous and foul-smelling faces:

Si quidem animalia nobis edenda non sunt, quare constant ex carne?

Pronounced: "See kwee-dame ahn-ee-maul-ee-uh know-bese aid-ain-dah known soont, kwahr-ay cone-staunt aix cahr-nay?"

*Put the cursor over the picture to find out what it means!*

Edit: I almost thought this wasn't going to be here today, since my internet went out last night while I was typing it up. Thank you, auto-save. Go to hell, Time Warner Cable.

My Apotheosis

January 14, 2009

Right after you all get done worshipping the Massive Pork Log, you can bow down to me. says I'm an Uber Cool Nerd God.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and talk to others on the nerd forum!

I, of course, require hefty donations to support the church of me. Also, I demand sacrifices or porcine life forms. The recipe is in the previous post. And, of course, ladies, I require that all worship of my Uber Cool Nerd Godliness be done topless at least, naked if you're a true follower. Photographic (heavy on the graphic part, please) proof will be required. Often.

And if not, let the vindictive smiting begin.

And, should you happen to be, I dunno, married to me...I think you just found your Zeus character. And dinner better be on the table when I get home, lest the smiting begin anew.

My New Fantasy

January 12, 2009

To hell with Scarlett Johansson, some jello and a goat, I've got The Bacon Explosion to fantasize about from now on.

Holy Heart-Stopping Rolls of Pork, Batman, even the pictures make my left arm a little tingly! The only thing they've left out of this tasty little dish is the squeal made by the pigs when they offered up their juicy, delicious selves for the various parts of this culinary masterpiece. I think the only appropriate side dish to serve with this would be Scotch Eggs.

Despite the fact that I'm missing a gall bladder, I'd still dive into this delicacy head first. I might eat the thing while sitting on the toilet, but I'd savor every last little drop. Just be sure that they include the words "pork poisoning" in my obit, okay?

What the Hell?

Ever go back and re-read something you posted and notice a big, glaring error? Normally, I go through and read my own stuff about three times before posting, making sure the grammar is up-to-snuff and such. I also like to make sure that the words flow well and that I don't use the same words over and over and over and over and over and over and over and...ahem...sorry. Sometimes I'll even notice something after I've posted, and so I go back to fix it and re-post the corrected edition. Sometimes, I'll even do this four or five times before I'm happy with the final product.

With that in mind, go back and read my last post. Do you see it? What the hell??? How the hell did I miss this: "when I wrong something mildly amusing" When I 'wrong' something? Sweet Jesus on a Pogo Stick. How far up between my ass cheeks had I buried my head when I typed out that little piece of nonsense? I'm guessing jejunum deep, but that's just a stab in the dark.

And here's the's been up for two days now. I hope you all knew that I meant to type "wrote" instead of "wrong". Fuckin' aye. I was sober when I posted it, too. I'll chalk it up to being so torn up by the word verification insulting me, or perhaps all the blood had drained from my brain as I was thinking about Scarlett Johansson, a large amount of jello, and a goat.

Now that I'm thinking about that again, I can understand why I wrong what I wrong the other day. Maybe, just maybe, I'm beginning to understand why no agents are picking up my manuscript...

Methinks the Blogosphere is Trying to Tell Me Something

January 10, 2009

I was just scratching that foot-fetish itch over at SouthernBelle's blog when I wrong something mildly amusing in the comments section about time travel and Australia and Dirty Sanchez. When I went to punch in the secret code on the word verification so I could collect my prize, this is what I saw:

Hmmm...I think that's a thinly veiled message. I think her blog...or maybe the internet as a whole...or maybe just my computer...seems to think that I'm a messed up fatso. And you know what? They're probably right.

Well, time to go polish off a package of weiners with a redi-whip chaser, and then hide under the dining room table in an attempt to keep MLB from reading my thoughts and studying my purchasing habits. And fantasize about Scarlett Johansson a bucket of green jelly and a goat.

The Burger Wars Claim Another

When it comes to fast food, my choice is usually Wendy's, if I'm in the mood for processed, square-shaped patties. Chick Fil-A is usually my top choice all around, but they're a little lean on the burgers, so if it's beef I'm craving, then Wendy's is the place for me.

