Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Magic moments from the gocollect.com people:

Sayyy, is that a winged monkey?

"This CEO is serious about jungle business"

Chicken Umpire...You just have to wonder sometimes who exactly is collecting these things.

WOW! What a great movie poster collectible! Just listen to this synopsis: "(1967) A young American inherits an olive farm in a French village and decides to train four astro-chimps to pick the olives instead of hiring local villagers. Maurice Chevalier, Dean Jones, Yvette Mimieux, Bernard Woringer. Dir. Andrew V. McLagien. Folded" ...from the almost critically acclaimed "Monkeys, Go Home!" Did I mention Maurice Chevalier was in it?

Oh and Mouse Surfer too.

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

All I'm saying is that my brithday is coming up real soon, and nothing says happy birthday like a plush Cthulhu doll, now does it?
Test your catfish knowledge with the Catfish Quiz.
The Potato Then & Now. I originally thought this was some sort of exploration of the thematic groundwork laid in the light classic Emilio Estevez film, That Was Then... This Is Now. But no, it's actually all about potatoes. Which is, of course, just fine.

Here, also for your potential enjoyment: The National Potato Council.

And, everyone's favorite edible mascot: Spuddy Buddy.

Mummified Mashed Potatoes, Spooky Spuds and Mashed Potato Ghosts. The Mashed Potato Ghosts are a little weak. I mean, you can pretty much build anything you want out of mashed potatoes, right? Maybe not multi-story buildings, but you could probably fashion a little yurt type thing that would not only provide shelter but nutrition through the cold winter months.

I do kind of like the idea that these little apparitions are the ACTUAL ghosts of the potatoes, being freed from their eternal spud bondage with a little creative mashing (or, if the reserach elves at Kafkaesque Labs ever get on the ball, Self-Mashing).

Thursday, October 25, 2001

Here's something else for you to note as you go through the tragicomedy we call life:

When did those commericals start? You know, the ones for allergy medication or herpes medication or baldness, where at the end of the commerical they have a really fast-talking guy quickly run through the list of horrific side-effects that await you should you be foolish enough to ingest the advertised product.

"Taking Proxoloxin may cause bleeding through your hair. Additional side effects of Proxoloxin may include your teeth turning orange and fusing into a beak, your left ear sealing closed, your shady business deals being investigated by a hard-hitting consumer advocate from the 6 o'clock news, alienation of your houseplants and/or pets, amnesia, a general sense of malaise, loss of complimentary fast-food ketchup packet privileges, growth of an undisclosed and completely unnecessary internal organ, increase in junk mail from dating services, clam-o-phobia, laughing out of context, coal in your stocking, revocation of membership in any and all masonic lodges, change in eye color, forking of tongue, and severe itching, swelling and redness pretty much everywhere on your body and the bodies of your acquaintances. Children under 12 should not take Proxoloxin. Members of the clergy should not take Proxoloxin. Nervous people may take Proxoloxin, but by no means should they tell anyone they are taking Proxoloxin.

Oh, and your head might fall off, too."

All said very quickly, as if it was nothing to really worry about all that much.

Speaking of that, whatever happened to the whole Really-Fast-Talking-Guy thing, so popular in the late eighties? I think maybe the world as a whole just kind of said "Wow! What a colossally stupid talent! You there, Fast Talking Guy! Stop that! And you, Police Academy Funny Mouth Noises Guy, you too!"

That's unity, my brothers.

[coming soon: the story of Elvis and MonkeyBoy]

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup gets my vote as the most enjoyable of disgusting soup choices.

There is something so pleasing about the whole experience of making this food item for yourself.

1. Opening the can.

You grab your trusty can opener and head for the can. That can that has stayed the exact same for god knows how long. Momentary doubts cross your mind: What is the shelf life of this soup? Just how old is this particular can? Is that a hint of bloating?

