October 21, 2005

I rarely give advice…but I’ll make an exception

In the real world, that is, outside of blogging, I get asked for advice quite a bit. That’s probably because I give the appearance of a stable, well adjusted person. Not that I am, but I do give the appearance. Since I fear everything I’m always on red alert and that keeps me from making unwise investments, getting involved in ridiculous situations and in general, avoiding the wave of idiocy that many people can’t seem to steer clear of.

Back the point. I often get asked for advice and I rarely dispense it. This makes people crazy. They think I don’t want them to succeed, but that’s not the case at all. I don’t give advice for two reasons.

1. It’s rarely, if ever, heeded
2. Most people don’t want advice, they want someone to blame when things don’t pan out

However, I’m in a charitable mood today, and I’ve got nothing else. Therefore, I offer the following pearls of wisdom:

1. Always sit with your back to the wall.

2. Avoid the herd mentality. If large groups of people are doing something, buying something or behaving a certain way, do the exact opposite.

3. Don’t drink rum or any mixed cocktail with high sugar content for extended periods.

4. Have a sense of honor. Your word should be your bond.

5. Nobody likes a mooch.

6. Shut the fuck up. Sometimes it’s best to listen.

7. If you can’t afford to pay cash for something, you definitely can’t afford it at 14% on your credit card.

8. Learn from the experience of others. Learning the hard way is not mandatory.

9. People will fuck you over if you let them.

10. Abusive relationships should be terminated with extreme prejudice.

11. Marriage vows should mean something. Or why bother.

12. If you don’t have the correct tool, don’t start the job.

13. Life is short, have some fun and don’t fuck it up.

14. When driving, don’t lurk in someone’s blind spot.

15. If you want something done right, be prepared to pay through the nose.

16. If you’ve been getting your hair cut the same way for more than ten years, you probably look like a jackass.

17. Good friends are hard to replace. Preserve those you have.

18. Shitty friends will drag you down with them.

19. Nothing is out of your reach. Don’t be afraid of success.

20. Don’t tailgate others.

21. If in the course of life you make enemies, it is best to keep them near you.

22. If you are severely wronged by someone, the proper payback is at least three times the initial value in cash, pain or inconvenience.

23. Enjoy the arts. Music is good for the soul.

23. Be excellent to each other.

24. Party on dudes!

Posted by Paul! at 11:40 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 20, 2005

Sitting the bench

There was a time not long ago that I could spit out posts like nobody’s business. I don’t mean links or bullshit posts where you talk about having nothing. I mean posts that had a beginning, middle and an end. That had pacing and theme. Posts that told a story.

It would seem they’ve dried up. Maybe I’ve gone to the well too many times. Maybe it’s the fact that most of my stuff revolved around my interaction with other people, which I have been forced to limit, in order to preserve my sanity.

Or maybe my luck has improved. I haven’t scalded the shit out of my mouth with hot napalm-like pizza lately, I haven’t shit myself in a long time…no wonder I’ve got nothing. Today I’ve got a headache. There’s nothing funny about a headache. I’ve got nothing to play off of. It’s not like cramps and the running shits—that’s good stuff. My whole schtick revolved around embarrassment and I’ve had nothing since the underwear incident.

I miss my old ways. Once I was driving down the freeway and I noticed a wasp was in the car. Now I’m a man and all, but there was a fucking wasp in the car. So I rolled down a window to blow it out, but instead of it going out it blew over to my side, and before I knew it the bastard was on my neck and I was swerving all over the road (in a man-like, controlled manner). There was a lot of swatting and wriggling on my part and I’m pretty sure I was screaming pretty loud too before I got the bastard out.

You see, that’s funny, even though it was emotionally stressful at the time. As far as I was concerned I was fighting a fucking dragon…it’s all the same to me. One may be smaller but they’re both trying to kill me.

