Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Hello--yeah, it's been a while...Not much, how 'bout you?"

“On the first day of my summer vacation, I woke up.  Then I went downtown…to look for a job.  Then I hung out in front of the drugstore.  The second day of my summer vacation, I woke up…”—excerpt from Cheech & Chong’s “Sister Mary Elephant”, 1972

Okay, this wasn’t a vacation per se, nor did things go quite like that, but unfortunately this blog has been a casualty during this long hot summer, as I’ve been sidetracked with other projects and obligations the last couple months that have severely limited my time.  This coincided with a creative dry spell and some personal reflection/introspection regarding my father’s passing and his negative impact on my life (which I may delve into in a future post), hence the lack of activity here.  I toyed with the idea of discontinuing my blog altogether, especially given the dearth of offerings from some of my other favorite bloggers, which seriously makes me wonder if the whole blogging thing has perhaps run its course and become passé.  However, being the narcissist that I am, I went back and read a few of my past blog entries, and absolutely loved some of the stuff I had written before, so I’ve decided to continue on after all.  You might also notice I’ve gone back and cleaned up some past entries that featured multiple photographs.  Blogspot calls their publisher a “WYSIWYG” (What You See Is What You Get), but whenever I use it, it makes me feel (in the words of Mr. Anderson on “Beavis & Butt-Head”), “like a one-legged cat trying to bury turds on a frozen pond.”  I have a new 23” computer monitor—which was like going from a Sony Watchman to a JumboTron—and now that I’m on the same picture resolution as everyone else, I’m able to realign stuff the way it should be, so things should look a lot cleaner on here from now on.

After 51 years on Overton Avenue in Raytown, that statement is now true, as we got my mother moved out of our longtime family abode this past weekend and into her new living quarters, a duplex in the John Knox Village retirement community in Lee’s Summit.  Among other things, Mom’s new place features a garage door opener than actually works, a patio deck that even I’m envious of and—best of all—central air, a “luxury” my old man refused to install in our house.  Dad always complained that he “got too cold” so easily in a/c, but it had more to do with penny-pinching and not wanting to raise his electric bill, and with this brutal stretch of hot weather we’re having, I’m relieved to have Mom out of that blast furnace she was living in.  About the only issue I have with JKV is why do they expect their residentsall of whom are elderlyto walk all the way to their curbs to pick up their mail?  I'm not real enamored with the idea of Mom slip-sliding away across her icy driveway in January just to fetch her latest copy of Better Homes & Gardens.  As for the old homestead, unfortunately its future is deep in doubt, as the place is a shambles, thanks to its ever-crumbling foundation, out-dated amenities and general lack of upkeep by my parental units these last 20 years or so—I don’t think the “Extreme Makeover” people would even touch this wreck.  We may end up just bulldozing the place and selling the lot for whatever we can get for it.

Lady GaGa was in town performing in concert at the Sprint Center last week.  This prompted them possum’s peckers from Topeka, the Rev. Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist “Church”, to show up and do their usual bigoted anti-gay protesting across the street.  But this time they were ambushed by several gays and drag queens (some dressed like Gaga herself) who upstaged the Phelpsians and beat them at their own damn game, and even succeeded where most everyone else before them has failed—the gays managed to run the fuckers off!  I wish to hell I’d been there to witness all this in person—one of these days I’m going to drop in on one of these protests and stick my middle fingers right in their collective faces.  If and when Katy Perry ever comes to town, I’ll be ready—she does that song “I Kissed A Girl (And I Liked It)”, which I’m sure the Phelpsians just adore.  I might even attend the concert itself—KP’s kinda hot…

Work was finally completed last week on the 63rd Street bridge in Raytown, which spans the old defunct railroad that hasn’t been used since the Disco era.  The bridge closure caused a bit of inconvenience for motorists for a few months because 63rd St. is the main east-west artery in the heart of Raytown, but all is well now.  However, this didn’t stop some jagoff on a Facebook page devoted to Raytown from causing a bit of an uproar by declaring that the only reason they replaced the bridge at all was so they could get rid of the makeshift memorial on it for the unfortunate Raytown High School student who was murdered a couple years ago, whose body was later found beneath the bridge.  Uhhh, I don’t think so, Tim!  I have concrete (pun intended) visual evidence to the contrary in this photo that I snapped about three years ago showing the crumbling edifice, which had deteriorated even further since then and was rapidly becoming dangerous, not to mention a major eyesore.  The damn thing was almost 40 years old and in horrid condition—this had nothing to do with removing a memorial, butt-munch!