You push aside your petty fears and open the can, wondering if the cat heard the can opener and is even now about to set upon you with his little cat claws and guilt-inducing yowls. A decision must be reached: whether to complete the entire trip around the lid of the can with the opener, thus chancing the top falling into your soup concentrate, and thereby transferring the unpleastantness that may have collected on top of the can into your future meal, or to leave the top connected by a little eighth-of-an-inch metal strip. While the more sanitary choice, leaving it attached is also dangerous: as you struggle to lift the still-connected aluminum top, inserting your just-clipped thumbnail underneath the plane of metal, you open yourself up to an injury which could result in tetanus and eventually death.

2. Emptying the can

Another choice: do you grab a spoon from the top drawer and help the viscous contents of the can out and into the saucepan, or do you perch above the pan, can upturned, waiting for gravity to run its course and the perfect, can-shaped lump of concentrated soupness to wriggle its way free, falling into the pan with a resounding and satisfying splurp! The second choice is obviously the more aesthetically pleasing, and you have found after years of emptying Cream of Chicken soup into saucepans that the perfect technique calls for the can to be just fractionally higher than one can above the bottom of the pan. This way, when the contents hit the bottom, they actually retain the shape of the can, right down to the ribbed indentations left by the can itself.

3. Adding the Liquid

Here is the stage where your creativity and joie de vivre can really be called to the forefront. You are left with some options by the directions on the can. You must add a can-ful of liquid. But the directions offer you the option of adding water or milk, or some combination of the two. To even consider adding only water is nothing short of laughable. You think to yourself that this is tantamount to eating breakfast cereal with water, and shake off the notion with a small shudder. The way to go is with pure milk but with a twist: to use less than the whole can recommended by the Campbell's people. You use maybe 3/4 of a can, and stir the gloppy soup concentrate as you slowly pour in the milk, the heat of the burner up to just a little bit more than Medium. Not hot enough to stick the soup to the bottom of the pan, but not cold enough that you will be left stirring for what seems like hours, inserting your finger into the soup and being disappointed at its tepid temperature as you suck the liquid from your finger, worrying quietly whether it's all right to consume non-heated soup glop.

4. Stirring Minimally

But the real coup de grace in Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup making is to stir the soup only minimally while it is cooking. That way, you are left with little globs of unexpected high-powered chicken flavor. While the rest of the soup is made to suffer, seeming drab and bland by comparison, it is worth it for these little nuggets of delight, which call to mind the floating mines which would show up in the Gilligan's Island lagoon periodically.

5. Enjoy!
Now, you are ready to relax and enjoy your soup. You pour it into your favorite bowl, but then realize that the hot soup within has presented you with another problem: the bowl is so full of hot soup that it presents a real spill danger as you try to carry it to the family room coffee table, where your favorite cartoon is about to begin. To stand here in the kitchen, slowly taking spoonfuls of your soup and blowing on the spoon, feeling a little bit silly, until enough has been drained that you may carry the bowl safely to the table? Or to seize the soup by the horns, so to speak, and hope to reach that certain Zen-like food carrying state achieved by waiters in better Chinese food restaurants and martial arts films, in which you can attain the perfect balance, not spilling any scalding soup on your fingers, and make it to the table before your fingers can no longer take the heat of the bowl.

If past experience is anything to go by, you will opt for the latter choice, making it to the table with no spillage, and just as your fingers cannot bear the heat any longer you will place the bowl down on the table, just a little too quickly, slopping some of the creamy soup onto the only important papers in your entire house.

Sit back, enjoy your well-reserved reward, and try not to think too much about what chicken parts can actually make it into Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup.

Sincere apologies if that whole thing was a little obsessive.

Tuesday, October 23, 2001

A bigger head than mine!

Bungee Benji has theorized that I may in fact be an Olmec God. He will have to be silenced.
One of these links is not like the others:

Popcorn and crawdad! This, apparently, is The Ultimate Wow Gift.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The best damn mascot I have ever seen. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Sammy The Shrimp of the Southend United Football Club.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The search is over for the Sea Slug Forum. Actually, they're quite attractive animals really. Who knew?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Peace from Shabba-Doo. The Breakin' website! There is a feisty picture of Shabba-Doo hurting his head if you click on the "Pictures" link.

