Monday, October 31, 2005

To the Hughes Avenue Slasher…A poem:

What was it
That made you slash my tire?
Was it just a good time
Or some misplaced ire?

Were you picked on and put upon
And pummeled and troubled
By bleak nightmare visions
Of offenses redoubled?

Has the world left you crying
So strikingly alone
Wondering where your friends
And self-respect have flown?

Are you missing the love
Of your pitiful dad?
Is that what has made you
Destructive and sad?

Was your mom’s breast milk tainted?
Was it curdled and bitter?
Were you touched on your no-nos
By a bad baby-sitter?

Is that why you snuck
Into my vehicle’s home
To shiv its rear tire
So the air would be gone?

Or could the answer be much more easy to see?
Something as simple as mere jealousy?

When you looked into my carport
Your choler, it grew
‘Cause my tire’s more handsome
And smarter than you.

Fun Fact: I hate vandalism. Yes, some jerk-ass slashed my car’s tire. They also got my neighbor’s. However, they didn’t actually slash my neighbor’s tire; the chicken-shit vandal just let the air out of it. See, my neighbor actually spent money on his tires, it would have been hard to slash it. Almost impossible. They’re huge freaking tires.

But, damnit, I’m not going to let some fucktard with a pen knife make me spend more that $35 on a freaking tire! This is America! I should be able to buy cheap tires without fear of attack. If they come apart while driving on the freeway, then hey, that’s my problem because I bought cheap tires. But vandalism shouldn’t be a concern.

And why would someone want to slash my tires anyway? Have they seen my dirty, rusty car?

Did they really need to add insult to injury?

Friday, October 28, 2005

News Grab Bag

Aw, Poor Harriet

Yes, just days after they publicly executed her political career, Republicans everywhere are singing a lament for Harriet Meirs. Poor, poor Harriet. She didn’t deserve such a shameful lambasting did she?

Well, no, she didn’t. It’s not as if she discussed pubic hairs and Long Dong Silver with co-workers. If she had, we’d have put her on the bench faster than…something that’s really fast. She was just under-qualified – and a woman.

Far-right Republicans don’t like chicks on the bench. It doesn’t matter how many assault rifles Harriet keeps in the hands of “sportsmen” or how many uteruses she controls, she’s still a chick. And “justicing” is a man’s business.

But now, for some reason, we’re all supposed to feel bad for Harriet Meirs. Not because she pronounces her own last name completely wrong, but because “she deserves a chance.”

What?! Really?

Hey, I think she was treated shoddily, sure. But that’s the way this stuff goes. Republicans talk a good game about giving nominees their day in committee, but they’re really only talking about people they like.

This is politics. It’ll be a sad day when we start allowing people on the Supreme Court just because we feel bad for them. We already chose a president because he seems like “a real kind of guy” (which is because he’s completely stupid), we can’t start letting pity pick our Justices.

Hot For Teacher…

But not in the good “an underage boy who had sex with his older hot teacher was the coolest kid on campus in the 80s” sort of way.

Here in California, Governor Schwarzenegger has declared war on teachers. He’s backing Prop. 74, a proposal that would make it more difficult for teachers to get tenure and a “job for life.”

A new pro-74 ad is running in TV that tells the “story” of a teacher who “verbally abused” her students and showed “rated R movies in class.”

What did they do with this horrible teacher? Well because she (he?) was tenured, she only “resigned” with a fat $25,000 paycheck (an entire year’s salary no doubt!).

See, they couldn’t fire her because she had tenure. The benevolent school administrators could do nothing but throw money at her, their capable and pristine hands were tied ever so tightly. All they wanted was to make the school a better place. All they wanted was to be able to fire this bad teacher without any kind of hearing. After all, if you work at McDonalds and drop you coworker in the fry cooker, chances are you’re going to get fired and quick. And that job actually required dedication and skill! But noooo. Not teachers. Freaking tenure!

For those of you who don’t know, “tenure” is an impervious invisible shield which protects shiftless teachers from responsibility. Not even Superman could make a tenured teacher give a rat’s ass. Tenured teachers are lame duck fat-cats, just sitting back in their gilded teacher’s lounges, sucking down cocktails and raking in huge paychecks.

And as we know, teachers are what’s really wrong with the education system these days. Let’s not pretend that modern “parents” have anything to do with the slipping GPAs in this country. After all, if it were the parent’s responsibility to educate their children, we wouldn’t send kids to school, right?

And schools everywhere are filled with teachers like our “abusive/R-rated movie-watching” walking horror named in the “yes on 74 ad.” I men, we all had that one teacher who would swear in class. And in health class they made me watch a film of a woman giving birth (sure it had the desired effect, I’m still terrified of fathering little, bloody alien babies, but it had vaginas in it!).

In fact, the pro-74 people needed hardly to look for a horrible teacher to make an example of. All they had to do was find a case that took place…in 1999.

But hey, I’m sure these kinds of teachers are rampant even today.

Bad teachers. Why don’t you all just die already?!

Coolio or a Foolio?

Should you use slang like “bling” and “don’t go there?” That was the question on the minds of NBC’s “Today Show” this morning.

Really, there’s a freaking war going on. Can we find no better questions to posit than whether or not octogenarians in the heartland should tell people to “talk to the hand?”

