Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Not Just a Man with a Flashlight

And it’s too bad really. He may actually have something to contribute then.

Of course I’m talking about Usher.

My gym is basically a hip-hop club without the hip. Usually when I’m placed in a situation where I’m forced to listen to a certain style of music, a style with which I’m not too familiar or interested, I gain an appreciation. Not a great love or anything, but an appreciation none the less. This happened to me when I did summer stock in Wyoming. There’s really no escaping country music in Wyoming. Well, there is, but I learned that I hate butt-rock a long time ago.

I came back from that summer with an appreciation for country music. Especially since I had to play it while I was there. Like I said, I don’t love country music, I don’t listen to country music, but I am able to appreciate that Brad Paisley is one hell of a guitar player.

Anyway, they play a lot of rap and hip-hop at the gym. And not good rap and hip-hop.

But they’re not content with just playing it on the stereo. No, we get to watch it on the TVs. Can’t listen to it on the TVs, but we sure do get to watch it.

See, Usher has done it again. He’s duked it out and kept his crown. He’s the undisputed king of…well, not hip-hop, right? Something. I don’t know what you would classify his music as. R&B? Maybe. But I remember a time when R&B actually contained elements of Rhythm and Blues! So I refuse to classify it that way.

Let’s just call it easy-hop. Ghetto-light. All of the ridiculous stereotyping with none of the edge.

This time Usher has teamed up with Alicia Keys. Say it ain’t so Alicia! I actually think that Alicia is talented. I think Usher is a waste.

Their musical masterpiece is entitled “My Boo.” A lovely title. A term of endearment. Boo.

It used to be a good word. It was scary! So was the word “usher!” He’s single handedly ruining every word in the English language. And even some that aren’t. Here’s an excerpt (I’ve added some editorial adjustments, in case Usher wants to re-release the song as a duet with Nelly):

It started when we were young girl(s)
You were mine my boo
Now another brother's taking over (for you, his name is Carl, he’s a stockbroker, he’s dreamy and…he’s riiiiiiich!)
But its still in your eyes my boo
Even though we used to argue it's alright
I know we haven't seen each other
In awhile but you will always be my boo


I wish I could write like this. But no, I’m stuck here. I don’t have a big house or Alicia Keys pretending to be my ex-girlfriend. And, believe it or not, there are even those out there more deserving of those things than me.

They belong to Usher. Jerk.

When I watched this video, I was already in a foul mood. Nelly’s video was on right before it.

I heard your friend tell a friend that told a friend of mine
That you was thinking that we should do it one more time
If this ain't the truth then hopefully it's not a lie
Cause I ain't got no issue with hitting that another time
We never had a problem with gettin it done
Disagreed upon a lot ma, but sex wouldn't one
Now check it I know you get excited when I come around and bite it
Quit frownin up and quit actin like you don't like it

I think I got a bad translation. I suspect that in the line “Disagreed upon a lot ma, but sex wouldn't one,” the world “wouldn’t” is actually supposed to be “wuddn’t.” Always recheck the spell-checker peeps!

But back to Usher. There was a bit of suspicious business in his video. I don’t know if it was intentional, but something’s going on here.

As you know, I’ve always suspected that Usher is gay. I’m not trying to be derogatory or anything, I’m just telling you that I think he’s gay. And I think that he wants to tell the world. Albeit, in a subtle “oh we all saw it coming” sort of way.

In the video, Usher sings these lines:

Do you remember girl
I was the one who gave you your first kiss
Cause I remember girl
I was the one who said put your lips like this

In the video, when Usher sings “…put your lips like this,” there’s a shot of Alicia putting on lipstick. And Usher is nowhere to be found.

Now why would a straight brother give makeup tips?

And who are these hip-hop guys trying to kid anyway. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but if you’ve got your own clothing line it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion.

Fun Fact: This past weekend, Tanya and I were invited to watch Aussie Rules Football at the Cock and Bull British Pub on Lincoln.

There were a lot of people there, mostly foreigners. I was really looking forward to it. After all, Aussie Rules is pretty interesting. High-scoring, brutal, tough.

Then the pre-show started.

All I can say is that no one can femme up a manly sport like the Aussies.

And the New TAM Cartoon is up!

I swear that I’m not homophobic. It’s just that Usher, and the people in the Aussie Rules pre-show are gay! It’s a fact, people!

Friday, September 24, 2004

Behind the Scenes

Let me take you on a journey, a journey into a dark abyss. An abyss filled with darkness. Darkness surrounded by an abyss.

There, you’ve gotten a pretty good taste for what my movie synopses are like. Especially the movies so bad that no one wants to give any information on them. Movies like National Lampoon’s Holiday Reunion. Now, I’ve never written a synopses for this movie but the other day Tanya brought the screener home for us to keep!

I think I’m going to make her take it back. It’s quite possibly the worst movie ever made. Even for a Judge Reinhold flick, it’s bad.

I just had to share that with you.

Now to the real “point.” Thousands of people have asked me, “Tam, how do you create the TAM cartoon? It’s so fantabulously fantabulous. Is it possible that something so fantabulous could be made by human hands?!”

Okay, no one has ever asked me how I draw the TAM cartoons. Not ever! I’m pretty sure that they’re just too embarrassed. They don’t want to admit that they read it.

So, for all of you just dying to get a look behind the scenes of the TAM Cartoon, today is your lucky day! I was inspired by watching the bonus material on my new Star Wars boxed set. Plus, it gives me something to post.

Let’s get to it.

First, I start with a horribly unfunny script. I usually write it about 15 minutes before I start to draw. I usually get the idea about…15 before I start to draw. Very professional. The script looks like this:

Did you work on your screenplay?

You don’t just work on a screenplay. You have to nurture it. You have to take it by the hand and coax it from the shadows like a frightened child.

Why don’t you put the energy into writing that you put into your excuses for not writing?

I don’t remember what I said. Was it good?

Wow! Can you believe that writing? And so descriptive!

Then I take a smoke break.

Next, I prepare the paper with a T-Square and some non-photo blue pencils (the blue pencil lines won’t be picked up by the scanner). The un-scanned strip is 5” X 14”. It’s not the “industry” standard. But I’m not in the industry so any cartoon geek reading this can kiss my grits.

Then I layout the “dialogue” and sketch the characters (also in non-photo blue).

I know what you’re probably thinking. “If he’s just tracing the words, how come his lettering is so bad?!”

It’s because I’m lazy.

Then I fill in the letters using a Picma Micron 08 pen filled with #1 archival ink. It sounds pretty complicated. It’s just a small marker. But a good small marker. Real cartoonists use nib pens for this, but I’m not very good with calligraphy.

Then I take a smoke break.

Next, I use a Hunt 512 extra fine tipped nib and Higgins waterproof black India ink to do the initial inking of the characters. But after two smoke breaks, I’m pretty shaky. That’s why I can’t seem to draw very fluid lines (it’s a lot less noticeable once the cartoon is scaled down). Actually, the 5 diet Pepsis I drink during the day don’t help much either.

After I’m done with the initial inking of the characters, I use a 003 sable hair brush and more Higgins ink to fatten the outer lines of the main characters. It gives the strip a little more depth since I refuse to do much shading. Plus it gives it a more “painted” look. I would paint the whole thing, but that takes forever. I’m not made of time people!