Monday, October 22, 2001

Very Zen Quicktime video: Less Talk, More Monkey.

Also very disturbing for me, because I have virtually all of the stars of that short film piled in various locations in my house. I hope that wasn't filmed by one of my little monkey pals.
alpacanet
By the way, don't be alarmed by the apparently nonsensical organization of the left-hand side of this blog. As soon as I figure out how to do any of this stuff correctly, it'll all be taken care of. Until then, have fun with the Libation of the Moment, and pretend to care about what I read, listen to and watch. It's good training for life, where you will be forced to feign interest in the inconsequential lives of others any number of times.
OK. It's time to come clean. After 29 years of living on this crazy, mixed up world, I'm going to tell you the truth: I have a big head.

This truth was brought home to me by a seemingly innocent cowboy hat.

My friend Bindlestick Billy had himself a cowboy hat that I really liked. I would drop subtle hints about how much I liked this cowboy hat, by saying things like "I sure like that cowboy hat", or by forcibly taking it and wearing it all day, deaf to his cries of "but I've got hat head!" and solemn oaths to seek vengeance for my hat-thievery.

One note about this hat: It kind of makes me look more like Bono than I already do, which is not necessarily a good thing.

So I would wear this hat whenever I got the opportunity, but it would leave me with a red line on my forehead, not unlike a line that would result from being whacked repeatedly with a shovel. But what to do? I resolved that, much as the prospect pained me, I would have to swear off wearing the cowboy hat forever.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, Bindlestick Billy came to visit me, and gave me the hat. Of course, I was excited to see my old friend the hat again (and Billy of course), but I knew the telltale forehead line would not be far behind. So I went out to find a western store to stretch my hat. My first stop was The Grant Boys. The Grant Boys is a store in the land of fake boobs and superficiality known as Newport Beach, California. What immediately attracted me to this shop is the fact that it has a giant sign in the shape of a six-shooter that says "GRANT'S FOR GUNS" on it. If anyone could stretch my hat, it's a place with a giant particle board revolver.

Sadly, they were of no use at all. Apparently all the cowboys in Newport Beach have garden-variety, normal sized noggins.

Tearfully, I took my business elsewhere. Like all well-prepared ersatz cowpokes, I had prepared for my hat-stretching mission by researching potential stores on the net. I had a couple of more places I could go, and so I took to the road in my very authentic Old-West car. It's a little-known fact that most cowpokes drive VW Golfs with "Cthulhu Saves (In Case He Gets Hungry Later)" bumper stickers on them.

I zoomed off towards Santa Ana, where legend had it there was another western store, that would be only too happy to help out a large-craniumed hayseed like myself. I swear to you that I followed the driving directions with an attention to detail not usually observed in non-cyborg drivers, and yet I still couldn't find the damn place. To be honest, my attention to detail is somewhat confounded by my almost total lack of any sort of sense of direction. I could get lost going from the bedroom to the bathroom. I blame Yahoo! Shopping for that particular bout of ineptitude, a policy I am going to institute for use anytime I get lost driving, which is a near-daily occurrence. At least getting senile won't be too much of a change.

So I toodled around for a good two hours, through the charming streets of Santa Ana, where happy young gentlemen flicked lit matches at me and offered to give me directions by poking switchblades menacingly in the correct direction.

Finally, I gave up and went to Boot Barn, which is what the vacuous individual at The Grant Brothers had told me to do in the first place. Boot Barn is very cool. Great for all your hat-stretching needs. And they did it for free.

But it's still too small for my giant head.

Sunday, October 21, 2001

I know it's not terribly interesting but I just have to say WOOOO! The Earthquakes won the MLS Cup today!

So, uh, WOOOO!!

Saturday, October 20, 2001

There's just not enough weird children's stories around these days.

When I was just a young sprout, I remember reading this great folk story about Baba Yaga (not to be confused with Barbapapa, of course, the head of a clan of kidney-bean shaped, multicolored goo people). Baba Yaga lived in a forest, in a hut made of human bones and supported on chicken legs. I kid you not. And she would, well, eat people. Sometimes she is portrayed riding around in a mortar and pestle through the night sky, just being creepy and evil. This also proves that Slavic folk tale writers had way too much time on their hands.