And speaking of stress, someone needs to explain what pleasure is derived from going to haunted houses/scare fests around Halloween. I’ve done my share as a younger man and I failed to see the charm. You pay money to walk around in the dark while a bunch of assholes wait until you’re most vulnerable and then jump out screaming and scare the living shit out of you. I don’t find that type of anticipation pleasurable. I find it fucking stressful. I’m a nervous wreck after that shit. I also don’t like people yelling in my ear. My natural tendency is to attack someone that yells in my ear, and that tendency is hard to restrain. And often is not. Fear is the mother of violence. If you scare me, I will usually attack you.

I have no idea how to end this travesty. Mordieux…what has become of me?

Posted by Paul! at 01:51 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Let’s just be honest

Here’s a headline from AP this morning:

Wilma Roars Toward Yucatan, Southern Fla.

As of this writing, the fucking thing is wobbling around at seven MPH. Seven MPH is not roaring. It’s also nowhere near Florida, it’s currently not heading towards Florida, and I suspect that these pinheads have no idea where it’s going to end up.

I even have some proof.

For the past three days I’ve heard and seen nothing but one forecast track, the published conglomeration of models interpreted and published by NOAA. Last night’s 5:00PM discussion, which can be found archived here, shows not only the unpredictability of hurricanes, but the ineptitude of forecasters. Witness, then, what happens when they throw their hands into the air:


Emphasis mine.

Today they’re back to the old track, most likely because they have no clue and are afraid to say so.

Wouldn’t it be better if they just were honest about it? Just once I’d like to hear them say, “Look, man, this thing’s heading west right now, but we don’t where it’s going or when it’s going to get there. Our educated guess says it hits the Yucatan on Thursday, but after that we just shake the magic eight ball.”

I bet that any one of us could predict where this thing lands with as much accuracy as the National Hurricane Center.

Posted by Paul! at 08:38 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 19, 2005

The Vodka Challenge

Here’s an amusing article about the search for the best vodka. It’s pretty entertaining.

Are you a fan of Absolut? Here’s what the panel had to say:

“… Panel members noted its "piercing, antiseptic quality," "too-dry taste," "medium burn," and "unremarkable finish" and agreed that midshelf vodkas (again, we only tested premium brands) represented a much better value.”

Go figure. I was never a big fan.

I really enjoyed the critique of this vodka, one I’ve never heard of:

“… The vodka's industrial-strength bouquet reminded one drinker of "burning tires." As for its taste, the panelists declared it "sticky-sweet," "thick," and "gluelike." "I wouldn't use it to fuel my lawn mower," one taster said, bringing the discussion to an end.”

I’ve always wanted to do taste test like this but my friends, as rule, are hard to control when surrounded by a large number of full liquor bottles. It’s not that they’re wild Indians or anything, but maintaining order during a structured event that involves shots seems highly unlikely.

Posted by Paul! at 01:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

It’s not like I didn’t predict it

I never tire of reading this post.

Posted by Paul! at 11:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dog Attacks Anti-Dangerous Dog Bill Author

"ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The author of a new state law that allows felony charges against owners of dangerous dogs was hospitalized over the weekend after his own dog attacked him."

I rarely laugh out loud.

Posted by Paul! at 09:00 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 18, 2005

Goat Cheese and Gray Matter

I can’t help but notice a shitload of spam in the comments. Shank is asleep at the switch.

Most of you are still using the paul@sanitys-edge email address and that will be dead by tomorrow or Wednesday. Please use the alternative. I would post it here but then I’ll be inundated with offers of cheap hard-on pills and penile enlargement doohickeys, neither of which interests me. If anybody knows how to do that thing with the code where your email address is on the page but in the source it looks like Latin vomit, please speak up and make yourself useful.

For some reason I can’t make a decent Bloody Mary. Either too much Worcestershire or not enough. I guess I’ll have to start actually measuring. I like to use Clamato instead of tomato juice and I add few shrimp so that’s kind of like a meal.

I’m debating going home for lunch and afternoon sex. And a Bloody Mary.