The oil companies are gouging the hell out of us (and don’t give me that crap about the “markets” driving the price of oil, the companies don’t create the demand but they do guide the markets), the polar ice caps are disappearing at an alarming rate and hurricanes are pointing out severe shortcoming in our nation's leadership!

Why do I know more about Angelina Jolie and her quest to adopt every child on the planet than I do about global warming?!

What the freakin’ dilly!?

Fun Fact: I’m wearing a new sweater today. Nothing special about it. It’s just a sweater. Sometimes these fun facts are difficult to come up with, you know.

Oh, the sweater is made out of Marino Wool. Huh? How about that! My sweater used to quarterback for the Miami Dolphins!

Yeah, I don’t really know what Marino wool is. But it sounds impressive. NBC should do a story on it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Take a Seat

Goodbye Rosa Parks, you were one hell of a lady.

Fact is that I made my peace with Rosa’s passing years ago. All through school when I was learning about her, I had just assumed that she was dead (and I think that my history teachers did too because none of them ever gave any indication to the contrary). I mean practically everyone else in my history book was dead, so why not sweet old Rosa? She was already 42 at the time of her Montgomery, Alabama bus stand (or non-stand, whatever). When I was a kid, 42-year-olds had one foot in the grave already.

Imagine my surprise when I got older and learned that she was indeed very much alive. And still fighting for equality!

Sorry, Rosa, for thinking that you were gone when you weren’t. I’ll never make that mistake again. Because this time, sadly, it’s true.

Fun Fact: It’s a funny thing about history. We put it in books in order to preserve a record for future generations. But there’s something about putting things in a book that lessens them. I don’t really think that future generations can really quite grasp the full nuance of history. I know that I didn’t.

Like Rosa Parks. The woman passed away yesterday at the tender age of 92. Like I said, she was 42 when she was arrested in Montgomery. It really hit it home to me that this event took place only 50 years ago (I was always aware of this, but for some reason Rosa’s passing pointed it up). That’s not a long time, but for most of us it might as well have taken place in the middle ages. It seems like ancient history.

But it is amazing to realize how far we’ve come in such a short time (I know that some people would disagree…they would be wrong). I mean think about this. I’m 32 years old. When I was born, there were people running around whose parents owned slaves.

I hate these little pedestrian epiphanies. They make me feel like I’ve been wandering around my entire life in a self-centered haze. And maybe I have.

But I doubt it. I’m pretty sure that I am the center of the universe.

A wonderful, hazy universe.

Oh and the latest TAM Cartoon is up! Hazy-licious!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Call CPS

On numerous occasions in the past I’ve taken issue with kid’s shows. Not on this blog, mind you, but I have. Just trust me on this.

For the most part, my grief with kid’s programming is the way that it paints the parents. They’re almost always morons. Sure, they often throw their inane two-cents in, “Don’t leave the house without a sweater,” “We’ve all had our heart broken at one time or another, it’s called growing up,” or “A real friend wouldn’t shiv you with a screwdriver and leave you for dead in a ditch on your birthday…” Just stupid crap. And at the end of the episode the kid usually learns their lesson which is “I should have listened to mom and/or dad.”

But really, should we expect them to listen to mom and/or dad? Mom and/or dad is usually caught up in their own juvenile escapade…if they’re present at all. I mean Kim Possible’s lucky if here parents even make her a meal. And she’s out risking her life everyday, sometimes way past bedtime. What kind of parent allows their high-school aged child do that?

A bad one.

And don’t get me started on Ron Stoppable. That kid’s inept and his parents don’t care that he almost dies once a week. There’s clear neglect going on there.

The ones that really get me are the tween “sitcoms.” Especially shows like “The Suite Life of Zach and Cody,” and “Lizzie McGuire” (thank god this one’s gone). The adults on these shows are absolute idiots. No wonder their kids are so self-centered and idiotic.

I’ve ranted and railed against these shows citing that they don’t stack up to the shows that I used to enjoy. Sure, the adults on “You Can’t Do That on Television” were absolute nincompoops, but it didn’t stop us from learning valuable lessons. Lessons like don’t say “water” and “I don’t know.” Don’t eat at Barth’s because people puke in the burgers. You can always talk your way out of being executed by a firing squad… Important lessons.

But this past weekend my eyes were opened. Because Halloween is around the corner, I popped one of my favorite holiday classics into the ol’ DVD player, and I was hit with a startling epiphany.

The “worst adults in a children’s show” award goes to the grown-ups in “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.”

Sure, the adults in the peanuts cartoons don’t really exist. They don’t even have voices, they all sound like trombones being played with a plunger. But at least there’s no pretense of parental supervision. I can forgive this fact. I can even forgive the fact the Lucy has to retrieve Linus from the freezing cold pumpkin patch at 4 in the morning when she realizes that he never came in the house for bed. Sure, his parents probably should have noticed, but in their “defense” they were probably pretty hungover from some kind of Halloween party. I’m sure that Mr. Van Pelt had a little too much egg nog and Mrs. Van Pelt spent the entire night explaining to the other women at the party that her husband is just a “really friendly drunk.” And I’m positive that by the time Mrs. Van Pelt finally figured out which of the women at the party now had the Mr’s house keys and got him out of there and into bed, the last thing on her mind was her delusional child freezing his butt of in a pumpkin patch.

But there is one thing that I can’t forgive.