There's just not enough of that wholesome kind of family entertainment around these days.

My wife, who is German, grew up with Der Struwwelpeter, or Shockheaded/Slovenly Peter, a collection of stories featuring children being maimed and killed for not obeying their parents. Here is a lovely story about a girl playing with matches and burning herself to death. That in itself might be enough for some people, but the author here chose to further upset young readers by showing a picture of kitty-cats crying, which is nice. But this is the best story in there, and it really freaked her out as a kid. It's a pleasing tale of the dangers of sucking your thumb. If you do suck your thumb, despite the dire warnings of mom & pop, a kindly gentleman will appear and cut off your thumb with hedge clippers. Hell, that freaks me out now and I'm thirty.

There is a touring production of a musical version of these happy tales, which sadly will not make it down here to the land of wigs and novelties.

I'm sorry if this entry was traumatic for any of you out there. Here are some pictures of cute ringtail lemurs to make you feel better.

That's life, really isn't it? There's a little Baba Yaga and a little lemur every day.

Friday, October 19, 2001

Today we look at the conceivably happy world of Balloony Inspirations

You want to talk about emotional baggage? I'm guessing this young man is going to have some.

Ah! Witness the grandeur of Dave in rainbow hat!

Barber with balloon thing.

Roar?

This one is the best.

Oh my god. I can't take it.

Aiiiieeee!

Thursday, October 18, 2001

Although black cat is supposed to bring money, it seems lacking in lust.

This just in: Lucky Pig.

Maneki Neko Club explains the legends and history of Lucky Cat.

I know Lucky Cats aren't crazy wild fun or anything...I just kind of like them. I have a couple of them at home and they are generally much quieter and cleaner than my real cat. That's not saying much to be honest, but there you go.
Samurai Lucky Cat.

Tuesday, October 16, 2001

You know who probably doesn't drink Red Rose Tea?

Magnus Ver Magnusson, that's who. Magnus carries around cars and lifts families of four with his index finger. He doesn't have time for candy-ass tea drinking. As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to say that if Magnus Ver Magnusson ever found out that I made reference to him on my blog right next to an entry about Red Rose Tea Animals, I would be a dead man.

"KAFKAESQUE!" he would roar from his little tiny head surrounded by massive shoulders. "I don't care how many of North America's Endangered Ceramic Animals you have collected! I will crush you like a bug!"

And he would too. He'd have to. When you're the four time winner of the World's Strongest Man competition, there are certain responsibilities. There are appearances at shopping malls in the Midwest and Plains States, Car Lifting and Crushing Candy-Ass Tea Animal Collectors. That's life. Oh and he also has to call Gerrit Badenhorst at least twice a day and taunt him mercilessly.

Friday, October 12, 2001

You have got to be kidding me.

I have more of these damn Red Rose Tea Animals than I know what to do with, and someone is selling them for 5 bucks each?!? I will go on record now as saying that if any of you seven or so people who are reading this need a particular animal to round out your collection of useless knick-knacks, just contact me and I'll see what I can do. I may only charge you $4.99 too.

Dear god! Huggybear must be stopped.

Oh wait, there's a bush-baby. I need that.

Thursday, October 11, 2001

Frito Bandito, the singing, dancing, happy go lucky bandit. Apparently, in the halcyon days of 1970, you could get free Zinnia seeds from animated Cheeto spokespersons.

[thx Bungee Benji]
Is there any sadder sight than a fifty year old man eating a Filet-O-Fish and reading Marmaduke? The Filet-O-Fish, in its also-ran status as the apologist for the beef crimes of McDonald's is just inherently heartbreaking. It's the ultimate menu afterthought. In a sense I think the people who eat Filet-O-Fishes have an image of themselves as wild-eyed loners, breaking the Big Mac mold. But what they're really saying is "I long since ceased caring about my health in even the most general sort of way, but am fooling myself into believing McDonald's food is healthier if it tastes vaguely like a fish."

