Monday, October 30, 2006

Quote of the Week

Big N: Who's coming to tailgate with me on Saturday?

EZ: Can you tailgate with wine?

(laughter from all)

Laaw-yuhr: Only if it's box wine.

(EZ sneers)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Couch Toilet or Bumper Dumper - You Decide the Better Invention

A week or so ago, Tiny, EZ, myself and M.Babe and M.Dude were having dinner at our favorite Thai place in the Marigny. M.Babe proceeded to describe how earlier in the day M.Dude announced he was going to go to the bathroom and then didn't resurface for three hours.

M.Dude did not have any *cough* "issues," it's merely that getting up to go to the bathroom was, apparently, so exhausting that it required a nap immediately following. M.Dude then stated that he "was tired" and this is why he believes that "The Couch Toilet
® would be the greatest invention ever."

Risking the obvious, EZ asked "What exactly is a Couch Toilet
® ?"
"Obviously, that's a couch with the toilet built in."
"Think of it," M.Dude said, "you could just sit there watching TV and you'd never have to get up."

Funny, but not terribly original. After all, what lazy (heterosexual) man from time to time hasn't announced a similar desire? A desire to remain indoors, unshowered, comfortably ensconced for a weekend of TV sports?

But let's say your aim is a touch higher - you have a bit more "vision." Let's say your the sort of man, who not only enjoys indoor sports viewing, but also a bit of the outdoors. And when you're out of doors, you still wish to enjoy the full comfort and quality of your home shitter. Well, sir, you are in luck! Someone has invented the Bumper Dumper
® just for you!

And just see what it's creators had to say about it!

The only hitch mounted portable toilet
patented to use any standard full size toilet seat.

It's the most comfortable, stable and sanitary porta potty in the world.
Use it in the hitch receiver or as a stand alone unit.
You can use a bag or a bucket .

Wow! So all they're selling you is a trailer hitch with a ring on it! You supply the toiler seat and the bag or bucket! Fantastic! And after all the work, you can crap in pure comfort! Can I use any more exclamation points?!

Swamp Tour!

So after several years of living in Louisiana, when someone excitedly proposes "Let's go on a Swamp Tour!" it goes over about as well as proposing "Hey, let's go cut ourselves with rusty cans and see if we get tetanus!" Or maybe it's just me. In any case, you can well imagine my lack of enthusiams when our clinic director told us that one of our clients was going to take us on a swamp tour. Oh boy. Can...hardly....wait. This would be my third, and undoubtedly not my last, swamp tour.

And yet, this one rocked the casbah.

A key component to a good tour is that your swamp guide must be a crazy mamma- jamma. On this tour -check and check. In case you can't tell from the picture, our trusty leader is dragging a giant fucking snapping turtle so that us marks can get a better look.

Seriously, do you see the size of that thing?

And yeah, of course they're pretty much endangered. Because if it's cool or scary, some swamp hick probably needs to kill it and turn it into a table lamp or fruit bowl or some shit.

So one things these swamp guys did was buy out an alligator farm so that these older gators could be saved from being eaten. It also allows you to get up close and personal with some gators. And by up close, I mean on a big wooden gang-plank with a waist high railing on the sides.

Here the gators are being fed some chicken. This is one ride where you definitely keep your arms inside.

This is really the best part of the whole tour. This large beaver looking creature is not
a beaver at all.

It is a giant fucking rat.

To be specific, this particular type of rat is known as a Nutria. You might see these on the menu of a NOLA restaurant where it's listed more appetizingly as "swamp rabbit". Now in all fairness, unlike rats that eat refuse, these nutria feed solely on swamp grass, and they are really good at eating it. These things breed so quickly (they can become pregnant a day after giving birth) and they eat so much, they have had a lot to do with the destruction of swamps.

So as crazy swamp man is telling us about these things he says "Now watch, this thing is gonna go from ugly to cute in 3...2...1 " -- and at "1" he hands the giant rat a sucker. And damn it if the sight of giant rat holding a sucker in it's little paws and eating it isn't cute as hell. Because as he's eating that sucker, he starts to look more like a beaver. And then swamp man brings him around for us to pet and he tells us that they are really really soft (they were originally imported to Louisiana for their fur) and aw hell I was sold and I totally pet the thing. Yeah, I pet the rat. HIs name was Mr. Boo for god's sake. How could you not pet Mr. Boo?

And then I started thinking that I would be a total badass with a swamp rat for a pet. Can you imagine taking it for a walk. And then telling people Mr. Boo's a giant rat. Yeah!

Then again, maybe not.

This is a baby gator.

Baby gator made this loud "whah, whah, whah" sound -- and swamp man said that's the sound it makes to call its momma.

You know what every good swamp tour needs? A cougar.
(Shut up Karen!)

Yeah, these crazy swamp people rescued this baby cougar. Surprisingly, it hangs out pretty well both with people and the 15 dogs they've also rescued.