It’s trick-or-treat time in Peanuts land. All the kids are wearing lame outfits. Poor Charlie Brown had some trouble with the scissors. He made a ghost costume with about 20 eye holes. But hey, it’s a ghost costume. A stupid ghost costume. Half the neighborhood is wearing one. Shouldn’t Charlie Brown get some points for being original?!

He’s the ghost of a potato!

But no. He gets no points for originality. He gets teased. I can understand this coming from the kids…

But what kind of sick, twisted adult gives the poor mentally challenged kid a freaking rock for tricks-or-treats?!

And not just one adult did this. The entire neighborhood did. They had to have planned it, right? I don’t know about you but I don’t keep rocks next to my Halloween candy. The adults had to have organized this before hand.

It’s obvious that Charlie Brown was targeted. He was the victim of some heartless neighborhood campaign to humiliate the unpopular kid.

It’s sick. And it’s wrong. And the wawa adults of Peanutsland should be ashamed of themselves.

Fun Fact: the “meanest parent in a Christmas special” award goes to Donner the Reindeer, Rudolph’s father in the Rankin Bass classic “Rudolph the Red Nosed Raindeer.”

Never has parental shame been so clearly manifested in such an abusive manner.

Well done Donner. Congratulations.

Friday, October 21, 2005

My Guidance Counselor Warned Me About This

No, not being a hopeless, unemployed burden on society. That’s swell. I like that. It’s enjoyable. But before I mortgaged my future for the good life had a lot of crappy jobs. The worst of which was cleaning a movie complex at 3 am before I went to clean a Payless Drug at 6.

I can’t tell you how many complaints I got from my boss. Seems that nothing I did was ever good enough. I could never scrape all the gum off the seats. I could never pick up every little piece of popcorn. Even when I recruited help, it was hopeless. I quit after three days.

But even that horrible job isn’t the absolute worst out there. Armpit sniffer, medical guinea pig, non-lethal weapons test subject and high school teacher are all much worse. But I think I found one that tops them all.

This last week it rained here in LA. And it turned the newly dug foundation hole in the lot next door into a Mississippi swimming pond. Work was brought to a halt for a couple days while the water sat there, taunting the contractor and breeding super-mosquitoes.

What to do? What if your work-hole is filled with West Nile infected sludge?

Call this dude. And tell him to bring his bucket and his cup.

Seriously, this guy spend all day yesterday emptying the water with a 5-gallon bucket and a fast-food “collectors” cup. Just walking back and forth. Filling the bucket, walking up the mud ramp and dumping the sludge in the street, then back to the muck. All day. It had to suck.

It had to super-suck.

And to add insult to injury, there is still a lot of water in the hole next door. His job sucks and he’s ineffectual.

Take that, ego.

Fun Fact: I just touched someone else’s laundry. They left it in the washing machine all night. It had to be moved so that we could do our laundry this morning. I hate doing that. I mean, it was clean laundry (albeit wet)…

But somehow I still feel really dirty.

Other people’s laundry…ewwwww.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Unsolicited Plug

Shop at Target. I mean it. Go. Now. Just look for the concentric red circles. It’s easy. And hey, you’ll also be giving a big “screw you” to the Salvation Army. If you’re into giving a big “screw you” to the Salvation Army, that is. Personally, I’m not interested in that. I shop at the Salvation Army. But I’m not here to talk about the Salvation Army or whether or not the Salvation Army should be allowed to solicit for charity outside of Target stores. Just let me say the words “Salvation Army” one more time though before I get to my point.

Salvation Army.

There. That was a hoot. Thanks for that.

Anyway, you should shop at Target. There are many reasons. They aren’t Wal-Mart, for one. That’s a huge plus. And they have quality merchandise for low prices, but not so low that you get the distinct impression that there’s a 5-year-old Chinese kid sitting under a portrait of Chairman Mao earning 5 cents a day while his little fingers bleed and he silently curses your name.

Not that low. But low enough to still allow you to feel superior to third-world nationals.

But as if low, low prices aren’t enough, Target goes one better with a little installment called “The Dollar Spot.” It’s a group of colorful displays near the front entrance. They’ll be easy to “spot,” it’s the part of the store that, after typically considerate bargain shoppers have gotten to it, looks as if a small atomic device has detonated there. It’s a mess, sure, but smart shoppers know that the best deals can be found in the messiest places. I worked retail, I know. I’ve had to “recover” my fair share of women’s clearance racks. (Why is it that all my life women have been yelling at me to pick up my clothes from the floor? I’ve seen the way they shop. They should be ashamed of themselves. Hypocrites. At least I leave my clothes on the floor because I’m actually going to wear them again. The floor is my “wardrobe staging area.” What’s their excuse?)

Usually the Dollar Spot is filled with knick-knacky-type stuff. Mostly party supplies and yarn. Which leads me to believe that knitters love a good dry martini served with a plastic swizzle stick shaped like a pink cowboy head.

But who doesn’t really?

However, just in time for Halloween, Target has seriously stepped up the Dollar Spot’s substance. They have DVDs for a buck at Target! No frills DVDs, okay, but DVDs nonetheless. And not just your average DVDs. No. Not crappy titles like Navy Seals or Legends of the Fall. Good movies. And every DVD is a double feature of true horror-genre cinematic masterpieces!

That brings the value to 50 cents a flick. And if you factor in the fact that every disc also includes a classic cartoon short, that makes it even better!

Here’s what I got.