Now, the cartoon is basically done. All I have to do now is clean up any mistakes (I use white latex paint instead of white out. Because we don’t have any white out), add in the border lines (which are never square, I think my drawing board is crooked), put in the “dialogue bubbles” and add those black things at the top of the frames (they’re there to add visual “interest” in lieu of an actual background. I told you that I’m not made of time!). In case you’re keeping score, I use my 003 brush, the Micron pen, white paint and a sharpie (to save ink. So pro!).

Now the cartoon is done. All I have to do is sign it.

I put this last picture in just because I took it and it was not an easy picture to take. So now you have to suffer.

Anyway, I scan the cartoon into the computer in two pieces (it’s too big for the scanner), put it back together using Microsoft Picture It and it’s ready to be ignored by the entire internet community!

All in all, it takes me about two and a half hours to get one done. Y’all better laugh at it!

Now you know.

Fun Fact: The Apprentice was lame last night. Trump needed to be fired right along with crazy restaurant lady. I don’t care how much money he has. He’s a moron.

And I swear that I’m going to stop watching if they don’t nix that stupid trumpet fanfare every time Trump comes down the escalator.

And the new TAM Cartoon is up! Yes, the one from the behind-the-scenes extravaganza! Kismet!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Yes! We Have No Bananas

We have no bananas today!

That’s my not-so-clever way of saying…we have no bananas.

Or anything to post about. Besides, we passed on buying bananas the last time we went to the supermarket. But right now, I’m sort of wishing that we didn’t.

I have to get to work on a cartoon and some synopses. But I will say this. This morning there was a story on the news about the possible assassination of one of Princess Diana’s bodyguards. Allegedly, the Royal Family was trying to cover up Diana’s sexual indiscretion. As Diana devotees everywhere continue their relentless search for the truth behind her death, they seem to uncover one very interesting fact about the late Princess Di.

She seemed to be kind of…easy.

But let’s not besmirch the memory of a great lady. She will always be loved for her devotion and sensitivity toward horrifyingly legless kids. But don’t you think she could have been a little more sensitive? I mean, she knew the horrors of land mines, how they disfigure and cripple thousands of people every year.

Some might view her “leg spreading” as just showing off.

Fun Fact: Okay, listen, I swear that this was going to be my fun fact before I started making tasteless jokes about anti land mine advocates. I swear!

Almost everyday on my walk I pass this little old one-armed man, not quite patiently waiting for the hospital shuttle.

Anyway, he smells like Old Spice.

Man, now it’s even lamer.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

They’re Always After Me

It’s a strange new phenomenon. Dangerous? Maybe. Deadly? For sure.

Okay, you may be saying to yourselves, “that makes no sense.” You’d be right. But it doesn’t change the fact that this new phenomenon is possibly dangerous and most definitely deadly.

Or maybe it does. Does it?


Enough! Let me get to the point and stop wasting space. Here is the new perhaps deadly, unquestionably lethal phenomenon to which I refer:

Stupid "family" decals. Do these things bother anyone else? They don’t seem right or practical. Least of all now. (Aside from the obvious danger that they obstruct rear window vision)

The times in which we live offer many dangers. Terrorist threats, kidnappers and Trans Fatty Acids to name a few. It doesn’t seem wise that people should put their family tree on the back window of a minivan. But not their entire family tree, no. Just the kids. All that’s missing is a map to their house and their grade school class schedule.

Okay, maybe it’s not that dangerous. But it could be. That thing even has the kids’ names on it. That’s just bad judgment. Not that any kidnapper will probably recognize the kids from their stick figure doppelganger.

This kind of thing used to be okay. In fact when my sister and I were little kids (I was 8 or 9 and Mandy was 6 or 7), we used to go to my father’s house in West Virginia every year to spend the summer. One year my mom shipped us off with our names on our shirts. Not only our names, but our home telephone number! I’m guessing that if we were abducted, she wanted to get that ransom demand as soon as possible. That’s the kind of mom she was. Great. She would have paid that ransom demand too, I reckon, in a heartbeat!

But that was then. People saw that type of thing as a way to make kids safer. Which it did. Nowadays, we train kids like we train spies.

“Hey, where is your mother!?”

“Jessica, second grade, desk in corner, Miss Hooper homeroom.”

“Look, honey, it’s me, daddy. I just need to know where your mother went.”

“Jessica, second grade, desk in corner, Miss Hooper homeroom.”

However, I do know that the people who own this particular minivan are too old to have small children. I can only assume that the stick figures represent their grandchildren. Either that, or there are some red faced 40-somethings out there begging mom to take that stupid decal off the car.

What could make these grandparents risk their kid’s security just to advertise their family’s sexual virility?

Maybe we should take a closer look?

Here is the decal in a larger view. But you probably already figured that out.

I think that there is something more sinister at work here. This seems to be a strange family. I can’t figure out if there are 8 kids or if the biggest two are the parents.

Either way, this is a bizarre crew. Perhaps they’re not worried about kidnappers and terrorists and high cholesterol? Who knows. But I sincerely hope that they like baseball. I know that whenever I see someone holding a bat in the way depicted on the decal, my first thought isn’t “hit one out of the park for me!”

Oh sure, the stick figures are smiling, but they’re pretty menacing with those bats. And who could blame them? One of them at least. The second oldest. I’d carry a bat too if I were a goofy grinning bald boy named “Lisa.”

Maybe, they’re inviting the kidnappers in some sort of vigilante sting operation?

Or maybe, and this is my personal belief, maybe the lady who drives the minivan is looking for a little excitement? Perhaps she gets a thrill out of the constant fear that she’s being chased around town by a band of tiny thugs?

It sure beats AM radio anyway.

Fun Fact: As I’ve been writing this, it became Autumn. Officially. At 9:30 pacific standard time.

I don’t quite understand how they came up with the idea to start autumn on the half-hour, but I suspect it has something to do with a huge government cover-up.

This thing goes all the way to the White House!

Happy Autumn! The best time of the year. Now if it only weren’t 90° out today…

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Happy Dies Martis

This is going to be a lame post. Even more lame than the others. I want to get some work done. I have to get my synopses written and then work on writing a script.

Don’t get all excited. This isn’t a new script, or even a script that I’ll get much credit for. I’m just trying to help fix an existing one. The challenge here is that the film has already been shot. Should be fun. I’ve already “fixed” it once. Maybe this time I’ll do a better job?

Just a quick post to let you know that the new TAM Cartoon is up!

If you haven't done so, why not visit the archives? It should entertain you for at least 5 minutes.

Fun Fact: I know it’s been nagging at you all for a long time, so here is the origin of Tuesday (eliki.com).

Tuesday is the third day of the week. In the Roman calendar the corresponding day was dies Martis, the day of Mars, associated with Ares. Tiw's day is derived from Tyr or Tir, the god of honorable war, the wrestler and the son of Odin, or Woden, the Norse god of war and Frigga, the earth mother. His emblem is the sword, and in olden days the people paid him great homage. Tuesday was named in his honor.

The metal iron, dedicated to Mars and interpreted as his spear and shield, is an attribute of Tuesday.

It couldn’t be any clearer than that. I feel like I was practically there. That Frigga, what a character.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Oh, the Humanity!

As I heard about five times yesterday, “I see dead people.”

More accurately, “I’ve seen dead people.” Tanya and I, plus a couple of friends, Kevin and Leesa, took a trip to see the Body Worlds exhibit at the California ScienCenter last night.