Having two small children, I, of course, frequent McDonald's. The "Happy Toys", as the kids call them, are the reasons for McDonald's being number one on the kids' list, though my daughter is slowly joining my wife and me in the Wendy's camp.

There's another option, of course. We don't eat at Burger King. When I was at Notre Dame, there was a Burger King in the student center. The student center was located conveniently right behind the chemistry building. I think you can see where the rub is here. Convenience--especially when your day is wrapped around being in the lab from at least seven in the morning until at least seven at night--is the name of the game, and, sadly Burger King was convenient. So, I ate there. A lot.
The thing about Burger King, though, is that, while their burgers can be good, they also make me violently ill. All the time. A couple of years ago--again, for convenience sake--we hit the local Burger King and that night I spent doubled over in agony, swearing off the BK once and for all. Now, I love the King mascot. He's just a perfect mixture of creepy and funny...kind of like me, but with a crown on his head and some mad dance moves in the endzone. My problems pretty much revolve solely around the fact that my tender innards can't handle the food.

Even when I was at ND, I would feel as dirty as a meth whore on the nights that I suffered through a Burger King lunch. I was sure that the little old woman who ran the cash register--Thelma--was shitting under the cheese on my Whopper when no one was looking. Or even while people looked on, because she was an old woman, and old people can get away with that shit. Sure, they tilt their head back and stare through the bottom of their lenses, acting all confused and stuff while hastily searching for the 'Double Whopper' button on the cash register, but really they're plotting your demise, one shat upon Whopper at a time. I'm onto you, Thelma, and the other goons in your blue-hair mafia. You might have been a riveter in your day, but now I know you take devious pride and amusement in how many college kids you can sicken with the contents of your colostomy bag.

I bring all this up because Burger King is currently running with this iDog thing with their kids meals. Yesterday, my daughter and her friends got out of school early--on the first Friday of every month, they have a half day--and so they went to Burger King to eat lunch and get their iDog toys. Yippee fucking skippy. And then they played like lunatics in the playland, which was apparently pretty good. Whatever, the judge says I'm not allowed to hang out in those places anymore, so I get my playland updates second-hand.
The problem was that, a little before six this morning, my daughter was up puking. Yeah, it was hours after she had eaten at Burger King, and she had had dinner, as well. But, she claimed that no one else at school was sick, and a bunch of what she brought up was mucus, but still, there can't be a mere coincidence between her eating at Burger King for the first time and puking within the same 24 hour period, right? My point, exactly.

I wonder if Thelma shit under the cheese on her burger, too.

Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Vol VI

January 9, 2009

What a super way to kick off the new year. Sorry that there was a bit of an intermission in the Friday Morning Latin Lessons, but I got lazy over the break and then I didn't have an internet connection...well, I did, but it was through my wife's computer and she was busy always looking up pictures of Christian Bale. You'd think she'd be above being obsessed with an attractive celebrity or seek professional help or something like that.

Speaking of Christian Bale, he was in this little movie last summer about some scientist dedicated to studying order chiroptera or providing sticks of lumber for professional athletes--I dunno, I was too busy thinking "Maggie Gyllenhaal is all they could get?". Not to be outdone by his nocturnal friendly rival, Superman has decided to get out in the public eye just a little bit more this year. What better way than through my blog? Since he's sort of a big deal (like the Snorg tees girl, but with smaller tits and front teeth), I decided that Supes would be an excellent choice for the first Latin Lesson of 200P. Naturally, I would have preferred "I guarantee you he blows a load like a shotgun right through her back" for the Latin lesson, but you'll have to make do with this slightly less Krypto-orgasmic reference.

Potest salire aedificium magnum soltu solo.

Pronounced: "Poe-taste sah-leer-ray eye-dee-fee-key-oom mahg-noom soul-too sow-low."

It's been a couple of weeks, so remember to read the hovertext for the translation!

A Very Special Birthday

January 8, 2009

Today, world, is January 8th. In case you've been, I dunno, stupid for your whole life, you should know that today is the king of celebrity birthdays.
That's right. Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis left the uterus today. So, fluff up your sideburns, put on your rhinestone jumpsuits, get ready to throw around your smallclothes. It's time to celebrate a birthday!