“Tales of the Undead” which includes:
Atom Age Vampire
Casper the friendly Ghost in “A-Haunting We Will Go”
Revolt of the Zombies

“Chills” which features:
Dead Men Walk
A mislabeled cartoon (not what’s on the box)
The Monster Maker

“Nightmares” which includes:
Bloodlust (Starring Robert Reed, I already have this one incidentally because of MST3K)
The Magic Mummy (cartoon)
Sweeny Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (the original, not the musical. Both are excellent)

“Threshold of Terror,” which is probably the best in the collection and includes:
Bluebeard (Starring John Carradine)
Superman in “Mechanical Monsters” (great cartoon)
The House on Haunted Hill (the one with Vincent Price and Richard Long of “Nanny and the Professor” fame. The only old movie of this kind that actually, genuinely creeps me out. It’s awesome. It’s good. Mostly because of its complete lack of Taye Diggs, Famke Janssen and Jeffrey Combs.)

Go to Target and get these films. You won’t be disappointed. There are others too. The Brain that Wouldn’t Die (already have it), the Beast of Yucca Flats…

There are no special features or anything. No subtitling. No nothing. Not even chapters. But they’re really cheap and since they don’t come with a case, you get to make your own! Crafty!

Salvation Army.

Fun Fact: The latest (Halloween themed) TAM Cartoon is up! Johncarradinewasinredzonecuba-sational!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Flame On

I actually had some heartfelt criticism of my blog post earlier today. I wasn't just ignored or written off as intellectually deficient like usual. I feel all grown up now.

Adam didn’t like what I had to say about Pastor Greg. Normally, I wouldn’t respond to him. I usually don’t really care. But today I’m feeling slightly defensive. Mostly because I felt like I was being a little harsh on ol’ Greg Robbins’ show Pastor Greg.

But the more I thought about it…

Well, Here’s what Adam had to say to me in the comments section of the last post:

Those who, those who can't...criticize. It took nine years to get this show on the air. He had a dream, he followed it, and by the Grace of God, he made it happen. Tell me, have you done the same?

By the way, you're making these smart-aleck remarks after watching 1 episode and 4 short clips of episodes.
- Adam Graham

Yes, you're right. I'm being unfair. Greg Robbins did get his show on the air. He worked really hard on it. We should all give him the respect that's due him for just trying. The world is full of critics like myself who thrive on demeaning the hard work of others. We live to see them fail because it makes us feel better about ourselves. When I attack Pastor Greg, I don't do it because the show is an insult to the intellect and taste of the Christians and TV watchers of the world, I do it because I hate seeing someone gain the respect and admiration of others, respect that I could never hope to receive.

That’s one way of looking at it anyway.

Then there’s reality. I don’t dislike Greg Robbins, If anything, I really do admire the way that he brought his show to television and grabbed the attention of the nation with his ideas. Mostly because those ideas are just so…bad.

Hey, you’re right, Adam, I am getting down on the guy. I don’t want to. But I’m not being unfair. That’s television. That’s the business.

That’s art.

And even though art is highly subjective, there are still standards (yes, even in television…hell, even Paris Hilton finally lost her show thank god). It’s why we will probably never see my 2nd grade macaroni art hanging in the Louvre (although, they’re more than welcome to it).

Besides, the entire idea for Pastor Greg was born out of criticism. Criticism of the shows on mainstream television. So, yes, you’re right, maybe my response to Pastor Greg should be to make my own television show that is all the things Pastor Greg isn’t. I’m working on that. But until then I’ll be critical.

Because Pastor Greg, while it may be the best-intentioned labor of love ever to be put on the small screen, is just bad TV. And without genuine criticism art becomes complacent. It stagnates. Pastor Greg could run unchallenged for 15 years, never growing, never trying to be better, never evolving. And what would that be? Other than a supreme waste of time and money? Why not strive to be something more than just a “noble effort?”

That’s my opinion, Adam.

And the rest of you can check out Adam’s blog here.

Oh, and hey Adam, if you want, I can invite you to the premiere of the short film I’m directing next month. If you ever entertained any thoughts of payback, I’m sure it will give you more than enough ammunition.

I mean, if this blog doesn’t give you enough to make fun of already. And come on, man. We shouldn’t fight. We’re kindred spirits. You have a cable access show, a blog and a podcast! I find it hard to believe that you don’t understand what it’s like to be a self-important narcissist.



dment. Amendment.

Hey look, a rare Saturday post! I’m here to add to an earlier post. It’s not really an amendment. But “adden…dum” didn’t have the biblical ring I was looking for.

Thanks to Kevin, you now get to enjoy the spectacularly hyped Christian Sitcom Pastor Greg.

Go here for the opportunity to watch 5 streaming episodes. Although, I guarantee that you won’t make it past the pilot (Impressions).

But give it a look. Go see what passes for funny with certain Christians. The laugh track will help you spot the jokes (you’ll need it).

I have a few notes for the producers at Pastor Greg.

1) When installing the carpet on your set, don’t put the seam in the middle of the playing area.

2) When installing fake brick pillars, make sure that the corners match up. No gaps. Real bricks don’t have gaps at the corners.

3) I know that you’re building the spirit of community, but don’t just hand out “5-and-under” roles to any member of your parish that raises their hand that week.

4) Don’t end the show in the middle.

5) Sitcoms are supposed to be simple. They really shouldn’t have plot holes.

6) Utilizing the word “dude” doesn’t make Pastor Greg hip and cool.