I did not pet the cougar.

Email me if you'd like a picture of me holding the 25 pound gator.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Screw You, Lowe's

This was supposed to be a post either about the swamp tour I took earlier in the week (which was thoroughly awesome I assure you) or my adventure last night, but due to my insanely high level of frustration, this is the blog that has risen the most in urgency. So to continue...

Lowe's - you are dead to me.

Earlier this week one of our dining room chairs broke -- the leg split near the screws. After examining the leg, I realized that some simple glueing could repair the chair good as new. So today I jaunted down to my local hardware store to purchase wood glue and wood clamps.

Except, this turned out to be a herculean task. After searching the store for 15 minutes, I found the wood glue, which was illogically located between the paint section and home furnishings section, as opposed to the wood section. While some of you might think that the
wood glue would be located with the wood stain which in the paint section, you would be wrong again.

Wood glue is located on the aisle with paint brushes. Obviously.

I then proceeded to search the store for 30 minutes looking for wood clamps. I walked the entire store. No wood clamps. I asked every person I encountered wearing a red vest, and honest to god the response invariably was "What are wood clamps?"

The first few times I calmly explained "It's a metal clamp used to hold wood together when it's being glued." After asking the 5th employee however,
I felt like answering as Borat: "For to be the glueing of the wood and together" -- because fucking honestly, if "wood clamp" isn't self explanatory you need to get off the food chain.

For those Lowe's employees that vaguely knew what I was talking about after my explanation, each one sent me to a completely different aisle.

Finally an angry wo-Man management type says to me (like I am a moron) "Oh, they're back here on this wall." The area she indicated was in this weird roped off section of the store called something like "Tool Alley" that had only one entrance and exit. Inside "tool alley" are things like screwdrivers, hammers, tape measures, and wood clamps. All these items are hidden as the are ringed by a wall which displays large powertools, like power table saws. In other words, all the most basic tools you might need are hidden in the back corner of the fucking store and none of the employees seem to be aware of its contents. I was livid.

There is a word for this, but I've given it up.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Come On Feel the Snobbery

As everyone who knows him knows, EZ is a snob. But it's the fun kind of snobbery - like owning a persnickety cat that will only eat its food from a crystal dish. EZ is no different, prefering his food on a porcelain plate (never stoneware!), his water served from a personal carafe, and his wine from a bottle. With many people this would be annoying, with EZ it is rather hilarious.

Knowing his predilections, I forwarded him this article from slate on the merits of box and jug wine. If nothing else, I was thinking in advance to mardi gras where, because of EZ, we drag glass bottles, albeit doubles, of French wine to the parades. In his defense, I much prefer the wine because it packs more of a punch for its volume than beer. That and our first year I got to see Tiny rip the cork from a bottle (that was almost as big as she is) with her teeth. That alone made it worth hauling those damn bottles to the edge of the French Quarter.

But I've digressed. In response to the slate article EZ sent me the following email:

I am fully aware of the claims that there are now drinkable box wines. This does nothing to tame my contempt for them and the people who swear by them. You clearly have misunderstood my greatest objection to that shit. If it doesn't have enough dignity to package itself in a traditional, self-respecting glass bottle, I don't care if it's any good. I refuse to have a cardboard box of wine in my house or to contribute to the gentrification of something so unabashedly white trash. The cardboard box completely defeats the pleasure of the experience. A glass bottle and a cork is not too much to ask for. Wine in a box, especially decent wine, is like eating a gourmet dinner on paper plates with a plastic spork.

And give me a break, single serving wine boxes! I could understand if they were made to be poured into a glass (I might even buy them), but just drinking the shit with a straw straight out of the box like a caprisun!? Give me a fucking break. I'm with the Frenchies all the way on this one. If you're grown up enough to drink the shit, then you should be grown up enough to be able use a cork screw and pour it into a wine glass like a civilized person.

Wouldn't you be amused if you received such an email?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Few More Sure Signs of the Apocalypse

1) ATMs for Jesus.

Having realized that Americans tend not to carry cash, some pastor has created a for profit company that designs "Giving Kiosks" aka ATMs for Jesus. You must read the article, but the basic idea is to facilitate giving by installing ATM machines that allow you to use your debit or credit card to give directly to the church!

And when you give to Jesus, there are so many benefits! For example,
"At Family Church, an evangelical congregation of 700 in West Monroe, La., some members choose the kiosk because they can earn bonus airline miles when they charge their donations, accountant Kristi Young said."

This is really my favorite part of the article though, and I really like the fact that the family mentioned is named Asselin:

"Asselin and his wife normally donate to the church by writing a check. But he said they had been experimenting with the kiosk — and modifying their traditions accordingly. In the past, they would pray over their check together, asking God to ensure it is used for good works. Now those prayers are offered in the glow of the kiosk monitor."