If you’re not familiar with this exhibit, go here. Of you’re too lazy to go here, I’ll fill you in. This guy named Gunther von Hagen was sitting around one day when he got a brilliant idea. To take dead people and turn them into plastic. Thus was born the Body Worlds experience.

All of the “plastinates” (as they like to call them, I suppose because it’s a whole lot less creepy than calling them Joe, Bob or Elaine) were the remains of actual human beings. Through a fairly simple procedure called “plastination”, they remove all of the bodies’ water and fat and replace it with fluid plastic.

Listen to me, “simple procedure.” Simple sounding procedure anyway. But simple or complicated, the result is fascinating and, remarkably, not very off-putting.

It’s a truly unique experience. But, like I said, not near as eerie as I had hoped. I thought that posable dead people would sincerely creep me to the core. They didn’t. Which is probably the reason why the exhibit is touted as a learning experience and not a Halloween house of horrors.

I tried in vain to make it creepier for myself. I wanted to be in the company of dead guys and to have my shallow world rocked by the claustrophobic feeling of mortality. It wasn’t.

That’s not to say that the exhibit wasn’t very interesting. They do all kinds of weird things with the plastinates; make them pose like super-heroes, recline seductively (no thanks m’am, besides, you’re pregnant!), hold their own brains and skin and play games like soccer, basketball and chess. They cut them in half, they cut them in thirds, they cut them open…

Again, not that creepy. But it’s all context. When you’re staring at a woman’s innards in the company of hundreds of other people with little cell phone looking things to their ears and reading little plaques that explain each one, how could it be that scary? Besides, they look like plastic models, not real human beings. But you find that same plastic lady with her innards showing in your closet in the middle of the night as you’re reaching for a robe…things get a whole lot scarier.

One thing that should have been scary was the fact that most of the plastinates had black lungs from years of smoking. Since they don’t tell you about how these good people died, you can’t be sure if it’s the smoking that did it.

I’m a smoker. Tanya kept nudging me, “you see that? That’s what your lungs look like! You should quit before you become a plastic statue with a soccer ball”

Okay, she didn’t say that last part, but there was one plastinate posed to look like he was guarding a soccer goal. He was diving to stop the ball that could’ve only been kicked by this guy riding a dead horse. Anyway, his lungs were pitch black. I was taken out of the scene there for a moment. I understand that the poses that the people are put in have nothing to do with what they did in “real” life, but a goalie with black lung?

Kevin reminded me that all of the donated bodies were from Europe. I guess it’s possible. They like to smoke over there. Or maybe he played for his local coal mining union?

I digress; the point is that all of the black lungs are a little disturbing. I heard a lot of other people telling their significant others the same thing. But here’s the thing. Smoking is an irrational and idiotic habit practiced by irrational and idiotic people. What makes anyone think that a little black lung is going to cause me to do anything but crave a cigarette?

Which it did.

I’m pretty stupid. After all, I smoke.

Besides, the plaque said that the black lungs were caused by as little as 20 cigarettes a day. I’m a lame ass smoker. I only smoke about 10 a day.

Okay, fine, it’s still dumb. Look, are we here to get on my case about my mild nicotine addiction or talk about dead people?!

That’s what I thought.

As I said, they don’t give any information about the people in the exhibit. They say that they don’t want the exhibit to be about who the people were in life, or the personal tragedies of their deaths. But for one, I would like to know something about them. Not their names or where they lived, but did they actually like to play basketball or did they really hold their skin in their hands in life?

There were a lot of doctors in attendance. That’s how you can tell that it’s an important exhibit. What else would you expect from the ScienCenter, a place so on top of things that they scientifically discovered a way to compress their name, doing away with 2 letters and that wasteful space between words?!

But with the doctors also came the dumb-asses (ironically, some of the doctors were the dumb-asses). Kids mostly though. Stupid kids. I can’t get away from them, no matter how many I kill and bury in the basement.

I’ll forever have the word “plastinate” stuck in my head. “Hey, could you please not touch the plastinate?!” “Sir, don’t handle the plastinate!” “Kids, could you step away from the plastinate?!”

There was one troubled kid in particular. Older. Teenager. You can already tell he’d be trouble. He thought that the exhibit was “lame.” He also felt that if he licked the display cases, it might become more enjoyable. Stupid kid. Others of us have to lick that case too, you know!

He also thought that it would be fun to gross out his siblings by pointing out that plastinated human muscle and sinew look surprisingly like beef jerky. And, of course, he had to make fun of the plastinate’s genitals.

Jealous? Probably. Even I was a little. But all this came from a fat kid with a piercing through his lower lip.

With his appetite ruined for jerky and that thing in his lip slowing him down, maybe the experience will help him drop a few pounds? I hate teenagers. If you’re going to make fun of dead people, at least be clever. Don’t just point and giggle.

And why can’t people read the information at the beginning of the exhibit?! The info that tells you that the people in the exhibit donated their bodies specifically for the exhibit. It’s not a surprise. And yes, to answer your other dumb question, the family was also notified. They have to be.

“Hey, you know who would really like this exhibit? Phil. I wish he could be here with us…oh.”

Fun Fact: We could have picked a more inconvenient time to go to the ScienCenter, but I don’t know how. See, the Emmys were going on right next door and all of the streets were blocked off.

Now I have yet another reason to hate the Emmys. Yeah!

But we did see Jay Mohr walk by on his way to the shuttle.

Come on Jay, you’ve got a show nominated for an award! Couldn’t you get a limo? See you tomorrow, Jay.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Better Late Than Never

Maybe I should let you be the judge, huh.

It’s been one exciting morning let me tell you. Tanya had her Lasik. I tried to get them to throw in some bionic legs. But they said they didn’t do that kind of thing. Too bad really. I always said that I wanted a woman who had better than perfect vision, who was faster than a locomotive and easier than Gwyneth Paltrow.

I guess I’ll just have to settle for two out of three.

Quit it. I’m kidding. Besides, she can’t read this, she’s not supposed to open her eyes for at least three hours.

Anyway, Lasik is a very exciting process. Let me walk through my experience with it. First, you need to sign in (like every other medical center). Then you sit in the waiting area with baited breath. Then some deranged Viennese scientists grafts the head of a one-month-old puppy onto the neck of a perfectly healthy adult dog while trying to reanimate the brains of decapitated guillotine victims…

Sorry, that was the book I was reading. A book that I almost finished! I was in that waiting room for over 2 hours! Tanya was hurried off to the “relaxation suite” almost instantly. The rest of us, we get to endure the “aggravation suite.” It wouldn’t be bad if I could have just enjoyed my book in peace. I don’t read a lot. I’ve got other things to do. Watch TV for one. But the soft jazz and the “dream fountain” (both of which were on this time!) are very conducive to book reading. And rarely do I get so much reading time. I mean, without the imminent threat of hemorrhoids.

But the “aggravation suite” was in full force again this morning. Happily, this time it wasn’t the fault of the Lasik spa. Just the Lasik spa clientele. I got to tell you, a spa is no place for a crying baby.

But see, the baby I could forgive. After all, it’s a baby! But there is one thing I can’t. I’m sitting there, minding my business, reading about “beating heart cadavers” and in comes the most annoying, albeit pretty, 20-somethings that I’ve ever seen. You know the kind, the ones who try to convince everyone, through their obnoxious behavior, that they’ve just graduated high school.

One of them is getting the surgery, the other is her sister, there for moral support and, I can only assume, in case of trouble, to combine with her sis to form one hideously upbeat eardrum-splitting super 20-something.