7) Fire the writers.

8) Recast…everyone.

And a question: How come the kids in the church can get away with directly disobeying the pastor? They were escorted out of the room where they were drawing pictures, only to sneak back in sometime later (off camera) to continue drawing. While I respect their need for creative outlet, I can’t abide the blatant disrespect for the under-pastor’s wishes. And why do the “fuddy-duddy” parishioners become “hip and cool” before they meet their new hip and cool Pastor Greg?

Thanks for your time, producer-type-people.

Really, though. Go watch the show. And make a prayer request while you’re at it.

And just try to keep that theme song out of your head.

No really.

Fun Fact: There is nothing fun about Pastor Greg. That’s a fact.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Making Friends

And influencing them.

It was all over the news yesterday. I’m tardy. Michelle Duggar and her husband...Jim Bob...have given birth to their 16th child. Jim Bob is especially excited because it’s his first daughter in 8 years. Michelle is excited because she finally has another little girl to dress in truly nauseating outfits.

Why do we celebrate these people like they’re some kind of overachievers? It’s like going to the circus freak show with the pretense of learning hygiene secrets from the bearded lady.

Here they are. And they don’t just wear that crap on picture day at Sears. They wear it all the time. That’s dressing up to them. It’s dressing down too. I’m pretty sure that mom makes them for the girls out of the old sheets. Look closely at that photo and you may catch a glimpse of Holly Hobby.

The kids are Joshua, 17; John David, 15; Janna, 15; Jill, 14; Jessa, 12; Jinger, 11; Joseph, 10; Josiah, 9; Joy-Anna, 8; Jeremiah, 6; Jedidiah, 6; Jason, 5; James, 4; Justin, 2; Jackson Levi, 1; and now Johannah, newborn, purple and creepy.

All their names begin with the letter “J.” Just like Daddy. It’s cool of Daddy Jim Bob to give himself such an immense tribute. He sure deserves it. After all, he has to put up with that hormonal wife of his while she’s pregnant…constantly. In fact the only time she’s not been pregnant for any real duration was the first 4 years of their marriage. She was just 17 when they married. Which is strange that she wasn’t pregnant. I mean, isn’t that the only reason people marry 17-year-olds?

Oh, J also stands for Jesus.

I shouldn’t make fun. It’s not easy to raise 16 kids, I’m sure. Especially when you home-school them.

Of course, I’ll never know. I’ll never have to do it because…well…I’m not freaking crazy.

Yes, the Duggars are freaking crazy. Freaking crazy for Jesus. Religious weirdoes. The kind that think that Jesus wants you to give birth to babies until your cervix no longer has the strength to hold them in for the full gestational period.

This is what Jim Bob had to say:

We both just love children and we consider each a blessing from the Lord. I have asked Michelle if she wants more and she said yes, if the Lord wants to give us some she will accept them…or else I will beat Satan from her until she gives in to the Lord’s will.

Okay, I added that last part about Satan. I don’t think that the husband is forcing her to have babies. I think she likes it. I mean, after 10 kids, she pretty much has to keep having them. It’s either that or a hysterectomy, right? She sure as hell can’t go back to having a menstrual cycle. Let’s just say that Tampax hasn’t marketed a product equipped to handle a task of that….considerable size.

Personally, I don’t understand this conviction. I don’t understand why Jesus wants religious wack-jobs to have a million and a half kids. Is he living vicariously?

Whatever the reason, Jim Bob and Michelle are going to continue to pop out the chillun’. What does Jim Bob care if his wife’s vagina becomes the size of Madison Square Garden?

It’s procreation, not recreation, people.

And if all else fails, he can rent her crotch out for concerts and boxing events.

Fun Fact: The heaviest ever baby born was a boy weighing 22 lb 8 oz. He was born to Sig. Carmelina Fedele in Aversa, Italy in September 1955.

That would be a snap for ol’ Michelle Duggar. She could use the baby’s weight to her advantage. She wouldn’t have to go through those painful 5 seconds of pushing. All she’d have to do is stand up and let gravity do all the work.

What? Gross? Hey, the woman isn’t a human anymore, she’s a freaking factory. There are bunny rabbits out there rolling their eyes at her.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I Love Jesus

…Was filmed before a live studio audience.

Yes, the Christians, unhappy with just boring the hell out of everybody (literally) on Sundays, have taken to boring the hell out of everybody on primetime Television.

There’s a new sitcom on television these days. And this time it’s biblical.

It’s called Pastor Greg and airs on Thursday nights at 8 on the Cornerstone Television Network (call your cable provider to request Cornerstone Television, and while you’re at it, ask them to come over and paint your house so you can sit and watch it dry).

It’s being touted as the “first Christian sitcom.”

What exactly makes a sitcom “Christian?” Well, GMA this morning asked the very same question of the show’s creator and star Greg Robbins.

It’s a good question. I watch a lot of TV and was under the delusional assumption that just about every one of the characters in them is Christian. Sure, most of them don’t go to church or talk about God, per se, but some of them do. Especially those new “home spun,” “working class family” crappy ones that are polluting my screen these days.

And what about the Simpsons? They go to church just about every episode! A Christian church no less. There’s more religion on that show in one episode than there was the entire series of Highway to Heaven (which is not a sitcom. Neither is Touched by an Angel).