Did you know that Worcestershire sauce has a disputed history? You might also be interested knowing what that shit’s made out of, namely, vinegar, molasses, corn syrup, water, chilli peppers, soy sauce, pepper, tamarinds, anchovies, onions, shallots, cloves and garlic.

Lea & Perrins, the most popular brand also has a secret ingredient that purportedly gives it an extra kick. They’ve kept it a secret since 1837 and they’re pretty serious about it. According to their slow-ass loading web page, only three or four people know what the secret and it’s been broken up so that no one knows the whole recipe and it involves a lot of secret code words. It takes up to two years to make a bottle of Lea & Perrins and their website makes it all seem very romantic.

Tell me this ain’t good blogging.

The Bloody Mary itself has a distinguished history.

It was first mixed at Harry’s American Bar in Paris, a notorious Hemingway hangout. It was originally made with gin because back in the 20s vodka was not a very popular spirit. The originator took the recipe back to New York where hearty Americans insisted it was a pussified French drink and insisted on adding Tabasco.

Many speculate the concoction was named after Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII who killed off just a shitload of her Protestant adversaries and became known as “Bloody Mary.” Others speculate it was named after a Chicago whore. Since I doubt that many 1920s bartenders were acquainted with the history of the House of Tudor, I’d have to go with the whore theory.

Regardless, it’s one hell of a versatile cocktail and I’d like to have me one as soon as possible.

Posted by Paul! at 09:55 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

October 17, 2005

Aging whore points finger at others

Drudge, who gets more pathetic with each passing day, gives us this:


Not much of a story, really. Three lines about the old trollop turned Nostradamus. He also adds, “Developing.” Yeah, you definitely want to keep your eye on that one.

Twenty seconds of my life, gone the way of the dodo.


Posted by Paul! at 03:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Iron Chef...Improved

After reading this I had an inspired idea on how to improve the show Iron Chef America.

Currently, they have three judges. Two are usually food critics of some sort, and the third is usually some minor celebrity. On my version of the show, they’ll have six judges. Three will be proven food people. The other three? Hobos.

Surely they can find three hobos who can use a hundred bucks and meal. Meanwhile, the entertainment value goes up tenfold. There’s no reason why hobos can’t be food critics and just think of the potential. You’ll have some world class chefs being judged, likely harshly, by bums. Those fragile egos will be put to a serious test.

Maybe they can give the bums each a new suit of clothes, a bath and a shave so that they don’t stink the place up too bad and then let them comment and fill out scorecards like the other judges. It would be interesting and probably hysterically funny to see hobos critique and articulate their views on haute cuisine. I’m telling you, this would be huge, especially if they start hollering and have bad table manners.

The chefs, for they’re part, will have to satisfy both astute food industry people and the hobos.

Maybe I’m just fascinated by hobos put into close contact with “the beautiful people.” Is that wrong? I mean, it’s not like I’m calling them vagrants or anything.

Posted by Paul! at 03:15 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Muffin Tops

I was in a position to watch a great number of people this weekend, being in a very crowded place, and I’m sorry to report that the incidents of inappropriate attire people don for public display has not lessened.

I witnessed several instances of heavy women wearing low rise jeans or shorts with a skimpy top that bares the midriff. The problem with this particular style of dress on a heavy woman is that when they squeeze into those jeans, the fat gets pushed up and over the waistband creating a “muffin top.” I had no idea there was a specific term for this until my old lady enlightened me whilst pointing one out.

She elaborated.

“The problem is, almost everything is cut to low rise for women nowadays,” she said. “But you have to have a great body to pull off the bare midriff without the muffin top. That’s why a lot of girls wear a top that covers it. As you can see, some people either don’t know or don’t care about the muffin top.”

It was enlightening.

Aside from the muffin tops, I saw a lot of other disturbing attire. Guys wearing Capri pants. I wouldn’t have believed it had I not seen it. Someone needs to explain to me to me how a guy can walk around in Capri pants and not feel like a total dickwad—because the guys I saw looked like total dickwads.