They were louder than the baby. It’s like they were competing with it. I’d wager, jealous of the baby’s sophistication. This I can handle. But what happened next is something that no self-respecting spa or clinic should ever tolerate. They brought with them…omelets.

And not just omletes. Omelets drenched in Tabasco sauce. I tell you there’s nothing more off-putting than the smell of sterile cleaning chemicals mixed with eggs and pepper sauce. It’s a big waiting area, but I guess that they thought the couch right next to mine was the perfect ground zero for their gas warfare.

Eventually the energy twins went back into the labyrinth of labs (turns out, the girl ‘not getting the surgery’ is actually a medical assistant. I wonder if she went to Bryman College?). And the baby went home. It was alright for a while. Uneventful even. But I do have one question for you Spanish speaking readers. Why is Spanish so loud? I mean it’s even louder than American English. Just a question. Is there a certain Db level that maximizes the nuance or something? I’m just asking. Just know this; even though I don’t understand what you’re saying, it still really distracts me from reading. And when it comes to reading, I need all the help I can get.

Finally the scrubs lady came into the waiting area and took me back to the lab in order to witness Tanya’s surgery. It was also uneventful. They pried open her eyeballs, cut a small hole, pulled back the flap, zapped the eye with a laser and put the flap back as if nothing had ever happened.

After 2 ½ hours of excruciating lobby seats, 4 minutes and it was over.

Then I went back to the “aggravation suite” while Tanya got to sit in very comfortable – I know they’re comfortable because I’ve sat in ones just like them, you can buy them at Costco – leather recliners. Although the ones at Costco didn’t have doilies on them. Weird.

They gave Tanya some “super hip” old-school style sunglasses and we went home.

Here we are. Tanya’s sleeping with ski goggles on. Lets all have a good laugh before she wakes up.

Fun Fact: Some friends of mine went through this same thing a little while ago, Jared and Tosha. Well, Tosha went through what Tanya did. But Jared, being a little…pushier…than myself, got better treatment than me.

But that’s not my point.

As I was sitting in the waiting room, trying to imagine what Tanya was doing in the back rooms, I kept thinking about Jared and Tosha’s stories of the experience.

When someone describes a place that you’ve never been to, they never get it right. It’s not their fault. It’s just human nature. As describers we take some things for granted. After all, we were there and we just assume that the person we’re describing to will be able to fill in the mundane details.

And as we struggle to completely understand their story we do fill in the mundane details. Sometimes in a little too much detail. I mean, while I listened to Jared and Tosha’s story my brain formed a pretty complete mental picture of the Lasik place of which I had yet to go. In my mind, the “Lasik spa” they went to looked more like a Vietnamese run manicure salon. Go figure.

But, they went to the exact same Lasik place. Tosha had the same doctor; it was the same waiting room with the same randomly dimming lights. And yet, when I brought up memories of their stories, I still had the same mental picture of the Lasik spa as I did weeks ago.

I was sitting in the Lasik spa! I saw the doctor. I saw the dream fountain and the randomly dimming lights. I did not see Vietnamese women or shelves filled with nail colors. But my brain wouldn’t let the two images mix.

It’s bizarre how the images that our brains create are stronger than “real” images.

(I’ve used quotes around the word ‘real’ in order to open debate about the state of being. Enjoy.)

And the new TAM Cartoon is finally up!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Visions of the Future!

The year is 5765. Hoards of physically altered mutants roam the desolate countryside. Their faces pulled back as if they have just spent the last two years in a pine box six feet below the ground. Their lips greased and fatted with rotting flesh. Their expressionless eyes tell the horrible story. A story of despair. A story of emptiness. And yet they walk. They walk. In unison like so many tin soldiers. Habitually moving from place to place. No goal. No joy in the journey. Just a deep hunger. A hunger to devour everything they lay their dead eyes on.

But enough about Beverly Hills. Happy Rosh Hashanah people. Mazl-tov!

If you’re Jewish, have a good holiday. If you’re not, have a good time making fun of their crazy timekeeping. 5765?

Look at my ignorance everyone! I’m one dumb goyim! I could kvell when I think about my mishigas! I could! I’m not ashamed of it! I’m such a schmendrick!

Look, I can’t sit here all day looking up Yiddish words and using them improperly but I have work to do. I’ve got to get 10 more synopses done. I’ve got to finish up my weekly assignment. Tanya’s going in for Lasik tomorrow and she’ll be here all day acting blind and bothering me for every little thing. I’ll never get anything done.

“Oh, I can’t open my eyes! I’ll go blind if I do! My eyes will fall out! I’m not allowed to lift heavy things…with my eyes!”

Come on, like the vacuum is all that heavy. And a dish weighs what? About a half a pound?! I see, she won’t have the ability to go to work but she will have the ability to sleep on the couch?!

I’m kidding. Stop it.

Fun Fact: Since I’ve started my freelance job for “that big online DVD rental company” I’ve done about 920 movie synopses!

I’d be a walking movie encyclopedia if anyone gave a pupik about any of the films that I’ve written up. Plus not all of them are movies. But if anyone’s interested in ‘Zoe Lucker’s Little Black Dress Workout,’ I’ve got the goods, baby.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Another Small Step for Man…I said, ANOTHER SMALL...WHAT?! I can't hear you!

I’m going to the moon! Finally, someone is taking me seriously as an astronaut!

At least that’s what I thought. Imagine my disappointment when I learned that the intense rumbling and deafening sound weren’t my apartment’s thrusters igniting to take me where no slacker had gone before.

It was just the lawn guys next door.

I thought that 8am was a little early for a launch in LA. I mean, I hadn’t even been notified. And I could swear I hadn’t moved to Cape Canaveral.

Seriously though, you had to hear it. I’m really not exaggerating all that much. If fact, as I write this, they’re still at it. Trimming hedges, mowing grass, whacking “weeds” and blowing crap all over the neighborhood. It’s almost 9:30.

I tried to look up the city’s noise ordinance laws, but alas, it was taking too long. Not that I would ever call to complain. It’s pretty useless. I can’t expect the city that neglects to inform its inhabitants of a freaking triathlon that will close down a major artery, leaving it nigh impossible to get from one side of town to the other to give one good crap about the assjerks who are making it so that I can’t hear a word Dianne Sawyer says.

I tried yelling at them. They couldn’t hear me. They could see me. After all, my apartment sits practically on top of the lawn they were mutilating. But even if they could hear me, I doubt that they would glean the nuances of my complaint.

Don’t get me wrong, not all lawn care “professionals” are non-English speaking. Our new lawn guy speaks English. I know this because he sings to himself, very loudly. He’ll even have little conversations with the people that live in his brain. But perhaps the most disturbing are the cat-calls – to himself. No crap, this guy spent the afternoon singing, talking and cat-calling himself. Maybe he was practicing? You never know when a hot chick is going to stroll by and there’s nothing more embarrassing than a limp wolf-whistle.

But the guys next door have no quirky traits. My guy is weird and creepy and probably an escaped lunatic. But at least he’s somewhat endearing. Next door they’re just a public nuisance.

See, here in LA, there are a few things guaranteed to be going on at any given moment:

1) Someone is digging through my dumpster.

2) Some celebrity that you thought was “one of the good ones” is snorting coke.

3) Someone is mowing, leaf-blowing, whacking or trimming a lawn.