And was I the only one who ever watched the late, great Sherman Hemsley’s post-Jeffersons masterpiece Amen? I loved that show. I took place in a freaking church!

So I guess a “Christian Sitcom” is something completely different.

I hope it’s cool. I would love to see a sitcom with more Jesus in it. He is perhaps the greatest figure in literary history (don’t get upset, whether or not you believe that he actually lived, they still wrote a book about him which makes him a literary figure in my…uh…book). Why shouldn’t he have his own sitcom?

I’m not a Christian, but even I would tune in to watch Jesus try to weasel his way onto the stage at Club Babalu or hock Vitameatavegamin.

But I don’t think that’s what they had in mind. Too bad that it would be so sacrilegious, otherwise it might make for a fine Christian show premise.

Maybe a Christian sitcom is a lot like a regular sitcom? Except that at the end of every episode someone goes all “Linus Van Pelt” on everybody and reads from the bible?

No, turns out that to Greg Robbins, the idea of a Christian sitcom is something completely different. When GMA asked him what it meant to make a Christian sitcom, Robbins’ explanation was that all of the cast and crew “accept Christ as their savior.”

Finally! Christians in Hollywood! How about that, huh? Personally, I never thought that I’d live to see the day. Unprecedented.

Oh, and the main character is a pastor. And they pray and stuff.

I’m sorry if I seem to be getting down on this show. Personally, I could care less if a show’s Christian or not. You’re talking to a dude who watched Amen for Pete’s sake (and the entire series of Highway to Heaven, I truly loved that stupid show). But from the clips that they showed of this show on GMA this morning, and they showed a lot of clips, the show is really…really…awful.

Greg Robbins lamented the long hard road it took to get his show on TV. He bewailed the countless rejections from network suits. He even hinted that the constant dismissal was due to the shows Christian bend.

Maybe the suits saw that you actually scripted a freaking pie fight into the show?! Maybe that’s what killed it. Well, that and the complete lack of funny. Sitcom. Situation comedy.

I’m getting down on it again. But it’s because the show will probably actually do well. Christians are so starved for churchie things that they’ll buy anything that talks about Jesus being the lord and savior. Even the really bad stuff (any Jim Neighbors fans in the house?).

Why can’t they make something good?!

Christians, really, stop buying the crappy Christian stuff! Really. If you’re going to market your religion through merchandising, at least make a quality product. This stuff represents your faith! Have a little self-respect! Make good Christian TV shows. Don’t tell me you can’t find the cash. Pray for it or something. Do it for Jesus. Do it for God. Do it for yourselves.

And do it quick because if this country keeps going like it is, pretty soon we’ll all be living in a Puritan Commonwealth again and I’ll have no choice but to watch this garbage.

Fun Fact: The term “sitcom” was coined in 1951 and makes “I Love Lucy” the first television show to be called a sitcom.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I Got Plenty of Nothin’

…For you today. I was fighting with the TAM cartoon all morning. The damned thing didn’t want to scan right. So now all you get is…the latest TAM Cartoon!

And nothing else. TAM-a-lam-a-dingy-dingy…uh…something-tastic-sational!

Get over it.

Fun Fact: My Fun Fact was going to about how this TAM cartoon is the first TAM cartoon that doesn’t have TAM in it.

Then I discovered that it’s actually the fourth.

Man, even I don’t read these things.

Visit the TAM Cartoon archives!

Monday, October 10, 2005

There’s a Monster Outside My Window

This morning, this was the view from my kitchen window.

I can now put this at the top of the short list of extraordinary things I’ve seen while standing next to my dishwasher. (Sorry horde of dead termites, you’ve been bumped down a peg.)

They finally tore down the cute house next door. The only thing that’s good about it is that I got to meet the guy who owns the property. It was nice to discover that they are building this condo complex as an investment for themselves. It’s not going to be owned by a huge property company. At least not for a while anyway. And he’s a local. He lives right near here.

Here he is with his family, posing for a picture in front of the destruction.

He seems like a nice enough guy. His son was very excited about seeing a house being bit in half by a giant mechanical ogre.

Maybe a little too excited?

More than once, I was afraid that I’d witness a child get turned into a fine paste. But he made it out alive. No thanks to himself.

I also learned that the guy I met was the one who rented the house out to the dicks that used to live there. So I got to vent my spleen a little. He had no idea that the renters were such asses. One of them was supposedly a mortgage broker. They lived like frat-house rejects, so I guess that makes sense.

I told the owner all about his renters. About their “band,” about their late night porch concerts… He was surprised. I also told him that I was unhappy about the house being torn down. He said that they had bought it as a fixer-upper. His wife wanted to do that. But this guy’s in construction, he said he doesn’t do anything small.


Now we get condos. Now I get to live with the constant noise of construction going on 5 feet from my window. Why couldn’t he just do this one thing small? Is it too much to ask to have someone not take advantage of an opportunity? Come on. I do it all the time. It’s really easy.

So now it’s begun. Construction hell. The dust is already killing me. And even though the foreman is a very nice guy and was horribly concerned about bothering the neighbors every morning at 7am (more than one he said how happy he was that Tanya and I were early risers), it’ll probably put a serious cramp on the Christmas Album this year. So much so that there might not be one. Not even a small one. But, oh well. I should focus my energies on something that might actually pay the rent anyway, right?

But don’t despair. Let’s not get all down. Here, enjoy this picture I took of the front window being shattered into a thousand small pieces.