Heavens to murgatroid. This just in.
I've just been told that today is also the birthday of Internet Sensation Dr. Zibbs, owner and operator of That Blue Yak. Fuck me gently with a chainsaw, there should be a law that prohibits two celebrities of this magnitude celebrating their birthday on the same day. Ladies and Gentlemen, Dr. Zibbs has left the uterus! So, fluff up your sideburns, put on your rhinestone jumpsuits, get ready to throw around your smallclothes. And be sure to wish Dr. Zibbs a Happy Birthday! You might even want to buy him something for lunch...

Helpful Tips for the Coming Year

January 7, 2009

It's 2009, and a lot of you probably made some sort of resolutions. Mine? Give up abstinence and sobriety. Also, come out of the bushes a little more often.

I'm sure some of you pledged to be more "green" in the new year. Hopefully that doesn't mean you're going to swell up like The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man Al Gore. Seriously. Wow. Did he become a eunuch or something?

Anyway, I compiled a list of ways to be more green this year to help you, the reader.

1) Recycle. Especially paper. Plastic just gets remade into office chairs, but recycled paper can--almost--be made into usable paper once again. Or it gets made into cardboard which my kids can then transform into forts and other things to hamper my successful navigation of the living room. Also, something like 70% of the trash in our landfills is paper.

2) Install energy-saving bulbs. This will cut down on the amount of power you use, which means that's less coal and dead goats that we have to burn, thus reducing the release of the most nefarious gas of all: carbon dioxide. Also, cutting down on the amount of power you use will help you save some green--like in your wallet green. Fucking aye! Saving the planet and some cash, all in one neatly little coiled tube? I've got a heart of gold to be sharing this information with you. Be careful, though, with those bulbs when they finally do burn out because they're filled with mercury, which can damage fish, unborn children, and be seen low in the western sky right after sunset.

3) Eat more meat. Did you know that methane is a greenhouse gas? It's true. I'd get into the whole thing about IR-active stretches of the 4 C-H bonds in methane, but I can't really turn it into a sexual pun like I do most other science-based explanations that I offer up here. Think about this: All those farts you're cutting all day that you think no one can smell? Well, people can smell them, but since they don't stink like your feet, we mostly ignore them. Also, do you know what produces a shit-ton (literally) of methane every day? Cows. Eat more of them. They're fucking tasty. I hear pigs fart, too. Eat bacon; save a tree.

4) Turn the lights off. When you leave the room, flick 'em off. I promise, the boogeyman isn't going to jump out at you as you leave the room. Michael Myers, maybe, but the boogeyman, no. I mean, he's just there to dance. Or, you could be more like my wife and turn the lights off when she enters the room where I'm currently lounging. She's all about the saving of the planet.

5) Gamma rays. Irradiate yourself with some high-powered member of the electromagnetic spectrum. Go apeshit. Smash stuff. Wear a lot of purple pants. Forget how to conjugate verbs.

There you have it. Five ways that you can fulfill your goal of being more green this year. You can thank me in December.

Always Cutting Edge

January 6, 2009

Have you guys heard of this fun game that you and your friends can play when you're bored and/or drunk? Or even bored while drunk? Yeah, it involves taking an actor and, in six names or less, linking him or her to a movie they starred in with Kevin Bacon. I know, crazy, huh? Crazy fun!

Did you know that I can play this game with myself? Not play with myself, mind; I'm Catholic after all, and that's why God created this thing called a "wife". Am I right or am I right?

Anyway, I'll bet you didn't know that I used to light up the stage with my friendly visage, perfect enunciation, and projectile voicing. Ironically, usually after a stage production, I'd get to the projectile vomiting at the cast party, but those are stories for another day. Or right now, if I'm boring you. Heh. If.

I know that you might not believe me, but some of my stage credits include "Angry Townsperson" from "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", "The Russian Cop with an Irish Accent" from "The Good Doctor", "Another Policeman" from "Boys from Syracuse", and "An Amalgamation of Seven Roles Lumped into One Middle Management Character That We Called 'Marty Party'" from "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" among many others. I could throw in "That Guy Who Was Nowhere Near as Funny as Steve Giles and Will Shannon But Still Funnier Than Roger in the Improv Troupe", but I don't want to brag. That last one even netted me a whole mess of Townie Groupies. It's true. Pathetically sad and something that I don't like to admit, but true.