And then maybe they think "Hoo! That rascal Marmaduke's on the couch again!"

Just the kind of things that occur to me on my little lunch break sometimes.

Not that I'm saying the rest of McDonald's food isn't disgusting. It is. The only reason I think anyone should buy McDonald's hamburgers is to stick the patties on strangers as you drive by them in your car.
In these troubled times, I think we could all benefit from a little Squish The Bug.

Wednesday, October 10, 2001

Since I was nattering on about junk mail the other day, why not revisit that delightful realm again? "Because it sounds really dull?" you snap at me and continue eating your sandwich, your acid tone melting the muenster cheese onto the romaine lettuce.

Well, I'm not saying it's going to heart-poundingly exciting, but here goes:

My Macy's Bill, by kafkaesque (age 6)

Yes it's true, I have a Macy's card. I didn't really want to possess a Macy's card, but circumstances beyond my control forced me to buy a ridiculously expensive leather jacket that I am still paying for and which now has cat claw marks on it. These are very similar to, but not exactly the same as, the circumstances which to this day do not allow me to pay off the card completely, thereby avoiding the crux of the problem: The Stinky Macy's Bill.

Right now I am sitting in my happy little cube at work (which is, in all honesty, more of a trapezoid and not particularly happy), having just consumed my lunch and paid some bills. Because one of these bills was The Stinky Macy's Bill, my little suffer-zone now smells like a french cathouse.

Macy's people of the world, listen to me: I don't want perfume samples in my bill. There is no conceivable scenario in which I would be paying my bill and pause as I lick the envelope, thinking in a far-off way: "Wait a second here, is that the delightful scent of wild jasmine with just a hint of vanilla undercurrent?"

No.

Instead I am thinking "Good Christ! The damn Macy's bill stinks again!"

There are plenty of other things you can order from the convenience of your Macy's envelope, including "Timeless Gifts for $5" (a term that is apparently defined by 2 different plastic appointment books and a pen), Thermalite Shutters ("They'll never know they're not wood") and Disney Figurine Clocks. The Disney Clocks range from the happy "Pooh & Friends", the peculiar "Cinderella with Pumpkin" to the blatant despair of "Tigger Alone".

What I'm really trying to say is lighten up Macy's! Take it easy! We know you can buy pretty much everything at a Macy's.

Especially if it says Tommy Hilfiger in huge letters on it. They have lots of that stuff.

Tuesday, October 09, 2001

Osama 'n' Bert

and again

All I can guess is that the guy who made the posters downloaded from a humor site. You'd think he would have noticed.

Monday, October 08, 2001

I'm sorry to disappoint all you car companies that are sending me cunningly disguised junk mail to get me to buy your vehicles*, but I have found my next car. Its name is Transaurus. And it's really, really stupid.

Galactron. Also pretty stupid.

I kind of get the feeling you spend a couple of years building one of these things and then you sit back in your Barcalounger, put your feet up, and then you shake your head and say out loud "Oh my good lord! I just spent two years building a car that looks like Pete's Dragon! What the hell is wrong with me!?"

Go ahead and revel in the monster truckness of it all.

*By the way, good work on that last one that almost looked like actual mail. You know, the one with the eagle on it that kind of looks like a Priority Mail envelope? I almost opened that one. Here's a hint though: The more "INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT! OPEN IMMEDIATELY!" labels you put on the envelope, the less likely I am to open it.
Giant Waxy Monkey Tree Frogs

Painted Waxy Monkey Tree Frogs.

I'm relatively certain this site is selling frogs as pets. Relatively.
I knew it! If I was a robot I'd be Roy Batty from Blade Runner. Find out which robot you would be.

Pretty damn cool actually. Except that means that later on in my career I will star in such monuments to lameness as The Hitcher with C. Thomas Howell. and I'll have to endure the humiliation of people saying "Rutger who?" while in the back of my mind I'll be thinking "All these moments will be lost, like... tears... in rain." Then the Vangelis music will come up, there will be doves, and I'll switch off.