That’s pretty cool. It even got applause (the event, not the picture, although, feel free to clap for the photo too). And, I also learned that the owner’s wife is a literary agent for William Morris. And the owner told me that he’d put us at the top of the list to buy one of the new condos.

Okay, here is my plan. I get his wife to represent me, she sells many of my screenplays (100 or 150, I haven’t decided how many yet), we make a lot of money ($3 billion or so) and then we can afford to buy one of the new, and I’m sure overpriced, LA condos. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed. It’s a great plan, huh?

Yep. Great plan. Not one single hitch.

William Morris will look at partial screenplays, right? Oh, what am I saying…of course they will.

That new condo is as good as mine, baby.

Fun Fact: The modern bulldozer was invented by J. Earl McLeod and Jim Cummings around 1923.

Man, I’m glad I didn’t live next to them. The only thing more annoying than a noisy bulldozer is a noisy bulldozer being driven by a dude who is really excited about driving his noisy bulldozer.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Massage My Brain and Give Me the Happy Ending

Ah, dubious massage parlor humor. Gross? Sure. But what the hell, it’s Friday.

We’re all a little obsessed with the “happily ever after.” It’s been fed to us since we were just little tykes. But those were fairy tales. Not real life. Obviously, right?

Not so.

The world is becoming increasingly obsessed with creating happy endings these days. The news media being the most egregious offenders. There are two stories lately that really stick out in my mind.

The first is the story about Jacquelyn Sherman. After having her home destroyed in hurricane Katrina, she sought refuge from New Orleans on the floor of her sister’s house in Opelousas. While there, she decided to do a little shopping at the local Wal-Mart (of course). But first she took a little detour to the local casino. She put some cash in a slot machine and out popped 1.6 million dollars.

Ah. Doesn’t that just warm the heart? Here’s what she had to say about it:

Thank you, Lord.... I told my aunt that God works in mysterious ways and that I had prayed that something good would happen for the whole family to be happy.”

Indeed, the lord does work in mysterious ways. He rewards gambling now. Who knew? I always thought that God frowned on stuff like that? But what do I know? I’m an atheist after all. Maybe I should convert. Maybe then I’d finally hit it big at the blackjack tables.

And maybe I could get Him to clear up this horrible case of the clap while he’s at it? How does God feel about soliciting prostitutes these days?

I’m kidding. I don’t have Gonorrhea and I don’t solicit prostitutes(really. It was a joke…I’m serious).

The news reported on this story as if the clouds had parted and the hand of god pushed through with a wad of hundred dollar bills just for Jacquelyn Sherman. I mean, come on…

Perhaps the better question is why the hell was a woman who had lost everything in a tragic disaster at a freaking casino plopping her much-needed cash into a soul-sucking slot machine?!

Man, some people were just programmed to be poor. Don’t even get me started on the state lottery. Jacquelyn is just lucky that the Lord had a soft spot for hard-luck cases…and the one-armed bandit.

The other story that they played on the news also had to do with Hurricane Katrina. It was about a couple who had met during the aftermath. They both ended up in the same evacuation center. Then they both ended up on the same refugee plane to California.

Then they took the next most rational step and got married.

Now, I’m not here to bad-mouth their relationship. I sincerely hope that it all works out for them. I won’t mention the fact that they only knew each other for about two weeks before they tied the knot. I won’t mention that relationships spawned from traumatic events have little or no chance of surviving.

And I definitely won’t point out that Keanu Reeves makes that last point in the movie “Speed” because that would make me a supreme geek who watches Keanu Reeves movies (but what would you do? What…would you…do?! Now who’s the geek, huh? Oh…still me).

But I will take issue with the way that the local news station reported the story. They tagged the item with the line, “At least for two survivors of Hurricane Katrina there is a happy ending.”

A happy ending?!

I knew it! No matter how much certain ex-girlfriends might have tried to convince me of the contrary, I always knew this to be true…

Marriage really is the end of the world!

And now I have proof. The Los Angeles WB affiliate said so. Take that!

So, happy endings. Do they exist? I like to think so. Somewhere. Sometime. But where do things end? Do they actually end at all? Do we really want to get into a philosophical debate right now?


Why? Because this is the end of this post, that’s why. Which is good because it started off on such a grotesque note. What with the massage parlor joke and all. I shouldn’t have been so blue. I know that cheesy news “human interest” stories about happy endings and massage parlor happy endings are two entirely different things.

But after both I can’t help but feel like I’d been jerked around a little.

And we all lived happily ever after.

Fun Fact: There’s a new link posted on the right. It’s to the Wren Forum. A happy place run by my friend Steve. Go there and check it out. If it’s as good as his mad improve comedy skillz and acting talent, you won’t be disappointed.

Plus it has something to do with Wrens. I don’t know what yet, but someday I’ll figure it out.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the word “ebullience” means “overflowing with enthusiasm.” I had to look it up. I though it was some kind of pierogi dish. Which made me think that the Wren forum might be some kind of Polish support group.

Which it still may well be.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Thanks for Nothing

I came home at 4:00pm yesterday to find a notice taped above the mailboxes here at the apartment complex that read:

“The water in the building will be shut off tomorrow from 11am to 5pm. Thank you for your cooperation.”

Which makes me wonder; how do I sign up to be uncooperative?