Why do people make such ignorant statements on the Internet?  I always thought it took a certain amount of smarts to be able to work a personal computer, yet somehow, these dolts who’d make Forrest Gump seem like a Rhodes Scholar somehow manage to get on-line and yammer away anyhow.  It amazes me no end how there always seems to be one horse’s ass (or more) in seemingly every forum/message board/chat room on the ‘net who is hellbent on instigating pissing matches and antagonizing everyone with excrement like this for no good reason.  Doesn’t matter what the topic or realm of the message board/forum is, either—it could be anything from politics to breast cancer to baseball stadiums to fly-fishing to nose hair—there’s always some palooka out there (usually hiding behind some cutesy screen-name) mangling up what might otherwise be an intelligent or thought-provoking discussion.  I haven’t been hard-up enough to visit any nose hair message boards yet, but assuming one actually exists out there, you can bet some douche is on it stirring the pot!  Damn shame…

I saw by the paper the other day that my favorite professor from my UMKC days, Dr. Doug Moore (at right in this photo), passed away recently.  Evidently he’d been in poor health for a while now and died in hospice in early July.  “Dr. Doug” was a very nice man, not to mention a funny one, and he was a walking almanac of American film history, everything from the silent era to modern times.  His classes were easily the most enjoyable that I ever attended, and he would screen such landmark flicks as D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of A Nation as well as fun stuff like the work of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd and classics like It Happened One Night.  And thanks to Dr. Doug, I discovered what cute babes the Gish sisters (Lillian and Dorothy) were back in the day!

I also took a class Dr. Doug taught called “Writing For The Media” from which I gained beaucoup knowledge about the elements of editorial style, much of which I’ve put to use here on the blog—if he only knew what he’d spawned!  Ironically, one assignment in that course was to create a TV show featuring a local celebrity with a format that hadn’t been done before and write the script for it.  I struggled for the longest time to come up with anything, then the light finally went on in my head—why not hit Dr. Doug right where he lives?  Since he was a film critic and movie buff in general, why not create a local version of Siskel And Ebert’s “At The Movies”?  I inserted local radio legend/TV personality Dick Wilson as the host of my fictional show and had him reviewing Runaway starring Tom Selleck and Gene Simmons, and my little hunk of ingenuity netted me an A, as I recall.  And being the good Kiss fan that I am, I had Dick give Gene high marks for his performance as the villain, while ripping on Selleck a bit for being too predictable as the good-guy cop (which is true, really).  Ironically, Dr. Doug himself later did movie reviews on local TV newscasts in the late ‘80s and ‘90s.

In Siskel & Ebert parlance, I give the man two big thumbs-up.  So long, Dr. Doug—ya done good!

“Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting”—ELTON JOHN (1973)
  “My sister looks cute in her braces and boots…”  Not misheard, but rather misinterpreted this time, as I was only nine when the song came out and unaware that “braces” is the Brit term for stocking garters.  I thought the braces Elton sang about were the ones orthodontists put on one’s teeth, which made me wonder, “What’s so cute about that?”  While I’m at it, what the hell’s so cute about that “handful of grease in her hair”?  Who wants some chick who looks like The Fonz?  Still and all, SNAFF is one of my all-time favorite songs.

It was announced this week that they plan to erect a statue of Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig outside Milwaukee’s Miller Park.  This clown is to baseball what Urkel was to network television, thus what on earth has this ineffectual boob done to garner this kind of honor?  I hope the statue includes a couple hypodermic needles at his feet to symbolize the steroid era he’s presided over.  In the words of Stewie Griffin, “This is a worse idea than a leper colony doing the Hokey-Pokey!”

Calm down, Coach Mora and listen to me!  The Swami in me sez the Kansas City Chefs will break even this season and go at least 8-8.  I base this prediction on the offseason moves they made to improve the offense, as well as the fairly soft schedule K.C. plays this year.  I see them going 4-2 vs. the AFC West, sweeping Oakland and splitting with Denver and San Diego.  The Chargers are notoriously slow starters anyway, so I have a good feeling about that opening Monday Night game against them at Arrowhead.  The AFC West plays the NFC Worst/West this season, so K.C. should be able to slam the Rams and Seahawks, even though both those game are on the road. I’m also not completely sold on the 49ers or Cardinals being all that good this year, so El Chiefos might even steal a win or two at home with them.  There are some other very beatable opponents on the sked, especially Cleveland and Buffalo and maybe even Houston or Jacksonville.  The only three games I don’t see the Chefs having a hope in hell at all of winning this year are all on the road—at San Diego, Denver and Indianapolis.  And if everything falls into place, it’s even conceivable that this team could go 10-6 and make a run at the playoffs and give me cause to once again refer to them as the Chiefs instead of the Chefs.  We shall see…

Get a load of one of our regular ordering physician’s names at my workplace:  Dr. Ursick!  We also have a Dr. Killen in our midst.  These guys make messers. Seuss, Pepper and Demento seem almost credible by comparison!

I kinda like Morningwood (the band) these days.  Oh, and the other kind is most enjoyable too...

In this great country of ours, I freely exercise my right to bare arms.  I only wish all these tattooed women I keep meeting these days felt the same way…
There’s a local seafood outfit here in K.C. called the Seattle Fish Company, whose motto is “If it swims, we have it.”  Is it safe to assume that the Kansas City Beef Company in Seattle’s motto is, “If it shits, we have it”?

I received the following unsolicited spam-o-gram the other day on Facebook from some alleged “chick”:  “I was searching through profiles and came across your’s (sic) and i’ve gotta tell u that you’re insanely sexy.”

Here’s the profile photo I had up at the time she wrote to me…

My official response:  “Bork you!”