The leaf-blowers are the worst. Evidently, no one in southern California has ever heard of a rake. They’d rather blow leaves and grass into the street. And the NOISE!

But it is nice that they don’t all work on lawns at the same time. I’ll bet that if all the lawn people in LA decided to use their backpack leaf-blowers at the same time, the combined thrust could tilt the earth off its axis.

Look, I realize that lawn care is a top priority here in Los Angeles, but couldn’t these people find a more reasonable hour to make their $3.50? That’s all I’m asking.

Fun Fact: Tanya and I went to see Harold an Kumar go to White Castle last night. It’s actually a pretty funny movie. Even with all the pot smoking. Don’t do drugs kids.

But there is the obligatory “taking a wet crap” scene. What would dumb comedies be without diarrhea? Moliere could have used a lot more of it. Shakespeare too. I tell you, I’d pay to see Falstaff get the runs. That’s good stuff there.

But, the movie is still pretty funny. Dumb, sure. Funny, okay.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Always Late

It’s another late post! Aren’t you glad?

I had to take Tanya to yet another eye appointment. She’s gearing up for Lasik surgery at the end of the week. Evidently they don’t like to go into these procedures “blindly” – if you will. No they’ve got to make sure that everything’s on the up and up.

When it comes to Tanya’s eyes, they want to leave no eyeball unturned. They care a great deal about Tanya’s eyes. I suppose that’s good, because other than worrying that they may randomly fall out someday, I don’t really worry too much about them. That’s not to say that I don’t avoid poking them with sharp sticks. Because I do. Avoid it.

Oh sure, they’re really concerned with her “eyebowls” as I like to call them whenever my West Virginia regionalism starts poking me in the ribs for some attention. One thing they seem to not give a rat’s anus about is my safe annoyance equilibrium.

See, we’ve gone to two of these examinations. Well, the first one wasn’t an examination, it was a sales pitch. We knew going in that we were getting the surgery (at the right price). But apart from sitting around littering carbon dioxide, we also had to make this appointment.

They were late. Our appointment to make more appointments was scheduled for 9:00am. Obviously a little early for the Lasik world. We beat them there by about ten minutes last time. We were annoyed. But this one took the cake.

Again, the appointment was for 9:00am. Shame on us for thinking things would be different. Things should have been. The Lasik “Spa” advertises their “normal” hours as 8am to whenever. I guess barring some great snooze alarm debacle.

Again, we were there a little early. I always like to be early. I can’t tell if it’s because I’m trying to be courteous or if I know that the other person will invariably be late and I really enjoy feeling superior and self righteous. I suspect that it’s a little of both.

We waited around for a half hour! The door was locked, there seemed to be no stirring. No one had gone in or out. So we waited.

I hate waiting. But it wasn’t the fact that they were completely obliterating my daily schedule that bothered me. They held something far more valuable to me than my precious time. Something way more pressing. They held the key to the bathroom.

The bathrooms are for patients only. The area of Wilshire that houses the Lasik Spa is a little sketchy. You can tell by the sleeping bags lining the street. They don’t want homeless people taking “ho baths” in the urinal or anything.

But this patient was quickly losing his patients. Annoyance escalates to rage remarkably fast when the painful urge to pee is thrown into the equation.

We were a little stupid about it. We didn’t bother to call. The last time we called when they were late, no one answered the phone. After all they were late! But finally after a half an hour of leg crossing, we picked up the phone.

Guess what…they were there! The whole time! Sitting in there with the door locked and the music turned off. And, I can only assume, giggling at us via closed circuit television.

As it turns out, the “receptionist” had a problem unlocking the door. She was probably sitting behind her desk cursing in Spanish at how irresponsible patients are nowadays.

You see, here’s the problem. Medical science can only do so much. Doctor’s might someday be able to keep your head alive in a jar or figure out how to keep you from stubbing your toe on the coffee table, but the entire health care industry will always be under the ominous control of graduates from Bryman College.

Paperwork. It’s all about paperwork. Tanya’s going onto surgery on Friday. It’s not without risk. And the only thing that may prevent her from leaving that office with Ape Eyes in her head could be some inept lady with a two-year AA degree who can’t figure out how to work a friggin key!

Fun Fact: I’m a little riled again today. It probably didn’t help that the entire time I sat in the waiting area I was reading a book about human cadavers.

Also, today the Lasik “Spa” was a little more Lasik and a little less Spa. There was no AM radio. But more importantly they didn’t turn on their “Dream Fountain.” I don’t know about you, but how can I call that place a spa when there’s no soft pink internally lighted bowl spilling fog onto the countertop?! I need my dream fountain!

The one thing they did have were seemingly random dimming lights. This is done on purpose. I don’t know what that purpose is. But it is done on purpose. Maybe it’s to make you feel like your sitting in a forest with the rustling leaves of trees intermittently changing the ambient light. Maybe it’s to distract you from your magazine reading in order to keep you disoriented while they give you the bill.

Or maybe they’ve got an office pool going about how many patients will tell them that there’s something wrong with their electricity.

If that’s the case, put me down for $5 on 38,000.

Hey, hey, the new TAM Cartoon is up! Yeah, yeah!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Satanic Useless Vice

No, not a new show about inept underworld sex cops from ‘Buffy’ creator Joss Whedon. I’m talking about SUVs. They are the work of the devil.

I’m only talking about it because they’ve been doing stories on the news all morning about the most recent study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. You’ve probably already heard about this. Their study concludes that SUVs cause craploads of monetary damage to innocent cars even in the most seemingly innocuous collisions.

Is this really a surprise? SUV are freaking huge these days. It’s like releasing a study about the damage inflicted on a Mini Cooper by an 18-wheeler.

Sure, I’m exaggerating. But, come on, at least semi trucks serve a purpose. No one drives a tractor-trailer around town because they might need to haul eight tons of cargo someday. Like you never know when you’re going to be in charge of the pee-wee soccer carpool and have to haul 10,000 wristwatches to the port of Los Angeles.

It’s ridiculous. How many times have you ever passed an SUV filled with people? At least filled with people who didn’t open fire with once-banned assault rifles as they drove by?

And it’s only getting worse. Cadillac is making a bigger Escalade for 2005. Thank God! I was starting to think that my days of pulling into driveways on residential streets in order to let some huge-ass pitch-black SUV roar by were numbered.

Introducing the spanking new 2005 Cadillac Escalade. A fine American automobile built by the best manufacturing teams American car corporations are willing to pay for. Assembled in Mexico, this lumbering behemoth features a 364” 6.0 liter V8, determined to give you assloads of power if you should ever choose to use it. Whether on a rugged city street or a not-so-rugged city street, the Escalade’s 20-inch wheels can handle even the priciest of spinning rims. Weighing in at 7,200 lbs and featuring, through the over-tinting of windows, guiltless flexible occupancy, the Cadillac Escalade is perfect for anyone from rich elitists (limit one per vehicle) to upwardly mobile street gangsta’s (10). Whether you be thuggin’ or just taking up two parking spaces at the country club, the 2005 Cadillac Escalade is the sport utility to fit even the most narcissistic lifestyle.

I hate SUVs. Now it’s official, not only can I not see around any of them in my little, fuel-efficient car, but now I can look forward to paying out the ass on insurance premiums because of them. Thanks SUVs. Thanks for being huge pains in my courteous sphincter.