OK, the truth is that I don't really remember The Hitcher all that well, though I do seem to remember one scene with some fingers in a box of french fries. Or was that Bedknobs and Broomsticks? I just can't be sure.
Chicken Chuckles. Don't ask, because I don't know. I do like the artist's open-mindedness, evidenced by the thought-provoking invitation: "Suggest a Chicken". Sir, if you happen to notice that I have linked to your site, please indulge me with Construction Worker Chicken. Or maybe, if it's not too much to ask, Turkey Chicken.

~~~~~~~~

Oh, and as to why punchpuppets are so damn funny?

They just are.

Friday, October 05, 2001

Today at My Life As An American Gladiator, we look into a phenomenon that has, at one time or another, touched all of our lives. A topic so sensitive, none of the major media outlets would touch it. Put it this way: there are people out there that don't want you to know.

In case you haven't already guessed, I'm talking about the horror of Dead Bees.

If you ever want to throw someone into a panic, all you have to do is speak those two simple words: "DEAD BEE!" Obviously, Dead Bees aren't all that threatening unless you happen to be barefoot (or unshod, if you prefer), but it doesn't matter. You can be in the middle of a big board meeting, where lots of serious wheelin' and dealin' is going on, and people are saying "synergy" and "ratio" a lot, and all you have to do is shout "DEAD BEE!". Within seconds, the most powerful business mogul will be hopping around and saying "Where? Where? Is it on me?" in a querulous voice. This is a good thing to remember if you ever have to give a presentation at a meeting and are totally and completely unprepared (a situation I'm guessing most readers of this crap are all too familiar with). You can just shout "DEAD BEE!" and then run out of the room in the ensuing pandemonium. If things get confusing enough, you may even be able to convince your boss that you already gave the presentation.

So what is it about Dead Bees that chills our very souls? Of course it is the fact that a bee may be dead, but it can still sting you. In a sense this makes them Undead Bees. Little Bee Nosferatus who dwell in the shadows, perhaps having little bee out-of-body-experiences as they watch their fragile, broken body to see what poor sap is going to go running by and step on the stinger.

Now, when I was just a wee kid, my Mom would watch a lot of Masterpiece Theater. She was English, and they do that, the English. I would often watch these jolly miniseries with her, learning such valuable lessons as how to be a noble member of the servant class while not really getting anywhere, etc. Anyway, one of the miniseries on Masterpiece Theater was called UXB. And it was great. UXB stood for Unexploded Bomb, and the show concerned UXB Squads who had to get out there and defuse the things. You had lots of sweaty moments with guys with twirled moustaches clipping wires. "Blue or red wire, Chumley?" they would ask each other before impetuously saying "Oh dash it all, Smythe-Forrester. I'm cutting the bl--"

That sort of thing.

My point is what we really need to deal with the ever-present threat of Undead Bees are Undead Bee Disposal Squads. As soon as a shout of "DEAD BEE!" was heard, a van would screech to a halt, and the UBDS would be on the scene, making the world safe for bare feet again. They would cordon off the scene, and guys wearing a lot of Kevlar would isolate the bee and remove it from action. The only trouble is, someone would have to "detonate" these Undead Bees, or else you'd end up with a huge stockpile of them, ripe for some maniac to liberate from their secure location and use them to menace society at large. Once you've looked down the business end of an Undead Bee Stinger, I'm guessing your life would never be the same.

Upcoming expos├ęs:

Why Aquaman is the most potentially threatening superhero

~and~

Punchpuppets: Why are they so funny?

Thursday, October 04, 2001

machaus' Dog Door of Death is hilarious.

Wednesday, October 03, 2001

I don't know how long this link will be up at NME, but it's a streamed half-hour concert of one of my favorite bands: Tindersticks. [Note: make sure you have Real Player 8. I tried with 7 and had Invalid File Type problems]
Was there ever a period between the Golden Age of Silent Film and the onset of Talkies, where movies were merely Muffled, or perhaps just Quiet? The reason I ask is that I've noticed there are movies, the kind of movies that are shown on AMC at odd hours, that look like they are from the 30s or 40s, and whose major feature is almost totally inaudible sound. Maybe that's how movies were. People would gather at their local movie house (or Das Filmhaus for our German friends) and, almost as one, lean forward in a vain attempt to make out what the blazes was going on up there on the screen.