The Bible tells of tells the story of Jesus throwing the money changers out of the temple. I wonder if at the apocalypse Jesus will throw the ATMs out of the churches.

2) A Teacher Got Fired because her student saw a naked statue on a field trip to a museum.

I shit you not. This of course happened in Texas, and also of course happened at the museum where I used to work. Here's the article. There's an even better article in the New York Times (but I cannot provide the link due to the registration requirement). The complaint against the teacher actually said that "students were exposed to nude statues and other nude art representations."

Dear God, not only were 5th graders* exposed to actual nude statues, but there were nude art representations! Heavens to Betsy!

* Puh-lease. Does anyone actually believe that by the time a kid reaches the 5th grade, he's been totally sheltered from nudity?

Good job, Frisco, for making us seem like ignorant hicks.

Additionally, in typical namby pamby style, the museum's director doesn't decry the absurdity of this firing, talk about the first amendment, or in any way say something of substance. This is one of the most ridiculous stories I've read in some time, and this guy has an oportunity to say something profound about art, nudity, and justice and the role of the museum in our culture.

Instead, he provides the New York Times with the following:

“I think you can walk into the Dallas Museum of Art and see nothing that would cause concern,” Mr. Lane said.

Over the past decade, more than half a million students, including about a thousand from other Frisco schools, have toured the museum’s collection of 26,000 works spanning 5,000 years, he said, “without a single complaint.” One school recently did cancel a scheduled visit, he said. He did not have its name.

It's great to see the arts have such a vigorous defender. What a total pussy.

In a similarly ridiculous episode, the city of Sacramento agreed to allow a seven foot statue of Poseidon, a gift from the greek government, to be covered for a homeschooling convention. Over the course of three days, the statue was dressed in a toga, a golf shirt and khaki trousers and on day three in slacks, a dress shirt and a tie.

I like the reaction of one citizen, who makes the previously mentioned museum director look even more apathetic:

"Not all Sacramento residents were happy to see Poseidon in britches, and during the conference, the statue was repeatedly undressed. One downtown office worker, Eric Ford, was caught removing Poseidon's pants by a conference official. Ford later told the Bee, "That statue is for the whole city, not for them. You don't go to a city and decide to change the city's artwork because you think it is not appropriate." As a form of protest, Ford and a colleague later removed the necktie from Poseidon and use it to blindfold the statue."

3) Alcoholism Found To Be Cause of Pedophilia, Anti-Semitism, Sexism, and Terrible Movies.

When the going gets tough, the tought go to rehab. Disgraced Rep. Mark Foley apparently claims alcohol drove him to hit on (i.e. have an explicit IM conversation with) a 16 year old page. To prove it, he promptly checked himself into rehab after the scandal broke. Drinking and IM-ing is such a bad combo. Its so harrd to IM win yer drunkk tho dude. In case the alcohol alone didn't make him do it, he now claims he was molested as a teen.

Foley's attorney also said in a statement today that
"Mark Foley wants you to know he is a gay man." Wow. What a final twist of the knife -- in what I guess is a brilliant political move, Foley will help the Republican Party in its anti-gay crusade by reinforcing the stereotype that pedophilia and homosexuality are the same.

Not unlike Foley, Mel Gibson blamed alcoholism on his anti-semitic and sexist comments. Alcohol is apparently a helluva drug, and like the water that Jesus turned into wine, wine turns Gibson into a raving sugar-tit-liking-anti-semite.

Robin Williams also checked himself into rehab claiming to be "inspired" by Gibson. I'm not sure what about Gibson "inspired" him. Perhaps he feared drinking and then letting loose a few f-bombs, nanu nanus, and some racial epithets in a "funny" robot voice while fake mambo-ing across the stage? More likely, it's just an attempt to stop himself from staring in films like RV.

Addendum: When I initially wrote this, I thought congressional pages were around the age of puberty, not 17 or 18 (they looked so young on C-span!). Therefore, I mislabeled Foley as a pedophile. I was wrong -he's really just a skeezy older gay dude, no different from his skeezy straight colleagues who have also tapped congressional pages for *ahem* extra duties.

4) Four out of Ten Most Trustworthy Celebrities Turn Out To Be Black.

Again, I shit you not. According to an article/slideshow in Forbes, among the ten most trustworthy celebrities are Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Oprah, and James Earl Jones. Maybe America is progressing in terms of racial equality?

Then again, America found idiots like Rachel Ray and Ty Pennington trustworthy. And apparently, there are no trustworthy Latinos.

5) Our Cable TV is out.

I am pissed beyond belief! Cox, our aptly named service provider, cannot fix this problem until the 10th of this month. That's seven whole days from now. Welcome to the damn third world. Not only are we down to the final episodes of Project Runway (for which there is a weekly viewing party at our house) but I will also miss two weeks of Nip/Tuck, and most importantly the season premiere of Battlestar Galactica. As my mother says, "I could spit nails."

Yes, it's definitely the apocalypse.