And don’t get me started on freaking “Hummers.” I hate the name almost as much as I hate the stupid vehicle. You know, I used to want one of these…when I was a kid and dreamed of living like a G.I. Joe! I grew out of it. What wrong with these people?! Cobra isn’t real! Arnold, Regis, I’m talking to you. Jerks. It’s not about penis size, I hate that cliché too. After all – now I can’t vouch for Rege – but I’m sure that Arnold gave up long ago trying to compensate for his steroid-shriveled little midget.

I said not to get me started.

Fun Fact: As you may be able to tell, I’m a little…riled this morning. So I’ve decided to start a new feature here at The Anthropomorphic Male:

“You may be annoying if…”

Which is a little annoying in itself. But not as annoying as people who think they’re being clever every time they point out irony.

So now we know that I’m annoying, let’s find out about you.

“You may be annoying if…”

…on the street or at the gym, you feel the need to talk to your buddies the second you lay eyes on them…even if they’re 200 yards away!

Thursday, September 09, 2004


No, your eyes do not deceive you. It’s a late night Thursday post! But before you get all excited, this lame ass post is in lieu of a post for Friday.

See, I have to drive Tanya to get her eyes looked at in the morning. She’s thinking about getting Lasik eye surgery. ‘Thinking about’ is an understatement. It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion. Seems that Tanya wants to be able to see without her glasses or contacts. Weirdo.

So, I have to give her a ride because she doesn’t want to drive with her eyes dialated. She doesn’t want to live dangerously. Chicken. Even after I told her the story about the time that I drove home with my eyes dialated and no glasses. And I’m almost legally blind without contacts.

Still chicken.

Anyway, for those of you strange enough to check this blog late at night, here’s the new TAM cartoon!

Maybe I’ll regale you with tales of the Lasik boutique. You know, they say the gift of sight is priceless. But I’ll bet they’ll still have a nice figure in mind.

Fun Fact: Driving with my eyes dialated at 20 MPH, swerving all over the road and squinting at stoplights hoping to glean some inkling of what color they were, was a very funny sight.

I wish I could’ve seen it.

A Three Hour Book Tour

As most of you probably already know, tragedy has struck our country twice this week. And it’s possible that it will strike again.

Florida has been ravaged by hurricanes. Francis is gone, but Ivan is waiting in the wings like an eager understudy getting his big break on the day the critics come to the show. Billions of dollars of damage have devastated the Florida peninsula, people have lost their lives. It’s chaos down there.

But perhaps the most harrowing tale to come from the recent disaster is that J-Lo’s boat has been smashed to bits like J-Lo’s acting career.

Similes aside, this tidbit of “news” has been on TV for a couple days now. Does anyone even care? Millions of people have been affected by hurricane Francis, should we really be focusing on J-lo? Somewhere in Florida there’s a family saying “All we had is gone. We didn’t have insurance. How will we ever be able to afford a new double-wide?!”

And somewhere in the world J-Lo is saying “I had a boat in Florida?”

I know what the press is doing. They’re trying to be tongue-in-cheek. But really, isn’t it a bit too early to be making jokes about the hurricane? We’re not talking about a botched election here. They’re tying to make fun of J-Lo. They think that we’ll all get a big kick out of seeing her boat demolished on a beach. Maybe because she’s über-rich, maybe because her little party-barge of a boat wasn’t all that impressive to begin with. But the point remains that I have to see it on the news in the morning. And if there’s one thing I hate, it’s being reminded that J-Lo has a career, much less a boat.

Now to the second tragedy:

Paris Hilton has a new book out. I say “new” because it is new, not because it’s her latest. Hopefully there will never be another one. She was over in Century City at the mall Tanya and I frequent, signing books at the bookstore. Bill Clinton was there too, not at the same time. I’m just saying that it’s a popular book store for celebrity book signings, I guess.

Aside from the fact that I’ve been to that mall hundreds of times and never noticed a bookstore, it’s nice that someone can find it. I mean, Paris came all the way from Beverly Hills to sign books there! That’s like 12 blocks at least!

I know, I know, the people of Century City shouldn’t be denied their Paris Hilton simply because they live next to her. I’m being unfair. Maybe jealous that I didn’t attend the signing?

No, probably not.

She did venture a little further from home this morning. She was on the Today show being interviewed by Matt Lauer. She’s like real proud of her new book. It’s sort of like a satirical type book. But there are still some useful tips for heiresses. But like, not only heiresses can use them. Like rich people in general, you know?

Anyway, Matt’s trying his best to be professional about the whole thing. Also subliminally trying to convince the world that he’s a real newsman, just doing this kind of stuff to pay the mortgage. We know better Matty. So Miss Hilton is asked about her upbringing, she goes a little on the defensive.

“People think that I’ve had everything handed to me on a silver platter. It’s not true. I get up early in the morning. I’m working on a new album right now and I make movies!”

Well, at least you’re working for it, Paris. See, that’s why vapid rich heiresses shouldn’t try to defend themselves. Maybe she should put that in her book as an extra chapter. It could lengthen the book even. You know, for the second edition. Chapter 4: ‘Vapid Rich Heiresses Should Never Defend Themselves’ “People, it seems will never have sympathy for the non-working heiress of a fortune they had no part in obtaining or keeping. People are dumb dumb dummies. Chill out, I say, get a facial! I work hard; daddy bought me a record deal!”

She also went on to say that her parents were strict. I’m sure that they had like rules and junk, but it seems that they were never around to enforce them. See, that’s not being a strict parent. That’s being a delusional parent with ambitions of looking strict. I can tell my Diet Pepsi can to make me a sandwich, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve mastered the art of Diet Pepsi can management.

But I am still working on that one. Freaking Pepsi cans are just obstinate. Full of spite.

Personally, I can’t stand Paris Hilton, she’s a useless celebrity. I don’t understand why people would wait in line for a day just to get her to sign their book. But more power to them I guess, at least now those people can say that Paris actually wrote part of their book.

Let’s not kid ourselves, Paris didn’t write that book. But somewhere there’s an alcohol marinated out-of-work ghost-writer who’s trying to drink away the last remaining lingering ambition to be the next James Joyce.

Fun Fact: A fun fact in poem form:

It’s hot in here.
Really hot.
My brain stopped working it’s so hot.
Is it actually that hot in here or is it just me?
I don’t have a thermometer.
Just my brain that’s stopped working.
It’s hot in here.
Really hot.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Allow me to introduce you…Readers, Wednesday…Wednesday, Readers.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, permit me to pontificate a little.



Okay, so I have nothing to say. But I have been remiss in mentioning that I shot a short film this past weekend. So, why don’t I mention it now?

I shot a short film this past weekend.

It’s another film from Adam Hodge. Why don’t I write a synopsis, seeing as how I’m a professional synopses writer and all? The film is entitled ‘Captive.’ I play a small role at the beginning of the movie. Tanya really enjoys rehashing that old hackneyed phrase every time I “joke” about how small my part is, “there are no small parts, only small actors.”

Now, as an actor, I have to say that I would personally like to give a knuckle sandwich to the “actor” that first coined that phrase. I would say something wry as I did it too. Something like, “how about some kraft services, biatch!” And then I’d lay them out. I could do it too, that’s a pretty old phrase and the person that coined it would have to be at least 70 by now.

Truth is, there are plenty of small parts. Just ask about 85% of SAG members, they’ll tell you. Also, I hate to mention it, but I’m a small actor. Not physically. But where does that leave me? I’ll tell you where, on the cutting room floor, that’s where.