Whole communities would come together as one big happy, hearing-impaired family as people would wail "What are they saying?", "Why did he shoot that guy?" and "I think I hear an oboe". That's what's missing from our world today. Quiet films.

Monday, October 01, 2001

So I just happened to be thinking about the Gap for no really good reason. I spend most of my time desperately trying to avoid the mall (no mean feat when you live in Orange County), so for the most part I lead a relatively Gap-free existence. But when I have walked by the Kids Gap, or whatever it's called, one emotionally scarring feature has leapt out at me: faceless child mannequins.

If you are going to display clothes on a mannequin, give that mannequin a face! These little nightmares look like they're going to animate in the middle of the night (as we all learned mannequins do in the replendent smash hit movie, Mannequin) and spend the next six hours or so running into walls. Actually, come to think of it, faceless child mannequins in that circumstance would probably be a lot less threatening than fully-faced child mannequins.

Here's what I'm really saying: Mannequins are creepy! I think anyone who didn't get a chill from those glowing plastic people should worry about their tolerance for such things.

Also for your enjoyment: faceless heads!

This weekend I visited the Queen Mary in Long Beach Harbor, where they have a little display on how the ship was used during World War II. They had some pretty eerie mannequins too. They looked like the really heavy-looking, badly painted mannequins I remember from when I was a little kid. Maybe they got them at a discount when Mervyn's decided to modernize their displays or something, because all of the scenes would depict, say, a young recruit from Iowa manning an anti-aircraft gun, but because of these old-school mannequins, all I could think of was polo shirts and penny loafers. And consistently, they were posed in positions that made them look like they were sauntering into the boardroom for a big meeting instead of defending a really really huge ship against Jurgen Prochnow and his minions out there somewhere in a U-Boat.

Oh well. Those were different times, I guess.
My friend Chimichanga has kindly informed me that today is the Chinese Moon Festival. Mmm! Moon Cake!
A couple of random things:

First, let me clear the air about this whole Clamato thing: The Clamato people (by "Clamato people" I mean "the people who answer email at Clamato", not "people actually made out of Clamato", which is a whole other story and probably is wiser left untold) sent me a response saying their shipment to me of well over a dollar's worth of valuable Clamato stuff was returned to them for insufficient address. So, let's all wait on the "angry mob attacking the Clamato offices with torches" thing, at least for a couple more days, OK?

Next, a meditation on getting old:

Amiable rogue Kafkaesque is getting old. Yesterday my wife was hacking off my ponytail, which was beginning to resemble something larger birds have been roosting in. Every grey hair she found, she would yank from my head and hand to me, until I had a little pile of grey hairs sitting on my lap. There were about ten of them. So if you want to get into my will or anything, you better hurry up and get on my good side. Sending me some delicious Baked Alaska is always a good start. Or maybe you could make a card out of Bow Tie Pasta. That always goes over well, and shows you can't put a price on your admiration and respect for me.

So there you go. I am going to be thirty in about a month and a half, and already entropy is setting in. My systems are breaking down.

Also, I have been to three weddings in the last three weeks. Oldness.

I have just become an uncle for the first time as well, which makes the whole getting old thing just about bearable. My nephew looks, well, pretty much like a baby. He's baby-sized and has all the good features you look for in a baby: arms, legs and a couple of ears, which he enjoys fingering and yanking on. Anyway, I just wanted to say how proud I am of the little guy, even though he's been here over a week now and has yet to start looking for a job. With all the crap going on in the world right now, you can look at the little guy and have hope for mankind again. My sister and brother-in-law have given me a great gift in adding this little guy to our family, and I can't wait to start spoiling him like the dickens.

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