Anyway, back to this whole crazy Kevin Bacon thing. I just thought I'd prove to you that I am within six degrees of him. In my Marty Party role, I shared the stage with Charles Barrett III, who was 'Air Force NCO' in Thirteen Days with Kevin Costner, who was in a movie called JFK along with...*gasp*...could it be...Kevin Bacon?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? I realize that's less than six connections, but I'm lazy and wanted to show you just how important I am in only four connections. Badassosity, thy name is Jenks.

Feel free to shower me with undergarments and boob shots.

In case that's not enough for you, there's also this game out there where you link yourself to the King of Spain through handshakes, and once again I was playing with myself (notice how thick my glasses are). The awesomeness of this is that there's two ways I can link myself to the King of Spain:

Option One: I once shook Dain Fife's hand, who shook Bob Knight's hand, who went hunting pheasants with the King of Spain. Funny story, that. Apparently, Bob decided not to shoot the birds that were for the King. See, Bob Knight is a humble man.

Option Two: This one is my favorite. My college buddy, David, is something like fifth or seventh in line to inherit the crown of Spain. Yeah, who knew that some schlub from Da Region in Indiana had royal blood coursing through his veins. Well, if you met David, you would know right away. But, I shook his hand once, and he shook his dad's hand, and his dad shook his uncle's hand...and you get the picture. The best part of this story is that, one time in college, I was relating this whole scenario to my mom, and I offered up the "You know, if we were to bump off the King of Spain and the six guys after him, David would inherit himself a whole country!" My mom, however, grew concerned, not so much that we were suggesting regicide, but she gravely offered: "Oh, don't kill the King of Spain. He could be the Anti-Christ."

Yes, you read it correctly: my mom told me NOT to take out the Anti-Christ. And that's just a peek into the hilarity I call "my childhood".

My Life: Situational Comedy

January 5, 2009

Okay, so, remember that whole "I'm going to go get AT&T right now!" proclamation that I boldly announced the other day?

Yeah, well, AT&T isn't available in my area.

Neither is Verizon.
Or Embarq.
Or Netzero.

Or pretty much anything that isn't Time Warner Cable.


And, yeah, TWC, in their infinite wisdom, decided to wait until the last minute to negotiate with Viacom for the right to Nickelodeon and pretty much most of the other channels I use to avoid being a parent. What? Patrick and Spongebob are perfectly good fill ins for my wife and I. And Mr. Krabs teaches the kids about being financially responsible. Now, if only they could make breakfast. Anyway, I was rudely awakened by two frantic children on the December 31st, telling me that the cable was taking away Nickelodeon and that I needed to fight the bad men who were doing this. My daughter had written down the number to call and was shoving the paper in my face and my son was running around in circles screaming...which he pretty much normally does, anyway, but it made for a rude awakening. Bleary-eyed, I pulled myself from sleep's sweet embrace, staggered downstairs, and started swearing at the crawling line of words that I could barely read on the bottom of my screen. I turned around to find the phone and the piece of paper with a hastily-scrawled 800-number being thrust into my hands with the instructions to "call this...make us breakfast first...but call this number!"
How was everyone else's holiday?

All of this is a long diatribe detailing the fact that my home computer is still not hooked to the internet, but I'm calling today to try and rectify said situation. I'm thinking about trying this wireless thing out. I hear that's a popular thing with the kids these days. Anyone else hear of this?

And, yeah,'s not 64K...I was only off by a factor of 1.0^6. Being a scientist, I'll file that under "standard deviation" and ignore the fact that I was wrong. Hooray for science!

This space won't be blank for much longer. And neither will your comments sections. I mean...right after I get some more work done in the lab. lab...

UPDATE: I just got off the phone with the guy. Looks like Wednesday, I'll be back up and running full speed. Or whatever passes as full speed for my tubby ass.

Happy New Year

January 1, 2009

While most of you are probably drunk right now--or should be, dammit!--I thought I'd still take a moment to wish you a Happy New Year. While I realize that it's awfully self-centered of me--after all, this is my blog--to wish you a Happy New Year based on Eastern Standard Time, it's where I'm currently situated. While some of you are already trying to work off your hangover and some of you have yet to see the new year descend upon you, rest assured that I am wishing you the very best for 2009. And by the very best, I mean more profanity- and innuendo-laced blog posts. I'm a giver like that.