I’m kidding, Adam won’t cut my part. It’s too crucial. Okay, not crucial, but he better not cut it anyway. The lunch wagon is pulling onto the set and my right fist is the soup de jour!

Enough patter, here’s that synopses of Adam Hodge’s latest film, ‘Captive.’

Scott [Slabbody] (TAM) was getting ready for another day filled with power-lunches and celebrities. Once again, his secretary Rebecca was late with important papers. Her child had been kidnapped and murdered by a mysterious madman. But Scott’s lunch with Marcus couldn’t wait. Now the deranged killer Ethan has his sights set on Rebecca blah blah blah, but more importantly, she’ll have to find something “nice” to wear for Scott’s meeting with the Harrington people in this gruesome thriller from Adam Hodge.

You get the general idea. Besides, it’s the first 2 ½ minutes that’s the most important. I even gave myself an appropriate last name. It’s an editorial choice. I think it works. If Adam didn’t want me to give myself a last name, he should have done it for me! Yeah, where’s the “no small parts…” speech now?!

To be fair, I don’t think that anyone in the script has a last name. I don’t really know. See, I haven’t actually read the whole thing. I mean, who’s got the time?

But it was a good experience. I really enjoyed it. It’s nice to have a small part that isn’t too dramatic, that doesn’t require too much concentration on my part. After all, isn’t that what acting is all about? Doing as little as possible? It’s my mantra. “As little as possible.” I try to follow that with my career as well. So far, I’ve stuck to it! Yeah me!

Anyway, as I said a second ago, the shoot was a hoot. Woot! Adam’s a nice guy and he always has the nicest people working for him. They’re always the same people, but they’ve somehow managed to stay very nice.

I guess that’s it. I’m anxious to get my synopses writing assignment out of the way today. I’m working on another song for the Christmas album and I actually kind of like it. Always a plus.

Have a good hump day. He he he…hump.

Fun Fact: I’m enjoying my new scents from Bath and Body Works but they make me sneeze. However, pumpkin sneezes are just a little slice of heaven.

Oh, and Mom, I don’t just bake a pumpkin pie because an actual pumpkin pie contains at least 12 more calories than the scented spray. So I’m going to stick with the aerosol can, even if the real pie tastes a whole lot better.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Endless Summer

Labor Day is over. It’s the “unofficial end of summer.” At least that’s what I gather. They’ve been saying that ad nauseum this morning on the news. (Just out of curiosity, my lovely Aussie readers, was this last weekend the “unofficial end of winter?”)

Personally, I can’t wait for the end of summer. Is I’ve said before, the autumn is my absolute favorite time of the year. All the little snot-noses of the nation are headed back to their under-funded schools to learn how to abuse drugs and have unprotected sex. All is right with the world.

However, the end of summer seems to be coming at a snails pace here in southern California. While the entire state of Florida performs Act 3, scene 2 from Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear,’ we here in the entertainment capital of the world have been hit with a stupid heat wave.

This is “sunny California” sure, but it’s been hovering around 100º here. That’s hot for this place. Usually, the summers only get up to around 87º or so. That’s why so many people live here. For example, our apartment doesn’t have air-conditioning, and in the more than three years that we’ve lived in it, we’ve never turned on the heater. That’s how temperate the weather usually is. Granted, the lack of air-conditioning isn’t a choice we made, that’s how the place came. But, truly, we don’t typically need it. And as far as heat goes, common sense tells me that if the heater’s been collecting dust for three years, you shouldn’t turn it on. Even if we do now have smoke detectors. But we don’t really need heat either.

Anyway, it’s been hot around here. So we’ve been finding excuses all weekend to go to places with air-conditioning. And since the quiet, child-free screenings at FOX have spoiled us, making “civilian” movie theatres the most annoying experience this side of watching FOX television, we couldn’t go to a movie.

That only leaves a couple of options. Restaurants and malls. Or mall restaurants. Or restaurant malls.

So we went out for dinner a couple times and headed out to the Westside Pavilion. It’s not that we really needed to buy anything. But it seems that the heat wave was cooked up by the Greater LA Chamber of Commerce, because we bought anyway. Not too much, just three pairs of sunglasses, some jewelry, a coat rack (to go with the magazine rack and complete the trifecta of adulthood), a purse and some “smelly” stuff.

Hopefully, you realize that most of those items weren’t for me. Although the purse is nice. But the smelly stuff…that’s mine.

I like things that smell. I should say that I like things that smell nice. Especially if they smell like autumn. Confused? Go to Bath and Body Works, you’ll understand.

See, they have new scents in at B&BW. Pumpkin, maple and apple. A trinity of greats if you ask me. So I bought “room perfume” in all three flavors. It sounds girlie, but let me tell you, it’s all man, baby! And I sprayed them all at once too. One shouldn’t be asked to choose when it comes to great autumnal smells like these. Now the apartment smells like some wonderful orchard-patch forest.

B&BW has many wonderful smells to pollute the world with. They also sell essential oils. Now, we have an oil burner and I’ve been looking for some essential oils at a reasonable price. They get spendy. I refuse to pay $20 for cinnamon oil. REFUSE!

But these days, it gets difficult to find “pure” essential oils. Aroma therapy is all the rage now, and places like B&BW try to “help” by combining individual oils into one great “Super Oil.” Oils to relax, oils to heal, oils to give you a boner, oils to relax and heal your boner... This is no help. Listen B&BW, and the rest of you holistic olfactory freaks, I’ll combine my own oils! I’m not trying to cure cancer with my nose! I just want my apartment to smell like pumpkin pie!

And everyone should be lucky enough to have an apartment that smells like pumpkin pie. That’s what a democratic society is all about.

Pumpkin Pie.

Fun Fact: Here is some “interesting” trivia about pumpkin pies:

The first and simplest of all pumpkin puddings made by the Pilgrims, involved picking the pumpkin, washing it, hollowing it out, filling it with cream or milk, and baking it whole. This is what developed into pumpkin pie about 50 years after that first Thanksgiving.

Yes, but could it give you an erection?

Oh yeah, the latest TAM Cartoon is up! Yup!

Friday, September 03, 2004

Serve ME Damnit!

It’s Friday! The end of another week. What have you done with yourself?

You know what I did with myself? I spent 15 minutes standing in line at Albertsons, that’s what I did!

Here’s the thing. Yesterday I was making this crock pot thing and the last step needed milk. The instructions mentioned nothing about milk. But sure enough, I get to the last step, and it needs stupid milk. And seeing as how Trader Joes puts something in their free-range corn-fed cable TV milk to make it expire 3 days after you get it home, I had to go to the store.

With the price of dairy these days, I opted not to get an entire gallon. We can get two gallons of milk at Costco for the price of one at the “regular” grocery stores. Besides, there’s some chemical in that Costco milk, a super-preservative, that makes it last forever so there’s no danger involved with buying 2 gallons. After the nuclear Armageddon, there will be nothing left but cockroaches, Hilary Duff and gallons of Costco nonfat milk.

Anyway, I decided to go to Albertsons to buy a pint of milk. I only needed ¾ of a cup anyway. I hate going to the supermarket by myself. Actually, I hate going anywhere by myself. Well, not anywhere, just anywhere that there’s people.

But I did it, I cowboyed up and drove the three blocks to the store.