Some people wear what I like to call the “designer costume”. That’s where every piece of clothing they wear has DKNY or Hilfiger stamped all over it. I’m not a fan of obviousness. Guy’s do this more than girls and it makes me cringe.

Then there’s “the juicy chicks.” Women who wear shorts with the word “juicy” written prominently across their ass. While that may work for women in decent shape, the majority of women I saw should really know better than to draw attention to their fat asses by boldly printing slogans across it. Some of these broads could have a whole paragraph written back there. What could they possibly be thinking?

Don’t think I’m against heavy people… that’s not the case at all. I’m against heavy people wearing clothing that’s clearly inappropriate. If I had a big beer gut, I wouldn’t wear tight fitting shirts or take my shirt off at every available opportunity. For some reason fat guys love to take their shirts off.

On the bright side, I saw a hot chick wearing some kind of spandex, half body suit that fit like a second skin. It was black and red and I didn’t see her until my kid pointed and called out, “There’s Mrs. Incredible!” And that’s exactly what she looked like. Yes, one could say it was inappropriate attire, but at least it didn’t repulse me.

Posted by Paul! at 09:18 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 12, 2005

Okay, People

This is your opportunity to complain about the new design and any problems you're having seeing things.

One thing I'll tweak more later is the font situation, but not until I know that everybody can read the blog title and description up there at the top.

Also, Shank and Paul need to decide what they want in the sidebars...I'll make any changes or additions you want.

Posted by Jennifer at 10:51 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Phase two, wherein Paul has nothing

Yeah, I’ve got nothing. And to make matters worse, Shank’s been poking me with a stick, albeit subtly, to make something happen. He’s becoming Col. Parker and I think he’s afraid I’ll die sitting on the toilet like Elvis.

Perhaps I exaggerate. He sent an email saying, “Hey, what’s up?” But I can read between the lines. He’s thinking that fucker hasn’t been producing. Well, I guess I can’t blame him there.

When this type of situation happens in my professional life, I’m full of articulate responses that generate the required effect even if they’re complete bullshit. Allow me to simulate them here:

Well, Shank, I’m glad to see you’re rallying the team, and it’s quite timely on your part, as I’ve just put together a proposal that I believe will push us over the top. One of my research teams has concluded that the font we’re using currently is not only unappealing, but subliminally conjures the image of complete ineptitude on our part. Furthermore, the blog is an odd color. It’s somewhat black and somewhat gray. It’s floating in the netherworld between these two colors. Again, as you’ll see from their upcoming report, the research team found that among men ages 24-36, 84% found the current background color “half-assed.”

Of women polled from the same age group, 73% found the background to be, in their words, “shitty.” How quickly can we get Design and IT into a meeting about this? Because frankly, I’m getting some calls from the top and I’m not sure how long I can pacify them.

That’s what I usually do at work. Here on the blog I can’t really do that. Here, because of my tenuous position, I must write something. If I don't come up with something soon I'll have to start making shit up about other bloggers and post it with feigned indignance.

Who wants to play How Many Beers?

Posted by Paul! at 08:10 AM | Comments (33) | TrackBack

October 07, 2005

Could it be that simple?

I rarely bring up politics or world events, but I may have stumbled on to something quite by accident.

From here:

“A man holds a woman by the hand and dances with her in front of everyone. Does that serve the national interest?”

Who gives a shit? Nothing these assholes do serves any real national interests. I think the reason these people are so full of hate is because they’re not getting laid. They’re so repressed by Stone Age beliefs that they probably need to be taught masturbation.

After controversies when a Hamas-led council halted a dance festival and Islamist gunmen stopped a rap band performing in Gaza, Dr Zahar defended the enforcement of a strict interpretation of Islam.

Okay, so they’re not into hip-hop. I can’t fault their judgment on that, but they need to loosen up. Let’s face it, we’ve seen this all before. Remember Footloose? Kevin Bacon wasn’t having any of that no dancing bullshit, and he taught that town a valuable lesson.