Really. I mean it. I understand that someone - somewhere - needs to have our water turned off (I’m pretty sure it’s the house next door that they’re tearing down in order to build a hideous condo complex that will block out the sun and obliterate the air-flow in our non-air-conditioned, overpriced apartment). But I don’t think that there was enough notice given. Plus, I don’t think that they should turn our water off. And, personally, I could give a flying rat’s rectum if they ever tear down the house next door and build their stupid condos.

But I don’t have a say in the matter. I’m a renter. Which means that no one cares what I think.

But they thanked me for my cooperation nonetheless.

An insult to injury actually. What am I supposed to do now? Say “you’re welcome,” smile and act like they’re doing me a favor by being polite? Should I tell them to go copulate with themselves? Would it matter?


“You’re welcome” and “go screw yourself” are pretty much the same when it comes to this. The people who run things around here won’t hear either one. Their “thank you” is strictly rhetorical ornamentation. It’s put there to make us feel like we are a part of the process, as if we’ve given some kind of consent. Which we haven’t.

And we see this all the time now. It’s everywhere. Millions of “thank yous” placed here and there to make dictatorial rules seem less like regulations and more like give-and-take.

“Thank you for not smoking.”

My personal favorite. First of all, it starts with the “thank you.”

“Thank me? How nice! I wonder what selfless act I perpetrated to be thanked in such a public way. Thank me for what?”

“Oh, thank me for not smoking. I see. Well. I had actually planned on smoking, but evidently, on some past occasion, I agreed not to. Funny, that doesn’t sound like something I’d agree to. But if they’re thanking me, I must have.”

Look, I’m all for rules and regulations. If you don’t want someone to smoke in your establishment then simply put up a sign that says “No Smoking.” There’s no pretense. Sure, it’s little harsh, but hey, if you’re the type of person who’s worried about offending others with your rules, then you shouldn’t be going around putting up signs, I say.

I know that this seems like a stupid thing to get worked up about – and it is. Thank you for not pointing out my idiocy. But thanking people has become hollow. It’s an insincere gesture now. When we go around thanking people for compulsory behavior, then something that used to be polite becomes a mockery.

Let’s save “thank you!”

We’ve already destroyed “I’m sorry.”

Fun Fact: Just yesterday, just a little ways up the road here, Lindsay Lohan got into another car accident. She claims that the paparazzi were attacking her, which is probably true. But I got to tell you, I almost get into an accident every time I drive that strip of Robertson Blvd. There’s always some jerk-ass darting into traffic or backing up to get a parking spot (it’s a small street, only one lane at that point) or just tear-assing it down the road at 90 mph.

And now, it appears that Lindsay Lohan is just another one of those jerk-asses (although I suspect that the girl just can’t drive).

You know, Beverly Hills would be a nice place if it weren’t for all the rich people.

That’s a fact.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Happy Rosh Hashanah!

I’m not Jewish. I don’t have great understanding of what Rosh Hashanah is all about. But I’m wishing a happy one anyway. I’m pretty sure that’s what you’re supposed to do. And I always do what I’m supposed to do. I’m a sheep.

Also, for the others in the hizzy; happy beginning of Ramadan. I hope you have a quiet and reflective one. Don’t listen to the jerk-asses in Al-Qaida and bomb the hell out of crap like they want you to. Use your religious dedication to spread hope and proliferate a sense of understanding. Rebel against leaders who try to use your convictions for their personal gain. Question authority. Don’t do what others tell you to. Like me. I never do what I’m supposed to. I’m a loner, Dotty…a rebel.

And I’m confused.

Fun Fact: According to the bible, Camel meat is considered “unclean.”

I guess I’ll have to cancel that small business loan. My fast-food chain, TAM’s Camel Burgers Deluxe Dromedaria and Eatery, will just have to wait until Hinduism takes over the world.

Hurry up Hindus! How long must the world wait to sink their teeth into the mouth-watering “Double Humper…with Cheese?!”

Oh, and the latest TAM Cartoon is up! Cameltoeslaw-tastic!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Goodbye August

August Wilson has died. He was only 60. Liver cancer.

What a horrible loss. He was a great playwright. There are too few writers like him; with his depth and heart and ability to be provocative without being narrow and…with his talent. He will be missed.

Fun Fact: On a much different note: I left the gym this morning with the palms of my hands smelling like a strange woman’s perfume.

Don’t worry; I’m not grabbing strange women while I work out.

But why do people find it so difficult to wipe down the equipment after they get done using it? The gym forces us to bring towels, after all. And it’s not because the CEO of Bally Total Fitness is a huge fan of The Hitchhiker’s Guide. It’s because the rest of us don’t want to have to wallow in your sweat.

Or perfume.

My hands became scented after I used the crosstrainer. Now, the only parts of my body that even touch the crosstrainer are the bottoms of my feet and the palms of my hands. And yet I came home smelling like lavender or some damn thing.

Why do certain women feel that they need to apply perfume just to go to the gym? And not just any perfume. Industrial strength NASA perfume. Perfume that won’t dissipate even with soap and water.

And why the hell are they applying it to the palms of their hands?! What are they dong that the palms of their hands need to smell nice? Are they running some kind of murder-for-hire strip-mall smothering boutique and day spa? Are they constantly playing that stupid “guess who” game?

No. They’re just idiots with smelly hands who can’t figure out how to use their towels.

That’s a fact.

I wonder if the soles of my shoes also smell?

I don’t think I’ll check.