My shopping experience was pleasant enough. I know that store like the back of my hand. Not that I know the back of my hand all that well. Besides, I figured that I’d be in and out of that place real quick like. After all, I only had a pint of milk. Plus, they just recently installed these new “self checkout” lines. That would make it even faster, right?

Man, I have never been more wrong about anything since I tried my hand at calculus.

I should have known better. Most people at this store can’t figure out how to use the parking lot much less a computerized checkout line. And I won’t lie to you; these machines are a little complicated.

I got into line. There were three cybernetic check stands open – all with only one person in them. But then I heard it, a sound you never want to hear in the self-checkout line…“please wait for assistance, please wait for assistance, please wait for assistance…”

Not from just one of them, but two!

See, these people (they were all women, but I’m not going to be sexist by mentioning it…oops) can’t figure out how to use these things, right? They’ve never done it before. But by god, they’re going to use coupons and buy bulk items with no UPCs!

Once again, I backed the wrong horse. I had to choose the line with the biggest problem. I was the only one in line for a while, but my body language “favored” one of the lines a little more than the rest, leaving the door wide open for this bitch to cut in front of me with a basket full of crap. I only had one item! A pint of milk! I even had my debit card ready to go! It would’ve only taken a second!

Now, let me clear something up here. I’m not one of those people who think that just because I have fewer items, I should be able to go to the front of the line. If that were the case then people with carts full of stuff would never get out of the store. That’s why the “line” was invented. It’s fair and unprejudiced. A fantastic creation actually.

But see, this lady saw that I had been waiting longer than her! Bitch. Plus, she was slow as hell. After the women in my line teamed up to crash the entire computer, I was forced to get in line behind the basket bitch. It’s humiliating.

This is such an interesting story, no? I know that you all on the edge of your seats wondering, “what about that third line?”

It was taken up by a woman with an entire shopping cart full of stuff including a two-year-old – and a freaking baby!

Lady, you’ve got two –very loud – children, maybe the self-checkout line isn’t for you. And all that stuff? Unless you have a Masters from MIT, you shouldn’t be here. The woman who had trouble buying a half pound of coffee should’ve been your hint.

Being the superior jerk that I am, I tried to fix the computer that the other ladies had crashed. Needless to say, I was not successful. It was stupid of me to even try, really. But I had to do something to keep me from hurling a pint of milk at a toddler and a bitch with a basket. And of course, there were no Albertsons employees around to help. Couldn’t they hear the cries of the computer? Maybe not. Maybe instead of “please wait for assistance, please wait…” they should program them to scream “stop it lady, you’re killing me!”

Anyway, after backing the wrong horse – again – his guy was nice enough to let me go in front of him.

It took two seconds…

Fun Fact: This post makes me sound like a sexist pig. But really is there anything more annoying than a middle aged woman at a supermarket? With the possible exception of an old woman.

I’m not trying to be sexist. There’s a reason these women at the store are so annoying, and it’s the same reason that they are the only ones in line at the killer robot checkout (with the exception of myself and that other guy who came late…each of us only had one item).

Women aren’t afraid to look a little confused sometimes. They’re more adventurous. Men are generally terrified to look like they don’t know what they’re doing in public. We need to master our skills before we put on a show.

But ladies, please, practice on your own time! Sometimes my patience isn’t worth a 30 cent coupon.

What am I saying, it never is.

Oh, and I rock for knowing how to flawlessly use the self-checkout.

Oh, and the new TAM cartoon is up (let me know if you thinks it’s a little…creepy. Something about it creeps me out. And I drew it!)

Oh, and rereading my fun fact…evidentially I actually am sexist. I never knew that about myself. Huh.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Pomp, Pomp, ah Pomp-Pomp

It makes no sense, but it’s got a great beat.

Thank you all for waiting so patiently yesterday while I decided not to post – except for my mother who, according to her comments, really wants me to post a picture of the bucket. Sorry, mom. Every time I try to take one, the bucket throws his jacket over his head and his handlers put their hands over my lens. Who does he think he is, if he didn’t want people to take pictures of him, he shouldn’t have become a bucket!

Truth is that I have nothing to say today either. But you probably already guessed that.

I’m really resisting the urge to talk about the Republican National Convention. I don’t want this blog to get all political and stuff. But I have to tell you, it’s hard to resist. I get mad when I think about it, and when I get serious, this blog gets woefully unfunny.

Right now it’s only annoyingly unfunny. I set the unfunny level at alert “yellow.” Not funny enough to skip “Last Comic Standing,” but not unfunny enough to start watching “King of Queens.”

But the RNC is a hard thing to get out of my mind. George Bush’s hostage tactic of “the war on terror (read the war in Iraq)” is a bit like pooping in the break room at work and then telling your boss that you can’t be fired because you’re the only one who will pick it up.

Sorry, I said that I wouldn’t talk about it and then, to make matters even worse, I went and grossly oversimplified the situation. With an emphasis on “grossly.”

But if I didn’t talk about the rhetorical speeches (even more so than the DNC) what would I have to talk about? What If I said nothing about the GOP’s “Chicken or the Egg” political strategy, what would I say then? If I didn’t mention that there are two kinds of people headlining the RNC, moles and sellouts, what else would I say? If I didn’t point out that the two-party system doesn’t work, especially when Republicans dress themselves in Democratic clothing for the sole purpose of exploiting their voters and stirring up a self-publicizing stink, what could I discuss? I don’t think there would be much else to say if I didn’t reveal the obvious fact that people like Arnold and Giuliani have more “liberal” viewpoints that they claim to be “passionate” about but are willing to sell out at the drop of a hat to the Republican Party for some votes and to propagate the GOP’s fiscal policy, proving that they care more about their cash than personal integrity. And what could I talk about if I didn’t talk about the fact that the moderate viewpoints of Arnold and Giuliani matter less than my opinion if they pander to the party platform?

Uh-oh, the unfunny alert has been raised to “Orange: Maybe there’s a rerun of ‘Momma’s Family’ on somewhere?” This is for many reasons; my discussion of the RNC, even when I “promised” not to mention it, my “original” “satire” of the terror alert system, and my “hilarious” overuse of sarcastic quotation marks.

I apologize, but I did state towards the beginning of this post that I didn’t have anything to say. Don’t believe me? It’s after all that nonsense about the anthropomorphized bucket.

No, wait, I do have something to say – I got a haircut last night! Wow, that’s much better than the RNC. At least it had a point!

Damnit. Sorry. Woefully unfunny.

Fun Fact: An apology. Yes, “another” one! Geeze.

In my last post I accused Dear Liza of having discovered the hole in the bucket. Now, after two days of the horrifically repetitive folksong being stuck in my thick head, I realize that I might have been mistaken. I now know that my statements might have caused some distress to the families of Liza and Henry.

Although I truly believed the statement I made was accurate, I recognize now that Liza and Henry did not view this incident the same way I did. After months of reviewing discovery, listening to their attorney, and even their testimony in person, I now understand how they feel that they did not view the events in the same way. I issue this statement today fully aware that while one part of this case ends today, another remains. I understand that the civil case against me will go forward.

Oh, no it won’t – suckers! I had my fingers crossed while they were tied behind my back by the Gestapo prosecutor! Besides, I’m talking about fictional characters, dummies.

(Editor’s note: I know that I shouldn’t exit the post like this, but did Kobe Bryant actually write his own statement. It’s really awful. Very bad awful confusing grammar with. And not just a little…dim. Get ‘em Kobe!)