Don’t you think these people want to make out? I mean, if a guy’s got his arm around a chick and he’s trying to get his other hand up under there it’s hard to hold to a rifle. If given a choice between making a bomb or maybe getting to third base with some chick at a party, who the hell would choose the bomb? I think what the majority of these people want is a six pack of beer and a box of rubbers. Kevin Bacon may be the answer to this entire problem.

Posted by Paul! at 08:39 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 03, 2005

You wouldn’t have believed it

Saturday morning I took the kid to play in her first soccer game. It was much worse than I ever imagined.

First of all she’s only five. Neither she nor I had any great expectations. I never cared for the sport, personally. The kid has no clue about the game at all, but insisted she join a team anyway. She’s a social creature.

So we get there and it’s worse than I expect by a long shot. Every caricature of a sports parent that you could ever imagine was incarnated on this field. So I tell the kid to go have fun and I sit down away from the other parents. As the kids are warming up I notice that most parents aren’t speaking English. Portuguese and Spanish are dominant. Some of the fathers are kicking a ball around off to the side, completely overdoing it, hamming it up and causing a general scene by yelping loudly in their native tongues. They are all grossly overweight and out of shape. Within minutes it comes to a grinding halt, with one guy holding his hand over his heart and panting like a dog. Adios Mio! This guy’s going to die here in the grass, I thought. I don’t have time for this today.

Instead he slowly got up and walked back to the rest of his family and collapsed on a bench. His family consisted of at least nine adults and a passel of poorly-mannered kids of all ages. Their normal speaking voices were deafening. They all yelled at each other for the entire game.

Meanwhile I turned my attention back to my kid. The game was about to start and I was fairly certain she didn’t even know the basic rules of the game. The whistle blows and the game begins. Every player from both teams swarm the ball and it resembles a rugby scrum. No one plays defense. Even the goalies are in the scrum. Eventually the ball squirts out of the clump with a child or two chasing it while the rest of them just stand there watching. Less than a minute in, most of the kids have already had enough. Two of them were crying.

To make a long story short, it works like this. The kids chase the ball in a big clump. If one of them actually manages to kick it, it goes out of bounds. This continues until it’s time to go home, or enough children are crying that they have to call a time out. Within the first ten minutes most of the parents were chasing their kids around the field yelling instructions at them. The coach sees the hopelessness of all this and bans the parents from the field.

Meanwhile, I realize that the fat bastard who thought he was having a heart attack stole my two bottles of water. Now my kid’s got nothing to drink and it’s hot out. I went over to the guy and pointed out his error, but one bottle was already gone and he was drinking out of the other one. As I’m talking to him I hear a great commotion coming from his family. They’re all screaming, “Carlos! Carlos! Carlos!”

The guy I’m talking to dashes off to the sideline along with his giant extended family. On the field there’s a kid that looks a lot older than the others. These kids are supposed to be between three and five years old and this kid looks like he’s ten. He’s dribbling the ball downfield all by himself, the rest of both teams either crying or sitting down on the field. The big kid is approaching the net and there is no goalie in sight. With a flourish the kid kicks the ball into the open goal and throws his hands into the air. Instantly, the giant family of Portuguese people run onto the field and lift the kid up onto their shoulders cheering, “Carlos! Carlos! Carlos!”

It was surreal. The coach, who had had quite enough, was trying to restore order, but it was hopeless. I looked around trying to find my kid and saw her and another little girl sitting in the grass chatting. They were nonplussed.

When the whole ordeal was over and we were walking to our car through the sea of minivans, I asked if she had fun.

“It’s too hot out.”

“I know, Sweetie, but did you like it?”

“I would like it better if it was inside.”

“You don’t want to come anymore?”

“Not really.”

“Well, I don’t blame you. “

As I buckled her into the car I could still hear little Carlos’s family going at it. I looked up just in time to see the fat father kick a soccer ball into the side of someone’s van.

Posted by Paul! at 08:48 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack